Monday, April 27, 2009

A Thank You Potluck and a ...

A farewell to me!

Not-So-Good was so good to have hosted and put on a little “thank you” potluck dinner on for me. Sunday was my last day singing with the choir. Not-So-Good put on the dinner at her house on Sunday evening. I'm usually not too comfortable with being the center of attention but it was fun. Aw, there was some yummy food! Thanks to all of the choir members that came out to socialize with me. It’s always fun to just hang out and gab with the group. You’re a great bunch! Thank you also for the wonderful thank you cards, and gifts. You were a wonderful group to work with, and yes, I’m planning on coming back periodically--- like holidays, to come back and sing with you. (Above Photo: Part of the choir that was in attendance--[left to right]- Not-So-Good, Andy, John, Giselle, Me, Em, VanD, Mandy, and Katie.)

I just figured with the old church being torn down sometime this summer and the new one being built that it was a good time for me to step down from being the choir “organizer”. Now I did say “organizer”; not director. For you see, I think it’s funny that I’m in this position to begin with. I don’t read music, or play an instrument. I can tell when the notes go up or down; or the difference between a whole note and a quarter note, but that’s about it. Well, you could see how that would lead to some issues with a person being the choir director. Well, maybe a little!?!

How I came to be the choir organizer? I think everyone else in the group took two steps back and I was left standing out like a sore thumb. I guess you could say that I’m good at organizing, and being flexible. Sometimes, you just need to go with the flow, not try to over control things, and be open to ideas & suggestions. This group was perfect for that, and we often had fun just going along, and playing it by ear--- course, that’s mainly how I’m able to sing along anyway. (Above photo: Part of the choir group just gabbing away, and enjoying eachother's company.)

I want to wish Not-So-Good luck with the group. You’re going to do great and I ask that everyone give her a little understanding until she gets used to it. Also, know that I’m just a phone call or an email away if you have any questions. Thanks all, and I’m going to miss you.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Cleaning.....

Less is More?
I like the concept. Less is more which actually provides me more space by having less "things". "Things!" I would like to help ensure that the "things" don't own me, or keep me in a rut where I need to spend time maintaining "things" or trying to earn the almighty buck to acquire "things". "Things, and things, and more things." It can be a vicious cycle but I would rather be out doing "things". Sorry, I couldn't resist the final temptation of how many ways the word "things" can be used. Hopefully, I've endeared one English teacher out there? Nah, probably not!

Yes, it's that time of year when I find myself going through the closets and evaluating what to keep, and what to get rid of. And with the rainy weather we've been having it seems the perfect thing to do. I just wish our emotional lives were this easy to clean up sometimes. Living in a one room bedroom apartment I find this yearly chore a necessity. The rule of thumb that I try to stick with is... "if I haven't used it in a year it goes!" Well, I should say I start with that rule, and eventually, I arrive at a piles of doubt and maybes, and those ever terrifying piles of "what if I may need it?"

Well, the obvious one for the "definitely get rid of" pile were all the VHS tapes. The VCR died a slow and tape eating death at the hands of movie "Dogma" which in a way I saw as fitting, I guess. It was a lot cleaner than dieing at the hands of a peanut butter sandwich, which happened to a friend awhile back --- I really think he was looking for an excuse for his wife to buy a DVD/DVR, and tend to wonder if he bribed one of the kids to do it. So here I am with a good pile of VHS tapes, a good start!

Then I look at the empty shelf areas around the TV. Hey, I can move books to here! It's amazing how one thing leads to another. So, I decided to move books and while I'm moving my books I decide to go through them. After all, I am Spring cleaning! There's the rule of thumb--"if I haven't used it in a year" and I decide to but a bit of a spin on it. If I haven't loaned the book out in a year, or re-read it in a year, I figured that I would put it in the "maybe" pile and then if I had room on the shelves I would save a few more. That would work.

Wow! Before I know it I've almost managed to empty all the books off the leaning dollar special of a bookcase in my bedroom. I think to myself, I could get rid of that shelf and have more space in my bedroom floor plan! Okay, I take jewelry and other nick-knacks and move them to other places in my apartment. Yes, I did it! I empty off the entire bookcase! Yahoo! (Gee, I really need to get a life!) But now I have an extra 1' x 3' space in my bedroom. A little more room so hopefully now I won't stub my toe in the dark on the way to the restroom in the middle of the night. A MAJOR accomplishment--- who said sarcasm is dead?

