Monday, May 30, 2011

May Twenty-Eighth

On Saturday we had a little backyard  improvement day:

Heather and I painted rocks for our rock garden.
(a/k/a I kept Heather out of Eric's hair and power tools)
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Eric fixed the shed door.
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Hallelujah!




I planted the Strawberry Patch . . .Photobucket


 . . . and the tomato garden.  
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We have tomatoes by the name of "Jet Star", "Best Boy", "Early Girl", and a new one this year, "DX 52-12".   It's a race to see which plant will do the best.  I'm hoping for "Jet Star" ('cuz of all the Lagoon nostalgia).  Eric's money is on "DX 52-12"  ('cuz doesn't that just sound like some kind of robot?)



After the shed was done, Eric painted our old friend Spidey, to make him a better model for drawing practice.
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I call this one "My two Artists"

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Welcome, Summer.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

on considering second thoughts

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"The way I tell, is I think about where I was when I made the decision.  If I find myself questioning my decision, I ask myself if I am closer to The Spirit now than I was when I made the decision.  If I am, then I'm probably right to re-think my choice.  If I'm not, then I should stick with what I decided when I was closer to The Spirit."

--Stellar advice that both my dad and my mom have given me (individually) at times when I've second guessed myself, particularly when I wasn't sure if the path I was choosing was the right one for me.  I've never gone wrong following this particular counsel.



--photo by aronki

Saturday, May 28, 2011

little bit ferocious . . . or maybe not so much

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Heather and I captured this little guy a bit ago when we were out for our first spring walk of the year. 

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We decided it was quite an auspicious beginning to what would surely be a lovely season. 



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Aren't you glad you're not my brother?

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Jacob!

I'm planning my next round-up post for June 7, two weeks from today!  Can you be ready? 





stopwatch image from waynemah

Monday, May 23, 2011

the promise of the playground

Not long ago, Heather and I spent some quality time at the playground. Surprisingly, the experience turned out to be kind of a pensive one for me.

We had gone to the Gardener's Market, tasting this and that, listening to a spiel from the Winder Dairy guy (incidentally, I'd love to hear any experiences you may have had with Winder Farms/Dairy),  and  finally heading over to the playground, much to the joy of Her Little Highness.

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She immediately headed for the slide, climbing over and up the winding path to get to the top.

(Incidentally, do any of the rest of you feel like slippery slides have changed significantly since the days of your childhood?  Remember those slides where it was basically this big flat metal trough at the top of a really high ladder?  I remember at City Park (a/k/a the "old" park, not to be confused with Canyon Park or the "new" park) there was the big slide and the little slide (kind of like the low dive and the high dive at the swimming pool).  That big slide took some gumption, believe you me.  Now though, it seems like the slides are at the top of a meandering journey through stairs and ramps and bars and what-have-you.  Makes for a safer and probably more fun experience.  However, it is also definitely more tricky to find the slide if you're a goal oriented kid, as our Heather is.)


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Anyway, after getting her fill of the slide, Heather was roaming around, and I was watching from the sidelines.  Still eagle-eyed of course, like any first-time mother on red alert for any random lurking kidnappers.  About five minutes into this, I got thinking back to last spring/summer, how we had been at this very park after attending this very Gardner's Market, and what a different experience it had been then.

Heather was not yet two at that point, and her unsteady feet and unsteady confidence necessitated much closer supervision on my part.  I remember waiting within arms reach as she climbed and trotted from place to place, sometimes venturing to the slide, sometimes chickening out.  She'd find a bigger kid and follow him or her around, but as soon as they they tried something out of her comfort zone (which only took a minute or two), Heather would be darting those eyes around, hunting for and quickly finding the safety of mom's arms.

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Today though, it was a whole different deal.  That girl practically strutted across the playground.  Picking up a stick (which she later informed me was her microphone), she marched around, singing, laughing (making odd facial expressions obviously), and generally playing.



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I watched it all, and felt absolute pride (as any mother would, right?) in the beautiful normalcy of my little girl.

But then, almost out of nowhere I felt sad.  Sad that my little baby was gone, that the toddler that had followed the baby was gone, and that probably before I could blink two or three times, a kindergartner would chase away this preschooler that I was raising, and the next time I blinked, I'd be in some version of the power wagon, pleading with the muffin to stay out of the borrow pit.

So I took a minute to mourn the passing of time, and to wish that it could go just a little more slowly, allowing me to treasure this time, this age, and these moments for just a little while longer.


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And then, after resolving to enjoy the moments more, and begrudge the crumbs and messes (and we're potty training, so there are a lot of messes at the moment) less, I decided that there was no time to start like the present.

After all, childhood is way too short to spend much time mourning the shortness of it all, you know?

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

a real beaut

If I'm not  mistaken, this is our first stone mountain lion in the collection. 

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My brother Robert saw this guy at the entrance to a home/mansion just up Parowan Canyon (in Southern Utah), and snapped it for our viewing pleasure.  

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I'm lovin' it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

one million and one

So, if you read the comments to my post of one million pictures of the arrow statue, you'll find that my mom felt that I left some important information out.  Specifically, she didn't feel that I provided enough details as to what the statue means, or why I went looking for it.

