Friday, December 29, 2006

Our Puppy Pilsner

well we did it! today we woke up at 2:30 (ark time), left little rock, flew to st louis, and arrived in salt lake to drive an hour and pick up our airedale puppy. His name is Pilsner and he is adorable!! i've read so many books on raising a puppy, but now that he is actually here i don't know what to do with him! after he looked around the house and got sleepy we decided we would introduce him to his crate. he ate his supper inside the crate and both eric and i were trying to get him to come up the stairs on his own to go outside to 'do his business' when he squatted right there. i was farther away and cuoldn't see but all eric did was say, "uh oh". i said "uh oh? uh oh? UH OH??!! ERIC you can't just stand there and say uh oh you have to grab him and stop it!!!" it was so classic!!! puppy just ate and needed to pee. owners have NO CLUE. anyway, accidents will happen, even to us perfectionists who own dogs. he is going to be a real joy i think, and i am looking forward to the relationship i will develop with him.

i can't figure out how to change these pictures around so they'll be right side up. eric's at the gym climbing so my tech guy was unavailable. :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

thanksgiving pictures

These are some pictures from our thanksgiving climbing trip. they are all out of order and backwards b/c i can't quite figure out blogger's picture upload-er just yet.

Birchler- this one's for you! katie was trying to take a picture of our bivi(i thinki...), but i was also trying to go the bathroom at the same time. It was an experience!

This is the line that we climbed. About 800 feet.

Walking back to the car after the 3 days of climbing.

Mark, Katie, Eric, and i at the top of the climb!!

Zion Canyon, the road runs down this narrow water and wind carved geological wonder. the people in the cars would lean out and yell at us things like, "don't fall". that really helped.

It's a long way down! this is the view to the bottom of the canyon from our overnight ledge (bivi ledge in climbing lingo)

Me leading the first pitch off of the bivi ledge.

Katie, Eric and I at a belay anchor about 200 feet up

Katie and I waking up after a night of sleeping on the port-a-ledge

Me in the early morning, Angel's landing in the background. I look tired. it was a long night b/c i was in the middle of a nasty cold.

Jugging up our fixed lines early on Day 2. "jugging up a fixed line" means, using rope clamps, we haul ourselves up a rope we attached to an anchor the day before. you can see a second group here starting the same climb we are doing.

This is a view of Zion Canyon from our over night ledge at pitch 5- around 600 ft.

Me and Eric at a belay anchor- Angel's Landing is in the background.

First move off the ground- a hook placement! yikes!

I just fell! don't worry mom, the rope caught me!

Mark, Katie, and I before starting Touchstone, Zion Nat'l Park

Katie and I at a belay- you can barely see the scrub bushes at dots in the distance.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thanksgiving at 453 ft

well, we did it! we spent thanksgiving hanging from a red sandstone wall in Zion Nat'l Park. it was fun! the trip was actually fantastic and un-eventful as you would want a trip like this to be. we had perfect weather (lows in the 20's at night, highs in the 50's during the day) clear, blue skies, and lots of good fellowship between eric, mark, katie and i. pictures will soonfollow. the only thing that wasn't so great for me was a terrible cold i started coming down with on wednesday. sleeping in that cold weather till sunday morning didn't help at all. it progressively got worse as the days passed. i was so weak on saturday that i had to come back down from the pitch i was trying to lead. we spent friday night on the wall at the top of pitch five (around 500 ft up). katie and i slept on the port-a-ledge and eric and mark bivied on the small ledge. the whole thing was such an experience. i'm glad i did it. do i want to do it again? not for another year at least! i think it would be a fun once a year type thing, but it was exhausting. and everything was colored by my cold, which made me weak, tired, and fuzzy-headed. but we all made it up the wall, had lots of tourists taking our pictures and yelling out the windows of their cars, 'don't fall!' as they drove by.

using the bathroom was...interesting! i am sure that my hind side has made an appearance in at least 20 tourist's thanksgiving photos. seriously, they just stand by their car hundreds of feet down and use binoculars or whatever to stare up at the ppl climbing the walls. i felt like an animal in a pet zoo or something. "wow, look at that exotic climber- that one's got a red helmet!". i basically had to moon the world to use the bathroom. not that bad actually.

the wall was just very mentally tiring. everything had to always be clipped in somewhere. and you couldn't ever just let your guard down b/c what if you dropped the lid that goes to the water bottle? and where are your anchors? did anyone move my carabiner? and i need another carabiner to clip in my gloves....on and on. i always wanted to aid climb to learn about gear, anchors, ledges, etc. well i am well on my way to learning that. mark did a fantastic job of basically guiding us up this wall and being patient with all the newbys. we didn't have a clue. really. and no one got hurt or anything. i'm glad i spent my thanksgiving doing something energetic. many times after that huge thanksgiving meal i feel ancy b/c i have sat inside all day and then consumed about 2000 calories. it felt good to actually be needing food on this climb.

we were all glad to be back down on the ground. you can just walk around like a normal person and not worry about falling anywhere. and i can just go use the bathroom like normal! and i dont' have to keep track of every article of my own clothing. i can put soemthing down and walk away. we were just mentally ready to be down on the ground. and some ppl can do this type of climbing for days on end. we only spent one night! saturday evening we poached a hot tub in springville (the itty bitty town outside zion with all the toursity things) mark figured out that all you have to do is walk up outside the hot tub and pretend that y ou had forgot the code and someone inside will come open the door for you. it worked. some part of me still felt like a college kid trying to get something for nothing. here i ama professional nurse- i have a real job now for crying out loud, and i am still trying to find ways to get into hot tubs that i have no business being in for free. anyway, the hot water really felt good. i would do it again in a heartbeat :)

we were welcomed back to winter here in SLC with a foot of snow on the groun monday evening. it is jsut beautiful here now. the resorts are up and running and we are planning on making our debu this weekend. i had to call in sick on tuesday to get over this dang cold. it really kinda put me on the side line. i tried to pretend like it wasn't happening b/c, well, i didn't have a choice. i was hangin in my harness 500 ft up. i couldn't exactly hydrate and take benadryl. it took me a few days to bounce back and i amstill not over it yet.

this weekend is also tree getting weekend. and boy am i excited! i got out all the christmas decorations, bought eric's christmas present, and in general got pretty psyched on christmas. a tradition that my family always did and that i have carried over into my family with eric is advent. every evening you gather around the garland of 4 candles and read a scripture and a devotional about the birth of christ. the four candles all stand for something different to reflect the season. then you take a candle and sing a christmas carol on yoru way to bed. i love doing this b/c it makes you stop and think about the season, plus as a child i always played with the wax while mom tried to relate to us on a spiritual level. it didn't always work. but now that i am the instigator i can't wait to do advent.

our good friends josh and annie just delivered their baby yesterday. a sweet healthy baby girl named Sahale. we are going up to their cabin this weekend to see her.

work's been good this past month. we are having a catered christmas party with an open bar and dancing next weekend. i'm like, wow, there are actually cool employee christmas parties??! i am so glad i have come to work at the ortho surgery center and have the time off that i do. eric and i are really looking forward to being with his parents over the holiday.

monday morning we picked out our little dog!!! i am pretty dang excited. i've got just about everything we could need for the puppy at our house and set up. by the looks of it we already have a dog. but i have some pretty firm beliefs about dogs being just dogs. not children. not uber special. just a dog. there's a place for the dog and some ppl have carred their dog waaaay over into human-dom. he is just a little puppy right now and we will be bringing him home december 29.

if anybody ever needs any outdoor gear made by Patagonia, just let eric and i know. the next big sale is in february but we can be on the look out for you. extra good deals....almost all my christmas presents this year are from that brand. but who wouldn't want something made by them?!

Friday, November 10, 2006

so I Aid Climb...

I am discovering a new kind of climbing. it is called aid climbing and invovles using gear to pull yourself up a wall instead of 'free climbing' which invovles your body- using arms and legs to work your way up a wall. Aid climbing typically means you will be getting very high off the ground. most climbers in yosemite are aid climbing. you have to aid climb rock that is just way too hard for the average (not super human) climber to free climb. when you look at a chunk of rock and it just looks impossible to climb using fingers, toes, etc you can probably get to the top by aiding. you place protective gear in a crack, connect a sort of ladder to that piece of gear and step up the ladder with all your weight. place another piece, move your ladder, etc. it sounds almost easy, until you try it. i 'aided' a 100ft pitch this last week and by the top of it my brain was absolutely frazzled. it was just being 'on' for almost 2 hours- as in my brain was working, thinking, choosing, deciding, doubting, and guessing for 2 hours straight. aid climbing is slow, but it gets you high. aid climbers are the ones that sleep on port-a-ledges- those tarp looking things that people sleep on 1000 ft off the ground. it was fun though- it is systematic, detailed, and interesting. most importantly, it makes you very familiar with the protection we climbers use while free climbing. you learn very quickly which kind of gear is 'good' and which kind will probably pop out of the rock if youf all on it.

why all this about aid climbing?

because we are going to climb a big wall in zion nat'l park over thanksgiving. the wall will be around 1000 ft high, and we will be spending the night somewhere around 600 ft. eric, mark, katie and i are all going and we are pretty excited. mark and i have been practising more than eric and katie b/c we have more time off so we will probably lead more of the routes. the people who follow the leader must 'jug' up the rope- using metal devices called ascenders they slide themselves up a fixed rope. it will be epic. it will be challenging. it will be fun!!!

