29 July 2012

Southern Mother

Most of my siblings have lived at home while they completed their undergraduate studies at Southern Utah University. I have followed on that path and am currently residing in my parents' basement while I am attending SUU. Living at home has its perks: free housing, free utilities, free laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi, four blocks away from campus, a yard, and free food (I know that these aforementioned items are not free, but they pretty much are for me in the situation I'm in).


I believe in the universal language of food. Well, and music, but let me talk about food on this post. Everyone eats. Sure, we all have different preferences, but when all is said and done, every human being eats, myself included (this should dispel unfounded rumors that I am a robot). Do you know who else eats? Poor, starving college students. Albeit, they may not be starving, but they sure don't eat well. Ramen noodles with Easy Cheese does not count as eating well. I have given many of my friends the label of "PSCS" or Poor Starving College Students and I try to help out with at least one of those letters. The S.

Whenever I have a group of friends at my house, it is usually an eclectic group, and one thing we all have in common is food. So I cook for them. And I love it. I desire to cook for them. I want them to eat. I want them to be comfortable. I want them to have some nutrition in their PSCS diet.

This strong urge to feed people has been called Southern Mother Syndrome, because nothing in the world can trump Southern Hospitality. While I was serving my mission, I cannot tell you the number of times I was invited to cookouts while walking the streets of the hood, or traversing the lanes in suberbia. (I can't tell you because I don't want to look it up in my journal, and my memory is too bad to remember. But it was at least three times). Southern people are just so hospitable.

I am now called the Southern Mother to many of my friends. If it wasn't for the situation I am in of living at home, I wouldn't be able to fulfill my "motherly instincts."

So please, make yourself comfortable, and let me feed you.

And y'all come back now, ya hear?

27 July 2012

The Fruit of My Labours

Tonight I had my nieces and nephew over while their mom, Tandy, went out on the town with one of her old buddies. While she was out, I was in charge of feeding the little rascals. The kids went fishing yesterday at kid's pond and Lexi and Braeden both caught trout and that's what they were going to eat. Since they were going to have fish, I decided that I should have some fish, too. In the freezer I found some delicious halibut from mom and dad's trip to Alaska last year. Nom.

As I started preparing the fish, both Lexi and Braeden were disgusted at the things I was putting on it. I told them to trust me  and not worry about it and to trust me, that I know what I'm doing and I know how to cook. Then I put their fish, wrapped in aluminum foil, on the grill. Second shelf. Low heat. Then I started making french fries (Lexi is the world's slowest potato cutter). The kids loved those. After that, I started dipping my lovely halibut in batter and frying. The kids were mortified. They were convinced that what I was doing was the must disgusting thing ever. After they devoured their trout, I made Lexi and Braeden try some of mine (Ella would take no part) and they both liked it. Lexi ate quite a bit.

So, in commemoration of the 2012 London Olympic Games, I had delicious fish 'n' chips. So good!

Nom! Photo credit: Lexi.

26 July 2012

Lucky You

I've decided to do more frequent, smaller blog posts.

You're welcome.

Do you ever meet someone for a very short period of time and then they run off and yell, over their shoulder, "Add me on Facebook!"? That happens to me frequently. Sure, those few minutes of brief introductions were great and we're basically best buds, but unless you write down your name for me/shoot me a text message, or you add me, I'm going to totally forget your name. Over the past week or so, I have been quite the socialer... socialist. [Yeah.... we'll go with that ;-)]... and I have had the opportunity to meet so many great people who at the last moment of contact yell, "Add me on Facebook." I would love to add you on Facebook, dear-potential-best-friend-whose-path-I-might-never-cross-again-if-we-don't-set-something-up-via-Facebook.


I forgot your name.

24 July 2012

What A Wonderful World!

Greetings, salutations, etc.

I apologize for my apathetic blogging as of late. I have been.... well, let me tell you some of the highlights of the past... erm... month.

Wow. It really has been a while since I have been on the blogosphere.

I had the privilege to work at SUU's ArtsFusion camp for children. I was teamed up with choral mastermind Adrienne Tawa and we taught choir to children ages 8 to 12. The theme of the camp this year was.... something about global, so we did a Chinese song (in Chinese! The kids were so talented!), a titi torea Maori piece while playing a traditional stick game, the English version of Pearly Shells from Hawaii, What A Wonderful World, and One Small Voice from Sesame Street. It was a blast working with the wonderful faculty and helping me further my experience in teaching music. My picture was on the front page of the paper for it. I'll post it later if I kept it... I'm not sure if I did [Mom kept it! Here it is!].
I would like to add, for the record, that I was not a volunteer; I was a paid employee. That is all.

