Monday, June 29, 2009

My Weekend

This last weekend, I traveled up north to visit Adam.

And we got engaged.

Just kidding!

We really just decided to start dating again.

Just kidding, again!

No really, several people really struggled to understand why I'd go visit him if we're really just friends - we must be getting back together for me to go just to see him. Well, we are really just friends. Can't a friend go visit another friend? (That's a rhetorical question, I know the answer. It's "yes".)

Anyhoo, I had a great time. Adam's sister, Diana, let me stay with her and her family. I love them! I'm glad Adam and I are still friends so I can see them every so often. (There are other reasons, too, Adam!) His sister is so warm and welcoming and I've liked her from the first moment I met her - 4 years ago. Her husband is a quiet guy, so I didn't really get to know him, but he was really helpful Saturday - I'll explain later. Their kids are adorable. So well-behaved, polite, fun. Their third child, Ashley, was baptized on Saturday, so Adam's parents were also staying with Diana and her family. It was certainly a full house, but a fun full house. Everyone was so nice to me. I never once felt uncomfortable. In fact, I felt a part of the family the whole time I was there. I really appreciated it.

So here's a quick run-down of the weekend's activities, then I'm going to share some interesting moments that happened.

Friday: arrived around 7pm; toured Diana's home and was introduced to Joe and the kids; Adam's parents took him and me out to dinner - cute restaurant, delicious omelet!; played games with Diana, Adam's parents, and Adam's nephew Daniel; Adam and I watched Amelie - it was fantastic!; talked with Adam 'til 3am; went to bed and slept like the dead.

Saturday: was woken up at 8:30 by Addie, Adam's 12-year old niece in whose room I was sleeping, because she had forgotten her dress - she was so cute and polite and we had a nice conversation; woke up because I couldn't get back to sleep and got ready for the baptism; baptism went from 11am to noon - it was pretty standard except for the bizarre opening prayer; ate lunch with Adam at Kneaders - very tasty; Toys R Us for a present for Ashley (neice who was just baptized); tour of Adam's apartment; back to Diana's to change clothes; art museum - found a few paintings I'd actually buy if a) they had been for sale and b) I had the money set aside for such purchases; drove around looking at interesting homes (I LOVE doing that) and the Krishna temple; browsed an antiques shop/bookstore; ate dinner at Diana's; ran to the mall for a thank-you present to give to Diana and family; played games 'til 2am with Diana and their parents (they actually only made it to midnight); went to bed and slept like the dead.

Sunday: tried to wake up early to go for a walk but my body refused; finally got up and got ready then went to breakfast with Adam (who paid, grrr, I mean - thank you!); went back to Diana's and looked at a few of his family pictures; ate lunch with my host family; toured the garden; played games until time to leave; loaded up my car (which took awhile, see #4 below); said my goodbyes; drove home; other stuff unrelated to my trip; went to bed around midnight and slept like the dead.

Now for the interesting moments: (in no particular order)

1. Adam's dad: "So, Julie, when are you coming to Kanab to visit us?" It surprised me, quite frankly, so I stumbled a little bit with my answer - They know that Adam and I aren't dating, so why would they want me to visit them? was all I could think. I take it as a compliment, though. They must like me. I like them, too, and if it wouldn't cause assumptions to be made, would be happy to visit them. It was just funny and a little awkward at the time because it took me by surprise.

2. Adam's mom: "Buy a diamond!" When Adam and I were leaving to go to the mall, his mom shouted this from the dining room. Neither Adam or I heard her say it, but Diana told us about it later. Again, I take it as a compliment. When a mom likes you enough that she wants her son to marry you, that's probably one of the highest compliments you can get. Still funny, though.

3. Diana: "You better watch out, Julie, I think Daniel likes you." Daniel, if you recall from above, is Adam's nephew. His 28-year old nephew, in case you were thinking of some cute liittle 7-year old. This really took me by surprise. I'd only been in the guy's company for a few hours and had had no clues that he had taken a fancy to me. Her evidence was compelling, and funny, so maybe he did develop a little crush. Again, I'm flattered if it's true but am not interested.

4. Me: "I'll take it!" At the antique store, I stumbled across an old (though not antique) secretary hutch. The tag's price was too good to be true, so I assumed it was just for the hutch and not the drawers upon which it sat. I asked Adam if he thought I'd be able to fit both pieces in my car, and he said he thought I'd be able to. I asked the owner about the price, just to be sure, and was told it was for both pieces. Without a moment's hesitation, I said I'd buy it. I bought it, Adam's brother-in-law came in their surburban to take it to their house, then we had lots of fun figuring out how it would fit in my car. It didn't. Not really. With Joe's help, though, on Sunday we rigged it so that I was able to make it home with both pieces intact. Thanks Joe! Now they rest at my mom's house awaiting my brothers return to town this weekend. Then they (my brothers) will pack them up to my 3rd floor condo. My brothers don't know this plan yet, so please don't tell them. Maybe they'd decide not to come down afterall. *smile*

5. Addie: "Can you stay another night?" Adam found out that he didn't have to work today (Monday), so Addie asked if I'd stay longer. I really liked Addie. I liked all the kids, but I liked her the most, so I was touched that she wanted me to stay longer, even though it would've meant giving up her bed another night. It's fun to be liked.

6. Daniel: "I should probably stay here tonight in case Julie and Adam want to go back to our apartment." He said this to Diana. Again, Adam and I didn't hear it, Diana told us later. Don't ask me why he thought I'd go back to their apartment that night (Daniel and Adam share an apartment, in case you're a little slow on the uptake) or what he thought we'd be doing there. It's funny because I'm beginning to think Adam hasn't done good things with my reputation amongst his family. Four years ago, a distant relative of his came up to me at one of Adam's niece's wedding (again, don't picture a 7-year old) and asked if I was still living with Adam. Now this! I either scream "hussy" or he's not painting a flattering picture of me. *smile*

It really was an enjoyable weekend. The best part was getting to hang out with Adam. We do better as friends than we ever did as more-than-friends. In fact, he's become one of my best friends. He knows me better than most, accepts me with all my flaws, and can read me almost as well as my own family. I really love him like a brother-friend.