Thursdays are my favorite day. we meet with several other couples every thursday to share a meal and just talk. if it's about God so much the better. but mostly we are all getting to know each other. mark and lauren, tabetha and brian, garrett and bridget, eric and i. last night we took katie with us too. we didnt' mean for it to only be couples, it's just who we knew at the time. i feel so blessed to have this growing group of friends. last night we all told how we met/dated/got married and we just laughed and laughed. it was so much fun. i felt like i had a lot of community. i look forward to thursday evenings so much now.

this saturday we are going to attempt a backcountry ski run. i say 'attempt' b/c we only have moderate snow right now and i'm not sure we will find enough out there. but it'll be fun. and (i can't believe i am going to say this) we may actually watch an arkansas football game. brian and tabetha are from tennessee and they invited us up to park city for the arkansa/tennessee game. mostly we want to go just to drink some beer, eat chips and salsa, and laugh a lot. i could care less what we are watching. we are even attempting to drag our northwestern friends garret and bridget along with us (and you KNOW they don't care!).

eric and i now have memberships at a climbing gym. i've gone a few days so far and can only last about 1 hour. my hands get torn apart and i have been sore for days now. it's a good sore though.

work has been kinda hard this week. i haven't been able to get all my hours (again) and that creates a certain amount of stress. so to make up the time i have been helping in the pre-op section, making home phone calls to review health histories with patients, doing sort of glorified secretary duties. that is hard for me when i feel trained to do such a different job.

today is friday. hurray! i am looking forward to this weekend, the friends we will hang out with, and the mountains we will enjoy. salt lake is so pretty right now with the snow capped mountains and the blue skies. don't you all want to come visit?! :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

October Pics

Josh and I had a contest to see whose hair was greasier by the end of the trip. It's a close call.

Sam and I digging out the clay road with an ice tool and a plastic avalanche shovel

Leading Dr. Carl 5.10 Indian Creek, Utah

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's been a while

wow, the month of october has flown by. it's been a really busy month for Eric and I. so for a quick (hopefully) update:

it started out with Indian Creek. what a fiasco! for a full account you can read eric's blog, but i'll give a quick rendition. (i should hopefully post some pics a little later) we arrived late wednesday night and got in a few decent climbs on thursday during the day, depsite the sprinkles of rain and dark clouds. however, the rain started sometime that night and continued for the next 24 hours. we got the bright idea friday morning to go into moab for breakfast since we obviously couldn't climb. well, moab's main street flooded while we were in the coffee shop and we started actually thinking for the first time and decided that we might need to get back to camp to see if it was floating or not. somehow we crossed indian creek. but our subaru stalled out half way across, water started flooding in eric's driver's door, and the car started to be swept sideways. the car restarted and surged through the river...then we really started to worry. we still had one more creek to cross to get to our campsite. when we crossed it two days earlier it has been maybe ankle deep and no problem. by the time we arrived however it was at least 5 feet high. sam waded across and brought us the bad news: our camp was literally floating in a pool or water. indian creek is at the bottom of the riverbed, and all streams converge there. there were waterfalls off of every climbinb buttress around and more rain just kept coming. i think that the record was set that day: 1.6 inches. that is moab's YEARLY precipitation in exactly ONE day. it was total flash flood scene. and in the desert with the hard red clay, nothing soaks in, it just all runs off and down. down to indian creek. down to our tents. the boys decided to cross the river (and keep me on the dry side to take video and pictures and stay warm) and get a few dsupplies for going back into moab to sleep in a hostel. (obviously we still werne't thinking- cross the creek that nearly did us in again?! don't ask what we were doing....) anyway, they got some sleeping bags, pasta, spaghetti noodles, and some water. sam's car is stuck on the other side of the uncrossable river with the rest of our gear. we pile back into the subaru, come to indian creek and what do you know- it's risen about 3 feet in the 1 hour we were gone. we can't cross. we are stuck on an island between two creeks, with all our gear in a puddle on the wrong side. it was a long night. a very long night. we made spaghetti on the one stove and ate it with theo nly utensils the boys thought to grab: a spatula, one fork, and thankfully the wendy's plastic spoon i had saved in the glove box from our ride down. sam and josh slept in the back seat (which we couldn't lay down the back seat b/c of the gear piled in the back and, did i forget to mention? it's STILL raining...) and eric slept with the steering wheel in his lap. i was in the front seat. it was such a long night. my hips and knees ached like i needed to have bilateral replacements on everything, and at onepoint i woke up b/c the stench from someone's fart was so bad i coudnl't breathe. but i also coudln't open the window b/c of the rain.. you get the idea. our car still has a funk smell to it. we woke up the next morning to find the second creek had deposited about 35 feet of silt, clay, cow pooh, and muck on either side of the creek. still inpassible, although the water has lowered considerably. we all crossed (sam gave me a piggy back b/c it was so cold - he had hypothermia from the day before it was so cold) and we made a decent breakfast and started the process of waiting. the water finally lowered to a crossable level, but the muck/mud/pooh mess was still inpassable. we had one entrenching tool found at the campsite and sam's ice tool with which we began to dig out the road. if we dug deep enough we could get to gravelly dirt and it would be solid enough to get sam's car over the stream. another dutch climber offered us his two plastic avelanche shovels. and so begant he digging. about 8 hours of digging. with tiny shovels and an ice tool. it was hilarious. the boys were down to their underwear to stay cleaner andwe took turns telling our stories. so it was good company and conversation after all. we spent that night at our campsite with mostly dry gear and a good dinner at least. the next morning the sun was shining and sam made it over the river. we still had indian creek to cross however. and sam's check engine light came on. geez, one more thing. indian creek was in a similar mess, but other bored climbers had dug a ramp into and out of the creek. our subaru just barely made it down the ramp and up the other side. sam's car got stuck. so josh eric and i got behind the car and started shoving with all we had. his car finally broke through and made it out. so, the only sunny bright day was sunday, and we ere exhausted and worried abuut sam's car and getting home. we just left. our entire trip consisted of 3 climbs and then a lot of mud. wow. i have a couple good pics i'll put up when i amposting from my home computer. josh had the best attitude about it. he said that he'd been on enough 'climbing' trips that turn into these sorts of epics and that he didn't go on trips to climb anymore. he went for the adventure. and an adventure it was. josh kept us all in good spirits, and of course seeing our friend sam was delightful as always. it turned out to be pretty fun in the end after all, and i'm still glad we went. i've been trying to get a crew togehter to go back to indian creek ever since, but haven't been able to find ppl with the time off. we left jsut in time i heard though, b/c the next monday and tuesday it flash flooded again. a few people were killed this october in southern utah, on that weekend and on a nother one due to the uncommon amount of rainfall. it's been a very wet fall and wet falls can be fatal in the desert. nobody expects the flash flood to occur in october. all the narrow slot canyons in southern utah, and then the lower elevations such as indian creek and canyonlands make for very dangerous places to be in rainy weather. we learned something about the rain though- next time we'll know better!

i worked the next 3 days after indian creek and then that saturday we were out climbing in little cottonwwood canyon with a couple of friends. well, there was a team of 3 people ahead of us on a climb we really wanted to do. we should have just left the area and found another place to climb, but we were all content waiting and talking. eventually we started talking to the 3 climbers ahead of us and came to discover they were from vancouver, british colombia. i asked them where they were staying b/c there isn't good camping around our canyons. they were paying to camp in a KOA on the shady side of town right next to the train tracks. they said it was pretty rough. well, i just went ahead and offered our house to them. they were climbers. from canada. and seemed very decent. and had a bad place to camp. we have a great little house (although a very awkward bathroom accessed only off the master bedroom) and God blessed us with it, we have a little extra only made sense. so sunday evening, Team Canada came to stay! it was so much fun. they were a great group of people! unfortunately for them, it rained the next 3 days and they didn't get to climb again. two of them (guy and girl) were on a 7 week road trip to climb, and one of their friends had just come down the salt lake for a few days to climb with them. i hung out with them during the days b/c i didn't have to work, and we stayed up late every evening talking. they were very liberal, which was really fun to talk about and hear their thoughts and feelings about the united states. Derreck, Bruce, and Gabby. we called them Team Canada. they stayed until thursdaymorning and then headed to el paso, TX to climb in hueco tanks. they even left us some real canadian maple syrup for letting them stay with us. i had such a good time with them- although every one who stays with us feels bad about going to the bathroom int he middle of the night b/c you have to walk by our bed... :) i think they really appreciated the house too b/c camping int he rain (as i should know!) is no fun. vancouver is relatively close to a world class climbing area in B.C. called Squamish and they offered their houses to us in return. eric and i are seriously thinking of a road trip up there this summer. it seems that God would have us opening our house to many people. we've been married a little over a year and already we have had manymany people stay with us. we are only too happyto open our house to anyone who needs a place to stay/live for a while!

