Monday, November 30, 2009

A few of my favorite things

Several blogs that I follow, Cornflower, Brigitte Dale, and Sami's had entries recently about the little things (emphasis on little and things) that make us happy. Here's my attempt and will try not to be too influenced by their suggestions (although "new box of crayons" is right up there...).

  1. Macaroni & Cheese (Martha Stewart's recipe, not the Kraft boxes...)
  2. Hyacinths and lilacs (Hmm. Neither of which are in my the moment...)
  3. Small blank books--oh! the possibilities!
  4. Scarves--a new obsession since being in London.
  5. Hot, hot showers.
  6. Ok, I give up. New box of crayons. Doesn't even have to be the 64 size, but it helps.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Oh, She's my dear, my darling one

We had 6 yr old Renee over for a sleepover this weekend, and when it came time for our evening ritual of watching the news, Rich asked Renee, "You like watching the news don't you, Renee?"

She said, "No."

"What?" says Rich, " Aren't you interested in what is happening in the world?"

Renee responded, "No, I am only interested in princesses, fairies and leprachauns." So, instead of watching Brian Williams, we watched Darby O'Gill...

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Rich and I were at a board meeting last night for our Library System. After the meeting got out, we were leaving with a few other people who were commenting on how much they liked the Tumwater (my) library. Dick said, "I love the Tumwater Library! It's such a welcoming place!" Mike said, "I love the Tumwater Library too!" Then Rich said, "I love the Tumwater Library Manager!" It was sweet because it was so spontaneous! And I appreciate that he didn't feel self-conscious expressing his love in front of our co-workers.
I'm a lucky woman!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Puppy Love

Quincy immediately latched onto the stuffed dog we brought for her and took him on our outing, a walk to the field and then down the road to the stop sign. About an hour after we got home, she said, "My puppy is missing..." We looked all over the house, then she said, "I think he is at the stop sign..." We all mounted an expedition, this time armed with a flashlight, as it was getting dark. As we neared the end of the street, Nephi spotted a dark lump on the sidewalk and sure enough, puppy was there waiting to be found. It was pretty amazing that a 3-year-old could "walk backward" through her actions to remember where she most probably left her toy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Step it up! (and Mind the Gap)

You don't see too many overweight Londoners and here's the reason why: steps. The millions that use the Tube have to walk and walk and go up and down many steps. Londoners walk very fast also, wherever they go. We walked an average of 5 hrs each day, and one day, just for fun, I kept track of how many stairs we went UP (not even counting down steps.) Every time I reached 100 stairs, I tied a knot in my scarf. At the end of the day, we had gone up 1035 steps. That was a pretty typical day. It wasn't even the day I went up this monument to the Great Fire of 1666: 311 stairs. I did it in 3 minutes and got a certificate proving the fact. I also got a fabulous 360 view of London from the top!


The advantage of visiting England is that even though it is a "foreign" country, there isn't (supposed) to be a language barrier... but I felt like I had to translate everywhere we went, as Rich couldn't understand the British accent and he spoke so quietly all the time that no one could understand what he said.
But music is the universal language and the highlight, for both Rich and I (when we compared notes later) was experiencing a John Lennon impersonator sing John's songs in the Cavern in Liverpool (where the Beatles first performed before making it big.) It was an emotional experience for me, as I could imagine what it might have been like hearing them (or John, at least) sing there in the 60s.

Perfect Love

Twice in the past week, as we have traveled to London and now to Colorado, I have heard about the effects of oxytocin in the brain. On Sunday we arrived at Hyde Park Chapel an hour early for Church, unaware that it was their Stake Conference instead of Fast Sunday. One of the speakers referred to the scripture, “Perfect love casteth out fear.” (1 John 4:18) She told of how oxytocin floods a woman’s brain when she gives birth, giving her feelings of heightened love and pleasure. This translates to a bonding experience with her newborn.

A scientific experiment was conducted in which two groups were given vials, one containing oxytocin, the other a placebo. Right before viewing/experiencing something that should normally induce feelings of fear, they opened the vials and inhaled the essence. They were wired to monitors which recorded the brain activity, and in those who received the oxytocin, the “fear” reactors did not reach up into the brain. Those with the placebo felt the full effect of the negative emotional reaction.

Just now on the plane to Colorado, I watched a show called the Music Brain. Sting underwent a brain scan with scientists that were studying the brains of musicians. Turns out that music can also release oxytocin into the brain. The more we move to the music, the bigger the effect.

I always find it interesting when science reinforces scripture.

(BTW, photo is new granddaughter, Norah Gail Fillmore. We are in Colorado bonding with our newest family member.)

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