Wednesday, August 29, 2007


School started. It's my daughter's first week at the high school, and, unfortunately no amount of new school clothes and nice new hairdos makes up for being "Matt's little sister". Matt just graduated in May, so he still has friends at the high school so everywhere Sarah goes she hears the "Hey, your Matt's little sister aren't you?" or, perhaps more ominously, from her teachers: "Do you have an older brother?" I know my daughter, she wants to shine on her own, not in her brothers shadow. Knowing my daughter, she won't have any problem doing so.

The down side of Sarah being in high school is that I have to drive her there in the morning. I hate dealing with all the crazy drivers in the school parking lot, you'd think that you'd have to worry about all those fledgling drivers, but more often than not it's the parents who's driving makes me nuts.

And another thing that makes me nuts... high school students driving up to school in BMW convertibles. Not that I want to begrudge any other family their monetary success, but high school kids driving luxury cars just seems so wrong to me! At least Sarah is smart enough to know that she's not going to be the cute blond in a convertible come January when she gets her license!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bye for now Matthew!

The view from campus...

I just got back from dropping Matt off at college. He's starting his freshman year at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Durango is a small historic western town in the San Juan mountains of Colorado. The Durango Silverton Narrow guage railway, a popular Colorado tourist attraction, boards there, Purgatory Ski resort is 25 miles up the road, the mountains there are perhaps the most spectacular in the country. The school sits up on a high mesa just above town and has spectacular views!

I can see it will be much different than my college experience at Miami University, but it seems like a perfect place for my outdoorsy boy. There are mountain bike trails just out side the dormitory doors and deer roam around buildings at night. The dorm rooms, unfortunately, are pretty small, but they have a huge walk-in closet, a good thing as it will house a couple of the 4 bicycles Matt and Kory are trying to keep in their room with them. They have a high wooden ceiling where they put hooks to hang 2 of their bikes. All in all the dorms remind my more of a summer camp than a college. There is even a nice picnic pavilion outside the dorms. I think it will be a really fun place for him to go to school, that is if between mountain biking and heading into town to the skatepark he remembers to study!

I'm excited for Matt to be starting off on this great new adventure, although I know I'm going to really miss him. As a mom you always worry a little bit; you want them to fit in and succeed and be happy. Luckily, I don't think I have much too worry about, the night before he moved into the dorm he headed off to the skatepark for a while. He returned with tales of meeting a few locals, including the owner of the local skateboard shop who gave him a copy of their skate team DVD. Less than 12 hours in town and he's already made friends!... I think he's going to do just fine!

Matt and Kory moving in...

The family...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Donut Falls

Something unusual happened on Sunday. My daughter and couple of friends asked for me to take them to Donut Falls. Hiking. In the mountains. Nobody, except my dog Daisy, ever wants to go hiking with me so I was happy to accomodate them. I guess one of her friends had told her that that Donut Falls was a cool place to go so she wanted to give it a try. It is also one of those "you never do your own backyard" things for me, one of those places I should have taken my kids years ago, but hadn't.

There are three recreational canyons on the east side of Salt Lake. Millcreek Canyon is nearest my house, and dogs are allowed there so that is where I usually go hiking. Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons are home to our 4 ski resorts, so I go up there in the winter, but rarely get up there in the summer. The main reason I don't hike there much is that dogs aren't allowed in those canyons, and it makes me feel bad to go hiking and not bring my dog. This means I miss out on some beautiful local hiking, such as the hike to Donut Falls.

It only a short hike from the parking lot to the base of the falls, then a pretty good boulder scramble up to falls themselves. The creek comes down the mountain, where it flows through a donut shaped hole in the rock, where it cascades in to small cave. It really is a pretty cool little water fall and the girls has a lot of fun playing in it.... and that water was COLD!

Friday, August 17, 2007

My baby....

I am finding this incredibly hard to believe, but as of about 11:58 last nigh I am the mother of an 18 year old. I will swear I just birthed that adorable boy the other day, but here he is, 18 years old, a high school graduate, ready to head off to college next week. I guess it's it time to turn the page to a new chapter in life, for both he and I.

The picture of him is one taken in front of the Morrison Hotel In New York City. A fitting spot since his last name is Morrison and he's a big fan of Jim Morrison and the doors. He and a few buddies went to New York for an after graduation trip. Rather than seeking out all of the typical tourist activities they looked for places like the Morrison Hotel and really cool places to skateboard. It was fun to see his vacation pictures - lots of shots of skateboarding under New York City's finest bridges and viaducts with kids from the city. I glad I have a boy who know what HE likes to do and can go anywhere and be at home!

Happy Adulthood Matt!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My pond again,,,,

Can you tell that I'm totally enamored with my water lily blossoms? I was thrilled when my latest bloom occurred on the weekend when I could enjoy it. I hope the next bud does the same.

