Saturday, September 26, 2009

Would You Be So Kind?

Remember that favor I was going to ask? This is it...will you read the info below and then click on the link and donate a dollar? Or more is you feel so inclined. Pretty please? It's for a good cause.

Thanks in advance!

I'm off to Disneyland. Talk to you soon! I have some BIG news to tell you when I get back. If you can guess what I'm going to say (family doesn't count) you win a prize!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Blog For A Cure

Three questions.

Do you want to gain new followers for your blog?
Do you want to help eradicate cancer?
Can you spare $1.00?

If so, then read on.

On Monday, Sept 28- Friday, Oct 2, 2009, Who Knew? Reviews will be hosting the first Annual Blog For A Cure, which is a new way to use social media to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, while making new connections and broadening our social media network.

Blood cancers are an aggressive and stealthy enemy. They can and will strike people of all ages, health status, ethnicity, and sex unless we rally together and support the research that is needed to treat and prevent them.

I have organized this campaign in honor of a dear family member and fellow young mom who has recently been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and is now fighting for her life. I am sure that each and every one of us can say we know someone who has been affected by these devastating, indiscriminate diseases. Together, we can use our most accessible resource, the internet, to help fight the battle.

It’s pretty simple:

· On September 28th, head over to Who Knew? Reviews, and click on the button to donate $1.00 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you can donate more, feel free to do so, but the minimum to participate is $1.00.

· Then, sign in to Mr. Linky which will be active on the blog at midnight, Sept. 25th. Cruise the list of other participants, visiting a minimum of 5 blogs.

· Click “follow” when you get to those blogs. For each new blog follower that you get, return the “follow”. Feel free to visit and follow each and every other participant that signs in to Mr. Linky- think how many new followers you will receive!

· Feel free to check back all week long to meet new bloggers, and gain new followers!

· On September 28th, post something about the Blog For A Cure Blog Party on your own blog, including the link:

Feel free to copy and paste this text, and encourage all of your blog readers to do the same.

If you do not want to donate, you can still help by blogging, tweeting, and posting on Facebook about this event, to help us spread the word and raise as much money as possible. Just imagine what a difference we could all make, if we all just donated ONE dollar. Just think about it.

Oh, and yes, there will be prizes. Every hour throughout the day on September 28th, I will post a new giveaway on Who Knew? Reviews. Winners will receive prizes from Kolcraft, StephieMc Designs, La Plates, Orglamix mineral makeup, Krizzy Designs, and Boojiboo Aprons as well as a few other prizes TBA. There will also be a prize for the person who refers the most participants. When you get to the main link-up post, leave a comment on the with the name of the blogger who told you about the blog party. The blogger who refers the most participants will receive a special, personalized gift from Stephie Mc Designs. If you are interested in promoting your business or blog, and would like to sponsor a prize, please contact me at

Friday, September 25, 2009

What Would You Like To Read First?

The Good News?
or The Bad News?
We'll start with the Bad News.
We're not going hiking in the Uintahs.
The Good News?
My dad is alive.
Let me explain:
My mom has a rule that she has asked my dad to comply with for their 30+ years of wedded bliss.
It's this: "Don't use power tools when you are by yourself." (Especially chain saws)
He's a rather disobedient fellow and on occasion has been grounded from spending his days alone, off in the woods. (He likes to be alone, off in the woods.)
Yesterday he was alone, off in the woods, with no cell phone service, using the chain saw.
Geez Dad...are you looking for trouble?
He was cutting a tree...a stubborn tree...and when he made the final cut, a branch flew up and smacked him in the head.
And when I say smacked, what I really mean is gouged.
His 3" gash went all the way to his skull and wouldn't stop bleeding.
Dad assessed the situation and decided he wasn't in shock, and so rather than drive to the local hospital, he drove an hour to the hospital that was closer to home, holding a leather glove and an old shirt to the gushing gash.
And as he was walking into the ER he called Mom.
My mom waits at home when my dad is alone, off in the woods, and almost expects a phone call.
"Ed, what did you do?"
And then he talked and we didn't hear him.
And then Mom said, "Ed, can I swear?"
And we assumed he told her no.
And then Mom said in a loud, somewhat panicked voice, "Ed, what in the HELL happened?"
And then Dad asked if she really felt better now and she said no.
Dad said, "Don't bother coming's just a scratch. I'm fine."
(We were all at the parents house planning the hike...making sure the details were covered.)
We decided that we shouldn't go hiking...(Tiffany, the words stars not aligning were used. You were right.)
But when I walked into the ER and saw Dad's gash I firmly said, "There's no way we're going."
And then I had to leave because blood and hospitals make me woozy and I didn't want to pass out.
It was a close call.
I have just been to Dad's house to see his wound post ER. It's lovely. I suggested he give his guardian angels a raise.
Because honestly?
Had he passed out he could have bled to death...
Oh...and I'm pretty sure he's grounded for the rest of his life.
But only because Mom loves him and wants to keep him around.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is It Only Thursday? ... Take 2

