Tag Archives: Park City

PIB’s and Gwyneth Paltrow

Oh, I can imagine Park City UT all a-twitter these days, what with a movie star and a rich doctor in court over a Deer Valley ski incident. It’s “mud season” there now, what normal people call Spring. Post-ski, pre-summer activities. Luckily when I lived there, mud season was when the Greater Sandhill Cranes came to the Preserve to mate, guard their eggs and raise their colts before flying back to New Mexico in the Fall. Now THAT was fun to watch!

Sundance Film Festival came every year. We called the famous visitors PIB’s, People In Black. Most often, at the grocery store, we’d run into SPIB’s, the Slaves of People In Black. They were easy to spot, with a shopping cart blocking the aisle so no locals could do their regular grocery shopping, going through every jar of jam until they hopefully came upon the esoteric fruit their boss craved. Their hauteur knew no bounds. How dare we mere mortals even get near them while they were accommodating their masters’ wishes.

One year I thought it’d be nice to volunteer for Sundance so I put in my application, having worked my way through college at Chautauqua Institution (where Salman Rushdie was nearly fatally attacked last year), a lecture and performing arts venue. A month later, I got a job. I would be standing out in the freezing, snowy weather keeping film-goers in lines until 2 a.m. Nope. Not I. I explained that I was older and have arthritis so can’t be standing out in the cold all night throughout the Festival.

So they gave me a better job. Indoors. Yea! Verifiying credentials. I was to be the person to tell fake press that their credentials were invalid and to go to the end of the line for tickets like everyone else. A volunteer job to deny entry to the big ticket event! Wow. Alas, I couldn’t take it as my husband’s company laid off a third of its tech force and we moved away.

Sundance is a big deal there, but it’s brief, as is this crazy ski injury of the century trial, but life goes on. It’s usually pretty normal, and I even learned to love mud season! Cheers! Dee


Quiet Country Morning

Sleeping nearly soundly because the dog had begun her early morning waking pattern, which ends with a paw on my leg or arm to GET UP! It was still dark, even though it was seven o’clock. Beep beep beep beep.

The snow came quietly overnight, a few inches that mostly melted during the day. Yeah, the ski resorts don’t like that melting stuff! I pulled up the shades as it’s always warmer when the snow falls, and it looked like Christmas. Then I heard what Jim calls the “articulated tractor,” a huge piece of machinery that can plow an entire neighborhood street in one fell swoop. If you’re on the street when that thing comes around, stay clear. It’s huge and seems to be going a good 30 m.p.h.

We went out before the driveway/walkway was plowed and it was slippery. Shortly afterwards, the skid loaders did the driveways with scraping snow and BEEP BEEP BEEP on back-up. Then the ski resorts started setting off mortars for avalanche control in the back country.

Interestingly, a number of ducks have decided to winter here, at least before it gets too cold for them. They may be stragglers, who knows. All I know is looking out at 14′ piles of snow placed by huge machines, my husband came home from work at eleven this morning with what I thought would be a cold, so I’m cooking a gorgeous stew, but now turns out to be a stomach bug. Guess I’ll be eating alone. Here’s to those quiet country moments, which we do actually get a lot of out here in nowheresville. Cheers, Dee

We Do Jewelry

I’m concerned that a lot of our neighborhood is unoccupied and it looks as if many stores aren’t even here yet and the ones that are, are not making ends meet.

So after a year of living here I visited several stores down the street and asked how they’re doing. I’m not a shopper at all but managed to purchase a few things along the way.

Some told me that a sunny day is a good day. Those are few and far between this June. I found an old-fashioned three-speed girl’s bicycle that’s brown with flowers on it. Even the tires have flowers as the tracks. I’ve no-where to put it but it’s gorgeous and I’d love to take it out on the path every day. No, Zoe, you can’t come until I learn to ride a bike again and you learn to not pull me everywhere!

Everyone was nice and at the last place I told them what I wanted, to learn beadwork for a certain project and asked for a private class to do so. Both people there were on their cell phones constantly, which is irritating to me as a customer. I was told that I’d have to talk to the owner about a class.

The owner finally got off the phone and the clerk asked her about beading. She said: “We make jewelry, not embellishments to fabric.” I asked if I could get a class on beading and she repeated her mantra. If her husband is in charge of “selling” our town to local businesses and residents, his wife could use a class in dealing with customers. I’ll teach it, for free.

These local business owners must not need money, and owning a shop may be just an expensive hobby. That may make one person happy, yippee! But for a customer shopping in these tony digs, locals are treated like dirt. That’s why we don’t shop here unless there is one certain thing (an esoteric math puzzle from the toy store) we need. I thought about helping them, but have definitely changed my mind.

You know that educational mantra, “publish or perish,” and I say be customer-friendly and sell something, lest you perish. These people don’t seem to care. They do jewelry. Dee

ps The good part is that I got a Beatles’ DVD “All Together Now” and “clapton unplugged” both on sale from a place that no longer honors the Local Card, which started this rant.

