Friday, February 29, 2008

Kamikaze Deer

Driving at lunch heading for a bite to eat turned into an event today. I was in an industrial part of town and, oddly, noticed a deer stuck between two stiff fence poles. These things don’t happen to other people. I am drawn to weirdness and abnormality. Of course, I didn’t have my camera with me so you’re just going to have to trust me that this really happened.

The deer was in a frenzied panic attack of sorts, and my soothing “it’s okay, little deer” did very little to comfort him. His fur had been rubbed off and his skin raw. It was obvious he had been there for a while. I pulled on the fence to try and relieve pressure so he could get through and the deer just looked at me like I was an idiot. I think I saw him roll his eyes at me. Whatever.

Fortunately, another daring couple pulled up to the scene and rushed out of their car to help save the day. They ended up standing helplessly with me as there really wasn’t much we could do except call animal services – which the husband did. If I were alone, I would have sung a little song to the deer – one that calms Creature when he’s having a bad day. Alas, I refrained. Within about 2 minutes, ten or so vehicles full of macho, burly men leapt bravely from the safe haven of their trucks to stand and scratch their heads with us. We stood and stared and cooed at the poor deer. What to do?!

Finally someone had a smart idea. Some of us pulled on one side of the fence. Some pulled on the other side and a few pushed the girthy deer back the way it came from. Brilliant! Why didn’t I come up with this valiant plan? This blog entry could have been sooo much more entertaining! Whatever.

This little incident ended in victory. The traumatized deer looked at us and pranced off into the distance as all of us do-gooders suddenly felt very important and heroic.

Then I went for my sandwich.

A good Friday indeed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Change and Pecking order

We realize that life as we have known it has changed and we are forging new territory. There has been a noticeable shift in rank among our kids at home - Elora now being the highest in pecking order and letting the others know it. She waited an appropriate amount of time (about three hours) before instigating her hostile takeover of Darren's bedroom. She is moving her bed into his room as we speak.

There is now more room in the bathrooms as I haven't heard any banging on the doors for Darren to hurry and get out!

Connor is now the 'grunt' of the kids and will be helping Todd with manly things.

Larissa has lost her Guitar Hero buddy and has reminded us that her status has not changed - she's still the baby of the family, and as such, should not require more chores.

The house seems quieter. Todd's eyes were red all last night. We wonder how Darren's doing. I haven't had a single phone call from him today. Sadly, I won't hear from him until Mother's Day and then Christmas.

I suppose change is always uncomfortable at first. Slowly, we will find new order and life will go on.

MTC - "Mom's Torture Chamber"

Well, we did it. We said goodbye to Darren. It was harder than I thought it would be. Collectively, we shed enough tears to end Utah's drought.

We will miss our crazy "Raymond"!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who are you boy?

A poem for a Russian Missionary.
By Michael Cox

Who are you boy? For a boy you are journeyed to this land of ours, this land where I've endured my days. And felt oppression kill my soul and force me into some tight mold. And teach me that I should not hope unless I care to smell the smoke of dreams that the Red Army tamed. Who are you boy, from this land of plenty, teaching of God if there is any. You have all; we have none. Do you know what that feels like son? And yet, you ask me to believe in something that I cannot see; some force you say will bring me joy. Do you know what that feels like boy? Where you're from, faith is free, but it has a price for me. When I have pain, I have a bottle. Hurt dies quick when you drowned it in Vodka. That's enough to warm my soul. I work, I sleep, the days go by---I'm waiting for the day I die. You don't understand this place. You say believe, obey, have faith, live life well, serve and give. Here in Russia we just live. Who are you boy? Why do you come? To save a soul who once was numb. To teach a wretched, hateful man who cursed your help, refused your hand. I thought that we were worlds apart. So how is it that you knew my heart? A fraction my age you calmed my rage; mercy paid my generous wage. I should have been left behind. It is hard to love my kind. Hope in your heart, power in your hands, why did you come to this distant land? I know now, it was for me. The Red Curtain fell, but I was not free. Until a boy from nations away brought me my Lord, I bless the day. He led me to weep at my Master's feet, the American boy I met on the street--new, naive, still in his teens, with a message to bring the world to its knees. I thought that the truth would come from another---I did not know this boy was my brother.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Burnt Offerings

My loving and kind family have ridiculed me incessantly over the dinner I made this evening. So what if I forgot I had steaks broiling? Was my mistake really worthy of the comments and rudeness? Below are actual statements.

