Sunday, December 30, 2007

They don't grow up...

... my kids that is. We had a lovely snowstorm and Matt, who's home from college, rounded up some friends, both older and younger, to snowskate with. For those who aren't up on winter sports, a snow skate is basically a wheel-less plastic skateboard that you ride down snow covered hills. The boys have been out in the backyard for about two hours now, moving all the snow around to make the perfect jumps and landing. They got out my halogen light (which I'll now expect to be broken next time I need it when painting the house), so they can do "night skating". As a mom, it really pleases me to see them out in the snow having fun.... I just hope my snow shovels end up back on the front porch so I can use them in the morning if need be. There's nothing worse than waking up to a half a foot of snow and realizing that your snow shovels are all buried somewhere out in the backyard.

At the beginning of the storm yesterday I went and played in the snow. Since it was an odd day, I took Daisy up Millcreek canyon for a little cross country ski tour. I like to go on odd days, because those are the days dogs are allowed off leash. I've previously made the mistake are trying to ski with the dog on her lead, and I know that is a recipe for disaster. "Dogs are odd" is the mantra I use to remember the off lead days. Daisy loves to ski with me. She loves romping in the snow and playing with all the other dogs. The Millcreek Canyon road is an uphill/downhill trek. You trudge up, turn around and cruise down. Daisy clearly doesn't understand why we go so much faster on the return trip. Sadly at age seven I think her hips are starting to bother her, so I had to try to go slow on the way down... a little added exercise for me because on my old, double cambered, edgeless cross country skis I pretty much need to snow plow in order to slow down... they just don't turn like my downhill skis do. I always consider it a good day when I wear out my dog!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pond Friends

It appears I had a pond visitor last night. My kitty doesn't go outside, so I have no idea who decided to traipse across the ice to check out the water. I'm just glad the ice was thick enough for my visitor; I have a small floating stock tank heater that keeps the middle of my pond from freezing, and I have no idea how sturdy the surrounding ice is. I also hope that my visitor didn't manage to have a goldfish snack.

The birds have really been enjoying my pond as well. It's too bad they all fly off whenever I open the back door to snap a picture, I'd love to get a shot of them frolicking on the waters edge. They seem quite happy have a non-frozen water source and I'm happy to have some nature in my suburban back yard.

Monday, December 24, 2007

I'm Not Dreaming of a White Christmas....

I'm Not Dreaming of a White Christmas... because we are having one. The storm blew in this afternoon, dropping 4 or 5 inches of fluffy white stuff on top of the snow from Friday's storm. At about 10pm I decided to take Daisy for walk. It was such a lovely evening. The plows had not been round so the streets were still covered in white. It was quiet and peaceful, as knowbody was out driving or walking the streets. Colorful Christmas lights glistened in the snow. Occasionally the wind would kick up and the handful of leaves that remain in the sycamore trees would rustle in the most melodious manner. They sounded like Mother Natures wind chimesand seemed quite loud against the stillness of the night.

We headed down to the park and walked the park loop. Daisy just loves loping through the snow and sniffing for signs of all her doggie friends. It was interesting to see how she precisely followed the track of another dog. As the tracks in the snow arced to the right, so would Daisy. Then the tracks meandered back to the left so would she. Ir was quite clear that she was following the scent trail. As a human it's hard to understand navigation by nose!

As we headed back to the house the snow started falling again. It's going to be quite a lovely white Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Comfort Food

A week ago or so my department had a holiday party at a nice hotel. The buffet was good, and for desert they served bread pudding with chocolate ganache. I happen to love bread pudding so I thought it it was quite the treat. I also thought it was odd choice of desert for a banquet because while I like bread pudding, I know many people that think bread pudding is disgusting. Like my kids. I guess it is one of those you either love it or hate it king of foods.

