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Monday, December 27, 2010

Post Christmas Musings

So there it is. 30 days in pictures (yeah, well I missed a few days but I got all 30, right?). I'm happy I did the challenge and I'm happy it's over. Now I can blog freely about other stuff that is on my mind.

Today, two days after Christmas, Courtney came walking in with her brand new camera that she got as her big present from us complaining that it wouldn't turn on. Well, the whole bottom part where the battery goes in was broken off. Of course the silly thing wasn't going to turn on! She claims that Jacob grabbed it from her and dropped it. Needless to say, she now has no camera. Tough lesson to learn, I guess. It's not like we're going to run out and buy her a new one anytime soon. Her birthday is in two months. Maybe . . .

Brian's girlfriend, Megan, flies in tonight to spend a week with us before we head back to Idaho to take them to school. Of course, he doesn't know this 411 and is furious right now with her because she isn't answering his texts (she's flying as I type this). We are going to show up at a restaurant and surprise him. Should be good. Skip's kind of worried that it'll all backfire in our faces and he'll be super angry. Oh well . . . just another day in Paradise. Right?

Christmas day started off as the biggest Weltz disaster EVER! The boys were mad because I decided to change tradition up a bit. They ended up launching into full out fury and completely and absolutely ruined Christmas morning with their tempers. Fortunately, my husband was able to salvage the day with his cool head and calm words. I just had to step away from the scene.

Went up to San Andreas to visit Demariea yesterday. I feel bad that he's made some really poor choices to land himself there. It sucks. It sucks that Christmas was spent with a bunch of kids that are rough. Him and I played my favorite game, Rummikub, for like three hours as we talked and he ate (I packed sushi and Diet Coke as per his request). I'm pretty confident that it's finally beginning to sink in with that boy.

Robbie is off snowboarding with his friends for a couple of days. Should be kind of quiet here. Kind of looking forward to a lot less tension in my home. He was in good spirits and why shouldn't he be? It's his 17th birthday next Monday and I'm guessing he's hoping that we will pull through with a couple of cool gifts for him. We'll see . . . (like my momma always said, "wait and see pudding!" Don't know what that really meant but she always said it, lol).

So there is the post Christmas life at our crib. Super excited for a new year to poke it's pretty head into my life and have everything rosy and fun again.

An Unforgettable Time

Day #30: a photo of you when you were happy

I searched and searched for a recent picture of me when I was blissfully happy. I'm not going to say that I'm never happy anymore, but those days are kind of few and far between. I'm confident that things are going to get better soon - really soon - but right now I'm struggling. However, it did say a photo of when I was happy - not a "recent" photo of when I was happy. Right? Besides, it's my blog and I can do with it as I please. So here is a photo of a day when I know that I was so happy. So much has changed in the past 10 years since this photo was taken (actually 11 years and 3 months). This is our family (minus Danielle), the Watterson family and the Wells family. The Wattersons had just moved to Nebraska and Nikki (their youngest - yellow dress in the front) was being baptized. Since we are all such close friends, the Wells and us flew out there to attend the baptism. It was a beautiful day. We then all went on to tour the vistors center at Winter Quarters (I believe the temple wasn't built yet but the visitors center had been there for quite some time).

This was a wonderful outing for all of us. It would be the last time EVER that we would all be together. A little over a year later three members of the Watterson family would return home to Heavenly Father. I know I've mentioned them before (I've even mentioned Terri in this 30 day challenge on day #13) but this family has had a HUGE impact on me and on my family. I love them all so much and miss my friend terribly. The Wells family and us have grown to be very close in the years since. I value Kaylene's friendship so much and consider her one of my absolute besties EVER!

Yes, this was a very happy day. My children were young (not teens) and life was good. Life was so good that I took it for granted. I would be taught to appreciate everything I hold dear by having so much of it taken away from me very soon after this.

A Most Gorgeous Man

Day #29: a photo of someone you find attractive

I know, you're thinking I'm going to post a picture of that pretty hot man I'm married to. Right? Well, guess again. There's another man in my life that I find pretty attractive too. I absolutely LOVE this guy and think he is hotter than hot:
Yup, that's right. That's Black Horse at a show a couple of years ago. I totally am in love with this animal. I adore all of his good behavior as well as the bad. I love it when he is feeling frisky and wants to buck and cut out like a silly little school boy and I'm in heaven when he is "on task" and gets all of his distances and lead changes without me having to encourage him much.

Yes, this guy is amazing. He's good looking, he's fun to be with and he makes me happier than happy. You really can't top that.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scrooge

Yes, I know I need to get back and finish my last two entries of the 30-day photo challenge and I WILL do that as soon as I have a quick minute. However . . . I have a thought that I just want to put out there for myself to read later and ponder. I saw someone's post on Facebook yesterday that has me thinking quite a bit:
What was Christmas like before the presents?
Enough said? Yeah, well I was in complete and absolute denial about Christmas all year. I was determined that it was NOT going to happen in my home. Money, time and just plain being disgusted with some of my offspring had brought me to that point.
Then, something really yucky happened. I, once again, had a recurring nightmare where it was Christmas morning and there were NO presents. Of course, this time I was laughing to myself as the children had walked out on Christmas morning to find nothing. I was so happy that they had astonished looks on their faces as if there had been some cruel joke played on them. I was just so gleeful. Then, this old Grinch actually started to feel kind of bad. Yeah, the cold heart started to melt and warm up. Nnnnoooo!!! No, no NO! I want them to be miserable! I want them to hurt like they hurt me this year! This can't be happening!

Of course, there are a couple of my children that haven't hurt me at all. Actually they've been a complete and absolute blessing in my life. How could I be doing this cruel evil thing to them? Then I woke up and realized that, yes, I actually DO have to do this Christmas thing. But, wait! It's like December 9th and I haven't done squat! Holy crap!

Then I went on my annual visit to see my mommy and my sister up north. They definitely got me in the Christmas mode. Especially when Gail was online ordering her presents and then clicked off her computer saying "Wow! Good thing I got all my Christmas shopping finished. It's like only two more days before the guaranteed shipping for Christmas is cut off."

Say what? Did I hear you correctly? OMG! I jumped online and started frantically trying to figure out this whole ordeal. I came home and Heavenly Father sent me a wonderful blessing named Brandilyn. Yup, that girl has kicked my shopping butt for the last three days. We've pretty much got the whole deal signed, sealed and delivered.

So that brings me to this . . .
Yeah, there I am sitting at my desk with a pile of bills, Christmas cards and list upon list upon list of things to do before the BIG day. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you . . . Miss Scrooge here actually hosted the party for our barn friends last night and had a great time in spite of myself. Go figure.

But really, wouldn't this holiday be a lot more meaningful without all the presents?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Princess Grub

Day #28: a photo of what you ate today



I know that today isn't Day #28 anymore. That day happened quite awhile ago. I just got all caught up in the Christmas garb and didn't get around to finishing my 30 day challenge. I will finish it - just gotta do it now instead of then.
This is my breakfast. I make a smoothie out of all of these good things every morning. Kale, spinach, lemon, berries and whatever else looks good lying around the kitchen. What made this day and this breakfast special is that I was at my sister's house and I was privileged to partake of her wonderful homegrown, organic veggies. Yum! My morning shake is definitely a great highlight that starts my day off just right!
For lunch Gail (my sister) made us these stellar sandwiches which she prepared in her pannini maker that she got for her birthday last month. OMG! These were to die for! I'm not supposed to be eating bread but this was way too good to resist. We also had salads with my mom's home made dressing. Wow!
For dinner, my sister made beans - VEGAN beans. Holy crap they were so great. I'd say that going to my sister's would make me fat but, nope not so! I actually lost weight and ate like a stinkin Princess (wait, I AM a princess, lol). This food is all good for your body and your body just loves to love it!


