December 17, 2008

Child Of Color & Just Like Me



Living in Utah it's quite difficult finding toys, games, books, etc for families/children of color. It's better than it was 18 years ago when I first moved here. But Utah still has work to do in the divesity department.
Most people of color who come to Utah will leave because of the lack of diversity and what they see as cultural tolerance. But if people don't stay there will never be people to pioneer the effort. My sister and I decided to stay and be pioneers. Hopefully in doing so we can help the generations behind us and make things easier and more available for them.

I have become in association with a Toy manufacturer thats specialises in culturally diverse toys, games, dolls, books etc. Every child should be able to have books and toys and accesories that make them want to say "JUST LIKE ME"
I hope this can be a tool in bringing this resource.
If youre interested in browsing that website you can go to my http://ablackmormongirl.blogspot.com/

on the right hand side is the "just like me" article and the link.


Also some friends and I are developing a website for the education of teaching children how to be more tolerant and respectful of different races and cultures. I also and hoping it can be and educational resourse for those who are looking for ways to discuss certain issue with their children and find information on skin and hair care, cultural holidays and other things of diverse education.
www.childofcolor.com

Let me know what you think. Feedback is welcome :)

December 16, 2008

Gaming & Relationships

I came across an article that really bothered me: You can find it here: http://www.destructoid.com/marriage-gaming-game-over--29668.phtml#comment

The article is almost 2 years old but as I was reading it, trying to get a better understanding of the gaming "lifestyle" because lets face it, it really is more indoctrinated than a hobby. Anymore the more I read it the more disturbing it became to me.
The article is about a guy who is a gamer and being lucky that he was able to find a wife who he was able to introduce into gaming. I think it's cool that he was able to find someone to enjoy his hobby with.

I think my frustration was this. The whole article is about finding ways to introduce your love interest into gaming so they A: Understand the lifestyle B: Can spend time together C: Not have it interfere with the marriage/relationship.

Sound pretty good so far, yeah? Ummm NO! There was really nothing in there about taking an interest in your partners hobby's or compromising anything in their relm of likes other than Putting off your gameathon for next weekend to do the "Honey do" list this weekend. I have a HUGE problem with that.
I admit I have a biased opinion of gamers and gaming or anything that takes over the better judgment of having to make a choice between it and the needs of a human or human relationship.
How sad, to let something like this get in the way of human relationships. I can remember my daughter, an only child, not really going to friends houses because they just sit and play video games and watch T.V. Family christmas parties were anyone between the ages of 6 and 40 crowded around the console waiting for their turn while the Older folks cleaned up the holiday mess and talked story about family history and traditions that were basically dying out.
It's not secret that in this technological age we have many awesome things to make our lives and the world an easier place. But seriously, what is the trade off?
I've dated and hung out with some Gamers over the passed let's say 20 years. I've a few gamers in my family as well and I've also HAD a few in my family as well. The difference in that last sentance is gaming was a huge factor in more than a few divorces in family and friends.

Anyone out there ever have this experience?
"Never again! Had they had the (insert favorite hand held gaming device) on during the movie and dinner."
"He was more interested in his cell phone conversation then me."
The funny thing is....they would call back for a 2nd date.

I've hear parent's complain that their kids don't do their house work or school work because of their gaming systems. YET the parent's are sitting next to them in a filthy home with lazy kids.
Of course it's justified as family time when the parents are next to them playing.
I've learned it's a great baby sitter also. Easier to put the kids in front of an idiot box: Whether it be computer, TV etc than spend real time with them. Maybe marriage is the same way. Instead of putting real effort into becoming humanized with people, it's easier to dehumanize them as a avatar in a game.

I've noticed a pattern in a my gaming and techno friends and family. They don't all have all the characteristics of what I've noticed, but they have most of them:
A. Most of them are divorced or in marriage number 2 (because the first spouse didnt "understand" their lifestyle.)
B. Most of them have had a series of set backs in life: loss of jobs, loss of spouse, loss of property, some kind of loss that caused them to feel failed.
C. They are very technology savvy: Computer programmers, Cell phone collectors, PDA's Palms... you name it, they know it and are good at it.
D. There is a need to be in control just about all the time
E. They come across selfish and "me" oriented. In reality they may not be, but we have a hard time seeing it.
F. It seems they have great success getting to level 700 of whatever game and wear these success as though they won some small lottery.
G. They make us feel guilty when they can't get to their games because of something else we'd rather have them do.
H. Their justifications are blatantly justifyable and they actually get angry about our inability to accept it as valid.
I. I'm seriously too sad to continue a list so pathetic, so I'll stop there.
There's little "cheap, Courtesy" things they do as well. Turn to you with some less than involved comment or nudge to barely acknowledge your presence. And then go right back into their game. Only intensifying the fact that not only am i being ignored, they've just acknowledge me for 1 minute as if to say " I know you're here and You get one minute for every 25 minutes of game play"
I talked with my brother, who is a gamer, on his 2nd marriage and doing well I might add. His wife, is much like me: Understands it's a hobby and everyone should have time to enjoy their hobbys. Now I lived with my brother and his first wife for about a year. And the time he spent with the idiot box compared to the time he spent interacting with his spouse I would call shameful. Up until about 3 or 4 years ago, I would say his time spent was shameful.
I asked him what he does differently and how can I have a successful relationship should I (once again) fall for someone who happens to have the gaming lifestyle.
What he does differently:
When his wife comes home, the gaming/computer goes off, Period.
She has become the priority.
What kind of message does it send to your family if you come home from work after being apart all day and head straight for the toys? Especially if the spouse has been working all day as well. If your butt is playing games, and they're cooking and cleaning and dealing with the kids, where is the partnership, and where is the compromise? And if they came home and headed straight for their toys and allowed you to do all the other needed things how would you feel?

My brother added this: " A gaming partner will give you every excuse in the books, and because they believe it, they expect you to believe it and will even get upset when you call B.S on it. You stand your ground and stick up for yourself and your needs."

For him, it was all about feelings of failure. In the gaming world he was successful. Each win or conquer was a success against what wasn't going on right in the real world. So it was easier to function in the real world but find more joy as a successful Avatar who can easily "start over" when things didn't go right and continue in victory when they did. Making it an easy addictive.
I guess we can't always do that in real life... start over when things do go right. Or control other people in a less than favorable situation.

I'm happy he did what was needed to start having those successes in the real world and experiencing that excitement and "high" with people, family, friends instead of machines, electronics and such.
Oh he still plays his games. But not every day, not even every week. It's become something to do when there's nothing to do. But he also realizes there is usually something else to do. The enjoyment he got from his gaming he now gets through his family and other things. He has found a way to fill the void that gaming once filled. And has become more physically healthy as well. Yeah I know there's the Wii games now that allow movement and minimal exercise. But it's scarey to me to rather sit and play a fake game of tennis, bowling, golf or whatever instead of a real game. Basically a gaming session would be sitting and eating. eating and sitting. Invite the boys over to come and sit and eat and play games. Is there any wonder there is an epidemic of obesity in the U.S? Which is a whole other blog altogether.