Dear Camaree,

I didn't know you had horses! Honest! And even though the thought of going to Cedar City makes me would be worth it to go riding with you. Let's plan it!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Thanks friends, for letting me get that item of business taken care of. Looks like I get to go riding! Here's hoping I don't fall off the horse and get a concussion.

I'm taking a little vacation...and I'm excited about it because it's been a long time since I vacationed anywhere...almost a year.

Remember when I said a few posts back that we were going hiking in the Uintahs? We didn't, but now we are. We're leaving tomorrow. We're going to freeze. We're hiking to Red Castle - it's 20 miles round trip. We're doing it in one day. (You want to know why? Well, it's mostly because all of our backpacking equipment was burned in the fire. A crying shame no?)

I've been really excited about this hike - it's been on my bucket list for years. I'm still mostly excited but last night I killed my knee and the thought of hiking 20 miles now makes me want to cry. I'm going to suck it up though...pain or no pain, I'm hiking that mountain.

(You want to know what I did to my knee? It's not pretty. I was working my heart out on my Ab Circle Pro; I was in mid-swing when my knee slipped [apparently fleece pants have no traction] out of it's knee holder and wham...I went down hard on the metal part of the machine and then spent 10 minutes on the floor telling myself I wasn't going to die...but I wanted to. I'm hoping the swelling goes down by tomorrow.)

And THEN...because it's my birthday on Monday...oh, and it's Becca's and Jared's birthday too...(for those who might not know, I'm a triplet)...Becca and I are going to Disneyland! You get in free on your birthday. Becca's favorite place on earth is Disneyland. She's already listening to the music they play on Soarin California to gear up mentally. We're leaving Sunday and we'll be back Wednesday night. (Dear Jared, even though we didn't invite you, we still love you.)

When things get quiet around here for a few days you'll know where I am.

Check back tomorrow for a favor I'm going to ask of all of you - It's a small favor I promise.

And as always, thanks for reading...and commenting...and adding your picture to my friend box!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gnats and Cowboys

Last night I was out riding my bike along the canal. Okay, I was riding my sister's bike. Usually I ride my brother-in-law's bike, but Saturday I ran over a puncture weed and now his bike has a flat tire. I have to remember to buy a new inner that he can fix it for me. Like how that works?

But...back to the topic.

Last night I was out riding a bike along the canal. The sun was just starting to set and the air was cool; it was a lovely time for a bike ride.

I rode past an old barn that housed some pretty fresh manure. After I wrinkled my nose I thought, "I want to go horse back riding."

I can't remember the last time I went horse back riding........actually, yes I can. Mrs. Thompson and I went riding...kind of. Remember that Mrs. Thompson?

So there I was pedaling away, thinking about who I knew that could take me for a horse ride. I don't know anyone with a horse. Sigh...

All of a sudden, out of nowhere I saw a man, on a horse, riding towards me, and he was holding the reins of another horse. They were going pretty fast and they were kicking up a lot of dust.

The rider had a cowboy hat and boots...he was authentic, and I was in love. Well...probably not in love but I figured it was fate. Here was my one chance to go for a ride. He slowed his horses down to pass me and as he did I opened my mouth, sure that whatever I said would charm him into letting me ride his horse.

It didn't quite work out the way I had planned. Because right as I opened my mouth I rode into a swarm of gnats, and swallowed half of them. And then I was coughing and spitting, and the cowboy was riding off into the sunset.

Dang gnats. They ruined my one shot of cowboy heaven.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Keychain Anyone?


Guess what came in the mail today...

My dad said, "What's in the box?"

I said, "Dear Dad, you should really read my blog before you say anything."

And he said, "Noelle..." but in a way that made me want to run out the back door really fast.

And my brother...

He said, "Next time, say no to drugs."

Hmm...maybe I'm going to have another giveaway.

