31 March 2008

Spring Break!!!

How much do I love spring break? Almost as much as I love the beach. Pretty high praise in my book.

21 March 2008


I've been wanting to cook something fancy, but I just dont have the time to do it. Well, today I found the Quick and Easy Dinners Archive. This is the Asparagus-Chicken Roulades. Doesnt it look like fun? (it would have been fun to have for St. Patrick's day! ...Maybe next year) And in only 30 minutes! ...Maybe I do have time to for fancy food! Doesnt "Glazed Bacon-and-Cheese-Filled Burgers" sound good? (Oh no- my mouth is wattering now. Dear Mouth, Please dont hate me. I'm really sorry I forgot to bring lunch today. Please dont join in Stomach's rioting. I have a Granola bar for you. And you, me, Tastebuds, and Eyes (Stomach's obviously not willing to be rational right now), we'll plan dinner now--Deal? It's just 2 more hours at work, then freedom! Love, Heather) It's only 10 minutes for Orange Beef Stir Fry. (Dear Stomach, Did you hear that? Just 10 minutes from the time we walk in the door. You can survive that long on a yummy chocolate and oats granola bar, cant you? Please stop yelling and kicking. Just sit down and relax--conserve your energy. Love, Heather.) I also found some Double-Duty Dinners that would be nifty to make on the weekend and take to work with me...Winter Vegetable Chowder...Curry Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie....Chicken with Chive Dumplings...Yum, yum, yum.

19 March 2008


I've often wondered how I'd react in a horrible situation. Throughout my life, I've done my best to blend into the crowd, to be unnoticed. I've done my best to avoid showing too much emotion because in my head, it makes you vulnerable. I'm from a big family, and I'm one of the young-ins, so I'm used to getting picked on. I think that's where this need to go unnoticed comes from. If you aren't noticed, no one will pick on you, right? If you don't show any emotion, they have nothing to pick on, right? And so the repression began. I learned that I couldn't react to the teasing if I wanted it to stop. It was easier that way.

Then I got older and started going out on my own, and I've started wondering how my suppression of reactions would handle a dangerous situation. Like, if I went to a parking lot and didn't find my car--would I calmly call the police, or would my tears burst forth? Or what if my house was on fire--would I emotionlessly go around making sure everyone was out, or would my mind go blank as I hid in a corner, or would I be able to find my voice and scream for everyone to run? The situation I feared most was a person attack, like someone sticking a gun in my face and asking for my valuables, or grabbing me and pulling me into a grey, rust-spotted van.
Well, last weekend I got a taste of how I'd react to something like that.

As I was walking through a big town mall with my cousin (Michael Scott--the king of no reactions) on my left, and our friend to my right, we came to a section that was narrow, one of those ramps that's next to the stairs. Michael went first, then me, and then our friend. Out of no where, a blur appeared at my side. I felt a tugging at my neck. It took me a few seconds to figure out what was happening: that blur was a man in a black sweater and black hat; and that tugging on my neck was my the strap of my purple Santa Barbra purse that was slung diagonally over my shoulder, which the black-clad man had grabbed and was now attempting to run away with...and as expected my mind was fairly reactionless: "Whelp, there goes my purse. I've been lucky for quite a while now--It's probably about time for something like this to happen to me."

Looking back on it I'm not at all surprised by that thought process. What I am surprised by is my body's reaction. Instead of doing nothing as I'd expected, or even curling up into the fetal position, it decided to scream--scream like a little girl. Frantic, high pitched, screams, pausing only long enough for me to inhale once. And then the tugging stopped, and I heard laughter. Yes, Laughter. And that's when I realized who the Man In Black was. He was my friend--or better, he was* my friend. He'd seen us walking by and thought "I can't resist it." Isn't that true friendship? Wasn't it so kind of him to help me finally answer that nagging question I had about my reactions? ...I don't know how he knew I had that question, since I'd only ever thought about it, and had never voiced it, but I guess that's beside the point. Now I know that my fears are true: when mugged, I scream like a child.

Just thought you might like to know. ;-)

*was, as in, past tense; isn't anymore; He will have to EARN that privilege back.
And FYI, buddy--that's 2 strikes. Think back (to about a year ago) and you'll remember the first strike (which still haunts me, and is why you no longer get to select movies for me). Beware of the thinning ice.

