Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sundancing with the boys

Mom had a blood pressure scare so while she was being monitored at the hospital, the boys came to spend the night with the grandparents.  After heading out to wash the car with grandpa we put their pajama bottoms back on for warmth and headed up the canyon to the chairlift at Sundance.

It was a last minute kind of outing, so they rode barefoot.  We didn't want to have to hike later for their Crocs.

It was a beautiful, crisp, sunshine filled autumn morning and just perfect for a ride in the colors.

I snapped and snapped some more as we traveled higher and higher.  Sundance truly is a spectacular place.

I'm sharing just a few of my pictures for there were many.  Still trying to use up all that extra memory!




It was fun to have that tree top color right at your feet.


And now we have reached the top and turned around and I'm shooting into the east and sun.


Luscious yellows.

The boys and looking west.  Henry gave a "Hi!" to all who passed by.

East side of chair lift again.



We are nearing the bottom and Sundance facing north.

Sundance was also having a Harvest Market.  I snapped one more picture before landing.  The bakery booth was to die for even from above.

It was amazing with breads, pastries, cookies, and pies.  The boys selected cookies, Glen cheesy braided bread sticks, and I held out for the pain au chocolat.

Grandpa introduced them to a falcon and told about his falcon training days.

They loved the EMT's and their rescue truck.

They were so impressed that they could explore the front seat.

Raymond was totally impressed to be in the driver's seat.

There were fish in the pond.

But just to look at.  After eating our snacks we were back in the car.  The decision was made to deliver the boys to their parents via the Alpine Loop which would be slow going but a feast for the eyes.  More about that later.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Human family stratified

I just finished A Wedding in Haiti by Julia Alvarez. It is a simple telling of two visits to Haiti from the Dominican Republic, one just before the earthquake and another 6 months after.  Julia Alvarez was born in the Dominican Republic, currently owns and operates an organic coffee farm there with her husband Bill, and also watches the demise of both parents with dementia who live in a home created by her father years ago in his homeland. Julia and Bill live and work in Vermont, but as time allows, they return to the Dominican Republic.

 As in the United States with illegal border crossings, it is common for Haitians to illegally cross the border into the DR to work.  That is how Julia and Bill come to know and love Piti and are extended a wedding invitation when Piti returns home to Haiti to marry the mother of his daughter.  It is thus that their Haitian adventures begin.  Julia is an author of several books and a journal keeper.  She keeps a journal of their journey by four wheel drive pickup deep into northwest Haiti, never planning to write the memoir that eventually emerges.  We are plunged into the culture and lives of Haitians as she writes for us from that journal.  After the earthquake they return with Piti, his wife, and child to bring supplies and to check on family members.  This time as they also venture south to Port Au Prince, we are immersed once again into the horror that was post earthquake Haiti.

I have been thinking a great deal about this quote, "When we have seen a thing, what then is the obligation?"  Julia Alvarez shares these words from a friend who had traveled the world and seen hard things.  What truly is our obligation? Bill's answer to his wife is, "We do what we can. We try to be generous wherever we find ourselves."

And then Julia writes:

"And tonight it happens -- what seldom happens in a human family so scattered and stratified, so divided by opportunity that sometimes it's difficult to recognize the critter at the top as kin to the one at the bottom.  Tonight, oh holy night: a disparate group has gathered like pieces of a story under one roof, all having eaten enough, all safe enough for now, all asleep or ready for sleep. . ."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Opal is not an oval

My daughter is expecting her first daughter within the next three weeks.  She and her husband decided that Opal would be her name.  Shortly after during dinner her eldest son, age 6, spoke up and said, "Why are we naming our baby after a shape?"

Imagine my delight when I was reading a shape and baby book by Ann Geddes to my oldest son's youngest daughter and came to this two page spread.

I am sure that Opal will be ever bit as cute and delightful as this baby in an oval.  Can't wait!

Her crib is ready.  I finished it all up last week.

Big brother Henry helped me get all those ruffles in place.  Thank goodness he is skinny and can just roll under the bed.

Both of the  pieces of wall decor were on the walls of my daughter's childhood bedroom.

I can't wait to see the little one in her bed.  I explained to Henry that when she first comes home, she would fit crosswise in her bed.  That set him back a bit.

I love the color palate. 

I love that I was able to help with my daughter's dream.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Autumn has arrived

On this first day of Autumn 2012, we were on the road again.  As we drove the I-15 through Utah we could see bands of gold on the mountains.  Thus our decision to drive across the mountains to the Highway 89 by going further south and crossing over via Parowan, Brian Head, Cedar Breaks, and Duck Creek.  It was the right decision, so beautiful!

The road is narrow, steep, and twisty and it was hard to find a turn out for pictures.  I so wanted one of the aspens back lit by the sun peaking out of the clouds.  The timing, however, was off.

There were pullouts for beautiful views of the Breaks.  It is amazing how the world looks at over 10,000 feet.

The best part was the changing colors on the aspen trees.

Duck Creek Pond displayed a bit of orange.

 Duck Creek is lovely.  The area was hit hard a few years back by the bark beetle killing the pine trees.

We noticed many new evergreens filling in.

It was also a beautiful cloud day and far enough south that we had left all the smokey northern Utah air behind.  FYI, there was smokey haze until we crossed over the mountain pass south of Filmore.

I snapped this picture out the window while the car was moving on a narrow winding descent just before reaching the 89.  So glad we decided to make this change in driving plans.  FYI, it only took us 30 minutes longer than our regular route over Highway 20.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Loving Buggy Barn

I have been having so much fun using the Buggy Barn method this week.  I am making "It Takes a Village" from Those Crazy Kids.  For weeks I've been collecting fat quarters in preparation for starting the fun.  I realized yesterday that my color palette was not only based on my grand daughter's newly decorated bedroom, but could also come from the honey crisp apple I was about to eat.

The pattern calls for 12 coordinating 1/2 yards of fabric.  I changed it up and selected 36 coordinating fat quarters, each different, to make my 36 girl blocks.  This means that every one is different but it also means I have leftover fabric for another project.  Fat quarters were ironed and stacked with alternating reading, small floral, and plaid or bolder designed fabric.

 The cut out design is traced on freezer paper and then ironed onto the top layer of stacked fabric.  I'm working with just 6 layers of fabric stacked and cut at the same time. It seemed more manageable to me. The pattern called for tracing 3 cut out designs and placing them across the 1/2 yards stacked 12 high.  They then cut them all at once.

I placed the cut out design pattern in  a cookie sheet to help keep the pieces organized.

Then it's time for the magic and fun to start.  I removed the freezer paper and put the dress and hat pieces at the bottom of the pile.  Then I did the same with the apron and hat rim but put 2 layers of fabric at the bottom of the pile.  I also removed the head and legs and replaced with solid fabric pieces. As you sew together the pieces the next little girl and her special outfit are revealed.  It's so exciting, almost a party!

Soon, everything is together and it works because you straighten up edges before sewing together pieces such as the arms to the body.

After a good press, the blocks are ready to be trimmed up to a perfect 8 1/2 X 10 inch block with the arms 5 inches from the bottom.

I've made 24 of the 36 blocks so far.  I can't wait to make all those little girls happy as they hold hands!  I think it will make my little Julianna happy as well.