Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Know, I Know

I promised juice. But I've been busy eating and balancing Grandma Lucy's checkbook, and eating, and hanging out with Jason, and eating, and celebrating New Year's Eve with a whole bunch of family.

And eating.

Tomorrow I'm going show shoeing ... and I'm not going to eat.

I WILL give you juice...soon.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chapter 5, Grandpa Wednesday, and Forever

It's 3:09 AM on Wednesday morning and as is no surprise, I can't sleep. It's been a good day - a GREAT day actually and my mind is running a million different directions.

I drove past my grandpa's house yesterday, on my way to visit one of his neighbors who has become a dear friend. I've thought a lot about him since then. I can't help but wonder if he's proud of the life I'm trying to live - if he's happy with the choices I've made.

Do you believe in life after death? I do - and I believe that I will see my grandpa again. In my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - we believe that a marriage can last for eternity, not just until 'death do we part.' And if a marriage, performed by one with authority in a temple of God, lasts forever, so too do family units. I get to spend forever with the people I love most - and I love that.

All of that brings me to Chapter 5. I imagine this scene in heaven:

One day my grandpa said to his brother-in-law, my other grandpa, (go here for an explanation of my crazy family tree) "Gayle, what are we going to do with our granddaughter? We have to to find a way to help her out." And my grandpas probably had no clue...UNTIL Jason's grandpa Van joined his two friends.

My Grandpa Gayle - who was very astute - probably noticed that Van looked distraught.

"Van," he would have asked, "What troubles you?"

And Van would have said, "I have this grandson that I'm worried about. He has a lovely fireplace and no one to build a fire for."

And the three grandpas would have sighed...and then in unison they probably had an AHHH HA moment.

Someday I'd like to know how long our three grandpas have been plotting - and then I'd like to give them all a really big hug and say "THANK YOU!!!"

Because friends - meeting Jason is the best thing that's ever happened to me.

Oh and just one more thing:

Amy and Loralee...I LOVE that Jason thinks I'm beautiful...

And just one more one more thing:

Chapter 6 might contain a bit more juice...for you Amy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chapter 4

I cut my thumb while slicing oranges...don't you feel bad for me?

Thank you...I knew I could find sympathy here.

People...your comments make me laugh. Jamie, yours make me laugh super a lot.

Chapter 4 is going to be written by Jason...I can't wait to read what he says...

* * * * *

Noelle says I'm cheesy...

I would tend to agree with her. I can't help it. It seems that the more I'm around her the cheesier I get. I'm not sure what kind of cheese, but I'm pretty sure it's the long stringy kind. I'm not typically like that. I guess it's been bottled up for so long that it's coming out in gobs. You know, the kind of cheese that certain pizza chains put in their crust that makes you think that you might die of cheese overload? Yep, ooey gooey goodness! These kind of quantities can be unhealthy, but so far I've kept it just below the threshold. I'm sure one day Noelle will finally say, "I just threw up in my mouth..." after a particularly cheesy episode, but until then I'm going to continue to lay it on thick! Who doesn't like cheese anyway?

When I first met Noelle in person it was at the REI, a place I'm normally very comfortable in. However, as she approached me I suddenly became less sure of myself. I had anticipated this meeting for awhile and couldn't wait to meet her, but at that moment all of my weaknesses flashed before my eyes (kind of like a near death experience, only that my life was replaced by my weaknesses). The thing I will never forget is Noelle's striking appearance. She literally made me take a step back and regretfully realize 'I'm really not worthy'.

It took considerable courage to even speak. It seemed when I did that the stuff coming out of my mouth didn't match my intellect. Although I can't completely remember what I said, I do remember that it wasn't very impressive...something like 'Uh...hi, I'm Jason", or something like that. I quickly came to my senses and asked her if she wanted to take a stroll around the store and she agreed. I prematurely assumed that she was interested in my line of work. We walked around and I showed her all of the stuff that I thought was so cool...backpacks, water filters, backpacking stoves, sleeping bags, and other amazingly awesome gear. Although she was interested, I couldn't quite get a read on her level of interest.

Fearing that I might really blow things, I decided it was about time we went to lunch so I picked one of my favorite restaurants, Barbacoa. I hadn't eaten all day so I was really looking forward to lunch. When we walked out to her car she gave me the keys. I thought, 'Are you serious? Awesome! I love this car!' (she drives a Toyota 4-Runner).

We walked into the restaurant, ordered, and sat down. As we began to talk I realized that she was much more that just her appearance...she actually was very articulate and, might I say, interested in me and not at all stuck-up! The fact that she was so kind and thoughtful struck me...traits that are very important to me. She was so complimentary and mentioned she looked forward to our meeting . We talked for what seemed like hours and I loved every minute of it!

After all that time together I realized that I had only eaten about half of my burrito, as hungry as I was, and didn't mind throwing the rest away. Just like most guys I love to eat, but I was only interested in getting to know this beautiful, articulate, kind, funny girl and really didn't care about anything else (there's a little sample of cheese for you). Thus came my first impression of not wanting to mess anything up, but also that I was very interested in wanting to learn everything about her. I guess you could say that I was beginning to fall hard...

Once we left the restaurant, I took her back to REI, as I was working there at the time helping with one of their major sales of the year, and walked her to her car. I was so worried that I had been too shy it concerned me the rest of the day, but Noelle later told me I had nothing to worry about. All in all it had been a wonderful day...I really couldn't wait to see her again!

So there you have chapter 4 from my perspective. Cheese and all :).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chapter 3

"Noelle you need to write a blog."

That's the greeting I got when I walked into my mom's house a few minutes ago.

"Why mom? I wrote one just a few days ago."

"The neighbors need an update...you would be surprised how many people have called me."

"Gee Mom, I didn't know the neighbors read my blog." That's what I said.

So...although this might not be what the neighbors are expecting...(it will come Natalie, it will come) here you go...the next chapter.

* * * * *

Jason mentioned one day in an email that he would be in Salt Lake City for work. He didn't say anything about meeting me and I kind of thought he was a chicken...so I suggested that I meet him and get some snow shoe advice. He made up for his chickenness (it's my blog...I can make up words) and said, "I would love to take you to lunch." It was settled...I was going to meet Jason at REI and we were going to get lunch.

Saturday came, and to be honest, I was nervous! I was excited to meet Jason but I was worried that there would be no spark. We had great communication and I wanted there to be more. My sister-in-law, who I LOVE and ADORE, suggested that I take a lighter with me...that's how much she was hoping for spark.

Jason told me he would be hanging out in the snowshoe department and that he would be wearing a white visor. When I walked into the doors of REI I thought I was going to hyperventilate...and to make matters worse the snowshoe department was near the front of the store. I skirted the snow shoes and walked around the store for a bit, trying to find my courage. (I'm not usually such a whimp...really.)

