30 December 2009

a Slayer t-shirt fit the scene just right

It is snowing loads of white fluffy stuff. Skiing will be on the docket tomorrow, but for today I'm catching up on the loads of laundry, thinking about new year lifestyle changes, and making waffles with my new waffle iron - [I have a cool flip one just like you Jen]. I can't stop listening to this song, just like my niece's two year old daughter so thanks Echo... I've got a bounce in my step today.

23 December 2009


My sister's and I in the photobooth circa Kmart 70's. Mel so beautiful, as always, even with the stylin' lenses. Me looking a little disoriented - now I know where Land gets it, and Jen with a hint of deviousness and total focus, she looks just like her youngest urchin.

Now, if this doesn't put you in the Christmas Spirit nothing can. (Actually, this image rends me melancoly) First you have to feel for that Santa. I'm fairly certain that at five years old Chase weighed more than him. His eyes look so hollow and tired much like the you know you're a redneck camping tarp background. But I can't ever decide if Chase is brilliantly happy or if he is channeling Mr. Burns, "ex...cell...ent" plotting to take down the Wal-Mart St. Nick.

16 December 2009

Fruitcake to a Caveman

It is one of my craziest memories. A roommate and I tagged along with her brother-in-law to pay a holiday visit to a man living in a cave. Said pseudo-spelunker had worked some hours for said brother-in-law in exchange for a visit to the dentist to relieve a painful tooth. He was from the "north country" and there was even a guest room in the cavern. Surprisingly quite warm. Well, THIS made me laugh, (a friend directed me to this post). Apparently, the brother-in-law is still creating impressionable good times.

14 December 2009

time since... 19 months

Thanksgiving was fun. We made scrumptious food... way too much. My sister out did herself as hostess. My sons are pretty awesome through her sons eyes. The youngest two picked their favorites. It was action and noise all weekend long. A game of football took place before dinner with the neighbors, we lost the potatoes and had to sneak in a quick trip to the grocery to tag in some replacements. Darren actually ate the sweet variety, first time... and more than one serving. I attempted a recipe that called for Gruyere cheese and not marshmallows and it was oh so nice. After dinner and before pie we all hopped in the car and went to Seal Beach Pier to "walk it off" The colors were kodachrome as the sun went down and Catalina was so clear, looming on the horizon it seemed you could walk right on over. We played in the sand, the young boys jumping, rolling, running with abandon. Dad took a thousand pictures. We were lighthearted, escaping the heaviness that sometimes settles in with the holidays.

Three days later my little sis calls. It's her birthday and her husband forgot in the morning. She tried to blow it off. I know how living with only men can be. Not to be rude but I'm certain it is genetic for the other half to be self-absorbed. She never gets a break. Do you see the pictures up there? That is how it is for hours a day at her house... wild little creatures... now turn up the volume... escalation... whoa. I love those boys; when I'm not around them I ache, but they are as my grandma Hazel used to call my sisters and I, "little buggers." They had sang happy happy birthday to her, but she was hurting, not because of her husbands slight, but because my little sis, probably the closest and most dependent on my mom, missed her mother deeply on this the day of days the one when she was born. She cried heavy, heavy sobs. Couldn't get through the phone line to hold her. Can't take the place of her mother. How? Why? How? Why? There are no satisfactory answers at this moment. I'm figuring them out moment by graceful, ungraceful moment. Crazy, but our lives are incredibly full.

07 December 2009

mexico rewind

Photo was in my email today from Chase and Darren's new friend Boris from Switzerland. They swear this dolphin made sure they were all watching and then jumped up and smiled at them as they were crusin' along in the panga.

Baja SEE Turtles Nov. 2009 from David McGuire on Vimeo.

Just got this link from Chase and Darren's adventure to Baja last month, I'm telling you... it is amazing! Nice backflip Darren. I wish I hadda been there this year but it is still so jaw-dropping beautiful to see the photogs.

04 December 2009

flair maker

I spend my days 'making things' - you should see what I have been working on for my little sis - out a control, but for now check out the 'flair' I put together for Megan. Simple simon; tiny paper circles cut from a magazine and Land's button press and you're ready to go. I'm really into packaging lately as well. Check out this from "Nice Package." Hey, it's a pun... get your mind out of the gutter

02 December 2009

Stay Classy Max!

