2 Down 10 to Go

I’m really hoping this doesn’t become a habit at the end of a month…… but once again…. I’ve made it through another month of blogging everyday….. and considering I’ve had some out of town trips in there… (3 to be exact)…. that’s a pretty amazing thing!  Thank heavens for a lap top and wi-fi!

I made a list of all my blog topics so that I could review what I’ve blogged about and also in an effort to try to NOT blog about the same topic.  In looking over this list….. I have come close to blogging about the same thing a couple of times!  Sheez!  You’d think it would be easier than that…. really!  Perhaps one of the things I need to learn from this is to be more observant…. maybe a little detailed oriented.  I try to make each day’s blog be about something that I’ve noticed that day or within a short period of time.  Maybe my life is too mundane with the same activities day in and day out for me to see new things!  Still no excuse, right?  I’ll get it figured out along the way.  I am grateful that I have gotten this far and that this challenge is making me stretch…. and remember!  That’s all good!  I will just take it one day at a time and try to learn what I can from each day.

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Salt in Wounds

I know what you are thinking……  Is she crazy?  Probably.  At least at times I wonder my self!  But I really am grateful for Salt in wounds!

Let me clarify a little.  I love to use Salt Scrubs.  I make my own…. it’s much cheaper that way….  and I love the way they make my skin feel.  So soft and fresh.  BUT…. occasionally, I will have a cut or a scrap or sore of some kind and when you do….. you REALLY know you are using salt scrub!  It definitely stings for a minute….. or two….  but as you rinse the salt away…. the area feels great.  It’s quite soothing, once the burning stops.  We have a hand held shower head as part of our shower system…. so putting that warm water directly on the wound to rinse off the salt feels so good.  What does the salt do to the wound?  Well…. from what I can find on the internet and from my own real life experience…. the salt helps to cleanse and dry the wound so it can heal faster.  Though it hurts for a while…. the healing process is quicker.

As I was showering this morning and rinsing off the ‘sting’ of the salt…. I started thinking about how we can compare the old ‘salt in the wound’ phrase to life.  Very often in our lives we can get hurt.  Not physically…. but emotionally.  Emotional pains are real.  Very often the healing of those pains is a slow process.  But what if we do get ‘salt in the wound’ of that emotional pain?  It stings and feels worse for a time…..  but how do we come out on the other side of that sting?  Are we emotionally cleaner…. ready to heal more quickly?  Any kind of a cleansing is usually beneficial for us.  Making us stronger and a better person.  Softer, fresher…. yet in some ways tougher.  Though rubbing salt in the wound will not result in an immediate healing of the wound…. it does do the wound good…. after the stinging stops!  So, just remember….. when someone seems to be rubbing salt into your wound….. it will eventually feel better and you’ll be a better person for it!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Parade of Homes

I am a Parade of Homes junkie.  Is that kind of like being a member of AAA and admitting you’re addicted?  Cause I am.  Addicted that is….  To the Parade of Homes….. ALL of them.  Just ask my hubby.

It’s been 2 years since we went down the the St. George Parade of homes.  It was almost three this year….. but luckily my husband gave me the OK and I cleared a few things from our calendar and we were able to go…. which I’m grateful for.  I was starting to have withdrawals!

This is one of the homes we liked

The St. George Parade of Homes is the beginning of a long line of Parades that we attend each year.  I truly am addicted.  Why?  I’m not really sure.  Part of it, I’m sure, is the chance to dream big about what I would love to have in a home.  Part of it’s for decorating ideas.  Part of it is because I love to analyze floor plans and think about what parts of it would work in a home for me and what parts aren’t practical or sometimes just plain stupid!   After all these years of attending the Parade of Homes across the state…. I pretty much know what I want in my dream home.

There were a couple of homes in particular in the St. George Parade that we were very interested in.  So much so that we took a second look at each of them.  I love analyzing what changes we would make to ‘tweak’ the plan to make it work better for us.  I think being raised by a brick mason father and learning a little how blue prints work gives me a little edge over some people when it comes to reading a floor plan.  I get how they work and can see places that could possibly have changes made.  Sometimes the homes in St. George don’t put in basements… so we were looking at the floor plans of the two homes we liked trying to figure out where a stair case could go if we were to build our own and make that change.  Of course…. we figured out a way to do it!

