Sunday, September 30, 2007

women's conf

last night plewe asked me what i learned at women's conference. i never got back to her. so now i'll answer her question. i learned that no matter your station in life you have a responsibility to family - strengthen families. every family you come in contact with you should help be stronger. i also learned that i have a responsibility to provide relief. the first things you must do in life is stand strong and immovable in faith - you do this by making and keeping sacred covenants, going to the temple, studying scriptures, following the holy ghost, have family prayer and fhe, and live providently. i liked the last one. i need to do that more. i need to spend more time listening and following the holy ghost as well. i liked that the conference forced me to do some self reflection and even set some goals. i liked that i was reminded of my role in life - to strengthen families -and to hear that i can do this without having any children of my own. i think too often we set our sites low by thinking the most important thing god wants us to do is get married and have kids - sure he wants that - but more generally and importantly he wants us to strengthen families and we can do that in our own families (if we have them) or with all the others with which we come in contact.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Here we go - we're on our way! You can tell by my favorite landmark - the homecoming building - billboard for the people! It makes me happy. Cindy wanted to photo it but she wasn't as quick as me with my cell phone. Unfortunately, I wasn't quick enough to capture the calf wandering alongside the freeway by mile marker 346. I did call the highway patrol, though, only to learn that everyone and their dog was calling about it. Troopers are on the way, in case you were wondering.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tax class

This blog is dedicated to cindy, the queen of secret photos. I'm sitting here in tax class and being a touch bored so I decided to blog. Actually class isn't so bad, it's like solving puzzles, a bit of a mental challenge but the trick is caring. I want to care. I want to be smart. I want to be successful at filing taxes. I've nearly finished a roll of lifesavers. I've decided they taste better than dum dums. I already ate two of those. By the way, I have to say, i'm impressed with the integrity, decency, and kindness of this tax office. Liberty tax, on state street, if you were wondering.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Red pepper

I hope you can all appreciate the largeness of this red pepper. It came from my garden. It's taken years (or so it feels) for it to turn red. In the mean time i've hungered after it. Luckily, yesterday I decided it was red enough. And boy was it perfect!

Farewell dear dasco cabin

I wish i'd photoed the cabin or island itself but I did manage to pull out the camera phone on my drive home. The prettily red spotted hills were so stunning I was compelled to try to capture their beauty. I'm afraid I failed but at least I have my memories.

speaking of memories - that cabin is full of them. The sounds smells tastes and feel are unforgettable. Glen campbell, ed's satan voice, the rat chaser, sammy words like bacon and murder, and that heavenly river are some of the sounds. All day yesterday I could smell bacon on me. There's also the smell of fire and burned cookies. This time (like many before) I tried to memorize the look of the aspens turning yellow and the large mountain nestling up against us with the moon just peaking above it.

What dear friends I have and what dear memories we've shared in that cabin. I'll always love these last few years of moments spent together in "our" cabin.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


really i have nothing new to blog about. i've been waiting for inspiration. last night i was with plewe at sammy's concert - loved it - but took no photos. luckily she did and she blogged about it. but i want to blog something! i think i want to not do lesson plans. i will regret that. the last couple weeks i attended a covey leadership training. we learned all about the 7 habits. i loved it! i learned a lot. now i need to do what i learned. one important lesson is "live above the line" - in reference to doing things that are important. this isn't so important. neither is it urgent. it's a total time waste. i should be making plans - something important and relatively urgent - but even better if it's not urgent because then i'm getting ahead of things which allows me to squeeze more into my life that's meaningful and feel secure and not stressed. if you ever have the chance to do covey training i highly recommend it!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

my trek story

Okay, I'm home from Trek. Unfortunately, I took no camera so I have no photos. I do have a summary of my trip, though, on account of writing it out for my family. I decided I'd just post here what I wrote for them. Hopefully I'll get copies of photos that others took.

Thursday, Lanning (my parent partner) came to pick me up around 4 and we went back to his place to gather some last minute supplies before meeting up with the rest of the ward at 5. Around 6, everyone had gathered or was at least accounted for and we headed up to MacFarlane Ranch – just north, or east, I’m not sure, of Jeremy Ranch, near Park City. Once we got there we dug a huge hole, gathered rocks and wood to build a turkey cooking pit. We had dinner, and a small devotional. We learned that where we were camping was the same spot pioneers camped and even buried 3-4 people. Now it’s a huge field covered in cow dung, so it was interesting to think that what may appear an ordinary field can actually be a very sacred spot. I played “Praise to the Man” on my harmonica as our closing number, everyone sang along the second time through. I picked that song because it’s in the key of “C” and pretty easy to memorize. We didn’t stay up too late, but enjoyed looking at the stars.

