Friday, November 03, 2006


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COLD weather!

Notice the Japanese maple is coloring up nicely. A perfect backdrop for the perfect crisp fall weather attire, the kilt.

Last night I wore my *new* James Pringle kilt to work.
I picked up two weeks ago on ebay from the UK for a mere $30 USD. It's the purple and grey kilt between the sage green kilt, and the gray and peach kilt.

It is so nice, so soft, and long too. It hits mid calf.

I have ten kilts. Two I got in London in 1984. The peach and gray on the far left and the bright green and navy on the far right. Those don't really fit just now (I'm still working on it though...down 9 1/2 lbs.)

My mom got the Lindsey plaid kilt on the same London trip. It is the maroon red and navy and forest green kilt that is sort of center in the shot. It has a matching triangular shawl, and I wore that with a white long sleeved blouse to the Kirkin' in SLC last weekend.

The Royal Stewart bright red kilt and the navy/forest kilt(peeking out behind the light blue and brown kilt at the bottom) I got on a trip to Scotland with my daughter and mother-in-law a year and a half ago. We had SO much fun, even with snow falling and freezing weather. Those two kilts are my "Humidity Sanity" kilts, as they are a poly rayon, and are cool enough to wear in summer with a sleeveless tee shirt. The deep navy and small red plaid is a long calf length rayon poly too. I wear it a lot when it is fall/winter and still blooming hot. It lets me "pretend" to have fall preppy wear.

Weird, I know, but I just have always like kilts in the fall. I like that they make my tummy look flat, and the pleats make moving around easy.

I had a red Royal Stewart kilt in elementary school. I loved wearing that kilt. We didn't have a school uniform, as we were a public school. I feel sorry for those who had to wear the private school plaid and can no longer stomach plaids and pleats.

I also had a McMillian plaid kilt dress in high school. There were like maybe four days when it was cool enought to wear it.

Kilt days were rare in balmy in southern California. My friend Michelle McIntire splurged on a midi kilt while we were in high school. Ordering a custom long kilt costs a staggering amount, but hey, if you are of a clan, why not? I think she got to wear it one time that I can remember.

I sewed a poly rayon kilt in high school home economics. Navy and green, it never fit the way I wanted it too.

One kilt, in the far back left (your left) is made from a black and cream suit fabric, not a plaid that is noticeable, but it still has the buckle and pleats going for it. It is from Marks and Spenser. Nice, and lined too.

That kilt and the rest of the kilts I got off ebay. There are usually a lot to choose from, as people pick them up on a trip, and then decide they really don't care for kilts, or gain too much weight to wear them. Waist size 26-28 is a really common size that is up for grabs.

The UK ebay has a lot of kilts for sale. Most of mine are from the UK. Someday though, I'm going to have a kilt custom made for me. I know what shop in Scotland I want to do the work, and the reason I want one custom made is because I am tall, and I want one that is floor length. Now that is my idea of winter at home wear. Sitting in front of the fire, with a cup of tea, and a slice of fruitcake (I'm getting a fruit cake again, right Dad?) is my idea of a perfect way to spend a winter evening.

But right now, I'm just happy to be wearing a kilt, and a cotton sweater, and plan on getting another 5,000 words done on my story.

Here's a funny short story: Last night at reference desk a young woman came up to my co-librarian who is a woman about my age. The young woman asked some question, which was answered, and then out of the blue asked my co-librarian "How long have you been married?"

That question had absolutely nothing to do with the prior reference question. The answer was "Ten years". The young woman said something like "Oh, that's nice" and wandered off.

She should of asked me. I've been married almost thirty years, and my parents have been married sixty years. At that rate, so, whadda ya want to know?

I wonder what prompted that question. Good reference work always includes asking questions before giving an answers to clarify what kind of information the person is seeking.

Now we'll never know what that was all about. Ah yes, yet another mystery in the library.

The best mysteries are not always on the shelves.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Millinery: Collection organization

Two weekends ago I was involved in organizing the millinery collection at Houston Community College. Boxes and boxes (dusty boxes....) were dragged out of storage, opened and each hat brushed clean using a soft brush.

