Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's on your nightstand?

Besides my ongoing seminary lesson prep, here's what else I'm reading:

Just Finished:
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean - I picked this up last month at the Costco in Spokane - Alex read it while we were on vacation, then I got a chance. It's a non-fiction memoir of the Periodic Table of the Elements.  Sort of.  I really enjoyed it - and my grasp of chemistry is not particularly firm.  Two thumbs up.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Another Costco purchase.  I liked this book a lot, in spite of the high body count.
Bachelor's Galore by Essie Summers. Despite a promising title, not one of my favorites by Essie.
A Little Moonlight by Betty Neels. Reviewed last Thursday on The Uncrushable Jersey Dress.

Next up:
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard - Steve talked me into getting this today...again at Costco.
An Ideal Wife by Betty Neels.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  Book Two of The Hunger Games.  I borrowed this from Keira.

What are you reading?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Last Hoorah of Summer - Part IV

Danny's Favorite Day

Marcy drove up to Henry's Lake to meet us.  She overshot by about 10 miles, but luckily we had cell phone reception (as long as I didn't move...or breathe).  We all crowded into the red clown car and got ready to spend the day in two, count 'em, TWO, National Parks. Yellowstone and Grand Teton. 

Since we hadn't had much time in Yellowstone a couple of days before, it was nice to have a second chance.  Danny really wanted a second chance at the giant frozen yogurt cones at Old Faithful...but since we'd already been there, we gave it a miss.  We heard about it all day. 

I am still not convinced that the Tetons are 'all that'.  I was in Jackson Hole in May and August...and I never got to see the tops.  With two kids at BYU-I I'm thinking I may have more opportunities.  Marcy bought me the card that allegedly shows  the Tetons.  I'm still not convinced.

We eventually made our way down to Jackson Hole - we had a couple of hours or so to spend there while we were waiting for dinner time.  We spent the time browsing the art galleries with Marcy and the two boys.  I thought it would be horrible, but the boys were just fine.

And now we come to Danny's favorite activity of our whole vacation.  Bar-J Chuckwagon and more especially the Bar-J Wranglers.  We all enjoyed the music, but Danny REALLY enjoyed it.  He talked Steve into buying three CDs.  Three.  Guess what we listened to on the way home.  Go ahead, guess. 

It's a good thing the rest of us liked their music. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

There's A Sling For That?

Danny had surgery today.  Nothing too major...but still, it was surgery.  I miss the old days when the patient stayed at the hospital for a couple of days and a trained nursing staff took care of the patient 24 hours a day.  

He seems to be bouncing back pretty quickly.  In less than two hours from when he had surgery he was eating two hamburgers and a hot fudge sundae.  I always figure that if they can eat, they'll be fine.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Last Hoorah of Summer - Part III

Wherein we drop off Andrew in Rexburg and I lose my wallet. Tuesday found us heading down to Rexburg to drop off Andrew and his possessions.  He was to stay with Nathan and Rebekah until he could move into his apartment on the 6th.  Fortunately for our limited space he hadn't overpacked as to personal items.
First stop. Nathan and Rebekah's.  Second stop. Deseret Industries. Third stop. Distribution Center. Fourth stop. Walmart. Fifth stop. Porter's - to take Marcy out to lunch.
We had a nice lunch across the street from Porter's.  And then I got a phone call from my friend Deann - she was calling me from Marysville to tell me that I had left my wallet at the Distribution Center.  A mutual friend had called her to try and find my cell-phone number.  Someone else had called's still somewhat of a mystery - but a fortuitous one.

More shopping, this time in Idaho Falls...then a final good-bye to Andrew, Nathan and Rebekah.

Next: Danny's Favorite Day.

Last Hoorah of Summer - Part II

Farewell Butte, Hello Wyoming.  Steve's sister Debbie lives in a tiny little town in North Central Wyoming.  Byron is about 45 miles east of Cody.  Since we spent the night in Butte, we lost one day of visiting.  Instead of getting to her house on Friday night, it was Saturday evening by the time we rolled in.  Steve's other sister, Becky was also visiting (she had caught a ride up from Utah with her son Ryan who was traveling in the area for work).  We had a lovely visit on Sunday, and then on Monday we headed to Yellowstone.  Debbie brought Becky, Steve's mom and we stuck Andrew in with them to ease our congestion. 