*Oh good, you finally got rid of the cats!
*We can make a new couch out of this dinner.
*I had to douse my steak in A-1 sauce so I wouldn't taste it.
*Mom, what did we do wrong?
*This is turning me into a vegetarian.

Then there were, of course, the chiseling and sawing motions that Todd made while trying to cut into his steak which apparently was the funniest thing my kids had ever seen.

Finally, after all of their laughter and hilarious (NOT) insults had died down, one of my children secretly whispered in my ear (of course out of the earshot of everyone else)... "actually mom, it wasn't that bad - I liked it!"

HA! So there!

Tomorrow we're having leftovers!


Wow - what a week!

First there was..

Preparing. Shopping. Cleaning. Cooking. Song practicing. Talk writing. Temple attending. Snow removing. Planning. Organizing. Worrying. Phone calls.


Sacrament meeting. Singing. Speaking. Food...lots of food. Family. Friends. Support. Laughing. Smiling. Hugging. Picture taking. Love.

A week of stress dissipated yesterday as friends and family joined us for Darren's farewell. Feelings of worry and thoughts of "did I remember everything" were slowly replaced with love and gratitude as support and smiles were flung abundantly in my direction.

Elora and Larissa did a beautiful job on their musical number - nervous, but not showing it! Elora received her Young Womanhood Recognition Award and was pleased that her mother was there to see it.

Todd spoke as a loving father giving tribute to Darren's decision in serving the Lord, bestowing advice as only a father can. Darren spoke with confidence, conviction, and excitement for his future.

All in all it was a wonderful day. There were small glitches, but nothing that detracted from the day. Even the snow cooperated and only began to fall as people were leaving to head home.

Last night I crawled into bed and breathed a sigh of relief. A realization then hit me that the hard part has yet to come and saying goodbye to Darren on Wednesday will not be easy.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Driving Lessons

As the Watson family has had multiple crashes lately, I thought it a good idea to post a reminder of basic driving skills. You two good children who are eagerly anticipating driver's licenses in the very near future - this is for you! Ahem.

1. When pulling out of the garage, please make doubly sure that you look behind you to see if there is a car parked in the driveway. Sometimes mirrors help - but not always. You may actually have to twist your body to get a full view of what is behind you. I know this is inconvenient, but it will save you plentiful lectures from your father and torturous silent spells from your mother in the event that you forget.

2. Avoid at all costs the following scenario: "I was following behind a friend that was 'driving crazy', and even though it was cold and dark (perfect conditions for black ice) I didn't expect him to stop so suddenly and I swerved to miss him, hit ice, and ran into a tree." Please, good younger children - don't let me ever hear those words again.

3. When realizing that you missed your turn, and making a strange U-turn from the middle of the road - please notice if you are coming upon a guardrail. Avoid the guardrail at all costs. Use your brakes if you have to.

4. Finally, if you happen to be driving closely behind other vehicles and you just happen to realize that you need gas and want to see the gas price on the billboard of the gas station that you are passing - quickly dart your eyes away from the road, look at the sign, and then hurry and put your eyes to the road again. If your eyes linger from the road for a long period of time while driving and you forget to hurry and look at the road again - sometimes there can be disastrous consequences. So, in short - quickly look at the gas sign, then really really quickly - look back at the road again. It almost feels like a simultaneous reflex.

Glad we had this chat.


My husband's morbid sense of humor

Todd is paranoid and brutish.

