A blog named BETTY

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Goodbye Aloha

While in Hawaii, I committed myself to take the Aloha spirit home with me--to live a little easier and not stress. A lot of this commitment stems from the knock-down, drag-out blues I encountered when I got back from Lake Powell. I just don't recover well from vacations; reality somehow knocks me on my fanny. (I know--how strange to prefer vacation life to real life! I'm a nut.)

So I was doing really well with the whole 'hang-loose' adjustment program--enjoying my kids, avoiding laundry, warming up Costco food. And then I got a call from the bishopbric on Wednesday night which sent Aloha back across the ocean. Yup. A talk in Sacrament Meeting. And 3 days to prepare. (I was filling in for someone else, thus the last-minute notice.)

(Because the LDS church operates with a lay ministry, members of our congregations take turns addressing the whole membership. The bishop and his counselors decide on a topic and then invite someone to speak on it--totally voluntary.)

Finally, Saturday night I got this talk all written, so I tested it out on Lance. It was 35 minutes long. (Poor guy! Although he was watching football through half of it. Can't blame him.) I was assigned just 10 minutes. So I started cutting stuff out (including the charming story of me as a 5-yr-old. sniff) and got it down to 20 minutes. I always talk faster when I'm nervous, so I figured that was good enough. I went to bed, got thinking about it and realized I'd written the wrong talk, got all panicky and then had scary showing-up-in-my-underwear dreams all night. (And let me tell ya--me in my underwear redefines 'scary' in a whole new way.)

Morning comes, and I have exactly 15 minutes to re-write my talk, which really made very little difference in the end...except for making me more nervous. We go to church, I sit on the stand, and eventually realize that 2 of the other speakers are no-shows. AND there are no announcements. (When does that happen, for crying out loud??) The scheduled final speaker (my friend, Debbie) leans over to me, panicking that she can't make up that much time. Remembering all of my cut-out 30-minutes of material, I tell her I'll take care of it. Fine. All is well. 10 minutes later, I suddenly realize I've left at home the sheets with all of the amazing quotes that tie my whole talk together. To my credit, I did not scream out loud. I just clamped my mouth tight and let my eyes shoot out of my head. Not noticeable at all.

In the end, my talk evidently went pretty well. I made up all of the parts of the quotes I couldn't remember--only using "blah, blah, blah" a few times--and I got to tell the charming story of me as a 5-yr-old afterall. I have to admit, though, I felt very underwhelmed with the whole thing when I sat down. The man snoring on the second row didn't help any. I comforted myself with the fact that it was over and the scary underwear dreams would at least subside. Much to my surprise, when the meeting ended, I received many kind compliments--more than I've ever received before. Go figure.

So I guess that man on the second row was just so dazzled that he slipped into a coma. Wouldn't be the first time. (tee hee)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's a very bad news/very good news thing

Bad News:

My laptop completely crashed last Sunday. Right before church, when I was trying to print out the parts for the Primary Program I'd spent all week writing. Hubby went home during the 2nd hour to try and fix it. During the 3rd hour, he came to church, pulled me out into the hall, and told me that everything got deleted. EVERYTHING. Ever one to handle disappointment well, I burst into tears right there. It wasn't the primary program that I mourned, or my Dad's life history I've worked on for a month (those realizations happened later)--it was all of those family pictures I hadn't gotten around to backing up. Wave after wave of ugly crying.

Of course, we rushed Lappy to the computer doctor, and she's been there all week. The prognosis is iffy, although fairly positive (I think. I'm no computer doctor...I just play one on TV). We should hear today how much of her they were able to save.

Good news:

I know, usually the bad news/good news program involves two related items. I think the rules say, however, that if it's REALLY good news, they don't have to be. THUS:

Two days after the computer crash, I took off for HAWAII! I think anyone would agree that there's no place better on earth than Hawaii to recover from a technological heartbreak.

My mom rented a big house in Oahu, right along the North Shore beach, and she invited all of her children (7) and their spouses. Unfortunately, my spouse had a huge week at work he couldn't miss, so I went stag. Of course, that was good news for all the muscled hotties in Hawaii. :) What happens in Hawaii stays...

I really, really had a great time. It was fun to be with my siblings and their spouses. And I didn't even feel like the...uh...13th wheel. Afterall, I had my Mom, and we make a really cute couple. :)

Now, I'm going to show you some pictures. Keep in mind the Bad News factor--I have no Lappy, therefore I have no Photoshop, therefore I have no superpowers. Okay then.

