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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Think Method

My memories of many Christmases and the gifts I received are a little murky, but something that shines brightly through the haze, was the bicycle I found next to the tree one Christmas morning.  It was a blue Schwinn with chrome accents and a sparkly silver banana seat.  How could anyone possibly forget such a machine?

Of course if you are six (almost seven) and receive a bike for Christmas, you insist on being outside learning to ride it even on a cold December day.  My mom spent the day in her nightgown and robe so she deferred to my dad to be the one to run alongside their child while becoming acquainted with the ways of a bike.

My dad was never known for his patience, but looking back at that episode, I realize he was more than patient with me as he spent a good portion of that winter day running back and forth along the gravel road in front of our house.  What?! A six year old was expected to learn to ride a bicycle on a gravel road? And not just a gravel road, but an ice-incrusted gravel road?  Yep!

One day of running beside me holding onto the bike seat wasn't enough. The next morning we did it again; up and down the road we went.  Finally, dad pried me off that silver seat and rolled the bike to the house.  My knees and elbows were bruised and bloodied from multiple falls, but I didn't want to give up.  He said we would try again when it warmed up.  He parked the bike next to the porch and went in the house.

Over the next few days while dad was at work, I practiced some more.  I didn't succeed in staying upright on the bike.  I did succeed in gathering a few more grazes and contusions.

On the first day back to school, I announced to my class that I had received a bike for Christmas and had learned to ride it.  I don't know what possessed me to tell such a tale and I spent the rest of the day in deep anxiety that I would have to prove my deceitful boast.  After school, my friend, Lynette Hepworth, came home with me, saw the bicycle and expected me to ride it.  With severe trepidation I  wheeled it to the road, climbed onto the sparkly seat and pushed myself off into the gravel.  I moved my feet onto the pedals and started pushing them around.  Suddenly, I was riding.  I wasn't tipping over.  I was really doing it.  I zipped down the road, turned around and came back to where Lynette was standing and skidded to halt spraying gravel behind me.  She didn't seem adequately impressed, but I was in awe at what I had just done.

I have heard people say some things are "like riding a bike", meaning once you learn how to do it, you never forget.  The thing that stuck with me over the years is Professor Harold Hill's 'Think Method' (from The Music Man) isn't unusual, in fact is downright believable!

What are your memories of learning to ride a bike?  Did you learn on a dirt or gravel road?  Have you ever employed the 'think' method to gain a new skill?  Have you ever been saved from a lie by happy accident?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Reporting in...

I wanted to acknowledge and thank those who voted on the fireplace photos and report what I ended up doing with my 'place of fire' mantle.  Here is the empty space: 

 I used a combination of things from the photos, since there really was no clear consensus of voting (thank you anyway, voters!)  Okay, I know it doesn't look anywhere near as beautiful as any of the HGTV fireplaces, but I'm also sure this photo does not do justice to how sparkly it looks in real life.  I used the bottom branches from my tree to add some greenery at the front and then interspersed some gold painted pinecones and twigs. I used gold ornaments and the floral arrangement with touches of gold glitter.  It is good enough for me, it feels warm and festive, and it makes standing at the fireplace toasting my buns even more enjoyable.

On other fronts, I did finish finals on Wednesday and last night grades were posted on Canvas.  I ended up with 'A's in both classes.  I am pleased about that, but actually a little melancholy to see my US Institutions class come to an end.  I enjoyed the repartee of other class members and the great instructor who made learning about the Constitution and our American Government so interesting.   I will be taking nine credits next semester (three classes) and since one is on-line, I started on it today.  I know I need a break, but I'm not sure I can afford to take it.  Hopefully the other two campus classes will not be too time consuming during this next semester because I'm afraid this persuasive writing class is going to be INTENSE!

The annual cookie exchange and book club was last night.  I made gingerbread boys and trees for my contribution and had a wonderful evening eating cookies and talking books with ladies I enjoy so much!  

Cutting out dough
Better tasting than they look

I started Christmas shopping yesterday.  I finished Christmas shopping yesterday.  My kids are at the age where it is just easier (and better?) to give them cash.  I've tried doing some online shopping and I spent yesterday at the mall.  I have a few things to wrap and put in stockings, but it is just too hard when the married kids received more household things for their weddings than I own after nearly 30 years of marriage and the unmarried kids are so particular about what they like.  I would never in a million years attempt to buy them clothes, music or video games.  I guess DVDs are safer ground, but even that is kind of a gamble.

I could use some good ideas of gifts for grown children if you have any… I did consider massage coupons, but only because that is what I want for myself…

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My By-Line

I can officially claim the title of 'columnist'.  I received my first copy of the Millard County Chronicle in the mail this morning with my name typed below the title, "Rambling Through Time" and above my story about the Spud Nut Shop and glass milk jugs.

Plans are in place for another column next week and the paper's owner, Shellie, has said to keep the stories coming.  I don't know how long she will indulge me and my scribbling of childhood memories, but while it lasts I will enjoy it!

I sent another collection of four stories today and have about a dozen more waiting to be written.  I thought that seemed pretty good when the thought came to me: "There are 52 weeks in a year, Georgia!"  "Can you remember than many things that will be worth writing about?"

Who knows. Maybe my column will be shut down long before my existing stories have been told.  Maybe Shellie will need that space for an ad or an interesting current event.  Perhaps there will be letters to the editor expressing boredom with the recollections of a kid who lived in Hinckley in the 60s and 70s.

Whatever happens is okay  with me, because no one can change the fact that for at least one week I was a columnist and was published in the December 7, 2011 edition of the Millard County Chronicle!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Molecular Makeup of Molasses

This morning as the sun rose over the bitter-cold, snow-dusted landscape of my yard, I thought of how subjective time is in relation to the season.  It seems to me that when the sun is warm, grass is green and I am outside planting and harvesting; time slips through my fingers like water.  But when there is no warmth in the winter sun, when the wind strips leaves from every tree branch, and ol' Mount Ben Lomond himself seems to shiver in the cold; time slows like the proverbial 'molasses running uphill in January'.

I spend a portion of each winter morning warming myself in front of the fireplace.  I feel like a bird on a spit as I rotate myself around trying to roast each section thoroughly.  The fireplace is a gathering place this time of year, yet in warmer months, we scoot a couple of chairs in front of it and you hardly notice it is there.  I've been thinking about decorating the fireplace for Christmas.  It deserves to be honored for the comfort it provides every chilly morning and evening.  I found some HGTV ideas for decorating fireplace mantels.  Please vote for your favorite and I'll attempt to replicate the one that is the most popular.  After all, warming that upward flowing molasses is a big job and should be recognized with some handsome holiday decor.