Local Heroes

Our favorite Sunday brunch place has been forbidden by a local court to serve this tasty meal. It’s a long story but involves commercial leases and zoning et al. These intrepid restaurant mavens started five years ago with a pizza that is still remarkable. The dough is crisp and tasty and the toppings are both classic and new. Maxwell’s has many other great dishes and is a great place to hang out and perhaps see a local concert or festival.

Loco Lizard is also one of our favorite restaurants, where I first tasted tacos al pastor. My husband usually gets fajitas but I’ve been working my way around the menu to try new things and am rewarded for this effort by new tastes and textures. Their staff is very good.

At Reyes Adobe we had a wonderful meal outdoors last Fall, and as of this weekend they’re open for lunch on weekends. Most places close down for at least 4-6 weeks after the winter. The meal we had yesterday was fantastic. The carne asada had marinated overnight (the recipe is secret, we tried to no avail). It was served with grilled scallions, Mexican and white rice and accoutrements. Churros, for dessert, gave a cinnamon punch to a lovely spring lunch in town.

Today we wanted to see a movie, Robin Hood. So we went to Red Rock for lunch. I usually get the home-smoked salmon but tried the beer cracker with gorgonzola, sage and roasted garlic instead. It was good and so was the movie. I’d see Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett in anything.

All in all, it was a good weekend and hope yours was as well. Cheers, Dee


Once I realized we weren’t going to be able to go to TX for the grand clan gathering of my husband’s family because of business, I’m stymied that I have to cook Thanksgiving a deux, the first Thanksgiving I’ve ever cooked alone! No, the husband doesn’t cook. He takes out the dog and keeps her out of my kitchen, and grills occasionally.

When I was growing up, Mom used to get capons a few times per year, for special occasions. The “neutered” rooster develops extraordinary flavor, is larger and tastier than the largest young hen would be, and makes for a special occasion.

I’ve happened upon Wapsie Farms, the nation’s largest capon producer, and asked them where I can find a capon for Thanksgiving. It’s just the two of us and I’d rather a 6-8 lb. bird rather than a minimum 12-16 lb. turkey. Today, I asked a Whole Foods butcher, who had information out for holiday ordering, where I could find a capon and she’d never heard the term and advised me to look elsewhere. So that’s when I sent an email out to Wapsie Farms.

A turkey breast sitting over stuffing is a last resort, and WF has Diestel organic turkeys. Aside from Labor Day, it’s the only holiday Jim will have this year. I don’t want to make it all about cooking. Just a bird, great stuffing, mashed potatoes (my fourth masher, others in storage) and perhaps glazed carrots and roasted brussels sprouts. And perhaps a mincemeat tart to salute the Penny sisters.

So, are there any family farms in Utah who raise organic capons? Cheers, Dee

Big, Fat Snow

The bike trail is already clear from last night’s snow, and no-one shoveled or plowed it. It’s a wet one because it even sticks on branches of trees with no leaves. Cold snows are different. Ice storms are another animal altogether.

It’s supposed to be in the 60’s next week after it gets colder and another snowstorm comes in tomorrow. Dear God, Please turn off the snow, keep it for the skiers until April 12 then let us Texans have Spring, please. Thank you.

Hates it here

Hates it here

As you can see from above, Zoe is very frightened here and follows me around everywhere. I have not left her alone yet, she goes with me to the drycleaner, mailbox, grocery et al.

I didn’t get good photos this morning because of the snow but apparently we look over the 2002 Olympic ski jumping, luge (and other events) site, The Canyons, front side of Park City, and the bald mountain that is Deer Valley. Right now we can’t see a thing because of the snow.

Sorry, I couldn’t nix a 2nd pix of Zoe and don’t know the others until I see them published. Apparently we WordPress freebies only get one crack at a preview.

I’ve been unpacking boxes and have a few more to do so we can have a first semi-normal weekend in weeks. Financing our lives and a significant move without a paycheck for three months has taken a toll on both of us financially, emotionally and physically. Luckily the stock market is inching up, even though unemployment is extraordinarily high.

I’ve been looking for work around here but there are no prospects I’ve found so far. We’re about to be in the off-season, ski-wise so the young, fit kids will leave town and few will remain. Jobs and people.

What I’ve learned so far is that a lot of people have given up serious careers to do menial jobs up here just so they can ski. A lot of other people fly in and have huge ski-in, ski-out estates and they’re building more even in this economy. Others with second homes here are renting and selling off properties they can no longer afford.

We can walk to a movie theatre and shops. The preserve is right out back and I love looking at the ducks. I may go to their museum next week. I did meet an interesting young man with a 2/2 condo downtown who is thinking of going the “corporate housing” route and I think he’s a nice guy so will help him learn from our expertise living in Scotland, London, Orem and here.

Next thing you know I’ll be teaching cooking classes! Cheers! Dee