Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Family Pics

The day before Thanksgiving, we had family pictures taken out in my mom's field.  Jordan's friend, Mindy Gale, and her sister have started a photography business.  Take a look.  There are several shots I really like that I will be getting printed, but I really need a 11 x 14 for an frame that's been hanging on the wall empty for far too long.  My main concern was that it had to be a landscape shot because that is how the frame is hung.  The shots with all five of us all have something wrong with them but all have great things as well.  I know, you can't expect five people to all look good at the same time.  Anyway, I'm posting the ones I like the best and letting you all help me decide.  Please be honest in your comments.  I'm not putting them in any particular order so you won't know which one I'm leaning towards.  All but the second picture also have a sepia version so you can try to picture that.  Try clicking on the picture to see it bigger.  I don't know if that will work or not, but ...  Please comment on which one you like best and why.  Thanks for your input.







Saturday, December 12, 2009

O Christmas Tree

This year I bought a new artificial pre-lit tree that has both multi-colored and white lights.  It was a beast to put together.  So heavy.  But I love not putting on the lights.  That alone makes this a worthwhile purchase.  Plus, the remote control is fantastic.  The tree even revolves, but I can't see myself ever using that feature.  That would mean I would have to decorate that side that's up against the wall.  Jeez.  After I finally got the tree up and plugged in, I noticed a three-foot section where the white lights did not come on.  (Grit my teeth and try not to swear)  Finally, after moving the wires around, they came on.  Brand new tree and there seems to be a short in the wiring.  A few days later, I finally put on some decorations.  This year, I went with my Santa theme; and I'm quite pleased with the whole thing.  I'm posting some pictures, but the flash fades out the lights making the tree not as pretty.  I did take a couple without a flash.  See what you think.












Friday, December 04, 2009

November Notes


I love November.  It is the month of my favorite holiday.  Yes, winter is slowly creeping in and the fall leaves are faded and littering the lawn; but it's still on the warm side and Thanksgiving is on its way.  Here's what I did through the month.

1 - 6.  I took the week off to clean the house and get ready for my Thanksgiving guests.  It was a great opportunity to get rid of some stuff to take to DI and send other stuff to the dump.  I also got to start my temple shift when everyone else does.  I usually go at 5:30 pm but the shift actually starts at 3:00.  I was still late for the prayer meeting but did get to see all the sisters who work on that shift.  Sometimes, you get so busy that you go a whole evening and not see someone. 

9.  I had my first telephone call with my new boss.  He is quite different than other supervisors I've had and very different from the one just previous.  I sense I am really going to have to kick it in gear.  Since we've been moved into a new district, I also have to get used to the way things are down in a more urban market. 

11.  Veteran's Day.  The bank gave us a paid holiday this year.  I t was nice to just sit in the house and enjoy it being clean. 

20.  I drove to Moab with two co-workers for Don Cook's retirement party.  He was my supervisor for just about six months, but I really grew to appreciate him.  It was good to see some faces from the Southern Utah division.  I've worked with some of these people my whole career and will miss them. 

24.  I had my first goal setting session with new boss.  It was grueling, but I can see where I can really improve my performance and help my employees do the same.  There is a lot to be learned.  I wish I wasn't so old and tired.

25.  Cassie arrived last night and Jordan, Stacey and Lincoln came about noon.  They had had a rough trip as Lincoln got sick all over the car and carseat.  Yuck.  After tumbling over my exercise ball (the most action it's had for years), he went down for a nap and we cleaned the seat.  Then everyone got ready to go get family pictures taken.  Cassie and Stacey had to pick out what I would wear.  It started out fun taking pictures in Mom's field and by her old cow shed.  Jordan's high school friend, Mindy, and her sister took the pictures.  Lincoln was not very cooperative; but I hope there are some good shots.  Mostly, it was just good having them all there.  I got to watch Lincoln that night and put him to bed.  He's so sweet. 


26.  Thanksgiving Day.  We slept in, had a good breakfast and headed over to Mom's for dinner.  It was soooo good.  Alyson came from Las Vegas, Scott from Salt Lake; and everyone from Vernal was there.  We all wrote what we were grateful for, put the cards in a basket; and drew one to read.  Great stuff.  After dinner, we played games and talked until there was room enough for pie.  After dark, a bunch of us went outside to see the space station and shuttle as they passed overhead.  It was cold but fun.  Then Mom gave us all a scare as she got dizzy and almost passed out.  Luckily Jenny and Julie were right there to catch her.  Mark and Cheya took her to the hospital and the rest of us went home to await word.  It turned out to be dehydration and extremely low blood pressure; the doctor soon had her feeling much better.  She didn't even have to spend the night.  We were all so grateful because it was pretty scary at the time.  She got a good rest that night which is more than I can say for those at my house.  Lincoln decided he didn't like sleeping in the portable crib or with Grandma and just wanted to play in bed with Mom.  When I finally got up the next morning, he was asleep on the couch and his dad was sleeping on the floor.  Happy Anniversary, Jordan and Stacey.  I hope next year things go smoother. 

27.  Vernal plans a whole slew of activities to get ready for the holiday season.  I was excited to take Lincoln to ride the ponies and see the camel.  He got to pet the camel on the nose and talk to the ponies.  He has "Neigh" done all the way.   He was so cute when his turn to ride finally came.
 

Definitely not cute when his turn was over.  Good heavens, that kid can scream.  He was probably hungry.  Back to Mom's for a lunch of leftovers and then Jordan, Stacey and Lincoln headed for the city.  That night we played games again.  As always, Cheya and Myke had some new games that were fun.  It seemed every game we played, Scott won.  Dang. 

28.  Cassie and I went to the matinee and really enjoyed the movie.  We played more games that night. 

29.  We really relaxed this day.  I don't even remember what we did after I got home from church.  Cassie did't leave until six that night but got home safely.  So the holiday is over and it's back to work.

Books Read
I read ten books and 2928 pages.  I finally finished the Chronicles of Narnia series.  Can you believe I had never read those books?  None of the ten books really stood out in my mind.  There were a couple I wouldn't recommend but they weren't horrible.  Just kind of a boring reading month.

Movies
The movie Cassie and I went to see was Blindside with Sanda Bullock.  I really liked it and thought she was fantastic in it.  We also watched The Jungle Book and the Sword in the Stone with Lincoln.  He mostly played while the movies were on except during the songs.  Then he would dance. 

TV
Dancing with the Stars is over; and Donny Osmond won.  I was rooting for Joanna Krup but Donny was my second choice.  He wasn't the best dancer but was certainly the most fun to watch.  It was also fun to watch Kelly Osbourn.  She just improved so much over the season.  I'm still watching Castle, Gray's Anatomy and have added Flash Forward to my schedule. 

