Tuesday, December 30, 2008

It wasn't an avalanche...

...It was a rockfall.

Based on how it sounded, it was a lot like this (turn up your speakers):

I wonder what we missed, because we heard a lot more cracking than the above video (which is Horseshoe Canyon, Canyonlands). This isn't a winter danger I was aware of -- the ice gets into cracks and expands, causing the rocks to break free from the canyon walls. It's much scarier in retrospect.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas day is here

So, what do you do in Southern Utah when it snows on Christmas day?

You go to Zion.

The kids in the car on the way:

What we saw there:

We decided to drive through the tunnel:

No one else was in there, so we stopped and took pictures of the windows:

It was very snowy, so we went back to the main valley.

Elizabeth took this picture:

And Angela took this one:

When I got the camera back, I took some more:

We got out of the car at the Temple of Sinawava, to play in the snow:

Can you see how deep it is?

I was determined to build my very first full-size snowman (or snowwoman -- I thought about having her carrying a snowchild), but when I was about two-thirds of the way into my project, we heard a loud


that made us stop and consider running as fast as we could. It was LOUD and scary. At the end of the Temple, where the river curves against a tall canyon wall, something dramatic happened. We don't know if rock was breaking loose and falling into the river, or an avalanche of snow and ice (mostly ice, by the sound of it) was starting and would bury us.

We heard more CRACKs and decided not to chance it. I took a quick picture of my unfinished, genderless snowperson, and we left.

Icicles on rocks:

Deer watched us depart:

I hope your Christmas is warm and wonderful.

Christmas Eve...

We opened our gifts on Christmas Eve this year.


...met fulfillment:

Christmas hair!

It took me two hours, but I did elaborate things to the kids' hair.

I made Elizabeth's hair into a ribboned headband:

Angela's was a wreath on top of her head:

The girls were filled with anticipation and took pictures of their gifts:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The horribleness spreads

Elizabeth's depiction of Bad Horse:

OK, not really. When I said, "It's Bad Horse!", there were loud protests ("No, it's not!" "It's a pretty horse!"), but a black horse with red eyes pretty much says "thoroughbred of sin" to my mind.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow days and princess parties

Elizabeth's snowman:

Christmas here is full of happy surprises:

Princess parties and making gingerbread castles:

Polar Express party!

Elizabeth's school program was last Friday. I have some pretty low-quality video clips of the event:

Entering the room in their boxcars:

Elizabeth's speaking part:

The first song (I moved places once I realized I wasn't going to be able to see her at all):

The Hot Chocolate dance:

More Hot Chocolate:

Final words

I haven't said one public word about Prop 8, and I stand by that.

I felt fine sharing that Onion article, because no matter your stance, you can't help but laugh at it, right?

...Unless you don't bother to read it. Within hours of posting the article, I received this insightful comment:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Worth repeating":

the mormom church needs to butt out of this fight in CALIFORNIA NOT UTAH and respect separation of church and state. then again any institution that adhered to the crazy principles it first did, go figure....let's have 400 wives and 5000 babies! talk about loving one another......

they only want people to have LOVE the way they dictate.

shameful. illegal. misogynist to the max.

I don't know that I have anything more to add. My wonderful husband once wisely said that "If you act like a grown-up, it will be clear who the 14-year-olds are." So I will bite my tongue.

But I can't help laughing at this, especially in light of what my post actually said, the fact that I am a "Mormom" (that also made me laugh), and the inclusion of a new catchphrase ("misogynist to the max").

If there had been any hope that I would talk about this issue publicly, it's been dashed. There is no such thing as an intelligent exchange of ideas regarding Prop 8.

At least being a Mormom doesn't prevent me from approving of marriage between one man and one wolfman.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Worth repeating

Typo In Proposition 8 Defines Marriage As Between 'One Man And One Wolfman'

DECEMBER 17, 2008 | ISSUE 44•51

SACRAMENTO, CA—Activists on both sides of the gay marriage debate were shocked this November, when a typographical error in California's Proposition 8 changed the state constitution to restrict marriage to a union between "one man and one wolfman," instantly nullifying every marriage except those comprised of an adult male and his lycanthrope partner. "The people of California made their voices heard today, and reaffirmed our age-old belief that the only union sanctioned in God's eyes is the union between a man and another man possessed by an ungodly lupine curse," state Sen. Tim McClintock said at a hastily organized rally celebrating passage of the new law. But opponents, including Bakersfield resident Patricia Millard—who is now legally banned from marrying her boyfriend, a human, non-wolfman male—claim it infringes on their civil liberties. "I love James just as much as a wolfman loves his husband," Millard said. "We deserve the same rights as any horrifying mythical abomination." On the heels of the historic typo, voters in Utah passed a similar referendum a week later, defining marriage as between one man and 23 wolfmen.

From The Onion.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Nothing happens by accident"...unless you're 5

We went to Snow Canyon, because it was blanketed in snow. We were going to play and take lots of pictures there.

It was beautiful.

The snow brings out lovely details in the rocks.

The above picture was taken moments before Elizabeth shouted, "I NEED TO GO POTTY!" Of course, I'd already passed the only restrooms, the snow was piled high on each side of the road, making turning around dangerous at best and in most places simply impossible, and I wasn't about to leave any yellow snow in the park. So we left. It was slow-going. The north end of the park was unplowed and treacherous.

But on the way home, I saw some amazing scenery. Look at how low these clouds are:

We ended up driving right into these clouds, which scared the kids, who instantly thought we were nowhere near home. Driving through fog does strange things to your perceptions. It felt like a lot longer to me, too.

Car accidents were avoided. The other kind of accident, though. was not completely averted.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Good questions!

Elizabeth, who has unexplained insight into my deepest fears:
"Mom, do robots know everything?"

This week I am fighting off a sinus infection. I didn't know you can get those from crying, but evidently you can. I couldn't tell for a long time that it was there, because of all the crying, but once I started feeling better, it was painfully obvious.

So I'm on a regimen of antibiotics and other fun stuff. Angela asked me about the medications I'm taking, and I explained to her about how antibiotics kill the germs and decongestants clear out the mucus, "and this one is a pain reliever."

Her question:
"What does a penguin-leaver do?"

How in the world do you keep a straight face? I'm not sure I'm even going to try anymore.

Elizabeth has a box-decorating project for school, so she and her sister have spent a lot of time adding their own personal touches to the largest box we could find. I've also spent an unexpectedly large amount of time trying to convince one or the other (but mostly the younger one) that no, they cannot sleep in the box, no matter how many blankets they've put in it.

Last night they were both sitting in the box, and I told them to lay down and cuddle up like puppies (it was startling how much they looked like puppies when they did). Then I closed the box and said I was shipping them to Grandma and Grandpa's house. Did they protest? Nooo:

"Are we going to live there??"

Monday, December 8, 2008


Tom Waits: Go to iTunes. Buy "Bend Down the Branches." Listen, and repeat. That is all.

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: If you haven't seen this yet, take the plunge. You won't regret it. Best 43 minutes of entertainment I've seen in a long while. It made me laugh out loud many times. Now I'm completely behind the NPH hype. (Catch it free on Hulu!)

Popcorn and hot chocolate: It's what's for dinner. 'Tis the season! Perfect for when it's cold outside and you have unwatched Netflixes calling your name.

Awkward transitional blogs: Perfect for changing the subject when you are unable, or unwilling, to follow up the previous post.