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See that Giants fan in the Corner?  It was game day.


So . . .

The sculpture, named  "Cupid's Span" is supposed to be Cupid's bow and arrow, and points to the place where Tony Bennett "left his heart" in San Francisco.  It's huge, and impressive, and fits really well with the San Francisco skyline, in my opinion. 

Why did I go looking for it?  Because I thought it looked cool.  Because I thought that, with the exception of Alcatraz, I'd seen everything worth seeing in San Francisco already, and I couldn't stand the thought of this landmark escaping my notice.

As it turned out, the sculpture was only about a 15 minute walk from our hotel, but I took the subway there because those were the directions that the helpful ticket agent at the Sony Metreon Movie Theatre gave me.  I'm kind of glad I did, because it made for a nice view, as we started coming up out of the underground tunnel and I looked out the side window to see this huge statue appearing just to my left.  Pretty rad. (Yup, I just said rad.  Sometimes I like to go back to my 80s roots.  Not that I was cool enough or confident enough to use cool slang like that back then, but now?   . . . well, anyway.)

Where were Eric and my mom in all of this, you ask?  Well, my mom was attending convention meetings.  Eric was in bed.  We had discussed it the evening before, and he determined that he'd rather spend his morning lounging around sleeping than fighting the morning rush hour traffic in a brave attempt to find this new landmark.   He and I have different ideas as to what makes an ideal vacation.  Obviously.

* * *

As long as we're talking about cool sculptures, here's another one: 
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"Snafu" (a/k/a "the french fry sculpture")


For those of you with fond USU memories, here's a little visual nostalgia for you.  For the rest of you, here's a random picture of two non-random girls on the french fry sculpture on the campus of Utah State University.  I'm told that this past winter, some students created a hamburger snow sculpture, complete with appropriate coloring, and set it up right next to the french fries.  I would have liked to seen that. 

And that's what I've got for today.  Happy weekend. 


Thursday, May 19, 2011

I told you he promised more

Here's another set of lions from our foreign correspondent Jeff.  These are Greek lions, from the temple of Pergamon, in Turkey.  Jeff informs us that most of the reliefs show the gods fighting the giants, with lots of lions helping on both sides. 

Interestingly, my research (i.e. wikipedia checking) has uncovered the fact that although this temple was originally built in Turkey, it was excavated by a German engineer, and as part of the negotiations with the Turkish government, became the property of the Berlin museums.  It is now housed on Berlin's Museum Island, which would explain how Jeff was able to get us these fine photos without traveling to Turkey. 

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This one (above) is my personal favorite.




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Stay tuned.  Our correspondent has promised still more lions for our viewing pleasure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

one million pictures

Many years ago, like long enough ago that I can't remember the exact year (although I do remember that it was back in the days when film cameras were ubiquitous, and digital cameras were nearly unheard of), my dear friend Kristi invited me to go to St. Petersburg (Russia) with her. I had to think about it for about .05 seconds before I said yes.

(Kristi, having served an LDS mission in St. Petersburg knew the language, knew the area, and knew someone who would let us crash at her place for free.  No brainer, right?)

It was a glorious trip, but one that started out with many mishaps.  Mishap #1--I accidentally left my camera at the security check-in at JFK International Airport.  (It was returned to me about two weeks after I got back, along with the pouch it was in, the two ball-point pens and the $42.75 in cash that accompanied it.)

Mishaps #2 through #4--well, since this story is really just a tangent to the main point anyway, we won't go into those right now.

Mishap #5--Kristi ended up with a severe case of vertigo, and I ended up with a severe case of cabin fever, which resulted in me venturing out into St. Petersburg on my own, with Kristi's camera to document my adventures.  I went to the Russian Museum, which was lovely.  However en route to the Russian Museum, I passed the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood, which was absolutely stunning.

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Entranced, I proceeded to take one million pictures of this church from every possible angle.  As I arrived back at the apartment that evening, I warned Kristi that I'd taken quite a few pictures of my favorite church that day.  She had no problem with that, but we were both quite surprised when we got home and got the photos developed at just how many (one million, remember?) I had taken. 

Interestingly, (or sadly), this seems to be a trend with me.  I'll go on vacation, become fixated with a certain structure or building, and proceed to take one million pictures of the favored item.

In Barcelona, it was the Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family:
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Really, can you blame me?



In Washington D.C., it was the Viet Nam Memorial Wall:
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And, in Paris it was . . .

The Eiffel Tower:
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(I know, shocker.)


Which brings us to my latest trip, and the structure which captured my attention and my lens for one million (or at least seventeen) pictures:

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Me and the grounds guy.  Photo taken by one of four-hundred and twenty-seven Giants fans that were walking by en route to the ballpark. 

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Wanna go on vacation with me and lend me your camera?  

No?

Yet another shocker. 




I didn't want to dig through my archives or scan my film pictures from past vacations, sooooo . . . 


The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood Image courtesy of daneen_vol
Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family Image courtesy of Bernard Gagnon
Viet Nam Memorial Image courtesy of Oakley Originals
Eiffel Tower Image courtesy of Burkazoid
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