Thursday, December 27, 2007

is it over yet?

well, let's wrap this december up in true fashion- how about some merry christmas flu? i've had mine thank you very much. i started working nights on the 23rd, got paid the big bucks on the night of the 24th (holiday pay and all), and was supposed to return to work on the night of the 25th. well, return to work i did, but as a patient not a nurse! i woke up in the middle of christmas day with a horrible bout of flu. i kept at it until later that night when i called all of the urgent cares (which are closed on christmas for future reference) and finally had to resort to my own dear ER for treatment. it wasn't cheap. but i was badly dehydrated and needed something to make me stop throwing up. a couple of liters and some meds later, i was gorked out and getting better. the next morning we awoke to find eric's grandmother in the hospital in the town we were all supposed to be meeting up in for a late family christmas in colorado. our christmas trip was canceled, i was still contageous and we didn't know the full story yet with his grandmother. this is certainly not an afterthought of the day after christmas when all this happened, but my grandfather also passed away on this same day. he is finally with jesus and with his beloved bride; my grandparents were some of the most wonderful people on this earth and they are dearly missed.

i am still in bed today trying to fully recover. the bug doesn't want to quite let go yet. eric's grandmother will be alright and is being transported back to a lower elevation in texas. this certainly was not the christmas we were planning for. in fact, it feels like it may not even have happened. so many of the family traditions both eric and i have grown up with went undone this december between my family trip and eric's business trip, work, and then being sick. we tried to do advent together at night when we were together, which is one of my favorite family traditions. but things just really never came together for us this year. we will have to celebrate christmas the whole rest of the year then, which is the way it is supposed to be anyway.

sorry, no new pictures from this fabulous week. i know, you're disappointed. actually we did manage to take a photo of the gigantic icicles hanging off the back of our house. we definitely had a white christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

a different december

It's been a different december for me. My only grandmother passed away at the beginning of this month, so i've had a flurry of activity flying up to ohio for the funeral and trying to understand death, grieving, my own parent's retirement and immanent aging process, right up to eric's and mine own aging process and future decisions.

I was also called upon to fulfill my civic duty and report for jury duty. Now, how many people get called in for jury duty? not that many. how many people, when called in for that jury duty, actually get put on the jury? even fewer. I was selected for the actual jury. it might have been fun if i wasn't supposed to work that day, and it was my first day off orientation. it stinks to call in to your new work and say you have been selected for jury duty.... it was an interesting process though. i felt like i was in a movie!

eric left for most of a week on a business trip to florida where it was muggy and warm. we've been cold here in salt lake and i've got a few more ski days under my belt, including a telemark lesson. i'm doing much better now- this type of skiing is hard to get the hang of!

i've spent the last week relaxing, hiking to the hot springs with a couple of friends, and making christmas cookies. my friend tracy had a good friend of her's from high school come in to salt lake for a few days. we hiked down to diamond fork hot spring- i posted pictures of the same springs last year this time. it seems to be at least an annual trip down there. i love it- it's quiet, always snowy, and always fun to sit in warm water with snow all around.

in other news, i think we are going to put pilsner up for airedale adoption. we have an excellent airedale rescue society located here in salt lake. he has just been too much. it seems that even with regular exercise he gets bored around the house. the other week while i was away from the house he got down into my sink and drug out a glass bowl that i had eaten soup out of earlier. it, of course, broke on the floor. i was so mad. i think he needs a home with another dog. or maybe a million acres to run around on. i just feel that we either need to get another dog or give pilsner away. i don't want another dog. i think i'll miss pilsner a whole lot the first couple of months and then our first summer vacation we'll be so grateful we don't have to place a pup somewhere. he's a great dog- just still so much puppy! i've done all the hard work with the training and such, now some other family just needs to love on him. it's not an easy decision, but ultimately i think it will be better for pilsner to have another doggy or just another family member always around. as it is now i have to leave him locked in a crate whenever i leave him alone. that's not fun for either of us. i don't know when he'll be leaving us, probably after the holidays. :(

sam higby is coming for a visit! he'll be here for christmas day. i have to work a whole lot, but he and eric i am sure will get a lot of skiing done during sam's time here.

