Monday, August 23, 2010

HISMSV - Apache Trail

HISMSV - How I spent my summer vacation

One of the places we visited out west was the Apache Trail, just east of Phoenix on a section SR 88. It's called the Apache Trail because Apache Indians built the road. It's cut out of the side of the mountains, and some sections of the road are down right scary! The most beautiful sections of the road are not even paved. We're talking dangerous... and adventurous.

Right as the paved road ends (on the east side of the trail) there is this beautiful suspension bridge.

And on the other side of the bridge is the Roosevelt Dam. Guess which Roosevelt it's named after. I'll give you a compliment if you guess right.


It was incredibly HOT that day. So we took advantage of the lake and went swimming. It was pretty cool to swim in Lake Apache. The mountains all around the lake were so pretty. Nothing like this in Florida.
We stopped at a bunch of scenic look-outs. Here I'm trying to reinact a photo that I took in Nicaragua, but it's really hard to capture desert massiveness. The depth perception of the camera is pathetic.
Those mountains are miles away from me, but they don't look it.

Also, along the Apache Trail there are two ghost town-type towns.
Don't be deceived. Both "Ghost Towns" are not actually deserted. They are tourist attractions that look like old timey towns. They're fun for what they are, but I was pretty disappointed that they weren't real ghost towns. I wanted to have the Scooby Doo ghost town experience.

All in all, I'd recommend this little piece of Arizona to anyone near Phoenix who is looking for a fun day trip. Lake Apache is also a recreational lake, and there were many people out on boats. I would have LOVED to go out on a boat and ride through the canals and see mountains from that spectacular view. Next time. :)


Friday, August 20, 2010

Baby Saguaro

So I previously talked about Saguaros, but I failed to include this last point, which is crucial.

8). When Floridians see Saguaros in the desert, they buy "Grow Your Own Saguaro" kits and take them home.


I previously compared Saguaros to Palm Trees (they are Arizona's equivalent). Talk about coming full circle! I didn't even realize the dish I chose had a palm tree on it until after I took the photo.

I actually have two sprouts since this photo was taken. I'll give you an update if they start to look more Saguaro-like.

Yay for cacti!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hide and Weep

Rufio has a complex where he has to be within three feet of me at all times. He watches where I go and follows me if I get too far for his comfort.

Well, a couple nights ago I noticed that he was slackin' by extending his three foot radius. When he wasn't looking, I took the opportunity to duck around the corner. A few seconds later I heard his collar jingle as he ran down the hallway looking for me. Then he ran back. Then he ran down the hall. Then he ran back.

I had to conceal my laughter because I knew he was looking for me. After maybe a minute of running back and forth, he started wimpering. It was all I could do to not burst out laughing and give myself away. Eventually I felt bad, so I came out.

That started a great game that we have played each night since. Zane holds Rufio's head away from me and I run and hide. I kept hiding in the dark bedroom, which he was too afraid to enter by himself. Yeah, I'm using his weakness to my advantage.

Last night, we played a few rounds. Boy, this dog learns fast! I chose some pretty difficult places and he found me every time. I think he caught onto the game or at least the fact that it is a game and I'm not really missing in action. He came all the way into the back of the dark bedroom to find me tonight. I have to start raising the bar on my hiding places. I think I might try behind closed doors next. Test his skills and all.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sewing is spelled weird.

Guess what?! My mom gave me a sewing machine! In 2008! I just pulled it out of the box! Call me a lamehead, but I didn't have a sewing table and I didn't want to ruin my dining room table that I slaved over for hours refinishing.

(Space Odyssey music playing) Bahm....Bahmmmm...Bahmmmmm...
Ba-Bum!!!! (dum-dum dum-dum dum-dum)

Yes, this is a Brother sewing machine that has like 20-something stitches and a sweet set up for the bobbin. My mom's sewing machine bobbin part gives me a headache. This one is soooo easy. Love it.

Since I went through all the trouble to get my machine out, I decided to sew something. I went through my fabric and tried to think of a project. (I'm a quick start, so I sometimes just do something when it pops into my head, like finding a sewing project in 30 seconds).

I had this old window valance from our hall bathroom in my fabric drawer. I forgot to take before pictures, so this is a mid-project picture. The valance was 45 inches long, so I cut it into thirds to make three throw pillows. Here's one of  the cuts:
It's kind of cinched at the top because I hadn't ironed it yet. There are only two panels shown in this picture because I had already made this panel into a pillow:

This photo is sideways and I don't know how to rotate it in blogger. Use your imagination.

Pillows are the easiest thing to sew. For any beginners, I totally recommend pillows. Four straight stitches. One hole for stuffing, and then close it up. It's like taking a first grade math test...as an adult. I actually had a hard time with math in first grade. Carrying the one is a difficult concept for a seven year-old.

Here's my final product.

With two pillows (the ones on the outside) I left stitches that made up the part of the valance where the bar goes to hold it on the window. I plan on threading ribbons through that part and tying them in a bow on either side. I'll post a picture when I do that.

