Friday, July 31, 2009

I am pleased to introduce you to my very first plant.
He is a Money Tree, and you may call him Templeton.

I am also pleased to let you know that I am still quite a hit with the old men. My roommate Karen got to witness this last run-in, and while she was laughing and loving every minute, I could feel the sweat pooling under my little armpits. I need to take a picture of the shirt that got me into this whole mess before I divulge. (As I re-read this part, I worried that you would think that I was wearing an immodest diddy, but it was far from immodest, just be patient, and you will understand.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Get Ready

You can all expect this at my wedding,
so please start practicing your freestyle moves.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I took a friend to the hospital yesterday morning, she had an appointment with a surgeon. They think it's her gallbladder, but of course wanted to run some tests first. I went to the gym, showered there, then busted my car's butt to get to her place in time to be able to pick her up and make it to the hospital in time. Her appointment was at 10, and she was invited in at about 10:10. She didn't finish until about 1:15, so it was a long wait for me. I didn't mind one wink because I had brought along my thrilling book.

Unfortunately, being glued to my book, legs tucked up underneath me, head down, didn't clue in the crazies that I was completely content not to chat.

Talked to a 31 year old, tattoo arm, Jazz jersey wearing, shaved head guy who explained that he had a stroke last year, and earlier this week, he started to get dizzy, so he was in for stress tests. I told him multiple times that I was not waiting for an appointment, I was here with a friend. "We are the youngest ones in here!" he kept laughing.

He talked like a thug, we were sitting right across from each other, and I kept running out of things to say, but he managed to keep the conversation going. During one of our pregnant pauses, I was flipping the pages of my book, desperate to sink back in to it, but I knew that was rude since he was watching my every move. I realized I didn't know his name.

Me: "What was your name?"
Him: "I was just thinking that I needed to know your name! My name's Mmphmph."
Me: "One more time, I missed it."
Him: "Ormphm," with a nod.
Me: "Roy?" he made a face, "... Or?" he made another face. Well stop mumbling dang it!
Him: "Earl."
Me: "Oh, Earl!" so relieved that I didn't have to keep guessing, "I'm Amy," and at this point he leaned way close to me, grabbed my outstretched hand in both of his meaty hands, and kept repeating my name as he stroked my hand.

Thankfully, an old lady had to break though our red rover to get to her seat. From then on, I kept praying that the nurses would call, "Earl?"

Once Earl left, Old Lady Whisper Lips next to me was eager to start up a conversation. I could understand about one out of every twenty words because she was so dang quiet. Nice lady though. She eventually went in for her appointment, then my friend came out and laughed that they couldn't find her gallbladder. She was told to walk around for a bit, so we went up and down the hospital, laughing about where her gallbladder could be. "Did you empty your pockets for them?"

She went back in, I walked for a little longer, then found my way to a different seat. I tucked in, opened my book, and fell asleep with my elbow on the arm rest, and my face nestled in my hand.

"Any news?" whispered through my dream. I forced myself to keep my eyes shut.
Arm on my shoulder, "Any news?" there was Old Lady Whisper Lips. "I didn't mean to wake you, but any news about your friend?"

You didn't mean to wake me by waking me up? Poor thing just needed someone to chat with.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I have been banned to the basement. My assignment? Delete everything off of our two very very old computers. One technically is a laptop, it even has the little ball in the middle for the mouse. I've been stuck on the little gray laptop, so many fun games to play! How can I say goodbye to many high scores that took forever to establish? Unfortunately, I remembered why there's a bobby pin taped to the laptop, it shuts down when it feels like it. I think I've had to re-start it six times now. Two of those times were right in the middle of my amazing games of Snakebar.

Anyone remember Snakebar?
What about Iago?
Bird Races?
Carmen USA and Carmen World?
Bouncing Balls?
Wheel of Fortune?

(We have a file from the Judds, so you guys should recognize some of these games.)
They are all so dear to me.


