Sunday, June 28, 2009

Phantom warblers-

I arrived in Missouri Wednesday night. Jet leg did not manifest itself to me after this journey. I was exhausted on the flight, but made myself stay awake during most of it. It may be jet lag forcing me to bed at a decent hour. These days, if I don't go to bed around ten, I am exhausted and can't function. This inability to stay awake at night may be a consequence of going to bed around 10 pm every night and waking at 7 for the past three months. By the way, I saw Benjamin Button, Defiance, and He's just not that into you. I didn't really like any of them.

At my house, I found many interesting things. First of all, three little boys live with my parents. As evidence, I present you with half a moldy chocolate cake, raise you 30 miniature Tupperwares full of moldy stuff, and will add, as a bonus, a delectable bowl filled with bug topped caramel. Sounds terrific, yes?

I really should have picture documented the experience, but I didn't think of it until later. So next time..I'll show you all the great stuff I found so you may experience it along with me. My mother also reamed me for throwing the last 3 inches of a celery stem away. Apparently she uses the last nub for soups. Luckily she fished it out of the trash and put it away in the fridge so I could show it to you now.

Other pieces of interest, are the toxic paint brush being stored there and the cauliflower vs. broccoli nubs. All living together as one happy family. If you're wondering about food, we're doing fine. Luckily, my parents know how to make our resources last.

I also milked the goats Thursday morning, since they were bleating in pain from being forgotten the night before. I also fed the baby and swept the garage semi-free of toxins. I should have taken a picture of that too, but didn't. Sufficeth to say, we have a stand set up in our garage, so it smells like a barn. It's awesome. The screen pictured above is a screen my mother took out of the garbage can I had placed it in. It's obviously not in mint condition, but she is looking forward to the day when she can fix it and put it back on the playing field. She mentioned today our fridge is about to go out. Since there's a large space that will be left when the fridge is gone, I asked what she will put there. She said when it stops running, she will clean it out and use it as a shelving unit. I cannot wait.

I also went to see the dentist and doctor on Wednesday. $360 later, I'm all set. I hope. Oh, and if you were wondering, I don't have TB. Whew! In other news, I saw Transformers II. It was alright. Much swearing and inuendo and similar to the first movie. I saw it with Kristin and Candice.

After watching this box office thriller, before which we received a free popcorn courtesy of my AMC card, we attended Elisa Bogart Chandler's wedding reception. We saw some people we knew, not many, and I happened to mistake my friend Josh Bogart's brother Nathan for him. It was kind of awkward, because he looked different and wouldn't talk to us. He just mentioned he was busy having kids, living with his wife, and working. Then I told my sister and she said he was probably nervous I was hitting on him. Pah!

Later we saw Katie Russell Kellogg. The picture is of us at the reception. This picture was taken because Katie's mom was talking to us about this boy named Eric. He's 29, a marine, handsome, and "has the social problems of Mr. Bean". Wow, really? For my very own? So we took a group picture and on Katie's camera we took one for Eric, who "needs a nice girl to pursue him and bring him out of his shell." Perfect, I'm really looking forward to this.

Which brings me to my next subject. Why in the world are we singles set up with the weirdest people ever after we reach age 25? Usually I hear the phrase, well, he doesn't have a personality, but you do. Or, he is not the most handsome fellow, but you're gorgeous. What does that mean? Oh, our mutant spawn won't be my fault, it will be his? Whew! I was worried for a second, now I am content. My favorite? He is shy and doesn't have a job, so you'll have to throw yourself at him and support him. Should I give you his number now or later? You're female, he's male, this should work. Best phase of my life yet.

As we were leaving the reception, they were throwing the bouquet. I know I should have stayed to be a good sport, but my ride had already called me to hustle me out the door. So I had to leave. Oh well. Guess I must wait another year.