Then we re-wrapped the hats in acid free paper and placed them back into the boxes, with notes.
I liked this velvet number, which I think is a 1920's design. There was not complete agreement amongst us about that dating, but I have a book on millinery from the late 1920 that included that design. The brim is a long oval shape, shorter in front and back and longer from side to side. That happens to be a favorite style of mine.
This luscious black number had us all speculating. It could be rather recent, say 1960s, or as old 1880's. It had layers and layers of silk and velvet flowers and fruit and whatnot.

Most of the hats were rather pedestrian, and a number of them sported labels stating "Mary of River Oaks". River Oaks being the exclusive area of Houston.

It was an interesting way to spend the morning. I'm totally available for this kind of activity for any major museum quality collection. Spread the word!

In my dreams this would happen. You just never know. Dreams sometimes do come true.

PS: A special Happy Birthday to my favorite vintage design, who I hope will enjoy opening some boxes himself when we celebrate his 53 year mark later. He's a one of a kind design, and I'm glad I "collected" him early on. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I'm in.

I've got 3,109 words down, and I need to write 50,000 (about the same number of words in Of Mice and Men) by Nov. 30.

The idea is to "Just do it!" Don't worry about writing the perfect novel, or even a good one. Just keep writing until you hit 50,000 words (the computer keeps track in Word.)

Google "National Novel Writing Month" (aka NaNoWriMo) and you will see about 400,000 hits. People all over the globe, of all ages jump into the contest. There is a guide book, entitled "No Plot, No Problem" which I read in June.

What the heck. I hear it is a hoot, an emotional roller coaster, inspirational and self revealing, and free to boot. I'm not even curious what the prize might be. If I get to 50,000 words, that might just be prize enough.

I am writing in the "No plot, no problem" fashion. I sat down at 5 last night, and hammered out the following, taking breaks to watch a little Home and Garden Television, make a salad and popcorn, and wander around a little.

I have no idea where this is going. But so far, I like it.

So without further ado, here's

(working title: A Tulle Fog Christmas)
(I have no idea why the tabs are missing from the beginning of each paragraphy. I've copied this from a Word document, and I guess blogger and Word don't mingle well. Please remember this is a rough copy. The inner editor is "caged" during this process so you don't get bogged down in fixing details. Cleaning the "baby" up via copy editing and proof reading happens after the baby novel is born)

Carrie was lost. The gray fog had descended without any warning, one moment the road ahead was a black ribbon of endless asphalt stitched with white, and the next moment, there was nothing to see at all except mist glowing in the headlights.

Drat. She knew she should have left in the morning. Instead, she had raced about, trying to tie up loose ends, watering plants, mailing bills, clearing out the refrigerator. The early morning departure time had morphed into a high noon pull away. And now this. She would never make it in time now.

Worse, she had known better. The tulle fog of the central California valley was a constant threat to travelers in December. The weather reports always included warnings, and the morning paper too often listed the fatal crashes that had ensued when the warning were ignored.

She would pull off, and wait it out, if she could just see an exit. Any exit. Her hands gripped the steering wheel and she leaned forward, her breath becoming choppy. She struggled with the desire to slow, and to stop; yet knowing that to do so could result in being rammed from behind by other cars also caught suddenly in the mist

Slowing nevertheless, and tapping her brakes in hope that the red tail light flash would penetrate the fog enough to warn other drivers, she racked her brain, trying to recall the last turn off sign that she had seen. She really hadn’t been paying attention. After all, she had settled in for a ten-hour drive, for the most part a long straight shot on the highway. Four hours into it she had barely made a dent in the stack of CDs she had brought along. There was little to listen to on the radio in this part of the state. She had learned that the hard way, the first time she made the drive late last summer.

Cell coverage was iffy too. She wasn’t going to reach for the phone while flying blind, as it were. No one was expecting her until evening anyway. She had called just as she left, and told them she would be coming in late, and would meet them at church, for the midnight Christmas Eve service.

She really didn’t care about going to the service. If anything, she was slightly glad to be missing it. Lately, missing church had become a regular thing. Sleeping in on Sunday had been surprisingly easy habit to acquire after years of dutiful church attendance.

The fog smothered her view. Cautiously creeping along at 20 miles per hour, she could barely see half of each lane marker line. Only a few feet of the road edge line could be made out, wavering along like a lifeline. If she could just keep her car between the lane marker and the edge marker…and if the edge marker had a bend, she would follow it off the freeway and hopeful, on to somewhere where she could stop the car and wait for the fog to lift.

