Saturday, December 29, 2007

SLC Christmas: December 28th Saturday

This morning Jeff and I headed out for yoga while Bernie and Meowsie slept in.

No photos are allowed at 24 hr fitness, but this morning I took several pictures there with my heart.

It meant so much to me that my son asked me if I wanted to join him in a fitness class, and to work out beside him. The little boy that I loved so much has become a tall and strong man, on many levels. As the haunting Irish music played and we went through the various yoga poses in sync, I felt so welcomed in his life. It was a blessing that I didn't expect, and an event that was very precious to me, a gift that he cares about my well being and was not ashamed to have his mom with him at the front of a large class of people of all ages and shapes, men and women, all moving and stretching in unison.

I did get a laugh the ladies locker room there were two very beautiful young women freshening their make up after their work out. Their bodies and hair and skin were flawless. As I washed up, I overheard their conversation:

"Yes, that mirror makes you look pale. The one over there makes you look fat, so you want to keep coming and working out, and that mirror makes you look thin."

Believe me...when I checked, I looked exactly the same in each of the mirrors.
Darn it.
I would never had thought to assign editorial powers to the mirrors! But when you are totally beautiful, I guess you can notice small variations in your glory.

After we got back home, we loaded Bernie into the car and headed out to look at open houses in the Sugar House and Highland Park area of SLC. Sugar House is an area that was built between 1900-1930, with cottage/doll house style houses, with a central "village" and parks. The whole area looks like a village that you would collect for a display. Jeff is interested in perhaps buying a house in the area, and we are also considering a move to SLC in the future, so we wanted to scope out the area.

It takes *a lot* to think about living in a cottage after living in Houston. 12 ft ceilings in Houston have me spoiled, the 7 ft ceilings in the cottages worry me. I'm used to closets the size of the cottage living room!
It would be a life style decision; we could get a Texas style house in SLC, but it would be in the suburbs without all the quaint qualities of Sugar House.

Oh boy...I HAVE been SO spoiled by Texas housing!

After looking at a few houses, we came back so the guys could catch *another* football game. I bailed, went upstairs and curled up with Meowsie on the bed and caught up with my BGF Gail in Colorado Springs.

Until the game was over.
Hey...what ever floats your boat, right?

Jeff then drove me over to Temple Square to see the light display there. It was a rush trip; two major games are on tonight, but we could get to the Temple and back and not miss anything.

The Square was traced with bags gilded with various words in foreign languages, such as "Rejoice" written in Burmese as above.

And "Love" in Hebrew. There were words spelled out in American Sign Language, in Braille, in Hindi... if it was a language, it was represented.

The edgeless water pool reflected the trees beautifully.
You can see the bags lined up on the side of the picture above.

There is just something about a tree of glowing red fairy lights.

There were several scenes; the white Shepherd and white sheep in the snow was charming.

Me under the red tree. If I could figure out how to use my Adobe Photoshop program, I could have erased all the other people in this scene.
The snow started falling as we walked the Square, and in the distance we could see the Utah State Capitol building. Jeff lived on the mountain just above the dome for two years. The dome was being re-done the whole time, and was always covered with scaffolding. Now that he has moved it is shining brightly without the offending scaffolding.

Magical snow and colors.
Jeff standing on a walkway beneath a canopy of orange fairy lit trees.

A guy saw Jeff taking my picture, and asked if he could take a picture of us together for us. Isn't that nice? We always try to remember to offer to do that for people, it was very nice to have someone do that for us.

A star as I would imagine the Star of Bethlehem might have looked.
Years ago, when I first visited Salt Lake City to do some family research, I visited Temple Square. I loved this sculpture of a little girl looking at the new baby being held over her mother's shoulder. The girl's expression is so glowing and her posture is so wonderful...
A water feature runs through the Square and reflects the trees beautifully.

There were several versions of the Nativity scene, as expressed in various cultural dress.

This is my other favorite sculpture. The young mother dancing in play with her children. It is joyous and tender at the same time. A beautiful celebration of family love.
Another Nativity scene....

Orange, red and white rich and warm looking in the snow.
It obviously is a great place to bring children, and young couples walk hand in hand enjoying the magical colors.
I've seen brides being photographed there as well, with white velvet capes and hoods with fur edging. One bride's cape had a scarlet satin lining.
After we got home again, Jeff whipped up albacore sandwiches for dinner, and now the guys are watching the games while I blog.
Outside the snow is still falling in steady dime sized flakes.
The fifth day of Christmas had many golden moments for me.
I think I liked each of them better than any golden rings.

SLC Christmas: December 28 Friday

A slow least for me.
Jeff headed out to work early, and Bernie saddled up on his lap top for work as well.
I dug into some laundry, clean up, and odds and ends.
Later on Jeff took down his old vertical blinds and put up the new ones. His old one were plain white, no texture, the new ones are beige with a straw cloth/linen look.

