Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Annual Shopping Trip to SLC

This was only my second trip on the annual shopping trip. My sisters and mother have been doing this for about four years, but I jumped on the bandwagon, never to be left behind again. It is kind of mushrooming into a family-type reunion. (Last year, we spent three hours at Target's food court, trying to decide where to go for dinner) So this year, one sister and Mom missed the trip. We really missed them. But I got to drive my "new" used car to the big city for the first time. I've had it a week. I really enjoyed the ride. Plus my 17-year-old niece went with me. She was great company, and I liked her music. I'm not sure she was all that thrilled at spending three hours with her old aunt, but she hid it well. (By the way, I forgot to get my key back.) During the course of the weekend, I got to visit with my daughter, son and daughter-in-law and brother and his son, another brother and his girlfriend who all live in Salt Lake, my niece from Layton, my sister and another niece from Cedar City, another nephew from Cedar City who is currently living and working in Vernal, Katie, who rode out with me, and another niece and her husband and two kids who also drove out from Vernal. We managed to see two movies--"The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz and Jude Law, and "Stranger than Fiction" with Will Ferrell. I recommend both, but I liked "The Holiday" best. It was funnier and more light-hearted, and Jude Law is hot. We tried out a new restaurant called Cafe Med, with Mediterranean and Greek food. Really good. The last day, we ate at IHOP. And we even managed to get in a little shopping. May I just say that I love Tai Pan? I could shop there for hours. I bought a few things for the Christmas tree which is looking extremely lovely, I must add. The tree topper is growing on me. A few of us even managed to go to Temple Square to see the lights. It is quite spectacular as you can see from the picture. I passed this year but I try to go down there every few years to soak up the Christmas spirit. I got most of my shopping done, spend quality time with the fam, and spent too much and ate too much. All in all, a very succesful trip.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Holiday Meme

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Both, of course.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?I grew up with pinning my stocking to a place on the couch and all my Santa gifts would be displayed there the next morning. So I followed that tradition with my kids. Of course, they laid awake in bed until I went to sleep and snuck out and saw everything. I learned this a couple of years ago. What a relief when they told me Santa wasn't real so I told them he would not be visiting anymore. Now I can sleep through the night.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? It depends on my decorations. Most years the lights are white. Lots and lots of lights.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Why would I do this?
5. When do you put your decorations up? Probably the first weekend in December unless there is something better to do. Never before December 1. That's sacreligious.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Our Christmas Eve family home evening. We would read Christmas stories and poems, A Visit from St. Nick and act out the nativity. And really bad Christmas caroling.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Some mean kid told me in 2nd grade. I was devastated. I'm sure he's in prison now.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Growing up we could open one present on Christmas eve after the our family Christmas program. It was always a new pair of pajamas from Mom and Dad. I've carried the tradition on with my children. We still go to Mom's on Christmas eve and have a special program. Afterwards we open our presents from "Grandma" and she opens ours to her. We also do an exchange present with one of the siblings in the family and we open that while all the families are gathered on Christmas eve. (This is straight from Booklogged)
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? I love coming up with new themes for my Christmas tree. It started with an angel tree with white lights and lots of different angel ornaments that I either made or bought. It now includes gold curly ribbon and gold beads. Very pretty. Next I got into snowmen. It also has white lights and lots of different kinds of snowmen and snowflakes. I like lots of different sizes of ornaments on my trees so some snowmen are small and some are 8 or 9 inches tall. I also have little mittens and red berry sprays. When I got bored with those two, I ventured into the Santa market. This may be my favorite tree. I usually use colored lights and tons of Santas and reindeer and elves and toy ornaments. I have a Ho-Ho-Ho garland that I put in the middle. Then I fell in love with those huge multi-colored light bulbs and came up with color tree. I use the little colored lights and those big lights and jewel-toned ornaments. It's not my favorite tree but those lights put me in mind of Dr. Seuss. I know I have lots of Chirstmas decorations, so I am ashamed to say that this year I will unveil a new tree theme. I hope it turns out well. If so, I will post a picture later, but I won't it describe it yet.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? In a perfect world, it would start snowing just after dark on Christmas Eve. You know the kind of snowing I'm talking about. You go outside and it's so quiet you can almost hear the snow falling. You truly understand the meaning of Peace on Earth. Christmas morning you wake up to a Winter Wonderland. The next day, it melts away. 12. Can you ice skate? Useta could.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? My daughter is a gift-giving wonder. She puts so much thought into it and I always love what she gets me. I really enjoyed the year we all got my mother the Willow Tree Nativity set and she had already bought herself one. I was so disgusted with her for buying her own at Christmas time. You can imagine my surprise when I opened my daughter's gift and there was that Nativity Set. She was pretty disgusted with me since I had bought myself one when I bought one for my mom. Last year she gave me presents with an exercise theme, a nativity theme (Jim Shore with the hanging angel: I love angels) and a relaxation theme. She really overspent.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with my family. My family has so much fun together during the holidays and it's aways so wonderful to get to see those who don't live close. They really are my best friends. Next is listening to Christmas music. I probably own 30 Christmas CD's and I try to listen to them all. My two favorites, this year anyway: Michael Crawford's "A Christmas Album" and Amy Grant's "A Christmas to Remember." Honorable mention to Celine Dion, Alan Jackson, and Mannheim Steamroller.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Something I don't have to make. At Thanksgiving, I would have to say lemon meringue or apple pie. At Christmas, it's all about the candy: peanut brittle, fudge, caramel popcorn.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I love our progressive dinner. One night some time before Christmas, we visit each family member's home in our town to see their Christmas decorations and eat a different course of a meal. We've been doing this for six years and it's fun to look at the pictures we take each year of the families in front of their tree. On Christmas Eve, I like to watch my younger brother read "A Visit from St. Nick" at the speed of light. It's hilarious.
17. What tops your tree? The angle tree used to have a big angel but I now have a star. The snowman tree has a sign that says, "Let it snow." The Santa tree either has a big Santa or a sign that says, "Dear Santa, Define good." The color tree has a great big bow. (That may be why I don't like it as well.) I don't know what I'm putting on this year's tree.
18. Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I love giving except it is so stressful trying to find good gifts. And my daughter's presents are so thoughtful that I love getting them and seeing the pleasure she gets from it. (Cassie, I don't expect you to do this every year so don't pressure yourself.)
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I love the way Andy Williams sang "O Holy Night". I love "Ave Maria." I can't sing either of those very well but I like to sing "Silent Night" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." I dislike "Away in the Manger", "Little Drummer Boy" and "I Heard the Bells."
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?? Yuck.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

These are the times . . .