Overall Impression
This month just flew by.  I was so caught up in all the changes at work that I didn't do much of anything else.  I can't see that December is going to be much different.  Still it was fun to spend so much time with my family.  I got a new calling at church -- Family History Specialist.   I don't have a clue but it will be fun learning about family history and geneaology.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

October Outcomes


In England, the first week of October is Children's Book Week.  What a great idea.  Germany celebrates Unity Day and Canada has its Thanksgiving.  Columbus is the second Monday, Apple Day on the 21st and everyone's favorite, Halloween, is on the 31st.  It is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  October's birthstone is the opal and the flower is the calendula. 

The weather really started changing this month.  The mornings had that great crisp, clean, cold smell of fall.  We even had some snow.  The wind blew for days, but there's still some hardy leaves hanging on for dear life.  How can I rake them when they're still up there?  Guess I won't.  Here's what happened in my life.

2.  I mowed the lawn for the last time this year and I turned on the heater.  (This is going to be a really slow news month)
3-4.  General Conference.  Some really great talks as usual.  Sometimes it's nice to just on the couch in your pj's, eating breakfast and getting your spiritual cup filled. 
14-18.  Mom, Mark, Susan and I drove from Salt Lake City to Reno for our annual fall trip.  Luckily it was overcast on the drive west, and we saw some beautiful skies and interesting lights on the hills. 

With a low tank, we almost stopped in a little hamlet called Puckerbush, but Mark felt like going on to a bigger hamlet.  I'm not sure there is anything bigger between Winnemucca and Reno, but we did finally find a station before the tank was completely dry.  We checked into our rooms at Circus, Circus and ate dinner at The Smokin Gecko BBQ, located int the hotel.  I had barbecue chicken with baked beans and corn on the cob.  Mmmm.  We had such good luck with food on this trip, never a bad meal.  Except for the McDonalds breakfast the next morning.  That was probably our fault as we couldn't seem to get our orders straight.  We headed west to Donners Pass.  The visitor's center there was so interesting, reading about that ill-fated pioneer group, their courage and will to survive.  While driving over the pass, we saw the worse weather of the trip, some cold rain; but the pass is beautiful with great craggy rocks and cliffs.  Then down into sunny California.  We turned left at Auburn and went down a windy road toward Sutter's Mill, passing through Cool.  We had a good time boning up on our gold history at the Mill.  Lunch was at Mel's Original Diner in Placerville.  Great hamburgers.  Next came Lake Tahoe.  What a beautiful view as we traveled up the west side of the lake.

Mark and Susan climbed some rocks overlooking the lake but it was getting dark so we headed back to Reno.  A light night snack at an ice cream shop and we were ready for bed.  Friday we did the river walk in downtown Reno. What an amazing place to have right in the middle of the city. It was absolutely beautiful. There was a sculpture exhibit right off the river that we had a great time perusing. Next, it was south towards Carson City and the the capitol building. What beautiful fall colors that city had. The capitol building is completely surrounded by trees, you can barely see it. And it is very small. The legislature and judicial branches have separate buildings. We took a driving tour and looked at some historical houses around the city. The Governor's Mansion was completely decked out for Halloween. That's a big day for Nevada as it joined the nation on Halloween. However, I thought the Governor overdid it, very gaudy. Still it was fun to see everyone put so much effort into this holiday. We drove down to Gardnerville hoping to see some Basque culture, but missed it. Heading north and west, we came to Genoa (accent on the o since we are not in Italy) to see the first Mormon settlement in Nevada. It was closed for the season but we did walk around the fort and read some of the markers. We did some shopping and visited with some storeowners, very friendly and knowledgeable. There is a great candy store where we spent some time. The owner kept winking at me. What???? We tasted several samples of gelatto before realizing that several had alcohol in them. Annnnyway, it was a fun experience. We then drove back to Tahoe to see the eastern shore. It's a gorgeous lake but way over populated now. This is my favorite shot that I took of the lake. My camera with the zoom was acting so weird and took multiple shots every time I pushed the shutter. So I would have two or three pictures of the exact thing.

Coming back into Reno, we decided to visit the temple. It is not an easy building to find. We even called to get directions but that was just a little bit of help. The problem is that it was dark, you have turn on this certain road; and we just couldn't see the street sign, drove past it two or three times. Mark kept his cool but  it was hard.  Eventually, we made it up the hill and took some pictures of that. The temple sits on a hill overlooking Reno and has a great view. Here's Mom, Mark and Susan huddling up as it was a bit cold.

That night we ate at Louis' Basque Corner. You share a table with other diners and we hit the jackpot with the two couples we ate with. Bryan is of Basque origin and gave us great tips on what to eat. He is a government contractor.  He and his wife were in town opening a major highway. Very fun people. The other couple are college professors from a small town in Northeastern California. Very interesting and fun to talk to. We had a great time. We got up early on Saturday and headed to Virginia City. Since we got there early, we were able to get a good seat at a restaurant that had been restored to fit the Old West. Great breakfast in a great setting. The town itself is way overcommercialized. We were going to take a wagon trip around the town to see the sites, but the wait was just too long. We walked up and down the boardwalks and went into a few shops. I really would have liked to have bought a deck of cards for Nevada, but every deck I saw was a used casino deck. I already have one of those. Rats. We did see the picture of the bride with the silver dollar dress. She is huge and the dress is made up of silver dollars, gold dollars for the belt and her jewelry is dimes and nickels. Then we started the long trek to Ely on the Loneliest Highway in the country. It's pretty desolate and empty. Thank heavens Mark is such a good driver.  Our last night on the road saw us eating pizza in a hotel in Ely.  Pretty good pizza too.  The next morning we walked across the street from our motel  to a park to see paintings on the library wall, the duck pond and some statutes.  Then we headed north on a road even lonelier than the day before.  Needless to say Mark made great time.  It was great to see the Salt Lake and the Salt Flats coming in from the west.  And it was great to get home. Wonderful trip.
28.  Received word that my boss is retiring the end of November.  Big changes.  I'm not excited. 
29.  First snow of the season.  It melted quite quickly but I'm still not ready. 
31.  I went to Jeffery's baptism.  I can't believe he's eight already.  I was moved as John baptized and then Grandpa Myke confirmed him.  Jeff will always be able to remember that he was baptized on Halloween.  And he and Megan were my only trick-or-treaters.  Thanks for not forgetting your old aunt. 

Books:  I read or listened to eleven books.  I am finishing the last two of the Narnia chronicles this week and enjoying them very much.  No five ratings this month, but I gave three books 4.75:  Catching Fire, Stargazing, and A Rule Against Murder.  I spent hours on Halloween reorganizing my books.  I found I was missing eleven books that I showed I owned and haven't read.  Grrrr.  After thinking it over, I realized that my sister has one, two I had already read but didn't check off the TBR list, and one I thought I had bought but apparently didn't.  Don't know where the other eight are.  If you have my copy of Pippi Longstocking, it's time to give it back.  I also found six books that I really didn't want to read so I listed them on Bookmooch.  They were snatched up almost immediately.  Did I act too hastily?  There were ten double entries plus I deleted nine I didn't want to read after all from the list.  The list would be getting smaller except I found sixteen books that weren't even written down.  Maybe I need to quit playing with my lists and read more.  Get that thought behind me.  This is my hobby and I'll hobby it as I want to.  Besides I cleared up some room on the shelves so it was a good thing. 
TV and Movies.  I am totally into Dancing with the Stars, Castle and Gray's Anatomy.  Other than that, I rarely turn the TV on.  I'm sad that Louis Vito got voted off DWTS last week.  He can't dance at all, but he's so darn cute.  Castle just gets better and better.  Saw no movies. 
Overall Impression  The end of October means we're heading into the holiday season.  I'm not ready.  I love Thanksgiving but buying gifts for Christmas is so stressful.  I just want fall to last longer. 

