Father Christmas In Kaysville

Father Christmas visiting

Father Christmas visiting the grandchildren

Father Christmas came to visit
My grandchildren this year.
But when he loudly Ho Ho Hoed
They refused to go near.
So Father Christmas skillfully
Made candy canes appear.
And with this very tasty treat
He overcame their fear.
Jill and grandchildren with Father Christmas

Jill holding Bryson and Aurora

Bryson with Father Christmas

Bryson and Santa

 
Photo Credit: Bryson and Santa courtesy of Jill
Rickety signature

Then And Now

Rick and Jill marriage certificate

Rick and Jill 1980


Paul and Megan marriage certificate

Paul and Megan 2011


Rickety signature

Moving Out. Moving In.

We needed an Armada to move everything out

We needed an Armada to move everything out


 

Moving Out

Jake and Rachel got the keys to their new house yesterday. Today we moved them out of their rented duplex and into their first home. A lot of family members turned out to help them move and I captured the historic moment for Rickety.
 

When it comes to moving, minivans can hold their own

When it comes to moving, minivans can hold their own


There was a moment when Dan slowed to a crawl

There was a moment when Dan slowed to a crawl


Bryson, future Elders Quorum material

Bryson, future Elders Quorum material


 

Moving In

Sold to Jake and Rachel.

Sold to Jake and Rachel. The sign comes with a house


Jake and Rachel are moving in

Jake and Rachel are moving in. There goes the neighborhood


Moving in

Moving in. Honey, I need more furniture!


Moving in the piano.

Play for me, "Be it ever so huge, there's no place like home."


Carrying the bride over the threshold

Jake and Rachel have been married less than a year so this still counts as carrying his bride over the threshold


Thank you everyone for helping with the move. Special recognition goes to Realtor Paula Alder for her hard work in finding Jake and Rachel a beautiful home.
Rickety signature

Megan and Paul: Engagement Photos

Megan and Paul engagement

Megan moved into the Davis Park YSA Ward in September 2010. She attended the newcomer’s gospel doctrine class that Paul taught. On the day that Megan went Paul was not teaching but he went each week. On 14th October 2010 the ward sponsored a pizza making activity that Paul and Megan attended. Paul made a baked bean, spam, and cheese pizza that Megan wouldn’t try. Megan made a pepperoni pizza.

Paul talked to Megan at the pizza activity and he asked her what she was studying, among other things. Megan told Paul she was studying to be a dental hygienist and Paul asked in puzzlement, “What would you want to do that for?”

Megan and Paul engagement

The next day Paul organized a bonfire to burn the branches cut from my tree. At least twenty people showed up but the truck to haul the branches was delayed so most of them left. But Megan didn’t leave. Sean, Celeste, Tyler, Mandy, Eric, and Megan’s friend Andrea also stayed.

Paul thought that Megan must like him because she came to the bonfire. But Megan says that she liked him after the bonfire. On the way home from the bonfire, and still in the mountains, the tire on the Jeep burst at 3 am in the morning. Andrea, Eric, Megan and Paul were in the Jeep. Megan says that at that moment she realized that she liked Paul because he was calm in dealing with the tire. She thought it was funny that he was not panicking.

Megan and Paul engagement

Megan next saw Paul when she was working at the airport. Paul happened to get off a plane from Texas and waved to her. Megan waved back. Paul said that he waved first. Later that evening at the ward pumpkin carving activity Megan spoke first to Paul.

Megan and Paul engagement

At church for the next two weeks Paul acted disinterested in Megan. But when her car window would not wind up she asked Paul to take a look at it. He replaced the window regulator with one from the junk yard, at the expense of a cut hand. The trip to the junk yard turned out to be their first date.

Megan and Paul engagement
Rickety signature

Megan and Paul

Megan and Paul

Congratulations Paul and Megan!

We were sitting in the living room when Dan came in and asked Paul if he wanted to go hike to get an old shovel they had found months ago. Paul said that was a good idea and I reluctantly went along, giving them reasons why I didn’t think it was a good idea. We got in the Jeep and Dan got a phone call from a friend asking him to go country dancing, so then Dan backed out of the trip to search for the shovel. Later of course I found out that the call was fake and Dan was in on the plan to get me into the Jeep.

Rings

Pencil grip and cubic zirconium rings

So Paul and I headed up Farmington Canyon and he turned up a road that we had been on before instead of going to the old shovel road. I didn’t think much of it because I thought that all of my reasons the hike was a bad idea had finally sunk in and we were just going somewhere else. We ended up at a big rock that we had been to a few times before, where you can overlook all the lights of the cities.

