Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two in One Day... Ridiculous

Okay, I know. Two posts in one day. But I just noticed something. I have 13 followers! My lucky number! I was also just thinking that I have very fond memories of all of my followers and was wondering if anyone would be uncomfortable if I did a small spotlight on each of you. (Nothing too personal. No addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, etc...) I just would like you all to meet each other since I don't think any of you is acquainted with everyone else. Comment on this blog if you're uncomfortable with that...

Now, read on, because my other post is much cooler today.

Perfect Lighting

Recently, as I was driving around town (I know, I sure drive a lot), I noticed the coolest lighting effect on the trees. Like this one:

And this one:

Then I noticed it wasn't a lighting effect. (Notice how it's raining and there's no particular lightning. I don't know what this is called.)

It's second Spring down here.

We're not sure why.

(This following one looks very cool if you click on it to make it bigger.)

But we've sure been enjoying the view.

It's fun to speculate about, but I don't know if any of our speculations have any scientific basis.

Isn't it pretty?

Just wanted to share.

Because I like you.

If you haven't already, I would suggest you click on each of these pictures to see them bigger. They are gorgeous!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Surprise on the Road

This afternoon, I was on my way to babysit, driving down a two lane road. The car coming towards me in the other lane was holding his hand out the window, which I thought was a little strange seeing as it was raining slightly. I looked back into my lane just in time to see this:

Try to picture them in my lane, walking the other way. I slammed on the brakes and barely avoided hitting them. They finished crossing the road and I took several deep breaths before continuing my drive. Ducklings are so darling and I'm very, very glad I didn't hit them.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Good books

So I love to read. I think all of your know that. I regularly read from most genres. Fiction, non-fiction, mystery, biography, fantasy. While I love some very "deep" books (Les Miserables), some of my favorites are quite fluffy. (For instance, Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep, which I highly recommend for little girls. Quite a hilarious series of retold fairy tales, very short.) Many great leaders have talked about reading "good" books and having a library of them. People say to not waste your time on dumb books since there are so many good ones. Having picked up many a dumb book (and even finished a few), I want some recommendations. What do y'all think are good books? Now, any opinion counts, but let me list a few not to bother recommending even if you LOVE them (You can say you love them. Just don't try to get me to read them):

  • Anything Hemmingway (he can't write. Don't even try to convince me he can. I've read several of his books and I write better than he does.)
  • Anything Fitzgerald (blech)
  • Anything Holocaust-related (I've read too many. I recommend "And There Was Light." I'm done with that genre.)
  • "Gone With the Wind" (I just can't do it. The movie was torture enough.)
  • James Joyce (um... NO!)
  • Kate Chopin (Someone tried to justify one of her book endings to me. I'm not buying it.)
Okay, I'm sure you've picked up that I'm looking for positive, uplifting, GOOD reading. I'm not saying depressing doesn't have its place. (Let me refer back to Les Miserables.) I'm just saying that it should still be uplifting. (Did I mention Les Miserables?)

Suggestions? Favorite books? (Like I said, you're allowed to like books I don't like. You can even justify why you like them. I'll love you anyway.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I recently stepped out of my comfort zone and read this book. It was a very difficult book to read, yet I couldn't put it down! There was a quote from Jon Krakauer on the back of the particular book I read that said something to the effect of most people wouldn't believe this kind of thing possible, but it's truly accurate. Unfortunately, I believed pretty much every word she said.

This book was very disturbing to me for several reasons. First, Carolyn Jessop's horrific story. Poor girl! And she's not the only one whose gone through such an insane excuse for a life. What hell to have lived through. (Pardon my language.) I could go on and on about all the horrible things she had to go through, but if you want to know, pick up the book.

The second thing that disturbed was knowing that many people are going to misunderstand a lot about the FLDS church and will still associate it with "mainstream Mormonism." (A rather inaccurate way of saying this.) The FLDS church broke away from the Mormon church over 100 years ago and while they may still say some of the same things that members of the church do, they twist everything so much that essentially they believe nothing that we do. They claim to have the priesthood and men beat and rape their wives in the name of their "authority." They claim that only by having multiple wives can men get to heaven (and drag their wives with them). They tell women that they will understand their husbands if they will endure their life cheerfully. What ridiculous nonsense! What insanity! And unfortunately, I think that is what people think members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints think. I wish I knew a way to disabuse people of the notion. I think of how many conference talks we hear every year about men and women not abusing their spouses and children. I think of Doctrine and Covenants 121 where essentially it points out if a man exercises unrighteous dominion over anyone in his stewardship (another very misunderstood term), he loses his right to the priesthood. In other words, if a man beats his wife, he has no authority. Over anything. (And what authority he did have in the first place is not the right to boss his wife around.) And on and on and on.

This was all very disturbing to me. However, this quote comforts me. "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent..." Misunderstandings also will not stop the work.

Thanks for letting me spew.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Some projects

So I think most of you know that I like to crochet. I decided to post some pictures of a couple of my blankets. I know I have better pictures of them elsewhere, but these are all I could find at the moment, so here goes. This is a yellow blanket I made. You work from corner to corner, so there's that nice diagonal feel.

