Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monsters Abound

I am not talking about the monsters from Where the Wild Things Are, gothic monsters, or the ones in your dreams.  The monsters I’m talking about are objects.  Sounds crazy I know but hear me out.

It begins with a friend in high school who called the dryer the “Sock Monster” and I totally agree with her.  You put clothes in the washer and all the socks have a mate; you put the clothes in the dryer and the socks are still in pairs; you take the clothes out of the dryer and start to sort the socks and suddenly you have socks without a mate.  You go back to the laundry room and look around the room and around the washer and dryer.  You retrace your steps from the laundry room and you see nothing.   If you’re like me, you start a box (or pile) of socks without mates.  One or two things happen next, you never find the other sock or several weeks later, the sock mysteriously shows up in a clean load of laundry.   The “Sock Monster”-the dryer - has finally coughed up the missing sock.  How else would you explain it?

The “Couch Monster” is the second fiend.  How many times have you found stuff buried between the cushions of the couch.   My spouse and I currently live in the basement of my father-in-law’s house and the couches are where all the grandchildren sit when watching movies.  I have found toys, beef jerky wrappers, potato chip bags (both empty thank goodness), our cell phones, my eyeglass case, and a multitude of pens.  One couch in particular really likes to swallow things and no amount of vacuuming and cleaning stops the items from disappearing.  It’s a daily chore retrieving things from the “Couch Monster.”

This next monster is similar to the couch.  It is the “Car Monster.”   Not everyone will have this monster, but I certainly do.  I’ll drop something while I am getting into the car or while I’m driving.  Getting out of the car, I look under the seats, between the seats, next to the seats, in the back, and I can’t find what I dropped.  Days pass and I am unable to find the missing item.   Then, one day, out of the blue, I get into the car and I find the missing piece.  Where has it been?  It’s obviously been in the car the whole time so, why did I not see it?   I know I can be blind but I cannot be that blind.

Animals even have monsters.  My cat Mishka’s monster is the “Shower Monster.”  I get into the shower and after a few minutes, I will notice her sitting on the bathmat through the shower door.  When I am finally through with my shower, she goes crazy meowing and rubbing my leg as I am trying to dry myself.  It is as if she believes that I will not get out of the shower and then, where will she be?  Who will feed her or clean her litter box?   “Mommy has to get out of that thing she is in”, Mishka must think.   It is quiet funny.

There you have it.  Monsters.  You can believe me or not and Happy 4th of July.

Mishka, "No you can't have my bug 'Mommy Moster.'"

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sunday Drive

This past Sunday, July 23rd, we took a drive up in the mountains to find camping spots that are closer to our house.  We drove the Bountiful Loop that goes from Bountiful to Farmington, Utah that is in the Wasatch National Forest.  It only took us three hours to drive the loop; it would have been shorter if we had not stopped so many times.   Thus, this post is mainly pictures.  Enjoy!

Looking back to the Salt Lake Valley

Beautiful flowers holding on to the side of the cliffs
Really cool rock!

A possible campground
Trail to an area to view the sunset

Our future camping site - Farmington Lake

Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


This past weekend I went camping with my spouse and father-in-law. However, I have a love-hate relationship with camping.  Everyone in the family loves to go camping in the High Uinta Mountains, which I admit are beautiful.

Christmas Meadows

Christmaas Meadows

Christmas Meadows

The main reason I have a love-hate relationship with camping is it gets really cold at night in the Uinta Mountains, even in the summer.  The High Uinta Guide Map states that temperatures are between 30-40 degrees at night, and they are not joking.  I was freezing on Friday night.  I was so happy when my father-in-law started a fire. I sat next to the fire and wrapped myself up like a mummy.  At one point in the evening, I even stood in the fire ring; I was that cold!

Me trying to get warm

My spouse loves to cook so while I was getting warm he made dinner - scalloped potatoes (out of the box) and manwiches.
Scalloped Potatoes

Manwich meat
After supper, I was getting nice and warm so I went to bed.  Yes, I was lazy and didn't help clean up.  It's hard to get out of a warm and toasty sleeping bag once you're in it and I refused to get out.

The next morning I of course was the last one to get up.  I woke up to what I thought were co bells so I rolled over and fell back asleep thinking I was dreaming.  When I woke up the second time, I put my shoes on and went outside to discover I had not been dreaming.  The couple next to us had goats that were roaming through our camp to the field of grass on the other side.

We had truck trouble on the way up to Christmas Meadows; it overheated, so my father-in-law drove into Evanston, WY (about 30 miles away) to see if he would get the truck fixed.  He couldn't because everything was closed.  We stayed at camp relaxing and walking the horses.
Alpine Goats




Since the truck could not be fixed, our wonderful camping neighbors suggested that they pull the horse trailer back to the top of Mirror Lake Highway (State Road 150).  This way the trip home was downhill except for the small incline into Park City and the truck would hopefully not over heat again.

This camping trip did renew my trust in humankind.  Three separate vehicles stopped to help us after we pulled off the road when the truck overheated.  With the tools of three people and everyone pitching in, they were able to get the truck running since it was a simple, fixable problem.  Of course, we could not have made it home if it were not for our goat herding camping neighbors.  Everyone was so helpful and maybe there is hope since there are people in the world that will stop out of the goodness of their hearts and help others.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I thought I had seen it all.  Boy, I am so wrong. 

On the way to the library on Friday, I passed the Bountiful Cemetery and my eyes about popped out of their sockets.  There was a Coca Cola drink/food wagon sitting in the drive of the cemetery with large trashcans on either side.   I have seen flowers, flags, and special items placed on family members graves commemorating holidays but never a vending establishment in the cemetery.

