31 December 2008

Sweet, sweet Holidays

Hellooooo Folks,

This has been such an odd last couple of weeks due to the snow and crazy weather we've been having. Added to that I have lost all connectionto my officed from home, a very rare feat indeed. I've worked for the Boy Scouts for like 6 years and the entire time I've had at home access. My new laptop isn't compatible due to the # of bits? Whatever...just make it work! Hahaha...
My new computer isnt' copatible to the secure network and that is AWEFULLY frurstrating! I feel like I lost about a week and a half trapped in the house. And I was one of those crazy people who ventured outside at least 3-4 times.

Anyway, I took some pics and will try to get them up of me getting the chains on! (woman power, lol) and downed trees and now that the snow is all gone, I can hardly remember that it was even here or how bad it was.

Wed. AM I had finally had it with my tub not draining and decided (well, I really decided on Tuesday to go early Wed AM) to leave VERY early for the PDX office so I could work for the 1/2 a day and then head across the bridge to my parents house. On my way to PDX, boss man called and told me that they had closed the office so I just kept on keeping on all the way to my parents. I got there around 9:30 AM. Not too bad considering the ruts were about a 1.5 ft deep and it was snowing like crazy. See, out here in the NW, cities doesn't have plows...what would we do with them the other 45.9 years between severe snow falls?

I arrive and my mom and I decide to venture out. She hasn't been out in days and I for sure wanted to get out and about and figured that in a town of 4 times my entire county's population, the roads would be better...I was soooo wrong but who cares. I had my chains and false yet happy security. We wandered to the post office and WalMart. It was icy but ok. My mom needed her prescriptions and I needed stamps.

We call my SIL and ask her if she's coming over and she says yes but that she needs help digging out so I head on over with the Elders and we begin to dig her out. This is another testimony that we did have that freezing rain they promised because we had like 8 inches of soft powdery snow then an inch of solid ice, then 8 inches of snow again. The two cutest things ever were: My SIL was putting the mittens on my nephew and he got so excited to come down with us and "help" that he walked away with only 1 and I asked him, "Aukai, where's your other glove?" ANd he looked down and thought, oh yeah, I forgot it and headed back up but mom had sent the keys down with him so I said, hey, can I have the keys? He promptly threw them down two stories at me!! lol...good thing he has a good throwing arm and I can catch well!

Then he finally gets down to the parking lot and his tool of choice to shovel the family car out from under the mounds of snow? A kitchen spatula!! And he was so dedicated to making it happen. He just shoeveled his little heart out! It was adorable...as he really is. Sissy, Keli'i and mom joined us and we were off.

We dropped the kids off and Nell and I headed out to pick up the easel from Cherish's place. That was an episode all of it's own because Cherish wasn't home so Nell and I went shopping to the fabric store, Tuesday AM and Wendy's for Frosties. Like we really needed a frosty in that weather?

Christmas was adorable with the missionaries (they live with my parents) and my nieces and nephews. They were very cute and just happy enough. I got everyone in my family the same thing - signs for the doors or inside that say "Nihpali Family - Eastablished 19 or 200..." Except Andrew. He's not married so why would he get one? Anyway...it was a good surprise because I kept them hidden in the car until late Christmas Eve. Hohoo ho!

I think i'll end tonight on the happy note. Only depressing things happen beginning the day after Christmas.

Hope everyone had a very, very Merry Christmas!



17 December 2008

White Christmas?

Or just another year of crazy winter weather in the NW? Sunday it snowed and it wasn't suppossed to get above freezing until next Sunday. People drove on the roads thinking it was fine and now we have packed snow and ice and crappy roads. Look, my little town of Amity isn't equipped with sanding and ice plows or even de-icer. We have one paid cop, one paid fire chief guy and an all volunteer city council. But the bigger surprise is that the roads in the surrounding towns (Salem, McMinnville) roads are WORSE than in Amity. I just don't really understand this but it's true. It is nice to have a blanket of white (and Maleen, I don't have closed toed shoes let alone snow pants?) but it's a bit cold and I'm a bit unaccustomed to it. Plus, I only heat my home with a pellet stove and I'm running low on pellets. I put off buying the two pallets because we had such a mild fall. Oh well.

Have a great day y'all.


11 December 2008

My Monster Treadmill

This should be good fodder for my friends...fyi: I have used it 75% of the days I have owned it, so far. This is a really good %. [Update: Now it's more like 85%] But the story goes like this...