So, thank you Gail and Mom. I had a great time and enjoyed the great food. I even came home and made her butternut squash soup for dinner tonight. The twins thought it was pretty stellar.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Flyin!

Day #27: a photo of you last summer

This was an easy one for me. I love this picture: Nope, it's not that great of a picture of me. I don't care. What I love about this picture is that as I look at myself flying over a wave on my boogie board at the beach in San Diego I remember the rush that went along with it. I fricking LOVE riding the waves. What's more is that I was actually pretty dang good. I was out there - way out there - with Rob, Craig, Dave, Brian, yeah, you know, the BIG boys! The ones who rode with NO fear! Robbie showed me how to "drop in" and that was an awesome ride! I was flying through the air and then just touched down on the water and flew, and I mean FLEW, right in! Yeah baby YEAH!!

I really don't tire of going to San Diego on our vacation. I always try to book the condo whenever I can for spring break or during the summer if they have a week open when I know that our family doesn't have other plans. As soon as we get ourselves unpacked I'm ready to grab my boogie board and head to the beach. Anyone care to join me?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fun, Sun and LOVE

Day #26: a photo of your favorite weekend

You see, favorite times of my life seem to be when I'm spending time with Skip in a non-stressed situation. We actually do have a lot of fun together - just not lately, I guess. One of the greatest things that I learned in church several (many) years ago was that we need to consistently be having "mini-moons" throughout our marriage to keep it strong. I so agree. When we go on these excursions we become more connected and can be a better, stronger parenting team. Lately, we can't really leave together because of issues we seem to be having with our children (mostly the teenagers and their ability to annihilate everying they possible in our absence). That said, here's another picture of a vacation that was soooo enjoyable:
We went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and had a wonderful week. We ended up buying into another timeshare that we have since used as a family a couple of years ago. I love this place. Actually, this picture is when we went out on the sand in these dune buggies. They were excellent fun!

I love the ocean. I love the sand. I love the beach. I LOVE (adore) the sun. Yes, these things combined with the love of my life are the perfect combination for heaven on earth for me (well, you could throw in my horses and that'd just be the icing on the cake, lol.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Day

Day #25: a photo of a night you loved

When Skip turned 50 he retired (or so he thought) from his position at Walters & Wolf Glass Company. I threw a big surprise party for him (I'll never know how I pulled that one off considering how inquisitive my husband is) and the kids gave him and I a cruise to the Carribean. It was our first experience on a cruise. Of course, we took advantage of all the photo opps that were available.
This picture was obviously taken on the evening we were supposed to wear formal wear to dinner. Neither of us is very good at the whole dressing up gig so when there is a time we dress up, I so need a picture of that. To say that this was a night I loved is an understatement. Of course, ALL the nights on the cruise were nights I loved. We were many miles away from all of our worries and it was rather difficult to get in touch with us. This was definitely one of my happiest times.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What beautiful hair you have, my dear!

Day #24: a photo of you that your hair looks nice in

What the heck? You mean like there's actually a time when my hair DOESN'T look nice? What is the implication here? Lol. Well, in all reality, I'm not happy with most photos taken of me and it really doesn't have much to do with my hair. It would be a bit south of there but then that's another story. So, for today, here's the picture I have chosen:
This is Courtney's adoption day. We adopted Courtney officially in the spring of 2005. She came into our life and family in August of 2004. Adjusting to a new member of our family was not an easy task. Robbie, who was the baby FOREVER, had the most difficult time (still does, I think). Not long after we took Courtney into our home, we were allowed to meet and then eventually adopt her twin brother, Jacob.

For the most part, this has been a positive thing for our family. Our children have had the opportunity to learn how to share with someone who didn't have anything. They have had to learn to adapt to new personalities on a day to day basis. Regrets? Yeah, of course there are. There are regrets in a lot of things we do. Am I grateful to have the twins in our family? Yes, I am. On days when I feel like the whole family is against me, it is always Jacob and sometimes Courtney that is there to give me a hug and make me feel like I'm the bestest mom ever. How can you top that?

And, if all else fails . . . my hair looked pretty dang good on this adoption day!! Right?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Babykins

Day #23: a photo of your friend as a baby

Like who has that? I guess if you are young (like I used to be) and have been friends with your friend since you were little (which I haven't) then you would have something like this just lying around on your hard drive (which I don't). So, I've decided to exercise my creative license and post this picture:
Yes, this is a picture of my baby (Robbie) when he was young (like 8) on board his trusty steed, Shorty (whom we gave the show name "Goliath"). Why do I post this picture? Because this picture makes me happy/sad. Happy because I remember what a wonderful young man this boy of mine used to be (and will be again someday, I hope). Happy because he was such a talented rider and had such great potential as such. Sad because things change and so do people. My sweet young boy has turned into a teenager and . . . well . . . what more can I say? Once he discovered gasoline and perfume it was all over!
However, because I'm his momma (and a proud one at that) I can post this picture on my blog and brag. Yes, this is my boy and I love him. Just the way he is and just the way he isn't.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Such a Beautiful Town

Day #22: a photo of your town

I just never managed to get myself downtown to snap a shot. Of course, I like the photo that Brandilyn posted on her challenge of our windy road. That was awesome. So, I won't copy her but I will post the following:
Yes, this is our drill team during the Livermore Rodeo Parade. I think our town looks simply wonderful with a drill team marching down the middle of it. I'm proud of our drill team and I was especially proud of us on this day back in June of this year.

Livermore was a much smaller community when we moved here 14 years ago. There were a lot less people and a lot less stop lights. One of the main reasons I was happy to leave Pleasanton was because it was getting so crowded and it took stinkin FOREVER to get from one side of town to the other. It appears that Livermore has become the same but this town will forever hold a special place in my heart.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Morning After

So you remember the picture I posted of Brian during his whole wisdom teeth extraction ordeal? Yeah, the one where he's the happiest dude on the face of the earth? Well, here we have the same lad several hours later.
All iced up and no place to go!! Lol. Actually, this is after some intense medication and me nagging him to ice that bad boy up or he's gonna swell up like a chipmunk like Brandilyn did. So this is what I came up with to strong arm him into compliance.

Yes, I'm enjoying the down time with this boy of mine. He's home. He's mellow. He's occupied with something other than chipping away at my self esteem. Life is good.

Good Times

Day #21: a photo of you standing up

I was going to post a picture of me standing in Thailand by a colorful wall with my hat that I had just purchased on. I LOVE that picture of me. However, I've already posted it on my Thailand trip post and it would be redundant to re-post the same picture (even though I'm sure that I've posted several pictures multiple times - B-O-R-I-N-G!!). So, I decided to post this never-before-seen-picture of me standing up instead: This picture was taken back in 2006. Skip and I were on a cruise in the Carribean (a trip from our, ahem, kids for Skip's 50th birthday present - lucky guy!). If I could do this cruise over again, I would have postponed the trip until I felt better. It was my first experience with a cruise and my/our first experience with the Carribean.