Anyway, you gamers out there may just chalk my experiences up to being with those who didn't know how to balance or prioritize. This could be true. As I think about it even just recently I've heard " what are you gonna get me? If you ever want to get me something, this is what you can get."
Do you know how often I've heard... "so what kind of gifts do you like?" or "what kinds of things/activities would you be interested in" in the last 2-3 years? Honestly, I can only think of twice. And those 2 times were kind of brushed under the rug due to the other person's desires. Sounds like I need stand up for myself more and to date a different calibre of men? I'm not saying better, I'm saying different. More compatible I guess, maybe?

I still say there is some deep void missing in someone's life who prefers so sit and interact electronically instead of voice to voice, face to face, person to person. A couple of years ago I would have labled such a person a coward. My views are slowly changing. I even have a PS2 myself. I think I've played it 3 times this year. Real life is just so much better. I enjoy being active, moving, living. Gaming makes me feel like I'm sitting around lazy wasting my life away when there's a World out there God created for me to live and function in. I'd rather actually go out dancing then stay in with my dance dance revolution.
So to my gaming friends and family:Don't expect any games from me for christmas or birthdays or ever. And I say this with love. ( my step sister complained about her first husbands gaming but would go out and buy him games. It's like creating a monster, and then complaining when it wrecks your house.)

I would love to hear a successful gaming relationship where the spouse didn't need to convert or be converted to gaming to feel a part of their spouses life or feel that was the only way to spend "quality" time with their significant other. And where the Gaming partner really put their priorities in place as is able to have successful relationship with a truly happy spouse.

December 12, 2008

Ghetto Christmas Elf!

This year, I'm a ghetto Christmas elf. One of my friends called me up the other day, she was getting out all of her christmas items and taking them to D.I. (Deseret Industries) which is the equivelent of the Salvation Army for those of you who don't live out west. She came across at Christmas wreath with a Raggedy Ann on it. Those who know me know I LOVE Raggedy Ann & Andy. So I told her "of course I want Raggedy Ann." And told her I'd come by to pick her up. When I eventually got there she had boxes and boxes of christmas decore. And this was really cute stuff. She said feel free to take what I wanted.

Since there was so much to go through I told her I'd just take the stuff and after going through it, I'd take it to D.I. Got the boxes home and there was some really fun stuff in there. Alot of it, not my style I was most interested in the pine garlands with lights and pine cones. She had a couple of Black Santa Clauses and Angels that I liked. As I was going through the stuff some of the names and faces of my neigbors started going through my head. I thought to myself... "How funny would it be to wake up and find extra christmas decorations in your yard and not know where it came from?" It cracked me up. The ideah was just funny and ghetto enough for me to be able to pull off.

Oh, don't worry, I'm safe in bloggin, my neigborhood doesn't blog really. Most of them say... "what's a blog." I probably won't be found out until weeks after Christmas. By then it'll be packed up and put in the storage for them to display next year. Actually Monday I did a Ghetto Elf Drop to 3 neigbors. I've passed their homes everyday and although they've added decorations to their yards, the one's I've added are still where I've left them. Soo Funny! I can't wait to hear the reactions from the neigbors through out the season.

It's going to be hilarious when people start talking and noticing. And even if they don't notice, Then I have a little Secret with God.... which is sometimes the way I like it best.
Now Go out and do some Ghetto Elfing yourselves!

November 30, 2008

It's The MOST Interesting Time Of The Year!

For the next 9 days, I'm a twin. I happens this time every year. I could use that next time someone says "tell us something interesting about your self." I can say "I'm a twin 12 days out of the year!

My sister and I are 11 months apart. And there's a 12 day span when we're both the same age. Does anyone care to ask u our ages any other time of the year?

*SIGH* Nope!


After all these years I don't even care to elaborate anymore. When people say "Oh! Twins!" I just say, nope she's having a birthday in a few days and I'm not. It's fun to watch them figure it out.
Here's a Kicker! Growing up there were two brothers we knew. They were part time twins also, one brother was a day older than my sister and the other brother was a day older than me. We went to the same Jr and High School. I wonder if our moms were in the same hospital? That woulda been cool. I know the older one's were in the same kindergarden and first grade class and then us 2 younger one's were in the same kindergarden and first grade class. Then my family moved away but we ended up in the same schools after 6th grade.

K, so My birthday was the day after Thanksgiving this year. I spent it camping out at best buy so I could purchase this groovy lap top w/printer for 375$ That, my friends is a bargain! And it was a fun night. (you can read about it on my other blog: http://www.ablackmormongirl.blogspot.com/ )

I got home about 6:45 am and slept almost til noon. I was awakened by a phone call... My neice was in Labor! They were all going to come here for the weekend but instead stayed in and behold: a little neice was born on my birthday :)

That's way cool but it's also the icing on the cake! I had a nephew born on my birthday 14 years ago. Oh, and I was born on my cousin Paul Warfield's 28th birthday. You know he was an NFL wide reciever with the 1972 Miami Dolphins world Champions.

My sister is a little bitter. She says I'm greedy and selfish with family being born on my same day. I don't think so. Now if they were ALL left-handed like me.... THAT would be greedy and selfish. HA! I have 2 cousins who are left-handed like me and their mom and I favor each other. You can defineately tell we're related. lol.

I did have a neice come close to my sister's birthday. But she decided to come 3 days early and was born on my sister's roomates birthday instead. Another neice was born on her mama's birthday (My sister in law's.) That seriously cracks me up, sister can't get a break.

I also get all the breaks when we go out around our birthdays. Typically we used to go to Vegas the first weekend in December which is the weekend between our birthdays. But I would get ALL the breaks: Free meals, slot machine jackpots, finding money on the floor and in ash trays. Oh I don't gamble anymore but I've been pretty fortunate when I did. I would never spend more than $40. When that was gone I was done. The thing is, It was never gone. I'd spend $2 on Nickels and win $50. Put my $40 in my pocket and play with 10$ . Turn that into $100 on the dollar poker machine, Pocket half of that, then spend another $5 and go win another $60 in Nickels again, then pocket half of that and go spend $10 in quarters and win another $300 on that.
*SIGH* GAMBLING IS EVIL, DON'T DO IT! Besides, your friends and family will turn on you when you keep winning and they don't. I'm proud to say I haven't gambled the last 3 times I've gone and it's been just as great of time. Maybe it's just birthday luck? Naw, I have a system. It works. Cuz when I taught it to my sister's roomate, she turned $20 in quarters into like 750$ in quarters.

*SIGH* Gambling is evil don't do it!


For the most part having a birthday this close to 2 holidays with a sister's brithday so close, its kinda sucks. Ok it REALLY sucks. Most people are out of town for the holidays, students are rushing back to take finals before christmas. People are shopping like crazy, or in a turkey coma still or they've just plain forgotten. But I make the most of it. I am finding ways to make it interesting and have learned how to enjoy it!

My poor sister though. Hey if anyone out there has a kid on December 9th, let me know. lol


Happy Holidays !

November 24, 2008

Much To Be Thankful For!

Currently, I'm unemployed, recovering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which has my memory scattered on some days and I forget things more that I'd like to admit. I'm no longer engaged but working things out, I have a level II sprained MCL with another 4 months in a leg brace and physical therapy. Can't keep my days straight, and get tired way too easily. This has been going on for for the last 5 1/2 months.

I am so grateful. SO GRATEFUL! All these experiences has given me the opportunity to be served. It has shown me the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action. I've recieved much love and care from so many friends, even strangers. One of the greatest securities is to know that you can show up amongst friends in any condition and know you will be well taken care of.

