Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What a difference!

Our house when we bought it
Our house now!

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 20

Today's Topic: Summer Outings

Outings so far:
  • We have been swimming a few times now that the weather is finally hot enough to allow for out door pool enjoyment.
  • We took Austin on his first camping trip when we had a camp for the kids I work with.
  • Last week we went to the park to take in a couple of the summer softball league games.  I used to play, but haven't since we  had Austin.  Austin had a blast playing ball with one of the little boys he used to go to daycare with.
  • We went to the big city last weekend to see Cars 2.  Austin did really great considering it was a two hour movie.  He sat through the whole movie and only got antsy twice.  Overall we mostly enjoyed it, but I thought it was un-necessarily on the violent side.
Outings to come:
  • We are thinking about going camping and fishing this weekend, but we will see how the weather holds out since we are expecting the monsoon any day.
  • We will catch the firework display in the town north of us on Monday.
  • Our trip to Colorado for the Soundgarden concert.
  • More swimming!
  • More softball games at the park.
  • Western Legends Roundup
  • Kaibab Paiute Heritage Days Powwow
  • Possibly interview/house hunting trips if either of the jobs we are applying for pan out.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


There are a lot of wildfires making national news right now, it's hot, it's dry.  We don't have bunches of buildings burning, or the threat of nuclear waste burning, but we had a fire in our vicinity yesterday. 

I was home with Austin since with my new schedule I stay home with him on Mondays.  We went swimming in the town north of us and on the way home, off to the west I could see a huge smoke plume rising.  There is only one two-lane highway between the towns and there just so happened to be a construction crew re-paving the highway so they were limiting traffic to one lane at a snails pace.  I saw the smoke, and of course not too long later heard the sirens coming from behind me.  This is a small community and any time there is a fire all the local departments get called in, as well in this case as the Forest Service, BLM and BIA.  The fire trucks came racing down the closed construction lane and sent the gravel flying.  I watched the back window of the van in front of me shatter into a million pieces and fall to the ground.  I got a couple new stars in my window, but none got completely destroyed.  When we got to the end of the construction zone the van pulled over and joined 3 other cars sitting there with completely busted out windows to complain. 

I get home and Austin fell asleep in the car so I moved him to his crib and logged on to Facebook to see if anyone knew what was going on.  I could also see that they had airplanes and helicopters dropping water on it. I watched from my front door and this is what I saw:

And then this:
The winds were very strong and blowing the fire towards town.  There wasn't a whole lot of information about it since it was small and we kind of live in the middle of no where.  After a couple of hours they had the smoke knocked down. 

Today at work I found out the fire was mostly within the reservation of the tribe that I work for.  The fire started on the highway and burned east where it hit a dry wash and exploded because the wash was full of tamarisk.  It then burned further east until it just got just outside the reservation.  It was still probably a good two miles from the western edge of my town.  It was still smoldering in places this morning so the fire fighters from various agencies are out there keeping an eye on it.  The winds are really picking up, so keep your fingers crossed that it does not get re-started. 

Now comes the fun part of figuring out how to secure the soil in the wash as we are one to two weeks away from our monsoon season starting and this wash will have all kinds of erosion problems without any plants holding it in place.

6 Mile Wildfire on Kaibab Indian Reservation – Evacuations Urged – Containment Likely

6 Mile Wildfire on Kaibab Indian Reservation – Evacuations Urged – Containment Likely

Monday, June 27, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 19

Today's topic: Summer Reading

At one point in my life I used to be a reader, I was always getting awards in school for reading the most.  But then I went to college where they killed my enthusiasm for reading, so I'm not really into it much any more.  I guess I should clarify that I don't really read many books, I of course love to read blogs, I read news articles and I subscribe to Parents and Parenting: The Early Years.  I also read a lot of kiddy books at the moment.  Tonight we read Red Hat, Blue Hat and Goodnight Moon before bed. 

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 18 and 17

Day 18: Summer Fashion

I'm not much of a fashion oriented person.  So long as my clothes are fashion neutral, I am ok.  In the summer I love to wear shorts and short sleeve or tank tops.  When I work in the field I always wear work jeans and boots though no matter how hot it gets, I don't like getting all scratched up. 

