Saturday, November 07, 2009

Wanship-Then and Now

When it is sunny and warm at the end of the first week of November you gotta go fly fishing.
Or at least you do if you are Bernie.
He asked me if I wanted to come along....
He didn't need to ask twice!

This time he wanted to fish the Weber river which ran through a small town known as Wanship.
(Click on the picture to read a short review of Wanship history.)
I was quite pleased that the historical marker was near where we parked our car.
While Bernie got his fishing gear out, I walked over to it to read.
Moments later I was both impressed and annoyed.

Impressed to think that this little bit of Utah at one time supported at least three full time milliners.

Annoyed that today in Wanship there is nary a single millinery shop to be had.
Wanship: What happened???


It seems I was just born too late for easy access to millinery shopping.

Wanship is a very pretty little valley. I could easily imagine the Tipi Indians roaming the hills...and women in lovely bonnets driving buggies on outings to church and the general stores.

Now all I see are fishermen and cattle.
There were also sheep, llamas, horses, and goats being raised nearby.

(No emus though. Maybe that is why hat making fell by the wayside. You need a good source of feathers if you want to trim fine hats.)

The Weber River usually has plenty of fish, but today all that was caught was glimpse of beautiful late fall scenery.
The grasses were rustling in the breezes, and I amused myself by studying all the colors of windswept grasses.

Blue grays, golden yellows, pale golds, sage greens...I sketched scenes in my mind while the fish were busy skunking Bernie.

Such a cute little general store!
No hats though.
Not a single one.
Wanship: Get a clue...check your heritage.
Remember: Everyone looks better in a hat!

Friday, November 06, 2009


Yesterday I was listening to the radio at work when the news of the Ft. Hood shootings was first reported.

I broke out in chills. I had flashbacks to the bombing of the USS event that had me on the floor weeping at the flaccid response of our country. 9-11 did not hit me nearly as hard...the USS Cole was beginning of it all for me...a door opened and after that nothing really shocked me any more.

Shortly afterwards I headed home. It was impossible to focus on work knowing what was happening at Ft. Hood. While it was a warmish 70 degrees out, I found myself climbing under an electric blanket as I tuned into the news, hoping against hope that somehow it wasn't going to be as bad as it looked.

My former Texas Representative Kay Bailey Hutchinson was being interviewed for information by Fox News. When asked about the identity of the gunman, she declared she knew the name but was not officially cleared to release it.

The other networks had already released the name...and it was clearly a Middle Eastern surname.

Bailey remarked that the name was disturbing, a statement echoed by the Fox reporter. For a moment I was proud of Fox's sensitivity to the situation. The name was disturbing on many levels: I could imagine Americans becoming angry at Muslims. I could imagine Muslims fearing for their own well being in repercussion to the unfolding events.

Troubling thoughts indeed. It was well worth waiting until the facts could be well vetted lest there be a factual error.

More than one official agency has warned that it would not be too long before America would begin to experience what other countries have experienced already: Muslim terrorists acting out randomly, taking lives at will. Indeed, it is rather surprising that we haven't had an explosion in a crowded space as of yet.

Did this event mark the beginning of this foreshadowed future? I hope not. news continues to trickle out, it looks less and less to be an act of a troubled soldier and more and more like the deliberate act of terror.

I've heard remarks that in WWII, America did not send Japanese to fight in the Pacific war theater, and that America should refrain from sending people of middle eastern heritage to "fight against their own" in our current conflicts.

Excuse me..."their own" upon taking an oath of citizenship and becoming part of America's military means that "their own" is by definition no longer anyone but America and their military allies.

My family has personal experience with this. My maternal grandfather was born here in Salt Lake City to German immigrant parents, with German born siblings both younger and older than he was.

When World War I broke out, my grandfather and his American born sibling signed up to fight. They were sent to Europe and ultimately into the German front. People at home made comments about my grandfather's family...their German last name was looked down upon due to the German attack on our military.

It didn't take long for those comments to be rebuked: Sons of "those Germans" were now actively fighting FOR America IN Germany, where, incidentally, the boys had spent part of their childhood.

Knowing this bit of family history steels my spine against anyone who would suggest that a volunteer solider of any particular background or religion is entitled to take issue with their duties. It should go without saying that shooting up your fellow soldiers because of your familial heritage or religion is beyond the pale.

But apparently it isn't, and doesn't go without saying as I am already hearing murmurs that the shooter's actions were somewhat justified on those grounds.

Islam is a religion of peace we are told over and over again...even from the White House.
It is time, indeed long past time that people around the world should no longer find themselves embroiled in deadly conflicts begun at the hands of Islamics.

Is there any other religion actively blowing up people for their faith?


Personally I am also deeply disturbed by Mr. Obama's jovial news op wherein he pointed out an American Indian in the audience with a "shout out", and a misspoken identification of the Indian as a recipient of our highest Military honor.

Holy Cow. What a moment to confuse our highest military metal of honor for a civilian honor. Ouch, ouch, ouch....if anyone should know the difference it should be our "Commander in Chief".

