Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Home Run


The other day I was about to get on the interstate when a silly thought popped into my head.

Ginger, it's time for you to move out of Utah.

For the past 10 years, I have lived in 6 different states. I'm used to up and moving after a few years. I've been in Utah now, (this time around) for about 3 years and I'm starting to feel the itch.

Alas, I can't just up and go. I have a job. I have high hopes for grad school. I have a home. I guess I'm learning commitment one way or another.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm a traveler! I always have a trip planned, air plane tickets purchased for a spring get away and a road trip in the back of my mind at all times. I've flown to NYC for a day at last minute. That's the kinda girl I am. (Currently, a trip to DC is planned and air fare has been purchased for Charleston, South Carolina.)

Some states I dreaded moving to. For example, Michigan. And Utah. (Shh! Don't tell my family!)

I was 17, finishing up high school when my parents informed me of our move right after graduation. I must admit it was the perfect time for me to close that chapter and start a new one. I haven't been back to my Colorado home for 10 years. I came close to going back a few weeks ago, but I decided to stay put for the New Year's holiday. I want to remember my home the way it was. Perhaps I'll go back this year. Maybe in 5 years. Or maybe I'll never go back.

My move to Utah taught me the valuable lesson of blooming where you're planted. A hard lesson, but very applicable to a nomad.

And who would be excited about living in Detroit for 18 months? Unless you have a death wish and were prepared by living in Oakland, California or something.

When I opened my mission call and read Michigan instead of Germany, I thought it would have been better to have been called to be a martyr. I didn't sign my acceptance letter for a week. I couldn't stop crying when I was by myself. However, I signed up for the mission and I wasn't going to back out.

Detroit, and the mission for that matter, taught me my greatest life's lesson. You fall in love with what you work for. I will be the first to admit I didn't love the mission in the beginning. It was the hardest transition of my life, but the more I worked for it, the more I wanted it, and the more I wanted it, the more I wanted to share it. Before I knew it, I was in love. I was in love with the people. I was in love with what I was teaching. I was in love with the mission.

I wanted to know the percentage of my life spent in each state. I compiled a pie chart.

So where is my real home? Is it Colorado where I haven't trodden for a decade but spend the majority of my life? Is it Utah where I currently reside but always seem to step in and out of? Is it Arizona where I yearn to be because of the warmth and palm trees? Is it Michigan where I learned what love is? Is it Idaho where I grew? Where is home?

Maybe my life was meant to keep me moving. Maybe my home is a tank full of gas, a map and a packed suitcase waiting by my bedroom door.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Bathroom: A Sacred Place

The homeowners before be painted their bathrooms and kitchen a sage green. Sure, it's an acceptable color and a few people, (my roommate and my mother,) appreciate that color. Unlike the majority of my life, I'm pretty boring when it comes to home decor. Give me neutrals! Give me space! Give me traditional colors! Give me easy on the eyes walls!

I decided to paint and update my bathroom over the Christmas break. I've been wanting to do it for a few months now. Here's the exciting project!


The before:
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Ug. Super Ug.


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The After


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Child Abuse

I love my Saturdays!! Absolutely love them!! Traditionally, I forget to turn off my alarm on my cell, so I end up waking up at 6:30 in the morning. (This is because I normally stumble in around 1:00 or 2:00 from Friday night and I’m too tired to remember to turn off my alarm.)

After hitting the Chi Gong of an alarm, I normally just snooze myself back into a delicious slumber, and then around 9:00 I’ll wake up. I’ll just lay in bed and contemplate what the events for the day will be.

Today was no exception to the rule. I was thinking about going to the Farmer’s Market and buying some strawberries for Sunday afternoon crepes. Or perhaps I’d like to go for a short hike and enjoy this beautiful mild summer weather! Then I contemplated going to the park and working on my serve. (I know all you married people with kids reading this are just a tad envious. Don’t deny it. I can see a bit of drool starting to form at the corner of your mouth from jealously. Will you please clean that up? Thanks. Oh, and I think I smell a diaper. You might want to change that too. . .)

So around 11, I lazily rolled out of bed, took a shower, put on some jazz music and lollygagged around the house. I decided I needed to return some items to Target, which lead to window shopping for sofas at a near by store, (which I don’t need) and a bed, (which I kinda need) and clothes, (which I need an additional walk-in closet for.)

