LET'S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING: 365 Days Project Begins Here

Saturday, July 24, 2010

300. July 24

Day 300. 65 to go.

In Utah, today is a holiday, Pioneer Day/ 24th of July/ Utah Day/ Whatever You'd Like to Call It. Basically, it's a celebration of our pioneer ancestry, as well as our statehood.

And what did I do with it? I accomplished Life Goals and Ambitions #67, bullet point 5, Find Navajo Lake. It was more of a pickle than I thought it might be, but a pickle of the most delightful variety.

To get directions to Navajo Lake, my exploration crew and I stopped at a visitor's center near this viewpoint:

Shortly thereafter, I was then able to successfully find this beautiful lake.

Mission accomplished. My heart felt infinitely happy.

Thanks, pioneers, for establishing this beautiful state. I mean this sincerely. I love Utah. And I have a love for those pioneers who came here so many years ago. It is to you, pioneers, that I dedicate my quote of the day.
Above and beyond the epic historical events they participated in, the pioneers found a guide to personal living. They found reality and meaning in their lives... A few did turn back. But the great majority of the pioneers went forward to a heroic achievement in this life and to eternal life in the life hereafter. Francis Webster, a member of the Martin Company, stated, “Everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.”
~ President James E. Faust, "A Priceless Heritage"
And to you, dear reader, goodbye for a week. I will be exploring the wilds of Idaho. I promise to return with many beautiful pictures.

299. July 23, An Alteration

As president and author of this fine blog, I am utilizing my authority to make an alteration to Post 299. July 23.
The quote of the day is now as follows, thanks to a viewing of Stranger Than Fiction.

"I just figured if I was going to make the world a better place I'd do it with cookies."
~ The character Ana Pascal of Stranger Than Fiction

299. July 23

Friday night:
- Cookies
- Milk
- Laundry
- A viewing of Benny and Joon in ten parts on YouTube

Thanks Tif, for the movie suggestion and Mother for the cookies.

"We'd get sick on too many cookies, but ever so much sicker on no cookies at all."
~ Sinclair Lewis

Friday, July 23, 2010

298. July 22

Applying for a passport, though expensive, was surprisingly not the headache I feared it might be. The Russian visa application, on the other hand, is quite the whopper.

"Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine."
~ Sir Arthur Eddington

297. July 21


"Summer afternoon--summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."
~ Henry James

296. July 20

Monumentally dull day.

This sign may as well read: Touch me. Stroke me. I promise you'll be satisfied.

"Sometimes life is really ridiculously repetitive."
~ Postsecret

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

295. July 19

It's hot. Crazy, fanatically hot, morning, noon and night. Don't get me wrong, I prefer the heat immensely to the winter because I get all the sunshine I want. It's just hot. That's all.

106 degrees Fahrenheit, in the shade, after the hottest part of the day has passed. 

"Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia."
~ Charles M. Schulz

294. July 18

These flowers, purchased in behalf of my mother's birthday, are a source of endless wonder to me. When I left this morning, this flower was a closed bud. Upon returning only a few short hours later, the bud had shyly unfolded itself. Another few hours later, it had fully opened, glorious in its beauty. I would love to be there for the exact moment when the bud cautiously opens itself into a flower.

"I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious."
~ Albert Einstein

Sunday, July 18, 2010

293. July 17

Remember these books? A coworker of mine collects them. After sorting through her collection during a move, she generously gave me a huge stack of duplicate copies. It was such a charming gift, like being given a small chunk of my childhood back. Oh how I love books.

I'm trying to be particular about my book collection. I don't want shelves of "impressive" books, just for the sake of impressiveness. I want shelves and shelves of books I've read and loved, books I would loan out in heartbeat. I'm not concerned about collecting first editions or hardbacks. I like my books to look lived in and loved. With this stack of Little Golden Books, I want to read every single one out loud to the children I hope to someday have, not stack them away for the sake of collecting. Books are meant to be read and loved, not to sit as shelf ornamentation. Someday, I hope to have little kids who share the same love as I do. Someday, I hope to have a house spilling forth with well loved books. Someday...

  I love Louis L'Amour's words on his own library, so, if you don't mind, I'll share a couple. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to chat books with this great man and peruse his library, which I am sure is one of the finer collections the earth has seen.
"These were not nice even rows of books in similar bindings but often were battered old veterans moving from the hands of one lover to another..."
~ Louis L'Amour, Education of a Wandering Man

"My library is not simply an accumulation of books. Each book has its reason for being there, and there is no deadwood on those shelves. Those I have are what I believe to be the best in their field, and if not that, they at least have something of value to offer. I have no book I could not read again with profit, and most of them require rereading."
 ~ Louis L'Amour, Education of a Wandering Man

292. July 16

Another evening bike ride, with a deliciously stormy summer sky behind me and this lovely view before me:

 Tonight's quote was found on Miss Lex's adorable blog. Check her blog out here. It's a sheer delight.

"People keep telling me that I fall in love too easily--that I should protect my heart, that I shouldn’t wear my heart on my sleeve… I fall in love at least 20 times a day. I fall in love with the sky and the sun and the flowers and my children. I fall in love with smiles, with music on the radio and with french fries and Dr. Pepper. I fall in love with the sound of laughter, blue jeans, accents… Sometimes I fall in love with complete strangers, especially the ones holding hands and kissing in public. The ones who aren’t afraid to be in love with the idea of being in love either. I don’t mind the pain of unrequited love so much, because I think they’re wrong. Love looks good on me."
~ Natalie Anne Erlanson

291. July 15

This, dear reader, is a good day, a very good day indeed. I have been called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Russia Moscow Mission. What this means is that for eighteen months I'll be teaching Russians all about the gospel of Christ--in Russian. Crazy, huh? So, I guess I'd better learn some Russian and buy me some long johns. Oh, dear reader, I'm so excited to share the gospel. I've wanted this day for a very long time. Thank you to my marvelous family and friends for so much warm enthusiasm and encouragement. It means everything to me.

