Thursday, February 28, 2013


Is this what is done for good luck?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Natural Soda

In an attempt to make more healthy choices, I selected this "natural" beverage.

Tastes like a lifesaver I once retrieved from my car floor.

Yes, I would eat a lifesaver from my car floor.  Of course, I would clean it off first in a mouthfull of diet coke.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cleaning Elf

Arriving at work near the crack of dawn has its rewards.   Today I caught a cleaning elf.

Working in a clean environment is a blessing recognized by one that spent 28.5 years in an understaffed, sometimes ill-repaired facility.  The purchase of my own vacuum, floor scrubber, and cleaning supplies kept my little corner of the world fit for the hundreds who crossed the threshold of learning into my classroom.  Attaching points to cleaning duties, including emptying the trash, cleaning windows, and wiping the grime off walls is justified by the inventive educator.

Even after the beatings, threats, grade disputes, and then good-natured compliance, the environment in aforesaid structure pales in comparison to my current place of employment.  BYU litterally sparkles.  

How does this magic occur?  

In the black of night and bitterness of winter, the nightime elves swoop in with rags, brushes, dusters, and good cheer to prepare the spaces occupied by 10s of thousands of feet.  On occasion, I've heard their singing resonate throughout the cavernous, empty halls.  But this morning, I caught one.

As I entered from the lowest parking level I heard humming.  There bent at the bottom of 16 flights of stairs a single elf dipped a scrub brush into a bucket of water and was busily and fastideously removing the grime from the treads and grit strips, just one tiny effort reminding me of a saying that my great grandmother used to motivate the sometimes hasty worker to dig in with a little more vigor, "Clean the corners, the middle will take care of itself."

Job well done, cleaning elf, job well done.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mini, Regular, or JUMBO

A student shared a cooking experience.  She was making regular-sized muffins.  After filling the regular-sized muffin tins, she placed the muffins in the oven and checked the recipe to see the cook time.  It said that if you were making mini muffins, reduce the cook time by 10 minutes.  If you are making jumbo muffins, to turn up the heat and cook the muffins longer.  She thought, "Gee, I'd like jumbo muffins!" so she turned up the heat and incinerated her regular-sized muffins.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nasty Chocolate

If you are despirate for a treat and find a 2-year-old box of chocolates in the bottom of the freezer, they may just turn out to be very, very, very nasty.

After trying repeatedly to find one that doesn't taste like rancid permafrost, I may just have to discard them.....

....but I may keep trying....

Monday, February 18, 2013


266 miles south of Orem we found:
  • Clear blue skies
  • Clean air
  • Red rocks and awesome red dirt
  • Amazing architecture and design - Parade of Homes
  • Bumper-to-bumper big trucks, SUVs, and rack carrying vehicles
  • Loads of bicycles
  • Peaceful walkways by the Virgin River
  • Great food at George's
  • In and out shopping
  • Relaxing with my sweetie

Friday, February 15, 2013

Egg Week

In honor of Egg Week at work, I made three fried egg aprons, one for each of the instructors.

To me the fabric looks like fried eggs, to someone else, perhaps polka dots with polka dots.

Here are our recipes:
(click here)
Yummy Goodness

Here are the pictures of said recipes:
(click here)
Salivation Stimulation

It makes me happy to sew - thanks Mom.  She spent many years wiping tears as I learned the skill.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

g r a y & b l a c k & b r o w n & w h i t e

where is the sun
i do not know
masked and obscured
there is no glow

with sky of gray
and earth so white
no vibrant hue
will greet our sight

a heaven blue
one does recall
but now there's not
a glimpse at all

that fiery ball
so cursed in heat
in winter's gloom
a welcome treat

a memory stirs
i can not think
of flowers blue
and red and pink

my gaze takes in
the white and gray
and brown once more
again today

skyline, mountain
earth, twig and sky
a blur of drab
our hopes pass by

celestial orb
witheld from man
now thanks we'll show
we get your plan

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Christmas Leftover

I am saved.  Scrounging through the cupboards looking for just a little something, I found this overlooked Christmas goody.  Doubtful but desperate, the unwrapping began.  Then, the initial chomp.  Wonderful, glorious, awesome goodness.  Dark chocolate with just the right crunch and a liquidie (that word describes it perfectly) mint center.

