Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mah Sugar Plum Fairy

Somewhere in the opening of school I managed to make 16 jars of plum jam. Ranger Becky not only picked the plums from her own tree, but she DELIVERED them to our home! It is delicious. Also, I enjoyed the fragrance of the plums before I had the chance to can the jam. I appreciate all the people who share their fresh produce with us, especially during harvest.

I had a couple of college girls spend the night this last week. The girl on the left is my college roommate's daughter. I hadn't seen her since she was eighteen months old (they live in Alaska). Back then I babysat her a lot for a two week period while her mom was finishing her master's. I would put her in the baby backpack and go for long walks. She usually fell asleep. So much nostalgia. And now she's jetting around the country flying from Juneau to San Diego and road tripping from San Diego to Montana. These girls were just killing time until I had to leave for school. They were going to stall for another half hour until they could try the soda bar nearby.

And all this random cloth represents the dry erase mitts my students use when working on their individual white boards. Three years ago, my friend, Wendy, made the zebra pattern ones with felt on the back. I started with 40 and discovered last week I only have 25 now (do students just steal them, throw them away, or what?). I took some chicken fabric and ant felt to Wendy and she made like...gobs more. Where would I be without all these people who are willing to help?

I chose that chicken fabric along with some others for my mom when she retired. Leo bought a sewing machine for her to help her cultivate some hobbies during retirement. She never touched the machine or the fabric. I took the fabric back when we cleaned out her house and it's just been sitting in a drawer in my classroom for three and a half years. So, I'll have little chicken reminders of my mom as well as little friendship reminders of Wendy as I work in my classroom.

My cousin has suffered a stroke. He's only fifty-five and pretty active and healthy. His father had a stroke at age fifty so I'm going to blame it on heredity. For reasons I don't care to relate at this time, I put his name on the prayer roll at the temple this morning, not knowing he was suffering from a stroke. Haven't talked to him since my mom passed in 2012, so this was a random act of inspiration. I testify that Heavenly Father knows each of us; he knows the details of our lives. Now thousands of people are praying for my cousin!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Yellow Rhombic Crystalline Solid


The yellow stuff.

Mud Volcano is an interesting place. I personally think Black Dragon's Cauldron is going to merge with Sour Lake. That place changes in weird ways. We'll see.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Meeting the Kids

We had Back to School Open House today and I GOT TO MEET ALL 29 OF MY NEW FIFTH GRADE STUDENTS!!!

This day is better than Christmas.

So much love flows through the heart when you see their faces--ah, I want to do right by them, do my best for them.

And I'm so tired.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Good Ol' Bison Rut

Spar, tussle, snort, bellow, charge, display dominance. Repeat.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Visiting the Wood Shed

There are a couple of rangers in charge of stocking the woodpiles at the amphitheaters and boy, this year, they have done an amazing job. Everything you could possibly need to build and put out a fire is there. This is one of the ways I help my ranger. I especially appreciate the beautifully chopped kindling--dry, crispy, and ready to burn.

I'm glad he let's me light his fire.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Twelve Years Weathered

I decided to celebrate our twelve year engagement anniversary by posting a recent photo of us (two weeks ago). A photo that shows our age and flaws and imperfections. A photo that shows twelve years of weathering.

I've had so much fun with this guy. Our lives have not turned out the way we had hoped. We wanted to parent. It is still excruciatingly painful to contemplate, childlessness. However, we've been blessed to distract ourselves from our losses by learning, exploring, and traveling side by side. So here's the real, weathered us, twelve years older (and wiser too), about to enter the Little Orphan Mine in Butte, Montana. We had fun right up until the end of the tour when the guide kicked us out because she was "in a time crunch." It was hailing. And thundering. And lightning. And she just threw us out there into the elements with no regard for human life. There were young children and elderly people. Getting rained on or even hailed on was fine. Lightning, on the other hand, kills. But we survived.

The Ranger took me to an ice cave in the Pryor Mountains of Montana. Our tent blew over in a storm that night. We stopped on a dirt road the next morning, in absolute awe of all the sunflowers. Back in the park I served as his chief fire builder for evening programs. The bison have impacted our lifestyle more than we would have thought. Grizzly bears step out in front of the car. We made it to the Three Forks. And another Buffalo Jump. I think all these things show our love of learning and traveling. Our quest to spend more time together.

It would be nice to have the kind of marriage where we can live together full time. It would have been great to see his face today. At least I got to hear his voice. I would say "yes" again.