Tracy and Paige posing for my picture on our hike out to the hot springs

Along the path

Sorry for the soft porn.... Tracy, Paige and I in the springs

Friday, November 30, 2007

experience and judgement

Eric gave me a quote that can sum up my past two months in the ER:

" Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from a lack of good judgement".

i walked into an interesting situation in the ER. they hired me knowing my past experience and 4 weeks into my orientation called me into the manager's office to tell me that they thought i didn't have enough of a knowledge base to be working in the ER. they asked me to do a bunch of homework, study, and prove that i could learn quickly and well. this was a pretty big hit to take, since i knew i didn't know anything about emergency medicine, but i figured it would come with time and experience. it was like i was expected to know everything already. so i was on needles and pins feeling like i was always being watched and had to prove everything i was doing. a week ago they let me know that they would keep me in the ER. hooray!! i absolutely love the nursing work- i finally have found the place where i fit! i am learning a ton, and i feel so much more prepared for life with the new knowledge i get everyday. this is why i became a nurrse- so i can help anyone in any situation. it's just been rough feeling under the spotlight. not the way i wanted to start a new job... but at least i still have the job!! that is why the posts suddenly stopped on my blog about 2 months ago. not only ami working, taking educational classes, but also reading books and studying on my own time. just when i thought i was caught up they gave me a whole new computer program with modules that i have to complete in the next 3 months. it's like being back in school again...but this is also why i left my old job. i wanted to learn more, and keep progressing in my nursing skills. i got what i wanted! it's just a lot of hard work. i like the quote above b/c i feel like that is how real medicine is learned... you have to be able to make mistakes and learn from them. not learning from mistakes is what is wrong, but making the mistake the first time isn't! i'm sad that i am starting a job already scared of management, but i guess there is no perfect job. i love the nursing work and that is enough for now.

over thanksgiving eric and i went up to jackson hole, wyoming with some friends to stay at one of the girl's parent's house in jackson. we skied Teton Pass (well, i kinda fell down teton pass since it was the first day back on skis and i'm not really good at telemark skiking yet), and hiked into some hot springs near yellowstone park. it was a blast! we had planned to be climbing in southern utah, but the weather was frigid! skiing in the tetons was a great second choice though. i'll put up pictures soon.

the group before skiing on Thanksgiving Day

me, Joy, and Luke (joy's cousin) hiking up to Glory Bowl

Katie, Joy, and me on the top of Glory Bowl before skiing down. The Grand Teton is in the background

this is how i spent most of my time 'skiing' down the mountain :)

Katie and I on top of one of our tours

Eric and i in the hot springs

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Away from work

I am probably most proud of this climb, Scar Face, 5.11. The two hills in the background are called The Six Shooters. I love this Wild West!!

I took myself down to Indian Creek in southern utah in october to do some climbing. a couple of the partners i was going to meet couldn't end up making it, but eric met these really great guys in salt lake (who were friends of friends from washington) who were also headed the same direction. i met up with them for a few days before eric could make it down for the weekend. we had a blast! eric and i have spent a few weekends in indian creek over the past two years, and we really enjoy the climbing there. however, it is very hard- harder than most climbing b/c of the steepness of the rock and the parallel cracks that form in it. if the crack isn't big enough or small enough for your particular hand size the climb can be extremely challenging. this was the first time down there that i felt i could actually climb!

my friend lacy also came down to try out crack climbing. we had some good times (that's all i'll say Lacy!). indian creek has a special place for me b/c it is so....utah. so desert. so why we came out here. it is positioned just outside canyonlands national park and is some of the most beautiful wild terrain i've ever seen. camping there, sharing the camp fires, the meals, the beauty are what make it so special. the climbing is mostly secondary. i had a great time with quite a few friends coming and going in the few days i was there. Wes and BJ were the two guys i climbed with first, then lacy, then eric and my friend Liz came down.

Me and Lacy after our great day of climbing together. The weather was great-especially for lat-ish October, but sometimes the heat can wear you out! we look pretty beat in this pic. we had just climbed Pente, 5.11.

BJ, me and Wes. i don't know what had just happened but I'm laughing at something. these guys were hilarious!

me and Eric at camp

This climb was hard! It was too small for my whole hand to fit in so i was trying to make my fingers fit but they kept rattling around. Coyne Crack, 5.11+

me on Kool Kat, 5.11.

Friday, October 12, 2007

"A nice little Home Wife, giving me the Stable life"- David Gray

Our Little Cottonwood Canyon with the first sticking snow!