Car Alarms

My first apartment in Brooklyn was on Avenue U. We were one flight up - no elevator. Everything about that apartment shouted, "Welcome to New York City." Didn't you think so too Mrs. Thompson? Our apartment was tiny, and there were four of us living there. Our bedroom was just large enough to fit two bunk beds and one dresser. The kitchen housed one table, a couple of chairs...and four bikes. Because lucky us, we got to ride bikes in that area. I would sit in the kitchen window fire escape at night when I couldn't sleep.

Directly below our apartment was a bar. Across the street was a funeral parlor. How convenient for when a bar fight got out of control. We especially loved karaoke night.

One night the crowd at the bar was exceptionally rowdy. We, in the apartment one floor above, did our best to sleep, but it was mostly a wasted effort. Little Hermana McKay slept on the top bunk, I on the bottom. I could hear her tossing and turning and mumbling about how she just wanted sleep. I quietly laughed...I was in Brooklyn after all, and I wouldn't have expected anything less than a rowdy bar crowd.

About 1 am a car alarm sounded. Car alarms in NYC are obnoxious to say the least. They rotate through four or five different sounds, and they can go on for hours...this one was no exception. The alarm had been going for well into a half an hour when Hermana McKay jumped down off the bed, and stomped all 90 pounds of herself into the kitchen.

Hermana Madsen, in the other top bunk whispered, "What do you think she's doing?"

Sister Verrue, from the other bottom bunk whispered back, "With McKay, who knows."

We stayed silent for a few minutes while we heard Hna. McKay turn the pages of the phonebook. Finally she spoke. "Yes, I'd like to report a car alarm that won't stop."

The three of us in the bedroom started laughing...quietly of course.

My greenie self knew a few things about Brooklyn and I spoke up. "It's the middle of the night, on a weekend in Brooklyn. I'm guessing the cops have better things to worry about than a car alarm gone haywire."

After being on hold for a while, Hna. McKay slammed the phone down, stomped back into the bedroom, climbed up to her bed, and said, "I hate this place." And with that we drifted off to sleep.

I can't hear a car alarm without thinking of that night. I always laugh.

Our neighbors (who we have never met) have a car alarm that would rival any found in Brooklyn. It seems to always go off when the neighbors are out of town. One night Becca wandered into my bedroom and whined, "Make it stop." And stop it eventually does, but not until the batteries are worn out.

Friday night the alarm sounded...and lasted for an hour Becca reported. (I wasn't home to hear it.) ((Nor were the neighbors...they were out of town again.))

Saturday night the alarm sounded again. Becca was not happy.

After watching half an episode of NCIS to the background tune of the car alarm I went in search of a piece of paper and pen.

I wrote the following note and Becca put it on the windshield of our neighbor's car.

"Dear Neighbor,

Would you be so kind as to either disable your car alarm or shoot the cats that set it off?

Thank you,

Those of us who have to listen to the noise."

I know what you're want me for a next door neighbor...

Friday, September 18, 2009

That Which Brings Peace To My Soul

Walking the streets of Antigua, Guatemala we passed this woman.

I didn't have my camera with me and so I asked my friend if she would take this picture.

Beautiful isn't it?

What brings peace to your soul?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Christmas in September

Would you mind terribly if I told a Christmas story? It's in the form of an email - one that I've kept in my journal since November 15, 2004. When my mom and dad were in Brazil a project was started to make sure that every single missionary had a Christmas package to open on Christmas Day. It involved mothers and grandmothers from all over the United States, and it took months to accomplish. This email is from one of the grandmothers.

Dear Sister Platt,

I am Jan Pfliegers mother. Ever since her son went on his mission to Brazil, she has had me involved in the 'native missionaries.' It is a good project and I am thinking a much more important one than I realized. Let me share my experience of the mailing of this years packages.

I went to the post office and talked to a man about my desire to send something to Brazil. He was very nice and helpful. He explained that I had to use these envelopes, and they could not exceed four pounds. It would cost me $9.00 each. Oh, before I continue I must tell you, my husband is not a member of our church. Not only is he not a member, he joined another church, six years ago. He is aggressively hostile against the church. So, any time, effort, or money must be on the QT.

