Friday, August 29, 2008

delightful lunch

I just had the most delightful--and delicious--lunch, that I'd like to share it with you:

tuna salad (tuna fish, celery, mayo, mustard, grapes, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, toasted almonds)
whole wheat saltine crackers
fresh peach
glass of water

To top it all off, I'm going to indulge myself with a Ginger-O (cream between gingersnaps).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I wish I could show you how the finally-blooming, velvety purple verbenas look absolutely luscious against the ripening red tomatoes. Or how lovely those plush purple verbenas look against the smooth orange gazanias.

But our camera is missing in action. It is broken and (hopefully) being fixed.

Until then, try to imagine how gorgeous these colors go together:

Thursday, August 21, 2008


It occurred to me the other day that a fundamental practice I have employed for almost 20 years was first introduced to me by someone whose face I can't remember and whose name I never knew. When I was about 10 (and had recently taken an interest in making my teeth feel smooth), a dental hygienist suggested a practice for thorough teeth-cleaning: count to four for each area you're brushing.

Since that day I have mentally divided the teeth portion of my mouth into 18 sections that each get four seconds of teeth-brushing attention at least twice a day. Since that day I have also added a soft-bristled toothbrush, a circular brushing technique with the bristles pointed toward the gums, and the "extend-your-life-by-a-few-years-and-don't-die-of-heart-disease" practice of daily flossing.

The influence of this lady who I don't know and can't remember has been quite impactful. It has made me wonder about other people whose influence is ingrained in my daily routine--but whose face and name I don't know or remember. Can you think of an example in your own life?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

one-and-a-half weeks

I drove into the driveway this morning after being away from home for 1.5 weeks. That really isn't a long time, so I didn't have too many expectations for what I would find--especially since we had arranged for a very helpful helper to water our garden and check our mail.

However, I was a bit surprised to find myself confronting so much "change" in so little time. Here is what I found:
  • Growing plants! Our tomatoes are almost ready to be picked, the zucchini plant doubled in size, and the roses bloomed. Wow. Our helpful helper weeded; otherwise, I'd be digging out a little jungle.
  • Decaying food. I cleaned the fridge of the following spoiled items: milk (past due last week), plain yogurt (so much for chicken tikki masala), tomatoe paste, and a few bites of melon. Amazingly, the artichoke hearts swimming in a brine of vinegar and oil have survived the last 7 months.
  • Disorder. I knew I wasn't leaving the house in perfect order last week, but I found I needed a good hour to just straighten things...let alone clean them (on today's afternoon list).
  • School starting! Today was the first day of school! Since we don't have kids, this wouldn't necessarily be a noticeable thing; however, since the school is located across the street, I am more than normally aware of the rhythm of elementary school life.

I have spent the morning dealing with these changes; but really, it is just nice to be back home.

Monday, August 4, 2008

hula hoops

Here is a fun video of Matt and me having a hula-hoop contest at the family reunion (refer to previous post). As a side note, I love the history of the hula hoop, as described by the movie The Hudsucker Proxy.


Matt and I went to Blackfoot, Idaho for a reunion with my mom's side of the family this last weekend. We ate a lot of good food, laughed a lot, got caught up, and played a whole lot. We also got to pay special homage to the matriarch of the clan, Grandma Johns. Her strong testimony and rock-solid faith have been the foundation for a blessed family that is growing quickly. Her advice to us all: PRAY. So, enjoy the pictures below--and don't forget to pray.

A few members of the group that were still chatting at 11:00 p.m. on Friday night.

A yummy breakfast: eggs, pancakes, bacon, cereal, fruit, and a variety of juices.

A service activity: tying a quilt. I'm not so good, but you can see me trying hard on the right.

A hat contest! MacKenzie, with her pink hat, was one of the winners.

The whole group, with the matriarch in the middle, second row.