I eventually yanked my earphones out of my ears as I started browsing old saved documents: poems from Zach, talks Jay gave in church (we typed them up for him), old house rules ... Apparently back in the day we were fined $2 if we didn't practice or make our bed or leave the bathroom clean ... it's all in caps so I bet my mom was really mad when she typed it up. I love that the title is HOUSE RULES (revised), I wonder if the first one didn't fly so well with James and I. I also love that our number four rule for behavior at school is "USE YOUR TALENTS AND ABILITIES TO BE A LEADER IN YOUR CLASSES, MOST ESPECIALLY SEMINARY."
Ugh ... seminary memories ... I had this one teacher who would tell us the most ridiculous things! "You need to understand that being friends with gays is unacceptable. You should really avoid all contact. Don't even bother talking to them." Really? Did you really just say that? What happened to love thy neighbor as thyself? Aren't we all children of God? Are you really encouraging discrimination? I fired back, then stomped out of the room.


My favorite find? An English paper James wrote on my Grandpa Carver. I didn't change anything.

2/7/95 James Bateman


My grandfather (on my mother’s side of the family) is mildly eccentric in a charming sort of way. He has always been known as the fix-it man in the family, and he loves to build and invent different types of things. No matter how broken or damaged an object might be he can fix it, and if something needs to be done he does it or finds a way to do it. He can never pass up a good deal and his passion is golf. My grandfather is not your ordinary run of the mill grandpa.

My grandpa can fix anything. A few days after Christmas the best present our family has ever received from Santa Claus broke down. The rims on our arcade basketball games had bent and we couldn’t play our favorite toy. We thought of driving to Clearfield to get some replacement rims, but we knew they would probably just break again, so we gave it to Grandpa to fix. Over the course of a couple of days Grandpa’s wrinkled but swift and leathery hands spent hours reinforcing the rims so that they wouldn’t bend or break again. The day he brought then back he screwed them back onto the backboard and with a wink said, “If they bend or break again just bring them back and I’ll fix ‘em.” Our entire family knew that pigs would fly before the rims gave out. Friends that have this same toy have bent rims that they have long given up on trying to fix, but after three years of playing with that toy not once have we had to go back to Grandpa to have him fix it.

My grandpa cannot pass up a good deal. Grandpa has been a lifelong subscriber to “TIME” magazine when he decided that the articles in it were insulting his intelligence. He let his subscription run out, and when “TIME” called to ask if he wanted to renew his subscription he refused, “I wouldn’t subscribe to your magazine if you paid me!” he exclaimed. For my grandpa to say something like this was pretty extreme. He has always been a calm, patient, humble kind of man so it surprised us to see him speak his mind so forcibly. After about a year of not having “TIME” after having the magazine his entire life and after swearing it off forever, “TIME” called back and gave him a deal he couldn’t refuse. They offered him a great prize like a clock or something and they offered the magazine at an unbeatable price. He accepted and now the magazine has regained its hallowed spot on my grandparents’ coffee table where any magazine should be proud to be.

My grandpa may not seem like he has a big, commanding sort of personality to those who don’t know him, but to those who do he seems like he towers above you. He is a man of small stature, but the way that he acts and the way that he conducts himself around others gives him a special kind of aura that no one in my family can deny. He is a kind, gentle, sweet kind of guy who is extremely creative and extremely respectable.

Grandpa diving.

Grandma hunting with Grandpa.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I know that I'm forgetting a lot of funny stories from camping, so I might spatter my blog here and there as I remember.

When Jay came up on Friday night, he was talking to my Grandma Bateman, and I turned around just in time to see him put his arm around her and say, "You're my lucky Grandma."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 6 - 11
Camping with the Bateman Side up American Fork Canyon
I was able to spend the whole week, what a blast!

This deer didn't seem to give a hoot that we had him surrounded. She showed up a few times during our stay.

We played a lot of games, a lot of games. We learned some new ones too, and my family kept the fighting to a playful minimum.

Karli and Anna came up and entertained Em for a bit.
I barely remember them marching me out close to the stream to take their pictures. (They accidentally woke me up from hibernation.)
Em's leading us, then me, then Karli, then Anna behind the camera.

No bears here.

I think I escaped without a bite.
Thank you Bug Spray. I did taste you a couple of times in my food, but I forgive you.

Where we spit after brushing our teeth.

