Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Last Week With Jake

Rock climbing, playing guitar, eating out, concerts, baseball games, visiting family, babysitting, kayaking, geocaching, 4wheeling, cemetary browsing, hiking, reading art books, caving, riding bikes, dancing in the kitchen... all fun but all ultimately leading a sad and final goodbye.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Penultimate Weekend

Jake has officially been accepted to grad school in Oklahoma. The countdown has begun and so has his attempts to get as much done before he leaves as he can. I'm sad he's going to be leaving but it's hard to be depressed when you're having so much fun. It was his penultimate weekend and it was packed! I'll just stick to the main things we've been doing and leave out all the little ones. It began on Friday when we visited the Springville Art Museum. They still have their exhibit up "Sagebrush Pinion and Pine" which we both wanted to see as well as their new sculpture garden which was finished just 2 weeks ago. The art was all great and we stayed till they closed. The sculpture garden was cool, but I think their signs need a little work already. I don't think they're outdoor friendly.
On the way home there was so much traffic so we decided to drive The Alpine Loop...and then we decided to pull out to look at the view...and then we saw a trail...and that was that. The wildflowers were amazing, the weather was perfect, and we just couldn't resist even if we only had flip flops on and no water. I lost my shoe once while bushwhacking back to the road but I found it and miraculously we didn't get any poison oak. Jake did get a tick, but he caught is before it burrowed in.
Here Jake was showing me some "Leave No Trace" practices. When we left you'd never know someone was stupid enough to make a firepit right in the middle of the trail, well, maybe someday you won't be able to tell. I got behind taking pictures and when I finally caught up to Jake this is where I found him... (Here he's trying to make a grass whistle) We ended the day with a big frisbee game in the park and played till it was so dark people were getting hit with the frisbee cause they couldn't see it coming. Saturday was non-stop. Jake has always wanted to take his brother and some of his nieces and nephews climbing, so Saturday morning we went hiking up Rock Canyon in over 100 degree weather with Jake's dad, brother, and two of his brother's kids. We managed to find a route with a little shade and everyone got to go up once.
Everyone wanted a picture of themselves climbing for facebook so I was taking close up shots. I went up last and while I cleaned the anchors, Stew took my camera and got a couple cool shots of me from far away. I wish he'd been taking them the whole time, they turned out great. After climbing we raced back to the car and over to Provo Canyon where we rented some of those inflatable kayaks. We actually had some of our own but the shuttle ride to the top almost makes just renting them worth it. We reserved 3 tandem ones but when we got to the top they only had two tandems and two singles left so Jake and I got our own and the kids rode with their dad and grandpa. It was so fun! Jake helped rescue a girl stuck under a bridge... and I helped rescue a guys shoes. It's not like real kayaking, mostly floating. It was tame enough that Jake and I were trying to stand on our boats like gondolas...we both fell off, but I fell into my boat, Jake fell in the river. Sadly no pictures. Rivers and cameras aren't friends.
After we all got home from the river, Jake and I took out his parents quads. I've only ridden one once about 6 years ago, but I did ok... and Jake did donuts around me. We went all the way to the top of the mountains behind his house. We saw the sunset, a great view of Utah Lake, and then we saw some big gray clouds full of lighting and headed home. On the way back we saw deer, rabbits, a rattlesnake, and a bunch of poorwills. We tried to watch a movie when we got home but found that after 3 hours on a 4-wheeler we were unable to hear anything with our ringing ears so we called it a night.
Sunday there was a big celebration family dinner for Jake going to school. Later we took one of the quads out again but this time Jake drove and I just rode behind him...and this time we didn't see the big gray clouds full of lighting till it was too late. I've never been caught in such a crazy rainstorm. We were racing down the mountain in the mud trying to keep ourselves as low as possible. By the time we got home our arms were covered in welts from the rain and we looked like we'd been swimming in our clothes. (luckily I didn't have my camera with me. It'd have been toast) At least we made it home safe. Lighting struck in the park right next to us as we sped past and we were screaming all the way home. His whole family was on the porch watching for us when we pulled in. It was an exciting end to a fun weekend. Less than 2 weeks left and only 1 more weekend... I wonder what we'll do next...

Mission Impossible

I see Jake take pictures but I never actually see the pictures. Finally, last night when he was cleaning up after our muddy race home down the mountain in a torrential surprise thunderstorm, I saw my opportunity and I raided the computer. I found his most recent photo files which I quickly uploaded to my online photo album. I felt like I was in Mission Impossible or something, stealing the files before he found me out. I'm glad I did, I've never seen these and some are so fun. Many times I've come home with pictures of everyone else and only one or two of me which are usually taken of myself at arm's length. Now I have some real pictures. Mission Accomplished. Here's a little sample of what I found from our trip to Zion in March. I even found this one from our third date way back in January!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Before and After - Updates From My Garden

My little corner garden has gone from seedlings to edible vegetables. The peas are almost finished and I now have yellow squash, green beans, a couple sweet peppers, and already too many zucchini than I can handle. The tomatoes are all still green and the hot peppers, tomatillos, and cucumbers are still just little buds but they'll be ready soon enough. It seems all the things I planted from seeds are ready to pick and the ones I bought as plants in order to get a head start are the ones taking their time. Thanks to the month of spring rain it wasn't very much work this year. Even the lawn is still green and I've been enjoying it for badminton, croquet, and evening picnics. Here's some before and after shots from the garden:
Eightball Zucchini
Green Beans
Peas don't make it inside at my house. There are strict rules that they must be enjoyed while standing in the garden. This before and after shrapnel picture makes me miss my dog Cindy. She liked peas as much as I did, which was kind of a problem sometimes when she would eat an entire plant, but she would have enjoyed cleaning up these pods for me.
I even got some flowers! These are from my front yard and I love the way they look in a vase.
But...as usual, there is always bad news along with good news. My charitable neighbor has continued to mow my lawn for me and although I did manage to get him to stay away from my herb garden after the cold blooded massacre, (which is slowly recovering thanks to some replanting and lots of rain) he did come a little too close to the lavender plants with the weed whacker and has killed my dancing frog. I know I'm a little young (and sane) to be having lawn ornaments and garden gnomes, but the job of the frog was to keep the hose out of the lavender when I pull it around the corner, and apparently it was also to keep the weed whacker out. He was successful but in the words of Abraham Lincoln giving the Gettysburg address, the frog "gave the last full measure of devotion". I will miss his perpetually happy face in every season...
But I don't want to end on a sad note so back to the garden... like I said, already too many zucchini for one person. Anybody want one?