Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heard a prophet's voice, lately?

The apostle Dieter F. Uchtdorf, on patience and that famous study about marshmallows and four-year-olds and why I always want what I want when I want it (and a few simple things that might help.)

General Conference this weekend. Check. it. out!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More from our trip....

They say that timeliness is everything about a blog, but then, who listens to "they" anyway....
Here's a little more from our trip to Vegas last month:

If you’d only looked at the weather, I don’t think you could have known for sure we were in Las Vegas for nearly a week. Our first night there it rained enough to flood the gutters, and it was even cool enough to go hiking.

That’s right. Hiking. In Las Vegas. In August.

We took State Route 159 out to Red Rock Canyon Wilderness area in the foothills of the craggy mountains west of Las Vegas. We arrived at the scenic loop about 9:30 a.m., and promptly turned around to find an ATM because the park doesn’t take debit cards.

We could see the red rock from the valley floor, but at that distance, the mountains look more like a blurry Maynard Dixon painting than anything else, so were surprised at the intricacy of the rock formations as we got closer.

Violence. That’s the word I used to describe the mountains. The jilted sandstone wears a history of violence, not so much like a bruise, but more the brooding look of someone who has seen trouble. Giant slabs of sandstone, stacked layer by layer over millions of years now tilt on an unnatural angle (but, is it really unnatural, if nature caused it?), great flat strata tricked by nature into the mountain peaks before us.

On the first bend of the scenic loop, we drove past a bulbous sandstone reef that rises out of the sandy hillside like some red, hot wave—the curvaceous cliffs completely at odds with its angled and stratified neighbors. Mr. Baseball and I got out to take a closer look (The monkey fell asleep in the car, so he didn’t get out until the hike).

Our last stop was the Children’s Discovery Trail, which took us on a one-mile loop up lost creek canyon, past Native American petroglyphs, prickly pear, and even the tiniest trickle of a waterfall. The sun had lifted the temperature to around 95 degrees by the time we made it to the waterfall, but the breeze and the drip drip drip of the sometimes water made for easy going.

Mr. Baseball kept filling his hat at the drip and then flipping the hat on his head. We all took turns soaking our selves (well, maybe “soaking” is too generous a word, but you get the idea) and then headed back down the mountain. The dual shade provided by the boulders and the juniper made for easy hiking, and everyone made it the entire mile without any trouble.

Other things we did in Vegas:

Visited with Grandma Milly, the 87-year-old mother of my father who almost died last year when impacted bowels landed her in the hospital. She’s up and moving now and as fit as I could ever hope to be at 87. I interviewed her to find out a little about her family history and she enjoyed holding the Cannon Ball.

four generations all together. That doesn't happen very often.

My oldest brother, Josh, came over for dinner one night and we made sushi and okonomiyaki. Grandma came too and we all ate ourselves silly. Josh upgraded the RAM on my “new” garage sale laptop and now it runs like a dream (okay, maybe like the description of someone else's cool dream that they tell you over breakfast and they can only remember bits and pieces, but they swear it was the coolest dream ever--yeah, kind of like that).

And later that night we went down to the strip to see the Bellagio fountain and take in a little bit of the spectacle that is the Las Vegas strip.

We also spent a killer week in Utah with the other side of our family, and pictures and details of that are coming soon, too.

Thursday, September 16, 2010