Sunday, June 30, 2013

Heather time

I brought three girls with me to Utah in June, one who was my oldest granddaughter.  When she is in Utah, we always visit the doll store at Gardner Village.  This year her cousins joined us on this shopping trip as they were in Utah for a week as well.

Heather is not old enough to participate in EFY, but she did attend a Writer's Workshop for 5th and 6th graders at BYU.  They ended their week with a performance of the play "A Wrinkle in Time."

I bought tickets for myself and the other two girls visiting with us. We very much enjoyed the performance.  They had participatory activities before the play began.

The play was performed on the stage of the de Jong Concert Hall but in a different manner.  The audience members were seated on the back and sides of the stage, a bit like theater in the round. The usual theater seats and balcony provided the backdrop for the set.  It worked beautifully.

Heather and other writers waiting for the play to begin.

On the way home from the fishing trip with grandpa for Father's Day, Heather and her cousins joined me in a side trip to check out the progress on the new Payson Temple.

We also took Heather to the top of Memorial Hill in Midway/  This was our view.  This trip included pizza at our favorite place to eat in Midway, Cafe Galleria and soft ice cream cones from Timpfreeze.

Grandpa took this great shot of Heather in the Conference Center next to a rainbow falling from the skylight above on the day we went to her the Tabernacle Choir perform Music and the Spoken Word.

Grandpa also enjoyed his annual ski lift ride up the mountain at Sundance with his favorite girls.  He says the the singing and conversation can not be beat.

Heather also helped me entertain Oscar while his parents were tied up with running races.  Color Me Rad Races and Dirty Dashes have been keeping them busy.

She was an attentive helper at the park and splash pad making Oscar's life more fun.

It was a happy accident that they were color coordinated.

We also worked on a project while the two other girls were at EFY.  We found this owl pillow pattern while on the Wasatch Quilt Shop Hop earlier in the month.  We made one for Heather and one for her to give her cousin on her birthday in July.  She brought her sewing machine along this trip and we kept both machines and the iron going.  Aren't they cute.  The wings are sewn down on the bottom edge so they also provided little pockets for treasures or lost teeth.

Heather has already sewed together all her free quilt shop charm squares of fabric into a little quilt top.

Grandpa took Heather to check out one of the many shaved ice stands in Provo.  Grandpa is a push over as you can see by the size.  I just like how it is all color coordinated.

When we returned to Arizona to exchange girls for boys, Heather refused to go along for the ride.  She spent a couple of days with her Aunt Nichelle and then a couple more with her Aunt Janae.  She knew that her parents would arrive in a week for their 4th of July week and she could just wait it out and go home with them.  We have very much enjoyed our June month with Heather.

**Many of these pictures were shared from Grandpa's smart phone.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Traveling with the girls - part 4, Bryce Canyon and Pipe Springs

After a wonderful week at Especially For Youth at BYU, we picked up the girls from their dorm early on a Saturday morning and headed back to Arizona.  We had a couple of little side trips planned.  The first was Bryce Canyon National Park.  The above picture is for Red Canyon which gives a sneak peak of what is to come as you approach the entry way into the park.

This was our first overlook in the park.  Magnificent!

Glen points out the trail we hiked on New Year's Day in 2000.  We had a large family gathering at Ruby's Inn to welcome in the new millennium.  Bryce Canyon frosted with snow is something to see.

A man with the last name of Bryce used to haul out timber from the canyons, thus the name.

Nature creating over time is awe inspiring.

Alma and Samantha snapped away on their smart phones.

Look closely and you will see the many hikers below.  The girls were excited to see so many different license plates on cars including Florida and Alaska.  We also heard native tongues from all over the world.

It was a beautiful day, especially at 8300 feet.

When traveling this route, one has an amazing view when heading south from Fredonia, Arizona up the road to the Kaibab Plateau and Jacobs Lake.  You can see the layers of different colored rocks, thousands of feet of them, with Bryce Canyon red sandstone creations making the top layer.

The view from Bryce Point.

This lookout is a short walk from the parking lot and one ends on this rocky peninsula.

A story of Mormon Pioneers and the settlement of this magnificent wilderness.  Little towns are in the far distance.

These arches in the top layer look like they could be man-made.  I loved how the sun shone through the middle arch.

Next stop was Pipe Springs National Monument just 12 miles west of Fredonia.  It played an important part in western United States history.  This little oasis in the arid west was host to explorers such as John Wesley Powell.  In the above picture, we are in the kitchen which fed many and was famous for the  pies produced here.

This quilt hang over the banister of the stairway to the upstairs sleeping quarters.  I just loved the pattern.

We exited the sleeping quarters and also toured the other side of what is called Winsor Castle.  It is named after a family with the last name of Winsor who lived here.  It is a large stone structure and resembles a castle from a distance.

