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June 30, 2006

Fruit of my labors.......

Most people that know me are well aquainted with the fact that I am a little less than thrilled to be living in Oregon. However, during the summer time Oregon attempts to redeem itself for the months and MONTHS (did I mention months?!?!?) of rain we get by producing the largest, most delicious fruit known to man. My favorite thing is to go to a "U-Pick" which is exactly what it sounds like. A large farm where a family has planted enough blueberries, or strawberries, or raspberries, or marionberries, or cherries, or apples......I could go on.....or sometimes a combination of any of these, that they simply can't eat them all. They then put up a big sign, and the public is welcome to come pick their fruit for a miniscule fee. Last summer I spent an hour or so picking blueberries for the first time in my life. I absolutely LOVE blueberries, and probably could have continued to pick all day long. When I first arrived, several containers in tow, I was told that they had five different kinds of blueberries. FIVE!!! They let me taste them all, and then directed me to the areas that contained those varieties. I picked four pounds all by myself. Four POUNDS of blueberries cost me $4.00. I don't even want to think about how much this same amount would have cost me at Safeway. The thought makes me giddy though.......
We just picked raspberries last week, and it was $1.00 / lb. I believe we brought home 5 or 6 lbs of fruit between three of us, which somehow, has nearly disappeared. Partly because well, we eat them, and partly because I made jam for the first time. Easy "freezer" jam, but wonderful nonetheless. You see, I am a self - confessed jam snob. I only eat homemade. So here it is - my first jam product. First of many I believe....I enjoy jamming.........

June 19, 2006

Flaws in my fabric

I recently read a quote from a book on Oprah's Summer Reading list. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I am one of those people - I watch her show, I applaud her charitable deeds, however I do not believe that every word that falls from her mouth is scripture (scripted sometimes?). That said, she does have a wonderful list of books. The book is "Lost Hearts in Italy" by Andrea Lee. I haven't read it so I can't endorse it, but this quote rung true with me.

"...we always belong forever to people who have hurt us badly, or been badly hurt by us."

I know this may not be true for everyone, but I know it is for myself, and have discussed this idea with several friends who have all hurt, or been hurt by someone at one time. I think initially you might think of this "someone" as just being a past significant other, but I think it can also apply to friends and family as well. I think this is especially true if the hurt is something that ends up changing your thinking, or perhaps even your life's direction. Little misunderstandings and arguments are forgiven and forgotten, but when something happens that truly affects us, it may be forgiven but is not forgotten. I think that is why we "belong" to those people. Their actions or words become woven into the fabric of our past and as I have found, un-picking what has been sewn can be a long and difficult process. Sometimes leaving the "flaw" is easier than unraveling the entire fabric and we are left to learn to overlook it, and perhaps one day learn from it.

I started high school with a lot of excitement, fear, and hope. I had made it through junior high alive, despite the humiliating and oft times tumultuous years of early adolescence. The changes in my body, the braces, the pimples... I had mastered these and I was determined to prove to myself that I was worth something. I had made our high school's dance team, and was sure that this would give me an "in". It wasn't more than a few days into the first week when I developed a crush on a boy in my English class. He was a sophomore officer, funny, and seemed to be friends with everyone, the life of the party. Obviously way out of my league. Much to my surprise however, I found he liked me as well, and we started "going out" (ah, high school terms....). I had never had a boyfriend, never had a boy LIKE me before, so you can bet I was on cloud nine. He introduced me to the popular world - parties, dances, and (gasp!) my first kiss. It was all so new to me, and I was soaking it in. People would tell me that he bragged about dating me. It seemed things were perfect - he was kind, considerate, funny, and (here comes another high school term) HOT - until one day when we didn't see each other. He didn't call that day...or the next....or the next. I finally mustered up the courage to call him and ask him what was going on, and a giggling girl answered the phone. I immediately knew something was up, but when I talked to him he said things were fine, he was just really busy. Naively I believed him. A few days later however, my best friend told me in the girl's locker room, while applying her mascara, that he simply "didn't have time for a girlfriend right now". I was devastated. All that went through my mind was that obviously I wasn't good enough. He must have discovered I wasn't as popular as he had first thought. I think the worst part was that I hadn't seen it coming. Of course looking back, I realized that we really didn't have a relationship - more your average high school fling really. It lasted two months and I barely knew a thing about him. I can see and understand that now, but at the time it was all because of me. I dealt with it the only way I knew how, to put on a brave uncaring face, and let it fester inside. I went about reassuring myself that I was worth something by becoming a fabulous flirt. Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette became the soundtrack to my angry-girl look on life. To make matters worse, somewhere in the midst of starting high school and making the dance team, I began watching what I ate and soon just stopped eating altogether. Of course being dumped only added fuel to the fire, and I began a long journey down the road of deprivation, self hatred, and control.

