Monday, October 21, 2013

Snow Canyon State Park 2013

Our Annual UEA, or nowa days they call it Fall Recess, found me and my Sweetheart near St George, Utah at Snow Canyon State Park. I always thought the park was named because right at very the top of the canyon is the white rocks, that might look like snow from a distance. Nope it was named for Lorenzo Snow, 5th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I hope he enjoyed this area as much as we did.

We drove down on Thursday, 17 Oct, and set up camp. After everything was in order, I wanted to make sure I had done the most important job of the week. Camp chair, sunshine, sunglasses and I grabbed my camera just before grabbing her book
and diet coke.
After a short relaxing rest we headed out for a beautiful hike. Of course I had brought my GPS and we chased after several Geocaches while spending time together. We had walked about an hour and spied a gorgeous bouquet out in the middle of this desert. I know it had been placed here by the Grand Floral Designer. In this photo, there are at least two different cacti and then this very delicate yellow flowering bush. 

 The Cacti all had sucked that poor little basalt rock bone dry too.

We loved to hike and bike around the park. On Friday we went out to Three Ponds chasing after a geocache and it turned out to be our prettiest and most fun hike. We had been told it was about two miles round trip but by the time we got back it was closer to 4.8 miles RT and a lot later then we had expected to get back. The last 3/4 mile was dark but as we rounded a bend we thought someone had hit us with their spot light. Turned out to be the full moon rising in the east. I had to stop and get a picture of it, which made it a little later and darker when we got back to camp. It really was a lot darker than this picture makes it look.
In the mornings we were entertained by the birds. Scrub Jays were the funniest and the most daring. We tried to put nuts on the table to see if they'd come grab them while we ate breakfast. Many were tempted but none actually tried. They would though, eat the nuts we threw on the ground around us. Then when we got up to clean and put the food away, they'd swoop in and grab the nuts off the table when we weren't looking.

On Saturday we went into St George and rode our bikes on the Riverside path. As always, my biking buddy is one good looking woman. I'm glad we like doing so many things together.
We hid two geocaches for others to find and we also had to stop and let this guy cross the road before us.
And what is a trip to St George area without stopping at the temple. Even outside, shooting the pictures from the driver's seat, this place brings a special feeling to my heart. The sun was settling down in the west and so it caused a little challenge taking a good photo, but perhaps you know how it is when ever you're near a temple. 
We rode past this next creature and couldn't believe what we saw. We turned around to get a better look, all the while
we're thinking someone has placed a huge plastic Great Blue Heron out near this pond. We looked again and almost started to laugh that someone had fooled us so badly, when the bird turned it's head to look at us. We about fell over. It stood there for the longest time on one foot. It was so unbelievable that the next day we both had to go by the pond again to make sure it wasn't still there tricking everyone who passed. It was gone.

The last thing I'll blog about is the moon this trip. About a week before we left we noticed the moon was nearly a full moon. We wondered if it would be full when we came camping. Yep it was. So full, so bright, so marvelous. In the middle of the night, when one of us had to get up to go pottie, we would both get up and walk over to the restrooms, just to enjoy the beauty. It was like a super bright street light, that lit up the whole neighborhood. It was so bright, the rocks and trees and sky still had color at "O Dark Thirty" We loved those short quick trips and back and will look back on this trip with many fun and wonderful memories. Thanks Sweetie for letting me tag along. I Love You Forever.
Sunday Morning view from our tent as we awoke and knew we'd return to this land of color on another day. I can't wait. 

"God took all the left overs from the Creation, dumped it here, and then set it on fire."
We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful place.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

VolleyBall Victory

Friday the 13th of September 2013 was no ordinary day. It was the first day in a really long time in which we drove over an hour to watch a girls volley ball game. Evanston Middle School was hosting the Mustangs of Manila Middle School. The girls from Manila had just completed the 3 hour bus ride to get there and was excited to hit the court.

The coach gave them their final instructions, wished them well and gave out the starting assignments. It was no wonder that the tallest one on the team is also the cutest. But with 10, or so, on the team and only 6 players on the court at one time, it was obvious that the star player would have to sit it out at times.

