Thursday, November 26, 2009


On the eve of Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and I can't get over how much I have to be grateful for. It's a quiet time, with three of my four children on an impromptu trip to Vegas with their father, parents and sister in Florida, and an only grandchild with his adoptive parents. I guess it's the perfect time for reflection.

The Utah weather is sunny and crisp, without any dreaded snowstorms (for now, anyway). Blessed with a warm shelter, a running car, food in the pantry, good health, relative youth (ha, take that all you under 47-year-olds), family, friends, and a blog where I have met many astonishingly wonderful people.

Thank you to all of you dear readers and writers, for your insightful blogs, and friendships and connections. May this time of thanksgiving bring you heart-opening experiences filled with love and warmth.

Oh, and a good laugh or two to spice things up. Especially with the family get-togethers...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Samoa's Unstoppable Leprechaun

You either love Russell Hantz or hate him. When Survivor Samoa debuted its first episode, I emphatically hated him. Privy to Russell's dark side the first week, we saw him burning one of his tribe mate's socks by moonlight, emptying his entire tribe's water canteens, and lying to them about his background. I almost boycotted watching this season--my ONLY reality show obsession--because of his meanness and unrepentant impish behavior.

Russell's sabotaging strategy knew no bounds. In his delusion of grandeur, we saw him cut his female tribe mates down (figuratively, of course, though you wondered if he would just as happily do it for real) in his tenacious quest for the million dollar prize. He seemed to disdain women in general, considering them stupid and weak. And if they had the nerve to cross him or call him on anything, he turned on them and threw them out of the game. Yes, he seemed to have that power for awhile.

But something happened on the way to episode ten. Russell SEEMS to have softened his stance on women as the enemy, working with them, not against them. And even if you blanch at his tactics, you have to admire his willingness to get in there, and without complaining, get dirty, work his butt off, and stay focused with optimism no matter what is thrown at him or the tribe.

What won me over is when he says he's going to do something, he actually does it. No, really, it appears as if even God doesn't stand in his way. He singlehandedly uncovered three coveted immunity idols, which represent life in the game, finding two of them with no clues whatsoever. He announced he was going to do it, and then he made good on his word, and bear in mind no one found idols like this before in Survivor history. As if that wasn't jaw-dropping enough, he found the third one with two of his worst-enemy tribe mates dogging him. One was literally on his heels. How he lost him is beyond me, because Russell isn't the lightest feather in the flock. And then to prove he was no one's fool, he actually played two of the idols at Tribal Council, and effectively saved his butt for one more round in the game each time, unlike his Survivor predecessor's who got booted out while cluelessly holding onto their idols.

You know when Russell says he's going to do something, he does it. This blows my mind. Can someone believe in themselves so thoroughly that they can make things happen, just like that? It's not that it's effortless of course, he works for it, he makes the effort, and he stays positive (by seeing what's really there and focusing on the target, not by spouting platitudes). But nothing seems to stop him. Maybe that's what totally amazes me about this guy. And although I am rooting for rocket scientist John to win the game, I would gladly vote for Russell if he makes it to the end (assuming his teammates don't catch him releasing the chickens into the night on next week's episode and vote him off, by blindsiding him).

So though I started out hating this guy, I have grown to admire and grudgingly like him.I can't get over how the universe just seems to support him in whatever he sets out to do. And I kinda secretly hope he wins Survivor Samoa, if the rocket scientist cutie doesn't.

Now, just for pure fun, read Tallula Morehead's take on last week's episode. I haven't laughed so hard in all my 47 years:

Friday, November 13, 2009


Yes, that's right folks, the clouds are below the snow-peaked mountains. We had a bit of weather last night. What can I say, this is Utah. Breathtakingly beautiful, but weird. A little like our new ranking as 'happiest State' in the latest American poll.

Really, pollsters? I'm still coming to terms with the fact that for years, we Utahns have "Lead the nation in anti-depressant use, mental health problems related to depression, and the highest teen suicide rate." In a five year period, we had two teens die from overdoses just in my really nice (and conservative/religious) last neighborhood, and am aware of others who struggle with serious drug addictions, such as heroin. (Read more at:

Your poll also cited tolerance as another criteria for winning the happy status. Uh, hello, pollsters? When I worked at a local elementary school, one of my co-workers would periodically come in upset about young men she knew in her nearby neighborhood who killed themselves because their conservative, religious parents couldn't 'tolerate' their being gay.

Does living in Happyville entail being delusional?

Someone please explain it to me. And then tell me all the reasons why your state should top the list. You could very well be right.

Meanwhile, I'll console myself with the natural beauty we Utahns get to enjoy. That always makes me happy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Just In Time For The Holidays...

Just for fun and to get you in the holiday spirit, here's a give-away for some really pretty ceramic and sterling silver earrings on a friendly blog:
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some squash to harvest and goats to milk...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Harvesting Addiction

I've been very productive lately. Oh yes I have.

Have you found a job yet?

No, but...

So have you winterized the van yet?

No, but...

Well, have you taken the kids to the dentist yet for their yearly cleaning?

Not yet, but...I achieved level 24 on Facebook FarmVille!!!

There may be an addiction afoot here. Are there 12 steps for cyber-farmers? Is there a drug on the market yet that can slow the effects of brain melt? Can something so creative, so fun and beautiful, be harmful? (depends on who you ask; even my teens are a contemplating an intervention).

Hint: you can level up faster and make more coin by setting up phantom accounts where you stock up on gifts and experience points by weeding neighbor's crops and chasing off pesky raccoons.

You're welcome.

Oh God, forgive me, it's the sickness talking.

Apparently I'm not alone and the stakes are higher than we thought:
Used to be you could pack on the pounds reading racy novels and snarfing chocolate, or licking doughnut crumbs off your fingers in front of your flat screen TV, but now you can do the same thing in front of a computer screen, all hours of the day (or night, and believe me, I've done both).

But I'm in no mood to stop either one yet (farming or eating). It's DEFINITELY building a sense of confidence, an artistic accomplishment combined with good business sense (it takes skill to amass the coins and experience, not to mention master the levels) and a budding inclination towards agriculture. No, really.

Who knew?

My parents still don't.