Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cutest Nephews EVER!

Need I say more?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Teeth Torture

Todd and I have been on a wisdom-teeth pulling kick. Larissa was our latest victim. She made me buy her Cold Stone - there are some perks to being tortured.

Connor's up next in a few weeks.

*The author of this blog is seriously taking her life into her own hands by posting this picture.

Coyotes, Foxes, Cougars - Oh My!

There is a big mystery in our household.

On a few separate occasions, Todd and the kids have told me about a wild fox they have noticed while driving down Traverse Ridge. I hadn't thought much of it until I saw it today.

WHY? WHY? WHY do I never have my camera when I see cute animals in the wild?

It was striking. It was in a wooded area and was walking on the snow - very close to the main road. Of course I told Todd about it when he came home tonight, but it had been on my mind all day. The thing is, it didn't look exactly how I thought a fox would look. I mentioned to Todd that it almost reminded me of a coyote.

Well, that just opened up a great big can of worms! Now Todd and I cannot decide if it was a coyote or a fox. We don't even know if we saw the same animal or not. Todd is convinced that he has seen a coyote AND a fox and that our little critter in question is in fact, 2 critters.

You can bet that I'll be finding an answer to this little mystery!

As a side note, there also seems to be a cougar roaming around in the area. Read very scary news article here:

As yet another side note, I do realize that this post ranks high on the "Holy Cow, What a Nerd!" meter. I admit that in my younger years, I never would have found foxes and coyotes interesting. I'm not quite sure what is happening to me. Old age? Boredom? Teenagers sucking the life right out of me?

One of these days I may totally tip the nerd scale and relate my embarrassing elk story on this blog.

I'm sure you are dizzy with anticipation.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Quotes and silliness

Quotes and comments I have heard this week.

Connor: I hate any song that has a chipmunk singing in it.
Repairman: Yes, there is black mold in your walls where you had the ice dam and it's going to cost you a lot of money that you don't want to spend and be very inconvenient for you during the next few weeks.
Todd: Jodi, I'm glad you don't get offended by things I say even if I sometimes mean it.
Larissa: David Archuleta is sooo sexy!
Elora to Connor and Larissa: Oh, you have school this week? That sucks. I have the week off.
Jodi: I don't have anything to blog about. Maybe I'll just relay quotes I've heard.

Darren from the MTC: Hey, thanks for the tic tacs. Actually, my companions thank you!
Stitch the cat: Seriously, I hate all of you.
Baby Bear the cat:
I hate Stitch.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Red Desert

Oh, I had a fabulous weekend.

Knowing that we would be without children for Easter, Todd and I spontaneously hopped in our car for a quick jaunt to the desert to re-charge our batteries. This weekend's road trip was comprised mostly in Zion National Park, however we did make a quick stop in Bryce on our way home. We packed a lot into 2 days and loved every minute of it!

First I should mention that we hate it when our kids are gone and unless we make fun plans, we tend to mope around the house, dwelling in our sorrows. (A bit of an exaggeration - but we hate it, nonetheless).

I have titled my blog 'redhoodoos' for reasons I've not fully disclosed but one could probably surmise. I know I'm not alone in my feelings for Southern Utah and don't profess to being the only one enamored with it's beauty - but being down there does something to my soul. Invariably I am drawn to reflection, to peace, to words - and for a small moment in time, the world seems less abrasive. Less severe.

Growing up, my family would frequently vacation at Bryce Canyon in Southern Utah. I have fond memories of piling into the wood-paneled station wagon, affectionately named 'The Staish", at 4:00 a.m. Now that I'm a parent, I realize my mom and dad left that early because they knew Brian and I would sleep and find little time to fight. Mom would bake a roast the night before and would make us delicious roast beef sandwiches to enjoy on the drive (stuffing us with food was another ploy to keep us from fighting). I'm sure my sandwiches don't taste nearly as good. My cousins and grandparents would meet us there and undoubtedly make the trip fun - always more eventful with Uncle George's tandem bike. Songs and ghost stories around the campfire and bomb-pops from the market made the trip even more unforgettable - the memories indelibly seared into my mind. But it's the scent of Bryce Canyon that reminds me that I'm home. There's a scent carried with the Bryce winds that I've never smelled anywhere else. It is truly Heaven.

I'll never forget the first time I visited Zion National Park at age 17 with my YW group. I recall being awestruck as we entered from the East and I caught my first glimpse outside of the tunnel. It couldn't be real - how could any place on earth be so beautiful?! My pictures from this trip only capture glances of it's beauty.

