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Showing posts from 2009

Ace is the Place

Or so it was according to Connie Stevens back in the day. I don't know if you remember those old commercials? They had the tagline "Ace is the place with the helpful hardware man". With that as an introduction----Yesterday, I had occasion to run to a hardware store. I needed a couple of things that I figured I could find at Wal-Mart, but seriously, who wanted to hassle with that the day after Christmas? So, it was off to the Ace hardware store in downtown to see if they had what I needed. They most certainly did. Not only that, but the place was full of good-looking men. I think I may be on to something here. Now I just need to figure out what other projects need doing so I have an excuse to go back. Ace is most definitely the place!

Hurray for Good Men pt. 2

As a single woman, I've learned over the years to do some things on my own, tasks that are normally left to men. I take out the garbage, take the car to get the oil changed, get something off a high shelf, etc. I've even discovered ways to open those hard-to-budge jar lids. All this independence has helped me get through the daily chores of life quite nicely. But occasionally, there is the odd thing I can't quite manage, so I've learned to ask for help. Case in point: I drive an older model vehicle on which the cap to where you add the washer fluid broke. Those are pretty difficult to replace, so my father, being the ingenious fellow that he is, discovered that the lid from a bottle of washer fluid fits quite nicely on the reservoir. So that's what I've used for the last couple of years now. Usually I manage to get it on and off pretty well. But - the last time I tried, it was darn near impossible. I fiddled with it, I cursed it, and was ultimately uns

So Long Kim

Kim Peek died over the weekend. Most of you may not have heard of him, but he was one of the people who served as the inspiration for Dustin Hoffman's character in the movie "Rain Man". He was known as a "mega-savant" and had pretty much total recall of everything he had ever read or heard. His brain was so unique, that NASA even started studying it. I met him only the one time. He and his father came and spoke at my ward several years ago for a Family Home Evening activity. Let me tell you, his abilities were impressive. And it gave me one of my biggest thrills to date when he passed around the actual Best Picture Oscar that was won by "Rain Man" and we all got to hold it. He's the only person I ever met who could give me a run for my money on Academy Awards Trivia.

Where Is Tracie's Brain?

So we all know how crazy life seems to get in December. We're working, attending all sorts of events, and trying to finish up all the things we haven't done. So last night appeared to be a gift. An evening off in December. As I headed out from the office, I had a lingering suspicion that there was something about the 17th, but I had no idea what it was, so went right on ahead with my plans. First, I ran downtown to the dollar store to pick up a few things there. On my way home, I decided I'd better stop at Albertson's to get a few things there. I arrived home a little after 6:00, exhausted, hormonal and wanting nothing more than a bowl of popcorn and some diet pepsi for dinner. So I get undressed and in my pj's, then put the oil in the pan and get out the popcorn jar. I then realize there is not enough popcorn left. I also at that point realize there is no diet pepsi in the house. So....I put the clothes back on and run out to Smith's, because I knew
Hi, my name's Tracie and I'm a Mormon. That being said, I've provided enough context for the conversation I had with the receptionist at work today: Christy: (Showing me a photo) What picture is this movie from? Me: Mmmm, Serendipity maybe? Christy: No...you should know this. Me: I should? Christy: (Finally) It's from the movie "Charlie"! Me: How would I know that? I don't watch Mormon movies. They're dumb. Now that I've let the cat out of the bag, I guess I should also confess that I also don't listen to Mormon pop music (other than the original recording of The Forgotten Carols), or read Mormon fiction. So sue me. Let's face it, it's not like most of them are of real quality anyway. When it comes to Mormon music, I'll stick with my MoTab and the hymns of Zion.

Hurray for Good Men!

