Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What the Trashbag Held...

While in Highland County this past weekend, my one Uncle stopped by for a visit with my Granddad and I. He asked me to go out to his truck and bring him the trashbag that was in the back. The bag seemed a little heavy, but nothing unusual. It wasn't until my Uncle opened the bag and brought out a bear head with blood still coming from it that I realized what I was so closely holding.

I didn't get that first picture of the bear head resting on the ground next to the splattered blood all over the outside porch. It's too bad I missed that kodak moment :)

I was able to get these later photos. The bear was one that had been treed by hunting dogs and killed that morning, so it was nice fresh.

Here's a picture of my Uncle's dog, Red, with the bear's head. Red was one of the dogs that enjoyed the hunting expedition earlier that morning.

My Uncle wouldn't stand in front the camera to have his picture taken with the bear's head. He told me if I wanted his picture it would be the back end only...I complied :) Here's my Uncle picking up his bear head to re-bag. I've entitled the photo "Obstinate Uncle" I think it's very fitting :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Weekend in Highland County

This past weekend I spent in Highland County with my Granddad. I made sure to take my new camera along with me to get some pictures around the homestead where he lives. I also ended up showing my Granddad some of the new features on my camera, including the video. We took a video of him, so he could see himself on camera. I know the video was for him, but it came out as a wonderful memory for me. I thought I'd take some time to share it all with you. Say Hello to my Granddaddy Vance...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In Far Away Lands...

The other day I was writing an email to a friend, and the subject of weather came up. Though that might seem to you tedious small talk, it was actually quite interesting to think about as I wrote my email.

You see my friend (Trevor is his name - Hi Trev!) happens to live in South Africa where the weather is nice and hot at this time as they enter Summer there (I know, it's hard to believe when we're entrenching ourselves in winter). He's out on vacation sporting T-shirts and bare feet, and I'm bundling up in various layers anticipating the first real significant snow of the winter season (that's right all you Utahans we haven't gotten any significant snow yet here in Virginia).

The whole weather issue got me think about other issues involving distance and far away lands. Not only can you have seasonal differences between the hemispheres, but there is also the varying degree in which you will experience the seasonal climates in your locale. Let's look at Virginia and Utah for example (great example since I've lived in both states).

First there is Virginia where the seasons are truly set apart from one another. You have a definite Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, each lasting about the 3 month period that you would expect them too (for the most part). In opposition there is Utah with it's Summer and Winter seasons as I call them. In Utah Fall and Spring are reserved for a few days in between Summer and Winter that just easily pass you by. While I was living in Utah I hated the Spring season the most (where it is my favorite in Virginia). In Utah Spring is deceiving! One moment it's harsh winter with snow coming down all around you, then the next day the snow is almost all melted away at the temperature is 70 degrees or more. Don't get too comfortable though, the very next morning you'll awake to 8 inches of snow and more coming down by the minute.

Springtime in Virginia is lovely. You know that when Spring weather finally arrives in Virginia that Winter is behind you and Summer is a few short months away. In Virginia Spring is what a should be a nice transition :)

One unfortunate thing about Winter in Virginia is that we can often get the cold weather without getting the lovely snow. At least in Utah when the weather is cold there is snow to look at and enjoy playing in.

If you haven't noticed already it doesn't seem to matter where I live I can still manage to come up with a complaint or two about the weather. I'm afraid complaining about the weather is an inbred trait that I might never rid myself of, it comes with being raised as a farmer's daughter. At the present moment my complaint is that I'm not in South Africa :) Though I'm sure my desire to be there is not entirely weather related. I would just be interested in seeing more of the country that I visited at one time years ago. And you know me I can't sit still in one place too long, my mantra seems to be, MUST TRAVEL!

I mentioned earlier that I was thinking about issues involving distance and far away lands that were not related to weather. My other thought was about time zones.

The more global I become in my thoughts and my friendships the more I hate time zones. Times zones keep interfering in my relationship with others. The most hated time zone difference I experience now is the two hour difference between Virginia and Utah. Take last night for example, I called my friend Fou at around 8:00 p.m. his time and 10:00 p.m. mine, did not get him on the line. When he was finally free to talk and called me back it was 9:28 p.m. his time and 11:28 p.m. mine. Since I had been sleeping for about an hour at that point I remember groggily grabbing the phone and turning it off. Sorry Fou!