I finally approached him and from the minute he said hi my nerves were calmed. There were no awkward moments, the conversation was good, and there was definitely spark. (Hooray for spark!)

We spent 4 hours together and we never ran out of things to talk about. We laughed a lot and we had a great time. I didn't want to say goodbye when he walked me out to my car, and I'm guessing that he didn't want to say goodbye either. (Jason did you want to say goodbye?)

We stood at my car talking for a few minutes and then he gave me a hug. I was half hoping that he would kiss me but he didn't...

I smiled the entire drive home.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Many years ago Christmas found us on a dark road in Baja, Mexico. We were all piled into the family suburban and we had been driving the entire day. An earlier encounter with a speed bump had left the suburban without a back window, and a shower curtain secured with duct tape protected us from the outside air.

Dad was driving, and Mom was next to him, asleep. My siblings were sprawled across each other, also asleep. I was wide awake, staring out into the darkness as the miles passed. On occasion we would pass a home that would have one lone light bulb shining through the darkness.

The homes were small, made from red brick, and they were spread out with several miles between each one. One home stands out in my memory. Rather than having only one light bulb, it had a strand of colored lights...running from the front of the house to some point out in the middle of the yard. I remember wondering about that family: how many people lived in that home? Did they have a Christmas tree? Did they have gifts to open? Did they have enough to eat? Did they have the money to pay for the electricity to power that strand of lights?

Years have passed, and yet each Christmas season when I drive down a road and see Christmas lights shining through the darkness I think of that home in Baja, Mexico. I find peace in knowing that at Christmas time that little family and I are unified. We are celebrating the same thing: the birth of Jesus Christ. Our lifestyles are different, our circumstances are worlds apart, but in the thing that matters most, we are one.

Christmas allows all of us that opportunity...to be one with our fellow men...in honoring the birth of He who makes everything possible.

May your Christmas be filled with His love...

Noelle

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chapter 2

Jason took me to Arches National Park this past weekend.

Beautiful!!!


* * * * *

After the initial exchange of emails Jason and I emailed several times a week...and we learned a lot about each other.

Here are some details:

Jason is 39.

He works as a sales rep for several outdoor gear companies...he sells snowshoes, backpacks, tents, etc. He would never say this but he's really good at what he does.

His favorite color is blue.

He climbed a volcano in Ecuador last year.

He almost died once in an avalanche. (Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one.)

In an email I sent to him I said something about my grandpa being from the small town of Fountain Green.

He emailed back and said that his grandparents were also from Fountain Green. In fact, his grandma's sister Eulita still lives in Fountain Green.

His grandma's sister Eulita named one of her daughters Beatrice...after my grandma Beatrice who died when my mom was a baby...Eulita's daughter Beatrice and I are friends...and Eulita is one of my favorite people.

And as I mentioned before, our grandpas were the best of friends. His grandma loves showing me pictures of her husband and my grandpa.

In one email Jason sent me, he sent me this link: www.youtube.com/user/pianojasonlivy

I had already decided that Jason was pretty much perfect for me, but listening to him play the piano sealed the deal.

Piano music makes my heart happy...it always has.

Whenever we're together Jason plays the piano for me...and I just snuggle into the couch and smile.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chapter 1

Did you happen to read Jamie's comment from yesterday's post? This is for you Jamie...and for anyone else who wants a good love story. Because it is a good one!

For as long as I can remember I mocked the idea of looking for someone online. I didn't mock it for other people...only for myself. The first time I signed up online I did it on a dare. I lasted for three weeks. After a couple of disastrous dates (my fault...not the guys) I deleted my profile and said, "There. I did it. I proved it didn't work for me."

Fast forward many months later. My relationship with the dentist ended...somewhat painfully...and I was completely gun shy about trying again...with anyone. I was at dinner one night with some friends and we were discussing the pros and cons of online dating. We agreed that we would all try it together. (As most of you know, I agreed mostly because of the stories I could tell on my blog.)

To say I got a lot of messages would be an understatement. I couldn't quite figure out what the big deal was. EVERY person who sent me a message said something about my looks...and to be honest, it drove me crazy. (Maybe I'm just weird.) I had decided that I was going to give it one more week and then I would delete my profile.

One day I was reading my messages and I found this one:

From all appearances, it sounds as though you have had a great life! Hopefully things will only get better :)...

I've backpacked into the Grand Canyon a number of times and have absolutely loved it! My two favorite trails are the North Bass Trail and Hermits Trail. Absolutely spectacular! You have set a worthy and fulfilling goal. Climbing out of the canyon is the challenge but totally worth it!


I love South America! I recently traveled to Ecuador and climbed a huge volcano called Cotopaxi. I ate in this authentic restaurant in a town that was really out of the way. We actually had to motorcycle to get there. I hope to do it again someday...wish I could speak the language.

Glad you liked your mission enough to mention it in your profile. I loved my mission as well and served in Iowa. I use the lessons I learned and the testimony I gained there on a daily basis... I'm going to ask a question, but don't feel obligated to answer. I would love to hear about the book you're wanting to write. Fiction or non?

You have an admirer...
Jason

Who wouldn't respond to that message? My little sister read the message over my shoulder and said, "He's nice. You better write this one back."

I agreed.

I wrote him back that same day and thanked him for the sincerity of his message.

Secretly I was thanking him for not saying one thing about how I looked. Good move Jason, good move.

* * * * * * * * *
Stay tuned for Chapter 2.

And I promise pictures of my house next week!!!

I'm headed to Jason's for the weekend...5 hours is a long drive...but the end result is worth it!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Writer's Block

I've got it.
Seriously.
Won't you please tell me what you want me to write about?
I'll just wait.
And while I wait I'll tell you one little thing about my niece Sami.


When I see Sami I say, "I love you Sami."
Sami responds with, "I love you."
Then I say, "I love you more."
And then she says, "I love you the most."
We've been practicing.
Today my mom said, "I love you Sami."
And Sami threw her arms around Grandma's neck and said, "Grandma, I love you the most!"
It just doesn't get cuter than that.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sometimes

When I'm driving to work I almost wreck my car.

Not because I'm a bad driver but because I'm trying to pull a dang gray hair.

Don't worry I got it, and only ALMOST rear ended someone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Perfect Day...from Jason

(I know, I know, I said this was for tomorrow...but after you read it you'll thank me for posting it today!)

* * * * *

I was nervous!
And apprehensive, but giddy with excitement over the prospects of taking Noelle snowshoeing.
She told me she loved to hike and was very passionate about the outdoors. These details were very encouraging. I had no doubt that she would love it!

