Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life History Assignment: Likes and Dislikes

A great device for including information about yourself is by making a list.  I heard an author say you can make a list about anything:  what's in your refridgerator (I just threw out some disgusting, unknown substances so maybe I should do that one) a list of what's going on in your life at age thirty, forty, fifty, etc., (I wish I had done this but now I don't have that many decades left in me), what's on your bookshelf (this would be too long).  Anyway you get the idea.  Blogging memes follow this idea very well.  I found this list in a life history book, and the class seemed to like the idea.

1.  List your favorites from any of the categories below, and add any others that appeal to you.  If you would like, add a short explanation beside each item. 
  • Books - Anne of Green Gables, The Book Thief, Trinity, it's no use, I could go on and on.  I just love a well-written, entertaining book that makes me feel something.  Anne made me feel hope, happiness and the love of family and friends; Book Thief made me feel sadness and the love of the written word; and Trinity made me feel romance, danger, and determination.  My favorites change on any given day but these are three that came to my mind today.
  • Songs - "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"  I feel good every time I hear the opening riff to this song.  It's just one of those songs that takes you back to a different place in your life.  I have lots of songs that I really like to listen to and so much depends on who the performer is.  It would be hard to choose just one favorite.  But this Beatles song always lifts my spirits and John Lennon seems to sing it with so much joy.  Isn't that how you want to remember the Beatles?
  • Television shows - Dancing with the Stars, Gray's Anatomy, Castle.  I love watching Curious George with my grandson. 
  • Movies - Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping.  Funny how a little sleep deprivation changes your focus, isn't it?  I also really liked Four Wedding and a Funeral, especially the edited version.  Funny how I don't particularly like to read romances, but I love romantic comedy movies. 
  • Plays - The Tempest
  • Kinds of Music - Christmas, I own more Christmas CD's than any other type of music. 
  • Colors - Soft yellow, periwinkle, lavendar, deep red.
  • Foods - chocolate, Mom's potato salad, Myke's grilled hamburgers, the pina colada salad at Zupas
  • Flowers - peonies, lilacs, yellow or apricot roses, wild flower mixes
  • Operas - ????
  • Holidays - Thanksgiving is my favorite.  Great food and family get togethers. 
  • Sports - I love watching swimming on the Olympics.  I just love the Olympics, summer or winter.
  • Cities - New York City, Monterey, Boston, Salt Lake City.
  • Restaurants - Zupas (see above), Macaroni Grill ( had a great soup there last year), Appleby's
  • Dances - ????
  • Presidents - Abraham Lincoln is my favorite.
  • People's names - I think Lincoln is a wonderful name. 
2.  Look at the categories above.  Do items you particularly dislike come to mind?
  • Books - The Journeyer  This is one of the few books I have not finished, but I'm getting better at setting a book aside when I 'm not enjoying it.  But it is the only book I ever threw away.  Pure trash.
  • Songs - There are a lot of annoying songs out there.  "Master, the Tempest is Raging" is one church song I don't care for.  Too long and tedious.
  • Television shows - The Office
  • Movies - That independent film based on Nephi in the Book of Mormon.  The worst acting, makeup, sets, dialog etc.
  • Kinds of Music - Rap
  • Foods - green peppers
  • Holidays - Valentine's Day  Come on, people, do you really need a day to celebrate your love?  We could eliminate this holiday, save some money and not make those poor lonely hearts out there feel any less worthy.  And, no, I'm not bitter, just cheap.
  • Cities - Aberdeen, Washington -- just not a really pretty place. 
I could probably come up with more dislikes if I let myself really think about it, but why dwell on things I don't like?  I'm glad that those things were harder to bring to mind.  Maybe I'm not in such a dark place after all.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Life History Assignment: Family Vacations

Actually, the assignement was to write about your favorite vacation of your married life.  I can't think of one but I did think of two trips I took with my kids and family after the divorce.

