Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Simplicity

When I was little we spent part of our summer vacation visiting my dad's cousin Joy.

Joy and her husband Kent live in a cabin in the mountains of Washington.

They don't have electricity or indoor plumbing and they have to hike in or ride horses to get to their cabin.

They choose to live this way.


(I'm standing by the post)

We spent our nights bundled under blankets in the loft of the cabin and we spent our days riding the donkey and swinging on an amazing rope swing that swung out over the valley below.

We've only seen Joy and Kent a handful of times since that summer vacation.

They've come for family reunions and funerals, and when they come they bring with them the scent of campfire and the outdoors...and their banjos.

I've always been fascinated with Joy. She's beautiful and smart, and refined in a way I wish I could be, and I'm a bit in awe of her lifestyle. Joy sent my parents a Christmas letter once that was handwritten the old fashioned way, with ink and a quill pen. I kept that letter because of the simplicity it represented:


(you should read this...it's beautiful)

Last summer I was pulling out of the parking lot at work when I noticed an old pickup truck. I slowed down because I was curious to see what kind of person drove such an old truck. A man with white hair and a big bushy white beard walked out of the store, towards the truck. As I watched him pull back an old army tarp and rearrange whatever he had in the back of the truck, I wondered about his life's story. I wanted to know who he was and where he came from.

In fact, as I drove to my parents house, I wrote the man's life story in my head...and I wished that I had had my camera to sneak his picture.

I had been at my parent's house for about 5 minutes when the doorbell rang. I got up to answer the door and saw the man with the white bushy beard standing there. It wasn't until I looked past him and saw Joy that I recognized Kent, the man beneath the beard.

I welcomed them in and we spent the next few hours talking. Joy told me her favorite part of living where they lived was the seclusion...the privacy they enjoyed. Joy bathes in a bathtub that sits in the middle of a field of wildflowers. When it's cold outside they build a fire underneath the tub to keep the water warm.

"There's nothing better than sitting in a tub of warm water with the rain falling lightly all around you," Joy said wistfully.

It was then I decided that I wanted to visit one day and stay awhile...because taking a bath in the middle of a field of wildflowers? Nothing sounds more serene.

Last week while I was at girls camp I had a choice: I could shower in a regular shower stall with ICE COLD water or I could shower in a makeshift shower, using water that had been warmed by the sun.

I chose this:

As I stood in that makeshift shower, feeling the wind blowing, and looking out at the aspen trees that surrounded me, I thought of Joy.

It wasn't a bathtub in the middle of a field of wildflowers, but it was close.

(picture courtesy of my dad...since I didn't take a single picture while camping)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Singing The Blues

Just between you and me and the computer screen, I've been feeling a little blue. Blue enough that I have been clenching my teeth at night. I don't dare go to the dentist for fear of how he's going to give me his 'Don't Clench Your Teeth' lecture. Have you had that lecture? It's not pleasant!

There are lots of things that make me feel less blue:

-Jason's done traveling for a while
-He agreed to kill all the spiders and wash the windows that I can't reach
-We had a delightful game of volleyball last night with aunts, and uncles, and cousins...oh my...
-My lovely niece Gabi (who is 6) came up to me and kissed me on the forehead and then continued to play with her cousins

See...lots of non-blue things.

But can I tell you one of the two things that's making me blue? Please? I might feel better.

The night before I left for girls camp I got this email:

Dear Noelle,
Just thought I'd send a quick note....sorry we didn't get a chance to get together before I left for AZ. I survived my trip to Israel (even the wheel chair ride through the New York airport) and even managed to bring you back a scarf. Well, I'm currently in AZ and don't exactly know when I'll be coming back to UT. I have some sad news to share. It appears as though Glena's cancer has returned and she has been diagnosed as stage 4 breast cancer carcinoma. We are still waiting for biopsies to be done and many more tests, but realistically this could mean that she has less than a year to live. I want to spend as much time with my sister as I can. It looks like we may be going to Disneyland next week before Glena once again begins chemo sessions on July 6. Note: we are going to Disneyland for the kids, but I hope to make great memories as well. My sister has a list of things she needs to accomplish and I will be helping her with it (baby books for each kid, birthday cards til they're 21, letters, etc.). I just read through what I typed and I realize it sounds very cut and dry, but if I let my emotions get in the way, I will absolutely lose it. I just wanted to make you aware of the situation and ask you to pray for both of us. Thank you!

Love,
Laura

That's reason enough to be blue right?

I talked to Laura last night...they found out it's not breast cancer after all, but another kind of cancer with a really long name. A kind of cancer that has produced 5 tumors so far...tumors that are attacking her sister's organs...a kind of cancer that may give a much worse prognosis than a year.

They left for Disneyland this morning and will enjoy a few days of normalcy before the final test results are back and their hell begins.

You'd think the cancer alone would be bad enough...

Several years ago Laura's mom was diagnosed with rapid onset Alzheimer's. Laura's going to lose her mom to Alzheimer's and her best friend/sister to cancer, and that thought nearly made me have a panic attack the other night. (Because if there's one thing I'm good at it's mourning with those that mourn.)

I tried to push all of my emotion aside the morning I arrived at camp, but all week long the emotion was there...seeping it's way through the cracks. And I thought about these young girls and what awful things they would have to face in their lives. Because if there is one thing that is sure, it's that we're all going to have to deal with things that are going to hurt and leave some scars.

Friday night we had what we call a testimony meeting...a chance for the girls to share their thoughts and feelings. When it was my turn I told the girls Laura's story, and then I told them that I had only one wish for them: that they could develop a very real and personal relationship with their Heavenly Father. Because by turning to God, we can be healed from our hurts and sorrows...that's the other sure thing in life.

I don't know if the girls listened...but I hope they did.

Have I made all of you blue now too?

