Calling all Pumpkins

Slice and I finally carved pumpkins Tuesday night. Characteristically(?) I hacked at mine with no prior idea of what I wanted, not worried about the results. He drew up plans days before and wouldn't let me see his until it was completely done.

As soon as I saw it, I knew why.

That boy is so funny.

Wednesday morning, my brother Matt opened his mission call surrounded by family via Skype and cellular phone. What a day-and-age we live in!

Matt's going to Paraguay - Asuncion. He leaves us January 14th.

I'm not ready for that adios yet, I'll tell you what.

Halloween is

The one day a year when boys can dress like girls, girls can wear almost nothing, boys AND girls can dress up like vampires, and they all get away with it.
Oh, wait, that one kid doesn't look any different. In fact, today he looks normal......
(Quite unfortunate about the girls, don't you think? Costumes = NOT an excuse to be immodest, thank you very much.)

I was going to be "pregnant" for Halloween today, but I thought that might be a little tacky. Good thing too, because as soon as I got to school I saw a Junior who had the same idea. I know what you're thinking - but no, she's not pregnant in real life, I promise. Whatever she's wearing looks waaay better than my square Cougar pillow did.

Please take this bucket of candy away from me....


I is for Irony: Part 2

I should probably clarify a couple things before posting more old goodies.

My first year of college was an incredibly difficult time for me. Instead of moving into a campus dorm with an apartment full of freshmen, I moved into a house with my sister, her husband and 6-month-old son. My ward was like 80% RMs (including the females), i.e. much older than I was.....I made few friends in my ward and even fewer in my classes.
Basically, I was a hermit in Provo.

{Remember the Lu tragedy?}

Laurel was my best friend in 6th, 7th grade - and confidante after I moved away. She provided an extra female factor when I needed one with my mainly male friends. Doesn't everyone need a good friend who is thinner, shorter, prettier and much more fun? I think so. She makes this story infinitely better.....
And I (still) love her a lot.

But enough preliminary explanation:

It would be very kind of you if you could please bring my pillow to me on Wednesday and if you could please find my toothbrush and maybe Laurels email address and maybe some sort of an idea of what I can get you for your Bday, I am pretty much stumped. Well it is Monday and I decided not to call Laurel until tomorrow, for two reasons first because Monday seems to fast and I have to think about something to talk about. So maybe you could help me out with that one too. well I am going to read some scriptures so night.

Oh yeah Thanks for letting us come up and stay with you it really was fun to get away for a while and it was good to see my sister.

Me: Hey Slice,
I ws planning on bringing *your* pillow to you when I come home Wednesday...although I have enjoyed using it the last two nights. As for the toothbrush, I'll see if I can find it. Those are a little harder to locate.
You also left a tie.
Well, Laurel's email address is ---@yahoo.com. I'm sure she would love to hear from you anytime. Talk to her about anything--people, food, favorites. You don't need to get anything for my birthday, if I get to see you that will be enough. However, if Matt still needs ideas, tell him I would love some piano music. Or towels, books, CDs, sweaters, anything really. = )
I'm really glad you two came to see your sister; definitely made my week. I hope you had fun.
I'm planning on being in Roosevelt tomorrow around 2:00, and leaving early Thursday morning. I don't know if anyone wants to do anything. But I better go--lunch break's almost over. Back to work. Have a lovely day,


betcha didn't know

I've been tagged with both '7 quirks' and '6 quirks' tags, but I can't narrow down. Since I'm American, more is always better....no, really, I just have a lot of quirks. Here's a countdown:

9. I always eat beets with Miracle Whip on them. It's a family thing.

8. I hate being tickled
, truly hate it. I conditioned myself not to be ticklish because I figured it would discourage potential perpetrators. Now my husband can get me, but more often than not it makes me angry, sulky and vengeful. Not giggly.
{ask him about the neck tickling. that was a bad one.}

7. I dislike all housework that isn't vacuuming, sweeping, or loading the dishwasher. Don't worry, I do it anyway.
(we don't even have a dishwasher right now....I don't want to talk about it)

6. When I was a little girl, I colored all block letters, etc in rainbow order. ROYGBIV you know - I couldn't understand why anyone would do otherwise.

5. I cannot eat dessert before dinner, or dinner food after dessert. This applies to lunch and breakfast as well. If I've had something sweet, no matter how good that pickle or piece of meat looks, I won't eat it. Can't.

4. a) I can't stand not knowing what direction I'm facing. I pride myself on my innate compass, which saved me and my friends many times in Europe. It also provides great shame when I am sometimes wrong.