I was going to stop at the cemetery office but there was a line of people waiting to talk to the caretaker.
The cemetery was really busy with with people placing mums on graves, cleaning grave markers, and two funerals.   

My only guess is that many people visit the cemetery Memorial Day weekend and someone decided to make a profit off everyone visiting or the cemetery has some sort of memorial service.  Whatever the reason, I just find it strange.

Below are some photographs I took and I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Driving Me Crazy

One of the biggest things my spouse and I noticed while driving across the country to our new home in Utah is how people drive.  As we moved further west, we noticed that people in different areas drive differently.  I really don’t know how to describe it so I won’t.

Now, I have to admit when I first moved to Pennsylvania I was not used to the way people drove.  If you were driving 80 mph, you were slow.  The rule to keep a car lengths between you and the car in front of you is non-existent.  If you want to move into another lane, you better haul ass when there is even a slight opening or you will miss your turn.  

This is the normal driving habit of people between New York City to Washington D.C.   Drivers in other parts of the country would consider this “aggressive driving.”  In my new environment,  I learned how to drive and now I love it.  It has helped me quite a few times while driving on I-15 around Salt Lake City.

My father, a southern gentleman and driver, hated when I was driving at home (in Alabama), and he was absolutely terrified when I was driving in PA.  On the flip side, it drove me crazy that he accepted the aggressive driving of my spouse (even though he didn’t like it).  I can only guess that the age-old idea that women are worse drivers than men will never die in the south.

In PA, I always got a kick out of the traffic reports because they would add the phrase “gaper delay.”  For example (and very much paraphrased from what the traffic reporter would say), traffic is slow as usual on the Schuyllkill at 4:30 p.m. with a car pulled over at the  Conshohocken exit and extra slow because of the “gaper delay.”  It is so true.  People would slow down just to see what was going on even if it was on the other side of the road (with a concrete barrier between them).  

I believed this to only be a Pennsylvania and Jersey thing but not so.  Utahans make Pennsylvania and Jersey look tame.  The “gapers” might as well stop their car and go over to the parked car to see what is going on.  They might actually need help. 

Two weeks ago while driving up to see my sister in Idaho, we came to a complete stand still on I-15 so we assumed it was an accident.  We were so wrong.  Traffic was creeping along because of all the “gapers!”  A guy had pulled over to the side of the road and he was bent over looking under the hood of his car.  The “gaper” affect multiplied!!!  We were creeping along because of THIS!

If you live in Utah please do not be offended.  I’m just finding it humorous the differences between the two areas of the country.  I really do like it here and I love that there is no humidity.

Till next time.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Walking Salt Lake City

Once again, I have neglected to write on my blog for months.  The main reason I have not been writing is because of a simple move from Allentown, PA to Bountiful, UT, a move that turned into the move from hell on multiple levels.  I’ll write about the move on another post but not today.

I technically live in Bountiful, UT which is a few miles North of Salt Lake City.  My spouse and I love old Salt Lake City and the distinction of the various neighborhoods.  With this thought in mind and wanting to get to know Salt Lake City, I found a great book at the Bountiful library, technically the Davis County Library (I don’t understand why they call it the Davis County Library when all the other branches are referred to by the city they are in, baffling.)  The book Walking Salt Lake City by Lynn Arave and Ray Boren is great for this architecture and history loving person.  There are a total of 34 tours in the book which I plan to walk everyone!

The first walk I decided to take was walk number 13 – Lower Avenues: A Pioneering “Suburb”. It was a really nice walk with a few hills but not too bad.  I did cheat and at 3rd Ave. and S. Street cut over to 4th Ave instead of continuing the walk uphill to V “Virginia” Street (the book doesn’t explain why V Street is labeled Virginia Street). I didn’t walk the whole 5 mile loop but I figured I only cutoff  a quarter of a mile.  Plus, I was tired and I had been walking for 2 hours at that point.  I was ready for some downhill action.

This neighborhood has been able to keep its charm and many of the 1930s and 1940s homes but needless to say modern condos, 1970s style apartments, and a myriad of other architectural styles.  Some background information out of the book states, “The streets and blocks were the first to deviate from the valley floor…and the people who built there houses here were ….not farmers” and it is considered Salt Lake Cities first suburb. (Arave and Boren).

While walking, I did find gems such as these homes.

Cute house not the car! 

I also found a few eateries that I will definitely go back to when they are open.   This Indian and Pakistani place, Indian Market & Grill, looks really good.  Another place I’m going to try is CafĂ© Shambala that serves Nepalese and Tibetan food.  It makes me hungry just thinking about these two places.

I found it fascinating reading about some of the history, such as why most businesses are along 3rd Ave., the east-west trolley line went down 3rd Ave. It makes sense.

One establishment I really got a kick out of was “Jack Mormon Coffee Co.”  In Utah parlance, a Jack Mormon is someone who goes to church but does not follow the rules such as not drinking coffee, no alcohol, having sex before marriage, etc.  I was really sad they were closed but I’m assuming they don’t get enough business on Sundays.  The phrase “This is the place” is a play on what Brigham Young supposedly said when overlooking the Salt Lake Valley, “This is the place the Mormons will settle.”

 That about sums up my walk.  Walking down hill, 4th Ave, towards the beginning of the walk and the car, Salt Lake Cemetery is on the right  The only notable building is a Mormon church house that was built in 1902.  It was beautiful but my pictures don’t do it justice, so no pictures. 

While on this walking tour I was surprised to find this 1902 Mormon church house and another one built in 1927.  I was astonished because the Mormon decision makers usually tear down older churches (even if they were on the National Register of Historic Places) for the new modern style church buildings.  Have they had a change of heart?  Who knows.

Well, that is it till next time.  I hope you enjoyed my post of my new home.