Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Archaeology - Part 2

For my work sometimes we get to walk around in the desert and look for sites. I have been doing this for most of last week and here are some of the beautiful pictures I have. It was cloudy and rainy on Monday when I took this picture. This is my favorite picture. They have a dam on the Agua Fria river and the water backs up into these little streams. I think it is so pretty. It almost looks like fall with some of the colors.

We were climbing on a pretty steep slope and saw these kayakers and canoers below. I though it would be fun if I could find one of them who took a picture of us. The guy I was working with twisted his knee (he might have torn his MCL) shortly after this picture and we had to get one of the fishing boats to take us out of there so we could get him to the hospital. Lots of adventure.
We hiked up to this ruin to see what it looked like. There were probably 10 structures on the top of a mesa. It was so pretty. Me in all my field gear (i set my backpack down before here).
You can see the view of the Agua Fria river and the ruins from the top.
Two wild burros who thought we were going to eat them.
These are from another project I went on where we were working near an old movie set. The two guys are people I work with. I think they missed their calling as actors, don't you?

A moonrise over the Sonoran Desert.
As much as I get frustrated with my job sometimes, I really am lucky to be able to enjoy what I do most of the time. Who else gets paid to walk around the desert and explore.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Josh took his GRE (the entrance exam for graduate school, similar to the ACT or SAT) yesterday and he was so nervous this morning. It was really cute to see him worry so much. You get two of the three scores right after you finish so there isn't that much time to worry about it. He got a 580 on the verbal portion which is pretty good. On the quantitative portion (i.e., math and reasoning) he got a 730 which is pretty much amazing. He is on par with straight A engineering students. Hopefully his writing part will come back with a good score too. I don't really know how long it takes to get it back. Hopefully such great scores will help him get into grad school. Please vote in our poll to tell him where he should go! (I am rooting for U of U!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yummy Minestrone

A friend at work gave me this recipe for minestrone soup and it is delicious. Ours turned out more like a stew than a soup so you may want to add more water, but it was so yummy and really easy to make.
Easy Minestrone
In a large nonstick pan cook over medium high heat
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves (pressed)
2 Tbsp olive oil
until onions are tender but not browned. Add
2 cans chicken broth (or 2 bouillon cubes in water)
1 jar of marinara sauce (16 oz)
1 can of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can of garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
10 oz of frozen vegetables
Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of small pasta and cook covered (with lid slightly ajar) for 10 min, stirring occasionally. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

8 days and counting

Josh has eight days of school let this semester and he is done. Only one more semester until he is an official geologist. He does, however, want to go to graduate school and so we will see if he can get in otherwise it is job hunting for us! It would be nice to have two full incomes for awhile, but we may not have that luxury. I think we will have to start looking for an internship for the summer soon. We tried to do so last year but got too late of a start on them. Anyone know of anything?
I babysat 3 of my nephews all day today and I am exhausted. I don't know if I would be able to handle having kids of my own yet. I only had them for about 9 hours and I think I might go to bed soon, even though it is only 9. I really admire moms, especially those with a lot of kids. I could barely handle three!
I still don't feel like Christmas is so close. I guess I am kind of feeling Bah Humbug-ish this year. It doesn't help that it is still 75+ degrees everyday and you barely need anything more than a light sweater in the mornings. It just doesn't feel like it should be Christmas unless it is actually cold. Josh keeps laughing at me because usually I want to start listening to Christmas music in October, but this year I have only listened to it once and he turned it on for me. I am such an old scrooge this year.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I wasn't feeling very festive today but I put up all my Christmas decorations anyway. I thought we had a ton of decorations when we were in our small apartment but the bigger space means it doesn't look quite as festive. Oh well, at least we have room for a tree now! Anyway, it is nothing special because I wasn't in the mood to do too much and sometimes simpler is better anyway.

Happy Thanksgiving

We spent Thanksgiving with Ty and Ann and had a good time. Then we went over to Josh's parents house for pie (his parents weren't home but everyone came over anyway. His parent went to Virginia for the holiday). The food was wonderful. I missed having the rest of my family though. Here are some pictures...
This was our glorious centerpiece. It was truly a work of art!

