Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What Can I do...I'm A Product of the 80's

I spent a little time yesterday putting together some workout music. I love good rhythm and usually can't sit still when I hear one. Ask my husband. We chaperone the dances at the high school, and it is torture to just stand there, looking cool (don't get me wrong, the last thing I would want is to be Mr. & Mrs. Jensen, the fox-trotting uber-chaperones). It takes all my focus to just stand and tap my toe... Once, though, the theme for prom was something that allowed music from different eras and the kids had learned some of the dances, so I got to swing, waltz, and cha cha to a live band, all in good fun. The kids seemed to appreciate that, and my B was a good sport, and a good partner. But could we just go out there and get down with our bad selves? NO! No, no, no.
But what is a girl like me supposed to do? I was born too late for disco, and too early for mosh pits. Thank heaven. I grew up with Madonna, Bon Jovi, U2, Erasure, INXS, Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Def Leppard, etc., etc... There were good bands in the 90's, but I felt like the nation forgot to dance. Seal, Janet Jackson, Savage Garden, Smashmouth, Matchbox 20, and most of those mentioned earlier, arguably kept it going though. I noticed the kids, instead of dancing, would just jump up and down with their hands in the air. Like they were at a concert. Hmmm. It bothered me, and I thought, "Am I old?" Nawww. I was in my 20's in the nineties! It's better now. But I am not in my 20's anymore.
So, I rock out in my car. I tap out the drums and sing, and play air guitar on my seatbelt. I try to be subtle. If Chels is driving and I am in the passenger seat, or the whole fam is in the car, though, it is not so subtle, and we have too much fun. Hooray for satellite radio. My sister and I grinning from ear to ear, flying down the highway to a farmers market, listening and rocking out as our parents giggle at us from the back seat. Last summer, people.
And I dance at home. In the kitchen while I cook, in the family room as I put away laundry, right here by the computer if a great song hits just right and my kids are up for some dance practice.
What do I listen to now, when I want to move (exercise, clean the house, drive my kids all over town)? I dare you to listen and not move (press pause on My Playlist on the right). I could seriously just keep walking as I listen... 3 miles? Piece of cake.
And, this does have it's place. Quiet, restful, peaceful music is appreciated...Josh Grobin, Nora Jones, classical piano, my country music, inspirational compositions all have their turn. The music I choose for this blog is upbeat, positive thinking, and usually has something to do with my posts. It is music I love.
When I want to move, get stuff done, smile at myself, I hit this stuff.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Plain Jane

I lost my blog background and I fear there is no hope. Until I get it figured out, I will be plain-Jane. Ah well. Hopefully, I will find something I like even more.
I have been reading. My friends finally talked me into jumping on the Twilight bandwagon. I wasn't really interested... c'mon, vampire stories written by a Mormon author? But they kept at me. So, I got the first one from Jamie, the next 2 from Shannon, and the last one from Jamie. Read those, then re-read the first one, now reading the last one again. I read them so fast, I wanted to see what I missed the first time around. Here is what I got out of these best-selling books...
1. The description of the Olympic Peninsula took me right back to growing up in that area. You really were shocked to wake up to light coming in through the windows. I could feel the drizzle, hear it, feel the moss on the trees, smell the perpetually wet litter of the forest floor, feel the cold wind at the water's edge and hear the crunch of the rocks on the beach. Gray mist.
2. I have heard people say it is a story of choices. I would say a bit more. It is about taking what we are handed in life, no matter how dire, how hopeless, and still trying to rise above it, still trying to find a way to be human, in the very best definition of the word.
3. Potential is a very near-sighted vision for most of us. We are all given gifts, talents, some hidden, some clear, and how many of us think we don't have any? That we are insignificant? Are we taking, seeking opportunities to unlock those talents, those spiritual gifts? Will we stumble upon them? Who are we, really? Better than we think.
4. Finally, I have to say, the romantic relationship between the hero and heroine is chemistry-filled. I love that it is based on his 1900's upbringing and still burns... a soulmate is a soulmate. And so, he is patient and resists. What is the reward for denying baser urges and allowing a higher ideal to rule? Balance? A greater love beyond our understanding? Often, in life, when we have struggled, but not given in to hate, immorality, or loss of faith, but have endured with patient hope, the outcome has been so much better then what we would have even imagined for ourselves. Even when we feel ourselves unworthy.
It actually reminds me of Jane Eyre, one of my favorites.