In 1994, Susan planned a trip to the Grand Canyon which included her two boys, Jason and Kevin, along with Cassie, Jordan and me.  I helped pay for it, but she did all the work, shopping, making reservations, even driving.  We even drove from Cedar City to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with those three big boys crammed in the back seat of her Chevy Lumina.  That was probably not our favortie part.  We stayed in a little cabin and prepared our meals in the cabin to save money.  Susan did a fantastic job in planning and packing the food for those meals.  It was such a good time and a great way to take my kids on a trip.  I had a bit of a problem because I get vertigo when looking down huge drop offs.  But I still enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the sunsets, the lecture in the inn, spending time with my sister and watching the kids all get along together.  Here's some pictures:

I think it was the next year on spring break that Myke and Cheya invited us to go with them to Disneyland as their treat.  Can I just say that I had been to Disneyland once and didn't really want to go again, but I knew my kids would love it.  What can I say?  I loved it too.  For three days, we raced around the park, standing in lines, riding the rides and visiting with Mickey Mouse, Tigger, Winnie the Pooh, the villain from Aladin, etc.  My feet were killing me.  One night, we took a trip to Newport Beach to eat at the Hardrock Cafe.  Great strawberry shake.  There was another day that we woke to pouring rain.  Still we walked from the motel to the park and bought bright yellow duckhead slickers.  It was a blast.  There weren't as many people and we didn't have to wait in lines.  Everywhere you looked, there were people dressed as yellow ducks walking around the park.  My favorite ride was Splash Mountain, even the great plunge at the end.  I would post that picture but can't get a decent copy scanned.  Here's one that Myke took.  Jordan is missing since he decided to sleep in and joined us much later.  I can't express enough how much I appreciated Myke and Cheya's generosity in taking us on this trip.  It was a great memory.

One of my biggest regrets while raising my kids was that we didn't go on enough trips together.  I was poor but I wish I had used my credit card and gone into debt for their sakes.  Thanks heavens I have two sisters who helped with these two wonderful vacations.  I really cherish the memories of these trips and the few we took to Salt Lake touring the city. 

January, 2010

I looked over my calendar of January and see that I didn't really do much except go to work, go to the temple, go to church.  Wayne and Susan visited from Virginia, and it was great to see them.  I started an exercise program at the beginning of the month, but it soon fizzled out.  Hopefully each month I will get the motivation to start exercising again.  I guess exercising for two weeks and then stopping is better than no exercise at all.  I gave a talk in church on the 17th about family history which I felt good about.  Shared some stories from familiy histories I've read and thoughts about geneology.  The same day, I gave my first family history lesson.  There were seven people in the class.  On the 24th, I gave a family history lesson and then my Relief Society lesson.  It was based on Elder Dallin Oaks talk, "Love and Law."  It's all about how God's laws are evidence of His love for us.  By obeying these laws, we develop the characters and attributes we will need to return to live with Him again.  He shows mercy through the Atonement but is bound by the laws.  If we choose to be disobedient, he cannot overlook that disobedience.  But because of His love, he strives to help us overcome temptations.  I like how Elder Oaks doesn't pull any punches and is matter-of-fact in telling how our choices affect our outcomes.  Here's a rundown of my regular activities:

Books  I read or listened to nine books this month for a total of 2692 pages.  My favorite was Mort by Terry Pratchett.  I started The Atonement but couldn't finish it.  Too bleak.  I also re-read Jane Eyre and really enjoyed.  It's quite different than I remebered it.  Did Bronte come back and do a rewrite in the last forty years?  Seven of the nine books were for a personal challenge to read books that have been on my TBR list for over three years.  Twenty-eight more to go.  Quite often I've wondered why I put off reading a book for so long. 

TV  New seasons of the Bachelor and  American Idol started this month.  Watching The Bachelor is like watching a train wreck only this time it's less interesting.  I still watch, but Jake is just not as much fun (too earnest?) and the girls seemed determined to be witches.  Don't they realize it's all on camera?  American Idol is still fun.  They're all still in the audition stage.  I wish they wouldn't show so many of the really bad or stupid contestants and none of the ones who go off, getting merrily bleeped along the way, when they're not picked.  I'd like to see more of the contestants who do get picked.  I'm loving Castle and am getting a little tired of Gray's Anatomy. 

Exercise  4 1/2 total hours.  How pathetic.  I can only do 1/2 hour at a time and haven't exercised since the 18th.  But now I'm embarrassed so I am determined to start again.

Weight Lost  6.6 pounds.  Obviously I didn't lose much weight from my diligent exercising program.  I'm attributing it to stress.  I never thought I would be too stressed to eat, but there you have it. 

Overall Impression  January is a cold, dismal month.  Even so, we had a number of days where the sun shone and the snow melted quickly off the roads.  There were a number of foggy days as well.  I don't like driving in the fog and it was miserably cold; but I love the way it freezes on the trees and electric wires.  Things are not going well at work but I just have to keep plugging along.  Hopefully, it will start looking up.  I really think January is my least favorite month.  So here's to February.