Sunday, October 04, 2009

September Summary

September is one of my favorite months.  The change from summer to fall is so beautiful.  Cooler evenings and mornings are my favorites.  A drive up a canyon just illustrates how beautiful fall really is.  And, even though you know winter is on the way, you can still enjoy this time of transition.  Here's how I spent my month:
3rd.   I finished my personal Book Around the States Challenge.  The goal was to read a book set in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  I started this challenge in August, 2007.  Two years to read 51  books.  There were some really good books included but also some pretty bad ones.  Here are the ones I rated the highest:
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, Arizona
 Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury, Illinois
More Than You Know by Beth Gutcheon, Maine
English Creek by Ivan Doig, Montana
              The Valley of Light by Terry Kay, North Carolina
                 Peace Like a River by Lief Enger, North Dakota
                Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos, Washington
                                                  October Sky by Homer Hicken, West Virginia
                                                Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, Wisconsin
3rd  I bought a new toaster.  This might not seem very momentous to you, but I've had that old four-whole toaster since I got married in 1977.  It was time.  I still need to get used to the new one and figure out the best setting, but I'm not mourning the old one.
5th  My thirty-year-old cottonwood finally got a much-needed trim.  It was expensive and I'm not sure it was trimmed enough; but it is still a vast improvement.  I'm not worried any more about a big wind breaking a limb and having it fall through my roof.  I just hope the trimmer got all the diseased portions out. 
6th & 7th Jason, Rachel and baby, Robby, came out to visit.  Robbie is such a cutie.  It was good to hold a smaller baby again.  We played games and went to breakfast on Monday at JB's.
11th & 12th  I went to Provo for Lincoln's second birthday.  It was a traumatic day for him.  He was pushing on the backend of a toy pickup when it flipped and hit him in the face.  So heartbreaking.   Two Tylenols later, he was feeling better and enjoying opening all those presents.  I was happy that he was excited about his Curious George movies.  Lincoln loves Curious George and that was the theme of his birthday party.  His two cousins wore monkey masks but Lincoln refused.  Stacey had bought balloons and had a ring toss game with prizes.  There was even a delicious monkey cake which Lincoln loved.  I can't believe he is two already and getting so big.  In some ways, it's sad because he's not a baby any more; but he just gets more fun all the time.  Wonder what he'll be like at fifteen.



26th & 27th  I went to Provo again to take Lincoln and his parents to the circus at the Energy Solutions Arena.  (Delta Center is so much easier to say.  I wish they could hold onto thier sponsors)  I wasn't sure he would make it through the entire performance, but he did.  It wasn't easy though.  We were late and caught the tail end of the horse performance (tee hee).  Lincoln loved the dogs and clapping with the audience.  Then there was a lot of singing and dancing that reallay tried his patience and subsequently ours also.  It was pretty silly.  He was mesmerized by the elephants, but we had to buy popcorn to keep him entertained after that.  Sadly, the tigers did not impress him at all and there were NO monkeys.  What's up with that??  I'm sorry to future grandchildren but I probably won't repeat that again.  Circuses aren't what they used to be.  Isn't his new haircut cute?  He looks so old.  Sunday I took Jordan, Stacey and Lincoln to breakfast and then drove to SLC to see Cassie.  She had just returned from the British Isles and I got to see all her pictures.  It was so good to see her.  It's been a while.  It sounds like she had a great time for the most part and the pictures were fantastic.  I'm going next summer if I can find someone to go. I think Mark and Mom are on board.  Anyone else?



Obviously, the highlights of this month revolves aroung seeing Lincoln; but I have to tell you how beautiful the drive to Provo and back was on that last trip.  The tree were turning and there were brilliant splashes of yellow, orange and red among the evergreens.  The weather was wonderful and the skies bright blue.  It snowed in the mountains that Sunday but I missed that.  Hopefully, we can go without snow for a little while longer; say three months????
Books Read  I read eleven books and listened to two on CD.  None of them rated a five, but I gave October Sky a 4.75.  It's a wonderful book, well-written and a great view of West Virginia.  I also read all five of the Gardella vampire series.  I liked it but don't feel the need to read it again.
Movies and TV  I watched no movies.  Good thing Cassie is back.  Maybe she'll visit soon and we can see a movie together.  Dancing with the Stars started again.  There is a great bunch of dancers this year.  The two worst got voted off the first week, but there aren't too many that aren't fun to watch.  I'm thinking Mya will win.  Donny Osmond is pretty good ad has a large fan base and Natalie Coughlin is a good bet since gold medal winners always seem to do well.  But I really like Derek Hough and his partner, Joanne.  She's just not very well known.  I'm loving Castle and Gray's Anatomy. 
Overall Impression  I mowed my lawn on Labor Day and then forgot about it until October 1st.  It's actually doing pretty good.  Still eating fresh tomatoes and even put up some corn and zucchini. Haven't tried the carrots yet.  Next year, I really need to plant a better garden.  The month started out hot and ended just right.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

August Actions


August has been a very quiet month for me. Things have been slow at work. I did get a new boss finally. Preston had been trying to watch over Vernal while doing his new job in Provo since the first of the year. Now Don Cook from Moab is taking charge of the Uintah Basin along with the branches in the southeast. He's been great and it's good to have things settled again. I haven't gone out of town since the first weekend. Not much to talk about this month.

