Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Genuine H2O

I have a soap box that is just for bottled water and I've been debating what to do with it today. I think that this video might do an adequate enough job.

I recently bought a PUR water filter pitcher at my thrift store for $2 because Salt Lake City water tastes gross - I even spit it out of my mouth in the shower - blech. Getting a water filter and reusable bottles is pretty cheap.

If you must buy plastic containers think buying in bulk. Like buying large 3 gallon container of water to refill your water bottle instead of purchasing a rack of 30 individual bottles. Buy the larger tub of yogurt instead of the little single-serving packets - that kind of thing. When Landon's parents came to visit last fall i bought a couple huge jugs of water for my mother-in-law. She drinks only water and has a pretty specific palate for it. We are still using those jugs. It is smart to have a huge jug of water in your car in case you ever get stranded somewhere (especially in the winter). And we take them with us on road trips and camping trips.

Finding another use for a container is ALWAYS better than recycling. Reuse, reuse, reuse!

Monday, August 30, 2010

We were awaken this morning by a wild thunderstorm that lasted about 30 minutes. By the time it mellowed out, the alarm went off and beckoned us out of bed. And now it is still pouring pouring rain. It's only 50 degrees outside and the house is completely dark with these dense clouds in the early morning.

I've been craving fall-ish weather like this. 52 degrees!!! Crazy. The next few days it is supposed to be in the 70's, which is a huge respite from the 98 degrees we experienced last week! Welcome September!!! Goodbye Dog-Days of Summer! Most people are sad to see the Summer go, with the huge snow storms that lingered on into June this year. But not me.

Yesterday Hunky Husband and I went for a 6 mile hike/jog with Duvi through a beautiful dense forest into a clearing that was doggy heaven. It was even called "dog lake". When we arrived, dogs were running around and wailing through the water, barking and playing. It was a happy sight, to see so many sweet beasts having the times of their lives. Duvick was no exception. I loved seeing him have so much fun. We all were having fun. Doons was scoping out ski lines that he wanted to explore in the backcountry this winter. And we spotted the largest Aspen grove we have ever seen in Utah and made a mental note to return in the next few weeks to watch it turn golden.

I love the mountains. Such beauty and adventure to behold at every season. A winter wonderland becomes a doggy heaven in the summer. The well worn trail that we enjoyed yesterday will be completely lost beneath snow in a the winter months and we will have to find our own way to the top, but not before we enjoy a few weekends with crisp cool walks under golden aspens.

I'm going to have to go pull my house slippers out of storage...

Friday, August 27, 2010

So, Mr McBrayer and I allow each other celebrity crushes. We even make fun of them. Like last night we received "The Natural" from Netflix and Doons said, "you should like this movie - Robert Redford is so hot in it." I did like it. 

These are the two Hollywood blokes that are my favorite. I think they're incredible actors, I pretty much like all of their movies and admire their philanthropy. And I think they're cuties. Although they weren't always my favorites. I think these two hunks became my favs after I met Landon...

I wonder if their great looks reminded me a bit of my own hunk-of-burnin-love

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yesterday we found out why we have flooding in the dungeon. It's pretty gross. you don't want to know.
we pulled the carpet out of the dungeon so it can dry in the sun today. i scrubbed it down with laundry detergent and warm water first (just hoping it will help - don't really know what i am doing). tolerating the smell the whole time was difficult - i would rather have set fire to that thing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Indy Princess Alert Southwest Tour in Salt Lake City

I had so much fun with my girl, even if it was just a short while. Gia and Katy (Bearkat) were so sweet and such AMAZING musicians. Giannina and I used to jam together in college, which was easy and fun. Now she is a professional musician and has really grown as a singer, writer, player, and performer. I was so proud of her!!! The girls showed up at a local open mic and each got to play one song in a long list of 15 others. They blew everyone over with their talent!!! They were receiving marriage proposals and people were asking them for CDs. The house even decided to pass around a hat for their "road money" since they are traveling musicians. They seriously were that good.

give Katy a little listen
Hear more here

give Gia a listen
Hear more here

Monday, August 23, 2010


Today my hunny was awake at 7am - a workin' man.

