Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This Petty Pace

Today I was reading a blog by a Theatre Professor at UVU, who does a study abroad in England every year, and it hit me, how plebian I feel. How very...low brow. I'm sure everyone feels that way sometimes. Even Avram, who has studied almost ten languagues, and reads The Bible in Hebrew to take a break from studying Arabic, spends most of his free reading time with Role Playing Books. I have an odd obsession with the BYU honor's reading list (Just read The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty - another line has been highlighted!). But...the last movie we watched was Galaxy Quest. And, I spend an awful lot of free time not bettering myself (thanks Internet!). And my children make me feel claustrophobic sometimes. As in, sometimes, I get cabin fever from my home, and my job description. Like this week.

I'd like to believe it's because I'm basically unsettled from not knowing about buying a house or not. We have a meeting with a loan officer this coming Monday, and from that we should know whether we'll be able to buy one or not. But it saddens me that this is the greatest desire in my heart right now. When I was still single and at BYU I worked for a short while as a custodian at Wymount. Mostly we did deep cleaning for apartments after people moved out, but occasionally we had women call in for a special spot carpet cleaning, usually because their baby had thrown up or peed on it. And even though they had cleaned it up themselves, they needed our chemicals, because they just remembered where it was.

My boss hated this. I must admit, these women usually came across as a little wimpy to me. (Except for the time that someone had us clean pig blood off her carpet, because her sister had stored her belongings at their house in between apartments, and had forgotten that her freezer bag was in the middle of her stuff, and they only noticed when the living room started stinking, and there was a pork roast bleeding all over the floor - that was a very legitimate use of our chemicals and prowess with carpet cleaners. Good times.) Aside from this, every time we visited one of these apartments, it gave me claustraphobia. The cute decorations. The dimness indoors. The small child and mom. Alone. In an apartment. 560 square feet. ALL DAY LONG.

I grew up babysitting. I also grew up in a large family. I knew I wanted to be a homemaker. But visiting the reality of it....I couldn't handle it.

Then I got married. And had Lydia. And Loved my job as homemaker. It was a very natural transition. I loved the quiet and calm of the apartment, all day long. At this point in my life, I would sometimes visit my sister who owned a house, and whose husband had an "adult" job, with adult income. She was a year younger than me, and very settled in life. And although I loved visiting her, the idea of me being that settled really did not sit well with me. I couldn't imagine being that tied down. Of being where you'll be until your kids leave home. Yikes.

And now I want that. I want to own a house. It no longer scares me - I see it as very attractive - more housework and all. Even if we don't buy a house now, I'm fully in that stage of life. Multiple children. The Mommy stage - the mommy brain. It's a good stage. But....sometimes, I want to feel on the edge of things.

Avram and I decided recently that we may have him go alone to Israel to study for a summer, but we would not be planning to have the family go for a school year, like we had previously talked about. The idea of finding an apartment, paying for air fair and visas and passports (Avram's expires after the turn of the year), and working out funding, and trying to sight-see, and doing all of this on a student budget, with small children who need naps and routine....It's just too much for us. For me. The stress of it all - I just want to not go.

Of course, if we found out he randomly got funding that could cover us coming as well, I reserve right to immediately negate the previous paragraph. But looking at it right now, it just seems preferable to stay settled in America. It saddens me I feel this way -that I would rather have stability and ease than life-changing experiences. Maybe it was being in England, where I wanted to do amazing things, but instead spent most of my time in a small third story flat, pregnant and anemic, with no energy and no money, living off of student loans. I feel like I never really got to see England. That I had all this...potential experience at my fingertips, and most of it slipped through them, without me seeing it. Being in England, but never Seeing England. I think under the circumstances we did alright. But....I don't want another foreign experience like the last one. I'd rather wait until Avram was a professor, and we could actually sight see, and our kids weren't so young. Even thinking about it right now...I don't want to go.

