Saturday, February 27, 2010

Storms and Rainbows

Looks like you got a birthday rainbow!

A big rainstorm passed through our neck of the woods yesterday. The electricity went out again––par for the course around here when the wind blows hard. I guess there has to be one disadvantage of living in a place with lots of trees, right?

The good news is that the outage only lasted 24 hours. Last time, as you may recall, we were without power for five days and had to throw out the entire contents of our refrigerator. (By the way, the same neighbor who rescued my frozen stuff on that occasion by carrying it in a little red wagon to his own freezer dropped by last night with a lantern for us.) He even offered up their guest room for the evening. What great neighbors we have!

We decided to sleep in our own not-quite-arctic-but-close-enough bedroom, electing to hit the hay early with two comforters piled atop the bed. The idea was that we would talk and laugh late into the night. Instead, I talked...Dave grunted the occasional yes or no...and neither of us had time to laugh before he was sound asleep. That guy works too hard!

Needless to say, I was delighted to wake up and see two small points of light radiating from our cable box. Nothing like losing the comforts of electricity for a few hours to make you realize the value of light and warmth on a cold night.

Yes, indeed, blessings are mine...not the least of which is my daughter, Karin, whose birthday is today. She has always been a rainbow girl, and it makes great sense that one should grace the sky on the day she was born. Happily, the light she shines never goes out, regardless of the weather.

Love you, Beebs.


Friday, February 26, 2010

The World from a Sister's Point of View

Sometimes little brothers aren't so bad

Mine is a tree hugger

And a sister hugger, too

He pretty much hearts the world

And I pretty much heart him

P.S. He pretty much hearts me, too

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oodles and Oodles of Nature Doodles

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

©2010 Heather Anderson and Susan Noyes Anderson

What d'ya think? Aren't these Nature Doodles® kinda cool? You can see the rest here (and you can also see more photos of the finished products, like the one below.)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Triumphs and Tributes, Canadian and American

Joannie Rochette is my new Olympic idol. At a time when life's road is feeling a bit steeper than usual to me, this girl sends an irrefutable message that all of us can do hard things and do them well. Courage and good old human spirit are alive and thriving in all of us; sometimes we just need a little refresher course. Thanks, Joannie, for giving it last night. Lesson taken.

As for my new American Idol, Crystal Bowersox knocks my socks off. Period. I am already a fan, a BIG fan, and I hope this girl goes all the way.

There's one more girl young mother that makes me proud niece, Kristin. She's going home from the hospital this morning, perhaps carrying the sweetest baby ever, if his numbers are right. Oh, she'll be going back again and again as they begin to address all of his health problems, and he will have to be one brave little boy as he combats them, but he will also be one lucky little boy...because she is his mom. Sullivan's mom is going to be the best friend and advocate a child could have, and his dad will be right in there supporting him, too. They are a great family, and I'm proud to be part of their crew.

One final tribute goes out to The Sweet Tooth Fairy, a favorite haunt of Stephanie Nielson's. Her avid support for their VaNIElla squared (and other) cupcakes, and the fact that these tasty treats consistently seem to cheer and nurture her through tough times, inspired me to order a dozen to be delivered to Kristin in the hospital. What amazing people those Sweet Tooth Fairy helpers are to deal with––and unfailingly kind on the phone, despite the fact that I wanted their sweet stuff delivered from Provo to Salt Lake City. But that was only the icing on the cupcake, so to speak. Once the delivery guy arrived at the hospital, he was told point-blank that my niece was not there. Instead of giving up like any other self-respecting delivery guy would do, this young man hunted all over the place, went out of his way to contact me, and ended up waiting around the hospital for 45 minutes while I frantically phoned, fretted, and finally straightened out a number of miscommunications that could easily have derailed my plans. What a guy! You are another one of my heroes, John, for understanding how important it was for me to be able to touch my niece's life in some tangible way. (And by the way, the unsolicited review of my family members is that these cupcakes are literally the best thing they have ever had the privilege of tasting!)

Props to Joannie, Crystal, Kristin, and Craig (as well as John, Macy and Brittany at Sweet Tooth Fairy), who have made me feel good about not only them, but ALL of us.