1st-2nd Saturday was the last day of the family reunion. We were in charge of breakfast so we had fruit, muffins, eggs and milk and juice. Spent way too much money. We made a quick run to Barnes and Noble where I bought a couple of books. Just what I needed. Back to the reunion where we played cards for a while before heading back to Salt Lake. I went to Stacey and Jordan's to play with Lincoln while they continued packing for their big move. We met everyone at Zupas for dinner. The next morning I took Stacey, Jordan, Lincoln and Cassie to breakfast at the Red Rooster Waffle Co. Everyone seemed to like it except me. It was just okay.
6th I picked my first tomato. It wasn't quite ripe, but we had this torrential hail storm and my almost ripe tomato took a direct hit. So I had to eat it. Not bad but I am excited to get some more ripe ones. It was a fantastic storm. Lots of lightening that night and rain.
18th-23rd Kevin and Debbie and their family came to visit Mom. I didn't see them until Thursday at a picnic at Myke and Cheya's. It was good to see all of them again. Cassie came out Friday and so did Brett and Angela. A little nerts that night and the name game on Saturday. Good times. And it was so good to have Cassie home again. It's been quite some time since she last visited Vernal. On Sunday, a bunch of us attended the temple dedication broadcast for the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. Wonderful talks.
30th Instead of regular church, a four-stake conference was held to create a new stake in Vernal. It was exciting to see what the changes were and all four stake-centers were packed. They moved two wards out of stake and about six families from my ward were moved to one of those two wards. A few families from the two changing wards were moved into wards in my stake including Mom. I guess it made the boundaries more regular. Anyway, not much change for me. The talks were wonderful though.
Books Read I read fifteen books, including the first four of Susan Albert Wittig's Beatrix Potter series. Very good. The other two I really enjoyed were both Young Adult books: Framed by Frank Boyce Cottrell and Peak by Roland Smith. One takes place in Wales and the other on Mt. Everest.
TV and Movies I didn't watch any movies except for bits and pieces of movies that Cassie watched. I am watching America's Got Talent which I am really enjoying. I don't always agree with the judges, they seem a bit more sentimental about some contestants that I am but it's still fun to watch. They reran a couple of Castle episodes. I'm hoping that show gets picked up this fall. I really like it.
Overall Impression I can't imagine what I did all month. Read, I guess. It's been a good summer, not too hot, but we could use more rain. I'm loving my chairs and bench outside. I don't have air conditioning but it still gets so cold inside my house (trees are great) that I take my book outside and sit and read until I warm up. I also bought and mooched a bunch of books online. I don't know where to put them but at least I have them. And I have harvested quite a few tomatoes. There are some scars from the hail and a few are pretty odd looking, but they taste great. I had my eye on one perfect tomato that was almost ripe. When I went to pick it some animal had got to it first. It was laying on the ground half eaten. Grrrrr. My carrots are coming along but are nowhere near big enough to pull up.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Lincoln

Waiting for the jets


Cooling off in the sprinkler






Amazing fireworks



I didn't know he could open his mouth this big.


I know I said these pictures would be below my July Jottings, but you are all so smart, I knew you could figure it out. To get the full scoop, keep reading.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

July Jottings

I'll bet you'll be amazed to learn that July is the hottest month of the year in the Northern hemisphere and the coldest in the Southern. Actually, we've only had a few really hot days this year, but don't think I'm complaining. (Could use more rain though) I tend to spend a lot of time indoors avoiding the heat and sun, even though this year I may have spent a bit more time outside. In June, I bought two adirondack chairs for my patio. This month I finally got them painted and assembled. Whew, that was a lot of work but I really like them. Guess I'll have to spend even more time out there sitting in them. I'll just hop from one to the other. July's birthstone is the ruby, flower - larkspur or water lily; and it's named for Julius Caeser. Good stuff, huh? Surprisingly, ten countries celebrate Independence Day during this month. Only the U.S. celebrates it on the 4th and only Utah celebrates the 24th of July. You can read a great post on building a float for the 24th here . Here's my doings for the month:

July 2 - I caved into pressure from Jordan and bought a new cell phone. I just couldn't take the snide remarks about my antique phone any more. After a month, may I just say that I really miss that old phone even if it isn't as pretty as the new one? At least I could hear it ring.

July 3 - Jordan, Stacey and Lincoln came to visit. They stopped by the bank so I got to show Lincoln off. We ate at 7-11 (not the convenience store, Vernal has a restaurant that's been here for years) and went home to watch National Treasure 2.

July 4 - I got everyone up early to watch the annual Main Street parade. I knew Lincoln would be excited about seeing the jets from Hill Air Force Base fly over. Well, the parade was a let down. It was really hot and everything started late. Lincoln was not happy about being unable to run free in the crowds, especially since there were some fun-looking dogs close by. Then he got sunscreen in his eye. Not a happy boy. When the jets finally flew by, it was pretty anticlimatic. They didn't even make that huge noise like they used to. We hurried home to bathe the poor child. After his nap, Lincoln went outside to run through the sprinkler. Isn't it amazing how much fun a kid can have with so little? Then we went to Cheya's for the annual barbecue. Fantastic, as always. A little before nine, we walked over to the ballpark to watch the fireworks. It took forever for it to get dark enough and Lincoln does not like to sit and wait. Plus it was way past his bedtime. Fortunately, he loved the fireworks, at least for a while. I posted some pictures of him below. All in all, it was a fun day and I loved having them all here. Cassie elected to go to Cedar City this year. I hope she doesn't make a habit of that.

July 7 - 8 I traveled to Provo for training and ate at Zupas. It is my new favorite place to eat. I bought a new flat screen TV and DVD-VCR for the bank and an MP3 for me. It's a Sony Walkman. Wonder how long it will take me to figure it out.

July 9 - Maddy and I stayed to oversee installing all new computers and printers at the bank. It was supposed to be an all-nighter but we were done by midnight.

July 14 - 15 More training in Provo. Dinner at Zupas again. For lunch, we went to an Italian restaurant just east of the main Wells Fargo in downtown Provo. Can't remember the name but it was very good and reasonably priced. I'm really tired of training.

July 24 This is a big holiday in Utah. I mowed the lawn, watered and went to Lowe's. I spent a small fortune on new sprinklers, tree food, bug killer, bug fogger for inside the house, weed killer, spray paint and an electric hedge trimmer. That night we ate at Steve and Verona's in their beautiful back yard.

July 25 - First thing, I went to Smiths to buy ingredients for muffins to take to the family reunion next week. Home again, I put out the bug killer. I hate those box elder bugs, earwigs and little black beetles. Sprinkled tree food around the trees. Made muffins. And I painted the chairs. The salesman at Lowes told me one can of paint should do both chairs but I should buy two, just in case. At nine that night I went back to Lowe's for three more cans. Why do they make those lids so hard to get off? By the time all the pieces of those chairs were painted, my fingers were permantly curved. Looks evil, somehow.

July 26 - I finally figured out the Walkman and downloaded a couple of books. Funny, how when I downloaded the software to my computer, all the books I had deleted from RealPlayer copied over. No wonder my computer's memory is full. I deleted them with the new software and it gave me the option to delete them from my computer. Man, I hope that works.

July 27 - Day off from work. First thing, I went to Lowes to return a sprinkler and then Walmart for who knows what. All I know is it took longer than it should have. I almost missed breakfast at McDonalds. Then I took my Walkman and my drill outside to assemble the chairs. Several hours later and after a trip to True Value to get a screw I had drilled into an anchor out of the anchor, one chair was finished. It took me an hour to finish the other. Now that I've got it down, I really should assemble some more. Except absolutely no painting. I was even able to listen to the entire book called Nation by Terry Pratchett. And to round things off, I washed clothes and sheets and got all the beds made. I need a day off to rest but no, I have to work the next day because we are so shorthanded.