Fireplace #1

Fireplace #2

Fireplace #3

Fireplace #4

Fireplace #5
I really would appreciate your comments and suggestions about Christmas decorations and the fireplace.  Thanks!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Eating Pets

I received an awesome Thanksgiving card in the mail a couple of days ago.  'Who sends out Thanksgiving cards?' you may well ask...Well, it is the one and only Lisa Paskins.  She is one of my very faithful visiting teachers, a blogging buddy, a good friend and an extreme sender of cards.

On the front of the card it says, "You know you are a redneck..." and on the inside it finishes, "If you have to choose which pet to eat for Thanksgiving."  Lisa thought this was funny because we have both eaten goat meat.  But I have been thinking about it beyond that experience to another random childhood memory.

Jim and I named pretty much every animal on our property (except for chickens, there were just too many chickens).  All of our sheep had funny names.  Jim was a good animal namer and his names reflected the personality of the pet.  We had loads of dogs and cats (see previous blogpost about some pretty snazzy cat names).  We  had ducks, pigs, goats, horses and cows that were named too and one year we had a turkey...

That is where this story begins.  Mom and Dad picked out a young turkey sometime in May or June of 1970 and warnings were issued that it was to be the main course of our Thanksgiving feast that year.  The warnings included the admonition to NOT name the bird because we were going to EAT him in a few months.  But telling a couple of little kids (we were 8 and 5 that year) that they were not to grow attached to a new animal which we fed and watered every day was fairly pointless.  Of course we didn't play with the turkey, he was in a wooden pen with a roof over it, but we would reach through the slats and pet his silky feathers and even though he had a homely face, his plumage was beautiful and we grew fond of him and started calling him Tom.

Tom grew larger and plumper each month through the summer and fall.  Each day, Jim and I would tell Mom that we didn't want to eat turkey for Thanksgiving.  We were happy to have mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams, and all the other stuff, but there was no need to kill Tom.  Jim and I would counsel together about how effective our persuasive arguments were.  We were actually feeling quite confident going into the week of Thanksgiving.  No one had made any more threats about slaughtering our bird and we had ramped up our efforts to stay his execution indefinitely.  Thanksgiving Eve came and Tom was still strutting around in his wooden pen at evening chore time.  If Jim and I knew what 'high fives' were, we certainly would have been slapping them all over the place that night.

The next morning, my Mom was up early peeling potatoes and rolling out pie dough when I got up to do morning chores. She didn't say much more than 'good morning' as I headed out the door. In the early morning gloom, I saw something strewn across the frosty ground as I headed towards the corrals.  As I drew closer, I realized it was feathers.  Lots of feathers.  Turkey feathers.  I rushed to Tom's pen where the lid-like roof was leaning against the side and no one was home.

I rushed back to the house, slamming the back door as I demanded to know what had happened.  Mom explained that Dad waited until Jim and I were asleep last night to butcher the turkey. She plucked and cleaned him and had him roasting in the oven.

I don't remember too many details of most Thanksgiving feasts, but that one is crystal clear because both my brother and I refused any turkey and were extremely morose during the entire meal and rest of that day.  In fact, we may have drug the sullenness on for several more days, I don't recall how many. But one thing I know for sure is our parents never bought a live turkey again.  Of all the animals we raised when I was a kid, we only had one turkey and his name was Tom.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Case of the Purloined Puddies

Here's a random childhood memory that I recently found stuffed in the recesses of my brain:

     We had packed the old, orange cat we called Barfy in a box when we moved to Pleasant Grove at the beginning of my third grade school year. He howled the entire trip.  Jim and I tried to comfort him in his box sitting between us on the back seat of the car, but he would claw and chew us whenever we tried to hold or pet him.  Near the end of the voyage, we were all as miserable as Barfy and could hardly wait to release him from his cardboard prison.  

     As we pulled up to our new house, his box was the first one opened and the most easily emptied of all those we brought with us because as we lifted it out of the car, he bolted without a backward glance and was gone.  Mom, Jim and I looked for him for months after that, but never saw him again.

     The next fall when we moved back to Hinckley we had been without a cat for nearly a year;  I am sure that was the longest we had ever gone without a feline at our house.  Once settled back into our home and routine, Jim and I started begging for a kitten and Mom started looking for one to join the family.  I don't know where she found the two she brought home, but they were instantly accepted and loved.   They were yellow and white babies from the same litter, but one was much bigger than the other.  I think we must have got the runt and the biggest of the family so it made perfect sense to name the small one 'Itten Bitten Kitten' and the other one 'Biggie Kitty'.  Itten Bitten and Biggie were cute and fun. They would tangle themselves together wrestling and playing, they would bounce and bound around and on top of one another in their wild, cat games. They were very entertaining and we adored them.  Over the next two months, Biggie kept getting bigger, but Itten Bitten didn't seem to grow at all.  

     That next spring we went to visit my Grandparents for a week and left the cats at home with my friend, Lynette, as the animal sitter.  I don't remember much about the trip to Arizona, but I remember as soon as we pulled back into our driveway, bustling out of the back of the truck and running to the "Little House" where the kittens were housed to play with Biggie and Itten Bitten, but they were gone.  My parents made us unpack the truck and get everything into the house before I could call Lynette and find out where the cats were at.  When I did phone, she said she didn't know what had happened to the cats.  One day when she came to feed and water them, they were just gone.  The door was still closed but they had vanished.

     Jim and I mourned over those kittens and talked about them all the time.  A month or more later, we finally learned what had happened to our cats.  Mrs. Taylor who lived around the corner from our place, had her children and grandchildren from Salt Lake City visiting at her house and the kids had seen Itten Bitten climb under the door of the little house.  Biggie was inside meowing for Itten because he was too big to fit under the door and couldn't get out.  So instead of opening the door and putting Itten Bitten back in, they opened the door and let Biggie Kitty out and took them to their grandma's house where they fell in love with them and decided to take them with them when they returned to Salt Lake.

     I was absolutely incensed that Mrs. Taylor would allow her grandchildren to steal our cats.  It changed the way I felt about the woman.  As a ten-year-old, I felt there was something very immoral about an adult who would allow her grandchildren to take kittens home which obviously belonged to her neighbors.  Even today, I still feel a sense of shock and dismay that a grandparent, a set of parents and even children would have thought that was an acceptable behavior.

     After a period of grieving we did replace those kittens with two more.  The new pair was also from the same litter.  They were the same size, but they were not the same color.  One was pure black and the other one was all white except for a black splotch on his forehead. Again, we applied our creative naming skills and called them Blacky and Whitey. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Family Lexicon

On our recent visit to our son and new daughter-in-law, Lindsey, Rob and I discovered that we had nurtured a tradition with our children which may not be appreciated by their spouses.