Now, THAT'S a gift!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010


You are probably thinking that self-indulgent whining about sciatica does not a good blog post make, but I'm actually doing you a favor. It was between that and bemoaning the tooth I chipped Sunday night (a bottom, front tooth) whilst eating a pork chop. A pork chop! What are my teeth made of, balsa wood? Sheesh.

Thoughtful blog pal that I am, I didn't want to regale you with the annoying and uncustomary flaws in my last haircut (the back, left side doesn't go in quite right, and the bang that's supposed to sweep sexily across my brow keeps hanging in my eyes) or wail about the fact that I've put on five pounds since New Year's due to stress eating over such things as sciatica, chipped teeth, problematic haircuts and weight gain (yes, weight gain...ironic, isn't it?). Okay, there may have been a few, even weightier things I was stressed about, but most of them aren't/weren't mine to tell.

And so, it's the sciatica. What better symbol for all the things that plague me just now, including the literal and figurative pain in the butt aspect of it? Sciatica. Microcosm of misery. Metaphor for malcontent. Analogy for what ails me. (Okay, I'm even boring myself now...)

Q: Am I surly?
A: Surely.

Yoga, anyone? Tai chi?? My friend Karen may just convert me! Ooooooom, oooooooom.
(Not working yet, but I'll keep ya posted...)

"/ and ;)
(split personality)

Monday, February 22, 2010

GOOD NEWS Meets Opposition in All Things

My niece had a baby boy named Sullivan over the weekend. From all reports, he is the cutest child ever born, and in view of his highly attractive parents, this is probably true. Her delivery was pretty rough...water broke early, perils of pitocin, posterior get the picture. Not easy. But the doctor said she was a great pusher, which doesn't surprise me. She is and always has been one determined little girl.

She's also determined to be the best mother imaginable to her sweet baby. And he is uncommonly sweet, according to my sister, who doesn't lie...even when she's prejudiced. The nurses say that he is putting up with all their extra pokes and prods like a tiny trooper. The kid's got spunk. Just like his mother and father. Which is a good thing, because he's going to need it to deal with some bladder and kidney problems created by a developmental misfire in utero. Fortunately, they are blessed with excellent doctors and good insurance, along with lots and lots of family surrounding and supporting them.

Like his doting parents, grandparents and uncles, we are celebrating the birth of this beautiful boy with all the excitement and joy he deserves. We are also praying, exercising our faith and, yes, worrying with all the love and hope we (along with two extended families and scores of friends) can offer. Which is a lot.

To the new parents:

Celebration, excitement, joy, prayers, faith, (worry), love, and hope
are winging their way to Utah.
Love most of all.
And unfailing Hope for your little guy and a B R I G H T future.

2 Nephi 2:11 - For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one...

2 Nephi 31:20 - Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.

Seems like you guys are already following Nephi's advice. You two are going to do Sully proud!



Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Nature of God's Love

Here's a little taste of the talk I gave today in Sacrament meeting.

In the sweet mountain air,

In the sound of the sea,

In the song of a bird,

Or the shade of a tree,

The peace you are seeking

Will ever abound.

In all of Creation,

God's love can be found.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Quote by Any Other Name...

I happened upon a most wonderful blog today, penned by a man named Robert Brault. He posts his original, pithy sayings and occasionally an essay that knocks your socks off. If you fail to visit, read, and become a follower, you will be missing the boat (a yacht) entirely. Here are some excerpts to tempt you...

To err is human, to forgive does not get you the settlement that we at Suskind, Marberry and Callahan feel you're entitled to.

In many areas of understanding, none so much as in our understanding of God, we bump up against a simplicity so profound that we must assign complexities to it to comprehend it at all. It is mindful of how we paste decals to a sliding glass door to keep from bumping our nose against it.

It's finally happened...A lawsuit for wrongful doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Every American child can grow up to be anything he wants, and if he wants to be a United States Congressman, even growing up is optional.

Take no revenge that you have not pondered beneath a starry sky, or on a canyon overlook, or to the lapping of waves and the mewing of a distant gull.

Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.

Never use the passing years as an excuse for old age.

And I, I took the road less traveled by. I was using a GPS system.

How often in life we complete a task that was beyond the capability of the person we were when we started it.

It is seeing ourselves in others that often prompts the remark, "There's something about that person I don't trust."

Eventually you'll realize that your mother knows exactly who you are and has been trying to break it to you gently your whole life.