July 31 - Mom and I traveled to Salt Lake on out way to the family reunion in Layton. We decided to meet Cheya and Myke, Susan, and Mark at Zupas on Redwood Road. The only problem is there is no Zupas on Redwood Road. It was my suggestion and I feel guilty especially since it took us another hour to get to the Zupas on 123rd. Only Mark didn't make it because he has no cell phone so we could tell him the change in plans. Thankfully, it was worth it. So good that we went to the one on 106th the next night. But that is August so will have to wait. We made it to the reunion in Layton after a circuitous drive. Always fun to listen to Myke and Cheya navigate. I was just glad that I wasn't driving. My cousin, Tom, had reserved his ward's bowery and park. It was beautiful and a great place for a reunion. It was good to see everyone. Cassie and Kevin even came up from Salt Lake and Vernal respectively. Kristi and Ronnie came the next day. Mostly we ate with our own families but did play the Newlywed game which was fun. Cassie was my spouse and we did pretty good.

Books Read I read or listened to ten books this month. My favorite was The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, a great kid's book. I also enjoyed Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack, a mystery with a middle aged woman who solves the crime. Still pluggin away on reading a book from each state. I have four more to go.

TV and Movies The Batchelorette is finally over. Jillian chose Ed. I was rooting for Kipton. Such drama. The whole thing is getting a little over the top for me but I will probably still watch the next one. It's like a train wreck. There's not much else on. I'm not getting much of a bang for my Dish Network buck. I watched National Treaure 2 with Jordan and Stacey and enjoyed it as always.

Overall Impression I'm really tired.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Visitor

I walked in my kitchen tonight after changing the water on my lawn. In the middle of the floor sat my visitor. It was a chipmunk!!! I ran back outside; he ran down the hall. Rats, I can't have a rodent running around in the bedrooms. Leaving the back door open and armed with my trusty broom, I ran to the front door and open it. I turned around and there he was, sneaking behind the couch. I screamed. Yes, I'm not proud; but this is a truthful accounting. And that ridiculously high-pitched squeak (it was a poor excuse for a scream) confused the critter who turned in a circle and ran into the kitchen. I didn't see where he went (the little beggar is very fast); but I'm assuming he had some intelligence and headed for the open door. I ran down the hall and closed all those doors and the front door. But just in case, the back door is still open (a welcome to all those flies outside) and I'm typing with my feet held as high off the floor as I can manage. I've always enjoyed the rare glimpses I've had of this fellow when he ventures out of the woodpile into the great beyond of my yard. But I think he crossed a line today. I know he looks cute, but that doesn't thaw my cold, cold heart at all. What if he made it back into the bedrooms when I wasn't looking. How will I sleep tonight? EEEEEEEK.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

June Jumbles

I just re-read my May posting which talked of turning off the gas heater. Well in June, I turned it back on . . . twice. I know, the first day of summer is in June, but this June has been unusually cold and rainy. But I'm not complaining, I like the rain. June's flower is the rose . . . wait, that's May's flower. I guess they have to share. The gemstone is a pearl or an alexandrite. Father's Day falls in June as well.
So here's how I amused myself this past month:
6th Mark was in town so I went to dinner with Mark, Mom, Cheya, Myke , Steve and Verona at Don Pedro's. I had the Carne Adabada. Sooo good. I can't remember if we went and played games afterwards or not. Hmmmm
10th & 11th I have written in my calendar on these two days: "Days from Hell at work. Wonder what that is all about? I think we had people calling in sick right and left and Maddy was on vacation.
11th We had a office party at Maddy's ranch up past Red Fleet reservoir. She has the wonderful picnic area down a little hill from her house. Since it has rained hard that day, we had to be driven down the wet, slippery, muddy road down the hill to her house and then walk a short ways to the picnic place. But it was beautiful there. Maddy's husband, Bob, had built a fire in the firepit and there were peacocks on the shed roof watching us. The food was great and a bunch of people played bocci ball. They played it quite bit differently than how I played it a few years ago with my family but it was fun to watch. I didn't stray too far from the fire. The party was just what we all needed to relieve tensions that had been building at work. I work with a bunch of great people who I consider to be good friends. But we really, really needed that party.
19th - 21st I took some time off from work and spent a few days in Salt Lake visiting Jordan, Stacey, Lincoln and Cassie. Naturally, we went out to eat. Friday night we went to Johnny Carrinos which serves scrumptious Italian food. Cassie and I babysat Lincoln while Jordan and Stacey went to a movie. It was Angels and Demons. Jordan came home upset. It was his favorite book and I guess the movie botched it. The next day I took it easy. Jordan and Stacey and Lincoln went to Lindon for a birthday party. That night, we went to dinner to celebrate Cassie's birthday and the restaurant we had finally decided on turned out to be closed. So we settled on Tempanyaki's, a Japanese hibachi-grill restaurant. It was quite expensive but sooo worth it. It was fun watching them cook our food but eating it was even better. It may just be my new favorite place. Cassie and I saw a movie, The Proposal, with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds which we both liked a lot.
23rd Cassie birthday. I can't believe she's 27. That must make me 42. :)
Books Read 9
Pages Read 2603
Books Listened to 1
The Good Good Pig by Sy Montgomery, rated 3.5
Agent in Lace by Tristi Pinkston, rated 4.5
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, rated 5 (One of my favorites this year)
Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fanny Flagg, rated 4
Where Rivers Change Direction by Mark Spragg, rated 4.25
The Secret Life of Houdini, by William Kalush, rated 4 (audio)
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos, rated 5
The Lost German Slave Girl by John Bailey, rated 4.5
Indigo Dying by Susan Wittig Albert, rated 4
Spanish Dagger by Susan Wittig Albert, rated 4.25
TV
I am still watching The Bachelorette. There is one bachelor named Wes that eveyone hates except for Jillian. He is such a player. You'll have to wait until next month to hear what happens next. That's it. My TV is getting dusty just sitting there.
Movies
The Proposal, see my comments above.
Overall Impression
It was great to have a few days off work but I still have massive amounts of PTO to use up. I just wished I had something fun to do or a trip to take. It was still rainy off and on but warmer. My lawn is starting to get dry but I have carrots and tomatoes growing. Mmmmm, something to look forward to.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

