Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Ladybug!

A little over two years ago, a cute little red-head moved into a duplex with my sister, Angelfish. Well, if you know anything about my family, you won't be surprised to hear that we basically adopted her. Ladybug has been coming to our house for Sunday dinner ever since. I was already developing a friendship with her - she was my visiting teacher, and was awesome! - and it's been a joy to have her in our family. She ended up moving into her own apartment and Angelfish ended up buying a condo and now, Ladybug is actually moving into Angelfish's condo on Saturday! She is an amazing woman. She's usually in a leadership position in Church because she's amazing and has great follow-through, she has her Masters Degree (I believe it's in Environmental Biology or Environmental Science - I'm sorry I don't remember the details!), and she puts up with the crazy family that I love (of course, we do feed her Naborhood Bakery Butterflake Rolls, which is pretty much like bribing her to like us!)

Happy Birthday Ladybug!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Favorite Cheese Ball

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (8 1/2 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup pecans, chopped fine
1 cup pecan pieces
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 Tbs dried minced onion
1 Tbs Lawrey's Seasoned Salt (maybe a little less, depending on taste)

Mix all ingredients except pecan pieces. Roll into a ball and chill. Roll ball in pecan pieces. Serve with your favorite crackers.

My Favorite Veggie Dip

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp dill
1 tsp Bon Appetit seasoning salt

Mix together and chill for at least two hours. Serve with a variety of veggies!

Monday, January 28, 2008


Our beloved Prophet and President of our LDS Church, Gordon Bitner Hinckley, passed away last night (Sunday, January 27, 2008) in his home in Salt Lake City. He was 97. I'm saddened by this loss, but so happy for President Hinckley. He was still going strong to the end (he just rededicated the Salt Lake Capitol Building three weeks ago!) and I know that was a huge blessing for him. I think it would have really hurt him if he couldn't be among his people, doing the Lord's work. I'm also so happy that he has been reunited with his beloved wife, Marjorie Pay Hinckley. I know that he missed her terribly. What a blessing to know that families are forever, and we will be reunited with our loved ones!

I'm not sure what President Hinckley will be remembered for most; whether it will be:
  • temples (there were only 47 temples when he became the Prophet and today there are 124 and 13 more announced or under construction)
  • The Perpetual Education Fund (which offers loans to members in third world countries to further their education so they can support themselves)
  • His 6 Be's (be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, prayerful)
  • His world travels to visit members of the church (the first President of the Church to visit mainland China and Russia and the Ukraine)
  • His interviews with top, "hardened" newsmen (Mike Wallace and Larry King)
and my personal favorite four:
  • The Proclamation on the Family (visit this site to read)
  • His wit and sense of humor (I think one of the most well-known images or President Hinckley is of him waving his cane to say hello. My mom's favorite was when he said that at his time of life, he didn't buy green bananas. I also heard once that one night after he went bed, his bodyguard heard some noises coming from his bedroom. When he went to check on him, he found President Hinckley walking on his treadmill. When asked what he was doing so late at night, he said that if so many people were praying for him and his health, he felt that he should do his part, so he got up and started walking on the treadmill!)
  • I love how much President Hinckley loved Sister Hinckley
  • The absolute love that surrounded President Hinckley. Whenever he walked into the Conference Center (or any room, I'd imagine, but my experience was only with the Conference Center), the entire room became silent and still. There was such love and respect for him. Whenever he spoke, whenever I even just see a picture of him, I can feel the love that President Hinckley has for me (even though we've never met personally) and for each and every member of the Church, for every person he's ever met, for every one of our Heavenly Father's children. He just radiates love.
I am so grateful for this great man and for his faithfulness and service.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Updates, Reiteration, and Book Reviews

I had an amazing BodyTalk session yesterday. I was pretty immobile when I went (I have been since Friday.) I could walk - but only just and it looked rather amusing (I'm assuming) because there was no movement above my legs. But I was a completely different person when I left. I could twist (gently), bend, walk - it was amazing! The soreness is still there, but I can move! My practitioner has recently had some training in Matrix Energetics and she's been combining that with the BodyTalk with great success. I am just so grateful for being led down this path and having BodyTalk in my life. What a wonderful blessing.

I had my first physical therapy appointment today and was actually a bit disappointed. I'm not sure how to even describe it - whether my therapist was rushed, or not quite sure what I wanted or what my doctor wanted or what he should do - it was just not very satisfying. I don't know. It just didn't seem very thorough. He checked my reflexes, he asked me to bend back and to the sides as far as I could without pain. But that was it. He didn't feel my back - see if there was any swelling or bulging - nothing. And considering the wonderful treatment I've had from TOSH in the past, I was a bit baffled and disappointed. I do have an appointment for some pool therapy on Monday, so hopefully that will go better. And the therapist did get me started on some core strengthening exercises.

