Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fun food with Emmett

Lately Emmett has been really into hanging out with me in the kitchen, whether it is baking bread, making dinner, putting together a fruit smoothie, he really seems to enjoy our time together in the kitchen. Today I wanted to make a sweet treat that wasn't so heavy, so looking through the internet we decided on frozen banana split bites. Make with a cashew cinnamon sauce and drizzled with chocolate and walnuts, we both can't wait to try them once they come out of the freezer!              

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Life Is a Bummer Sometimes!

Well I got a frustrated and sad call from David today. It appears that people in this world are just down right mean! David had pulled into camp early in the afternoon in Grand Cache, Alberta, Canada and had started to set up camp when it began to rain, so he decided to hold off and go photograph. While he was gone someone cut down his tarp, took our box of cooking camp gear (stove, utensils, bowls, pot...) and left! A total of probably $500 worth of gear!! The good thing is David is fine, he had none of his camera equipment, computer, wallet or tent stolen.

He decided to drive through toward the city he will be replacing a lot of the gear tomorrow (slightly out of the way but necessary) and I will be putting a claim in tomorrow with our renters insurance. It is sad and hard that this had to happen at all, especially on a dreary day but I am so thankful that David is ok and reminded both him and myself that everything that was taken can be replaced.

On a positive note we were able to Skype with David tonight since he ended up at a motel and Emmett was very chatty which made it all the more fun for both David and I.

I ask everyone to say a quick prayer for David when you read this for a smooth recovery from the lost gear and safe travels the last two weeks before coming home.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Heading South!

David is officially heading home but of course heading home is relative. He is still way up in Yukon, Canada. I did talk to him last night and he sounds wonderful! He is not photographing the moon this week, still photographing but without the moon being apart of it he can sleep and relax some.

Two nights ago he had a wonderful evening at a home near Whitehorse that belong to a couple that met him camping in Alaska. The couple was gracious enough to offer him a place to stay and he enjoyed a delightful evening with them and their 18month old. From them we learned the total population of the Yukon is 32,000! That is smaller than the town we grew up in and the Yukon Territory is larger than Washington State. They also did not have running water in their home until just two years ago!

 David also shared some stories from the infamous highway north of fairbanks where he was warned to bring two spare full size tires, extra gas, and know that it is very expensive to be rescued if things went wrong. He said that the highway was in better shape up there than some of the paved highway he had driven on south of Fairbanks. He said that most of what he saw was incredible trucks carrying equipment north to oil drilling, most of them oversized. This is the highway that the reality TV show, Ice Road Truckers, films on a lot.
During his trip David has seen quite a selection of wildlife including a moose and her calves, a black bear and her cubs, bald eagles, hawks, and deer. No grizzly bears thankfully!

Tonight he will be staying at Laird Hot Springs which everything I read about says it is beautiful, it is a natural hot springs/river that you can enjoy and may even enjoy with some wildlife as well. Many visitors write that they had visits from moose, buffalo and bears while soaking. David is thankful to be heading home and we are officially past the 1/2 way mark.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Officially in Alaska

I just spoke with David a couple minutes ago, he is officially in Alaska. He camped just over the border two nights ago but had no cell and internet service, but he is doing well. He sounds very busy and a bit tired but hopefully we will be able to talk to him longer tonight and here how he's been doing :-) Only a week from teh Arctic Circle!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Big Horn Sheep

David is staying a motel tonight with a big horn sheep mounted above the front desk. He showed us on Skype as well as an elk which Emmett decided was a tiger. Staying at a motel means some luxuries but also a lot of work I found out. David has been getting laundry done, mapping out the next week of driving, campgrounds and grocery stops as well as cleaning out/organizing the car, showering, skyping with us and of course drinking some bourbon.

He looks clean but very tired, staying up late and getting up early, and driving all day with a broken car radio. I think he is looking forward to the week of the new moon where he won't be able to photograph a couple nights and be forced to sleep more. But we are all happy he is doing so wonderfully.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Internet service but no cellphone service!

We skyped with David tonight, he had no cell phone service but he had internet service so he went on Skype, saw Colleen (my sister) was on so he sent her a message asking her to call me and have me go on skype. And it worked!

He looks really good, relaxed, proud of how things are going so far. It was such a relief to see him and Emmett had a ton of fun talking to him. He emailed us some pictures that I thought I would share with everyone.
This is the roof garden he photographed from in Vancouver, breathing taking view, isn't?

