Monday, April 27, 2015


Paris, France 1983

Sometimes I do a blog post just because I want to have a note of something I've done or changed.  This is one such post.  I finally reframed two little pictures I purchased in Paris about 30 years ago.  These were mementos of a special trip we took including our four kids and my mom.  What an adventure!  With no reservations anywhere.  Just our EurRail passes and Europe on $20 a day book.  We had a vague idea of an itinerary, but nothing set in stone.  We started in Munich, Germany where the family met up with me as I was already there at a trade show for the company I worked for.  Over the next two weeks, we went on to Switzerland and France, and ended up in England.  Such great memories.

We purchased these paintings from a street artist outside the Jeu de Paume museum.  We also bought a number of prints at the museums we visited.  Upon returning home, we framed a lot of those at some expense.  But I was never happy with how we framed the whimsical original oils.  The frames I selected ended up making the paintings look dark and sunken.
I have wanted to reframe them for a long time, but just never did it. Until now. With my projects to spiff up various rooms this past winter, I decided it was time to do that reframing. I selected something more simple that brought out the color and whimsy so much better.  I am so happy with how they turned out and I wanted to have this post to look back at this small but wonderful change.  The paintings are hanging in my TV room that has a style of fun and whimsy. Perfect.  And a reminder of some very good times in our lives.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April Snow

This is not an unusual event.  Utah gets snow in April.  And in May.  And even sometimes in June.  But like this storm, it is always just a temporary setback to Spring.  We'd been enjoying temperatures in the 60s and 70s this month.  Tuesday, when the storm hit, the temperature had been in the low 70s in the morning, but dropped a drastic 40 degrees in the afternoon.  The storm wreaked some havoc around the state.  It was preceded by high winds that toppled semis and caused many accidents, tree up-rootings and power outages.  I noticed a house in my son's neighborhood had lost a chunk of siding.  I got upwards of 9 inches of snow at my house which has made things look very January-ish.  The upside is some precious water was delivered to our thirsty yards so we can refrain from watering for a little while longer.  The downside is the damage that was caused and the possible loss of summer fruit due to the freezing.  Also, water managers tell us it didn't really add enough to the snowpack in the mountains to make a dent in the drought.

I don't usually love snowstorms, but this one made me happy for the water delivered.  That, and the fact I didn't need to drive more than the roundtrip six miles to my son's house and back.  The storm lasted longer and dropped more snow than expected.  But today, the sun is shining and the clouds are scurrying away.  Here are a few shots from my yard.

By 6 p.m. Tuesday, the snow was falling hard and accumulating on the ground.  It was a wet, heavy snow weighing down the tree limbs.

 By Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., I had 6 or 7 inches at my house.  It continued to snow all day and into the morning hours today.
 The snow didn't stick to the road here, but slushy conditions and black ice elsewhere caused a lot of accidents.  Well, perhaps I should say drivers who were surprised by the driving conditions caused accidents.
 My poor lilac bush is bent entirely to the ground.  Its leaves and blossoms hold the wet snow which becomes too heavy for the branches.
 Same issue with my young crabapple. I used a broom to knock the snow off of the branches to remove the weight in hopes that the branches would not break and would spring back with the warming temps.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

More Spring Blooms

I worry about the drought this year, and I may not be planting much in the yard after all.  But the established plants are all coming on, if early, and doing a great job beautifying the world.  I am spending time getting the flower beds ready, but I might just fill around existing perennials with bark mulch this year, for the most part.  Still, feeling so excited by the new growth and blooms.

Here are a few more blooms in the yard this week.
 The crab apple has such vivid blooms.
 The forsythia is blooming longer than expected,but finally dropping flowers.  In the background the lilacs and crab apple.  The pear trees have finished blooming and are putting on leaves. Recent tree plantings are doing the job of providing more privacy from the street without a fence.
 The lilac hasn't bloomed well in years, but this year it is blooming its heart out.  I don't know why the blooms are so pale--almost white.  I'll have to google that.  But I'm so pleased to have these fragrant flowers again.
Crabapple.  Young, but already so pretty and a great addition to the yard.