Monday, April 30, 2007

danger foot

playing with plewe this weekend was a blast! i was glad to have her company and am sorry to say she heads back to seattle this weekend. one of my favorite parts of the trip was having her in the shotgun position. any time i pulled a fancy maneuver - such as a u-turn across a couple lanes of traffic - her foot would go up on the dashboard to brace herself. i wonder if she's thought through what would happen if an accident really did occur with her foot up there. might not be so pretty. she told us that joseph has noticed this same behavior in her and calls it the "danger alert." somehow that turned into "danger foot" for us. she'd even give us color levels alerting us to the level of danger imminent.

i wish i'd taken more photos of the trip. i have a few flower shots that i'll hopefully get around to blogging before the day is out.

right now i'm dealing with lesson preparation and grading and cleaning up the mess the sub allowed to happen while i was gone. getting a sub sure can be a shot in the dark. this one was didn't turn out so well, but at least i wasn't here to witness the mayhem in person. and at least the lesson i left wasn't totally crucial or necessary for other lessons. it was only a prep sort of thing for our end of level tests that begin this week. hmmm, i better track down my set of tests sooner than later.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Green dirt

You can't tell, but this dirt at arches national park is green. I saw lots of gorgeous green dirt this weekend.

Rice krispy treat

This "treat" is only 4 years old. It's lived in audrey's car since 2003 when mark left it there. The napkin came later as decoration.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Monster me

Here I am posing with the y. I've never climbed it but now I don't need to - I tower over it! Hooray for scenic pictures filling walls at the wilkinson center.

Elevator of love

Here we are coming down the elevator at the wilkinson center from the skyroom. We attended veronica's wedding reception. The elevator ride was great fun with great friends.


when i go on holiday i dream of spending days in museums. that sounds like the perfect day of relaxation and fun wrapped into one. kind of nerdy. but even worse is that i'm cheap and museums cost money. something i've discoverd as a compromise is to just browse the gift shop. much of what is on display in there is a copy or reproduction in a new clever way of the art that's in the museum. i know i know, some would say i could do that online or something and the point of a museum is seeing the real thing in person. i agree. but i'm cheap. what made me happy this morning was to discover i'm not the only nerdy cheap wad in the world. here is a headline from this morning's ny times: A Trip to the Gift Shop Is Like a Day at the Museum.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Dainon inspired me to post a cell phone photo from a concert. This show was totally fun and exciting - and overpriced. Here is barry wearing hot pink on a portable stage that came out over the audience.


I'm told this is a picture of heber. I took it from the top of the ski lift at brighton last saturday. It's soooo much better in person!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


just to be true to my identity as liz on strictly ballroom, this blog entry is going to be a big whine fest. enjoy.

ever have those days when things don't go so well? i had one of those nights. middle of the night. earlier in the evening i'd changed my bedroom light bulb and as i was climbing off my bed i hit my big toe on the bed frame. it ached like the dickens! so in the middle of the night - around 12:30 i woke up with my big toe knuckle throbbing. i was sure i'd need to go the emergency room. i couldn't walk on it. i had my bags packed to hit the gym this morning and i was worried that i wouldn't be able to do anything there since my toe was in such pain. i have a yoga class scheduled this evening and i imagined i'd lose my balance every few seconds because of the pain in my toe. i was convinced i needed surgery and i'd have to get a sub for a prolonged period of time and i just couldn't prepare so many sub plans. really - my mind went racing with all the problems that were going to ensue from this unhappy big toe. i went back to bed, carefully placing my toe so that there wasn't any extra pressure on it. then i woke up around 3, hot and suffocating. i found i'd been dreaming about all my blogger friends - not you guys who read this, but all the people whose blogs i read that don't know who i am - many are your friends. anyway, i did enjoy that bit of the night. when my alarm was due to go off - around 4:45 i woke up one last time. only to find my throat had closed itself off with all sorts of painful swollen-ness. again, the thoughts of the gym, teaching, yoga, went through my head as being impossible since i had this aching throat.

well, i'm here. teaching. i went to the gym and lifted weights. i'm not dead. my head doesn't hurt that much. i can breathe and walk. i think the toe still hurts a bit more than normal and i know the throat isn't happy, but life goes on. no long term sub in my future.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cut bangs

Plewe likes hair cut updates so here's the latest. I trimmed my bangs. I knos - pretty dramatic change, eh?

I also wanted to complain about snow. I'm not wearing the best shoes for hiking through a parking lot full of snow. I'm hoping it stops and manages to melt in the next hour.

Monday, April 16, 2007

jack in the box

here are my d.c. nieces. it's a family home evening night. they basically look at scripture story pictures with the girls. i like that julia is sitting in a box.

