I know. I said we were going to the Badlands today. But I forgot Friday is for flowers, so here is a shot of wildflowers by the first lake.  It’s been so much fun having you visit the Bighorns with me.  We’ll be leaving early tomorrow morning now that we have the cabin ready for winter: brace poles, dust covers, mouse bait and traps.  A friend will blow the water lines and all those sorts of things after we leave.  Makes it easier for us to just get up, finish loading the van and leave.  We’ll drive to Gillette, then stop for caffeine, either coffee or tea, and a bit of breakfast.  You can take a nap if you need to.

It’s been such fun.

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Saint-Valbert is one of the those little towns where you wonder what everyone does for a living and where they go when not at home or at church.  There are no businesses, just the Marie or city hall building, but I did find some photo-worthy doors to bring back in my suitcase (well, since the photos were on my phone, in my purse) to share with all of you.  The sun managed to keep me from getting the best shot of the second door, but much as I tried, I couldn’t get it to move!  Maybe it didn’t speak English. I like that each door has both another door and a little window as well as an arch.doors with arches

Our north-of-the-border door host, Norm, is finally back from his blogging break.  Welcome back, Norm.  I hope you’re rested and refreshed.  Thanks to Dan, Joey, and Manja for keeping the door open while Norm was gone.  You were great ambassa-doors.

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Not only are the days flying by, they seem to be filling up with one thing or another. In the morning, the posts in my “blogs I follow” box seems to have multiplied like the proverbial rabbits (as well as people I follow posting multiple posts–HEEEEELP!) and I feel that I may never catch up.  I’ve started working two shifts a week at a local patisserie/restaurant/chocolate shop as well, have a bag of apples ready to make sauce, and…well, you’re probably all in the same blogging boat, so I’ll stop my whining.  🙂  But can’t you hear real life calling?  Loudly?

That makes a “Wordless Wednesday” post sounds really, really inviting.  But no matter what, except for last week, Wednesday is Photo Challenge Day and once again I shall answer its siren call.   The theme for this week is “Layered”, a perfect segue into some of my upcoming posts about returning from Wyoming and driving through the Badlands the day of the eclipse.  Here’s a teaser. Because of the eclipse, the sky and wonderful colors of the layers are somewhat dulled, but I find them awesome (in the true, old sense) nonetheless.

Every week, Cee posts question for her “Share Your World Challenge.”  I decided to dive in this week.  Friday we’ll be getting ready to leave Wyoming, but not heading directly home.  We’ll be doing a loop of the Badlands, something you won’t want to miss.  But you won’t, because you’ll be in the passenger’s seat!  Anyway, “they” say sharing is good, so let me share.

Complete this sentence: I want to learn more about … French. I’m trying to learn a bit of a language where a good proportion of the letters aren’t pronounced and that, in common with German, decided for some horrifying reason to use multiple forms of “the”, which then have to be conjugated, thus blighting the lives of all who aren’t born to the language.  On a more prosaic level, I also want to learn a lot more about photography and how to make the best use of my Nikon and start doing a bit more writing again.

On a vacation what you would require in any place that you sleep?  A comfortable bed is what sprang to my mind immediately.  🙂  A clean room is of equal value.  After that, a large room with a wonderful bathroom, a small fridge and microwave,  and a fabulous view would be great.  A view that doesn’t overlook buildings or crowds would be even better, although I could deal with a great B&B or Airbnb in a wonderful city (at least for a bit.)  I suppose could tolerate proximity to a great market (of the food sort) and restaurants and museums if I had to, although it would of course be tough.  A reasonable price would make the whole package even better!!  🙂

What is your greatest extravagance?  Books, even though I buy them mostly at places like Half Price Books and library sales and haven’t been feeding my habit recently (with a great effort.)  The time to read them is probably more extravagant.  🙂  Or maybe my answer should be “use of the library.”  All book-related, though, so who cares?  Just file them all under “book love.”  Of course, because I spend so little on all those books, tea may be my biggest extravagance financially.  But again, the two go together so well that they are as one.

What inspired you this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.   Our younger daughter, an recently graduated art student trying to make living while a resident of Philadelphia, lost her job with the art school in spring (along with 7 other people), got another job with the school (that doesn’t pay as well, but at least has benefits), is also working extra hours with a catering service, rides her bike everywhere, has become a pro at “scrounging” of a good sort, yet still has time to make posters to post around the neighborhood for a friend whose cat (rescued from the street) disappeared.  (It was found today because of those posters.)  And she has a rescued cat as well. Yet for the most part, she manages to be upbeat and full of humor.  That’s all sorts of inspiration!

