Friday, January 30, 2009

Gave In

I gave in and bought some new shoes.

I don't understand how people wear shoes everyday. You know, non flip flop shoes. They are all restricting and like rub on your ankles and stuff. And you have to wear socks. I guess the good thing about that is that these should probably last me several years since they will only get about two months of use. I don't even know how long I had my Super Girl's, do you remember Britta? I know it's been longer than I've had any other pair of shoes. I'm lucky if I can get two years out of flip flops, usually only one. And you might think well at least flip flops are every where and they would be easy to find, but no, I'm pretty particular.

May you rest in peace Super Girls. You served me well. Although I don't know if I will ever have the heart to actually throw you out. You still look ok, but have way too many holes to be comfortable. Maybe I just need to get some back duct tape...

And for your listening pleasure: New Shoes

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It's to hold cars

Two weeks ago I got a new furnance and the surprise of a new water heater. Along with that came the addition of a lovely new pipe going from the furnace closet and through the bathroom to the outside air. When I came home and saw that pipe, I figured it was new fixture. I didn't realize that the new pipe was going to lead to two weeks of work on my bathroom. So after two weeks of coming home to this:

(now I'm actually the kind of person that tries to avoid mirrors, but it turns out they are kind of helpful when getting ready)

I was very happy today to come home to this:

(child was added later)

Will: What's that?

Me: A new mirror with shelves in it.

Will: FOR CARS!?!

Me: No

But it is good for dancing

Monday, January 26, 2009

Broken wishes

I hesitated to blog about this because I can’t really include a lot of feelings and/or facts with it. Mostly because I have learned from other people’s experiences that you have to watch what you write about work on a blog. And considering the Mayor (Provo) quoted some random blog in his State of the City Address, I’m not taking any chances. So a year ago at this address the Mayor made an announcement about the city going away from the 4-10 schedule he had adopted six years prior, and was changing to have the city center open on Fridays with a skeleton crew. Anyone who was at all around me during that time knows my feelings about that decision. I was not in favor, at all, and thought it would lead to a lot of problems.

I expressed those feelings to the Mayor and several others through a letter and later a very embarrassing attempt at asking the Mayor directly in a meeting. So it was know, by everyone at work how I felt also. Cut to a year later. There are talks about changing back to the 4-10 schedule. Now anyone who knows me I think would have an idea how I would react to this news. But I surprised myself. I wasn’t all for it. When the decision was first made to change the schedule it was said that it would be on a six-month trial basis and then it would be re-evaluated. Well there was sort of a review about seven months later which from everything I heard, was not favorable for staying with the schedule. I really felt like that was the only chance to pull this back. I feared that if you keep telling people you are open, and then end up changing again, we were just setting ourselves up for a lot of complaints. But I moved on. We hired 3 new people to help cover the shifts on Friday and we dealt.

So now here I am hearing that we might go back and I feel like I should be ecstatic. Everyone said there wasn’t anyway we were going to go back, and now we are, I’m getting what I want. So why am I not happy about it? I think it’s because now that it’s been a year, more people are used to us being open on Fridays, although it is still our slowest day of the week. It also sucks because we just sent out 30,000 activity guides to all the residents of Provo and 10,000 flyers to the schools that all say we are open Monday-Friday. And as of February 1st, we aren’t.

Then the other side of it is the human component. Again, I can’t really say what I want right here, but people’s lives are kind of affected by their work schedule. And even more so for people who rely on day care or someone to watch their children. These things affect your life and the way you plan it. Plus add on the fact that we hired 3 extra people who get the majority of their hours on Friday, and now we are taking that away. The change to being open on Fridays was a big deal. It was talked about and hyped up a lot. Even though most of the residents didn’t seem to get the message still a year later.

So cut to this year’s State of the City. We haven’t been told a thing, other than a decision will be made and announced. I had my suspicions about what way it was going and for our department we had made the suggestion of being closed. But we didn’t know the final decision, or when it would be in effect if the schedule was changing. There is a packet that you are handed as you go into the address that highlights the city’s accomplishments for the past year. On the front page of the packet was a list of all the city buildings hours and a new hotline that they are enacting for public phone calls. Of course my eye first went to the hours for the city center. There is was, City Center: Monday – Thursday. It was official.

