Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Visitors, visiting around and modern bridal sensibilities

Recently I was asked to compose a list of thirty things that I wanted to live for.
The first thing that sprung to mind was that I wanted to live so I could continue to sit in our kitchen breakfast nook and watch the birds feeding outside the window.
(Most women my age say "My grandchildren are what I want to live for." I don't have grands yet, so I usually ask "if you didn't have grands, then what would you live for?" Most of the women fall silent after that. I find that vaguely troubling...don't they want to watch the birds feed too?)

Lately our dinners have been eaten while watching Mr. California Quail perched on the tree outside our window, while he watches over Mrs. California Quail down below.

He is a dutiful little guy...and after he keeps watch for a bit he flies down to the ground and then he and the Missus stroll around our yard, he with his funny little top notch bobbing away, and she always within a few feet of him.

The above photos is rather blurry. That's because we were so excited to see a peacock blue bird with a rust colored neck, gray chest and black wings with bars.

A Lazuli Bunting was feeding at our feeder! They are pretty rare, and absolutely beautiful. You can see a better photo of a Lazuli Bunting here.

Humming birds are now zooming by too. It is time we start putting out a feeder for them too.

In addition to the feathered friends, we also view deer walking up the seasonal stream behind our house. Hart was out once when one deer came through. He hunkered down and watched, but then when a second deer joined the first, Hart cleared the yard in three bounds, raced upstairs to the deck and threw himself at the kitchen door.

We about fell off our kitchen chairs laughing at him!

And then there is another regular visitor to our garden: Larry the Cable Squirrel. Larry races back and forth on the telephone cable line that stretches across our yard. When we are relaxing we like to note how many trips back and forth he makes.

Yeah, we are definitely rusticating here in the lap of the Mt. Olympus.

Rusticating, and liking it just fine.

Now the lizards in our yard are spectacular too....
(Just kidding...these lizards are in the children's area of Red Butte Garden. Pretty cool, huh? They are in an area that every Grammie should be required to visit to see great giggle inspiring ideas for their own home gardens. Oh to be three feet tall again...the little ones especially have a ball exploring this part of Red Butte garden!)

Two weekends ago we were at Red Butte gardens for a Bonsai show. I left B. inside amongst the table top sized trees and went outside to see the giant sized trees instead. The tall skinny pine tree caught my eye. Very Seuss-like, and it would look great in the snow, without hogging a lot of room in the garden like most fir trees tend to do.

Then I noticed the fir tree pictured above. (B.'s was inside the building in the background.)

I had never seen a tree with pink pine cones before. Aren't they wonderful?

Naturally I want one for our yard, and naturally I will need to make another trip to RBG because I forgot to write down the name of this fir tree.

While I was standing around enjoying the sunshine, a Princess wearing her tiara raced by. Isn't that the way it always is with visiting royalty? Royalty always seem on their way to somewhere else.

I wanted to study the flower bed combinations, hoping for inspiration and guidance for when I plant my own flower beds in a week or so.

While I was snooping about the flower beds, a bridesmaid and groomsman strolled by. I thought black satin was a bit heavy choice for a morning garden wedding, but I did admire the pretty turquoise green sash on the girl and the matching vest on the guy.

Moments later the bride came down the pathway. She looked so fresh and happy...and I thought her turquoise shoes and matching webby lace turquoise stockings were quite innovative and fun.

Who says a bride has to wear white shoes anyway?

The blue flowers scattered about seemed to be saying "Let me be the something blue in your wedding today!

The wedding party was headed towards the glass atrium where the wedding reception luncheon was being held. I discreetly walked nearby, hoping to get a glimpse of the inside decor.

Most of the wedding party had not yet gone into the reception, taking a smoking break before heading inside. As I walked around, it dawned on me how and why the wedding colors were chosen.

The bride, the groom, the bridesmaids and the groomsmen all had extensive ink work done on various places on their bodies. The backless dresses frames elaborate mostly turquoise tattoo designs, the bride's feet, now in turquoise flip-flop sandals now revealed that the webby lace design was merely an overlay of her turquoise colored foot, ankle and leg tattoo

The men all had hands tattooed with names and numbers and designs as well...

