Tuesday, December 30, 2008

the stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of texas

I had a wonderful week with Annie, Brock, Alyssa, Ben, and Luke. We went shopping, ate delicious food (she cooks my favorite meal for Christmas Eve dinner), went for walks, looked at the kewlest Christmas lights (set to music), and took plenty of naps. Brock awarded me second best napper award right after Luke. I gladly accept. Annie is this thoughtful, smart, capable, super organized, excellent cook, cool headed cookie. When I told my friend Rosanne that Anne can get five people ready for church while I've still got wet hair, she said, "We all have different gifts." I'd take a few of hers.

Favorite quotes from my six year old niece Alyssa-- When she saw that Santa brought her the exact stuffed dog she had seen at Target, she looked at it and asked, "Does Santa steal?" On the way to the airport, she asked Anne, "Mama, when Kristen grows up is she going to have a baby?" We all hope I'll grow up and have a baby, Alyssa. Hope springs eternal.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

i get knocked down, but i get up again

I've had quite a month or so. Some wonderful highs and a few too many lows. You know when you really, really need someone to be nice (because one too many haven't been) and then they are and it just makes you cry? Well, thank heavens for those moments. They are reminders that there are far more good times than bad and that things will work out. As Gordon B. Hinckley said, "It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future." Good times are already here. Right now I'm in Texas with my sister Annie and her adorable family. The only things on the agenda are to relax and have fun. And that's what I'm doing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

if we took a holiday, took some time to celebrate

The logical holiday to be writing about would be Christmas, but today I'm thinking of Halloween. In October, I'm not a fan of stores like CVS that have those large, creepy looking, moving, shrieking Halloween decorations. But there's much more I do like about Halloween like my fabuloso new decorations and pumpkin cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, chocolate chip pumpkin cake, a pumpkin roll with cream cheese frosting...

For the past several years I've gone the easy route with my costumes. I wear all black (what else is new) then put on a pair of ears and I'm a cat. Or carry a bag of jewels and I'm a cat burglar. In college my roommate was going on a date to a Halloween party and needed a costume idea. I told her about the time I dressed up as a grandma, so that's what she decided to do. I'm sure her date was expecting her to be in some sexy outfit (she was gorgeous) and instead there she was in a housedress, powdered hair pulled back in a bun, glasses hanging around her neck, baggy pantyhose, and slip showing. It was awesome.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

be our guest, be our guest, get your worries off your chest

St. George was so fun, and I have Matt and Megan to thank for it. I was spoiled and loved every minute of it. We took drives to look at Christmas lights, shopped at some fun stores, ate delicious food (homemade granola, Thanksgiving dinner, turkey pot pie, bumbleberry frozen custard from Nieslon's) learned important life lessons from Kung Fu Panda, and just enjoyed spending time together. I could post a picture of my brother wearing only a pair of pants and a Caution: Extremely Hot apron, but fortunately I won't. Of course playing and cuddling with Chase and Gracie was the best. They could not be cuter.

On the way home I stopped to visit Gayla. She took me to lunch and we went shoe shopping. Ladies, you know that's a good time! Thanks, Gayla! Everyone is being so darn good to me. We went to this great boutique where I got a new clock for my family room and a Christmas wreath. It's pure glittery goodness. Come on over and see.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

you've been so kind and generous, i don't know how you keep on giving

The drive that I anticipated being long and boring was kind of fun. There's nothing wrong with singing the Carpenters outloud when you're all alone. Unlike when I'm singing while driving with my brother and he asks, "Who sings this?" And when I answer he says, "Well why don't we let them."

