Saturday, December 26, 2009

Not a jazz fan

Bret and I wanted to go to dinner at tucano's tonight to celebrate his birthday. Let me just tell you - a weekend night during the holidays when a jazz game is going on equals no parking. I froze walking the mile plus from the parking lot to our restaurant.

pie overload

bret and i bought 10 holiday pies at our recent sub for santa ward auction. 10 holiday pies is a lot. considering my family requires a special lemon meringue pie at holiday gatherings, that meant at least 6 pies per family. since we hit my family first, bret's family got the most. luckily they had people willing to keep and help eat the leftover pies. this morning i heard from two friends who said yes to me bringing over pie. right now i have about 2 and a half left that bret and i need to consume or share. i'm having a painting party next week (mon through wed at least) and plan to feed pie to those who come - if there's any left. let me know if you're interested in either painting or eating pie - i'll give you details - i'll hook you up.

i'd just like to note that the lemon pie seemed to be the general favorite at both family gatherings. i'd also like to note that i've had pie for breakfast two days in a row now. at least i made it to the gym today!

just for the record, here is a list of all the pies:
2 pecans
2 banana creams
3 lemon meringues (bret and i made)
1 chocolate walnut
1 cranberry apple - what a cinnamon loaded soupy but delicious mess that turned out to be - complete with caramelized walnuts on top
1 raspberry cherry
1 grasshopper
1 maple custard that definitely needed more maple flavor!
1 blueberry cheesecake

Monday, December 14, 2009

My tree

Last night bret and I hosted a little christmas gathering for friends. That required decorating. In the past, dona was always the decorator in my home. Without her bret and I had to improvise. Neither of us were interested in bothering with a tree - but christmas parties aren't that festive without some token lighted and decorated thing - so we used the plant stand. I think it looks great - sorry the photo is sideways not sure I feel like figuring out how to exactly fix that. So... as for the party... it was a great success! We had about five musical numbers plus an audience sing along to begin and end the program. When it was "over," though, people still wanted to sing. Since jared is just that sort of musically prepared guy, we had a stack of sing along books to use. Brent was good enough to take care of the playing on the piano and I think the musical entertainment lasted another half hour while others felt free to chat and snack. I really meant to pull out the camera to document what might be the start of a holiday tradition - but I forgot. Last year my vision friends and I put it on as a little service/social activity. It was such a hit that while I was away on honeymoon they decided we should do it again. I knew bret really enjoyed it last year so I was rather confident he'd be up for hosting this year. Hooray for a social musical friend and treats loving spouse. And hooray for musical friends who enjoy gathering for good times and good causes. (we collected canned goods for the food bank.) i'd also like to add that my floors are clean and the furniture is back in place but i'm still enjoying the christmas decorations.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Festival of trees

I'm finally done with my volunteer shifts at the f of t. Can't say it's the most fun ever but it was still pretty cool. It's really touching to think of all the people donating time and resources in honor and for the support of primary children's hospital. It was just a bit depressing thinking so much about the pain and suffering of people - I know it's supposed to inspire courage and hope especially during the holiday season but that's where the word bittersweet comes in. Maybe when i'm older or just have more time for reflection i'll be able to feel it more deeply but after two days of being on my feet i'm mostly left thinking of the sad stories. Also maybe the sadness comes from hearing that y first principal who hired me 10+ years ago passed away today from cancer. I'm no fan of cancer in any form.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

the latest

okay, well, since i'm now back from the honeymoon and trying to organize my life, i decided i better update my blog - nothing more important of course! okay, maybe the piles of gifts that need thank you cards written - not to mention being put away! hey, at least the laundry is done!

so, bret and i had an absolutely fabulous time in midway at the zermatt - a swiss themed resort. the place was pretty dead except for lunch on thanksgiving and then on friday night going into saturday morning, but still those days were pretty mellow. we felt like we had the place to ourselves. great service - well, one bag of dove chocolates did go missing one day after housekeeping had visited. they play pleasant music on the grounds until at least 10 o'clock at night. it seemed to be always playing which was cool except when it felt a bit twilight zonish. we really enjoyed the town and hiking around and feeding ducks. bret loves to feed ducks. i just like watching. i'm glad we didn't go far - it made going and returning easy. we're back at home and he's back at work and now if i can only get my house back to order all will be well. anyone want to clean my bathroom? let me just say how glad i am i took the time to clean before leaving! that made it very nice to come home to. i'm just overwhelmed by all the gifts.

back to happy thoughts. our wedding day went PERFECTLY! really we both felt like nothing could have made it better. we got to see all our friends and family and we felt like our smiles were permanent. the weather was gorgeous, the noses not too red in the photos, timing of the lunch couldn't have been better, and all the thoughts shared and especially the band's performance were spot on. (when people asked if i was at all anxious about my wedding day all i had to say was that i was nervous about performing with my band - but i did really well!) like i said - i loved it. bret and i wrote in "our" journal reflecting on the day and we could only rave about how nicely everything went. we decided our favorite part of the sealing ceremony was when our sealer reminded us to hold hands and pray together (and with the children) to create an atmosphere of love in our home - so others would know we belong to each other - and so our children would learn about love. okay, so i'm not restating it perfectly, but i think you get the idea. let's see, i think i can find a picture of us on the wedding day - thanks to all my siblings who did good picture taking! did i mention how great all my siblings, etc. were? the wedding party would have never happened and come off so perfectly if it weren't for all the talented family members who pitched in like the wind. i think bret's mother said it was her most enjoyable wedding of all. i know it was mine! :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Last day being single