I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to reconnect with that boy who captured my heart in high school and spend time with him and his family in my hometown. I'm grateful for the opportunity to rebuild the friendship...and the joy it brings me.

I'm grateful for the patience of those around me. For their understanding of my state of mind, and my sometimes less than par attitude. And for their continued love and understanding.

I'm grateful for the gifts of Tolerance, Patience, Wisdom, Forgiveness, Knowlege, Empathy, Concern, and Peace. I know those around me have been blessed with an overabundance of these things for my benefit.

I'm grateful for prayer and the knowledge that I can talk my Heavenly Father and KNOW that he hears my cries and will answer my prayers. I'm grateful to know that in all my wrong doings he still wants me to succeed. He will meet me where I am in my time of need and give me the tools the endure whatever trials he places before me. I am grateful for trials and the refiner's fire they bring me through.

I'm grateful for my freedoms. Regardless of what people think of our Government we live in a country where we really do have the opportunity to succeed beyond measures of any other country. I'm grateful for government leaders, church leaders, leaders of large and small corporations that work to keep this country moving. What other country is the world is so grate that thousands of people are rushing to enter each day?

I'm Grateful for the Word of God and Scripture. Not must my scriptures but any good books that promote the righteous building up of the Kingdom of God. I'm grateful for anything that brings man closer to God the Father and his son Jesus Christ.

I'm grateful for a pioneering spirit! Hard times are soon ahead. I'm grateful for the ablility and skills I've learned in knowing how to function w/o the modern conveniences if need be. What a STRANG thing to be thankful for, huh? I'm VERY grateful I know how to be poor and live in humble circumstances when needed. If you are prepared you shall not fear.

I am grateful for the gift of being satisfied with my needs being taken care of. I'm not really interested in the latest and greatest tool, gadget or article of clothings this year. I am satisfied and finding joy in that satisfied. This doesn't by any means that I don't look for ways to improve and strive towards it. It does mean that throughout all these things going on around me, I know that I am a daughter of THE MOST HIGH GOD, and I trust he has a plan for me. I know God my Father has my situation all worked out and in my struggle to learn those things I need to get to that place, I know the journey is for MY benefit and I will find joy and gratitude in the journey regardless of how difficult it may be.

Many of us have reasons to be down and depressed this holiday season. I promise you that whatever you choose to focus on is what will grow. If you praise that which is good and magnify it, you will be ever blessed with it more great abundance. If you seek out those things which are down, depressing and negative, you will find yourself surrounded in more of it.
I testify to you all, That God is our Father. Jesus is our Savior. And men are that they should have joy. And that Joy is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ which has been restored to the earth.
The Lord loves us the same as he loved the early inhabitants of the world. The Lord gave them Prophets to guide them. Althought we are in periless times he does not love us any less. He would not leave us prophetless today. God Loves us so he sent his son, who organized his church upon the earth. HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW.

Through my struggles I am here to day that I am grateful for all that God has given me and I will not wait until my struggles are few to show that gratitude and testify of the Love and Goodness of The Lord.

I hope this holiday season, no matter what you find yourself in the midst of that we will all look around and see the great and many gifts in our lives and ever look for reasons to be grateful.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


some of you really liked last years message so here's the link to it, enjoy: http://ablackmormongirl.blogspot.com/2007/11/happy-thanksgiving.html

November 07, 2008

I LIKE SARA PALIN

I really really do like the woman. (She can bagg a carabou!)

Because in some ways I can relate to her. I'm not sure I know all the countries and continents. Actually in that regard I don't think she's that different from A LOT of Americans. Think about it. She didn't get to be Governor of Alaska for being an idiot. And who am I to insult an entire state by assuming such? I think she's got way more in common with the average person than McCain or Obama. Not to say that these two men aren't brilliant in whatever it is they're good at.

Palin is not that much different then most of us. Went to about 3 or 4 different colleges... one in her native state, one in Hawaii and 2 in Idaho. I know alot of my friends can't tell the difference in a country and a continent.
She wasn't only a beauty queen but she graduated in journalism and was a sports broadcaster. Isn't that what every guy wants, a beauty queen who's into sports? She not only helps with the family fishing business. She ran for city council... and won. She ran for city mayor... and won. And she ran for Governor... and WON. So Sara is definitely doing something right.

Not only all of that, she's been married for 20 years, is a hockey mom, had a kid this year so that's a total of 5 and they all have really cool names: Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. Trig is the baby and has down syndrome. Her oldest was recently deployed with the military. Her 18 year old is pregnant and about to get married. Who CAN'T relate to much of that? And let's face it the woman has really good fashion sense. I dare say she has more in common with the average American than Obama or McCain.
Does this mean she's fit to be president or vice president? Yes and No. She kept the names and phone numbers of the people in the city she lived and called them to ask "how's the city doing?" I like those kinds of politics she was in touch with the people who elected her to serve. Just a regular girl next door. Which is probably why she's getting such a bad wrap. We say way the problem with politics is politicians. And then we say the problem with Sara is she's too much like the average American. She made fun of herself, defended herself and rolled with every punch she was throw and even threw a few herself. She can hang out in my culdesac anytime.

We don't know what we want in this country so we poo poo any and everything.

I believe if Sara Palin lived on my block we would be good friends. Cleaning fish and bottling jam, talking about kids and sports whilst she sipping on a diet Dr pepper and me an orange crush.
Go ahead and tease her if you want but I think there's something about the girl that didn't get a fair shake.
Yeah, I really do think she's a cool woman. (That doesn't mean I want her as my president or vice president at this time.) But I'll take her as a neighbor and friend to just hang with on a regular basis.
I hope we haven't seen the last of her.






OH NO HE DIDN'T

I'm listening to the first press Conference for Barack Obama.
They asked the man about the dog he's getting his daughters. He wants a hypo-allergenic and "a mutt just like me." Is what he said.

The President elect just referred to himself as a "MUTT." WHAT THE CRAP????

I'm not sure I like that. Y'all know how in parts of the black community we have people who call themselves "Negro" and "Nigga" and things like that? But someone else do it, there's hell to pay.
Just so we're clear, I don't like it. I know if I use those words, society takes it as being ok or permission for them to do the same. I fear President Obama just opened that door. Yeah, yeah, I know you gotta be able to laugh are yourself and have a sense of humor. And boy if anyone needs it he sure does. So I guess maybe I'm more shocked than anything. I'm trying to think back in history and see if I can remember anyone else referring to themselves as a redneck, or adulterer, or hick or anything of the sort. There probably is.

Anyway... I guess I wasn't expecting it. Or maybe I was, but not so soon? I dunno.

But just so we're clear..... Just because the President Elect refers to HIMSELF as a mutt..... don't give you permission to refer to it.


Capiche? ;)

November 04, 2008

KISS ME, I VOTED!!!!

TODAY: November 4, 2008










That's right folks! Plant one on my lips, Kiss my cheeks or kiss my butt i don't care! Got up this morning, put on my all american uniform.... blue jeans, gray t-shirt with 3 red and blue stars and the white letters U.S.A, a blue hoodie with the word KALAMAZOO scripted acrossed it. Brushed my teeth, bumped my hair, put on some lip gloss and drove a mile down the street to the firehouse. Greeted by friends, neigbors and other members of my community and casted my vote for the President of the United States!

