Saturday, December 5, 2009

Medicated Powder

I went to visit my older sister not too long ago. Usually when I travel I have all of my mini-toiletries together in a one gallon Ziploc bag (thank you various terrorists for downsizing my luggage--it's now much easier to manage, and has reduced my number of spills). But when I go to my sister's I take advantage of the hospitality borrowing toothpaste, shampoo, Q-tips, etc, etc.

As I stepped from the shower and commenced my preparations for getting ready I began looking for some Baby Powder (to be fair, I use the variety of cornstarch, not as fine and a little more sticktoitiveness). Now, for those of you who do not have thighs that rub together, or a decolletage that sags together as mine so unfortunately does (my sincerest and most heartfelt apologies if you do) you will likely not understand the necessity of such a thing. Let's just say it helps everything to keep moving smoothly and reduces sticky friction when moving about.

Well the only bottle I could find was of an orange variety which read "Medicated Powder." I opened the top, shook some into my hand, from my basic analysis it appeared to be what I was looking for, though it had that hint of Menthol scent to it. I thought it was kind of minty and fresh. Routinely I fluffed and patted the requisite areas and moved on with my get-ready routine.

I was waiting for the rest of the women to ready themselves for departure when I felt the beginning of a strange, cool sensation. At first I thought it was just cold, then I realised the only place I felt cold was between my legs. Had I unwittingly peed my pants? I looked down. No telling dark spot. Again the sensation swept over my nether regions. What was happening to me? I kept feeling these cooling bursts, so cool they were almost burning and uncomfortable. Truly, what had happened to me in the last hour to cause this?

Without warning or cause it dawned on me. Medicated powder. Menthol. Ah. The mystery was solved, but there remained the question of what to do. Should I strip my clothes from the waist down and try to rinse it off? If I tried wiping would it get spread to other areas? This lead to imagining further reaching sensations. It stopped me cold. No, no. I would leave it and pray that as the day wore on the sensations would subside.

From now on when I go to my sister's I still don't bring my own powder, I'll just remember to raid the baby's room where the mild stuff is kept.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Aging with Grace

Today I witnessed something I will not soon forget while shopping at Walmart with Jamie. We were near, what I believe is termed, the "personal care" section when we encountered two women.

These women appeared to be rather advanced in age, and were utilising the wonderful electric carts provided to those customers who need assistance. These dear ladies also appeared to require the assistance of dentures, though neither was making good on that option this afternoon.

One muu-muu clad cart driver was still in an aisle, while the other had moved into the mainstream, but was stopped. The woman parked in the aisle was repeating the word, "Tampons! Tampons" very loudly. However, because of her lack of teeth she was unable to correctly articulate the word. Therefore, it came across as more of a loudly uttered, "Pampons! Pampons!" Perhaps the crossover between diapers and tampons? Her counterpart finally acknowledged her cross-aisle yodel and responded, "I don' wan'o wase my money on those righ' now."

With a 42 pack of Poise already in her own cart, the concerned friend nodded, and the pair wheeled on.

Completely unrelated post script: I passed by the new site for "Sweet Basil" again today. What is Sweet Basil you might ask? Cedar City's very own THAI Restaurant! Who's excited? I'M EXCITED! Oh yes I am!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Home for the Holidays

I had my first Thanksgiving home after being gone the last two during the mission. It was a lot of things I remembered--the family, the noise, the delicious food--and a few things I didn't want to remember. The tension, the arguing, the general lack of familial spirit. Or, perhaps, the prevailing one. Jamie and I ditched out early to head to Nephi where we spent the rest of the holiday weekend.

I mostly hung out with Natasha and the kids--went to the craft fair, met Santa (for Isaac's first time), watched "Horton Hears a Who" more times than I care to recollect (but the proof is in the pudding, I actually still like the movie!), and was able to go to the Manti Temple with Natasha for my first time. That part was truly memorable and very neat.

Jamie and I drove home late Sunday afternoon. I was shocked by the constant stream of northbound traffic. It was incessant. At some points we could tell the cars weren't even driving the speed limit because they couldn't for lack of space.

During our stay in Casa de Dansie in Nephi we received communique that we would be putting up the Christmas tree Monday night. I was surprised and, surprisingly, not happy about the news. But I tried today to change my attitude, and was even looking forward to the meat rolls, the Christmas music blaring, the assembling of the fake tree, stringing of the lights, etc.

