Friday, January 23, 2009


It was a year and a half ago. We had paid for a wedding that didn't happen, so our budget was limited and our time suddenly free. I begged my dad to go camping, telling him it was my favorite thing to do. He said, "Sure! Randy told me about a place down past Visalia that's free and totally unknown by most people!" We all agreed, went shopping for camping food and some supplies, and packed up the white trailor. We were on our way that July morning, driving two hours to reach our campsite. What we arrived at what was a beautiful representation of the California forest, with large trees, endless dirt, and a small creek trickling nearby. Pookie, our small dog, found a spot in the car and refused to budge: she hated getting dirty! We set up our two tents and started a fire for dinner. Thankfully, we found a secluded site close to the bathrooms. That evening we relaxed in front of the fire, reading books, telling stories, and enjoying NOT being in Madera. Before we headed to our sleepingbags for the night, Dad and I put all of our food and water into the white trailor to protect it from the bears.

Yes, bears.

My dad is a bear magnet.

We found huge bear prints all over our trailor the next morning. Mom took CSI pictures, but they really don't even show how gigantic the paws were. We giggled at ourselves for being so clever as to outsmart the bears--which didn't happen all that often in my family. We were all a little shocked that Pookie hadn't barked at the bears during the night: she barked at the campers two hundred yards away, but not the bears?? The next night, however, us and the bears seemed to be on the same page.

We had no running water in the campground, so we used our five gallon thermoses to hold our water. We were worried that the bears would damage them during the night, so they were locked up in the trailor with the rest of our food. Because of this, we, the girls, drank a ton of water to store up for the night.

Sometime in the middle of the night, we all had to pee. I got up, found my flashlight, and walked the fifty yards to the cement building that housed the bathrooms. Tori came too because I wouldn't go by myself. After we came back and snuggled back down into our sleeping bags, Michayla tried to convince us to go with her. I refused, finally comfortable in bed, but Tori said to ask Dad. "I can't wake Dad up!" Michayla protested. I sighed and said, "He's already up. Can't you hear him taking Joe to the bathroom?" Indeed, the two boys were taking advantage of being boys and were taking a potty trip several yards away. Michayla capitalized on the opportunity and rushed out to Dad, begging him to go to the bathroom with her. He said he'd walk out to the clearing and wait for her there. She booked it to the bathroom and Dad waited in the clearing between the potty and our campsite. I drift off, figuring the situation had resolved itself, but I am wrong.

I hear Dad start banging the lid of our dutch oven with a hammer. Seriously? What was he doing? Michayla kept shouting "I'm not coming! I'm not coming!" Dad started whispering, rather loudly, "C'mon! C'mon!" Pookie our brave (not) dogg pokes her head out of Kit's sleeping bag (stinking camel) and starts to trot outside to Dad. I had to sit up and cut her off, grabbing th back half of her body and pulling her to the ground. Stupid dog. After a few minutes, Michayla dashed through the tent door and practically slid into her sleeping bag.

This is what happened:

On Michayla's way back to the campsite, from the bathroom, she made eye contact with a bear. Two bright eyes, described as "like Gollum's eyes in Lord of the Rings!", peered at her from the trees. Dad saw the bear too, grabbed the hammer and dutch oven lid, and started banging them together to scare the bear off. The bear didn't seemed phased at first, and then bolted off in the opposit direction. Michayla, still thoroughly freaked, ran back to the potty and hid in the building. Dad started whispering to her "C'mon! C'mon!". She shouted back, "No!" This went on for several minutes before Dad went and got her. She ran back into the tent, and you know what happened after that. Here's a funny little side note: Dad could NOT figure out why Michayla wouldn't leave the bathroom! Duh! It's a cement building! Oh Daddy...

My family has a history with bears. Actually, it's my dad that's the bear magnet. Another camping story, up in Mineral King, also involved a "bear" and a midnight bathroom run.

I was about ten, maybe eleven, years old. Tori and I were in the small yellow tent together, barely fitting, but totally loving the seclusion. We kept warm in our tiny tent, but it was hard to move around without the other person noticing. One night Tori woke up and told me she had to pee. There were no bathrooms nearby (or close enough to go in the middle of the night), so I told her "just go pee in the bushes!" I was tired, grumpy, and getting colder by the minute. She went outside, walked a yard away, and, well... you know. WELL. Dad was in the big tent nearby, and heard a rustling in the bushes. He listens again, making sure he wasn't imagining it. When his suspicion is confirmed, he starts making loud growling noises to scare the "bear" away. Tori, a.k.a. the "bear", thinks that there is a bear behind Mom and Dad's tent, doesn't even take the time to pull up her pants, and jumps back into the tent.

"What's going on?" I asked.
"There's a bear out there!" she said.
"Did you get to pee?" I asked.

The next morning, Dad and Tori talked to each other about the bear that came through camp last night. It took them a while, but they finally realized that they were both talking to their bear!

Ahh, my family.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Now I KNOW Rexburg hates me....

I almost died on the way to class today. You may think I'm joking, but I am not. Nor am I exaggerating. Well, maybe a tiny bit. But I almost broke a hip at least. That's what I get for being an obedient child of God... Let me explain: I am wearing a skirt today which calls for shoes other than my boots. So I put on my sketcher flats, thinking "these will have more traction than my old tennies and highheels for sure!" LIAR! STUPID! I almost biffed it five times!!! Wayne and I walked together for a bit, and he was perfectly stable in his shoes... gaaahhh not fair. BUT I haven't died yet. And I don't plan to until at least after Devo because what better time to die then right after Devotional?

I have a date on Friday *eek!*. We're going ice skating, which I am terrible at, but I do enjoy it. So the poor boy will get to see me eat ice a few times. Ah well, that's life up here in the 'burg.