I love the Parade of Homes because it give me the chance to dream…. plan….. and ideas to redecorate or decorate the dream home in my head!  What can I say?  It’s just something I do!  And, someday I WILL own a home in St. George…. just in case you were wondering!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Self Serve Yogurt

My first experience with self serve yogurt was about a year and a half ago when some friends of ours took us to a place called KRAVE in St. George.  We were down there for the Senior Games and went over to spend some time with our friends that live in St. George.  After spending a few hours at their house playing some competitive card games and a little Mexican Train Dominos…. we decided to end the evening with a treat and that’s when we were introduced to the concept of self serve yogurt.

It’s a dangerous thing to get hooked on!  I do love the fact that you can build your own yogurt by choosing your flavor and then adding all the toppings you want.  The danger comes in approaching the cash register and weighing your creation in order to calculate how much you owe for this concoction!  You think you are doing so well by choosing only fresh fruit and nuts (ok…. a few yogurt chips too…) and then you get to the counter and place it on the scale and whamo!  That $.38 an oz doesn’t sound so good any more!  We spent about $5.00 each for our creations.  I guess it’s good thing that we didn’t pick the ‘heavy ‘ toppings!  Actually, when you think about it…. I guess it’s really not anymore expensive than those specialty ice cream shops like Cold Stone or Baskin Robbins.  At least at Krave they have a ‘punch’ card you can fill up and get a free one after you buy 10!  I’m not aware of those other places doing that!

One of the best parts of visiting Krave tonight was seeing our picture flash on the TV screen behind the cash register!  When we were down here last Oct. for the Senior Games…. we brought a bunch of the softball team members with us to get some yogurt and they asked if they could take our picture.  They do that quite often.  They take random pictures of their customers and then they put them in their computer and it randomly plays a slide show of all the pictures they’ve taken.  And I mean random.  We saw our picture as we went up to the cash register to pay and then sat down and watched the screen for another 20 minutes or so as we ate our yogurt and it never came on again!!  Several other pictures that had been up came on again…. but not ours!  How weird is that that we happened to approach the counter just as our picture came on and then never again?  Weird, huh?

Krave is a fun place to visit ….. with great yogurt and toppings and a family friendly wall of ‘acrylic’ that becomes a giant chaulk board for its customers!  You should try it sometime!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Sweet Potato Fries

Hmmm …. hmmmm.  I’m a fan of Sweet potato fries.  I remember the first time I tasted them.  I was with my Mom and had stopped to get dinner at Rumbi.  We ordered their mixed fries that had both regular fries and sweet potato fries.  I liked the sweet potato fries much better than the regular fries.  I thought…. what a novel idea?  Who would have thought to turn sweet potatoes into fries!

Several years later I found a bag of sweet potato fries in the freezer section at Costco and got pretty excited!  Now I can make them on my own!  But, honestly….. they are not quite as good as the ones from the restaurants.  Probably because I bake them rather than fry them!  But they are still good.  ( I would love hints on how to get them crisper when baking….)

My very favorite sweet potato fries???  Smashburger Smashfries!  I love the olive oil and rosemary that they toss them with!  They are so good!  That’s one of the reasons I like to eat there.  Tonight we stopped at Smashburger for dinner and, of course, ordered Sweet Potato Smashfries.  When they came to our table and I began to dig in… I knew something was wrong.  I asked my husband if he had ordered the Smashfries wondering if maybe they had an option for regular fries with out the oil and rosemary.  When I went back and looked at the menu…. it appeared that the Smashfries way was the only way they came.  So I asked one of the employees about it and he came to our table and said, “Those don’t look right”…. so he took them back and ordered us a fresh new batch.  Funny thing is, when he ordered them I heard him say to the cooks, “Do you know how to make these?” I thought it was kind of funny.  So, not only did we get a new batch of yummy Sweet Potato Smashfries tossed in delicious olive oil and rosemary…. but we got a coupon for a free Smashburger for our next trip!  I love it when they make it right with you when they make a boo boo.  I’ve had that happen at other restaurants too and they go out of their way to fix it and make it better.  That’s good customer service!  Looks like I’ll be heading back to Smashburger soon!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Reminders!