after Team Canada left, it was work for a little bit. then the next saturday we went to the Black Diamond Gear Swap. Black diamond is an excellent manufacturer of outdoor gear- everything from skies, to bindings, to climbing gear to gloves. they make it all and it is very expensive. well twice a year they open their parking lot to any and all and people bring things to swap and sell. i even saw a guy trying to sell his super beat up old truck with a camper on it for $2,000 cash. mostly it is gear though. eric helped a cuople of our good friends here get set up with telemark skies. we bought a couple of things at the swap for exgtremely good prices. i got a pair of beat up climbing shoes to use int he gym for 10$. we also got a rain shelter for $50- normally a $180 dollar item. the atmosphere was delicious. so many down puffy jackets, outdoorsy people, and dogs.... along with a few of the super hot to trot snow bunnies in UGG boots from park city. butmostly it was dirtbag climbers and skiers. it was so much fun. we hung out in a cafe for hours afterwards talking with good friends.

that evening i decided it would be good to seam seal the seams on our new tent. but i used my hands with no gloves. and loe and behold my fingers got stuck together. so eric and i piled into the car and ran to lowes. i sneakily snuck down the chemical/handwashing isle trying all the different cleansers to figure out which one would work. the whole process took quite some time and my fingers were getting really nasty with all the glue and whatnot that i was putting on it. nothing worked! not even washing my hands with acetone! finally i found some pumice soap that got the stuff off,a lthough i am still pulling the sticky glue out of my fingernails.

and lastly the big news is..... we are getting a puppy!! it was a very long process and lots of talking and considering has gone into it. i won't go into it on my blog b/c it would just take toolong. but eric and i have thought about it a TON. it's a lifestyle change for sure. and especially the first year will be harder due to it being a puppy. but after that it should work out fairly well. i will certainly enjoy the company on the days where i can't find anyone to climb and eric is gone all day. plus, we've had at least 5 people say they will dog watch for us when we go out of town. i am extremely happy about this, while eric is only moderately happy. but he's also been really stressed out this week with work and he only wants a husky dog which we can't really provide for at this stage in our lives. huskies require an immense maount of work, walking, and space. we only have a small fenced back yard and have to be away from the house for too long for a dog like a husky to work. so we are getting an airdale. if i was savy at all with computers (if i only had eric's little pinky worth amount of computer saviness i 'd be better off) i'd attach a cool picutre of an airedale right here. but as it is you'll have to google images airedale terrier. they are really cute, about 50 lbs. i grew up with airedales and then we got wirefox terriers later on. they are a similar dog, airedales are just bigger. we are still coming up with the name. one of the good things about an airedale is there is a breeder in salt lake city and we will be pikcing up our puppy straight from them on decebmer 29th- the day we fly back from arkansas for christmas. i am so happy about this! the puppy stage will be trying for sure, ia m reading several books on raising a puppy now. but the dog stage will be wonderful. and i have lots of plans for obedience training etc. i'd like to be able tot ake the dog climbing with me, and have him stick around the climb where i am at, not run away or bother other people and avoid the climbing gear.

eric has been having a pretty hard time with school recently. i think every semester has a real low point and eric is there right now. he's looked pretty stressed out recently and it hasn't helped that so much has gone on during the month of october. it seems that a lot of days i am goign out to play or spend time with my friends and he has to go to work. so he has to watch us all drive away smiling while he heads to the lab with a heavy head. plus added stressors of getting things accomplished in the lab.

we had a get together with our new friends mark and lauren kimble last night. we went on a blind date with them (we got emails from jordan greenwald) and they turned out to be just great. lauren works for an environmental agency and mark works for Scott (bikes, ski goggles, etc) anyway, we've had dinner with them a few times and last night we got together with another couple from park city (but really from tennessee). we also invited our brand new friends (as of yesterday ) brdiget and garrett grove. we met bridget and garrett through josh and annie (as in josh that went to the indian creek fiasco with us) they just moved here from washington and i spent all day with them yesterday trying to find a decent apartment in salt lake. i am excited that they will be living in salt lake and not park city (as the rest of oru community lives in park city). they are, of course, outdoorsy people and i know we will get along just great. we had a good time yesterday. it seems that our community has really grown during the month of october as well. i've gone climbing witha girl named Katie. i met her through mark and i think katie is fantastic. i've also climbed with Lacy- another nurse working in the pediatric ED. Lacy is also friends with Tracy, whom i have hung out with a bit more and absolutely love as well. isn't this amazing? 3 girls i have found climbing.... i am so excited about this!

work has been very stressful for me as well this october. we had one man code and pass away in our hallway that first week, last week i had a very difficult patient to deal with and try to set up some home health for, and this week is the same. october feels like it's lasted about 5 months. but here we are on the verge of november. and basically that means holidays. i do love this time of year. when i am in october the sound of 'june' just feels icky in my mouth. it is certainly crisp here, and the snow has fallen. we are predicted to open our resort on november 18th. we have season passes again this year, only to a different resort up in park city.

salt lake seems friendlier than ever. at least, i have met many people with whom i can spend the time with at different times. there are still days when i am off in the middle of the week and no one else is off. i spend that day alone. that is why i am excited about a dog for those days. the weekends are marvelous now that i am off all the time. i've gotten to spend some more time with eric- wich makes for some interesting times. on saturdays we can get so excited about our time off together that we will neglect important chores (taking care of cars, house, etc) to spend time together. or we will get to excited to do so many things that we try to do too much or else can't decide what to do at all. and then of course eric willa lways have the nagging thing in the back of his mind saying, 'go work in the lab...'.

we have also purchased this fall backcountry skiing gear. we are fully equipped to hike up any hill we fancy and ride back down. of course we lack the knowledge to escape avalanches, but that will come with a couple of classes and some time int he backcountry. cassie and i have madea goal to backcountry tour at least once a week this winter. eric and i will probably be out there ever saturday it isn't dumping snow (when it dumps the risk of avalanches is highly increased b/c of the loose powder..but a couple days after the dump...ahhhhh powder. )

well, this is a throw back to the old polly-length posts. but so much has happened recently- both good things and hard. we are officially coming back to arkansas for christmas- december 24-29th. we'd love to see anyone we can...

Monday, October 02, 2006

the new job

well, my first week of the new job is done and i am currently starting my second. it's been....interesting. i moved from the main university of utah hospital to an orthopedic center about 2 miles away. we do mostly elective surgeries here, with some total knee/hip replacements as long as they are easy cases with minimal potential of complications. i work on the inpatient unit. on any given day i have about half the load of patients that i used to have on 6 North, and they are all extremely nice and easy to take care of. last week i probably sat down more than the whole year before hand. this might sound good, but it isn't really. i like to be going, to have things to do, to keep busy. and this place is just, well, slow. really slow. boring infact. however, i really like the people i work with, and i enjoy the days schedule immensely. i actuallyw ent to church two sundays in a row, which hasn't happened in a year. i spent two whole days ina row with eric this weekend. that was awesome! i am waking up at 6.30 am and getting to sleep at 9-10pm every night! i feel normal! i haven't been nauseous in over 2 weeks. i have energy. i don't think i am pregnant all the time. there are so many pluses over here. i am having a bit of trouble with the scheduling. it is very difficult to get my full 36 hrs a week here due to the constant flex of patients. some days we get pts some days all thepts we have go home. some days the surgeons simply don't operate and we don't get any admits at all. today, i only have 2 patients. and they cuold go home tomorrow. or the next day. so you see, we can't schedule our nurses very well b/c it is so changing allt he time. this week i won't be able to get 36 hrs in. but last week i got over 40. and i don't have to work anything around the holidays b/c we are closed. that is great on one hand, but on the other, we still need my income during those weeks. so i am going to have to really plan ahead and pick up shifts back at the main hospital, or just figure somethingout. i talked to a couple of management today and let them know hwo muchi have to have 36 hrs a week and they said don't worry, it'llw ork out. i don't realy know how. so it's been slightly stressful this weekt rying to figure out if i will really be able to afford working here. it'd be a great job for a wife whose husband makes bank and this would just be play money. however, i am the bread winner and thsu have been having breadwinner complexes this past week wanting to be sure we can be provided for. eric hates that i have to go through this, but it's only for a time. so, one week has gone by and i know i need t just give thsi job a little more time. hopefully things will work out one way or the other. and i can always try to go back to 6 north for acouple of days a month and get some extra money. some of this really slow down time is hard for me to swallow though. i haven't really done anything here for a couple of hours now. i don't even feel like a nurse b/c this place is so laid back. i feel like God brought me this job in a way though,a nd so i can wait to see what He might have in mind for it. there are so many positives about taking this job and i know that anything i might go to next back at the main hospital will put me back working nights again. i just don't think i can ever stomach that again. it was one of the hardest things about my first year here.

