Sorry my posting has been so sporadic of late. I'm stretched a bit thin right now. My job is going great but now through the end of the year is really busy. I'm finally getting an assistant though, so that should maybe help. And school is fabulous as well but it is fairly demanding. And church stuff is also excellent but again, quite time consuming. So between all those things and then my friend and my dad living with us and trying to be a participant in my marriage... Well you get the idea. On Tuesday night we had a wonderful activity where we took the female youth that I oversee and the leaders and went to a friend of mine's house up in the woods. He has an apple press. We brought 3 bushels of local apples and made fresh pressed apple cider. It was AH MAY ZING. He, my friend, has a grill right near the apple press and I grilled us up some maple sausage and apple slices that we put on french bread with melted mozzarella. It was SO good. We took pictures which I will share when I get them. And I plan on going back next weekend with my husband and some friends. It was a truly lovely affair.
We live in a gorgeous area. Yesterday my husband and I drove down a small road in the canyon and just enjoyed the changing leaves. We got out of the car and decided to follow a path. We had been on the path mere moments when we came upon a deer a few feet away. She was beautiful and serene. We slowly walked around so we wouldn't disturb her. We walked about 2 minutes and came upon THREE MOOSE!!! They were across the bank we stood on, drinking from the stream. It was amazing and terrifying all at the same time. They were enormous. We are going back tonight to take pictures of the area because it is just so gorgeous right now. "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." - Albert Camus
This last Saturday I held the annual Young Women Leadership Appreciation Dinner. This is an event where I invite all the women (and a guest/spouse) who help run the program in our church that works with teenage girls (20+ dinner guests total). It is a particularly difficult event to pull off because all of the ladies I would normally ask to help me with it are the ones that I'm trying to not have anything to do with it so they can just show up and be appreciated. Thus, this year I owe a big thanks to my dear friend Ashley, her husband Brandon, my husband Doug and the other two men living in our house right now, my dad and my friend Rick. (Did I mention my life is crazy right now?) I love this event because I get to recognize all of the hard work these women do and I get to embarrass them with praise. I thought the dinner went beautifully down to the smallest detail. Every year I give them a favor to take with them and this year Ashley and I made raspberry butter for everyone. mmmm. Here are some pictures for you to enjoy of our lovely evening!
p.s. Funny side note - the orange berries in these jars were on a bush outside of my classroom on campus. I brought my dad to campus and asked him to pick berries for me while I was in class. A friend of mine in the program came into class a few minutes late and said "I'm almost positive I saw your old man in that orange bush outside picking berries". It was hilarious all of the strange looks he got. People thought he was a confused old man who was desperately hungry. Ha! Sorry dad!
So it all begins with last year when I decided on a whim to get the FREE swine flu vaccine. They give it to you in the nose (lean back and let it run down type thing - yes, gross but I was being protected from the supposedly worst virus to hit the world since the BUBONIC PLAGUE!!!). An embarrassingly long amount of time later I realized that I couldn't really smell anything. That was about a year ago. Flash forward to yesterday when I decided, this not smelling thing isn't working for me - maybe I will go get it checked out. So I went to the doctor. He had me take a smell test with 160 questions because he didn't believe me I guess and 20 questions wouldn't quite confirm his belief. So I took the stupid test. I got 10 questions correct. Now statistics will tell you that just guessing will get you around 25 or so correct. Nope. Not me. I beat the odds. So the doc tells me that I can't smell. At this point in our conversation I was wondering if maybe I should go to medical school too. I may have only gotten 10 questions correct but the most important one, you know, can I smell? I apparently got that one correct. Anyway, he gave me a nasal spray thing and told me to give it a month and if it doesn't help then maybe someday my sense of smell will come back just on its own. Also someday maybe you will meet the Tooth Fairy. Maybe. Someday. What the? So he also told me the things I need to be careful of are - not smelling eminent danger/death like a gas leak or smoke, or eating something that has gone horribly bad and dying from rot ingestion. I feel so comforted. Not only can I not smell the sweet aroma of Thanksgiving dinner or roses or lemons, but I can't smell smoke if my house or even my body is on fire. You probably don't understand the gravity of the situation. I now have to check every single day to make sure I didn't step in dog crap. Someday I will have to check our babies diapers, like every hour on the hour, to see if they have crapped themselves. I will have to shower every day because who knows if I could get away without showering? And farting? I have no idea if the silent one I let out is rank and I need to evacuate so as not to be accused as being the culprit. And do you think they offer scholarships or disability pay for this? Nooooooo. Of course not. stupid smelly people. And don't you be thinking you can get away with things around me now because I'm disabled. My other senses are slowly becoming acutely aware and hightened. I HEAR farts and I SEE you squeezing your cheeks together. And of course my doctor wisely informed me that it might come back someday. And don't be thinking I will just tell you. No I will wait till I can call you out on one of your farts.