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. "
The above quote was written by Thomas Paine at Valley Forge on the top of a drum as there was no paper. Washington was so moved when he read it, that he immediately shared it with the troops who were suffering there.
~~Today in church, we had a couple of talks given on the Atonement. They really hit home. The lady talked about how rough her life was as she grew up; both parents were drug users and physically and verbally abusive. She was living on her own at the age of 16 and made all kinds of wrong choices. By 18, she was an unwed mother. She talked about reaching the depths of despair and finally turning to God for a way to help herself and her son. It was through this prayer that she begin to apply the Atonement to herself and talked about the hope and strength it gave her to change her life. Her husband shared some quotes from church leaders and the story, "He Took My Beating for Me." I've heard it several times and it always gets to me. Because there was additional time left after the two speakers, a high councilman was asked to speak. He shared the above quote from Thomas Paine and applied it to the Atonement. With a little artistic license, we can apply the term summer soldier and sunshine patriot to ourselves. . . how we shrink from doing what is right when it's hard. Or we don't make needed changes because, even with the Atonement, it's so difficult. We need to remember, "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value." Finally, exchange the word FORGIVENESS for FREEDOM, and consider that for a minute.
~~I was very moved by all the speakers today and wrote this blog so, hopefully, I can remember the feelings I had. I'm so thankful that my life has been relatively blessed and easy, but I hope I will not take my blessings for granted and that I won't take that monumental gift of the Atonement for granted. Certainly, I can apply it to myself in a much greater degree.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

We Might as Well Dance

A friend of mine who has MS sent me this email. I decided to share this with all my blogger friends and hope it makes you take a good look at what's important. It reminded me of the friends and family that I am so grateful for and all the possibilities that are open to us.
*Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
*I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible. How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word "refrigeration" mean nothing to you? How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched 'Jeopardy' on television? I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, "How about goingto lunch in a half hour?" She would gas up and stammer, "I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain." And my personal favorite: "It's Monday." She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.
*Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect! We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college. Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of "I'm going to," "I plan on," and "Someday, when things are settled down a bit." When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord. My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.
*Now...go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to......not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you. Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask "How are you?" Do you hear the reply? When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, "We'll do it tomorrow." And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say "Hi"? When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over. *It's National Friendship and FAMILY WEEK Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND. If it comes back to you, then you'll know you have a circle of friends.To those I have sent this to... I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do. "Life may not be the party we hoped for... but while we are here we might as well dance!"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

About Me Meme

Four things you may not have known about me.....
(One of my high school friends e-mailed this to me. I've added a few more categories. It was fun making this list. )
Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Popcorn girl at the movie theater
2. Legal secretary
3. Bartender at a country club
4. Bank manager
Four movies I have watched over and over:
1. Meet Me in St. Louis
2. Apollo 13
3. While You Were Sleeping
4. Notting Hill
I should list all the movies I watched with my kids until we had them memorized. (He-Man, Last Unicorn, Karate Kid, etc. etc.)
Four places I have lived:
1. St. John, Newfoundland, Canada
2. San Francisco, CA
3. Lincoln, Nebraska
4. Utah
Four TV shows I love to watch
1. Dancing with the Stars
2. Extreme Makeover - Home Edition
3. Gray's Anatomy
4. Northern Exposure (It counts, I own the DVDs)
I could add The Batchelor but that would be too embarrassing. (See embarrassing below)
Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Pacific Northwest
2. New England
3. Monterey
4. Disneyland, of course.
Maybe someday I will make it out of the country, besides Canada.
Four of my favorite foods:
1. Prime Rib
2. Pizza
3. Cheese burgers
4. My mom's roast beef
Unfortunately, I can't eat most of these on a regular basis so I like them even better now.
Four living people I would like to meet:
1. Sherry Dew
2. David McCullough
3. Katie Couric
4. Gordon B. Hinckley
Four non-living people I would like to have met:
1. Abraham Lincoln
2. Theodore Roosevelt
3. Lucy Maude Montgomery
4. Eve
There are so many, but I think the conversation would be very interesting with these four. I would like to meet the Savior also, but I will someday.
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Italy
2. Santa Fe
3. New Zealand
4. Peru
Four Favorite Holiday Memories:
1. Very early morning breakfasts with my kids and other family on Memorial Day at Steinaker Lake. I don't want to do those again, but I love the memories.
2. Christmas Eve at my mom's, especially when all the kids were younger.
3. New Year's Eve at Booklogged's, especially the first year we played "What if . . . then."
4. The 4th of July we spent on Vancouver Island and how hard we laughed on the ferry ride back that night.
Four Embarrassing Moments:
1. I thought I had my church talk memorized but didn't and had to leave the podium and get my paper. I was 10 or 11.
2. Tripping and falling over a cord at work.
3. Tripping and falling on a tile edge during remodeling at work. (There's a theme here.)
4. Slipping and falling down the cement stairs at the Tabernacle after stake conference.
The last three were actually quite painful as well, but crying would have just been more embarrassing. Can I add that I am often very embarrassed for those women on the Batchelor? I probably watch it to see people doing more stupid things than I've ever done.
Four people who will respond to this meme:
1. Booklogged
2. Cassie
3. Alyson
4. Cardine (Someday, we are going to have to meet in person. I love your comments)

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's a Great Day

***Your Birthdate: February 4***
You have an extraordinary character - moral, responsible, and disciplined.Your sincerity and honesty shine through in almost every situation.Driven and focused, you rarely let your emotions get the better of you.You're level headed and rational. People count on you to look at things objectively.
Your strength: Your unwavering loyalty and ethics
Your weakness: Your rock solid stubbornness
Your power color: Navy blue
Your power symbol: Shield
Your power month: April
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?http://www.blogthings.com/whatdoesyourbirthdatemeanquiz/
Thanks to Write from Karen for this idea. I'm sure I'm all this and more. But what's up with that weakness. I'm not stubborn. Do you think I'm stubborn? Because I can sit on you till the cows come home. Actually, I truly question the disciplined part and being driven and focused. Well, I'm very focused when I'm reading. And I don't look all that great in navy blue . . . now, powder blue, that's a different story. Rrrrrrrr.