We had used some Crouch Family words during our children’s impressionable years that were not necessarily proper or correct which had become such a part of our vocabulary, we forgot that were neither proper nor correct.

Somewhere in Rob’s childhood, the word “Faunchy” became a term to mean ornery, upset or fussy.  I, without question, adopted the word when I married into the family.  We would use it in sentences like: “Quit ‘faunching’ around or you are going to knock over that lamp.”   OR  “He didn't get his nap today so he is really ‘faunchy' this evening.”

It works, don’t you think? 

Unfortunately, Kevin used ‘Faunch’ in a sentence while speaking to Lindsey and was quite adamant it truly was a word.  She argued that no, it was not and the debate landed them in front of the computer trying all possible spellings of the term and finally Lindsey declaring victory. 

Rob and I laughed about it with Bryan and Camille today and started thinking about some of the other Crouch jargon we have mixed into our daily language.  We came up with: “Runerwear” for underwear; “Wipperbuns” for slippers; and “Blessyoud” for a sneeze.  There were several others we chuckled over and then we discovered that all of these were cute things the kids had said when they were little that we just adopted into our everyday terminologies.   Perhaps I should notify the Webster’s Dictionary people and submit these as new and useful words for publication in their next edition.

Do you have expressions you have developed and use which only your family knows the meaning of?  How were those words/phrases developed?  How many generations have used these words?  Please use them in a sentence for me.  Otherwise, I might get faunchy!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Restaurant Review

I had such a fun Saturday.
I got to eat at three different restaurants for the three meals of the day.
This morning was our Stake Relief Society training. 
It wasn't so much of a training as it was a 'training table' at Jeremiah's on 12th Street in Ogden with a breakfast buffet (including scones!).
I was able to see and visit with some of the lovely women of our stake who serve in Relief Society presidencies in other wards.
Afterwards, I came home and hung out with Camille and Rob for a couple of hours and then I went and picked up my friend, Lisa.
We drove to the Noodles on Riverdale Road where we met up with three other girls who are former UIC employees.
We laughed together and consoled and congratulated one another while we ate bowls of yummy noodles.
One just had a baby seven weeks ago; one lost her husband to cancer eight weeks ago; one is going through a divorce and another is dealing with an unhappy home life. 
I left feeling blessed to know all four of them.
It was a therapeutic event, at least for me.
Back home,  I hung out for another couple of hours while I waited to eat again.
Rob and I left at 5:00 to head to Logan where we picked up Kevin and Lindsey and went to dinner at El Toro Viejo.
We enjoyed visiting with our cute, little married couple before heading back into the cold to find the 
Riter Mansion.
This was the location of the wedding reception of Lance and Katelyn Bosworth.  
Lance is the son of one of my oldest friends, Lynette.
Now, that is not to say that Lynette is old, it is just that I've known and loved her longer 
than almost anyone else.
Lynette is another Hinckley resident.
We have been friends since we were four years old.
We have stayed friends for 45 years.
It was a wonderful Saturday and now I'm going to go to bed. 
I'm stuffed, I'm happy, I'm content and I'm tired!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Bryan has had stitches twice in the past two months.  Those dark blue or black threads tied up in little knots have reminded me of the stitches (and staples) I've experienced in the past.  Being cut and stitched closed is horrible.  I mean it is wonderful that the human body can heal itself and that if the edges of sliced skin are brought back together it can heal with less of a scar.  But just thinking about having stitches, makes the back of my knees ache and causes the bad kind of chills down my spine.

The winter I was in fifth grade at Hinckley Elementary School, it was bitterly cold and nearly all the pipes in our house froze.  We had a couple of episodes with broken pipes that winter in the new addition my Dad was putting on our house. Broken pipes are almost as terrible as stitches in skin.  When the temperature drops to a certain level, leaking or spraying water immediately turns to ice so we were having to use a blowtorch to melt ice so we could mop up the water.   My poor parents were buying heat tape and wrapping every pipe in the house, but for a good month the only running water in the house was in the tub of one bathroom.  We hauled buckets of water to the kitchen to cook and clean with.  We had to haul water to the laundry room to wash clothes.  We had to haul water from the tub in the far bathroom outside to water the animals.  It was truly a horrendous time.  At this point, my father was working feverishly to finish the addition so we could heat that part of the house.  He installed the windows at almost the same time the HVAC guys were there installing the new furnace.  Why do I remember this all so well?   Because on an especially frigid Saturday morning I was hauling a five-gallon bucket of water.  I weighed about 75 pounds and had sticks for arms, so I would use momentum to swing the bucket forward a few feet, take a step and do it again.  This was how I moved the bucket through the house to the back door.  Leaning against the wall by that door was a window that had just been broken during the rush to finish the addition.  Something had fallen through the glass leaving a gaping hole with giant shards surrounding it.  As my luck and the accident-proneness in me would have it, I lost my balance and fell right into that broken window.  Of all the places inside and outside the house I could have tumbled while toting that bucket of water, it had to be right into a broken window.  I must have shot out my left arm to catch myself and it went right through the hole.  I vividly remember that giant chunk of flesh hanging open and the amount of blood that immediately washed the area.  What I don't remember is how I alerted my Mom to my plight and how freaked out she must have been.  It seems like she was extremely calm.  She had the presence of mind to ask one of the HVAC guys if my artery was cut.  Maybe she was trying to determine if it would be worth the six-mile drive into Delta to find a doctor.

We did make the journey, with me in the back seat soaking blood into every towel my mother owned.  Dr. Lyman began by cleaning the wound by irrigating it with something that stung like the dickens.  Then he draped it and started sticking needles all around it to numb the area.  He determined that there were five severed vessels and a few damaged nerves as well.  He spent a couple of hours stitching inside before making 15 stitches on the outside to close the gash.  Then he did the cruelest thing of all, he gave me a Tetanus shot in my right arm.

When we got back home late that afternoon, my Dad had disposed of the window and had done his best to clean up the blood.  I was grateful for that.  He helped me prop the injured arm on a pillow to sleep that night and he sat and talked with me.  I didn't realize it then, but he felt so much guilt about my injury.  I knew very well that I had only my own clumsiness to blame and didn't even consider being upset with him about the broken window.  It wasn't until I became a parent that I finally understood what he was going through that night.

For the next several days I was in agony, not from the cut wrist, but from that Tetanus shot.  I was using my injured left hand to do things while I allowed my right arm to hang uselessly at my side because it hurt from my shoulder to my hand and was too painful to move.

For years after that incident, you could tell when I was cold because my scar would turn the most vivid shade of purple.  In the 40 years since that happened I wish I had kept track of the number of people who have asked me, upon seeing my scared wrist, if I had tried to commit suicide.  If I did, it was a completely subconscious attempt.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Little More Lamenting

Okay, I am not going to say ANYTHING about the track except it is STILL locked.  End of topic.

