Monday, December 27, 2010

Recap




10 Moments of Happiness (in order of their happening) :
  1. Two weeks with Vanessa in Italy
  2. Family Reunion at Thanksgiving (all 7 grands in one place and time--doesn't get any better!)
  3. Vanessa's and Ben's wedding
  4. Phone messages/calls from Chase ("Hi Buba! Iuvyou!")
  5. Finding our "lost" wallets and phones in the used towel bin at the Hyatt
  6. Phone call from the Hyatt that they found my iphone
  7. Volunteering at the "Home For Christmas" event for the homeless on Christmas Day
  8. A hot tub soak after a vigorous workout
  9. Starting to chip away at the extra 10 pounds I've "found" over the past few months
  10. Looking forward to good things in 2011.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

All things bright and beautiful

It's Walktober once again! I've found some walking buddies that trek down to the sound every morning (yes, EVERY morning...) at 6:30. We get to the water just in time for the sunrise, I get 90 minutes daily to add to my Team score (we're still #1!), and I'm having a great time getting to know my neighbors better. I'm finding it a wonderful opportunity to talk of many things that are important in life, inspired by such sights as this sunrise on the mountain.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

"Are you doing anything special for your birthday tonight?"
"Well, I have 4 visiting teaching appointments, so....that's special!"
Although I initially said this tongue-in-cheek, it turned out to be quite prophetic. This was a new route with a new ("greenie") companion. During our first visit, we got to hear the sweet story of a new convert who recently lost her spouse and found the gospel. At another home we were able to inform an elderly sister about the upcoming opportunity to hear an apostle (Dallin Oaks whose birthday is also August 12th!) speak and invited her to join us. As we visited and got to know one another at the last home, we realized we were all three converts to the Church, were all formerly Catholics, and all had family members who have chosen to not participate anymore in church activity. The Spirit was strong and I testified that we were the "middle" links in a chain that connected back to our ancestors and forward to our children. It is important that we be strong for them. I know I was led to find the gospel because those who have gone before me were praying for someone in their line to take on the task of finding them and providing saving gospel ordinances for them in the temple. I was the first in my family to join the Church and the only one who really was blessed with the Spirit of Elijah, motivating me to seek after my ancestors. So I truly needed them as much as they needed me. And we have been promised that if we remain strong, our children will also be blessed...
We cried, hugged and enjoyed the newly formed bond between us, making plans to get together so I can help her with her own genealogy research.
On the way home I had the opportunity to relate my conversion story to my new companion. We expressed gratitude for an inspired Relief Society president who put us together! So, yes, I had a very special birthday!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

late bloomer


As I went out to water the garden this morning, this sight awaited me. I had thought this wisteria plant hadn't made it through the winter, yet here it is, suddenly sprouting new leaves! It made me so happy! I had stopped watering it even, thinking it was a lost cause, but it has persevered and triumphed! You can be sure it got a hearty drink from the hose first thing!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ultimate Torture

I was on assignment for my husband during my lunch hour today: purchase 6 pretzels for a Home Teaching lesson tonight on prayer (the pretzel looks like folded arms....get it?). So I ran over to Wetzel's Pretzels in the mall and had to wait "7 minutes" so they could make up that many at once. Mission accomplished, I'm in my car on the way back to work and suddenly am hit with one of my favorite aromas: warm, soft, fresh bread....and here I am on day 5 of being gluten free (which may warrant a blog post of its own in the near future...)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whole foods

My haul at the Tuwmater Farmers' Market today: Local, raw honey, organic strawberries, oatmeal-molasses bread, organic carrots. A total meal in itself! I just got a new app for my iphone that lists for me the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen that I use at the grocery store, but buying local simplifies it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

cobblestones

Just finished reading Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel. Which led me to want to read Dante's Divine Comedy, which led me to recollect that I had seen all 3 parts in the library booksale this week....yes! still there! Interesting, also, that Dante was from Florence, and I will be in Florence in a few months. I hope I can get through all 3 parts of the Comedy before then! By the way, Beatrice and Virgil is a very disturbing book--(hmmm...also an allegory, as was the Comedy...) about the Holocaust.
When asked what book he wished he'd written, Martel said, "The Divine Comedy." Just as Beatrice & Virgil guided Dante through Hell and Purgatory, so Martel's Beatrice and Virgil guide the reader through the Horrors of the Holocaust.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Make Your Own