What an honor to be part of this historic election! What an honor to be part of the process. What a blessing to be able to stand up today at the forefront of my generations and blood lines in honor of those relatives who couldn't vote because they were female or black and couldn't have a voice for whatever reason back in their day!

Today, November 4, 2008 The ground is wet, the clouds are sprinking and the air is cold. I smell the winds of change in the air. If you've come here to find out who I voted for, you'll be disappointed. I remember one as a little girl asking my mama who she voted for and you know what she said to me? She said
"That's between me and The Lord."
I've always gone by that rule and have never disclosed who I've voted for. I don't see a reason to start today. I will say as far as I was concerned I had Baracknophobia and a McCain in the butt. But last night again I went over the issues from both parties (that issues I could find, that is) and made a choice. Today I ROCKED that choice.
This is the greatest country in the world regardless of who is and will be running it. It's citizens doing their civic duty that make it that way.

This was my daughter's first election. She rocked her vote early, as most of the younger americans are doing. Her feelings on the issue are this and I QUOTE:

"Either way, the country is going down the drain... or down the drain further. Who ever wins is going to lead us closer to the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ and THAT'S what I'm excited for! I can't wait to see how the 2nd coming all plays out, I'm so excited for that!"

Yeah, she took me for loop for a minute as well. And I took some pride in the fact the we're taught... "IF YOU ARE PREPARED, YOU SHALL NOT FEAR."

We are facing perilous and troublesome times ahead. And if we are prepared, we will not fear.
And for those who have said....There will be a black man in office or a woman in office when hell freezes over..... guess what? The weather forecast is calling for snow by tomorrow morning.
Either way the freezing process has begun.

Signed,
Single Christian Black American Mama (not affiliated with any political party)

AND I APPROVE OF THIS MESSAGE!

November 02, 2008

Raising Teen Agers In Todays World.

I was asked to be the guest speaker and on a panal about single parent's raising teenagers in todays world.
It's turned into quite a lengthy blog. But I'm pleased at the outcome of what I'll be speaking on.
Here's the link to it, Hope you enjoy it and will give me lots of feedback, I could sure use it.
Thanks

http://oldschoolmormonmama.blogspot.com/

October 30, 2008

Perfectly Happy Going Without

Is it a woman thing? The more I talk t women the more I realize that women are more than happy to go without having certain needs of their own met but will work tirelessly to fulfill someone elses needs. Have we been conditioned to be happy going without and to find our fillfullment in serving others? I know I tend to feel guilt and selfishness when I focus on my needs. I often feel bad about asking for what I need or usually have learned a way to fullfill it on my own without the help of others.



DOES ANYONE ELSE FEEL THIS WAY? Anyone? I was able to go to a women's conference last spring. I didnt want to go, some friends talked me into going. And the discussion came around to this subject. The meeting turned out to be so uplifting. because one by one the women started to share experiences such as this. Turns out just about EVERYONE was feeling this way.



I took things a bit further and spoke to alot of my male friends. I was very shocked to find that very few of them felt this way. I think there were about 3 who said they experient it on a regular basis. But most guys don't really discuss these types of things most of the time either. Of the 12 male friends I asked, only 3 really experienced this.



What is it about the majority of women that we feel this need to be more concerned about everyone but ourselves? Part of it is the nature of being a mother and wife I'm sure. Especially most single mothers. The reason I single out single mothers is this: Most single mothers have their kids 24/7 with the exclusion of a couple holidays and everyother weekend. I've got a few single father friends who SAY they would love to have their child fulltime. I'm not sure they realize the impatience they have when they do have them for just the weekend. This doesn't mean they don't love them, because they do. Doesn't mean they don't miss them because they do. It doesn't mean they're sad to see them go when they leave because they are. But there is usually a sigh of relief that comes with getting their space and time and focus back on themselves.

I dunno, that's just my opinion from what I see in those around me.

Back to being so willing to go without. I was talking to my daughter yesterday. She's been in a funk this week and has decided not to go to a huge well known university halloween activity because she's afraid she'll put everyone else in a funk. A part of me cheers her on for her being such an unselfish child. She really is, she was never really greedy or one to get stuff just because she could or because it was free. She was always more concerned with someone else's needs above her own wants. But in doing so she's lost the balance of taking care of her own needs and wants. I'm not sure she really learned that balance, I know her mother hasn't. She voiced her guilt and discomfort in doing so. And being away at college she's figuring out what happens quickly if she doesn't learn to take care of herself as well as others.

I'm not sure how we go on this subject but I found myself in a dicussion about being co-dependant. This was a while back but whenever the subject of self sacrifice and going without comes up I remember the conversation about being co-dependant.
In our discussion we decided it was another imbalance of self love.
Too much self love brings on greed and lack of self awarness and flaws. It kind of mimicks too little self love which brings on lack of self respect and confidence and that can manifest itself as arrogance .
Too littl self love brings on passivness and people pleasing. Always bending and breaking and giving in to other peoples demands regardless of how it makes us feel. Always pleasing the other person to insure their friendship and love.

Well that's not good either. So what is the healthy balance of self love? What is the magic solution to finding a healthy balance of give and take?

In thinking this through it really is quite simple: Love thy neigbors AS thyself. As I have loved you, love one another.
Not more than yourself. Not less than yourself. AS... meaning AS MUCH AS... yourself.
It really does make sense.
If I'm taking care of you as much as I'm taking care of myself, and you're taking care of me as much as you're taking care of yourself, then we are both hopefully well taken care of.

I also heard... on a commercial ... someone actually said "if we all take care of each other then the world would be taken care of." Is it really this simple? Can it really be this simple? I believe it can be. I've seen it, and have experienced it in my community this summer. And when people realize they can put aside their wants for a little while and step up and provide a need for someone else it becomes very fullfilling for everyone.

We also need to be very careful about our own willingness to give. Giving can backfire if you enjoy doing it. Because people will expect and assume you to always have the ability to do it. So when you do take a mind to take care of your own needs, it becomes a problem especially in relationships. We have to be careful not to bend and adjust so much, that we lose ourselves and aren't getting what we need.
It's very loving to be able to take care of yourself. It puts you in a better position to take care of others. It actually makes you happier with others and more tolerable.
I think it's also very important to realize that more times than not, we are all on both sides of finding that balance. Our ability to talk and express it to each other with proper respect and undersanding to each other will help us all find that balance.

October 21, 2008

You Can Laugh At Me If You Wanna.....

BUT I..... AM.... AWESOME! No, seriously I am! GIVE IT UP FOR ME!
I made 3 gallons of homemade laundry soap. If you know me, you know I like making, baking, caking, creating whatever. And when I find something new to make, I take a recipe or instructions, analyze it, make it my own and then obsess and make tons of it because it' so exciting and new to me. This is no different. If I had containers I'd me making different colors and scents of the stuff. As it is I only made 1 batch and it'll probably last all winter long.

It's not that I can't afford laundry soap cuz I can. But shoot if I can make something at home for pennies of the cost why the heck not? It's like a fun science project that you can use on almost a daily basis and you can personalize it with different scents or no scent at all if you want.
It works so well I'm thinking of selling the stuff. It can be made into laundry liquid or powder so it covers all the basis. You can make it a family project. I can't wait to send it to my daughter in college so I can save her come $ too.