And after being satisfied with window shopping, I realized it was 3:00 and I was hungry. So I called up my favorite Thai restaurant and placed an order to go. Now, this place was in American Fork, and I was in Orem; a three city drive away. The thought entered my mind to stop and visit my parent’s on the way, but I hurried and dismissed it. “I’ll see them tomorrow,” I justified. “Even though I’ll be in their neighborhood, I won’t drop by to say hi.” (Real nice daughter, huh?)

It started to rain about then, and as I was driving down Main Street in American Fork, the grey BMW in front of my stopped abruptly and being the cautious driver I am, I stopped with plenty of space between us. (My driving problem is speeding, which we learned a few months ago. When the state trooper asked me why I was going 85 in a 65, I told him the truth: “Officer, I’m not gonna lie. I just came from a really awesome party, where there were actually boys—CUTE boys!! And they’re single!!! And I’m single!! And I just found out that I’m a decent wing-girl because I totally help distract this one girl from this one cute guy so my friend could talk to him and get his digits.

"AND I’m listening to my favorite song by Kelly Clarkson, which btw, she is the best Idol and I love how she sorta chunked up because it makes me feel better about myself. I mean, how many white girls make a size 12 plus look good? She has totally boosted my self-esteem in being averaged sized and white AND single at that!! Because we know, I do not hook up! That’s what Kelly has taught me.

"But most importantly, the real reason why I was speeding, was because everyone was going 55 in a 65 and it was bothering me. I’m sure the reason was you. I hate how everyone slows down when they see a cop, and to be honest, I would have slowed down too if I saw you. But obviously, I didn’t see you.

"And I really, really, really have to pee. Did you know I held it for almost 2 days straight when I was 19? I’d guess you didn’t know that because we just met, but you asked why I was speeding and I know from sad experience it’s not good to have bladder which floweth over. Yeah, not a good story. Bladder infections are painful and I needed to relieve myself.”

He dropped the ticket from 20 to 5 over. I think he liked how honest I was. And yes, I really had to pee. And yes, I did hold if for almost 2 days. And yes, Kelly Clarkson rules!)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. . .the HUGE suburban in back of me stopped, or so I thought. However, the red explorer in back of him did not.

This is about the time in my blog I would put in some witty physics equation and tell you the mathematical reasoning, or gravitational pull and the viscosity of the liquids on the road to explain the fender bender. However, I got a D in my physics class at BYU and I have retained nothing from that class. Not even what the text book looked like. Therefore, I won’t bore you with advanced physics. The only word I’ll use to describe the experience is:

BANG!!! Or perhaps. . . CRASH!!! Or. . . BLU-MISH. . . you choose whatever you’d like.

I feel so bad for my CaBella (my Camry). Her bum is thrashed! Before I called the police, I took pictures. (Because it’s not everyday I’m in a fender bender! Woo-hoo! Part-ay! That and I’m Virginia Jacobson, granddaughter of Virginia Fish who always has a camera on her and takes pictures of everything!)

I ended up calling my parents and asking them to pick me up. When all the paperwork was written and exchanged, CaBella in a automotive body repair shop, the cold Thai food picked up and medicine taken for the headache and whip-flash, my mother looked into her rearview mirror while driving her Avalon, (which I drove and hit my sister’s car, but we won’t talk about that. . . ) and said: “Honey, I’m glad you’re safe. I’m glad you’re not at fault. But dear, you know all of this could have been avoided if you would have come by our place first.”

Oh, the guilt!!! I’m still planning on coming out to their place for Sunday dinner. . .but I’m looking for a ride. Do you think you could help?


I'm not all that upset. There was a small scratch on the bumper from the previous owner which bothered me. And now, that'll be fixed! Way to look at the glass half full!!

Doh!!

Yeah, this is why people buy SUVs or at least compact SUVs. Eveidently they don't bash like little sedans.


Favorite thing about this pic. . . look at the business in the background!



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Single 20ish Mormon Blogger

A while ago, my sister encouraged me to submit a few blogs for MormonTimes.com on being a 20ish, single Mormon. Some are more polished than others, but funny insights into the dating (or lack thereof) world of mine. Even though I didn't make the first cut, I thought these were pretty funny.

Enjoy!


Oxy-Mormon


Mormon. Single. Adult.

These words don’t make any sense. They don’t go together. As a matter of fact, if you were to combine all of those words into a title or sentence, it would be an oxymoron.

