Monday, November 15, 2010

Last night I turned off the lights, strung out some of the new Christmas lights we got, and sat in the center of the room looking at them.

Usually dogs that see you regularly get used to you. Our neighbor's dog is so used to me that it now comes into our driveway to bark it's head off at me. I keep myself from kicking it by saying that it's not the dog's fault it was never introduced to discipline and care, and feeling bad that the negligence will probably get it kicked.
But for real I wouldn't kick a barking dog anyway.

I don't really sleep at night anymore. So that means I've been staying in bed till eight or nine trying to make up for it. It hasn't been working. I'm still just exhausted.

I think we had people over or went out with people every day but one last week. Holy scrud my husband is a social bug. If you ever want to hang out, Mike would love to have you over.

Squishy grapes disgust me. I only take 'em crunchy. Mike doesn't eat peaches because he doesn't like the texture, which is weird to me, since they are delicious.

I have lately had the craving to make apple and peach pies, but right now will instead make some soup, find a new crossword or sudoku, and take it to bed.

I could possibly even be asleep by the time Mike gets home from work. Cross your fingers.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

US Declaration of Silence

So, based on the premise that someone might be sensitive and go kill himself, we are not supposed to say anything that would ever offend anyone.

Makes perfect sense.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

a Little Lamer Lednesday

It's late, and I'm pooped, so I apologize for not having a story this time.

Actually, I do have a story. A couple of stories. And all week I've been meaning to tell them, and I've been saving a special one for today, but I really want to move on to bed, so I apologize for not telling the stories I have. I will make up for it...maybe Sunday? It's a really busy week, I tell ya.

(ADD: why do people have a problem with you saying that something is retarded but not that it's lame? I say, that is retarded and lame. as well as dumb. and deaf. blind even. toast.)





{one} what is your happiest childhood memory?
and darnit, they start with a hard one. Mike says that my favorite childhood memory is from when my two older sisters were playing at the neighbor's house and I, looking for an excuse to possibly get invited in as well, went to the door with a question for them. "Is this your penny?" I don't think the three of them cared, and I still was not invited in to play. I also remember trying to pull that trick with other objects, but the penny is most memorable to my sisters.
Obviously, this is not my happiest memory, but it's probably the one that gets told most often, and not by myself.


{two} what is your middle name?
elizabeth . quite obviously.

{three} what’s the habit you’re most proud of breaking?
my alcohol problem. I was born with a bottle in my hands, and it wasn't till recently I've been able to find the strength to kick it - love you Mikey!
(Mike just said, "Sometimes you are really dumb. Fo' real.")


{four} what do you order when you order chinese food?
my regulars are rice, noodles, orange chicken, beef and broccoli, or sweet and sour pork. I don't even know if those last few are authentic Chinese dishes. I really just answered the question "What do you order when you order from Panda Express?"

{five} what’s the best bargain you’ve ever found at a garage sale or thrift store?
I think some decks of playing cards when I was...11 or something. The neighbor's yard.

{six} what’s the best costume you’ve ever worn?
when i was younger I was always either Cat Woman or something dumb. My best years so far were probably once in high school when I was Sandy from Greese with these butt-tight black pants, a couple years back when my boyfriend and I were Cosmo and Wanda, and two years ago when Mike and I were Gomez and Morticia from The Addams Family.

{seven} who’s your favorite game show host?
Is that a trick question? Is there even any other game show worth mentioning besides The Price is Right? (don't bring up Wheel of Fortune - I don't know any of those answers!)

{eight} what’s your favorite breakfast food?
Cereal? Eggs? Grits? Oatmeal with blueberries? Plain waffle with butter? Bagel/egg sandwich? Breakfast burrito? Why do these questions always ask for darn favorites!

{nine} what’s your least favorite word?
lol. Not even a word. NEVER acceptable.

{ten} describe something that happened to you for which you have no explanation.
ha ha ha - a couple fools I dated. Really, I can't even explain it to myself.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Demoted.

That's right. Me. And it's the most relieving feeling.

I work in a position I never wanted, for a boss I mostly despise, doing the work two full-time accountants used to handle. It's been tough to stay above water, and systems I would love and badly need to put into place I have had no time to sit and enact, and, when I've tried, that despicable boss comes along and makes it all useless. Seriously, crappy management is the bane of an accountant's work. Many know that I have wanted out for quite a while now.

Last week was nearly it for me. It was a four-day work week starting Tuesday, but I think I still worked 50 hours trying to meet deadlines - even taking my computer out during a family party on the weekend. And my boss was just too much. Each day I loathed him even more, and by the end of the week I was crying in bed each night, sleeping horribly, and spent my weekend just feeling sick, dreading going back on Monday, and begging Mike to let me quit. The one highlight was that we put up that movie I think is cute and everyone else thought it was cute, too.

Monday looked like it was just going to continue the culmination of the crap, as I worked a 12-hour, crappy, exhausted day, but I finally went to my boss and laid it down. I said I'm having a baby in January. This has been too much for me, and I can't do it anymore. I said when I agreed to help you out in this position I told you it was never in my plans, I didn't want it, I was looking for something outside of the industry, and advised you get someone else to come in. I told him that if I did work after baby, it would only be a minimal part-time, and if they weren't willing or able to have me in a position like that, I'd be perfectly fine with it. I told him my suggestion was to demote me back to assistant and bring in someone now to take over the controller duties. This way we could get back on top of things and we would have plenty of time for me to show him/her around, and by the time I had baby we would be completing our current huge projects, new person would be well set up, and they'd better able to gauge whether a part-time Shirley would be reasonable or not.