He worked late into the night last night preparing for today - his first day back to school. This morning at 8am he greeted 31 students and welcomed them to the frightening and exciting world of Philosophy of Religion. . Those undergrads are so lucky to have him for their teacher! And I'm sure that some of those young ladies are looking forward to this semester - what a hottie for a teacher!

 Almost immediately after he left the dungeon started flooding. I'm working on that mess right now.

Anyways.... today feels monumental. We are back into the school year. For Doons, the next 9 months will be full of Loooong days (and even longer nights!). I am still looking for jobs. I had an interview last week, of which I received a call promptly the next day informing me that I will not move on in the interview process - I was so grateful for the next-day response! This morning I had a phone interview for the Salt Lake City school district and tomorrow I have a group interview at Uinta Brewing Company. Wednesday school starts and hopefully I will get some subbing gigs soon. Otherwise, Sponsorship is very busy in the fall and I'm so grateful to still be working with my precious program, even it if is only part time.

This post is supposed to be about the Man - oops. Here are pictures of his latest craft:
Our detached garage - we love it.

getting a little creative here

Trying to be quiet with the tools at 10:30p

The finished project.
I don't remember what this is called - a "crimp board" maybe. Or maybe not, it's just what I think of, with this inverted super thin boards to work on your climbing skills when you're not at the crag. I can't even do it at all. I'm too weak.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dungeon development

This weekend one of my old college buddies is stopping by on her way from CO to CA. She is an amazing musician and is on tour from her hometown to our old college stomping grounds - Los Angeles. I haven't seen her since my wedding day, so I'm thrilled that she is coming! As she is our first house guest in our new house, I was working today to prepare our dungeon for her arrival.
Welcome to the Dungeon

I have most everything in place, except the room was still completely exposed. Since there is no door (c'mon, let's not get carried away with a door when there isn't even a ceiling or steps or walls or anything...), I needed to put up a privacy curtain. 

So I went to my local thrift store and found an old sheet to toss together a curtain.
With Curtain!

 I perused the isles for quite awhile looking for a something to makeshift a swag rod (is that even what they're called). I eventually found something that I thought would work great!


That's right, it's a fork. 
And it can just slide off of the nails when not in use. 

Landon's not too thrilled with the idea of a curtain at the top of the dungeon stairs, so I had to put something together that is completely removable. Both the curtain and the curtain swagger-jigger will be removed when guests are not here. 
It's not totally awesome. It's completely ghetto, actually. But I'm proud of myself for putting this together for $2.20. ($2.00 - bed sheet; .20 - fork)

Come one, come all (well maybe not all - we only have a double bed, after all), we are officially ready for you to spend your weekend with us. We are open for both climbing season and ski season. Open invite!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Climbing Fergie with Snakes

Ferguson Canyon is one of the only canyons that allow dogs around here, so we've been up there to rock climb quite a few times.
(me and Duvi enjoying shade and the view of the city)

After we unloaded our gear out of the car and put our packs on, a few ladies approached us and gave us warning of a rattle snake in the middle of the trail at the top of the hill. She said, "I wasn't even thinking about the fact that it is rattle snake season." Hm. Nor I.  Now, I'm not afraid of drowning, I'm not as afraid of heights as I used to be. I don't fear spiders or bugs. Large animals of prey keep me on my toes when i'm in the woods, but I still hike and climb and camp. Snakes on the other hand..... Snakes absolutely terrify me. They are my one greatest fear. My husband is a brave man who used to be a little boy slathered in snakes. He has no fear of snakes. I try to convince him to find us a different crag to climb. I am absolutely astonished that he thinks it is fine for us to continue our plan up this narrow dirt trail that happens to have a rattle snake in the middle of it.
(Salt Lake City valley)

