23 July 2008

Tetons - need advice

Alright, dear readers. I'm coming to you for advice. We're taking a trip in two weeks to Grand Teton National Park for J's birthday. We have never been there, and don't know much about the park and the sights. If you have been to the Tetons, please leave me a comment and suggest your favorite spot for hiking, climbing, wildlife viewing, etc. Thanks!

22 July 2008


Wow, life is busy right now. Here's a quick recap of the past week, and a glimpse into the future:
  • My mom came to town on Wednesday last week. We loved having her here. Doodle got to play with her a bunch, and calls her "Gaa". We took mom hiking at Tony Grove (the wildflowers are awesome right now), climbing at Fucoidal Quartzite (OMG, I actually got to climb too!) and climbing at Rock Haus. Throw in a LLL meeting, a trip to the gardener's market, and playing at the park while I had a dress rehearsal and it was a busy few days for all. We had a blast.
  • Mom was also here for my bellydance show, in which she got to see my first duet! It went really well. I had fun, my troupe did pretty well, and our duet rocked. I am so happy with how it went. Oh, and Doodle was a big hit - she was dancing with her play silk and getting a lot of attention during the performances. I think she loved it.
  • This Thursday is Pioneer Day. (sidenote for which J deserves credit: why is Pioneer Day celebrated as such a patriotic holiday now? The Pioneers whom are being celebrated moved out here to get away from the United States gov't. Anyways...) State Holiday = Parades and Fireworks. Which, in J&K(&C) land = riding on floats and conducting voter registration drives. If you are either A) a supporter of the Cache Democrats, B) a supporter of Breastfeeding, or C) just want to ride on a float, let us know. J and I have ins with the Cache Dems and La Leche League, both of whom will have floats in the Logan parade. Yeehaw!
  • With the above-mention of floats comes float decoration and prep. Tomorrow night I get to help decorate the LLL float. Sadly, I doubt we'll have giant papier maché boobies on the float, nor will said boobies have fountains pouring from them. We're shooting for modesty here, folks. Yes, the pioneers breastfed. But I doubt they would have flaunted it with big hooters on their wagons. And so, we go simple. It'll still be fun. I'll take pics.
  • The next big thing in my forseeable future is my sex-ed teaching assignment. This is a visiting-lecturer position I was offered for one week in the Human Physiology class. They have one lab (4 sections) in which they talk about contraceptives, reproduction and birth. I was asked to be the instructor this semester. YAYYYYYYY!!! I know it's weird, but I'm really excited to teach this unit. Most of these students have never had a formal sex-ed class, or if they have it was heavily abstinence-based. Now that a lot of them are married or thinking about it, they NEED this info. And no one gives it to them. Enter...ME! I get to talk about the different forms of contraception on the market, and the risks associated with each. I also get to talk about the female cycle (when ovulation happens, changes related to fertility, that sort of thing), and birth. The #1 thing I'm hoping the students take away is simply to ask questions, and do research. I hope I can instill in them the importance of finding out for themselves what's right for them, and not blindly accepting things without looking at the fine print when it comes to their reproductive health. I'm hoping for the best. Wish me luck!

14 July 2008

Back to The City

We went back to the City of Rocks this weekend. A bunch of our friends came, making for a big fun group outing. There were very few people there, probably due to it being the weekend after the 4th. Last time it wasn't necessarily crowded, but there were many more people. I liked the solitude and quiet this time around. Doodle enjoyed the dogs and the dirt (see below - it took her less than 20 minutes from arrival to get that dirty). She also enjoyed playing and interacting with our friends.

I did half of a climb the first day - my first rock climbing since before getting pregnant with Doodle. It was pretty daunting to consider, but I'm glad I got on the wall. I decided not to finish the climb because I hadn't eaten in hours and was feeling pretty shaky and unstable. The second day Doodle was really clingy, so we just chilled at the bottom of the routes and watched J et. al climb. Our group was really mellow, which was perfect. I had a great time. I'm glad we went.

10 July 2008

wife, partner, lover, best friend

Just this morning J and I had a conversation about my blog; specifically regarding my header. The first sentence says "I'm a mom, a grad student, a pollination biologist, a bellydancer." He asked me "Where am I? You don't say anything about yourself relative to me." That got me thinking.

What am I, relative to J? I'm a wife, sure. But the word wife has so many connotations, some good and some not. I think of him as my spouse, but rarely think of myself as a wife. Partner? Definitely. We're partners in life, in love, and in raising Doodle. But the word partner is so vague and doesn't have a strong attached feeling. Lover? Yep. But when using that to describe myself, it could just be that I love lots of things. Not necessarily that I am J's lover. Best friend? Yes. But while that's probably the best descriptor, even that term gets tossed around so freely. Remember grade school, and your BFF of the month? It means so much more to me to say that J is my Best Friend than just having half of a necklace.

It's two days past our third wedding anniversary, and I can't come up with one word to summarize who I am when it comes to J. I'm okay with that. I am a wife, partner, lover and best friend. I am all of those things to him. I may not have all of that in my header, but each of those words is an integral part of who I am. And I wouldn't change it for the world.

Happy Anniversary, my love.