But, my heartstrings were tugged at yesterday while driving down Washington Boulevard.  Blocks before I reached 22nd Street, I could see the giant crane looming over the temple block and tears sprung to my eyes. As I drew nearer, I could see the hollowed out shells of two beloved buildings above the 8-foot-high fence encompassing the entire grounds.  There was also an enormous mound of dirt towering over the height of the fence lending to the feeling of wreckage and destruction.
Photo from six weeks ago before the crane was set up and
the enormous pile of dirt appeared.
I miss the Ogden Temple.  I miss our Tabernacle.  We have attended Stake Conference in our ward building twice now. Watching a transmission on a little screen is less than satisfying and I detest sitting on the hard, folding metal chairs in the cultural hall.  I miss those lovely, padded theater-type seats in the tabernacle.

As much as I miss the tabernacle, I miss the temple a thousand times more.  How I long for the 15-minute drive and close & convenient parking.  Since the Ogden Temple closed, we have attended the Provo, Bountiful and Logan Temples and have appreciated those opportunities, but I have to admit to feeling a little out of place and disassociated compared the feeling of belonging I had always experienced in Ogden.

It has only been six months since the Ogden buildings were closed; demolition isn't even concluded yet.  With two and half more years of feeling sad over the closures of these  dearly loved buildings still to come, I realize what a joy it will be to have the new structures completed.  I guarantee I will never take them for granted again.
Artist rendition of how the new Ogden Temple will look.
Even as a child, I didn't tolerate alterations to routines without a fuss.  I know things change, but it doesn't mean that I handle it well.  I apologize for all my whining lately. I will try get through this bravely; anticipating the new beautiful temple and tabernacle… although, I think it would be helpful if someone would just unlock the gate to the track!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lamenting my Loss

I know I have spent far too much time and space in this blog talking about the track at Weber High School, but just let me vent for another minute or two and then I'll be quiet.

The week before school started (that would have been the middle of August), all three gates of the track were chained and padlocked.  I figured that school officials were concerned about vandalism from disgruntled students having to return to school and that it would soon be opened.  I checked each day including the day school started, but everything was still locked up tight.

Two weeks later, big banner-type signs were displayed at the gates stating "Track Closed Next Two Weeks, Major Construction".   Okay, I can wait for two more weeks and continue to walk/run the streets of my town while I wait for my track to reopen...

Well, I want to point out that it is October 11, the signs are still displayed saying "...Two Weeks..."  Hello! Does anyone realize how much I need the track reopened?  Are they aware of how annoyed I am about walking up the hills with headlights in my eyes, dodging sprinklers, skirting potholes, slipping on gravel, and being startled by pets?  Don't they realize how frustrating it is to rattle a locked gate every morning?  Who would think someone could miss running in circles so much?!

Apparently, they are putting in a whole new track.  I forlornly peer through the chain link fence at the top of the hill on the west end each morning to see if they have made any progress (not much!).  Camille tells me that the new surface will be red when it is complete (who cares?)  I just want the track to reopen before it snows.

Thank you for allowing me my temper tantrum for the day.

Visit this Wiki Map to see a bird's eye view of Weber High School including the old track.  You can also see the Canal Road running east/west above the school grounds.  This is a fairly good running alternative, except for all the dog walkers who don't clean up after their pets (just one more little tirade...okay, now I'm done.)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Marking Time

I know it was six months ago because I was listening to the Saturday morning session of Conference while I was out working in my garden.  I was tending tiny little lettuce, spinach and cilantro plants and pulling weeds and spreading mulch to be tilled over the rest of garden.  I was making decisions about what I would plant this year while being nourished by the good word.

Here six months later, I spent a couple of hours between Conference sessions cutting down the tall, dry cornstalks at the other end of my garden in preparation for the winter months ahead.  We harvested so many delicious ears of corn which nourished our bodies and I was able to cut and freeze many bags of corn to feed us until we have fresh corn on the cob again.

I am constantly amazed at how quickly time passes and things and people who come and go.  Marking time and looking back at things that have changed over time fascinates me.  I also like to look ahead and think of what will be new and different in another marked period of time.  I wonder how things will be and how I will feel in April 2012?  Maybe I'll spend some time in the garden anticipating another season of growth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Two and a half years ago I started blogging.  My daughter, Dani, set it up for me when I was released after a three and half year R.S. President calling.  I was probably driving everyone nuts and she was elected to find a project to keep me occupied.  It has been fun to recall some childhood memories and record current events.  I  have enjoyed following other blogs and keeping track of what is going on in friends' lives.  It has been a 'bloggin-great" two and half years.

On September 4th, I was called to be Relief Society President....again.  I know, weird, huh?  I was sure surprised.  Rob was pretty sure there would be an audible gasp of shock in the congregation when it was announced this past Sunday.  I don't know if that happened or not, my ears were roaring, my head was spinning and I was having a hard time standing on my feet when my name was read.

I don't know what this will mean to my my blog time, but I hope to improve my time management and prioritization skills so I can continue to follow all my favorites.  Keep on posting, I'm going to need a daily dose of your bloggings to keep me going!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Here We Are Currant Again

This morning on my way down the ramp from the WHS track, I was thinking about the currants I found through the fence last year.  I was looking carefully and walking slowly to see where that bush was and then, there it was, loaded with beautiful black currants.  I picked a handful, but I have to admit to carrying them all the way home to wash and inspect them this year.  Jim's comment on last year's post seen here: 2010 Currant Blog Post made me think twice about just popping them all into my mouth.

To illustrate what a strange year it is, those currants were perfectly ripe today (September 21) and last year it was August 9 when I found them black, sweet & ready to pick.  Everything is late this year.  Usually our peaches are all picked, bottled and stored away by this time of year.  In the past eight years the latest I've ever picked peaches was Labor Day, but as of today in 2011 they are all still hanging on the tree, green and hard.

I have been working with raspberries, I've made several batches of jam, frozen trays of them, made multiple pies and given buckets of them away. (Would you like some?!)  I've bottled tomato salsa, zucchini relish, whole tomatoes and yesterday I used a bucket of tomatillos and made salsa verde.  When/if the peaches ever ripen I will get those in jars and I would like to make and bottle applesauce this fall before I call the canning season complete.  How about you?  What have you preserved and how have you done it?  Just wondering...

Well, I guess that brings us 'currant'.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


My parents were into outdoor stuff. They loved to fish, camp and spend time in nature.  I really wasn't a fan of such things and when I got into my teen years, I started skipping out on the weekend trips by offering to stay at home and clean.  Yes, I would rather clean house than camp and fish...I know, some people would say I'm crazy but that is how it was.