K. so I know you're anxious to get started on your own batch so I'll share the recipe and instructions. I promise you've never be so anxious and giddy to do laundry in ALL you life. You Pioneering generations that walked the earth hundreds of years before you did will gather as angels and sing praises to your good ol' fashioned old school roots. And this soap is as Eco and environmentally safe as YOU make it.

Let's get started!

The ingredients you'll need are quite simple:


2 bars of soap

(Use whatever you have on hand or whatever you like. Keep in mind this will also be what your laundry will smell like. I had some "coast" hanging around so I used that. All you eco friendly and Greenies out there, go find yourself an environmental friendly bar of soap that is fat or vegitable based and not petrolium based.)

1/2 cup of Borax

( This is a natural mineral mineral: , also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. It is usually a white powder consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water.) Although it is a natural mineral becareful and mindful of breathing too much of it is, it can be irritating.

1 & 1/2 cups of Washing Soda (this is usually found in the laundry isle in the Arm and Hammer box. it actually looks like a box of baking soda on STEROIDS.)

*Pppppst! I have a side note....* Notice above I mentioned washing soda and not baking soda? They are 2 different things. Washing soda is Sodium Carbonate. Baking soda is Sodium bi-carbonate. No, this doesn't meant it's corbonate that "swings both ways", it just means it a different compound. If you go to the website of the yellow box with bicept and mallet they'll tell you the 2 aren't interchangeable. And they aren't. You CANNOT use washing powder for baking, cooking or for any ingestion at all. However they do not tell you that you can, indeed, use baking soda for cleaning and external needs. I thing it's because they want you to go out and purchase their other product but that's just me. I bring this up to say that You can use baking soda is this recipe if you can't find washing soda and it does a might fine job as well!

3 gallons of good ole hot tap water

one 5 gallon bucket


First thing you wanna do is put 4 cups of water into on the stove and bring to just under boiling.

Then fill your 5 gallon bucket with 3 gallons of hot tap water ( you can boil this water as well but I haven't found it necessary)

While your 4 cups of water is heating you'll want to grate your soap into small slivers. You can use a potato peeler, cheese gater, or cut it up and then add to your food processor or blender for smaller pieces.
Then slowly add the soap into the pot of hot water and start to dissolve it. Make sure you're stirring the soapy water so it doesn't boil over. It can boil, but you dont want it to boil over. Stir soapy water mixture until all the soap is dissolved.

When all the soap is dissolved, add that mixture to the bucket of hot water and stir. Then add the Washing/baking Soda and stir that until dissolved. Then add the borax and stir until dissolved. When it's all mixed together... in the words of Ronco... "set it and forget it." You'll want to let it cool, usually over night.

When you wake up the next morning you have this GLORIOUSLY sludgy gel that works just as well as the leading laundry detergents on the market.

Now My own variations:
I used coast because I had some, I like the smell and wanted to see if that's how it would smell. Also the color was of interest. I wanted to see if it would make blue laundry soap. It did. It's a pale light blue and that's ok. So just know if you use a yellow, pink or purple bar of soap, that's what color your detergent will be.
So what ever bar you use will be the scent and the color. ( I can't wait to use my pink morrocan oil scented caress bar next *wink*)


I also added a little salt (sodium) t0 the mix because we tend to have hard water and this breaks up mineral deposites that make colors dingy and allows the fabric to keep their dye fabrics longer.

Last but not least I added Tea tree oil into the hot water bucket. about 7-10 drops. I chose tea tree because I had it readily available and because winter is coming.
Tea tree oil has the following properties: it’s anti fungal, anti microbial and anti septic. It also has been historically known to aid in headache, and sinus relief. ( See I TOLD YOU I WAS AWESOME!)

Now for those of you who don't have a place to store 3 gallons or poo poo on liquid laundry detergent, I have not forgotten you! You will use the same recipe except omit the water.

So with your bar soap, you'll put it in the blender/food processor with the borax and Washing Soda. Place wet towel over the top of it to capture the dust from the blending of it. Blend it all together into a powder. Put the washing powder into a jar or zip lock baggie for easier space friendly storage. Use about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon per load.

Try it! And holla back at me on how it works for you.

October 08, 2008

Tis a BOOOtiful Seezun!

turned to my sister a couple days ago and said.... "I wanna get the house prepared for the fall!"
To which she said.. "OK, we'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow was yesterday. So I'm looking at fall-ish and harvest type things... Pumkins, cornicopia's, indian corn and all that and she's looking at skulls and tombstones and other goulish type things.
Do you smell a conflict??????
Naw, you dont. We've decided to do the outside haunted and the inside fall harvest. So our residence are total opposites. I must say, the outside is a little creepy. Im going in thru the garage entrance so I don't have to pass the tombstones and the 1ft spider with the 3.5ft leg span I bought to put on the bush outside.
we've got blinking eye balls in the upstairs windows, a phantom with bloody hand prints in the front window. The face is lighted and fades in and out. we've got blinking skull lanterns in one of the trees and a grave stone beneath it and several other tombstones in the front yard. Then we've got a couple of sound and motion censor things that scream, howl and play organ music while lighting up every time someone walks by or a sound is loud enough.
We didn't start the process until after dark because we wanted it to appear as if it happened overnight. I few neigbors came out to hear what all the screams and yells were because i was dark. We asked them if the stuff was too loud, and they LOVED IT.















Skull Spider















New doorbell. Lights up, plays oregon music












Mildred the Spider













video
video
video

September 26, 2008

Let your self go....but ONLY if you can bring yourself Back!

I just finished my first physical therapy session. *whew* I'm glad I don't have to go to an actual medical facility for it, I can do it at my leisure. The neigborhood has a community club house with exercise room and pool. I'm on relatively light schedule for the first month, but it is painful. Here are the Dr's orders:

20 minutes on a stationery bike every other day ( I was told not to ride a real bike as I could fall and cause futher damage to my injury

stretching and mobilty flexing EVERYDAY on this knee

Light walking everyday

Naproxin twice daily... especially at night.

I have 2 groovy braces.
One is a compression sleave I bought while in Michigan. (Dr said "good move on that, by the way.") that's my daytime light activity brace.
the other is more for stability and control. It's got metal on the sides and straps that go around my leg keeping things secure and tight. I mostly use that one for when I'm running around on errands, climbing alot of stairs and sleeping. Both help temendously with the pain.

Oh, it turns out I may not have a medial meniscus tear.

They're really thinking it's more of a level 2 MCL sprain. So that means probably not surgery, but a longer healing time of about 4-6 months. AUGH! I seriously said to him... .Can we just break it? but it in a cast for 6 weeks, 2 weeks therapy after that can cut the healing time in half? *sigh* That was a no go.
Augh.... 4 months..... SERIOUSLY? (4 months in a brace and then as needed after that....)
Let's see it's basically october, november, december, Jan?

If the recovery time isn't bad enough, here's the list of what I can't do:
No softball or any other possible contact sports (so much for street hockey on roller blades for the fall
no Blading or skating
or ANYTHING with undeeded lateral movements. (you know those lateral angles that you , but pants, socks and shoes on?... yeah, I can do that, but it HURTS like.... like I wanna cuss.)

unnecessary driving is out. Getting in and out of a car.... yeah, kinda painful but doable. I'm suprizes at lateral angle one holds their legs when they drive it just sort of lays off to the side while on the gas. (thank goodness for cruise control)

No Skiing or snowboarding. So that big weekend on the mountain is out for this season

What I'm really gonna miss... is the yearly thanksgiving football game in the park. *sigh*. Gonna have to be a cheerleader this year. Oh... wait...no Jumping or kicks. :(

Wait.... it could be worse so I'm not complaining... just...preparing.


