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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

336. August 29

Isn't family just the greatest?

"Never forget the nine most important words of any family--
I love you.
You are beautiful.
Please forgive me."
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Monday, August 30, 2010

335. August 28

Loved this day. Most of it, anyhow.

Still, it left me feeling an old and familiar sense of restlessness...

"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited."  
~ Sylvia Plath

334. August 27

Every summer, these beauties grow wild along the freeways of Utah. For some landowners, the wild flowers are a horrific pain, but for weekend road-trippers such as myself, they are a source of immense pleasure. Thank you, little wild flowers, for brightening my drive.

"The men where you live," said the little prince, "raise five thousand roses in the same garden--and yet they do not find in it what they are looking for." 
"They do not find it," I answered.

"And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a little water."

"Yes, that is true," I said.

And the little prince added:
"But eyes are blind. One must look with the heart..."
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, trans. Katherine Woods
(Jeremy, thank you for suggesting The Little Prince. You were 10,000% right that I would enjoy it. I loved it.)

333. August 26

Today I did have a camera by my side. These are just a few snapshots from a Thursday adventure downtown.

"You don't need to worry about what happened before. All you need to look at is what's happening now...And be happy about it. And if that means you only get to be happy for a month or two months or three months, so what. A month or two months or three months is a good long time."
~ Jacqueline Woodson, Feathers

Thanks, Danni, for the loan of Feathers. It was a lovely book, even if I still don't appreciate it like you do.

332. August 25

"I'm writing you, to catch you up on places I've been
And you have this letter
You probably got excited, 
But there's nothing else inside it

Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
In the mood to lose my way with words.


Guess you had to be there
Guess you had to be with me

Today I finally overcame
Tryin' to fit the world inside a picture frame."
~ from John Mayer's 3X5
(Thanks, Hillary, for the essential John Mayer mix, upon which I first heard this song.)

331. August 24

Freshly baked bread and homemade granola. Did I mention my mother is a saint?

"One of your unique, precious, and sublime gifts is your femininity, with its natural grace, goodness, and divinity. Femininity is not just lipstick, stylish hairdos, and trendy clothes. It is the divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your qualities of your capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity, and quiet strength. It is manifest differently in each girl or woman, but each of you possesses it. Femininity is part of your inner beauty."

330. August 23

Hiking the Subway of Zion National Park. 9 miles, nearly 8 hours. What a terrific and inspiring challenge.

(Thanks, Maren, for the picture--and the hike.)

"What is there that confers the noblest delight?  What is that which swells a man's breast with pride above that which any other experience can bring to him?  Discovery!  To know that you are walking where none others have walked."
~ Mark Twain 

Perhaps the Subway wasn't a journey to discover where no others have walked before, but there was a certain thrill I'd never known, when at the end, overlooking what we had hiked, I knew I'd seen and experienced what so few on this earth ever will. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Come Monday

Come Monday I'll give a lovely week of posts. For now, check out recent posts on my other blog, Ode to Poetry, a blog which was basically created as an excuse to indulge in poetry. So go ahead, indulge.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

329. August 22

My passport arrived, which apparently means the world is now mine. What to do with it is the next question...

I know a boy whose head is a delightful file of quotes. He shared today's quote with me, as well as the wonderful speech from where he heard it. Thank you, sir, for picking this particular quote from the recesses of your curious mind to share with me.

"Loyalty is for the loyal man not only a good, but for him the chief amongst all the moral goods of his life, because it furnishes. . . him a personal solution [to] the hardest of [all] human . . .problems, the problem: 'For what do I live?'"
~ Josiah Royce, The Philosophy of Loyalty

For what do I live? A good question indeed... I've been thinking on this for a few days now. I have thus concluded, I live for my faith and I live for my family. I live also for joy and for beauty, but I find faith and family to be the greatest source and enhancement of all other joys and beauties to be found. So dear reader, I live for my faith and for my family. For what do you live?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

328. August 21

It seems the entire city has blossomed in purple, practically overnight. Has this happened in years past and I just haven't noticed? I am amazed by this beautiful abundance of purple.

"When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement."
~ Mary Oliver, "When Death Comes," New and Selected Poems: Volume One

327. August 20

"So long sweet summer
I stumbled upon you and gratefully basked in your rays
So long sweet summer
I fell into you
Now you're gracefully falling away."
~ Dashboard Confessional, "So Long Sweet Summer"

326. August 19

Girl's night with the wonderful ladies of my church group.