I ripped those stitches out of the middle pillow, so it would be a rectangular pillow. As a set, I think they look very nice. They speak to me.

They say things like, "Hey there, stranger. Why don't you come and sit on my futon?"
And, "Come to me....come and sit on my futon...."
The other day I saw them wave their hand over Rufio's face and say, "This is not the droid you are looking for. You will sit on the futon."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Poopy Love?

This post is about my little angel. He loves me. Remember my list of things I liked about him? I summed it up that I liked his codependence.

There's a small....major....manifestation of his codependence that I don't like. I'll describe it to you:
It's a palindrome
It smells bad
It's POOP!

This dog poops when he's left alone in his crate. Then he kicks it around. Pooping and kicking.

I got him Monday. He started pooping like this at the groomer on Wednesday. Thursday I had to clean up poop. Friday I had to clean up poop - TWICE. Saturday we had dinner at my aunt's house, so I took him with me, instead of risking a poopy mess when I got home. I put him in the crate in a different room while we ate dinner and BOOM! the messiest of all.

Well, not really. Today was the messiest of all, which is why I am so inspired to write.

Yesterday I thought we had victory, because he didn't poop inside. I had left the radio on for him while we went to church. Trust me, the radio is not the solution, because I did it today and I came home to...nevermind. It's too gross.

I'm learning. I'm getting smart. I have changed things since he first pooped. Poop once, shame on you, poop seven times, shame on you seven times!

Some things I have changed:
No more cloth bed in the crate. That was a messy clean up.
No more bone in the crate. Yeah, I started rinsing them off and giving them back to him.
Lay a towel out around the crate so flying particles will still be caught.

Next thing on my agenda will be to buy some diapers they use for menstruating bitches. I have to get them for my separation-anxiety-disordered male dog who has diarrhea in his crate when I leave.

...

Okay. It's pretty annoying, but I still love him. I bathe him and wash the crate and wash the towels. I don't yell at him for it, because I know he's not trying to spite me. He has issues. I want to talk them over with him, but I have to find other means.

Any bad behavior can be trained out. I must persevere through this. Rufio will overcome his neurosis.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

HISMSV - Cactus Abundance

HISMSV - How I Spent My Summer Vacation

This is what a Floridian does when in southern Arizona.

1. Freak out about a saguro cactus.
Hey, lookee here, a sweet cactus.

2. Take pictures to show how tall the cactuses are.
The cactus was thiiiisss big!

3. Take pictures of funny-looking cactuses
Hahaha, that one is all droopy!

4. Take picture with ginormous one and give two thumbs up.
Stick em' up.

5. Drive through miles of saguro forests and cease to be amazed.

Saguro:Arizona::Palm Tree:Florida

The End.

Update:
#6 - misspell Saguaro.
#7 - say "cactuses" because it sounds better than "cacti"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ru...Fi...Oooooooooo

Rufiooooooooooooooooo - Watch this if you don't know what I'm talking about.

The Rufio I'm talking about isn't Mr. Skunk-head with too much mousse. I'm talking about our puppy:

Oh, hello, perfect little angel!

So here are 10 things like I love about Rufio:

1. He bonded with me immediately

2. He's already housebroken

3. He's fluffy (watch first 10 seconds of this for further understanding)

4. He follows me around the house, and waits outside the bathroom for me, even when I shower

5. He licks my toes

6. He smells nice

7. He comes when I call

8. He loves me (as in the "I was hiding under your porch because I love you" kind of love)

9. He whines at his reflection

10. He takes one piece of food and walks across the room to eat it, so he can eat it close to me.


So, basically I love his co dependence and fluffiness. I'm happy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shaving Bug

The other day I was shaving and thinking about blogging about my razor, because I really like it and I know you guys would be soooooooo intrigued by such a topic.

See, I used to be brand-loyal to Schick. But my deep desire to save money won out and I tried the Up&Up version of Venus. I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but after a couple weeks of use (that's about 4 shaves for me), I was in love (different than the love I have for the babies...or sleeping in...or Zane).

Back to my first story. I was shaving with it thinking about how much I like it, how smoothly it runs across my leg, how to word my blog entry about my dear little razor, and then something caught my eye. My orange and white razor had something...dark...on it.

I brought it close to my eyes for examination and what did I see?

THIS:

Yeah, that's a small bug IN my razor! I had only finished one leg (TMI?), and I obviously had to finish the other one, so I did with this guy in my razor threatening to crawl on me any second. Here's a close up:

AAAAAHHHHH!!!!

Sorry for the poor quality of this photo, and for the little hairs on the left there. Gross. Uhhh...they're not mine...

I left the razor just like that for a few minutes, then came back to the bathroom and found that the bug had escaped the captivity of my razor. I thought I had thoroughly drowned it in the shower, but it's a survivor I guess. I'm waiting for it to show up on/in my other toiletries.