They interviewed yesterday and a new guy starts on the 30th. When my boss agreed to my plan it was such a relief. He expressed some sincere concern over my well-being the past couple weeks. For some reason my bosses like me a lot (two of them - one is tons better than the other). I'm a bit disappointed I've still got another two weeks like this, but the sky is so much bluer now and I'm mostly just so excited for some guy that doesn't smoke to come in and take over.

So - on to lighter things. Although, I don't like the Wednesday questions very much this week because they're harder to answer.





{one} have you ever won a trophy? if yes, for what?
Um...I'm actually not sure. I don't think so. I've gotten some medals though. The one I'm most proud of is the gold in the four-by-mile at the Knights of Columbus invitational. That was my fastest mile time ever...but didn't really count since it was a relay. I still regret not ever running the steeple chase.

{two} what was your favorite subject in school?
Uhhh....okay, I had Mr. Garcia for American history, and that was a fun class, and Mr. I-don't-remember-his-name lawyer-with-the-dry-humor for government - but he was awesome so I loved the class. But I think my favorites were probably English and math - one, because I always got an 8 or 9 on my essays and just swam along, finished the math exams long before everyone else and felt smug about myself (one reason I want my kids to have an alternative education to public school is because I was not really tested at all), and two, Kevin Crimi. He was always in those classes with me and we just laughed and goofed around - SERIOUS laughter. mostly coming from me. I think he just laughed at me.

{three} what time do you get up in the morning?
Ha well when I'm not trying to be in to work a couple hours early....my first alarm goes off at 6:30. That's the time to get in a good shower. Next is at 6:45, which is a quick shower. Then 7:00, which is no shower, driving off with a bagel in hand. So, most days 7:00.

{four} if you could open your own business, what would it be?
Flower shop, duh.

{five} if you could spend the evening with one rock star/band, who would it be?
I don't like these types of questions. And, I like people's music, but I don't think I'd actually like the people. probably. My brother put some songs on a CD once. I'll have dinner with him.

{six} what sitcom character reminds you of you?
Ugh another one? I'm going to say Sydney Bristow (whether it counts or not) because it's the only show I know and I would love to be awesome. If you have a character that reminds you of me, suggest away.

{seven} what are the 3 most important things to you?
climbing trees, crushed ice, and...it's a tie between mashed potatoes and cheese.

{eight} chips or popcorn?
los dos.

{nine} have you ever ordered anything from an infomercial?
No, but when I was a kid some of those things looked soooo cooool.

{ten} what is one thing that you are grateful for today?
New guy coming in two weeks!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sometimes I get some pretty silly ideas.

And sometimes Mike goes along with them. He's cool.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Heritage

My company (not MINE, but the one, two, three I work for) just moved into a new office. It's smaller, but it doesn't have bugs, so I'm happy with it. I went back to work this week after the holiday completely swamped and drowning, truly regretting not working on Labor Day. I'd never felt that before. I hate what a full time job is turning me into: some weird working freak blob thing that doesn't know what "Don't stay too late" (from the last remaining coworker) means and that can't even uphold her heritage. Heritage? What? Yeah, I'll tell you about that part.

So I went to the bathroom, being the first one of the day, apparently (when you're pregnant, you go pee or else you're in pain, also apparently). When I pulled the flush lever nothing happened. The tank was empty, and no measure of lifting or twitching the stopper or the floaty thing worked. Crap (ha). What kind of person would turn off the water to the toilet? The GIRL'S toilet?? The guy's bathroom was working fine!

Before that matter could be solved, I needed to get rid of my nastiness (NOT the kind of person to leave that to someone else). Now, having a plumber for a father, I, naturally, know how to get a toilet to flush. And so, plumber's daughter that I am, I began to fill the tank with water from the sink...using the trash can....which, at the angle necessary, only held about two cups of water at a time before spilling out. To get the full effect, I encourage you to sit here for however long you imagine it can take me to fill a toilet tank in that manner and join me later.

Yes, the whole time I was hoping no one would need me and wonder what in the world I could be doing in there, and when it was all done there was no way I was letting anyone off the hook.
"Danielle, have you used the bathroom yet today? There's no water to the toilet!"
"Really? (walks to bathroom. looks at toilet.) Hmm. (bends down, twists a knob, tank fills)."

I'm sorry to have failed you, Daddy.




{one} what was your first pet and how did you come up with its name?
Um...I have many siblings. We never had individual pets. That is weird unless you're single or old.

{two} do you like your ice crushed or cubed?
Crushed! With a straw.

{three} do you believe in love at first sight?
Nope. That's called a crush, which is completely fine and normal. Love is different.

{four} do you have any nicknames?
When I was younger I was called Shirley-girlie and Shirley-bird by some non-family members. Family just calls me Shir. But I don't think that's really a nick-name. Just a short name.

{five} what movie do you never get tired of watching?
Peter Pan (sorry, not the Disney one) and Pride and Prejudice. And Sydney Bristow. She's not a movie, but I'll never tire of her.

{six} how do you like your eggs cooked?
All the way. I don't mind them in any form as long as there's no goopyness.

{seven} are you named after anyone in particular?
My grandma! And this is the story my grandma just told me a couple of weekends ago: "Your mom didn't want to name you Shirley. She came to me and said she didn't know why anyone would name their kid Shirley. Well that made me so mad, so I said, 'Well, you named your kid Orrin!'"

