Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas from long ago

Judging from the angel on my dresser, I think this was probably Christmas morning. Or possibly just me showing off as a toddler that now I was old enough to climb out of my crib at will!
I remember how much fun it was to do that, and that dresser with the pink wooden knobs. Not surprisingly, there was a huge stack of books next to my bed even then!
Funny how some things never change.

I'm thinking this was a year later...and while my brother Carl got a hot new red hot rod, I got triplet baby dolls to play with, and a stroller too.


No wonder I always felt so overwhelmed when I used to go to play with my dollies. All three of them wouldn't fit into the stroller, and I couldn't just leave one of them behind...oh the dilemma, oh the stress for one so young as I!

I vividly recall dressing my dolls in pjs at night and tucking them in, and in the morning dressing them again, and feeding them bottles that made them wet (some bottles had "magical" insides that made the milk or orange juice disappear as when you tipped the bottle upside down. Much better really. That feed-and-soaked routine got real old after a time or two.)

Weekly or there abouts I would give the dolls a bath, and it would take forever to get the water out of their bodies. I would wash their hair, and dry their eyes carefully as I had discovered the "Tiny Tears" doll eyes would rust if let damp.

Occasionally I would wash their clothes, and iron them too with a little iron that warmed up a bit.

I'd take the dolls to tea parties, and seriously enjoyed their wardrobes that my grandmother had sewn for them.

But secretly...most days?

I actually looked forward to when I could put them back down for their naps. I'd cover them up in various cradles and playpens and what not, as eventually I think I had at least a dozen dollies, and not nearly enough beds.

Then I would pull the curtains and quietly tip toe out of my room, and head outside to PLAY.

(Again...funny how somethings never change. That was exactly what it felt like later when I had real babies to tend!)

Baby doll daughter Laura will be in San Diego for Christmas with our parents, and baby boy Jeff will be hosting us for a tamale dinner tonight. The boys headed out for a morning of skiing; we'll got to an afternoon church service, then go to the mountains to watch torch skiing and carols, then attend a bell choir performance at 11 pm (if I am still awake!)

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

Take lots of pictures, OK?

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Baking on a Snowy Day

Ahh...a world outside the window swathed in white. Snow is falling all around.

What a perfect day for some holiday baking!

I pulled on my down overcoat and sailed out the door.

Walked around up the street and around the corner from work past the Black Sheep Woolen Shop...and Alpine Art...

To Mrs. Backer's Bakery.

(She's been at this location since 1926. Gosh, she must be ready to retire by now, wouldn't you think?)

Is this not the most adorable pastry shop EVER????

The windows had treats for the eyes....

And the mouth!

And aprons too. I already own cute Christmas aprons, but of course, they are packed away.

And you certainly can't expect me to bake anything Christmas-y without my traditional apron, and cookie cutters and rolling pins. Sigh.

Oh well. I guess I'll just have to make do with letting Mrs. Backer do the baking this year.

(Doesn't it seem really sophisticated and cosmopolitan to go to the bakery for holiday treats? I think so. At least doing it that way just this once....)

I had to look over all the sweet napkins and serving pieces.

Loved the feathered wreath.

Love the cornice at the top of the pink the seventy year old glass display cases.

Shouldn't all pastry shops have crystal chandeliers?

And shop girls with pink aprons?

Time to get serious.
A Christmas cake, six inches, will be just the thing for Christmas dessert for just us three people.
Some cheese danish for Christmas Eve morning...and a couple of cookies to tide me over on my walk back to work.
There now.
That's one way to do Christmas baking in a jiffy!

(By the is the third night of Hanukkah, and Bernie and I find it very soothing to light the evening candles and reflect on Jesus, the Light of the World. Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe...

If you wish, you can find our reading for tonight here, from last year's series of posts. It reminded me how important it was to not assimilate into unGodly ways. Let me close this post with a quote from Michael Medved concerning this season of Dedication:

In this holiday season, Americans hear lots of talk about “Hanukkah” but most Christians—and most Jews, for that matter—don’t know what that word actually means. No, Hanukkah doesn’t mean “Festival of Lights,” or “Festival of Tolerance” – the Hebrew word means, simply, “dedication.”

It refers to the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 165 B.C., after its desecration by Hellenists who worshipped Greek Gods in the shape of men. The holiday calls for our re-dedication to resisting secularism and assimilation, and recommitting to God’s commandments. The word “Hanukah” has the same root as “Hinukh” –education—emphasizing that there’s no meaningful education without dedication to divine truth.

At the darkest time of each year, the glowing candles of Hanukkah signal dedication to bring light to a world that too often worships men, instead of God.)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Kitchen fun

I kind of like it!

Just so you know...yes, we are in the process of buying a house, and yes, it should close this week, and yes, I will post pictures after we sign on the dotted line (not taking any chances this time...) and no, we won't be able to move into it until Feb, as it will need a considerable amount of remodeling, and yes, I am looking for ideas as to what I should do about the kitchen which we plan to have done as part of the remodel.

Oh my stars and garters...I had NO IDEA how many decisions that are to make when remodeling a kitchen.

What kind of floor? Wood, tile, linoleum, cork, concrete, vinyl....

Say we go with wood.

What color wood? What KIND of wood?

Then there are the cabinets.

Wood, paint or laminate?

If wood, what kind of wood? (Especially if the floor is wood too. Can't would be like living in a wooden box.)

If paint, what color?

(plus paint glazes, paint finishes etc.)

Cabinet door styles: Plank door, shaker frame, raised panel, glass?

Full cabinet coverage (the doors completely cover the cabinet) or just some coverage?

Drawers or cabinets below?

How many drawers? How deep?

