Friday, December 29, 2006

it was probably the lucky gnome

Our trip back from Kansas was both better and worse than our trip out. We started hearing the forecasts of another winter storm, and fearing a slow drive like the one we experienced on our way out, we left Kansas a little earlier than planned. Instead of making two day drives like we did on the way out (and which I hope to never do again) we planned to drive all night on Wednesday. We left Kansas just after dinner and planned to arrive home in Orem by 11am on Thursday. Traveling west on I-70 Wednesday night was uneventful. We had dry roads and clear skies all the way until we reached Denver. I wasn’t the driver at that point, but I did wake up long enough to see the still snow-packed city. The sky remained clear, luckily, until somewhere just west of Rawlins.

I was just cruising along at my favorite freeway speed (about 80 mph) when I started to notice that all the semi-trucks were traveling at speeds closer to 30 mph and had their hazard lights on. “What do they know about this road that I don’t know?” I wondered. It was when I watched the truck in front of me spin off the road and down the divider ditch that I realized that perhaps I was driving too fast for road conditions. Dang those icy Wyoming roads! I slowed down considerably, and after traveling only 100 miles in 2 ½ hours I had had enough. The fact that it was 7 am, still dark, and I’d been driving for 3 hours didn’t help. I pulled over into a gas station and we slept until the sun came up at about 7:30 a.m.

Somebody took the next driving shift and I drifted into a light sleep. I woke about half and hour later to our car spinning around on the road. First we spun to the right, then to the left, then again to the right, this time veering off the road enough to slam into a pole along the side of the road. The impact knocked us back to the left, and then we finished with a spin to the right and ended up completely off the road. I jumped out to check the damage and at first didn’t notice any. How lucky* were we? But then Somebody got out and showed me the dents in both doors and that the handle on the passenger door was mostly missing. But the car was facing the road, so I got in and laid on the gas while Somebody pushed, and we were shortly back on the road. It wasn’t until later that I thought that I should have taken a picture of our path through the snow. How lucky were we, though, that we spun off the road at 80 mph and didn’t flip, didn’t end up in a ditch, and were able to push our car right back on and continue our trip? Lucky that neither of us were injured at all. Lucky we left when we did, because the Interstate between Kansas and Colorado closed again yesterday and today. Lucky. We are lucky people. So we can’t use the doors** on the passenger side of the car. So what? Are those doors really necessary? Not for lucky people like us, they’re not.

*And by "lucky" I of course mean blessed. Watched over. Cared for. Blessed beyond all comprehension.

**I know, the damage looks freakishly minor. But truly, that back door won't open at all. I think the damage at the bottom of the car there is actually bent up and over the door, preventing movement.

Monday, December 25, 2006

we wish you a merry christmas

There's no place like home for the holidays.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

smokey would be so disappointed

One of my family’s Christmas traditions is a hot dog roast out at our farm property in rural Kansas. This year was no exception, but the event was extra enjoyable this year because the temperatures were unseasonably warm so we didn’t need parkas and mittens. Somebody, Russ, my dad, and I arrived before my brother Joe and his kids, so we started the fire and then decided to hike down to the lake while we waited for Joe. As we were preparing to leave, Somebody kept saying, “Shouldn’t we put that fire out?” And my dad would respond with, “No, it rained an inch or more this week and we will be fine leaving it.” And then Somebody would say, “Um, should we at least clear a space around the fire so there aren’t any leaves or anything that could catch on fire?” My dad, “Nope. It will be fine. It rained.” So we took off on our hike and left the fire. Almost an hour later, after hiking through no path, shoulder-high bushes, an empty rocky creek bed, and endless trees, we reached the lake. We took a brief rest and then headed back.

My dad was sure that the fire would have burned out and that we were going to have to restart it. Not so much. As we neared the clearing where the truck was, we could see smoke coming up from a large area--much larger than our fire had been. It turns out that an inch of rain is not enough to stop a fire from spreading. We had successfully burned an area about 40 feet by 40 feet, and the fire was moving into the forest area. Luckily, my brother Joe arrived just then and between all of our stomping feet and the use of a shovel, we were able to put the little fires out.
And then, like good country people, we rebuilt our fire and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. Ahhh, memories.

Friday, December 22, 2006

we don't care if the weather is frightful

While the drive from Utah to Kansas is always long, this year it was exceptionally so. Perhaps we should have modified our plans when we heard tales of the Holiday Blizzard of 2006. We should have taken caution when we knew we would be traveling through an area that had just been labeled a disaster emergency, with the Colorado National Guard being activated to rescue the people already stranded on highways. Thousands of people were stranded for days when the Denver International Airport and the Interstates out of Denver were closed. "This is a dangerous storm," Castle Rock Fire Chief Art Morales said. "Conditions are very dangerous for driving, for walking and being outdoors. Stay inside until the storm passes." So, what did we do? We drove right into it.

On our way to Kansas we changed our original plans of leaving late Thursday night and instead left early Thursday morning so that we would be driving during the day. We planned to arrive in the Denver area that evening and stay overnight with my friends Zach and Ginet in Colorado Springs. All day on Thursday, as we drove through Wyoming, we saw signs letting us know that all roads out of Cheyenne were closed because of the blizzard? Blizzard? What blizzard? Our roads were dry, the sky was blue and clear, and there was no snow. My dad was calling us periodically with road condition updates, and about half and hour before we reached Cheyenne, the Interstate into Colorado opened up. Nice, but still, we wondered where the blizzard was. Fifteen minutes into Colorado we realized that, uh, the blizzard was here. Travel slowed to 30 mph, and never increased. The drive from Cheyenne to Denver that normally takes just under an hour and a half took us three hours.

