Friday, July 31, 2009

It's HOT

It's hot!!!
I'm at a friend's sons wedding in Arizona. I'm sitting with me feet up, enjoying a diet coke in my air conditioned hotel room......cuz...... It's too hot to go outside and do anything else.
What Arizonians talk about mostly is how hot it is. Every hotel clerk, gas station helper, Arizona resident and store salesman all start any conversation with something about the heat.
"Hot enough for you? "
"It's another scorcher today."
"Who get's married in July in's too hot."
"Only 105 are lucky, last week was a 110."
Okay , I get it.
It's brain feels like it's melting every time I step outside, but do you have to keep reminding me about it?
We rented a BLACK car, inside and ridiculous is it that Arizona rental companies even have black cars to rent? Hello.....haven't they heard about how hot it is down here? We couldn't put seat belts on or hands on the steering wheel without suffering from 3rd degree burns.
The car is an oven..... a foil dinner could easily have been cooked on the dash board while we were in the temple.
Ketchup anyone?
I literally baked myself as we drove.
Do I look rare or well done?
I must have heat stroke..........I'm seriously ranting.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful to be off to a big Arizona wedding shindig extraordinaire. It will be fun to be the fly on the wall and watch everyone and everything and see what a big expensive wedding looks like. Can't wait to document.

I'm thankful for a sense of humor....if you can't laugh at yourself and others, life just isn't worth living.

I'm thankful for my Wayne. He is doing great with "the diz"currently, but I know he has his moments and days when he would just rather be in bed. I mean bed in the sick way and not in the fun way....wink , wink....

I'm thankful for my Laila. We went shopping yesterday and she kept taking tops off the rack that were my size and seeing how they would look on her as dresses.
She says the funniest things: "I'm not going to eat that salad, because, you know, dark green lettuce leaves are better for you than the light ones." "Do I act like I'm 12 mom? cuz, I hang around a lot of 12 year olds, and they like me." "I don't like noodley food."
I marvel at this opportunity I get to be her mom.
She did have an insightful prayer the other night....she said, "help me not to sin...oh wait a minute.... I mean, help me that when I do sin, I will really, really want to repent."
How great is that?

I'm thankful for Si food....I got treated to a delish salad .....and it was a -ma-zing. I did find out one thing I can "cook" that Si can't.......trumpet fanfare please.....jello! Oh the awesomeness of me!

I'm thankful for red tomatoes ripening on the vines in my front and back yards. My mouth is watering just thinking about these scrumptious morsels.

Well.....what are you thinkful for? I mean thankful ........think about it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blow out the Utah Air!

I've been driving across the Utah Idaho border a lot this summer.
I have fond memories of going up to Idaho as a kid. I remember thinking this drive lasted FOREVER. I always wanted to be the first one to spy the Cache Valley cheese sign as we came to the end of Sardine Canyon. We would play car games, license plate alphabet, slug bug, one of my favorites, Cows and Cemeteries. We would stop at the cheese factory and get squeaky cheese curd...yum!
I also remember the big deal my dad would make about blowing out the yucky Utah air and breathing in the good Idaho air, just as we crossed the border and saw the sign that welcomed us to Idaho. He always said the air in Idaho was sweeter. I thought it kind of smelled like manure, but I went along with it.
Idaho was definitely fun and filled with love and adventures.

My dad was raised just outside of Preston, Idaho, in a little town called Fairview. While my dad's mom and brother were alive, we went up to the family homestead a lot. I learned to ride a horse up there. I would ride on the back of my cousin's horse while we rounded up cows to be milked. One time, the horse I was on, Peppy, slipped it's back legs into a ditch. I didn't hang on tight and slid off the back. I was laying in the ditch , while the horse's back legs stuggled to get it's footing. I got my foot crushed.
My dad rode over and looked at me crying in the ditch and said, "Get up, or the horse will step on your other foot."
He was tough.
So was I.
I got up and my Uncle Jay gave me a Cow cane to hobble around on. It's one of my cherished possessions still to this day.
It was good to go to Idaho and reconnect with family and relax, recharge and reunite.
I milked a cow, fed pigs and chickens. I learned to make blossom dolls and watched a cat have kittens. We (Marcie and cousins, Nora and Julie and I) would run around like farm maniacs for a week. Then we would have tears and sadness as we drove back into "civilization" in Utah and have to breathe sub-standard air..... again.
This lasted until I was only 7-8 years old......just a few years, but my memories are clear.
My uncle Jay died in a freak farm equipment accident, and then everything changed...
But my dad has never stopped breathing in the Sweet Idaho Air and encouraging us all to do the same.

