Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Old Friends Are Lovely

Well, I haven't written in months.

Much has been happening, some good, some less so, all of it just part of life.

And I'm not going to write much now other than to say I'll write more soon and hope to have some lovely news by February.

I have a friend, Melissa by name, (Missy if you've known her as long as I have) and she also hasn't written in months. Much has been happening in her life too, some good, some less so. Life, you know.

Here's the good news...she's writing again. And she's having a little giveaway.

Here's the better news...she's funny. I mean REALLY funny. I mean, don't-eat-or-drink-while- reading-her-posts-'cause-they'll-make-you-choke funny.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Here's the

(Sheesh. Still technologically challenged. Someday I'll get it...Maybe. Mutter, mutter.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Into The Wild (Gulp)

Here's a little tidbit about me. I hate camping. Hate. It.

When I was eleven I was in Girl Scouts. The cookies were the main attraction. And even they were not enough to keep me there once I had been to camp. I was done after one trip and I never went back. Except once to pick up my sister. And I was stung by a wasp on my rear end within five minutes of setting foot on the property.

I knew then that camping and I were not meant to be. The only way I could possibly be more out of place when I am there is if I threw on a tiara and a feather boa.

Moving to Utah, land of pioneers and self-sufficiency, did nothing to change my mind. Instead, it only made it worse because now camping was combined with another of my major fears...heights. The only thing worse than camping is having to drive up the side of a mountain to do it.

When El Guapo was made first counselor the first thing that he was put in charge of was the activities committee. He came home and informed me that we were going to the ward campout. I informed him that I wasn't sure, but I didn't think our prenup had covered that possibility.

It didn't matter, we went anyway.

He came home, loaded the van and off we went, father-in-law in tow. When we arrived, the only place left to set up a tent was the parking lot. While Guapo did that, the kids and I ate buns (the meat was already gone by the time we arrived) and marshmallows. The ward sang a song, said a prayer, and it was bedtime. (We got there really late apparently.) We trooped back to our new tent, unzipped the "door" and stepped inside. There my sweetheart had carefully laid...a quilt.

No bedrolls. No pillows. No sleeping bags.

Just a quilt.

Papi took one look at the scene and muttered something in Spanish about sleeping in the car. Wise man.

The rest of us looked at our fearless leader. I had nothing left. The drive up had taken it out of me completely. We arranged the kids between us for warmth, pulled the quilt up to our chins and...laid there. The kids slept, they can sleep through anything, but no such luck for Guapo and me. About two in the morning I asked Guapo if he was awake. He was. I asked if he had had enough yet. He had. We disappeared into the night. The ward had no idea what had happened.

When Guapo was called as bishop in the Spanish ward my favorite thing about the ward, initially anyway, was that they didn't camp. I thought I was off the hook.

And then they made me Young Women's president.

I had to go to camp. Again. And I did. And there were parts that I loved...the parts that had nothing to do with camping.

But the part where I have to be dirty. Unh unh. The part where I can't wash my hair. Nope. Or the part where I have to go up the mountain. Or the part where I smell like smoke for days on end. The endless sun. Or rain. Or cold. Or hot. No, I still don't like it.

This year I was informed by the YCLs that we weren't supposed to wear make up either. (Stop laughing.) After five days in the wilderness the only thing that separates me from the potguts and other wildlife is my eyeliner and I am not going down happily.

Any prayers would be appreciated.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Random Things That Have Caused Me Frustration In Just The Past Three Days

1. Businesses that I owe money to who make me press three hundred and seven buttons to get to *Please Hold*. Really, how much do you want your money?

2. Stores that sell clothes but have no dressing rooms or mirrors. In my head I look good in quite a few things that don't really pan out in real life. Help a girl out.

3. Salesmen. Always. Just salesmen.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Am Still Learning

Today one of my church leaders addressed mothers and daughters in our semi-annual general conference. As I listened, an interesting thing happened to me- I realized that I had ceased to think of myself as a daughter. Really, when a talk or an article addresses mothers and daughters I mainly identify with the idea of myself as a mother, and I'm not sure when that happened.

