Friday, December 29, 2006

Forget walking softly--somebody give me a stick.

As sprightly youngsters, my sisters and I, in rough and ready pairs or trios, would joust each other freely, using whatever straightish sort of twigs we could find. Stick-sword-fighting was one of our favorite pastimes, or at least it was mine. (I may be coloring their experiences with my own...)

Once, when I found a long thin metal rod, I thought my elevation to knighthood was assured; here was a real sword made of metal, not wood! I felt all-powerful and quickly defeated all twig-bearing opponents.

I've wondered at times, in the years since being that rather fierce five or six-year-old, where exactly all my courage and boldness boiled away to.

When I think of my personality now, I consider myself a shy person, prone to being rather withdrawn or even hesitant to interact with others. And yet, now I wonder whether shyness was something I was born with or if it was something I decided I was, and then became.

Would that five-year-old with mud on her shoes and hair wisping from a lopsided ponytail recognize the cautious creature she has become?

I think I need to find a stick one of these days and shake it a few times at the current dragons in my life. Maybe if I beat them about the head a bit they'll leave me alone. If I bruise them, perhaps they'll respect me. And if I leave them limping and fleeing away, maybe I'll find that I'm still courageous and bold after all.


Get thee to the MOA

About a week ago on KBYU (a local PBS station) I saw a string of images set to a piece of music from Robert Cundick's The Redeemer. (This piece of music is perhaps one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.) I discovered later that the images, all of which were depictions of Christ, came from the current exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art: Beholding Salvation. (For those of you who would like to see what I saw on KBYU, go here and download from Chapter 3.)

I need to get to the MOA.

This past Sunday (while singing with our ward choir) I broke down in tears during John Rutter's "Candlelight Carol," something which almost never happens. I'm usually way too absorbed with how my voice should sound and whether I got the note just right to even think about the meaning of what I'm singing. I leave that to the audience and usually miss out on what could otherwise be meaningful spiritual experiences. But this time, when we began singing, "Find Him at Bethlehem laid in a manger: Christ our Redeemer asleep in the hay," I couldn't go on. I barely hit one note in five, if that.

I finally remembered what Christ is to me, and my whole soul thrilled to the sweetness of Him.

So I think, sometime within these next few weeks, I need to take a trip to Provo and take a few moments to behold Salvation, and to see how others view Him as well. I think seeing Him may help me to see other things just a little more clearly.

Monday, December 25, 2006

And a very merry one at that

I'm afraid I'm a very negligent blogger. So, because I earlier failed to do so, and because most of you are still in time zones where it's still officially December 25th, I heartily wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope it was lovely and joy-filled for all of you.

And also because I've been awake since about 5:30 this morning, I think that's all I'll say. Merry Christmas, everyone.

And God bless us, every one.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

So--wait--what's wrong with feet?

Okay, people. We are going to get at the root of something here. We're digging deep! We're dredging up stuff that has lain undredged for aeons!

I want to know exactly who decided that feet were ugly. I mean, was it during the Victorian era when pretty much everything below your neck was considered indecent? (And sometimes below your eyebrows?) Was it during the Roman Empire when that prevalent sandal-wearing caused unsightly calluses and really gross accumulation of gunk on said feet? Was it last Thursday when someone posted on her blog, "Ew! Feet are gross," a post which has more or less been altered by me in significant ways? (Inasmuch as no one ever posted it that I know of but I DO know a lot of people actually think this way and I really can't understand why?)


I'm sure it's all three.

However, I find that I must take a different road. To me, feet are not ugly. To me, feet are quite nice little things, actually. They arch so agreeably in that inside space between the pad and the heel; they have such interesting ligaments on top; they're tough and leathery on the bottom and smooth and delicate above. And heck--don't even get me started about how much I love toes. (Yay! Toes are great!)

So to all of you people out there who think that our legs would do much better with just a stump at the end, or for all of those out there who insist that feet must be covered up every waking minute lest we all become flooded with inappropriate thoughts about each other, and to those nay-sayers who say, "Nay, feet! Nay!" I say:

"Walk on, feet. Be proud in your feetitude. Be bold, be step-worthy, and above all, be bare."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

In everything I don't say is where I live my life

I've been thinking today about the creation of things, how the act of creating moves something from one of hundreds of thousands (or millions) of possibilities into the one thing that is. When I post here, I usually come with some idea of what I want to talk about, whether it be nephews or books or getting stuck in the snow. I taste sentences in my head like someone at an ice cream counter, sampling this flavor or that before I find one that sticks.

Then, when I sit down to write it, it shapes itself into something entirely different, going from chocolate to strawberry to oreo mint, when I had originally intended something more like peanut butter cup.

So even when I intend to write about something, I often end up with something completely different.

And then there are the things that get left out because I don't want to write about them, things like staring into the mirror for fifteen minutes trying to penetrate my own mind on the double fronts of the exterior and interior barriers I've put up against myself, trying to see past my own eyes and find out at last what this creature whose reflection I see is really capable of becoming. Or when I go through days when every song I hear, every line I hear from the television, every comment someone makes reminds me of things that I lack, of traits I wish I had, of people I miss, of things I want in my life but simply don't have.

Sometimes I don't want to tell you about these times, I believe because they make me feel too sad.

But there are so many things that I would tell you, but I can't, because by the time I finally get around to typing my post, the idea is gone, or changed into something unrecognizable. Or because this blog is public, I don't want to really bare my soul too much; instead I'll leave it safely ensconced somewhere behind my breastbone, thank-you-very-much, from which, in the privacy of my room, I may take it out and pat it a few times just to remind myself it's there.

Even now, this post isn't anything I thought it would be. But it is what it is. It's moved into the realm of being rather than just the realm of what might be.

Just know that, when I write about being miffed at choir practice or the joy of having loose and baggy jeans, there's an entire life's worth of unwritten experiences that I have every day but will not or cannot share. (Not that you need to know precicely how my toothpaste tasted, of course--I'm not talking about minutae.) I guess what I'm saying is, please remember that, although a blog is formatted in such a way to give you snippets of my life, it's only the very skin of the thing, never getting beyond the epidermis. But I've got a whole lot of flesh left under that.

As have you.

So come on. Tell me how you're doing. (And in case you were wondering, yes, that meant you.)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Because nephews are, of all things, most wonderful:

I give you this:

Not to mention this:

(Aw. Cute little socks on cute little feet and you'll probably slap me if I use the phrase "cute little" once more.) Hahaha! Please, do forgive a besotted auntie.

I just had to share. (I guess this counts as a shameless plug for someone else's kid. Where's my pride, man?)

Friday, December 15, 2006

What is like falling in love

I've remembered what this was now.

It's music.

Like the music I heard last night, some pieces ethereal and some rousing and energetic. It felt very much like falling in love, that sensation that flares in your chest and rushes out to your shoulders and down to our feet, making you want to race something and strain your legs against the earth, but also to stand unmoving on the crest of a hill while the wind blows through you.

Saying that it was lovely stuff would be true but not accurate. But I can't really think of anything better to say.

For those of you still in Utah (darn few of you), if you have the chance to attend the MoTab Christmas concert with Sissel (who, by the way, has convinced me that I really can become an instant fan of a Norwegian Singing Sensation who, despite an admittedly odd haircut, has one of the loveliest voices I've heard in ages) then you will love it. Period.

If you don't have a chance to attend, at least tune in to the weekly MoTab Sunday morning broadcast at 9:30am (Mountain Time) on KSL for a brief taste of it.

You know. If you feel like it.

Monday, December 11, 2006

And also...

I know, I really do know it's creepy that I read the blogs of people I don't know, but you people have seriously got to see this.

Despite its irreverence, it tickled my insides until they shouted at me to stop.


Oh, yes. This is why I dislike winter...

Today was the first snow-shoveling day of the year, at least for me. Right after Family Home Evening, we noticed that our dear ol' dad had gone out to shovel the driveway. Now, my dad is completely capable of clearing the entire thing by himself, but because we love him and we don't want him to have a heart attack alone in the snow, my two younger sibs and I went out to help him clean up the durn thing.

Unfortunately, this morning as we all left for work or school or Walmart, each of our cars left a trail of packed snow behind us that absolutely refused to be parted from the driveway this evening. And also the snow was a bit wet. And heavy.

All of this helped me to remember this evening just why I dislike winter. It's not so much the cold, nor the fear of slipping and breaking my tibia (or worse, my clavicle) while shuffling around the church parking lot in shoes that have NO traction whatsoever, nor is it the gloom that descends on our poor minds every time the clouds lower, nor is it the cold. (I already mentioned that? Oh. Well. It counts twice.)

It's shoveling. Particularly when it's snowing at the same time, and by the time you've finally gotten three quarters of the way down the driveway, that first quarter already has another inch on it.


Fortunately, that was not the case this evening. It wasn't snowing, and while it was cold, it wasn't frigid, and while the snow was packed and a bit heavy, it was mostly frozen so it wasn't too bad, and we just kind of skimmed over the top of the car tracks, and also there were four people shoveling so it didn't take too long, and also we got some hot chocolate (mine artificially sweetened) at the end of it.

But it was kind of like seeing a preview for a movie you didn't want to see, but you knew for the sake of societal pressure you would see anyway. No. No, that comparison doesn't work at all.

It was more like smelling something foul that you hadn't yet come across but you knew was just around the bend and you were about to run smack dab into it. With your bare foot. Weeeelll...better, but still...

It was like...

It was like...