I woke up this morning wondering how I should spend my day - the last one being a single woman. It felt like any other saturday. I did chores, finished packing, played with family, went to costco, ate good food, picked up family from the airport. Later tonight I get to see bret for an hour and then I have a sleep over with the women of the world - plewe and kristin. I think we'll make lime squeezies and chat a bit before bed. Sounds like a perfect day to me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bean soup

My bathroom smells like bean soup. I've been using my tub as kitchen sink since last saturday my pipes decided to bust a hole. The pipes are better. It'll be nice to use the sink again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Saying goodbye

This is the view on my way out the door. The only awkward part today was when a kid saw me take this picture - the door one. Oh well - not my problem anymore! My mantra got me through the week and it's finally true. Happy to say I went out strong!

Can you guess what i did yesterday?

That's right - I picked up my dress. If it was easier to put on and didn't require a helper I might try it on over and over again before the big day - but the thing is a hassle. I need to go buy static guard the lady told me. Apparently tuelle is pretty electric!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Better than christmas

Last night at my bridal shower someone commented on how it's better than christmas because besides gifts I also get a husband. Too true! I probably got more gifts than i've ever gotten at christmas. I think my friends know I like to bake - 3 sets of cookie sheets and a bag full of sugar, etc. but what really prmpted me to blog about this time being "better than christmas" is the anticipation I feel for next week. In exactly a week i'll be fixing my hair preparing to go to the temple to be sealed to bret for time and eternity - seriously, finding someone you can trust and want to continue trusting like that, is a miracle. A "better than christmas" miracle!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


i can't say i'm looking forward to it. i can't say i really enjoyed it when it came flying down yesterday. i have yet to remember to wear a scarf when i go out - i'm not ready for the cold! but this morning, i went for a walk to the park. there were some patches of crusty ice bits on the sidewalk, but the sun was shining, and it was glorious! i felt good! i loved the clean air that snow can bring. i loved that it i attended an inspiring stake conference meeting last night and i have another one this afternoon. i loved feeling happy to be alive and happy about the future - snow and all.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

more big news!

so... you know how i'm getting married and quitting my job? well some of you may also know the headache pain and suffering i've endured the last few years trying to become a "highly qualified english teacher" (thank you legislators for all the hard work you do that i know has good intentions but really just seems to complicate life for many of us!) - well, anyway, i did it! i got my letter this week from the state office of education that says i have an english endorsement!!!! i can now teach english legally and my school district will no longer be harassed and will no longer pass on that harassment to my principal who will no longer need to bug me each year to do something about that. it's finally done! (i figure it doesn't hurt to have for the future - never know when/if i get to return to teaching - maybe by then i can become a certified math teacher or some other exciting and hoop jumping position.)

in case some of you are trying to remember what suffering i'm talking about remember that shakespeare class? then remember the appeal to weber to give me a degree? oh, and remember the racket that praxis is running in this nation? yeah, those are the horrible hoops i had to pay for and deal with. this letter from the state office is gold i tell you - gold!

Friday, November 6, 2009

for the women in my life

sorry, this isn't going to be any sappy sort of post. it's just that guys won't be able to appreciate it. i don't know about you all, but when i get ready in the morning i don't have a perfectly smooth routine. sometimes i curl my hair sometimes i don't. sometimes i eat breakfast before getting dressed, sometimes i eat it before putting on the makeup but after curling the hair. it always varies. well this morning, when i went to put on my makeup the first thing i put on was my lipstick. oh, you should probably know i'm the sort that wears foundation - which goes on FIRST. oh well. so i was a bit tired and not thinking clearly.

let's see, other news. last night bret and i packed up his stuff and brought about six boxes to my house. he's moving in! yes i know that's normal when you get married, but it's still a little weird. i have a hard enough time finding places to put all MY stuff, now i have to figure out where to put his!

in other news doctor said i need more vitamin d. seems odd to me. i'm a healthy person. i don't need no stinkin' vitamins. but i guesss i do. i guess i spend too much time inside. the good friend plewe did some research for me. basically i need to see more sun light. or take vitamins. i'll be picking up my prescription next week. hope i don't die before then. i'm hoping it helps with the tiredness and achey back.

ps - i'm getting married in less than three weeks! hooray! i just managed to get a sub to cover my last two days of work - double hooray!

