Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Anonymous Birthday Girl

I was going to honor my big sister's desire always to remain anonymous on my blog (and elsewhere on the internet), but I had to at least give her a birthday shout-out or my December 30th would just not be the same.

So without mentioning her name, showing her picture, or otherwise irritating her by interfering with her privacy, I will just say this:

offer this:

(not that she likes cake anyway, because she mostly doesn't),


tell her that I remember this:

What great times we've had together.

For instance:

1. Processing olives from our tree on La Cienega in our "special" way.
2. Eating grass with sugar and milk on it assuming it just had to make good cereal.
3. Performing as the infamous yet illustrious "Lily and Her Athlete's Foot" to universal acclaim.
4. Dancing our own version of ballet to the Grand Canyon Suite.
5. Being janitors for Dad's buildings.
6. Taking all the younger siblings to the beach and cracking the block on the family car.
7. Watching the Christmas parade on Hollywood Blvd. from Dad's office window.
8. Eating at the Tick Tock, Philippe's, Olvera Street, the Spanish Kitchen, etc.
9. Yelling for Guy to play with us (and me getting hit in the eye with a lemon for my reward).
10. Mall shopping with Matt's copious spit-up and Charlie's non-stop screams.
11. Going to Catalina on the sailboat and other such high sea adventures.
12. Bagel and cream cheese dinners on Friday nights at my house on Septo.
13. Her dual roles as motorcycle mama and small plane co-pilot.
14. Dinners at the Marina.
15. Butch and Little Dog...Need I say more?
16. The velvet skirt she made me for my Pi Phi initiation ceremony when she barely knew how to sew.
17. All the times she did my hair, most notably for senior prom.
18. The Corvair and the Ford...Again, need I elucidate?
19. Our amazing speed and skill on those hand-clapping games we used to play in the car.
20. The dips on Pearblossom Highway.

And so much more.

Yep, sisters and memories go well together, even anonymously.

Which is why I am wishing mine a HAPPY BIRTHDAY, anonymously.

And sending her birthday love, also anonymously.


PS. Hope it's a good one!

PPS. So, what's the verdict? Did I stay out of trouble??

PPPS. My mother-in-law also shared this birthday, so it is a doubly special one. Happy birthday, Mom!

Elementary, My Dear Watson...

Yep, the whole family (or most of it, anyway) went to see Sherlock Holmes tonight, and the review from all quarters was positive. Our kids loved it without reservation, while Dave and I enjoyed it but thought the editing could have been a little more vigorous.

Having said that, the plot was entertaining, the movie beautiful to look at (a compelling and convincing 19th century London), the characters likable, the soundtrack superb, and a sequel has clearly been set in motion, one which we will be sure to view when the time comes.

As an actor, Robert Downey Jr. gets better and better (I continue to be impressed with his hard-won sobriety), and Jude Law shines pretty brightly himself as an uncharacteristically dashing version of Dr. Watson, the famous sidekick. Downey has even been nominated for the Golden Globes award as best actor, while the score boasts a critic's choice award nomination.

Both nominees are deserving. And the production design ain't bad either.

At any rate, Sherlock Holmes was definitely a fun ride, with enough action for my boys and enough wit for me. Hope you get a chance to catch it!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Caution: Holiday Eating

Every year I make the decision to eat "whatever I want" for the holidays, and every year I live to regret it. Judging from an amalgam of my silhouette in the mirror and the way my clothes fit (I haven't found the intestinal fortitude to actually weigh myself yet), it's highly likely that I have gained 7 to 10 pounds this lovely December, and while the food was yummy as can be, I'm not sure the legacy of excess poundage is worth it. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not. The old adage, "A moment on the lips, forever on the hips" always rings true for me. In January, that is.

I wish I were better at exercising moderation and eating "some of whatever I want," but I seem to be pretty much an all or nothing at all person vis a vis food. I can either be a teetotaler when it comes to sugar and starch, or I can lose control completely and devour every dessert/plate of mashed potatoes in sight. (Too much deprivation over the years, I guess.) Honestly, if I had it to do all over again, I would never diet at all. The sad truth is that I looked pretty thin before I started trying to look pretty thin.

Ah well, January's coming, and so is the return of my healthy eating habits. (That's one good thing about overeating for a spell. By the time you're through, you actually look forward to consuming apples, veggies, and non-fat yogurt again.)

But I'm still gonna miss that mid-meal goody-grazing!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Play It Again, Jen!

