Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm a Mormon

I've been asked if I'm going to create one of those "I'm a Mormon" profiles for And, you know, I'm totally cool with that. Because, hi, I am a Mormon. Also, I have no qualms about putting that -- or other personal intel about myself -- online. (Obviously.) My only issue? I can't think of a good line to lead in with. All the commercials are like, "I'm a rocket scientist, an off-road enthusiast, a part-time archaeologist. And I'm a Mormon" or "I'm a race car driver, competed in a bake-off on nationally syndicated television, live to serve others. And I'm a Mormon." ... I have no such claims to fame. (Oh, except the "And I'm a Mormon" thing, as previously discussed.)

I've been trying to think of a little catchphrase. In my head, once I have the beginning, I'll be able to steamroll through this profile writing business. Here are a few ideas that I've come up with.

I am:

a TV addict
a lover of fudgecicles
a stubborn woman
an accomplished maker of sugar cookies
an avid reader
a cancer survivor
a freakishly independent little thing
a girl who does not like to vacuum
an unpublished author (so what if I haven't actually written a book yet?)
a Disneyland annual pass holder
an amateur cake decorator
a big fan of lazy days
a high school graduate
a people watcher extraordinaire
an old school movie buff
a cat person (notice I said "cat person" and not "cat lady")
a professional dater (but does that make me sound like a prostitute?)
a story teller
a super fun aunt
a collector of shoes (specializing in black heels)
a lover of big band music
a grammar nazi
a sap

My friend Jo's suggestion was "My name is Laurie. I grew up in Taylor, I swear like a sailor and I'm a Mormon." ... I'll give that there's a nice Taylor/sailor rhyme there, but I'm pretty sure that I'm not gonna go with that. (Methinks that Judy would not be amused.)

So, what do you think? I'm open to any and all suggestions. What am I? How would you define me? ... How should I spin this Mormon thing, do you think? HELP!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I need some new walking shoes

That's right. I broke my walking shoes. (And yeah, my walking shoes are black flip-flops. Don't judge.)

I was out on my evening walk and I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk (not to worry - it wasn't the kind of trip where you actually fall, just the kind where you catch your foot and sort of stumble). When I recovered, I realized I'd lost my shoe in the process. I back traced a little for the shoe and was incredibly bummed to see that my black flipper had finally bit the dust. I was incredibly bummed for two reasons: the shoes that have seen me through literally hundreds of miles of walking in the last year and a half, the shoes that have molded to the shape of my feet and are the most comfortable flip-flops I've ever owned, are gone - and I was about half a mile from home and I was gonna have to walk back a la "Diddle, diddle dumpling, my son John" (with one shoe off and one shoe on).

Argh. I need to buy some new walking shoes. (And yeah, by "walking shoes", I mean $6 flips-flops from WalMart. Listen, they're super great and verrrrrry affordable.)

In the meanwhile, I guess I could use these.

But they feel so constricting. (Probably because all ten of my toes are accustomed to being out in the air.)

So, in the meanwhile, I think I'll wear these.

They don't pack the supportive punch that the rubber flippers did, but as you can see, they've definitely been broken in.

Don't you all love getting these little glimpses into my life? Please don't judge me for my love of well worn flip-flops, or ... uh ... my lack of supportive athletic footwear. (But then, I don't know that you could call taking 40 minutes to walk around the block an athletic event, so I think a new pair of black flippers will be sufficient for my needs.)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why I'm not married

There are a lot of theories out there for why I’m not married. Some that I’ve heard:

I am selfish. (This from Jeff West, my mother and most recently some General Authorities of the church in the April 2011 GC address. I’m pretty sure my mom’s mocking Jeff when she says it, I’m not sure about the GA’s.)

I look for offense rather than love. (This from Bryan with a Y (not to be confused with Brian I, Brian II and/or Brian III) – the crazy man who spiraled quickly and violently when I was unable to respond to a series of texts he sent after 10:30 PM (I was asleep when they came in) and he cited this quality as the reason I’d die alone in two texts and one voicemail … Yeah, the second date was quickly and brutally broken the following morning when I woke up to umpteen texts, 7 missed calls and 5 semi-hysterical voice mails from the man. Bless him.)

I don’t want to get married and/or have children. (This from a couple sweet sisters from my current and past wards. How adorable are they for assuming the only reason in the world I wouldn’t have gotten married at the ripe old age of 21 was because I didn’t want a family? … Not the reason, folks, but thanks for thinking that I’d be married if I just wanted to be.)