Just a shout out to all the wonderful men in my ward. Sometimes we girls may not be real good at recognizing it, but I for one would like to say a big thank you to all those men who graciously provided assistance today. We had a major snowstorm today that arrived just in time for the drive to church, and if there's anything I've learned while I've been in the ward, it's that travel to the church and into the parking lot can be very treacherous in the winter. I arrived early and parked in the clinic parking lot, and as I walked up the hill to the church, there were several of them, Bishopric members included, shoveling the walks and clearing the parking lot. Later, after meetings were over, many of them escorted the sisters down the hill to the clinic, cleaned off cars, pushed cars out of the snow that were stuck, and helped us get around other cars who had blocked us in. They all were my heroes today. Hurray for men!

Favorites of 2009

It's been a mostly good year, and I've had some really good times. Here now are some of my favorites of 2009: Movie - "The Blind Side", followed by "Julie and Julia". Music - The Fleetwood Mac concert experience. TV - NCIS, The Closer, and Burn Notice Books - In non-fiction, the Andrew Jackson biography, "American Lion". In fiction, John Grisham's "The Testament". Restaurant - For a sit-down experience, The Spaghetti Factory and Rio Grande. Fast food, Crown Burger. Food Experience - The excursion to the Shooting Star Saloon, and the French cooking class. New Toy - My 40th birthday Tom Tom GPS, and my IPOD with wireless FM transmitter. Most Unusual - The astro turf vans on the way back from the Salt Flats. Best Surprise - The surprise baseball birthday party my family threw for me in June. New Skill - Kind of baking bread Most Improved - My golf game

Giving Thanks

On this day before Thanksgiving, I wanted to express my thanks for all the good things in my life, both big and small: 1. My newest niece, Lillie - and for the rest of the 14 nieces and nephews. It's great to have the affection of children in my life. 2. Online check-in with Delta, and the anonymous person who must have cancelled, allowing me to change to an aisle seat. Believe me when I say what a good thing it is for the air marshall's that Tracie is in an aisle seat. 3. Amazon - Bless them for their price war with Wal-Mart that allowed me to get a great deal and super saver shipping. And for the shipping that only took 3 days instead of 9. 4. Bryan Fuller and the cast of "Pushing Daisies". It may have been canceled, but it's now available on DVD and I'm enjoying every minute of it - again. 5. Friends of Tracie - who give me rides, research natural remedies, join me for dinner, meet me at silly movies, talk with me endlessly about Triple-D, acc

The Circle of Life

Last week was one heck of a week. I think I went through every single emotion, from joy to sorrow, and back again. And sometimes, it was all in the same day. Tuesday, I found out in the morning about the passing of my former roommate. Segue to sorrow. By that evening, I was celebrating Sarah at her Bridal Shower, and visiting with friends old and new. Segue back to joy. Wednesday was spent in meetings and church work. By then I'd moved from shock and on to exhaustion. Thursday was all about the premiere party for "New Moon". The warmth and humor and enthusiasm of friends, all while lusting over werewolves and vampires. But a late evening, and still in exhaustion mode. Friday was spent at Crowne Burger (ah - comfort food) and the Organ Loft, followed by celebrating Catherine's birthday at the Vriens cabin. More fun, silliness and female bonding. Saturday - My roommate's funeral, and Sarah and Bret's pre-ception celebration. More sorrow, foll

Good News Post #2 - The Maine Troop Greeters

Today's good news post comes to us from a story by the Associated Press. It's about a program in Maine where volunteers gather to greet the troops as they arrive back in country or depart for overseas at the Bangor, Maine Airport. Some of the volunteers have been volunteering for this project since the war began, and are veterans themselves. Turns out a couple of young documentary filmmakers accompanied their mother to greet the troops several years ago, and got the idea for a movie. They've been filming ever since, and the movie is now finally completed, to be shown nationwide on PBS tomorrow night, in honor of Veteran's Day. (If you want to watch or TIVO the program, here locally, it will be shown on KUED at 9:00 PM MST as part of their P.O.V. series) However you feel about the war, here at least is a group of folks who are finding meaning in their lives through service to others, which is why I think this qualifies as good news. To find out more about the tr

