Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bingham Canyon Mine

This wasn't on my bucket list, but I have to say it was pretty awesome! It might have made the list if I'd thought of it... Okay, it definitely would have made the list if I'd thought of it when I was making the list.

My friend Mary has kind of picked up on my local tourist quest to get out and explore and sort of rediscover the world around me. Yesterday afternoon she showed up at my door and said 'let's go!' Of course, I said 'OK!' We wound around much of Herriman looking for the UP house on the Parade of Homes and finally found it. So cute!! Unfortunately when I went to take a picture, I found my camera batteries were dead.

Leaving there we looked up and saw the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine not far away and, glancing at each other, said 'ooooo let's go there.' So we went. I got new batteries in the gift shop.

This is the marker explaining how the canyon got its name.

And a couple of views into the mine. At it's deepest it is 3/4 mile from surface to bottom and the known copper deposits extend to below sea level. Is it any wonder this huge mine is one of just two man-made things that can be seen from space? (The other is the Great Wall of China.)

In the next photo, notice the trucks hauling the ore and waste rock. They look tiny... like little toy Tonka trucks but in reality they are HUGE! I think the guide in the Visitor's Center said they each hold about 92 tons of material - 184,000 pounds - per load.

Here's a tire from one of these trucks. People look like dwarfs in comparison!

And the picture below shows what raw copper ore looks like.

Very informative, very interesting little tour. And another typical Utah tourist thing that I had long neglected doing. I am really glad that Mary picked me to go exploring with her!

You know you're in Utah when...

There's an old joke that in Utah you always lock your car doors when you are at church. It's not to keep someone from stealing the car... it's to prevent your neighbors from leaving zucchini in your back seat.

Apparently that goes for front porches as well. While I was out this evening I was the victim of a drive-by zucchini-ing!

There are also some crooknecks, a green pepper, green beans, sugar peas and cherry tomatoes hiding in there. I love it! And I love you Jerry and Verna! Even though now I am going to have to cook... I haven't used the zucchini and crookneck I brought home from Church last week yet. And added to the peaches, strawberries, bananas, spinach and cantaloupe I bought at the grocery store a couple of days ago and the green beans and chard from the Farmer's Market this morning, I see lots of vegetables and fruit in my immediate future!

Anybody have some great recipes to share?

Downtown Farmer's Market

Had a fun morning at the Downtown Farmer's Market today. Some things have changed A LOT, and some are still the same. All in all, it was what I expected... a fun, eclectic group of very nice people and their doggies.

This very adorable young man was at one of the major entrances drumming away. From the distance, he had the most amazing sound. Now look close at what he's drumming on... an old kitchen pot, a plastic bucket, various boxes. Wow! Was he ever talented!!

In the middle of the park, there is a big section that is mostly shaded by these big trees. The Downtown Alliance sets up tables and chairs so you can get food from one of the vendors and have a nice spot to sit, eat and watch people. This is people watching at its best... You can see the white canopy tops in the background from the various vendor tents.

Sat here to enjoy a concert and have a pulled pork sandwich for lunch.

The concert was by local favorite, Maggie Beers. Beautiful, folksy, almost John Denver-like vibe going. Perfect for a laid back day! Maggie is the blond with the black t-shirt above.

This is one of the other really fun musicians at the Market today. He played a lot of classical and original pieces on his old Martha Washington piano with the front pieces removed to reveal the pins and strings. And yes, it's wheel mounted and pulled by a bike for travel.

I came home with some beautiful fresh green beans for a new salad I want to try, a bundle of swiss chard (dinner... sauteed with a couple of finely chopped slices of bacon), and some dill for pickles. Saw breathtaking art, photography and jewelry, pottery, clothing and more. Stopped to listen to fiddlers, guitarists, singers and a young man playing the bagpipes and hoping to raise a little cash toward his trip to the 2011 World Bagpipe Competition in Glasgow, Scotland. Yes... he was that good!

Highly recommend a visit to the Salt Lake Downtown Farmer's Market. It's open Saturday mornings from early June through October in Pioneer Park (corner of 300 South and 300 West).

Today was a good day!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friend Matrix

I thought this was really interesting on Facebook awhile back... but I can't seem to post it anywhere in Facebook but the original post that says I got a friend matrix because it isn't 180 pixels wide. Some way, some how I'm going to figure out how to enlarge and print out a copy to frame and hang somewhere in my house.

Facebook account required... get your very own and unique friend matrix at

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Pie

I will never settle for pizza I don't completely and thoroughly enjoy again! More than 30 years of the same yummy deliciousness and dark, dank, underground atmosphere says they are doing something right. I LOVE THE PIE!!