I tried starting my car the other day. I took note it would not start...and there is a wasp nest in the door jamb of the driver door. Awesome. Completely awesome. I then took a long stick and tried to disengage it from my car, I took the chance because it was raining at the time. The nest was full of wasps. I don't know if it did any good, and I'm getting some wasp spray posthaste and spraying my car with it before I leave for Alaska.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My cousin, Mr. Myogi-

Friday, after I got picked up from the airport following my Lisbon trip, I found out something amazing. My cousin, Mike, can catch flies with his hands. Not only is he catlike with his reflexes, but he did catch three flies at once. I witnessed it. He swooped them in one fell... Can you believe it? I could not either. I wanted to take a picture with him and the three flies, but I was too lazy to get up and find it in the car. So I didn't take a picture, but you can imagine.

Danielle did say one of the reasons she was drawn to him was his ability to capture animals. A story was shared about him catching a lizard with a noose made of grass at one of her family reunions. I say, "Wha bam! That's amazing." I end by saying this no talent to sniff at and we're related. Cousins in fact. You may ask how rewarding it is to be related to such a man. Very rewarding. The end.

Lisbon Portugal was amazing. I was supposed to fly out of
Nuremburg Tuesday at 6 am and our flight was canceled. We awoke at 4 am in vain. I was tired all day and ended up getting into Lisbon at 4 in the afternoon instead of 12.

Some wonderful office elders, Elder Merrill and Elder Valasquez, picked me up and took me to the train station. I had two hours, so they asked if I wanted to eat. I acquiesced to their request and we went to the third largest mall in the world. They asked if I wanted McD's or Burger King..or some traditional Brazilian food. I picked that. It was a grand affair.

The highlight was when Elder V mentioned Grant gets tons of letters from old girlfriends and I was shocked beyond words..and he amended his statement to old friends that are girls. Funny.

Wednesday was Pday and we wandered around old castles all day. Very cool. Then Thursday I sat in the car while the Parkers checked the missionary apartments for cleanliness. We saw they were setting up for the running of the bulls and one of Gra
nt's old comps rushed down to meet me because he's read some of my awkward stories and loved them.

Friday morning we had breakfast together, Grant, his comp, the Parkers and I. We went to a little breakfast eatery and this gypsy kid hugged Sis. Parker. I thought she knew him, so he came up to hug me I hugged him.

Then Grant told me he wanted to sell me band aids. Awkward! So I checked my camera and wallet and we ate our pastries. He's doing great, we had some fab conversations, and I sure miss him.

Oh, and on the train to the city I was staying in, I passed through Torres Vedras where he's serving. I thought, "Wow, I wonder what Grant is doing right now." Then I heard a tapping on the train window, I turned around, and there he was! He'd run down to the station right before an appointment to see me. Bless his heart!

Overall, Portugal was a grand adventure, but showed me again how much there is to see of this world and how much time I will need to explore it.

PS. I will probably cut my hair next week. Please review my facebook pictures and tell me what I should do with it. I will be looking forward to your input.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'd just like to add something with my new found picture freedom-

In reference to an earlier story from my great train awakening, I was walking past a train in Barcelona and well, as a rehash..

I was walking past all the train cars, paying little attention to anything around me, when I looked over and saw an attractive Italian man, standing by the open train car door. He looked to be kind of exotic and interesting. Anyway, I thought he was terribly handsome and my jaw dropped. As luck would have it, I wasn't watching where I was going, and ran into an old guy who was walking the opposite direction from me. It could have been less embarrassing, but I had just locked eyes with Mr. Handsome by the train and then run into someone because of it. I did not demonstrate my age grace. 

Point is, he asked if I was American. I said yeah, just a stupid American. He said, "Me too." Then he got kind of chatty, but I felt so dumb, I ran into the train car. He was in the room right next to ours and ended up coming over during the ride and talking to us for a while. He was an interesting man. He flew helicopters, etc. Anyway, I have a picture. That's what all this accumulates to. I would have inserted it earlier, but you would have had to wade through my numerous other accounts. So.

My date-

Sweet sweet success. Thanks Deane. Except I think this still swings left and I want it in the middle, not the kind of left. Blasted inferno snakes. The bottom picture, which will hopefully stay under my post, is a picture taken at a friend in the ward's house, the Wolfes. The second from Rothenburg. I cannot believe how incompetent I am these days. This is what comes from eating too much.