One time before I figured out the scenario for 'opting out' we had our travel trailer parked in a heavily-wooded canyon somewhere in Utah with all of us fishing for Rainbow Trout.  Mom, my brothers, and I headed back to the trailer to make and eat some lunch while Dad was still engrossed in catching fish.  As we approached, we noticed the door of the trailer had been damaged; the screen was slashed and gaping open.  All our chatter was instantly silenced as we solemnly stepped closer to inspect the door.

The rip in the screen was about 10 inches long and was in the middle just left of the door handle.  Both brothers and I stepped behind Mom as she slowly pulled the door open.  As we peered around her into the trailer, sudden chaos assaulted our senses.  The air was rent with a hissing and screeching and then a fuzzy ball of fury scampered up the curtains and sailed over our heads and out the open door.  We were horrified as we surveyed our home-away-from-home which had been desecrated by a squirrel.  That rodent had managed to open the cupboards, rip open bags, chew through boxes and throw stuff everywhere.  The most memorable sight to me (the sweet tooth of the family) was the bag of marshmallows strewn over every surface in the entire trailer.  Each individual marshmallow had a large gooey bite taken out of it; not one was left unchewed. There would be 'No Smores' for us that night!

Perhaps that was the turning point for me when I decided it would be better to stay home and clean the messes I knew than to venture into the woods and clean up critter messes I couldn't yet imagine.

Its funny how a memory can return to you after lying dormant for years and years, then suddenly there it is, bright and full of color and sound like the event had just happened.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Utah Olympic Park

Here I've let August slip away from me before I blogged about the fabulous day Camille, Savannah Powell, and I had in Park City at Utah's Olympic Park on August 16, 2011.

It was our last (okay my only) fling of the summer.  Camille has been loads of fun places and done lots of fun things with the Powell family this summer, but I was in school, working at Mimi's house and having a wedding so that pretty much shot my summer full of holes.

This one day had to encapsulate all the fun of summer for me.  It turned out to be a great way to wish the weeks of summer farewell.  The drive to Park City was spectacular; the day was perfect and we told stories and giggled (the way only 17-year old-girls can) all the way up the canyon.

We bought unlimited ride passes for the Ultimate Zip Line and the Quicksilver Alpine Slide, but after riding both of those several times, the girls decided they needed a little more excitement so we upgraded their passes to include an Extreme Zip Line and a Bobsled ride so they had some thrilling and exhilarating minutes of zipping and sledding down mountainsides at 70 mph.

In front of the ski jump practice pool at Utah Olympic Park
Finding helmets for the Bobsled Run

Getting last minute instructions for the 70 mph -
40 story drop ride down the Bobsled Run

Running Starting down the Bobsled Track

Riding back to the top with the sled,
Camille and Savannah look just a little shaken

Extreme Zip Line over the ski jump trails

Chairlift to Quicksilver Alpine Slide
(I love how relaxed Savannah looks riding up)

Sav and Cam ready for another fun ride down the side of the mountain
on Quicksilver, the Alpine Slide.
 This video clip doesn't really do justice to how fast the girls were zipping and just how incredibly far down the mountain the line goes.  The cement area with the flagpoles at the bottom is where the huge stands holding 50,000 Olympic spectators sat for the Ski Jump in the 2002 Winter Olympics.  It was such a fun day.  We are looking forward to returning in the winter of 2012 to celebrate 10 years since those memorable games and to do the Bobsled on real ICE when you go over 80 mph.  Camille and Savannah can hardly wait!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Twilight and Sunny

We had a pair of Shetland Ponies for a period of time when I was a child.  Twilight was the female and the mother to Sunny, the spunky little male.  Twilight was sweet-natured, gentle and easy to work with while Sunny was feisty, pig-headed and difficult.  I always got the impression that Mama Twilight was slightly disgusted with her baby-boy's behavior; but she also felt pride in how beautiful and strong he was so she indulged him and allowed him to have his way.  Funny how I did not recognize the human factor of us allowing him to get away with his naughty antics.

When we first got the ponies, I had friends who wanted to come and ride with me. Since my dad insisted the ponies needed exercise, I was happy to have help AND spend time with my friends.  The first time Julie came over, I 'graciously' gave her Sunny to saddle and ride.  We only had bareback saddles, which were basically just green saddle-shaped pads with straps and buckles to fasten under the belly of the horse. I handed Julie her saddle and bridle and went to work getting Twilight ready to ride.  Twilight stood patiently while I placed the saddle on her back and fastened the straps underneath her.  Then she opened her mouth and took the bit.  During this time, Sunny was shying away from Julie not allowing her to put the saddle on his back.  It took both of us to slap it on him and while she tightened and buckled the straps, I wrestled the bit between his obnoxious teeth.

Finally we were ready.  We headed towards the rodeo grounds with Twilight calmly walking down the side of the road without any coaxing while Sunny stood in the middle of the road ignoring Julie's every effort to get him to move.  I turned Twilight around and grabbed Sunny's bridle and led him the whole way.   Once we arrived at the rodeo arena, Sunny was more obliging and was actually handling pretty well.  We walked the circumference of the arena a time or two and then decided we would get them trotting and possibly even galloping so we could feel like real horsewomen.

We went to the far end of the arena to have the longest straight line.  Twilight was ahead as we started out when suddenly I heard a muffled screech; looking back over my shoulder I saw Julie and her saddle slide all the way UNDER Sunny's belly, leaving her head dangling inches from the ground between four trotting pony legs.

I leapt off Twilight and grabbed Sunny's bridle and pulled him to a stop. Julie let go, fell into the dirt, and quickly rolled away from Sunny's hooves.  After she got up and brushed off, she flat-out refused to ride Sunny any more.  She got on Twilight while I replaced Sunny's saddle and cinched down the straps.  This time, I gave him a knee to the belly so he would expel the air he was using to expand his tummy.  That trickster had learned to hold his breath so the straps would not buckle down tight.

It was not a very fun ride back home with fuming Julie and sulky Sunny.  I didn't have nearly so many offers to ride the ponies after that and those who did come always demanded to ride Twilight and I was left with ornery Sunny.

The best part of the whole experience is the mental snapshot I have of Julie hanging under Sunny's belly while he trotted down the middle of the Hinckley Rodeo Arena.  I can't help but smile when I think about that, even now...
I couldn't find any photos of both Sunny and Twilight.
This old black and white one is of me and baby brother, Mark, on Twilight - Summer 1973
The mental photo I have is in FULL COLOR, I wish I could print it out so you could see it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mimi's House

Rob and I have spent every weekend of July and August in Springville working on Rob's Mom's house.  We didn't return her to her house after she stayed with us in April and May.  As of June, Mimi is now a permanent resident at the Julie and David Ashby's home. They finished their basement into the most beautiful mother-in-law apartment you can imagine and Mimi has settled in well.

