Monday, August 31, 2009

Desert Adventure

Friday, Dave had the idea of going out to a place where you can dig for Geodes. It was quite the drive, it took 2 1/2 hours. We went through Tooele and drove about 30 miles past town. We then proceeded down a dirt road that had quite a few rocks in the road so it was very bumpy. That was about 50 miles of dirt road (thrilling). I got car sick (which is very rare for me) and that made the trip seem that much longer. We were actually along the pony express trail so there were several monuments marking where the riders would stop. One place showed the entire trail and how it went out to Sacramento. Be sure to check out Dave's blog for additional pictures and stories. There is a link to his blog under "My Favorite Blogs". There were pretty mountains all over, but we were in the desert so they were very rugged.

I couldn't imagine any wild life surviving out there. However Dave did say we would probably see some antelope. All I could think of was rattle snakes. We finally reached our destination and it was a nice 97 degrees at 5:30 p.m. We got out and Dave found a location to start digging. We saw lots of little lizards and huge ant hills everywhere. We did see this huge lizard. It was about 8 inch's long from head to tail. Certainly it isn't the largest lizard in the world, however it was the largest one we saw. I love the spots on it.

There were all kinds of dirt roads all over the mountain and we were driving all over, looking for good spots to dig. Here is an example of where someone dug in the cliff looking for Geodes.

I'm glad Dave has a good sense of direction because I was totally lost. There were so many roads, with so many forks leading off them, I was paranoid we were going to be stuck on the mountain and have to be rescued. Although we didn't see a single soul out there and had no cell phone reception the lizards kept us company. And believe me, I kept my eye's on the ground and my ears open expecting a giant rattle snake to appear at anytime. Of course I never saw one or heard one, thank goodness! It was starting to get dark and we knew we had to get off that mountain before it became dark. I secretly wasn't drinking much water or eating any of the food we brought because I was positive we were going to get lost and have to spend the night in the car. So I wanted to make sure we would have food and water to survive on. I don't know why in the heck I was so paranoid this trip, but I think it was because we were seriously out in the middle of nowhere! We never did find any Geodes, but we did see circles in the ground where Geodes had been found, so that was cool. Needless to say, I wasn't really having much fun. I was hot and tired and digging in the side of clay cliffs really isn't my thing. Dave was loving it! I was relieved when it was time to go home.

I was disappointed that I hadn't seen any Antelope, or any other wild life besides lizards and ants. As soon as I was thinking that, Dave slammed on the brakes and there was an Antelope standing on the side of the road. It was beautiful and I loved the black markings that it had on its face. (See Dave's Blog for picture). As we continued on the wonderful 50 mile dirt road trek, my attitude change. We saw more and more Antelope. Usually one or two off in the distance. Suddenly, Dave slammed on the brakes again. There were about 4 Antelope standing in the middle of the road. Then we looked around and there was a herd of about 50 Antelope. I couldn't get all of them in a picture, but here are a few of them.

It was amazing. It was starting to get dark so they were coming out from their daily hiding grounds and it was so cool.

We continued driving, keeping our eyes peeled for any other Antelope that might decide to jump out in front of the car or just hang out on the road. Up in the distance I saw a cloud of dust. It was really large and I wondered if we were entering a dust storm.

We looked to the right and we saw a horse! That's cool! Then we saw another and another and another! They were running around and causing all the dust.

They were about 50 feet from the road. Then we realized it was a huge heard. Dave wanted to continue driving and see if we could find the head of the heard. Suddenly, the horses up further started forming a single file line. I tried to count as we drove by slowly, but I lost count with my awe at the beauty of these horses. We think there were about 100-150 of these wild horses. Unfortunately, all the pictures that I took that showed the a large amount of the herd didn't turn out. They were too dark. The leader of the herd was guiding all of them on a trail. I took these pictures inside the car without rolling the window down. So all the spots you are seeing are dead bugs on the window!

I love this picture because you can see the moon and the horses.

Just as we reached the lead horse there was a little pull out on the side of the road. We stopped there and just looked at this amazing site. At first we didn't want to get out of the car because we didn't know how they would react. But we decided to get out so we could see them better and I could attempt to get some pictures. The horses didn't even seem to notice us. At that time we saw down in a little gully, a large amount of water. That is where the horses were heading. It was amazing to hear the sounds of hoofs and the horses naying. It was also cool to see them in the water and hear them splashing as their hooves hit the water so they could drink. Unfortunately it was dusk and getting dark very quickly. The pictures I took didn't turn out to great, but you can get a general idea.