This darling young woman is in my husband's singles ward, and she's an aspiring opera singer. Her talents are amazing, but this is something a little different than what I've seen her do before. Frankly, I found it so charming and quirky (in a good way) that I just had to share:

(Be sure to click off my playlist on the right side bar so you can hear her!)

Seriously, how cute is she? And the girl even taught herself to play the ukulele and did all of her own backup. Now, tell me, did you enjoy watching this little video as much as I did?


PS. Jen says she went flat a couple of times (I chalk it up to having to deal with the ukulele), but it certainly didn't mar my enjoyment! I'm a BIG fan.

PPS. And you should hear her sing at church. (goose bumps)

PPPS. Sadly, I missed her recital because of this dang cold I've been nursing since before Christmas, but I heard she (and her dress) were both awesome.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

We've Got Winners!

After a wonderful day of Christmas revelry (hope you enjoyed the same), I am here to announce the winners of the 400-post giveaway. drum roll please

1. Zachsgran
2. Katie
3. Lisa
4. Jen
5. Our Family Chaos

Congrats to all of you! Just let me know which of the five prizes you would like, and we'll get this show on the road.


PS. I'll need your addresses, so be sure to send them to me via e-mail!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas: Glimpses of Eternity

What else, in truth, must heaven be?
Little Bryce on Grandpa's knee
Family gathered 'round the tree
Glimpses of eternity

Merry Christmas!

Remember, sign up for the giveaway by tonight at 11:59 PM to qualify.
Good luck!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Bright Lights of Christmas

Christmas is magical......wondrous to see
in the white, sparkling lights of an evergreen tree.

Christmas is peaceful and shines through the night
like the warm, golden glow of a candle's soft light.

Christmas is joy, burning steady and true
in each hopeful heart. Happy Christmas to you!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You Had to Be There!

This sensational and season-celebrating photo comes to you courtesy of Katie Avondet Blacker at You Had to Be There, and she's right. You DO have to be there. If you're not, you're missing out on something (and someone) who is definitely out of the ordinary. In a good way. The very best way.

Go visit. Even stay a while. I guarantee she will charm you just as much as her Cheeky Cards do.

Be sure to check out my giveaway post (if you haven't already), leave a comment, and earn the chance to win one of five prizes! Last day to enter is Christmas!!

And by the way, have a merry one!!!


PS. I'm having a merry one already, because my entire family arrives TODAY. (My husband stayed home from work yesterday to help me get ready. I wrapped while he shopped and cleaned.)

PPS. Which definitely puts him on Mrs. Santa's list of very good boys. ;)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blog Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing!

Sunday marked my 400th post, which means that yet another of my giveaways is in order...a Christmas one, as it happens. I've noticed that these festive occasions are coming around a little more often since I became a daily or near-daily poster. Originally that kind of frequency wasn't in the game plan, but once I got going, I realized I had more to say than I thought!

Of course, it wouldn't be half as much fun saying any of it without all of you loyal readers out there, which explains why I am so fond of the giveaway concept. It just seems right that something special should happen to you every once in a while as a reward for coming here. I want you to feel appreciated, because you ARE appreciated.

So here's the deal: Five people will be winners, and I will proudly draw their names out of a lovely red Christmas bowl. (Yes, my friends, I am going the extra mile for y-o-u!) Each person's name will automatically be entered once, just for commenting. Followers will earn an additional entry, while those who post a link to the giveaway on their blogs will get their names entered in the drawing two additional times. In other words, your name can be entered as many as four times! Boy, oh boy!!

Last day to enter is December 25th at 11:59 PM. Winners (announced with pleasure on Saturday, the day after Christmas) may choose from the following prizes:

1. A custom CD from Sue's playlist (please specify popular, spiritual, or Christmas music)
2. One of anything your heart desires from the ever-charming Cheeky Cards
3. One of anything else (no wedding packs, please) your heart desires from the incomparable, always elegant Junky Heirloom
4. One of my books, if you're so inclined (take your pick...His Children, At the End of Your Rope, There's Hope or Awaken Your Spiritual Power)
5. One blog tribute to/for the person of your choice (you supply the information, I'll supply the coronation...AND the exaggeration, if need be!)