4. b) I must be spatially oriented, because when I think of people, I always think of where they are at. It's like my brain is a giant map with bodies and faces on it. I like to know where people live, work, and vacation so I can place them on my map. I think I noticed this quirk in the 5th grade.

3. Call me disgusting, but I have showered every other day for probably 12 years now. My hair and skin dry out if I shower more often, so for a decade my routine has been built around shower- and non-shower-days. This includes exercise, baptism temple trips, haircuts, swimming, and anything else that requires washing hair.

2. I spell words out in sign language in my head. Constantly. When I see/hear a word or name, I instantly convert it to sign-letter-spelling. This is something I've done since 6th grade (only back then it was actual hand-spelling; a boy asked me once if I had a twitch), and it's such a part of me that I don't even realize what I'm doing anymore. I've tried to stop, really I have.

1. I have this deeply-rooted, completely irrational fear that someone will poke my sternum and I will die. Not even joking. Just thinking of the Heimlich Maneuver gives me the willies. Can you die of a torn/broken sternum? Internal bleeding perhaps? Cracked ribs? I think not. I told you it was irrational.
(Yes, Mr. Morgan knows about this, and yes he torments me. He thinks I'm just ticklish there, but I AM NOT.)

I is for Irony

So Slice was going through some old emails today, emails I had totally forgotten about. From our sibling-friendship days when I laughed at the idea of marrying Slice.

These are some gems.

D: So I am sitting at R's house because he is getting ready to go meet w/ Pres W about the mish. So I am just way bored. It really is pretty stinking sad here with out you. So have you talked with Laurel yet tell her to come out with you, because I need someone to hang with this weekend. Well R is ready to go I am out

Me: Hey Slice,
I decided to write you an email tonight. Because, although it may be worth getting a beating just to see you, you know how easily I bruise. It could be a bad deal. So anyway....thanks for the drive today, I had a great time. I love drives. You should go on more; take W or something, I don't know. It looks like I have to drive back out this weekend to switch cars, I'll only be there for Friday night probably. And, just so you know, I invited Laurel to come with. I'll let you know what she says about it (as soon as I find out).
Well, that's about all I have to tell you. I really ought to get to unpacking.
See you sometime D,

D: So I pretty much like going on drives too! and I bet that W would be fun to take on one or two. (or three) But we might have to take her car.
So when you said you would be coming back only Friday night you lied right? especially if you are bringing that girl. So are you talking me up to her and stuff because that would be great. I need all the help I can get, but you know not to much don't want to make it sound like I am extremely desperate.
David G is the crap. When he was on his trip he bought me a sweet shirt. Its a black one, that says "SLICE IT UP" and has the Nike swoosh. Yeah its bad.
Since you are gone now I have to go to R now for hair cuts. Its not that great either because she will probably charge me, and that's No Good. So Saturday we are going to have this sweet BH extravaganza. Its going to be the Mother of all before we all go for good. First of all we are going to go play some ball at the Church, then we are going to the lake for the afternoon then to go to the Stockmans then we are going to go make the Fire. And I say the FIRE because we are going to make it so big they are going to be able to see it from space. Then maybe have a little quiet time for some spiritual stuff. (well at least I think it would be sweet) Its going to be a killer day.
You need to call me sometime when you have time, I usually can talk particularly if it is to you. I hope you remember my # 822-7227 (oh yeah the prefix is 435 just in case)
Well this is one of my longer emails and my now fingers hurt.
I will write you later.

Me: D,
Your email was hilarious. I'm serious. I shouldn't have read it at work, because I was laughing out loud for a while, and the new people being trained were giving me funny looks. It was great.
Anyway, no I didn't lie about being home only Friday night. Laurel can't come with me anyway--she's gone somewhere. I'll work on talking you up to her though, I can do that.
Your shirt sounds pretty sweet. That's awesome that Dave bought it for you! The BH extravaganza also sounds like fun....definitely a killer day. Good for you guys. Are you not working then?
I would call you but it's long distance; I'll have to get a phone card. Angie's trying not to use her cell phone. Don't worry, I remember your number, thanks though. I hope you're having a lovely time in Roosevelt with all the boys.
Have a great day


I'll probably post more later.
Oh, and please forgive my husband's grammar and spelling (and random capitalization). I do.


Opinion Poll Time: PLEASE VOTE

Don't worry, this isn't about politics. I've had enough of those. The real question is:

Should I donate my hair?

Before you vote, I should tell you that my hair DOES NOT GROW so it's been about the same length for some 8 years. I haven't had short hair since 2nd grade....just the thought scares me. At least 10 inches! Yikes!

