Monday, March 29, 2010

Word on the Street

Yesterday evening I took cute Jonah and cute William for a walk. Jones likes to pretend that he's chasing William, so William grabbed my hand and we started to run. I heard Jonah laughing at us, and then he hollered, "William's pants and diaper fell down". Sure enough, his pants, which were a bit big around the waist, and diaper were down around his ankles. We had a bare-bottomed baby running down the street. What the heck? We got his pants back on and everything covered up again, but something about them falling once started a cycle of constant pants loss. Every ten steps the kid was streaking again! What do I do with this? Finally Jonah handed over his scooter (he likes to take his scooter on walks). William got on it and I pushed him home. It cut out the leg motion, so his pants stayed on, and we got home faster. Crisis managed. What a circus.

Today I went for a walk up city creek canyon and saw a car with a bumper sticker that read, "Free Tibet". My first thought - how on earth am I suppose to do that? I live in Salt Lake City. I have absolutely no pull when it comes to Chinese/Tibetan affairs. I suppose I could try to call China...? Nah, they wouldn't listen to me. That car owner is going to have to find someone else to free Tibet.

Another bumper sticker I saw today said, "I walk my dog and I vote". This one stumped me too. I don't really see how the two are connected? I suppose the point is that this person is going to support all pro-dog walking legislation as often as occasion arises. How often could that be? I don't know.

And then I saw a licence plate frame - "Girls who read never go to bed alone". So true. Lately I've been going to bed with John Adams. That might me more scandalous than the half naked baby running down the street.

And finally, on my way back to the COB I passed by a park that I used to bring the girls to when they were little. There's a wall that winds up a small hill, back and forth. They loved climbing on that thing, Mariah especially. Today I looked at it out of the corner of my eye and smiled. What sweet girls.

the end

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Week in Review

Hello everybody! It's Friday afternoon, and my tummy is full of Navajo taco, and I'm thinking to myself, "I'm sleepy", and that it's time for A Week in Review.

I BOUGHT A NEW LAPTOP! And I'm totally freaked about it. Happy, excited, horrified because that's a lot of money. I've never spent so much money on one thing before. I was calm and collected while at the store yesterday, but this morning I had "I'VE GOT TO RETURN THAT AND GET MY MONEY BACK RIGHT NOW!" screaming through my head.

I'm not really going to return it. I love it. It's silver and pretty, and I will love being able to do some writing at home. That's really why I bought it. I have some writing projects in mind, and feel like it's time to seriously work on them.

I went to Best Buy for my computer, and would recommend them to others. The service was good. The people really knew what they were talking about, and there was no attempt to sell me more than I needed. I had spent a long time shopping online, so I was pretty much decided on a laptop before going to the store. I did fall for the warranty pitch. I have a tendency to drop things, so my laptop probably should be under warranty. There, talking about it calmed my nerves, and I'm happy again. I think that when I get home tonight I'll just hold it for a while. My pretty little laptop.

Who do you Think you Are?
There's a show on NBC by the above title, and I really like it! Each week a different star works with history/family history specialists to trace their ancestry. Ok, that didn't sound very interesting, but it really is! They travel to the places where their ancestors lived and go through courthouse documents, visit home towns, meet people who knew their grandparents and great-grandparents. Last week Lisa Kudrow went to a small village called Ilya in Easter Europe where her Jewish great-grandmother was killed during the Holocaust. Here's a clip. It's emotional, and Kudrow is so thoughtful in the things she says about her experience. In all of the stories I've seen so far, each person has said that learning about their family has changed how they see themselves for the better. I think that's true. What little bit I've learned about my family history makes me feel more grounded, like my roots go down deep. It's a great show, and I'm really looking forward to watching it again tonight. Kudoos to NBC.

My Parents are Coming!
Mom and Dad will be here the weekend of April 10th. That's always fun. I don't have much more to say on the subject, except that it'll be good to see them again.

