Just Rannin' Around

Thursday, July 30, 2009

“Sometimes life seems like a dream, especially when I look down and see that I forgot to put on my pants.” –Jack Handy

Yesterday afternoon I just needed to get away from the stress and worry of the day so I headed to my favorite oasis. After sitting behind a locked door for a minute silently preparing myself, I stood up and started changing my clothes. I took off my shirt, shook my head and just started laughing and thought, “Well this is an issue.”

On normal days I typically match my bra to the color of the shirt that I am wearing. I was wearing a purple shirt yesterday and it was not a pastel color either . . . we are talking royal purple. I suppose that I was in automatic dressing mode that morning because I knew that I needed to wear white. Always white on Wednesdays! I contemplated my options and let’s just say that I was walking without a bounce in my step for the next couple of hours.

When I finally got home last night, I decided it was a good night to do some necessary upkeep. I hate hair anywhere except on top of my head, eye brows (the ones I don’t pluck that is) and eye lashes. I know, it is a bit extreme, but it is the truth. One of my biggest insecurities is all the hair on my body and thanks to my German heritage, well I have more than my fair share. My cousins and I “joke” that once a month we have to dip our faces in hot wax. I am grateful that most of my hair on my body is blond, but that doesn’t stop me from attempting to rid myself of it. So last night I pulled out the Nair to take care of my legs.

I folded a batch of laundry, took the old nail polish off my toenails and put away a project that I had been working on the last couple of days, all while avoiding touching anything with my legs that were smeared with Nair. Being flexible definitely comes in handy at these moments.

After getting out of the shower, I discovered that I had a bit of a rash on my leg slightly above my knees. I have never had a reaction to Nair before, so I must have left it on a little too long and I thought it would go away. By the time I painted my toenails I figured that it would have gone away, no such luck. It was just going to be one of those days that things didn’t go the way that I pictured.

Has your bed ever had its own gravitational pull? I did not want to get up. After hitting the snooze button half a dozen times, my rational mind kicked in reminding me that I had to go to work and I was 30 minutes later than normal. After showering and getting ready for the day with slippery, smooth legs and freshly painted toenails, I added to the building vigor of the day and put on one of my favorite outfits.

Knowing that I was late, I cruised downstairs to fix my normal breakfast of milk chocolate Carnation Instant. I dumped in the mix, added the milk, put on the lid and disaster ensued. I picked up the container to combine the mix and milk by forceful shaking and instead ended up with milk and mix all over the kitchen (counter, walls, floor, appliances) and of course all down the front of me (hair, face, clothes). I stood in complete shock of a split second and then burst out laughing. How could you not laugh? It was funny. I spent the next 20 minutes cleaning up the kitchen and me. Needless to say that I was a lot later to work than usual and next time the bed tells me to stay there, calling in sick will be happening.

“Any idiot can face a crisis. It’s day-to-day living that wears you out!” –Anton Chekhov

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You make a life out of what you have, not what you’re missing

I spent last weekend in San Francisco. Yes, I did go to see Wicked . . . again. For those who question how many times I have now seen it, let me recount.

1. Boston
2. Denver
3. Los Angeles
4. Salt Lake
5. San Francisco

That’s right, five times in all different cities with all different people. Although I do have a propensity for the arts, I have never spent so much time or effort to see any other performance. I have been asked on several occasions (mostly after telling someone I am on my way to see it again), what it is that I enjoy about this play so much. No, it isn’t because of the song Popular. It is because I relate in divers ways to multiple characters and situations contained and portrayed within this play. I will choose not to divulge my discourse here since I wouldn’t want to ruin the play for those who have yet to see it. If anyone is interested in that particular diatribe, come and visit. We’ll do lunch.

Other than that, we spent the weekend wondering around Golden Gate Park and Fisherman’s Wharf (my friend I was with is seven months pregnant with twins, so it was very slow wondering). There was some fabulous eating. Bread is a huge weakness for me and just retrieved from the oven sourdough was to be found around every corner. Fresh seafood on the Wharf, along with a bowl of hot, creamy, delicious clam chowder kept my stomach full and a smile on my face.

I did receive a proposal while there. Although he was very handsome and it was tempting, I decided it best not to accept since we had only been acquainted for around two minutes. That time frame is just shy the five minutes that I insist on knowing someone before I accept such long-term commitments.

Where to next? I am not sure. I have a few things pending, but right now I am putting some serious thought into Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Anyone want to join me?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It’s the recipes you create yourself that are the best

I was sitting in my office yesterday pumping out more work than any one person should in one day, when suddenly I was transported back to the 1980s. Honestly, I started laughing so hard that a few of the girls in the offices next to mine poked their heads in to see what was happening. All I could do was point breathlessly to the car waiting for the light to turn green. The only difference that I could really pick out was that it wasn’t a Dodge Charger. Other than that, well it was spot on and I had a sudden urge to hear Dixie play with the touch of the horn.

