Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My look a likes...

So I got on here and tried the look a like test as well, not one person really stood out, except Barry Williams, who I was too embarrassed to include in the photos. You know him, the oldest son of the Brady Bunch...yeah..

I have been tagged...twice!

So I have been "tagged" twice now, so I guess I need to let you all know the six things you may not know about me. Hmmm...

1. I'm pretty scared of heights. My hands get really sweaty and I get really nervous(sounds more like a date:) when I'm up on a high ledge or sometimes even in airplanes. The heart rate gets really fast the higher up I go. I actually didn't go on an upside down roller coaster until my senior year of high school, because they went so high up, the smaller wooden ones were okay.

2. My best ideas come in the shower. My "Ah hah" moments are those early morning moments when nothing else is on my mind and thoughts can just come...problem being, I'm still not awake enough to remember every fantastic thought that came, but sometimes those gems make it through.

3. I LOVE horses. I never had one, didn't take riding lessons or anything, but my cousins had horses and I loved hanging out at their house during holidays, riding the horses and feeding them. When I was younger I even wanted to be a horse, I'd go galloping up and down the hallways, ruining my pants by putting holes in the knees; watch, "The Black Stallion" and "The Black Stallion Returns," just classic movies about a boy and his horse and wish I owned one...the memories.

4. TOP GUN PHASE: In 6th grade, I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Not sure why, my best friend and I went so far as to talk about the free ride to college if we joined the Air Force. Right before graduation from high school, I even applied, interviewed and did the physical testing to get an ROTC scholarship. Got it, but didn't accept it, decided it wasn't really for me. I know surprising, can't you see me in the flight suit?

5. You may know that I am a history nerd, love it, love re-enactments, love American history type movies and books. The American Civil War is my particular focus, love it. I wanted to be Scarlett O'Hara and have the hoop skirt and huge home. I would love to be a re-enactor sometime. Weird...I know.

6. I love sports but one little known fact-while playing your normal sports in high school, I also was a shot putter and discus thrower on the track team all four years. Yup, kind of a random part of the track team that people really don't think about, but I did it. I actually made it to the Northern California Meet of Champions my senior year, but couldn't quite make the state championships, there were a few other bigger girls who could throw quite a bit farther than me. But fun times...kind of scary to look back at that actually:)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

San Diego Fires

On Sunday, I was walking out of church and noticed big gray clouds up in the sky and there was fine ash falling. Fire season was starting in Southern California. This last weekend and week was an amazing time in San Diego. At one point there were 11 fires burning in San Diego County, the Santa Anna winds were blowing them fast and moving into areas that were heavily populated. On Monday morning, my roommates parents were evacuated from Poway and they came to stay with us. While the fire was still at least 10 miles from my house, the evacuation orders kept moving south and for the first time in my life, I had to see if I was prepared to evacuate my home and what I would take. It was a sobering experience for me. Gratefully, the fires didn't get down this far and I didn't have to leave. There has been a lot of smoke and ash falling all around. My work was cancelled for the week due to air quality and the need to conserve power. Power lines were being affected by the fires, with the possibility of rolling brown outs happening if any of those lines went down.

On Tuesday, after one day of sitting at home glued to the news, my friends and I bought a bunch of supplies like water, granola bars, wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes and other items to take down to the main evacuation center, Qualcomm Stadium. We arrived with our car loaded and waited in line for 2 hours to drop off our donations. It was so AMAZING the amount of donations that were pouring into that place and then being farmed out to other evac sites. I am honestly impressed with the amount of generosity the people in this area have shown. The news in the morning says what is needed and by midafternoon, they get it. I haven't heard of extreme shortages anywhere. It is amazing. The church sent down supplies as well and those made it to those in need. Members of my ward donated time, money, and items to help out. I am so impressed at the response to the tragedy faced by so many.

I have been off work all week and have been a little stir crazy with not much to do. But I am so grateful that I didn't have to evacuate. My roommate has heard of a number of people she knows in Poway who have lost their homes, my friends boss lost his home, there are so many who have lost so much, yet we are taken care of.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My future vacations...

I was thinking last night while working on my homework, about possible future vacations. Those tend to revolve around where I can stay with someone, yes I'm that cheap(not really, just budgetary restrictions require that:). So my future trips are:

1. Nashville. My grandparents live back there. My family had a reunion there while I was a junior at BYU, and I'd like to go back. There are so many sites we didn't see. Maybe take in more of downtown, back to Mammoth Caves, more of the Southern plantations homes that have been restored...I'm heading back there! And I need to see my grandparents!

2. Northern Bay Area. Yes, I'm from there, but one of my favorite places on earth is there and I have not been to this particular place in a while. Muir woods, one of the places on the northern california coast to preserve the coastal redwood trees. I love this park. You can hike around the enormous trees, take in the grandness of the forest. I love it. And down the way, is Muir Beach. A nice little rocky beach with tidepools, good hiking...it's good. One place I have never been, even though I live in the area, is Napa. It's more famous for the vineyards, but I would love to drive through and see the hills with the vineyards and stop in to eat at a fantastic little restaurant. Then go into San Francisco and hang out. I love that area and could go back and play the tourist part. This will most likely happen in April, so if anyone wants to put it on their calendar, Hotel Christensen has rooms!

