Friday, August 19, 2011


Have you ever worked on something so long that when you close your eyes, you envision that thing? Like tetris or puzzles?

I play sudoku. And maybe I've been playing it too much lately, because I am constantly figuring out these puzzles, that I think I'm creating in my head, while I'm laying down for bed. Other times throughout the day this might be the case as well.

I think I'm addicted.

But I'm not ready to stop.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

2 More Books

Yep, I am just out of control. My foot is healing nicely though :0)

Left to Tell, Immaculee Ilibagiza

This is the story of a young woman who survived the Rwandan Holocaust and how her faith and trust in God truly carried her through it all. Incredible. She and a group of women, 8 total, were hidden in a small bathroom for 3 months. It is a miracle that they all survived. She tells about how she spent the time praying and meditating, and then learning the english language. The killing that happened in Rwanda - in the 90s - is gruesome. I can't believe so much hatred really does exist in humans...and that the mob mentality really does rule. This lady was blessed with great relationships that came back to bless her countless times, in the most perfectly timed ways.

The Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith, Jr.

One of my most favorite books. I read it constantly. The book follows a family from Jerusalem to the Americas in 600 b.c. by the direction of God and is narrated by prophets for about 1000 years. The highlight of the book is when Jesus Christ comes to visit the people in America after his death and resurrection. At the end of the book, the last remaining prophet, Moroni, exhorts the reader to pray to know if the book is true. And it is. This is one of the fastest prayers I get answered. Every time. Without fail. I love the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Gospel that are taught so beautifully and with so much power. I always learn something while I read. It is the word of God. As is the Bible.

Friday, August 12, 2011

2 Books

I had the pleasure of finishing 2 books yesterday.

The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Jamie Ford.
This was a totally unexpected read for me. I fully enjoyed it though. It's a story about a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl during World War II and their highly unlikely friendship that turned into a courtship. During the telling of this story, the current life of the Chinese boy, told 50 years later, is also being told. Kind of a fun little mix.
The whole history of Japanese Internment camps is extremely devastating. In high school I did some research on the Minidoka Internment Camp in Idaho. I can't believe we as Americans did this. And somehow, so many of these citizens maintained their loyalty to the country and forgave us.
I also realized during this book how my problems really seem so micro compared to what other people had to endure. I am pretty lucky.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, John Boyne.
Another fictional World War II book. Seems like my cup of tea lately. This book put such an interesting spin on life in Germany. The main character's father is a Commandant in the Nazi Army and is stationed at Auswitch. Which, this darling kid thinks is called "Out-With." The innocence that is portrayed with this kid makes it seem, even more than it is, how ridiculous the Concentration Camps were. Through a kid's eye, things seem much simpler. This kid, Bruno, makes an unlikely friend during his time there and on the day he's supposed to go back to Berlin, because mama can't handle even being there, he disappears.
Heartbreaking, but definitely worth the read.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tuesdays with Brandon

Every once in a while a friend comes along that has an odd schedule that gives him every Tuesday off. I have found one such friend. And after many years of envying this day off, I have had the privilege of spending his magical days off with him. We haven't done something every Tuesday since retirement, but close. He always plans fun things. We have gone to the water park (more than once), golfing, pet neutering, lunch, dinner, rope swinging, rafting, water skiing, and driving. It's been a great ride. And he always has little nuggets of knowledge. Just like Morrie. Sadly, I haven't written them down. I will be angry with myself someday, I'm sure. He is a great friend and has been so kind and generous to me. Happy Birthday Branny. Thanks for the memories.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


A great hiking adventure to Yosemite started many months prior with an invitation from my sister and her husband to meet them for Half Dome. Me and Suzanne left from SLC and met up with them on Wednesday night at Camp Curry. It was so good to get greeted by their adorable children and the grandparents. I luckily contracted a huge, nasty cold & cough that kept me up all night and most of the camp, I'm sure. We woke up early Thursday morning, had breakfast and headed up the mountain. It was so gorgeous. The first few miles are done by 2 beautiful waterfalls. Probably the hardest time---huge steps and a lot of elevation gain. The view was incredible. We made it to the sub-dome in about 5 hours. We had lunch and then presented the rangers with our hiking permits to get us to the dome. Half way up the sub-dome, I started getting nervous (visions of me falling, etc), and by the time we reached the top of it, I turned around. I feel like such a baby. I don't like that my limitations are so low. So I headed back down and enjoyed some time by myself just meditating and enjoying my own view. The rest of the group returned from scaling the side of the dome with the cables and we headed back down. Taking time to filter some water and being really tempted to swim. We took an alternate trail down and got another view of the waterfalls and the valley. Wow. It was such a fantastic day. Only gone for 13 hours. Not too shabby. That night we made smores....minus the camp fire, in the tent. It was decided to come back in 5 years. Maybe I'll finish the summit that time :0)

I am in awe at the beauty of this National Park. Probably my favorite that I've visited so far in my life. Everything about it is just majestic and so peaceful. I am glad I got to experience it with some of my family.

Me and Suzanne overlooking the valley. Incredible.

Suzanne and Emilee on the hike.

Liberty Cap, or something like that.

View from the Sub-Dome...when I decided it was a good enough view for me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Book Thief

By Markus Zusak

Such an interesting book. Wow. This one took me a while to read, not because of disinterest, but because of a crazy schedule. When I would finish a chapter, all I could think about was reading it more. But I finally finished it.

The premise of this book is about a girl in Germany during WWII in foster care, told from the viewpoint of the Grim Reaper. Obviously, it's fiction...but so intriguing. It seemed historically accurate. But it was just such a good story about love and interactions with others.

And yes, I cried several times.