Yo. It was sooooo like shoveling a driveway full of snow, knowing that winter has only just started and you have at least another thirty or forty days where you'll have to shovel this gunk (and a lot more days where you'll have to LOOK at the gunk) before you finally start seeing green on the trees again.

Yeah. That's totally what it was like. Yaaaaay winter.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Slightly Irregular Wish List

For all of you out there who are thinking about buying me a smashingly wonderful Christmas gift, (i.e. none of you), I have finally found a gift for me, one that I will love and cherish and adore for the rest of me days.

Now I know that the spirit of Christmas is all about giving, and believe me, I would never have risked my flesh and unbroken bones in the mass of shoppers on Black Friday (i.e. the day after Thanksgiving) to find those few perfect gifts that also happened to be on sale if I weren't interested in giving, giving, giving away just like the Little Stream.

But, because I've had trouble thinking of exactly what I wanted to receive, (I usually just buy stuff I want...when I have enough money...), I thought I would make it easier for any of you. Who happen to want to give me stuff. Um.

In any case, while I was working in the Juvenile section of the HBLL at BYU, I ran across an old picture book called The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine. The pictures are basically cutouts of Victorian-era engravings, and the story is a hodgepodge of strange events and bizarre characters, including a pirate who has knitted his own beard. I was wowed. I wanted one for myself. (The book, not the beard-knitting pirate, although that would be cool too...)

However, when I went to try to find the book, I discovered to my everlasting dismay that it was out of print.


And yet what were my triumphant rejoicings when today I received an email update about news in the Juvenile Lit publishing industry and found that The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine has been reissued! (They were great indeed. rejoicings, that is.) And I looked! And it was there! On Amazon!

So, for those of you who are just racking your brains (ouch!) trying to figure out exactly what to get lil' ol' me for Christmas, here's your hint, your one major hint.

Except...if more than one of you intends to get this for me, I would have several copies of The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine. And then I would have to donate copies to local elementary schools and literacy programs in South America, and the poor children would be very confused about the strange disjointed tale and would probably end up working in some terrible industry, like fast food, because they were so disturbed by it.

So maybe I should just buy this for myself. Yes. Yes. Just nevermind this whole blog post.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Here's a tip--don't shock yourself.

My workplace is saturated with static electricity. It lives in the carpets; it lurks in doorknobs and in the metal corners of cubicles; it leaps from its hidey-holes in light-switches. And if you're unlucky enough to brush your unhappily conductive flesh against any one of these things, you're liable to get a nasty jolt.

So, I've taken to grounding myself at every opportunity. When I walk back to the copier, I brush my knuckles against the frame of the cubicle behind me, touch the metal bookcase midway down the room and tap my fingers against the light-switches next to the copier so that when I put that piece of paper face-down on the glass, I don't get a heart-stopping wallop to my electrical system. (Those are unpleasant.)

However, despite my best efforts, I still sometimes get a good shock. Like today.

Today, as usual, I hit the back of my hand against the light-switch to disperse the electrical charge I'd built up during the past twenty or so steps. Unfortunately, the charge was so great that when I grounded myself the shock was even worse than usual. A couple of minutes later, the back of my hand started to itch, so I scratched it without really looking at it. When I finally glanced over, there was a little welt that looked like a mosquito bite smack dab in the center of my hand.

I was horrified (HORRIFIED, I tell you!) to realize that the welt must have come from the shock I got at the light-switch. ('Cause mosquitos are dead, man. Dead.)

"Holy Canoli!" I shouted (not really)! "That shock of static electricity totally burned me and raised a welt on my skin! Yowza!"

Actually, I just looked at the welt and thought of what a great blog-post that would be. (I just wished I had a camera at the time.)

And really, don't you agree?

And I don't even miss the other chin.

Today was weigh-in day. I approached the scale with trepidation but left it

For behold, I have at last reached MY FIRST MINI GOAL! And I won't tell you what the goal was (because it's too embarrassing) but I will tell you that this morning I was 5 lbs UNDER it.

And I didst rejoiceth greatly much. And lots of it, too. Tied up with ribbons. With complimentary pink bunny slippers. And... (what on earth am I talking about???) This makes 37.5 lbs in total, and I find that I'm definitely liking the feel of my now-baggy jeans.

To illustrate my (slightly less large-o) self, here's a pic I took on Saturday. It's blurry, but I think it captures, um, the green of my shirt pretty well. Oh, and did I mention that I finally got that haircut? This past summer?

And here's another pic. Because I think it's funny.

See how wrinkled and studious-looking my forehead is? Yeah. We're talking serious thought processes going on here, including but not limited to: ponderings upon cheese, why "House Hunters" on HGTV is good television even though it seems completely boring, and also thinking that what I had for lunch might actually be an interesting blog post after all.

It was chicken. Mmm.

Monday, December 04, 2006

How, oh how did she get my life?

I've been blog cruising; you know--looking for stuff to read on a Sunday night, browsing around the internet because the only alternative is going to bed muy early and also turning on my nifty space-heater so my toes aren't freezing all night.

And (thanks to Lindsay's awesome links) I happened across the blog of a girl who is living the life that I want.

I wonder if you guys have ever had that experience before, where you open up a newspaper and there, in the local section, is the gal (or guy) who, from their naturally curly hair to their husband (or wife) named Stan (or Jill) is exactly who you want to be.

Well, this girl is it for me. She just got back from getting a degree in Library Science from a university in England, (HELLLOOOOO! COOL!), just got a job as a bona fide librarian, just went on an awesome blind date with a guy who, get this, wrote her a thank-you note for a great date!


I just want to go over to her blog, plunk down at her feet and say, "Teach me, oh great one! I will be your willing pupil if only, only you will tell me how to get my hair to curl naturally like that, and how to be a librarian, and also how to get neat guys to write thank-you notes to me."

But I'm too embarrassed to do it. Because I'm living the life that no one really wants. And I'm actually just a little bit ashamed, because by heck and by golly it's my own gosh-darned fault that I'm where I am today. So I'll just keep on lurking and read about her being productive and wonderful and helpful in her librarian position and also having a really great time dating thank-you-note boys.

Urg. *Twitch.* And off I go to customer service tomorrow. Woooo.

Yeah. Bed sounds like a really good thing right now.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


I done it! I mean it's done and I did it! I wrote 50,000 words in one month! By, like, steady plodding and sacrificing good writing on the altar of quantity!


And also, Yeeeeeaaaaaah, BABY!


(Well, that last exclamation may have been a bit much...)

As a newly inducted NaNoWriMo winner, I get to put this lovely image up on my blog:

(Yeah. I went with the biggest one available. Totally.)

However, as impressed as I am with my own personal writing feat, (and at 166 pages in Word it's the most (by a long shot) I've ever written for any one project), I'm even more impressed with my little sis's writing skills.

Even now she's madly dashing off her last 1000 words, having written an average of about 5000 every day for the past week. WOW. She was only about halfway to the goal a week ago and now... THAT AWESOME AND CRAZY CHIC! SHE'S TOTALLY GONNA MAKE IT!

So tomorrow she and I are going to have our own little "Thank goodness it's over" party. We're probably gonna go to a movie, she'll eat some popcorn ('cause I'm abstaining...shoot...), and we'll laugh and we'll cry and we'll fall asleep onto each other's shoulders halfway through the movie because, by heck, this writing 50,000 words in one month is pretty tiring work.



Get your car out of the gutter, girl!

It has recently been snowing here in Utah, thus launching the season of white-knuckled, brake-tapping, generally terrifying driving experiences we all know and…er…love? It always takes me a few weeks at least to get used to the different way you have to brake and to recall just how to ease your car out of a spin instead of making it go around in a 360.

In short, I’m still in that How the heck do I do this? stage, currently at least another two weeks away from that blessed blissful moment when I'll be able to skid my way uphill with an inch of solid ice on the road and not get stuck even once.

So it really shouldn't have surprised me today when I tried to park on the street just north of my workplace and ended up in the gutter. Yes folks, the gutter. I pulled up into a nice open spot (which was also unfortunately covered with ice) and when I tried to stop the car, it slid down inevitably into the gutter, and just slid more quickly when I hit the brakes in surprise. (Yeah. Smart move there, Lizardbreath.)

So I got stuck in the gutter. And after a few tries of backing up and twisting my wheels to the left and trying to get back on the road again, I just gave up, kicked the car (not really) and let it just sit and think about what it had done while I went in to work.

Work has been stressful this week because of a large sale we had over the weekend which flooded us with orders, phone calls and emails that all urgently needed attention. So I felt frayed and low when I went back out to the car at lunchtime to see if I could get it out of the gutter and into the parking lot of the local Subway shop.

And call me foolish, but I was so distressed that I decided to pray and ask if I could get just a little bit of help to get my car out of the gutter, mainly so I wouldn't have to ask the company's owner if he could tow me up onto the road. I think I couched it in terms like, "I know this isn't a big deal, and you don't have to if you don't want to, but I would really love it if I could just get out of this gutter on my own."

I think I sometimes feel like God is rather reluctant to answer our prayers, as if He sifts through a stack of them, setting some aside because the requests are too insignificant, or don't match precisely what He knows we should want. At times, this feeling makes me believe that God will not answer prayers at all, but that whatever I'm asking for will be answered with a firm "No."

So I was surprised, and very, very grateful when, with a single backing up and a twisting of my front tires to the left, I was able to get my little Geo back up onto firm road, leaving that gutter behind me (I hope for good).

