Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day with Dad.

Yesterday, my dad called and said that he was flying into town for a funeral for a family friend (sorry, sometimes I can't resist alliterative phrases), a former bishop, a mentor of sorts. He spent the night with my Uncle and then today at noon, I met them both at the church.where the funeral was happening. Attending a funeral for someone I don't really know too well isn't something I've done very often. This one I most thoroughly enjoyed. Clayton, the deceased, seemed like such a wonderful person, a fun character, and a true mentor to hundreds of youth like my dad. I found myself really wishing I'd known this man and feeling grateful that he influenced my dad's life.

As a mission president in Switzerland, he was once reviewing the budget allotted to each missionary. Apparently, he was heard exclaiming aloud, "This is all wrong. Missionaries can't live here in this beautiful land and not take pictures!" He successfully convinced Church Headquarters to build in the cost of two rolls of film into his missionaries' monthly budgets. I think I would have liked him a lot!

The closing hymn at the funeral was one of my favorites and seemed to strike a chord with dad.

"Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing"

Come, thou fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.

I love this hymn, and have been moved by these words several times and was happy to be able to share those thoughts with my dad, who read them intently as we were signing. And, as it happens, I am directing a choir at our Stake Conference on Sunday morning and this is one of the hymns we're singing.

After the funeral, dad and I took advantage of the Salt Lake City Dine-o-round, and ate a tasty lunch at The Wild Grape. We spent a couple of hours talking before I dropped him off at the airport. I love getting my dad to myself and talking to him. We had a great day. Thanks Dad!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Venturing East.

Last week, I returned from a five-day trip to Washington, DC and New York City. Despite feeling quite sick, I had a great time with KDJ in DC and my family in NYC.

KDJ and I ate Chipotle and Red Hot & Blue, drove down to Mt. Vernon, got pedictures, watched "What Happens in Vegas" as well as several other TV shows. Since I was feeling sick, we had a pretty low-key visit, which was fine by me and wonderfully enjoyable. KDJ is a great hostess, making me breakfast and homemade Mediterranean salad for dinner. And the best is that she just took care of me while I was sick. Thanks Katie, for being my nurse.

I took the train into NYC, where I was met by Dad, Nancy, and Shep. We were all gathering to attend and celebrate Marina's college graduation. Dad and Nancy had this perfect two bedroom apartment for the week, so I got my own invalid's wing.

I LOVE NYC. I'm just a city person. That's it. It's not like I ever doubted, but living in this great little apartment for a few days reminded me of how much of a city person I truly am. I guess that's what I get for being born and raised in San Francisco.

The first night we had dinner at French Roast.

So... Marina graduated! Everyone was there. Dad, Nancy, Shep, Auntie Vicki, and Uncle Hank. Hillary Clinton spoke at the commencement. I must say, whether you like the woman or not, she's got a strong presence and gave a wonderfully inspiring message. (Can you see her in the picture?)

We were cold during the graduation and crowded afterward, but so happy to be there. Dinner at Compass was great, despite the fact that my sickness caused me to lose the ability to taste anything. So strange. But the night was very fun.

On the morning of my departure, we took a walk down Broadway and back up Amsterdam, and indulged in a New York classic, a Gray's Papaya hot dog with their papaya drink. Yum!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Free Breakfast at IKEA.

So IKEA can be pretty cool.
Especially when they offer their free breakfast.
Dennis, Sarah, Katie, Brian, M, and I couldn't pass up the offer.
Memorial Day free breakfast with friends
is especially fun.

(Breakfast photo from here.)

Oh, and it was Towel Day too.

Hence M's neck adornment.

Towel Day is an annual celebration on the 25th of May, as a tribute to the late author Douglas Adams (1952-2001).

Fans around the universe proudly carry a towel in his honour.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


So, I'm not a sci-fi girl.
In fact, I've pretty much avoided it (purposely) my whole life.
Just not my thing.
But I decided to go to the Star Trek movie a few weeks ago with M, Brian, and Katie.
I know, it's hard to believe...
but, I really liked it.
And watching Chris Pine didn't hurt matters at all...

(Photo from here.)
Uh, so yeah...
Beam me UP Scotty! :)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Giving Blood.