{eight} what are three things that you would like to do that you haven’t done yet?
Wipeout! Um...Grand Canyon hike con Mike. Do flower shop person stuff.

{nine} what one thing always brightens your mood?
Mike dancing around. You should see it.

{ten} what five things will you always find in your purse?
I don't know if there are five...wallet, softlips, computer back-up from work....I'm drawing a blank. I blame pregnancy brain. Or maybe the fact that I have a monster of a purse that I carry nothing in.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pregnant Shirley

I have been reprimanded. But Mike was, too, so it's okay. I am also less in the wrong, since I blog a heckuva lot more often than him.

As all the world now knows (really, to me my family is the world, since we populate half of it) a watermelon seed has sprouted in my belly, and once it's full grown on January 30, the doctor will take it out, crack it open, and inside will, hopefully, be a baby.

No, we do not intend to eat the watermelon.

Here is a list:

  • My watermelon is currently 18.5 weeks old, and, despite what some silly women may say, you can definitely tell.

  • Really, the line I've gotten from nearly every woman in the ward is, "Well I look more pregnant than you!" No, you don't, because you're not pregnant. This little belly that sprouted in the last two weeks is pregnant. Let me be pregnant without talking about your personal weight issues. Give me a couple more kids and I'll be there right with you, k? And don't even get me started on the people that say I'm too small.

  • I cannot handle the heat. At all. Which drives me crazy. I can't do anything!

  • The first time I thought I might be pregnant was when I was really only a few weeks along, I guess. I was out on a run and started hurting really bad. As I turned around and tried to walk/curl/massage it off I just kept thinking, "The baby doesn't like this run." How does that even work? And after that whenever I'd pass a store I'd have the thought to go buy pregnancy tests.

  • The pregnancy tests are actually a funny story: I used one, but I guess I did it wrong because nothing showed up for 15 minutes. So I used it again. According to the packaging, that disqualifies it. This time it showed pregnant pretty fast, though lightly. I knew it. Lightly pregnant. I hid it in my nightstand and walked away. A bit later, Mike walked past as I was on the floor cleaning in the hall bathroom. I said, "I think I'm pregnant."
    And he kept walking.
    Then he came back and said, "How so?" (or something like that) and I responded that the test said so. He made me unhide the disqualified one and take another test. I thought I would be out of pee. This one also said lightly pregnant. Mike had us read the instructions five times over to verify that's what it meant. He was sad for a day, and then he was really excited. And I was just normal.

  • I've noticed crazy hormones this past week. I watched the mailman pass our house one day without stopping and almost started crying. I had to laugh at myself. And lately I seem to be on the verge of tears throughout the mornings at work, which is inconvenient.

  • Today I wore a skirt up at my waist that used to fit on my hips. Already I can tell that I will be carrying pretty low.

  • The other day, Mike mapped out for me where all my weight gain has been. It added up to twenty pounds (ten being in the chest). I've gained eight total, as of last Friday anyway.

  • The first thing I noticed physically, before the sickness even, were the huge breasts making their home below my collar bone. No kidding.

  • I've grown out of all my pants but the sweats, most of my shirts, and I can also thank muffy and killer for the fact that most of my t-shirts are too small as well now.

  • My runs have diminished to just 1-2 miles. I get sick and overheated and my heart rate skyrockets if I try anything longer, so I don't. I run, and then I walk for longer. It's weird, walking. It's totally different muscles. Did you know I've walked a 9:30 mile before? I used to be good at that.

Perhaps I will be nice and continue to post lists.

Here is another type of list: My friend, Dawn, participates in a thingy called "Wee Bit Wednesday," and I always find myself wanting to comment on her posts with all my answers, but instead of forcing my life story on her, I'll just post it here. AND this way, maybe I'll be posting every Wednesday, if I keep up with it.




{one} what’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Saturdays? But only the ones that aren't busy with tons of Church and family stuff. Those are good, too, but the best are when Mike and I get to go out on some adventure and have the day for each other.

{two} if you could have a glimpse of your future, would you choose to see it and what time would you want to see?
Well, it'd be kinda pointless, because I already know how it's going to pan out. I mean, sure, I don't know the specifics, but those are unimportant. My future is decided by me, and I've already decided how I'll be.

{three} if you could be any animal, which animal would you be?
Have you ever heard of a dik dik? It's the tiniest little dear thing ever! But, I would probably be a monkey. I've always wanted to be able to hop and fly and climb like a monkey. After watching a news report on a girl that grew up in South Africa playing with monkeys who was an amazing rock climber because of it, I decided my family would live in South Africa. I was like eleven.

{four} do you have a lucky number?
I've always liked multiples of 4, but not 4 itself. Does that count as lucky?

{five} if you could bring one famous person back from the dead, who would it be and why?
This one's too hard. I don't care about anyone famous enough to go through that nastiness, and Jesus already brought back Lazarous, so...

{six} fill in the blank: peanut butter and ____________.
We use honey, but I really like berry jams. Or you can do like my older brothers and do a slice of bread, peanut butter, jelly, slice of bread, peanut butter, honey, slice of bread. Really quite filling.

{seven} would you rather live by the mountains or by the beach?
Mountains. I would die without my mountains. There is nothing to compare with a run or hike out there.

{eight} do you have any tattoos?
ew gross.

{nine} if you could retire tomorrow, what would you do?
Clean my house, fix dinner, plant flowers, work on a baby quilt for my friend, organize the office, make a Moses basket decision, put away the laundry - you know, house-wifey stuff I've been dying to do.

