Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Brighton, The Ski Joint That Cares

Okay, I've been browsing the local resorts ever since we had a good snow yesterday, jonesin' for a ski fix and a good deal, when I came across this little tidbit: Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon above SLC, is offering $15 lift tickets on the 10th and 17th of this month, as part of Quad Wednesdays. The catch? Bring a blanket, hat or pair of gloves on the 10th to donate to the Road Home Homeless Shelter, and on the 17th bring a non-perishable bag of food for the Utah Food Bank. Isn't that a great holiday idea? You get to feel good about doing unto others while you're doing good for yourself. I definitely will be out there next week, especially since the Wasatch just got a 10-day snow forecast that should leave us with plentiful powder. So if you're going to be in the area, check out Brighton:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Fun for the Wasatch Front

With Thanksgiving approaching I thought this would be a great time to share the treasure trove of seasonal events going on right here in the Ogden/SLC area. This is by no means a definitive list so please, anybody who has an event I haven't listed, fill me in via the comments section! Our family is always looking for cheap (or free!) activities to do.

1) Christmas Tree Jubilee presented by Weber Schools will be at the David Eccles Conference Center November 26,9am-8pm, & 28, 8am-8pm. The trees are decorated and auctioned off to raise money for special needs children in the school district. Admission is FREE, the conference center is located at 2415 Washington Blvd.
2)Holiday Lights Parade takes place on November 29th at 5:pm, early arrival is recommended to get a good view. The parade route runs from 22nd to 26th Streets along Washington Boulevard in downtown Ogden, floats will be viewable along 25th street afterwards. This event is FREE
3) Light of Christmas Village takes place immediately following parade on November 29th, at 6:30pm in the Municipal Amphitheater. There will be live entertainment and fireworks to mark the occasion, Santa Claus will be present & there will be vendors selling refreshments. This event is FREE, pictures with Santa are permissible (bring your camera!)
4) Peery's Egyptian Theatre presents The Polar Express as part of their Len Allen film series on December 8th, afternoon showtime TBA (call the office at 395-3227) Children 16 and under are free, adults are $3 and tickets will be sold one hour before the show. The Theater is located at 2415 Washington Blvd.
5) Weber County Library presents Family Fun Night at the Ogden Valley Branch, December 8th from 7-8pm. There will be stories, crafts, refreshments and more for the whole family, no registration necessary. Admission is FREE, Ogden Valley Branch is located in Hunstville at 131 S 7400 E.
6) The Old World Christmas Market will be held at Union Station on December 12, 13, 19, & 20. Local art, crafts and foods are sold at this outdoor market, childrens' activities will take place on Saturdays. Open to the public, located in Union Station Plaza at 2501 Wall Ave.

1) Layton City Parks Holiday Lighting Ceremony starts at 6pm on November 24th (that's tonight!), with singing in the Ed Kenley Amphitheater prior to turning the lights on. Admission is free, the amphitheater is located at 403 Wasatch Dr. in Layton Park.
2) Journey to Bethlehem is held at Mountain View Baptist Church on December 4, 5 (6:30-9pm) & 6,7 (5-9pm). This is an interactive drama for the whole family replete with live animals and an outdoor manger scene. Admission is FREE, the church is located at 2585 E 3000 N.

1) Feast with the Beasts at Hogle Zoo on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th. From 9-12 you can watch the animals recieve turkey shaped pinatas and other food-based enrichment treats, including an enormous pumpkin for the elephants to smash. Last year's was 800 pounds and this time it's supposed to be even bigger! Admission is FREE to members, regular admission otherwise. Located at 2600 Sunnyside Ave.
2) Lights On! is presented by DowntownSLC on November 28th, starting at 4:30pm. The lighting of downtown will begin at the Gallivan Center and progress through Temple Square and Gateway Mall. Activities include ice skating with Santa, free cookies, live music by Kurt Bestor and the One Voice children's choir at the Gallivan Center, plus visits with Santa, a Jon Schmidt piano concert and tree lighting at the Gateway. SLC Old World Christmas Market also starts on the 28th and will be held in the Gallivan Center through December 6th. Admission to Lights On! is FREE, as is downtown parking that night.
3) Zoolights! at Hogle Zoo begins on with special member days on December 3, 4 & 5 from 5-8pm. Members receive an additional $1 off the admission price ($5A, $3C) on these nights. The lights will be up through December 31st, regular admission for all other days. Be sure to bring your 3D glasses, or pick up a pair at the zoo!
4) Holiday Open House and Art Fair will be held at Red Butte Garden on December 6th & 7th, from 10am-5pm. Admission to the garden is FREE during the open house, making it a great time to enjoy the beauty of nature in winter. Red Butte Garden is located at 300 Wakara Way.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes, We Did