Ok, so now I wait and see what gets said about it, and when it’s gonna change. Part way into the speech the Mayor says that as part of the budget problems the city is facing that the directors were all asked to evaluate their operations and make them as profitable as possible without sacrificing customer service. He directed people to look at the packet to see a list of city hours and the new hotline information. That was it. Nothing. Nothing at all about the hours changing in any way. I’m not even sure if the public/press has picked up on it. I haven’t seen it mentioned in any articles. No mention of when we were changing (our director had to specifically go and ask to find out).

Not like that’s important to anyone. Not like anyone cares what their work schedule is going to be like in two weeks. Is just work right? So lets just add this to the excitement of all the other crap at work right now. I’m gonna love having to explain to people that yes I know that’s what it said, but no we are not open Fridays anymore. And I know you planned to come do this on Friday and now your whole world has been destroyed because you waited till the last day to register/reserve something and now you missed it. Joy.

And does that mean I ended up on the "black list" for nothing?

*Oh, for you Provo alum, the one good thing about the address was that Scott and Dick received the Mayor's Award of Excellence for their work on the Covey Arts Center. Neither of them had any idea it was coming and it was pretty cool. Definitely went to two very deserving guys.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tantruming Threes

You know those people who say that it isn't the terrible two's that are the problem, it's really the three's? Those people are parents of a three year old.

And you know those days when you a fighting with a three year old and you realize, wait, I'm the adult, why am I arguing with a three year old? Yeah those are fun.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ramblings 2.0

This week’s theme is Nevada Adventures. The summer before 2nd grade my family moved to the Duck Valley Indian Reservation on the border of Idaho and Nevada. My dad had taken a teaching job there. Even though I was a kid, or maybe because I was a kid, I think those four years shaped my life in a way that no other place has.

(disclaimer: I was a kid during these times so if the facts aren’t exactly accurate, so be it)

Act I: The Reservation

I had just turned seven when we moved to Owyhee, Nevada. We lived in a duplex that was part of a complex of teacher housing. My dad taught art at the local school which had K-12 all together with about 300 students. This was the first time I knew what being the minority meant. I was the only “white” girl in my class. There was one white boy the first two years, and then a set of twins the last two years. I ended up spending a lot of times at recess with boys because they were more welcoming. There were great rows of willows along the football field that led to many fun forts being built even though we lacked an adequate playground. Several times a year we would have pow-wows at school and I loved the beautiful outfits everyone wore and the hypnotic beat of their drum circles.

Other random memories:

-jump rope and hand clapping games at lunch

-dive bombing bats

-Magellan the cat

-finding Magellan after he died

-Oreo the dog


-girl scouts

-stitches in my chin

-pot-luck lunches after church

-5 yr old Britta running the mile in the track and field day, with the high schoolers

-desperately wanting the minks that the girls wore in their hair at the pow-wows

Act II: The Ranch

After the first year of living on the reservation my parents were eager for a new place to stay. I remember them talking about being tired of the fact that my dad was at school all day and then came home and the only people that lived by you were the other teachers, so all you talked about was work. I think my parents needed a little more variety. My dad found an opportunity on a ranch that was about 45 minutes outside of the res. The ranch needed someone to drive a school bus so that the kids on the ranch could get into town. I don’t remember but I’m guessing the school said they would provide a bus, but not a driver. The ranch offered the bus driver a free house to live in. Since my dad had to go to the school everyday anyways, why not get a free place to stay out of it. So we moved out to Petan Ranch. My little sister Keeley was born the week that we moved in which I’m sure made for an interesting experience for my parents.

I think that a ranch is the ideal place for a kid to grow up. I have great memories of catching frogs, running in fields and climbing trees. There was an old chicken coop just past our house that my sisters and I cleaned out one summer. We spent days hauling out crap and sweeping it convinced that we were going to move in for the summer. There were great memories helping the neighbor boy feed the calves and going on horseback rides. Of course the best part of the ranch was the moss factory. There was a large round horse trough that had large amounts of moss growing it. We spend days scooping out the moss and hanging it on the fence to dry. Not sure what we were going to do with the moss, but we thought we found a goldmine. The ranch was a wildlife mecca. The owners had banned any animals from being killed which meant there were coyotes every where, to the dismay of the cattle ranchers. Every night they would come into the orchard behind our house and howl though the night. I fell in love with cowboys living on the ranch.