I think the part that people leave out about the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is that absence also alters the fondness of memories, dismisses the bad, hyperbolizes the good, and works best when one is still absent.

Lately I just get the feeling that everyone keeps saying they're so glad I'm back or here, but I don't feel wanted here. Not that I blame anyone, I don't think I'm making myself the most affable company. So now it's on to the next step, still figuring out what to do with my life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Paradigm Shifted November

So every November it's all about elections, Veterans, ME, and Thanksgiving complete with the whole pilgrim and Indian "first Thanksgiving" at Plymouth Rock-esque renditions of memory, along with many talks on gratitude and people speaking of thankfulness, graciousness, etc.

I guess that's all there, but this year it's somehow different for me.

First, last night I experienced a new use of turkey (the obvious staple of Thanksgiving Dinner) I have never before considered. Turkey Bowling. One uses a smaller, perhaps five pound, frozen turkey as the bowling ball. Our experts laid down sheets of plastic. The pins consisted of two liter soda pop bottles 1/4 of the way full. By the time we finished one turkey was completely out of the bag, it had been so brutalized. I was waiting for the accumulated pressure of the remaining carbonated soda to explode one of the bottles on impact. To my everlasting dismay this did not happen. Alas, it was still a really enjoyable experience.

Second, today we had the opportunity to walk to the local Paiute Tribal Building to enjoy their tribal dances, drum circle, and story-telling in the native Paiute tongue. What a marvelous experience! The grass dancers, the traditional and fancy dancers, the shawl and jingle dancers. Their regalia alone was a presentation of art and dedication, but to see the skills that have been inherited, taught, and passed down from generation to generation was incredibly moving. And the reason for it all, November is American Indian Heritage Month. Whoever knew? Certainly not me. To see children ages three to teenagers at 19 stand in front of their peers and perform was truly an experience of a lifetime.

Perhaps the most moving part came at the end when an Elder, who had been asked to offer a prayer at parting, explained, "We are not Pagan. We are not Heathen. We are people. People who have a mind. People who have a heart, and we put them together." It stirs within me the desire to know more, and a greater sense to be more closely attuned to my own heritage.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Absence of Me

I cried my last tear for you months ago,
so why did I cry myself to sleep last night?

Your pleading moves through me, decimating my defenses,
making ruins of my forward motions.

Why can't you stay on the shelf of my memory?

You broke me before--I'm still gathering the shattered pieces,

and last night you tore them
from my fingers.

So why do I feel like the bad guy for saying no to you?

Forget you ever met me, and
let me do the same.

You claim to love me. If you mean it,

leave me alone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Surviving Rejection

I knew the streak would have to end sooner or later (I was hoping for later). I had hoped it would not end yesterday, but it did.

I received my first rejection letter for a job I interviewed for. Not that I've interviewed for lots of high-end jobs, but I was somewhat proud of the fact that I'd never been turned down for a job where I interviewed.

At first I was indignant, who wouldn't want me? But the longer I looked at the form letter that conveniently mail-merged my name in I had a new thought. Just the other day I visited with a former professor, and we discussed things not working out. His only response was, "Good." He expressed that when things don't work out it's because it was headed for some kind of disaster in the future, so be grateful it just didn't work out in the beginning.

It reminded me of Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin's talk and saying, "Come what may, and love it."

So instead of incinerating the letter, I think I might frame it as a mark of a turning point I could not have predicted that will put me on a path to a future that is yet unknown.

Good. Come what may, and love it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Looking into the Past

The title is two-fold; first, I haven't posted in forever (even though I've had lots of great fodder that was totally blog-worthy); and second, what I've been doing the last two days has caused a lot of reflection.

A couple of weeks ago we went down to Tuacahn to see "Footloose." The other plays were "Aida" and "Annie." I would have chosen either of those over what we actually saw, but Mama had it in her head that "Footloose" would be best, so that's what we saw. I'm not gonna lie, every time I've been to Tuacahn I have really, really enjoyed what I've seen. This time, not so much. It seemed very high-school and was unimpressive. But we did go to Red Lobster for dinner beforehand, so that mitigated the three hours of my life I won't get back.