Day 17: Summer Camp

I never really went to summer camp as a kid.  I always wanted to go to Girl Scout Camp, but you had to sell a million and five boxes of cookies to do it, and I always just earned enough to go to the day camps a couple of times.  It seems like one year I went ice skating and another year went to Chuck-E-Cheese.  I know at least once my troop had an overnight camp at a cabin in the mountains.

The summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college I got a job as a camp counselor in New York.  The camp was two months long and had two one-month sessions.  The kids that we had were mostly wealthy Jewish kids from the city who got sent to camp while their parents vacationed.  They hired staff from all over the world, so it was a pretty interesting experience to meet people from New Zealand, Canada, England, Spain, and Australia, as well as college students from all over the US. During both sessions I was bunked with 9-10 year olds.  I taught arts and crafts during the day for all ages and my subjects were tie-dye and leather craft. 

They basically said "just show up" so when I asked my brother about how to get there, he made all the arrangements for me and met me in New York City for the weekend and then put me on a bus to get to the camp in the Catskill Mountains (really just hills compared to the Rocky Mountains that I grew up in).

Doug and I in NYC, recognize this view?  Hint: You won't be able to see it today.

Yes that picture was at the top of one of the World Trade Center Buildings, hence my fear of going into tall buildings today.
It was mostly pretty typical, what you would expect from a month long sleep-away camp: arts and crafts, swimming, sports, group activities, day trips, etc.  During both sessions they had a week long "color war" where they split the camp into two teams and all activities revolved around competition.  When they "broke" color war they hired someone famous to come and announce it.  The first session the celebrity was the New Jersey Net Basketball Cheerleaders/Dancers, and the second session was WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin.  In other years they have had real celebrities, Toby Maguire, Justin Timberlake, Shaq, so I must admit I was disappointed.

Some of the counselors getting ready for the final night of Color War, we were on the Hawaii Red team. The other team was Alaska White.
Stone Cold Steve Austin

The final night of the second Color War, we were on the Storyland White team.  The other team was Monster Red.

Friday, June 24, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 16

Day 16: Road Trips

We just so happen to be prepping for our next summer road trip, in July we are driving to Colorado (the greatest state ever!) to go see my family and see Soundgarden at Red Rocks Amphitheater.  I went to Red Rocks several times as a kid to attend Easter Sunrise Service, but have never been there for a concert, so I am way stoked!!!

Thinking back to past summer road trips I remember in February of 2003 I started dating a pretty incredible guy who happened to be from Iowa.  When our spring semester ended that year my sister and I were thinking about road tripping to Iowa to visit our relatives, so we invited my incredible guy along and promised that we would drop him off at my future in-laws house on our way to our relatives.  Who knew at the time that I would be meeting my future in-laws that trip! 

See that was part of the revelation during our first real conversation that got this relationship going, my now husband told me the name of little town in Iowa that he was from and I actually knew where it was because it is on the little highway that we take to visit our relatives who are in the far south east corner of the state.  In fact we had stopped there on a couple of our trips to eat at Hardees.  Now if you have ever met someone from Iowa, you ask them where they are from and they say some little town that no one has ever heard of, and that is the norm because Iowa has about a billion little towns.  So when someone actually knows the highway that bisects your little town, then they actually know something and are alright.  Now here we are over 8 years later with our perfect little family living our happily ever after!

Of course I have to qualify that trip as it was not all fairy tale, if you ask my Mother-in-law about our first meeting, she will laugh and tell you about how on that trip I had my first experience with ticks.  Oh yes, those little bugs of the devil!   When we were visiting my relatives we went out morel mushroom hunting.  Morel mushrooms are so incredibly, wonderfully flavored edible mushrooms that grow wild in the forests of the Midwest.  We went out tromping through the trees and found some mushrooms, so it was quite the experience, until that is, we got back to my Aunt's house and I went to shower.  I noticed a little black dot just in front of my right arm-pit, right in the bra line.  I yelled through the two-story farm house for my sister.  She came up and upon inspection we realized it was in fact a nasty tick.  We looked around and found a couple more on my ankles.  I must have stepped right through a nest of the little buggers.  So I thought we got them all accounted for and went on with the rest of our visit.  We left a couple days later and went to pick up Dustin and spent a night at his parents house.  That evening we were visiting and somehow I realized there was a lump on my ankle, I look and sure enough another tick!  I freaked out, come to find out I really hate ticks!!!  Dustin helped pick off a couple more ticks on my ankles, now there is romance for you!  They must have been too small to see when they latched on and after three days of gorging made their presence known.  As if this whole story wasn't the highlight of my life, when we had my bridal shower a year and a half later my Mother-in-law traveled from Iowa to Colorado to attend it, and one of the activities was to share a memory of a special time spent with me.  Does she share some sweet bonding memory, NO, she recounts how at our first meeting I was picking ticks in her living room!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 15