Please keep in mind that this is not a democracy. I may or may not follow what popular opinion dictates. And I may or may not tell you the real reason why, at least for a little while.

Thank you for participating.


75 years and a big surprise

My Grandma Jean Woodruff turned 75 a week ago, and my Aunt (the youngest; the mastermind) planned a surprise party for her that took place today.

Isn't that the best thing you ever heard of, a surprise party for your grandmother?

My Grandma Jean has the most wonderful talent of making each person feel infinitely special. When I was little, my very favorite thing was a sleepover at Grandma's. I'd sleep in her frilly guest room (in a perfectly-made, queen-size bed) after she brushed my hair and read me a story. When I woke up I would play quietly in the room or, sometimes, venture into Grandpa's office and find his little magnet toys. I loved those things.
After Grandpa was up and getting ready for the day, I'd climb in bed with Grandma and we'd talk until she got up to make breakfast - the most delicious scrambled eggs and toast you've ever had. She cut the toast into triangles and put the plates in the oven to warm them up before we ate.
Then I watched Grandma as she did her hair and makeup, and put on her huge jewelry, before we went out.
I think my love of beautiful things comes from this beautiful lady.

So anyway, all the family was invited for this surprise party, along with old friends of hers in Salt Lake that hadn't seen Grandma Jean in years. We decorated and partied Grandma-style, complete with 75 roses and a musical program. Lana pulled it off beautifully!

I want to post the video of her walking in the room on the Eddington blog. We'll see if it works.


My favorite library patrons

6. The boy who looked me up online comes in almost every day now. I couldn't figure out why he kept complaining to me about his heavy backpack, until I realized that he checks out the 50-pound encyclopedia type books - every time he comes in. Dude, it's your own fault!
*I still ignore him whenever possible.

5. Speaking of, the above-mentioned boy has a CLONE, I swear. Clone-boy used to give me an unpleasant jolt every time he came in (like his other half), until I looked harder. Not the same boy! Phew.

4. One very frequent patron, who is always pleasant and respectful, brought us Tootsie Rolls and Starbursts today. 2 bags of candy! Now what did we do to deserve that?

3. Special Ed students are the greatest. One gets super-frustrated when we can't understand anything she's saying. Another is a student aide of ours; when he doesn't have a specific task to do, he paces the floor behind the desk, interrogating me on my knowledge of pre-historic reptiles and extinction theories. Also he can't stand it when my computer goes to screensaver - or even goes dim - so he bumps the mouse if he sees that happening.

2. "Do you have any books on witchcraft....?"

1. One kid is sporting long black hair, fake fangs, and long fingernails painted black. I think he's read Twilight one too many times. Then again, maybe not?

Slice Slice baby

My husband had a pretty rough day yesterday. Almost no sleep the night before, no wife, 36 holes of golf, pressure to pass the PAT this time, and a 2.5 hour drive home in the dark. Plus other things that shall remain unshared.

And you conquered, my dear. I'm so proud of you.

I wanted to hold and rock him like a baby when he finally got home...due to size, this wasn't exactly possible. So, instead, we're going to the corn maze tonight to celebrate. I love corn mazes!

And I love Slice.


practicality and such

"You know, you're too practical sometimes," my sister told me once. I thought about that a lot when she said it. Then I forgot she said it, until recently.

Can you really be too practical?

My husband would certainly agree with her. He always tells me to buy myself some new sweaters, dresses, jewelry, whatever; and when I don't he buys them for me. He's sick of that sweater I wear every day. (As he told me again last night.)

But why? Doesn't everyone have those few articles of clothing that are like old friends? My BYU hoodie is faded and literally shredding; it has a cigarette burn-hole in the hood from my bar-hopping night in Vienna. (Oh, I was TICKED about that.) My tan 3/4 sleeve sweater matches everything and is perfect for layering.
{I went through a phase where everything I bought was tan or beige. OK, maybe it wasn't a phase, and maybe I'm not really through it. But tan and beige match everything!}
My brown leather jacket is older than any of my nieces and nephews; I've sewed the buttons back on multiple times. It needs a good cleaning too, but that would cost more than twice what I paid for it.
So I haven't bought jeans since high school and I'm still wearing a pair from 9th grade. And I may or may not have a jacket my mom bought for me in 7th grade.

But those exhausted shoes and that tattered duffel bag have seen more countries than the rest of my immediate family....combined.

Am I starting to sound like a pack rat?

Well, maybe I am one. And maybe I'm even saving some things (namely shirts) for the wrong reasons. Or, maybe there's this little voice in the back of my head that says, "those are perfectly good pants. Just because you've had them for 10 years and haven't worn them for the last 5 doesn't mean that one day you won't need them. You Never Know. Besides that would be ungrateful and - dare I say, wasteful? - for you to throw them away. There are starving children in Africa, after all!"

