Monday, June 30, 2008

Email love

Oh, I should mention that my nieces and nephews in sacramento took it upon themselves to send me an email every two hours to keep me entertained. The oldest took compassion on me and organized the troops (her siblings) to sign up for a time slot. Some told more stories than others. The seven year old told me about romans who ate slugs soaked in milk and played ball with a pig's bladder. What good kids they are. These are the same ones that are working on their fourth opera. They're home schooled so this is how they like to spend their summer break - besides brushing up on latin.

How I spent my day

The laptop dona loaned me didn't work so I couldn't watch any youtube or read any blogs but I did get to read a book! It was grand. What will I read tomorrow? Now i'm regretting leaving the confederacy of the dunces at home.

Henry eyring

I wish I were him. Well, except for the painful death from cancer part. I'm watching a program about his life. I am impressed with his faith, courage, patience, testimony, hard work, intelligence, etc.

My foot hurts. And i'm sick of lying in bed.


The delivery kid said it was ham. I'm glad he was wrong. It's chicken. The bread has almonds in it - yum!!!


I'm just waiting for the results of my pregnancy test! How exciting! Plewe dropped me off this morning. I have a window facing my olympus - it's a good omen!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My foot

This is why I love my sis-in-law. She got me this book in honor of my bunionectomy i'm having tomorrow morning. Isn't she thoughtful? My good brother gave me a nice blessing of comfort so i'm all set. The other sis-in-law brought roses from mother's garden and my good friend diana brought cookies! This photo documents my pre-surgery bunion. Tomorrow night it should be gone! Notice the beautiful sheets in the background - oh so very nice. My bed is heavenly!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Letters to troops

So what do you write? We just had a ward activity and I tried to come up with something - I don't think I did a good job. I rambled about hamburgers.

New bed

Sorry for the really dark picture, but I don't want to get out of bed to turn on the lights. I got my ned bed last night and I believe it is heaven. I know I should get up - but i'm rather comfortable here in my pretty rose bud sheets on my throne of a bed. Really - it's rather high and large! I've moved on up "to the east side I finally got a piece of the pie" - at least in the bed sense. I'm happy to have visitors - I even have spare sheets (thanks for the suggestion diana) so when you visit I can put on clean sheets. I'm scheduled to sleep at a clinic all next week - I enrolled in a pain medication study to have my bunion removed - so my new bed is available from monday through friday. I'm taking reservations now. Plewe, I know you think the basement bed is heaven but wait til you try this one!

Friday, June 27, 2008


This morning's walk took me through usu's cemetery. I can't say i've ever seen one in the middle of a campus before - right next door to the basketball arena. I was also surprised to see that it is still taking people. At least it looked like it is - piles of dirt and one headstone was only four years old. I liked it in there.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Evening snack

One of the best things about my room - straight across from the ice machine. I just walked down to the creamery and I have to say it was delicious!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

USU Campus

I took a tour of campus for my morning walk - at least of part of it. I came across this building that looked a lot like the swkt from byu days. I was amused by the pile of chairs in front. I guessed they were doing major cleaning somewhere inside.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


As some of you know, hotel coffee is a temptation for me. The instant kind especially. Luckily coffee pots are a mystery so i'm all good this trip. I think this is my first time ever to stay completely alone in a hotel. I can't even remember the last time I could sleep pajama free when it wasn't my own bed. I tell you, i'm a social creature so this little adventure is a good experience for me. My stuff is all laid out on the extra bed, despite the handy hangars and drawers i'm always tempted to use, but then am too lazy to really bother to do so. One of my favorite things about hotels is the bathroom. I like the tissue that's emanating from the side of the sink, the safety band across the toilet, the pointed tp roll, piles of white towels, and endless hot water. While packing I commented to dona that the hotel would at least have a bar of soap. Let it be noted, I was wrong. This place has liquid soap dispensers with some spiel about landfills and partially used soap. Who knew? I just wish the tv was less red and had less commercials. Luckily i'm reminded that even paying for basic cable is too much - there is nothing on my over 100 channels. Must be bed time.

Port of entry

Ever been through one before? Me neither - until today! I'm on a bus to logan with a bunch of students to attend yearbook camp. Apparently busses (a full one at least) must got through. We just drove through - we had a green arrow light - sort of like a metered on-ramp. What an exciting adventure this is shaping up to be!