As we hike up the trail my body is going through tiny convulsions and I am trying very hard not to cry. My fear had totally taken over my body and mind. All the while, La-dee-da-Landon is jovial as he looks over the Salt Lake Valley and talks about the crag up ahead, "encouraging" me to, "learn to take control of your emotions," and "face your fears." I tell him that if he or Duvick or I get bit by a rattle snake I will never trust him again.

a side story:
we went climbing Saturday and on our hike out, we decided to divert from the trail and ford the river (which has previously been absolutely roaring, but has finally died down) just to see how much time it would cut off of our hike. we usually have to take a trail beside the river deeper into the canyon to cross a foot bridge and then hike back the way we came on the opposite side of the river to get to these neat multi-pitch climbs that are on top of a boulder field. anyways, we decided to attempt at a short cut. after we crossed a stream and then the main river (which was so fun and so wonderful to cool off our hot feet!), we followed a trail through the woods that very quickly identified itself as a moose trail. "This is probably our best chance at encountering a moose all year," I said. Landon was a little excited by the idea. "I would rather take my chances in a place that I could actually have room to run through," I worried, although Landon liked the idea of just climbing one of the trees if we see anything. I don't know how to climb trees. We walked through lush undergrowth and very mucky mud and ended up in a opening with about 12 spots in the grass where moose have bedded down. Landon insists that there surely aren't 12 moose, but rather just a few that have made several beds (he ran into a mother and baby moose on the trail in that area last month). That made me feel better, but i'm not sure if he was right. we quite literally walked into a moose den. We had climbed a 5 pitch 5.10a that day and the scariest part of the day was our hike out through the moose bedroom. 
(Landon on rappel) 

The snake must have slithered away because we never saw him. Although, I was looking for snakes during the remainder of our hike to the cliffs. When I reached the top of the climbs I even looked around to make sure there was no snake nestled next to the anchors before I secured myself to them. And I was listening for rattles our entire hike out, never hearing a thing.

I hate snakes. Landon thinks that we need to befriend a few and keep them as pets for the great benefit of helping me overcome my fears. I wish he would leave this particular fear of mine alone.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jackson Hole

Finally time for some pictures of our trip to Jackson Hole. We spent most of our time in the Snake River and a lot of these pictures are of us in Grand Teton National Park. 

The first day we hiked around Jenny Lake to the "Cascading Falls".
Jenny Lake through the beautiful wildflowers

The Falls

Hottie by the river

cooling my feet off in the river

Sheely family pic at the Falls

After running the end of our hike through a storm, we waited out the downpour and then took a scenic drive through Grand Teton National Park. It wasn't the best time of day for pictures of the Grand Teton, but it was still incredibly beautiful.

Tetons and the Snake River

I like this one. Landon teases me about it.

We saw wildlife: Moose, Elk, Deer, Eagle, Osprey, Buffalo

We spent a lot of time on the Snake River which runs through Grand Teton National Park, through Jackson and then South West out of town through a narrow canyon where the water gets jostled and funneled through rapids. 

We rafted one day and had a lot of fun. 
Our guide let me know that I was the only one "riding the bull" who had fallen out into the river this entire year. He said even the little kids manage to hold on. Great, thanks, Dave.

The rest of the days we stayed north of the canyon and took our own canoe out on the water.

Landon is the ultimate river guide

Me....not so much!

We parked our canoe in a shallow part of the river and goofed around. 

Landon took Dad out on the canoe almost every day for fly fishing.

Only a 5 hour drive from our home here in Salt Lake City, we plan to return to Jackson Hole while we are living out here. Landon and Dad had planned to summit the Grand Teton, but the weather didn't permit them to try. It is extremely dangerous to be stuck on a mountain during an electrical storm. Landon and I would like to go back and do some more hiking.

We did try some rock climbing a couple of times. The first time we forgot our rope once we got the the crag and the second time we got rained out of a tricky 5.10. What would a mountain vacation be without climbing, after all?

