Time for another Random Life post! This time, I have some pretty stuff, some scary stuff, some sad stuff, and something cute.
It’s random because… well…my life is random.
First, we’ll start out with the pretty stuff.
I took this shot as I was driving up Scipio summit. (Maybe I shouldn’t have told you that.) I didn’t look at the camera, though – I swear. I just held it up, pointed it in the direction of the mountain, pushed the button, and hoped for the best.
It turned out well.
This shot was taken out of an airplane window. We were starting our descent into the Salt Lake Airport. The stewardess told us to put our electronic devices away and I did – after I took this photo.
I’m a wild woman.
I’m alive today, so we can take that to mean that my camera didn’t interfere with the pilot.
Good news! The FAA has recently declared that airplanes don’t crash when our electronic devices are on. (iPads don’t kill people.) They are going to stop making us turning them off during take-off and landing.
I can stop feeling guilty about this photo now.
Evidence that I’m a grandma.
By the way, for any of you moms and grandmas out there… Did you know that pea gravel is just as much fun to play in as sand is?
My granddaughters seem to think so.
The best part of using pea gravel is that it doesn’t stick to the child who is playing in it, therefore, they don’t track the gravel into your house once they are finished. The next best thing about using pea gravel is that when weed cloth is under it, you don’t have to weed that area of your yard.
Just thought you’d want to know.
This child is not happy. I don’t remember why she was not happy.
This child has a bump on her forehead. I don’t remember why she had a bump on her forehead.
I think she’s adorable even when she’s not happy and has a bump on her forehead.
Grandma’s are like that.
Proof that I worked on one of my books this summer. It’s all mind-mapped out. Now, I need to get it out of the mind-map onto the computer. So far, I’ve come up empty.
Meanwhile, I’m working on other books ideas that I like much better. I’ll have more news about that soon! One will be launched before too long.
It’s amazing what you can do when you work on something [almost] every day. Go figure.
Here comes the delicious food portion of this Random Life post…
I don’t know how much you know about Utah, but we’re famous for two things: Our high consumption of Jello and a special concoction of mayonnaise and ketchup named fry sauce.
My memory is that a local hamburger chain – Arctic Circle – was the first to have fry sauce. Now, all respectable Utah hamburger chains offer it.
I formally declare that McDonalds and Burger King are not respectable establishments because they don’t offer fry sauce. Come on, people! You must offer fry sauce or I’ll continue to resent it that you don’t. I might eat at your establishments, but something will always be missing.
It’s called FRY SAUCE!
Fry sauce is so important that it has it’s own Wikipedia page.
But I digress…I’m suppose to be talking about Jello now.
This is one of my favorite We’re-Having-a-Party-and-I’m-Assigned-to-Bring-a-Jello-Salad recipes. Notice the topping. It may look like whipped cream, but it isn’t. It’s more…much, much more.
It takes a little more work than your garden-variety Jello salad does, but it’s totally worth it.
So as to save myself some time today, I found a recipe like mine on the Internet. (I don’t use nuts, though.)
7-Up Jello Salad recipe here.
Here comes the scary part of the post…
Last winter, a local herd of deer discovered how pretty (and yummy) our newly landscaped backyard is. They particularly enjoyed these trees. I was so sad about it, but the landscaper said that the trees would grow back.
He was right. It’s going to take a long time for them to completely fill out again, but I have hope now.
Gary is going to wrap the bottoms of the trees in burlap this winter. That’s what the landscaper does and he swears by it.
Hope he’s right about that.
Deer love laurel leaves. Did you know that?
Fortunately, laurel bushes are determined little things. They grew back and are bigger now than they were before the deer ate them. You can tell which bushes the deer chomped on the most, though.
Speaking of deer…
Once the deer discovered our yard, they decided it was a great place to dine. They particularly love our garden.
Deer love green beans. Did you know that?
We tried all sorts of smelly sprays and folk remedies to scare them away.
Yelling at deer doesn’t work. They just stare at you.
I’ve tried throwing rocks at them.
Fail. I don’t throw anything well. I swear they laughed at me a little that day.
James shot a sort of stun gun (not actually a stun gun, but I don’t know what it is) up in the air and the noise scared them. Once.
Molly (our dog) chased them away. Once. Then she decided that they should be friends.
We talked about putting a 20 foot tall (exaggeration) deer fence up.
Finally, I dove into the deep, dark Amazon, searching for answers. The Amazon didn’t let me down. It led me to this terrific motion detector sprinkler called a Scarecrow. You set them up along the area where the deer enter your yard. When the sprinkler detects motion, it sends out a strong, burst of water. The sound it makes is quite dreadful.
