Friday, April 29, 2011

How to Help Alabama Tornado Victims

Dear friends, family, and other readers:

Please take a moment to look at, read, follow, and pass along the following blog address to help Alabama tornado victims:

How to Help Alabama Tornado Victims

I created this blog to help people find ways they can help those who are in need in Alabama. Please help them! If you have any suggestions to add on to the current list, feel free to post a comment or contact me directly!

My Other Home

My parents and sister live in New Mexico. They've been there for years now...something like 17 years now I think. That is just crazy to me. I haven't lived anywhere  longer than 5 years straight. So when people ask me where I'm from, or where I claim, I suppose I should choose New Mexico, and though it definitely is home, in some ways it just isn't mine.

After living in Alabama for so many years, although it isn't where I really call home either, it became a home for me. I would love to live out there again someday. The people there are AMAZING. They are more like family than friends. Somewhat like a very large extended family of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents...wonderful amazing people. Add in that beautiful Southern hospitality, and it's just spectacular. I have a huge chunk of my heart set aside just for these Alabamians.

My other home was hit by some incredibly heart wrending devastation Wednesday. I just cannot believe the videos and images coming out of the city that I lived in and came to love! The miraculous survival stories coming out of there are just too much for words. The terrible stories of people I know watching people die, bodies being found, all in one of the most populated areas of's been quite overwhelming at times.

My parents and sister have all told me how glad they are that I am not out there. And I suppose I should really feel the same way. But all I feel right now is how badly I wish I was out there to be with these wonderful people and to get out and work and help and love and work and hug and comfort and work right along with them!!

I found it interesting today...this morning the weather was absolutely beautiful here in Orem. Clear blue skies, nice and warm. This afternoon, some dark gray clouds rolled in. I got really nervous. I scanned them for signs of rotation, how fast they were traveling, etc. Even now as I am typing this, I can hear the wind rolling by and thunder from the little microburst outside and it is making me jumpy. Yes, here in Utah. I even dreamt of tornadoes last night.

Despite this new fear I have developed and hopefully won't run away with, I would still rather be there in Alabama with my friends helping that city pull itself back onto its feet.

By some incredible miracle, none of my friends out there were hurt. By some incredible miracle, they are all alive. At least so far. I hope, I truly hope, it stays that way.

Please pray for the people of Alabama, especially in the Tuscaloosa area...for many of them, this will be their second night without power or clean running water and other essentials. Many are battling for their lives in hospitals all over the state. Many are homeless and have nothing left. Many are still missing loved ones. And I wouldn't be surprised if some are waiting to be found. They can use all the prayers they can get.

Monday, April 4, 2011

To Be and To Do

Loved Conference. I am pretty much a super stickler when it comes to Conference. I watch all four sessions, I read/watch the Priesthood session, I take notes in my new journal that I get every Conference.

Now, who knew I would have to put it into practice so quickly?!

You see, my apartment flooded. Today.

Discovered it after coming home from a friends house after watching both morning and afternoon sessions there. It's a basement apartment, and so it happens. But it still is such a pain to deal with. It only effected my room. Most of the real damage was in my landlady's storage room.

Super lucky I felt such an urge the day before I went to New Mexico to clean my room and closet. A lot more damage would have been done had I not taken the time to clean. I'm talking books, clothes, papers, and so much more.

Pretty much all of my shoes were soaked through except for my tennis shoes, a pair of flip flops and a pair of nice shoes for work. We shall see what the final talley is when I go back tomorrow after things have dried.

Yes, I am staying somewhere else tonight. At a friends grandmothers house nearby my own house. I removed everything from my room to the living room if it was dry, kitchen if it was wet, or another closet if it was on a hanger. The only things not removed were the bed and a piece of luggage which I am fairly certain is ruined anyways.

I packed a few bags and now I am quite cozy for at least the night. We shall see how long it takes for everything to be cleaned/dried/etc. I believe this has given her the excuse to replace the carpet (hooray! It needed it) that she needed.