I had broken my finger and gotten a bone infection as a result just about a month before. A week before the cruise I was in the hospital for a week and had had surgery on said finger. It was this big drawn out dramatic deal. Anyway, I went on this cruise and was not allowed to get that finger wet. Somehow, I think the meds I was on limited me to the sun as well but I'm not really clear on that one (I'm not clear on a lot of things, lol).

Okay, so you can tell by the burn on my chest that I had NOT had any sun for quite some time (as I mentioned before, I'm a HUGE sun worshipper so burning is not something I do often). In addition, I'm wearing clothing that I distinctly remember as being extremely uncomfortable. I'm sure that I thought I looked good or something. Whatever.

Bottom line . . . things change. Nowadays -

I don't wear clothing that I'm not comfortable in any more. Not even to go out for a special occasion and I would NEVER waste good time and money on a trip that wasn't going to be the time of my life. Life and money are short Why waste any of it?

What I do like about this picture is that I was blissfully happy and didn't even know it. Things were so great for us then and we (okay, I, because I know that Skip NEVER takes things for granted) just really didn't appreciate what we had. The kids were all pretty well behaved and our financial situation was comfortable. Well, like I said . . . things change and change is good because it forces us to appreciate the good times even more.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gassed Up

Okay, I couldn't resist this post.
Today was the big day for Brian. He was scheduled to have his bottom wisdom teeth out. The doc warned that this was going to be a big deal because of the position of the roots of the teeth, yadda yadda yadda. Anyway, Brian was pretty stressed out about the whole ordeal.

This morning I went in and woke the little tike up (he's 20). He was very cute the way he was muttering in his sleepy voice that he wanted me to reschedule the event and have it scheduled at the surgical center so that he could be knocked out. I, of course, said "not on your life, Buddy. We got a BIG day planned and you're the main event!" (Well, actually I might have used a little different verbage but you get the idea).

Brian was pretty ticked off about my lack of compliance in his seemingly reasonable request. As soon as I walked out of his bedroom to finish getting myself ready, I could hear him loudly exclaiming his displeasure with my "attitude" (ahem, you get the picture if you know me and my family dynamic at all). I politely ignored him and calmly walked out to the car. He followed a bit later slamming doors and informing me that I was not a nice mom (once again, I've changed the verbage up a bit to sound a bit more poetic, lol).

We got to the dental office and he had calmed down somewhat (I think the McDonald's breakfast might have softened him up a bit). I smiled, patted him on the back and told him I'd see him in just a bit. This is what took place next:
Yeah, the Brian that I picked up 3-1/2 hours later was still laughing and thinking the whole ordeal was great fun! I guess he was laughing at everything the dentist and his assistant were saying and, at one point, he was asked to quit laughing so that the dentist could cut through the tooth! (Are you freakin kidding me?).

Funny how a little gas can change your whole perspective on life!

Stuff I Dig

Day #20: a photo of something you enjoy doing

That's not hard. Right? Well, I guess it is if you are diverse in your enjoyable indulgences like I am. I couldn't just post one picture (big surprise) so I'm putting three different things here that I enjoy. In no particular order . . .
This is me riding Ellie in drill. I love riding. I love riding Ellie (I love riding Black Horse more, though) and I love drill. Horses is definitely right on top of my list of obsessive passions.
This is in Belize. Nan and I are doing a side stretch pose together. We are feeling pretty accomplished right about now because we rocked this pose! The only thing better would be if we were able to do it with the sun setting over the ocean right between us. Oh well, we ran right out and ate some delicious grub right after this practice so it was all great.
Yup, those are my hands. Nope that's not my foot. That's me zoning someone's foot. I LOVE working on feet and I LOVE being able to feel different imbalances (and balances) in the body through the signals on the feet and I really get a lot of satisfaction out of being able to help people. I haven't practiced foot zoning in like a month or so and DANG I miss it.

However, this Saturday I hopefully will get that opportunity again at Danielle's house. She's hosting a holiday boutique and I'm going to display my herbs, oils and talk to anyone who will listen about the magic of the feet. Anyone interested in coming? Well, contact me for the address, time and I'll give you all the 411.

So there it is. The things that make this girl giddy with excitement. The things that definitely remind me that life is wonderful and worth living.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just a Swingin!

Day #19: a photo of you on a school trip

Okay, really? I'm definitely feeling pretty old right about now. Like, I think a woman my age probably shouldn't have embarked upon a 30-day photo challenge that was obviously created for high school or college age peeps at best. Oh well, I'm this far into it so I'll make-do the best I can. Today's photo . . .
Yeah, that's me AGAIN in Thailand. Probably getting pretty weary of seeing my happy mug from this trip. However, it was a pretty awesome trip (Belize was better, though) and I don't tire of looking at the pics. And, in the end, I'm the one that will be looking at these blog entries for years to come (yes, I'm one of those that actually has my blog printed and bound at the end of the year - Merry Christmas to me).

Anyway, I was swinging on the swing at the resort we were staying and I asked my girlfriend to snap this shot of me so that I could show Brandilyn that I DO wear the dress she gave me (for my Belize trip). I like this dress because the colors make me happy. I like pictures of this trip because they make me happy. And me being happy is what it's all about, right?

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Student is Ready

Day #18: a photo of one of your classes

Since I'm not a typical "student" and don't go to college or attend high school, I have unique classrooms. My home is my classroom. My church is my classroom. Actually, the world is my classroom. I learn so much each and every day with the different experiences that I enjoy (or not). One of my favorite sayings is: When the student is ready, the teacher will come. I think that that is applicable in ALL aspects of our lives. However, these are two classrooms that bring me exceedingly much joy in my life:
This is a pretty poor photo of the schooling ring that I ride my beautiful, majestic, gorgeous Black Horse in. He's such a great horse for me and he goes over each and every one of these jumps. That person right there in the middle with the maroon jacket on is my trainer, Irene. I'm sure she's barking at someone about what they messed up right here in this picture. However, we love her to pieces and I wouldn't trade the experience I have had riding with her for the last 12 years for anything.
This picture is one of the rooms at my yoga studio, Cosmic Dog Yoga. I try to get to the studio at least four or five times per week. Sometimes, like this week, I'm not that successful because of life or broken bones or whatever. However, yoga has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. In this picture is one of my instructors, Colleen. She's such an awesome and motivating teacher. I really enjoy her classes (they absolutely kick my butt sometimes). But then on days like today, she is so awesome at giving me modifications for my challenged foot.

So there it is! Two of my favorite classrooms EVER! Yoga and my horses are two of the ways that I strive to take care of ME!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Sobering Experience

Day #17: a drunk photo of you

Lol. You think? I think that this 30 day challenge was obviously created by someone who likes to party and run their life a little different than I do. However, I do have something to share in this department . . .

No, this is not a picture of me drunk. No this is not even a picture of me. This right here is a picture of my beautiful daughter, Brandilyn. What does this have to do with me being drunk? Well, actually, there is a story here.

The last time I got slammin drunk, back in 1988, I woke up the next morning with a whoppin hangover. That hangover just kept with me for days. Finally, I decided that something bad was wrong with me - like I was dying or something. A friend gently suggested that I take a PG test. I thought she was daft but did it to humor her. Holy crap! It was positive!!!