It was a weekend of renewal for me - appropriate for this Easter weekend. I have yearned to go back since my cancer diagnosis last November. Nothing is more healing or therapeutic than being in the red desert. Surely, there isn't a more beautiful place on this Earth. I was able to breathe the fresh air and be reminded that no problem is too insurmountable.

Tomorrow, undoubtedly, I will be embarrassed with my oozy sap-filled blog entry, so I will end by sharing some of our animal incidents that we endured on the trip.

I met this buffalo after our hike in Zion. Apparently, he had just finished the hike and was as tuckered out as I was. Poor guy. I felt his pain.

This little vagrant begged for food by putting on a sad face. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the "Will look cute 4 food" sign he was holding up. We felt sorry for him, but didn't comply, lest we break National Park rules.

We happened upon the Easter Bunny feeding small children and I noticed a glimmer of hope in Todd's eye. Alas, she didn't stop at our car and I had to buy Todd a chocolate bar instead.

This goat excitedly hopped down the mountain when he heard the Easter Bunny was at the Park.

Todd liked the goatee on this buffalo and made him pose so he could get a better idea of how to grow one for himself.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Yes, this is our tree from last Christmas. As in 3 months ago. It has been buried under the snow and has finally reared itself in all of it's ghetto glory. Hmmm, maybe I'll keep it for next Christmas.

I wonder what else is buried under there!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy First Day of Spring

I think there's grass under there somewhere. The flowers should bloom any day now.

Death Warmed Over

This is how I feel today. Can't sleep. Can't breathe. My head feels like it's falling off.
Poor me. I'm going back to bed.

Elora's Art

Wow. Elora is an artist. She conceived of the idea then drew and colored this picture. Amazing.
She makes it look so easy that she inspired me to try my hand at drawing. This is my picture of a beautiful landscape.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Secondhand Lions and Sense of Place

I admit to being a couch potato tonight - and also a sap. First on the tube was American Idol (go Jason Castro and David Archuleta!) and then one of my favorite movies - quite possibly my very favorite movie, actually - Secondhand Lions.

If you have not seen Secondhand Lions - go get the DVD - you will love it or I'll eat Connor's gym sock! I'm a fan of Robert Duvall in any movie - but he played an especially terrific role in this one, as did Michael Caine.

A young boy, Walter (Haley Joel Osment), is dumped off at his rich uncles' house by his mom so she can wander off and live her life without ties. He feels unwanted (obviously) and awkward/shy (obviously) because he has never met these uncles before. They live in an old farmhouse in rural Texas. The uncles are eccentric and set in their ways and don't like having him around at first. The movie evolves as the old men become attached to their new house guest and he to them. Walter learns that his uncles have led very adventurous and interesting lives and he finds himself drawn to their history. Eventually, they are not just weird old men living in a farmhouse - but interesting, noble men who have lived and learned from life. I won't divulge any more of the plot so I don't ruin it for you when you watch it. Have I mentioned that you need to go rent the DVD?

I love this movie's portrayal of life's phases and stages. Walter has his whole life before him. He is learning and growing and finding his place in the world. Conversely, the uncles have lived life and have wonderful memories to which they firmly grasp while knocking on the door of their final years. They don't want to let the memories go and they don't want their senior years to rob them of their dignity.

As time passes on ever so rapidly for me, I am reminded of my once-small children who are no longer as needy of me and my wisdom motherly advice. Wasn't it just yesterday that they rushed to me in the middle of the night - scared because of a nightmare? My children are finding their places in the world. Have I taught them well? Do they know of my indescribable love and concern for them? Have they learned from my mistakes? Do they understand the importance of good decisions?

I am keenly aware that in a few short years my children will be living on their own, possibly raising their own families. Will I be ready for that next phase of my life?

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I've been harboring thoughts of getting a dog this Summer and I need your help in deciding the best breed for our family. But first let me give you some history.

