City Life

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This clock has been part of Main Street ever since I was a kid. I remember seeing it for the first time when I was about 8 years old and I'm glad to see it's been preserved.  Even though Salt Lake City is quite accessible and is full a fun things to do, and is a great place to visit , it's a place we rarely venture. Carole's Ten on Tuesday was a great reminder of this jewel that runs off our beaten path. When I'm downtown I enjoy it immensely and there are many things I like to do. 

1. I like to go to the "art house" movies playing at the Salt Lake Film Society's theater, the Broadway.

2. I find unique places to eat. 

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3. Or I have a drink at Bax X and food at the Beer Bar.

4. Enjoy a walk through the flower gardens of the LDS church.

5. I sometimes visit the mall and, perhaps, do a little shopping, and/or people watch.

6. I love to see live music at one of the many venues. We go to jazz concerts at the Capital Theater and I'm looking forward to the new season.

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7. I love looking for funky art pieces scattered around the streets of the city.

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8. And, being amazed at the new buildings, the TALL new buildings under construction.

9. I'll go downtown just to buy postcards a the grocery store, one of the best places I've found for procurement of postcards.

10. And, I always like coming home to the "burbs".


Blueberry Day

Some climates are lucky enough to grow bounteous forms of blueberries and cranberries, which I'm sure you've seen on Carole's blog, blueberries don't grow as well in Utah because our climate is more arid. The blueberries I find are seasonal and when I can find organic, plump, fresh and glorious berries, I buy them. Often I end with a large bag of frozen berries from the Big Box Blue Warehouse store. 

I eat blueberries every day. I love the pop and flavor in my mouth and the healthy benefits they give, but I am not a baker, in fact, I really don't like to bake because baking GF is an art I have no desire to pursue. I'll toss a boxed cake or muffin together once in awhile, but that's about it. Which means my list will not include much in the way of baking. I eat GF and I take the easy road. No pies, no cakes.  So, today I give you the abbreviated version of Ten on Tuesday

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1. Almost every day I make a bowl of GF oatmeal. I have a special way of making it. It take 2 minutes and 3o seconds in the microwave (I breaking the time into segments and watch carefully for spillovers). After it is fully cooked, I sprinkle on a little coconut sugar (1/2 a tsp) and toss in a handful of blueberries (frozen or fresh), then sprinkle a little bit of crunchy GF granola. It's a tasty ritual, which I enjoy with a small pot of tea. 

2. I love blueberries, whether fresh or dried, toss into a green salad. If they're fresh they pop in my mouth and deliver all their tasty sweetness. Dried blueberries are very good, but hard to find and/or expensive, but if I run across them I'll enjoy their chewy goodness.

3. I love eating a handful of  blueberries right out of the fridge. I love the freshness and the flavor, each little berry covering my tongue with its tart sweetness. 

4. Once in awhile I'll make a smoothie, but it's not a usual event. Blueberries are very good at disguising other flavors, like greens. 

5. We love our coconut milk ice cream and my favorite thing to put over the top is a mix of berries, or just blueberries, depending what's on hand.  That's my treat when it comes to good, sweet things to do with blueberries. 

What is your favorite way to eat blueberries? And, can you pick them fresh where you are? 


My Home

Carole asked us to come up with "10 Things You Love About your Home" and I had to think about it for awhile. We've lived in this place for 35 years and it is getting a little tattered and dated. It needs new carpet, new furnishings and a new a/c unit, new kitchen, and a few other repairs.  But, when it came right down to it, I had no trouble coming up with a list for ToT.

1. I love that we live in a condo, which is more like a row house or a townhouse, with 3 floors (including a basement). We have no lawn to mow, no snow to remove, no roof to replace, and a mailbox that drops the mail right into the house. Condo living is the best.

2. I love that we have a big front lawn and tons of trees throughout the grounds. We only care for our front garden (if we choose). The other big amenity is the pool!

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3. I love that when I drive home this is the view I see. 

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4. I love the stained glass window, made by a dear friend, which sits above the front door. I like that the front door faces north and the living room stays a little cooler because of it. But as you might guess, the back of the house faces south and that can make the patio unbearable in very hot summers. Like now.

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5. I love our patio, when it's not 105 in the shade. We use the patio much of the spring and fall and some summer evenings are very comfortable, too. (Just not right now.)

6. I love the layout of first floor and the open living room, kitchen, and dining area, as it has a nice flow and (if we like) it is easy to entertain (not that we have in years).