Ty with his masterpiece. You know what they say about birds of a feather...
It was a really good turkey though. He did a great job cooking it on the grill.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

1st Annual Barlow Girls Weekend

The first annual Barlow girls weekend was a success! My sisters and Mom came down for the weekend and we spent our time being crafty (a feat for me), shopping at Last Chance, and enjoying each other. Ann got to be Angel's personal shopper and we all went home with some very welcome additions to our wardrobes. It was only a short trip but it was well worth it for all the fun we had. It was great to be together with just the girls. I am so glad we did it and I hope that it will be a long tradition!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I Love Fall!

Isn't my nephew cute! He had such fun making a big pile of leaves and jumping in. I went up to visit my family last weekend and had so much fun. The weather was beautiful and it was great to be able to spend some time at home!

I love fall.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Jacket

Awhile back I said that I had sewn a jacket. Well, here it is. The picture is not that great, but at least there is a picture. The story of the jacket is kind of funny. I had a baby blue trench coat that I absolutely loved and last winter I pulled it out of my closet and somehow it had rust stains on it. I decided to unstitch the jacket and use it as a pattern to make a new jacket. It ended up being a lot of fun even though it was time consuming. I changed parts of the pattern and even added a red lining inside. I am so excited to wear it. Now if it will only get below 90 degrees here so I actually have a reason for it...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Cute Nephew

Josh and I take our two nephews, Damian (10) and Braedon (7) to church with us every week. The girl I visit teach told me this story of something that happened at primary a couple of weeks ago...

The primary president was talking about following the prophet before conference to encourage them to listen and she was trying to get them to guess. She said, "I am thinking of a person who is a really good example, someone that we should follow. Anyone have any ideas?" Braedon, who is 7 yrs old, raised his hand and the president called on him. He said,"My Aunt" Without missing a beat, the primary president just said, "Your right, your Aunt Paige is a great example. Anyone else have any ideas of someone who we should follow?"

What a cute boy. I admit, that I teared up a little bit. I love all 20 of my nieces and nephews!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Nemesis

They are called "Teddy Bear Cholla" or"Jumping Cholla" but don't be fooled by their cuddly appearance, they are the reincarnation of the devil himself. Balls of prickles fall off these plants and little the ground in all the places they shouldn't be. If you are unlucky enough (like me) you will accidental get one caught on your boot or pants leg while you are walking and get these little devils embedded in your skin. Yesterday while hiking I had the joy of getting a entire ball stuck in my right thumb. No less than ten needles were embedded in my poor nettled thumb and every time I tried to pull one out another get stuck in. These aren't just straight needles either. The end of the needle is curved slightly so it holds into your skin even better. I had to pull the needles out individually with a pair of pliers. Oh the joy of hiking in the desert. Yesterday we hiked

Up and over this mountain, down the other side and around the mountain. I believe it was about 9 miles of the hardest hiking I have ever done. My legs are so sore that I can barely walk today. From the picture it looks like there is a nice trail all the way, but we were actually hiking where they are planning to build the hiking trail up a mountain. In some spots the gravel was so slippery that we had to grab on to whatever none-prickly bush that was there and pull ourselves up. Every muscle in my body hurt when we finally made it back. I believe it gained over 1200 ft in elevation change. I hope I never have to do that hike again! The worst part is that on Monday I climbed this same mountain in the other direction twice (north-south, today's was west-east). So in the last two days I have climbed this three times. I am tired just thinking about it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What I do in my Spare Time

Josh has been overwhelmingly busy during this semester with a full schedule and teaching two classes. He has been staying at school most days until 6 or 7 at night grading papers or doing his class assignments (often involving looking through microscopes for hours on end). He has also been staying up until 3 or 4 in the morning to get all his homework done. In addition to this, he has had field trips for a couple of weekends (including this weekend) where he leaves on Friday or early Saturday and I don't see him again until Sunday night. So I have had a lot of extra time to myself. It has been nice in some ways but it gets boring after awhile and I am always glad when he finally comes home. So here is what has occupied my many solitary hours.

1. Girl's Nights Out: wait a minute, all my girl friends that I used to hang out with move away! Scratch this one.

2. Chick Flick Movie nights: Josh isn't a fan of chick flicks and since most of my girl friends don't live her anymore (see #1) I have to content myself with watching them on my own when Josh is out of town. I still love them even if I do watch them alone. Some of my favs:

3. Baking Bread: In 2007 one of my goals was to learn how to make bread so Josh gave me this fabulous book for Christmas. It has taken awhile to get into it, mainly because most of the recipes take about 8 hours to make, but they are worth it. Everything comes out looking like it is from a bakery so you can really impress everyone. I even fooled my sister-in-law who is an amazing cook when I took them dinner a couple of weeks ago.