On Tuesday evening I arrived at Kim's house in Henderson. She said, "Let's put your things in your room," which had some chocolates, a little loaf of pumpkin bread, a bottle of water, and a little bottle of shampoo and conditioner. It was better than a swanky hotel. She knows how to make someone feel welcome and comfortable. We had dinner and talked and talked. Then I went to sleep in one of the most comfortable beds with the best pillows ever, which I'll be getting soon (Sleep Innovations available at Costco). I slept in until after 10. It's hard to do that away from home. Later, she gave me a cute little silver frog charm (long standing joke), then before I got in my car to leave there was a cold water bottle, granola bar, and banana tucked into my bag. I'm thankful for such a great friend. Thanks for everything, Kim. It was so fun and just what I needed. I'll be coming back soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

the long and winding road

I'm off to St. George to see my people for Thanksgiving- all around wonderful brother Matthew, beautiful and kind sister-in-law Megan, adorable nephew Chase, and sweet baby Gracie Lu. I was thinking maybe I'd just stay home and visit later (car air conditioner blowing warm air, radio out of commission, long drive alone), but realized I'd just be sad not to be with them. I was also looking forward to seeing my friend Kim who has invited me to stay over Tuesday night. I'm also hoping to see my friend Gayla. Christine has saved the day (again) and loaned me her Ipod. Christine is my angel of music. It will make all the difference.

Friday, November 21, 2008

misty water-colored memories

Just remembering when Saturday mornings meant cartoons instead all the other stuff it means now.

"Wonder twin powers-activate! Shape of an eagle, form of an ice cube." I think the girl twin always had to be a type of bird and the boy twin was some form of water. He'd be a stream and his face would be floating and talking in the water. Creepy. I loved the All New Super Friends Hour. They'd meet around that big table and have a superheroes committee meeting. Then there were other great shows like H.R. Pufnstuf with Eddie and his talking whistle. "Save me, Eddie!" Don't even get me started on Land of the Lost with Chaka.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

yes on 8

I found this on another blog and thought it expressed my feelings on this sensitive topic better than I could. I will insert a few of my own comments in brackets like this, [You didn't really think I could be completely quiet did you??] So, from Splendid Chaos by Chanel--

1. I believe that marriage is ordained by God and only between a man and a woman.

2. In 2000 61% of California voters passed Propositon 22 that stated "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California," then 4 judges overturned the will of 61% of the state.

3. With a Civil Union, gay couples currently have ALL the legal and tax benefits that married couples have. I do not want to take away any of those rights. I do feel that I need to protect my rights as a parent [see # 4]. As a religious person I want to protect the rights of churches [that now may be challenged for their beliefs]. I want to protect the rights of children to be raised by a mother and a father. [I have both a mother and father and think all children deserve the same whenever possible. To think that children, who don't get to choose, don't benefit from both a mom and a dad is devaluing the significance of the genders when both are essential from the conceiving to the nurturing and raising. Did I just write conceiving?]

I fully agree with Steve Pogue from San Jose. He perfectly articulated how I feel about this: "Our opponents in this fight seek to characterize our motivation as hatred. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I oppose abortion but do not hate those who have it done.
I have opposed bond measures without hating their proponents.
I oppose drinking but do not hate those who drink.
I oppose carpool lanes but do not hate people who carpool.
I oppose couples living together out of wedlock, without hating people who do it.
I oppose same-sex marriage without hating the people who want it.
I oppose what I believe to be error, not because I hate those who err, but because I love the truth."

4. I do not think that children need to learn about gay marriage in school. In Massachusetts (where same sex marriage is legal) when they teach about "diversity" parents do not even have the right to opt out. [I believe parents should be the ones to decide when and how to teach their children about this topic. And it certainly will be in schools. It already is in Massachusetts and in some schools in California.]

[Even liberal France upheld marriage between a man and a woman in 2006 saying that the interests of children were more important than lifestyle choices of adults. Obama, Biden, McCain, and Palin have all said, and I've heard them, that marriage should be between a man and a woman. There just might be something to that.]

Thanks, Chanel. I'll see you at the polls.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

nyc, what is it about you? you're big, you're loud, you're tough

New York is one of my favorite places. It's just so big and bustling. Highlights from my trip-

Gypsy with Patti Lupone-soooo good
The 39 Steps-pure fun
walking around the East Village
shopping in Chinatown for handbags
bus and boat tours around Manhattan
walking with Yadi to the little red lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge
talking with the girls late into the night
pastrami at Katz' deli, linguini and clams in Little Italy
the incredible views from the Top of the Rock courtesy of Lorette
visiting Mood, the fabric store from Project Runway
and people watching-especially people in long neon green faux fur coats

Monday, October 20, 2008

it's gonna be a new day for you

I had a really sweet and touching day yesterday. I am the new Relief Society President at church. I've felt really peaceful and happy about it since the bishop asked me last week. He was so kind and supportive, and that helped a lot. Yesterday was a little emotional and it's definitely going to take some time to get the hang of it. I have a lot to learn! And I can and I will! Dawn, my dear friend and former R.S. President (she was wonderful) will show me the ropes, along with many others, I'm sure. Darcy came to support me with her adorable baby boy Ry. Thanks, Darcy, that meant a lot. And Rosie by my side, and Christine smiling from the stand, and many thoughtful comments... it was great.

