Monday, June 30, 2008

That's entertainment

Well, the granddaughter and I have had a few good days. (Her comments when she is mad run along the lines of "this is a very bad day!") We went up to the Salt Lake Arts Festival on Friday where she got to do a lot of crafts, play a lot of musical instruments, and meet a few new people who love her just because she exists. (my sister, three of my nieces, her uncle and a friend of mine). We spent the whole day! Then on Saturday we went to the Lehi Roundup Parade. She had a great time except that she herself caught only one piece of candy and of the pieces I caught or someone gave her, I only let her eat two at the parade. Therefore, it was "the worst parade ever". However, the day was rescued when an old and very dear young friend came to visit, and she went with us to the Lehi park, where there were lots of jump games, (you know those big blow up things) and ponies to ride, and cotton candy to share (so she didn't eat too much herself). She got along famously with my young friend. She also earned the right to the rest of her candy by eating her fruit and vegetable pieces, though I still worry about the way she eats since she hates all the fruit and vegetables I offer her. Sigh. I don't remember it being so hard to get my kids to eat healthy things so I never worried about a few unhealthy things. Or do I just have a bad memory here too?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Needed: a sharper mind

Our trip home to Iowa with my granddaughter has been delayed due to the extended flooding in the Midwest. The train will only take us as far as Denver, then we would have to take a bus to Omaha, then find a car or our own way on to Mt Pleasant. We shifted our tickets to later on when hopefully the train will run the whole way, but in the meantime I need to find more things to do to entertain her besides the pool. It has been a long time since I had a 5 year old at home. Any ideas anybody?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Point Revisited

My granddaughter is visiting, and we climbed to Timpanogos Cave, (it was scary, and made her nervous, but it was worth it - her words) and visited the Bean Museum, which she absolutely adored, already knew the names of most of the animals and read aloud the names of the rest, (this museum is wwwaaaayyy better than the last time I was there) and we went to Thanksgiving Point gardens while the Plein Air art show was going on. (Look it up online, I recommend it to everyone.) This was my favorite. In the children's discovery garden my granddaughter got to paint (watercolor) her own pictures and then make the frame to put them in. They used foamies, and she says it was easy, and I tell you, she loved it.
Then we went down to the main gardens where there were real artists set up everywhere plying their trade. I watched a woman doing an oil painting of the stream that I dearly would have loved to own. They were to be sold by silent auction the next night and I guarantee you I could not have afforded this picture. We saw lots of watercolorists, and other oil painters and sculptors working and displaying. Three sculptors were particularly good with my granddaughter. They were 'arguing' over which of their sculptures was best and which she should come admire and Dennis Smith (some of you will know who he is) had her come put some clay on the sculpture of swimmers that he was working on. You would have thought he'd given her the moon! They even invited me to come join their group and learn to sculpt in clay. Wouldn't that be cool! I just may take them up on it. Anyway, I love gardens and I love art and I love my granddaughter, so I had a fabulous time at this activity.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fool me once

In the front, next to the walkway I have a flower bed with three large roses. One is a Tiffany hybrid Tea, a beautiful pink with a yellow interior. One is a red rose whose name I do not recall, but that has a deep rose scent. One is a yellow floribunda on a red climbing rose root stock. I know that the root stock is a red climber because it has sent out shoots. I actually like the shoots, except that they have nothing to climb and if I let them grow too much they will take over and I won't have the yellow floribunda.
Underneath the roses I have a rock garden and I plant miniature flowers. I have miniature daffodils in the spring, and I have johnny-jump-up's, which reseed themselves nicely. I have allysum, which also reseeds itself, probably too much. And then I have English daisy's and miniature daisy's. Both of those, particularly the miniature white daisy, when they are very young look very much like weeds that grow here. I am afraid I have pulled out baby plants, thinking they are the weeds and now I have too few in the bed. I have replanted English daisy seeds but haven't yet seen signs of new plants. Buying the plant itself is a bit expensive, leading me to believe that others have trouble getting them to grow as well.
So, for this year at least, I have added some portulaca and some verbena, both of which look very good, and some purple salvia, which aren't doing well at all. Too little water maybe? I don't water often. Still the overall bed, (other that needing to be weeded more) looks quite good. Come see!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