Oh, that reminds me, have I mentioned that I hate wasting food? HATE HATE HATE it? I'd rather eat wilty salad and picked-at leftovers than waste either. If I let them, buffets (read: the other people at buffets) make me angry at the world .... one major reason I could never work in a restaurant. My food-morals would be deeply and consistently offended.

In a society like ours today, I guess that makes me too practical.


I've been tagged

by Bree Anne so I opened up my 4th picture folder and picked the 4th picture. This is pretty random...I will explain.

This dashing young fellow was a refugee in an Integration House in Vienna, granted political asylum in Austria. These youth lived with other refugee families in a former hotel. They spent 4-5 hours a day in intensive German classes, learning how to survive.

My European Studies class visited this Integrationhaus and when we paired up for interviews, I got to talk to this guy. I can't remember his name (I couldn't pronounce it anyway), but he was from Chechnya, a Muslim of course. In our broken German we started talking; he began by asking about my religion. He wanted to know if we were Christian, asked about a man on TV and people singing together.....I pretty much freaked out. I told him what I could about the Word of Wisdom and our Prophet and General Conference in Salt Lake City, probably incoherently. It totally made my day.

I wonder where he is now?


{a very long} Skip to my Lu

Some relationships are nearly impossible to describe.

During my three years of college apartment-living, I roomed with 20 different girls. (Yes, twenty, 2-0.) None caused me as much confusion, frustration, self-criticism and emotional pain as Lu did. And somehow, none made me love them any more.

Is this normal? I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter anyway….she did, and I did.
I met Lu my first semester at BYU. We were in the same Freshman Academy “envelope” and were placed in the same group for our first history research paper. I was baffled by her rapid-fire dialogue, impressed by her sophistocated vocabulary (truly), and most of all, endeared by her quick wit. She was the only one in FA I cared to become friends with. Of course, after the semester was over we exchanged email addresses and never spoke again.

(Well, at least until much later.)

Fast forward a year. I was in Vienna for the semester, wondering where to live when I returned because -of course- I hadn’t planned ahead. (I refused to sign a contract until about a week before the semester began, and somehow it always worked out nicely. This oft-recurring predicament caused me much less stress than it should have.) At this point I was stressed, praying for help and writing emails to family and friends. Then out of the blue came an email from a former roommate, who had an open spot in her apartment of sophomore girls – including some “Lu” person who remembered me from freshman year. I knew in that moment that my prayers had been answered.
After a series of un/fortunate events I moved into Lu’s room and began a turbulent, emotional semester. I often felt that Lu was a new, improved version of ME - right down to her sky-blue eyes and and natural bombshell-blond hair. She was outgoing, friendly and constantly the center of attention, where I was shy and (more often than I'd like to admit) antisocial. She was athletic and a better musician than I. She was adventurous; I was not.

And to top it all off, this girl was deep. Stay-up-all-night-talking, fathom-probing questions, spill-my-guts-out deep. I told her anything she wanted to know. But I didn't ask questions myself.
So I know any problems were caused by me. Lu tried (unsuccessfully) to hide a budding relationship and her roommates grew exasperated. She wrote missionaries and played racketball and went visiting teaching; we went to dance parties and bonfires and ate ice cream with butterknives. She juggled more things than I could comprehend, and with finesse. More than anything else, I was jealous of her time.
It broke my heart the day she said that I hadn't been the friend she had hoped for.

Oh yes, and there was the day I sent her on a hike with my old friend, knowing full well that I was feeding her to the wolf.
Poor Lu! I knew you'd come back furious, and you did. You were right: I was sending you to deal with my problems (I didn't know how to deal with them, you know), and I was (maybe) leading him on (a little), and it was wrong of me to do that to him and to you, oh boy. That was a rough week, wasn't it?

Then summer came and we separated; our friendship survived on G-chat conversations and occasional phone calls. Highland, the Villa, Fall, Jerusalem, Apartment 35, Bonnie and her grandma, Nokes, Winter, Returning Missionaries. Broken hearts and bitterness. We decided to live together in the spring, and for once I signed a contract 3 months early. Little did I know that 3 months later I would be engaged.....
We romanticized about the spring term we would spend together, talking through the nights like old days. It didn't exactly turn out that way. More returned missionaries, an engagement and a couple moves later, I was making wedding plans and Lu was working on mission papers. (Two more things I'm jealous about - things worked out with My Son and she gets to serve a mission.) I got married and we were separated permanently.
Since then, things have been different, and that's OK. I do miss the talks and the laughs and most of all, the singing. Last weekend was my last glimpse of the lady for at least 18 months.

