Wednesday, December 31, 2008

letting go of another 366

i am certain we are not alone in feeling relief at saying "goodbye" to 2008, and more importantly, hope as we look forward to the new beginning we receive tomorrow.  there are few things that we know the dawn of 2009 will bring for us, other than a new year of taxes and another round of FAFSA filing.  (oh yeah, and the first african-american president--that's is an awesome change we can't take for granted!)  despite the unknown elements that come with a new year, it is always refreshing to have what feels like a new start. 

i am personally overjoyed to say "adios" to 2008.  for me it was the year of the head injury (similar, if you will, to the chinese year of the monkey) and i am glad to see it go.  this past year started, quite literally, with a bang: i woke up the morning of january 1 and whacked my head into the short ceiling of the guest bedroom at rob & becky's.  a month and a half later i slipped on the ice and received my first concussion.  post-concussion, it is apparently important to refrain from further head trauma; however, the world seems to have it out for my cranium so i have found myself sustaining many other injuries.  for instance, i slammed my head in the door of the car when kemi was visiting in moscow (at least i got a black eye for that one).  i have also managed to bash and bang up my head in some way nearly every week, whether it be in the attic-like storage space at mt. bachelor, on someone's bike racks, or in playing with harvey.  and then there was my nasty kayak carnage on granite creek this summer where my chin, nose, and kayak helmet drug along the rocky stream-bed.  

so my head especially looks forward to a new year, one in which it sustains fewer insults.  and now we have 2009, the year of the _____ injury.  guess we'll have to wait and see on that one.


Monday, December 29, 2008

a few photos

we had a great time picking out our christmas tree with rob, becky, and court. we got an awesome one and we are still enjoying it, although i think it is going to come down soon--we are being inundated with needles!
(it was starting to snow when this picture was taken, so my teeth aren't actually glowing like an 
orbitz commercial.  that is a reflective snowflake.)

overall, this year was far more relaxing than the holidays have been in the past.  we did the tour-de-familia again, but given the fact that we live in the area, we didn't feel as much pressure to stay or guilt as we left.  what a nice change.  i sure wish i could put a kabosh on guilt--it plagues me!

we got a few photos of our christmas with papa and the kids, but didn't capture the other parts of our family very well.  anyhow, here is hogan and her dog, simba, trying to decipher the directions for her new toy.
and here is rodney trying to figure out his new binoculars.  papa also got brandon and i a pair, which he hopes to benefit from if we go back to jackson.  he was ill that we were living in elk country this summer and didn't have any binoculars.  now we are set for wildlife viewing (and stalking, should the need arise).
and here is wyatt, showing off one of the many indiana jones toys he received this year.  he is a lego-maniac and he is going to have at least a few days of entertainment putting the sets papa, rod, brandon, and i got him.  
this picture is especially priceless, as it may be the only photo of papa and all his kids to exist.  there may have been a couple from our wedding, but this one sums us up a bit better. 
brandon and i have been busy little bees, working like crazy since christmas.  i am going to be picking up even more shifts at typhoon as they make some changes, so i may be a little behind on posting until the dust settles.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

federal throwbacks

a few friends who didn't have the opportunity to visit us in jackson this past summer have requested to view photos of me in my uniform.  as you can imagine, the forest service green "pickle suit" wasn't exactly flattering.  so here it is, sorry for the excessive delay:
my friend megan here managed to get cute shorts, along with the rest of the women on the crew.  instead, i ended up with the frumpiest shorts ever.  and i do mean ever.  yes mom, i do know how stupid i look.  :)

and in the next photo we are actively working, on a full-fledged river patrol. notice the canoes in background?  they were full of boy scouts.  (note: even if necessary, we weren't going to rescue them.  rescuing one of those boys would be unethical.  i am pretty sure no scout has ever gotten a badge for being rescued by the forest service.  no, you get patches for doing it yourself, like rescuing yourself from an upturned canoe--now that's a badge i would like to see!)  
for some reason this photo wouldn't scan in very well so we look disgustingly tan.  both megan and i were dark, but we weren't  crispy-skinned river rangers.  i promise.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