Other random memories:

-sage brush huts

-lots of ticks


-trying to save the minnows

-realizing they were trash fish and dissecting them

-raccoons on the trash cans

-cool junk yards

-FBI visit

-Pappy’s Puddle

-staying with Waddie Mitchell

-barn owls

-baby red tail hawk

-watching calves being born, some traumatically

-the road being washed out by a large rain storm and not having to go to school for 2 weeks

Act III: Mountain City

After two years of living on the ranch, two of the families with kids moved away. That meant that the only kids that needed to take the bus into town was our family, plus one other boy. So it wasn’t really necessary anymore. Time to move. This area of Nevada wasn’t exactly booming, so the options for housing were pretty limited. There are two houses I remember visiting, which I think were the only two available. The first one was a small two bedroom off the side of the main road. I don’t remember there being anything around it and it was very small. There was a dresser in one of the rooms that was infested with a large nest of mice. (I found out after writing this that it was a joke that my dad took us to look at that house. I never knew that till now.) The second option was in a small town called Mountain City about 15 minutes from the res. It was the town’s haunted house. It had been abandoned several years prior when the tenants moved out and the owner was not able to come out from California and lock it up because of health problems. Most of the windows and doors had been broken, the yard had been completely overgrown with weeds and the basement had cobwebs that were sheets that hung from the ceiling to the floor. The place was a disaster, but it was to be our new home.

My parents took lots of pictures of the current state and contacted the owner. They worked out an arrangement that my parents would fix up the house and because of the extent of the needed work, they would live there rent free. My older sister Maiken and my dad spent several days cleaning out the worst stuff and hauling it to the dump. Then the rest of the work continued after we had moved in.

(if this was the inside of the house you were going to live in, would you think the previous one your parents had stopped at was a joke?)

There were two small stores in town, a bar and a small motel. The stores were the definition of “general store.” They sold everything including food, some clothes, hunting & fishing supplies and tools. The town had about 75 people if you included the ranches surrounding for several miles.

Other random memories:

-abandoned school playground

-wagon rides down the hill

-tipping over in the wagon rides

-the horse that lived in the guys house

-Britta riding the horse in the back yard and having him start to gallop
-the CAT in the back yard

-playing on the gas tank in the back yard


-stores where you just charged it to your account

-ice fishing

-lots of adventures

I could write a book about all the fun times from those years. I have a lot of great memories from those years in Nevada, but I was most affected by the bad memories. We ended up moving back to Utah because my parents decided that although my dad was paid a lot better there, it was not the best place to raise teenagers. The reservation was a sad, hopeless place. There was an incredibly high teen pregnancy rate and an even higher rate of alcoholism. Along with that there was a high suicide rate. I still remember my younger sister’s friend at school coming in covered with bruises. Her father had pistol whipped her and her mom and then shot himself in front of them. This was not an uncommon type of event. I remember funerals happening what seemed like weekly, and there weren’t that many people there.

Even as a kid I think the most important life lesson I learned from living there was that I feel that hate is something that is taught. It is not something that is innate in us, we learn by example from our parents and others around us. The experiences my sisters and I had in school were a perfect example of this. My younger sister Britta was in Kindergarten when we first moved there. She didn’t have a lot of problems with friends and the other kids in school, although I do remember her being called “white bread.” I was two years older and don’t remember a lot of problems the first year, although I didn’t really have any friends. But as I got older I very clearly remember hearing more and more comments like, “get off our land white trash.” I remember having to ask someone one what being flipped off was after having several of the older students demonstrate it while I was walking the halls. I also had to ask someone what the “f” word was after having it uttered to me by strangers on a regular basis. The older you got, the worse it got. As I grew up I had more and more experiences where I would run out to the playground to play with the girls in my class and have them yell out things about going where I belong and the white trash sentiments. I don’t even think they knew what they were saying, I just think they had heard their parents and older siblings say it.

From what I remember my parents saying, a lot of the adults were just to the point where they didn’t even bother to insult you, they just plain ignored you and acted like you didn’t exist. Of course these sentiments weren’t 100% across the board, but definitely felt. I try to remember that now that I have a child. That my example of how I treat other people will greatly shape how he treats people. I hope that Will will grow up feeling compassion for all people and realizing that all people have something to share with the world, you may just have to look harder in some. I have never felt anger towards the people that lived on the reservation, probably because I never heard my parents express anger. I have always felt sorry for them. I feel bad that they feel so helpless and stuck in their routine. They don’t feel as though they can get away and do something else. I think the youth feel pressure to not abandon their traditions and leaving the reservation is almost seen as a betrayal. I think that it is still an ugly part of our past that the rest of the country has moved on from. Meanwhile they are stuck on the reservation not wanting to abandon their traditions, but living in a place swallowed with despair.

