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.