As I drove off to Subway to get lunch, I found myself in tears. I realized (or remembered) that God actually delights in helping us, and I believe that He will aid us in every small or large thing that He can. He's not reluctant to answer prayers; it's just that we're sometimes reluctant to place our faith in Him. That's why He answers a child's prayer to find his lost dinosaur toy, or a student's desperate prayer to remember the mathematical formula she needs on a test, or a sin-bound person's desire to be freed, at last, from his heavy burdens of guilt and pain.

Answering these prayers shows us that He loves us, but they also help us to learn to trust God and to turn to Him again when we have greater need.

It also changes something inside of us. This morning I was a wretched customer service rep who, frazzled, tried to leap from one task to another and berated herself after every phonecall for sounding like an idiot. This afternoon I was me again: Lizardbreath, who has a Heavenly Father who looks out for her and delights in helping her.

And I hope I don't have to slide into the gutter again to be reminded of that.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm in the mood to be insulted.

We had practice for ward choir today, and with all the rather difficult pieces we're doing this year and with only about four weeks to go, it's feeling like we're getting into real crunch time here. I wonder if that might have been part of it.

Also, I didn't really want to come to choir today. It's really that way most weeks--for some reason, I just really want to keep that hour for myself to do something like read. Or sleep. (Both of which I am exceedingly good at.) That definitely was part of it.

And then there's the fact that, in the choir, I'm used to being petted and coddled as the alto 'golden child' who always gets her notes right and leads the section in sounding out her part like a human-shaped trumpet. That was the biggest part of all.

Today, while practicing, one of the good sisters in my section kept insisting that we weren't hitting the notes of a particular section very well, and she kept looking at me while she was insisting it. I started to feel rankled, especially since I've sung this piece numerous times over the past thirteen or so years and I feel like I pretty much know it by heart. So, I got offended. Every time she said we hadn't gotten the notes right, I would dig the fingernails of my left hand into my palm and try to convince myself not to get up and storm out like a tantrumy child. Then when she pointed out a timing problem in another section of the song, I had to physically bite down on my tongue to keep myself from saying something that I knew I would regret.

Now. Let me express to you--I love this sister. She's funny and wry and has this wonderfully deep voice and eyes that twinkle and just generally embodies all that is good. I give her hugs on a regular basis (or rather I used to give her hugs, before I got called into Primary and pretty much lost contact with the rest of the ward).

After my temper had cooled and after we had moved onto another song I was left to sit and wallow in my shame at having been so taken aback by this sister's implication that I was not getting the notes of this song right. I had simply been offended because I believed she was accusing me of singing the wrong notes, which I believed I was incapable of doing. Aargh! My pride! My vicious, vicious pride!

There are times that I thoroughly despise myself. For instance, when I make a mistake that costs my company a great deal of money, I feel like a slug that has slimed its way across somebody's wedding cake. Or, when I fail to get up on time and walk in a few minutes late to church, I feel like a spider that has crawled into someone's sundae. Man, I hate that!

But the time I despise myself the most is when I let my stupid, bullheaded pride in my minor talents & accomplishments overrule the honest affection I have for someone, when I'm more concerned with being right than being kind, and more occupied with my status than with being humble. I hate that about myself the most of all things.

So, I suppose this free confession to all of you is my penance. Thanks for reading. (Now for some more self-flagellation...)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

For one thing we give thanks above all

I must admit--I can be a bit of a scrooge. I'm the one who winces when coworkers break out their Christmas music CDs the day after Halloween, the one who glares at the Christmas decorations that appear on store shelves right next to the swimsuits and beach balls.

Fortunately, by the time Thanksgiving rolls around I'm usually resigned to the idea of the Christmas Holiday Season finally being here, as well as a bit ashamed of my reluctance to enter into the spirit of said season. That was the way I felt today, or rather last night if you want to be particular.

And I suddenly realized what a serendipitous thing it is that the holiday of Thanksgiving is just a month before Christmas. It's Thanksgiving that makes us remember that all good things come from God, from the turkey & jello salad to the birth of a new nephew into the family. Then, just as the holiday closes, we're rushed right into another even busier, hectic holiday season. But this holiday is the celebration of a life for which we should give the greatest thanks of all.

On this Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for my family and for all the wonderful, delicious food which is, even now, bulging my stomach out to indecent proportions.

But most of all I'm thankful that God did choose to send His Only Begotten Son, and that the Son perfectly obeyed the will of His Father in all things, both setting an immaculate example for us to follow and freeing us from being trapped forever by our own stupid, persistent errors.

I'm finally grateful for the Christmas season. I'm finally being a little more grateful for Christ.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Yay! I'm ahead of schedule!

Oh! I'm just swept away with excitement! (And yes, folks, that is the sort of terribly cliche sentence that is oh-so-typical in my NaNoWriMo novel.)

I actually managed to write about 1100 words more today than I needed to. Hurrah! And hooray! And general fantabulous celebratory...erm...actions!

Well, I'm really just pleased that I got caught up enough in the story that I didn't want to stop writing until I'd finished a scene. Hah! That's true authorship for ya, ain't it? Yeah.

It's good to be an author.

(And seriously--NO, I mean SERIOUSLY--I need to think of a blog topic that does not, in some way, involve NaNoWriMo. Maybe come December.)

Holy Eggs!

Wow. I completely forgot I took this picture, that is until I was searching through my image files just now looking for something to spice up my blog, and maybe provide a topic.

So. Yeah. Holy. Cow. Or, rather, holy egg. (That is, if you believe that an egg having two yolks makes it holy. Which, erm, isn't really consistent with any religion I know about, but then I could be ill-informed. Although if this egg was holy, I'm afraid it's long gone by now. And yes, it was delicious.)

Uhhhh... I'm so sorry. You see, I'm spending all of my creative juices (mmm...delicious creative juices) dreaming up unlikely plot elements for my novel. Like finding a box with a compass that's kind of filled in with blue wax. And a woman who appears dramatically riding a glowing bear.

Yes. My story has definitely taken some weird turns. And, like, unexpected ones. And holy heck, (that is, if you believe that 'heck' is holy, which, in my book, it most certainly is not), I haven't even gotten to where the original fairy tale begins. STILL. In fact, as I pointed out to my younger sibs this evening, I'm still roughly five to ten years before the fairy tale starts, depending on what age I decide everyone will be when the adventurous siblings head off into the woods and one gets turned into a deer.

Yup. That's what I said: a deer.

So, I'm afraid my poor little blog posts will continue to be dull and boring and...will have pictures of eggs with two yolks...maybe...until November has ended and I've participated in that giant December 1st "Thank Heaven it's OVER" party. Except, at the rate I'm going (glowing bears notwithstanding) it'll be January at LEAST before I finish the rough draft of this darn thing. Of, like, 2008. So there.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Only a little obsession

Heya, guys!

I just wanted to say, Hi! Here I am! And also, I'm alive!

I just keep having all my free time sucked away by trying to write many words in a novel. may not see much of me. Or, you may see some of me, but it will likely be a me who is trying to escape from novel-writing.

Alas, the current me is tired and still has to email some pictures to herself so she can post them from work. And she also realizes that the last sentence didn't make any sense whatsoever.

Alas, again.


So, steak is pretty tasty. And water is nice to drink. And bed is calling.

Gooooood night.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Duh. Typical Me.

So the whole reason I turned on my computer about an hour ago was to Google how to clean a chenille throw. And then I thought: Well, as long as I'm online I might as well check my email. So I did. Which took a long time. Then I checked my blog, then I checked other people's blogs, then I tried to listen to a song excerpt from Borders, then I listened to Holst's The Planets for awhile, then I shut down my computer.

And remembered that I hadn't found out how to clean that chenille throw.

Darn me.

(It's apparently dry-clean only anyway. Guess the thing'll have to stay dirty for awhile longer. Ew.)

Still going and going and going

It's getting harder to write 1667 words every day. I guess that's why over at NaNoWriMo they suggest that you get a huge head start that first week in November. Which I didn't. Oops.

I'm still keeping current with my word count, but the time between word-count checks ("Okay--I'm at 13874... Now I'm at 13882. Woohoo! Progress, baby!") is getting shorter and shorter. Also, my plot is moving about in ways I didn't expect. Also, I am easily distracted by babies. Also, my characters are behaving differently than they did when I first introduced them. Also, I am very tired. Also, I don't think I like artichoke hearts.

So, as you can see, writing a novel is difficult.

However, tomorrow my page count should jump up to 54 or 55, which will make this project the one for which I've written the most (my previous attempt, written during an entire semester, came only to 51 pages) and I'm also finding that despite really really wanting to get through those 1667 words so I can go to sleep, I'm actually enjoying my novel. I like the way things are happening, and characters and places are getting described naturally as I go along. I think it's working, mostly, and that's rather surprising to me.

At my book club this past Tuesday, I found out that Shannon Hale (author of recent Newbery honor book Princess Academy) sets a goal of writing 1000 words every day. Hearing that, and knowing that right now, with a full-time job, I'm pulling off 1667 words a day, I thought to myself, "Hey. I could do that."

So, I decided to quit my job, drop all other plans for the future and write full time.

Hahaha! Ohh.... *wipes tears from her eyes* That was a good one. Yeaaah.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Either we are the most boring family ever, or babies are the most interesting things ever invented.

Today was my nephew's blessing day. He's now just over 2 months old and is doing an astonishingly good job of holding conversations with people (necessarily consisting almost entirely of the letter 'g' and assorted vowel sounds, and thus making words like: "ooh...gaaaeeeehhh....guruuruughh"), rolling over, sort-of-standing (assisted in the balance-bit by numerous adult helpers, but pretty much holding himself up), and just generally looking adorable.

Here--see for yourself!