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Great Salt Lake Book Festival

On my first visit to the Book Festival in Salt Lake City, I had such a good time. First, the Salt Lake City Library is amazing. (See the head mobile at right) What a great setting to talk and learn about books and the people who create them, and to share it with my mom, sister, daughter and two nieces. I know my sister and niece have both mentioned this event on their blogs, but maybe I can add another perspective. Here are the sessions that I attended:
Ken Jennings Ken really does look like what he calls himself, a trivia nerd. But he has an amazing set of facts at his command in that boyish head, and he is truly funny. I enjoyed his stories about Jeopardy, appearing on QVC, and the research for his book, "Brainiac." I loved some terms he used: trivia nerds are loserish, British quizaholics, and game show contestanthood. He signed his book, "Who is . . . Ken Jennings?"
Peter Brown Peter is 27 but looks and acts younger. He's an incredibly talented illustrator. He told great stories of how he grew up drawing. I didn't buy his books and regret that. They would be great additions to my childrens shelf. If you want to learn more about him, his website is www.somebrownstuff.com.
Lawrence Yep Even though this was my least favorite session, Lawrence was still entertaining. He read excerpts from several of his stories, while I would have preferred to hear him discuss his writing and feelings. Still, I bought his book, Dragon's Gate, and he was very gracious when he signed it, "To _______, another person with wings." He included a small drawing of a dragon.
Peter Rock and Walter Kern This session was moderated by Doug Fabrizzio, a very good-looking local radio personality which really excited my daughter. She got his autograph, I got Peter Rock's. I really liked the format of prepared questions which drew out some interesting answers from both authors. They were both extremely interesting and humorous. Walter talked about the trance an author can go into when he's really into writing his book, and for the reader when he reads it . . . you forget you're writing or reading. I've experienced that with a good book. I hope I like Rock's book, "The Ambidextrist." "He signed it, With all joy! May this reward you."
Ivan Doig This author's current book, "The Whistling Season", is on my TBR list. However, I purchased "English Creek" since it was a paperback, my definite preference. Ivan discussed how important libraries are to all of us. A couple of things he said that I really liked, "There's always the chance online, that ignorance could be shared." and "Childhood is the one story that stands by itself in every soul."
Karl and Anne Fleming This married couple are journalists with such a wide range of experiences. He is 79, I believe, and has covered the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement in the south and the riots in Watts. Anne is 22 years younger, has interviewed Truman Capote, and covered the women's movement. Again, this was the question format that I found most informative and interesting.
Shannon Hale Shannon is so young and funny. She has very strong opinions about reading for enjoyment (why else would you read?) and why secondary schools should assign books for students to read that will encourage and stimulate them instead of those boring and depressing classics. I know when I was in high school I enjoyed reading everything including classics, but I know so many that hated reading because the books didn't interest them. I was able to get Shannon to sign two of her books, "The Princess Academy" (signed, "I hope you climb to the top of your own mountain") and "The Goose Girl", my next read (signed, "I hope you fall in love with many stories").
This was quite the book-buying weekend. At the Festival, I purchase five books (I already owned The Goose Girl). I also received a free copy of "The Christmas Box" just for answering a survey. We went to Barnes and Noble before Ken Jennings and I bought two books: "The Time Traveler's Wife" and "Blessings". My daughter gave me the cutest Halloween book, "Sheep Trick or Treat", that she got free at the Festival. Then when I got home, I found a box from Deseret Book that had three more books in it: "1776", "Leven Thumbs and the Whispered Secret" and "Christmas in Haggerty." THAT'S 12 BOOKS!!!!! I must be crazy. And just how do those authors sign so many books and write as much as they do? or draw? That is just phenomenal. My hands hurt in sympathy. Besides, they were all so gracious and visited with you while they signed. I was so impressed.
I look forward to attenting the Festival next year. Maybe I could travel to similar festivals in other areas. Wow, two pleasures in one. Rating: 10

Sunday, October 29, 2006

On October 12 through October 15, my mother, sister, brother and I drove through beautiful Colorado. We met in Grand Junction, which is a wonderful smallish city near the western border of Colorado. This picture was taken of the Colorado River from Rifle as we drove up I-70 to Glenwood Springs and then down to Aspen. Everyone knows Aspen. We spent some time there looking in very fancy shops and admiring the mountain scenery. It is very much the tourist town. What I remember best is the smell of the fallen leaves as we walked through the tree-lined plazas in the shopping area. From Aspen we drove to Independence Pass on a narrow (sometimes only one lane) winding, sheer-drop to the side road. While the trees are gorgeous between Grand Junction and Rifle; they've mostly fallen as you travel north. Independence Pass is just snow covered. And it is windy and soooooo cold. It's the highest pass in the country and where we crossed the Continental Divide. Down from the Divide is the old mining town of Leadville. The Miners Museum was of great interest to my brother, the history teacher. Soon we reached Denver and checked into a very scary motel. Needless to say, my sister forgo her early morning walks the two days we spent in this neighborhood. The plus was that it was close to downtown. That next morning in Denver found us lined up to go into the Denver Mint. I was disappointed that they no longer show the gold bars (damn terrorists are ruining everything) but it was fascinating to watch them put the unminted discs into the machines and turn out real money. A short walk from the Mint led us to the State Capitol building. Close by is the architectural wonder, the Denver Art Museum. Unfortunately, we did not get to spend as much time there as we would have liked. We also visited Molly Brown's house before traveling south to Littleton to see the LDS Temple. We were not sad to leave our motel the next morning to head west again. First stop was the Coors factory in Golden. The process of brewing beer was incredible to watch. Our bus tour guide was hilarious. Golden is a great town and we enjoyed shopping an old-time variety store there. Then we started back over the Rockies just in time to hit a snow storm. Luckily the roads weren't too bad and it soon turned to rain. Along the way, we stopped in Georgetown, another charming mining town and Vail, a typical ski resort. Things warmed up as we got closer to Grand Junction. Right now, we are planning our next year's trip to the area around Grand Junction and Moab, Utah. But that's a year away. I was glad to visit Denver but don't feel a need to go there again. But the mountains of Colorado are beautiful. There are more sights to be seen there. It was just fun to spend time enjoying each other's company and the gorgeous views and interesting sites.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I was away from my computer for four days last week. Four!!!! "What can happen in four days?", you ask. Good question. Whenever I get on the computer, first thing I check is my e-mail. The link is listed on my favorites. Only, this time, the usual site didn't come up. I got an error message. Over and over again. I finally found a home page for my provider completely different from the one I was used to. Then I had to figure out how to get to my e-mail. But I got there and it wanted my user name and password. Huh??? I have been with this provider for six years and have never needed this information before. The computer remembers all this whenever I connect to the internet. So I had to find where I had hidden that information. Of course, it was in the most logical place in the world, at least it was logical six years ago. Finally, my e-mail was up. But the whole page has been re-designed. It looks like the page where my suspicious e-mail used to be sent waiting for my thumbs-up or down. But there were my messages. At least my messages sent after Thursday. All my previous messages are gone, gone, gone to some unfathomable and dark abyss. I read what I could and found an interesting one to forward to others (Not something I do very often). But what the H*&^%**ck! MY ADDRESS BOOK IS GONE. Oh, the agony. The horror. The violation. They've gone too far. I've been a model customer up to this point, but a person can only take so much. Tomorrow, I will be on the phone threatening chaos and disorder until my address book is released. Maybe I'll get lucky and get those saved messages also. I'm sure they were important or why would I be saving them? Wish me luck, folks. I'll need it as I'm really very polite. I just don't know how much chaos and disorder I can create with common courtesy. In the back of my mind runs the thought that I've done something dumb and created the whole mess myself. In that case, my provider is wonderful and can fix any mess I create.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Bankers Retreat to Moab