But the call finally came "Brooke Guymon, get out there and earn us some points" the coach knew the time was now to put in her A Team.

Brooke quickly put on her game face and went to work with perfect serves, returns and sets to her team mates. An awesome team player with a very cute smile.

EMS was a tough team and they didn't give the Mustangs many breaks. Brooke and her team fought back and never gave up, always looking for opportunities to slam the ball back harder. Brooke shined throughout the battle. Showing such flawless form

Even a few digs from the basement
They played well as a team and relied on each other to do their best. It was a fun afternoon but the grand finale came late in the last game of the night. The score was EMS 21, Mustangs 24. Game point for the girls of Manila. The ball was in play for several vollies, back and forth and back. Both teams were playing like Champions and the crowd was loud and anxious for a victory. Brooke was playing center and on the front line, the ball was returned to the Mustang's side. One hit and the ball was under control, the next girl set the ball perfectly to Brooke for the final slam over. But instead of the expected slam, Brooke Guymon, acting like a real pro, lightly tapped it over the net and onto the floor in front of the surprised and defeated girls of Evanston.

The crowd cheered and the girls ran around excitely. The coach came running out to give Brooke the Victory Hug
Things were pretty chaotic for a while. Even after the customary team handshakes at mid field, the Mustangs were all smiles and hugging each other. 
While the teams were still on the floor, Brooke looked over at me and asked, 
" there any question?"

"Yeah Brooke, Do you know how proud Grandma and I are of You? 
We love you

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


On March 9, 2013 my life took a turn down a path I'm not sure I want to repeat. That morning I walked into a farm store and walked out a few minutes later as a bonafide, certified and crazified All American Chicken Farmer. I am told to become a "First Class" AACF you have to blog at least three blogs in a row about your newly founded money pit and recognize that you are close to the edge....

For the past 4 months other AACF have told us that chickens start laying eggs when they are 5-6 months old. I figured it would happen sometime in August or September. I got home from my annual Scout Summer Camp last Saturday and had a left over head of lettuce which I threw into the chicken run. Not one of the chicks even looked interested in it. I figured it would just compost right there where it landed. The next morning it was gone, completely. Not even part of a leaf remained visible. So Sunday I picked some of the Swiss Chard I am trying to grow in the garden and threw it in the run. Again they wouldn't even get close to it while I watched but sometime in the night even leaf again was eaten.

Monday night after our FHE lesson at Brent and Debbie's I went out to find some more fresh greens to feed my chicks. But lo and behold.... When I peeked into the coop, a brown egg. A perfectly formed small brown egg. The perfectly formed $1000.00 (at least) small brown egg.
Can you spot it?

I was soooo excited and had to tell everyone. I texted my kids, neighbors and probably a few people I don't  even know. It was like finding the rainbow's pot of gold. It was like acing a test without studying. It was like winning the $5 lottery after weeks and weeks of playing. It never happens. The congratulatory replies began to arrive and it warmed my egg timer to know everyone cared so much. Crystal was in a different time zone and I'm sure was nearly asleep when she asked me what I was going to do with it now? I replied... "Exactly what every other All American Chicken Farmer would do....."
Post it on Facebook.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

One week later....

So this all started out as a valentine day gift. I received 6 adorable chicks.

It kinda caught me a little off guard but I smiled and waited for the next chicken foot to drop. That happened last weekend when we went shopping for real live chicks. It was fun but three chicks just seemed like not enough so right after last week's blog I began to plan the next trip for more chicks. Amy and Greg came down for the weekend and so today we took their 4 children and Kirsten and Jeremy's "oldest" 2 children and ran to the Farm Store. 

This is "Penny." She was actually named by Miss Brooke Guymon via texting this morning. I went to the store knowing that I was looking for Brooke's Penny. The sign on her store cage said she is a Rhode Island Red and will be a egg producer when she is mature. 

Doris went to the store wanting to get a "Black Silky." Last week we saw one but it was taken before we could buy it so today she was ready to select the cutest black silky and take it home with us. I'm not sure how she got her name but before I knew it everyone was calling it "Squirt" and I didn't take the time to ask why. We now have two Silk Chicks. Silky and Squirt. A cute pair of hens, too.

