Tuesday, January 26, 2010

zzzzzzzz . . . .

I have a few blogs written by total strangers that I read regularly. Is that weird? Like I seriously have them on my google reader and I read every new entry like they were my friend or neighbor or something. There seemed to be a common theme the other day.
And yet still I kept falling asleep. What can I say? Writing is hard, and hard work makes me sleepy. But then, most things make me sleepy. Sunlight, for instance, and sitting. It's not hard to get me to nod off. finslippy
The thing is that I’ve always been a night person. My perfect schedule would be to go to bed around 2:00 a.m. and sleep until around 10.
Oh, who am I kidding? I’d sleep until noon.
Unfortunately, polite society discriminates against the night owl all in the name of being “productive” and “not sleeping your life away” and “getting your child to school on time”, so I’m forced to conform to the rest of the world.
big mama
I think I honestly have a sleeping problem though. I've had it my whole adult life. I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. In college, I took several Art History classes. They were held in a big auditorium with comfortable seating, and the lights would dim and I'd be nodding before the third slide was on the screen. I don't know how I passed those classes. Like most college students, I probably lived with sleep deprivation. I know our girls do. But I still can fall asleep so easily when I am still for more than a few minutes. Dave and I go to the movies a lot and he often tells me as we are leaving - well, that was an expensive nap. I wonder if I could eliminate this problem if I really slept for 8 hours every night, but who has time for that? My day is never done at 10:00 at night, or even at 11:00, or sometimes 12:00. I set my alarm for the latest possible minute I can (which is the ridiculous hour of 5:30) then Melanie and I are out the door by 6:00.
So, I'm curious . . . does anyone really live without sleep deprivation? Does anyone really get 8-ish hours of sleep at night?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

a walk across town

Yesterday was our big hiking day. Suzanne had this crazy idea that we should walk from South Mountain to North Mountain. I can see both mountains from my neighborhood and they are both FAR FAR FAR AWAY!! We dropped a car off at North Mountain then drove everyone across town. We drove and drove and drove and drove and arrived at our destination 40 minutes later. I think the reality hit everyone about how far we were really going to walk. As we were planning this, I was kind of visualizing it in my mind, where we would park the cars, who would be walking this first section with us, how we would transport everyone etc. Friday morning as I was driving to Seminary at 6:40, I was shivering cold and it was dark outside. It suddenly dawned on me that I was picturing this Saturday morning hike in my head as bright daylight and kind of warm. Luckily, the early morning temperatures were pretty moderate and pleasant. We started down at the entrance to South Mountain just as the sun was coming up. I just realized I didn't take any pictures with either of the mountains in the background. So just trust me, this neighborhood is at the base of the mountain. And it was a gorgeous sunrise.This is Levi. He is four and he has more energy than any human body ought to possess. We walked a little over 15 miles. Levi probably ran 22 miles. That even takes into consideration that he spent part of the time in his stroller. He ran ahead, then ran back to us, then ran ahead and ran back. ALL DAY LONG!! And he looked absolutely this happy all day long.
We walked through residential areas, across the river, through the industrial areas, through downtown high rises, past museums, through commercial areas then back into residential areas.
We had to make one short stop at the drug store to buy some moleskin. We had a few people that were starting to develop blisters on the bottom of their feet by the time we got to McDowell, the half-way point.
Levi and Cooper were real troopers. We all enjoyed them and I certainly think they enjoyed the day.
I thought Claire would leave us in the dust - she is a very athletic girl. But we enjoyed her story telling. The best story of the day is about her teaching a 1st grade class and trying not to tell anyone she was in labor for most of the day.
Melanie came along with us. I spent a day trying to make sure I had everything I needed for the day and anything we might need for any emergencies. I walked regularly to get back in shape a little bit. etc. etc. I asked Melanie if she wanted to join us at the last minute. Sure, she said, Let me grab my chapstick and I'm ready to go.
There are some pretty buildings, gorgeous landscaping and sculptures to enjoy along the way.
Virginia even joined us for 2 or 3 miles. Levi loved driving her scooter! You are a real sport Virginia!
Including the 2 little guys, we had 14 people on the hike. Four of us went the whole 15.2 mile distance. Melanie had a blister issue and had to drop out at 14 miles. Gayle went 10 miles and others did pieces and portions. It was fun to visit with everyone.
We began at 7 a.m. and arrived at North Mountain at 2 p.m. with an hour for lunch. So it was 6 hours of hiking. Not bad! It was about an hour faster than we estimated. Suzanne posted some cool photos of all the sights along our way. It was a great day - great weather, great sights, great friends, great conversation, great exercise.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


1. I was leaving the library this morning and walked past a average, normal looking man - jeans, t-shirt, ball cap and from the jingly sound emanating from his feet, he seemed to be wearing tap shoes. Odd? I say yes.

2. Our RS has a little group that is hiking together occasionally. This Saturday we are walking from one end of town to the other - 15 1/2 miles. I haven't been walking/hiking much recently so I thought I'd better get out of the house this week and get moving. I hiked in the Phoenix mountains 2 hours yesterday and 2 hours today. It feels great. I don't want to be the weak link on our walk this Saturday. I probably still will be. One of the girls going is a marathon, triathlon, hike rim to rim through the Grand Canyon kind of girl. I will just wave to her as she disappears in the distance.