Sooooo this is the regime for the next 4 weeks. IF things aren't better than he'll probably go in for surgery. If there is improvements, he'll add on to the regimen.

So like John Legend says... I need to take it slow, which I'm really not good at doing.

I like to get things done ahead of time if possible. So I'm well prepared and not last minute stressing ,rushing and better prepared for unforseen happenings.

Oh, I'm adaptable and adjusts well under pressure. I do my best work under pressure. This was certainly not something I would want to have to prepare for. So Im just gonna roll with the punches.

I've been thinking, with this PT it's going to be a long road and I'll be 41 in november. I see my parents starting to need aide in there everyday living: Canes, glasses, and other assistance to make life easier. Im still relatively young, I look young. I forget Im a teenager and will do those things a 40 year old body has forgotten about.
I'm sick of walking up stairs and hills and being winded afterwards. Everytime I hit a set of stairs I sound like a bowl of rice krispy's. I am at my heaviest weight wise which is whole new Multitude of problems with a family history of diabetes, Sleep apnea, cancer, arthritis & high blood pressure. An over weight middle aged african american with a history of those things is just looking at older age of aches, pains and daily medication. I think I want to get these things under control in the next couple years. Getting old is going to be tough enough without me being lazy in my physical upkeep.

I have let myself go. I feel like I'm ready to bring myself back. This whole month and a half of knee pain... and Im talking severe... can't sleep at night, throbbing and spasm up and down my leg and can barely walk the stairs... had really made me see that I don't want to live with it for the rest of my life, however long that may be. We all die of something, but that doesn't mean we have to help death out.

I'm less concerned about losing weight and more concerned about living healthier, being more physically active and productive. I'm sick of clothes not fitting right and looking nice according to MY standards (no one elses).

As I think of the things we do on a daily basis anyway:
Shower/bathe
brush teeth
comb hair
wash hands after using the restroom and before eating.
Ok well I HOPE we all do these things on daily basis.

We eat daily to stay alive and sometimes for enjoyment
We should do something on a regular basis as well.

I'm on it.

( I got a good start, I came home from Michigan 15 lbs lighter and have lost another 7 since I've been back. I can fell the improvments on my joints and breathing already)


SOOOOOOO if anyone is bored between 6pm-7pm gimme a shout out, I'll be headed to the club house exercise room every other day. And then about 8 or 9 pm I'll be walking the neigborhood.
( I may even try to do some walking in the early morning... but don't quote me on that)

September 21, 2008

SILENT SUNDAYS!




































Silent Sundays. No words, Just pics.

September 20, 2008

Yucky Week Ramblings.

I've been kinda blah all week. Im soooooooo freakin tired. I wondered if I were still on Michigan time. Who the heck knows.
So, this is my story for today:
Back in the beginning of August I slipped down the carpeted steps in our house. It hurt like a MUTHA! For 10 minutes all I could do is sit on the stairs and rock back in forth in pain before I even attempted to put any weight on my leg. after about 15 min I could stand on it. It hurt, but little by little the pain subsided. I was to be a chaperone for the youth at church to the local Amusement part. I prolly should have just stayed home and went to the Dr then. But I was bribbed into going about 9pm the night before and it was an AWESOME bribe: A black forest cake and a $100 bill. So I went. It's only about a 30 minute car ride if that long. So by the time I got to the amusement park my leg was stiff and painful. I eased my way out of the car and went about the day. I put ice on my swollen knee and ankle when I could, rested when i could. For the most part if I kept on moving or didn't stand or sit for too long or angle my knee and ankle too much I was in good shape.
The ride home, it was pretty stiff again. So when I got home I elevated it and iced it and stayed off it for a couple days and just took it easy. The swelling did go down but it's never really stopped hurting and still stiffens up when I'm not on it. Night time is WORSE, it not only locks up and becomes stiff and painfull, it throbs and shoots pains up my let to my pelvic area.

*sigh*

So anyway I just figured if I take it easy and keep it iced it would get better. 10 days after it happend I was on a plane to michigan and there I remained until about a week ago. In michigan it got worse. Humidity will do that to joints and sometimes it got cold to me and that didn't help. I had taken some pain meds and rationed them out for the 3 weeks. At night when I just couldn't take it I would resort to lortab and ibu 800. That would keep me through the night.


Well this passed week it's gotten to the point where I CAN"T TAKE IT ANYMORE! To this afternoon after my meetings and what not, I venture to the Dr's. I explained what happened a month and a half ago. They're pretty sure its not a fracture or a bone chip or anything like that but they take exrays to make sure.
Then the diagnosis: Torn medial Meniscus. yeah, I had to look it up too, y'all. basically that means the tissue on the inside of my knee is prolly torn and starting to heal with broken scar tissue and cartilage hanging around it. I'm picturing a chicken leg with shredded meat off the bone. It's probably not that bad but that's my mind for ya.

So he writes me a RX for some anti inflams that BETTER WORK DOGGONE IT! Cuz it wakes me up most nights.
Then he gives me this really AWESOME knee brace! It's got the metal braces on each side of the knee, it's fitting so it applies pressure where the pain is and is holding the tissue together and it's got velcro straps around the back and front to keep it secure on my leg. I'm excited to be adding this to my Klutz Kollection. ( I have air cast, broken foot boots, ankle braces, knee braces, neck braces, finger splints, crutches... )

So I was given the names of 2 orthopedic surgeons to call and go see on Monday. They're pretty sure I'll need surgery. :( I'm not too crazy about that. If I do need it, I'm gonna try and knock it out here in the next couple to three weeks and if that's the case I may as well get that cateracts surgery done at the same time since I'll be down anyway.
In the mean time the Dr put me on RICE. RICE=Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. And to avoid taking the stairs if I don't have to.

Poor Dr has never been to my house. I had to laugh. All (and I mean ALL the bedrooms AND bathrooms are upstairs. 13 stairs. You do go down 13 stairs and you hit the living room. then you go up one stair and there as small landing. if you turn left you go down 6 more stairs into the family room. if you go straight you go up 1 step into the kitchen. The washer and dryer are in the basement.

I can't see living upstairs close to the bathroom from now until whenever. But i can't see just living downstairs w/o the bathrooms.

ya gotta love it.

Right now I'm in my bed on my sister's lap top with leg elevated. She doesn't care but I like feeling like I'm being sneaky. she feels bad because I wanted her to drive me to the doctors since it's my driving leg that's messed up but she didn't want to go. I told her not to worry about it. But older sisters are supposed to I guess, it's their JOB. (besides she's only 11 months older)


So I've been thinking about this summer as a whole. It's been pretty stinky in some ways and absolutely awesome in others.

before I left for Michigan my wedding dress was a little tight. Now it's too big. They made me put it on as soon as I got back. And before I could suck in the thing was zipped up and hanging off me in front. Adonis is the best diet Ever :)

Oh, Did i mention I chipped a tooth on Monday? My front left tooth chipped off. I got that taken care of yesterday. My daughter and I were in the Dentist office from 8 am til 11 am. What's really cool is they had to put a crown on my daughters tooth and they made it on the computer, sent the image to a machine, and the machine made it right there in the office.