He thinks that the emails that people make up that ask personal questions about you are just a ploy to find out where you live and what your habits are so they can take the time to fly across country to your house and then commence raping, plundering, stealing, and all other manner of unspeakable evils.

I tried to explain that I get these fun emails from friends that I know and I only send them to friends that I know. Alas - he is still paranoid. But, he did fill one out just to humor me.

Read on. This is the man I live with.

1. Do you like blue cheese?
The Marine Corp taught me to eat anything.
2. Have you ever been to Yellowstone Park?
Yes, That’s where I killed the fugitive
3. Do you own a gun?
4. What are Your ALL TIME favorite songs?
Live and Let Die. The Marine Corp Hell Night Chant
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
No, but the doctors do.
6. What do you think about hot dogs?
They don’t have enough crap in them.
7. Favorite Christmas song?
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Anything that doesn’t knock me down.
9. Can you do push ups?
Drop and give me 50 four counts
11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
That’s private
12. Favorite hobby?
Shooting, cleaning guns, concealing weapons, what else is there?
13. Secret weapon to get the opposite sex?
Any weapon can get the opposite sex.
14. Do you have ADD?
No, that’s the mild one. I suffer with the really bad one.
15. What one trait do you hate about yourself?
I sometimes have to smile
16. What's your middle name?
17. Name 3 thoughts you are thinking at this exact moment...
Kill Pillage Burn
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday!
I used cash so you can’t trace my card by my purchases
19. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
Water, Gasoline, Rocket Fuel
20. Current worry right now?
How fast I can cock my gun and take aim
21. Current hate right now?
Filling this out for some ID Thief to read
22. Favorite place to be?
In Jail
23. How did you bring in the New Year?
That’s personal
24. Where would you like to go?
25. Name three people who will complete this?
My other personalities
26. Do you own slippers?
I sleep with my boots on
27. What shirt are you wearing?
My “Kill them all and let God sort them out” shirt
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
Sure, whatever.
29. Can you whistle?
Very well
30. Favorite color?
Black and the color of blood
31. Would you be a pirate?
I am what I am
32. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Live and Let Die and the Marine Corp Midnight Chant
33. Favorite girl's name?
Corella DeVille It’s evil
34. Favorite boy's name?
35. What's in your pocket right now?
Besides the weapons and ammo…… Nothing
36. What made you laugh last?
Nothing… I don’t laugh
38. Worst injury you've ever had?
Knife fight…. I Won
39. Do you like it where you live?
No. Not enough crime
40. How many t.v.'s in your house?
Several, come steal one.
41. Who is your loudest friend?
My Drill Instructor
42. How many dogs do you have?
Besides the guard dog
43. Does someone have a crush on you?
I hope not
44. What would you do if you hit a deer while driving?
Get out, cut his head off and then eat him.
45. What is your favorite book?
How to kill without feeling
46. What is your favorite candy?
My sweet candy A_ _
47. Favorite sports team?
None. They never kill anyone
48. What songs do you want played at your funeral?
Live and Let Die and the Marine Corp Midnight Chant
49. What were you doing 12 AM last night?
Killing something
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?
I wondered if it survived…. It didn’t

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Run of Bad Luck - Part II

The Watson's have been having such a jolly good time these days that I thought I would share our good fortune with you.

If you recall my blog entry on December 12, titled "Run of Bad Luck", you will clearly see as you read on that our bad luck has gained momentum and is now running at full speed.

This is our latest car crash. This car crash happened 2 days after we fixed the car from the last car crash. Repeat - 2 DAYS! If you look closely, you will see that the bumper looks like it could have been brand new. That's because IT WAS! Pfft.

The teenage offender will unfortunately remain anonymous.



Sicko Connor = Pneumonia, 103.5 fever, and flu.

The next three photos are of our front entryway. Apparently there was an ice dam that formed on our roof above our entryway. The water/ice backed up and got under the shingles and seeped into our house causing the damage you see below. True joy.

