Sunday, 28 September 2008

A Decade On

I did a Scrapbook Challenge this week. We were challenged to use a grid, of some sort, in our Layout (LO). I knew immediately what I wanted to do. What I didn't know, though, was what photo I wanted to use. I have most of the photos taken over the past 3 or 4 years stored on my external hard drive. But none of them seemed quite right. I don't have many photos from earlier than 4 years ago here, because that's when I moved over. But, I do have some. They used to be on my wall in my bedroom. Now they're just sitting in a stack in my desk. So I started flipping through them. And this one caught my eye.

It's a photo taken in the Spring of 1999, right at the end of Winter Term at BYU. It was the end of my Sophomore Year there. I'd made some of the best friends I've ever had in my entire life that year. Cynthia and I had known each other since the previous Winter in the Dorms, and we'd become Roommates for our Sophomore Year. Amber and I still haven't figured out when, exactly we met . . . but it must have been during High School in Michigan. But we re-connected at BYU right at the end of my Freshman Year at BYU, and again at the beginning of my Sophomore Year. David and Hyrum were flatmates in Cynthia's and my Student Ward. Jared was David's best friend from High School, and came home from his mission in time for the start of the Winter Term, and moved in with Hyrum and David. The 6 of us became very close friends. We even organised ourselves into a 'Family'. Amber had been an exchange student to Denmark and proposed the name of our family be 'Hugue Family'. 'Hugue' means that warm fuzzy feeling you get from a hug. Sort of. It's that familial connection, and it personified our friendship perfectly. We did everything together. It was, in many ways, the best year of my BYU experience. It was certainly the best year of my pre-mission years. (It's tough to compare pre and post. They were very different experiences.) In this photo, we're up at a location we referred to as 'The Living Room'. It was a bonfire pit in Glenn Canyon, up the Provo Canyon. Thinking about those bonfire nights (there were many) still makes me smile. This photo was taken on one of our last days together before we all split for the summer, never to reconvene in quite the same way again. Hyrum married Cynthia (yeay!), Amber went on her mission (Denmark) and David switched Universities. Jared and I continued on at BYU without major changes for another year, before I went off on my mission (Chile). By the time I got back, David, Jared and Amber were all married. But we had that one special year together. 10 years later (well, start of the 10th year!) I look back and realise how much of who I am today is a direct result of their friendship.

I know several of you pass by the blog on occasion. Just letting you know, you've still got a special piece of my heart.

Much Love,
Adele (The Middle Child)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Going Green

I moved into my house almost exactly one year ago today. One of my goals for my life upon moving in was to be greener. I've been trying to buy locally grown produce, rather than foreign ones. This actually has multiple benefits. First, it uses less fuel to ship something from one part of England to another than it does to ship it from Spain or Chile to England. Second, a lot of the countries where fresh fruits are being grown have water shortages. And by growing fruits and vegetables, essentially what they're doing is exporting their water! Third, the food's fresher, and it stayed on the vine (or stem or whatever) longer, so it tastes better, and has more vitamins and minerals. Fourth, it supports local farmers, and helps to encourage an autonomous food supply. There are lots of other reasons, too.... these are just a few. Anyway, I've been doing a bunch of things to be a better custodian of our planet:
  1. Buying local
  2. Recycling paper, glass, aluminum and food/garden scraps
  3. Sending things to charity shops, not the tip
  4. Walking to town instead of driving
  5. Keeping my thermostat a little lower and using a jumper to keep warm
  6. Using eco-friendly detergents
  7. Not using my dryer (as much)
  8. Compact florescent light bulbs everywhere

There are definitely other areas I can improve, and that's something I'm going to continue to work on. However, I'm pleased with the steps I've taken so far. And yesterday, I took another step: I bought a bike! I'm going to be commuting into London every Monday. The train station is only a mile away, and I hate to drive down. It seems silly to pay to park all day, when it's only a mile. And on top of that, I feel guilty driving less than 2 miles. But, I simply have too much to get done to spend loads of time walking places. So - the bike is to help me gain back some of the commute time, whilst not giving up the ecologically minded transport. And on top of that? I'll get a few minutes of exercise in, every time I use it! And boy do I need that. I went out today on my maiden voyage (I was trying to remember the last time I used a bike. I think it was when I broke my hand. That was some 10 years ago!) and discovered that the hill I live on is not nearly as gentle as I always thought it was! I nearly died getting back up it. Good thing I have a couple days to recover before I have to attempt it again.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Love Your Blog!