Music from the Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Some video of the groups we got to listen to at the Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Carin Mari and Pony Express - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fimyoutGTPo Sons of the San Joaquin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us2I90YQ2ys&feature=PlayList&p=81CAF61EC55BAB2E&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=34

Cowboy Poetry

Had an absolutely fabulous time yesterday in Heber City. The occasion was the annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Buckaroo Fair. I've been wanting to see this gathering for awhile now, and as it was supposed to be such a gorgeous weekend, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. My friends Angel and Amy joined me for the excursion. We had a lovely colorful drive through Parley's Canyon and the Wasatch Valley up to Heber City. Most of the events were held at the new High School. There was a Mountain Man trade show going - we got to see a real live Blacksmith at work - outside the school. Inside we were surrounded by real live cowboys, and all sorts of other folks who'd come from far away to check out the event. We got to hear some traditional cowboy poetry and stories, and got to hear some terrific western music. A couple of the groups we really liked were Carin Mari and Pony Express (her sound reminded me of Suzy Boggess), and the Sons of the San Joaquin (kind of

Emotional Ammo

I saw an idea on a website today, that I quite liked. It was a website about being healthy, eating right, and getting a handle on your emotional eating. The idea was that with proper positive coaching from them, you could learn to work through your emotions to avoid the over-eating and stay in better physical health. There was a particular concept they mentioned, that sounded interesting to me. They called it "Emotional Ammo", and it's basically a deck of cards where on one side, you've written the emotion, and on the other, approaches about what to do when you feel that emotion, so that you don't eat when you shouldn't. For instance, if you're lonely, reach out to others. If you're overwhelmed, stop and take a breath and start planning better. If you're angry, clean. The list goes on. I think there's definitely some truth to that. Well, for only $60, you can buy this deck from the website. Eh - Pass on that. I really like the id

Good News Edition #1 - The Return of the Aral Sea

For my first good news post, I thought I'd share this article from Peter Leonard of the Associated Press. It talks about how the Aral Sea, once one of the world's largest bodies of fresh water, was pretty much destroyed. This was a result of the U.S.S.R.'s poor planning and stewardship of their natural resources. But now, the Aral Sea is beginning to come back, thanks to efforts of the World Bank and some of the countries surrounding the area. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091026/ap_on_sc/as_central_asia_reappearing_sea What I particularly appreciate about this is that just because we humans have made mistakes, does not mean they can't be undone, and that even a little cooperation can provide a lot of hope.

Sure Could Use a Little Good News

I've blogged before about my love for Reba McEntire, Fleetwood Mac, and Rosemary Clooney. But I've probably never mentioned how much I love the music of Anne Murray. I've loved her music ever since I was a kid, and a few of her albums got me through college. I've seen her in concert a few times (totally awesome show!), and one of the most poignant concert experiences I've ever had was when she came to SLC shortly after 9/11. At one point in the concert, she sang her song "A Little Good News". After she finished, there was a spontaneous eruption of applause and a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes, with people clapping, cheering, and crying all at the same time. It was such an emotional experience for me that I still can't hear that song without bursting into tears myself. This is on my mind lately, as I've been listening to one of her Albums on my ipod. I don't know about you, but I've always been into current events,

Only a Man...

As a follow up to one of my recent posts, I offer the following article, as written by a man: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/print/705338294/What-to-expect-during-a-mammogram.html I mean seriously - who assigns an article on mammography to a man? He may be a nice man, a pleasant fellow. But he has absolutely no clue. Only a man could downplay it to the degree he does. I wonder if he'd think the pain level was low if a certain part of his anatomy was pressed flat like a pancake. I'm just saying...

