Friday, August 26, 2011

Mill Creek and Cable Cords

When it is forecasted to be close to 100 degrees, I know I have to head over to Mill Creek and get a walk in early before the day heats up.
 I have been carrying my light weight point-and-shoot Sony cybershot for walk/hiking photo ops; I  do have to admit I have been known to return home (a five minute drive) to grab my "big" camera if I see really great shots on my trek.
Lately the road up Mill Creek Canyon is lined with what I call sun flowers and the air is filled with huge dragonflies darting about me, capturing bugs in the air and sunlight on their wings.

Hundreds patrol every pocket sized meadow...I wish I could get a video to show how cool such a sight is to behold!

Walking, hiking and biking people cheerfully wave and say hi to me as I stop to take pictures.

I don't walk on the road; I find hiking on the asphalt pavement is just too hot for my tastes.
Why do that when there are a multitude of trails just yards away from the road and they wind along Mill Creek and through blessedly shady trees.

This is one of "my" bridges: Bridges that I photograph over and over again throughout the season.
It just looks so delightful surrounded by fall colors, then traced in snow, then sketched about with the first leaves of Spring.

I noticed our white berries are plumping up nicely with their violet trimmed ends and stems.
Summer is working its magic with the forest berries and I am enjoying  seeing all the berry colors just as much as I enjoy seeing all the flowers.

I promised myself I would return to this shoreline and take a nice splash in the water when the temperatures reached their peak.  Turned out I found my basement to be a cool refuge instead. Maybe I'll try to get there for a splash today.  Wanna come join me?  Cut offs, tee shirts and crocs work great for stream wading and splashing fun.
No one was anywhere near this lonesome mini watermelon.  I think it was put in the water to cool during a cook out the night before and when the picnicking group left after sun down they couldn't see their melon in the dark.
(I took it was deliciously cold after my hike about!)

So what was so appealing about my basement that kept me from a date with the cool waters of the creek?
Well, as you know (if you have been reading along...) I got a new desk top computer last week.
The last one was a laptop and I didn't bother with adding external speakers.
I also didn't try to add a camera to the lap top either.
This one..let's just say that I spent the afternoon "pimping" my computer.
All by myself I might proudly add.
(Bernie said I could manage to install Windows, the speakers and video camera.  He was right!)
The downside:

I am DROWNING in cords and cables!
Pictured above: the cords on my desks.

And the cords UNDER my desk....
And the cord NEXT to my desk!
Oh my stars and garters!
Yea gods and little fishes!
It sure doesn't help matters that the wall to my left has no electrical outlets so all electrical devices (television, DVD player, printer, cabinet under lighting, speakers, land line phone, desk lamp, wireless router and digital picture frames) have to be plugged into the single outlet on the wall to the left of the computer.

Right now I am really glad that my desk kleenex box doesn't need to be plugged in too.  And that my pencil hold manages to serve without needing a cord at all!

And I am thankful that the kittens are old enough to ignore snaking cords that clearly could be ready to attack at any moment so they must be killed IMMEDIATELY with lethal kitty claws.
My darlin' Mr. B, with his associates degree in both Electricity and Theology has assured me that the wall outlet can withstand the multiple extension cord/power strip needs.
I of course trust that his opinion is based on his AE degree and not his AT degree.   I believe in the power of prayer but not using prayer power for electrical safety.
He has been emailed pictures of my cord chaos and has assured me that as soon as he gets home he will re-do everything to it will be configured in a much more visually reassuring fashion.

Until then, I plan to fight off my fung shue disorder...look at the monitor and not the cords; and keep my toes in the creek and away from the under desk mess as much as possible.

Sounds like the best kind of good home grown IT plan for now to me!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peachy Keen!

