Thursday, November 20, 2008

100 Things About Me -- Part 8 of 10

I was considering waxing philosophical. Or at least emptying my mind's musings. But eh... Let's just go with another list. And some highlights. Because there are many things that happen that I would like to remember one day.

71. I have seriously cold hands and feet. Yes, right now they are freezing (what do you expect in 30-something degree weather in the basement of the house?). For the record... I learned from my dad that it's even colder in Alabama! Hahahaha... Sweet irony! (I'm not laughing at most of you Alabamians... just my dad whose excuse for not moving here is because it's too cold ;) ). But even when it's not this cold, my hands and feet are really cold. I hear it's bad circulation. I don't know what it is. But sometimes it's not so cool. Like when I'm trying to get all snuggly warm in the comforter and my foot happens to touch my leg. And it's like ice! And I have a moment of shock from the cold. Brrr.
72. I was once a sci-fi nerd. When I was in 8th grade, Brad and I read some Star Wars books. You know... the ones written by authors who wanted to take the story in their own direction. Anyway, Brad and I would trade them off and we'd both read them and discuss them. (Insert NERD yell from Revenge of the Nerds here ;)).
73. I love(d) being barefoot. I say loved, because right now, I am never barefoot. One day... one day. But that's another story. However... I practically grew up barefoot. I can't really remember wearing shoes to play outside. I got my share of thorns and such in my feet. But, that didn't make me wear shoes more. Even when I was the Ashford librarian, I walked around with no shoes. Ah, such liberty!
74. Of course, one time I paid a dear price for the bare-foot thing. It was an afternoon, and nobody was living in the A-side of the duplex in which we lived. My friend Summer and I went back on the patio to the A-side and saw that there were broken beer bottles all over the patio. We carefully picked our ways to the grass on the other side. However, I had forgotten all about the glass when we were done playing and were about to go back to the front. And I jumped up onto the patio... and landed on a piece of glass. I can remember standing there crying while Summer ran next door to tell my parents. Ben came over and got me, and carried me to the house. I remember being sat on the counter with my foot in the sink as my mom washed out the cut and tried to see if there was glass in there. She didn't see any, but didn't want to miss anything. So, they bandaged me up and took me to the emergency room where I got x-rayed. No glass. It turned out that we later learned that Brad and his friend John (Summer's brother) had broken the bottles (which they found on the patio) on the patio. Boys...
75. I have decided that I must live in a green state. And I don't mean environmentally green. I need color in my life! When did I learn this? On my trip out West. Sorry to those of you who may love the midwest. They are great states that give us corn and wheat and all those staples. But they just aren't for me. They felt barren and desolate. And as I pondered this (and discussed it with Julie), I realized that it's because I've spent my whole life surrounded by green. Panama, is, of course, very tropical and green. Except during the last month or so of dry season when the grass turns brown. And Alabama was green. Thank goodness this part of Washington is also very green! I need green, people. That's all I know :).
76. Brown, dead grass (at least in Panama) is great for sliding down the hill on palm frond casings or cardboard. I've never tried it state-side. Perhaps I should, if I ever see brown, dry grass.
77. I cut my skin open above my eyebrow when I was a kid with a butter knife. Because I was tripped by a kid named Galen. Of course, I had been running with the butter knife. Apparently, I wasn't always a genius (totally kidding... ;)). I may have told this story before, but I searched my blog for it and didn't find it. So, sorry if it's repetitive.
78. I used to love to read books about ship disasters. The big ones. I read everything I could about the Titanic and the Lusitania, to name a few. The mysteries involved with the ships' sinkings, etc., fascinated me.
79. I'm kind of project-driven. I like to have a massive project to work on that requires me to sit and organize stuff. And I usually find a way to involve list-making :).
80. I don't waste calories on Mountain Huckleberry ice cream. Brad.

And in highlights :). Let's see... Upcoming highlights include: I'm supposed to go to see A Christmas Carol on Saturday with some girls I met in Institute. I'm also going to Relief Society Enrichment tomorrow night to work on quilts, since we aren't having a presidency meeting this week. I'm also going to work on a humanitarian aide project this Saturday, so that should be fun. And Michele has all the Twilight books that she is going to lend me! I guess I will get sucked back in once I finish the book I'm reading now. I figured having to wait for them to be available at the library would help me to read other things. But, I'm not passing up this opportunity to catch up :). Thanks, Michele!

