Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I am so hungry, please, please send food quickly.

I'm not so picky, not when I'm growing faint and the world is becoming a distant memory.


Cookies, milk, popcorn, a grilled-cheese sandwich.

Anything for this poor, hungry girl??

Monday, August 29, 2005

what i did on my summer vacation

(This post is a bit long but I hope you enjoy it)

Clarksfork Camping Chronicles

The chronicles of the Doyle family camping trip on the Clarksfork river, near Cody Wyoming.

Saturday, August 13

I get up early to have time to go to the bank. I’m back home by 10 but we don’t actually leave until closer to noon. I ended up sleeping from the south of Denver until Cheyenne. After a quick meal (and the discovery that my dad as well as my brother has a fear of drive-thru’s) I took over driving. Of course, this is when the rain started. I drove to Sweetwater Station (mostly just a rest stop and a little station of some sort). By now, the rain had stopped. I always end up driving in rain in Wyoming. Dad took over driving and we pulled into Riverton around 7 pm. Carin, who was driving out from California, didn’t arrive until midnight. She was held up in CA by a burning bus that closed the road. Only in California.

Sunday, August 14

I was awoken from slumber by two small voices saying “what are those bumps down there”. I assumed in my early morning grogginess they were referring to Carin and I. We had slept on the living room floor. The voices belonged to the grandchildren of my dad’s best friend, Emmett and Ella. Sometime after this, once we were all up, dressed, and fed, we took off for the long drive to camp. From Riverton to Cody then up the Chief Joseph Highway. We had to stop at Walmart and buy fishing licenses.

We get to camp around 5 or so and set everything up. By everything I mean three tents, three cots (Nathan sleeps on the ground, the rest of us use cots, smart people we are), four sleeping pads and bags, potty shelter, assorted tables, hooks for lanterns and fishing poles. Anxious to get fishing, Nathan, dad and I grab poles and go out to the river.

The fish were biting and I caught about four (but could only keep one, the others were too big and had to go back). Nathan and I had some fish with dinner. Because we fished so long we ended up cooking fish and chili (not together) in the dark.

Monday, August 15

The night was cold and I woke up several times in the dark wondering why my nose hurt so much (it was pretty frozen). I made it through the night only by placing a Hot Hands warmer over my nose. Once the sun was up, I woke up to ground squirrels playing outside my tent. After breakfast, I’m out on the river fishing. The water was clearer than I ever remember it being before and the fishing is great. More bits, more catches, but most of the fish are too big to keep (anything over 8 inches goes back). By the time I come back to camp, everyone else is up and ready to hit the river. I duck back into my tent and go back to sleep around noon. I sleep for three hours, when everyone else comes back. We whip up dinner of sausage and potatoes and enjoy the wonderful weather.

Tuesday, August 16

Not so cold overnight so I sleep well. We all begin to stir around 9 in the morning (except Carin, who I think got up at 5 every day, I don’t know what’s wrong with that child). I catch one keeper and clean it (Nathan insisted I learn how to clean my own fish). After an hour or so of fishing, I’m ready for my hammock. I lounge, reading a book, for a few hours then head to my tent for another nap. I love naps. When the others return in the afternoon, Dad and Nathan had lots of fish for dinner and Carin whipped out the PBJ (she won’t eat fish, I’m sure she’s from Mars or something). We cooked fish over the fire and had a great meal. S’mores for dessert finished the day. We make plans to hike to the canyon tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17

We all get up around 9 (except Carin, but we’ve already talked about her) and eat. We drive down to the start of the canyon. Hiking in requires you to shimmy across rock ledges that drop off straight into the river. There are several places that I announce to the rest of my family “You have GOT to be kidding me, I don’t want to die.” But I make it. We spend several hours in the canyon fishing and hanging out. When it’s time to go back, Nathan goes first and decided to push a large rock (you know, the size of a small child) into the river BEFORE the rest of us cross the tightest point. Again, I express my opinion about not wanting to die and how can I cross on wet rocks that slide down into the river. Nathan, always the helpful one, stands there and laughs at me. It takes a while but I finally slink through the tight spot and scamper up the hill to safety. Dad decided to fish the river back to camp and the rest of us drive. We have strict instructions to pull out steaks for dinner and get a good fire going. Carin and I do this.

