I’m in the midst of a two-week break between semesters. Besides waiting less-than patiently for my summer semester grades to be posted (I’m really only worried about my Math class, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get lower than a “B” in any of the other classes), I’ve been trying to find things to do to keep from being bored–how in the world did I manage two and a half months as a kid?
Anyway, given my sudden influx of all sorts of time, I’ve had a craving to get my watercolors out. The problem is, I’ve let my sketching taper off, and I didn’t have a clear inspiration for a painting.
To that end, I went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City yesterday. And, because I can’t visit Salt Lake without bugging Sis, I dragged her, G and E along with me.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to Temple Square–and I have to say, going on a Tuesday afternoon in the summer is a much more pleasant than going at Christmas Time. I’m a cold weather kind of gal, but I’ll take 90’s and no crowds to 20’s and loaded with tourists.
The original idea was to do some sketching there, but I threw my camera in my purse as an afterthought. Which, had I been thinking, I would have just taken the camera–there was no way that I could have expected a 5-year-old and a 18 month old to wait patiently while I sketched. It was hard enough getting them to wait patiently while I took pictures.
I was more interested in the gardens than the architecture, but still:
Now, onto the gardens:
Hostas, or any plant with gorgeous greenery, really, make me think of an allegory once told me. I was taking a religion class, and my instructor was talking about having bought her first house, and putting in a garden. Her mother had suggested only plants that produced flowers or fruits, and getting rid of everything else. The point was we should fill our lives with productive things. In my literal-minded view of the world, I stopped listening to the lesson, and instead thought about all the beautiful, useful plants my instructor would miss out on if she took this advice. Like hostas. I came to the conclusion that it was a bad allegory.
And yes, hostas are technically a flowering plant, but you plant them for the beautiful leaves, not the rather lackluster flowers.
So, I’ve got plenty of inspiration, and for a handful of change for a parking meter, I had a fun outing with my sister and nephews. I think when you live close to monuments like Temple Square, it’s easy to take them for granted.
At least, I realized on the way home that I probably should have just gone to the public garden by my house for inspiration.
In other news, I’ve opened up an Etsy shop. You can find it here. Right now, I just have dog toys for sale, but hopefully, I’ll be able to expand into more artistic territories. I’ve even already made a sale–a feat made less impressive considering the buyer is my cousin and one of my product testers. (Thanks, Sarah!) Anyway, check it out.
Even if, in the grand scheme of things, they are small, boring adventures.
Yesterday, about 7:30, I took the dogs out for a walk. I had been fighting a migraine all day, and was feeling just good enough to take the dogs out long enough to pee, with the plans of coming right back inside and laying down again. The dogs had other plans. Okay, fine. I’d rather spend an extra ten minutes traipsing around outside than spend an hour scrubbing my carpet.
Well, while we were out, my roommate left, locking the door behind her. And my keys, cell phone, and wallet were all inside.
Crap. Max, Lulu and I were stuck outside. For three and a half hours.
I considered borrowing a phone and calling Sis to come and rescue me, but I couldn’t remember her number. Usually, I don’t have to–my phone has at least three ways of calling someone without typing in a number. I thought about calling my parents at their house, I know THAT number, and having them call Sis to come and rescue me, but I didn’t want to involve the whole family in my drama.
I thought about going to a friend’s apartment, and waiting there–but I still had that stupid migraine, and really needed peace and quiet and darkness. I didn’t feel like I could burst into someone else’s home, and demand that they wait on me hand and foot because I was stupid enough to leave my house without keys. Plus, all of my friends in the complex are renters, where as I own my unit, and I wasn’t sure about bringing my dogs into their homes for an extended period of time, no matter how well-trained and recently emptied they are.
Fortunately, my car was open (my security system is driving a 1997 Geo. It’s a good little car, but it’s not worth stealing, and if I could afford anything worth stealing to keep in my car, I wouldn’t be driving a 1997 Geo.) so I was able to retrieve a few things to make my wait a little more comfortable–like a dish I could use for water for the dogs (again, feeling super-lucky that there are outside spigots on every building in my complex) a toy for Max, and a bottle of water and a book for me.
Even with these little things, I was, understandably in my opinion, pretty upset. To the point of not only tears, but full-on sobbing. It wasn’t until I realized that a big part of my headache was because I was upset, that I worked on calming myself down. And I have to say, the Roommate was extremely lucky she didn’t come home while I was so upset.
Amazingly, I was able to get myself settled down, and stuck it out for the long haul. The dogs were just as unhappy about the situation as I was (perhaps more, I stole the doormat to sit on, and made them sit on the hard concrete.) Lulu kept looking at me, then looking at the door. When we’d take the time to wander downstairs, rather than running off the way she normally does, she’d run back upstairs to wait by the door.