this past weekend was really good. eric andi met up with an arkanasa alum and her husband friday night for a mexican dinner. jordan greenwald gave us her emamil and we got in contact. it was like a double blind date. we didn't even know who we were supposed to meet at the restaurant. we've done that a couple of times here in salt lake b/c that's just he way you meet friends here. anyway, lauren and mark turned out to be just great. they are really active, christians, interesting, and a lot of funt o talk with. we sat and talked until 10:30 before we realized what time it was. i am rejoicing that God brought us some more friends.

i was also able to go climbing with two other girls on friday. it was one of the best climbing days i can remember. we laughed the entire time andi ended that day rejoicing that god had given me a couple of girls with whom to bond, climb, and shre life with for a time.

we are preparing for a climbing trip over the weekend. eric's fall break is thursday through sunday and we are headed to indian creek, utah. a climbing mecca just outside of moab. we are meeting sam higby and our good friend josh is coming from park city as well. it's goign to be just fabulous. not to mention that for the first time i'll be able to contribute leading in indian creek. we went 3 times last weekand every time sam had to lead everything. so i am very excited about climbing down there. it's one of the most beautiful places i can think of to be climbing.

well, that's a good update for the weekend and up coming week. i am anxiously awaiting to become accustomed to my new job, see that my hours get filled, and become comfortable here. we are comging back to arkansas for christmas. we will be in the little rock/batesville area decebmer 23-29th---anyone else going to be around that area??! i'd love to see anyone we can.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Springs and Things

Last weekend eric and i hiked out to a hot springs with our friends, joe and natlie and cassie. these hot srings are the coolest thing ever-they are totally natural. people who visit them have moved around rocks to make natural dams and pool up the water. a cold stream runs right by the hot springs, so with just the right mixture you can create the perfect temperature. it takes about an hour to hike to the springs. this day was a great temperature.if you look closely you can see a red line on my legs from the hot water. we are sitting on a rock here trying to get out of the scalding water. most of the time there are people skinny dipping in the springs. cassie and i snowshoed into these springs last winter on a day when the high was 9 degrees F. my hankerchief froze in my pocket during the hike out. i just love doing things like this!

the hike out to the springs. note the changing colors of the aspen trees in the background. it was beautiful!

Friday, September 22, 2006

did i miss fall?

salt lake city skipped fall this year and went straight to winter. we now have a 15 inch base on the ski slopes, and the snow line has descended to the city line. our mountains are again white! it's been raining/hailing/sleeting in the city for the past 3 days. in a city where we get 350 days of sunshine, i have to admit that every once in a while i really enjoy these rainy days. it's not rainy very often, and it thunders even less. it's done everything the past two days though. i've been able to sleep in a couple of the mornings of the storm and it was delicious!

my last day of work on 6 North was last wednesday. it was anti-climatic. in fact, i don't think anybody really noticed or cared. it was a little hard to swallow. i guess it's such a big place and nurses come and go so frequently that it's not that big of a deal when someone leaves. and to tell the truth, i didn't really have any friends on the floor. i mean, they were nice co workers but i never once saw any one outside of work. i am mostly glad to have left the hospital though. several nurses have left recently, leaving the floor down 6 nurses. even more reason to be happy i am gone! i am really looking forward to checking into my new job on monday morning at 10 am. it's a weird time for a nurse, but maybe i have to do some orientation.

today has been a low-key day. it's raining, so no climbing, besides i couldn't find anyone to go climbing with me anyway. yesterday, i drove up the canyon to my friend cassie's cabin. it was wonderful. we sipped tea by the log fire and watched the snow fall. our discussions were very inspiring as well.

this afternoon is in celebration of all things pumpkin. i got on better homes and gardens website and found a plethra of pumpkin recipes. currently iam backing pumpkin spice loaves, with chocolate chip pumpkin cookies waiting to go in. i looked for a good pumpkin candle too, but couldn't find one at the supermarket. it'll have to wait for a trip to the mall or something.

i found a new good tea: the republic of tea- Tea of Inquiry. it is green tea with toasted rice. it's really good. but then, most republic of tea is really good. and really expensive. but certainly the best tea i've had.

new favorite CD: KT tunstall- eye to the telescope.

new favorite DVD: Pilates for Dummies. don't belittle this DVD. i thought it was kinda silly when i was doing it, but then i was sore the next day. pilates is great!

we watched the royal tenebaums last night. i am not sure i quite get that movie. but a lot of ppl i know have said that is one of their favorites. it reminded me of an american Amelie. it was just kinda weird. and we didn't really get the point. i did laugh a couple of times though.

two movies that have been recommended to me recently: I heart Hucabees. and What the bleep do you know? they are both independent films and may be kinda hard to find. but supposedly really good movies.

this past week i climbed the climb that was my goal for the summer. it felt really good to have reached a personal goal and a personal max in climbing. i looked at this climb at the beginning of this summer and thought, wow, i don't know if i'll ever be able to do that. and i did it last week. it was fun, and within my ability and wasn't even that scary. i've come a long way. the climb is called Green Adjective and was featured on the front of Climbing magazine a year or so ago mislabled as the serenity crack in yosemite valley.

i have been having real dog lust recently. it seems everywhere i look someone has a dog. man, i want a dog. we have agreed to wait until at least this spring/summer to look into getting one. we can't figure out how we would potty train a puppy with us both being gone for 12 hours a day when i work. eric would have to come home int he middle of hte day and play with it. we are thinking more along the lines of rescuing a husky. or at least trying to get a well behaved, chilled out one from a sled dog racing breeding place in park city. we have a couple of friends who got one from this place and their dog is a real joy. i think it might be hard to find a chilled out husky though. and our fence in the back yard is definitely not dog-digging proof. we'll just have to see. in my meantime, every dog i see gets a loving pet on the head b/c i want one of my own. i wouldn't be so lonely then on these long days off.

only a couple more hours before eric gets home. then my day can really start.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Cozy Saturday Evening

Leading some .10a in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Smooth quartzite sport climb- fun!

Sunrise in Little Cottonwood Canyon- early morning climbing whohoo! I tried a simple off-width/chimney pitch that pitched me off twice. it wasn't so simple. but i watched my partner sail right through it. then, having seen the moves, i sailed right through it. i love that feeling of getting up early and doing something you are proud of- whether it be a run, a quiet time, a great, hard climb, or making a wonderful breakfast.

Saturday evening: Taboo, popcorn, ice cream, tea, and chocolate zucchini bread. Our friend Brian came over for a little chill out session. We like to play board games together. our friend mark says that we are 'square'. but we did succeed in pulling mark into a game of scrabble. i love playing board games. we were talking tonight about how everyone our age seems to NEED a TV, or alcohol or video game to 'hang out' on the weekends. i am glad we found 'square brian' who likes to play scrabble, taboo, and balderdash on the weekends. he is eric's friend from grad school - so he can understand where eric comes from with school and the stress from it.

today we went to the farmer's market. we bought tomatos, peaches, and some wonderful foccacia bread. then we walked over to the greek festival. and wow, what a festival. we stayed for the lunch served (a bit expensive...but we are contributing to a local thing so it's okay) and it was good. the best baklava i've ever had. we didnt' stay for the dances etc that the greeks do. eric had to do some school work this afternoon. but it was really fun to go and see all the people, and taste all the greek food. i love living in salt lake where we have unique activities like this one to experience.

while eric worked on an MRI scan, i.....watched anne of green gables. oh yeah. i laughed. i cried. i loved every bit of it! after i finished the first movie, i ran to the library and checked out the sequel. i am half way through that one now. gosh, anne of green gables is so great. my heart just beats with her's, and i feel so... invovled when i watch these movies. i want what she wants, become indignant when she does, and cry when she does. it has to be in my top 5 favorite movies of all time. not exactly a guy movie, in fact eric opted to fix my blog last night rather than be drug into watching the movie. he's a great husband, but not even he can get into anne of green gables. i mean, come on, doesn't every guy want to be gilbert? every girl wants to be anne.....

tomorrow we are going to church, and then a good mountain bike ride with brian. he's impossible to keep up with. our only hope is that he is going for a 26 mile mtn bike ride tomorrow mornig. so by the afternoon he'll actually be down to our pace. i love not working on the weekends!