I'm not really complaining, in the sense that I wish I could/would change. I recognize that there are times and seasons to life, and right now is the time and season for being a mother of young children, of settling down, of security. And that even through this I can, and am, keeping up my other interests. Reading literature. Having nonsensical conversations in Arabic (That's about it for my intellectual activities.) I know that later there will be plenty of time to travel, to see plays, to mingle with others and have scintillating conversations that do not include phrases like, "Are you sitting on the potty? Good girl!" or "Can we hit our sister? [No.] What can we hit? [Drums]"

Sometimes, I dream, though....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Black & White

I'm liking the black and white pictures thing. I should do more of it. As soon as I dig out the camera I inherited from my mom, since my own camera is finally, completely, dead. I've had this camera for three and a half years, which is a long time for a small electronic object that has been to three continents, gone through the saliva and rough handling of two children, and has been my best friend as well. I'll miss you, fair camera! Even if you were only a point and shoot. And I took a lot of very blurry pictures with you. But it was all me, not you.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pictures of My Girls Make Everything Better

I don't really have much to say. Today has been an odd day - our only plans, a ward celebration of Pioneer Day, was cancelled because of rain. So we've had nowhere to be, and no promises to keep. Because our life has felt on edge waiting to find out if we can get a loan or not (very slow progress has been made - because of us, and we should know sometime next week, when we'll hopefully have a meeting), Avram and I have watched a movie or TV show of Star Trek every day this week, so I'm all TVed out. Yes, we have watched the Start Trek movies up through Generations (skipping the first and fifth, which are, according to Avram, the terrible ones), and have started in on the first season, first shows. I'm a rather obsessive person. When I first started reading Terry Pratchett, I picked up a book here and there. And then, on my second time reading Wyrd Sisters, something clicked, and I fell in love. Being myself, I went and found the first Discworld book Pratchett wrote, and then read my way from number one to number somewhere in the thirties or forties, in order. It took me the bulk of one summer. And then I finished up by reading everything else he ever wrote as well. I'm not an obsessive compulsive person - but I am oddly thorough and exact sometimes. So now we are moving through Star Trek - the original series, in order. Soon I too will know way too much about the Vulcan Death Grip (which doesn't really exist). Then I'll probably have to go back and watch all of the movies again - just because I'm me.

Anywho, what I'm trying to say here, is that I've about reached my limits for constructive, or unconstructive, activities. So here are some pictures of my girls, because at least my Mother will benefit from them, if no one else.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yellowstone and Family Reunion

Here ensues a really long picture/travelogue. Just be grateful I didn't bring an equivalent power point presentation to share at Testimony meeting. The ostensible reason for my trip to Utah was an Extended Family Reunion up by West Yellowstone (the town outside of the west entrance to Yellowstone Park).

Here I am at Yellowstone Park, with my two cuties.

Here's is almost all of my family - we're just missing Avram, and then two of my sisters and their families. We're a blended family - my mom had five kids, and my stepdad had five daughters, and most of us grew up in the same house together. The same dinky house.We still think we have to share plates, too! (Ok, maybe not, maybe we did have enough plates for all of us growing up....)

The reunion was held at Hebgen lake, There were a ton of people there, although my husband was conspicuously absent, and we had lots of huge family meals and campfires. Also, we went into Yellowstone.

Our Stallick family (a blend of our two last names in my blended family) went up together, in a five car caravan, complete with blaring walkie talkies. Our car, consisting of my parents and my girls and I were 'daylate' as in A day late and a dollar short. The entire hour-plus ride into and through Yellowstone until we reached Old Faithful, the final destination of the day, we were entertained by the constant twaddle on the walkie talkies. My brother in law John, the head of the Caravan, gave us constant (often made up) updates on each sign we crossed at the side of the road. Don, my step dad, fulfilled his quotia of bad pun/Dad jokes, like this classic, "Look, a Mountain Lion! ....It's just a mountain, lyin' there!" We all groaned on cue, thus bonding through mutual gagging. Innuendos flew about, as well as attempts at humor, including forays by myself, who held our car's walkie talkie. I never cease to be amazed at how once people have a walkie talkie in their hand they think that any comment they shoot out into the air space will automatically be humorouse and witty. I am even more amazed how much I fall into this category. Good thing I really was witty and sly, huh? We were so strung up on our own wit that we probably would have laughed had Lydia been providing the commentary. I just hope no local semis were listening in on our multi-car conversation.