warm memories and freezing pipes

many years ago i took a risky move in my "pursuit" of brandon.  his car was parked at the mt. bachelor park-and-ride lot while he was up racing.  the little corsica was completely covered in snow so i scraped his windows off, snuck the hide-a-key out of its secret spot, and left a gerber daisy on his seat.  i was nervous all afternoon as i wasn't sure how he would feel about receiving a flower from a girl.  apparently it did not go unnoticed as this past sunday when i got in my car after a long, cold first day at the mountain i found a beautiful bouquet of flowers (including gerber daisies) on my seat.  i totally chocked up and felt overwhelmed with the history those flowers represented.  isn't he wonderful?
last week we went out with rob, becky, and courtney in search of the perfect christmas tree. rob totally scored a great one, which put the pressure on brandon to do so as well.  he found ours a bit further from the road, but indeed it was just right for us!  we got it all decorated on saturday and it has been glowing away in our house ever since.
here is my favorite ornament:
and my other favorite part of our christmas decorations: our nativity.  mom got me this when i was in high school and i look forward to pulling these figurines out of their package each year.  even when we haven't had a tree, we have had this little manger scene.  i especially love the curious look of the lambs.
in other news, we are currently living without cold water in these days of single-digit temps.  that's right, we woke up monday morning to find that our cold water pipe was frozen and it has not relented since then, despite the intense heat of our bathroom.  fortunately we have hot water so we can still shower up.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

gf goodness

here it is folks: my best gluten-free creation thus far!  i can't take too much credit, but i will say i made this loaf a little fancy with rosemary and whole garlic cloves.  mmm.  we loved this bread and managed to put a good dent in it before dinner.  this is going to have to make a few more appearances in the future.

in case you thought we were living painfully dull, boring, unemployed lives, you are wrong.  we are baking our own bread!  :)

snow update: it is on its way and i got a call from my boss that i start sunday--the day the mountain opens!  wohoo for working!  i am going to have a busy schedule, but i think it is going to be full of variety and good people so i should enjoy the hectic pace...
  • fri-mon days: bachelor
  • fri-sat nights: typhoon!
  • thurs morns: volunteers in medicine
  • tues & weds: adventures with brandon & harvey

no snow, much paperwork

it seems like i haven't said much of anything in our recent posts about us or what we are up to.  we are still waiting for snow, but feeling slightly less anxious about this holding period than a couple of weeks ago.  i can't help but be grateful for this time to be home with our puppy.  i feel like a ridiculous dog fanatic for saying that, but i know that this time at home with harvey is making us better owners and him a better member of our world.

in other news, i started my volunteering role at volunteers in medicine.  i am officially a prescription assistance program advocate, which means i weed through the mounds of paperwork that drug companies require in order to participate in their reduced or no fee prescription programs.  i love that i can now call myself an "advocate"--and i love that my work has a direct impact on improving peoples' situation.  i'll post more as i interact with the patients, for today was focused on getting oriented with the companies and forms.  i totally owe my mom for finding out about this place and for getting me connected... thanks mom!

we are off to hunt for christmas trees tomorrow with rob, becky, and courtney, so i will do my best to get photos of the big day.  it may turn out to be a nightmare to have a christmas tree and a puppy occupying our house simultaneously, but he has to learn someday... right?!?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

go on

i couldn't help but like this post secret.  whoever it is: wife, sister, mom, friend, aunt, grandma, girlfriend, best friend, cousin--spend time with her.  

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

continued prayers for healing

two sundays ago, my aunt kris hurt her ankle quite badly when she slipped on the ice on her back porch.  she endured surgery and now has pins and plates in ankle.  uhh.  poor thing.  i posted about it and asked for you all to pray for her to heal quickly and without complications.

now i have another family prayer for healing: my uncle ron (my mom's big brother) endured a stroke this weekend.  he is currently in the hospital and is having trouble with his vision.  it appears that he was spared from any form of paralysis, but he currently can't see out of one of his eyes.  he has five grandkids that he wants to keep playing with and to watch them grow, so please pray that he doesn't encounter any further complications and that healing comes rapidly for his brain.

i have warned my mom that she may need to consider spending next sunday wrapped in bubble wrap, as the past two sundays have involved major medical problems for two of her three siblings.  besides that, it would make all of us laugh to watch her negotiate the world wrapped in bubble wrap.  :)

Friday, November 28, 2008

thankful for family and desperate for snow

for some reason or another, i have had a lot of trouble uploading these photos.  anyhow, we haven't been up to too much, just praying for snow and applying to a temp agency so we can maybe have some form of income.  oh, how we are feeling this economic crisis--and the effects of global warming!  :)  we just want snow and then all will be well as we can then begin working at mt. bachelor as planned.  until then, we are entertaining ourselves with lots of hikes and time with family.  not a bad way to spend your time when unemployed.