I went to a store I knew carried $5.00 ties. They didn't have a single tie made out of polyester. Jared said the silk ones "bleed" on their white shirts, because of the humidity. So, I decided I would try the thrift shop. I went to one, finding nothing. I am watching the clock. I must be home by the time my husband gets there at 1:30pm. I go to a second thrift store. They have very few ties, most all are silk. I find some and choose the three best ones. I stand in line...forever. When I get up to the front of the line, ready to pay, the lady tells me "your total is $1.65." I say each? No, for all of them, today is half off day. So I go back for the remaining three. I stand in line again. This time the line is longer. I leave thinking I have just received some divine help. I hurry home, beat the clock...all is well.

Next Day:

It's Thursday. I work, work, work at getting my packages stuffed and mailed. I am allowed four pounds. There is no way I can get any more into that envelope. I go to the post office. I am detoured at three streets. I finally cross the main street to see firetrucks, and many, many people. I am driving so I can't look really good. I notice it is a parade. Hum, a parade. I get to the post office and drive into the parking lot to discover I am the only one there....everyone else is at the VETERANS DAY parade. Awwwwww dummy, dummy me! I stop at the grocery store and weigh my biggest package. It is exactly 2.5 lbs. Well, I'm safe on that. I absolutely cannot get another thing in it.


My husband is home all day. I do not attempt to mail the packages.


I must get the packages mailed before noon. That's when the post office closes. The packages are ready to go, forms filled out...not to worry. I get a long distance phone call...I've got time...get a second one...It's okay I have time. The third one, I am starting to get a little nervous.

I end the conversation and head for the Post Office. I stand in line. When I place my envelopes on the counter the postal worker turns them over to discover I have not written the address on them. Oh, no problem, I have it all filled out for you. I reached in my purse to discover I had left them on the table. So I hurried back home, got the forms and returned. I stood in line again. When I got up there he said, "You have to write it on the envelope too." Ohhhh, I am starting to get tired of all of this.

So, I go over to a table and fill in both of the addresses, mine and yours, on both envelopes. As I turn to go back to the counter, a postal worker approached me. I have seen him here, for the last several years. He does not know how to smile, plus he is just downright hateful. He said, "You can't send that package." I said, "It only weighs 2.5 lbs."

He said it didn't matter...I had too much tape on the lid. "You have to go home and rewrap it." I got new envelopes and headed for the door. As it was swinging shut he yelled, "it is bulging, it cannot bulge, and we close at noon!"

I arrived home at 11:15. I ripped the packages open and dumped the contents out. I then folded a new white shirt in half and stuck it in. I added three ties. I repeated the same for the next envelope. I quickly addressed the envelopes and took off. I could do the forms at the post office. I had to get in those doors before noon.

I finished filling the forms in and realized I had beat the clock. All is well, all is well. Then I see my friend walking towards me. He is either the top man at the post office or one of them. He picks up one of the envelopes and says, "I shouldn't send this." By now I am starting to panic. I said, "Why not? It only weighs 10.3 oz now. You will also notice it is not bulging."

He turned the envelope over and pointed at the tape. I said, "You told me no more than one piece of tape. That's what it has!" He turned the envelope over and pointed to the 1/2 inch piece of tape I had put around the end and fastened to the front. I felt I had my back to the wall. I was in such a hurry that I had not even put a note in either one of them. I couldn't leave without having those envelopes in the mail. He knew they were going to missionaries, so I couldn't be hateful right back to him. But I wanted him to know I was upset.

I told him I hadn't even put my candy canes in, because of him. He said, "Well, you could have put them in." I told him no, I was afraid you would yell at me. He again said, "You could have put the candy canes in."

I then narrowed my eyes and looked directly into his. I lowered my voice and very deliberately and slowly said, "If you harass me any more I will tell your MOTHER that you don't play well with others." I wish you could have seen the look on his face. It totally disarmed him. He looked down then softly said, "She already knows that."

Everyone in the post office was aware of what was going on. I was surprised they didn't unitedly cheer.

As I left I thought, "boy, this must have been a lot more important than I have ever realized. Satan was out to stop me." Absolutely everything I did was a struggle. I could have gotten very depressed about it, but I realized that the elders will have more than they did, and I really did do the best I could.

Thank you for the work you are doing. God bless you in your efforts. I will help in any small way I can. I will pray for the success of your missionaries. Please pray for my husband. His name is Pete Childers. I am going to WIN!!!! When will Satan ever figure that out?

Your sister in the gospel,

Faun Childers

I don't know this woman but I love her for her example of faith and determination...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Girl Scout Cookies

One day I stopped in at Grandpa's house on my way home from work. He was standing in the kitchen, and he had a guilty look on his face.