Friday, October 30, 2009


last night i dragged bret to target to register. when it was all said and done i think i had a worse time than he did. target seemed to have very few choices. i felt like we registered for things because we "had" to. not very fun. and since we were pressed for time a lot of the decisions didn't take a lot of thought or analysis. i hate "buying" things without more thought. bret hated "buying" things if he didn't feel like we needed them. of course, he's been content to live in a bachelor's pad with hand me downs for years. i guess in some ways i have too. it's hard to shift into responsible adult mode with nice things. it was really easy talking ourselves out of registering for things with the justification that it wasn't needed. after some arm twisting he finally registered for a tennis racket. i own one and if he doesn't have on then i felt like there would never be the chance that we might play. he argued that for how often we tried to play he could just borrow one from his parents - but i figured that took away the spontaneity. in the end i wonder if i really should have pushed. maybe in a few years when we look at the dusty unopened tennis rackets we can laugh at my insistence. anyway, i'm hoping to have more luck and bed bath and beyond - maybe we'll get there tonight after we do dinner with the parents.

can i tell you all how annoying this tight knot in my upper back is? you know, the kind stuck behind the shoulder blade. it won't go away! i think i'll have to visit a massage therapist sooner than later.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The ring

I know it's a bit blurry, and it's not even my real ring (just filler) but it's the same style so I figure I should share. The real one will have yellow diamonds framing the center stone.

Monday, October 26, 2009


i don't think there's any one that reads this blog other than mike in texas that doesn't also read all my facebook posts or get regular emails from me. but as a special treat to those who do occasionally check here, i'm posting my engagement photo. what i love best is that we got engaged last wednesdayish and by saturday we had a date, were shopping for a ring and next thing we knew, i bought a new blouse and we were posing for an engagement picture. bret's brother took it (after proper encouragement and pressuring from me). we went to byu campus since i knew they had beautiful leaves. ever since i attended college there i have loved their leaves and had even dreamed of having my engagement photo taken with them. these were different leaves than the ones i used to admire (my "hood" at the y was pretty limited). after about 5 minutes of picture taking it started to rain heavily. that was the end of the photo session, and luckily it was successful!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


You know you're getting old when you purchase something specifically for a male and the clerk asks if it's for your husband or son. How does he know it's not for my father or brother? Sigh.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


For fhe on sunday I was in charge of talent. Since bret and I recently painted the ceiling of my new bedroom I decided to share that. It compares in no way to what james and alicia did, but I believe it's important to be pleased with your work, so i'm sharing it. Taking a picture of a ceiling isn't easy. I'm also attaching the view from my bed of the newly painted door. Now I just need to cover the closet doors!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Long week

It's only wednesday of a rather long week. Sigh. But at least i'm attending yoga tonight and then going to the temple with plewe. That actually seems like a great way to spend my evening. The last two evenings i've had parent teacher conferences. I know i'm finally a veteran because I felt zero amount of nervousness. Mostly I was sad I got so little planned during the down time. The first night we had a fire alarm so we got to spend a good five minutes standing around in the cold - it was nice to have the "break." my other stress of the week is halloween. I made the official announcement that i'm throwing a party. That means I have to get serious about nailing down a costume. If you didn't get invited my apologies - drop me a line and i'll see what I can do about that. In the mean time happy halloween! I think I need to watch nightmare before christmas to get in the mood.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hair cut

Another hair cut another blog post. Too bad this is about as exciting as my life gets. I AM enjoying the new cut, though. I will gladly recommend my stylist - only 25 for a cut - a steal if you ask me. It's been a long time since i've loved a hair cut - didn't have to "fix it" when I got home.
now to figure out what to make for dinner.
P.s. Midterms are due monday - 1/8th of the way through another year. Brand new student today. I think i've had one at least once a week since school started. And here we are in the middle of a research paper.

Friday, September 18, 2009

a butt

That's not a word I use lightly - but it's the only word to describe what I found in my yard last weekend. After having an enjoyable marktoberfest on friday night I decided it was time to mow the lawn on saturday. In the backyard - that's completly fenced in - I found a marlboro butt lying in the grass. Smoked to the end but not squased or mutilated looking, it was just innocently hanging out on my lawn. How did it get there? I hate not knowing. Now I wish i'd taken a picture - you know - for the blog's sake. i'm hurting for good material these days. I blame school. Which is a topic for another post another day. Bed for now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Life of a fly

Tonight I had dinner with plewe. About midway through we discovered a fly on the table. I assumed it was dead - feet in the air and all. But plewe saw a leg wiggle. She wanted to save it. I wanted to hide it under a napkin. after enduring my idea for about 10 minutes Plewe won - she scooted it off the table onto the window sill below the table. I didn't mind - out of sight out of mind - but plewe kept thinking about it. She gave him a piece of chip to regain his strength. A bit later she checked on him and tried to readjust the chip so he could grab it. Really - a fly! A half dead fly! When we finally left she couldn't resist checking on him - and who knew - but he was gone! Seriously he wasn't on the floor or anywhere we could see. It was like a fly miracle. Plewe admitted her obsession may be due to some repressed issues related to helplessness. Of all things - a fly! A half dead fly!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New mixer

I finally hit bb&b with my collection of gift cards I got using all my discover card points. Plus 20 percent off and I came home with 400 dollar mixer and only paid 150. Now to decide if I want to keep it or swap with my sister for her bosch. Still pondering that one.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lunch box love