I try to remember the good things about the area though and the wonderful times I had as a child with plenty of room to roam and play, and just be a kid. I hope that some time soon my whole family will be able to go on a road trip back. I would love to experience it all again as an adult and share it with my youngest sisters who either weren’t born yet, or too young to remember. I think we should start planning. We could rent two mini-vans and have an awesome road trip!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Things are heatin up around here

Yay! I finally have a new furnace after going without for 4 days. I can't complain too much because it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The nice thing about having a small place is that it's easier to keep warm. For some reason that doesn't seem to translate to keeping it cool in the summer though. I ended up just moving the heater around to what ever room I was in and it did the job pretty well. Although the toilet seat was always pretty cold. The down side is that I walked into my bathroom tonight to find this lovely new pipe added.

Really adds to the decor. Maybe I just need to decorate the rest of the room as urban chic. Again, I shouldn't complain though because I opened the utility closet to see the new furnace and I got a new water heater too. I didn't know there was anything wrong with the water heater, other than the fact that the pipe above it drips and so the water heated was kind of covered in rust. Hopefully these two new additions will lead to lower gas bills.

They didn't have a bigger monitor?

My parents just got a new computer. They got a very large monitor that will help my mom with the editing she does for the Springville Museum. The "computer" is built into the monitor so it's just that and the keyboard. Even though I'm not a Mac fan, I do have to admit it's pretty cool.

I had to put Will in the picture as a size reference.

And this is just a cute picture of Zen and Lola

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Fightin Third

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Tag Post - Unspectacular Quirks

Maiken tagged me. Even though I recently did a post about quirks, I have quite a few. So here are 5 more:

1 - I have this small white dot that appears everyday by my right eye. It wipes off and will not appear again until the next day. Usually I notice it about noonish, but that could just be because that is the first time I'm near a mirror after getting to work. I think it might be some sort of clogged pore, but I prefer to think of it as a mysterious marking linking me to some mystical fairy power.

2 - I have to know what I'm going to order from a drive thru before getting to the order box. That goes for everyone else in the car with me. If I'm not familiar with a place, I pray that there will be a line but that I can see the menu to give me a few minutes.

3 - I REALLY like to cut my split ends. I have a few quirks involving hair. It is probably the most relaxing, calming thing I can do. I like to keep a paper cup or something with scissors and just pull it out when I'm watching tv or something. Although lighting is crucial and natural sunlight is by far the best. I have a pair of scissors in my car and if I have a few minutes left on lunch I will sit in my car and cut my split ends.

4 - I can't ride a bike. I could as a child. In fact most summers around middle school age if I had a bike that worked, I rode it almost every day. The saying you never forget how to ride a bike is not true. Maybe it is just having a harder time with balance but my family can verify that the last attempt I made resulted in my going about six feet before falling over. I fell on a pile of tires which sounds like it would be a good landing spot except they had the wheels on them so it really hurt. I have never made a serious attempt since then. I know part of the problem is finding a bike that fits me, being short is not helpful. Plus I have this strong fear about not being able to sit on the seat and comfortably reach the ground. I think if I tried riding like a Huffy bike I would be fine. I also have a problem because I never learned how to properly stop on a bike, I just bailed. It was nice that at our house in Payson the lawn slopped down to the sidewalk so I could just lean over to the lawn, but anywhere else I just jumped off.

5 - I hate talking on the phone. I would much rather email or chat online. Too bad my job requires talking a lot on the phone. Of course now that I have four staff members instead of two, I talk a lot less. When I worked at the Sears Telecenter placing service orders, it was pretty much my worst nightmare. Talking to people on the phone, and the fact that like 90% of them were yelling at me. For the first two weeks at least once during the day I had to log off the phones because I was crying. I'm a lot tougher now though. Soccer moms do that to you.

I like doing the tags, but not tagging other people, so I tag anyone else who wants to share, that's just how I am. Although I think Scott Huff is kind of quirky so I think he should participate and I would be very curious to see Wade answer, but he doesn't usually do this type of thing on his blog :)