Sunday, January 27, 2013


I can't find my CD that will allow me to re-download my Microsoft Office Pack back onto my laptop.  This is particularly annoying, as I knew EXACTLY where it was for almost 3 years...but then I moved. And now I need it.


And of course, as soon as i buy another CD, I will find my old CD. SO I keep trying to hold out, thinking that maybe--just maybe--if I just keep looking, I will find it in the next place I look.  Okay, not that place? Well, then, surely in the next box...or maybe the next one...

I may just have to give in, and buy another Office pack. I have LibreOffice, but it doesn't have a Notebook program, and frankly, I'm struggling to stay organized without one.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Food Blog?

I'm toying with the idea of a food blog.  I'm not sure what direction I would want it to go, and I'm not sure a blog is really the best fit for me.  I know I have a lot of blogging friends, and I'd like some input. The biggest issues I see would be good photos, and consistent updating.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I have be re-writing my overall vision for my life, and it has led me to some (surprisingly exciting) conclusions:

(1) I am awesome. 

(2) I really like knowing things.

(3)I really enjoy the "Renaissance Woman" thing...

(4)...but I also feel like my life needs better focus. (I'm sure many of my readers are thinking 'umm...duh.')

(5) I have a lot of talents, and I enjoy them. 

(6)I want to obtain more talents, and develop the ones I have, better!

(7) I can purposefully and individually take more complete control over my own educational pursuits. 

This has led me to some action-oriented conclusions:

--I have decided to seriously pare down my remaining yarn stash.  Keep enough for some pet projects for friends and family, and that hat closet I'm working on, but cutting it down to about a fifth...or a sixth...of what it is now. It is definitely enviable of many a Pinterest board!  I am thinking of selling it off on Craigslist and/or KSL, so that I can roll the space, and the resulting bit of cash into...

--...focusing on food. Not on catering, not on parties, not on yarn whittling, not on for-profit design. Food. I still LOVE crochet, and stage makeup, and music, and all the other things...but if I can let go of my insecurities, and my fear of becoming imbalanced and Labled--I could be very, very good at Food. Cooking with it, preserving it, the science behind it, the technique of it, the business and economy of it, the religious and cultural significance of it.  An all-encompassing Food Expert. 

This refinement of my life goals will include the things I really enjoy:  the possibility of culinary school, studying and experimenting with food, personal study and flexibility, teaching cooking and food classes, working in a variety of food service positions, throwing taster parties and foodie-events.

It will cut out many things that I do NOT enjoy: feeling obligated to do things just because I am good at them, feeling like my culinary development and educational pursuits are solely defined by the demands of the area in which I happen to live at the moment, feeling like I'm always pulled in twenty thousand directions within my own mind, not getting paid for events or cooking gigs that I should be, forcing roots to grow in this town in the form of debt for a commercial kitchen, my own restaurant, etc., feeling like I am expected to know all the answers when people ask me food questions, feeling like my personal pursuits are a waste of time when I should be focusing on stream-lining and profitability.  Etcetera. 

It will also mean I need to work on some things that I am willing to enjoy more: Photo-documenting kitchen projects being the main one. Consistently updating websites--blog, social media, personal domain, Pinterest, etc. Forming professional connections.  Letting go of intense interests and letting them simply become "hobbies." (that is probably the biggest one). 

This will allow me to work for many already-established professionals in my trade, and move up quickly as I gain the experience I need while earning enough to pay bills. (It will also, incidentally, make taxes a lot easier...don't get me off on THAT little frustration!)
I feel like I do a lot of things, and I'm at about a "B" level at most of them--sometimes a C or D level. There are very few things I would out-right fail at--except for long-distance running (Emily Clay, you are my hero!).  But it's time to grow up a little-- become a REAL expert at something. Not just pass-able. Not just "I am going to keep this around, so I can be sure to have it when I might want to come back to it later."

I think the hardest choices in life are between good things and great things-- or good things and good things. I'm not looking to cut out my interests--just to pare them down to "hobby-level" interests.  that way, food is work and crochet, guitar, music, reading, writing, etc are relaxation!


I feel like the rest of the world already figured this out. >.> .... <.<...
But for me, this is a big step. 

