Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!
This year the kids get to spend the first half of Winter break (and that means Christmas) with their dad. Because we wouldn't be together for the holiday, I decided to make the entire month extra special. We put up the stockings early and every now and then someone would find a note or a little gift in theirs. We watched a bunch of our  favorite holiday shows. The kids were bored to death with "It's a Wonderful Life." I'm sure if I force them to watch it every year they will eventually come to love it as I do. When I put on "Miracle on 34th St." the kids were wary of another old black and white, but they quickly fell in love with the little girl who didn't believe and the charming Kris Kringle. A true highlight of the season was going with my kids and my BFF to see "Scrooge" at Terrace Plaza Playhouse. It was the very first live play I've taken my four year old son to. It was incredible to watch his eyes light up and sparkle as he watched Mr. Scrooge change and become good.
On the Winter Solstice we lit a yule fire (really just flipped a switch and our magic gas fire came on all by itself). We talked about nature and the seasons and all the different ways people celebrate. The next morning the children awoke to discover that Santa had dropped off a few of their presents early.
Now the kids are gone and I'm lonely as Hell.
Special times really are about the people we share them with. I am so glad we were able to have such a wonderful holiday season together.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Topper Bakery and more pictures

I stopped in at Topper Bakery the other day for one of their famous big-as-your-head donuts and what I found was quite delightful.
They had the most wonderful gingerbread cookies that I gobbled up before I even had a chance to take a picture, and this marzipan that was just too cute to eat (almost).

I did finally convince myself to eat it, and it was wonderful.
Here are some other pictures I took:

Saturday, November 26, 2011


The steam engine UP844 was the last steam engine built for Union Pacific. Today it rolled into the Ogden Union Station, and it will head out to Evanston Monday morning. It was so amazing to spend the morning with my little son in anticipation of the moment when the train would arrive.  The platform was crowded with excited, train-loving Ogdenites. We saw the big puffs of billowing steam first. Slowly it inched closer and closer. Then we heard the whistle. Finally, the train appeared. It was big and loud and had fire in it's belly. It was so amazing to stand so close to such a legend.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

random pictures

I just wanted to share some pictures I took today.
First, the morning after the storm at my parents' house.

I've always thought it would be fun to just take pictures of all the buildings around town that have caught my attention over the years.  Especially the ones I remember from my childhood. When I drove past this...

today, I realized that some dreams(even the little ones) can't be put off forever. So, here is the first of what I intend to be a series of photos of just whatever catches my fancy in O-Town.
Do you recognize these places?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Out of town

I could stay in Ogden all summer and not feel like I've missed out on a thing, but we did manage to leave town twice this summer.
First, a weekend at Bear Lake.  My BFF has a trailer in Fish Haven and has generously invited us to stay there as often as we like.  Look at her view:

The beach was nearly non-existent, but we enjoyed the ever-present perfect breeze, the company of our best friend, and a famous Bear Lake raspberry shake.

Our other trip was for a family reunion in Southern Utah.  I was so incredibly nervous about making that drive on my own with three kids.  About three hours into the drive I knew i could do it and was amazed at the realization that I really could do anything I set my mind to.

On the drive home, we stopped to see Cove Fort.  It was fun to see how people lived a long time ago.

 The highlight for the kids was watching a man make clay pots on a wheel.  He gave the kids a pot which we managed to get home in one piece, but broke the next day.
Now I am perfectly contented to stay right here at home for the rest of the year, but I am making plans for a couple longer trips next year.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Weber State

For the longest time I thought that when I finally finished school I would return to Utah State where I started, but it hasn't turned out that way. 
I am finally back in school, but I'm at Weber State.  I will be able to get my accounting degree with all my courses being on-line or evening classes.  My employer is paying for two classes a semester so I figured it was time to finally finish. 
I have never given Weber State much thought.  It was always just there.  A place to see the symphony, attend county conventions, catch a marching band competition, and go bowling.  Now I know what an amazing place it is.  It is a great place to get a degree while continuing to live my already established life in a community I absolutely love. 
So, here are some pictures of the place I will call home one night a week for the next six years or so.

I'm not a horticulture major anymore, but I couldn't resist adding a plant picture.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Golden Rain Tree

Golden rain tree Koelrueteria paniculata is a very popular landscape tree around here. It is a small tree and has year round visual appeal.  This time of year it is covered in clusters of golden seed pods.  I plucked a couple clusters from a nearby tree and brought them in to make a lovely autumn floral arrangement.
I painted the vases black with my favorite glossy black spray paint.  I put the pods in one of the vases.  The one with a narrow mouth worked best.  Then I added a green plant in a matching black pot. 
It is ok the way it is now, but I want to add something in the back for height.  Maybe some plume grass?  Time for a nature walk.
The plant is pothos, Epipremnum aureum.  It has been growing like crazy the last few weeks while all my other plants have been struggling, like this Dracaena marginata.

Pothos is an awesome oxygen producer, and is happy to grow in almost any environment.  It is the perfect house plant for everyone. 
Here is another cluster of vases I have done.