"What have you been eating Grandpa?"

He chuckled and said, "How did you know I was eating something?"

"'ve got chocolate all around your mouth," I told him.

He chuckled again and opened his cupboard and pulled out two boxes of Girl Scout cookies.

Each box has two packages of cookies.

"Grandpa! You ate an entire package of cookies???"

"Here," he said, as he practically threw the unopened box at me, "You take these or I'll eat them all today."

He had no self-control. At 93 years old I don't think you need self-control.

A few minutes later the doorbell rang.

Standing at the door were Grandpa's bishop and two young girls.

The bishop said to me, "Oh good, you're here. Your grandpa paid these girls too much money for the cookies and when they tried to tell him that he got confused. They came and got me because they didn't know what else to do."

"How much did he pay them?" I asked.

The bishop handed me a $100 bill and said, "He thought it was a $20." (Remember, Grandpa was mostly blind.)

I got Grandpa's wallet, gave the girls the right amount of money, and thanked them for being honest.

After they left I said, "Those were some expensive cookies Grandpa."

He chuckled some more, wiped his eyes with his hankey, and said, "It would have been worth it."

Whenever I see the Girl Scouts I buy their cookies...Grandpa would want me to.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Do You Ever

Just want to get away?

Leave behind the stress of your day?

Turn off the cell phone and lock the doors?

Read for hours with no interruptions?

I've found the perfect spot...

I wasn't searching for it - I just happened to drive by it one day on my way home from work.

If you don't have a spot like this, maybe it's time you move.

Monday, September 14, 2009

It's All About The Climb

Timp - Take 2

We survived...again.

It was harder this time.

The trail seemed steeper and longer.

Perhaps it was because the 15 and 16 year old girls who went with us moved at a much faster pace.

Those girls...

I love them...

By the end of the hike I was starting to sound like them.

"Did you see that guy? He was hot!"

I stayed at the saddle and took a nap while the girls and their fearless leader (my little sister) hiked to the summit.

I'd like to formally declare that I'm done.

My muscles are telling me that they won't hike Timp again until next year.

I wonder how they'll react when they find out we're going hiking in the Uintahs this weekend.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's Happening In Your World Today?

I've been craving microwave popcorn for a while now. I finally bought some last night. Any minute now I'm going to give in to that craving - even if it isn't lunchtime yet.

Don't ever be the first person to walk through a row of trees in the morning - unless you like eating spiderwebs, or at least being covered with them. Man those spiders are busy during the night.

How do you feel about Ellen being the new judge on American Idol? I'm not particularly sad to see Paula go (her inability to form a complete sentence kind of drove me crazy)...but Ellen? Really?

I bought something off of a TV commercial: The AB Circle Pro. Check it out on's going to change my life. Want to know what sold me? It was seeing a lady cry as she talked about how it changed her life.

They promise I'm going to lose 10 pounds in two weeks. I'm not going to hold them to that body is in an eternal holding pattern where weight is concerned. But if I don't get abs like the model...that's a different story.

Paul Cardall got a heart. Don't know his story? You should read it. My brother read the news on KSL this morning. Want to know one of the reasons I love my brother? It's because he got teary eyed when he told me about it. He doesn't even know Paul; he just likes his music.

I'm hiking Timp the middle of the night again...with my sister and the young women in her ward. We're leaving at 3 am. For the record, I never said I had any common sense. I just said I like to hike.

My friend Rodger is, at this very moment, running the Wasatch. It's a 100 mile race. I'm absolutely certain he has no common sense. He just likes to run.

My little 2 year old niece Samantha, who I absolutely adore, was riding her bike yesterday and she backed right into the swimming pool. Her big sister Erika yelled for Daddy, who jumped into the pool, phone and all. Daddy saved her. Want to know the most amazing part of the story? When her daddy got to her, Sammy was floating on her back, with her face above the water.

I hope that in your world you believe in guardian angels. In my world, I most certainly do.

And finally, I choose not to focus too closely on what this day represents...when I do I end up with a wad of tissues and really red eyes. May I just say that I'm grateful to those who fight for our country and defend our freedom, and I pray for them and their families.

Oh...and one more friend Mrs. Thompson, she's my hero. She's seen some tough stuff in her career with the Red Cross. She was in NYC working as the disaster something or other for the Red Cross on 9-11. (Sorry friend, I can't remember your title.) The things she's seen...well, it's too much for anyone to have in their memory bank. She wrote a beautiful post today. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if you read it.