The day began cold and blustery. I knew there would be some weather, which didn’t discourage me really. I was the proud owner of a large array of various jackets, hats, gaitors, and gloves that would easily combat any adverse weather. After my grandma’s warning, I didn’t want to take any chances in making sure Noelle was safe and warm. Noelle was in good hands!

We loaded the car and set out to the destination I had planned. We parked the car and, with some apprehension, began the task of layering, putting on the snowshoes, getting the poles the right length, and making sure everything was in order. There was no way this was going to go wrong!

I could tell that Noelle was a little nervous, not only with the idea of heading into the great unknown, but in her ability in learning how to snowshoe. I told her that with my 10 step program she would be an expert! So, with that, I had her take 10 steps…

Noelle picked it up very quickly and we were off to my secret destination, Jake's Love Shack. We walked around, and it seemed to elude me, but we finally found it. Apparently someone had discovered this old cowboy cabin and did some ‘renovations’ which included an old chewed up bed, some plexiglass windows, and a bit of insulation. My father had warned me about taking her there, fearing that she might get the wrong idea. I assured him that she, nor he, had anything to worry about.

Once there we went inside to find a rather cozy haven but little desire to explore the ‘love shack’ idea. We looked around, felt good that we had done it it’s due diligence and then headed out. Unbeknownst to Noelle, the hard part was ahead of us. I wanted this to be fun, but also worth remembering. Taking Noelle to Strawberry Rock, though bold and daring on my part, would give her something to talk about and definitely remember…

The route to Strawberry Rock was a little daunting, especially in the winter. The path was covered with logs, overgrowth, and brush that seemed to thwart every step we took. It was also fairly steep which made getting any kind of traction even more difficult especially in 4-5 feet of snow.

Can I just say how impressed I am with Noelle?! She proved to me that she is every bit the outdoor girl she said she was. She never stopped smiling nor did I hear her complain. In my opinion, girls like her are so rare…


We both fell many times, but the snow was powdery soft and we were so bundled up that it was actually fun! (This is Noelle...Jason is being kind. I don't think he fell once.)

Once at Strawberry Rock, a beautiful view was unveiled to us. We could see all of the Colorado Plateau, other than some ground level cloud cover, and the newly fallen blanket of snow made everything look celestial. It would have been absolutely magical, except for the wind.

I took Noelle down to a nearby rock to get out of it. We drank hot Irish Crème Hot Chocolate and ate a bit of a peach fruit bar. Here I was, with one of the most beautiful girls I’d ever known, in one of my favorite places in the world. I really did feel I was the luckiest guy on earth! There was only one thing left to do…

The way down proved to be more of a challenge and we seemed to tumble all the way down. (Me again...I tumbled, Jason ran.) It being very steep was a bit scary but Noelle took it in stride. Even after falling several times, all I heard from her was laughter and ‘please help me up’ which I rushed to do. I had more fun than I had ever had taking anyone snowshoeing! I couldn’t wait to go again!

Later that evening I finally realized what kind of toll this took on both of us. Noelle quickly settled into the couch with a down comforter and a roaring fire. This was my opportunity to show her how much she meant to me by fixing a meal which included smoked brisket, a garden salad, and steamed vegetables. All the while Noelle took a well-deserved nap. I couldn’t think of a more perfect day!

Until next time…

Snow Shoeing According to Me

And tomorrow you'll get snow shoeing according to Jason. You're excited aren't you!

First you need snow.

A lot of snow.


Once you have the snow you need the gear. (This is where to comes in handy to be dating a gear nut.)


You will need a destination so that you are not aimlessly wandering through the woods.

Jake's Love Shack and then Strawberry Rock were our destinations. Sounds romantic doesn't it?



It's helpful to have a grandma who tells her grandson 'You make sure you bring that girl home safely.' (After she told us we were dumb for going in the first place. She is truly delightful.)

And then...well...you just put one foot in front of the other...for a long time. And when Jason says, "Do you want to climb straight up this mountain?" you say, "Let's go."

And you'll fall a lot...going up and coming back down. And you'll laugh and Jason will pull you back up.

When you reach your destination you should have a thermos of really warm hot chocolate...and it doesn't hurt to have a really cute date to share the hot chocolate with. (And that's all I'm sayin' about that.)

When you're done with snow shoeing you need a fireplace to sit in front of, a down blanket to wrap up in, Christmas music to listen to, a couch to fall asleep on, and someone to make you dinner while you sleep.

Now... who wants to go show shoeing?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekend Plans

I'm off for a fun filled weekend of snowshoeing with Jason!

(Assuming I don't fall asleep during the 5 hour drive to his house.)

I bought new snow boots...hopefully I wore them enough yesterday to break them in.

(Don't tell Jason. If he finds out I bought new boots he might strangle me. He has connections everywhere and probably would have helped me get boots for a whole lot less $.)

((Dear Jason...don't strangle me!))

Want to hear an interesting tidbit?

Once upon a time Jason's grandpa and my grandpa were best friends.

(We didn't know that when we first met.)

My mom has pictures of Jason's grandpa, and Jason's grandma has pictures of my grandpa.

(This is where you sing the song 'It's A Small World')

Thanks to all of you who said you would write a letter to my friend in Afghanistan.

My email is noelleplatt@hotmail.com.

If you want to send your letters there that would be GREAT!

Have a FABULOUS weekend!

Stay tuned next week for pictures of my house and maybe a post from Jason!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Manzana Soda...Nothing Better


The simple things in life are what make me happy.

Like having a friend who goes to Mexico and brings me back my favorite soda.

Thanks!


Last night I was convinced there was someone in my house.

I searched everywhere and didn't find anyone.

Don't ask me what I would have done had I found someone. I didn't get that far in the thought process.

Maybe tonight I'll have a slumber party at my sister's house.

Dear Becca, can I sleep on your couch forever?







Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's 17 Degrees Outside

And all I wanted for lunch was a candy cane shake.

I don't think that's normal.

Want to read something really sweet and sappy?

This is what Jason said about meeting me for the first time:

"I have to admit that when you approached me at REI I wasn't prepared for that moment. I was really taken back by how beautiful you were! Although your profile pictures were good, I was completely caught off guard!"

I'm thinking I should do what I can to keep him around.

And now I'm out of time. (I stole my brother's computer and he will be back any minute.)

Wait...one more little thing...would you maybe, possibly be so kind as to help me with something? Would you write a Christmas letter/note/greeting to a soldier I know in Afghanistan and then email me or mail me your letters and I'll include them in a Christmas package I am going to send him? Pretty please with sugar on top? I know he will really appreciate it! If you're willing, let me know in the comment section and I'll send you my email/house address.