Luckily, taking that much time allowed for the road between Denver and Colorado Springs (which had been closed all day) to open up just in time for us to continue our trip south. The roads heading east into Kansas were still closed, so heading south was really our only option. It was eerie driving along the Denver highways during what should have been rush-hour traffic but was instead a quiet, snow-covered car graveyard. It’s only a slight exaggeration that there were more cars stranded on the side of the road than on the road. Malls, movie theaters, and restaurants along the road were closed; parking lots empty; everyone with any sense or option was sitting at home. The cars that were left on the road had drifts that were often as high as the driver's window. Cars left in the middle of the highways were just plowed around because the plows were out sooner than the emergency crews.
We crawled into Colorado Springs late in the evening and were welcomed to a waiting dinner with Ginet and Zach. It was the first time since they left Utah that I’ve been to visit them, and was delighted to be reminded of just how much I like both of them. Their home was beautiful (when is exactly what I expected from Ginet) and they were very gracious hosts—even pushing us out of the snow drift we ran into while trying to park on the street.

There is just no way to describe all the snow. When we left the next morning, (because the roads had finally opened up) there were drifts along the road higher than our car. Safe movement was almost impossible. We continued to crawl along the Interstate, but this time we were traveling bumper to bumper with all the other travelers and truckers who were finally able to leave Colorado. It’s a super-fun experience to have that many cars traveling on that horrible of a road. Even at our 30 mph speeds, we still saw several cars and trucks slide off the road.

After crossing the border into Kansas the road conditions improved somewhat and the scenery changed from five-foot snow drifts to ice sculptures. Every branch, fence, and blade of grass was covered with a thick layer of ice. Nice, Kansas. Nice.
Somewhere in the middle of Kansas we drove over the tiniest of hills, and on the other side was green everywhere. I have never seen such a distinct storm line. Driving conditions were smooth from there on, and we made it home with only a few pictures and our tense shoulders muscles to prove our journey. The trip that normally takes 17 hours on the road had taken us almost 24 hours.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

feel free to move about the world

I am now the proud owner of a brand-spankin' new U.S. Passport. Oh the joy. The thrill. The freedom to visit Canada and Mexico.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

please don't put that pile of vitamins in your mouth

Last night two of my friends came over for what was later termed a “Dump Party.” We made Chinese Dumplings (a.k.a. pot stickers, a.k.a. Ling Lings, and a.k.a. Shu Shu’s) and ended up having more wrappers than we had meat mixture. To use up the remaining wrappers we experimented with filling them with dessert ingredients like peanut butter, Nutella, chocolate frosting, raspberry filling, chocolate cake pieces, and caramels. Then we dusted them with powered sugar, deep fried them, dusted them with more powdered sugar, and ate them with ice cream. Oh good grief—delicious! Next time (and there will be a next time) we will not use the frosting or caramels, but we will try sliced fruit, marshmallows, soft dipping caramel, pudding, and pound cake. You should totally try it.

Also, it recently was brought to my attention that my husband had never had Cream of Wheat. What the? Is that even possible? I love it, so I made some for him to try. The first time around he didn’t eat much but I think that might have been because I added brown sugar to his bowl. Now I don’t add anything to his and he eats it without complaint. Sometimes his aversion to sweets makes me feel like I’m Buddy the Elf:
Emily: You like sugar, huh?
Buddy: Is there sugar in syrup?
Emily: Yes.
Buddy: Then YES!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

if you were a cupcake, you would definitely be scrumptious

A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! to one of my best friends, Sarah.

Thank you for introducing me to New York City, theater, yummy cupcakes, good design, jackets, cars with tables for dashboards, and movie snobbery. Also, thank you for breaking up with the band so that we could be friends.

To celebrate the birthday, Sarah and I met Chloe for dinner and then we went to see a movie. Because a birthday isn't a birthday without cake, I had filled my satchel with tupperwares of cake (and one of whipped cream) so that we could enjoy a mid-movie treat. The only thing missing was milk.

Sarah's Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, eggs, water, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

make your choice and be content

When Somebody and I returned from Idaho and I checked my email I discovered that I had been offered job from a company that I’ve wanted to work for for years. And it was a good offer. Somebody and I spent the rest of last weekend and the past three days talking about all our options and our plans for our future, and today I had to turn down the offer. I had been having the worst day—the kind of day where you are glad that you are in the car alone because you scream at everyone and everything around you. “Why are you going so slow?!?” “The light is greeeeeeen!” “Get out of my lane before I’m forced to ram into you and then kick your cat!” And so on and so forth. Well, I notified the company at the end of the work day today and immediately started smiling again. When I got back in the car it was all, “Oh, please, come right over into my lane.” And “oh, you just cut me off but it must be because you are rushing to a family emergency and I just hope everything turns out alright for you.” And “The black exhaust fuming from your large truck reminds me of sugar cookies and lollipops.” It’s nice to be so instantly rewarded for making the right choice.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

it's a nice story, but it is also sad and yucky

Somebody and I drove up to Rexburg this weekend for the wedding reception of one of my favorite cousins. Oh, wait, we drove up there for work purposes, and we did work all day on Friday, but we timed the trip so that we would be there for the reception. I’m not sure we would have took the time to go except that several of my aunts were there and Somebody has not met them all. When we arrived at the reception we learned that my aunts were all working in the kitchen of the church preparing the treat plates. We hadn’t planned on doing any actual work at this event, but because all the people we wanted to visit with were in the kitchen, that is where we ended up spending our time.