Now on to fun and fluff. I finished "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief", by Rick Riordan, a couple of weeks ago. It was fabulous! It was so much fun. It's about a sixth grade boy who struggles with dyslexia, ADHD, and school in general who discovers (after being kicked out of his sixth boarding school in as many years) that his problems can be attributed to the fact that he is the son of Poseidon (of Greek mythology.) He literally attracts trouble because he is a "half-blood." So he goes to Camp Half-Blood for the summer and ends up on a quest to recover Zeus's master lightening bolt. This book is very well written, has a ton of Greek mythology in it, and is very clever and witty. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend it. I can't wait to read more books in the series. I believe that three books have been published and a fourth is due in May.

I'm currently reading "North and South", by Elizabeth Gaskell. I'm tantalizingly close to finishing it. I've seen the BBC movie and loved it (and no, it's not about the civil war - as I mistakenly thought when Angelfish told me I had to see it - it's about the difference between the Southern gentility and Northern manufacturing parts of England during the 1800's.) But I was a bit nervous to read the book. As mentioned previously, I was scared to try out my "new" brain and find it lacking. But, I was brave and was rewarded! I'm glad that I saw the movie first. It's pretty faithful to the book, and I think it helped that I was motivated to get to the good parts and that I can picture these characters so well. Of course, it's helpful to me in my first venture back into the Classics, but is totally unnecessary if you've never lost your brain! The only recommendation I would urge is to make sure you read a copy with a glossary at the back and be aware that there's a glossary at the back. I recently discovered it and had many dialect words explained that I'd been frustrated over. Some of the characters kept talking about "clemming" or not wanting their children to "clem" and I had no idea what that was. Turns out it means "starving" or "starve." There are a few others examples as well. So, the glossary is very beneficial. I'm going to have to add this book to my library (I'm borrowing Angelfish's copy - Thanks!)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thankful Thursday (2 Days Early) :o)

I am so grateful for the power of the Priesthood and Priesthood blessings and a wonderful Father and brother who are worthy to hold and exercise the Priesthood and a great home teacher to come and help give a Priesthood blessing! I was pretty discouraged and not coping at all yesterday with the whole back issue. But my wonderful mother suggested a blessing and as mentioned above, three wonderful men provided the much needed and appreciated blessing. And today, I'm doing a lot better. I was able to get a referral for physical therapy and a visit to the chiropractor from my doctor today (and some prescription ibuprofen!) and I have appointments set up for the rest of the week. Hooray! Even better, my heating pad is still working fabulously and I'm off for a nap!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Pain in the ...

... Back! Have you ever leaned over to pick up an adorable baby out of her swing and just felt your weekend "slip" away? Yeah, happened to me yesterday. I hadn't even picked her up yet - but I felt that special something that told me I'd be attached to my heating pad and the ibuprofen bottle all weekend. Oh, the joys.

I am determined to not whine too much, though, and to try to look for the positive. So, here is my positive list:
1) I did get to hold the darling baby and she gave me the cutest smiles! It was wonderful!
2) I did get to enjoy a visit with a new friend (who shared her darling baby with me) even if I couldn't walk like a normal person to my car afterwards
3) I have a wonderful family who all pitched in to help with a babysitting job I had last night. And SillyGoose had a ball playing with my family and gave me all sorts of love even though I couldn't wrestle with him. We enjoyed doing all of our favorite things (i.e. watching "Finding Nemo", playing with toys, eating toast with peanut butter and chocolate sprinkles.)
4) My "core" muscles are getting a heck of a workout! And I'm more committed to work on them more when I have more range of motion and less pain!
5) I have a ton of movies I'm dying to see, a great heating pad, and lying down is actually one of the few positions that doesn't hurt! I'm ready for a lazy weekend!!

I feel better all ready!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Spoiler Alert: In the following post, I discuss details from the Anne of Green Gables series including important plot details. If you haven't read these books (especially the last one, Rilla of Ingleside) and plan on doing so, you might want to skip this post. Fair warning...

I just finished the final book in the Anne of Green Gables series. What a wonderful series of books! The final, eighth book, Rilla of Ingleside, takes place during World War I and is also a beautiful romance. It has prompted so many feelings in me. I cried over Walter - his courage, and beauty. I also cried with joy when Jem came home and was met by faithful Dog Monday. I was proud of Rilla, at how well she grew up and raised her "war-baby." It has also prompted me to ask "where is my Kenneth Ford, my Gilbert Blythe, my Mr. Knightly, or Mr. Darcy? Where is my Prince Charming? That one faithful man who loves me with all his heart? Who fights through a war or typhoid to come back to me, who is willing to patiently teach me to be a better person, who overcomes all obstacles just for the thought of loving me and earning my love in return? I must "keep the faith" as Rilla and "trust to Providence" as Susan and believe that he will come and find me someday.

