Thursday, April 30, 2009

Friday Shoot-Outs

Well... This weeks post is about the local architecture. I am a terrible slacker!! I haven't gotten out to get the photo's that I want... but I have a teriffic book on the area, that I found in my Grandparent's basement.

This is the book about Provo and Orem (sister cities)

This is a house designed by Reed Smoot and prominent Utah architect Richard K.A. Kletting in 1892. Kletting lived in this residence until 1941. The Smoot family owned the residence afterward.

This house has been turned into a beautiful restaurant. Russell Hines built this house in 1894 on the corner of First South and Fourth West for his wife Kitty with money obtained in mining, real estate, and from the drugstore and saloon that he ran on the corner of Center Street and First West. Kitty, the daughter of a pioneer Mormon family, had raised local eyebrows when she married Russell, a gentile saloon owner. After her husband's death in 1989, she was a leading usinesswoman until she left for California in 1906.

The massive Gothic Revival tabernacle has stood as a landmark in downtown Provo for nearly a century. Construction began on the structure in 1883, although the building was not completed until the mid-1890's. There used to be a central tower, but it was removed when the roof colapsed under its weight.

This is a picture of the Mountain States Telephone Company Building or Ma' Bell.

Suprise!! Suprise!! When I recognized my grandmother on the far right in this picture. (Probably why she bought the book right? ;p)

She worked for Ma' Bell as a "head operator" for about 30 years!! I have several pieces of memorabilia from her including a cute little gold bracelet with tokens for every 5 years that she worked there. (This is my own photo... not out of the book).

This is a picture of the old Brigham Young Acadamy or BYA. It stood vacant for many years surrounded by a crude portable fence. I wrote about my impressions of it here.

These are off of the library's website.

Circa 1896

September 8, 2001

This is a shot (rather dark as the light was fading) of the old BYA building, renovated to become one of the best libraries Provo has ever had!! (With the exception of the BYU library).

Circa - This evening ;p


One of My Favorite Stores REAL FOODS MARKET!!

and... My Uncle Mo's (and girlfriend Callies) Cafe and Bar.

Callie's Cafe and Mo's Bar ;p

(It is really neat inside... so much western in so little space. I'll get a picture soon). :D

As Reggie Girl would say "Steady On!!"

A Piece From Anne of Green Gables

I've decided to reread Anne of Green Gables (again). One of my favorite parts is near the beginning. Besides for her idea of sleeping in a wild cherry tree, dreaming of marble halls, I love her description of "The Avenue" renamed "The White Way of Delight" by Anne. This is one of the examples of why I love Lucy Maude Montgomery's works...

"The 'Avenue,' so called by the Newbridge people, was a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched over with huge, wide-spreading apple-trees, planted years ago by an eccentric old farmer. Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the air was full of a purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle."

"It's beauty seemed to strike the child dumb. She leaned back in the buggy, her thin hands clasped before her, her face lifted rapturously to the white splendor above. Even when they ha passed out and were driving down the long slope to Newbridge she never moved or spoke. Still with rapt face she gazed afar into the sunset west, with eyes that saw visions trooping splendidly across that glowing background."

"She came out of her reverie with a deep sigh and looked at him with the dreamy gaze of a soul that had been wandering afar star-led."

"...It satisfied me here"-She put one hand on her breast-"it made a queer funny ache and yet it was a pleasant ache."

This little piece is really how I feel when I come across something beautiful. I guess you could call it a spiritual appreciation of beauty... there have been sunsets and sunbursts, mountains highlighted in stark relief against the sky, and light filtered down through a multitude of greenery which have all made me feel this way. Plus a few authors as well have made me feel as though I have seen a marvelous work, as though the sun has burst forth over the horizon. Though not many works touch me in that way.

Tomorrow- Friday Shoot outs... I have a couple of original pictures. One of a favorite store (with a whole foods philosophy) and one of my Uncle Mo's (and his girlfriend Callies) Cafe and bar. As for the rest of the pictures, I have a book that has pictures from this area... since I haven't been able to get down town I'm going to scan some of them in (and I'll get original photo's later on). ;p

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Appreciating Art

There is something magical about the arts. A transference of emotion a piece of soul on display.

I have heard some cynical comments made by unappreciative people... in this vein, "my three year old can do that, we should let a bunch of kids loose and then sell it to those idiots who pay a ton of money for junk like that."

Well, that may be true. A piece of art can look random, like paint splattered carelessly across a canvas. Or words strung together to sound nice.

Or that paint could be the anger that the artist felt, and their painting a display of emotion.

A picture could be randomly taken from space, or it could be a piece of beauty that caught someones eye that they want to share with others.

Yes words can be strung together insincerely, or even by a computer. Or they could be something deeply felt, and thoughtfully written in the hope that someone else understands.

A song can be sung by rote, because everyone is singing. Or it can be a deeply felt connection with others. (Like singing the Star Spangled Banner shortly after 9-11).

To connect with others, appreciate a bit of beauty. That is art.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sprouted Millet (re-newed Intrest)

I was reading my friend Nara's blog (In Search of a Greener Tomorrow) and he linked with a girl who cooked traditional Indian foods (which is of interest to me). :D

She described how they use sprouted millet as a baby food over there, a porridge and a generally healing type of food.

Of course being the ever inquisitive (and always willing to try) health nut that I am I broke open my sack of Organic millet to try this out. First I scooped about 3 cups of it into a big bowl and let it soak for a while. Finding that it was fermenting oddly I spread it out in my tray sprouter to see if I could revive it. Nope, I ended up with stinky moldy millet (with a few sprouts). So I thought I did it wrong and put a thin layer in each tray (of new millet) and have been rinsing this every day. Again, I am faced with trays of stinky millet (with a few hairy and a couple of suspicious red ones) to deal with.

So as usual, (having failed at my experiment) I went online to find out how to do it. (I know I should have saved myself some time and looked it up in the first place, but I'm impetuous).

So the down-low info. on sprouting millet is that you need un-hulled millet (I definitely have hulled). But I did find quite a bit of interesting information on millet. It is believed to help those with ulcers, stomach conditions, and helps rebuild connective tissues and ease arthritis pain. It is a very healthy, very tasty grain!! As soon as I have some money, I'm going to order it off of the internet unhulled (organic and all ya' know). :D

Here's a link to a web-site about the health benefits of millet, as well as info on sprouting it.

