Wednesday, July 16, 2008

an ohio state of mind.

Hello friends! Well I recently returned from an all-expenses-paid adventure to the lands of Ohio for a special-edition EFY
It all began with me having zero to none knowledge about geography and thinking Ohio was located somewhere near Oklahoma. Turns out it's in the Eastern time zone! Kind of threw my sleeping habits (and my Spidey-man watch) for a loop. Here are some highlights from my week:
So, true to the tradition of my life, the airline decided to lose my luggage on the way to Ohio. When I arrived at a very late hour of Saturday (hence bordering on Sunday and no-more-shopping-til-Monday zone) I found myself on the other side of the country with the reassurance from the employees that my pajamas and toothbrush and church clothes "might be in Seattle." A is for awesome.
24 hours later my stuff did indeed get returned into my loving arms, but the best of the luggage adventures was still to come....Fast forward one week to the flight home. Imagine my joy and surprise when my suitcase rolled onto the luggage carousel in one beautiful, punctual picturesque moment. Unfortunately my bad luck was contagious though, because my poor travel buddy's luggage was nowhere to be found. But about 15 minutes employee wheels his suitcase out on a cart. And oh what a moment it was...You see, although his suitcase was indeed there, the top half was ripped off, with clothing bursting from all sides, and the entire ensemble was wrapped in shrinkwrap...with one purple Hannah Montana pen taped firmly to the top. At this point all I could do was sit on the luggage carousel and laugh....loudly....until all the people around us and some of the employees were laughing as well.
The Sunday before the session I attended a small, local family ward (while wearing shoes and a dress that were slightly too large for me because, hey, my luggage was still in transit...) In Relief Society we learned about food storage. Pretty normal, right? Um, mostly...until the part where we were taught how to (no joke) build furniture out of food storage. And until the part where we learned that eating too many chocolate chips will "give you a grandma booty." Oh how I wish this was Church Doctrine and could be included in the lesson manuals EVERY year.
So one night after all the childrens were fast asleep (or at least locked inside their humid dorm rooms), myself and two other counselors ventured to McDonalds for a much-needed late-night food run. We had to drive to the next town, which involved travelling through the middle of some dark woods on a winding road. Having grown up with a McDonalds a 1/2 mile from my house, this was a bit disconcerting. I half expected to arrive at the "McDonalds" and discover it to be nothing but a run-down shack and some crooked two-by-fours in place of the golden arches and large sign reading "McPossum's." Although it turned out to be a normal-looking fast food joint, I was still delighted when the sleepy employee responded to our inquiry about a good McFlurry flavor by saying "Oatmeal." Mmm....Oatmeal McFlurrys. Available only at your neighborhood McPossum's :)
On a less silly note...
My name is Katie and I've always hated history. I tried taking an LDS history class and i thoroughly enjoyed the principles we learned, but the stories and names went in one ear and out the other. So, honestly, I thought that going to Church History sites would be somewhat boring...staring at historic buildings and whatnot. Boy was I wrong! I have gained such an immense appreciation for those stories and people who I couldn't have even remembered before. Just being there was enough to make it stick. I mean, to think that in the last week I was in four different places where the Savior Himself appeared. What could be better?? I even had two different opportunities to have discussions about the Gospel with complete strangers, and to give them both pass-along cards and commit them to visiting I don't think I've ever been so happy in my entire life! Really truly.
Oh my, I could go on and on....
So many things to love about Ohio. I've never seen so much green! Minus the humidity, I simply fell in love with the entire location. The houses were many different kinds...not just cookie-cutter stucco :) I mostly fell in love with the firebugs (although I think I'm supposed to call them fireflies or lightning bugs....but I do what i want) Every night I'd look outside and the grass lawns would be sparkling with little flashes of light. Simply incredible!
And the rainstorms....oh, blessed Ohio rainstorms! It was like being under a waterfall from the sky. I thought I was already in love with the rain but THIS was a new experience. I ran around outside and became absolutely drenched one little heart was just bursting with happy!
I never thought I'd enjoy anywhere besides the West (basically because I'd never been anywhere besides Arizona and the 3 or 4 surrounding states) but I have definitely gained an appreciation for the land of Ohio. It makes me want to go EVERWHERE...i mean, what else have I been missing??
I had the chance to do the slide show for the session, so I was able to take a ton of pictures. Here are a few for you to peruse :) Enjoy!

Look at the COLORS. Don't see that everyday...

Okay none of you know these girls, but they are standing on the front porch of the John Johnson home. This is where Joseph and Emma were sleeping with their twin babies when the mob took Joseph from the home and tarred and feathered him. The porch these ladies are standing on is the very same place where he stood the next morning and preached his sermon to a congregation that included members of that mob. SO awesome to actually be there!

This was a painting that i LOVED inside a visitors center near the Newel K. Whitney store (the building where they had the School of the Prophets.)

Here's an example of an Ohio house, I kid you not. In love? I know I am. I want to live in a house like this one....with Amish neighbors.

Me and two of my co-workers playing the rain. We are all absolutely soaked. I don't know what my pose is, exactly...I was trying to be a statue I think.

This is the favorite picture I took. It makes me feel like I could one day be an accomplished photographer....or something...

I'm in the lower right corner of this one....kind of hard to see me even though I'm wearing a yellow dress (a dress which I bought earlier that day from a Nepali clothing stand....besides the fact that it's an awesome dress, when could I ever turn down giving my money to poor people in foreign countries??) But this is me by the Kirtland Temple on my last night in Ohio. It makes me feel nostalgic inside when I look at it. And kind of sweaty when I remember how blasted humid it was....

Well that's the end! I love you all, and props to any of you who actually read the entire thing :) Thanks for being dedicated! I owe you a gold star.

Friday, July 4, 2008


some things should never change.

let's talk about....coloring books. Somewhere between my crayoning-conneiussuer (wow, butchered that one...) days and the re-enlightenment age (of my life, not world art history...) some genius in the coloring book industry got a very BIG and very BAD idea....and started the horror we know as the "coloring AND ACTIVITY book" genre. Um, barf. When i want to color, i want to COLOR...not add numbers, not connect any dots, not unscramble words, not find Dottie's lost needle in the haystack....i want to wrap my little fist around the hue of my choice and shade with carefully constrained - yet appropriately reckless - abandon. I want large shapes. I want pictures. If i wanted to be educated, i would read a book that's meant to have words in it. Activities shmactiviminies....keep yo' educatin' to yo'self, Crayola Man.

However...some things should change. And have.

let's talk about...swimsuits. Particuarly, the article in the April 1983 New Era entitled "Choose the Right in Swim Wear." (Yes, the swimsuit edition of the New Era. Gasp!)
Cue the jaws theme music, overly-cheerful models donning Ferra-Fawcett-esque do's and frightening, striped, frilled onesies...oh how i wish you could see the pictures.

I quote:
"If the suit is white, it's a must to be lined. It can come as a shock when you come from a swim and discover that your unlined white suit has become totally transparent when wet."
"Whether you sink or swim, it's well worth your time to shop around until you find a suit that covers you modestly."
"Bikinis for boys are always a poor choice."
"Super-sized, sarong-tied scarves offer protection with pizzazz."
"Don't leave the fellows out of the fashion scene, for they can look and feel terrific in a handcrafted caftan just as easily as the girls." ( says, Caftan = a long garment having long sleeves and tied at the waist by a girdle, worn under a coat in the Middle East.)

Mmm...girdle, huh?

I think i will stick with swimming trunks and old-school coloring books. And how.