Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More like hurry up and HURRY UP!

I receive my mission call 9 DAYS after my papers were turned in!! I was prepared to wait the average 3 or more weeks it ususally takes to receive a mission call and so I went on a camping trip with some friends. No cell phone reception. My Janni best friend was the first to receive the frantic message from my mother about a mysteriously large letter that had arrived for me (she being the only one with roaming, and could therefore check her voicemail in the canyon on our way down to town). There was much in the way of suprise and excitement the car ride home (and about 500 more frantic voicemail messages on just about everyone's phone when we found cell phone reception).

I opened my letter when we got to my house (still with a fine misting of red Moab dirt and Eau du Campfire) (don't worry, I waited for my mother to get home too)...

"You have been hearby called to serve... in the Florida Jacksonville Mission!"

WOW!!! I am so excited! I know that this is where the Lord wants me to be and that this is what I am supposed to be doing at this time in my life. I leave for the Provo MTC December 16th--so fast!! There is much to do and I am so excited! I am so blessed and so grateful for all of the help that I have been receiving. I am comforted and buoyed up more and more everyday and my excitement and testimony grows stronger as I strive to prepare to lose myself completely in serving my brothers and sisters wherever I am and being a tool in the hands of the Lord.

I love this Gospel! I love the hope and joy I have from my knowledge of Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness for ALL of His children. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am forever grateful for His Atonement that makes it possible for me to repent of all sin and progress. I love my family! I love my friends! Thank you so much for you love and friendship! I love you all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hurry up and wait...

I have been planning on serving an LDS mission for so long that I can't remember when I made the decision to go. I have finally gotten all my mission papers turned in as of 2 days ago!!! I can't believe it and think it is about time all at once. I have had a few people submit their guesses as to where I may go (among them Finland, France, Idaho, East Coast, Chile, West Coast, New Zealand, German-speaking,...), but as for me I am happy with wherever the Lord sees fit to send me--I know that it will be where I am supposed to be. I love the Lord, I love the Gospel, I love my spirit brothers and sisters and hope to try my best to serve them and help all those around me to feel of the joys that I know are meant for all children of God. Heavenly Father loves all of His children unconditionally! I am excited to begin a year and a half of hardships, exhaustion, learning, teaching, serving, loving, rejoicing, and all of the other joys that come with teaching of and helping others come closer to Christ and growing closer to him personally.

Monday, October 5, 2009

"Yes, I do randomly burst into song..."

Ever since I was crib-bound I would make up and sing songs about the world around me. My dreams even come with their own unique soundtracks; sometimes I compose expressive symphonic concertos within that subconscious wonderland. Unfortunately, by the time I return to reality I rarely have more than the left over adrenaline and floating joy from the music drifting away, locking itself in a faraway cabinet of my mind. I do not yet have the musical knowledge or understanding to let my music free, perhaps someday I will. Perhaps in that day I will find that only simple, abstract melodies leak from my pen and not the soul-moving subtleties and bombastic fanfares that occasion my imagination.

Until then I have my goofy songs. Here is a short one from a couple days ago, getting my laundry:

Laundry Basket,
One of the wonders of the world!
Carries my clothes up,
And drops not a sock-let on the floor!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scary Noises in the Dark

There was one night a few years ago when my Mother heard a sound from the gully out behind our house. She couldn't figure out what it was. It wasn't a pleasant sound. It wasn't quite a human sound. It was a frightened or pained animal sound. In my mother's concern (it was very very late in the night) she called the police and described the frightful sound the best she could: "A crow the size of a bear!" The police said something like "Ahhh...Yeah, yes of course Ma'am. We will get right on that." Of course by the time an officer went to investigate the mutated crow was nowhere to be heard, but returned not long after the officers left. A friend of my mother's, a hunter, had her call so he could listen to the bizarre noises of the night. She called, the mutated crow cawed, he listened, he laughed hysterically. His experienced ears picked out the sound right away and put it with its originator--a fox.

I still hear my foxes sometimes. (I call them my foxes only because I feel a one-sided friendship with them, I have watched the little ones play in the riverbed, glared at the dogs who chased down their scent during their morning walks, listened to their calls at night) Although the sound makes me gather my kitties inside so they don't get eaten, I feel for the cute little fox family too.

