Thursday, March 29, 2007

Oh, and another couple things...

Harry Potter! Big news in the Harry Potter world, for all of those crazies out there (like me) that follow Harry Potter like a religion already know, the cover of book #7 was released yesterday, here is the US edition:

To see the UK child and adult version (which are very worth seeing!) go to the Mugglenet link on the right.

Also, if you care about the Harry Potter movies (which I like, but don't LOVE like the books) there is news on that front, Dan, Emma and Rupert signed a contract to finish out the series. For those who don't follow this saga, there was worry that the kids were getting "too old" to play Harry and his friends, but fans really didn't want them to find new actors, me included. So I'm happy the current actors we love and adore are sticking around.

Last but not least, there is big news in the Playmobil world (Playmobil is an awesome 'classic' toy from Germany. I have loved and collected Playmobil since I was a tyke), there are new Micro Playmobil sets!!!

You ask, why so excited? Well anybody that knows me well knows I LOVE toys, and the smaller the better. So, check this out: the kids are about two inches tall, which means the ark, and the animals are tiny!! Damn, I'm excited!

To see the other three sets in the series, go here: Playmobil Micro


I'm a nut for raspberries. I never thought there would be anything in the world better than fresh picked berries from my great grandmother's garden. I remember climbing through the thick prickly bushes to find just the perfect berry. I must have been around six years old, but I remember the days clearly. I would even shimmy on my tummy under the thorny branches to reach the berries in the small patch of bushes near my grandma's garage.

Today I still love raspberries in the middle of summer. I have stood my ground my entire life, raspberries were my favorite fruit.

Well, like I said, I never new I'd find something better than those perfect berries of summer, but I think I've found a close second, canned raspberries, homemade of coarse. E's mom was nice enough to share a jar of her famous raspberries last fall at dinner, and I fell in love. Now, each time I see her I beg her for another jar of my own. She has been more than nice to indulge me, and last night I savored the end of another jar of berries.

They are sweet and tart, and tender, and oh so good! Luckily E isn't as crazy as I am about the berries, so most of the time they are mine.

So why am I writing an entire blog entry about raspberries? Who the hell knows, work has been busy and stressful, and I thought it would be fun. Plus, I don't ever want to forget the memories of those prickly bushes all those years ago.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Southern Utah getaway

What a great weekend, E's family has been doing more and more trips that we are invited on, and this last weekend, we headed down to Escalate National Monument for a weekend of hiking, eating, and being silly.

I took Friday off work, we headed down early, and braved the rain and snow. We were a little sad, because we were trying to get to the warmer weather of Southern Utah, and it was snowing in the mountains, but my spirits were high!

Soon we arrived at our B&B to find a comfortable room, and a beautiful view! Soon it was dinner time, and we decided to give a tiny little Mexican restaurant in town a try. We were a little scared, the place was in somebody's house, and there wasn't really enough room for our party of five. After other patrons moved and we settled in, we had a great meal. It is so funny that in the smallest of towns you can find something so fantastic. The chips were cooked there, and were fresh, and we finished the meal with an awesome bread pudding.

The next day the weather had cleared and we were excited to get hiking. Over breakfast we talked about what C and Ch wanted to do (they aren't much for hiking) but they both surprised us and said they'd give the six mile hike a try. So after getting a picnic lunch in town we were off towards lower Calf Creek Falls. We were sure that C and Ch would want to turn around, but they hiked and hiked, and totally surprised us, and we had a great lunch near the falls.

Later that night we headed to a restaurant in Bolder that gets fantastic reviews. We had made reservations and were quite excited to try Hells Backbone Grill. The little restaurant was quirky, out in the middle of nowhere, with these really fantastic things on the menu. We ordered appetizers, salads, soups, drinks, desserts, and the most amazing trout I have ever tried. We chatted about hiking, and life, and wine as the sunset behind us. We all ordered dessert at the end of the meal, and all agreed this was a fantastic find.

The next morning, I woke up and packed my things quickly. E and his family were still packing, so I decided to take a little walk by myself. I felt so alive and happy. My heart was beating, and I was breathing deeply, and was just so happy to be under the pure blue sky and red cliffs of Southern Utah.