I am going to bed tonight with the knowledge that the first non-white president, our 44th in office, has been elected in my lifetime. What a revelation for a nation that only half a decade ago was still struggling with equality and segregation. For the first time in many years I feel optimistic about the future of our government. Tomorrow's gonna be a brave new day! Sleep well, all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Achilles' Heel of a Crafty Housewife

Number of scarves begun: 14
Number of scarves completed: 5
Amount of total fiber chaos created by four cats and two boys in the last week: overwhelming

I think the yarn is winning this round.

Ramping Up To Home Improvement

We're finally back to working on the house! Not that I left it completely untouched over the summer months, mind you. Our main focus has been on vacation/camping and the garden for the last couple of months. Now, as my hubbie puts it so nicely, comes the time of year when being house-bound and bored out of our skulls leads to actual restoration progress. We've been getting busy on the exterior to try and finish before winter really hits. Also, the fireplace is starting to shape up, and plans for hearth tiling are in the works. Curtains are going up, albeit slowly, and the guest room looks less and less dreary. I'll be making quite a few posts in the next few days to make up for the long summer hiatus, so stay tuned in!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Evolving Kitchen Nook

We're not done yet, but at this point I can at least say that it looks better than the original.
On another note, let me just say that while Valspar has very true colors, the paint's coverage sucks horribly. I have 3 coats on the walls and I can STILL see through it. Ugh. Next time I'm taking the color I want and getting it matched in Behr at HD.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Test Patch Day!

Time to break out the paint and get those colors rollin'.

I can't quite decide which version of the trim I like better, but I'm leaning towards outer "Thyme Green", inner "Sweet Annie". If anyone else has an opinion, shout it out!

And this delightful rug was a lucky find at Target, matches every color I've picked for the outside.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


You can't tell it with all that bandage, but this hand has been honorably wounded while laying garden pavers. Yesterday I did a very *me* thing and tried to force an old paver out of the dirt(clay) it was partially buried in. Unfortunately, it pushed back and my thumb popped backwards. Lucky me I have hyperextension, I did manage to push it back into socket before I had gotten over the initial shock/pain. It's a lot harder to do once you really take in what's happened. This isn't the first time I've done something like this (you'd think I might learn not to force things, huh?), and at least it's not as painful as the dislocated shoulder of boot camp days. I am a bit put out over the loss of a good weekend's work, but I should be back at it again in a few days. In the meantime, plenty of Tylenol and one-handed typing. One a more cheerful note, the strawberries were all planted prior to my little accident, and are showing new growth. Yay!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Rocker

As promised

I'll do the second coat tonight before sealing it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Furniture In A Box

The boys and I spent a good part of today assembling the "Adirondack Rocker" that we picked up on sale at JoAnn's. Amazingly, even though the pieces have been laying around our house for a week, we didn't lose one single sheet of directions or piece of hardware. It looks decent for mass-produced, lightweight pine. With a little paint and some sturdy pillows it should be perfect for our front porch. I had lots of help (eeek!), but we did made it through without any splinters or gouges. Ta da!

Some things I learned in the process of assemblage:

1) The hardware provided in kit furniture is usually inadequate to the task of holding things together. Case in point, the instructions recommended additional long wood screws to support the back braces, these were not included and not mentioned anywhere on the outside of the box.

2) Pre-tapped holes are less useful than they sound. A good many of ours turned out to be too shallow to allow proper tightening of the short wood screws we needed to use. Also, one of the bottom rocker pieces was drilled off-kilter, meaning the board wouldn't seat right and we had to drill entirely new holes. It is still a bit warped, and I had to saw a teensy bit off the leg to make it rock correctly.
3) The hardware you need to complete the three crucial pieces you are holding together with one hand, two feet, and your forehead, are always the farthest from you. Or, conversely, they have been sniped by your toddler who is trying to install them in your refrigerator with your power drill. Which you ALSO need to reach with your one remaining hand.