I think of bread pudding as an old fashioned desert. A depression era, good use of stale bread so it doesn't go to waste dish. Comfort food, one that reminds me of my grandma. She made delicious bread pudding. I try to make mine like she did, but it never comes out quite as good. Perhaps I need an actual recipe. Grandma never used one and neither do I, but unlike me, she was one of those marvelous cooks that could make anything taste good. Last night I had a party, and one of the guys from work brought a bread pudding (he knew it was a favorite of mine). His was a chocolate bread pudding, with nuts and orange zest and a delicious bourbon sauce, quite a bit different than grandma's, but very delicious! It was big hit at the party, as several of my friends are also big bread pudding fans. I may have to investigate bread pudding recipes and learn to master the perfect bread pudding. It's a definite comfort food for me, one that I think I should make more often.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sleigh Bells Ring....

It seems I have been absent from the the world of my blog for a while. It's that hectic time of year; too much to do, not enough time. This was the week I needed to get all the gifts for my family, who all live across the county from me, in the mail. I've also tried to muster up enough holiday spirit to do some decorating. I put up my outside lights(well, half of them) last weekend, and today I decorated inside the house. Perhaps tomorrow we will go look for a tree, if not tomorrow sometime next week.

So how do you like my sleigh bells? They are one of my Christmas treasures. I found them in my in-laws basement, I presume they belonged to a long gone relative. I've always wondered who's they were, where they traveled and how old they are. A quick Google search found a site all about sleigh bells. (You just have to love the internet!) After reading that site I'm pretty sure these bells date back to the mid to late 1800's. From what I know of the family history, I'm guessing the bells traveled the south east Ohio country side. Now they adorn the garland I hand from staircase banister. Once in a while one gets bumped as someone ascends the stairs and makes a most delightful noise!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

47! That is how old I turned today. Despite having a cold, I had a darn good birthday. My birthday falls on a catholic holy day, "The Feast of the Immaculate Conception". As a child I thought it was cool that calendars dislpayed a holiday on my birthday, even though I had no idea what it was about. I still know nothing about the holiday, but lucky for me my friend Jimmy at work is catholic, so he gets a "Linda's birthday reminder" at mass the Sunday before my day, so he always remembers my birthday. Being a good lab social director he arranged for us to go out to the Bayou (beervana!) for dinner and brews after work yesterday.

Today I woke up to one of my favorite gifts... about 5 inches of fresh snow. Sarah got up early and gave be a birthday gift- she crocheted me a beautiful hat and mittens. What a very talented girl I have! Unfortunately, the storm knocked out our electricity, so rather than sitting on my cozy couch drinking coffee I donned my new hat and mittens and shoveled the drive way so I could escape to the coffee shop for my morning addiction. Later, my neighbor called, and invited me out for my birthday, so Sarah and I, my across the street and next door neighbors, all went down to Cafe Med for dinner. After dinner we went back to my house to eat the delicous chocolate cake that Sarah baked just for my birthday. My parents and son called to wish me happy birthday, my sibs sent me e-cards, and I received cyber greetings from many of my "beady" friends.

...I have to show you the the virtual cake my friend Rose, a fellow beadmaker sent me - a beautiful birthday cake with "bobcat torch" candles.... the perfect bead makers cake don't you think?!

I am such a lucky girl to have such great friends!!! It was a wonderful day! Getting old isn't bad after all!!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


It's holiday baking season and a forum thread today got my thinking about cookies. Favorite cookies. The rum ball cookies I mentioned a while back are among my favorites, so I think I'll share the recipe.

Rum Balls

12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 Rum
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups Vanilla wafer crumbs (one box of smashed cookies)
2 cups finally chopped walnuts
Confectioners sugar

Melt chocolate. Stir in corn syrup, bourbon, sugar, vanilla wafer crumbs ans walnuts. Using a heaping teaspoon of mixture for each piece, form into balls. Roll in confectioners sugar. Cover and refrigerate several hours. Makes about 72 ball.

This recipe came out of one of my favorite cookbooks: "What's Cooking in Our Kitchens" complied by Elda Elementary PTO.... back in 1981. My mom in law, who worked there, gave me the book, and I have gleaned a number of favorite recipes from it over the years. I like those fundraiser cookbooks... people always submit their family favorites, and they are usually recipes that can be easily prepared my culinary mortals such as myself. This particular recipe was actually for Bourbon Balls but at the holidays I prefer rum, although they are great with either liquor. I bet they'd be tasty with some orange liquor or Kahlua. Maybe I should try something different this year.

