Saturday, June 30, 2007

Dinner at Mountain Road Ranch

Anyone curious as to what transpires during a typical dinner at the Mountain Road Ranch? Well, beware, ye of non-Nelson lineage - for the conversation is deep, rarely murky, but full of unexpected laughs.
~What were we before "intelligences?"
~When is it appropriate, if ever, to skinny dip?
~Was the sacrifice of Jesus altruistic?
~What does "altruistic" mean?
~Self-interest vs. Selfishness
~Is there exchange in "heaven?"
~Being complete
~Euphamisms for skinny dipping (we always seemed to come back to this concept of floating naked in some water feature or other!)
~Euphamisms for everything else.
~Pushing Buttons
~"Chelsea is so cute!"

There was also alot of quiet giggling and girlish slapping between Wildbound and Muad'Dib. Weird to see those two as siblings. I can barely imagine them sharing a childhood . . . of course, if they never sat in a back seat pulling faces until the other laughed so hard they were crying (in complete silece so as not to get in trouble) I'm not sure it can be called a "childhood."

I was - in turns - in awe of the thoughts and questions of these people, and shocked by their more colorful comments. So in the end I can say, the dinner was good, the conversation was great and the company was fantastic.

Friday, June 29, 2007

There's No Place Like . . .

A common morning at home with the two spawnlings: Lemur comes upstairs to show me a "present." I help him wrap the puppy in a blanket and ask if the puppy has a name. Lemur thinks for a moment then exclaims the name: Roman. How adorable is that?!

Rivulet always looks like she has just gotten away with something. In this case, she had unwound the chord of an x-box controller and was attempted to wear it like a necklace. She already loves jewelry!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Moosehorn Lake

Camping at Moosehorn Lake, Uintahs. We were inspired by Dreampacker and Trailblazer to set out on our own and go camping for the first time in two years. This is a view of the cliffs just to the right of our campsite.
Doesn't he look happy?Lemur wasn't up for pictures, be it nap-time, hike-time or bed time.
But Rivulet always has a ready grin. Even in the fading warmth of twilight, surrounded by mosquitoes.
So the scoop: We arrived at Moosehorn around noon on Wendsday, set up the campsite and decided to go for a hike to Fehr Lake. We packed the kids back up and set off.

Now, perhaps a stroller was not the best mode of transportation . . . but I couldn't find the baby back pack and wasn't sure about carrying Rivulet the whole way. She seemed to like it. Always going, "ahhhhh" along the bumpy parts.The hike was .5 miles basically downhill to Fehr Lake. It was a beautiful hike of rivulets (the person and the water feature) and meadows full of wildflowers. Oh. And Lemurs.

I am actually standing in Fehr Lake. I can't seem to walk around water. I must go through it. What does that say about my personality? Muad'Dib and Rivulet at Fehr Lake.
Rivulet sure loved the rocks. Apparently they tasted good, too. (Yep, I'm still standing in the lake.)

For Trailblazer, Desertbound, Wildbound and Wanderful (I've heard the YW camp story, Wanderful). Apparently, my daughter is following in the shameful Nelson tradition. No one's around? SKINNY DIP!
Me and Rivulet at Moosehorn.
Below are pics Muad'Dib took. I really love Indian Paintbrush, and it was everywhere. It wasn't too hot, there was a breeze and we were surrounded by beauty. What more could we ask?
See Muad'Dib's blog for more pictures.

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Kidlets in Lake Powell

Everyone else has done a fantastic job of documenting LP. But here are three pics that HAVE to appear on my blog. Pictures by DreamPacker (I think). for more, see Dreampacker, Wildbound and Desertbound.

Me and Rivulet. She had been very grumpy the last evening in Willow Gulch so I took her out to really experience the slickrock and lake - minus the life jacket. She ate a rock and splashed a tasty piece of jetsom into her mouth, but look how happy she is! Here is my morning ride with Lemur. I took it very slow with him that morning, and he just looked around - not feeling quite safe. It wasn't until Iceberg on the last evening that he was yelling, "Mom, we have to run faster!!!!" and sqealing with glee as we sped across the waters. I loved hearing his little voice, "Mom I have a great idea!"
That is a Life Moment. My arms wrapped around his to control the Runner, supporting him with my legs, I felt his utter trust in me. We raced from one place to another and he always trusted me. This was something that we shared together that we couldn't have shared any other way. Thanks, Kevin!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Learning is Fun

Today we celebrated Muad'Dib's day off with a trip to the Logan Aquatic Center with Wildbound, Wildman and the four kidlets. Highlights include:

~Muad'dib skipping across the top of the pool using the momentum of the "fast" waterslide.

~Wildman skipping all the way across the pool using the selfsame momentum.

~Rivulet discovering that she could touch the water.

~Lemur testing the waters of the "big person" pool and exclaiming, "It's like the lake!" He was right, that water was freezing!

~Rivulet diving out of her floaty chair, trying to be a big girl.

~Watching my children laugh and play in the water.