Desiree has picked up the oh-so-cute "diva" thing where she sings into a crayon (that is supposed to be her microphone) as we sing "Ariel" songs. I don't know why, but you know the song "Part of Your World?" Well, she calls it "Look at These Pennies." It makes me smile every time.

Benjamin (Booder) likes me when I spin him around. And he finally said my name the other day while I was there. Little turkey. He likes to play the "I know you want me to say it, so I won't" game with me. Meanwhile, Saria and Samuel are cute as always. Saria is reading way above her age level. I recommended a book for her. Hopefully they have it at her library. I also love to hear Samuel and Desiree have conversations when they think we aren't listening. So serious. So intense. Gotta love them.

I love phone calls from friends :). And from cousins who are also my friends ;). Somehow they just lighten my mood and lift my spirit. Yay! I also like talking to my dad. I know I say that a lot, but it's true! Sometimes he knows just the right thing to say. And sometimes he just listens. And most of the time, he makes me laugh, and I make him laugh. And I mostly laugh because I can make him laugh :). I'm just proud he admitted that it was supposed to get into the 20's last night... He had to eat a little bit of crow on that one ;). That one and also that time he said he gave me my registro civil papers and then blamed me for losing them, which he "knew would happen." And then he called me the next day and admitted he'd found it in his hope chest... and then said that he'd kept it "because he knew I'd lose it if he gave it to me." Hahahahaha... I'll never let you live it down, Dad :).

And that about covers it. Oh, except I got my mom hooked on Fringe. She comes downstairs and says, "Want to watch another episode?" It's fun to share things like this with people.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fainting Spells

Nope, I haven't had any recently. But, once upon a time... back when I was in Tuscaloosa, I actually had a list of things that needed to be blogged :). And my fainting stories were on it. Yes, I'm crazy. Anyway... Though my life has been full, I wouldn't say it's been anything particularly exciting. I do the things I usually do: watch Desiree, occasionally hang out with Brad and Tarylyn (and introduce them to Arrested Development... a show I know Brad will appreciate, since he and I share a slightly-twisted sense of humor), check out the sales ads for grocery weekend to help get the best bang for our buck, have my weekly meltdown... Yeah, you know, the normal week. But in the interest of having a blog that is semi-updated and hopefully a little bit interesting... Here are a couple of memory lane stories for you. I figure, since I haven't done one of these in months, now's as good a time as any.

My first experience with fainting came at quite a young age, actually. And it was caused by yours truly :). See, I was in kindergarten. We were outside playing, probably for recess. The elementary school had a roof over the walkway going from the main part of the school down to the gym. Interspersed, holding up the tin roof, were huge green poles. (Also, there were hopscotch games painted on the cement that led down to the gym... Two separate hopscotch games). Anyway... So, I was running, being chased by several boys. Probably the last time that happened ;). I recall my teacher saying, "You guys be careful." And, as always, my mouth had a reply: "Oh, don't worry. We're fine." And then I looked behind me to see how close the boys were to catching me. And when I turned back around... WHAP! Right into a green metal pole. The next thing I remember is the coach coming toward me with an ice pack. And then I remember being carried to the office. And though I don't remember this part, my mom tells me that I was unhappy about her having to come pick me up early, because it was Friday, and I was supposed to get my treat for being good all week. Although... I don't know if I was particularly good, seeing as I didn't listen to the teacher when she told me to be careful. I'm pretty sure, though I was told that I would get the treat the following week, that I never actually got the treat. Obviously this hasn't hurt me much... But, thought I'd tell you that :). And also... I remember years later, when I was much older and cooler (ie 6th grade... the only year I was "cool"), all the cool kids would hang out near the hopscotch games and we could always smell the ojaldras smell coming from across the highway.

The other time I fainted (or passed out), wasn't really my fault. It wasn't anyone else's fault either. Just the mechanics of nature ;). So here's a lovely girl story for you. So you can know what it's like to be a poor teenage girl, in case you never were one. I was in 8th grade, so I guess I was around 14. And my wonderful monthly visitor arrived. And I was feeling highly cramptastic, but I had a test in Science in 5th period, so I had to go to school. But, my mom was going to pick me up after that. Too bad I had P.E. 3rd period. Let me just tell you, for those of you who may not know... When you feel like that, kicking around a soccer ball is not high on your list of desireable activities. So, my mom wrote me a note to sit out. I still had to dress out, though. So, out we all traipsed to the field. And I sat down on the bleachers. And then I layed down on the bleachers. And then, I remember the voices sounding far away, and I thought I'd fallen asleep, but I could still hear the voices... they just sounded far away. I think I passed out on some level from the cramping. Ugh. I almost passed out from the same thing one other time. I figure I was around 16 or so. I was in the little upstairs bathroom in the house in Panama. I was taking out my contacts for the night, standing in front of the sink and mirror. Everything started to turn black, little pinpricks at a time. I don't know why it occurred to me, but I thought to sit down, and suddenly, the blackness went away.