Despite the great fun of driving to Yellowstone, the actual park was great too. We got out at a herd of bison, and walked up on some white sand, to a little pool of water. Here is my sister Mandie, and her daughter. She has pink hair because she ran a marathon (you'll have to ask her what the correlation is). About three seconds after this photo was taken, a ranger ran up and yelled at the multitudinous crowd on the white sands that we were all breaking a federal law, and to get off the white sands. Oops. I am now a law breaker, but in my defense we had barely entered the park, and hadn't yet read the paraphernalia they hand you at the entrance. Plus, there were no boardwalks - it was just a random hill on the side of the road.

I contented myself with taking pictures of the Bison roaming the place instead. You are supposed to stay 25 yards from them, but I am not exactly sure how to comply with this, when a bunch of the bison were walking up to parked cars and rubbing themselves against it. I presume the wildlife in Yellowstone are wild - you certainly cannot touch them, nor feed them. But they were nonetheless very used to humans, and never shied away from the army of photographers. The two days we drove into Yellowstone, I saw the same animals at the same spots both times. Perhaps the various mule deer, bald eagles, and bison have a contract with a park, wherein they make get big bucks for posing for the tourists? Except only the deer would want big bucks. Get it? Big Bucks and Deer? Oh, I am too funny. It's all that car time I spent under Don's groaner tutelage.

We also went to Old Faithful, which is a pilgramage required of every true American at some point in his life. Elisheva didn't care much for it, though.
She positioned herself directly facing away from all the action, and ate dirt the whole time. Elisheva is pretty sure she won out on experiences, too.I enjoyed Old Faithful, and it actually came up while we were there. I grew up thinking that Old Faithful came once an hour. It's a lie - since an earthquake fifty years ago, it comes anywhere from 40-90 ish minutes apart. It's name ought to be changed to Old Forgetful. What next fateful blow will my childish beliefs receive? That Mt. Rushmore is really carved from Foam?

The next day we went north on the Loop, and saw a Beryl Pool and some Artist Paint Pots. More fake amazing photography ensued. Plus we stopped for lunch at a campground, and Lydia played with her new cousin Jennifer. My parents are adopting a woman who is about my age, who is married and has two kids, one of whom is a month older than Lydia. Her parents died tragically about a year ago, and she has essentially no family on her side, so my parents have taken her in. As my Mom put it, "We decided we didn't have enough daughters." (There were only eight of us, so far). My new sister and I chatted as we drove up to the reunion, and it was great to meet her in person. Lydia, though, really liked Jennifer. Jennifer spent the night in our cabin. Her and Jennifer played together constantly for the whole reunion. They never even fought (until after the reunion, at my Parent's house, where they fought a lot over toys. I guess this means Lydia will have proportionately better friendships the more toys we get rid of). While at this Yellowstone eating area, Lydia and Jennifer were playing house. Lydia was the mom, and Jennifer the daughter. Lydia told Jennifer, "I am going to vacuum the house now - you need to go and hide in the kitchen." This is what Lydia does every time I vacuum, since she's scared of the vacuum.

Jennifer, not being privy to Lydia's fears, did not understand at all, and would not go into the pretend kitchen. Lydia kept on insisting, but their pretend play dissolved through a lack of communication, since Jennifer would not get to the kitchen.

We were going to stay up at Hebgen Lake through Sunday, but a big windy storm came through. Because of a scheduling miscommunication, we only had our cabins for two out of the three nights of the reunion (plus the extra night we decided to stay for the Fourth), so we were in tents. Our tents were blowing around, and so the group's decision was to leave. We left the campground at nine thirty, and because we were a five car caravan, didn't pull into home in West Valley until three thirty in the morning. Thus ends my Family Reunion part of the trip.