I think the last time I donated blood, I was in high school. Queasiness and nausea overcame me and it wasn't a good experience. Actually, that experience is the cause of my aversion to apple juice. They made me drink a whole cup when I was feeling slightly lightheaded. It was just too much, too fast and it made things worse.

Anyway, that aside... I know it's been too long, but the bad experience mixed with international living and travel have given me excuses to avoid being pricked. But several months ago, I learned that M regularly donates his blood about once every couple of months and felt that guilty feeling that I knew should be doing it too. So a couple of months ago, I asked him to let me know the next time he was going. He called on Tuesday and told me he was going. Talk about no warning. Good thing I'd eaten well that day.

We went over to the Stake Center, where the blood drive was being held. I can't deny that I was a little nervous, considering my last experience. But everything went smoothly and we were lucky to have a really good phlebotomist. She was able to find my vein expertly, which I've been told (and have experienced) is quite a task.

Despite the fact that I got a little queasy afterward, overall it was great and I'm happy I did it. I think it will become a fairly regular thing. Having that great satisfaction that you're helping someone is worth three minutes of queasy sweats.

From the Red Cross website:
Every minute of every day, someone needs blood. That blood can only come from a volunteer donor, a person like you who makes the choice to donate. There is no substitute for your donation. When you make a blood donation, you join a very select group. Currently only 3 out of every 100 people in America donate blood.

To learn more about blood donation opportunities, visit or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543).

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


I've been craving an IT'S IT the past few days. What's an IT'S IT, you ask? Well, good question; let me tell you. If you're not from the Bay Area you might be tempted to call an IT'S IT just another ice cream sandwich. But you'd be oh, so wrong. It may well be the best ice cream treat ever invented. A delicious scoop of ice cream, sandwiched between two old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, dipped in dark chocolate... this is no ordinary dessert. It's simply delightful. It's... well, it's IT. :)

See, the IT'S IT, is a San Francisco original and it hasn't ventured much further than the Rockies, making finding an IT'S IT in Utah nearly impossible. So I checked online to see if you could order them. Hooray! You can! $19 for a case of 24. Totally doable. Oh, but wait... shipping is $67 on top of that. Total? $86... for 24 IT'S ITs. That's about $3.50 each. :( Ooh, but I could buy 8 cases for a total of $380... that would bring them to $1.98 apiece! Such a better deal! But hmph, then I'd have 192 IT'S ITs.

This may just call for a trip home.

(Pictures from the IT'S IT website.)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Mormon Messages: Why Mormons Build Temples.

Awhile back, I found Mormon Messages, the LDS Church's YouTube Channel. This one explains well about why the Church is building hundreds of temples across the world. Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Happy Thoughts.

When I was in high school, my mom and I shared the master bathroom. I'm not exactly sure why, except that neither of us wanted to share with someone who unloaded his electric razor in the sink and didn't fully rinse out the basin. Yuck. Oh, that and the fact that master bathroom was twice as big. :)

We had a little daily calendar that sat in the WC on a shelf along with some other books and magazines. (Come on, everyone has bathroom reading material. Don't deny it.) The daily calendar was called "10,000 Things to Be Happy About." It was originally a book (now called 14,000 Things...), but adapated into a daily calendar. I looked forward to reading it every morning.

With that in mind, here is my list for today:
  1. fresh flowers
  2. carrot cake (with a really good cream cheese frosting)
  3. alliteration
  4. rainy weekend mornings
  5. beluga whales
  6. spontaneous hugs and kisses
  7. smiles from strangers
  8. cheese
  9. family
  10. relaxing vacations
  11. looking at the stamps in my passport and reminiscing
  12. picnics
  13. thunderstorms
  14. a good book
  15. the first whiff after it starts to rain
  16. new babies
  17. wood floors
  18. spontaneous road trips
  19. a clean house, including windows and baseboards
  20. Jelly Bellys
  21. farmers markets - oh the vegetables!
  22. the last few minutes of an auction on eBay when your item quadruples in price
  23. the smell of jasmine
  24. San Francisco fog
  25. beautiful stationery
  26. English cucumbers
  27. proper table settings
  28. smells of spring
  29. playing cribbage
  30. the internet
  31. cold, soft (read: ridiculously high thread count) sheets