Then we wait.

And wait.

And wonder where our father has gone.

Nathan goes to find him and by the time they get back, it’s 7:30 or so. Dark clouds are rolling in and we are losing our light.

By the time the steaks are ready we have erected a lean-to with a tarp to shield us from the rain. We eat in the darkness, huddling under the tarp, trying to warm up and dry out. The steaks were wonderful, despite the deteriorating weather.

Thursday, August 18

After a rainy night we wake up to more rain, a muddy river and dark clouds all around. We breakfast under the tarp and discuss options. Fishing is out, as fish cannot see the lures through the mud, but Nathan wants to try. Dad sends Carin and I up the hill to see what we can see. We see dark clouds surrounding the entire basin. Upon returning to camp we decide to pack up a day early and head back to Riverton with a stop in Thermopolis to sit in the hot springs. Nathan is disappointed but he didn’t catch any fish so he decided, wisely, to go with us. We pack up camp, drive out, stop in Cody to buy a bathing suit for me, then drive down to Thermop. Carin, dad and I hang out in the pools for about an hour while Nathan wanders around the state park. After the pool kicks us out at closing time, we drive back to Riverton.

Friday, August 19

We sleep in. This time there are no small children to wake us up and we all got beds of sorts. All the tents are set up in the yard to dry out (since it is a beautiful day in Riverton). I go shopping with Esther (wife of dad’s best friend) because Carin and Nathan went to town without me. I find some beautiful bowls, Christmas cards and candle holders all on clearance. We stop at Dairy Queen to get ice cream and they actually have ice cream (last time we tried this two years ago they were out of ice cream, bizarre but true).

Saturday, August 20

We say goodbye to the lovely state of Wyoming and drive home. As the peak comes into view we notice that it has snowed in our absence. I go to church in a tank top and freeze (because I didn’t have time to change, had to go straight there).
And that concludes our camping adventures. I still haven’t seen a bear (despite reports that the grizzlies in Yellowstone are all over the place) but I did catch a lot of great fish. I got some rest but apparently not enough (I’m already tired again!). And I think we all had a great time. Can’t wait for the next trip.

Friday, August 26, 2005

cause and effect

Goodness, I've been a slacker. Sorry about that. It's been a busy week.

The good news is that as of today, our test team at work is official. Praise God. It was a long time coming and we were pretty sure it wasn't going to be approved, but it was.

I've been working on a fun write up about the camping experience, but it's not ready yet. Look for it in a week or so.

In lieu of that, here is my more recent pondering.

As you all are probably aware (even my international readers), gas prices in the USA continue to take flight in the upward direction. While our prices are not yet as extreme as most of the rest of the civilized world, it's a pretty hard hit to many of us here at home. The drastic increase is impacting some more than others, specifically those who make piddly a non-profit jobs. So here are a few ways the price of gas is impacting me personally.

* there are no more out of town excursions, meaning I don't get to drive to Woodland Park just for the heck of it, no fun zoo trips to Denver and no driving to see out of town relatives.

* running out for lunch is no longer an option, I have to bring lunch daily or buy here in the cafe. Sadly, this is also impacted by our new policy about no forgiveness for missing a minute of work time, but the gas prices have completely shut down lunch time sanity breaks.

* serious cutback in "going out" or just running to Walmart to get an item or two. All trips out must be done in conjunction with others (so I'm not running one place tonight and another tomorrow) and some things are just not bought because it's too far out of the way to get it.

* no more late night taco bell runs. It's not worth it even to get a Mt. Dew Blast.

* a serious cutback in the fun times, like going to the movies or shopping trips for books and such. it costs too much to get to the store and then actually buy something.

Thankfully, there is no drama going on right now, so trips to church are down, and most places I shop are between work and home, so I can stop on the way home in the evenings. And I have a HUGE movie collection, so even if I can't go out, I always have something to watch.

So tell me, what impact is the rising cost of gas having in your life?

Monday, August 22, 2005

back in business

I'm back. I'll post something soon, when I have a minute or two.

Dara and I went to see Red Eye tonight. Very good flick.

