Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fluffy Icing on Canyon Vegetation

This week we had another snow day.

There have been so few of them, I'm compelled to highlight the magic, once again.

This time, from a different perspective.

Snow piles up on the bony fingers of bare branches , creating dazzling visual effects.

The contrasts bring out things you'd otherwise miss.

I can often tell which way the wind was blowing during the snowstorm by looking at the wild sage.

A tall weed bows under its colossal load.

It's odd to see a remnant of fall in February.

For some, letting go is hard to do.

The patterns of the branches can be dizzying.

Here's another way to experience it, thanks to a little playful manipulation.

If I knew how to dab with paints, this scene would beckon me to grab my palette.

Instead, I create the effect digitally. It's somehow cheating, I know.

Since today I'm dreaming of warm weather,

this final version of this winter shot reflects the longing of my heart.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine Cookie Decorating

For more than 25 years, I sponsored our family's Valentine's decorating party
- see HERE and HERE.

Two years ago, I pooped out.

- a brave mother of six from the younger generation -
who has volunteered to keep our family's Valentine Cookie Extravaganza ALIVE!

She has even added a healthy dimension to the event -

for Emily!

(She happens to be EXTRA SPECIAL to her Aunt Ginger,
because she lived with me during high school and what a GIFT she was to my family.)

Also, her home is MORE than adequate,
with two expansive rooms for our ever expanding family.

There were three tables brimming with the basic creative elements:

1. Sugar Cookies - various sizes

2. Powdered Sugar Frosting - various colors

3. Decorative Items Made of Sugar

Among the attendees this year:

Nephew #1 - Richie . . . with his new BRIDE.

Nephew #2 - Austin . . . with his new FIANCEE.

Nephew #3 - Chris . . . with his new GIRLFRIEND.

We all take note when a girlfriend or boyfriend shows up at the Family Valentine's Party.
It's likely to be a SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP.

We'll see.

Below is John who didn't need to make a big production out of his cookie.

He quickly drew an action figure with a black frosting pen, plopped a marshmallow on top
and then he was ready to do the really important task - EATING.

John was THRILLED that I took an interest in his Legos action figures
He eagerly gave me a tour of his impressive collection of good guys and bad guys.
I received looong explanations about the character qualities of each and every action figure!

(The little brother, Jared, is NOT on drugs as he may appear to be. He is just very enthusiastic, like John.)

It was ever so grand to see the tradition continue

I give my blessing to the new torch bearer!

Sisters, naturally.
February 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Snow Day

Today was a SNOW DAY.

Here is the sight which greeted me this morning.

Although I've been told TWICE that sleeping right under windows is

bad feng shui,

I don't care.

I have lots of flying dreams and I think it's because I sleep this way.

I love the native Utah Gamble Oak, especially when there's snow on it's bare branches.

The shapes are simply . . .

I have a canyon community.

We represent the die-hards who go up the canyon
in ALL types of weather
and at ALL times of the day or night.

This is Charles.
Today he hiked to Squaw Peak.
A little white stuff didn't stand in his way.

This is Squaw Peak,
in case you don't do links.

It's an abstract.

Photoshop helps you to see things you wouldn't otherwise see.

For example,
I wanted to see if today was just a black, grey and white sort of day . . .

. . . or if there was some color.

Bring up the color saturation of a photo and voila!

There definitely IS color and it turns out that snow has some awesome blue tints.

But I do like the canyon in it's raw format.
Especially in the winter.

There's a quiet beauty
which draws you in.

"Come on!"
cries Chica.

I'm on my way!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Plug-in Drug

I did lots of things WRONG as a parent. Like, having a quick temper. Sometimes, a VERY quick temper. (I swear it was stress. I was a single mom running a child care center, worried for twenty years about the daycare going under - with good cause.) Anyhooo, I'm going in a different direction . . .

Here and there, I did something RIGHT.
Like, I limited television. Not total abstinence, mind you, but very close.

I know that it's hard to resist at times.
After all, it's the cheapest and most convenient babysitter in town.

you get LESS of THESE kinds of activities when the t.v. takes over:

(Arian & Leah)

Outside Play
(Arian & Leah, again.)

Creative Play
(Leah & Kelty)

Activities Which Take Concentration

Projects Which Take A Very Long Time
(Arian & friend, turning my garage into a space simulator.
It took three or four years.)

After surviving a gzillion tantrums over my stance on television,
I notice that my kids are going in the same direction.

Tee hee!

Being at Leah's home,
I was reminded of the benefits of curtailing the use of the plug-in drug.

Creativity flourished.

These kids hopped all over the house, tied together.
It kept them going for quite a long time!
(Marnie, their friend, is the tall brunette in the middle. My daughter only produces blondes.)

And then there's DRAMATIC PLAY.

I enjoyed several fine episodes of theater productions and . . .


Put on the music and these girls dance their hearts out.
It's always different and always fun.

And then there's MAKING STUFF.

In this case, Avery made a rocket ship and it evolved into some spectacular dramatic play.

Here's Brinley with a snake she made from some clay I got at the dollar store.
ONE DOLLAR can go a long way!

Three cheers for life beyond television!
(and computers and smart phones and iPods, etc.)

In my last post, I neglected to add the shot of baby Reese, Leah, and Grandma Ginger, taken after her baby blessing.

She was blessed to become a peacemaker.

Leah is thrilled about that!

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