what this blog is about

This blog is an eclectic one, having a little bit of everything thrown in here. I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, December 31, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

I have often wondered why we sing Auld Lang Syne to ring in the new year and what the history behind the song was. So, as I often do when I am curious, I turned to the trusty internet. Here is what I found:

"Auld Lang Syne" (Scots pronunciation: [ˈɔːld lɑŋˈsəin]: note "s" rather than "z")[1] is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788[2] and set to the tune of a traditional folk song (Roud # 6294). It is well known in many English-speaking (and other) countries and is often sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. By extension, its use has also become common at funerals, graduations, and as a farewell or ending to other occasions.
The song's Scots title may be translated into English literally as "old long since", or more idiomatically, "long long ago",[3] "days gone by" or "old times". Consequently "For auld lang syne", as it appears in the first line of the chorus, is loosely translated as "for old times sake".
The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" is also used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570–1638), Allan Ramsay (1686–1757), and James Watson (1711) as well as older folk songs predating Burns.[4] Matthew Fitt uses the phrase "In the days of auld lang syne" as the equivalent of "Once upon a time..." in his retelling of fairy tales in the Scots language.

Hmm, interesting. I have often wondered what all the words to the song are. I never hear the whole song in movies and TV shows and only know the first few lines myself. So, here are the lyrics:
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

    For auld lang syne, my dear,
    for auld lang syne,
    we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
    for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Now, this is the version sung here in America. There are many versions out there. The original poem written by Robert Burns is as follows:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne* ?

For auld lang syne, my jo, for auld lang syne, we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

Happy New Year! Stay safe tonight and enjoy the last few hours of 2010!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas weekend update

We've been getting quite a bit of snow in the Idaho City area the last couple of days. Unfortunately it is a wet, heavy snow instead of a nice light powder. I feel bad for the teen who just shoveled off our roof for us just to have it snow enough so you can't tell he did anything. We actually came home Monday night to find him shoveling the roof off in the dark. Crazy kid! Carma and I are very grateful for him and his parents who have helped us with this time consuming project the last few years. They really look out for us and we appreciate their concern and generosity.

Well, like a lot of you out there, Santa visited our house this last weekend. Our main family gift that we got was a Nintendo Wii. Wow, lots of fun! We have played on this thing every day since we got it. It's hard to believe what a great workout you can get playing a video game! I think I've clocked at least eleven hours on it and let me tell you, my arms are seriously sore. This is such a fun way to exercise! It's been great for increasing our family time, too. Normally Carma and I are out in the living room after work with Ryder being anti-social in his room. With the Wii, we are all in the living room together playing games. The dogs, which we still have four of at our house right now, didn't quite know what to think of us swinging our arms around. I think they thought we were going to throw toys for them.

We held Christmas Eve dinner at our house again this year. We had a lot of fun playing games, talking, and laughing with each other.

It was a little crazy when Joyce brought Blew for Christmas. I think that dog of hers has finally met her match. Blew normally plays with Tali and Suri, mine and Carma's dogs, to the point where they are almost hiding from her just to find some peace and quiet. This time was a little different. Charlie, Ryder's friend's dog, loved Blew and played with her to the point where she was the one trying to hide! What a change for her!

Unfortunately, all of our dogs started to get this horrible sounding cough. We think they have kennel cough from when Charlie spent some time in the pound just before we brought him home. It's only supposed to last a couple of weeks and we are already seeing some improvement.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Until next time!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Are you done with Christmas prep?

I'm almost done with my Christmas stuff! I have a few more things to make. I've been making all of my gifts, as I, like a good deal of people out there, am short on cash this year. I'm usually done way before now and with only a week left, I'm starting to worry a bit about finishing. I'm wishing I was already done so that I could just sit back and enjoy the holiday spirit. Carma took a couple days off to get stuff done and I'm starting to think I should have done the same. I guess it's a little late for that now!

Our house continues to be a crazy mess of animals. Suri, Carma's dog, is a cookie lover and got on the kitchen counter and ate five or six sugar cookies that had been frosted. At the same time she was doing that, Charlie, the dog my nephew is taking care of for a friend, jumped the baby gate we had set up to keep the dogs out of certain areas of the house. He got into my bathroom and ate all of the cat food that was out for Ringo. This is the second time he has done this. All of this happened in the few minutes it took Ryder to go out and get the mail. There are still dog toys all over the house, or rather pieces of dog toys as they are ripping them apart like crazy! Oh, I can't wait to see what the house is like once Joyce gets here with her dog, Blew.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crazy House of Animals

