Saturday, April 28, 2012

and then it was done

Most of the whole graduation thing is a haze.  I remember at commencement that Erin Gruwell was quite inspiring and I felt kind of proud to be graduating as a wolverine after listening to Matthew Holland.  

The next morning, convocation was an exciting, giddy blur.  Entering the arena with my paralegal buddies and seeing my family all waving and cheering me on was a trip.

 Hearing Katy's name called as she headed up the ramp, trying to stand as instructed on the yellow tape while preparing to hear my name was sort of unsettling--it seemed to take forever when we were sitting waiting for our turn, but when you actually got up there it all went by in a flash.

And then walking out with all of my classmates--totally don't remember anything about being on the ramp, except for when I shook Matthew Holland's hand and told him it was nice to finally meet him.

 That proud feeling again, loud and clear for me and everyone to see in that poster Shi and her girls created.

And then spending the day with many of those people I love the most




 I'm not gonna felt pretty good.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

because you know you want to help

Yes, I did find some pretty things to wear under my gown with my cap.  So the decisions are what to wear to the commencement (aka, go forth and do great things event) and what to wear to the convocation (good job, here's your empty diploma cover, diploma will be mailed in 6-8 weeks.)


 or this?
or one of these combos?

And this one will be perfect with my new orange tee for the kegger barbeque Jr has planned for Friday night, right?

Friday, April 20, 2012

what to do what to do

Let's see, it's a weekend.  List of stuff to do includes laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping, bill paying.

Oh, and NO HOMEWORK!!!  I'm finished!  School's out forever!

So, no, I won't be doing homework.

But I will be shopping for a great dress to wear under my gown with my cap. 

This feels so good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

top five

If a list of the top five things people say to me when I tell them I'm almost done with college was created, certainly somewhere on that list would be the question, "So what are you going to do with all of your spare time when you're done?"

I've given this a lot of thought in the past few hours and I think I'd like to build a playhouse.

A few weeks ago, I decided to change up my drive to school. Instead of driving clear across the valley to get to the freeway, I decided to drive south and east and south and east until I got to Redwood Road and then I stayed on it until I got to Lehi and found an eastbound road that took me right to the heart of the construction congestion.

I'm so smart.

While driving into Lehi a few days ago, I got this feeling that I was in a familiar place. Something about that road was so familiar. It reminded me of a trip many years ago with my parents when we were going to go motorcycle riding and dad pointed out the house and yard of the guy who bought my playhouse for his daughter. And sure enough, I caught a brief glimpse of it, sitting in someone else's yard as we drove by on the way to the sand dunes.

When I was about six, my parents decided to build a playhouse. Dad was a carpenter and between stuff he had laying around his garage and leftover stuff from projects at work, he was able to build a playhouse that was 5' x 9' and about 5' tall inside. The outside was painted brick red and tan to match our real house, and mom painted the inside a bright sunflower yellow. Dad found commercial floor tile that they laid in a checkerboard pattern, and he also found ceiling tile for the ceiling. He shingled the roof outside and mom made yellow sheer curtains for the windows. They told me just this week that they only spent $10 on the whole playhouse--they had to buy a sheet of plexi-glass that they cut into pieces for windows. I spent my childhood in that playhouse, because while it may have started as a playhouse for me and my two brothers, it quickly became "The Dollhouse"--the place where all of my dolls, their clothes and furniture, my play dishes, dress-ups, and games were stored. I played for hours in there, with friends and alone, all through the year. There was probably a short time in the deepest of winter when we couldn't open the door because it was blocked by snow, but I remember playing in there even when it was cold and especially when it was sunny or cloudy or rainy. It was a perfect place to grow up in.

When I was newly married, my dad called one day and said the guy who delivered wood to his workshop had asked if we wanted to sell the dollhouse to him. He had a little girl who he knew would love it.

I made what was possibly one of my most clueless newly adult decisions--I agreed to sell the dollhouse with most of my childhood toys inside. Why did I not realize I would have a little girl someday who would happily have spent hours in that space? How did I not suspect there would be other little girls in my life who would have enjoyed that place too?

Well I didn't. So we sold it for $80 and my dad gave me the cash.

That feeling I felt as I drove through Lehi last week? It was spot on. I was driving past the house and yard of the man I sold my dollhouse to.

I kind of became a stalker. I looked online for the guy's address to make sure I had the right place. Then I drove by slowly on the main road through town at least three times hoping to see the dollhouse sitting back behind his house.

Next I drove into the subdivision to see if I could see into his back yard. Turns out his driveway is in the subdivision, not on the main road. I know this because I drove into the subdivision twice.

Yesterday was one of those times. And as I slowly drove by the yard, peering in under the trees, I noticed a woman walking up the driveway from the mailbox.