So while my family did play the awesome game "Apples to Apples" for a bit, the majority of the evening (and the afternoon, and a darn good portion of the morning) we spent by simply looking at him, or watching others look at him, or thinking about looking at him except he was nursing at the time and that would have been weird.

It's crazy how fascinating a baby can be. When it's your kid sister's babe, especially. Or a friend's. Or whatever.

Or maybe my family is just boring. (But if we're boring for staring at babies all day, then I say 'boring' is SOOO the new 'exciting, 'interesting' and 'dare-devilish.' Well, maybe not 'dare-devilish.' But it's close.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Ripping ABBA and The Redeemer and avoiding novel-writing

Hello, all.

I just wanted to tell you that you are all cool. And that sitting here on my bed typing in my blog in the half-dark (because it's cloudy today here in Utah) I kind of miss you all. Because you are cool. And because I currently feel...a little separated from you all. I guess.


And also, I'm currently transferring more of my (rather eclectic) CD collection onto my laptop so I can more easily listen to music while I type up nonsense for my NaNoWriMo novel. I've just finished ABBA and The Redeemer (an oratorio written by former Mormon Tabernacle organist and LDS composer extraordinare Robert Cundick) and now I'm moving on to the MoTab CD Consider the Lilies and then I'll do Elgar's Enigma Variations. (Mmm. Delicious Elgar... Oh. Er...wait...)

Novel-writing is actually going swimmingly so far, and I've surprised myself by being exactly on schedule. Apparently if you write 1667 words per day you'll just make the 50,000 word mark by the end of the month. So far, I've got 5412, which is just about right on for the first three days of the month. (Of course, I haven't written anything today, but I'm sure I'll get up where I should be. After all, it takes 3 days of doing something to form a habit, right? Right???)

Speaking of habits, I've also surprised myself recently for the last two months by getting up early enough in the morning to give myself roughly an hour of exercise time. (In case you were wondering, I DID exercise that day I slept in--I just exercised rather late in the day.) As a consequence of that (and other little changes like eating NO sugary stuff & consuming more veggies (veggies now quiver in fear at the sight of me, the great veggie predator)) I've now gone down one pant size (hooray!) and only have (mumble mumble) more to go until I'm...there. You know. THERE. Where the beguilingly beautiful women hang out. (I think it's some sort of nightclub, with a blue neon sign above the door that says "The Lovely Lounge," or maybe it's "The Lovely Lozenge." Yes, that's it. In fact, I'm quite sure of it.)

I guess I didn't really need to tell you all that, because it's not really all that important, (except that it's nice to snuggle into pants that aren't quite as large as they used to be, and it's nice to be using holes in my belt that have never been used before), but I thought that since I recently spent a post ranting about how miserably dumb I can be, I ought to post a minor accomplishment as well.

So, I guess I ought to get down to business & actually accomplish something today besides posting to my blog & ripping CDs and making Primary phone calls and reading a third of Princess Academy for the book-club meeting on Tuesday and...HOLY COW! Missing a very important message from Cathy!

Sorry folks--gotta go!

(P.S. It's a GOOD message, so no worries!)

***Edit: Okay! Just got off the phone with Cathy, and she authorized me to tell you that they have a new baby daughter who was born yesterday at about 3pm-ish! Her name is Gwyneth Schaller, although I forgot to check the spelling, and I also forgot to check & see if she has a middle name, so I'll have to adjust this info later. Also, you might be interested to know that she weighs 8lbs, 4oz and that she's 21 and 3/4 inches long. For more info, I'm sure you could call the Schallers sometime, and they likely wouldn't mind. Not even a bit.***

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

At last! It's time to procrastinate!

November 1st has arrived at last, and with it that feeling of fresh new challenges that every new first-of-the-month seems to convey. However, this month has an even fresher (and newer) challenge than usual. As you may have noticed, I've joined the ranks of those attempting to write an entire novel (or at least 50,000 words) within the 30 days of the month of November. (NaNoWriMos, we like to call ourselves, and for more info about our worthy endeavor, you can check out

So at last I have the chance to get started on that novel that's been percolating around my head for roughly the past, oh, week or so... And what do I do, I pray you, good readers? Naturally I sit and blog about writing a novel, without actually getting started.

Ah. The joys of procrastination. Especially when one has a blog. 'Tis joyful indeed.

(But do wish me luck. My sister helped me figure out that one must write about 6 pages of double-spaced 12-point text in order to reach the 50,000 word goal in 30 days. I have high hopes of being certifiably insane by the end of this month. Huzzah! Oh, and for those of you interested in tracking my progress, my NaNoWriMo username is lizardbreathmcgee (in case you didn't catch that in the comment on my previous post). I'll keep y'all updated anyway.)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Of all the dumb things to do...

***Hey, guys! I actually wrote this early early this morning, but for some reason blogger wouldn't let me upload the post. So I'm uploading it now. Hope it doesn't cause too much confusion!***

Today has been a stupid day. A very, very stupid day.

It all started with the fact that I (oh, so foolishly) stayed up until about 2am Thursday night (or rather Friday morning) because I knew I wouldn't have to work today. (Er, or I guess technically 'yesterday,' because now it's early Saturday morning.)


So, I slept in late (naturally) when I had intended to be up & about by 7am. (Oh, foolish, foolish me.) After kicking myself angrily out of bed at approximately 10:30am (ICK) I managed to mess around doing pretty much nothing for nearly an hour, after which I (finally) exercised & (at last) ate breakfast (which meal was consumed at about 12:30pm).

So, as you can see, I was off. Very much off today.

I meandered back into my room to kill time on the internet, maybe check a blog or two along with my email, and I got sucked into... Huh. I can't even remember now what I got sucked into, so I guess it doesn't really matter.

Then I realized that my back was stiff from the awkward way I'd been sitting with my laptop, so I laid down. On my bed. And also it was cold, so I kind of pulled my blanket up, and then... I woke up at 4pm to a phonecall from my boss asking if I could come in on Monday which, of course, I said 'yes' to, and then, being unspeakably disheartened that I couldn't have a 4-day weekend after all, I plummeted miserably back into the dark depths of unconciousness.

One of the appealing things about sleeping is that you forget for a time that you're you. I mean, sometimes I dream as if I were myself, but more often I take on some kind of different personna. I jump in & out of the heads of my dream 'characters' (I don't know what else to call them) so I could 'be' a guy or a girl or a kid or an alien, or just a 3rd party observer hovering somewhere near the action. Today when I dreamed, I was both myself and my sister and then later I was some sort of space-adventurer man (also sometimes a woman) who was concerned about the air being depleted from his/her spaceship. (I have no clue why gender seems to be such a fluid thing in these dreams.)

Coming to after dreaming like that can be a jarring experience; your contact with the real world begins again with the realization that you're really you, and that the world you're waking into is what reality really is, and that the places and events and people you've recently been experiencing are NOT real, however tangible they may have felt up until the point you opened your eyes.

And it was dark. And you knew that it couldn't possibly be any earlier in the day than 7:30, which is an unbelievably atrocious hour to wake up from a nap, and then you fumbled fearfully for your glasses after refusing to even try to find out what time it is because you knew you'd hate yourself when you did and OH...............................

It's 8:36.

And you have literally slept the entire day away.

Yes, that day: the day you had HUGE plans for, the day you were going to use to get everything done, the day you were going to get on the ball and finally take some steps to assure that you didn't spend the next 20 years of your life living as an appendage to your parents. That day.

Once, before my mission, I went through a period of time that was...just about the darkest time I've experienced. I was completely withdrawn from people; I failed classes, slept through church, never paid my rent on time, and was, in short, a miserable hulk of a human being. I couldn't face anything--I couldn't even face being myself anymore, so I slept. Sleep was a greater escape than even books could be, and I used that escape more and more as I became more and more disgusted with myself and more and more in despair of ever being able to break free of the downward cycle I was in. I've come to realize since then that this period marked an episode of some serious depression (although never fear--fortunately, I never really thought of suicide as any sort of option).

I think one of the reasons why I hate days like today is that I'm afraid it's a return to that dark period. I'm afraid I'm on the verge of swinging back down into depression. It's a place I haven't been, at least for any lengthy amount of time, since then, thank goodness, and I've always been afraid that somewhere in my brain is some balance that, if tipped the right way, could send me swirling downwards into that same place. Sleeping in excessive amounts (like I did today) seems to me to be a tip-off. I'm not sure if I get depressed because I have the unenviable capability of sleeping circles around everybody else, or if I sleep so long because I can't stand being around myself anymore, and my self-disgust is what leads to depression.

Uch. Guys, I'm so sorry this topic is heavier than usual. Please don't be afraid for me. I learned many, many things on my mission: one was the importance of not letting the past prevent you from taking action in the present, and another was to keep moving and keep working and keep getting up every morning and keep going out and doing things. One other advantage I have now is that I work full-time. While I sometimes took the unfortunate view that I didn't have to go to class and could therefore sleep through it, doing the same thing with a full-time job has never been an option. So. I'm not going to start sleeping through every day, lose my job, have my parents shaking their heads in flabbergasted despair, etc., etc.

I also don't live with someone who hates me, which, unfortunately, was also part of that really, really unpleasant time. Part of the reason I slept so much then was also to avoid her. And, while I may have the occasional spat with a family member, I'm really reasonably certain that they actually do love me.

In short, the danger I'm in now is just wasting time that I have available and feeling really bad about myself because of it. And the solution? I guess it comes back to those same mission lessons: repent of your mistakes and then let them go, and BLAST it all, GET OUT OF BED ON TIME! (Which also means that I probably ought to try to sleep soon so I can be up by 8am. Here's hoping!)