(That reminds me... I need to look up information on Kombucha tea and how to care for your SCOBY, before my friend graciously gives me another one. Since i've been inadvertently killing them off, *grins guiltily*).

OH Yeah, and Wahoo!! A raw food store has opened up about 3 blocks away. They have the best food and even classes!! (Though I am definitely not a whole hearted "raw foodist", I do enjoy the health benefits of such food and would like to know how to prepare it better). :D

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Natural Shampoo

In the search for the perfect shampoo, I have had many pitfalls. When I became aware of all the harmful chemicals in most shampoos, I started to look for an off-brand, natural shampoo. I have been using an organic shampoo called Giovanni and its been a alright, since I couldn't find anything else (I've tried at least 10 different brands), but I think I have finally found a good brand. MERA Naturals!! YEAH!! My hairs so soft and smells good too!! :D

This brand is completely natural, not one little bit of junk!

I know Loida of 2L3B's has talked about this before, since she discovered that there is all sorts of bad stuff in Johnsons Baby shampoo (I have found Burts Baby Bees Shampoo to smell the same without the bad stuff btw), so I wanted to share my little discovery. :D (Loida - I have tried leaving comments on your posts several times but it always kicks them out and sends me an e-mail... so sorry you haven't heard from me. BTW excellent job on the Friday Shoot outs last friday!!)

Here's a great web-site about shampoo's (I started out looking for what the Native Americans used, then found the web-site and remembered my find!!). :D

Rainy Day Special

The rain today is so friendly, nice and warm. It has been raining steadily throughout the day, sometimes drizzling, sometimes pouring. I wonder sometimes if atmospheric pressure can be felt before the rain because I usually get a bit stressed and headachy before it rains, then when it rains I always feel nice and calm (or maybe its just the sound of the rain and the beautiful fresh smells).

Here's the rainy day story that I promised...

All day Daniel and I had been working on our box house. Dad had brought home several large refrigerator boxes and we had been happily putting them to good use.

I ran into the house for more tape and scissors while Daniel was happily cutting away at some parts of the boxes.

I ran quickly dashing up the stairs, opening and closing the drawers that you could usually find scissors in. Until finally I found some in my moms room in the little tin that she kept on her dresser.

I was anxious to get back out again before Daniel did something that I didn't want him to do, so I ran right past the refrigerator where we kept the tape. I stopped with my hand on the door knob and turned back quickly, scraping over a chair as I walked over to the refrigerator.

Standing on tip toes I searched the top of the refrigerator hoping to spy the tape quickly, there was so much stuff that I had to move it around.

Frustrated I put the scissors down and the anxiety in my stomach built as I imagined Daniel having all of the fun while I was rifling through the stuff on the refrigerator.

I had to take some of it down and put it on the table, in order to open the cupboard door. Finally I found some tape, hiding in a basket, so I snatched it up and heedless of the mess ran outside with my tape and scissors.

Daniel had cut out several windows and an opening for a door. I cut strips of tape to make hinges for the door and deftly applied them. As we worked we imagined all sorts of amazing rooms for our house, a second level, and a kitchen.

Then when we ran out of cardboard (and not finding any more after several search missions), we excitedly formed a plan to sleep out in our playhouse. Energized by our idea we cleaned up all of the stray pieces of tape and brought tape and scissors into the house, where we dumped it all on the kitchen table.

We ran up to our moms room "Mom! Can we sleep out in the playhouse we made." Mom gave us a stern look, "Did you clean up the mess?" We unabashedly told her we had (with the thought of quickly cleaning up the kitchen), then we heard the familiar words "Go ask your Dad." Which we generally liked to turn into a vote in our favor.

So we ran out to the backyard searching for our Dad. Daniel stood back and let me ask him, "what does your mom say?" I immediately answered that she said that we could. He warned us that it looked like it was going to rain, but we shrugged it off, sure that our fantastic house would keep us dry.

"Alright, I don't think you'll make it through the night. You'll come on in if it starts raining, OK?" We scoffed "were not going to need to come in the house, our play house is water proof!" Then we ran into the house to gather up our stuff, blankets, sleeping bags, pillows. Plus some books and snacks (in case we got hungry).

After dinner, we helped Dad locate the remote so that we could watch the news with him. This was a generally enjoyable thing to do because he liked to tease my mom by flipping the channels while the commercials were on and it was funny to hear bits and pieces from the different shows and commercials flash past.

"Friday!, well!, in other..., amazing, travel abroad, only $19.95!, carpet." Mom would huff at dad, "Jon, stop!" and his sly grin told us that he was teasing her.

When it was time for bed we went to get our pajamas on and brushed our teeth. Then made a big show of going off to our own home, our parents ignored the dramatics, "alright, have a good night."

We marched out to our "house" and settled in, snuggling down in the blankets we started talking and imagining things. We told a few ghost stories, then knelt down on top of our blankets to say a little prayer, acting as grown up as possible we thought.

Finally we settled in and dozed fitfully for a while in our uncomfortable positions. The next awareness that I had was the sound of the rain pitter pattering upon the roof of our little house.

Then the smell of the rain and of damp cardboard, I turned over and snuggled down in my blankets a bit more, ignoring the rain since I didn't want to go into the house. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep, drowsily snuggling against my pillow.

Then I felt a drop and this served to wake me further. I lay there ignoring the drip, drip, drip coming down onto my shoulder until I couldn't stand it anymore.

"Daniel," I whispered. "Are you awake?" I kind of knew the answer since I had felt a shift in his awareness. "Yeah," he answered. "There's a leak, what should we do?"

He shuffled around and I shuffled around looking for a piece of extra cardboard to slip in the roof to cover the hole. Finally we got the hole covered and shivering we huddled closely for warmth, but we were stubborn kids and didn't want to go in the house.

We dozed a bit, until we heard another drip, drip, we shoved a blanket in that one. Then settled in again, drip, drip, another blanket was put into the hole. Our teeth were chattering, and we were clinging to our blankets in cold desperation.