Friday morning we got up and met our assigned family members. We fixed breakfast and did some bonding and loading up of handcarts. My family consisted of me and Lanning, and three daughters: Anne, Heather, and Joni. Joni wasn’t physically up for trekking, though, so she didn’t spend a lot of time with us. Mostly it was just the other four of us hauling our handcart. We went 11 miles that day. The first one was way up a rocky hill. Then an “anti-polygamist land owner” (our first counselor) chased us off his property and we had to turn around. Lanning wasn’t thrilled with the idea at first, I think he was looking forward to cresting the next big hill, but afterward he pointed out that the pioneers probably felt similarly, after climbing a hill and having to turn around. Our “emergency supply” of jerky, candy, and trail mix was broken into early by Lanning – he’s not much for rules – so we had a pleasant enough go of things. We were the smallest group, and had the least amount of men – the other carts all had at least two – but according to Jeff (the trail boss) said that we were holding up a lot better than the rest of the groups. I think it was the fact that Lanning kept us well fed. Lanning definitely did a lot of the hard work, but I don’t think it could have been done by him alone. It was a good lesson in trust and cooperation.

By evening, as the sun was getting ready to set, we got to base camp right about when a storm started blowing in. We got the tents set up and took shelter for about an hour. Then we took four of the nine handcarts and had a men’s pull – allowing for 3 to 4 men per cart. The women walked along trying their best to be helpful, but I think they were mostly in the way. I held back and watched the gorgeous sunset with lightning flashes. There was a fire in Parley’s Canyon that added to the impressive view. I finally decided to catch up to Lanning to at least give him a pat on the back or something and about that time Jeff signaled us to help the men. I took over for a guy who was pushing next to Lanning and then some girl took Lanning’s spot. Next thing I knew Lanning was pushing us both from behind. Oh, this was also the part of trek that had to happen in silence. That really added to the spirit since it forced people to be more introspective. After a mile Jeff stopped us and we were supposed to have a mini-devotional, but then the rain had started up again, harder, so we just headed back in the dark. Lanning and I chanced upon a woman who had sprained her ankle so he walked back supporting her and I went ahead to camp to have one of the ATV support vehicles go pick her up. The mud had attached itself to everything so walking was like carrying an extra five pounds around. In the dark we fixed dinner (broth and rolls) and got ready for bed. That was about when the second company showed up. We had a group of about 25 that met up on Friday night and pulled four handcarts up to meet us. After men’s pull, five or six of our company walked down to meet them and help them up the last few hills in the dark. It really seemed to be in the pioneer spirit to do that additional trekking as a sort of “rescue company” even after they’d really worn themselves out. Lynn pointed out that one good lesson from Trek is that even after you think you’ve give your last bit of energy and effort, you’re called on to give more and you can do it.

Saturday morning after breakfast (corn meal mush) we dressed the turkeys for the pit; Jeff even killed and skinned a live one. He’d bought three live ones, but one had gotten loose and the other was killed by a wild animal. The remaining one was wounded, but still usable. Then we had family devotional time. That was very rewarding as we had a chance to reflect on the strengths of each other and share some of the personal insights we’d had the previous day. Around noon we got all the carts loaded again and we headed back to base camp. We spent the afternoon participating in various pioneer games and activities like making candles, butter, quills; tomahawk throwing, and gun shooting. We unearthed the turkeys only to find that they hadn’t cooked all the way, and proceeded to tear them apart anyway and cook them in Dutch ovens. We had other food like potatoes and beans and watermelon to supplement so it was a good meal. I got home around 8:30 just dirty and pooped.


This is a huge bug in my house! I don't know what to do about it. I can only imagine it entered this morning when I left the door open while I was cleaning the tent out. Maybe I should open the door again and hope it finds its way back out. I think its a praying mantis.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rich family

I'm going on trek this weekend. I'm ma for some yet unknown "children" that are really just peers from my ward. The mas and pas were asked to come up with a family name and make a flag for their handcart. As previously posted, my pa isn't the most familial, so I made the flag myself, even picked the family name. I totally must give credit, though, to cindy, plewe, and cindy's friend kim, for helping me come up with the emblems and symbolism. Cindy totally deserves all the credit for designing the overall layout. She drew it in pencil for me last night and advised me on colors to use. I just finished doing the painting. There's only one mess up spot i'm embarassed of s everything else I think is spectacular. I've decided I deserve best family flag award - if there is one. The oxen are holding wheat - symbolizing the unity and friendship related to growing, harvesting, and preparing it into food. The mountains are enduring, the oxen are valiant and persevering, the crown is because of our divine royal birth right, the tree is a mustard tree symbolizing faith, and the tiny mustard seed it came from hangs below the family name. We are rich in heritage, unity, faith, fellowship, courage, heritage, and all that good stuff. Don't you agree my family will win best family flag ever?


