Thursday, October 30, 2008

It is a Colorful world: The house hunt is reaching a conclusion

The Sweet Gum (aka Liquid Amber) trees flanking the library have turned color now.

How this tree manages to have such variation in color is a mystery to me.

These are all the same kind of tree...all within a few yards of one another, and yet they are turning as if they want to show off their own unique colorful personalities.

I loved this tree while I grew up in San Diego. It was the only consistent color changing tree in the area. Here in SLC, it is just one of many color changing trees.

But it is still the only tree that I have seen that has color variation from tree to tree. Some turn red, others yellow, some orange, some are yellow and brown, others are red and yellow...some are red, yellow, orange and green all at the same time. That just amazes me.

Right now I long to walk about enjoying the autumn colors and the beautiful blue skies overhead. But I have other tasks ahead of me; searching for the house to buy is how my day will be spent instead.

Of course there are plenty of colorful things to see while house hunting too:

Blue sinks...
Blue toilets, tubs and wall, with a festive pink accent line added just for a bit of flair.

Colorful valley views.

Views all the way to the down town skylines.

Colorful people...
Making for colorful walls...

And more views across seemingly endless autumn tree tops.

Reds and gold, greens and browns...

A beautiful valley that soon will shift between seasons, and in a day (soon) will become a pallet of white and gray.

There are lively shapes too...both square and round...

And fireplace stones that draw out shadowy memories, and thoughts of another place, a place somewhere that I just can't quite recall.

Red are the leaves...and red are the kitchens.

I look and look, and yet autumn beckons me still, calling to me to sit and relax and enjoy the autumn day's gift of sunny warmth.

Perhaps I could walk in this garden....

Or come inside and find a place for reflection instead.

I will find time to walk and reflect and to ponder too, and by the end of this weekend finally decide which of these houses we should make an attempt to buy.

(We are down to two houses now. The above pictures were taken at five different houses; two of those houses are the ones now under serious consideration. I've visited 27 properties, and viewed at least a hundred more on line. It isn't easy...but feel free to vote for the pictures that you think would be part of the home that I would love. I will say this: the long valley views are from two different houses. And one of those two houses is actually out of the running!)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here's one for ya...

At the Smith's grocery stores, (in fact, come think of it, all the Salt Lake City grocery stores that I have been to so far) the magazine racks at the check out stands have blank out boards placed over the covers of some of the magazines.

These boards, (I think) are to shield innocent eyes from the magazines with lurid headlines, or sexually provocative article titles.

I can't say for sure though. I looked at the Instyle Weddings magazine cover, and I didn't see anything that I found the least bit titillating.

Maybe I am just used to the idea that weddings are followed by honeymoons to nice places. Is the word "honeymoon" too explicit of a word for what most newly married folks do after the wedding? Or like me, maybe someone thought that it is the wedding and honeymoon costs that are obscene.

Who knows.

As to the other magazine covers...maybe I am no longer easily shocked after years of life in Southern California, and living in college dormitories.
Or attending women's Bible studies for that matter.
(There is an awful lot of stuff that goes on in Christendom that would make a soap opera writer blush.)

As an adult, I find my curiosity peaked by these blank out boards. If I wait in line long enough, I general find myself staring at the blank sheet, and reviewing what I knew about the publication in general. Sometimes I peek, and wind up wrinkling up my nose at what I see. Other times I am just mystified as to what about the magazine cover proved so distasteful that decent people needed to be shielded from the offending publication.

If it really that bad, why does the store carry it at all?

As a young mother, I would have appreciated this approach to some publications. Cosmopolitan has article titles that surely must be written by seasoned prostitutes. I could have done without seeing those with my 12 year old son. I've never understood that magazine anyway...why do they usually feature a woman with so deeply revealed breasts that when toddler see them, they start salivating?

Think about it..why does a magazine written to a female audience feature mostly revealed women? That's just weird.

Southern California has "men's magazines" out in plain sight at most convenience stores, and often right next to the candy displays. I've made a point to inform those store owners that I would be taking my business elsewhere until they rethought their merchandising.

But then sometimes I start to think that ALL woman's magazine should be blanked off.

Seriously, I detest those stupid magazines with headlines blaring "Have The Best Christmas EVER! With Our All New Recipes for 100 Festive Holiday Cookies For You To Bake!" which, of course, is right over the words "Lose 15 pounds over the holidays!" followed by "Great New Ways to Look Your Holiday Best!"

It makes me want to weep for women with such tiny worlds that such articles would entice them to buy the dribble.

Any one with two brain cells still functioning knows that you can either bake 100 kinds of cookies OR lose 15 lb over the holidays OR look your holiday best.

Any sane woman knows that those three activities are mutually exclusive.

Unless you are on crack.


I wonder what on earth was on the cover of People magazine that made it deserve a white out screen? Cosmopolitan got a black there some kind of visual cue as to what the blanks indicate?

Salt Lake City sensibilities are actually pretty nice.
It is strange to think that I actually found it strange to see that salacious material here would be shielded.
And stranger still to wonder who it was who went about deciding what is and is not fitting for my eyes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Trying out the new sticks.

Before the house hunting adventure overtook us, we still had our weekends free to enjoy the fall scenery and go hiking about.

Gosh I miss those days...

This mountain called our name on a Saturday afternoon, and away we went, just like that!

Sadly we had missed the aspen at full blaze; the weekend before had knocked the color off with a snow storm.

But the trail was still good exercise for us.

There was still plenty of color to be enjoyed.

The blue of the sky, the yellows and reds of the trees...

And a wasp's nest! (Be sure to enlarge to see the whole structure better.)

Yes, it is worth looking up above you as you go. I had never seen one of these thing in real life before. Usually I see them in cartoons, with angry wasps chasing a hapless character such as Goofy.

How marvelous to see one in real life, and not have the wasps chasing me!

This was my first time using walking sticks. I caught on right away, and LOVE them.

(The next day I could feel it in my upper arms...isn't that great? That area is starting to need all the help that can be gotten.)

Ahem...some other places could use some help too (although I say the pants are not the most flattering from that angle.)

It sure made crossing wobbly log bridges more doable.

Yup...fall color, and a picnic late day snack of wine and cheese, peaches and chocolate was pretty special too.

Next year...I want to be camping up here next year.
Maybe next year you will be visiting me in my new abode, and we'll go hiking this trail again together.