I don’t care about the commercials….

I only care about the food. I don’t care about pro football, but I do support a few college teams. One of my teams went to the Rose Bowl this year and I came pretty close to going, but I didn’t. I booked a room, but I cancelled it. Penn State lost at the very last second. It would have been so fun to have been there, but I had so many other commitments and only so much time and ca$h. Tonight, I will root for the Falcons because I always root for the underdog. I will probably watch a few plays and eat a lot of hot wings. I will undoubtedly pester my other half into explaining to me what just happened and still not get it. Are you ready for some football?

eLeCTion DAy uSa 🇺🇸

Some people around the world 🌎 are interested in our government. My family members have been in the United States of America since the time of the American revolution to more recently my grandfather’s grandma was born in England. I have family members who have served in every branch of the United States military. Saturday, my daughter was in the Veterans Day parade in the band. 🎷🎺🎸🎼 It was a great parade. It was an honor to  be able to show respect for our veterans. We have a lot to be grateful for.

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Not representing the military, but a cool element of Idaho history 

Fire season

It is fire season in the Western United States. The past few days have brought a major fire to a small town in Southern Utah that my ancestors settled. The fire is in really rugged territory above the historic town of Pine Valley, Utah. Then, we woke up this morning to discover that there is a local fire in Boise. We have had a week of 100 degree temps. In fact, all of the roads surrounding our house are closed to fire personnel since we live near the blaze and the water source. Since our home was shuttered for a/c, we opened the windows for morning air and quickly discovered how unpleasant the smoke smell was for us despite the relative safety of a mere few miles. We quickly shut the windows. Most of the Boise blaze is in the hills, but we just discovered that the one house  so far destroyed belonged to a member of our church congregation. They are safely with relatives. The location of the fire is above our church building where we were just hours before the blaze started. Anyway, we have a lot of beauty in the American West, but the summers bring a kind of fear. FIRE. Firefighters have such an incredibly hard job. Every year, brave men and women live out near the fires and fight them in treacherous conditions of sweltering heat and rugged territory. Sometimes, they lose comrades.  Superheroes.

SUPER BOWL weekend

Once upon a time, my mom went to the Super Bowl. It’s a funny story cause she could care less about football.  It was a long time ago in the eighties. My aunt was a huge football fan so my mom got dragged along as a sidekick a lot to Rams games as my aunt was a season ticket holder. Through that channel, they got tickets to the Super Bowl.  We always enjoyed hearing about the interesting characters they would sit by at the games and so we were super excited for her to go to the big game. We knew we would get a sweatshirt when she got home, but it was a sweatshirt of the losers. (THE BRONCOS)  Fast forward a few decades, I enjoy football. I enjoy the camaraderie, but I really have no idea what is actually going on. Neither one of my brothers played football. They were not exactly hefty. My dad’s sport of choice was walking mountainous terrain and emerging when he was good and ready. This usually involved great distances. It turned off my mom quite early in their marriage so she has always refused to walk/hike with him. My dad and I have had some good hikes together from an early age to now when he has dramatically slowed down. You don’t have to be fast to hike, genetically special, or anything like with football. However, this weekend I will turn on my tv. I will enjoy some nachos, wings, and probably some Coca Cola. I won’t know what is going on during the game and I won’t care who wins, but I’ll enjoy a bit of this classic American past time.

What do you think of beards?

Growing up Mormon, beards were frowned on unless they were on our ancestral heros. Jesus and Brigham Young for starters… We were always taught to be well groomed and having a beard was culturally a bit fringy. My own non-Mormon dad never sported any facial hair. He was an early riser and took care of that. When I was dating my husband in the late nineties, I once spotted him on the University of Utah campus with the makings of a beard and I was not having it. Fast forward to today and beards are all the rage. Until recently, I lived in Portlandia suburbs for 8 years, but I didn’t really know it was a thing until last year when I was at Nordstrom in Salt Lake City shopping for shoes and every one of the workers had a beard.  A light bulb went off in my head that this is TRENDY!?!?!? I am always late to the party. Several years ago, my husband grew a beard and it made him look very professorish, but it didn’t last long. He also was sporting one when we reunited in Idaho at Thanksgiving after our home on the market/job separation. His daughters quickly informed him to get rid of it. It was gone a few days later cause ultimately it was itchy. So… I have to say I used to hate beards….. Now, I’m sort of coming around to the trend. For the record, not everyone looks good with it though. 😉

iN WiNteR

There is a storm brewing back East that has a lot of people prepping for gridlock. I don’t know why, but I am really into the news with these weather related storms. I am particularly happy when the news portray people stranded in airports during the holidays and I am warm and cozy at HOME. I have flown enough during the holidays to know that I’m lucky to get to my destination. One time in Detroit on New Year’s Eve, our flight crew didn’t show up so we got hotel vouchers and told to come back the next day. It was awesome when we had one diaper to spare. It was a great way to get miles when you have a legitimate complaint. (I don’t condone frivolous whiners though!) My own mother was finally willing to go somewhere for Christmas one time and then Portland, Oregon got totally snowed in. Luckily flights were cancelled before they made the trek for full refunds and not stuck miserably at the airport with NO WAY to get them 30 minutes drive from my house. Usually it is a safe bet to fly out of LAS, but I’ve been there with snow too!

My hometown did an article in the newspaper last year saying that in the whole history of the school district they had never had a snow day so could all of the move-ins please stop asking for them. In Southern Utah, we have snow!!!! However, I was a student at the University of Utah on one of their historic snow days. It was an epic storm! I lived on campus so it was a bit dead and eerily silent, but awesome.