Update: "Thou Shalt Not Hate"
Just got back from the game. My head is cleared out of any remaining sinus congestion left from a Thanksgiving cold. It is LOUD in the Spectrum. Make you dizzy decibel pounding loud. The Aggies won. My favorite was the signs... clever, clever youngsters. Somewhere in this cell phone pic you can locate a sign that reads, "are we 'classless' yet?" To quote Stew Morrill, the Aggies head coach, "the signs come out, the craziness comes out, the guy takes off his shirt. Hell, it all happens... Whatever it takes... It is as good as it gets in college basketball."

Earlier: I'm a Cougar Fan, especially football, I have beaucoup de respect for the head coach and his family, but can't say that I have ever appreciated Max Hall much. What quarterback racks up yards and yards of personal foul penalties when you're ahead... and who rants on about the losing team and their entire university in two year-old temper tantrum fashion? Tonight is the BYU-USU basketball game at USU. If Max thinks Utah fans are "classless" wait until the "HERD" lets loose on the Cougs. Ruthless... gone rogue. Once again my two alma-maters match up. I'm taking my earplugs. Can't Wait.

Link to video here

24 November 2009


Change, uncertainty, mystery...
Thanksgiving was my mother's holiday. (well, Easter too) For 25 years the family has gathered at her home for the thankful feast.
We are heading to Long Beach tomorrow morning.
A new start for the holiday season.
Little nephews adoring their grown-up cousins.
Laughter, nostalgia, chaos, ocean breezes, food, goodness, gratefulness.

photo via: seal beach

22 November 2009

adventures of the young

Chase and friends left Logan at 3am yesterday morning to board a bus in SLC bound for Seattle for the MLS championship. He'll see Landon Donovan and Beckham, but around here we keep our eye on Kyle Beckerman (right) and Nick Rimando (left - he's a Real Keeper - pun intended). They "couch surfed" for accomodations and will get back on the bus immediately after the game to come home. Why does this sound like a good time to me? Ole, Ole, Ole...... for REAL!

I was not feeling well and was irritable and not fit for conversation. I was not showing my best side getting after Land for a messy room and dirty socks lying around. He looked at Darren and remarked, "At least one thing Mr. Peck (his favored 1st and 2nd grade teacher) taught me I know as absolutley true, 'If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy'." I went and got in bed.

photo via: mlsnet.com

Update: It's REAL: Real Salt Lake MLS Cup Champions! At the beginning of the broadcast showing the "march to the match" it was all Chase on ESPN.

19 November 2009


These made me happy:

Robin's Clogs by kotki dwa from kotkidwa on Vimeo.

Wouldn't it be a riot to cut and paste and film and sing and create this bright animated universe. I think I found what I want to do when I grow up. Via: Hattie Newman

Go here to view the next video.

Since there are obviously only boys, sans the mom, at my abode we have always related to Malcolm in the Middle. Land and I were watching this episode together and when I witnessed the Komodo 3000 I started laughing so hard drool was coming out of my mouth. Land just looked at me puzzled wondering what I had been consuming. It is therapeutic to be overtaken by a gut-wrenching giggle every now and again.

plus... a meteor lit up all of Utah late Tuesday evening and I once again thought of the Komodo 3000

11 November 2009


really, who gets this remarkable opportunity - this is not an aquarium

no good vacation lacks delectable food

swimming out to the bay with Ila, Chilango, Pepenino, and Dune (releasing the turtles)

My turn at charades (hint: crabby)

morning Obama yoga - "breathe the hope"

Pacific Ocean - now that's a beach

Walking from the well to our camp at Espiritu Santos

true vacation - chillin' in the evening

to quote David Spade, "turtle"

Taking measurements

sand dollars on the dunes

Darren and Tessa playing on the dunes

hard to find the words

The whales accompanying us to Los Islotes

Arriving... with little sleep after having a panic attack getting across the border in Tijuana

Saying farewell to our friends from the sea

Me and Chilango

Turtle Guy didn't show up again this year. So who's the real turtle guy... of course Darren

Playing charades before breakfast... can you guess? (hint: sea lion)

This photo cracks me up.

To read the post from last year click HERE
I just FOUND (on the 11th Month, the 11th day, at the 11th hour) an email from Antonio...

