Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Western Sunrise

On Tuesday I managed to get a picture of one of our "western" sunrises. I snapped this picture from my upstairs deck, looking off to west. I swear it looked like the sun was rising to the west rather than the east. What wonderful colors for a morning sky! Remember the old weather proverb - "Red sky at morning, sailors take warning"? Perhaps it's true as our day that started with a red sky morning ended in an afternoon and evening of snow showers!

Wednesday Wackiness

Last night we finally had a snow storm. Not a big one, just a few inches, but enough to make me pull out the snow shovel this morning. I imagine it would have all melted on its own, but when your driveway has as steep an incline as mines, you don't leave these things to chance. So I got up early (btw, I'm NOT a morning person) to do my snow removal task, toss a few snowballs for Daisy, and enjoy the cold crisp air and beauty of the my snow frosted world.

None of that is exactly wacky is it?... My Wednesday wacky observation came while I was walking across campus to my building. As I scurried across the rather icy parking lot I was admiring the stylish winter foot wear of a number of the coeds. I could use a new pair of winter boots, and the suede flat heeled boots many of the girls were wearing look pretty cute to me. I may have to do some shopping. Then out of the corner of I noticed the bare leg of a woman in capris wearing 3 inch tall platform sandals. Why would anyone wear such shoes, sans socks, on a snowy day? Definitely wacky!

On a non wacky note, have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy toddlers? My department runs a small day care center which is located in the building next to mine. A tiny tot, probably less than 2 years old was leading his father through the snow covered grass. Clearly he wanted to trudge through the snow rather than walk the plowed sidewalk and his Dad seemed happy to accommodate. The happy smile on his face was a nice morning perk me up for me!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

November Gardening Four....

...When to turn off the pond pump...

As I suspected, this would prove self evident. I was treated to another frozen wonderland this morning. Unfortunately, the water in my Skippy filter also froze and expanded, causing water to overflow and drain out of the pond. After loosing a couple of inches of water over the course of the morning I realized I'd better turn off the pump and replace it with a small water heater that should keep enough of the surface free of ice to allow the fish to breathe. I also did a little research and it turns out that running the pump will cause the water to mix and cool more than it would if left stationary so it's better for my fish if the water stops circulating.

I'm a little bummed not to have the fountain running. I had come to enjoy my morning ice sculptures. I'd almost like to find a tiny pump that wouldn't circulate much water that I could use to a spray just enough to make cool ice formations!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

November gardening three...

...managing the water garden....
After all that nice weather we finally had a hard freeze last night. I've still been running my pond pump so I was treated to a lovely little ice sculpture this morning. I wonder How long into the winter I'll be able to run it before real freezing is a problem. I imagine that as long everything thaws during the day I can keep the water running. The birds love to frollick in the waterfall so I'd like to keep it running as long as possible. As a first year as water gardener its all a learning expereince!

Its nice that todays freeze came on holiday so I could actually be home to enjoy my little winter wonderland. Happy Thankgiving to me!!!! And a really big Happy Thanksgiving to everyone else too!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

More November gardening advice...

... remember to enjoy the last of your flowers!!! Can you believe I picked this bouquet of roses yesterday? With the exception of a few "Love" tea roses, all of these beautiful blooms came off of a wonderful floribunda bush I have in my front yard. I can't remember why I picked a white rose, as usually like more vibrant colors, but I'm glad I did. The bush is large and vigorous, it blooms numerous times a year, and when it does it is covered with clusters of flowers ranging from lily white to a gorgeous blush pink. The strange warm weather we've had this fall has brought out it's best; despite the fact that it mid November, this bush is covered in blooms and buds. What a treat it is to to be able to pick a November garden bouquet!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

November gardening advice...

...Apache Plume...

For all you gardeners...
I learned a new composting technique yesterday... gutter neglect composting. I have a birch tree that overhangs the gutter on the front of my house. In autumn the falling leaves land in the gutter, and being the often neglectful homeowner I am they have accumulated to the point of totally clogging my gutter. Every time it rains the gutter overflows, water pools around my foundation, and I have a small anxiety attack about my crawl space flooding, or ice dams forming in the winter and ruining my roof causing leaks in inside house. Then the sun comes out, my anxiety dissipates and I forget all about my gutters until the next deluge. This has been my routine for a few years, but yesterday, finally, I remembered that I really needed to clean out that gutter.

So I hauled out my ladder, and climbed up to peer in to my gutters, where I found two inches of the most lovely compost I have seen since I moved to Utah. It's dry here, so unless you are an attentive composter, it is hard to make compost. Since I rarely remember to water mine, my bin is mostly contains years worth of fully recognizable fruits and vegetables. But my in gutters, black gold! Home maintenance nightmare, gardeners bonanza. I grabbed my trowel dug out the muck and tossed it into my flower beds. My flowers are happy, and I'm glad to no longer have gutter anxiety.

The weirdest thing about this is that it THANKSGIVING week. Mid November and I am in shorts, a t-shirt and sandals cleaning wet muck out of my gutters. Normally I'd be hoping to be breaking out my skis this week. I'd heard recently that according some global warming research Utah had greatest temperature increase of any local on the planet. I think I believe it.