I also lost my phone Tuesday afternoon and some guy found it and got it back to me late thursday night. To make matters worse, Verizon towers were having trouble in the Cache country and wasatch front areas. So verizoner could get texts but not send them. I was proud when I got my phone back it had 1 bar left. Nice. To bad it's now dropping calls and peoples voices are sounding choppy for the most part when they call. It takes for ever to send a text it says "sending" a good 3 minutes before it says failed or message sent so I've all but been ignoring it today.


geeze anything else happen this week? Oh yeah, I found out my neice fell down the fire escape 2 nights before I left michigan. the family didn't tell me, because they knew I would have cancelled my flight home and stayed another week with them. She had a concussion and has a broken nose and what not. I feel sad i didn't get to see them much while I was there. I guess she fell 12 feet straight down a fire escape and landed on her feet, but she landed on a basket ball which caused her to fall straight backwards onto the cement flooring. The empact broke her little nose. She's got 2 blackened eyes and her teeth went thru her lip (just like her daddy, my brother, did when he had an accident as a kid)


blah. I'm sore. I'm tired. I'm frustrated. I'm anxious and nervous about this knee thing. I'm supposed to be job hunting this week. I'll do that inbetween dr appointments i guess.

Right now I'm gonna crawl downstairs... (shhhhhhhh! don't tell on me..) get some ice for this knee, crawl back upstairs grab my little personal dvd player and hang out with Harry Potter the rest of the night and enjoy some apple pie "ontha mode' ;)

To you I say RELEASE THE PEACE!

September 13, 2008

Home Sweet Home??

So I left my home in Utah to go back home to Michigan for 3 weeks and now I'm back home in Utah. Home Sweet Home, right? Sure, why not... um... Which home are we talkin 'bout folks?

Being back home in Michigan was... surreal for me. Normally when you go BACK home you're staying with family in your old house you grew up with and seeing old friends and neigbors and what not.
Yeah.... well, not so much the case. I stayed with a Man I haven't seen or been around in about 23 years.
For the most part I enjoyed my trip and my time in Michigan. But it was difficult for me to be back in the the home town. I left with a lot of emotional loose ends. So all the old memories and intimidations and things came rushing back to me. Very little was familiar but so much was familiar. It was like being in a different world but running into parts of my life there.
I was able to see my my Grandmother that i haven't seen in about 4 years. Her health isn't all that great and I'm not sure when I'll be able to see her again. We went to her birthday party and I was able to see aunts, uncles and cousin's I haven't seen in a while. Awesome seeing them and looking forward to seeing them at the family reunion next summer.
I met Adonis Family. I think they're great and they remind me of my own family.

There are defineate things about Michigan I miss, like tree covered streets and the freshness of the evergreens and the wonder and beauty of the great lakes. I miss Volcano Pizza and Chicken Coop Wings, Hot stuff potato chips and faygo pop. And being 30 minutes away from some of the extended family and missing certain parts of their lives.

What I don't miss... is the Humidity. I have RA. Most nights I couldn't sleep because the pain in my knee and hip was so horrible and my meds didn't really touch it. I don't miss people cussing and swearing as part of everyday language. I don't miss the having to always watch my back and be on Alert 24/7. I could name a few others but I wont.

For the most part I've spent half of my life in Michigan and the other half in Utah. Both places have a unique beauty all their own. When asked which place I like better, it's hard to give an honest answer in terms of geographical specifics. I base which place I like better on where I have been most successful and thrived the most. Where I'm most comfortable, safe and at peace.
Well I've been both places and have successful to some degree in both places. I consider both places home and why shouldn't I?

It was fun to go back and see the old high school, football stadium and softball field where I, girl jock ROCKED at my sport. It was fun to see the houses I grew up in and the neigborhoods I rode bikes around and even some of the people I went to school with.

It was also fun to come back home and see the mountain side and sleep and wake up without too much pain and to be back in my house, my yard and my personal space. And to know Im going to a place... a community that genuinelycares about each other and that caring is welcomed.


Home Sweet Home???

Aw yeah..... Home Sweet Home!

August 08, 2008

Memories

I hope this is a good idea
Everyone needs to play...This is Fun!
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember--it can be funny, weird, awkward, random, etc.!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses.If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

July 29, 2008

Will Work for Food!

Seriously, because trying to pay for food didn't work at all tonight.

2 of my friends had birthdays today so a gang of us went out to dinner for celebration. We got to the restaurant at 6:30 and were finally seated at 7:15. The joint was hoppin and there was hustle and bustle all over the place. You would have thought it was rush hour on i-15 the way traffic was running through the dining room.

The waiter comes and takes our drinkk orders. There's a party of 12 of us and all but 2 of us have seperate checks. Our waiter was on it. I was unsure of what to order and he actually sat next to me as we discussed the 3 options i couldn't decide on. I like that he took the personal time to hang out with me for 5 minutes and discuss the details of tuscan potates and actually what capers were.

They bring us our salads and bread, and other appetizers and we pass the pre foods around the table. I'm anxious for the chicken dish I ordered sauteed in onions and mushrooms with red potatoes and so on. Each person's meal comes. He places mine in front of me and I'm staring at my plate... my red potatoes are blackened, my onions resemble black potatoe chips and everything tastes burnt. I stared at the waiter rushes of to get the other dinner plates and take care of his other tables. finally when he returned I have him check out my plate.
" Sooo, tell me Sean" I said... "does this look burnt to you?" And he gasps in embarrasement.
"well, let me take that back and have another one made up for you, or would you rather try something else?" "well, since this dish didn't work out so well, how about i try that 2nd dish we talked about?" " I'll get that right in for ya..." he said and off he rushes to the kitchen. Most everyone else is 1/2 way through their meal except for my sister who asked for medium well stake and was staring at a very RARE peice of beef... he takes her plate back as well and has them recook hers. By the time our dinners come out, we're full on famous salad and breadsticks and ask for our dinner to be put into a box.

Sean brings out our dinners, asks us to check them to make sure they're to our satisfaction. They look wonderful! So our waiter, who was actually on point for most of our stay, gets the boxes and begins to box our dinners. He gives my sister her dinner and begins to box up mine.

Im conversing with my dinner companions and the half of the table facing Sean breaks into a big "GASP!" I turn and look. A customer knocks into Sean and my dinner is now half in the box and half spilled on the tray. Everyone looks at me and I just laugh and think "oh well, it happens."

Good Ole Sean apologizes profusely and heads straight to the manager and asks her to comp my meal. He then comes straight over to me and lets me know he has the cook preparing a 3rd meal for me and he's having it boxed right ups and there will be no charge for it. I thanked him and assured him that he did a might fine job. I left him a 7$ tip on a 3.50 bill cuz Really, it's hard to be a server when the kitchen is off, and quite frankly, I LIKED SEAN THE SERVER.

I get my packaged food and my sister and I head home and I'm hungry. So I call my daughter who chose to stay home and back a store bought pizza. We're 1/2 a mile from home and I ask her... ' Hey is there any pizza left?"
To which she says... "umm aren't you at dinner? I the pizza isn't cooked yet because I didnt get hungry til now."
I tell her "put the pizza in, I'm starving!" I tell her.