In light of the day tomorrow I wish to say something profound regarding my sweet husband and fatherhood. Unfortunately I am not much of a writer. I think wonderful thoughts but they don't translate into words very well. I'll do my best, though, because I am married to the best. My husband, as well as most husbands and fathers that I know, feels keenly the responsibility of making the living for the family. Nothing worries him more than the thought that he might not be earning enough to pay the bills. Corporations in this day and age have absolutely no loyalty to their hardworking employees. Therefore the fear of losing the job hangs over the head constantly. (That fear should hang over the head of a guy who shows up late, doesn't do the work and always wants time off, but that isn't the kind of guy I'm talking about.) In the same vein, these lovely men are always concerned with doing better, making more so as to give the children everything they want. Sometimes the children want too much. Sometimes we wives want too much. We can't demand that they are home with us, and demand that they make more money as well. I just want to say that I think my husband is the smartest as well as one of the hardest working men I know, and that I am very proud of him and impressed by everything he does.
Besides the incredibly important making of the living, my husband can do anything. Had the children been willing to learn he could have taught them woodworking, auto-mechanics, plumbing, carpentry, electrical installation and repair, and a thousand what-to-do-when-things-break-down. Instead, they were busy with their own things while he was working in the shop or building things or repairing stuff. No slight to them, children are allowed their own interests, however do not let it be said that he couldn't or wouldn't have taught them. He is always doing things for the house and family. And he loved it when the kids would come say "Dad, how do I. . . . . ."
I do not mean to denigrate those who do, but my husband never golfed, or went off fishing or hunting with the 'guys', or played football or basketball with his buddies. He was always home with us if he wasn't at work. I think we are incredibly blessed by this. He cooked and cleaned and built and helped, and still does. The kids are gone from our house, but he still worries about them all the time. He is a wonderful father. He is a fabulous husband, and I just want the world to know that on this Fathers Day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

In defense of grass

We hear all the time that we need to remove the grass and plant native plants, or use rocks and a few bushes to landscape our yards because grass uses too much water. Fiddlesticks! Water is never lost! It runs into the ground and back into the water table. It evaporates into the air and rains down somewhere else. It waters a plant and becomes a part of that plant until the plant dies, when it re-enters the environment. We drink it, and it is used and discarded and re-enters the environment.
The problem is the way people water. I have turned on my water, and run it 3 times only on the grass so far this year. I have watered my vegetable garden a few more times for the new seeds and baby plants, and have also hand watered the new bedding plants. But we have had a very wet spring for a desert state, so no more than that has been needed (so far). Also grass doesn't grow long, healthy roots if you over-water. Better to water a little longer at a time - less often, and force the roots to go deep to look for a drink.
When our house was newly built it continued to feel like a construction site until we got the grass in. Grass keeps the house cooler (truly) and delivers water back into the air making the local humidity go up. Grass gives children a place to play, us a place to connect with the earth and nature, and is just prettier.
Have you ever noticed that the cities are always watering in the middle of the day, sprinkling where they should be drip-irrigating, and over-watering? All the things they tell us not to do, they do. If they would feed the grass, mulch and grow things that are good for the soil they would need less water and we could still have our grass. I vote for a little less rhetoric and a little more responsibility on the part of the municipality as well as all the rest of us and I vote for green.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Old, older, oldest