Hope you had a good week last week.

Bye now.

Friday, August 12, 2005

out of office

And time to play.

As I will be relaxing in the beautiful wilderness of Wyoming this next week I won't be updating for a while. I did want to leave you with a game to play while I'm gone. It's not hard and I think you will all have fun. Play often, play nice.

Here's the lowdown.

Post a comment and finish this phrase: Happiness is...

Then, go to the blog of the person who answered right above you.

Leave them a comment for them to say hi.

Have fun, and I hope that you enjoy this little game. I look forward to reading what everyone thinks happiness is when I get back.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

did I say that

I made myself laugh last night.

Getting ready for bed, I had a fleeting though about reading a book. And I thought to myself, "What was that book I was reading about the girl and her friends and evil stepmothers?"

Then I remembered.

That would be the book I wrote.

Made me laugh.

Monday, August 08, 2005

more questions, more answers

Here is yet another survey that I found at Mommy Matters. Have fun.

What I was doing 10 years ago: That’s a long time ago. I was in high school, starting my senior year. Working at Chick-Fil-A and involved in leadership for youth group.

5 years ago: Was in college, getting ready to start my final year, studying for the senior comp exam (a nightmare that I took in October of that year, and passed!). Working at Compassion filling orders for artists and volunteers.

1 year ago: Finally out of school and working, still, at Compassion. By this time I was on the phones. I was also getting ready to take over the drama team and hold auditions for my first play (which was canceled since not enough people tried out).

Yesterday: I was hobbling around the house, fixing dinner for the family and wishing I could read my new book.

5 snacks I enjoy: oreos and milk
queso and chips
cottage cheese and pears
eggo waffles

5 songs I know all the words to: This Kiss (Faith Hill)
Rainy Days and Mondays (Carpenters)
Everybody has a Water Buffalo (Veggie Tales)
It’s Not Easy (from Pete’s Dragon)
He Reigns (by the Newsboys)

5 things I would do with $100 million: Design a house around a zoo and build it.
Travel to every continent, spend several months on each.
Make a movie.
Own a library.
Go to space.

5 Locations I want to run away to: Tanzania, Peru, Antarctica, Nepal and Paris.

5 Things I like doing: Reading a favorite book.
Watching a great movie.
Cooking/Baking (especially if I don’t have to clean up).
Relaxing in my hammock.
Hanging out with my buddy, Will.

5 Bad habits I have: Not closing the cupboard doors all the way.
Saying what I think.
Calling people “what’s-her-butt” or “what’s-his-butt”.
Wolfing down Skor bars when I get them.
Yelling at other drives (only when they can’t hear me).

5 Things I would never wear again: Parachute pants, enough said.

5 TV shoes I like: Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, M.A.S.H., The 4400 (I only have 4, sorry!).

5 Biggest joys of the moment: I have fudge for dessert.
I can see birds flying outside.
I’m on my lunch break, so not working.
I got to sleep on my own bed last night.
Did I mention I get to eat fudge??

5 Favorite toys: My new split keyboard (at work).
Cameras (digital and SLR)
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

the interview game

This is a fun little interview game. My friend Jo from Chez la laquet sent me five questions to answer here on my blog. So here are her questions and my answers. After you learn all this amazing stuff about me, you can see how to play!

1. What song(s), taste(s) and smell(s) transport you instantly back to your childhood? Why?

Answer: Okay, songs. The soundtrack to “Paint Your Wagon” and most anything by Anne Murry or the Carpenters because that’s what we listened to in the car. When I was little (before Carin was born) we lived in Wyoming and had long car rides everywhere. Then on family road trips as I got older. Vicky and I would sing “Don’t disturb the ladybug,” and “Gold Fever”. It wasn’t until high school or college I asked dad why one song from PYW ended with the word “deal”. That’s when dad realized I had never seen the show, only heard it! Tastes, peanut butter and jelly sandwich with chips in it and chocolate milk to drink. A favorite childhood meal that couldn’t be had at school. And cherry chips, like chocolate chips but with cherry. I used to sneak handfuls of them when I wasn’t supposed to. Smells, pasta cooking in water. Weird, I know, but my favorite childhood meal was mac & cheese so the smell is in my memory.