favorite coffee drink: (besides anything pumpkin-spice related which is only seasonal. so this is my favorite can-get-it-anytime-anywhere drink) Americano with half'n'half and hazelnut syrup. starbucks makes a killer one. but here's the key: you have to put in the half'n'half first. have them put in a little halfnhalf, add the americano (which is an espresso shot with water) and a couple pumps of hazelnut syrup. yuumm. you can add the half n half after the drink is made, but coby (my starbuck's barista friend) figured out you only have 13 seconds to add the half n half to decrease the bitterness of the coffee. anything longer than 13 seconds and it just won't taste as right. enjoy!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Feels like Fall

Salt lake is enjoying the first tendrils of fall. i have been riding my bike home from night shifts this week, and brrrr has it been cold! every day i have realized i must add a nother layer to my clothing to stay warm against the chill breeze of my alldownhill ride. it is absolutely delicious! the nights are so enjoyable...the middle of the day is still sorta hot though, still not longsleeve weather just yet. but it is fleece weather at night.i love this time of the year. short sleeves during the day and whatever kind of warm coat you've been longing to bust out all summer at night. i must say i can't wait to wear that down coat again- i love that coat. and that vest. and that fleece. and that hat.....etc.

our patagonia outlet just had 50% off sale this week. 50% off everything already marked down in the store. i bought a few things to replentish my climbing clothes supply (they wear out quickly against that rock!). i just love that sale. there are a million people and the place is really small. i waited in line for 2 hours just to check out. but the deals are worth it.

i finally received a call from the ortho center. my start date is september 25. i am very excited about it, although i still have many questions- do i still have to bring my own scrubs? what about holidays? what will be my exact schedule? i want to work every wed, thurs, fri. b/c that will work out best with the other climber's schedules that i know. i have been trying to give up my anxiety to God though, b/c my owrrying about it for a month won't help. but i like to know RIGHT NOW. and god doens't always work like that huh?

i have been reading the Mark of the Lion series by francine rivers during this bout of night shifts. i apoligize ahead of time to all you francine rivers fans.....but these books are terrible. they are like 3rd rate romance novels begging to be accepted by secular society, but totally aimed at christians who would otherwise feel guilty reading a 'secular romance novel'. i know, those may be some harsh words, but seriously... her writing style is poor and hardly near classic. i thought i had heard that they were a good series to read, so i pickedup the first one. the only good thing i can say about it, is that it has kept me awake at night b/c it does have an element of thrill to it, of which i am ashamed to ad mit b/c i wish i could just put the book down and walk away. but alas, at nighttime, this trashy type of book is exactly what i need to keep me awake. i don't have to think reading this book, i just read and imagine. no thought whatsoever. and maybe that is why i don't like it. i have always enjoyed books that make you really think, analyze, explicate. so i'll give it a 5/10 simply b/c it will keep you hooked, but won't make you any better of a person, or any deeper of a thinker. beach novels is what my advanced placement english teacher used to call them. i guess you could say that i am not a francine rivers fan.

i am reading Rock Warrior's Way- a mental training book for climbers. it is almost religious which is scary in a way, but one of the most useful books i've ever picked up. i think it will change my climbing forever.

i am not feeling very creative tonight. it's the last of 3 nights in a row and i am all 'night-shifted out'. can't think. feel nauseated. hungry. but full. tired. emotionless. guess i'll go read francine rivers.....:)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

at the bayou

eric and i went out last night like we actually live in salt lake city! it was so much fun. we met coby and our new friend mark at a local pub called the bayou. it has over 150 beers on their menu, with around 24 or so beers on tap. plus some good ole sweet potato fries and chips and salsa. and they have live jazz at night during the summer. just like all other 'bars' in salt lake, you must be a 'member' to go into the restaruant. but coby is a member and we can get in free with a member. so we'll just switch off years for buying the membership. it was so fun, eric and i have never actually 'gone out' with an alcohol budget, so it was fun to think, what kind of beer do we want to try? and not worry too much about the price. i tried something new too: belgion beers served up right in there wine-ish looking glasses. i had a raspberry beer which was fabulous. i recommend it to any girl, or to any guy taking outa girl you would like to impress with your suave sense of alcohol ordering. i recommend it going something like this, (man says to the waiter):"i'll have the blah-blah-blah beer, and the lady will have the belgion framboise...." (pronounced fram-bu-ah) trust me, it'll kill her!

mark is our new friend that climbs and is a christian! wow! i met him through a nother friend, and then one day coby and i actually ran into him at a local crag (after sorta meeting him the first time) during this re-meeting coby accidentally dropped a quick draw (a couple of caribiners attached by a strand of rope) on top of his head. he now has a nice scar. so i guess we were rememberable. mark and i went climbing yesterday. it was very fun. coby is out right now with a sprained ankle (that she did when i was not climbing with her which is probably why she got hurt. now b/c i am not climbing with her i will probably get hurt. some sorta weird climbing karma or something) anyway, so i have been calling all the "B" team climbers- haha, j/k. mark actually climbs way harder than i do, but we got out on some classic climbs yesterday. he's climed a long time and i think i can learn a lot from him. most exciting is that he used to climb big big walls and has all the crazy gear to do that- mostly, he owns a port-a-ledge- that crazy contraption that climbers will sleep on up on the side of the mountain b/c the climb takes longer than 1 day to complete. so i have convinced himt hat it would be super cool to rig up that ledge only about 200 feet off the groun in little cottonwood canyon and...he agreed!! so we are grabbing coby and eric and are going to plan a little night out on the rock. i can't wait! we're making some big plans for climbing- whohooo!

first indian creek trip is planned- contingent upon my new job that is. we are planning on going down there over eric's fall break- october 4, 5, 6. but that will be just 2 weeks after my new job starts so i'll have to put that request in upon signing of the papers. speaking of, the nurse manager is supposed to call me on monday and finalize the deal. so i can't say when ia ms tarting per se, but we kinda set the date at around septeber 22. we have to finalize like i said on monday. then i'll post about everything.

reagarding training: i have always been mostly athletic. only mostly though b/c when the going gets rough, i have usually backed down. what i mean is this: after i have used up my own athletic ability in a sport i usually stop getting super into that sport. basically, i don't like to train. if i am good at something with just what i've got on board right now, great! i love the thing i am doing. but when i use up all that natural talent and have to actually start practising and trainign for something, i usually get burnt out. well, ia m quickly approaching that limit with climbing. my natural abilities are getting close to bottom and if i want to continue on i will have to actually do....(barf!) strength training. that means effort. and while i enjoy effort ont he rock b/c it is fun and entertaining,i dont' enjoy effort for the sake of effort. i was telling this to mark yesterday so when we got home he made me get down and do 20 pushups right there. i guess it was good for me, and it will help me get the strength i need to do the next bout of climbing. so, i am sighing and sucking it in (literally) and deciding to get in real shape. whohoo- let's see how it goes!

i am at work and off i go to do some spanish translating for an other nurse. hasta luego!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Welcome Gu!!

I welcome Brian 'the Gu' Hirschy to salt lake city. he arrived today, but i am still at work and have not seen him yet. but i think he made it here. and i am excited to see him. i think we will give him a road bike, point him in the direction of our canyons, and say, "go gu go!", mostly b/c it is fun to say that many 'g's' all in a row. but also b/c it will be good for gu to work out some of his welcomehomies from tibet here. gu recently got back in the country from tibet. it's been a year since we've seen him and i think it's just great we made the list.

if you don't know the story of 'gu' aka brian, then let me tell you, you are missing out. back when i was 18 or 19 i met gu. or brian. at college. and we both were fans of aol chat back in that day (i think gu still is actually) and his name online was 'briantheguitargu'. yeah. long. and weird! so i immed him and said brian the guitar gu? what is a gu? and he said it was supposed to be briantheguitarguY but he didn't have enough room! so he became 'gu'. i think even his mom has called him 'gu' before. yeah for gu! i am so happy he is here!

i am at work and i think i had better go..something about somebody dying or something....j/k. i shouldn't joke about that kind of stuff. i mean, i do work in a hospital.

oh side note: i did get on homestarrunner's website the other night. yeah, i am not as impressed with that site as i used to be. i remember almost dying laughing at those emails and nowadays they are anyway, my two cents worth. now about that patient....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Waiting to begin waiting

so much has happened in the short week or so recently. Ben Casey came to visit- YAY! sooo much fun- thanks for making LE voyage ben. we did a lot of climbing, some talking around the tiny backyard table, some eatin', and some gooood times. ben saw me at one of my worst climbing moments, but then, i saw him at one of his worst climbing moments too. i took a pretty nasty fall and hit my head (thank you helmet for my life right now!) but i am okay. i bailed off the climb. alas. now all i can do is think about how to do the moves correctly. we introduced ben to crack climbing, which kicks everyone's arse the first time they try it. ben was not, shall we say, enthused. we still got in plenty of time on the rock however. it was a great stay- now all the rest of you must come out too! Brian Hirschy is arriving this sunday and we are excited to show him our little paradise too.