Certainly not when Dobbie was born. Or Buo. I don't think it was even when the girls were born. It must have happened sometime though because I was acutely aware of it at that moment. And I'm not sure it is necessarily a good thing. I'm really not sure that it is all bad either. I think I have decided that it just- is.

The church leader went on to give advice and counsel to young women in regard to their mothers and the wisdom in following their example. I think it was then that it really hit me. As always when I hear a talk like this I was uncomfortably aware of my own shortcomings as a parent. And then my mind wandered. I thought of my own mother and her shortcomings. They are, in the overall scheme of things, mild, but she too, is painfully aware of them, I know. I thought of friends who struggle with their relationships with their own mothers and, I must say, there is a great deal to struggle with in some situations. I know children who have suffered in the hands of abusive parents. I have friends who struggle even now, with the effects of their upbringing. I thought of people I know with mothers like this and how they have to move on and away from these ties to survive in their own skins.

But I also thought of this.

I have a great deal still left to learn.

And every day I learn it.

Some days I learn it from my neighbor lady. Some days I learn it from my daughters. Or my sons. Some days I learn it from my husband. A co-worker. The person who bags my groceries. Or a primary child. Even my tiny mother-in-law with whom I communicate in a mixture of Spanglish and hand gestures. And, yes, many days I still learn it from my own mother and father.

And always, always, I learn it from my Father in Heaven.

I have decided that I'm not done with being a daughter. And I don't think I want to be.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pots and Pans and Other Stuff

Twenty two plus years ago when I got married my mother gave me a pot. It is large, oval, and made from cast iron. I use it every day. It is my favorite pot. (Have I ever mentioned that I hate cooking? Or that I'm really bad it? No? Not surprising...I don't like to remind Guapo and the kids of it because they have to deal with it every day. Why twist the knife?)

But back to the pot. It is very old. Many people have admired it and a few have even asked to borrow it but I have been forced to say no. It is, in truth, one of the few things that I don't happily loan out because I can't run the risk of not getting it back. ("Would you like to borrow the dog instead? I know you'll bring him back...") You see, the pot belonged to my grandmother who died in 1950, when my mother was four. This pot, and a bracelet I have on "loan" from my mother are all I have of her.

The idea that I am so attached to some THING is unsettling to me. It goes against my grain. I don't think of myself as a person much attached to things but when I thought about the pot the other day and how attached to it I was, I started to think of the other THINGS I am also attached to. It is quite a list.

I suppose we all have a few things like that-pots, bracelets, a blanket, a photo... And I think that's okay. But still I feel a little guilty because it's a THING. Am I materialistic? (Well, probably, and not just because of the pot but in theory, at least, I frown on this.)

Of course, if I lost all of those things in a fire or theft (really though, what thief would take a pot?) I could carry on. But I would carry on a little less cheerfully, I think. Because when I cook in that pot I imagine Grandma Audrey cooking for my mother in it too and I feel close to her for a bit.

And how can that be all bad?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

New Fact (Maybe)

So here is an intriguing new fact that I learned this week...

The only time a man's eyes dilate independent of a light source are when they look at an attractive woman.

The only time a woman's eyes dilate independent of light are when they look at a baby.

I am not one hundred percent certain that this is true. (I mean, I haven't like, googled it or anything...) But I find it strangely fascinating. I find myself returning to it and pondering in odd moments. It seems to be sort of primal, doesn't it?

Friday, January 15, 2010

My Open Letter To NBC


Dear NBC,

I never watched Jay at 10:35.

I never watched him at 9:00.

And I will not watch him at 10:35 when he returns there -whenever that happens.

He is not funny.

Not at 10:35. Or 9:00.

In fact, this whole Time-Slot-Gymnastics routine only makes me resent him and makes the both of you seem as though you're chewing on sour grapes. (I should know, I'm chewing on a few myself.)

Just thought you'd like to know.

Sincerely, Me