I needed a new blog title. I think I like it. But by all means, don't quit calling me Foxy. You know I love it. It's the spinster part I've decided to drop. A little something for my mom.

Monday, October 13, 2008

i want to be a part of it- new york, new york

I made a last minute decision to join a group of friends that were going to New York for a long weekend. I had earlier said no because I went six months ago and didn't think I should spend the money, but after realizing I would be home crying jealous tears while they were seeing Patti Lupone in Gypsy, I decided I would go. Thank you, Annie for the frequent flyer miles. You are the best. It was so much fun. I will catch up on sleep and share all the details in a few days. Well, not all the details. When I asked my brother if he thought I should go to New York, he said, "No, I'm not up to another long email about it."

So until I write about my actual weekend, I'll share where my students thought I had gone. I had the substitute give my students an assignment to write where they thought I was spending the weekend. Here are a few unedited excerpts. "I think Ms. Curtis is in Las Vegas with her friends because she wants to take a brake from teaching. And she probobly is going to gamble. And I think she's going to a restaurant with some men and her friends." "I think she is in Texas working on a farm rounding up the cows. Or maybe in the South Pole finding penguins. Or in Hawaii collecting coconuts." "Maybe she is in a jungle driving a car and being chased by a cheetah." "I think that Ms. Curtis is on a crooship. And that she met a wundurful man. I wonder where you are Ms. Curtis."

Monday, October 6, 2008

it's just another manic monday

Lonely? Listless? Need a distraction from your job, the news, politics, your obsession thoughts about things that you have no control over? Well, here you go.

What kind of dog would you be?

According to this test, I'd be a Border Collie which are bred for stamina and smarts. Border Collies get along with other dogs and children provided they get plenty to keep them occupied. They are perfectionists with a permanent will to please, thriving on praise but not without sensitivity. They become neurotic if left alone for long periods.

Increase your vocabulary while you feed the world.

For Project Runway fans.

Now get back to work. After you leave a comment. A girl needs a little holla back sometimes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

when it's time to change, you've got to rearrange, who you are and what you're gonna be, sha na na na na na na na na, sha na na na na

My brother Matthew and I are taking the next 12 weeks to eat really healthy and exercise lots. We want to get some good results with concentrated effort and teamwork. (Yes, I realize this is ironic after the previous post. Perhaps I'll have to try their broth based soups.) He's encouraging, knowledgeable about food and exercise, and can enjoy telling me what to do. He'll be my own personal trainer via text and phone calls. It seems that almost every social occasion revolves around food, especially near the holidays. Tough time of year, but if I decide to be really strict and take all choice away for awhile, then hopefully that will make it easier. I think he's getting close to his goal because when I sent a text telling him that in 12 weeks it will be Christmas, his response was, "I guess it's going to be a look good naked Christmas after all."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

oh oh oh, the sweetest thing

This is a public service announcement. One of my favorite friends Connie bakes for Layer Cake this cute little bakery in Irvine that I've just recently tried. It is amazingly delicious. Everything is made from scratch. The prices are a little high, but worth it. Flakey almond croissants, soft and spicy ginger cookies and the Decadent Mud Cup was just so darn good. It's chocolate pudding, a few pieces of brownie, a layer of ganache, and some cream on top. More please. I hear the sandwiches and other food is really good, too. I'll try those when I quit being distracted by desserts. Go there now and thank me later.

getting to know you, getting to know all about you

Monday night I was eating dinner with friends from church and one of the guys had recently been on a first date. He was planning on asking her out again. He said I knew who his date was, but he wouldn't tell me her name. That just makes me want to know all the more.

