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[Comments] (2) You know X when Y: Oddly, these both have to do with my sense of smell.

You know you've been living in Utah when cigarette smoke reminds you of somewhere you went four years ago.

You know you go to Disneyland too much when exhaust fumes remind you of Autopia.

[Comments] (3) : Sumana linked to an article about getting your resume read. I once wrote something similar, if less well-worded. I was reminded of a conversation Andrea and I had this morning, relative to a recent incident at the front desk.

The receptionist is pretty much omnipotent as far as a salesman is concerned. Noelle and I screen calls for the IT director. He gets A LOT of sales calls, and rarely takes them. If you are a salesperson trying to talk to the IT director and he is always "in a meeting" or "away from his desk" or "out of the office", Face it: if he's interested, he'll call you back. Being rude to us won't help. Don't call back everyday, or four times a day, especially when we've told you he is out of the office, and will call you next week if he's interested. That's harrassment! And if we complain, you won't be getting our business anyway. Give us a break, and save us the trouble of putting you into voicemail everytime you call. You've already blown your chance - the first time we had to tell you off.

[Comments] (1) Road Overkill: The drive to Bakersfield only took 2 1/2 hours last night. Apparently, fewer people want to leave LA on a Thursday than a Friday. Who knew.

I saw a tanker truck that said "INEDIBLE NOT FOR HUMAN FOOD".

Mom got some blood, I spent two hours with Grandma. She seems a bit better. She says she is still dizzy when she tries to walk, but she was talking more coherently, and more often. Pat and Don were there when I arrived, along with Rodney Love, Aunt Ellen's son, and Carroll, one of Grandma's brothers. We are going to dinner at Pat and Alan's with them.

Random Stories: One thing I love about Grandma Rosalie, or Grandma Rosalie when she has energy at least, is that she never stop talking. She just tells story after story about anything and everything. (It barely occurred to me this afternoon that I may have inherited more than just my squashed thumbs from her...) We reminisced today about one drive back from a Benson Reunion in Northern California, just the two of us. I don't think I said a word the whole time! Today I decided I was going to take notes on her stories, since I won't always get to listen to them.

Grandma Susanna: I have asked Grandma several times about her grandmother because it says in my confirmation blessing to get to know and emulate my namesake. Ok well, here's what Grandma Rosie knows: She lived with them when Grandma was a little girl; She was mean to her daughter-in-law (Rachel); She thought the girls' (Rosalie and Lou) dresses were too short, "Georgie, buy some fabric so I can sew onto the bottom of those girls' dresses" (direct quote from Grandma); Grandma has a picture of her sitting on the front porch with a shotgun in her lap. Yeah, that's it. We laughed so hard when she first told us about the photograph, though.

Grandma came to California when she was five. Mark had only had primer before, so they started first grade together and everyone thought they were twins. I think he is less than 1 1/2 years older. She said she later visited a good friend who still thought that!

I asked her if she'd ever liked to cook. She said when they were first married she made rolls from scratch for dinner every night. "When we started farming, that's when the cooking quit."

Oh, and Don was teasing Pat about burning dinner tonight. She says she only burns stuff when her brothers are around, and they told a story about one Thanksgiving when Dad turned the oven to "Broil" and let her rolls burn on purpose until the smoke detector went off. Everyone got blamed but him because he was sneaky. That reminded me of something John would do to tease and laugh about (well, maybe not ruin food...), especially since Pat's brothers are still teasing her about burning stuff!

Also, it was very cute to see Uncle Carroll sitting on the bed with his arm around Grandma, squeezing her every once in a while. Nice protective brother. He said he's been to visit her four times in the past two years.

: Rachel called yesterday, all the way from London, to check up on Mom. Such a spoiled mommy!

John is getting ready for his third CPA exam today. Good luck! (like you need it)

Mail: It's always nice to get non bills/junk mail, such as magazines, letters, invitations to Halloween parties etc. Today we got a nice card from Ray and Lynn, Erin's (my sister-in-law) parents. They joined the Chadwick Family Disneyland trip a few weeks ago. We had a good time with them. They are a very nice couple and have very cute grandchildren. Very thoughtful of them to send a card.