After 5000 years of recorded human history, you wonder, "What part of 2,000,000 sunrises doesn't a pessimist understand?"

Optimist: someone who notices a tall hooded figure with a scythe trailing him and thinks, "Boy, I'm sure glad I'm not a stalk of wheat."

Optimist: someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's a cha-cha.

Optimist: someone who thinks there's even hope for pessimism.

A task may be difficult, but you have the advantage over it, for you can redouble your effort, but the task cannot redouble its difficulty.

The explanation is always longer when there isn't any.

And there are many more where these came from! Enjoy!! (I have to go finish my talk for tomorrow.)


Friday, February 19, 2010

Life, Luck, and Larceny

Wednesday morning, I was on the receiving end of what can only be called a rude awakening. My husband had to practically shake me out of an unusually sound sleep (which I really needed, by the way) to tell me that someone had broken into his car overnight and stolen his briefcase...or rather, rifled through its contents before throwing the rejected material, along with the case itself, on our front lawn. What was missing? The checkbook and credit cards, of course.

In his defense, I will say that my husband almost always puts his briefcase in the trunk of his car...and almost always parks said car in the garage. But this was one of those golden moments when circumstances combine in rather inglorious ways to produce disaster. And not only did the thieves make off with our personal information, but they broke the car window doing it.

Needless to say, we spent the entire morning closing/reopening checking accounts, calling credit card companies, placing his and hers fraud alerts with Equifax et al, and commiserating with our neighbors, 20 of whom were also hit. I couldn't help marveling at how this person or persons managed to do so much damage in so little time! Quite an impressive feat for the perpetrator(s). More on the depressive side of the spectrum for the rest of us.

Making matters worse was a day so full of obligations and commitments that I had no idea how to get them all accomplished. Instead of diving into my list at 8 AM sharp (as previously planned), I stumbled into it somewhere around half past noon. Adding insult to injury, after we'd spent the entire morning closing bank and credit accounts, around lunch time a neighbor lady brought two things to our door: the missing checks and the missing credit cards, both of which she spotted in her bushes while walking the dog. In other words, all of that frantic calling and canceling was for naught. Hurray. I guess.

Today I'm feeling more philosophical. All's well that ends well, right? (Though I did have to set aside several hours yesterday waiting for the Speedy Glass guy to come and fix the car window.) Scheduled to arrive at 11 AM, he finally made it by 3. Ironically, the reason he arrived late to our house was because my helpful husband, after making our own appointment, went up and down the street giving everyone the phone number. They all wound up scheduled for the same time we were. Not surprisingly, the repair truck entered our neighborhood on the "wrong" end of the street, putting our car second to last in the rotation. I barely made my hair appointment (canceled twice this month and sorely needed), but I did get there. Thank heaven for small favors! In fact, considering the state of my long, limp, lifeless locks before salon magic saved the day, this boon might even qualify as a tender mercy. Especially since I'll be front and center giving a talk in sacrament meeting this week.

(I haven't even started preparing it.)

Wish me luck!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Fairy Godmother Is Not Coming!

The Fairy Godmother Isn't Coming!

But apparently, the candyman is!

Or the candywoman, at least.

(Actually, the real candywoman is the one in red...
tellin' it like it is.)

The lovely lady in yellow? Her still-a-Laurel sister, helping.

And a very good helper she is, too!

See what I mean?

She kept all that chocolate at a perfect temperature

While the young adults were off doing other things

(Like listening to me shoot off my mouth, as usual.)

We learned that happiness is an inside job,

That a little bit of chocolate never hurt anyone,

That the fairy godmother isn't all she's cracked up to be,

And that, while Prince Charming probably exists,

We don't really need him to rescue us.

All in all, a pretty good night's work...

And a new poem, too...

Happiness Is an Inside Job

If all your world is painted blue,
Then no one else can change your view.
No pretty words or handsome face
Will make your world a brighter place.
It’s you who lives behind those eyes,
And so it should be no surprise
That only you can change the way
You look at life from day to day.
The answers are inside of you.
Don’t kid yourself. It’s time you knew
No other person, groom or bride,
Can change the way you feel inside.
And that’s okay. It’s not alarming.
It doesn’t mean there’s no Prince Charming.
It only means he’s no magician,
And fixing you is not his mission.
Married or not, alone or two…
Your happiness is up to you.