7. I love that our bedroom is large, large enough we were able to build in a wall of cupboards and drawers, as well as an area for a TV (rarely used) and a small stereo. 

8. I love we have a dozen large closets.  If you care to know--in the basement we have a double closet in the bedroom/office. In the hallway there is a double closet and a single closet, as well as, a space under the stairs, and to make the basement space even better, a large walk-in pantry. The main floor has a paltry pantry, a broom closet, and a coat closet. Upstairs we have a wealth of closets, the deep and double wide linen closet, double closets in the guest room, and a walk-in closet in our bedroom. Unfortunately, they are all stuffed (not by me, I might add). 

9. I love our new furnace (the one we replaced was 44 years old) and that it works with our ancient air conditioning to cool the house. THANK GOODNESS!

10. I just asked Smith what his favorite thing about our house was and he said "YOU" and I am now in tears. 

And, as everyone else is likely saying today, there really is no place like home.


Who's Your Daddy

Just so you're not confused, this is my dad about the time he was engaged to my mom, maybe even a little earlier, which is cr .1948-49.

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This is where I admit I don't really remember, or know much in any case, about TV dads. Most of what I think I remember is what I watched as a kid in the 1950s. My TV watching was limited and after I left home I didn't pay much attention. Even today, I don't know much about TV. So, when Carole asked us to list our favorite TV dads, I was at a loss. Furthermore, I admit, I had to Google TV dads! Seriously, I couldn't think pasted Leave it to Beaver and Ben Cartright, but Google did its job and my memories came flooding back. Here's my Ten on Tuesday list of my Favorite TV Dads. 

Ward Cleaver -Leave it to Beaver

Andy Griffith - Andy Griffith Show

Dick Van Dyke - Dick Van Dike Show

Robert Young - Father Knows Best

Ben Cartright - Bonanza

Ozzie Nelson - Ozzie and Harriett

Sky King- Father of a GIRL!  

Archie Bunker - All in the Family

Tom Corbett-Courtship of Eddie's Father

Cliff Huxtable - The Cosby Show

I loved Sky King (Google didn't help me there), Leave it to Beaver and the Dick Van Dyke show. As it is I only watched small portions of the other TV shows, so if you really want to know more about TV Dads you'll have to follow the other ToT posters. But, before you go, tell me your favorite TV Dad. 


Music on The Radio

My day starts with KRCL's Acoustic Sunrise, as John plays a variety of tunes that ease me into my day. KRCL has been a part of my life for 35 years and I feel very fortunate to have a great community radio station in my city. I listen all day when I can, as there isn't a single load and obnoxious ad on this station. The play only occasional public service announcements and concert calendars. I like the variety of music, as well as being introduced to new bands. This is some of the music John played yesterday morning.  

1. Laura Marling - Gurdjieff's Daughter

2. Eva Cassidy - Tennessee Waltz

3. Pearl Jam - Hearts and Thoughts

4. Avetts - Morning Song

5. David Bowie - Love You til Tuesday

6. The Beatles - Benefit of Mr. Kite

7. The New Basement Tapes - Lost on the River

8. Courtney Barnett- Dead Fox

9. Bhi Bhiman - Moving to Brussels

10. The Clash - This is Radio Clash

My day usually ends (if I'm at home) by listening to KUER jazz programing, which, oh so very sadly, will end on June 30th. I am completely heart broken. I have listened to jazz on this station since 1980 and I can't imagine its end.  In the larger picture, do people listen to the radio any more or has streaming music taken over?  Is (good) radio dying? Yes, I can listen to my iPod, but radio introduces me to new bands and I can't imagine my world without it. 

This is a post for Carole's ToT. I totally forgot to say, as I was so wrapped up in my sorrow over no jazz in Utah. 


Grand

The days have been an almost constant gray of rain clouds. We're near a record number of days with measurable precipitation and we're a tired of feeling wet and soggy. BUT, Monday, while it did rain in the morning, the sky was a clear and the clouds played in the amazing blue field while we relished the sun. 

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Carole asked us to share, for ToT (Ten on Tuesday), some of the things we did over the long weekend, the weekend that is the kick off to summer! Summer is my season and I loved having three days off to relax, play, and spend time with my guy. 