More fun than the reception, though, was the next morning when we joined all the aunts at my Aunt Julie’s home for breakfast crepes. There were a lot (and I mean a lot) of crepes left over from the reception, so my Aunt Elaine came up with the idea of put a piece of ham and a piece of cheese inside a crepe, heat it in the microwave, and top it with a fried egg. Divine. Then we spent the morning telling stories, laughing, and enjoying having nothing to do. I was once again thrilled to have married such an impressive man because all my aunts thought Somebody was wonderful. True. True.

On the way back from Rexburg we met my sister and her family at the Crystal Hot Springs and spent the evening running from the naturally hot pool (over 101 degrees) and the freezing pool that had water tube slides. In order to get to the slides you had to pry a mat from the frozen pile of mats, walk up 47 cement stairs that had a thin layer of ice on them, get into the chilled water at the top of the slide, then scream all the way down until you ended up in the cold water pool. Good times. So worth it. As the evening got later and the air got colder, the steam from the hot pool got thicker and thicker until we could see no more than 5 feet around us in any direction. This was great because even though there were other people there you couldn’t really see them or hear them (it was mostly adults) so it almost felt like we were enjoying the evening alone.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

a little snappy "happy ever after"

1. I am grateful for good friends. I have many acquaintances, but I have just a handful of really good friends--the kind I can count on in any situation. The kind that I know will be there for me and will always be on my side. Today is the birthday of one of the best of my friends, and the last few years when we haven't lived close have been hard. Previous to Somebody, she knew me better than anyone ever has. She was there during the hardest parts of my young adult life and her influence and guidance made me a better person. Happy Birthday, Heidi. I love you and miss you, and hope you have a wonderful birthday.

"Truth and tears clear the way to a deep and lasting friendship."
"No lapse of time or distance of place can lessen the friendship of those who are truly persuaded of each other's worth."
"How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to."
2. I am grateful for a good name. I'm grateful for a family heritage that I can be proud of, and for the expectation that I do something good with my life to honor my family.

3. I am grateful for this challenge that has forced me to see blessings where sometimes I don't look for them, to look on the bright side of things every morning when I'm still tired and a little grouchy, and, most especially, for being able to read the things that my family and friends are grateful for. It's amazing how much good we have in our lives, and how the small exercise of naming just three each day can open up our eyes to all that we have.

"My plea is that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life, we ‘accentuate the positive.’ I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment and endorse virtue and effort"
--President Gordon B. Hinckley

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

we need a little music; need a little laughter

1. I am grateful for good neighbors, like Bill, who live upstairs from us. He has lived such a full life and listening to his stories and experiences makes me hope that when I am his age I will have also made so many wise choices, given so much to my family and church, and have such interesting stories to tell.

2. I am grateful for gifts that I wouldn't have thought to purchase for myself--like this cool purple bracelet that I love, but that I never would have found on my own.

3. I am grateful for a background of good morals and judgment that helps to guide where I am going in life.

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."
--Cynthia Ozick

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

i need a little angel sitting on my shoulder

1. I am grateful for good books.

2. I am grateful for a working car and a valid driver license.

3. I am grateful for snow that quietly falls overnight, a husband who goes out and shovels the driveway and sidewalks while I'm getting ready for work, and warm gloves.

"If gratitude is due from children to their earthly parents, how much more is the gratitude of the great family of man due to our Father in heaven!"
--Hosea Ballou

Monday, November 27, 2006

it hasn't snowed a single flurry

1. I am grateful for a timer on my Christmas tree lights so that they stay on until after we have gone to sleep, and are back on right before the alarm goes off in the morning.

2. I am grateful for the snow that's falling and that should continue to fall for the next several days. Which also makes me very, very grateful for a garage so that I don't have to scrape the snow off in the mornings.

3. I am grateful for comfortable shoes.

"Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart."

"The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life. Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!"
--President Joseph F. Smith

Sunday, November 26, 2006

haul out the holly

1. I am grateful for having the Christmas tree up and decorated. The house smells so wonderful!

2. I am grateful for football games that keep you on the edge of your seat until the final seconds. And especially for football games like that when BYU ends up winning.

3. I am grateful for yummy homemade pancakes and waffles, both of which I had this weekend.

"Thank God every day when you get up that you have something to do that day which must be done whether you like it or not. Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know."
--Basil Carpenter

Saturday, November 25, 2006

because. just because.

1. I am grateful for my church calling. I always thought it would be kind of fun/challenging to be a Sunday school teacher, but I never imagined that my class would consist of half a dozen 15-18 year olds. I have no idea how to talk to those kids (even though my Amiga Tags says to use my normal adult words with them. What the? Adult words with kids? Just talk to them like I would my friends? That's crazy talk!) and I'm flustered by their lack of attention and hesitancy to speak up in class. I am grateful that at least I feel useful and that it is getting easier.

2. I am grateful for pony-tail days.

3. I am grateful for art that speaks to me; that draws me in so that I don't want to look away; that inspires me and touches me; that makes my world more beautiful.

4. I am grateful for Oral-B Essential-floss dental floss. It is the best dental floss ever, and I miss it terribly when I am away from home and don't have it.