Finally an idea came to me, "lets move the house under the carport." We got out and felt the downpour in full force. Stubbornly we picked up our little playhouse and brought it under the carport, then climbed back in.

Our blankets were wet, our pillows were damp and cold. We lay there a few minutes then almost simultaneously felt like going in. "Let's go in!" I told Daniel. He was already scrambling out of our cardboard doorway and I followed closely behind him, the sky outside was starting to lighten through the rain.

The house was silent in the predawn hours, but warm. We congratulated ourselves for making it through the night. It was five in the morning, we sat down at the table all full of childish happiness at our feat then decided to pour ourselves some orange juice.

Sitting across from Daniel I drank my juice and grinned at him, then rubbed my cold nose, "I'm going to go back to bed, how about you?" He enthusiastically agreed and we ran to our rooms. My bed never felt so warm and cozy to me then it did at that moment. :D

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Love a Rainy Night

Well, I figured that I needed to post something (since the last post was so intense). But I just don't have a lot to say today.

I went on a beautiful walk with the kid's and took quite a few pictures (that I've made a slideshow of, but I want to get a few more shots).

It is raining outside...

and I have a story to tell about the rain, but I am just too sleepy right now. So I will tell you all about the harrowing experience of my brother and I in the rain another time. ;p

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Celiac Disease a Love/Hate Relationship!!

Things I HATE about having Celiac disease...

I feel like an odd duck

I don't get to eat cake!!

(Unless it's Gluten Free - It tastes the same but it's hard to have it available for every function).

People Don't Believe Me - They Think It's In My Head

(Because they haven't heard of it... who's allergic to wheat?)

Reaction to Gluten? or The Flu?

What I LIKE about having Celiac Disease...

Zero Temptation to eat most candy, cakes, rolls, bread. Unless GF, and that's easy to control, cause' it's not always around!! A dieters best friend... :D

(It's not will-power I just hate feeling sick)

Cooking Gluten Free is Easy!! -

Just like mixing up a cake (you just spread out pizza dough, pour bread dough into the bread pan... no kneading - Easy!!)Plus Gluten Free folks have figured out how to make every type of flour based food, GF)

I FEEL GREAT!! (Most of the Time) :D

I found out if I was allergic for $100 dollars through Enterolabs. I was allergic, my son wasn't... I was glad that I found out.

I'm going to add my favorite Gluten Free Bloggers (and web-sites) to my GF cooking blog... (You can find my blog from my profile or from clicking on the apron on the sidebar below).

Honest Scrap Award

The Honest Scrap Award From Pam

The Honest Scrap award comes with a caveat or 2. Firstly you have to tell your readers 10 things about you they may not know, but that are true. Secondly you have to tag 10 people with the award."

Thank you Pam for the award...

Here are 10 random things about me:

1. I like hanging out at the river (and even jump in once in a while).

2. I have a Bachelors degree in accounting.

3. I want to learn how to speak in Tongan, Spanish and Italian.

4. I want to learn how to draw and paint.

5. I want to improve my singing. (Even have a CD from a professional voice coach, Lalalala)

6. I cook, and I love it, but I am sometimes random about it!!

7. I have poor eyesight but I can see other things well. ;D

8. There are two little critters (who are sort of crazy cats) who hang around my house. One's named Stormy, a little boy kittie who I like to call Storm Cloud (just to mock him a bit) The other is Stripes a LOUD little girl kittie (Who I call Strip Stripes cause everyone needs a nick name).

9. I like the Mr. Men book series and Little Ms. By Roger Hargreaves (who wouldn't like these books?)

10. I have a tendency to become obsessed with projects then to go totally flat on whatever I was doing before. (Sort of like my Dad... the house still isn't painted).

I am tagging 10 of my favorite people:











Attack of the Zombie Chickens!!!

I have a sneaking suspicion that my Zombie chicken is hidding out under my bed... how else do you explain all of the scratching around down there (er, I guess it could be my cats...).


I have had a Zombie Chicken award bestowed upon me by John over at Smoke Rings and Matterings (and the mattering is quite a big part of his blog so go check it out.

As for the award...

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken-excellence, grace, and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, these amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least five other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by not choosing wisely or not choosing at all.

1. Pam over at Finding Pam

2. Kelsey at Shishi-o-blog (I am sure she's thrilled, I mean who wouldn't want a Zombie Chicken around?)

3. Reggie Girl at Midlife, Meopause, and random stuff

4. Clone Girl at Real Fake

5. Patty at A Diary Left Open

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gray Hairs Don't Mar Beauty

Sam's Grandparents

One of the most beautiful woman that I know is Sam's Grandmother Pine (just look at her smiling at a present, even though she didn't need it). The name Pine is pronounced Pi (I sounds like E) Ne - Not like the tree. :D

We went to visit them quite a bit when they lived near us, but they have gone back to Tonga.

What makes her beautiful? You might ask.

When I met her I was scared of her, her and Grandpa Sungalu didn't like me at the time, they didn't like many "Palangi's."

After getting to know them I have grown to love them and I know they love me as well.

Grandma Pine is just about the most loving lady that I know. She spent long hours watching over my husband when he was growing up, if he was sick she would stay up all night and care for him, placing cool towels on his face.

She is a healer, a true healer. She has an intimate knowledge of the medicinal plants of Tonga and has used them in remarkable ways.

Sam burnt his face once, when he was doing a fire dance and used the wrong type of fuel to blow at the fire with.

She made a really stinky poultice and covered his face, changing it often. All of the hair was burnt off and they didn't think that it would grow back, but it did, you can hardly tell that it was burnt.

She also cared for one of Sam's nieces who had leukemia. She had been in the hospital for many months, and they thought she would die. They sent for Grandma, she called Tonga and asked for different types of plants. She stayed with the little girl giving her the Tongan cure and she recovered!!

What I absolutely know is that Grandma Pine cares, very deeply. She cries really easily, I don't know how many times I have sat listening to Sam talk with her in Tongan as she weeped freely, wiping her eyes with some type of cloth.

When I look at her, I don't see the age so much as I see the kindness. She is absolutely beautiful.

Grandpa as well is like this, Sam has gone many times to them to have them knead his sore muscles and Grandpa helped Sam heal his foot after a Rugby injury.

