Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's a Birds World

Because I think fluffy chicken butt's are cute.

Every year it gets a little bit harder to see the seasons start the transition into autumn, I'm just not a cool weather kinda girl.
It's a beautiful day and it's time to start appreciating them rather than taking them for granted. In just a small amount of time days like this will be naught but memories.
I find myself picking up my spinning and knitting after their summer vacation. I took my spinning with me to a military event over the weekend and was noticed by a lot of people. On gentleman wants to bring me his standard poodles coat when he shaves it down next to see what I can do with it. Too funny.
I'm convinced that I'll only get a handful of tomatoes off my vines, I've lots of green tomatoes but only today did I harvest my first ripe tomato.
We got a couple of good size cucumbers off our one vine which were delicious. I really wish the other vine had survived. Oh well, next year.

Lucy and Ethel have been enjoying themselves, there new favorite place to lounge is on the patio.
Just lounging around

For some reason I haven't gotten a lot of eggs. Honestly, I think the dogs are getting them which makes me pretty unhappy. We'll be keeping a better eye out.
Lucy keeping an eye out

My excitment of the day has been trimming the nails and beak of Jasper our Orange Winged Amazon aka Mr. Grumpy Pants and giving him a shower. He is less than pleased with me to say the least. Here he is looking wet and bedraggled.
If looks could kill I'd be dead a long time ago.

I'm living in a birds world today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Salt Lake City Library - Free!

Another installment of my "What my family can do in Utah on a Sunday for $20 or less.

This Sunday was seriously overcast with promises of rain and gusty winds. Not something I wanted to be outside for. Still, I wanted to get out and do something.
Look at those clouds...and the building is petty too.

Welcome to the Salt Lake City Library which is (bless them) open until 5pm on Sunday's! Not only is it free to get in, but it's free to take stuff home! Ok, you do eventually have to give it back but still, what a deal!

Photo on the Left: Coming up to the library we have a lovely framed view of the Old Court House building, I want to live there, it's the closest thing Utah has to a castle. Photo on the Right: One of the beautiful water features on the Library grounds.

I've actually never been to this the "New" City Library even though it has been around for a few years now, I don't get downtown that much so stick mostly to the county library's. I was pretty wowed to walk in and get this...
How serendipitous that I got a picture of a local celebrity and his daughter. In the lower right is Bill Allred of Kerry, Bill and Gena fame from the Radio from Hell Show on X96.

What you see is three levels of learning, what you don't see is the Children's Library in the basement and the admin offices and the rooftop terrace one more level above.
The odd spotty thing you see center top is a cool art piece of hundreds of monarch butterflies reading books. I could kick myself for not getting a picture. What I loved was the fact that some of the butterflies are wired so the wings actually open and close. Just like real butterflies!

Photo on the Left: Every floor has these stacked fireplaces and I think they're actually functional, how cool is that? You can veiw through one side to the other and see at least one fire from wherever you're standing.

Photo on the Right: They have ceiling high glass sculptures on the 2nd floor where the Youth Center is. That's my sweety you see front and center.

Did I mention that the first level in addition to Library space has some of the cutest shops I've seen. There's a flower shop, the Library Store where you can purchase old library books on the cheap. There's Hemmingway Cafe (must dine there sometime) and another coffee shop/cafe I don't recall the name of as well as a couple other shops.

I ended up getting a small stack of books and the lady that checked me out was very nice. I didn't want to leave but at least I know I can go back whenever I like...even on Sundays!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I'm not sure what's going on with the weather. It started going downhill yesterday and hasn't improved since. It feels like early fall rather than late summer. It's cold, wet and windy.
The tiny sliver of sunny sky that you can see in the picture disappeared completely quite some time ago.
It was just really overcast earlier this morning so I let Lucy and Ethel out of their run to roam the yard. They decided to come pay a visit. :)
Pardon the dirty glass (nose slides of three puppies), They paced back and forth tapping on it with their beaks. Maybe they figured that since all the other animals were inside they should be too. Or they sensed the coming rain. I led them back to their run to weather the storm.