Until we gained custody of Todd's kids (as a side note - Darren, Elora, and Larissa are not my Biological kids - but my kids, nonetheless), I had never really had a pet. My brother Brian had a crazy cat named Tard that I lived with for about 3 years - but she was downright mean. (Sorry Brian, I know that hurts to strong). I didn't grow up with pets and was, to be honest, scared of them. When it was determined that Larissa, who is a huge cat lover (not to say that Larissa is huge, because clearly she is not - but to say that she has a very large affection for cats), would be coming to our home - Todd and I realized that we would need a cat or two. Enter Stitch, aka Creature, and Baby Bear. In case you haven't noticed - I ADORE these cats. Who knew that animals could be so much fun to have around? Since then I have gained a huge love for all animals - not just my cats. They make me giggle and I think they're just funny little critters. Llamas and emus particularly tickle my funny bone.

So, I'm branching out and thinking I might like a dog. I realize they're a huge committment and want to make sure I know what I'm getting myself into. I would like a dog that I can take on walks and jogs - medium to large-sized. Preferably a dog that doesn't bark too much. Needs to be good with my cats. Would like a gentle, cuddly dog - not mean - but one that also likes to play and have fun. Here are my thoughts so far....

Old English Sheepdog - How cute is he??!!
I love his fuzziness.

Newfoundland - I hear they are great dogs. But huge! Would a Newfie be too much dog for a beginner like me?

Lab - Just an all-around good dog, I hear.

Collie - For cute!

So, what are your thoughts? Advice, hints, tips, other dog breeds worth considering? Do you have an awesome dog?

Some people tell me they haven't been able to leave a comment. Choose "Anonymous" if you don't have a google id.

Thanks much!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Connor and Larissa are headed to sunny Florida
for 10 days without me!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Family Fotos

Pix taken before Darren left. Sniff.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'll Huff and I'll Puff..

Why do I make lofty goals and then tell family and friends about the goal and then blog about the goal and then pay money to achieve the goal and then realize I'll look stupid if I quit the goal? I will have to learn one of these days to just keep my mouth closed!

Goal: Bryce Canyon Half Marathon on July 19th

I realize I probably won't be able to run the entire race. It's hard to go from sedentery sloth to road runner in the short amount of time I have left. I'm secretly hoping to contract a case of malaria or some other insidious ailment on July 18th so that I won't have to royally embarrass myself in front of the hundreds of fit n' fabulous runners.

What if I can't finish the race due to the wheezing and snorting that I experienced today while running? Well, it was actually more like walking. Okay, I slogged! If you don't know what slogging looks like - come with me tomorrow and I'll give you a show. Prepare to see me wearing my signature black, breathing like I haven't inhaled oxygen for at least 10 years, and hobbling like a crippled water buffalo. It's not pretty. And who knew that my face could turn 12 different shades of red in the course of 45 minutes?

Getting out of my comfort zone is proving difficult. I will not give up!! No sir-eee! I might complain, gripe, whine, and spit...but I suppose I'll keep slogging along.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Groove

I'm liking this weather we've been having! It makes me want to do crazy things like exercise, clean, cook - things I avoid during the other 3 seasons. I have wild, fantastical ideas about getting so organized that my house functions efficiently and on a schedule.

My first plan is to cook once a month and freeze all of my dinners for the coming weeks. How convenient and efficient is that?! Organized people do this all the time. Maybe I should give it a whirl. I found really awesome websites to inspire me:


And then there's..

I also have another secret thought. What if I cleaned out my garage (WOW) and moved the filing cabinet to an accessible spot (WOW WOW) (and yes, my filing cabinet is in my garage) and filed all of my papers that have been storing up (Triple WOW)?! Further, I could clean out my 2007 files and store them in a banker's box.

Also - I am going to finish the real estate school that I signed up for 9 months ago and then became sidetracked from 4 months ago. By my plan - I should have it done by the end of April.

Finally - and my kids will hate me but it makes me chuckle with glee - I'm creating a list of spring cleaning 'to do's' that we will all finish on a Saturday when we are actually all home together. On the list are windows, railings and doorknobs, under and on top of the fridge etc etc. It makes me dizzy with joy just thinking about it. I can't wait to see the look on Connor's face when I inform him he has baseboard duty. Child labor in it's legal and fun form!

Poor Darren is missing out!

Spring - I love all of it. Fresh air. Sprinklers. Pine Sol. Grass. Clear skies. Crickets.

Bring it on!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wheeler Farm

Todd and I went to the farm for a walk today and were distracted by a few of the residents. I thought I'd share our incidents. Beware of cute animals at Wheeler Farm. They can be deceiving.

We arrived at the trailhead stretched and ready for our merry jaunt and were accosted by this Trail Troll.

He wouldn't let us pass until we said the magic password. Clearly you can tell that he delighted in our discomfort.