Then, next to the now empty bookcase is the closet. I'm a bit of a clothes horse, some of you may call this an understatement. But , this is where the challenge is for me. So, first off are all the winter clothes that I will eventually need to put up and away on my top shelf in the closet. Okay, did I wear it this last winter? If no, then into the pile. Then as I'm bringing down the summer clothes I look at them, and decide if they were just too trendy to try again for this year. Sometimes, I buy thrift items that are of a spur of the moment that I wear once and Ugh! What WAS I ever thinking?! Those items go into the "definitely get rid of " pile.

Shoes are next. Most of them I purchase at the thrift store I will admit. I'm cheap when it comes to footwear. I just never got into the status and style of expensive and trendy footwear. I guess I just don't like the idea of people staring at my feet. Sorry I think that the foot IS the ugliest part of the human body, and WHY would you want someone to stare at them? Okay, so I'm going to finally get rid of the brown pair of high heels that I've glued the heel back on at least 10 times in the last year. I'm also getting rid of the two pairs of summer sandals that are just collecting dust. Yes, they were on sale for REAL cheap but I discovered that I hate having a cord between my toes to keep a shoe on. SILLY, I know! I also managed to get rid of two pairs where the soles are about falling off. It's funny but I find a comfortable pair of shoes and I just don't want to let them go.

Next, is the hall closet. This has turned into a collective of the scary B movie victims of miscellaneous items that I'm not sure what to do with and have been cluttered together in hiding here in the hall closet. Now comes the day of reckoning! Oh my! What will it be? If these items had feeling I'm sure they would be shivering in their shoes. Some of the items are easy, and are even off to the garbage can. Old finger nail polish, lip sticks that I bought and for some reason only used twice, and other makeup products that you are supposed to throw out if older than a year. Others like tools and plastic cake holder covers, I struggle with.... Oh, these are the 'what if I need them" items. That bring my Spring cleaning to a slow staggering stop!
Boy, that pile is getting awfully large, and I think I'm going to be making at least a few runs to the D.I. (Dessert Industries--the Utah LDS version of the Salvation Army) with the station wagon, minus my bicycle that's usually riding in the back. Why would I want to continue on? Besides, I've spent enough time on this "Spring cleaning". So thus, I talk myself out of continuing on with the whole project, and only half of the hall closet gets processed through.
And that's how you do "Spring cleaning".... ;-)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

75 Miles....


Well, the first of the Super Series Rides put on the BCC occurred on a beautiful day. The Willard Bay ride started in the mid50's, not a cloud in the sky, and very little wind. Unlike last year when there were gusts of wind filled with sand and dust. (I was coughing up sand for a week and a half.) It warmed up in to the mid-60's and except for me being out of shape it was a wonderful ride; at least the first half. I saw a great deal of fellow riders that I haven't seen all winter long, which was great and fun to visit as we biked along.

I got down to the last 15 miles and my thigh muscles were screaming and wanting to cramp up major! Well, to counteract this and to try to make it through to the end; I did a couple of things. First, I would sip on my water bottle every two minutes. Second, I dropped down a gear and just kept my legs spinning. It did the trick, and I made it back to the car. Yes, alive and in one piece, Mom! The above photo was taken of me on the LRRH 2007 ride at the beginning of the ride. I never look that good usually when I've been riding for awhile.....maybe that's why I don't have a boyfriend! Hmmmm? Food for thought. My next BIG ride? I'm not sure when that will be, but I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and PS---It was really tough coming up those three flights of steps into my apartment after the ride... BUT that shower sure felt REAL good!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Zoom! Zoom!

Coffee on Monday-- SO much easier!

Oh, how I had missed my cup of joe during the Lenten season! (I'm pretty sure that ALL of you have figured that I LOVE my coffee!) Yesterday was SO much easier and more manageable. Mondays always seem to be the busiest day of the week for me at work; especially the phones in the morning. Yesterday was no exception but it's always amazing what a few cups of joe can do to speed the day along--Zoom! Zoom!