{ten} what is your favorite all time movie?
Uh....we'll just go with "Pride and Prejudice," since it's a favorite that I actually own. "Hunt for Red October" is also a love.

Monday, July 12, 2010

This top

Looks like crap on this model:


but absolutely adorable on this chica:


and I super want it.

Also, I think I have the flu. unfair. and crappy.
(actually, I learned that the stomach flu or 24-hour flu have nothing to do with the real flu. I don't have the real flu. Just a fake one.)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Restructuring Marriage

For the past couple of days I've read a lot of response to the situation of Barry Petersen.


Watch CBS News Videos Online

I felt the situation unfortunate until the twist at the end. I have no pity for him. He has given up all of the love and happiness that would have come from being true and from serving and staying at his wife's side. He said that the disease took away the love they shared. No. He dropped it, only to be recalled as a memory.

An article on Patheos explored the story, and the reaction to it. This was my response:

Being a member of the LDS faith, I believe that marriage and family are ordained by God. You can no more restructure or redefine marriage than you can change the eternal truths that have been since before the world was.

What I see so often is people looking at the changed times we live in and trying to make up values that fit to what they want all in the name of the old stuff not applying anymore. If that were true, then there would be no reason to read the bible or history books. But it is not true. Facts and circumstances may change, but truths and values don’t. (That’s why we have a Supreme Court to INTERPRET the Constitution for our day. Not change it.)


I also appreciated the explanations in R.C.'s thoughtful response:

I wish he hadn’t done it.

And, I think it is objectively against the moral law.

Indeed, I think the fact that I (and so many others) “wish he hadn’t done it” is instructive. As the video proceeds, one is shocked to find that he has taken up with another woman. I think that shock comes from a moral intuition which is both provided by the Holy Spirit and yet natural to man.

Likewise, a Catholic blogger — I think it was the Anchoress, but I don’t recall for certain — once spoke of the reaction of her son when she had, finally, to explain what abortion was. The boy burst into tears of disbelief and outrage and grief and said something like, “What IDIOT thought THAT up?”

A correct moral intuition, that. I takes a lot of societal propaganda, to erase those natural reactions from a healthy human heart.

So too with the current parade of publicized homosexuality (plus alternative perversions). The healthy human person has a natural aversion to such things. So the world, the flesh, and the devil conspire to propagandize against this moral intuition, to wipe it out, to anesthetize it, to kill it. Yet Chesterton says: “Let any lad who has had the luck to grow up sane and simple in his day-dreams of love hear for the first time of the cult of the Ganymede; he will not be merely shocked, but sickened. And that first impression, as has been said here so often about first impressions, will be
right.”

So, moral intuitions can help us identify the objective truths of the moral law. But this is difficult when our society propagandizes against the moral law, and thus confuses and clouds and drowns out these intuitions.

It is for this reason that Barry Petersen was largely morally guiltless in doing it. Although it is objectively against the moral law, our society has done an excellent job propagandizing the populace against the contents of the moral law with regards to sexuality and marriage and duty and fidelity and the notion that life is not, after all, solely about our personal temporal gratification. And that kind of pervasive propaganda is difficult to disregard when one never or rarely hears alternative voices.

Thus, while Petersen probably had distant stirrings of unease in his soul about the choice, they were quite likely drowned out in a confident understanding, shared by all balanced and sensible persons, that his actions were acceptable. Lacking, then, any clear mandate to do otherwise, he began a romantic relationship with someone other than his wife. He was doing something entirely morally permissible, according to the light he was given — once that light had filtered its way through the smog of Western Civilization’s decay into moral relativism.

One of the benefits of churchgoing is that when we “lift up our hearts,” we lift them above the general level of that smog. (Mostly. Sometimes, sadly, a lot of fog emanates from pulpits and ambos and lecterns.) C.S.Lewis said that Christians in this fallen world are living in occupied territory, but that we go to church to “listen to secret wireless messages from our friends outside” …as we wait in joyful hope for the True King to come in, armies in tow and banners aflying, to destroy the usurper and rid the place up.

Anyway, whether it is by increased altitude or encoded radio messages, we get beyond the propaganda through contact with the truth. Has Petersen had any such contact? Maybe, maybe not. But if he hasn’t, then I can’t hold him very much at fault. He doesn’t know; he can’t know. It’s like being raised in Orwell’s 1984 under Big Brother. If you never meet anyone who doesn’t think 2+2=5, then over time, it’s hard to maintain the stubborn belief that it’s 4. If Petersen has never heard of sacramental marriage, explained by people who can articulate it well and take it seriously, what then?

“If I had not spoken to them, they would have no guilt; I have spoken to them: Their guilt remains” said Jesus. The principle seems pretty clear.


I really like when I can see that there are still so many people that are faithful and moral, despite what the media and entertainment would have you believe is the majority.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

AMEN!

Isaiah 5:20
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
(It even has an exclamation point!)

From the Boston Globe:
George Washington’s parents no doubt took pride in his childhood honesty, but therein may lie the reason he was among the least intellectual of the Founding Fathers. A Canadian study last week declared that children who lie are actually showing their mental acuity and creativity. “Parents should not be alarmed if their child tells a fib,’’ Kang Lee, director of the Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto, told the Telegraph of London. In fact, children who are making things up at age 2 have fast-developing brains, which portend greater intellectual achievements. Thomas Jefferson, whose genius sometimes led him down a twisty path around the truth, may have been an example. So might his mentally agile successor, William Jefferson Clinton. As for Washington — perhaps there’s a new explanation for why he confessed, in the great Parson Weems legend, to chopping down the cherry tree: Maybe young George just couldn’t come up with a good enough cover story.
_._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._._

ARE

YOU

SERIOUS?