THANKS!!! I think every last one of you is simply splendid and my blog is ever so happy that you read it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Post It Note Tuesday




Thanks Think Tank Momma and Supahmommy for the cute post it note idea!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Are you feeling neglected?

Because I feel like I've neglected you the last few days.

I'll try to make up for that with this post.

My hard drive probably crashed this morning. I'm still waiting for the official word. If I think about all of the pictures I may have lost I get a little sick to my stomach.

In case you wanted to know...Allie and I did GREAT at the piano recital. She was the star of the show. In my very unbiased opinion she performed the best and it just so happens that I didn't mess up either.

Saturday we resurrected our Christmas tree cutting tradition. We braved the elements and made the trek...it was delightful!



The kids were troopers...they laughed all the way up the mountain...and Uncle Ben didn't dump them out of the 6-wheeler once.






































My sister is a Christmas tree beauty queen don't you think?






































Josh and I did our best to keep each other warm.





























See this picture? If you're observant you might notice that there happens to be an extra guy standing there...one you've never seen before. (He's the one on the left holding the tree.)

I think it's probably time I introduce you to Jason. Everyone...meet Jason.

Once upon a time Jason saw my profile on-line and sent me a message...a very sincere and sweet message. I sent him a message back...and so it went until one day we actually met and realized that we liked spending time together more than we liked emailing.

Last year at this time I was blogging about the fake tree I bought...the one that came with lights...I said I wouldn't get another real tree until I found a guy to put the lights on for me.

I cut a tree this year because Jason said he would put the lights on for me. Christmas doesn't get any better than that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Piano Recitals

I've been playing the piano since I was ... I don't even know ... maybe 7. I took lessons until I graduated from high school. I have always thought I was pretty good at it ... until yesterday.

Remember when I told you my niece asked me to play a duet with her at her piano recital? We practiced last night. She messed up a few times, but I messed up a whole lot more.

At one point Allie stopped playing and said, "You're off." And she was right, I was messed up on the timing.

We practiced both songs at least a dozen times. Allie looked at me and said, "Can you imagine how horrible it would have been if we hadn't practiced before the recital?" I'm sure she would have been just fine, it's me she has to worry about.

(Want to know a secret? Whenever I had a piano recital I managed to be 'sick'...)

This morning I went to my mom's for breakfast (my fridge won't be delivered until next week) and asked Mom to play the duet with me. She played her part and when I started on mine my sister yelled from upstairs, "You're timing is off."

I told her to shut up and then I started the song over again. I'll be glad when this recital is over!








Thursday, December 3, 2009

12 Million

That's how many books I've had to haul upstairs to my new office...

I'll be back tomorrow once they're organized...by author and publish date...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Another Love Letter

Written by Grandpa to Grandma on their anniversary

Germany
June 5, 1945

My Dearest Vic,

Remember five years ago? Oh boy what a day. Quite a contrast, then and now. I think the weather was even different, at least it's been quite cool here today. This makes two anniversaries I have been away from you. Here's hoping we’re together next year, and a lot sooner than that, I hope.


I have been out with the Sgt. tonight getting a few parts off some wrecked trucks about 25 miles from here. Gee, it’s pretty country. Everything is growing so nice. We passed through several small villages where the houses are right to the edge of the crooked cobblestone road, and most people wear wooden shoes. The women out working in the fields look just like the pictures of these countries we used to see – wooden shoes and white bonnet.

The men cut most of the hay – orchard grass or timothy, with a scythe, and then the women, girls, and boys help rake it with long toothed wooden rakes. I believe there are more women and girls working in these fields than men. In one small field we passed, the whole family was out raking and piling the hay. One girl was going up and down between the piles of hay pulling a big wooden rake, built like our little garden rake only much larger.

I certainly wish I had a camera so I could take some pictures. They would be very interesting. A few guys do have cameras, and I am in on a picture or two. I hope I get them.

If once in a while, you feel a little pain in this letter it’s my thumb. I hit it a good one with the hammer, and the lower half of the nail is black. I guess there goes another nail. Yeah man, it sure does throb.

Say, but it would be swell to talk with you in person. Don’t you think so kid?

Here's hoping you had a happy day today Vic, but I also hope you were just a bit lonesome. I was, and riding out in the country about sunset made it more so.

I guess it all just goes to prove, I love you Vic,

Lyn

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Have You Seen My Sanity?

Maybe I lost it this morning while I was standing in line for 30 minutes at the post office. When it was finally my turn they wouldn't help me. All I wanted was a key to my new mail box. But no...I have to take a copy of something that proves I own the house where they are already delivering my mail.

Maybe I lost it yesterday when I called Comcast and asked them to hook up my cable. After asking me a million questions and telling me my options, and me choosing the option I wanted, the lady said, "My computers are down today. I can't help you. You will have to call back tomorrow." Do you wonder why they didn't tell me that in the first place? Me too.

Maybe my sanity got lost in the shuffle of me moving stuff from one house to the other. 95% of my clothes are in the new house...tucked safely away in my walk-in closet. The rest are in a heap on my bedroom floor of the old house waiting to be washed. I didn't think that one through very well. This morning I realized that I had nothing warm to wear and had to drive over to my new house to find a sweatshirt.

I'm still sleeping in the old house. I'm waiting for a guy to install the blinds. It should have been done a week ago...but I'm learning that NOTHING is ever done on time. Call me crazy but I don't want to live in my new house until I can block the rest of the world from seeing inside.

Maybe my sanity is buried under the papers scattered all over my desk. (Dear Me...remember when you used to be organized? What happened?)

Maybe my sanity left when I agreed to play a duet with my niece at her piano recital. She's 8. My part of the duet? I had to say, "Mom, what is this note? I forgot how to read the notes that low on the scale."

Lest you think all is lost there are a few things that I'm hopeful will restore some of my sanity:

I bought the COOLEST table to go by my front door...and I found the perfect rug to match...on sale!

I have a dad who actually understands IRS tax forms.

I deleted my profile on the dating site. (Oh don't get mad...I'll still have stories for you...trust me.)

Sandra gave me a beautiful watch! Thanks!!! (You should go here if you want to get yourself a beautiful watch...or something else equally beautiful.)

My brother-in-law understands the importance of measuring everything twice...to make sure things are centered on the wall. (That is huge in my quest for finding my sanity.)

And if I can survive the week I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a great weekend.

With that...I'm off to find my keys...oh dear...I'm in trouble...

Keys? Where did you go?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Angels Landing


This past weekend I was able to cross something off of my bucket list.

I hiked Angels Landing in Zion National Park.

It was incredible!

I would normally say to hike it once in my lifetime would be plenty.

(The trail could make a person cry if they were afraid of heights...and dying.)

But I promised someone I would hike it again.

And it's a promise I'll keep.