Last night I was talking to my friend Matt and he also was secretive about something. When I asked questions, he said, "You're getting all Jessica Fletcher on me." It's true. I want to know things, things that are probably none of my business.

My dad is like that, too, but he's better at getting information. I recently went to an etiquette class given by my friend Erin. She mentioned that the three things you shouldn't ask people are about their age, weight, and income. Those are some of my dad's favorite questions. And he gets away with it! One time (of the many times) we were at El Pollo Loco there was a young guy there dressed just like my dad in dark pants, white button down, and red tie. I said, "Look Dad, it's a younger you." He said, "Oh, I'm not that heavy." I replied, "He looks about right." He turned to the guy and asked, "What do you weigh?" Without blinking the guy said, "260." He ended up having dinner with us. My brother-in-law Brock does an impression of my dad saying, "What are you making? What's your net?" When we told my dad he wasn't bothered. Instead he said, "That's not right. I ask about gross, not net."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I think you're crazy just like me

I've been "tagged" to share some of my quirks. In the past I used to worry
way too much about what everyone else thought and did. Of course, I'm still
plenty self conscious, but I figure if I do anything, there must be millions who
do exactly the same thing. Makes me feel normal, I guess. I'd be happy to
discuss other peoples quirks, but that might not be fair, so here are a few of mine.

I love infomercials. A few of my more recent favorites are the Magic Bullet and
Kinoki Footpads. And I'm here to tell you that the Ped Egg works and can be
purchased at Target. When I was a young I was obsessed with this purse that was
advertised on TV. It was a large structured bag that came in a couple of different colors, had your initials stiched down the front flap, and about a dozen different pockets. My dear mom bought me that purse and I loved it. Basically I was an eight year old walking around with the purse of an 80 year old.

Speaking of handbags, I find things in mine that don't belong to me. I say
"find" because I don't remember putting them there. About a month ago
Christine and I were both leaving the house at the same time in the morning.
She couldn't find her keys. Sometimes we both leave our keys on the kitchen
counter, so I thought just maybe I had accidentally put them in my purse. I
had. Luckily we were both there and I quickly found them. A few days later,I
was sleeping when I heard a knock on my door. Christine was missing her keys
again and wondered if I had them. Yes, they were in my purse again. What's up
with that? I asked her if she had started documenting my mental decline. I
sent an email apologizing. Her reply, "Last night I saw my keys on the counter
and a little voice told me to put them in my purse. I guess you heard the same
little voice." Good one, Christine. I also collect pens. Christine, are you
wondering where your Families Supporting Adoption pen is?

Monday, September 8, 2008

i always feel like somebody's watching me, can i have some privacy?

I love celebrity sitings. A couple of days ago, I saw Vicki from the Real Housewives of Orange County shopping in Nordstrom with her daughter. For a Bravo TV watcher this is an actual star siting. They were on their way out, which was good because then I couldn't follow them even if I wanted to as I had just entered the store. In high school, I saw Ted McGinley shopping in Fashion Island. I was with my dad and told him I'd be right back, then proceeded to follow Ted around for a few minutes. I had to be sure it was him. Many years ago I saw the youngest Walton girl at Atlantis Park. Once I saw Mike Lookinland, aka Bobby Brady, in a parking structure in Park City. My friends and I made a lap. Again, just to be sure it was him. This is not stalking! He stopped and talked to us for awhile. But my very best one was talking to John Stamos at Knott's Berry Farm. This was back when he was "Blackie" on General Hospital and had that long, feathered hair. Oh yeah. My sister Cathy and I went up to talk to him. I would never do that now. It was the kewlest.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

little miss can't be wrong

Not to brag, okay, to brag, but I'm pretty good at solving mysteries before the ending. I have my sister Alison convinced that I've never seen a movie that I couldn't figure out. Of course it's not true, but I like to pretend. I remember several years ago there was a made for TV movie that had me completely stumped. It was a woman in peril movie starring Annie Potts. It turned out she was stalking.......herself! Still brings me chills.

