Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fish Tale

Remember a bit ago when I blogged about catching this guy next time we went on vacation? Well faery tales do come true, it can happen to you, if you wait until you can't see a danged thing!

We went with a few of the kids up to Mammoth Lakes this past week for some family time and fishing. Last year all we caught were colds and a few mosquito bites. This year, a different tale altogether.

The first day on the boat we were four hours in and Thor got a bite. The water on Convict Lake was so pristine (pictures next post) and so calm, it was like looking in glass. You could see the floor of the lake and down about twenty feet. You could see the fish dart in and around the boat sticking their tiny fish tongues out and they swam away singing "Neener Neener!" It was most depressing, but Thor caught a good fourteen inch beauty and we were happy.

That night all the boys went out night fishing at Lake Mary and The Fireman came home with a pretty 12 inch rainbow and a tangled mess on his rod. Pretty much all the boys had tangled messes from not being able to see anything in the black forest. Thor was the lead man and led the guys back out of the woods and to the truck via his blackberry phone light. Technology saves the day (or in this case - night) once again.

The next day we went out to Lake Mary and set in on shore near the outlet. We drove the trucks in and walked a few feet down and made a small stake out on the rocky shore. We knew we had found a great spot as we could see the fish jumping and leaping right in front of us about fourty feet out. The water was again sparkling clear and like a mirror, absolutely gorgeous. The spot was full of dead trees and lots of grasses, moss and rocks of all sizes; plenty of hiding places for trout. We were pumped!

About an hour in The Teacher pulled out a strong 12 inch rainbow, and then kept pulling them out until at the end of a very long day on the lake, she had scored five fish! The R.N. pulled out a natural fish, not a farmed trout, with a fly. She and The Electrician love fly fishing and were using the most intricately tied tiny little flies. She had a 'black ant' on the line and when she felt the tug, she pulled out her fish. The only problem- he was about three inches, just a baby. Cute, but he had to go back or be bait. So off the hook he went and swam back out to warn the others.

Time went by and eventually the sun began to go down. By now, we had a few successes, everyone except The Electrician and myself had caught a fish worthy of keeping. There were plenty of lures lost to grass and logs, and also many small tree limbs caught. But as the sun grew dimmer and more dim I began to lose all hope of coming home with a fish.

The sun went kerplop and I was casting out into the black pool unable to even see where the lure would land until I heard the plop and saw the small ring begin to spread on the water's surface. Cast after cast went out and then "I'm on!"

I felt a small tug on the line, familiar -as I had one bite earlier in the day, but he got away and the rest of my tugs were met with a clump of disgusting greenery. I saw the small silver pop and then down he went. At first I thought he had escaped, then a jerk and a tug and he was out of the water again, this time the crew focused on him and began to shout instructions my way. "Keep him in the water!" "Keep your line down and taught!" "Don't bring him in to quickly!" "Steady! Steady!" I kept following the words of success and brought him home. He flipped up into the shallows as The Fireman grabbed for the net. "Bring him up closer, steady, keep him in the water!" And then the struggle really began.

He was too big for the net. There was a swoosh and a dart and more swishing and lunging to get him into the net and finally he was in with the help of hands and rocks. He was in the net and Thor went to release the hook, too late, he had wriggled his way out of the hook and was gasping for air with his big fish lips. His mouth was so open and chomping it looked like he was biting Thor and The Fireman! The Electrician came in and put the poor thing out of his misery and onto the stringer with the other fish caught that night. (You can see his size in comparison to the Fireman's shoe and the other fish on the stringer in the photo)

All in all we aren't really sure of exactly how much he weighs, I'll let you know when I cook him up, and we also didn't have a measuring tape. When we got home we laid out Mr. Big on an opened up piece of donut box and measured him against dollar bills. We estimate him at about 20 some inches (bills being 6 inches and he being slightly over three bills long...hey it's all I got!).

So here you go: If you want to fish in Mammoth, go to Lake Mary near the outlet. Cast all day until you can't see where you are casting. When you finally get a bite listen to your coaches and bring in that bad boy! I'll let you know how he cooks up!

Oh, and by the way, I caught Mr. Big with my pink fishing pole!

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UPDATE on comments!

Hey folks, if you left a comment in the last few days, check them out for replies. I just got back to a place where the computer works...sorry for the delay!

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Victoria Gardens

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Victoria Gardens

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Do One Thing! -Project Noah 2

Week Two!

