Thursday, June 29, 2017

LJ Cooper Picnic

We went to the LJ Cooper family picnic tonight. They are our financial advisers, and have done a great job guiding us into retirement!

The food was great, and we had fun visiting with my cousin Mike and his wife Arlene at dinner.

After dinner we took turns watching Mabel run in the grass while some of us stood in line waiting our turn for the balloon man!

The wait was worth it, and Mabel ended up with a terrific penguin balloon!

The picnic was at Timpanogas Park in Provo Canyon, a great choice, because it cooled off as the sun went down lower in the west. The cooler evenings are one of the great things about living in the west again!

New Tent Trailer

We bought a new tent trailer yesterday and set it up in our driveway to learn how it works. There is a LOT to learn!

When we picked it up, the people at Parris RV walked us through every part of the trailer. It is a Rockwell HW296, the biggest tent trailer known to man! It has an east wing and a west wing, a pop out dining area, and with a refrigerator, oven, microwave, bathroom and TV in between!

We're excited to try it out in Fairview this weekend!

Stewart Falls with the Hiking Ladies

I hiked to Stewart Falls this morning with the hiking ladies. We took the route up from the Sundance parking lot this time. It is a mile shorter (only 3 miles), than the Stewart Falls parking lot, but equally scenic! There was just as much water as there was 3 weeks ago, but this time all the snow was melted!

We saw some incredible beautiful wildflowers, many of which I recognized. This was my favorite. I can't find it in any of my books or apps!

We also saw a skunk scamper across our path! Fortunately, he did NOT spray us!

Some of the vegetation was so lush you felt like you were in a rainforest! I also loved this Hooker's Evening Primrose!

In addition to the beautiful scenery, I also heard a lot of stories. Some of the funnier ones were about raccoons in the attic! That is a little too close to nature!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Our First Salt Lake Bees Baseball Game

Last night we went with the Nortons to a Bees Game. Chuck and Renee are always going somewhere interesting, and it's fun when they let us tag along. Their son Scott, also tagged along yesterday! It was also our first trip on the Salt Lake TRAX system!

It clouded over enough to make it not as hot as we expected, and the light breeze also made it a nice evening to sit at a ballpark.

The men paid more attention to the game than we did. We had great seats right behind home plate! It was also free hot dog night!

I paid marginal attention to the game, but mostly enjoyed talking with Renee until my voice got hoarse!

I'm glad to report that the Bees won 6-5.  The game went into extra innings, at which time we left. We were safely in bed by the time the Bees clinched the victory at the end of the 12th inning!

Nebo Loop with Mom

Yesterday Ed and I drove the Nebo loop with Mom. It was nice getting out of the heat of the valley, up to cool mountains. We stopped and Payson lakes and walked one mile paved trail around Big East Lake.
I've learned the names of so many wildflowers in the past 3 months, but there were many more flowers up there that I didn't recognize and had never seen before!

We also got out of the car to take the short walk to the Hell's Kitchen overlook. It was just like being in Bryce Canyon!

The views along the ride were fantastic with layer upon layer of mountains in the distance!

We stopped for lunch at JC Mickelson's in Nephi. The food was delicious! I had a Utah scone. Mmm!

It was also very entertaining watching the model train going around the restaurant! I wished we had Mabel with us to get excited about it!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Guardsman Pass

We took a Sunday drive after church today. It was a beautiful day to explore Guardsman Pass. We did a giant loop from our house in Alpine up through Big Cottonwood Canyon and down through Park City and Provo Canyon.

I seem to have lost my Montana roots, where going over Cook City Pass was nothing. When I got to the place where the grade was 10 percent and downhill I wanted to close my eyes. But I had to watch the road in case Ed became distracted by the scenery!

On the way home we drove by the remains of yesterday's Alpine fire. The red on the mountainside is fire retardant. Fortunately, it wasn't near our house, and the fire department was able to get it under control! Last night's view was a little scarier, because you could see patches of fire all along the side of the mountain!

Lake Solitude

We hiked up to Lake Solitude yesterday. It is above Silver Lake, by Brighton Ski Area. It was a lovely 3 mile round trip, with not too steep of a climb.
The trail starts with a boardwalk loop around Silver Lake.