And since when was Jefferson considered a liar? And really? Bill Clinton? Mentally agile? No. Liars are people that are not smart enough to do the right thing in the first place. Or ever.

Bill Clinton, Obama, all the other liars will be forgotten. Washington, and his deeds and reputation, will be remembered forever.
(Ha, I just reminded myself of "Heroes get remembered, but legends never die" from Sandlot. But it has nothing to do with this.)

And just to carry on, here are some of the following verses:
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Friday, May 21, 2010

truth.

I have never burned rice. I've never used a rice maker, but my rice always turns out perfect and fluffy. unless it's instant rice. While convenient, instant rice never comes out "perfect."
.
I assigned the lamest and most annoying ring tone to the blood bank's number so I would know when it was them (and know to not answer. They never understand when I tell them I'll set up my appointments online). The problem with this is that they call at the most inconvenient times when I never expect the call, and when there are plenty around to be interrupted by the loudest, lamest, most annoying ring tone. I keep meaning to change that.
.
My nephew was born this morning. He doesn't have a name yet. In my head he's "Number 25." Or Jesus (spanish pronunciation). His parents are Joseph and Mary.
.
I grant everything the right to live except cockroaches and earwigs. and the huge ugly palm tree in our front yard. no right.
.
I suck at pac man.
.
excitation = throwing a baby shower!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Excitations

  • warmth!

  • baskets

  • chocolate covered ruffles

  • conference

  • chow mein nests

  • grandma's

  • Jesus

  • new traditions

  • pageant and Nielsen's

  • frilly kids' outfits

  • BRAND NEW HOUSE!!

Helping the N(gr)eedy

**please note that this post has been in my drafts for about a week and I'm posting it to get it out and done with so I can post about other things. I haven't even read through it and that means it's jumpy and none of it flows (please don't kill me, because I'm hating myself enough for it already)**

Remember the Plan of Salvation? How we come to this earth and whoever does all they can and takes the right steps can apply the atonement to their lives and receive exaltation? Good plan, huh? Almost divine, right? Please keep this idea in mind as you read the following:

At my company we hired a receptionist through the reservation employment system. I didn’t even know it was possible before for a receptionist position, but this girl turned out to be highly unqualified. We really did try to teach her things and to work with her and to get her to work, but I guess after being raised on government charity she had no incentive to leave it. In the end she spent the majority of her work day cruising the internet, watching online videos, filling the office with her horrible music choices (unforgivable), and clogging up the company’s unlimited long distance line (we deal with reservations outside 480/602/623) talking to her boyfriend. When asked about a task requested hours ago, she would revert back to a simple assignment from days before, briefly, before returning to her diversions. We’re pretty forgiving people when it comes to some personal internet time taken at work, but it’s upsetting when you’re just downright lazy. Pretty soon we all were pretty sick of it and the bosses said it was time to go.

My recommendation was to just fire her, as we had plenty of good reason, but the decision was made to lay her off since her wages earned and time worked wouldn’t qualify her for unemployment benefits anyway, and saying, “because you’re lazy and did a lousy job” is pretty hard to say to someone’s face. I can understand that. Understanding that, though, changes nothing in the facts that I now have to deal with and fight her unemployment application.

It was while grumbling about this to myself that I started thinking about how messed up all this is.

We tell our citizens, “There’s no need for you to save or plan for a day when you won’t have that income. Go and spend all you make, get into debt even, ‘cause hey, when that’s gone and you have bills to pay and bellies to feed and those evil credit card companies come after you for payment, we’ve got you covered!” When a person loses his job the first action is to go file for your rightful unemployment before even considering looking at the job market. Why? Because it’s free money duh! And the next step, of course, is to go get your other welfare checks. This receptionist of ours received food stamps money, and nearly every day walked into the office with a five-dollar bag of gas station chips or some other assortment of snacks they charge you triple for. Does that look/sound/smell like she’s someone down on her luck and in need working her way out of a slump? Or is that more like a gross waste of the money taken straight out of my paycheck? I hope you like those chips because I just worked an hour for you to have them. You’re welcome.

But don’t think I haven’t forgotten the other side, that there actually are those that are truly needy, those that I would give my week’s pay to without even thinking (which is why I’m not allowed to carry cash). And older friend of mine is the one in his family that they always default back to for help. When he lost his job due to the construction decline in AZ and, though actively searching, was out of work for over nine months, unemployment insurance, though not much, helped to feed his family. In the income lapse, they gave up extracurriculars and more. They budgeted. How is it, though, that we can help the needy and weed out the greedy?

The church has it figured out. If only the government could run like the church. It can't, though. Two main reasons I can think of: head is not Christ, 99% of things done in/for the church is by voluntary workers. Still, I often think of ways to fix government programs by basing them on church programs. Am I a nerd for that? You'll probably think me more of a nerd when I admit that one thing I really look forward to in General Conference is hearing the church audit report. It is a huge testimony builder to me to hear an independent audit team give the Church an unqualified opinion, and that internal controls are in place and not surpassed, and that my tithing money is being used according to the Lord's wishes. It lets me know that the system really works. Sadly, I don't have that same faith in the government, neither state nor federal.