On the chance that I have, I'll end by giving another list of things that are non-blue:

-homemade popsicles
-waking up with no dizziness
-Dad drawing me a picture to post on my blog (oh the things you have to look forward to!)
-getting a wedding gift of $ three and a half months after the fact
-Jason

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stories from the War...or Girls Camp

We're watching a movie...Sherlock Holmes.

Actually, Jason is watching the movie. I'm blogging so that I'll stay awake.

I've had a blah blah day. I bowed my head this morning during the prayer in church and as soon as I lifted my head and said 'amen' my vertigo kicked in with all of it's force. I wanted to stay as the girls were singing in church, and so Jason ran home and got my medicine. I spent the entire meeting with my head on Jason's shoulder, and as soon as it was over Jason walked me home and tucked me in on the couch...where I slept for the next several hours.

Tonight I have a vertigo hangover.

However, you didn't come here to hear about my latest bout of dizziness...you came to hear stories about camp. I'll oblige...except I'm not even sure where to begin.

Here are a few Girls Camp facts and then a story:

Fact #1: I had the LEAST amount of stuff...by far! And I got teased just a little bit about my ability to fit everything into a backpack.

Fact #2: I'm not a fan of potgut poop on my sleeping bag.

Fact #3: The hill we had to climb every single time we went to our cabin...also not a fan.

Fact #4: The bathroom being down the hill and up the road from our cabin made it so that we did our best not to drink anything after 5 pm.

Fact #5: Teenage girls = drama.

Lots o drama.

And finally, Fact #6: I'm lousy with a canoe. We, my canoeing partner (another leader) and I, could not go straight unless we were going backwards. The girls thought we were pathetic.

Sleeping next to me...until she sold out to the younger, more fun crowd, was 13 year old Amber. Ahhh...I love 13 year old Amber. I've never met a 13 year old with so much self-confidence. As we were blowing up our air mattresses and unrolling our sleeping bags Amber looked at me and said, "If I roll over on you I'm sorry. I'm a roller."

Amber laughs with her whole body and finds something to laugh about in nearly every situation. One night we were at the evening flag ceremony...our group of girls along with 10 other groups of girls...it was a quiet moment and we were about to put our hands over our hearts when Amber leaned over to me and said, "I've got a sliver in my butt." I laughed and she said, "No! Really! I do!!!" And then she did a little dance because it hurt. And she danced through the entire flag ceremony, and I did my best not to laugh.

Later that evening, after the sliver was successfully removed, but not by me, I was standing at the base of our hill talking to a group of other leaders. We had just finished with a hike and were saying our good nights. Miss Amber joined our circle and acted as if she belonged. When there was a pause in the conversation Amber said, "Want to hear what happened to me tonight?" And we said we did.

Amber and some other girls were running down the hill to the bathroom and one of the girls tripped and rolled down the mountain. Amber started laughing and couldn't stop and as a result 'peed her pants.' "I had to run back up the hill and get some more underwear. It's a good thing I packed extra," she said.

And then she said, "I have bladder problems. I even had to go to the urolopist once, but he couldn't find anything wrong with me."

When Amber realized (with the help of someone else) that it was urologist and not urolopist she laughed a lot, which made all of us laugh a lot.

Amber and I share a special bond from our week at camp...we're the only two who have wounds on our arms...wounds that come from catching our arms on random nails that should NOT have been sticking out of the wall.

Here's one more little tidbit before I find my pillow:

One night as I was nearly asleep I heard Shelby say this from the other room:

"If we ever get really close to falling off a cliff we just need to yell 'Crisis! Crisis! Crisis!"

I cracked up and then reached for my earplugs...


Saturday, June 26, 2010

I'm Back

Do you miss me when I'm gone?

I've washed my hair twice since I got home an hour ago and it STILL smells like campfire.

Oh the week we've had...oh the stories I could tell...

But I'm tired and I need a nap in the worst way. Turns out you don't get a lot of sleep when you're surrounded by 20 something teenage girls.

Oh...and did you know...teenage girls...they can have you laughing one minute and ready to strangle them the next...

But really, my bed is calling...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happy Friday Friends




*card courtesy of Mary Englebreit Ink


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wedding Dress For Sale

Meet Rachel from She Just Smiled. I love this girl. She's full of life, and laughter, and light, and all other good words that start with L. We met in real life once...at our favorite little salad place in town. Did I already say I love this girl? Thanks Rachel, for posting for me!!! Next time you're in town I'll treat!



* * * * * * *



I am going to tell you a true story.

Some of you may think it's sad, but I think it's funny.

And maybe the real story is that there is a funny part to it.

It wasn't so long ago that I had a blind date with my blogging friend Noelle at Zupas... Where we shared our guts like we'd known each other for years, not minutes. She has a gift for that, you know. We talked about her fun love story (she was about to get married), and then we turned to my heinous-love-story-gone-bad. All of this over a bowl of cauliflower soup and a chocolate covered strawberry.

...I was not laughing about this story back then.

Once upon a time, I was engaged. His name was Edward. (Yes, this is a still a true story, and no, he was not a vampire).

I was very in love, and very confident that Edward was, in fact, the one for me.

(Fast forward to the heinous part where he drives all night to meet me at my favorite beach so we can talk.)

That "talk" was more like a few hours of
me staring at him
shaking his head
until he finally said the words,
"I love you. But I can't marry you."

Fast forward through the year of ensuing depression, anger, sadness, confusion, desperate attempts to change his mind, and infinite analysis of his actions, emails, and words...

... And finally, the realization that I will never be happy in a relationship in which I have worked so hard to change someone's mind about me.

Fast forward past all of that to a couple weeks ago when my best friend Amy came to visit me. I asked her before she came to help me figure out what to do with my wedding dress. The one that never got worn, and kind of felt like a really annoying rock in my shoe...

