Friday, August 31, 2007

Quilt of the Week

This is one of my most favorite quilts that I have ever made. It is called "Summer Beauty". It is the only quilt that I have made that is totally made by hand: hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted! I found the pattern for it at a quilt shop in Scottsdale, AZ and started making it in Feb. 1996. I finished it in March of 1997. I entered this quilt in the Springville Quilt show (see last week's Quilt of the Week post) that year and was thrilled to have it accepted for exhibition. I also entered it in the Tribune Spring Home & Garden quilt show right after I finished it and it won a 1st place ribbon in the small quilts category. I had it hanging in my family room for several years but those dark fabrics have a tendenacy to fade with constant exposure to sunlight -- even indirect sunlight -- so now I just keep it in a dark closet and bring it out once in a while for show and tell.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Quinn!

Today is Quinn's 30th birthday!!! He made a real statement when he came into this world by giving me a difficult labor that resulted in a C-section birth. It was like he was telling us, pay attention because life will be hectic for the next few years! He is our #3 child and he was due on Labor Day (how ironic) but then he decided to come a little early. What a sweet baby -- white-blonde hair and bright blue eyes. He was very much loved and anticipated by his older sister Heidi and his older brother Cameron and was the center of everyone's attention until he was ousted 23 months later by his little sister Katie's arrival. Quinn was always such a happy little spirit in our household. He loved to help Paul with anything -- they were very best buds and he followed him everywhere. His favorite place to hang out was the garage and he loved tools. But we could never give him fake, plastic, little-kid tools. Oh no, he only wanted the real thing so he always had a handful of screwdrivers and a real hammer hanging from his waist. For his 3rd birthday we gave him a real toolbox full of nails and screws and a hammer and wrenches and he was thrilled. He carried that toolbox everywhere and it was about as big as he was. His favorite thing to do was take things apart -- broken toasters, radios, clocks, whatever he could find and he loved to pound nails for hours! He had a sweet tooth and he challenged us to get him to ever eat any vegetables. He was our only child that we could use reverse psychology on and be successful. I can remember sitting at the dinner table and telling him "don't eat those peas; I mean it! Don't eat those peas" and then he would just gobble them down to spite me! This sweet photo above is my absolute favorite photo of him. Doesn't he just look like a little go-getter full of mischief and loving life!

Just six short years after Quinn came to our family, tragedy struck. We were in the mountains at a cabin (not ours) in December of 1983 and he and Cameron were caught under ice and snow that slid off the cabin's roof. Quinn's injuries took his life. This was a very difficult and heart breaking time for our little family. You know how as parents you are constantly warning your children "watch for cars" , "wear your helmet", "look both ways" --- we never imagined cautioning for falling ice! We were pretty shocked and devastated but so eternally grateful to have been able to have him in our lives for the few short years he was here and to know that we will see him again and live with him in the next life. He IS where we want to be!

Heidi was 11 when Quinn died and she and Paul wrote a special poem that she read at his funeral. It is called "Such Good Friends"

Such good friends, my brother and I;
We loved to share the pumpkin pie
That Mom would bake on special days
To treat us in our favorite ways.

Drawing numbers on his back;
Setting up his race track;
Fixing lunch of macaroni and cheese,
And answering the phone, "Just a moment, please."

His tools of the trade were screwdriver and nail.
On old worn out things he'd never fail
To beat and pound and pull them apart,
Working away with all his heart.

We played Barbies in my room,
And then on bikes we'd zoom
To far away places
To meet new faces,
And climb a jet to the moon.

He'd ski down the driveway,
Pop wheelies the hard way,
And dreamed that tomorrow would come,
So he could dig for some bugs,
Ugly worms and slugs,
And mess up his room - just for fun.

Baseball hero, soccer star,
Belting balls afar.
He ran so fast,
The Nike's never last.
But what a pal - MY STAR!

