Friday, February 29, 2008

Time For A Change

When I first discovered avatars and their purpose, I posted what I considered was probably the most decent & recent picture I had of myself. And because it was really the only one I had, I used it everywhere. Shortly after posting it for the first time, my friend Kelly put up a huge protest. She's a good friend and said that the expression my face was foreign to her. She said in all of her interactions with me, she said she's never seen that look on my face (she also said it looked sneaky, lol).

She's been offering to take a better picture of me for many months now and I finally got over to her house yesterday (oh, it was so hard - she lives lives like 5 houses away). We thought it would be funny to post the "old" avatar pic and then post the favorites from the series she took.

I know my favorite and will use it on my avatar but I thought I'd throw it out there and see what your favorite is.

Old: (yeah, the no make-up & bed head doesn't help)
New #1:
#2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7

Thursday, February 28, 2008

American Idol Secret

Most of my friends know that I LOVE to sing. If you've known me for longer than 15 years, you also know that I was lead singer in a band for a short time when I had visions of Nashville (yes, I sing country with more comfort than any other genre).

I think that's why I love American Idol so much! I don't mind being 34, in fact I really actually love the feeling of having a little wisdom under my belt. It's a secure feeling. But, there's one regret I have for being this age and you've probably guessed it by now with my reference to American Idol. Yes, I regret being too old to audition for American Idol...there. I said it. Out Loud.

Do I think I could be the next American Idol? Not in 14 million years. Maybe 15 million.

Do I think I would have made it to Hollywood? Hahaha - since we'll NEVER know...absolutely!

But even if I hadn't, I'm pretty sure I would have at least been taken seriously (well, at least for my voice) I absolutely know that by this time in my life, I don't have the necessary "look" That's over. Done with. But that's part of the reason why I would have wanted to try out - just to find out if I even had a chance!

But I guess I'll never know. Every season, I'll just have to mourn the fact that babies are taking over the world of entertainment. I would have hated Nashville anyway.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

American Idol

Alright, I'm trying to catch up on my recorded episodes, which include all of last week and then this week too. My comments:

* Danny has GOT TO GO. His attitude totally bugs! If he's like that already, what's he going to be like as a celebrity? Annoying - that's what!

* Fav guy: Jason (adorable!)

* Fav girl: Katy Malloy

I could have been done with either girls (Joanne & Amanda) who were up to be voted off this week. I'm sure that Amanda will go soon anyway.

For the guys, I thought that Colton should have stayed. I really liked him. Honestly, why didn't Danny get voted off...little punk.

Well, I have now to dip into this week's recorded episodes...More to come!

A Mom Knows

There's been lots of times when DH or someone else has told me that I should take SP in to the doctor for a certain ailment she's having at the moment. Anything from the sniffles to a limp. If DH requests I take her, I try to comply but I have put up a fuss if I don't think it's necessary.

The thing is, a mom knows! I know my kid, and I know when things are "off".
Don't you? - if your kids are feeling crummy - can't you tell if it's something major or just a normal kid thing?

SP has these little polka dots on her face right now and has had them for a few days. They first showed up on Sunday and honestly, they just looked like little pimples to me - really, I should know! She'd had a dry rash the day before and I knew exactly what was going on the next day. I put some lotion on it to help relieve the dryness knowing the pimples would go away eventually. Well, they are, but today 2 more popped up nearby on her cheek.

SP's babysitter is pregnant right now, has a daughter SP's age and watches another little girl too. Understandably, she's concerned that it's chicken pox. I wondered if I was just totally off-mark and stunned that I could be so out of tune with a potentially bad virus! So I took her to Insta-Care immediately!

Well, it's not chicken pox. It's only on her face and the Dr. said they would have spread like wildfire in the amount of days she's had them. He said they look like pimples. I'm so glad it's not chicken pox for all of her babysitter's family and the other little girl - but in a way I'm exhonerated. A mom really does know...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Fish Doctor

Yeah, I'm a fish doctor. Many of you have asked how my fish are doing. It's been 6 weeks since I had to quarantine the 2 clown fish. It took that entire time for me to completley cure the "ICK" that so plagued them, poor things. The little one had it really bad and for a time, I thought he wasn't going to make it.

I put them back in the reef aquarium yesterday and they are zipping around happily, obviously glad to be back in their home. They're like completely different fish now; as if they truly didn't appreciate their home until they had been displaced.

You remember the quarantine tank is in my kitchen and so I had both clowns as my daily companions. I got lonely in just one day when they were back in SP's bedroom tank. I felt like I needed my own little friend. So I went and bought a new friend today (likeness above). I named him "Foxy". He's just beautiful. He'll have to be quarantined for 2 weeks in the kitchen tank so I'll have a companion for those weeks until he'll be ready to go in the reef.

What am I going to do then? Our 14 gallon biocube can't handle any more than 3 small fish (how sad is that? - well, I suppose I have A LOT of critters in there, but only 3 fish) so I told DH that we'll be selling the biocube and getting a much larger tank for the living room - like a corner cupboard. He just laughed. I imagine he thought I was precious for my insistent (almost adament) opinion that a fishtank was an unecessary purchase, and now I'm pursuing a further (and much more expensive) investment for my little buddies.

I know.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

It's Getting There

Wow! I have learned more about changing XTML code in the last 24 hours than I ever thought I wanted to know! And yet I still know so little!

Somehow I managed to get this blog from a 2 column to a 3 column blog, change the background and other minor things. I'm not sure I'm done or that I even like the new layout but I think I'm done for a while. At least it doesn't intimidate me anymore.

Under Construction

I'm pretty stupid when it comes to all this XTML language so it's taking me a really long time to change a new basic template on blogger. Bear with me - it's gonna look weird around here for awhile. But when it's done, it's going to look awesome.

Bear with me...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Listen Up Sushi Lovers

I've had a lot of people tell me to go try Ichiban Sushi downtown in Salt Lake (400 East 366 South)- that it is amazing. Since our favorite standbys at 6:00 this evening were running 45 minute wait times, we thought we'd try it out (it: Ichiban).

I am going to give a mini review of this visit and feel qualified to do so since DH and I "do" sushi more regularly than any other kind of food.

The atmosphere at Ichiban is nice, even interesting since it's located in an old downtown church. Our first impression was very good, and our service was very good too.

However, the food was all. If you eat sushi, and specifically sashimi, you know that it is at its best when it is cold, and firm - not room temperature and mushy, which is what our Sake and Hamachi were. Even our rolls were too mushy (we got the Death and Jazz rolls). We gave them several opportunities to do better by ordering more of both of the Sake and Hamachi but it really never got any better. The primarily reason we had to order more was because SP loves the stuff too and was eating all of ours, not because we were loving it.

If it wasn't bad enough that the temperature and texture of our food wasn't good, we got the bill which was about 25% more than most other common sushi joints. And by that, I'm comparing it to Takashi, Tsunami, Kyoto, and Happy Sumo. We were very disappointed.

Having said all of that, I will now say that it was convenient to be able to get seated immediately at 6pm on a Saturday - although now I know why.

So, if you're in Salt Lake and you want a run-down of where to go for sushi here ya go:

Takashi - if you want a very nice place with the VERY BEST SUSHI IN THE STATE (not kid friendly)
Kyoto - if you want very good sushi for a very reasonable price (very kid friendly)
Happy Sumo - if you want a good variety of rolls and very decent sashimi (mod kid friendly)
Ichiban - if you're desperate for sushi and you can't get in anywhere else (mod kid friendly)


Friday, February 22, 2008

The Newest Hang Out

It's difficult for me to remember all the places that we, as teenagers, found to hang out on Friday nights. We'd listen intently to the rumor-mill for any house-parties going on, and if there wasn't one, sometimes we'd go to this teenaged dance-club, or the movies, or hang out at the mall (infrequent), any athletic games going on at the school or basically anywhere else we could find more than 2 "cool" people in one place.

That was then...

Tonight I thought I'd run over to our local Rec Center thinking Friday night was probably a "slow night" at the gym, and that perhaps I'd have a chance at an elliptical which are hot commodities any time of the day even if there are like 10 of them.

Was I ever mistaken! The place was literally crawling with teenagers, and they were all working out like that's the new & coolest thing to do on a Friday night. Of course, where one teenager is, you'll find lots more! I was astonished! Of course when I was a teenager, there was nowhere like that to hang out, that I knew of and working out wasn't really the most awesome and cool thing to do unless you were a wrestler.

So, if you're wondering where the teens are hanging since they're not at the malls or in front of the convenience stores on Friday/Saturday nights...they're at the gym...

but lol, they were too busy showing off for each other that I still got an elliptical!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

So Sorry

I wish I could entertain you today with something humorous or helpful but my head's killing me. My mom came over, it's not what you think...she didn't give me the headache lol.

I ran into my mom downtown today, of all places, and she came over and tried to massage my headache away and she helped but it's still quite painful. Did I mention my mom's a massage therapist who lives relatively close. Don't you wish you were me, just for that one perk? Yeah, it's as awesome as you're thinking.

Anyhoo, can't talk much tonight about anything because I'm having a hard time thinking. I'll post all about American Idol, my fixation with Lost...and lots of other stuff tomorrow and this weekend. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Toby Tyler or 10 Weeks With The Circus

I often look in thrift stores for old books primarily for decorating purposes. They look so nice lined up on a a book collector or something.

I came across a 1930's edition of Toby Tyler which was being given to someone's parents for Christmas 1938 and has a hand written note in the front cover. The note makes it so authentic!

I don't usually read these books but I was bored one night and so picked this one up and read it. It's a short read and I read it in about 3 hours. It's a funny old story - sort of like watching an old movie. The language between youngster and elder is very respectful and uses outdated terms, but it's cute anyway.

It's a little story about a boy who, unsatisfied with his foster home, runs away to the seemingly marvelous life of the circus. He becomes the candy vendor's assistant and we find him eventually very mistreated. He is cursed at, beaten, overworked, underpaid and basically treated as a slave. He is not allowed to go home despite his requests.

The rest of the book is dedicated to his repeated attempts to secure enough money to get home, his ability to charm every other grown-up except his employer, how he learns how to ride a horse while standing up to become the best performance that particular circus has, befriend a monkey (and then watch him die), and finally find his way home into the loving arms of his foster-father.

I believe this book is a social story for young children of the time. "Do not run away for although it might seem quite fantastic, and some times it will seem fun, there's nothing like your home and if you decide to go back, you'll be welcomed with open arms."

I think I'll read it to my daugher when she's old enough.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

How Many Ways Can You Cook a Roast?

Let's see...I've crock-potted them, thrown them in the dutch oven on the stove, roasted them, baked them in the oven...

But my newest find is an appliance I've owned for several years. In my growning up years, my parents only ever did chickens on the rotisserie and so I never imagined you could do anything BUT chickens. That was until I had a brain explosion and I started thinking out of the box about the device.

Lo & behold, here is one fantastic way to roast - well, a roast (a beef roast to be precise). If you're vegetarian I'm sorry for these pictures because they'll probably gross you out. However around here, according to DH, a meal's not a meal unless there's beef included - preferably at least a lb. dedicated for his plate alone. No, he's not fat and amazingly his cholesterol is fantastically low.

If you have a rotisserie, in this case a George Foreman, throw that sucker on there for about an hour. After that, stop it and check it with a meat thermometer. We like ours at about 160 degrees inside as that is about medium. Closer to 170, you're talking no pink whatsoever and in my opinion, dry. To each his own.

This is right after I put it in. I had to to tie it to the prongs to keep it from flopping about.

Right before I took it out:

Try this! It's so far, the best way I've found to cook an amazing roast and pretty quick too!


You're looking at the newest contributor to BlogsWeLuv where anyone can submit their blog for review, and/or submit 10 Questions relating to you and your blog, to be posted on the site. The founding contributors are Tish McQueen of The Kat House, and Mike of Ordinary Folk

I'm so excited to be a blog reviewer! I am looking forward to the opportunity to get out of my shell a little more and find some more really great blogs.

If you're interested in having your blog reviewed, please visit BlogsWeLuv and submit an entry to the contest! For February, not only will you win a blog review, you'll also win 100 credits to Entrecard (if you don't know what these are, click here). You may also make a request directly to me by commenting on this post. Please be patient though - I'm a newbie.

Please support me in my new adventure by coming over to BlogsWeLuv and checking us out!

The Future's Looking Bright

Today was, on a smaller scale, the epitome of what I look forward to as the mother of a girl. We had such a blast.

We went shopping for clothes and shoes, we got ice cream, we had lunch. We came home and tried the clothes on (okay, they were all for her but that's part of the fun as a mom). And then we went to a movie. All without any temper tantrums or "episodes".

I anticipate many more "dates" like this in the future and I look forward to each and every one of them. It's great being the mother of a girl (especially one who already enjoys all of these things - I hope that never ever changes).

On another note, I promised "before/after" photos of my haircut the other day. I've waited until I actually styled my hair since part of Psycho Hair Girl's charm is her inate ability to style it in a way that it air-dries perfectly. And so I let it do this for a few days until I got tired of the look and decided to add product and a straightening iron to it. And here (drumroll...) are the results.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Love/Hate Meme

Josey just tagged me the other day with this meme-ette. It's a shortie...and so it's a goodie.


  • the Supreme Princess (my daughter)

  • getting my chores done and having the rest of my day to do my stuff

  • when DH compliments me

  • driving...anywhere and in anything; I just have to be the driver and I'm content

  • a fantastic, thick book...better yet a fantastic trilogy

  • having friends that care for me

  • knowing why I'm on earth


  • when the alarm goes off

  • the feeling after I've said something stupid

  • the bottom of a bag of Doritos

  • the end of a fantastic trilogy

  • my cell phone (unless I need to make a call)

  • figuring out, at 5:00, what to cook for dinner

  • getting the mail; nothing but bills anymore - not much fun mail these days

Friday, February 15, 2008


Around here, we prepped for Valentine's Day for about a week. There were valentines to be made, little gifts to be put together, and plans to be made.

My mom came over the other night and helped SP and I make the valentines that were going to her friends and cousins. It was so much fun. I got out literally all my scrapbooking supplies and we made the biggest mess.

Then, I made reservations at the New Yorker, a restaurant downtown, one of the only places I could get reservations at all. I even scheduled a babysitter about 3 weeks ago.

DH came home with roses both for mom and daughter, I went and got the sitter and DH and I were off. We had a great time on our date. I ate way too much (see here) and ended up so sick I had to sleep by myself so I wouldn't bug anyone by getting up and down all night.
The New Yorker was decorated so cute for V-Day! They had about 4,000 pink, red & white balloons with silver ribbons hanging down all over the ceiling so you felt like you were walking through streamers. They even had special V-Day menus.

We had fresh [raw] oysters for our appetizer and they were probably the best ones we've ever had. I was also loving their rosemary was excellent! But surprisingly, the best thing about the ENTIRE meal was the brussel sprouts that came with DH's meal. They were DELICIOUS! I think they had a tiny bit of horseradish on them but other than that, I couldn't tell you what was on them but I had to talk DH out of 75% of them but it was a fight since he was loving them too (and he doensn't love his greens...). I'm thinking of sending Kelly over there to source out the recipe (since it seems she has a knack for that sort of thing).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Such a Bad Habit

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was the victim of some terrible gossiping that went on for many months. It hurt her very badly and she realized how it felt to be on the other side of that unfriendly vice. She vowed to never gossip again.

I really wanted to be known as "the girl who doesn't gossip". It was really important to me and I tried REALLY hard to do it. It was easy when I was new in the area and didn't know many people.

Fast forward to! How many freaking different people can I gossip with in one day? Let me count.......1,2,3,4,5,6. I had extensive gossiping conversations with SIX different people today! Okay okay. I know some of you out there are thinking...she's WACKO! Why is she stressing out? What a stupid thing to even be thinking about!!

No, it's not. It's a terrible sin. I would be so motified, humiliated, and ASHAMED if ANY of the people I gossiped about heard anything I said. And those are people that I'm not especially fond of! I do not intend to hurt people but I'm doing it behind their back! That's SUCH an unkind thing to do! I feel awful that I've let myself be so horrible.