My next door neighbor, an avid gardener who was also out taking advantage of the unseasonably warmth, renamed the month Novaugust!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Can the sun rise to the west?

Today's another day where I wished I had my camera with me in the morning.(and that I wasn't in such a rush!) As we drove out of my neighborhood my daughter commented that "Utah is the only place where it looks like the sun rises in the west". I hadn't really noticed that before, but she was right. We can't really see much of a sunrise because the mountains to the east are way too tall, but today as the sun started peaking over the mountain tops it illuminated the clouds on the west side of the valley so they were all lovely shades of pinks and peaches. It looked like the sun was rising in the west. I'm going to have to try to get a picture of that phenomena!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rainy Day Sunday....

Don't you hate rainy weekends? It rained all day today. Fortunately yesterday was just beautiful. Perfect "garden in your shorts weather" even though it's November. I guess that averages out the snowy days we had last month. I decided to take advantage of the day by planting some bulbs, so I ran down to the "Cactus and TropicalS" store hoping they still had some. What a pleasant shopping experience! I absolutely love shopping in green house's, and this one is bit of an upscale establishment so it's extra nice. Beautiful displays of orchids, flowering plants, cacti and other succulents are artfully displayed. There are numerous gurgling fountains and a gift shop area with lots of lovelies. I guess they were kicking off their holiday shopping season because they had free hot cider and cookies and two flutists playing lovely music. I could have hung around all day, but it turns out they still had bulbs (half off!!!) so I actually had to leave to go out and plant them.

After my gardening was done (like it's ever really "done" - HA!) I decided Daisy needed some fun too. It was great jogging weather so I donned my running shoes and headed off to through the neighborhood and down to gully so Daisy could get in yet another "last swim" of the season. We walked from one end of the gully to the other and Daisy got to stop and swim at several of the swimming holes. At the last one I ran into some people to chat with so she had plenty of quality time romping and butt sniffing with the other dogs.

After we returned she completely crashed. I've always said that you know it's a been a good day if you wore out the dog. At age 7, with the beginnigs of arthritis, it's not too hard to do. I think it was the jogging that did her in as we haven't been running much lately. This morning after she "got up" she stood in the living room and looked at the love seat, then looked at me, than looked at the loveseat. I realized that she wanted me to move the pillows so she could hop up and lie down. The minute I rearranged the pillows she jumped up and promptly fell asleep. She got up and switched sides of the couch, but other than that she didn't get off the couch until 6 PM. What a lazy girl I have. It makes me sad that she gets worn out. After all she's my favorite excercise partner!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pimping My Friends!

The picture is one of my beads, but today I really need to blog a about the work of a fellow lampworker, Rosemarie Hanus. She's one of my beadmaking friends, one that I met through the internet but then was lucky enough to meet in real life. Her beads are really incredible, her specialty being huge incredible, encased twisty donut beads. She has a great knack for putting together interesting twisty combinations, and she is a stellar encaser (insert jealous moment here!) She is positively the queen of the donut bead! If you think her beads are pretty on your computer, believe me, they are even more stunning in real life.

Rose recently opened an Etsy store, and she has some incredible beads listed. One of her featured beads is my newest favorite Rose donut bead. This bead really appeals to my winter loving side! I sure hope she makes more in this style, it's a winner! If you like bead porn, check out her new store.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday Tidbits....

Something I heard on NPR while driving to work this morning....
Apparently there is a company out there that sells fake ATM receipts. Receipts for high dollar amount designed to make you look like you have money. I guess men buy these and use them to write their contact info on when they meet women in bars in order to impress them with their "wealth". In case this is the sort of thing you need to get ahead in the world check them out here!
It seems pretty obsurd to me, but then again I don't play the barfly game. So which is more pathetic, the women who are only impressed by a guys money, or the guys who think their only desirable attribute is their wallet? Yikes...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Halloween trick or treat continues....

A trick for me, a treat for Daisy. This is the mess I came home to yesterday. After emptying most of the candy into my Halloween treat bowl I had left the partially full bags of Halloween candy on the dining table, where Daisy obviously discovered them. I guess she must have one by one grabbed them from the dining room table and carried them to a comfy spot in the living room where she has snack time. I wonder which she likes better, KitKats, Almond Joys, Peanut M&M's, Snickers, or Hershey's Kisses? It must not have been Snickers, as she left about eight of those in the bag. Or maybe she likes Snickers but got full before she could finish them. Do you suppose the grabbed the bags one by one, ate the candy and went back for more? Or did she drag them all to the carpet and have a nice leisurely smorgasbord?

She must not have listened when her mama told her chocolate is poisonous for dogs. It's a good thing she's a big dog, as the chocolate didn't seem to make her sick. Do I have a doggie candy addict? Does she need a 12 step program?

Friday, November 02, 2007


Is it to late to show a few Halloween pictures?

Poor Sarah had the flu or some other sort of gumboo, but she decided to dress up and go hang out with her friends anyway. Her last minute costume idea was to be trash bag... so it was the one time I actually approved of her dressing trashy.

And last but not least another friend came over to raid the costume box...we're not sure what she is... I say she's a crazy lady, or should I say crazy teen? Cute huh?