Last week--thanks to my friend Rachel!--I was able to get tickets to the USF's production of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)." It was what my friends Lola and Bethany describe as "pee funny"--meaning you laugh so hard you almost pee. The only sad thing (and pointedly comic part of my life) is the guy I asked couldn't go. So I asked five others. They couldn't go either (granted, the five others had short notice--we're talking two hours). I ended up taking my friend Juli (YAY!). Downside to our GREAT Orchestra section tickets...they weren't together. Not only were they not together, they were very, very far apart. I was two rows up on the far left of the row, and she was on the far right of her's. I sat next to some middle aged ladies whom, I was afraid, were going to be offended by the rather suggestive undertones, but proved to be good sports who laughed heartily at the "Othello Rap" (which was, barring the blow up Godzilla and the monkey dance party, up there as one of my favorite parts). I hadn't laughed that hard in a very, very long time. It was almost cathartic.

Moving on to other aspects of my life beyond my attempts at being "cultured" (ha!), I am going on two weeks of waiting to hear about a job I interviewed for that would really be more of a career and really incredible. I really hope it, or something else, comes through soon because my student loans are going into repayment starting next month and working 3 hours a day as a TA is just not going to cut it (even though I love my job).

Which works well as a transition to the second part of the title. Mama has been feeling unwell and lost her voice, so I've been playing Kindergarten teacher for the last two and a half days. Working with them in the morning as an aide is completely different. I see so much more from the front of the room, and hear all their funny remarks. It's sent me back to a place of remembering my thought processes from when I was their age (yes, I'm weird like that and I remember). The biggest thing I remember are my huge lapses in attention. It's hard for me now to maintain strict control of the class when I remember being just like them. Yesterday we went on a field trip to the bus garage. It brought back a memory of me riding the bus to school in Kindergarten. I climbed on the bus, found my seat, and sat down. What I don't remember doing (because it happened completely subconsciously) was just dropping my backpack by the bus driver's seat as I walked past. Somebody called my name and said I dropped my bag. I insisted that I had not, and felt around my back for it. At this point the bus driver had stopped the bus, and walked my bag back to me.

Yeah, I was spesh.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Week in Tissues

I should like to recount my week in the use of tissues. Not actual Kleenex-style tissues (those are too pricey for this snozz), but rather in the form of two squares of two-ply toilet paper. I've successfully whittled down nearly an entire roll, and not all uses have been directed toward my new companion. Others have shared the duty--the leftover Subway napkin, the roll already hung in the bathroom, a napkin or two, and even the corner of a paper towel--but for the most part it has been the single roll and me.

I'm going on my seventh day of being sick, and haven't worked a lick all week. Until today. I didn't want to work today. I don't actually think I'm well enough to work today. I still had a lingering fever and nausea yesterday, but my boss is leaving town and my co-worker doesn't know how to operate the heavy (albeit light in the scheme of things, since it's only a Bobcat) machinery, so that leaves yours truly.

The honestly sad predictor is that yesterday I decided I should be feeling well by now (since, you know, you can just decide those things--like which cereal to eat, whether or not to shave, and how far over the speed limit you will justify driving) so I opted to help Jamie run some errands for Mama. Those errands included delivering four pans stacked with bread and at least six pans of cinnamon rolls to Grandma's house (don't worry, they were covered and I didn't breathe on them!). A fair load, but nothing unmanageable. Except for me it was. I was completely starved of oxygen. It took me nearly ten minutes to recover, and I only made two trips!

I felt as though I was sucking air through a straw clogged by milkshake, I couldn't get enough fast enough. Over cinnamon rolls and bread! It was then I hit a very low point and realised I was still not well. In fact, after we returned home I slept for four hours out of pure exhaustion. So you can begin to understand why the prospect of getting dressed actually making myself presentable, and going to work for a six hour shift is less than appealing. So much less than appealing that I almost feel degraded to tears.

Sadness and self-wallowing aside, there is a funny anecdote to be had from this week's tragedy.

I fell ill Sunday afternoon. By Tuesday night I was in the full in the clutches of what I am self-diagnosing as H1N1. I heard a soft knock at my door shortly before retiring to bed. Daddy opened the door. At first I entertained fanciful notions of him checking on me because he knew I was not well. That is, until he spoke.

"Are you taking anything for that cough?"


