Thursday, November 12, 2009

waiting for vanilla-y goodness

I have been wanting to make homemade vanilla extract for sometime now. Finally the ingredients and materials were gathered up and it only took me like 2 minutes to make. Easy smeezy. Waiting for it to "make"? Not so easy smeezy. I really wanted to give it as Christmas gifts this year, but didn't get it ready in time as it takes a good 6 months or so for quality vanilla extract to "make".

Seriously though it is quite easy to do (literally just add vanilla beans to vodka and wait and wait and wait) and in the long run will save a bundle on my vanilla extract usage.

Looks kinda like something you would find in a mad scientist's lab or maybe a naturopathic doctor's office huh? Well, it's not. It's hiding quietly in my cupboard waiting for me to deem it worthy of Becca's Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Patience my vanilla-y darling, patience.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I saw this clip on my bro's facebook feed a few weeks ago. It's from the World Science Festival 2009: Notes and Neurons. Bobby McFarrin is a guest panelist.

Watch the whole thing if you can. It's a little over an hour long but broken into 5 parts. Fascinating!

Friday, October 23, 2009

random bits and scatterings

This is my carrot friend. He grew in my garden all summer and had the cutest face that I couldn't resist sharing him with you.

We celebrated our 3rd anniversary a few weekends ago at the Johnson Mill in Midway. It was beautiful and quiet and a much needed break from the busyness of city life. The colors were amazing. I'm so glad we have a fall anniversary because my favorite colors celebrate with us. Here's the view from our room.

Those were random updates, huh.....I'm feeling quite scattered and random lately so I'm not going to bother to make sense of it.....

Starting next week I'll be using the rest of my vacation hours and taking every Monday off for the remainder of the year. I plan to dedicate Mondays to some much needed creative time. It's amazing how unmotivated and out of rhythm my life seems with out lots of creative outlets. How about you? What motivates you in your daily life?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Lyrics to a song I'm loving right now and some picts I've taken this summer...

I am radiant, spotless, blameless, beautiful
You delight in me
I am holy, shameless, shining, glorious
You are smiling at me

Irresistible to You
I feel Your hand on me
Irreplaceable, my heart’s a
Treasure that You keep

Precious pearl so worth the price
You call me like You see
I am who You say I am
And You’re alive in me!

I am the move of God prophesied
I am a dead man raised – I’m alive
I carry an open heaven over my life
I am Your kingdom come
Your lovely bride

I am radiant, spotless, blameless, beautiful
You delight in me
I am holy, shameless, shining, glorious
You are smiling at me

-Radiant by Ramey Whalen

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

labor day lessons

This Labor Day I have learned...

...sheepdogs in their full glory are so incredible they can bring a tear to one's eyes. We got a hold of some free tickets to the National Sheepdog Championships in the beautiful Soldier Hollow. The last time I was there was for the 2002 Olympics Cross Country event. I had forgotten how beautiful the Midway area is. Like the land storybooks are made of.
We arrived on the scene to a crowd of about 3 or 4 thousand people silently watching a boarder collie and his handler perform in top form.

I was amazed at the silence of this size of crowd! Maybe that's just protocol--as with golf and tennis crowds. The whole competition was about how well the dog and handler heard sheep from the hillside, through narrow gate openings and then sorts out marked sheep, which is called shedding, from the larger flock. And then put that smaller group in a pen. All without actually touching or nipping at the sheep.

I know, it sounds boring but in action is quite amazing. When I saw the first dog eagerly react to his handlers whistles and hand signals, it was like I got a glimpse of what this dog was truly made for. It was a demonstration of obedience, submission, trust and pure love.

.... not only is pressure cooker canning (of which I have yet to brave) a dangerous task, but water bath canning is also quite hazardous. In cooking up a glorious batch ginger peach jam this weekend, I now have a nasty pea sized burn above my left eye to go along with the steam burn on my left arm I got last week which is just under a burn I got from the lip of the canner a few weeks ago. I'm sure my bakery co-workers wondered what happened to the self-proclaimed boring "quite" newbie (I have deemed myself boring because I do not seem to lead a drama filled life as most everyone there seems to and they have deemed me as "quite"-which I have heard many times in my life). Especially if they've noticed the burns on my left arm. I can only imagine their minds exploring all possibilities of what my life is really like.

... having my james cook the main dish while having friends each bring yummy side dishes, yields a much more enjoyable time of backyard gatherings for me. I did make a peach galette with homemade whipped cream, but that is easy shmeezy considering the usual dining fare I attempt to create.