Here's so you can see the texture a little better. (Click on it. It gets better and you can really see it.) Isn't that lovely? My mom's friend taught me how to do this particular blanket and it's the best. It's fast. It's easy. And look how nice it is.

I got a request to do some blue stripes, so here's my first attempt at stripes. I learned a lot from doing this blanket. So it's not my best blanket, but if I made another striped one, I think I could do a lot better. However, to distract from the shoddiness, I put a baby in the picture. Voila. The blanket looks pretty good too.

By the way, we're protecting the name of this baby, so don't even ask. He's a doll, though, no? Currently, this picture is the background on my desktop. Every time I notice it, I get distracted for a few minutes looking at the perfection of him.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Some nonsense

At our hos s, nin cans ee tha hving mult dif plf s genl impacts oen deptl. Our exu s tell eb tht integn is important bc wf mg s more funcl. Does this noj meet yur satis?

That is what I type. This is what would appear in Word:

At our hospitals, anyone can see that having multiple different platforms generally impacts everyone departmentally. Our executives tell everybody that integration is important because workflow management is more functional. Does this knowledge meet your satisfaction?

Those sentences are absolute nonsense, but my Word prog (I mean, program) can automatically correct any of them. I LOVE autocorrect! Typing sure does go a lot faster when you don't have to type out every word. I esp (especially) love sentences where more words are "shorts" than spelled-out. I'm always adding new words and looking at my sentences up top makes me think, "Why haven't I found a short for "important" yet?" Oh, well.

If anyone thinks of some great words to short, let me know.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Lessons Learned

Not too long after we got married, we decided to be smart. We decided to get life insurance and start saving for retirement. Unfortunately, we got introduced to whole life insurance. We were excited about it. We thought, "Hey! We'll hit both goals in one shot." Now, we're kind of regretting that. So sorry to any of you that we advised to "Be smart, like us." I hope you didn't listen.

Now, under better advice, we're getting term life insurance and doing our own savings for retirement. Well... Okay. Never mind. It's a long story. But the short story is we're much more financially-wise now. The thing that kills me is when I told this to my mom, she said, "I could have told you not to do whole life insurance." Could have just asked mom and saved ourselves some money. Oh, well...

For some good advice, read Dave Ramsey's "The Total Money Makeover." And if, like us, you're a little wary of financial advice, read Elder Hales' talk from this past conference and see how much they agree!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Elgar Who?

Have you ever heard of Edward Elgar? Oh, come on. He's England's darling composer. He lived in the last half of the 19th century and the first while of the 20th. Have you seen Disney's Fantasia 2000? You know that one with Donald Duck? Oh, yes. Pomp and Circumstance. Very famous. Played at most of the graduations I've been to. (Not the Seminary ones, but whatever.) Okay, so you have heard of Elgar, or at least you've heard his music.

Morgan and I went to a concert a couple of years ago and on the program was Elgar's Enigma Theme and Variations. Morgan got very excited, but I was in the dark as to why this was going to be such an amazing concert. Before they started the piece, the conductor got up to introduce it. There followed an interesting introduction to one of the more fascinating pieces of music I've ever listened to. (Don't read fascinating to be "weird" here. Read beautiful and you want to know its history.)

The story goes that Elgar was playing a theme on the piano and his wife enjoyed it very much. She asked him to play it again and so he did. Then, messing around, he started playing variations on the theme, each variation representing a friend of his. ("I shall now play the theme in the style of so and so.") He came up with 14 variations, which was 13 friends and himself.

The conductor told us there were two puzzles when the music was played. First of all, which friends Elgar was playing in the style of. [Note: Again, we are speaking a Germanic language and it is absolutely okay for me to end a sentence with a preposition.] The second puzzle is where the theme for Enigma came from. Elgar supposedly took a popular piece of music from the day and wrote a countermelody or something to it, which was the theme for the piece. Again, supposedly he thought it was so easy to guess that he felt silly even saying which piece it was, so he never said.

One of my favorite pieces of music comes from Elgar's Enigma variations. It's number 9, which is called the "Nimrod" variation. It refers to his best friend, whose surname was Jaeger, which in German means "hunter." And Nimrod was a famous hunter from the Bible. Fun, huh? Anyway, here's a fantastic performance of the Nimrod variation from Elgar's Enigma. It's some of the most beautiful music you'll ever hear. I promise.

Remember my impeccable taste? You can't disagree with me on this one, can you?! Jaeger was Elgar's best friend. You can tell from the nobility of the music that he must have really respected and loved the man. Fantastic! (Boy, have I used all the same emphatic words? No. There's still stupendous left.)

In the interest of not boring some of you to death, I have not included the whole story behind the music. Look it up. You'll enjoy it. At least, I did. It's stupendous! ["Hyuck, hyuck." Can you name that book?]

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A good idea?

I have a friend who gets depressed from time. Really depressed. Bad depressed. Can't see the light depressed. I had an idea, but we need some help.

She is now starting to keep a "Happy Journal" to remind her of things she needs to remember when she doesn't believe them. For example: it will get better. She knows that now. She's been through several cycles. And they've all gotten better. But she won't be thinking that when she's depressed. (Maybe I should start one of these for myself. Anybody else?)

So what would you advise your depressed self from your non-depressed self?