So today is a bittersweet day as it has been for the past 24 years. We remember him and celebrate his wonderful life though, in our opinion, way too short. When our kids were little, we didn't want this day to be sad so we would always go and do something that we knew Quinn would have loved doing like going to the water slides or going to Lagoon or going to the our cabin or going to Lake Powell. So it will be with fond memories that we think of Quinn today and know that he would be an amazing, successful young man turning 30 years old today!
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Monday, August 27, 2007

Another bicycling adventure

Every summer Paul plans a big bicycling trip. In the past we have gone to Louisiana, the San Juan Islands, Colorado, Moab to Albequerque, Grandes Alpes in France and this year he is taking on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park of Virginia and North Carolina. Back when we were first married, Paul was in the army and we were stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. One weekend we drove our recently purchased 1962 blue Buick Skylark convertible to Grandfather mountain and the mile-high swinging bridge. We loved how different the mountain scenery was compared to what we were used to in the West. Our mountains are tall and craggy and rocky and sparsely covered with trees and brush. But in North Carolina the views are totally green with trees and the whole mountains are thick with foliage--- at least that is what I remember from 36 years ago. Unfortunately our car broke down on our way back home since it came with a cracked engine block that we weren't aware of. Thankfully, they took it back and gave us a refund. Oh to be young and inexperienced!

Anyway, back to this year's trip. We will begin this adventure by flying into Charlottesville, Virginia and then he will begin biking from Waynesboro, VA. We will be staying at small, ridge-top inns along the way and I'm expecting it to be quite remote, quiet and quaint. The parkway does pass by a few larger cities like Roanoke, Va and Lynchburg, Va and Boone, NC and Asheville, NC but for the most part it will be small towns like Montebella, Oronoco, Troutville, Bent Mountain, Floyd..... and that will be only if we leave the parkway. I have been to my library and checked out 4 guide books for the areas we'll be going through but I'm not finding much about places except what is actually on the parkway. Hence, the real reason for this post.... have any of you out there in cyberland been along this stretch of highway? Or maybe you have lived somewhere around these towns -- you know, the larger ones. If you have taken a trip here, what did you see or do that was memorable? I do know that near Asheville is the Biltmore estate. Has anyone been there? Is it worth going to see?

I know we are in for a really fun experience. I do enjoy just happening on to unique little cafes or shops or museums but if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear from you!
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Quilt of the Week

This week's quilt story is a little different because the quilt I want to feature was not made by me.

Yesterday I went down south of Salt Lake to Springville, Utah to their art museum to view the annual Springville Quilt Show. This is a prestigious quilt show held in a prestigious art museum. Another thing that makes this quilt show unique is that all the quilts have to be "juried" to be accepted in the show. This means that they "prejudge" the quilts and not every quilt that is submitted gets accepted. I believe that about 90 quilts were submitted but only 82 were accepted. So as I am making my way through the show I come across the above quilt and as I read the explanation card that is posted next to it I am pleasantly surprised to find that I have a personal connection to this quilt's story. You see, my great grandmother is Minnie Petersen Jorgensen and my mother was given one of these red and white Burgoyne Surrounded quilts which my mother has passed on to me. I actually remember sleeping under the quilt that is pictured with my mother and I always knew it was made by her grandmother. I come from a long line of quilters on my mother's side and my father's mother was a quilter as well. The quilt entered in the quilt show was made by my 2nd cousin's wife, Judy Fitzgerald. She also had her mother-in-law's original quilt displayed next to the new version in the quilt show.

In 1994 a group of women connected to the Utah Quilt Guild were trying to document any quilts that they could find that were made in Utah before 1950. I had the above red one and I also had a beautiful yellow and white quilt that my grandmother made as my mother's wedding quilt. So I asked my mom to accompany me to the documenting event and we had the two quilts documented at that time. A couple months later someone called me and said they were writing a book and producing a video presentation about the documented quilts and would I be willing to be interviewed for both. Both the book and the video came out in 1997. Both are titled "Gathered In Time". They chose to include my grandmother, Mary Hazel Norr Jorgensen, and the yellow wedding quilt (I will show that quilt another time). It was such a thrill to be able to honor her that way. When the book was released there was a quilt show held at our State Capital building and both the red and yellow quilts were displayed. That is when I took this photo of my mom and her grandmother's quilt.

