Monthly Archives: August 2007

F is for Feast

Encyclopedia of Me Meme 

 Paul’s mom is an awesome cook – and she cooks a lot.  Practically everyday of our visit in Montana we were greeted with a grand feast – and it was all so yummy!

One of our last nights there we were gathered at the table – our family, Paul’s parents, and Paul’s older sister, Lisa.  A delicious chicken and rice salad was served among many other yummy dishes.  After my first helping I was still yearning for more.  There was quite the entertaing conversation going on and I was enthralled in it as I dished my salad.

“Wow, J, you must be really hungry,” Paul commented rather slyly.

“Huh?” I asked as I snapped out of the conversation.  I noticed he was looking rather pointedly at my plate. 

“What’s wrong with dishing a little salad,” I grumbled to myself as I looked down.

My eyes nearly popped out of my head, “Oh my!” I exclaimed.  As I had been so intent on the conversation, I was not paying attention to what my hands were doing. Apparantly they had gone on automatic pilate and proceeded to dump scoop after scoop of chicken salad onto my plate until there was a pile equal to Mt. Everest.

It didn’t take long for the quick comments and remarks to come from the rest of the family, “I know you’re pregnant, but gee…” or “Just help yourself, none of the rest of us want any,” and numerous other comic comments bombarded me from all sides.

I tried to defend myself with, “I wasn’t paying attention.” but that was greeted with the humerous, “Yeah, you say that now that we’ve noticed.”  I was laughing so hard I was beet red and the entire family was in stiches.  “You’ve got to eat it now!” came the delighted cries as I looked with humour and dismay at Mt. Everest sitting on my plate.  Gratefully Paul had to exit the table to take care of Jacob. When he got back there had magically appeared a Mt. Hood of chicken salad on his plate – and some how mine looked to be downsized to Mt. Hood as well. Hmmmm – I wonder how that happened.

I don’t think Paul’s family is ever going to let me live that one down. 🙂

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Filed under Family, Goofs, Humor, Meme

E is For Egg

Encyclopedia of Me Meme 

 Much to my mother’s chagrin, when we were youngin’s on the farm, we used to lob rotten eggs onto the roof of the barn.  Well, we tried to anyway, usually they just smacked up against the side of the barn with a great resonating splat and horrible stench as we watched, in fascination, the remains dribbling slowly down. The side of the barn was pock marked with rotten egg remains for years – I don’t know if we ever successfully lobbed any onto the roof.

Oh and my favorite way to eat eggs are scrambled or in an egg-salad sandwhich – but those I like fresh, not rotten. 🙂

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Filed under Farm Stories, Meme

D is for Dent

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

 The first year we were married, Paul and I lived in a smallish (actually it was rather large) 2 bedroom apartment in Utah.  While we loved the apartment, the driveway and parking lot was a nightmare. 

The entire area was just big enough for cars to park in front of the building with room left over for a single car to drive behind them in order to get to your spot.  So one side of the entire drive way was line with the ends of cars.  The other side of the drive way was line with a row of bright red poles.  There was no space for turning around – you simply pulled in and backed out.  Pulling in wasn’t such a big deal, its always a bit easier to see where you are going, but backing out sent me into a nervous breakdown every time.  Paul hated it too.  I was always terrified of running into all the cars as I passed by.

On morning, I was pregnant with Elizabeth, I was backing the car out to head to my classes at BYU. I was feeling particularly nervous as there were a few large cars still parked in the lot. All of a sudden I heard a terrific screeching noise.  Panicked I slammed on my brake and looked to my right expecting to see masses of wrecked cars.  With a slight relief I saw all the cars over there were all intact. Then I looked to my left. I had run the car right up next to the red poles. I couldn’t even open my door. There was nothing I could do, but to throw the car into drive and pull forward. Timidly I edged forward, screeching all the way until I was free of the cursed red poles.  But now I was in tears – I had to tell my husband of only a few months that I had wrecked the car on those dumb red poles.