this photo is one of my favorites of harvey.  we were bouldering with ross and his friend christian.  i discovered that i have absolutely no upper body strength, so i chose to focus on taking pictures of the icicles that formed along wychus creek instead of climbing.  harvey has a bit of separation anxiety and was trying with all his might to get up onto the rock where i was taking pictures from.  in between jumps i caught this photo of his crooked little ears peeking over the edge.  
and these two photos are of my most epic domestic adventure to date: making my own french fried onions.  "why," might you ask, "would a girl vehemently opposed to onions fry her own?"  because my favorite thanksgiving dish is actually green bean casserole; forget the turkey, stuffing, and even the jellied cranberry sauce.  the thing that takes priority on my plate is green bean casserole... which happens to have gluten in every ingredient aside from the green beans. instead of forgoing my favorite thanksgiving dish, i made it in my own gluten-free kitchen.   
the smoke alarm was blaring and harvey was in panic mode as he thought i was trying to burn our house down, but indeed, these little greasy onion pieces were superb!

we had what i like to call a progressive thanksgiving (not in the ideologically progressive sense, rather in that we progressed from house to house in celebration of giving thanks).  we started at the overstreets and each had salad plates full of food.  we then popped over to my dad's place for a little pumpkin pie, and finished the night with my mom and matt, enjoying a truly gluten-free feast.  needless-to-say, we drove home in solidarity with most of america: feeling the burden and pains of overeating, but giving thanks for the plenty that was on the table and the family that surrounded it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

sunday secret

this was a hard week to choose a secret, as most of them did not relate to me at all.  anyhow, here goes:
not that i don't like adults, but i really don't mind sitting at the kids table at grandma's christmas dinners.  it is just way more fun to be free to be silly.  now though there may be too many kids for me to still sit there and i may be relegated to sit with the adults.  hmmm...

on another note, my wonderfully kind, giving, fun-loving aunt kris fell yesterday morning and shattered her ankle.  she spent the afternoon in surgery and now has something to the extent of 6 screws and a plate in her ankle.  please pray for her to heal without complications and for her to be content as she isn't one to sit for long periods of time, indeed, she is a little busy bee.  also, she is a skier and this really puts a cramp in her season.  

aunt kris, if you read this... 1) thanks for teaching me to love the kids' table as you are a true kid at heart and always will be, 2) know that we are sending lots of love and healing prayers your way in idaho, and 3) let those around you use this opportunity to serve you in the way that you are always serving others.  oh yeah, and 4) GET WELL!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

sweet bike...

as i alluded to before, we have had an event-filled week.  sara mia came to visit, then we drove up to seattle with her for time with kemi, after that we cruised down to visit logan, alyssa, and rowan (our godson).  it was recently rowan's first birthday and alyssa's 23, so we had some celebrating to do.  when we got back from our northwest tour we celebrated mom's birthday with a little spaghetti and mashed potatoes (her favorite combination--don't ask).  and now we are home and i am sick.  but the sickness is worth it for all the memories we made.

for the past month, i have wanted to show everyone something brandon has been putting his heart into.  however, it was a big surprise for logan and rowan (alyssa already knew about it).  rowan started walking a month or so ago and brandon decided to build him a "like-a-bike" which is a wooden bike without pedals.  kids learn to run along and then pull up their feet when they want to coast, which puts them at an advantage with that balance thing the rest of us all struggled with.  being the awesome godfather that brandon is, he wants to give rowan every advantage he can.  thus, we introduce to you the wooden, pedal-less bike:
we knew logan would be thrilled that brandon made it and that his son had his first bike, but we also knew rowan would need to grow into it a bit so our expectations weren't too high that the little guy would be too interested.  boy were we wrong!  he loves it and every 20 minutes or so while we were there he would go over to the bike, pull on the handlebars and grunt at us until we helped him up and cruised around the house.  it was the best reaction to a gift we could have ever hoped for. 
the bike features some handlebars that were once logan's (cut down to rowan size) and the custom decals on the side read: GODSIFF RACING, with Rowan underneath.  it is pretty dang awesome and i am so glad to share it with the blogging world now that it is no longer a secret gift.
on sunday the boys went mountain biking and alyssa had sunday school to teach, so rowan and i got some awesome godmum/godson time.  he was a doll and was all smiles, with each animal cracker i fed him.  i got a few great photos of the adorableness that he is, but the one above is my favorite.