"Do you have a cough drop in right now?"


"Well get something because your coughing every 90 seconds and I'm trying to sleep!"

Right, Dad. Sorry my potentially (though very improbable) fatal illness is an inconvenience for you. Wait, wait it gets better. So yesterday, still sick when again I hear a tapping on my door in the early afternoon. Again Daddy is at my door. You'd think by now I'd know what to expect, but I thought he'd only just come home. Alas, I was incorrect in presuming he was coming out of concern for me.

"Aren't you tired of coughing yet?"

"Yes actually, I am."

"Are you taking anything for it?"

"Prescription strength Sudafed and Equate's Severe Cold capsules."

"Are you taking enough?"

"I'm taking the prescribed dosage."

"Does Mom need to stop and get some anti-cough and sinus stuff for you?"

"That's what I'm taking."

"Well it doesn't seem to be working."

"Yes, I realise that, which is why I don't think more will help."

He closed the door at this point. And I coughed.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Rubber Band Effect

Have you ever stretched a rubber band so far that when you let it go one part of it is permanently disfigured because it was overstretched? My emotions feel kind of like that right now. Overstretched. It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride these past few weeks. I have my good days and bad. I have bad moments in good days, and vice versa. Wednesday was a bad day. Mama picked up my dress. It has remained in its same repose on the bench in the kitchen where she laid it when she brought it home. I haven't been able to bring myself to look at it or touch it.

On the brighter and more positive side of things, I have developed a new obsession. Origami. It all began when I went to my homepage and they featured a DIY (do it yourself) origami lamp made of folded lotus flowers out of waxed paper, a food storage can, a light kit, and a hammer and nails. I have issues with the design flaws, so I've spent the last two weeks trying to figure out how I can modify it in order to be more functional. I've come up with a few ideas that I'm pretty excited about :) Not only that, but I have found a bazillion little things I want to try! Today my friend Bethany (who is super artsy) and I are going to craft. I picked up my origami paper today and can hardly wait to rip into the package, while avoiding ripping the paper that is, and get started!

Speaking of things I picked up today, I have had a story ruminating in the back of my brain since about Tuesday of last week. I was journaling when I used the phrase, "The trees have no words for me." And I could sense literary genius in it. Ever since characters have been coming to life in my mind with stories deep and untold that, apparently according to my subconscious, need telling! So today I picked up a notebook and some new Sharpie pens to begin writing. You may think me archaic, but I cannot "write" a story on a computer, I actually have to do the manual work. There is something about the movement of the hand and the flow of ink across a page that is inspiring to me creatively. That, and I think "writing" on a computer is too easy. If you dislike an idea you simply backspace it away, or just Control+X (in the case of Apple users, Open Apple+X) it away. But sometimes you lose something great in that process. You cannot reclaim it from the unforgiving digital memory of the machine where information is written, erased, and written over again. It makes editing less careful, less thoughtful. When you write you don't want to waste pages of paper (that's a lot of time and ink and trees!), so I think you focus more constructively on what is being written rather than just writing to get it all out.

At any rate, I'm really looking forward to starting to write this. It feels like the story is a deep basin within my brain that is going to start overflowing, and I need to get a release valve going before I lose anything valuable. Hooray for literary genius.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Too True & Tragic Not to be Shared

Perhaps I should start with the tragic first so we can end on a positive note (since the tragedy came at the end, as it always seems to do, thus rendering chronological order the enemy of comedy in this case).

So here it is, for all the world (not that the world reads this). I ended my engagement with Paul on Monday. Following a conversation alluding to the fact that we were not on the same page relating to commitment and desire to commit I opted to cut losses and call it quits. It is a strange thing for me. I don't quit things. But I realise that this change was for the best for both of us, and so thus it is.

I have surreally begun picking up the pieces of my life in an attempt to figure out what on earth to do now. Go become a live-in nanny in Europe and bankroll my way through my student loans? Continue living in Cedar? Go become the champion of the downtrodden? So very many choices, and so very little direction.

Now, on to more pleasant things.