On the same note, I think there might have been bats flying around outside my house this evening. I only guess because I could hear bird-like screech/squeaking. Ah, perhaps it was only a few birds, but bats are so much more mysterious and interesting to be flying around outside one's window. Perhaps it was a newly evolved species of flying rat. Probably was carrying rabies AND the avian flu. I am sure it can also throw lightning bolts from its whiskers when it sneezes.

Or...maybe I happened to eat a little more than half a pizza and the excesses of yummy goodness are adversely affecting my reasoning capabilities. But at least my toes are green and the front lawn is happily mowed! The backyard is being saved for wonderful, sunny tomorrow! Ummm...and a happy Klezmer to you!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

VERY rough draft

When life give you storm clouds

When life gives you rain

When life gives you puddles

Sing, dance, splash, and play!

When wind steals your umbrella

When the thorns tear your sleeve

When dark clouds surround you

Above the storm the sun shines still!

When all friends desert you

When strangers laugh and scorn

When loved ones deceive you

Serve, heal another's heart torn!

When wayward, lost, or fallen

When tears have hope o'ershadowed

When darkness swallows direction

Reach for the scarred Hands once torn and bruised.

When all sun is shining

When storm clouds have passed

When all souls befriend you

Remember the Feet which stood beside you!

When life gives you puddles

When life gives you thorns

When life throws you banana peels

Lift your head and dance with the Sun!

Car, car, SUV, motorcycle, airplane, truck, motorcycle, car...

This morning when I was driving to school I saw an airplane wing driving the other way. Yes. Airplane wing. Quite an oversized load! It looked like the semi was only going about 20mph with its extra long trailer that still made the wing look like it was wearing flip-flops 2 sizes too small. Toes and heels hanging over the edges. Alas, I didn't have my trusty little camera ready or I would have a lovely picture to post here for you all to enjoy.

That is all :)

Oh. I have made a couple discoveries. All growing up I quite disliked some foods. Pickles, tuna fish, rice pudding, mustard, water chestnuts, oreos and probably a few others. I was however quite fond of other stange things, among them was V8 tomato juice, catfood, and olives (straight from the can) (No, not together! Gross.). I find it incredibly interesting how tastes change over the years. I think that now my tastes have reversed, except in the case of pickles...still not very fond of most pickles. I discovered the other day that I now think rice pudding is delicious, and mustard really does make sandwiches better.

I found myself eating a pre-made deli sandwich and found the taste needing something. A kick, or at least a gentle push. Pepper? no, I didn't feel like I wanted the cough from inhaling pepper flakes that afternoon. Mayo? No, no. Wrong flavor. What do you put on sandwiches.....hmmm. ketchup? uh, no. Not with my turkey, thanks. Mustard? Why not? I got out the costco sized mustard and thankfully remembered to shake it up before I squeezed a little onto my bread...well, "a little" after the initial explosion and rather large glob squirted onto my poor sandwich. I worried that I had ruined it. I spread it around. Tasted it. Hey! Not bad! Hahaha! I thought I never would like mustard, it was disgusting after all.

Okay, that is all now :)

It is a gloriously beautiful day and I am going to go do some weeding while the sun is out (I am deficient in Vitamin D). I will soon write about New York adventures, an excellent Italian restaurant, and some other unbearably exciting things!

Smile and be happy! There is no better way to spend life's rainy days than by singing, dancing, and splashing through the puddles!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

(an unfinished post outline)

-last institute classes for the semester this week--what wonderful classes and teachers!! taught with hope, so grateful for them

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Broken Record

Alright, so it is Monday! Monday night = Family Home Evening Night! So I am headed to my church to join in happy social activities (I think that night was a movie night). All's well, it is dark (yes it gets dark by like 6pm in the winter times-crazy I know) and I am driving along the highway blasting whatever classical tunes happened to be on the radio. I hum along absent-mindedly as my brain goes on auto-pilot--I have driven this route a few hundred times over the past couple years.

Hum, hummmm, humming....blin-ker, blin-ker, blin-ker (to the beat), humm, glance at the pretty horses, humm-new song, watch the cars go by, see sneaky police car catching speeders in the usual spot-smile-check spedometer even though I wasn't speeding in the first place, hummmm, notice roadkill got picked up, humhum ...blueredblueredblue... hmmuuh?