Today I made rye bread and it looks pretty good. I just hope it tastes as good as it looks!

4. Sewing: I had a baby blue trench coat that I absolutely loved and somehow hanging in the closet it managed to get rust on it. I am completely perplexed because nothing next to it or around it had anything on it, so I have no idea how it happened. Since I loved it so much I decided to pull it apart and make a new one. After about a month of working on it (intermittently) and sewing almost everything twice, it is done. Well, almost. I tried it on and realized my hem isn't quite lining up, so I will post pictures when it is really finished. ;) My Mom taught me how to sew a little bit when I was younger, but I have never made anything this complicated before. I am quite impressed with how it came out.

5. Reading: I have been reading quite a bit over the last year. For some reason I just have the desire to read all sorts of things. Here is a list of the books I have read so far this year:

Atlas Shrugged ( It's worth all 1069 small print pages of it)

Pride and Prejudice (I think I have read this ten or more times-it is definitely a favorite)


Anna Karenina (Hated this one, the only way I got through it was to tell myself I couldn't read The Fountainhead until I finished it. Tolstoy is a good writer, but I couldn't stand Anna)

The Fountainhead

The Birth of Freedom (Haven't finished this one yet-it has all the previous documents that formed the intellectual background for the American Constitution)

The Three Musketeers (I am almost done with this one- it is a much more mature book than I expected)

6. Oh, and one more thing that I am ashamed to admit:

It is so much fun. I never thought I would like playing video games, but I love this one. The cut scenes are hilarious.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Snakes and Horny Toads

This is a sidewinder rattlesnake we found in Yuma yesterday. I think it is a horny toad he is eating. It seems too wide for a lizard. He was really upset that we were spoiling his lunch! I have never seen one in the wild before. It was really neat. We let him eat his lunch then found him again on our way back. You can kind of see the bulge in his stomach.
We scared him and he was getting as far away as possible.

This is him getting really angry at us. You can see the rattle just going to town!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Safford, Arizona

My work sent me out of town for a night this week to the lovely town of Safford. I checked every hotel in a 30 mile radius and none had a single room so I checked the local bed and breakfasts and found the cutest only house to stay in. If you are ever in Safford, I highly recommend staying in the Olney House in downtown. It was so much fun to stay at. Have a look ( I stayed in the fireplace room in the main house. I wanted to go explore the city but I was so tired that I fell asleep and never made it. I guess being tired was expected since I had to get up at 2:30 in the morning to make it out to Safford on time (6:00 a.m.). Ah, the joys of travelling for your job. I do have to go back for another day next week but I probably just drive out and back in one day rather than staying overnight.

I also took some pictures of the railroad that goes through the area just for fun. I like the look of old railroads with sepia tones. It makes it look antique.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Best Things in Life


Need I say more?! It is the most delecious Halloween candy in the world and I found some this weekend! WooHoo! Too bad it is fast Sunday today. Oh well, I can look longingly at the candy jar and wait.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ty's New Do!

My nephew Max has always know his dad as a Mr. Clean look-alike. Last weekend when we went out to breakfast Max decided that it was time that he have a new do. Gathering supplies (i.e., pipe cleaners he found on the ground). This is the brilliant result. I think he has potential as a real hairdresser as long as he can get his models to make poses like Ty's!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Camping Fun

Last weekend Josh, our adopted dog, and I went camping. It was so much fun. Ginger was having the time of her life. She was prancing through the grass like a giselle and had a half grin on her face the whole time.

Josh made the best breakfast burritos for us on Saturday morning Eggs, sausage, cheese, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Yum. He definitely has campfire cooking skills and you know that girls like guys with skills or at least this girl does.
We went to a place by Ashurst Lake near Flagstaff and the cool mountain air felt fabulous compared to the hot muggy Phoenix air. It was such nice weather. On Friday night after dinner we were just sitting around the campfire and Ginger started nudging us over and over again. We couldn't figure out what she wanted then Josh realized that she needed to go to the bathroom and she wanted one of us to take her. The funny thing is that she wasn't on a leash and there was the whole wilderness for her own private bathroom. We finally got up and walked a little ways away and she was a much happier puppy.
We were going to go visit the lake but last time we went up there this is what happened...

... and we had a wet, stinky puppy the whole ride home. So we decided against it this time.
These are some sunflowers we saw on our drive home and I thought they were really pretty.