Mom and dad went to Canada. I didn't go. I was working at ArtsFusion and house sitting.

I took Caroline, Lexi, and Braeden hiking in the Kanarra Creek slot canyons.

I sang in the interfaith choir for a patriotic concert. It was a wonderful program.

I spent a day in Temecula, CA to trade vehicles with dad and play with Damian and Tandy's kids.

I flew from Cedar to Reno to visit Katie and her family and help them settle in to their new home and watch the boys. The first leg of my trip was from Cedar to Salt Lake. When I got situated on the plane, I turned to the man sitting next to me and said, "Hello, my name is Eric. I will be sitting next to you for the duration of the flight." The man looked at me coldly and said disdainfully, "It's a short flight, Eric." And he looked away from me and put his nose in his newspaper. Ouch. The second leg of my trip was from Salt Lake to Reno. The person I sat next to on that flight was a delightful young woman from Indianapolis who grew up in Reno and was returning to visit her family because her grandmother was dying. We talked for the whole one hour flight. As we talked, the subject of religion came up and we were able to talk a lot about the Church. Not so much doctrine, but she just reminisced about the great friends she had in high school who were members of the Church and the great impact they had on her life. That conversation made me grateful for faithful, friendly, nonjudgmental members of the Church and it made me want to be better.

In church in Reno, I was aimlessly wandering the halls and saw some missionary plaques. One of the plaques was one of the missionaries that I served with in DC! I took a picture of the plaque and sent it to my mission mom. She informed me that he would be coming home on Wednesday. So did what any sensible person would do: I phoned his mom and got the information about his arrival. His family came and got me Wednesday evening and we were able to have an enjoyable (and somewhat stressful; we thought that Elder Lee had missed his connection in Dallas and didn't make to Reno!) evening. And I was able to make some great friends.

After spending a week in Reno, we were to make the long drive East on I-80 to Salt Lake to attend Nick's wedding. On the morning of Friday the twentieth, Katie and Casey went to the rental place to pick up the car that Momma Linda so graciously provided for them (Katie and Casey's car was in no condition to make the 500+ mile drive). The rental place would not release the car to Katie and Casey because they did not have a major credit card. They went to another rental place and found out that they could rent a car, but it would need a ridiculous amount of money paid down; money they didn't have. At that point in time, we didn't think we would make it to Salt Lake. I got online to look at flight information. It was freaking expensive for a one way ticket. So I looked at Greyhound which was a much more reasonable amount. The sad thing was that Casey was planning on staying behind to watch the kids so that Katie could fly on and make it to the wedding.
Needless to say, we were all stressed out. So were mom and dad. Mom was especially looking forward to having all her children and grandchildren together for the first time in over three years so that she could do family pictures. Well, mom and dad were very helpful and wired money to Katie and Casey to make it possible for them to afford a car to drive to Salt Lake. When we arrived in Salt Lake, Katie's room reservation had been lost. The good news is that the hotel didn't charge for the hotel because of their mistake. Yay for saving $200+.

Nick's wedding. It was great. It was great being with my family who I love so much.

On Sunday morning, I woke up at 0330 to take my parents to the airport so that they could fly to Puerto Vallarta for a vacation at the time share. I got back to the hotel at around 0530, slept for another 1.5 hours, woke up, got ready for church, ate breakfast, straightened the room a bit (so that the maid wouldn't think we're complete slobs...), and checked out. I went to church at the county juvenile detention facility because my first mission president and his wife are called to work there. It started at 0830 and we were done by 1100. The kids are good kids and want to change. Definitely and eye opening experience. One of the highlights was administering the sacrament with President Mansell. So good.

I was supposed to meet a friend downtown at temple square for a picnic, but she had some family things she had to take care of. So I spent a couple of hours on temple square, enjoyed the gardens, the new scale model of the temple, the art, an organ recital, and talked to some great people.

The evening was spent with some of my favorite people ever. Elder and Sister Bingham were missionaries in the Anacostia ward and I consider them family. We had dinner, talked, watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Pioneer Day concert, and just had a grand ol' time.

Doesn't that look like a grand ol' time? This was taken on PhotoBooth using the Squirrel setting.

Monday: I drove home.

Holy cow.

This is, like, the longest blog post I've ever done. And there's not even any pictures. Sad day. I'm sure as I procure them, I will post them to make this post a little more enjoyable.

Thanks for reading about my goings on for the past few weeks.