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Seasons

Today is the first day of school for many. Landon has teacher training this week and officially starts his own classes next week. It feels like this week is the final hoorah of summer. Last week we had our first day of not needing the swamp cooler on all day, and when we were climbing the wind was chilly, and now I'm receiving a hopefulness of fall. But who am I joking? Fall doesn't pop around for quite awhile still. But I can dream upon it.

I love autumn. Landon and I put our seasons in order from favorite to least favorite last night as he was tucking me in to bed. Fall was on the top of both of our lists. I just love the colors, the scents, the respite from the summer heat, the first snow, pulling out the winter woolens and sweaters and overalls and socks with sandals and warm breakfasts, and watching movies in blankets and all those wonderful things that lead up to winter minus the freezing cold. I love fall. Landon loves fall because (and i quote): "it's the best climbing season". Still a good reason, although I was seriously surprised that climbing season ranks above ski season, but I have a feeling that once he's hitting freshies he'll want to realign his seasons. Although we also both agreed that we love every season and although fall is obviously best, we wouldn't want to miss out on any season! I love seasons in the Rockies - they are so defined and each so unique and beautiful!

the unfortunate irony of this post is that we have seen a high of 95 today

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I don't like things to be killed.

(photo by iamdogsmom)

I understand that if everything didn't die, then the world would be over populated in every way with bugs crawling over everything, oceans thick with fish, people and animals stomping out every single thing. And not only that but in order for every species to survive, others have to die. so, i know this.

I've just found myself lately, really saddened over dead things. On our way to Jackson Hole, we hit a bird. He got stuck under the hood of the car, actually, and we drove him a few hundred miles through Idaho and Wyoming and Landon had to literally peel him from underneath the hood. It made me extremely sad. That bird shouldn't have died by getting hit by our car.

We were riding in a huge school bus on our way to reach our raft to ride down the Snake River. I was sitting next to the window in the very last seat on the bus and as we drove up the winding road beside the river, the sun shone  through the trees onto my window and brought my attention to a shimmer on the glass. Someone had smashed a bug there and the wings had been dragged across the window in the action. And I wondered why someone would kill a bug just because it is there. Is that a common reaction? I see a bug so i must smash it/stomp on it/kill it? I understand killing things that threaten your own life or safety. I smashed a mosquito the other day because he was sucking my blood and i am extremely sensitive to mosquito bites, and afterward thought to myself, what a shame. But still, I guess, I killed it.

I think that things should have a chance at life until it is necessary that they be killed. I think that animals and vegetables should be eaten, I think that bears that maul people should be killed ("a fed bear is a dead bear"). Landon has been making fun of me lately for my zen buddhist tendencies, but he still helps me rescue bugs to throw them outside instead of tossing them down the toilet or smashing them in a towel. He's sweet to me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Last night we got home from a family trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Grand Tetons Barns The John Moulton Barn on Mo...Image via Wikipedia

This popular winter ski destination is beautiful in the summer. With the winding Snake River and Grand Teton National Park, we packed our days full of beautiful views and sunshine (and thunderstorms).

Oxbow Bend outlook in the Grand Teton National...Image via Wikipedia

I wanted to share with you a few photos from our trip this morning, but somebody must have let the camera battery run out while loading the pictures on to facebook last night. So... check Landon or I's facebook photos for now - I'll post pictures later.

Ansel Adams The Tetons and the Snake River (19...Image via Wikipedia

And if you want to see a picture of me getting chucked from a raft, visit this website.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A little mid-week treat

Well friends, I am taking a little break for the next week.

So I decided to leave you with a little bit of me. Something that maybe you can enjoy more than once, since this will be here on the top of my blog for an entire week. I don't know how to do video editing, so....it's a tiny bit funny. Please enjoy.

For more videos of us doin' what we do, click "Doons' youtube channel" on the right. I hope your weekend is full of a little adventure and some relaxation. I know mine will be!