18 March 2008


Today, in my attempt to avoid doing homework, I came across this question: Do trees get cold? It sounded interesting, so I thought I'd give the link a try. Interestingly, there is a small town where the community helped to knit a sweater for a pear tree. And for no apparent reason... Just some artsy lady who decided knit the words "Knitknot Tree" into a gold band, then she added a smiley face for good measure and attached it to her tree. The neighbors saw it and started knitting their own sections to add to the tree, and now they've gone as high as possible (the city officials don't want anyone to fall while attaching more pieces). The sweater even has pockets that people can put stuff (like good luck charms) in, and little kids like to check out whats in it as they pass.
And I gotta say I love it! I'd love to have a neighbor like that. I do have a sweet lady neighbor who has a ceramic zoo in her front yard, it was always my favorite house to pass when i was walking to elementary school. And she'd always give us treats (they were different times back then; simpler. You could trust the food people gave you.).
And I hear there's a house on 9Th street that has a family of ceramic ducks. I've never been able to find it, but one of my co-workers would pass it on her way to work and give me the update. They were always in a different location, and sometimes they had little outfits on. If it was raining they had little yellow rubber hats and rain coats. Isn't that delightful?
Someday, I hope to be the eccentric neighbor bringing smiles to children of all ages.

13 March 2008


I think I might be sick. I feel fine, but today when I was on my school's website, and I saw the "Calender" button and decided to click on it. I've never wanted to do that before, but for whatever reason today, I did...And what's more shocking is that I started trying to figure out what events I could attend. Like, on Mondays, if I go straight from work to school (Instead of stopping by my house for cheap food), I can catch the end of the woman's tennis match; and if I run from my institute class, I can catch a show at the theatre. I'd be about half an hour late, but as long as it's not a play, I should be fine--they usually save the best for last, right? Next month there is a Jazz trio. A jazz trio?!? Who am I? I don't go to jazz concerts. At least I didn't...maybe I do now....I mean, there is a jazz cafe where they have an open mic night in the neighboring town, and I've been invited to go and watch a friend* play, but I never felt the desire...I wonder if I really want to go to the jazz concert, or if I'm just feeling some need to associate with the college crowd...Maybe it's some subconscious desire to have positive feelings associated with my school, so I want to participate in these extra curricular activities. That would be understandable, since I currently have only negative thoughts (We haven't even had spring break yet, and I'm already counting the days till summer.). I'd think I would want to avoid it as much as possible, but apparently that's not the case. I must admit, I'm glad there is something motivating me to go to school. Maybe I will make it through not only this program but also the next.
Whatever it is, any one interested in joining me at some college campus events? There are some interesting events coming up.

*By "friend" I mean, "boy at a coffee shop that keeps talking to me." And by "talking to me" I mean "trying to hit on me." ...And by "trying" I mean "failing"...so maybe it wasn't so much the jazz that I didn't want to experience...

10 March 2008


I Just found this old draft, and I'm not sure why it was never posted, but I'm guessing that I either accidently hit the "save now" button instead of the "publish post," or it is just where I put the quotes for my talk so I could find them when I got home...and I just never got around to officially writing up a blog entry on it. Either way, I'm going to post this now, as is, and you can think about it and how it applies to your life, and what changes you can make individually to progress. Because that's why we are here, isnt it?
D & C 58: 26-27
26 For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is acompelled in all things, the same is a bslothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.

27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
When I was given this scripture as my assignment, I started like most people do: by reading the scriputre and then the footnotes. I then proceeded to research the topic looking for other thought's and interpretations. In verse 26 the first footnote is Compelled: "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is acompelled in all things..." The footnote says TG Initiative. And since I was using the scriptures on the church website, I was able to click on the TG reference for Initiative which pulled up "Temptation: Temptation is a test of a person's ability to choose good instead of evil. It is an enticement to sin and follow Satan instead of God. Part of the experience of this life is to learn to overcome temptation and to choose right over wrong. Modern revelation indicates that Satan does not have power to tempt little children until they begin to be accountable for their actions (see D&C 29:47). This life was given as a time in which God's children could learn to use their agency to overcome temptation and to choose of their own free will to follow Jesus Christ." Why would we think it was ok to wait for directions in all things? That is what we had in the pre-existance, before we were sent her to the Earth to gain both our bodies and experience. Our Father in Heaven wanted to know what we would do if we were given complete freedom to chose, so he allowed us to come and learn.