I've been thinking about how lazy I am and how out of shape and obese (yes, I typed that word on my BLOG) that I am. So, since I know that I can and am able to lose weight and change my lifestyle, albeit when I lived much closer to a gym, that I have been thinking about getting a treadmill for a long time. I mentioned this to one of my friends (Shan, love ya girl) and she said, oh, I've got a treadmill. I said great for you - are you looking at selling it? She said they never use it and that the incline was broken. The incline is a fundamental part of the plan for me to lose weight so it might not work out. I convinced her to show me her machine (a very NICE machine) but it's broken.

So, we started looking online for used treadmills. Ok, remember what I said in the first paragraph about my size. For those of you who are skinny minnies or don't use treadmills b/c you are a skinny minny (btw, congrats on that, it's not a put down at ALL!), there are weight limits. This turned out to be my largest obstacle. Finding a treadmill that can handle my weight so I can work out to lower my weight. yes, well, anyway. I looked everywhere, went to discount dealer websites and even almost paid $1275 for a machine. In the end though, you'd be so proud of me that I hung up with that guy, I paid a nice young man with a 1 mo old who lost his job $500 for a $2800 machine that had only been used maybe 30 times. :)

It's huge (it has to be to support me) and the incline works and I love it. It does take up the entire living room and to be perfectly honest, I don't care at all. I walk on it either every AM or when I get home at night. I love having absolutely no excuse!!! not to use it.

The first workout was pretty difficult but mostly I believe it was because my back was all out of whack. I got done and stretched and listened intently to pop, pop pppop, ppop. Ah, the migraine went away and I can stand up straight again. :)

Well, I should take a photo and post it because it's so huge and takes up the entire room and almost blocks my view of the Christmas tree, but I don't care!! I think it's worth it. No buyers remorse here.


03 December 2008

Trimming the Tree

Ok, so when mom and dad were out on Saturday, I got the tree up. But I couldn't get all the lights to work. It's not like I had a lot of time or energy to work on it either. But then Sunday came and went and nothing got done. Then Monday...so finally today, Wed. AM I decided to tackle the tree.

I am so grateful for my Savior. As I was "foofing" the branches of my fake, yet equal opportunity tree (it spins and gives every ornament equal time to be mezmerizing), I got the lights to work. I thought, oh how pretty it is with all of these white lights. Then, I began trimming the tree with reflective ornament bulbs and the light grew - magnified by the reflection. If the lights are the Light of Christ and we are the oranments, reflecting His love and mission, how much greater is our joy when we share His light? The tree became brighter and brigher, ever more beautiful as I added more ornaments. Then I began my "bow" fettish. This part takes the longest but this year, I allowed it to be "imperfect". And, I realized that the bows allowed the light to shine through them. Lots of metaphores and analogies this year. I just looked at my lovely tree and thought about how grateful I am to have a job, a family who loves me and I love them. We belong to the Lord's restored church on Earth, we live in the free-est land in all the world and we enjoy propsperity known to no other people (as a whole). I don't even think that I know "want". This is something that is in my patriarchal blessing - that I would always have my needs met. Ah, what comfort those words bring to me now as we have these difficult days and months ahead. You know, everyone struggles with something. Don't get trapped in that ploy of the advesary that you are all alone or no one understands. It's bunk. It breeds discouragement and disappointment in life.

I'll post pics just as soon as I figure out how to get my new computer working, promise!


Thanksgiving Weekend

Hola Muchachas,

I arrived at mom and dad's house like I was full blown moving in. I had two lunch box coolers worth of bacon, sausage and roasts along with a crock pot of a ham (Mr. Piggy came home from market and got roasted!) because my freezer wasn't working and had either begun or fully defrosted all of my food! Anyway, I had also brought just a LOT of stuff. Didn't hardly use any of it, but I'd rather have more than enough than not enough, eh? Arrived on Wed. afternoon after a 3.5 hr drive from Amity. It usually takes me about 1.5 hrs - traffic was INSANE in the membrane. My foot hurt from breaking so much.

Had a quiet night and woke up early on Thursday. Thank goodness too because I got my yam (1) and sweet potatoes all ready. They were, IMHO, fantastically close to perfection. I added peaches again this year and because I grabbed the wrong nuts, pecans along with the walnuts. So, if you are a nutty and fruity person, you would've loved my yams. I am both nutty and fruity and I LOVED THEM!

