Listening: A Really Cool Quote | June 2010

22 June 2010

A great quote Brandon found while reading Steven Covey’s The 8th Habit. This Quote is by Ralph Roughton, M.D.. Great food for thought on a very rare skill.

When I ask you to listen and you start giving advice, you have not done what I have asked. When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as it may seem.

Listen! All I asked was that you listen; not talk or do – just hear me . . . I can do for myself. I’m not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless. When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and feeling of inadequacy. But when you accept as fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and can get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice.

Caving & Fishing | June 2010

13 June 2010

Over Memorial Day weekend we decided to introduce Sariah to the wonderful activity of pulling a fish out of its native environment via a barbed hook in its mouth, and then flogging it over the head before removing its innards and cooking it up on the grill. She loved it. At least the part of touching the worm and fish, and holding the fishing rod. Considering the height of the Big Cottonwood river we were both shocked that we even caught anything at all.

Brandon and Sariah looking at a fish Brandon just caught

Brandon and Sariah looking at a fish Brandon just caught

Brandon and Sariah fishing on the Big Cottonwood River

Brandon and Sariah fishing on the Big Cottonwood River

A few weekends later Brandon headed back to the mountains via a request of the caving community to teach a course on cave survey and cartography. Eight people showed up including Michael Leavitt, Lance Dickey, Zeke Post, Chris Erickson, Jason Knight, Jeremy Jackson, Debbie Spoons, and Pete (whose last name I can’t remember right now). The motley crew spend the day surveying Hell Cave, a small climbing area cave up the American Fork, and then after going over the data processing and map making software at the Timpanogos Cave historic rock house, did a quick trip to Periscope Cave. And a good time was had by all. The end.

Pete, Jason, Mike, Jeremy, Zeke, and Debbie getting ready to survey Hell Cave

Pete, Jason, Mike, Jeremy, Zeke, and Debbie getting ready to survey Hell Cave

Zeke and Mike taking readings at Hell Cave

Zeke and Mike taking readings at Hell Cave

Pete sketching while Jeremy takes a inclination reading in the background

Pete sketching while Jeremy takes a inclination reading in the background

Jason, Mike, and Lance at the entrance of Periscope Cave

Jason, Mike, and Lance at the entrance of Periscope Cave

Zoo | May 2010

22 May 2010

What better way to spend a beautiful spring day than at the zoo.

Getting close and personal with a giraffe

We got pretty close to the giraffe.

Giraffe trying to eat vegetation on the ground

Ever seen a giraffe try and eat something on the ground. It was very entertaining.

Elephant eating at Hogle Zoo

Michelle liked watching the elephant try and eat hay . . .

Baby elephant getting a drink from mom at Hogle Zoo

and milk.

Goblin Valley | April 2010

2 May 2010

We’re back. After a month hiatus caused by over Yogafication for Michelle, who is now an exhausted, but certified Yoga instructor, and lack of motivation from Brandon. The highlight of this month: Brandon took his Nature Photography class to Goblin Valley State Park for their final field trip. Michelle came along to keep Brandon from getting bitten, lost, eaten, maimed, or otherwise in trouble.

Brandon Shooting in Goblin Valley

Brandon Shooting in Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley at Dusk

Goblin Valley at Dusk. © Brandon Kowallis

Michelle Kowallis hiking in Goblin Valley

Michelle Kowallis hiking in Goblin Valley

Michelle Overlooking Goblin Valley

Michelle Overlooking Goblin Valley. © Brandon Kowallis

Brandon Shooting in Goblin Valley

Brandon Shooting in Goblin Valley

After the field trip but before heading home Brandon and Michelle decided to check out Little Wild Horse Canyon just outside the park. It is a very easy and very cool hike through some amazing slot canyons, and if you go on a weekend you get to enjoy the company of about 500 boy scouts and family reunions.

Brandon in Little Wildhorse Canyon

Brandon in Little Wildhorse Canyon

Michelle in Little Wildhorse Canyon

Michelle in Little Wildhorse Canyon. © Brandon Kowallis

Catching Up | March 2010

7 March 2010

If you haven’t noticed, we haven’t posted much in the last month or so. What can we say? Life. Anyway here’s some stuff:

Playing in the Park

We went to the park with Kendra and Sariah (The Cutie Patooty) and had fun.

Pink Lime Pit

Peter Ruplinger asked Brandon and a few others to join him at Pink Lime Pit on February 13 to help them hone their vertical rope skills. A few others ended up being about 40 random people. Michelle had hoped to do a little rope work as well, but had a delightful time sitting on the surface soaking up some sun and chatting with Kory, Peter, and a few others who were waiting around for a rope to free up.

Pink Lime Pit

Pink Lime Pit - So is anyone going in?

Brandon on rope in Pink Lime Pit

Brandon on rope in Pink Lime Pit - Weeeeeee!

St George Get-Away

Too much of a good thing can get really, really stressful, even Yoga. So in order to prevent Michelle from having the ultimate nervous breakdown, we decided to get away for a weekend to St George, with no agenda other than to eventually check out Snow Canyon if we got around to it. And we got around to it.

Brandon and Michelle in Snow Canyon

Brandon and Michelle in Snow Canyon

Brandon in a small canyon up Snow Canyon

Untitled #7 - Brandon in a small canyon up Snow Canyon

Michelle Kowallis by pocketted sandstone in Snow Canyon

Michelle by holes in sandstone #4

Michelle Kowallis in Snow Canyon

A confused Michelle... what are you doing Brandon?

Historic signatures in Snow Canyon

Historic signatures from 1881-96ish written in axel grease

Abstract branches against sandstone in Snow Canyon

Brandon really liked this shot. It represents the struggles we all have in life when we eat toast and then drive right after.

Since we were there on Sunday we decided to visit the temple, after attending sacrament meeting in a ward where we were the youngest by like 30 years. The visitor center is very interesting and the St George temple is beautiful. Here are some pictures Brandon took. The lighting was perfect:

St George LDS Temple

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

Brandon and Michelle Kowallis at the St George LDS Temple

Brandon and Michelle Kowallis at the St George LDS Temple

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis

St George LDS Temple © Brandon Kowallis


The final day the sun came out, and so did the wind and the cold. It was hard to say if it was better overcast and warm with a little rain, or cold and windy with lots of sun. Either way we had fun hiking and doing one of Brandon’s favorite things… looking at holes in the ground, in this case lava tubes.

Sandstone wall in Snow Canyon

Light and dark - Sandstone wall in Snow Canyon

Snow Canyon

This picture symbolizes something, but we haven't figured it out yet.

Snow Canyon

Loneliness

Michelle Kowallis eating lunch in a basalt field near a lava tube in Snow Canyon

This one is titled: Lunch on a rock . . . in the winter . . . with a bag . . . and a coat - or - Michelle Kowallis eating lunch in a basalt field near a lava tube in Snow Canyon

Michelle Kowallis in a lava tube cave entrance in Snow Canyon

Orb of peace light - or - Michelle Kowallis in a lava tube cave entrance in Snow Canyon

Brandon Kowallis climbing in a lava tube cave entrance in Snow Canyon

Lava man, emerging from tomb of the underworld - or - Brandon Kowallis climbing in a lava tube cave entrance in Snow Canyon

Michelle Kowallis in a lava tube cave in Snow Canyon

Ooooooo! A hole. Michelle Kowallis in a lava tube cave in Snow Canyon

Michelle Kowallis hiking in Snow Canyon

This is a new Yoga sequence Michelle is working on.

And… a good time was had by all, the end.

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