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1. We kicked off the weekend Friday night by having dinner with friends. Next time I'll order the delicious Basil Lime Gimlet Cheryl had. (Oops, bad photo)

2. First thing Saturday morning I blocked my shawl and I am thrilled with the colors and the size of this mystery. The shawl is huge and beautiful.  More to come!

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3. As soon as the shawl was pinned out I headed for the nursery in case there were any crowds to beat, It was totally unnecessary, as it was RAINNG once again. I picked up plants for my carport flower boxes and seeds for a new crop of lettuce and planted between rain drops. 

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4. Saturday evening we enjoyed a Bees baseball game and, as luck would have it, the rain stayed away.  As we left the the stadium a fireworks show started and we saw one of the best fireworks shows I've ever seen. The day felt like a true kick off to summer. Thank you, Susan.

5. Sunday I made myself breakfast in bed. Tea and oatmeal with a large handful of blueberries.

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6.  As soon as I decided to get up and moving (around 8:00) I took snapdragons to my mother's grave (she loved yellow snapdragons), ran a few errands (groceries for the week), then spent the afternoon in the garden helping Rick and Allen plant  pumpkin seeds for the children. 

7. Sunday was an SnB day and I had time to visit with Cheryl, the only other knitter who was free on this Holiday weekend.

8. That night Smith and I grilled an all American meal of (grass fed) burgers, asparagus and garlic scapes, with a dessert of vanilla ice cream (coconut milk ice cream) topped with blueberries and raspberries. It was a treat for our kick off to summer. 

9.  As often as I could, I worked on beading my Alamaba Chanin T-shirt and even took a few stitches on my AC market bag. I am committed to this craft, as I also ordered another Alabama Chanin kit. I couldn't help myself as AC had a sweet summer sale. When not knitting, I sew.

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10. Smith and I spent much of Monday together and the first thing we did was to wander through the Salt Lake City Cemetery. We paid respect to his family, as well as many others we knew in the community.  From there we went to Red Butte Garden (the first picture of this post) and had a quick photo shoot of my new shawl. (More to come!) After that we had a nice lunch, a not quite as delicious as Lone Star taco, but finished off with churros (yes, they were GF).  How is it I never thought to take a picture? 

I hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine. As I type this the sky is once again turning gray and I think more showers are on the horizon. Gray, gray, go away! 


Everything Has Its Time

  Cherylwillknow

Honestly, I think some schoolmaster long, long ago created the word procrastination to make people feel guilty. If you put something off until it's too late, that's a completely different subject, but putting things off until "the last minute" is just the way some people work best. Some like a certain amount of pressure, perhaps it makes them feel a bigger sense of accomplishment when finished, and others just do things as they come up. Does that mean one is better, one is "right", and the other is wrong? I choose not to believe that's so. It all works. Not that there is anything wrong with today's subject for Ten on Tuesday. I'm just sayin'. 

1. I've put off going to the grocery store to pick up lunch room supplies for the office for so long we now have no plates and no cayenne. Cayenne is a staple in this office and we go through it like wildfire. (Someone else picked up the cayenne because he couldn't live without it, but he didn't get the other things on my list.) le sigh

2. I haven't picked up a gift for my sister who's birthday is this coming Saturday. It's mostly because I'm at a loss as what to buy. Isn't that lame? so lame.

3. I have put off getting in touch with a couple of family members, as well as a few friends. This is also very lame. How hard is it to pick up the phone? They're in my phone database so I need not even look up their phone numbers! This is SO LAME!

4. I have put of writing a couple of letters. It's been a week since I've sent any mail, except quickly written post cards to people I don't even know. This is also very lame.

5. I have put off looking for someone to clean my bedroom curtain. It's a large piece of canvas lined with a piece of ? to work as a blackout curtain. If you like a to sleep in a dark room, I've got the place. (I have no idea what it's lined with, therefore the paralysis. Oh, and then there is the cost.)

6. I've put off planning a weekend getaway for the two of us. We haven't even decided where to go and we haven't wanted to spend the money. However, we really need a break.

7. I could say I've been putting off sewing my Alabama Chanin project and that I've put off reading the e-book I got from the library, but I decided in order to keep myself from the pressure of having too many "musts", I should simplify what I HAVE to do in my free time. (It is free time, after all and it should be about leisure.) The AC project is now tucked in a beautiful project bag and it's in the closet awaiting its time (which will be soon). One thing checked off the list. The e-book was returned to the library unread, as I can only handle reading one book at a time. Number two checked off my list.