Ok, I think that's it for this week. Thanks, as always, for the blogging friendship.
You are loved.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Please Submit All Questions in Writing. It's Easier to Ignore Them that Way.

I have a pet peeve. It is that when there’s a treat out for sharing here at the COB, which is about every day, we are Mormons after all, people ask all sorts of questions before taking one. They include but are not limited to: “Who brought these in?” “What’s the occasion?” “Did you make them?” “Have all of the calories been taken out?” That last one is a lame attempt at humor, and the attempt is made way too often. My friend Teresa used to sit close to the counter where treats are usually laid out, and that poor girl couldn’t get anything else done with all of the questions to answer. For heaven’s sake. She has since moved to another department, so I’m closest to that desk now, and I can tell you that I absolutely do not want to have to deal with it.

I suppose the whole thing shouldn’t bug me so much, but it does, and I can't seem to make myself get over it, so I’ve put some plans into action to try to curb the annoyance. Sometimes Cheryl and I post a sign with answers to all conceivable questions. It doesn’t always work. People just think of more. I’ve thought of posting something that says, “JUST TAKE ONE AND GO!” but haven’t. That's a little too harsh.

Over the weekend I bought a big package of Oreos. OK, two packages. I like both the original and the Golden Oreos, and couldn’t decide which kind to go with. The logical solution was to buy both. I’m sure you understand. Of course, I can’t/shouldn’t eat all of those, so I decided to enjoy them through Sunday evening, and then bring the rest in to work. But that brings up the ever present problem of having to explain to all creation where the cookies came from and why. It almost made me just throw them away. What a sad, sad waste. I decided to be brave, and this morning arrived with cookies in hand.

They had to be placed in an area nowhere near me, and at a time when no one would see me putting them out. I could not be in any way connected to the cookies. This took planning and stealth. I found the perfect place, an empty desk some distance away from my own. But how to do I put them there without anyone seeing me? Devotional! We have a devotional every Monday morning that everyone goes to. Well, everyone but me because someone has to stay and answer the phones. Here was my opportunity. As soon as everyone left, I took my Oreos, put them on styrofoam plates, and took them to the open desk, keeping my eyes peeled for any stray devotional skippers. The coast was clear. I set the treats out, and got back to my desk. Whew!

I have heard comments this morning. Someone hollered to no one, “Who brought the cookies?” just to be ignored. One of the guys entertained the closest person he could find with fun facts from the Nabisco Company on the nutritional value of an Oreo. Should I feel bad about this, the ignored questions and someone else having to listen to nutritional information? Maybe, but I don’t. I don’t think that the others are as bugged by it all as I am, so no harm done. And I got rid of my treats without having to talk to about them all day long. Mission accomplished.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Week in Review

Hi. Remember when I used to post something on Friday that told you all about my week? I thought I’d do that again today. Here’s A Week in Review. You’re welcome.

In this section I will be talking all about how smart I am. I hope that you can endure it. But really, why keep a blog if you can’t do some self-congratulating every now and then? I, like many, like to point out what I've done and have it praised. It's the 4-year old in all of us. Anyway, I’ve been doing some part-time schooling through BYU independent study, and two weeks ago I finally took the final exam for my world civilizations class. Man that was hard. Here’s how it worked – the professor wanted two essays, one on a question from the second half of the class and another comprehensive essay. He gave us six questions to study for each essay, so 12 all together. Two questions per essay were on the test, and I was to choose one to write on. The expectation was that I’d spend 1 ½ hours writing each essay, and there was a three hour time limit. I couldn’t have any notes or books with me. So, in the end, I had to have enough information on 12 topics in my head to write about each one for more than an hour. That’s a lot of stuff to keep in your head.