So we did what every girl that has a "NEW--NEVER BEEN WORN!!" wedding dress does...

Sell it on craigslist, obviously.

Amy laced me up in that dress, was careful not to tell me that I looked pretty, took pictures (with my face not showing of course), and then posted that baby on craigslist.

The last step of the craiglist process includes a word verification phrase.

At first we stared at it in unbelief... Not quite sure if our eyes were playing tricks on us.

Then we both started laughing so hard that we almost threw up.

Amy screen captured the image so I could eventually blog about it's irony.

But I think Edward and his family still read my blog, so this is a perfect forum to share.



Thank you word verification... I get it. He wasn't the one for me.

See, if the Man upstairs has a sense of humor about the hard things we go through in life, then we can too right?

Happy Thursday to all. (I hope Noelle hasn't had to kill too many mosquitoes with her bare hands!)
love,
RayRay

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Monster Minivan Rally

You all know I love Joann from Laundry Hurts My Feelings right?. And if you didn't know...now you do. And if you haven't read her blog, well...you're missing something in your life. Something magical. Joann is on the brink of becoming world famous. Any day now she will be publishing a book, and I'll be able to say I knew her when. The process of becoming world famous is a crazy one and Joann barely has time to live...and yet she took the time to post on my blog. Thank you Joann. Gracias mucho. And to all of you, happy reading!


* * * * * * * * * *

Today, I have the honor of posting for my Noelle. And even though, she's technically not my Noelle, (I do believe that honor goes to her handsome husband who may or may not be a spy), I feel like a little tiny piece of her belongs to me, maybe like a hair strand or something.

You see, I think she is the most darling girl on the planet, as all of you already know since you're here. She writes with such a quiet, beautiful grace and her lovely spirit just shines through her words. And so I call her my Noelle, because I just adore her, plain and simple.

Thank you Noelle, for your invitation to guest blog.

I tried to find a commonality to write about over here, today. I thought about this wonderful opportunity she's been given to become a spiritual guide for those young girls at camp. The closest I've come to something like that is the Girl Scouts. And I don't really have any stories about those days.

I was an ordinary Girl Scout, nothing really exciting to tell.

I recited my pledge with the 3-fingered salute.

I made my little mat called a Situpon. A Situpon entailed 2 pieces of vinyl in a bright floral pattern woven together and strung up with some extra long yarn. We then tied the Situpons to our waists, which was super awkward, walking around with a bulky vinyl rectangle flapping around back there like some humongonoid tail. But, those cheapo mats were our Girl Scout emergency backup plan. In case we found ourselves wandering through the wilderness, we could just plop right down any-old-where when we grew exhausted from all the wandering and that way, our Girl Scout Uniforms wouldn't ever get dirty.

And that got me to thinking: If a troop of Girl Scouts were aimlessly wandering through the wilderness, I don't think their biggest problem would be some dirt on the back of their shorts. If I were those Girl Scouts I'd be more concerned with trying to find a way OUT of the wilderness than tying a vinyl mat to my rear.

But maybe that's just me.

Along with situpons, I sold thin mints. I earned patches. I sang Kumbaya. The end. Nothing exciting there.

So, then I thought about camping stories, but the problem with that is I don't have any. This is probably something I shouldn't admit on this blog of all blogs, but I don't care for camping too much. In fact, I don't even like thinking about it. There are bears. And no blow dryers. And sleeping bags on the ground.

So that was out.

Then I thought about Noelle's week away and vacation and that is when the story hit me.

My vacation story happened several years ago. I have 3 daughters who range in age from 12 to 19. At the time, the oldest was in first grade. So, I had a first grader, a preschooler and an infant. And in those days, it was a miracle if I remembered my last name on any given day.

We arrived home, late one night after a vacation up to the north part of our state of Florida. My first grader had school early the next morning. My hubby was exhausted from the 8-hour drive and I was exhausted from entertaining 3 little girls. (It was the dark ages, before the days of DVD players in cars.)

We tucked the girls in and collapsed without unpacking.

I drove my daughter to school the next morning in a filthy minivan, littered with smashed goldfish crackers and stale sippy cups.

The 2 little ones and I made our way home, me still in a bit of a bleary daze.

And as I pulled into my garage, ready to face a day of unpacking and dirty laundry, I heard the most horrifying, sickening crunch of my life.

Now, freeze the story right there.

My hubby is Mr. Johnny On the Spot. I have never had to make a Honey Do List for him, not once in the 23 years we've been married. If there is something that needs to be done, BAM, he is on it.

But the night before, he was exhausted. And so our car top carrier, so essential to parents of small children, was still perched high on its throne on top of the minivan.

And CRUUUUNCH.

I recognized the sound immediately. I slammed on my brakes and dropped my head onto the steering wheel, squeezing my eyes shut as my middle girl said from her car seat, "Mamma, what is the Crunchy, Crunch?"

"Mamma made a big boo-boo, Honey," I responded weakly.

And in that minute I realized I could fix this. Of course I could.

I just needed . . . to back up.

I don't know if any men read Noelle's blog, but if so, Stop. Laughing. Right. Now.

Ahem, Cheeseboy.

Yes, the Crunchy Crunch turned into a Smashy Smash as I watched parts of the house topple down upon my Goldfish minivan.

I immediately threw the minivan in park and tumbled out of the van to inspect the damage.

And it was bad. Very bad.

It was worse than anything you see at those Monster Truck rally thingamajigs. And I only know what I've seen on commercials and that stuff is baaaaad. That's what my garage and van looked like, one big, banged-up monster truck rally.

As I contemplated the sight with horror, I heard something akin to weeping.

I glanced around and directly behind me stood one of my neighbors, her little yappy dog on its leash, she doubled over, the tears streaming down her cheeks as she laughed and laughed and laughed.