Across from the boardwalk we saw a moose feeding on some trees!
We enjoyed our peanut butter and marmalade sandwiches by the shore of the lake.

We were glad we waited till it was well into summer before we tried the hike. There were still places where we had to walk over snow on the trail!

John worked on teaching Mabel the difference between the pine trees and an aspen trees along the trail. She's a future botanist in training!

On the way down we ran into cousin Abby going up! That was two days in a row! Brittany and John also ran into her on Friday at the Parade of Homes!

We saw yellow violets, yellow wallflowers, pink sticky geraniums, blue dwarf larkspur, yellow groundsel and white false Solomon's seal. Those were just the ones we could identify! My favorite new flower was the Aspen bluebells, which were abundant along the path!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pinyon Friday

On alternate Fridays Brittany brings the girls over to hang out before band practice. I thought I'd lead with Clementine this time, as she is getting so smiley and interactive! She likes playing with her feet now!

We invited Zam Kabahuma over for lunch. In an amazing turn of events she is staying with friends in Alpine. Brittany was missionary companions with her in South Africa and Botswana almost 10 years ago. They had fun catching up on the last decade!

After naptime we went to the splashpad at Highland City Center Park. It has a little stream running through the rocks. Mabel loved it!

Mabel and Grandpa had a little fun in the evening as we were getting ready for band practice.

Mabel loved band practice and danced through every song. We were so loud we barely realized at one point that she was yelling "Potty!" This "no diaper" potty training has been working amazingly well! I wish I had done it this way!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Red Butte Gardens

We stopped by at Red Butte Garden yesterday after our visit to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. We get to start spacing out my lab visits to every three months now. We thought maybe we should visit the gardens each time we go up, as the flowers change with the seasons.

They have lots of terraced gardens and walking paths. It was beautiful. We ran out of time before we got to the natural open space part of the garden.

There is a nice view of Salt Lake City from the top of the garden. This is the newly dedicated Conservation garden. It is drought resistant, and in a few years will have much taller vegetation. It will be fun to watch it change over the years!

A Birthday and a Parade

We had fun going to the Utah Valley Parade of Homes on Wednesday. The house with the nicest lot was on the street where we live! We enjoyed seeing the home furnishings and decorations. Other than this view we didn't find anything we would trade our house for!

Annette and Kent went with us, and since it was her birthday we took a break and went to a late lunch at the Harvest Restaurant at Thanksgiving Point! It was the perfect choice, as it was not only delicious, but quiet enough that you could hear each other as you visited.

Annette and Kent shared a birtheday kiss. Then we all shared her giant piece of carrot cake!

We stopped by at Brittany's to see how the potty training is going. It was somewhat scary having a naked girl sit on your lap, but fortunately, Mabel is doing very well with her training. The method Brittany is using says to let them go naked for a few days so they can feel it drip. It is also nice, because you can catch them in the act of peeing. It seems like a good plan (especially if it is summer).

Ed got to hold the baby with the diaper! She was in a very smiley mood! It was a nice way to end a very fun day!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Mad Hatter Party

Yesterday the Relief Society had an UnBirthday to celebrate 175 years as an organization. Here are two Judys in their mad hats. I covered mine with fresh flowers from our garden.

Tory and Courtney were the perfect picture of elegance for a garden party!

I played a little tiddlywinks with Ana and Adela. Then we became engrossed in two truths and a lie. I learned some very interesting things about the ladies in our ward!

Who knew that Bonnie Parker was a parachutist?

After temperatures approaching 100 degrees yesterday, it was nice that it rained the first half hour of the party. We waited it out inside Cori's house, and then went out to enjoy her beautiful garden when it stopped raining. What a great way to enjoy a summer evening!

Highland Glen and Food Trucks

Monday Ed and I explored Highland Glen park in Highland. It is right behind Lone Peak High School, where the Alpine kids go to school. We were amazed that it had a little lake with a swimming area, a fishing area, kayaks, picnic tables and a ton of ducks! I stepped in duck doo-doo while taking this picture!

Afterwards we stopped in Alpine to support our local food truck roundup. The Art City donuts with Boston Creme filling were delicious!

We got to listen to a local band, the Hooligans play. It was a fun night to be out and about!