Skip and I were pretty scared because I had tied one on not knowing that Brandilyn was on board. However, eight months later when my perfect (except for her different sized thumbs) baby girl was born, we were exceedingly relieved. Of course, there was the screaming and demands of a high need baby and Skip consistently accused me of damaging our child with my carelessness. Several years later we would realize that it was just my darling daughter's determined personality that was shining through.

I'm glad to say that that was the last time I got really drunk. I never touched the stuff while I was pregnant and then I did have some champagne on December 9, 1989 when one of my best friends got married. The next day, December 10, 1989, I went to my first sacrament meeting at our church by invitation from a woman I had met and haven't looked back since. I haven't touched the stuff and, frankly, don't miss it at all.

I don't miss the hangovers. I don't miss not remembering what happened the night before. I don't miss having to apologize for my behavior. I don't miss any of it. So if I can be grateful for my children for one thing, it would be that they motivated me to clean up my life.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Not so scary

Day #16: a photo of you at the last party you went to

Sad but true. I'm not a partying kind of girl. The last party we went to was in 2008. It was a Halloween party at Craig and Julie's in Arizona and this is what I looked like . . .
We actually did have a super fun night. Skip and I were both hippies. I know it's not very original but it was easy and it's what we both came up with on the spur of the moment.

Of course, Curt and Diane were dressed to the nines and so was everyone else. I guess people just like to go all out on Halloween. I really have never cared much for the tradition myself.

In other news . . .

I know, I haven't talked about my life for a couple of weeks because I was doing the whole photo challenge thingy. However, life continues to go on and on and on. I broke my foot riding my sister's horse a couple of weeks ago. I'm still in my walking cast and it still hurts. Dang!

I have a trip planned to go see my momma and my sister up in Washington in about a week and a half. Stoked!

Still struggling with a teenager that hates my frickin guts. I'm just tired of being called the foulest names possible. I'm tired of him just being plain ol' nasty. It's getting old and I just have no desire to do anything nice in return for him.

It's been great having Brian home, for the most part. He's fixing to leave for school again in January and I'm actually looking forward to the quiet. Brian can be a bit . . .uh. . .loud.
Brandilyn and Dave are coming home for Christmas. So excited for that.
I'm still hating on Christmas and have NO desire to buy presents this year. I know I need to think about it, somewhat, but I just don't give a rip. Something needs to move me. I don't even want to go get that Christmas tree out of the storage. I usually do Christmas BIG but this year it's just not there.
So there's my life. Dull and boring but it's me nonetheless.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Way We Were

Day #15: a photo of you and someone you love

I would be remiss if I didn't post a picture of Skip. I did consider, however, of posting a picture of Black Horse or Pierre but then I came to my senses. So here's today's photo:
This is our wedding day in 1987. Check out that corduroy jacket and how thin I am! Oh, and our hair, wow!
Skip and I had planned on the day that we wanted to get married but we shared the news with no one. We left work on Friday and drove up to Tahoe. We called his parents as we were leaving town (he couldn't keep the news to himself any longer). When we arrived at our hotel room that night, there was a lovely basket of fruit and cool stuff that his parents had sent. It was super nice. Our room had a wonderful fire place in it and it was really cozy.

The next day, Saturday, we went to Love's Wedding Chapel and got married by Reverend Love. The only two other people in attendance that day was the reverend and his wife (the photographer). It was funny because she snapped pictures during the whole ceremony. When everything was said and done, she opened up the camera and handed us the roll of film. Done! It was simple and intimate . . . just the way we wanted it.

As we were driving home on Sunday, we called my parents to let them know what we had done. Of course, they were happy for us. We had been dating for about two years so they knew it was coming. Going to work on Monday with a new last name was a great experience. Of course, shortly thereafter, I was no longer allowed to be Skip's secretary. Hmmm. Oh well, the trade off has been great.

Our journey together has not always been easy. We've had our share of rough times. However, there is no other on this earth that I would rather share the good times and the rough times with. I'm grateful for the decision we made on that chilly day in April of 1987 and I look forward to some really terrific times ahead. I love you, babe.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Absolute Fave Family Member!

Day #14: a photo of one of your favorite family members

Are you fricking serious? Who in their right mind has a FAVORITE family member and then actually picks one to blog about? Well, I will be compliant, nonetheless, because I want this 30 day photo challenge to be done right. I thought and thought and thought and finally after a lot of thought I came up with my absolute favorite family member in the whole wide world:
NOT!!! Sorry, I'm just naughty like that. Nope, I love all of my family and here they are right here. The only member of MY family not here is my sister, Tammie. Skip has two of his brothers missing with their families but pretty much all of my family is in this picture.

This picture was obviously Dave and Brandilyn's wedding day in August of 2008. They got married in the Oakland, California temple and it was an absolute glorious day. The weather was perfect (the bride even got sunburned while we were out shooting pictures) and it turned out to be a super memorable day for the newlyweds.

I love my family. I love that even my brother, Barry (bottom right corner) came to the wedding. I don't see him often and that meant a lot. This was a happy day for all of us. I truly do have a lot of people that I am grateful are in my life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Besties!

Day #13: a photo of your best friend(s)

This is actually a difficult one for me. I have lots of friends! I remember, though, growing up that we were having a conversation with my mom about her friends and she said, "I have a lot of friends, or acquaintances, but very few people in this world I can call my true friends." I've often touched on that thought throughout the years and I must say that I agree. However, I'm considering myself pretty blessed to have people in my life that are truly great friends. Here's a few of the people I call my besties:
This is my sister, Gail (Liz as her friends call her). She lives up in Washington state where I grew up. This picture shows her with her dog, Everest. She is very close to my mom (which I am eternally grateful for because it gives me a lot of comfort to know that momma is being well taken care of and looked after) both geographically and every other way. Gail's passion is the earth. More specifically, plants. She is an awesome gardener (as is my mom) and the two of them own their own CSA (community supported agriculture) and are becoming pretty successful at her little business. I glean a lot of knowledge from her whenever I visit. Even if we weren't sisters, we would still be best friends. This is my other sister, Tammie (who's with her beloved dog, Chester). She lives here in California about an hour from me. She is a holistic chef. Tammie has always been pretty passionate her whole adult life about fitness and nutrition. Now, she is a personal chef and trainer to quite a few people. I'm so proud of her. She has clients come to her home. She weighs them, chats with them about what they did right or wrong the previous week, gives them suggestions to be more successful in the future and sends them on their way with a menu and FOOD that she has prepared so they can stay on track. She is really building up quite a large clientele. I try to visit with her at least every two weeks. We talk about how it would be great if I lived closer so that I could do her books and administrative work.

My sisters are sooo different but I love them both. Gail, however, has a personality that is more like mine (and our Dad) and we are able to connect and bond in that way. Tammie is just a ball of energy and it's so stimulating being around her - even for just a short period of time. I really feed off of her energy.