This was often the type of scenery he was looking at while on Cedar Sky HWY, it makes me feel small in the world but so thankful to be here to enjoy it.

Here David is on top of the fire watch tower where he photographed around Wednesday. I guess he camped inside and photographed through the windows which seems cool. What little we can see over his left shoulder, the view looks amazing.

When I asked about this photograph, David said that there is a lot of farm land and he is hoping he is brave enough to ask someone if he can photograph on their property and catch the moon ellipse in a hayfield. It does seem like a beautiful idea.

This wooden man was seen on his way past Prince George, ha! 

I asked David to take candid shots of himself throughout the trip, of course here he is being silly. He was hoping to camp here at Lake Burns however it was quite full, and full of people who were homeless and living a the campground. He found another campground that was still pretty cool.

Another breathtaking view while he is driving.

As I mentioned I think on facebook, we were doing a beer tour as we drove through California and Oregon, so he has continued to tradition however he said B.C. beer is expensive and terrible so he bought beer from Montreal.

He is off toward Watson Lake tomorrow. And thank you to everyone who continues to keep him in your prayers for safe travels.

David's Map

I spoke with David last night on the phone, he is doing very well. He was sitting by the fire, all his photo equipment set up for the moon shot, enjoying some bourbon.

He is missing everyone very much but he also is meeting some very nice people. He enjoyed chatting with a gentleman, who I believe he said was from Finland but I could be mistaken. This young man borrowed his hatchet to chop wood and chopped some for David as well hence sitting by the fire with bourbon.

The next two days David is planning on trying to find a motel to stay one night to be able to skype with Emmett and myself as well as shower. Emmett is not a big fan of talking on the phone but last night he did say 'I love you' to David when I put him on speaker phone.

Below is the map that David left me that I am updating as he goes, writing some short stories, tagging where he is staying. I believe by posting the URL here, you can all see it and keep up where he is as well.

Please keep him in your prayers.,-127.617187&spn=2.70117,6.679688

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I did not get to talk to David today but he is staying just north a Whistler in a campground and I am missing him so much tonight.

This evening Emmett and I were in the backyard playing and as I was pushing him on the swing I looked up over the house roof and there was the moon, rising. I had so much comfort in that image, thinking of David 2,000 miles away from us but looking at the very same moon. Studying it and capturing a beautiful image of it.

Tomorrow night, the 19th, I will be in Phoenix at a gallery opening for David's work. Since he is not here right now I will be Mrs. David Shannon-Lier and will do my best to represent him as best I can and answer questions. He has 5 pieces showing with 4 other artists in a show named "What are we doing here?" The few pieces I have seen look amazing, I am so excited to be able to see the show together and meet the other artists.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I spoke with David tonight, he is spending his last night in Vancouver on a roof deck taking his first moon scape tonight. He says he has an amazing view of the city and he thinks it will be a great photograph.

He has spent the last two days with cousins there and seems to be having a blast. He told me twice (he just have really enjoyed his time) that he went for a bike ride with the cousins to go out for ice cream. And had to chuckle when Phillip Maynard mentioned it was so dang hot he was going to fall off his bike! (it was in the low 80's, wimps ;-)

He is off tomorrow to his first campground and in two days will be headed into Alaska for the Arctic Circle.

6wk Research Expedition

Most of you probably have not heard but David was awarded a research grant from ASU to continue photographing the moon this summer. He has decided to use this money to rent a car and drive north to the Arctic Circle in Alaska, which is about 200mi north of Fairbanks.

The trip began July 6th with Emmett and I joining him for the first week through the Sierra foothills up to Portland, OR. Emmett and I have now returned to Phoenix after an amazing trip of visiting cousins in LA, Albany, OR and Portland, OR and camping for 6 days in Sequoia National Park, Calvaras Big Trees State Park, Lassen Volcanic National Park and Diamond Lake just north of Crater Lake National Park.

The camping was fabulous, Emmett was a superstar on the trip and the views and surroundings were breathtaking. Each day had it's own special feel.

Well I will do my best to update everyone as David trip progresses with stories and pictures if I receive any.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

91 yr old soliciting sex?

Ok so I caught your eye, let me tell you this funny interaction I had the other day at work. I was working up in acute which I don't do very often and was blessed enough to work with a very hilarious 91yr old woman. She was so witty, telling story after story to the point where we were both in tears we were laughing so hard. There was one story I want to share with you, the most shocking. So shock warning!