***(Edit: I actually got up about 8:30, which isn't bad considering I didn't go to sleep until after 3am this morning. I think I'm mostly normalized now. In more ways than one.)***

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's snowing pizzas!

For those of you who like the thought of whole wheat anything, and for those of you who have wondered all your lives what exactly an uncooked whole wheat pizza with mozzerella, Canadian bacon, tomatoes and assorted bell peppers (not to mention a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese) would look like, I have graciously uploaded the photo to the left. Mmm.

For those of you who have wondered what exactly a cooked version of the same pizza would look like, gaze on this little beaut:

Okay--so the lighting's weird. Okay, so the peppers are all kind of scattered haphazardly and okay, so not everyone likes Parmesan cheese.

But I will persist in believing that my pizza was delicious.

Oh, and while I'm on the subject, isn't October just a little bit early for snow? I mean, I thought El Nino was supposed to bring us a mild winter this time around, so how can it have snowed here already??? For evidence, brace yourself for yet another picture:

(My front lawn this early evening)

And this one (my strangely elongated hand holding a fistful of (very cold), like, freaking OCTOBER):

Weeeelll, I guess that's enough pictures for today. I could show you a closeup of those gorgeous tomatoes on the pizza, and I could show you a picture of my tennis shoe (which I am now wearing instead of the flip-flops) crunching down the powdery white stuff, but I won't. Not unless you beg. Really hard.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Why Whole Wheat Flour is Super-Oopity-Duper


So when I say I'm going to post on my blog sometime later that day, what I really mean is that if I were a less flawed version of a human being, I would post later that day in accordance with my less-flawed and more-perfecto way of doing things. I would not delay something I said I would do; I would not gaze at my lappy with apathy and turn (yet again) to flipping the channels on the tv set, watching a steady stream of mundanity flow by.

I would post, by gum.

Alas. I am not as perfecto as I would wish.

So, in accordance with my rather more-flawed way of doing things, I am posting about whole wheat flour today, dutifully (nay--blissfully) ignoring the promise I made to talk about it, oh, um, three or so days ago.




So, that whole wheat flour, huh? Pretty nifty stuff!

Actually, I'm really rather excited about whole wheat flour at the moment. You see, I've sworn off (at least for the forseeable future) refined white flour & all the attendant easy-digestibleness thereof. So whole wheat flour has become my semi-staple, my way of eating lovely bready foods like...bread...and........dough. Actually, the only thing I've made so far with said whole wheat (hereafter referred to as "ww") flour is some (or is it 'was some') ww pizza dough, to which I added toppings like fistfuls of mozzerella, sliced tomatoes and (mmm) triangles of Canadian bacon. Yummy! (Is it just me, or is the word 'yummy' a trifle too...perky?)

I hope to soon go on (ooo...a split infinitive) to ww bread (in loaf format) and ww rolls, soon to be followed by ww chocolate chip cookies (sweetened with Splenda) and ww brownies and other delectable artificially sweetened bits of not-so-decadent-decadence.

And perhaps, perhaps in a very long while, I'll feel prepared to make and bake and eat a lovely, dark, whole wheat chocolate cake, that will be mine...all my memory of that cake I never had.

Mmmmmmmmmm. How I long for that delicious whole wheat chocolate cake. And I won't share. No, not one bit.

Well, maybe just a little.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Argh! I will post!

For those of you who believed I was dead, fear not. I am yet alive.

In fact, I will do my best to post a little something this evening...Hm... I think it will be about whole wheat flour & all the joys associated with it.

Yes. Mmm...

So, like, later, yo.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Oh. Ouch.

I got hit really hard today. I mean really hard. Like a guy with brass knuckles kind of hard. My day had been...less than stellar already & I was feeling, erm...disappointed in myself (yet again) and I came home & checked out my mail, and lo & behold I got a bill for $2400. Yep.

Apparently a surgery bill I thought had been covered by insurance really wasn't, and now I have to dish out a little over $2000. (The insurance company was kind enough to furnish roughly $370.)

I seriously went through the stages of grief, as if that big ol' chunk of cash was some beloved relative who was quitting this sphere forever and whom I would never see again until the blessed eternal realm. I was shocked; I denied it, tried to prove the bill wrong; I realized it was really real and sat on my bed & bawled. I think I was angry in there too somewhere ($370??? COME ON!!!!) but I can't remember exactly when it hit.

Actually, I'm now a little ashamed about the way I reacted. I mean I sobbed. I haven't sobbed in a long, long, LONG time, and there I was, unable to draw in a single breath without it breaking up like a teenage rock band after high school. And really, when it comes down to it, it's only $2000. I can cover that. Granted, my savings account will take a serious blow; granted, I'll have to postpone some things that I wanted to do NOW because I simply don't have the cash I thought I did; granted, my plans are utterly and completely screwed up now...(Oh! THERE's that anger!) But I am glad that at least it wasn't some astronomical amount that I didn't have. I'm glad that I won't need to be like Fred Vincy in Middlemarch and foist out my debts on other people. At least my parents won't have to pay this. At least I won't be more of a burden to them than I already am. (Darn [mumble-mumble]-year-old living with her parents still...)

And, when this bill is paid, then I'll be square. I'll be completely free of debt & I'll feel all nice & liberated (even though I already felt liberated; I just didn't know I wasn't liberated at the time).

So, to all of you who thought that I was going to move on soon? Oh, no. I ain't. Not now. Nohow. No-can-do.

Blech. Sorry. That's even too bitter for me to swallow at the moment.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Does this hymn make me look hot?

Just as I was wrapping up my singing this evening for the folks at that one retirment home, (you know--the one where I thought I saw Donny Osmond), some folks from the next group arrived, just a bit early. In fact, I was just starting the introductory measures of "Be Still My Soul" when about 5 of them walked in and surreptitiously took seats in the back of the room to listen to my warbling.

While I was a little distracted (I always find it easier to just sing to the old folks rather than younger people) I still felt like the last hymn went off pretty well, which was fortunate since my voice, by that point in the evening, was pretty much shot.

I finished singing, gathered my various books from the piano & floor & started to make my way down the aisle to shake hands with the afore-mentioned (and very, very nice) old folks and thank them for taking the time to come & listen to my poor renditions of old familiar hymns. As the five members of the second group came forward to claim the piano, several of the people in the group (all males, I noted) nodded at, smiled or complimented me on my singing. One of the guys even grinned at me & said, "Great job!" (And he weren't bad lookin' neither.)

So, I have to inquire: does singing hymns make you seem hot? Does singing hymns well to old folks make you appealing to the opposite gender? Did those smiles and nods and little teeny itsy bitsy compliments mean that these young men somehow found me attractive???

Well, no.

Does it mean it gave me something to write about on my blog this evening? (And a super-duper post title?)

Heck, yes.


No really, I mean it. Just: blah.

I must apologize to you all, because frankly, that funk that I mentioned earlier has come back. With a vengeance. And it's been hovering incessantly for the past week. Obviously impeding my ability to write complete sentences. Yerg.

And, to top it off, Cathy & Ed & Morgan have moved, darn it. And I hate goodbye-ing. You always feel like you should be saying something profound that you all will be able to treasure in your hearts for years to come, but what you actually end up doing is standing (or sitting) around stupidly for a couple of hours, helplessly trying to think of something wonderful & comforting & warming to say & failing utterly, and then leaving, only half-convinced that you're worth much of anything as a friend. Ugh.

So, Cathy, when you get a chance to peruse this blog again, I apologize. Mostly for being a little bit dumb & a lot self-centered &...not able to do the whole goodbye thing very well. Hwaet.

(Leave it to me to use an old Anglo-Saxon word improperly. It was just the first thing that came to mind, okay? Ptooey.)

Okay. So, I guess that's it. I'm just blue & have been for a while...I'm sure I'll snap out of it soon. Give me a good spiritual experience or 5 minutes doing something I really believe to be productive & I'll be back to me old chipper self. So I will. And I will be jocular & verbose instead of the taciturn wretch I've been for the past week. Yeppers. And I won't cry over accidentally dousing my dad with cold water. And I'll get out of bed ontime. And also there will be a little bluebird singing merrily on my right shoulder. And if it...does its business once in awhile on my tshirt, I'll only have myself to blame. My very, very happy self. Ick.

Monday, October 02, 2006

So if you ever start packing...

Okay--so my blue funk is gone at the moment, mostly because I'm just so darn tickled at a dream I had last night (or more accurately this morning).

Sometimes I have dreams that I'm moving; these dreams usually involve some sort of process of packing up all of my belongings & trying to get them over to some other place. (Which I guess is the essence of moving. Duh.)

Anyway--while these dreams obviously have distinct differences from each other, (like the one this morning had me moving from one room in a house into another room in the same house--the new room had a bathroom inside the bedroom & two bathtubs--I even asked one of my roommates why on earth they put two bathtubs in the same room...but anyway--), they always seem to have a single thing in common.

I pack up what I believe is all my stuff, and then I suddenly realize that--HOLY COW!--I've forgotten to pack up the stuff in my closet & all the stuff in my drawers, so I still have TONS of things to go through & try to get in boxes. (Usually this is also accompanied by a feeling of urgency, like I have to be out of the room in 10 minutes or something.)

Delightfully, the dream this morning contained the same familiar scenario. I still had all my clothing (and board games--who would dream about board games???) hanging up in the closet, and I noticed several boxes kind of lying around in a tumbled heap that I hadn't sorted through yet.