2. What are the best & worst things about living in Colorado Springs /Colorado?

Answer: The best has to be living next to such a beautiful mountain and having wonderful wild areas so close. A short drive and I’m in the mountains and far away from “the world”. We are also big enough to have decent shopping and we attract pretty good theater, but aren’t so big that there aren’t opportunities for us amateurs to get involved. The worst has to be that CS is growing and getting really big and it takes forever to get places, especially since we still have a small town mentality and haven’t developed a decent public transport system! That and we are always the target in movies to be blown up since we have NORAD here. I would like to say our lovely zoo is on that SAME mountain so if NORAD is targeted all the wonderful animals would be gone as well… and we have the largest reticulated giraffe herd in the USA!

3. My friend Ruth says “honestly” @ the end of sentences all the time (imagine Billy Connolly in a Glaswegian accent!) I don’t take the mick (tease her) – much! What word or phrase do you use “too much” in every day speech?

Answer: There are more than I like to admit! I’ve recently taken to saying “Good Lord” all the time and I’ve been known to overuse “whatever” and “fab-u-lous”. I also like to say “for the love of everything pure and holy” and “for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary.” If it’s not bad, I’ll just say, “for the love of Peter” or “for the love of Peter and Paul.” When I get to Mary, you know I’m frustrated.

4. What were you doing in Peru? What was the best thing about your visit? Why? *
* Ok, I realize this is technically 2 ½ questions … go on, let me get away with it, just this once!

Answer: I was on a tour with Compassion International, my employer, but as a paying sponsor. It was my second trip. I went the first time in 2002 as my five year anniversary with the organization. At that time, I sponsored one girl, Sandra, there and my dad sponsored one girl, Katherine. I met them both on the first trip. I had such an amazing time that my dad mentioned one day that he wouldn’t mind going if he could see Macchu Picchu. So, the next tour that rolled around we both went on. This time, I had two girls, Sandra (now 16) and Karen (age 4) and dad had Katherine (now 7) and a boy, Miguel (also 7). While there, dad picked another child, Keysi (age 6). So now, between the two of us, we have five sponsored children in Peru. We also got to see Macchu Picchu because we stayed after the tour and struck out on our own.

It’s hard to say what the best thing was. The first trip I had “moments” that really defined the trip for me. This time, it wasn’t as overwhelming because I had already experienced a lot (being in a new country, hearing the language, meeting a sponsored child). But a few highlights were meeting Karen and seeing Macchu Picchu. Karen was a little angel who reminds me of me, she could truly be my daughter. And when I found out her mom is my age, it hit me pretty hard that here was this woman my age, living half way around the world, married with two kids, thanking me for caring for her daughter. It was a lot to take in. Macchu Picchu is just amazing, hiding up in the Andes, tucked away from everything. It’s an amazing place, built by people who have long since vanished. I’m amazed at how the things we leave behind speak so much as to who we were. I should have been a historian.

And having my dear friend Soledad offer to translate my novel (which is dedicated to and inspired by Sandra) into Spanish was a wonderful bonus!

5. If you could teach everyone in the world one thing, what would it be?

Answer: Only one????? Tough question. I’m tempted to say, “how to use a turn signal” but that doesn’t apply to much of the world because not everyone drives vehicles, so scrap that idea. Then there’s the practicle stuff like good nutrition or how to clean water, but again, half the world already knows about that stuff. So one thing to teach EVERYONE in the world… it would be to teach everyone that we are all human, under our skin we are from the same stuff, and that if we want to not screw up our planet and our lives any more than already done, we have to start caring about each other. I would teach them how to see past skin color and to really love each other, to share their last bite of bread with whoever is hungry and how to stand up again evil.

Okay, so that’s more than one thing, but maybe I can sum it up in one word, compassion. I know, sounds like a cop out, but compassion means “to suffer with”, and if we all learned to suffer with one another, we would be more loving and stand up to evil and help each other. Yeah, that’s it, I’d teach compassion. I know I still have a lot to learn in this area, but hey, let’s all learn together!

Now the rules
Leave me a comment saying 'interview me please'.
I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here!) You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions
You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions