Wednesday, December 30, 2009

All You Need is Love

Holy Smokes. I love world-unity-feel-good types of movies. Don't you? Here's one to start out the New Year...

Also, Bobby, Shauni mentioned that you sort of look like the guy with the beard sitting on the front row of minute 1:04. I can definitely see it...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Steal-of-a-Deal



I love a good steal-of-a-deal. The best ones come from Goodwill on 1/2 off day and Deseret Industries. This one was too good to pass up, especially because it was a couple of bucks ($3.50, I think). A Big Bird cookie jar is priceless, almost.

Friday, December 25, 2009

To Do (Longterm List):


There are some important artists/concerts I need to see live before I die:

Mikhail Baryshnikov
Billy Joel
Neil Diamond
Nickel Creek


There are some important artists/concerts for which I'm going to have to die in order to see "live":

Michael Jackson
Louis Armstrong
Frank Sinatra
Gregory Hines


There are some important artists/concerts I hope I never see regardless of life status:

Air Supply
Michael Bolton
Kenny G
Dan Fogelberg


There are some authors I'd give an arm and a leg to as a few questions of/talk to:

Carson McCullers
Pearl S. Buck
John Steinbeck


There are some places I must live:

A few select locations back east
Nowhere cold or snowy
South America


There are some extended vacations I must take:

The Louvre and other scattered art museums (2 months)
Washington D.C. (1 month)
Peru/Machu Pichu (3 weeks)
Africa (1 month)


There are some graduate degrees I must obtain:

Children's Literature
Early American History
Physics


There are some languages to master:

Hebrew
Spanish
English


There's more stuff to say but it's 11:23 and I'm tired and my brain is shutting down. You know what? I'm going to head off to bed. But before I go, do you have anything you'd like to do? Merry Christmas to all and to all a Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Can of Deliciousness


I must say I was quite pleased when we received a can of this joy from friends this Christmas season. Of course, there was a homemade label wrapped around the can instead of a cow face, but I barely even looked at the label. It was the insides I was after.

You ask "Sweetened Condensed Milk?" I reply with "What else would there be?" I'd like to explain how you too can obtain this desirable treat:

Take one can of the Eagle Brand America's Most Trusted Sweetened Condensed Milk and set it in a pot of water to boil for 3 hours. Keep the pot full of water, and make sure the entire can is always covered by water. Rotate the can around every 45 minutes or so. After 3 hours, take the can out and set it on the counter to cool. When it is not burning hot, put in in the refrigerator and leave it in overnight.

The can will be ready upon the morrow. Open it up to find ounces of pure deliciousness. The sweetened condensed milk will no longer be runny. It will be like unto a thick carmel dip, but better. Most consumers will chop up an apple to dip into it. I just get a spoon and start digging in.

Be good to yourself. Try it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Contemplating...




I have so much to say about books and literacy. There are so many valuable, enriching, useful resources and ideas I'd like to share that I think such a catered blog is called for. I do believe I'll do that.... one of these days.



Monday, December 21, 2009

You Might as Well Eat the Box = Falsehood



There are few precious foods that "hit the spot" in life. For me, Reese's Puffs still stands strong in first place. If your dog gets hit and killed by a car in the near future, sit yourself down with a bowl of that heavenly mana. You'll say to yourself "Yes, all is well." In one sitting I can suck down a whole box without realizing what I've done. How did I discover this delight? Let me tell you....

As a kid, guidelines for picking cereal at the store while grocery shopping were:

1. You may get a box of cornflakes.
2. You may get a box of shredded wheat.
3. Fruit Loops are a once-in-a-while exception.