These are two of my other besties that will be my besties for ever and ever:
This one is Terri Watterson (with her oldest daughter, Shauna Leigh). I love her so much. Our children were best of friends growing up and we met through our girls. Our families became inseparable until the Wattersons had to move away. There wasn't anything I couldn't tell Terri. She never judged me or made me feel like I didn't measure up because of things I had done. Unfortunately (for me) Terri has returned to live with Heavenly Father. He needed her to come home and I must say that I miss her terribly. I miss that we could talk for hours on the phone together while we did mundane chores about our homes. I miss our family dinners together. I miss bouncing my silly ideas off on my friend. However, I take a lot of comfort in knowing that I will see my friend again soon.
And this is Nancy Allen (who is with MY dog, Pierre). Nan and I actually met because WE became friends. Our children were not involved. That makes this friendship that much sweeter. Nan and I like to do a whole lot of stuff together. Nan is one of those friends that will call just to see how I'm doing. That means a lot. We bike together, we garden together, we ride horses together, we go to the temple together we do a LOT together. One time, though, we were in the mall shopping for something and a woman said, "Gee it's so nice to see such good friends out shopping together." Nan replied, "Well, we aren't usually shopping friends. This isn't what we do together." We both started hysterically laughing because that was just such a random thing for her to say! Anyway, I love Nan and am so grateful for her. She is ALWAYS there for me and ALWAYS has great input to help me through whatever crisis I'm experiencing.

So there you have it. These are four of my bestest besties EVER! I love you girls and will cherish the relationship we have together forever! Of course, the only one of you that will EVER read this is Gail. Lol.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happier Times

Day #12: a picture of you

It's funny, because today has been a challenging day at best. The last thing I want to do is post a picture of myself. I know that the only peeps that really read this are my daughters, my sister and my mom. I love all of you and appreciate you more than you'll ever know. What I'm saying is that this blog is more of a personal journal, I guess, so posting pictures of myself seems a bit narcissistic. However, to keep in harmony with the task at hand (the 30 day photo challenge) I'll comply.

I put this picture of me up here because I look happy. It's been a long time since I remember feeling as happy as I look in this picture. Of course, this was BEFORE everything in my life went to heck. I like my hair color, the color of my face (I'm a total sun worshipper) and this picture doesn't give the appearance of me being grossly overweight (something that ALL pictures of late seem to do).

This photo was shot at the Weltz Family Reunion in San Jose in 2009. I have no idea who shot the picture but I was obviously happy. Probably because I was chilling with my sister-in-law, Julie. I LOVE her and we have so much fun together. She truly makes me laugh.

That (laughing) would have been a difficult task on this day, too. I really do NOT enjoy family reunions. I don't know the majority of the people there and I'm not a big fan of pot luck style meals. I usually bring something that Skip expects me to bring (some meat and fat thing) and then something that I know is Jody friendly.

Anyway, it makes me smile to know that I possess the ability to be this happy. It gives me hope that brighter days are still ahead for me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Now Playing . . .

Day #11: a photo of your favorite film(s)

I'm a little quirky, I admit, and so therefore the movies that I can look back on and say that they are probably my top two faves are . . . drum roll, please . . .Yup, Dances with Wolves is one of the two! I just LOVE Kevin Costner in this movie. I love the story. I love the scenery. I love that the Indians in this movie were lovers of horses. I love the message that this movie gives. Yes, this movie is wonderful and I don't tire of watching it. When Michelle came over to babysit me with my broken foot drama, she asked if I wanted to watch Dances with Wolves. I said, "YES!!!" I thought she was bringing it over and she thought that since it was my fave I would have a copy of it handy. Unfortunately, like most of my stuff, it's packed. Sadness.

But wait . . . that's not all. There is one more movie that I just can't get enough of. Yes, I'm sure that this movie choice will definitely tarnish my reputation as a classy babe (LOL!!!), but I just LOVE this movie!

Yes, Blazing Saddles is crude and rude and downright socially unacceptable. I guess that's why I LOVE it so much. The humor matches my own, somewhat. Actually, I was living in San Antonio, Texas for a spell when I was 18. Young, cute and VERY single. Right there in town is the Lackland AFB and guess what movie was playing there on the base. Yay! So, when these cute desperate young airmen wanted to take a young lady (if you could have called me that then) out on a date, of course the movie on the base was the absolute cheapest game in town. I think I went like 12-15 times. NO JOKE!!


To this day I quote often from this movie. My friend, Nancy, told me that she was tempted to watch the movie so that she could get an idea of where I came up with some of my funky sayings. Heehee.

Born to Ride!

Day #10: a photo of you as a baby

Since a lot of my stuff is packed, I don't have a picture of me as a baby readily available to post here. However, if I could pick a picture that best defines me as a baby, I think this would definitely be in the top 10.
My wonderful momma instilled in me at a VERY early age a love and passion for horses. She rode all through her youth in England, where she grew up. I, in turn, was able to pass that passion on down to my daughter, Brandilyn.

When I was like four years old, my mom bought me my very first horse. A pony named Patches. I vaguely remember riding on my pony behind my mom on her horse, Raffie. My mom would have a rope that went from my pony to her capable hands (just in case that pony of mine decided that him and I were going elsewhere, I suppose). We would go on rides along trails that snaked along side the country road that we lived on. This is actually one of my very few memories of my childhood. I'm not blessed with a great memory of events (as my husband will attest to).

My mom has told me over the years that I was a really pretty baby and little girl (things change). Maybe that was because I was her oldest child. I know that I was really really short until about middle school and then I shot up like crazy. At one point my parents thought I was going to be a midget because at like 18 months I could walk under the coffee table without having to duck my head.

At any rate, this picture of a baby miniature pony alongside this child is simply priceless, in my opinion. I hope that this baby has the opportunity to explore the magic of viewing life between the ears of his horse like I did. There's just not words to describe it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Love at Home

Day #9: a photo of your family

Every year it is our family tradition to take a family photo for our Christmas cards. This is always a point of contention for our entire family. I've been doing this for about 15 years, you'd think that I would have learned by now. This right here is one of the pictures that we took last year.
Cory, Sarah and Ava weren't able to join us this last year. I guess that's what happens when time marches on and your children grow up and start families of their own.

This picture isn't the one we used. Dave isn't showing us his best side in this picture and this is the year that Robbie has decided that he wants to exercise his rights as a teenager and choose to be miserable spending time with us. Oohrah. However, this was one of the FIRST times in our family history that there was no bickering or arguing over the annual photo shoot. Go us!

For our picture this year I think I will either a) forego the whole dang tradition as there just isn't much peace, love or joy in our home or b) just shoot a picture of those that are present on the particular day that I decide I want to take out my camera. Haven't decided yet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Toe Tapping Greatness

Day #8: a photo of your favorite band/musician

Anyone that knows me knows EXACTLY who will be on this post. Not just ONE but TWO!!
That's right. Michael Jackson has been one of my absolute favorite musicians for almost my entire life. He was born just two weeks before me. I grew up with his music and, although I don't agree with some of the ways he conducted his personal life, I think this man was one of the most gifted and talented artists EVER! I never tire of watching his music videos. I own 'This Is It', the dvd of the rehearsing of his final tour that sadly never took place. I'm so excited that Skip surprised me with tickets to see circ de soleil all performed to Michael Jackson's music in January. My husband so knows me so well.

