Tuesday, October 31, 2006

deep thought from a student

i found this on a note my students were passing around....

crushes crush.

to my seattle bloggers

okay, i began this blog because so many of my seattle friends were big on blogging. i followed their example the best i could. it makes me happy that they read my blog and comment. i'm especially happy, though, when they update their blogs. yep, some (you know who you are) could use a new post. you can do it!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

the party

okay, i shall try posting party photos. wish me luck. first a report. overall it ws a huge success. i had fun all evening, as did the other hosts - and by my standards that's what counts. the guests enjoyed themselves as well - which is a bonus. i have no control over their feelings so i just hope for the best. some of my favorite costumes: christmas tree, transformer (no photos sadly), storm trooper (no photo again), sock, three's company cast, north korean dictator, and a one night-stand.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Party over

It's late. i'm showered. Dona's in bed. Time for my prayers. I forgot to take photos of the festivities - so here's one of me looking pooped. :)
good night.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

stuffed cat

v sent around photos from our little cabin trip. i loved this one of my new cat - i just had to post it. plewe already has a good cat photo on her blog, now i've caught up in coolness. =)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


i have a student that always wears a baseball hat. he's new to the school and from peru via french speaking canada, so he's in my english as a second language class. anyway, i just saw him in the hall, with his traditional white cap on and it suddenly occurred to me that his ears stick out. yep, he's got poking out ears - that's why he wears the hat - it goes down over his ears keeping them tucked into place. cute kid. glad i don't have poking out ears.

Monday, October 23, 2006


So at fhe tonight we made hand puppets for kids in guatemala. It was a good time! Mark made the white one, I made the brown one. Mark's a monkey, mine's a bear - aren't we talented?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

For jrm

I noticed on plewe's blog that a certain person was feeling frustrated with the lack of entertaining blogs. What kills me is that he's no big blogger - he just happens to be on an endless holiday and wants to be entertained. And truthfully, I can't blame him. I know that need for stories. So this is for him. It's a story about food - which is one of his favorite topics.

Tonight I went to a restauant open house. Saltimboca is the place. delicious is the appropriate adjective! We got there early so the food was slow and meager. We went somwhere else to get dinner and came back later to see friends. By then the place was less crowded and there was tons of good food! We had cheese circles and salad for orderves (sp?) and when we returned we had chicken and panini and chocolate pudding. The pudding was perfect! Dark and rich! Actually all the food was great. So was the company. My favorite part of the night (next to seeing so many good friends) was this huge lamp thing at the counter made out of a stack of dishes. Funky! I curse myself for not getting a photo.

Oh speaking of photos - I took one for the blog today! A remote controlled ambulance that was running around our stake's preparedness fair where I sent my morning helping direct traffic. Good times. It was startling for the children when it rolled up and greeted them.

Friday, October 20, 2006

good story

i read this story in the ny times today. i loved it. i recently read "night" for book group so it especially caught my attention. i recommend the book.

A Survivor’s Optimism

Published: October 20, 2006
When Sigmund Strochlitz was starving in Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, and, later, mourning his wife, parents and two sisters, who died at Birkenau, he could not have imagined the rich and varied years still to come.

Mr. Strochlitz, who died Monday at 89 in his New London, Conn., home, typified the determination of so many Holocaust survivors. He refused to allow grief to immobilize him. He remarried, emigrated to America, raised children and began a business. In time, he became one of the dearest friends of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, and traveled thousands of miles with him to ensure remembrance of the millions of Jews who were murdered during World War II.

Mr. Strochlitz worked to inspire each state and Washington, D.C., to dedicate one day of Holocaust remembrance during the year, and was a member of the council that established the national Holocaust Memorial Museum.

His life was rooted in gratitude. He was generous, because the memory of having nothing was never far from his mind. He was fluent in five languages. He met popes and presidents, yet he spoke with wonder of the love of his children, grandchildren and his wife Rose, to whom he was married for 56 years.

Every day, the ranks of Holocaust survivors like Mr. Strochlitz dwindle. Their lives defied their losses. Their families died, and they started over. Their homes were destroyed, and they built again. Their communities were wiped out, and they emigrated, often to America, to begin anew.

The triumphs of Mr. Strochlitz, and of the others, are measured not merely by length of years, but by the children they raised, the stubborn optimism of their lives, and a legacy of kindness. Would that we could all say the same. MAURA J. CASEY

Thursday, October 19, 2006

breathe (not the song)

i came across this prose poem in my lit book this afternoon and thought it was beautiful. since my book group recently finished "one day in the life of ivan denisovich" it caught my attention. (i liked the book - but one guy in the group thought it was the most boring thing ever.)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Freedom to Breathe
translated by Michael Glenny

A shower fell in the night and now dark clouds drift across the sky, occasionally sprinkling a fine film of rain.

