Saturday, May 31, 2008

Life's unanswered questions...

Have you ever noticed that life is full of unanswered questions? Last night a friend and I held a bridal shower for our mutual good friend. Times like these can be so thought provoking. I left work a little early in order to finish a few last minute preparations and do a little house cleaning. As I was cleaning the bathroom I discovered something that made question life around my house... The question: "Why is there a full bag of tortillas in the bathroom garbage can?". Hmmm can anyone think of a good answer to that question? I know I can't. I keep my tortillas in the refrigerator, where they stay fresh and unspoiled until I use them in a meal. I don't eat them in the bathroom, I don't use them in the bathroom. Should I happen to keep them too long and they go bad I do throw them out.... in the kitchen garbage can under the sink... never in the bathroom garbage! I asked my daughter if she knew how they got into the bathroom, she was as dumbfounded as I was. Maybe it was her brother (who's out of town so I haven't asked him yet). Maybe it was our ghost. Nobody knows... add it to the list life's unanswered questions!

Our bridal shower was slightly less than conventional. We had a sushi party. So instead of playing silly bridal shower party games we drank wine and made sushi together. It was fun and the food delicious. My friend (who is an excellent cook!) brought the sushi fixins, did most the chopping and the bride to be and her future sister in law did most of the rolling. I got to be tempura chef. It was all yummy!

The theme for the shower was "personal" so we had fun with the gifts too. I think the biggest laughs of the night occurred when the bride opened a silly gift... a frumpy old lady night gown, and a huge pair of granny panties (for those night she has a headache LOL) One of the guests was kind enough to model the gorgeous granny panties. (head removed to protect the less than innocent..) I love my friends!!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Rain, rain... welcome here!

Another rainy day here in Salt Lake City. Being a high desert, we don't get a lot of rain, so when it comes it is usually welcome. Especially in the spring, when my newly planted blooming babies need regular water. The combination of a couple of hot days and missed waterings can bring quick death to bedding plants. Saturday was my plant shopping day, Sunday my planting day, so I was thrilled to have a rainstorm on Monday. I have yet to have the "make my sprinkler system work day" (that better happen this weekend!) so I'm thrilled to have a rainstorm today. I thought I'd share a few garden pictures... my to be planted annuals, my now planted deck pots and pond, and in honor of the rain a few close up pictures of raindrops on my poppy buds. Weird huh? I just love taking macro shots. There's something about seeing things from a different perspective, and viewing details of pattern and texture so easily missed with the naked eye, that really appeals to me.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Concert Friends....

A couple of my morning coffee shop barista's are playing in a band and they invited me to attend their show last night at Kilby Court. The guys are young, around my sons age (friends of his too),so I'm happy to support their musical endevours. As an extra added treat, the other band playing was the band of a good friend of mines son (one of those kids I knew when he was bump in his moms belly!) that I've been wanting to see in concert for a long time.

Kilby is a pretty funky venue, several small buildings suround a court yard with a fire pit, the "concert hall" is essentially a ratty old four car garage; cinderblock walls, exposed beams,a few vines trailing into the eves from the ouside. There is a small raised stage in the corner surrounded by corrugated fiberglass panels decorated with Christmas lights. It's an all ages (non-drinking) venue, thus most of the clientel are teenagers. I'm sure "old farts" like me stick out like a sore thumb, but that's Ok,I don't care because I'm young at heart!

I have to admit I had a great time with the teens. When I first walked up my friends son, Ben, rushed right up to talk, and was thrilled that I came to his show. The girl behind the ticket window took one look at me and said, "You're Matt Morrison's mom aren't you? You used to come teach science in elementary school". I of course didn't recognize her and had to ask her name; kids do change a lot in the 12 years! I was thrilled she was actually a kid I remembered... but now she was a red headed adult instead of a little blonde 1st grader. I can honestly say I was a tad flattered that she remembered me from so long ago.

My barista friends came and chatted and seemed genuinely happy we came to support them. Then between bands yet another young man came up to chat. I didn't recognize him with his very short hair, but he was the son of yet another friend, (another I knew as a belly bump!). I felt like such a dork when I realized who it was, and we had a nice talk. It's so nice to see that all the boys I watched grow up have turned into such fine young adults.

I wasn't the lone "old fart" for long, a whole bunch of other (old like me!) coffee shop regulars came to support their favorite barista's. So it ended up being a nice social night for me. I was really glad I went.

I was especially glad to finally hear Ben's band; "The Periodic Table of Funk". I had always heard they were good, and I wasn't disapointed. They were quite excellent and extremely professional!!!! Funky, jazzy, original, jam band music. Sadly, here in Utah, they can't play in real clubs until they're 21, so they'll have to wait another year, meanhile I guess they get to keep playing the teeny bopper venues like Kilby. But they're definitely ready for the big time! I think those boys are going places!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

And again....