Just as I was about to give up and spend the night in my car, the Roommate came home. I’ve never been so happy to see another human being in my life. Max and Lulu agreed–they’re never slow about going inside after our walks, but last night broke a record, I’m sure.
This morning, I woke up to the power flickering on and off before completely going out. Which, admittedly, is an odd thing to wake a person up–it was the change in the sound my air purifier makes that awakened me. I took that opportunity to take the dogs for a long walk, (being very careful to grab my keys) and took that opportunity to make sure it wasn’t just because I was late paying my power bill. It wasn’t– power outages are fairly common, but they usually only last a minute or two.
Having returned from my walk, and finding the lights, and more importantly, the air conditioner and fans, weren’t on, and being unable to fall back asleep, I called Sis because I was bored, and I needed to tell her about my adventure the night before. She was on her way down for the funeral, but, a while later she called me back saying that between her late start and the traffic, she wasn’t going to make it on time. So, by chance, would she like to meet me at the Harley store?
Okay, back up a bit–Sis and her family were planning to take a long vacation when the B-I-L got his masters, but somewhere along the way, they decided that the B-I-L needed a motorcycle instead. And, as part of getting that motorcycle, he’s been taking classes at the Harley dealership that’s about ten miles away from my house. He liked (his last class was today) getting to class a bit early so he could wander around the showroom and store, and thought Sis and the boys would like to see it too. Sis, knowing her children, wanted me to come along to help keep an eye on them. Mostly G.
The Harley store is a-mazing, and it was fun to see all of the beautiful bikes and cool riding gear they had. It was less fun trying to convince G not to touch anything. When the Brother-in-Law’s class was on a break, his instructor took us all down to the basement to see the bikes. And the store mascot, a man dressed like a Sasquatch. Dave the instructor really didn’t understand G’s intense fear of costumed characters. Not at first, anyway.
Sis had called Mom and told her that she wasn’t going to make it down in time, and Mom suggested that she meet us up here for a picnic. So after the store, Sis, G, E and I headed back to my house.
I forgot exactly how destructive a four-year-old can be, especially those whose names start with ‘G’, and how un-baby proof my house is, because my little ones aren’t interested in things like the glass jar on the coffee table that’s full of pens, or finding out how the night-light in the hallway is connected to the wall.
Sis wanted to get E down for a nap, so I was left to entertain G–a child who is not content to be entertained simply by turning on the TV. At one point, he decided he wanted to take the dogs for a walk, and so off we went. I had to explain several times that when we take the dogs for a walk, it’s so they can use the potty, and so we need to let them stop when they want to stop. Still, Max did AWESOME.
Backing up again, both of my nephews are fascinated by Max. E is, I think, because Max is black and white, and therefore, easier for him to see than Lulu. For G, I think it’s because he plays when Lulu doesn’t. It’s more than a little frustrating, because Lulu is so much better with kids than Max. On our walk, G insisted on holding Max’s leash.
Upon returning from our walk, G rang the doorbell, waking up both E, and my roommate who has apparently developed a head cold. So, when Mom showed up, we had a hyperactive four-year-old (par for the course, really) a cranky baby who didn’t get a long enough nap, and a house that had been destroyed by the two of them.
We headed off to Nielsen’s Grove, a beautiful park not far from my house. After chasing G around, and successfully preventing him fromgoing into the pond to meet the ducks personally, and less successfully preventing him from dumping ice all over his baby brother, Mom decided that she needed to go to Wal-Mart and pick a few things up before she headed home.
Now, I always hate Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart on a Saturday? Ten times worse. Wal-Mart on the Saturday before school starts? Yeah…
And what Grandma can resist buying toys for her grandsons when she’s at Wal-Mart?
So one soaking baby, one big tantrum, and lots of tears (not all from the children) later, we all got packed up into our respective cars, and headed our separate ways. Mom commented that G alone is more of handful than Sis and I were, combined.
I seriously love that kid, but I’m glad he doesn’t come home to my house.
Hopefully, my adventuring is done, at least until school starts on Wednesday. I don’t think I can handle many more days like yesterday and today.
I hate to complain about the weather, mostly because it’s been consistently 5-10° cooler than average this summer, and all y’all on the east coast are in the midst of a heat wave. Seriously guys? Thanks for taking the worst of our weather this year.
So, there’s a new gorilla at Hogle Zoo, and, as gorilla’s happen to be G’s favorite animal, Sis suggested taking a trip to the zoo to see it. The zoo was fun. Afterwards…
I love my nephews, I really do. And I’m glad that I can do fun activities like go to the zoo with them. The problem is, activities like the zoo wear out little boys, to the point of orneriness, but not necessarily sleep. So, while wedged in the back with a 3-year-old going back and forth between throwing a tantrum and stealing his brother’s pacifier, and a 9 month old who wanted to go to sleep but couldn’t because his pacifier kept getting stolen, I started to feel sick.