Some may have no idea what I am talking about, others know exactly and their heart just skipped a beat with thoughts of Bo, Luke and Daisy. The General Lee was sitting right outside my office window, complete with the Confederate Battle flag on top. It made me want to go put on my Daisy Duke short shorts (yes I did use to wear them, they would just look a bit silly now with 12 inches of white hanging below the shorts) and pose on the top of the car. I must admit that The Dukes of Hazzard was one of my all time favorite shows. I was going to marry Luke Duke with those dark locks of sassy hair to run my fingers through and my older sister was going to marry Bo Duke (no really, we discussed it in full detail). Ah, those were the days!

So I am sending out a huge Thank You to whomever it is that took the time to transport me back to some fabulous memories of my childhood because they love The Dukes of Hazzard as much as I!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Going, going gone

Nervously she looked around the room. Although she knew that she had nothing to worry about, she still couldn’t help but anticipate what she was about to do. It was her auction item; something that she had put up for years. There had been a few buyers over the years, but the item was always returned to her and she always put it back onto the auction block. It was out of habit that she had placed it there again after the last time it was returned. Really she hadn’t meant to do it.

When the last purchaser showed up to return the item, he had been so kind. He had taken extra care to make sure that she knew how valuable the item was and that it wasn’t a lack of wanting to own it, but that he didn’t feel as if he deserved it since he didn’t have other items that he felt he needed in order for it really fit in with all that he did possess. Looking closely she noticed that he had altered it from how he had purchased it and questioned him concerning the new alterations. See she was used to it coming back altered, however this time it seemed to have been done with purposeful care.

While still admiring the item, he lovingly detailed that the changes were made because he really couldn’t bear to think of someone else owning the item. So he had deliberately made alterations that would make it more difficult for anyone else to obtain the item. Examining closely, she realized that he was right. The item now required more attention to the small details he had placed in it and had somehow even enlarged it a bit. It was all very clever on his part, even though he knew that he would never again own the item. Only after quite some time continuing to cling to the item, did he reluctantly relinquished it back into her possession. Hard to believe that almost two years had already passed.

With the pounding of the gavel and appearance of her item, she shifted her attention back to the present. Quickly she glanced around the room one more time, almost allowing hope to fill her. The item went quickly. It always does when there is but one bidder.

Monday, July 20, 2009

“Behold your little ones”

I have been given a plethora of blessings in my life. Yesterday I was reminded of one that I have a tendency to overlook.

In my ward Relief Society is held first. Our presidency is on the younger side (I have to say that because they are all around my age) and both the first and second councilor have a child around thirteen months old that they bring with them since they are not yet old enough to be taken to nursery. I was enjoying listening to the lesson on Charity yesterday in my typical back row seat when I noticed that the second councilor’s little boy was headed in my direction. He didn’t pause at all but came right up to me and lifted his arms wanting me to pick him up and hold him. His mom looked over and realized what had happened and immediately mouthed “sorry”. I told her at the end of the meeting that there was nothing to be sorry about, I didn’t mind one bit.

During Sunday school, my neighbor came and sat next to me with her little girl that is just under a year old. Her little girl was playing with me all during the meeting. Sacrament meeting I was sitting in the bench behind another little girl and she “talked” to me during the beginning and so I reached over and took her from her mom and quietly read her a book. During the last part of the meeting one of the little boys in the ward came and handed me a note from his mom that asked if I could come and sit with her kids while she ran one of the little boys to the bathroom. I slipped a few benches back to sit with the other three while she took the other one out. The littlest was sound asleep when she left. A few minutes after she left the little girl woke up and crawled up into my arms.

After the meeting her mom came back in and packed up their stuff getting ready to go and her daughter just looked at her. She was perfectly content to just stay in my arms. Her mom also happens to be one of my visiting teachers and when she came over later that day, she said that was so weird because her daughter won’t go to anyone but her, not even her grandma.

Children have always gravitated to me. My family laughs at me because anytime I hold a baby, the child falls sound asleep. It might be due to the fact that I love to rock babies while softly singing to them. There is something that is so instinctively natural and calming to me to have a baby curled in my arms rocking them to sleep, reading them books or having a conversation nose to nose (one of my nieces does this with me and it totally makes me smile).

It might seem random to consider this one of my blessings, but there is no greater way to feel the love that our Savior has for each of us than to be near His little ones.