Squinting, she made out four red glows ahead of her. Tail lights. Two up high, two bigger ones below. A truck? The fog made everything appear one dimensional, and she couldn’t tell how far she was from the next vehicle. The lights seemed to hover in the air, unattached to anything, and remained constant in size. That was a good thing. If she paced herself to those lights, at least she could maintain a distance, and avoid a rear ender. At least if that vehicle would be able do the same with any vehicle ahead of it. Twenty, thirty, forty-car pile-ups were not unheard of in tulle fog this time of year. All it would take is one collision, and every car caught in the fog would be in jeopardy.

The Manheim Streamroller CD went silent. Carrie had been unaware of the music, as every sense had been straining to make sense of the situation, and to keep her safe. The silence was eerie now, as if the fog had muffled her ears as well as blinding her eyes. She could hear herself breath.

Fumbling for a tissue from the box on the floor, she wiped the window. Surely some of this grayness was from the inside. The tissue rubbed against the windshield glass, and made a slight difference. Quickly she lowered her window, and clicked on the defroster. The clammy chill slapped the side of her cheek as the defroster’s roar worked to clear a small patch on the windshield.

How much longer? Sometimes these tulle fogs descended in late afternoon, and lasted through much of the night, burning off only with the rising heat of the dawn. How long had it been so far? Surely only a few minutes…or was it an hour? She hadn’t noticed. She glanced at the dash clock, and scanned instrument panel as well.

Fuel. Oh no. If she didn’t find an exit soon, she would be on empty. The gauge showed less than a quarter tank now. To be on empty, in fog, she’d be a sitting duck. Not an accident not waiting to happen, but rather an accident sure to happen.
She shivered. Her sweater was in the back seat, and out of reach. The damp coldness was beginning to make her hands feel stiff, and her jaw was aching. She realized her jaw was clenched as well as her hands.

Relax, relax, it will be OK. Carrie rolled her shoulder, stretched her jaw wide. Suddenly, clack clap clack sounds from the tires filled her ears. Odd she could hear them now.
No…this was a new sound. She could feel a rough jiggle with each sound. She was riding over the lane bumps, had drifted slightly with her motions. She corrected over to the right. Better. Now there was the safe smooth swoosh tire sound again.

Ahead, the red glows seemed smaller. Should she speed up, catch up, and trust for safety in numbers, or keep the space between them wide. Not sure. Why wasn’t there more information about this, about driving in fog? Other than knowing not to turn on high beams, and reducing speed, no other tactic came to mind.

Truck. If the red glow patterns were indeed a truck, then maybe the truck driver, being higher up would see more than she. Maybe know where a turn off would be.
She speed up slightly, and hoped.

Chapter 2

Caleb hated fog. At least he did when he had to drive in it. Which, tonight, was exactly the case. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area, he was intimately familiar with fog and all of its moods. Fog rolling in through the Golden Gate Bridge was the dramatic signature of the bay. Reading a mystery in front of a crackling fire in a house encased in fog was superb. Jogging through the morning fog was soul centering. And romance always bloomed while walking through the garden as a fog lifted, leaving behind a glittering of dew on the blossoms.

Caleb knew fog at its loveliness. He also knew fog at its worst. The fogs that shut down airports, the fogs that cause ships to be lost at sea, or worse, the fog that caused ships to crash against rocks. Tonight was another kind of fog at its worst: a fog that could blind the travelers on their way home for the holidays. This was a fog that could turn a season of joy into a season of mourning, and pain, in an instant.

The red tail light glows ahead of him had wavered slightly a moment ago. Caleb’s mind registered rapid explanations:
Drunk driver.
Tired driver.
Distracted driver.
None of those possibilities were good. At the next exit he was getting off the road. He didn’t care if it meant waiting in a parking lot until the fog dissipated. He wouldn’t mind a nap. He could sleep anywhere, anyway. He could get where he was going at his own rate. There was no reason to risk a wreck by hurrying on tonight. No reason at all.

Chapter 3

Opal was fit to be tied. One moment she was sailing along in her 1967 Chrysler Impala, with six different pies in boxes on the back seat, and her cockatoo Henry safely in his bird car seat next to her. The next minute they were slowed to a crawl, heading into a tunnel of light swirling in the tulle fog before them.

