Friday, July 25, 2008

Tag...You're It!

Yay! I've been tagged. I have to report 6 things about myself that are random and possibly unknown to many. Then I have to tag a few other people. Too bad not many of my friends blog. Common guys...I need more blogging pals.
1. I am absolutely dead to the world when I'm sleeping. I can sleep through a thunderstorm or a kidnapping no problem.
2. I can make 3 loops with my tongue. I was really bored one day in highschool.
3. I love to step on very crunchy leaves...and bugs.
4. I despise bows. You'll never see me or my children sporting those hideous eyesores.
5. I love to be barefooted. Maybe that's why the bottom of our tub gets so dirty so fast.
6. I have never broken a bone. All of you better knock on wood right now!
Now I tag...Lili, Jordie and Vanessa. Have fun being random.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh, What a Wonderful World

Well...we're back! We had such a great time. The West Indies are beautiful and the culture is welcoming and friendly especially when your husband thinks he's a West Indian...they seemed to like that. I was telling my cousin how important/humbling an experience this was for me. Guyana (located on the north coast of South America) is one of the poorest countries in the world. They don't have much, but they will give to others-no questions asked. I find most countries I've been to are the same way. America needs to follow suit a bit more.

Okay, we visited 2 countries (Trinidad and Guyana) in one week and I still managed to take over 200 pictures. We are so tired, but glad to have such an unforgettable experience under our belts. My eyes have seen some amazing things that I will brag about forever...until our next unforgettable trip. We hope to make this a yearly tradition while we have the time and money.
Here are some interesting facts I came up with about the W.E.:
1. Everything looks, feels and operates like Europe-probably because it was once run by the British for many years (at least Trinidad was).
2. Vendors/vagrants walk the middle of the highway selling their goods.
3. Although they speak English, it sounds like a foreign language to me-a cross between a Jamaican and East Indian accent.
4. People leave their trash bags full of trash on the streets (no trash bins I guess) for the city to pick up.
5. The government subsidizes travel, and food happens to be really inexpensive (not at the grocery store-a box of Cheerios was $7 U.S.)...yay for us!
6. Security guards patrol the grocery store aisles...should we have been concerned?
7. The people either look straight from Africa or India, or are a nice mix between the 2.
8. Stray dogs are like the pigeons in New York. What is that about?
9. Exchange rates: $6 Trinidad/Tabago to $1 American. $206 Guyana to $1 American.

Here are a few of my pictures. The rest can be found in this link:

Trinidad's Savannah. It was cloudy a lot, but isn't it beautiful?

Some kiddos at the zoo in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
On the way through the jungle to Maracas Bay, Trinidad.
Maracas Bay: this was a shocking realization for Reed that he needs a more thorough tan.
Beauty all around...loved the fogginess.

What a wonderful world we live in.

"The Bird Dance" by the ex-Queen of an Amerindian tribe called the Arawak's. We took a boat ride through the Kamuni creek off the Demarara river in Guyana to visit their village. Sorry for the obnoxious weed-eater noise in the background, but if you succeed in blocking that out you can hear her explain what she is doing and catch her cool accent.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

26 going on 80

I haven't blogged in a while, and since the blog is kinda like a journal for me (which I don't keep), I thought I would subdue my guilt and do my blogging duty. Reed and I have recently been feeling very outdoorsy (really due to the recent rain and cloudy days we've been getting) and have been hiking Sabino and Madera Canyon. I want all to know that I have faced and conquered my fears by hiking Madera as the last time I showed my face there, I fell on it...hard. I vowed never to return. However, I regained my wits and had a very successful trip, returning completely unscathed. Anyway...I just love the outdoors. Especially when it is cloudy. It just makes everything look much greener. I can accept the desert only under such circumstances.

On a much different note, and really the reason for my blog today, something that has been weighing on my mind...and my legs: Vericose/Spider veins. What!!! Last time I checked, I was in my mid 20s not Great Grandma-age. My mom doesn't have any and neither does my grandma. My legs are one my best features and now they are tainted. TAINTED! The hideous eye sores are faint mind you, but there nonetheless. I blame Reed...and my students...and the UofA. I feel better.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

The crack of the bat, the smell of the grass, sharing your cotton candy with every puppy-eyed, open-mouthed person around you...That's right, I went to a baseball game tonight. Every summer on or around the 4th of July, our church buys a bunch of tickets and we all go together on the same night. It's really fun. This is the last season for the Tucson Sidewinders. They were sold to Reno, Nevada, so this was the last time to catch a game before they pack up and move on down the road. Since it is also around the 4th of July, they always have a fireworks show after each game. It was really awesome. It is really the only reason I go, and it would have been even better if Reed had not complained about their sorry selection of patriotic songs and wanna-be spectacular fireworks/grande finale THE WHOLE TIME:

Reed-"I can't believe they picked this song. It is not patriotic at all."
Reed-"Where is that firework going. It is going to burn someone up."
Reed-"They should fire this trumpeter." (they had a trumpeter soloist introduce the Firework Spectacular)
Me-"How about you just keep the yap shut next time and try and enjoy the show."

Other than that fascinating conversation, the night went very well, except for the 1/2 hour rain shower we got in the middle of the game. Everyone fled for safety, but I stuck it out. Reed was so proud.

Well before the firework conversation...

Here comes the rain...

Darwin (my father-in-law) and the girls...

PHI ETA SIGMA, here I come!

I was SHOCKED yesterday afternoon to find an envelope in the mail inviting me to join the National Honor Society at the U of A for my high academic achievements in recent years. Now this may seem like I am inappropriately gloating, but Gloat I shall because as some of you may not know, I am not the academic achiever by any means. I hate school (but Jen...why the Master's?...don't ask) and have to work really hard to get good grades. So I am allowed to gloat all I want! Anyhoo...imagine my utter suprise when I got this letter in the mail. I have to pay 40 bucks to get in, but we can forget that little impuning detail, and I get a free PHI ETA SIGMA tee-shirt, a certificate and a great pin in an honorary induction ceremony. Wowwy! I also get to attend social events, and participate in service projects. I think I'm gonna do it. I don't know how this will fly with my inner conscience though seeing as how I hate sororities with every fiber of my being!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Etiquette...Improving America one youth at a time.

All is not lost! Yesterday evening, I taught an etiquette lesson (while dining) to five girls in my church ward. (I, along with 2 other women, meet twice a month with a small group of girls ages 8-11, and teach them simple gospel doctrine paired with fun and interesting activities.) They actually knew more than I anticipated. I was so proud of them. We discussed everything from basic manners (not chewing with your mouth open) to little known facts but staples of etiquette (keeping your elbow close to your body when eating; scooping away from you while eating your soup appetizer). We played a game afterwards where they had to answer questions about etiquette and they could win back to school prizes (got some ugly grimaces for this choice) for correct answers/valiant effort. They all did very well. The girls all wore dresses to add to the nicety of the event, and was. I was glad to see that they knew some important manners already and that I could introduce (and hopefully engrain) some new rules of etiquette that they may share with others later, all in my courageous effort to improve/restore America one youth at a time.