Monday, October 29, 2007

My First Tagging

Thanks to Silly Witch for magically tagging me! The rules are to post 6 items about yourself (habits, traits, deep dark secrets, etc.) on your blog, then tag 6 more people to do the same.

1) I'm watching Bargain Hunt, having eaten my typical breakfast of toast with peanut butter and a glass of water. Peanut butter is one of nature's perfect foods, in my opinion.

2) Have you ever heard of CrossFit? Rowdy gave me a series of sessions with one of their trainers for my birthday. It's hard work, but so fun. My arms are starting to look more-defined again. I have to work harder to get back the six-pack I had from working out with a trainer in NYC. But I know it's possible! (see

3) If I could develop any talent, I would like to be more musical. I pretty-much wasted the piano lessons I had as a child--never practiced, never learned to play with two hands. Oh well. I suppose if I had the time I could take lessons now.

4) I really like it when I am well-groomed--toenails painted, waxable areas waxed, etc., but I am so lackadasical about setting up appointments for things.

5) Though I've never been much on cruising, the idea of taking a cruise to Antarctica has really grabbed my fancy. Maybe in 2009??

6) My favorite thing to eat when I'm sick is spaghetti with a thickly-meaty sauce.

And now I'm tagging RowdyMatt, Stephanie O. (don't think I haven't noticed you haven't posted for over a month), Janette (though I'm still waiting to read her list of 10 Most Snoggable Fictional Characters), Jen N., Kiki, and Steph H. (to encourage her to start a blog).

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thirteen Things About Max on His 13th Birthday

1) I doubt that any other kid in his class has Knight as a middle name.

2) Claim to fame: Coolest Kid in the Seventh Grade

3) Max is the first kid in the world ever to call me "Mom".

4) He loves the ladies!

5) Of all the kids, he looks the most like Rowdy and has his dad's outgoing nature.

6) He really, really wanted to shoot one of our neighborhood rabbits with his airsoft gun, but I wouldn't let him.

7) Max can reach around his head and touch his ear.

8) Need to request the check at the end of a meal in Italy? Max is your man.

9) He and his friends are going to form a band, with Max as the lead singer.

10) If you ever invite Max to dinner, make sure you serve tortellini.

11) We sometimes call him "Hammy", after the character in "Over the Hedge".

12) He has considered careers in the military or law enforcement, as well as professional basketball and sports law.

13) Max buys gum at Target at least once a week. He introduced me to 5 gum, which has terrific mint and cinnamon flavors.


Max is such a joy to have as a son! I love him bunches.

Monday, October 22, 2007

San Diego's Fall Colors...

are flame, charcoal and smoke.

It's pretty surreal to think that 300,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in San Diego County. Yesterday, there were 70+ people from Poway, 30 miles north of here, staying at our meetinghouse. Rowdy is the ward's Emergency Preparedness Specialist and I'm the Primary President, so we went up there to check things out. People brought their pets, including a rabbit and at least one horse. Good thing our building has two ballfields out back.

Things are smoky here in our area, but there is very little danger of our neighborhood going up in flames.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Two New Things and a Correction

A new addition to our home gym.

A 100 lb. pumpkin from Bates Nut Farm in Escondido.

Correction: My brothers- and sisters-in-law didn't really want to go to Hawaii
with us, they just wanted the same great deal that Rowdy and I got on a condo for the week.

Where I've Been in the US/World

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Full disclosure: I have not been to all of Canada or all of Russia. I've been to Montreal and Kaliningrad (that little outpost of Russia between Poland and Lithuania).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

More Vacation Stories

I haven't finished my account of our September vacation.

The day before we left Venice for Salt Lake, Rowdy received a voicemail from his mom, Lezlie, saying that her mom (Granny) was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. Lezlie needed Rowdy to drive up to Klamath Falls with her the day after we arrived home so that they could see Granny and basically say their goodbyes. The way we understood it, Granny had a giloblastoma multiforme tumor, which is the most horrible of all adult brain tumors. She was given a 2-month prognosis at worst, maybe 14 months at best.

So, first thing the morning after we arrived back in Salt Lake (at 10pm), Rowdy and Lezlie jumped in the car and headed to Oregon. Terry (my father-in-law) and I didn't see much of each other, because I was off galivanting with some of my wonderful Salt Lake/Bountiful-based friends as well as visiting my grandma Bright, Aunt NaConna and Uncle Ben. NaConna gave me several family histories and photos, which has helped me flesh out my family group sheets. We definitely had some valiant pioneer ancestors that survived crossing the plains, dealt with the crickets, made friends with their native neighbors, and settled new lands.