Covered with graffiti many layers deep, this is the wall directly behind our table. I wonder what stories it would tell if it could only speak? How many thousands of names are layered onto those bricks?

And this is the ceiling directly above my head.

And this is our chicken bacon ranch pizza...

I have never been disappointed at The Pie.

Favorite. Pizza. Ever.

And right from the very first bite. Besides pizza, they have a house ranch dressing that I could drink by the bottle and awesome cheesy garlic toast (which I, of course, dip into the ranch dressing). If you drink it, which I don't, I understand they have a nice selection of locally brewed beers, too.

The atmosphere has been the same since I very first discovered The Pie in the early 80's. It's dark and mysterious and leaves me feeling like I've just got away with something a little naughty.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

More on Friendliness vs. Friendship

"I believe that Hell must be a confinement of our own contrivance, laid brick by brick, until, by our own cowardice and compromise, we have isolated ourselves from all love. And from all that is lovely." -Richard Paul Evans

I've always heard that Hell is a do it yourself project. I believe Heaven is, also. Whatever comes after is something shaped by our own choices and actions on a daily basis, a place of our own creation... the very individual spot we will be most comfortable because of who we have shaped our own self to be. I think we will each find many surprises in the after life as, perhaps, things we've held as supremely important here we find really aren't that big of a deal.

One of the most hellish things I can imagine is isolation. How do I know this? By experience. Choice and circumstance have from time to time left me very isolated. And in those times I am my most unhappy. For all that they sometimes frustrate and disappoint, I have learned that for me to be truly happy I need people around me. And very often I find that a challenge.

A day or two ago, my friend, Paul Haggerty, posted this as his facebook status: "It is easy to confuse genuine friendliness with friendship. In the spirit of kindness you can spend uplifting time with another. Unless there are feelings of a true emotional closeness this is meaningless though. People are treasure that is priceless. Can you become a true friend to someone of countless worth without searching a long time for them? Mere friendliness is short lived. Friendship is a pilgrimage."

And I think it is a good description for me. Too often I have confused friendliness with friendship... both in giving and receiving.

This is something I want to work on changing about and for myself. Friendliness is superficial and fleeting and, in the end, isolating. Friendship is deep and lasting and spans distance. I need less friendlies and more real friends.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Bucket List for the Rest of 2011

Mary Whitlock, knowing I'm still puzzling over what to do with myself now, brought me a stack of Salt Lake visitor magazines. Found some things of interest! Listed in no particular order...

1. Visit Pipers Quilts & Comforts. It's a quilt and yarn store in Sugarhouse that I've always wanted to explore but never took the time to stop and do so.

2. Visit Utah Artist Hands. It's a downtown neighborhood recommendation with a picture showing colorful paintings and earthy, organic feeling pottery. Love that!

3. Go on a Gallery Stroll.

4. Get back in the habit of going to the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Great fresh veggies, local art and music, yummy food, dogs of all sizes to pet and totally awesome people watching!

5. Take pictures at the SLC Pepper Mural at 400 W 250 S. Jann Haworth, one of the co-designers of the 1960's record label for the Beatle's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band redesigned the cover in 2004 as a 50x30-foot wall mural in stencil graffiti. The Beatle's jackets are metal cutouts with head and hand holes.

6. See the Dairy Cats at Steenblik Park. How have I lived mere blocks from 1100 W 800 N for 20+ years and not discovered this?

7. Spend a day wandering and photographing the International Peace Gardens at 1060 S 900 W. Even better if I can find out when their cultural festival is...

8. Spend an afternoon wandering and photographing the sculptures of Gilgal Garden. 749 E 500 S.

9. Paddle-boating at the pond in Liberty Park (when it's re-opened - the oil spill in Red Butte Canyon last year has had this closed for clean up).

10. Visit Tracy Aviary.

11. Take the 'Notable People' tour of the Salt Lake City Cemetery. It's self-guided and free maps are available at the Sexton's Office at 4th Ave & N Street.

12. Tour the Governor's Mansion. You'd think... but I never have, yet.

13. Tour the Masonic Temple. I've seen it open for public tour once during an Avenues Street Festival so I'm hoping there are other times...

14. Pizza at The Pie. The original one in the basement under University Pharmacy. Been a long, long, long time.

15. Visit the Utah Museum of Fine Art at 410 Campus Dr.

16. Spend an afternoon exploring This Is The Place Heritage Park. Historical sites, activities, shopping...

17. Check out the local and organic choices at Cali's Natural Foods Market 389 W 1700 S.

19. Adopt 1 "green" habit... perhaps join a small farm co-op or explore the feasibility of solar power.

20. Tour the facility and at least think about a membership at Northwest Recreation Center's Fitness & Pools.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Left hanging...