Em got in trouble our first morning. The ranger guy pulled up in his golf cart and chastised her for brushing her teeth by the tap. "It attracts bears."
Wouldn't you rather we diluted the toothpaste rather than leave it in big globs in the marsh?

Where we met Mothra (the Hummingbird Moth) and the cutest little giraffe clad chairs.

Late at night, we'd sit up here between campers to play games. There was a break from the wind, a bit of warmth from the lanterns, but many bugs.

While we were playing a rousing game of Hand and Foot, Monster Moth decided to make our acquaintance. We = me, Em, my Aunt Becky, my cousin Jessica, and Dra. We squealed and laughed as he glided around us, but then he kept dive-bombing my Aunt Becky's bright green jacket. He landed on her and was making his way to her neck, when we noticed, screamed, and swatted. She was so scared she just shook her hands in place, her eyes frozen wide open.

Lots of laughs.

Then later, Jessica called out, "Mom! He's on there again!" Screams, laughs, swats from all of us except Becky who was again frozen.

Dra jumped up and grabbed the bug spray and doused it, then Jessica carried him far away. Em and I laughed so hard we were doubled over. My Grandma jumped out of her trailer, her pajama buttons askew, her hands on her hips, "Hey you Yayhoos!" but I can't remember what she said after that because that made me laugh even harder. The gist of her message was that we were being too loud.

In the morning my Aunt Becky told me that she and Jessica saw Monster Moth later that night as they made their way back from the bathroom. He was on a rock by their camper trying to catch his breath.

Finally, I get to cook me up a banana boat!

These two weren't excited that they had to wait for my banana boat before we could continue playing games.

Can't forget the flag.

My Aunt Becky laughed/rolled her eyes, "Who brought the flag?" Turns out it was her husband and son.

A small glimpse of Cascade Springs.

My dad brought food for the trout, then we saw a ranger, and he reverently folded his arms to hide his fistfuls of pretzel.

Hiking around Cascade Springs.

Dad: "Remember the time we hiked Cascade Springs?"
Me with some sass: "Yup. You mean right now?"
Dad: "Ugh! I meant Clover Springs!"

I love shadows.

The first day we got to camp, I was standing side by side with Em. I looked down and noticed our shadows. I had the revolutionary idea to try to make my shadow slap Em's shadow. My shadow slapped and missed, so I stepped up and closer, but my shadow missed again. Em was completely oblivious. I decided I better give it one more try. As I was biting my lip and thinking to myself, "This time ..." I ended up blindly slapping Em right across her nose.

This guy finally showed up.

He originally told us he was too busy. The truth is that he loves to work, but more importantly, he loves to be home alone.

Zach asked him if he wore his church shoes on purpose. We all looked down to his feet and had a good laugh. Jay, Zach, Em, and Toby only stayed a few hours, but it was so fun to have them there. Oh the laughs we had.

Toby's first camp out.

Another Story:

Need-to-know: My parents have an amazing ten-man tent. It has four exits: one out of the "main room" and three in their own corners. Dra, Em, and I got to sleep in the corners. There are even little dividers you can put up in the tent to claim your spot.

Here goes (forgive me Em): Friday afternoon, as we (Aunt Becky, Uncle Norman, Dad, Emily, me, Dra, Mom) were sitting around the tables playing games, Em turned to me confessing that she almost got sick in the tent the night before. She was talking loud enough for all to hear. She told of how she woke up, got rumbly in the tummy, then started cataloguing the items she had eaten that day ... so many airheads ... then she felt even worse.

My Uncle Norman pointed out that at least she had her own exit.
Em looked up, her eyes clouded over, then she nodded in agreement.
I noticed, "Oh Em! He meant your own exit out of the tent, not your bottom!"

My dad laughed so hard he had tears dropping on his cards.


Not shown in the above pictures, but an integral part of our camp out:
  • Extreme Bean Bag Toss (Alley-Oop was my favorite.)
  • Double Dutch (Em had no idea that I was so skilled.)
  • Long boarding / Scooters / Bikes galore
  • Rock climbing
  • LuAnne
June 29th = Grandma's Day
Grandma Bateman takes us grandkids on an adventure every summer, and this year we got to go to This is the Place Park.
Em and I had a blast walking around with Jackie and our favorite boys:
Abe, Eli, and Ezra.