John is in LA for tonight (and who knows how late tomorrow night). I just got home from the post office. I think I will do a bit of cleaning, since I didn't do it this weekend and read a book. Noelle has lent me a series of Christian romances (The English Garden Series by Lori Wick) and I am actually enjoying them. They have all the mushy love stuff I enjoy without being a "trashy novel".

: My new spider plants are doing well. Thanks Rach. Actually, the one that survived the move is here at work and he is doing well also. They both seem to have grown a lot in the last week.

[Comments] (2) The Te of Piglet: I recently reread The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. Rachel sent this to me for my 21st birthday, when she was in London. I know because the note is still in the book and she says “favourite.” Although I think the author is a little fanatic about the environment and the cancerous effects of microwaves etc., he makes a lot of good points about appreciating and respecting nature, being humble, and what’s really important. Here are some of my “favourite” quotes from this book.

Let’s leave Behind The things that do not matter, And turn Our lives To a more important chapter.
“Eeyores are Realists, they say. But Reality is what one makes it.”
“Without difficulties, life would be like a stream without rocks and curves – about as interesting as concrete.”
“In reality, heroes are heroic because they, despite their weakness – and sometimes because of them, do great things. If they were perfect they wouldn’t be here in earth’s classroom.”
Persian Curse: May your every desire be immediately fulfilled.
“When one’s will is not distracted, one’s power is increased.”
“[The] worthwhile and important things in life – wisdom and happiness in particular – are not the sorts of things one can Chase After and Grab.”
I also love when he is talking about how this book will be more serious than The Tao of Pooh… and Piglet falls into the wastebasket.

Give and Take: Noelle and I moved the computer over so that we don't roll off the chair mat. Yes, we could have moved the chair mat, but the cleaners move it back every day. Unfortunately, this puts the sun very bright in my eyes for 20 minutes of the morning, between the roof of the building across the street and the top of the door frame. Right now I am fading in and out as the flag blows across it. Very annoying.

Also, they have started construction on the [empty] top floor of our building. Loud. And the guys had to be told they couldn't smoke up there (duh).

A couple nights ago, I dreamt I went back to Haven Drive to see Mr. Autry. Maybe because I was playing my flute while I was at Mom's house last weekend.

[Comments] (1) San Diego: On Saturday, John and I went to San Diego. We left early and went to the temple first. It was a big, beautiful temple, although John said the geometric lines reminded him of waiting in line for Space Mountain. (I told you we go to Disneyland too much.) There were a few people getting married, and a little girl in a fancy dress stomping about and pouting, while her mom tried to take a picture. ("We have to document it, Hannah!")

After the temple, we went to the outlets in Carlsbad. We went in all the shops and saw a few things we liked. We didn't buy much though. The parking lot was crazy!! Apparently, people don't do anything but shop down here. On the drive home, I got to talk to Leonard about various Christmas presents.

[Comments] (2) It's Different: I got a random phone call from Kristen Davis on Saturday. She and her mom and her little baby were in town for a funeral and she remembered that I lived down here, and I'd just emailed her my new phone number. So they came to visit.

Kristen's baby was very cute. She is just 5 weeks old, and her name is Lizzy. I asked Kristen if Lizzy made her miss her kids less and she said, "No, it's different." I told her I understood (although probably no one else ever will). It is different. And now I know that ache will always be there.

It's been almost four years; my kids are all older than my nieces and nephews. But I think they'll always be my babies in my mind.

Foggy Memories: It is a bit foggy today. Not "Gah! We're going to die, we'd better drive 10 mph" fog, but "oh, it's a bit foggy today" fog. When I went into the wide world of Provo, Utah, I didn't realize that other places don't get fog like Bakersfield does. I was shocked that other people didn't get fog delays! What do you do without fog delays! The joy of all winter existence! The Cancelor of Seminary! The reason for getting up in the morning (to listen to the radio)!