I was thinking about this as I walked into my parent's home on Sunday night. We, my little family, love our weekly Sunday night visits to grandma and grandpa's. We get hugs and kisses and review our lives and what's happening the next week. We always discuss what we learned about in church, or what the speakers shared. It's good to sit around and be with each other. It's good to connect and recharge as we gear up for the next 7 days.
As I stood on the thresh hold of my parents back door, I found my self thinking about Idaho and my dad.... I began blowing out all of the yucky day to day earth air and walking into my parent's home and breathing in the sweet air of unconditional love.
Thanks Idaho.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Random Pioneer Stuff

Just got back this week from another quick Yellowstone trip. This time I went with Laura, Emilee and Truman. We saw Addison in Guys and Dolls again. He was GREAT and it was HOT in the theatre....we were fading fast until intermission and dole whips and fudge got us going again.
Highlights of this trip or should I say Lowlights included staying at a most-scuzzy motel. Even though it's called a suite...don't let that name fool you. It was anything but. We kept our shoes on the entire time. Checked for bed bugs and had NO hot water. The peep hole was like a bullet had been shot through it. Talk about being a pioneer.
We went into Yellowstone park and acted like we were from the UK...accents and all. Actually our accents changed a lot-- from cockney to the queen's english all in one sentence.
"I don't know nuffin a nuffin."
We laughed our selves silly.
Truman kept taking pictures and telling us to do something "american."
It's always great when my friend Laura TRIES to have an always comes out mixed between Mexican and Asian....NOT British . She did manage to say....."Do you want a banana?" Nobody did.
Some people at the Inspiration Point look-out asked us where we were from...... Laura couldn't take it any longer....."Utah, " she blurted out.
In the future we have decided to say we are from "U'trus" if asked this. It's not a lie, and we can say it with our british accents and sound sincere. This place is close to all of our hearts and lies below it in the belly region..... "me mum's uterus." get it?


We had a great 24th of July.. Aka....Pioneer Day. I suffered in the heat by grandma's pool and at the ball park. Talk about sacrifice. It's always fun to have a Friday holiday, because then it's like two Saturday's in a row. Love it.

We sat at the BEEs baseball game last night. They ended up not playing, so we saw a homerun derby and an exhibition game instead. We waited it out for the fireworks. The fireworks rocked and totally reminded my of my pioneer heritage.......???

I have thought about the Pioneers though..... "for some must push and some must pull."
Would I be a pusher or a puller? Hmmmmm? Probably a sitter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I believe

I found this , and loved it, and wanted to share.

I Believe... that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do love each other.

I Believe... that we don't have to change friends. If we understand that friends change.

I Believe... that no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.

I Believe... that true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.

I Believe... that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.

I Believe... that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

I Believe... that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.

I Believe... that you can keep going long after you think you can't.

I Believe... that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.

I Believe... that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

I Believe... that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

I Believe... that maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

I Believe... that it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others. Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

I Believe... that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.

I Believe... that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

I Believe... two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.

I Believe... that your life can be changed in a matter of seconds by people who don't even know you.

I Believe... that the happiest people in life don't have everything but they make the most out of what they've been given.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Bear Lake 2009

Going to Bear Lake is all about tradition!!!

We have to eat the same Bear Lake pizza the first night in town . We have to get Le Beaus Shakes, and only Le Beaus shakes…all the rest are knock offs. We OD on trail mix and hot tamales. We stay up too late playing games and try to sleep in…but don’t or can’t because of noisy little ones. We take naps on the beach and read book after book. We get burned by the bear lake monster. Eat too much food. Have dinner under the trees and want to do this same routine, over and over again, year after 37 years!!


Nothing tastes better than Grandma Sheri’s sandwiches on the beach at Bear Lake. Mom likes to set up a deli of sorts, and make sandwiches on command. My family actually doesn’t really like sandwiches at home….lunchmeat, tuna or peanut butter….but at Bear Lake it’s something we look forward to. When the boys were little, their sandwiches were always laced with sand and dried out before they were half way through. But now, after years of practice, we all eat quickly and expertly. I love chunky peanut butter and raspberry jam made with love by my mom, on the beach. Wayne opts for a creamy peanut butter, honey and sweet pickle sandwich. (This year, there is no honey ….so he is suffering) Laila begs for the crusts so she can feed the flock of seagulls.

What do we do at Bear Lake any way? We sit on the beach and read books and magazines. Tradition. I look forward to this and plan what books I’m taking and what I want to spend my days reading. We do take a boat and spend some time on the water and we rent Wave Runners for an afternoon…but really we read a lot. This is fine for the readers in the family which makes up about 80% of us….but 20% have a difficult time with our activity of choice.

