Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oh yeah, I'm in Canada

Yesterday, Jon, his mom, and I went to 'Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump' which is exactly what it sounds like. In the event that you are a visual learner, here are some illustrations to further the point:

The Native Americans had a perfect system for running entire herds of buffalo off of cliffs. Utilizing animal coats, they capitalized on the bison's protective instincts to stay between a lone calf and wolves. This allowed the Natives to lead the calm herd to pre-constructed 'drive-lanes' leading to the cliffs. The stampede was spurred by the sudden appearance of the entire tribe, previously hidden by leather hides. A few moments of panic followed by sudden death (most died instantly; the rest were quickly killed by the hunters)... I decided Temple Grandin would approve of the method.

I bought this shirt at the gift shop on our way out. Just kidding! I didn't! But I could have.

More on our trip later. I smiled the whole time.

(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's official!

We're moving! To Phoenix! On September 15th! To a really nice apartment complex that I'm really excited about. I'd tell you the name of it if I were convinced no psychos read my blog, but I'm not.

Our future Apartment Home has two bedrooms and is ONE THOUSAND ELEVEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY square feet, which is 250 more square feet than we had in Tucson and 450 more than we had at our first place in Rexburg. Plus, it has a LAUNDRY ROOM. Not a closet, mind you. A whole room. That you can walk into. With a real door. And a cabinet.

And that's not all. These buildings are less than ten years old, were rated fifty percentage points higher on than our old complex in Tucson, and will somehow cost LESS. And, so far, management has been extremely helpful and accommodating. I have no fear of this being like the last time we moved to Arizona from Idaho, when the apartment managers showed Jon's cousin a brand-new, beautifully upgraded model and stuck us in a 25-year-old dump, knowing full-well that we would be arriving to sign our paperwork with a moving truck packed with our stuff waiting in the parking lot. Luckily they changed management very shortly thereafter and all the scumbags involved were fired. I hope they're all homeless with scabies.

But, like I said, this new place (please, whenever I mention my new Apartment Home, imagine the building with rays of sunshine emanating from it) would never do that to us. Plus, all the units were built in the same year (one of my first questions) so that scenario is simply impossible. PLUS, did I mention the incredibly high percentage on

So we're moving there, and I'll be working while Jon studies to retake his exam/takes his exam/starts his clinical rotations. He didn't pass the first go-around, which was disappointing of course, but we knew it was a possibility. It took the full 6 weeks to hear back, and it was just good to finally know so we could make other plans. My parents have been so generous to let us stay with them for the summer, but we've got to get out and do our own thing now (our choice, not theirs). I've been going a little crazy; feeling like I'm stagnating, not knowing our future, wanting to act like a grown-up again. Finally we just up and decided we'd go where our best bet is for Jon's future clinical rotations, and that was that, and the world is such a beautiful place.

Anyway, as if you needed any more validation that this is a great decision for us (aside from that which you'll receive from your own personal prayers, of course), I present to you two lists:

Things That Are Within Fifteen Minutes of Our New Apartment Home:
EIGHT Indian restaurants
SEVEN Sushi restaurants
FIVE Thai restaurants
A mall
A Target
A Costco
A Petco AND Petsmart
An IMAX theater
A 24-Hour Fitness
A really nice dog park (so says Yelp)

Things That Are Within Thirty Minutes of Our New Apartment Home:
A Whole Foods
My aunt and uncle's house

And if you think these lists make me crazy, just remember that THIS is where I used to live:

And THIS is where I'm headed:

So you'd better believe I've been studying Google Maps with joy ever since we first applied for this apartment.

And that's our news. Also, remember when we flew to Tucson and drove the Jeep up to Idaho? In hindsight, we should have left it where it was :\


PS - Oh YEAH! How could I forget?? I already have a job lined up! I found it on Craigslist and all I have to do is send them my bank account information and my social security number and it's a done deal!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fun with Screen Capture, Episode III

Time for another round!