I don’t wash my face at night before I go to bed. (I heard this for the first time almost 15 years ago. You’d think by now I’d be all about washing my face, just in case that turned the tides, but no.)

I'm too good for what's out there. (This from both Rhonda Hancock and Liz Roberts. ... Out of the mouths of two or more witnesses, or however that goes, is what I have to say about this theory.)

I always have candy. (This from my nephews, ages 5 and 7. I don’t really get the correlation between being the super cool aunt with the ever-present candy bowl and not having a husband, but for some reason I am “The one with the candy – the one who’s not married” to them.)

I’ve never loved any man as much as I love my independence. (This from Clint Horn. What can I say? Too bad that relationship didn’t go long term (or end well, frankly), because - on a lot of levels - that man really got me.)

All interesting (if not downright creative) reasons for why I’m still not married at 36. And all of them, on some level and at some point, probably have some truth to them. But I don’t think any one of those reasons can cover the blanket reason for why I think I’m still single.

What do I think is the blanket reason, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

Okay, I'll show you (that's probably easier):

That’s right, Atticus Finch.

Atticus Finch is the reason I’m still single. He’s tall. He’s dreamy (esp when played by Gregory Peck, and in my mind’s eye, he always is!). He’s super smart. He’s the best shot in the county, but he’ll only pick up a gun when there’s a mad dog threatening his kids. He’s principled. He’s honest. He is kind. He is good. He is fair. He’s a good neighbor (an incredible neighbor, really, to everyone on his street, but esp to Mrs. Dubose and Boo). He’s a lawyer and a single father and pretty darn good at both.

I love him.

And there you have it – the reason I’m not married, according to me. It’s the thought of Atticus Finch. So what if he’s a fictional character? For me, he represents all that is good and honorable – and until I find someone who reminds me of Atticus on at least 6 different character points, I’ll stay single, thanks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

People, my prayers have been answered!

What was the best part of going to the doctor on Friday? ... Okay, besides the whole "cancer-free" thing, which totally rocked. ... I will tell you:

The hot Indian doctor.

I'll be more specific, the hot Indian doctor who was not wearing a wedding ring. Let me just say there are some men who make me want to pick up and move to India.

This man:

And the hot doctor who was standing in for my usual sweet old-man oncologist who was on vacation last week. (Seriously, I debated whether or not it would be inappropriate to take my phone out and fake text someone so I could snap his picture. ... The importance of staring at him and maintaining eye contact during our conversation won out over my need to finagle a reason/way to get my phone out, in case you were wondering.)

He. Was. Delicious.

An oncologist, mid-late 30's, taller than me, not wearing a wedding ring... (Also, he asked if I was in a relationship. When I stated I wasn't married, nor did I have children - he'd asked specific questions about a husband and children - he probed a little further with asking whether I was dating someone. I'm not gonna lie, this was as good as a proposal to me.) Score!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where were you?

I was getting ready for work on September 11, 2001 when my mom came in and told me that she had turned on the TV just in time to see the second tower hit. My grandad had called from CA and told her to turn the TV on. I'd come out of the hall bathroom when she called my name from the kitchen, and I fell against the wall in shock when I heard the news. After a few stunned moments, I picked myself up and finished going about the business of getting ready for work. I listened to the radio as I drove to Show Low. I was at the Shumway curve when the Pentagon was hit and I thought my heart would break from the combined feelings of loss and fear. I was at work, huddled in a circle around a radio, when the news came in about Flight 93. ... To this day, I can't get through the 4th verse of America the Beautiful without flashing back to how I felt that day. "How beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years. Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!" has a special meaning to me now.

This morning, 10 years later, I went down to Tempe Town Lake to see the Healing Field. It was, in a word, breathtaking.

There are flags flown for every person who died that day, and attached to each flag is a name and a brief bio.

I weep.

When I got there, first responders and service people were reading the names of those who perished. After the final salute, they opened the reading of names to volunteers. I had the privilege of reading 20 names.

Amazingly, I made it through all 20 without breaking.

The park was full of people. Citizens, airline employees, civil servants, every branch of the service was represented... But he was my favorite.

This man stood at attention through the entire service, not moving a muscle. He stood as a sentinel, mid-point in front of the sea of flags, reminding me - and everyone else - of the heroism and bravery that was shown on that day by the NYFD.