Traditionally, we hit the beach early. Grandma Sheri, Laila and Preston head out by 9am to go and sit in the sun and play in the sand. I used to be there with my young boys when they were all awake by 7….now, Mom takes care of the little ones. We, the oldsters and the teenagers, all show up by eleven and are beach bums hour after hour. We then have to drag ourselves back to the condo at 6— and get the sand out of our swim suits, and clean up for dinner.

Tradition is what grounds us. Routine is good. Knowing exactly what is going to happen on vacation, with no surprises, is relaxing.

I’ve come to Bear Lake as a 10 year old child, a hormonal teen, a young married, a harried young mother with 4 screaming boys and a mother of sleepy teenagers. Now I’m on the other end of my 40’s peering into the unknown of 50. What I know is…..the Bear Lake family vacation experience is the same, and the only thing changing is me.

Bear Lake Top Ten

10. Eating dinner under the big Cottonwood trees

9. Sitting on the beach, reading.

8. Raspberry shakes at LeBeaus

7. The Hot tub

6. Morning walks

5. Staying up too late watching DVD's and playing games

4. Boating and Wave runners

3. 4:00 in the afternoon wind gusts

2. Hauling chairs to the beach, to the truck, to the dinner circle and back to the truck.

1. Family togetherness-- all sleeping and snoring under one roof!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It's my birthday!

Happy Birthday to me!
I’ve had many birthdays at Bear Lake.
I’ve been coming here since I was ten years old.
Out of the last 37, I’ve celebrated all but 5 here at the ORE condos, formerly known as Sweet Water, at Bear Lake. I love it here. I love the condos and the trees, and the rocky beach and the whole family being here and never having to cook or clean and the laziness of it all.

It really is great to lollygag all birthday at the beach with nothing to think about beyond, when I’m going to eat my raspberry shake, and if it’s time to apply more sun screen. It’s awesome.
I love that my birthday is all about being with family, having my kids and Wayne with me, at my beck and call. Sleeping in. Sitting in the sun and having everyone tell me how I look sooooo young. I basically have my no makeup, boy face on for the entire week…. And I don’t look great in any of my 37 years of birthday pics, but I do look naked- faced and I'm always wearing a swim suit……it's like I am in my birthday suit-ish.

This year, Landon is wishing me, “Happy 35th”, over and over. I love it. I remember my 25th birthday, I had my upstart little brother saying “Happy 35th “ over and over and I wasn’t as pleased.

I learned to waterski on my 14th birthday. This was after much patience from my saint of a father. It was a wavy, windy day , but I was determined. And after drinking a lot of lake water, with storm clouds coming in and saying , “hit it” til I was ready to hit someone….. I got up!

I got my first “real” kiss on my 18th birthday. Wayne, my boyfriend of 2 years at the time, came up to be with me and my family and celebrate. Marcie and I were asleep on the pull down bed in the main room—little kids in the loft and Wayne on the couch. It was exactly 12:01 AM , on the morning of my 18th , when I heard a voice from the couch say, “Melinda, Can I kiss you?” I said, “ sure.”….then Wayne had to crawl in the dark over to my side of the bed and find my face, in the dark, and plant a kiss on me. Happy birthday to me!! Good thing he didn’t kiss my sister, or history could have been changed.

I got up on a wake board for the first time on my 46th birthday.

So many birthday memories.
The one thing that has remained constant is the Lake and family good wishes and the laziness of it all.
Ahhhhh I love my birthday!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

new hair

I got a hair cut..
New attitude...I always say!!!
I have had medium length STRAIGHT hair since last August. I had it cut into a long a-line in was good. My hair grows fast.'s short and layered all over and can be spikey, with a heavy bang. Or...I can do it short and layered all over with a heavy bang and curly...
I thought it would make me look thinner or younger? It doesn't, but......
I do feel sassy!
Maybe I'll post a picture .......
or maybe not....
(See, I'm sassy)

I'm out of here for a week of fun at Bear Lake with the extended family on the Cole side. It will be fun. I've been going to Bear Lake since I was 10 years old. I will be celebrating my birthday up there, again. I love it...because Wayne and all my family are with me all's awesome.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Funny about walking

My Mom sent me this and I had to share some funny.......

Walking can add minutes to your life.
This enables you at 85 years old to spend
an additional 5 months in a nursing home
at $7000 per month.

My grandpa started walking five miles a
day when he was 60. Now he's 97 years old
and we don't know where he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are
taken by people who annoy me.

The only reason I would take up walking
is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.

I have to walk early in the morning, before
my brain figures out what I'm doing..

I joined a health club last year, spent about
400 bucks. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently
you have to go there.

Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise',
I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my
stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day
is so when you die, they'll say, 'Well, she
looks good doesn't she.'

If you are going to try cross-country skiing,
start with a small country.

I know I got a lot of exercise the last few
years,......just getting over the hill.

We all get heavier as we get older, because
there's a lot more information in our heads.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for deep fried Reeses Peanut Butter cups....just heard about them being served at a county fair in California, and they sound GREAT!

I'm thankful for a kind hearted mother who loves matter what.

I'm thankful for Laila's joke telling ability. She came home from a cousin sleep over and told me she had a joke for me.... she begins..."There was this lady who was cheating on her husband...." What? Wayne and my eyes got as big as saucers....
"Who told you this joke?" we asked her.
"My cousin...(name deleted to protect the cousin)....., so any way, she is cheating on her husband and then there's a refrigerator. One guy jumps off the balcony, they throw the refrigerator off, and then another guy jumps off and they all die. When they get to heaven to tell the guy in heaven who wants to know what you did on earth,....there's a guy hiding in the refrigerator.....get it ? get it?"
I didn't get it...and neither did she.
It's a good thing I knew how this joke is supposed to end, or I would have stopped her at the words "cheating on." The only really funny part of this joke was mine and Wayne's faces.

I'm thankful my boys are off to Priest camp. This is the last time they can do this together. I hope the mosquitos aren't too bad and I hope they have a great time and don't give the leaders too much trouble.

I'm thankful my scale is going back down...

I'm thankful

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

boot camp

Boot Camp is going good. Three weeks down and we are off to a great start.
IT's so good to be doing this together. Grandpa of Grandpa's BootCamp never actually attends. He is off working or at the Temple, but he does check in by phone to see how it's going. He's kind of like Charlie of Charlie's Angel's fame. Ya know.......
"How's it going angels?"
Here's a rundown on the usual participants.
(We also have some unusual participants, but I'll get to them at another time.)

Me--- knowing that my 40s haven't been nice to me chub-wise. I need something to jump start my weight goals...again. In boot camp we do weights everytime we get together. Arms and Legs alternate days. I'm up to lifting 25 pounds, again, and I'm shooting for more. Weights are so good for weight loss....they really kick up the metabolism. I'm the boss at boot camp-- and what I say we do....we do....!

My Boys -- This is such a great way to get my boys up and moving. 9:00 doesn't sound early to most people, but it's early for them. Tru and Mons really are in good shape, they show the rest of us up. Mons could easily run the mile and a 1/2 we do everytime, his only weakness is his wrist that has had two surgeries on it. Tru is our flexy yoga man. When he's not cleaning a car, he's working out with us.

My bro-- he is the best bro!!! He's so funny and warm and fuzzy...and I'm not just talking about his shaved head. He actually remembers jokes and tells them the right way, which is a true talent. He is out of work since Feb. -- this economy is killing him. He has an MBA from BYU and is "overqualified" so he doesn't even get "face" time with companies. It's crazy. This boot camp is great for him. IT's a way to work out some frustration and keep moving forward. It's the little accomplishments that are keeping him going at this point.

My Nieces. They are a hoot-- three in a row. They don't like exercise or morning, but love their Grandpa and need the money.

Laila and Preston.....the little ones. We won't let them lift more than 2 pounds of weight because we want them to GROW and they are both shorties. It's hard for a 7 year old to stay concentrated through an hour of work out...but for the most part they are doing it... it's amazing what can be accomplished for a dollar!

My Mom-- she is a trooper... She says getting her exercising again was really my dad's main goal for sponsoring this boot camp summer. We start at 9 and this is pretty late for her. She has her make up on and hair done, and comes and sweats with us all anyway. She had her foot operated on in April...and this is good rehab for it as well.

My sis-- she wants to lose weight and get fit as well. She comes early to start her laps, because she keeps getting charlie horses as she goes around. She has really tight calves. She wants really tight abs.

We laugh and tease and grunt and sweat together.
It's generational bonding.

Things that may or may not have been said at Grandpa's Boot camp
"I can't help it if I toot."
"Farts is funny!"
"I am a boy and I want the blue weights, you are a girl, you get pink."
"Look at mom, she looks like she's about to blow."
"I know it's hard to tell, but we rolled out of bed 5 minutes ago..."
"I can't even lift five pounds."
"I'm huffing and puffing and you look like you aren't even working."
"We love Grandpa...and his boots"

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mommy Dearest

Landon's been in Cali with his friend.
He sends this photo to me with the following sentiment.

"Mommy..Look it's your square outside of the Chinese theatre!