In between gasps, she said, "I'm sorry, Joann. I know you probably hate it that I'm laughing."

You think? And it wasn't laughing, it was cackling of the most obnoxious kind.

She continued through her crack-up, "But someday you'll find this as hilarious as I do."

Well, not today, I thought as I turned back to inspect the devastation I'd caused from pulling in to my garage with an enormous car top carrier on the top of my minivan and then of course, monster trucking it well and good, by backing up and smashing up the garage all over again.

I had no idea what to do and I certainly didn't want to call my Hubby on this one.

So, I did what every girl in a bind would do.

I called my daddy.

And as soon as he answered, I whined, "Dad, I kind of did a dumb thing."

And he said, "Oh, you locked your keys in the car, again?"

So, maybe I HAD called my dad more than a few times to be my knight in shining armor.

I said, "Well, no. It's kind of worse than that."

And my dear father, God rest his soul, my father who could fix anything, (I was praying he could fix broken houses), rushed to my aid . . . again.

He took one look at it, scratched his head and mumbled something about it being a tough one.

My poor dad had to clamber up onto the roof of my minivan and unscrew the car top carrier from its smashed up perch. He then had to slide it forward very gingerly as more pieces of my ceiling and garage and garage door and house came tumbling down. And then he and I managed to carry it down, complete with a massive meteor-sized dent in the top of the carrier.

And the carrier was the victor in the garage beatdown.

The worst part of it besides the horror of that awful crunch was calling my hubby at work to tell him the bad news.

Here's how I did it: I said, "Honey, I've got bad news and good news. The good news is I took the car top carrier off for you. The bad news is . . . I did it with the garage door."

He wasn't too mad.

At least until he got the estimate for the garage door repair.

The car top carrier was never the same after that. We still used it, but it just never lined up again correctly which leads to another story about the day the car top carrier flew open on the interstate.

But, I'm too traumatized right now to talk about that. We'll save that mayhem for another day.

On my blog, I always suggest a daily song to download. Since this is Noelle's blog, I had Noelle choose the song and even her song choices are nice!

"Pocketful of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield. Doesn't that just sum up Noelle? Our little pocketful of sunshine and twinkly stars on a bed of velvet sky.

For Noelle, thank you for giving me the honor of guest posting on your blog. And yes, nice really does matter.

I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine
I got a love and I know that it's all mine, oh, oh, oh oh
Do what you want but you're never gonna break me
Sticks and stones are never gonna shake me, oh, oh, oh, oh

Take me away, a secret place
A sweet escape, take me away
Take me away to better days
Take me away to a hiding place...

The sun is on my side and takes me for a ride
I smile up to the sky, I know I'll be alright
The sun is on my side and takes me for a ride
I smile up to the sky, I know I'll be alright


Monday, June 21, 2010

My Dad Loves Me

(Need a reminder on what a mammoth is? Go here.)





















Sunday, June 20, 2010

Adios, Farewell, Tchau...

Did you sing a song in grade school that went like something like this?

"What's more American than baseball? The Fourth of July or Uncle Sam?"

"What's more American than ice cream? I am, I am, I am."

I don't like museums. Does that make me less American?

Just wonderin'...

How was Father's Day for everyone? Mine was lovely. We had dinner with my father, and then came home and made dinner for Jason's father (and mother and grandmother)...homemade waffles with strawberries and whip cream. I didn't eat any but it looked delish...hope Jason's dad thought so! (If you're wondering why it wasn't steak...Jason's dad's favorite meal is waffles...at least that's what Jason said.)

Jason's dad is buying a new car, and he's selling us his old one...which is practically brand new. And Jason's boss is buying the practically brand new car for us because he thinks Jason deserves a bonus. We are very blessed and I am very grateful.

Now...have you ever tried packing for a camping trip with a man who sells camping gear?

No?

It's like ... hold on a moment while I come up with a good comparison ... it's like shopping for a purse with Kate Spade ... or eating popcorn with Orville Redenbacher ... or eating chocolate with Mr. Hershey...

I imagine you get the idea.

Don't get me wrong, I love my gear nut but it's a little overwhelming. Did you know there is a proper way to pack a backpack? Let me help you out...the sleeping bag goes on the bottom.

My gear nut husband assures me that I'll be comfortable and warm and that's all I care about.

I can use leaves as toilet paper and dig my own latrine if I have to...just let me be comfortable and warm at night. (Don't worry Joann, I think we'll have flushable toilets.)

With that said...

I'll miss you blogging world. *Sniff*

I've got posts for every day that I'm gone...so please don't leave. There's no sense in me and my little blog going through withdrawals. (Oh...and leave comments...lots of comments...baby sister gets almost as much enjoyment out of them as I do!)

I'll be back next week with stories from the woods...and tales of lions and tigers and bears...oh my!

Be good!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

This is a post I wrote over a year ago...but I thought it the perfect tribute for Father's Day.

I love you Dad!


A few weeks ago I was hiking with my dad. We were on a trail we have hiked for years. In fact, our stopping point is a little creek my dad named years ago: Platt Creek. When we were young and thought the hike would never end, Dad would always encourage us, "Just a little farther til we get to our creek. Don't you want to see Platt Creek?"

There are a lot of memories associated with the trail. I can see our trusty collie on the trail with us...running to the front and then to the back, always guarding her group of little hikers.

When we get to the waterfall I always think of the rock climber who got stuck. He was clinging to the wall for his life. If he fell he would at the least be badly injured, but the chances were even greater that he would die. When we heard his cry for help my dad and grandpa jumped into action. Dad ran back down the trail to get help (this was before cell phones) and my grandpa threw a rope down to the man who somehow managed to get it around himself. Grandpa Platt sat on the edge of the cliff holding onto that rope and reassuring the man that he would be okay.

He was.

I think of picnics and summer days and I am filled with peace.

