Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thoughts for a Tuesday

Thought #1
I have two bosses. Last week, one of these bosses got himself a new boss. She’s 40s-ish and is well-educated, successful, and accomplished. Also she’s tall, slender, attractive, stylish, and has fantastic taste in art. (She hung a huge print of Roy Lichtenstein’s “Drowning Women” in her office – which is cool no matter who you are, but extra cool considering the “Conservative Banker” stereo type we’re all supposed to portray.) Lastly she’s worked her way into a position of considerable influence in an industry/company/department that is still very much a “Boys Club.”

("Drowning Woman" by Roy Litchenstein)

I think I might want to be her.
(Minus the whole middle-aged part.)

Thought #2
In efforts to raise awareness about (and money for) heart disease, our secretary has labeled a bowl of smarties candy with this message:

"Be a 'Smartie' and take care of Heart-ie."

(First, try not to gag on the slogan...Moving on.) After I spent several minuets just trying to get the label off so I could get to the candy (and I swear she practically laminated the stupid thing), I had to wonder if junk food is really the best medium upon which to spread her message.

Thought #3
You know your vehicle has seen better days when the Persian guy (who cut you off in traffic a block back) feels it necessary to tell you (while pumping gas) where you can get your car cleaned and repaired for cheap – and then proceeds to draw you a map.

My poor, sad, little Jetta.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A good day

A few things:
  • We won our first softball game last night (Go team!)
  • I had the BEST homemade yogurt parfait this morning (still thinking about it)
  • my hair no longer looks like throw-up (Thanks Nicole!)
  • Some of my favorite family made a last-minute trip to my area for the weekend (and brought some fun people with them),
  • I had two lunch invites and an invite to the exclusive/really-nice gym by my office today - before 9am (I'm feeling popular),
  • and I'm anticipating a great weekend full of good food, comfortable weather, great company, and the beach!

Happy Friday indeed!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jill's 26th

So the week of Ken's funeral, Kenny first drove home from St. George UT and together we drove back to St. George, then onto Scofield Lake (in Spanish Fork Canyon, UT) for my family's reunion, back to St. George for the memorial, back to Draper/Sandy for the funeral/burial, then to Orem to kick it for a night at my parents. And then back home to Fullerton, CA. All in seven days. It was A LOT of driving.

The day we drove home was my 26th birthday. Kenny insisted we do something to celebrate it before we had to get back in the car and spend another nine hours driving, so I decided to do something active. We hiked up to Timpanogos Caves with my siblings and Ryan's lady friend, April. I haven't been to the caves since I was maybe 13ish, so I was really excited for our adventure.

Ryan takes in the view atop this rock - Little Mermaid style. (LOVE this photo)

We got to the top about 45 minutes ahead of our scheduled tour. So we kicked it and Kenny did a very good job at pestering all the rangers who walked by us. And then we entertained ourselves posing for the camera.
If you're a fan of "It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia" and know the song/dance "Dayman" you'll get this next photo. If you're not, I'm sorry. You're totally missing out.

Anna took this photo...I was trying to teach her a bit about the rule of thirds. And yes, my hair was (is) that color of throw-up complete with three-inch roots. It didn't help that I had already worked out before the hike and had yet to shower. It was greasy. (Some day I'll get it done. And the world we be a better place.)

The caves were incredible...I want to go again soon.

I kid you not - our tour guide was a park ranger version of Ned Flanders. It was awesome.

On the drive back to CA, Kenny was playing with the camera. This one is called "Boring Drive"
And this one is titled "Thank goodness we didn't die posing for this while the car was going 90 mph down I-15"
It was fun to see so much family, but it's nice to be home - WITH my husband. However, I think I'm ready for a REAL vacation.

Family Reunion

Before Ken's funeral, Kenny and I were able to attend a family reunion for my mother's side of the family. It's the first one we've had in a LONG time. Credit goes almost entirely to Steve and Allison for finding the location and coordinating the whole thing. They should get extra credit for dealing with every one's hang ups, financial concerns, and diet issues - and for cleaning up after sick (and incontinent) kids - the majority of whom were not their own.

I love Steve and Allison. Thanks again for planning this!

"waking up with Jen"(...at 2pm)

Lots of games (indoor)
(and outdoor)

Lot's of good food (and plenty of junk food, too.)
beautiful scenery
Lots of boating/canoe-ing - Thanks Uncle Marty for bringing the canoes! (But not for drenching us anytime we had the misfortune of getting too close to you.)
And thanks Uncle Don for bringing the boat and for staying out on the lake for all day for three days straight. (Sorry for forgetting to bring you lunch that one day...) There was lots of surfing/wake boarding/tubing
The family...at least those who were able to make it and who weren't napping at the time this photo was taken.

Like this guy...
(Love you, Gramps)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Update to prior post


We went and saw the house mentioned in the prior post. The one falling off the hillside. Well. It was hands-down the scariest house I ever broke into. (And yes, we don't make appointments to see homes, we just break in.) I couldn't even walk to the end of the side "yard" (as it abruptly ended on a huge cliff) let alone go inside. I waited patiently just outside for Kenny to finish exploring. At one point he poked his head outside just to say "Uhhh. This is really creepy...I'm a little scared to be in here."

