Thursday, January 21, 2016


My parents gave my husband an Amazon Echo for Christmas, and I'm surprised at how much I've enjoyed having her in our home.  I'm always asking Alexa questions, and she is able to answer most of the time.  There's nothing revolutionary happening with the Echo.  Anything Alexa can do my iPhone could do too.  However, it's nice in the kitchen to get questions answered on demand without queuing up Siri.  Alexa isn't as smart as Siri, yet.

Alexa is an open mic that's connected to the Internet, which means there's 100% chance that someone else in the world is listening to our household.  This isn't safe.  However, our household isn't secretive.  We're normal people having normal conversations.  The US government, the Chinese, or Jeff Bezos won't learn much from listening to us.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Clean Windows Kills Birds

I took the above photo through my window to show you how clean I keep it.  I am most relaxed in my home when it is clean and tidy.  I value cleanliness and order within my home.  Lucky for me I have help.  However, clean windows kills birds.  This is the fifth and sixth bird that I know of  to have died trying to fly though our glass windows.

I'm not joking.  It sounds like gun shots or firecrackers when they hit the window.  I now pay attention in hopes of helping the knocked out birds before Dooley (the resident huntress) finishes the wounded bird.  The first time I witnessed this event, Dooley found the victim first, and Dooley ran around the yard with a half alive bird until she snapped the neck.   Dooley growled at me when I took away her prize.  Only one bird has been able to fly away after trying to fly through our windows, and that's because the bird was some type of hawk - it was large.  These little birds never survive.  It makes me sad, really.

We must be kind to all living things.  I suppose I need to stop cleaning my widows?

Yesterday after I heard the now familiar back to back sound I went outside and held these dying birds in my gloved hand as they took their last gasping breaths.  I then placed the recently deceased on an outdoor table because I wanted their flock to know they were gone.

I didn't feel sorry for the chicken I ate tonight at supper.  This is different.  I didn't eat these two birds.  They didn't need to die.  They just got unlucky.  That's life.  Sometimes unfortunate things happen, but at least the rest of flock didn't try to fly through the glass too.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Two Queens on a King

The last time we purchased a mattress was in 2004.  Our mattress was worn out after 11 years of use, and we've been sleeping on a canoe bed (it had a sunken middle) for a few years.  If you placed a ball on the corner of our bed it would roll to the middle.  Finally my shoulder couldn't take it any more; I'd wake up with soreness because all my weight was pressing into certain points on my body.  In fact, I got better sleep at Christmas when my husband and I were sharing a full sized bed at my parents' house.  It was time for a change.

We are two queens (haaaaay) and we've always slept on a queen bed.

However, we took this moment to upgrade from a queen to a king.  I will miss using the punchline about two queens on a queen, but the king size bed is amazing.  There's plenty of room to stretch out.

Do you think the twins will try to sleep in bed with us?  If so, now we have room for everyone: two men, three dogs, and two babies: all aboard!

Snapshots from Deer Valley

Our hotel had a dinning room table that seated nine people on each side and was made from two solid planks of wood.  The table was made from a very tall tree.  I told my husband I have a new goal for a future dinning room.  (He shook his head.)

Who's the man standing behind the fire?  That's my man.  I also enjoyed the large double sided fireplaces inside the hotel.  It's such a nice element when it's freezing cold outside.

Purple Sage was my favorite restaurant in Park City.  Followed by Prime Steak House and Piano Bar as a close second.  At Purple Sage, the meatloaf was sensational - it had so much flavor per bite.  We started the meal with blue cheese fondue and BBQ chicken tamale pancakes, which meant (unfortunately) there was no room in my belly to try their desserts.  I seriously want to book another trip just so we can try their desserts - it's the life of a fat kid.

In one of the ski lodges this is how they get the leg of lamb going in preparation for dinner.  A grill master had these set up in a few of the wood burning fireplaces around the lodge and he would walk by every few minutes and spin the legs so they'd rotate on their strings.  This was all happening during lunch, which meant it was great advertisement for their dinner menu.

This is an action shot - those legs were spinning.

I didn't get the best photo, but I thought this table was too cool.  I loved how unique the base and legs are designed. It's also a large table.  I have a passion for fine furniture, interesting art, and unique cooking.  I wish my passions were more affordable.  I'm so lucky that we've been on interesting trips where I am exposed to furniture, art, and food!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Deer Valley

Via my Instagram

Babymoon Number Two

When you're having twins you should get two babymoons, right?  The babymoon concept was new to me, but we're fully embracing it!

We returned from a week of skiing in Deer Valley.  Now that I've had the Deer Valley experience it's going to be a sacrifice to ski on the peasant mountains again.  Ha!  At Deer Valley you don't put on your own ski boots and you don't wait in lines.  They have focused the mountain to host the best ski experience in the world, and it's pretty spectacular.

Here are some observations during our week where we lived like kings!

  • We invested in a private ski lesson for me, which has really improved my technique.  I'm a big fan of ski lessons to improve my skills.  My husband is an Olympic skier; he's been skiing since he was three years old.  I'm just trying to keep up.  (Which is similar to our marriage - it's my husband's world and I'm just trying to keep up!)
  • Not counting us, Deer Valley is a wealthy person's playground.  We were surrounded by a huge international community.  Seriously, most of the people we met were not from the USA.
  • Everyone wears helmets to ski, EXCEPT, the Spanish speaking families do not wear helmets.
  • At breakfast I chuckled when the server had to explain to a group of German men that according to Utah law she could not serve them alcohol at breakfast.
  • Our ski instructor Rob told us the least expensive home in one gated community was around $14M.  Can you imagine the psychological damage you'd incurred if you owned a $14M "starter" home?  Just think the neighbors would come over for drinks and say: "Where's the rest of your house? How do you live in a such a small space? Is this where the help lives?"
  • At dinner one night downtown I heard an elegant lady sitting one table over state to her friends that her house was only 7,000 square feet, which was a big house when they built it 20 years ago although today it's not considered big.  I'm pretty sure she had no idea how that statement sounded to 99% of the world.
  • Fur is back in fashion.  I saw fur everywhere. I did not expect to see fur fashionable, but that's what the wealthy people are wearing nowadays.
  • Our hotel sent us cake (pictured) and champagne when they found out we have twins due in March.  I told you they treated us like kings.
  • Our hotel served the best hot chocolate every afternoon.  I have discovered a love of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows.  Somethings I wish I hadn't discovered.
  • Tipping your hotel maid a few bucks everyday is a game changer.