It was common knowledge at our household that when it came to sugar cereal and nutrition "you might as well eat the box." The downfall for these strict cereal-purchase rules came when Life cereal was introduced during my fourth grade year. That cereal was a doorway that led to the good stuff. Still, the the same rules stuck for a long time, with the addition of:

4. You may get a box of Life.

Later on, much later on, a box of Reese's Puffs was brought home. "What is this strange foreign food?" I thought. Needless to say, it disappeared fast. Not long after, similar sugar cereals began to appear as grocery sales went on. The clincher for the downfall of the cereal rules took place one warm, welcomed afternoon when I arrived home from somewhere. Mom was sitting at the table and, what? A box of Reese's Puffs stood before her. What is in her cereal bowl? REESE'S PUFFS?! Shouldn't she be eating the box? This just couldn't be. She tried to change the subject, to detract from the truth of what lie before her, but there was no denying it. The change of heart was almost complete. Next time she wouldn't even try to hide it. I decided to celebrate her conversion by pouring a bowl for myself. You know what? The box was empty. Yes, she ate a whole box by herself and no, she didn't eat the box either.

Since that day, many a box of mana has passed through the household. No more cereal rules. No more cornflakes. No more shredded wheat. We don't by Reese's Puffs frequently, only here and there. I would/do eat that stuff for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. It's hard to keep it in stock. When it's around I tell myself to save some for others but I don't care for others as much as I care for Reese's Puffs. Puffs come first. Others next. Sad, I know, but that's one of my weaknesses I have to work on.... later.

So pick yourself up a box of manna. Reese's Puffs manna. You won't regret it. Not one bit.

P.S. The front of the Puffs box on this post flaunts calcium. Eat the box indeed. Huh!

Monday, December 14, 2009

News Flash

It's Christmas time and the spirit is spreading. I haven't been too gung-ho about it this year but I will admit a tear came to my eye when I watched this. Merry Christmas!

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video.

Comical Discoveries

I love this quote here below and the book that it came from for that matter. I read it a couple of years ago while living in Provo. The book is entitled Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs. It's a biography of Louisa May Alcott and it won the Newberry Medal in 1934. The book was simple, revealing, quick, and very enjoyable. As I read along, I was so fascinated by their lives and extreme circumstances of living. The quote/comment made in the book was stated in reference to the attitudes and living of the Alcott family during those times of hardship. It can be found on page 146. It is simply stated as thus:

There is no place where something comic cannot be discovered.

So true. So true. Don't some of the funniest moments happen in some of the most trying times? If you've ever seen the movie Steel Magnolias the phrase "Here. Hit Wheezer!" is a prime example of what I'm talking about. Do have a funny moment from a serious/trying time to share? Don't be shy. Say it via comment!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Destiny...

I was reading a bit about John and Abigail Adams yesterday. Abigail Adams grew up with books in her home. In fact, her father and grandfather each had several thousand. I had to laugh because just the other day I was telling my sister that I can say I literally have a couple thousand books. Maybe someday I'll have "several" thousand. As for now, I have no room left for my current collection. I have boxes under my bed, in my closet and in other odd places. All of my children's books are in the garage/kitchen entry way. Bless my dear mother for letting me keep them there.

How can one afford so many books you ask? One must visit D.I. or Goodwill on 1/2 off day many times over a matter of years. How does one keep track of all of them? I record them in an Excel database, but I haven't printed it out yet. I pretty much know which books I do have and don't. Only a rare 2 or 3 times have I come home to find I already have the book just purchased. Some would question my sanity, but it all makes sense to me.

My favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast. For a little while The Little Mermaid was fighting for higher regard but B and the B won out. Maybe this clip will explain why. I still remember how I felt when I was little and the library scene came on. How I wanted that exact library! Even being so young and filled with awe, I subconsciously knew it was my destiny. Watch the clip to get a feel for what you'll be visiting when you come and call at my future home.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Friday Freebie!

Today's Friday Freebie is book related, of course. Creature Comforts generously shares these three templates. One link is a library card pocket, another is the actual library card. The third link is a library style card that could be used as notepaper or something like that. Gotta love free printables. Enjoy!

Also.....

For the weekend, I leave you with a speech. This was delivered before the Senior class of the Cambridge Divinity college by Ralph Waldo Emerson on July 15, 1838. It's been a while since I've read it, and I can't remember the whole premise, but I remember how poetic it was. I can't remember if I agreed with all is ideas, but he sure said it masterfully.