Ok. Close enough. Hah. And you thought this was going to say something about my blind date. Well, kind of blind. I'd met him already.

It turned out alright actually. Carissa drove Robert and me to the center of Bamberg. I wasn't sure if the kids were coming to the restaurant with us, but they didn't.

We had a good talk over lunch, we had much in common. Then we started walking downtown Bamburg. Along the way, a strange man started laughing and muttering behind us. He had a bike with him, so the bike may or may not have been a great conversationalist. I thought it was weird. Robert thought it was pretty uneventful.

We walked up by the monastery and had a good amount of conversational feeds. Then we walked through a garden. It was beautiful, green, lush. In the middle of the garden was a CHERRY tree. I like fruit, especially fresh fruit. I love cherries. I tried to think of a way to get to those cherries.

As it was, the accessible cherries had already been accessed. I tried to think of a way to climb the tree, jump the branch and do a pullup into the tree- trained by Jas. Then I figured I would probably die because I would have to let go with one hand to pick some cherries and that wouldn't do.

So Robert, seeing me pace and fume at those cherries for a good five minutes, being a good sport and having strong knees, presented a plan. It seemed to be a good plan. I wasn't sure if it would go well, I'm not terribly coordinated. Robert patted his knee, told me to step onto it, and then he would lift me up to those cherries. I asked, "Well...are you sure?" I was not feeling terribly confident in my jump and pick capabilities.

My new skill is the jump and kick. So in my new cheerleading routine, I stepped up with my left leg, and swung up with my right leg. Straight into Roberto's crotch. Then I stepped down onto the grass and we decided the cherry option was not worth the inherent risks and walked away from the temptation tree.

Thankfully, Robert just let the awkward moment pass by. There was huge potential for rocket launches to be fueled by my embarrassment, but as off a duck's back, this experience washed off and was forgotten. Kind of.

Right after that experience, I noticed a little sore under my toe was acting up and asked Robert for a band aid and bless his soul, he did. So I doctored up my toe, we walked around a little more, and then we called our ride back to the square.

Take no notice we got a little lost on our way back to the square and when we got to my house I just popped out of the minivan with a thanks for, "Lunch and the...walk....around." Overall, it was a nice outing. Thanks Carissa, for the meddling. It was nice to go on a date around Bamburg.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm a blog formatting idiot.

So if you have noticed my blog looks stupid, that's why. I wish I could make my blog look like Heidi Simpson's, but I can't. I don't know how to put pictures in between my blog quotes because I'm not sure how to change the code and that's the only way I can do it on these terribly basic templates. Deane knows how to do it. How do you do it Deane?

I've commented on it before, but it is a never ending battle with me. A stupid never ending battle, but a battle nonetheless.  I've also put ads on my blog. Don't worry about it. I'll let you know later if it's worth it. I mean, probably not, but I could always use a nickel here and there.

On the up side, I just booked a ticket to Portugal. I'll be there for 2.5 days. It will be a cool experience I'm sure. I've never been to Portugal and my brother Grant says it's sensational. Of course he said that, he's on his mission there.

I never thought I'd say this, but we got special permission and I get to have a pday lunch with him. I would have never dreamed to ask, but if Grant asked and got a yes, I wouldn't dream of not going. Especially since I'll probably be gone on a mission sometime before he gets back and it would be really cool to see him before I myself am gone for a year and a half.

I'll be there June 16-19th. It will be a nice last trip before I head back to the USA. I'm going to Dachau Wednesday or Thursday with Marie. I will probably get the headset and listen to all the sad stories. I missed out at the end of my last trip and want to see it before I leave.

Guess what else is happening before I leave? I'm going on a date. Unforeseeable I agree. However, when we got back from our 5.5 miler today, there was a message on the machine. Carissa, the angel from the tantrum story, has a brother-in-law visiting this week. I think his name is Robert? Anyway, the message asked Danielle to ask me if I was doing anything and if I'd like to go with Robert on a date. It was the most roundabout date asking ever.