3. The desert is greening up in a few little spots. It looks pretty.

4. I can't figure out the weather. Yesterday, I was out walking at noon, and was a little worried about sun burn. Today I started at 8:30 and had a sweatshirt on zipped up to my chin and the hood up and was wearing gloves. It was quite chilly for about 30 minutes of my hike, then I rounded a curve and was in the direct sun and had to start stripping layers off. Then on the backside of the mountain, I started shivering again. I think I added 15 minutes to my hike stopping to take my jacket on and off.

5. I discovered some inequality in the Phoenix Parks and Recreation bathroom system. There is one single solitary handicap accessible restroom in the park where I often hike. It has a door. It has a lock. It has lots of space. It has a sink, of course. But here is where the inequality is blatant: it has HAND SOAP! I get why a handicap bathroom needs more floor space and needs a locking door. What I don't understand is why the rest of the population doesn't need a door. There is always such a high risk of being bombarded by a 4th grade field trip group at a very vulnerable moment. But OK, I'll survive. But here is what really gets to me -- why oh why does this bathroom get soap? There isn't a bathroom in any park in this city that offers soap. There is often a warm air hand dryer that you can bake the bathroom germs onto your skin, but no soap. Why is that? Why do I have to carry my own personal bottle of germ protectant when I visit the city parks? I am torn between being excited that I discovered this little gem of a bathroom, and being ticked that this city only offers soap to a select few.

6. Brady has been gone a week now. I am glad we got a couple notes from him this week, because I wouldn't have survived a whole week without hearing from him. I thought this would be easier. For goodness sakes, this kid has lived away from home for two years already, however, we could always text or call. In the book "The Time Traveler's Wife" as the main character travels through time, nothing goes with him. As he leaves, there is a pile of clothes and shoes where he stood. That is what it felt like as we unloaded the van after our trip and there was Brady's backpack, shoes and clothes that he had been wearing the previous few days while he moved on to the next time/space continuum.

7. It's fun hearing about my niece's experiences on her mission too. Kelsie and Brady are in the MTC together. She is a fun, fun girl.

8. American Idol starts again tonight. I love that show. The judges are all changing though, I hope it is still as good.

9. On the topic of American Idol, I purchased a CD of an American Idol runner up a couple of years ago -- Blake Lewis. I liked his performances at the time, but I can't stand most of his CD. I think he might be a fun performer to watch, but I've deleted most of his songs from my player. There are only a couple of songs I like, but I don't know what they are because my music player has writing so small that I can't read it out in the sun while I'm walking. I pretty much operate my little MP3 by a Braille system.

10. I wanted some decorative metal shutters for the back of our house. I went to the place that did a little metal work for us before and it was now a used tire shop with hispanic signage everywhere. I walked in asking where the metal shop was. I was told it was gone, but he told me he knew a guy and what did I need? I described to him what I wanted, thinking he was going to send me to another shop. In the meantime, he had customers - two older women - sitting in their car, jacked up at an angle while they were in the middle of a tire change. So this guy is talking on the phone to his metal worker friend and trying to describe what I wanted. I had some measurements, but not a clear description of the decorative part of it. I was going to look at what they had, and pick something. As we went through a LONG conversation being translated into Spanish over the phone, I apparently ordered two metal decorative shutters, sight unseen to someone I don't know who they were or where they were located. I also needed them in 3 days, over a holiday weekend so I didn't have time to go anywhere else anyway. In the meantime, these 2 women were still jacked up at an angle in their car waiting for their tire guy to get back to them. We got the shutters on time, and I like them. So apparently the sign that said "Llantas Usadas" doesn't mean "Used Tires" but could actually be translated to mean "I've got a guy that can take care of all your Metalwork needs".

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Brady's got a blog !

Keep up with all things Brady at Two Years in Illinois .

We were gone for 3 1/2 days and crammed in a whole lot of fun.

First, a going away party for Brady.

A drive to Salt Lake City.

Last minute shopping - winter coat and sweaters.

Ice skating for the afternoon.

A visit with cousins and their kids.

A morning at the temple.

A movie at the Legacy Theater.

Relaxing and ordering Pizza at the hotel.

A long leisurely breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

Last minute pictures with Brady.

A little bit of sobbing.

Final pictures at the MTC.

A few more tears.

A final Goodbye.

A long drive home.
Read his first letter home at Two Years in Illinois .

Friday, January 8, 2010

travel talk

"I packed less than that and I'm going to be gone for 2 years!"

"Stop it!"
"You're choking me with my seat belt!"
"Get your backpack off my seat!"
"CAW!! CAW!!" **
(we hadn't driven 4 blocks yet)

Stopping by the stake president's house before we left town:
"Oh, I remember T.P.ing this house once!"

"We had an awesome bonfire out in this desert once."
"Really? Where?"
"We wiggled off the road out there after the 2nd cattle thingy."

"It stinks in here. It smells like vacation."

"You sound like a transformer."
"That's my hostage voice."

"I was yawning and I almost ate your shoe."

"Have you ever been made fun of by a duck?"

"Do you have any music?"
"I had a shuffle, but I lost it. No . . . first I broke it, then I lost it."

"Does this movie cost anything?"
"No, it's free."
"Then you won't mind if I fall asleep?"

Near Hoover Dam:
" Take a picture of the whole dam area."
" What?"
" Take a picture of the whole dam area."
" Yeah I heard you, just wanted you to say it twice."

"I hate seat belts - we need some kind of safety cocoon to sleep in."

** C.A.W. = "Crack a window!"