I snap out of my auto-pilot zone, something is different. Blueredblue...oh. I blink in suprise then I pull over, turn off my car and wait. A nice officer walks cautiously up to my car (I guess I shouldn't have left my window all the way down?) and politely informs me that I had a headlight out. I did? I knew it was on its deathbed but I didn't know the grave was so close. I apologized and thanked the officer for letting me know, my words sort of stammering around...I felt a little like a goldfish just opening and closing its mouth with a deer-in-the-headlights look. The officer was very kind and didn't give me a ticket, just let me on my way. I was very grateful.

On my way back home from the church it was quite a bit darker, and I was quite a bit more paranoid of getting pulled over again because of my now known headlight violation. I stucked in my courage and headed back the way I came. I got closer to my halfway-home point (where I got pulled over) being even more cautious of speed limits than normal. I passed the place where I was stopped a few hours earlier. Maybe a quarter mile later I saw another hidden police car veer out into traffic a few cars behind me. It didn't have its lights flashing-yet-but I had a feeling it was coming for me. I slowed down to let him catch up as he tried to manuver around the stubborn cars between us. I sighed as he got closer and blueredblueredbluered flashed in my mirrors, pulled over and waited as before. The officer got out of his car and got about halfway to my window, paused, then, "I'm really not stalking you...it's just a slow night." I laughed as he explained that he had just been sitting and pulling over burnt out headlights and we exchanged farewell's of "have a good night" and "drive safe"'s and went out ways again. I needed a smile that night and that is what I got. Needless to say I was less paranoid of getting pulled over the rest of the way home.

I had never been pulled over before, then I got pulled over twice in the space of a few hours! There goes my life goal of being able to go into a criminal background check with a clean slate. At least now I can say that my slate has character now. It is a happy character at that. How many people can say that being pulled over brightened their day?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oh Snap!

Today was just one of those days. You know. When you've been under a little bit of stress for a while and haven't done much other than homework and attending classes. I think a person's psyche can only handle so much of that, snapping is inevitable. I snapped today in band. Someone did something goofy that only warranted a chuckle at most. My psyche snapped. I couldn't stop laughing no matter how I tried (when I would stop for a second, my awesome bass clarinet friend would still be laughing and get me laughing again, then I would get her laughing again...what a vicious cycle.). I must have been on the verge of turning purple for trying to keep my incessant giggling silent I think it must be yet another sign of my need for a padded room.

I remember another inconvenient time that I snapped. I was in a spiritual Sunday School-Relief Society lesson not terribly long after a slue of AP tests and school finals and a sweet sweet lady's tummy rumbled and my tummy squealed in answer, and my mother's and a couple other lady's tummies grumbled and squeaked in reply. It was like a gastrointestinal choir. Something inside my mind snapped, I tried my hardest to stop laughing, but I ended up having to get up and leave the room. I was sitting on the first or second row.

I am glad that Bass Clarinet parts tend to have more rests because it took me a while, all of my focusing abilities, and lots of tongue biting to regain any semblance of composure.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Someone's Grandpa

So, I have finished up my second week of school. Huzzah! I am so grateful for all of the incredible opportunities that come my way. I have a pretty homework heavy set of credit hours this semester and it has kept me pretty busy from writing papers, revising papers, memorizing music, playing music, learning new instruments (especially when I get a ligature...), chemistry labs (two already!), lab reports, reading Thoreau in mad frenzies, extra anatomy SI sessions, a marching band...er football game already, uniform committee organization/help, lots of fun and exciting things...

Speaking of exciting things, my radiator in my car even decided to asplode one morning while I drove in circles parking-spot hunting; for which I am grateful because it helped me re-realize how many extremely kind, considerate, and unselfish people there are all around me. The story is off topic but I wish to share anyway because it is happy and makes me feel happy and loved.

As afore-stated I was driving around a couple of parking lots last Wednesday morning (last week, not two days ago Wednesday), which is pretty much futile due to the fact that no one can ever find any parking after say 8:30am on Wednesday mornings anywhere where you need them to be, and was driving my circles over and over through "my" lots waiting patiently for an opening somewhere. I had my windows down (my car's AC) and thought I could smell something strange but couldn't put my finger on it so it slipped my mind, or just waited in a secluded back corner of my mind for its number to be called again.