Have fun, y'all. Bonne chance. Happy Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Keep smilin'. Vaya con Dios. And God bless us, every one.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Heavenly Music

Here is what seems to me like the perfect Christmas story: Heavenly Music!
Apparently, magnetic fields on the corona of the sun form loops that behave
rather like musical instruments. Solar explosions create acoustic waves that
act in similar ways to those of a guitar string, and these waves bounce back
and forth between the loops in a phenomenon called a standing wave.
Microflares at either end act like guitar picks and set the heavenly music in
motion. The interesting sounds made by this process resemble those produced
by a church organ, but must be artificially increased before the human ear can
pick up on them.

These acoustic waves release the same energy as millions of hydrogen bombs
and can travel at up to 90,000 miles per hour, but within that hour, the "notes"
they play will dissolve quietly into the hot solar corona.

I wonder if they're playing any Christmas carols up there?
Accompanying choirs of angels, perhaps?

"Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation, sing all ye citizens of heaven above.
Glory to God, glory in the highest. Oh come let us adore him,
Oh come let us adore him, Oh come let us adore him, Christ the Lord."

Makes a lot of sense to me that the Sun should be honoring the Son
at this time of year!

Merry Christmas!!

(All scientific information taken from Royal Astronomical Society National
Astronomy Meeting in Preston, Dr Youra Taroyan and Professor
Robert von Fay-Siebenburgen of the Solar Physics and Space Plasma
Research Centre [SP2RC], University of Sheffield.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Christmas Card to All of You

©2010 Susan Noyes Anderson, poem only

Another year has come and gone;

the seasons turn around,

but time and space could never hush

the sacred, holy sound

of angels bending near the earth,

proclaiming songs of love

to shepherds, who found perfect light

as one star rose above

a lowly manger bed––one star,

whose warm glow showed the way

to Jesus Christ, our Savior, born

on that first Christmas Day.

I love this painting of Christ by Greg Olsen, which always reminds me of a favorite scripture: "O ye nations of the earth, how often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not!" (D&C 43:24). I hope that I will not be too proud to be gathered into His fold and become part of His kingdom forever. How grateful I am for the miracle of His birth and the majesty of His love and sacrifice in my behalf.

Merry Christmas!


PS. Thanks to all of you for your well wishes, both by comment and by e-mail...and yes, I am feeling better already. (Another Christmas blessing!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Drat, Drat and Double Drat

It's happened, folks. The dreaded Christmas cold has caught me in it's icy-hot fingers. I am sniffling, sneezing, and my throat feels like I just swallowed a aching grape, at that.

Given a choice, I think I'd rather have the scratchy, raw kind of throat that stings when you swallow than the so-swollen-it-even-makes-your-ears-hurt, I'd-almost-rather-die-of-thirst-or-hunger-than-swallow kind. (Don't you despise reflected pain? It's just neurons being nasty, and it's uncalled for.) And Chloraseptic spray doesn't even help the second variety. Nope, this one apparently goes out only by prayer and fasting. (Irreverent. Sorry.) But true as well, because prayer and fasting are probably the only things that will really work at this point. The Airborne sure didn't! (Well, okay, it did stave it off for a week...But I needed to make it to January.)

One final thought. (I know you can't wait to read it. I am really uplifting when ill.) Okay, really raving may be closer to the truth (I've been up since 4 AM), but here's the thing: Don't you hate the way there are no words besides "achy" to describe the second kind of sore throat (the latter) (as opposed to the former, I mean) that I mentioned here? I'm serious! I feel unsettled when the English language fails me. I wanted you to "feel my pain" as it were. In a purely psychic sense, of course. But no such luck, because I can't quite nail it. This throat is not throbbing or gnawing or pinching or spasming or even twinging. (Those last two may or may not be words.) And by the way, the fact that I would employ such questionable modifiers when they aren't even working speaks to the extent of my esophageal distress. Why couldn't I just have the raw, scratchy, stingy kind of sore throat, anyway? Three perfectly succint adjectives and BAM!, I'd be home free. And probably back in bed right now.

I wonder if an IV would be out of order?


PS. Relax, Mom. I'm just havin' a little whine here, okay? No harm, no foul. No fever, no swine flu. Just a crummy, crappy cold. =)

PPS. My survival is almost certain.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Oh, there's no place

like home

for the holidays

'cause no matter

how far away

you roam

if you want

to be happy

in a million ways

for the holidays

you can't beat

home sweet home!

I'll be home for Christmas

You can count on me

Please have snow and mistletoe

And presents on the tree

Christmas Eve will find me

Where the love light gleams

I'll be home for Christmas

If only in my dreams...

One more week till Christmas Eve!
And guess what? I'm almost ready!!