The other performer that I can't seem to get enough of is Britney Spears. I LOVE her music! Does that make me weird? Probably. She's also an awesome performer. Yes, her personal life has been a little "off" but aren't they all? Pretty much any performer I know has a messed up private life. However, that doesn't mean that I can't enjoy the fruits of their labor. Anyway, I was devasted (well, almost) when Skip wouldn't let Brandilyn and I go to Salt Lake to watch Britney perform earlier this year while she was on tour there. It would have really made my LIFE!

Danielle took me to see Cher on her final farwell tour years ago and I have to say that that concert was the BEST concert I have ever been to. I was thinking that Britney would have been a pretty close runner up. Alas, it was not to be for me. The only thing better? Yeah, Michael Jackson in concert. I would have flown to London just to see it. I really would have!!!

Then there's one more performer that I really enjoy. Lady Gaga. However, when she came walking out in an outfit laden with raw meat from a poor animal that gave it's life to make some kind of lame "statement", she kind of lost me a lot. It was DISGUSTING!!
But Britney and Michael? Yeah, I can rock to those two anytime and anywhere!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mi Amor!

Day #7: A photo of someone you love

Of course I'm going to post a picture of my hunky man. Right? Yup. Here's one of my favorite pictures of Skip:
I shot this picture at a horse show up by the Oakland temple. Of course, there's the ever present Coke bottle that seems to be there when ever there's a picture of Skip, lol.

I love this guy. When the kids were really in the thick of showing their horses, Skip was right there hauling horses, setting up our show barn and even mucking stalls. He was such a great dad and a great support to our trainer and us.

Fast forward a gazillion years . . .now it's MY turn to be the one showing and traveling with my horse. Skip has bee a wonderful support to our whole drill team. He comes to all of my performances (except the Gay Rodeo, hmm) and makes me feel like I'm a star! I love the attention from him and I love the attention our team gives to him. Win win situation, right?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Is ME!

Day #6: A photo that makes you laugh
I honestly couldn't just put one photo up here. There are a lot. After scrolling through lots of pictures that I have on my computer, here are a few that I came up with that make me laugh:

This one of Brian was taken while we were in Australia. I was walking behind Brian and he, obviously, had NO idea that I had my camera out. He was sort of mooning me and the whole family got a total laugh out of the fact that I was clicking away.
This picture I took up in Idaho after I went with the girls to help everyone get settled into their new apartments and ready for college life. This is Jillian, Brandilyn and Michelle. I was so excited that I was able to snap the shot at just the right moment.
I couldn't resist including this picture. Robbie got a haircut (that in and of itself is a pretty hilarious thought) and made this funny face when I wanted a picture of his new haircut. It makes me happy to see and remember him in a happier time.How could I not include this picture of Jacob? I walked into his room and just about lost it. I was like, "You clean up this pig pen AND NOW!" Usually we laugh about these things in like 5-10 years. Actually this was just a couple of months ago. I'm already laughing. His room is pretty much spotless every morning before he leaves for school. Oh, I do have to nudge him a little, but he makes his bed and has his room completely picked up - no clutter - to the point of if someone were to come look at our home (it's still on the market), Jacob's room would be the room I'm most proud of.
Okay, I know Courtney isn't thinking this is funny but I find it completely hilarious! We went to Disneyland for a week during spring break. On our first day that we were going out, Courtney came out of the room dressed like this. I said, "Are you really going out to spend the day with me in that outfit?" She could find nothing wrong with what she was wearing. Today, (and someday she will agree) I find this whole concept hilarious! I should have let her wear what she wanted and allow natural consequences to come into play. Of course, probably nobody would have noticed. If they did, they would have likely kept their comments to themselves.

Oh how we live and learn! I really strive (and often it's a HUGE stretch) to have a 10 year perspective on life. Today's WTF's turn in tomorrow's OMG's while we are holding our stomachs, laughing our brains out with tears streaming down our faces.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

South of the Border!

Day #5: A Photo of You

Skip shot this picture of me while we were in Mexico in 2007.

Of course, this is when we "thought" times were good for us. We had NO idea what the flip was coming in our very near future. I suspect that's why I look so relaxed and happy.

We were out riding in this dune buggy. I didn't get to drive because Skip ALWAYS has to drive when we are together (something about his superior ability to maneuver a vehicle because he has more testosterone than me, I suppose, lol). I would have liked to but, well, that's another blog, right?

Anyway, I have this issue. . . I LOVE to take pictures of Skip, the kids, the family etc. Skip likes to take pictures of the kids and scenery and things. NEVER of his wife. I had to ask for this picture because I think I was thinking about blogging and had no pictures to put up as my profile picture. I like this picture. I appear to be much smaller than I really am and I just look happy, relaxed. No make-up, no fancy hair-do and, obviously, no fancy clothes. Just me.

Another thing . . . I really like this swimsuit that I was wearing. Somewhere in my life in the last couple of years it disappeared. How do you think THAT could have happened? Hmmm.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Queen of Sheba!

Day #4: A Photo of the Last Place You Went on Holiday

Duh, for me that's a no brainer since I just returned from Thailand just a couple of weeks ago. I know I blogged to death about my trip. I must admit it was pretty awesome in spite of the few things that went awry.

So this is yet another picture of Karyn and I on our elephant, Anna.
I still have to say it . . . I'm a bit jealous that Karyn got to ride up front for quite a spell and I didn't. I'm not going to go out stomping my feet (cuz my foot's broken at the moment . . . again) but it would have been pretty awesome. Nonetheless, the whole experience on the elephants in the rain was pretty stellar.

Because it was raining so much while we were there, several of our excursions were being cancelled. Someone asked our guide if the elephant ride was going to be cancelled. She said, "Are you kidding me? Elephants LOVE the water!!" Boy, do they EVER! It absolutely poured rain for most of our adventure and those big beauties just didn't seem to be bothered a bit.

Anyway, this blog is supposed to be about Thailand but I think I covered all of that a few blogs back so I'll just exit with this note: THE ELEPHANT RIDE ROCKED MY WORLD!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Day #3: A Photo That Makes You Happy

This is a picture of my Dad at his place up in Magalia, Ca.
My mom always told me that I was Daddy's Little Girl. She said that when I was little I melted his heart when I went running up to him at the airport when I was like 2 years old when my mom and I were returning from our trip to England. I was yelling, "Daddy! Daddy!"

I must admit, I LOVE my dad! Him and I are so much alike. Can't say if that's a good thing or not, lol. My husband would probably lean towards the latter (not). He thinks I'm too laid back and that I allow people to walk all over me. He's right but it's who I am.

I love looking at this picture because it brings back lots of happy memories. My dad is a wonderful, kind, giving and loving man that would NEVER intentionally hurt anyone. Something he said to me that I have never forgotten: Jody, if there's a woman taking tickets at the picture show she sees a lot of people just walk by and hand her tickets every night. Some smile but mostly everybody just hands her the tickets. They don't notice her and she doesn't really notice them. Then there's the ONE person that stops and says, "My you look pretty tonight! I really like your blouse." She will remember that person. They will have made an impression on her and have put a smile on her face. I like to be that person.

Daddy, so do I.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sally Sunshine!

Today is Day #2: A photo of yourself a year ago in the 30 day photo challenge.
I like this picture because it appears that I am enjoying the sun on my face which I do immensely. I love to lay in the sun and when I'm out and about and I feel the warm rays of the sun I always turn my face to this wonderful gift that Heavenly Father has given us and allow myself a moment to bask in it.