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?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Do I need more hobbys?

A couple of weeks ago I was at a baby shower for a friend who happens to be an excellent potter. She was trying to entice me to come take a class at her studio. I told her that "I had a fear of pottery". She looked at my like I was demented, until I explained that my "fear" is that I would like it too well then want to have my own kiln, and wheel and pottery studio.

Imagine my surprise when that evening I received a call from another good friend. This friend is another artist type, and one of the many things she does is china painting. She wants to know if I'd like to use a big kiln for my glass work. It turns out that one of her elderly china painting friends had to go move to assisted living, and my friend got one of her kilns. She can't use it right now, but thought I might be able to. How could I say no?

To use it for glass I think I would have to spend quite a bit of money on a digital controller, which I can't do right now, so I'm thinking I'll play with clay after all. It's funny how life works sometimes, one minute I'm saying I fear pottery because I'd want my own kiln, a few hours later I have one sitting in my garage. Cosmic huh?

So Saturday I went to the ceramics store and bought two huge bricks of clay. I'm going to pick a night and have a bunch of girlfriends over for a "Pot Party" where we can all get creative with clay. It will be a perpetual party, because after we create we'll have to have a glazing party, and a firing party, and kiln emptying party, right? I think I'll now discard my pottery fear and look forward to clay play!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

More from Arches

Is it weird if I blog my blog?

Regarding my two pictures of Matt up on the arch, for the most part everyone liked the first one the best. I guess I was leaning that way, which is why I posted it first. But I really liked the second one too.

Jimmy at work had an interesting comment when asked which he preferred: "It depends on what you want to say. If you want to say "Look at my son!", pick number one. If you want to say "This is a magnificent arch and people are small and immaterial, pick number 2"". I think he has a good point. I of course want to say both "look at my son" and "this is a magnificent arch", which may explain my quandary about which I like better.

It is so nice when mother nature cooperates and gives nice photographic light. Here are a few more pictures from that day at Arches.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Firey Reading

Weird coincidence... I try to go to the gym several times a week, where I work out on weight machines and aerobic machined like stationary bikes and stair steppers. I find the the bikes and stairsteppers a bit boring (a good outdoor jog is so much more interesting!) so I like to keep a book in my gym bag to read while working out. A week a go I started the book "The Smoke Jumper", by the same author who wrote ("The Horse Whisperer"). It's sort of weird that I started a book about forest fire fighters, and week later poor California is blazing. The gym has some big screen TV's, the one where I work out is always on CNN. So this week, while I'm reading a book about fire the TV screen is image after image of burning houses and wild lands. It definitely added to my reading imagination.

I feel so horrible for the people affected by the fires, it is a situation that on one hand is hard to imagine, and on the other hand is worrisome as we live near windy canyons and mountains that occasionally catch fire. I've often wondered what would happen if a fire ever got out of control up Parleys Canyon and the winds picked up. Mother nature can sure be scary at times.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday Wackiness

It was a gloriously beautiful day yesterday so I skipped lunch so I could cut out of work a little bit early to enjoy the sunshine. Because it was so nice I decided to take Daisy for a jog down to the gully so so she could enjoy yet another "last swim" of the season. A block or two from my house I saw my wacky siting for the week: the barefoot runner. I heard about him from neighbor, who sees him frequently. I guess leaving work a bit early put me on his schedule. A youngish guy, in his late 20's perhaps, with a yellow dog, who runs, and I mean runs, not jogs - barefoot.

Now how is that for craziness???

My neighborhood doesn't exactly have nice smooth sidewalks to run on. We, in fact, have no sidewalks. Our streets are the standard cracked and rough asphalt. The last resurfacing was one of those tar and pebble jobs quite a few years back. I'm a barefoot kind of gal, but I don't care to even walk on out street sans shoes; I can't imagine running.