Have a good weekend friends.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Is It Only Thursday?

I have the office all to myself for the next couple of days. The guys have gone to Oregon.

My cousin Travis doesn't think I can handle things on my own.

Whatever...that's what I say.

I think I should have a party - turn the music up really loud. Except that the speakers on my computer stopped working yesterday. And I can't leave the office to buy new ones...

I heard something disturbing on the news this morning. A poodle went missing. A reward was offered to the person who found and returned the poodle. The poodle was found and returned, and now the two women who found said poodle are suing the person who offered the reward. The reward was for $1,000. The women are suing for $15,000 for failure to pay the initial reward, and for damages.

Wonder what damages they're claiming...

And what happened to just being nice? "Glad we found your dog. May you live happily ever after..." sort of thing. I'm not sure I would want to bring a poodle into the world...not with the way things are headed.

One more thing:

I've discovered that the most commonly misspelled word in the blogosphere is definitely.

Just so you know...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When In Guatemala

I generally attract two types of men: Latin and married. If I happen to mention that I met a guy one of the first questions I get is, "Is he married?" Sad, but oh so true.

Keep that in mind as I tell you this story :

The first time I went to Guatemala I flew down alone. When I arrived at the airport in Guatemala City there was a man in a bellboy uniform waiting at the door, holding a sign that had my name. I felt like a movie star. I walked up to him and said in Spanish, "Hi, I'm Noelle." He answered in English. He loaded my bags and took me to the hotel.

He was friendly and his English was great. He lived in NYC for a few years and so we compared stories. Rafael, the bellboy, was cute, and he had a fun personality. He made me laugh a lot. We spent quite a bit of time together because during the next 24 hours we made the trip to the airport several times. (I had to meet groups of people as they were coming in from the United States.)

I was in Guatemala with a humanitarian group and we left the comforts of the hotel for the jungle. I much prefer the jungle.

Several days later, when we made our return trip to the hotel, Rafael was there to help us with our bags. He wouldn't let me tip him. Instead, he wanted my email address, and he wanted me to meet him after he got off of work. He suggested we meet at a park in the middle of the city. At 11:00pm.

I discussed it with the girls I met on the trip. They said I should go. They thought it could be fun. They said, "But think of the story you could tell!" And then they went to bed and said, "We can't wait to hear what you decide to do!"

I didn't meet him in the park. Because honestly, what girl in her right mind would?

We flew out of Guatemala City early the next morning and I didn't see Rafael. However, when I got home there was an email from him. (Don't ask my why I gave him my email...he was nice and I thought a pen pal from Guatemala would be fun.)

Turns out Rafael was looking for more than a pen pal.

Rafael was sad I didn't meet him in the park but that didn't change what he felt for me. I was the girl of his dreams, he wanted to come to Utah to see me, he wondered what it would be like to share his life with me...

And for several months that's how his emails were...even when I told him that I wasn't interested in him like that...over and over again. (Perhaps he and Fernando are related.)

One day Rafael posted some pictures on his email home page and invited me to look at them. I did. Guess who he had pictures of - his wife and sons.

Go ahead and laugh. I should have seen it coming.

I sent him an email and called him a scum bag and told him not to email me again.

He did - and denied the wife and sons...said he didn't know what I was talking about. I was the love of his life and it hurt him to think I didn't trust him.

I didn't email him again.

A few weeks passed and I got an email from someone named Evelyn. Can you guess who Evelyn was? Rafael's wife. Go ahead, laugh again - my purpose in life is comic relief.

What Evelyn wanted to know was:

1. Who I was
2. How I knew her husband
3. How well I knew her husband
4. What had happened between her husband and me

Rafael had forgotten to close his email account one day and Evelyn found the emails...including the one where Rafael had denied he had a wife.

Poor Evelyn.

I told her the story and told her that on my end she didn't have anything to worry about.

She believed me. She had my emails as proof.

Evelyn and I became friends and emailed quite a bit. I talked to her about the church and she said she was going to talk to the missionaries the next time she saw them.

The next time I flew to Guatemala Rafael was there to pick us up from the airport. I ignored him, he tried to kill me with the shuttle bus, and life went on. (I might have exaggerated the 'he tried to kill me' part...but one of the guys in our group did say, "Is this driver trying to kill us?" and I said, "Not you, just me.")

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What Do You Want To Know?


I can't think of anything to say...

What should I tell you?

What do you want to know?

