Thursday, July 31, 2008

Battle Creek Falls

Ron took me on a last-minute date (what? we're both getting home a little early today?) up to Battle Creek Falls tonight. Nice, easy hike, with a fun payoff at the end. It's a pretty little waterfall that splits into two sections (my picture is of the larger one), and drops about 50 feet. I took my sandals off and walked in the water below the falls, and the spray felt wonderful!

We also hiked to the top of the falls, and the view of the canyon and valley below was fabulous!

Sunset was starting on our way back down, and I got a nice silhouette of a cool looking tree...

We had a nice time together (and had fun getting in a little kissy-poo downstream of the waterfall...) The only downside was my back was still hurting from having to move two printers last Friday at work, and I forgot to stretch before starting the hike... ouch. I'll probably feel this for a few days. Having a bad back sucks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Be Careful Of What You Ask For

You just may get it.

When I decided to date/get married again, I wanted to marry someone who was divorced from a crazy ex-wife, so he'd know exactly what I went through in my marriage to Pierre.

Well, I got her.

I just finished up a 16-page packet for Ron's ex-wife. She is nutso-crazy, and I'm just going to deluge her with facts and figures so she'll shut up. :)

In doing all the research for this packet, I had to do all Ron's girls' medical for the past two years. I uncovered that his ex was using my health insurance illegally (long story, but she doesn't get any benefit from my insurance as per legal papers). Now I have to go through my insurance, who will bill us for the full amount they covered, and then we have to try to get reimbursement from Ron's insurance.

I am not happy about having to deal with insurance fraud when it's MY neck on the line.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Biocompostable Products

I'm on the "Green Team" here where I work. I joined it because I'm horrified at the amount of water that is wasted on the lawns here (and spills out to make mini-rivers in the parking lot...). Geez, people! We live in a desert, remember?

Anyway, at our meeting yesterday, some way cool things were used for our luncheon. Check these out:

We ate with forks made of corn starch, and drank from cups also made from corn. In a composting facility, they will break down within three months. Is that cool, or what?

It makes me wonder, though, what kind and what amount of fuel is needed to make these things... I'm sure that the factory that makes these isn't running on solar power. One thing I've noticed about "environmentally friendly" products is that they still use fossil fuels to produce their products, and sometimes it takes more energy to produce the "friendly" product than the old one.

I guess it's at least a step in the right direction. The less chemicals in our food and homes, the better.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Extra Baggage

I've got about 25-ish pounds I need to shed. It's not that I'm particularly unhappy with how I look (ok, so maybe I'm slightly unhappy with how chubby I look in my Yellowstone pictures), but more about how I feel physically. My back can definitely tell that I'm carrying extra weight, which makes it hard to do things I enjoy doing (like hiking).

So I'm trying really hard to avoid sugar as much as possible, and attempt (ha!) to get more exercise. I've found it's very difficult to get exercise when you're running the kids around all over creation...

I'm not sure how I'll update y'all on my weight loss progress, since I'm very anti-scale. I gauge things by how loose or tight my pants get, or by how much of a "muffin top"** I have showing over my waistband.

I really should break out the yoga DVDs and find time to use them.

** Kayla's description of my extra padding that... um... 'overflows' above the waist of my pants...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blast From the Past

I spent the weekend cleaning more crap out of the garage. I'm getting ready to have one more HUGE yard sale and get rid of what's left.

I've now hit the boxes that contain 'memorabilia' of times with E.C. and Pierre.

Just when you think you've buried old hurts, healed old wounds, etc...

Let's just say that it's a good thing Ron came home and gave me a big hug that first day. You have to remember that there are things right in the world. Not everything is heartbreak.

It did feel good to trash some more of the old divorce papers, though. And I'm selling a bunch of little presents E.C. gave to me. There's something freeing about choosing actions like this. It's at least a step in a positive direction when there's so many negative thoughts swirling around you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Child Support Problems

Today I had a phone hearing with the Child Support Division in Washington. Shandy has been living with my sister Louise in Washington since January 2007. It was agreed back then that Louise would be completely financially responsible for Shandy, since I knew there was no way I could pay child support for her there.