The kids had to make up for some lost time at school, so I didn't really go see them again until Wednesday. While we were waiting for the boys to come home from school, I had a very nice talk with Greg, the kids' stepdad. Greg and Julie are wonderful people, and I know that it's a huge blessing to have a good relationship with them.

Jordan was babysitting, but the boys were able to come up with me to Grandpa and Grandma's for dinner. I had the best time just hanging out with Keiler and Max. Our trip really went a long way towards my knowing them better and our being comfortable together. We did homework together and made sure that dinner was ready when Lezlie and Rowdy walked in the door from their long trip home.

Granny had her tumor resected the day before (which makes me think it wasn't really GBM, but I don't know what the pathology showed) and was doing surprisingly well, well-enough to be discharged from the hospital the day after her surgery (or two days later). You may say, "Oh! It's a miracle! Isn't it wonderful?" but I'm not really sure what to think right now. It remains to be seen.

Rowdy, Lezlie and I went up to Snowbird on Friday. They had already gotten a bit of snow, so we were able to have a little snowball fight as we hiked. Years and years ago, I was offered a job at the Cliff Lodge as an aerobics instructor, a job I didn't take because I did not have a car with reliable brakes. I think that was the last time I had been to Snowbird. They have great mountain biking trails, and the view up there is beautiful. It made Rowdy and I re-think our lack of fondness for Salt Lake. There are so many fun, outdoorsy things to do there in such beautiful surroundings. But then we go back into the overgrown Valley and it's back to "Ugh". Ugh was certainly reinforced the next day, as it snowed as we were driving to the airport. I do miss the food at La Dolce Vita in Provo. If you are ever in Provo, I highly recommend making a special effort to eat there. Their food is just as delicious today as it was the first time I ate there in 1984.

La Dolce Vita. Go there. I insist. Take my car.

We are happy to be home again, happy to be back in our own little bed, happy to have had a fun trip with the kids and time with friends and family in Utah. Our next vacation will be to Hawaii in January. Poor Max! When I said, "We're going to Hawaii in January," he thought that "we" meant the five of us. Uh. Sorry. No. Rowdy's brothers and sisters also thought that "we" mean "and all of Rowdy's brothers and sisters". Again, no. Sorry. Just me and Rowdy, celebrating the one year anniversary of our sealing.

Not the answer I ever expected to hear!

"Where are you, Dear?"
"I'm in the bedroom, wearing your bra and cleaning my gun."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Jordan Marie

Jordan is the person I wish I had been at 16--she's an excellent, hard-working student; she has a strong testimony and a mature-for-her-age knowledge of the gospel; she plays both acoustic and electric guitar; she surfs; she's virtuous and lovely and "of good report".

Today our little girl is Sweet 16. Now, I didn't know Jordan when she was a little girl; we met when she was 13. But she has grown and changed over the past two years. I hear that she had a bunch of dark hair when she was born. We have cute pictures all over our house of her and her two darling little brothers. She has always been a "little mother" to them. Her dad says, "She's willing to try new things, but she never abandons something that's 'core' to her." She likes to write. She wants to be a teacher. She's been a little nervous about taking her driving test, but I'm sure she did great on it today. She totally denies that any boys have been waiting for this day so they can ask her out. That's fine. She'll get plenty of interest in due time. High school boys will be intimidated by a beautiful, intelligent girl that can surf and play the guitar.

That's our Jo/Gordo/Gordon. We love her so! Please don't think that her brothers are one whit behind her, because they're amazing in their own ways. I'll tell you about them on their birthdays.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Rowdy has a knack for making anything and anywhere an arena for physical competition. How far can you go jumping on one leg? Can you jump from this rock to that one? How many pullups can you do?

On our way out to Murano, "the glassmaking island", we saw a large park with a conveniently-located vaporetto stop. It was right next to a naval training academy, so the park had parcourse stations scattered throughout for the sailors-in-training to work out on. (I know this because we had to share the equipment with them. I can do better pushups than one of the guys we saw. How do you say "Pansy" in Italian?.)

There were pullup bars, places to do crunches, monkey bars, and even a couple of recumbent bikes. Even better were the playgrounds--no "nanny state" regulations there! There was a climbing wall, a zip line, a 10-foot-tall rope net to climb over, and some fun-looking swings that unfortunately were occupied.

Did we get looks from the Venetians? Sure! Did we care? No! Man, I wish we had a zip line in our local park.
My Rad Life!