Sharing the good news via Skype and speaker phone with the family.

"Just be one more voice to say that God lives and that this is His work. That will bring satisfaction."
~ Marjorie Pay Hinckley

And happy birthday to my beautiful mother. I love you, Mom.

Friday, July 16, 2010

290. July 14

The LDS Institute of Religion. I'm taking classes here a couple nights a week with other college age kids. It feels like a good place to be.

"You can do anything, but not everything."
~ David Allen

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

289. July 13

My work with a little cleaning company, as of late, has been a horrific bore. Then again, how many people are lucky enough to really love their jobs? Today, in an effort to love mine, I cleaned to music. It improved my work day tenfold. Thank you, music world.

"If I should ever die...let this be my epitaph:
~ Kurt Vonnegut

288. July 12

Today was a perfectly photogenic day, complete with a Christmas in July white elephant gift exchange and sand volleyball in the park. Did I photograph such events? No, of course not. Instead you get, drum roll please, my keys. I used to be a fun key chain person, but now I suppose all my keys have to say for me now is that I work out at the gym, spend time at the library, and drive a Saturn. What's on your key chain, dear reader?

"If you are waiting for a sign...this is it. Do it. It will be amazing."
~ Postsecret

Monday, July 12, 2010

287. July 11

My good friend Joshua returned from the land of the Canadians after two years of preaching the gospel. Of course, my camera died at his homecoming. Thus today's shot I'm borrowing from Joshua's Facebook page. Thank you, Joshua for the picture. It's good to see your face again.

And one more shot, from an evening bike ride by the river.

"The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets."
~Christopher Morley

286. July 10

Wedding cake. A very, very colorful wedding cake. I was thinking on weddings the other day. Given that there are fifty-two weeks in a year, at the end of this year I will have spent over one tenth of my weekends attending wedding receptions. Thank you to Tel and Kayla, for at least making this ordeal a colorful one.

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."
~Emily Brontë

Saturday, July 10, 2010

285. July 9

"When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."
~ Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist

Friday, July 9, 2010

284. July 8

I sent postcards all over the world today, to friends met through an exchange program. I do love mail, however, I can't help but wish I was instead arranging to meet face to face with these friends once again.

"I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world."
~ Mother Teresa

Thursday, July 8, 2010

283. July 7

I took a day to enjoy some of the finest pleasures life has to offer: food, books, theater, and nature. Because, dear reader, I cannot share with you the taste of the croissant club sandwich I enjoyed for lunch, the thrill of finding just the book I wanted, nor the felicity felt while watching 39 Steps, I offer you only a view of nature.

"One can be so overwhelmed by the forest as to miss seeing the trees."
~ Louis L'Amour, Education of a Wandering Man

Do you ever have those days when, after a rush of sheer satisfaction, you find yourself irrationally cranky and irritable? It as though the other side of life's coin is saying, it's my turn now. I'm trying to be better at recognizing when these moments arise so I can thus control my attitude more effectively. In the meantime, I apologize to those who see me when I'm on the losing side of the battle to stay on top of my moods.

282. July 6

Bolstered by the joy of my bike ride the previous evening, I began this morning with another bike ride. It was, in one word, delightful. I brought my camera along, of course, and just had to capture the beauty of flowers growing wild on the edge of field. I am cheered by any and all flowers that manage to survive or thrive in this desert heat.

"Associate with the noblest people you can find; read the best books; live with the mighty. But learn to be happy on your own."
~ Professor Thomas Davidson, as quoted in Education of a Wandering Man

Learn to be happy on your own. I love that phrase. It's not suggesting learn to be happy alone, just simply on your own. Happiness, lasting happiness, cannot be bestowed upon you by an outside source. It's something you have to learn to acquire on your own.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

281. July 5

I love, love, love desert evenings. They are the perfect time to be outdoors, enjoying sunsets such as this.
Thank you to my mother for reminding me of little joys such as riding a bike. Mom, your pretty fantastic in so many ways.

"While I write these words, I feel that my pulse beats faster; those moments will always be present to me though I should live a hundred thousand years."
~ Rousseau, Confessions, trans. Anonymous

280. July 4

Hello, America. 
Happy Independence Day. I celebrated your big day with s'mores, guitar music, and conversation around a fire. America, my heart belongs with you. I love this beautiful country.

"America, for me, has been the pursuit and catching of happiness." 
~Aurora Raigne

Monday, July 5, 2010

279. July 3

I woke this morning, sat up in my sleeping bag, and watched this view unfold before me.
Dad, I love this picture because I loved this weekend. You might never know how much I loved our camp out.

"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder."
~ Gilbert K. Chesterton

Saturday, July 3, 2010

278. July 2

Setting up camp at dusk. Sleeping under the stars in the bed of the truck makes my heart so happy.

"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."
~ William Shakespeare

Friday, July 2, 2010

277. July 1

Forget laundry, housecleaning, and grocery shopping. Sometimes a Thursday night just calls for a movie night in and Mac n' Cheese for dinner.

"Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted."
~ John Lennon

Thursday, July 1, 2010

276. June 30

Here's what's new:
It's hot. I mean, really, really hot.
I'm waiting, and waiting, and waiting for something awesome.
I'm not very patient.

I'm hoping this pretty place can school me in patience:

"The strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours."
 ~ John Piper, Battling Unbelief: Defeating Sin with Superior Pleasure