Slothful: D&C 107: 100 (99-100). 100 He that is aslothful shall not be counted bworthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen. TG Apathy. TG Laziness.
Anxiously: TG Dedication. TG Diligence. TG Good Works. TG Industry. TG Zeal.

"…Compelled in all things… "à Why are we here? Aside from receiving our bodies, we are here to give us the opportunity to choose for ourselves…if we wait to be commanded, we could have just stayed in God’s presence.
"Slothful and not a wise servant"à to grow and learn how to be independent
"Anxiously engaged"à Happily
"Good causeà
Own free willà
"bring to pass much righteousness"à we are commanded to be righteousà make your won little Zion" –Holland
Alma 7:23à abound in good works"à I am grateful for: I will serve by: (Alma 5:26

Why Do We Serve? Elder Dallin H. Oaks
As I contemplated my own calling and the callings of millions of others already in service, I was led to consider this question: Why do we serve?
Service is an imperative for those who worship Jesus Christ. To followers who were vying for prominent positions in his kingdom, the Savior taught, "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." (Matt. 20:27.) On a later occasion, he spoke of ministering to the needs of the hungry, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. He concluded that teaching with these words: "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matt. 25:40.)
In latter-day revelation the Lord has commanded that we "succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees." (D&C 81:5.
6 Reasons for service:
Some may serve for hope of earthly reward.
motivated by a personal desire to obtain good companionship.
Some may serve out of fear of punishment
Other persons may serve out of a sense of duty or out of loyalty to friends or family or traditions
One such higher reason for service is the hope of an eternal reward.
"Charity is the pure love of Christ."
"Many believe that for service to be meaningful it should consist of having elaborate plans and forming a committee. Although many of these worthwhile projects help, much of the service needed in the world today relates to our day-to-day associations with each other. Often we find these opportunities within the confines of our own home, neighborhood, and ward. "
"Sharing the gospel message is one of the most rewarding ways we can render service to those who are not of our faith." -- Michael J. Teh, "Out of Small Things," Liahona, Nov 2007, 35–37

08 March 2008

Five Small Experiences

About a month ago (can you believe it was that long ago?!?) I was talking to some friends, and the question was asked: "What's your favorite quote?" Several good quotes were shared by my friends, but I want to share my personal favorite with you, since I found it today. It's actually graffiti written on a wall in Jamaica, but that makes it no less true: “Blessed are those who can give without remembering and those who can receive without forgetting.” It's kinda stuck with me ever since I read it in the Ensign several years ago. It's been my goal ever since to be able to remember all I've been given, while forgetting anything I may be able to share...My memory is pretty bad, so I haven't had too much trouble with the forgetting part, but the remembering is harder. And yet, remembering is so important. When I stop to think about it, I know that I am very blessed, but how often do I actually stop to think about it? Definitely not enough. I'm thankful for all the blessings I've been given, for all the supporting people I know I have around me, and hope to one day be as generous with what I have as others have been to me.

07 March 2008

Surprised by a Moment of Joy

This is Su, one of my favorite people from my mission. We were never companions, but we lived in the same house for quite a while. She was my sanity in the midst confusion and chaos. She was there to help me keep order in the apartment. She dressed me when I had nothing to wear. She introduced me to the joy of conditioning hair cream to fight off the damaging effects of the sun. She calmed me when a knock on the window at midnight sent me into a panic. She taught me to cook Brazilian beans. She did so much for me, that I have felt at a loss ever since we parted ways.
Well, yesterday we were reunited with a phone call. I was walking through Vons trying to get my 6 cent discount on gas by stocking up on snacks that would survive long car rides and help me survive long hours at work and school, when my phone rang. I though it would be one of the few people who call me (aka, my sister), but it wasn't. It was the person I miss most from my second home. The person I now have plans to see in April and August. The call I've longed for has finally arrived, and I must say-it was better than I could have even imagined it would be.

"I love you, você."