After I wrote that post I decided to get things done and, as of this morning, many things on this list have been accomplished and I feel what's left will be checked off before long. This is now a guilt free zone.


Mexico On Her Mind

Buenos Dias, amigos!

You can tell Carole still has Mexico on her mind and that she is dreaming of Mexican cuisine, as she picked 10 Favorite Mexican Foods, in honor of Cinco De Mayo. Carole has been to Utah and  has been to our world famous Red Iguana and Lone Star Taqueria. Both restaurants have been featured on TV shows and in food magazines. They are not to be missed if you make a trip to Salt Lake City and, although chances are you'll be waiting in line for awhile, they are both worth the wait!

I'm not adverse to making my own Mexican food and, on occasion, I do, but the west is graced with many places to pick up ready made Mexican food, and it's any easy choice if you want a break from cooking at home.

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1. Lone Star is very near our home and we visit on a regular basis (last night!). My first choice is always the fish taco and it doesn't matter what type of fish is featured for the day. Every salsa is delicious, but don't miss the jalapeno mayo!

2. Tamales! Good tamales are easy to come by around here and, while you may enjoy making your own, I can pick up a  variety of very tasty tamales at any farmers market or grocery store. 

3. How many different kinds of salsa can you make? About 100 (or more)! Chips and salsa are about the best snack you can ask for.

4. My favorite item at Red Iguana is the Tostadas. Layers of deliciousness, starting with beans, then the meat of your choice, garnished with lettuce, sauce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and black olives. YUM!

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5. Although...I usually have a hard time choosing between the tostadas and the moles! The Moles are to live for and they are all superb! Red Iguana is known for their many flavors of moles and I bet you can't pick just one.

6. Guacamole! The avocado is the food of the gods and it's very versatile. Guacamole can be enjoyed with chips or as a topping on any other Mexican delight. Whether you make your own, or enjoy it in a restaurant, guacamole around here is fabulous!

7. Enchiladas have moved down my list as I can no longer enjoy my favorite, the cheese enchilada. What's an enchilada without cheese?  I can still dream!

8. Do margaritas or beer count as food? Well, maybe not, but I sure love having one or the other with Mexican food. Since beer is off my list, my favorite would be the margarita! Ole!

9. I do like a good Churro and a local establishment makes them gluten free. They're amazing! I could fill up on dessert!

10. One visit to Red Iguana they had a Mexican fish soup on the menu, the special for the day. It was similar to this recipe and it was delicious. I check every time I go, although it's been awhile since we've fought through the crowds. Maybe we'll have to go for an early dinner this weekend and see if it's on the menu. 

Amigas and amigos, you'll have to come to Utah soon and try our wonderful Mexican fare!

¡Buen apetito!

Do you have a favorite Mexican food? Maybe everything!?


Count the Delights

Carole took a cue from my post of yesterday and decided today's Ten on Tuesday should be about 10 Everyday Things that Delight.  I often make a mental note of at least one thing that is my daily delight and it doesn't have to be something grand, and once you start taking not it's easy to find what it is that delights.

Myview1. My view! My mountain, at any angle, brings me so much delight on a daily basis. If by chance the view is obscured by cloudy weather (which happens infrequently), I have it in my minds eye and know it is always there looking over me.

2. My iPod. I've expounded on my love of my back pocket friend, but the books, podcasts, and daily pedometer count it gives me is a daily delight.

Thejayfamily3. Cheryl calls me a scrub jay magnet, and I am as attracted to them, as they must be to me. As you can see yesterday, it has nothing to do with the copious number of peanuts I scatter. I had not a single one with me on Saturday, and the babe still dropped to drink at my feet. I feel chosen.

4. This year spring arrived in January and it's put on a show ever since. We have loved our extended spring, as well as the roller-coaster weather. If it's cold today, just wait until tomorrow as it will be beautiful once again.

Springflowers5. Because of the extended spring, the flowering season has been long. A variety of daffodils have been blooming at Red Butte Gardens since January and every time I go I see something new and interesting, not to mention beautiful!

6. One of my daily delights is friendship. It might be face to face, in a letter, an email, a text, or a blog post, but every day I have the joy of friendship with so many lovely people.

Mytea7. I gave up coffee when I had surgery 5 years ago and I have explored the love of tea ever since. My cupboard is full of delicious varieties from all over the world, and I've become a bit of snob.  How much do I love the warmth of a cup in the morning and cold sip of tea iced at the end of my day? The thought brings pure delight.

