Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wave at the Pioneers

Our Family's Float
Happy Pioneer Day! Today is the day that Utahns commemorate the first group of Mormon pioneers entering the Salt Lake Valley (July 24th, 1847). Unique to this holiday is the fact that we celebrate "what is virtually the exact moment of [Utah's] settlement, a moment that marked the end of an arduous trek, and the beginning of an ambitious undertaking." (KSL editorial on the subject). What does this mean for those who live in the area? It's a state holiday and kind of like another 4th of July, but with a pioneer/cowboy twist. Fireworks are legal and parades abound. Our neighborhood had a celebration yesterday with a breakfast, a family parade, and fun and games for all (face painting, balloon animals, and old-fashioned pioneer games--like the stick pull).
The band led the parade
The "marching band" led the parade, followed by kids on bikes and "covered wagons." Our family (well, Dale, of course) put together a float. We were the pioneers in a boat; fishing as we cross the ocean and narrowly dodging being eaten by a shark. 

Shark Attack
Rain and Friends
Paddling and Fishing

Stick Pull Game

Friday, July 15, 2011

Wave At The Band

Smile and wave!
Parade Season is officially here. Since Rain joined the Marching Band a year ago, I have been to more parades than I had ever been to in the rest of my life combined. I don't remember going to parades as a child. Do they even have parades in San Diego (my hometown)? Not that I ever heard of. 

Utah does parades. We have parades for every occasion, including occasions that aren't really occasions. Our hometown parade is known as the "Steel Days Parade." American Fork used to have a steel mill. Sort of. Technically the steel mill wasn't really in American Fork, but in a nearby town of even smaller size. But I digress. There's the neighboring Lehi Parade, the Freedom Festival Parade, the Days of 47 Parade, and the Highland Parade. And those are just the ones that Rain's band marches in. While we've been to all of the aforementioned parades, we have not yet been to the Raspberry Days Parade, nor the Onion Days parade, nor the Strawberry Days parade. The list goes on...

Parades. Good times. Sunshine and summertime.
Heading to the Freedom Festival Parade

Friday, July 8, 2011

How We Spent Our 4th of July Weekend

Summer's flying by.
Part 1. We built a fence. Not your typical, "keep the dogs in and neighbors out kind of fence," but a "hide the lawn art" kind of fence. You see, for many years now (8? 9?) Dale has exuberantly shared his love of Halloween with the neighbors. He's just an exuberant kind of guy. This love of Halloween has earned our house the unofficial title "Halloween House" from many locals. It’s one of those local little secrets. As in, everybody in our neighborhood knows about it (and many outside the neighborhood), but apparently our city leaders don’t. So we were a bit surprised when we were given "two weeks notice" to remove a couple hearses from our backyard. Our beloved city inspector deemed them a nuisance and shared with us the city ordinance that says we cannot have inoperable vehicles on our property. Inoperable vehicles or lawn art? It’s all a matter of perspective. Upon further reading of the code, we learned that we can have up to two inoperable vehicles if they are behind an opaque fence. Dale’s commitment to his Halloween fans continues as we chose to spend our 4th of July weekend building "the fence." Many thanks to the neighbors who helped out (Jeff M, Mark H, Jason N, and Jeff M some more).

Stay tuned for the October update, when we learn whether "storing" these vehicles in the front yard for the Halloween season creates any additional city concerns.
2004 photo of Hearse #1 in front yard
2004 photo of Hearse #2 in front yard

Part 2. As if building a fence wasn’t enough, we also ridded ourselves of a couple old couches. You know your couches need replacing when the basement couch is far better than the upstairs couches. When my mom first learned that Good Morning America was interviewing us in our home last June, she exclaimed, "Not on those ratty old couches of yours?!" So, frugal as we are, we wouldn’t want to buy new ones. We pulled the old couch up from the basement and accepted a friendly donation of another couch from some great friends. The "worst" couches were appropriately loaded into a trailer to take to the dump. We obviously couldn’t take them straight there, though, as the dump was closed for the holiday. So where to? The neighbors up the road! We heard they were having a fireworks party, so Jeff and Dale dressed up for the occasion (tipping their trucker hats to Day 144 – Trailerhood), piled all the kids into the van, lit the blow torch, and brought our own comfort seating the to the party!

A Serious Lawn Couch - Heading to the Fireworkin'
Watch (listen?) for more of the "Dale and Jeff" show on a series of upcoming podcasts… coming soon…