Friday, October 03, 2008

The Long Overdue Date

When I getting my college degree at Oregon State University, my "sweetheart" was Bernie, and he lived over a thousand miles away. While other happy couples cuddled in the stadium bleachers and kissed and hugged to celebrate each touch down, I sat alone.

Last night we finally had a chance to have that classic autumn date of going to the Big Game together!

It was a bit more complicated than it would have been if we had gone to a game as students. But with a little computer work, tickets were booked on line at the 50 yard line, "spirit wear" tee shirts in school color orange were acquired, and we were able to just stroll from our apartment down the street to pick up a ride to the local "U" to see the game, arriving there via public transportation.

The train was packed with U of U (University of Utah) fans garbed in red. Oregon State orange clad us stood out!

Who cared? We were on our WAY!

Or were at least until the train braking system locked up, leaving us stalled on the tracks.

The train car was stuffed with fans, it was hot inside, and the game was going to start in 7 minutes!

What to do, what to was a full half mile or more straight up a steep hill...should we get off and hoof it, or stay on the train and hope for the best.

We decided to make a break for it, along with most of the other passengers. We raced about a block, then saw another train approaching, so we raced back and much to the surprise of the people who were already on the new train that was heading DOWN the hill, the train reversed course and headed up the hill to take all of us rabid fans to the Big Game.

By the time we made it to our seats, OSU had already put 3 point on the board! It was a fierce game, and the Utes won it in the last one second with a field goal kick.


Well, we still had fun, and the Beavers scored enough times that we got in our celebratory hugs and kisses in, enjoyed a hot dog and natchos, and even had a few drops of rain. The rain was needed to keep the Oregon State team fired up.

It really was a "big" game too: The third highest attendance number at any game in the U of U's history!

Next year maybe we'll try to go to an OSU home game in Corvallis. The Bevs have a new stadium, the old one where I used to sit with friends and play bridge while the 1975-76 team failed miserably is no longer in use for games.

Maybe we can just go to the old stadium anyway, and sit and talk, and celebrate old memories anyway. Games are good...and so is good company.

Sorry my Beavers lost last night. They played a great game, their stats were strong. But sometimes all that it takes to win is a lucky break.

That's OK. I'll still be cheering for them next week. I'm a Beaver fan for life!

(PS: the first line of the OSU fight song is "OSU our hats are off to you! ANOTHER good reason to wear a hat: So I can always be prepared to salute my favorite team!)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ready for Autumn?

I sure am ready for autumn! It is my favorite time of the year!

And since we could see color change on the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City, we made a point of heading out to hike around and enjoy the scenery last Saturday right after we visited the Farmer's Market.

Care to come along?

Oh will be fun!

There were loads of trails to choose from a half our from our apartment. We went up Mill Creek Canyon, and just randomly pulled over at the Porter Fork Trail head.

A stream was rushing beside the path. That's a good enough reason for me!

Bernie in his Switzerland bought orange tee shirt fit right in with all the colors.

This is one of my favorite shots: The edge of a pool, dammed by branches, capturing the colorful fallen leaves in the sky reflecting waters.

These leaves felt like suede on the back. I walked holding one, rubbing my fingers against the soft texture.
The first part of the trail was a private road. Some of the cabins were amazing...this one was especially old and had so much character.

The drops on this rock caught my eye: I touched it, thinking perhaps there had been a scattered shower. Turns out it is just the pattern of the rock itself!

Asters and goldenrod.

Lines from a poem comes to mind:

'Spring and Fall, to a Young Child'

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

-- Gerard Manley Hopkins

No grieving here however. While autumn is often a melancholy time for some folk, I myself am having a great time!

The path was STEEP!

Various root structures alongside the path fascinated me.

The bright red berries stole a lot of the fall leaves thunder.

The pink flowers seemed dressed out of season.
Another great cabin.
(I felt a little peculiar about taking the cabin pictures; the last time I took pictures of housing structures was down in Galveston. Remember the beach house with the fish shaped mail box and wave picket fence? All gone...Ike shattered them to pieces. I hold my breath as I shoot this picture, hoping nothing will ever come to harm it....)

A mile up on the road we finally reach the actual "hike". Whew....I'm about knackered as it is...

Doesn't this root structure remind you of a goat's head?

I find it challenging to try to remember to look up as well as at the rocky path and the colorful trees all around us. Love the cloud design.

Views afar, close by and then close up...each has it's own beauty.