It was a fun trip, but after the first day in Yellowstone, I wrote Avram a postcard that went like this; "Today I saw Geothermic Water shooting over a hundred feet in the air. I drove through the largest volcanic caldera in the world. I committed (unknowingly) a federal crime,and was yelled at by a park ranger (walking on white sand). I visited two states. I saw bison & a wild eagle in their native habitat. But none of this all compares to when I get to see you again. I miss you, and I deeply wish you were here! But barring that, I I thought I'd send you a postcard. Love your best friend, Thora. P.S. Single Parenting is hard. You're a great dad."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where is the Meaning of Life According to Google?

Sometimes, when it is almost ten in the morning and I am in my pajamas, and still on the Internet, although I have exhausted every possible constructive activity available on the world wide web, including even overhauling our finances to see about a possible down payment (there is a possibility, it's not over 'till it's over), sometimes at this point I wish I could type in, "" or "" And up would come a blog that told you to get your lazy bottom off the Internet and take a shower and get dressed and vacuum your house already, not to mention do all the laundry, but it would do it all in a nice and inspirational way. And I would.

Sometimes, sometimes I feel that the scripture in 2 Nephi 9:51 hits a little too close to home, "Do not spend your money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy." I find blogging to be very fulfilling - often. But sometimes, at almost ten in the morning when I need to get dressed (and when my daughter Elisheva just jumped off of the adjacent chair, and grabbed my (long) hair with both her hands as she fell passed me, to break her fall. She thought this was funny.), I feel that there is definitely a law of diminishing returns to the Internet. And I am at the diminished stage.

So for myself, and for all those who have come searching for meaning in their lives and somehow ended up at my blog I have these words of wisdom, "Get your lazy bottom off the computer. Take a shower. Vacuum. But do it with joy and gladness and feel cozy and inspired. Oh, and put your cranky toddler down for a nap when she uses your head for transportation as if you were Rapunzel."

Here I go, in search of some labor that will satisfy.

Look At Me, I'm Famous (or Easy to Find, at least)

I just wanted you to know, that if you type "thora Mormon" into Google, my blog is the first result you see. And if you just type in plain old "Thora," I am on the second page. Not too bad, eh? I am accomplishing my world domination one blog at a time.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Even the Democrats think I'm Lame

Some couples in the ward, who are also graduate student families, are in the process of buying houses. Inspired by them, Avram and I jumped on the bandwagon, and started getting really excited at the thought of having a house (for me especially, having a fenced in backyard for the girls to play in would be a real plus to life). There were houses here in the Midwest we could afford monthly payments on. Plus until the end of the year there is a home buyer's tax credit that would be 10% of the house's cost (up to $8,000), and it is refundable. This means, since we don't pay any taxes anyway, that we could get a $7,000 check in the mail from Obama (since $70,000 was about the prices of the homes that we were interested in).

So, after thinking about this all weekend, today I put on the electronic babysitter for Lydia, and went and read up a ton on houses, house mortgages, blah da de blah blah. And it was complicated, but things were going well. We would want to get an FHA loan, being the graduate school low income people we are, and because they only require a 3.5% down payment. For $70,000 that is not very much. Just $2450. Unfortunately for us, that is about $2000 more than we have lying around in our bank accounts. See, I have this little obsession with paying of debt. And I stand by this hobby - I think it's a good one. But it means that we don't save up money, except for a small emergency fund for car explosions and insurance deductibles for people explosions and whatnot. We figure if anything really large came up - large explosions for people or cars, we could just easily get a student loan to cover the costs of reconstructive surgery, or whatnot. Not that we or our car are liable to explode, you understand.

What about that lovely (hypothetical) $7,000 you would get from buying a (hypothetical) house; could that be redeemed early? Why yes, yes it could! Hallelujah! For closing costs, and for a down payment, above and beyond the 3.5% you are required to pay separately, that is. The 3.5% we don't have. And you can't use a student loan for a down payment (for fairly obvious reasons, but it also seems to be considered illegal). And you can't borrow money for a down payment - not even unofficially, from family. You can use a gift of money from family for a down payment. But they have to officially sign a statement saying it is a gift, and requires no repayment. So you can't (wink, wink) get a "gift" from family. It really has to be a gift. Even if you could repay it in a matter of a few months, out of the Tax Credit.

