Monday, October 7, 2019

Fall in Logan Canyon

One of our favorite things to do each fall is take a drive up into Logan Canyon. I'm not a huge fan of canyon roads, but I enjoy going up there to see the fall foliage. It also ways turns fall in the canyons before the valley, so it's a fun thing to do together. This year, we didn't go very far into the canyon because by the time I was off work Saturday we were starting to lose light. Even still, it was such a lovely way to spend an early fall, early Saturday evening.

Even though the sun was low in the sky by the time we got up there, I love the way the trees look in the late afternoon light. None of the pictures I took have any filters applied, just a tiny up tune on the contrast to make up for the pics looking a little bit washed out by my phone's camera. The differences in color have to do with the position of the light when the pics were taken.

All the trees have these lovely red and orange leaves that really stand out against the dark rock cliff sides. These two pics were taken along Highway 89, about seven miles into the Canyon from Logan. The weather up there was cool, but not cold. I was wearing flip flops and a hoodie, and was pretty comfortable. The sky was blue with some breezy clouds. It was absolutely perfect!

Everyone takes pictures of their booted feet in the leaves for a fall vibe, but I'm not much of a boots person. So, it's flip flops in the leaves for me.

We pulled over at one of the little day use areas along the highway to take a little walk. Even Matt, who isn't much for nature or nature walks, enjoyed the leaves and the pretty afternoon crispness. The little trail goes all the way down to the side of the Logan River. The water was absolutely freezing, so I didn't step in.

There are three or so picnic tables along the little path which was almost completely covered in leaves. Isn't it gorgeous?! If it had been up to me, I'd have sat and soaked up the lovely weather until we completely lost light. Matt's not that patient, though, so we kept walking.

I did try to make him stop and take a selfie with me. This is always how it goes. We never manage to get one with both of us looking good or smiling. He always either looks away or makes a face. When I look okay, he looks like this. When he looks great, I look like crap. So here's the compromise picture. He looks like a serial killer while I'm trying to smile and look like this angle isn't seriously twisting my neck at an unnatural angle.

At the end of the little path, it climbs up hill just slightly, and there's a spooky little road blocked off by a locked bar. I wanted to climb over the bar to take a pic up this little road, and also of the river, but Matt wouldn't let me. He's not much of a rebel anymore. I should have done it anyway!

And of course, headed back, I had to get a picture of my car. This one does have a filter, which is why it's a little less bright than the others. I even managed to get a shot of Matt in there. If we had taken the Jeep, rather than my car, I think we would have gone further up the canyon. For whatever reason, I feel more comfortable up there in his car. Maybe I'll talk him into going again!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Ringing in the Fall with Jill Tracy

It's fall in Utah! Okay, so, it's fall everywhere... but fall in Utah is just lovely. It's always been my favorite season, but since moving here I've found a whole new appreciation for the season.

It goes without saying, I'm all in on fall over here. I've been indulging in all the usual fall faire (baking, planning a drive to see the leaves, drinking way too many pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin cream cold brews, watching all the football, sucking down way too much cocoa and coffee, and cozying up in my sweaters and socks, etc.). But one of the less conventional ways I ring in the fall is absolutely bingeing on Jill Tracy. Ab-so-lute-ly bingeing all day, every day.

While I love her aesthetic all year, in the fall it's so much more festive. Her music is just so delightfully spooky and, well, feels like fall to me...

All day while I work, I listen to her on Youtube. I've got a play list where she's intermixed with my other favorites. I mean, if we can have Christmas music, why not fall music?!

Happy fall, y'all! I hope wherever you are, your fall season is as lovely as ours has been so far. I'll make sure to share if I get some lovely pictures of our drive through the canyon this weekend!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Coffee and a Classic: The Borden Murders

It's a cool, rainy Sunday morning and I spent the first three hours of my day (before the football games) reading my new Coffee and a Classic book. For the September box, I choose the non-fiction pick and I could not be happier with it. The book is The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century by Sarah Miller. Considering I'm absolutely obsessed with Lizzie Borden, and true crime in general, this box has been my favorite so far. Yes, I've loved all of them, but this one spoke directly to my soul.

So check this box out...

The book is hardback and well bound. Even without the dust jacket, it's a lovely black book with silver embossed lettering on the spine. The box also includes a journal, a bath bomb, book mark (in the little black bag), a coffee mug, cocoa, and a treat. The color theme, red, black, and gray, is just lovely. As always, the box's curation is top notch and wait until you see some of these things up close!