Would you believe a pan of  Peach Enchiladas?
Oh yeah...when my beloved Southern Living magazine arrived last month with lots of peach based recipe I was heaven.
When I saw the recipe for Peach Enchiladas, I headed to the kitchen like a shot.
Darn near broke the sound barrier.
The recipe was touted as "This quick and easy recipe won first place at the 2004 South Carolina State Cook-Off in Columbia".
Award winning southern recipes never fail.
Here's the recipe:
2 (8 oz) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 lb. (roughly 4 large peaches) fresh, firm ripe peaches, cut in large quartered chunks
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of butter melted. (It is a southern recipe, of course it calls for a full cup of butter!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 (12 oz.) can of citrus flavored soft drink (Mt. Dew or Squirt for example)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
Unroll crescent rolls and separate the triangles.
Place a peach chunk on the wide part of the triangle, then roll up the triangle around the peach.
(Don't worry if it is a bit sloppy...)
Place the roll up point side seam down in a lightly greased 13x9 inch pan.  The roll ups should be placed in rows; they will not fill up the pan but will expand during baking.
Stir together sugar,  melted butter, and cinnamon and then drizzle the mix over the rolls.
Pour entire can of soft drink over the rolls.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
As the southern expression goes: Shut my mouth!
No, DON'T shut my mouth.
I want to keep eating these yummies!
Now here's where you come in:  I am going to try making this same recipe with apples this fall.  
Question:  What flavor soft drink should be used for that recipe?
I can imagine a ginger ale, or an apple flavored soda, or maybe cherry coke or Cherry Dr Pepper. Maybe the slightly cinnamon flavored Big Red?  Maybe even just plain coke?
Any suggestions or arguments as to why one kind of soft drink flavor might be better than another?
Also: Any suggestions about other "fillings" that might be maybe pears and a bit of blue cheese?  What flavor soda for that?  Hmmm...get your thinking caps on and let your wild side creative chef loose!
PS: Carefully watching Irene's path.  It has been a really interesting storm to watch during the past week.
First it looked like it was going to mess with my Florida friend's travels.  Then it looked like it was going to wallop South Carolina where my hubs is working for a bit. 
Now they say North Carolina...
no, make that NEW YORK CITY!!!!
(Repenting hourly for hoping Irene makes landfalls in Martha's Vineyard and sweeps a certain vacationing elected officials out to sea. Dear God...I am sorry for thinking that again...)
Expecting a huge squawk if it hits NYC. 
Expecting huge news coverage if it does.
Promising myself that if that happens I will not post chiding comments about how the press shrugged and was basically silent when Hurricane Ike took out Galveston and the 4th largest city in America (Houston) power for a full week just three years ago. 
We had just moved to SLC....leaving a freezer full of meat back in our Houston area home's freezer.  
Our house went without power with over 100 degree temps. 
It was over a week before the roads were cleared of fallen trees and a friend could drive over to see if our house was OK.
Try not to think about what she found when she got there. 
Just sayin' that if it looks like Irene has her sights set on your town, you just might want to start eating out of your freezer and fridge now, especially if you think you might have to evacuate, and have a good store of can goods at the ready.
On the other hand...maybe it will all just blow over and all that  will actually be needed is a recipe for a Hurricane so you can have a real good party instead!
Invite me!  I'll bringing the Peach Enchiladas if you do!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Less than 6% of people ever get this kind of day!

Happy 65th Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Mom still has the circlet feathered hat, in a saucy coral pink with olive feathers here and there. The white satin peplum suit didn't survive a year, Mom cut it up for a slip! I think she looked like a movie star; so glamorous, and Dad in his double breasted pin striped suit was pretty Hollywood himself.

I tried to find some reliable information about the percentage of marriages that last 65 years.

The closest I came was a government document that stated in 2001 only 6% of all married people at that time had been married over 50 years.  I can't help but wonder if that percentage has grown with all the right after WWII weddings that took place in 1946.  

Even with that big bump in the wedding statistics, I suspect you two's anniversary is a still a pretty rare event.  I am so blessed that both of  you are here to celebrate it and plan to go out for a dinner theater event.  Yah!!! 