Read this article in Psychology Today that I found interesting. Want to increase the incidents of serendipity in your life? Try the following:

1. Change your routine. Be flexible.

2. Think of yourself as "lucky."

3. Be open to possibilities.

4. Enlarge your circle of friends and acquaintances.

5. Relax. Anxiety gives one tunnel vision.

6. Slack off (a bit!) If you are too conscientious, (see: tunnel vision) you may miss out on the unusual, and hidden opportunities. Think of it as fostering creativity.

7. Say, "Yes!" Follow the opportunities. Don't ignore the negative, but don't let it cripple you, either. When in doubt, ask yourself, "what's the worse that can happen?"

8. Embrace failure. Seizing the moment may not always work out, but it will at the least add variety, which will increase happiness and stimulate those little gray cells!



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fresh, Local, Organic

Wednesdays are Farmers' Market days in Tumwater. Today I went fully prepared, after reading an article on 10 Mistakes to Avoid at the Farmers' Market.
I had to watch for a break in the rain deluges, but managed to get there at a reasonable time before all was picked over.
I had my reusable market bag.
I made sure I had plenty of cash.
I looked through the whole market before purchasing, then bought something from 3 different vendors.
I had resolved to buy something I had never bought/cooked before. I saw some Bok Choy and asked the vendor how to prepare it. So...tonight I will have stir fry with Bok Choy, onions, garlic....mmmmm....
There wasn't any fruit, meat or dairy, and I don't have a pet, so I think all in all I successfully negotiated the market!
Speaking of negotiate...not only did I NOT try to negotiate prices, but I had my broccoli on the scale, prepared to pay $4 for the pound, but she "rounded" my bill to $10, which means I only paid $1 for the broccoli!! Whoohoo!

The opposite of synchronicity


Is missing two connection flights and having to fly into Portland instead of Seattle. My whirlwind visit to Upstate for mom's 80th was so worth the flight hassles, but it was a long, grueling ordeal getting home Sunday. Electrical storms in New York's JFK kept us grounded in Syracuse 4 and 1/2 hours past our original flight time. I definitely missed my connection, so asked Rich to get me on a later flight...it was close...I saw it leaving the gate as we pulled into our gate. Anti-synchronicity to the max! The next flight out to Seattle was not until 8:30 the next morning, so I got on a 9:30 pm flight to Portland instead, making Rich drive there to pick me up at 1:00 a.m. We finally got home and in bed at 3:00 a.m., only to have to get up at 6:15 for early morning meetings at work. What a guy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

2.47.47.8

My first (and NOT last!) 1/2 marathon in Ogden, UT this past weekend. I had been very anxious about the whole thing, such that I didn't sleep much the night before. When I did finally fall asleep sometime after midnight, I dreamed I was in the hotel room trying to fall asleep before the race and had insomnia, so it seemed like I was actually awake all night! Got up at 4:00 a.m. to get to the shuttle bus that took us to the starting line. My seat mate was a young woman from Park City, Utah, who told me her favorite 1/2 marathon (that's all she does) is in Park City, so I am already planning for that one in 2011.

One of my apprehensions was that I would experience altitude sickness, coming from sea-level to 5,000 ft at the start of the race, but I had no symptoms and was able to breathe fine the whole way.
At exacty the half-way point, these lyrics were playing on my iphone: "...girl you're in the middle of the ride, everything, everything will be just fine..." (The Middle by Jimmy Eat World), so I took that as an amusing synchronicity that I'd finish the race "just fine."

Monday, May 10, 2010

fly


I wasn't a "runner" back then, but the day I turned 51, I ran four miles just to prove I wasn't "old." Three and a half years later, I have to admit that I look pretty darn old in these photos Vanessa took at the Komen Race for the Cure in Boise last weekend, but I seem to have morphed into a "runner" in the interim. The Boise 5K was a warm-up prelude to the coming weekend's half marathon in Ogden--my first 13+ miler (I've only gone 10 miles so far in prep.)