The purple shaded leaves were interesting...I wondered what color they will finally become.
Random shots of color were to be seen everywhere.

Looking down the trail, across to another mountain in the Wasatch range. So much color on the path, and the mountain afar as well.

Bernie was surprised I spotted this little guy. Perfectly attired for the season, and for Oregon State University games. GO BEAVERS!

Both these purple flowers and purple violets were blooming amidst the fallen leaves.

Don't you love it when trees pleach and form a cathedral like room?
I suppose there is a trail to this rocky outcrop on the mountain we looked across at on our trail.

We stopped and shared an orange, and talked of all kinds of things, like most long time married couples do. After we got back down the trail, we got into our car to drive further up the mountain.

At the end of the road was this stand of aspen trees in the last of the day's sunlight. There were aspen everywhere that had not yet turned golden; we decided we must take the drive again next weekend to see them in all their glory!

I shot pictures out the side side window as we drove along.
Impressionistic art!
Monet would be proud!
(We went and saw an art exhibit of the Impressionists from Monet to Picasso two weeks ago; their art is still on my mind....)
Perhaps a bit of pointillism can be seen here..

The shadows were lengthening, and picnicking families were either packing up or enjoying a wiener roast in the various picnic sites. My mouth was watering for a hot dog about then!

(This is a fast way to make a painting....)

And the road kept on going until we were safely back home.
I LOVE living in Salt Lake City in the fall!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Farmer's Market: Take 2.

It was Saturday, sunny and warm, and so off we went to the Farmer's Market held in the park that is across the street from our apartment.

I had never seen a pumpkin like this one before!
They said it was called a Barnacle Pumpkin. I call it wonderful!

Right next to it (as you can see in the pumpkin picture background, upper your right) a bowl of quail eggs. $3 for a dozen, each egg about the size of an unshelled almond. All I could think of was raw quail eggs on sushi...and at that moment that didn't appeal to me.

Later I got to wondering if they could be hard cooked successfully. Wouldn't little bite sized hard cooked eggs be a neat treat?

If the vendor is there next week, I will get some and find out. Regardless, aren't they beautifully speckled?

I enjoyed sampling the three different colors of watermelon that is currently available.

They are all pretty, but I guess I am old fashioned, and I still liked the red style the best. Later I had a glass of fresh squeezed watermelon lemonade. SO refreshing!

The park will be the scene of a scarecrow festival in a few weeks. Scarecrows will be made and also sold.
That should be interesting to see...

I heartily endorse this idea: Prison gardening. I've read about such programs, and they seem so very successful in providing a means of rehabilitation for offenders. There is just something restorative and cleansing about planting seeds and tending a garden.

While I was happy to see the prisoners at work, I was troubled to see another stall proudly labeled as produce from the Warren Jeffs Family Farm.

That detail seemed to me like something worth concealing. The women working the stall didn't seem the least bit hesitant to be identified with the notorious polygamist/child rapist. And they seemed to be doing a good bit of business as well. Maybe that is the only way the women have to make an income to support their kids now that Jeffs is in prison for his crimes. If they are there next week, I'm going to ask for a few more details about this particular stall.

Happy little pie charts. I should count, is each squash divided the same amount as the others?

These pod are air filled. I had seen them before in florist shops...

But had no idea they were called "Oscar".
My grandfather's middle name was Oscar. I had never thought of that as having a botanical meaning. His sister had three names, the last of which was Olive.

Lots of folks born in the late 1880-90's had names that began with the letter "O" or had botanical co-meanings. Funny how naming trends go!
It was a nice adventure shopping at the Farmer's Market again. This time I got Goat Cheese spread flavored with lavender and other herbs, tomatoes of all sizes and shapes (love those heritage tomatoes!) home made goat mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, raspberries, Asian pears, peaches, nectarines, figs, apples, sour dough bread, and OH MY GOSH...the mushrooms!
Wild mushrooms!

"Lobster" mushrooms are the bright red ones, and they taste and smell just like lobster!

The next evening Bernie cooked the mushrooms up for Sunday dinner, using a bit of olive oil and butter, and a fresh purple Russian garlic cloves.
We also had the yellow Hen's Comb mushroom (yes, smells, tastes and feels exactly like chicken) and the Chantille mushrooms (the pale gray leafy looking ones.)
Delicious. I have found a new addiction.
Wild mushrooms are unbelievable.
Tomorrow you will see what we did after we finished our Farmer's market shopping.

I just LOVE living here in Salt Lake City!