Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Photo At Last!

Ok, I'm slowly getting there. I've finally got a photo of the spare bedroom. It's not yet done, so you only get one photo for the moment. But you can see the colour of the green wall. It's seriously green. And I love it! Still working on getting a photo of the dress. Sorry.

Monday, 26 January 2009


Couple of surprises happened this week.

One: Whilst Steve was out of town on a business trip, Lois and I had planned to clear out the spare bedroom/sewing room in Lois' house, and get it all organised. But once we'd accomplished the clearing, we though . . . wouldn't it make more sense to paint it now rather than having to do this all over again later? So we went down to Lowes and bought a bunch of white paint, and one tin of bright green paint. So, one wall is green, and the others are all white. Looks fabulous (photos coming. I'm sorry I've been such a slacker!) Steve knew nothing about it. Hee hee hee. But he loves it, or at least claims to. Good thing, too.

Two: I went dancing this weekend. (No, that's not the surprise.) Friday at the Golden Skillet. It was good fun, as expected. I wore that cute blue dress again (don't worry, photos are coming. I promise!!) which must have worked its magic, because I got asked out on a date! Yes! Me on a real date! Saturday! And it was fun!! Who knew? (Ok, all you married people, obviously. But hey, how come no one ever told me dating was fun?!? I mean, share the love! Literally!) Ok, that's the surprise. And the other half? He asked me out for a second date.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Exchanging Lois' Birthday

This weekend was rather insane. But loads of fun!

First off, it was Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday, and BYU (for some obscure reason, considering we don't even get any time off at Easter!) lets us have a 3 day weekend. Excellent. And, considering I only teach M/W/F, it means I didn't go back to work 'til Wednesday! Excellent x2!

Also this weekend is the Utah Lindy Exchange. So, there's all sorts of dancing going on all weekend, starting on Thursday!

It also happens to correspond with Lois' birthday, most years. So, since I had Monday off, Mom and Dad drove down to spend the weekend with us.


What do I do? Do I go swing dancing? Do I stay home and play with my family? OOOoooh such difficult dilemmas. Ok, you know me. I did both! Yep. I played with my family by day (and evening) then went to the late night dances over at ULX. And consequentially, got no sleep! How much more fun can life get?

I actually hit the dance on Thursday, too. Which was great fun. But it meant I was dragging through all my Friday classes. At the end of class Friday, I went 'home' (PG) and fell asleep. I only meant to fall asleep for an hour. 4 hours later, I woke up! Ooops. Obviously I needed it. So I got ready to go back out dancing Friday. I went to the late night. That didn't even start till 12.30! I wore this great little blue dress I bought off the clearance section of Chadwick's. Very '40s vintage feeling. And a stunning cobalt blue colour. Really like it. And so did everyone else. I could hardly move for people asking me where I'd got it. And I only sat out the dances I wanted to. It was brilliant. Both Thursday and Friday were fabulous. Maybe Thursday slightly more-so. But both nights were well worth the effort. I got 'home' (Lois') around 3.30 in the morning, and I'd left the party early. Yeah, that's an Exchange!

Saturday we hung out and played a bit around the house. Mom and Dad arrived, and we got them sorted. Dad and I took the cars off to get washed, and Lois cooked for that evening's shindig. Around 5.30 the guests/usual suspects started arriving. Stephie, Nathan, Kaydee, Ryan and Brittany, plus the 5 of us (Mom, Dad, Steve, Lois and me). We had a Murder Mystery Night for Lois' birthday party. It was great! We had 2 extra people, though, so Ryan played the 'Dead Body', and Stephie was the hostess. And, as usual, Dad was the murderer! No fair! It's amazing, he's the murderer every time! *sigh* Never mind. We had a ball joking back and forth about various things. We didn't quite solve the mystery (there was a bit of magic involved that threw us off the scent of the last step) but got very close. It was a very complicated plot, but loads of fun. The key to those things is enjoying playing the part, not being too worried about actually getting the right answer.

Sunday I went to my ward, and Dad tagged along (singles ward). Then we met Lois and Mom at Lois' house. Steve had to fly out to NYC for a week long job for work. Poor thing. We just sat around and did nothing. All day. Seriously good fun! I never do that. We watched Clue, Oscar, The Sting and a bunch of Firefly episodes. Mom and I got a bunch of knitting done, and Lois worked on her beading. Dad just sat on the sofa and fell asleep. He needed it!

