Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Well, hello DUCKY! - Meet my newest BFF's

Today was a little social activity today at the office.  They have moved several departments into the same building, and I am assuming they would like us to all play nice together.
What better way to incorporate good feelings than ice cream, cookies and popcorn?

Since the day was gorgeous and the tables in the cafeteria were quickly filling up, we stepped outside to enjoy the mild temps and the beautiful sun.

Our building sits in the middle of a golf course with a river running through it.  Don't build the picture up too nice your head.  Sometimes the river glows with an odd green sheen, the bugs outnumber the people AND their cars combined, and the smell outside is often so odoriferous that you have to muscle through the gag reflex while dashing to your vehicle.  Don't EVEN get me started on the sewer smell that often reeks throughout the building.

BUT - today was nice.  With the river and the bugs and the golf course, it has attracted some ducks.  If you know ducks, which I don't but am quickly figuring out, if you feed them once, they tend to quickly become attached and linger around.

Our building now has a pair that has seem to have won over several hearts.

I present to you Forrest and Gump
Why Forrest and Gump?  I dunno - it just came out.  Perhaps it's because cute little Forrest is pigeon toed and is missing part of one of his feet (anything to do with the green glowing river?).  He walks a little goofy, but dang if he ain't lovable!  And Gump just kind of bully's his way into things. 

They literally were just inches away from me.  At one point, the beak of Gump brushed my fingers as I dropped the popcorn into his beak.

You can't see it very well, but Forrest had a feather stuck in his nose.  We kept trying to tell him he had a 'bat in the cave' but what with lacking the opposable thumb and all, he just had to let it be.
Poor Forrest - so many issues on so many levels.
But he is smart enough to listen to me when I told him to sit before I dropped popcorn down.  And by the time I was done with them, they were both pretty good at catching it right in their beaks. 

Being the animal lover I am, I quickly took to these two and will now need to make sure that I say hello and share some lunch with them every day. 

Word Verification

Back on.
I hope that if you feel so inclined to leave a comment (face it we all love comments), it won't deter you!


Monday, August 30, 2010

My Marine (recruit) Monday's

Okay, so he's not OFFICIALLY a Marine yet, he is still considered a recruit hence, the modified title until he graduates.

All week, I found myself thinking about 'dawg and what he might be doing at the moment.  The answer in my head was always, "getting yelled at".  Does it stress me out?  Nah - he's tough. It'll be good for him.

We got the "scripted" phone call at about 11:15pm.  The phone rang, and amazingly, I was actually still awake and coherent.  I knew immediately what the call was.  I ran to the phone picked up, and didn't even get the word 'hello' out, before he started yelling.  For the next 20 seconds or so, I didn't understand much of what was said other than a few words in the jumble of screaming voices....."This is recruit........I have.....I am safe......I love you....."  And before I realized it, he said good-bye and the call was disconnected.  WHA?  It happened all so fast.  No words from my end, just hearing yelling, yelling and more yelling through the phone.  His voice was hoarse so I knew that he had been using his "outside" lungs for several hours already.

Luckily we knew what to expect:

A brief taste of that first night.  I can only imagine how the rest of the week has been.

Sunday night we got a call from a Brother Bennett who is the branch leader there on the recruit base.  A delightful 80-something year old man.  Retired USMC officer. 60 years in the service. Former Drill Instructor.  Former instructor of the Drill Instructor's.  He knows how it all goes down there.

He gave a report that he had met with 'dawg and that he was doing great.  He actually attended church and 'fessed up to BB that it was his first time in about 3 years.  Sadly, it's the truth.  Other than when Luka spoke at the book ends of his mission, a church pew hasn't seen 'dawg's behind in that long.  BB mentioned that they had a great chat.  He spoke highly of 'dawg and expects to see him next week. 

BB gave us his graduation information.  Provided details of Family Day, and the luncheon that is provided for the family and guests of the recruits that have been attending the branch during boot camp.  His final instructions included 'dawg's mailing address and the assurance that he would be watched over.  BB was kind enough to invite us to call him at any time. 

I can't even explain how that small tender mercy felt.  Just a simple phone call.  And BB had several to make since he had 19 new recruits in the branch service that day.  And yet, he spent a good 20 -25 minutes with me.  An interesting comment he made has stuck with me.  When describing how he felt about my son he said, "He has a positive imprint."      I'm not sure what 'positive imprint' means, but I know that it made my heart feel good.