4) The power drill is mightier than the Phillips. I know this is sort of a "duh" one, but when your instructions tell you to use a Phillips to avoid stripping soft wood you take them seriously, right? Right? WRONG! Halfway through the project I flung the manual tool/torture device out the door in favor of the drill, and this is why: the extra time it took to tighten by hand was making it almost impossible to keep the kids from climbing all over the chair. This in turn was creating screw placement that looked like it had been done by Lurch. Or maybe he would've done a better job, I dunno. The point is, if I wanted any of these screws to go in straight and remain thoroughly attached, things needed to move faster. Thank God for power tools!
5) The downside of power tools is: every time you put one down, there will be a small boy waiting to pounce on it, who proceeds to attempt drilling of unnecessary holes in places that were never meant to have any. You have to be very adept at unplugging it before their itchy trigger-finger reaches the tool. Repeated shouting of the phrases "Put that down before you drill your hand" and "If you turn that on I'm gonna tell your dad" are less effective than playing keep-away with the extension cord.

I'm not foolish enough to think I can get away with painting this thing while the boys are awake. I will post a fully painted pic tomorrow, though. Right now I am content to look, and very afraid to sit on, my handiwork.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Glimpses of Spring

We ditched plans to join in the Flickr Photowalk at Thanksgiving Point yesterday, in favor of the closer and more reliable Temple Square gardens. It turned out to be a wonderful morning excursion.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shades of Marla Singer

Wow! We've had such a lovely weekend here in Ogden. It really lifted our spirits to be able to spend so much time outside in the warm, warm sun. We took a stroll down the Ogden River Parkway for the first time this spring. The boys and I got six new roses in the ground and watched the first of our bulbs come up. Dad even came by with the kids and helped us cut down the remaining junipers. The yard looked soooo much better with them out. Spring was here, finally!
Then the wind started to pick up.

And the haze began to creep in.

By Monday morning our sky had a visible dusty tinged ring up to the mountains.

The winds got colder, and rain, then snow descended upon us once more.

Now the boys and I are cooped up inside, after hurriedly covering our bareroot plants with burlap again.

Inversion allergies are wreaking havoc, encouraged by the 25 degree temperature swing.

So now, of course, I've got the death hairball.
(Cough, Hack, Wheeze.)

Actual progress reports & new pics WILL be forthcoming, just as soon as I can talk/eat/laugh/drive/walk/stretch/___(insert routine activity) without alarming bronchial spasms and dry-heaving. Honest injun.

A New Method of Torture?

This was the title for a nasty-gram that I sent off to my husband's credit union today, which I've posted below. I wish I could forward it to our mortgage holder, Wells Fargo, as well. It seems that these financial institutions have decided to start sending late & overdue payment notices out a month before the payment is actually due. WTF?????? I can only speculate that they are becoming desperate in light of our country's crumbling economy. And I will do my utmost to ignore their craven attempts to add unnecessary stress and confusion to our already complicated lives. But first I'm gonna call them on their playground bully behavior.

Dear Navy Federal,
Yesterday I received what looked like an automated letter from your offices concerning my car payments which are attached to my joint account. This letter was apparently to inform me that I was overdue for not only April but also, pay attention, May's payments. That's right, you sent me a "pay us now" letter for NEXT MONTH. As in the month that comes after this one. I would appreciate it if in the future you could keep your missives of subtle threat confined to real-time. Please know that as a Navy wife, SAHM to two young children, and someone who is already having to cope with an away spouse during the economic upheaval our country is going through, I do NOT appreciate financial intimidation. I am making the payments for April today from your website, so you may rest easy on that account. Be assured that I will do my best to make timely payments as much as it is in my power to do so, and to inform you promptly in the event that I cannot. I do apologize if this letter seems overly irate, but you have strained the limits of my courtesy. Hopefully any further correspondence between our parties will be more harmonious. Respectfully,
Sarah E. Keitz

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Summary of Our Week

1. Stray marmalade kitten takes up residence in our garage

2. Amended soil for kitchen garden

3. Bought numerous discounted plants from Lowe's (75% off! Hells, yeah!!!)

4. As an alternative to buying overpriced SQUARE pavers for sideyard and kitchen garden, came to the decision that it is much cheaper to stain free RECTANGULAR pavers that came with the house. Bought stain in "Oak Cask"(colormatch to Olympic) from HD.

5. Multiple hailstorms threaten newly planted fruit trees, stray kitty in residence, and all the unplanted loot from Lowe's, which is hauled back into the washroom to wait it out.

6. Mail order fruit trees from Stark Bros. arrive, are soaked, and planted in the front yard.

7. The boys and I visit an IFA country store near us out of sheer boredom with the weather, and come dangerously close to falling in love with baby bunnies, bantam chicks on premises. Bad Sarah, Bad!

8. Weather clears up beautifully, we resume frantic garden preparation, all but last of 8 fruit trees are in the ground and the lilacs are next.

