Friday, July 31, 2009

Garden Week 10

Glory, glory, hallelujah .... That's right, the garden has popped. The corn is over 6' tall, I found pumpkins smiling back at me nestled beneath the leaves, and in the last picture you can see proof that the Church is true! Nearly a dozen pints of green beans and a beautiful red tomato. I knew the tractor would be worth it.

Calvin Richard Is 2 Years Old

The older Calvin gets the more he looks like me, something I am very thankful for :) Something else I am thankful for is that I was invited to his 2nd birthday party and got to hang with some real studs and babes. I am talking Meadow Downs Way babes, you all know who you are, (ok, ok, Jamie and Kellie - Meadow Drive, and Jill - Village Road, yes and Daisy - La Cresta Drive) and not just normal babes. Then there is something about Costco cakes that gets my motor running and on top of it all, to get the chance to take some pictures, I was flying high. Thanks Wyatt and Andrea, I slept like a baby last night.

Slow down you two, there's plenty left!
Happy birthday Calvin.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Garden 2009 Week 9

Most of us either don't think about how fresh vegetables get to the stores or assume it is a simple task of sticking a seed in the ground and adding a little water when it's convenient, and then after a few weeks enjoying the harvest in the shade of a big oak tree. I know I thought that, until I tried to raise a half decent vegetable garden. So given that, I decided to include a picture of the healthy crop of weeds that I need to harvest each week so I can find the plants I want to keep. It's about this time of the growing season each year that I wonder if the battle with the weeds is worth it. You can see that most everything looks good despite the deer eating some pumpkins, and Marsha and Michael lurking around in the corn.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Gee Thanks Deer

Last year I was tracking my garden each week with new posts. It was fun and I had a record of how the garden matured week by week. I have taken pictures weekly this year also, but I haven't posted them like last year. I spent the better part of the past two days weeding in 95 degree heat and to reward my efforts I wanted to post a stunning picture of a healthy green garden and show the amazing progress of what Mother Nature can do when she is at her best. Well, Mother Nature called that's for sure. A 3 point buck kind of loses it's majesty and mystique when he gets caught pooping in my garden. Gee, thanks deer. By the way, you eat another one of my treasured pumpkins, or poop in my garden again and you will be a decoration in my man cave after hunting season.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Managed Fire, hmmm

We are quickly moving into wildfire season in Utah and I have watched a fire the past couple of weeks called the Lake Fork Fire. I know BLM and other fire teams are monitoring the progress, but anytime I hear about a managed fire I think back to the "mother" of all managed fires.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Elder Ah Loo

Elder Ah Loo (on the left) is one my, and my family's, favorite people. He now is known by his real name Afa Richard Ah Loo:) He has great stories about growing up in Samoa and adventures at BYU Hawaii and even more from his mission here in Salt Lake City. Last week one of his most excellent stories was published in the Church News and in my mind is a classic missionary story. It follows:

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." — 2 Timothy 4:7

"A little over a year ago, I was in the Provo MTC and struggling really hard with everything. I was very homesick and to complicate the matter, I had caught pneumonia and had been very sick. I was really struggling. It seemed to me that suddenly my world was compacted into a small black hole.

Waking up every day at 6 a.m. and sitting in a classroom all day learning about the scriptures was not my idea of fun. This was something that I had never done in my life. To top everything off, I did not like the snow. Coming from Samoa, where there is warm weather all the time, this was a huge adjustment for me. I was used to wearing sandals or going barefoot every day. I was not used to the cold winter weather of Utah and was cold most of the time because my body had not yet adjusted.

That same week, I wrote my mom and told her about my feelings and how I was struggling. Her reply came the very next week and I was very excited to hear what she had to say. I was sure she would encourage me and understand my feelings. I opened it and saw that the reply was only two short lines, which read: "My dearest son, We don't miss you. Love, Mom."

Needless to say, this was not what I expected! My heart just sank! I felt very emotional, to say the least.

Later on that week, I read 2 Timothy 4:7 and it really touched my heart. I thought to myself that someday I would return home and would hope to say those exact same words from that scripture and mean it.

The day I received the short letter from my mom was a very emotional day for me. It took me some time, but I realized I must press on and do the work I came to do. My Mom's words of tough love were just what I needed, even though I couldn't see that at the moment. I knew in my heart she loved me and wanted what was best for me.

I am grateful to Heavenly Father for the opportunity to serve a mission. I have had life-changing experiences and have met some wonderful people. I don't know who changed more, me or the people I have been able to teach. Some will be lifelong friends. I know this Church is true and I am so glad to be a part of it. I would never give up what I have grown to love missionary work and bringing souls to Christ. I would encourage any young person to seriously consider going on a mission."

—Elder A Loo, Utah Salt Lake City South Mission

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Beth Brock's Birthday

I have been alone for a week since Marsha and Kylie are in Europe and Michael is somewhere between West Yellowstone and California, so I drive up and down the streets in the neighborhood looking for dinner. Luckily Beth decided to be born on July 12th and then convinced her beautiful sisters to celebrate this event down the street from me 20 years to the day later. I got a great meal (one of only 3 I've had the past week haha) and equally good pictures. Beth is a total babe just like her sisters Andrea, Leslee and Carrie. Next time I will cook; mac and cheese and hot dogs anyone? Beth looks pretty buff for someone of her advanced age and I'm a little jealous of her "guns" but I really wish my elbows would bend in strange and unusual ways like Leslee's. Carrie's (and my friend) Candace is one of the smartest people I know. She's headed back east to work for the FASB and if you don't know what that is don't worry, I had to pass the CPA exam before I knew. It's a brain trust for all things accounting and one of the biggest issues facing them is how to bring together international accounting standards and US GAAP. Good luck Candace, I can barely spell it let alone solve it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fly Overs

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Lake Fork Fire

On the way to Manti the Lake Fork fire towered above Birdseye in south Utah County and I remembered hearing on the news the other day that BLM is calling this a controlled burn. I wonder what the people in the cabin think of this so-called controlled burn.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Nearly a Full Moon

Just before we started the fireworks show the moon came up over the mountains and I grabbed the tripod and clicked away.

Happy 4th of July

Our neighbors, the Engh's, invited us to the fireworks show on their street and it turned into a real party. We had both sides of the street full of spectators. The longer John Engh lives in this neighborhood the more fun and lively he is becoming. Think the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz with a case of lubricating oil.