Paul was such a sweetheart, he wasn’t even mad. He took of the side of the car, dismantled the door and pounded the huge massive dents back out – and scrubbed off all the red paint.  But he isn’t such a sweet heart now – every time we go driving anywhere, my ears are constantly assaulted by, “Look out for those poles! Watch it, that’s a red one!” 

I usually smack him as we dissolve into giggles.

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Filed under Goofs, Humor, Meme

C is for Cave Painting

Encylcopedia Me Meme 

 Last night when I first thought of my C is for post, the very first thing that popped into my head was chopsticks – don’t ask me why, maybe my subconcious is craving Japanese food and I need to get cooking. 🙂  But, since I decided that there wasn’t much to write about there I would go with Cave Art.

While we were in Montana one of our excursions took about 15 minutes outside of Billings to the Pictograph Cave State Park.  The country was absolutely gorgeous with massive cliffs all around.  In one cave there were discovered a number of different drawings – from all sorts of civilizations and eras.  The drawings were growing more and more faded, but there were still a number that were fantastic and easy to see – these being several hundred years old – most likely drawn by the Crow Indians. In the photos they are the ones in Red, so the historians and archeologists suspect anyway.  The kids had a marvelous time trying to pick out all the different pictures and what they might be. Those are the photos I put here – there is one on flickr of older drawings in black but it is VERY faints and hard to see.

This imposing cliff greets you as you begin your walk to the pictograph cave – it is called “Cliff Hanger’s Cliff” – and since I have 4 children that enjoy watching PBS and have seen “Between the Lions” many times, mny husband and I broke into song (upon seeing the name of this cliff) “Cliff hanger, hanging from a cliff, and that’s why it’s called cliff hanger.” yes, we’re dorky, I know. 🙂

Cliff Hanger'sCliff at pictograph caves

This photo is looking up towards the pictograph cave.

Pictograph caves

The kids had no problem finding this painting and figuring out what is was:

Guns Pictograph

This one was pretty easy to see – though they had bit harder time discovering what it was a picture of. A lot of the drawings were more easily seen through binoculors too.

Pictograph

There were two other caves as well. One was in the middle and is most likely where different groups lived – they didn’t live in the pictograph cave apparantly.  The other was Ghost Cave. The girls really got a kick out of the name of this one.  We discovered a marvelous echo from just outside the cave as it bounced of the surrounding rock walls in the distance.  We were yelling and yodelling for quite some time, delighting in the fascinating voices as they bounced back at us.  Even Jacob got into the art of the echo.

Headed up the path towards Ghost Cave.

Headed toward Ghost Cave

The really cool rock formations inside Ghost cave – I tried to tell the kids they were petrified ghosts, but they didn’t believe me. 🙂

Ghost Cave

All the family with Paul’s Padres in Ghost Cave.

family and grandparents

The glorious cliffs across from Ghost Cave that so kindly bounced back our voices to us.

Pictograph Caves

More photos can be found on Flickr if you are interested in seeing them.

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Filed under Dot, Em, Jacob, Lizy, Meme, Nature, Photography

B is for Blueberry

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

Part of the 15 acres I lived on as a child in Pennsylvania was covered with marshes. During the long humid and hot summer months the marshes would burst with blueberries galore.  Each of us were sent out with a large bucket to pick bluberries for cobblers and jams.  I loved the way the bushes would curve and curl – many time growing so closely together that the branches would arch creating tunnels between them.  I would pretend this was the home for the pixies and elves, and occasionally miniature trolls who guarded the blueberries.  My fingers would get that delighted blue-ish purple stain on them as I poked the biggest juiciest ones I could find in my mouth.  We would trudge back to the house, not only with our buckets full, but with our tummy’s full as well, knowing that in the morning we would have a feast of blueberry pancakes.  Just the thought of them was  mouth watering.

It’s funny how over the years we forget our love for certain things and then the memory comes crashing upon down upon us.  I hadn’t had blueberry pancakes since those farm days. Then, one morning while at Paul’s paren’ts house in Montana, his mom served us delicious blueberry pancakes.  My eyes bulged with delight as I remembered this dear love I had forgotten and relished every bite.