I'm a mess of emotions today. I'm grateful for the bravery and selflessness shown by so many on that day, 10 years ago. I am - we all are - indebted to the crew and passengers of Flight 93. (How much worse could it have been? I shudder at the thought.) I am humbled by the civil servants who willingly walked (ran) into harm's way to save the people in NYC on that horrible, awful day. I am full of grief for those who lost friends, family - loved ones - on that day and in the days that followed. I am filled with love of God and love of country.

May we always remember.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I tell you, it's all about perspective.

This has been an emotional week for me. I'll tell you why.

A year ago today was my last radiation treatment. It's been a year, folks. A year. ... A year ago today, I had to lie down on a flat plastic bed and submit my body to a 10 minute round of radiation for the last time. The treatments themselves weren't too bad. They weren't painful. ... They were scary, for a lot of reasons - not the least of which is that the techs would make me as comfortable as they possibly could before they left the room so as not to submit themselves to possible radiation poisoning before they turned the machine on - but they weren't painful. ... What was painful were the side effects. The side effects were absolutely killer: the nausea that could not be controlled, the projectile vomiting that could only be stopped with copious doses of medication (most of which were prescription strength), the burns that made it hard to breathe without searing pain.

I tell you what, when my joints hurt and/or when I'm so tired at the end of the day that I can hardly move, I remember when it hurt to breathe and I am grateful that I'm just a little achy or tired.


In more recent news, I had my 90 day check-up yesterday and I'm pleased to report that I'm still cancer-free. Halle-freakin-lujah!

And while I found out that I'm still cancer-free, I also found out that my body is still up to its stupid games.

I have a surgical hernia, folks. Well... not a full-blown hernia. It's in the beginning stages and there's a very good likelihood that it will self-correct, but still. A hernia. Go figure.

But I am grateful. Grateful for a hernia. ... Why? Because it's good to know that this weird lump in my stomach isn't cancer. Who gives a flying leap if I look a little lopsided, with one side of my tummy noticeably larger than the other? Not me, that's who!

I tell you, it's all about perspective.

*And as an added benefit to the hernia, I'm back to wearing doctor issued Spanx. That's right, I'm under orders to wear my binder again, esp when I'm involved in anything requiring physical movement/exertion. This will help stabilize my stomach and hopefully, will allow my core to grow and form the way it should, forcing the hernia into submission. The upside? Just last Sunday, I put something on and thought, "It's too bad I can't justify wearing my binder anymore. I'd look SO MUCH BETTER in this dress if I had a flat stomach!" - Justification to trick people into thinking I'm thinner than I actually am, here I come...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reason #723 Why I Love My Hometown

My mom forwarded the following email to me with the comment "Don't you just love Taylor?"

Subject: House for rent and chickens for sale

My friends are looking for someone to take over their rent. It is a 2 bedroom 1 bath with a huge sun room. The rent is $700 (approx). If you are willing to help with irrigation etc., the price would be less. She also has 2 roosters & 8 laying hens that she needs to sell, as well as a little blind chick that she is wanting to give to someone who is looking for a pet chicken. It can eat & drink by itself. The house is on Tumbleweed Lane.

Why, yes. Yes, I do love Taylor. (And, yeah, Tumbleweed is an actual street name in my hometown. Awesome, right?)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Justice and Revenge

From Burn Notice, season 4:

Jesse: Justice and revenge is chocolate and peanut butter as far as I am concerned.

Fiona: You're making me hungry.

Okay, so this post isn't really about justice and revenge (though you know I'm not above that sort of thing - The Count of Monte Cristo is, after all, pretty much my favorite book of all time).


Devils Food cupcakes topped with PB Buttercream.

This could well be my best dessert idea. Ever.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 cups (approx 1/2 bag) powdered sugar
4-6 Tab water

Cream shortening and peanut butter. Add powdered sugar and water alternately until you get the consistency you're looking for. Taste. Swoon. Taste again. Be grateful for the goodness that is peanut butter frosting.

Go forth and bake, people. It's worth it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Comparison/Contrast of Fiber Bars

Here's a little comparison/contrast essay on the difference in fiber bars. I'm going to make this really simple. In fact, I'm just gonna go right ahead and turn it into a photo essay.

These are delicous.

These are not.

Yup, that about sums that up.

An aside: How could Fiber One bars not kick Kelloggs' trash? Hello, chocolate chips are the second item listed in the ingredients. That's right, the second thing listed. There are more chocolate chips than there are oats in those puppies. No wonder I love them!

That is all.