Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday’s with Lailah - Episode 10

Lailah and I went to the park for some time with nature this Friday. Sticks – Check, Dirt – Check, Birds – Check, Ducks – Check, Rocks – Check, Tiny Acorns – Check; Let’s just say all the things that make Lailah the happiest. She had a lot of fun, and held tight to two little acorns the entire time we were there.  She was in her element.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fridays with Lailah – Episode 9 Willard Bay

This Friday I decided to take Lailah on somewhat of a road trip to one of my favorite past-time thinking spots – Willard Bay.

When we left our house the sky was blue and speckled with happy white clouds, but as we neared Roy, it started to get gray and gloomy and right as we were approaching the North Marina it started to rain…hard. I thought, oh boy, we didn’t drive all this way to be deterred by some namby pamby rain!!! And with that as we were parking, the rain started to dwindle, allowing us enough time to enjoy our stay…and keep the camera lens dry.

When I got Lailah out of the car and she could see the vast expanse of water, she was amazed. She tucked her lips in and opened her mouth to take 3 hard breathes…her way of saying HOLY SHMOLY!  She immediately wanted down, and I knew at that moment - keeping her wrangled while trying to take pictures was going to be a task. She wanted so bad to just get in the water; walking along the edge getting her shoes and pants wet wasn’t enough, if she would have had her way I would have been swimming in after her. I swear that kid has no fear and an infinite fascination with water. She’s a fish I tell you!

She loved feeling the sand sift through her little hands, watching the colony of seagulls and flinging sticks, but most of all playing in the water. Judging from the pile of sand in the back seat of my car I would say it was a rather successful Friday with Lailah. I am looking forward to being able to travel longer distances with her someday; show her the sea, the arches, the redwood forests, Old Faithful, the Lincoln Memorial, Pearl Harbor, wherever our wheels or wings will take us, for “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” (St. Augustine) Some true words of wisdom that should resonate within all of us…if you haven’t taken a road trip in a while, don’t forget to do it before it’s too late.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In my Head

So, I constantly have words racing through my mind. Words that I don't know the meaning of, words that don't go together, words that go together like a dream, words, words, words. Sometimes it drives me crazy, well let's be honest, quite often it drives me crazy. The funny thing about the words is that they often are fluid, they easily come together, but when trying to form them in my mouth they come out discombobulated and not at all the way I want them to. It's frustrating. So I am challenging myself to write at least once a week the words that are racing through my head, in hope's that it will help me to better form my thoughts when actually speaking them. 

Now a disclaimer; many of the things I will write won't make sense, or will require you to question the meaning behind them. While I invite you to look into them all you want and come to your own conclusion about what they may mean, they often aren't anything other than words to me. Most things I write will be fictitious and not based upon actual events.  I had several creative writing classes throughout school and was once sent to the counselor's office by a concerned teacher because of a poem I wrote comparing myself to an old mustang. And I once got a half page scolding from a homophobic high school teacher, that I am conviced was he himself a homosexual, for using the word 'gayly', referring to the way in which bees were buzzing about or something of that nature. So whatever I may write, don't be concerned, and please don't be offended, as I said they are just words.

So cutting to the chase, today S words were slithering through my head, here is what I came up with when putting pen to paper, or more rather fingers to keyboard.

Standing silently still at seaside in solitude and solidarity.
Swelling heart rising and falling like a serpent from the surf.
Scriptless scenes shame-faced in shambles swallow my sleep.
Myself a Schooner sailing sinuously - soaked and sober.
Sing-song skylarks selling sophism smug and snide.
Sinking in slowly I sob, now sot from sucking in sight and sound.
Speculative and spellbound I begin to swim steadfast.

Patriot Day 2011

Before I continue with this post, I must first say that I find it sad that we have a patriot ‘day’. As a patriot I feel strong support and love of my Country every day of the year. Should we not embrace every day, as a patriot day? Should we not wear are right hand over our heart and look to old glory every day of the year? Should we not at some point of any given day pledge allegiance? As a child I remember the morning routine of saying the pledge, and I wonder if they even do that anymore. I have started reciting the pledge to Lailah whenever we see a flag, in hopes that she will be thankful for its significance.

This September 11th marked the 10th Anniversary of the devastation that occurred at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and it’s engrained in my memory as though it just occurred yesterday.

I visited the 'Healing Field' in Sandy on my way to work the other day - a span of red, white and blue in memory of the 2,977 victims that perished on that day. And when I walked through row upon row of flags all labeled with the names, ages and brief biography of the victims, I started to look at the bigger picture - the 6,217 men and women who have fought and died for our Country as a part of Operation Enduring Freedom (1,753), Operation Iraqi Freedom (4,444) and Operation New Dawn (20 so far). Where are their flags? This September 11th I spent my day thinking about them, and the men and women that are currently over seas, that they may return safely to their families.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our Trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Fridays with Lailah – Episode 8; One with Nature

This week we headed up American Fork Canyon to stroll along the pine laden floor under leafy canopies; to discover new things and marvel upon purple mountain majesties.