I understand why they have these safeguards. I understand people who have no savings, and who only work part time, and especially who have switched jobs in the last two years (which disqualified us from our beloved Credit Union, because we don't live up to their standards of people to lend to. This endears me a lot to them as an institution - I'm glad they have standards. I just wish I wasn't lower than them) are not considered good credit risks. I just wish they had a special type loan for people who are hardworking, educated, and will pay off their loans and not move them and their whole extended family into the house, only to stop paying mortgage on it months after the papers are signed. The upwardly mobile, but it's-taking-us-a-long-time-because-a-doctorate-is-hard-to-get-sort-of-people. In a word, I wish they could look at me, and say, "Thora, she deserves this loan. Just look at how level headed she is." Instead, they can only look at my financial profile, and despite my good credit score, I'm pretty lame everywhere else. Avram only works part time. I don't technically work at all, although I do babysit part time. We have no substantial savings. We make hardly any money a year.

But, if were were magically "poof!" in a house, we would have no problem making the payments, including the insurances and extra utilities. And we're very nice people. But banks do not care if you are nice people. At least not now. Two years ago, Lydia probably could have gotten into a home with no money down. After talking to two institutions (the first one, USAA, doesn't even do FHA loans anymore.), our short lived house dream bubble is burst.

Too bad we walked past two of the homes yesterday we would be interested in. And now I can imagine them in my mind (they are both foreclosed on), all abandoned, and just wanting some Thora-love. But I am too poor, even for the Democrats. Unless any of my family out there want to suddenly bequest me thousands of dollars just because you love me, or because of my high quality blog-writing. Whaddya say?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well, When I Was On Mount Sinai...Speaking FLuent Arabic...

I minored in Arabic in college. Recently I've had people ask me why I took Arabic, and my reasons all come out sounding a little flat. "Because I felt I should." Well, that's basically it. I'm not interested in the modern middle east. I'm not. I hate the political situation (I do not hate Arabs. On the contrary, I love Arabs, just like I love all races of Men. And Women. I do not hate Jews, either. I do not approve of Israel's political policies, but that is another boring political blog for another Thora.)

I did a study abroad in Egypt (which, if I ever got in gear for writing more of mine and Avram's love story, I would finally get to). Before I went I had an interview with the director of the Program. In it, he asked me what I was planning to do with Arabic. I gave my pat, academic answer; "I would like to go to Graduate School for Library Science, and work in a University Library in the Near Eastern Section/Religion Section." Which I did plan to do - if I didn't get married first. Of course, by this point I had lined up men (two is a line, right?) ready to marry me, so I was only planning to do this if a freak accident obliterated Germany and Provo before I managed to graduate. Then, for whatever reason, I segued into my real desire, "What I really want to do is marry someone who works somewhat in the field, and be associated with the Near East, and Semitic Languages, without actually having my own career and graduate degrees."

And I did. I married Avram. And he has studied Hebrew since before we met. Let me tell you a story. (Ha! Like you could stop me!) When we were first married, Avram and I were window washers at the now obsolete Deseret Towers at BYU. All day long we washed the windows, from one cheesy, over-decorated EFY room to the next. On really exciting weeks we got sports camps rooms as well. We also hung a belaying rope from the roof, and then had harnesses that we hooked ourselves up to, and hung out the window to wash them. Sadly, we did not actually rappel down the sides of the building. But we did hang our head and arms over the side of an eight story building every few hours, unattached to anything, as we hooked up the ropes. Our Motto was, "Probably, you won't die."

As we were window washing one day, about two and a half months into our marriage, and two months into this job, and two weeks into knowing that I was pregnant, and two paragraphs into this story, Avram began speaking in Hebrew to me. He did this a lot. He liked to practice his modern Hebrew, and I had taken two years of modern, and so we would speak little meaningless conversations together to keep limber. This day, being pregnant, I burst into angry tears. How could Avram cavalierly speak Hebrew to me! I wanted to speak Arabic! I had no one to speak Arabic to, and I was losing my ability to speak, and speaking Hebrew just reminded me of this fact!