But back to the hike a few weeks ago. We had reached Platt Creek and were on our way back down the mountain. We had played the usual game of "What is the scientific name of this plant?" ... It's holodiscus Dad...see, I remember it.

Dad stopped and pointed out a large juniper that had long ago fallen and was now rotting on the side of the trail. "This was the largest and prettiest of all of the junipers growing on this mountain," Dad told me. And then he pointed to a spot and said, "It was growing right there."

"There was a big avalanche a few years ago and the tree was taken out. You can see how far the avalanche went," Dad said as he pointed further down the trail. "It stopped right there." We talked about the avalanche for a few minutes and then continued down the trail.

I've thought a lot about that evening hike. There is something incredibly comforting in knowing that my dad is so keenly aware of his surroundings - that he takes the time to study and know the ins and outs of even our local mountains. I'm glad to know that no matter where I go or how old I get, as long as Dad is around, I will be taken care of.

Pillow Talk

I have GOT to ask you something.

Did you know mosquitoes suck your blood?

If all of you answer in the affirmative, it's going to make me wonder where I was that day in the 2nd grade. Do you think they teach us about mosquitoes in the 2nd grade?

In all fairness to my brain, maybe I did know this at one point. But as I told you in yesterday's post, there might have been some brain damage that has occurred...on account of old age, or that time I fell off the wall.

Where were we...oh, mosquitoes.

Last night I looked up and saw something on the ceiling and asked Jason to get whatever it was. (Because he's home for a minute. By the time you count to 250 he will be gone again.)

He stood on the bed and reached up and squished a mosquito between his fingers.

"Eeww, that was full. Look at this," and then he walked to my side of the bed to show me.

"I don't want to see it's guts," I said. And Jason said, "It's not guts, it just ate. It's full of blood."

Disgusting right?

I looked at Jason and said, "Human blood?"

He laughed and said, "Yeah."

And then he taught me what I should have learned that day in the 2nd grade.

Here's the kicker...I didn't get bit and Jason didn't get bit... so that little mosquito had eaten somewhere else and then come to our house for dessert.

Disgusting. Wait, I already said that.

Makes me think of the first quote I ever heard by Jack Handey:

"The saddest thing you'll ever see is a mosquito sucking on a mummy. Forget it little friend."

(It stands to reason that if I thought this quote was funny the first time I heard it, I must have known about the whole blood thing...or I would have said, 'I don't get it.')

Perhaps last night I had a momentary lapse in common sense.

Oh...never mind.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I'm Serious

This is going to be a post full of seriousness.

I'm serious.

It's because I've been doing serious things for hours now, and well...now I'm in a serious mood.

Laundry, cleaning bathrooms, scrubbing sinks, cleaning out closets, emptying the trash, doing arm exercises to try and turn the tide on the beginning stages of arm flab...

See...serious things.

And at the same time I've been watching a serious movie.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Yes it is too serious. It's full of serious teenage angst.

And I've been wearing my granny nightgown, and that in and of itself should tell you how serious I am about life right now.

Jason hasn't even seen my granny nightgown...and he won't...because seriously, it's hideous...but it's the most comfortable thing I own...and it helps keep me in my serious mindset.

To add to the list, I've had some serious conversations today.

Like this one with my sister:

"Becca, what do you think of my ever so bright green shoes?"

"They're nice, except that they're orange, not green."

She was right...they were orange, not green.

Serious case of brain damage?

And then there was this conversation:

Hold on, you'll need background information. We have an employee who manages a new store we opened up this spring. It's a small store compared to ours, and if I'm being totally serious, it hasn't done as well as we had hoped.

This employee isn't a big fan of mine...maybe he's not a real fan of anyone, but surely he's not a fan of mine. (Between you and me, I think it's because I stopped laughing 12 years ago at his need to sing The First Noel every time he sees me.)

Anyhow...Dad stopped to check in with him tonight and he tattled on Becca. And Dad called to say to Becca, "He called you today and you didn't call him back." And Becca said, "You're right. It's my day off and I was somewhere with my phone turned off." Dad said, "Okay."

After Becca hung up the phone I said, "Seriously? He tattled? Is he 12?"

But then I remembered I had a question for Dad and so I called him.

Turns out the employee tattled on me too. I guess I don't ship him plants fast enough...never mind that 85% of the plants he asks for are impossible to find. After Dad finished telling me the guy's gripes I said this, "Hey Dad, why don't you tell him that the next time he has a complaint he should come to me directly. How bout that?" And then I said real fast, "Love you, bye" so that I wouldn't hear the rebuttal.

After I hung up the phone Becca said, "I can't believe you said that. You're excused for the green shoe comment."

See...it's been a serious day all around.

Jason will be home today and I am going to sit him down and have a serious talk with him.

The topics will include: where he's taking me for dinner, how many pairs of socks are really necessary for one man, why does the garage door hate me like it does... and then I'll show him the pile of things that need to go to the storage unit.

And now I'm going to take my granny nightgown wearing self to bed.

I'm tired.

Seriously.

FYI

If you're wondering what happened to the post that showed up in your reader...but wasn't really there...don't wonder. I deleted it. It's not supposed to show up until next week...Wednesday to be exact...but I'm technologically challenged and pushed the wrong button. It's so hard to be me.

I just got this text from Jason:

"Hey Gorgeous...I really miss you!"

I think it's about time to end his little traveling game...that's what I think.

Okay, go back to your lives.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Random...take 437

Don't you just love it when people say, "Wow! You look great! Have you lost weight?"

Me too.

Except that no one has said that to me in a while.

I read a blog today about a girl who cut soda out of her life...and she's heard that as a result of no soda she will lose at least 5 pounds.

A person commented on her blog and said, "I lost 10."