The drive to and through Yellowstone was lovely - we had never driven through the East Gate before.  Lots of wildlife was seen, especially bison.  We saw a lot of bison.
Here's a man there never lets an ice cream cone get the better of him.
Old Faithful was obliging and erupted for us twice...but I'm pretty sure Danny thought the ginormous frozen yogurt cones were even more fascinating.  Steve found them pretty fascinating himself.  The squirrels running around inside the lodge were fairly interesting too.  Just like rats, but cuter and friendlier.
After a chilly stroll around the boardwalks we went our separate ways...this time with Andrew in our car.  Luckily for us, Henry's Lake is only an hour or so from Old Faithful, so we just gritted our teeth and bore it.

Next: Wherein we drop off Andrew in Rexburg and I lose my wallet.

Last Hoorah of Summer - Part I.

Our vacation didn't start off well at all.  Nope.  Nathan and Rebekah left a little while before us...and Nathan got sick.  Throwing up sick.  Throwing up a lot sick.  Too sick to drive - so Rebekah did.  They were heading straight to Rexburg via Ontario/Boise...the rest of us were heading to Wyoming via Spokane/ the time we knew how sick Nathan was our paths had diverged and we were hours away from each other.  The best we could do was to tell Rebekah to drive as far as she could and find a motel... the meantime...we were having troubles of our own.  Our battery light was going on and off at random.  We took a long lunch in Spokane and Steve had the battery and alternator tested.  They were fine...or so we thought.  As soon as we crossed into Montana, Steve handed over the driving to me.  The van kept flashing the battery light for increasingly longer periods of time - but I didn't worry about it much - we'd just checked them, right?  A little while past Missoula we started to have other, more worrying symptoms.  The turn signals stopped working.  Then the fact the whole electrical system was acting weird - on again, off again.  And then we started to loose engine power...on again, off again.  The speedometer was flatlining, then would come back with a burst...I finally pulled into a tiny little town (Drummond).  There was a nice gas station/mini mart and not much else.  Steve and Andrew experimented on the van - and removed all the non-essential fuses they could find.  We couldn't really stay in Drummond - if there was a problem with the van, which there was, there was no place to get it off we went. We took it as a good sign that the van started right up - yeah, that was great for a few minutes, then all the problems came back with a vengeance.  The van died right at the exit for a rest stop - the boys all hopped out and pushed us to the parking lot. 
Let's go back to that morning, before we left the house.  Steve was on the phone, making us late...he was talking to a AAA representative.  He signed us up - with the extended towing package - which covered towing up to 100 miles.
Now, back to the rest stop.  Steve calls up AAA and they arrange to tow us into Butte - 60 some miles away.  That is wonderful - it's getting on towards dark and the rest stop we're at is not a busy one - very few people stop at it.  Which is a problem.  Why?  The tow truck driver can only take two passengers.  That leaves three left over.  We eye every car that stops...hoping for someone with room for 3 passengers - but it seems that it's all families on vacation - with full cars.  Aargh.  Finally - just before the tow truck shows up, a man stops by to use the facilities...and he's got a king cab pickup truck...and he's alone...and he's going to Butte.  Alex, Danny and I ride to Butte with the nice stranger while Andrew and Steve go on the tow truck. The van gets towed to an auto repair place - and we get dropped off at a hotel.  Now we have another dilemma.  It's Friday night and the repair shop doesn't open until Monday.

We managed to rent the last available car from Enterprise - it was a red Chevy HHR (think PT Cruiser).  We dubbed it the Clown Car.  We were able to get nearly all of our luggage stowed in it  - which was a minor miracle.   None of us could move an inch - except Steve, who was driving...the rest of us had stuff tucked under us, around us and on top.  Not comfortable at all...but we did it. 

Next: Farewell Butte, Hello Wyoming.