Avram was immediately concerned, and stopped speaking Hebrew. But I did not stop crying. I could not stop crying. I cried for a half an hour straight. And then we went home early. All because I could not speak in Arabic to him (and because I was early pregnant, and irrational).

As of Two Days ago, my little then-pregnant self can rest at ease. Avram and I have begun speaking in Arabic with each other. Sure, Avram only knows three verbs, and they're all in Fosha, the formal Arabic, and most of the scattered Arabic I know is in Egyptian Aamiya, or dialect. But we manage to banter back and forth for upwards of twenty minutes this way. Avram is taking Intensive Arabic this summer - a whole year's worth of language, in eight short weeks. And since I've returned home from my vacation, I can finally begin practicing with him. We had to buy him a new book, because there is a little story via DVD about Maha and Khalad, and the old book did not come with the DVDs (you had to watch then on a special site, and in class), and the new edition does (plus they're re-filmed, and all modern.)

Finally, yesterday I threw away my old book, realizing that it was truly obsolete since Avram had had to buy the new edition. Fast forward ten hours. Avram and I are speaking Arabic in the living room, and I am attempting to explain to him that I have no way of keeping up with his class everyday, because he has his book, and is gone at class all day. Avram tells me, in halting Arabic, that I have my book. No, I do not have my book, I threw my book away.

Well, it turns out that the new and old editions are basically exactly the same (except those pesky DVDs), and so I could just use my own book. The one I threw away. Into the nasty kitchen garbage. Luckily, although the garbage was full, I am lazy, and had not taken it out. So Avram went and dug out my book, and voila! I have my own book. That smells like a combination of Onions and Watermelon, and has a suspicious wet spot on the back.

So now I really can study Arabic with him. And now I know why I took Arabic. Or maybe not why, because I do not think that life is always reducible down to small and specific causes and reasons, but rather I feel better about having spent so much time in Arabic, only to have let so much of it lapse since I graduated from college. And lapse it has. I am continuously amazed at how little Fosha I remember. The reason I struggled in ancient studies, is it turns out is that I like to learn a foreign language to communicate with people, to connect with them. It's hard to connect with dead people and dusty documents. So my Egyptian Aamiya outpaced my Fosha from the time I arrived in Egypt. And now, because Avram's teacher is Moroccan, and has a dislike to Egyptian Aamiya, and because Avram's program here does not teach any Aamiya really, I am attempting to re-learn Fosha.

It's almost like I've never learned Arabic at all, except I already know the alphabet, and instinctively know much of the grammar, although I've forgotten much , and I only need to hear a vocabulary once to learn it. One of my favorite phrases is, "Ana Ghadbana," or, "I'm stupid." But I am happy to be relearning it, as bad as my Arabic is, then to let it further slip into lingual oblivion in my mind. And I know that Arabic is not an easy language - it is one of the hardest languages that an English speaker can learn (underneath the tier of languages like Chinese, of course). So it's not surprising that even with a minor and with living abroad I never became fluent. But I still hate losing what I did have. And not just vaguely knowing I've lost it, but actually trying to communicate in it, and utterly failing.

In this same spirit, Avram last night decided we needed to restart reading the Hebrew bible every day together as well. That also went poorly, although oddly, because I took less of it than I ever took of Arabic, I have retained my biblical Hebrew better. Probably because it is such a simple language.

And I am living the dream that I described to my Study Abroad Director - married to someone involved in the Near East without having to be an Academic myself. And I really, really love it. Ill Hum d'lillah! (Praise God!)

* The Title comes from a joke my rommates in Egypt and I had. Whenever we wanted to sound pretentious, in a long, high tone drawn out accent we would say, "When I was on Mount Sinai..." And then fill in the sentence with even more pretention. Because of course, we had been on Mount Sinai (or what Helen, St. Constantine's Mother thought was Mount Sinai, at least.). Ahem. And I realize writing a post about exotic languages, etc, could sound a little pretentious.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Utah - This Is the Place!