Monday was Lois' actual birthday. We tried to take her out for breakfast, but by the time Stephie, Nathan, Katie and Ryan all got there, it we too late. We had other things planned. Never mind. We tried. So instead we went down to IKEA and got Lois a guest bed frame. Then over to the emergency preparedness place for some water containers for Mom and Dad. Then back home for some lunch. Then we took Lois bowling. We played 2 games. I didn't even break 100 once!! Tragic. Lois got 101 on the second game, and Dad broke 100 on both games, but Mom got the high score of the day: 112 on the first game. Poor poor me. In the evening we watched more Firefly, and polished off the end of the party food. Pretty good day, really. We were going to take Lois for ice cream at Sub Zero, but we found out they only have one in Provo. we thought they'd have one in Salt Lake, too. So I promised to take her the next day. And I did. It was amazing.

Friday, 16 January 2009

The Traveling Gardners Seize the Day!

Ooooh have I had a fun week! Tuesday I went up to my sister's house in Salt Lake. We had plans to meet an old friend from our undergrad days at BYU together. Her name's Leah. You can find out more about her on her blog The Traveling Gardner Family. Leah, Lois and I were to meet up at Cafe Rio, the most amazing pseudo-Mexican food ever. Seriously delicious, though not really Mexican. We got there, and waited, and waited, and waited.... and finally Leah showed up. She's got these two little, adorable, fabulous boys, one of whom is only a few months old, and decided to spit up all over everything just as Leah was trying to get them bundled out the door. Typical. So they eventually arrived, and we had a fabulous lunch together.

Then, the next day, Wednesday, I had to take my Aunt up to her niece's house in Kaysville. That's right up by Hill Air Force Base, which is where Leah and sons live. Her husband's a Supply Sargent in the Army, and is just about to finish his tour in Iraq. So, I figured, a woman all alone with only a toddler and a baby for company? Yeah, she'd enjoy some adult conversation for one night. And I was right! When I asked if I could stay the night Wednesday night, so I didn't have to drive all the way up, just to drive all the way back down to PG, and then drive back to SLC Tuesday, she was thrilled. Her toddler, Ben, was excited to. We read books, played with his trains, and just generally messed about together. It was good fun. And then in the morning I went to Lois'.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

3 Things I Wish I'd Taken A Photo Of

There's been so many funny things happen on campus this last week. I keep meaning to bring my camera in with me, but keep forgetting. And it's big and bulky (takes a great photo, but not the best for keeping with you all the time.) But there were a few that I really wish I'd been able to photograph:

1. The giant Snowman.
  • BYU has this enormous statue of an Indian outside the Library. And someone (well, probably several someones) got inspired by the 11 inches of snow we got in one night (remember the night I wasn't able to get home?) and cover it in the statue in snow, making it look like a snowman. It was so funny!
2. The Snowangel Maker.
  • On Wednesday, as I was walking across campus, I noticed someone lying down in the snow in the centre of this little decorative circle area. He was making a snowangel. That he made an angel was funny, but I would have loved to get a photo of him actually doing it!
3. The Ramiampton.
  • Those same people who made the giant snowman didn't stop with just that. Oh no. They also created this enormous tower of snow. At first I thought it was another giant snowman. But then I realised there were stairs going up to the top! And I even saw people up there! It was so funny. Loved it.
Clearly some people have too much time on their hands. But I'm glad they provide all sorts of entertainment for the rest of us!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Settling In

Well, the first week is done. I've survived. Yeay! Now all I have to do is repeat it 14 times! Not much.... I tell you what, I'm going to have earned that few days rest in Florida, by the time I get there! Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful. But I'm teaching classes I've never taught before (which means a lot of extra work) and I have a whole lot of students! And one of the classes (Historical Linguistics) I'm a little scared of. It's a really hard course, and it's been a long time since I did anything with it! (Never mind that I have an MA in it.... that was 4 years ago!) So I very much feel like I'm 10 minutes ahead of the students.

But that's sort of what makes it fun. I don't really mind, except that it does create a lot more work for me. I feel more confident in my abilities after class today when one of my students said how hard the text was to understand, but when she comes into the lecture, it all makes sense. That's good. It means I'm not redundant! (That's the Historical Linguistics class again. Told you it was hard stuff!) And I apparently create a safe environment for my students, because they're speaking up and asking questions and offering their own observations/opinions, etc. Which is brilliant! So, I guess it's been a successful week. Hope I can keep that up for the whole term!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

New Diggs

Well, the snow drama continues.

Yesterday, after having spent the night up in Salt Lake with my sister, I came back down to PG. And discovered that I still couldn't get up the hill. So I stopped at my aunt and uncle's house, and asked if they would kindly let me stay the night. Since Aunt Cindie had been really hoping I'd move in with them.... she was thrilled. And so I asked if it would be ok if I did move in. She was ecstatic! She took me up the side of the mountain to where I'd been staying to collect most of my stuff. I still have a couple of things, but got 95% of it last night. So, I've moved from one end of the street to the other (flat) end. It's going to be great fun to live with my aunt and uncle.