What a Load of Crap

I read an article this morning about an inter-racial couple from Louisiana, who went to the local justice of the peace and requested a marriage license. Said Justice denied the request, on the grounds they were an inter-racial couple, and in his experience, inter-racial marriages do not last long. He asks every couple who calls him whether they are inter-racial, and if they are, does not marry them. To quote the justice: "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way." Frankly, that's rather like the old commercial where the actor says "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV." You may not think you are, but you basically support the idea anyway. His additional reasoning is that the couple may plan on having children, and children of inter-racial marriages are not supported or accepted by either race. Here's what I have to say to both of those arguments: What a load of crap! My own family's experience is that in

Promoting Peace

So the banner headline this morning was the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama. Personal politics aside, I consider this a fairly ridiculous selection. Nine months in to his Presidency, I don't see that he has done anything to promote peace. Just to make sure I understand the qualifications for such an honor, I checked with the Nobel Committee, and found the requirements, as listed in the Founders Last Will and Testament: "The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery

New 'Do

For probably the last 10 years or so, I've had pretty much the same hairstyle. For the most part, it's been long, all one length, and I would eventually put it up in a ponytail almost every day, because I couldn't stand having it in my face. It drove me crazy, but I didn't know what to do with it, and at the same time, I liked that I could basically get up and go every day without a lot of effort. For the past several months now, I've been threatening to do something different and drastic, and finally, yesterday, I did. At the recommendation of Angel, I made an appointment with her stylist. It took several weeks to get in, but finally, the day arrived. Angel went with me, for moral support, and to be the photographer. I went in with some basic ideas, but after some consultation and looking at photos with Francine, this is what I ended up with. First, the "before" shot: In process: And finally, the finished product: I can't remember

Boob Job

There are certain things a women has to learn to deal with as she gets older. Wrinkles, sagging, hormonal changes, gray hair, and a host of others. But perhaps the least fun of all is the rite of passage that occurs annually after you turn 40 - the dreaded mammogram. Let me just say that, other than the annual visit to the girl doctor, there are few things as awkward and uncomfortable as getting the upper half of your body smashed between a power press once a year. So there I am at my appointment today. It's pretty nerve-wracking, and because I talk when I'm nervous, I tried to lighten the mood a bit by chatting with the technician. Tracie: "The last time I had one of these, I remember thinking 'I hope the power doesn't go out.'" Technician: "Actually, I did have that happen one time..." Tracie: (Thinking - "Did not need to know that...") Technician: "...but the machine has a release mechanism, and this hospital has gen

Baking Bread

So I tried to make some bread of my own the last couple of weekends. Let's just say that neither loaf turned out as expected, and that so far, baking bread is not my strong suit. The first loaf rose straight up, several inches, to the point where it touched the oven element, and created a nice burn mark. The second loaf I have no pictures of, but let's just say that it turned out even worse than the first one.

Cooking Class

One of the things I've been wanting to do fo r awhile was take a cooking class. In fact, it's been on my 40 things list. I was even more inspired after seeing the movie "Julie and Julia". So when I wa s r eading in the paper several weeks ago, I found a french cooking class was going to be coming up. My friends Angel and Catherine were both interested in it as well, so we signed up. Turns out, the chef is related to Angel by marriage, and she said it would be a great time. Chef Drewe is a certified executive chef, and he holds the cla sses in his own home. On the menu was Beef Bourgignone (Burgundy to those of us who don't speak French), fresh French Bread baguet tes, salad, and cupcakes. Chef Drewe's pro cess is to do the cooking, show you h o w he does it, and provide you with all the recipes, and tips. You can ask questions, take notes, and get right in there and watch him. After it's all finished, you get to sit down to a fabulous meal. It ende

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen

So Steph and I went to a program at the Tabernacle Friday night, and met some wonderful folks from Tallahassee, Florida. We proceeded to get into a friendly little game of talking smack with them about Saturday's upcoming game against Florida State. And really, the general consensus was that the Cougs would wipe the field with the 'Noles. Somewhere in the back of my head, however, I had this little twinge that BYU might start believing their own press and not show up for the game. Segue to Saturday evening, when I checked the first quarter score, and FSU was up 13-0. And - true to the little twinge - they never looked back. And me, being the highly strung fan that I am, couldn't even watch. I still don't even know what the final score was. (Last I checked it was the 3rd quarter and was 44-21.) Oh how the mighty have fallen. We beat one little ranked team and move up I don't know, 86 spots or so to the top 10. We move up even further after decimating one