in the meantime, i interviewed for a job at our orthopedic clinic- does along the same lines of things as the patients i see here, but in a less acute setting with a shorter stay. i am waiting to hear back though- it is such a small place it depends on the other RNs who work there for the nurse manager to work me into their schedule. we've been in touch though and i am fully confident that i will be hired on. hopefully sometime in september. so now i wait to begin waiting, b/c even as soon as i sign those papers, i still have to give my 2 weeks notice here and then be put on the schedule there. so i wait. as indigo montoya said in the Princess Bride, "i hate wait".

i had a really hard day at work yesterday and just couldn't wait to work somewhere else. today (i'm at work) has been much better- obviously b/c iam typing this. yesterday i did not get a lunch and left work 45 minutes late- which means i put in over 13 hours of work yesterday with only a 15 minute break to swallow some food. that's hard. i didn't want to get up today- some days it can be really hard to get myself out of bed. i do get tempted from time to time to call in 'sick', but that's so not right that i never end up doing it. i'd just be lying to say that i never thought about it...

i found a recipe website that i absolutely am thrilled about! it is called and has a lot of quick and easy gormet recipes. i know, gormet, quick and easy? but the meals sound delicious and i can't wait to make them! plus it plans everything for you- even the grocery list! is having a sale- 30-60% certain items. there's some good deals on there. i hate to pay shipping though. our patagonia outlet is having a sale the 31rst, i requested work off for it! i get up early and wait in line for it, so if any of you want something particular let me know!

i enjoyed the movie Crash this week. interesting, make you think, and slightly stressful (in the good kind of way that makes you think, i can't wait to see what happens- hurry up and say your line already!) but a darker movie, not a light 'let's just not think tonight' movie.

the summer heat is finally moving on- i am ready to welcome fall!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Of Grumpies and Snow Shacks

My distaste for night shifts has reached an all time high. I have decided to apply elsewhere. i truly enjoy orthopedics and trauma cases- and i love my floor during the day. Even though it is busier than that shaved snow shack on a hot day in the park i ride my bike by. i just decided that i can't handle all the grumpies it causes me to have. this last week i woke up so grumpy and i got mad at eric for changing a bike tire in the middle of the kitchen floor (i guess i was somewhat justified in that grumpy) and then i ran back to bed and covered my head back up and cried. no, sobbed is more like it. i was just so broken- broken that i slept only 13 hours in 3 days, broken over not seeing eric and then when i see him i get all grumpy, broken over not greeting the days with joy.

i have an interview this monday with the orthopedic center. i am not entirely sure what they do there. what i really meant to do was talk with the nurse recruiter about the job, find out about hours etc, but suddenly the next email i received informed me of my interview on monday afternoon. this will be monday after i work a night shift. hmm, i hope i don't say anything too weird in the interview. so i can't really say what the job is about. i am only hoping it is similar to what i do now only during the day. i still want my 12 hour day shift b/c i can't stand the thought of working 5 days a week. not after getting used to only working 3 days a week- horrible, long days, but still that left 4 days off. and i can schedule around climbing, skiing, friends, vacations, etc. nurses really do have the best job for being a fanatic about something. i mean, who else earns enouh money to get by but also get enough time to get really good at a hobby? all my bumming friends (all 2 of them) are jealous of my job b/c of the time off it gives me.

if i get this job and it is during the day, i have this feeling it will be harder for me to blog. i mean, all my past blogs have been at some ungodly hour of the night. and all b/c of night shift. yes, i am working a nother night shift. for all of you out there who are counting, that would make 7 night shifts in the past 2 weeks. it doesn't make sense sometimes that i do only work 3 days a week, but i promise they always screw uson that and i also promise they are always right. i am continually looking at my shcedule trying to find a weakness- some week they over scheduled me. but they never do. they are more clever than that. you see, our weeks start on saturday and end on friday. b/c of this we can work more than normal. or so it's really weird. i'd have to show you on paper for you to really get it.

i fell asleep this afternoon. for 3 hours. i must be really tired. i feel deep down tired. tired like i haven't had a decent sleep in a week and a half. and that's b/c i haven't. i haven't slept right since we came back from colorado. so ia m deep down bone tired. and i keep having really weird dreams. like remember when you have a dream like you are back in junior high and you have forgotten your locker combination and suddenly bad things start happening from allt he most popular kids leaving you out to having a pop quiz in math? well, those types of dreams happen to me only about nursing. like things i forgot to do, or mixing up the time on the clock at the bedside with the numbers of a patient's wound pump. that one really got me.

every night at 2 am we run the stairs in the hospital. i am on the top floor, 6. there is one more floor, 7, but taht door is always locked b/c i think it leads to a secret balcony where the CEO gets to watch the sunset every night and the 4rth of july fireworks. we lowly employees dont' get access. it has a sign on it saying that only "F&E" get access. every time i get to the top of the stairs i wonder what "f&e" stand for, and i always try the door, just in case some night i find it unlocked and we get to go onto the top of the hospital and sip martinis from the CEO's private wet bar. anyway, we start on B level, which is 2 levels below 1-t he lobby. we run all the way to 7, which is a total of 9 floors all together. i am sad to say that by level 2.5 my quads are burning so badly my rate drops by 1/2. i am sweating and puffing by the top. sometimes my throat burns b/c it is so dry here too. but i'll etell you what, it wakes me up and warms me up (i get super cold in the hospital at night. there is nothing, i mean nothing, better than one of those warmed blankets from our blanket warmer. the warmth only lasts an average of 1.23 minutes however. sad.)

i have started listening to my ipod on night shifts. i don't know if this is allowed or not. but it is night shift and we do all sorts of " unallowed" things. like drink milk from the fridge, take cokes, and eat the patient's pudding. we have excellent pudding here by the way. so i listen to my ipod, only not very loud so i can still do evertyhing i am suposd to. it hs really helped make the time go by quicker.

tonight i have listened to: some french lady eric said i would like. i do like her. i think it is called Faux Movement. counting crows. ryan adams. tring to guess what bands i will like during the night is like trying to guess what i will like to eat at 2 am. which is like trying to guess why that little girl who lives on my street always comes running up the car when i drive home. she scares me. actually, she hasn't been running up the car anymore since 2 weeks ago a little girl just one block from our house got kidnapped and murdered by the next door neighbor. it was a horrible story and has made me keep the doors locked even during the day light.

Lean Cuisine usually hits the spot.

confession: i like manicured nails. how can a climber like manicured nails? i don't really know. but every time i see a set of really pretty natural(have to be natural, i don't like fake nails) i always covet them. i try so hard to have good nails. without fail everytime i almost get pretty nails we go climb something taht chews them up. i made eric go buy me some nail files at a drug store in estes park in colorado before we went climbing in Lumpy just so i could file my nails and keep them nice. filing is the only way i have a chance of haing any kind of nail after climbing. i have to get them real trim. and then everytime something snaggs one of them i have to file it real quick bfore i rip off the rest. i need to file my right pinky nailright now. sally hansen is my idol.

to date i have caught very many spiders in my basement. i only say "very many" b/c i have been too afraid to look at my traps set up on the shelves. i have only looked at the sticky trap i have on the floor in plain view. there are at least 15 spiders on that trap. who ever thought that sticky traps could attract spiders? i thought that only worked on lower insects like flies. these traps are reqlly freaky- especially after they get 15 spiders on them. i spray for the spiders at least once every couple of weeks, and then put these traps out. i really hate the spiders down there. mostly b/c it's where all our gear is and i fully expect a spider to come crawling out of my backpack onto my shoulder some day while hiking. ugh! it gives me the creeps and i don't normally mind spiders. just spiders that have potential.

my friend lindsay porter is moving to ft collins, CO. i am so excited about this b/c those who move to Co are already half way to utah and i have a 50% greater chance of seeing them than those of you in arkansas. she's going to come down to southern utah with sam when we meet to go climbing in october. lindsay is one of my best friends, and we havne't lived in the same place since 2001. she's just like that though- a deep down kindred spirit.

blogging really keeps me awake. i am afraid to stop typing tonight b/c just a minute ago when i was sitting here i started to feel that black velvet blanket of sleep start to wrap itself around me. so bless you if you are still reading this. i should say all of you who are still reading this should leave me a comment reading "velvet" and then i will know who of you actually gets all the way through this. if you do get all the way through this you must be eric at work needing a break, or esther pretending to do research on housing. hahah- j/k esther!

i wonder how long this blog will last? will i be 50 years old some day and instead of looking back on a yellow-paged diary, will i be reading this online? i probably won't be able to get all the way though it.