Trev is another example, the times we've chatted online haven't been often because it's usually near midnight his time while it is only around 5:00 p.m. mine. That seven hour time difference is a real killer.

The greatest time difference though is with my friend William who is living and studying in China. There you have a 12 hour time difference. Actually, that time difference isn't as bad as it sounds. At least when he is getting up early in the morning I'm settling down at my computer in the evening and vice versa.

Sorry, that this blog seems to be full of complaints. Most of you realize that I'm not usually a negative person. I usually manage to find the positive in most all things, so on that note let me end with this thought.

Come December 25th I'll be experiencing Christmas in cold, winter-like Virginia with a possibility of snow!! A WHITE CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Movie Night

Last evening I spent at the Yoder Home watching the extended version of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. It's not as if I haven't seen this movie before, so I made sure to bring with me some of my knitting (I've been knitting the same green scarf for what seems like forever), and my new camera.

I spent the first part of the evening taking candid and somewhat posed shots of my friends. Then before I left Brendan gave me a quick lesson on my new camera. I have a real respect for people who are able to pick up equipment and gadgets (before looking at the manual) and just know how it's too work. I'm not that technologically inclined, and that especially holds true with my new camera.
I've been working really hard trying to teach myself all the new features on my camera, and within a minute Brendan was pulling up screens on that camera that I hadn't even realized existed. So, Brendan if you're reading this blog I want you to go ahead and clear some time in your schedule for me. I need help!

Here are some of the photos that were taken last evening:
The three Yoder Siblings, Brendan, Stephanie and Kyle. Brendan is obviously aware of the photo I'm taking and is ignoring me with a smile. Stephanie is tired of my of my picture taking by this time and is giving me annoyed/murder-in-the-eye look. Kyle just doesn't care a whit that I'm holding a camera and just kept on doing his own thing. Go Kyle :)

Here is the gingerbread train that the Yoders made in the afternoon before the rest of the guest arrived. Pretty ain't it?

Same train just a different angle. Look at all that candy!

My beautiful cousin Rebekah who came to join us for the movie night. I don't think she liked this photo that much. I will admit the flash kind of funky.

Here's one of the photos that Brendan took in giving me my camera lesson. He was teaching me how to manual focus my camera for close up photos. Stephanie was blissfully unaware of the photo being taken as she continued to watch the movie.

As my photo taking skills improve on my new camera I'll be sure to upload the pictures for your enjoyment.

Pick-Up Lines...

When I was growing up we always called our truck a pick-up. I don't know if that's a universal term or just a southern thing, or maybe just a Heatwole thing. Anyways, what I want to share involves a pick-up and a rather ridiculous pick-up line.

The other day I was walking around downtown Harrisonbug, when I came to an intersection I needed to cross. I noticed that traffic seemed to be stopped at the red light, but just to make sure I was not going to get run over by an over eager driver that might turn right on red I made eye contact with the driver. I noticed that he noticed me, and then I proceeded to cross the street.

I made it only a few steps when the driver in pick-up (see I told you this story involved a pick-up) started moving forward on me. He slammed on his brake about the same time I jumped back and looked at him.

What I saw was a 40's something guy, smoking a cigarette, and rocking out to country music in his rather large red pick-up. He smiled at me and winked.

My reaction was to roll my eyes and keep on walking, and as I walked on he yelled out the window at me, "Hey babe, it's cold out there why don't you get in my truck and I'll warm you up."

I don't know what was worse, his attitude that he could just say that to any old woman on the street. What if I hadn't been single? Or maybe it was the trying to get my attention by pretending to run me down and give me a near heatattack as he stops a very close foot from my person. Or maybe it was the assumption that I would actually listen to his absurd suggestion to get in his vehicle with him.

Well, I just kept walking not even looking back, but I have to say it was probably the all time low of any pick-up line I ever received. Little suggestion to all males out there, nearly driving your vehicle into a woman will not especially endear you to her.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My New Favorite Blog...

If you haven't noticed my newest blog to the side bar to your right let me introduce you to Cake Wrecks. Some woman who shares my name and love for cakes, writes daily and posts pictures (that mostly are submitted by others), showing off the atrocities to the cake world.

