Saturday, September 27, 2008

High Fashion

Last night I hung out with a girl friend. We grabbed dinner at mexican restaurant, stopped to see a another friends new house, then decided to check out the local craft store. We got distracted on the way to the craft store and ended up at TJ Maxx instead. Spending a part of an evening clothes shopping reminded me of something I meant to blog about a long time ago.
On rainy day When I was vacationing in Hilton Head this summer we briefly forayed into a shopping mall. Sarah and I wandered into the Saks Off Fifth store. My lifestyle doesn't require a lot of fancy clothes I really don't care about designer anything so Saks is sort of uncharted territory for me. As Sarah perused the designer jeans (Is she my daughter?) I wandered aimlessly just to see what a store like Saks had to offer. I stumbled upon these rhinestone studded T-shirts and had a jaw drop moment. The prices, "discounted" at Saks off-price store, were over $100 a t-shirt!!! Hundred dollar t-shirts? Does anyone really buy these? I guess they were from a good designer, a really good designer? Having no knowledge of the fashion world I'd have no idea. Worse then the $100 price tag, does anyone actually ever shell out the "real" price of $184 for a t-shirt? Yikes I'll stick with TJ Maxx, thank you.

(...and my "big" purchase for the night was a pair of White Mountain (faux Birkenstock) suede clogs, something I really wanted for winter, and, even better, clearance tagged for $15.... guess I'm a cheap date!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rain on my Parade..

It seems Saturday was my day to be rained upon. I always find it amusing how for as little as it rains here, it always manages to do so on days where I have plans. Saturday morning I had early morning plans to hike to Devils Castle up at Alta. Rain was predicted for much later in the day, and as we drove up the canyon there was only one black cloud in the sky, so I wasn't too worried about rain. But shortly after beginning our hike that black cloud grew and began to rumble. Rain doesn't bother me too much, but the rumble of thunder when I'm hiking at 9500 ft sure makes me nervous. So do we continue or turn around? As we came to a spot were we were about to begin a long traverse across a wide open bowl the rain started falling and thunder clapped loudly. An easy answer the the question... it was time to turn around. So my hike was cut short, but still well worth it as we saw this beautiful rainbow. My second rainbow this week.

And the real reason it rained on Saturday. 4 pm was the scheduled time for our annual block party. I swear every year we have weather issues on out party day. Last year I think we rescheduled 3 times and ended up having it in October. At 3 pm four of us stood in the street, watching the big black cloud in the distance pour rain upon the valley. The storm looked like it was moving pretty quickly so we decided to regroup and 4 pm and see what the weather would like. At 4pm the sun was shining, so we decided to "go for it". It wasn't long until the storm band came and rained upon our parade. But you have to love my neighbors. Everyone pulled up their hoods and huddled under the umbrellas and partied on. Newborns and 80 year olds included. The rain showers came and went and came again, but a good time was had by all!

Friday, September 19, 2008


A sign of fall... the apples are ripening. My boss brought a bunch from his tree into work this week. They were a pretty small, and judging by the occasional wormhole, very organic. Not the huge, shiny ones you find at the grocery store. My first thought when I saw them was "applesauce". So tonight was applesauce making night. I don't know how other people make applesauce, but I make it the way I was taught by my mother, who I imagine was taught by grandma. It's a totally old fashioned process. Quarter the apples, toss them in a big pot, skins, cores, seeds and all. Add some water to the bottom of the pot, and cook until the apples are nice and soft. Let them cool a little, then run them through the Foley food mill.

For those that don't know what a Foley food mill is, it looks like a pot, with hooks that grab the edge of the bowl. The bottom is full of holes, and has a blade with a crank that pushes the apples through the holes. All manual, just crank and watch the applesauce come out the bottom. The seeds and peels stay in the top. Once in a while you need to crank backwards to loosen the peels from the bottom. There is something fun about the sound the mill makes when you run it in reverse! When you're done add sugar and cinnamon to taste. Yummmy!

I don't know how many people have a food mill. I have mine just for making applesauce, I don't actually have any idea what else I'd do with it, but every fall I'm glad I have mine. They aren't inexpensive, I can find them on the web for $25 - $45, I think I paid $20 for mine 20 years ago. I recently saw one at a thrift store for $1.99. Some lucky thrifter is going to get a bargain!