It’s a phase of adulthood with puberty-like moments of awkwardness and growth spurts. You’re too old to be young, but way too young to be considered old. You attend church where there are 18 year-olds with their high school cap tassel hanging from their rear view mirror and 29-year-old doctors finishing their first residency. Some have rarely dated while others have been previously married. There are so many of us entering or exiting different phases of life and the only thing we have in common is…

We’re single, Mormon adults. We’re oxy-Mormons. We’re single adults in a marriage-encouraging, family-oriented, kid-producing Church.

During our first adolescence, Church leaders strongly advised an appropriate division between guys and girls. This was very evident in the stake dances I attended as a teenager. At first, I thought they were traditional Jewish weddings because the guys would be on one side of the dance floor and the girls would be on the other. Only the boldest of young men dared to cross the room to ask a young woman to dance. We heard cautions of “no dating before age 16” and “no steady dating period!” preached at every youth fireside and Sunday mutual lesson.

But as adults, we find that, though the Church doctrine remains unchanged, the message is much different. We no longer “hang out” with the opposite gender, but, instead, we’re counseled to earnestly seek out a potential mate. In fact, the first major difference that I noticed from my childhood ward to my singles ward is the social aspect. Now we have activities like mix-and-mingles so you can flirt with others right after church. Why wait until Friday night? There’re dances, service projects, FHE groups all designed for one purpose—matrimony, moving us out of this gangly, second-teenage-hood.

I don’t mind this awkward stage of life, of being an oxy-Mormon. It’s uncomfortable at times, much like my braces and glasses were at age 15. But I hope I can emerge from this second adolescence confident and stronger and, hopefully, without the acne.




Dead love life? Don't worry! There's still hope! Ya just gotta die first!


I am what I like to call, an oxy-Mormon. I’m 26, Mormon and single. And it’s okay to be all three attributes at one time.

Not only do I bear that weird title, but I feel I’m at a strange, like in between stages of life. I’m too young to be the innocent, dependent 21 year old, but also not old enough to get kicked out of my singles ward, (just yet.)

I served a mission, attempted to graduated from BYU-I Do, but my diploma actually says BYU-I Didn’t-Get-the-Ring, started one of those grown up jobs, bought a car and a place on my own within a year and now here I am. . . writing a blog on something people like me would like to see . . . .

Dating.

Every CES Fireside, combined Relief Society and Priesthood meeting, General Conference talk on dating and being single is pretty much the same! It starts off with a message to the men and it goes something like this:

“Men, serve an honorable mission, come home, get an education, date, find a wife, start your career, raise a family and then celebrate your 23rd birthday."

“Women, get an education, prepare for a single life and always say yes to dates.”

And then they’ll sum it up in the most sincere and almost apologetic tone of voice. If I could type this next part in a little cute and crafty vinyl lettering font, I would.

“However, some of you may never marry in this life. (They’ll traditionally pause for three seconds, sigh and then they’ll hang their head) The Lord blesses you for your efforts in his own time he will fulfill your righteous desire. Just hang in there and endure to the end.”

I sit there and do you know what this oxy-Mormon is thinking? If I’m one of those people who never get ‘the opportunity,’ I’m better off dead when it comes to my love life!! Isn’t that what they’re saying? Because you tried to date and failed at it, your dating will be better once you’re dead.

Okay, I really don’t think that . . . it’s just a nice back up plan if you don’t get to the eternal jump off in this life.

But still. . . there is a bit of truth to that, isn’t there? (I need some ice-cream now. . .maybe I'll die from a heart attack and that'll be the start of a great love story! Come on Ben and Jerry! Help a sista out!)

Tap Dancing Blind Date

My blind date is tap dancing in the restaurant. While we’re eating. And everyone is looking at us.

Now, let me back up. Everything was normal before we got to this point in the evening. Brandon and I (names have been changed to protect the innocent and the embarrassed) went through the traditional blind date rituals: tentative Facebooking, brief texting and finally agreeing to a face-to-face meeting. We agreed on a restaurant and the date was set.

He seemed normal, outgoing and fun to be with. He was a returned missionary, went to BYU, was employed and active in his ward. What could go wrong?

As we ordered our food, I learned that Brandon was a dancer while at BYU and his forte was tap and clogging. Holding to true to blind date etiquette, I asked him about this hobby of his. That’s what we do on blind dates: learn about other people and their interests. Brandon’s response was enthusiastic, to say the least. He was still talking about the finer points of clogging when our food arrived.

As soon as the waitress left, Brandon leaned forward and revealed a fascinating tap dancing tidbit: “There are five different ways tap dancers can land on their feet. Do you know what they are?”