Monday, June 23, 2008

keep dipping

More wisdom from the old testament. There's that guy who had to dip 7 times to be healed. Which dip cured? Probably all 7. In the repetition of small simple things we can bring about miracles. How many fhes does it take to ground a child in the gospel? Apply apply!

(i'm blogging by cell phone in fhe and the ideas are so great I had to record them! Plus lex asked me to - thanks for the good suggestion!)

grapes vs. walls

children of israel spies were sent to jericho. 10 saw large walls and impenetrable city. But they brought back grapes. 2 saw all the milk and honey. When they did go into jericho god brought those walls down like the wind. What's the symbolism you should ask. Well michael wilcox compared it to marriage. Some of us see all the walls. But we should focus on the grapes and trust god's ability to bring down walls. After all, 1 nephi 3:7 says god will provide a way to do that whch he commands us. I bet you can find your own grape/wall symbolism. Go for it! Apply apply!

love of food

this is my niece. she plays with food. she was once caught eating a banana through the peel. in this case she has smeared broccoli all through her hair.

Mark kickin' it

mark and lynn and I went to the hip town of layton to chill with the big p breinholdt. It was some good times. When we were about to exit i-15 I looked back and saw mark with his hat cocked in this imitation of some tough gangster. I laughed hard and decided it needed to be shared with the masses. Enjoy.

Alien shadow

I'm walking home from the dentist's staring at this shadow of me! It's probably normal enough, but it looks so alien i'm reminded of when you hear yourself on a recorder.
it's a great morning here in city of salt lake. At the dentist's I read an article about "yummies" - young urban mormons. I think I count - especially considering the conversation I had friday night about why I live in the 'hood. I realized, though, i'm just friends with yummies. In fact the first person featured was rebecca vernon - a fellow rooseveltite. Pretty cool stuff - hooray for urban living.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I like the ocean. I could do with the sight of one right about now - maybe i'll dream of one as I am about to hit hay. But I had to post this thought first. I just finished reading tuesdays with morrie (thanks for the loan miss merrill!) and really enjoyed it. The very last bit took me back to father's death a little over a year ago as I read the description of morrie's frail body and coma like state. Strangely enough I found it reassuring and comforting to know that death was the same for morrie. It reminded me how there's more to life than the physical body. Morrie tells a little story about a wave who fears the upcoming crash on the shore where he'll "die." another wave reminds him that they are not waves but actually one big ocean. That was a powerful thought for me - not just in the context of father not really being gone - but also in the context of my life and my connections to people like father, and morrie, and mother theresa, and abe, and brigham young, and all those other people that seem more than people - they are ocean - and so am i!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nothing compares

To a summer night on the porch. Why do I have to fill it with drama? Just asking. So weigh in... Why do we choose to live where we do? Are we aware of the risks or are we only focused on the advantages?

Saturday, June 14, 2008


If you closely enough you can see a harp past the recycle bin. I'm sitting here in the middle of a MALL in the minnesota airport - complete with a harpist. I'm enjoying the peace in the middle of so many retail opportunities as I resist the temptation to buy chocolate, cashmere, sunglasses, t-shirts, lotion, and so on.

As a note of explanation.... The three posts below appear out of order because they are. Sometimes mobile blogging isn't perfect. In fact, it's possible in the next couple of days multiple copies of those posts will show up. Anyway, they worked now and i'm not the sort to care enough when I get home to put them in order. My trip to dc is drawing closed. It seemed short. I have good family and hope to spend more time with them in the future. Last night at bedtime we sang "geneaology (sp?) I am oing it" - the primary song - and I was touched by the words about being an eternal family. I am truly truly blessed!

National cathedral

This is the nephew enthralled with the organ concert we attended. Or he's just tired. The bright light in the middle is the creation rose at the west end of the cathedral. It is absolutely gorgeous. We took a tour after the organ concert. I think we spent most of our day there and could have stayed longer. I am a fan of the national cathedral. I could tell you tons - but since i'm blogging by cell phone i'll just encourage you to wiki it. And if you come out this way include a visit for yourself.


