Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas tree non-adventure

Yesterday, we had planned on cutting our own Christmas tree from the Wasatch National Forest. You can get a tree-cutting permit for only $10 and they tell you where you can go to cut down a tree. It's a bit of a drive from our house to the permit place, about 3 hours or so.

So I decided to make us some turkey sandwiches with leftovers for the journey. I was cutting open some bisquits and I cut my thumb with one of our wonderfully sharp Cutco knives. It was so gross, because I saw that I cut a big chunk of my thumb. Adrian helped me run it through some water and then I had to lie down. He kept putting pressure on it while I lay there, very grossed out. Eventually it seemed to stop bleeding so he wrapped it, and we ended up not going on our Christmas tree adventure. :(

Later that evening, it bled some more, so we went to a clinic near our house and they cleaned it out and I got 11 stitches! ugh, lately, the thought of blood really makes me quesy, and I felt quesy at times in the clinic, especially when the doctor was digging in there and saying that the chunk was only attched by a sliver of skin, ew. But it is better now, and I feel less quesy about it. It hurt a little bit, but it was really the thought of it that bothered me more than anything. (I hope that I can handle kid injuries when we have kids and not faint when they bleed everywhere. I used to not be such a wuss, so I'm not sure when that changed.) They wrapped my hand pretty well, and now it looks like I have a hurt wrist.

So now, we are probably just going to put up our fake tree and get a real one next year, since I can't really help lift the tree on the car or anything like that - a little sad, but I guess we will save $10 (although, I'm not sure what the clinic bill is going to be yet, eek...)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

happy thanksgiving!

Our Thanksgiving meal turned out decently, I thought. The turkey was a bit of an ordeal. The thing was so heavy everytime we tried to flip it and move it (it kind of dropped on the floor at one point - bad oven bag loading strategy, but we agreed that it had been way less than 5 seconds and we figured the hot oven would re-sterilize it...). And just seeing the whole body and dealing with it raw slightly grossed me out to the point that I can't fully savor it. Plus, I wanted to cook it breast-side down for 2/3 of the cooking time, but apparently I was mistaken which side was the the end, it turned out okay - it was perhaps a little dry, but I am so terrified of undercooking poultry that I was okay with that. I don't know that I ever want to cook a whole turkey again. There's just something about that headless body that is bothersome, and neither of us really like the dark meat that much anyways.

But the side dishes turned out great. We made mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes from scratch, stuffing, green bean casserole, and dinner rolls. For dessert, we had pumpkin pie and chocolate pumpkin cake. We have tons of leftovers...we'll see if I can eat more of that turkey. I found some recipes for leftover turkey.

Then, we went to see the movie Enchanted. We've been wanting to see it ever since we saw the preview in the summer. I really enjoyed it. It was so cute, and we sang, "That's how you know".

"You're not going to sing, are you?" ~ Robert in Enchanted.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I can kind of see why some people are vegetarians. I prepared the turkey tonight so that it can sit in a brine overnight, and it was a little disturbing to see that we are pretty much cooking the entire body of this animal. Even the neck is included in a bag in the turkey (which I find gross, but I was relieved that it was all in a bag that I just had to pull out. For some reason, I feel that our sophomore year when I made a turkey with Monica and Christy that we had to pull out a raw neck and I remember some screaming, but maybe I am remembering wrong). So really, the only thing missing was the head of the turkey (not that we are going to eat the neck - I threw that away).

on a more fun note, I baked our Thanksgiving desserts tonight. For our chocolate pumpkin cake, I pureed a real pumpkin! so that was exciting. Then for the pumpkin pie, I just used the much easier Libby's can. yay, there's something exciting about making our entire Thanksgiving dinner. I just hope it turns out all right.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

thanksgiving break!

Thanksgiving break begins now! At Utah State, we get Wed-Fri off instead of only Thurs and Fri off at A&M. Although, now that I think about it, A&M, usually as a "last minute" treat, gets out Wed starting at noon. Which I think is kind of weird, because if a professor has morning and afternoon classes, then their morning class gets ahead of their afternoon class - it seems like a mess, and I don't understand why they just don't call the entire Wednesday a holiday. But that is just a big digression...