To whomever bestowed this wonderful gift upon the Smith household, I give many thanks - just what I needed.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Building Hierarchy

Getting a laugh from my work environment is a reward.  This little fellow was sitting in a student study area early this morning.  It appeared that he'd lost all his innards, drained dry, nothing left but a mere wisp of a creature.  Perhaps that's what too much studying, work, or serious social life can do to a college student.

Fourth Floor - Heads of Something Important, Picnic Terrace, Inner Courtyard, Staircase to Nothing, Inspirational Art
Before work during the wintertime, I walk laps and climb the stairs of my building for exercise.  There is an interesting hierarchy of layout.  Those of you in education know that the top floor is where the English Department logistically is housed.  The only group that could possibly be above them would be the Law Department and they have their own building.  Above that is the Celestial Kingdom.  The pictures above show the surroundings on the fourth floor. Pictures line the halls of very important things that are from somewhere very important that should be remembered because of their massive importance to this very important department.  On this floor there are two mystery staircases in each of two corners that lead to nowhere.  When I walk there, I do a turn-around and head back down.  Wait a minute....perhaps that's the door to the Celestial Kingdom.

Third Floor - Spiral Staircase in the Museum of Education, View of My Foot Climbing 16 flights, Museum
A profound sense of adventure is felt as one circles the third floor, home to the Foreign Languages Department.  Each hallway echos with audible verbiage which reminds me that much better attention should have been paid by a certain red-headed student to Madame Christopherson, the junior high French class commandant at Lincoln Junior High.  A substantial paper loss was marked in history as reams of paper airplanes drifted out the window, down past Mr. Baugh's and Mr. Briggs' offices.  Sigh...memories...

The second floor is where the history, psychology, sociology, and family sciences are found.  No pictures for that area, but a note added that the flights of stairs increase from 2 flights per floor to 4 flights thus accommodating large lecture halls found on the first and basement levels, with an additional 2 flights into the lower parking garage.

The first floor surrounds the courtyard, which many argue should have been filled in with additional parking to lessen the length of the one-mile walk to the building if you don't get a parking spot.

The basement is where awesome fresh-bread fragrances originate, prompting a cacophony of stomach growls as realization hits the occupants of their disregard for the importance of breakfast.  And that's how we real them in...400 students per semester.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valentine Cookie

Saturday, February 9, 2013

We're in a Tight Spot

Dear Hubby is good to follow me anywhere on the mountain.  Today, however, I think I heard him mutter, "We're in a Tight Spot."
To his credit, he didn't use the "d" word as in this clip from one of our favorite movies.

Sometimes you can't see what you're headed down until you are committed.  Hubby a gets nervous when there is a sign stating , "Cliff Area."  Alta is well-marked so I trust the signs and stay on the proper side of the rope.  There are few exceptions.  Today being one.  There was a little 4 foot drop at the top of a pretty scary chute.  If one can make a few quick turns and see an escape from the chute, one can usually ski it out.  I went and there really wasn't room to make those quick turns.  At the end of the day, hubby was still talking to me after he had to remove his skis to hike over the treacherous terrain.  Oops.....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

When I Die

When I wake up in Heaven, this had better be the view I see.  They better have chocolate too....and the smell of fresh bread....and hot baths....and hyacinths....and lots of laughter.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Utah Drivers

There are many unique driving habits here in the great state of Utah, especially as you near the Christian U.  I'd not seen this one.  

I was stopped at the red light and the driver in the left hand turn lane (also at the red light) cuts across three lanes of stopped traffic through the crosswalk to make a right hand turn ??!!@#

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pond Scum

The turn of the calendar to a new year usually brings with it a desire to try a little harder, do a little better.  So that's when I decided to eat more greens.  Some circles of experts recommend two, 1 cup servings at each of three meals, every single day, day after day, for the rest of your long miserable life.....

Of course, the slacker in me researched a way to condense this process.  Discovery:  Spirulina.

This is literally pond scum and it's EXPENSIVE!!!  Quote from a site that sells it:  "Organic Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae found in most lakes and ponds. Our Organic Spirulina is grown in a series of man-made out door pools that are closely supervised."  

