Tag Archives: Utah

Hello, friends. This is my friend Mel. Mel does a lot of good for our community and we’re hoping you would take some time to pay it forward with a vote for her Upcycling and Thrift Boutique. She has entered a video into this contest and we need as many votes as we possibly can get, so pretty please follow the link, vote for Mel’s Thrift, and share this. You will be doing a great service to the people Mel helps. Thank you.




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Yesterday I had the absolute pleasure of photographing local model, Heather Shepherd Gardner. Some people are just naturals in front of the camera, enjoy the photos!

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My sister traveled to Europe for her 40th birthday and brought back several photographs and souvenirs. I truly appreciate the fact that I was on her mind while she was among such a wondrous environment. I’m very grateful to have such a loving, caring sister. She works very hard and deserved every second of that trip! Additionally, the photos were just awesome and I found myself asking how the environment smelled, what the temperature was like, how was the humidity, etc. (you know, questions about all of the other senses that can’t be duplicated).


Venice (Photo credit: Arian Zwegers)

Some of her photos were mini-videos. We’re so lucky to live in an age when communication is so easily accomplished with the advances of camera phones! My sister played one of the videos; I admired the crystal clear, high resolution motion picture of her riding with her husband at the back of a boat in Venice. Her amazed expressions were childlike as the boat floated along canals dividing intricate buildings connected by bridges which were centuries old. I was reminded of what a foreign exchange student said once in a college class a few years ago when one of my fellow students had inquired about culture shock, she simply stated “One of the biggest adjustments for me is the fact that you don’t have buildings in America as historical as we have in France and all of Europe.”

 As I lay in bed that night, it occurred to me that perhaps America is missing something, and it isn’t even our fault.  We don’t have the intricate, centuries old buildings they have in Europe, or any of the appreciation. What is the importance of these structures? I believe they keep us in touch with our humanity. One can look at a historical structure of Europe as a tangible echo erected by the hands of some civilization who trod the very same ground ages ago. Here in America, we have centuries and an ocean between ourselves and our humanity.

The values between Europe and America differ greatly; for example, Notre Dame Cathedral still stands centuries after its groundbreaking during the year 1163. Here in Ogden, Utah where I live, the distinctive Mormon Temple which was dedicated in 1972 was recently demolished mere decades after it was built due to the structure “being architecturally out of style.” Here in America, it’s out with the old, in with the new and capitalism reigns supreme. If something breaks, we throw it away and buy another.

As my sister continued with her fascinating presentation of photographs, she came upon photos of her nephew being trolleyed away on a gurney after dislocating his knee while exploring Paris. Sadly, the young man had to be sent back home to the United States and his European trip was cut short; however, the entire medical expense was only around 100 American dollars. There was no waiting for ages to be seen by a medical professional and the whole process was very smooth.

It’s pretty sad when one can get injured on foreign soil and be treated far better in that country than if the injury happened while a citizen in the United States. We are a country of misguided consumerists, who push our elderly off into nursing homes and forget about them. We cannot wrap our minds around the thought of actually caring for our family members in their times of need, let alone caring for our fellow citizens; instead, we try our hardest to sidestep any sort of responsibility, from one human to another.

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Healthcare Is A Human Right!

Healthcare Is A Human Right! (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

My boyfriend, who happens to be an Adjunct Art Instructor at Weber State University, has recently endured a drastic reduction in his work hours. While many of his tenured colleagues are away relaxing on paid sabbatical leave, we’re informed that the primary reason his teaching was cut is because of Obama care, which requires employers to provide health insurance to employees who work for 30 hours or more per week. Unfortunately, due to an acceptable “loophole” to employers, many across the United States have now opted  to simply CUT employee  hours in order to  to meet these new regulations (rather than actually take care of their employees, it’s cheaper that way). As a result, my boyfriend  has had to take a low paying job doing yard maintenance for Weber County. I’m saddened to report that just six short days into his new minimum wage job, he took a spill on some wet mud and suffered an injury to his knee, which may effect him for the rest of his life.
Now fortunately, my boyfriend’s employer has Workman’s Comp, which pays for some work hours lost (which isn’t much) and medical treatment for his work-related injury (which FAR outweigh his earnings).

Fake lips.

Fake lips. (Photo credit: gak)

Recently, I accompanied him to one of his visits in which he received an MRI. While I sat there in the lobby waiting with him,  I noticed a magazine with an article displayed on the cover which was entitled “Systemized Feng Shui” (don’t ask) peeking from the bottom of a stack of random magazines. I was a little dismayed to see the title called “Healthy Utah“, which displayed a beautiful woman on the cover (don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with beautiful women); however, this model obviously has had the $urgical works to become that way. Fake veneered teeth, botox lip$, brea$t enlargement$, you name it, $he has obviou$ly had it. I was even further disturbed when I began to thumb through the pages, seeing ad  after ad, which touted some kind of surgical procedure to remove some type of  undesirable part of one’s physique. I began to wonder,   “Is THIS what is really perceived as ‘healthy’ in Utah?”


Remember (Photo credit: Clapagaré ! (Les chiquitos))

While some are primping in  mirrors, counting calories, binging on cake, guzzling diet soda and debating on where they”ll have liposuction next, there are actually malnourished people standing in line at the local charity desperately waiting for a box of full of food.

What is health? Is it the way a person looks? Is it how an individual will critically perceive him or herself the way others might; therefore, use his or her good fortune to conform to another’s, or perhaps the media’s ideal? Or is it a state of mind where one can use his or her good fortune to help others? Health is beauty, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is beauty to you?

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