I just spent two days at a conference at the Red Cliffs Lodge near Moab, Utah. An associate and I drove down early Wednesday morning leaving Vernal headed the east. The sights differed so widely on this trip. Let's just say the area around Rangely, Colorado is pretty bland and desolate. Then we headed up Douglas Pass which I'm sure was breathtaking a few weeks ago. Now the autumn colors have faded greatly but the view is still wonderful even if the drive is a little treacherous. Once you hit I-70, it became pretty bland and desolate again. We turned off 70 south for Moab and it wasn't long before we saw the famous red cliffs which make this area so breathtaking. This is the third time, the bank has treated the managers to a fall retreat at the Red Cliffs and I still haven't had a chance to explore the rest of the area. Someday. But what a setting for a business conference. Actually, it's almost torture being surrounded by the Colorado River and red cliffs all around, and we're stuck inside discussing banking. The first two years, my room's patio opened right onto the river looking east. I loved going out and taking a walk just as the sun was rising over those red rocks. Fabulous. This year I was in the west wing and could walk out to a little babbling brook with a small water fall. Not quite as spectacular but very, very, very nice. If you go to Moab and can afford it, this is the place to stay. They are now growing grape vines and the lodge is surrounded by them. As for the conference, it was banking business, do you really want to know?? The food was great and I will put in a plug for the entertainer last evening. His name is Ryan Harrington and he looks like a cross between Howdy Doody and Jerry Seinfeld. Absolutely hilarious. He lives in Salt Lake and recently won a national comedian award. I'd share a joke or two but without the timing and his facial expressions, what would be the use? So my resolution is to return someday and visit the Arches National Monument (or is it a park and what's the difference?) and Monument Valley. The Lodge has a small museum dedicated to movies that have been filmed in the area. Maybe that will entice my daughter to visit with me even if we have to stay somewhere closer to my price range. Maybe we can lunch there and sit on the verando overlooking the river.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

People I Really Admire: Segment One

affectionately known as Honest Abe, the Great Emancipator, and Father Abraham. I just finished reading his biography and it reinforced my feelings of how great this man was. He is ranked as one of our three greatest presidents. It was interesting to read how this man rose from such lowly beginnings to become so politically astute, intellectually superior, and able to understand human nature so well. I wonder how the reconstruction of the South would have been different if he had lived to finish his second term. He certainly was committed to bringing the rebellious states back into the fold with as little recriminations as possible. I like these quotes about Lincoln from some his contemporaries and the author of the biography:
Charles A Dana: "Lincoln was a supreme politician. He understood politics because he understood human nature . . . There was no flabby philanthropy about Abraham Lincoln. He was all solid, hard, keen intelligence combined with goodness."
Horace Greely, no admirer of Lincoln in his lifetime: "He was not a born king of men . . . but a child of the people, who made himself a great persuader, therefore a leader, by dint of firm reolve, patient effort and dogged perseverance. He slowly won his way to eminence and fame by doing the work that lay next to him--doing it with all his growing might--doing it as well as he could, and learning by his failure, when failure was encountered, how to do it better. There was probably no year of his life when he was not a wiser, cooler and better man that he had been the year preceding."
Benjamin P. Thomas: "Essentially he had embodied the easygoing, sentimental, kindly spirit of America, which revolts at extreme measures, but moves steadily, if sometimes haltingly, toward lofty goals. Success had come to him, and to the nation that he served, because he had lived and governed according to its ideals."
I would like to share some of his sayings that struck a chord in me.
From a political speech given in New York in 1859: "Let us have faith that right makes makes might, and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."
From the Gettysburg Address: "But in a larger sense we can not dedicate--we can not consecrate-- we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honoured dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion --that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain;"
Found online: “Things may come to those who wait, but only those things left behind by those who hustle.”
My personal favorite: "When you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you surely will."
Any quotes that you especially like?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Autumn Day

In a recent meme, I explained that fall to me was when the colors changed, the air was crisp, and I had to turn the gas heater on. Happy times, I think autumn has arrived. The heater is on, albeit turned to low because I was almost fried to a crisp earlier today. That heater wasn't turned on because of a dateline either. In fact, I have been quite chilled lately by the crispness of the air. It's extremely invigorating. And the colors. I drove to Salt Lake Monday afternoon for meetings. As I climbed the hill leaving Heber, I could see touches of red among the scrub oak. I knew that our UEA trip was going to be too late to see the really great fall colors. That premonition was fulfilled when I drove through the same area Wednesday evening. The whole hillside was ablaze. What a gorgeous sight! I decided to drive the speed limit so I didn't endanger anyone as I gawked at the beauty around me. Thankfully, the Ashley Valley hasn't changed colors yet so I will be able to savor it over the next few weeks. I have three trees in my front yard that usually put on a great show, but the maples in the back have been very disappointing, going directly to brown at the first frost. I believe I need a few oaks back there to spice things up. Definitely, no more trees will be planted until the fall potential is thoroughly investigated. All this seasonality reminded me of a favorite Primary song:
"Autumn Day, Autumn Day, God gives richest gifts today.
Look on every side and see Pleasant things for you and me.
Apples red and apples yellow, Round and juicy, sweet and mellow,
Load the trees till they bend over And their branches touch the clover.
Child, be glad with all that lives, But forget not God who gives."
Pretty song, great sentiment. There's a good reason why Thanksgiving is in the fall.
I've even accomplished some of the things I wanted to do before the end of September.
1. I have new bedding in all the bedrooms. There is now a Red Room, Green Room and the Lilac Room. (Someday, the Lilas Room will have more that one lilac pillow, hence the name.)
2. The bad grass is dead. No new grass, but hey, why change that beautiful square of brush?
3. I bought some mats to help with the "Framed Project."
4. I've visited two sisters. That's 50%.
5. The CD drive still doesn't work, but I've received lots of great advice. Also, about half my pictures has been saved to a disc and I recently ordered 53 pictures to be printed at Snapfish.com. Unfortunately, I entered the order twice so I will be getting doubles. One in matte and the other glossy. Jeez. I never received a confirmation on the first order and the expiration date on the card was wrong, so how did they process it? I tried to cancel it two seconds later, but was informed that their system was too automated to change any online orders. It's a website, what other kind of orders could they possibley get?
6. I hurried to the hotel from Barnes and Noble (not an easy feat, but probably money-saving), stopped at Arctic Circle (I've missed it so much since the one in Vernal closed. What a disappointment. I remember it as being better), and settled in to watch Dancing with the Stars. I did miss the first set, but saw the rest. Tucker Carlson was horrible, Jerry Springer was better than anticipated but still bad, and Mario Lopez, well, let's just say, handsome Latino with great dimples who can really cha-cha-cha. It was a pleasure. I'm afraid Relief Society is going on a hike the same night as Gray's Anatomy's premier. Rats, who planned that?? Oh well, now I have to figure out how to get all those women back before nine. The next Thursday, we're reviewing Pride and Prejudice at my house!! Curse the network Gods for moving Gray to Thursday.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Five Foods You Really Must Try