Like,”Oh, crap, I’m going to puke.” sick.
I get car sick, and know that I can’t, say, read while in a car, but usually just driving, even if I’m in the backseat isn’t enough to make me sick. Especially on paved roads.
The B-I-L mentioned that it was a warm, if not super-hot day, and it might have been brought on by heat exhaustion and dehydration. Which actually makes sense to me. I had full-on heatstroke as a kid, and, like I said in the title, you don’t ever really recover from heatstroke. Once you’ve had it, your sensitive to heat for the rest of your life.
Of course, the extra weight I’m hauling around isn’t helping anything.
I did make sure to bring some water, but, G liked my stainless-steel water bottle, and ended up drinking most of it.
Anyway, I ended up staying at Sis’s house for longer than I meant to, trying to recover before heading home–I would have stayed the night except I didn’t take the dogs.
So I’m home, alive, and still feeling whatever this is.
The good news is, I’m tired enough that I’m actually going to get to bed at a decent time tonight.
something tastier than a camera, preferably.
There’s part of me that wants to put “The Storyteller Chronicles” on hold until further notice–until my life becomes more interesting, or less interesting, or I have more to write about, or whatever.
Another part of me chimes in and says “No, dammit. Corianne, you’re not going to give up just because things are getting hard. You WILL find something to write about, it WILL be interesting, and you WILL enjoy it.”
At which point the rest of me blows her nose, whimpers because that hurt her ears, and goes back to bed.
From the shoulders up, I’m feeling much better, actually. My ears have gone from constantly hurting to a dull ache like when you travel up in the mountains, and they need to pop, but won’t. I felt good enough to join my sister in meeting Mom in a park a half hour away from my house–kind of a mid point between where Sis lives and Mom lives, for a picnic, and to pick up some stuff that Sis needs to take her family camping. With my ears feeling better, though, my stomach has started to hurt. I’m hoping that it’s either a) the constant stress in my life that’s been put on the back burner since I got an ear-ache re-manifesting itself, or b) the gunk from my ears draining down the back of my throat into my stomach, the way it should.
I guess I spend too much time reading Free Range Kids, but I marveled at the fact that it didn’t take G long to be surrounded by a group of five boys (and one girl) all close to his age playing together. Granted, they all wanted to hit the mini punching bag Mom had brought, but still…
I’m glad there’s a place, and people in the world who will let kids be kids.
It was good to gather with the family, even if the weather was less than cooperative. We ended up moving our picnic inside of Mom’s car–you know, when the wind started blowing down branches big enough to knock a man out.
I’m getting more and more excited about going back to school. I want to start classes, its just…I hate getting bogged down in the administrative stuff. And I tend to let the little stuff you have to do before you do the big stuff keep me from doing the big stuff. Crazy I know.
I was thinking about it last night, and it kind of makes sense that my allergies are a) the worst I’ve had in years, and b) a couple of weeks behind schedule.
We had a warm, wet winter followed by a cold spring. So while the grass (what I’m really allergic too) has grown prolifically, the cold spring delayed the growth.
So, a dozen benadryl (not at the same time!)coupled with psudophrine to keep me awake, a hot shower, and enough Vicks VapoRub to knock out…an animal notorious for a poor sense of smell later, I’m actually feeling ready to rejoin the world of the living.
I’m not sure how the stuffy ears fit into all of this, though.
I’m notoriously bad at checking my mailbox, and apparently, my email as well. At least the one that I primarily use for bills. I opened it up this morning, and found a note my dad sent a few days ago, pointing me to a geocache. (GC29C5X) (You don’t have to be logged in to see information about the cache, but you do to get the specific location and download it to your phone/GPSR)
The story associated with this particular cache made me laugh. It reads:
This is a Cache at the old Sinks Dance Hall. It was opened sometime around the end of World War I. 1919-1920. It was a place to go to Dance and have a drink or two. The Railroaders in Lynndyl Opened a Club so they could go to a private place to drink and party. It worked pretty well until around 1925 Shell Nielson got into a fight with one of the Railroaders, They had both been drinking. Shell took a swing at the guy and hit the potbellied stove and it knocked it over. He thought the guy was real solid. The stove tipped over and caught the place on fire and it burned to the ground.
Shell Nielson is my great-grandfather. (The son of August, who needed dynamite to dig a grave before he was buried.) He died in the 60’s, so I never knew him, but from stories I’ve heard–not to mention various uncles and cousins that I do know, it seems perfectly in character for him.
Another cacher (my dad has told me several times who the handle belongs to, but I don’t remember) commented upon finding the blog:
I talked later in the day with some Oak City old-timers who couldn’t recall or were unaware of the dance hall, but did remember Mr Nielson from the story. One of them said, “Yeah, that sounds like him!”
