Monday, July 9, 2018

Happy Little Bluebirds

Hello I'd like to report a situation here. As previously recorded on this perpetually sporadic blog, we live in an old home that boasts an industrial swamp cooler. This contraption takes our extremely dry and unforgiving desert air and turns our home into a Louisiana bog. It curls my hair like a product from an overpriced salon counter, and if we're not careful, will make the entire expanse of our property smell like mellow dramatic mildew.

But it does the job, make no mistake. We can sit cool all summer off this relatively cheap air system. Cools the entire house! We're also ducted for AC, but we've never even turned the thing on in the decade we've lived here. No Sir, there is no Women's Winter here at Retro House. Just curly hair, wet air and a faint smell of wet, wilting feet.

But Erin, bless her, hates that it's a bit loud. It does in fact sound like a 747 about to dive into the skies from the runway. And it blows in the Green Room like only Dorothy can imagine. So in total, it does produce a bellowing tornado of sorts in the room meant for her to play in, and that's why she turns it off.

And the great Utah Desert Melt begins.

The situation is dire, but what can I do? If I make her turn it back on, the kids will migrate into the other parts of the house where I am known to spend time, meaning of course they will want my attention. If we leave it off, they play gladly in there, not even noticing my existence until their bio rhythms report hunger.

Either I voluntarily will myself to be punished by the heat of the desert sun but get to sit and listen to David Sedaris read his brilliant books in undisturbed joy and solitude or I remain cool and comfortable while my children wrap their needs and wants around my existence.

There is no job harder than being a stay at home mom during the summer. Ok? I know I haven't' had all the jobs but this is the hardest. But don't feel too sorry for me because as I have been writing this post I traded with the kids screen time for: ten minutes of a back massage and ten minutes of a head massage and now, despite the heat, I feel positively over the rainbow.

As Dorothy would say.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Exemplar Templars

Today a dream of mine came true as I was treated to a tour of Sanpete County by Janna--She of a Humble Mt. Pleasant Birth, and her lovely daughter Maya. I saw her high school (GO TEMPLARS), her town library, her house next to the road where the sheep run down in the fall and up in the winter. I had my first picadilly, frost lemonade, and bought homemade tutus for my girls at the Ephraim Co-Op.

I heard about how she used to drive into Moroni to her orthodontist appointment and turkey feathers would scatter about the road--natural debris from all the turkey farms in the valley. I saw the sledding hills, and the horse trails that she haunted with her pony Cricket in her adventurous childhood. I drank straight from the cooling spring in Spring City where her parents live now. I heard about what it was like to be the daughter of a rural doctor in a community small enough to only require two doctors total. Hint: her father delivered her little sister Katie.

It was also interesting to see how much Sanpete County honors their Scandinavian roots. I remember when my friend Mica told me that as a white person I would greatly benefit from learning more about my heritage and insert that culture into my life. Sometimes us white folks forget where we came from and we end up borrowing other cultures. My people are Norwegian. My parents did a great job keeping the Norwegian spirit alive in our family. They even took me to Norway when I was sixteen. I need to pass that on to my kids. WE ARE VIKINGS DAMNIT!

One thing is for sure, I swear on this blog a lot more than I used to. It comes with whorish clothing choices I guess (see: previous post).

Most of all, I loved peeking into the past of my friend's life. Putting together puzzle pieces of who she is and how she lived before I knew her. Sanpete County has raised some of my favorite people on this earth. Whatever they're doing down there in that pastoral desert-and turkey-valley is working.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Summer of Fortnite

Last week we hiked to see the yellow mule ears spread like butter on delicious, fat rolls in the mountains behind our house. Cousin Natalie took us with her dog Odin (who we also call Odie, or Otis or Yodi). That's Timpanogos in the background. This is Provo's backyard. Isn't it gorgeous?

Then a few days later I took the kids into the Swell to celebrate the Summer Solstice. We have a secret location in the rocks and sand that we call our hideaway. This is Utah's greatest secret gem. Isn't it gorgeous?

There's a lot of Fortnite going on at our house right now. Anson can do every single emote. If none of this makes sense to you consider yourself lucky. Just do it.

Last week I also went to a small gathering with my sister Page to hear the indomitable Elizabeth Warren speak to supporters. She kept talking about people who are doing "the work" together. I know what "the work" is and I am a thousand percent behind her on that. Except at the gathering, unbeknownst to me and Page, the staging area was being set up in front of our table while we were hearing juicy details about Provo's latest Freedom Festival embarrassment from a person in the know. When Senator Warren arrived and took the stage we were...ahem...literally...behind her.

The symbolism. So tender.

Realizing that we were about to photo bomb a thousand pictures, we slid off to the left. (To the left. Everything you own in the box to the left...)

I've been wearing tank tops since May. I remember when I was too scared to wear a tank top for fear someone in public would see me. If you're not Mormon or mega modest (clothing-wise) you may not understand this paragraph at all. It suffices to say, I'm no longer concerned about it. I used to worry some parents wouldn't want their kids playing at my house if they knew I was wearing a tank top. THIS IS REAL. But so far, I have given Popsicles out to one bajillion children at my house since school closed for summer break. This makes me believe that parents would rather keep their kids happily occupied playing at someone else's house than worry about my whorish clothing choices.

Oh look, here's me in a tank top.

Aren't I gorgeous?

Wow you'd have to be so bored to read this post. I hope your summer gets better.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Keep Utah Wild

Two years ago I wrote on this blog about how my best friend/next door neighbor Janna was moving to Coasta Rica for two years and this also meant that Anson's best friend Asher moved too.