Friday, April 13, 2007


every does it. even me! last night i hit the gym with eragon - wanted to finish it - plus, due to my new found friend heather i need to start training for a 5k. my time so far... an hour. yeah, i need to speed it up some. i managed to run for .25 mile of it. i could have maybe run another .25 mile but it's hard to read and run at the same time and when given the choice, reading wins. i wonder if that will ever change.

anyway, while i was there i observed a very interesting fellow lifting weights. well, his appearanc was interesting. he was wearing a blue and black flannel shirt - long sleeved, like for hunting or camping. he had on long black cargo style pants and what appeared to be birkenstocks, or sandals of a similar nature. he had a black floppy hat on his head. as i watched him he went over to the scale to weigh himself. he shed everything but the shirt and pants. i noticed that he did leave on a little hat that must have been underneath the floppy hat. it kind of looked like a jewish yamukah (sp joseph?) but it had ridges like the kind catholic priests wear. anyway, it was little and on the crown of his head and black. oh, he also had shoulder length hair and with the floppy hat removed i could see he was missing quite a bit on top. wait, now that i think about it, he looked a lot like a guy i saw there months ago in a tie dyed t-shirt, shorts, knee length socks, and yamukah. (i know i must be spelling that wrong.) anyway, the really odd thing - why i'm blogging about him - is that this morning (my usual gym time) i saw him again! he was dressed identically to last night. this morning he was busy searching for some coins he must have dropped.

yep, everyone exercises. we all have bodies. they must be used.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

more dc photos

my sister finally sent some photos of my trip. there were so many great ones of my nieces that i MUST blog them. enjoy.

to begin with, here i am holding julia, wearing the apron my mom embroidered for my sister, after eating a delicious meal of spaghetti squash that i actually cooked. the sister had to run off to choir practice so i stood in as "mom" for the night. the brother in law was impressed with my skills so he took a photo to document the moment.

i think you can guess where this was taken.

this one is by the wwii memorial - she's a bit cold. she never took her hands out of her pockets except to eat string cheese.

here she is with my sister watching ducks in the water at the wwii memorial.

the whole gang posing on a ramp of the wwii memorial. julia (the youngest) is hidden inside the stroller.

i finally have a post for wordless wednesday!

niece lanelle wants you! dye easter eggs. okay so she's no uncle sam but she does live in d.c. she's totally photogenic. which reminds me... when we were hanging out last week she'd often parrot whatever i said. hearing her say "totally" or "stinkin'" cracked me up!

best movie ever!

okay, so i couldn't resist taking this test - only because i love it with all my heart. i'm just not sure how i feel about my results.

You're Liz Holt!

Take the Which Strictly Ballroom Dancer Are You? Quiz
Also try my other quizzes.


i love these quizzes - thanks cindy for the opportunity!

You're George McFly!

Take the Which Person from Back to the Future Are You? Quiz
Also try my other quizzes.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

luggage lesson

when i arrived home from my dc trip i checked a suitcase. the sister had sent me home with a ton of clothes that no longer fit her - score for me. anyway, i needed to check a bag. i don't like to do this and have a small suitcase that qualifies as carryon so i can avoid such situations. oh well, it was worth it to get 4 new pair of pants/capris/shorts. so as i was waiting for my suitcase the carousel suddenly stopped. what a nuisance! i waited for a bit wondering/worrying about long it was taking. then i decided to be proactive and look at the other side to see if it had been spit out already. it had! there it was! i quickly grabbed the handle and turned around only to have all the contents of my suitcase fall out on the carousel. what an embarassment! luckily the underwears were in a zipped pocket so that wasn't adding to my pain. just as i discovered the mess the intercom announced, "the carousel will resume in 10 seconds." some woman helped me grab everything and plop it in my suitcase on the ground. i managed to get it zipped up - only one of the zippers had broken but the other still worked. i was so relieved! when i told the story to my friend he pointed out that if the carousel had not been stopped my things would have been strewn all over and rotating around for everyone to see and i'd have to chase after them. so the annoying "broken" aspect turned out to be a blessing! there's the lesson for you. a curse may really be a blessing when viewed with hindsight.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The end

I'm at the airport waiting to board. I can't say I feel rested. I had a great bed as seen in the photo - with a nice thick boyscout blanket. This morning collins packed me a bag full of snakcs: apple, granola bar, jerky, marshmallows, cheese stick, fruit snacks, and peanut candy. There may be more. I made him keep the yogurt due to airport rules on viscous substances. Leaving for the airport we discoveredit snowed over night.