There is something so pleasing about cooking the old fashioned way. I really enjoy it. I especially enjoy not having to peel the apples!I think that leaving the skins on makes the sauce more flavorful too. So as I write this I'm enjoying a nice bowl of warm, fresh, cinnamon-y applesauce. YUM!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dog days

I took my dog Daisy down to the gully for a nice walk and swim last night. I figure I should make the best of the nice weather and the quickly waning evening sunlight. She absolutely loves to swim and play ball in the water. Her problem is that she doesn't really understand playing ball. She stands there, eagle eyed, watching the person tossing the ball, chases and grabs it (this is the part she gets!), but she does not understand the part about bringing it out of the water to me so that it can be thrown again. She often drops the ball in the water, lets the current take it down stream a little ways, then pounces on it again, then eventually she looses interest and the ball floats down stream. This is why I bother to bring never bring a ball to the creek.

So unless we happen to find stray ball (not uncommon actually) Daisy horns in on the other dogs ball games. Last night she joined a golden that had new sort of game. It had a broken tennis ball, that sank, instead of floated. This dog was so fun to watch. Huge, dynamic, splashy leaps in the water to retrieve it's ball. Daisy tried to join, but was beat the ball every time. The other dog was a hoot to watch; she felt around the bottom of the creek with her two front paws, and once she got the ball under control she stuck her head in and grabbed it. In spots the water deep enough that I can't imagine it could see the ball, yet it still found it every time. What a hoot! Poor Daisy tried to play the game, the few times she beat the other dog to the ball you could see her feel around with her paws, and stick her head under, but she never came up with anything. Didn't stop her from trying though, she LOVES the game. We left the creek before the other dog, and every time we'd get about 25 feet away Daisy would look back, see the man tossing the ball, and run back to play some more. As big of a "momma's dog" as she is I was surprised at her choosing a ball game over me!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Running in the Rain

Last night I had another one of those "I wish I had my camera" moments. After dinner I decided to go for a jog. I went upstairs and put on my jogging attire, rounded up the dog and her leash, and stepped outside... into the rain. I'll swear it wasn't raining wen I went to change clothes, but sure enough the big black cloud that hung above mountains opened up. To the west the sun was bright, so it seemed like more of a sun shower than a rain storm, so I figured, what the heck, I'll take my chances with rain and run anyway.

As Daisy and I jogged through the neighborhood I glanced up at the mountains behind my house and saw the biggest rainbow I've ever seen. It started over at Parleys Canyon, made a perfect arc over the mountains and came down right at Millcreek Canyon. I have never before in my life been so sure I knew EXACTLY where the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was. The rainbow brightened and eventually you could see a faint second rainbow above the first.

As I jogged down the hill I kept turning around to watch the rainbow. When I got about a mile down the hill the moon popped up over the mountaintops. (up at my house it was still hidden by the mountains). What a spectacular site! The mountain ridge lines crossing the stormy skyline. The huge rainbow arcing above the mountaintops. The nearly full moon tucked into the corner where the rainbow transected the ridge line. Positively gorgeous!! Too bad I don't take my camera on my jogs.

Today I'm highly recommending running in the rain!!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

More on tattoos...

I had a few responses to my blog about tattoos. My friend Melissa thought that the grenade may be from the cover of a Green Day album. I'm not quite sure if it was quite the right style of grenade for that, and since I didn't take a picture, who knows? I love music and have my favorite musicians, but none mean quite enough to me to get a tattoo in homage to them.

My friend Ellen has a image of a pink ribbon tattooed on her lower leg. She's a breast cancer survivor, or as she says, thiver, so I can totally understand how she decided on her tattoo.

When the kids were little we had a family joke about having a family tattoo night where we get a tattoo. I figured the best way to suppress the desire to get a tattoo would be make it a family thing. Not that I have anything particularily against tattoos, I just figured that getting one was an adult decision, not one for kids.

Regarding my future's my little secret (or shall I say "too much information"? LOL). I have, on my rear end, a birthmark; a good sized "Café au lait" spot. I figure since I'm marked there already, maybe I should go ahead and get it decorated. No one see it anyway, maybe I could have some flowers or a pretty design put there, just for fun. My daughter tells me that when she was little I had a different idea for a birthmark decoration. I swear I don't remember ever saying this, but she sys I told her I was going to get a little pig tattooed there, and turn my birthmark into a picture of a pig playing in a mud puddle. What do you think? Should I go for it? LOL! ...Hmmm doubtful!