We have this test in the Reading Center called the Woodcock. It's extremely intense and tests your reading skills/ level. We give it to every student that comes in here as a way of figuring out where they're at. We also give it to all of our new tutors so that they know how hard it is and how stupid it makes you feel. I like to think of it as our own, personal Reading Center Purgatory. Once you get through that, you can enjoy the perks of being here!

I'm the "Mother" at the reading center, which I like to say is like a Morale Officer. I plan the parties, make the cakes and stuff, as well as decorate the place accordingly. I decorated for Halloween last year and it was a BIG hit. I enjoy the job a lot, but now I'm not quite sure what to do for January..? I did hand turkeys in November (another HUGE success-- I think I work with Kindergartners), and a Christmas tree in December... but what can a person do in January? Ideas, please!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rexburg tried to punish me for trying to leave it, but we've made up now. The weather is surprisingly NOT freezing, merely cold, which is a huge relief to those of us coming from warm states. I am still not on the best terms with the dry atmosphere here, but if we work on it, someday we may get together again.

I had a dream the other night that I went into this FABULOUS shop with my sisters. I could get anything I wanted there and my boyfriend would buy it for me (no, I don't have a boyfriend, thus ensuring that this was a dream). Here's the worst part: there was nothing in my size. No joke. There were eights and tens, and sixteens on up-- but no twelves and no fourteens. I sat on the floor and cried. Ah, that's my life. Or my dreams...

School started today. So far, so good. Nothing terrible, but ask me again tomorrow when I have a 7:45 am class.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmasy Time!

So, technically, my holiday is over, but I'll give e'ryone an update anyway.

So, Michayla and I took sixteen hours to get from Provo to Madera. Ick. The trip is usually twelve hours, but we were caught in a snow storm for two hours. Once we got to Vegas we stopped at In-N-Out (manna from heaven!) for lunch and Andre's cousin came out and picked him up. Then the fun began: we sat, ten miles from Primm, hardly moving at all, for almost two hours. The Baker pass had been closed all morning, and barely opened at 11:55 am. It was only 12:45. I saw snowmen built on the center median of the highway where people had probably been sitting quite literally not moving an inch, for hours that morning. We finally got through, Michayla tried to let me drive but nearly had an aneurism stressing about me driving on the ice, so we switched back after a half hour. We finally got home by nine thirty, and I made a nice bed in the spare room. I stuffed myself silly with tangerines off the tree in the yard, snuggled down in my bed and watched some House on DVD. The next few days were nice, riddled with watching some TV, eating yummy food that I didn't have to pay for, and cleaning the house for a party. Sunday I attended my parents' ward where my father, the Bishop, was telling the nativity story, and said that there was "oxygen" by the manger. He then corrected himself with "oxen", but I like to think that there was oxygen around the manger. Maybe I'm just a realist.

The day before Christmas Eve, I went to the dentist, got a cleaning, filling, and mouthgaurd all in one hour. Before that, Michayla and I made Christmas presents for our entire family. Christmas Eve I had no motivation whatsoever and would have been content to just sit at home and watch movies all day. I still didn't feel like I was on vacation, having done a surprising amount of cleaning and shopping over the past couple of days. I was really hoping Mom would just let me lounge around, but I was informed at one p.m. that I had to go to a party at Dr. Yenta's house. "You have a doctor named Dr. Yenta?" I asked my mom. She laughed and said no, her doctor (the same one my parent's have had since my little sister was born), Dr. Bjarnason, had a young, un married son that he wanted some righteous, single young ladies to meet. "Meaning Michayla, right?" I said, tossing the responsability to my older sister. Michayla shook her head and said "Uh no. We're both going." I was looking rather icky and hadn't showered since Monday, so the idea of a party wasn't appealing. Mom told me we both had to go and staying here in our sodden state was not acceptable. So we went... I even showered first. I actually put a lot of thought and effort into how I looked-- anyone who knows me know that I can't pass up a chance to meet someone new and make a good impression. Well, the party was fun and the boy was cute. He was just plain adorable with his little cousins! And there was a family Christmas Pagent that my family had an unusually large role in. All in all, Christmas Eve was great!

Christmas morning was fun, too. Duh. We opened prezzies and I got what I wanted plus some. We all got tickets for Disneyland!! HOOORRAAAYY! We went to Grandma's house on Christmas for the usual activites. Got some Christmas money and knitted two hats while others played Pinochle. We went home, watched one of the new movies, and I went to bed, happy and a little mad at myself. You see, I'd decided that I should call and ask Jon, the Dr.'s son, out. The stupidity of that was that I told my mother, which meant that she was going to hold me to it. The next day I went down and worked at Grandma's and knitted another hat while waiting for Dustin and Tara to show. When they arrived, Mom handed me a phone number and said "If you're going to do it, do it now." I got all nervous, called him up, and we went out the next night. I had a good time; he's very easy to talk to. But I felt a little gipped: I only got an hour to talk to him one on one. Now don't get me wrong, playing boulderdash with his cousins was tres tres amusant. But I wish I'd gotten a little more one on one time. ANYWAY.

Disneyland was a blast. We went on Monday and Tuesday, and it was PACKED! But we had a good time. I'll save those days for another post. Wednesday was another lounging day for me, ending with a quick countdown, some cider, and a movie. New Years day was spent working at Grandma's again, as was the day after. Yesterday we packed up, did laundry, and watched a movie in the theaters. All very fun. Finished another hat.

And today, I'm in Provo. It's freezing and I wish I could go pick a tangerine off the tree. But I'm okay with that. I'm ready for school to start again; I hate that waiting period. And buying books.

Ahvell, I'm done boring you to tears.