Speaking of last night, we attended a passover dinner at the local baptist chruch. It was conducted by a christian jew. His humor and excessive use of yiddish warmed my funny bone. The message of christ's life and atonement warmed my spirit. The symbolism is pretty powerful. Collins goes to law school with this guy isaac whose parents were missionary types. His grandarents actually lived as missionaries in china during the revolution - I bet they knew pearl buck - my favorite author ever! we were isaac and his wife's guests to this event. They are probably risa and collins' closest friends. They're super cool. After eating and before the final ceremony parts a woman had a full on epileptic seizure (sp?). An ambulance came and they wheeled her out - she was seizing for a good 20 minutes. I've never seen such a thing before. Oh I learnd a cool new jewish word: dayenu - I think that's how to spell it. It means it would have been sufficient. It's repeated and sung when they tell the story of the great things god did to save and redeem the israelites. God kept giving so after each thing god does you say that word. It was a powerful and uplifting program. I wish i'd taken a photo. Oh - I nearly forgot - the chef of our dinner was none other than the chief chef at the white house. Pretty cool, eh? Word is she's the first woman and she's philippina and has had her position for about two months.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Sign that made me laugh

I almost forgot - my favorite sign of the day. "treasures" is a euphemism in my family for something we also call "borborigmous" which is a word in the dictionary - look it up.

Jelly and relish

My favorite shop had a ton of jellies to sample. My sister is on the far left. She just had carrot jelly. Other fun ones were garlic and herb, mint, tomato, fig, apple cinnamon, and lemon curd.

Outside the jelly shop was a huge pile of manure (i think). It was steaming. It was appropriate since there were so many horses for the buggy rides. One car in the parking lot had a perfect licence plate. Perfect!

I forgot to mention in an older post about the soda we had to go with our lunch. Watermelon and coconut flavored soda! I recommend the first, not the latter!

Road trip

Today I took a drive out to pennsylvania to see some amish. Tip: amish observe good friday so don't expect to see many. Plus the shops are mostly closed, like this pretzel shop whose name sounded funny to me. I think it's dutch german or something. I did find a quality t-shirt for sale. I wanted it but knew i'd be too chicken to wear it. My backseat buddy really likes all her fingers. We think it's an omen of over achievement.

Black cars

Winding through the amish country side we discovered a whole fleet of black cars. They were parked around a brick structure with a small cemetery next door. The best we could figure was that the cars are used for funeral processions. They came in all styles from camrys to suvs. We noticed individualized hanging things from the rear view mirrors. Very odd to us tourists.


In lancaster county the gas station is called turkey hill. Prices are about 30 cents more than utah but about the same as maryland. I like the homes out here - brick and beautiful.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

WWII memorial

On our way to the cherry blossoms it occurred to me I hadn't seen the newest memorial. I called the brother to ask him where it was. As I voiced my question I looked out the car window and there it was. Ha! Pretty cool place. It reminded me of the one i've seen in the philippines. There were ducks in the water. I took a photo of the niece playing with them. I like how the quote acknowledges others in the world. It was truly a world effort fighting for peace and freedom. I think despite so many monuments and movies and speeches we undervalue the sacrifices made for freedom. I think we undervalue freedom period. I liked how you could see washington monument above this one.

More monuments

I was surprised to discover i'd never before seen the korean memorial. Very graphic and humbling to see life sized action figure style soldiers.

I was surprised to find a neglected memorial for residents of dc that fought in the world war. You know - THE one. Apparently it was dedicated on armistice day with a live band playing the NEW national anthem conducted by none other than john philip sousa himself!

I was also surprised to see jfk has his own hockey field. Odd. Really.

After our adventures I took a nap on the couch. I was surprised to wake up to the sensation of my niece stuffing a raisin in my mouth. I wonder if I had been snoring or something!

Muddy hike

We tramped through the mud to see lincoln. On the way we saw more ducks. And what I believe is their poo. Here's the view both directions. Also lincoln up close and the niece julia. She was a happy tourist. She mostly slept. It was sort of a women of the world whirl wind tour since my sister had never driven to dc by herself and neither had I. We were super successful, of course!


The goal this morning was to see cherry blossoms. We did. It was windy. There were waves on the water. My niece loved the water.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

winning essay

i want to go to africa. i entered an essay contest in hopes of getting to go with a renowned ny times columnist for free. here it is. tell me i'll win! i'll find out june 1. read on!

One of the most valuable lessons I learned in college is to never take a two hour class on a summer afternoon. I missed a good deal of my Sub-Saharan African geography class due to heavy eyelids. I quickly discovered that if I gave in to the eyelids around 1:30 they'd be open again before 2:00, allowing me to at least learn something. What I learned has never left me.