I’m choosing to imagine my very proper Great-Grandmother, who I did know, at the dance hall at the time of this incident, and how she would have reacted. It’s not pretty. Hilarious to observe from the safety of 85 years away, but still not pretty.
Apparently unrelated story #2:
I was chatting with my sister this morning, and she mentioned that she was going to take the kids to the aquarium, and asked if I wanted to join them. As I love my nephews AND the aquarium, not to mention the fact that E’s grown a tooth since the last time I’d seen him, I jumped at the chance.
For the record, E LOVES the aquarium. He refused to stay nicely in his stroller, and would grin whenever he could be right up to the glass. He was even brave enough to touch the sting-ray, or probably more accurately, didn’t comprehend why it would be scary too.
G loves the aquarium too, but it’s more a matter of being able to run around, and splash in the tide-pool exhibit (as long as the sting rays aren’t too close). While Sis was getting E’s stroller ready, G and I went in ahead, and promised Sis that we’d wait for her at a certain point. G got bored, and ran on ahead, with me following behind.
The layout of the Living Planet Aquarium is such that the first two big exhibits you see are the jellyfish and the octopus. However, before the jellyfish exhibit there is a small tank that has a few eels in it. G LOVES those eels, and stopped to look at them. They were hiding under some of the rocks in the tank, so they took a little bit to find. The eels also share there tank with two yellow tangs.
While G and I were looking at these eels, another family came up behind us. They glanced at the tank, and the mother tried to draw her son’s attention to it “Look at these fish!” she said, “They’re yellow!” The son didn’t respond, and they moved on. I wondered if they thought it was strange that they had just payed $9 a ticket*, and the first tropical tank they saw only had two fish you could by at any pet store.
G lost interest in looking for the eels, so we headed into the jellyfish display. The same family was there. I heard the mom say “Last time we were here, they had a gross octopus.”
At this point, this mother was starting to get on my nerves. I was wondering if she payed attention to anything?
Of course, I’m the kind of person who likes to study things in minutia. But still, you take you’re kids to the aquarium so they’ll learn something, while they think they’re having fun. For me, anyway, the best way to learn something is by paying close attention to it–from figuring out why an aquarium would have two common fish in a largish tank, to paying attention when the education guide teaches why octopi are, well admittedly gross looking, but unbelievably cool.
TLP doesn’t change their exhibits around that much–the animals are all too delicate to undergo that kind of stress, but every time I go, I see and learn something new.
So, the point of the last thousand or so words is simply to remind everyone, but mostly myself, to pay attention.
Of course, y’all are smart enough that you figured that out for yourself.
*I’m all over The Living Planet, and I feel like I need to spread the word as far and wide as I can; a year pass costs only a couple of dollars more than two individual tickets. It’s a great deal, and if you go more than three times in a year then you’re money has been well spent.
My thoughts after I woke up, but before I got up:
It’s Mother’s Day.
E’s getting blessed today.
In a family ward.
That means I have to go to church in a family ward on Mother’s Day.
Here’s how Mormons do Mother’s Day. We don’t have a paid ministry, so speakers for our meetings are pulled out of the congregation. On Mother’s Day, the speakers tend to run heavily to the youth–teenage girls crying when they talk about their moms, and teenage boys making stupid jokes–but still somehow choking up when they get to the serious part.
There may or may not be an adult speaker.
After Sacrament Meeting, the young men bring in small gifts to pass out to all the mother’s in the congregation.
The men then take over the women’s teaching duties to give them a break.
Sounds sweet, right? Well, it neglects to take into account the immense feelings of guilt that any given woman is carrying around on any given moment. Yeah, Mother’s Day is not a fun day at church…
Especially when you’re a single woman who would still be young in the rest of the world, but Mormons consider an old maid, and you are very much aware of your biological clock.
I made it to the sacrament hymn before I started crying. I made it through the first speaker before I slunk out, sobbing.
Honestly, I think it was as much the stress and emotion of the week catching up to me, in one very inopportune moment as it was feeling sorry for myself for not having a family of my own.
I managed to hide through most of the luncheon, Sis managed to put enough of the aunts and cousins to work that I was just getting in the way in the kitchen.
While in hiding, I was thinking about E’s birth mother, friends of mine who lost children, my sister, who is physically unable to bear children, and other women who would have reason to hate Mother’s Day as much as I do. Mom told me later “It’s not just you childless girls who hate Mother’s Day, it’s hard on all of us who are imperfect.”
Ugh, I’ve literally been working on this post all day–more than 13 hours. I’m ready to be done. I’m exhausted physically and mentally, and am so glad to be home.
But not as glad as Max and Lulu.