it is exactly 3:42 am and a patient just asked me to get something prescribed for her hemorroids. what if i paged a doctor right now, woke him up, and asked him for that order? i think he would fire me. i think i will go tell the patient it can wait until morning.

all for now.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

farmer's market fun

this morning we went to the downtown farmer's market. it is held in pioneer park, which is usually a gathering place for the homeless people. my friend coby calls the homeless people "worms- cuz they lay around on the ground like worms after rain". they do lay around all over downtown wherever there is a spot of grass. anyway, pioneer park turns from a homeless worm shelter to a fantastic market every saturday morning. it was spectacular. i wish i had gone before now, but somehow it seems i have never been available saturday mornings. they sell everything from earrings to yak-looking scarves to fresh produce.

my friend brian says i am "scotch". i asked him if that was a good thing. he said "yes, you are a wise shoppper always looking for a deal". i guess what he really means is i won't buy expenisve things, and i am always shopping for a better price. this is true. i did splurge this morning- i bought a $5 loaf of asiago basil artisan bread. and it is worth it! yum!

i was so excited about my purchases this mroning i had to take a picture and show you all how many tomatoes i bought for just $3- aren't they pretty? and 4 cucumbers for $1. i am so excited to have a fresh salad now. it reminded me of being at home again- fresh garden produce made up in yummy ways simply b/c of its own intrinsic good taste and not by anything we did to them. man, i miss my mom's garden. it's a lot of work, but i must admit that they are worth it. i look forward to when eric and i have our own home an di put in a garden just like my mom's!

i plan on attending the farmer's market from here until october when it shuts down. you do have to look for hte deals though- some places will charge you a dollar more than the vender just down the way. it is a paradise for a shopper like me who knows what good produce should look and taste like, and knows how much money it should cost. sometimes i think i shoudl go on one of those shopping game shows where htey make you guess the cost. b/c i am really good at comparing costs and getting the most for my money. hence the reason why i shop at walmart. i wish id idn't have to- i don't like supporting the big corporate world. i wish i could shop all organic. i know it tastes that much better. but frankly, we can't afford to live that way...yet. someday when we both work and have no kids we will shop only organic and fend off all those cancer causing agents. haha. i don't know tha ti exactly believe that fertilizer causes cancer. eric believes so. he tells me that i have an organic soap box. maybe i do. i just think organic has become a fad, and isn't necessarily the way those people would live, they just do it to seem more 'seattle' as i would say.

i saw some very ugly dogs this morning at the market. i guess you are allowed to bring your dogs there b/c i definitely rolled my bike tire through some dog pooh. i like dogs, a lot. and i want one. however, i can understand why dogs are banned in so many places around here. they leave nice little traces of themselves eveyrwhere they go. for some reason, everyone who brought their dog to the market this morning had very ugly dogs. i mean, dogs that i thought, is that a dog or a cat or what? and then the dogs kept getting in fights everywhere. it's a dilemma for sure, i like the dogs and would want to bring my own. but they are kinda annoying at times.

the rest of the day will be a lazy saturday. guess what? the apartment we recently moved out of actually returned the majority of our deposit check.t hat's a first. no apartment returns that money. we are going to look at some furniture shops to see if we can find a modern desk. we are using a 50 year old card table for our computer desk at the moment. with no drawers and so everything is everywhere and it isn't a fun place to be. so maybe we'll be able to find something now that we have that extra refund check.

anybody interested in buying a pair of super small climbing shoes? i have put my old pair of red chilis online to sell. i wear a size 6 women's shoe and they are too small for me if that gives you any idea how small they are. i thought selling those would help buy a desk too.

recent reads: Searching for God knows what- donald miller, Daisy Fae and the miracle man- Fanny something or other, The Secret Lives of Bees- Sue Monk Kidd, the adromeda strain- micheal crichton, into the wild- jon krakauer, 1 Samuel, Old testament- some old guy (except i am making eric read this to me before we go to bed at night and it keeps putting me to sleep...), the blessings of obedience- andrew murray

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Zion Pictures from June

for full pictures look at eric's blog.

walking through water

Eric and I walking through the Left Fork in Zion Nat'l Park, June 2006, 'the subway'

Me standing in the middle of the path- the tunnel!

Andy and me about to jump into the next pool along the path

beautiful country!

the pics are finally in...

Summit, Long's peak, Rocky Mountain nat'l Park, 14,200 ft, July 23,2006

Leading Loose Ends 5.9, Lumpy Ridge, CO- best 5.9 I've done!

Somewhere in the middle of Rocky Mtn Nat'l park- what a great backpack!!

Eric and I at sunrise at the Keyhole on our way to the top of Long's Peak, July 23, 2006- our first anniversary

Thursday, July 27, 2006

home again!!

what a wonderful vacation. it was as perfect as it could be. it was seriously almost uneventful in the bad sense of the word. we made it to the top of Long's Peak on our exact anniversary date (july 23) and were the first ones up her. it was glorious! we had rain/lightening/thunder storms almost every afternoon, but thankfully we were already set up inside our tent by that time. the backpack was wonderful, one of the best i've ever done.

we stayed in a cabin a couple of nights- glorious human comforts! i love backpacking, but deep down, i strongly dislike camping. i know, that sounds unbelievable. but i dont' really enjoy sleeping on the ground all wound up in a mummy bag, or all the dirt, or no water, or no bathrooms. i enjoyed the cabin immensely.

we met up with sam higby for a day and a half of climbing in lumpy ridge. it was so good to see sam again. we've gotten to see him more than any other friend from back home since he lives closest ( colorado is still 8-9 hours away!) climbing was fantastic- interesting rock in lumpy. it is not easy to place climbing protective gear in the rock making it very interesting to climb. we climbed a couple stellar routes however- it made me wish lumpy were closer!

we boozed up in wyoming. and some in colorado too. i have found a new joy in unfiltered wheat beers. yummmmy! by 'boozed up' i mean we bought a lot of beer, not that we drank a lot of beer. we now have enough 'real' alchohol to make it to our next trip out of state. i am a baby beer drinker- not hard core at all and i can recommend a couple beers to other younglings. Easy Street Wheat by Odell's out of fort collings, CO- ummm good. add a slice of lemon to it. also, any apricot hefiweizen (sp?) or a wit bier is good as well. there is just something very special about a beer after doing any sort of hard activity- thinking hard, climbing hard, cleaning hard, etc.

annnnd, welcome back to real life. i am once again on a night shift. it is getting harder and harder to come to work. for my own sanity and length of career i think it is wise to start considernig other options in nursing at this point. i am investigating our primary children's hospital here, just down the street from my hospital. i think it is probably a good idea to keep chaning things up so i don't become bored and tired with a current place. i htink mostly it is my schedule that detracts from my current job b/c i enjoy the traumas and people that i meet (for the most part) if onlyi could have a job that allowed me tow ork 3 12 hour DAY shifts in a week i would be so happy. unfortunately, that may be hard to find as night nurses are quite the commodity (but not enuogh of a commodity to have our hospital give real incentives to make us stay at nights...)i like to only work 3 days a week for climbing sake. sigh, i am hitting the slump a bit early tonight. 1 am. shoot. it usually comes at 2 am and at 4 am. gosh this is hard.

my sister is pregnant again. i have one nephew currently and another something (nephew or neice) due in february. i hope to make it over to ohio for the birth.

i am so happy we serve a creator who saw fit to imagine such a world for us. mountains like Long's Peak, valleys of pine trees, even the elk, the fields of corn and wheat we passed in wyoming, and the lightening storm across northern utah--jesus reminded us all over again of his love for each of us and his desire for relationship with us. we read donald miller's searching for god knows what while driving and hiking. it brought about some great conversations. it's an interesting book to be sure.

hopefully i will actually post a few pictures here some day- of zion and of rocky mtn.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

on my way to the mountains...

tomorrow eric and i are leaving to rocky mtn nat'l park for a week of backpacking, sleeping, and rock climbing. i have this kid-like anticipation of leaving tomorrow morning- i am still unpacked as we were super busy this week (it would have helped if i hadn't gone climbing so much...teehee) hopefully we will be on top of long's peak on sunday morning- our exact 1 year anniversary. it's something we've always talked about wanting to do and now we are finally doing it. it is going to be glorious i know. sam higby is meeting us in estes park for a day or so to do some rock climbing as well- we are really looking forward to seeing a friendly face from 'back home'- sam isn't really from back home anymore though a his chief residence is now breckinridge, CO. also, i am looking forward to buying some cheaper beer.

