Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

St. Anthony Sand Dunes

It was a hot, happy day.  

Cress Creek

We recently went hiking as a family on a little kid-friendly trail near Heise along a stream called Cress Creek.  Soren wanted to be carried about 100 yards into it and spent the remainder of the trip begging for breaks and snacks, but Liam sped all the way to the top and down.  Love these boys.

Briar's Birthday

If loving Briar is wrong...

...I don't wanna be right! 

Briar recently turned 23.  Her big birthday gift was a surprise visit from her little sister Ivy and their mom, all the way from New Hampshire.  Also, I had several of the above t-shirts made (slogan by our co-worker Laura; design by me) and a bunch of our co-workers wore them to celebrate her big day.  Also, our co-workers decorated her desk with streamers and construction paper ferrets.  Her mother made her a chocolate lasagna.  That evening Abe, Briar, Ivy, and I went to see Man of Steel.   Good times.  

Book Journal

By Orson Scott Card

I always enjoy Orson Scott Card, and this book was no exception.  It added a lot of flesh to a familiar Bible story, breathing life into the characters and making them real, tangible, and accessible.  

Cry the Beloved Country
by Alan Paton

Beautiful.  Along the lines of Grapes of Wrath.  A simple, sweet story about change, about faith, about despair, growth, love, redemption.  It made me feel safe, giving me a sense that while life can hurt, it can also be beautiful.  That there is always hope, even in the darkest of despair.    

by Brandon Sanderson

I have such admiration for Brandon Sanderson-- he can not only create a cast of believable characters, but a whole world with its own geography, history, and political and social structures.  I seriously loved Elantris, which (along with the recommendation of my friend, Andrew) is why I picked up Mistborn, the first book in  series.  And I enjoyed Mistborn.  Good characters, interesting ideas, good plot shaping.  I did feel like it could have used a little more editing, as some of the fighting/allomancy scenes ran a bit long and detaily, but overall it was a good read.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dream Themes

I have a very active dream life.  I have vivid dreams pretty much every night and remember almost all of them.  If you've spent any amount of time around me at all, you've probably heard me blather a bit about some dream or another that I had just recently.  They're just so interesting to me.  One thing that I find particularly interesting is that I have several  recurring dream locations and themes.  When I was a kid, I'd have nightmares about running away from either Nazis or drug pushers. Nowadays, my recurring dreams are a little different.  I'm not sure what it is about these particular things that makes my unconscious mind feel the need to probe and re-probe while I sleep, but I thought I'd compile a list of some of my more frequent dream theme repeaters.  


Frequently there will be a large, pulsing, powerful source of water.  An ocean or a sea.  Sometimes it seems to be getting closer or larger or moving inland.  It can be threatening, but mostly I'm just drawn to it on a deep emotional level.  

I also have a lot of weird water/LDS temple dreams.  There will be big waterfalls in the middle of the building, or water cascading down stairs or down the walls in locker rooms.  One time I dreamed that the basement of the temple was filled with water.  The walls were lined with stores and temple patrons could glide along in gondolas, Venice-style. 


These started a couple years ago when I started playing the organ in church.  In my dreams, I'll show up late for church and everyone will be waiting for me to play.  The organ will be pulled away from its spot and unplugged, or buttons or pedals or keys will be missing.  The bench might be way too high or way too low.  Sometimes it's in my church building, sometimes it's in other churches.  The sound might be all wrong.  Sometimes there won't be any books and I'll be trying to play hymns from memory.

That School Dream

I frequently dream that a review of my high school records showed that I was actually few credits shy of graduating from high school, which means that I have to go back and re-do my senior year.  I'm my current age, and I know I have a Bachelor's degree, but for some reason I still have to go back.  There's all the usual locker distress (I can't remember my combination!) and then I inevitably forget about a class or two until the semester is almost over.  I'll scramble around, trying to catch up on all the missed work and material, looking into correspondence courses, and generally panicking because I might have to do it all over again.  .  