3. Later next year...2008 will be the year that I FINALLY go to the east coast. Yup, I will take a trip to Boston, up the New England coast, checking out the fall leaves, seeing the early colonial American history, checking out the lighthouses in Maine. I WILL do it!

All this reflection came about when I realized I have 16 vacation days stored up and 17 sick days. Why am I still here! Oh yeah...schoolwork. (And yes Maren, I saw that you tagged me, my 6 things about me will be coming shortly...)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Da Vinci Code...and other random thoughts.

Random thought 1: So I read this story(link below) regarding the Knights Templar and other interesting facts about them. What is interesting to me, besides all that history stuff, is that it was the Catholic Church archives that opened up these files. The Catholic church has really old archives! I love stories that validate my profession!


Random thought 2: Let me describe a coworker of mine. She is an older lady, probably around 55, she just graduated from law school last May, just passed the bar and is now looking for jobs. She also is a very heavy smoker and has a very low, raspy voice. So I've noticed over the last few weeks, that she talks to herself. Her cubicle is just across and down from mine. I stared hearing a low pitched hum coming from that direction and upon further investigation, I realized it's her talking. Sometimes she'll talk about something she's working on, something in the news or even, a continuation of a conversation she had with a few of earlier that morning! It's kind of funny. But it got me thinking, would I be more productive and better organized, if I spoke my ideas/plans out loud? So I tried it a little bit yesterday(our office is so quiet there are 5 people gone right now) and I have to say, the thought processes worked better, I organized what I had to do better. I probably won't do this all the time, but sorry if you catch me from time to time!

Random thought 3: I had really good pumpkin spice swirl cake with cream today at friday forum at the institute. Oh my gosh it was fantastic!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Oh, the joy of apples

When I was in high school, I worked summers on my aunt and uncles' farm in Utah(I might have to find some pictures of my farm life! Me on a tractor is fun!). It was a fruit farm, where they grew mainly cherries(the tart kind), as well as apples and peaches and had their own U-pick vegetable garden. Working on that farm has been a highlight of my life so far. From that experience, I learned to love apples. My parents have an apple tree in their backyard, it's a pretty mature tree and produces sooo many apples every year. We're not sure the kind of apple, but I think I've narrowed it down to the jonagold variety. In any case, every September we harvest apples. Recently(like the last few years), my mom and I have tried to figure out how to use as many of the apples as possible, before they go bad. We give some away(we can't possibly eat that many, it really does produce a lot, even after I've thinned the tree), but last year, my mom and tried a few new things. We made homemade apple butter, which was fantastic and became our Christmas gift to people and then we canned a bunch, turning them into apple pie filling. Just add a few spices and other ingredients and voila-ready anytime apple pie filling. Last weekend, my mom brought me down some jars of this apply and cinnamony goodness and I made apple crisp with it this weekend and it was really good. But what was even more great about it, was using something my mom and I had made. It was so satisfying to use something we had grown, harvested and canned ourselves. It was great. My mom said the tree produced even more apples this year, so more apple butter and filling is on the way! Anyway, I love apples!

This picture is of the big red barn in Santaquin UT, where my uncles family sells their produce, it's kind of fun, stop there next time you head up off the South Santaquin exit on your way up I-15.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mariah and the Fam

I love this picture of my dad and Mariah, so sweet! Well, this last weekend, my whole family(sorry about Tyler not being there:() got together for Mariah's blessing. It was great. It was wonderful to see my Dad, my brother, Steve, his dad, brother and uncle all in a circle blessing Mariah. It was great. I love my fam! Soon my brother goes into the CHP Academy, we won't see him till he graduates in April(maybe at Christmas, we're not sure), Brigitte will have her baby, it's just the expanding and constant changing of a family growing up and doing their own new things.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

stress busters

This blog is somewhat inspired by Julia, and her all apologies idea. I'm not sure what happened to me yesterday, but I feel I may have been a little mean. If I was offended by MYSELF, I'm sure others were as well. So I am going to try to find those I hurt and apologize. I thought I dealt with stress well, but I guess I don't. So yesterday, I had class after work, and I got home in time to go play basketball. I think I should have listened to my little shoulder angel telling me not to go. I had other stuff I could have gotten done. Stress brings me down and last night, I was a downer. I snapped at people, I got frustrated and stormed out of the gym for a minute, then felt like a fool coming back in. I couldn't make a shot or defend to save my life, just not good all around. I don't like myself when I'm that way. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, my inner demon rears it's ugly mean head and I don't want it to. So, I'm looking for stress relief tips. I can see in the next couple weeks, the possibility of more stressful moments, so any ideas would be greatly appreciated.