Sunday, August 23, 2009

Yet Another Cabin

Last HURRAH of summer!

This time,

different traveling companions,

different cabin.

From the left:

BONSEY (college roomie, 1973-1975)

KELTY (daughter)

GREG (my goddaughter's dad)

VICTORIA (godchild who lived with me 07 - 09)

My brother's log home (near the Weber River) has some really fabulous features. First of all, there's the hand-carved table around which we celebrated Thanksgiving in by-gone years, when the kids were young 'uns:

Then there's the chess table 'with a view'
for contemplating nature and strategy.

The playing pieces hark back to the Roman Empire.

Finally, there's the wrap-around decks.
(Notice my effervicent godchild in hot-pink pants.)

Expansive decks with views of the aspens & mountains & valleys.
This shot gives you the 'Aspen Experience'.

The hiking was delightful.
In spite of the stinky dead moose . . .
right in the middle of the trail.
Couldn't he have chosen another place to croak?

There were so many cool things to observe.
Like, this strange and fantastical mushroom.

When it was time to head out,

we simply couldn't bear to

call an end

to our respite.

So, we stopped at a darling roadside diner in Oakley, Utah with an fascinating history.

Considering the fact that it's situated out in the middle of nowhere, we were astounded when we walked in and found it was PACKED!

And we figured out WHY
when they brought us
our super-dooper hand-scooped shakes.

This is Vic's Chocolate Mint variety.

Over the top.

So, if you're ever in Oakley,
hit the

Last detour:
Bridal Veil Falls.
(NOT the same falls I photographed a couple of weeks ago.)

I scampered around the base of the falls,
slipping here and there on treacherous wet rocks.
It was worth it.

Eventually the others scampered too.

Good energy.

Good times.

Ginger & Victoria.

ON THE GODDAUGHTER FRONT: Vic has returned to Utah after two months in Canada. She'll be living in Logan, studying at Utah State University.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pomp & Ceremony

Duane and Kelty flew back from Chicago
to don a cap and gown for an official CLAIMING
of his hard-earned BYU graduation certificate.

As you can see,
Kelty was JUBILANT!

She wasn't the only one.

His mom and sister drove down from Canada.
He's a FIRST in his family.

AND, we're pretty sure their little bambino
was applauding from 'within'.

As we were driving home after the ceremony,
a storm was brewing.

Mount Timpanogos was majestically spotlighted
amidst the shadows from the darkened sky.

(This photo was taken close to our driveway.)

As the cloudburst broke, we opened the sliding glass door
and fully experienced the lightening, thunder,
gusts of wind, and a heavy deluge of water.

Kelty put together a scrumptious dinner
for the goodly number of family & friends
who came to rejoice in Duane's success.

Duane's aunt, uncle and kids showed up from Idaho
to participate in the ceremonies and partying.
Somewhere between events,
they pulled out a long and captivating board game -
A Ticket to Ride.
It was both INTENSE & RAUCOUS!

The festivities are now over.

But there's going to be another "graduate" in September.

Just four hours ago, Kelty received her acceptance to the Marriage & Family Therapy GRADUATE program at Adler University in downtown Chicago. It's located two blocks from their new condo.

Our little mamacita will start her studies this fall and go part-time after the baby comes.

Way to go!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Needed in Nevada?

I ASSUMED I was needed in Nevada.

After all, it was less than four weeks
since my daughter-in-law got her hip replacement.

So I tootled down there in my Honda
to manage kid care, meals and any other needs.
Well, Jill had abandoned her crutches right before I arrived.

And THIS is how she looked on my first evening in Nevada
when we went 4-wheeling
on top of the mesa near their home . . .

Her cane had been transformed into a play toy.

Needless to say, the job was NOT demanding.
In fact, we goofed around A LOT.

One day, the boys (son & grandson) and I drove to Vegas.
Arian secured a scrumptious cake for his wife.

That evening, there was belated birthday celebration,
since she was in the throes of recovery when she hit the big Three-O.

As soon as Mom blew out the candles,
Kenneth could hardly wait to get a fistful of that cake in his mouth.
Mom & Dad didn't see the action.
But I caught it!

I am SO THRILLED to see my d.i.l.
walking beautifully, flawlessly on her new hip.

Jill is downright ECSTATIC!
Here's her report.

even in the fiery heat of August,
there's beauty in Nevada.
I took this photo from the kids' driveway on my last evening:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cabin Retreat

Sometime in the spring, I contacted my book group gals and asked who would like a weekend of camping together. "YES" said eleven readers. We were all prepared for tents and cooking over a fire. Then an offer of a CABIN came from the Paxmans and we were THRILLED, to say the least.

Shirley and Monroe are generous, fun-loving, community-oriented and interested in EVERYTHING. That's why they take three newspapers. That's why they go to every cultural event held in our valley.

And, one more thing about them . . .
they have successfully navigated through
NINE decades of life.
Almost seven decades together.

The cabin is their summer home. Monroe built it in the 60s. Shirley spent her summers in the cabin next door, starting at age five. Her mother hauled up NINE daughters on Memorial Day and stay until Labor Day. That's what Shirley and Monroe still do every summer. 85 years down the road.

The cabin has incredible ambiance. Monroe didn't just build it. He crafted exquisite works of art and set them into or onto the walls. Every nook and cranny is a visual feast.

And we all felt ever so COMFY there.
Inside and outside.

A stream gurgled adjacent to their back deck.
Delightful background music for reading and conversations.

Monroe built a rope bridge over the water.
We had adventurers in our group who tried it out.

The reward for crossing =
a rope swing that went right over the water.

* * * * *

On our second day, ten of us tootled over
to Sundance Ski Resort, just a couple of miles from the cabin.

We took the ski tram up the mountain . . .

. . . gazing at this vista
as we steadily traveled skyward . . .

Yes. I took this photo. TAKE NOTICE: Utah is a gorgeous place.

Then we hoofed it to Stewart Falls. A 3-mile hike.
(My trekking poles are my BEST friends.)

The jaunt was worth it.

Did you know that waterfalls provide NEGATIVE IONS?
These negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain!
As you can see, I was getting ENERGIZED by the ions.
Which was GOOD,
because we had to traipse back to the tram.

* * * * *

We consumed healthy food for three full days. No junky stuff what-so-ever.
The mountain air made everything taste so good.

When we weren't eating or hiking,
we talked.
About everything.

Good conversations flowed like the river.
Indeed, our cups were full.

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