May Memories

Oh the joys of May . . . I remember as a child making little May Day baskets filled with flowers and candy and taking them to my friends. And, of course, there's Mother's Day, a day I have a love-hate relationship with. (It's getting better as I learn to celebrate the joys of being a mother instead of feeling guilty for not doing a better job of it. My kids turned out so well that I must have done okay.) Then there's Memorial Day which signals the return of summer and turning off the gas heater. May's flower is the rose which seems appropriate as Booklogged is raising some gorgeous specimans over at her house. In Germany, it is an old custom to plant a "tree of May" to honor someone. What a great idea. Finally, May's birthstone is the emerald.
And here's what's been happening in my world:
May 7 I attended a training in Provo. Stayed at La Quinta's as usual and ate at Zupas, as usual.
May 7 & 8 Spent the night at Jordan and Stacey's. Ate at Chili's and shopped at Target's for Stacey's birthday present. While Jordan and Stacey decided on the gift, I rushed Lincoln around the aisles in the grocery cart. He likes speed.
May 8, 9 & 10 Cassie came to Vernal to spend Mother's Day with me. We went to a matinee of "17 Again" which we really enjoyed. Zac Ephron is very good-looking. Then we went to dinner with the whole family at Canton City's Chinese buffet. Very good food, I ate too much. Then we went to Mom's house and played the Name Game using old names from a game we had played in December. That was pretty fun. It was Fast and Testimony meeting that Sunday, so we didn't have the usual Mother's Day program. It was an amazing meeting as people talked about their mothers and their kids. All the mothers received a CD of hymns. Wonderful. I always manage to kill the usual potted plant they give out. Then Cassie gave me the most touching book she had made with thoughts and pictures, a crossword puzzle. It made me laugh and cry. She is just the best daughter in the world. I'm so glad to be her mom.
May 23, 24 & 25th Memorial Weekend. Cassie came out again and we saw Star Trek. What a good movie. Sunday I gave my Relief Society lesson: Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples. It's always easy to get a good discussion going around the subject of homes and temples. Later we went over to Cheya's and played the name game and nerts. Cassie put in all these hard Star Trek names and really stumped the rest of us. And they fed us an amazing roast beef and mashed potato meal. Kudos to Myke, Cheya and Katie. The next morning we had our traditional Memorial Day brunch. It used to be breakfast but no one wants to get up that early. Steve and Verona hosted it this year and it was pouring rain. But we cooked and ate inside and it worked out great. Myke made his fantastic hash browns and I made pancake mix which Verona then turned into waffles (wonderful) and Julie brought some really good sausage. Mom furnished fruit and Annie brought juice. Poor Cheya cracked I don't know how many eggs and they never got used. Wonder what she did with those. It was a great meal and fun to see all the family that live in the same town that I never see. That afternoon we went back to Cheya's for more games and barbecued hamburgers, my first of the year. I really owe them a dinner out.
May 30 Susan, Corey and Audrey and kids came to visit so Mom had a barbecue at her house. I made a strawberry shortcake trifle that turned out really well. We had a good visit and some of the younger people went to the park to play golf frisbie.


Books Read 8
The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Bone Gardne by Tess Gerritsen (audio)
The Liught Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman
In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd
Damien the Leper by John Farrow
The Wonderful World of Oz by L Frank Baum

TV
All my favorite shows ended. I'm hoping Castle gets renewed because I really liked it. Shawn Johnson won Dancing with the Stars. I think Gilles Marini should have won but Shawn was good also. Chris Allen won American Idol. Great controversy over that one but I liked Chris best. Even though Adam Lambert is a fantastic singer and entertainer, I don't really care for most of the songs he sang. And the ending of Gray's Anatomy was sooo good. Now I'm watching the Bachelorette and little else. I feel like I'm wasting my money on Dish Network. I think I need to explore it more and find some good movies to watch.

Movies
I already mentioned that Cassie and I went and saw "17 Again." It was funny and entertaining. Two weeks later, we went and saw "Star Trek." Excellent. It had great suspense and Spock was great. The guy who played Captain Kirk was quite yummy. I just don't want to see those names in another Name Game.

Overall Impression
It was a cold and rainy month. (Sounds like the opening line to a scary story.) That was great for my lawn except when I wanted to mow it. But I was able to talk myself into retreating into my warm home and eating a banana popsickle. Vernal is pretty and green right now so I'm not complaining about the rain. I bought a rocking bench for my patio and go out there to read when my house gets too cold. Now if the wind would just quit blowing every afternoon. I'll regret saying that next July, won't I?

Monday, May 18, 2009

BLOGIVERSARY

I can't believe it's been three years of blogging. How do I condense that to give you all a brief overview? On May 7, 2006, I published my very first post. You can read it here . Since that time, I have created six more blogs, one for my ongoing book reviews, three that I stored reviews for each year; one for my Book Around the States Challenge, and one for my TBR list. I think I'm getting rid of the three blogs for the reviews of each year and not do that anymore. Fourteen more books and I will be done with the Book Around the States Challenge. I just really like the colors in that blog. My TBR list in May of 2006 had 76 books on it. The last time I updated it, there were 491. Yikes. I find it interesting that I removed ten books from the original list without reading them (just lost interest) and there are seventeen still on my TBR list. I feel another personal challenge coming on. I have read and reviewed 323 books, joined 39 challenges and have just one left to finish. I had participated in 29 memes, lists, tags, or those funny web things where you learn weird things about yourself. In fact, I'm in the mood for a meme. Anyone seen a good one lately? I learned some fun things about blogging but mostly keep it pretty basic. Visiting other blogs has been fun, but started to really take a lot of time, so I try to limit visiting so much. Not to mention that those visits accounted for much of the huge growth of that TBR list. In January, 2008, I started a monthly journal entry to recap that month. I think my niece, Alyson, got me started on that and it's been such a good thing for me. Of course, the highlight of my life in the last three years was the birth of my grandson, Lincoln. He is such a joy. What else . . . I turned fifty, went on a cruise, was a Relief Society President for a while, hit a huge milestone at work, lost weight, gained it back, I can't remember what else, I'm old. All I know is that blogging has become a part of my routine. It's how I keep in touch with relatives (even those who live in the same town), and I meet new and interesting people all the time. Thanks to all of you for visiting and leaving comments.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

April Agenda

April is National Poetry Month as well as Sexual Violence Awareness Month. Does anyone else see the contradiction here? The Boston Marathon is held on the third Monday of April and Arbor Day is the last Friday.

The gemstone for April is a diamond and the flower is either a daisy or the sweet pea. I love diamonds even though I don't have many and I like both daisies and sweet peas.

I did a lot of traveling in the month of April--two trips to Provo and one to Salt Lake City-- which explains the audio books I listened to this month. Much more happening in April than in March anyway.

April 4-5 General Conference. I like to stay at home and watch General Conference twice a year. There are always great talks and spiritual uplifts. If I could only stay awake through the whole thing. I really enjoyed Elder Holland's talk as well as Elder Bednar's.

April 8-12 Susan was the first of several who came to visit for Easter weekend. Mark, Greg, JennyLou and Katie also came out from Salt Lake. So I spent a lot of time at Mom's playing games and eating but missed the egg dyeing because I had to work. Mom, Cheya, Susan and I ate lunch at JB's on Thursday and tried to plan a sisters' trip. I don't know when we will ever pull this off.