"You would not believe what just happened to me. I was sitting doing some work in my house, on my computer. I have to say that normally I was supposed to be outside on the boats, but today I decided to stay and do some work I needed to finish. Suddenly I heard someone shouting my name. I have a friend here at the school that always shouts at me like that, but he is not at the school right now, so I thought it was weird. I went out of my house and to my surprise Darren was running around the school shouting my name, like some crazy guy, jajaja.

I was really happy to see you Darren, I feel sorry that we could not even have a drink together and talk a little bit about Utah, the rivers, the dam dams... I hope we can see each other some other time, meanwhile I am really glad our friendship is still going.

See you later Dee and Darren."

You see we made a really good connection last year with those on the trip with us, especially with Antonio, he was so interesting and genuine and funny and deep. I'm so pleased Darren was able to see him, however briefly, and that Chase was able to meet him. They are off to Espiritu Santos today to swim with sea lions on Veteran's Day. I have hung the flag, Finally FOUND the pics of the turtles, learned the data we helped collect is showing that turtle populations in Baja are rebounding, was told the group this year named a turtle "Dee", and received an unexpected happy message from Emily on my phone... I FOUND much to be grateful for today.

06 November 2009

Salude: a note to myself...

Melissa, Tessa and I riding the panga.

Vigilantes = Vigilant for the sea turtles

Approaching our camp on Espiritu Santos

I must admit I adore how the chairs are all set up to face the sea. We spent many many mezmorizing hours watching the pelicans dive, the sun set, and the moon rise from this spot. Not to mention fabulous food cooked from scratch from our very own crew.

Setting the turtle nets in Magdalena Bay

Getting to know our "Shell Island" in Mag Bay

Darren + Hammock = Happiness (at the School for Field Studies in Puerto San Carlos)

Unbelievable: swimming with sea lions at Los Islotes

The day after the election loading the pangas in Puerto San Carlos.

Max and I in the back of the van. I don't know how he can read because I became carsick.

Hiking through the rocks on Isla Espiritu Santos

I love pelicans

This little crabby seems to be saying, "welcome to my kingdom!" {that's for Echo}

note to self:

I voted in the municipal elections last Tuesday. I get excited for voting day. One friend calls it sacred. Another friend is now on the city council. Her cousin married my cousin. I am intrigued with her desire to serve in public office. Even here, in our small town, differing parties of thought are on a polarizing path. It's ugly, rude, mean and I believe damaging. Inciting the masses to be "armed and dangerous" is just mind-boggling. Vote, form an opinion, stand for something and RELAX. Have some fun. Enjoy discussion and debate. Respect. {I'm giving myself advice I have a tendency to become overly emotional when involved in politics} One year ago, Darren and I were in Mexico on election day. We had no radio or television or technical contact with the state of the results. All those in our party were wearing red white and blue sensing the excitement happening in our home country to the north. Later that evening we were shuffled back to town where a few of us went to a tequila bar to grab a bite to eat and watch the returns. The bartender was switching between CNN and Dumb and Dumber in Spanish. Finally, even the locals said, "no more dumb and dumber." Now for me that statement had double meaning and we laughed and toasted to Mexico and the election and to the USA and gave thanks for our incredibly blessed lives. That trip to Baja was magical. Something about the light and water and warm air and the people. Darren and Chase left yesterday to participate in the same adventure this year. I'm staying here with LandO. I'm so ecstatic for them and yet want to be there at the same time. I am a big believer in Mom and Son and Dad and Son get-aways, but oh the turtle tour in Baja is not to be missed. Last year Antonio wrote an article for a Mexican environmental travel magazine. This year the Nature Conservancy is tagging along and turtle guy will be there in person. {I have a total "thing" for the turtle guy} I have to remind myself what Bill Maher said about Obama, "Remember folks, he's not your boyfriend." It's just that he looks good, seems to have a great time and loves sea turtles. Hey, he is the reason we went on the trip in the first place. Chase and I heard him speak at Bioneers. And this gets me round about to my point at the beginning of this story. RELAX, stand for something and enjoy the journey!

note: I posted some random photos from the trip. I can't find any of the turtles or the magnificent sand dunes and thousands of sand dollars on the beach at Mag Bay. Darren and Chase will have to add some new ones to the collection.