As we were sitting up there paul grabbed my hands and somehow got down on one knee on the giant slanted rock and pulled out a ring box. He opened it up to reveal a collection of brightly colored pencil grips! (The week before I had a dream that Paul had proposed to me and when he opened the box it was a bunch of pencil grips.)

I started laughing when I saw what was in the box and then he took one of them that he had fashioned into a ring and put it on my finger and asked me to marry him. I of course said yes! Then he pulled out a cubic zirconium ring he had gotten and put that on my finger. We will be going to pick out a real ring together in the next little while.

Megan with rings

Who cares what the ring is made of?

After Paul had done all of this he told me to stay put and he jumped off the rock and went and grabbed two bags out of the back of his Jeep and brought them up to me. From the first bag he pulled out a KFC mashed potato bowl. I really like them and they are what we ate on Valentines Day. They were even still warm somehow. The second bag contained a variety of sodas that Paul had picked up in California.

He pulled out a cucumber flavored one and we sat on the rock together, eating mashed potatoes and drinking cucumber soda.

We called my parents first and then came and told Paul’s parents. Paul woke them up at 1 am to tell them. Paul’s mom was really excited and got out of bed to talk to us but Paul’s dad rolled over and went back to sleep.

I suspected that Paul would be asking me sometime soon but he surprised me and really threw me off by getting Dan involved and having him in on it with the fake phone call and everything.

Paul and Megan

Happiness is a new engagement ring

Dinosaurs at Hogle Zoo

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Yesterday’s visit to Hogle Zoo with Jill, Adelaide, and my grandchildren found us encountering dinosaurs. Their heads and necks moved and they made noises so as to appear more life-like. The Dilophosaurus even spit water out of its mouth which scared my granddaughter Aurora and quite surprised me just as I was about to take its photograph.

The dinosaurs are presented in alphabetical order. If you click on the photographs, they will either show a larger version of the same photograph or a different shot of the same dinosaur.

Allosaurus

Allosaurus (different lizard) is the state fossil of Utah. The powerful skull of Allosaurus was a perfect meat-eating machine. The jaws were large and massive, with serrated teeth for cutting meat. The skull was composed of separated pieces that could be disjointed allowing him to swallow enormous chunks of meat whole. Allosaurus constantly grew, shed and replaced it teeth, some of which averaged three or four inches in length.

Allosaurus

Allosaurus

Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus (double-crested lizard) had colorful crests that could have been used to attract mates. In the movie Jurassic Park, Dilophosaurus paralyzed its prey by spitting blinding venom in the eyes. There is no evidence of this but it does make for a good story.

Dilophosaurus

Dilophosaurus with baby. They spit blinding venom in our eyes that felt a little like water.

Kentrosaurus

Kentrosaurus (sharp-point lizard) had plates along the low back tail that most likely served a defensive function. The tail had two pairs of sharp, two-foot spikes that were probably used for lashing out against predators. The plates may have had blood flowing through them to help heat and cool the dinosaur’s body.

Kentrosaurus

Kentrosaurus

Megalosaurus

Megalosaurus (great lizard) had curved teeth with a serrated edge and strong claws on each toe and finger. The curved claws were designed for seizing and holding prey, while the jaws were the main killing tool. Megalosaurus was the first dinosaur to be discovered, in England in 1676.

Megalosaurus

Megalosaurus

Parasaurolophus

Parasaurolophus (crested lizard) had a hollow head-crest that allowed it to make a sound like a trombone. The noise may have been used to “talk” to the rest of the herd, warning them about approaching predators.

Parasaurolophus

Parasaurolophus

Rhinosaurus

Rhinosaurus (horned nose) is characterized by its large size, an herbivorous diet, large horns, and a thick protective skin. The Rhinosaurus can exceed 7,700 pounds in weight and have a head and body length of 15 feet. They are extremely nearsighted; making the Rhinosaurus dangerous and unpredictable, and likely to charge unfamiliar sounds and smells.

Rhinosaurus

Rhinosaurus. This one looked the most life-like

Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus (spiked lizard) used its horns for defense and could charge like a rhino to protect itself. But because its frill was not solid bone and was easily punctured, some researchers theorize that it may have been able to flush the frill with blood creating eyespots to scare predators away.

