Monday, August 31, 2009

squeaky clean.

Saturday I scrubbed my Chucks and bleached their laces. I used a green scrubber on the rubber toes and soles, and it worked like magic. I am rather satisfied with the results. They almost look new, which is saying something, since I purchased the black ones just before my sophomore year of high school.


I convinced A to wear a helmet today when he rode his little electric scooter to work today. He was hesitant, but I told him I would be very sad if he died on our anniversary. He says the Jr. High kids taunted him as he rode by. I think he looked slick, but I am a huge fan of helmets.

fruits of my labor.

Well, fruits of my labor plus the labor of A and my Mom.

Don't you just love the jar toppers my mom illustrated? I know I do.

These are the frankenstomatoes in bottles. I love the red streaks.

here's to us.

It is our second anniversary today. Year two of marriage has been good to us. A has had a new job opportunity that he loves, and I've changed jobs and completed another year of school. We've traveled to Las Vegas, Seattle, Merced, San Francisco, Carmel, had a weekend in Park City, and gone backpacking. We've lost a combined 40 lbs. approximately, planted a big garden (again) and even purchased a new car. We've seen happy and sad things in our families: new babies, a marriage, a temple sealing, moves out of town, and the loss of a four-legged family member. We've played a lot, cooked a lot, laughed a lot, saved a lot, dreamed a lot, worked a lot, and loved a lot. It has been a great year, even a great two years. I love you, A.P., you're the greatest. Here's to year three.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I picked tomatoes last night and tonight. I seriously don't know what to do with all this produce! Well, not really. We eat some everyday, I've been canning, and plan on blanching, skinning, chopping, and freezing some for winter use.

Anyway, please, please, please call/text/comment/email me if you want some, or just show up! If not, frankenstomatoes just might show up on your doorstep. Or in the trunk of your car.

This one looks like it is smiling, or maybe some scary face with a big nose.

I have a lot of tomatoes.

These are just a few that I thought looked crazy.

Teachers Pet Cardi, Simple Tee and Poppy Skirt

Teachers Pet Cardi, Simple Tee and Poppy Skirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

practice what you preach

As a planning student, and general trying-to-make-the-world-a-better-place person, I'm a big advocate for driving less and walking/biking/public transiting more. For the past two school years, I've driven my car 3 minutes to the train station (which is on my street) and ridden the train to school and sometimes work. Starting this week, I've finally taken the plunge, and am trying to use my car as little as possible. Part of it is the trying-to-make-the-world-a-better-place part of me, the other part is the gas-is-really-expensive part.

Monday I rode my bike, as I posted about earlier. When I got home, my leg was greasy and my shirt was sticking to my back. The next morning my arms, neck and shoulders were sore and tired from trying to hold onto my bike and not fall over on the train. It was not so pleasant, but the riding part was great.

Yesterday and today, I walked. Walking to the station isn't so bad. It is usually morning, and very cool. The way home is another story. It is usually hot, and I feel sticky and yucky and uncomfortable. It is going to be hard to stay motivated to keep this goal up. I may have to start taking the bus that stops in front of my house and goes to the station.

Monday, August 24, 2009

school is in.

Here are some events from my first day of the semester:

I was late. Feeling anxious about waiting for the direct train from Sandy to the U, I got on a regular Salt Lake train, which came at 7:07 instead of 7:15. I had ridden my bike to trax, with a pannier strapped on holding all my stuff. This made the back significantly heavier than I'm used to. My leg got all greasy, but luckily I'd rolled up my pant leg.

In my second class, we talked about our Germany trip, and I got very excited. I was proclaimed the designated driver of the class, even though we won't be driving in Germany, since even though I can legally drink in Germany, I may be the only person on the trip that won't be. Also, we leave on the first day of Oktoberfest. I'm not sure if this is good or too bad.

After class I sat outside and ate my lunch. Someone came to sit by my with a big fat cigarette, so I left.

In the library, I ran into someone I knew from high school. It was potentially awkward, but turned out okay.

I then tried to read, but ended up taking a nap until two guys came and sat by me. They thought I was a freshman. They were sophomores. I laughed, since I'm older than both of them, married, and thought they looked like freshmen. They talked with me until they had to go to class, I think they were late. That was a little more than an hour ago, and I still have an hour and a half till my next class, a total of a 6 1/2 hour break. Later on this will be time to work on homework, for now it is time to be bored.

There are a lot of freshmen. You can tell who they are because they are highly overdressed, some even in high heels and miniskirts. That won't last too much longer. They also walk with their noses glued to their schedules.