Daytimers…. alarm clocks…. email reminders, etc. etc.  If only I would pay more attention to them!  When I started this blog… WordPress sent me an email wanting to know if I wanted to join the daily or weekly post club…. so I did.  They send me email reminders daily about blogging…. even giving suggested topics…. but most of them don’t apply to my gratitude blog,  But still, it’s a daily reminder to blog!  Now…. if only I’d realize that when I get that email… it might be a good idea to do my post right then…. that would be awesome.

So last night…. I’m at home doing….whatever…. stuff.  Nothing important enough to keep me from blogging….. but guess what I remembered at 5 am this morning as my alarm went off for the temple?  Right…. I didn’t blog last night!   I have no excuse…. and maybe you didn’t even notice since I hurried and got ready for the temple really fast and blogged at 5:45am this morning….. but I forgot to blog last night and that made me really irritated this morning!  How could I forget?  For Pete’s sake…. I get a reminder everyday in my email???  It made me realize that my best bet would be to DO that post as soon as I got the reminder…. or NOT to delete the email till I had so it was still there staring me in the face.  Hence, what I did today.  I just barely deleted that reminder email after I started posting this.  It’s a good thing there are ways to keep ourselves reminded about things!  I don’t always do a good job of jotting things down…( including ideas for this blog!)  Then I get stuck sometimes!  I just need to keep reminding myself of the saying I’ve been hearing a lot lately:  “The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest mind!” So jot it down silly!  That’s how creative people create….right?  They write down their ideas!  They remind themselves of things to get done or places they need to be!  Or they blog when they are reminded to!  Aren’t you glad you have ways to remind yourself of things?

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Chat

I had a quick question to ask a friend of mine.  I was about to send her a FB message and hope that I would get an answer fairly quickly.  I looked down at my ‘chat’ area on FB and saw I had 33 friends online at that moment. (We’re all addicted…. aren’t we???)  She happened to be online just then…. so I shot her off a quick question right there!  And guess what!  She answered!

What a world this is to have instant messaging.  Arguably there would be people out there that would say…. what ever happened to a good old phone call?  While I wholeheartedly agree that nothing will ever replace a voice to voice communication…. sometimes a quick message is all you need.  Though we took the opportunity to laugh and chat about a few other things for a few minutes…. it was nice to quickly connect with her, get my question answered and within a few minutes move on to other things.  I actually was getting dinner ready while I ‘chatted’ with her too….   I guess we can multitask while on the phone too…. but I was glad I was able to do both while chatting.  One thing about chatting vs. speaking on the phone….. sometimes we get carried away in a real live conversation and can spend much more time on the phone than we had planned.  Happens to me a LOT!   So….today I’m grateful that a friend was available for a quick friendly chat!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Naps

I’m sure there are many of you out there who don’t get the opportunity to take naps.  Even though I can find time on most days to do it….. I don’t always take a nap….. but on days when I need it…. I’m awfully grateful I can!

Being an empty nester makes napping a bit easier I suppose.  No children around to take care of or put down for a nap first.  And  yet, young Mothers are the ones that need naps the most…. and seldom seem to get them!  My nap days are usually on the days that I work in the temple.  Depending on what time we have to be there, we get up by 4 or 5 am in the morning.

That’s what I call being able to nap anywhere!!

Now if you are a morning person, that probably doesn’t seem like a big deal to you….. but when you are a night owl like me….. it’s a big deal!  There are some days that I have so much going on that I can’t take a nap on temple days….. or days when my mind is racing and I’m doing other things and when I finally decide I want to nap…. it’s too late to take one!  But… on normal temple days, we come home, fix a nice salad or sandwich for lunch, catch up on the computer and then usually take a nap.  From what I’ve read…. apparently naps are a good thing…. particularly power naps.  Here’s something from off of about.com:  “Mid-day sleep, or a ‘power nap’, means more patience, less stress, better reaction time, increased learning, more efficiency and better health.”