Also, could we just step back for a moment, and imagine how awesome I'm going to be at something if I'm actually focusing on it?  Cutting out the mental and spacial baggage and actually throwing MOST of my energy behind one pursuit?  I don't think I've ever done that before.  The closest I've come was drumline my junior year of high school. Senior year I lost it a bit, and I don't think I ever got it back. 

There's more to this, but this is already a long post.

Imma go study about chocolate.

PS I'm interested in feedback on this one...I'm a little nervous, but I feel like this is a fundamental change that will be very important. Thoughts welcome!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Still Got It

Back in classes.


It has only *officially* been one semester since I was in school, BUT when you add in the summer break, and the fact that I was pretty much dead on the couch for most of last winter feels like forever.

Really.  It's been over a year since I was both in school, and healthy enough to complete my classes.

It's been since '09 since I have been healthy enough to actually ENJOY school... or be semi-good at it...or finish all my classes within the semester deadlines...or not randomly hang out at hospitals or whatnot.   

But now...

And it feels GREAT.

I was sitting in my language acquisition and development class, and I felt like a real student again. The class is kind of a cross-roads between my first actual major (English Linguistics), my current minor (Linguistics:Comparative), and my current major (Family Studies: HS&FP [that's the "development" part of the class]).  So I feel like I kind of know what's going on! :-) Most of the people in my class are Early El Ed women.  I'm the only sort-of linguistics student. I have found myself needing to shut myself up more than a few times!  However, today was really fun. We covered suprasegmental cues in language (pitch, pauses, emphasis, sarcasm, etc). The professor needed someone to speak in a language that the other class members wouldn't recognize, to emphasize how much meaning comes across, outside of the comprehension of the arbitrary semantic symbols (..."words.") 

There were only 6 foreign language speakers in the class (which is kind of odd for BYU--usually there are more). The others spoke romance languages that many were familiar with. That left me--I got to speak a paragraph or two at a time in Arabic, as it was a language that no one else in the class spoke.  Arguably, I don't really speak it, either, but I was able to smoothly come up with a basic paragraph, when put on the spot. I was pretty proud of myself!  I said, basically, "Hey, everyone! I don't actually speak a lot of Arabic--I only speak a little.  I only took a year of it, here at the university, and that was a few years ago. But I love the Arabic language! I want to be fluent, but it's not easy to read."

I sounded SO good.  I was surprised at myself, and pleasantly so! {I was going to say something about how it really is tremendously cold at BYU, but only in winter time--BUT I didn't.  Arabic speakers, be proud of me. ;-)}

I was amazed at how much I remembered--both in Arabic and linguistics--that I thought I'd forgotten.  I feel like I'm shaking my brain awake; like it's been lying under a thick layer of dust for a long time. Wake up, brain!! So much to know!

Dust....wake... this line of thinking is jogging a memory in my gray matter... so, naturally, I look it up. Yup, there it is:

Moroni 10:31: 
And aawake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of bZion; andcstrengthen thy dstakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest eno more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.
 32 Yea, acome unto Christ, and be bperfected in him, and cdeny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and dlove God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may beeperfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.  (emphasis added)

Well, if the glory of God is intelligence (D&C 93:36), then it makes sense that "coming to Christ" involves learning more about the world and the people in it.  I personally have chosen to pursue this learning in lots of different ways, one of which is completing my college degree. I feel very blessed to be able to get back to it! ^_^

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Saffron and Oil and Coconut, my!

In my kitchen, there are many yummy ingredients.

3 varieties olive oil


fingerling gold, red, and purple potatoes

Heavy cream


plentiful fresh and frozen veggies


a fresh coconut

a fresh pomegranate


greek yogurt


sundried tomato flatbread

Also, a plethora of other things. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced my cooking partner, and  my roommate is super-nauseated and doesnt what to eat yummy food on accounta the fact than it only tastes good going DOWN, not coming UP.  .
Good thing tomorrow is my day off.  That way, I have time to both make fancy dinner, and eat it.

Friday, January 4, 2013

On Death: A Short Collection

When my heart is heavy, I often turn outward. I have found that poetry, music, scripture, and other texts have great power to express those emotions that even tears do not adequately express. 

Thus, I have attempted a short collection of those writings which have touched my heart today.  Jeff was a very good man, and his death has left many lives a little emptier than they were this morning. We love you, Amber and family. May the Lord be with you at this time. 