Hey! I was nominated by Leah over at The Traveling Gardner Family as on of her favourite blogs! Oh I feel the love! Thanks Leah!

The rules are: pick 7 blogs you stock that you'd like to send a bit of love to. So my 7 picks (oh this is hard) are:

  1. Coila's It's My Life
  2. Heather's Litter of Leaves (these two -- Coi's and Heather's -- are what started me blogging)
  3. Miss Meg's Cupcake Chowder (LOVE LOVE LOVE the quirky nature of her topics!)
  4. Mithi's Creative Journey (This woman has talent streaming out of her fingertips, toes, ears . . . everything!)
  5. Mark's Roaming Cavetroll (not exactly a blog, but might as well be!)
  6. Melissa's Snyder Family (Oh by the way, I'm having log in issues. Can you resend me an invite, to my google account? Thanks!)
  7. Hyrum's Hyacynth Mills
There are loads of other's I'd totally loved to have included (Mel, if you had anything IN your blog, it would be on this list!), but I had to narrow it down to 7. Ok, tag, you're it!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Images From My Memory

A friend chalenged me to create a photo mosaic. This is 'Images From My Memory'.


Yeay! I'm not freezing to death any more :D Turns out the problem wasn't the pilot light. It was a valve in another part of the system. *sigh* 200 gbp to get fixed. But at least I'm not freezing!

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


My boiler's pilot light went out. And I can't get it to relight. And it's rapidly cooling down in England. It hasn't been too bad recently, because the sun's been out. But it's raining today. So I'm feeling the cold today. *shiver* *shiver*

Monday, 22 September 2008

First Day Jitters

Today was my first day of teaching at Queen Mary's. It was terrifying. And exciting. And I it. I got on the train well before 10.00 this morning . . . which puts me into London around 10.30. And at Queen Mary at 11.00. And I had loads of time to get ready. So, I figured out how to attach my computer to the AV equipment. Made sure I had all my hiring paperwork signed. Submitted my paperwork for my id card. Got my syllabus copied. Found my classroom (nothing more embarrassing than walking around, lost, trying to find your own classroom!) Generally prepared for the day. Managed to get everything done and everything set up 10 minutes before class started.

The class arrived. Some 18 of them. Filled the (very small) room. I've been told there will be some 10 more by next Monday. That means? I'm going to need a bigger classroom!

I have a 2 hour block. The problem is? The first day of class, there isn't much to say. However, I managed to spend an hour telling them my name, what my area of research is, where I'm from, what the class will cover, that they'll have a midterm, a final, and a group project. Oh . . . and that they have to memorize all 50 states. No, really. Yes, that's what I said. Because I said so. Yes, it counts towards your grade. No, it's not a joke. It's only 50 names! Shut up now, or I'll make you memorize all the capitals -- and match them up with their State!

I'm really looking forward to next week when we can start talking about the meat of the subject! :D

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Contract Signed!

Got all the paperwork done today, for my new job. All sorts of fun. I am totally in love with their campus. It's right on a canal, very beautiful. And the buildings, though 'new builds' are actually appealing! Just drove home how terrible Essex is, aesthetically (and facilities wise -- they have a million nice bars/cafes/restaurants/shops, right there. Guess it's a perc of being in the middle of London. More competition = better services.) Crazy thing? I was weirded out by being treated like staff. Crazy, huh? Because . . . I am staff. But the thing is, this is the first time I've ever been a regular at a University where I'm not a student. I'm really excited!