I managed to get up at 5AM and catch a 11 mile bike ride before work. Then, I had enough energy to do a 30 mile bike ride after work. BOY, did I ever sleep well last night!! Now the question is: was it because I had the energy to the ride because of the coffee? -- or was it because I was "zooming" because of the coffee all day long that I was able to do the rides?

Aw, such circuitous thinking kind of like... did the chicken or the egg come first? Rather reminds me of a philosophy class that I took in college. I never figured out how I ended up with a "C" in the class. I thought I was as good at "B.S.-ing" as any of the other students but maybe I wasn't brown-nosing the nimrod professor as much as I should have. Who knows? But that's a whole tangent of thought, hmmm?

It was interesting because my co-workers, a majority of whom are LDS, did not understand why I just didn't give up coffee all together. One can't stand the smell of coffee. It makes her nauseous. She currently has a cold and allergies; so right now she can't smell anything. Thus, I'm lucky so far not to hear her complaints. Another co-worker said to me," Come on you gave it up for 40 days. Why don't you just give it up for good?" I just had to laugh.

Let me explain. I'm a definite minority at my work. The lone Catholic. Not that that is a bad thing, and most the part I've been accepted. In fact, quite often I get asked as to what my view in discussions concerning religion and politics. But my place of work purchased a coffee maker for me. I will go out on a regular basis to pick up coffee and turn in the receipts to be reimbursed. Before me, there was no coffee maker which is mind boggling for me.

So, I asked the co-worker what their favorite beverage was. "Diet Coke", they answered. I asked them to imagine giving up Diet Coke for 40 days, and then because they had managed 40 days to give it up for good. I think they understood a little more, maybe? Then came the argument that coffee isn't good for you. Which I countered, neither is Diet Coke, really. I also stated that unlike Diet Coke, at least coffee had some antioxidants. Besides which my Catholic faith doesn't have anything that asks me to not consume coffee. I told them that to sacrifice something I love and enjoy is to show my love and faith to God.
I hope I explained myself well, and I apologise if this is a little too religious for you who are reading this. I do not believe that it is my "job" to preach religion to others. It's each person's choice as to what they want to believe or not to believe as may be the case. It's a free world out there, and God gave us free will. All I can do is show my respect for others and accept them for who they are. I choose to accept the individual human. What they believe, or not believe, is secondary and not my place to judge. So there, I think that's enough said.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


This Catholic Survived!!

Hello and Happy Easter to everyone!
Well, I survived the Catholic Lenten Season with only a few minor bumps and abrasions!! I had a couple of minor relapses with the chocolate, and a few incidents of partaking some caffeinated items. It always amazes me how many items have caffeine in them that you wouldn't think would have caffeine in them. Protein bars, and even herbal teas that had added caffeine to them.

BUT coffee was the hardest feat of all. In fact, I had a couple of grocery store runs that turned into 15 min. inhalation sessions down the coffee aisle. And yes, I will admit that I did inhale, unlike a former President. Actually, I was rather surprised that I wasn't asked to leave the grocery store because I was getting some nervous looks from the clerks. Last night after the Easter Vigil Mass, I rushed over to the parish hall to partake of coffee and chocolate. Yes! It was time to enjoy the taste and pleasure of coffee and chocolate cake at the reception of the newbies into the church. But I'm sure that I was probably considered rude because I barely really noticed the newbies. I'm not sure how I wasn't zooming around my apartment last night when I came home at midnight after 1 piece of chocolate cake and three cups of coffee. Yes, three cups!

One of the most wonderful times of year; Easter. There's something about Spring, Easter egg hunts, and wearing a new outfit to Mass on a beautiful Sunday morning. The combination holds so many good memories for me. This year will be full of new memories for me. Only these memories will be of "last times". Last night's Easter Vigil service will be a last Easter Vigil Service in the old church; as well the last time that I will be the church choir director. They will be tearing down the church sometime this summer to build a new one, and after a little over four years of leading the church choir I am stepping down. I figured it was a good time to do this, but it's with a bit of sadness that I do find myself doing it. But I'm leaving the choir in the capable hands of Not-So-Good.