This was my question: "What if I don't drink soda? Is there another sure fire way to lose 5 pounds?" But what I was thinking was, 'Man I'm getting the raw end of this deal. Maybe I'll start drinking soda just so I can quit.'

Don't worry, this post is not about weight...gaining or losing...I'm just giving you a glimpse into what rolls around in my head.

I went for a bike ride the other night...the first time this summer. Oh...my poor tush...I fear I waddle when I walk. I built up a strong resistance to bike seats last summer but that resistance is long gone. I have hope that one day I will be able to sit without the desire for a pillow.

Actually, this post isn't about sore rear ends either...

I'm quickly discovering that this post isn't about anything really...so many of my posts tend to head that direction.

I think you should know that next week when I go to girls camp I will have the best of the best when it comes to camping equipment. I will be taking equipment that won't even be available to sell/buy until 2011. Jason's hope is that I will be the coolest girl at camp. I have decided not to tell him that girls don't really notice that stuff...what they're going to notice is who has the coolest braid. And I'm afraid I will come in dead last in that category.

Ahhh...girls camp...some of my favorite memories are of girls camp when I was a kid...

Remember that post where I told you my favorite joke ever? The one I learned at girls camp?

YOU DON'T???

I'll share it again...one more time...but if no one appreciates it the way that I do, I'm not sure that I'll be able to share it again...at least not with this crowd.

Ask me if I'm a red fire engine.

(Go ahead...ask.)

Did you ask?

"Are you a red fire engine?"

No.

And that's it. That's my answer.

No.

I laugh...hard...every.single.time.

I can sense already that this joke is under appreciated.

I just looked at the clock. It's 12:14 am. My best work never comes at 12:14 am ...

And you're all thinking 'obviously.'

As I'm reaching for the publish post button, I have one thing left to say...

Ask me if I'm a red fire engine...

(Maybe it's a lot funnier if you're 12.) Hmmm...what does that say about my maturity level?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meet My Sister

There have been a lot of comings and goings around here recently...and I fear that some important information has been lost in the shuffle.

Here it is...the important information:

I'm a triplet.

Did you know?

It's true...we're two girls and a boy...and if my computer and I were friends I would show you a picture...but we're not so I can't.

Wait...we might have just been friends...hang on while I check it out.

My brother may kill me for posting this picture. But it's the only picture I have where you can get a true sense of who he is.

My brother has been married for ages and has 4 kids to show for it...4 adorably cute little kids...you know, you've seen the pictures.

In fact, he's been married for so long that whenever Becca and I have to explain how we're related we say, "We're triplets. We have a brother, he goes right here...(and we point to somewhere between the two of us)...but he doesn't count because he's married."

We love him...and his wife...and their kids...even their dog.

But today's post isn't about Jared, it's about Becca...sorry Jared.

Because before there was my husband, there was Becca. We were roommates, and we were pretty much joined at the hip. A friend of ours said once, "You know, when one of you gets married, it's going to feel like you've gone through a divorce." He was right. In fact I wrote a post about it once, but frankly, I'm too lazy to go and find that post to link to it. Sorry.

Some of you think I'm nice (I know because you've told me) but Becca is the nicest...by a long shot...unless you do something to make her raise her eyebrows...and then watch out. Actually, even then, she's still the nicest.

She came over tonight and we spent an hour catching up. Sad isn't it that we have to catch up? We work at the same place, and eat dinner at the same house every Sunday, but we still have to catch up.

After she left I thought about how much I love her, and about how my world is a better place because she's in it, and about how there was a time when I thought I was going to lose her and it was the most awful thing I've ever experienced.

One day Becca was sick from what she thought was appendicitis. She was in pain and nothing she did would take the pain away. Mom drove her to the doctor and Becca asked, "Can you check me for appendicitis?"

During the exam the doctor asked her, "So, when are you due?"

"I'm not pregnant," was her reply.

"Are you sure?"

"Ummm yeah, I'm pretty sure." And in her head I'll bet she was thinking 'Don't you at least have to kiss a guy to get pregnant?'

And with that the doctor did more tests. Many more tests. Including an ultra sound.

The long story short: she had a tumor...a ridiculously large tumor...the size of a basketball tumor. And the doctor had this to say about that tumor, "You'll either be okay or this could kill you in a matter of weeks."

That was a Friday. Nothing could be done until Monday. Someone called my uncle, who is a doctor, and asked him to look at the test results. He did and his response was the same, "You'll either be okay or this could kill you in a matter of weeks."

From Friday until Monday we thought the worst...she's going to die...she's going to die. And you know what? She was okay with it. She really, truly was. "If it's my time to go, it's my time to go and that's okay with me."

It was NOT okay with me, and I cried and cried all weekend long. Boy howdy did I cry. Becca didn't...but then she's not a crier, unless she's watching a Hallmark commercial.

Surgery finally happened on a Wednesday...and it was performed by my dad's cousin's husband. The cancer had been mostly contained within the tumor but he couldn't be sure if she was in the clear. He sent test samples to the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City, and they couldn't say whether she was in the clear or not. The tests were sent to a lab in Boston...and finally...a week later...the results came back as borderline. She didn't have cancer but she didn't not have cancer either.

But one thing was perfectly clear: if she had waited, even another couple of weeks, that tumor would have killed her. It would have burst open, sending cancer throughout her entire body. It's safe to say we're grateful for the ovarian cyst that burst, causing the pain that sent her to the doctor in the first place.

Fast forward a few years...

Becca was at yet another follow up exam, and her blood levels were high. "We're just going to run some tests to be sure."

Those test results showed another tumor, on her other ovary. Becca's doctor wasted no time. Surgery was scheduled for the next morning, and a specialist was asked to come from Salt Lake City to assist in the surgery...just in case.

Becca's doctor prepared her for the worst case scenario: a hysterectomy. If things looked anything like the last time, he wouldn't even question it...he wasn't willing to continue this particular game with cancer.