This photo was taken by Brandilyn while Brandilyn and Dave were visiting us here last summer. We took the boat out on the delta for the afternoon. While I don't really enjoy boating sports much anymore (I used to LOVE to water ski but that is so out dated with wake boards and such now) I did enjoy the afternoon with my family. This was one of the last times that my family was having a good time together before things started to sour. I cherish this day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 1: My Facebook Profile Photo

Brandilyn is doing this 30-day photo challenge and it just looks like a lot of fun. Since I dont' have my followers I didn't think anybody would mind if I did the same. It's a great way to get some pictures into my blog since I print it out at the end of the year and use it as my journal.
Today, being Day 1 was to post my Facebook Profile Photo. Here is my current one (always subject to change depending on my mood). This is also a happy picture. I'm in Thailand and this is the day that five of us decided that we needed to get out and see the island that we were on. We hired a taxi to take us around for the afternoon (like $3 each). He took us to this waterfall and we hiked in. We were gone for like 2-1/2 hours and when we came back he was still there! Unbelieveable!
I also like this picture because it shows my red braids. It was fun to be kind of daring and have these put in my hair. I knew they would never fly in my life at home but here it felt right. I love being spontaneous and stepping outside of the box (uh, yeah, like I really EVER stay in the box?).


Ouch! and I Really Mean OUCH!!

Yesterday I went on a trail ride with one of my besties. I rode Cowboy (my sister's horse) and she rode my beloved Black Horse. We always joke around and say that if Cowboy was a person, he'd definitely be a "stoner." He has that kind of look and personality. Kind of funny.

Anyway, we (I) decided that we should go out on the Manzanita trail. It's a pretty steep decline and then (obviously) an intense incline after you pass through this gorgeous area down in the bottom of the canyon. It's actually one of my favorite rides (although Brandilyn and Tammie will tell you different after another experience we had several years ago).

While we were coming up the incline Cowboy was working pretty hard. He slipped on a large smooth rock and started going down. It's one of those moments where everything seems to be going in slow mo. Obviously, it wasn't going slow enough because I wasn't able to pull my right foot out from under him quick enough. That 2000 pound animal just came right down on my foot and I have to tell you it hurt like a booger!

After Cowboy got up, Miranda quickly dismounted from her horse and was like, "Jody are you okay? What do you want me to do?" I was still trying to adjust to the fact that there was massive pain shooting out from that foot of mine. All I could whisper at that point was, "Get my horse. I can't walk out of here!" She complied.

Like my momma always told me, "You gotta get right back up there on that horse and ride!" So I did. By the time I got home (after some galloping and (ouch) trotting) my boot was pretty tight and I couldn't get it off fast enough. My foot was swelling up and I decided that the ER would be a pretty responsbile place to head to. They x-rayed my foot and it's NOT BROKEN! So so happy.

However, today I'm not walking very well. It's insanely painful so Michelle is coming up to babysit me which I'm pretty excited about. It's good to be forced to stay down for a day. I'm always on the go and I'm looking forward to today (do you think the kids can stay in bed all day and leave me to this peaceful quiet I'm enjoying right now?).

So . . . a little side note. I don't drink milk - haven't in over 34 years. I'm not a big fan of dairy products - except an occasional bit of cheese here and there. I'm 52 years old and obviously have NO osteoporosis or my foot would have crushed like an old dead twig. Right? Well, I just wanted to throw that out there to all the dairy nazis. "So put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!" (another quote from my mommy).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy

I really wanted to get to bed early tonight. However, I couldn't resist the temptation to just chuck one more post on this here blog of mine.

Today was a good day. I'm so grateful because yesterday was a good, good day too. It was a great day! We had a wonderful day at church and then we had a super spiritual experience later in the afternoon. However, the day ended really awful. Some stuff went down that really killed the high our family had for the day.

But back to today! Yeah, great day. I'm giving a talk in church on Sunday and I actually finished writing it today. Oh, I'm sure I'll take a bit out here and there and probably sneak a bit in somewhere else later but overall, I'm pretty happy with it. I got to talk to BOTH of my sisters - and my daughter. Yee!!

I had a very productive meeting with the principal at Courtney's school today and was very happy to see that immediate action was taken to eradicate (my new word today, evidentally, because I used it in my talk as well, lol) the problem. Courtney is one happy camper this evening and it was such a refreshing sight to see her have some free time to flop on Jacob's bed and watch some cartoon video with him. She even thanked me tonight when I tucked her in for helping her out (like, why didn't you just SAY so in the first place, dear?).

So now it's time to take my weary body to my nocturnal couch and slip into the arms of Morpheus.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Doctor Sis

Today I went over to visit my sister WAY on the other side of the bay. She lives like 1-1/2 hours from me now which seems like a LONG way away. However, when you consider that my mommy and my other sister live 12 hours away, there really isn't a good excuse why Tammie (the 1-1/2 hour sister) and I don't get together more often.

So today I went up there to see what's what. Also, she has offered to help me out with my nutritional needs since I've been to my doctor this week and got the "news" that some things need to change because my body just ain't the 20 year old body that I obviously have thought it always would be. I'm not sick or dying or anythng like that. No, I just have some stuff going on that needs to be addressed.

Enter, Tammie. Tam is now a holistic chef and only uses fresh organic ingredients in her foods. She is a personal chef for a lot of different clients and is busting her buns making her business successful. I'm actually pretty impressed with all of this production of her's. Her clients have a variety of health issues. Some are overweight, some are under doctor's care (ahem, like your's truly here) and some are just plain lazy or hate to cook. Whatever the reason, they get really awesome meals and meal plans from my sister.

I'm hoping that I can help her out with some bookeeping and secretarial (administrative) kind of duties to pay for the help she is offering me. I got to sample some of the soups and various other things that she is making and, I gotta tell you, MAN they are mmm-mmm GOOD! I'm pretty excited to be on a plan that calls for this kind of cuisine!

Suddenly the news from the doc doesn't seem like such doom and gloom. Bring it on! Now, if we could only incorporate the skills of my mommy and my other sister, Gail (the 12 hour sister), into all of this. They run a CSA up there in Washington state. I'm really feeling outnumbered by all of this family talent!!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Visitors

I have always been a Visiting Teaching scrooge. I mean, I do my visiting teaching really well. I'm pretty much up there in the perfection range when it comes to that. However, when it comes to me receiving my teachers? Um, yeah, not so much.

Let me take a step backward to accomodate anyone who reads my blog that is not familiar with my church (although I can't imagine who would be reading this really in the first place other than my mom and my daughters and, oh yeah, my husband). Visiting teaching is a program that our church has for the sisters (women). We are assigned a companion and are assigned approximately three sisters from our ward (congregation) that we visit each month to make sure life is A-OK with them and then also to share a spiritual message with. If and when there is a problem with a sister that you have been assigned you get to do the best you can to help them out or turn to someone who can. Often, we become good friends. It's actually a pretty great program.

Okay, back to your's truly aka ME!!! So my teachers came today. They called last week and made an appointment (imagine that). I haven't had a visit in a year. I have my buddies and my besties and I'm pretty good about leaning on them (and vise versa) when I'm in a bind. Even though these ladies are already friends of mine, I still am pretty difficult about making time for them to come and visit me. I think the drive to my place (1/2 hour from town) coupled with the fact that when I'm home I just want to be in my zone (I don't like phone calls or interuptions) might be the reason for this attitude of mine. I can't really say.