Now you know my life; I'm still living in middle school. So I called Carissa back and she said she was coming on base tomorrow at 11:30. We're going to lunch. She will be driving us...does that mean we'll be in the back seat together? Awkward! 

So my mission tomorrow is to see if it was completely her suggestion or if he thought of it. I think it was her idea, because she said her meddling for the day was done. So I think that answers my question. I was a little confused, because I'll never see him again so what's the point, but it'll be good practice. Maybe I'll get an awesome awkward story out of it. My book's still looking for additives- until it's a go.

But if he doesn't want to go, does that mean I should bring money? I hate dates, but when the circumstances are weird, I dislike them more. Yeah.

I ran 10 miles Friday. Surely an experience I shall never forget, running this distance was doable. I will be doing it again this Friday. Some days I think I am a superhero. Those are usually break days.

Danielle and I often speak on the difficulty of running. We've decided running should get easier the more you do it. I heard that's the method for improvement. However, when I'm still sucking air at 2 miles, I just can't seem to believe it.

I think those first 2-3 miles will always be the bad ones, after that invincibility hits. After 3 miles, you can run anything. That's the trick nobody tells you. When you're in the zone, miles can pass. I read a book about it. The green song sound familiar? I think green song may be made up, but it seems to be a haze you can run in forever. Ipods assist in this hazing. Luckily Danielle had an extra one, otherwise I don't know if I would have made it this far. They're so handy. Bless technology bunches.

Meanwhile, my hair is becoming unseemly. My bosom buddies know this makes me obsessive about it. This topic now crops up in every venue imaginable. I'm a hair addict and this has recently come back to light with my inability to pay 25 bones for a haircut, when I could wait a month and get it cut for 10. And so I wait.  I wish I could draw a picture on this stupid blog. 

Picture time:  

 ((  ))
(((  )))

[[  ]]
||  ||
 "   "
Whatever. If you want to see my hair before and after, just redo the three lines above each other and look at them. I give up. 

I think I'd like to have my hair look like this. Is this a terrible sketch? Three layers, with my no body hair should be ample. Then maybe get it feathered in the front? I don't know what the heck I'm talking about.  The first picture is the back, the second the front. Hopefully the cut looks nothing like my sketches because if it does, I will look like a snowman with 80's hair.

The second two diagrams are what my hideous hair looks like now. Those sketches took me a lot of time, so go easy.

Let's see, is there anything else I forgot to mention? Sorry to all the hairstylists reading this blog? Sorry to any males who started reading this thinking it would be entertaining in any way. Sorry to Ali because I know she hates it when I talk about hair. 

I'm reading that Eragon series. I seriously don't know if I can finish the last three books in the next three weeks. I'm halfway through the second book. I'll make a valiant effort. I also saw Night at the Museum II. Hilarious...much better than the first one. 

I'm a geek, or maybe I watched this with a bunch of kids, so it was funnier? I think I would have liked it either way. I especially liked the lispy Egyptian king.  But as we all know, all the geeks come from Missouri, so it probably is the reason.

Remember how I said maybe I should write shorter blogs? Maybe I just thought it? I don't think it's going to happen. Anyway, just a consequence of living in a setting far away from everyone I know. Almost everyone I know. Phones are beautiful devices.

Can you recycle wood in the paper recycling bin?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Prince: The Case of the Troubling Bones

Well, one trouble bone. Prince, as you well know, is the dog. He is a one year old golden retriever who loves wrestling. He loves to eat more than he loves to wrestle. If you touch or approach him while he is relishing any kind of food or bone he will snarl at you.

Yesterday I gave him a bone. I sat in the house reading my book, coming out every half hour or so to check on him. A couple neighbor kids came by to pet him, and were warned of his aggressive nature in respect to his bone. Most of the time he was just sitting in the grass, gnawing his snack.