Well, Louise has reniged on the original agreement, and has sent Washington after me. They've been garnishing my wages since April for $1,000 a month (!!!), which has created HUGE financial burdens on my family.

I am hopeful that things will get worked out soon... we had to rush to refinance the house so we'd have enough cash to cover the period of time it takes to get this all worked out. Not fun. And we have to run stuff through the Utah legal system to clarify the original order, too, since everyone seems to have a different interpretation of what the (limited) guardianship papers mean. It's a royal pain in the butt, as well as being very expen$ive.

Here's hoping the judge will figure out what's what with this mess.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

Today is a Utah State holiday-- Pioneer Day, which celebrates Utah's pioneer heritage. What this really means is that everyone in Utah does lots of barbequeing, recreation activities, and can legally shoot off fireworks.

Now, fireworks that are allowed in Utah are extremely wimpy (since we have high risk for fires in the nice, dry deserty areas). This means that lots of people (including me) like to make a pilgrimage to Wyoming, where practically every firework known to man is legal.

So we went to my brother's tonight to do the ritual illegal fireworks festivities. We decided that "Electric Eels" are pretty cool for such a small little thing, and that the "Firecracker Fountain" is probably the longest running fountain we've ever seen. The kids had a blast dropping water firecrackers into a bucket and getting splashed by the resulting explosions; the adults had fun shooting off bottle rockets and the like.

At one point, my brother Dusty pulled out his stash of Roman Candles, and handed them out to all the kids. He had one left, so he asked Ron if he wanted to light one. Ron hadn't been doing anything besides watching up to this point, so he said, "Sure."

Well, because the wind was blowing a bit, we were lighting off the Roman Candles with one of those firey sparklers. Ron put his candle into the flame, and the sucker went off, right in Dusty's face.

Holy crap!

Thankfully, all that happened was a pair of singed eyebrows out of that incident. Ron felt stupid beyond all belief, because he wasn't pointing it away from people when he lit it... Dusty sat looking a bit shocked for a couple minutes, and then got up and started lighting more fireworks again.


Ron apologized to Dusty for trying to blow him up. He just laughed about it. But Ron's decided that he's better off being just a spectator for any future fireworks activities!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Kayla has been whining for over two years, hoping this will eventually convince me of her Great Need For Texting. Now that she's going to be attending a school about an hour's drive from where we live, I'm thinking now is the time to get texting.

Of course, this morning the main news headline is about a woman who caused a bad accident and almost killed a man because she was texting while driving.

I've told Kayla in no uncertain terms that if she EVER texts while driving, I will confiscate the phone permanently. I've heard of other parents threatening to withdraw all driving privileges until age 18. I'm thinking that's not a bad idea...

Comments on the news article mention a new device called tiwi. It tells your kid that they're driving too fast, or doing other reckless things while driving. If it only could tell when your kid was texting while driving, or yakking on the cell, or even messing with the stereo too much... then I'd get one.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

You Know You're Getting Old When...

My mom called this morning. She mentioned that she and my dad were going to his 50th high school reunion next month. I told her that mine was next month, too. She says to me, "So this is your 10 year reunion, right?"

Uh, no. "It's my 20 year, mom."


"Yeah. I've been out of school for 20 years now."

My mom sighs. "This makes me feel older than it did last week when your brother turned 30."

I guess it will be my turn to feel old when I become a grandma. Which is very possible within the next five years... eep!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cecret Lake

Ron took me on a date tonight... a hike up to Cecret Lake. It's a beautiful drive to get there, past Snowbird and Alta ski resorts. Absolutely lovely! We went up in the evening, so the light wasn't good for pictures-- so here's someone else's photo. :)

It wasn't too bad of a hike; about a mile roundtrip. However, it does do a little bit of elevation change, and my back still isn't recovered enough from surgery to make climbing uphill very enjoyable. It's difficult to hike when your legs keep dying on you.

On the way back, I (carefully) climbed down some rocks to get pictures of the little waterfall coming from the lake. You can see the waterfall behind the pretty yellow wildflowers (which were all over on the way there). And to top it all off, we saw a 3-point buck on the way back down. We didn't see any moose (which are common in the area)... darn. After a week of trying to spy moose in Yellowstone, we figured we'd have more luck at home. Skunked again!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Weird Dream

I had this kind of freaky dream last night... I dreamt that my team at work had to be out of town overnight, and that we all had to share a hotel room. The manager (who doesn't like me) insisted that I had to share the one bed in the hotel room with him, and everyone else needed to be on the floor.