They had been whistling Christmas carols together, and making really good time. Opal hated to be late to family gathering. She liked to arrive early, early enough to help out with the final touches that no one else ever thought to take care of. She enjoyed taking care of those little details, like ironing the tablecloth, and arranging the serving table with all the right utensils. Opal had a thing for detail.

Usually the family, her son, daughter-in-law, their three children and two dogs, and her brother and his wife, and whichever of their children were around all came to her house for Christmas. They all worked, except the children, of course, and they appreciated someone else taking the time to do all the fuss that went into making a home at Christmas special.

This year one of the grandchildren, Robbie, had a broken leg, and it was decided that a three-hour car ride was out of the question. It was probably just as well. Since Opal’s husband Rob Senior had passed away earlier in the year, it would have been a tough Christmas at home without him there with them. It was rough without him all the time, in Opal’s opinion. She tried not to burden the family with her loneliness.

Henry bobbed his head, and raised his yellow crest feathers on his head. He seemed to recognize that Opal was tense, as he stopped his cheery whistle and lapsed into an unintelligible mutter.
“Dadgum fog” Opal exclaimed. For her, this was as colorful language as she would allow herself. She was of the old school of thought, the school that maintained that ladies, (and especially Christian ladies) did not ever use four letter words when upset. “Dad gum” was all right to say, because it had six letters all together.

Once Rob Senior had shinned his knee and spilt hot coffee on himself, all at the same time. It was bad enough that in his pain he let slip a four-letter word, but Henry had been in the room at the time. You can’t wash a bird’s beak out with soap and water. Opal lived in fear that one day Henry would use that word again.

Opal hunched over the steering wheel, while automatically switching on the defroster. She tucked her sweater up closer around her shoulder, and settled in to slow and watchful driving.

Chapter 4

The truck driver knew this area like the palm of his hand. Tulle fog was no picnic, but he knew he could pull off to the right in about 15 more miles. He checked his side mirrors, and was glad to see the low beam glow of the car behind him keeping pace.

Jerry whispered a quick prayer for all the drivers caught in the fog, and reached for his CB to call the Highway patrol. Hopefully they would not be needed tonight, but they always appreciated a heads up on these situations from the “regulars”, as the truckers called themselves.

Usually he just kept driving through the fog. It was a straight shot, and it cleared once the road got some elevation. Christmas eve, the traffic outside the cities was different, with inexperienced travelers taking to the highway in an effort to get home for the holidays. Jerry felt a nudge inside to pull off the highway this time.

Chapter 5

Carrie wasn’t exactly sure what kind of mileage her car would get. When she purchased it last year it had a “city” and “freeway” mileage sticker, something like 23 and 33, but since her job as a ------- took her on both city and freeway routes, she never bothered to figure out what her actual mileage was. She remembered that the most gallons she had ever pumped into the car had been fourteen.

She tried to figure out how many miles she could go before she was on empty. Would she get more or less miles per gallon going 20 miles an hour? Was less than a quarter tank like three, or four gallons? She punched the trip odometer, and at the same moment realized it really didn’t matter. She would run out of gas whenever she did, and knowing when it was going to happen would do nothing to solve the problem.

It was getting colder, and darker. It was after five now. She had been on the road for over five hours, with only one pit stop. Now she was cold, and hungry, and needing another pit stop. How much longer until an exit? Would it be an exit with gas, and food, and, oh please, a rest room?
Another thought slid into her mind. How safe would she be parked in the fog off the main highway?

She shuddered at the idea of parking beside the road in the middle of nowhere. She’d try to get a motel room if she could, but there weren’t always motels available at every stop.
Her mind began a litany: Please don’t let anyone slam into me. Please don’t let me slam into anyone else. Don’t let me run out of gas. Please let this fog life. Please let there be an exit. Please let me SEE the exit. Please let there be a rest room. Please, just let me be safe. Please, let me get home.
She wasn’t aware that she was praying again.

Chapter 6

Caleb reached into the sack on the seat next to him and grabbed a few cold hard French fries left over from his lunch. Munching them down, he didn’t bother to reach for the rest. The car in front of him was holding steady for now. He figured they had about fifteen more miles until the next exit. It would take a little under an hour more to get there, at this rate.