Monday, November 17, 2008

ah, tradition

here it is this week folks, my favorite post secret of the week:
it isn't a serious secret, one where you learn a lot about who i am, but i used to think the world operated in a similar fashion to the person who sent this one in.  

in retrospect, what a terrifying thought to have tiny green men running the world.  think of what they could do in the 59 seconds between changing the minutes!

i have more to post about our wonderful time with sara mia at our house, our trip to introduce harvey to kemi, and giving rowan his birthday gift; however, those things are going to have to wait because i am in charge of a belated birthday celebration for my momma!

Monday, November 10, 2008

worldwide participation

i came home from work tonight to find this in the google search box: 

what to make for dinner tonight

indeed, my husband googled what the people of the internet thought he should eat for dinner.  i was at work and therefore not a contributing party to this decision.

he settled on cereal, if you must know...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

can there be a "new tradition"?

each sunday i eagerly await the weekly posting of new cards on post secret (see link on sidebar).  some weeks they seriously let me down with their themes of vengeance and adultery as people share their "big secrets".  but almost every week i come across one that resonates with me and makes me smile.  so i am going to start a new blog tradition: to post my favorite secret each week.  for those of you who follow post secret, i hope you will share your favorite card too.

and here is the first secret i share with the anonymous postcard sending people of the world:

when i was in middle school i remember thinking that when i was old i wanted to have fleshy arms to hug all the people i loved with.  i always thought that meaty arms were a sign of a capable, conquering, loving woman.  well, i am currently less-than-thrilled with the fact that my "triceps" jiggle when i wave to people, so my desire for fleshy arms has diminished substantially.  

my desire for laugh lines has surely replaced it!  brandon makes me so incredibly happy and each day he is to blame for the deepening of my laugh lines.  not a bad thing to cause at all...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

latest photos

brandon, becky, and i went for a hike on sunday to alder springs, which is along squaw/wychus creek. the day was pretty overcast, but it was a great hike. the objective: to wear harvey out and give him some off-leash practice. he did great and indeed, he slept the rest of the afternoon!

when we got to the spring the sun broke through and the lighting was incredible. i took a couple of shots of bradon and harvey; however, due to photographer error they weren't composed very well. the light was awesome, but my eye was not up to par. 

anyhow, i still love this one of harvey going bonkers. he loved the tall grasses and went nuts running in circles. brandon looks pretty dang good in that sunlight also!
and this one, it just might be my favorite photo i have taken to date. mmm, i just love the lines and the warmth. i think i am going to have to frame this one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

peace abounds

we found out the news while we were out in black butte with friends. it didn't seem real at the time, but then again there was that concession speech from mccain. we drove home in the snow and ice, still not quite willing to admit that this was real. that our america would forever be a different, albeit better, country because of this day and because of what these election results signify. it just seemed too scary to admit because surely it was too good to be true.

i have believed in obama, in his grassroots movement, and in the power of our democracy for over a year (prior to that i was pretty disgusted and embarrassed by what the u.s. had become). and yet, i didn't expect a freaking landslide! this tells me so much about my fellow americans and that the future we have in store for us as this country is revived and healed. as we work towards peace. oh, let it abound!

wow. i can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning and be a citizen of the united states of america--and to be damn proud of it too!

welcome to the white house mr. commander-in-chief!

Monday, November 3, 2008

all that matters now


i have made no attempts to hide my support for barack obama as the next president of the united states. i endorse him as the candidate who can redirect this country from the course of certain demise are are currently on.

however, regardless of who you vote for, please just vote. don't throw it away. don't be apathetic about our country. it is a privilege many people fought for so that we can direct the winds of our nation. so as i said above, i don't care if we disagree politically, i want your vote to count just as much as mine!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

the new roof over our heads

we are in! to our new place, that is. not to jobs or graduate school, but those things will come. we do hope they will come soon, but surely in due time.

we have been spending most of our time entertaining harvey and he is quickly learning the way this puppy-hood thing works--as are we. it is certainly a full-time gig to be a puppy keeper, but the rewards and joys are worth the "investments".