It's been so long since blogging that I think I've forgotten how to write. How embarrassing. So I think I shall just jump in, awkwardness and all, and start splatting my thoughts down on the virtual page. Unless that is what blogging is, and my pretensions of Essay-like cohesion and narrative storyline have all been empty ideas with no fulfillment. That's not only embarrassing, but pretentious as well.

When we first arrived in Utah, we went to This is the Place state park. My friend Michele works there, and now I feel ready to work there, or at least volunteer there. If I ever move back to Utah, I fully intend to volunteer once a week. You get to bring your kids, too! What a great way to feel involved with the pioneers. And I don't know if you know this, but I was actually supposed to be a pioneer. Something just got mixed up in heaven, I am pretty sure, which was why I was born a century and a half late. I spent college being in the Medieval club, but after a day pretending to be a pioneer (despite an actual lack of pioneer clothing), I was more than ready to jump ship, and alter my college history to find a pioneer re-enactment club. Except BYU doesn't have one, the nerve.
Michele did the whole process the day I visited, from carding wool to spinning it, double plied it, then did this, and after a bunch of steps got this - a hank of hand spun wool.
I got to Card Wool, and then use a drop spindle to make thread (the method for time immemorial), and then I even got to learn how to use a real spinning weel, and although my resulting thread varied in width dramatically, it still worked. Unfortuately I have not picture for this. Also note that I was a priviliged guest because of my Friend connections, so please do not call up and or bang down the door of This is the Place, demanding your own spinning wheel experience. My friend would really like to keep her job. Thank You.

I also took fake amazing Photographic Artistic pictures, and reveled in the Mountains. Aren't Mountains wonderful? I really miss them out here in Ohio. I especially love the Provo Mountains, but I don't have any pictures of them, becuase my camera broke shortly into my vacation. Hmmph! I have lots more to say, but Avram has been waiting for me to get off of the computer for forever, but that's how long all these pictures took to upload, so maybe some other month I'll continue writing. (Speaking of Avram, wasn't his post sweet? I was completely surprised by it).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain

Hello, this is an unofficial update by your official unofficial updater Avram (the erstwhile husband to the regular updater of this 'blog--you can read my sporadically updated fantasy 'blog here--there'll be some pretty good Nibley stuff posted soon, if you're interested).

My wife has been out of town for the past ten days for a family reunion out in Utah (the actual reunion was in Yellowstone National Park, but she flew to Utah, and then went to Yellowstone from Utah). I had class--I'm learning Arabic, which is pretty cool--so I was unable to join her and my two adorable children in their exciting journey. From the phone conversations which she and I have shared, it sounds like she has had a fun time. To those of her readers whom she saw while out in Utah, I wish to thank you for showing her such excellent hospitality, above and beyond those rules set down by the All-Father.

Her out of town-ness serves, therefore, as an explanation for why this 'blog has lain so long fallow. But fret not, for my darling returns home this very evening--in only a few short hours, to be precise. This wonderful for everybody. Wonderful for her, because she may stop going full-tilt boogie all the time. Wonderful for me, because I get my family, my eternal companion and my best friend back. Wonderful for you, because it is likely that she will once again grace the pages of her 'blog with her own peculiar brand of wit and wisdom, thus raising the quality of the entire Internet in general, a boost which it surely needs.

Since I went through the troublr of high-jacking her weblog, I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to tell all of her readers how great she is (I am aware that you--as her faithful readers--were already aware of this fact, but bear with me). One of the things which I have missed most about my wife is her conversation. I love the way we can talk. Although the telephone facilitates this somewhat, it is lacking in comparison to the wonder that is face to face contact (f0r one thing, my wife has a lovely face--talking with her in person is like a two for one deal: intellectual stimulation through conversation coupled with with a fabulous view. It is, let me tell you, a winning combination). I would have had difficulty marrying anyone to whom I was unable to talk, but darling goes above and beyond the call of duty, and talks to me about my scholarship, my difficulties, and even my role-playing. She is truly a devoted wife (and a great mother [and good looking, too {not only that, but she's an inspired cook}]).

I have missed her dearly while she was gone from me (although I enjoy my solitude) and I eagerly await her return.

What a lovely lady:

We now return you to your regularly scheduled 'blogging. End of Line