31 October 2006

Halloween 2006

So on Halloween I went to this party of The Wright House. I think it's actually a ward party but EVERYONE goes and EVERYONE is in costume. It was overwhelming how many young single adults were there and I'm not afraid of people! I'm not really the Devil, I just play one on TV.

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27 October 2006

Family I Went In Search Of

My Aunt Judy and my new Uncle Richard. She is my mother's oldert sister. She's been trying to get me to move here since I was in college. There have been some new experiences for Shannon - like cheesecake on a stick. Like people go to the temple visitor's center on Sunday to hang out. Like I go to this 24-30 Institute and service missionary couple put on a full-on meal and all the singles there are like TWO complete YSA conferences for me. In two weeks I've already got a calling as a ward missionary and they've asked me to speak... They said they like the feisty ones.

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20 October 2006

Taste Test

So maybe I'm just as crazy as the people who's things I visited on my road trip. My mother can't have sugar so we got her some sugar-free chocolate sandwich cookies. There were several brands so I got to thinking, "Are all sugar-free chocolate sandwich cookies created equal?" So, the taste test. There were Oreo's, Mothers and Murrays. Turns out that half the people could tell which cookies was the Orea but that there favorite cookie varied much more. So in the end my conclusive results show that not all sugar-free chocolate sandwich cookies are created equal.

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19 October 2006

Road Trip 2006 - Day 4

Tuscon, Arizona
Eegee's Restaurant

I dont' have a picture of this but it was the only thing we did on our last day on the road. We got to Mesa around 2pm - our best time yet for 400 miles a day. This picture is of my dashboard showing my father's GPS named Gertrude. My padre showed me how to load all my address information so it would tell me exactly where to get off the freeway and how to get back on. Nice! That's the way to travel. My mother had a fun adverture and I had a travel companion.

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18 October 2006

Road Trip 2006 - Day 3

Sunland Park, New Mexico
Christ of the Rockies

I would have loved to have hiked up to get some better photographs but a few things stopped me. One of which was this gigantic sign warning of "banditos." I think one day a month the path is lined with Border Guards for people to hike in safety. Besides, it was starting to rain and my mother was in the car.
Christ on the cross. I believe it was a gift from Mexico to show peace between our two countries. Over that mountain, Mexico.
I'd heard of the infamous "banditos" so when I saw this and took a picture I though they were watching me. Turns out they were watching me. They were the National Guard. Some very nice Border Patrol officers came over to talk with me cause the Guard called them informing them that someone was taking pictures of them. And I thought I was all smart...
Las Cruces, New Mexico
The Recycled Road Runner

It's off on one of the eastbound rest stops.
This close up gives you an idea of the types of things this bird is made of. Tennis shoes, tires, keyboards, fans, yada yada.
Also as this rest stop was an overzealous truck driver with the Halloween spirit. Seriously people!

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17 October 2006

Road Trip 2006 - Day 2

Houston, Texas
The Beer Can House

This house is TOTALLY covered and accessorized in beer can parts. This view shows you the mailbox and an idea of the siding.
This is a close-up of the lid link fence, as opposed to a chain link fence. Some people... Creative or Crazy?
The Flower Man's House

This house is covered in another man's junk - obviously his treasure.
This was the most interesting part for me cause I've never seen it. Cotton! It all it's various stages.
Field of Vision

This is around the corner from the Flower Man's House. Honestly, and I'm not trying to be vulgar, it looks like a bunch of nipples. It wasn't until I saw the plaque that I understood and it become comical. Field of Vision. I get it. But why?
Katy, Texas
Frobidden Gardens

I was most excited to see this cause it's supposed to be replicas, in miniature form of a variety of historical Chinese sites. It's a good thing I already knew it was going to be closed so I wasn't too disappointed when this was all I got to see. Oh well!
Luling, Texas
Watermelon Watertower

Uh, the watermelon watertower.
And the cows wondering what I am looking at.
San Antonio, Texas
The Alamo

Kerrville/Hunt, Texas
Stonehenge II

It's as if, on my little road trip to Arizona, I've been to England and the Canary Islands (and tomorrow to Brazil). World travelers we were. I swear, some people have the zaniest outlets...

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16 October 2006

Road Trip 2006 - Day 1

Mom and I only travelled about 400 miles a day! We just had so much fun gettin' off the beaten path seeing the random sites. It took us 4 hours to get to Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge is only an hour and a half away!