Ouch, I've been tagged and I felt so unworthy to discuss this topic. "Wait a minute." I says to myself, says I, "I may not cook a lot, but I can eat with the best of them. " So while I'll share a couple of the things I like to prepare myself, the rest is the kind someone else cooks, my favorite kind.

1. Peach-Cream Cheese Dessert This is made in a 9 x 13 pan with graham cracker crust, a layer of cream cheese, margarine, sugar and vanilla (feel those arteries clogging??), topped with a layer of sliced fresh peaches, covered with real whipping cream. I don't make it often because I hate peeling peaches and there is only a certain time of year when they are ripe enough. (Sorry, folks, it's not the 4th of July. I've finally learned)

2. Sex in a Pan I just like telling people this is the dessert I'm bringing. No, I don't make it for church. People would pass up the main course and head right to dessert. You probably know it as something else. It's another layered dessert with a nut and flour crust, cream cheese layer, chocolate pudding layer and Cool Whip layer. Easy to make and everyone likes it, (except for those weirdos who pretend to not like chocolate)

3. Tuscan Chicken Salad @ Johnny Carrino's I could be wrong about the name of this salad, but if you get the chance to eat at Johnny Carrino's, this is the dish I recommend. Fantastic dressing.

4. Lettuce Wraps @ P F Changs There are a lot of wonderful entrees at P F Changs, but always, always start with the lettuce wraps. It is a mystery to me how they get that lettuce so crisp and uniform.

5. Carmelized Pear Pizza @ California Pizza Factory I can't describe this except to say it is truly wonderful. Don't let the name put you off. (This is not a dessert)

Now, I'm making an addition to this meme by requesting recipes for five things I would like to make. If you can help, please comment.

1. Sour Cream Lemon Pie
2. The world's best pasta salad. I've had several good ones, but this one had ranch dressing, olives, ham, cheese, olive oil (I think) and other good stuff. The restaurant wouldn't give me the recipe. What's up with that?
3. Boysenberry Cobbler. I could probably figure this out, but where do you get boysenberries?
4. A delicious but easy casserole to take to sick friends
5. A good zucchini bread or cake

I see that I am inordinately interested in desserts. I know that makes me the odd man out, a loner on a deserted island, the Queen of Spades in a game of Hearts, the Ugly American . . . can I stop now? I honestly tried to focus on other food groups, but things are what they are.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Five

I borrowed this idea from "Write from Karen" as it seemed a good journal entry. Hopefully, next year I'll read this and remember what I was all about this year.

1. This is the 1st of September, what do you want to accomplish by the 31st.
a. Get new bedding for my three bedrooms.
b. Visit at least four sisters in my ward who could use a visit.
c. Get back on a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
d. Kill the bad grass and get new planted.
e. Finish the framed picture project for my hallway.
f. Figure out what is wrong with my computer's D drive and either replace it or do something else to get my pictures printed.
g. Watch Dancing with the Stars and Gray's Anatomy season openers.
2. What does September make you think about or feel?
I love September. There is a touch of fall in the air in the mornings but it is still warm. The leaves start turning at the end of the month. People start slowing down for a while after hectic summers and before the craziness of the holidays begin. I start looking forward to the annual UEA trip with Mom, sisters and brothers. Also the Indian Summer Storytelling Festival is on the 14th and 15th, the third annual event. If you can be in Vernal on those days, it's so much fun. And proceeds go to the local schools' libraries.
3. September is the ninth month; can you name nine memories so far from this year?
1. I turned 50 in February. One of the funnest birthdays I've ever had. We celebrated at work and then my son and his wife visited and we celebrated all weekend. High school friends showed up that morning with a cane (complete with horn and review mirror), epsom salts, reading glasses and Ben Gay.
2. Enjoyed my first experience with blogging and keeping in closer touch with family members, and talking to new friends.
3. Called to be the Relief Society President in my ward.
4. My old boss, Dave, transferred to Orem and the new boss, Preston, moved to Vernal with lots of new ideas. I'm remembering a lot of stress, even though Preston is really a nice guy, just so incredibly smart.
5. Spoke in church in March about feeling the love of the Lord in your life each day. Something I need to remember more often. (Not the speaking, just the love . . . life would be much calmer and more peaceful.
6. A trip to St. George in June with my high school friends to celebrate our 50th milestone.
7. Jason and Rachel's February wedding in St. George and reception in Cedar City, and seeing as many beautiful homes in the Parade of Homes as possible.
8. The Big C
9. The Year of Books, another positive side effect of blogging.
4. What does September have in common with three other months and can you name them?
It ends with "ber" just like October, November and December. Other than that, I compare it to October, April and May because Fall and Spring are my favorite times of the year; mild, gorgeous weather just when you've had it with winter and summer.
5. The first weekend in September signals the end of summer for many even though it doesn’t really end for weeks. When does summer end for you?
The end of summer for me is when the leaves are suddenly orange, yellow, red and brown. There is that crisp nip in the air and I have to close the window at night. Summer is really over when I turn the gas heater on. Hopefully, this year, I'll get the dead flowers pulled out or cut down.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Alternate Meanings

borrowed this list from Merle because it made me laugh.

<><> Alternate Meanings for established words: <><>
1. Coffee -- a person who is coughed upon.
2. Flabbergasted – appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate -- to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade – to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly -- impotent. 6
. Negligent – describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph -- to walk with a lisp. ??
8. Gargoyle – an olive flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence – emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steam-roller. 10. Balderdash – a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle – a humorous question on an exam.
12. Pokemon – A Jamaican proctologist.