And there you have it. Some fainting spells from my lifetime. Also... it's not good to eat only a piece of cheese all day and then go on a bike-ride. Especially when you are out of shape. That can also result in fainting. I did that too ;).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Surprises Are so Much Fun!

I guess my family does like surprises. Someone said that to me once when I told them about how I surprised my family in February when I came up here for 2 days. It's true. There's just something about surprising the ones you love and seeing their face light up when they realize it :).

So, a few weeks back, my mom came and told me that the ladies at her job wanted to throw a baby shower for Christina at the funeral home (where my mom works). They wanted it to be a surprise. Oh so many things are factors in things like this! First of all, we had to know Christina's schedule in advance, since it changes from week to week. Well, that's nearly impossible. So, we decided to go the route of telling Christina to request to be off the evening of the baby shower. We waited until the kind people with whom my mom works to pick a date. They picked Tuesday, November 11. So we had to come up with an excuse to get Christina to request that time off. Tarylyn came up with the idea to say that we were going to go out for her birthday, which was the next day (today). That was a great idea! So, I told Christina. She said she'd ask that, if she is scheduled to work, to schedule her for the morning hours so she could participate in the birthday celebration for Tarylyn. Yay! Well, after all that, it turned out that Christina wasn't even scheduled to work the 11th at all! It worked so perfectly! And, we were still keeping it hush hush!!

Meanwhile, I felt it was unfair to not celebrate Tarylyn's birthday. Especially after we were making it look like we were. So, I began concocting a plan to suprise her as well! And so I had to get Brad in on it. I asked him if it would be okay for all of us to show up at his house after the baby shower for some cake and ice cream to celebrate Tarylyn's birthday, but that it had to be a surprise. He agreed. On Halloween, Tarylyn mentioned liking Rainbow Brite as a kid. I immediately thought that making the Rainbow Brite cake (from the pan Kira gave me) would be a great idea! However, as time ticked by... That was going to be way involved and I feel the need to have my own kitchen for something like that. Which I don't have. So, I came up with a new idea! I printed out a picture of Rainbow Brite from the computer. We used Christina's Betty Crocker bake-n-fill, and we used Rainbow Chip frosting and Rainbow candles! Christina came up with the idea of using the bake-n-fill when I told her I didn't think it would be easy to do the Rainbow Brite cake. (This will be done one day, fear not. I just really need my own place for something like that). And Christina helped me find rainbow candles at the store, and we filled a milk chocolate cake with cherry filling!

Oh wait... I'm getting ahead of myself. So anyway, it was all in the works, and both Tarylyn and Christina were still in the dark about their respective celebrations :). Mom and I made oreo truffles on Monday for the baby shower. Plus I got all the ingredients together for the Bacon-Cheese Mini Appetizers that everyone seems to love so much (thanks Jeni for this recipe! It is always a hit! The oreo truffles, too, coincidentally...). Tuesday morning arrived. I knew it would be a busy day. But, I generally thrive on days like this, as long as they aren't really stressful :). I like having a lot to do! I gathered everything for the day and headed out. I went by to purchase the gift for the shower on behalf of my mom. Then I took everything up to the funeral home and dropped it off so it was there. I called Tarylyn to find out if she likes cherry pie (for Thanksgiving...) in order to find out if she likes cherry so we could fill her cake with cherry. Then ran by the store and bought some. I got to Christina's around noon and we started baking the cake. Okay, so I learned an important lesson when using the bake-n-fill. You have to lock the top pan into place. So, Tarylyn, your cake was slightly misshapen. And it's my fault. Ugh. Once the cake was cooked and cooling, Christina, Desiree, and I ran to the store to get the frosting and the candles and the ice cream. We got back to the apartment and had lunch and worked on the cake. We had a crisis... I didn't think ahead about putting paper on frosting. It'd soak through. So, I thought of wax paper. Christina didn't have any. So she called Brad to ask if he had some. They did. But, how to get to it and put it on the cake so it'd all be ready for when Tarylyn finally saw it? So, finally it was decided Brad would have to put the finishing touches on the cake. See... I was picking up Tarylyn for the shower, so I was going to leave the cake and ice cream and everything in his truck for him to get out when we left. We also had to make sure his truck was unlocked. So Christina has him on the phone and says, "Okay Brad, is your truck unlocked, just answer yes or no." And he says, in his incredulous and confused voice, "Is my truck unlocked?" You big dummy. Hahaha... He'd forgotten about the surprise for Tarylyn and the set up for it. Men. Anyway, he was able to play it off and tell Tarylyn that Christina was talking to Desiree. By the time he got on the phone with me, he was laughing and saying he forgot. And so this is why I made the following diagram for him to follow when he was decorating the cake for us:
My explicit instructions