There's No Crying in Baseball

One of the really classic movie lines to my mind, is when Tom Hanks as manager Jimmy Dugan yells at Evelyn the outfielder in "A League of Their Own". Evelyn has just missed the cutoff gal, and as a result several extra runs are scored by the other team. When they finally get the third out, Evelyn comes running into the dugout and Jimmy yells at her. Evelyn gets all upset and starts crying, at which point he says "There's no crying in baseball!" This seems to be appropriate considering the recent run of at times great athletes who totally tanked it in their respective matches, and then proceeded to go off and blame other people, while filling the air with expletives. First, there's Serena Williams, the most ungracious of all the recent Grand Slam champions, going off on a line judge. Then there's Kyle Busch going off about how it's everyone else's fault he missed the Chase. And how about Jay Cutler, going off on his receivers and the refere

Alarm Clocks and Small Flashlights

Somewhere around 4:00-4:30 yesterday morning, I woke up. I keep a small flashlight by my bed, so I can check the time and know how much longer I have before the alarm goes off. So naturally I found the flashlight to check the time. I felt pretty groggy, and fell back asleep, not even paying attention to the flashlight still in my hand. The alarm went off at 5:30. I was startled awake (which is the point of an alarm clock), and went to reach for the clock to shut off the alarm (keep in my mind that I still had the flashlight in my hand when I went to do this). Said flashlight fell out of my hand, hitting me in the eye. I suddenly went from a feeling of "Oh man, is it time already?" to a feeling of "Holy Sh_t, that hurt!". I also had a sinking feeling of "That's gonna leave a mark...". I lay there incoherent and in pain for a few more minutes. By the time I did get out of bed, and went to check things in the bathroom mirror, the above sinkin

Greek Festival 2009

Not many people may be aware of this, but Salt Lake is blessed to have many people of Greek ancestry who live here. Once a year, the second week of September, they set up a bunch of extremely large tents next door to the Orthodox Cathedral and hold a big Festival. I absolutely LOVE the Greek Fesitval. I look forward to it all year long. They have the best food, and it's such a fun atmosphere. The entire city seems to come out for it. I enjoy it so much it's as if once a year, my last name becomes Edwardsopolous. There's a long line for the food, which is served cafeteria style and a la carte. I always spend too much money on foods I can't pronounce very well - Souvlaki (meat on a skewer), Pilafi (lemony rice), Keftethes (meatballs), Fasolakia (green beans), Pitas, etc. This also means I always eat too much at the festival. Last night a girl came by the table to let us know how to get "to go" boxes if we needed them. Hello - as if the food would ev

Salts, Slots, Astro Turf Vans, and Hula Hoops

Monday was Labor Day, and in my ques t to complete some of the items on my list, I convinced Angel, Inge, and Janeen to accompany me on an adventure to the Bonneville Salt Flats. As long as I'v e liv ed here, I've never been too far west of Salt Lake City, let alone to the Salt Fla ts . So the holiday was a good excuse get away and make it happen. The Salt Flats are a little over 100 miles from he re, and I just have to say that it is a mostly boring drive. Once you get past the Great Salt Lake, and a few salt processing plants, there's really not much to view, except for flat, open, salty country. It's easy to s ee why there's a lot o f car accidents out there. People just get mesmerized by the nothingness. Thank goodness for my handy dandy iPod with the accompanying wireless FM Transmitter , so that we could have some musical accompaniment for the journey, courtesy of Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. The trip ended up being fabulous. We stopped a couple