Mike and I work hard to be self-sufficient. We appreciate nice things, but we can also do without. When our receptionist asked one day if it was okay for her to pay me back the lended gas money another day I said, “oh I didn’t even think of it!” And then, not wanting it to sound to someone that doesn’t have a lot like we’re so rolling that I don’t even miss ten bucks from my wallet, said, “Oh we just don’t ever spend money or go shopping really. Most of the stuff in our apartment is borrowed or second-hand and half of my wardrobe is from high school.” She was surprised, but it’s true. Although we’re earning more right now than we ever have (you know, in the whole year we’ve been married), our spending will not go up. We are not extravagant with our choices and keep things realistic. We are getting a house that is at only half of what we could qualify for, but that we consider to be the best choice for us.

Even with all our frugality, though, after all we can do there are still times when we need to turn to family for help. When we were moving into an apartment and had zero furniture. When we needed a car to use until we had the cash to fix ours. When we needed some money to pay tuition up front instead of getting a loan. Our family and friends have been there, and I think that’s how it’s supposed to work.

I wish people would stop thinking we are a welfare country, that it is a responsibility of the government to provide for you when you can't or refuse to.

To finally be finished, I like the following quotes, whether they apply to this or not:

"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have," Gerald R. Ford in an address to a joint session of Congress on August 12, 1974.

"If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."
-Ronald Reagan

(can you guess which way my political affiliation tends?)

Friday, March 5, 2010

"Because I'm AWESOME!": by Jessica

My sister-in-law, Jessica, posted the following story about my nephew on her blog and I wanted to share it:

"Yesterday, Tyler brought home this paper from school.


We were sitting discussing it at dinner and I asked if the teacher had written

"I would rather be a_______"

on the board for them to complete. Tyler was all kinds of impressed that I could have guessed that (I am occasionally impressive...but it was the word "rather" that gave it away!! What kindergartner says "rather"...and spells it right!)!

So we talked for a little while about what the other kids wrote. Then Vern asked Tyler,"Why did you say that you would rather be you instead of something else?" Tyler shrugged and said (as if it was the simplest answer in the world),"Well, because I'm so AWESOME!!"

I still can't help laughing every time I remember it and smiling because I love that my son thinks he's AWESOME!! At least I know I'm not the only one!! hahaha!!"
.
I'm pretty glad I get to be a me over anything else. It's the most fun.

Friday, February 26, 2010

threes

Growing up I had a friend named Katie, but I would call her about twenty different names. One I remember was Catalina, that nasty orange dressing I’ve always been too afraid to try, though it wasn’t meant to be offensive. We were weirdos. Maybe that’s where I got my start.

Katie my old friend tagged me on her blog a bit ago, which was new. The only kind of tagged I’ve ever been was in a playground setting, and then I wasn’t always the person people wanted to choose. I was only mildly cool (like I said, weirdo), and I wanted to win too badly. Kids would cry after having to hold my hand in line in red rover. I didn’t understand why they would have preferred to let go and let the kid through. Didn’t they know anything about sacrifice?

So I’ve been tagged. My plan was to completely vamp it up and post with pictures instead of words, but then I became controller person at work and that idea flopped along with my brain at the end of each day. So, instead, here is my very normalized taggy thingy:

3 names I go by:
1. shirl - a vestige of sweet high school friends
2. shirley elizabeth - the name two of my siblings have consistently called me, which became my online presence in the past couple of years
3. babe - only one person can get away with it

3 jobs I have had:
1. Teacher’s Assistant/Daycare Leader at a Jewish charter school – first job ever
2. Nanny – miss that family tons
3. Accounting person for construction companies – oh the intriguing life I lead

3 places I have lived:
1. Carol Ann Way house if only I had $300k to buy it off my parents. And then a hundred thousand more to fix it up. Hmm, maybe not.
2. With siblings – only the coolest would let you invade on their families at a point in life when you desperately need out of your parents’ house, but your parents won’t let you out for real yet
3. The “number 1” house – before getting hitched, I lived with roommates in a house with the street number 1.

3 favorite drinks:
1. Water? – I don’t drink much else.
2. Strawberry lemonadeunless I go to a restaurant
3. Am I supposed to be listing alcohol? How ‘bout pomegranate juice?

3 TV shows I watch:
1. Aliasof course, it’s over and long gone, in fact I hadn’t even seen an episode till years after the finale, but when I’ve had a long week or have a ton of laundry to fold I like to stick in a season and watch some on my laptop.
2. Pushing Daisies – yes, it’s over, too. It only lasted for a season and a half, sadly. It was the only show that I actually watched while it was playing.
3. Basketball – by now you can probably tell I’m not a big fan of TV, but thanks to my husband I have probably seen more sports in the past year than most guys.

3 places I have been:
1. Around ScandinaviaI nannied.
2. The top of Brighton – spent a lot of time there figuring out snowboarding with frozen toes. Arizona’s mountains are smaller, but so much more comfortable.
3. Jerome Idaho – small place with family that I love love loved to visit in summers growing up

3 people who text me regularly:
regularly as in I can count on it?
1. Mike
2. Verizon. Twice a month.

3 favorite foods:
1. mashed potatoes – preferably with gravy. or lots of butter.
2. chicken ‘n’ dumplings – except the dumplings are biscuits. mmmm maybe that’s what’s for dinner.
3. dice a tomato, dice an avocado, dice some cheese, mix it all in Italian dressing and eat on crackers (wet each cracker some in the dressing) or just shovel it in with a fork.