Two minutes of congenial self congratulatory shit-chat (oops...I meant to type "chit-chat"...that previous vulgarity was a typo but I am going to let it stand just this once.....) and then Mr. Obama finally got around to expressing his deep concerns about the victims and their families at Ft. Hood.

The US Senate immediately observed a moment of silence in honor of our slain soldiers.
I wonder if Mr. Obama did likewise.
I doubt it.

So here we are, and here I am...wondering what comes next. Our unemployment numbers have risen again, a local man was one of the soldiers killed at Ft. Hood, another local man was one of those wounded.

There has been winds here strong enough to blow over our heavy barbeque grill in the back yard. The fall colors continue to blaze in the sunshine, and the wind kicked dust is making my sinuses uncomfortable. Winds of change...both metaphorically and seasonal blow around me.

I've got a lot to think about as I do my usual Friday tasks inside my and getting ready for a weekend of Indian Summer warmth.

And I'll wonder what else I should get ready for, outside my home, in the world that seems somehow more chilling than it used to.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Confessions of a Goth Wannabe Middle Aged Woman

I snitched a Hershey's kiss from the desk of a co-worker this morning, and found myself filling her in about my millinery instructor Kate's Hershey Kiss inspired cocktail hat.

I do so miss the whimsical nature of cocktail hats and the women who are witty enough to wear them.

Needing to sooth my longing, I returned to my desk and clicked over to Google Images.
I put in the words "Cocktail Hat" and soon I was feeling much better again after seeing the above hat offered at this etsy site.

Now I am longing to see a winter bride who has such style as to wear that hat with a velvet gown at Christmas time.

That shell pink and green combo was what I had imagined for my own Christmas wedding years ago...such a combination just wasn't to be found for bridesmaid attire, and the bridal party just wasn't up for having dresses custom made.

Oh well. At least I can enjoy the colors in my mind ...and picture myself in this hat instead of the 70's style veil.

As the Etsy site noted, this hat is called "The Holly - Victorian Bridal Top Hat - As Seen in Gothic Beauty Magazine 28"

Oh oh.
Lately I have been noticing that I have been finding myself secretly loving Goth looks.
I have developed a *serious* girl crush on Abby on NCIS for instance. I just love her...her work...her style...the way she never gives up, and is so totally herself and "herself" is loved by one and all. And that she and the actress who plays her are from New Orleans .

NCIS is now the #1 television show in America. My daughter is hooked, my BGFF Gail is hooked...just about everyone with a heart beat is hooked on the show. It is a triple threat show for me: My first teen crush was David McCallum, who played the Russian Illya Kuryakin on the show The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

(I'm smiling even as I type this, thinking back to how he looked back then...)
McCallum is also on NCIS...and dang, I still get that goofy butterfly feeling when he is on screen.

(Maybe his hat has something to do with creating those feelings again...and his bow tie, and his Scottish accent....)

Then there is Mark Harmon. Married to the actress who played "Mindy" in the TV show "Mork and Mindy", nicely graying Mark has had an amazing life. A glance from his blue eyes would make anyone drop their cup of coffee accidentally, you know what I mean?
I say his eyes rival Paul Newmans.
When asked...several friends admit they would want date the character Tim if they could. Not the Playboy type Tony character...nerdy Tim brings out the nurturing side and a sense that he could be a "forever" kind of guy. Plus he is uber smart while still being humble.

Abby and Tim "hooked up" for a bit. Frankly I was hoping they would get married. Or that she would at least plan a wedding...because I can just see her in this bridal hat:

Abby just seems to be the type of girl who would want a leather bridal hat with her and her beloved's initials don't you think?

OK...I'll try to pull myself together and let you go check out the rest of the AMAZING cocktail hats on Topsyturvydesigns.

And if anyone does get one of these hats for a wedding..let me know.

Please...let me know!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

But is it art?

Modern art is not always understood or appreciated by everyone.
Some say that for them, modern art is an acquired taste.
It is an appreciation that has grown on them over time.

Others say modern art speaks to them immediately in ways that traditional artistic forms do

One of the most modern of art forms is called performance art, where the viewer and the art become merged to create new forms that goes beyond what the artist originally created.

The question "But is it Art?" (as asked by Tiggie) needs no response.

It is art.

It is good to invest in art, as art serves to enrich your environment, your portfolio and yes, even your soul.
We are pleased with our recent artistic acquisition.
And happy to share it with you.
(Even if Hart is refusing to share it with anyone, even if it is orange.)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Looking good and on TV too!

Bernie is 56 years old today. Wow...did 55 go fast or what? You accomplished so much during that year-putting our new house together, learning to fly fish, going camping and hiking, golfing, church, studying bonsai, cooking...the list goes on and on.

Looking good...and doing good too.

When his company found a way to eliminate the need for printers, Bernie went looking for a way to donate the printers, rather than just throwing them away.

The local news covered the story this weekend.....and you can see it (and him) by clicking here!

I'm so proud of you Bernie!
Your 55th year ended so great!

(Even if the TV station did spell your name wrong!)

Wonder what your next year will hold.
Blessings for sure...and fish.
Lots and lots of fish!

Happy Birthday Sweetie!