Two Weddings and Some Football

Yesterday was quite a big day. I was blessed to attend the weddings of two of my dear friends, Janelle and Charlee. There were plenty of happy tears shed, and it was great fun to see other friends that I hadn't seen for awhile. Janelle's wedding was at 9:00 in the morning, and it was my first opportunity to see the inside of the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple. It was beautiful. The sealing was performed by the temple president, and I have never seen a bride more excited to be getting married. She was surrounded by family, and friends from the Singles Ward, and I was so happy, I started crying the minute she and her intended walked into the room. Weddings seem to be even more thrilling when you know the effort it took for them to find each other. It was quite a moment when she let out with an exultant "Yes!" when making her vows. The ceremony was brief, and so I was able to spend a couple of hours visiting with Angel and Holley before heading to the reception.

Thank Heaven for Big Thighs!

Ok, moment of truth here. I have big thighs. In fact, I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not had big thighs. This has always been a cause of great concern to me (and any other girl who freaks out over her thighs). And don't even mention the embarrassment of wearing a particular kind of fabric so that people can hear you when you walk. I can't tell you how many leg lifts I have done over the years, trying to reduce my thighs. Well, now, apparently big thighs should give me reason to rejoice. According to Danish researchers, patients with the thinnest thighs are more likely to die early, than those with "thunder" thighs. Hallelujah! So here's to my thighs, my chub rub, my skirts that fit better around my waist, and my inability to keep my legs together when I sit. All I can say is God Bless Denmark!

Weekend Update

Had a good weekend to finish off the month of August. Friday night, went to Sarah's house for a potluck cookout. The food was good, and it was a pleasant evening in the back yard. Had a great group of friends there, plus my friend Jedd put on his bubble show for us, which was really cool. He's really good at it. It's amazing the tricks and things that can be done with bubbles. Turns out he puts on his show for kid birthday parties and such. I can definitely see there being a market for that. Saturday started off good with a round of golf. Rosann and Janeen and I went to Nibley Park Golf Course in Salt Lake. It's a nice and fairly easy 9 hole course. The weather was fairly perfect, and thanks to our golf lesson, we all are playing a bit better these days. Saturday evening I met up with Inge and Amy, and we went to dinner, then went to see "Julie and Julia" at The Gateway. The movie was fabulous, totally fun, and I really recommend it. It totally

Well, Duh!

This just in: "High-Fat Diet May Make You Stupid and Lazy". " A new study on rats finds that 10 days of eating a high-fat diet caused short-term memory loss and made exercise difficult. While the finding may not seem a big surprise, the researcher says it might suggest that high-fat diets make humans lazy and stupid." The article goes on to say that "After nine days on a high-fat diet, the rats took longer to complete a maze and made more mistakes in the process than their low-fat-diet counterparts." Seriously? Some moron gave money to this idiot to perform research that gave him an answer to something we've basically known all along? This should go down in the annals of ridiculous research. What a waste of research funds.

The Hills are Alive in Deer Valley

Last night my friend Angel and I went up to Park City for the Deer Valley Music Festival. Now, an outdoor concert in Deer Valley is always a fun time, but we were looking forward to it even more because it was the Utah Symphony and some stars from Broadway for a performance called "Bravo Broadway". The symphony does this a few times a year and it is always incredible. At Deer Valley you can take dinner in with you, so we stopped at Squatter's (along with half the audience) beforehand and picked up some take-out. It was pretty chilly yesterday - for some reason it was 20 degrees cooler than normal down here in the valley - so imagine the temperature outside in the mountains. Thankfully Angel had prepared thoroughly, and we had blankets and coats to wrap up in. The concert was fabulous! It was a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein (I just so happen to be a Rodgers and Hammerstein savant), and I had a terrific time belting out all the tunes. You'd think I was u