Rosanne helped with this blog title but assures me that it's not, "been a whole lot easier since the %!^@& left town, been a whole lot happier without her face around." Good to know.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

call me, call me any anytime

My family is loopy when it comes to phones. In the past we had a problem with eavesdropping. One night I answered the phone and it was a friend of my dad's. I called for him to pick up, but instead of hanging up, I kept listening. A few minutes later, my dad's phone disconnected and I could hear his friend saying, "Vern? Are you there? Vern?" I didn't know what to do. The poor guy couldn't figure it out because it hadn't disconnected but my dad wasn't answering. Later I found out that I wasn't the only one listening in. Both my mother and my sister Annie were upstairs on this pink and turquoise phone that had two handsets. Three people eavesdropping on the same phone call-wrong, wrong, wrong.

These days we have another issue. When I call my parents' voicemail I hear Anne's voice who hasn't lived there for over ten years. But when I call Anne's house, I get that stilted computer voice. I hear my brother Matthew's voice inviting me to, "leave a message for Phyllis," when I call my mom's cell phone. It used to be Matthew pretending to be my mother, so I guess we're making progress.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

oh what is it about you that makes me so jolly? is it your fifty cotton or your fifty poly?

In a few minutes I am going to say goodbye to something that's been with me for over fifteen years. A moment of silence please for my Stussy hoodie. I've had it through five moves (okay, they were all around Irvine, but still) and it has seen better days. This became painfully clear to me the day I was wearing it in a store and a girl walked by and said, "Vintage Stussy. Cool." It reminded me of that episode of I Love Lucy when Ricky wouldn't get rid of his old tattered sweater. I didn't know I could get kind of attached to an item of clothing. Throwing it out sounds kind of drastic. Maybe I'll just vow not to wear it in public.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

if i could turn back time, if i could find a way...

...I would take back the night I googled "Orange County reception sites," then signed up for a service that would find me the perfect site for my wedding. The problem is that I'm not getting married (yet-cross your fingers). Here's what happened. I was with some friends for dinner and games one night. By the end of the night, there were four of us left and a couple of us decided we would plan another friend's wedding. One friend picked a date, and I announced that I'd take care of finding the reception site. So, late that night, I went home and googled Orange County reception sites, then followed a link and signed up for a service. Yes, I gave my email address. I know, I know!! Bad idea! It was late! I was caught up in the excitement! Can anyone say living vicariously?! For months now I've gotten emails with photos and menu ideas for my nonexistent wedding. Ouch.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

sunshine day, everybody seems so happy today

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." Helen Keller said that. (Could she see shadows? I digress.) I'm feeling much better today. Hope springs eternal and all that. My existential angst is over for now. It's such a waste of time to worry. I'm working on it.

tossing and turning all night

It's after 4:00 in the morning and I haven't gone to sleep. I've tried and tried. It's been like this the last several nights and the entire next day I feel like I have narcolepsy. Not good. I am usually a good sleeper, but lately I have been thinking too much. Obsessing might be more accurate. Fixating would work. I won't go into what's been keeping me up as I like to keep things a little more on the light hearted side here, a little more 'foxy' if you will. It's definitely nothing that worrying will help. It will all be okay. That's what my mom tells me and I believe her! Or try to. Here's a quote from Mahatma Gandi that I like. “There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever." I am guilty, but I'm not going to worry about it.

from the moment i wake up, before i put on my makeup

Let's go back to a more innocent time, when makeup colors either used numbers or had sweet names like Cherries in the Snow. In recent years things have gotten more sassy. I've had an eyeshadow named Kitten and a lip gloss called Prrr. That's kind of cute. Things should have stopped there. A couple of months ago I made a pilgrimage to Sephora, beauty Mecca. A very enthusiastic young salesman started brushing and patting things on my face. Pretty soon a few other customers were coming over to watch. He put on quite the entertaining floor show. As he was applying blush, he told another woman the same color would look good on her, too. I asked the name of it and he said, "Score. And that's what's going to happen when you wear it." (Still waiting.) I bought the blush and several other items. The eye shadows are named Sin and Roach (yes, that's right). And the name of the mascara just taunts me. I've seen products with names too naughty to mention. Maybe I'm missing the days when all it took was a flavored Bonne Bell Lip Smacker.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

isn't it ironic, don't you think?