~Teaching Lemur some basics of swimming. I had forgotten how great it feels to spend quality
time with my son. We laughed so much, even when he got water in his eyes.

~Playing "Squint" with Wildman and Wildbound. A rematch is requested.

~Figuring out that the only way to get Lemur home was to bribe him with seeing Crouching, Tiger, Hidden, Dragon and Ninja.

And to top it all off, our children came home without a single spot of red on their lily-white bodies. If only I could say that for me and Muad'Dib, who had to slather eachother with aloe when we got home. Red as the day is long!

Thanks for the day, W&W!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So the plan was

to have some pictures here, then chronologically finish up in the next post, which I did first to create a super cool effect. But now for some reason, blogspot won't let me put in pictures. So I guess my "More" is first and the first has been deemed to come later.


Here's more of Lake Powell. Neopolitan Rock. Dreampacker and I spent a good deal of the trip "in" rock gazing. And naming, in DP's case.
Michex was a doll and took my son swimming the moment he got his Deigo LJ on. Not fifteen minutes later he was blue and shaking all over saying, "I not cold. I'm going swimming!" as I pullled him from the water. After warming up, he was more careful about going back in. Poor low-body-fat boy
And this is an example of a parent protecting their child so much, the child has no fun.
Who loves Grandma? RIVER DOES!!!
Lemur climbing into the house boat.
DreamPacker and Trailblazer taking thier first wave-runner ride. Now if only Dreampacker didn't "wobble" so much . . .

Captain Matt and Peter taking Lemur, Pocketmouse and NAM for a ride in the raft while the other adults were still braving the wilds of Willow Creek. And by "the wilds" I mean the rocks in their sandals. Desertbound, Mayflower, Michex and Mark taming the huge log that floated onto our beach. Neither Dreampacker or I had seen it coming . . . the log or the taming.

Morning in Iceberg Canyon. I'd had a dream that last night that Lemur had swum out to this very tree, was perched in it eating cookies and saying, "I'm not going home."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I may not have any pictures but,

I was in Lake Powell with the clan. And here are just a few of my favorite moments:

* Waking up in the middle of the first night and seeing the nearly full moon reflected on the now-calm waters.

*Riding the purple wave-runner at about 7 am while Kevin and Matt got the boat ready to go. It was just me, the sunrise, the blue of the water, the red of the slick-rock and the wind as I soared over the water at upwards of 40 miles per hour. I spent the rest of the trip trying to recreate that moment. It's a "Life Moment" for me.

*Sunning myself on the big slick-rock island near our first camp spot. The wind had picked up a little so I went off by myself, let my hair down and listened to the nothing-but-nature that surrounded me. I can't remember the last time I felt so beautiful. I saw a neat "leprechaun stick" and asked it to come to me. It did.

*Playing in the sand with Lemur

*Driving Liam around on the wave-runner, especially in Iceberg Canyon.

*Playing in the mud.

*Catching a pollywog for Lemur.

*Jumping off a 10 foot cliff with DesertBound.

*Staying on the houseboat with DreamPacker

*Watching DreamPacker, Wildbound and DesertBound. I was amazed to discover how little I knew about being in the outdoors. I was comforted to realize how much they knew. I felt safe with them around.

*Singing with DesertBound, WildBound and Michaela in Iceberg Canyon as the sun set. I'm not sure better acoustics exist anywhere in the world.

*On the drive down, Trailblazer pointed out Monument Valley in the distance. A thick purpley cloud hovered over the risings of rock that were pinkish themselves. I didn't know colors like that existed in nature. It took my breath away and I was moved to tears.

*Realizing I loved the people who were sharing the houseboat. How awesome that I can love these people that I had never met before and would possibly not have ever met otherwise.

*Holding Rivulet while she played in the water in Willow Creek. I'll never forget the look on her face.

*Watching other people interact with my children. Quincy and Pocketmouse always looking after Rivulet. Carol had a way with Lemur . . . Wildbound and Trailblazer taking Liam out when I was at the end of my rope. Matt paying special attention to Lemur. Dominick befriending my son. Everyone in turns taking a moment to watch Rivulet so that I could build these memories.

My first trip to Lake Powell was and is an emotional experience for me. I learned so much. I have so much to be grateful for, and so many people to be grateful to. But because there is so much, I will just thank one: DreamPacker, thank you for wanting me to go. Thank you for asking me to go. Thank you for your sacrifices of time that allowed me to have this experience.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Morning in Willow Creek

In red rock country, with cliffs looming overhead like great blocks of Neapolitan ice cream, I listen to the oddly contrary sound of water lapping in small hollows of stone.
The sun is slowly rising, but it feels already as if I were in her embrace. The rocks reflect her light and her heat down upon us in this little cove of slick rock and sand.

"It's funny that the words haven't burned," Carol says as she looks into the fire.

The boys head out to catch some fish, though hopefully not a striper, for they have a flavorless meat.

I watch my mother-in-law climbing back into the houseboat in search of food.

"We're plotting our day," she had said in response to my "Good morning." I of course replied, "So what's the plot?"

