Saturday, June 27, 2009

More Than Ever Before

Obviously nothing is happening in my life.

Oh, I got a mole removed when it was slow at work a few weeks ago. That's something.

Umm, I placed a large amount of holds at my library. More than ever before. And, interestingly, starting July 1, the library will be charging a .50 cent (fiddy ceh) charge for every item placed on hold.

Also, I'm thinking about making some pesto. But... that would require actually going out into the garden and also finding a recipe, and I don't think I'm feeling that ambitious.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

My home is situated on a small piece of property. Our neighbors are really very close.

As a kid, I never quite realized this, even though we were always climbing the fence to fetch the balls that flew over into the neighboring properties.

But, now I've figured it out, and I also figured out that I don't mind it much.

The reason, I think, is nature.

It is a glorious Sabbath afternoon. I have all the doors and windows open. As I move through the house, each view is one of nature. Sure, I see some buildings, but mostly I see nature.

I see trees and branches and leaves. I see bushes and plants and flowers. I see grass and soil and pebbles. I see the sunlight bouncing and dancing on anything it can find.

I hear the trees rustle in the breeze, I hear the birds chirping.

The birds, by the way, seem always to be chirping.

And, if I listen hard enough and imagine that it is 1995, I will be able to hear the creek as it rushes along.

I just wanted you to know that it is beautiful here.

I just checked again, and it is so green and bountiful.

I suppose I also wanted to give a shout out to everyone who helped to make each view from my home filled with nature.

It brings great comfort to my soul.

Thank you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake

This morning a 4.4 magnitude earthquake hit our area. The epicenter was 15 miles west of Paso Robles. There was no damage.

It hit around 5:30 a.m. which means I was still in bed. I remember the bed moving, shaking back and forth, and I woke up enough to think, "Oh, an earthquake." Then I went back to sleep. No aftershocks.


Is it too much to ask, that when a non-aftershock-no-damage earthquake hits, that it happens when I am awake to enjoy the movement of the earth and all the objects around me? Is that too much?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"We are on our own, Marie."

This week has a busy Wednesday. My Aunt, Uncle and Laura are moving to Missouri. My parents are going on vacation for... I don't know. Two weeks? Three weeks? All I know is that they leave on Wednesday.

This means Mary and I, but mostly I, will be in charge of Grandma. I told Grandma to call me on my cell because I never answer the house phone. I usually only answer the house phone when Judy Mallett is calling. Grandma told me I needed to pick up her mail every two days and bring it over to her frequently because she doesn't want it to get stale. FYI, the post office is on one end of town, I live in the middle, and Grandma lives on the other end of town. I just wanted you to know that. Also, please do not drop off the mail during nap time (a time that varies every day), toilet time, or eating time.

She also reminded me I need to take her barrels to the street on Sunday and bring them down on Monday. I will tell you that you shouldn't be too hasty on Monday. Don't think that just because it is the afternoon the trash has been collected. No no. You will be making two trips if you do that. Although, if you wait past seven P.M. to bring down the cans, you will get a frantic phone call from Grandma worried sick that you have forgotten to bring down her barrels, and don't forget, because she apparently has a lot to put in them seeing how it's been 24 hours since she has been near them. So, it is ideal to take the barrels down right around dinner time and FHE time, thanks.

The removal of my parents from Atascadero also means a removal of family dinners. Grandma tells Marie as they are walking out the door, "No more dinners until July, Marie. We are on our own Maire, we are on our own." She makes it sound like they will probably die in the meantime.

So, this also means I am available for dinner for the next two Sundays. Does anyone want to feed me? And can I bring Grandma and Marie?

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I don't like Bing. "Decision Engine" my foot!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

California YSA Conference

Have any of you heard of the California YSA conference?

I'm a little behind on knowing about it, but I think it's going to be really cool.
I don't think anything like this has happened before.

Anyway, I registered tonight. One minute ago, actually.

I hope, if you are a young single adult in California, that you have registered too.

You probably have. You're always on top of things like that.

the IG

Institute Graduation knocked the socks off Sacrament Meeting.

I'm glad I attended Institute Graduation. It was enriching and edifying. I wish all our meetings could be like that.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My visit to Amanda

I had the great pleasure of visiting Amanda in her home town a weekish ago. This naturally included a quick tour of her high school (Go Wildcats!) and a lesson on where the cool kids hang out, just in case I needed to infiltrate the system at any point.