the herding instinct of our little shepherd astounds me. it truly is instinctual for him. his most favorite things to herd at this time: our exercise ball/computer chair and rolling firewood logs. i guess we may have to invest in some sheep to keep him busy. a joke. believe me, that was a joke. there shall be no sheep. yet. maybe some fainting goats...

anyhow, harvey is quickly growing, so here are a few recent shots:if you hear of any good jobs for brandon or i, please let us know. we are quite desperate and needing to fund our rent and food bills. speaking of rent, here are some photos of our new place:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

pray for healing

my dear, wonderful friend laura's brother and his girlfriend were assaulted in ecuador last week. her brother, britt, was stabbed 18 times and is now going in and out of consciousness. he is currently back in the states and being taken care of at the hospital that their sister, amber, works at in southern california.
there are a lot more details here, but i just needed to get this out there and get people praying for his healing. please also pray for his girlfriend who was raped. there is reason to believe that britt was trying to stop the assault on his girlfriend when he was stabbed.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

the oldest of my youngest

back in september the oldest of my younger siblings turned 18, which you may recall from this post. ross is just an awesome guy and i am really proud of him.

anyhow, his senior photos were taken by the folks who took our wedding pics--kyle and kacie stott of stotts shots photography. they are an amazing couple with true artistic talent.

click here to see all rossco's pics.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

and we shall call him...


he's officially in the family now and we are all adjusting quite well. we picked him up on monday and had a very successful drive home. he slept on our laps as we cruised and then he got out and went potty each time we stopped. day 1 was full of lots of looks like this one, full of suspicion and mistrust:before we picked him up we were leaning towards "harvey" as his name but both agreed that we couldn't decide until we met him. when we met his foster parents (he was a rescue dog) they told us that they had been calling him "harley" so it was decided--harvey was an easy switch and seemed to be just right. it suits him well and he is hearing it often.
he is very well-behaved so far, even grandpa stan agreed, so that is saying something. :) he sleeps way more than we anticipated, but we certainly aren't complaining. the first night he hated his crate and whined the whole night, but we made significant improvements yesterday and he was quiet as a churchmouse last night.
he has already brought out a crazy, mothering, protecting side of me. the neighbors corgi met him for the first time this morning and unprovoked he just dove for his neck and was going crazy. little harvey was scared to death and cried out. i couldn't believe this other dog--he was into vicous, angry, out-for-blood mode. i pried him off of my little guy before he did too much damage. becky had said before that she didn't really like this corgi and now i see why!
here he is with rodney and papa.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

getting snippy

what with us searching for jobs, a house, and having recently adopted a new puppy, it seems only suiting that i would plunge into another big change.

i've had long hair for a long time and thanks to an old friend and a brave hairstylist, i no longer do. out with the long, drab, hippy hair and in with the new, chic, bob. here is the photographic evidence of the big change. some of you may think, "who cares about a little haircut?" well, when it comes to big hair changes i have always been a little timid, so this is a big deal to me!

i really like it, although i haven't styled it yet, so that may change my feelings drastically. it should go well with my job at the hospital, don't you think? speaking of that, my interview went really well. they seemed to feel bad that they couldn't give me enough work, but hopefully that doesn't deter them from hiring.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

expanding family

we have arrived in central oregon and are beginning the daunting tasks of finding jobs, finding a place to live, and... finding a puppy! we have so far only accomplished one of these tasks, and depending on who you talk to, it was perhaps the most important of the three! in a couple weeks we get to bring home this little guy:he is an australian shepherd mix and is about six weeks old right now. we can pick him up in two weeks and we are thrilled beyond belief. we have had a couple of heartbreaks in the dog realm in the past month and now we are finally getting to expand our family with the right little guy.

here's what we need from our friends and family: name suggestions! please give us some in the comments section because although we have a couple of ideas rattling around in our heads, we know you all can come up with more! our criteria: no more than two syllables and easy to yell (yes, we expect you to practice yelling the name before you suggest it!). you are all probably saying that we shouldn't have to yell at the dog ever, but let's be honest it will happen at some point and we don't want to find ourselves yelling a ridiculous name!

in other news, i have an interview at the hospital on tuesday. this is a job i really want, and one that would help with getting into graduate school, so hopefully i will have good news to report on that soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

supermom isn't super vp to me

i'm bound to catch grief for this post, but i'm going to go forward with it despite the criticism is to come.

