Sunday, November 29, 2009

A picture's worth a thousand words (Part II)

Once again, I took my camera, but I forgot to take pictures of…

  • The Squirrel Proof Feeder – Aunt Carmela has in ingenious contraption for feeding birds, but not squirrels.
  • The FEAST – Aunt Carmela spoiled us with turkey, dressing, yams, THE BEST BEETS EVER, dinner rolls, gravy, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, cream cheese pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie… You get the idea. DELICIOUS!
  • The Performance – James and I performed Deck the Plate with Lots of Turkey and Count Your Many Blessings for Aunt Carmela and George Ann.
  • The Scrabble Game -  All will be glad to know that James is competitive in Scrabble, but has not yet beat me.
  • The Philly Cheese Steaks – James had his first authentic Philly cheese steak this weekend @ the West Chester Diner.
  • The Christmas Lights – The trees along the drive home were spectacular with their trunks wrapped in vibrant LED lights.

However, I am improving and did take pictures of…

  • the Thanksgiving feasters,


  • the old house we found on our walk,


  • and the vegetation at Longwood Gardens.

 IMG_0539IMG_0548IMG_0553IMG_0555IMG_0547         IMG_0549 IMG_0552IMG_0551

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The worth of soles – or why I’m not buying new shoes

I used to buy a lot of shoes. I’m not a shoe collector, like some girls. I just go through them quickly. I’ve been pondering my shoe situation lately, and I keep thinking, I’m going to go get some new shoes. But I haven’t bought a single pair since I’ve moved to VA. I’m reluctant to.

A Sunday evening conversation

J: I like your shoes.

me: Thanks, they could use a good shine.

J: Mine, too… If you look closely.

me: But yours are not nearly as scuffed as mine.

J nods in agreement

me: I’m really hard on my shoes. Not sure why. Hmm.

The theme of old shoes has surfaced quite a bit in my readings lately. First Elder Holland advised: “Smile at an old pair of shoes,” and then he proceeded to quote Henry David Thoreau:

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only dispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. [Walden (1854), 1, “Economy”]

A Monday night text conversation (paraphrased since my phone scolds me if I save too many messages)

me: …Hope you’re enjoying the rain.

J: I’m eating chocolates and working on a group project. It’s raining?!?

me: I’m leaping through the parking lot at Giant with Dantzel. You need to at least find a window if you can’t get outside to jump in a few puddles.

J: I just walked home from the metro.

me: Did you find any puddles to jump in?

J: not in my dress shoes! Otherwise I would have.

me: Ha! Now you know why my dress shoes are so scuffed.

President Monson shared a story about President Kimball and his shoes:

One day I was sitting in the temple near President Kimball. As I looked down, I noticed that he had a large hole in his shoe. And I mean large! His stocking showed through. After the meeting I said to Arthur Haycock, President Kimball’s secretary, “Arthur, you can’t let the President wear those shoes.”

Arthur responded, “Has he got that pair out again? He has many pairs of shoes, and I frequently hide that pair, but he searches and finds that particular pair most of the time.”

President Kimball was known for his statement showing his humility: “My life is like my shoes—to be worn out in service.”

If the prophet can wear shoes with holes, I can wear scuffed and worn shoes, too! I’d like to be like President Kimball and wear out my life and shoes in service, but I better start taking better care of my body and my shoes so they last long enough to be of worth! Perhaps I shouldn’t be jumping in puddles in my dress shoes anymore.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Enveloped in art

Today I was making a list of things I want to experience in DC. Of course exploring art galleries was firmly added to my list.

Then I started thinking about my relationship with art and how it has shaped my life. I know, waxing a bit profound for someone staying home with a cold on a rainy fall day.

The first art exhibit that spoke to my soul and moved me debuted at the Hammer Museum in 2004: Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective.

Her goal in creating her sculptures was to incorporate “as much of life as possible—no barriers—no boundaries—all freedom in every sense."

Her sculptures were created from cold, rough canvas, welded iron, and black paint. The canvas was salvaged from industrial laundry conveyer belts. She manages to transform these materials into organic forms that express a “glimpse… of the fear, hope, ugliness, beauty, and mystery that exists in all of us and which hangs over all the young people today.” What I love is the beauty in the shapes and curves, contrasting with the depths of the black circles that almost swallow you alive.

Untitled 1959

Her work reminds me of a line from Modest Mouse:

So much beauty in dirt.

So much beauty it could make you cry.

That’s life for me: taking the dirt, the canvas, the iron and shaping it into something beautiful and meaningful that encapsulates the process of becoming.

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's all in the eye of the beholder

So there I was minding my own business, running to the post office before it closes on a Monday evening to send off my application for the Hill Cumorah Pageant. It was supposed to be post marked no later than November 1st, but I hadn’t decided to apply until October 28th and it required a Bishop’s interview. Eek! So, at my boyfriend’s suggestion, I decided to send it priority mail.

Here’s the conversation that transpired at the end of the transaction that makes me shake my head (and yes, I’m in VA where when you go to the post office you have a LONG conversation about what you’re mailing):

(Click on the comic strip to make it larger)

Silly things Jocelyn says

As I walk out the door I hear him reiterating “Running totally counts.”

I guess I feel like I don’t work out anymore since I’m not following a training plan, I don’t lift weights, and I haven’t been to a gym for months. However, when you consider I rode 42 miles this weekend and jogged 15 miles last week, I guess that most people would say that I work out.