Her house, on the other hand, has been a struggle.  We were shocked and dismayed to find SO MUCH STUFF accumulated in that home.  We knew an 88-year-old was bound to have a lot of stuff, but we were unprepared for how much there actually was!
One load (of many) to the paper recycling bin.  The seats are down and it is stacked all the way to the front.
You should have seen the loads of magazines we hauled away the week before!

We hauled loads and loads of cardboard, magazines, newspaper and other paper to recycling bins at local elementary schools.  (I bet the owners of the bins are wondering what in the world has been going on the past month and a half.)  We hauled several huge loads of clothes, dishes, and other stuff to the Provo Deseret Industries before we found a place called 'Rat Packs' in Springville where we deposited the final four loads of donations.  We took several excursions to the landfill, and even held a yard sale one Saturday morning in July.  We were selling items for a quarter a piece just to get rid of it; we also encouraged shoplifting.  We figured the more we unloaded to passersby, the less we would have to haul away.  We got rid of a lot of stuff that day.  Every week we brought home a load of stuff to our house to sort through and determine a final destination for.

Two weeks ago, I gathered up the stuff I had collected to deliver to Mimi at her new place.  There were some rolls of toilet paper, new toothbrushes, lipsticks still in packaging, some soap, non-perishable food items, and other miscellaneous items which filled three boxes and a large shopping bag.  As I sat these items on the counter of her cute little kitchen, Mimi exclaimed, "Oh, my goodness!  I had no idea I still had so much stuff!"  She was absolutely shocked there was still stuff at her house?!?  I almost choked as I gasped and laughed at the same time.  Here we'd been hauling stuff away for weeks, the house still had rooms of stuff in it, our house is full of family history and other stuff we don't know what to do with, Julie's garage is full of boxes of holiday decorations, tools, cleaning supplies, etc. and we rented a storage unit for the rest of her furniture.  AND Mimi was shocked there was still so much stuff we were setting on her counter?  I guess it is a comfort to know she isn't missing anything we got rid of.

This last Friday afternoon when we arrived in Springville, I spent five hours wire brushing the wooden deck on the back of Mimi's house.  It hadn't been sealed in 10 years and was badly in need of it.  So I cleaned all afternoon on Friday, then on Saturday morning while the cleaners worked inside the house, and Rob installed a new kitchen faucet, I stained the wood of the deck.  It ended up taking six hours for me, Julie, Rob and David to complete that task.  We also stained all the wood around her windows and front door.  After outside was tidied and the inside was spotlessly cleaned by professionals plus new toilets placed in both bathrooms, new tile laid, a new oven/range delivered, new water heater installed, a broken pane of glass repaired and the torn screen door replaced, it was looking fantastic for the renters who moved in yesterday.  
Before stain--completely raw rails.
The deck after wire brushing and before the staining.

Staining in Process

The steps after one coat (I put on two).
I've suffered more than a little guilt as we've worked week after week.  I feel terrible that we waited to do these chores until after Pop passed away and after Mimi moved out.  We should have been there doing this work while they were there to enjoy results.  Oh, regret is a sour taste in my mouth!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I hate my hair except for a day or two each month when I like it.  It is usually too short, too long, too thick, too thin; only occasionally just right.

This week I've experienced a whole new hair situation: SCORCHED.

I have been going to the same hair technician (is that the proper term?) for the past five years.  I really like her and know her quite well by now. Mollie has been getting more and more difficult to get an appointment with because she has become so popular.  I guess I feel possessive of her, I was one of her original customer at her first salon and I followed her to the next two places she worked and finally to her own salon.  Somehow I feel entitled to some sort of priority when it comes to scheduling an appointment, but I know that is not the way it works.

When I called her salon last week, she was scheduling out 3 weeks and I was at a point where I needed a cut NOW.  So I called someone who had lived in my ward and had opened her own salon in her home a year or so ago.  I know her and her family quite well and felt comfortable going to her.  Unfortunately, I was late due to some unexpected out-of-town guests who showed up 20 minutes before my appointment.  So when I arrived late to my appointment, I suggested rescheduling to another day or else a cut only, no drying or styling.  She said, "sure, no problem" and went to work.  The cut was going well and when she finished, I reminded her not to worry about the dry/style portion.  She responded, My next appointment hasn't arrived, so we will just go ahead and finish."  She quickly went through the whole process and I was writing out a check when her next appointment walked through the door.

As I rushed out, I noticed a strange odor emanating from my head.  I thought it must be a hair product she had used and went home and got back to work with duties of the day.  During the night, I kept catching a whiff of that strange smell so I was looking forward to washing my hair in the morning.

As I lathered my hair in the shower, it felt strange in my hands--dry and rough. I started to suspect something was not right.  I slathered on conditioner and left it on extra long.  When I started blow drying, it seemed as if I was handling dried grass and when I finished I had this ball of fluffy, feather-like stuff billowing around my head.  My fears were confirmed, my hair was scorched.  She must have  had the straight iron turned too high in her rush to finish!  I was shocked and dismayed.

That was Thursday afternoon.  I've spent the days since snipping away at chunks of scorched hair. Every time I look in the mirror I take my scissors and try to cut off the worst parts into my bathrooms sink.  The ends of hair landing in the sink are letter-shaped: 'C's, 'L's, 'S's, 'U's and 'O's decorated the sink.  I wonder what I could spell with all my burned letter-shaped hair ends?

Lesson learned!  I will never be in a rush to get an appointment again.  I am going to schedule myself three, four or five weeks out and never complain.  I will call Mollie when she opens on Tuesday (she takes Mondays off) and see when she can fit in an emergency case and I will confess my impatience, plead for forgiveness and hope for a solution to being burned.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Silence is Golden

Did you noticed how quiet it is when you viewed my blog today?  I finally deleted my playlist and you will no longer be subjected to my favorite tunes while you read my latest ramblings.  One or the other is plenty there is no need to compel you to both listen to noise and read my blathering.

Thank you for your prolonged patience with me.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Lost and Found

Over a month ago when Kevin and Lindsey got married, I took my camera to the event with the intention of taking photos.  Somehow in the joy and confusion of the day, I came home without it.  The next several days my stress level was somewhere in the stratosphere so I did not notice the camera wasn't at the house.  A few days later I was looking for it but thought it was probably in boxes of stuff still to be put away following the receptions or maybe even under the seat of the Jeep.  As each item was returned to its proper place and boxes were emptied, the camera still had not resurfaced, I despaired, I had left my camera at the Logan Temple and it was closed for cleaning until August 3.