Last Friday Jamie and I went dress shopping for her and (since, at the time I was still engaged) to pick up some odds and ends for me as well. Upon visiting one of only three bridal stores within 50 miles of us (it also happens to be the store where I am still purchasing my dress from--love those agreements they make you sign!) a woman in her late 60s was assisting Jamie. This fine proprietor was wearing a deeply cut v-neck shirt with no kind of undergarment to support her albeit shrunken and sagging decolletage. Rather, she wore a v-neck shaped Dickie (for those of you unfamiliar, it is a mock turtleneck with a faux shirt front that only comes down to about the bust). However, during the many maneuvers required to get a bride-to-be into a dress the unfortunate Dickie began to slip, exposing a PG-13 view of the wrinkled skin of said woman's unmentionables.

Too funny not to share.

Also in the vein of humor, Sunday we attended church as a family (under the misinformation we were going to see an Apostle of the Lord speak). It was, however, Stake Conference and there was a choir on the stand. Before I continue let it be known that I have no discriminatory feelings toward any persons, but for the sake of this story certain facts about the individual's appearance are requisite to draw an accurate pictures. Consider it editorial license if you will. One particular member of the choir was a woman of large stature. In fact, a folding chair was set up behind the rest of the choir to accommodate her comfortably. During the course of the meeting my mother leaned over to me and whispered to take note of the woman's actions. To our surprise, and eternal amusement, she was trying to discretely peel string cheese near her lap and nonchalantly purvey it to her mouth. Three cheese sticks later we are all irreverently snickering at her irreverent snacking, at which point she produces a two-liter sized water bottle to, presumably, wash down her dairy deliciousness. We continued to watch as she then occupied her hands with a small clipboard. Mama queried, "What do you think she could be writing?" To which I gave the following supposition, "Mid morning snack? Check."

Mama began laughing so hard she was shaking, small snorts intermittently escaping her attempt to control herself, tears streaming mercilessly down her cheeks. Her whole-body-reaction caused me to begin laughing. It had quite the domino affect on our little party, and has become the brunt of our most recent family jokes.

Once again, too funny not to share.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Plans and Plotting

So many, many crazy things have been happening! Kassie and the baby are doing well, and so are things at the nursery. Paul and I have officially picked the date for the wedding (that has been a wicked roller coaster in and of itself). We decided on Saturday, February 6, 2010. I was a little sad, just because I wanted to get married sooner, but in the long run it will be good. And the pressure from planning everything has totally been erased.

I think that is due in part to my little sister announcing her engagement (well, not official, but unofficial). Her wedding will be January 8. That's right. Our weddings will be 29 days apart. Bless our dear mother's heart. We both have our colors picked. Her's are hot pink and black. Mine are grass green, sage green, and white.

Oooooh! I picked up my ring, and a fabulous pair of shoes--"the" shoes. I will need to check while wearing my dress to ensure they aren't too tall (3.5" heels!). Did I mention I found the dress? Oh yeah, totally found the dress. It's *perfect*--just like the ring and the shoes and the groom :)

Now I just need to find a job and a place to live in California!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Miserable Blogging Failure

Man, I used to at least blog when I didn't journal. These days I don't even do that! There has been a lot going on, but that's no excuse.

I don't really even know where to start. Paul came out to visit again. Bless his heart, he drove the 11 hours all alone :/ Fortunately, he made it here and back safely, and so did the dogs (Jewel and Pluto). Although, we did have a mild scare when they were able to outsmart their leashes and ran off. They were found three houses down stuck in a bush. We had a great cookout with several of my friends and their significant others.

Now I'm just super busy at work. Kassie had the baby. He was born last Thursday (I think she said around seven pm). He was 20" long and weighed 8lbs 11oz. In case you are wondering, that is a *HUGE* baby for her, she's only about 5'2" but she's taking it like a champ. However, the day he was born we had a shipment of over 300 shrubs come in, and the next day we had a truck of over 200 trees come in. Guess who was responsible for them...your's truly. Saturday I didn't even get lunch because I was busy helping customers. Needless to say, I'll be grateful for a change of pace. Granted, that probably won't come until I move.

Which brings me to my next piece of news, I'm moving to California the first part of October (so if you know anyone I could rent a room from or who is hiring in the San Jose area hook a sister up!). I'm really excited, a little anxious, and just a wee bit trepidatious (yes, I know that's not a real word, but I like it. I believe it's going to catch on and people are going to start using it, then Merriam-Webster are just going to have to add it to the dictionary. You watch, I so called it.).