I woke up this morning & just had to laugh at myself, mostly because it's really kind of a silly thing to dream about.

However, I still haven't been able to figure out exactly what this dream means. Here's one theory though: I want to move on in my life, but I still have things that are holding me back. I want to ignore these things, but heck--I can't move on without my board games, can I??? So, I still have things to do before I can make a clean transition.

Hey! That actually doesn't sound so bad. Maybe the important thing about dream interpretation is not that you figure out exactly what your silly brain was trying to process, but that you discover something important about yourself that you need to address, whether it was what your subconscious was trying to tell you or not.

So, if you'll excuse me, I have a few boxes to pack up.

And also, here's a weird picture I made out of a closeup of a peach blossom (ooooh...neon....). Seemed kinda dream-like, so I thought I'd include it. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

This must end

I have GOT to stop watching romantic comedies. I mean it--I absolutely HAVE to stop watching them. You see, watching them turns me into a sighing soggy mess. I feel all...oogey inside, and believe you me, I definitely do not need oogey in my life.

Aside from that, it was actually a pretty good day. Conference was lovely, of course. I thought Elder Wirthlin's talk was especially touching, and Elder Oaks's talk was, I think, the most geared towards what I needed to hear. I think I often fail to think of the Savior when I'm going through problems in my life, or when I face unhappiness or disappointment. I tend to wallow a bit in my own misery, or think bitter thoughts rather than turning to the Lord as I should. I hope to do a bit better than I have been doing, which I guess is one of the points of having General Conference every six months. We get a small dose of self-improvement (or rather improvement through the Lord) twice a year. Thank goodness for that.

I'm not sure what else to write about. I've been in a bit of a funk these past couple of days--work has been kind of stressful and I've got deadlines looming at me and making threatening gestures. I guess I'm just not feeling perky happy cheerful at the moment, but I guess that's okay too. After all, life isn't entirely spent in a state of euphoria. And, if we didn't have blue funks, would we even know what euphoria tasted like? I doubt it.

Yeah. So, while I'm rather disjointed & half in a weird state, I just wanted to say to you all that I'm alive and I'm okay. And really, when you look at it closely, that's not such a bad thing.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I want it! No, I don't!

Okay. There is a huge ol' half-consumed chocolate cake sitting on the counter, and I want it. I want it bad.

So, you have to help me to convince myself how much I do NOT want this chocolate cake, because seriously I have been working hard the last two weeks and I don't want to blow it on a delicious slice of melt-in-your-mouth gooey crumbly chocolatey (did I mention delicious)...cake...

Okay. So, I don't really want this cake, except I do, but I really don't. Instead, I will content myself with some cauliflower. Or some sauteed peppers. Or Yeah. Yum.

Aaaaaahhhhhh..... (Erm, that's supposed to be a long sigh...)

Oh, help.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Hooray! 100 Posts!

A long time ago (aka a few months) I asked you people to tell me your two favorite ice cream flavors. My plan was to throw a giant virtual ice cream party (as a celebration for the 1000th hit on my blog) & invite you all to come along! Unfortunately, as soon as I started working on putting the party together, lots of things came up like surgery & the death of my grandmother, & it just didn't seem like the right time anymore. (Plus, the hits by that point had gone way past 1000.)

So, now in celebration of my 100th post (WAHOO!) I've put together this little ice cream social. I hope you enjoy it! (By the way--there are many, MANY more people I would have included, but I either A: Did not have a high-resolution picture of you, B: Had already put together an image & no longer had any room--rats, or C: Simply did not know who you are (although this really only applies to two people who posted once on my blog & have never returned). So, I apologize if you're not in the photo. Seriously, you should be! This 'should be in here but for above reasons I could not include you' list consists of Lindsay, Libby, Pat, Annie, & my two beloved sibs Debs & Joseph (who posted under the werid but cool screen name of 'Opario'). And, if I've forgotten to include you in THAT list, well....just blame my ultra tired brain.

So, here it is! Happy ice cream! Happy friends! Happy, happy 100 POSTS! (By the way, because not everyone responded to my pleas for favorite ice cream flavors, I had to guess on a couple of you, and I even made up some flavors. So, if you have no clue what your ice cream is supposed to be, just ask. I can hardly wait to tell you.)

(And also--I know, I really KNOW--some of those poses & colors & bits of clothing are really weird. And some of your proportions are all off. And yes, I know that the lighting on some of your heads is also weird. And no, I don't intend to go back & fix it all--I'm tired of looking at this thing. Haha!)

(And also, you'll want to click on this thing for a larger version. Lots of details, man.)

***Edit: Urg! Oh, for pity's sake! I can't seem to get the darn pic to open up in a new window when you click on it. Bleh. Looks like you'll have to just be content with a smaller version. *Goes away mumbling curse words to herself* ***

***Edit: Argh! I KNEW there was someone I was forgetting! And Megan! The list includes Megan too!***

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm turning into that girl

I never thought I would ever, EVER be that girl. You know--the one who wears flip flops in 40 degree weather and, as a single concession to the cold, dons a thin long-sleeved sort of shirt instead of wearing a proper jacket.

Yeah. I'm that girl now. And I don't think it's a good thing.

For one thing, I was much colder yesterday than I've been in a long time. I was positively shivering! (Well, more like occasionally shaking my shoulders with exclamations of "Brrr!" and "Gosh, it's cold!" (Yes. I said 'gosh.' Just like someone from the 50s. So sue me.))

Plus, with the rather persistent rain yesterday, my feet (scantily shod in flip flops) got rather wet. And kind of muddy. Ew. Plus, I forgot an umbrella, so my carefully coiffed (yeah, right--more like hastily curled) hair fell flat virtually the moment I left my house.

All in all, I'm thinking of giving up flip flops & returning to my sneakers & socks routine, although doing so would constitute a concession I'm not sure I'm ready to make.

You see, I love fall. I really, really do. But, I don't like winter. I really, really don't. Or, at least I do like winter; I just don't like shoveling the driveway & scraping ice off of my car & falling knee deep in snow drifts on my way between my car & work. Blech. No, I don't like it.

And so I am using my own little passive agressive streak against the seasons. By wearing flip flops & too-thin tshirts (albeit longsleeved) I am making a statement, a statement that says "I am refusing to concede that winter & snow & shoveling are all on their way. I say more summer, or at least a longer autumn, by gum, by golly." (Yes, I say 'golly.' Just like someone from the 40s. So sue me.)

And the rest of you say, "That girl (yes, that one) is totally and incomprehensibly delusional."

Well, so be it. I am that girl. That very, very cold girl.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The look in her eyes

So I was going through some old pictures today, and I came across this little wallet-sized picture of myself in (what I believe was) my kindergarten year. (Wow. That is some dress I have on.)

I'm actually pretty tickled with it, because if you can tell, I still smile the same way now, often a little half-smile with a good measure of reserve behind it. What's most different about me now (well, aside from the size issue) is that this little girl's eyes are different than mine. Oh, they're still the same light brown, but the expression in them is different. Which, I guess is only to be expected.

This little girl has years ahead of her full of family reunions & beach trips & school reports & squabbles with siblings & getting in HUGE trouble with Mom & Dad. She's got years of beating herself up for not being pretty enough or smart enough or easy enough around other people. She has strikes for independence from her parents in her future & learning how to draw properly & discovering that her voice is a pretty good instrument & finally understanding that a mission really is one of the hardest experiences you can go through in your life, as well as one of the best. She'll have struggles with friends & with grades & have moments of sheer bliss and sheer longing and will read thousands & thousands of books, both good & bad.

But she hasn't gone through any of that yet. (Except maybe the squabbling with siblings part.) And when you look in her eyes, you can see that. There's an innocence that a lack of experience brings, & it's there. It's strange to realize that I once looked out of my eyes like that, that I once carried that expression. And, while it's true that there are some days I would love to have that expression back, still I think that the expression in my eyes now is, if less innocent, perhaps (I hope) just a bit more full of the wisdom that experience brings.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Okay--didn't somebody out there have something to say?

Hmmmmm????? Cathy???? Care to update everybody?

This is me, saying here's my little piece of framework...please feel free to post what's been going on with ya! (And PLEASE tell me how Ed's trip went! (Which I guess is one & the same thing...))

Thursday, September 14, 2006

If Beth can cook...

So can you! (Oh, come on. You knew that was coming.)

Truth be told, I'm pleased as pickles with myself this evening. I'm trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet, so I experimented tonight and produced some veeeeery tasty results. (Mmmm...delicious results...)

So, firstly I threw some sirloin-type steaks into the pan & started them a-cookin', then I tossed some olive oil into another pan, added garlic (and heat) and let that sit (but only briefly). Then, I added in orange & green peppers (which I had handily cut up beforehand) and let those sautee for a spell. (Mmm...delicious sauteeing...)

After the peppers had cooked for a bit (and also after having flipped the steaks a couple of times) I added in some diced tomatos & sprinkled in some basil & oregano. (Mmm...delicious sprinkling...)

I let everything cook a bit longer until the veggies were tender but still slightly firm & the steak was only slightly rare (which is the way I like it, okay people???). Then I sat down to eat, after sampling a pepper (or two) and giving a pepper to my mom to sample too. (Mmm...delicious, I mean: Mmmm....delicious samples...)

And I ATE it! I DID! And it was TASTY!

And I'm still smiling smugly at my sauteeing ability (even though it's hardly anything to crow about) and feeling vaguely empowered. Cooking will do that for you, you know. Ah, yes.

Now for the dishes. DARN.