Styracosaurus

Styracosaurus and baby

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex (tyrant lizard king) was one of the largest animal predators. With a 5-foot-long head, 8-inch long teeth and a bite three times stronger than a lion’s, it could eat 200 pounds of meat in one bite. The little arms were extremely strong for holding on to struggling prey. It had a keen sense of smell, bone-crushing bites, and super speed.

Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex

 

Notes and News

  • Not shown here but on display at Hogle Zoo: Coelophysis, Suchmimus, and Brachiosaurus.
  • Dinosaur details are from onsite information displays.
  • At 1 pm we were fortunate to experience first-hand feeding time at the zoo.
  • An extensive multi-animal habitat, called Rocky Shores, featuring polar bears, sea lions, seals and brown bears will open in the Spring of 2012.

Rickety signature

Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty from shore

Spiral Jetty seen from the shore

Last November Paul and I visited Spiral Jetty at Rozel Point. Then the Jetty was several hundred feet away from the waters of the Great Salt Lake. Yesterday Paul revisited Spiral Jetty, accompanied by Megan, with Julie and Dan. They found the Jetty almost submerged. Compare the photographs of the Jetty from November of last year with the ones that are published here.

Spiral Jetty outer arm

Daniel standing on the outer spiral of the Jetty

The graph below shows a year of daily readings up until Paul’s visit yesterday. The water level has risen over a foot from the same day last year and nearly three feet from our last visit in November. NGVD 29 is the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1929 and is a hybrid model closely representing the mean sea level. Note that the equipment malfunctioned near the low readings and appears to have taken at least two weeks to repair.

Great Salt Lake daily mean elevation

Readings from 14 May 2010 to 14 May 2011

The historical average level of Great Salt Lake is 4,200 feet. Spiral Jetty is only visible when the level of Great Salt Lake drops below 4,197.8 feet. The maximum elevation of the lake was 4,211.6 feet, seen in 1986 and 1987. The minimum elevation was in 1963 at 4,191.35 feet.

Spiral Jetty center

Megan stands at the center of Spiral Jetty

Great Salt Lake is the largest U.S. lake west of the Mississippi River and the 4th largest terminal lake (no outlet) in the world. It is about 75 miles long and 28 miles wide, and covers 1,700 square miles with a maximum depth of about 35 feet. A remnant of Lake Bonneville, a prehistoric freshwater lake that was 10 times larger than Great Salt Lake. It is typically three to five times saltier than the ocean.

Spiral Jetty almost submerged

Spiral Jetty is almost submerged

Paul reports that the rough trail to Spiral Jetty has been graded and resurfaced and is now a smooth drive. A parking lot has been built near the Jetty. I suspect that those who do not visit the Spiral Jetty soon will have nothing to see for perhaps another three decades.

Spiral Jetty overcast

This may be the last you will see of Spiral Jetty for a time

Credits

Rickety signature

Family Home Evening Treacle Toffee

 
 
One of the main ingredients for Family Home Evening must surely be the treat. On Sunday, I spied an old can of Lyle’s Black Treacle (by appointment to Her Majesty) on the pantry shelf and prised open the lid, which had printed upon it, “BEST BEFORE OCT 2001” and “DISPOSE OF ON EXPIRY.” The contents still looked quite serviceable to me so I searched the web for a treacle toffee recipe.

Melt 4 ounces of butter in a pan and then add 1 pound of dark brown sugar, 4 dessert spoonfuls of treacle, 4 tablespoons of milk, and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir until the sugar dissolves, turn the heat low and boil for 30 minutes. Pour into butter-greased pan and place in refrigerator to harden.

I only had 0.8 pounds of light brown sugar but when you are using treacle 10 years past its expiry, who cares? Another google gave me the insight that a dessert spoon is of a size between a teaspoon and a tablespoon (but closer to a tablespoon). So I merely dug out 4 tablespoons of treacle with an extra scoop to empty the can — after all, it was past its expiry.

The 30 minutes of boiling wasn’t working for me so Megan put a candy thermometer in the pan and we waited until the temperature reached 270 degrees Fahrenheit. That fixed it and I poured most of the gooey mess into a large flat baking dish and saved the rest to fix the leak in the roof.

On Monday, after hardening, I broke the toffee in pieces, ready for family home evening. Paul had some of his tasty cookies as backup, in case I burned the treacle.

Treacle toffee
Rickety signature

Grand Canyon Addendum

Family members who have seen this video have requested that I post it. A kind of Grand Canyon addendum to our recent trip. I about fall over laughing every time I watch Jill’s little stumble.

.
Rickety signature