3 favorite books:
1. Ella Enchanted – don’t watch the movie. It has nothing to do with what’s actually in the book and is terrible.
2. Anything by Jane Austen or the Bronte’s – I really can’t count how many times I’ve read each of their books.
3. Most fantasy or historical fiction books.

3 favorite colors:
1. green – I’m in love with nearly every shade. and it looks good on me.
2. yellowthis was my favorite color growing up. I think because I felt bad for it because none of the other kids liked it. Actually I know that’s why.
3. uh…let’s go with shades of blue. Where would we be without our trusty blue jeans?

3 favorite hobbies:
1. Running/hiking/climbingdid you not know?
2. Reading – Mike watches sports (and does homework, suckah!), I pull out a book. I’ve recently had to spend some of our money on new books since I’ve read every one we own a couple times just since we’ve been married.
3. Baking/cooking and even washing the dishes I use, but I detest drying them so much that lately my sink has been full of unwashed dishes.

3 things you can always find in my refrigerator:
1. cheese – always.
2. moldy leftovers
3. jar of jam we got with some wedding stuff – I think we’ve used it once or twice

3 things I do every day:
1. cut myself somewhere in some way – it’s inevitable
2. eat/drink – I really can’t think of what I do every day
3. ponder on the cosmos

3 things I am good at:
1. reading aloud
2. accounts payable
3. dutch oven meals – I’m discovering I’ve a talent

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Cut Myself

FYI:
Applying for jobs on the internet is one of the worst processes imaginable (I had originally just said “sucks,” but then thought better of my public-use language). There is zero initial personal contact and no way to follow-up since it is rare that a company will post any kind of contact information. How is a potential employee to make any kind of impression on a company if there is no contact? I have to just hope that people are interested enough in my name to look at the rest of my resume. Speaking of my name, which I have always always adored and never would part with, I am terrified that people will just skip over my application, thinking me to be an old lady. And then, after not receiving any reply on any of the fifty positions you’ve sent your resume to, you start to question whether all those things about your experience and abilities you’ve nicely arranged together into a document are really as great as you originally thought. And what is up with employers not realizing what an accountant is worth? So many of the positions say they expect you to do everything a controller would do, along with having a degree and required years of experience, and also perform the duties of the receptionist and office manager on top of that. And……they only want to give you $11-$13 for it, based on your experience of course. Seriously?? I can understand that many of these companies are smaller, and might require their controller to be a Jack-of-all-trades (something I’m pretty good at), but at least be willing to give worthy compensation.
Alas, the internet is my only option at this point, since I still have to show up every day at the cruddy 8-5 job I’m trying to get out of.

That was a ton of switching of my tenses. Forgive, as I would not forgive you. Cop it up to the mush my brain is becoming from working in the general area of our new receptionist and her terrible music. Oh, the songs I now have memorized that I never would have cared to listen to in the first place! I want to shout out for five minutes of peace from the same songs we’ve been listening to for two weeks, every day, multiple times a day, every minute of the day. The hour between eight and nine, before she shows up, is now sacred to me. It brings me to repent of ever considering listening to local radio stations again.

On Sunday I made some white chili and it was delicious, of course. In the process, I cracked my crock pot down the middle trying to use it as a dutch oven. As a result, today I am borrowing a pot from a friend for a pot roast. I especially like these friends, and their squeezable little boy. They are great examples to me of using what you have and making do, even though you might have money at the time to spend on a nice TV or a bigger house or a Le Creuset dutch oven in every color and size.



Oh how my cooking would be so much more lovely, and I’ll even warrant tasty, with the use of one of these. Other things my kitchen yearns for? A kitchenaid. A gas stove-top. A(n organized) spice cabinet full of spices. KNIVES. Do you know what it’s like to work with nice knives? I have once upon a time. Oh glory. Imagine the chopping and dicing and slicing and splicing and everything else you can do with a good knife. Now also imagine the blood and the cuts and the bandages and scabs.
Yeah…Mike sometimes grounds me from knives, or says I have to ask him first if I can use one. I don’t even know how it happens, but all of the sudden my skin will be split and Mike will be shaking his head at me again. On average, I will come away from work with 1 – 2 paper/cardboard/manila folder/staple/anythingmyhandsmightpass cuts a day. I’m not so sure getting shiny, sharp, cuts-through-quarters knives is an option Mike would consider.

So, I’ll just make do with what we’ve got. And what we’ve got isn’t too bad. My hand mixer is able to handle most things I make. Our second-hand monster of a TV (though Mike may protest) works great for our needs. A bookshelf for a pantry is actually kinda cool (at least it throws off company). Our noisy, crappy cars will last us. My leaking Camelbak works great if I don’t fill it all the way. Our clothes from eight seasons ago still fit. A tiny, old house can suit us just fine. And we’re just as happy as if we had otherwise.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tell me...

...does this chica :
look more like :


A:


B:

C:



I was told I was rude for suggesting C. But I think it rather flattering. I mean, she's older, but dang, if I could look like that at her age....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Our Son, Daniel

I love amazing stories that shake you inside, even the ones that make you cry (sometimes especially). They're...renewing. i think.

I have a friend named Daniel Kanyaruhuru. If you're stumbling over his last name, take it slowly. It's phonetic. I met Daniel my freshman year of high school, which was also his first year at my school, and even here in the states, and even in this hemisphere, though he was in my older sister's grade. Daniel had come to us through much adversity, through much heartbreak, and really through Hell. My cross country coach, who has a big heart and learned of these young African boys being brought here through a relief effort, sought them out and asked them to come be apart of our team family. Daniel ended up trashing us all, and leaving the state competition in his dust.