Ode to Sports Center

For most of my life I've been a bit of a news and current events junkie. I watched the morning news show, I watched the evening news, and I read the paper in-between. I've also been a bit of a freak for entertainment news. So in-between all of the hard news, I was watching Entertainment Tonight. But something happened to the news with the advent of the internet. It's like the hard news people and the entertainment news people sort of meshed, and they created a show that became nothing but gossip or just plain depressing. I mean, there's Matt Lauer every morning talking to the latest celebrity politico's mistress. Really - what's newsworthy about that? And then there's Nancy Grace every night doing the same thing. And meanwhile, the hard news organizations are getting scooped by TMZ. Since when do TMZ and NBC (or CNN or any of them) go after the same story, let alone the same demographic? My solution to all this? Forget the Today Show, it's

Wildflower Festival

Yesterday was the Wildflower Festival in the Albion Basin up Little Cottonwood Canyon. The ward went for a hiking activity. Other than it being incredibly hot yesterday (even in the mountains), it was a gorgeous, sunny day. And the sky was as blue as you would ever see. We hiked the Cecret (pronounced Secret) Lake trail. It's a fairly steep trail, but the wildflowers were fantastic. Colorful and really on display in all their glory for the occasion. The trail takes you to a small lake, in a bowl area right on top of the mountain. Being as it was the festival weekend, the trail and the lake were plenty crowded, but it was really cool that so many people were there enjoying the beauties that Utah offers.

Golf

In the last few years, I have taken up golf. I have my own clubs, and have begun getting all the accompanying accessories that go with the sport. I even took some lessons through Community Education. In the summer, I try to play a couple of times a month. Mind you, I'm by no means good at golf. I'm probably somewhere in-between Bill Murray and Charles Barkley. The minute I think I should be able to make a particular shot, it takes me three shots instead. There is no more frustrating, contradictory, stress-inducing and aggravating game than golf. But there are few sports as fun, exhilarating, challenging and fulfilling as golf, either. It fools you by making you think it should be easy. But actually it requires a tremendous amount of skill, technique and coordination. So today I went golfing with a couple of my golfing buddies, Debbie and Janeen. Other than being a little too humid for us Utahans, it was a great morning. By the time I walked 9 holes and pulled a car

The "Real" Story

I have to admit - one of my guilty pleasures is People magazine. I buy one a few times a year, mostly if I'm in an airport somewhere. Or if it's the Sexiest Man Alive issue (hello, that's a no-brainer). If I happen to be on my way home to see the family, I'll take one to read on the flight and then pass it on to my sisters after I get there. We all love it. So I picked one up today that happened to have been put out for recycling at work. I just couldn't help myself. There on the front page was a huge headline THE REAL STORY. Something about Brangelina. Followed by a photo of Jon and Kate. Followed by a photo of David Carradine. Well, ok, moment of truth here, but let's not kid ourselves. There's no REAL STORY in People magazine. If it were real, it wouldn't be a guilty pleasure now, would it? The point is to enjoy the photos of celebrities who are too stupid to go out without make-up, and to revel in the gossip. And of course, it's

He's Ba-a-a-ck!

Good news (hopefully) for Dodger fans. Manny Ramirez finished serving his 50 game suspension, and rejoined the team last Friday. No hits in his first game back, but he did have a solo home run in Saturday's game. He only played through the 5th inning, then was pulled and replaced by Juan Pierre, who has been filling in for him (and doing a mighty fine job of it). Yesterday the big guy didn't play at all. Something about his legs being sore. But I'm wondering how, if you haven't played for 50 games or so, your legs can be sore? The only thing I can think of is that maybe all the estrogen he was taking is causing him to retain water or something. Just to caution any other guys out there who think a female fertility drug is the answer, you might want to think twice about that. As women, we're more used to it - the mood swings, the cramps, the bloating, the emotional meltdowns. I'm just not sure the male legs or psyche are up to the challenge.

Fabulous Fourth!