August 3 has been circled on my camera for a month waiting until I could collect my camera because I was certain anyone finding a camera on the temple grounds would turn it in.  Imagine my sadness when the sweet sisters in the temple searched through everything and could not find it.

The good news is that after our session last night, we zipped downtown to the Coppermill Restaurant and asked if they had a lost and found.  When the girl heard I was looking for a camera that might have been left there five weeks ago, she was doubtful since she didn't recall a camera being in the lost and found collection.  But she went to look; when she walked out of the back room holding MY CAMERA CASE, I could have kissed her!

So I was able to see the photos for the first time that Margie Marsden took for me with my camera at the Logan Temple.  Here are a few:

 Groom's Family

 Our Beautiful Bride
We are so happy for Kevin and Lindsey AND I'm so happy to have my camera back.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hello garden, hello yard, hello life

I finished my last final today.  I sat for three hours regurgitating onto paper all I had learned (or at least what I could remember of what I learned).  I wonder how often I will use the Quadratic Formula after today?

Walking out of the classroom, I started thinking about all the things I have set aside over the past few weeks as I have concentrated my time on study groups and homework.  I could hardly wait to get home today and work in the garden, putter in my flower beds and mop the floor, but before I even got home I did something I had neglected far too long and called Dani.

We had a nice visit and caught up on some of the things we've both been doing, she enjoying her summer off from teaching and me spending far too much time in a classroom.

I wandered into the yard late this afternoon and deadheaded flowers, pulled weeds and picked up debris from that horrendous storm we suffered on Monday morning.  I made my way to the garden where I spent the next couple of hours picking veggies, tying up tomato vines, spreading mulch, and pulling out the rest of the lettuce and old cilantro plants to make room for the new ones I planted.  I ate several handfuls of raspberries right off the canes and then came back into the house to prepare a veggie stir fry for dinner with the onion, pepper, tomatoes, and squash I picked.

I'm going to do my very best to spend the three weeks enjoying summer break before fall semester starts and its back to the books.

Friday, July 15, 2011


My parents were demanding and had high expectations of me and my brothers.  I think I've probably portrayed that in some past posts. I was working long, hard hours at home and with my dad from the time I was very young.  Growing up, I felt that I was relied on heavily to keep everything running at home.

I have discovered I should have been more like my parents in the expectation department. I think in some ways I've coddled and over-indulged my own children and injured them on certain levels because of it.  (Probably my two younger children more than the older two.)

Recently, Camille, my youngest, came to me and told me that she wanted to learn to cook.  At first I thought, "Of course you know how to cook, you've been hanging out with me in the kitchen for 17 years, certainly you've picked it up over time."  But then I realized, that the responsibilities I have given her haven't involved any of the actual 'cooking'.  She sets the table, takes out the garbage, loads and unloads the dishwasher, sets out condiments and things like that.  So in an effort to rectify my severe lack of teaching, we have embarked on a rigorous week of cooking and we've been eating well these past few days as a result.

So far Camille has made Spinach Quiche, Beef Strogonoff,  Marguerita Pizza, and Marinated Grilled Chicken all accompanied with salads, fruit and vegetables.  She asks early each day what we have ingredients to make and then decides what she would like to learn.  She doesn't want me to do any of the work, just show or tell her and allow her to do it.  She even cut all the skin, fat and gristle off the meat (a chore I hate). She wouldn't let me grate cheese or even cut up vegetables.  She wanted to do it all.  (THIS IS GREAT!)

Camille believes the things she's made so far are too simple and wants to expand to more involved and difficult dishes, so if you have any suggestions for good training meals, I could sure use some more ideas...

Monday, July 4, 2011

June in Retrospect

June 2011 was one of those know the kind...filled with fabulous things, a few less-than-fabulous things and so much stress you're not sure how you will make it through.

School ended for Camille at the end of May, but my Philosophy and Algebra classes continued every Monday and Wednesday of the entire month of June (including three papers and a test during the month).  Camille attended a cold and rainy Girl's Camp June 6-9.  She came home and had her tonsils removed on the 10th.  She had a couple of very difficult weeks of recovery and just as she was starting to feel better, I sent her out to the mailbox on the 23rd where a wasp flew out and stung her on the hand.  That poor little hand blew up like a balloon because she is so allergic to the venom.  It was quite frightening to see her hand so big for several days.

Dani's last day of teaching at Baltimore Liberation High School was June 17.  She and Kelly flew out Dulles Washington DC Airport on the 22nd of June and spent a long, grueling day in the air or sitting at various airports across the nation.  They arrived in Salt Lake that evening where Kelly's Dad took them home to Eden to spend the night.

My Mom drove up from Arizona on the 25th and my brother, Jim and his five children drove over from Colorado on the 27th.  All this traveling was in preparation of Kevin's and Lindsey's wedding in the Logan Temple on June 28.  

The 28th was a wonderful day as friends and family of the bride and groom gathered at the temple for the glorious event.  The happy couple kept us entertained with huge smiles and glowing faces as we all greeted each other afterwards and took lots of photos.  We made our way to the Coppermill Restaurant at 1:00 p.m. for a wedding luncheon and more visiting. Afterwards we took five enormous coolers over to the Food Science Building at USU to pick up 23 gallons of Aggie Ice Cream we planned to serve the next day at the open house in Pleasant View, Utah.

The ice cream was a huge hit, but the Open House did not go as planned.  It was to be held in our back yard under a giant party tent, but micro-burst winds and rains drove us into the cultural hall of the church instead.  We did our best to decorate and make it seem like we were still outside for the party.  We even took all the patio furniture and sun shade awning into the hall.  We hung the 50 Chinese lanterns from a grid-work of wire and lights we hung above the crowd and strung the lanterns from that.  It was quite attractive, but didn't quite take the sting out of the amount of work and money I put into our yard over the past couple of months.

As I stood at Diamond Rental returning the tent and trying to decide what we could rent instead to decorate a church cultural hall, I was having a full-out panic attack.  It was probably my bulging eyes, shortness of breath, and general distraught-ness which urged the girl behind the counter to reconsider the 50% restocking fee and allow us to pick out some other items to use for decorating indoors. 

We spent the next day returning all the chairs, tables, linens, lights, lanterns, torches, soda machine and a truck to all the places and people we had rented and borrowed from.  We still have a few more coolers to return and all the dishes and new equipment we purchased to find storage for.

The reception in Declo, Idaho enjoyed the perfect weather we had hoped for in Utah.  It was a lovely evening filled with well-wishers, friends and family of the bride.  As the Crouch/Ahern family drove back home and staggered into bed in the wee hours of the next morning, we were grateful to be on this side of all the festivities.