I had made the mistake of letting too much time lapse between finishing my last assignments and getting ready for the final, so I had to review almost everything, and take notes, and then refine my notes until I had an outline that I could memorize. It really was a lot of work. I prayed about it, too, and I honestly believe that the prayers worked because while studying I felt more inclined toward some questions than others, and so I gave those more time and thought, and my brain wrapped around those topics. I felt like I understood the material well enough to repeat names and dates and then to add my own take on it, some thoughts and insights. And in the end those questions were on the test. I wrote for the full three hours, 24 pages, by hand. I like to tell people that, “Three hours and 24 pages!” It seems to impress.

My essays were on the origins of the Islamic nation, and how their historical development and religious beliefs play into what’s going on in the world today. The second was on the nomadic peoples of the ancient and medieval world and how they affected their societies. Did you know that the Hyksos were a group of people in Egypt who introduced bronze tools and weapons to the Egyptians? And they had chariots, and that’s how the Egyptians got chariots. This is significant because that scene in Charlton Heston’s movie “The Ten Commandments” where Pharaoh and his armies are chasing down Moses at the Red Sea would not have been near as good without the chariots. Can you imagine? I can’t. We have the Hyksos to thank for that.

I figured it would take a couple of weeks for the instructor to post my grade, but that didn’t stop me from checking the website 15 times every day starting last week. Today the grade was there – 96%! Yeah! I’m still so happy. It feels good, doesn’t it, to work hard on something and have it pay off so well?

I learned a couple of things about myself while doing this. First, I’m really not as smart as I think. I had to read and reread everything so many times before I had a good enough grasp on it to take that test. I used to think that I was pretty quick, but that is not true. Not anymore. I really had to work for this test. And second, I really love history. Really. And I loved knowing that I could sit down and write about any of those topics and have something substantial to say. It felt good. It took forever to get there, but it felt good. And I aced it. Nice.

I do realize that many of you have accomplished so much more, and some who read this are still in school and might think that my one test is nothing. You're probably right. Still, it means something to me.

Ok, that’s probably enough about my great scholastic achievement. Thanks for indulging me.

Hm. I guess that’s all I have to say. Oh! I do want to show you something. This is my nephew Spencer, and that is his roller coaster. He built it all by himself! Can you believe that? I talked to him on the phone one day while he was working on it (Spencer is in Minnesota), and he told me that he was looking at the pictures in the directions. He couldn’t really read the directions, so he just looked at the pictures. Unbelievable! Look at all of those little pieces. I’m stunned every time I see it.

That's it for today. Thanks, as always, for keeping me in mind.
You are loved.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cakes in Review

I had a very nice birthday. In fact, it turned into three nice days. I took some time off from work, had lunches and dinners with family and friends, went shopping, saw a movie, and enjoyed two very lazy mornings. Lovely.

I had three birthday cakes this year, and each one was beautiful in its own special way. First, Cheryl brought a Snickers cake in to work on Monday – chocolate cake, thin chocolate frosting, and a thick layer of Snickers. Wow. If there is a cake heaven, and I do believe there is, then this cake will be there, and I will eat it. I will eat a lot of it. Assuming that I go to cake heaven, and I do believe that I will.

My second cake was homemade from scratch by Melissa. She’s so nice. Honestly, so nice. A bunch of us from DB had dinner at Chili’s Monday night, and she brought this cake for desert. I didn’t know that a Chili’s would let you bring in your own desert, but they did, and the waitress lit the candles, people sang, and we ate. This cake was chocolate, too, with white frosting, which was my childhood favorite. Delicious. She did a great job.

And third, on Wednesday, the birthday itself, the family got together at Marla’s. Barry and Melody bought a bakery cake – white with a thick, creamy strawberry filling. YUM! That's me yelling, "YUM!" Sierra was a bit shocked and dismayed to find a real strawberry in her filling. I tried to explain that it was, indeed, a strawberry cream, but she pointed out that that didn’t have to mean that they use real strawberries. She’s probably right. If you’re going to put fruit in dessert it should be very little and heavily covered with sugar and butter and cake and frosting. Anyway, the strawberry cream cake was delicious, and it was fun to have everyone together.