P.S. I would have included a picture of my minor triumph, but unfortunately, as I mentioned before, it's been et.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

All my fears incarnate

I'm done.

I just produced five paragraphs of nonsense that, when read by the admissions folks at various MLS programs, are supposed to produce a feeling of warm fuzziness, of desire to have me come and hang with them for awhile, a desire to have me give them money, (or rather to borrow a large sum of money which I will then give to them), a desire to let me sit in as faculty members lecture about how cool it is to be a librarian.

Except that I can't help feeling that those five paragraphs of nonsense are really that--nonsensical--and that I have a snowball's chance in Phoenix of making it into these schools.

Dang it.

So, I will save this little five paragraph essay of My Career Objectives and How I Really Really want you to let me into this program because I CAN become a good librarian, I CAN, and I WILL if you just give me a chance oh please oh please just let me in, please please, and then I will go back to it and (maybe) rip it apart and start over. Except that I'm really, really tired of thinking about this, and so I'm tempted to just tatter it. A little. And it to everyone I can think of it so they can review it and tell me that it's mostly okay but this paragraph just needs a little bit of work and couldn't you use a different word here that doesn't rhyme with 'orange' and shouldn't you have capitalized the beginning of the sentence and I think maybe you have a snowball's chance in Seattle which is slightly better than its chance in Phoenix.

I'm just afraid that they'll say 'No,' y'know? I'm just sitting here wondering what I would do if this school that I feel drawn to does NOT feel drawn to me and I'm left to wander as a school-less librarian wannabe for the rest of my life. Not that there aren't other schools, and not that I'm unlikely to be accepted to ALL of them... It's just hard to face the possibility that you might not get what you really really want.

And I really really want this.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Cleaning out the junk

From where I sit perched on my bed (or rather slouched on my bed) the space to my left is remarkably clean & neat while the space to my right is cluttered & dusty.

I had the worthy goal today of doing a blitz on my room, leaving the whole thing sparkly clean & smelling faintly of pine sol, but I really only got to half of it. Well, actually, more like a quarter of it. But, because that quarter is currently looking so darn good, I'm not going to dwell to much on my failings. (The room is 1/4 clean, not 3/4 messy, after all.)

What always slows me down in the cleaning process is my tendency to pause over papers I'm going through. I almost never am able to grab a stack & then uncerimoniously dump it without first filing through each sheet to read what I've written there.

For instance, today I found several old letters from Cathy written within a year, I think, of when I moved from California. Holy schnikes, were we into Post Scripts! And, I could reiterate all the crushes she listed for my reading pleasure, but I will refrain. *Wink, wink!*

I also spent a lot of time going through my mission papers. I had notes saved from all my MTC classes & I still have every single letter anybody wrote to me on my mission. (They're still all hanging out in plastic bags. I'm going to put them all in a binder (or two) but for now, they'll languish in a bin under my bed until the next 3-day weekend.) I also went through binders full of stuff, papers talking about strategies to teach people I vaguely remember, and the precious written testimonies of the couple I helped teach in my second area who have (against all odds) remained strong in the faith.

I found pictures from high school and my freshman & sophmore years of college (in which I wore this really awful black cap a lot) and I couldn't help thinking that I've really done a poor job of keeping in contact with the people I knew then, and most of what was important to me during those days has faded into the back of my mind now.

It was kind of strange--I was remembering being someone that I just am not anymore, and it threw me off a little. I wondered if I had stayed true to myself, if I had changed and left the old me completely behind, or if I'd just made some improvements (and necessarily a few setbacks). I hope it's mostly the latter, although I felt a distinct feeling of disconnection from my previous self, almost as if I were reviewing the life of someone else entirely.

And, while I'm completely caught up in the hopes & fears of today, I wonder what the me of 10 or 15 years from now will think of the me today?

I hope she'll like me.

I hope I'll like her.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I want to be cool like that!

I've been clicking & clicking & clicking on the "Next Blog" link there at the top of the blogger pages, and I've noticed one very important thing:

All the cool blogs have a picture of Einstein.

Not wanting to be outdone, here you go:

So. Now I am a cool blogger too.

(And not at all influenced by a desire to conform to societal norms. Oh, no. Not me.)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

All the things to love

I'm not sure why, but I think the most extraordinary part of a newborn is his or her fingernails. It always strikes me with wonder when I see them, and I'm not sure why they should be more amazing to me than their hair, eyes, cheeks or knees. But they are.

My nephew has fingernails. They're lovely. And so is he.

I'm an auntie! Again!

It's true! It's true! He's finally here! We've waited months & months and now he's finally finally out, here in the air with the rest of us.

My little sister's little baby was born this morning, probably while I was on the phone with that one customer with the broken ribbon container, weighing in at a hefty 8lbs, 11 oz. He's 21 inches long and apparently has a conical head at the moment which, considering his last 12 hours or so, is hardly surprising.

We're just about to go meet him, so I have to be brief...

But I'm happy. Really, really happy.

I love a car with character

Today, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, my windshield-wiper problem was fixed. For those of you familiar with my 'sweet ride' (a '96 Geo Prism I affectionately call "The Jade Bullet" or Jade for short) you know I've been dealing with this unfortunate issue for...well for years, actually. The wipers turned on just fine. They sprung into action with remarkable alacrity, beating back & forth in regular tempo, attuned to the very beating of my heart.


Alas, despite their evident usefulness and eagerness the wipers refused to turn off. It was like having a guest in the house whom you love dearly but who has stayed for weeks & weeks and has eaten all of your peanut butter. Yes. Indeed, it was like that. For behold, the wipers would wipe all of those pesky raindrops from the windshield (i.e. do their job) but then continued to wipe and wipe and wipe and wipe long after the last drop had disappeared from the glass, and the sound of rubber grating on dry windshield is not a pleasant noise, especially when extended for miles & miles & miles.

I'd have to turn the dang car OFF in order to get the stupid things to stop swiping, and even then if I turned the car off when the wipers were in any position but the just-barely-hit-the-bottom-of-their-sweep-and-were-immediately-about-to-start-upward-again position, the wipers would continue their inevitable course over the surface of my windshield when I turned the car on again.

It was fun.

Oh, wait. No it wasn't.

But it gave my car character. Oh, how it gave the car character. I could tell fond stories of having to pull off the freeway into an empty parking lot, turn off the car, restart it & pull back onto the freeway, only to have intermittent rain hit AGAIN less than 5 minutes later. And stop again after about a minute.

So today, when I climbed back into my car after (fiiiiinally) getting the wiper switch in the steering wheel replaced, I was glad. And thankful. And many other positive adjectives. I did feel a kind of wistfulness though, reflecting that the days of wiper woes were over, and gone forever were all of the stories I could have garnered if only I'd left the problem unresolved.

Fortunately, on the drive home, while the wipers worked spectacularly, I noticed that my car had suddenly developed another piece of character. The steering wheel is now 90 degrees to the right of where it's supposed to be. So, when I'm driving straight, instead of the wheel being at the 12 o'clock position, it serenely stays at the 3 o'clock position, obscuring my view of the spedometer ("What, officer? Was I really going 75 through that residential zone? I couldn't see my spedometer, you see...") and positioning the airbag so that if I get in a head-on car accident, I can reasonably be assured that my left arm will fare pretty well, and the rest of me will end up halfway inside my radio.


So, I'll go back to the shop tomorrow, laugh a little at the antics of those silly mechanics, cry a little at the cruelty of the world, and strip yet another piece of character from my beloved Jade.

Poor Jade. I hope she knows I'll still love her all the same.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Whot, whot? Not again, surely?

Oh my goodness I just wasted an entire evening again by doing nothing more than checking my blog and watching a movie and half-composing soppy emails and checking out movie trailers and


I also did some visiting teaching.

Phew! Not a total waste, then.


Monday, August 28, 2006

What is it about frogs?

Oh! And I just remembered something else I wanted to post about.

My (very coolio) sister found the following image on the web, and promptly made it her msn messenger image type thing. (I don't really use msn messenger, so I'm not all that familiar with what that image type thing really is.)

Anyway--here 'tis!

(Thanks to for this totally unauthorized use of this picture! By the way, scroll through the page to see other fabulous froggy pics.)

So, the really utterly coolio thing is that, along with the above image, my sister has included as her msn messenger tagline: "Some frogs just shouldn't be kissed."

Did I already say 'coolio?'

Oh. I did?

Well, it still is.

And lo, how the yellow moon...

Okay--due to inflammatory content, I'm determined to bury my previous post as quickly as possible.

Sorry, guys. I didn't realize it would generate such a vehement reaction. I thought it was kind of funny--sad & bitter but funny still, and I only really felt HALF serious about really should be forgotten as quickly as possible, I believe.


As I was driving home this evening, I kept glancing over at the thin crescent moon hovering near the western horizon. It's position this evening was such that it was pretty darn close to the ground before it finally disappeared behind some low promontory or other. I kept staring at it and wanting to write poetry, and I kept thinking of the phrase: "And lo, how the yellow moon..." But "how the yellow moon WHAT???" kept popping in right afterwards, rendering the phrase cheesy & ridiculous.

I don't actually write poetry that contains phrases like "And lo, how the yellow moon..." I just want to make that clear.

I do write poetry that strives to be more grandiose than it actually is, but I think for the most part I manage to rein it in. A little.

But still, the poetry-writing organ in me (is that the brain? or the heart? or (heaven forbid) the missing gallbladder?) longs to come up with flowery phrases and iambic metric schemes and non-cheesy rhymes (which I am absolutely NOT capable of producing) and thus generates phrases for me like "And lo, how the yellow moon..."