I love the way quilts bind generations together. I hope someday my grandkids or great-grandkids will still have my quilts and know something of me and my life.
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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Our beach house... outside

As Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz" said, "There's no place like home"... even if it is only for a week at the beach! Here is our lovely little beach house right on Seashore Drive. We had the upper level which included 4 bedrooms: 1 kingsize bed, 1 queensize bed, 1 bedroom with 2 twinsize beds and a bedroom with 2 sets of bunkbeds and still we had a couple of kids sleeping on the couch! We could step out on the balconies and check out the sand and the waves. We even had this view of the surfers from our balcony. The kids could run back and forth from our daycamp on the beach to the beach house for PB&J's and potty breaks and naps all day long -- so convenient. We used the "red towel" communication system: if you were at the beach house and needed help from the sun tanners on the beach, you just hung a red beach towel on the balcony and soon someone would notice and come over to check out the situation. Next time we'll try to remember 2-way radios but this seemed to work fairly effectively. Another valueable perk of the beach house -- 2 parking spots! Priceless!
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... and in!

Thankfully the beach house had an all tile floor which made it easy to sweep up sand and wipe up salt water. Heidi told us that out of the 4 or 5 beach houses that they have stayed in over the years, this one was the nicest. These places get absolutely loved to death. They are rented out each week by different groups of people so they are used and abused. Most of the furniture and dishes looked like it came from a yard sale but that was a good thing because then we weren't worried about ruining any of it. We were definately paying for the location and not the accommadations -- it did have granite countertops, however!
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Beachin it'

Just a few more photos from our beach trip last week. Chilling out on a beach chair with a good book and a refreshing beverage and lots of grandkids to entertain us .. what a way to spend the day!
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fun find

Remember how much I love red velvet cake? Look what I found at Maggie Moo's in Balboa.... Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream!!! It was soooooo yummy! And it tasted exactly like frozen red velvet cake batter. I ordered it with Twix bars and served in a sprinkles and chocolate covered waffle cone --- very indulgent treat!
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Sunday, August 19, 2007

A week of sand, sun & fun!

Newport Beach for 1 whole week --- Heaven! We just got back from the most enjoyable summer vacation... our complete family: 8 adults and 7 grandkids -- packed up and headed down to beautiful, sunny California. We rented a 4-bedroom beach house just 1 house away from the sand and waves. So from Sat to Sat we have been making some serious family memories! Heidi's family has been going to the beach with Eric's family for 8 or 9 years but the rest of us hadn't been to the beach in many, many years so this was new and exciting. The kids got a long so well and had so much fun being together 24 - 7. We spent most of our time hanging out on the sand and in the waves. All the guys totally got into surfing and boogie boarding and skim boarding and they are all experts! None of the sand crabs were safe as long as Colton, Cory, Quincy and Collin were out exploring and capturing; they even found mussels and star fish! Capri and Aspen were quick learners from the older cousins and in no time they were experts in digging in the sand and running through the waves. I'm not sure if my sandbox here at home is going to be sufficient any more!

Besides the beach and waves we had lots of things going on! Heidi had to leave on Monday afternoon and fly to Philidelphia to be on QVC but she was back by Weds afternoon. Funny story: we were visiting with the family that was in the lower unit of our beach house Thurs evening. They were from Reno, NV. Earlier in the week one of the mom's had told us that they didn't have cable TV in their unit and wondered if we did. Thankfully we did (hello, Disney Channel!). So now she was saying that she realized they did have cable TV but her teenage son had disconnected it so he could connect his game box. She was so disappointed that she had missed "Scrapbooking day" on QVC! We burst out laughing and asked if she recognized Heidi. She said she thought Heidi looked familiar but wasn't sure why. Then we told her that Heidi had been at QVC for scrapbooking day and had just gotten back... it was a funny coincidence.