I felt SO uncomfortable in the dream. I pretended to be asleep, and when my manager thought I was completely asleep, he snuck his hand over and tried to hold my hand. Later, he tried to sneak his arm around me. Then, he tried to fondle me.

When I got home in my dream, I asked Ron to please go see my manager, and tell him he will beat the trash out of him if he ever touches me again.

I'm feeling very disturbed this morning.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Two Goods and a Bad

Last night, I traveled a little over an hour (each way) to attend Kayla's soccer game out in the middle of the toolies (where did that phrase come from, anyway?)(the funny part is that I was traveling to the city of 'Tooele'...). It was a team she has played over the past two years, and there's a huge rivalry between them.

This team had an undefeated season, including not being scored on once (!!!). So, of course, our girls had to show them a thing or two. :) The final score was 4-0, and our girls were SO happy about winning this game!

The bad part of the night happened on my way there-- do you know how birds like to play this weird game of 'chicken' with cars? You know what I'm talking about. You're driving along, and birds pop up out of nowhere to fly directly in front of your car. Well, I think one of these birds had a suicide wish, because it didn't fly fast enough. :( I've never had one hit my car before, but this poor thing smacked my windshield. Hard. I just hope it died on impact. I felt so horrible!

My second good was the gorgeous sunset tonight that was right over the goal Kayla was guarding. The photo doesn't do it justice.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More Chalk Art

Today was the day that my other work location was having a chalk art contest during the employee summer party. I got there later than I had planned, so I only had time to work on a smaller one. I think it turned out cute, although the seaweed with the bubbles does look somewhat like a sea monster...

After I was done there, I had to go to our third (and main) location to pick up some computers. I figured why not make cute stuff at all three locations? :)

I had a lot more competition here, so this one was a bit more involved than my other one above. I still think I like my drawing from last week best-- I did put the most effort into that one. This last drawing was quite large (compare by the size of the chalk on the lower right hand side...), but didn't have quite as much detail as my first one from last week.

I still like 'em all, though! I think one of the most common comments I heard during doing this was, "I didn't know you were artistic!" I guess it's a strange thing when a computer geek suddenly turns artist. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Simpsonize Me!

Ain't I a cutie?

Monday, July 14, 2008

We Are The Champions

Or, more accurately, my daughter's soccer team. :)

They took first place in a tournament this past weekend, and are super excited! Kayla made some awesome saves-- but I forgot my camera, and didn't get anything on video! I am so bummed...

I need to remember to bring it so I can get video footage of SoccerGirl doing her thing. Colleges want video resumes of athletes now, apparently. So I'd better get on the ball (haha) and start getting those amazing saves on a permanent record!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Rock!

My chalk drawing took first place yesterday. Sweet! Now I get to choose from a handful of places where to get my gift certificate to... maybe Mimi's Cafe. I lovelovelove their corn chowder!

Now to decide what to draw for the next summer party-- I support the computers at two locations, and the other location is having their party next week. The girls think I should do a mermaid, but I'm not so sure that would be a good idea, considering the limited colors I have with the kiddie chalk. Ideas?

Jen, the sunflowers are for you!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chalk Art

Today was our employee summer party bbq out in back of the building. It was a beach party theme, and they had various activities going on. One of them was drawing with sidewalk chalk, and they were offering a $30 gift certificate as the prize.

That was enough motivation for me. :) An hour and 45 minutes later, this is what I finished with. Not bad for using cheapie kid chalk!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Life Philosophy

A friend emailed me this link today. I've seen it a few times before, and each time I am more impressed and touched by his message. I think it sums up my life philosophy. Enjoy.

Vacation Log Done

I finally got my videos and pics uploaded last night, so I finished my brief travelogue of Yellowstone. :) I backdated each of the days to the actual day things happened, so the trip starts on June 30th.

I think I took some good pictures this time. :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Jen tagged me to do a couple of memes. So without further ado, here we go!