Eli on the "Big Train."

Baby goats (Jealous Ben?)

Ezra reaching through to pet the donkey.

Ezra petting an adorably soft bunny. (Very Bunnicula-like.)
Eli loved the mommy and daddy bunnies.

Ezra pet all of the animals, Eli eventually worked his way around to patting them a couple of times.

Ezra on his pony.
I think he was more excited to get the little box on his armband marked off.

Eli on his pony.

Abe's Turn

Loudest cow ever.

Jackie let Eli and Daniel Boone choose one piece of candy.

The family on the "Little Train."
Abe obviously enjoyed it the most.

View from across the pond.

There was a little sign that warned, "No swimming! No nadar!"
I turned to my family, and asked them what nadar meant. No one knew, not even the strangers around us. Was it some sort of chemical not allowed ... that doesn't make any sense.
Later, when I was relaying my many adventures to the boys downstairs, one yelled from a back room, "Nadar means swimming in Spanish!"

How foolish of me.

Mischief going on inside the teepee.

When one of the volunteers came walking down the path towards us (he was decked out in Native American apparel), Eli grabbed my hand, and cried, "Aaah! Run away!"

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Tuesday and Wednesday, I had a Mentor Training class up at the U from 8:30 to 4. It's a long time for me to sit and listen, but I survived by staring out the window, snacking on almonds, and drawing on the little pad of post-it notes. I captured a stick figure getting chased by a car. (I accidentally left it behind, but I'm sure that someone will be quite pleased as they flip through the little yellow pages and enjoy my show.)

The content was ... helpful. I hope that I can be an asset to this "new teacher" next year. However, she's not new to the profession, just new to our school, so I hope that I can do more than, "Well, here's the copy room. You can make copies here. Lots of copies ..." Please pat me on the back because I only annoyed a couple of people during the meetings by calling them out on their ridiculous comments.

I love the convenience of Trax. I would wander out in the morning, ride it up to my designated building, then after class, I would trek back down to my house. I loved my little afternoon walks.

Yesterday morning, as I debated whether wearing flipflops to my meeting was unprofessional, I made my way to the trax station in a daze. Two people in matching yellow shirts sat side by side on the bench, so I strategically skipped a seat, sat down, and pulled out my book. One was a Lenny Kravitz look-a-like, well, Lenny Kravitz when he wakes up in the morning, and the other was a girl (so I thought) who needed to take a brush through her scraggly hair. These two called out to three other yellow-shirted hooligans, who slowly made their way to the station. They all talked like surfer boys (turns out they were all boys, oops) and laughed about their adventurous weekends.

And then,

in a chill drawl, "Hey, how's your morning going?"

Oh! He's talking to me, better hide my Meow Bookmark that Em made me. Wait, no, I love that bookmark, I am proud of it.

We (Jason and I) go on to have a polite little conversation, covering things such as how much I'm enjoying my book even though I'm not that far into it, summer plans, how he's a camp counselor, I asked a lot of questions about the nature of the Jewish Community Center Camp, and then I met all five boys. Stewart, Andrew ... can't remember, and lastly Zyke.

Me: "Will you say that one more time to make sure I got it? Wow!"

While we're talking, Jason's arm makes its way around the back of my seat, and I find out that they're all high school boys. Jason is pretty cute. Trax pulls up, phew, and we all get on together. Jason tells me about his last camping adventure where he used a spindle to create their fires, then he slips in that he and I should go on a campout together, but that he would need my number first.

Aaaahhh! How am I always involved in these situations where I think that I'm just being friendly and polite, but the other party thinks I'm flirting?

"Oh, Jason, I don't think that would work out. You're in high school right? Well, I've been out of college for five years now," and then I laughed because I thought it would ease the tension. Didn't. Please keep in mind that we are on trax having this conversation, crowded morning trax, and I know that other people are feeling my panic and wanting to laugh.

Thankfully Jason got off before I did. "So nice to meet you Amy," and he gave me a parting hug.

Sheesh. I shake my head at some of the adventures I have to endure.