I also took some video on my camera. The quality is horrible. You can barely see them in the recording. We were able to see them just fine, but my camera wouldn't pick much up. It pauses for some reason in a lot of area's and again the quality isn't that great. It doesn't even come close to the experience that we had. But as I watch the video I get the chills from the wonderful memory I have seeing wildlife in nature. Unfortunately I have tried posting the video to the blog so you can see it. But I am having technical difficulties. So hopefully I will be able to post it at another time.

Soon the leader was back out of the water and after each horse had their fill of water, they got back into the single file line. They started to cross the dirt road. At this point we were back on the road and we just sat there and waited for all of them to cross. We had our lights on so we could see them. This is a picture that I took in the car. You can barely see the horses because of the clouds of dust they were causing. We could see them quite well, but again I am so disappointed in the quality of the pics.

It was like we were just waiting for a train to go by. Horse after horse after horse crossed the road to reach the other side of the desert. Needless to say, I told Dave "This was worth the entire trip". I don't think I will ever see anything this amazing again in my lifetime. You see things on the Discovery channel or on Animal Planet and it is neat. But to actually be there standing 50 feet from hundreds of wild horses is indescribable.

Over the Mountain and through the Woods

Thursday night Dave and I drove up Big Cottonwood Canyon over to Park City. The drive up the Canyon was beautiful. I love how the river is right next to the road and you can see it all the way up the mountain. The higher up we got the road became very steep and wound around and around. We reached the top of the mountain and the view was beautiful.We then proceeded down a very steep dirt road. The speed limit was 15 mph, just to give you an idea of how steep it was. After several miles we reached a paved road again. It was still very steep and we went right through Deer Valley. I had never been to Deer Valley, but their were lots of huge houses and the ski resorts were very nice. We ended up in Park City and got something to eat. From the restaurant we had a great view of the 2002 Winter Olympic Park and could see the ski jumps.

We went home through Heber and down Provo Canyon. It was a beautiful drive.

Oh yeah, and before we went over the mountain we stopped at the Temple Quarry. This is a picture of Dave in a dry river bed checking out all the white rocks. I love this picture because of the ray of sunshine coming down.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Corn, Corn, Corn

Corn, Corn, Corn....

Dave and I went and worked at the cannery this morning. Our stake was scheduled from 8-12. I didn't sign up because I never saw the sign up sheet, so I went along anyway and figured there would be something for me to do. Well they put us right to work. I knew Dave was going to get a heavy labor job. Most of the men there were elderly and as soon as they saw Dave their eyes lit up. So he worked on the truck unloading all the corn. He unloaded 1 1/2 semi-trucks full of corn. They normally unload 2 semi trailors a day and Dave did 1 1/2 in 4 hours. The machinary was getting jammed with stocks so Dave even jummped in and helped with that. Way to go Dave!

I sat where all the corn came down the conveyor that had been cut from the Cob. I had to use another piece of corn as a "stick" and pull out any large pieces of the Cob that came through, pull out the stringy things from schucking the corn, and just make sure the corn niblits/kernals were flowing through the grate into the huge bucket for cleaning. At first I thought "Thank goodness I get a sit down job" Everyone around me was standing. Well after about 15 minutes I was envying those that were standing. I had to sit on this medal stool and lean way over to perform my job because the trash can had to be in front of me. My back was killing and I got soaking wet. My jeans were wet on both legs all the way up to my thighs. They had plastic aprons for us, but I was around so much water I was bound to get wet! Anyway, I just kept saying to myself "Suck it up" who cares about getting wet or a hurting back or whatever. I did just have a good attitude and was grateful that Dave and I had the time to go and serve. We certainly have received a lot of help these past few months with our situation and we were happy to serve.

Just to give you an idea on how much corn there was... The church has asked the Salt Lake cannery to produce 1.5 million cans of corn in 6 weeks. They usually do about 750,000 cans a year. So this is a huge task! They are producing cans 10 hrs/day and 6 days a week.

They think that by tomorrow they will reach the 750,000 can mark. They have 3 more weeks to go. They have done nothing else, but produce the canned corn. It is just amazing to see how the process worked. I don't think I will ever eat corn without thinking about this great opportunity that I had to help in accomplishing this grand goal.

