Saturday, November 29, 2014

:::Thanksgiving 2014:::

I really enjoyed my Thanksgiving this year. For many small reasons, it was one of the best I can remember.

I was invited to a dinner with two families in my ward and volunteered to make pie and rolls. For the pies I settled on maple pumpkin and coconut cream. When I went to the store on Wednesday night to get ingredients there was only one bag of all-purpose flour left on the shelf! I snatched it up even though it had a tiny hole I it. 

The market was a zoo and I didn't want to waste time pulling out my recipes and checking exactly what I needed, so I over purchased whipping cream and half-and-half. I figure I'll just drink what was left over straight from the carton.  

It was an exhausting amount of work to make the crusts and pies from scratch, but hey, I learned a lot, and it was what I wanted to do, so there's that. 

When I finally got into bed I FaceTimed with my parents in California, as well as my sister and her family who are out there visiting for the holiday. 

The next morning I went to brunch at the home of some other friends from my ward. One of the dishes they served was cinnamon roll French toast with mascarpone whipped cream, real Vermont maple syrup, and mixed berry sauce. A nice, light way to start the day. 

After dinner that night with another group of ward friends, they took me shopping at Target and Kohl's. It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be and it was fun to be out with them. 

One of my favorite purchases were some of the $4-$6 DVDs at Target. I told my friend Courtney it was like all of my boyfriends were coming home with me. 

Friday I went shopping at JC Penney's and actually found a lot of great work clothes. Who knew? I tried to take advantage of a gift card promotion, as well as sign up for a card for additional savings, but kind of bumbled the situation. Later, when I tried to rectify the situation I learned that you can't return purchases made with gift cards for cash at Penny's. Blurg. I ended up with $50 in gift card money and no idea what to do with it, so I went to the in-store salon and had my eyebrows done (I was going to spend money on that elsewhere anyhow) and got some product for my hair. 

While at the mall I purchased some Wallflowers at Bed Bath and Beyond in different holiday scents. I usually don't care for scents, but I'm surrounded by smokers on many sides in my apartment. 

I also broked one of my cardinal rules and bought a tiny fake Christmas tree at Hobby Lobby. I spent so much on sales I just couldn't fulfill my dreams of an 8ft. flocked beauty this year. 

Later that afternoon I went to pick up my sewing scissors back from being sharpened. I don't sew, but, you know...I've got to cut ribbon and stuff. 

This morning I worked my regular shift at the temple, then went to Penny's again (someone stop me) before going to my sister's house to take some packages off her doorstep. My friend Dayna texted me while I was out to see if I wanted to go see the new Hunger Games movie, so I went straight to her house. Afterwards we had dinner at Five Guys, then I went to Michael's for my absolute last sale/Christmas related purchases, Sprouts for groceries, then the ATM, and then finally, finally made it home for the first time since 5:30 this morning. 

I did so much shopping that I feel a little guilty at this point, but I'm just going to enjoy the work clothes and the few decorative items I got. I just hate it when two days after payday you're already counting down until the next paycheck! 

My favorite part of the holiday was spending time with friends. Usually I don't mind being alone at Thanksgiving, but this year I really enjoyed the company of others. 

I hope you had a great holiday as well! 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

:::A Better Sense of Judgment:::

"It got up and ran away. Seemed uninjured and old," she wished she had known before she spoke with two 911 operators and an animal control officer whom she also texted several photos to. Twice did she think she saw the dog stop breathing, and twice did she call her friend in a panic. Late was she to her church training meeting because she spent 15 minutes singing I Am a Child of God and Families Can Be Together Forever to a dog she was sure had been hit by a car and was about to go to Glory. Only once did she text the animal control officer the next day to learn the fate of said dog, but many times since has she felt like a fool. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

:::My Idea for Relief Society:::

Why don't we ever bring meals to single sisters? I say never, basing this off my own experiences. If you've ever been in a non-singles ward that has coordinated meals for single, not widowed, no children, working women, I'd love to hear about your experience. 

I've walked through many stressful, frustrating, and fearful times in the workforce. Knowing that someone else would be bringing me dinner would have been amazing. I would have felt remembered and loved by the Relief Society sisters and the Lord, and encouraged by the outreach. Cooking can be a great stress relief, but it can also be the last thing you want to deal with while handling the stress and anxiety of life situations. 

Sometimes we even coordinate cleaning for women with sick children, who are preparing for a move, or who just need an extra hand. I can testify to you that even one person in an apartment could use this type of assistance during times of trouble. 

It's just something I've always wondered. As a whole I think we are uneven in our compassionate service. Myself included. Have I ever tried to coordinate meals for a single sister? Nope. And I'm one of them!

This post isn't meant to be a condemnation. I really have wondered about this, and wondered why even I myself am blind to the needs of single sisters. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

:::Labor Day:::

Enter quip about laboring on Labor Day. Today I'm stuck inside working on my resume for a position that just opened at work. I hate resumes, but watch me spin this in a positive way - I'm grateful I have job experience, and a shot at a position that I'm interested in. I win. 

