Friday, August 31, 2012

I Believe in America, too.

The sign is back out in the planter along the street for the neighborhood to see.  It's been in the garage since the end of the primaries.  Now that Mitt is officially the Republican candidate and there are only 67 days left until the 2012 presidential election, Glen decided it was time for it to reappear.

Did you watch the Republican Convention?  I asked Glen if he watched political conventions when he was a kid.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  Why would you watch conventions when you could be at the beach or out playing baseball?  I have watched many conventions.  I've felt drawn to them since the early 1960's when my age had finally reached the double digits.  I don't know if it coincides with finally having a TV in our home, but TV definitely facilitated my being able to listen and watch.  I remember famous addresses from Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, fighting in the streets in Chicago, Nixon's daughters, Johnson's daughters, the crazy hats, and confetti and balloons. 

I watched almost every minute of the RNC convention this week and I took it straight up.  Translation:  I watched C-Span.  I wanted to watch the convention, not all of the talking heads trying to get their own air time.  I really can think and react for myself, thank you very much!  I found it fascinating as I watched a Mormon become the official candidate for president of the United States.  I wasn't expecting all the programing directly before the convention trying to explain my religion.  It made me wonder about the accuracy of journalistic stories in general as there were so many inaccuracies presented in network stories.  Go here to see official LDS Church statements regarding such inaccuracies.

Here are my thoughts and feelings the day after:

*  When a Mormon stake president from Boston offered the opening prayer I felt like I was listening to General Conference.  It was so comforting.  Isn't it interesting how our religious life has its own rhythms and cadence?

*  Did you notice Ann's eyes darting here and there when all the grand kids came out on stage?   That's exactly what happens to me when with the grand kids somewhere and you want them to be safe and well behaved.

*  Tears and more tears.  Such touching personal stories which needed to be shared so that we know more about the candidate as a man not just a candidate for president.

*  Moments spent getting oneself back in control.  In an interview this morning, Ann stated that her youngest son explained his moment saying that he suddenly felt his grandfather George Romney with him.  Where else would George's spirit be on such an occasion as this?

Yes, I listened to the speeches and heard the political rhetoric but for me it is usually more about the feelings.  I wish that the next 67 days would be more "Mormon Ad" in tone than muckraking and demonizing.  Wouldn't that be nice?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Upstairs, downstairs, and in the wall

My former elementary school librarian self has to dip into the children's section of the library every now and again.  Author Richard Peck is a favorite and his current book, Secrets at Sea, is so clever and in keeping with the vibe of Downton Abbey, Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee celebration, and England's (and America's) fascination with class.

The wealthy Cranston family travel by ship to England in 1887 hoping to marry off their daughter to one of the landed gentry.  Four members of the mouse family who share their house tag along finding many of their kind also on board.  But in true upstairs/downstairs (or in the wall) ways, everyone has their place.  There is love, romance, and unlikely unions amongst the humans and the stowaways as well as brushes with the Royals. After all, many on board are headed to Queen Victoria's Jubilee.

I loved the dual stories and the point of view of little "people" who can't be seen.  I enjoyed the charming illustrations.  I do not love that we have little "people" who have been occasionally spotted in the Provo townhouse.  We have been in guerrilla warfare with them this month.  The mouse traps go off and the bait is gone, but no mice save one.  Another has been spotted and we hope that there is only one clever mouse still in residence.  I have left my visiting BIL in charge of the fight.  My sister claims he has never lost a mouse war. Most times one's reading life does not match one's real life.  I wish real mice were as charming as those in Secrets at Sea.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We were not in Beverly Hills

While in Utah furniture shopping for the new office, we received two free tickets to the Salt Lake County Parade of Homes.  We only visited 5 of the homes, most models for new developments, but this 20,000 foot behemoth was one I didn't want to miss.  It may look like it belongs in Beverly Hills, but it is found hugging the side of the mountain in Draper.

It has a ballroom for "industry" entertaining, ie., the owner is the agent for such people as Lionel Ritchie and Usher.

The ballroom had two of these bigger than life fireplaces.  The decorating was somewhat sparse and perhaps is meant to be that way or just still in progress.

The smallest daughter's bedroom had a hide away in the corner provided much needed space above for her stuffed animal collection.

She is truly a modern princess with her own master suite type bathroom.

Big sister across the hall also has her own special bathroom.

With views

And a princess headboard.

Lovely laundry and sewing room.  Of course I would be partial to any space with a sewing machine.

Master suite and this is where we met the owner's home assistant and security person.   That's how I learned about Usher and all.

This view looking west in the suite would have be spectacular if the western United States hadn't been in the midst of 50 or so forest and wild fires.

Master bath

and massage area

and dressing table

AND walk in closet.

The house had beautiful woodwork and windows.

Entry hall chandelier

and split staircase.

Now that's a grand entry worthy of a butler.  Honestly, I felt like this house should be a country house in France or England.

Upstairs family room kitchen

and family room.  

There was also an in-law who was sharing information.

The real family room seemed to be in this downstairs area viewed from across the upstairs room family room.

More views of the front.

And south looking towards Salt Lake City and the Draper Temple.

The in-law and his wife also had their own suite of rooms including this bathroom.

Across from the downstairs family room was this beautiful kitchen.  It was also where the homeowner was hanging out.  The formal dining room was too boring to warrant a picture, plus I bet everyone eats at this counter anyway.