Thanksgiving was just lovely. The niece and nephews were just "good" enough! LOL...we danced to Shake your dragon tail and the theme song from Dragon Tails. That, and Betweent the Lions are my favorite kids shows. I adore PBSkids.org. I'm sure that parents aren't really interested in their toddlers wanting to use the only computer in the house but this is where you go to DI or GWI and get a used, working crappy lap top and let them play and learn to spell, type and have fun. :)

Anyways....Ah, I stayed up too late on Thursday even though the plan the entire time was to get up at the o'dark 30 and get to shopping. I got a txt from my friend Cherish around 10:30 and I txt'd back and said, hey gal, I'll pick u up at 5 am. She said sure. I was stoked! I woke up right around 4:30 and txt her to see if she was awake and she ---- WASN'T. That's ok, I just laid back down and went back to sleep. However, she called at 500 or 530 and I went and grabbed her and we headed out. DISCLAIMER: This was both her and my first time ever doing the Black Friday thing. I might have done it once as a teen, but 10 am doesn't constitute "early radical" shopping and working at the mall really does not count at all.

We first went to Jantzen Beach - for you non PDX'ers, this is a very large shopping center dedicated to serving mostly Washingtonians because it's just .4 miles across the bridge allowing us to shop without sales tax. Yes, it's nice, except I'm an Oregonian anyway. Back to the meat of this story. We started a Circuit City and then Best Buy. Cherish headed to Toys 'R' Us while I went in and checked out laptops. Now, listen here folks - it was 6 AM and there were no parking spots. And, all of the computers were gone - or at least committed to folks who I guessed lined up at 2 am. That is just crazy. I got the whole "You should come back at 9 to see if there any remaining" message. So, we headed over to Burlington Coat Factory and then Target. For anyone in the TV market, they had a heck of a deal at Target for 26" lcd for $299. Hard to beat...but WalMart did. WalMart at 10:15 was still chaotic and they still had 50 Wii's. This is a record because it is pretty tough to find a Wii anywhere around this neck of the woods.
After WalMart, we weren't done...no, we had to go to Ikea, back to the other side of PDX, by the airport. It's a good thing that PDX isn't that big of a city, lol...but there Cherish visited many more stores than I did. In fact, I've lost track. I did go in Dress Barn and she went into Bath & Body Works, I think. I wanted to get to Ross, but my feet were killing me and I'd been shopping for 6 hours. Ladies and Gents, this is a record for me!!!! Plus, I'm far too out of shape to shop for 6 hours. I don't know how I made it.

Then we picked up Cherish's precious cargo and headed for my parentals for left overs and to watch PS I love you and The Golden Compass. The food was even better on Friday, plus, we were HUNGRY. I ended up with a skirt, a sweater blouse, a new laptop and three movies, which I am giving to my parents. Oh, and a new mp3 player - a really great steal, 4 GB for $25~.
The next day I got up and drove home and tried to pick up, etc. because my parentals were going to come over and look at my freezer, etc. Plus, it was my plan to put my tree up and get it all trimmed. So, I spent Saturday shopping for plumbing supplies with my dad on the awful concrete floor but seriously, my dad is pretty smart after all (love ya daddy!) b/c he knew that buying the stuff would be less expensive and he was right. He also fixed the front porch light for me. Gosh I need a man who is as good as my dad. They just don't make 'em like that anymore - or do they and I'm just not cutting them any slack? That's another post.
Sunday it was lovely to go to church and see my "ward family". I had missed them.
Ok, that's enough for 4 days, seriously. It was a very enjoyable weekend and although I was busy and tired most of it, it really was the way life should be.

Oh, and for the record - I decided on November 30th, that would be Sunday? that I would read the Book of Mormon from the Introduction to the final page in December. This gives me 31 days to read it. Anyone want to join me? I plan on 20 pages a day and that takes just about 30 mintues. If you are late, you can simply read 21 or double read and catch up...it is only December 3rd. And it really only takes 18 pages a day to complete it. Come on, you can do it. Click here to join me! I am looking forward to the quick read type of study this will bring. I have already caught some very sweet whisperings from the Spirit. One about "tender mercies". Those mercies have a special place in my heart and are included in Step 2 of the churches recovery program guide. Plus, that talk was given the April after Will moved out (Jan) and how grateful I was for someone to recognize that we all have need for tender mercies in our lives.