Personally, I'm thinking of submitting a few of my doozies (trust me I've decorated some horrible cakes in my day). I think the topper would be the leaning Tower of Pissa that I unintentionally created. It was suppose to be a white birthday cake with fluffy whipped icing, 10 inches squared and 6 levels high. At the time of the request I knew it would be difficult, it turned out to be a disaster. Too bad I didn't take pictures of it :)

Well, if you want a good laugh, just go check out Cake Wrecks.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Salvaged Photo

So, I believe I mentioned in an earlier blog that my old camera decided to die on me one day, and completely stop working. At the time it was incredibly frustrating because I was decorating all these cakes, and wanted to take pictures of them to share. I also had a few pictures on the old camera of a rather large cake I had made and I didn't know how I was going to get them off the camera.

Well, as of this evening I finally salvaged the pictures off the camera and I have one to share with all of you.

This cake was huge and took me many hours to make. If you're not from around my area you might be wondering what it's all about. I spelled out UVA (University of Virginia), by carving the cake. I airbrushed the cake with the UVA school colors and then I piped icing to give it a more finished and almost comic-like look (that's what I was going for). As you can tell from this angle the piping around the bottom border is even and straight. The piping along the top is uneven for a reason, giving it that "comic" look I was talking about. This is what they asked for this is what I give them :) By the way, the cake was chocolate!!

Thanks Ashton!!

Today's post is a thank you to my friend Ashton Christensen out in Salt Lake City, UT.

Ashton is the son of my dear friend Stacey, and we attended church together out in Utah. A couple years back Ashton really blessed me (and I'm sure many others) when he shared with the church a powerpoint presentation he had created.

He had taken the song "Lord of Heaven and Earth" and put amazing photography to the music. To this day I still experience that sense of awe when I think of the spectacular display of planets and stars he shared, and that Our Lord really is the creator of ALL.

I still listen to that song quite a bit, actually it's one of my favorites. Every time I hear it, in my mind's eye I'm seeing those images again that Ashton shared. He really did share with us his gift of creativity and talent for technology that day, and it was appreciated. Thanks Ashton!!

Since I don't have Ashton's video to share with all you, I found another one similiar to his. Click Here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Experience...

The other day my family went out to lunch in celebration of my birthday. A couple days in advance of this dinner my Mom calls me to say Dad had picked a restaurant he thought we might all enjoy, but I had veto power. I couldn't have been more surprised when my Mom said that Dad wanted to take us to Kyoto (a Japanese Steakhouse). My meat and potatoes Dad wanted to eat sushi?? I was thrilled.

Well, it turns out Dad was more interested in the teppanyaki cooking. I was more than willing to go along and enjoy my first teppanyaki experience. It would seem everyone in my family had been there and experienced the food before, even my parents. Here I am, with my love for the culinary arts, and I was the only one in my family who had never had teppanyaki before.

Now, for those of you who aren't aware of teppanyaki it's a style of Japanese food preparation where the chef cooks your meal before you in what can often be an elaborate presentation. Our chef was good, and his food was delicious, but he wasn't the chef that captured my attention during the meal.

The chef that kept me captivated for most of our meal was preparing food across the room for a large extended family. I first noticed him when he took the time to entertain the children at his section in a very amusing way. I noticed him even more when he started to encourage the children at this table to repeat the phrase, "Celebrate Jesus". Then he began to sing the song, "Celebrate Jesus Celebrate!" both in English and in Spanish.

As I became more engrossed the conversation happening at this table I was made aware that the family enjoying the meal had just come from church. Call me cynical, but I was in the restaurant business long enough to know a few wait staff that would talk "christianese" with church folks to get a bigger tip, these same waiters/waitresses you'd never find entering a church building.

I was put to shame though when I began listening to this chef talk about the book of Daniel. He told these children very vivid Bible stories and inserted different viewpoints and lessons into the stories (mostly for the adults present). This wasn't a person after a bigger tip, this gentleman sincerely and genuinely believed in Jesus as our Savior.

He was so passionate in what he shared (and how he shared) that there came I time in the course of the meal that I realized that the restaurant was really rather quiet. I looked around and noticed that it wasn't just me listening to this chef, it was everyone else in the restaurant too. WOW, what a witness!!

I pray that God gives me the faith and courage to be that kind of witness in my everyday life too.