Monday, July 19, 2010

Our Cabin

We love to go to Sanpete County to our cabin.  We looked for a long time (4 years!) before we finally found the right place for us.  We ended up doing a LOT more renovation than we originally planned, but we are almost done.  Now we are getting down to actually getting some art up and building a shed for the 4-wheelers. My "Soda Spot" is on a deck that got built last fall. It has a great view of the woods, some bird feeders, and the hot tub.

Ed's favorite spot is the front deck.  I was standing right in front of the hot tub, but I forgot to take a picture of it!

This is a view of the cabin from the kitchen.

We love the rocking chairs- both inside and out.

Here's the kitchen.  The wood stove is our main heat source in the colder months.  We didn't plan to totally re-do the kitchen, but the original cabinets were so nasty that I couldn't clean them.  When  we started tearing them out we found mouse nests, so we are really glad that we tore them out.  All the holes got plugged up and now I know that things are clean!

And this is the back deck/playground area.  The firepit area is behind the playground.  I am pretty sure that one of these days I will get to the cabin only to find that this area is torn apart.  The deck is in a great spot, but not in the best shape, so I know that this project is rising to the top of Ed's list.  I imagine that a re-make will include a bigger deck, a bigger sand box, and the swingset in a new place if it sticks around. . .

It is a wonderful place to relax and just be. . .

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

National Ice Cream Day!!!

Does it get any better than this?

It's going to be a nice hot day in Utah and it is National Ice Cream Day!  For some of you, that may mean that you have an ice cream treat, but as for me and my house, we will have a smorgasbord!

We have several favorite ice cream places.  The BYU Creamery in Provo has the best "traditional" ice cream, but a new favorite is Sub Zero in American Fork.  They mix the milk and the mix ins and then pour in some liquid nitrogen to freeze it into ice cream.  It's pretty fun and tasty, too!

So. . . here are our favorite flavors. 

Reed- Vanilla, Strawberry

Parker- Mint Chocolate Chip, Vanilla

Colby- Chunky Monkey, Cinnamon Bun, Mountain Dew

Kaye- Chocolate, Butter Pecan, Black Raspberry

Ed- Pistachio, Vanilla, Strawberry

Leave a comment with your favorite flavor!!

Check out Joan's Blog. . . she will analyze your ice cream choices!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I have truly begun to see the value of the siesta lately.  I think the Spaniards are on to something.

About 17 years ago, Ed and I traveled to Spain with a group of 21 students from Calais High School in Calais, Maine.  Calais is a small city on the eastern border of Maine.  Although most of the students were comfortable passing through customs to go into St. Stephen, New Brunswick, many of them had never made it to New Hampshire. 

To those of you who think Ed and I are brash and pushy now, imagine how much we have probably mellowed in those 17 years!  One of my favorite memories of that trip was from Malaga- a resort town in Costa del Sol.  On the tour bus our tour guide was regaling the students with tales of this beautiful hotel where we would have the honor to stay.  She made sure that we understood that it was a four-star hotel and that we should act with utmost respect.  Soon thereafter we walked into the lobby of a once-beautiful but quite run-down establishment.  While the students were oohing and aahing with a fervor that would have made Franco proud, Ed plants his feet in the middle of the lobby and questions with a loud voice, "Was that four stars out of one hundred?"

Alas, I digress.

The point of my story was that it drove Ed and I crazy that the whole country shut down for a couple of hours each afternoon.  Sure it was hot, but we had paid good money to see Spain and were not happy about our sightseeing efforts being thwarted.  Methinks we may  be a little too Type A.  It amazes me every day how well we get along. . .

But now, in my middle-aged years I am beginning to understand the value of having the noonday meal be the big meal of the day and then taking a nap afterward.  I am way more productive with the rest of my hours and I only need 5-6 hours of sleep at night.  This is especially useful on days when I know that the Lehi City Council meeting will easily go from 5:30pm to midnight.

Hey!  Maybe we need a "siesta ordinance."  Long live the siesta.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Real Bat Girl

Note:  If you are a devout environmentalist, squeamish, or you accidentally pee when you laugh, please stop reading now.

OK.  You are still here.

On Friday Ed and I were at the cabin. . . alone.  All the kids were on Scout adventures, so we took the opportunity to go build the new railing on the deck and stain it.  We worked hard and didn't bother to eat anything except a couple of leftover Krispy Kreme donuts.  This could account for our behavior later in this tale.

Our friends Ron and Julie FOggin came down to unwind and go out to dinner with us.  This sounds relaxing and uneventful, huh.  But no.   We had a lovely chat about our kids and dogs and parades and obnoxious bands with the initals of W.J. and then we dove into a fierce game of hand and foot.  When you are sitting at the table in the cabin, there is a lovely view of our bird feeder.  Unfortunately, the chipmunks have found the feeder.  Ron tapped the window to scare the little guy off and he just looked at Ron and went right back to eating.  We were all stunned by the critter's brazen attitude, but it was too much for Ron.  He grabbed Parker's pump action BB gun, opened the window a crack and continued playing.  After about 20 minutes Chippy showed up at the feeder.  Ron picked up the gun, took aim (all the while sitting in his chair) and beaned the critter. 