9. Stray kitten and 6 year old plot to significantly increase my gray hairs by means of constant badgering, annoying cuteness, and a one-track mind. I retaliate by calling the nearest no-kill agency and agreeing to bring said kitten to the next Petco Adoption Day.

10. Ogden City Graffiti Task Force show up promptly the day after my request and perform a speedy removal of all but the piece at the back of the house. Apparently, that one bit is not gonna budge so I may have to paint it (yuck!).

11. Kitten is dropped off at the Harrisville Petco, I spend several hours biting my nails off and wondering if I'm going to have to pick it back up. As luck would have it, a very nice foster family offers to take care of the kitty until another lady can adopt it, thus saving my day.

12. Tomorrow, we do snack hour for the early service at St. Paul's (we being myself and two small, hyper boys). Pray for the poor souls that show up!

Monday, March 31, 2008


Sprouting Update

We just started our third set of seeds this morning, despite the fact that Utah is having some unspring-like weather. So far we have six greenhouse trays going, with various stages of sprouting throughout. Here's a breakdown of what's germinatin' at the Nuclear Bungalow:

Tray 1 (mar. 10)-"Celestial Mix" morning glory, "Envy" zinnia, "Red Pomponette" & "Double Mix" english daisy, giant painted daisy, "Excelsior Mix" foxglove, bells of ireland, "Victoriana" dahlia, "Limelight" four o'clocks, "Catskill" brussels sprouts

Tray 2 (mar. 10)-"Golden Jubilee" anise hyssop, german chamomile, blue catmint, true lavender, spanish lavender, sweet marjoram, stevia, fernleaf dill, soapwort, spearmint, feverfew, rosemary

Tray 3 (mar. 17)-"Snowball" marigold, "Mr. Majestic" marigold, "Jaguar" marigold, "Cottage Red" marigold

Tray 4 (mar. 17)-"Amish Paste" tomato, "Yellow Pear" tomato, "SunSugar" tomato, "Cherokee Purple" tomato, "Brandywine" tomato, jalapeno, "Thai mix" hot peppers, "Southwest mix" hot peppers, "Chocolate Belle" sweet pepper, "California Wonder" sweet pepper, "Genovese" basil, cilantro

Tray 5 (mar. 31)-"Siam Queen" basil, "Lime" basil, chives, oregano, "Mojave" sage, valerian, joe pye weed, sweet annie, queen anne's lace

Tray 6 (mar. 31)-"Chianti" sunflower, "Big Blush" sunflower, spaghetti squash, "Grafitti" cauliflower, "Green Goddess" eggplant, "Yellow Doll" watermelon, "Orange " watermelon, "Moon & Stars" watermelon, "Charleston Gray" watermelon, "Cactus Flowered mix" zinnia, "Psychedelic Spring" viola, "Queen mix" cleome

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Time Lapse Revisited

I know, I know, it's been a while, AGAIN. But I really am going to try to keep up the posts from here on out. Incidentally, we've been plenty busy since the start of the year. Things that would probably have made for interesting blogging, if I could've mustered up the brain-power to document them. Like when our family Jeep was hit by a left turning truck WHILE MOTIONLESS IN OUR DRIVEWAY and the less-than-lucid Ogden PD we called wrote us a citation for a "backing violation". Um, hello, does the term "stationary vehicle" mean anything? Needless to say we are appealing that one, we might even have a chance since she filled out almost HALF of the paperwork incorrectly. Also we lost hot water for about a week after the valve leading to the roof evap. cooler corroded and gave us a lovely high water bill. Of course, I was under the impression that this particular line had been drained, lucky me I got to find out different right in the middle of an ice storm. Directly after solving that little dilemma, our wall oven decided to call it quits, and it took 2 weeks to get someone out to repair the faulty wiring on it. I am guilt-ridden over the amount of takeout I ate in that time period. Now that we can bake again, we are facing yet another plumbing problem in the form of an overflowing basement drain, which appears to be directly linked to the kitchen sink. Nothing else in the house is affected, so I will be taking apart the basement ceiling/walls of the target area in an attempt to locate the problem. I have to now anyway, because it appears to be causing mold damage (yuck!). In between all of this, our little family has managed to survive the cold/flu season relatively intact, and we are heading for the local gym every chance we get. The boys are thrilled with the child care center, and a few hours a day w/o kids is a nice reprieve for me. Even if I have to make an effort to get fit during that time. And now that the end of winter is finally in sight, we are getting ready to start seeds in the kitchen nook, which gets the most reliable sun. When we have something more interesting than a couple of trays of potting soil to look at, I'll be sure to put up pics. Here's looking forward to spring!