"Find out who you are and do it on purpose."
~ Dolly Parton

Thursday, August 19, 2010

325. August 18

This is the attempt (and failure) of Danni and I to make Russian Blini.When we gave up on any chance we had at producing Russian cuisine, we turned to a "Russian" movie, the animated Anastasia, a historically inaccurate and entirely delightful musical. I'm feeling more Russian already.

This quote has little to do with Blini or Russians, but it's been on my mind a fair deal lately.
"My greatest ambition has been to be a good wife, to be a good homemaker, and to be a really good mother. I've always thought that if I could do this, I would fulfill my mission here on earth."
~ Claira May (Clair) Hunter, wife of President Howard W. Hunter, 14th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

324. August 17

Sunset hike.

"There's not much happens here to make one day unlike the next. The seasons change. The ivy grows. Stones fall over. But you coming here...well, I'm glad you did, that's all."
~ Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

323. August 16

Today started with the most beautiful morning, and wound up even better.

"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know."
~ Rene Daumal

322. August 15

A silly self portrait, on a Sunday.

Today's quote comes from my favorite postcard of the Postsecret collection. I think this posting of a picture off of Google of a book in what looks to be a library is pretty sketch. Forgive me, Postscret, all I wanted to do was to share the postcard.
I LOVE the quirks, flaws, and imperfections that people have. (I wonder if anyone likes mine)
~ Postsecret

321. August 14

Summer is slowly dying, dear reader. It makes my heart ache.It's not gone yet, but soon. Autumn's in the air, but I'm not ready to let summer go just yet. I'm not ready to bid farewell to lemonade stands such as this...

"June dawns, July noons, August evenings over, finished, done, and gone forever with only the sense of it all left here in his head. Now, a whole autumn, a white winter, a cool and greening spring..."
~ Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine

Saturday, August 14, 2010

320. August 13

Really short, but quite wonderful, extended family reunion. I love getting together with this crazy family.

"The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together."  
~Erma Bombeck

319. Agusut 12

So, here's the thing. My camera is pretty much rendered useless after dark. I'm not even talking really dark, just mildly close to dark. Like this shot, of a shuttle ride through Zion, was only taken at, oh, eight thirty or so. My camera failed entirely at capturing Zion's beautiful cliffs and the stars above, so just picture Zion at night beneath the most amazing sky, okay? Throw in a few, fleeting meteors into your image and then you just about have the right picture.

"When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about."
~ Albert Einstein, The World as I See It

Thursday, August 12, 2010

318. August 11

"Fall is here. Here the yell. Back to school. Ring the bell."

Public school has begun another year. I know, Utah starts things early.

It feels strange that for the first time in fifteen years, I am not preparing to go back to school, be it grade school or a university. My educational pursuits have been postponed for couple years so I can take a little jaunt to Russia. 

Moscow, Russia. Only seventeen inches on the map from the corner of Utah, across America, over the ocean, and through the European continent to the heart of Moscow. The adventure begins in 2 months and nine days. I am so excited to cross those seventeen little inches.

"...there was a language in the world that everyone understood...It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, and as part of a search for something believed in and desired."
~ Paul Coehlo, The Alchemist

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

317. August 10

Fondue, with you, and you, and you.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"
~ Mary Oliver, New and Selected Poems

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

316. August 9

In news unrelated to anything else in my life, when I came out of work today there was this enormous dead bug on the ground.

And in other news, my little brother is 16. Such a cool kid. 
Happy birthday, Kyle. I think you're the best little brother there is. Then again, you already know that. I'm going to miss you like crazy when I leave here in a couple months.

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
~ Albert Einstein 

315. August 8

I love rain in August...

"All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
I like watching the puddles gather rain."
~ Blind Melon, "No Rain"

314. August 7

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
~ President Theodore Roosevelt

I knew a girl who carried a laminated copy of this quote with her, as it meant a great deal to her. Thanks, Emily, for sharing it with me.

313. August 6

Movie night in the park with Lori and Sarah. Crazy picture, but it will do. Thanks, ladies, for a terrific evening.