Are you a snowbird or do these events energize you?

Don’t waste your $$$ on a gym pass…

UNLESS you are going to use it or don’t care about wasting $$$. I have a lot of really fit friends, one of them who works as a fitness instructor posted some insight a few days ago. 1. lots of people join for the new year and January is pretty busy at the gym 2. they get intimidated by fit “lunks”     3. they give up. He encouraged people to START slow. Personally, I’m too cheap to join a gym and not go, but apparently many aren’t. I haven’t gone to a gym for a few years, but I was quite regular when I had a membership except in the summer when I had full time parenting. I love the classes, well not the ab focused ones. I’ve always been fit, but with belly fat. I’m fine doing whatever at the gym except I get dizzy if I spin around while dancing so I don’t spin and my core cannot compete with the regulars at pilates. I was never ashamed to lay there when I couldn’t do stuff though. Also, I secretly rooted for every really overweight person who showed up. I’m definitely too reserved to go give them a high 5, but I did it in my head. Years of Zumba with the girl who would be on the Wii video game and I still looked like the white girl with no rhythm. When I was a regular at yoga, I would have to leave before the cool down or I’d fall asleep on my mat. (Sleeping for 2 minutes and then being kicked out is oddly unpleasant.)  In yoga class, there was a guy who had so much energy that he’d do leaps in between the poses so you have to find your own groove. If the gym isn’t for you then walking is of course my favorite option. It’s as affordable as you want it to be, but you can upgrade to some great vistas as far as your budget and your imagination will allow.            HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

#OptOutside

Black Friday is not my thing. It’s not that I don’t like deals, but rather I find them all the other days of the year. I have friends who get a real kick out of the crowds and shopping on Black Friday. I hate crowds! Personally, I am addicted to watching the nightly news after the event to see what kind of crazy stuff goes down at Walmart and then I shake my head about society’s decline. Last year for “Black Friday” we were in Rome and I was shocked that the term had been exported overseas. Our decadent American consumerism went worldwide minus the Thanksgiving ritual the day before. Frankly, Thanksgiving makes me CRAZY and have cabin fever so bad that I don’t need to be convinced to #OptOutside, but I somehow don’t visualize REI’s consumer base as being the ones who make the news on Black Friday. I could be wrong…. Maybe we could start a webside called “People of REI”. The closest thing to “Black Friday” I have ever done is when I got convinced by a sales person at REI to “become a member” so I could shop the great deals at the gear sale. I was intrigued and excited cause the next sale was the next day in downtown Portland. I got up early and left suburbia to find the line going down the street. I never made it to the gear sale after a LONG wait in the cold cause I had also scheduled family photos that day and I didn’t realize I needed to wait in line all day long.

Turned away for not wearing heels?

Last weekend, I was at a black tie event in Hollywood. (First ever black tie!) I thought a lot about what shoes I would wear. My husband is 14 inches taller than me and I knew there would be photographers (not paparazzi by any means!) at the event so I wanted to look nice next to him in the photos. I am 5’4 so not tall, but certainly not of “short” stature for a female, but short next to him. When I was first dating my husband, I bought some really high heels. They were awesome, but got goodwilled a few years after we were married cause I didn’t want to fall and break my neck. I pretty much only wear heels to church on Sunday so I was pretty worried about having to walk very far in my new or used heels. Do I want to have a really crappy time? NO!! I ultimately decided on a pair of heels that had only gotten me to the car and to the church pew and back. While getting ready for this event, the fire alarm in the hotel went off. Now I was going to get the chance to walk down 6 flights of stairs in my shoes of choice. Yippee! We didn’t evacuate immediately cause I wasn’t ready and this wasn’t our first time being in a high rise with these false alarms. When the alarm kept sounding, we went out the door. The security guard escorted us down the hall cause we couldn’t use the elevator. I got to the end of the hallway and my feet were already starting to be uncomfortable. Then the alarm started showing signs of “just kidding” and announcements to the guests to be patient, etc… Upon discovering that it was indeed “false” I was starting to be worried and annoyed about my feet. I can’t go in these shoes, but I didn’t bring any back up! We went back to the room anyway to finish what had been rushed and I remembered I had brought some black flats for the business dinner the night before. Yes! They would not much compliment my garb, but not be too atrocious and at that point I didn’t care since not coming home with bloody feet was a higher priority. I did see some women with incredible shoes, gorgeous gowns and more than a few I would trip over if I’d been wearing, but I didn’t much care and my feet survived quite nicely. Then low and behold, the news of the weekend was that a group of women got turned away at the Cannes film festival due to not wearing heels. Next time some groups needs to protest and show up in their favorite running shoes. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/05/22/everything-thats-wrong-with-high-heels/?tid=sm_tw

Pensées about the Boston marathon

Any terror attack is profoundly tragic, but the Boston marathon one affected me worse than others. I think it is because I ran way back when and I could conceive of the utter exhaustion that those people could have felt at the end of the race and then to have to flee in a moment of tragedy or triumph. I once competed in a cross country race all on red dirt at around 100 degrees. At the finish line, I was beyond exhausted and my body was breaking down. I’ve never come close to a marathon, but that day I was pushed to my limit so seeking refuge from chaos in that moment of the bombing would have been acutely challenging. The day of the bombing, I had a friend who had crossed the finish line several minutes earlier and my husband’s boss also had already finished before the bomb went off we learned later. Hopefully the victims can feel some peace in this time of “trial” in Boston.