Okay, so that was a little deeper than I wanted to go, but there you have it. I have to admit it... I liked these books. I am not, however, going to get a bumper sticker that reads "My heart belongs to my husband, but my neck belongs to Edward". Tacky tacky tacky. Brandon has all of me.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Take A Hike

I have had a lot of visitors lately, probably not meaning to stumble here, but nevertheless showing up on my visitors map (below, right). I was looking at my blog through fresh eyes and the thought came to me, "Hmmm...the neighbors have invited us over for vacation slideshows again."
But I can't help it! I have family far, far away, and not so far, far away, that need to see these pictures! So, I will continue to post slideshows, and cringe for the random visitor looking for good restaurants in Cody (Wyoming Rib & Chop) and hope they know to find the topic locater (below right) and click on "Wyoming" for lots of information about visiting or living here.
In the meantime, enjoy this slideshow of a hike friends and I took in Yellowstone. The trailhead was 10 minutes east of Old Faithful, and I would rate it an "easy" trail to beautiful Shoshone Lake, about 7 miles, round trip. I love living so close to opportunities like this! On the way home we passed the fires up the Northfork, but I didn't get pictures, so click on that if you are interested. Depending on how the wind is blowing, Cody is a bit smoky. We had a nice rain tonight, though, really hard, so maybe that helped. It just comes with living next to National Forests. Thank you, Slights and Shanes, for inviting me along! What beauty we have been given to relieve our troubled minds.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Summer Surprises

July held my Parents' 40th Anniversary, and we surprised them with a camping trip to Flathead Lake, MT. None of us had been there before, but it was a central point for us to meet and have nobody to see but us for 4 days. All but my youngest brother, Craig, could be there, and we missed him and his family. Before the trip, my sister presented unsuspecting Mom and Dad with a beautiful scrapbook of old camping picture from our childhood, and we had written our favorite memories:

"I loved it when Mom pulled out the old radio and found an oldies station. We would sing and dance around the campfire, not caring who heard us. I remember the little bags of Fritos. Mom would carefully open the top of the bag, pour on some chili and toppings, and hand us a fork. I thought this was ingenious. My mom was a genius. I loved our VW camper van. It was awesome. It was my 2nd home. I loved going to sleep with the sound of rain on the roof, and I loved waking up and peeking over the loft bed (carefully, because I had the heights thing even then) to see Mom and Dad, smiling up at me. I didn't like the taste of the water from the pump sink, but I thought it was really cool, anyway. I remember waiting while Mom prepped our toothbrushes there. I remember when I was very small, Dad doing something in the woods away from the site. He came back with a grin. I wondered what he had been doing, and he and Mom took me on a little walk to show me. There, not far away, was a little dug hole, a stick in the ground next to it with a forked limb, with a roll of toilet paper hanging from it. I grinned in amazement. My dad was a genius. I loved tent camping. That square, yellow tent. I loved going to sleep with everyone saying goodnight, giggling, shushing, breathing together. I still do. Remember when Shell and I were using sugar water for cheap hairspray? Bad idea when camping. We would go for walks. Mom would point out the Forget-me-nots, the Queen Anne's Lace, the Fiddle ferns, the Elderberries. I don't remember arguing or fighting while we were camping. I am sure we did. I don't remember it. The smell of pine and campfire smoke, the sound of waving tops of trees and wind through leaves and birdsong, the taste of the perfectly roasted marshmallow, or the slightly burned one, and my family, sitting around the campfire in the morning, or at night; these are a few of my favorite things. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for taking us camping. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

The last pages were a surprise invitation to the campout, and my parents were thrilled.
For slideshows of the fun, visit Anglesey Antics, and Happy Girl, with links to the right.
We will return to that lovely place!