Yesterday was the 4th of July, otherwise known as Independence Day. It's one of my favorite days of the year, and for me, almost as sacred as Easter and Christmas. I believe that America is a blessed place. I love hearing stories of the American Revolution, and George Washington and John and Abigail Adams are definitely heros of mine. I usually spend at least part of the day watching something patriotic, ranging from PBS and History Channel documentaries to the "John Adams" mini-series, to the musical "1776". So yesterday was a good day for me. I didn't do a whole lot - a bit of shopping at REI (a fave store), watching the Dodgers play the Padres (and getting grouchy when they lost), and watching several hours worth of "The Revolution" on the History Channel. Later in the day, I went down to Draper and spent some time with my brother's family. I watched the kids do fireworks and sparklers, then after they went to bed, sat out on the

Independence Day Eve

After arriving home from our excursion yesterday, I had a couple of hours before leaving again. My friend Jenny was housesitting for her brother, and had invited several of us for a barbecue and to watch the North Salt Lake fireworks show. I ran a couple of errands, then Angie and Angel rode with me to North Salt Lake. Not having been there before, and knowing that the area up there can be a little confusing, I used the trusty Tom-Tom GPS that I received for my birthday. It totally worked great. It was a terrific evening. Good food, great conversation, fabulous friends. Around 10 PM, we went out in front of the house to watch the fireworks show. Before the fireworks started, we saw an amazing display of thunder and lightning out over the Oquirrh Mountains. I must say, after all the rain and thunderstorms lately, that made me a bit nervous. But then the show began, and it was fantastic. It went for probably 30 minutes, and we were in a great spot above the golf course where

Saints and Sinners Tour - Huntsville 2009

Yesterday was a great day. I met up with my friends Inge, Angel, and Max, and we took a drive up Ogden Canyon to the little town of Huntsville. Huntsville is known for a few different things. First, for Mormons, it's the birthplace of one of the Presidents of the Church, David O. McKay. Second, there is a bar there that has been in existence since the 1860's-70's, and they serve a well-known burger. And third, it is home to a Trappist Monastery. Thus, this little excursion came to be known as our Saints and Sinners tour. The real object of the trip for me was to get up into the mountains, and of course to try the burger at the bar. This may be an appropriate place for me to interject that one thing we all enjoy doing together is looking for little dive-y and out of the way places to eat. We arrived in Huntsville right at noon, and started of with the Sinners, by stopping at the Shooting Star Saloon for lunch. They are known for their Shooting Star burger - 2 all-

Bees and More Bees

Last week, our VP posted a note on his Facebook page about how a bee made him scream like a little girl. I ended up on a conference call with him the next day, and thought I would tease him a little. I mean, one little bee doing that to a grown man? Turns out, it was thousands of bees congregating under the eave of his house. All I could say was "Ewww", and I never hope to have to deal with that many bees. Segue to last weekend when I was home in Oregon for a visit. While I was at lunch with my Mom, my Grandma, and my sister, we got a call from Dad, saying that there was a swarm of bees in the garden, surrounding one of the fruit trees. I wasn't too concerned at that point. At least, not until we got home, to find out what a "swarm" meant. There, in the garden, surrounding the apricot tree, was a round cluster of THOUSANDS OF BEES! It was as BIG AS A BASKETBALL! Needless to say, Aunt Tracie was completely creeped out, and ran into the house, and she

Dodgers Surprise Party

I spent the weekend in Oregon visiting my family. They had wanted me to come home several weeks ago to celebrate my birthday, but work interfered. So I decided to make a visit at the next available time, which was the Father's Day weekend. Unbeknownst to me, the family decided to still schedule a celebration. I arrived Friday, and after a few hours of visiting, was told I was going out to eat with my parents and my Grandmother. But we needed to make a quick stop at the church first. What I didn't know was that the entire family was there waiting to surprise me. And did they ever. My never-ending devotion to the Dodgers was rewarded with a Dodger's baseball surprise party. It was most fun. They served ballpark food - nachos, chili dogs, bags of peanuts and shave ice - and I was presented with gifts of a Dodgers banner and a birthday card from Manny Ramirez (yes - I know it's not really from Manny, but a girl can always dream). They also all w