Friday, August 6, 2010

HISMSV Pt 2: The Cave of Wonders

HISMSV=How I Spent My Summer Vacation

When we were driving through west Texas, Zane found this little golden bug thing. We weren't sure what it was, but when we got to New Mexico, we though we'd throw it on some sand in the desert and whaddya know-- a giant sand tiger with an earring popped out of the sand dunes. Then he opened his mouth, and the skinny old guy told us to get the lamp.

Wait, wrong story. Different cavern.

This post is about the national monument Carlsbad Caverns in southern New Mexico. We went here on day six of our epic road trip. A few years ago they used to have a restaurant in the caverns, which I was really excited about, like the main reason I wanted to go was to eat down there, but apparently they don't do that anymore. Boo. We still got to see some SWEET cave stuff. You know, like stalactites, stalagmites, body parts:
They call this one the stactit.

No, seriously, we saw awesomeness down there. I'm pretty sure the guys who created the characters from Pans Labrynth went down there to get ideas. We're pretty sure this was the inspiration for Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean:
I know, it's dark, but you can see it right? The beard...okay, it's a stretch.

That wasn't the only movie character we saw. We also saw some of Ursula's sea urchins:
"Now, it's happened once or twice, someone couldn't pay the price, and I'm afraid I had to rake 'em 'cross the coals." (Don't be deceived by the "Fairyland" sign...it's a trap!)

All in all, I had a great time in this National Monument, and I'd recommend it if you are in the area. But don't go expecting to eat in the underground restaurant just because you read about it in a novel. And because you saw billboards for it all along the road to get there. Don't have that expectation.

But you can have this expectation of what it will look like to walk into the caverns for the first time:
And if you plan it right - you can also see a bunch of bats fly out at dusk. It's true. Check out the site.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summertime Baby!

And I don't mean "Summertime, Baby!"

Every time I look around someone is having a baby! This is natural, since we have a pretty consistently high birth rate in the world.

Well over the past few months, I've gotten to hang out with some stinkin' cute babies (not stinky, but stinkin' cute). In case you don't believe me, I'll prove it:

First stop on our vacation this summer was Dallas. We met up with some of my family, including this handsome little man, Cole. That's him holding my heart in a pick-up-sticks can. I gave it to him freely (my heart, not the can).

Next, we visited our friends in Ft. Worth area. I hadn't seen Miss Hannah for eight months, but I had already fallen in love with her the day she was born. My heart was torn apart when she moved to Texas, but I was happy to see her again this summer. (And the entire family, of course, but this is a baby post).

This little monster (hey, his parent's call him that, okay?) was born while I was gone on my roadtrip! It was sad, because Mandi the first of my close friends to bring forth life into the world. She's the first one whose belly I could touch and not feel like a creeper. I had to be satisfied with a phone call congratulating her, since I was in a different time zone during his birth. In retrospect it was better, because present at our first meeting was Mandi, baby Dale, and me. No competition for baby holding!

 I first met him last week, but failed to document our intial meeting, so this photo is from last night. Little 3-week Dale stole the biggest part of my heart. I think it was when he fell asleep in my arms and I had the unquenchable urge to kiss his wittle bitty face. And run my fingers through his soft baby hair. And say things like, "You so sweet, you wittle bitty baby, wif your wittle bitty fingews..."  

Lastly, I met Zoe for the first time this past weekend. She's my cousin's daughter and this is her first trip to the states! So, yeah, I'm kind of in love with her too, although she wasn't so comfortable with people who aren't her mom. Hence the somewhat unsure expression on her face. It's okay, I'm patient and I think in the long run, I'll win her over!
 
And now, I'll conclude with this poem:
 
Babies, babies everywhere. Babies, babies in my hair...
Not exactly in my hair, not even in my underwear.
Was the last line inappropriate? 
I tried to find a word to fit. 
It's just that babies are so cool, 
I want to throw them in a pool---no I don't!
I'll show them that I ain't no fool---not really that either
I'll protect them in a duel? 
Nevermind.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Pt. 1

Summer vacation is different when you're not in school anymore. If you want to have a summer vacation, you actually have to take off of work and plan it - there's none of that "I'm off for three months" crap.

So, last November, I was antsy about life and I said to Zane, "Let's do a huge, fantastically amazing, awesome trip before we have kids."

He said, "Sounds great." (something like that)

We have many different places we want to go, but we eventually decided to go on an epic road trip out to the Grand Canyon. Here are the stats:
2 People
3 Weeks
8 States
11 National Parks
6,000 Miles of Driving

I'll be posting some sweet stories about this amazing trip. For now, here's a little teaser of what we got to see. (NOTE: most of our pictures are a pathetically small snapshot of a majestically large scene).


Update! Here are the links to the whole series:
Carlsbad Caverns - New Mexico
Saguaro Cacti - Arizona
Apache Trail - Arizona
Grand Canyon  - Arizona (North and South Rim)
Walnut Canyon - Arizona
Bryce Canyon - Utah
The Big Texan - Texas