Okay, back to today. They arrived. I'm struggling with a huge family issue right now. It's a pretty big thing and it has me pretty upset and down :( . One of the sisters arrived with a pretty awesome smelling candle (just as a fall gift) that smells AWESOME. The other one made me a green smoothie (a mainstay in my life) that was pretty amazing. We sat and visited in my kitchen and laughed a LOT! It was such a nice treat for me. A nice escape from what's eating at me. When they left, I still had a warm smile on my face.

This afternoon? Life doesn't seem all that bad suddenly. I feel lighter, brighter and more capable of taking on the problems at hand. Maybe I've been missing the boat on this visiting teaching thing all along. Hmmm.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cow Palace

When I got home from Thailand, I jumped right into the middle of preparations for our team's performance at the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace in San Francisco (ok, Daly City) the following week. I was jet lagged and crazy tired. However, riding my horse is right up there on my list of Top 10 Things I LOVE to do!

Our coach, Margaret, was really stressed. She was the one in charge of the whole competition this year and therefore our team was not allowed to compete. However, we got to have the coveted spot of performing on Saturday night - the BIG night. Practice Saturday morning was oh so stressful. I even broke down in tears (something I do when things get overwhelming, I guess). After practice I was SURE that our performance was going to be the biggest disaster EVER!

We arrived at the Cow Palace and it was absolutely pouring rain. Like buckets! We were allowed to each take up a stall and bring our horses, tack and gear in. What a relief! Things were tense while we tacked up and went into the practice ring. One member of our team got really delayed in traffic and we thought we were going to have to cancel - she was one of our two lead horses. Margaret was having an absolute meltdown. I felt so bad for her.

So when the time came that we were lined up at the gate ready to go in, the announcer came over the loudspeaker and announced that the San Francisco Giants had just won their division and were headed for the World Series. The crowd went absolutely ape crazy! Some of the horses on our team started to whirl and get very nervous. The crowd was insanely loud.

I was proud of my mare, Ellie. This is her element. This is where she shines. She is a show horse and dang proud of it. (After the performance when Margaret watched the video she said that my horse was absolutely perfect and didn't show any hesitation whatsoever. In fact she said it looked like Ellie was saying, "Yay! I get to lope. Everyone look at me. I'm the pretty pretty princess. I'm the star of the show!" Lol).

When we entered the ring it was like our team suddenly became this focused in-sync (for the most part) group. I am so proud of my team and how we did our coach proud. I'm proud to say that I ride on the Diablo Ladies Drill Team.

Check out our performance. I do, however, have to tell you something funny . . . this was recorded by some women that left our team and, for whatever immature reason I can't imagine, have taken up the hobby of stalking us. They can be heard making crude comments in the background but by the end of our performance, they pretty much are quiet. Hmmm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYc5RstFDSs

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thailand - Random Other Stuff


The other cool things we got to experience in Thailand? Well, there was this. Yeah, that's a cop out there directing traffic (because the road washed out in the typhoon that hit the island on our second day there that knocked out all of the power and water for two days). The cop is in SANDALS! We were standing outside of the "Police Box" (i.e. Police Station) and I couldn't resist snapping this shot.








OMG! The toilets! Who can forget the toilets? Yeah, you had to put your feet up on the sides (see the ridges there) and then squat to go. No toilet paper here. No siree! There was a handy dandy hose with a spray nozzle on it to take care of such matters.

It actually makes much more sense than what we in America are accustomed to but, MAN, it was a bit of a shock!





This is Mau. He is every bit as adorable as he appears
here. Him and his brother, Thor, owned and operated the restaurant that became our absolute fave. Thor is a transvestite (spelling is probably off but that's not a word I usually have to spell) and Mau is obviously gay. We LOVED these guys (especially Mau).

Mau suggested I order the passion fruit on my first visit. He informed me that is had LOTS of passion, lol.



Monkeys!!! If you look closely, you can find these little devils in a lot of places. We spotted these little guys playing up on the wires as we were on our drive one day out and about.
Another day while we were shopping there was a monkey (actually about several monkeys) playing on the roofs of the stores. They were so dang cute. But I hear those little stinkers bite and HARD!!!





Yes! I had a great time in Thailand. There were some things that I could dwell on that were kind of a downer but I think I just want to focus on what was fun. Like when we went to Bangkok and I bought this way cool hat (that I just know Brandilyn is going to steal as soon as she can get her little mits on it) and wore it all the way home. In fact, Skip didn't even recognize me at the airport with my hat and red braids (which were another way cool thing that I just did because I felt like taking a walk on the wild side).

Thailand - Suckers!


Everyone was doing it and we just couldn't be left out! Yeah, it's just what it looks like too.

You pay money and go into this place called the Fish Spa. For like 20 Baht (about $6) you get to sit with your feet soaking in this water loaded with these little fishies. They come and go to town sucking the dead skin off of your feet (or hands or whatever else you feel brave enough to stick into the water).

It made me feel pretty good about myself because it appeared that my feet were the most popular with the fish. Natasha, little darling 17 year old daugher of Sandy, had barely any fish snacking on her feet. Go figure. Sandy just couldn't take it and only lasted about a minute before she went outside and stuck her hand in the tank with the smaller fishes. Somehow that seemed a little more appealing.

At any rate, it was a fun experience. It felt like little vibrations on your feet. I actually enjoyed it after I got used to it.
Here's a little video of my reaction when I first put my feet in with the fish


video

Thailand - Just a Straight Shot


Had to include this story in my Thailand blogs. I promise, I'm almost finished with the whole Thailand thing. I think I have like one or two more posts after this and then I get back to my boring life again. Lol.

So the four of us, Karyn, Natasha, Sandy and myself, had decided that we had had enough of the "staying on the island and putting up with the rain" thing and wanted to see more of Thailand. It was rather rogue of us but we took it upon ourselves to enlist the aid of a travel agent and get ourselves off of the island and on to somewhere more . . . entertaining.
Enter the travel agent. We went into this cute little shop on the main drag and chatted with the young man running the shop. We told him our desired plans and he was able to make the reservations for us. We then said that we wanted to pay with our credit cards. "Oooohhhh", said he, "I need to call my boss to come pick you up and take you over to his place so that he can run your cards through. You see, I can not do this here." Okay, bring on Mr. Boss Man then please.
Mr. Boss showed up in his little beebop car (he was a man from England) and whisked us away to "his" place (actually an office attached to his home with little wifey poo acting as his assistant). We chatted away with him as he ran our cards through and printed out our travel agenda. He then loaded us up back into his little car (as Karyn went around to the driver's side which is the passenger side in America and attempted to get in only to have him ask her if she was intending to drive, lol). We then asked Mr. Boss to take us to Thor's so that we could get dinner. He quickly complied.
When we arrived at Thor's we then asked him where would be a good place to get a hotel for the evening in Bangkok (since that was our destination). He stuttered a bit and then rubbed his head and said this classic statement, "Uh, can you come by my office tomorrow to get that information? I've had quite a bit to drink tonight and I can't think clearly."
WTF? Did I hear that right? We said, "What??? You've been driving us around drunk?" He then replied, "Oh it's no problem. You see, it's just a straight shot from here to there!"