I'll miss you Lu; you'll be a fantastic missionary. Just let them see that light -we've all seen it- that radiates from within you.

And Korea, take good care of my Lu for me, will you?

What did YOU do last weekend?

a) Visited Hogle Zoo
b) Visited Thanksgiving Point
c) Both a & b
d) None of the above
e) I'm in college and/or I didn't get a break for UEA

If you answered a, b, or c, congratulations! You answered the same as 701,020 other Utah households.
If you answered d or e, I am both happy and sad for you. You missed the mile-long line to exit I-15 at Highland/Alpine. {By the way, I was NOT going to TP, but to the Timpanogos temple.} You also missed the 5-day weekend.

Cougars, we can work through this.
Wouldn't it be great to have a tongue like a giraffe?
Yes, I'm talking to you.


As if it wasn't already hard enough to get out of bed...

... A house this cold doesn't make it any easier.

Slice and I have not been able to use our heater yet; Questar's supposed to come today to unlock it (or whatever they do). This has made for some, ah, chilly autumn mornings at our house. And afternoons and evenings and nights. I found an old article the other day reporting that Roosevelt had reached a record low of -47 degrees. Oy. (that was a tangent)
In the meantime, I've become a bit obsessed with the thermometer....and with devising means to warm the house....poor Mr. Morgan. But thank heavens for afternoon sunshine!


I need to start cooking

My self-discipline is woefully weak.

Practically every day, I bring food to work - because it's cheaper to bring lunch, I have leftovers, food that needs to be eaten and I hate to waste it - et cetera et cetera et cetera. (Please read that with a Yul Brynner-style Siamese accent.)
And practically every day, I see the school lunch menu and I don't want to eat the food that I brought anymore.

The same thing happened to me in college. I would walk past the Cougareat during lunchtime, smelling and seeing the delicious pasta from The Italian Place, pizza from Freschetta, rice bowls from Teriyaki Stix (pretty much anything hot looked good). And I would mournfully munch on my bagel and apple.
Back then it was easier, because a good lunch for less than $4 was hard to find.

Now, at $2.25? No self-discipline, I tell you.
Those lunch ladies cook some pretty good chicken alfredo.


The ignorance of high schoolers can be depressing

Part of a conversation overheard in the library this morning:

"He's a freakin' towelhead, dude! I don't even think Obama should be running, he's a towelhead..."

"And Sarah Palin is McCain's freakin' attack dog."


Today, two years ago

I recently remembered that I once went to Vienna, Austria for a Study Abroad. Two years ago. Then I found my journal and read the entry from October 7, 2006 and wanted to write it all again for you since I didn't have a blog back then. If you don't want to read it, stop reading....now.

"Well, earlier today I ran to the Hofburg (after a manner of speaking)and watched the Spanish Riding School morning exercise with music. That was cool. We left early, however...came back and shopped for our dinner tomorrow. It was quite an adventure! First: cooking for 34 people, getting recipes and multiplying them by 6. Second: finding a grocery store that carries chicken broth. Third: finding the chicken broth (when you don't know what it's called in German). Fourth: converting kilos to pounds; figuring out how much chicken to buy. Fifth: finding vanilla extract. (We never did.) Sixth: packing the sacks and carrying them all the way to Bro. Jacobs' apartment. Whew! Our dinner is going to be fantastic.

{It was SUCH A PAIN carrying all that stuff through the streets of Vienna with just the 3 of us. I still remember how much my arms hurt afterward.}

"Yesterday was school-free, so after I awoke and read scriptures, etc., I went with Maggie {my roommate} to the school, where we met Natalie, Katie, Becca and Lindsay and headed out to

Schloss Schoenbrunn.

We explored the gardens a bit more - it was a gorgeous day - and also wandered around through the maze & labyrinth, playing like 6 yr olds.

We also went through the the Carriage Museum where I saw the carriage that Napoleon rode on his way to be crowned king of Rome. Very cool. The whole museum was very interesting actually. But Becca, Natalie & I had to hurry from there to get to school at 2. Then Dr. Janda met us there and walked us to the Parliament Building for a tour. We toured the entrance, marble hall, the Nationalrat and the Bundesrat.

Then Dr. Janda walked us by the 'White House' and Supreme Court building. I went home and ate, then went to the Opera and sat in line for tickets to Onegin the ballet, standing room of course. The ballet was magnificent! Beautiful, I enjoyed it very much. Then we went to Zanoni and I got ice cream. Mmmm."