Sunday, August 24, 2008

Item of the Week

Hostess Ding Dongs. When I was younger, I always played with my friend Amy Head. And sometimes, when we were at her house, we got frozen Ding Dongs. They were delicious and something we NEVER had at my house. I haven't had one in years. Then, last night, Jared and I were walking through Target and I saw the Hostess treats. I totally wanted a Ding Dong, so we bought a box and I ate one as soon as we got to the car. It was delicious!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


On Saturday, I made and canned applesauce with my sister. When my mom found out we were doing it, she was so excited. "My daughter is becoming domestic!" It was quite the process for the apples. First they were yanked off our tree, then peeled and cut, cooked, mashed, recooked, stuffed into bottles, and boiled for 20 minutes. It doesn't sound fun to be an apple. Here's the whole process in pictures (no internet pictures here. These are all from my camera, taken at my house during the applesauce making).

The tree, full of apples

The apples

The crop (well, a small part of it) - it takes lots of apples to make applesauce!

Peeling and slicing the apples. Much easier with this handy machine. Look, my hand is moving so fast, it's blurry!

The apples, declothed

My sister cutting out wormholes and getting the apples ready for cooking

Making the applesauce - mashing the apples and adding sugar and cinnamon

Filling the jars

Ready to start the canning process

In the water bath (yep, it's really called a bath)

After boiling in the bath for 20 minutes, we take the applesauce out

The finished product. Beautiful, no?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dreams and Other Nocturnal Activities

A couple of nights ago, Jared and I had a funny nighttime experience. We were both asleep (as we usually are in the wee hours of the morning). I rolled over more toward the middle of the bed and I must have moved my pillow a little because I hear Jared say, "Be careful! There might be knives right there!", indicating the side of my pillow that I was rolling towards. So, I sat up, grabbed my pillow, and pulled my pillowcase off, throwing it over the end of the bed. In my mind, I knew there were no knives, but I didn't want Jared to worry, so I just thought it would be easier to get rid of the pillowcase. When we woke up the next morning, Jared asked what happened to my pillowcase. So, as I grabbed my pillowcase from the foot of the bed, I said, "well, last night you said there might be knives on my pillow, so I took the pillowcase off and threw it off the bed." He thought that was very funny and after I told him about it, he remembered having dreamt that there were knives on my side of the bed. But, he didn't remember any of the action in the middle of the night. I thought it was so funny that he didn't remember any of it and yet, I remembered exactly what happened and I knew exactly where my pillowcase was in the morning. I also find it funny how logic gets completely twisted around where we're half-asleep. When Jared said there might be knives, I knew there weren't any, but the idea that there COULD be knives on my pillow was totally feasible in my half-asleep mind. And I also find it funny that, in the event there could be knives, my solution - completely logical in my half-asleep mind - was to take off the pillowcase. I think that dreams and other nocturnal mental activity is fascinating! Anyone else have any awesome dreams/other nocturnal activities to share?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Item of the Week

This week's item of the week is very near and dear to my heart. It is the Summer Olympic Games. I am a HUGE fan of the olympic games and am so excited about them. Growing up, my family watched the games religiously every four years. One of my biggest sacrifices for my mission was missing the winter games in Salt Lake City. Now, with the winter and summer games split, I can look forward to this two week, international festival of sports prowess every two years. That makes my heart so happy! I will have the TV on as much as possible for the next couple of weeks and we're Tivoing everything. I love rooting for Team USA and I love seeing us dominate. During the last summer games, we were watching the Final of a men's Track & Field race and the US runner was WAY ahead of everyone else. My friend Kristen saw how far ahead he was and said, "That's, like, us beating everyone with a stick!" One of my favorite olympic-related quotes. And, while I didn't plan for my last day of work at UCSF to be the opening day of the games, it couldn't have worked out better. Go USA and happy olympics viewing! If anyone needs to come watch with me, just let me know!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I'm sitting here at my desk, anxious to leave for the last time. This is my last day of work here at UCSF and I'm definitely seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Over the last several months, I have begun to realize that I'm seriously sleep deprived and it's affecting my mental and physical abilities. This could take some serious recovery time. I average only about 5 or 6 hours of sleep a night on account of the fact that I have to get up by 4:30 or 5 am everyday. This is bad for your health. A few months ago, Jared and I watched Band of Brothers and we were watching the episode where the American soldiers find a concentration camp deserted by the Nazi guards, but still inhabited by prisoners. Due to their severely starved state, the Americans immediately begin feeding the prisoners. An American doctor soon tells them they have to stop feeding the prisoners because their bodies can't handle all the food at once. I feel like this is what will happen to me if I start trying to get a normal amount of sleep. My body won't be able to handle it.

Still, I'm excited to see if my brain function will improve. Like, maybe I'll be able to think of the words I need when I need them. And maybe I won't do stupid things like hit the unlock button on my car remote to unlock the front door of the house (it doesn't work). And I'm thinking that my physical abilities will also improve. I think my soccer game will get better. What I'm really excited about is that I think getting more sleep will improve my Guitar Hero and Rock Band skills. I need to become an expert drummer!

I keep thinking about not having to get up early on Monday morning or for the rest of the week and it makes me so happy. I know. This post makes me sound like one of those people who needs tons of sleep and can sleep in until noon on the weekends. That's not me. In my past life I actually did very well with 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep, had a really hard time sleeping in past 9 and was very functional if I didn't get enough sleep for a few nights.