I stand under an apple tree in blossom and I breathe. Not only the apple tree but the grass round it glistens with moisture; words cannot describe the sweet fragrance that pervades the air. I inhale as deeply as I can, and the aroma invades my whole being; I breathe with my eyes open, I breathe with my eyes closed--I cannot say which gives me the greater pleasure.

This, I believe, is the single most precious freedom that prison takes away from us: the freedom to breathe freely, as I now can. No food on earth, no wine, not even a woman's kiss is sweeter to me than this air steeped in the fragrance of flowers, of moisture and freshness.

No matter that this is only a tiny garden, hemmed in by five-story houses like cages in a zoo. I cease to hear the motorcycles backfiring, radios whining, the burble of loudspeakers. As long as there is fresh air to breathe under an apple tree after a shower, we may survive a little longer.

Monday, October 16, 2006


For fhe we celebrated october with apple and root beer and bratwurst with a fun kick in the pants of polka dancing. I was one of the lucky ones to have a male partner - it pays to have male friends! Brent and I were told we were one of the best couples out there. Wahoo! After the fun my friend jared showed brent and me his accordion. We got to try playing it. Brent was better than me - he has an ear for music. Then brent gave me a music history lesson on the 12 note scale bach helped establish as the standard for western music. Apparently the accordion is greatly responsible for spreading it across the world. Few cultures today bother with other standards. Cool stuff. I wish I were as smart and talented as my friends brent and jared. I also wish i'd gotten a photo of us playing the accordion.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Oh what a grand weekend it's been. We went to ed's cabin friday night where we ate chatted dozed cuddled laughed played. Plewe and I slept in a tent outside and saw stars before falling asleep. In the morning we watched the office and put a puzzle together. We got mostly done. We worked while plewe and al played us some tunes and we sang along. Lynn and I also enjoyed a nice chat by the river. Here he is as we're waiting for plewe to lock up. I love that place!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


i've shared these notes with friends and family. they were well received. i'm thinking i now need to share them with the world, i.e. the friends i failed to send them to previously. =) anyway, they came from an enrichment meeting i attended last night. it just so happened that i'd had a super stressful visit at the hospital (father's still there with gut pain)right before attending. the lady who presented has apparently endured her share of stress in life (abusive husband, cancer 3 times, 10 kids, dead father and brother last week, etc.) and now she's a therapist - her patriarchal blessing says she'll learn about life and teach others. she's doing it. i learned lots. my stress evaporated afterward. read on......

Stress management and emotions:
Emotions can have huge impact on health of the body. Higher sugar food escalates blood sugar - normal american diet sends blood sugar rocket high - pancreas excretes insulin to bring it down. Need 2 insulin level meals to stabilize. Stress does same thing as junk food. High insulin is the problem because it stores fat. It takes time for body to heal. When we mix foods wrong our bodies can't handle it. Potatoes digest in small intestine, meat takes 6 to 9 hours to digest, potatoes have to hang out with meat and they putrefy and that spikes the insulin twice. So grains/starches (including starchy vegetables) and proteins don't mix. This mixing also causes acid reflux. Fruit should always be eaten alone - half hour later it's digested so you can eat other stuff.
when we go into high stress situations our bodies hold onto fat and calories. Life is like a roller coaster and the ups have to be enjoyed with the downs - life is designed for growth - don't fight the curriculum of life. Emotions are as addictive as drugs. we will all experience victim feelings and energy - you must ask god what is to be learned from it. The layers of lies we pick up need to be shed and real truth learned about our worth. Too often we allow those negative lies to be a magnet attracting people that will validate our victim type beliefs. As children of god we possess energy and power to change. We cannot judge people by their actions because we don't know what terrible things they've been through. When we sit and meditate we may discover things - joseph smith lay musing and suddenly discovered answers. When we are wounded we behave differently than we know we should. Negative emotions are part of mortal experience - use them to visualize the savior in gethsemane and remember you'd do anything for him and allow yourself to be drawn closer to him. Learn to focus spiritually instead of temporally. when you dwell on problems you're in temporal world when you focus on blessings you are in spiritual world. Regardless of what you suffer in this life you can experience god lifting your burdens and strengthening you so you can testify of god. Victim statements drive the holy spirit away and you will be lost. Learn from the spirit - don't pray negatively because holy spirit is driven away, he can only testify of truth. Express gratitude and the spirit will come and confirm your faith and provide answers. Read "the little princess" - she believed she was a princess and brought joy to the other kids despite her suffering and the mean things the old lady told her. We are princesses - daughters of god - the truth of who we were in the premortal is who we still are despite what satan and the world tells us. Christ will run to your aid no matter your pain - he suffered in order to succor us.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