If you don't like me or don't want to hang out or wish to not do something I've asked of you... have the guts to just say so. Don't tell me you'll do something and then leave me hanging. It hurts my feelings anytime, and especially so right now.

Yesterday afternoon, while most people were still at work, I was feeling a little lonely and blue. I needed a friend. So I called someone I thought would be home and told her I really needed a friend to hang out for a little while, maybe do a little shopping or go get those smothered french fries at La Frontera we've talked about before. She said that sounded fun and she wanted to do it but needed a few minutes and would call me right back. An hour goes by, two hours, five... overnight. Still haven't seen or heard from her.

At the very least a phone call to say I'm not coming would have been appropriate. I would have done that if the roles were reversed and some unforeseen urgency came up. Am I being too harsh? Am I expecting too much? I don't think so. I'm worth more than to accept this kind of treatment!

This particular friendship needs to end. It isn't the first time she's flaked on me, but it can surely be the last. Simple common courtesy has to extend both ways and unfortunately it doesn't seem to be that way in this relationship. Though I am deeply disappointed, I am not angry. I can forgive, wish her the best for her life and simply walk away with a smile on my face. Forgiveness does not equal being a doormat.

I'm not a doormat. I deserve healthy, caring, supportive friendships. And to everyone who can offer that... WELCOME!

Monday, July 18, 2011

4 things I've learned in the last 10 days

1. What you think you're going to feel... isn't what you'll feel at all. I anticipated some sadness, panic, and loneliness but just a day or so before my Mom passed there was a time when I prayed the simplest of prayers: "Dear Lord, I give this to Thee and trust Thy will will be for the greatest good." From that moment on, I've been okay.

2. You will be surprised by who steps up to offer love and support and who fails you. Someone said to me "Going forward, everything will be different." And it is. For me, this is a major clarifying point for who has a place in my future.

3. If you are caring for a dying loved one, and in it for a long haul, start hospice early. I anticipated a few months of having their support and care and got 9 days. I wish I'd pushed much harder to get it started earlier. The first week is overwhelming with new people and new things to be done before you can even really see the benefits. And the benefits are pretty amazing! I feel cheated by coming to it so late.

4. No one will advocate for you as powerfully as you can. Knowledge is power. Learn everything you possibly can about every facet of care you can conceivably be involved in. There will be people who are offended or put off by your questions. Don't ever let that stop you from asking your questions! There are professionals who will be involved who will give you incorrect information. Keep asking until you are satisfied the answer you have is correct. They work for you... make them do their jobs.

Surprisingly Okay

I am surprised at just how okay I feel! Sure, there are moments when I cry or feel lonely for a bit, but overall I am really, truly okay.

Church today would have been just a little too much, so I skipped it. The thought of spending 3 hours as a sniveling ball of snot was unbearable. I know emotion would have got me and I would have cried. And then felt stupid and cried even more. And had red eyes, running mascara, and a blotchy badly plugged up nose... and a massive headache! Why are we women so darned ugly when we cry?

Part of my angst is maybe not so apparent. I still don't know what to do with myself. I have been a 24/7 caregiver for a long time and barely been outside of the house in 5 months. I know there's a whole world out there to be rediscovered and as much as part of me is excited about that, part of me is terrified. I'm still struggling to imagine what I'm going to do and how I'm going to redefine myself.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Funeral Plans

I'm trying to pull together some ideas and plan as much as I can before I have to lock in the details with anyone. Looking for input, family and friends. If you have opinions or ideas or feelings... this is your opportunity to give them.

What's the consensus on a viewing? Night before at the mortuary? At the Church before the service? I'm kind of seeing the night before as an ordeal but will consider your input and feelings before deciding anything. It's included in the burial plan we bought in 2009 so if you really think it's important we can do it.

Is placing an obituary in the newspaper needful?

Who is willing to say a prayer? Family, opening, closing and dedicatory are needed.

Who is willing to be a pall bearer?

As for speaking at the service, this is what I would like to do: Provide paper and pen at the chapel doors and ask each person to write a memory. Have a place to collect the papers at the doors and also at the podium. I would like to have these written memories collected for later placement into a memory book. I have a few memories I would like to share but would then like to open it up to anyone who wishes to briefly share a memory. What are your thoughts about this? What is your willingness to participate in verbally sharing a memory? What part of making the memory book are you willing to participate in?

If you are unable to attend and would like to share a memory, please post it here.