I would love to talk to the barefoot guy and ask him why he runs without shoes. I had hoped his dog, who was off lead, would have dashed across the street to meet my Daisy, giving me an excuse to stop and chat, but the dog never broke stride and stayed in perfect heeling position. (That is almost as wacky to me as barefoot running). Perhaps next time I get home early enough to cross paths with them I'll have to "accidentally" drop Daisy's leash so we can have a dog encounter!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


On Friday night I went to a Gothic fashion show, "An October Evening" that was held at the local Masonic Temple. The show featured the designs of many of our local "alternative" clothing designers, punctuated with spooky photos and videos. The show benefited a toddler who is being treated for a rare metabolic disorder at Shriners Hospital making it an interesting evening for a good cause.

I haven't been to the Masonic Temple in years. Way back when Sarah belly danced we went there many times to watch Sarah perform. It was always a magically feeling place, just the perfect atmosphere for those belly dance festivals. The auditorium is decorated with ornate woodwork, much of it gilded. In the middle of the tall ceiling there is "the sky", a recessed blue circle dotted with yellow lighted stars. The perimeter of the sky is illuminated in such a way that that the sky glows in stunning light. It is an extremely beautiful room; it had the perfect feel fo Sarah's belly dance performances, and was perfect for the gothic fashion show.

I had my camera in my bag, so I decided to try to take a few pictures of the sky in the ceiling. Unfortunately, My battery was near dead so I could only attempt a few (4) shots of the sky, and one of some of the wall detail. I didn't expect the sky shots to work, as it was really tricky lighting to capture (especially with a dying battery). I hoped to at least get a nice shot of the wall.

When I uploaded my photos the wall shot was marred with a great big white orb. Many people think that orbs in pictures are a sign of paranormal activity.(And many deny this!) I seemed to recollect that the Masonic Temple was one of Salt Lake's haunted places. A quick google search confirmed my recollection. So is my big white orb a ghostly apparition, or is it a photographic anomaly; some dust or moisture in the air? I have to admit I've never had an orb show up in a photograph before. Closer inspection of the my "sky" picture revealed a few more orbs. Interestingly, they were not blurred from the long exposure in the same way the stars in the sky were. So was I treated to ghostly images in the haunted building? Seeing as it's Halloween month it kind of fun to think so... but who really knows?!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More from Arches

Another picture from my trip to Moab. Matt realized that he could climb up the rocks to the top of Double O Arch. The storm clouds had been blowing through on and off all day, and they just happened be nicely illuminated when Matt walked out on the arch. Once again, I can't decide which picture I like best, so what the heck here are two of my favorites.

Which do you like better?

...and here is one of the same arch in the sunlight from a different angle.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Party Time!

It was pretty good weekend for me! Party, Party, Party!!! A house warming party for a friend on Friday night, a baby shower for a good friend on Saturday, and our annual neighborhood block party on Sunday. That means 3 days in a row with yummy food that I DIDN'T HAVE TO COOK! Well, I guess that's not true as I did make food for both Friday's and Sunday's parties. When I asked Jimmy, the host of Friday's party what I should bring he said "Rum, bring something with rum!" ... so I made my favorite rum ball cookies... always a hit at a party. Crab quiche was my pot luck contribution for Sundays affair.

Saturday's party was a treat for me too. My pregnant friend was student who, many years ago, earned her PhD in the lab I work in . The sad part about working with students is that they finish school and move on so. A number of the shower guests were people I worked with years ago and haven't seen in few years, one had even flown in from New York City. It was like "old home week" and I had a delightful time with all my old friends.

Sunday's block party was great too. I know so many people who don't even know their neighbors, or feud with their neighbors, or chose to ignore their neighbors so I feel very blessed to live on a street with many, many really nice people. Should I ever have problem, and need something, day or night, I have many people to whom I could turn. It's is nice to live somewhere I know everyone is watching out for each other. I live in a 1950's era neighborhood which I've heard described as "newlywed and half dead", so the group includes young people with toddler, original homeowners that are in their 90's, and people like me right in the middle. And we all get along fabulously. The teenagers even played with the toddlers. It was a really lovely party...

I feel like such a social butterfly... It was nice to come out of my normally shyish, antisocial cocoon for the weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Where's my camera when I need it?