Other than listening to the radio, I have two distinct memories about fog. One was driving home from Bakersfield on a very, very foggy night. We were going less than 25 mph and had the windows rolled down to help us see better. Took us a very long time to get home. Someone was following us to make their way easier.

The other one was at Haven Drive. It was so foggy that we'd probably had a fog delay, but it hadn't cleared. Anyway, my friends and I were playing hide-and-seek on the playground, just feet away from each other in the open space. You can't do that in non-B-town fog!

[Comments] (4) Caramel and Cream: I tried two new recipes last night and they were both yummy, so I'm going to share the yumminess with you.

Creamy Tomato Chicken Penne

2 1/2 c. uncooked pennne
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 T. olive oil
2 T. chicken broth
2 c. cooked cubed chicken
1 can diced tomatoes, not drained
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese (I didn't have any so I used Mozzerella)
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained

Cook pasta. In large skillet saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in broth; cook for 1 minute. Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through and slightly thickened. I added a handful of chopped fresh basil at the end, and I think it made a big difference. Makes 6 servings.

Caramel Apple Cider

1/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. brown sugar
3 c. apple cider
1/2 c. water

Bring cream and brown sugar to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cider and water and raise heat to medium high, heating just until the cider begins to steam, about 4 minutes. Divide among 4 mugs, top each with 2 T. of caramel whipped cream and serve immediately.

Caramel Whipped Cream

1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T. brown sugar

In a small chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream with the brown sugar until soft peaks form. (I didn't make this because I was using cream that had been in the freezer.)

[Comments] (2) Spilled Beans: Guess what? I'm spoiled!!!

Oh wait, you already knew that. Well, here's further proof: John is taking me on an Alaskan cruise next May! We want to do it all: dogsledding, flightseeing, canoeing around a glacier.

Like I said, spoiled, spoiled, spoiled.

: I had a lady call work the other day asking about something she had seen on "Good Morning Alabama." I also recently had a call for "Channel 7." Maybe it's related.

[Comments] (2) Ahem: Dear Family,

It's that time again - time to make Christmas shopping easier for each other. Please post your wishlist (you know you've got it) so we can start emailing behind your back and calling dibs.

I will be a bit of a hypocrite here, because I left my list at home, but I will post it soon. I even put potential stocking stuffers on this year - mostly because I didn't get any of them for my birthday =P Just kidding.

PS: Rach, you get to watch your Christmas present be made, because I haven't had any other time for it. You can be extra picky!

[Comments] (2) Wishes (not "Wishin'", sorry Chris): Thanks everyone who has (or will) posted their wishlists. I knew you had them! Here's mine:

black buttondown shirt
bright pink buttondown shirt
eyeglasses cleaner refill
$$ for Susie's Alaskan cruise fund
red nail polish
nail buffer
cream nylon trouser socks
big bath pouf
small soap dish
Dr. Scholl's cushy feet thingys ("He's so not gellin'")
cute socks
interesting books
practical little useful things
anything from Ghiradelli Square!!

Also have an Amazon wishlist, searchable by swishina@hotmail.com for CDs, DVDs, games etc.

[Comments] (1) Holiday Spirit: I love weekends! I love the Christmas Season! yay!

John said yesterday "everything we did today had a Christmas theme." He was talking about our Disneyland activities, but really the whole day was like that for me. In the morning, Noelle and I went to a service day sponsored by the local Interfaith Council. We sewed hats onto little dolls, tied a quilt, made two fleece blankets where you tie the knots around the end, and wrote two letters each to Afghanistan orphans. It was really a lot of fun, although my fingers hurt from all the needle-pulling.

Then John and I went on our twelfth Disneyland trip. We visited the reindeer, had our picture taken in a sleigh, waiting in line to meet Mickey, watched the "Christmas Fantasy" parade, which was very good. Princess Count: 16

In the evening we pulled out all our Christmas decorations. We put our little tree up, with twice as many ornaments this year. I only decorated the front 2/3, and it looks pretty good. Our little tree skirt and stockings I made last year. Our light-up snowman and two nativity sets, and the blocks I made at Enrichment last year. It actually doesn't look like much, but it's still quite nice. Feels like home.