Tuesday Paul and I needed a break from all the chaos, I mean, partying... so we headed into Laguana Beach for the afternoon. We went to the Sawdust Festival which is a wonderful annual arts festival held there for 5 or 6 weeks each summer. About 20 years ago, Paul and I went there and be bought 2 prints from an artist named Fred Bonn. We have enjoyed these prints in our home over the years. While we were wandering around the festival this time we came upon a booth with art by a man named Bob Bonn -- turns out he is Fred's son. It was so much fun visiting with him and talking about his dad and his artwork. We ended up buying another "Bonn" family piece of artwork. We had to laugh when Bob gave us a discount since we are "Bonn art collectors".
Later that evening we went to a spectacular outdoor art show called "Pagent of the Masters". Maybe you have heard of it. This year was it's 75th anniversary. Each year they recreate classical, famous works of art -- paintings, sculptures, figurines -- and make them life size and use real people as the subjects of the artwork. It is breathtaking. If you ever get the chance to go, be sure to go. We bought out tickets back in January when they first went on sale so you do have to plan ahead.

Wednesday we got to go to Disneyland with Cam, LaRane & Collin. LaRane and Collin had never been and Cam hadn't been for probably 15 years so it was lots of excitement for everyone. So cool to be able to see Disneyland through the eyes of those who are experiencing it for the first time. Collin was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY into the pirate stuff. We figured out the "fast pass" deal and that was slick!

We only had one "bummer" event but it was kind of a big one... on Friday Cam, Clark and Eric had been out surfing and as they were coming into shore, Eric board got caught in a nasty wave and shot up and hit Cam straight in the mouth and it almost knocked out his 3 front teeth. It broke a big chunk out of one of his front teeth and knocked the other two way back in his mouth but they were still in place. After lots of calls to every oral and dental specialist any of us knew, he was told to soak a cloth in milk and push his two teeth back in place --- which he did --- sooooooo brave (I was no where near this procedure!). Then our orthodontist said he'd see him at 9:30 am on Sat back in SLC so Cam, LaRane and Collin loaded up and headed off. Dr Maxfield was able to bind those teeth in place by installing 6 brace brackets and hopefully that will keep the loose ones stable while they heal and mend. Our regular dentist will have to repair the broken tooth at some point. So that left us a little shaken up. If you want to see any photos you can check out Cam's blog by clicking on his name on the sidebar.

But we did get to end the week with a party Friday night by singing and dancing and enjoying "High School Musical 2"!!! Saturday morning we reluctantly got up, packed up and had to give hugs and kisses good bye. Hopefully this can just be the beginning of a new family tradition!!!
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Friday, August 10, 2007

Quilt of the Week

This week's quilt has an interesting story behind it like most of my quilts. I made it in 1997. This quilt is actually a miniature replication (25" x 25") of a larger quilt and hangs in my home. Back then I was Relief Society (women's organization in my Church) President and I asked the Bishop (kind of like a priest or pastor of our congregation) if I could redecorate the Relief Society room and much to my delight and astonishment, he liked the idea and gave me the go ahead. I had seen a quilt similar to this in a magazine and the main block was called "Sister's Choice" and I thought that seemed appropriate. My quilting friend also lives in my ward (Church neighborhood congregation) so she signed on to help me. We chose the fabrics and the layout and then asked the women in the other ward that shares our Relief Society room if they wanted to be involved and several of them joined in as well. We began the quilt in May and finished it in June... I guess "many hands does make light work" (or whatever that saying is). The original quilt that hangs in the Relief Society room has 16 blocks instead of the 9 that mine has but everything else looks the same. It is much larger -- probably about 60" x 60". We wanted to incorporate the Relief Society motto which is "Charity Never Faileth" by using various symbols. If you click on the photo you can see that in the border we quilted hearts and hands. We wanted to show that sisters in the Gospel serve and love, reach out to others with compassion and the love of Christ through good works and acts of selflessness and kindness. The name of the quilt is actually a scripture: Ecclesiastes 9:10 which reads "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with they might." After we finished the larger quilt, I had the left over scraps and so that is what I made the smaller quilt from. In both quilts the blocks are all machine pieced but then the quilts are both hand-quilted. I love to look at the quilt when I go to Church each Sunday; but then I also get to enjoy my personal version all week long as well.
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One already!