Maybe this ah-HA! moment for me has already been covered in Tips for the Bride in magazines and websites:

"Before deciding on colors for your wedding, first survey the guys and gals that you plan to ask to be in your wedding to determine the predominate color of their tattoos. Use that information to assure that the colors you select later will compliment their tattoos appropriately."

Bernie was done with his bonsai show about that time so we decided to take a walk around the garden to see what else we could see.

Spring time undergrowth....

A daffodil that looked like more like a rose...

Bees a-buzzing in the forest floral spangled glade (which we skipped because of the bees.)

Another daffodil that had a white cup and a band of white at the base of the yellow petals.

That created quite an interesting halo effect.

Speckled violets...

And striped violets as well.

There were lots and lots and LOTS of flowers and scenes well worth photographing...but we actually were trying to get a brisk walk in as we went. Laura gave me a year's pass to the garden so I will be back for camera play another day.

Later in the same day we visited another garden:

Where the tulips were rioting...

Strange and interestingly shaped tulips...

Frizzled tulips is what I decided they should be called.

As they were blooming in the garden of the absentee honeymooners, I wondered if the frizzled look was the result of growing amidst the hectic pace in which the gardener had gone about planning his wedding.

I felt bad that they bloomed while he was least he'll be able to see my pictures.

Don't you think the pictures are almost as good as being there to see them in person?

Almost...but not quite.

But I think he will think his Maui honeymoon was well worth missing the chance to see the tulips blooming in his yard this year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trying to get a handle on things

Our bathroom cabinets are in and I thought we had decided on handles.
Actually, I had looked at the big orange box hardware store and the blue box hardware store (both stores stocks are up...isn't that interesting???? )
Neither of those stores had handles that made my heart sing.
We got a tip: Try a little independent hardware store down the way a bit.
Hoo boy.
Cabinet pulls and knobs as far as the eye could see.

This was just one wall.
There were six aisles.
Keeping knobs and pulls straight in my head was challenging. I'd see one I liked, headed over to the aisle Bernie was looking in, and then we would try to find the one I liked again, and then he would try to find the one he liked again.
Sticking together would have been a good plan.

I knew I didn't want a "theme" in our bathroom, but if I ever DID decide on a theme, this would be the place to indulge myself.
Pricey...but worth it!

My friend Sue would love the hippo handle. She probably already has a set or two in her hippo themed house. She is my hat friend with two cars in the shape of hippos, a red hippo car and a purple hippo car...because, as everybody knows, two whisting and winking hippo cars are better than one...

Moose antler drawer pulls. What a hoot.

These beaded drawer knobs were pretty...but I wonder how they would hold up. Probably just great.

My mom has silver toned clam shells and sea horse shaped pulls in her master bathroom. Those pulls went on the cabinets in 1958 and they still look great! I like the idea of glass pulls need to worry about corrosion that way.

Skinny folks climbing up your cabinets.
Hilarious....Isn't this fun? Did you ever think of having these kinds of pulls in your kitchen or bath? (Update: Commenter asked how much they cost. Take a guess, then read my answer in the comments!)

Since our bath is black, white and depression glass pink, I was convinced the pink glass knob would look great on the black painted cabinets. The little knob was about the size of a quarter, the big knob was silver dollar sized.
Bernie saw the prices and decided the smaller one would be just fine.
What I really liked about this hardware store was this:
If you were to discover you somehow had forgotten to have rusty stuff in your garage, the typical junk that tends to congregate in drawers and shelves over the years, well, not to worry.
You can BUY rusty stuff from this store!
And just like the rusty junk that typically is found in garages, you won't have any idea what these things were for either.
(Knob & Handle update: B. rediscovered the brushed nickle handles that were on the original red kitchen cabinets that came with our house. They were new...and somewhat pricey... so we hung on to them when the old kitchen was demolished. He asked me to take a look at them, and think about using them in the bathroom. I liked them. He liked them too.
Then he had to make another trip to the Orange box hardware store and saw another handle that he thinks he would like even better. He's going to bring one of them home for me to see.
At this point I have been opening all the drawers and cabinet doors in the bathroom by bending down and using my fingers to pry them open from the bottom, and them opening the door or drawer above that one etc etc. for three weeks.
It is either going to be the handles we have or the next sample.
I'm done.
I just want to get a handle on things around here ASAP.)