Monday, January 31, 2011

Ballet West

We got a real treat a couple weeks ago. Ballet West from Salt Lake City ventured out into the boonies to put on a ballet presentation for the school kids. Since I have never seen a ballet and was feeling culturally destitute, I jumped at the chance to attend.

They started with a warm up at the bar, with an announcer describing what they were doing. The kids (and adults) were entranced. We just don't see stuff like that around here!

Desert Boy was really good for the whole performance, sitting on his cousin's lap. Desert Girl wasn't so good, but I still managed to take some photos.

Part of their presentation was getting the kids to come up and participate. There was no shortage of volunteers!

Here the boys are turning their feet to the side and getting ready to jump.

Caleb says, "I did it!" And in snow boots, no less.

Then one of the ballerinas came out in costume. You should have heard all the little girls ooh and ahh.

She showed off her toe shoes and explained all the practice that is involved in being a ballerina-about 6 hours a day.

Then the other performers came out and did some scenes.

The kids loved the scary man. I have to admit I don't know the character!

The dancing was great. Even the boys were fascinated; they really liked all the jumps.

It was great, and everyone wished it would have lasted longer. It was so nice to get a taste of culture, and hopefully we can have another program like that someday! Thanks to Ballet West and to Mrs. Phillips who helped arrange for them to come!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

2011 Old Sheepherders' Party

Last weekend we were fortunate to be able to attend the 2011 Sheepherders' Party, celebrating a way-of-life that is fascinating to me. It was held at the Border Inn and attracted a full house. Friday evening was open mike, and we heard some great stories of life out on the range, some risque jokes, super singing, and much more.

The next day we missed the sourdough pancake breakfast and range tour, but we were able to make it to the afternoon program featuring Sid Hausman.

Sid Hausman is a real treat. A talented musician, songwriter, and artist, he had something for everyone in the program. I was in awe of his musical ability, he made it seem so easy!

He switched to a banjo, giving a perfect twang for his Southwest-themed music.

Emma was having a ball. She loves music, and she spent nearly the entire program on her feet, wiggling along to the beat. Here she graces Denys with some of her moves.

Little Desert Girl could really move!

She took a liking to the gentleman sitting across the row from us and took her first step on her own without coaxing to go over to him. I didn't get a chance to tell him afterwards what a momentous occasion it was.

Ukelele? You bet. He made it sound good, too!

Then it was time to get the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's so my hubby and I could go enjoy the Basque-style dinner. It was wonderful not trying to entertain kids for two hours and just be able to enjoy conversing with our tablemates.

The food was delicious: soup, salad, lamb, beef, chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, wine, punch, and ice cream and cookie for dessert.

The cafe was packed, and everyone was having a good time.

I love this photo of Sam rushing off to do something important. He looks great in his cowboy hat!

Afterwards it was time to visit with friends and then get the kids so they could enjoy some dancing to the music of the Silver Sage Band. What a great party. We can't wait till next year!

(If you want to see more about sheep on this blog, click the little blue word sheep below.)

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Ride on the Dinosaur

A couple weekends ago we had a chance to ride on this old dinosaur, a 1970s vintage snow mobile. Very few people around here have snow mobiles, as it's only every 5 or 10 years that we have sufficient valley snow to actually use one. This one had previously been used on National Forest and National Park land. A neighbor bought it, and when she heard about how hard it was to go check on cattle in places, she offered to lend it to the ranch. A mechanic was able to get it going again, and before it was taken out in the boonies, it was decided that it needed some test rides close to home. That's where we came in!

As you can see, it was really white! This snow fell before Christmas, but because of the cold temperatures has been hanging around ever since.

My husband and I got turns on the snow mobile, and it was super fun! So fun that maybe in a few years we'll try a snow mobile trip up on the high plateau in Utah. There are lots of snow mobile trails and rentals over there. And more snow than we get!

Even Desert Boy got a ride. I don't think he stopped grinning the entire time. It was a fun opportunity. Thanks, Dave!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fire and Ice 2011 - Day Two

Well, Day Two of Fire and Ice turned out a little differently than we had expected. After having such a frigid New Year's, the weather got warm and it rained for two hours Sunday morning. The rain, coupled with the not-so-thick ice, meant that the venue was flooded. The ice sculpting contest was canceled!! We were still allowed to walk around the lake, so we got out the sled and put the kiddies in it.

The pathways out on the lake were quite slushy, and in places the water was two or three inches deep. The sled was great for transporting the kids. Emma eventually learned that although it was really fun to drag her hand in the water, it was cold.