5. I am grateful for two more days of this weekend.

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”--Dietrich Bonhoeffer

because it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

1. I am grateful for days spent outdoors. We went with Karla's family up to hunt a Christmas tree today and not only came back with a great tree and smoky clothes, but a camera full of fun pictures and memories of a very fun day. 2. I am grateful for a Thanksgiving that included two 20+ pound turkeys, one 15+ pound ham, nine dozen rolls, 15 pies, one migraine (not mine), five paramedics, four police cars, one ambulance (also not mine), one broken toe (mine), 21 friends, and 9 family members. It was memorable (especially that violent game of hide-and-seek) and wonderful. And the food was fantastic.

3. I am grateful for filtered water and flushing toilets.

4. I am grateful for the internet, which is pretty much my source for all knowledge even though I know that I can't believe everything I read, or every cautionary tale my mom forwards me. I love being able to find recipes, pictures, poems, articles, lesson aids, medical advice, games, and news with just the click of a few buttons. I'm addicted.

5. I am grateful for my education.

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”--John Henry Jowett

Thursday, November 23, 2006

because my cup runneth over

1. I am grateful for Somebody, who is celebrating his 30th birthday today. He makes me happier than I ever knew I could be. I love you, Somebody. Happy Birthday.
2. I am grateful for SweetTart jelly beans, and the fact that I bought several bags last Easter so I can still enjoy them on Thanksgiving.

3. I am grateful for traditions.

4. I am grateful for a living room that still looks like a party hit it.

5. I am grateful for baking skills.

“Forever on Thanksgiving Day, The heart will find the pathway home.”--Wilbur D. Nesbit

“Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet. Believe in man. Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live in.” --Phillips Brooks

how do i love thee? let me count the ways

"If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee." Anne Bradstreet

1. I love how your hands are always warmer than mine.
2. I love that you will just walk in to the kitchen and start washing the dishes, like it's no big deal and like it's something you are happy to do.
3. I love that you want to snuggle when we get into bed.
4. I love listening to you pray.
5. I love your ease with children, especially my nieces and nephews.
6. I love knowing that you are looking forward to being a father, and knowing that you'll be a great one.
7. I love the way my heart still sometimes jumps when I turn and look at you, or see you from across the room.
8. I love the way you sometimes follow me around from room to room, not for any particular reason but just because you can't think of anything else to do.
9. I love how childlike and innocent you are—especially when you watch cartoons and sit up close to the TV like children do.
10. I love knowing that you will never yell at me. 11. I love how you can raise just one eyebrow.
12. I love the way you say “yada yada yada” and “matter.”
13. I love that you work hard to build your resume.
14. I love the way you see the world through those red-colored sunglasses.
15. I love that you are an excellent cook, are comfortable in the kitchen, and appreciate good food.
16. I love lunch breaks with you.
17. I love that you have good taste in clothing, shoes, and earrings.
18. I love the way you said, that one night on our honeymoon, “You are my family.”
19. I love the way your smile lights up my life. I think you are gorgeous.
20. I love how you only have one ticklish spot on your body, but how it is VERY ticklish. 21. I love how patiently you teach me to speak Chinese, but how you always say you don’t want to teach me because you don’t want it to become a sore spot in our relationship.
22. I love that you won’t let me sulk around and how you always want to talk things through.
23. I love that you got your hair cut to impress my parents.
24. I love your energy and enthusiasm for getting out and doing things.
25. I love that you are a safe driver.
26. I love how you are trying to be a good son, even when I roll my eyes and call your traditions crazy.
27. I love hearing your voice on the phone.
28. I love that you can understand what I’m saying when I talk in gibberish.
29. I love how you always put my needs and wants in front of your own.
30. I love being married to you, and am looking forward to eternity with you.

Happy Birthday, Love. I so happy you are my Somebody.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union."

Abraham Lincoln

because life is too short

1. I am grateful for new recipes that end up being as yummy as I had imagined. Last night I tried a recipe that Kathleen had posted on her website. She had called it a "fast and yummy recipe for dinner" and that pretty much sums it up. The prep time was very short and the dinner was tasty.

2. I am grateful for warm showers and soft towels.

3. I am grateful for a house-husband who does all the laundry, and remembers my random laundry preferences about what goes in the drier and what doesn't, and who is the best shirt folder I've ever seen.

4. I am grateful for last night when we were just getting ready for bed when Somebody suggested that instead of getting in bed we go to Wendy's and get mini-frostys. So, we did. And then we sat in bed and ate frostys and chatted, and it was a great end to a wonderful day.

5. I am grateful for so many clothing options that picking out what to wear is often a chore.

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
--H. U. Westermayer

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina
1 cup pastina pasta (or any small pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cubed chicken breast (1-inch cubes)
1/2 cup diced onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to combine, and cook until the onions are soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Put the chicken mixture into the bowl with the cooked pasta. Add the canned tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

Place the mixture in a buttered 8 by 8 by 2-inch baking dish. In a small bowl mix together the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over the top of the pasta mixture. Dot the top with small bits of butter. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

because the red lanterns cancel out the curse of the white lanterns

1. I am grateful for fulfilled expectations.

2. I am grateful for the fact that "my" friends and "his" friends are becoming "our" friends.

3. I am grateful for the picture that is my wallpaper on my computer--the photo that Heidi took of me and Somebody with all my nieces and nephews in their wedding outfits. It is the cutest picture ever and makes me smile every time I look at it.

4. I am grateful for lip gloss that isn't sticky.

5. I am grateful for the times (few though they may be) when people see my wedding ring for the first time and think that it is both unique and beautiful (and sparkly.)

"Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer. The Nobel. Oscars. Tonys. Emmys. But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four-pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space. A crackling fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold beer. Don't fret about copping life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights. There are plenty for all of us."
...United Technologies Corporation advertisement

Monday, November 20, 2006

because they remember where i've been

1. I am grateful for my brother, Russell, who always makes me laugh. He is spontaneous and fun-loving, but also almost as smart as me. I am grateful that I feel like we are friends as well as siblings, and that we have so much in common. I am glad we had those summers together, and that he likes me enough to introduce me to his friends and crash in my living room. I wish that he still lived close because I miss him and don't feel like we see each other nearly often enough.

2. I am grateful for my sister, Heidi, who always wins the white rose award. She is patient and kind, but also able to stand up for herself and what she thinks is right. She is creative and loving with her children, and she somehow finds time to send me the sweetest cards that make me feel loved and remembered. I am grateful that we have been close our whole lives, and for the years we shared at BYU.

3. I am grateful for my sister, Karla, who is an example of goodness and ingenuity. She is setting a great example of how to let your children discover their own personality and talents, but also gives them a structured learning environment. She often seems to operate on a higher spiritual plane than I do, and yet she never judges or criticizes the things I do. She is smart and thoughtful and is firm in her resolve to live her life in the best way she knows how. I am grateful that we became friends after we both grew up a little bit, and I have loved living so close to her all these years. If I ever leave Utah, she is the absolute number one thing I would miss. And I already know I would miss her so much that sometimes it is painful for me to even think about leaving.

4. I am grateful for my brother, Joe, who is always willing to help me. He is smart and funny and always makes me feel like my questions and needs are important. He is a very giving person who will rearrange his schedule and his plans to fit me and the things that I want to do with our time together. He is a good dad, and I love to see his children hanging all over him because they love to be close to him. He is one of the highlights of "going home" and I'm looking forward to spending the Christmas holiday with him.

5. I am grateful for fond memories of a happy childhood. I am sure that everyone can remember sad or hard times about growing up, but I am grateful every day that my childhood was particularly blessed. I had a family who loved me, and we lived and traveled together to memorable places. We didn't often live by our extended family (or sometimes even by other English speakers) so we had to learn how to stick together and entertain ourselves. I never felt like we had less than others, and my parents did a good job of teaching us to think for ourselves and to act according to what we know to be right.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, and to work, and to play and to look up at the stars."
--Henry Van Dyke

Sunday, November 19, 2006

because i have been given much

1. I am grateful for a mother who loves me. Who always wants to laugh and make people happy. Who is creative and hard-working. Who sees the good in her children and compliments them. Who is musical and artistic. Who supports everything I do, and never openly criticizes my life choices. I love you, mom. Happy Birthday.

2. I am grateful for friendly ladies in relief society who sit by me even when I'm wearing my grouchy face.

3. I am grateful for a clean bathroom.

4. I am grateful for good movie recommendations.

5. I am grateful for the comfortable feeling of coming home.

"Find the good -- and praise it."
--Alex Haley

"How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child's personality. A child is resentful, negative—or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people."
--Sir John Templeton

Saturday, November 18, 2006

memories light the corner of my mind

1. I am grateful for old family pictures. My dad scanned in a bunch of pictures from my mom's childhood, and it was so fun to look through them and chuckle at the hairdos and dresses.

2. I am grateful for my extended family and how fun it is to reconnect with them and feel a part of something so much bigger than myself.

3. I am grateful for cute nieces and nephews who, for some reason, think that the thing that Somebody and I most want/need for our birthdays is a can of peas & carrots, and a can of jellied cranberries.

"There is not a more pleasing exercise of the mind than gratitude. It is accompanied with such an inward satisfaction that the duty is sufficiently rewarded by the performance."
--Joseph Addison

Friday, November 17, 2006

get up ev'rybody and sing

1. I am grateful for paid vacation days.

2. I am grateful for a vcr so that I don't have to plan my life around TV. Because, like, who does that? (cough, cough)

3. I am grateful for the fact that after I had spent four hours trying out new recipes for birthday cakes last night, and had used, literally, every bowl and spoon in our kitchen, that Somebody was willing to come in and wash all those dishes. And he didn't complain at all.

"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you?’" ---William A. Ward

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
--Thornton Wilder

Thursday, November 16, 2006

chosen e'er to witness

1. I am grateful for the excitement that surrounds someone receiving a mission call. One of the secretaries in my office (Whitney) just received her call to Illinois, Peoria, and no missionary has been more excited or eager to serve. It is thrilling to see that sharing the gospel is more important than the location or the language, and I know she will be an excellent missionary.

2. I am grateful for green plants--especially healthy looking ones at my home or in my office.

3. I am grateful for a great friendship with some of my co-workers. It makes coming to work that much easier to feel like I am part of a team, and that no matter how frustrating some people can be, that I always have a support system and a confidant. I never feel like I'm fighting the battle alone.

"Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend... when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that's present -- love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure -- the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth."
--Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

what are you doing the rest of your life?

1. I am grateful for Somebody's new, very short haircut. Even though he wishes I would love his long hair, I have to admit that it's the short hair I love. I also am grateful for the days he wears his "I'm a Keeper" shirt. Because, yes, he is.

2. I am grateful for enough food in the cupboard that we think we can go the rest of this month without going to the grocery store. Which is good because after establishing the "Family Financial Plan" earlier this week, we discovered that we have $4 left to spend this month. Bring on the canned goods.