My Mother's Day weekend flew by from the time I touched down at Boise Airport on Friday to coming home to dinner at Rachel's and wonderfully thoughtful gifts from the family here.

Revving up for a trip a week for the next four weeks!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Say, "Ahhhh!"

First visit to a new dentist. Brought a book to read (of course): Malcolm Gladwell's latest, What the Dog Saw and other adventures. As I'm sitting in the dentist's chair I'm reading about advancements in photography that allows more precision in everything from military bombing raids to detecting cancerous cells in breasts. The catch is that with more precision comes the need for more information: What part of the house is the terrorist in? Are these cells slow-growing or quick to metasticize? Seems more mastectomies are done now that don't need to be, as the cancers that are being detected are similar to those of the prostate--you'll probably die of something else long before it becomes a problem. Enter the dentist with some amazing state-of-the-art photography equipment (yes, here's the synchronicity...) that can see places inside my mouth that the X-rays can't. Sure enough. He found 3 areas that are going to cost me $1500. Now, if said areas had gone undetected, would I be so bad off? Is what I don't know really going to hurt me? Or should I wait until there's actually an obvious problem before I open my pocketbook? *Sigh* "Blessings" of the Age of Technology.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

hot hot hot yoga

Went to my first Hot Yoga class last night. I was happy that I was able to hold my own with all the "regulars" though a few of the poses were definitely beyond my abililities (Bow, Eagle, Camel). I have to admit it was one of the longest 90 minute period of my life: liquid streaming off my nose, arms, chin, with temperature in the room over 107. I paid the Beginner Week fee, $20 for as many times as I want in one week. I may get one or 2 more times in this week, but I can't see me doing this on a regular basis. I wore my Vibrams, which generated some interest, but I didn't really need them. Only heard of this through Vanessa, and now I await a report on her first visit to the one in Boise.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

his time?

I was coming out of the gym this morning and noticed a snail on the walkway. I turned to Rich and said, "be careful of this little guy!" as I walked backward and crunched his companion a few few away...
Then, as I was looking for a snail pic to include here, I came across several cool articles on organic methods to keep down the snail and slug population in your garden, so I didn't feel too bad about the pre-emptive strike on this one. (FYI 4:1 Water:Ammonia solution...)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

relativity


I used to use the treadmill at an incline of about 5 or 6, but then I got a Personal Trainer who suggested that I walk for 30 minutes at an incline of 15. (Yes, that is the very highest it will go...). I've done this for a couple weeks now and have to say that this part of my workout is the most intensive and gets the sweat pouring off of me more than anything else I do! After my 30 minutes, I put the level back down to 5 for a minute or two, and the funny thing is, that now at that level, it feels like I am walking downhill!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Were your ears burning?

I got called out of Sunday School last week to "emergency teach" the 6-year-olds in Primary. It was the Easter lesson, and the instructions called for showing a photo of a loved one who had passed on and share with the children how happy you are that the resurrection will allow you to see that person again someday, in a perfect, whole and healthy body. I happened to have a photo of my dad on my iphone and I told them about Donald and what a wonderful person he is and how I look forward to seeing him again. I mentioned to my daughter, Brandolyn, about the experience and she said she had taught that same lesson, the same day to the same age group in her ward. She also showed a picture of her "pillow-fightin' buddy" Grampa Donald, and testified of her joy in the hope of the resurrection and to be able to see her grampa again. I hope you were able to listen in, Dad, and know how much you are loved and missed! Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Toccata in A

mm80132 November 28, 2007Tocatta in A Major by Paradies. Played by Matt Myers age 15.

I am reading (well, actually, listening) to a book called The Sweetness at the bottom of the Pie, by Alan C. Bradley, which is marvelously narrated in the voice of an 11-year-old British girl, by Jayne Entwhistle. Flavia, (said 11-year-old) mentioned her favorite musical piece, which was this Toccata in A by Pietro Domenico Paradisi. Well, as one thing leads to another, I had to see what was so great about it. Judge for yourself! Awesome!! (The book is pretty cool as well. I highly recommend both).