She says... "lady what is wrong with you, you just spent 3 hours at the restaurant and you didn't eat?"
I told her I'd explain when I get home.

I explained when got home and we just laughed about it. True I had my "to go" dinner but decided to save it for tomorrow and I was quite looking forward to walmart pepperoni store bought pizza.

I'm sitting in the living room about 10 minutes later and I hear a very loud "AUGH!" come from the kitchen.
My daughter dropped the pizza on the oven door. By this time all I could do is laugh.
I've decided to give up on dinner tonight and just pray so it's called fasting and not starvation.

Anyway, if you know someone will an extra plate and some leftovers tell them you know someone who will work for food.
:)

July 26, 2008

Camp Dudley!!

IT"S THAT TIME AGAIN!!!!!!!

Camp Dudley Time! I started "camp dudley" about 3 years ago. My daughter and I had just moved into our new condo and 2 of my neices were coming out during the summer. So I created Camp Dudley. Since my daughter is an only child and was living far away from her cousins I wanted to find a way for her to know them and be close to them so Camp Dudley was established. When she was younger she would spend every other summer with family members. It was difficult at first sending my only child away for the summer. But it proved to be beneficial in the long run. She learned how to become less shy and afraid to be away from home. I learned how to give her some room to and be more independant and less of a worrying mother.

Camp Dudley last anywhere from a weekend to 2 weeks. I'm the camp director (cuz Im the favorite aunt... they call me the "Mary Poppins" of the family) My sister is Assistant Camp director, My brother is the Camp Maintenance and My daughter is now a Camp Councelor.

The Neices and Nephews are split in ages 19-3. 3 of them live in Utah, 5 of them live in California and 6 of them in Michigan. And add my daughter to the mix. I've never had all 15 of them at once although I would LOVE IT if it were to happen.

some of the activies we enjoy are:
Drive in movies
bbq's
Pool party olympics
Build your own pizza contest
Arts and Crafts
One of my nephews got to be on a parad float one year
Camping, fishing, canoeing
Riding the trax & light rail into downtown
State & Church History tours
Educational field trips
hiking in the mountains & canyons
Out door movies in the park
You name it, we've done it
Fun, Fun fun.

It's a good old fashioned tiring time and I love it.

This year it like the year of the Nephews. My brother's sons are all coming out but their stays are staggered. The youngest was here already for 2 weeks. It was his first real trip out here. The oldest came in last week and the middle one (my twin, we have the same b-day) flies in today. we're picking him up in about 3 hours.

I like how the family pools together for the one's who can't afford to come but would like to. Had it not been for that, when my daughter was younger she wouldn't have been able to be with family members every other summer. Although the family is somewhat staggered throughout the country we felt it was important we find a way to keep the cousins close. Every other year my daughter spent the summer with family members. She's been to california, Washington state, Michigan. My father just retired from an airline. He was a great influence in teaching the kids how to fly independantly. I've learned to have great faith in the safety of it. If the child is under the age of 12 they get flight wings, escort tags and an attendant to escort them to any connecting flights and to make sure they get to their destination. And an parent or predetermined adult need to pick the up on the other end. Children ages 13-17 must have an adult pick them up at the gate and they too, must be predetermined on the paperwork and show I.d before they release the child. It's been pretty fun experience and it's given them confidence in traveling alone. Some people say that was a bold step.
I look at it this way.. My success as a parent is measured by how well I've taught my child to funtion in the world without me. Not to say that I've neglected her. I haven't by any means. But alot of my comfort and confidence in sending her off to college is knowing that incase of an emergency, or unexpected change of plans, I know she can keep her head about her, make rational decisions of adjustment.

Back to Camp Dudley!

This morning was acctually an neigborhood 5k run, walk or stroll. A couple weeks before a sign up went out for volunteering breakfast items. So after the 5k there was big neigborhood breakfast for all to enjoy.

This evening after we pick up my other nephew, we'll most likely bbq, pool party, and either movie night or drive in.
Tomorrow my brother will come down with the other nephew and pick him up. We'll do another family bbq.

It's really been fun having the nephews out this year although they came out at staggard times. When the neices came out the came out altogether and we had diva weekend with just the girls and then the last day we had the family pool party & build your own pizza contest.

I LOVE MY FAMILY. It wasn't always this way and it's taken a while to get to this point. As they get old and life's paths move us along in our different directions I hope we'll all continue to provide some sort of Camp Dudley for our kids so they have the family bonds and continue to pass them on. Family reunions are fun, but they don't always happen. If we can create an opportunity for the kids to grow up together and continue the tradition of them having the desire to contact or get together even for a weekend during the summers then I think we've created a family legacy. We are actually looking for land to build a family cabin for such occasions. If i could leave the family these experiences, this legacy to pass down from each generation, I would be well pleased

Hurray for camp Dudley!

July 19, 2008

Random Thoughts of Summer Nights In Utah

Warm breeze rushing through my hair as the sun rest behind the mountains. One by one the evening lights begin their soft glow across the neigborhood. The sky changes from it daily azure blue into soft shades of amber, pink, and lavendar. The bird's song fades softly with the daylight and the crickets begin their evening choir hymns. In my back yard I sit at a table with paints, stencils and brushes. My sister at another table working on a puzzle. We're both under patio umbrellas illuminated by blue-white solar lights. The soft sounds of Boys II Men flowing with the breeze that's now turned cool. The faint smell of bbq lingers in the wind while we snack on s'mores made from the still warm grill on the other edge of the patio. Poking my head from under the patio lights into the sky and spying the northern star, and even cassiopeia shining so bright as if to call out and boast of her beauty to Juno herself.

Summers in Utah are phenominal with it's midnight hikes in the foothills and smaller mountains of the wasatch range illuminated by the full bulb of the moon, or it's moonlight picnics in the open fields off the sides of one the old back highways.
The meteor showers light the skies like lightening bugs dive-bombing the earth every 30 seconds.
Evening bonfires polka dotting the mountain sides with its glow against a chill breeze.

There are nights where we tailgate at the drive in finally settling down to catch the last half of the first feature and totally falling asleep during the 2nd feature only to wake up in the back of a friends pick up truck or suv amidst pillows, socks , shoes and blankets, chips, soda bottles and chocolate wrappers an hour after the theatre lights have gone down.

I love recieving a text on an insomniac night at 2:00 am from a bunch of your friends who can't sleep and are headed to Flying J truck stop for breakfast, strawberry short cake, or whatever else they have a taste for.


I've enjoyed the night life of New York, Chicago, New jersey, L.A, San Diego, Dallas, Vegas, Honolulu and many other places. Been to the clubs, casinos, nightlife, beaches and so on.

I'd much rather enjoy the quiet intimate nightlife with a few friends and family away from the contemporary hustle and bustle of city life. I prefer the soft sounds of the river's rush and the crickets churp, or even my own C.D playing soulful R &B from the 70's or 80 while on my back patio looking in the night sky for pegasus or Orion over hearing the degrading lyrics of Rap and Pop surrounded by smoke and drinks at the club or bar, or even looking at a tv with glossed over eyes.

I'm sure each city has it's own natural quiet beauty and entertainment. But I have yet to experience anything like the absolute peace and comfort that comes from summer nights in Utah.

* Hawaii & Idaho are a close second* ;)