Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I trust that donuts and naps will get me through

Things I need to do this summer:

1.)  Sleep-train myself to be in bed by 9
2.)  Find a really good donut shop nearby
3.)  Memorize 25 scriptures
4.)  Pray a lot
Why?  Because I'm going to teach seminary* this year. 
Knights of Columbus.

I am happy to report that I have moved out of the stunned phase.  I am now into the mostly-thrilled phase.  Things that have helped:  I called my dad immediately, and no one is more excited about seminary or teaching than my dad, he was positively giddy; I really love the kids, well, the girls at least, I don't know many of the boys but they have to be great, right?; I work amongst people who are super excited about religious education - where most people who hear the news would say, "Whoa," everyone I told today said, "That's so cool!!"

And I agree, it is pretty cool. Even though when I look back at my own seminary experience it seems like an impossible dream.  Did I really wake up at 4:45 every morning of high school?  Just thinking about 4:45am makes me a little queasy.  But it happened.  And it will happen again.  And I suspect it will be challenging but also really fun.  So if you need me between August and June I'll be holed up in my room either with my nose in the New Testament or sleeping. Wish me luck. 

*An early morning religious class for the high school set.  This is a volunteer position but similar to my actual paying gig in that I am a secretary at an institute, which is seminary for college kids.  Sadly, there is no ping pong in seminary.  They both fall under the same department aptly named Seminaries & Institutes.  Which means I have both covered and maybe I should petition to become the department queen.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Some months ago our upstairs neighbors and friends (whose freezer exploded on my watch and I ended up with about 50 pounds of rotten meat all over my feet) moved and new people moved in. They are a total mystery.  I've seen old people come out of there.  Young people come out of there.  Several children run up and down the stairs.  I always see packs of teenagers getting in the car parked in their space.  I should really just go up with a plate of cookies but I have anxiety about that sort of thing.  And I actually really enjoy a good mystery.

Despite how many people may or may not be living up there they have been just fine, neighbor-wise.  They don't gallop down the stairs, they don't scream at their children or smoke (like the Next Doors), they aren't loud or have raucus parties (like the Across the Ways), and they must crawl everywhere because I never hear footsteps.  So that's really in their favor.  But there have been two instances of questionable behavior.  1.)  A while back I was sitting at my desk late at night, my room was quiet and my window was open so it was easy to hear the following:  someone opening the door upstairs, then sprinting all the way down, then vomitting in the bushes, then walking back upstairs.  And 2.)  every morning for the last week there's a guy up there who wakes up and raps.  As in, he makes up his own raps.  At 6am.  It's not waking me up or anything, I'm usually awake by the time he gets going.  It's just kind of funny.

So my conclusion on who they are?  Gypsies.  They're a family of gypsies who run some kind of open-air circus.  They're taking the season off to perfect their acts before going out on the road again.  Their apartment is strung up with tight-ropes, that's why I can't hear them walking.  The rapping guy is working on the entertainment for between acts.  And the vomitting?  I say it's a fire-breather who swallowed too much gasoline.

Now I just have to make cookies so I can go up and confirm.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

You don't have to be lonely...

I saw this commercial today, twice.  So I know that I didn't dream it the first time.

This is absolutely, without questions, not even a contest the GREATEST THING THAT HAS EVER BEEN ON TV PERIOD THE END I MEAN IT!!!!!!! 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Worth the drive

Here's something fun to do:  spend many months planning a week long camp for teenage girls then go to the camp and have a great time but only get an average of 4 hours of sleep each night and then when you get back immediately leave for a 10 hour drive to Salt Lake City.  I guarantee that by the time you hit St. George you will be as loony as a loon on loon pills.  The only time I can remember being that tired was that one time I took 5 different flights over two nights to get to Tunisia and had been awake for 37 hours straight.  The sad fact is that, try as I might, I cannot sleep sitting up.  Even with a travel pillow and drugs.  Even in a hysterical and exhausted state of mind.  I can't do it.  So I spent the whole drive up fluctuating being laughing until I cried and trying not to actually cry.

But oh, was it worth it.  Look how happy Gina, Chris & Levi are.  It was such a joyous day.  You wouldn't miss that either, right?  Plus, there were other blessed nephews and a niece to play with.  And many of the sibs and several cousins.  And along with going to the temple I enjoyed both an ice cream cone from the BYU Creamery and a shaved ice.  Joyous indeed.