Eric and I out on a glorious fall day

Me leading Plumbline Crack, 5.10 in Little Cottonwood

Snow had come to our hills, and most of our friends are getting very excited about the ski season again. We still have a couple of months before we strap on our sticks though, but it's still exciting to see the progress of change in our hills.

The ER has been great! My brain seems too full after every shift- there is so much to be learning and remembering at the same time. but i have met a lot of nice people, and i feel confident that i will get the hang of it there. it is always hard to be new though, and i've felt kinda lonely the past couple of weeks. Eric has been great and has been trying to wait up for me to get home at night. i'll still be very sleepy when he leaves in the morning so he stays up until all odd hours to spend a little more time with me. it's working so far! i am transitioning from the morning-day-time Polly that most of my friends know into the night-time Polly. it kinda does a number on my brain, my body, and my energy level. i can't seem to wake up before 10 am nor fall asleep before midnight. one good thing that comes out of all this is that i really appreciate my days off. they seem more full b/c i am more satisfied with the time i have. work is exciting, and i actually look forward to the shifts. they are just long. a whole stinkin' lot happens in an ER in 12 hours!!

so we were without internet for a few days. we couldn't figure out why until one evening eric noticed the wire cable for our internet was completely chewed through and pulled off the back of the PILSNER!! we put him in the back yard every day when we leave for work, and i think he gets lonely, stubborn, and bored back there. so, of course, how enticing and yummy is a plastic encoated wire cable?! that dog!!!!! he's officially one year old this month. i think in human years that's like 7 or something. we still have a long year ahead of us!

some nice october facts:
*I have almost all of my christmas presents bought.
*I had strep throat again this week. i just had it last spring. i've only ever had strep throat these two times and they were both within the same year. i can only thank the new job and the couple cases of strep i saw there last week. i had to call in sick on my second week of work. bummer!
*with my insurance, a full dose of penicillin only costs me $3.
*The CD i've been listening to and really like is KT Tunstall's new album "Drastic Fantastic".
*Drivers don't look for bike commuters at 12:30 AM. I have to be extremely careful.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Another Fall, Another New Job

Well, I have a pretty good record running here in Salt lake. Seems i have moved to a new job every fall we've lived here (this fall will be the third). and, this will be my third job. I am going to work for the University of Utah Emergency Room. hooray! a whole new kind of medicine, pace, and patients. i currently work for the university of utah orthopedic hospital, so at least i am just transitioning rather than moving to a whole new company. however, the ER will be extermely different than anything i've done in the past. i have a lot to learn, and it is a little intimidating. also, my schedule will revert back to my personal version of hell- night shifts. nights, swing shifts, weekends, and holidays. yes sir, i will be a regular nurse now, absent at many friendly gatherings, absent from the bed my husband will sleep in, and absent on christmas day. HOWEVER, i am very excited about the ER. i've always wanted to work in the ER, and the orthopedic hospital is getting more than a little old. i have found myself very inept at the politics that run that nice shiny building, and the nursing just isn't very challenging. so despite the schedule i will have to do, having the hoped-for job satisfaction in the ER will hopefully make up for the schedule. and this crazy schedule can't last for longer than a year. after that i will hopefully move out of those dreaded 7 pm-7 am shifts and work more 'normal' hours (such as noon to midnight - ha!)

it was a hard deicision given the schedule is such a con. but my current working environment is an even bigger con, so i took the plunge. my first day is oct 1. that's pretty much a full year from my start date at the ortho center. hmmm, i hope i haven't started a pattern here.

fall has finally arrived in Salt lake, and the hills received their first dusting of snow yesterday. Eric managed to pull off being a grad student one more semester, so we were able to get student passes to a ski resort again. thank goodness b/c i need another season of resort skiing to get a little better at Telemark(free heel) skiing. we've got those fall climbing plans again too-
hoooray for the colors burnt-orange and pomegranite, pumpkins, cinnamon, falling leaves, crisp mornings, hot tea, and....oh yes, hooray for eric now having to bundle up and ride the scooter to work!!!!! :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Devil's Tower Pics

well here we are folks. if anyone can figure out why our mac computer won't let perfectly rotated pics be posted to blogger, please comment. until we can figure it out just keep turning your head 90 degrees one way or the other.