So there you have it!   No more feeling guilty for napping….. anybody!!  It’s OK to take them!  I’m pretty sure mine won’t stop anytime soon…..  Oh yes…. then there’s that Sunday nap….  sleepy anyone?

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Karen Carpenter

My cousin just posted a video of Karen Carpenter singing “Superstar”….. one of my favorites of hers.  I realized as I made a comment on his post how grateful I am for her!

Karen Carpenter was truly my idol.  Here’s another thing I’m grateful for….. you know how we all want to sing like our idols?  The challenge of singing like her was a whole lot easier on the voice than say trying to sing like Celine Dion or Mariah Carey…..  The expectations of singers now a days is a much more difficult form of singing.  At least to do correctly without damaging your voice.  Hence, why I’m grateful it was Karen Carpenter I was trying to sound  like…..  a much easier task on the vocal chords!

I love her smooth and natural sound.  It’s the kind of voice you could listen to all day and not get tired of.  Some singers voices can make you a little weary in the ears after just a few numbers… but not Karen.   I thought I had all her albums growing up…. but I’ve since learned of a few I didn’t know about, plus a few that were made after I was collecting them…. but I still think I’m pretty familiar with most of her music.

What an awful day it was the day she left us!  I was pretty distraught.  So sad to loose such a talented person to such an awful thing.  It’s so sad when a persons self-image is so tied up with how much they weigh.  I mean… I’ll admit…. I prefer being thinner too and have done some extreme dieting in the past… but nothing to that extent.  I like food too much to go that far!  It breaks my heart to think that such a talented young life came to an early end because of such an awful disease that possibly could have been prevented if people weren’t so critical of others.

I feel I have been blessed with a fairly nice voice.  And the kind of music that Karen sang is the kind I prefer to sing…. easy to sing…. easy to listen to!  I have had people tell me that they think I sound like Karen Carpenter…. which is the highest compliment someone could pay me… in my book!!  Just so you all know…. I’ve already reserved my space next to Karen Carpenter in the alto section of the heavenly choir…I’m going to sing with her sometime come hell or high water!!  (Pretty sure it will have to be the high water since I’m positive that she didn’t go to hell!)  And let me add as a side note…. that while I believe Karen Carpenter was one of the finest voices this world will ever know…. her brother Richard is also extremely talented.  Singing may not have been his forte…. but the boy can arrange and write and play the piano like a true pro!  I’m always amazed as I listen closely to arrangements and piano solos.  Try going to youtube and watching some of the clips from their old TV specials.  Ta..aa aal… lent!  I recently found a CD that has some of those old television special arrangements on it.  Great stuff!

So I give a huge shout out to my idol, Karen Carpenter today!  It’s been 28 years this month since the world lost your beautiful voice….but it will forever live on in our hearts and memories and ipods!!!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Classic Tales

In this case…. of Two Cities…!  What a beautiful show and done so superbly by the cast and the director!  I have to confess…. I’ve never read the Dickens classic…. though some of the famous lines definitely were familiar to me.  Thouroughly enjoyed the experience at Hale Theater today.

I am always amazed at how an author can take a classic book and put it on stage (and even with music)…. and tell the tale in such a beautiful way.  I’m sure for all you die hard fans that have read the book….. you will find things missing from the story…. as is the case with most interpretations.   It’s never quite the same.  Some adaptions will find certain parts of the story more important than others.  Take Pride and Prejudice as an example.  How many different versions of that story are out there on film?  And yet…. none of them have quite the same take on the story…. but the general story is told.  Another example is Phantom of the Opera.  I suppose the liberty in how the story is told comes in how old the material is…. if it has become public domain, then the adaption can take a few more liberties.   Having not read “Tale of Two Cities”… I can’t really comment on whether liberties were taken in telling the story I saw today or not… but what I saw was a beautiful and moving story.  So many wonderful messages to be taken from the characters.  Meaningful messages.  Which I suppose was Dickens whole point in writing it.  It actually made me want to read the book.  Of course…. I said the same thing after I saw Les Miserable and never read it either….  but I loved the show and the message!

I’m grateful for the beautiful job done by the cast members of TOTC at Hale Theater.  Grateful to them for telling me a story I had never read in such a moving way.  Thanks guys!

I am Grateful!  How are you?