My best friend from high school, Miss Chelsea Fiske, put together a documentary for a school project and shares Daniel's story.


Our Son, Daniel from Chelsea Fiske on Vimeo.

All of us who have been with him from the start are crossing our fingers and holding our breath. And, if you happen to catch the distance races and see him on your TV, cheer extra loud.

Monday, January 25, 2010

You Didn't Know Me When

There was a time in my life (like what, a year ago?) that I could and would willingly (almost) forgo sleep for two to four days. Call me crazy, but it was all in the name of my education. and my social life. which was really just a million guy friends I had that took turns being more. yeah, I may or may not have been one of those. We don’t talk about that.

There was also a time in my life that I nannied a cute little girl. Actually it was the same time. And actually she would take turns being cute and being a terror, like any kid, I’m sure. But I mostly just like to try to remember the cute part.

One very tired day I was working with the cute little girl through her homework. I slightly leaned against the counter while waiting for her to complete a worksheet. Then her mom was at my side, tapping my shoulder asking if I was okay. I was very confused. Here was the cutie and her mom next to me, and there was the completed worksheet. It was as if a little gap of my life had just been sliced out. But really it wasn’t that dramatic at all.

I had fallen asleep. right there. at work. standing up. The cute little girl had quietly finished her work (a new thing), called my name a couple of times, then gone and grabbed her mom saying that something was wrong with Shirley. A very worried mother/boss found me there asleep on my feet.

I was just thinking of this recently. I still don’t believe it’s possible. How absurd is it that someone can sleep standing up? I think a more reasonable explanation is that I was abducted by aliens for an unknown period of time, that on earth only calculated to be about ten minutes. This fact suddenly makes so many things clear.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sit down, it's a long haul

I had forgotten how much children know.

It’s been a while since I’ve really been surrounded by little kids. Of course, I have a million nieces and nephews that I get to hang out with all the time, but I definitely haven’t had the interaction that I used to. I did other stuff, like live on my own, get married, and spend a lot more time with the older youth, the teenagers. Being an EFY Counselor was tons of fun, and, since then, my callings have been with the youth.

When thought upon, this fact is a little strange to me, because growing up in my house at the time I did, I didn’t really learn much about interacting with teenagers. Even as a teenager. I was the utmost of awkward. And still am. Very non-teenagery.

A couple of Sundays ago they called me into the Primary. the secretary. Where did that come from? It was a big surprise to me. I’m really going to miss my girls and the fun that was to be had this coming year. Actually I was pretty sad about it at first, and super intimidated by the greatness of the person I was taking over for, but after some time mapping out the database I’m creating, and after my first Sunday in the calling, I’m freakin’ excited. freakin’.

And, I realize again how much I love hanging out with kids, and how crazy much they know. They are smart little boogers. I will have to make sure that I don’t underestimate them.
_____________________________________________

(above line denotes a subject change)

Mike and I visited my Aunt and Uncle and family up in Idaho for Thanksgiving. This family is really the only connection with my mom’s (biological mother) side of the family that I’ve ever known. They are the awesome.

In her simple goodbye at the end of the trip my aunt gave me something huge to consume my mind. For all of growing-upness, I have always been told how much I look like my mom. This always makes me very happy and prideful.



This is not a picture of me and my sister from some years back. Nor even my sister and other sister from some couple more years back. It is a picture of my mom and her sister from some many more years back. Cool, huh? So, as I said, people that knew my mom are sure to tell me of how I look so much or just like her. It is a common statement that I have heard from my aunt growing up. But this year she said something a little different. She told me not only of how I look like my mother, but also of how I am so much like her in character. We both always get teary at these goodbye moments, but this came at me with special force, and it was what was on my mind for the greater part of the twenty-six hour drive home.

I am like my mother? A new thought. I was reeling. I wondered how I could be so much like someone that I’ve never actually known.

To me, my mom has always been something of a saint. I have been given this impression by reading through her journal, the talks at her funeral, and through people’s personal stories and impressions, told both in writing and verbally. Everything is amazing, everything is kind, everything is adorable, everything is beautiful. Something I’ve come to understand is that all these things aren’t just said nice and prettily because she’s dead, but because there is nothing else that honestly comes to mind to say of her. In her journal she is always striving, always humble.

And now you are told that you are like this person. Does that not bring tears of incredulity? I will not own up to such a charge, though I thrill thinking of it, but will now talk of a couple of things I have learned from pondering this.

FACTS: I am related to my mom. There are some things that she has passed down to me that naturally reside in me, and some of these things are more than physical manifestations. I have learned things about her from reading about her, reading her own words, and from talking to people that knew and were close to her. I have always striven to harness the same traits I know her to have. There have been times when I have felt my mother’s love or approval or protection, or when I have applied to her personally.

TRUTHS: We are related to our Heavenly Father. Just as we inherit qualities from our parents, there is an inherited divinity in each of us. We can come to learn of and develop this divinity from research. We have the scriptures, we have apostles and prophets, we have leaders and family members. All of these may tell of experience and testimony. But beyond that, we can also come to be like our Heavenly Father through developing our own relationship with Him. He is not physically present here, but the relationship we can find with our Father will be far more personal and deep than those we have known with those with whom we interact daily.