Liz getting cold while waiting to climb and the mist rolled in.

at the start of our one climb it was actually clear for a while. this is devil's tower's shadow over the landscape. it was beautiful!

i was starting to get really cold waiting for our climb....

frowny faced for having to wait too long, the rain coming in, and not getting to climb our route to the top. the first pitch of the Durrance route is up that leaning column in the background.

an unhappy polly pouting with a foggy Devil's Tower in the background

just half of devil's tower.. we were socked in!

all over wyoming they had these crazy boots in the front of yards and businesses. who knows? wyoming is a little strange.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Devil's Tower and what we didn't climb...

so, it rained at Devil's Tower, Wyoming. all weekend, in fact. boo! liz and i drove 9.5 hours to the middle of nowhere wyoming to climb this impressive rock mountain, only to have it rain the whole time! we woke up saturday morning to rain. so we decided to drive over to south dakota to get a bowl of warm soup. if you've ever been to Devil's Tower, you know there is nothing around it. there is no back up plan, there is nothing else to climb. there is mt rushmore and the black hills or the badlands but they are all probably 2 hours away, and you can't really climb there anyway. Devil's Tower is about 50 miles from S. Dakota, so we drove over there to warm up and dry out. it was still raining. so we went into a thrift store we drove by. that was pretty entertaining for about an hour. then we entertained ourselves with ice cream and then drove back to Devil's Tower. by this time it had stopped raining so we got our gear together and ran up to the base of the mountain. it was about 4 pm. liz lead the first pitch of El Cracko Diablo, a wide two pitch classic climb on the tower. by the time i got to the belay ledge it was well on its way to dusk, but liz convinced me to do the second pitch anyway. it was the longest 5.8 i've ever done and it was hard!! we ended up rappelling down in pitch darkness, but at least we had climbed!!!

we had plans to wake up early the next day and climb the Durrance Route, one of the North American 50 Classic is rated at 5.6-5.7, so very easy and about 500 feet tall- you get to the very top of the tower from this route. we woke up to rain. so we slept in some more. when we finally woke up it had stopped raining and we thought we could go for the climb. this climb is very popular, and many new climbers get guided up it. when we arrived at the base of the climb a party of 4 climbers was already on it. one of the climbers was very new to climbing, and it took her a very long time to make it up the second pitch. liz and i started to realize we could never follow this party at that pace and still beat the omminous drizzle cloud making its way toward us. sure enough, 45 minutes later we were engulfed in a drizzle cloud again. bummed out, we decided to just drive home. we only had the next morning left to climb anyway and the forcast was for rain all night. so we packed up the wet tent and drove part of the way home, staying over night at liz's sister's house in southern wyoming. we were pretty bummed out, having driven that far only to hit the only rain storm in the entire west! we did get to climb a little, spent a lot of quality time driving across wyoming, and it ended up an adventure in the end. i am thinking that the odds are, if you are climbing this much, you are bound to get rained out a few times. i had perfect weather last week in the tetons, so maybe i was making up for that! here are a couple pics from Liz's camera. more to follow.

i still can't figure out how to rotate.... this is me at the first belay on El Cracko Diablo, 5.8

Liz and i trying to find something to do in south dakota...a thrift store!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Grand Teton Trip

This past weekend i went to Teton National Park in Wyoming with two great girlfriends, Katie and Joy. Joy's parents live in Jackson so we had a lovely breakfast with them saturday morning and then a really nice hike in to our camp. sunday morning we woke up early and climbed Irene's Arete, a classic 5.8 alpine route up Garnet Canyon. You can pretty much see the Grand Teton the whole time. it was a beautiful day and a perefct climb. we thought we might get rained on at one point, but the clouds passed and we got to finish our route. the next morning (labor day) we woke up extremely early (3 am!!) and climbed the Grand Teton. I've always wanted to climb that chunk of rock! it was a very tiring experience- a long hike (15 miles total that day) and a lot of elevation gain/loss (5-7,000ft). it is a technical climb, rated at around 5.6, with 1,500 feet of vertical climbing invovled. we made it go a lot faster by not roping up. a slightly terrifying experience at times. again, we had a perfect day with not a cloud in the sky. we summited by 9:30am and then hiked all the way back out to our car. Then katie and i still had to drive 5 hours home... i got home at 11:30 pm and had to be at work by 7 the next morning.... i got worked!! but we had an absolutely fantastic time, great weather, and even better fellowship. what a wonderful experience with two awesome women!!

All the pictures:
Grand Teton Trip on PicasaWeb

Rotated Images:

4th pitch of Irene's Arete, 5.8 Teton National Park

4th pitch, look, Blue sky!! that's a happy climber!

