Pupdate – Yakira & Zodiac

Yakira – photo by Lisa Thompson

I was concerned that with the Christmas Holiday, Yakira might not move on to phase 5 this week but she did! If you are interested in what Yakira is learning in phase 5 go to this post on Casey. Two of Yakira’s littermates, Yancey and Yasmine showed up on the phase report last week. They are now in phase 1. Her sister Yumi was recently dropped from breeder evals and should show up soon. That just leaves Yuma out there somewhere.

It has been an interesting week here. We were puppy sitting Beacon for Christmas. Our new club leader took him on Wednesday for an evaluation. Zodiac had lots of fun playing with Beacon most of the time but sometimes it seemed that Zodiac was done playing and Beacon wanted more. Even though they are only a few days apart in age, Zodiac comes across as much more mature in most ways. Zodiac was exhausted when Beacon left and so was I. We will be puppy sitting Kai starting tomorrow until next Wednesday.

Bill & Zodiac on Temple Square

Tonight we took Trax downtown to see the Christmas lights on Temple Square. It was a good socializing opportunity for Zodiac. There were a surprising number of people doing the same thing we were and Zodiac did great. He can be a bit distracted by wanting to socialize with people but he did very well tonight. We couldn’t find his head collar so he had to do it on his own, with just the flat collar. He really is starting to grow-up and gain a lot more self-control.

Zodiac on the Trax train


Gift Idea #19 – Restart an Old Family Tradition

idea numbers19Family traditions are a great way of connecting us together in our current family and to those of past generations. Is there an old tradition that you or another family member remembers from the past that could be reintroduced today? One way would be to have a family brainstorming session and come up with a list of traditions that have been lost for one reason or another. Then vote on which tradition you would like to start doing again. It may be that the old tradition needs to be adjusted for today’s circumstances but if it has its roots in the past will help connect your family today with your family of the past.


50 gift ideas challenge

I’ve decided to challenge myself to come up with 50 gift ideas that will help you to tell your family tales by Christmas. I’ve done some brainstorming and I think I can do it but it isn’t going to be easy. 50 is just such a nice number, especially in this my 50th year. So stay tuned over the next five weeks and see if any of my ideas give you some inspiration for gifts for your family and friends. I’ll post my first idea soon!

Official start to Frosty

rough shaping of Frosty

Today I made an official start on my candy sculpture for South Jordan‘s “Something Sweet” Christmas window displays. For those of you who were lucky enough to grow up in the Salt Lake area during ZCMI‘s famous Christmas window displays you will be excited to know that the city of South Jordan is working to restore that Christmas tradition. After a google search I came up with this link to a few images from Christmas 1998.

When ZCMI was sold the new company didn’t have the in-house designers to continue the tradition and then Provo City Arts Council started sponsoring candy windows in various Center Street businesses. I got involved with that project in 2001 and continued making windows for them until 2007 when I started to raise puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Provo had candy windows in 2008 and then with the change in focus with the new Covey Center for the Arts the Christmas candy windows in Provo came to an end.

Last year South Jordan approached me about doing a candy sculpture for them to kind of get things started on reviving the Candy Window tradition. Because I would love to see this wonderful holiday event make a come back I said yes. You can see my “Christmas A to Z” project here. This year is the next step in bringing back Candy Windows. South Jordan will have 4 candy window sculptures in the Town Center Drive area just off Redwood Road and south of 104th South. I’m also excited because one of the candy artist comes to us with experience doing the original windows at ZCMI. My sculpture will be in the Cold Stone Creamery. Our theme is Christmas Carols and with my window being in an ice cream shop “Frosty the Snowman” seemed like the perfect match.

So here are a few photos of Frosty starting to take shape. We gained a lot of expertise from Gary’s many years at ZCMI and he let us use his big hot-wire cutters to cut the rough shape out of big blocks of Styrofoam. This is so much faster than how I’ve done it in the past. Bill is planning to make me a smaller hot-wire cutter but he hasn’t had time yet. So much more to do and after I get Girls Camp finished this project will have to take some priority.

Gary and Bill making the first cut to shape Frosty

making the second cut on Frosty


the second cut finished


close-up of the third cut on Frosty


nearing the end of the fourth cut

cutting out Frosty’s legs

more rough shaping of Frosty

Frosty strapped into the back of the pick-up for the trip to our house