So that's the quick'n'dirty update. Sorry for the lack of info lately. I'll try to be better (no, I don't make any guarantees).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Back in the OCM

We arrived safely in Cincinnati this morning after flying a red eye out of Las Vegas last night. None of us slept well on the flights, and were propping our eyelids open during church. It was WONDERFUL to see everyone. I could hardly believe how much had changed, and was so very happy about the things that had not.

Sister Holbrook (my final companion in the field) is still here, and we had a happy, tearful reunion. She kept saying over and over, "I can't believe this is happening. It feels so strange!" Indeed. The best part was, in a branch that size I was put to work operating the self-playing piano, and even gave the "missionary moment" during Relief Society. Always glad to serve :)

Perhaps my favorite part was that Ilene, a woman whom I helped teach (along with a slew of missionaries before me, and a few since), was baptised last night and we were able to be there for her confirmation today in Sacrament meeting. It was like a surreal repeat of my final Sunday there because Lisa was confirmed my final Sunday, and Sister Holbrook and I sang (to my everlasting chagrin "Be Still My Soul" as a special musical number). Today the opening hymn was "Be Still My Soul" and Ilene was confirmed. A beautiful full circle to let you know life does go on, and so does missionary work.

The family is in awe of the greenery, and the difference in culture. Surprising how a few states will make such a difference in how things are done, and the tenets people cling to. Tomorrow we are off to Akron to stay at Quaker Square, then a little jaunt up to Kirtland to do some sight seeing.

So far things have been great, and we're hoping for more of the same as the trip continues!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Trap is Set!

Ok, so it's not a trap really, but our plans for Cincinnati are firming up and I'm totally stoked! Rata sent out a letter to the Ashland Ward for a picnic, I made tentative plans to have lunch with President and Sister Robbins on Saturday, and we're going to the Smiths' for a cook out that night. Which, basically fills up all our "free" time other than Sunday night in Lawrenceburg, and the time we'll be spending in Akron/Kirtland.

My biggest concern is navigating. I know the areas where I spent time really well, but that's about it. Charles suggested I buy the Rand-McNally Truck Atlas. We will see if I can find one for a decent price and one that we'll actually have in time for the trip! Other than that my only other wish is that Paul could be there to meet all these amazing people, and that all these people could meet him. Oh well, we'll just have to plan another later trip.

Speaking of Paul, I'm also getting excited to see him. I'll be flying out the weekend I get back from Cinci to see him and the boys again, as well as meeting his parents. We're also hoping to make a foray up to Tahoe...we shall see. I'd really like to just because the last photo ever taken of my mom's dad was at Tahoe two weeks before he died. I've never been, and I think it would be cool to go.

Until then it's work, work, work! But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Picture Perfect

I am a worrier at heart. I always see the potential negatives so I can try to compensate for them. In lieu of planning for this weekend I was a bundle of nerves. It was a really big deal for Paul and I for me to meet his children. But, circumstances what they were, that's what was going to happen regardless of whether we were ready for that now or not.

And it was amazing.

I don't know that it could've gone better. They stayed with their grandparents Friday night so it was just the two of us when he picked me up from the airport. It was good to have some time together to reacquaint before taking the next big step. Saturday we picked up the boys and headed to Santa Cruz to the beach. Wouldn't you know it, I brought the Utah weather with me. Cloudy, windy, and only 64 degrees! Needless to say, we didn't spend much time basking in the sun. Instead, we went into Santa Cruz and wandered around looking for a place to eat. It was so fun because there were little bands and groups playing on the streets, and all the little shops around.

After getting back to Morgan Hill and changing we went to "Up" (in 3D of course!). We all loved it :) And we even hit up Mickey D's for Jonah on the way home for dinner.

This morning I made pancakes for Fathers' Day breakfast. The boys gave Paul a toolset, and I gave him some yummy smell goods (not because he stinks! I just like it...). We went to a nondenominational Christian Fellowship called WestGate. Very different from services I have been to, before. Not bad, just different. By the time we arrived home and had eaten lunch it was time for me to change and have them drive me to the airport.

In all it was a wonderful weekend. I'm thoroughly exhausted, but it was a great time to be sure. And there will be more to come :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Most Bizarre Thing EVER!