now we have sarah palin on the scene. she has done well for herself and deserves respect for the things she has achieved.

however, she doesn't seem qualified for being first in line to be the president. here are my issues with her as vp candidate:
1) she went to UI. i worked for UI. it isn't a bad school, but a b.a. in journalism from UI does not set anyone up with a broad enough education to run this country.
2) she is riding the "woman card" in hopes of getting women to resonate with her. honestly, her portrayal of womanhood is not one i want to associate with. sure, she is a superwoman/mom, but that isn't what being a strong woman is about. at least it shouldn't be what being a strong woman is about.
3) she is completely anti affirmative action. i am a strong advocate of affirmative action. 'nuff said.
4) her approach to sex ed is exclusively abstinence based. i've been a STARS (students today aren't ready for sex) educator and i honestly believe that teenagers aren't mature enough to get themselves involved sexually. however, i am not naive. sex among teenagers happens and if we don't give kids the facts about protecting themselves and others we are going to have a slew of other problems on our hands.
5) she is pushing herself (or being pushed) as the first woman to be on the ticket. try 1984. how can you take that away from someone else?
6) she is advertising herself as a "regular woman", the equivalent of a "good ol' boy". call me crazy, but i don't want a regular woman (or man) running our country. i am a regular woman, but i am in no means qualified to run this country. show me how you are better than the rest of us. show me how you are more qualified than 99.99% of this nation to be in this position.

so here is my final take, she is a strong and capable woman. this does not make her qualified to run the country.

Monday, September 15, 2008

who is this man?

the passage of my brother ross into full-on adulthood seems impossible. but here he is celebrating 18 years of life and i must face the reality that my little brother isn't so little anymore.

my memories of him as a child:
  • loving to sing (often the incorrect lyrics)
  • claiming the entire middle seat in our mini-van
  • spending hours spiking his hair (for third grade!)
  • getting deep joy out of eating sushi
  • building snow huts in our yard until his lips were blue

what i know of him as a man:

  • his thoughtfulness--always considering what would make those around him truly happy
  • offering witty, clever commentary of our world (& our complicated family)
  • living in the moment he is in
  • giving his best to school, sports, and his friendships
  • having courageous goals of becoming a helicopter pilot
  • still getting deep joy out of eating sushi

ross, you amaze me. i am so proud of you and who you have chosen to become.

happy birthday rossco!

Monday, September 8, 2008

skipping seasons

here in jackson, we seem to be moving quickly through fall--so quickly i think mother nature is trying to pull one over on us and skip the season entirely! we have had snow in the hills above our house, which is unnerving for this sunshine-loving girl.

what is my reaction to this quickly approaching snowy season? the purchase of skis. for the first time in my life (12+ years of skiing) i own my own skis. i am thrilled! we actually bought them at the oh-so-upscale jackson hole resort. we got a killer deal because they are last year's model and the shop wanted them out so they could bring in new gear. when i say killer deal, i mean i negotiated the already low price to get a deal we couldn't pass up. brandon married a girl who negotiates prices with glee. here they are, in all their good-deal-glory: in other news, i am headed to flagstaff, az this week. i haven't stepped foot outside of an airport in arizona, so getting to see this country i hear so much about is exciting. i am hoping we have time for me to at least peak at the grand canyon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

add to the resume

yesterday was a gloriously chaotic day on the river and i loved every second of it. normally i have to work in town on mondays, but on this labor day i was needed on the river because we were short-staffed. the morning ticked by at a snail's pace until we got a call that a 40' log was stuck across the river, blocking boaters from getting through. megan and i investigated and we made the call to close the river until this hazard could be removed (well actually we told our boss to make that call, but we influenced his decision).

brandon happened to be working on the fire engine and they offered to come help us cut the log out. they came down with the chainsaw, we fitted them up with pfds and tied them to a safety rope, and the cutting began. they cut the root ball off the tree and we assumed the tree would then break free and float away. no such luck as it was royally stuck. they then began working to pry the tree out by using the leverage of another tree. eventually it broke free and floated down river.

the man with the chainsaw, chip, got onto the search and rescue jet boat and they followed the tree downriver where it got stuck for a second time. they then cut the tree into four pieces and let those float away to meet their fate in the reservoir.

chip and brandon sizing up the task at hand

needless to say, this was a very exciting day and i loved having an important task to help with. however, the best part of the day was that the photo i took made it onto the cover (that's right, the COVER!) of the jackson hole daily paper. you can read the story and see the photo here. that means that i can modify my resume to include "professional photographer" as i was getting paid while taking those photos. not a bad gig!