... in the past this holiday has been one of those weird holidays I don't understand but capitalize on the time off from work, but this year I realized it is a celebration of the American laborer. We did indeed celebrate - human and canine alike.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

the season is over

Me plus working 40+ hours a week does not equal a lot of blogging time. Always an excuse, I know. But seriously, how do you people with full time jobs do it? I barely have the energy to clean, keep the lawn watered, spend time with friends and oh, the laundry beast has exponentially multiplied. This past week it really hit me; followed by a dramatic melt down with tears and all. My james said he's been waiting for it to happen. He knows me so well. I think my body and emotions are finally saying, "Whoa! What happened? Why are we running around so crazy busy lately?" My hands have been longing for the needles and my feet the coolness of my craft room basement floor. I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that the treasured season of rest and discovery is over. I'll get over it. I'll find a new rhythm. I must. I know this gift of time was to prepare me for something. What that is, I have yet to find out.

OK enough with the self analyzing already!

As an outlet for some creativity and to get a head start on Christmas gifts, I've been canning. Don't ask where I have found the time and energy. I really don't know. (Actually I think I stole it from the laundry beast because there are several mounds of dirty clothes of which I just noticed are roaring loudly at me.) Anyway I was generously blessed by some friends with a box of peaches from their tree! So what did I do yesterday after a full day of work? I cranked out several jars of Ginger Peach Jam. Here's the recipe I used. And yes, it is Grand Champion caliber if you as me.

Now I'm off for an hour of taming the laundry beast, wish me luck. Then off to the busy bakery!

Friday, August 14, 2009

in case you are wondering...

In case you are wondering... how the Craft Lake City went, it was fab! I highly enjoyed it. My friend Halen was demonstrating the Yudu, a personal screen printing machine from Provo Craft, and her cute picture was in the local paper. I found loads of things I would have loved to purchase, but my budget only allowed for these neat-o items:

In case you are wondering... how Bosco is fairing, he's doing quite well! We actually found him a better home with some good friends who can love and be with him and go along with his high-maintenance needs, and I am happy to say I CAN BREATHE!! I didn't realize how badly I was allergic to him until he'd been out of the house for a few weeks. We visit him often, but we do miss that big guy.

In case you are wondering... how the garden is growing, it's finally taking off! Especially the lettuce! Which is strange because my understanding is that lettuce is a spring/fall crop--too hot for the summer. But it seems to be doing well in my backyard.

In case you are wondering... how the knitting is coming along, actually I've only knit a small washcloth for friend who requested one to go with some soap. So really, nothing is currently happening in the knitting department.

In case you are wondering... how my new job is going, so far I really like it! I'm exhausted when I get home, but I like how fast paced it is and the time seems to fly by. And of course the pastries and cookies and candies and yummy sandwiches and salads are a special bonus. Man her peanut butter cookies are to die for!

In case you are wondering... what else I've been up to, here are some picts...soap making (my james made the beautiful red molds!), canning salsa and dilly green beans and enjoying the little treasures in my backyard.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

next time ask for a million dollars

On the way home the other day (from where I can't remember) my james and I had a conversation that went like this...

Me: What do you want for dinner tonight?

James: What do we have?

Me: Dunno...sigh... (long pause) hey...I want to work at a bakery someday!

James: Um oookkaaay...yeah...that'd be fun for you.

Me: I would be surrounded by baked heaven. Think of it! Breads, pastries, cookies, candies...all of my favs!

James: Do it.

Me: (after another long pause) Hmmm, but then I'd probably have to wake up at 2am or some crazy time like that. What's the little saying about bakers getting up early and whatnot?

James: What are you talking about?

Me: Nevermind.

James: (another long pause) What are we having for dinner?

I'm noticing a lot of our brilliant conversing usually revolve around the what's-for-dinner question...anyway, this random conversation was had just a few days before a friend casually mentioned her friend was in desperate need of good, reliable her...ready???........bakery!! Yes, I said bakery! A French bakery and cafe to be exact. So a few phone calls later I am now employed at...a...bakery. It's just part-time, but that will be plenty. It's super fast paced at times and after only 2 days of working there I'm realizing it's going to be a bit of adjustment from my much needed 2 year hiatus of working a full 40 hr + work week. I think it will be worth it though to be surrounded by the likes of lemon madeleines, croissants, pain au chocolat, scones, buttons, peanut butter cookies, carrot cake cookies, shortbreads and the "queen of pastries"...Kouing-Aman. Everything is made from scratch. Everything. She also serves amazing breakfasts and lunches. Lavender lemonade. Oh and beautiful cupcakes. Marshmallows too! I could go on and on...