McDougal Funeral Home will be handling the services. This is pre-arranged and already paid. They are located 4330 S Redwood Rd in Salt Lake. Phone (801) 968-3800. Website: The pre-arrangement plan includes professional services both at the mortuary and Church, casket, vault, $100 toward programs and $200 toward flowers.

The funeral service will be at the Riverside Stake Center in Salt Lake City. The address is 1148 West 500 North. The easiest way to reach it is to exit I-15 westbound on 600 North. Turn south at 1100 West. Should you turn on Girard Ave. (1/2 block), there is an entrance for the west parking lot. From 500 North, you can enter either the east or west lot. Let me know if you need additional directions.

We are planning on interment at the Salt Lake City Cemetery located at 4th Avenue and N Street. I still need to select and purchase the plot. The cost is $1044. Afterward there will be life insurance proceeds to cover that but I do not have the upfront cash flow. Can you help with this?

The luncheon... do you want one? If you do, what number should I tell my Ward to plan for?

I know that's a lot of questions... so just one more. Anything else you feel strongly about that I've neglected to include here?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What am I going to do... after?

That is the question of the day... What am I going do after my Mom is gone?

Beyond get a job and pull myself out of the financial black hole I'm in, I really don't know. Over time I've become so consumed with her growing needs that I have totally lost touch with me. I haven't a clue what to do with myself or with the freedom to make those decisions. I am totally and completely baffled as to who I am and what I want for a future. Even now, if I try to clear my mind and just see what thoughts come I find myself just staring at the white space on the screen without a conscious thought in my head.

How do I find "me" again in this mess?

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Parade of New Faces

Another check on my list of things I never thought I would do... meet with a Chaplain.

The parade of new faces and demands continues. Today we met Jon, the Chaplain, from Community Nursing Services. I like him. I like that he is there to provide some spiritual support but not act as a religious leader. We had a nice visit. Honestly it's the best I've felt about all this since the whole hospice adventure began. It was a fight to get the services at all, and now it looks like it might be another fight to get the right services.

Jon and I talked about what the doctor said about purposely over-medicating with the intention to hasten death. He seemed as stunned by that as I was when the doctor said it. It led to a good discussion on ethics. And an assurance that the focus in hospice was not on killing patients, just in helping them die well.

We have an aid named Jill that I am really liking as well. She got into home health care because after her husband was hurt and needed those services she wasn't happy with what they got. I like her attitude and her approach.

The only ones I am still not thrilled with are the nurses. They left me so upset again today... This isn't the words they used but I felt like I was told I was a terrible person for not medicating my mom into oblivion. They kept insisting that it was needed to control pain and anxiety. Pain they are inflicting in their obviously not gentle handling and anxiety about that pain and that they are unfamiliar faces coming in and issuing orders. At one point when she was complaining that being turned over hurt and they were laying the guilt trip on thick, I turned and asked my mom if it was bad enough for her to want some pain medication. They didn't even allow her to answer before they started yelling at me that she was in no condition to make that decision... that her impairment was too great to know the difference and I needed to make the call to give her the drugs. Hello! I am the one with her 24/7. I've listened for years as everything from I'm bored to I'm thirsty to I'm actually really sick comes out "I'm sick." I think I have some clue what she is capable of expressing and not.

Tomorrow, we meet with the social worker. And I assume at some point with the staff physician? I hope those meetings are good. I won't take much more like the nursing visits...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ethics and The End

Late afternoon Thursday, we finally got all the ducks in a row to start hospice care for my Mom. The final step was the signed order from the doctor being placed in my eager hands... or so I thought. Then he wanted to chat.

In a way, I think he was trying to prepare me for these final days but I kind of have mixed feelings about some of what he had to say. He talked about the goal of hospice is to provide comfort rather to solve a medical issue. And here's where our disconnect began... apparently rather than dress wounds and give antibiotics the answer is now to provide pain medication. Lots of it. More than is probably needed to simply address the pain because a slight overdose of pain medication makes a person more sleepy and less hungry and thirsty. With less intake of food and water, less nutrition, the vital organs shut down faster and they die sooner. He said, in simplest of terms, that the goal now becomes to medicate her to death.

He did acknowledge that medical ethicists have issues with this kind of care... that it's kind of a gray area of medicine. At the same time he affirmed repeatedly that the goal is to die faster and in comfort. He also said this gray area is what drew many doctors, including him, to a practice in geriatrics.

And when the hospice nurse came to do the intake assessment, the first thing she did was order what they call an E-pack. It has 4 vials of liquid medication to be dispensed as drops under the tongue. The first one she talked about was morphine. (And yes, I'm a little freaked to have a vial of morphine in my house!)

