Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Seamstress - Book Review

Earlier this month I got a simple email message from my niece Anna: "I just read The Seamstress. Order it." So, I did.

The novel, by Frances De Pontes Peebles, is epic--641 pages--but is worth every glorious minute. Occasionally, after spending a significant amount of time with a book I am truly sad when it finally comes to an end (ie. The Count of Monte Cristo). I feel this way about The Seamstress. I will miss it.

With passionate and lush writing, Peebles tells the story of two sisters living in Brazil during the political upheaval of the 1930's. While both women manage to escape the poverty of their orphaned childhoods in the mountains of Brazil, they lead drastically different adult lives. In spite of this, they are tied together by the bonds of sisterhood and their training as expert seamstresses.

Emelia and especially Luzia are unique heroines. Peebles created fascinating and complex women characters who are at once strong and fragile, righteous and wicked and nearly always sympathetic. The women are so real and deal with the entire spectrum of human emotion, it is at times hard to believe they are fictional characters.

While the images of violence are often brutal and barbaric, Peebles writes without vulgarity or unnecessary sexual content.

I often give a book five stars upon reading it and then change my mind the more I think about the book and deconstruct it's themes, characters and plot (ie. Ahab's Wife). At this moment, only minutes after reading the final pages, I unabashedly award five stars to The Seamstress.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Molly was so enjoying her Orange Creamie the other night that I ran for the camera. Unfortunately, before I got back she and the puppy had finished it already.

I love Creamies.
So do the kids.

Anyone have any ideas about getting chocolate Creamies out of clothing?
I've tried Spray and Wash and Oxy Clean. Still there.

Monday, July 26, 2010

More Good Times

Saturday afternoon we joined more family at Utah Dad's brother's home to celebrate the holiday. We enjoyed great company, amazing food and all the fun things to do. Their back yard is better than an amusement park.

Molly loved the trampoline.
Amberly and Neal stayed in the pool until it got dark enough for fireworks. They are water babies.
Utah Dad and his brother took a drive up the beautiful hills on the four-wheelers.
 The battery on my camera died before I could capture our trek up the hillside to watch the fireworks and then our own firework display in the road. Molly was so fascinated by the fireworks. She inched closer and closer until I grabbed her away.

We were so grateful for Mark and Lonnie's hospitality.

After all the fun times and late nights, I was exhausted. I've been battling a cold since I went to Vernal and it was so nice to spend Sunday relaxing. I'm rejuvenated now so let the good times continue . . .

Friday, July 23, 2010

Happy Pioneer Day!

One of the best things about living in Utah is an extra holiday in July.

It's just one more reason to get together with family.

And eat good food.

 And play a little Red Rover with the cousins and cousins of cousins.

And chase and tackle the older cousins.

And watch fireworks.

And stay up late.

Ka Boom. (Bountiful puts on a nice show.)

Happy 24th of July.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Silver Lake - Out and About in Utah

To escape the heat in the valley, we joined Utah Dad's parents and sister at Silver Lake in Brighton. It's at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon and has been one of our favorite places to go for years. The kids can easily walk the trail and board walk that surrounds the small lake.

I must have done a good job training them when they were small, because whenever we go Neal and Amberly insist on posing for pictures on every rock.

We enjoy discovering the wildlife at Silver Lake. Some years we've seen beavers and deer. Last night we counted dozens of ground squirrels. There were ducks on the lake. As we were leaving the parking lot we saw a bull moose foraging in the trees.

After our walk we drove to a nearby camp ground to build a fire and cook our foil dinners. The camp site had lots of fun boulders for the kids to climb while they waited for their food.

Before climbing on top of this stump, Thomas announced: "I'm going to stand up there and tell you everything." He then attempted to direct the universe.
After that, all the kids had to take their turn on the Rameumpton.

Molly enjoyed wearing shoes for the first time and exploring the camp site.
She got absolutely filthy and loved every minute.

When we were finished we drove back up to see the moose again and then on our way down the canyon and back to the oppressive heat, we were rewarded with a spectacular sunset.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You know you've had a great time when you get this dirty.

There's a good mixture of dirt, smoke, foil dinners, and Oreo cookies on that not-so-kissable face.

I'll write more about our fun night later.
I still smell like campfire smoke, so I better take a shower before I crash in bed.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Days of 47 - Float Preview - Out and About in Utah

We spent our afternoon in the comfortably air conditioned Southe Town Expo Center previewing the floats for the Days of 47 Parade. The floats are spectacular. We met some of the creators and heard some of the fascinating stories behind the floats. It is fun to see the floats in the parade and on TV but it was really cool to see the details. A lot of volunteer work goes into creating the floats.
The Preview Party will continue tomorrow (Tuesday, July 20).

The Preview Party is FREE (love that).

There is also free face painting and balloon creations for the kids.

You can vote for your favorite float.

My favorite is the one with the moose from Emigration Canyon. Yes, I'm biased, but it really is cool. The one with the crickets is also seriously awesome.

I didn't take my camera but the girls posed for some pictures when we got home this evening. Too bad that Lilly had thrown a fit, cried and smeared her face paint.

Don't miss this fun way to spend the afternoon. My kids had a great time.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Baby Birds

I risked having my eyeballs poked out by defensive parent birds (watch out if you come to my door) to take pictures of the babies that hatched while we were on vacation (more about that later). The babies will be flying away soon.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Winner of Dweebies

The winner of the game Dweebies from Gamewright is:

Ammon and Jen

Congratulations! Send me an email at with your contact information.