Today's topic: Summer Blockbuster

Well actually, we hardly ever go to movies in a theater anymore, I think I have been to 3 since Austin was born.  BUT, we have a family date scheduled this weekend to go to the big city to watch:

I am so excited and can hardly wait.  I really hope Austin is able to sit through most of it.  We attempted to go to Yogi Bear last December, and he did well considering, but we had to leave with about 15 minutes left in the movie.  Hopefully now that he is six months older he will be more into it.

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 14

Today's topic: Summer Recipe

I haven't made chicken kabobs yet this year, but I'm thinking this weekend we are due!

Sesame-Soy Marinade
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 TBSP packed light brown sugar
1 TBSP Sesame Oil
2 green onions, chopped
1.5 tsp dried red pepper flakes, crushed

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and use as a marinade for poultry or fish.

I use this marinade recipe and put kabob sized pieces of chicken breast into a ziplock and let it marinade, the longer the better.  Then when I am ready to grill I just have to skewer the pieces.  I always cook meat seperate from veggies for the germ factor, but you can skewer it however you like. I have not tried it with fish yet, but I bet it would be delish!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge, Day 13

Wow, it is finally summer here, is it ever hot today!  I can't complain though, this is my seventh summer here and in every other summer here it has already been over 100 for a while by now.   Today the high is supposed to be 95, so it's hot, but not too bad relatively.  I had to run out and do some field work this morning and enjoyed watching all the lizards out and about scurrying across the hot desert sand. 

Today's Topic: Summer Craft

 This is one of the topics I don't have much to talk about.  I don't have any summer craft traditions, or anything I look forward to in that category every summer.  I am usually so busy keeping up with my garden and yard work that I don't have time to craft, for me it's more in the winter.  I am of course working on my son's quilt and if you want to see more about that you can click on the label "quilt" on my sidebar and it will take you to all the posts where I talk about quilting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 10, 11, and 12

Well here is my BIG 200th post!!!

And oops, the weekend got away from me and I missed a couple more days of the challenge, but the good news is the last three topics work well together in one post:

June 19-Day 10: Summer MUST Haves
June 20-Day 11: Refreshing Beverage
June 21-Day 12: How do you BEAT the HEAT?

The first wonderful thing that qualifies in all 3 categories:

I <3 Fat Tire!!!  I went to college in Fort Collins, CO and it was so fabulous that all the restaurants and bars had fresh Fat Tire on tap that was brewed within days.  I can't get it so fresh here, but I love a good ice cold bottle on a hot summer day!  One summer there was a crew of CSU students working on a project for the forest my husband works for and they brought a fresh keg from Fort Collins as they came out for a summer gathering and it was oh-so-delicious!
From the summer "must haves" fresh tomatoes in the garden.  Can you believe I already have a tomato this big (insert shouts of joy)!!!  I started two tomato plants in April in Burpee Aqua Shields, and soon I will be feasting on this baby!
Another "must have" is pretty flowers.  When we bought our house there was a nasty old rose bush in front and the first year it had about 4 ugly sick little pink flowers, and then never bloomed after that.  Finally after many years of trying everything to get it to bloom I had Dustin dig it out and replaced it with this climbing rose called "4th of July."       

Half way there!

I finished piece 6 of 12.  I have one more piece already ironed that I am embroidering, and then I need to cut the pieces for the other 5.  I am still debating on what to include, so far I have a barn, cow, pig, apple trees, sun, combine, and tractor.  I am thinking about an ear of corn, a pumpkin, a horse, a chicken, and maybe a farmer.  Do you have any other good ideas for a farm theme?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 9

Today's topic:  Childhood Swimming Memory

I meant to take the camera today when we went to the pool and I forgot, darn it!!!