We now have a fourth dog living at our house for a couple of months! Craziness! My nephew is taking care of Charlie (the dog) for a friend of his. Our house is nuts! Carma and I have had our dogs, Tali and Suri, for 3 1/2 years now and my nephew just got a dog, Saya, a couple of weeks ago. Our dogs were still trying to get used to little Saya when we brought Charlie home to take care of. We have a couple of grouchy, sad, feeling neglected because their people have two puppies to keep an eye on, dogs at home. The floor is covered with toys. I pick them up and within ten minutes the two puppies, well mostly Saya, have gotten all of them out again! Ringo, our cat, hides all day long because neither of the puppies are used to cats. Then he practically attacks us to give him loves because, like our two oldest dogs, he's feeling a little neglected. There is hair on every surface of our home. Yuck! The fun is only going to increase come Christmas when Joyce comes with her dog, Blew. We had to put our Christmas tree on a table because the ornaments were getting broken. To top it off, because the two new dogs are still puppies, we get to deal with teething. I think this is why we're called Crazy Mountain Women!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Harry Potter Crazy Mountain Women Style

On November 26th Carma and I hosted a Harry Potter Movie Marathon for the Young Women in our ward. We decorated the house and made most of the food and take home goodies.

Sirius Black wanted poster:
Gryffindor and Hogwarts wall crests:

History and Spell books:
Carma made these Marauder's maps for all the girls. They open up to reveal the main floor of Hogwarts Castle and the surrounding grounds.
I made up my own Harry Potter Pictionary game. I cut index cards in half, wrote different people, places, and things from the movies and books on them. I then carved out a stamp to make them more like real game cards. We then laminated them so we will be able to use them again.

We had a bit of a Wizarding Treat Feast

We didn't have time to make pumpkin juice, although we did find a recipe that looked good. Instead we just used apple juice.

We made pretzel wands which turned out to be a big hit with the girls.
We made chocolate frog boxes...
...and they had chocolate frogs in them!
We also had Harry's birthday cake that Hagrid made for him. It's a little hard to read due to the fact that Hagrid might have sat on it a bit.
We also had Bertie Botts Everyflavor Beans. We couldn't find any of the gross flavored ones in the Boise area in the little time we had to get ready, so we made due with Jelly Bellies.

No wizard house would be complete without a few potions lying around.
In case of any unexpected petrification, we made sure we had some Mandrake Elixir ready.
And in case we needed to sneek into the ministry to find a horcrux, we had plenty of Polyjuice potion on hand.

We had our meager collection of Wizard Cards on display. I may not have hundreds like Ron Weasley, but I have some good ones.
We had a blast watching the movies and playing pictionary and doing trivia in between each movie. We started watching the movies at 4:30 pm on Friday. We all fell asleep around 5:30 am Saturday with only one more movie to watch. We were up by 7:30 am to watch the sixth movie and then came down to Boise to watch part one of movie seven.
We had so much fun, that next year in July when the last one comes out, we are going to go a little crazy!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow

Yep, it's that time of year. The forecast for Idaho City for the next ten days shows nonstop snow. It was a "fun" drive home last night, but I made it safe and sound. Carma also made it home from Idaho Falls last night. Thankfully she's back with the truck, because my car would not have made it out of the driveway this morning. We slid around a little this morning, and we were about ten minutes late, but we made it in to work.

I'm going to try to get the pictures from our Harry Potter marathon up soon. Everything has been so hectic this week that I haven't even gotten the pictures off my camera and on to my laptop.

Hope everyone has a fun, safe, winter wonderland day today!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow and a new dog

It snowed most of the weekend. We woke up to just over a foot this morning. I'm very thankful that we have plenty of wood to keep us warm this winter.
Saturday, after we got done stacking wood in the house, I spent most of the remaining daytime molding chocolate. I was very shocked that I didn't gain any weight when I weighed on Sunday because I ate quite a bit of the chocolate. Experimented putting orange oil in the chocolate, which turned out really good. I also molded white chocolate and mints. I tried a s'mores idea I had as well with the melted chocolate and they turned out really good.
On Sunday, Carma and I went up to the house of one of the members in our ward and brought a dog home with us. We already have two labs, but this dog, who is a lab mix, was just so tiny, skinny, malnourished, and timid that we had to bring her home. She is such a sweetie. Ryder, my nephew, is coming home tonight and then he can giver her a name. Carma and I have just been calling her "little girl" and "sweetie" for the time being. She is supposedly about a year old, but is only half the size of our dogs. She is very weary of humans. Every time we come near her she cowers. Hopefully she'll learn to trust us fast.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Mickey!

1928 Mickey Mouse's Birthday: The comical activities of squeaky-voice Mickey Mouse first appeared on the screen of the Colony Theatre in New York City. The film, Walt Disney's "Steamboat Willie," was the first animated cartoon talking picture.

Those who know me know that I am a Disney lover. I have Disney songs on my iPod, lots of Disney movies in the house, and we play Disney trivia games at home. I love Disney! Disney has a lot of stories with good morals and fun, uplifting music. I can always count on Disney to chase away a bad mood.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gearing up for Harry Potter!