With the current economic condition, the Bishop Warehouse's (Storehouse? I can't remember what the proper term is) have been stretched to their limits. So many people are out of jobs or had cuts in pay that they need the help. Canned corn is the most popular veggie at the Warehouse so that is why they need so much. I am so grateful that the church has this wonderful welfare system that helps people all over the world.

Oranges, Oranges, Oranges...

I remember when I was a teenager and we lived in Fallbrook, our stake would have assignments to go to the orange groves and pick oranges. I remember my Mom and Dad taking all of us kids to go pick oranges on Saturdays. It was hard work, especially when your bag got really full. The thing I remember most are all the spiders. Maybe that is why I hate spiders so much. Anyway, depending on the size of the orange, some would go to make juice and some would go to large bags to be consumed. They often had extra bags (about 20 pounds) and we would come home and have fresh squeezed O.J. it was so good. And again, this is a memory that I always have whenever I eat an orange or have some O.J. It is always good to serve, no matter what capacity it is in. That is one of the things I love most about the church. Everyone's willingness to serve.

Banana's, Banana's, Banana's...

Well I haven't really ever done anything with banana's except for eat them. Yes this was my lame attempt at humor. Ha, Ha, Ha!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Almost Done!

I went to help Rebekah with her classroom again. We are getting close to being done. However Rebekah made the comment that you are never really done. That is true, teachers are always having to change things to make the classroom interesting for the students. It is a lot of hard work and I have to give a big "Thank You" to all of the teachers out there.

Calendar and days of the week

Job Chart

Word Chart

Writing all the kids names on their name strips so they know where to sit and get to know the other students. I love these name strips because they have the alphabet on them. I think they are super cute!

Yes, more laminating

The biggest job was preparing to get rid of all these old, old, old, books from the classroom. Some were as old as 1964. No offense to anyone who was born around that time. I am not trying to say that is so old, however for books the children need more up to date reading materials. I ended up with a few more boxes of books after I took this picture.

I had to stamp each book with this

Then I got to put all the new books in the baskets.


Over the weekend Dave went to Trents house. He picked these pretty roses from Trents rose garden. I love the colors. It is always nice to have fresh flowers around the house.


Yesterday Dave and I went for a hike. The night before he said "Let's get up at 7:00 and go hiking". Well we got up at 7:00, but didn't end up leaving until 9:00. I don't know why it took us 2 hours to get going. Anyway, it was a very easy hike. With my health I am still not up to doing anything too major. We went on a trail up Little Cottonwood Canyon. I remember taking my niece Nya up it last summer and she was only 3 at the time. She did the hike so I remember it being pretty easy. Anyway, Dave is just like a kid. The entire hike he kept stopping to check out rocks and the river.

Of course he saw this huge rock and had to climb it.

Something that I thought was cool were these bright orange berries that were high up in the trees. I have never seen them before, and believe me I have done a lot of hiking. (Last summer) It is always fun to discover new things out in nature.

At one point he even went in the river (which was freezing cold) to get some rocks and to pan for gold. He found a few flecks of gold. Too bad he didn't find a huge nugget, we would be rich :)

I started feeling really nauseous on the hike (probably because I was over doing it, even though it was easy) So I pretty much came home and had to spend the rest of the day in bed. I felt o.k. when I was laying down, but as soon as I got up the nausea was definitly in full force. Regardless, we had a great time out in nature. It is the first hike I have done since May so I was loving being in the mountains again. Enjoying the sounds of birds, squirels, lizards scurrying off the path, the river raging the mountain, and of course spending time with the love of my life, DAVE!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Time to Decorate

Friday Rebekah, Nya, and I went to the classroom to start decorating. One thing Rebekah wanted to be sure was that she got lots of bright, fun, and interesting colors for the children. The room was so bland, it really needed some help!

Here are some of the supplies that we got on Thursday.

Nya was in charge of decorating Rebekah's Desk. She did a mighty fine job!

Rebekah and I got started on placing the butcher paper and boarders. We thought all the bright colors and polka dot theme turned out great!

And of course tons of laminating all the dye cuts!

Of course after all the laminating comes cutting them out! That will be quite the task. Also on Monday we need to finish decorating the boards with all the cool stuff Bekah got. Again I was exhausted from my summer cold. Plus I am still recovering from the treatments that I had during the month of July, so I get tired really easily and can only do so much.