the (one) country song i like

I’m not a fan of country music.  Yes, I grew up in Utah. Yes, I know how to do the boot scootin’ boogie.  Yes, I realize that eschewing country music supposedly pits me against hometown values and the triumph of the proletariat.  The genre as a whole has just never been my thing.

However, I love “Should’ve’ Been a Cowboy.”

When I was five and my family lived in California, my fun Aunt Sharla came to visit.  She brought along a Toby Keith tape (this was circa 1993, after all), which Hannah and I instantly loved.  Until this point, we had mainly been exposed to world music, Talking Heads, and Bob Dylan (yeah, our parents have good taste). We asked her to play “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” over and over and over.  Towards the end of her visit, the three of us dressed up in cowboy garb and performed the song for my parents and grandparents, complete with my very cool life-size Raggedy Anne doll playing the “sidekick with a funny name.”

To my dad’s chagrin, Sharla gave me the tape when she left.  I eventually discovered that there was a B-side, but the other songs–which now I don’t even remember–were not nearly as wonderful as “Should’ve Been a Cowboy.”  I can still sing along with all the words and do so (quietly) when Jason and I hear the song in public places.

While I’m sure the saga of Kitty and Marshall referenced in the first verse is compelling, and the transient, adventuresome cowboy life appealing, what I like about the song is the memories it evokes.  Aunt Sharla was just about the coolest person in the world to a five-year-old, and that she would share something like that with me made me feel special.

Enjoy this day

Running with new people always stresses me out, mostly because I worry I’ll be too slow and everyone will think I’m a wimp.  However, I’m getting sick of talking to myself and counting up to 100 over and over while I run (since I abandoned the iPod earlier this year.  I’m not a purist; I just always worry I’m not going to hear a car coming and the pounding music gives me a headache.  I used to listen to the dulcet tones of Ira Glass on This American Life, but then there was an episode about cryogenic freezing and a guy who had corpses in his shed and that made me want to vomit mid-run, so I don’t do that anymore either.  Too much information).  Anyway, I braved up and went this Saturday with some girls (women, I guess we are) in my new ward.

They were meeting at a park a few miles south of us, so I drove over in the foggy gray of 7:15 AM.  En route, I passed a church marquee that said “Enjoy this day. You never get to live it again.”  More on that in a minute.

The run was great; the pace was good and I got to know some new people (this is big for me, since I am now in nursery and don’t really get to converse with adults at church.  We do get snacks, though, which is an okay trade-off).  We ran along a two-lane road lined on either side with gorgeous horse farms.  With the fog hanging over the rolling hills, it was possibly the most picturesque route I’ve ever run.  We did eight miles and everyone was really nice.

Afterward, I went back to my car and headed towards home.  Five minutes into my trip, I noticed the car slowing down.  I assumed this was because I’d forgotten to move the seat forward and wasn’t able to push the pedal down all the way.  I pressed harder, but the car still wouldn’t accelerate.  Rolling toward the shoulder, I realized there wasn’t any resistance behind the pedal.  Great.

Fortunately, I had my phone, so I called Jason and then my dad.  Jason perused the internet for a solution (and a tow truck place) while my dad helped me practice self-rescue and try to figure out what was going on.  Both of them hypothesized a broken cable.  I was on the side of the road (near a dead possum for a while until I decided to try driving again to see if the problem had magically fixed itself and rolled a little ways past the carrion) until about 11:00 AM.

Finally, we got in touch with an auto repair shop that was open on Saturdays.  An employee there called a tow truck, and Jason made plans to walk over to the shop to meet me.  The tow truck came, we made it safely to the shop.

A very helpful automotive specialist  looked at the car for approximately thirty seconds before letting me know it was fixed.  Apparently the folks who replaced our distributor didn’t tighten down the cable linking the pedal to the engine, so it came lose and got kinked.  The mechanic just charged us for towing (since it was a third-party tow-er) and sent me on my way.

I called Jason and told him not to come after all: the car was good to go.  I made it home right around noon, still wearing the nasty gym clothes in which I’d gone running and extremely hungry.  After I made myself presentable, Jason took me to lunch at The Local Taco.  I had the Korean barbecue taco, which made me long for Sam Hawk.  We also tried the Mexi-tots on Mary’s recommendation and she did not lead us astray–they were delicious.  We are already trying to think of a reason to go back.

We walked home by way of the bookstore, and I took a long nap in the afternoon.  We knocked out our grocery shopping at Kroger, then sort of watched the (miserable) UK game until the Relief Society broadcast came on.  All the talks were excellent, but I particularly enjoyed the ones by Sister Allred and President Uchtdorf.