So we had one more chick to select to equal the same amount of chicks I had received on Valentines Day. This little pullet is an "Australlorp" and recognized the Country it is from, so she became the last one of the our brood. We thought and thought of her name and couldn't think of one we all liked until I declared, "Aussie" and everyone echoed an "Yeah." So Aussie it is.

And we brought the new birds home to meet the ones we bought last week. It was obvious how much they grow in one week. Here is Nellie and Squirt. I had no idea how big they grew in just one week. We were a liitle unsure how the old kids would accept the new kids so we did it slowly. Aussie the the first new chick to enter their metal tub home. Silky immediately started to peck and what appeared to harass Aussie. Then Nellie came over and acted the same way towards Aussie. Well we pulled Silky out and everyone seemed to get along. Doris held Silky and Squirt together and they seemed very happy to be together. At one time, Silky actually had her wing up and around Squirt's back and shoulder. Very touching to see this sibling love. We have now put them all back in the tub and they seem to be friendly to all. One big happy Family :)

This photo shows Cocoa in the middle of the newbies while Silky and Nellie talk over sleeping arraignments and other pecking order items. I'm hoping they have a great family council meeting tonight and they can become the best of friends, Just like the original Seven

Guess what I want to go do next weekend?      NO we are done !!! No more farm stores for any of us ! !

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Farming chickrens"

I raised 7 kids so how tough could it be to add chickens to my family tree? 
So we went to the local farm store and picked out a brood. This turned out a lot easier then having a doctor hand me only one every couple years. We brought them home and put them in Grandma Nelsons old wash tub. They immediately set up house keeping and looked very comfortable. I even made their own shavings which was also a lot easier then making bassinets. The store told us they are all about 2 weeks old.
We invited Lily and Chi over to the chicken "shower" and they helped us name them. This is "Silky" and is definitely the softest chick of the brood. It is a bantam silk chick and will grow up to be the prettiest. It has feathers on it's feet. After only a few hours at home, Carrie declared that Silky is already showing signs of growth.
As we were taking these chicks portraits this cute little Buff Orpington took a pose which identified her as a member if the high order of Ninja's. She was the last one to receive a name. Ninja Nellie, but we'll just call her Nellie because she looks like a Grandma Nelson kind of chicken. We were told that this breed is usually the "mama" of the brood. Hopefully she'll take good care of her sisters.
The last one we brought home today is Cocoa. She is a pretty striped "Americano." She will lay easter eggs. Usually light blues and greens, and they will be smaller eggs. 

We decided to get chicks to grow so that we could have fresh eggs. But now that we have had them for several hours, I decided that I also like the soft little chirps they all make. It's kind of comforting. I am sure as they grow and become adults, their noises will change too. We are also hoping that one day we aren't awoken with crowing. The store said there is no guarantee as to cockerels/pullets or in other words boy/girls in picking out chicks. Maybe by 8 weeks a real chicken farmer could begin to tell. I didn't get to pick my kids either and they all turned out perfect.

PS. We are already planning to take Lily and Chi to the farm store next weekend and have them help pick out 3 more chicks. Look out Colonel Sanders, you'll soon have major competition. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

I get distracted TOO easily

 So I was actually working one day last week and driving home from the local Home Depot when suddenly along side the road a huge bird arose from the side of the road, right out my left side window. It then proceeded to fly parallel the road exactly the same speed as I was driving. I saw the white head and tail feathers and about drove off the road. This Bald Eagle continued to tease me until I finally pulled over. I just happened to have my camera with me and I was soon clicking away. There were two Bald Eagles and at times would act like they were wrestling in mid air. I never could focus the camera when they were like that. They soon landed and then I saw another huge bird in the undercover. I looked again and decided it was a Golden Eagle. I only got one picture of it but look at the colors of golds and browns on it. I especially like the picture of the Golden Eagle because it looks like I am looking down from above it as it comes in for a landing. I was definitely feeling like I was "higher than an Eagle" by the time I left to go back to work. The rest of the day, though, all I wanted to do was go back and take more pictures.
Golden Eagle landing
Soaring Bald Eagle

P.S. With this new camera and maybe some luck I'll blog more often than every 3 1/2 years.