June 3, 2010

Holladay Home

I'm having a realtor coming over to my condo today. She'll eventually help me sell it and for now will be giving me some advice on how to make everything presentable and more likely to sell.

I'm really going to miss my condo. It's really been an ideal home for me--a refuge. The neighborhood in Holladay is fantastic: It's somewhat centrally located, I've got the public library right next door, there's a community garden out front, the area is quiet and excellent for walking or biking, and a grocery store, movie theater, and some great restaurants are all a block or so away.

The key to my loving the place though is the view. I took all of the photos in this entry from inside my home (or out on my back porch). I have Mount Olympus in the east, a further spread of the Wasatch range to the south, and to the west I've got a wonderful sunset and afternoon-thunder-shower panorama.

From my back porch I can set up a telescope and observe the planets and the moon as I have a perfect shot at the ecliptic, and I can lie down in my bed and gaze at clouds swirling around Olympus.

I've enjoyed watching the mountainside change with the seasons: lush green in spring...

...the texture of rock made obvious when winter snows arrive...

...in the summer little bobbing lights give away the location of evening hikers, and in the autumn the constellation Orion rises around its peak like an enormous enveloping butterfly (At the angle it rises, the three stars of his belt are almost perpendicular to the center of the peak--forming the body of the butterfly--while the four bright stars Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Rigel, and Saiph frame its giant wings).

Once, I was fortunate to have a pair of robins nest in the tree outside my living room window. Their nest was right at eye level and I had a front row seat as they built their home, guarded their tiny blue eggs, and eventually raised four chicks.

I remember the day they all left the nest. Mom and Dad encouraged them to make their initial test flights by standing on tree limbs near the nest and chirping excitedly. As the chicks would take their first tentative hops out of the nest, the parents would fly to another limb--a little further away than the last--and keep coaxing them out.

After a while there was only one chick who hadn't taken the plunge. He was frantic as he watched his siblings frolicking in the farthest branches of the tree, but seemed afraid to venture out. Eventually he climbed up to the edge of the nest and huddled there for a while clinging to the top of its cup. Finally he seemed to perk up--and this next part is entirely true--he stood a little taller, stretched his neck out over the void below cocking his head to one side as if to see just how far he could possibly fall, then took a breath, flapped his little wings with all his might, and sputtered out onto one of the branches nearby.

All of this happened over the course of a couple hours. For a day or two afterward I occasionally saw the young robins hanging out in the tree. They were were still mottled in color and chubby with baby fat, but basically out on their own. The nest remained empty and, because robins build in new locations with each brood, the deserted mass of twigs eventually disintigrated.

I've also made the view of the interior of my condo interesting...and maybe devalued it a bit too...I guess we'll see what the realtor says today.
Soon after I moved in, I broke a giant mirror into many small pieces and superglued them to the wall above my fireplace. It sounds (and maybe was) a bit crazy, but I love the resulting mosaic and everyone who stops by comments on how cool it is.

On another occasion, I was having a really bad emotional day and, as is frequently the case on such days, let out some of my angst by getting creative. In this case I painted a tree on the wall of my bedroom.

The really cool part about it though (in my opinion) is that I went out and got some actual tree branches--painted them black, then got some string and paper--cut them out to match the other klimt-esque vines and painted them gold, and then superglued all these extra pieces to the wall to give the mural a bit more dimension.

It would probably be a bit much for some, but I love it!

It's been fun allowing myself to customize my home a bit. I've made it into a personal haven that refreshes and stimulates me. I may end up paying for some of that fun when I have to get the place ready to sell. If I walked into a house with crazy mosaics and murals, I'm the type that would want to buy it more, but I know that I'm a bit of an odd duck as far as that goes.


  1. Wow Kelly, these picture are amazing. The sunset really touched me. I love sunsets and that one was SPECTACULAR! I wish I could have been there. But ya, wow. I will be waiting to see what else you see. You have a wonderful eye.
    Aunt Julie

  2. Please come paint a tree on my nursery wall. Thank you. -Audra

  3. Once again you are amazing me with your skill in describing your world. I love to read these and I hope you'll always have the time and desire to keep sharing!!