We were invited to join a group viewing some of the 'Special Collection" at the Brigham Young University library last night. What an experience! We were shown a few items taken from the collection and spoken to about them by a curator named Russ who know an amazing amount of stuff! We saw a handwritten page of the Book of Mormon from the original translation days written out in Oliver's hand, and something in Parley Pratt's hand. Parley writes smaller. We saw Hyrum's missionary journal, the cover of which was made from an old oilcloth tablecloth of the Smith's and of course saw Hyrum's writing inside. We saw one of the original copies of the Book of Mormon - a copy that had been given to an early investigator who had not joined the church but who's decendant just recently did. We saw Emma's original hymnal, tiny little thing with no music, just words. We saw some of the pages of the 'Book of Commandments" that those two young girls saved when the presses were being destroyed, and a book make from another of the pages. I had never understood before, but the way they were printed, an entire book was printed on one large sheet of paper, then that sheet was folded and the edges cut to form a small book. So each page that they saved was an entire copy of the book. I had always worried about any pages that were lost.
Then we got to see some books that were hand copied and decorated in the 14th century by monks. There was a history book but most were hand copied bibles. We got to compare a page that was hand lettered and decorated with the same page done on the Gutenberg printing press. It was a page from a Gutenberg bible and cost $65000. A whole bible would go for 4 1/2 million dollars. The hand lettering was almost perfect but it would take 11 years to do a bible! The world sure needed that press. Do you know that the only Gutenberg press still working is in Provo, Utah? We saw some hand cut movable type. We saw some books with beautiful, intricate paintings on the foredge. What an art form that would be, especially since one of them had one painting when you held the book one direction, and when you turned it over the other direction there was a different painting.
We saw actual papyrus and books made on skin or hide. Where there was a hole in the hide (would you call it leather?) they just wrote around it, since it was far too dear (rare, expensive or hard to obtain) to replace. We saw ancient writing on a turtle shell. The oldest thing we saw was a clay tablet from 2055 bc. It was a beer merchant's record of goods and was dated by whoever wrote it. (his name was there too, but I've forgotten it.)
We saw some of Jimmy Stewart's collection, and an original hand written page of the musical score from 'Gone With The Wind' and a real Oscar that was given to the Library. I think the Oscar was from 'Camelot'.
Most of these things were donated to the library, and they are kept in special climate controlled vaults and handled with gloves. However, when I guessed that the first foreign language translation of the Book of Mormon was to Danish, and the second to German, I got to carry the German copy around to show everyone. He let various people in the audience carry a number of things, although the most important were carried by his assistant, the professor who got us the invitation and himself. Particularly those things that on the market would sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was far better than going to a museum since we got to hear where things came from and how the library got them and ask all the questions we wanted. Great time for people interested in history.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Going Home?

I took a bit of time and my sister and went to the Uintah Basin to visit. We visited the cemetery, and another sister, her daughter, their homes, my deceased parents home, the house we lived in for a few years as children and some of our old neighbors. We read a lot of headstones and sorted through some old things of my parents, and just drove around places we knew well 100 years ago. (ok, maybe only 40 years ago) The best part was spending time visiting with my sisters. We get so busy with life and our own husbands and children, that we tend to forget just how much we enjoy each others company. One of my sisters mentioned the idea of the sisters visiting Europe together. I think we'd have a ball. I think we'd love to cruise together. I think we'd love to travel America together. I know families where the sisters get together and do just that sort of thing. Only, I think my husband would want to come too, and I think I'd like him to. I can't even imagine the logistical problem of trying to get all the husbands to coordinate their vacation times and all get together!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


So I've been working in the raspberries, tucking in the baby plants and weeding, for the better part of two days. Most of the weeds are of one variety, which means a parent plant (or more than one) was allowed to go to seed last spring. *-#%**!!!! Then there is the orchard grass. I have been fighting the orchard grass for years. It is almost impossible to get all of the rhizomes-whether I pull or dig or chop. I think that tool the sprinkler people use to dig tunnels under sidewalks came from an engineer who had been trying to rid his yard of orchard grass. You know the one I mean, with the pointed end chugging its way through or past everything in it's path. Those little roots have pointed ends! Ouch!. And of course, the raspberries need attention from me at the same time they need attention from the bees, and sticking my head into a bush full of bees is very disconcerting, even if you aren't afraid of bees. (I'm not. I've even toyed with the idea of becoming a beekeeper.) Still, I have pulled all the weeds for now and can move on to something else, like cleaning up tree limbs around the yard.