(my dad and my uncle Joe...I love how they are so much alike)




(Walter's Wiggles...the trail leading up to the trail head of Angels Landing)




(Dad and me...as close to the edge as my dad would let me get)


(the trail to the top of Angels Landing)

(someone fell off and died the day before we hiked it...I'm glad I didn't know until after)



(my uncle told us we needed to show more excitement...this was our attempt)


(the view from the top)

(the view from the top...the other side...)


(Aunt Irene, Dad, me, Uncles Joe and McKay, cousin Jer...and a can of Diet Coke)



(looking at the trail from the top)



(I LOVE whoever put the chains up...)




(cousin Madi, me, cousin Lydia, and Aunt Irene)
















Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I'm Thankful For

More than anything this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my Heavenly Father...the One who gives me everything.

Happy Thanksgiving...may your day be filled with love.

video

You Give by Hilary Weeks

You give me sight
When I can't see
You give me breath
When I can't breathe
And You give me love
And You give me peace
And You always seem to give
Just what I need

You take my doubt
And replace it with truth
You take my fear
So all I see is You
You take me as I am
And You take me by the hand
You see to my soul and You take
Just what I need

You give and take away
And refine me day by day
As You lead me through the bitter and sweet
I am trusting You to make me complete
Though You see the heartache
You're sending Your sweet grace
As You Give
And You take

You give me strength
And You give me life
You give me hope
And You give me light
You take my pain
And You take my shame
You bless me to see the give and take
Is Just what I need

You give and take away
And refine me every day
As You lead me through the bitter and sweet
I am trusting You to make me complete
Though You see the heartache
You're sending Your sweet grace
As You give
And You take

Please send Your perfect grace
As You give
And You take

Tradition (Think of Tevia Singing It)

I can think of 4 traditions we have observed faithfully over the years:

Spending the 4th and 24th of July at our mountain property
Cutting Christmas trees down
Bowling on Thanksgiving Eve
Stuffed celery on Thanksgiving Day

When our barn burned down we kind of lost our desire to go back to our property and for the first time ever we didn't celebrate the July holidays at the farm.

Cutting Christmas trees is the same story.

Bowling was a great tradition...one that wouldn't remind us of what happened at the farm.

But we managed to put an end to that when we bought the bowling alley and turned it into a charter school.

Are you sensing a pattern here?

If I get to Mom's house tomorrow and don't see stuffed celery on the table I may be looking for a new family to join...one that still has a tradition or two.

I'm just sayin' ...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grandpa Tuesday

One afternoon when I got to Grandpa's house to go through the mail I noticed an umbrella sitting on top of the pile of mail.

"Grandpa, why is there an umbrella on top of the mail?" I asked.

He chuckled and said, "I put it there so I wouldn't forget to ask you how to put it up."

And then while I was laughing he leaned against the counter and said, "There is something I was going to ask you. What was it? I've been trying to form the words in my head all day long. Let's see...I need to...I need to..." and then as if he totally lost track of what he was thinking he said, "I need to blow my nose."

I laughed even more and said, "You've been thinking all day of how you could tell me that you need to blow your nose?"

He chuckled some more and said, "No. But I can't remember what I need."

I said, "Don't worry, I know what you were thinking."

"What?" he asked in a tone of disbelief.

"You were going to tell me that you're out of money and we need to go to the bank."

Grandpa looked at me rather surprised and said, "How did you know that?"

"I know everything," I reminded him. Then I said, "You were also going to tell me that we need to go shopping because you're out of milk."

"I was!"

He walked to the closet and grabbed his coat and said, "Well, let's get going kid. I'm sure you'll remember what else I need when we get wherever we're going."

The only other thing he needed was an ice cream cone. How convenient for me.

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's A Monday

I might be kind of grouchy this morning...

It's been one of those days...

And if I were a kid I might make this face at a few people:


Too bad I'm not a kid!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Few Things I Know

1. Cherry slushies from Sonic give me a massive brain freeze!

2. New Moon will still be in the theatres a few weeks from now, when the crowds die down.

3. When the people building your house say it will be done by a certain date, they really mean it will be done two weeks later.

4. Mr. Woolley is a little bit crazy. (Did you see how many comments he left on the last post? It's not going to happen Dave.)

5. I have the CUTEST new nephew EVER...who may or may not be named Tanner.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Welcome To The Family


This little guy is getting a new brother today.

I am just patiently waiting for the phone call from Ben to tell me all is well.

* * * * *

I wrote that last sentence an hour ago.

Ben called.

Not to tell me they had a baby but to tell me he's bored.

Dear Brother, I'll be right there with a book.

And because I have nothing else to say I give you the latest and greatest from the source of my entertainment: my inbox.

"Hi ,My name is James I am new to this online stuff, This is kind of new and exciting to me!!! I don't normally do this, BUT huh. !!! You stood out above the rest, Not really in term of profiles words or the look, but what i mean is that from all the pages i have been opening on this dating scene, i feel so strong for you and i know that getting to know you will make more sense, i check on your profile and it speaks good of you though, it might not tell it all but i think getting to know you will be better and i will know more as time goes on, i guess if we have the chance to know each other........ So i want you to please bear with me because i haven't tried online dating before, i just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I am interested in getting to know more about you. I guarantee that I am a nice man and knows how to treat a WOMAN in a way he feels like a Queen. I have a degree in Accounting and minnor in Art. You seems to be a very down to earth woman and I really admire that! I guess I will leave you with this for now. I hope your day went well and I hope to hear from you soon. Thanks for reading this! I practically wrote you a book! He he!"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Divorce

I have some sad news.
Maybe you should sit down to read it.
I'm serious, sit down.
(Wait...you probably are sitting down...that's what you do when you read something on the computer.)
Becca and I are getting divorced.
Isn't it horrible?
I thought things were fine between us.
I didn't even suspect she had any complaints.
Apparently I was wrong.
So wrong.
When I told her I was thinking about buying a house she told me I should do it.
She supported me.
She cheered me on.
She said that she was excited to move with me.
I guess all of it was a lie.
Because when it comes right down to it she doesn't want to move with me.
She is going to stay in her own home...with her own furniture.
And I will be moving into my new house...with just my lamps to keep me company.
With the exception of 18 months when I lived in NYC and she lived in Ohio, we've never really been apart.
Oh...there was that time I went away to college, but I came home on the weekends to visit her.
I just don't know what I'm going to do.
Now we'll be living an entire 2 BLOCKS from each other!
And to make matters worse, 95% of everything we have is really hers.
No divorce judge anywhere would agree to us splitting the assets 50/50.
She did go through the spice cupboard last night and take out what we have two of.
I guess that's something.
Oh...and she did say I could take the entertainment center.
I guess that's something too.
I've always thought a twin sister is supposed to stick with you...until marriage.
I've learned my lesson.
Don't worry, I'll be fine.
I'll steal some cookie sheets and bread pans...that will make me feel better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Hellllllooooo Baaa aaaaaaa aaaaby!" ...