I think I have some favor from on high. James says next time I randomly throw out a request to please include the statement: "...and a check in the mail for one million dollars, too please."

Oh and in case you are wondering, I do not have to get up at 2am, but rather 5am. Which is plenty early but doable for me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Attention locals!

Craft Lake City is almost here! I'm so excited! Yes crafting funds are non-existent and it's in the heat of August BUT it will be oh so worth it. I may just have to sell some plasma or set up a lemonade stand outside my house so I generate some funds for a purchase or two to support the local crafters and artists. I'm still adoring my finds from the Beehive Bazaar and Renegade and I have a strong feeling Craft Lake City will indeed be in the favorite event category. But really just to be among all that creative energy and music will probably be enough. No purchase necessary.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

my face is smiling

due to these happy thing...
  • fresh garden bounty
  • my james rescuing a dragonfly drowning in our pond (He pulled this little guy out of the algae. The dragonfly flew to james' chest as if to say, "My hero," rested for a few minutes, wiped his eyes and then flew off into the cool night air.)
  • surprise gifts from far away friends
  • Lisa's love for snails

  • warm Summer nights filled with good beer, games of cornhole, and lovely friends

  • my sleepy little dog

Thursday, July 9, 2009

on the heavier side of things...

I just watched a clip from last night's So You Think You Can Dance and am a mess. Mia Michaels, the brilliant woman she is, choreographed a dance that mirrors the battle of addiction. For those of you who have experienced the environment of addiction, whether it a drug, a person, a lifestyle - I'm certain you will agree the portrayal is accurate. It really brought back some emotions I personally have not seen for years. My fascination is that these emotions rose within seconds of the beginning of the dance. No wonder God is a dancer. It's powerful and can evokes emotion and passion that words cannot express. Anyway, I'm sure a lot of you are fans and avid watchers of the show, but for those who are not, I've posted the clip below.

By the way, you can stop watching after the dance at about 3:10 to avoid the most annoying Mary Murphy. Why do they always have to have the token annoying judge?? She's like a fog horn in a serene meadow...sorry- tangent, on with the show.

Get the tissues...

Monday, June 22, 2009

the beast is caged...hopefully

My list took a detour last weekend. Yes, I'm still working on said list from the previous post. I did make more soap, cookies, and wall art and started the Heritage Makers book though. I intended to work on the rest... until we had a slight issue with our big dog, Bosco.

My James has switched jobs so now BD can't go to work with him, nor do we reap the benefits dropping him off at a kennel when we need to run errands or have a night out. For the past year we've not found a good solution to keep him from getting loose while we are gone from the house. Example: The first week we had him, we ran an errand and locked him in the bathroom. We were gone for about an hour or so. When we returned home, he greeted us outside at the back gate. Yes, this monkey dog somehow hoisted himself up through the bathroom window and jumped out. It's a good 8 foot drop. He was unharmed, but the bathroom floor and door were not. It looked like a grizzly tried to scratch his way through. Since that day we have not left him alone.

Just leave him in the backyard you say...remember my lovely backyard? No way. Besides we've caught him above the waterfall standing on his hind legs peering over the fence several times. He could easily jump over and for all we know, he'd be happily on his way to find us (or anyone that would give him some lovin') and end up in the hole at the copper mine.

How bout a dog run/kennel? OK, tried it. He has escaped several's the proof. Notice the snack he had out of the 1/2 inch particle board? We are in shock that his big head and chest fit through his tiny escape routes without a scratch on him! (These badly angled pictures are after multiple repairs so it's really hard to see how truly barbaric this is.)

For those who haven't met the Boss, he really is an amazing gentle giant and he's pretty well behaved considering his size and age. Great with kids. But due to most of his days filled with constant people, puppies, and other dogs, he just cannot handle being alone. And his alone time is usually brief! 8 hrs at the most once or twice a week. Why have a dog if you have to coop him up for 8-10 hours a day 5 days a week while you're at work?? (my opinion, I'm not judging you if you do this)

So for those brief hours of what BD must think are sheer torture, my dear husband built a fortress. Yes, it looks a little dark and sad and muddy at the moment, but we must remember he is a dog and loves being dirty and like I said, is briefly in it.

