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Showing posts from November, 2014

Share The Gift

I received my December issue of the Ensign Magazine the other day, and in it, Elders Nelson and Bednar, members of the LDS Church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, reminded us that this Season is about the gift of God's son. They also encouraged us to share that message with others online, using the hashtag #ShareTheGift. In light of that reminder, I'd like to share the following photo I took several years ago at the San Diego Temple. "God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son." (from The Living Christ). #ShareTheGift

Decking the Holladay Inn

Spent some time this weekend decking the halls of Tracie's Holladay Inn. Since decking the halls is quite a process (it usually involves moving furniture around, and hauling tubs out from the cupboard under the stairs), it always seems to take more energy than I usually have. So this year, I did a little bit at a time. I started on Friday, doing all of the aforementioned, and put away the Thanksgiving decorations, then got out the Christmas ones, all while watching "Miracle on 34th Street" (only the original one with Maureen O'Hara will do). Then yesterday morning, I got up early to put up and decorate the tree. My living room is pretty small, and unless I want to get rid of a sofa, I don't have room for a full-size tree. But a few years ago I found a little 4 foot tree at Michael's, and it's been just perfect for me. So there I was yesterday morning, putting my little tree together, and hanging ornaments, all while listening to the Comcast Holiday Music

Thanksgiving 2014

Lots to be grateful for in the year 2014, but what with finances being the way they are, I decided not to travel anywhere for Thanksgiving. I stayed home and kept to my usual traditions - I watched the Macy's parade, made a bad-for-me breakfast, and visited on the phone with my family. But instead of a homemade meal, I got together with my girls Inge and Julie, and Julie's Mom, and went out to dinner. We had a lovely meal at a restaurant called Buca di Beppo. Although it's an Italian chain, they served a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, with all the trimmings. This is the second year in a row I've Thanksgivinged at Buca. I guess it's the beginning of a tradition.  After dinner, Inge and I drove over to The Gateway, which isn't near as busy as it used to be since City Creek Mall opened a few blocks further into downtown. We enjoyed a lovely stroll to work off our delightful meal, and then saw the movie "Interstellar", which I highly recommend.

How We Got to Now

Years ago, I had an acquaintance tell me that of the people she thought of, I was the one most likely to have been a pioneer. This is probably due to my penchant for planning and preparedness and for having lots of gear. But little did she know. Because if you know me well at all, you know I'm all about the comforts of 20th and 21st century life. I've said many times that if there were one person or group of people I could meet when I get to heaven, it would be whoever invented central heat, central air, and indoor plumbing. Which leads me to my new TV obsession, a PBS series called "How We Got to Now". If you haven't been watching it, you are seriously missing out, because it is the definition of "must-see TV". It's hosted by a guy who writes about ideas and innovation, and takes the viewer through some of the great innovations that changed human life and history. Things like how we got to central heat, central air, and indoor plumbing, and wha


I got up early yesterday morning thinking of all the things that needed doing yesterday. With the time change happening last week, I'd been trying to get home before dark, so I hadn't run some of the errands I normally would. Anyhoo - I woke up early, had my devotional time, worked out, made breakfast, and then sat down to watch this week's episode of "Finding Your Roots" while I ate. That kind of got me thinking on one of my great-great grandmothers, so I thought I'd jump on the Ancestry app real quick. I use the term real-quick real loosely. Because two hours later, I had added a bunch to my family tree in Ancestry, and learned quite a bit about her and her husband's ancestors. My great-great grandmother was named Rose Strein. She was the only child of Augustus C. Strein, who was from Hesse, Germany, and Kate (or Christena) Ellenberger, whose parents were also from Germany. According to the 1870 census, old Augustus was a Saloon Proprietor in Kansas Ci

The Monty is Back!

After 3 weeks, two auto shops, roughly $1,500, and lots of prayers from family and friends, I'm happy to report that the Monty is finally recovered and back to it's normal aging self. Hallelujah! I took it in to Les Schwab one last time on Monday to see if replacing the fuses would help. Alas, they didn't. The cabin lights were now working, which was a definite plus, but the Technicians were still completely flummoxed by the Anti-Lock Brake light. After talking it over with the lead guy, I happened to mention in passing that I'd had it come on before when in 4-wheel drive, and the front brakes were bad. Funny I should mention that he said, as they were getting a code on the 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive switch. He went back to out to the shop, drove it around the lot, switched into 4-wheel and back again, and voila! The light went off. WooHoo! Of course, when the ABS light went off, the check engine light came on. But a quick reset of the computer showed there was

Tracie Meets Mike Holmes

I'm sure you're all aware of my love for a certain Canadian HGTV Host named Mike Holmes. I love his shows, I follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and I've even been known to dream about him coming to my house to "Make it Right". I'm just perhaps a wee bit obsessed. So imagine my delight when I saw his tweet early Friday morning that he would be at a free event in Salt Lake on Saturday. Of course I signed up right then and there. Monty or no, I was going to get a chance to meet and get a photo with Mike Holmes. After all my discouragement of the previous few weeks, this was another boost to my low spirits. My friend Heather is also a huge fan of his, and she met me early yesterday morning at the Sheraton Downtown for the big event. And Mike did not disappoint. He took a photo with everyone, said hi, asked our names, and was just as friendly as can be. He also spoke about "Making it Right". Of course, there's always a catch when you get

Halloween 2014

You all know what a huge fan I am of Halloween, but with the all the drama going on with the Monty, I didn't focus much on Halloween this year. I just didn't have the desire or the creativity. I took the day off to try one more time with the car, but since that didn't pan out, I ran a few errands, and then spent the rest of the afternoon watching a funny movie.  But that night I headed over to the Brother's house to spend the evening with the family, and it was a huge boost to my spirits. Awesome Sister-in-law #1 made homemade pizza, the kids got all dressed up (the niece was Merida from "Brave", and the nephew was Darth Vader), and she and I took them trick-or-treating while the Brother stayed home to hand out the goodies. The weather was glorious, and we had a great time. I'm so grateful to have them here!

Car Drama

And - we're back. So I've been gone a few weeks, traveling some, trying to keep up with work, and dealing with car drama. The day before I left for a trip to Atlanta, I got a be in my bonnet to go get the Monty's oil changed. It had been maybe six months, and it was time. I took it down to the local Burt Brothers that I've been going to for several years, walked in and requested said oil change. To which the friendly staffer asked if I wanted them to rotate the tires while they were at it. It would all only take an hour and the tire rotation would be free. So of course I said sure. And in the words of Julia Roberts, let's just that it  was a "...big mistake. Huge!" Because right after that, it all went to H-E-double in the proverbial handbasket. After an hour, one of the guys comes back to me and says that in trying to take the wheels off, some of the studs broke off on two of the wheels. This was going to cost me $75 per wheel for the labor, which th