who knew? utah doesn't allow full force beer in the state. the typical beer you get in the grocery stores or even at the bars only has round 3.2% alcohol. and it is way more expensive. so the popular 'watering hole' is evanston, wyoming- just across the border with cheap and fully stocked liquor stores. oh how i miss liquor world in fayetteville- that store was amazing. the mormon government would have a heart attack if such a wonderful store put up its signs here. of course, it wouldn't be allowed to b/c the only places allowed to sell hard liquor and wine are state liquor stores. so, if anyone comes to visit, you will always be warmly welcomed if a few full fledged beers make their way into your suitcase. eric likes guinness. i prefer something lighter like an apricot beer or wit bier.

i drank a starbucks white chocolate mocha about 11 hours ago at work (we gave a 24/7 starbucks here in the hospital and let me tell you, it makes a pile o' cash. i think it is the one of the largest, if not the largest, grossing starbucks in our region-idaho, oregon, wyoming, montana) and i am still quite giddy and agitated from it. caffeine really gets to me. i have to remember to not drink coffee! it kinda gets things moving, if you know what i mean. in a little too much of a way. i just enjoy coffee so much! but my insides always protest against such indulgences. well, it's better to save the money anywya.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

night shift ripped me a new one

i just got done working a string of night shifts that brought me to a new definition of 'low point'. i worked two nights, had one night off, and then worked 3 nights. this is about the worst scenario you can imagine for working nights b/c what in the heck do you do with that one random night off in the middle? you can't go back to a day time schedule b/c your body just doesn't work like that, so i had to do a night shift except not work. eric went to bed, i cleaned, picked up, watched a movie, and finally went to bed 'early' (3 am). by sunday night's shift i was miserable. so miserable in fact that i cried at work. i thought i was getting seriously depressed and needed something. then i remembered that i had just got done working basically 6 nights in a row and my body was trying to revolt against my brain. i was so tired, worn thin, burnt out, and i know i wasn't a very nice nurse. in fact, a patient's family member came by and said, 'hey nurse, why don't you take a happy pill?'. do you know how mad that made me? you don't freakin' say that to a night workin' nurse. grrr. i wanted to tell him to go take a stupid happy pill-suppository and see how much he liked it. i was so bummed though. then i had a few days off and came to work today. but still, last night i coudln't get to sleep b/c my body hasn't readjusted yet. it still thinks it is supposed to be dead asleep at 10am and not awake. so i have slept waaay in the past few mornings and then this mornign i coudln't wake up. of course, last night i coudln't go to sleep so i had to take a sleep pill which did not help me wake up this morning. ahhh, it is such a hard cycle. i was very ready to quit though after these last night shifts. i have been toying with the idea very seriously, and have becomemore serious since the night shifts and the decrease in nursing personnel has really affected our unit. it's been really hard. and for once, work has started to affect my personal life. usually, i can leave work and work doesn't come with me. but when i am this tired and worn out and unhappy for 12 hours of work at a time, it has to affect my home life. i didn't see eric for a full week when i was working those night shifts. it's just too hard. and i am not a night person to begin with either.

my oregano plant died. and it was a house warming gift from coby! however, i think it died of simple causes: died of thirst. yes, i had to admit that my green thumb utterly failed me. i thought it was the lack of sunlight, or bad soil or something. but nope, it was just lakc of water. but the little plastic info thing that comes with the plant says it likes heat and dryness. so i thought i didn't neet to water it but once a week. turns out my basil plant almost died as well,a nd that's when i figured out that if i only just water them they live. so i've saved my basil plant and now i water allm y plants every other day. i almost lost my mint too- it looked really bad. but somehow it made a come back. i am very excited about my little gardens.

summer has turned suprisingly hot and sorta uneventful. but maybe that's just the tired night shift nurse talking there. eric and i are about to embark upon our second year of marriage. i just can't believe that was a year ago. it seems so much shorter and so much longer at the same time. i think of it now in seasons: fall=alone and sad. winter=snowboarding. spring=climbing. summer=working night shifts...hahah. no, summer=friends, climbing, hot.

i haven't gotten to climb as mcuh as i want- but that's b/c i could climb all day and haven't gotten to b/c it was so hot (and night shift- it's always the reason for everything) speaking of climbing: i had to back off my first climb and actually leave gear for the first time. well, actually coby left the gear but i coudln't rescue it either. so we left two stoppers and two good caribiners on a climb called wheels on fire rated a .9. it was a really hard.9 though. hardest i've ever tried. flaring crack i coudln't get into. it's on the list to go back and do though.

A MESSAGE TO ALL WHO READ MY BLOG: YOU ARE ALL WELCOME TO STAY WITH US THIS WINTER AND SKI!!!! i asked about getting discounted tickets for friends from my ski bum friends. but apparently the ski resorts are very stingy with those discounts and only give employees 6 or 7 a year and so it's too hard to get ahold of something for cheap. sorry about that. lodging is free though- that always helps! :) fyi: the resort you need to look into is called the canyons ski resort in park city, utah. that is where i will have my ski pass to and where you should get your passes so we can go together. also, i am offering free snowboarding lessons to anyone who wants to come out and learn- THAT'S A DEAL!!

how did this get so long again? thanks for bearing with my long-wind-ed-ness.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

a blog about blogs

I think i have abnormally long posts on this blog. i was looking back over my past couple of blogs and realized that it takes a full flick of the wrist to get through that one i wrote about deserts on. most people don't write that much. i guess i can't help it though. my thoughts just run, especially at night. for the record, this one will be short. (mostly b/c all i have been doing is night shifts and i don't really have anything exciting to say. however, i have somehow managed to get through a decent paragraph on absolutely nothing. )

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Address

my new address is: well, i am thinking better of this idea. at first i was going to post my new address online, and then i thought that eric probably would not like that /bc then all sorts of random scary people could get the address and possibly come find me or something. and since it is the middle of the night (yes another night shift) i can't call him (although i called him last night at 1 am and he did answer bless him!) to ask if i can post the address i think i shall not post it. however, if you would like my new address by all means email me and i will email you back with it. it's a much better address than my previous address b/c it's not as long and there's no apartment blah blah blah. for those of you who have lived in an apartment, isn't it such a bummer to have to write out this long street address and then at the very end tack on something lame like, "apt #31"?. and on applications for things like grocery discount cards etc you always have to put apt #31 and then you feel like a weird-0 b/c you haven't bought a house and can't just write a street address. i feel like a much more accomplished member of society by being able to just write the street address and not have to show the world that yes, i sitll live in an apartment. the day that i own a house will be special indeed. that feels like it will be very far away though.

on sleeping during the day after night shifts: it's very hard and rather confusing to sleep during the day when you are used to sleeping at night. i usually do very random and strange things during the day. frequently i will sleep walk around the house/apartment (see above note on houses vs apartemtns :) ) and wake up half way through a stride realizing that i am very confused and can't figure out what i am doing. whatever i am doing however is always very passionate and fervent. like i have this feeling that it must be done. today for example, i woke up very confused thinking that i just absolutely had to change my shirt. i told you it was random. so i groped around on the floor (my eyes don't open very well during the day sleep) and found the shirt i had been wearing the day before that luckily i had left on the floor. i say 'luckily' b/c if it hadn't been there, you better believe i would have gotten up out of bed and tried to open my dresser drawers and figure out where a shirt was that i could wear. i am telling you i get very fixated on these things. one time eric found me trying to open my dresser drawer insisting on a Tshirt instead o the tank top i was wearing. and i just kept insisting so he tried to find one for me. and then i didn't want the gray one i wanted the navy blue one. so he had to find that. it's weird i'm telling you. i can't explain it at all except that my brain is very befuddled. so i was lucky that today i had a shirt right by thebed that i could just change into. b/c then my mind was satisfied and i could lay back down and sleep. i am also lucky that the shirt was beside the bed b/c right now eric is in arkansas and he wasn't around to put me back to bed and tell me that i am dreaming. he has to do that often too. i sit up in bed at night and think something is happening and start talking a lot and he has to lay me back down and tell me that i am dreaming. i only ever vaguely remember these occurences the next morning. eric usually tells me about them over breakfast though. i've never had such erratic sleep behaviors before i moved to utah. a lot of things changed when we moved to utah, and i thought it was the move. but i have decided that the real reason things have been so incredibly strange is working. eing in a hospital. working night shifts. new schedules. constnatly changing things. it just happened in accordance with the move to utah so i blame utah when really it's the hospital's fault. strange things like my stomach being more sensitive, having outrageous burps (which occurred after having horrible flu attacks last fall an di can't get rid of them! it's awful!) not being able to tell what i want to eat, getting low blood sugars b/c i didn't eat soon enough and couldn't decide what my body wanted to eat so i just didn't eat anything and then suddenly i go bonk and have to have something really quickly. but that is defnietly related to the hospital. b/c of the long hours and such. anyway, the strange sleep patterns started after the move too. part of that is probably geting used to sleeping with someone in the bed. but i've gotten over most of that. nwo i miss eric b/c he's not there (he's in arkansas like i said earlier).

so that's all the thoughts for this night shift. enjoy.