I have these moments every once in a while when my life feels like a movie. One of these occurred just the other day while eating a late lunch at Red Robin with my mom and younger sister in St. George.

This diet from Hades had me in a bad mood--a lovely Caesar Salad turned into lettuce with dressing--so as I was mindlessly stabbing at the lifeless leaves the waitress came over, squatted down and began by saying, "I don't mean to be weird, but..." At this point I quit paying attention because I figured it had something to do with the ticket. I was wrong. Very wrong. She continued by saying, " of the guys who works here thinks you are cute and wondered if you were single." Still not paying attention, I glanced up to see how Jamie responded to the slightly odd request.

Imagine my surprise when I looked up and found her watching for MY response! I was so completely flabergasted that I blurted out, "Are you kidding me?!" She glanced down, obviously embarrassed, and replied, "No, no I'm not actually. He's really shy, and he wanted to know if you were single."

I could hardly splutter out that I wasn't for sheer shock. What further highlights this particular tale is the fact that she then took a turn looking taken-aback. "You aren't?" At which point I took the opportunity to more firmly reiterate my non-single status.

Once she walked away my mom nearly shouted out, "Well that was a missed opportunity!" I could hardly believe my ears. It made a bad situation even worse. So I asked, "What should I have said?" Please, please let me know if her reasoning makes sense to you. "You should have said, 'I'm single but I'm seeing someone.' Because your choices are single, married, divorced, or widowed.'"

I was well beyond beside myself at this point, so I again let my tongue just walk away with itself without letting me think, "Life is not a survey, those are not the only options. I am in a relationship with someone, which, by definition, means I am not single."

Yes, my life is a movie.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

What a Weekend!

So Paul came to see me this weekend, and we had a lot of fun, and some not so fun :) He was a super helper, volunteering to help me plant the garden, and even gave himself MASSIVE blisters breaking up the left-over concrete for Daddy. I felt awful, but it was nice to see how willing he was to just jump in and help. We had fun with my friends going to Ninja, and playing Party Jenga. They are great, and we all had a good time.

Jamie and I woke up at 3:30 this morning to drive him back to Vegas to catch his flight home, and then we came home to prepare the annual Mothers' Day BBQ under the very close scrutiny of Daddy. All in all, I think it went really well. Now we just have to clean up...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

When it Rains it Pours

Blessings, blessings, everywhere blessings! This week has been a series of miracles. I was able to get work off for Saturday to help Natasha move. I was also able to leave work early on Thursday due to poor weather which meant I was FINALLY able to return to the temple--something I thought I was forfeiting because I chose to help Natasha, but the Lord will provide a way for His work to move forward.

Speaking of which, I am going to two back-to-back appointments with the Sister Missionaries in Parowan tomorrow night. They're teaching the law of chastity (my last few companions and I would call it the Wahlin Special because an Elder we knew would talk about how much he loved to teach that sarcasm of course).

Jamie and I camped out in the trailer last night and watched Leatherheads while eating Costa Vida and frozen hot chocolate from Dairy Queen. Did I mention that the trailer was parked in the backyard? It sure was a lot of fun! We slept there last night and just had a fun time. It is so incredibly wonderful to have a sister who is also my friend.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Whirlwind Week

It's strange how each day seems to be moving so slowly, but by the same token it is bizarre how quickly the weeks fly by. Daddy is doing alright, he's becoming more ambulatory so that's good. Work is going well--it was nice when Kassie called and told me to take today off because of the snow. I was able to run a lot of errands that needed doing, so it was good :)

I went to a great concert Saturday night featuring the Nashville Tribute Band and they were incredible. Their CD, Joseph: A Nashville Tribute to the Prophet, helped me through some of the hardest parts of the mission. They also came out with a CD called Trek about the pioneers, and next (can you tell I'm excited about this?) they are doing one on missionaries! They sang one of the songs and I almost cried--he totally nailed what a mission is like! It was fun because I was sitting by a few friends who served missions and we all thought it was pretty great.

I was really excited because Mindy Gledhill (whom I love!) sings one of the songs on the Joseph CD and they said that we were going to have a special surprise. Well, it wasn't Mindy Gledhill, but it WAS a great surprise. Instead it was Katherine Nelson (don't scratch your head in wonder--I'll explain), the woman who portrays Emma in the Church produced film about Joseph Smith currently playing at Temple Visitors' Centers, and in the film called Emma. It was incredible to see the woman whose face is now associated with the magnificent Emma Smith sing the song about her.