Sweet little Capri turned 1 last Tuesday while we were at our family reunion. Last year Paul & I were in Gap, France and got a phone call at 2 am with the exciting news that she had been born. Then we still had to wait another 3 weeks before we got to meet her in person. She is such a joy. What a special little spirit she has. Her smiles are spontaneous and her happiness is contagious. She is so tiny! She started walking at about 10 months and even now as she tottles around she looks like she could be toppled over by the slightest breeze. She watches those big brothers and big sister and she thinks she should be doing everything she sees them doing. One of her favorite things is to stand on Colton's skateboard. Paul & I miss not being able to see her every week (and the other AZ kids too) but she does maintain a very special spot in our hearts each and every day! Happy Birthday sweetie!
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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Family Fun

Whew! I'm exhausted... but in a good way. We just wrapped up a three-day family reunion with my side of the family at the Homestead Resort in beautiful Midway, Utah. This event has been in the planning since last November and I have to give my brother Mark all the credit! You see, my family is quite large in numbers and like most families, spread out all over the country. I have seven siblings and there are a total of 129 family members (with 4 more great-grandkids on the way). We were lucky enough to have 91 people be able to attend this get together (for at least some portion of the 3 days). My mom & dad are in the first photo holding Connor -- they have the destinction of being the oldest and youngest participants. My dad turned 89 last Sunday, my mom turned 86 last March and Connor turned 1 months old on Tues.

This was our first ever official family reunion and we did it up right. Everyone checked into the resort by 4 pm on Monday. Then at 6 pm we had a nice sit-down dinner. After lots of "meeting and greeting" my brother Kent MC'd a delightful evening of interactive games designed to help us get to know a little bit more about each other and break down any self-consciousness (basically make us all look a little silly). Then we got serious for a minute or two and each gave sweet tributes to my parents.

Tuesday was full of water games for the little ones, swimming in the crater for the bigger ones, hanging out at the pool and lots of catching up. That afternoon a photographer came and took family photos. You can imagine what it was like trying to get every imaginable combination of familes large and small and hopefully catch one or two acceptable shots. We missed Clark and LaRane in our family group... Clark had to work and LaRane was on semi-bedrest with her pregnancy. We were starving by the end of the photo shoot so we thoroughly enjoyed the BBQ at the Wasatch State Park. That evening we reconvened (sp?) for a lively (!!!!!) night of BUNKO! As if tons of kids running around wasn't wild enough we added adults rolling dice and yelling Bunko for a couple hours... but everyone had a great time. Thankfully Mark had thought to hire babysitters. Wednesday morning our in-family chef, Jake, cooked up the most fabulous breakfast you have ever seen... eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast burritos, fruit, hash browns, bagels, french toast ... even fruit loops! After breakfast, our professional Mac make up artist, Casey (boy cousin -- not to be confused with Kacey, girl cousin) gave us a hour long seminar complete a with demonstration on Courtney. Some of the luckier girls even got make overs during bunko... aren't families great!!! After that hugs were shared along with email addresses and then it was over too soon. BIG, BIG thanks to Mark for planning this event, Marsha, Kent, Suzi and everyone that accepted assignments (I was in charge of the two dinners and then Mark just did them so I didn't really end up with any responsibilities -- kind of a nice change). It was a huge success and so much fun to see each other and spend a little quality time together... after all, Families Are Forever!
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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Planning ahead