Last night, the Easter Vigil Service was beautiful. For those of you out there that are not familiar with the Catholic church. The Easter Vigil Service is a Mass that has all of what's good in a Catholic Mass. If you were ever to just choose one Mass a year to go to in a year, it would be the Easter Vigil Service. The Mass has Baptisms, First Communion, Confirmations, and often, the most beautiful music that you'll ever hear in a church. My favorite part is the
Mass of Light Service. The church lights are turned off, and you are consumed into total and engulfing blackness which is to signify the world without Christ. Then a small fire is started from which a large candle is lighted. The priest, then holds up the candle and sings that this candle is the light of Christ. Then he moves half way up the aisle of the church and sings it again. Upon this time, other candles are started to be lite from the one candle. This is to symbolize the spreading of the word. Then as this is done the priest heads to the front of the church where all of the candles are lite and the lights are turned on after he sings it again. I think that it's beautiful to see the church and every one's faces in the candle light. It's also the pure concept that it all starts from one candle that I found so wonderful.

Last night, my wonderful choir out did themselves, and did so beautifully that I found my heart swelling with pride and happiness. I was getting goosebumps during the duets and the solos. I couldn't help but smile as you preformed. Thank you to all of you for making my last night as the choir director so amazing, and thank you for making it a wonderful run as the choir director. It was a pleasure to sing with you all, and I will miss you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Art World--Ready or Not!?!

Well, I've decided to poke my big toe into the world of art a little further than just a blog. Thanks to all of your encouragement, and a little prodding. (I'm not mentioning any names here. You know who you are and it's ALL YOUR FAULT! ;-)) I have done three things recently to put my big toe out into the art world, and hopefully I'll be lucky and not just stub my toe! And maybe I should have put this post on the Allgood Art Blog but this contains more of my internal thoughts so I decided to put it here.

(Above Photos: Little Red Collage Paintings--LRRH 2007 and LRRH 2008)
1) You all have read my Allgood Art Blog( ), and know that I'm donating two of my paintings to the Little Red Riding Hood Ride for the Bonneville Cycling Club( ). This I figured was to benefit a very good charity--University of Utah Genetics that will be used to do research for breast and ovarian cancer. There's even a former Noble Prize winner involved with the project. That's all good, and well, but I'm really nervous because my artwork will be on display. It's like a little piece of me out there for the world to see, and well, I hope I have my underwear on properly. It's just that I feel a little, for lack of a better word, "Nude". I just hope I get a good response, and who knows, maybe something will come out of it.
(Above Photo: "Gateway on a Winter Night" framed, and waiting to be entered.)
2) I recently took the painting titled, "Gateway on a Winter Night" and had it framed. I'm planning on entering it into the Spring Salon at the Springville Museum of Art( ). I've never had the guts to do this before. I usually avoid anything that has competition in the Art World, but thanks to all of your encouragement. I'm going to take the next step. I'm swinging it by to enter it later this week, and will know by April 21st if I'll be in the Spring Salon. If in the show, the piece of work will be on display down there from April 24th till July 3rd. A fairly lengthy run. So please keep you fingers crossed and hope that I get in.

(Photo at left: "Halloween Bike Ride" painting.)
3) I put in an application to a local bike shop that was looking for bike art. It was my large "Halloween Bike Ride" that I hope to have in the "Gallery Roll", which the opening night is to coincide with the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll on May 15th. Hopefully, I'll hear if I get into this one on the 8th of May.
And, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! But really thanks for the encouragement, and who knows maybe something will come of this! Thanks again!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Popette Turns 76!!!!

Gifts, Dinner, & Ham Bingo!!

Hey, how else would a 76yr old celebrate her birthday?

(Above photo: 1st row--Jean VanD, The Popette, Jeanne (Not-So-Good),
2nd row-- Me, Laura, and Maureen.)