Hey... I'm telling you. You have to take precautions :). I had something in my mind, so I detailed it for him :). I even told Christina, while I was making the diagram, that Brad would laugh at my "anal-ness" for drawing the diagram in addition to writing the instructions. Yes, I know. But let me just say, Brad did a great job! See:
Tarylyn's rainbow cake
When he got it out of his truck, it was just frosted. So, thanks Brad for putting the finishing touches on it! And for doing all the stuff to help keep it a surprise!

Meanwhile, back at Christina's... I convince her that she should get dressed up and put on some make-up. Because when does she ever get to go out without her little girl and spend time with the gals? (Remember, she still thinks this is for Tarylyn's birthday). So, she does it. Really, I did this because I knew there'd be pictures taken and I didn't want her to say later, "Why didn't you tell me? I look terrible in the pictures!" Tarylyn called me and asked me how we were working this. I mean, how to do you continue a ploy such as this all the way to the end? And what possible reason is there for detouring to a funeral home? Well, this is it:

All the girls are going to go out and celebrate Tarylyn. But we all know how Mom likes to work late (and this is no lie). So, we're going to go to the funeral home to make sure Mom leaves work and joins us. And we're going to let Tarylyn decide where we're going to go eat once we're all together. And once we get to the funeral home, I'm going to run in and check to see if Mom's ready while Tarylyn and Christina are in the car waiting. And then I'll come back to the car and say that Mom's not quite ready and she said to come inside.

So there you have it. The story :). And it worked! We got her all the way down the stairs and into the reception hall at the funeral home. And you see, by the look on her face, that she was trying to figure it out (I believe this is the same face she made when I showed up on her doorstep in February).
Surprising Christina

The shower was wonderful. Much thanks to the fabulous people who work with my mom. What a sweet thing to do for my sister. And I'm so grateful they also included us :). Christina got a lot of great stuff. I'm sure she'll blog it eventually. I didn't take any pictures of the gift opening, since I was writing who brought what. But Tarylyn took pictures with Christina's camera (which I'd surreptitiously slipped into my purse so it'd be there :)). But, I did take pictures of the food. Aren't you so glad I did, Dad?
Shower cake

And here's everyone from the family who was there. We left Desiree with Brad and the kids, because Nick was still at work when we left Christina's.
Another of the family at the shower

And then we left and headed to take Tarylyn home. Where I almost slipped up twice and let on about the surprise awaiting her :). We got in the door and Saria ran up and said, "We got you a birthday cake!" And Tarylyn, who only heard birthday cake and thought Saria was referring to the restaurant (because they had to tell their kids the story we told Christina so they wouldn't spoil the baby shower surprise) told Saria that we didn't really go out to eat for her birthday. But then Saria pointed to the cake, sitting on the counter. Tarylyn's expression was great. She looked up and said, "Where did that come from?" And then it started to dawn on her. And she smiled and laughed and said, "You guys are sneaky!" And it was great, all the way around. No surprises let out of the bag. Lots of fun. And lots of love.
Christina and me with the birthday girl

And these are the moments when I cherish my family most.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Excuse

It's been a whole week since my last post. And I have a really good (and for many of you readers, understandable) excuse. See:
Instead of blogging...

I didn't finish it as fast as some of you out there. But, given that it took me many months to finish my last book, I'd say 4 days is pretty decent! I have to admit, I was shocked to get sucked in to Twilight. But, there is something that does suck you in.

Of course, part of why I didn't get the book read faster is because I have done lots of other stuff too. My sweet niece doesn't think me reading is an appropriate activity when I am baby-sitting her. She would much rather have me make silly faces with her or play ponies with her. And who am I to argue?

I also spent several wonderful hours using the gift of gab. I talked to my dad on the phone for a while on Friday. Did you know that I love talking to my dad on the phone? I love to laugh with him. I also love talking to Julie! She called me on Sunday, and we talked for quite a while. How wonderful it is to have a friendship that is steady and sure, in spite of many, many miles between us. And of course, there were my calls from Elka. Oh my gosh... We are going to have the BEST time together when she gets here in a very short couple of weeks.