I know we usually had some type of kiddie pool in my yard every summer.  I think one summer when I was a bit older my Dad put a stock tank in the yard and filled it for me so it would be deeper than a kiddie pool.  In my home town there was an indoor pool, so you could swim there year round.  I did take swim lessons during the summer though when school was out.  I was really a pretty good swimmer since I started lessons so young.  I remember once as a kid we went to my Dad's side family reunion and I was about 7.  My Aunt made me wear those goofy water wing arm blow up things and it made me SO MAD because I was already a proficient swimmer, but my cousins could not swim so she made me wear them like everyone else.

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 7

Here it, the much anticipated Day 7 post...drumroll please, LOL!

I had a really hard time coming up with what my #1 favorite memory of summer is.  I guess most of the major life events for me have happened in the other seasons.  And thinking back to my childhood I have a lot of great memories of going to the mountains and camping and fishing, visiting family, helping in the garden, riding my bike, and all those typical type memories, but one particular time did not stand out. 

I also thought about how every summer when I was in high school I was able to go live in another state for about a month.  The summer before freshman year I went to Florida with my brother to see all the Orlando attractions and ended up staying with my Aunt and Uncle until my cousins came for a visit to Cocoa Beach.  The next summer I went to New Jersey where I stayed with my brother.  Each weekend we did something adventurous, the first weekend we went to New York City and did a bunch of site-seeing and saw Cats on Broadway, the next weekend we drove to Washington DC and saw the sights with some of his friends, the third weekend we drove to Maine and camped out, then the final weekend we went back to the City and saw Grease on Broadway.  The last summer I went somewhere I stayed with my cousin's in Iowa, which was full of Iowa summer experiences, fishing, demo-derbies and a corn festival.  All three of those summers were memorable, but how do I pick the "favorite" one?

But, then I realized that one major fun event did happen in summer, in August of 2005 my sister, who was my Maid-of-honor, hosted my bachelorette party in Las Vegas.  I live about three hours from Vegas, and I knew it would be relatively inexpensive for people to travel there, so I requested it.  Only I asked that we not do the typical bachelorette stuff like male reviews or strip clubs because it is just not my scene.  So my sister invited all the ladies in my family and 7 of my cousin's also attended, three from Iowa, one from Georgia, one from Florida and two locally.

So they all flew in on a Thursday night and I was able to pick everyone up and take them to their hotels.  My sister got us a suite at The New Frontier Hotel/Casino.  We all gathered at the Frontier and went to the bar there and had some drinks.  It was the first time to Vegas for three of the cousins, and we were all a bit shocked by the bikini bull-riding Vegas style, WOW! 

Friday we went and toured Hoover Dam, then that night we went to a big dinner then to the Comedy Club at Riviera.  It was such a fun night, my sister got us all pink boas to wear so we would stand out as a group.  The maitre de at the Riviera put us in a group spot right next to the stage, I mean I could literally put my elbow on stage.  All three of the comedians had been on Seinfeld before and I don't remember the names of the openers, but the main guy was Dom Irrera.  All three comedians saw the pink boas and incorporated us into their stand up, it was way fun!!!  For the show my two cousin's who live in Vegas also brought their husbands, and the middle comedian came over and said to one of them "so what are you doing in the middle of a bachelorette party?"  then he walked over closer to us and looked an saw that Nick (pictured below) had a boa in his lap and the commedian goes "and even more importantly what are you doing with a pink boa?"  And I won't mention exactly what Dom said I could come backstage after the show and do to him since I was the bride-to-be. (oh and BTW, Nick actually kept and wrapped the boa around this rear-view mirror in his truck)

Saturday they had the gift shower for me in our suite.  Afterwards we went to the Fashion Mall and had facials and make-up consultations at Macy's so I could buy my makeup for the wedding.  That night we decided to do more night sight-seeing on the strip for those cousins who had never been there before.  That is when we had the glow in the dark necklaces in the picture above.  We made the big-fat-mistake of trying to walk and were SO TIRED!!!

It was not your typical Vegas bachelorette party, but I wouldn't have had it any other way!