I stay in my office to avoid becoming a coffee. I am flabbergasted and have completely abdicated. I don't esplanade and have never been negligent. I may lymph especially after an encounter with the Pokemon. Never been in a flatulence, used gargoyle or testicles and don't suffer from balderdash or willy-nilly.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Big C has Left the Building

I don't want to repeat the last two days anytime soon. But it is nice to say that my little procedure is now a memory. At least the prep is a memory, not a great one. Everyone said that is the worst and it is completely true. The best thing I can say about it is that is probably the cleanest my insides have ever been. Soooooo, moving along. I have never been so thirsty in my life. After breakfast, all I had was clear liquids right up to the midnight hour. Then I could have nothing except a repeat of the cleansing cocktail which I had taken at 7 pm. The second dose I took at 7 am but without a liquid chaser. I brushed my teeth twice but the taste lingered on. And it's incredibly salty. My breath could have knocked over the doctor by the time I reached the hospital at 10. Keeping in mind that I have been on clear liquids most of the previous day, and most of that gone, you can imagine that I am a little on the freezing side. And the hospital is also freezing. But they did wrap me up in a warmed blanket that felt wonderful for about five minutes. Plus my cleansing cocktail is still working. Not until 11:15 do I get wheeled into the operating room. From my last surgery, I remember wheeling down that long bright hall into the operating room and then it was lights out. Today, I had a chance to really look around. Nothing like TV. My doctor is waiting at the door and I express my concern about the cocktail effects. He said only women worry about, men could care less. Wanting to put my best foot forward, I reply that we just want to be all clean and pretty, hoping a little levity will keep him relaxed. I guess it worked because he starts talking in a German accent. This freaks me out but I hide it well. I'm pretty sure I didn't imagine it because I haven't been medicated yet. So they start hooking me up to machines, take my blood pressure twice, bring out this instrument of torture which I would have preferred not to see, and the doc asks to roll over on my side facing away from him. (Is it my breath?) The last thing I remember is watching my heart beat on the monitor. Two seconds later I wake up, only the clock says it is 12:30 and I'm in the recovery room and my blood pressure cuff is tightening yet again. In walks my brother, Steve and his wife, Verona, come to take me home. They wheel me out to the car and Verona drives me home. I was a little rude as I walked right into the bedroom and fell asleep. Later I wake up, and hear Steve and Verona watching a movie, "Baptists at Our Barbecue," a real LDS favorite. I join them and remember they were asked to stay with me for four hours. I feel bad they have given up their whole day and send them home. Back to sleep. When I wake up, I seem to remember the nurse giving me pictures taken during the procedure. Surely that isn't true. It is, they are sitting on the kitchen counter. Yuck. But clean. Pretty?? I'm not going there. I can't find my car keys. I hope Verona has them. Good thing I have a spare. And it just occurred to me that I don't remember getting dressed. Weird. Next week, I go in to find out the results and I also get to have the Big M. Oh, grow up. Everyone knows what the Big M is.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Big C

I'm not sure why I chose this image. My doctor doesn't look anything like this one and he didn't check out my throat at my annual last week. No fear, he checked out everything else. That little hammer of his sure can make my legs kick when he pounds on my knees. He even inquired about the reason for my weight loss. Keep in mind, it's been over a year since he's seen me, and he doesn't come across as the most observant person (in a non-doctor situation), so I was impressed that he noticed. (It was before I actually got on the scales) When I told him it was because he scared me so much at last year's exam, he explained that he thought I might have a love interest. I detected a note of disappointment. Isn't that just like a man? That I would only lose weight for another man and not to improve my health. And why didn't he remember that he was the one who strenuously adviced me to lost weight? Maybe because I never took this advice before. But it is nice that he would like me to have a social life. After all, he delivered both my babies, removed my gall bladder, comforted me when I was pregnant and separated from my soon-to-be ex-husband. Who else would ask me as I perched on the edge of his unspeakably uncomfortable chair with jarring back pain, "So are you ready to lose weight yet?" (It was another ten years before I could answer in the affirmative) So after the exam, we sat and chatted for a while. Doc is infamous for ripping the paper gown half way down the front in order to get his stethoscope where he can listen to my "Deep breath in, out, deep breath in" you get it. So we discussed politics while I sat on the examming table clutching the paper gown in front of me. False modesty? Perhaps. Other years we have discussed books, malpractice insurance, finances, etc. and I must say it can get a little cold when all you're wearing is a ripped paper gown. Anyway, it occurred to him that I had reached my life pinnacle, The Big 50! So when you saw the title to this blog, you may have thought of Calcium, Cholestrol, Cataracts or even Cancer. No, it is much worse. I can't even bring myself to write the word. So the procedure is next week and hopefully everything checks out. After looking for an image for this post, I can honestly say that I'm not looking forward to it. Now I know having a colo . . whoops, almost got me, I know it's not as bad as cancer. So far, I'm happy to avoid that and with Doc's help, I hope to remain healthy for many years to come. The question is, after thirty years with him, what will I do when he retires? (Book, try to keep the sarcastic remarks down to a minimum. We have the same doctor, but vastly different experiences)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Long-awaited Answers

I enjoyed seeing the answers given on my "Take Your Pick" quiz. So as not to be offended, I avoided giving choices that might have negative connotations. As I said, this is a fun game and interesting to see how we perceive each other. Here are the right answers in bold, based on everyone accepting the premise that I know myself best:
1. Light purse, heavy heart . . . . . . . . . . . . Great Talkers, Little Doers I don't talk that much, do I?
2. Home grown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Store bought I'm basically very lazy
3. Romance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mystery No brainer
4. New York City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .San Francisco Tough choice
5. Garnet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sapphire
6. Better slip with foot than tongue . . . . . .Well done is better than well said I'm a klutz
7. Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alaska See my reading blog, also fog vs. heat
8. Star Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lord of the Rings Harry Potter's No 1
9. The Cat in the Hat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Horton the Elephant Hate that cat
10. Bats in the Belfry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lost your marbles Both equally applicable
11. Bronte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Austen
12. Hugh Grant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Colin Firth What can I say, he has a great smile
13. Walmart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Target Smaller crowds, better quality
14. England . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Australia England, first, Australia, next
15. Foggy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Blazing heat Fog is great reading weather
16. Casual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Meticulous As long as the job gets done
17. Washington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lincoln I think the wig turned me off
18. Elvis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beatles Duh!!
19. Coincidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Planned
20. Myth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Parable
21. East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West
22. Dictionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atlas It's at my side whenever I read
23. Luscious . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lusty I'm more mental than physical???
24. Listen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Loyal I hope I'm a good listener. It's part of the job.
25. Loquacious . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Laconic See #1

Friday, August 11, 2006

43 Things - Yes It's Another List

I found this list on www.43things.com. I thought it was comment-worthy. There are all kinds of lists taken from people's answer to 43 things they want to do. This is just the top 15 of those listed under "Life."