Riding my bike today at school was frustrating. They have painted lines on half the sidewalks on campus indicating bike lanes, but everyone ignores them. I usually try to stay off them, but now that I've been the person on the bike, I am going to try a lot harder. It is especially frustrating because everyone is staring at their phones texting, or talking on their phones, plus they all have headphones on, so they can't even hear bicycles coming. Most also do not walk in a straight line. I had a few close calls, but luckily no one was hurt.

A word to all those walking on campus: stay off the bike paths please! When your path crosses one, look both ways for bikes, it is much easier for you to stop than it is for them. Just be aware that you are not the only person out there.

Friday, August 21, 2009

and all that jazz.

Lately I've been having some regrets.

Two years ago, I auditioned for a vocal jazz ensemble at the U, directed by the amazing Kelly Eisenhower. I made it in, but unfortunately had a critical class that overlapped the rehearsal time, and so after one rehearsal I had to drop out.

Through that audition, I was put in contact with the talented and (in)famous Lloyd Miller. "Doc Miller," as he liked to be called, was eccentric, but offering a great opportunity for me to sing with him in various jazz combos. I tried it out, learning some new songs, and performed at a 50 year high school reunion, an afternoon set at Wild Oats (for FREE), and finally at a New Years Eve gig at a swanky restaurant in Park City. Unfortunately, I had a bad experience at the last performance, and after he called me a few more times asking me to work for free, saying he couldn't otherwise afford a singer, I just stopped answering his calls. I know I couldn't (and can't) expect much, being a fairly inexperienced performer, but I felt like he treated me badly, at least worse than he should have.

Anyway, beyond singing in church I haven't really done much vocally since then. It makes me sad, since music and performing used to be such a big part of my life. I was in one choir or another for something like nine years until I started college.

Since I've been regretting letting that opportunity go, despite my feelings of being mistreated, I thought maybe this year I'd try out for the jazz ensemble again, since my schedule would permit it. I got online, and couldn't find it anywhere. The only thing I can figure is that Kelly Eisenhower is no longer at the U, but only doing the Jazz Ensemble at BYU. This is the first and only time I wish I went there, just so I could be in her group. (*Insert long sigh here.*)

I guess I'll just have to figure something else out. If anyone knows a jazz combo in need of a singer, or of any other opportunities, I would love to hear about them.

friday I'm in love.

Today's events so far:

8:00 a.m.
Picked onions from the garden, 12 of them. Headed to the Murray Farmer's Market with Mom. Purchased: jalapenos, Anaheim peppers, banana peppers, green bell peppers, peaches, dried cherries, plums, raspberries, pears, and two loaves of Volker's bread, multigrain and orange cranberry.

9:00 a.m.
Started grinding onions and peppers, blanching, skinning, chopping tomatoes, and making salsa in general.

10:00 a.m.
While waiting for salsa to cook, began making pie crust. The lard was rancid. Yuck. We used something else instead.

11:00 a.m.
Filled jars with salsa, it was spicy and delicious. Rolled out pie crusts, made 14 little individual pie shells with ruffled edges.

12:00 p.m.
Finished canning salsa, baked pie shells.

12:30 p.m.
Made three sandwiches on cranberry orange bread. Inside was turkey, basil, laughing cow light cheese, and yellow tomato. Enjoyed lunch with my mom and brother.

1:30 p.m.
Trekked to County Clerk's office, applied for passport. Didn't want to pay extra $65 to expedite, prayed it would come in (at most) five weeks. Germany trip is in just less than six.

Pictures of today's adventures to come, and maybe some recipes too.

Tomorrow? Hair cut, lunch with a friend, and a party that involves pie and lots of good company. It's the last weekend of real summer for me, and so far it's looking pretty good.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

book list

This isn't going to be one of those "books I want to read before such and such a time," but rather a list of the books for school this Fall, which starts in less than one week. So far I only know what books I need for two courses, and here they are:

Digital Art, by Christiane Paul

Candide and Related Texts, by Voltaire

Discourse on Method and Meditation on First Philosophy, by Rene Descartes

A Doll's House, by Henrik Ibsen

The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, by James D. Watson

Life of Galileo, by Bertolt Brecht

The Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin

The Portable Enlightenment Reader, by Isaac Kramnick

Science and Human Values, by Jacob Bronowski

The first book is for one class, a computer design class I'm taking through the Fine Arts Department, and the rest I've listed are for one class, Intellectual Traditions of the West, my last general course that is required for the Honors College. I'm sort of excited for the ITW class, and my goal is to keep up with the reading, something I've never been very good at.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Julie & Julia

Last night I was on my own while A was camping overnight with the scouts. I went to my work party (way out in Syracuse, it was too far) and then to hang out with my parents.

We went to the movies, and saw Julie & Julia. I remember seeing Julia Child cooking on public TV as a kid. I thought, "who is that tall lady with the goofy voice?" I had no idea.