I stole these first two pictures from a friend's private blog post about the local fair in their small town (I, obviously, asked her before posting them here):

THE BEST IDEA FOR AN OBSTACLE COURSE, EVER. Untying ribbons from goats' tails!!!!!!!!!!!11

And I almost died laughing at this picture of her son mutton busting:

That's Jon. Courtesy of

That's me. Jon says it looks like Jeff Goldblum.

Stolen from my sister-in-law Lianna's Facebook page. Hope you don't mind, Lianna, I had to share it. She snapped this picture of a public advisory on Statia, and her caption read "STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN!! and men. Oh, also children. I guess."

Lastly, a couple of days ago Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer) asked his Twitter followers, "What has your dog done to cheer you up?" Here's a snapshot of some of their answers...

.....and here's MY answer.

He didn't Retweet it, but he didn't unfollow me, either. So.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

the hummingbird whisperer

First, a too-long movie to give you an idea of how many there were, and what jerks they are:

Second, my camera's best efforts at taking still pictures:

Third, Jon communing with nature:

Fourth, this happened:

My sister Annie is so jealous right now.

Whaves of Wheat

We recently spent two nights on a beautiful grain farm somewhere west of Malad, Idaho. Jon's sister's father-in-law owns the operation, so she and her husband Jake spend their summers out there helping with planting and harvest and all those other wheatfarmy things.

This wasn't our first time visiting, but it had been years and we were definitely overdue. Gorgeous, gorgeous country.

Jon and our niece Norah on the most expansive and well-manicured lawn you'll ever see.

This is about half of it (that's our tent in the far left-hand corner).
The portion with the raspberry bushes YES RASPBERRY BUSHES, and they were in season when we were there. Kelsey made us fresh raspberry cream pie and the sounds I produced while consuming it were borderline obscene.

Jon and I off-roaded all over the countryside one afternoon. (See the dust devil?)

Choke cherries

The hill that almost ended our marriage. Jon thought the Ranger could make it up, and I knew otherwise. I was right. At one point, I thought we were surely going to die. I got it all on a video that will never be posted on account of me sounding really, really annoying when I'm scared.

Scanning for wildlife (there was none, unless a million dive-bombing grasshoppers count)

Second-favorite shot of the day

First-favorite shot of the day


The 100+ year old farmhouse.

If you look closely, you can see a hummingbird feeder. As if the trip could have been any better, HUMMINGBIRDS. Tons of them. You can imagine how many pictures and videos I took as a result. They, obviously, deserve a separate post; stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A play in one act

Me: Where have I heard this song?
[fifteen seconds later]
No, seriously. This song is SO familiar to me. Was it in a movie we watched recently?
[thinking intently]
Wait. People were dancing...everyone was dancing...where was it? It was like [marking a couple of dance steps]... I was dancing, like this [same couple of dance steps] ...Where WAS that???
Corinne: Was it at Zumba?
Me: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! .........Oh, right. Duh.


Monday, August 15, 2011

No, I'm not pregnant.

I spent the greater part of Sunday morning trying not to vomit, and I wasn't always successful. When sweet, sweet, darling Jon came to check on me for the umpteenth time after I'd committed myself to the back wing of the house, I sadly divulged, "I threw up, and then I cried".

That should come as no shock to anyone who knows me or has read this post. Though I'll admit that if I had to choose one place to be violently ill, it would be my mom's house. I honestly laid there in her beautiful bedroom feeling like I was dying and thinking about how grateful I was that this wasn't happening back on the island. I consider it one of my greatest blessings that I never threw up in that revolting Statian bathroom.

The sickness only lasted about three hours, during which time Jon single-handedly prepared the house for my parents' homecoming. The plan was that I would help him, but then I threw up, so. He was also nice enough to clean toilets for me so I would have my choice of vomitorium. I got the best husband, sorry everyone else. [TANGENT: I was reading the blog of an acquaintance (one I suddenly hope doesn't read mine) a while back. She was bragging about how her husband was the BEST EVAR because he made dinner, did a load of laundry, AND played with the baby ALL IN ONE WEEKEND!!!!!! Isn't it funny what people reveal about themselves, and their husbands, without even realizing it? I had a visiting teacher who once began her message with, "I love saying prayers with my spouse. It's that one time of day that we're equals..." My eyebrows met my hairline.]