Todays addition to my pond birds list is the Yellowthroat. A beautiful male stopped by for swim this week. He frolicked long enough that I could leaf through my bird book and figure out what kind he is. I think I need to go through my book with sticky notes and mark all pages of the birds who's range includes my backyard. At least then I could more quickly narrow my search.

I mentioned my sighting to my fellow birders at work, and they asked if I had heard the Yellowthroat song, stating it is a very pretty song. I hadn't, so I decided to go to the Cornell site and give it a listen. So I'm sitting on my bed, playing bird songs (of course one leads to another), and my critters are going nuts. Oreo, my cat, walks over and circles my computer staring at every edge looking for the sound. The songs are pretty short and when they end the cat walks to the end of my bed and lays down. I find another to play and next thing you know the cat in sitting on my lap, quizzically looking at the computer. He is clearly confused about the origins of these enticing sounds. My dog is laying on the floor nest to me. As soon as a song plays, she stand up and stares at me, and whines a bit. The cat meows. I will swear they are talking to each other about their confusion over the strange sounds emanating from my laptop. Watching their reactions to the various bird songs is an amusing game for me. I hope they are having fun too.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Birds Again...

The bird for today is Western Tanager. I looked out my kitchen window at my ponds waterfall and spied one sitting on the wet rocks. He sat and posed for quite some time allowing me to get a great look at his magnificent plumage. I wish I'd had my camera handy, although I know I know he would have flown off as I opened the back door, and it's so hard to get a good bird picture anyway. Watching the birds on my rocks got me thinking about a new project I might like to do... I think I'd like to set up a "bird cam" trained on my waterfall so I can easily check for pretty birds when I'm not standing at the window, and even better, when I'm sitting at my desk at work. I've been told that webcams are easy to set up and hook to instant messenger. If I can figure out what kind to buy I may give it a try. I mentioned this idea to one of my nerdy birdy friends and next thing you know she is at my door dropping off her Cornell Lab of Ornithology newsletter that contained an article on nestcams. Unfortunately there wasn't much set up information, so I'll have to do some research (hmmm.... will that take me all summer?)
Anyone know anything about webcams? Outdoor web cams? I'm thinking this could be a fun little project for a nerdy little girl like me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day

Last summer my big yard project was replacing my kids deteriorating sandbox with a small pond. I have to admit that I feared spring would arrive and I would find myself with a green, slimy, stinky mess. I was pleasantly surprised that four of my six goldfish survived, my water lilies are sending up new growth and the water quality seems as good as in the fall. So far I think my pond experiment was a success. The big treat my pond has brought me this sping is how it has been attracting the birds, who love to play on my slowly flowing waterfall. I don't recall a spring where I have seen such a diversity of birds, and being the nerdy birdy type I've spent time binoculars and field guide in hand trying to identify them. My list (at least what I remember) so far:

Lazuli Bunting
Dark Eyed Junco
Spotted Towhee
Lesser Goldfinch
American Goldfinch
House Finch
Cassins Finch
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
Northern Flicker
Stellars Jay
And of course the ubiquitous, robins, house sparrows starlings and magpies.
I also suspect there are other sparrows and warblers that I have yet to identify...

I have to admit my favorites are the little flighty song birds that are so hard to get a look at and identify. I love it when they dance in my waterfall long enough for me to get a good look!

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Here a few of the pictures I took on my May day morning. A lovely little spring snow storm. It snowed on and off all day, but by the time I returned home from work the snow had all melted away. It has been decidedly more springlike the last two days. I was thrilled to to my first hummingbird of the season this week. The cool thing about the hummers is that you always hear them first, then you see them darting around the yard. Yesterday, Lazuli Buntings started visiting my yard. They are such a beautiful bird, I hope they stick around all summer. I also wish it was as easy to take pictures of my backyard birds as it is to snap shots of my flowers!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Happy May Day!

A snowy May Day here in Salt Lake City. I awoke to an inch or so of white fluff covering my yard this morning. Had to actually scrape ice from my windshield and use my wipers on the way to work this morning as it is still snowing like crazy. Big fluffy flakes meandering down from the sky! I did take some pictures of my lovely tulips blanketed in white; hopefully some will be post worthy when I get a chance to down load them. Speaking of tulips, I planted quite a few new ones last fall. Interesting new colors and varieties compared to the rather standard red and yellow onwe that make up most of my current blooms. I've been *patiently* waiting for my new ones to raise their heads, but todays snow has reminded me that I *think* I may have chosen later blooming varieties. More years than not I've awoken on a spring day to find my blooms buried in the snow, hopefully my late bloomers will prove to be good choices.