They do this pressing, rubbing thing to eliminate the bad blood, I think it works!

He is a really funny guy!! A couple of years ago he was seriously ill, he had to have quadruple bypass surgery, he was diagnosed with diabetes. The doctor said that he must have a "big heart" because he didn't know why it was still beating.

We visited frequently during this time, everyone was preparing for a funeral, but he suprised us all. When brought our children over, the kids would run in and give their grandparents hugs and an "Uma" on the cheek (my kids don't learn the word "kiss" until later, we teach them it's an "Uma" and thats what they call it).

Sione, (which incidentally means Jon in Tongan), was really a big comfort to them as he looks and acts so much like Sam, the little boy they raised... Sione would play around with Grandpa even when the rest of us were scared to get him worked up.

I remember one time, Sione started to "Pillow fight" with Grandpa and to our surprise Grandpa, fought back and played quite a while.

This was something that Sam's Grandparents treasured, being treated as themselves, not as some old decrepit people. Sione is still there favorite, they miss him fiercely.

It was hard for them over here though, they lived in a little trailer home, and although Sam's aunt took care of them (and her daughter)they were more alone and worse off than if they were in Tonga.

We took them food many times, they were really poor, but they still longed to be back in Tonga. So after a lot of discussion it was decided that they should go back.

To everyone's surprise, when Grandpa Sungalu started eating Tongan food again, fish, roots, whole foods, he has regained his strength and is now walking around normally again.

He has told me that he is waiting for me to come and visit them in Tonga before they die. We are so poor, the thought of not getting to visit makes me sad. But life can surprise you sometimes. Like growing to love people who are not originally your family, someone who you were scared of at first and I do love them.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Stroll at Midnight

Out for a nice little walk with Roxie, plug her into her stroller and tuck a fuzzy blanket up around her.

We start off together into the fresh Spring air. Finally Spring, another dose of it anyway after the twists and turns of the moody Utah weather.

Walking, steadily, over bumps in the sidewalk, around mailboxes and trash cans, someone has left a broken coffee table kneeling at an angle, missing some of its legs.

The train whistle off in the distance is part of the fabric, a thread of sound connected with the steady clickity clack of the stroller.

We pass by some students, some in a group, chatting and laughing, another gazing in appreciation at the stars as he stands outside his friends house waiting for the door to be answered.

The stars, I can't help gazing too, veering off the sidewalk a bit at times as I walk and stare at the patterns and twinkling, the different hues and brightnesses. It is awe inspiring to be a part of it all.

We turn the corner and walk along the usually busy main road that connects all of the little side streets. Now eerily empty, lit by the tall streetlamps, shining a fuzzy orange glow.

With caution I approach the cross walk and try to peer around the cars parked on the street, it is difficult since the angle is awkward.

So with a bit of trepidation I walk out going slowly in case a car with a little too much speed and a little too much confidence decides to spin around the roundabout at the left, down the street.

I glance left then right and run across, unsure of my luck on the seemingly deserted street.

Then I follow along on the uneven, broken sidewalk which is lifted in places by tree roots and cluttered by trash and other debris. The air though is so clean, it feels good to be out.

I look about appreciatively at the cherry trees in bloom, at the peaceful desertion of the streets, the whole night serenity of the neighborhood.

I breath in the different scents in the air, damp earth, trees in bloom, and laundry softener, carried to me by the wind.

I can smell Suavital, a memory of a friend is evoked, how funny that scent can do that. So vivid the memory, it makes me reflect a bit, about times gone past.

I am brought back to attention by the need to cross into the street, so I lower the front wheels of the stroller and cross, then turn down a favorite part of the neighborhood, where many friends reside.

I see that Susan has her little vegetable garden started, good for her, we still need to get ours planted, on the agenda, again. We cross the street again, where a few towering pines grow and a little stream flows.

I squat next to Roxie and follow the stream with my eyes, it flows calmly, rippling over the little rocks in the bed. The sound of water tinkles in my ears and I am mesmerized until Roxie tells me "enough mommy," so I get going again.

Only to find that a glorious cherry tree is in bloom in the next yard. It looks so friendly and inviting I just want to embrace it. So I get up close and touch the blossoms with my finger tips and smell them appreciatively.

Moving on I spy another such tree across the street, this one's fate is sadder, it has fallen prey to the heavy snows of last week and several large branches are down. The sight makes me sad a little, so I go over to it, to commiserate with the tree a bit.

The blossoming branches lay drooping on the ground and I wish that I could restore them again. Again the urge to embrace the drooping branches comes to mind as a friend would to cheer up another.

I let Roxie get up close and she pats the flowers a bit. I break off a little branch, the main branch will die soon, it makes me sad to think of it. But I feel happy to have a little piece of beauty to carry with me as I stroll along.

We turn back and I notice other broken trees, hurt by the capriciousness of winter in the middle of Springs proceedings.

Back walking towards my home again I sigh as the stars twinkle and remember a friend. A friend who describes stars as the twinkling of a dream and this makes me smile.

Back across the street, the busy deserted street, flowing with ghost cars. I park the stroller and bring Roxie and her blanket inside. To curl up in a room comfortable from the open window, and air that smells like spring.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Classical Music and Colds

I had some sort of stomach flu yesterday, today my heads a bit groggy, so I brought out some classical music to help me feel better...

Listening to Vivaldi right now... I love "Spring" from the four Seasons. I also like the sound of "Summer" some parts of it sound like the rushing of the river. Kind of like the way I feel when running along the river trail.

The thing about classical music, is that there are pieces out there that I like, but I don't remember who the artist was. So that's annoying grrr... I took a music appreciation class in college and some of the classical music that was required listening was so fantastic!! Unfortunantly I couldn't afford to keep the CD's, quite expensive.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Friday Shoot-Outs ~ Native Foods and Restraunts (really native)

Don't eat out much, so I thought I would share a bit of traditional Native American foods from this area... (Utah)

Rainbow Trout:

Sage Brush:

Wild Onions:

Sego Lilies:

Pine Nuts:

Indian Rice:


Choke Cherries:

Provo River:

Utah Lake:

(The Olive Garden...) ;p (Not the best picture, since I was trying to take a picture of the little puddle of water that had gathered there from the recent rain and snow...) :D

Connecting It All

Connecting It All

The yearning of our souls stretching out to expand the cramped and narrow horizons of the mind. Trying to touch another, to connect with something deep within another heart, another soul.