Do you want to know that Carrie and I went on a bike ride Saturday? A 20 mile bike ride. Does 20 miles seem like a lot to you? It did to us...and to our rear ends...and to our shoulder muscles.

Do you want to know that I have a customer whose sole purpose in life is to scare me? He just poked his head in my window, which is open with no screen, and yelled really loud. Hear Steve yell. See Noelle jump.

Do you want to know that I went to a John Schmidt concert Saturday night? It was great.

Do you want to know that along with some of my siblings, Josh with the blue eyes went with me to the concert? (Thanks for letting us crash your date night Jared and Rachel.)

Anything else? Ask...I'm feeling particularly honest and open today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's All I've Got

How did you get to church today?

I drove.

But when I saw a kid on a long board, tie flying in the wind, scriptures in hand, I wished that I had gone to church on a long board. How would that work I wonder ... skirt and long board - do they go together?

At one point in church someone said something inappropriate from the pulpit. My friend looked at me with a dismayed face and said, "you going to write about that in your blog?

I told her I couldn't. My mom would read it, hunt me down, and wash my mouth out with soap. There are times when all I can do is shake my head.

And that's all I really have to say.

I'm going to take a nap...maybe...if I can convince my tired body that it likes sleep...I have a sinking feeling it's never going to happen.

Happy Sunday napping to all of you!

Friday, September 4, 2009

On A More Serious Note...

For several years I taught the 12 and 13 year old girls at church.

I loved them all but I had a few favorites ... can I admit that publicly? I guess I just did -

One of those favorites lives next door to my parents. She's 20 now, and beautiful. I have watched her grow up and move away from home and then move back ... because she has a really aggressive type of cancer - and she's fighting for her life.

Last night I sat with her and her mom and her sisters on their lawn. We talked about her cancer, about how they went hat and scarf shopping yesterday, about how she ate Taco Bell for lunch because it sounded good, about how her mom was happy that finally something sounded good, about how she has to do chemo and radiation for the next YEAR, about how she mostly just feels sick all the time, about the wig she bought...

And her mom told me how grateful she is that her daughter doesn't know what to expect - how grateful she is that her daughter only has to live her life one day at a time. But the mom, and the dad, and the sisters...they do know what to expect because they went through this once before when their daughter/sister was just one or two years old. She doesn't remember it, but she had to fight for her life then too...with the same kind of cancer.

It's a juvenile cancer; one she's not even supposed to get at her age. It really doesn't seem fair.

And as I sat on the lawn last night talking to my dear little friend, I wished that I could do more.

It's a wish we all make when someone we love is suffering. All I can do is love her and add my faith to that of her family.

When you think about it sometime, say an extra prayer for my friend Tiffanie, and for her family, please?

And thank you.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tentative Itinerary

I spent half the night coming up with the following schedule - I'm sure you'll all approve.

I should mention that trublubyu from Laughing At Life's Little Wedgies (have you read her blog? You should - it's a good one) gets full credit for this idea. And may I just say - it's a brilliant idea!

Oh...and honorable mention must go to Megan's idea - and if I were the kind of girl who happened to kiss random strangers - I would have TOTALLY taken her up on it.

Day One

I, along with a very handsome man, will pick Fernando up from the airport. It's the least I can do considering I'm bound to break his heart - again. Depending on the time of day, we'll buy him lunch or dinner.

From there we will take him to Mr. Woolley's casa. (Mr. Woolley, Fernando's closest friends were also close friends with the Rabanales. I think they would approve of this situation.)

Fernando and Mr. Woolley have a lot in common: they are both bachelors, they both play soccer, and they both speak Spanish. (Dave, Fernando speaks lousy English...just so you know.)

Oh...and Mr. Woolley...Fernando doesn't need much...a couch or an air mattress will do just fine.

Day Two

After a hearty breakfast of juevos rancheros Mr. Woolley is going to take Fernando to my place of employment. There, I will introduce Fernando to my brother Jared and I'll leave him with Jared - to do whatever it is they're going to do. (Jared is half Latino as it is, so Fernando and Jared will get along smashingly...Jared, take him to a taco place for lunch. He will like that.)

After lunch Fernando will ride along with one of our delivery drivers while he makes a drop at Daybreak. After the delivery, the driver will drop Fernando off at Mr. And Mrs. Thompson's, where he will spend the afternoon and evening.

I have it on good authority that Mrs. Thompson has a way with wayward souls - I'm sure she can convince Fernando once and for all that I'm NOT going to marry him.