Bruises


My sister sent me this video of a squirrel, which had this song as background music. Had to find them! Serendipidy! Chairlift, or Carolyn Polachek, Patrick Wimberly and Aaron Pfenning, are an Indie band from Brooklyn that got a lucky break when Apple secured this tune to market their Ipod Nano and gave it ubiquitous airplay (though I didn't first hear it that way...) Their debut album, Does You Inspire You, has some other bouncy tunes, but Bruises is definitely the best of the bunch.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Happy Is

  1. Finding my hubby had my oatmeal all cooked and ready for me after my workout (and it's the 30 minute steel cut oats, not the quickie stuff!)
  2. Steel cut oatmeal in the morning...
  3. Being disciplined enough to get my workout done in the morning
  4. Discovering my pants DID have an extra button sewn into the lining (even if it was after I'd sewn a DIFFERENT substitute button on first)
  5. A sunbreak long enough for a lunch walk
  6. Being able to fix the staff-room faucet myself without having to call in the city
  7. World Market's Dark Chocolate Sea Salt . Yes, I think I finally found a Dark Chocolate I can live with.
  8. My new yellow scarf.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pre


This weekend Rich and I drove to Eugene, Oregon with the specific purpose of running Pre's Trail. Steve Prefontaine, the legend of the running world, never did get to use these trails, which were created in his memory shortly after his fatal car crash in 1975. He had lobbied for such a space, but it didn't happen while he was around to enjoy it. He would have loved this 4-mile course of soft wood chips meandering through woods, fields and along the Willamette River. It was a perfect day--blue skies, 60 degrees and a perfect surface for my Five-finger Vibrams. And even though I was the only runner (correction, I really don't actually run--it's more of a jog) thus shod, (or maybe because I was thus shod...) I felt awesome! When I'd run for any time before using these, I'd always get pain in my knees and hips. With these forcing me to run on the balls of my feet (simulating barefoot running) I ran twice around the four-mile loop with none of those problems. Rich, on the other hand, pulled another hamstring...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Numinous


I came across this new word (well, new to me) twice today, in the space of an hour. Synchronicious in itself, but the word, numinous, actually means supernatural, or spiritual; surpassing comprehension or understanding; mysterious. The first instance was in our PageTurners discussion of the book, Ballad of the Sad Cafe, by Carson McCullers. The second, of greater interest, was pertaining to two stories of divine intervention of a genealogical nature. I, of course, love these kinds of stories. I'm providing the links to them here for your enjoyment as well.


The Pine Cone Story and, the Sequel, from: Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History Blog (don't you love the name of the blog?!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Waiting Game

My daughter was flying standby and had no problem getting to Colorado on Thursday, but Sunday evening when she wanted to get home...(and yes, she had been warned not to try using standby on a Sunday...) she made it to SLC and then waited...and waited...3:00 flight was full, 5:00 flight was full, 8:00 flight was full...I was getting the updates, but didn't think to do anything about it, until 9:15 I suddenly had a thought that I needed to pray for her to get on the 9:40 flight. I ran into the bathroom, sent up my plea, then less than 2 minutes after I got off my knees I got her text: Home free! 33f is all mine.
I asked her when she got her seat assignment, and she said that very minute! How is that for a quick response to prayer? She then thought of the irony if the plane went down, but I assured her that wasn't going to happen, for the seat assignment--33--was a God-wink that all would be well. And sure enough, we got the landed safely text an hour later.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Irony of the Apple

I find it somewhat disconcerting and a bit strange that eating an apple always increases my appetite--I'm trying to up my ingestion of fruits and veggies, so opt for an apple instead of the chocolate chip cookies calling to me from the breakroom--but invariably I am hungrier after the apple than before...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Do You Like Pie?


One day a frog was sitting happily by the side of the river when a scorpion came along.
“Oh Mr. Frog,” said the scorpion, “I need to get to the other side of the river to be with my family. Will you please carry me across?”
“But Mr. Scorpion, if I do that, then you will sting me!” replied the frog, somewhat aghast at the request.
“No, I won’t,” said the scorpion.
“Do you promise?” asked a rather doubtful frog.
“I really promise! I will not sting you,” said the scorpion.
“Do you really, really promise?” asked a still-dubious frog.