The trip would obviously be lame if we didn't go to the beach.

Yeah, that's right, I've hung out at/in Huntington Beach! I'm not sure which preposition to use, so you can choose for yourself.

We saw some great things while we were there, including some young men (ditching school?) who basically put all their things down in the parking lot and then sprinted to the water. Amanda wondered if she could run like that in the sand...

and it turns out she can.

Lillian became concerned about the kids playing in the water...

And I tried to take some pictures of Nora, but this is all she would let me do:

One eye. That's all you get. One eye.

By this time we were starving, so we went to a place Amanda really likes that was very delicious and has a crazy name like YooHoo or Woot Woot or YeeHAW or something.

As we were walking to the restaurant, we heard a booming, all mighty voice come from the air, "No ROLLERBLADING ON THE PIER!" We basically dropped to the ground out of fear, but once we recovered ourselves, we ran into the wild rollerblader!

Amanda was able to get close to her so we could take a picture.

Nice work, Amanda.

Also on our way to lunch, we found this dinky store where I was able to purchase Bare Minerals eye shadow for 20% off!

After lunch we walked on the pier, which is another cool thing to do, and we saw this stuff:

On the pier we saw this pelican. I took a nice picture of Amanda and the bird, and then it was my turn. The pelican opened it's mouth super wide, and was about to eat Nora when it closed it's mouth. This picture was taken right after the closing. Please notice the expression on my face. It really was about to eat us.

While walking along the pier, I would get ahead of the group.

I would turn around to see what the hold up was, and would find this:

This happened, maybe 12 times. But it gave me time to check out the bench inscriptions:

Once we finally got Lillian off the pier, we stopped by the Newport Beach Temple, because I've never seen it.

Turns out it's pretty. This next shot was taken ghetto rigged atop the Ball's new Honda Fit. We zoomed all over town in that thing, and I honestly felt like I was in some sort of commercial.

It was Amanda's turn to go take some pictures, so I was watching the children.

I really feel like Nora hates pictures. I thought she was going to reach out and knock the camera to the ground.

In the afternoon we found ourselves at the Fullerton Farmers Market, which was way more than just an exchange of produce for cash money.

Nope, it had a water feature for the kids, a train ride,


and this semi creepy guy wearing a "got ?" shirt, and reading Reptiles Magazine.

Can anyone read what's on his shirt?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Perhaps I will rethink this shirt.

Today I was complimented on my shirt by two people who's style I don't particularly admire.

Perhaps I will rethink this shirt.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Best Memorial Day to Date

I don't mean the best Memorial Day for dating. I don't know about that. Maybe it was. But it certainly was my best experience with a Memorial Day thus far in my life.

What made it so fabulous, you ask?

Well, it's because I went to the woods!

Yup, I went backpacking, and I loved it. We hiked on the Tar Gap trail to Hockett Meadow in Sequoia National Park.


I'm just thinking about how absolutely fabulous it was. There is so much to say, to the point of gushing, really, and I will try my best to gush my little heart out.

Well, just so you know, according to the directions we had to the trailhead, the last 20 miles was suppose to take us about 2 hours to drive. When Elizabeth told me this I said, "Say what?!" That was a most natural reaction. She said she felt the same way. It turns out we had to go on this crazy curvy road up the canyon to get to the ranger station in Cold Springs campground. So, after curve...umm...600, we finally made it, and talked with the Ranger and obtained our permit.

The Ranger was a kind, gentle old man with evil and danger lurking in his heart. He started to warn us of the difficulties of the trail we had chosen, of the thunderstorm they were expecting, and of the two difficult stream crossings, and if we get to the streams and decide we need to turn back, there is another trail we could attempt, but we'd have to go back down the mountain 20 minutes to the trail head, and were we sure we wanted to risk our lives on such a journey as the Tar Gap Trail?

I was basically shaking in my boots, as river crossings are the one thing that causes vicious turmoil in my soul and body, and I was ready to head back down the mountain when all the guys and Elizabeth said, "Let's do the dangerous one! Yeah! That sounds like fun!"


So I swallowed my tongue and prepared for take-off.