Before going to bed, I remembered, “Enjoy this day.  You never get to live it again.”  Even though the day had some less-than-enjoyable parts (being stranded on an unfamiliar road in an inert car comes to mind), it was a good day. I got to run with new friends, spend time with my good husband, and hear inspired counsel from church leaders.  Not too bad after all.


Our little food processor kicked the bucket on Wednesday.  I was distressed. Jason tried to fix it with a butter knife.  We gave up and mixed our salad dressing in the KitchenAid (which blended it up almost as well as the food processor.  What can’t that thing do?).

I was in a little funk yesterday when I came home for lunch (not really sure why) and Jason cheered me right up.  I’m glad I married a guy who makes me laugh.

We stayed up last night to watch the all-stars game and I was just a tiny little bit sad we weren’t in the Marriott Center with all the other BYU kiddos.

The alarm clock works better when you set it (especially after you’ve stayed up late watching Jimmer play ball).

I’m taking a little break from North Korea to tackle Brave New World–partially because I’d already ordered it when the book club decided not to read it after all.  It’s hard to believe it was published in 1932.  More thoughts on this later.

Diversion of the day: a free copy of Pocket World Figures 2012 from The Economist.  Jason quizzed me on country stats while I cut up red onion for our football-game-watching avocado dip.  The country with the highest total cinema attendance? India.  Interesting.

BYU won!  I almost completely attribute it to our eating the official cougar chips while watching.

Thanks Mom!



you’ve got mail

There were two good postal service surprises waiting when I got home from work today: a package from my parents and a letter from Hannah!

The package was filled with our favorite treats: Laffy Taffy, those fudge-covered coconut granola bars, guacamole and salsa mix, pretzels, and (perhaps my favorite thing of all) cinnamon bears!  There were also some official blue and white BYU tortilla chips, which we are saving for the BYU vs. UCF game on Saturday (maybe they will be good luck for our ailing cougars).

Hannah’s letter was also great.  It’s weird to think that she’s only been gone for two weeks (or 2.5% of her mission, as my dad pointed out this evening).  Maybe it’s because we live far away anyway, but I feel like she’s been gone forever.

In other news, Jason and I now have callings.  He is the ward employment specialist and I am a nursery worker.  It’s kind of ironic, since he is a jobless student and I am a childless woman; I guess our time in the Tates Creek Ward will be a learning experience.

I had a question from my Aunt Laurisa about Bible mini golf from my last post.  Lexington boasts a Bible-themed minigolf establishment.  There are three separate courses: Old Testament, New Testament, and Miracles.  My friend Mary told me about it a while ago and I couldn’t stop laughing (maybe it was the juxtaposition of the very serious Bible and less-than-serious putt-putt?).  Anyway, I feel like it’s something Jason and I definitely need to try before leaving Lexington.  Who knows–the experience could drive us to open the first Book of Mormon-inspired putt-putt course in Provo!  Kidding.  Anyway, if any of our Lexington friends are up for it, I think we have to squeeze in the outing before it gets too cold.

things i intend to do/eat this fall

The first day of autumn is this Friday, and winter officially begins on December 22 (which seems a little late to me, but I’m not going to argue with Wikipedia). That means I have ninety days to complete the following:

Bake a pie
Bake pumpkin bread or cookies
Bake Halloween sugar cookies
Bake orange rolls and/or cinnamon rolls
Bake ginger cookies
Bake pretzels
Make caramel apples
Cook with butternut squash
Cook lasagna soup (if not during Soup Week)
Cook french onion soup (see above)
Cook beef stew
Cook with sweet potatoes
Cook pork chops with apple-cinnamon glaze
Drink hot chocolate and/or cider
Collect/compile recipes for Soup Week 2011

Go to a football game
Go to North Carolina
Go to Keeneland
Go to a basketball game
Go Bible mini-golfing
Decide what to do for Thanksgiving (and then do it)
Decide what to do for Christmas (and then initiate travel plans in a timely fashion)

Watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Put out our fall decorations (full disclosure: we only have one decoration)
Vote in the gubernatorial election
Read (at least) the six books on my To Read Next list
Carve a pumpkin
Read The Book of Mormon
Ride a horse
Run another half marathon
Take more pictures, because I realized while preparing this post that we take a preponderance of photos during winter, spring, and summer, but completely neglect fall.
Take a midterm (not something I necessarily want to do, but it’s a foregone conclusion and thus an automatic check-off)
Crochet something
Take a walk and/or go on a drive exclusively to look at fall leaves

Happy soon-to-be autumn!