Here's everyone, minus my sister-in-law, Jan, at the temple.

Here's the view from our house (yummy):

Here's me with two of my brothers, Randy and Marc, at the Polynesian Cultural Center:

Here's me at Hanauma Bay, with my brother Randy. He and I snorkeled, and it was a-ma-zing!! I think that was my favorite thing on the trip.

Hanauma Bay is a protected wildlife preserve, so, before they set you loose on the beach, you have to watch a 9-minute film about how to behave in the water. One of the big things is not to damage the coral, which covers a lot of the bay. I was totally cool with that, signed on the dotted line, and off we went. Randy was very patient with me and let me practice putting my face in the water (Toddler101) as long as I needed. I was just getting brave with it, when I came up for a sec, and found a random woman screaming at me "You're not supposed to stand on the fish!!" Startled, I re-adjusted my mask to clear the hallucination, yet there she still was, yelling at me about the fish. Apparently, the coral had already started, and I was ~gasp~ putting a flipper on it. How that would pin down a seasoned little fishy, I don't know, but I shaped right up. And avoided that mad woman as much as possible. You'd think I'd brought along my harpoon or something.

And here's me with Betsy, our vehicle for the Jungle Expedition (I was really hoping for a Betty, dernit):

I have a few scenery-type pics that I want to share, but I will refrain until I can pretty them up a little with PhotoShop. Those ones REALLY show what I loved about my rendevous with Hawaii, because they capture the "ahhhhhh" moments--when all the planets aligned and I felt whole. The moments when thoughts of my ailing Lappy and mountains of laundry were far, far away.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Fourth Little Pig Who Builds With Sheets

This is how I found Shnookie4 the other night when I went in to check on her:

I had to pry her little fingers out of the holes in the afghan! She slept right through it, but then again, all the blood had drained down to her armpit by then, so her fingers probably had no feeling.

She has a rail with hooks all the way around her room, so that's how the blankets are attached to the walls. She LOVES to build forts and then sleep in them (after decorating them thoroughly). Quite frequently I find my linen closet bare, only to walk into her room and get lost in its labyrinth of hanging sheets. Makes for a lot of extra laundry loads, let me tell ya. But it's good to know that if she ever gets lost in the forest and has access to piles of sheets (cuz where else would they be?), she'll be able to make shelter for herself. And with her complicated architectural designs, any bear would get lost before he got to her.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Sky Falleth

I have issues with Fall, a.k.a. the end of everything good, a.k.a. Summer. Oh, I love the 'idea' of Fall--the fair weather, the crisp air, the beautiful leaves. And I enjoy thoroughly those things when they happen. It's just I can't get past my nagging dread of doom, a.k.a. WINTER. In Utah, I swear, we enjoy about a week of that idealic Fall fairytale, and then BAM!! It's six feet of snow and thermal underwear. Frozen tundra living, day in and day out for seven months. It makes me more than a little craaaaazy. Why in the world doesn't every citizen in this state run screaming for California when the first leaf turns yellow??

We happen to live directly under a major geese migration path. Every year, starting in mid-August, these geese come in flocks, honking like crazy, and glide southward over our house. It was quite charming for the first few years, and then I realized WHY they are getting the heck out of dodge. Winter is coming!! Run, fly, do what you have to to escape!! That's what I hear in their honk-honking. And I know it's not really fair to take it out on the birds, but every year, the first time I hear them coming,I put down my lemonade, stand up on my lawn chair, and shake my fist at them. I really wouldn't blame them if they pooped on me (although that wouldn't do much to improve our relationship). Maybe I'm just jealous that they get to follow their instincts and head for warmer pastures.

That all being said, this year I have really, really tried to carpe diem and ignore the dread. It has been GORGEOUS weather here--low to mid 80's--for WEEKS, and I just couldn't be more pleased. I have tried to point it out every chance I get, say thanks for it in prayers, hug every tree I can find, and rescue every beached whale I see...all in hopes that I'll build up good weather karma. Isn't that how this works?

And so....here's some pictures from our jaunt up the canyon yesterday. Just me and the girls, and we had so much fun!

Oh, and did I tell you? As part of a limited-time offer, every "oooh" and "aaaah" earns you 5 points of personal weather karma. Act now!!