Don't you wish that was the message you got in your inbox?

My brother Ben wants me to tell you something...he's wanted me to tell you this something for a long time. I've hesitated ... you'll know why once I tell you. Ben is pretty persistent and so I've decided to give in to him.

I asked him if he just wanted to write this post but he declined.

Once when I went to Fountain Green to visit Lucy (my grandma), she gave me some words of wisdom. Wisdom that she promised would change my life. Wisdom that she was COMPLETELY serious about.

"Noelle, if you want to get married you need to become more righteously seductive."

And there it was...the key...the answer to my problems.

She was willing to give pointers if I needed them.

I told her I'd let her know.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Texting 101

I pretended to be a high school teacher this morning...2 classes worth of pretending.

My friend teaches a floral design class and asked me to come in and talk about having a career in horticulture.

I wouldn't make a good real-life high school teacher because I would just laugh at the students...all day long.

We talked about trees and flowers and freezing temperatures...and stuff.

What we should have talked about is texting.

Apparently I don't get texting etiquette. (But really, if the word texting isn't even in Blogger's spell check dictionary, should I be held responsible for proper etiquette? I think not.)

Remember I had a lunch date with Michael on Saturday? After he gave me a bear hug upon the initial greeting, we sat down to a lunch of soup, salads, and chocolate covered strawberries. Michael told me stories of all of his failed attempts at on-line dating. He told me how many women had blocked him from seeing their profile (in theory you can't tell when someone has blocked you but Michael has been on-line for so long he says he knows the system). When I asked why they would block him he said, "I have an aggressive dating style." Duly noted.

He told me about the girl he flew to Texas to meet...a girl who didn't look anything like her picture...a girl who wore a wig the entire time he was there, trying to convince Michael she was a blond.

He told me about how he has no sense of smell...and so when there is a call for someone to fix the plumbing/sewer problems at some apartments he maintains, he takes the job.

He also wanted to know if I thought he smelled good...you know, not being able to smell, he wanted to know if he had picked a good cologne.

He told me a lot of stuff and then all of a sudden said, "What time is it? I have to go." He walked me to my car and I thanked him for lunch. He said something else and then I thanked him again and said "It was nice getting to know you." He said, "So...have I done anything that would prevent me from getting a second date?" And I said, "You can call." (He can play the game. He had just finished telling me how frustrating it is not to get at least a second date with someone.)

He gave me another bear hug and I got in my car. 15 minutes later I got a text that said "Just wanted to say again that I had a good time. Have a good weekend."

I didn't respond to the text. And according to my cousin I broke ALL the rules. "You've assured that he won't call again by not responding to the text." Honestly, I don't care either way...if he calls, fine...if he doesn't, fine.

But seriously? I broke the rules? I had already thanked him twice...and now I needed to do it again, in a text, 15 minutes later?

It's like sending a thank you card for a thank you card...isn't it?

Is there a Texting 101 somewhere? ...clearly I need help.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Story Behind The Picture...for Jaime

La Malinche is an extinct volcano located near the city of Puebla, in Mexico.

The Tlaxcalan Indians make the side of this volcano their home, in a village they call Tlalcosteptl.




From the top of the volcano you can look down into the heart of Puebla, a city with over 5 million people.

The people of Tlalcosteptl have no electricity or running water.

The majority of their homes are made from dried corn stalks.



I visited this village for the first time nearly 20 years ago.

My life was changed forever.

Jamie asked the following questions about the picture:

"Are they married?"

Yes, they are married.

"Is the lamb a pet?"

Only until it is old enough to provide meat for the family.

"Is this the only room they have?"

It's all the living space they have, yes.

They do have another place where they do their cooking.




"Did they have dinner?"

Probably not.

Their diet consists of beans and tortillas, and even that is rationed.
Meat is used only for special occasions.

We built some experimental greenhouses and planted a crop of potatoes in hopes of improving their diet.

"Do they sleep?"

They go to bed when the sun sets and wake up when the sun rises.

I imagine they sleep soundly, as their entire day is filled with hard work, just trying to survive.

"Do they know about God and Jesus and the Bible?"

They believe in God. They have no church in which to worship God.

The majority of the people don't read; if they had a Bible it would be of no use to them.

I believe in my heart that God must have an extra measure of love for these people.



How could He not?

Friday, November 13, 2009

What Were You Doing At 3 AM?

I was standing in the kitchen eating bottled pears.

When you eat dinner at 7:30 PM and what you eat is only a bowl of cereal, if you're still awake at 3 AM chances are you will be hungry.

What were you doing at 6 AM?

I was wide awake, wondering why on earth sleep hates me so much.

What were you doing at 9 AM?

I was wishing I was in Mexico where siestas are perfectly acceptable.

Speaking of Mexico...

I give you a picture...a picture that generally leaves me at a loss of words.

If you feel so inclined, tell me, what do you see when you look at this picture?


Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Not Kidding

If I see mouse poop on my desk one more time I'm going to...

I don't know what I'm going to do...maybe get my cousin to set 12 traps instead of 1.

I HATE mice!

The other day I was talking to a friend on the phone...wait, you know this friend now.

The other day I was talking to Mitchell on the phone. I bent down to pick something up from under my desk and came face to face with a dead mouse. I squealed. And then apologized for squealing in Mitchell's ear.

I stood up and turned to find something to pick up the mouse with and came face to face with Steve...a customer who makes it his life's mission to scare me. He said 'Boo' and I squealed again (how he can get that close without making a noise is beyond me). Poor Mitchell.

I said, "Hang on one second Mitchell." And then I said, "Steve that's it. YOU have to clean up that dead mouse." And he did and then later brought me a chocolate chip cookie...as if that could make up for the near heart attack he gave me.

I know you did not come to my blog today looking for a story about mice...

So here you go...here's what happened next:

I didn't call Michael, but I did text him. And he texted back. And we're meeting for lunch on Saturday. I'm still waiting for him to decide where. And my friend Bryan is going to be there, in hiding, in case I need a bodyguard. (Right Bryan?)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today's Mail

You know the story of the little boy who cried wolf?

I'm not that little boy.

Well, of course I'm not that little boy...but I'm not that little girl either.

What I'm trying to say is that I want your advice on something.

But this time I am going to take your advice...to heart.

How would you respond to this? Would you respond at all?