Actually, ever since Nate left last Thursday (!) for Thanksgiving, I've been feeling ready for the break. I did not get much work done this past weekend - it was mostly cleaning and organizing on Saturday and then on Sunday we went hiking with some friends (we conquered the 5 hills) and made and ate a ton of pizza afterwards (yum!). I finally got a lot of work done yesterday, though...

We took our last pre-Thanksgiving trip to the grocery store tonight, and I think I am ready to make a Thanksgiving meal. We were planning on inviting some friends over, but the small number of people who we know well are all leaving town for Thanksgiving (two are going to Seattle! it's crazy to think that Seattle is only 12 hours away), so it will just be me, Adrian, and Lucy. :) oh, well, I think it'll be more fun and relaxing this case the turkey doesn't quite turn out as planned...

Friday, November 16, 2007

ski swap!

We went to the ski swap this morning and bought skis, boots, and poles! The ski swap was so cool with so much equipment of varying conditions for sale. I bought my skis with the bindings for $59. Now, I am ready to go - it just needs to snow! :)

While we are waiting for snow, we can mountain bike! We finally went for the first time today on the Lake Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Dry Canyon. It was really fun but also really hard - I really need to get in shape and there were some really steep uphill sections (that is a lot of reallys/reallies).

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I feel that November is not the best month for nablopomo for me as a student. November always seems to be a hectic month! Perhaps, I will try a myblopomo (my blog posting month rather than the national blog posting month) some other month that works a little better for me. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

morning kisses

When Lucy finally gets out of bed and comes downstairs (she likes to sleep in a little), Chico (an early riser) gets so excited and gives Lucy numerous kisses on the face. He licks her nose, eyes, and ears. It's so funny and cute...and a little gross.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I am blowing goats with this nablopomo thing. I forgot to post again yesterday. This weekend has mostly been uneventful - mostly lots of reading and paper writing. But we did take a small break to watch the first half of the Boise State/Utah State game (we 2-percented out after halftime when we were losing 31-0)....I'm not sure if Utah State will end up winning a game this year - I think we have one more chance against Idaho State, who has won only one game.

Then today we used our free Bee Movie tickets. I thought it was cute - and it reminds you of the importance of bees in our world. I read a quote by Albert Einstein that said without bees, humans would only live for 4 years. Also, in the movie The Eleventh Hour (one cool thing about Logan is even though it is pretty small, it has an arts cinema that shows documentaries and independent films), it was said that if humans had to do what bees do, it would cost 15 trillion dollars. So, I'll try to think about that the next time a bee flies in my face...

Thursday, November 08, 2007


The name of my degree is really long and weird: Human Dimensions in Ecosystem Science and Management. The goal of the degree (this is what I think so far...) is to really study and consider the interactions of humans and the environment. I am interested in water issues, both water quantity and water quality (but I haven't really defined my dissertation project yet...).

This degree is pretty different from my geology degrees, which consisted of straight-up biophysical science. Sometimes I feel a little out of place in the more social science aspect of my new degree, but I have noticed (at the GSA conference, for example) that I am most attracted to research projects that have a human element to it - projects that work to solve human problems with the environment.

I was reminded today of a conversation I had at GSA with a very interesting, dynamic woman geologist. We were talking about climate change and somehow we got on the topic of New Orleans. In her opinion, we should not be spending so much money to "rebuild" New Orleans, because the city is below sea-level (our doing since we do not allow the Mississippi River to be connected to its floodplain and resupply the land with sediment) and it's in a hurricane prone area (climate change or no climate change). Instead, she believes that we should be spending our money to help the people of New Orleans adapt and move away from this poorly planned city.

To a group of geologists, this makes total sense. But then I started thinking about New Orleans and its uniqueness. To the people who are from there, their identity is embedded in New Orleans - this weird, crazy place that probably only natives can really understand. Take away New Orleans and we take away who these people are. It's a difficult problem. I can see and understand both the physical science and social science views. I really don't have much of an idea on how to resolve it, but I like that my long-named, un-understandable degree focuses on these kinds of issues...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

sad dog

Nate left to go to a conference in Arkansas until Sunday, so we are babysitting Chico while he's away. Poor Chico - he's such a sad pup without his dad. Adrian said that Lucy was mopey and sad when I was away in Denver. It's so sad and nice at the same time to see how much dogs miss you when you're gone.

"Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made." ~Roger Caras

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Christmas Mountains update, skiing!, and Bee movie

The Texas School Land Board voted to delay the sale of the Christmas Mountains for three months, which gives the National Park Service time to buy the land. It's still not clear, though, if Commissioner Patterson will still require hunting and firearms to be allowed on the land. If that is the case, the NPS probably won't buy it, so we shall see what happens...

on a different note, we got our ski passes today before the special student rate expired! I'm so excited to ski the Beav...

also, (this shows how eventful my day has been) we went to Albertson's and bought 10 boxes of cereal for $2/each to get 2 free tickets to the Bee, we've been eating a lot of cereal and regularly go through boxes. However, only a few cereals were part of the deal, so we will be eating Golden Grahams, Cocoa Puffs, and French Toast Crunch for awhile...probably not the healthiest...

Monday, November 05, 2007

october wrap-up

I'm going to post today before I forget. I thought I could do a brief October wrap-up now that November is officially here, time change and all.

Some time in the middle of October we had a pumpkin carving party and invited people over to carve pumpkins, eat some food, and play some games. It was pretty fun, and people's pumpkins turned out so good. Also, when people left, clean-up was so much faster and easier than in our College Station house since we have a dishwasher! incredible!

Adrian and I also went to this event called Pumpkin Walk. It's in a park in North Logan, and it's kind of like a Christmas tree walk, where different groups had exhibits of painted and carved pumpkins. They had Sesame Street, Garfield, and many more in the form of pumpkins and squash. It was kind of cute, and apparently a very popular event, as there were tons of people there!
I forgot to add, we also went to a corn maze with our friends, Seth and Emily. I had never been to one before, and it was really fun. Each season here seems to have some fun, festive activity to participate in. :)

Then at the end of October, I went to Denver for the GSA conference. I presented a poster on my masters thesis and went to a lot of other talks and presentations. It was a nice break from school and I got to see A&M people. I didn't really have a Halloween though, since I flew in at 11 pm on Halloween night, but maybe next year I'll have time to think of a clever costume. Adrian said that we did not get very many trick or treaters - only about 6 groups....

That was pretty much the 2nd half of my October... :)

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I've already failed at NaBloPoMo. Yesterday, I went to some hot springs in Idaho with some girls and then we went to dinner. We dropped off one of the girls first and noticed that Adrian was over at her place (Adrian and her husband, Seth had been working on building a shed at our house all day and then insulating their windows) so we stayed and talked to them for awhile. It was late when we came back home, but we started to watch the A&M -OU game that we had taped and I fell asleep at some point in the game...hence, no post yesterday...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Christmas Mountains

Next Tuesday, Nov. 6th, the Texas School Land Board will vote whether or not to sell the Christmas Mountains to private interests. The Christmas Mountains property contains most of the Christmas Mountains and is adjacent to Big Bend National Park. When the property was sold to the Texas General Land Office, the owner made an agreement with the then GLO land commissioner that the land be kept public and if the land was transferred, it could only be to the National Park Service or the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept, or else the owner would have to be consulted.

The National Park Service has recently expressed interest in obtaining the property to add to Big Bend National Park, but the current land commissioner does not want the property to go to the NPS, due to the Park Service's prohibitions on hunting and firearms. In addition, the current commissioner is not interested in checking with the previous owners to make sure that they approve of the sale - disregarding the owners agreement with the previous land commissioner.

I suppose the land commissioner is hoping that the land will go to private hands that will responsibly manage the lands and allow hunting, but I think that can be a gamble, plus I feel it's a shame that the land commissioner is not interested in adding more public land to Texas. According to some stats that I have looked up, less than 5% of land in Texas is public (I've found as little as 2%). In contrast, approximately 60% of land in Utah is public land! And honestly, this is one big reason why I really enjoy it in Utah. You can easily drive 20 minutes in every direction from our house and hike and camp! :) Also, I am biased, but Big Bend is really an incredible, special place and one of my most favorite national parks so far.

If you oppose the sale of the Christmas Mountains to private interests, here's a link to the petition:
For more info, here are some articles:

Thursday, November 01, 2007


November is NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month, where the goal is to post in your blog everyday for the month of November. We'll see if I can do it, although I imagine the posts could become boring. I've just gotten back from Denver so I could post about that. But I have quite a bit to catch up on right now (including a scary 3-hour fluvial geomorph test that I need to get to in a bit), so I will write more later.