Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Get Down Halloween

Don't let the smiles fool you-- jack-o-lantern carving is extremely labor intensive and emotionally draining. That thing on my pumpkin was supposed to look like a gargoyle, but after nearly cutting off his silly tail, I lost the will to try. Roo made a Storm Trooper (it's not the scariest creature from Star Wars, just the easiest to carve...Hey-you try carving a wampa in a pumpkin!) I've never seen anyone so deep in concentration as he was while carving it.  My surgeon doesn't even concentrate that hard! (just kidding, I don't have a surgeon.) Now I am rambling. In conclusion, I think Roo's skill is so amazing it is scary!
This is my panhandling gargoyle. (He looks like he's begging for money. And now that I think about it, homelessness and poverty are really scary things, so this jack-o-lantern is not only festive, it is also pricking our consciences with a very poignant social statement. And that's what Halloween is all about...)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I got tagged - or at least I think I did. If there were a category of worst fears on this list, one of mine would be that the person who tagged me actually had a different friend named Annie whose business she wanted to know. I guess I'll tell you anyway...and to heck with other Annie!

Ten years ago I:

  • Was listening to Oasis on my discman and doing jigsaw puzzles like they were going out of style...oh wait, they were never in style.

  • Never imagined I'd be married in six years.

  • made a collage on my closet door of all the places I wanted to visit

  • read my favorite book, David Copperfield, for the first time.

  • was ready for it to be ten years later.

Five things on today's to-do list:

  • Endure until 5 pm.

  • Attempt to make vegetable soup

  • watch Schindler's List. I've been putting it off far too long.

  • vacuum up all the dog hair.

  • Read scriptures without losing concentration or consciousness.

Five snacks I enjoy:

  • Big Hunk
  • Chow Mein Noodles
  • Granny Wright's homemade French Bread
  • Fortune Cookies - they are yummy and informative.
  • Filet Mignon - They should sell it in vending machines for easier snacking.

Five places I have lived:

  • Pleasant Grove

  • Provo

  • Ridgecrest, CA (i.e. just west of Hell)

  • Pleasant Grove again

  • Taylorsville, UT

Five jobs I have had:

  • Pleasant Grove Library - I shelved the books.

  • The BYU Creamery...don't remind me.

  • Harold B. Lee Library (BYU) - I shelved the books. again.

  • Saturn of Orem Service Cashier

  • Administrative Assistant for a backpack company

Five pet peeves:

  • Phoniness and insincerity in myself and others
  • cruelty to animals in any form
  • Politicians (see: Phoniness and insincerity)

  • ethnic slurs and dirty jokes

  • Not knowing the whole story

Five things that bring me joy:

  • Going somewhere I've never been before

  • quoting movies with the family and laughing really hard

  • really good stories and nicely arranged words.

  • trees - I just think they are beautiful.

  • Believing in God.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Autumn in New York

We spent last week with Roo's brother and family in New York. It was probably one of the best trips we have ever been on!

Spencer & Kristin's House - Fairport NY. Roo and Knox with his wooden dagger.

The Peter Whitmer Farm - Fayette, NY.

A pretty graveyard overlooking Lake Seneca.

Watkins Glen - J.R.R Tolkien, eat your heart out!

We drove 4 hours to Kirtland. I love walking through graveyards, so we found ourselves in yet another here in Kirtland.
The Whitney store where Joseph Smith lived and worked. And where the senior couple missionaries treated us like their own children.

Corbett Glen - a lovely little walk we went on with Knox, Kristin, and Mary after going to the farmer's market.

The Sacred Grove.
Joseph Smith's cabin.

The Palmyra Temple.
The exact spot where we ran into Elder Bednar. He was very nice.

The Grandin Press in downtown Palmyra.

Me on top of a bench on top of the Hill Cumorah.

On the Maid of the Mist - the boat ride below Niagara Falls.

Feeling the love above Niagara Falls.

There was never a more picturesque Autumn! We ate homemade donuts and cider, went to the pumpkin patch, drove on beautiful country roads, and played never-ending rounds of Phase 10. Thanks Spencer & Kristin!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Phillips' School of Sophistication

Lesson 2: Celebrating Your Heritage

There is really no more effective way of celebrating our western American heritage than by wearing period clothing and selling homemade handicrafts over the weekend. Knowing this, Roo planned a fun and educational weekend outing for us. (He agreed to tell me what it was only on the condition that once I found out, I absolutely had to go.) Who could say no to the Mountain Man Rendezvous and Black Powder Fun Shoot?!

Obviously, the ideal place for a Mountain Man Rendezvous and Black Powder Fun Shoot is Tooele, Utah--there's not much else going on to distract the masses. We know this for a fact because we drove through most of the town trying to find the dang rendezvous. Thankfully, we followed the example of our mountain men ancestors and we did not give up and go home. We followed the pick-up trucks and soon Tee-pees appeared on the horizon.

It is clear that those enjoying themselves the most are the people who came prepared--they are wearing holsters, feathers, and dead animals over their jeans and Lake Powell T-shirts. These are usually the folks selling their wares in the tents set up throughout the park. Unfortunately, Roo left his chaps in the car, and my pantaloons were at the dry cleaners.

It's best to keep your animals away from the Mountain Man Rendezvous. We brought Lando, but he was scared the whole time. He cowered in the corner and panted really hard. Then I figured out why--apparently, real mountain men kill Corgis and turn them into leather man-purses to store their chewing tobacco and buffalo chips. This man is wearing the last Corgi to come to the rendezvous. Poor Lando.

I bought this necklace from a squaw. She told me it was real glass from the 1920's. I suspect she stole it off a dead pioneer and would have offered the scalp at a bargain if I bought one more necklace.

(Okay, the squaw was acutally a 13 year old white girl dressed like an indian. Still, the magic is in the pretense...I'm sure this guy would agree. I had to be careful taking his picture. Rendezvous folk are might wary of modern apparatuses like cameras...and Nikes.

We had a good time at the rendezvous. I'd recommend it to the adventurous. It will leave you with a lifetime's worth of memories...or at least a couple of huge glass bottles of homemade root beer.