3. I am grateful for pictures of my nieces and nephews. Just looking at their happy (and sometimes hilariously pouty) faces brightens my day.

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
--Denis Waitley

"Gratitude is of the very essence of worship. … When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives"
--President Gordon B. Hinckley

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

hey, good lookin', whatcha got cookin'

1. I am grateful for wise counsel that encouraged me to wear two coats today. All of a sudden, it's COLD.

2. I am grateful for a needed extension on an important deadline.

3. I am grateful for fun emails from Janssen. Even though she harasses me about not updating my blog, I think we all know that I update three times more than she does. But not only is Janssen a terrific and enjoyable writer, she is a superb cook who is not afraid to try new recipes and is nothing but fun on games night. I am also grateful to have plans with Janssen and Bart for during the Christmas holiday because it's fun to have guaranteed good times to look forward to. Happy Tuesday, Jansseb. May all my other friends be jealous that they aren't you.

"The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated."
--William James

"When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears."
--Anthony Robbines

Monday, November 13, 2006

oh, the weather outside is frightful

1. I am grateful for a sister-in-law who somehow manages to do it all. She makes, in all her free-time, the most beautiful quilts. Happy Birthday, Miriam!
2. I am grateful for the family calendar I have that has a picture and story every day of the year. It cheers my up every day.

3. I am grateful for the anticipation of spending time with family during the holidays, and at any other time of the year.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
--Melody Beattie

Sunday, November 12, 2006

i looked out the window and what did i see

1. I am grateful for this weekend of movies projected on the wall. And the best caramel corn recipe in the world. And good friends to share the experience with.

2. I am grateful for fleece blankets. Besides the husband, and possibly a child but I wouldn't know about that one yet, there is nothing softer and more snuggle-worthy than a fleece blanket.

3. I am grateful for my aunt and uncle being willing to make my favorite dessert (even though mangos are not in season) to celebrate my birthday. They always go out of their way to make me feel welcome and loved.

"Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary."
--Margaret Cousins

Caramel Popcorn
2 C. brown sugar
1 C. Karo syrup
1 stick butter
Cook in microwave for about 6 min.; stir.
Add to mixture:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Cook for about 1 more min. in microwave; stir. Pour over popcorn. Stir.
If you use bags of microwave popcorn, use four bags. If you pop on the stove or in a regular popper, it takes about 1 1/3 cup of unpopped kernels to get enough popcorn. This makes a BIG batch.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

on the new and everlasting

1. I am grateful for the feeling of satisfaction I get when I have done my job well, and when I feel like I am worth every penny I am getting paid.

2. I am grateful for date nights with Somebody. Last night we went to the temple and did sealings, which was full of excitement. One of the other female patrons passed out on the alter, and one of the other couples was making googly-eyes and schmoopy faces at each other (and couldn't not be holding hands), and the names were really hard for the sealer to pronounce (um, like our name), and Somebody would occasionally space out and forget he was supposed to reply, and one of the other male patrons kept falling asleep in the witness chair (but luckily his wife was holding his hand and would wake him up. Luckily.). It was crazy happenings all around. But the good part was that we got to be reminded of the temple and marriage covenants that we have made. Every time the sealer said, "husband and wife," I could remember how excited I was on the day we got married to hear those words. It was nice to be able to look across the alter last night and think, "Yes, I would make this covenant all over again. Because this guy? This good looking fellow sitting across from me? He fits every sappy cliché in the book, and makes me happier than I've ever been, and treats me better than I've been treated. Can I make this covenant twice? Because one eternity might not be enough time with him."

3. I am grateful for colorful bouquets of flowers.

“Gratitude is a state of appreciation, an act of thanksgiving, which causes us to be humble because we recognize an act of kindness, service, or caring from someone else which lifts us and strengthens us.”--Elder Robert D. Hales

Friday, November 10, 2006

on cowboys

1. I am grateful for neighbors who are willing to come over late a night to listen to strange noises that our car is making. Even when the handy neighbors don't think they can fix the problem, they can at least identify it so that I have something to suggest to the mechanic about how it needs to be repaired. And then, when all is said and done, I'm grateful for a car that I don't have to worry about. It's like a new car anyway, these days, what with all new tires and so many new internal parts.

2. I am grateful for nights when I go to sleep and don't wake up again until the alarm goes off.

3. I am grateful for being introduced to new fruit. This week I had a persimmon for the first time. My best description of one, for those of you who haven't had it, is that it seems like the child that would result from the mix of a tomato, a pumpkin, and a pear. Doesn't that sound appetizing? You know you want to try one. Seriously. They are delicious.

"Of all the "attitudes" we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing." --Zig Ziglarfdfdf

Thursday, November 09, 2006

on reminiscing

1. I am grateful for my Amiga Tags who came to stay with us last night. I love catching up with friends who live out of state, especially when the catching up involves laughing and laughing and laughing. We stayed up entirely too late for both of us (who have busy days) but it was SO worth it.
2. I am grateful for evening football games. I love the cold, the bright lights, the late night, and everything else that screams "fall" about evening sports.