A place and time unimagined before, suddenly opened up to new possibilities. The words of the author, words from the dust, extolling you from times gone past.

Wisdom shared from some timeless truth, some law of the universe, something that we yearn for in the secret places of our hearts.

Drawings on the wall of a cave, images out of the mind of some primeval warrior, which speak of the battle, the beasts and of love.

Broken pottery on the floor, remnants of hands which held and shaped it. Perhaps lips that supped from the ancient cup, residues of grapes that grew so long ago, which enlivened the senses of the vessels that bore souls.

Souls which are now woven into the story of time, souls who’s spirit look out through your own eyes. Threads woven from the fabric of many lands, many peoples, reflected by the mirror if you only care to look.

More Snow Falls

Bumping up this post, cause the snow keeps on coming around again...

Well, in life as in weather, the snow will fall just when you least expect it. Sometimes I welcome the snow, it is a covering for the bare winter world. But it is a frozen cover a suspension of time as you will for the world. Time stands still, the only action is from the flakes of snow, drifting down. Silently down, softly down then comes the wind, howling. Howling about the aches and pains of a lonely drifting soul, who's soul? No one knows, it could be your own. You shiver, but not from the cold, but from the realization that you have felt the same as the howling wind. You felt that way and anyone who has felt that way cannot forget. Yet the snow is sometimes your friend, a benediction to the closing year. Listen as it falls upon Christmas eve night, there is an erie glow in the world, the air smells fresher because of the snow. You cling to your covers and close your eyes tight. Santa is coming, who know's what he will bring tonight. Your fairly sure you were good, so your not worried, not much. The snow is the reassurance that things will be right in the morning.

Walking through the snow.

My shoes are inadequate for the task, I have to walk home. Ten steps into the crunchy snow I realize that this will not be easy, perhaps if I take a short cut I will get there faster. So I turn the back way, brrrr my feet are cold, and my pants are getting wet as well. Grit your teeth, wrap your coat tighter and think of a warm bath and hot cocoa at home. Keep walking, crunching through the snow, at least that is satisfying. Crunching the glassy ice that has formed on the side of the road. Woops that one held water beneth it, now my feet are really wet. Brrrr keep walking, no sense in stopping that will not end the misery. Now I am avoiding the ice, although I would like to stomp on it. The path ahead looks smooth, good, glibly I walk into it. Woops this path was a trick, it was formed from the snow ploughs, deep hills on the side of the road, made smooth by the wind. Now I am really wet, up to the top of my pants. Trudge, trudge to the road, where the wheels of the cars have made a path through the snow. Whew, that was bad, but I am almost home. I am hurrying now, as much as I can with my stiff feet and stiff legs. How odd it feels to be wet, cold and stiff on the bottom and warm and dry on the top. Round the bend then round another, cross through the neighbors driveway from the backroad to the front. Trudge, stomp pull my legs faster and faster, until I am slightly running. Around the corner, through the neighbors yard, into our back door. Brrr wet clothes off, I go to the bathtub where I run slightly warm water (the hot water hurts). Until my legs and feet warm up a bit, then I run warmer and warmer water until the aching pain is gone. I grab a fluffy towel and dry off, dress and stand over the furnace while it blows hot air to warm me up. I decide to get some cocoa and leave the cocoon of the warm bathroom. Finally I am feeling warm, inside and out and I decide to rest. I snuggle down into the covers, into the warmth, into a comfortable sleep. (This really happened to me).

I hope your winter is going well.

~Strawberry Girl

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Free Summer Days...

I am working on taxes again!! Our payroll is a mess (and it's not my fault) :{

So as a break I feel like writing a bit about carefree childhood days.

The day outside has started off grey and chilly but that doesn't deter us because we love the extra intrigue that it adds to the air.

It is as though someone has added a filter to the sun, the greens of the garden, the pink of the spicy miniature roses on their bush stand out as if colored as an afterthought on a black and white painting.

We zip up our jackets and wear an extra shirt as well, then we run around the house looking for magnets, flashlights, and a camera. We also fill baggies with cereal to take along with us and dig out the stale bread from the bread cupboard to feed to the ducks.

We hop on our bikes, a bit awkward with our stash of stuff, yet eager as well. We peddle down the road, stopping occasionally to adjust things, and going slow because we keep letting go of the handle bars to grab a bag here or a flashlight there.

When we get to the river trail we park our bikes by the rusty metal bridge and put our stuff down while we lock them up.

First of all we decide to get rid of the stale bread by feeding the ducks. They know what we are there for so they all gather around us quacking, and a few geese nip at them and honk at us.

We can't break the bread up fast enough, the ducks are voracious eaters. They are so jumpy and noisy that it is amusing. I get mad because the little green headed male keeps pushing a little grey girl out of the way to get at the bread. So I devise a strategy to throw a piece out behind the girl and away from the boy.

This almost works but a large matronly female snatches it, defeated the little girl duck sits patiently while the others get there fill. So I hold off a minute until the others lose interest, then I carefully throw a bit out for the little grey.

We throw the bags away in the near by trash containers and head out to the park. Passing up the slides and the swings we slip quietly into the tangled trees and bushes. The light becomes even more filtered and interesting.

Here we find scattered leaves and tree branches. Intertwined vines, climbing overgrown trees. Tall grasses, weeds and a bit of junk here and there. We follow the foot path for a bit, then step into the overgrowth to pick our way through it, as if we were exploring some foreign jungle.

Occasionally we over turn matted piles of leaves and the essential oils of the earth rise up to hit our noses, we breath this in deeply.

Daniel heads off to the left, I call out to him "don't climb any tree's, cause' I don't want to go and get Dad if you get stuck." He calls back "don't worry, don't worry." In a sarcastic, teasing tone of voice.

Finding myself alone, I turn on the flashlight to help me pick my way through the tilting branches, grown over by morning glory and climbing ivy. I reach out to move a branch out of the way and push gently at first, but find that it is sturdier than I thought so I press against it firmly and it presses firmly back.