The fog was mesmerizing. The whirls of mist that swam past the windows, the steady hum of the defroster and the soft whoosh of the car melded together to form a surrealistic effect, of a lost soul alone in a lost world. Caleb shook himself and focused again on the red glow ahead. It was easy to mentally visualize the car ahead of him. It was more intriguing to imagine the person in that car, creeping along in the fog.

Caleb had photographed fog, always capturing its artistic aspect, and enhancing it with filters, exposure, angles and lighting. Faces in the fog he captured in melancholy monotones, or altered later with mystical colors created via a program he himself had created. His mind now played over how he would photo capture this experience if he were free from the driving, and how he would create a collage that would deliver the feelings of being enveloped by fog on Christmas Eve.

Chapter 7

Opal believed in guardian angels, and in angels in general too. She knew there was an angel on each corner of her car, and that absolutely nothing bad could happen to her with God in control, those angels on the job, and her Rob watching out for her from above. She didn’t like the fog, because she liked to drive just a little fast. No so fast as to be dangerous, or catch the attention of the highway patrolmen. Just fast enough that she always arrived a few minutes before she thought she would. Driving in fog meant going slower than slow. And even though she wasn’t worried, her shoulders were getting a little tense.

The Christmas pies had come out beautifully this year. The pumpkin pie had a ring of piecrust leaves and slivers of walnuts on top. The cherry pie had a lattice crust, glazed with egg yolk, resulting in a shiny golden brown gleam . Her grandmother’s recipe for Chess pie was a tradition that was handed down through the generations. That pie looked like a sunny face with tiny freckles, with a forked crust edge going out like rays from the center. Rob’s favorite apple pie was deep dish, with buttery crumb topping. The mince was a treat for her own self. The children didn’t like it, but she enjoyed the tangy taste, although she hadn’t liked it as a child either. Her son and brother doted on her pecan pie with a fingertip-ruffled edging.

Dinner was to be a six. Opal sighed. She should call and let them know to start without her. She reached for her phone, neatly all charged up for the trip, and punched in her son’s number.
Her daughter-in-law Rayanne picked up on the third ring. Opal could hear the homey commotion of family in the kitchen and dogs barking in the background. She explained about the fog and told them not to worry, she would be there soon. Just put aside a plate for her, and to be sure to save room for dessert.
Rob Jr. got on the line.
“Mom, get off the freeway as soon as you can. Just wait the fog out. I’ll check the weather maps on line and tell you when the fog has cleared up ahead. Just be careful, OK? And don’t let Henry have any of my pecan pie, you hear? Love you Mom.”

Opal snapped her phone shut and dropped it on the seat. Henry made a reach with his beak for the shiny disk, but Opal was quicker by second nature. Flapping his wings in disapproval, Henry let out an irritable squawk, and whistled a few bars of “Dixie”.

Chapter 8

Jerry planned to be home for Christmas this year. Home being his apartment and church family. He had never married. Being a soldier and then a trucker, he always figured he was better off without a wife or family. He had left home as soon as he was old enough to enlist, had served overseas and retired as a staff sergeant after thirty years of service. He had loved seeing the world, being a soldier, and a little bit wild, and wasn’t too keen on sending down roots just because he was retired. Heck, he was only 48 when he retired, far too young for a rocking chair anyway. He took to long haul driving just fine for the next ten years. After that he did short hauls, just enough to keep life interesting and extra cash coming in. Just enough to keep him busy, and out of trouble.

A few more SLC pictures

From our Red Butte garden walk...

This is an ENORMOUS leaf. See the black dot?

That is my class ring.

"Where are you?" "Chi-ca-go!"

Two boy quail hoofing it after a little female.
She flew off.

I love how their top notch dangles in front of their faces.
The hills are brown above the garden, in a few more weeks (or days...) they will be covered in snow.

There were so many gorgeous picture, I may slip one or two more in along the way as I blog through autumn.

We are supposed to get down to about mid 50's today here in Houston. I sure hope so as I have a lot of house catch up to do, and it is alway easier to do when it is cool.

I'm a little torn, as today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO). Each year there is a challenge to write 50,000 words in one month, quality be damned, just write, and I'd like to give it a shot for fun. But I'm not sure if I can put in the time.

We'll see how it goes.