By this time we were all laughing hysterically. . . especially when Ron buried Chippy. . . complete with a cross grave marker.  For those of you who enjoy gore. . . we were amazed at the clean shot and how the little intestines came right out.  Wow.  I guess that qualified us all as rednecks!

Not too long later we had moved back into the living room area when Ed noticed something moving up in the top of the cabin.  At first we thought it must be a mouse, but then we realized it was a bat.  Three out of four of us were standing, staring up at the roof with binoculars.  They don't work super well inside at fairly close range, but it must have been a funny sight.

Since Ron was all warmed up, he loaded the BB Gun and went up to the loft to get a close range shot.   

He shot the bat and all of a sudden it came flying out.  Julie and I screamed as it swooped down.  It was quite a scene.  The bat landed on the top window sill in the front of the cabin.  There are pretty large cracks and crevices in the sill and the bat went down into one of them.  We figured he was dead, but then we started seeing movement.  While surveying the scene, Lewis licked my foot and I screamed again like a little girl.  Then everyone was laughing at me.  Once I got my breath back, I was OK.

Julie just could not imagine leaving the bat up there, so Ed and Ron got the ladder while I kept watch on the flying critter.  Julie donned a surgical mask and two layers of procedural gloves.  I just about peed my pants when she announced that she was doing that because "Hey, I've read The Hot Zone and I know the importance of double gloving."  I, too, have read The Hot Zone, so I knew what she was talking about.
If you haven't scared yourself silly worrying about Ebola, you should.  Here's the link: The Hot Zone

Here she is gloved, masked, and heading up the ladder to do battle.
The tools of choice at the beginning of the adventure were two pairs of tongs.  About the time that this photo was taken, Julie started screaming "He's alive!  He has his mouth open and he's hissing at me!"  We were all laughing like fools by this time.  It was clear that more lethal tools were needed, so Ed put the dogs out and Ron handed her a BBQ fork.  After a few more exclamations an hisses, Julie stabbed the bat.

"I got him!  I stabbed him right through the mouth!"

We were all terrified that she was going to fall off the ladder if the bat flew out at her, so we were glad it had been stabbed. Dead.  But Ed was laughing so hard that he couldn't breath and he had to go outside.

She hauled the bat out of it's death hole using the tongs and climbed down until she could drop the little rat with wings into a cup.  BTW, what do you think of this stunning chandelier?  When it is on it makes the cabin look like it is on fire to the casual observer.  I will replace it one of these days and then I'l either sell it on ebay or host a blog give-away!!!

After the  bat was hastily done away with, we all washed thoroughly while we were still laughing uproariously.  My stomach hurt from laughing so much, but finally hunger had set in, so we headed to Mt. Pleasant to eat at Rodger's.  We laughed all the way there and halfway through dinner.  It was just a confluence of crazy occurences that set us off.

What a fun afternoon!  We hardly ever see the Foggins, so it was great to catch up.  Next time we get together, I am sure that we'll have another good laugh!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Boys and Engines

My boys must be unusual.

I keep hearing about how men and boys are just addicted to anything that goes. 

They love hearing the rev of the engine.  The shimmer of the candy apple red paint.  The maneuverability.

I just don't understand why no one wants to take this baby out for a spin???

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Celebrating Collins Style

Although today is the Fourth of July, our celebrations began yesterday and will continue until tomorrow.  Since we don't have any family living in the area, we are not beholden to any traditions- we have the opportunity to make our own.  Since buying the cabin, we tend to come here for the holiday and invite anyone who wants to come eat, relax, and be.  Yesterday we were happy to have the Rice and Lockhart families come join us.

The day began with Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches (celebrating the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence) and moved through 9 holes of golf, ATV/ golf cart rides around the mountain, time in the hot tub, naps, a few small projects and lots of fun conversation.  Dinner was the most delicious ribs. . . Ed did a fabulous job on those and several side dishes.  The main topic of conversation during dinner was the Twilight series of books and movies.  (I have read the books and I haven't seen any of the movies.)  

I bought a birthday cake for Daniel's 19th birthday, but when it sat there next to the strawberry shortcake, it got no attention at all.  I just have to have strawberry shortcake for the 4th of July. . . mostly because my mom always made it.  I just buy pound cake at Costco and everyone thinks it is amazing.

At about 9:15 we all left for Mt. Pleasant to see the fireworks.  We have never seen them before, so we didn't know where to go to watch.  Last year we planned to watch the fireworks with all the same friends, but God had other plans and sent the most amazing lightning storm that most of us had ever seen.  Anyway, we lucked into a great spot and were pleasantly surprised by the fireworks.   

Daniel Rice- 19, Dallin Rice- 17, Colby Collins-17, Dania Rice- 15, Stephen Lockhart-14, Parker Collins-14, Dalton Rice-13, Reed Collins-12

After all the oohs and aahs, the Lockharts headed back to Provo and the Rices came back to the cabin.  We ate some more. . . (that's the "Collins Style" part) and headed to bed around 12:30.  What a wonderful day!