Lailah has become quite the naturalist, and an independent one at that. She wanted to remain distant from me, unaware that the world around her, breathtaking as it may be, is still rife with hazards.

You can feel the season beginning to change, the air had crispness to it, and the leaves have begun to choke from loss of chlorophyll as the daylight hours begin to shorten. Before long the mountainside will be a patchwork of colors, beckoning the official start of autumn.

When the day was through, and Lailah was in bed, I watched a movie and started making petals for my mother-in-law’s Birthday Cupcakes. Andy was gone for the weekend and it was quiet, my hands stained from colored sugar. It’s moments like that, where one sits, and appreciates the splendor life offers and the people with whom we share it. Too often we are caught in the familiarity of routine that we don’t realize how truly blessed we are with what we have. It often isn’t until a routine is altered that one stops to reflect upon what they have been given.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Friday’s with Lailah Episode 7 – Close to Home

This past Friday with Lailah we stayed close to home. Taking time off work makes the budget a little tight, and with so many beautiful things to see so close to home, sometimes it’s best to just keep to a short leash. We went on a walk to the Catholic Church down the street and hung out for a little while, but other than that we kept to the backyard. Here are a few pics of Lailah being Lailah and the busy bee activity that was taking place in the backyard. 

 I have started eating completely Gluten Free and Dairy Free as much as I can, so much of that Friday with Lailah was spent baking various gluten-free things, pancakes and fried eggs for breakfast,  chocolate chip cookies for a treat (a big batch frozen for whenever a sweet tooth hits), Banana Bread, Blueberry Corn Muffins and Taco Soup. I have to say, the past 5 days of eating gluten free I feel like a new person. My daily stomach aches were coming back with a vengeance and rather than start with B12 injections again, I decided to make a different change. I’ve been tested for celiac in the past with negative results, but was always told that I may still have gluten intolerance and without changing my diet I wouldn’t know if that were the case. Anybody that has Celiac or a Gluten intolerance knows that it isn’t the easiest lifestyle change to follow so I never did it, but the more I read about gluten and it’s association to the problems I have been plagued with over the years, i.e. pernicious anemia, vitamin deficiencies, stomach aches since I was a child, depression, etc. the more I thought it was worth trying. It’s been fun to try new things, and hasn’t been nearly as difficult as I anticipated. For anyone thinking about trying it, or already doing it, the book “Cooking for Isaiah” is really great, and so far everything I have made has been delicious and easy. Andy and I went to lunch on Sunday and I didn’t eat Gluten Free and I had a stomach ache the rest of the night, so I am convinced that Gluten Free is the way to be…for me. If anyone has any gluten-free yummy recipes they want to share I would love to have them – just post to the comments so everyone can see.

That’s it for now. The next Friday with Lailah is quickly approaching; I will have to do better at making a more timely post next time.

Beauty can still be found in the most somber of moments...

The unfortunate passing of my Uncle Gary sent me on a road trip to a much visited destination of my youth. Along the drive I saw admirable landscapes and had quiet moments in the car to reflect upon how beautiful life is, how awe inspiring the land is, and how fortunate we are to see such splendor. Here are a few pics:

"Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life." 

I also came about this charming old theater in Monroe, and am trying to learn more about it and get inside to document it's interior. I have information for the owner, but think he may be less than willing to make me privy to it's story, and even less willing to let me inside, but we will see. Hopefully I will learn more about it and get some better pictures someday. The only interiors that I was able to get were through a broken glass tile - 35 cents for a movie ticket, how cool. I am fascinated with old buildings!

Friday’s with Lailah Episode 6 – Art Dye Park

I’ve waited far too long to create this blog. I can’t remember what I did 2 days ago let alone 2 Friday’s ago. But searching through the depths of my mind and the pictures I took, what I can remember is that Lailah and I kept close to home due to the heat (and lack of cash) and headed over to Art Dye park just down the street from our house. It’s heavily wooded and Lailah has lots of room to play in the dirt, pick up rocks or ‘bam bams’ as she was calling them that day (even though she knows how to say rocks) and aimlessly swing sticks around; needless to say I came home with a camera bag full of bam bams. I recall it was pretty hot even in the shade, but she enjoyed getting dirty and having Mother Nature’s playground at her disposal. Though I don’t care much for the colder of the seasons here in Utah, I do enjoy the environment! We are surrounded by a lot of beautiful places close to home.

 The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity ... and some scarce see nature at all. 
But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.
William Blake