He chewed that bone all day yesterday and loved it. It was a buffalo tibia bone. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what kind of animal this particular bone originated from, but small it was not.

This morning, at 5 am, the dog was howling. I had no conception why he would howl in such a way, besides bladder control. On my way into the bathroom, my senses were assaulted by a vile stench. It was similar to the stench we experienced Sunday. (Sunday he made three doggy doo piles inside the house. Apparently he needs more time outside. It was cool this weekend. I had a bunch of kids to watch, I didn't walk him. I let him lounge outside, ok?) Panic stricken, I ran him outside and he had a couple pools escape his inner experience. Princey has sensitive innards.

We returned once he was completely emptied. Because of the smell and Prince's hesitancy to get into his box, I peeked my head in and lo, two piles of poo sitting inside. No wonder he wouldn't get back into his box. I cleaned them out, opened the window, put the dog in his box, and went back to sleep as Prince barked his head off. He does that a lot.

At 6, I got sick of the incessant barking and went back into the bathroom to deal with him. In an hour, when sick, you can trench out quite a few gullies. Prince needed to fill some gullies. He urgently ran outside and relieved himself numerous times. I then took him out back, tied him to a tree, and tried to clean up the soup in the bottom of his cage. Yes, he had been completely ill in his cage again. This time for liquid real. Stomach flu smells and such floated through the bathroom. 

I opened all the windows on the first floor, took his cage out back and hosed it down. I cleaned the carpet spots he had left, running outside to relieve himself after standing for an hour in his own filth. I put the bathroom rugs into the wash and disinfected the bathroom floor. 

It was then 6:30 and I had to get up in 30 min anyway to wake the boys for school. Worthless. So I checked the online articles reviewing celebrities and their bad hair- this criticism stemmed ruthlessly from midsection parts and the writer was completely rude. It's hard to look good all the time. I mean yeah, I do it, but not everyone is so lucky.

I rode 15 miles with the running group and was headed to the commissary for milk and fruit with Kristen...when I heard the news. You don't know what happened? Oh, they're saying Prince bit somebody yesterday? What kind of fly paper!? Nobody ever told me about that!

So we went to an office, were sent back home, and told to put the dog into quarantine for the next 10 days. That means he cannot go outside for anything but potty for the next week and a half. And I guess maybe a walk so his legs don't fall off. Just in case he has rabies. Apparently rabies is transferred by bats here. 

And that's how it's done. How to have a cataclysmic weekend part I. If Tuesday still counts. I'm just linking it to Sunday..when the four year old, Chris had a fit. He wanted his socks to be on before he would get into the car. We didn't have time to humor him.

So I grabbed his shoes, my shoes, my earrings, my scriptures, the CTR lesson, him, and jumped into the car. We would have been ready earlier, but I had to clean up two piles of doggie doo on the stairs (I found the third pile in the laundry room Monday), and he got out twice that morning. TWICE! That means Prince ran outside and we had to chase him down in the neighbor's bushes.

Chris stopped crying about halfway through the ride and started screaming again when we got out of the car. I think it was separation anxiety. He screamed for a full 15 minutes before a friend came upstairs to the room we were locked in and asked Chris if he wanted to see her new baby. It was a miracle.

On the up side, I think the boys are really starting to enjoy story time before bed. Also, we have been eating the most delicious dinners of my life the past two weeks. I don't know what is so inspiring, but so far we've eaten: Cream puffs, apple crumble, oatmeal choc. chip cookies, cinnamon rolls, spinach enchiladas, stroganoff, lasagne stuffed noodles, stir fry, pizza. Man, my slim eating has been devastated. I'd forgotten how grand it is to eat real food. Or maybe I just realized it on my Eurotrip, but wow, it's great to eat all this good stuff.

On a side note, I'd like to apologize to anyone who felt slighted by my tricky test on facebook. I have realized many of the questions are quite confusing. I put many questions with several right answers on the list. Deane has listed off all the reasons why she should have gotten 100%. I mostly just like writing up lists about myself, so now that's completed...I hope it did not frustrate anyone unduly.