Saturday, September 26, 2015

Chopped off my hair

"A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life."
~Coco Chanel

Amen, Coco. She knew what she was talking about.

After two years of growing my hair, with a few 1/4 inch trims along the way, I finally decided to chop it off, acquiescing to the fact that my hair would never look like The Duchess of Cambridge's long, full locks.

Now, I'm sure you're laughing out loud now and quite possibly rolling your eyes. Well, roll away. I know, I'm ridiculous. She's got a stylist on-call and loads more money to spend on her hair than I do.

But I really thought I could have my hair long again and love it. However, the longer it got, the harder it was for me to keep up and style and I certainly didn't like how frumpy I looked sometimes. Though I actually have a lot of hair, it's very straight and very fine, so it takes a lot to make it wavy and full when it's long because it's pretty heavy and totally straight.

A change was needed.

Short hair brings out so much more volume and body to my hair, and so, it will be. Short. Until next time, when it's even shorter.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Home Project: Paint the bench red

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
~William James, American Psychologist and Philosopher

When I moved into my new home, my mom gave me a bench/chest that has been in the family for some time. Originally, it belonged to my cousin, Nathan. My Uncle Jim may have even built it. I think he did. It is solid wood.

By the time it came to my house, as a child, it had seen it's fair share of life and carried an array of dings and chips. We painted it blue. And by "we," I mean my mom. Blue is my favorite color. It's hers too. Everything in our house was blue. Not quite, but it seemed like it. I loved it. Blue is peaceful.

Then the chest made its way from San Francisco to Utah, where my mom painted it with two different colors of tan. Yellow tan. Light brown. Neutral. It worked in her space.

And finally, when I bought my home it arrived in its tan glory and took up residence in my entry for quite some time. I intended to paint it red and put it in my room. But it just sat in my entry. When I got my Ruth Carroll antique secretary (a desk, not a person) refinished (pictures coming later), I put it on display in the entry and moved the bench to the garage. Ya know, to paint it red and move it up to my bedroom.

Well, seven months later and more than three years in the new home, I finally did it. Praise me. Of course, I didn't take any before pictures. I'll be sure to post some if I ever find any, but for now you'll just have to enjoy it in its current red state. I didn't even sand it. I just spray painted it, dings and all. Dings add character, and they remind me of my childhood and how that bench has been a part of my life, well, just about forever.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Saturday of old friends, Stein Eriksen, and clouds

"The thing about old friends is not that they love you,
but that they know you."
~Anna Quindlen

There's just something about meeting up with old friends. When I spend time with people who have known me and loved me for a long time, I get a little emotional with nostalgia and a feeling of love. I know these girls love me. And being with them fills me. And breakfast at the Stein Eriksen Lodge was also filling. Glad we took the time.

Sharon, me, Bethany, and Katie
Stein Eriksen Lodge, Park City, Utah

A huge dose of love, humor, and nature. Until next time, my friends...

Oh, and here's quick shot of one of my newest friends. Sharon and Ben made a cutie.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Random Photo: A little Sunday evening entertainment

"A Sunday well spent, brings a week of content."
~ancient proverb

Afternoon turned into evening and this just happened outside my window. I'm not sure what they were celebrating, but it sure made my day. I love my neighborhood!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

A lunchtime walk to Japantown in the heart of Salt Lake City

"It is impossible to remain indifferent to Japanese culture. It is a different civilisation where all you have learnt must be forgotten. It is a great intellectual challenge and a gorgeous sensual experience."
~Alain Ducasse

Now don't get too excited. Japantown in Salt Lake is a whole lot different than it is in San Francisco. In fact it's quite a ghost of what it once was about fifty, seventy-five, even a hundred years ago. You'd likely miss it if you didn't know it was there. The area consists now of one block of 100 South between 200 and 300 West and I walked there for today's lunchtime walk.

The only buildings left to remind us of a bygone era are the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple and the Japanese Church of Christ, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

The rest of the block feels pretty desolate and is comprised of parking lots, the Salt Palace storage and loading docks, a bookstore/gift shop associated with the Buddhist Temple called Lumbini's Garden, and a small Japanese-style garden which was incorporated into the block when the Salt Palace made extensive expansions into what used to be a bustling neighborhood.

The Japanese Church of Christ, built in 1924, is on the north west side of the block, closest to 300 West.

The Japanese-style garden, though oddly wedged between the Church of Christ and a underground parking lot entrance, is quite cute and very zen. Walking in the garden is not permitted, but I enjoyed seeing several trees (Japanese maples and bonzai types) with ropes tethered to stakes in the ground, training them to grow sideways instead of up.

Just east of the parking lot which borders the garden, are tall walls with attempting to hide the Salt Palace loading and storage docks. The gates that have been put up all along the rest of the north side of the block to 200 West are called the Kimono Gates.

Again, a nice touch by the Salt Palace -- despite taking over much of the land after the city's residents overwhelmingly voted to approve a 17 million dollar bond to build the Salt Palace complex in 1964 -- to help the Japanese culture endure in the area and to honor those who lived and worked in generations past where these structures now stand.

On the southeast corner of the block sits the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple.

I was glad to see at least some preservation of what used to be a vibrant neighborhood. But, of course, I was sad to know of what used to be there: a Japanese language school, a produce market, a fish market, two thriving newspapers, a tailor's shop, the Colonial Hotel, and countless families of Japanese descent.

In a city where the Mormon pioneers and their stories dominate historical discussions, seldom is anything heard about the strong, compassionate Japanese community, numbering in the thousands, which endured generations right in the heart of the state's capital city.

I hope since the naming of the street, Japantown Street, which happened in 2007, that eventually sometime soon, at least the empty above-ground parking lot on the southwest half of the block will be turned into land for businesses, restaurants. One can hope!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Drive to Spring City

"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest form of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source
of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much
in life that makes life worth living."
~David Attenborough

Each year in May, on Memorial Day weekend, Spring City holds a Heritage Day celebration. My guess is that the town's population at least triples for the day. Mom and I have gone several times in years past. I think I've only blogged about it once, but I've been to Spring City more times than I can count on both hands.

This year it was just Mom and me. I needed that. I took the train down to her neck of the woods and then we drove on from there. The drive was stunningly beautiful since it had rained in the days before and the clouds were out in all their majesty.

My favorite things to see in Spring City are the old school house which is still undergoing major renovation, the fields and backyards full of poppies, the old spring, and my great-grandparents' old house. We didn't go up to the cemetery this time, but I feel that I should go back so we can clean up the graves of our family members buried there. One year, I even recall have a picnic right there in the cemetery with them.

And the drive. Beautiful, beautiful drive. With plenty of time to have my mom all to myself.

Until next time.