Top 15 goals tagged life
1 - 15 (out of 100)
1.lose weight 12683 people
2.stop procrastinating 10291 people
3.write a book 8778 people
4.Fall in love 8513 people
5.be happy 7645 people
6.Get a tattoo 6575 people
7.get married 6517 people
8.drink more water 6502 people
9.go on a road trip with no predetermined destination 6277 people
10.Take more pictures 5929 people
11.travel the world 5867 people
12.see the northern lights 5712 people
13.Kiss in the rain 5430 people
14.Learn Spanish 5430 people
15.Save money 4904 people
Isn't it sad that the most people would say a life goal is to lost weight. And I am right there with them. I have lost some weight and plan on losing more. I think I will start on that tomorrow. Which leads to #2. Enough said. I believe #5 would have to head my list, followed by #1, #11, #9, #2, and #12. I'm wishy-washy on #4 and #7. I think #14 would be useful but it's not a driving ambition. #3 and #6 will probably never happen. And I think I have done #10, #8, #13 (would like to do that again) and #15 (It's an ongoing thing, never finished)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Take Your Pick

I bought a new game from a lady in my ward who does game parties along the lines of Pampered Chef and Creative Memories. My family has played it a couple of times and it's fun. Each card has a choice of two words and you try to guess which word a certain person will pick. Examples: Sunrise or sunset, mountain or beach, etc. You can order blank cards and make up your own choices. I thought of quite a few and decided to try them out on my blog to see how well you all know me. The first choice is A and the second is B. List your guesses in the comments section and then try this on your own blogs.
. . . . . . . A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .B
1. Light purse, heavy heart . . . . . . . . . . . . Great Talkers, Little Doers
2. Home grown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Store bought
3. Romance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Mystery
4. New York City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .San Francisco
5. Garnet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sapphire
6. Better slip with foot than tongue . . . . . .Well done is better than well said
7. Texas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alaska
8. Star Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lord of the Rings
9. The Cat in the Hat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Horton the Elephant
10. Bats in the Belfry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lost your marbles
11. Bronte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Austen
12. Hugh Grant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Colin Firth
13. Walmart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Target
14. England . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Australia
15. Foggy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Blazing heat
16. Casual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Meticulous
17. Washington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lincoln
18. Elvis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beatles
19. Coincidence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Planned
20. Myth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Parable
21. East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West
22. Dictionary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Atlas
23. Luscious . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lusty
24. Listen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Loyal
25. Loquacious . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Laconic
I thought a few "L" words make for a longer, lilting, lovely list. Look forward longingly for your leanings.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Five Lists

I am not one to pass up a list, so I will follow in Book's, Myke's and Katie's Five Footsteps. I believe Myke was hopping on one foot.
Five things in my fridge:
1. Assorted low-fat puddings and jellos. Yes, jello has no fat so mine is also sugar-free.
2. Activa yogurt. Yummy
3. Fresh corn and cucumbers from a lady at work. I sure appreciate a person who gardens.
4. 2 tupperware containers I was too scared to look in.
5. A loaf of seven-grain bread.
Five things in my purse:
1. 3 heavy sets of keys
2. Checkbook in a lovely lavender leather cover. Love those L's.
3. Assorted cards . . . credit, debit, library, insurance, business, license, Blockbuster, etc.
4. My driving glasses
5. $37, I'm rich
Five things in my car:
1. Sun visor
2. Two CD's . . "Under the Sea" by Keane (Not as good as their other one. but still good. Great on the piano and the lead singer has a beautiful voice) and "What's Left of Me" by Nick Lachy. (Not bad, I like it and he is surprisingly nice to look at, only not while I'm driving)
3. Scissors and adhesive tape
4. $1.86 in loose change
5. A gum wrapper that is not in the trash.
Five things in my closet (I forgot this list originally)
1. 18 jigsaw puzzles
2. Five purses
3. Old issues of the Ensign and Childrens Friend
4. Luggage
5. A huge stuffed lion and a small stuffed lamb lying down together
Five People I will Tag:
I'm like Book. What does this mean. I see the Katie has tagged me and most everyone that I might tag. So anyone else, tag, you're it.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Single Life

In the interest of leaving bits and pieces about me for my posterity (if I ever have more than just the one generation), I thought I would relate my activities this weekend. Hold on to your seats, folks, the excitement may be more than you can bear.
Friday evening: I consider my weekend to begin the minute I leave work on Friday. Visited McDonalds for a quick dinner. I can feel my arteries clogging up. I ran home and watered my lawn until eleven. Had a message inviting me out to dinner but had to turn it down. She brought me over fresh tomatoes anyway. Sweet!! Read blogs and e-mails. Continued reading the Bartimaeus Trilogy. I am now on Book Two. Bartimaeus is a crack-up but I will save that for a book review. Went to bed at 11 but I naturally couldn't sleep since I had to be up at 4 am.
Saturday: Dragged myself out of bed at 4 am, regretting every minute of lost sleep. Met other singles at the church for a trip to Salt Lake. The LDS Single Adults activities are interesting. I am usually the youngest one there although this time there were two younger women and a mentally handicapped young man about 23 who accompanied his grandmother. He had a blast, which made it more fun for all of us. Of the forty or so who made this trip, there were six married couples and two married men. One man was the bus driver and I'm not sure why the other guy came. I think the married couples are supposed to chaperone us which is a good thing since there was one single man on the bus, and he needed the protection. Actually, the married men are there to provide a priesthood presence and they bring their wives along to make the journey bearable. And we singles do need to be watched as the average age is about 70. Okay, most of this is tongue in cheek. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I slept most of the way out and part of the way home. But when I was awake, I had great company. We got to spend an hour in the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers museum which is very interesting. Beautiful pianos that were brought across the plains, wonderful quilts, tatting, old pictures of old people, etc. I wish there had been more information on some of those pictures. And why do those people never smile? My favorite display was the Fire Department room. They had a beautifully restored horse-drawn fire engine that positively glistened. An hour is not nearly enough time to really see much but it was time for lunch. We went to the Lion House. I personally love eating here. It is in the heart of downtown Salt Lake across from the ZCMI center and next to the Jospeh Smith Memorial Building. They usually have four entrees which change every day. Saturday was pork loin, salmon, and two kinds of chicken. It is served cafeteria style. I had salmon, mixed vegetables, corn bread, and fruit. I was so proud of myself for passing up the carrot cake as it is to-die-for. Actually they didn't have any displayed when I picked up the fruit and then, there it was. I was too ashamed to switch. The salmon was delightful, the vegetables fresh, the corn bread yummy. The fruit was okay but I really wanted the carrot cake. After lunch, we had a hour before the movie we had come to see began, so what should I do??? I ran across the street to Desert Book and loaded up. With time to spare, I rushed into Meier and Frank and bought jewelry. Then back across the street to the Joseph Smith building and downstairs to the distribution center, where I got fifty copies of the Proclamation to the Family and 50 pamphlets called Families, all free. (Guess what the 1st Sunday Relief Society lessons are about for the rest of the year) I can so power-shop when I need to. The rest of the group was quite jealous. Then on to the Legacy Theater also located in the JSMB to see the LDS church's latest production, "Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration." I understand some people think that Mormons worship Joseph Smith and all this name-dropping may confirm that, but actually, we don't. We worship Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but are eternally grateful to Joseph Smith for the blessing that the restored gospel has brought into our lives. The movie is excellent. I still like "The Testament", a movie about the Savior apppearing on the ancient American continent, best, but found this movie to be very well-done and extremely moving. It truly made Joseph Smith more human to me, as a son, brother, husband, father and friend to those around him, not to mention a prophet of God. His sacrifice for the Lord's work was incredible. The theater was completely silent at the end, which is amazing since half the theater was filled with members of a youth group. We then visited Temple Square and headed for home. I got home at eight to find a message telling me to bring my games to the barbecue at Steve's. WHAT BARBECUE? I didn't go, too tired. Watered more lawn, read more Triology, went to bed.
Sunday: Again, dragged myself out of bed at the more decent hour of 6:30. Attended church, had a great lesson on Family History, found out about some families in need, found another lady to visit teach, etc. etc. Came home and did laundry. Yes, the ox was in the mire. I watched the second movie in "Work and the Glory" series while folding laundry. I am now blogging and eating a Western Family brand cereal called "Oats and More." Suprisingly good. I have avoided taking a nap so maybe I will sleep well tonight and I am watering more lawn. It is a beautiful evening now that the wind had died and not hot at all. I am going to do some research for my lesson next Sunday and then it's back to Bartimaeus.
This is a pretty long posting about a quite uneventful weekend, but I'm told that we should chronicle even our mundane activities. Actually Saturday was unusual, but the rest. . . If nothing else, my posterity will read this and decide that being single is not the life for them. I swear married people do not have as many activities planned for them as we singles. So do I regret being single. Sometimes . . . but, oh, the peace and quiet, the freedom, the . . . well, you get the picture.