Monday, August 15, 2011

getting organized

I'm very surprised at how busy life has gotten lately, and I am making myself go to bed at a better time which is seriously cutting into my blogging time.  There has been non-stop visits from family, a trip to Bear Lake, a family reunion at Zions, getting divorced (almost there), changing jobs (today was my first day, and I think I'm really going to like it), getting ready for school, laundry, finding babysitters again (the only surprise there is that taking them to their dad lasted as long as it did), Ogden Farmers' Market, trying and failing to keep the house presentable, thrifting (from which I am so grounded until I can get my home organized), a couple unfinished DIY projects, fixing dinners, and everything else that comes with an ordinary day.  In the next nine days until school starts (kids and me!) I still hope to visit with more family, go to the splash pad, and finish back to school shopping.  I also decided to learn guitar.  I love singing and would like to be able to accompany myself.  I bought this pink beauty on Amazon. I'm sure it's not much, but it will be fun to pass on to the girls if I get good enough to want a better one.  I think I have about 10 posts in mind that I just need to find the time to write.  Perhaps if I was more organized.....

Last week when my sister was visiting, she stopped at the top of my stairs and said, "Sometimes I see a space and all I can think about is how I would organize it."  I took it as proof that I am terribly unorganized.  Which is true. I am the last person I would go to for organizing advice. Today, my sister started a blog about organizing.  I am her very first follower, and I like to think I am her inspiration.  She plans on posting about once a week, and has promised to make me her special project next time she comes to visit.  So, check out her incredibly cute and helpful blog.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Another Ramble

There's a whole lot on my mind, so we'll just have to see where this ramble takes us. 
Final papers have been submitted to the court, which means after a mere nine months I'm just days away from officially being divorced.  This week Ex decided to make another desperate attempt for control by leaving the kids with a babysitter he knows I don't approve of.  After he refused to use any babysitters I do approve of I decided not to have him babysit anymore.  This has resulted in me making last minute attempts to find other fill-ins for the next couple of weeks until school starts.  Stressful?  Yes, but so worth it. 

I attended a class at work about achieving success in the work place and life.  I joked that they will stop offering the course when they discover that it is causing people to quit in order to pursue their true interests.  Well, I'm not quitting today, but it has me thinking really hard about my true interests and skills and how I can best put them to use and provide for my family.  Another thing they said was to only make one major change at a time.  Maybe they should have told me that a few months ago because it is too late now.  This year I have gotten divorced, moved, bought a new car and started two blogs.  Monday I will be starting a new job in a new department and new hours.  I will still have the same job title and pay though. The next week my kids go back to school and so do I.  I'll be the newest (not the only one I'm sure) accounting student at Weber State.  

I've spent the last eleven years just going with the flow career wise.  I never had much ambition because I thought at some point I would quit to be a stay at home mom.  There are no more delusions of that happening now, although I do still hold out hope of finding a way of making a lucrative income at it.  I'm giving a lot of thought now to where I would like my career to take me, either with or without my current employer.  I'm revisiting all the things I have liked doing or imagined doing since I was a child.  This list includes: writing, singing, mother, gardening, accounting, being a scientist, knowing everything, reporting, and having a secret identity.  I'm pretty sure I can figure out how to do it all.  Any ideas?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Menu August 1-August 14

Mon. August 1, 2011: Damon’s Quinoa salad.  I'll be taking pictures and can't wait to share this great recipe.
Tuesday August 2, 2011: Tuesday Tacos at ¡Viva! Market
Wednesday August 3, 2011: black bean burgers
Thursday August 4, 2011: Family Reunion
Friday August 5, 2011: Family Reunion
Saturday August 6, 2011: Eat out with gift certificate
Sunday August 7, 2011: Dinner at Mom’s
Monday August 8, 2011: Michelle’s coconut chicken curry
Tuesday August 9, 2011:  Easy Crock pot Beef Roast
Wednesday August 10, 2011: Crock pot Quinoa Red Lentil Soup
Thursday August 11, 2011: Garbanzo Bean and zucchini salad
Friday August 12, 2011: Tofu Stir fry
Saturday August 13, 2011: Eat out with friends
Sunday August 14, 2011: Spaghetti

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bargain Center

3920 Wall Ave
Ogden, Ut 84405

You exit busy Wall Avenue onto their munched up nearly non-existent parking lot at your own risk, but it is so worth it.  They don't get any awards for cleanliness, or service, but this place is full of treasures.  I found this vintage purse for just a few dollars.
The blouse too.  They run sales every month.  July included 25% off plus-size clothing and 25% off pillowcases and sheets.  Most of the clothing I looked at was $2.95-$5.95.  And they have racks full of the cutest skirts you ever saw.  Pillowcases, which are so popular for the myriads of refashion possibilities, are only $ .50. 
All proceeds go to the Ogden Rescue Mission.  I've started making this shop a regular stop when I'm in the neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ogden Union Station

I went to the Union Station about three weeks ago with two of my sisters and all our kids, and have been dying to find the time to write about it ever since.  We would have been happy spending all our time just playing on the engines on display outside.
But we finally dragged them all inside to check out the museums.
The train museum is fabulous with lots of hands on learning, and the friendliest volunteers. 

And, of course, the most awesome model train in the whole world. 
It kept all the boys, 3-15, occupied for quite some time, chasing it from room to room and memorizing each trains path.  In fact, the train museum kept us so busy that we ran out of time to really look at the other museums.  There is also a car museum,

 a Browning gun museum,

 and two art museums.  The Union Station is also home to a wonderful restaurant,

and a train shop.

Did I mention we got in to the museums free with our Dinosaur Park and Nature Center passes. There will be free admission for everyone on August 6th .
I know this has been a lot of pictures but I have to share just a few more of this incredible building.