Remember my big plans to match make? Well, both the guys mentioned doing something with me instead. I wouldn't say they were asking me for a date. For one thing I find that sometimes it's impossible to tell if I am on a date or if we are just hanging out. I would guess that one is just hanging out and the other might be more of a date. Pretty funny, no?

it's just another day for you and me in paradise

I live about 20 minutes from this paradise. So beautiful. My friend Gayla and her friend are in town from Las Vegas and they invited me to join them for lunch at Las Brisas which is right on the coast in Laguna Beach. I hadn't been to the restaurant in years, but I had been to the beach there a few times recently (but that's another story involving a personal trainer and a bright orange french cut speedo). We sat outside on the patio eating chips and guacamole while enjoying the view. It doesn't get better than that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

ain't it good to know you've got a friend

My friend Chrissy enjoys getting her picture taken about as much as I do, but I did manage to find this one of the two of us. Chrissy has a blog, so one day several months ago, I subtly mentioned to her that my sister's friend had written about my sister in her blog, and what a nice tribute it was, and I wondered how it would feel to have someone do something so thoughtful. Funny thing, after that conversation she wrote about me. Because that's the kind of friend Chrissy is. And turnabout is fair play. I've known Chrissy since we were about three years old, which means we've been friends for about 25 years now. ;) Seriously, how often do you know someone for that long and not only share all kinds of memories but still enjoy them so much? Church, high school, college roommates, roadtrips, holidays, her wedding, the Bachelorettes in Alaska finale-we've been together through it all. Chrissy has been so good to me through my best and my worst. She has all the qualities that are important in a friend: kind, patient, forgiving, down to earth, good listener, and fun. When I call with my dating (or non-dating) woes or other whining and complaining, she is unfailingly supportive and on my side even when it's likely that I'm completely wrong. That feels pretty darn good. She is one of the funniest people I know. She married another one of the funniest people I know. When I call their house I know that I'm going to be laughing a lot no matter which one answers. (And if it's Matt, I'm also going to get some inappropriate advice on how to get married. At this point I probably ought to take it.) We like to imagine things like our moms getting jobs at Hot Dog on a Stick and if we got tattoos what they would say. She is so smart, a great cook, leads at church, sews, is musical, knows how to add backgrounds and cool extras to her blog, is not afraid to admit her love of Saved by the Bell, does excellent imitations, has a scarily good memory, and raises three adorable kids. Chrissy, "you are loved," too.

Monday, July 14, 2008

all i wanna do is have some fun, i've got a feeling i'm not the only one

Some of my friends have Disney passes, so I finally got one last fall. I was tired of missing out on the fun. I have one of the less expensive ghetto passes and am currently blocked out until mid August, but I figure I'll avoid the crowds and heat. I went to California Adventure for the first time several months ago. It's charming and not as crowded as Disneyland. A few of the best rides there are Tower of Terror and Toy Story Midway Mania. For guaranteed fun, go to Disneyland's Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. It is a target shooting ride with secret ways (which will NOT be disclosed) to earn higher points. I am currently scoring just under 300,000 points. That's right, almost 300,000 points. Soon I will surpass that. Hey, I've got goals. If I were five years old, the evil Emperor Zurg on this ride would have scared me. At five most everything scared me. I jumped a few times on the Nemo ride and that was just last month. After the ride, you can email a picture that's been taken. I've heard it's the only free thing at Disneyland.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

we are family, i got all my sisters (and one brother) with me

As mentioned earlier, I had a fun time at my family reunion. Here are the details you've all been waiting for. ;) Everyone was there: my parents, three sisters, one brother, three brothers-in law, one sister-in-law, and the cutest, sweetest, funniest six nephews and three nieces ever. Most of the time we relaxed at Mama Phyllis and Papa Vern's house playing games like Speed Scrabble, watching HGTV, celebrating birthdays, eating too much, and laughing a lot. The kids were shooting hoops, riding bikes, and making bubbles in the backyard. I had fun watching them have fun. We went to the Oregon coast for a few nights. It's really beautiful because it's kind of rugged and rocky with magnificent evergreens right across from the ocean. There was playing in the waves, visiting the Oregon Coast Aquarium, eating clam chowder, and s'mores over a bonfire. Each night, after a noisy and fun day, I would go to my quiet room and watch and listen to the waves. Heaven.