Guess what? It's been two years.

When you grow up Mormon you have a very keen sense of how fast/slow two years can pass by. All Mormon males (who are "worthy") go on two-year LDS missions. That means you wait for your brothers, friends, boyfriends for two years. A lot happens in two years. Then again, not a lot happens in two years.

Time is weird. It's the weirdest thing in this universe.

I listened to Echkart Tolle's New Earth this morning where he piles up his profundity on time. What is that guy even talking about? I consider myself an average intelligent human being and I am like how is this book a best seller? Who reads this? I mean, I know, Oprah but I figure she can afford tutors--even Eckhart himself.

But what I do understand from New Earth is that what matter is now. Right now. Right now my best friend and Anson's best friend are somewhere in between planes, trains and automobiles working their way home. And right now, I am excited for me and Anson. A little sad for our best friends, having to leave a jungle paradise, the most bio-diverse country in the world, to come home to the desert.

You know, people are always asking me if I would leave Utah. And yes I would. Of course. But first of all, when I even see pictures of the Utah desert I cry. I cried at the ending of Letterman's Netflix special with Howard Stern (don't judge). I sobbed. Christopher found me and thought someone had died. But no, just me crying over how intensely beautiful my home state is. I also get over-emotional when I see nature-scapes on screen savers, because a lot of those fantastic photographs depict the mysterious and wondrous land of Utah. And so, I am forced to admit I would miss that arid expanse something awful. I don't think I would ever recover.

Also, I live next door to my best friend, and Anson's best friend.

Which reminds me, time can be lonely too. For me and Anson, we've felt a bit robbed of joy this past couple years. I'll be happy to have that hole in my heart filled again. Growing up Mormon you also learn to understand quite keenly what it means to miss someone fiercely for two years. Your life settles into a sense of normality, while your heart doesn't completely follow.

But as for now--right now--Eckhart will be glad to know that I feel very happy. Very happy to be where I am, and have a life filled full of people I miss when they leave, and live in a state that is so alluring and awesome in physicality, but also in cultural uniqueness.

Stay wild!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cave Popcorn

A few things to remember:

+Jessica Preece eating cheap pizza and Bishop's Bash ice cream in our backyard while we talked and talked and talked about a spectrum of politics and watched the girls put on Singing in the Rain tributes. Having a friend with a PhD in gender and politics makes for the most interesting conversations inside of a genuine friendship. Meaning, of course, if she had a PhD in accounting or some other snoozefest subject she'd still be my dear friend--her field of study is simply a cherry on top. AND EQUALLY AS JUICY!

+Carina allowed me a few hours for brunch to pick her brilliant brain about work and tech and life. She is like a human lantern for me--always illuminating the better way, always finding light when I am tripping around in the dark. She's never short on simple, pragmatic solutions and she never ever conveys shock at anything. Being shocked takes up a lot of energy, and so people who are never shocked have a reservoir of IDGAF. These are my people. I'm shocked I didn't understand this before.

+Yesterday we were at Great Basin National Park touring the Lehman Cave. At one point the ecologically enthusiastic park ranger asked, "Does anyone know what these bubbly formations on the cave walls is called?" Having just read the kiosk at the Visitor's Center, Anson correctly answered the ranger's question, "It's cave popcorn!" Then the ranger then said, "Yes, you are correct!" to which Anson responded with an equally enthusiastic dab. (He is ten. You'll remember.) Then the park ranger said, "Uh, did you just dab?" and Anson said, "Yes." And the park ranger said, "Oooookaaaayyy" and moved on with the tour.

We laughed about that for hours and hours and hours. Iris can do a perfect retelling. It's definitely going in the Anson Kendrick Hall of Fame for Family Stories.

+Our generous inlaws bought Anson a kayak for his birthday and we took it out for the first time outside of Delta, Utah in the west desert. All the kids took turns taking it out on the warm, shallow, aquamarine water as Christopher and I watched from the shore. We could see them deep in imagination, narrating stories in their heads about being explorers and marine biologists. At one point they ventured into a swamp-like area with tall reeds, we called them back to the shore but hated to interrupt their Sacajawea, Louis and Clark expedition.

+This afternoon I did some house projects while watching Tig Notaro's new Netflix special. Have you seen it? It was so delightful. The ending! It had me! I was laughing so hard and in so much suspense.



Just after the popcorn cave dab incident of 2018! 
(AND SPOILER ALERT! There used to be a speakeasy in this part of the cave! Prohibition is the most hilarious part of American history! A speakeasy in the middle of ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE NEVADA in a HUGE LIMESTONE CAVE! How hard up were people?!! Oh man, not to be rude but prohibition sounds like an idea Ol' Mike Pence would come up with! Oh jeeze everything is terrible.)

Wheeler Peak isn't messing around, ok? Menacing as hell. (Sorry Mom I am wearing those abhorrent Teva replicas. Ok, but perfect Mom Shoes tbh.)

Maybe I over-did it on the filter on this one, but I've been off Instagram for almost six months now so let me filter for old time sake, alright? Lay off.

Ok last of all please excuse the bathroom selfie but look at my hair!!! OH MAN SO AMAZING! Do I look like your idiot uncle in 1976? Like in my spare time I rev up the engine on my mustang and troll the town for ladies while listening to Boston? Or maybe you've seen me down at the lake as the captain of a houseboat named "Nauti & Nice!"
It just looks like this when I wake up! I don't even try to be your uncle, though to be fair, we ARE both naughty and nice. OHHHH DAAAAAAAABBBBBBB.