So, whether I'm talking about "And lo, how the yellow moon doth drift like a mostly-nibbled-away cheese wheel down to the brooding horizon," or "And lo, how the yellow moon lunges like a Tie Fighter ready to blast apart the numerous earth-dwellings of those feeble humans," or "And lo, how the yellow moon doth become more yellow and more moony as it creeps closer to the engulfing horizon which looms like a big...ocean...or something," still, I take great comfort in the fact that while I may write really awful poetry, there's NO WAY people are going to rip it out of that wall-safe I had installed and publish it and thus really humiliate me.

Yeah. That didn't even make any sense.

'K. Time to go.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ugh. I'm a freaking DUMP TRUCK.

**Note: Okay, guys--I have changed my mind numerous times about whether or not I should post this. (I actually wrote this back on June 19th, but I've never actually put it up on the blog.) But, I feel like the writing t'aint bad, and the sentiments I express herein are valid, so I think it's time to get this up where the public can see it. I know this is bitter. I was in a bitter mood when my brain conceived this. BUT, read it anyway. I'm not bitter at the moment, so this post isn't currently painful--just interesting.**


I've realized that I'll never be one of those "Lady in Red" type of girls. I'll never dance to a slow Frank Sinatra song and bedazzle my partner with my womanly wiles and charm. I'll never stun a man with my beauty as I stand in a meadow with my face turned slightly away from him, watching the sun go down.

No, no. I never will.

No man will ever write a song about me, explaining how he pined for years, and had his poor little heart torn in two when he watched me walk away beside another guy. I'll never have two men fight it out to the death over my honor. And, if I ever have the chance to try to slip my foot into a glass slipper, the only way I'm going to stick the sucker in there is by chopping off something. (Thank you, grisly Grimm brothers.)

You know, it's funny. Girls are funny, specifically. We watch romantic movies and read romantic novels and chat with each other exuberantly about how romantic our lives really should be...but aren't.

Even so, I have the vague suspicion that some girls out there really do play the romantic leads in their very own chick flicks. Luckies. They're the mustangs of the girl-world, the corvettes, the one thing a man desires above anything else in the world--the one thing he would give his whole heart to.

And me? I'm a dump truck. Useful in my own way, but hardly the thing to get someone's heart-rate up.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I was wrong. I was all wrong.

I (foolishly) watched Pride & Prejudice again this evening, but at least it helped me realize something very important. My previous post about Austen's leading men was completely off.

We don't fall in love with Mr. Darcy because he has fine manners or dresses well. It's not even really because he does really nice things for Elizabeth, (like save her sister from moral & social ruin), although that's certainly a symptom of the reason why we fall in love with him.

We fall in love with Darcy because he is completely in love himself with Elizabeth--helplessly so. And when, at the end, he declares that his feelings for her are unchanged, and can hardly draw breath for the intensity of his emotion, we melt.

I melt.

I melted.

Maybe that's all we want. The dancing and the elegant letter-writing and the clean handkerchiefs are all well and good, but what we really want, what we really need, is for someone to love us as thoroughly and helplessly as Mr. Darcy loved Elizabeth Bennett, for someone to look at us as he looked at her.

Oh, DARN it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Of Haircuts and Happy Birthdays

I had a good day today.

Without going into too much detail, let's just say that I got a good haircut (my opinion of which is, of course, subject to my attempts to style it tomorrow morning...) and I got to buy books (two novels by Ursula LeGuin, plus Bleak House and Middlemarch) and eat LOTS of Italian-style food (mmm...delicious Italian-style food...) in which marinara sauce figured a prominent role.

However, there is one thing that would have made my birthday perfect: if my nephew had been born today. Now, he's got only a little over two hours to make the date, and I have a feeling he...well...he just won't make it. My poor younger sister has been longing for this baby to pop out for many days now and my nephew is just being stubborn. (Methinks he likes the womb.)

So, while it would have been cool to share a birthday with my sister's kid, still it'll be fun to just share August as a birthday month with him. You know, it's kind of funny--I arrived rather early into the world (I was actually born 19 days early, which means I was due on September...lemme think here...*counts days on her calendar*...September 12th) and this baby seems determined to stick it out in his mother's abdomen for as long as possible.

Okay--I'm exaggerating. The kid's actually not due until August 31st, but we're all still anxious to see him anyway, and find out whether he resembles my sister or her husband more and whether or not he'll be bald for the first year or so of his life, and whether he'll be a towhead like his parents. (Genetically speaking, it's pretty likely.)

Anyway--huh. Kind of diverged on my topic here. So, long & short of it: Good Birthday. Good Haircut. Gooooooood cake. Good night.

(Oh--and about Boston...I want to get out there more than ever, but I'm still uncertain about how I'd do it all, and I'm uncertain about the timing, and I'm REALLY uncertain about my own ability to handle a move like that. So. We'll see. Oh, and I just found out that some MSN study has found Boston to be one of the top 5 drunkest cities in the US. Go figure. But then, maybe I'd help even it out a little. You know--with my absolute non-drunkenness?)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It feels like a...


I mean, that's what it feels like. It feels like a 'yes.' I've asked, and re-asked and then asked again just to be sure, and, while I'm not 100% positive a move to MA is imminent, still, the percentage is hovering in the high 90s.

I haven't told my parents yet, and I'm actually really nervous to talk to them about this. I'm not sure how they'll react and whether they'll trust my judgement or intuition or ability to interpret direction from the Spirit. I hope they will, but they may focus more on practical things like "How?" and "Why?" and "What the heck?!?"

I think I'm going to do some more research on this, and make a really viable plan. I will: plan out the trip that would take me & my stuff out there, find out how much this is likely to cost, and see if I can cover it using my savings (yeah--I'm pretty sure I'll be okay); find out what job options might be available in MA and how much they might pay and whether I'd be able to support myself out there using my, well, useless English degree; and I will look up apartment listings out there to, again, see if I can live somewhere under my own power or whether I should seek roomies.

I'm feeling kind of urgent about this. I tried to go to sleep last night after wrestling with the question and feeling a pretty strong (and fairly urgent) 'yes,' and I couldn't seem to drift off. I kept thinking about what I would do & when this was going to happen and just how gosh darned scared I'm feeling about the whole thing, and how in spite of that I really feel like I need to get out there soon.

It's weird. I don't know why I need to be there. Maybe it's just that kick out of the nest that I've needed for approximately the last two years. Maybe I'm supposed to help people out in MA. Maybe other people are supposed to help me. Maybe that's where I'll live for the rest of my life. Maybe I'll live out there for 6 months and come weeping home, trailing a cloud of debt and despair behind me (although I hope not). Or maybe it's just a multitude of reasons. Heck--it's LIFE for crying out loud! It's complicated!

But whatever the reasons, I'm beginning to realize that the answer is pretty clear.

And it's 'Yes.'

Monday, August 14, 2006

Spiritual nourishment in Primary? Who knew?!?

When I was called to be the secretary in our ward's primary presidency, I thought that it would be the end of spiritual nourishment as I knew it. I would step away from focusing on feeding my own spirit and try to feed the spirits of numerous (and easily distracted) small children. I was okay with the change, but I felt a little wistful about being away from Gospel Doctrine class and Relief Society. I just figured I would have to focus more on my own personal study. (Which...erm...I'm not actually very good at, really.)

BUT, I realized today that I have been totally wrong about Primary. (Huh. Do you capitalize 'Primary?') I actually get nourished a LOT while trying to nourish these young kids. I think my experience two weeks ago really proved it to me. It was my turn to do sharing time (I do 5th Sundays if we have 'em) and I had prepared a series of examples to teach the kids about how Heavenly Father hears & answers our prayers. I talked about Enos praying for his own forgiveness, then for his people, then for his enemies, and how each of his prayers were answered. Then I talked about Jonah, and his prayers from inside the belly of the whale (fish?) and how those prayers were answered.

It was really the third example that struck me as the most important though. I talked about Christ, and His prayer in the garden. He prayed that, if possible, the terrible burden of the atonement would be removed from Him, and I talked about a loving Heavenly Father who would have longed to answer that prayer affirmatively and say, "Okay. I won't make you go through this." Then I talked about how the next part of the Savior's prayer was vital--He said, "Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done."

I told the children that sometimes, we pray for things that we really, really want. Sometimes the prayers are answered in the way that we want them to be. In fact, I think that if it's at all possible (and right) for the Lord to arrange it for us, He will. But sometimes our prayers don't get answered the way we think they should be. People we love & pray for continue to be sick, or die, or aren't protected like we think they should have been. Maybe we don't get a really good grade on our math test. Maybe we spend years & years alone when we long & pray for marriage. (I know some of you are familiar with that one. Me too.)

I taught the kids that when our prayers don't seem to be answered, or when the answer is 'No,' it's because the Lord knows exactly what we need in our lives--he knows exactly what experiences we need to go through. And, as long as we trust in Him and accept His will rather than our own, we can be happy, and experience the things He wants us to experience. And eventually become the people He wants us to be.

Okay--so all of the above is really pretty simplistic (and maybe a little pedantic) but it was actually a good reminder for me. I was trying to teach the children the principles of faith & trust in the Lord, and in His will, but in the process, I was reminded to put my own faith & trust in Him, and to stop dwelling on the prayers I thought He wasn't answering.

Not that I've remembered since--I've done all sorts of things to mess up my perspective again, but doing things like talking to friends and heck--posting on this blog--have reminded me of the things I learned that day in Primary, and how I was able to come away spiritually strengthened.