8. Seriously, how many of us could live a day without at phone attached to our hips? I love putting it aside at the end of the day and rarely look at it past 6:00, but it is my lifeline for much of the day. The camera, the calendar, the connection to family and friends, it offers in a variety of ways. It is a double edge sword, but we all carry it for protection and connection. A smartphone is a daily delight.

9. My knitting, or sewing, or reading, or writing! Every day I must do something to create and use my hands. It is a very sad day I cannot do one or the other and a day I can do all, or at least, several crafts, is a wonderfully delightful day.

Whiskey10. The end of the day on the days I am home with Smith is one of my greatest delights. We sit and relax, read and sip a tiny shot of a good whiskey. This doesn't happen daily, but just the time to truly unwind is truly delightful.


Pull Out Your Library Card

Carole, as librarians are wont to do, would like us to list the last 10 books we read for Ten on Tuesday. I've a few good books on my list and few so-so choices and I hope this helps you find something to read.

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1. Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood - This book was a reread for me as Margaret Atwood's visit was on my mind. This book is darkly humorous and I enjoyed every word. I loved the characters, a group of girlfriends, frenimies really, and laughed out loud as they retold their stories, revealing secrets and whole of the story. 4 stars. Audio, March 23-24th.

2. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullars - This story grabbed me, held me, mesmerized me, and shattered my heart into a thousand pieces, but left me with hope for many of the characters. McCullars tells the stories of several memorable people, the lonely, the mis-fit, the misunderstood, all incredibly poor, but full of spirit and heart. It will take a truly amazing to knock this out of the #1 spot of my 2015 reads. 5 stars, with highest recommendation to all. Kindle, Feb. 23-Mar. 24th

 3. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin - This covers 24 hours of a young man's life, his religious conversion and his step away from the religious life. John Grimes is a young black man in the 1950s, and it is difficult to imagine what life would be life for a poor black family living in that time. James Baldwin brings that era very much alive, as he tells this coming of age story, driven by John's relationship with his father and with religion. I was touched in many ways by the story and found Baldwin's language lyrical and substantial. This is a very important book from one of America's great authors. 5 stars. Audio, Mar. 5th-10th

4. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - Another sci-fi choice, read only because Margaret Atwood was coming to town, and wanted to brush up on her most recent fiction. I found the story disturbing, as the world she created reminded me a little too much of our own. Distopian fiction is a beyond me, even when dosed with humor.  4 stars. Audio, Feb. 20th-27th

5. The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout - I wasn't a huge fan of Olive Kitteridge, Strout's big hit, and I read this book under protest (as sometimes happens with book group choices). I liked it not at all. I didn't go to the discussion and I'm not willing to write about it here. 2 stars, because I finished it. Kindle, Feb 2nd-21st

6. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry - Told from the letters and diaries of both an old woman, Roseanne, who is housed in an asylum, and a younger man, Dr. Grene. The narration moves back and forth, unveiling both their stories as it goes. The language is marvelous and their stories unfold slowly, relating surprising elements I won't spoil. 5 stars. Audio, Jan. 26th-Feb. 16th

7. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill - Told from the perspective of a unnamed wife, who at one time, wrote to her husband from the "Dept. of Speculation". This is another audio book narrated by the author and I appreciated the way she spoke softly, as if relating her secrets, telling of the uncertainties in her marriage and life as a mother. 4 stars. Audio, Feb. 2nd, a one day read.

8. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - This was a favorite of many of my friends, but I just couldn't get into the story. I found the characters to act more like children than scientists and was very put off by the story. I stretched to give it 2.5 stars. Kindle, Jan.21-Feb. 1st

9. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - You may have heard all the hype about this book and many of you may have already read it. It was a page turner, a good mystery, and it was hard to pick out the villain until the end. 3 stars, okay, but didn't live up to the hype.  Audio, Jan. 26th-27th

10. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - This was perfect book to listen to because of the free verse style.  Jacqueline tells her story, her way and I listened to this book because she was the narrator. Having her read her ow words brought so much more to the story. 5 stars and marvelous. Audio, Jan. 22-23rd

At the moment, I'm reading, in both audio and paperback, The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. I loved this book the first time I read it in 1995 and I'm loving it again this time. As a bit of a distraction, I'm also listening to Raven Black (Shetland #1), a mystery. Next up, a recommendation from Carole, The Golem and the Jinni

What's #1 on your reading list?