Carma and I are hosting a Harry Potter marathon for the YW in our ward a week and a half from today. We are making wizarding treats including chocolate frogs, cauldron cakes, butterbeer, and more. We are also making our own Harry Potter Pictionary and Harry Potter Trivia games. To do this, we are watching the first six movies and analyzing everything. I have also been searching through all seven books, plus The Tales Of Beedle The Bard, to find extra trivia. I have a feeling that by the time we actually get to do our marathon, Carma and I will be completely Harry Pottered out. I'll try to take lots of pictures to post after the marathon is over.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day History

The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."

The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting that the President (Calvin Coolidge) issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. An Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas shoe store owner named Alfred King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into "All" Veterans Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November 11 to honor veterans. With the help of then-U.S. Rep. Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.

Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. In 1978 it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11. Since this change, there has been a trend against being closed on the holiday. It began with businesses (excluding banks) and in recent years some schools and local governments have also chosen to remain open.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A nephew filled weekend

On Saturday, I went out to NNU with my sisters Carma, Joyce, and Cathi, and also my mom. We went to see a play called "Noises Off" that my nephew Gregg was acting in. Had a great time with a lot of laughs. We stopped by our other sister's house, Becca, to see her and her husband and little baby G. Joyce left our house on Sunday, and Sunday night Becca, Mike, and little G came up so Becca could work on a project. We got to spend a couple of hours with a happy G. Nephews are great!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do you show your lack of vocabulary?

Part of my job description states that I answer the phones for the company I work for. I act as the receptionist, and therefore I transfer the calls instead of helping the people that call myself. This would normally be a stress free part of my job, but as I work for a collection agency some of the debtors that call our office are terribly upset. Today we had one such male debtor call in. He proceeded to threaten our company and swear at me. He knew that I was the receptionist and that I was not the one who had called him and that I would be able to do nothing for him but to transfer the call. Though he knew all of this, he still felt that by acting this way towards not just me, but three of our collectors would get him somewhere.
This incident reminded me of a lesson I learned as a teenager from one of my church youth leaders. I wish I could remember the name of the leader that taught this to me as the lesson has stuck with me for many years now. The lesson is this: those who use vulgar language are simply showing their lack of vocabulary. They are using one small word in place of many words or sentences to describe how they are feeling. To those around them they seem unintelligent and incapable of expressing themselves in a clean, non-repulsive, non-offensive manner.
I sincerely hope that anyone who reads this has never shown their "lack of vocabulary" in their verbal or written correspondence with others.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day!

I hope everyone takes a few minutes out of their day to go and vote! I don't think that anyone can disagree that our country needs to have some changes made. Regardless of your political views, we all need to take up our patriotic duty and vote for the candidates that we each feel will best serve our states and our nation. Please, go vote. I hope to see the "I Voted" stickers on many people throughout the day.

To those who do not wish to vote, please keep in mind that not voting and then complaining about who won or lost is very unattractive. If you wish to put your two cents in and expect people to listen to you seriously, then you have to participate! This can be said for other situations, and not just about voting at the polls on election day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

We got our photos!

On October 23, 2010, my sisters Joyce, Carma, and I had a fun-filled day with the wonderful photographer from Heath Photography. We spent an hour and a half at the Old Idaho State Penitentiary and a few "snuck-in" shots at Boise's Botanical Garden. Here are just a few of the photos that were taken.

Weekend Update

I hope that everyone had a safe and fun-filled Halloween!

Friday night I went to a LB (letter boxing) event at Pojo's. I had a great time and got to meet more LBers who were passing through town. They were a wonderful family who share a common intrest in carving stamps and LBing. It's always so great to meet other people who love to do some of the same things as you. I also got to talk more with some LBers that I had met a week previous at another LB event.

Saturday, my sister (and roommate) worked hard on cleaning out our shed (I helped a little :P). We burned some pine needles, weeds, etc. around our house in preparation for the winter, and got our wood piles covered.

Sunday was spent relaxing. No little kids in our house to take Trick-or-Treating, and since we live on a mountain highway, no Trick-or-Treaters to come to our house. It was the perfect day to just relax by the fire and keep warm.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I saw this quote today and I thought it pretty much sums up the attitude we all need to have in order to achieve the American Dream.

"You can do anything you want in life, even the things that seem impossible. The only one stopping you is yourself. Keep your faith and you will find a way."  -Unknown

To all my friends out there, I say the same. Keep your faith! Keep dreaming! When life knocks you down, pull yourself back up! What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Getting Started

This blog is to let my friends and family know what I'm up to. It will mainly be centered around letter boxing, music, family, and my chocolate lab. If you don't know what letter boxing is, and you would like to learn about it, check out http://atlasquest.com/about/.