Wish I was there with you to celebrate with you.  Shall we start planning for the big 70th in five years?  Why not...I think that day will be here before we know it.

Love you both and may God continue to shower your marriage with blessings!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where are you?

It occurred to me this weekend that we have now been in Utah for three years.
I blogged from Texas for two years and those memories were tied to a full ten years of my life so these three Utah years seem very brief in comparison.
As we sat out on the deck after our meal of crawfish, we watched a quail up in the ash tree.
Usually quail make a call that sounds like the question"Where are you?" repeatedly.
This one was simply making a soft "puck puck" , perhaps he, like we, finally realizes that we are here for real.
The things that enchanted us when we first moved here still make us quite happy.  Quail regularly being found on our property is one of the "happy making" elements: if you have ever seen quail scurrying across a lawn, with a tiny heads and a pudgy body attached to short legs you would understand what makes them so cute.

Add the comical motions of their black feathered top notch that bobs as they survey their world and you have an automatic "pick me up" view.

The male usually arrives on the property first. He usually lands on the roof top and after surveying the area calls out "Where are you? to which other nearby quail respond "Chicago! Chicago! Chicago!"

Eventually the females arrive, and a few kids, younger looking birds, and they get down to the business of scratching about the lawn looking for a snack or two.

This guy didn't call out and no other quail came by to visit.
After a bit he flew off.
Maybe he is headed to Chicago.
Who knows.

Saturday morning the male human called out his usual summer call:
 "Go Fish-ing! Go Fish-ing".
He scurried about loading up the cooler as his female changed into her hiking clothes and grabbed her camera.
About an hour later he had landed a nice cut throat trout on a dry fly.

The first catch was released...

The second catch swallowed the fly!
We wound up having that fish with steak as an inland form of "Surf and Turf" on Sunday. 

For some reason the river didn't offer much to me in the way of picture catching, but a road side sign announcing "Blue Lake" caught my eye.
Aren't all lakes blue?

This one was Tidy Bowl blue, an unusual shade of aqua blue instead of the typical sky blue or mossy green or even muddy brown like most lakes.

Add in a field of flowers and it was just natural that we pull over to investigate what "Blue Lake" had to offer.

It really was blue and quite curious.  Bernie could see tiny fish suspended motionless in the water. He stuck the tip of his fishing rod into the water and the fish didn't even move.
He said it was like they were in a syrup thick fluid.
Quite strange.
I thought I had stumbled upon a pumpkin in the surrounding meadow....

It proved to be a very large mushroom.
I let it be, not having any way to identify its culinary nature.

The sky had been cloudy and rain had fallen off and on all afternoon . I found myself wishing it would clear up a bit... 

And making mental notes about returning to the lake when the aspen changed to autumn splendor gold.

A momentary break in the cloud cover lit up the surrounding forest tops with golden light.  That's the kind of moment that makes me really happy when I am out and about with my camera.

The red moss forming on the dead pine beetle stricken trees added a bit of color to an otherwise forlorn situation.

I later read up on why the lake was such an interesting shade of blue: apparently it is a lake set in limestone.
The limestone dissolved in the water creates the unique color.
I'll click "Like" on God's facebook page for that creative bit of lake color selection any day!
Now try to picture this same shot with all the tree leaves in a brilliant golden yellow....

Photographing reflections in water is an easy way to get a great shot and also a brain teaser.
Without including the skyline in the shot the picture become a puzzling scene: Is the picture upside down?
Answer: No!

Winding our way home; the sun beginning to cast low lights on  the roadside wild flower fields.  I realized that it is far easier to get a great photo of autumn colors than it is to capture the marvelous colors of a summer wild flower display.

Clouds and sunsets just take a bit of patience.  The first tinges of sunset colors are a signal to wait....

Take another shot of the wild flowers...

Take an inadvertent self portrait...

Keep an eye on the ever changing light...

Then just about the time the sun begins to touch the mountains...
Pull over...
And enjoy another one of God's beautiful closings of a day.