The rules are as follows:

1. Link back to the person that tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your entry.

Six unimportant things about me:

  • I have about 26 mosquito bites right now.
  • I know what offsides is in soccer.
  • I don't embarrass easily.
  • I have a heart on my keyboard made of wax from a little BabyBel cheese.
  • I freeze to death more in the summertime because of air conditioning.
  • I own two neti pots.

And to heck with tagging six other people. I'm rebellious. (But that's an important thing about me to remember...)

On to my picture mosaic! This was fun. :)

What you do:

1. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page, pick an image.
3. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into this mosaic maker.

My Answers:

1. What is your first name? Suz
2. What is your favorite food? Fruits and Veggies
3. What high school did you go to? East Valley
4. What is your favorite color? Green
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Nobody
6. Favorite drink? Fresh-Squeezed Limeade
7. Dream vacation? Travel the World
8. Favorite dessert? Cheesecake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? A Kid at Heart
10. What do you love most in life? Family
11. One Word to describe you. Geek
12. Your (blog) name. GreenJello

Love yer guts, Groovy Mom! :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Home Again

....which means unpacking. Ugh.

I took Jak to the dentist this morning, and she had broken her tooth in two places. It may or may not require a root canal within the next six months, depending on whether or not it starts to turn black. Eep! I'm glad we were able to get her in so quickly upon returning, though. Our dentist is awesome. :)

But what a great vacation! I highly recommend Yellowstone to everyone. It is one of my favorite places to go. I've been there.... oh.... I think 6 or 7 times now. :) I think we saw practically every kind of animal Yellowstone has to offer. It was awesome!

I wanted to share my three favorite quotes of the trip with you:

    Jak: "Kayaking really helps your Ninja skills."

    Violet: "Mom, your ideas work 100% of the time."
    Ron: "Well, they work at least 99% of the time."
    Violet: "I guess the other 1% is where you got your scars from, huh."

    Woman we passed on a trail, talking to the guy she was with: "Don't you just hate it when the FBI comes to your house?!"

And now I'm back to the daily grind at work. Yuck.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Yellowstone, Day 7

I guess that technically, this was more of a "Grand Teton" day, as we packed up camp and drove out of the park this morning. We stopped for lunch at String Lake in the Tetons, which is a beautiful little lake to kayak in. We made passing hikers jealous of our lunch of grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.

I love the Grand Tetons-- it is so amazingly beautiful there. I camped there a few years ago, and am just itching to get back. It's so peaceful, and the backdrop of these stunning mountains just adds to the experience all the more.

On the drive back home from the Tetons, we amused ourselves by playing a song game-- I whistled tunes from Disney movies, and they had to try to guess the movie and the name of the song. I had a terribly dry mouth after a hour of this! :)

Jak called her mother when we got closer to home, to see if she could come home with us that night so I could take her to the dentist tomorrow. Her mother was awful to her, as usual. She insisted that Jak had to stay the night at her house that night, and that we could drive all the way back up to pick her up in the early morning (45 minute drive, usually), and then take her over an hour back down to the dentist office, and then drive her all the way back home. Jak was crying after she got off the phone, saying, "She's such a bitch when it comes to you guys. I don't know why, but she just hates you." I responded with, "But this isn't about us-- it's about you." She looked sad and said, "I know. But she doesn't care." I told her I was sorry.

Divorce sucks even worse for kids when one of the parents is an asshole.

But, even with the little spoiler at the end of the trip, we had a GREAT time. :)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Yellowstone, Day 6

We pulled our sorry bodies out of bed this morning at 6:00am. We were heading out to Lamar Valley, in the northeast part of the park, to see if we could spy any wolves. About 45 minutes later, we saw this:

And less than an hour later, we saw this guy. We were thrilled-- not many who come to Yellowstone get to see wolves... and we saw 8 of them, 3 of them fairly close up like this one.

After we got back, Ron cooked a wonderful dutch oven dinner of barbeque-apricot pork and buttery potatoes/carrots/sweet onions. Then out came the makings for s'mores again. :) When we were stuffed, we left to go try to catch the Great Fountain Geyser. It only goes off like twice a day, and we wanted to see it. And saw it, we did! This is the third (and highest) blast it came out with this eruption.