sounds of success

i hear popping. i am being successful at canning grape juice concentrate! yep, this morning before church i picked a whole basket full of grapes. after church i boiled them down to mush and squeezed out as much juice as i had the patience for - 2 quarts. now it is evenly divided between pint sized jars being sealed by the power of heat pressure. i can be such a homemaker! i remember a few summers ago when i did this with apricots from the plewe family tree. what a chore that was - just the cleaning up of the stove. my floor right now really needs to be mopped, but the stove looks good. and i have 8 pints of grape juice - hooray! i intend to use some to make spooky halloween punch at my big party. i had some juice that didn't fit in the jars. i drank it. wow - it's good. hooray for grape vines. hooray for science. hooray for god's blessings of nature and knowledge. now i'm ready for bed.

p.s. my dad went to the hospital yesterday with a sharp pain in his abdomen. he had surgery at midnight last night because the ct scans showed air in his abdomen and they feared a punctured colon. he had no puncture. now the pain in his abdomen has a mysterious cause and an obvious cause. two weeks ago they took out his spleen so now he has two wounds to heal. sometimes my dad is like the star patient on "house" - mysterious symptoms and impossible to cure. he gets closer to death with every attempt to fix him. the good news is he's walking around (relatively) and is healing fine from the spleen surgery so he should heal fine from the air in the gut surgery too.

Saturday, October 7, 2006


I'm hanging out at the huntsman cancer hospital, as I often do it seems, and I discovered the complimentary toothpaste in the bathroom. The name made me laugh. It seems like a flashback to some 70's commercial for deodorant.

Thursday, October 5, 2006


I got off work early so decided to catch a session. I got here early so I decided to blog. I wish my camera didn't have lighting issues - it would be a really great photo. Leaves changing colors add the perfect touch. I gae up after two attempts.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Omen of the best kind

I'm listening to pres monson's talk from conference on kbyu. I figured I could always learn from a replay. And I did! I remember hearing the story of the girl with cancer who hiked with her young women's group despite surgery on her leg. What I didn't remember hearing, though, was her name - jami palmer no less!

Sunday, October 1, 2006


this is a cool site my mother sent me. as far as i can tell it works!


brother thoughts

i have a deep thinking brother. in my family we all generally write a family letter once a week. this brother's letters are generally a pretty thorough thought fest. i really liked what he had to say tonight. so much so that i've decided to share those thoughts with all of you! here's what he wrote....

On a distant but connected thought: in the Doctrine and Covenants God, speaking of gifts, says to Oliver Cowdery, “this is thy gift; apply unto it.” Any gift that we have is a gift first from God (Eccl. 3:13, James 1:17, Mosiah 2:21, Moroni 10:18, D&C 46). We are supposed to give that gift to others else it is no gift at all. The moment a gift is not passed on to another is the moment it ceases to be a gift. By its strict definition a gift is no longer a gift when it is not given. I’ve been slowly studying the Doctrine and Covenants, preparing each day for a lesson to give to the seminary students. It is very clear to me that Joseph Smith had a gift for translation and revelation. God says that Oliver has the same gift (D&C 8) but that he must apply unto it. Later we learn that he did not apply unto it (D&C 9:5). He started but did not continue. It was expedient when he commenced but he feared and the time passed and it was no longer expedient. As I’ve thought about the gifts that I’ve been given, and the doubts and fears that have hindered me from “continuing” with the gift – meaning, my fear stopped me from giving my gift on to another, sharing it – then I have not made progression and was forced to wait. Thus, my new motto to self, is not to hesitate in giving my gift to others, whatever that gift may be. I will not hesitate to share knowledge, skill, time, whatever it may be, to furthering your happiness and perfection. We are that we might have joy, and as Elder Nash said in Priesthood Conference this past weekend, we cannot live contrary to our nature and expect to be happy. To have joy we must live a life of joy. This means courage, honesty, and patience will be the first thoughts of the day, and from those three virtues I will take each opportunity to share a gift and will not be afraid.