The last picture from the trip: The Official Bean and Cheese Burrito stop. Houston has a gosh awful thing called Tex-Mex, which doesn't even come close to Mexican food as we knew it in San Diego. SLC has an "Albertos", the generic name of all Mexican hole in the wall restaurants. This one does burritos as good as in San Diego. A bean and cheese burrito, and a Carna Asada burrito, hot carrots and hot sauce: the standing order for all who fly into Houston from either SD or SLC!

Jeff and Erika in matching green, about to enjoy. Aren't they cute????? Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

"Pumpkin" Tiggie and "Licorice" Hart

Can't get holiday decorations like this at Michaels!

Once the door bell starts ringing tonight, both of the boys will be under the bed, the big cowards that they are.

Our treasured cat Mac used to sit with us on the front porch, in his harness and leash, right next to the pumpkin and view all the trick or treaters.

We used to tell the kids that they had to say hi to Mac and give him a pet in order to get their treat.
Mac seemed to really enjoy seeing the costumes, and never looked the least bit anxious about all the coming and goings. Now that was one cool cat!
Posted by Picasa

Please note and appreciate that Hart is getting much better at posing.

Red Butte Garden Spiders

The garden was in autumn best, and trimmed for scary encounters.
There was a bower beneath the maples where HUGE spiders had taken over!!!!

(Jeff HATES spiders!)

Pretty cool metal work if you ask me!

They definitely gave me the willies! Posted by Picasa

SLC Sunday 10/29/06: Kirkin' of the Tartans

Things I love:

Attending church with my family.

Men in kilts.

Kirkin' of the Tartans: A two for one!

The Kirkin' of the Tartan has an interesting history. Allegedly, in Scottish history, after the Highland clans were forbidden to wear their plaids, the families kept a swatch of their tartans against their breasts, and at a certain point in the church service would touch the swatch as the clans were blessed.

This legend was told by Peter Marshall, the chaplain of the US Senate back in the 1950's. He was a Presbyterian minister, with Scottish roots.
Soon there was a yearly tradition of having clan tartans brought to Presbyterian churches in America for a blessing.

A lovely tradition, don't you think?

And the fact that no one in Scotland has ever heard of such a thing is absolutely NO reason whatsoever to discontinue this "historical" tradition.

Now the First Presbyterian Church in SLC puts the "legend" on their website, and also all the astonished statements of Scottish and Canadian Scot communities explaining that they have never found a historical instance of this event on either side of the Atlantic.

I appreciate FPCSLC having the sensibility to admit that it is most like a recent invention, and a lovely one that they intend to continue celebrate yearly anyway.

And I suppose that, even though the day was also the factually historic "Reformation Sunday", it was a polite thing not to re-enact that day by going next door to the Catholic church and nailing up Martin Luther's observations all over again. Wasn't that whole Catholic/Protestant thing part of what caused the tartan banning in the first place?

It would be kind of funny though to every year try to sneak over and hammer on the Catholics door once again. Give the Catholics something to watch for and try to prevent, in a friendly rivalry.

Or maybe not.

Anyway, back to the Kirkin' ceremony.

The Utah Scottish pipers arrive. The Governor of Utah arrives, he, a staunch Mormon with Scottish roots vibrant enough to risk seating himself in the midst of the "abomination" which is what all but Latter Day Saint churches represent before God, at least according to Joseph Smith.

The banners of the Confessions of the Presbyterian Church are brought into the church along with the pipers and drummers.

Scottish hymns are sung. Then the SLC representatives of the various clans come forward, wearing their kilts, and carrying their tartan, which the Pastor touches and prays a blessing over each clan by name, over each member of each clan around the world and here in Utah.

Many of the presenters were the "official" clan representatives, commissioned for the event by their clan chieftain in Scotland.

I was touched by the blessing over the tartan of the US Marine Corp. I didn't know they had one.

Afterwards we all trooped down to the fellowship room where there was homemade Scottish short bread and tea to enjoy.
Lovely it was. We missed the Keile (I don't know how that is spelled) which is a party on Saturday night, which had a tea room and pub, and silent auction. Next year, when the painting is all done, that is on the "to do, don't miss list!"
The best shot of the event I missed by having my camera set on movie setting. I'll tell you about it instead:

The sight of an older Scot, in kilt with a white background, walking up the hill, kilt pleats swaying, while all around him drifted down golden yellow leaves of autumn, glowing in the sunshine against a brilliant blue sky. Posted by Picasa

Salt Lake City: Friday, October 27: A New Home

I flew in to SLC, over the snow capped Rocky Mountains, and minutes later was in son Jeff's new home. It has a great lay out, three large bedrooms, two and a half baths. There's a great patio space off the living room and a nice size lawn area as well. Perfect for gardening. Jeff is a great gardener!