Here is evidence that I do indeed have the cutest nieces and nephews ever.

Monday, July 7, 2008

vacation all i ever wanted

I'm about to go home after two weeks with my family. Altogether there are 20 of us. I had such a fun time and I'll write more about it in the next few days, but I didn't want to wait to share one of the highlights of the trip. We went to this really nice restaurant. Here's a picture from my brand new digital camera. Notice the cool water feature and beautiful stacked stone on the building.

Now take a closer look.....

I ordered Meal #1. It was divine.

Monday, June 30, 2008

too much time on my hands, it's hard to believe such a calamity

I have a list of things I want to do, if only I had the time. Well, now I have the time, so I better get to it. There are several lessons I'd like to take like voice, guitar, photography, jewelry making, painting, writing, and tennis. I don't have big dreams about becoming really good, just interested in knowing a little more and enjoying myself. It always seems to me that it is often easier to get more done when my schedule is crowded. I think it's inertia--a body at rest remains at rest. When I was young I took lessons like piano (and just like my mom warned, I'm sorry I didn't practice-big sigh), tap dance, and ice skating. In college some of my best classes were electives like acting, flower arranging, and watercolor. So, if you know of any teachers (or are willing to be a teacher) or are interested in taking any classes with me, I'd love to know.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

you say toMAYto, I say toMAHto

I'm up in Portland with my people for our family reunion. I could tell you about the glorious reunion with warm embraces and making merry. Or that I am so blessed to have them, which is completely true. But let's cut to more important matters. This morning my dad said GRANola. Perhaps this is an alternate pronunciation. I don't know as I don't have my Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations with me to check. He's a smart man. Just ask him, he'll tell you. Which is why it makes it strangely gratifying. He has his own take on accurate. His version is something like ACK-er-ut. Many years ago, before they were so common, he ordered a que-SAW-dah (quesadilla). We'll never forget it, nor will we let him. The only one I can think of for my mom is that she says cah-FAY (cafe). But what she does do is get things just a little bit wrong. Peepee Longstocking anyone?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

sing (canta), sing a song (canta una cancion)

Today I sang in the church choir for the first time in years. I loved it! We sang a very pretty arrangement of Beautiful Savior. I had forgotten how much I enjoy singing in a choir. I have an okay voice, but I really need to have someone sing in my ear to find the alto notes. My talented friend Erin is the new choir director and she invited me to join the choir. After church, Margo (yet another talented friend) asked if I'd sing a musical number in church this summer. I used to do that a bit, too, long ago. Every time I would sing a short solo part, my voice would crack. I was happy if it only happened once. It's so nice to be invited to get involved and to again be doing something I love. I'm taking requests.

Monday, June 16, 2008

matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match

Do I need to justify my fascination for shows like Project Runway, Top Chef, and Millionaire Matchmaker? We all have our guilty pleasures. (Care to share yours?) Okay, so the latest was this show about a matchmaker named Patty. I'd like to take a crack at that job. (I know, it's like the blind leading the blind.) I've recently thought up a few matches and have run the idea by the guys. One of them is someone I went out with a handful of times awhile back, and another is a friend. While I can't say they were excited (I get it) they seem willing. Maybe I'll have a casual little get together and see how it goes before I open up for business.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

school's out for the summer

I spend my days with 20 little people, all different, all with their funny little quirks, and all with things that make them lovable (which I have to remind myself of sometimes). Some people think that teaching is a breeze. It's actually a career with a very high drop out rate. Many teachers don't make it past the first few years. It can be a challenge to be in the same room with the same people all day long, not to mention managing their behavior and actually teaching them. But if it fits your personality, and it does mine most days, then it's great. It allows me to be creative, a must for me. Of course there are the obvious perks-vacations. My dad likes to figure out what he calls my actual salary because I really only work about nine months a year. I am looking forward to summer vacation, but I will miss this group of students. We've had a wonderful year together. Enough of that. Time to play!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