Now that July is here, and most of the guests have returned home, Rob and I are feeling blessed and grateful for the love and support we have felt from so many family members, friends, and neighbors.  Thank you everyone for making this wedding such a memorable affair.  Thank you for loving our son and new daughter-in-law and supporting them in beginning their new life together.  Thank you for traveling away from home to show that support and love to Kevin and Lindsey and to their parents. Thank you for dropping everything on Wednesday and climbing on ladders and carrying and setting up an outside wedding inside.  Thank you for staying afterwards and taking it all back down again.  We can't tell you how much it all means to us!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm Allergic to Regret

I stepped outside yesterday and caught a scent which pulled me through the space/time continuum to a tight and confining spot, even for a small child.  The floor was layered with decades of dried leaves beneath and a canopy of thin, and slightly velvety, gray-green leaves above.

When I was five years old, I found the best hiding place in the world.  Unfortunately, I was a nasty child who felt the need to hide from my little brother, who was two at the time and practically worshiped me.  Equally unfortunate is how much I regret my hateful, hiding habits of 45 years ago.

The slightly tangy aroma that wafted across the breezes yesterday afternoon was the scent of Russian Olive blossoms and the hiding place of all those years ago was underneath an enormous Russian Olive tree that sat on the boarder of our neighbor's property.  The old tree had a huge circumference, but was so low to the ground, it required a crouch, a crawl and then an army-man scootch to position myself under it.  Once into place, I could sit Indian-style or roll onto my back and enjoy the light filtering through those leaves and that sweet fragrance of the flowers while I listened to the distant sound of little Jim calling, "Dorda", "Doooorda!" as he toddled around the yard.

Throughout the years of growing up in that house with that huge tree in the back yard, I don't recall ever having allergies, but for the past 20 some-odd years, I can mark the exact day the Russian Olives bloom because my eyes water, my nose runs and the back of my throat itches to the point of wanting to scratch it with a sharp pencil.  I bear it as bravely as possible, because I am positive this is God's way of punishing me for hiding from my sweet, little brother.  I wish he would call me now.  I would scramble out of my place and run to him and hug him as hard as I can and then show him greatest hiding place on earth.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Tin Man Revisited

So I got my first Algebra test back yesterday.  I had felt confident that I did really well, so I was disappointed to only receive an 80% on it.  The most frustrating thing is that I got the answers right on the test, but I did dumb things like mix up brackets and parenthesis, drop a negative, and forget to flip a less-than sign.  Dumb.  Dumb.  Dumb.  The whole way home from school I was humming the Tin Man's song from Wizard of Oz... "If I only had a brain".

I've heard the best thing about an education is that it teaches us how much we really do not know.  I am learning that lesson extremely well.  Before returning to school I thought I was fairly organized, hard working, and quick on the uptake, but now I realize I'm kind of a slacker.  I have to force myself to slow down and really think.  I am definitely rusty.  I hope the Tin Man will loan me his oil can so I can pump a few drops into the stiff cogs and wheels of my brain and get them moving again.  I also hope I can find a wizard who will hand me a diploma someday.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I know there are a few people who visit this blog and the blog I write for Indexing in my Stake, but I rarely receive a comment...which is fine, I don't NEED feedback (although it doesn't hurt and is actually downright nice when it occurs).  I'm feeling unread today because I still don't have my first Philosophy paper graded and returned and its time to start writing the second one.  I really, really want to know how I did on that first one before I begin the next.  It would be helpful to know if my writing style suited the professor or not; if my focus was anywhere near what he was looking for; and what major flaws he exposed which I can correct on paper number two.

Perhaps its better not to know all the problems and just sail nonchalantly into the next project.  I'm making myself nuts as I consider all the possible criticisms and the feasible outcomes of going into a second paper ignorant of disapproval I incurred on the first.

If I posted my last assignment here I wonder if anyone out there in cyberspace would read and respond or it would just sit here unread...? I'm not going to risk it.  I'm feeling just a little too vulnerable today.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Its That Time of Year Again

How could I forget that today was the morning after Weber High School graduation?  You'd think with all the strange experiences I've had on these 'mornings after', I would have avoided the track today.  But as I walked up the hill this morning, I heard voices and realized, "oh no, I forgot AGAIN!"

2011 was a pretty sedate year as they go, (see last year's post for a rundown of some prior years' experience  Today when I was about half way around my first lap, I heard pounding feet running behind me.  Two boys came up level with me and jogged along side for awhile interviewing me about who I was, why I was there, how often I run, etc.  When they were assured that I wasn't there to cause them any trouble, they took off across the grass to the 30 or so sleeping bags in the middle of the football field.

During my next several laps, the rest of the group woke up, turned music up loud and a group of boys and girls voices were singing along and laughing raucously.  For me, who is used to the absolute solitude of my morning jog, it was extremely distracting.  I am comforted by the fact that I won't have to deal with the noise again for an entire year.  AND Since I will have a graduate in 2012, maybe I'll remember to skip the track on the morning after next year.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Running Report

By way of update, I did buy new shoes a couple of weeks ago, in fact, I've logged a good 30 miles on these puppies now and I'm happy to report that my foot is healing nicely with no new injuries to report.
My new shoes after 30+ miles (soaking wet this morning)
This morning I made my way to the track in the pouring rain.  I love running in the rain because it is so easy to breath and I can run a lot further without my lungs feeling hot.  I got up to the gate and found it chained and padlocked!  Who does this to me??

So I had to do my running in the road this morning.  The good new is that before 5:00 a.m. there are very few cars on the road and on this rainy morning I saw no other joggers.  The bad news is I have always disliked running on the side of the road.  Here are the top 10 advantages of jogging at the track versus the road:

  1. I can take off my jacket, hat, gloves, etc and leave them along the way.  I'll be back around and pick them up sometime before I leave.
  2. No potholes, rough spots, rocks or open manholes to trip over or fall into.
  3. No cars shining their headlights in my eyes.
  4. No cars making me run closer to the edge of the road or pushing me onto the grass or sidewalk.
  5. The soft rubbery surface is much easier on my knees and ankles.
  6. I don't have to think about where my feet are landing (open manhole, etc) so I can focus my mind on important topics like planning a wedding or writing my next philosophy paper.
  7. I can easily figure the distance I've run--each lap is a quarter of a mile.  I switch back and forth between lane one and lane two to keep track of the odd/even numbers and how many miles I go.
  8. Running the bleachers are a great way to get a cardio boost at the end of my run.
  9. The bars surrounding the track are great to hang onto while I stretch before and after my jog.
  10. Most people prefer running the roads around this town, so I often have the track all to myself!