Monday, July 13, 2009

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” - Shakespeare

Saturday morning I was looking forward to rolling out of bed, putting on one of my tiniest swimming suits and spending the early afternoon soaking in every single ray of sunshine within unnumbered miles of my house. I should have known better than to get my hopes up of such a weekend. When I looked out my window on the way downstairs to throw in some laundry (by the way I have seriously considered going naked to avoid having to do laundry so frequently) I noticed that the sunshine had decided to yet again spend the weekend behind the dark, ugly clouds. It had even invited a nice gusty wind to join the party it had called. I may or may not have said a naughty word upon discovering the elements outside.

Instead I went back upstairs and put on my running essentials and hopped onto the treadmill. I blasted the music and ran until I thought that my legs were going to give out on me. Since I really had no desire to do a face plant onto the revolving mat and end up being a large splat against the wall, I turned it off and again peeked outside just in case the weather had changed its course. No such luck. After braving the weather to pull the millions of weeds out of my little garden, changing the laundry, doing some essential cleaning, putting clean sheets on my bed, reading some material for the day and basically putting off getting dressed and ready for the day, I finally gave up on the weather and got in the shower.

I had really outdone myself, so I curled up on the couch and took a nap. After running some errands and then making some chicken salad for sandwiches during the week, my eyes started to notice some bright yellow light coming from the outside world. I looked at the clock and realized that it was already six in the evening. Not wanting to miss the only sunshine I had seen the entire day, I threw on my hiking shoes and headed out (don’t worry my dad has already scolded me for going hiking by myself). I ended up at Ensign Peak and surprisingly, I found myself at an empty parking lot. I am a bit proud of myself because I was determined and for the first time ever, I made it all the way up to the top without stopping once (breathing was optional on this hike and I choose to not breath).

Once up at the top, alone, I found a nice spot to park myself to find my lungs again. While I was forcing air in and out a few others made their way to the top. They stayed for a while, had me take some pictures for them and then they headed back down. With the chance to be by myself I found myself singing out loud. It made me laugh and quite embarrassed me to realize that the others may not yet be far enough down and that my voice could probably still be heard not to mention that I had no clue as to whether or not someone else was coming up. Oh well. I wasn’t in the mood to really care so I had a nice conversation out loud. I talked through quite a few things and was grateful for the time.

I skipped down the trail and smiled at the groups making their way up the hill. There were a couple of women being dragged up the hill by boyfriends and one that decided that she was just not having anything to do with the hike. He couldn’t talk her into going any further even though she was already half way up. I tried to encourage her with that information, but she wasn’t going to budge. Poor guy.

Since I was already in the neighborhood, on the way back down I stopped at the State Capital and spent some time wondering around the grounds. I hadn’t been there since they finished all their renovations. It was absolutely beautiful.

Over the last month or so, I have taken to writing lists of improvements that I want to make to make myself better. I pondered a lot of what was on one of these lists while I was out on Saturday. Here are a few things that I have discovered all about one thing concerning my personality that I am attempting to tweak (and I will make this a lot shorter than what is on the list since this blog is getting extremely long already):

-I never want to offend anyone and off-the-cuff I tend to be a bit harsh.
I am very opinionated and stubborn. I am afraid that something I say will make them go away.

-Opening up means the possibility of getting hurt.
I would rather have someone else in the spotlight. I have issues thinking that I am boring so even the slight indication of that from someone I am having a discussion with and the switch to my mouth gets flipped to the off position rather quickly.

-I refuse to talk over anything/anyone including but not limited to the radio, television, computer, cell phone (calls and texting).
If that is where the attention is focused, who am I to interrupt.

These few items came off a very extensive list concerning an issue that I want to become better at dealing with. It is just one small step that I know that I need to take. I am still figuring out how to let go of my control issues, but that is a topic in and of itself.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Been here all along

When I was getting close to becoming a freshman in high school, the school held tryouts for JV cheerleaders. For as long as I could remember (not that I had been alive for very long), I had wanted to be a cheerleader. So even though my parents weren’t thrilled about it, I put my name on the list to try out. I went to school that entire week an hour and a half early and stayed after another hour for cheer camp.

I could do the splits, I could do the cheers, I could dance and of course I had the voice that could shatter the ear drums of those even on the very back row of the bleachers. Despite my best effort, I didn’t even make the first cut. I was devastated, but still went back to the next couple of sets of tryouts that next week to cheer on all of my friends that made it through the second and third cuts and made the team. I couldn’t have been happier for them. Even though my friends encouraged me to tryout that next year, my eyes had been opened a bit to the reality of some things that I wasn’t aware of the year before . . . or maybe didn’t want to be aware of is a better statement.

I loved high school. Actually I loved all levels of school. I can understand why people disliked both junior high and high school, but I enjoyed both and escaped both fairly unscathed. Through my life as I have had this discussion with people I have realized that it probably worked for me for me because I was such an anomaly.