I sacrificed our charming area by our garage for this monstrosity:

I may have also sacrificed my beloved hollyhock and butterfly bush. The irises will be fine. They desperately needed to be divided anyway. The bleeding heart is hearty and moved to the front yard. The clematis (or whatever it is - may just be a vine-y weed for all I know) has been moved to the other side of the yard. This is probably the worst time to transplant, but it was either that or have Bosco dig them up out of spite.

Sigh. The things we do for our beloved animals... but really how could you deny this big hunk of pure mush and love anything?

PS We did provide shade for him by setting up the kennel in there with the shade screen on it. Eventually James will build a dog house and before it gets too hot we plan to string the drip system back there and hook up some misters...for the brief, but torturous moments he is actually in there.

Friday, June 12, 2009

a list I'll soon tackle...yeah, right

Maybe if I publish this list, I'll actually get it done? OK maybe I'm just avoiding them by making this list...
The following items are projects I have either started or need to get started and done (in no particular order):

1. Make soap - I'm almost out
2. Finish baby items for born or soon to be born babies
3. Make cookies for dear husband and some for Rebecca, too
4. Finish wall art projects for my craft room
5. Take pictures of said craft room because everyone needs to see how awesome it is
6. Make more shrinky-dink jewelry
7. Start knitting again - yes, I have not knitted for months. The green monkeys are still not finished.
8. Make tea wallet
9. Finish my Heritage Makers book that I purchased over a year ago and have yet to finish

It has been raining all week so you think I would have started on some of these... nope. Today is sunny and no rain so maybe I'll go play and when the rain comes back tomorrow, I'll tackle this list...we shall see.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

backyard tour (warning: it's a long tour, you may want to bring snacks)

Since we've been back from Lake Powell, we've been working like crazy to get the backyard in shape. And it's paid off, because now all we have to do is put gravel down (free! thanks to a neighbor) in the garden walkway, build a gate into the garden because Big D keeps getting in there and digging (insert a spewing of cussing here), get and keep the grass in shape, and my james needs to finish the big get-electricity-to-the-pond project. But other than that, we have made some good progress.

This is looking from our back porch. Next year's project is to do something with that unsightly cinder block wall. Ideas would be much appreciated. No more Virgina Creeper though--she is way too invasive. James wants to paint it, but really, what color do you paint it and it not be competing with the rest of the backyard for a focal point? I say big grasses, some wall art, and maybe a hammock over there. Other idea? Move the dog kennel to that area. I say no way. You can see we've gone the rounds on this issue.

My parents painstakingly made that cute little birdhouse that I have yet to find a spot for. I say painstakingly because it was suppose to be a simple project with leftovers from some shelves they made us (more on those below), but it ended up quite the project due to lack of materials, or so I'm told.

And big news in the SFG...Thanks to my dad and to the Riverton irrigation water, we now have a very efficient drip system for our garden and front yard planter boxes. How did this come about you ask? Well, my parents live in Riverton and after setting up a very elaborate maze of miles and miles of tubing and nozzles around their yard and deck, my dad noticed he couldn't keep the thing working to it's potential due to their debris-and-mineral-filled irrigation water. Thus, we became the grateful recipients of a fancy drip system for all our dripping needs! This, I know, will be the savior of my veggies and flowers. They too are grateful.

Here's the garden area on the south side of the house. Hard to see, but we have modified the trellis on the first box. It wasn't tall enough and we added nylon netting which is much stronger than twine.The two empty boxes are for next year. I don't think I can keep up with 4 boxes yet.

The upper left box is the new home for basil, my infant cucumbers (hardening off as I type), more bush beans and carrots, a Sugar Baby watermelon, Patty Pan squash and maybe I'll try some more lettuces and onions, kind of late I know. The trellis was made from conduit from my brother-in-law who is an electrician. Re-purposing is awesome. We'll see how that box fairs though. Bosco has dug it up twice already after I had just planted it (insert more cussing here)!

The bark/mulch covering all the unsightly weeds, is from the dump. Yep, the dump sells compost, small bark chips, and large bark chips. $15 for a truckload. Beautiful. Unfortunately, it comes with the smell of the dump. But for that price we can deal with it as we did last year. Actually it's not that bad and it fades after a while.

And yes, hanging on the fence back there is the famous Topsy Turvy as-seen-on-t.v. tomato planter. And yes, from my mom (As you can see, my amazing parents have contributed a lot to this backyard. I should make a plaque at the entrance saying, "Special thanks to the founding sponsors of our backyard oasis - mom & dad"). I have a Better Boy tomato plant planted in it. I'll keep you posted as to his progress.