When Mrs. Thompson has exhausted her Spanish vocabulary she will return Fernando to Mr. Woolley's care.

Day Three

I, my handsome date, Fernando, and Fernando's DATE are going to Temple Square.

(Mr. Woolley, I'll get you a date too if you want.)

((...oh, ALW - you too - hey - want to be Mr. Woolley's date?!!))

About Fernando's date - I thought Carrie and Tia could split the time. One of you in the AM and one in the PM. Remember ladies, you owe me! (Don't worry, I'll translate the love songs as he sings them to you...and he will...sing them.)

When we're done doing the Salt Lake City tourist thing I thought we could go miniature golfing. Isn't that what all group dates do?

Fernando will be tired so we'll take him back to Mr. Woolley's house early.

*Mr. Woolley, I'm going to loan you a chick flick to watch with Fernando - one where the guy
DOESN'T get the girl at the end - think he'll get the message?


To my lurker friend Bryan D - because I never made you turn in your man card - could you be a peach and take Fernando and do manly stuff with him? (Maybe not the manly activity where you lay on your motorcycle and drive it with your feet - he would kill himself for sure.)

When you get back you can both come to a lovely dinner my sister Heather and cousin Debbie will have prepared. All of my family will be there to help entertain Fernando.

By this point I imagine he might be a little down and maybe even a bit heart broken. I've arranged for my friend Kimber to come and cheer him up. (KT - you were so willing to have me cheer Rafael up, I thought I would return the favor.)

This will be the last night at Mr. Woolley's house. Make it special Dave - make popcorn. Maybe Fernando likes popcorn.


Amy and Lilet, I thought you could plan a little going away brunch for Fernando. (As a bonus he can look at any sick pets you might have while we're there.)

Thanks so much in advance!!! I'm sure the Mexican style buffet you plan will be perfect!

After a tearful goodbye (his, not mine) my friend Kim will drop him off at the airport, give him my (fake) wedding announcement, and say Adios. (She's been practicing.)

Any changes I should make?

I didn't think so.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grandpa's Truck

Grandpa drove his truck everywhere except to church.

He drove it to Fountain Green.

He drove it to collect food for the food bank.

He drove it to get groceries for his neighbor Mrs. McFarlain.

When Grandpa died, Ben inherited Grandpa's truck

It's only fair considering that one of Grandpa's favorite memories of his truck involved Ben.

One day Ben and Grandpa were in Fountain Green.

Ben was riding in the back of Grandpa's truck

Grandpa went over a bump.

Ben flew out of the back of the truck and landed on the dirt road.

When Grandpa realized that he had lost his passenger he started to laugh.

I think he laughed for two weeks straight.

I don't think Ben was laughing as he ran, trying to catch up to Grandpa and his truck.

Grandpa laughed every time he told the story of Ben and the truck.

Ben, are you laughing now?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Help A Poor Girl Out

If you could see me right now you would see that I'm hitting my head against my desk. {It kind of hurts.}

Sometimes when my mom asks how my day was and I tell her, she looks at me and shakes her head and says, "Could your life get any more complicated?" Dear Mom, it's about to get more complicated.

Once when I lived in Mexico I had a friend named Fernando. He's a veterinarian. My uncle - the one so concerned about my marital status - still teases me about Fernando. He changed the words of an Abba song to go something like this: "Can you hear the goats Fernando..." {Such a comedian} and he'll just start singing when he sees me.

I'll spare you the long, drawn out details...but the end result is that Fernando asked me to marry him and I said no - about a million times.

Once a few years ago I got an email from Fernando telling me he had bought a plane ticket and was coming to see me. I emailed him back and told him he was more than welcome to come but that if his intentions were anything more than friendship he was out of luck. Shortly after that an email came from another friend telling me that Fernando was in a mental hospital due to a breakdown...a breakdown he had the same day I sent my email. {I don't make this up people.}

He didn't come...and I stopped hearing from him...until a few months ago...when once again he started emailing me two or three times a week.

Guess who still has hope that I'll change my mind and marry him -

And guess who bought a plane ticket to Utah -

And guess who needs a place to stay -

And guess who wants me to spend 4 days playing tour guide -

And guess who arranged all of this without asking if I were okay with it -

And guess who hasn't responded to any of the emails -

Because seriously, what am I going to say?

What would YOU say?

{And while I await your response I'll keep hitting my head against my desk.}