Monday, July 24, 2006

It is a Lame List, Lacking in Lustre. You may find it Laughable, Learned, Lengthy, Lethargic or even Laudable. Be Lenient in My Larcenous Lament

I borrowed this idea from Cardine because I like lists. It's a quick way to jot down whatever comes to your mind, an interesting journal technique.
1. The time: 9:25 a.m.
2. Name: Shaneen
3. Piercings: One in each ear. I had two others you can vauguely see but I can't get earrings in them.
4. The most recent movie seen in the theater: Lady in the Water. I liked how M Night Shyamalan played his part in the movie, regardless of what the critics say. Paul Giametti was great. Yes I jumped whenever the scary creature appeared. I'd liked to watch it one more time without the jumping to see the things I missed by hiding my face. But I don't want to buy it.
5. Place of birth: St. John, Newfoundland
6. Favorite Foods: Chocolate
7. Ever been to Africa: No, but I would love to see the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings
8. Ever been toilet-papering: Yes. Who hasn't?
9. Loved someone so much it made you cry: I cried when I got divorced, but that was not love so much as sadness. But I love my kids enough to cry over them.
10. Been in a car accident: Yes and it was my fault. I'm still a jumpy driver.
11. Croutons or bacon bits: I prefer sunflower seeds but croutons are good too.
12. Favorite day of the week: Friday, the day of anticipation.
13. Favorite Restaurant: Don't have one. Just feed me and I'm happy.
14. Favorite Flower: Deep red peonies. I have one bush that grows these and they are gorgeous. If you could just get rid of the ants. Cardine likes flowers better than chocolate. I would prefer diamonds.
15. Favorite sport to watch: Pro basketball
16. Favorite drink: Water.
17. Favorite ice cream: Chocolate chip with those little tiny chocolate chip dots with the occasional clumps that no one makes any more which makes it easier to avoid this disastrous temptation.
18. Disney or Warner Brothers: Disney. I prefer Mickey Mouse over Bugs Bunny
19. Favorite fast food restaurant: McDonalds.
20.Color of your bedroom carpet: Rust, I hate it. It's so 70's. My dream color is a nice soft, grayish lavendar.
21. Number of times you failed your driver's test: Once. When I was sisteen, I flunked the driving test. I was devastated. I didn't go back and retry for six months.
22. From whom you got your last e-mail: Some guy selling Viagra. How do I get my filter back on? Do I need Viagra? Is there something I don't know about?
23. What do you do most often when you are bored: Play Zuma
24. Bedtime: About 11 pm
25. The person most likely to comment on this post the quickest: Booklogged
26. Responses to this post you the most curious about: Cassie. I wouldn't let her read this while I was typing it.
27. Favorite TV shows: Extreme Makeover (Love Ty Pennington) and Gray's Anatomy. ( Love Dr. McDreamy) I like the Rock Star reality show. Those people are really talented.
28. Last persons you ate with: Cassie, Cheya, Myke, Katie, Alyson, Kristi, Ronnie, Jenny, John, Megan, Jeff, Steve, Verona, Ryan, Julie, Brinli, Aubri, Riker and my mom. KFC and potluck. We played Trivial Pursuit afterwards and I did the best for a change. Got lucky on the questions.
29. Dream car: The 2007 Nissa Maxima. Just saw it on a commercial and it called my name.
30. What you are listening to right now: The SLC July 24th parade on the the TV. Cassie is watching it. It's very annoying.
31. Your favorite colors: Blue and yellow. Or Lavendar and sage. It's too hard to decide.
32. How many tattoos you have: None. Not even tempted. Too painful.
33. How many pets you have: Zero My cat disappeared a few years ago and now I'm just alone.
34. Which came first, the chicken or the egg: I'll take a wild guess and say the chicken. Have there been any scientific studies done on this?
35. This question was missing so I'll discuss a couple of interesting things I came across while searching in my lexicon for this title. Leitmotif: Somehow I always associated this with decorating but it also deals with Wagnerian operas. Hmmm. Least common denominator: After reading others blogs and checking on those who comment on mine, I find our least common denominator is that we do blogs. Otherwise we are a very diverse bunch. There are probably more L words I could have used but I got tired of looking in the L's.
36. The last thing you think at night: Put the book away . . . put the book away . . . put the book away. . . put the boo . . . zzzzz
37. Time you finished answering: 9:50 a.m. What time did you finish reading this post?