“Yes, I really promise,” replied the scorpion, very sincerely.
“Okay,” the frog said reluctantly. “Hop on.”

The scorpion climbed on top of the frog’s back and they set off. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the frog. In horror, the frog, unable to continue swimming and with both of them about to drown, finally managed to gasp, “Please, Mr. Scorpion, just tell me one thing before we both go under. Just tell me why, when you promised you would not, why oh why did you sting me?”
“Because it is my nature,” replied the scorpion.

Meanwhile...

Two monks were washing their bowls in the river when they noticed a scorpion that was drowning. One monk immediately scooped it up and set it upon the bank. In the process, he was stung. He went back to washing his bowl, and again the scorpion fell in the river. The monk saved the scorpion and was again stung.
The other monk asked him, “Friend, why do you continue to save the scorpion when you know its nature is to sting?”
“Because,” the first monk replied, “my nature is to save.”

So, what is your nature? Are you a frog, a scorpion or a monk?

I am going to have to admit to being a monk. It harks back to a saying in our family, "Moms aren't really very fond of pie..." which, is code for how mom is often the one who sacrifices for others, giving up what she wants so her family/child/husband can have what they want.
Recently I've managed to turn down "pie" three times: one involved a Costco card, one was an AAA card and another was the larger shower stall at the lodge...I just can't help myself--it is my nature.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A quarter saved is a quarter needed

I'm not really sure what to do with this, but the irony was too much to ignore. We were at the Hands On Children's Museum this morning to celebrate Paige's and Renee's unbirthdays. On our way out Rich and I stopped at the gift shop and picked up a couple unbirthday gifts for them for later that evening. The sign said, if you pay with cash, you save 50 cents. Couldn't pass up a bargain like that, so I paid in cash. Next stop was the Olympia Coop, where we picked up 3 items. My annual membership was also tacked on to the total, which came to $25.77. Now the Coop only takes cash...I had exactly $25.27...I was 50 cents short. The clerk threw in the change and said I could pay her back next time I was in. But if I hadn't paid cash at HOCM to save 50 cents, I would have had plenty of cash to cover my bill at the Coop...I know. I don't know what it means either.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Two are better than one

My mom had sent me some savings bonds she'd bought for her great-grandchildren. She wanted me to keep them safe, but I misplaced them soon after getting them, such that I almost doubted having received them at all! I looked and prayed to be able to find them, but months went by and I finally admitted to Mom that I couldn't find them and did she really send them? Yes, she had the confirming email I sent to her when they arrived...She told me to pray about it, and said she would also pray that I found them. The very next day, I found them! (Or, rather, Rich found them among his papers...mystery explained...). So why didn't I find them when I prayed about them? Are Mom's prayers more efficacious than mine?? I believe the answer came after I told Mom so that she could also have a faith-promoting experience in their discovery. After I told her they were found, she sent me a beautiful email testifying to the power of prayer in her life. We both "stand all amazed..."

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

This was the first time Rich and I celebrated New Years' in a bar...It was a surprise trip Rich engineered, which began when we left work early and drove to Portland. We checked into the Modera and went out to look for the restaurant Rich had selected (but didn't make a reservation for). They were fully booked (0f course) but had a table in the bar that wouldn't be used until 7 pm. As it was only 5:30, we were able to have a fabulous meal there and be out in time for the concert. Rich had tickets for RAIN, which is a Beatles tribute band. They played 2 hours of incredible Beatles music, with the look and sound of the originals. Some friends were also there and staying at our hotel, so we met them afterwards and hung out in the hotel bar to ring in the new year. I nursed a virgin daquiri and Rich a Sprite, and we had an unusual pizza made with Feta and figs. Yum! The next day we hiked in Forest Park in the drizzle and fog. Magical! It takes a lot to surprise me (Grants are known for opening presents early and my secret name does contain the word, DETECTIVE...) but he did a great job. Thanks for a wonderful start to 2010!
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