This is a shot of the bathroom in the dea office. You may ask why I took it. I concede that to the casual observer it may just be another public facility, but if you look closely there may be a few details that will cause you to laugh the way they did me. For instance, besides the free standing bottle of hand soap there are two other wall dispensers - one is the old fashioned bulbous kind that had pink powder you'd shake out by jiggling a stem. There is more than one air freshener. One empty paper towel dispenser with a kitchen stle roll sitting on top. It was a small bathroom. Not pictured is a second bottle of lotion and a third option for paper towels. Oh, and a wing backed chair with a couple fake plants nearby. I wish I were in charge. I wish I could dejunk my own home.

Bus friend

Today I took the bus to my school district's office. It's the same one I used to ride to weber state over the summer, but I often didn't ride the bus home because i'd stay in ogden and play with blair. I'm taking it home toda. Just like I did the summer of '06 and '05. What made me happy today was seeing one of my "friends" from those past summers. There's a young man with blonde hair and pleasant face. He's rather attractive in a young clean cut missionary like way. The thing that sets him apart from others is his love for horses. He is always carrying around a picture book of horses. I remember how he used to talk nonstop to the bus driver about them. His child like enthusiasm just makes me smile in a warm and humbling way. I'm happy to see he's still bussing it to his grocery store job in bountiful.

Monday, September 10, 2007

birthday party family style

here i am with my cousins and sis-in-law who share august bdays with me. mother finally sent some photos around. i like how we're all sort of doing our own thing in this photo. we were getting ready to do a combined blow of candles, maybe we were waiting for random family peoples to come upstairs and join in the fun. it was a good party. the carrot cake was one of my favorite parts. reading plewe's blog today made me think i have something in common with plewe's father - carrot cake for bdays.

dove promises

i'm all out.

single parents

this weekend i think i got insight into the causes of single parents. i'm a ma for my ward's pioneer trek this coming weekend. i've been paired with a guy in the ward to be pa to my family. i've tried to coordinate with him for the last couple of weeks and all i get it "i'm easy going, whatever is fine, sure, how about later...." that sort of stuff. then yesterday i called him and he was all, "i should quit, you deserve a better partner, you should just fire me...." that sort of stuff. so it hit me. he's kind of a bum pa, so he thinks it would be best if he disappeared. sure i'm doing all the work, and i CAN do all the work, but that doesn't mean i want to nor does it mean that it's the best option. i told him i totally needed him and he better be there. i think he will. but i have a feeling that's the sort of thing that makes for lots of single mothers in the world. men don't live up to their best potential, feel like failures, and opt to duck out instead of just giving what they can.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Words on wednesday

Ha - i'm having my own version of wordless wednesday. See if you can figure out what this says - straight from a 10th grade student's interest survey: geam is oseam.

Today was one of those days where chocolate is a necessary medicine. Luckily, my co-worker gave me a "happy to be back" sack that contained a magic stapler (really it is!) and a bunch of dove promises. One said "a smile says more than a dozen roses." I think chocolate is equally powerful.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

For cindy

First I must apologize for the poor quality of this picture. It looks sooo much better in person. The critical element, and least visible (unfortunately), is the flock of birds sitting on the power lines. They are just like the cute cut outs and thank you notes she made. Happy first day of work cindy!

Monday, September 3, 2007


I love them! It's my second live concert with them - both outdoors and beautiful! I bet you wish you were here.

Hiking brighton!

plewe and cindy and I hiked to twin lakes today - fabulous! we ate yummy snacks and painted pretty flowers, we even ran into some friends! Here is a really cool looking aspen and a shot of silver lake, which was at the bottom of the hike. My favorite part may have been the "pick a poop" display in the visitor's center - it made me laugh. Luckily cindy snapped a photo of me displaying some. Good times!


This was supposed to be an omelette, but I forgot how and got impatient. The tomato and pepper are from my garden, i'm pleased to say. Cilantro gave it the perfect kick. Yum yum yum!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

dead party

i wish i took photos. luckily cindy did. if i were as smart as cindy i'd put a link to her site all embedded in this post the way she does, but as is, just go over to my links to the left. that's the best i can offer. anyway, the party was a good time! i especially enjoyed getting dressed up and making myself look dead. i splashed black eyeshadow powder all over my face to the point that i think i gave myself a mustache. to counteract the mostache i slathered my mouth in red lipstick - i figured zombies might have bloody brains all over their mouths if they were really behaving the way they should. i know, gross, but i didn't pick the party theme, i just followed directions. i enjoyed the dancing and the visiting and the dressing up. mostly it was fun to have a full day of work followed by some good fun. it's great having cindy here and plewe being back - it's like a party all the time now. maybe. okay, not ALL the time, but it sure is nice having friends so close.