Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Big Girl Now

Ranger took a little trip to Pet Co today. She's getting so big. Too big for my lap so we shared the seat. She got her dog tag, a new collar, a lead, and some treats and toys. There was a lot of activity at the store which caused a lot of tugging on the leash. But she handled it very well. Lot's of other animals there to greet with a little sniff, and maybe a snarl. She got plenty of pats on the head from staff and customers.

New pictures of her:
Patrolling the back yard.Cute little rump.
Sprawled on the kitchen floor.
At the front door with a couple of toys at her feet.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Let There be (Beautiful) Light

Yesterday we installed the new porch lamps. It's was a little bit challenging because of the narrow space on the left of the door. Thankfully the back plate fit perfectly, and snugly.
When I bought the house there was only one fixture on the left so I had another one installed on the right, but rather than tear open the walls, which wasn't in my budget at the time, I had them run the conduit on the outside up and over the top of the door. When painted it blends in well enough. But the electrical box protrudes from the siding so we had to figure out how to deal with that. I think the back plate covers it pretty well and the fixture is so pretty you really don't notice the rigged up mechanicals.

Here are a couple of pictures.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pintura de la Casa Completa

Or, The House Painting is Complete! It took 4 weeks, but it's done. When we did the final walk around yesterday to see if anything needed attention before they called it a day, I saw only one corner spot on the siding that needed touching up and before I could even say anything Victor was there with a brush in his hand painting the spot.

Jesus' guys really did an excellent, if somewhat slow, job. Really thorough. And that's as it should be. I knew Jesus would take care of the details and not short cut the process.

Here are some before and afters. We'll start at the back. BeforeduringAfterThe garden side beforeand after.The front before
and afterI also used a piece of wood salvaged from my old falling-apart potting bench, cut it down to size and painted it, then put the new house numbers up. We have new porch lamps arriving this week with the same arts and crafts detail. It will look very pretty. It's wonderful how transforming a new coat of paint can be. And I love love love the knee braces. They came out perfect.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Arches NP, Moab, UT 07/09/06 - 07/11/06

On our road trip this summer I found Arches NP wonderful. This was one of the places I was really interested in seeing, and drove 12 hours straight from Yellow Stone to get there. We stayed at the Kokopelli Lodge, which is really an old rundown-ish motel just off the main street of Moab. Comfortable enough once we got the a/c figured out.

Driving in to Arches is surreal as we encountered a lanscape so different from the dense forrests we had been through for most of the trip so far. This lanscape of low brush, red earth, endless views across the horizon
is a spectacular environment of natural formations of arches, spires and fins. There are over 2,000 arches in the park, the greatist density of natural arches in the world. And it's amazing to be in the midst of this wonder with the realization that it is ever changing and shifting over time. Particularly Landscape Arch which is only 6 feet thick at its narrowest point, and since 1991 three huge slabs have fallen away from the arch causing park rangers to close the trail that once passed under it. It seems apparent that in due time this arch will no longer be there for visitors to see.

After driving through Park Avenue
and then Courthouse Towers we headed up to Devils Garden. It was very hot but not overly crowded out on the trails. The Devils Garden trail is fairly easy and well marked up to Lanscape Arch, then it turns in to a rustic trail wich is marked by cairns. Most people seemed to walk out on the well maintained trail as far as Landscape Arch then turn around and go back. But beyond Landscape are more Arches, including Partition Arch, and at a point along the backbone of a large, high, fin it gets a little unclear as to the way to go. There were a few of us on the fin discussing the possibilities, and soon we located the cairn and picked up the trial again. We ran in to a very friendly couple with with Netherland-ish accents and talked with them a bit of our road trip travels and thier travles in the U.S. Nice, friendly, like-minded people.
Our plan was to drive out of the park during the hottest time of the afternoon, stop at the Vistors Center, then drive along the Colorado River when we saw a thunder storm rolling along and stopped to catch images of the lightening. It reached the park before we got out and pools began to form on top of the buttes creating spontanous waterfalls. As we wound our way down the road to the park entrance we were greeted by park rangers who had everyone turn around and led us back up the road to higher ground. We were told that between us and the park entrance, through a switchbacked portion of the road, there were several washouts and that the road to Moab had washed out.

The temperature must have dropped about 20 degrees as the storm blew through and everyone waited patiently for it to move on. They eventually led us down and as we pulled into the Visitors Center the entire parking lot was covered in a wash of red mud, but otherwise everyone was safe and unnaffected.

Instead of the drive along the Colorado River we went back in to the park with the intent of hiking out to Delicate Arch, but the weather was still a little unpredictable and the daylight wouldn't last too much longer so we opted for a shorter hike around the Windows section that had a nice grouping of arches to see, including Balanced Rock,
Double Arch and Turret Arch.We reached the road to Moab and it had quite a smear of red mud across it as well, but the road was open and passable. Once back at the Kokopelli we made use of the their restaurant guide and walked the few blocks to get pizza and a couple of beers at Isabella's Pizzaria, the best pizza ever. The next day on the road to the Vermilion cliffs we side tracked to Natural Bridges National Monument then on to that fated stretch of highway outside of Mexican Hat in Monument Valley where we found our 4 little pups.