Look at the outside. I want to go there. It's in the 80s now, but will be in the high 90s by the afternoon. Alas. 

Also, I bought some bootleg black grapes from the Asian market. One, they are seeded. Two, they burn my lips if I eat more than seven of them. I'm going to give them to my Primary children next week. Ha, ha! J/K. But the thought does makes me LOL IRL. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

:::I'm Tops:::

Yesterday we had a work activity at this place called Top Golf. It's what I think they call a golfing 'experience'. I love an experience! You know that about me!

Anyhow, the venue is a three-tiered building with open air platforms that you take shots off of. There are targets out on the green and microchips in the balls and blah, blah, blah, you get points for hitting targets. Our Director announced that whoever got the highest score out of the men and women would win an extra PTO day. Bless sexism! The highest male score to win was over 180. I took the female win at...60. 

Here's a picture of me shooting up a mini donut with Bavarian cream. You know, I'm always disappointed with those mini donuts every time I have them. They never actually taste like donuts, do they? Just over-fried cinnamon sugar balls. I mean, I ate three, but whatever. 

I'm trying to blog again. That explains this post. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

:::Sick Day, August 22nd, 2014:::

Ailment: Cold? Respiratory infection? Flu?
Strength: Mild-ish

Work Hours Missed: 12

Entertainment: So, so much Magnum, PI.  Do you know what's funny? So much time has passed since my last time in Hawaii that the Oahu in the show would probably be more familiar to me than modern Oahu. I'm gonna sell some platelets and head back. 

Food of Choice: I love ramen forever. Don't hate. I toss out the flavor packet and use chicken broth. Then I like to add bean sprouts, jalapeƱos, chili garlic sauce, lime, radishes, red onion, garlic (yes, more), ginger, and an egg. So good. 

Outings: Costco. Wal-Mart. 

What I'm Missing Out On: My shift at the temple tomorrow morning. :( 

Depression Levels Due To Isolation: Medium. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

:::It's Not Much, But...:::

Spring cleaning continues. Less hot and more hot (seasons mean nothing here) clothes sorted, swapped, and moved from that now empty space which they used to inhabit on the floor. 

Also, that box fan? I took it apart myself and washed each part. I'm probably way too proud of myself for that. 

But seriously though. Look at that fan!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

:::Spring Cleaning:::

It gets worse, so much worse, before it gets better, doesn't it? 

This is my new favorite Method spray - Clementine. I love citrus scents! They are the only scents I can handle. Anything else makes me feel like I can't breathe or smells like cut grass and weeds to me. Lavender, basil, verbena...

My goal this year is to use up/donate the majority of my craft materials and only be left with tools. I'm also hoping to get rid of most of my books. Do you like to keep books at home? I don't, really. I know that makes me sound like a complete dimwit, but I've found that owning books doesn't do much for me. I'd rather get them from the library and ditch them when I'm done with them. I'm so cold hearted!

Well, I'm procrastinating, which was probably obvious. 

Onward and upward. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

:::Take the Wheel:::

'Woman Turns On Air Conditioning on 80 Degree Day, Car Nearly Stalls. A Progression In Four Parts.' A self-portrait by the artist. Dallas, Texas. 2014. 

It's going to be a real, real long summer. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

:::Sunday Night Insomnia:::

Every Sunday night I have insomnia. I call it...Sunday Night Insomnia. 

It doesn't matter if I take a nap or not. 

It doesn't matter if I'm in bed at 8 pm with my eyes shut tight, or flopping into bed at midnight. 

It doesn't matter what I've eaten. 

It doesn't matter what I've watched on tv. 

Every Sunday night I have insomnia, and I don't fall asleep until 2 or 3 am, which wouldn't be all that bad if I didn't have to get up at 5 am for work. Which adds to my worry about my Sunday Night Insomnia, which adds to the duration of my Sunday Night Insomnia. 

So it follows, then, that I get through Mondays on a wing and a pray.   

But back to Sunday night...

On Sunday night I lay in bed and think of how much of a struggle it still is for me to deal with church, and how I have to do it all over again next week. Sometimes I just want to run screaming from pews and singing and everyone showing up and programs and smiling and all of us trying to fit on the same path to redemption. Hymn books, prayers, scriptures, words, shared cultural perceptions and expectations, week in and week out. Then I wonder how much of a sin it is that I think that way. Then I think about how the answer to that question has implications to the nature of the Savior, then I think about the implications the nature of the Savior has on what's going to happen to me in the hereafter...rabbit hole. 

On Sunday night I lay in bed and think of how some people have an other, and why some people don't. Not in a sad way, but in a 'Isn't it weird that some people are part of a pair, and some people are not part of a pair?' way. Then I think of the paired people I know and try to figure out what makes them different from the unpaired people I know, myself included. 'What were they like at 16? 21? 24?...What did they major in at school? How does their family celebrate Christmas? What kind of cars do they drive?' If I didn't know them at those ages or in those circumstances, I think up answers and fill in their stories for them. Then I puzzle, puzzle, puzzle over these answers, real or fake...rabbit hole. 