Below is a Beefmaster tomato in planter. Obviously, I did not start him from seed. But he is loved the same.

My mom helped me with this section of the yard. She bought us two bushes and the flowers and helped me dig out all the weeds and such. The Clematis was from a planter the previous owners had left. The makeshift fence is, again, to keep Big D out of it until we can get some real fencing (no cussing here because he has yet to get into this one). Dad made 2 shelves out of some old barn wood to hang on each side of the Clematis. Haven't hung those yet though. We're still trying it figure out a way to do so without having screws poke through on the neighbors side.

So, now we can relax and I'll have some time to play with soap and yarn and fabric and of course my dear friend, Aida. Oh and I'll probably need to give the house a good cleaning. It's pretty bad when your yard is cleaner than your house. Good thing we live and entertain outside during the Summer.

If you aren't bored by now and still have some snacks, here are more randoms and close-ups of our backyard beauties.

Not sure what this bush is. We lost the tag. Please do tell if you happen to know.

Pincushions in the upper planter box above the pond.

I believe this is some sort of succulent, also by the pond.

One of my favorite spots in the yard, again thanks to mom. This is a pot of succulents planted the first Summer we were here. That little egg is a robin's egg. I found it behind the pot with a little opening it's previous inhabitant crawled out of.

Geranium. Also near the pond.

The ever popular petunia. Reminds me of the song..."I'm a lonely little petunia in an onion patch, an onion patch..."- the Imogen Heap version. I should have planted her amongst my onions.

Some weird sprinkler alarm that was found under all that bothersome Virgina Creeper (Can you tell I'm not too fond of the V.C.?). The oil can is from my grandpa's "collection".

Thanks for touring with me. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Mom and dad, I'll see what I can do about getting the plaque made--oh and it's not a hint for you to actually show up on our doorstep with one.
Readers, I wouldn't be surprised if they actually did.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

it's turning green around here

The first box for my square foot garden is in!

Those little plants you see are tomatoes and peppers that I started from seed indoors. (Pay no attention to all those nasty weeds. They will be gone soonly and covered with weed barrier and gravel.) I'm quite happy I've actually kept them alive all this time. I don't think I've ever grown anything from seed. There are also some beans and carrots planted in there, too. Not sure how they'll do though. (I used the short and fat variety of carrots because the bed is only 6 inches deep.)

I've also started cucumbers (pickling & slicing) and melons a few days ago indoors and some of the cucs are already sprouting! I soaked the seeds first so I'm thinking that's the trick. I'm determined to make the cucumbers work because it was quite the fiasco trying to find pickling cucumbers at the farmers markets around here.

And here's a new addition to our backyard family -- a Sunburst Honeylocust tree. A gift from my parents! I'm hoping it will grow super fast because we are in desperate need of shade.

I leave you with this little delight. It was in my backyard when I came home from Powell. My mom is the best :) Isn't the fat, little bird just so sweet?

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I was tagged by Halen

What's your current obsession? Square foot gardening and trying not to obsess over calories yet still keep them in mind.

What's your weirdest obsession? I hoard quarters. I don't know why, but every time james empties his pockets of change he comes up missing quarters. I think it came from when I was a kid and my dad kept this huge change jar under his desk and every so often we'd get to sneak some change--of course, always going for the quarters.

What are you wearing today? green shirt with white polka dots, jeans, and flippity flops

Why is today special? Everyday has something special in it--I'm waiting to see what that is for today...

What would you like to learn to do? Yodel --I hear in runs in my mom's side of the family.

What's for dinner today? Hmmm...hadn't really thought about it, but most likely grilled chicken and veggies. Boring, I know.

What's the last thing you bought? Fish food & algae blocker for the pond, 2 red geraniums, and some other annuals I can't remember the names of - we had a gift certificate to Glover Nursery originally purchased at half price (It was $50 we paid $25) for Mel's Mix for my square foot garden. But they were out and informed me they will no longer be carrying it, thus the above purchases. Just in case you were wondering.

What's your favorite weather? Though I've certainly been craving the sun, I think rain is still my fave.

What's your most challenging goal right now? Debt reduction - thousands down, yea!-- much more to go, boo... and weight loss - 18 lbs down yea!-- much more to go, boo.

What do you think about the person who tagged you? She is quite a delight and watching her grow as a gardener/chef/wife/crafter/homeowner/etc. has been inspiring! I've know her for 15 years or so and am fascinated with how much she loves people and large gatherings-- at a capacity I fall far short of.