Butterfly quilt

I pulled out my old cd's that I backed up folders on to try and find the photos I want to include in my 21 Days of Summer Challenge for day 7.  In the mean time I am finding a bunch of fun old photos.  Here is one of the other quilts I did for my niece.

Friday, June 17, 2011

21 Days of Summer Challenge Day 8

Ok, ok, ok I know I missed the challenge yesterday, which the topic was "Favorite Summer Memory".  I kept trying to think of what my #1 best favorite memory of summer was, but honestly most of the major memories I am fond of happened in the other seasons.  Not that I never had fond summer happenings, just not one capstone time when I would give it that all time favorite designation.  BUT, I did think of something today that I can write about, but I want to add a photo or two when I get home, so I will go back and do day 7 later today.

Now on to today's topic: Summer TV

So my favorite TV shows are:
Survivor- currently not airing at all
3 of the 4 Monday night sitcoms (How I met your Mother, 2.5 Men, and Mike and Molly)- In re-runs
Big Bang Theory- Re-runs
The Amazing Race- currently not running
American Idol (occasionally)- currently not running

That is mostly what I take the time to watch, so right now I am just out of luck on my favorite TV shows.  But it's summer right?  So no temptation to sit in front of the tube and waste away- time to get up, get out of the house and have fun!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Much better!

I just wanted to write a quick note to say that the rest of yesterday and today are going much better for me!  After all the stress about the t-shirts I told the guy that he either need to print some of the shirts in the right colors, or give us a deep discount and he came back and said he would just re-do the whole order since he wanted me to be 100% satisfied.  I still don't get why he changed the color scheme, he said it was to save me on the set-up, but I never asked for that so I'm not sure why it was ever implied. 

Getting used to this new schedule is going mostly good.  Austin did fantastic yesterday with his first full day at the Learning Center.  They claim he is doing well with potty training there, even though he refuses the potty at home.  As far as I'm concerned, if they do the work and he gets it there, then all the better for me!  I realized yesterday in all the craziness of the morning that I forget to set out some meat to thaw in the fridge for dinner, so we had to do a quick frozen pizza for dinner.  I will have to adjust to having meals ready to go when I get home at 5:30pm, either ready to cook, or already cooked in the crock pot.  I guess one big benefit for my blog is that I now have a mandatory 1 hour lunch break which is giving me plenty of time to blog since I live too far away to drive home.  I had thought about going and visiting Austin during my lunch, but I'm afraid that when he sees me it will make him want to leave, so it's easier on him for me to stay away.

21 Days of Summer Challenge Day 6

Today's Topic: LEMONADE Stand

I grew up kind of out in the country, it was a ranchette style acreage subdivision, so it wasn't really the right kind of place to set up a lemonade stand.  I now live in a little town where everybody knows everybody and it's pretty safe, and the neighborhood kids always have stands.  I try to stop and buy a cup when  I see one.  I have a confession though, I'm a bit of a germ-a-phobe and I often won't drink the lemonade from a stand because I think kids often lick the spoon when they mix the lemonade and it grosses me out.  

As for recipes, I used to make one where you boil the water and dissolve the sugar before adding fresh squeezed lemon juice and zest, but often I am too lazy to go to all that effort.  So my quick and easy version is I make a batch of Kool-aid Lemonade and then take one or two fresh lemons, scrub them, and then cut them in half.  I squeeze half the lemon into the Kool-aid, then slice up the other half very thinly and add the slices straight to the lemonade.  The rind of the slice kind of help build the flavor, and the tiny bit of pulp from the squeezed lemon makes if feel like real fresh lemonade.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are the planets out of alignment today?

Oh man, it is one of those days!!!

It probably didn't help that I had a four day weekend, last Friday was a tribal holiday and I started a new work schedule this week where I will take off Monday's to have a day with Austin, then work four full days.  So it was a little hard to get back to the grind today.