31 October 2009


Aren't we the festive couple? It was a gorgeous fall day in Cache Valley. Darren's in the background carving some awesome pumpkin... I'm just back from a jog a resembling a real witch. Trick or Treat? PS: I know it is late, but we have full-size candy bars at our house and not a lot of candy grabbers -- what's up with that?

30 October 2009


Can't stop stitching. It is crispy cold and blustery outside and I have an ear infection. Megan's grandpa passed away and she is far away in Arkansas. I whipped up a mini-quilt. It has sunshine and a mountain and a heart full of love - the things her grandpa was surrounded by here at home. I put a little pocket on the back and tucked in a copy of the obituary and some fall leaves that fluttered to the ground the day he died. She can add her own little tokens of remembrance if she feels. Just something to keep warm her good memories of her grandfather.

28 October 2009

slow stitch

A first quilt. Funny dancing man fabric purchased in Portland years ago with my mother. Intended for Land, but he quickly grew before I decided on a project. [:Lemon, if there are two things I'm certain of one is you're never going to finish that quilt: quote from 30 Rock:] This one I did; complete it that is. I soaked up inspiration and instruction from this book and wrapped it snug with I Love Dirt and left over bias tape. It was a super gift for this young man. I am slow at almost everything. Running, blogging, drafting, dishes, knitting... and quilting is just another of my snail's pace activities. It used to bother me, but hey, Chase once described my family as slow food and Darren's kin as take out fast and we all know that slow food is better [:ha:ha:] So I'll just keep creepin' along.

20 October 2009

10/20 + L& = 17

The Land-man is 17 today. We took him to see the real Mr. Dylan last night at SaltAir. I thought he was dressed appropriately considering the occasion. He and Bob had matching hats. I love that he is holding a pillow because he knows it will be a late night and he gets no mercy in missing school for your birthday from his parents. It was a great time. The range of ages and craziness were in attendance, but overall an appreciative crowd. Wow. I can't believe my Land is almost an adult. Time just keeps on moving, "Like a Rolling Stone."

note: I am so into the 'rot your stomach' tacky, store bought birthday treats lately. Land says he'll eat them all himself... he better hide them from his momma while he is at class.

19 October 2009

live like luke

I love all my nephews, but Friday night this little fellow captured my heartstrings and pulled them in tight. He was so over the moon that I would be able to watch him play flag football. He would say, "I will play really good for you Aunt Dee" and that he did. But it wasn't the technical know-how that got me, no, it was the unabashed joy. The clapping before setting up each play. The "ready, set, hike" loudly shouted when he was quarterback. The jumping, the running just to run and move and be free. The holding the flag up high when pulled from a competitors belt and the eagerness to return it to a new friend. But what I liked most was the taking time out from the intense four year-old play to wave at me, make certain I was noticing HIM, flashing a thumbs up sign as he walks, no struts, down the field. 'As a little child." I want more of that in my everyday.

14 October 2009

I run 13.1

Family descended on our fair town of Logan last Friday. A nephew was married in the Logan Temple. We had a wonderful time visiting and and catching up and falling behind on sleep. On Saturday morning we took off to Heber City for the last soccer game of the season and then picked up a metal shard in the tire on I-15 on the way to the airport. We made it to the dealership just barely on the rim and they loaned us a car to get me to the airport.

I flew into Long Beach and loved up my nephews, talked with my sis til early in the wee hours of the morning and then woke at 4:30am and had her drop me at the Long Beach Convention Center. I ran another half-marathon. One second per mile faster than the last one. Wow! You know, I am soooooo sloooooow, but I can keep on running. I love the fact that the only thing you have to concentrate on is putting one foot in front of the other -- for two + hours. This race was incredibly upbeat. Over 20,000 racers. Bands playing at the mile markers. Thousands of people cheering you on. Running on the boardwalk next to the sand and shore. The announcers were hyper and happy and loud. It was inspiring to watch others cross the finish line. It didn't matter how fast they came in. Bestest friends collapsing in a hug after accomplishing a mutual goal. Mile wide grins and Tiger Woodsesque fist pumps at stepping over that end line. And I felt good. At 10 miles I was all into the positive self talk and was like, "Let's finish this thing." When I reached mile 11 the first marathoner was heading to the finish. I think I like running - who would've thunk it?