Thanks, Adam, for inviting me for a visit and for making it such a fun trip!

Friday, June 12, 2009

My Garden

My brothers sometimes tell of the year one of them gave me a cactus for Christmas because all the other plants I'd ever tended had died. Surely, I couldn't kill a cactus.

I did.

Years ago, I had a roommate with a green thumb who decorated our tiny apartment with plants and flowers. She went on a one-week vacation to Hawaii, leaving me with detailed instructions on how to care for the plants and flowers - exactly how much water to give and how often, even singing suggestions!

By the end of the week, they were brown and wilting even though I followed her instructions to a tee.

A couple years ago, my boss's wife brought a plant to the office as an apology for a fight they had. My coworker and I knew we'd be the ones caring for the plant and neither of us were happy about it. She's about as good with plants as myself. So, we neglected it. For months. It sat on the lobby bookshelf becoming progressively uglier and uglier until it was a brown, wilted stalk with shriveled up leaves.

Then someone (probably my boss's wife) put it in my office. My office is in the kitchen (let's just leave it at that) and has a sink, so maybe she had watered the plant and forgot to put it back on the bookshelf. No matter the reason, the plant was in my office and there it stayed. For weeks I tried to ignore it, but I can't just sit there and watch a living thing slowly die, so I started putting a bit of water in it before leaving. Just an evening here, an evening there.

It started to get green. Little shoots started pushing up through the dirt. I knew it needed sunlight, but I worried that if I moved it back to the lobby, I'd neglect it again, so I left it in my office awhile longer. As it got bigger and greener and prettier, I started to feel a sense of pride at having resuscitated it. I finally felt comfortable moving it to the lobby and from there, getting daily doses of sunlight, the plant has really flourished. Even my coworker has gotten into keeping it healthy and will water it when I'm out of the office.

This last experience gave me a little confidence and I finally decided to do something I've wanted to do for a long time. I created a garden!

Even as a kid I didn't garden. My allergies were so bad growing up that time spent outdoors was filled with sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and lots of complaining. So, while the rest of my family tended the garden, I cleaned the house. Hence, I have no knowledge of gardening.

My sister-in-law went with me to the local plant nursery because I didn't feel confident enough to pick out my own plants. I knew what I wanted, but wasn't sure how to get what I wanted. One thing I knew; I didn't want to grow anything from seeds - I wanted baby plants.

The next evening, I gathered all my supplies on to my beloved patio; plants, pots (one I've had for years thanks to my stepmother who gave me a pot of flowers one year - they died in a couple months and the pot has stood barren ever since), potting soil, Miracle Grow, watering can, scissors, and a spoon (for digging - it was the best I could come up with). I loved the feel of dirt beneath my nails (though afterward I scrubbed them spotless), the smell of earth, the flow of water from my watering can onto the freshly planted plants, and the well-being that came with doing something so...refreshing.

In the big pot, I planted one cherry tomato, one grape tomato, and one yellow sweet pepper. The middle pot contains cilantro (yummy!) and to its right are chives. I would have liked to plant more herbs, maybe parsley, rosemary, and dill, but they didn't have those herbs when we went. Maybe it's better to start off small anyway. I can always get more plants!

Now my beloved patio is even more special, a true bit of heaven-on-earth. I can't wait to start eating tomatoes and peppers from my garden and using fresh herbs picked right from my porch!

Sigh. Life is good.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Did You Know - Part III

... My first boyfriend's name was Jose?
* we "dated" in 1st grade.

...I'm currently reading 4 books?
* Lisey's Story by Stephen King
* The Appeal by John Grisham
* Flashback by Nevada Barr
* Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey

...I think beards can be sexy?
* not the bushy ones, though.

...I'm addicted to the soundtrack of Notre Dame de Paris?
* thanks, Adam

...My current celebrity crush is Charles Kelley?
* singer for Lady Antebellum
* he has a wicked sexy beard
* ok, both guys in the band have beards, but I like him more

...Before him, my celebrity crush was Simon Baker?
* the Mentalist, CBS
* however, doesn't look good with a beard

...Little sleep + no food + heat/broken air conditioner = grumpy Julie?
* this sums up my latest work trip to Lake Powell

...My phone is pink?
* nothing more to add

...I like to go to movies by myself?
* Angels and Demons, June 6th

...Green is my current "it" color?
* it was red

...I talk too much sometimes?
* many of you know this first-hand

...I avoid touching public bathroom door handles like the plague?
* they give me the heebie geebies

...Last night I forgot to eat dinner?
* no wonder I had such strong snack cravings last night!

...I once lost my balance and fell on my bum while watching someone toss a coin?
* cjane, Montreal, 1999

...I pretend heights don't bother me?
* really, I have the urge to jump
* that bothers me

...I walk 4 miles a day?
* sometimes more, if I get in two walks

...I overuse the thumbs up sign?
* woohoo! *thumbs up*

...I once burned my tongue on a fork?
* my brother said I had a forked tongue
* thumbs up*

..."Want" is my least favorite word to sign?
* feels awkward

..."Like" is my favorite?
* it's fun, you should try it

...I'm thinking about getting back together with one of my exes?
* can you guess which one?

...This is the first "Did You Know" that contains no lies?
* thumbs up*

You can find Did You Know Part I here and Part II here.