I am super stoked about getting to work with the sister missionaries. They called me about taking them to the temple today, but I thought I had to work. Unfortunately I didn't, but we had missed the session. Hopefully I'll be able to help out another time, and now that they have my number things could be looking up in that department.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Week in a Blur

Time sure flies when you don't have anything to do. Only two more days and I become the "responsible adult" with employment and all that jazz, but this last week was a pretty good final week of freedom.

Thursday Jamie and I drove to the Draper Temple open house, and it was really pretty. This rude family in front of us talked the whole time, and kept opening random doors they had no business opening. Uncool. But, on the super-duper plus side we went to dinner with our favorite Auntie, and Mel--one of my favorite mission companions--came, too! It was great to see her. Not only that, but J and I had a really good conversation on the way home.

In celebration of Friday the 13 I went to dinner with some friends at the Lucky Buffet (where I tried octopus; Paul aptly described the sensation like chewing up a bouncy ball, but the flavor was actually very good), then we watched Quarantine (LAME!) and Dark Knight (EXCELLENT!).

Sunday morning Jamie woke up early and drove with me to Vegas for Zanie's homecoming (MTC companion). It was fun to see her and meet some of her family. It was only mildly awkward that my face was plastered all over their gargantuan refrigerator...Then last night I hung out with some RM/Pre-Mi friends and we watched Nicholas Nickleby and I fell in love. It makes me want to read Dickens' book to get the rest of the story they couldn't put in the movie.

And now, now I get to help in my mom's kindergarten classroom while she does registration for the new little chitlins. it's all very exciting indeed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Among the Class of the Employed

So I received an angelic phonecall today. I answered the ringing of my cell phone (sidebar: I don't recognise the ring of my phone because it's new to me, and in that same vein, I have been giving people the wrong number because I memorized it wrong...part of the adjustment I guess) to hear a voice telling me that they were offering me a position at the Big Trees Nursery in Kanarraville. I start next Wednesday and I'm really excited to learn the ropes of botany in a trial-by-fire experience (my favorite kind).

Now I just have to figure out how I'm supposed to make the weddings and vacations and everything else I've been committed to before now. I'm sure it'll all work out in the end, right?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The End of the Beginning Beginning at the End

There is really no such thing as a "break" in life. One thing ends and another thing starts, and more often than not, several things will overlap making life feel like some kind of ridiculous time warp that is not really a journey, but a series of destinations with varying degrees of difficulties, advantages, and obstacles to overcome.

My last speaking opportunity (which, ironically, will serve as the first of many, many talks to come)--aka, homecoming--was today. It was great to have all the family there. A former employer came, and relatives I barely know showed up. It's always good to feel supported. My more caustic side asks, "Where were all those letters for the last 18 months?" But in reality I am just grateful for all that I did have, and knowing those people were praying makes a big difference.

I snuck off to my singles' ward following the meeting at the home ward. It was bizarre. Most of the people I knew/my age are gone now. The only people who recognized me for the most part were the bishopric and other people assigned to the ward. It was really trippy. I think mostly it's hard to grasp the fact that I am actually single and eligible (whereas I've been off the market for the last 18 months), not that I feel very datable, but that's a different story altogether, now isn't it?

Tomorrow I begin the job hunt with Jamie. We both need work and both have bills to pay, so hopefully we will come out on top. We're not expecting success in a single day, but we are hoping for good leads and decent possibilities.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Coming In Too Late

So I found out after some simple research that I missed all of the deadlines for grad school, and I don't meet anybody's requirements for acceptance. Lovely. So I intend to spend the next nine months learning two languages and finding gainful employ. It's marvelous to be single, carefree, and oh, yeah, in debt up to my eyeballs. The life of a post-bachelor, post-mission girl in Utah. You know you want to be me ;)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It's Been a Minute

Back into the real world and it's a little hectic. Trying to get everything done that I need to do without all the necessary tools is somewhat challenging, but I've always loved a challenge ;) I was bummed to miss church today, people are going to the think I didn't learn anything while I was away! Oh well, let them think what they wish. Now I just need to get a job, get a school, get an emphasis, get a home, and get a life. Any takers?