The discovery came when I viewed the new Joseph Smith first vision movie at the Mesa Temple visitor center. Before the movie began, a quote flashed on the screen making the statement that God has spoken to his children throughout all the ages and there was never a time that needed it more than now. That isn't the direct quote. The direct one is much more striking. I had to know where it came from. I wanted the meat of it. Anyway. I found it. The source is HERE. It's delicious to read, though it is a bit heavy for one sitting. I had to read it in two or three sittings. At any rate, I'm going to read it again this weekend. Care to join me?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ding-Dong

Today I provide you with "The Ding-Dong". Not the kind that that locks her keys in the car repeatedly, but the kind you push at the doorstep. I do believe I'm going to start a series of how-tos for high-fives and knuckles. Todays is entitled "The Ding-dong". There has previously been posted "The Turkey". You can thank my brother James for these how-tos. I asked him where he learned all of them and he replied "Erica, I'm in junior high". I didn't think much good came out of junior high but I here now prove that wrong. Enjoy, and p.s. we filmed in in green mode. I don't know why but we did. I also don't know why my teeth are orange.


video

The Name Game

Note: I started out writing a post then it turned to a conglomeration of thoughts, sort of like a stream of conscious writing. Be warned. It might not all flow or fit together perfectly.

I get to know a lot of kids working at an elementary school that has hundreds upon hundreds of students. I've been at this school for awhile. This year marks the fourth year of my employment, I think. Anyway, I've filled so many different positions/roles that I've worked with tons of students. Every once and a while, a child will come up and say "Hi Erica!" after I exchange a hello, the inevitable question follows "Do you remember my name?" At this point working there, I usually don't remember the student. It sounds terrible, but there are hundreds of them. I spend hardly any time with many of them, but still, every time this happens a part of me desperately searches deep into the rusty storage files of names. Most times the question is posed, I feel the child imploring "Do you really know me?" The child is usually so searching that I feel like he/she can see right into my insides for that connection.

It is such a very present and real, almost tangible need to have people "know" me. Family, friends, and even strangers share those connections at times. I think such connections are part of what make us human.

It is easy to see people as objects sometimes. When such views/attitudes arise, those "knowing" connections are lost and the possibility for such is blocked. No wonder the first great commandment is to love the Lord your God. When we truly do, we cannot see people as objects.

Just the other night I was sitting at the counter with family members and a conversation about Christmas presents was being had. Though the recipient of the gift was right in the room with us, much unspoken conversation went on. It was almost eery (but not in a spooky way) to be able to converse so much with such little spoken word. There has to be those deeper connections for that to happen.

Sometimes there are longing feelings of loneliness or feelings of joy that even the most intimate of friends and family cannot "know". At times when I feel that way, I am drawn to prayer. At those times when I feel a longing to be "known", I am turned in/to a process of coming to know our Father in Heaven. The focus turns from me needing to be known to actively communing seeking rather to know instead of being known. This scripture comes to mind:


I'm not saying it isn't good to have the need of being known. It is natural and a good thing but maybe that need to be known is best met by seeking to know? Hm. I read this today and was grateful for the guidance of how to better "know" the Savior. It's all so misty in my mind so if you don't get it, well, I don't have the firmest grasp either. I'm still trying to understand the connections.

Back to names. I've been having random thoughts that aren't yet solidly formed but they all deal with names. First, as a baby born of parents who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a name and blessing is given officially at church. Names are important. A name is the label of you, the representation of who you are. Second, when we are baptized, we covenant "that we are willing to take upon us the name of the Son". Interesting. The Son is known by many names. When we make that covenant, we covenant willingness to take upon us those names? Well, they all refer to Him and are representative of aspects of his being as a whole, but it's interesting to consider those names that we are willing to represent. From there, the journey continues to other times and places that names are dealt with, but I'll just leave it at that.

In connection with wanting to be "known". There is also wanting to be heard vs. listening. Chew on that.

All of these thoughts are random and a bit messy but there you go. There is so much to learn and so little time!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bob at the Crosswalk


Today I share with you a priceless photo of me. It's cold and I'm at the crosswalk in the morning. Having a blast? Hmm.