Rock fall on the Grand. What you can't see here is the actual Grand Teton -it's behind that dirt cloud! There was some massive rock fall down one of the popular gullies on the Grand. Luckily no one was hurt, although the rocks did destroy some people's tent camping on the moraine. pretty scary! this was the day before our summit of the Grand. our route was not affected.

Joy, Katie, and I on top of the Grand Teton!!!

Katie and I practicing our yoga at a belay ledge on Irene's Arete while waiting out some clouds. we are attempting to salute the sun.

Katie and I climbing towards the summit of the Grand.

Joy, Katie, and I on the top of Irene's Arete. Nez Perce in the background.

Joy finding the way on the Grand.

Joy, Katie and I on the start of the trip- the 4.5 mile hike in.

Katie starting the last pitch of Irene's Arete.

I'm off to Devil's Tower Wyoming this weekend to do some more great climbing!!! Pictures to follow for that too.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

use your own bags

I recently finished reading a book entitled "Serve God, Save the Planet" by J. Matthew Sleeth MD. It was phenomenal. It's about finding practical ways to fulfill our call to be stewards and caretakers of God's creation- our earth. He has some great points about being energy-efficient, watching what we buy, and cutting down on our consumerism in general, whether that be simply not buying more clothes, or unplugging the TV when we aren't using it. I am encouraged by this book to do my part, even if it seems small or insignificant.

I feel insignificant sometimes when I go to the grocery store. In the past several months, i have been using canvas/cloth grocery bags to put my groceries in instead of using the store's plastic bags. most plastic grocery bags do not get recycled, and they take for-ever(if ever) to break down. but i rarely see any one else doing the same with cloth bags. i feel small and insignifcant when i check out at the store and put my things into my own bags. it's also a little awkward b/c not many ppl do it yet so the cashiers aren't used to it. doing it at our smaller groceries (which are still huge chains) like Smiths works better than other places though. it was kinda funny, i tried to do it at walmart and the cashier just couldn't believe me. and he kept putting the groceries into plastic bags and then having to take them back out, shake his head at me, and just look stunned in general. i feel like i can't be making a difference in this one area. but i have to stop and think: what if every person took just one canvas bag to the grocery store? then the stores wouldn't have to stock as many plastic bags, then the companies that make the plastic bags wouldn't have to make so many, then the oil needed for the plastic to make the bags wouldn't have to be procured from other countries, less gas would be used in transport of said bags, etc etc. i may be only one, but what if only one turned into a thousand? a million? eventually we would see the effect. so i have to keep thinking about not just myself as one, but what that can turn into for the rest of America. Please, start using your own grocery bags. Think twice before buying your bottled water, and if you must buy it, please make sure to recycle the bottle.

the book ended with a quote from the author's grandmother: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

This one's for you, girls!

At the end of june several girls and i met up in Maple Canyon, about an hour and a half from Salt Lake for some sport climbing. It's cool and fun camping down there this time of year. We had such a great time!!I kept marveling all weekend that it was just girls, just climbing, just have a blast!

apparently we all have the same sense of style...that's the same tank top 3 times!

Joy and I climbing next to each other. I'm more sticking my butt out than climbing however....

gettin' ready to boogy

relaxing in the shade

dinner time!

Here's what July 07 looked like

We started the month off with our new scooter!! i absolutely love riding this thing around. just this morning i passed my driving test and am official now!

Eric and i drove to the Sawtooth Mountains near Stnaley, Idaho for a weekend of climbing and family. This is Pilsner and I waiting for our shuttle boat on the dock at Redfish lake in the sawtooth mountains. We climbed on the far side of the lake, and by paying for a shuttle to take us all across we saved ourselves 5 miles of hiking.

Hiking in to our climb- what a view!

The view got even better! these are the sawtooth mountains.

Eric and i on the Super Slabs Centrale Gully route, 5.6. It was so slabby at this point we weren't roped in.

Me and my newest nephew, 5 month old Elliot. We met up with my sister and brother in law and two nephews in the Sawtooths. We got to camp with them one night and go for a beautiful hike on sunday before driving home. It was so good to see them again and in such a wonderful place!

Miranda and i after our hike. She's carrying baby Elliot.

My mom and dad visiting us. This picture was taken at 11,900 feet on top of Bald Mountain in the Uintas

Eric and I- from this one point we could see 9 lakes!

My mom and i at Cecret Lake on Alta Ski Resort