Alright alright. Here it is. Some of you are my friends. For those of you who don't know me, and just lurk here...I'm going to say it out loud in case you haven't already guessed. I'm Mormon. Think what you will. If you think that the sin of gossiping is weird then yes, you're right if you're most people. But Mormons are concerned with sins of character like that. That's why I'm freaking out - it's not who I want to be.

Anyway, I gossiped about a lot of people today, people I don't even really know in some cases as well as people who probably think they're my friend. I'm too ashamed to call them all up and say I'm sorry but I am. I'm sorry. To all of you who I said bad things about today (none of them probably even read my blog!), I'm sorry. I'm trying to do better, I promise.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hollywood Week 1

In school, when there was a really hard course required for our degree, we called it a "weeder" course.

That's what I think this new ploy of "take your instrument on-stage with you" is for the first performance during Hollywood Week 1. In my opinion, and we all know what that's worth, most of the people that took instruments along spent too much time focusing on the instrument playing and not enough on vocals. Too bad for them. I'm not sure it's a wise choice to include anything extraneous when something so important is on the line. You'd have to be pretty confidant.

It's too early to state my favorites especially since they all get a 2nd try (fortunately for them).

"Can I get that without the loss of self-esteem?"

Psycho Hair Girl

That's what I call her. She's crazy. She's bi-polar. She's practically insane by DSM IV standards. But man, can she do hair!

I boycotted my hair girl (okay, my hair stylist) for about 6 months and had a good excuse. She had a baby. During her pregnancy however, it was torture to go see her. She was either on a high that left me feeling confused and spinning, or so depressed that she was sullen and I was annoyed.

So I was letting my hair grow a bit and I was coming less frequently (perhaps that was an excuse too) and then she went on leave. She called me when she got back from leave and I ignored it pretending that I was loving my new long hair, lol.

Meanwhile I was cheating on her with the girl down the street who, while she is much less expensive, does a rotten job and I feel like bad-hair-day every day. I've cheated 3x and have now lost that lovin' feeling (price-wise). I'm going back to my true love: Psycho Hair Girl, who welcomed me back with open arms and didn't question my lies.

I have an appointment at 10:15 tomorrow. I might even bring her flowers (or at least a baby gift).

Monday, February 11, 2008

Time For Spring

You should have seen me the other day! I had seen this really cool little contraption made from PVC - it was a skeleton or framework to hang my fluorescent housing unit with my "grow lights". I thought, "I can do that!". I bought all the stuff and set to work but not being at all mechanically inclined, made a huge mess of it. DH finally had mercy on me and problem-solved what it was exactly I was doing. It came out that all I wanted was something to hang my lights from so that I could put my plants under it. Simple.

He suggested I just hang them from the ceiling over some shelves in our large storage room. Duh...why didn't I think of that?

This morning I got to work clearing off the shelves, I hung up the light and got to planting my seeds. It's mid-February and unless you get the seeds started now, they won't be ready in May for transplanting into the outdoor garden. Every year I anticipate this day! I've had a lot of success transplating my seeds and I love getting the pots ready...
organizing how the seeds will go in the pots and putting them in their little beds...
and then watering and setting them in a desirable place so they can grow...
But my favorite part is when the seedlings start to push through the soil demonstrating all of that potential hope! It's amazing what a little of work, sun, and water are capable of.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It Has to Get Bad Before It Gets Better

In demolishing my bathroom, DH has encountered two fairly substantial issues that would have, if left unchecked 1) flood our basement and cause a cave-in from upstairs bathroom to downstairs bedroom, and 2) burn down our house.

So the upside to the bathroom demo is that...we still have our house and that it's fairly in-tact.

The whole bathroom still isn't entirely demo'd but the shower is and the vanity. DH has gotten the shower to a point where it only needs tile now. He's patched the wall behind the vanity and created a recessed shelving unit next to where the new vanity will be.

Yesterday, he decided a new window was in order. As we have all the windows for the whole house out back, he opted to put on in. It looks like it's a lot of effort but imagine the feelings of accomplishment!

Here's a shot of what the window looked like just a few moments ago...