My good brother loaned me his son's old "bob the builder" lunch box to start the new school year. My harry potter was starting to rip. Bob's been great, but apparently one of my coworkers thought it was time I had a decent upgrade. This morning she handed me this super cute new one filled with lauging cow cheese, crackers, and my beverage of choice - water. I was totally touched by her thoughtfulness but part of me may miss bob.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

nod to tracie

i just hit "publish post" and then noticed the good friend tracie had also posted. only last friday we were chatting and commenting on how neglected our blogs have been. funny that we finally both got around to it. i like her stories. i too love living in the city. i too love cooking. i too love friends. hooray for good times in the city! i want to take a cooking class i think.

first week and then some

so, all last week i meant to post something about my first week of school. it didn't happen. i was too busy. let me see what i can come up with.
english classes - all great! i started high energy talking about hopes and purpose. i had them write me a letter about their hopes for the year and for extra credit i said their parents could write me about their hopes. (thanks for the idea julie!) i was surprised by how many of them want to be better writers in terms of grammar and vocabulary. unfortunately that's not the most fun to teach and i don't have much material for such lessons. but i did break down and buy 20 copies of "well-lit sentences" - or some similar book. i found it by my library by chance and really enjoyed it. i will give it a shot - teaching "reading informational text" and grammar at the same time. any suggestions? help? guidance? yikes!
my reading classes were not as positive. somehow i have become a dumping ground for special ed kids whose schedules don't work so they'll just plop them in my classes. what a pain. plus the software we use has a bug and won't be fixed until next week. filler with a bunch of kids who hate school and would rather sleep is a real challenge. it's hard for ME to stay positive and enthusiastic. so far, though, i really do love my kids. i just hate my job. my fellow teachers just cause me stress.
my yearbook/journalism kids are a motley crew. we have super sharp kids and a bunch of "pass the time" sorts in there. i'm going with the attitude that if you give them responsibility they'll rise to the challenge. all fingers crossed!
anyway, one highlight last week was coming across a spider in the hallway. it was coming straight down on my coworker's head as we were complaining. (really one of my goals each day is to not complain.) i took a picture. it's blurry. you wouldn't care.
i've still been happy living alone. i love the space, the peace, the freedom. heaven.
now to look at august's finances and see how i did with my first month on a "budget" - like the official kind.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One more year

I turned older last week. And to celebrate I invited the entire ward to lava hot springs. Well - i'm co in charge of ward activities so the trip wasn't really for my bday. Anyway, bret was very clever and ordered a cake for me that we picked up in soda springs. It was a total surprise which made it all the better. Later at camp we gathered the 15 or so ward members together to celebrate and help us eat it. I think I couldn't have planned a better party.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

View of living alone

It's my first night alone. I spent a good portion talking to my mother on the phone. Who else would a girl call when she finds herself utterly alone? Luckily mother wa home! We had a good chat. This alone thing will be good for me. When I got off the phone I looked around and noticed how NOT alone I really am. I have my treasured mobiles - always ready to greet me - one is full of photos of dear friends. On my dresser is a photo of dad - reminding me of a great family legacy I come from - one of courage and hard work. On top of me is a gorgeous quilt my mother gave me for my mother gave me for my birthday. One father helped with even. And pinned to my closet door is a picture of the resurrected christ. I think being alone is totally a matter of perspective.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Here's the latest status of packing. There's still plenty more to do - thus the empty boxes in front. What worries me is that the rest of the house doesn't appear to be that empty. You know what that means. By the way, if you want to help with the move - the uhaul will be here wednesday at 6. Come one come all - good times!

big changes afoot!

so, my roommate of 11 years is officially moving out tomorrow! we moved into my house together (we'd been roommates earlier in an apartment) about 6 years ago the week of her birthday - i find it coincidental that she moves out the week of my birthday. this year i'm celebrating by cochairing a ward trip to lava hot springs. not my first choice of fun, but good enough. in preparation for living alone i've bought a few things for the house - like an iron and ironing board. funny what you get used to not owning until you actually have to live on your own. this will be my first time EVER to live alone. ever! yes, i'm a bit nervous. i'm not the alone sort. i spent a good portion of today going over my finances and creating a budget. i've tried this before, but not with as scientific and purposeful approach - here's hoping this time is different. here's hoping i actually stick to it! i've decided i need to especially watch my grocery, eating out, and entertainment categories - those are the places it's easiest to go overboard. i also did some cleaning today. the good roommate has boxed up nearly all of her things - they fill one side of my front room - oh i should take a photo for documentation purposes. i'll do that next. anyway, i had to move one of the larger boxes to get to the printer paper. i never realized the but muscles involved in lifting large boxes. i know this because last week when i was cleaning the bathroom i fell on my rear. it's been bruised feeling ever since. maybe it's more of a strained muscle, actually, since it flared up in pain just now while moving the box. school starts next week. cry for me argentina. seriously i hope i can survive all this change!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Birthday fun begins today!