Also, Uni continues to go well. I hired a Teaching Assistant today... wow does that feel odd. But I like it! He's a very nice junior (one year left of a 4 year degree) in the department. And, bless him, he's getting married next week. I personally think he's nuts to get married mid-semester, but whatever works, I guess. Anyway, he's already been very helpful.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Snow Much Fun!

Well, my first day was brilliant. It seems that the head of my department is pleased with me, which is always a good thing. I had several students come up to me after class enthusing about the course. I even bumped into one on my way out to my car this evening and I asked how his first day had been. He said it was great, but that my class had been his favourite. Always good for the ego ;-) I got all the paperwork done for payroll and getting my office key. Still need to get a parking permit, and figure out how to get a BYU email address, but for the first day that's pretty good!

It started snowing today just after lunch, around 1.30. It was coming down pretty hard, too. By 5, when I got out to my car to head home, it was 4 or 6 inches deep. Seriously. Took me ages to dig the car out enough to be able to drive. And I was in a skirt and heels! A 45 second walk left me looking like I had a serious dandruff problem, and it took me an hour and a half to drive what normally takes 20 minutes. And then, when I finally did get home . . . I couldn't actually get home! I live at the top of a great big hill (right at the base of Mt. Timp in PG), and the snow was so deep, and my little car so light, that I actually could not get up it. Nice. Decided walking up the hill wasn't really an option. Not in heels, through ankle deep snow. And where was I going to leave the car?!? Since I'd already made plans to stay the night in Salt Lake at my sister's, I decided to go on up. So I did. Carefully. Slowly. Safely. Got there fine. 2 hours later. (It normally takes about 30 minutes from my house to her's.) Yeah. It was fun. Actually, it was. It's been a long time since I've had to drive so carefully. Good for me. Course, I arrived at my sister's with nothing but the clothes on my back. Luckily, we're about the same size. Kind of nuts, but such a Utah Adventure!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

First Day Tomorrow


I start teaching at BYU tomorrow!!


P.S. -- Coi? I'm teaching the class that we met in. Just thought you'd like to know.

You Know You've Been In England Too Long If . . .

This is my personal 'You know you've been in England too long, if . . .' list.

  • You get in the car to drive, and look up only to realise you've got in the passenger seat. (Yep, did that Saturday)
  • You can't figure out why that guy making a left hand turn is in the wrong lane . . . then realise that it's you in the wrong lane!
  • You twig to anything.
  • You hoover the carpet.
  • You queue.

I'm sure there are loads of others, but I don't always notice them. In fact, I don't usually notice them! Anyway, it has been kind of a cultur shock living in the USA again.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year!

I did it! This is the completion of my 2008 Resolution: to blog at least once/week, every week. Ok . . . there are a few holes. When I was in Morocco, for example. And when I was having serious computer issues and 2 house guests. But other than those, I managed it! Ooooh, I guess that means I'll have to come up with a new resolution for 2009. Hmm. I'll have to give that some thought.

I'm on my way to Utah today. I'll be leaving my folks' house in just a little while. I'll get into Utah tomorrow, though. We're not driving the whole way in one day. We could, but it would make for a really long day. So, since we've got friends in Idaho Falls, which is more or less half way, we stay the night there. Saturday I'll be moving into my new place. I'm staying with the professor I'm covering for at BYU this term. Sunday I'll have to check out my new Ward, then Monday, bright and early, it's full force lecturing! BYU's terms start so early! I've got so used to the 'normal' system of mid to late January. Never mind. I'll cope. But it would have been nice to have one extra week with my folks before getting thrown back into the deep end!

Sunday was kind of an exciting day for us here at my folks' house. We got snowed in. Well, really we got drifted in. The weather has been so cold that the snow has stayed really light and powdery. And then the wind picked up Saturday night. Blew all the snow into the road and drive. My folks live on a private road, so the city doesn't plow. We got up, got dressed, and jumped in the car and jeep. Only after we nearly got the jeep stuck, and did get the car stuck, did we realise exactly how bad the drifting was. We eventually got the car dug out, and all us back inside. Then Dad and Steve went out to try and dig out the driveway. That took a little over an hour. Of course, by this point we've missed Sacrament Meeting. Dad decided to go on in (once we eventually got dug out to the private road. That's a long drive they've got!) to teach his Deacons Quorum Lesson. Only thing was? When he got back? The weather had warmed up a bit, so the snow had gotten a lot heavier and denser. So it wasn't pushing aside, like it did when he went out to church. The road still wasn't plowed, so he'd tried to bully his way through the drifts, and got the truck stuck. So he and Steve spent another hour (or more, I forget now) digging the truck out. And it was in 4-wheel-drive! Kind of a fun experience!! I'll post photos when I get to Utah. They're on my camera, and it's kind of a pain to transfer to my folks' computer.