Mom and Dad were in Brazil, and that left me to wait alone in the waiting room of the hospital.

It was possibly the longest wait of my life. My sister-in-law's mother, who I love with all of my heart, came to the hospital to check on me. It meant the world. The doctor finally came out of the operating room and sat down next to me. I didn't say anything, just looked at him.

"I spent 20 minutes debating on what to do. I even prayed for guidance. Here's what I decided: if she were my daughter I would want her to have the chance to be a mom. I left her one third of one of her ovaries...it's enough...and when the time comes, I will do everything I can to help her have a child." And as he left I cried. My sister wants NOTHING more than to be a mom, and this man had given her a fighting chance.

Fast forward a few years...

I was walking in a park and happened upon this same doctor and his wife. I stopped them and introduced myself. "I'm your cousin's daughter," I said, "and I just want to thank you for saving my sister...twice." The doctor got emotional and said, "Your sister is my biggest miracle. She shouldn't be alive. I love that girl."

That's the general consensus...we all love that girl...but I really really love that girl.


Monday, June 14, 2010

What's For Lunch...Post It Note Style














And as always, head over to Supah's for more post-it note fun.













A Bunch of Sentences Thrown Together

Have I mentioned recently how tired I am? No? Hmmm...well, let me mention it now: I'm so dang tired! I sit - I sleep...in church, at the dinner table, while watching a movie, here in front of my computer...

And before you say anything...no, I'm not pregnant. Good grief. But I'll guarantee that when...if...I am some day, you'll be the first to know. (Okay not technically the first...but you'll know...deal?)

We were going to watch a movie last night and I had the brilliant idea to move the DVD player into the bedroom, so that we could be all cozy as we watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith. I lasted for maybe 30 minutes before I was dozing in and out...and I lasted maybe an hour before I was out.

I woke to Jason laughing a few times, and then later when he asked if I was hot and then one last time when he turned the TV off. He snuggled close and whispered, "Guess what?" I mumbled a reply and he said, "You were snoring." I mumbled "Really?" And he said, "No not really." And then he whispered "Guess what?" I mumbled another reply and he said, "I love you." I don't remember anything after that because I went to sleep again.

When we said goodbye this morning Jason said, "Do you promise to be all better by the time I get home?" (I've been sicky this weekend...maybe that's why I can't keep my eyes open...) I said I would try. Jason is gone again until Friday night sometime. Sadly, I'm kind of getting used to having a weekend husband.

But...enough of that...

I forgot to tell you something.

I was asked a few weeks ago to be the secretary for the young women's organization in our church. What this means is that I get to have fun every week with the girls who are between the ages of 12 and 18. I work with three other ladies, and it's our job to love these girls and bring some spiritual enlightenment into their lives.

Next week is girls camp...five full days of girls camp...with lots of hikes, and camp songs, and late night giggling, and sleeping bags...and yummy camp food...

And no blog access.

Don't worry...I won't leave you blogless...although that might be a welcome relief to some of you!

I have some things up my sleeve...

Here's something else you might want to know:

Baby Sister started a blog.

Her blog address is www.plattbabysister.blogspot.com . It's guaranteed to bring you a laugh or ten thousand.

Okay...one final bit of information...because I'm sure you can't live without my bits of information...

It's looking like we are going to sell Jason's house! Isn't that fabulous?!!

Trust me, it's fabulous. We've been paying two mortgages since we've been married, and things have been a little tight...which is actually good because it's teaching me that I don't have to buy everything I fall in love with at Pier 1...

BUT...selling Jason's house means I don't have to choose between groceries and getting my hair done...and well...it...just...makes...me...so...happy...hiccup...that...I...can...once again...hide...the...awful...gray...that...just keeps...hiccup...showing up...Because yes, I'm that prideful.

Keep your fingers crossed okay?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I Want To Share...

This is my husband Jason...who I love and adore...
Not only can his hands do amazing things on the piano...
They also get the charlie horses out of my foot...every single time.
PS. It's a song he composed.

Enjoy...and happy Sunday.

I Can't Think of a Title

You know it's true love when your husband will spend Friday night walking through Pier 1
with you.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Little of This and That

Okay...imagine this scene in your head:

There is a large herd of sheep...sheep that look exactly alike...except for one who is wearing a red bow tie around it's neck.

The caption under the picture of the sheep says this: "Adding to my misery, no one here thinks I'm funny."

That picture, along with the caption, have been running through my mind all day.

Joann and Dazee Dreamer...they think I'm funny...and baby sister does too...but other than that...

*Sigh*

My brother came into my office and picked up the greeting card I scanned for yesterday's post. He looked at it and said, "Noelle, what does it mean?"

I shook my head and said, "Et tu?" If I have to explain it...well...it just isn't the same.

And then...

Jason called me tonight (he's been gone all week...aren't you proud of me for not whining about it?) and the first thing he said was, "So, I read your blog. I spent half an hour trying to figure that card out. I don't get it. What does it mean?"

"It doesn't mean anything dear...that's why it's so funny."

"No, what are the letters trying to say?"

*Sigh* "They're not trying to say anything. There is nothing to get...there is nothing to understand...there is no hidden meaning..."

Do you ever just have one of those days where you feel misunderstood?

I'm easily entertained...and there are greeting cards that bring tears I'm laughing so hard...and even if I'm the only one who is laughing...at least I'm laughing right?

Okay, enough pity party. (Except don't worry, it's not really a pity party...)

Did you know that if you wear rubber gloves up to your elbows it makes cleaning the bathroom at work more tolerable?

And did you know that if you spray Lime Away on the toilet it will eat away some of the finish and leave your toilet lid looking gray-ish?

Now you do...

I was looking for a mop bucket when my brother Ben asked, "What are you doing?"