You may be enticed into feeling a little sorry for us and our rampant misfortune. After all, since November, we have wrecked all four of our vehicles (one of them twice), dealt with 2 surgeries, thyroid cancer, a mission call, pneumonia, ferocious snow storms that have left us stranded and buried, and now a house that is falling apart.

I was actually going to launch into a sarcastic tyrade, as is my habit, and can be so much fun. But, I really can't today.

I have to say that our little family has grown closer and has had more wonderful experiences than I can even communicate on this blog. Sending Darren to a foreign country next week and knowing that we won't be able to speak with him for 2 years, has humbled us all and has put things into perspective. The minor inconveniences that have beset our family are temporary and fixable. Whereas in the past I have had a strong tendency to feel completely sorry for the misery bestowed on me - I am now inclined to recognize the good.

Prepare yourself for more sap to follow in the next few days as I think I'm just getting started. I'm sure you can't wait. (See? I can't get rid of the sarcasm completely - that would be just weird)!

Darren's Farewell

Darren's Missionary farewell is this Sunday. Please send me an email for directions and times if you would like to join us!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Melancholy - a good thing?

According to this author, melancholy shouldn't be avoided.

An interesting perspective...

Travel Dreamin'

Ayers Rock, Australia


Anywhere tropical! Doesn't this look nice right now?

Canyon De Chelly, Arizona

Mayan Ruins - Central America

Macchu Picchu, Peru

New York City

Grand Canyon

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fitness Update

How are you doing with fitness goals? We're now in to February - wow! This is the time that many people quit their New Year's fitness goals. Let's not quit now!

I have lost a total of 11 pounds - yeah!! I have been eating less and have been eating more fruits and vegetables. I haven't really exercised (Oh, it will happen eventually, I promise!).

My family (dad, sis, brothers, husband, nephew) is going to run/walk the Bryce Canyon half marathon on July 19th. Some of us will be walking the 5k. Anyone is invited to join our crazy family!

Here's my plan for the half marathon:

February - Slowly start fitness & strength training program - 3x week
March - Step up fitness to 4x week (minimum)
April - Exercise 5x week. Start jogging.
May- Jogging/walking 5x week
June - Jogging 5x week with 1 long day
July - Half Marathon! Hope to have lost 30 pounds by race date.

I don't anticipate running the entire half marathon! I will do a lot of walking, I'm sure.

I'm also interested in yoga. Anyone know of a good yoga teacher/class in the SL valley? Do tell!

I have a bad habit of starting a fitness program and becoming so involved in it that I burn out or injure myself and then subsequently quit! I'm not going to do that this time. I plan to start slow, listen to my body, and make steady progress. I have not taken very good care of myself and plan to make this a lifestyle change.

What are your fitness/nutrition plans?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Gordon B. Hinckley

I have been profoundly saddened by the passing of President Hinckley on January 27. The world has lost a great man, indeed. I stayed awake last night reading about the life and qualities of such a humble and gracious man. What a remarkable life he lived! One does not have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to be touched by his goodness.

I don't want his legacy to end. I don't want the news media to stop talking about him. I haven't had the words to share how I feel about him...I still don't - so below are a few pictures and tributes I found touching.

He will be missed.

President and Sister Hinckley in Moscow. He referred to her as his 'babushka'.

A true love story.

At the funeral of his beloved wife. I can't look at this picture without shedding tears of my own.

God be with you 'til we meet again.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Snow Zombies

My talented and beautiful children have let the depressing snow get to them too!

Elora Before:

Elora Now:

Larissa Before:

Larissa Now:

Connor Before:

Connor Now.

*The above pictures were posted by permission due to fear of mutiny.

Is there life beyond snow?

Today church was cancelled. Snow has become my life. I have nothing else of importance to blog about. I feel like a snow zombie.
Elora is stuck.

Fence is buried.

View out front window.

Even Stitch is unhappy and wants to go back inside.

Todd and neighbors have resorted to snow-blowing the streets. Snow plows are stuck.

Todd's goofy hat doesn't even cheer us.

I want my mommy.