We have a wide yard that’s backed up by a creek-like ditch.
The deer think it’s a highway to heaven.
Since the ditch is so long, we bought five Scarecrows to cover it. Gary set them up along the top and pointed the sprayers down the hill so that the deer get sprayed right in their faces when they try to sneak in for breakfast. Then, he put the hose that feeds the sprinklers on a timer so that we won’t get sprayed when we go outside. My son, James, tells me that the Scarecrows go off every morning about 4 a.m.
They work! They work! We’ve only seen deer poop once or twice in our yard since Gary got them set up correctly. We actually harvested a few string beans! Okay…not many…but some.
Nothing is fail-proof when it comes to marauding deer except complete eradication – if you get my drift. Highland now has a…oh…shall I say…”We’ll feed the poor with your walking venison by stopping them from walking in your yard” program. The Utah Fish and Game department approved it as a test because Highland has such a big problem with deer. They wander on the roads and people hit them with cars. People die that way.
This is serious business, folks. This is more than about green beans and laurel bushes.
My nephew says that he’s more than happy to feed the poor with our moving venison. All we need to do is invite him over. He’ll provide the bow and arrows. (That’s how the master hunters the city has hired are feeding the poor.) He’s willing to talk to the city about being one of their hunters because he is a bow and arrow master.
I’m thinking about it.
Anyway, I HIGHLY recommend the Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinklers to anyone that is having trouble with animals messing up their yard. (Deer…cats…you name it.) They’re awesome.
If you decide to use the sprinklers, I recommend that you put a metal stake next to each one and tie them down. That keeps the sprinklers from falling over from the force of the spray. Also, Gary discovered that he needed to put in an extra washer in when he hooked them up to the hose so that the water wouldn’t drip.
Moving away from deer with horns to a dear with a pug nose.
Cupa. The look says it all.
Actually, she’s a very sweet dog. I particularly appreciate the fact that she enjoys having her photo taken. She’s very polite.
The back yard in early spring. I should take a photo of what it looks like right now.
Moving right along…
I promised you something cute. Here she is:
Miss Baylee waiting for her chance to ride the horses at This is the Place Heritage Village in Salt Lake City.
Miss Baylee studying the animals in the petting zoo.
About the This is the Place Heritage Village.
Before the Mormon pioneers came out to the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young had a vision of what it looked like. He knew that once he saw the valley, he’d recognize it and they’d stop there.
As they came through Emigration Canyon, he saw it. He was sick at the time and was lying in the back of a buggy. He sat up, took a look, and said something like, “This is the Place.”
They built a statue to memorialize the event. Later, the church built a memorial heritage village and park there. It has all sorts of pioneer houses and cabins, things to do, children’s activities, and food. It’s a great place to take your family.
If you go, check out the replica of the Huntsman Hotel (it’s smaller than the original). The Huntsman Hotel was built in Fillmore, Utah (my hometown). At the time, it was the largest hotel in the state.
John Huntsman built the replica because his family owned the hotel.
You know who John Huntsman is, right? (Senior- not Junior. He did not run for President of the United States.) He’s the ba-zillionaire that built the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City. He says that he’s going to die broke because all of his money is going to fight cancer.
Yep…John Huntsman comes from good Fillmore people. He’s good people.
But I digress…
If you go to the This is the Place Heritage Village, go to the Huntsman Hotel and order a hamburger and some A&W root beer. The hamburgers are hand-formed out of fresh meat and the buns are freshly baked. They are surprisingly good. Simple, but good.
A&W root beer is a classic Utah drink. It’s so classic that they (A&W) own the domain, RootBeeer.com.
Read more about the This is the Place Heritage Village here.
When Jim Bridger (the mountain man) heard that Brigham Young was going to bring so many people to the Salt Lake Valley, he told Brigham Young that he was nuts to do it. He offered (so they say) Brigham Young $1000 in gold for the first bushel of corn. He offered gold because he didn’t think it was possible to grow food in the desert valley. He was sure his gold was safe.
What he didn’t count on was Mormon ingenuity and determination. Obviously, Jim Bridger was SO WRONG about everything!
Irrigation. We irrigate. We irrigate everything. The Mormon pioneers were the first to build a huge irrigation system in the entire United States.
The irrigation water comes from the mountains, which is why we are so dependent on our snow pack.
Utahans love snow.
Time to wrap this up… Miss Baylee and Grandpa. This is one of my favorite photos. Ever.
It’s too cute for words.