"I'm looking for a mop bucket," I said.

"Are you dizzy?"

I thought I misunderstood him and so I asked, "What?"

And he asked again, "Are you dizzy?"

"No, I'm not dizzy. Why would you ask if I'm dizzy?"

"Well, you are looking for a mop bucket." (Go here to read all about what dizziness and mop buckets have in common...if you haven't read it, it's a good story...trust me.)

He's a clever one that brother of mine.

Last night I was at my mom's house and Trouble was in the bathtub. When she heard me in the kitchen she began calling my name. "Noelle! Noelle come here! Noelle! I need you Noelle!" I went in to see what the problem was. There was no problem she just wanted to point out the different colors of shampoo. One was blue and one was purple.

A few minutes later when Trouble's mom went to wash her hair she said, "No. Noelle do it." I was happy to oblige. Every time she laid her head in the water she would talk at the top of her lungs and I would just laugh.

After her bath she went outside to play. A few minutes later she RAN through the back door yelling for me. "Noelle come here!" "Come here Noelle!" When I asked why her response was, "My bike just went potty."

Is this enough randomness for one post?

Maybe just one more thing...

Do you think that if I were ever to write a book and actually publish it you would read it?

Okay friends...I'm off...my husband will be home in a few hours...and we have two days together before he leaves again...instead of fixing him dinner I painted my toes bright pink...I'm sure he'll appreciate it...or not.

You make me happy...just so you know...even when you don't get my sense of humor.

Have a lovely weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dear Blogging Friends,

(Card courtesy of Hallmark)






True Story

...because I'm positive you care about how things turned out with my customer who was going to be here 'first thing.'

The order the customer placed is big...he's landscaping an entire yard: trees, shrubs, flowers, bark, etc.

The trees are big...so big they are not in a pot...just in the dirt with a loose root ball. When it's hot we leave the trees in the dirt until it's time to load them...if they sit in the sun the roots dry up and then die, and then the tree dies, and then the customer gets made at me, and then I cry, and then Jason says 'you should quit your job', and then I say I can't quit my job because we have bills to pay, and then...

Let's just say it's better all around to leave the trees in the dirt.

The shrubs are pulled to the side, patiently waiting for the man who is going to plant them.

Finally, at 1:30 pm a truck appears...and along with the truck a driver...a driver who is bugged that he has to 'waste his time waiting for me to load his trees.' Why don't I have them ready?

I smile and say, "Your boss said he would be here first thing this morning. First thing is between 7:30 and 8:00. When he still hadn't shown his face by 9:30 I chose to leave the trees in the ground...nice of me isn't it? Because now your trees WON'T DIE! ...oh, and if you're boss wants me to pull the trees, he should be here when he says he will."

A few minutes later I get a text from the boss...the one who is confused by the definition of 'first thing.'

"Noelle, you don't have my plants pulled?"

When he uses my first name I know he's annoyed. He's been around a long time.

"Shrubs yes. Trees no." That was my reply.

"Noelle, I told you I would be there first thing."

"And you weren't...which means had I pulled the trees first thing they would have died. Nice of me to save them for you isn't it?"

And then silence...because remember, he's annoyed at me.

AND THEN...

...the employee walks in and says, "How much do you charge to deliver?"

And I tell him.

And then he says, "B says you won't ever deliver plants when he wants them so it's no good for me to try and schedule a delivery."

So...while there is silence on my end of the text conversation my customer is texting his employee and bagging on the way I do business.

"Well...if B were to call in advance...say even an hour in advance, and not 'I need a delivery right now' perhaps we could accommodate him."

And then I smiled and took a big bite of my sandwich, because I was hungry...and because if my mouth was full I wouldn't say what I was really thinking.

B's employee just left...with the promise of returning this afternoon...I can't wait.

Walking With Worms

If you happen to see me today and you notice that my eyes are red and puffy, and my hair isn't combed, it's because I didn't sleep well and then had to get up early to be to work early. (If you happen to see me regularly you'll know that my hair is rarely combed...so that won't be a big surprise.)

One of my customers said, "I'll be at the nursery first thing to pick up a load of material." There's usually an hour or more difference between his first thing and mine. But since I'm the only one who knows what plant material he needs, I had to change my first thing. It's now 28 minutes past his 'first thing' and he's still not here. Good thing I brought my blow dryer to work...looks like I'll have time to comb my hair after all.

And if you're curious as to why I didn't sleep well...I blame it on the worms. Yes, worms.

Last night I was finally able to make it back to my favorite walking path along the river. It was beautiful, and the temperature was perfect. I didn't even turn my ipod on because I preferred the sound of water. It was beautiful...wait, I already said that. As I walked further into the canyon I began to notice webs in the trees, and tiny worms everywhere. Really. Everywhere. They were eating the leaves of the trees and doing a mighty fine job of it.

The worms not eating the leaves were hanging out over the trail...literally...hanging by their webs...and it seemed that they were always at eye level.

My walk went like this: take three steps, dodge a worm, take five steps, knock a worm off my arm, take three steps, look down and see four worms on my leg, take five steps, walk into family reunion of worms...and so it went, my entire walk. I didn't walk as far as I usually do but can you blame me? By the time I got back to my car I felt as if there were worms crawling all over me.

I shook my hair out, brushed off my arms and legs, and climbed in my car. When I was almost home I looked down and found a stray...a worm who wanted an adventure. I'm sure he got more than he bargained for when I threw him out the window.

Worms don't make pleasant dream material...this I know.

And in case you were wondering...it's now 45 minutes past 'first thing' and still no customer...

If you come into my office and see the door closed, and the blinds shut...don't bother me. I'll be taking a nap.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What Did You Do Last Night?




I hiked down to the bottom to take pictures. (Don't ask what happened to this sticky note; I have not the slightest clue.)



























Go here for more sticky note fun!