Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today: the Pinnacle of Spring

Taken from my front porch. This morning.

SPRING is positively a glorious season for hiking the canyon.

Today I sacrificed my house chores for an extended hike. Wouldn't you?

With my Casio pocket camera purchased under $100,
I effortlessly snapped a $1,000,000 view at the mouth of the canyon.

Even managed to capture a Monarch resting on a native Utah oak.

Oh, the stunning colors of those newly-born leaves, not to mention the sweet butterfly!

Just last month, the riverbed was bone dry.

Now it's raging with the spring run-off.

If you look closely at the photo below, you can see remnants of the open irrigation trough on the other side of the river,
originally built by the Mormon pioneers to bring water to their crops.

Over the years, I've been witnessing the process of it crumbling away as it gradually returns to nature.

Notice how my dog, Chica, is posing in front of some hefty boulders on the trail?

Quite recently, these geological giants plungde from the high cliffs of the canyon.
More of them come down in a wet year.
This year.

Here and there, a brave little tree manages to grow right in the middle of the river bed.

Will it survive the flood season? I'm not sure.

BELOW: These tree logs were violently ripped from their roots on the mountain, crushed and broken from the weight of snow, then carried down into the riverbed during a thunderous avalanche. They occur every winter in this canyon with it's steep cliff walls. One year, a troop of boy scouts perished here. Fairly near this very spot. Wow, they are powerful! I've only experienced ONE as it was happening and, oh my goodness, the sound of it was like nothing else. Caused my dog to turn and run all the way home.

As for the river itself, it does not gurgle. It ROARS.

Turn up your speakers and listen:

The river hasn't peaked yet, by any means.

When it does, I'll video the humongous rocks tumbling downstream in the torrent.

Now THAT is an experience!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another Bride in My Powder Room

Several young maidens have been dressed and coiffured in the inner sanctuary of my humble abode,
before they bravely set out to tie the knot.

In fact, two sisters of this spring bride (above) sat on the exact same stool, in the exact same spot,
being transformed in preparation of their weddings.

Which one is the bride?

It's silly Brianna, on the left, eating an artichoke leaf.
AKA Goddaughter #4.

The shot above was taken during one of our fabulous feasts as we prepped for the Grand Event.

It was ever so pleasant in the upper yard as we created hundreds of thank you gifts for wedding guests.

After searching the entire valley for supplies,
we made these darling little wildflower seed packets,
which included a poem crafted by the bride.

Price: 16 cents a piece!

The almost-married couple show off the finished product below:

On the day of the big event, there were the last-minute alterations of the bridemaids' outfits . . .

. . . and tying the bow of the bridal gown.

Then, we were out the door!
Sort of.
Actually, I was the one in the car snapping photos.
waiting for my goddaughters who made their appearances 'in due time'.

My assignment:
to take a photo of each and every wedding guest.

Couldn't help catching a shot of these dear gals.

I love them to death,
although I wanted to spank each one of them for deserting their posts
. . . and thus I ended up doing their assignments.

I forgave them within 60 minutes. Wouldn't you?

A neighborhood park, just a few blocks from my house, provided the perfect ambiance for the celebration.

The night was lovely, except for a few sprinkles, which provided us with a beeeaaautiful rainbow!

This shot was taken right from the park:

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The next morning, little Emma fed Chica most of her breakfast - Cheerio by Cheerio.

I let her give our little canine friend a large doggie biscuit as dessert,

Notice the perfectly executed hand-off:

And lots of things happened after that breakfast and the next day.
However, I missed the shots at the 2nd party which enthusiastically lasted until 2 a.m. .
Also, at the BBQ the next day.
As well as the ceremonious opening of the gifts.
Also, the lobster bisque banquet.


I missed lots of shots.

So, here you get the parting shot as the herds are leaving their favorite 2nd home in the Rockies. (Mine, of course.)

And they're OFF !

Five of them jammed into a Subaru overflowing with presents.
Driving NORTH for another round of celebration.

P.S. Two goddaughters (and their families) remain in Utah. Just said nightie-night to one of them.
Hope her little Emma sleeps through the night. Pray that they all make it to Calgary, Canada safely.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Babies + More Babies

Okay. This photo does not have a baby anywhere in sight.

HOWEVER, if Grace hadn't come into the world,
this shot would not exist!

Yep. My new granddaughter has a name. "Grace" just happens to be ...

  • The first name of Arian's cousin. (She's the daughter of my brother Squashblossom and a fine specimen of a human bean.)
  • The middle name of his sister and niece. (The sister = Kelty Grace. The niece = Avery Grace.)
  • The last name of our pioneer ancestor Isaac Grace. (She's way prettier than ole Isaac. Of course, that's not hard.)

Oh. She also has a middle name: Ginger

How sweet!

This big brother can NOT sit still for ANYTHING.

However, he will sit gladly for his baby sister. Like, for 20 minutes.

He'll even skip on story time for a chance to hold her. (He LOVES story time.)

By the time I arrived for grandmotherly duties, he was wearing a mask due to a cough. That didn't phase him one bit.

Does this little gal qualify as a baby?

Perhaps recent events have dissolved all association with that name.

Either way, I just have to say that she - Big Sister Audrey - won my heart.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Wait. There's more.

I received an UNEXPECTED SURPRISE on Mother's Day.

Can you guess?


Another there's a wee dumpling in the oven!!!

WAY TO GO, Leah!

(Leah whizzing @ 40 mph on an inner tube in the Caribbean Ocean.)

. . . and you're up to the task, mamacita.

Big question =

Is THIS little whipper-snapper ready for a little sister?

I just got off the phone with Leah. Apparently little Aspen was busy practicing the fine art of diaper changing.

She'll manage in her new place within the family circle. Her two older sisters will teach her ALL about it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

She's Here!

The latest addition to the family arrived on Friday.

She's a healthy 6 lb 10 oz little gal, looking quite a bit like her new big sister.

Audrey doesn't know what Big Sister entails, but she's as happy as a lark,
playing with Aunt Kelty outside the hospital.

4 year-old Kenneth wants a turn too!
His auntie happily obliges, despite the fact that he's as tall as a 6 year-old.

"My turn!" "My turn!" "Now my turn!"
Good thing she's a strong gal and loves those little kids to death.

Moreover, she has MEGA-ENERGY!

I'm guessing it comes from the fact that her own little baby is back in Chicago with her papa.

This is the first time she's had uninterrupted sleep for over a year!

Another daddy does humble duties as his wife and newborn recover from the c-section.

Jill is a medical first. Nobody has ever had a baby within a year of two hip replacements. Yep. After Audrey was born, BOTH her hips were replaced, she needed new hips due to hip dysplasia at birth. A previous cheer leader and zumba aerobies instructor, she had big changes in store. You can read about her major recovering HERE. She glowingly reports that THIS pregnancy was her easiest. That THIS birth was a snap. That's our Jill. She is a Happy Camper under practically all circumstances.

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