Yep it's officially my birthday I think. I spent the day with my mom doing lunch and shopping for shoes. When I left she gave me my bday gift - some good old fashioned cash. I figure the cool new shoes I bought should officially be the purchase using that cash - thanks ma! They're cute aren't they? And the red soles match my red orthotics - call me fashionable. My mother always said a girl should have a bit of red on her somewhere. I think orthotics should count! So where am I sporting these fancy new fancy new shoes - no other than a birthday movie outing with the good friend. Anyway - gotta go check out the flick!

last friday

technically next friday is my last friday of freedom but since i'll be in lava hot springs getting to be in charge of a ward trip i don't feel i can call that true freedom. so guess how i'm spending the day! well, i have a ton of crocheting to do - goals must be met - so i figured sitting around watching a video might be a good way to do it. so i called my mother to see if she had any good ones from the library she might be watching while she sews. instead she convinced me to join her for a bday lunch. who am i to argue. so my last day of freedom i'll be doing lunch with my mother and hopefully crocheting. i'd like to point out that before i turned 30 i wanted to finish an afghan i'd begun 6 years earlier. when i picked up this project last april i decided i must complete it faster than 6 years. yes, it would be super cool if it could be done by my birthday, but i'm content to say before my NEXT birthday. mostly i'm trying to impress the niece that got me started and who is visiting at the end of the month. i want to be half way through. you know what will happen when school starts - i'll totally neglect it. in fact, i may neglect a lot of things going on in my life. sigh. school is hard. last night at visiting teaching my friend said back many years ago when she taught her roommate was also a teacher. my friend said she knew she was a good teacher, but she knew her roommate was a great teacher because the roommate kept thinking about school stuff and actually enjoyed thinking about it, where my friend would come home and just think about what was for dinner. i'm afraid i'm only a good teacher. i do know a great teacher, though, and she's my inspiration. her school starts a good week before mine so it's easy to feel motivated and inspired by her. good luck julie! i'm thinking about you!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Our last day in california took us through napa valley. We enjoyed shopping in calistoga springs but napa itself felt dead. We took the long way around clear lake. I'll just say it's not all clear but it's still beautiful. This day's drive was much more pleasant. I was surprised by the tourism aspects of wine country - just odd to me since it's not on my radar. I did enjoy what appeared to be huge azalea bushes everywhere. But they could have been rhododendrons - I hear they're related. I took a photo while on the highway anyway.

our very last day began in reno and ended up in church just in time for sacrament meeting. Let me just tell you what a let down nevada is when finishing a scenic road trip. At least I had a good book to read. I finished "god wants a powerful people" - it did a lot for me in the moment and since then. We had good discussions connected to points made in the book. I'd also like to point out what an amazingly comfortable stay we had in the staybridgesuites in reno using the fabulous friends and family rate courtesy of the good friend tracie - thanks tracie - hooray for a haven of comfort after a bad night in willits.


I've already voiced my complaints about the koa there but there was one redeeming factor about the town - their family friendly pizza joint. Friendly regulars gave advice on what and how to order and the service was exceptional. Friendly and helpful and kind and fun employees. I overheard a couple even fighting over who did the hard job of cleaning up the salad bar. I loved the place so much I left a 5 dollar general tip - one of those plastic cups by the register type deals. I also bought two servings of ice cream. It had been a hard afternoon of driving twisty mountain and coastal roads. My road trip buddies were a bit sick by the time we were done and I had a headache. So here is evidence of my ice cream servings and the happy pizza joint. Sometimes it's life's little pleasures that save a day.

More redwoods

We kept driving south and went through the avenue of the giants. Wow. Again those redwoods are amazing. We took a short walk through a grove until I decided it was time to look for facilities. In this grove, though, things seemed more wild. Trees would be leaning over and still growing so they'd have branches going straight up like new trees. There were also a LOT of trees/plants growing on others.

Wedding rock

On our drive south we stopped at patrick's point and visited wedding rock. What a stunning view - and it was even fogged in - but still - just like stories and movies and imagination - but real. our favorite bit was the squirrel that seemed to be meditating on the view too. Sorry my camera is so lame. If you look closely maybe you can see it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Move it!

I haven't finished blogging my trip - I will tomorrow - but before I hit the hay I just wanted to report on some of today's fun. to make up for so much sitting the last few days I took myself to the cinema cardio. I caught the last exciting bit of karate kid - what a fun and inspiring flick. It made me want to be a better mentor to the neighbor kid - remember, the one that put stickers on my house. Last week he left a couple letters in my mail box. Anyway, fun was had at the gym but it got better at fhe. There's an especially vibrant fellow in my ward who presented a workshop on health. He's a young spanish version of jack lalanne - in fact he showed a few clips from jack's old show. Very inspiring - I can't wait to learn more. After the presentation he took us through some movements that basically had us hitting ourselves - it was like a self massage. I think it focused on all the pressure points. It was fun to be a part of a room full of adults doing what looked like some funny slap dance. It felt great!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rest stop

This is the view from one of our many stops. I happened to find a comfortable rock to lie on. Kristen opted to climb down the rocks and run across the beach to meet us in the parking lot. I noticed there was a hostel right by the beach. So very cool! I love hostels but we decided the koa was cheaper for us. And it may have been more comfortable. We loved the koa up in crescent city - loved it! I wish i'd taken a photo of it. Our cabin was in a redwood forest - just a difference of a few feet and we went from daylight to dark. I'm a big fan of the koa kabins. Well... except for the one in willits. No photo of that one either. We stayed there the next night and hated it. Blech. They were celebrating christmas in july and the place seemed packed with partiers. I felt like we were staying in a trailer park. Blech.