you spin me right round baby, right round

I like games that are good for a laugh like Guesstures and Hoopla. Fast paced word games like Taboo, Password, Scattergories and the like are some of my favorites. I'm not particularly good, but I'm better at them than a board game that requires strategy. And patience. I just got a game called Werewolves of Miller's Hollow. Haven't played it yet, but have heard it's fun. I'll be the judge of that. As a child I didn't have enviable games like Hungry Hungry Hippos, Operation, Mousetrap, or Light Bright (not technically a game, but oh how I wanted one). Before you start to feel sorry for me, don't. I had Please Don't Break the Ice. We played Heigh Ho Cherry-o. And those were good times. The ultimate was Life with the big colorful spinner, cars, bridges, and plastic people. A game of Sardines was just fun. Sometimes I still want to play. On the other hand, Hide and Seek was scary. Who decided that hiding alone in the dark while anxiously waiting for someone to find you was a good idea? It was better when my dad helped me hide because then he was nearby. Sometimes he hid me behind the newspaper he was reading or in his closet while wearing his cowboy boots and one of his shirts. Sweet memories.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

bermuda, bahama come on pretty mama

Sunset magazine, in case you don't know, is a magazine about the west (not for people in the sunset of their lives, Eric). It's got great articles about places to visit, food to make (or recipes to collect and not make), homes, gardens- I love it. A recent issue had an article about Kauai with a photograph of a helicopter flying over these magnificent green cliffs and I thought, I need to do that. I'm thinking of hammocks, pineapple, snorkeling, exploring, and maybe, if I'm brave, riding in a helicopter or on a zipline. I'm going to use it as motivation to get fit, too. Who wants to go?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

things that make you go hmm

If I weren't a school teacher (or an interior designer driving down PCH in a convertible on my way to decorate ocean view homes--a fantasy since high school), then I should have been a dermatologist. I am mesmerized by those full color medical books showing all manner of things that go wrong on a person's skin. And don't even get me started on tumors. My friend Rosanne once thought I'd be a good match with this guy because of our, "mutual love of tumors." That's just wrong, and I know it. "Love" is a little strong. More like, "strange fascination in manner of looking at an accident". Today I got an email from my friend Kim with some photos of a big bunch of rattlesnakes someone had come across on a hike. She wrote, "I sent this to you because I know you like weird things." Maybe I'll work on this.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

i get by with a little help from my friends

The other day MaryEllen (my gorgeous and hilarious friend from work) told me her adorable husband Duane (also my friend) was talking about me saying he wished he knew some single Mormon men for me to meet. He said that the next time the missionaries come knocking on his door he's going to say, "You have something to share with me? Well, I have something to share with you." Made my day.

Monday, June 2, 2008

oompa loompa doom-pa-dee-do

Getting a tan was part of growing up in southern California. I never "won" the junior high ritual of putting forearms together and comparing. Instead, I burned and blistered almost every summer of my life. I've come to accept my fair skin for the most part, but every few years I try a self tanner. My first attempt was about 20 years ago and the result wasn't pretty. Neither were the comments. It took several days and a lot of St. Ives Apricot Scrub to get rid of the deep orange glow. But I'm still lured by all the self-tanners lining the shelves at the drugstore and think they must have improved over the years. Jergen's makes a lotion that really does give a nice, subtle color, but the smell is more than I can take. My latest try was a mousse by Neutrogena. I'm waiting for the stripes to fade.

put on a little makeup, makeup

These days whenever I talk to my mom, her advice goes like this, "Just be nice to everyone and wear a lot of makeup." And we laugh. But for being so concise, it covers a lot. If you, dear reader, and I have spent any amount of time together, my mom has heard about you. We are very close. She thinks I can do anything. On the rare occassion that I cook her a meal, she says, "You could have a cooking show!" When Katie Couric left the Today Show she said, "You could do that job!" No wonder I talk to her so often.

Friday, May 30, 2008

friday night i'm going nowhere

On Friday nights all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a brand new copy of People magazine (hey, it could be worse) and watch What Not to Wear (and pray that nobody in my life nominates me). It's the perfect Friday night. For reals.

what the world needs now...

is one more blog, sweet blog. It's the only thing that there's just too little of. So it might as well be mine.