So, now with his mailing address in my hands, it's off to send the first of many letters reminding that kid to stand straight, hold his chin up, be strong and never forget that he is loved.  No.Matter.What.

Semper Fi

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Question of the Day

Dilemma time.  I need some opinions. 

When I first started my blog - I had comment moderation turned on.  That quickly became a pain in the ba-hookie.  An email to tell me there was a comment.  Another email to tell me I had published it.  Too many emails.

I turned it off, and for the next year and half or so, all was well. 

Then the spam started to hit.  Random comments from anonymous sources.  More irritating than anything, and some in languages I couldn't even read.  I ignored it for awhile and then started worrying that someone in some other country was leaving me porn that I couldn't read!

So, I turned on word verification.  Seemed to be working out okay for several months, but since I get distracted by word verification on other blogs, I figured the same was happening on mine.  I took a chance, removed the verification and decided to see what happened.

In the last two weeks or so, I have had more spam commenting than ever before.  Nonsense comments.  Foreign language comments.  Comments with links to who knows where and some with words that I am sure I don't want my mother searching.  I realize you can set your comments to NOT accept anon comments, but then what if someone has something insightful to say, but wants to remain nameless? Grrrrr.....

So now what? 
1.  Ignore the spam comments and hope none are too naughty. 

2.  Go back to word verification and hope that it doesn't discourage someone from leaving a meaningful comment.  (admit it- everyone likes comments)

3.  Go to comment moderation and thus feel like I am participating in some sore of censorship.

What to do,  what to do.......

Weigh in, I'm open to suggestions and thoughts

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Restoring Honor

I wish I were going here today.

Not because I am a member of the Tea Party.  I'm not.  I'm not a republican, a democrat, a socialist, a communist, an exclusionist, an 'ist' anything.

I am a patriot who loves my country. I love my freedoms and the God given agency to choose for myself as to whom I will worship, when and how.  I love that I can work hard for what I earn, and have the freedom of choice in helping and assisting others.

I am a citizen of the United States of America. I love the constitution.  I love my flag.  I love all the men and women who daily sacrifice and serve to preserve those freedoms for me.  I love pledging my allegiance to my flag, and singing my national anthem.

 I love God and believe he divinely inspired this country's founding fathers.

I would simply like to go to be with others who feel similar and to soak up that feeling of patriotism.  To soak up that Spirit of unity and pride in our country.  To be inspired to become active in doing all I can to protect my homeland.  To be surrounded by others who appreciate what my son has chosen to do.

That's why I wish I were going.

However, stay tuned to Pedaling's blog.  She's there. She'll make a full report.  And for those of us who are merely watching and or listening to the events at home, may we also catch the vision of bringing God back into our lives, into our constitution and into our country.

God Bless America

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Circles - do they include Enemies?

Had an interesting conversation with some of my YW the other night as we headed up the canyon.

We were talking about going back to school, their classes, friends, lockers, etc.  One girl made the comment that she was glad she didn't have any classes with any of her enemies from last year.

"Enemies"?  I was momentarily taken aback.  It seemed such a strong word, but I reminded myself that it's a common phrase with the young people these days. I don't like it.  Not one bit.

I carefully explained the Gospel of the Differing Circles of people in our lives (according to me).

Circle One:  The UBFF circle.  The Ultimate BFF.  The ones that you see and talk to every single day.  Maybe family in there, maybe just dearest, dearest friends.  Long time relationships that have seen highs and lows and weathered all the storms that life has thrown your way.  You share only your deepest secrets with these ones.

Circle Two:  The BFF circle.  Your besties, but you might not have daily contact.  It might be every other day, once a week, but you are still very close.  You share things, you keep secrets, you trust.  Every day life includes them in some way but not quite the level of the UBFF.  It might just be a quick text or even good thought about them.

Circle Three:  Acquaintance circle aka AQ circle  People you interact with regularly, but aren't super close.  Exchange pleasantries, maybe do things together in a group setting. You see them at the gym, chit chat here and there, maybe at the water cooler at work.  You know a little bit about their lives and they yours, but other than your general exposure to them (work, gym, church, school hall), that's about it.  Maybe a comment or two on FB.  Not much beyond that.

Circle Four:  People you Pass circle - or the PUP circle.  They are exactly that.  People you pass.  They are faces in a crowd.  You have no ill feelings towards them, you have no feelings in general towards them other than they are a person deserving of respect by the fact that they are human being.  You might not even know their name.  They are just people who happen to take space in the same area as you at any given time.