After my quick hike, some breakfast, and water bottle fill-up, we were off to an area called Devil's Garden. This mini wonderland had arches, slot canyons, mesas, and deep cracks, all the thinks you'd expect from Southern Utah, but it was all miniature, so it was fun to explore the area, without ever feeling in danger or lost. We even spotted a jack rabbit that didn't seem to skiddish, so we got some great photos!

After our hike and rabbit spotting, we headed towards a coffee house we had seen perched up on a hillside. We were hoping for some incredible views and lunch, and we got both. The little coffee house offered organic sandwiches and salads, so it was perfect!

We headed out towards Capital Reef National Park, and after getting some photos of the deer, pictograhs, and fading sun we reluctantly headed towards home.

We ate at a funny diner in Central Utah, and got home late, happy for the great getaway.

Here are a few photos I took:

Fading light on the fruit trees in Capital Reef National Park

Group of cactus near our B&B in Escalate

My sweet hubbie looking up at Calf Creek Falls

The beautiful view from 'Devil's Garden'

Monday, March 19, 2007

Fantastic weather, is it really March?

We’ve had fantastic weather here in Utah the last couple of days. Highs in the 70s, and just so springy! I love this weather, if it didn’t get hotter all summer, I’d be happy. So on Saturday E and I met up with a group of our best guy friends for the first mountain bike ride of 2007. It was hard, and hot, and tiring, but by the end I felt accomplished. I rode up the steep hills, and the gradual inclines, and sped down rocky declines.

Afterwards we rode our bikes directly to B’s house, went out to Middle Eastern food, played Frisbee at the local park, and had a great evening of playing Bolkus, eating pizza, and telling dirty jokes.

More Saturdays should be like last Saturday, I’m sure they will be!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Changes at the office

I knew it was too good to last. My office is incredible, larger than any of my coworkers, and a fantastic view of the mountains. Every day I think about how lucky I am to have such a fantastic office, but somehow I knew my days were limited.

My company is doing well, really well. This is fantastic news, I’ve gotten bigger and better clients over the last year that keep me busier than ever, which of coarse is fantastic. We’ve hired again and again in the last six months, and we’ve outgrown our office space.

So, luckily the space next to us is vacant which means we can expand directly into there. However, my boss realized just how fantastic my office is because now he wants to make it the conference room. He feels that we should have our best area for clients, therefore I’m moving down the hall.

The new office is fine, still a window (so I can’t complain too much) but it’s a lot smaller and doesn’t look onto the mountains. Oh well, life will go on, even though it really bums me out...

View out my window from my office. Notice the windowsill in the foreground.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Grandma teaches me about love

My Grandma Florence, my dad’s mom, gave me some wonderful wisdom the other day, that has stuck in my mind. We were talking about my Grandma Barbara, who has been working on adjusting to her new life as a widow. My Grandma Florence has been a widow for about two years now, and she said “it doesn’t matter how much time you have with someone you love, it’s never enough.”

I agree.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Serenity now...

Work and life is stressful, really stressful. E is unhappy at school and unsure in his abilities. He is so smart and talented, but the math thing just keeps getting in the way, now he thinks he might quit altogether. This really upsets me, because he wasn’t happy with his original degree, and he’s not happy now. I want him to find something that makes him happy, and earns an income he will be happy with. I know he can do it, I just wish he knew that too.

My job is super stressful now too. I’ve never had so many active accounts, and active jobs for each account. Managing everything feels like juggling sometimes, and I do drop balls. I hate telling clients I’m sorry, because I screwed up. And it does happen.

A trip to Maui right about now sounds perfect. All I want to do is chill out and recharge.

Last weekend my family went up to Joan’s cabin (this year was better than last) and I snapped a photo that I call serenity.

This is how I want to feel, cool, calm, and peaceful:

Thursday, March 01, 2007

It is the first day of spring,

at least in my book. I say spring is March-May, summer is June-August, fall is September- November, and winter is December –February. I know that is not officially the case, but that’s my rule of thumb.

So what is happening in Utah on the first day of spring? I’m looking out the windows in my office (I’ll say it again, I’m damn lucky to have such a beautiful window office of my own) and it is snowy and cold. The trees are bare, and another front is coming in today.

However, that cannot dampen my spirits. Spring is coming, I know it.
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