See you tomorrow at the Photo Challenge.

I can’t believe we only have a few days left. Where’s the time gone?  We’ve had lots of great rides, seen moose and deer, reveled in all the flowers, hiked, watched the horse, and sat on the porch relaxing.  That’s what I was planning to do tonight, but it looks like it might be a pretty sunset.  Let’s head up to the top of the hill and see what it looks like.

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Phew, the air at 7,000′ has a lot less oxygen than where I live! I’m huffing and puffing like the horses do when we ride up these steep slopes, but now we’re doing the work of the horses.  Thankfully, we don’t have saddles and people on our backs!

Oh, my goodness! Look at that!  It was worth the climb. Look at the colors in the sky.

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Image  —  Posted: September 17, 2017 in Silent Sunday
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Yesterday was our 33rd anniversary, which is why I was absent from the online world.  .  As my husband’s favorite food in the world might be watermelon, I thought I’d honor him by sharing a few things I’ve learned about watermelon since indulging him in this low-calorie, good-for-you treat as often as possible.  🙂

  1. Seedless watermelon aren’t, so don’t be taken aback or angry when you cut open that seedless melon, only to find little translucent “seeds”, really the coatings of seeds that haven’t matured.  They can’t mature and they can’t reproduce, so don’t plan on planting any to get your next year’s melons. *
  2. In China, watermelon consumers like to either eat the seeds from regular watermelon or toast them, while Americans tend to spit them out…or avoid them by buying “seedless” melons.
  3. No matter what you read about how to pick the right watermelon (tap them, look for a yellow patch, etc.), there’s no guarantee!  Just take your chances and enjoy.
  4. The best time to cut a watermelon is the day you’re going to put your garbage out for pick-up, unless you mulch, in which case you may feel free to cut one whenever you darn well please!  All those rinds are heavy, too!
  5. Watermelon rinds are great for putting on top of your shredded, private information.  Our recycling requires shredded material to be bagged which, to me, defeats the purpose, even though no one is likely to be able to reassemble our shreddings.  But put watermelon rinds or other wet food garbage on top and if anyone wants to try to steal information from that bag, have at it and good luck.
  6. I can see why someone invented watermelon rind pickles.  She probably got tired of throwing out all those rinds.
  7. The water part of watermelon isn’t just there for fun.  Once cut, the melon will lose, well, red water.  To keep the pieces lasting longer, drain that off every day…if the melon lasts that long.
  8. Watermelon, although about 92% water, is distressingly good for you.  (Don’t stop eating it, though!!)  It has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids, and a bit of potassium. It’s also is fat-free, and low in sodium and calories (40 calories per cup.)
  9. If turned into a math formula: my husband’s ability to eat watermelon >>>>>the space in the fridge for the cut melon.  (That’s a greater-than sign to the 5th power, BTW.)
  10. Egyptians placed watermelons in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife.  For more fun facts about watermelon, head over to this LiveScience page.
  11. There’s lively debate about whether a watermelon is a fruit or a vegetable.  According to Natural Health ezine:  Most of us automatically assume that a watermelon is a fruit, but technically it is counted as a vegetable (The Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill on 17 April 2007 declaring watermelon as the official state vegetable, with some controversy surrounding whether a watermelon is a fruit.). It is related to the cucumber, squash and pumpkin plants. The watermelon is classified as Citrullus Lanatu. Regardless of whether the watermelon is a fruit or vegetable, it is known to be very healthy.
  12. The heaviest watermelon weighed 268.8 lbs./121.93 kg (I wouldn’t want to pay by the pound for that one).  My watermelon-loving spouse says that would be big enough to make a casket and that’s how he’d like to be buried.  He adds that would be a green burial in both senses of the word.  I’m not sure what I can add after that, so I guess that makes this the end of my post!  🙂

*But wait, there’s just a bit more.  For anyone interested in how you can grow seedless watermelon if the seeds really aren’t seeds, here’s an explanation from a horticultural newsletter.

The obvious question asked about growing seedless watermelons is: “How does one obtain seed of a seedless watermelon?” Obviously, you cannot save seed from a seedless watermelon. So, where do the seeds come from? Simply stated, the number of chromosomes (the threadlike bodies within cells that contain the inheritance units called genes) in a normal watermelon plant is doubled by the use of the chemical colchicine. Doubling a normal (diploid) watermelon results in a tetraploid plant (one having four sets of chromosomes). When the tetraploid plant is bred back, or pollinated, by a diploid or normal plant, the resulting seed produces a triploid plant that is basically a “mule” of the plant kingdom, and it produces seedless watermelons. Seed of seedless varieties are available from most major seed companies.