My sister and her six kid family are visiting dc so I decided it was a good time to visit the sister who lives in dc. Two for the price of one! this is a shot of the nephew sitting on the couch of the rental home. The sister found a house for rent for 8 people - apparently not a lot of options. This one is overloaded with junk. The owner lives next door and calls the house her expensive closet. Every surface is covered with books or random knicnacks. Really - the place needs cleaning out!

Green house

Mrs. Post (she had at least 3 husbands and I think post is her maiden name) had a large cutting garden to keep the house decorated with flowers and during winter she had a large green house. Apparently orchids also grow well in the green house - there were tons! It had at least three distinct and large rooms absolutely full of plants!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


This sign made me happy. It was a bit washed out. It's hard to believe it's really as old as it appears.

today I persuaded risa to stay home with me and the kids to read/play/swim/take care of life. Laurie and family toured the capitol and maybe something else if their kids didn't rebel against more walking. it's been nice to just relax. I even took a nap. This is what a holiday is all about.

Streets of dc

It was a long day of walking. First the zoo, then to the cathedral (and all over the cathedral), then to hillwood (post's estate), and then home. On the long walk we enjoyed seeing the variety of surroundings. My sister (from cali) is staying in a home in chevy chase, md. this fenceless gate is on their street. The kids got a kick out of it so I took a photo. I believe the bushes will someday grow up to be a natural fence.

Pet cemetery

Marjorie merriweather post had too much money on her hands. She basically bought all of catherine the great's treasures. Her house is decorated with french and russian 19th century things. She also had a number of beautiful gardens. This is from one of them. It was less "groomed." i'm curious about the number of pets she owned. There were probably 10 head stones and many had multiple names inscribed. Maybe they were just multiple names for the same animal. Lassie was even buried there.

Washington monument

Can you spot it? Right in the middle? this is a view from the observation deck at the national cathedral. It's the highest point in the city because it combines its height with that of the hill it's on. Seems like I read something somewhere that said nothing is supposed to be higher than the capitol. Now i'm confused. So many facts so little energy/time to wiki them all.


Yesterday our first adventure was the zoo. It was a bit of a challenge to keep track of so many people - especially so many little people. Here we are milling about in front of the komodo dragon exhibit.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Someone can't get the jetway to hook up with the plane so we've been sitting here trapped on the tarmac with bags in hand anxious to escape! As you can see they've managed to begin restocking/fueling but they can't figure out how to let us off.


I sit at the airport and wait. It looks like someone before me enjoyed popcorn while waiting. I did that once. Today I have pb&j and a gross cinnamon roll. It'll be a long trip. I'll eat them later. Right now I need to get a seat assignment. This will also be a full flight. At least I have a night of swimming to look forward to. Hooray for visiting family!
Stay tuned for more vacation blogging.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Family reunion

Saturday was the anniversary of father's burial. it also happened to be the first ward family reunion i've attended. Jospeh edward ward had 9 kids, my grandfather burnice was #9. I like joseph edward because his mother was sarah ward and he kept her maiden name. I really need to find out the story behind that since she married some with the last name spackman and/or spanswick. I also like him because his first name is my brother's middle name and his middle name is my fathr's middle name. They both share the same first name. Anyway, #8 child, dorothy, is the only one still living. she's around 89 and she played the organ for us to get the party startd. I wish I had a sound recording - classic it was. We partied it up in the senior community center in lava hotsprings. The family farm was in clifton, idaho, near preston. The cousins all grew up near each other and helped with the farm. My grandfather burnice took it over when he was grown. He sold it, though, back in the 80's I believe and moved to orem and became the animal control officer there befor dying from pancreatic cancer in the mid 90's. anyway, it was fun to meet/see all the random people i'm related to. It's a varied bunch. I kept hearing my last name and since that's what i'm often called by friends and students it was kind of weird. This photo was taken while my brother and I were guarding the desserts. The other photo is of a completed and glued together puzzle hanging in the women's restroom. Nothing like a good cat picture.