3. I am grateful for brownies for breakfast. Yum.

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.”--Buddha

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

on weather appropriate clothing

1. I am grateful for the way a denim jacket will go with just about everything.

2. I am grateful for a very quiet, empty office this morning so I can get some early work done.

3. I am grateful for days that are 70 degrees followed by days where it snows. I love Utah in the fall.

"Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality."
--Alfred Painter

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

on hanging chads, spiders, and parking

1. I am grateful that I live in a country where I can vote. Even though voting is broken this morning. And even though I stood in line for more than half an hour and voting was still broken. And even though the line stretched down the hallway and out the door. And even though I had to opt to fill out a provisional ballot, which the voting volunteers said they were "pretty sure would still count." And even though voting is still broken all over Orem. I get to wear my "I Voted Today" sticker with pride and know that I have done my little part to make sure that good people are making the decisions for our city, county, and state. The only thing that could make me feel better about it, besides knowing that voting isn't broken, would be if my sticker said, "Give me $20. I voted."

2. I am grateful for a husband who is willing to kill spiders every time I see them. It seems like almost every other night we are in bed reading scriptures and I'll blurt out, "Spider! Spider! Spider!" And Somebody sighs and says, "Jennifer, there is no spider." And I keep saying, "But there is a spider there!" And then he has me point out where, and I direct his attention to the teeny, tiny spider in the corner on the far side of the room. I have no idea how I'm able to spot them (I say I have Spi-dar) and Somebody wishes that I wouldn't. Unfortunately, I do spot them, and once I know they are there I can't sleep until I know they are dead. It's an agreement that I worked out with the spiders long before I married Somebody: If the spiders stay hidden then they are welcome to live in my house, but the moment they show themselves I must kill them. Sometimes, to make Somebody feel better, I'll actually yell this warning to all spiders in my house. If they aren't smart enough to stay tucked away then they deserve their fate. Which brings me back to the beginning, which is that I'm so grateful that day after day Somebody is willing to get out of bed and commit murder.

3. I am grateful for the new gate pass I picked up from the campus police this morning that allows me to enter campus without a twice-daily visual pass inspection from the gate guards.

"There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way."
--Jim Rohn

Monday, November 06, 2006

on making it work

1. I am grateful for how loved I feel.

2. I am grateful for mornings when my outfit just comes together right away and I don't have to stare at my closet for ten minutes until I resign myself to wearing something I'm not happy with. It's also nice that the outfit that worked today just happened to be perfect for the great new pair of earrings I own.

3. I am grateful for how committed Somebody is to making our marriage work. I especially like it when he actually says, "I want this to work." Thank you. That makes two of us.

"Seeds of discouragement will not grow in the thankful heart."

"Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character. We like to be around those who are grateful. They tend to brighten all around them. They make others feel better about themselves. They tend to be more humble, more joyful, more likable. Gratitude turns a meal into a feast and drudgery into delight. It softens our grief and heightens our pleasure. It turns the simple and common into the memorable and transcendent. It forges bonds of love and fosters loyalty and admiration.
--Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Sunday, November 05, 2006

to sleep, perchance to dream

1. I am grateful for mornings like yesterday morning when I got to just sleep and sleep and sleep.

2. I am grateful for good music to match my many moods. And friends who share their music with me.

3. I am grateful for two radio stations that are already playing Christmas music. I know. I know. It's a little early, I know. But I LOVE it. Is it really ever too early to start get excited about the holidays?

"Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes of which all men have some."
--Charles Dickens

Saturday, November 04, 2006

these s’mores are disgusting

1. I am grateful for times when you have good friends with you at slow restaurants because it makes the long wait to be seated and served pass quickly. It's amazing how fast two hours flies by when you are having good conversation.

2. I am grateful for a husband who gave me everything I wanted for my birthday. And then some.

3. I am grateful that Sarah introduced me to a completely divine peppermint/chocolate cake. Yum. And Chloe, on the same bright night, brought Swiss Chocolate (chip?) ice cream into my life. Thirty is turning out to be a good year.

"For today and its blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude."
--Clarence E. Hodges

"Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation."
--Brian Tracy

Friday, November 03, 2006


1. I am grateful for those really soft and fuzzy socks that really aren't socks at all but are meant to be worn around the house to keep your feet warm. I love those things.

2. I am grateful for spontaneous romantic moments.

3. I am grateful for my live-in Chinese tutor who is so patient when I ask him to repeat the same words over and over and over and over and over. He is nothing but encouraging.

"No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks."
--Saint Ambrose

"Living in thanksgiving daily is a habit that will enrich our lives and the lives of those we love. We can live in thanksgiving daily by opening our arms to those around us. When was the last time you told someone you love how much they mean to you? When was the last time you expressed your gratitude to someone who has always been there for you, someone who has sacrificed for you, someone whose heart has always been filled with hopes and dreams for you? When was the last time you unselfishly reached out to help another in need? Every time we cheer another’s heart, every time we ease another’s burden, every time we lift a weary hand, we show our gratitude to that God to whom we owe all that we have and all that we are."
--Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

the most public card

Someone shouted at me!

Oh, Scrumptious Cupcakes, you are a good friend. And thank you for using a flattering picture.

the one year anniversay of my twenty-ninth birthday

Thursday, November 02, 2006

swiftly flow the days

1. I am grateful that I finally decided to move the sunrise alarm clock over to my side of the bed. I don't know why I waited so long to do this. Truly, it "gently wakes you to a simulated sunrise rather than jarring you awake with a loud noise.... and can help you start the day in a better mood and feeling more refreshed."

2. I am grateful for having two lanes of traffic to campus open instead of just one. I think it cut our "commute" time in half.

3. I am grateful for mornings when I come to work and there are not any messages on my office phone.

"You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you."
--Sarah Ban Breathnach

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


We had highly original costumes this year.