On Sunday nights I lay in bed and think of the person I really want to be, and why I'm still standing on the cusp of action. Or maybe I'll concede that I have taken steps towards becoming that person, but I worry that I won't have enough time to do what I was sent to do, or enough time to develop into who I need to be given the pace I'm moving at. What should I have done yesterday to reach my goals? How should I change my life tomorrow? If  I could adopt just one life altering change this week...rabbit hole. 

On Sunday nights I lay in bed and think of all the years I had panic attacks that sent me regularly to the emergency room. These attacks took so much out of me physically and mentally I was certain that one day they would wear out my heart muscles, and I'd slowly drift off into a deep and final sleep -- weeping, solitary, and exhausted. To be truthful, that didn't always seem like the worst thing that could happen. Peace, peace. I just wanted peace. 

I remember the night I was curled up in an anxious, panicked, and hopeless ball on the living room couch of my basement apartment below Slate Canyon. I was sobbing and vomiting and dealing with pain that felt like someone was stabbing me in the stomach and clenching my intestines in an unrelenting vice. This was deep in the middle of a hot Utah summer, and that old house had no air conditioning. My inner circle of hell! I prayed for relief, and in a moment of desperation opened the front door and let the cool, crisp desert air flood in. I can't even sleep soundly with a window unlocked, let alone opened, so I was surprised that I felt so safe throwing that door wide open to the night. Desperation can make mole hills out of mountains. 

As that delicious cool air rushed in, I felt it pour relief on me like chilled aloe on a sunburn. Or like the icy cold water at the bottom of a river that flows over your aching feet. The force of that relief was so strong and so personal at the same time. I felt it take me by the hand, walk me back to the couch, pull up the blankets, and wash away my sorrows and fears. It said, 'I know you would never normally do this, but you'll be safe and sound tonight. In this time, and in this place, nothing is allowed to bother you. Peace, peace.' It was like someone flipped off a deeply hidden switch in my brain to save me from myself. I fell asleep immediately and slept for hours and hours. 

I will never forget how I felt waking up the next day. I was completely safe and deeply rested, and grateful for the miraculous sanctification of that cold, cold air. 

Well, we all know why I can't sleep on Sunday nights. Maybe one day this cycle of my life will break as well. It makes me wonder how relief will come then. And wonder why relief hasn't come yet. And wonder if I should switch to a later shift at work so I can sleep longer on Monday mornings. But then I'd have to deal with traffic and...Whoops. Rabbit hole. 

I am open to more miracles. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

:::Friday Night:::

I'm sitting on the couch watching Leverage and wondering, 'Am I doing this right?'

If the alternative is putting on real clothes and spending time out there, I'll pass. 

Time for another episode. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

:::Reading the Book of Mormon:::

I have three goals motivating my endeavors in 2014. The first is this - I will stop and read the Book of Mormon in the evening when I start to feel anxious, depressed, worried, and hopeless. 

Usually I don't read my scriptures until I'm ready to fall into bed, or should I say roll into bed from my kneeling prayer position. Not surprisingly, I've been well aware for many years that when this is my sole approach to scripture study, I miss a lot of information, and more importantly, I'm not really opening myself up to spend quality time with the Spirit. 

When I read in the earlier part of the evening my brain is still turned on, and I have time to just sit and be with what I'm reading. Mull it over, or let my mind extrapolate meaning from ancient words to my own life. I'm retaining more information, and actually processing the difficult situations these Book of Mormon heroes/heroines endured. Contentious families, living as refugees, raising children in a wilderness, subsisting on what they could provide for themselves, avoiding attacks from within and without, and managing difficult personalities. Building societies, establishing righteous laws, preserving gospel traditions, trying to establish a promised land, bearing the spiritual responsibility of teaching and correcting, and all of them walking only in the light their faith could provide. There are so many things written and unwritten in these stories that you just miss with one leg in bed. 

Like how many of them had any idea what they were really being called to do? The actual scope of their appointed work? I'd guess most had absolutely none. Nephi admits that he himself had no clue what his plan would be when he returns to Jerusalem for the plates. 

But I feel Nephi's very conscious decision to be brave when he says that he knows the Lord never commands anything without opening up pathways to success. I feel that even though his faith was strong, he was an intelligent man who had a clear understanding of odds, a familiarity with worry, and a desperation to keep his family alive. It's okay to be scared. Nephi had to have been scared, even if for just a little while. 

As for the medicinal benefits of scripture study? It's too early to say. But I'm banking on two promises. First, countless prophets have testified that the Book of Mormon changes lives through the powerful messages, testimonies, and
truths it contains. Second, I know that any time you try to do something good, anything good, the Lord will bless you. As I get older and the depression and anxiety I struggle with wrenches and twists its way through my life, I look for more and more heavenly assistance. Something good will come of this. Probably not a complete healing, as life is  a long and difficult journey, as any reading of the Book of Mormon will teach you. But maybe some peace, and maybe some clarity. Or maybe just a direction to start in when I have no clue what my plan should be.