Hmmm....  I think I closely supervised that type of scum development when my in-laws purchased a ginormous backyard pool for my kids one summer.   If one rides the Provo Trail in late summer, one might also qualify as a scum supervisor.  The fragrance of moss on the river is something that I genuinely enjoy.

This stuff is packed with nutrients and tastes just like, well, pond scum.  If you've ever taken the opportunity to swim in a pond (with scum that is) you know the flavor.

Tomorrow I shall turn in my resignation papers as I see an amazing opportunity to rake in some easy greenbacks, work feverishly til others are green with envy at this simple success story, observe green pond scum development, and utilize my green thumb to live the good life off something that most people avoid (except where the fast track to superhuman health is involved).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Super Bowl 2013

I admit it.  I can't sit through the whole Super Bowl, so I try to get some lively conversation going.  My sweet hubby didn't appreciate the following comments:

Me:  "I don't think those yellow pants guys wear underwear.  What do you think?"
Hubby:  No comment

Me:  "Do you think that if that middle commentator guy sat on a phone book he'd look bigger?  I don't like his suit."
Hubby:  No comment

Me:  "So should I say that the Jones guy made an amazing play at the end of the second quarter?"
Hubby: "...end of first half."

Me:  "I think the dark outfits are better.  They look more superhero, you know, batman-like."
Hubby:  No comment

Me:  "Would they just stop talking, I can see the halftime show starting in the background.  There's smoke!"
Hubby:  No comment

Me:  "Why are you leaving!  It's the halftime show!"
Hubby:  "I'm going to the bathroom....let me know if there's a wardrobe malfunction.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Live it Up

Friday, February 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Hilary

For Hilary's birthday I've decided to write what we wrote when she was born:

Mom's Story
I was thrilled to give birth to such a beautiful daughter.  She cried a little when she was born, but then opened her eyes wide and looked around.  She was very calm and her daddy held her.  We were both very happy.  I cried and cried, I was so happy.  It is a joy to be here in the hospital with her, hold her, feed her and just look at her.  Tyler thinks she's "pretty neat" and thinks the faces she pulls are quite funny.  We all love her a lot and it seems, although she's only 3 days old, that she's always been a member of our family.

Dad's Story:
I was excited to have a little girl.  She is such a cute baby and I love her.  It is hard to believe that now we have a boy and a girl.  Marci decided on the name Hilary and I like it also.  The labor and everything well well, however, I didn't think that I was really that much help.  I believe every father should watch the birth of his children if he has the opportunity to do so.  I was blessed to see both Hilary and Tyler born.  What's happening in 1985 - Ronald Regan is the President of the United States and the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints is Spencer W. Kimball.  The weather this week and last has been the coldest I can remember with the temperature as low as -14 degrees F.  Looking out the window there appears to be about a foot of snow and it has been a cold winter here in Utah.

 When she was two we wrote, Hilary:

  • is silly
  • likes to giggle
  • is curious
  • active
  • likes Campbell's soup
  • likes a pink bear
  • likes her blanket
  • is persistent
  • pretty
  • loves her brother
  • likes to be outside

    At three:
Hilary changes her clothes at least three times a day.  She loves "little girl things" - dolls, combs, brushes, dressing up, etc.  She loves to swim.  She started lessons about a month before she turned three.  She can actually swim across a corner of the pool.  She knows no fear and is constantly on the move in the water.  People stop and watch her because she does so well for a little kid her age.  She can now float on her stomach, turn to her back and float.  She can also swim forward on her front.

Her poem - "My Wish"

I wish I could fly
Above the sky,
In a plane or in a jet
That would be fun you bet.
But most of all I'd like to fly,
Not in a plane or in a jet,
But just above the blue blue sky.

Things you may not know about her:

  • speaks a little Spanish
  • plays piano
  • plays guitar
  • climbed highest on greased pole
  • fooled the eye doctor into glasses
  • was in 4-H
  • tailored a wool coat
  • took a fencing class
  • had cousin reunion every summer
  • helps with Special Olympics
  • still plays soccer
  • had an awesome bug collection