I started read this morning, while the house was quiet. My husband works nights, so he sleeps in the morning. With the rain and gloom, the house is cool, so I snuggled up with a blanket and mug of the cocoa that came with the box. So far, I'm loving it--the book and the cocoa. The book is clearly sympathetic toward Lizzie, which was a nice surprise, considering most people believe she did it. Even though they know nothing about her or the case. I'm enjoying it. I would imagine I'll finish it this week and will probably take some time to review it when I'm finished. I'm finding Sarah Miller's writing to be compelling. A lovely mix of near-fiction and hard fact that makes the book really interesting.

Okay, so  seriously, look what was hiding inside the little black bag in the first pic...

It's a book mark, how awesome is that?! I wish I had been able to get a better picture of it. It's so dainty, I'm a little bit afraid to use it for fear I'll accidentally break it because, well, I'm a little clumsy. I saw on the Coffee and a Classic Instagram that they were painting these. I absolutely love it. Their attention to detail when curating these boxes is second to none.

It's a journal! I love the phrase on the cover. There was a pear tree in the Borden's yard. Lizzie said she had collected some and taken them to the attic loft to chill and look through some old tool boxes, which was where she said she was when her father and step-mother were brutally murdered. The little journal is nicely bound and, as you can see from the cover, has a nice cloth texture.

I never actually write in these. I'm one of those people who buy/collect journals and notebooks, but never can bring myself to deface them. I have a ton of unused journals around. That's not something that's likely to change, but this makes a nice addition to that collection.

I won't lie, I ate this the second after this picture was taken. It's impossible to see from the picture, but the stick is actually plastic and looks like a wooden tree branch, which is a lovely touch. The marshmallow was so incredibly soft. It just melted in my mouth. According to the insert, it came from The Marshmallow Cart in Portland, Maine. I cannot even begin to tell you how sad I was to find that they do not ship. You can order their lovely marshmallows online, but they have to be picked up. I hope they make them available to ship soon, I want more of these. 

I've mentioned before that I started collecting mugs, so these boxes have been great for adding to my collection. I would like to say right now that this is my new favorite mug. I could not adore it more. The caption, "Fueled by true crime and coffee" is me to the core. All the way to. the. core. I'm a true crime junkie, so this mug speaks to me. In fact, I had my cocoa in this mug this morning and am currently enjoying another cup of cocoa in this very mug right now, as I type this. Both of the cocoas from this morning have been from the recent boxes.

Speaking of cocoa. This is the one that came in this box. Red Velvet! I love that they call it "Forty Whacks Hot Cocoa." The lovely pictures on the front of these pouches are so great, I'm considering cutting them off the pouches (when they're empty, of course) and framing them for hanging in my kitchen. I've only thrown away one of them, the first one, before I had this idea. We'll see how that goes. 

The cocoa is from McStevens as have most of them been. And, as with most of them, I have really loved it. It has a lovely sweet chocolate flavor that's different from a regular cocoa. Now that I've found three or four of these I've really loved from McStevens, I'm going to make an order. The shipping is insane, so ordering just one isn't worth it. Ordering four, though, that would make it so much more cost efficient. Especially now that's getting cold and is actually cocoa weather again. 

And finally, the box insert. I've put it into the box, as I have with almost all of the others, and am currently using it as a book mark. The only thing you will find on the insert, and in the first picture of the whole box, that I haven't really discussed is the bath bomb. I don't have a bathtub that plugs and I don't particularly like the dragonblood scent, so I left that one thing out.

Overall, as I said before going into detail about the box itself, I love this one. I could not be happier. Of all the boxes I've gotten so far, this one is by far an easy favorite. I love (almost) everything about it. There's no sneak peek of next month's box yet, but I am so excited to see what they come up with for October. If this is what they did for September, October is bound to be amazing. I can't wait to see!

**Absolutely not a paid endorsement, I pay for this subscription every month. None of the links are ads. I have not been paid to endorse any of them. I just love the products.**



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Black and White, Circa 1997

I mentioned a few months ago that I had a roll of undeveloped, black and white 35mm film from the late 90's when I took a photography class. I've been looking for someone who can develop it and the one company that got back to me said the rust on the outside of the canister has likely corrupted the film and made it undevelopable (is that a word?). But they're willing to try, so I'm going to send it to them to see if maybe there's something salvageable on there. If not, then I suppose it will remain a mystery as to what I shot on that roll.