I am a bit unsteady as I carefully step over a log on the ground, and hold the tree limb back while I pass. The trees here grow in a circle, and I feel as though I have entered into the middle of a circle of female friends who have linked their arms together.

I sit down here, where the grass and moss combine and lean back on my hands, gazing at the criss cross pattern of tree limbs competing and climbing together towards the sun.

Here I curl up, to breath in the scent of the earth, the smell of new grass mixed with the scent of the old. I close my eyes for a while, dreaming my forest dreams, then hear the birds chasing each other off in the distance.

Their chattering disturbs my solitude so I open my eyes and stretch, yawning. Crouching I turn on my flashlight to discover what I can among the secret places.

Gaps between vines, spaces between the earth and fallen trees, under bushes, and out over the meadow grasses. I feel as though the hidden magical creatures are spying on me, just out of sight and that if I am fast enough I can catch them.

Alas I find sticks and twigs, rocks and dirt, and bits of garbage, which always makes me mad. I snatch a stray plastic bag off of the nearest branch and start picking up garbage furiously, miffed at other peoples thoughtlessness.

After a while I get tired of this and decide to go find my brother. I find him climbing, back and forth between the interspersed trees. He jumps from one tree, and clings to another, having a glorious time.

"Daniel, come on!! Get down!" He ignores me and climbs higher. "Well fine! I am going to go throw this garbage away then I'm going to go walk along the river to catch some water skeeters."

So I head off towards the clearing and I hear Daniel crashing around in the underbrush to catch up. I throw away the garbage, then run, zipping past Daniel on his way to catch me, off to the river.

There I slowly descend the bank, over the rocks and chunks of concrete that someone had decided to throw there. In the dappled light of the river, near the slow moving edges of the riverbank, we find the little skeeters skittering about on their three legs.

Their feet make concentric circles, ever widening and interspersing together as they dash along. We decide to leave them alone today, because we didn't bring a container for them, though we contemplate our empty sandwich baggies for the job. Fortunately for the skeeters we can imagine them being squished in the baggies, so we don't use them and head back up the riverbank again.

The sun had come out so we headed down the asphalt trail by the river towards the underpasses, where the cars and then trains passed, the first underpass being for cars and the second for trains.

The sun soaked asphalt was starting to get hot, so we took off our jackets and swung them around as we walked. We passed up the first underpass for the alluring possibilities that awaited us under the train pass.

First of all it was cool to look up at the tracks from underneath, to see the rail ties all lined up like fence posts. Secondly when we hopped up on the cement barrier, which kept out the river on the other side, we could find black metal filings to play with.

We would take out our magnets and run them through the dirt picking up the filings. Then we gathered them up in our baggies to bring them home. Then we would sit on the cement, because nothing grew in the dirt under the bridge, and we put our feet up in front of us. Laying back to watch for trains, thrilling a little at the idea of a train passing right over us.

After a while, when no train came, we got up. Being chilled from the cool river breezes and dark underpass air, we put our jackets back on and emerged from our dark hideaway. We walked slowly back to where our bikes were parked, letting the sun soak into us, warming us again. Then we hopped on our bikes and slowly peddled home again, feeling free, unburdened from care.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Has Risen

A Message From The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

At this Easter season of hope and renewal we testify of the glorious reality of the atonement and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The empty tomb brought comforting assurance and provided the answer to the question of Job, “If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14).

Because of the Savior’s resurrection we will overcome death and become the beneficiaries of His mercy and grace. In a world of trouble and uncertainty, His peace fills our hearts and eases our minds. Jesus is in very deed “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

We give our sure witness that Jesus is the Christ. Though He was crucified, He rose triumphant from the tomb to our everlasting blessing and benefit. To each member of the human family He stands as our Advocate, our Savior, and our Friend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Northern lights, the collision of particles in the ionosphere, are a vision of the ionic elements that dance through all of us.

Watching the hypnotic swirls of green, purple and blue. Is like looking at the enlivened soul. Occasionally orange bursts of light can be seen, sparks of passion in the sky.

Human beings stand in awe of the display, the embodiment of organic emotion felt by those who allow themselves to feel the embrace of the spiritual in their lives.

Heightened senses come from a body well cared for and a spirit as well.

Why are we attracted to those who care, who love with all of their hearts? Because each of us needs to feel that spiritual connection with another.

Love it is light and life, anger and animosity is the darkness that we shrink from. Truly a prayer is a connection with the divine, it has the power to connect people from all over the world. What good does it do? It does a lot.

Think of another, Love one another. When you do you bring life into the world. For each moment that we care that care is felt by others and it heals. That is partially what was so powerful about Jesus, I believe even Gandhi and Mother Theresa shared this type of Love as well.

Imagine someone looking at you with care and concern for you in their eyes. It is healing.

I remember one dark night, I was faltering really bad. I felt so hurt inside, though I didn't want to show it to others. I went to the store and got out of the car. The snow was falling and the air held a biting chill. I was trying to get out of the cold quickly. Then I ran into my old Bishop and his wife. His countenance was bright, he looked like an angel. In his eyes was the love of a deeply caring individual. He asked how I was doing and squeezed my hand with a gentle warmth. He looked deeply into my eyes and he wasn't fooled. Then he said to me "you are special, you are a really special girl, and I am proud of you." These word were so healing to my hurt and broken heart. His sweet wife gave me a hug as well. The air had turned warm from their love. As they got into the car to get home I looked up into the sky with a sigh of contentment and the snow that fell was like a shimmery benediction to the perfect sermon. I really didn't know him that well, but he gave to me a precious gift. When he passed away, I cried sweet tears because I knew he went home to live with the angels in heaven.

That my friends is Love, it is divine. Not everyone cares enough to develop it, I believe that the world would be a far better place if we cultivated such in our own lives.