A new place, halfway home - with the possibility of ancient ruins. My desire for all things historical and intriguing came to the surface and I squealed in delight. Quietly squealed, so as not to wake my children.
Elaine sits above, her turquoise robe a garish contrast to the natural back round of orange, salmon and khaki cliff. But her hair matches.

"It's good to get rid of the unnecessary plants," Quincy remarks as she pulls desert weeds to feed the fire.

A bat squeals overhead and I look up to see him. Instead my gaze is met by the vibrant blue sky brushed with wisps of cloud and the diminishing shadow of cliff revealing a cave that in another hundred years or so will be a full blown arch.

Wildbound or her kidlets stir in their tent on the hill. One must have their privacy.

Michaela looks chilly as she climbs off the houseboat ladder and up the slickrock to the fire.
"This is a bunch of burned up cardboard," Quincy informs her like a tour guide in a museum. "And a bunch of burned up weeds.
Being a being of few words in the morning, Michaela answers with a conservative, "Mmm-hmm."

Bugs I've never seen before buzz about, sometimes alighting on my arm until blown away by the mythic wind that is my breath. Sort of god-like in a way, don't you think?

Carol found more paper to burn, and I am wondering when Wildbound and her spawn will finally emerge.

As I hear Dominique pound the floor with his little feet, I wonder that I shouldn't go check on my own kidlets, to be sure my Rivulet has not taken yet another dive off the berth.

Wildbound came out first. I didn't even see her. She points NAM on his way down from their perch to the houseboat bathroom. Why, I wonder, when the entire world is a bathroom? Or at least, fifty feet from the water, all the world is a bathroom. So says Dreampacker.

She stays by the tent to take some pictures. the camera is like a useful necklace, a thing so needful for capturing beauty. I rarely see her without it.

"I still have a big block of ice," exclaims Judy.

"Bob never says things not true . . ." Carol's defense of Trailblazer Bob trails off into the good natured laughter of the others in the room. She was merely trying to defend his description of yesterday's hike from Kevin's teasing. It's amazing how a proposed two hour, three mile round trip hike can actually be a six hour six mile hike, and Trailblazer will still defend his initial preparatory description. As he says, "A straight line on a map is never a straight line in reality."
Of course, I didn't go see the Broken Bow myself, but I can record the talk.

Now the light has reached the water, reflecting off the south-west wall. The water is remarkably glass like . . . and though it looks like a river, it's in soft moments like this that I remember it is a lake.

The clouds are moving northward, behind us. Like time. This trip has been a marvel of cliffs, speed, heights and winds. I have enjoyed it. I feel comfortable and included by my companions. Yet I yearn to be home with my husband. Scratching his dark hair, seeing laughter in his dark eyes. Maybe I just wish he were here with me. He would love it here. Perhaps even more than I do.

My daughter is awake now, though my son sleeps on through the good natured laughter coming from the kitchen. Rivulet watches me hungrily with her sleepy eyes and smiles as Michaela waves at her through the window by our bed. Lemur wakes up when River screams for breakfast and changes her tears to giggles in short order by waving a rubber lizard in her face.
What a beautiful morning!!
Lake Powell, Willow Creek, June 8, 2007

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Over the Desert and through the Heat,

With Wildbound I go. I have spent the last few days mentally preparing to head off to Lake Powell with Wildbound, DreamPacker, Trailblazer Bob, Pocketmouse, NAM, Lemur, Rivulet, DesertBound, and her two kidlets. (I just wanted to have all the cool blog names in a row like that.)
It's not all that easy to mentally prepare for the unknown. Especially because it is in my nature to preplan my experience on any trip or day. Call it "imaging" if you will, so that I basically know what to expect.
But I've never been to this puddle in the middle of the southern Utah desert. I've never seen a houseboat, let alone been on one for five days. I've never tested my children on a seven hour car ride! So, I have two choices,
a. Worry and fret that I will forget something or something will go wrong and we're all going to die, or at least have a bugger of a mosquito bite, or
b. Allow my more positive nature to emerge and welcome this new adventure with open arms, for the first time in many years experiencing something not partially or sort-of new, but "All-The-Way-Holy-Cow-I-Never-Could-Have-Imagined-Something-this-great" New.

And the votes are in. B is the answer. All out excitement for the new and unknown it will be. And if any of you know me at all, ya know I can do it. I can overcome my fears and insecurities:

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. "

And to Muad'Dib who remains behind to work and maintain progress on the house that is almost ours: I love you, my sweet seductive honeyspeckled Love Muffin. Enjoy your manly alone time. Keep your Lazer Tag scores so I can see how awesome you are!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Jeffery Scott Stevens: Actor

My brother asked me to do more head-shots for Auditions and playbills. I think they turned out pretty well.
"Hello, GQ? Yes this is my brother. I know he's perfect for your cover spread. Well, it'll cost you . . ." We are currently in negotiations.
Obviously, some more than others. You can take a person out of the theater, but can't take the theater out of the person!!