Vista del sol revisited

Plewe and I visited kristin on friday to celebrate/see her new baby boy. He was sleeping. We dined on classic wwww tour food - vista del sols and salami/provolone sandwiches. Divine! On the way home plewe and I stopped by the ikea. We had a small moment that reaffirmed a gospel principle. When you see the goal (ikea) up ahead go in that general direction. When you lose sight of it don't lose faith - keep going forward. Your destination will reappear when necessary.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


It's 11:30 at night and i'm driving home from a party on 1300 south and I see this guy on a bicycle as tall as a van! It's bright orange and has triangular shapes making the body. He was going pretty fast. It was pretty weird.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

capitol reef

you should all go there. in fact the ny times this morning recommended it as a summer destination spot - up there with alaska's glaciers. the one i want to do is going from chicago to seattle by train. anyway, here are my weekend stories:

we took a pit stop at a "panoramic view" rest stop. can you see the panorama behind me? we were very impressed with the cleanliness and friendliness of the location. i recommend it. too bad i can't say exactly where it is.
for dinner we stopped in bicknell at the sunglow family restaurant where they are famous for their pickle and pinto bean pie. apparently, back in the day, their pickle pie was so famous and delicious (it was adapted from some recipe in a magazine supposedly), that a group of bikers would come down from slc every weekend just for the pie. they wanted the recipe so they made an exchange. the bikers gave them the pinto bean recipe. now the restaurant serves both. i liked the place, despite the excessively stinky bathroom and slow service.
i of course ordered some pickle pie - mostly in honor of my brother in law who a few years ago insisted that the men in the family have "bonding" by making a bunch of gross sounding pies. i think it was because father was always a fan of raisin pie. i liked the pickle pie then and i liked it on this trip!

we found our group in the massive campgrounds by spotting mark setting up a tent. hooray! there must have been over a hundred campsites - we were in 43 and 44. that evening we attended the ranger's presentation on the stars. she advocated for not using lights excessively to limit light pollution. i thought it was funny that the little amphitheater was overly lit and there were little trail marker lights all along leading to the amphitheater. the public campgrounds were sufficiently lit!

the next morning we all split up in various directions. my group of girls were all suffering from one ailment or another (my back has hurt all week) so we took the two miler round trip hike to hickman's arch. very nice! here are a few photos documenting that adventure, unfortunately i failed to take any of the arch itself:

this is the "dome" that looks like the capitol building that gives capitol reef it's nave. i learned this great fact because we paid for one of those self guided tour brochures at the start of the hike. i liked it a lot because it created many mini-destinations.

this is a picture of "roundleaf buffaloberry" a plant that has silvery reflective leaves that help the plant retain moisture by reflecting sunlight.

we learned (by attending the 18 minute video at the visitor's center) that water, although seemingly absent from the environment, is very present and very influential on the surroundings. you can see from this photo how the rock has been shaped by puddles of water wearing away bits of "cement" (that's what the brochure called it) in the rock.

i took a little break under this rock overhang. i liked the colors.

after getting to the arch the brochure guides you out to a rim overlook. here is a picture of callie documenting our arrival.

i saw this piece of rock (?) and wondered what made the beautiful wood pattern. could it really be wood? you know, the petrified kind?

after our hike we relaxed in a picnic site to eat lunch and cool off. i lay on the ground under this tree. the place was full of cottonwoods. most of them were covered in webby sacks made by tent caterpillars. i learned that the tent caterpillars spend most of their life in the caterpillar stage eating the leaves of the cottonwood. they only live as moths for about a day. apparently most moths don't have mouths that work to eat so they are short lived, long enough to mate and lay eggs. sorry i didn't get a picture of the nasty webby cocoon looking things.

here is a picture of the caterpillar, though. they were everywhere. this one i found on the boardwalk that led to many petroglyphs made by the freemont indians - named after the freemont river which is named for some explorer named freemont.
and here is my attempt at photographing some petroglyphs. pretend you can see them.
the petroglyphs were enjoyed actually before hiking to hickman's arch. we also used our saturday morning to explore the pioneer era farm house (now gift shop) and the old one-room school house. i think they said it was in use until about 1949. it was small. apparently only about 10 families at the most ever lived in fruita, the small pioneer town which used to occupy the space that is now headquarters for the national park.
behind the school is a large rock where pioneers once carved "fruita grade school." you can sort of seeing the carving in this photo. it mostly is worn away.

this was one cool place to visit. i highly recommend taking a trip down there - only about a 3 hour drive if callie is your driver.