My name is Michael. How was your day today?I wanted to say that you have a beautiful smile. I was wondering if you would like to get together this weekend and go to dinner?My phone # is _______. Today is my last day as a paying member of this site so I will not be able to send or read messages. If you are interested I would enjoy hearing from you. If not then I understand.I hope you have a wonderful evening. Michael
Decisions...decisions...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

I've said it before on this blog and I will say it again...
I have the world's GREATEST friends!
Some of my best friends are people I met in NYC.
And although we don't see each other very often, we keep in touch...and I always laugh.



Last week a group of us planned to meet for dinner.
The group included Draper, Noble, Lewis, Fawcett, and myself.
Mitchell lives in Texas so he couldn't be there.
UNFORTUNATELY
I got sick.
The mop bucket kind of sick, and I had no hope of recovering in time for dinner.
I texted my friend Kristie and asked her to take care of things for me.
Here's what happened next in my email inbox:

Well friends...I have some bad news. Our buddy & pal Noelle Platt is down & out. I'll let her give you the grodie-modie details at a later date. Can we please reschedule the reunion of our fabulous dysfunctional missionary family?I think she is secretly giving Mitchell more time to find a plane ticket.Such a sad day....~Kristie
* * *
Ok. For Kingpin (Mitchell), it is worth the wait.......:) (This from Noble)
* * *
What the heck! (Utah terms) Oh my hell, I just talked to her a 1:00 pm and confirmed.
(This from Draper)
* * *
Dear Potty-Mouth Draper,I know you're so disappointed you don't get to see your long-lost fav sister missionaries. But honestly....is hell really called for? :)I swear (hell), Platt is very very sick. You'll have to wait a bit longer to hang with us. & don't you agree with Noble...won't it be worth it to have little Poopie Pants Mitchell there? xoxo~Lewie
* * *
No doubt it will be very good to have Mitchell, the only problem is getting some free nights away without small children. Although we love them, we do love nights away.
Hell is called for more often than not. Frankly I think it's a little underused in everyday language. It's so much better used than some stronger more severe words.
We had a member of the bishopric, (ok he was the executive secretary, but still the bishopric) that said hell every time he spoke at the pulpit.
Platt couldn't pick up the phone when I called, but somehow she managed to text me a long text that said something about "wuss-itis")
I think she's really got a hot date and ditched us all for some married Guatemalan guy.
It has been a few years, several in fact, and I have to admit I was looking forward to seeing everyone. I will be very happy to see Mitchell, but as often as he makes it to Utah, hell may freeze over first (see a very appropriate, but un-vulgar, even Biblical reference with the use of H-E-Double Hockey sticks)
(This from Draper)
* * *
Brothers and Sisters,
I'm very offended by all this cursing. Me being a member of the Bishopric (Executive Secretary) of the Flower Mound 3rd ward takes offense to this. I would hope you being members in zion don't use this type of language on an everyday basis. Elder Noble is the only one amongst you that gets a pass as he hasn't sworn since he was a tender 14 years old. Enough said about that.
I would love to try and make a trip to Utah for the weekend to see you all. How bout everybody throw in and buy me a ticket. =) If not, just know I will be with you at dinner in spirit.

Have a hell of day!
Mitchell
* * *
There was more...but I'll spare you.
I may have participated in the conversation...but I can't say for sure.
My mom still thinks she can wash my mouth out with soap...and as long as I don't publish what I might have said, I think I'm safe.
* * *
I don't know why I think you people will care about what happens in my inbox.
But thanks for humoring me.

I Love Awards!

Guess what I got?!!

A blog award!

Now before you think that Loralee just took pity on me and gave this to me because of my post yesterday...it's not true.

She gave it to me on Saturday.
I'm just a little slow at posting it.

THANK YOU!!!

(A blogging award is SO much better than being popular on Facebook!)

And now it would be my great honor to pass this award on to:

Drum Roll Please...
JaLae at Viva La Vida

* * * * *
Stay tuned...there will be another post today.
As soon as I figure out how to scan some pictures so that I can post them so that you can see them. (How's that for a run on sentence?)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Are YOU Popular?

I lost a follower and I think I know why.

I'm not part of the popular crowd. I just learned the truth last night.

I guess having a farm on Facebook makes you popular. I had no idea!

My sisters filled me in last night. And they took me on a tour of their own farms. Lovely really.

One of my sisters has a farm AND a restaurant. Amazing.

I'm probably not going to become part of the popular crowd any time soon. I hope the rest of you don't mind.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

At The Dinner Table

All of us were at Mom's house for dinner today. All = 20.

Dinner is a loud, somewhat rowdy affair. I wish you could see it...it's incredibly entertaining.

According to my Dad I have a bad habit of leaving food on my plate.

Today he got the attention of all of the little people and said, "Look at this. Noelle didn't finish her dinner. Can you all tell her to take two more bites?" And believe me, they told me.

The rule is if you don't finish dinner you don't get dessert. I said to the little people "But I don't even want dessert."

I had to finish anyway...even though I thought the salad dressing was disgusting.

Later we were discussing the possibility of a storm.

I mentioned that I would like it to storm.

Someone said, "Why do you want it to storm?"

I replied, "I would love for my head to go back to normal." (I've been dizzy for three days.)

Dad looked at me and said, "Noelle, I'm afraid it will take plastic surgery to make that happen."

And THAT'S what I get for telling my dad I love him. I want to play a new game.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Sun Is Still Shining!

I stopped at my mom's house this morning. I had a craving for a piece of homemade toast.

My mom makes the world's best bread.

I was dressed in something other than jeans and a t-shirt because I was headed to a baptism.

My dad walked into the kitchen and said as his greeting, "I'll sure be happy for you girls when high heels go out of style."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well they look uncomfortable and rather ridiculous."

Don't hold anything back Dad, tell me what you really think.

But I couldn't say it because I was laughing too hard.

When he walked out the door a few minutes later I said, "Have a good day. I love you Dad."

"Love you too. You girls want to tell me what kind of campaign you're on?"

(The campaign...and it's safe to tell you because my dad doesn't read my blog...unless I log in for him...is just simply making a more conscious effort to tell our dad we love him. That's all.)

But he's suspicious...after my little sister told him she loved him this morning Dad said to my mom, "I sure wish I knew what she wanted."

Poor Dad...he doesn't know what to do with 5 daughters.

One more thing-

Tell me what you think of this:

I mostly like to play sports such as Basketball, volleyball, soccer, waterski, like to dance, listen to music, watch movies, watch tv, and hang out with friends. I also like to camp, fish, and travel too. I am looking for someone that will make me smile, likes to dance, watch movies and tv with me, quote any famous movie or tv lines, laugh at my jokes, is outgoing, is not shy, likes to have fun, makes me say "WOW" when I see her. If you can also know how to make me happy, that is a big plus for me. I will let you know about how to make me happy. I like the flirts, but messages are better, and will get on my good side--HINT, HINT!!! If you do this, I will respond to you.