Abita Springs, Louisiana

The Abita Mystery House

Our first stop is only about an hour from home. I can't help where all the good roadside sites are! It's a very quirky and eccentric musuem of anything the creator/artist could come up with. Very high on the cheese factor scale. These two images are tame in comparison to what we say for instance a 20-foot long bass with the head of an alligator or aliens at Mardi Gras.
This is his depiction of a New Orleans Jazz Funeral. You could press the button and some of the characters inside would animate. Note the flying "angels."
Me in one of the mirror pieces of the House of Shards - an entire house done up in shards...
Ponchatoula, Louisiana
The Strawberry Capital of Louisiana

We ate strawberry beignets at a little cafe and they were way yummy.
This bronze scuplture caught my attention cause the little strawberries are actually red. I don't know how they did that. I'm sure there's a simple enough explaination but I don't know it so it still gets to be amazing to me.
The city alligator? This is "Old Blue Eyes." He and his predecessor "Old Hard Hide" live in a cage at the city's center.
Beaumont, Texas

So we were going to see the Worlds (3rd) Largest Fire Hydrant but it was way raining so we didn't stop. We did however need to use the restroom facilities so we stopped at a gas station. I was grossed out at the bloody hand prints on the door and was about to take my "business" elsewhere when I realized that it was just their clever Halloween decorations. Now it's hilarious!

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13 October 2006

Gulfport, Mississippi Relief Work

So it just so happened that while I was home in Louisiana before taking off to Arizona my ward from Atlanta came down to Gulfport to do some Hurricane Katrina relief work so I joined them.
Karlita and I took the task of demolishing a bathroom similar to this one...
...into this. What you don't get to see in this picture is all the mold that was on the ceiling!
On the left is the lady who owned the house, Ms. Triplet. On the right is the 13-year old helper, Tyler, that came down with a member of the Roswell Stake. The kid already has a retirement fund. I'm 30 and I don't have a retirement fund! But besides all that, I was really impressed with this kid. He doesn't have the Gospel in is single-parent life and yet he's got such a good head on his shoulders. He's gonna be a force to be reckoned with if he stays on track!

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Katrina: T+14 months (New Orleans, LA)

My father and I drove along the Gulf Coast from Biloxi to Gulfport. The entire coast has nothing. Not even shells of places, just nothing. You can barely tell that houses and businesses used to line the scenic byway. New Orleans is like a ghost town. In some parts of New Orleans, you can drive streets and streets without seeing a business or residence that is inhabited. It's been over a year and there is still so much work to do. Most of it will probably never get done. There seem to be 4 options. #1) clean up your house and live in it. #2) clean up your house and sell it to FEMA for not even half it's worth. #3) attempt to clean up your house but you can't for a myriad of reasons one of which may be that you are required to raise your house 3 feet before you can get any money. Or #4) do nothing with your house, possibly never even come back to see it.
These were all pictures taken in New Orleans or on the way there along Hwy 90 from Slidell. There were so many photographs that I passed up. I just couldn't take them all in one outing. Among them were an endless number of boats randomly deposited along the roads, in trees, on houses and elsewhere.
This one shows the water line on the house as well as the markings made by the government agency that checked the house. I've been told that they top mark is the date, the left is where the agency is from, the right is the number of animals dead, the bottom is the number of humans dead. Luckily I never saw a house with any numbers on the bottom. I did, however, see things about cats and dogs and ducks and ponies. The earliest date I saw was Sept 5th. If I'm not mistaken, the hurricane hit on Aug 29th. An entire week earlier...
A trailer park filled with over 500 FEMA trailers. Tiny things, barely a window, but they have Dish Network! A Bible laying on the window ledge. The house itself looks like the owners are slowly being able to get it cleaned out. A few doors down from them is the next picture.
Living in a trailer and still cheerful enough to decorate for Halloween. I bet it will be better for Christmas. You can see the PVC piping connecting the trailer directly to the sewer. BTW, this one is not a FEMA trailer. This one is much too fancy!
Yes, that is a refrigerator stuck in a tree...
Standing on a broken up concrete slab representing a broken up house foundation looking at a broken up walking pier. The entire water way along Hwy 90 looks like this. Nothing.

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12 October 2006

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Temple

Mom and I got to go to the Baton Rouge temple together. It's a mini- temple so it is only opened a limited amount of time each week. Plus, it's an hour and a half away. When you go, you take advantage of it. We did sealings and an endowment session.
The front:
The back:

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06 October 2006

I made a bowl!

Or more accurately, my daddy made a bowl and I helped. This is me at the lathe turning my block of orange osage into the roundest piece I could. Of course with this flash photograph you can't see that the chunk of wood is turning really really fast.
Here's me with my finished bowl and a piece of wood similar to the one we started with. I made a bowl!
Here's my Padre in his domain. The garage has turned into his woodworking shop.

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03 October 2006

Family I Left Behind In Search Of Other Family

So I am moving to Arizona. All my mother's family lives there except I hardly know them. You see, my family was the only ones who didn't live in Arizona. While I am not moving to Arizona solely to be with that part of the family, it is a definite perk. Alas, to gain one thing there is usually the price of another to be paid. Such is the case with my family. As I move across the country in hot pursuit of what's next in my life, I leave behind family that I will hardly ever get to see.
My father's aunt and uncle Mel and Earleen in LaGrange, Georgia. Generally speaking, my father has no family so to meet these people and be able to spend time with them was a real treat. But that is no longer...
My parentals in Slidell, Louisiana. Gone are the days when I could jump in the car and drive 6 hours to be with them. Now it's to the advanced time and money planning stage. Let's hope I can make it home for Christmas!

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