This wonderful woman, we will call her B, tells me she lives in an assisted living. Assisted livings, you should know are very expensive, about $4,000/mo. This of course includes rides to appointments, all three meals, assistance with bathing if you need it, help with your laundry and more but still very expensive. Well B and her best friend were having a hard time meeting their bills each month, so B's best friend came up with a scam. She decided she would lure men into her room offering sex. While the men were excited and undressing she would steal their money and then kick them out without their clothes on!

I of course was shocked and asked, 'how in the world did she get away with this.' Well B said, these men couldn't remember one minute from the next so they often would look around confused about why they were standing in the hall without their pants on, put their clothes back on and walk off.

B and her friend since then have been caught, scolded and told to return the money but that is a pretty clever scam.

The people I meet, the things I learn.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oma and Bamboo have arrived!

We are so excited and blessed to have Oma and Bamboo here for a week, (David's parents).

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Devil's Canyon

 Emmett and I got to join friends for a short hike in Devil's Canyon today, it was a perfect day for a hike, a picnic and seeing some cattle since we were on Bureau of Land Management land.

BLM land is open for the public to use for hiking, camping, allowing your animals to graze so sometimes you are hiking and come upon a group of cattle which is a little odd for me.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

An old post I just found: Trees!

Today Austin and Missy came home with a surprise...Trees! But, not just any trees; they were fruit trees. They had been talking about putting trees in for a while, and today they found a local nursery that had fruit trees that were affordable, so they got four! One of each of: cherry, apple, peach and plum. We promptly dug four holes and planted the trees using the compost we have been making. Everyone helped out:

I dug the holes Alison added the dirt mix

Austin and Missy planted

Hiking in the Desert

When hiking in the desert there are some things that we are quickly learning.
1. Drink, drink, drink...water that is. Even when it isn't hot it's so dry that dehydration comes on fast. Which means you drink on the way to the hike, while you hike, when you rest, while your hiking more, on the way home and when you get home. Even then you sometimes don't pee for a while, it's totally crazy. But worth it.
2. Always carry pliers just incase someone miss steps and gets a visit from some cactus thorns. Usually this is Olive but occasionally David or I get attacked by the lovely "Teddy Bear Cholla" a cactus that's name would make you think "how soft and cuddly" but be forewarned.
3. Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses are a necessity even in February!
4. Watch out for the many poisonous creatures that blend into the background - scorpions, rattlesnakes, tarantulas
5. Keep your eyes peels for the fuzzier but just as dangerous animals - bobcats, mountain lions, mule deer and the list goes on
6. Different from New England, almost everyone here will strike up a conversation with you so plan extra time for your hike
7. Check the weather even though 99% of the time it say it's going to be sunny, dust storms blow in quicker than we ever thought.
8. Bring a map, even though 99% of the time you can see your car the whole hike and see the trail in the distance all the way to your destination because the vegetation is so low to the ground. But a map is necessary because there are so many random trails that pop up it can be hard to stay on the one you planned to.
9. Hike in the early early morning in the summer (get off the mountain by 8am or you will burn to a crisp), and in the late morning/afternoon in the winter
10. Names to all different types of desert vegetation - teddy bear cholla, joshua trees, saguaro, organ pipe cactus, barrel cactus, prickly pear, ocotillo, yucca, rainbow cactus, hedge hog cactus, pin cushion cactus and so many more.

Come visit and we'll take you on some pretty mind blowing hikes!!!

Spring Is Here

So it has been cool here the last 6wks, meaning high 30's or low 40's at night, 40's to 50's during the day, not that cold compares to home but cooler than usual. At this time of year there are specials are car dealerships usually if the temperature goes above 90, not even close this year. But it has been beautiful!

I started my day with 'truck pull,' which today was a car push because we had no truck available but the weather was perfect. 510 yards each, we pushed this car through four different suicides and it was 55 degrees out!

I then enjoyed a couple hours outside with Emmett, running to the library and hardware store, eating a mid morning snack at Mesa Arts Center and curling our toes in the grass at the MAC gardens.

Emmett is now sleeping while I clean the house, airing it out before my in-laws arrive tomorrow for the week.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The zoo!

We are so excited about receiving a year pass to the zoo from my parents as a Christmas present. The zoo here is a lot of fun and Emmett just thinks it's grand to see all the different animals!