Yay for trials. Hope something good is coming!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Let's Play a Game

I left both places of employment early today due to me being ill and quite out of sorts (can you tell I am currently reading Jane Austen??). I thought it quite inconvenient that I was ill, being that it was such a lovely day. It was WARM. Dagnabit.

Instead of coming straight home this evening like I should have done, I went to the park in my neighborhood, walked to the center of the green and sprawled. I soaked some rays (so far no sunburn, yay!), smelled the grass, the dirt, the hint of florals, the clean fresh air being lightly swept on the delectable breeze. It was heavenly. I think it did me a world of good.

After a few minutes I focused on a mother who was quite obviously expecting a baby and her two children, a blonde girl about 6 I would guess and a boy about 2 or 3. I am super bad at guessing ages so I am likely off on both accounts. I watched as they made up games and would play them. It mostly involved who could reach Mommy first. Running, hopping, rolling, etc. The girl won every time.

Once they were playing hide and go seek. In broad daylight. In a sparsely treed park. Kind of obvious where both of them were, but they thought they had the best hiding spots. I am fairly certain I was just like that when I was a girl. I used to think I hid pretty well. Then I realized I was no good at it.

It made me really think about when I was young. We would play games, but I had to let Emily win sometimes. I didn't like that. I thought whoever was best should win. Obviously when we were kids she was at a disadvantage being the younger of the two. I find it funny that she grew up to be more competitive than I am. Don't get me wrong, I still like to win, but in my opinion I think she has a stronger will for it, which is not a bad thing in the least.

Back at the park, a baseball game was being played and a couple were throwing a frisbee back and forth. I had so many flashbacks to when I lived in California as a girl. We lived across the street from the middle school, and the fields were always open. I played in a softball league, I rode my bike around the track, sometimes with friends, played handball with myself, and would lay out on the grass and pull it up one pinch of blades at a time. Those were some happy childhood years.

So today, I wanted to play.

Then I came back to myself. I was sick. I couldn't run home, grab my cleats and mitt, call all my local friends and start a baseball game of my own (yes I have cleats AND a mitt), nor could I intrude on the frisbee couple to make a wider game of it. I had to come home, stuff something with chicken broth into me, and rest.

I mean, I COULD try to play, but that would mean I would likely be sick for that much longer.

So I was responsible.

But I still want to play.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Coffee Break

K, so I don't drink coffee, but I do frequent Starbuck's now and then for one of their non-espresso drink selections. Tonight it was hot dark chocolate. It was wonderful. Great for a sore throat. Hopefully I didn't infect all the other cafe guests tonight.

I have yet to get internet at my house, so I either park in front of a neighbors house and use her wifi or I use Barnes and Noble. I do all the internet things that I need to do, such as download new free stuff from itunes, blogstalk, make payments, update my Disney Movie Rewards, etc. All obviously very important.

It was kind of fun to people watch tonight.

There were two groups of women there who I assume meet there every Thursday. One seemed to be a creative writing group...too old to be a college study group. Kind of fun to eavesdrop. Would love to join that group. The other group was a knitting/sewing/gossip summit. They were going. to. town. I am glad I don't know any of them. I would hate to be a subject for them.

There was one creeper. He was with a girl, but I got one leering look from him as they was leaving. Wanted to throw up. That poor poor girl. Sitting next to me were two girlfriends, probably college students, talking boys, classes, etc. There was a married couple next to them that didn't draw much notice from me except I did notice they both had a laptop. They left and were replaced by what I think was a big brother program or some sort of mentoring age aged guy, maybe a little older, and a teenager, talking about future plans for the teenager. Mission, college, job, money, family troubles and how they will play out. Warmed my heart a bit.

A double date of older couples, two tables with a single person, headphones in, laptop concerning their entire existance.

For being 8:30pm, it was pretty busy.

As for me, I did my internetting for most of the 1 1/2 hours I spent there, and 5 minutes before closing time I bought my new semi-annual journal. I get a new one every conference. The goal is to fill it before the next conference. I failed miserably this last time. It will be different for the next 6 months.