"If I had a time machine, I would not kill Hitler or meet Jesus; I would take you to the movies."
~ Postsecret

Thursday, August 5, 2010

312. August 5

A favorite spot of mine for lunch as well as the instigator of my love for really, really good soup.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I first read this quote, handwritten on a poster on the walls of a middle school creative writing classroom. It's long been a favorite of mine. I suppose I could liken this unto Judd's, where the employees create soup even as Michelangelo created art.

311. August 4

Bicycle ride.

"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
~ John F. Kennedy


"Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world."
~Grant Petersen

310. August 3

I don't exactly "get" the whole zombie craze, but when I saw this sticker on a car parked next to me, I still smiled. I dedicate this picture to all the zombie lovers I have known, Caitlin C., Jordan H., Ryan N., Professor Kyle Bishop and his book, and on and on... Thank you, vigilant team member of Unit 7 for making our world a safer place.

"You can't overthink a zombie apocalypse, Valerie. That's how you prepare."
~ Ryan N.'s advice to me

309. August 2

"Russian" waffle making adventures on a Monday morning.

"There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish something."
~ Thomas Edison

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

308. August 1

Sunday morning with two of my favorite men.

Goodbye, Idaho.

Today's total driving hours: Twelve? Thirteen? I lost count.

"Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination."
  ~ Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies 

At some point in your life, I highly recommend reading Jhumpa Lahiri's beautiful novel, The Namesake, as well as her short stories. She writes like a painter of beautiful dream.

307. July 31

My papa had a truck like this when he was a teenager, crank start and everything. Crazy, eh? His truck, however, was much less spiffy and whole lot more rusty than this one at a Saturday morning car show.

And I couldn't help but laugh when I saw this sign at a barber shop:

I love family vacations.

"My parents will never be written up in history books, but as far as their [four] children are concerned, the world has been a much warmer place because of them."
~ Harold Krents, To Race the Wind

I found To Race the Wind in used bookstore while on vacation. I devoured it in two days. This autobiography of a blind man is surprisingly hilarious and tender. I'd definitely recommend it.

306. July 30

Dear Reader, 
You're great. And you should know this. If you don't have somebody in your life who tells you every day how great you are, you should find that somebody. Or, you should be that somebody to someone else. But in case no one else is there to say it, I think you're great. 

I'm slowly, but surely getting caught up (or more behind, I can't tell) on this little blog, and trying to give you the best of a journey to Idaho.

Today? I wish you could have seen this pioneer cemetery, nearly lost to the oblivion beneath overgrowth. I kind of feel sorry for the neglected graves, forgotten up on a hillside with no real road to reach it.

 This quote doesn't have much to do with Idaho. Or life. I just the song and I like the line. That's all.

"They say you're really not somebody
Until somebody else loves you
Well, I am waiting to make somebody
Somebody soon."
~ Ingrid Michaelson, "Are We There Yet"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

305. July 29


"... but you can love completely without complete understanding."
~ A River Runs Through It 
If you've never seen A River Runs Through It, I suggest you watch it at some point in your life, just so you can fall in love with the sensually gorgeous beauty of fly fishing, not to mention the beauty that is Brad Pitt.

And in searching for fishing quotes, I came across this great Einstein quote that has nothing to do with today, but I loved it nonetheless.
"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
~ Albert Einstein

304. July 28

One of the best part of vacations is time for books and puzzles.

"...a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy."
~ Viktor E. Frankl, "The Case for Tragic Optimism"

Monday, August 2, 2010

303. July 27

Today, I had breakfast at this delightful restaurant with my sister and a friend I met in Asheville, NC. Paige, it was so good to see you, even if it did make my heart ache for Asheville. And today I said goodbye to my brother and sister-in-law's beautiful yellow house. Matt, Cierra, I loved your yellow house, particularly for quirky touches such as this:

Then, back on the road for more driving.
Today's total driving hours: 5 1/2.

"I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable, beautiful, and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings."
~ Mary Oliver

302. July 26

On the road, again.
Today's total driving hours: 5 1/2

All completely worth it to spend time with family, particularly this chipper sister of mine:

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." 
~Mark Twain

301. July 25

On the road in Idaho, land of the famous potatoes.
Today's total driving hours: Roughly 12

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move."  
~Robert Louis Stevenson

Still Here

Dear Reader,
I still love you. Posts from one excellent vacation are coming soon. Now I just need to scrounge up some excellent quotes... Any ideas?