The gals

So here we are - in our only group picture. I think we'd just looked out over an amazing rocky cliff - the coast line trail is stunning - and I insisted on taking this picture. Seriously - it's a great drive. I only wish we'd stopped more often. We passed lots of people on bikes - holy dedication and hard work. At one stop we visited with a fellow who had a major telescope attached to a camera. He took pictures of birds. Cool "job."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lady bird johnson grove

Our first tourist stop in the redwoods was stunning. I finally saw things that i've only read about or seen in movies - it's a forest more stunning and fantastical than i've ever been in and i've gotten around. The trees are supposedly taller than football fields. The friends are posed in front of some upturned roots. The forest floor is covered in ferns and clover like plants - all huge to match the trees. Other common trees were rododendrons and hawthornes - they often grew out of fallen dead redwoods - so everything felt alive. A lot of redwoods were bruned on the inside but their outer bark has water for resin so they didn't burn easily and you'd see hollowed out trees still living. They reminded me of one of my favorite childhood books - "my side of the mountain" where a kid lived inside a tree. Best book!

Clam beach

We finally hit the coast at mckinleyville. This may have been our favorite beach. It wasn't terribly crowded. We got our toes wet - cold - and watched a man play fetch with his dog by throwing the ball into the oncoming waves. Seeing the ocean was one of the main reasons for this trip. Angela loves the ocean.


It's a small town in california. But it has one of the coolest bridges ever. We walked over it the night before and it was all lit up from below. I can't say i've ever seen so many spiderwebs in my life! Well we went back in the daylight - super cool at both times of day.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

leg 1 of cali trip

My friends kristen and angela (friends fro church) and I headed west this morning. Tonight we sleep in a motel 6 in redding. After tasty chevy's for dinner we went to sun dial bridge - wow - worth seeing! Most of the day was spent on the road. We stopped in lassen national park and spent time next to summit lake. I wish I knew the name of the montain - but I haven't fully studied the map. Anyway, it was a gorgeous lake. It made the perfect sounds and the breeze felt like heaven. Just see how clear the water is! I wish we camped there and stayed a day or two. But tomorrow we head north to crescent city.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


earlier this week during scripture study i got thinking about enemies. in 2 nephi 4 nephi prays that his enemies way will be hedged up. i wondered who my enemies were. they're hard to spot. if i can't spot them how can i pray for them? pray for them in the good, bless them sort of way, and in the hedge them up sort of way - you know, so that they aren't enemies anymore and aren't a problem. yesterday i watched a short bit on the byutv - it was a healthy living program and there was a panel of experts. one of the experts said that we live in an environment that promotes unhealthy food and unhealthy behavior. we go around telling ourselves and others that we should just make good choices - yes there are temptations, but we should have self control and not give in. he pointed out that our environment in relation to healthy eating is like putting a person in a room plastered with pornography and telling that person to not look or be affected by it. at some point it will drive you bonkers. his point was that at some point, no matter our desire to behave responsibly, we will make poor eating and behavior choices because our environment is so toxic. it got me thinking that my enemies may be all the advertising, as well as "norms" that surround me. i thought of all the friends and acquaintances, well meaning and kind that they are, with their various suggestions/advice/offers that may not be healthy for me physically, mentally, or emotionally. i think we need to pray for our enemies because a lot of them may not consciously even BE our enemies - they are well meaning loved ones who may be misguided by their own "enemies." so what do you think of that? sure makes me want to be a lot more self aware and careful about my actions and choices and beliefs.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I hate being sick. I hate coughing. I hate feeling lethargic. I hate blowing my nose. I hate not that smiling takes effort. It reminds me of a great fortune cookie I got earlier this week: it's tough being fanscinating. Especially, I say, when i'm sick.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

housing market

so... a couple good friends just recently bought new homes. hooray for low interest rates! well, as you know, the housing market is always a bit crazy. just for a point of interest i'd like to share another snippet from my father's journal. this one is dated november 27, 1979.

The real estate market here has suffered a real turn for the worse. Nationwide the prime interest rate has risen to over 15% which has really put a damper on real estate transactions. Our friends the Melzers have been trying very hard to sell their home to move to Los Angeles. They have had some difficulty which may be some indication that it may not be so easy for us either. One thing is for sure – we will move. Since it was right that we should come here and have this experience, I am sure a way will be provided, either easily or with difficulty, for us to be able to move on to the next assignment.