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

First Day Of New Job

Tomorrow afternoon I head into London to find out what, exactly, I've got myself into. I'm very excited, but also a bit nervous. I won't actually be doing any teaching tomorrow. Just filling in paperwork and getting set up on the computer system. That sort of thing. But one of the crazy things I realised was: I'll be getting a University ID from a Uni that I wasn't, in fact, a student at! Oh how exciting :D And not only that, I'll have 3 University IDs that all work at the same time! How wild is that? How many people in the world can say that???? Feeling pretty cool right now.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Random Laughs

Ok, I have no idea if this is a true story or not. I don't really care. It's funny! Funny stories don't have to be true to be funny. So, consider the disclaimer of validity checked off.

The other day I was thinking about my mission, and how it's actually quite a brave thing we do, in this day and age. We go around, knocking on random strangers doors. They don't know us. We don't know them. Then . . . we actually walk into their homes!! We have no idea what kind of person this is. It could be some crazy needlepoint hording cat killer. And yet, it happens every day! And nearly 100% of the time, there's no problem. (Of course, those people are doing a brave thing by inviting two random strangers in off the street, too. But as I'm on the invitee not inviter list, obviously the dangers of going into a random stranger's house were those which jumped out at me first.) Well . . . here's a story of when a visit didn't go quite as planned. It's not a missionary visit, it's an Elders Quarum visit. (For those of you who don't know, the Elder's Quarum is the men's association for our church. This story is about two men from my church going to visit a family who'd stopped coming to church. Finding out if they needed anything, and inviting them to come back to church.)

Why To Keep Your Temple Recommend
The Mormons Meet the Metro Narcotics Unit
By Daryl Zadok Budd, Clearfield , Utah

The Elders Quorum President and I were visiting some lost souls, when they were found by the long arm of the law. As we were preparing to say the closing prayer at the conclusion of our visit we heard someone pounding on the door and yelling, 'It's the police! Open the door!' I thought, 'Oh, that old joke.' Then there was more pounding, 'It's the police! We have a search warrant!' Before this lady's boyfriend made it to the door to open it the police opened the door for him. Into the house stormed ten police officers dressed from head to toe in black body armor.

Each gentleman had a submachine gun. When I saw the door burst open, read the word POLICE across the first officers Kevlar vest and saw the large gun that he had I thought, 'This is going to make a great story.' The Officer only got to 'Get on the...' and I was face down on the carpet with my hands above my head in full view. 'Get down on the ground!' The friendly officer again shouted at the President. The only trouble the President had was that the room was very small and had a coffee table in the center of it. There was no available space remaining on the floor, as the rest of us had already 'hit the deck.' There was no room left in the Inn , if you know what I mean.

The Elders Quorum President, therefore, made the mistake of standing up from where he was sitting on the couch and trying to explain who we were. The kind officers did not seem to like this action and one very large officer stepped toward the President who then found himself looking directly into the muzzle of the gun with a bright light shining in his eyes. As the officer placed his finger over the trigger and shouted, 'I said get on the ground!!' the president decided to do so. As there was nowhere else to go, he laid on top of me, his first councilor. I never thought I would need to 'support the President' like that I assure you. I really felt the 'weight of my calling.' We were instructed not to move or speak which was difficult to say the least as I had eaten a little too much for supper and the President is not exactly a small man. After a time the President whispered, 'Are you O.K. down there?' I didn't dare answer. But a few seconds later the humor of the whole situation hit me full force and I started laughing, silently mind you, which made my body shake and the President being on top of me was well aware that I was laughing and thought, 'What in the world could he possibly be laughing at?'

After they got done handcuffing the two closest to us they were ready for us. 'Stand up and keep your hands above your head!' We arose and the officers searched us for weapons. The heroic officers did a much more extensive search of the President's person due to his earlier, 'Non-compliance' 'Who are you?!' asked the large officer who had gently persuaded the President to get down on the floor. 'We are the Elders Quorum Presidency from a local Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,' replied* the President in one breath.