So where do enemies fit in?  What constitutes an enemy?  Good question.  Let's think about the circles.

A person in the PUP circle can always move up into the AQ circle and from there, over time into the BFF circle and even perhaps, after a great deal of time and trust into the UBFF circle.  There's always room to move up.  But what about someone who was in one of the upper circles, but has violated the trust.  The bond.  Has crossed a line.  Rang a bell that can't be unrung.  What to do with them?  They are too toxic for the UBFF or BFF circles, and maybe even the AQ circle.  I guess that leaves them in the PUP circle.

Important lesson:  Even in the PUP circle - there are no ill feelings.  They just become people you pass.  That is where the "enemies" would fit.  But since that is your PUP circle, no need to call them or refer to them as enemies - they are just in your PUP circle.  No more enemies.

The girls seemed to understand what I was telling them and we left it at that.  I, however, have been thinking about it ever since.

Over time, our circles change don't they?  People come and go in our lives.  At one point, they might very well be in the UBFF, but either distance or circumstances  relegates them to a different circle.  Is there anything wrong with that?  I don't think so.  I think it's the normal ebbs and flows of life.

How do my circles pan out?

(not necessarily to scale)
I have a good size UBFF circle.  Maybe larger than most folks simply because I adore people, talking, sharing, and once I get a good trust vibe, I tend to let them into the most inner sanctum.

My BFF circle?  Humongous!  HUGE!  Literally, there are so many people that I refer to as my BFF's and I really mean it.  Again, it goes back to that whole "love people" issue.

My AQ circle would be substantial but not as large as my BFF circle.  You would think it's the other way around, but I tend to suck people into my web of BFF's.  Probably all one-sided on my part, but I feel strongly about things one way or the other, not much middle road for me.  AQ circle is kind of middle of the road.

My PUP circle is much smaller.  Much.Smaller.  There are very few people that I meet and don't immediately like.  Or it might include someone who had been in an upper circle and for some reason, slipped to my PUP circle.

And why all the introspective thinking about this?  It goes back to that word enemies.  I don't like it.  Not one bit.  I like to identify where people fit in my life.  Is it labeling?  Nah - just categorizing for explanations sake to my YW - help them understand that in our circles - there is no room for enemies.  Everyone has a place in our lives.  A positive place.

Every circle is good in it's own way.

Funny Bone Friday - Things I have heard, or said, or just thought in my head

I'm an equal opportunity mocker.  Don't feel special.

Splenda:  "You guys can't handle the truth!"
Tuffy:  "This coming from a man wearing women's glasses."

She is virtuous, lovely and of good report.  Don't sully her.

How can Jimmy Dean get us into so much trouble?

Person 1: "So watch that girl on the second row - her facial expressions are cracking me up!"
Person 2:  "You know she's handicapped right?"


Person 1:  "I'm going to hell aren't I?"
Person 2: "Yep"

You're so giddy that one would think you had a new girlfriend and not just getting a new computer.

Alien egg implantation is now complete. 

Dude, I am pretty sure I know how to speed shower, but thanks for the visual.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Canyon Journal Night

We have a tradition in your Young Women's of a Canyon Journal Night.  When I first went last year, I thought it meant that we bring our journals and then find a quiet place in the campground to write down our deep thoughts and spiritual insights.  Boy was I wrong!

Instead everyone brings a journal and we pass them around for everyone to write love notes to each other in.  Kind of like yearbook signing day.

In addition to roasted hotdogs, chips, veggies and the required smore's, we had a great time kicking back, laughing and in general just goofing around.

Since I was sitting in a chair with an ice pack on my neck for a good portion of the time, I handed my camera over to the girls and let them have a go at it.  They were our own paparazzi!
Tera and Lexi

Rach and Ash

group shot and not a great pic of me....boo

Chelsea - my bff from whom I learned a very valuable lesson.  Don't paint your fingernails and then reach into a bag of Doritos.  And then lick your fingers.  Words of wisdom!

Some of the girls liked hiking up the rocks a bit.  The smells in the canyon were pure HEAVEN!

leaders....... leading  Jeri, Sarah and Brenda

cousins self portrait - Lexi and Savannah

Cami - why so stressed angel?  : )  love you!