~Happy Easter

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

HUGS for my cousin Sue Sue

Oh I have found my cousinish soul mate!! Well that is soul mate in regards to being insane about organic and whole food. (Actually we're rationally insane, only crazy to others, muwahahaha). I have not seen Sue Sue for 13 years!! The last time I saw her was at my cousin Michelle's wedding and I was being an idiot. So I don't really remember the last time we really talked, if we ever did, because she was the younger of my two girl cousins from Saudi Arabia... Her older sister Nadeda and I got into trouble together. She attended a couple of semesters over here and I still have some notes that she passed me in class!! (Not to mention the Biology class that I took through the college... no wonder I didn't do well, but hey I was only 15 when I took it, it was my mom's idea cause' she works there).

I remember my cousins visits every summer. Aunt Lois would rent an apartment, usually in a student apartment building. We would run around in our swimming suits to go to the buildings pool and flirt with the boys!! One time we spyed on their neighbors by picking up the signal with their portable phone. We were naughty little girls!!

Tomorrow we are going to try to get together with Pammer and run up to SLC. I hope it's nicer, today the darn fikle Utah Spring played it's naughty tricks by sending a cold bitting wind!! (and a bit of hail and rain) However I did get out before hand to walk along the river with Roxie. I wrote something afterwards, but I am not sure I want to post it... it is a bit personal, and it talks about my relationship. Sam doesn't like it when I bring it up, he wants me to forget everything and move on. I would but it's hard, i'd write about it, but it's hard to write about it in a positive way. Shout out to Eco Grrl for her honesty!!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Ramblings

Today has been glorious!! What is it about the cold that makes everything seem bleak, outlooks as well as health? Speaking from my own perspective, I find that my mind can get very messy and I can't concentrate when there is no sun about. Plus it's the air, whatever it is that the sun releases from the earth travels about enlivening the scents, renewing the spirit. Ahhh, I am so in love with it all.

Today the air has been kissed with spring and I have been travelling around getting things done, except my car is still a mess and so is my house and I am going to go insane if I don't get some cleaning done... but i've got to go coach my daughters volleyball team (Sam's supposed to do it but he keeps flaking out, doing other stuff, same thing happened with my sons t-ball team. Imagine me trying to coach a buch of 5 year old boys... they just ignored me and did whatever they wanted to most of the time, yeesh!!)

Lil. sis said something funny on Sunday, forgot to write about it. We were talking generally of Obama's visit to the UK. Lil. sis pipes up "yeah they dress funny over there, the guy's walk around with monicles and bowler hats and tweed jackets too." We all laughed at that... wonder how many do wear monicles and bowler hats... maybe just as many as wear cowboy boots and hats over here (though I do see quite a few cowboys... including my Uncle Mo, love Uncle Mo... he's my dad's only brother. Own's a bar up on state street Callies Cafe and Mo's bar... funny thing is that they built a church right across the street from his house!! LOL.)

Anyway, nough' rambling. ;p

Monday, April 6, 2009

An ounce of patience...

One of the things that I have always had trouble with is patience, anyone else out there struggle with this, anyone, anyone, raise your hand...

I can usually accept things I can't change... can't buy new couches, can't buy the type of clothes that I like (I am buying thrift clothes... from an eco standpoint I am glad were recycling... but I would rather buy a few high quality items that will look nice for a long time...)

I say usually because the hard thing for me is seeing things that I want to change, that I know I should change but have some kind of impediment to it. Like exercising, I made a goal (har, har, har) to go out and exercise for 40 min. by walking up the hill y our house.

So first it starts raining, then I get sick and all of the kids (mommy can't exercise when they need stuff, right?) and this past illness has been so weird, I think it actually hurt, like a one two punch.

Yesterday, when I was starting to feel some good healing feelings and the sun was actually shining, I felt like lying down on the grass and hugging the ground (which I did), then I stretched the achenes out, it felt good.

Today, though I am feeling lots of good happy getting better vibes, I am still a bit tired and still have a bit of congestion. (But its all good, slowly going away). The worst part of illness to me is when I get irrational about things, start feeling inadequate cause' the house is a mess and I can't concentrate... Winter and illness always messes me up!!

Things I need to get to... cleaning out the car, making a quilt (or two), sorting out the yarn (again!! the darn kittens got to it), sorting out the winter clothes, sorting out the summer clothes, getting rid of stuff... I, like my friend Christine I want to be better organized with dinner, and learn Spanish (well actually she wants to resume teaching her kids Spanish)...

Ah nothings getting done by blogging right?....

(Oh yeah I have these panic attacks about how competent I am as a writer... I take a long time finishing things... comes from my dad, darn him)

Oh yeah... can ya all see me out there chasing Sego Lilies? I do that in my spare time. ;p

Condolences to Italy

Woke up today with the news of the terrible destruction from the earthquake in Italy. So many people hurt, dead or out of a home... my heart goes out to the people of Italy, especially those who have lost loved ones and/or their homes. We will be praying for them at our house.


~Strawberry Girl

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Swimming... on the Floor?

One beautiful summers day, when I was about 8 and Daniel 7, my parents left my brother and I in charge of watching ourselves. Now I am not sure if this was while they were at work, or if it was a date they had gone on, either way we were at home alone. I believe that they had taken my Brother Jonathan up to my grandparents house because I don't remember him being there.

Somehow or other, my brother and I decided that we would like to go swimming. Having no swimming pool, we looked about for something, something... ah yes, the kitchen sink. It was a very deep sink... so we filled it up and hopped in. As water started sloshing over the sides, some kind of deep imagination took over, whether it was Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery day, I know not. So we let the water run over the side of the sink and onto the slick linoleum floor. We moved the chairs out of the way and started slipping back and forth on our little tummies, even blocking off the heater vent with some towels. We had a good 1-2 inches of water on the floor, it was so much fun!!

Then our parents came home. They asked for an explanation, did we have any for them? Nope. I just hope my own kids never think of it. ;p

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Some of what I believe...

I want to share with you all a few of my beliefs, I have developed my beliefs over time and have come a long way with things like religion, politics and even food (which believe me, people have a lot of beliefs built up about their food).

Perceptions change, and I find that I learn more about the world every day. I have undergone a series of changes over the past couple of years and it actually started with food. I had a crises with what I believed to be good for me because I found that I was allergic to gluten. Found in Wheat, Barley and Rye, and almost every processed food out there.

I was extremely scared a lot of times, because I had to give up certain ways of thinking, of eating, and I became the sore thumb in every situation involving food, every party that I went to.