Week 2: 15 Pounds of good wheat.

Hint: People who have small homes with limited storage space should prepare the best they can for emergencies. Basic food items often can be stored in rather limited space. Closets, attics, and space under beds can be used.

It is wiser to have food storage sufficient for only a few weeks or months than to have no storage at all.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Victoria Gardens

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Victoria Gardens

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Victoria Gardens

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Dead Man's Point

"Well, the last thing I remember, Doc,
I started to swerve
And then I saw the Jag slide into the curve
I know I'll never forget that horrible sight,
I guess I found out for myself that everyone was right
You won't come back from Dead Man's Curve..."a

So, can you come back from Dead Man's Curve?

I couldn't sleep so I decided what the hey, get up and go do something. So I got dress and headed out to Dead Man's Point to shoot some rock and boulder shots.

Back in the day our #1 used to go out there to rock climb with his buddies and the other kids in the family. They climbed all over those silly things and once in a while I would go out and try to get cool angles of them hanging from their ropes high above the desert floor.

Some of the rocks had access to the top via an easy foot trail so I would hike up there and get shots from the top down on them, those were nice also, plus folks would always ask if I took them, "yes" I'd reply, leaving out the fact that I didn't have to climb the face of a boulder to get there. ; )

Any way I got there a bit before the sun was able to get up over the mountains and so some of the shots are darker than I'd hoped for. I had to wait about an hour before I got in a good sun shot. Note to self: "You can stay in bed longer than you think and still get a clean shot!"

The desert was pretty hazy this morning. I noticed as I was driving away and northwest out of town that it was time for the local high school to start and all kinds of (kids I presume?) cars and trucks were just four wheelin' it (hard I might add) through the desert towards the high school. No roads, just across the desert at a full run kicking up a cloud of dust that reached far and high across the whole of the valley sky, bummer actually. But fun for them I guess. I can't remember being that anxious to get to class.

See that one picture of the boulders with the "hole" and the wires running through the shot? I always think that looks like a face, the hole being the eye. (that guy's got a bad case of "cauliflower ear".)

I guess I won't answer the question of the day as I wasn't any where near Dead Man's Curve, but as far as Dead Man's Point is concerned, yup, you can "come back" just fine.

a - Jan and Dean's Dead Man's Curve

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Went to the Dentist today

Always think of this while I'm there. Enjoy!

While I was up in Provo with the BY-U kid, I broke a tooth... brushing my teeth. How's that for irony? I called the hygienist (#3) who explained that in older or larger fillings (both apply in my case) the filling expands and contracts and over time this cause a fissure and eventually a crack and then one day while you are actually taking care of your teeth they turn on you and fall out.

So today I saw the doc, who I have to tell you, was fabulous. The best I have ever been to. With Thor's job our dental coverage changes so often we have to find new dentists on a regular basis. It's like playing MineSweeper only with dental insurance. Any who, this new doc was amazing! I never even felt that first needle prick to numb me... a miracle I tell you!

Now as I am typing this my face is still buzzing and my lip is doing Elvis impressions. The only thing that is feeling funky is the place I was chewing on yesterday when a pretzel got me in the wrong place. It's on the other side of my mouth so it didn't get any buzz juice, dang it.

All's well that ends well but that ending will have to wait until the 8th of September when I go back for the rest of the job.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Do One Thing! 3 web sites and a new weekly program!

We have our 72 hour kit and our first aid kits so what do we do now?

Food storage is such a huge elephant we often feel over whelmed!

If your state or local government allows you to store food -you should! There are plenty of places to store it, even in an apartment, as long as you get creative.

We should begin storing at least one week of extra food, just in case. Imagine your job being suspended or gone completely. Wouldn't it be nice to not have to depend on running to the store for a week? Perhaps you have unexpected guest drop by for a few days, or your college kids need a quick CarePackage. There are many reasons why having an extra week of food readily available, natural disasters are just the ones most people think of first.

We need to begin eating our food storage elephant! The best way to get started is to just go slowly, one bite at a time. This post has a couple of ways to help you out with the task. The first is a food storage recipe website, another website for tracking what you store, and the third a weekly program to help us build a year's supply for two people for under $10.00 a week.

Next time you are making out your shopping list add one extra meal to the list. If that bursts the budget add as much of that meal as you can, even one extra can is more than nothing! If your budget can handle it, add more than one meal! Or you can shop by product, say, week one I'll buy fruit, week two- veggies, three -meat, and so on.