what is interesting to me is that my parents bought their house in california knowing they'd only be there for a year. that's a lot of house selling headache. seems like renting would have been a good option - but i don't know the rules and norms of home ownership back in the late 70's. this morning i read in the ny times an article about president carter's speech he delivered in july of 1979. apparently the nation was in a "crisis" and needed some leadership and hope. the article taled about how carter was different from regan and obama by speaking of reality and the need for responsibility as opposed to a bunch of fluffy positive talk and dreams. having just typed my father's experiences of the same time period i don't think my father was much of a news reader - at least his journal reflects none of the concern this article seemed to imply was gripping the nation. his days are filled with fixing things around the house (including a car) and conducting music in sunday school - it was apparently a very rewarding calling for him. he also does a lot of dreaming about missionary work and balancing his work responsibilities with family time. it reminds me of a comment made in my relief society the other day. the woman said that if you are prepared and have heeded the prophet's warnings of the last 10 years then this financial crisis our nation seems to be in won't be having too drastic of an effect on you. i like to think that may parents were heeding the prophet - i know they were - my dad mentions quite a few times things president kimball said. hooray for goodly parents.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

30 years ago

yesterday i was at my mother's house. i found an old journal my father managed to keep for about a year of his life 30 years ago. i decided to take it home and type it up to share with my family. luckily my father had decent hand writing. this project is going more easily than i thought. i can't say i love sitting at my computer typing, but i love reliving my childhood through my father's eyes, especially with the added perspective i now have of being his age. he was just about my current age when he was writing these entries. i just finished one dated june 12, 1979. here's the final paragraph of that entry:

Friday night and Sunday morning I went to help an elderly lady in our ward to put to bed and get out of bed her husband who is very nearly completely paralyzed from a stroke. He seems to be very alert mentally but is almost completely dependant on others for everything. He cannot even speak beyond just a few words. I would never want to be in a condition like that. If I were no longer able to do anything I would much rather pass along to a new task. This also has impressed upon me more deeply the importance of doing worthwhile and important things now while I can. I must not let the time go by without accomplishing something of worth there is much to do.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Last day

Well it's super late so my stories will probably be short. Basically I got fried by the sun today. We had "water frolics" in the pool. An hour in the sun can do major damage. Other things we did - bret and I lost at doubles shuffleboard to a couple who just found out they're pregnant - also, he attends harvard law school. Then we played lightning with the brothers - I think they like to wear me out by "going easy" until I give up from exhaustion. Oh we also learned a cool new game called kubb. Or wa it cubb? Or kuub? Or cuub? Anyway it's a foreign game involving blocks you throw. Bret and I played with a couple siblings and it took over an hour - we were evenly matched. Then we played with the oldest and only officially athletic member of the family and we lost twice in about half an hour. Still it was fun! Okay now to bed. We check out tomorrow. Sadness.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Today began with a torn nail - I even bled - seriously I have never had such a horrible injury before. It happened while making my bed. I wish I could tell you how we spent the morning - oh, I remember, shooting arrows. And watching family members throw horseshoes, climb rock walls, play shuffleboard, and shoot arrows. In the afternoon we hiked to first falls. That was far enough for me as my finger was throbbing. I tried walleyball but it hurt too much. We played air hockey, foosball, and ping pong before dinner and finished the night with some serious pool ball. Another full day at camp. Oh, and a good discussion about the plan of salvation. I want your insights - but not by blog - talk to me in person if you/i think to.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Tonight I found a bee on my floor, near death, crawling towards the open door. I finally helped him out after I took this photo to document it. It was a huge black and yellow bumble bee. Later, after visiting the facilities, I found another one! The second one seemed to have more life but he was still grounded. I wonder where they came from.


This morning began a bit earlier than usual - we went fishing about 7:30. One of the nieces was successful! Which is a miracle because of all the nieces this is the one who had never fished before and who cared the most about getting one and who had the least concept of how much luck is required to even catch one. Apparently the fish wasn't even fully hooked and could/should have gotten away. I tell you little miracles happen often but it feels good to notice and recognize them. The rest of the day consisted of playing horseshoes, water aerobics, remote control car crashing contest, walleyball (i was the lone female and bret said I did well - he's far too generous), frontier days activities like hatchet throwing and train riding, and the best part is an early bed time! Tomorrow we even get to sleep in.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shuffleboard champ

Okay, not quite champs. We've only won our first round - but it was fun to learn a new sport and feel successful. Granted our competition was just as new to the game. Besides lots of shuffleboard we did team building field games that got us wet and made us feel like winners. Keeping track of lots of little girls, though, can be a bit of a challenge in such a chaotic setting. Luckily we still have more adults than kids. After exhausting ourselves near to death we all went swimming and played some pool style basketball. In the evening we had fishing and painting ceramics. I commented to bret that I feel like i've played more in just one day than I have in an entire summer. I can't believe we have 3 more full days of this! Oh and the food is good too. I crack up, though, at all the kids who insist on drinking powerade because it is bright blue. Whatever happened to the good old days of kool-aid?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday at camp