When a person is in pain, I'm all for giving an appropriate dose of pain medication to bring relief and comfort. Where I have problems with this approach is in purposely giving just a little to much with the intended purpose of hastening death.

How is this not murder? Where do the ethics really lie here? Am I crazy to question it rather than trusting what the doctor says?

If I were to give an honest assessment of what's really wrong I have to admit my Mom has a lot of problems. Historically she has had a major heart attack, bowel cancer, gall bladder problems, 2 broken hips, osteoporosis, and advanced dementia. In recent months she's had less and less interest in eating and has lost a lot of weight. With the nutritional deficiencies she's got contracture in both knees and edema in both lower legs. And she's got some awful bed sores. However, she will eat and drink and is alert much of the day. Well, not so much today after the hospice nurse ordered her to bed yesterday. The bed sores I've been able to care for are healing. The pain she expresses seems to come and go quickly is appears fairly well controlled with the occasional ibuprofen. And surprisingly, considering all this talk of offing her quickly, the lab results for the blood draw at the doctor's office is very very normal and healthy.

I am so unsure of what I think and feel right now.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Here's a story that everyone should hear!

And here's a beautiful song I don't remember hearing before... O, America by Celtic Woman.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe 4th of July! Enjoy your celebrations, family and friends. Be safe. And always remember why we celebrate!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Baby steps

This may not work... but I'm going to try to get myself independent from from being an employee. I want the freedom that comes from answering to only to myself on matters of money. And I've been talking to several people as I've considered different things to do and thought through each of them as carefully as I know how to do. So, now it's time to make some of those first baby steps and test the water for real.

One thing that keeps coming to mind, and discussion, is multiple streams of income. So I'm going to try for 3. In the coming week, I will:
  1. Design and print up business cards and brochures advertising office services I can do from home and ask at least 3 people to give them out to people they associate with.
  2. Make inquiries to have a student, or another single female or married couple, rent my basement bedroom.
  3. Place 5 items for sale in the Home Made Simple Marketplace. (Not sure, but you may have to register to view this page:
And, for savings now... I'm going to spend an hour a day meal planning, and seeking, clipping and using coupons, freebies and sales to cut household expenses. FREE will be my new favorite word!

Here's a bit of inspiration to help keep me on track. Things we all need to be reminded of anyway! Why is it so much easier to focus on the negative? I know that I am brave and strong and smart when I have to be. And I have to be... a LOT braver, stronger and smarter than I've been acting the past few months! Afterall, I have goals to accomplish.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Simple is not easy

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony." William Henry Channing

For a long time I've been interested in something called Simplicity... and toyed with the things to be done to live a simpler life. Some folks look at me as though I don't do enough, and some like I am crazy to do so much extra work. I think they confuse simple with easy.

Simple is not easy. Simple requires work, and discipline and planning. A lot of it!

To live simply is to live a lifestyle as old as mankind... to build and maintain a garden plot can be back breaking work but what is simpler than feeding your family wholesome vegetables and fruits? And it requires a certain amount of knowledge in order to be successful with preparing the plot, tending a compost pile, planting and starting your seedlings, weeding and watering during the growing season, dealing with garden pests, harvesting, and preparing and preserving food for consumption. I make no claim to do all of these things well, but I have observed during the years I could raise a garden that it responds to my every attempt. And every attempt, and the reward of seeing the garden thrive, made me want to try harder and get better at it. Simple, but surely not easy.

Things I do inside my home like preparing food from scratch instead of using pre-packaged offer another example. As does cleaning it without buckets of chemicals. Sometimes it takes research, trial and error, and a degree of luck to get things just right so again I would say simple but definitely not easy.

Think for a moment about laundry hung outside to dry as compared to being tossed in the dryer. Drying outside in the fresh air and sunshine is infinitely simpler but it does require the work of hauling the wash outside, wiping down the clothesline, pinning it up, waiting for it to dry, then taking it down and folding and returning to the house to be put away. Tossing it in the dryer is usually a step or less away, dries more quickly in artificially heated air, requires more chemicals to reduce static and make it smell pretty. Now do I always dry my laundry outdoors? No. Sometimes I take the easy way out. But it's important, I think, to be aware of how not simple it is to toss it in the dryer by the time the energy is produced and transmitted my house, I give up some of my earnings to pay for it to heat air up and force it into the tumbler, spend more money on fabric softener (which I don't even want to think about how it was produced) and then waste the heat when it is exhausted outside. Ok, so the heat part is more aggravating in the cold winter months... To use the natural elements at hand and dry outdoors is simple but not usually easy.

Simple is not easy!