Don't you hate it when you don't have your camera with you but wish you did? Or even worse, as happened to me today, the camera was in my purse but the memory card was home in my computer. I really wanted to take a sunrise picture this morning. We don't really get to view sunrises here. The mountains are directly to the east of us, and by the time sun works its way up over the peaks it a bright sunny daytime sun. We never get to see that lovely fireball rise above the horizon.

Today after dropping Sarah off at school I headed east to exit the school grounds. I looked up at the mountains, in the "V" of the peaks that surround Millcreek Canyon the sky was positively delightful. I didn't get to see the sunrise, but sky was pink and yellowish with light drifting through some wispy white clouds. The colors reminded my of my favorite seashell: the Sunrise Tellin. I would not have been able to see that sky from home, since I view the mountains from a different angle. Normally I despise driving through through the school parking lot, or anywhere near the high school for that matter, but today I really enjoyed the trip! I hope I have another pretty sky day when I have my camera ready!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Since I was traveling alone on my weekend trip to visit Matt I decided to take a detour, drive a a few extra hours and stop at one of the places on my someday "I'm going to go there" list: Mystic Hot Springs. My desire to stop was two-fold; I like to soak in natural hot springs any time I can, and my interest to visit Mystic was piqued by the fact that the owner is fellow lampworker. Could there be a better combination?

Mystic Mike, the owner, is a lampworker, and an artist who who worked for Grateful Dead. The springs definitely have a bit of funky, hippy feel to them. I'm a big fan of funky so I enjoyed my soak there. There are a couple of largish pools down by the building, and up on the hill there are a series of old bathtubs fed by the continuously running hot water. I sat in one of the bathtubs, enjoyed the spectacular view of the Sevier Valley and had a nice chat with a fellow springs enthusiast.

Mike is a very sharing lampworker, a group of kids from Wasatch Academy (a Utah boarding school) was there, and Mike was doing lampworking demos for anyone who wanted to watch. He makes off mandrel pendants using borosilicate glass, so it was really interesting to watch him work. I've never worked boro, and I'm not very good at off mandrel work so for me it was an interesting lesson.

I had a great afternoon, and was glad I drove the couple hours out of my way. I really like exploring new places.

The view from the tubs.

The soaking pools.

The Buzz...

The Buzz around here this week is that Mario Capecchi, one of the researchers here at the university has won the Nobel Prize. For those of us in the biological sciences it doesn't come as a big surprise as he's been "short listed" for quite some time now. His life is rather interesting; he was literally homeless and living on the Italian streets as a 4 year old child, and went on to become a PhD researcher and Nobel Prize winner. He has quite the "rags to riches" story.

I suppose this is my moment to feel "associated" with fame. It is interesting how quick we are to draw connections to the famous when we can, even when we don't really "know" the person well. As though our connection to the famous makes us more important some how. While wouldn't say it actually makes me feel important, I'm certainly not immune to that sort of thinking. I guess we all like to connected to greatness. Sooo... Mario is actually a collaborator on some of my labs research projects, and one of my friends, who earned her PhD in my lab, is one of his post docs. I will see her at a party on Saturday, it will be interesting to hear the Nobel buzz from the inner circle. I admit I don't really know him myself, although we have crossed paths enough in my time working here. I guess my claim to fame (LOL!) is that a Nobel Prize winner says "Hi" to me at the gym. Maybe next time I see him there I should grab his weights or machine when he is done... maybe some of that genius will rub off on me!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bad trippin...

No I didn't have a bad trip, you can look at this pretty rainbow and see that! It's just that last 50 miles that stink. I think that it is universal truth that if you don't live in Utah county, which I don't, you hate driving through Provo. The traffic is always bad there. I drove home the long way yesterday so I didn't get home until 8:30, and I was suprised how much traffic was on the highway. Maybe the real problem is that after spending a weekend in desolate southern Utah the sudden congestion seems like a real shocker. After a nice relaxing weekend it would be so nice if you could teleport yourself home and skip the traffic and keep that good vacation feeling!