Since my fans (plewe) demand more stories i'll see what I can say about sunday at family camp.
We had sacrament meeting in an outdoor amphitheater. Testimonies went about 20 minutes over. There are a few large family reunions in attendance so you can imagine family was a theme to most of them. One group is headed by an emeritus general authority - sorenson. Another is temple president in brazil. The temple president actually gave a great fireside this evening on the church's status in brazil. Apparenly it's second in size (membership wise) to the u.s. In rs and eq they just had everyone introduce themselves and then we had more testimonies. In the afternoon we took family pictures - one brother kept bugging me about being "extra" but I think I handled him just fine. It was my first opportunity, though, to pose in a family picture in which I don't fully belong. The introductions in rs were awkward too, as was the "adult mixer" they had after lunch. Being part of a family reunion where you're "a friend" can be weird if you let it. Mostly I put on my best "i belong" attitude and behavior and I fit just fine. In fact one of the nieces has declared that i'm her new best friend. I helped 2 different (other) nieces use the restroom. I also helped with dressing for bed like I did last night. And at the family's baby blessing (another evening activity) I got to play the piano. Except for the one brother's silly questions I think everyone's making me feel right at home. It was truly an enjoyable sabbath!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Aspen grove family camp

I'm ready for bed. This is my cozy cabin I have all to myself. Poor bret has to share a cabin this size with his brother and 3 nieces. And truthfully, of all the family I think I have the best cabin of all. It is directly across from the bathrooms - lucky! So far i've had fun bonding with the nieces. What trusting girls! I think I can testify of the need to be like little children at least in the sense of being trusting. I got to help take them to the bathroom and brush their teeth. I even got to help them floss. It was fun hanging out in the communal bathroom with the sisters in law and other nieces. It's a great feeling to have kids automatically embrace you and sit on your lap and take your hand and show you everything they care about. so far - great!

not to mention i've had a fabulous lat couple days with my family. This morning we picked cherries, made a pie, made pom poms, played badminton, held kids, read books, grilled chicken, cleaned dishes, laughed hard, chatted it up with siblings, you know - all the good stuff.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Antelope island

For a ward activity today we went to antelope island. It was quite the great adventure! we hiked to dooley's knob and could see both sides of the island. I was amazed at how shallow the lake appears. We ate tiedyed fruit rollups and took cell phone photos - what could be more celebratory?

Friday, June 26, 2009

My bed

It was about a year ago I bought my new bed. Now that i'm back from a difficult work trip I must say I love my bed as much today as I did this time last year.
At a get to know you activity I attended tonight we were asked to share an amazing thing about ourselves. Or the most amazing thing that has happened to us - something amazing. As my mind wandered I realized that at least once a year or more often I have something amazing happen in my life. I live an amazing life. I am grateful for a life so full of amazing moments that I couldn't come up with just one to share. I am the lucky one! I am grateful for all the amazing people that influence my life on a daily basis.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tragedy averted

I know I said i'm on mini-holiday but truthfully it's been pretty tough. Today I woke up with a headache only to discover my students were having technology issues. Then, after lunch when my kids told me to go take a nap (apparently they noticed my grumpiness) I discovered i'd lost one of my favorite earrings. Argh talk about sadness. I texted the kids who were still back at the lunch table but they never answered. So I went back an did my own searching. No luck. Finally I met up with the kids in class and asked if they'd seen my earring at lunch. Apparently before lunch, as I was putting away the laptop, my earring fell in the laptop case. It was still there! Hooray!
(i know that wasn't a terribly riveting story, but it's been a hard day.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More holiday

As you know my summer holiday began with a trip to nantucket. After that I enjoyed a staycation that included a ton of mosquito bites. This week i'm in logan - not that far from home and certainly not much of a holiday - but I AM staying in a hotel and that's always a kick in the pants for me. I'm here with a bunch of yearbook students. This photo is from tonight's ropes course activity. We did pretty well and I got to build some trust with one student with whom I needed to. It's beautiful weather up here, i've got a good staff, we've been pretty productive, and now i'm ready for bed - happiness.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I've been marked!

My neighbor kid likes to come over and play. Play consists of having me read to him or help him write words or just do yard work with him. He's 5. This morning I noticed he's left his mark on my house - not to mention the four toys still sitting on my porch. Sigh.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bye bye nantucket

You may be surprised to leaen that nantucket airport has 3 gates. These are numbers 2 and 3. I never saw #1 but i'm guessing it was the one the little cessnas use that don't require security checks. I think there were about 5 full time employed people present to check me and my bags. Oh, and those of the other 6 people on my plane. The I'd checker was funny. Apparently he just got glasses for the first time. He said I was the very first person for whom he had to don them to check my I'd. He paused a few seconds to properly appreciate the significance of the life change he was going through.


As I mentioned, I visited marshall's school while I was there. I took this photo as I went to meet him at the end of my trip. He borrowed a co-workers car to take me to the airport. That was much appreciated as i'm convinced my bag grew in weight while I visited. I only picked up 3 books while I was there.


This is a tiny part of the huge sperm whale skeleton on display in the whaling museum. Good times it was! Made me almost miss reading moby dick. Was that book a mere 600 pages? The one i'm reading on this trip is 800 - dickens' "our mutual friend." I find it funny that it is lynn's fault i'm readin this book and it was years ago that I mocked lynn for reading "bleak house" while on holiday. At least i'm enjoying the book!


I left the house a bit earlier than I needed to for my planned excursions so I decided to add a walk to the local lighthouse while I was out. It was rather small I thought. The beach was too. But I liked the wild roses growing on it. In general the walk was great - I passed tons of quaint places to stay.