We weren't impressed with his preening and sensed that he was mocking us.

Todd finally lost control and launched into a malicious tyrade - using words I've never heard before. Wow.

The feathered troll, apparently fed up with Todd's name-calling, finally called his supervisor Larry for back-up.

Look at Larry's cocky attitude as he struts his stuff.

They even had the nerve to sit while mocking us which we used to our advantage.
We ran past these no good *&^%@$ lilly livered ^%#*@ trolls and left nothing but dust in our wake. HA!

We then happened upon a cage of hecklers clearly up to no good.

We aren't sure but we think there might be gangs in this cage.

Todd made a quick stop.

After leaving the slums, we came across this little shanty.

We were so excited for a party - anything to get out of exercising, but alas, it was all locked up. We suspect the trolls had something to do with it.

Thankfully, we then walked through the better part of the farm and saw love and adorable-ness.

Our faith in God's creatures restored, we were able to enjoy a nice stroll through the woods.

Jello anyone?

No more wisdom teeth for our wise girl.

*Posted by permission.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Jane Goodall & Terry Tempest Williams

Tuesday night, Todd and I went to the University of Utah's "Peace with Nature" event at Abravanel Hall. So good!

Philip Bimstein and Red Rock Rondo kicked off the evening with a collection of Southern Utah-inspired acoustical music. I've heard of this band before but had never heard them perform. I love anything that involves our beloved Southern Utah and they did not disappoint!

Terry Tempest Williams spoke next about the decline of the prairie dog population. I was looking forward to hearing her speak as I'm a fan of her writing but to be honest - her comments were just too short (whine)! I wanted to hear more of her poetic passion and environmental fervor (yes, can I have cheese with the whine?). I know she was saving time for Jane Goodall but I was let down, nonetheless.

Jane Goodall then spoke about our relationships with each other and with animals. She spoke about living more peacefully and lovingly with others. Todd and I were struck by her zest for life. She has been such a good force on this Earth and has blessed and taught so many. It was an honor to hear her speak.

An exquisite lady.

Did you know that this glass sculpture is titled "Olympic Tower" and was created by Dale Chihuly for the 2002 Olympics?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Tyson's Jazz Game

My cute friend has a really cute son! He is smiley and friendly and smart and downright fun! He's also privileged as he was able to go to his first Jazz game last night. Obviously, he was their greatest fan - note his jersey - and clearly the reason that the Jazz won. After enduring RSV last week, I'd say this was a welcome celebration for everyone! Yeah Tyson!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Greetings from the MTC

It arrived!! Darren's first letter was found in the mail today. There was much excitement involved when reading it. Apparently he is very happy and loves it there. Honestly, that is the best news I've heard as I was worried how he would be able to live without his gadgets (computer, iPod, cell etc.). He says he's missing all of us - even Connor.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bath Time

He is so unbelievably ticked right now.
*Unauthorized photo.


Our cats enjoy spending their leisurely days looking out of our back window at the plethora of interesting objects - snow, the occasional bird, fence posts, rooftops, the mostly buried trampoline ring, etc. Winters are definitely not as fun for them as most interesting-ness is covered in snow.

Lately, Todd and I have concerns about a backyard neighbor who has a peculiar interest in our cats. He spies on our cats and is almost obsessed with their activities. When they nap - he knows. When they play, he knows. Our neighbor appears relentless in his quest to be seen by our cats and has become increasingly vocal. At times it borders on harrassment. It occurs to me that my cats have a stalker.

In the Summer, our neighbor peers through the slats in our back fence at the cats. But, since the snow levels are so deep, he now peers over our fence at them. Will he stop at nothing? What exactly are his intentions? I took a picture for proof of his obsession.

Here he is...

Keep scrolling to look in the eyes of fierceness.....

Not suitable for young viewers.

Last warning.......

EGADS! Will my cats ever feel completely safe with this beast stalking them??

Note his intimidating demeanor and snarling teeth..

I take great comfort in knowing that as the snow melts and decreases, so will this predator's splendid view of my furry friends.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Joyous Event

Suddenly, unexpectedly, Larissa cleaned her room. Although a clean and tidy girl, she is still, however, a teenager. The most satisfying aspect of this incident is that it was unprovoked and unrequested. After drying my tears, I took the following pictures.

Note the clean floor.

Is it Mother's Day? My birthday? A full moon?

I think I'll take my gal to a movie!