I lead a crazy life. I think I always have. Before it was working and grad school and church positions it was college and dating and cross country and a double major and minor, and before that it was something similar I'm sure. I remember distinctly the times in my life when things have slowed down just a bit. When I lived in Virginia I had lots of downtime on the weekends because I had no friends and was leprous to the dating community at the time. I didn't always love that time but I was creative in how I utilized it. I would go for drives - it was, afterall, the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains are incredible. I loved these drives and I would find so much beauty in nature. I would pull over and take pictures of the leaves and the river and the deer. Only a year later I was married and while life was picking up pace a bit, we still had plenty of time to wade out to the center of the wide, slow river and throw rocks at things. Now, I seldom have time for drives and when I see my husband, we don't wade out to the middle of the river (never mind that in UT this would mean death - these are crazy fast rivers here). Yesterday I was helping a friend of mine paint and glam up her kitchen. She marveled at how much I was able to get done in a day, and I boasted about how I may not have many strengths but one of them is that I get *&@! done. And I do. If you were to look at my life, and I mean this frankly and not boastfully, you likely would be impressed with the things I've been able to accomplish in such a short time. I'd list them but that really would be boasting. Suffice it to say that I make a list each week of things to get done and it is usually around 20 - 30 things (this does not include work stuff - but little wonder that I became a project manager) and there are very few weeks that everything is not crossed off. And if you think I'm bad, then know that I married a man who is very much my equal. but There is a price for living life at warp speed. I have seen my husband for a total of about 2.5 hours in the last 5 days. And Monday was Labor day. I suppose absence makes the heart grow fonder but neither of us is out of town and we actually live together and sleep in the same bed. Soooo thats, like, not good. People sometimes look at my schedule and in a very un-informed manner think up solutions for what I could cut out. Or they will tell me that things will slow back down when I'm done with school in the spring... but I think I might be sick in the head, like my life is a car stuck in overdrive. I honestly don't think I know how to slow down. When I think about what I will do when school concludes, I think - oh awesome, here is a list of things I would love to do now that school is over. Every once in a while I have a small breakdown and I run off to the mountains somewhere and just sit and avoid all my responsibilities. I re-charge my batteries and then keep going. But I don't want all of my relax time to be broken-down-hiding-in-the-mountains time. The problem is I usually don't realize that I need relax time till I am at the broken-down-time. I don't know if this all makes sense. I don't know if I'm the only one who struggles with this. I do know that I need to get a better grasp of this, especially before I decide to take a chance and throw a baby into the mix (back burner issue at the moment and no I'm not pregnant or trying). I recognize that life balance is a life skill but if anyone has any advice, I'm listening.
My husband was discussing the wicker bandit at work shortly after our bench was lifted and a co-worker offered up his wicker bench as a replacement.
We brought it home and our cat couldn't be happier.
My father is in town till Friday and he took it upon himself to ensure that our bench doesn't get taken twice (you know, first time shame on them but second time shame on us) soooooooo...
Luckily I came home in time to stop him from drilling into the concrete in order to cement the legs down. Of the many contraptions that are holding it to our house are 10 million gauge steel wire, and small bike locks. I'm not kidding but oh how I wish I were.
This should be fun to explain to people when they see the old crappy wicker bench has its own alarm system and its BIKE LOCKED to my house. Awesome.