The trail was simply gorgeous. It felt (and looked) like we were the first hikers of the season. That first afternoon was so exciting, as the thunderstorm danced all around us and the wind rushed through the trees.

Pretty soon I had to face my fear of the stream crossing. Everyone was very helpful in getting me across the stream. I had a lot of time to think about what worries me the most about the crossings, and I have decided that it is because I don't want to fall off a log or a rock and into the water and get injured or swept downstream and drown. Turns out I have zero qualms about walking into and through the stream, so that is what I did on most of the crossings, which turned out to be about twelve, not two.

I think people generally look pretty goofy in backpacking pictures, so here we are, looking a bit goofy:

Elizabeth and I under a fallen tree. There were TONS of fallen trees on our trail.

And the guys, trying to kill themselves on three logs of various instability. After that little waterfall there was a flat part, and I just walked across on wet ground. No big deal. No log ghetto rigging, no fear of death.

And the Malletts. Looking at something...

And there's Kyle, up on that fallen tree...Crazy...

When I wasn't taking pictures of people, I took pictures of things on the ground.
This is a blue egg. I've never seen one before. Well, I've seen blue Easter eggs, but they don't count.

And, of course, I took a picture of these weird orange things.

This next picture is perhaps my favorite. Please notice the reflection of the sky in the water beside the flowers.

Man, I haven't even mentioned one of the coolest things about this trail!


Hiking in snow was so much fun! I don't know how fun it is to camp in snow, but hiking through it for 35% of our journey was certainly fun.

It was even fun when I stepped onto this log (stupid log), slipped, and totally fell on my face in the snow.

I ended up falling a lot in the snow, but it was fun every time.

While I was busy resting, I took this picture:

Naturally, with all those stream crossings, I was always taking off and putting on my boots. During one rest period while I was putting on my boots, I smelled onion. I don't usually smell like onion, so I knew it wasn't me. I looked up from my task and said, "Did someone eat onion?" Everyone denied such an accusation, and as I reached for my other boot I spotted chives! Chives, growing in the woods!

We gathered some to add to our dinner. It was so awesome.

The first afternoon we hiked 4 miles in, and spent the night at Deer Creek. I never saw any deer. But I did see a fabulous sunset.

I've never been able to capture a sunset, and this is quite honestly the best I've ever been able to do, and it's not even that great.

You can't actually hear the water by looking at this picture, but I figured I should let you try to imagine it.

The second day we hiked 8 miles to Hockett Meadow.

It was beautiful. It was awe inspiring. I almost wrote a poem about it.

I have a lot of pictures of this meadow, and its beauty and the feeling certainly don't translate to film, but I don't care. I'm posting a lot of pictures anyway.

Do you see the deer? It was so cool to watch them jump over the water.

I really wanted to see a bear, but we didn't get one. Just deer and a marmot in the Meadow.

This Meadow had a Ranger Station. No one was there, however, and we had the pleasure of exploring the Meadow without any other hikers. Two other groups did come to the Meadow around dinnertime, but the afternoon was ours of solitude.

I used old ski poles on my journey. Everyone else preferred to use sticks they found and get their hands all sappy.

There was a stream on one end of the Meadow, and I quickly became obsessed.

I walked up and down this stream, taking pictures and cooling my feet. The water felt phenomenal.

I love that stream...

During my stream walk, I found this flower:

It was pretty, and plus, I needed a new desktop background photo for my computer and phone.

Some men, tending to the fire:

And a Myriah, tending to the food:

The next morning, after some spectacular views,

Some log-stick fighting,

And some potential blisters,

We hiked all the way back down to Cold Springs campground.

It was so great.

The weather was magnificent. The trail perfect. And there weren't even any bugs to bother us.

As we were driving up the mountain we had crossed a cool bridge, and I ended up getting a picture of it on our way down the mountain.

Also, in the town at the base of the mountain we saw a large metal cow with the words, "Fresh Pomegranate Juice," written above it's head. This was the only proof we obtained:

I've included a video because I have a video. Why do I have a video, you ask? Well, because every time someone asked Mike to take a picture, he would take a video. You will say, "Are you taking a picture?" and he will say, "Yeah, I'm taking a video."

It was a fabulous trip. Now it's time to go to bed, or get back to work, because I'm sure it took you like an hour to read this thing.