These books have also highlighted so many things that I am grateful for. I am thankful for good books - for great authors who were willing to share their ideas and talents. I'm thankful for an education and parents who instilled in me a love of reading. I am so thankful that the Fibro-fog has cleared and I've got my brain back! I went through my own "Dark Ages" when the Fibro-fog was so thick that I couldn't swim to the top. I couldn't read because I couldn't focus. I am so thankful that I've come out of that period. I'm thankful for all servicemen of all times who were willing to sacrifice and fight for freedom. I'm so thankful for that freedom that I enjoy now. I'm thankful for my faith to rely on during hard times. There is so much good in the world, so much to be thankful for!

I have several new books I'm looking forward to starting now...the hard part is deciding which one! I recently purchased the second book in the Peter series by Dave Barry. I believe it's Peter and the Shadow Thieves. While purchasing it at Borders, the clerk highly recommended The Lightning Thief. I also have Inkspell to read. My BFF sent me a mystery novel for Christmas that looks intriguing. Angelfish let me borrow North and South and she also gave me Bleak House by Charles Dickens last year for Christmas. Do I go for more juvenile fiction/fantasy? Do I try the classics? (I haven't since I got my brain back...I've been a bit nervous to test it!) So many choices! Actually, I'm thankful for choices! How boring would life be without new things to try and without any choices?

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Joyest of New Years

So, KSL's radio ad for the holidays wished everyone a Merry Christmas and The Joyest of New Years. We have all been laughing hysterically over it whenever it comes on and we'll probably be wishing people the Joyest of New Years in years to come. LSOC even called in and told them that they needed to fix their grammar. Of course, LSOC is addicted to calling KSL. He's had a spat with the traffic girl through text (he then called to apologize,) and had a nice long chat with Doug Wright about the Primary in Iowa. I think he has their number on speed dial. I'm not sure what it is with KSL and our family. The Saturday before Christmas, they had Santa on for kids to call in and talk to. We reminisced about the time that Tergaso called in and told Santa that what she really wanted for Christmas was a whoopie cushion. Seriously. That poor Santa! He didn't quite know how to respond to that.

We spent our joyest of New Years Eves in Provo. Tergaso recently moved down there and had to be to work at the unearthly hour of 6:45 a.m. New Years Day. So we celebrated with her and then let her go to bed while we drove home. We saw "Juno" and I have definite mixed feelings about it. My overall impression is that it is a great movie, has witty dialogue, and was very enjoyable. The problem is that there were too many awkward moments for me to really love it. It's about a high school junior who gets pregnant. There's a lot of slang and discussion of sex and anatomy. Too much for me to be comfortable. And that makes me sad. If it weren't for that, I would love this movie. (For a really good movie, I recommend "Stardust" which just recently came out on DVD. I absolutely love it! It is a fairy tale (actually it's a faerie tale - it takes place in England) and is fabulous. "Stardust" will definitely be the next movie I purchase!) Our dinner was much more successful. We went to my favorite restaurant in Provo - Bombay House. Yum! Not only are there great memories for me at that restaurant, but the food is absolutely delicious. My favorites are Chicken Coconut Kurma (we actually got it with lamb instead of chicken - for LSOC) and Malai Kofta. And of course you have to have Peshewari Naan and Aloo Paratha. We got several different dishes and shared everything. It was delicious! There's a new Indian restaurant just around the corner from me - Ganesh Indian Cuisine. I ended up having lunch with a couple of friends on New Years Day there and they have a great lunch buffet. (Sambar, Chicken Tikka Masala, Vegetable Pakora, and Naan!) Basically, I've never had anything at an Indian restaurant that I didn't like. So the whole New Year holiday was tied up in Indian food for me and I loved it!

New Year resolutions have such a negative connotation now. But I do have some goals for myself this year.
1) Become a certified Body Talk practitioner. I'm hoping to test at a session in March. But that means I really need to get my butt in gear and get the studying and 50 sessions in! Wish me luck!
2) Start back with school. I'm saving up to start an Independent Study course.
3) Become more independent. I don't know if this will involve moving into my own place, buying a car, both, or other smaller steps. We'll see what the year brings.

Of course, I still have the regular resolutions: get to a more healthy weight (I'm trying to avoid the phrase "losing weight" because I don't ever want to "find" it again. I've been working on releasing my fat, and getting to a better, more healthy weight), be better about budgeting, be better about studying the scriptures, going to the temple, and doing my visiting teaching, etc. But I'm kind of feeling that those aren't just New Year resolutions - they are life-long progressions. Wish me luck!