For 76 yrs old, Mary's still a feisty character, and certainly has her ways. She managed to get Jean VanD's and my muffins, while we were finishing a lovely meal filled with good food, bantering, and exaggeration at Mimi's Cafe. Em had read on the Internet that general noisiness quieted down at 20 min. after the hour. Well, we tried testing that theory, but DARN IT we were having too much fun laughing and talking to notice if there ever was a difference. I tend to wonder if other diners may have found us too noisy in general, but they didn't throw us out. So I guess we were okay.

We started with opening presents. I think that Mary's point of view is that the anticipation could kill her. Well, we easily gave in with concerns about her health. Let me tell you the presents. This gal made out like a bandit! Swirling scented night lights, body lotions, photo albums, classic miniature poetry books, and a paddle board with bouncing ball (For those moments when she finds herself regressing.)

(Above photo: Jean VanD with Mary[the Popette] getting a little roudy at the Ham Bingo.)

(Photo: See Jean VanD's and Mary's concentration during Bingo!)

From the restaurant we then went to St. Joe's for Ham Bingo. Laura, and Maureen joined in with the group at this point. Well, and we ALL played at Bingo. Some were concentrating harder than others. Some of the games were played for "points" and others were for an Easter Ham.
(Photo below: Some more concentrating on the intense game--Jean VanD, the Popette, and Not-So-Good.)

Jean VanD was the lucky one among us. She won a jackpot Bingo of 50 "points"!! The lucky gal! The Popette tried to claim her part of the prize since she was the birthday girl, but Jean VanD wouldn't share her winnings. It was a wonderful night for the Popette's Birthday celebration, and thanks to everyone to make it a special event. The Popette--alias Mother Patrick--alias Mary; had a wonderfully good time!

(Photo below: Jean VanD showing off her winning "points"!)

P.S. Here's the story behind the nickname--- How Mary received the name of the Popette. For her 74th birthday party, Laura made her a Pope's miter which you see her in here (photo below). As you can see it also says Mother Patrick on it, another alias. We were teasing her about being the first female in line for the position of Pope; after of course, quite a few good men. But someone started calling her the Popette, and it's just kind of stuck since.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools, huh?

April 1st? I could not help but think that I was a fool wishing for Spring to come as I watched the snow come flurrying down from the gray laden skies. Spring? Where ever are you? Come out and play, pleeasssseee! Did you just tease us last week when the weather was so beautiful to go and hide away for a short break? Did Mr. Winter huff and puff and blow you out so he could get one final spot of skiing up in the mountains? Gee, maybe I would understand if I really got into the sport. Maybe.

April 1st? Where did the idea of April Fool's Day come from? Was it a lack of something else going on on the calendar? Hey Vern, come up with something will ya? Or was it Yankee Doodles sideline gig? I know I could jump on to Wikipedia and have an answer but sometimes those answers JUST are not as much fun as coming up with your own. Hey anyone have some interesting ideas about how this day derived? I would be interested in hearing about it.

April 1st? So this is a first that I've never had an April Fool's Joke planned by me (or helped out) or carried out on me. But it could be that I'm still trying to recover from the worst cold that I've had in a couple of years too. I've been living in my bed for 4 days straight. Today was but a peek out when I managed to get to work for part of a day. I felt a little like the groundhog peeking out his head to see his shadow. Only I'm a couple of months late. Oooopppss! (And they say timing is everything, hmmm?)

But this year's April Fool's was rather a let down. In years past I've lead a bike ride called" Come As Your Own Fool or the Mad Hatter's Tea Party" where I came as the Mad Hatter. In years past when I was married, we were always playing tricks on each other, or friends, or neighbors. I remember putting duck tape boxes around cars, filling cars with popcorn(that was messy and it was tough getting enough popcorn), replacing children's chairs in place of office furniture in a friend's boss' office, or creating quick little emergencies where someone happened to be caught outside the house with only their underwear on. It was all part of the fun, and now it was just a normal day. Just another day of the week. Gee is this a sign that I'm getting old, unimaginative, and unadventurous? Am I like that piece of bread that got stale? Gee, I hope not! It also got a little moldy too!

So did anyone have some good April Fool's Jokes played on them today? I guess you could say that I'm looking to live for a bit vicariously through someone else for this April Fool's Day. So come on, share with me what you had played on you, or maybe if you're not too bashful what someone played on you?