CONCLUSION: In checking my spelling on "vomitorium" I learned that the word actually has nothing to do with vomiting, other than an untruth about ancient Romans binging and purging. Nothing worse than realizing you've been a perpetuator of lies!!! Which isn't to say I'll stop using the word in that context. History/architecture lesson: "Vomitorium" really means a series of exits out of Forums and Colosseums and other such buildings where far more wicked, barbaric savagery was happening than binge-and-purge. They might have reveled in watching humans being eaten alive by wild animals, but they did NOT throw up their food on purpose. That's disgusting.

PS - My apologies for this entire post.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's unhealthy

It's quiet around here all of a sudden. Corinne, Kyle, and Ada are back in New York, Annie had to go back to Heber, and my parents are on a road trip. Jon and I agreed to water the garden and watch the animals while they're away, and it's been nice to have a few days to ourselves.

The only downside of the entire situation is that a couple of days before their trip, my mom's poor horse Quincy came down with something grotesque, and by that I mean his skin is shriveling up and peeling off in shards. There's only one explanation, and I don't want to alarm anyone, but he is almost certainly turning into a thestral.

The moment my mom made the grisly discovery coincided exactly with Corinne watching a news story about a boy who got flesh eating bacteria in his face. She was mulling it over in horror when my mom walked in and announced that Quincy's skin was falling off.

The shiny stuff you see is ointment, applied to the raw spots by yours truly. And I don't want to hear anything about the drippiness of it all, because I did the best I could with nearly-solid ointment (that later melted in the sun) and him dancing all over the place. Poor little lamb.

So I've been keeping an eye on him, though I'm the least qualified person to do it. Anything medical makes me want to die. He cut his nose really deep about ten years ago and my mom asked me to hold a diaper to it while she ran and called the vet. I remember catching a glimpse of the gash, and I remember blood splashing onto the cement, and it was all over. I ditched the diaper at his feet and my mom found me two minutes later all slumped over on the floor. Can you blame me?? A HORSE I LOVED was BLEEDING into a DIAPER!

At least my mettle is improving. I haven't come anywhere near blacking out today, even when the vet was curiously peeling the hide off, and despite the squelching sounds I overheard when she put her entire forearm up a very tender place for no short amount of time.

Poor, poor little lamb. :( So! What's for dinner??

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

For your Wednesday

Yesterday was my mom's birthday!! I am not a good daughter, because I'm only just now blogging about it. Additionally, the pie we got her wasn't even my idea (but don't I get points for at least knowing her favorite kind? Razzleberry, and don't you ever forget it). Happy birthday, mom! You're the best, even though you once called me Jerry.

Jon and I killed two birds with one stone with that pie. We've been craving a berry pie ever since we were in Heber a couple of weeks ago and The Hub, a local diner, was advertising one made with FRESH strawberries. The whole group of us - me, Jon, Corinne, Annie, and Annie's husband Steve - talked about getting that pie for two days. On the second night it was decided we couldn't go another second without it. Pajama-clad Corinne had a sudden epiphany and declared (to me), "Hey, look. You have clothes on, and I can drive. That's everything we need to go get some pie". I immediately shared that line on Twitter and it was a major success, tying with that other tweet I did that two people favorited.

Steve was ultimately elected to make this highly anticipated pie thing happen on our last night in Heber. Six minutes after he walked out the door, the following exchange took place on my phone:

So the fresh strawberry pie thing didn't happen that night, which is not to say we didn't pile into the car (Corinne still in her pajamas) to go pick a different kind. It was not as easy as it sounds - a long process involving the credit machine seizing up because of a waitress on a ten-minute-long personal phone call ("I miss you, too! ...No, I'm just at work...") while six people waited in line to pay for their meals. The pie wasn't even that good, anyway. Boooooo, The Hub restaurant in Heber Utah, BOOOOOOO!!