At one point I glanced down at my gauges/various -ometers and saw that my engine temperature was just starting to get above normal. Nothing to be alarmed about yet, but I decided to exit the packed parking lot I was about halfway through at the time and make my way a few blocks to the Dee Events Center (which has a huge parking lot) and park my car to let it cool down a while. Not two seconds had passed after I had completed my thought when white billowy clouds of steam started streaming, then gushing from under my hood. I blinked, my mind said "Oh my...," and I stopped and turned off the car. In the middle of the driving lane of the lot. I popped my hood and got out to survey my poor car and found that there was too much hot HOT steam to try opening my hood and that there was lovely fluid creating a pond-lake under my car and running down the parking lot. I blinked again with my hands on my hips and my mind said, "Oooooh my. Definitely not a good sign."

I must have had quite the bewildered/lost/utterly flabbergasted look on my face (and I know that I was being watched over carefully and lovingly) because not 45 seconds had passed and one kind lady came to my aid, calling and asking advice of her husband (while I stood by (my hands still on my hips just watching the pond under my car grow...sort of speechless like) like I had just been hit heartily in the head with a frozen trout....as dazed as I would have been concussed). Then another person, a man who worked at a nearby building came by to help, and a couple whose car was parked just next to mine who left and they all helped me push my car back and into their spot so it wasn't in the driving lane. I was so very grateful to all of them and was overwhelmed with the knowledge that I could not deny that I was loved and known and being cared about and watched over.

The man who worked at a nearby building ended up helping me fill up my radiator with water (mainly from the pile of water bottles that gathered in my car), followed me to the car shop and drove me back to campus (I made it to my next class on time even!). What a sweet sweet person! I thanked him a hundred times. He even offered a ride back to the car shop if I needed it, but I told him I would be in class until that evening and thanked him again.

I did have to get a new radiator and belt but I am so grateful for the experience as a bit of awakening to me on how much my Heavenly Father does know me and love me personally. I was completely at a loss on what to do and He sent some of the kindest people my way. It filled me with gratitude and I hope that I can be a helping tool for my Heavenly Father and gain more of that kind of charity and find places to serve.

Back to topic. Wait, I haven't really introduced my topic as of yet. Hmmm. Onto the next topic then! The topic I meant to write about! Yay! Okay, getting on with it.

I have been thinking of doing a Pre-Pharmacy major (though I would very much love to do music as well) and have been taking those related courses. I am taking Human Anatomy as one of such courses this semester and with that class comes a lab. I took a medical terminology class and absolutely loved it and found it to be quite a neat class. Anatomy and Physiology (possibly a little more on the latter) seem to just be fascinating and I am excited for them. I am excited and grateful for our extraordinary labs as well, just trying to get over the initial shock factor of the nature of it.

We are very lucky to be able to have the use of human cadavers to learn from. My professor told of how he went to very large universities and they only had rubber models in their labs to learn from. We are indeed very blessed to have such an honor and opportunity. I had to keep telling myself that until I finally believed it after we went over the safety precautions about the fumes and having the utmost respect for the cadavers. For a long while (even a little now still) I just didn't know what to think about it; right, wrong, fear, apprehension, dread, curiosity, guilt, discomfort, overwhelming, ignorance, questioning, excitement, awkwardness, interest, disgust, respect, gratitude, stress. So many differing and conflicting feelings, but I have come out so far with an overriding knowledge that this is indeed an incredible blessing and learning experience.

My first lab class was this morning and mostly all we did was go over the terms from the manual and "meet" our cadaver. I love our instructors for their upbeat attitudes and calming, happy countenances. As much as you can try to prepare yourself for such an experience, the initial shock of actually being there and experiencing things will always remain. As our lab instructor got ready to introduce us to our cadaver she reminded us about keeping the utmost respect and that our cadaver was someone's grandpa.

I am sure it will take sometime for me to get over the emotional and psychological shocks of this lab work, but I must learn to separate that part of me and allow myself to use this incredible opportunity to learn all that I can and be grateful for someone's grandpa and his family who allowed me to learn so much from his gift.

(p.s. I have 7 back-post drafts that I am still working on... they will be coming soon!)