April 12-14 I drove to Provo for training on Monday and Tuesday. Stayed at La Quinta on the south end of Provo. I had gone out early to get a little shopping done, but Provo is completely closed down on Sunday. Rats. The training seemed to be a bit of a repeat of other trainings but I did get in a couple of great meals. For lunch on Monday, we walked to Ottavios, an Italian restaurant on Center Street. I had a chicken wrap and tomato basil soup. The soup was scrumptious. That night I got soup and salad to go from Zupa's, my favorite place in Provo--Lobster Bisque and Pina Colada salad. Ymmmm. Tuesday, Preston took Julie, Linda and I to lunch at Los Hermanos, a lovely Mexican restaurant just down the block. It was a working lunch but great food.

April 17-19 I went to Salt Lake to visit the kids and grandkid. Again, it's all about the food. Friday night, we ate at Archibalds in Gardner Village. I had prime rib which was pretty tasteless. After we ate, we took Lincoln to see the animals they had in pens. He was pretty fascinated with the geese. It's a really pretty place. The next day we went to The District so I could do some shopping and ate at the Red Robin. I had a great hamburger and Lincoln had fun flirting with a little girl from the next table. I am disappointed in the shopping there. Cassie and I went to JC Penny's then drove to Jordan Landing for a bit more shopping. Friday night, we played dice and I won!!! The next night Cassie and I watched a video.

April 19 My lesson in Relief Society this month was "God Loves and Helps All of His Children," a talk by Bishop Keith B McMullin, 2nd Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.

April 22-23 Traveled to Provo for a manager meeting on Thursday. I had to give a presentation on Recognition. It went okay. The meeting was a little overwhelming as usual. Lots to do.

Work - I'm glad this month is over. This is the slowest month we've had for ages. Too many people leaving Vernal, I guess.

Books -I read or listened to ten books and 2153 pages. The page count is down because four or these books were audio. My favorites were West with the Night, the memoirs of a female pilot who was the first to fly across the Atlantic traveling east to west; and North River, a great novel about New York City in the thirties. I started one book but didn't finish it. I am letting myself do that more often. There are too many good books to read to waste time on one I don't enjoy.

TV - I am getting into Castle, a great detective show with a twist. Sad to see Chuck and Julianne voted off last week. Up to that point, I had pretty well agreed with the voting. I like Melissa, but I can't imagine she will be able to dance that well with a cracked rib. My favorites are still on American Idol. I think I am still watching America's Next Top Model and Celebrity Apprentice because there's not much else on those nights. I thought Joan and Melissa Rivers were such babies last week.


Movies - Cassie and I watched Slumdob Millionaire at Jordan and Stacey's house. I really liked it and can easily see why it won the Oscar.

Overall Impression - It has been raining a lot which I like because everything is so pretty and green. However, the wind has also been raging and I hate that. My lawn is growing like gangbusters and I can't get my lawn mower started. Plus I need to spray the weeds but it rains every weekend. I hate yard work, but I really want to plant a garden this year. We'll see.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

March Madness


The name of March comes from ancient Rome, when March was the first month of the year and named Martius after Mars, the Roman god of war. In Rome, where the climate is Mediterranean, March is the first month of spring, a logical point for the beginning of the year as well as the start of the military campaign season.

The equinox, named the vernal or spring equinox in the northern hemisphere and the autumnal equinox in the southern hemisphere, occurs on dates varying from 19 March to 21 March.

March is famous for the Ides of March when Julius Caeser was assassinated, the beginning of spring (except in Vernal, UT), Ash Wednesday and Mardi Gras. It is also Women's History Month. (I see a pattern for my reading next year.)

March has also been an extremely quiet month for me. This may be a short post.

March 2 - The Bachelor is over. Jason chose Melissa then broke up with her on national TV. The cad. It seems he loved Molly after all.

March 7 - Attended the Women's Conference with Mom. A local woman, Cherry Colton, spoke and shared some great missionary experiences, especially about shortsheeting the bed intended for her mission president's wife's friend, Tommy. Turns out that Tommy was President Thomas S Monson. Funny story. The other speaker was Richard Paul Evans. He was a fantastic speaker. His talk covered five main topics. 1. We all have a divine nature. 2. Forgiveness. He told a great story about a man who borrowed money from him and then did not repay it and how angry he was. How he came to forgive the man was beautiful. 3. Take a chance. 4. Adversity. Evans has Tourette's Syndrome and he discussed how this adversity shaped him into the man who is able to write such beautiful stories. 5. Love is the basis for all we do. It was a very inspiring and moving talk.

March 12 - Went to the temple for our Ward Temple Night. I work at the temple every Wednesday evening so it had bee quite a long time since I attended a session all on my own. There were only three others from the ward but a total of 65 people were in the session.

March 22 - I gave the Relief Society lesson on President Monson's talk, "To Learn, to Do, to Be." It was given to priesthood holders but also applied to all church members in how they fulfill their callings.

Work - We had a great Saturday on the 29th, but overall it has been pretty slow. There are three pregnant women who are all due in July and three more going through divorces. So things are kind of crazy.

Books - I read ten books this month. My favorites were Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver and The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. In fact, I've mooched another copy of The Kissing Hand to share since it was such a cute children's book. I read 3063 pages. I'm surprised I didn't read more since it was such a slow month. Oh, that's right, I watched TV.

TV - It is amazing how much time you can spend watching reality TV. I think the only non-reality shows I watch are Gray's Anatomy and The Practice. Well, I did just start watching Castel which comes on right after Dancing with the Stars and enjoying it very much. I'm glad to see Steve Wasniak (sp) finally voted off DWTS. Nice guy but bad dancer. I'm predicting Gilles will win because he is sooooo good but then I also like Melissa from The Bachelor. So glad I don't have to listen to Holly giggling any more. I also watch America's Top Model which surprises me, it is so campy and the women so mean. I must enjoy watching beautiful women tear each other apart. Celebrity Apprentice is another show that cracks me up. I'm also surprised at how good some of these celebritys are. Glad to see Dennis Rodman go. The censors are probably glad as well. And I am addicted to American Idol. Man, you really get into these singers' lives, don't you? My favorites are Alyson and Chris, but I wouldn't be surprised if Adam won. Fantastic voices for all three. I don't like Adam's singing style all that much but I love to watch him. He is so entertaining.

Movies - None, nada, zilch. Who had time to watch movies when I need to see what's going on with the dancers, singers, models, doctors, detectives and Trump's minions.

Overall Impression - I have no life. I can live with that.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mystery Gift Game

I saw this over on Julie's blog and jumped right on the bandwagon. Here's how it goes:

The first three people to respond to this post will get something made by me! My choice. For you.This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
2- What I create will be just for you.
3- It'll be done this year.
4- You have no clue what it's going to be.
5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
The catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 3 people who do the same on your blog.The first 3 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me! Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!Who's in?

I'm very curious to see who dares to have me actually make something for them but I will give it my best shot.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

February Focus

February is named for a Latin term that means purification. It seems the Romans held a purification ritual on February 15th every year. Hmmm, maybe I will try that next year. In Finnish, the month is called helmikuu, meaning "month of the pearl"; when snow melts on tree branches, it forms droplets, and as these freeze again, they are like pearls of ice. Sounds pretty, doesn't it?