In the mean time, while going through a dresser that's full of old files and junk, I came across a few black and whites I took during that class. They're photos that I developed with my own two hands and thought it might be fun to share while I wait to see if the ones on the roll turn out. They're a little bit random, a representative of project requirements I can't remember anymore.
Silverwood Lake, San Bernardino County, 1997

I took this shot of Silverwood lake from the pull out on the way to the park gate. I believe the lake was low because they were working on the dam, but it might also have been drought, or a combination of both.
Your move, 1997

Satellite, 1997
These other two were random subject matters I had around the house. The top one was taken on our front porch in the house where I grew up. The bottom one was a close up of the huge, old fashioned satellite dish we had in our side yard, the kind everyone had in the 80's and 90's.

The photos are 8 x 10 and have become a little bent and scratched up over the years. I had them in frames on the wall at one point, years ago, but they're now in a manila file, in a pile of files in an old dresser drawer. I don't have the negatives anymore to have them printed again, so this is the only copy that exists of each picture. I still love them, there's just a quality in photos taken with film that you cannot get from digital photography. I still have the camera I used to shoot them, an old Pentax K-1000 we bought in a pawn shop because my professor, a charming and eccentric photographer I developed quite the crush on, required we have a camera that be only manipulated manually, no digital cameras. 

I wonder if it still works?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Kiss in the Dark

Do you remember your first kiss? The first kiss with your significant other, a first kiss with a lover somewhere along the way, the one defining kiss that's sealed itself in your brain so completely that when you think about kisses, it's your only memory?

Some ladies in one of my Facebook groups were having a lively discussion about kissing earlier this week, sharing memories about their first or most memorable kisses. I didn't jump in because I'm a lurker in most groups and also because I don't remember my first kiss. I have no idea when, how long, or who my kissing partner was. I do have one bad memory of an attempted kiss when I was 15 years old that never happened because, quite grossly, his mouth was wide open and I took off before he could suck my face. Not surprisingly, we broke up that afternoon.

But, my most memorable kiss was and still is a good memory. One that will forever rise above all others and that, thanks to that Facebook group chat, has been floating around in the front of my mind for a the past few days. I don't think about it most of the time. Almost never, until this last week. It's just a thing that happened, in my past, when I was 18 years old... twenty-three years ago. Maybe I remember it because I was young and my mind was still capable of hanging on to memories like that. When I was a little less cynical. But, I like to think it's because the kiss was remarkable.

It was the mid-90s and I was working a seasonal job at a local department store. This particular night was dark, it was almost ten o'clock, and the late October/early November desert air was cool. I was wearing a light weight black dress with a pretty floral pattern, the back had a double strap crossing pattern that exposed just a little bit of my mid-back. The sleeves were short and the dress was just above the knee length. It had a slightly low-cut sweetheart-like neckline.  It was pretty and was my favorite.

I had been working during closing that evening and was walking out with a co-worker to wait by the back door for a friend who was taking me home. There was a small, dim light above the back door, but it didn't shed much light. The co-worker I'd walked out with, a very good looking, early 30's guy, waited with me. He worked loss prevention and though his truck was parked around the corner, he didn't want to leave me standing alone in the dark.

We must have been talking about something, but I can't at all remember what. It's not significant. What I do remember is the warmth of his hand on the side of my face before he kissed me. I remember the color of his hair and eyes, the style of his frames, his height and stature. I won't go into detail about how it felt, how I felt, other than to say I felt warm and... desired. It was the first time I had felt truly desired.

Maybe it was the circumstances, the night, my age, his age, some other things happening in my personal life at the time. Maybe it was the illicitness of the kiss. We were both otherwise attached and we definitely should not have been kissing in the dark. Whatever the reason, that one single kiss is imprinted on my memory. It wasn't the only kiss I shared with this person, but it's the only one I remember in such striking detail.

In the twenty-three years since then, this is the first time I've shared that memory with anyone. I've never spoken about it or put it into words, even to friends who knew what was going on in my life at the time or since. It certainly wasn't something I wanted to share with a group of judgmental strangers on Facebook and I'm not even sure why I'm sharing it here, other than to get it out of my head and because, even though it wasn't appropriate circumstances, it's one of my best memories.