What hobbies do you enjoy? Knitting, sewing, cooking, gardening, shrinky-dinking, learning guitar, soap making, painting...way too many if you ask james.

Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere with my dear husband away from the cares of daily life.

What would you like to have in your hands right now? Statements from our bank with big fat 0's in the "amount due" column on our car loan and credit card.

What would you like to get rid of? Allergies to fur

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? To England to see Rolf and Nicole and to give Sophie a big squeeze.

What's your favorite thing about the city you live in? The quiet of the night and the big trees.

If you had $150 now what would you spend it on? Hmmm good question because I tend to spend my money on several little things instead of one large thing, but I guess that's ok cuz that wasn't really the question...oohhh I got it! A canopy for our back yard for instant shade! There is absolutely no shade back there.

Do you admire anyone's style? My friend Lisa has amazing style, both in clothing, decorating and gift giving. She's so fashionable and can get away with dressing in the trendy look without looking like she's trying to be a teenager again. Oh and I admire my friend Summer's style. It reflects who she is.

Describe your personal style. Hmmm these past few years I admit I'm rather frumpy. I'm just not wanting to invest in clothing or things for the house. Because of lack of fund-age and well again, it's a weight issue I guess. But if I had the money and the body I think I would dress and decorate more Bohemian-ish. I certainly don't dress everyday or decorate in the style that truly reflects me, but I've come to terms with it.

Who is someone your heart is missing right now? My grandpa Neu. I wish James could have met him.

What are three live shows that you have seen? Cirque du Soleil (a life-long dream fulfilled by my father-in-law), MC Hammer (with Nicole and my dad!), and Martin Sexton (with my james).

Now the rules of this tag:

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention.

2. Tag 7 other people you would love to learn more about. Here's mine:







Monday, May 18, 2009

home again, home again, jiggity jig

We're back from our muchly anticipated, week long vacation to Lake Powell with our bestest friends Lance and Lisa (and the best vacation buddies). Here a brief recap and some pictures that just don't do it justice.

Lake Powell was well worth the scrimping and saving and calorie counting and the seemingly endless days of waiting for it to get here. Every time I go to LP, I am amazed by the beauty and grandeur of Southern Utah. God is quite creative when it comes to landscaping. What a treasure he has created.

Our first day was spent hauling stuff onto the boat and heading to our destination up the Escallante arm. We stopped in Willow Canyon for the first few days and then were in Davis Gulch the last few days. The heat was awful the first day. None of us slept. But by the next day our bodies acclimatize and it was great.

In Willow Canyon we found this ominous carved out cave with a sandy beach. It was pretty neat, but it felt rather depressing (due to it being in the shade for most of the day) and like something spiritually was not right in there. Lisa said she felt like she was inside and wanted to go out and play. I think it was just plain creepy. Maybe it was due the pirates who were camping there the previous night. They were deemed the pirates because they flew a pirate flag from their houseboat and had satellite dishes staked in the sand which were most probably obtained by pillaging the luxury boats of the lake-- I digress. Anyway, we stayed two nights there and left for Davis Gulch the next day.

In Davis we found the best spot. Great for floating on Queenie and Turtie (the names Lisa and I deemed our rafts) because the water was a bit warmer. It had a bit of a beach and a great place for "Cornhole"--an addictive, oddly named game that the L's introduced us to. Check it out here. I promise the link is safe.

After two and a half bottles of 50+ sunscreen, lots of good beers (though I only had 3 total the entire trip--the rest was consumed by my boatmates), many plays of the Conchords on the iPod, Cornhole challenges, star gazing from the top deck, getting caught up on the mysterious story of Everett Ruess who's body was found after missing for 75 years concidently just weeks before we arrived in Davis Gulch, several hints trying to convince Lisa that I do not dance and that I really had no desire to do a photo shoot after days of no makeup and grimy hair, many attempts of trying to get Sebastian to enjoy the water, soaking up the sun and fresh air, and just downright lazing about--I truly feel refreshed. A week away from the "matrix," as Lance would say, was worth it.

Here are a few more picts that I just can't leave out:

(Though he didn't enjoy swimming I think Sebastian dug his life jacket. He didn't seem to mind wearing it when not in the water.)

(I thought this was a cool picture. It's Lisa and I "dancing" around the fire. It was totally posed though. As stated above, I did not partake in the dancing. Lisa is the dance queen and I dare not attempt to match her skill.)

(This is how we all felt at the end of each day. A sign of good times with good friends in a good place.)