In other news:  HAPPY SUMMER!  Oh, how I love summer.  Sure, it's hot.  But doesn't summer make you feel so tingly?  Like excitement is just around the corner?  I hosted book club tonight and for our food theme the girls were to bring their favorite summer foods.  We had a lot of fruit and popsicles.  It was a win for all of us.  Heather was over and we were reminiscing about our amazing train trip last summer and it just got me so excited for all the possibilities this time around.  To kick things off we're going to the first sing-along of the season tomorrow night.  I am ready to sing and shimmy in the glow of the warm setting sun.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I may have tie-dyed a few shirts

On Camp:

1.)  I still have dye in my cuticles from all the tie-dying I helped out with.  And on that note, I realized on Friday afternoon in a gas station back in the civilized world that tie-dye is fine while at camp, in fact, it's almost essential, but in everyday life it is mortifying.

2.)  Everyone expects drama at girls camp.  Wild packs of teen age girls with little sleep, hopped up on sugar and spending hours on end with each other is like a giant petri dish full of drama.  But there was none that I could see.  And if there was they handled it.  They were all sweet and friendly and funny and creative and cute and zany. Not a single bra was frozen or flown up the flag pole.

3.)  But there were lots of tears shed, because we're girls.  And because we were lousy with injuries and illnesses.  We had girls falling over left and right. By Tuesday afternoon we had 3 girls on crutches.  A girl went home on Wednesday because of a really bad cold that was ravaging the camp.  Our valiant nurse was handing out drugs like they were Skittles.

4.)  The upside to all of these ailments was that I got to drive all the wounded and feverish girls around in a golf cart. A GOLF CART!  Friends who know me know that one of my dreams is to have a golf cart.  It is the perfect Rachel-sized car.  And it's fitting for a Woman of Elegant leisure because pumping gas is so distasteful.  So on Monday night one of the men who was up there with us said, "Hey, we have use of the camp golf cart.  Do you want a test drive?" To which I replied, "DO I," as I sprinted out to where it was parked.  We rumbled around for a bit in the wilderness, getting lost several times because the camp looks WAY different at night.  And when I finished I got a little sad that that would probably be the only time I would use it because I have two working legs and it's kind of lame to drive around camp.  And then the girls started dropping and I became the designated driver and all week long I was ferrying girls to and from the lodge and basically loving it.  Who wants to buy me a golf cart?

5.)  Did you guys know that there are spare bulbs in flash lights?  I did not until while on our test drive that first night of camp the guy noticed that my flash light was dim so we went to his truck and he changed out the batteries and when that didn't work he unscrewed the bottom and pulled out a little plug and there, nestled inside, was a wee little replacement bulb and lo, there was light.

6.)  Two words:  no moths.  Okay, maybe a few more words:  no moth infestation as in years past.  Sure, there was the occasional rogue but I didn't have a single panic attack that one would nestle in my bangs while I slept.

7.)  Speaking of sleep, there wasn't much.  Because I was bunking with several of the funniest ladies I know.  On Wednesday night we were nearly in hysterics.  I was laughing all week long.  It was very Ya-Ya Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

In conclusion:  Camp was a success.  The girls were happy.  I was happy.  Hooray for girls camp.

In our next episode:  Utah!  And how cute my nephew looks in a white vest.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I'm home.  I'm alive.  I survived.  I got home from camp on Friday at 12:30 and by 2:30 we were on the road to Utah and now I'm back and I'll write all about it after I sleep for 87 hours.  The end.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A whole week without my lame neighbors.

It's not even 9 and all I have left to do for camp is write my talk for tomorrow night and pack.  Easy peasy!  I'm celebrating by blogging.  But I'm not going to talk about camp except to say that I'm in a Zen state about things and to prove it I will admit that I barely panicked at all when I opened up our boxes of t-shirts to find that they had messed up the order by moving every size up.  So instead of smalls we have mediums and so forth.  So we'll just be really comfortable, right?  Admit it, you always want to order the larger size, don't you.

What I really want to talk about is how obnoxious our neighbors are and after camp my number one goal is to get all of them out.  We have Mr. Smoker to the right.  I'm not exaggerating when I say he lights up every 30 minutes.  And then we have The Good Time Gang across the way.  Tonight they had 8 people on their balcony.  EIGHT PEOPLE!  Isn't that a safety violation?  They sit out there all night, drinking and smoking and talking really, really, really loud.  I was in my bedroom, which is the furthest away from them that I can get in my apartment, and I could still hear every single word they said. 

Any ideas?  I'm thinking of breaking in and leaving some kind of vermin, maybe make them think there's a plague going on.