08 July 2008

The chick

My favorite part of chicken sitting this time around is the chick. I've never cared for a chick before, and she's really easy. It seems all she wants is to be with her flock. But in this case her flock is the humans in the house. So we let her roam free and she's happy. She follows us around, trying to run between our legs when we're walking. She pecks at the freckles on my legs when I'm sitting down. She entertains Doodle. Here's some of the cuteness.

Doodle tries to catch and hold baby chicken. Sometimes it works. Most of the time the chicken cheeps loudly as Doodle gets close, which freaks Doodle out and allows the little poultry to escape.

Me and the fluffy cuteness.

She was pecking at the magazine just moments before.

Road repair

Yesterday Doodle fell asleep just as the road repair people arrived. I worried that she would miss all of the excitement. I needn't have worried. The road folks took a lunch break shortly after arriving, giving Doodle time to nap and prolonging their time in front of our house. It worked out perfectly. Doodle woke up, and we promptly went outside to watch the excitement. Then neighbor boy A woke up too, and the kids were able to sit roadside (like ring-side, but cooler) and watch the oiling and chipping of the road.

This is the gravel-spreader. It hooks to the back of the dumptruck, then they drive together (the dumptruck driving backwards) down the street, spreading gravel on the oil.

That's one of the roller things. There were three of them that drove in a line, back and forth. Doodle waved to them a lot.

This was the most exciting thing that has happened in our neighborhood... maybe ever! See how much fun she's having?

07 July 2008

Bullet points

Highlights from this past weekend, and the near future:
  • Voter registration before the fireworks went really well. People were nice and receptive.
  • The older democrat demographic *LOVES* Doodle. We brought her to a potluck, where she entertained the masses by running around, dancing, spinning in circles and climbing on the couches. They adore her.
  • Lewiston parade: super. Doodle got to pet some horses, and had fun sitting on the float.
  • Hyrum parade: hot and not so super. We were both ready to be done at that point. A friend said she saw us looking tired and bored on the float. Oops!
  • The Cruise-In: noxious gas fumes, mostly. We only saw some of the cars. My favorite was a silver rocketship-like car that resembled the Ambiguously Gay Duo's phallomobile.
  • The duet choreography is DONE! Now we just need to practice it and polish it before the show in two weeks.
  • My Mom is coming to town for the show (see above). I'm really excited. She has never seen me dance.
  • We're now chicken sitting for J's advisor. The flock is 20 hens, 1 obnoxious and territorial rooster, and a baby chick. The chick is an indoor bird right now, and follows us around in the house. If she (the chick) loses sight of humans, she'll start cheeping loudly until she can find someone. Really cute. Doodle loves playing with the chick. Hopefully we'll get some pics this week.
  • Because the darn rooster woke us up at 5:45 this morning, Doodle is napping right now. This is only problematic because the city crew is outside oiling and graveling our street, and there is all sorts of cool heavy machinery out there. It's right outside our front door, and she's missing it! Oh well. Better to have a rested Doodle.

02 July 2008

Quick escape

Monday night we went camping up the canyon.  The reasons were three-fold:
  1. J had just submitted a major grant proposal, and was in need of some down-time.
  2. We rarely go camping up the canyon, probably because if we're going to camp we want to go someplace new to do it.
  3. I wanted to get outside and spend time together.
So when J got home I proposed that I would pack while he vegged, and then we'd head out for just a night and a morning.  He ended up doing more packing than I'd anticipated, but we still kept it pretty low key.  Made it to the campsite by 7:30 pm, where we relaxed and got our camp established.

For dinner we used our cast-iron griddle for only the second time since our wedding, making some really yummy tenderloin steak with grilled onions and asparagus.  We relaxed by the fire for a while, the mosquitos having finally relented and gone to bed.

In the morning we made pancakes while Doodle frolicked in the tent and surrounding campsite.  Packing up we took full advantage of our short drive home and the ease of car-camping: dirty dishes went into a bag to be washed later, sleeping bags were casually stuffed into stuff-sacks.  Sometimes the easy approach is nice.

In all, it was a nice little escape from daily life.  We're learning the ease of the short, quick camping trip and may have to do this more often (after the 4th, of course).  Bonus pretty plant picture: Corallorhiza striata (coral-root orchid, a parasitic plant!) found along the road leaving the campground.  I'd never seen one in the wild, but spotted this patch while driving.  J was excited.

01 July 2008

Politically active

This week is gearing up to be our week of political action. As active members of the Cache Democrats and the recently established Cache Valley for Obama (of which J is the chair!), we will be attending three parades, a fireworks display, and a Dems party Thursday through Saturday. We will be canvassing the crowd at the various events, helping people register to vote. Doodle and I may ride on a float or two as well! It'll be fun, but it'll also be a lot of work. It is nice to feel like we're making a difference.

Check out the Cache Democrats' calendar of events for what's going on - and come join us!

Speak out

I heard this quote on Saturday, and ran across it again today. It sums up the reason to stand up and speak out for what you believe. It's powerful, and motivating.

“If you are neutral in a situation of injustice,
you have chosen to side with the oppressor.”

-Desmond Tutu