you can check out all the photos on our picassa album which is a new photo album program we set up for sharing our pics. (the link is now also on our sidebar under "more photos".)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

peace lodge?

new (old) friends, doug and liz, who we just spent time in ft. collins with, went to costa rica on their honeymoon. lurking, err looking, through their blog i discovered that they stayed at this incredible place called the La Paz Peace Lodge. it looks awe-inspiring.

every trip we take brandon and i have a debate because although i enjoy roughing it and making our money go far, i also relish in staying at one or two nice places along the way. this is the nice place i want to stay at, but somehow i don't think i will be able to convince him to go for it. the standard room, which is where i would like to stay, will make him choke when i share the cost per night. maybe i will stow away a little cash here and there for this splurge. the bathroom looks magical. (note: the previous sentence is not one i ever thought i would write, but it makes taking a bath sound pretty dang exciting.)
any of you blog-readers out there who have been to costa rica, please share your advice in our comments section about places to stay. that is the most difficult thing to make decisions about. we know what kinds of things we want to do, we just want to make sure we spend our money well when it comes to bedding down.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

big purchase, bigger adventure

we just bought tickets for the two of us to spend one month in the wonderful country of costa rica. we planned to go to south america, but the expense of the flights there was just too much for our pocketbook. we have both wanted to go to costa rica for a long time and so we decided to postpone south america in favor of a month in costa rica. we are thrilled!

so the purchase of our tickets may only equate to a couple of long nights of travel and some airport food, but they do bring us here:and that spot in the hammock is looking pretty dang nice. what a wonderful adventure to look forward to. with the confirmation code in hand we can now being the joyous experience of planning this unforgettable trip! (with the advent of e-tickets, you can no longer say "with tickets in hand" which has a much nicer ring than "confirmation code", but alas these are the technological ages, are they not?)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

ill spent or well spent?

what are we doing with our days off this week?, you wonder. we are doing one of my favorite things: buying tires. ugh!

i hate putting money into tires and it seems we have to do it all too often. i guess it is a good sign that we are putting our car to good use and traveling around the northwest. still, it is never fun to fork over the credit card for four round rubber bits.

Friday, August 8, 2008

east bank adventures

we spent our days off this week going on a little bit of an adventure... the trip started with an enjoyable and mostly dry canoe trip down a mellow portion of the snake. brandon had never been in a canoe and i have only been out once with kemi, therefore neither of us were "experienced". about two miles down river from our place, we crossed over to the east bank, locked up our trusty vessel, and headed inland for bailey lake.

we had the lake all to ourselves and enjoyed the quiet as life in jackson means rarely finding a place to be alone, what with all the cone-likers and city-folk out looking for an outdoor experience. we swam quite a bit and layed on the sandy beach in peace. this was our oasis:i spent most of my time taking photos of the beautiful wildflowers and the amazing clouds. we were blessed with an afternoon-long thunder and lightening show so we spent a lot of our time in the tent--i started and finished an entire book! once the showers cleared, brandon took to fishing the lake and caught a few, although he didn't bring them back to show me so who knows how big those fish actually were! :)the next morning while i lay in my sleeping bag and brandon caught up on some sleep, i heard a grunting sound just outside our tent. i shook brandon until he woke up and quietly warned him of our visitor. i was freaked out, thinking that at any moment a huge moose would come trample our tent to pieces. he, on the other hand, was unfazed and ducked outside to get a better look. this is what he found:indeed, i was semi-correct to think a moose was going to pass through our camp. however, he wasn't interested in us and only wanted to get to the lake for his morning drink. brandon made me nervous, getting closer to this gangley guy so he could get a better photo. i kept thinking, "death by moose stomping is not how you want to go out brandon; please back away from this thing!" he didn't back away and, fortunately, he didn't get the certain death i feared.

the other thing i got to know quite well on this trip was stinging nettle. ouch. never before have i seen so much of this stuff. at one point i lost the trail and stumbled into a huge patch of it, my legs began to burn and welt as i tried to get out. i jumped across the small creek and grabbed onto the nearest plant to avoid sliding back into the water. what did i wrap my hand around? a huge nettle! so my legs and my left hand welted up and stung for the better part of 30 minutes.