So, what did you think I bought at the farmers market the other day? Why a flat of blueberries of course, and this morning we gathered around the table and enjoyed some blueberry pancakes.  YUMMMM!

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Filed under Farm Stories, Meme, Memory

A is for ….

Ok, I’m not really big into memes, but when I stumbled across this one it caught my attention. Perhaps it’s because I wanted to try to write more steadily and I thought it would get me in the habbit – or perhaps it is because it will help the creativity flow. It is not your usual meme.  It is called the Encyclopedia of Me Meme where each day you write a post about yourself or something you are interested in, following the alphabet. Granted there are only 26 letter in the alphabet, but it will keep me going for a while – and should any of you decide to try it out too, it might just be fun! 🙂  Here’s a link to the lady who came up with the Meme if I didn’t explain it enough: Encyclopedia of Me Meme.  Ok, now with that introduction out of the way I shall continue on with my post…

A is for Affair

Now, don’t get all excited, it’s not what you think. 

I was on my way home from a grueling day yesterday. We had started with leaving for a prenatal at 11:00 in the morning. Em was deposited at a friend’s house and sisters were disgruntled that they hadn’t been invited to friends houses. We muddled through the prenatal with Dad hanging onto the wiggly two year old and Mom trying to get the older girls to be still during the blood draw (my second one because the lab didn’t pick up the draw in time the last time). Consequently I am just over 18 weeks and heard baby’s heart beat today which thrilled the girls. Jacob lifted up his shirt so he could be just like mom and my midwife let us listen to his heart beat with the doppler – it was quite fun.  All is well in baby land. 

 I drove the 30 minutes back home, picked up Em and some lunch and had a potty break, then we drove another 20 minutes to a farmers market.  Upon arrival, Thing 1 informed me that she needed to go potty BAD. I was bewildered as I told her, “but you went 20 minutes ago!” and proceeded to say she would just have to hold it for there was not a potty in sight.  We blazed through the market picking up some berries and fresh vegies, Elizabeth crying and whimpering the whole way. Then we sped to Wal-mart for toilets and school supplies.

Trying to juggle three children’s school lists is an interesting feat (I can’t wait till all 5 are in school – I now have new respect for my poor mom 🙂 ) – not to mention juggling the four kids to go along with it. An hour or two later, with the cart loaded to the hilt, whining kids, and sore feet, we staggered out the Wal-mart doors and to our car.  I wearily planted myself on the car seat and turned on the A.C. full blast. It was so HOT,  I was  TIRED, and my feet HURT.

I wasn’t really paying much attention to the radio – it was a dumb travel agency ad anyway.  All of a sudden my mind went reeling  as I balked and looked at the radio like it was some strange, foreign object.

“And love affairs for every occasion….” I heard broadcast worldwide.

“Excuse me?” my brain said as it tried not to be insulted. Then I realized that the heat really had addled my brains – the advertiser hadn’t said “love affairs” but “LOW FARES!”

Ay, ay, AY! I dissolved into a melted puddle of laughter.

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Filed under Goofs, Humor, Meme, Pregnancy

Bear Tooth Mountains

(There will be LOTS of pictures in this post)

One of our favorite things that we did this trip to Montana was to drive out to Red Lodge and then up the Bear Tooth Highway.  It is called the most scenic highway in the US – and I can believe it.  The road is full of sharp curving switchbacks – thank goodness we remembered to give Elizabeth that dramamine, we didn’t have a single problem the whole way.  A few miles out of Red Lodge before you really begin to climb you are greated by stoney tree covered mountains rising up beside you and in the distance.  The reall sharp craggy peaks are just barely out of view, tantalizing your senses and driving you onward.

Bear Tooth Mtns

We were probably stopping every two minutes for crazy mom to hop out and take ANOTHER picture. 🙂 The first official stop we made was at the vista point where we hauled all the kids out and went on a nice little paved walk. The kids were delighted to see a chipmunk who wanted desperately to make friends.