I share this picture with you because it includes my new, teddy-friend-for-a-day Bob. Bob has been rotated around my literacy class this past semester and I finally got to host him at the end. When I took Bob home, my assignment was to include him with me on an adventure, then have him write about it in his teddy bear journal. What other adventure would I want to take Bob on, other than crossing guard duty? None. How did Bob fare, you ask? I'll just share with you his journal entry:

"Crossing Guard Duty"

Today I protected the innocent pedestrian lives of exuberant, sweet children. Did any child get hit by a car? Not while I'm on duty! Nuh uh. Such incidents only happen at the other crosswalks.

Signing out,
Teddy-Bob
P.S. I was pretty thrilled about the official garb. Who doesn't like to revel in a little neon glory every once and a while?

So there you have it. Crosswalk Wonder-Bob and his sidekick Erica. Unfortunately, you can't stay tuned for more adventures with Bob. He went home to his family. Fortunately, you can experience the excitement of crossing guard duty for yourself! Yes, you! It's an important job full of dangers so I'll be there to coach you through the process. I'd like to say that your experience will be priceless, but it won't be. I charge $10 per morning duty experience. It's well worth the money, for me. Also, note, a complimentary photo will be provided.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Graffiti and The Boogey Man

I went on an adventure to an abandoned warehouse over the weekend with a friend. All in all, it was a good thrill. It was a little creepy, especially when we scared a bird and it, in turn, alarmed us with its puny darting and fluttering. I wasn't really scared until we got to a stairwell. Then my heart started pounding. At the top, there was a man with a gun. Just kidding about the gunman part. It was dark and steep. To sum it up, I was too chicken to go up. In addition, there was a huge face that looked like a sly devil of a man. He flaunted his bold height from floor to ceiling. I'll admit I was creeped out about that too. The feelings that I experienced can best be described by earlier events from my childhood....

When I was little, and my family would go on vacation to visit my grandparent's house, it was inevitable that at one point during the stay I'd have to go down in the basement to get a can of something for my grandma. I was sure that there was some bad guy waiting in the basement pantry (for you Ericsons, the one directly facing the stairs 25 feet away, not the one at the end of it). He was there, covertly waiting to get me. In my mind I knew such thoughts of massacre were foolishness, but my knowing heart screamed RUNN!!! I knew that once I started bounding up the stairs, my chances for living were almost sure.

Every kid gets scared like that at one time or another right? I hope I'm not alone. The part of this story where I may be alone is that even when I was in junior high, the mad dash for my life was still happening. Sure, I might not have been sweating by the time I got to the top of the stairs, but I was still quick on the job. That's for sure.

So as I approached the stairs in the warehouse, a remembrance of these distant feelings emerged and I firmly refused to go up. As I walked past the spooky picture, I almost thought he'd turn his head and follow my every move. CREEPY!! I quickly moved forward for the rest of the tour.

In honor of my weekend experience, I'd like to share with you a little video. It's pretty long and I got bored after a while, but It's entertaining to watch for a minute or two. Yes, it is a movie of graffiti. Yes, the graffiti comes alive. Maybe I was a little justified in my fears of the evil graffiti-man on Friday night?

Here you go.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Freebie!

It's been quite awhile since I've posted. I've been finalizing projects and assignments. Oh yeah, I had to start doing an online class that's due Monday. I looked at it at the beginning of the semester then stressed about it for the rest of the semester then finally buckled down and got to work this week. Not smart. I know. That's not the point of the post though!

I have been amassing bookplates as of this year and would like to share some with you. I'd give you all that I have so far but I need to put it all together. So tonight you get a little sliver. The big collection will come another Friday Freebie day. Tonight's segment consists of vintage bookplates. Check them out HERE. Aside from the freebie ones, there are some nice detailed ones to look at too. I have some modern ones if that's what you're wanting, but those will come a little later. Oh the anticipation!

I'm signing off with the our elementary school staff newsletter slogan, "Read on! Lead on!"!