Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Scenic Route

I am such a sucker for punishment, but I signed up to sing in a Christmas concert in Oakley in December. We have an hour and a half practice every week in Oakley (20 minutes away) until our performance in the first part of December. If the gas costs don't kill me, then learning twelve songs might. :) Actually, I was able to set up a car pool so I only have to drive every other week and we don't have to memorize the music so that eases up the pressure some.

I sang in our stake Christmas concert last year and really enjoyed it. We had the stake choir as well as a little six piece orchestra with some violins and violas, a cello, an oboe and a flute. We had five songs that we learned in six weeks and it was hard work, but I really thought it was an awesome experience. There was one song that I thought was particularly beautiful, so I typed up the words because Dad can't hear very well and it wasn't a traditional Christmas song. It was so worth it because he bawled during the whole song. It was awesome. :) I don't think I have ever found a way to enjoy the Christmas season like that before, so it is exciting to be able to do something similar again this Christmas.

So Oakley... The last time I drove out I took some pictures. I figured I could give one of those speaking tours, so you know what it feels like to drive out to Oakley but this way it only takes a few minutes and you can skip the boring parts. :) Here I am safely taking a picture while driving. I look good, but I almost ran off the road while I was framing the shot (apparently I am not as talented at taking pictures while driving as my fellow blogger, Mindy Haws). Although, for some reason it cracked me up, so I tried the picture again with the appropriate expression and did much better at staying on my side of the road. :)

Moving on. On our left, please notice the Madonna Silos. Please don’t make me explain that to you. That is what my other friend, Mindy Manning, used to call them as we commuted out to Oakley one summer for Into the Woods. A crazy summer where I played a bit part and we were stage managers together and wore headsets and were the envy of all the teenagers. We even had nicknames. Although I still can’t remember who was Black Thunder and White Lightening.

Some things have changed though since that LONG ago summer. Please note yet another corn field coming up on our left. We now have two ethanol plants in Burley/Heyburn, which seriously stinks. Literally. I have heard it described as the gentle aroma of rising bread, but really it is a lot closer to the pungent scent of fermented beer. Anywho, here is the corn that helps foster that, umm, fragrance. On the bright side, they sure do frame the South hills very prettily.

Upon entering the city of Oakley, population 668, you will learn interesting facts such as,
"It is the western gateway to City of Rocks National Reserve and the eastern gateway to the South Hills, where an abundance of recreational opportunities abound all year round. This community is home of the world-famous Oakley Stone; Oakley Dam, the largest earthen filled dam in the world at its completion in 1911; the site of more historic homes per capita than anywhere in the U.S.; and the Oakley Valley Arts Council and Howells Opera House (one of the few continuously operating theatres built in 1907)."
I never can find Elder Haight’s house, but when he would vacation in June he would come home to Oakley. Take a right turn before the only stop sign in town and the next left turn and here is the historic Howell Opera House which just celebrated its 100th birthday. Can you imagine?!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Don’t you just love acronyms? I’ve been watching the last few days the different ones I’ve run across. There’s the somber SS and H&W, the F/U which in my world means Follow Up, the peppy PD for Public Defender, the much looked forward to EMA for Earnest Money Agreement, the quiet and simple RS of Relief Society and, of course, the PT for

Pretty Tender,
Pernicious Torture,
Painful Thorn-in-my-side
Pitiful Torment that is
Physical Therapy.

I always knew that there were all kinds of choices in life. No one had ever told me about the tortures that lie beyond Door Number Four. :) Let me introduce you to my nemesis. He's pale and little and even a little limp. The exercise is to stand on the foam rocking very slightly forward and then back to center maintaining my balance (what balance?!) for five minutes.

This sneaky fellow looks harmless enough. Until you try to stand on him. Then he bucks you off like a bull hopped up on, well, Red Bull. I promise! He’s as docile as can be until I try to stand on him for full time required by my therapist. On the bright side, the therapist has to stand next to me with one arm in front and one arm behind in case this bucking bronco decides to play a fast one. I tried to talk the therapist into letting me off early so he can rest his arms. I was just trying to be thoughtful and he just laughed at me. Oh well, holding your arms out for five minutes can be pretty tiring. We’ll just see who gets the last laugh.

Getting my boot of means therapy which has been good FOR me, but not all that great of an experience. On the other hand, the best part of getting my boot off is I can start wearing TWO shoes again. Before, I had all my shoes lined up; it was very easy to pick what shoe to wear that day.

It was so limiting only wearing one shoe at time because the boot was so much taller and if I didn't wear thick shoes I had one leg longer than the other. I like my cute little ballet flats and I wore them a lot, so that’s probably why I just about fell over the first time I tried to walk without the boot for the first time; I over compensated with one leg and ran right into the x-ray machine at the doctor’s office. I think I just about gave the x-ray tech a heart attach, but I didn’t bother tell her that I’m used to falling over. For the last few years when I get tired, I tend to list to one side and often run into walls and doorways. My little narrow hallway at home is a death trap. :)

I was so excited to wear TWO shoes at the same time, I don’t even feel sad that I only have three pairs of shoes that fit my giant swollen right foot.



Well maybe a little. But, as my foot heals I’ll eventually move from "back to normal" to "better than ever," which actually makes today's subject stand for Particularly Thrilling.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


For this long weekend I spent a lot of time in a car. Well, not a lot, but a lot for me. I had a four hour trip down to Payson to play with my Brown cousins, and no, that’s not a racial slur. :) To make the trip more fun, I pulled out all my CDs that I hadn’t listened to for more than a year and I found a song that totally described my weekend. It’s by Simon and Garfunkel and there’s a part that goes...

I get the news I need on the weather report.
I can gather all the news I need on the weather report.
Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.
Da-n-da-da-n-da-da-n-da-da here I am
The only living boy in New York.

Ok, so I live in Burley and I’m a girl, but other than that it fit my weekend perfectly. I’d find myself just humming it and then bust out in song with, "I’ve got nothing to do today but smile!"

Saturday we went for a drive up into the mountains. We weren’t able to make it up to the waterfall (I still have a hurt foot), so Scott hauled me half way up and we picnicked near a streams. And, of course, there’s nothing more fun than throwing rocks, so the kids had a blast.

The kids came back very wet, "butt" very happy.

Noah was my pal. I think everything he did cracked me up. I managed to whittle down my weekend pictures for your pleasure to have an equal share of Noah as all the other kids combined. I loved to ask him if his name is Noah. "No. I’m not Noah. I’m Michael Phelps!" I guess last week he asked his mom if they could go to Wal-Mart and buy a diving board. I had to work pretty hard to get a picture of him diving, but after I left (it figures) he laid out his blue blanket and piled up the couch cushions to "dive" and "swim."

When I visit my nephews and nieces whether they are my brother and sisters kids or my cousins kids, I like to take them for a walk. This weekend I told Scott’s kids we should go for a walk, "oh. ok." And we should take my camera and you can take pictures, "All right!!"

We started out with just David and I and since there are A LOT of kids in the neighborhood we started to pick up a trail. About halfway around the cul-de-sac I let all the kids take a turn. They took some really cool pictures with only an occasional idea from me. I did take the one picture of a yellow flower. It only took thirty minutes to walk around the circle and make me the cool aunt. :)
This weekend was Onion Days for Payson, so here we are ready for the parade.

Onion Days. Ha! They’ll never make fun of my potato-slash-sugar beet country again. This is just before the deluge of rain. The Monsoon. The falling of cats AND dogs. It didn’t start off to intimidating. In fact, it makes me want to sing, "I’m singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling; I’m happy again!"

There I go singing again... Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.