First off, my family moved the summer before my seventh grade year started. Now that is not much different than a lot of people, however it was where we moved that made it different. We moved onto Dixie College campus so that my parents could be the resident managers. I believe that automatically gave me “cool” points which only became increasingly “cooler” the further into high school that we got. With the guys it was because I not only knew who all the athletes and coaches were, but they were my friends. With the girls, well I was always with the college guys, need I say more. To me, it was just a part of my everyday life and I don’t think that this was even the biggest factor.

I am a people person. Maybe because of where I was raised or, more than likely by whom I was raised, I appreciate people for who they are not for a few of the decisions that they make in their life. As I look back I didn’t really have a “best friend” in high school. I wasn’t involved any one of the “cliques”. I can’t even begin to imagine what people thought of me since I was all over the different social circles. I went from going to seminary one hour to hanging out with the “stoners” out in the bushes the next. I went from going to lunch with the cheerleaders to sitting in the back of the classroom with the class clowns. There wasn’t a group or person that I wasn’t willing to be friends with because I didn’t care what other people thought. My belief is that everyone is innately good if given the chance.

From the whole cheerleading tryout failure, I learned to take loss of a dream with excitement for those around me that do obtain it. I like to believe that it wouldn’t have mattered and I still would have had the same experience in high school had I made the cheerleading squad, but that is something that I will never know. There are other dreams that it is time to wrap them up and put them away. I know how to do this.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I guess we are all one phone call away from our knees

On Wednesday night I flew out to Boston to spend some time with Smoothie, Jamie and Thomas. My flight was supposed to arrive in Boston at 1:10 am on Thursday morning. We ended up landing slightly before the scheduled arrival time and I was happy because I knew that Smoothie was waiting to pick me up from the airport and that he had to work that morning. However we didn’t immediately go to the gate, but instead sat and waited. I figured something was going on when they started an episode of The Office. Come to find out that the gate that we were supposed to be at had an airplane that was having mechanical issues and they were trying to move it so that we could pull up. Hello! It is 1:00 in the morning, is there really not another gate available? They kept us on the plane for an additional 30 minutes (yes the entire episode, plus commercials) before pulling us up to, what, oh yeah another gate. Brilliant!

After finally opening my eyes that morning, spending some great talk time with Jamie and getting ready for the day, we headed out to Salem. The day was full of graveyards, witches and rain. I have always been interested in the history of Salem. It fascinates me that people can become so fearful that logical thinking is thrown out and hysteria follows. People intrigue me. I can spend hours watching people. Everyone has something that is just their own that makes them who they really are. Too often we take those differences and use them against that person because we don’t understand them. After seeing an entire community that had turned itself inside out destroying neighbor, friend and family relationships all out of one fear or another definitely gave me pause. How much is society different today? Maybe it just isn’t witches that we are hunting these days. I realized that I need to be more tolerant and understanding.

We didn’t sit still for very long. The next morning we were up and headed into Vermont. I think that everyone is aware that I believe that ice cream is a basic food group, so time at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory was a little piece of heaven. They have a fun tour and yummy ice cream. We also wondered around the Ice Cream graveyard and saw some of the flavors that no longer are being made. However, some of them were working on being resurrected. That made me smile. After that we headed to another graveyard . . . . just kidding. We actually visited Sharon, Vermont which is Joseph Smith Jr.’s birth place. There I was able to see (as 2-year old Thomas can tell you) the Joseph Smith Memorial. Church history sites always carry such an amazing spirit. We basically had the entire place to ourselves and were able to really soak in that spirit. After taking a few minutes to catch a frog for Thomas to enjoy, we were on our way. We stopped to take a driving tour around Cambridge University. The campus was beautiful.

Saturday we decided to take a picnic and have an adventure at the lake. An adventure we got. When we arrived it was a bit overcast but we made the most of it and built sandcastles that Thomas enjoyed destroying and played in the water. The weather was not going to cooperate and so we picnicked in the car while a downpour occurred outside. Finally the rain stopped and we went back out to play for a while (well until the next storm blew in about an hour later). At home Jamie and I made a very scrumptious dinner, showered and then went to enjoy the fireworks. They were fabulous and a much better show than I have seen in years. I have never seen a show that has two grand finales until that night. It was great!

The next morning it was time to pack up and go home. I was sad to be going because I had such a good time with wonderful friends. It was so fun to spend time there with them. Thanks guys for making me feel at home and all the long nights sitting up talking and for letting me stay at your house and running me around to all those fantastic places and of course for letting me sing Neil Diamond for you in the car! I had a blast!!

When I got home to Salt Lake I was picked up at the airport by one of my favorite people in the world! I have never had such a grand greeting as being yelled at from across three lanes of traffic. It made me smile!

P.S. I am so excited! I just found out that my older sister is going to have another niece/nephew for me to adore and is due in February!!


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