Posts tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Decorating the New House

I promised pictures of the house once I got it into order, and since I scrambled to get some decorating done before my family came, I should post some pictures of it now.  Some rooms are still unfinished, but this is what I was able to get done so far.

I started by going a little nuts with textiles and hanging pretty much every piece of my fairly extensive collection.  Most of my textiles are from Kyrgyzstan, but I have pieces from Peru, Panama, and Cameroon too.

Kyrgyz shyrdak upstairs

Kyrgyz souzani in the stairwell, Kyrgyz and Panamanian squares above

Kyrgyz shyrdak, knotted carpet and embroidery near front door

Cameroonian batik and elephant paintings in dining area

The first room we got set up was our bedroom, which is all in chocolate tones.  The walls are a kind of nasty, mustardy brown, but we needed to live in here, so we haven’t repainted it yet.  Note the curtain on the right hand side of the frame, which acts as a door to the master bath.  It’s actually a dark purple, but it blends pretty well with the browns in the room.  You can see I haven’t put anything on the walls or the shelves in there yet.

our bedroom

Then of course there is the guest room, that I repainted for my folks’ visit.  I’ve always wanted to do a room inspired by the colors of the winter sky, snow, and dry oak leaves, and I think I got something close, even though the blue walls are a lot more saturated than a winter sky.  I had some nice carved woodblock panels that I think go really well in this room.  I also had a couple of short shelving units that I think worked really well as bookshelves/bedside tables.

guest room

 We also set up the upstairs den as a kind of media center, since the projector, screen, and DVD player that came with the house are up there.  I moved in shelves of books, DVDs, and CDs to enjoy, with a few more tapestries and a painting I have.

media room

The futon usually goes in this room, and we have a recliner that we want to put up here too, so that folks have somewhere to sit if they want to watch a movie, or just read.  But my sister J needed someplace to sleep while she was visiting, so we moved the futon into the jungle room for her.  It’s a fairly small room, and the full-sized futon pretty much took up the whole space.  I wanted to get more up on the walls, but I don’t think J really minded. 

jungle room with futon

We want to keep the tree, even though it takes up a lot of space, because we plan on using this as a baby room in the future (knock on wood, tu-tu-tu).  But it will be our office/craft room in the meantime.  Once the futon gets moved back to the media room, I am planning on moving the card table and folding chair we bought for extra Thanksgiving seating up there to use.  It should help me get through all of the Christmas presents I need to make this year!

And speaking of Christmas presents, this weekend I was a knitting maniac.  Of the three knitted presents I am making, I finished one, got 90% of the way through a second, and halfway through a third.  But I have 10 more non-knitted presents to finish, and only about 15 crafting days before Christmas — yikes!

Winter fun

It’s a week later, and I am finally getting the time to blog about what my family and I did while they were here for Thanksgiving.

For the most part, we sat around in the warm house, watched TV and movies, cooked and ate lots of good food, and played with laptops and video games.  But despite the bad weather for most of the weekend, we did venture out a few times.  My sister was the inspiration for the first adventure.

Althought we grew up in upstate New York and are no strangers to snow, my sister J has been living in warmer climes for almost 10 years now.  So she really wanted to go sledding.  We went and picked up a few cheap plastic saucer and toboggan sleds, and then tried to figure out where to go.  T called a few coworkers with kids, but didn’t get much info, since most of them live well to the south of us.  So my fearless mom walked up to total strangers in the parking lot and got directions to a sledding hill that wasn’t too far away.

When we got close, we saw a family carrying sleds and followed them to the hill.  There were a couple of slopes behind an LDS temple for us to choose from.  We had the dogs with us, since they love the snow, so we decided to take a slope that no one else was on.  The last thing we needed was to freak out some parents if a giant, playful German shepherd decided to chase their kids down the hill.

Since my sister was the instigator here, she definitely took the most runs.  There were a couple of jumps built into the hillside, and she even went over them a few times.  But my mom and dad and I hit the slope too.  We had a great time, and the dogs thought it was a lot of fun to chase us around, and try to “fetch” snowballs.  Finally, even though T’s back was acting up, he decided to take a couple of runs with the dogs.  He could only convince Cara to get on the toboggan with him once, but it was hilarious!

The only photos we got were on cell phones, so the quality isn’t great, but we definitely had fun.

J heading for a jump

landing jumps hurts!

me and the dogs

"That was fun Mom!"

Dad going backwards

T and Cara on the sled, with Diezel chasing

A few days later, I was trying to get us motivated to get out of the house again.  For some reason, my family and I decided to go visit Antelope Island.  It’s a small island in the Great Salt Lake, that was historically used by the LDS church to herd sheep, horses, and other animals to raise money to help LDS settlers come out west to Utah.  I’d been out there last spring with my mom, and several family members had gone when they were here for the wedding.  Nowadays, there are bison and pronghorn antelopes on the island.
There is an 8-mile causeway across the lake to get to the island.  Once we got to the island, the roads were snowy and not very well cleared.  We drove around a little bit, and got to see several small groups of bison grazing in the snow.  There were several different species of raptors and other birds flying around, too.  We drove around a bit, eventually stopping at a lookout spot.  There were a few bison and a bevy of ground birds, either partridges or chukkars, right nearby that I managed to snap a picture of.

snowy wonderland

Those are the bison, just past the edge of the hillside

After just a few minutes out in the snow and wind, we decided it was time to head home.  On the way back across the causeway, we saw an open area in the lake where several flocks of wild ducks and seagulls were swimming around.  There was a canid of some sort standing on the far bank, hoping to get close enough to snag a duck or two, although they were definitely keeping their distance.  With J the zookeeper in the car with us, we had a long conversation about whether it was a coyote, a gray fox, or a Mexican wolf.  His tail looked too thick for a coyote to most of us, but I thought he looked too big to be a fox, and he had the wrong proportions for a wolf.  We drove a little further along the causeway, and spotted another of the canids, really close to the edge of the lake.  After doing a little research on canid species in Utah and looking at some photos, I am pretty sure what we were seeing was a coyote in his thick, winter coat.
All in all, I think we had a really good time while my family was here.  Good thing my dad knew how to drive all over an isolated island in a minivan in the snow.  *smile*