I’m really grateful to all of you who spent the time, effort and money to give me a happy birthday. And thank you, too, to all who sent birthday wishes. And for those of you who haven’t gotten there yet, 40 doesn’t feel any different than 30. In fact, the bakery guy told Melody that 40 is the new 30, so there you go. I just got a whole decade back.

Monday, March 8, 2010

14,600 Days

It’s here. THE birthday. On Wednesday I will be 14,600 days old. That’s a lot of days. And I’ve been thinking about them and what they’ve given me.

There was the day I was born. Don’t remember much about that one, but I do know that after two boys my parents wanted a girl. Ta Da! I was happy to oblige.

Days as a little girl in Alexandria, riding my tricycle around the block with my brother over and over again, swinging on the rope swing in our back yard. My dad would push me so high.

The day I went to kindergarten with a new hair cut, and hid in the coat room because I was scared of what the other kids might say. My teacher came and was very nice, and I slowly came out, and everything was fine.

The day I got a tetanus shot, and it hurt so bad that my mom picked me up from school. She had me lay down on the couch with a pillow under my arm, and I watched Sesame Street. A pillow, just like royalty.

The day my family was sealed together in the Idaho Falls temple. I still remember seeing my mom in the mirrors in the sealing room, and she was smiling at me.

The day I met my new sister, one of the best things that ever happened to me.

The day we moved out on to the farm.

Days riding my bike down our country road.

Days working in the garden.

Days mowing our huge lawn (it took 4 hours. I’m not kidding).

Days with my cousins at Eagle Lake.

Days of breathing in the fresh evening air. It smelled so good, I'd suck it in until my lungs couldn't hold any more.

Ending days with my dad reading me a bedtime story.

The day my baby brother was born. He looked just the way I had imagined he would.

The day on the school playground when I first talked to Trina, and she was my best friend till the day we graduated 12 years later.

The day I learned how to work my new locker and figured out where classes were and started junior high.

Days with band and choir concerts, speech team competitions, school plays, and ballet recitals.

Days feeling lonely.

Days feeling insecure.

Days filled with all of that teenager know-it-all-ness.

Days when I fought with my mom, and then felt so sorry about fighting with my mom.

The days she made me lasagna and chocolate cake for my birthday.

The days she taught me how to make those things myself.

Days idolizing my older brothers.

The days they moved away from home.

The day I moved away from home, all the way to Idaho and Ricks College.

Days of being miserably homesick.

Days of loving being on my own.

The day of my first kiss, standing outside the door of my apartment.

My first formal dance.

My first breakup.

And crying.

Days of classes and homework and basketball games and dances.

Days with 80s hair.

The day I left school and moved to Salt Lake City.

Days learning to work fulltime, support myself, and pay the bills.

Days playing with a group from the singles' ward, so much fun.

Days climbing through the mountains and driving out to the lake.

Wedding days and getting new in-laws! I'm glad they're all good ones.

The day I decided to go on a mission, went home to Minnesota, sent in my papers, and got my call.

My first day at the MTC, probably the most emotional day of my life.

The day I traveled with the other missionaries to Santa Rosa, California. We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge on a bus. I was in awe.

Days of tracting, teaching, and seeing baptisms. Days of being so exhausted and so happy. Days of gaining a strength and confidence I hadn’t known before.

The day I came home, and wondered what was next.

Days of working and making some of my best friends.

Days with nieces and nephews.

Days on the road between here and Minnesota.

Days looking for wild animals in Yellowstone.

A day walking through Paris.

Four days in London - a dream come true.

Days of wondering what my life was all about, too many days of that.

Days when I learned to get over it and just live.

Days of letting go of some dreams, discovering others, and holding on to the ones I still believe in.

Days of slowly realizing that 40 is not such a big deal.

Days of looking at my life and seeing that it’s really very good. All of the ups and downs, the terrible struggles, the failures, the triumphs, the lessons learned, all of the many wonderful people I’ve known, it all adds up to 14,600 days of living.

Thank you for being a part of it!
You are loved.