The craft room.

Something to drool over.

It overlooks its own balcony.  See that castle across the street.  Unfinished and I overheard someone saying that it now has a 7th owner trying to complete the dream.  Perhaps you need to be an agent?

Interesting bath tile work.

A children's school/craft room next to momma's.

And finally last but not least, the pantry but just half of it.  Do you dream of a house this size or does it just feel overwhelming?  I was overwhelmed.  And now for my favorite.

This is an old Queen Anne style house originally built in 1885.  It is located near Glen's new office in the  SLC/Murray area.  This is a picture taken during the renovation of the home.  Read more about the renovation here.

This is how it looked on the day we visited.

I was immediately in love and ready to move in.  Just look at those roof lines and imagine how they translate into cozy, intimate bedrooms.  Visit the blog to see more.  I was so in love that I didn't take my camera out once while on the inside.  I even went back a second time with my sisters and I was still too smitten and busy sharing to take out the camera.

It was originally the home of a dairy farmer and there is still a big lot behind the house with an outbuilding.  There is also a huge new garage and a built on master bedroom suite with a roof top patio.

 This photo of the home's office courtesy of google images which I borrowed.

This house would make me feel welcomed and warm and not at all overwhelmed.  What about you?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer project

The hubby and I have been making monthly trips to Utah for the past 2 1/2 years as Glen has grown a client base there for his business.  This summer it was time to open a satellite office in Salt Lake City.

We found ourselves in and out of furniture stores while our son did most of his shopping online.

I think that furniture shopping is exhausting, don't you?  It was also scary to make choices based on the existing carpet, wall color, window blinds and all that 1980's oak trim. That is Glen's office to the left.  It was (and is) a project in progress.  His office will have a more traditional feel.

Son's office is modern and all the choices are his.  The conference/classroom has super comfy chairs and a 14 foot conference table.  Instead of a projector, they mounted a large TV on the wall and will operate their "slide shows" for classes via Ipads.

That is Glen in the corner room which has a sofa and chairs and beautiful mountain views for individual client meetings.  All those folding chairs went back to the townhouse garage in Provo.  Unfortunately the new chairs arrived just a bit too late for the first official class.

We also had these drapes to work with, but I think I found the perfect chairs for the greeting area.

This is the view from Glen's office on the 2nd floor.  Utah has been very smokey this summer.  When it is clear, the mountains are stunning.  Pluses for this location just north of the 215 on 900 East include plenty of parking, sits next to the famous Sports Mall, central for clients, and the price was right. Hubby is in office heaven.  If you know of any dentists who could use his business savvy, send me a message.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Winners all. . .

Helen Butler, Turkish Delight, 2011, cotton, gold metallic thread, silk thread, 90 x 90 inches. Photograph compliments of the Springville Art Museum, courtesy of Helen Butler.

This quilt was the favorite of viewers at last year's Springville Museum of Art Quilt Show.  It was a beauty.  This year my sister was in Provo dropping off a son at BYU so I had someone to go with me to this annual show.  Here are a few pictures.

A mixture of traditional applique. . .

and Japanese style blocks.

A Jane quilt

Border applique

There were several with blue ribbons indicating some kind of award, ie., Judges, Piecing, Hand Quilting, Machine Quilting, etc.  I tried to get a picture of the ones with blue ribbons but have forgotten the name of most of the awards.

I did love the house border and tiny pieces.

Very large nosegay quilt

A Grandmother's Garden which the quilter had worked on for years.  I loved the hexagon border.

Hexies in a new interpretation.

This one did receive the machine quilting award.

Loved all the color in this appliqued quilt.  The sashing is a stripe fabric.

A beautiful appliqued square. . .

and the best in hand quilting.

I loved the very graphic feel of this quilt. . .

and the flying geese border.

A small quilt made of small quilted blocks. . .

made of mens silk ties which were then mounted in a somewhat random manner on the backing fabric.

The black background really made this one pop.

some of these fabrics were hand dyed.

This one appealed to my love of red with yellow.  The quilt maker called it a countrified version of a Baltimore Album quilt.  We were allowed to vote for our favorite with the winner being announced at the end of the show on August 29th.  This quilt won my vote.

Houses, lots of houses, each one different.

See the dog in the window?

Light and shadow and my sister's beautiful gray/white hair.  Wish I had nerve enough to stop my color habit.

Whimsical applique with dots.

Really delightful!

We debated, does the red background take away from the applique. . .

or does the quilt maker have it just right?

I loved this little cutie of rainbow colors. . .

and retro embroidery.

This was my sister's favorite and got her vote.  It was all done in reverse applique and each block was different.

Isn't it stunning?  My sister, a non-lover of batiks, thought this time a batik was the perfect choice.

Winner for the smallest pieces.

I feel a headache coming on.  Those are very small pieces.

Another Grandmother's Garden with a dark green border and background.

I loved all the color.

And last but not least, a flour sack quilt.  Made me feel like I was back in Kansas and also wishing my mother would have saved a few for me to find.

If you are ever in Utah in August and are anywhere near the Springville Museum of Art, the Annual Quilt Show is a must see.  The Museum is also very interesting.

This is the inner courtyard with exhibit rooms branching off from it.

Such a peaceful place to be as are the exterior gardens.

The courtyard has a roof but makes you feel like you are outside no matter the weather.

It is flooded with light. . .

and architectural features. It was a pleasure for the senses.