Naturally they were not exactly interchangeable. A bracket had to be moved...then holes filled in and touch up paint. Hurrah for power tools though.

Back to work. In between work our next family vacation was booked: Hilton Head/Charleston/Savannah. Bernie found a great flight package. Yeah!

I finished up baking the cookie dough that Laura had made.
Bernie got an ipod from Laura for Christmas.
It is taking a little time to figure out how to load up the music and other features, but now Bernie is in another world with music and drugs all the time.
Which, in this case, is a good thing.
Meowsie decided it was a good day for an all day nap.

ALL day nap. Power snooze. Drug free too...well...we did give him some catnip in the morning. He did a few hops and rolls and batted at a string, so naturally he was bushed after that.
Snow was predicted all day, but all we got were a few tiny flakes now and then. I checked on my snowman several times just to make sure he was still there.
He was.
(Big smile!!!)
Jeff made an awesome salad while chatting with the grandparents. He even used the last of his garden's tomatoes in it.

Yesterday I had him mix up a batch of "No Knead Bread." He baked it in a Corelle casserole dish. (You can just see the new blinds behind Jeff.)

Oh man...this stuff is so good. Jeff made garlic toast out of it, and we had it with lasagna and salad for a dinner while we watched the Oregon State University Beavers play in the Emerald Bowl against Maryland.
Beavers won!!!!
Go Beavers!!!!
Today Jeff and I are going to a yoga class. I've got to get some exercise, and he swears that yoga is the best to keep limber. Tonight we'll see the lights in Temple Square, and other than that the day is unplanned.
Aren't unplanned days fun?
Today is the fifth day of Christmas you know.
How are you thinking of celebrating?
Getting five golden rings is sooo predictable you know.
I'd love to hear what you are going to get instead!

Friday, December 28, 2007

SLC Christmas: December 28 2007

A bit of catch up...
The first game with the new Clue board. There are people shaped pieces now. I like that Peacock wears a cute hat.

Still medicated Bernie struggles to stay awake.

I thought I'd share one of the things Santa left in my stocking this year.

It is a little rubber chicken and when you squeeze it...
Out pops an egg!
(Thinking of some people who live in Canada here....)
The yolk swirls around in a milky liquid. Laura and Jeff had a lot of fun making chicken noises.
The swirling egg yolk was not the best thing to look at while on drugs that makes one feel nauseated.
Guess what this is?

Yes, Laura's assignment in SLC is over. She packed her car with all her belongings and headed out to Las Vegas.
Her front seat was empty and most of the back seat was filled with the large suitcase we brought filled with gifts.
There is no way I can manage three suitcases in the airport, so she volunteered to drive it to Houston for us after a trip to San Diego to see her grandparents and her friends.

Her trunk is full...imagine living in such a way that everything you need will fit in the trunk of your car and a little of the back seat. She's going to help me clear out a lot of stuff from my house while she lives with us for awhile.
Jeff had to get back to work.

I cleaned up a bit inside. Laura's roses were wilting, so I pulled the petals off and scattered them around the snowman.
Isn't that a romantic touch?
Later on one of Jeff's friends came over to watch the ASU vs UT game.
He thought Jeff had made the snowman and decorated.
He thought it was pretty weird...and wasn't going to say anything.
I think he was pretty relived to hear that I was the one who made and decorated the snowman. Whew.

Jeff and I made a run to Lowe's. I gave him a gift card from there with a suggestion that new vertical blinds would be a nice touch in his living room.
We both love going to Lowes. He loves upgrading his house, and I love talking with him as he thinks though options. Actually I wish the four of us could go together and buy a fixer house just for fun.
Maybe someday....
Jeff's looking at tile for his bathroom floors and kitchen floor. There are SO many options to choose from. I really like the new concept of adding a border detail.
Decisions, decisions. No tile buying yet....

Hey Mom...I was wearing the scarf you knitted me awhile back. It looked really good with jeans and a baby blue turtleneck. Thanks again!

Jeff and I grabbed dinner for Cafe Rio, the Salt Lake City famous Mexican restaurant. They make the tortillas right in front of you, then throw them into an aluminum bowl, and add meat, beans, rice, cheese, cilantro, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, and a lime-cilantro dressing.

It is SOOOOO yummy. And they give you one free dinner after you buy six (or eight?) We got a free dinner...thanks Laura for handing over her points. I wish Cafe Rio would go national. Seriously, it is a MUST have every time we visit.

So except the fact that Bernie is still pretty uncomfortable and we are wonder how our poor lonely cats are doing at home, Christmas continues to be special here.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

SLC Christmas: Assorted Pictures

I just got some of Laura's pictures downloaded into my Picasa, so I thought I would post some of my favorites.
The snowman story is the post before this one...