Here's a shot a few seconds later...I'm lovin' that I can actually see out of a window's the before pic just for the sake of full appreciation...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Latest Meme

I was recently tagged by Milena at A Leaping Thought to do a post about my blogging profile. It was interesting to do this meme. I did something similar over at BlogsWeLuv sometime last year, it seems like late-summer or autumn-ish.

I was surprised that some of my answers seemed to have changed a little bit. Not that the questions were entirely the same - just somewhat. Here it is:

How long have you been blogging?I have been blogging now for about a year. I originally started with a different blog and then changed to the current one in May 2007.

What inspired you to start your blog, and who are your mentors? It was peer pressure. No, just kidding. A bunch of friends had them and I’d never heard of it before. It seemed like such a cool thing, and such a great way to keep in touch with people. I observed for a couple of months and then jumped in with both feet. I’ve loved it. I don't really have any "mentors" per say, just a lot of blogs that inspire me. I mention them from time to time so check back!

Are you trying to make money on-line, or are you just doing it for fun?I have flirted with pay-per-post and Smorty but really never got into them. What very few posts I ever did for them made my blog feel cheap and contrived. I now do my blogging strictly for fun. I’m in front of my computer too much as it is. If I made it a money making venture, my husband would probably file for divorce!

What 3 things do you love about being on-line? It’s like living in the city! There is always so much to do and see! You just can’t ever do or see even a fraction of it. And if you’re away for even one day, it changes – just like that! I’ve enjoyed making friends with new people and realizing that many people think just like I do. I love the connection. I also love that in some ways, like a good book, it’s a sort of escape from one’s world. Get on-line and you can literally lose yourself in a matter of seconds. It fulfills a need I have of sheer distraction at times.

What 3 things do you struggle with on-line? I am a “heart-on-my-sleeve” sort of person and can be moody at times. It’s not as if I don’t want my blog to be honest, but I don’t believe that people necessarily need to be subjected to my hormone fluctuations. Sometimes it’s a challenge to keep it light and cheerful. I frequently find myself slipping into the “dark-side Amy” and wanting to post a disturbing post that would reveal my “after-midnight” personality. That’s when it all comes out…

I also struggle with the fine balance between divulging too much personal information to the blogosphere (and all the wierdos), and making it personal enough that people find it interesting.

Lastly, I have an internal struggle. Sometimes I really care big-time about how many daily visitors and page views I have. And then other days, I just don’t care if I have any visitors at all. I can’t seem to find the balance – like, do I care if people read it or don’t I? The truth is yes. But I really vacillate between putting a lot of energy into caring or not. I need to figure out how much I want to be invested in it, and then stay there. I think I’d get more out of it truthfully.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Life Gets In The Way

So I missed American Idol tonight. Not too disappointed since it's still auditions and I've TiVO'd it anyway. I'll watch it tomorrow if I get a chance. I did plan to watch it but this evening my mom called and said my grandma was having some heart trouble and that she'd been admitted to the hospital. I went over there and spent the evening with them playing Scrabble on the computer and watching videos of my daughter that they'd never seen. It was fun.

Anyway, just wanted to check in and acknowledge the Holy day of American Idol (jk).

Monday, February 4, 2008


Can you see that it's snowing more???

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sparks in the Night

I awoke at 4:30 this morning to the sound of my treadmill beeping on and off. I'm a freak in the dark and it put me on high alert...until I noticed that both clocks in our room were dark and the movement I was making wasn't tripping my motion-night light.
Power outage.

I lay there for a minute waiting for it to come back on but it didn't. That's when I noticed the strange blue lights coming through the window in frequent succession. They'd go dark for 20-3o seconds then they'd be back. Either aliens were coming, or something bad had happened.

I'm 5'1" and my windows in all my bedrooms are probably about 5'4" off the ground so looking out of them was out of the question. I could only stand there, like a child, and stare up at them at the dark sky. Still the strange lights flickering on and off. I never thought to go out to the kitchen and check out what I could see from a normal window. I was still, of course, half asleep.

I went back to bed and lay there panicing about fires and things until I fell back asleep only to wake every few minutes to check to see if we were aflame or if the power was back on.