Janae and Allison

Happy Girls!  Jewel, Chels, Rach and Ash

hard (heart) at work writing love notes

I am surrounded by Angels!!  My Bird, Savannah and Lexi

A couple of our younger girls - Em and Lacey

Me, Brenda and Shirsten


My Bird and Em

Requisite bug - nasty beetle of some sort

Our newest member. It was her 12th birthday this very night and she chose to spend the evening goofing with us!  Love, love, love you Lacey!!  Anybody who does cheeto's fangs is a winner in my book

And still going at it after dark.  It was the last night before school started.  Wonder how many moms were a little ticked at us?

I work with the BEST women!  Jeri, Brenda, Debbie, Me and Sarah

What a fun evening.  The best part is coming home, opening my journal and reading all the sweet notes of love that the girls wrote to me.  I hang on to them and re-read them often.
YW  - the best calling in my church!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Party, Party, Event, Party, Event and finally PAR-TAY!

It seems the last week or so, has been nothing but one party or event after another.
Hence, the photo journal.  If you are bored by pictures, then mark as read and move on to someone who writes well.

It started with dinner after Kristin's special endowment session at the temple
old besties
me, Splenda, Deb and Scooter

young besties
Whit, Luka, Kristin and Griff

The next night was our Blogger BBQ
This and all the subsequent photos for this section of the post (blog bbs) courtesy of Jason and alongthebackroads photography
Check out the Dookie cake.  Yes, apparently it was submitted to cakewrecks.com.  Hysterical.  It actually tasted good and Sissy kept talking about licking the frosting.  Success

Abe and his oldest who clearly understood we were his Dad's fans.  The board of his fan club if you will.  In the far back is Adam likely going out to grill me the onions I demanded asked for.

My Shark is the ultimate hostess with the mostess - and Ethan has the right idea.  Diet cherry Pepsi

And just look at this food!

My lovah!

The two favorite people in the whole world!

Does Cheeseboy stand like that in his classroom?  Hands on hips demanding attention?
"Listen up you six-year old's.  You WILL pay attention to me.  YOU.WILL.LEARN"
I think he does, I was scared, and I listened.

We appear somewhat normal.


Next on the list of parties/events  my awesome experience with The Tri

Then, that evening was the Stake Social.  A car show, potluck, band and a lot of socializing.  For Sissy, it meant getting dirty.  Her favorite thing


Savannah and Lexi

Me and my Bird

Just say no to crack

The sand was her favorite part

She also loved Thomas, but because of her unwillingness to share, we had to be done with him.

Monday was MEPS and saying good bye.  I wouldn't call that a party, but it certainly was an event.

And then yesterday was a wonderful day with some of our dearest and long time besties.  Luka and Griff have literally grown up together.  They are a few months apart in age, and we moved in next to each other when they were not even a year old.  After 6 1/2 years with his GF - Griff finally got married!

The temple

Mi familia - Tuffy, me, Splenda and Luka

The paparazzi - Shelby, Whit, Meg, and Ape

The bride and groom

Pure joy!

Me and Kerrie

Tres Amigos - Griff, Tuffy (who needs a freaking haircut) and Luka I did spend a good portion of the day thinking about 'dawg and knowing he was just getting yelled at over and over and over again.

While the family took photos - a few of us hustled over to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and got the room ready for the wedding luncheon

I've been known to tickle the ivory's.   Okay not really, but I had fun pretending!

The room was BEAUTIFUL - I loved her choice of colors.  Great fall theme and with the weather cooler, it really did feel like an early fall day

The Happy Couple.  No surprise that I was one who frequently tapped the glass so that they would kiss!

The dinner favors were so cute!

And the funnest of all  - the reception!

More besties

Griff going in for the garter.  I  specifically told him to use his teeth.  He doesn' listen very well.

Luka and the newlyweds Josh and Ashley

The dancing was SO FUN!  These two - Jessie and Jeff (bro and sis) were totally cuttin a rug.  Well, if there HAD been a rug. 
I may or may not have busted out a Zumba move or two myself.  No valid proof though.,

My bestie Deb

Griff's brothers and their wives.  LOVE these kids!
Ape, Eric, Meg and Dev

Ready to leave, but Luka has ONE last gift for Griff.  Don't ask - I won't tell you, but Luka has now established a traditional going away gift to his best guys on their wedding nights.

Neither one is blushing.  Should I be concerned?

And this one makes me choke up.
Best friends for 21 years.  And even though, we knew Griff would always marry Kristin, and that life moves forward, it's still a teensy bit bittersweet.  End of an era.

And that my friends is my photo journal catch-up post.  I've been busy and I'm tired.  Peace.Out.