But it ended up being a good thing, I learned that a lot of our previous assumptions may be wrong and that it is OK to examine our beliefs. It used to be hard for me to do that because of immaturity, I felt threatened by the examination of ideas which I hadn't fully formed yet.

I still feel vulnerable sometimes, but I have found that a better way of dealing with that vulnerability is to admit that I don't know, and to be open to hearing peoples sincere thoughts and beliefs as well as sharing my own.

So here are a couple of my impressions, or beliefs...

First of all I believe that God has a plan for us all, and that plan is happiness.

I believe that when we do things that hurt our bodies, our spirits and others then God is not happy and we won't be either.

I believe that God is a creative being, that nature and life. The vibrancy of the universe, the pulsating of my heart, the way that I feel when I connect with another human being and even animals and the earth. All of this tells me that I will not end with death. I have had moments even that I looked in the mirror or thought of my ancestors, their stories and lives, when I felt a connection with them. To me they are not gone.

I absolutely believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ and I believe in the Holy Ghost. I believe they are separate people. I have felt Gods healing mercy in my life, mercy for my stupidity and childish follies. In fact I think that God gives us so much, that we choose to accept it or not. If we don't accept the good things that he gives us then he is probably sad that we won't accept it, but I know that God is not going to shove his gifts down our throat so it's our fault if we don't use them.

I don't judge myself as harshly as I used to, I try also to not judge others harshly as well. I make mistakes now and then and I sometimes cringe when I see someone do something that I have done before that I now know to be harmful.

That's the hard thing right? It is not my place to step in to try and force someone, that is a bad way to be, people don't like to be forced. I think that God's way is to love, to listen, and to speak with kindness. I believe that God is Love.

I believe that God has given us many healing and wonderful foods and herbs and that we should celebrate them and use them to heal our bodies and our minds. I think that the harsh way that people treat food is not good for us.

It should be appreciated, embraced and created with passion. If not then it will be dead to us and will not fill us with the strength and energy that we need. (Though tell that to me when I am in a hormonal uprising, I am definitely in the mood for simple, no hassle food. Still, I think that the less abused your food is, the better it will be for you.) ;}

I think an irreverence and disregard for the things that we have is deadening to us. It has been a great privilege to have learned how to cook with whole, beautiful food and how to create nourishing meals. I am so grateful for it.

I believe that men and women should be respectful to each other. This is one area of my life that has been harmed in some ways because I have not respected myself and I have let others disrespect me.

But really, if food has so much beauty and healing power to it, why not the relationship between men and women? I think that the key to feeling this beautiful part of Gods plan for us is respect, reverence and being grateful for it.

I guess that is also when I have found myself to feel the most beautiful. When I respect myself and wear clothing that I feel beautiful in. Clothing that I can wear with confidence. I am picky about my clothes, I try to find things that are timeless, as much as possible. That are classy and womanly, not prudish, but feminine. Really, classy, that's the key. My ideal for this is my Grandmother who was always beautiful, because she paid attention to little details, yet she was not overly made up either.

Kind of funny that I started talking about clothes...

I also believe that we all have some power to touch other lives, to lift and heal. That if we care we can do so much good in this world. I have found so much of that through all of you. I have felt so much love from people that I have never met in person, but who have taken the time to bless my life through their small acts of kindness to me. I am grateful to you all, I respect you and I love all of the truth and beauty that is out there to find.

Friday, April 3, 2009

As Silly as You've Seen Me

I am tired of being tired
of trying to follow the rules
Who's rules anyway?
What do they know?

I used to do cartwheels in my living room
Dance to the music with my hair flying around me

I was the most impressionist dancer that you could ever hope to find.

I used to roll down the hill, laughing, then wander about in dizziness.

I would walk barefoot with my cousin on a hot summers day, down to the store, just to feel the heat radiating into our feet. When it got to be too much we would hop in the nearest grass and sit cross legged contemplating the random mushrooms that grew there.

I used to fly, high, high in a swing. Imagining that I could touch the clouds with my feet. Feeling the air rush over me, feeling the adrenaline.

I fly about my house now, so bothered by it all, by the world, the economy, the general messiness of things.

Yet I still want to do so much... I want to learn how to sing, really well.

I want to draw and paint.


Speak Spanish with the natives.

Go running through the sand dunes again and not care that there is sand in my shoes and hair.

I want to go walking along the river again, then jump in and let it carry me away, not caring about anyone seeing me or what they think.

I want to raise Nubian She Goats and milk them to make cheese. (LOL My dad's random thought).

Or go digging for mushrooms with a wild mushroom digging pig. (Also my dad's random thought)

I am tired of being tired. Playing by the rules that I can't fathom, of watching what everyone else is doing and thinking that whatever I do is not good enough.

I can be responsible and still spend my time spreading out paper along the floor, (or maybe the grass), getting the kids into their old clothes and then letting them paint whatever they feel like.

I can clean the house, with music ponderously playing as I hold a sock hop in the kitchen.

Or run up the hill taking pictures of the stars.

I can do anything.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Great Story Teller Website

I have lucked out guy's... I ran across this website which has a bunch of story's, read aloud by some excellent story tellers.

I listened to Aunt Annie's Baby (Ghost Story)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


~Dedicated to my blogger friends.


1. Raffledoocious'
2. Dana__23
3. Lorenzo Desiati
4. Nameet
5. kentwill
6. buddymaxx50
7. Raffledoocious'

Taxes, taxes, everywhere

I have a Bachelors Degree in accounting, but trying to handle last years business information, let alone taxes is baffling me.


Because I didn't create the company to handle large jobs... then I didn't have the software to keep track of the jobs... I didn't have contracts... I couldn't track labor... let alone expenses...

Someone send me some Gingko Biloba... a bunch of blueberries... some REALLY Dark chocolate, because this stuff is making me insane.

And that my friends is one of the big troubles with partnerships.

It dosen't matter how much I know about business... because if I am not in control of the incomes and outflows, and I cannot track them besides. If there is no cooperation... Then stuff like this happens. Don't look at me for an explaination.

It makes me want to: Hide, scream, initiate a hostile take over...

OR let things be, try to sort them out and refuse to be the accounting portion of the business...