The inside of the house, when I arrived, was grey. Ceiling, walls, doors, trim, each room, all painted the exact same shade of pale grey.

Jeff said he would like it if I would suggest paint color ideas.


I had brought a paint sample book. We talked through complimentary colors and opposing colors and shades and all that stuff that is second nature to me and most women.

Did you know most men have very little ability to discern differences in color? Suggesting that one yellow is more brown or orange, or blue or grey than another...those terms have little meaning. Everything is a basic color: yellow is yellow is yellow in "Real Man World".

Of course the names they give to color samples don't help.

Exactly what color is "Porch Swing" anyway???

It turned out there was a lot for Jeff to learn about painting too.

First, that masking is a lot of work, and it is worth it to buy the better brand.

That it is a good idea to roll lightly rather than have drip runs on the wall. Less is sometimes more.

That semi gloss shows every drip, and slapping multiple paint layers quickly in order to see the deep color richly will mostly just let you see the irregularities of painting.

I, and girlfriend Erika LOVE how the living room turned out. Jeff is not sure the red tone on the kitchen back splash is his final choice, as it needs to be redone anyway. Right now it is exactly the same color as his grandparent's house.

Interesting how that worked.

The walls are now "Orange Glow", which is the color of butter if an apricot tint was included. Given that SLC has at least five months of cold weather each year, psychologically it should help make him feel warmer, and maybe result in lower heating bills.

I think it is a real improvement over the pale grey everything that was the decor previously. We did leave the doors, trim, and ceiling grey. With the kitchen floor and counter top being grey, it works just fine for now.

I would love to paint the front inside door and maybe the stair rail spindles a deep expresso brown to match his mirror frame. Jeff is not ready for that quite yet.

He does now "gets" the idea of color tints and hues, and has selected the colors for his office and bedroom. Sage green, the yellowish tone versus the bluer sage for the office (color of money?) and is deciding between bluish tans for the bedroom.

He said I can pick out any color I want for the guest room and guest bath.

I can't think of a nicer compliment than to that!

Added bonus: As we painted, my beloved Oregon State University Beavers beat his beloved USC Trojans, in an unexpected football game upset. I hadn't realized that was the game for that weekend, but almost wore my OSU shirt on the plane.

Guess I had a subconscious hunch?Posted by Picasa

I'm here...Picasa and Blogger, well, not so much.

Just a quick post to let you all know I am fine, and while naturally I was feeling down about Tidbit, Google's Blogger was really down, to the degree that "they" posted an long apology and explained that they felt horrible that so many rough spots and break down occurred last week.

Which is why I was gave up on posting last week.

This lovely morning I am raring to go with loads of lovely stuff to share, and technical difficulties are still, um...haunting poor Blogger.

I'm posting this, hopefully, to let you all know that I had a peaceful and restorative weekend in Salt Lake City. Our son Jeff has acquired a townhome as a first time home owner. I wanted to see it, and he wanted/allowed my input on paint color selection.

Would you believe the recently built unit had ceilings, walls, baseboards, doors and trim all painted in matching pale grey? The carpet was a slightly darker shade of grey. It was like standing in a fog bank. His furniture is green, a vegetable type green, (as hopefully you will soon see from the pictures) and the overall effect was absolutely de-energizing.

The chance to live out my "Home and Garden" TV network inspired fantasies on a blank canvas, PLUS the autumn splendor in SLC, and being able to attend the "Kirkin' of the Tartans" ( in kilts!) that weekend combined to make too good of an opportunity to miss. When I booked the trip two weeks ago I didn't know how much all these "good things" would combine to sooth my soul at a tender time.

I'll keep trying Blogger throughout the day....Tiggie obliged with a stunning Halloween pumpkin shot this morning that I really want to post. The boys are going by "Pumpkin" and "Licorice" just for today.

Bernie's got jury duty this afternoon, and I've got to unpack my suitcases and dig out my black hat with the vintage orange feather. If Blogger/Picasa comes back to life, I'll be ready with lots of eye candy treats for later. And those, hurray, are the non-fatting kind!