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!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

January Journal

January is named for Janus, the god of the doorway; the name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, coming from the Latinword for door (ianua) - January is the door to the year.

January is . . . . National Careers in Cosmetology Month, National Eye Health Care Month, National Fiber Focus Month, National Hobby Month, National Soup Month, Hot Tea Month, Oatmeal Month, Prune Breakfast Month.

This picture is called January from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. You can see it better on Wikipedia.

There, I've added a little color and culture to my monthly post. Let's see how long I can keep this up. I made a resolution at the first of the year to eat better and exercise more so I can lose weight. I've exercised three times and lost .6 ounces. Woohoo!! It's been a stressful month, what else can I say? Stress = chocolate. Here's my January happenings.

1st - I failed to mention in my December review that we had a New Year's Eve Party at Mom's house. Since we were still there on the lst, I will tell you a little about it. I can't remember what we ate for dinner. Late we had sparkling juices: Lingonberry-Apple, Peach, Black Currant, Cherry, and the perennial favorite, Red Grape. I really liked the Peach and Red Grape. Cherry is okay. Myke and Cheya brought an assortment of cheese and crackers. There were some really good cheeses. We played games and watched the ball drop, then hurried home to bed. Aaah, good times.

3rd - The bank opened on Saturday for the first time. I worked along with Beau, Amanda and Shayla. It was pretty dead, but I got the Christmas tree down. What would they do without me?

Big gap here with nothing going on.

17th - Cassie drove out last night to spend the weekend. Even though, I had to work that day, it was so good to have her here. She gave me an early birthday present, a book she had had printed with pictures from our Canadian cruise. It was so fun to look through and remember all the fun we had on that trip. Saturday night, we saw Marley and Me at the theater. I read the book so there were no surprises, but I still cried at the end. Jennifer Anniston and Luke Wilson are such likeable actors that it made the movie fun to watch. We ate at Golden Corral before the movie so I managed to forego the usual buttered popcorn. There was just no room. Hmmm, no weight loss this month, can't understand it. She even went to church with me on Sunday. At least one of us is keeping up with her resolutions. I took Monday off and we just sat around the house until she had to leave at one. Not a very exciting weekend, but it was just good to have her home for a short time.

20th - Steve and Verona's friend from Russia (her name is Luda) made dinner for the family and some friends on her last day in the country. She spent the whole day cutting up food into these little, symmetrical bits. My favorite was the borscht. She made another soup with chicken in it and three different kinds of salad. One had eggs and corn, another beets and corn and other things; and the last had dill pickles and other things. So I can't remember what was in the salads, but they were bery good. And the roasted potatoes were heavenly. Again, why am I not losing weight? So, goodby to Luda and thanks for the dinner. I really enjoyed the time I spent with you. (Only twice, really, but she's pretty memorable. Always smiling and laughing and very pretty.)

23rd Annie went in for surgery after it was discovered that she had Stage 3 breast cancer. The surgery went really well and we hope that the radiation and chemo treatments she has to endure will get the rest of it. Keep her in your prayers. She also cut off her long, beautiful black hair and donated it. She looks so cute with her new haircut.

25th - I teach the fourth Sunday lesson in Relief Society, so I thought I would let you know what I'm teaching each month. The lessons always come from the previous General Conference talks. This month's talks was President Uchtdorf talk, "The Infinite Power of Hope." I have to admit I have felt pretty hopeless this month, probably a natural letdown after the holidays, but I really struggled with this lesson. It's a beautiful talk, though, and I have felt better ever since. I recommend that everyone read it. If you don't get the Ensign, go to and search for the talk's title. My last three lessons have been based on talks about having joy and hope in these tough times. One sister shared a piece from the Desiderata which was beautiful. She just brought me a copy of it so I'll just quote that particular part: "Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should." One of these days, I'll post the whole thing.

25th and 26th Wayne visited from Virginia. We sat around talked and then had sloppy joes and palyed games on Monday. Vernal got bombarded with a huge snow storm Sunday and Monday, and driving was treacherous. But it's the end of January and that snow won't last long. Plus we really needed the moisture. Spoken like a true Vernalite.

30th Mom took a bunch of us to JB's for our annual birthday lunch. Besides, Mom and I, there were Cheya and Myke; Steve, Verona and Dominic. I had a patty melt and smelled like onions the rest of the day. This is a fun tradition right in the middle of the January doldrums.


Work As I mentioned earlier, we are now open on Saturdays which means I work every other week. It's something I can live with. Things have really slowed down as the oilfield is laying people off. Some of this is seasonal and some is due to the economy. It's pretty scary, isn't it? (refer back to my entry for the 25th)

Books I deal with stress by burying myself in books and managed to read 13 books and 4565 pages. I didn't count one book that I ddin't finish (too boring) but I did count the 64 pages I did read. Six of the books were under 250 pages and quick reads. I didn't rate any book a 5 but my highest rating was a 4.75 for Going Postal by Terry Pratchett. It was hilarious and the characters are fantastic. Thanks to Cheya for introducing me to this wonderful author. I also gave a 4.75 for Still Life by Louise Penney, a mystery series set in a small town in southern Quebec. It was a very well-written mystery with a great sense of place and characters. I am currently reading True North by Jim Harrison. It takes place in Michigan. Mark lent it to me for my Book Around the State Challenge. I'm only on page 28 but it hasn't pulled me in yet. I hope it gets better.

TV I'm watching The Batchelor. I missed last week when he sent three girls home at once, but it was the three I wanted to see go. I'm still watching Gray's Anatomy. I hope Stacy and Jordan will let me watch it on Thursday when I'm at their house. I really enjoy watching MASH and Cosby reruns, and the occasional movie.

Movies Besides Marley and Me, I watched Sleepless in Seattle on TV. It's one of my favorite movies and I've seen it countless times. Still love it.

Overall Impression Cassie is writing a blog almost daily on things she is grateful for. Amazing posts. I tried to write down something each day in my daytime that I was grateful, and remembered to do that three times. I'm pathetic. So here's what I wrote: On the first - new beginnings; the second - good books; and the fourth - sunshine. I really am grateful for so many things, I just need to focus. I will try to do better in February, in fact, I'm off to write down something right now.