They've been good layers, I get two eggs a day and they are delish. We had fried eggs for breakfast this morning.
They're medium eggs, brown in color and I'm not sure which one it is, but I get a speckled egg from one of them. It's funny because sometimes the speckles are a pale tan color and others a darker brown.
I have to think of ways to use eggs though to make the most of the freshness because we don't usually eat a lot of fried eggs. Mmmm, maybe a bacon and potato quiche!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's a Beautiful Morning

I usually don't go outside until evenings, mornings aren't my thing and during the day it's just too hot! This morning though was a different story.
I think it was the lack of all the hubbub of the construction that drew me out. We've got a church being built close and for the past few days they've been ripping the old willow trees out of our neighbors yard and they're finally done! No more chainsaws and cranes and heavy machinery, yay!
With the sun not on at full blast and a cool breeze blowing I thought it would be perfect to have morning tea on the patio. So I brewed up a cup of my favorite PG tips in my ever so cute kitty mug that we picked up on vacation in California (of all the things to get on vacation huh?) and headed out to surf the web from the comfort of my patio chair.
I decided that while I was out I'd let our two Holland chickens Lucy and Ethel out to wander the yard. I put their water bowl over in some tall shady grass and then went to get them breakfast. They followed me up onto the patio the beggars. :)
Now all the chickens that I've encountered have gotten their mash as well as the green table scrapings, you know, the ends of carrots, corn cobs etc. So I put in the trimmings from dinner last night. The twits just pulled them out and tossed them aside and gobbled up their mash. Silly bittys.
Now I'm hoping they don't decide to lay their eggs somewhere in the yard where the dogs can get to them. Or worse yet, fly the coop so to speak. Their wings aren't trimmed so they can get over the fence pretty easily.
I was able to spend about an hour out before the sun started to intensify to the point where the breeze wasn't helping so I headed in. It was so nice though, maybe this is what makes it worth it to the morning people. I may try it a few more mornings and see.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Millcreek Canyon

This is my first entry for this blog and it will be my first "Things our family can do in Utah on a Sunday for under $20"
In the Salt Lake City area, if you aren't the going to church type there doesn't seem like a lot to do, especially if you're on a budget. In fact, it can seem that the entire city pretty much closes on Sundays.
So what's a "spiritual" as opposed to "religious" family of three to do???
Well, this Sunday, we decided to go up Millcreek Canyon. The drive alone is beautiful this time of year with a profusion of wild flowers growing roadside, the air cools the higher the elevation and the sweet smell of clean air warmed by the sun is heady. Keep in mind, that's without even getting out of the car!
We had brought our water bottles so decided to hit one of the simpler trails the Lower Big Water (.5 on the difficulty scale). We had a good laugh at ourselves when the 30 minute hike brought us out at the Big Water trail head about a hundred yards up road from where we started . But that's actually one of the nice things about the trails up there, apparently they all come back to a central point so there's not really a chance of getting lost.

For families with dogs, this is a dog friendly canyon and they even allow dogs to go off leash on the trails on odd days. Of course you need to be prepared to clean up after them so take some baggies and they need to be back on their leash in the public areas.
And just because some people don't seem to understand the concept of cleaning up after their dogs, let me just say that tying it up in a plastic bag and leaving it yes you heard me, leaving it there, does not count as cleaning up after them. I kid you not, I hauled out 5 bags of someone elses dog poop!

While the fauna we saw consisted of a couple of squirrels, the flora up there is diverse and amazing and I must admit, I got a little camera happy trying to capture all the pretties that I saw.
I recognized cranesbill, some member of the raspberry family, wild strawberries, columbine (although they'd bloomed a while back), wild roses, monkshood and some others but the majority of what's up there is a mystery to me. Such as this wee little fungi I found all by it's lonesome. One of my favorite things about going up in the mountains is how you can step off the trail and feel like you're the only person for miles. The sounds of other people are muffled by the rush of water, the schoosh of wind through the trees and for a moment you are completely alone.

But never too alone.