So Dustin had to get up way too early so he could go catch his horses at work and get them ready for the horsemanship class he is teaching today.  I know he intended to get up early, but he was up at 4:30am.  I think it's one of those times that he was thinking so much about the class that he didn't get into a heavy sleep and woke up and decided to get going since he was awake anyway.  After he was up for a bit getting his clothes out of the chest of drawers I heard Austin start to whine.  He often has trouble sleeping soundly when there is a full moon, and I think that is part of why he woke up when he heard Dustin.  I left him to see if he would fall back asleep, but by then I was pretty awake.  Eventually I dosed back off, but was awakened to Austin crying again at 5:50am.  My alarm is set for 6:15am, and usually I am able to get up, have a cup of coffee, check my Facebook and shower before I wake him up at 7:00am. When I got in there his binky was wrapped up in the blankets and he was missing it.  I think had he found the binky he would have nodded back off for the usual wake up time.  Since he already saw me though, his day was on.

So I get him up and go to get him milk and Cheerios.  As I go to pour the milk it hits the side of the cup and knocks it over spilling milk all over the top of the island.  I get that mopped up and get Austin situated watching cartoons.  I sneak into the bathroom for a quick shower and get all the other stuff done (take out trash, load the recycling, laundry, dishes, etc.)  that I needed to do minus watering my garden, which I can do tomorrow. 

At work I start checking my emails, and there are a bunch since I haven't been to work since last Thursday.  I get one from the t-shirt printing company that I work with who was doing an order for my sorority alumni chapter.  He sent me a proof last Friday and said to let him know if it was ok and they would print the shirts this week.  The color scheme was off so I sent back an email to inquire about why the colors were different.  In the mean time I check my junk folder and there is an email from the printer from yesterday saying the shirts are done, was I going to pick them up or should they mail them.  Oh crap, the proof was not right, and they printed them anyway, ugh!  So now I'm stuck with either accepting them as-is or being the mean one and demanding that they print new ones.

And the day is only half over, sigh, I hope the afternoon and evening go better!

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 5

Today's Topic: Summer Vacation

We don't really do a summer vacation because that is when my husband is super busy at work in his field season.  If we do summer trips it's more out of necessity than pleasure.  This summer we are taking a mini trip back to Colorado to see Soundgarden at Red Rock's Amphitheater because that is when they are touring and it is Dustin's Father's Day gift request.  The last two summers we took mini trips back to Iowa for Dustin's nephews high school graduation parties.  Let me tell you, it is MISERABLE to visit Iowa in May and/or June, my southwestern lizard skin cannot handle the humidity and heat back there!

We have been taking a real vacation to commemorate our anniversary every year since we got married, which is in October.
  • 1st: Estes Park, Colorado where we stayed at the historic Stanley Hotel and visited Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • 2nd: Moab, Utah where we visited Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
  • 3rd: Durango, Colorado and visited Mesa Verde and took a trip on the Durango-Silverton Railroad.
  • 4th: Colorado to purchase a truck and visit family. (Ok so maybe this one didn't count as a real vacation!)
  • 5th: San Francisco, California and road trip up to Vina to see some friends from college and back along the coast and by way of Armstrong Redwood Forest.
For our sixth we are planning to go to San Diego, California to go to the Zoo and Sea World.  That is unless we move and then we might consider Yellowstone National Park.

Monday, June 13, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 4


Today's topic: Summer Goals

Wow, this challenge is keeping me on my toes when it comes to blogging, I will be over 200 posts before I know it!

Hmmm, summer goals.  I haven't really set any out in writing or anything, but I guess in the back of my mind I would like to go camping more this summer.  I would also like to finish Austin's quilt, but that will be a goal until it is finished.  It may be by the end of summer, but it may not.  I'm sure he will have it before he goes off to college, LOL!

I am a little bit not committing to too many things since at any time we might get a new job and be moving, but then again we may not, but since it's up in the air I hate to set anything in stone.  I am not doing too many things to the house, other than those that are necessary since we hope to be selling it in the next year or so.

I don't know if it fits as a goal, but we are going to Colorado in July to see Soundgarden at Red Rocks.  That should be a fun trip.  It would be even funner if it ends up also being a house hunting trip if we get one of the jobs we are currently applying for!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 3


Today's topic:

What do you think of when hear the word Summer!!
I'm a little late tonight, so I'll keep it short.  I think of blue skies, green grass, lemonade, home made ice cream, watermelon, grilling, fresh tomatoes from the garden, fireworks, and county fairs.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 1

Ok so I know I am out of order, but I barely saw the link up today, and the Saturday topic was much easier to write about, so I am going back and doing #1.