Needless to say, this house probably needs a little too much work - even for Kenny. (Although he kept lamenting the killer view we'd have.)

Side note: Remember the dating days when you swore there were certain things you'd NEVER do in front of your future husband/wife? I always thought squatting on some one's abandoned property to relieve your on-the-verge-of-exploding-bladder WHILE your husband watched your back qualified as one of those things. But hey, when you gotta go I guess you gotta go.

(Thanks for still thinking I'm sexy, Sweetie. You're the best.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

House Hunting...kind of.

The following email correspondence is a testament to Kenny's optimism...or naivety. (I'll choose optimism.)

Kenny: --- just sent this mls link for some houses. Check out the last one in. So Cheap but a lot of work.

Jill: Did you look at all the photos?! That last one all but sunk into a sink-hole!

Kenny: Ya I know; just wondering what the problem is and how we could fix it. Maybe Mark can stabilize the foundation/hill some how.

Jill: "Maybe mark can stabilize the hill or something?" You mean rebuild the mountain and fill in that lake-size crater? I also liked the huge crack running through the middle of the home...and the caution tape everywhere.

Lest I come across as a total Debbie Downer, I did suggest maybe demoing the house and building in its place this garage/house from Ferris Bueller. Kenny LOVED that idea. (No, seriously he did. We love that house.)

Here's some photos of the house in question. He did warn me: it needs "a lot of work."

Check out that view though...(sigh)
I love Kenny.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My youngest sister is officially a teenager today (happy birthday, Anna). My parents must feel ancient. Anyway, I was wishing her a happy day via facebook when I came across these gems in her photo archives:

"Family Calisthenics" Dad, Anna, Becca (still in her pajamas), and Ryan

It's missing out on things like that that make me sad I live so far away from family. Luckily, when I do see them, they provide plenty of opportunity to recreate the magic. (Apparently, my family really enjoys "excercising" in people's yards.)

"Peach Days Yoga"(cousin Jason, sister Becca, cousin-in-law Melissa, brother Ryan, sister Anna, and me)

Attention all family: Peach Days '09 better bring it. Peach Days '08 will prove to be a tough act to follow. Don't fret though, St. Peach Day (a.k.a. Kenny) is getting warmed up and is almost ready for the action. Please don't let him down.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Good Old Days

I stumbled across this magazine in the break room today “Good Old Days.” (I was enticed by the Norman Rockwell painting adorning its cover.)
It’s chock full of the kinds of stories the elderly like to tell their grandkids over and over and over again. Things like buying candy at the local drugstore for 5 cents, walking to school 5 miles – uphill both ways, and the “valuable” life lessons learned from parents. You know, old people stuff. I don’t know who in my office is a subscriber to this magazine, but I have a strong hunch it’s the same person who’s been bringing in the Large Print versions of Reader’s Digest.

Anyway, I read a few stories, chuckled at the advertisements (fuzzy slippers, orthotics, machines to help a person in and out of the bath tub, etc), and marveled at how many old people desperately want more recipes for their slow cooker. (Seriously. That’s all the classified section contained. Apparently the elderly care less about finding companionship than finding new crock pot recipes.)

It was awesome.

But ever since I’ve been flooded with my own pointless memories, the kind that only I will ever find interesting. However, I don’t want to forget these gems (afterall, someday I'll have grandchildren, and I'll need these stories to torture them). Anyway I thought I’d periodically record them here. And because I’ve obviously been unmotivated to write much else lately.

The Good Ol’ Days: Summer Melons.

(side note: I’m talking about Watermelon, Cantaloupe, and Honey Dew, so pull yourself out of the gutter, you perve.)

Not long after moving from Boston, MA to Provo, UT our family met Bob Ross. He was an elderly man in our neighborhood who was asked by our church to visit my family regularly, which he did. Bob was going blind in his old age and usually had his cute wife drive him (in their huge Buick) the two blocks to our house. In the summer time, Bob always brought us melon. He owned a melon farm somewhere in Central-ish Utah, and (although he was retired) made regular trips to stock up on the fruit. I don’t know how he stored the stuff, but he always had TONS of it. And it was always perfect: juicy, cold, and extra sweet. As I got to know him, I grew impatient for his monthly visits, and I (along with several neighbor kids) would walk to his home on hot summer days and ask for melon. He or his wife always obliged and gave each one of us something. It was too difficult to carry it all home so we’d sit on their curb and break into the stuff. And it was so good. We weren’t little kids...we were in our mid teens at the time. It was awesome.

Again, this will likely interest no one, but to a girl who had spent most of her prior life on the subway and in the city, the novelty of it all was memorable. This remains one of my more innocent and sweetest memories of living in that neighborhood. I’m sure Bob has since died, but I’ll always think of him when I’m eating melon. No watermelon, cantaloupe, or honey dew has ever been quite as good as the ones he used to give me every summer.

I turned 26 a week ago. In recounting that story, I probably sound more like 76. Oh well. Fuzzy slippers do sound kind of nice right now...

Assuming you've made it this far, what are YOUR favorite stories from the good ol' days?