Girl with a Cold (I'd been practicing this one for two weeks, so it seemed appropriate):

Asian Punk:

Somebody painted his nails early in the morning and was embarrassed all day that he had dark nails. During the BYU Devotional (with President Hinckley) he actually hid his hands in his pockets because he didn't want to show any disrespect. Also, can you see that eyeliner? Hot.

an attitude of gratitude

1. I am grateful for earrings that go with anything.

2. I am grateful for Band-Aids.

3. I am grateful for days when I wake up and don't feel exhausted.

"To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you.
Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."
--Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

breathe in for luck

Also known as: “The time I snuck my camera into a concert by hiding it in my bra.”

I went to the Dashboard Confessional concert last night with Scrumptious Cupcakes and Somebody. We were the oldest people there, except for that one set of grandparents that were inexplicably rocking out to the opening band. But, as Dashboard is one of my favorite bands, it was a great experience. Some interesting happenings:

1. Cameras weren’t allowed in the venue but we didn’t want to walk all the way back to the car to return ours, so we had to find a way to get it in without getting caught. Because the security guards were doing pat-downs of everyone entering we couldn’t hide the camera in our pockets. Our ingenious idea? My bra. I knew this cleavage would come in handy one day.

2. Chris Carrabba came out alone, with his guitar, before the opening band, to play a few solo songs and “thank us for showing up early.” The young whipper-snappers in the front mosh pit actually started chanting for the opening band, Brand New, while Chris was playing. I was floored and disgusted with them.

3. The band Brand New (a.k.a. Grand Poo) wasn’t anything we wanted to hear. We actually, because we are 84 years old, left the arena and found a semi-quiet stairwell to hide in so our eardrums weren’t blasted out. Coincidentally, 84 is also the apparent age of their skinny-jeans wearing guitar player.

It was a great night. Loved the band. Loved the stage set-up. And it doesn’t hurt that Dashboard has some of the greatest song lyrics. For your reading pleasure, here is a sampling.

“Well as for now I'm gonna hear the saddest songs, and sit alone and wonder how you're making out. But as for me, I wish that I was anywhere with anyone, making out.”

“Oh, how we've shouted, how we've screamed, take notice, take interest, take me with you.”

“I am fairly agile. I can bend and not break. Or I can break and take it with a smile.”

“Just bend the pieces ‘till they fit, like they were made for it, but, they weren’t meant for this. No, they weren’t meant for this.”

“And I said ‘I've gotta be honest, I've been waiting for you all my life.’"

“I'll be true, I'll be useful...I'll be cavalier...I'll be yours my dear. And I'll belong to you.”

“My hopes are so high, that your kiss might kill me. So won't you kill me, so I die happy.”

“Please send me anything but signals that are mixed.”

“On the way home, this car hears my confessions. I think tonight I'll take the long way.”

“Your smile is the most genuine thing that I’ve ever seen. I was so lost but now I believe.”

“You’re chasin’ the ghost of a good thing.”

“I need a sure thing and you are a mystery to me.”

“And I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well.”

“My heart is sturdy but it needs you.”

“She made you better than you'd been before.”

“I have reason to believe that I have victories to taste.”

“Some things tie your life together, slender threads and things to treasure. Days like that should last and last and last.”

“Don't wait to lay your armor down.”

“You are the best one of the best ones.”

“She just might get you lost, and she just might leave you torn, but she just might save your soul if she gets you any closer.”

“Hands down this is the best day I can ever remember.”

Friday, October 20, 2006

edible bubbles

I added a new treat to my already long list of "yummy, yummy, yummies." While in Chinatown, Melissa suggested a drink that she had tried and loved when she was in Taiwan. Somebody had tried it and didn't like it, but all it took for me to want to try it were the words mango and tapioca. Hello. I never met a tapioca I didn't like.

This one was new and different, both in good ways. The drink, much like a fruit smoothie, was thick fresh mango, and I seriously wished it lasted all day. The tapioca balls were a slightly different story.

At first I loved chewing them, but about halfway through my drink I was tired of them getting in the way of me having more mango, and I started spitting them out. Except when we were on the subway, because, hey, I don't spit on the subway.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

scenic route 1a

We LOVED being in Boston. We also loved the day we took a drive up the coast of Maine. The states are so much smaller out east! We went from Boston, through a small piece of New Hampshire, and up the Maine coast in just over an hour. It was our own personal fall foliage tour, and it was so worth it. We planned the day to have no plan. The only rule was, "if you see something that you want to see or do or eat, we all stop." Good rule, huh? The first coastal town on this route is York, and as we were winding through the town we couldn't help but notice that something out of the ordinary was going on. It turned out to be the annual Harvest Festival. We parked the car and took a trolley to the festival where we browsed craft stands and carnival food. Is there anything better than carnival food? Candied applies, fried bread, fudge, kettle corn, corn bread, cookies, more apple crisp than anyone could eat. Just passing the town of York.We actually drove by this street, then slammed on the breaks and turned around to drive down this little country road.
Cape Neddick "Nubble" Lighthouse in York, Maine. An interesting note: We have no idea how the lighthouse keeper gets onto that little island. There was no obvious route, and no land path.
Do you see those lawn chairs up on that hill? The ones that are situated so that you could, if you lived in the accompanying mansion, sit in your yard and read and book and watch/listen to/feel the ocean breeze. Just a little slice of heaven.
More fall colors.
Me with the special Somebody.