But, a couple years worth of sleep deprivation changes you. It's like being on crack. All you think about is sleeping and when will you get to go to sleep next and how can you get a few minutes of sleep here or a few minutes of sleep there. It's crazy! So, you can see why I'm excited. I'm about to enjoy the sweet taste of freedom! Anyone want to party this weekend?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Me vs. the Mountain

Two years ago, I climbed Half Dome with my friends, Molly and Christian. The hike, which is about 15 miles and climbs about 5000 feet, typically takes 8-12 hours. We did it in 7. After finishing the hike, we decided that, while it was a tough hike, it was definitely doable and we didn't think it was the monstrous hike that many people made it out to be. This summer, my niece Alyssa said she wanted to climb Half Dome, so Jared and I said we would take her. We decided on a date (July 12th) and decided we would drive up the night before, camp, and get up early in the morning to start the hike. As the big day neared, my nephew Gary decided he wanted to go, too, and we said that was fine. So, after work on Friday, we drove up to Groveland (20 miles from the entrance to Yosemite Park) and set up camp. We got up very early the next morning, drove into Yosemite, and began the long hike to the top of Half Dome. I thought it would be much like the first time I hiked it. I was wrong. This time around, that mountain KICKED. MY. BUTT. Maybe it was the air quality (really horrible with the smoke from all the fires in California). Maybe I'm just not in as good of shape as I was two years ago. Or, more depressing, maybe I'm getting old. Whatever the reason, that mountain really showed me who was boss. Fine. I take back my arrogant, cocky attitude about Half Dome. It is a beast! We had a great time, though, and now Alyssa has done it. And, in her words, she doesn't need to do it again! On the way into the park that morning, Alyssa was talking about how we were going to party when we got back to our campsite that night. We could play games and talk and stay up late, etc, etc. When we got back to the campsite, we all took a quick shower and then went to bed. We were exhausted! As hard as it was, though, it was so fun to be there with Alyssa and Gary and watch them persevere and push themselves to their limits. As hard as it was, it was awesome! And, even though that mountain totally beat me down, I lived to tell the tale!

Me and Jared en route to the top

Alyssa and Jared attacking the granite steps. This is where Jared had to lie to Alyssa to keep her going. He kept telling her they were almost to the top and eventually they made it!

That is bad air quality, people!

Gary finishing the cables in spite of his fear of heights. Well done, Gar-dog!

The four of us enjoying the view from the top

Me and Jared at the top of Half Dome

Alyssa replenishing her fluids. Don't worry - we purified it!

We came, we hiked, we survived!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Item of the Week

This week, I have two items of the week. Actually, one is from last week but I didn't have time to blog about. But, these two items have so improved my life this week, that I had to proclaim their merits to the world. First is last week's item: Mitchell's Ice Cream

Mitchell's Ice Cream on Guerrero

For years I have been hearing about Mitchell's Ice Cream in San Francisco. People come from near and far just to enjoy this tasty treat. In all of my associations with San Francisco, I have never had it. Well, Jared and I decided to try it last Saturday when we were in the city for a Quinceanera (I will blog about that later!). Before I continue, please note that I do not consider myself an ice cream lover. I like ice cream and I enjoy it as a tasty treat every now and again. But, it's not my favorite dessert or anything. I mean, I'm not about to kill for ice cream. So, here was our Mitchell's experience. First of all, it isn't in a convenient neighborhood. That's why I've never been there. Second, parking is beastly near Mitchell's. It took Jared and I at least 20 minutes to find parking and in the end we just gave up and parked farther away. Third, when we got to Mitchell's we took a number, 47, and heard them call the next number, 23 (or thereabouts). I thought, is this for real? Is this ice cream that good? After waiting about 20 minutes (on top of our 20 minute quest for parking), let me tell you people, it is that good. This is probably the creamiest, tastiest ice cream I have ever had. As I said, I do not consider myself an ice cream lover, but here we are a week later and I'm still thinking about that tasty ice cream cone! Next time you are in San Francisco, I highly suggest a stop at this establishment of tasty dairy heaven!

Okay, on to item two. This week, I came down with a cold. Grrrrr. I don't get sick in the summertime! What is happening?!?! We blame Jared's coworkers. He got it from them and then, of course, gave it to me. Well, when I started feeling sick, I started taking Cold-Eeze. I don't actually care that much about Cold-Eeze, it's the zinc inside that matters. But, for this post my item of the week is Cold-Eeze Bubble Gum Balls.

Zinc tastes disgusting. It tastes worse when they try to cover it up with some other flavor like Cherry or Honey Lemon which they always do with the Lozenges. But, Cold-Eeze Bubble Gum is pure Zinc nastiness. I have to have some way to get my zinc when I come down with a cold and, for me, I don't want nastiness mixed with other flavors. I'll take the straight nastiness please. You may wonder why I insist on taking Zinc if it's so disgusting. And I still have the cold, so what's the point? Well, I'll tell you the point. True enough, Zinc doesn't kill those nasty little viruses and it won't make your cold go away immediately. But, Zinc boosts your immune system, helping your body to get over the cold faster and it reduces the symptoms while you have the cold. And Zinc is the only thing, proven by studies, to do this. I began feeling sick on Tuesday afternoon and I'm already almost over my cold. Hooray for Cold-Eeze Bubble Gum Balls!