Mary Elizabeth Frye wrote:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.” 
― Haruki MurakamiBlind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39) 

Gone From My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side,
spreads her white sails to the moving breeze and starts
for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until, at length, she hangs like a speck
of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone"

Gone where?

Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast,
hull and spar as she was when she left my side.
And, she is just as able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port.

Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And, just at the moment when someone says, "There, she is gone,"
there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

And that is dying...

Death comes in its own time, in its own way.
Death is as unique as the individual experiencing it.

 And the elders of the church...shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die they shall die unto me, and if they live they shall live unto me.
 45 Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection.
 46 And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them.

"Death be not proud, though some have called thee"
                                               John Donne
DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee 
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so, 
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, 
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me. 
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,         5
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow, 
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe, 
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie. 
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men, 
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,  10
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well, 
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then; 
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, 
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

El maley rakhamim shokhen ba-m'romim ha-m'tzei m'nukhah n'khonah takhat kanfei ha-sh'khinah b'ma'alot k'doshim u't'horim k'zohar ha-rakiah maz'hirim l'nishmot yakireinu u'k'dosheinu she-hal'khu l'olamam. Ana ba'al ha-rakhamim ha-s'tirem b'tzel k'nafekha l'olamim u-tz'ror bitz'ror ha-khayim et nishmatam. Adonay hu nakhalatam v'yanukhu b'shalom al mish'kabam v'nomar amen.
God filled with mercy,
dwelling in the heavens' heights,
bring proper rest
beneath the wings of your Shehinah,
amid the ranks of the holy and the pure,
illuminating like the brilliance of the skies
the souls of our beloved and our blameless
who went to their eternal place of rest.
May you who are the source of mercy
shelter them beneath your wings eternally,
and bind their souls among the living,
that they may rest in peace.
And let us say: Amen

And, my favorite: 
In articulo mortis --- At the moment of death
Caelitus mihi vires --- My strength is from heaven
Deo adjuvante non timendum --- God helps, nothing should be feared
In perpetuum --- For ever
Dirige nos domine --- Direct us, O Lord
Ad augusta per angusta --- To high places by narrow roads
Sic itur ad astra --- Such is the path to the stars
Excelsior --- Ever upward 

I am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the understanding that families are forever. I know that  these principles are true, and it gives me great comfort in times of grief, heartache, and pain. Cry for those who are no longer with us, and live our lives so that we may see them again. May the Lord be with the families of those who have passed on. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Different Kind of Gratitude

days like today make me:

                                  grateful for the fact

that not all days

 are like today.      

Not that it was super-awful--it could have been a lot worse, someone could have died, or Hostess could have gone out of business, or something equally terrible--but still,. it was not my favorite day of my recent existence.  

I feel physically miserable. 

So does my bank account. 

My apartment is falling apart, and the landlords are being difficult about it.

Tons of red tape for school.

Stupid dating.

Stupid Walmart. 


...and Tired. 

Okay, with that pity-party set out, and to appease my well-intention-ed friends who combat my bad attitude with gratitude-fishing, here's the silver lining: 

I am grateful for modern medicine and for doctors who are trying to help me.

I am grateful for the opportunity to pay tithing and for the fact I have a full-time job. And, I'm grateful for (most of) the things, experiences, conveniences that that money is being used for. ..Most of them.

I have the opportunity to go back part-time to school and  continue pursuing my education.

Dating is still stupid, but it won't last forever. And Coolest Guy Ever is back to help talk me through it.

I managed, after an hour, to secure the last (of the correct model) space-heater at Stupid Walmart.

Thanks to space heater, my roommate is less cold. And I have a sweatshirt and blankets. Lots of blankets. 

and eventually the Tired will go away

And even with those silver linings, It's still okay for me to not be such a fan of the day. In fact, maybe I'm just justifying my bad attitude, but I think it's good sometimes to just be able to say 
"Wow. Today sucked. I hate to see what it would have been like if the Lord HADN'T been watching out for me.  But just because it could have been worse than it was...doesn't mean it didn't suck. 
Goodnight, world. 
Sleep well. 
I'll most likely kill you in the morning."


"The longer I live, the more I wonder--is this really PMS...or is this just my normal personality?"