Here was the truck sinking in the lake. It was originally meant to be sinking (I think), so it looked just right!

We decided to head down to the other end of the lake, where ice fishing was the big activity.

We wanted to figure out a way to harness Henry to the sled, he had plenty of energy!

We saw a fish being caught, and several anglers had caught multiple fish.

Then we headed back through the slush to the ice sculptures. The clouds were coming in, making us glad we had our rain jackets.

We approached our ice sculpture, wondering how it would look. The donuts were still in good form, although all the snow around them had melted.

It was hard to walk away from the ice sculptures, I really wanted to do more! We had packed up the van for a full day on the ice, with a table, chairs, cook stove, and plenty of food.

Farewell, Snowbucks. Perhaps we will recreate you some other year.

Across from us was the Shoe Tree, which was recently cut down along Highway 50. They had a gravestone that said R.I.P. I think this entry would have done really well, probably in the top 3. Next year the topic will be old, and it won't be such a good entry.

This is Tea for Two. It was getting fairly flooded. That packed snow weighs a lot!

This was the path to the dump truck and mine. These guys had worked four days on it and invited us to come take a look.

I think they would have gotten in the top 3, too. At least we got a cool photo by part of their sculpture.

Where would our Snowbucks sculpture have placed? Definitely in the top 20.

The concessions tent was open, so we went over to have some hot chocolate and lunch. They had purchased food for lots more people, so we felt bad for them. We just needed one more day of cooler weather.

Oh well, there was nothing to do but try to find the silver lining. We didn't want to wait for the fireworks that night, so we went home, and I caught up on some much-needed sleep. And I ate some donuts. We had bought a dozen donuts to help inspire our team during the carving, and now someone had to eat them. Desert Girl was very eager to help, and even managed to snatch one on the way home without us knowing. She might be small, but she knows what food is!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fire and Ice 2011 - Day One

A couple years ago we visited the Fire and Ice festival at Cave Lake near Ely, Nevada. It was so much fun that we decided that we'd not only go again, but also participate in the snow/ice sculpting contest. So I sent in a registration form earlier this week and searched the Internet for tips on how to do snow/ice sculpting.

I found some friends willing to give it a try, and we arrived after lunch today. We found the park ranger in charge.

He said, "I was wondering where you were."

We said, "Are we too late?"

"Oh, no, you're fine. You're just the last group to arrive."

Gulp. Clearly we were novices. We found that some of the groups had made quite a lot of progress. Some had used plywood to help form their creations. We had shovels and sleds. That was good enough, right?

This was our starting point--a pile of snow on the shady side of the lake. That was better than I expected. First, it was better because we got to start with a pile of snow, so that meant less shoveling. Second, hopefully the shady part of the lake had thicker, stronger ice. A couple of the snow sculptures on another part of the lake were so heavy that they had sunk a bit and the lake water had inundated their bases.

We started piling the snow higher. What were we making? I'll get to that by the end of the post.

Yes, waiting is good. After all, my parents tortured with me the Twelve Days of Christmas, and now I do the same to my kids!

The Fire and Ice Festival is much more than snow/ice sculptures. There are tours around the lake, ice fishing, ice bowling, ice golf, ice skating, sledding, concessions, and beautiful views.

Here we are, flattening the top of our snow pile. What's it going to be?

Filling in the edges. What? You can't tell yet? Ha, ha. It sure didn't look like much at this point.

Other teams at work. I believe there are 18 teams entered this year. Top prize is $1,000. We won't be winning top prize. But I think there are some nice consolation prizes!

We took a little break to walk around and see what some of the other teams were doing. This is a man (with an outie belly button) sitting in a hot tub.

This polar bear is enjoying all the snow and ice.

After seeing some of these great snow sculptures practically finished, we were feeling a little out of our league.

Fortunately there were a couple other groups in our same boat, still in the blob phase.

Well, it was time to get back to work. It was getting late in the day and the temperatures were plummeting, making the snow grainy and harder to work with.

Here's another part of our creation.

Can you tell what we're making? Last chance to guess, the answer is below.

Why, it's Snowbucks! Come get your coffee and donuts!

Finally we decided to call it a day. We'll be back tomorrow. We have to finish by 3 p.m. Then it's judging time, with the results at 6 p.m. followed by fireworks.

Who knows what we'll add to our Snowbucks tomorrow? It's a convenient theme, because we can add all sorts of things depending on how many people come out to help. The only problem with this theme is that it makes me really hungry for donuts. So hungry I might have to go find some!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

blogger templates