There are a couple of homes I frequently visit in my dreams:

The McCabe's house.  I would say at least once a month I dream about the house of my childhood best friend, Becky.  I spent many a happy day (and night) there from a very young age up through high school, and the place has wormed its way into my psyche in a serious way.  It's an interesting house, with lots of rooms and unusual carpet colors and two stories (something I've always loved in houses).  In my dreams it often has even more rooms and sometimes secret levels and winding tunnels.   (The house pictured here is the McCabe's house.  They sold it recently--and not to me!)

The Liddell's house.  My "best cousin" Ashley and I would take turns spending weeks at each others' homes during the summer.  I also spent a lot of Easters and Thanksgivings at Ashley's house, since she lived in  Utah, not too far from our grandparents.  Frequently my dreams center around bathroom mix-ups, a theme I blame on my once having accidentally walked in on her other grandma naked in the bathroom.  And probably because I'm making this list, last night I dreamed that Ashley and I were going to begin attending high school at her Alma Mater, Carbon County High. She was concerned the other high schoolers would make fun of me for having gray hairs.

Dream houses.  Sometimes I dream about luxury homes that I live in.  They feature lots of winding staircases, big bathtubs, and huge windows.

I very rarely dream about the home I grew up in.  I suspect this is because I spend so much time there now.

Anyway, there you have it.  A good inside look at my unconscious mind.  So please, someone, pull out your copy of The Interpretation of Dreams and let me know what's going on in there.  Or at least share your own recurring dream themes.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cool Things You May Not Know About My Dad

My pappy.  I love this man!  

1. My dad has a degree in Diesel Mechanics and can fix just about anything, given enough trips to the hardware store.  

2. My dad is a outdoors guy.  If you don't know this about him, it's because you've never met him.  He loves to fish, hunt, hike, and camp.  I spent many a childhood weekend bushwhacking to streams and letting my dad help me fish by touching all of the gross things, like worms and, well, fish.  He recently got to go on a dream fishing trip in Alaska with his cousins (pictured above).  

3. When my parents first got married, my dad worked as a coal miner in Utah.  Later, he got a job as a nuclear technician at the Idaho State Laboratory.  The site where he works is an hour and a half drive out of the town we live in; he has ridden the bus back and forth to work for almost 35 years.  The work hasn't always been thrilling, but he has always worked hard and been an excellent provider.  

4. Many of my dad's work buddies have already retired and get together periodically for breakfast at Frontier Pies; he joins them when he's on the right shift to do so.  On his birthday this year, my sister and I got to meet this group of men.  Adorable.  And they dress just like him.  I love that my dad has made this wonderful group of lifelong friends.   

5. My papa can not sit still for very long.  He is always busy doing something-- fixing things, building things, digging holes, pruning trees, gardening, snow blowing, going to the hardware store, getting ready for a fishing trip, getting ready for a camping trip, etc.   

6. My dad is a fabulous husband.  For example, he is not naturally interested in sports.  However, because he is supportive of my mom's avid interest in sports, my dad now watches games, gets depressed when BYU loses, knows the names of the major tennis players, and even spent an entire day in Boise happily watching tennis matches.  

7. My dad is a faithful member of the LDS church and has always been willing to serve in any way asked of him.  He has been a  home teacher, a scout leader, and a primary teacher, among other things.  When his work schedule made it so he could only attend church half the time, my dad was the Church Magazine Subscription Guy.  I still remember him coming home from a twelve hour work shift and sitting down at the kitchen table to call people about their magazine subscriptions.  I didn't think much about it at the time, but it brings tears to my eyes now to think about how willing he was to do what was asked of him, even though he was tired, even though it wasn't a particularly glamorous or exciting calling.  He just did it.  

8. My daddy loves music, especially classical music, and can play the piano quite well.  My sister remembers him playing a lot of Mozart when we were younger.  When I was a child, he was the Primary pianist.   When he retires in a year, he plans to learn how to play the violin.  

9. Speaking of churchy things, my dad served his mission in New England.    That's also where my father-in-law served his mission.  And it's where the father of my children grew up.  That New England is just a fathery place. 

I am so grateful for my sweet and handsome papa.  He is a powerful source of unconditional love and support and I am overwhelmed by my good fortune in being able to call such a man "Dad."  

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.  


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