I'm off to girls camp.  Yay!!  Pray that the shirt fiasco is the worst that happens and that the giant killer moths decide to infest some other camp this year.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Like it's 1999

My plan was to get donuts for the kids today so I left about 45 minutes earlier (which isn't that big of a deal since my body has decided that 4:45 is the time it wants to wake up every single morning.  Have I turned into my dad?  Does this mean I'll start enjoying books about ancient sailing vessels?) and headed over to the donut place by my home.  They loaded up 4 dozen donuts and I swiped the work card and then the guy told me that they only take cash or debit.  Since paying with the card is easier than paying with my own card and being reimbursed I decided to try another place.  Except the next place only accepted cash or an ATM card.  Not a debit or check card. Just a card that will only work in ATMs.  Like this is 1999 or something.  So I headed over to a third donut place only to be told that they only accept cash - and there isn't a single ATM machine anywhere. 

Donut fail.

Further proof that this is 1999:  the third place happened to be right next door to the veterinary clinic I used to work at about 13 years ago.  The doctor would send me over every once in a while to buy us some donuts but I haven't even been in that shopping center since I left the place.  But when I walked in I was greeted by the woman behind the counter who said, "Hi!  It's been a while.  How have you been?"  And it dawned on me that it was the exact same woman who worked there back in the day. 

The real question is, how did she recognize me when I wasn't even wearing my very attractive animal print scrubs uniform.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Girls camp is next week.  Next weeeeeeeeeeeekkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!  Lately, whenever I think of girls camp, it pops up in my brain as GIRLS CAMP! and then an invisible force punches me in the face.  Not necessarily in a bad way, just a momentous way, with lots of oomph.  Because there's just so much stuff to try to remember.  And my brain has never been very good with remembering details.  But I'm super excited for it.  It would be impossible to not be excited.  GIRLS CAMP! is a joy.  My enthusiasm easily carries me through all the punches to the face.

Some other things that have carried me through:

1.)  The Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  You know I watched every single thing that was on.  Or rather, watched some and recorded the rest and will watch it after GIRLS CAMP! is done.  Did you see the Flotilla?!  Knights of Columbus!  It was awesome.  And the Queen looked fantastic with her sensible shoes and sparkly brooch and ever present hand bag.  And she stood for like 4 hours in the pouring rain just watching the boats go by.  She's 85 five years old!  Ugh, I love her.  Long may she reign.

2.)  I've been reading The Sweetness and the Bottom of the Pie and am loving it.  Flavia de Luce is my new favorite fictional heroine. She has such spunk. 

3.)  There was a birthday party for me at the institute today - even though my birthday isn't for another 2 months.  But no one will be around in August (seriously, no one.  Please come by and visit me.) and this is the last week of school so my cousin Allie, who takes classes there, decided to bring in a birthday cake for me.  You've seen it on Pinterest, I'm sure. 

Chocolate cake, surrounded by a KitKat fence, topped with peanut M&Ms.  It was like a ball pit of deliciousness.  I had about 30 or so kids crammed into my office or peeking through the window waiting for a slice.  You know how much I love my birthday.  To celebrate it in June was a thrill.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A culinary delight

We made a revolutionary discovery at Camille's birthday beach bonfire on Friday night.  One that will rock the culinary world:

Starbursts in a s'more.

(Stay with me here.)

Lindsay (not sister Lindsay, the other Lindsay) brought fixings for s'mores and a bag of Starbursts because she liked roasting them.  I had never heard of this before but I really enjoy roasting new things.  Or at least lighting things on fire.  So I tried it out and I have to say, it was kind of great.  The outside gets a little crunchy with caramelization and the inside is gooey and warm.  Then someone got the brilliant idea to roast it inside of a marshmallow.  And that naturally led to it being used in a s'more.  I had an orange one because you know my love for chocolate and orange together and it was awesome - sweet and a little tangy.  Someone tried a lemon and said it was a little like a lemon meringue pie.  Genius!

In other news:  how great is it that beach bonfire season is once again upon us.  There is something magical about sitting in beach chairs with your pals, the waves crashing in the distance, the fire being so hot it practically singes your hair while you're making s'mores, the sound of a guitar being strummed at a nearby fire pit, the slight crunch of the sand in your hot dog, the tightness of your face from all that salty air, your feet being so nasty from walking in the ashy sand around the pit but you simply don't care, your car smelling like fire and smoke and sunscreen for days afterwards.

Dear Summer,

I love you. 

Hugs and Kisses, Rachel.