Dear Mr. I Can Send You a Flirt But If You Send Me One I Won't Respond:

Really? You'll tell me how to make you happy?!! I can't wait!

Friday, November 6, 2009

An Early Christmas Gift

I just read this on my friend's Facebook page. What do you say? Let's help this little guy with his Christmas wish.


"A friend of a friend has a 5 year old son, Noah, who is in the last stages of his 2 1/2 year battle with Neuroblastoma Cancer. His family is celebrating Christmas with him next week and Noah's last wish was to recieve as many christmas cards as possible. Please help make this little boy's last Christmas as special as possible. Send cards to: Noah Biorkman, 1141 Fountain View Circle, South Lyon, MI 48178"

Truth

Have you ever known truth and wanted to share it with those around you?

Have you ever known that what you know could bless the lives of others?

Have you ever just wanted to shout what you know from the roof tops?

I'm going to give it a shot...a roof top shout so to speak.

MR. WOOLLEY IS NOT FUNNY!

Did it work? Did it convince you?

It didn't really convince me either...because sometimes I think he is a little bit funny.

BUT DON'T TELL HIM I SAID SO!

If he thinks that I think he's funny...oh the comments he will leave then.

And Ben?

Brother dear?

Would you be so kind as to tell these people why I am NOT going to date Bruce?

Besides the obvious reason: he's old enough to be my dad.

(If you're confused just read the comments from the last post.)

I just want to say one more thing about Mr. Woolley.

He almost died once.

In this boat, on this river.


Dave, did your mother never teach you not to accept rides from strangers?


Thursday, November 5, 2009

All In A Day's Work

Ahhh...there's nothing better than having your hair freshly done...by the professionals. While my highlights were processing my phone rang...twice. Bruce, BYU's Landscape Architect, really wanted to talk to me.

When he called the third time I answered.

"Yes Bruce?"

"Where are you? Why are you so hard to find?"

"If you really want to know Bruce, I'm getting my hair done."

"Oh...hey, I haven't asked you in a while. How are things with that guy you were dating?"

'Really Bruce, you called me three times to talk about my love life?' That's what I was thinking.

"Things ended a while ago Bruce."

"You're better off single." Bruce just went through an ugly divorce.

"Well, I'm glad you're still getting your hair done Noelle. That's a positive sign."

"I'm glad I have your support Bruce. Now, what can I do for you?"

"When you say you're getting your hair done what does that mean exactly? Cut and wash or what?"

Bored Bruce?

"Trimmed, highlighted, and styled," is what I told him.

"You highlight your hair? Noelle! Oh no...please tell me it doesn't look awful!"

"Actually Bruce, I try to keep things pretty natural. Unless someone is really observant, it's not too obvious that I have highlights. Don't worry, I think you would approve."

"Oh good...well then I'm glad you get highlights...I'm sure it looks great."

"Did you need something Bruce?" I asked.

"Oh...yes...I need some plants."

And then it was back to business as usual.

It's always nice to know my customers are looking out for me.

***It's 5 hours later and Bruce just called again...for the 6th time today. The first thing he asked, "How's the hair holding up?" I just laugh...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Friends

My grandpa had a neighbor named George. George and my grandpa were best friends, two peas in a pod. George was younger than my grandpa by at least 10 years, but they were always together.

Every Monday morning they would take Grandpa's truck and go and collect food for the food bank. They would go on walks together. They did their home teaching together. (In our church two men are asked to take care of other families in their neighborhood...visit them, give them spiritual messages, etc.)

Every Sunday George and his wife would have Grandpa over for dinner.

When Grandpa needed something, George was always there.

One night George came to visit Grandpa in the care center. It was right near the end of Grandpa's life, when he was in a coma. When George got there he started talking to Grandpa like he always did: telling him about the neighborhood, the food bank, his kids...

And while he talked, he put lotion on Grandpa's hands, because they were dry. George got a little emotional when he told Grandpa that he had been his best friend, and that he loved him and would miss him.

When George finished with the lotion he stood to leave. "Goodbye Lyn," he said. "You've lived a good life." And then he hugged me and walked out the door.

The world would be a better place if all of us could be the kind of friend that George was.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

And One More Thing...

Is it right for one kid to be so stinking cute?

A Glimpse of What Matters To Me

My mood today is more pensive than chatty.

Instead of words I give you pictures.








Monday, November 2, 2009

To Whom It May Concern

(And there are a lot of you)

Dear Lungs: Thank you for not giving out on me. I should have known when Dad said he wanted to climb to the top of that hill that it would take 5 hours...not just a 'couple.'

Dear Dad: Merry Christmas. It's a dictionary. Look up the word hill and then look up the word mountain. See the difference?

Dear Mountain Mahogany Plant: Did you know your main purpose in life is to pull me up the mountain, and then to keep me from rolling to my death on the way back down?

Dear Oak Brush: If you had smacked me in the face one more time...

Dear Dad: Most people prefer a trail...not the face of the mountain.

Dear Huge Boulder: Thank you for not killing my dad. I know you wanted to.

Dear Medium Size Boulder: You should see the bruise you left on my ankle.

Dear Family of Super Size Boulders: Climbing over you to get to the top of the mountain was my favorite part of the hike. You were kind of a mystery...if I step here will you remain secure or will you send me plummeting?

Dear Dad: Aren't you glad I brought water and Whoppers? Next time I'll just assume we'll be gone all day and I'll pack lunch.

Dear Hands: I promise from here on out to bring gloves whenever we go with Dad.

Dear Rash On My Arm: Where on earth did you come from?

Dear Feet: Good job on the blisters. I'll give you a break for a few days.

Dear Soft Dirt: Thank you for providing a soft landing...every time.

Dear Dad: My favorite thing you said was "If I were younger I would just jump" (off a mini cliff to the ground below) and then you jumped. You are cool.

Dear Shirt: It was only one tear. It could have been worse.

Dear Knee: I'm sorry okay?!! It was either use you to climb the last stretch to the summit or die. And seriously, what kind of knee takes 2 months to heal anyway?

Dear Branch: The only reason I kept you in my mouth all the way down the mountain was because I needed both hands to negotiate the wash we were climbing down. And Dad really wanted to take you home where he could identify you. You didn't taste that bad. Thank you for not being poisonous.

Dear Snow: You taste pretty good but you sure make going downhill a little dicey.

Dear Muscles: You'll recover. I promise.

Dear Mom: Thanks for washing my pants. I would have just thrown them away.

Dear Dad: Thanks for a GREAT hike! It was my favorite this year. I couldn't ask for a better hiking partner and as far as Dad's go - you ROCK! (In honor of the rock we climbed all the way to the top to get.)