Hahahahha. Just kidding mommy. I love you so so much! Muah."


Today's Landon's 21st birthday......HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

I love this crazy boy!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


4th of July weekend was fun…..
We had a great time at the Rigby BBQ. We wrangled an invite and it was awesome.
They have a 10 acre spread with a lovely house, a grandkid bunkhouse, a stable for horses and 22 Alpaca Llamas. This was one of those Independence Day picnics that you see in magazines. A mechanical bull, a horse exerciser that they have turned into a swing for kids. A pond that’s planted with trout and a canoe and a swing. A tee-pee, a stage for the country singer entertainer, a 158 pound pig that was BBQ’d in a pit —and 300 of their closest friends.
It was a shindig!!!
We had a riot ! Wayne and I, Laila and Monson went up with the Belnap bunch and ate and country danced, laughed and danced some more. Emily and Laila dressed as twins and just looked darling. Wayne and Monson made good use of the cowbow hats we got in Yellowstone.

Laila had the most fun. She rode the mechanical bull atleast 10 times, all with a huge toothless grin on her face. She tried to net some fish and played in the Teepee. She makes friends easily and before we knew it, she was running the swing. She would load the 4 swings, push the button so the swing would go in circles and then count to 200, turn off the swing, tell the kids to get off and the next ones to load on. She was “working”. When we told her to come and dance, she announced someone could take over her spot she , “needed a 15 minute break.”

What a great night. A great way to think about friends and family and this beautiful country we live in.

4th of July part deux

I love living in America!!!
I have had song lyrics going through my head this entire weekend.
"Proud to be an American...."
"This is my country, land that I love...."
"This land was made for you and me...."
We started our 4th of July with a beautiful mountain ride on our motorcycle. The mountains were lush because of all of the rain, and everything was gorgeous. Even the white overcast sky added to the beauty. Sometimes as we are riding, and my head is singing, my eyes start crying and I'm just overwhelmed with the Love of my Heavenly Father. This beauty is just a reminder of heaven.

As anyone knows who has read this blog for any length of time, my favorite season, hands down is SUMMER! It has 4 swim/BBQ holidays in it plus my birthday! It doesn't get any better for me.

This 4th I did what I've been doing every 4th for the past 46 years... Afternoon swim party at Grandma B's. It was great...just the Cole Clan came this year which is kind of unusual, but fun. We swim, eat, visit in the gazebo, laugh, share things from Gary's blackberry.... talk about how great Grandma is doing... have naps, and eat some more. (We had fish.)

Then we were off to Tami and Rob's for their second annual BBQ, volleyball and gutter fireworks night! We BBQ'd, you guessed it, more fish.
For fun, we made individual paper bag-ball ice cream for everyone, which was a kick. It's individual servings of milk and cream and flavoring, put in freezer bags, then in a bigger freezer bag with ice and salt, then wrapped up like a football in 5 sheets of newpaper, taped really tight. The kids played with it and shook it for about 10 minutes and wallah...frozen ice cream!
Thanks Tami for this fun idea!!
We felt like...pioneers!?!--- wrong holiday....How about Revolutionaries who like ice cream? Better.
The gutter-works were especially awesome, thanks to six punks using punks and setting large batches of fireworks off at the same time. WOW.

Yes, I'm proud to be an American who loves swimming, BBQ's, fireworks, ice cream and fish.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What am I doing?

Thinking about Skinny Dipping (that's me on the right with my two cousins, skinny dipping at Grandma's pool-- I think I was 8.)

Listening to my dog licking herself and the couch and licking my hand as I shew her away.

Watching "So you think you can Dance" in my side view as I type on the computer. My two favorite couples continue to be Brandon and Jeanette and Ade and Melissa.... there is amazing dancing on that show.....LOVE IT! (screamed just like the Hot tamale train judge....)

Eating Beef hot dogs with pickle relish and stale cake mixed in Heavenly Hash ice cream. I'm up 2 pounds since last time I weighed....I wonder why?

Laughing about Laila's latest comment, "I'm Latina because I was born in New Jersey."

Cleaning...when is it ever clean?

Staying up late, but getting up early so I can walk with friends in the cool morning hours.

Reading RECOVERING CHARLES, by the same author of THE CHRISTMAS JARS. I loved the jars book so much. I've read it the last 3 christmas' and I am inspired each year. I hope this new book brings me joy.

Soaking up the sun at Grandma Butters's really an oasis! I've been going all summer, every summer since I was born. Grandma put the pool in her back yard in 1961. It's in really great shape, and it's always good to go and swim, soak up some sun and visit with "Sweet Mother."

Loving Summer in all it's glory!