Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring/Winter...Here/There...Take Your Pick.

As I work I glance out the window and the seasons seem to change with every look.
When the skies darken, I have a harder time looking away than when the skies are a sunny blue.
Southern California living for over 40 years delivered more than my share of blue skies.
Storm clouds were a reason to gawk!
And gawk I have, in Dallas and Houston where dark skies might bring downpours, lightening and thunder, and from time to time, a funnel cloud warning to heed.
Here in Salt Lake dark clouds rarely bring as much drama.
But I still secretly hope for a bit of a weather show.

Yesterday I finished up my work around three.
Bernie was finished with his work assignments as well.
We decided to hit the road and go west to explore an area where he had never ventured before.
We skirted the edge of the Great Salt Lake, chatting about this and that as the sky played games with clouds and sunshine.
When a green cloud appeared ahead of us we took special notice.
As it turns out, a green cloud sometimes brings a funnel cloud.
A green wall of clouds definitely means a tornado is in the works.
We had seen such things on weather shows and once on a sunny day in the San Jose California area we saw such a green wall cloud and remarked that it surely wasn't the same kind of green wall cloud that we had seen on weather shows.
That night on the news we learned that a tornado had indeed speared out the sky and taken out a bit of a local neighborhood.
Well then.
That got our attention.
Later we noted in Texas that the green cloud was a signal that a tornado was a-brewing.

I won't keep you in suspense.
No funnel cloud disturbed our travels this time although there were plenty of droopy cloud bits that looked like they were practicing tornado formation skills.

Salt Lake does have tornadoes.
One year one raced up one of the downtown main streets and blasted out an ancient grove of trees that stood aside the state capital.

No worries for us though.
The clouds were just interesting to watch form and reform over and over again.

The Salt Lake was an amazing turquoise color that reminded me of Lake Louise a bit.

Also stirred memories of lakes that we saw in Switzerland.

So funny to think how long we flew to see such sights in Switzerland and now we can take a 30 minute drive or less and see scenes of equal beauty.

Places on the lake had some small waves.
Not enough form for surfing though.
Plus the water temperature and the air temperatures match.
A dip in 32 degree water?
No interest.

The best part of the area to the west of us is that it also has mountain ranges to be viewed in every direction.
I like how the snow coverage stripes on the mountainsides.

A sign and some houses between it and the mountain gives perspective on just how big this mountain range really is.
By the time we got home all the snow at our place had melted.
No snow was forecast for Saturday.
I wondered if this storm would be the last snow of the season.

The sound of a snow plow woke me up early Saturday morning.
A peek out the window show about six inches of new fluff outside!
And color me happy...the snowflakes had form!

Three potted primroses sat on our deck coffee table gathering flakes that just begged to be photographed.

A Valentine apology for the season that flirts shamelessly between winter and spring.

Same snowflake shot three tiny and perfect!

So fun to have color behind the flakes after working all winter with glass lens for backdrops.

More flakes are falling as I type.
Ohhhh....gotta go see them up close!
(Again, apologies to the winter weary. Believe me when I report that Utah snow is nothing like the snow that sits heavy and wet with below zero temps that try one's soul elsewhere!)
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring 2013: Day 2

The last day of winter looked like this in our garden.
The first day of spring...grey and rainy.

Second day of spring: Behold!

Someone once said:

"March I hate you; you are holding hands with Spring but married to Winter."

Personally, I would be really bummed if March (and April and May and June for that matter)
didn't have some snowfall.
Snow and spring flowers look so wonderful together!
Spring, we need it but it doesn't do much for me.

Crocus in snow.
I. Love. It.

Their little white caps are cuter than cute.

Crocus play the snow!

I think the first time I ever saw crocus in the snow was in Edinburgh Scotland.
The multi colored blooms on white looked like sprinkles on white cake frosting.

OK...I got carried away with taking pictures, again.

The temperatures have been in the 60s here lately so the ground is still quite warm.
It is interesting to see what surfaces held the heat and melted all snow that touched it.

Cotton batting, cotton balls...

Blue skies alternated with grey skies today.

A spin around the garden after making work related calls was made for a nice break.

Tate and Frenchie joined me outside.

Frenchie is very careful of her white boots as she carefully picks her way through the snowy paths.

The little crook on her tail says she likes being outside with me.

Tate is sometimes careful and sometimes not.

The japanese maples are sure pretty in the snow.

Frenchie kept very close to me...

The downside of having an 80 ft. tall sequoia in our back yard:
Those brownish things are barbed bits that stick to cat fir and will prick one's finger if touched.
Messy thing it is.
Sequoias really belong together in their own space where cats don't brush into their droppings!

Tate hunked down beneath the japanese maple and watched Frenchie's every move.

At one point he was clearly considering pouncing...

I kept taking photos of the crocus.
Did you know that 10% of all photos ever taken were taken in 2012?
Wonder how many of them were of flowers?

Tate: Wonder how many of them were of cats?
Tate: There probably wasn't enough cat pictures taken.
I think he's right.
Doing my part to correct that oversight in 2013 at least!

(My apologies for this post to all those who are done, done, DONE with snow due to the heavy snowfalls that fell on the Northeastern part of our country.  Sadly, I  think our storm is headed your way next and it is supposed to be a Palm Sunday doozie.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

New Chapters

Every two years I find myself once again at a decision point:
What kind of glasses frames do I want on my face this time?

Over my 40+ years of glasses wearing I've had black wire frames, many shades of tortoise shell, brown with turquoise in back, brown with pink in back, black with blue in back, and most recently, deep purple with lime green in back.

Getting new glasses is like turning an internal page to a new chapters in life.
For awhile I have been feeling the urge to indulge in some really bold glasses, in either red or orange.
When it came time to choose a new pair, I finally found just the right pair to make the bold move.
The designer: Prodesign: Denmark: 
same designers as my last frames.

After I got them I realized just how much red I already had in my wardrobe.
Red down jacket, red purse, red cord jeans, red turtleneck, red flannel pjs.
The red frames went well with my every day black or grey turtlenecks and my white blouses too.
Blue, green, yellow...every color seemed to work with the red.
Could red really be a "goes with everything" color?

Red glasses seem to match my mood, whether it be sporty, glam, or just out of the hot tub grungy.

The most curious part of the whole deal was trying to find some guidance on make-up colors to wear with red glasses.
Should I go face neutral, with pale lips and blend in beige blusher?
Or go with intense red lips and ??? blusher?
I did a google search and found absolutely nothing on the subject.
Not one helpful tip anywhere!
How odd is that?
I finally asked a make-up pro; she voted for bright red lips and mauve or mocha blush.
After buying about five shades of red lipsticks I found that I liked the bright red lips with the frames.
I liked a mocha pink too...
and orange.

So the frames are one part of the new chapter in my life.
The next three months I will be involved in a project that will be keeping me pretty busy.
It already has kept me away from blogging much as I underwent on line training the past couple of weeks.
Last week I was sent to California for five more days of training; this week I will begin doing educational assessments of Salt Lake City area second graders as part of a nation wide study that follows American children from Kindergarten to fifth grade.
The same study is done every ten years when a sampling of kindergartner's are selected.
Each spring the child is assessed on reading, math and science.
Their parents are surveyed about the child's home life.
The assessment with each child takes about two hours (and second graders are the sweetest!) while the parent's survey takes about 40 minutes.
Some of the results of the Kindergarten study year are already on line.
If you are interested, you can read about the study HERE.
I am hoping that I will have as much fun as I think I will have doing this project.
For better or for worse, the next few months may be pretty busy.
Busy is good!