At 6:30, my wonderful DH got out of bed, showered, dressed, warmed up his truck and drove to his shop where he got a generator. He brought it home and hooked it up to the furnace so at least we had heat, which is more than I can say for the rest of the neighborhood who suffered through less than 60 degree homes until noon when the power was restored.

Turns out the blue light was a power line that had arked and caught the pole on fire 1/2 a mile away. DH was down there checking it out and the pole was burned 1/2 up. Crazy I saw that from my bed! The linemen had to completely remove the entire pole and re-install a new one which accounted for the long delay.

I felt really bad for all my neighbors and friends who had to stay in bed until noon just to stay warm! But I'm so grateful for my responsible husband and his resources.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Last Town On Earth

When it comes to picking audiobooks, I can't be as picky when I'm making my selection because it's slim pickin's at most libraries except for at the Salt Lake City library - that huge brand new one downtown that is so fabulous.

However at the local library, there are probably only about 100 books to choose from and you never really know what you're going to get.

A few weeks ago I picked up this audiobook and just finished it a day or two ago. Evidently it is the first novel by Thomas Mullen.

A short synopsis of the book (and this is really all I had to go on when I picked it up) is this:

In 1918 a flu epidemic ravaged the country during WWI leaving a huge percentage of its victims dead. A small logging town in Washington, called Commonwealth, decided that they would quarantine themselves until the flu wore it self out. They posted guards at the one road into town and barricaded the road. One day, a soldier walked along the road and would not be turned back. He was shot. The rest of the story is the fallout of this single incident, and how the many cope with the decisions of the few.

I loved this book. I loved the narrator's voice - a very deep manly voice that went very well with the characters who were mostly macho loggers. It was clean, thorough and compelling. I highly recommend this book. You should read it! Go! Now!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cheer Up

I went to a church-sponsored presentation the other night. It was given by a therapist who was discussing depression and ways to increase your overall happiness and joy.

I've experienced my fair-share of low times and they've been reasonably off-set by times of happiness as well. I rate myself as pretty happy right now and although things could be "better", I'm far better off than many people so I'm not complaining too loudly.

I wanted to get these things down so that in the future, I'd have a place to refer back to them as well as offer them to anyone that may need a little dose of happy syrup.

She said that there are a few things that must be done consistently, on a regular and daily basis over the space of at least 6 months, to a couple of years. If you do, then you can increase your "happiness" up to 2 degrees on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being suicidal and 10 being about to bust open with delerium. I feel I'm about a 7.

Here they are:

1. Take a bite of something absolutely fresh (like fruits or vegetables) before each time you eat something non-fresh. The live enzymes cause your body to believe it's summer, a time of bountiful and generally a happy & sunny time.
2. Socialize: Make a point to connect with friends or family and chat, laugh and have fun.
3. Laughter: Try to get 20 belly laughs out a day. It raises endorfins and changes body chemistry.
4. Thought-stopping: Make a regular habit of inhibiting your mind from dwelling on negative thought patterns. Think happy thoughts: it's simple...she said.
5. Passionate: Do something daily for 60 minutes that you're passionate about.
6. Exercise: 60 minutes a day of walking, preferably outside in the fresh air raises endorfins naturally not to mention releases toxins and clears your mind.
7. Sunshine: expose yourself 15 minutes a day to full spectrum light. In wintertime, that means buying a special lamp or sitting beside a window. In the summer, get out of your office or house and sit in the sun. Seasonal Affective Disorder hits a lot of us about now and increases rates of depression a lot.
8. Pray: (i missed this part but I can guess since it works in my life) Pray for help to be happy. Pray for things you are grateful about. Use this as an outlet for discovering things about yourself.
9. Talk Therapy: if you don't have a friend that you trust and can bear your soul about your troubles, then hire a therapist who will listen without judgment.

These aren't in the order she presented, but rather in the order I remembered them. Upon checking, I'd only forgotten the therapist one which is funny because I have a therapist (on hollywood do I sound?) and I LOVE LOVE LOVE her!

Anyhoo, don't know what else to say except have a happy Friday night! Go do something fun! I'm considering a late-movie date with myself. The worst thing about that is I'm a talker during a movie and when I go alone, I just can't talk to myself.