I couldn't help myself. I rolled down my window and called out to her--told her I thought my dad had sold my playhouse to the man who lived in that house, told her the guy's name--she nodded and said yes, that was her dad and he had bought a playhouse for her and she had loved it. She'd spent her childhood in that space, with its yellow walls and curtains, playing with the barbies and baby dolls, the dishes and games, the dress-ups. She had loved it too.

I asked if it was still there--if there was any chance they would be willing to sell it back to me.

She said she was sorry, but her dad had given it to someone else a few years ago. She seemed truly sorry.

I thanked her. Told her I was glad that she too had enjoyed it.

And I drove off to school, wiping my eyes, sniffling a bit.

I'm pretty sure it will cost me more than $10, but I think I have time now to build another playhouse. And I think I know some little girls who would enjoy making memories in a place like that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

why do i feel so sad?

If all of my classes were like those taught by the judge, I couldn't bear to keep my promise to Jack to never go to school again after this semester.

Friday, April 13, 2012

simply because it's spring

It's the last of these

If you look closely, you'll see ferns unrolling, hostas poking through the mulch, tulips about to change from yellow to orange, and the last of the daffodils...and also the wild geraniums and a bunch of other stuff just starting to green up...

I planted these a couple of years ago--don't know what they're called but they add quite a bright little spot in their corner of the gardens.

These lovelies fill in more each year...

These fade quickly as soon as it gets warm, and every year I'm surprised when they daintily reappear early in spring

Sadly, the light wasn't quite right to catch the dazzling pinkness of these tulips.

This is the view out of the study window. So much pink, purple, red, green.

yes that is a bathtub in the gardens

Monday, April 9, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012


A couple of days ago I gave Jr one of my graduation announcements. He immediately asked what gift I wanted and I said a party. He said he'd get the keg. I said okay. He said really? I said yeh, sure, I love cake. Slight misunderstanding that was.

I learned years ago that a major factor in overcoming depression is getting adequate sleep. Perhaps an abundance of sleep. So I accepted the prescriptions and seemed to be sleeping abundantly. Some of the drugs caused intense, weird, wild dreams. Not really nightmares so much, just wild, colorful, high-speed rambling dreams. Changed to different sleep aids which seemed to help me drop off quickly, stay asleep all night. But a few months ago, I realized I don't feel depressed anymore. I feel good. But tired. Even though I was nearly comatose for eight hours every night. And seemed to have that one thing, what is it called? Oh yeah, amnesia. Couldn't seem to remember anything. A couple of weeks ago, I realized that while I might be asleep, I wasn't getting the right kind of rest. So I took myself off the sleep aids. It was a rough couple of nights. And days. But now, I feel sleepy at bedtime, I fall asleep in my bed, I go back to sleep if I wake up in the night, and I wake up feeling ready to be up. And I've started dreaming again. Not the crazy drug-induced hallucinations. Just regular, normal, let's work out some of the day's stuff during sleeptime dreams.

How great is it to be watching Madmen again?

On Tuesday night, we watched the drummer's percussion ensemble perform. We've noticed over the years that every level of learning brings a huge jump in performing ability. This performance was a clear indication of that increasingly better ability. While I enjoyed watching him play the timpani, and it was entertaining to listen to the ensemble on marimba and xylo and all of the rest, clearly the favorite of the evening was the number that had a kid sitting on a chair in front of two tables full of "instruments" with two percussionists at each table. The kid in front mimed while the percussionists played the various instruments--electric pencil sharpener, manual typewriter, book slamming shut, chains rattling, balloons being rubbed, wood being sawed...and on and on. He showed me the musical score after the concert and it was all there, the type of note with the type of instrument. So creative, so well done, so fun. So could have listened for hours more.

On Wednesday, we watched the drummer's wife perform her senior recital. Oh.My.Heck. That tiny little girl has an amazing, beautiful, full-bodied soprano voice that made me cry when she started singing. It was (overused word alert) AWESOME. She sang one song in Italian, then two in French, three in German, one in English (based on three poems by Emily Dickinson), and finished up with two in Spanish. Oh.My.Heck. What a gift. What work. What training. What a great way to spend a half an hour. Wished again that it didn't have to end.

And here we are. Easter weekend. Family time here we come.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

funny road construction guys

Driving to school the other night through the construction zone, I noticed the following message on one of those electronic road signs:

"Tight Lane Just Exit"

Hmmm. What could that mean, I wondered? Thought quite seriously about it since I drive a little car. I mean, really, what else would I do besides exit if the lane got tight? It reminded me of the entertaining road signs in the sierra nevada mountains (let 'em roll, cool 'em down) (or something like that).

By the time I finished thinking these thoughts, I saw the next electronic road sign:

"Right Lane Must Exit"

Wait a minute. That's what those signs always say, so what was up with that first one? Did it (a) really say that or was it (b) broken or am I just (c) super amazingly creative when driving through construction zones and should probably think about changing careers from paralegal to entertaining sign message creation guy?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

the dog with the big brains

Gus is quite territorial when it comes to rawhide bones. He likes to bury his under the swingset out back.