My pond building came about because I really needed to do something about the eyesore my kids outgrown sandbox had become. Truth be told I was really, really sad to get rid of it. It was really important to me to build a nice sandbox for kids when they were tots. We had lots of great sand toys and tonka trucks. We added shells and coral that we found on our beach vacations. The kids and their friends had a lot of fun in it. It's funny, I'm not only one who is a little sentimental. I had dinner at my friends house the other night. We talked about my little pond, and upon realizing that the pond replaced the sandbox my friends 17 year old daughter sighed and said "But I played in that sandbox. I had a lot of fun in that sandbox." She was sad that it was gone. Then I told her about my sandbox shrine. In homage to my beloved sandbox and my kids childhood I took a very rusty old tonka trunk filled it with sand and seashells from the sandbox and placed it the garden next to the pond. My friends daughter, and my kids too, were really pleased about that. And I'm glad I decided to replace my kids play place with something beautiful, it takes a bit of my sentimental sadness away.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Maraschino Cherries

What the heck are they anyway??? I often have a small jar in my fridge, ready for the occasional cocktail or, more likely as a treat for kids. I can't remember the last time I actually made a cherry requiring cocktail, my maraschinos are much more apt to end up in a kid's Shirley Temple. My daughter and her friends rediscovered the jar in my fridge, ate them all, then wished for more. So the other day when I was grocery shopping (I needed some club soda for my arpres-torch Mojitos!) I noticed the maraschino cherries and remembered that Sarah wanted them. Being the frugal type and thinking that they all taste the same anyway I decided to buy the big 28 ounce jar of generic brand cherries. I was sure that would be a nearly life long supply until I came home from work yesterday and found the EMPTY bottle on the kitchen counter. My daughter and her friends, in one afternoon, had eaten the entire jar of maraschino cherries. It gives me a stomach ache just thinking about it!

Back to my original question... What is a maraschino cherry anyway? According to the Wikipedia they are cherries preserved in a brine solution, soaked in sugar syrup, dyed and flavored. Red ones are flavored with almond (that's what I like about them) and green ones are flavored with peppermint (news to me as I've never eaten a green one). I found another article that explains they originally where made from a small sour black cherry; the marasca, that where preserved in a liqueur called maraschino, made from the juice, pits and leaves of the marasca. Reading this article made me realize that there is a whole science and industry involved with making maraschinos.

Now I wonder if they all really taste the same? Is there a gourmet version available? Can you actually buy one made with actual marasca cherries anymore? I may have to do a little searching. Perhaps when and if I replenish my supply I buy a couple jars and do a taste test. Probably not too soon, as seeing an entire 28 ounces consumed in afternoon sends up a red flag that says, "No more for a while" to me.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Today's bead style is an offshoot of the beads I designed for the Gathering's (the International Society of Glass Beadmakers annual conference) bead show. I've written about my show submission (pictures too!) on Watch Me Create!

Friday, August 03, 2007

My new babies...

I bought a water lily and four $0.26 goldfish for my pond last weekend. I have since learned two things about ponds. First, when they advise you not to put your pond pump in the lowest part of your pond they are right. I came home the other night to a half empty pond. One of the water hyacinths I had floating in my filter bucket clogged the waterfall pipe, causing the pump to overflow the filter out onto my lawn! Fortunately, the fish seemed to survive having half a pond full of ice cold tap water added.

The second thing I've learned is that waterlilies, at least the "Georgia Peach" hardy lily I bought, opens mid morning and closes late afternoon. A lousy schedule for this working person! But yesterday I got home early enough to take a couple pretty pictures. I can't decide which shot I like better, so even though they are about the same here they are!

I guess I'll have to investigate "night blooming" water lilies. Hopefully there is a hardy one out there!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Meet Bruno, Cedric and Milo

Who? Bruno, Cedric and Milo are the three beads I put up on ebay yesterday. Why? I came home from work to a house full of teenagers, so when I went to list my auctions I asked the kids what I should name my beads. Cedric got named first (hmmm - did someone read Harry Potter?), then came Bruno and Milo. I couldn't tell you how they arrived at those names, but I'll happily use any name I don't have to think of!h

I am beginning to wonder about these kids. I found two of the boys wearing my daughter clothes yesterday. One was running around the house in a big blue t-shirt that must have been his, and pair of turquoise tights of my daughters. The other boy was wearing a pair of black capri tights, and a black spaghetti strap tank top. It seemed a bit strange to me, until I realized that they had been playing down in the gully, gotten soaked in the creek, so they were wearing Sarah's things until theirs dried. Maybe I'm not running a home for wayward children after all; maybe my home's become a transvestite training center.