Wednesday, December 31, 2008

"Joy to Everyone"

This is a really cool song/video from BYU. Take a moment to watch it.
Thanks to Jacobson's Jungle for the link. Enjoy. It is sweet.

A girl loves a good postcard sent 4,760 miles just for fun

I have ALWAYS had a thing for postcards. I kept every one I had ever received since I was a kid and even took them to college with me. I put them up around the top of my dorm room (before wallpaper borders had hit Alaska) and they looked so great. There were a couple hundred. I love pictures, obviously, and this was a more sturdy way to hold on to them. Wait! I just had a brainstorm. Maybe I should make postcards out of my pictures and marry my two favorite things....holy hannah, the scrambled brain might be working again.

When I got married, it seemed like a silly thing to hold on to as we have moved around the country so I got rid of them. It was like losing a bunch of old friends... like tools from your home garage living in someone else's shop.

However, Matty (and others) have been kind to me over the years and always brought me a postcard from travels that don't involve me. They sit, unwritten and unaddressed, in a plastic shoe box, waiting for the right moments to be sent. Some of my collectors are Lady Di's head, almost life size it seems, the two books of postcards from Tom A. of old advertising (some of which should definately be featured here sometime!) and some cheesy ones from Wyoming. The cheesier the better and trust me, there are some cheesy ones in the world.

Although, oftentimes I have made my own and talk about some collector's items. One of my favorites is when I saw a picture of my OB/GYN in the newpaper. I cut it out, taped it to some cardstock, and wrote the words "I have seen Val's privates" above his head and sent it. What a treat for the person who received it I am sure. :) Watch out, or I will send one to you.

Then, of course, there was the Star Wars postcard that was POSTER sized. It cost two dollars to send to Tom, which I really thought I had pulled the top postcard sending of all time. I thought he would have to get a pick up slip and trudge down the post office to pick it up. Great surprise, I thought. However, the post man was feeling generous that day and just propped it up against his apartment door. Waste of $2.

My favorite Snarky Belle (who by the way, sounded really Snarky in her last post!) sent me the perfect web site link for Christmas! It is called It is a place to register your mailing address with 77,000 other people from around the world. You send a postcard to some random address in the world and then in turn you will receive a postcard from somewhere else in the world.

I shared the idea with Aubrey yesterday because the postcard I sent to Finland last week to a 15 year old got my postcard from somewhere should be coming along pretty soon. She signed up right then and sent two! This AK one above is one I will be sending today to Finland. :) The Fins apparently are into this! It makes sense of course, that I, being from the Finnish Reindeer Herders. Maybe I will find some long lost cousins!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


"I ask of life, 'What do you got to offer?'"
And the answer came, 'What do you got to give?'"

Bob the Builder Award: Marky Mark (aka Mark Wahlberg)

I have spent a WHOLE lot of time with people, rotarian men in particular, who do youth foundation work, and trust me, they don't look like this!
This is Mark Wahlberg, in his Marky Mark modeling days, which apparently didn't pay that great. However, after he made his first real movie "Planet of the Apes" and made $10 million, he figured out a way to give back to young people.
In 2001, Mark created the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation and has granted over $2 million dollars to inner city programs. "I recall how the nine kids in my family belonged to programs like the Boys and Girls Clubs." Denzel Washington, Staples and Shaun T. would be proud. :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Defining Moment: Damon and Pythias

I was in Mrs. Kaleva's second grade class when I first heard the story of
Damon and Pythias. She had asked for volunteers to play the different parts in our class play. I didn't then, and don't now, have the acting bug, but there was a benefit to being in the mix.

The king's crown.

Mrs. Kaleva had a crown for the person who would play the king, and man did I want to wear it. My friends made fun of me because I played a boy part but I did NOT care. I was sporting the crown and did I think I was all that...and a bag of chips.

It was because of that crown I was in that little class play and actually paid attention to the story that we were portraying. I remember that story as well today as when I heard it for the first time, over 30 years ago. It made such an impact on me that I actually consider it on of those defining moments in my life. Certainly in regards to the power of friendship, for sure.

I am copying the story of Damon an Pythias so you will be able to enjoy it too:

Pythias and his friend Damon, both followers of the philosopher Pythagoras, traveled to Syracuse. Pythias was accused of plotting against the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius I. As punishment for this crime, Pythias was sentenced to death.
Accepting his sentence, Pythias asked to be allowed to return home one last time, to settle his affairs and bid his family farewell. Not wanting to be taken for a fool, Dionysius refused, believing that once released, Pythias would flee and never return.
Pythias called for Damon and asked him to take his spot while he goes. Dionysius agreed, on the condition that, should Pythias not return when promised, Damon would be put to death in his place. Damon agreed, and Pythias was released.
Dionysius was convinced that Pythias would never return, and as the day Pythias promised to return came and went, Dionysius prepared to execute Damon. But just as the executioner was about to kill Damon, Pythias returned.
Apologizing to his friend for his delay, Pythias told of how pirates had captured his ship on the passage back to Syracuse and thrown him overboard. Dionysius listened to Pythias as he described how he swam to shore and made his way back to Syracuse as quickly as possible, arriving just in the nick of time to save his friend.
Dionysius was so taken with the friends' trust and loyalty, that he freed both Damon and Pythias, and kept them on as counsel to his court.

Besides getting to wear the crown, I walked away from that experience with what I considered to be the "right" definition of how a friend should be. I have always tried to be that friend, and as I wander through this life, I am so blessed to meet people who are worth the effort. :) Love you buddies.

Baby Ice Storm photos

I never grow tired of the scene left behind from an ice storm. For those who know of them, this was a tiny, itty bitty baby one. The ice only lasted a true day, and is already melted.

For those who have not been in an ice storm in person, basically it is rain that freezes in place on anything it grabs hold of. Cars, homes, stairs, newpapers left on the ground, and nature. These are berries I saw today walking into the church building.

The residue of an ice storm is magnificient. It is like the world has been showered in expensive jewels, and if you get some sunshine thrown!

Ice storms can cause serious damage to trees and brush in particular. If I were to grab these branches, they would snap completely off with little effort on my part.

This is the Cherry Blossom tree in our front yard. Just a reminder, these photographs have only been cropped and not edited in any other way. :) Enjoy. Days like this call for hot chocolate. :)