What kind of glass in cabinet doors?

Reeded, bubbled, caned, frosted, clear, leaded?

Oh and how about hardware?

Nickel, black, chrome, brass, glass, rubbed bronze, hammered, copper, wood...

Counter top?

(NOT GRANITE!!!!) Ok...Formica, tile, quartz, butcher block, concrete, stainless steel, silestone?


Stainless, black, or white? Or how about "Mamie" pink? (more pink kitchens here...don't they all look kind of like modern IKEA kitchens?) Or even retro aqua or red?

(Lordie, I do love and admire about Mamie and "her" pink here. I've loved Mamie Eisenhower ever since I read that she always wore a slip and never a bra, and her husband referred to her as "saucy." And that he sent her pink flowers every morning. Note to self: Buy more slips. BTW: Wouldn't Mamie be a cute name for a little girl?)

Back to kitchen planning....

Gas or electric range? How many burners?

Free standing or slide in oven?

Single or double oven?

Range knobs on the front or in the back? (No brainer there...the front!)

Side by side or freezer on the bottom of the refrigerator?

Back splash?

Tile? Same as counter? Paint?

What color walls?

What kind of sink? Stainless or ceramic? Or moulded into the counter top?
Single, double or triple sink?

What kind of faucet?

Single handle, double handle, pull out sprayer, dishmaster?

What kind of finish?

Brushed nickel, oiled bronze, chrome, brass, enamel paint?

What kind of trim on the over head can/pot lights? White? Black? Nickel? Brass? Bronze...

ADA compliant dishwasher? (Raised up dishwasher = less continuous counter space, but less bending over too..)

Cut into a wall to make a pass through? (No for now...)

Seal off a pocket door to make more room for cabinets and counter tops? ( another no...)

Again...what color walls???? Bright and cheery or subdued and natural? The kitchen faces south west....

Right now I am at:

Rustic Cherry framed cabinets with black hardware and one glass door above the sink. (Fretting that they should be plank doors to fit in with the house style era...)
White single tub sink.
Oak flooring to match the rest of the house (don't know the shade yet...the floors are original and will be stripped, re-stained and sanded. Gotta decide on a stain color...SOON!)
Stainless GE appliances (worried about finger prints though)
Quartz counter top (don't know color yet)
One drawers on the lower cabinets on both sides of range top. Roll out shelves in the cabinets.
Dishwasher to the right of sink, and a pull out pantry next to that.
Counter deep refrigerator

I've never dreamed of a "dream" kitchen before; I've always been happy with whatever kitchen came with our houses. I had mahogany plank doors, tile counters and harvest gold appliances for years in the house we raised our kids in. The blue wall paper matched my dishes when we moved in, it was still up and making me happy when we moved out a dozen or so years later.

College course work in Interior Design (over 32 years ago) taught me how to color board selections and how to use color wheels and lay outs and all that stuff. One decision informs the next and once one element is selected all the other elements should harmonize.

Yeah I get that....I also get how much leg work is involved in running down all those options to make the best possible selection.
Or even just a relatively good selection.
Or "what we can afford" selection.

Dear Santa:

I've been a good girl pretty much all year. All I want for Christmas is my very own Interior Decorator. And a whopping gift card to either Lowes or Home Depot.

Say hi to Mrs. Santa Claus and Rudolph, and all the elves.

Your friend who now lives Salt Lake City;


PS: Sorry we don't have a chimney for you this year; we are staying in an apartment, but if all goes well, next year you can pick between two chimneys when you visit!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Churches

The United Methodists have a lovely place to fellowship downtown.

A musical bunch they are too, if the banner out front is any indication.
I personally am more interested in seeing those tiny windows up in the tower though. Bet I could get an eyeful of beauty from them!

About the church:

The historic building which houses First United Methodist Church represents a Victorian Eclectic architectural style designed by Frederick Albert Hale, a prominent Utah architect from 1890 to 1934. The appearance of the FUMC building has remained the same since its completion in 1906. You can read more about the church here.

Up the street and around the corner from my work is the very pretty Presbyterian church, a Gothic Revival style church whose services I have attended in the past. The stained glassed windows are glorious, with the sun streaming through them during the morning worship service.

About the church:
First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City, Utah, was organized in 1873. The present church structure, built in 1903, was restored in 2003. It is one of the three oldest religious structures in the city. The church architecture is in the Gothic Revival style, designed by noted Salt Lake City architect, Walter Ware and modeled after Carlisle Cathedral in Carlisle England. The church was constructed of indigenous red sandstone quarried at nearby Red Butte Canyon Greek Revival characteristics have a strong association between religion and nature based on the Medieval English precedent from the 12th-15th centuries. The style was a way of building a very tall building while preserving as much virtual light as possible. Main features of Gothic Revival architecture displayed in First Presbyterian Church: Overlaid tracery: Bars and ribs used decoratively in the windows some forming netlike patterns based on the circle, arch, trefoil ,and quatrefoil (insert picture of the angel window) Vault: Covered areas(insert photo) Pointed arch: On doors and windows(insert photo)

Be sure to click on the blue link to the Carlisle Cathedral in Northern England. This church is a dead ringer for that one!

Additional interesting fact: the church has an artesian well in its basement.

The front gardens are quite nice to linger in after the worship services.

Aren't those two pillars amazing?

This, of course, is the Catholic Cathedral one block up from the Presbyterian church.

Everyone remember what architectural style was used when it was built?

That's right...Romanesque exterior with a Gothic interior.

Very good!

Victorian Eclectic, Gothic Revival, and Romanesque architecture...see what cool things you can learn just by read blogs?
Happy Sunday Everyone!