Tuesday, February 22, 2011

There's No Place Like Home . . . Except Grandma's

While staying at my grandparents for Janine's wedding, Grandma showed me the following:



Grandpa found this while cleaning out a closet. Apparently they've held onto these rules made by Grandma for all these years. I find it especially interesting considering the "little guy" mentioned in Rule #2 is my almost 18-year-old, 6'3" brother. All the same, this note makes me feel nostalgic. It reminds me of many good memories running around Grandma's yard, playing with the "horse" Old Paint (a wooden barrel), climbing up that swinging rope ladder with surprising agility, and then racing into the playhouse Corabell Cottage for Teddy Grams.

These rules she gave us seem like great rules for a Grandma's house, and for life in general. Number 1: Have fun, and last of all; Remember you are loved.

Grandmas really do know everything.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Unexpected Happiness

On the eve of my sister's wedding, we went out for Chinese food. This broke with tradition in that usually we spend the eve of Redd weddings at the local 50s pizza diner, but sufficed because it was a place for the family of the bride to congregate before the big day and eat more then we wanted. Naturally with our dinner we were given fortune cookies, which though disgusting in terms of taste, provide amusement when reading the mass produced predictions inside. This Friday, my cookie told me the following about my future:

"Traveling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness."

Normally I do not take stock in what the fortune cookie company has to tell me, but this is the second time that I have gotten this fortune. The first time was at my ward Christmas party, and my friends there could think of all sorts of ways I could fulfill this fortune. The second time round, my family had just as many good ideas.

So, I am going to take a vote. To find my unexpected happiness, I have the following interpretations of traveling south. Tell me which one is the most likely to bring me joy and how it will do so, and I will let you know how it goes.

1. Ward hop to Fish Creek Park Ward in the Calgary South Stake

2. Move to Provo, Utah

3. Take a spontaneous holiday to somewhere south such as Mexico, Italy (where I am actually going), or the Caribbean.

If you have any other interpretations of how my fortune can be fulfilled, I would be happy to hear those too.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shower Juice

This week I have been stressed out, cranky and egging on my countdown till July when I can:

a) graduate;

b) not have to work at my job anymore;

c) start living in the real world (fingers crossed); and

d) go to Italy!

This process has been going on for months, and sometimes it goes much slower than I want. Sometimes I simply cannot bear another day of class and counselling stubborn dieters. A few of those days happened all in a row this week.

Why is this an interesting thing to blog about? Because it got better! Like most of the time in life, the ugly was made better by a small bit of pretty.

Last night after work, I went to Janine's second bridal shower, hosted by the mother of one of my best friends; Chloe. Sis. Evans is famous (or infamous) for her bridal showers; this is the third one she has thrown for a Redd girl - plus many others. While all these occassions blur together in my memory, all of them have a certain element that is distinguishably Cheryl Evans.

The Shower Juice.

This is seriously the best beverage I have ever had. It is a fizzy fruit juice with so many berries and fruit in it you have to drink it with a spoon. Bananas, blackberries, pineapple and blueberries all in one cup; what more could you want?

My not-so-spectacular week was made better last night when Sis. Evans announced that she would throw away any leftovers, so everyone had to take home a box of leftovers. After foisting a box of quiche, cake and fruit upon me, Sis. Evans gave me a very special present.

My very own bottle of shower juice. I will have to ration it accordingly.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Divine Voicemails

Do you ever zone out while waiting for someone to answer the phone and then forget who you're calling when they answer? I do all the time.

A big part of my job is to call my clients when they've taken an extended absence and figure out how they're doing and how many cheats they've made that have caused them to avoid me. Basically this means I spend a portion of everyday talking to people's voicemails.

It's happened several times that when I connect with this voicemail, or the rare live person that I start talking and can't remember who I'm calling, so I have to glance down at the file and remind myself who I am talking to.

With zoning out I have also completely forgotten what kind of call I'm making. A few years ago, when I was a receptionist, I called a girl from church and got in touch with her voicemail. My message went something like this:

"Hey Tera, this is Elena from Dr. Redd's office calling . . . oh no wait, I am not at work. Tera this is Elena, your visiting teacher. Give me a call when you get this."

Kinda embarassing, but yesterday out-awkwards that message by a long shot. While making calls and talking to a plethora of voicemails, things can get pretty routine. While making yet another call, I got my client's voicemail. We will call her Betsy. Betsy's voicemail has one of those long messages that makes you wonder if you will ever get to leave a message, and having already had an exhausting and stressful morning, I completely lost track of where I was and what I was doing. When the beep sounded, I started to pray into Betsy's answering machine.

"Dear Heavenly Father, We thank th. . ."

I caught myself before I went much further. What was I doing? Was I that close to leaving a prayer on Betsy's machine? What do I do now? Dang, it, I was still recording. Taking the only rational course of action, I hung up, waited an hour, left her a real voicemail, and hoped Betsy didn't see her diet counselor and the person who misdialed her looking for God were not calling from the same number.

Has anyone else ever had such a disastrous phone message?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bachelorettes for Married Women

Janine is getting married in just under three weeks. She has two people who have graciously offered to host her bridal showers, and does not see the point of making her close friends wear matching dresses for the sake of standing in the same photo, so I have very little to do. Wanting to do something anyway, I offered to host Neen's bachelorette party.

From the very beginning, we knew this was going to be the most unbachelorette-ish stagette this world has ever seen. We are non drinkers, non wild party people; our idea of a wild time is to drink Coke Zero. This became even more apparent when we reviewed the guest list.

Janine and I decided that it would be best to have the party this past weekend, when one of our sisters was planning on being in town. The other guests were decided to be another sister who lives in Calgary, and Janine's best friend Aurora. Incidentally, both Katey and Emily are married with three kids, and have newborn little boys. Aurora celebrated her one year wedding anniversary last August. The only truly single woman at this staggette was yours truly.

Furthermore, Emily needed to stay at home with her boys as her husband had a work function, so any plans to go out were kaiboshed. We decided to relocate the party to Emy's home on the other side of the city so all could still be present.

After spending most of Saturday at a funeral, our family was exhausted. Katey and I returned to our parents home ready to go to bed at 4:30, and we still had this party to sort out. In efforts to keep things simple we opted to order pizza and have it delivered to Emily's, bring salad ingredients and Martinelli's, and play games.

Problem #1: Where should we order pizza from that is on the other side of the city? Dad suggests a place that sounds delicious which he says is near Emy's house.

Problem #2: The pizza place has no delivery man tonight. I am guessing this has something to do with the snow and bitter cold. Not to be thwarted, I place an order for pickup and tell Katey we will pick it up on the way there. We have been assured the location is on our way.

Problem #3: After navigating ourselves a half hour out of our way on snowy roads in bad traffic, we arrive at out pizza place to discover that they only make individual size pizzas. If only someone had told me before, I would have ordered more than two for five people. The traffic the rest of the way to Emily's has Katey and I declaring that our two dinky pizzas better be made of gold for all the trouble they've caused.

Solution: We call Emily on our way over to inform her of the dilemma. She runs out to get more dinner and bakes the leftover chicken wings and tostitos in her freezer to top it off. Not my shining moment for hostessing to be sure, but the night was so mellow, it didn't even matter.

The remainder of the evening was uneventful. We visited, played with the little boys and played Apples to Apples where our winning adjectives shaped our characters to be reminiscient of a redneck, low level thug, high school cheerleader, character from a Dickens novel, and a mouldy teddy bear. We called it a night at quarter to 11.

It was by no means a stagette, but it was a gathering to celebrate the coming marriage of our beloved Neenie. Not a wild night, but great memories nonetheless.