Afterwards, we did the 5.2 mile round-trip hike to Fairy Falls. Violet loved the falls, as you can see. :) My pedometer was being stupid, though-- it said the hike was just under 3 miles. So either the pedometer was lying, or the mileage signs on the trail were made to discourage too many people from hiking around. :)

I'm sorry that we have to leave tomorrow. It's been a fabulous vacation!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Yellowstone, Day 5

Happy Fourth!

Today we did the Fountain Paint Pots, and the thermal areas along the road to Old Faithful. Some of my favorite pools are in this area. Beautiful! I especially love this photo I took of the Grand Prismatic Spring-- it looks like a sun or a flower.

We then drove into West Yellowstone to celebrate the Fourth. They had a local parade, which consisted of pretty much all Yellowstone Tour buses and vans. It was a total tourist parade! The kids scored lots of candy. I had fun "heckling" the parade people-- we were yelling for one guy to throw his boat to us instead of candy; and when the Kentucky Fried Chicken people came by, we yelled like crazy at them to throw us chicken. It was fun. :)

We picked up pizza for dinner at Wild West Pizzeria. They are known for the best pizza in West Yellowstone, but I'd say they had some of the best pizza I've ever eaten in my life. You gotta eat there when you're in town!

In the park, the kids played on the teeter totters and flirted with boys. Jak had a bit of a mishap on the teeter totter-- she smacked her mouth on it, and broke her tooth.(!!!) She said it didn't hurt too bad, so we figured we'd get an emergency appointment Monday morning when we were back.

We listened to a local band play at the park, and Ron and I danced to a number of songs (to lots of applause afterwards). We like to swing dance, so it always looks very cool when we get going. Some lady intercepted us on our way off the "dance grass" and asked if she could dance with Ron. The girls were shocked, and told him when he came back that he should only dance with me. :)

We watched the fireworks, and drove back to camp late. Yawn!!!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Yellowstone, Day 4

We headed off for the east part of Yellowstone today, and started out at Upper and Lower Falls. We went down Uncle Tom's Trail down to the waterfall overlook, which has approximately 4, 628 stairs. Okay, maybe it was only like 200 or so, but at 8,000 feet altitude, it was a difficult climb back up! The rainbow was as awesome as the falls themselves, I thought.

We saw herds of buffalo down through Hayden Valley, and Jak caught a frog in a marshy meadow. We ended up at Yellowstone Lake for a late lunch, where the girls and Ron paddled the kayaks around and I took a nap. :)

We ended our day at West Thumb Geyser Basin, which has some beautiful pools. It's right on Yellowstone Lake, which makes a beautiful backdrop for the thermal area.

Got back to camp late, but not so late that we didn't have time for s'mores! Yum!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Yellowstone, Day 3

When we told people we were headed to Yellowstone, we heard over and over "Watch out for the bears!" Well, I'm here today to tell you that it's not the bears you need to watch out for, it's the buffalo!

This morning at breakfast, I was flipping pancakes on the camp stove, and the kids were at the picnic table eating. Next thing we know, three HUGE buffalo come running straight through our camp. Talk about getting your heart a-pumping!!! And none of us had our cameras at the time. Bummer. :(

Today we went to see Tower Falls, which is a gorgeous waterfall in the northeast part of the park. Then we drove over to Mammoth Hot Springs, which has (sadly) dried up, for the most part. On the way there, we took the Blacktail Plateau Drive, which is a dirt road that kind of parallels the main road. We saw four bears. First, we spotted a mama black bear and her two cubs. WAY cute! Then, we noticed a huge grizzly bear headed over to them. The mama bear sent her two cubs up into the tree, and then charged the grizzly. Wow! Those are things you usually only see on animal shows. It was very cool!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Yellowstone, Day 2

Today was going to be our longest day. I figured we'd do this one first, while the girls were still totally hyped up with excess vacation energy. :)

We did the Norris Geyer Basin, and then headed down to Old Faithful. We did the long walk behind Old Faithful, and saw a LOT of geysers go off. Very cool! We got back late, but it was worth it. I think we saw at least 10 geysers go off today!

I logged 24,941 steps on my pedometer today. My feet and back hurt!