February is Black History Month which many of you have seen fit to honor by reading books to learn more about our country's balck history. Other important days include -- Feb. 2, Groundhog's Day, a very meaningful and important day; Feb 14, Valentine's Day (blech); Feb 29, Leap Day, a very weird day; and, most importantly, Feb 4, my birthday.
Good thing I've added this little information piece since it's been a really slow news month.

Feb 4 -- As mentioned above, it was my birthday. It was very low-key. A friend from church, Julie Justice, took me to lunch at 7-11. (It's a restaurant in Vernal that's been there long before the convenience stores were created.) She gave me an LDS fiction which looks like a fun read. How can you go wrong with a book? That evening was spent doing my shift at the temple, a perfect way to end the day.
Feb 5 - Feb 8 -- I took a trip to Salt Lake to visit my kids and get my baby fix. (see previous post) Lincoln is hardly a baby any more but toddler fix sounds wrong.
Feb 14 -- I went to the movie with Lisa Labrum who is a co-worker. Her husband was out of town so a matinee on Valentine's Day sounded great. We saw "Confessions of a Shopholic." I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. It was very funny and pretty relevant to our current economic mess. Mothers, take your children to see this movie to teach them the dangers of credit card debt.
Feb 22 -- I gave my Relief Society lesson based on the conference talk, "Winning the War Against Evil." I am so blessed to be able to present the lesson to a group of sisters who participate and offer such good insights. These lessons would be so boring if I was the only one talking. It's an amazing talk printed in The Ensign and I learned a lot.

~~~~~

Work - We didn't come close to our goals this month. Things are slowing down so much. Blame it on a rotten economy and the fact that we live in an oilfield town.

Books - I read eight books this month but True North took so long and was very boring. I only read 1965 pages, less than half of last month's total. Of course, one book was an audio and another was a children's book. Four of the books were rated a 4/5. I rated one book 4.5, another 4.75 and finally, gave out one 5. Overall, that means I had a very good reading month. The "5" book was A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny, a mystery set in a small town in southern Quebec. I'm really enjoying Penny's series and look forward to the next one.

Movies - I saw THREE movies this month. That's almost unheard of. Cassie and I saw "Taken" with Liam Neesom, very riveting. He's such a good actor. I mentioned "Confessions of a Shopaholic." The last movie I watched at home on a quiet Sunday afternoon: "The Errand of Angels." It is a movie about an LDS sister missionary is Austria and was pretty good for that genre.

TV - I have been faithfully watching The Bachelor. Since the finale took place in March, I'll save my comments for next month. I'm watching American Idol for the first time this season and thinks it's great. I hate it when a singer I like puts in a bad performance but have been very impressed overall. Plus I really like Simon. He's incredibly mean but hilarious as well. I think most of these contestants have watched the show from the get-go so they shouldn't be so surprised when he puts them down, but they always are. I remain a Gray's Anatomy devotee although I think Derik's melt-down was over the top. And of course, I caught a lot of the Awards shows. I must be in the minority but I thought Kate Winslet's dress was ugly. But I was so glad she won. I've always liked her even though I haven't seen this particular performance. Hugh Jackman was a great host and who knew Anne Hathaway was such a good singer?

Overall impressions - I managed to jot down two things I was grateful for: midwinter thaws (this was right before that huge snowstorm hit on the 2nd) and my family. I obviously need to spend more time concentrating on this piece. We did have some awful weather at the first of the month, but it is truly looking like spring is just around the corner. I love those 60 degree February days, don't you?

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Weekend Getaway

I just returned from four days in Salt Lake, visiting my daughter, son, daughter-in-law and grandson. It was nice to take a couple days off work and just get away. I like Salt Lake City. I think I could live there. I've even narrowed down living choices to the west side, after driving east from Jordan's house and observing the pollution along the Wasatch Mountains. I don't want to breath that stuff on a daily basis. While nothing earth-shattering happened, here's a run-down of my activities:

Thursday - I slept in which was lovely and made me nice and alert for the trip to the city. Of course, I had a audio book to listen to and chocolate to eat. I always stop at Jordan Landing for a bit of shopping before heading to Jordan's house. After browsing Michaels and Dress Barn and finding nothing to buy, I head to Bath and Bodyworks. I always spend money here. It's part of my emergency preparedness plan. I know food is important, but don't you think that I should have a supply of anti-bacterial soap as well? The fact that it smells so good is just a bonus. The real reason for my shopping spree is the Barnes & Noble gift card that is burning a hole in my wallet. I love that store. After going through the Mystery section, Fiction, Fantasy, Non-Fiction and Teen sections, I have my arms loaded with eight books. All but three are on my TBR list. Those three are Agatha Christie books which are on sale, how can I go wrong? And it's only $97. As I drive towards Jordan's house, I realize that the gift card is still burning a hole in my wallet. Jeez! All that is forgotten when I get a big hug from my grandson. He is so cute and endlessly fascinating to watch.
Friday - More time spent playing with Lincoln and visiting with Stacey. Jordan leaves work early because he is covered all over with a messy, itchy rash. We finally convince him to go to the doctor and get medicine. That evening we eat dinner at Panda Express since we are in a hurry to get to the Draper Temple open house. Cassie treats me for my birthday. Isn't she sweet? I had never eaten there before and it is really good. Jordan takes the baby home and Stacey, Cassie and I head up to the temple. Luckily, we are not too late and get to take the tour. It is a beautiful temple and lights up that hill on the southeast end of the valley.
Saturday - Jordan, Lincoln and I go to Best Buy to pick up his flat screen TV. I didn't get to actually see the TV but the box is huge. I play on the computer while Lincoln naps, thinking I will sneek in some shut-eye myself the last hour of his nap. Unfortunately, Lincoln takes a very short nap and thinks I should play instead of sleeping. He is very hard to say no to. That night we eat at Iggy's. Very good food and very noisy. Lincoln loves the french fries. Cassie and I go see a movie, "Taken" with Liam Neeson. It is a fast-paced thriller and Neeson is very good.
Sunday - Stacey made delicious pancakes. Her parents had brought back some coconut syrup from Hawaii which I really liked. I pack up, hit the gas station and head for Barnes and Nobles. Don't forget I still have that gift card.
It's 10:15 and the store doesn't open until 11??? Rats. I spend the next forty-five minutes writing down the books I already bought on my TBR list so I don't forget and buy them again. I listen to more of the audio CD. I stand at the door with ten other people for five minutes until they finally decide to open. Quickly I find three more books to buy and head to the check-out stand. As I pull out my credit card, I finally notice the gift card. Can you believe I almost forgot it again? I now have enough books to last until the Millennium. At least I have a two-years supply of something. I hope the electricity lasts as long. The trip home is uneventful, cloudy but no snow except for some slush and snowpack east of Strawberry. I won't complain about that. Well, I have to go unpack, find a place for all those books and maybe find time to actually sit down and read. Phew!