Thursday, July 24, 2008

Our Family Night, Winger's, and the Water Park

So tonight was Pretty Awesome! Trev, Max, and I decided that we were going to go and have some family time. Much to Trevor dismay, Weber State was closed for the 24th, and he could not go study. But that meant that we were able to spend some time together. Max has been begging me to take him to this little Water Park behind the Athletic Club. There were so many kids there, but he had a blast, and of course it gave Trev a chance to pull out the Camera.

Then we decided that we would go to Wingers. Max has a tendency to be loud and VERY energetic at Restaurants....actually everywhere. We thought it was perfect, not to expensive, not to crowded, and not to Diner-ey! I have learned very quickly that older people like diners, however I have also learned that Max roaring at the top of his lungs is not a BIG crowed-pleaser with the diner crowed. It was a blast.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Conversations with Children

This Sunday, I spent the majority of church passing out toys to the two toddlers, my son Max, and his cousin Julian. At one point, I discovered that our plush Cthulhu doll had made its way into the church bag. I discovered this when Julian asked me what it is.

JULIAN: Is this a butterfly?

TREVOR: No that's Cthulhu.

JULIAN: Oh. But what is it?

TREVOR: Cthulhu is one of the ancient ones--an unimaginable horror.

JULIAN: Yeah! ... and it's a butterfly?

TREVOR: Yes, it's a butterfly.

JULIAN: Make him fly!

There is no point in attempting to combat toddler logic. Here's a conversation I had with Max this morning (I was commenting on the ninja mask he made out of sliced muenster):

TREVOR: You are funny!

MAX: Yes, I am.

TREVOR: Yes you are!

MAX: Yes, I are.

TREVOR: No. "I am."

MAX: No! I am!

Poor Max. He must be so confused. Why do grown-ups have to contradict themselves so much?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Hubby Can Sew!

I have always grown up in a house where if something was ripped, or needed to be patched my mother could do it. Before she was married she took a job in a sewing factory, and is quite the pro. I always remember her telling me as we grew up, that I needed to learn how. Well tonight as I was getting ready for early Church tomorrow, I noticed that the Zipper was broken on one of my vary few skirts. As I sat there so frustrated, not only because me mom lived 45 minutes away, but because the one and only time I didn't listen to her (wink wink) was actually coming back to bite me. :( Just as I was about ready to throw the in the towel, and admit defeat, Trevor walked down stairs, and so kindly reminded me that he can sew!
He totally fixed it! Trevor sewed my skirt, and did and awesome JOB!!!!
P.S. I start learning to sew on Monday!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Garden Update

Things are happily growing in the garden. Well, most things are happily growing in the garden... there has been a disappointing lack of weeds. Each morning, I arise and sally forth to pluck offending vegetation from mortality (rather, I pass the garden every morning on my way out). Sadly, there is rarely anything to smite. However, my desire for destruction has some outlet: I have begun harvesting.

This is the first time I've attempted to grow lettuce, and it is coming along well. This picture should be of bigger heads of lettuce, except I've been eating it:

This is also the first time I've tried to grow swiss chard (heck, the first time I heard about chard was at the seed store). This picture should also be of bigger bunches of chard, except--you guessed it--I've been eating it:

Most everything else is in the flower state, or is still too green to eat. We did have some small, red strawberries a while back, but the birds ate them. Those pesky fowl like to hop laps around the garden, and the ripe strawberries were on the outside. However, there is hope.

I have noticed that the plants tend to grow in spurts. There was one particularly sad lettuce plant barely poking out of the ground next to a larger lettuce planted on the same day. I pointed it out to Staci, and the next day that little bugger had grown three fold! It was still under an inch in height, but that's still quite a growth spurt.

The most astounding growth spurt I've came from my pea plants. At the morning weed inspection the peas were flowering. That evening I went to the garden to get some lettuce for a sandwich, and found this:

Several pea pods had grown that day! The effort those plants exerted in the production of their pods must have been tremendous. I almost feel bad; all that effort so I can have a snack.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hidden Valley Camp

The Indian Trail was used by native Americans get through Ogden Canyon when the river was high. The trailhead is at the top of 22nd street. There are two trails that split off of the Indian trail: the Coldwater Canyon trail, and the Hidden Valley trail. While I've been on the Coldwater Canyon trail before, but I've had a heck of time finding the Hidden Valley trail. I've look for it several times, but it has always eluded me. Three weeks ago, I found it. The sign marking the trail was above eye level, and off to the right. Here's a photo of it:

Yeah. I didn't see it at first either. The Indian trail is at the left of the photo, and Hidden Valley trail is, well, those rocks. Here's a closer look at the sign for anyone that wants to find it:

The name "Hidden Valley" gave me the impression that it was in a valley between the mountains, and I thought that the hike would go around the mountain into a small canyon or something. Knowing from maps that the Hidden Valley trail was short (less than two miles), I headed up. It's unfortunate that maps don't fully convey the steepness of a trail, because the Hidden Valley trail is a beast! It was a valley between mountain, it was a valley at the top of the mountain. Further, I was hiking in the afternoon, and that side of the mountain is hot and barren. There wasn't enough water in my sports bottle to quench my thirst.

At the top of the mountain, the dry rocks faded into a lush forest. Wildflowers were in bloom and insects swarmed the valley. The mosquitoes were so bad I ran through certain areas to get away from them.

The trail ended at some campsites. Miraculously, I had cell phone service (I think it's pretty miraculous anytime I get phone service). I've been working on making a vintage style canvas tent, and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to test it out. I gave Staci and call from the campsite, and begged.

Two weeks later, I was headed back up the trail; this time with a heavy canvas tent strapped to my pack. Now, the tent is called a "Hinkley Tent-McInstry Model." I got the pattern out of a 1950 Explorer Manual. One of the reason I chose it is that it only uses 11 feet by 6 feet of canvas, making is smaller (ergo, lighter) than other canvas tents. Another reason I chose it was because I could not figure out how the heck the thing worked! Naturally, I had to build it. Here's a picture of the tent from my Explorer Manual:

And here's the tent I ended up with:

And from the side:

It's not quite the same as the picture in the book,is it? I started out with the poles placed just as they are in the picture, but the tent was sagging--a lot--so I moved things around to give me the most room inside. As you can see, the tent doesn't close...which is part of the fun! Remembering the mosquitoes from my last hike, I brought along insect repellent, but I didn't need it. The valley was still full of insects, but one of my favorite bugs had joined the swarm.

I love dragonflies. I love the way they swoop through the air like World War I aces in their Sopwith Camels, gunning down those pesky, bloodsucking Fokkers. None of the other insects bothered me, like this little bee who spent his time chillin' in a flower:

I imagine this bee felt the same way I feel when I hunker down with a bag of avocado chips to watch old movies.

One of the supposed benefits of the McInstry Model tent, is you can put a little reflector fire just outside the opening to keep it warm. I can testify to the truthfulness of that. The tent got freakin' hot. The flame was was one of the smallest I've made while camping, and I had to put it out before it made my tent too hot. Still, my little setup looked mighty cozy.