I considered myself a world traveler, sensitive to international issues and aware of challenges faced by third-world countries; after all, I spent my high school years in Mexico City. As a junior, I wrote a paper about the Masai, but all I retained is that they are cattle herders. I grew up singing along to "We Are the World," and when my little brother pushed out his belly we called him an Ethiopian. In that BYU class in the summer of '93, though, my stomach dropped and my heart broke when I was introduced to the unique and serious conditions of so many people in Africa. The years of history classes I took educated me in the principles of imperialism and Western exploitation, but never had I seen the perspective of the people who were exploited. It wasn't until I faced the challenge of filling 12 pages comparing two African countries that I began to see how naïve I was. My glimpse of the complexities of just those two countries left me baffled about what it meant to be an African.

Now I teach world literature to 15 year-olds living in the aptly named city of Bountiful, Utah. The pieces we read are as new to me as they are to them. Beginning with the oldest known epic hero, Gilgamesh, we've discovered major epic heroes from all over, including Mali's Sundiata. For each piece, we ask, "How are they like us?” and “What can we learn from them?" Our goal is to recognize that no matter the time or place, all literature comes from the souls of human beings who have the same values, fears, desires, and struggles, whether Mesopotamian, African, or Utahan.

While the realities of geography prevent people from experiencing many other cultures, reading the world’s stories is the most accessible approach to understanding others. Hearing, seeing and interacting, though, enables one to share in those stories and become one with them. Ever since waking up in Sub-Saharan African geography class, I've craved the opportunity to become one of their storytellers.

So far

Today I woke up to the smell of fried eggs. My brother in law was cooking breakfast. He likes to make pancakes festive by putting sprinkles in the mix. I took a photo of my pancake with the gravy baot of syrup next to it. After eating I got to take him to the metro stop because my sister was still in her robe and blind. I got to drive their new minivan in the rain. I did pretty good! Which was lucky since I failed to take my driver's licence with me. I took a photo of the steering wheel while I sat at a light. After getting ready for the day I went with my sister and nieces to the pediatrician's office. Julia, the youngest, needed shots. Here's a photo of lanelle holding her doll. Julia is in the car seat. It was a pretty sparse dr's office. one kid size table but no toys. A few jungle animals were painted on the walls. They had separate waiting rooms for sick patients from well patients. I wish i'd taken a photo of the little laminated rainbow colored signs. Now my sister is putting the girls down. I think i'll nap.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


I'm somewhere over kansas I believe. Hey julie - I could be in your hood! The view is a pure carpet of white with a perfect blue horizon. I wish my camera were better. You'll have to do some imagining. Luckily I made it to the library yesterday to pick up a copy of this month's book club selection, "guns germs and steel." very enjoyable so far. I think the bit on back says you'll be hooked after 2 pages. I'm somewhere in the thirties. Plus I managed to write an essay on why I should go on a trip to report on a third world country. It's for a contest. If I win I get to go to africa with some ny times reporter - what a dream! I decided to enter the day I responded to dainon's "getting to know your friends 2007" survey where I said something about never having gone to africa. That same day (or near by) I read about this contest. I'll have to blog my winning essay. :) oh, the photo is of the horizon, the other is of my tray table filled with book and beverages. I generally get tomato juice and water whenever I fly because I don't ever drink it at home. The juice, I mean, not water. The girl next to me is doing an activity book filled with quizes to take that reveal the "real you" - think cosmo for preteens. I took one myself, over her shoulder to discover i'm a chocolate chip cookie rather than ginger or sugar. She was sugar. If her life were a movie she'd be a goofball comedy. I don't about myself - the first question stumped me - it had to do with the sign i'd have on my bedroom door. I LOVE flying!
p.s. I don't think the girl next to me likes me very much. I made the mistake of sneaking a bite of my cabbage I brought for lunch. She and her sister made faces at each other. I think it may have smelled funny.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Hard work

I spent the first day of spring break working in the yard. I needed to rip out a bunch of miniature chestnut trees. I have a massive chestnut tree in my parkstrip that is the bane of my existence. Every season it has to drop something and the nut casings are the worst - sharp pokey things. But the nuts are like rocks - dangerous in their own right. Well I had a pile of debris that decided the sprout. There must have been close to 50 little trees I ripped up. A few came out intact. I took a photo for your enjoyment. I also took a photo of the naked budding tree. Did I tell you it was a lot of work? I broke two nails. No photo of that, though, sorry.

Flag pole

I don't think you can see it, but it's there, perfectly framed by the huge trees. This is the walk ed took while listening to his sales pitch getting him pumped up be a powerful salesperson continually climbing higher and higher up the ladder of success. It's one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. I love that I live so close and can reenact it whenever I want.