About Sarah

I am a thirty something lady who happens to be wife to Dustin, six years in October, and Mom to Austin, two and almost a half years.  I work for an Indian Tribe in northern Arizona as their Water Quality Specialist.  I am originally from Colorado and lived there the first 26 years of my life until Dustin brought me to the desert.  This place is really beautiful with vermilion cliffs all around and tons of hiking opportunities which I love.  We are in the middle of Grand Canyon North Rim, Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.  We don't really fit in the community very well though, and we have no family close so we are more than ready to move on.  We are in the process of applying for jobs, but as everyone knows the market is very competitive at the moment.

I have many hobbies besides blogging, I love to sew, quilt, embroider, crochet, garden, can, cook, decorate cakes, scrapbooking and photography.  I am currently working on my son's quilt, which is taking me forever.  If you want to see photos of the pieces I have finished appliqueing you can click on the "quilts" label and it will take you to those posts.  My garden is growing pretty well now that we finally stopping having frosts at night, but I have not done a post about it yet, hopefully soon.

21 Day Summer Challenge Day 2


Today is day 2 and here is the topic:
Summer.....Love it or Hate it?

I love summer!  We went swimming this morning, I look out my french doors and see pure green beauty in my garden, the flowers are blooming, I love to grill, ...what's not to love!  I also love summer thunderstorms, especially when lightning is off in the distance and you can watch it safely. 
The only thing I dislike about summer is the bugs, I hate the smell of deet, but hate mosquito bites even worse.  We don't have them here, but when we visit the midwest in the summer I also despies ticks and chiggars.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I was on a short work trip to Flagstaff, AZ the past couple of days to attend a springs assessment training.  I will write more about it later, but for now I want to share pictures of the cacti I took while we were on a field trip to Montezuma Well.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

First Camping Trip

We took Austin on his very first camping trip this weekend.  We tried last summer, but the trip failed miserably and we haven't gotten back since.  This past Friday through Saturday we held a Kid's Camp for the youth I work with at the tribe with the North Kaibab Forest where Dustin works which is the ancestral homeland for the tribe.  Since we were both involved with the camp we took Austin along and made it a family experience. 

North Kaibab Kids Camp 145

Friday we picked up the kids in the morning and headed for the forest.  We had 13 Paiute kids participate, and the two daughters of Dustin's co-worker who headed up the camp efforts for the Forest Service.  All the kids besides Austin ranged in age from 4-15.  When we arrived they broke the kids into groups and we went to two of the learning stations, then lunch and then the other 4 stations.  The learning stations were Leave No Trace, Timber/Silviculture, Firefighting/Fire Management, Paiute Games and Traditions, Archaeology/Paleontology, and Geology.  Then we had some free time and then dinner.  After dinner we did a camp fire and smores.  After that we loaded up in the vans and drove to Jacob Lake (which is really just a wet meadow) where the Wildlife Department set up bat nets to try and catch one to show the kids.  Unfortunately they were unable to catch one, but the Biologist taught the kids about mammals and talked about what she does for the Forest Service.

North Kaibab Kids Camp 101North Kaibab Kids Camp 079

North Kaibab Kids Camp 095

North Kaibab Kids Camp 112North Kaibab Kids Camp 088

North Kaibab Kids Camp 120On Saturday we took the kids on what they called a Service Learning Project, which really was more of a tour of timber management areas.  They compared areas that had been treated with areas that were way overgrown.  We also went to the area of the Warm Fire which was a massive wildfire in 2006 that burned at high intensity and wiped out a large area of vegetation.  We treated the kids to lunch at the Jacob Lake Inn.  Then we went to a place called Three Lakes where I did a brief water quality monitoring lesson.  By that point we were all pretty tired and the kids were at the point that they were tired of learning, so I made it short.  Then we headed home and had all the kids returned before 5:00pm. 

North Kaibab Kids Camp 167

Austin did great, he was born to be outdoors!  He was so good around the older kids, and at night he slept way better than Dustin and I.  I definitely know that before we try to tent camp again we need to invest in a bigger air mattress since we put Austin in the middle and we both ended up half hanging off the sides around him.  We had great weather the whole time other than getting a little chilly at night.  I think the kids all had a great time.