Chipmunk

I was delighted to see some beautiful wild flowers and cool looking trees growing right out of the rock (must be my Dad in me – the whole time I was teasing my husband about collecting rocks – which my Dad did all the time on our trips. I didn’t even collect one rock though 😉 ).

Wild Flowers

Tree Roots

The kids climbed on every rock they could find and were allowed too – and the view was simply amazing.

Kids at Vista pt

Paul and Kids at Vista Pt at Bear Tooth Mtns

We continued on our drive up the mountains and at some point we decided to pull over (again, probably for another photo). I walked to the gaurd rail and gasped. There below me, invisible from the road, were the “Twin Lakes” in glorious dark green blue scattered in a small valley below us. I could hardly convince Elizabeth to get back in the car, “It’s so beautiful Mom, I want to stay hear forever.”

Lake in the Bear Tooths

We drove some more, hopping out frequently for short walks and oohs and ahs. Finally we came to a stop at a semi grassy hill looking down to “Gardner Lake”. With the mountains towering in the back ground and the lake at the feet the view was so perfect and picturesque that was decided to fling out a blanket and have lunch right there. Towards the end of our lunch however we saw rain clouds moving in – fast. The very warm temperature was dropping to slightly chilly and the wind was beginning to really blow. We wrapped lunch up rather quickly and continued on our way.

Almost done - trying to beat the incoming storm

One of the kids favorite sites was the snow – glacier upon glacier. “Can we hike to one and play in the snow?” They asked repeatedly. Unfortunately with a storm moving in many were to long of a walk, but we finally got lucky and found a little glacier just off the side of the road. It didn’t take long for the kids to get freezing cold as they slipped and slided across the snow and flinging snowballs.

Snow in Summer!

Managing to stay ahead of the storm, we stopped by Beartooth Lake with Beartooth Butte rising just behind it creating a beautiful scene that the kids loved – and wished they had their suits to go for a swim.

Bear Tooth Butte & Bear Tooth Lake

We passed a couple of marvelous waterfalls. The first was too long a distance to walk and quite some ways below the highway we were on. The second was a short little walk right of the highway. It had formed a kind of tunnel in the rock and crashed and roared its way down the mountain side.

Waterfall

Waterfall

Pouring over the map I saw that a neat point of interest was marked just off the main highway as Clay Butte. It didn’t take much to convince Paul to go bumping along the dirt road and our delight was complete when we saw a fire tower sitting at the top of the butte. We were dissapointed in that the fire tower had a display and was closed. By now the skies had gone dark and the rain began to fall in sheets upon us. Drenching us quickly as we hurriedly enjoyed the amazing view and wildflowers upon the hills.

Look Out Tower

Wild Flowers

As we drove to Cooke City, Pilot Peak rose higher and more majestic ahead of us and Elizabeth begged us for a photo.

Pilot Peak

In Cooke City we once again beat the coming storm and wandered the quaint little streets for a bit and said hello to an old friend of Paul’s whom he hadn’t seen in many years. Then we were off again and heading towards Cody and home. We still had to stop for mom and her photo snapping oportunities, but by now the kids were slumbering in the car. The last three photos are three highlights taken on the Cheif Joseph Scenic Highway as we raced the storm, often getting caught in it, towards home. Finally as we were headed towards Billings once more we were caught by the full force of the storm as sheets of rain poured upon the car and high winds whirled around us. We were very glad to be off the mountains during this storm. 🙂

Bear Tooth Mtns.

This was an amazing gorge, that made even me – who is usually not even dented by hieghts, quake a bit in my shoes as I leaned over the rail to take the photo.

Gorge

By now the girls were awake once more and enthralled by the glorious red rock on these buttes.

Bear Tooth Mtns.

There are a lot more photos on flickr if you want to see more – not to mention on my camera which I didn’t even put on flickr (free account you know, have to save SOME space for other pics).

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Filed under Dot, Em, Jacob, Lizy, Nature, Photography