Tuesday, September 29, 2009


My Mother-in-law-in-law died Monday morning. She had been in a hospice home for just one week, muzzy on morphine and slowly fading.

She outlived her original three to six month prognosis by a full three months. Most of it she lived well, tiring easily but fully there mentally and pain free. I am sure that her husband, two daughters and four grandchildren are utterly bereft. How could they not be.

Her kindness and goodness shined out of her with a lambent glow. She had a quick wit. She delighted at winning when playing cards and lost gracefully. She understood the concept of "just a game." She had a kind word for everyone.

She was tiny, maybe five feet tall, maybe a hundred pounds - fully clothed and with shoes on. She had an astonishing amount of dark gray wavy hair. When she smiled her nose wrinkled and her eyes twinkled. I never saw her in a bad mood, though she was very human, so I know she must have had them sometimes.

I love her dearly. I will miss her terribly. And I know how very, very lucky I am to have known her. I will treasure that forever.

Goodbye Ember. Thank you. I love you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Guess what we're having for dinner tonight.
And tomorrow night,

and the next night,

and the next...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Out Of It

As I read Monday morning's newspaper and scanned the list of the Emmy winners, I realized that I had not seen a single one of the winning shows.

Good Lord! What has being married to the Engineer done to me? I'm totally out of step with popular culture! I'll never be able to win at Jeopardy again!

Just sayin'.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


The Utah Dahlia Society is having it's first dahlia show next weekend. In their honor, here are a couple of dahlia photos.

If you're in the Salt Lake City area the weekend of September 26 & 27, head on down to the garden center at Sugarhouse Park and ogle some beauties.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ambystoma tigrinum

I went out today to empty the pool skimmer and saw a large lizard looking thing in the bottom of the deep end. It didn't look like a proper lizard, though, its corners were too rounded. I thought one of the next door neighborhood kids had thrown a rubber reptile over the fence to try to freak me out. Their mother, after all, had instructed them at an early age not only to throw any pinecones our trees dropped back over the fence, but to aim for the swimming pool. (No joke, I heard her telling them, "Throw it farther so you'll hit the pool.") I got the pool scoop out and swished the thing into the shallow end where I could more easily lift it out.

Immediately upon dumping it on the cement, I knew it was a salamander. A dang big, very dead salamander. How the heck did that thing get into my swimming pool?

A little Internet research told me that it's probably a melanistic tiger salamander -- tiger salamanders being the only species indigenous to Utah, and not uncommon.

Even though both cats thought it was totally gross, its bloated carcass grieved me. I like salamanders. I like the thought of them marching on their splayed out little legs around my yard. If only they'd stay away from the chlorinated swimming pool.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Trying To Get Organized

As one might guess from my prolific blog posting these last couple of months, I am not the best organizer in the universe. I don't think I ever got an "S" in "Makes good use of time" when I was in grade school. My Mom always told me, "If your head wasn't tacked on, you'd lose it."


I've tried calendars, multiple calendars, computerized daily schedules, punch lists and notes of all types. If the Engineer wants me to do something I tell him, "Write it down - BIG - and put it where I'll see it." Which kinda works until I dump something on top of his note. Or, since it's not tacked on, lose it.

When I was at a bookstore the last week in August, I saw an 18 month organizer on half price sale. The photo art on the cover and inside was less than inspiring, but it had stiff transparent plastic covers front and back and inside a monthly calendar page followed by a page per week subdivided into days.
So one last thrust at this getting organized thing. I am filling out the monthly calendar in advance, then writing a commentary on the week pages at each day's end. I'm writing out my daily ToDo list on little squares of paper and keeping them clipped under the transparent plastic cover. I've written the longer term StuffIGottaGetDone in the back notes section of the organizer.

Will it work?

Probably not, but so far I have been faithful in following the LastGaspSystem since September 1st. That's two whole weeks.

Cross your fingers for me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

This One's For KC

Had the Initial Intermittent Meeting of the Ladies' Irregular Supper Club at my place last week; Kate, KC and BeadLady were in attendance. I had purchased picked-that-day corn at the local fruit stand as the vegetable and had placed it in my big stock pot on a steamer rack over boiling water.

Now my secret for corn on the cob is, I never salt the water -- I add a little sugar instead, only about half of a teaspoon. This works very well unless one lets the pan boil dry...

Which in the course of running in and out trying to keep an eye on the kabobs on the barbecue and everything else, is what happened. KC was in the kitchen when the pan went red hot, so she felt to blame. What can I say besides, I was the one who turned the burner on high with only a half inch of water in the pot. Mea culpa.

The pan was a mess, the entire bottom and about a half inch up the sides all black and blistered. Smelled lovely too. The corn was salvageable, pretty good in fact, despite a somewhat smoky flavor.

So I soaked the pan and scrubbed the pan, and soaked the pan and scrubbed the pan. Four days later, it looks like this. See, KC, no harm done.

Though I do wonder why whenever I do this that all the black stuff that comes off the pan seems to lodge under my fingernails.