The officers looked at each other and their weapons lowered a little bit. 'Do you have any church I.D.?' One officer asked. They gave us back our wallets and we showed them our Temple Recommends and Drivers licenses. Big smiles came onto their faces and they soon escorted us out to our car, wished us a good night and allowed us to drive away with a great story to tell.

I knew that my Temple Recommend could help me get into the Lord's house but I never dreamed it could help me avoid going to the 'Big house.' This time the lost sheep that we were hoping to bring back to the fold sadly ended up going to a different pen.

Daryl Zadok Budd

*Can I just note in passing -- It's a really good thing that this (supposedly) took place in Utah where the statement 'We're the Elders Quorum Presidency from the local Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' actually makes sense? Try that in most other places in the world and you would first have to explain that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same group as the Mormons, that we're not actually a devil worshiping cult and that we are Christian (Hello??? Anyone note the name????). Then you'd have to explain what the 'Elders Quorum' is, and how that gives you a reason for being in this person's home!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Insanity Relaps

I must be insane. There is no other explanation for it. Friday I got a very surprising email. It was from Queen Mary of the University of London. Asking if I'd be willing to come teach a class. Starting 22nd September. As in, 2 weeks. I was left feeling more than a bit stunned.

Fortunately the email contained a clue as to where this was all coming from. The head of the Sociolinguistics Scheme here at Essex, Dave Britain, had put my name forward as being a good person to ask. Now, you have to understand. This is the second time I've had a nearly unbelievable job offer arrive, fully formed, into my inbox. How is it possible? Most people don't get to teach at more than one University during their PhD. And here I've been offered 3?!? So, I emailed back saying I was very flattered that I was being asked, but I needed to find out what my teaching schedule at Essex was, and speak with my advisor, as well. So this morning, I rang Rebecca (my advisor). Filled her in on my offer. She was thrilled about the opportunity. Then I went and spoke to my boss (for my teaching position at the Uni) who told me that I'll be teaching Wednesday/Thursday this term, thus leaving me free to my own devices on Monday. So I went back to Rebecca's office to discuss it a bit further. End result: I decided to accept the offer. I reiterate: I must be insane.

So, my schedule this term: Mondays -- Two hour lecture at QM, probably an office hour there. Tuesdays -- LOTS OF RESEARCH ON MY PhD!! and then Young Women's in the evenings. Wednesday -- more research on my PhD and attend the lecture for my Essex class. Thursday -- 2 classes of Essex classes, Data Session (Research Group) with Rebecca, Essex Office Hour. Friday -- back to research for my PhD. Oh -- and in there somewhere I'll have to prepare 3 classes of teaching. Plus my church responsibilities. Ha ha ha. I'm reminded of a song: Who Needs Sleep? That's so my theme song for this next 3 months.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Laugh Out Loud Reading

Ok, these books are TOTAL eye-candy. Of course, I'm not referring to the delectable artistry of the covers (because they're definately not -- in fact, the covers seem to have little or nohing to do with the plot), but rather the 'empty calorie' content. They're nothing that will be remembered 100 years from now. In fact, they probably won't even be remembered 10 minutes from now. However, I kept sniggering the whole way through! I've read the first, I'm most of the way through the second, and the third is sitting on my night stand saying, 'Read me!!'

Hero Seriese by Moira J. Moore

Friday, 5 September 2008


Growing up in Michigan, I remember September as a warm, but cooling off, month. However, this year, in England, I felt like Autumn had arrived at the flip of a switch. The calendar flipped over, and so did the weather. I've had to get out my jackets and long sleeved shirts. I don't really mind that, though. I actually quite like the cool weather. But just at the moment, in the in between stage where you really can't justify turning on the heater, it's a bit painful. *sigh* Never mind. I'll just add another jumper to those I've already go on. *shiver* *shiver*