“Uh, I don’t know,” I said, while lifting my fork to my mouth. “Let’s see. . .flat footed, on your heel, on your toe and. . .I’m not quite sure about the rest.”

“Here,” Brandon said while standing up and placing his napkin on his chair. “Let me show you.”

He got up from our booth and performed a 45 second tap dance routine. In the restaurant. A public restaurant. All of a sudden the sound of causal eating ceased and all eyes were on us. I knew right away this was going to be a very interesting evening.

Now, I’d like to pause the story just like they freeze the frame in the movies. Picture me at the restaurant, watching Brandon dance and everyone is looking at him. . . or me. . . I had a choice right then and there. I could choose to think this was going to be the worst date of my life, or hoping I would never see Brandon after tonight, I could change my attitude and enjoy this talented, yet very unique kid for just a few more hours.

Dating is about choice. You choose to date, or you choose not to. You chose to flirt, or be serious. However, the most important choice a single, 20ish Mormon can make, is choosing to be happy. You choose to be happy or miserable. . . to learn new things or not.

As for me, I choose to learn.

Did you know that there are five different ways a tap dancer can land on his foot?

Monday, April 19, 2010

You've got a Sparkly

Hi. My name is Ginger and I have an FTD.

Years ago, I thought I was in love with this one boy. When he served his mission in Chile, he decided not to wear his shower flip flops and contracted a horrid fungal disease. I wish I had a picture to show you the sickening, fungal, hairy hobbit feet he had. He told me he went to the doctor and was on medication, but it was never going to completely fix the problem. But like I said, I thought I loved him and I took the good with the bad. I mean, I wasn’t perfect. . . I had a mole on the back of my neck . . . which I removed. . .anyways. . .

We were very good about wearing socks whenever we ‘played around.’ I mean, we’re both Mormon and didn’t want to get in any trouble. I admit . . . there was one night where we were just too weak and. . .we slipped. (GASP!) Yes, we performed unprotected footsies. I didn’t notice anything at first, so I thought I was safe.

Well, most of you know the story. He broke up with me. As I was trying to get over him, I noticed something different about my fourth toenail on my left foot. (Because he didn’t leave anything on my fourth finger on the left hand, he was kind enough to place his mark on my toenail.) A small portion of the nail was infected with his disease. Not only did he leave me with a shattered heart, but a partly fungal toenail. (Really, I’m not bitter to this day.)

I have been embarrassed, confused and ashamed. How could I tell my friends and sisters when flip flop weather came around? I never went with all the other girls to get pedicures—I always did my own. I invested in creams, oils, polish, lemon juice and vinegar. Nothing worked . . . I knew eventually I had to see the doctor about my condition. (It’s not easy for Ginger to see the doctor. It takes a lot of motivation, self pep talks and not being able to breathe to go to the hospital. I should blog about that later.)

But before the date with the doctor could be set, the unthinkable happened:

Sisters Weekend.

My sister wanted to get pedicures together for her birthday. What was I to do? How was I going to explain myself? What would she think of me? I knew I just had to fess up and tell her the truth. (I just begged her not to tell mom and dad . . . or my bishop!)

Luckily, she didn’t judge me and with tears on our cheeks, we embraced and she said everything would be okay. She assured me beauticians have seen so much worse and that I had just a small little case. Life could still go on.

With a relief in this confession, we walked into the salon and got pedicures. And glitter toes!

Yes, my name is Ginger and I have an FTD. . .which is now engulfed in crushed rubies and sapphires!


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Friday, April 16, 2010

I'm walking on sunshine

I love, love love my new carpet! With the disastrous flood last year, I replaced 2/3 of my homes flooring. I decided to battle out the winter with ratted carpet in the front room. Now, with upgraded pad, high traffic wear and a beautiful subtle fleck, there’s nothing more I can ask for. (Well, I do ask that you don’t watch me take a good heavy whiff now and then of that new carpet smell! Mmmmm. . . .nothing smells better!) I also want to thank my sister Becky for helping me move every item in my front room! I decided she's at least half man 'cause she's soo tough!










Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Flower Power



My parents are serving a mission and my mother asked me to watch and take care of her plants and flowers. No pressure.

Here’s our first positive sign of life! One of her orchids blossomed just a few days ago! This flower makes me very happy every time I see it. (My favorite part is the plastic pot and the English Tea dish!)

As for the fichus tree. . . that’s a different story.