We spent tonight at Jamie and David's, me putting together her Christmas-themed kits. I got half done, which was nice because we are tired of hauling the stuff in from the car and back again. Only one trip this time!

I am excited for our busy, two-day workweek. Hopefully we will get to see Goblet of Fire tomorrow night. I am doing laundry now so we can get all packed and ready to leave Tuesday night. It should be a wonderful trip to San Francisco for Thanksgiving; it sure was last year. I am looking forward to seeing all of my family.

: A few weeks ago we got a new Bishop in our ward. We really like him. He and his wife pretty young and have two little boys, the younger of whom is in our nursery. Even though he can't talk very well yet, John says he knows all his colors and shapes. We've also heard stories about the older boy excelling in Primary and have decided they must be great parents. When I told Sister Watkins this, she said, "Oh no, we're on day 5 of 7 with no TV for not listening." Sounds like decent parenting to me.

I brought my paperwhite bulbs to work so Noelle can water them while I'm gone (needy bulbs). They have been quite the conversation piece.

Also, very clumsy today. I almost fell out of my chair this morning, right onto the floor - please, laugh! I did. Then I knocked an entire cup of water onto my desk when reaching for the phone. Luckily no papers got wet.

[Comments] (2) : Well, Fun Stuff first. We had a good time in San Francisco. I especially loved that we were able to visit the Zoo. We got to see lots of fun animals, including the anteater (which doesn't eat ants but ingests a lot of sand), the albino kangaroo, the dancing rhinocerous, the whiskered hippo and the sunbathing lemurs. We also got to watch the penguins and the big cats be fed. And Big Cats! One of their tigers was HUGE! My favorite was Orkey the seal. Seals only live to be 25 in the wild and 35-40 in captivity, and this seal was over 35. His enclosure was rather lame, but the sign said they didn't want to move him or introduce a new friend because of his age- they didn't want to stress him out. I thought that was very considerate of them. He was a playful, friendly seal.

Rachel, John and I went to Chinatown on Friday morning. We parked on Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd. John got his sweet bread and some mango soy milks. We had a nice walk around. We also drove down to Jollibee in Daly City for John. Such a spoiled boy.

I also had a lot of fun playing games with everyone. John hopes I got my game fix, and I probably did. We also watched A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was pretty funny. My favorite quote, of course, was when they were shooting each other with the Point of View gun and the President turns it on the girl and she says, "It won't do anything; I'm already a woman." Mom and Leonard said the book is funnier so I will add that to my reading list.

The World is Quiet Here: My Grandma Rosie is gone. No one else in the world will ever be excited to hear of someone I met with thumbs like ours. I won't get to hear anymore of her Random Stories. I've been very lucky to have a wonderful, caring, grandchildren-spoiling Grandma.

I am a teeny bit mad at her for not waiting a few hours so I could visit her again. But she got to go home from the Skilled Nursing place, and she'd had a nice Thanksgiving with Pat and Alan. And she had finished the baby quilt she'd been working on.

I am more than a bit sad to have joined the realms of the grandparentless. There is still Grandma June (who "adores" me).

Other bad news: Unlike John, my cold followed me home from San Francisco and I am all runny today. Efrain was nice enough to bring me a box of tissues. Yesterday John and I brought in some Christmas decorations and did some fix-it things for mom. While trying to mend a pipe, I tripped and fell on the patio and now I am sore and bruised today. I am going to go stocking-stuffer shopping after work to make myself feel better, even though today is the only day to finish Christmas kits for Jamie. With John in LA, I will still have enough time to work, I hope.

All the flowers: Would have very extra special powers/They would sit and talk to me for hours/When I'm lonely

I remembered why I like paperwhites so much- they're delicious smelling. Mine opened up two little blooms yesterday. I'm sad to be leaving them again. I tied a sparkly red ribbon around them so they could stand up straight. It's very pretty. Thanks, Mommy!

Also got sympathy flowers from work.

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© 1999-2022 Susanna Chadwick.