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?!