I am now happily married, and in a much better state of mind. He and I eventually became friends, and wrote many letters to each other while he was on a mission for my church and I was in Australia. So while I have forgiven him, those events were a major turning point in my life, and cannot be erased. They are a flaw in my quilt, and therefore cannot be forgotten. I still care about him, he was a good friend, and will always hold a place in my heart, or "belong to me". I think that for some people this could be a weakness, but for me, it is not. I think because of this whole experience I am a stronger person. Someday I will have children of my own and it is my goal to empower them with the knowledge that their self worth isn't measured by who they are dating, or how popular they are.

June 16, 2006

Lucy Mae

Isn't she pretty? Again, there must be something in the water, because EVERYONE I KNOW is having a baby!! Congrats Rob and Lindsey!

June 14, 2006

My, your eggs smell lovely today!

It's been a while since I posted something regarding scientific studies. I came upon this one today, and felt it HAD to be blogged about....

So apparently some researchers have discovered that sperm can smell. They actually have "features that are similar to the human nose". I had always wondered how in the world sperm knew where to go, but the thought that they can smell had never crossed my mind. They actually have olfactory receptor proteins (like those in your nose, for the lay-person...) with little "sniffers" as they call them, on the outside that can smell "ovarian scents". My eggs have their own perfume?!?!? We should bottle the stuff! Sell it to all the single ladies out there. I'd call it "Heat"..... My favorite part of the article was the opening line - "Like a man who whips his head around to follow a whiff of perfume, sperm cells turn their heads when they detect even the faintest of sexy female scents". They suggested that they can smell these ovarian scents even when they are diluted 100,000 times! That's a pretty good sniffer I'd say. So basically these sperm are mindin' their own business, when they suddenly detect - GASP - "Is that FEMALE I smell!??!" and off they go, headed toward this lovely odor, an unsuspecting, completely oblivious egg. Little does she know she's the cause of such a stampede. Researchers also discovered that sperm virility declines as men get older, and they suggest that just as our sense of smell diminishes as we get older, that sperm's sensitivity to smell declines as well. The scientists haven't discovered exactly WHAT chemicals are producing these scents, but you can best believe they are trying (I'm sure all the men are REALLY interested...). What do you want to bet that some idiot out there starts marketing pills to change the scent? Plumeria, Freesia, White Tea and Ginger....Though I DO wonder if this could turn into some kind of new birth control. Just change the scent of the egg, and the sperm won't know where to go. I also wonder if these findings could help with certain types of male infertility. Maybe some men's sperm sniffers are broken! Similarly, if a woman's egg wasn't producing these chemicals, they could bottle the scent, inject it somehow in the woman's egg, and then the sperm could find it. OH THE POSSIBILITIES!!!!

June 13, 2006

Little Georgia Noel

I am a sucker for babies with binkies. The baby fever is RAGING...... Congrats Katie and Josh! She is beautiful!

June 11, 2006

Separation Anxiety

The second Caleb leaves the house this is where Bear is, keeping a silent vigil until he returns home again.

The wet nose marks turn the glass a sickly opaque color. Thank you Windex, for always keeping me sane.

June 9, 2006

3 weeks, 1 day....

Until I get to see THIS adorable little girl.........

It makes my heart hurt, and my birth control seem SO much less appealing........