Catch you on the flip side.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Awkward Conversations

I've had some pretty interesting interactions lately:

(photo by Tota Odds)

Last week, I was taking Duvick for a walk to 7-11 to return our redbox movie. On our way back, around 9:00 pm an old lady with her hair in a mess wearing her bathrobe spoke to me as I walked past her yard. She was watering her flowers. "My dog died today," she said.
I kept walking and respond, "that is so sad - I am very sorry."
She said, "it is sad. my other dog died last week."
At this I stopped walking. "Are you okay?"

This woman proceeded to talk to me for awhile. At first I wondered if she was just a crazy person. After all, who begins a conversation (in a bathrobe at 9pm) with a perfect stranger by telling them that her pet has died? As I spoke to her, I noticed her next door neighbor sitting on his front porch videotaping people as they walk by, video taping me actually... I left with Debbie's phone number and a business card for her veterinarian. Apparently they are the best in town - they even cremated her second dog for free.

(photo by eduard titov)

Last week I answered my work phone, "Hello, you have reached ACSl, this is Hannah. Can I help you?" That's my always response. At least I don't answer, "Welcome to your Gurnee drive-thru Starbucks, what are you drinkin'?" like I sometimes did accidentally back in the day.

"After a little pause, a man asked, "is Tonya Harding there?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, can you repeat that please?"

"I need to get in touch with Tonya Harding please."

At that, I started cracking up and told him that there was no Tonya Harding at this number.

"Isn't this Colorado Springs?" he pleaded. "Yes, yes, but no Tonya."

"Look, I admit that this sounds odd, but I really need to speak to Tonya Harding. I think she works in member certification."

"I'm sorry sir, let me see if I have her listed on my sheet of in-house extensions."oops. "I deeply apologize. Tonya is extension 251. I am so sorry, I thought you were performing a prank call."

He seemed to be an understanding sort of man. After that I didn't answer any phone calls for the rest of the day.

Thanks for hangin' on if you're still reading these...

(photo by see seven dog)

A few days ago my next door neighbor stopped by. She and her husband seem really cool and we've talked about getting together for dinner or something some time.

"Hey Sara!"

"Hey, I just wanted you to know that we're having a party tonight," she said.

"Wow. Thank you soooo much!" I said with a huge smile and mild excitement.

"Yeah, sure. I just wanted you to know that we'll be having a lot of people over pretty late. And we don't do this very often, just a couple of times a year. So we'll probably be outside eating and drinking late. I just wanted you to know."

"Oh, that is so thougthful of you. I really appreciate it." I felt like banging my head against the wall.

"You and Landon can come if you want. It's my birthday." she said.

"Thanks a lot Sara. Happy Birthday, and thanks again for letting us know about your party. Have fun!"

I felt like an idiot. I haven't been to a party in years and years. The whole hermitish lifestyle that I live I think is making me so strange. I realized that last week I didn't leave my house at all Wednesday and Thursday and Friday after a trip to Walmart and the grocery store I was determined to avoid leaving the house for the rest of the day - that was stressful! I'm a little concerned that i'm getting both socially awkward, and also completely desperate for any sort of human interaction - which isn't a good combo, really.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Climbing American Fork

Yesterday we went rock climbing after church. We usually go rock climbing on Sundays because the crags are surprisingly not crowded on Sundays. A lot of the great climbing near Salt Lake is in Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. However, no dogs are allowed in these canyons because they are the water source for our town. So we still climb there, but we try to go places that Duvick can come with as often as we can. Yesterday we drove just a bit south beyond The Point of the Mountain to American Fork Canyon. Last time we came here was with Janelle last September!

Landon is so awesome. And we met some neat people. And got to put our feet in the river again. It was fun.
yikes. sorry all these pictures are smudgy.

The limestone has really neat features - isn't it beautiful?

I love this.

On our drive home we saw some amazing sky

And mountains too, of course