I just got off the phone where I made reservations for our annual "before tax season begins" get away to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. For the past six years we have been taking a trip to a warm climate in January. The first year, we went to Orlando, Florida. We had never been to Disney World, Epcot, or anywhere in Florida, for that matter, so we decided that would probably be warmer than Utah in January... the first thing I bought at Epcot was a pair of gloves... I was freezing! After a week of trying to convince ourselves that this had been a nice trip, on the way home we had a layover in Houston, Texas and about every other person in the airport terminal was returning from Mexico -- tan and very happy and relaxed. That did it. The next year we went to Mexico and bought a timeshare and have been going there ever since!! Last year we had the most fantastic deep sea fishing experience! We had gone out once before the year we had taken our kids with us and that time we caught 3 dorada. It was super exciting. Besides catching these huge fish, we saw whales and dolphins and sea turtles... so cool. So this past January, we talked our friends into doing another fishing excursion. Paul and I were secretly hoping that we would catch at least one fish since we had really talked up how fun and successful our first trip had been. We ended up having a truly amazing outing. Each of us were able to reel in a big Dorada. That is me with my catch in the 2nd photo. A Dorada is in the tuna family... excellent to eat. We actually ended up with 5 Dorada. Just when we thought the day was over we hooked onto this Marlin. I tell you those things put up a fight! We picked Darrell to reel it in because the rest of us just weren't strong enough. He fought that guy for about 45 minutes. We hadn't planned on keeping it but by the time it got to the boat, it had the fishing line all tangled in it's gills and that did it in. We ended up giving each of our crew men a dorada and also the marlin. We kept the other 3 doradas and had them filleted at the marina. On our taxi ride back to the resort, we stopped at a little restaurant in town and left one of the fish and then came back that night and they served it to us for dinner. WOW... good eats!!! The rest we froze and brought back home with us. I'm very excited to have another trip to look forward to... it is always a fun adventure!!

PS -- the first photo is taken from our room... all the rooms have ocean (Sea of Cortez) views!
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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

This Is the Place...

...according to Money magazine and me. In this month's issue of Money magazine they have ranked my little city here as number 100 on their annual "100 Best Places to Live" list. Cottonwood Heights has only been an actual "real" city for 2 years so it is kind of impressive that it has gotten this kind of notice so quickly. CH was the only Utah city on the list and only 1 of 4 in the whole intermountain region. Paul grew up in Sugarhouse and I grew up in Holladay and we bought our first house in Salt Lake City proper but about 31 years ago we moved out here closer to the canyons. Our first house was about 4 miles from where we live now. We lived there 17 years. When we decided to build a new home we knew we didn't want to leave this area and we were lucky enough to find a spot to build and our kids didn't even have to change schools. We have been in this new house for 14 years. Paul's office is also here in CH. Our daily commute to work is just 3 stop lights! I know, we are soooooooooooooooooo spoiled! CH has everything we need: Target, Walmart, TJ Maxx, Old Navy, Barnes and Noble, The Store (super local upscale grocery store), Wild Oats, World Mart, Cafe Rio (the original location) and most recently, Paradise Cafe! The Chipotle restaurant is opening soon! There are quite a few Corporate headquarters here too:, Jet Blue, Mrs. Fields, Kern River Gas and Sonic Innovations, and of course, Kasteler & Associates, CPA's!

One of the things I love the most about this location is how close we are to our beautiful mountains. We are honestly like 2 minutes from Big Cottonwood Canyon and maybe 10 minutes from Little Cottonwood Canyon (hence the city logo "City between the canyons"). We have some of the best snow skiing resorts just minutes away: Brighton, Solitude, Alta, Snowbird. I know, spoiled again. The canyons are wonderful for hiking, picnicing, biking and just scenic driving.... you should see them in the fall!

I hope you don't mind me bragging a little here but it is fun to see someone else recognize what I have known for a long time!
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