The other half has additional sleeping quarters and a telegraph office upstairs.  The downstairs has rooms where cheese and other dairy products were produced.  The springs for which Pipe Springs is named actually flow under the floor where the girls are standing and enter the cool room before exiting the building.  This facilitated the dairy work and acted as their refrigerator.  The "castle" was built as a fortress as there had been warfare between the native tribes and pioneers previously.  The large wooden gates on each end were large enough for horse drawn wagons to pass through or remain inside if needed.

A covered wagon, transportation for that time.

Outside the Winsor Castle.  The wing you see behind the girls is the one through which the spring flow exits on the corner.

The water flows into ponds which helped in irrigating their orchards and gardens.  This is a fun stop which gives a great glimpse into life on the western frontier a hundred and forty years ago.

We delivered the girls back to their families that evening.  We loved introducing them to some of our favorites places.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Two missing girls and myriad points of view

I recently finished two novels and once again found myself comparing and contrasting.  Although the settings, one in Afghanistan, France, Greece and the United States while the other the southwest tip of Australia, both have a little girl character who for a time loses her biological family.  The little girls also suffer greatly as their caretakers change unexpectedly and then as adult women trying to identify with their true selves and parents.

While the motives of those who claim a child as their own may seem to be altruistic and gallant, great heart ache occurs for many and both authors deftly weave together the points of view of a myriad of characters.

Khaled Hosseini has struck gold two times before with The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.  I enjoyed this book, but perhaps not as much as I enjoyed the others.  In And the Mountains Echoed, the author takes us by the end of the book to current day Afghanistan and the continuing troubles there.  This story plays out in the last 60 years of Afghanistan history.

M. L. Stedman graces us with her first novel in The Light Between Oceans and it is a beauty.  It drew me in on the first page with beautiful descriptions and well drawn characters.  Now I almost feel like I have been on an island where the Indian Ocean and the cold Southern Ocean meet and my heart continues to ache for the young couple who kept the lighthouse aglow and loved a baby girl washed ashore in a row boat.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Hidden Garden Tour

Glen and I love garden tours.  We try to find one each year to attend.  This year, for the first time, we enjoyed the Hidden Garden Tour in Utah.  We took our visitors with us hoping that they would enjoy it, too.  They did even though they were the youngest tour participants we encountered

This tour was sponsored by master gardeners and this year took place in southeast Salt Lake County mostly in Draper and Sandy.  Next year it will move to Utah County.

All the gardens were lovely.  The first we visited was near or on land once owned by Glen's grandfather in Draper.

The second was a short walk from Relation Street where Glen vacationed each and every summer as a California boy.

Great gardens are all about texture. . .

Beautiful garden rooms . . .

Great vistas . . .

Garden art . . .

And hidden places.

Many of these homes were in the foothills of the mountains with great views.

It was interesting to see how vegetable gardens were integrated into the overall design.

Another outdoor room.

Unexpected treasure.

Glen stands at the entrance to the "clematis garden."  Roses bloom profusely in June in Utah.  Real eye candy!

Ah, a peony!

Different varieties throughout the garden.  So colorful with big blooms.

We found these monkeys in the green house at La Caille.

La Caille is a magical place at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon.

They had a hydroponic garden in the greenhouse.  La Caille is a restaurant/events center.  They were growing these herbs for the use of their chefs.

They also had a large vineyard, orchard, and vegetable garden.  The goal, food grown on location.

Beautiful events structure.

There is just something about glass houses.

Loved the chandelier.

We ate lunch on the patio by the fish pond.

The grounds are lovely.

Little Cottonwood Creek.

Man made waterways.

The front of the chateau inspired restaurant.

With a bench for the girls.

Glen loved this garden, a definite grandpa garden.

The backyard had three tiers.

The middle tier had a train layout.

Grand kid magic.

Garden gates.

Zen spots next to the vegetable gardens.

White picket fences and bird houses.

There was even a guest house.

Behind the guest house on the most upper tier was an in ground pool and a play court for basketball and tennis.  The first tier next to the house had a beautiful grape vine covered patio with a green lawn just perfect for garden parties.

Our last stop was a cabin in the city.

It had its own waterwheel

with charming cottage and fish pond.

There was a large brick patio

with views of the valley.

Years ago the owners had gone to Montana to harvest logs from a large wildfire.  They and their now grown children then built this home as a family on acreage at the end of a long lane.

Just look at that fireplace.  This was one spot where I would like to have been on a home tour, too.

This was my favorite stop.  I loved these climbing roses called "Fireworks."  We didn't make it to every home garden.  Glen had also promised the girls Park City and the Alpine Slide.