Most food storage sites will recommend that you store basics in bulk such as wheat, flour, sugar, salt, and oil. These are staples that will get you through most incidents. However, you also need to know how to cook with those items as well. So as you begin to store your staples, begin to use them so that you have recipes your family will eat. A resource for recipes is: Every Day Food Storage, she's amazing! Crystal uses her basics everyday to rotate her food storage and has become very popular with her recipes, which she shares!

If you want to begin with just the regular meal plans you normally use, that is great also. You'll be storing what you already eat.

Check the papers for sales or coupons that will give you two for one. Are there any bulk sales this week? This is the time to grab onto whatever bargains you can! Let's say they are having a case lots sale on vegetables and you have enough set aside to purchase two cases. Purchase a case of this, and a case of that, and bring it home. It may not feel like it, but you're on your way. Next time you'll purchase a different item that your family regularly eats and before you know it, you will have stored an extra weeks worth of food.

A few weeks back they had a huge sale on Raisin Bran, which Thor could easily eat for days on end. I picked up all my budget could handle and got it stored in my air tight sealed buckets. The cereal should last for about three months easy! When the container in my cupboard gets low, I'll just go to the bucket and fill it up, rotating out my stock.

There are many sources to help you out in finding what to purchase and what to store. The best advice is to store what you already eat. A great website for keeping track of what you have is : Track My Food Storage. This is a free service that allows you to add personal data into documents so that you can see what you are storing.

Track My Food Storage also has an alternative plan which does cost a subscription, but the free plan is a great start. They will ask you for some vague personal info, which is secure, but I am sure you could also put in false identity if you choose and no one would be the wiser. There is an option to link up to websites that offer food storage shopping on line, but again, you never need to shop, you can calculate your own purchases.

The charts allow you to calculate what you purchase, when, what the expiration dates are, costs, storage location and also a place for notes on each item. The fee based subscription will notify you when supplies are getting low or close to code dates, rotation help, etc.

One last site that I think is fabulous, and one that we used in our ward* was Project Noah. Unfortunately I can no longer access the link. The good news is however, that I have the list they provided and we can start with that!

So here were are again, a week by week project that will give us everything we need to build our food storage without breaking the bank.

Week 1: At least 7 gallons of water.
Hint: Water storage may be in plastic bottles, to which bleach may be added if the purity of the water is in question. (generally l/2 tsp per five gallons if water is clear or 1. tsp. per five gallons if water is cloudy.) In case of emergency, the water in water beds, water heaters, toilet tanks, and cisterns may be purified and used. It is generally accepted that water is best stored in thick plastic barrels which are placed on a surface other than concrete/cement. If you need to store any plastic on a concrete/cement surface place a barrier between the container and the concrete.
Milk jugs are not a good storage container as they are designed to break down quickly, two liter soda jugs are "o.k." but also not recommended.

*ward = congregation

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

adventures in sewing!

The previous green curtains were atrocious! We found a discount fabric store and searched for bargains. We found too many fabrics we wanted but let the budget make the final decision.

For $3.oo a yard, #5 loved this crinkly semi sheer, at 52 wide, it was a deal and a half! We decided that if we placed the fabric on the horizon rather than it's intended vertical we could get away with about 1/3 the fabric! Too add length and interest she picked out another piece of lightweight, but darker and with a bit of texture fabric at $4.99 per yard. One yard was all we needed. The base fabric is a deep brown with black circles randomly placed all over...really cool!

She wanted to tie the curtains up with pearls, chains, ribbons and whatever else she could find, so I added button holes to the top. Clipped to the cafe rings and between she and the best friend they looked so much better than what she had before. Also, even with the semi sheer weight, they are opaque enough to provide much needed privacy from the neighbors!

Just a reminder of the loveliness that was their love seat! E-gads! We shopped Craigs list and couldn't find a sofa any cleaner or the appropriate size...well actually we did, but the $50.00 they wanted for it was ridiculous! We found a second sofa, but it was in another city, weighed about 345 lbs. and in addition to the $15.00 price tag they wanted another $20.00 for delivery. um no.

So while we were at the fabric store we found a mushroom gray upholstery fabric for (get this!) $2.00 a yard! For $20, we had a nearly new piece of furniture! Can you believe it's the same couch? The small rug was a miracle find at $10.00 and with the exact mushroom, brown and beige we needed! Whoo hoo!
So there you have it. The 5 day transformation!

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