Other noteworthy things that have happened in the past couple of weeks:

  • I chewed out a lifeguard at the new Rexburg swim center. I'm not a confrontational person, especially in public, but she deserved it. Two little kids were stuck inside a tube, sinking into the water and too scared to let go of the handles and swim underneath to free themselves. They passed right by TWO lifeguards, one of which was on duty and the other of which walked right past, staring, before their mom heard their screams and jumped in to save them. When I informed the 12-year-old lifeguard of what had just happened five feet from her post, she responded, "Oooohh...I-I'm sorry......I just got here....."
  • At Relief Society on Sunday a girl no older than 20 introduced herself and said she was staying at the So-and-So's for a few weeks. The RS president replied, "Aren't they just wonderful? They are so hospitable, it seems like they've always got someone staying with them. They're like a halfway house..." and YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN the backpedaling when she realized she'd just publicly accused this visitor of drug addiction. And that is how people are offended at church.
  • Annie's old childhood best friend's mom was arrested for battery. That's all we know, because that's all that was published in the police section of the local paper and I couldn't find anything else by way of Google search, though not for lack of trying. Jon received this news with no small measure of glee, because he had a bad golf experience with the lady's husband a couple of years ago. The guy had designated himself the keeper of the scorecard and promptly added strokes to Jon's total after each round. "Four? No, I'm pretty sure you got five." The hope is that his wife gave him the beating that Jon had daydreamed about that entire day on the course.


Friday, August 05, 2011

Typical photo dump

First is a photo of my sister Annie and I eating frozen yogurt after watching Harry Potter for the second time. It's a really cute picture, taken because the bowls the yogurt came in were Hello Kitty themed and so freaking adorable.

[insert photo here]

Unfortunately, I was not allowed to post the picture, because Annie thought her arm placement made her head look small (?).

Penny, looking more than a little wall-eyed.

Foal! Annie's a horse trainer (dressage, specifically) and the barn she works at in Heber, UT just had this new arrival.

Being a frisky little foal.

Jumping on mom (sorry for the blur. The iPhone camera can only do so much).

We were there for a show. Annie rode twice that weekend and achieved an award she's been working toward for her entire career. YAY, MANNY! (that picture is not her, btw)

On the way back to Idaho.

Ada getting a taste of the country life.... 4 wheeling with PopPop and Gunner.

We went to the Rexburg Dance Festival parade and the entire thing got rained out. A crazy squall whipped up and partway through performers were running down the street for shelter from the lightning. We didn't even get so much as a run-by polka. So lame. Everyone knows the first rule of polka is to NEVER break character. (Also, you'd be amazed at how fast a sluggardly crowd can disperse when faced with a microburst. Those scooters for the morbidly obese can really fly.) Anyway, the picture above was before the storm had completely moved in. There was a smattering of raindrops and gusty winds. The performer was guarding her violin from the moisture when this man ran out from the crowd to hold an umbrella over her head. Sweetest thing ever.

Jon and I found shelter under a narrow ledge and got really friendly with the other people who had the same idea.

Then yesterday we went to Yellowstone!

Throwing a fit.

Buffalo. There were lots more, and closer to the road, but I only ended up with videos of those ones. I also took a video of the stupidest people on earth standing outside of their car with their 8 year old daughter 5 yards from one, but I don't feel like it's worth posting because no one got gored. At the beginning of the video I say, "These people are about to die" and at the end my mom yells at the lady, "He could kill you! Get in your car!" but the buffalo just saunters past and goes on his merry way. Borrring.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel, where my parents first met 36 summers ago.

The registration desk where it all began. My mom was a hotel clerk and my dad was a guest. No one is more disappointed in this blurry photo than me.

Lake Yellowstone

Tree, Ada (on a leash!!!)

Old Faithful

Ada in a coonskin cap

This little one is two TODAY. She doesn't really say anything super useful yet like "yes" or "no" or "food", but she can say "taxi" and " 'stache", so.