I had my first RS Presidency meeting on Wednesday. That lasted 2.5 hours! But the time seemed to go by fast for me. I had another meeting to attend in conjunction with my new calling on Sunday morning. Then I drove to Brad and Tarylyn's ward to attend Sacrament meeting there, since it was the Primary Program in their ward. I got to see Saria and Samuel participate. What cuties they are. Samuel was quite the little active guy. Saria was so well-behaved. I am proud of her. Brad wasn't there, since he was doing his weekend in the reserves. So it was me and Tarylyn in the congregation, smiling at the kiddos. And Benjamin fell asleep, so I held him a bit while he slept.

I spent most of Saturday helping Mom clean and organize her room.

I have been working on and off (more off than on, sadly) on the reunion cookbook. It's funny. I never thought I was a procrastinator, but in some ways I am. I mean, I work on it here and there. But the closer it gets, the more intensely I will work on it. The good news is that so many wonderful recipes have been contributed! This will be a fantabulous collection of foods!

So, that's why I haven't been blogging. And also why I didn't finish Twilight in record time. But, I did finish it about 20 minutes ago, so now I'm ready for the movie ;). However, I'm not standing in line in the cold Washington days we've been having like those crazy teenie boppers they showed on the news today so that I can be the first to pay $30 for a movie ticket, a chance to meet some of the movie actors, and a t-shirt. I'll just wait for Elka. I'm sure we'll have more fun going to Forks with Mrs. S than standing in drizzly, cold, wet rain :).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Life... is so Amusing

Well, from everything I've heard, today marked history. Of course, it would have either way. But, I hear Obama won and is the first African-American President of the United States. Sometimes I realize how really cool it is to be alive during a time when so much is happening and history is being made. That is random, I know. It's probably the deepest thought you'll get from me in this post :).

Thanks for the votes of confidence concerning my new calling at church. For those of you who don't know what being 3rd Counselor in Relief Society even means... Basically I will, along with 5 other women in the ward, help to make sure the sisters in the ward are taken care of; that they have what they need spiritually and temporally. I feel very inadequate, to tell you the truth. What do I have to offer women with much more experience than I have? But, as I believe that callings come from Heavenly Father, I trust that He feels this is the capacity I should serve in at this time. I also trust that He knows me better than I know myself, and that He believes I am adequate... with the Savior's help, of course :). And I know I will grow from it, and I hope that I will help others that need help.

I have to give props to my sister-in-law Tarylyn. She introduced me to And I use it... a lot. I unwind at night, laying in bed snuggled up, and watching tv on the computer! If there aren't new episodes of anything for me to watch (like The Office, which I'm a little bummed to say feels a little off this season), I watch episodes of Arrested Development. That show cracks me up. And it's fun to watch it from the beginning again. I also have to give props to Tarylyn for introducing me to a new show called Fringe. Again, this is one they have on hulu, and I am caught up with it (it's new this season). I think a new episode will come out tomorrow. "They" are calling Fringe the new X-Files. I'd say I agree, somewhat. Either way, I've been enjoying it. And, I've gotten my mom hooked on hulu as well. We've got caught up on the new season of Bones, as of tonight. So, an all around good deal :).

And just so you don't think the only thing I do with my life is watch tv... I'm also almost done (as in 25 more pages to go) with The Name of the Rose. I know! It only took me over 3 months! Apparently gone are the days when I finish a good-sized book in 2 or 3 days. Ah, how I miss those days. For more reason than one!

Currently, I can't think of much else to say. I am compiling a list of strange facts about me to do another one of my 100 things about me posts... But, I only have 3 on that list right now. I've also got a few other random posts up my sleeve that don't involve life in general, but just stuff to chronicle. In the meantime... I'm going to finish my book and watch an episode of Arrested before I got to bed. I'm taking Christina to her doctor's appointment tomorrow so I can be in charge of the munchkin. So, I'll be up earlier than usual.

And Dad, I think it's spelled "sergeant." Who knows what I was thinking. I didn't look it up, but I'm pretty sure the way I wrote it before was wrong... Also, Brad told me I'm like Lucy from Peanuts. A big, bossy mouth. My siblings are so loving. But that's okay... Brad goes around singing "Me and Julio Down by the School Yard." And I'll never let him live it down.

Peace out ;).