The short of it is, I loved the movie. The fact that I adore Meryl Streep and Amy Adams helped, but the two stories were charming, funny, and just lovely. Now I'll highlight my favorite parts of the movie, so if you don't want anything spoiled, stop reading now.

-I loved the big paper hearts pinned on the lapels of everyone at Julia's dinner party.
-I loved that Julia wore pearls the whole time, even with teeshirts and holey jeans.
-I loved the dynamic between Julia and her sister. They were like two jolly cackling hens, and rather delightful.
-I loved Paris and the market scenes. It made me want to live there.
-I loved some of Julie's outfits, especially the gauzy pink blouse with the pleated skirt and flats, and the navy pencil skirt with the skinny belt and tucked in fitted button-down shirt.
-I loved the two love stories of Julie and Julia, but especially Julia. She and her husband seemed so in love and were adorable.
-I cried a little when Julia hears her sister is pregnant.
-I loved when Julia chops all those onions to practice for school.
-I could go on and on saying all the things I loved, really I just loved the whole thing.

So there you have it. I highly recommend the movie, and my dad seemed to enjoy it quite a bit too, so don't be hesitant to drag the man in your life to see it with you.

Immediately after seeing the movie, I wanted to get Julia's first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and wanted to wear pearls more. I sort of feel like I'm jumping on the bandwagon, but I think if I had known how wonderful Julia was before this movie, I would have gotten into it sooner.

Ironically, this morning while doing laundry I caught a tribute to Julia Child on public television. She did an entire show on omelets, which was enormously helpful, because every time I try to make an omelet, it turns into scrambled eggs. The trick? Large amounts of butter, and fancy pan techniques to "coagulate" the egg and make that perfect omelet. I have much to learn, and am newly inspired. Thank you, Julia, and Bon Apetit.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

chelsea inspires me. find her here.

goals running through my head...

get a 4.0 gpa. I got a 4.0 last fall semester, and almost made it this spring. I had one A- in my hardest (and one of my favorite) classes.

be fit. i've fallen off the exercise/weight loss wagon. i'm still close to 10 lbs lighter than i was several months ago, but now that i am, another 10 lbs doesn't seem that far away. i can do it.

keep clean. my house is pretty clean right now. not spotless, but pretty clean. i want to keep it that way.

cook. we have a huge garden, and have been doing pretty well eating from it and cooking at home. i hope to keep it up.

grow out. this is a silly goal. i'm trying to grow my hair out. it's just above my shoulders. silly, but a goal nonetheless.

build. we're trying to get things going to build a house in A's parents' backyard. it is really overwhelming, even just knowing where to start. we need city approval, we need to design the outside of the house and the floorplan, and then i have to somehow figure out what i want the inside to be like. on hard thing will be not having the money to do everything on the inside right away, like new furniture and such. here are the blogs i've been looking to for inspiration:

modern in mn
green house vt
design sponge

direct. i am the new ward choir director, and have been informed that the choir is supposed to perform once a month. that is scary to me! i am going to try my best, which is going to involve some time commitment.

live. i want to live a good life. i want to recycle more, ride my bike more, relax more, read more, garden more, save more, be more. here's to trying.

(maybe i should capitalize more.)

Monday, August 10, 2009


Just in case any of you were gripping your mouses and keyboards with the suspense, I did get a plan ticket to Germany! Today I made the $200 deposit as well, so it is a done deal. Here's a brief description of the trip:

...Join us for what promises to be an exhilarating look at the ways our emerging understanding of urban ecology is informing policy, architecture, mobility, social systems and planning. We'll be travelling to Berlin, then to the Bauhaus in Dessau where we'll work on a collaborative project with students at the Dessau Institute of Architecture (DIA), then head south to Freiburg to see green urbanism at work before heading to Munich and home again.

Sounds pretty great, huh? We're staying in hostels, except when in Dessau we'll be in the Bauhaus guest house (guest haus? Haha). I've been trying to learn some phrases in German, but my years of Spanish are messing me up, so I may have to get a CD from the library to teach me pronunciation. Anyway, I am very excited for this trip, and for school to start in just two short weeks. For now, Auf Wiedersehen!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

check it out...

Today at daisy.doo.da I posted some ideas for how to wear doo.das. Check it out! There is a slideshow with pictures of 15 different ways to wear daisy.doo.das.

While you're there, become a follower! I'm thinking about doing a giveaway, something like, once there are 100 followers, I'll do a drawing of some sort.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I follow blogs. Some of them belong to people I know, some do not. Often I read something I like and start to comment on the post, but after typing a few lines, delete the comment completely. I get a little shy. What if this person doesn't know I read their blog? What if they don't think what I have to say is witty, interesting, or funny?

Sometimes I wish I could do this in real life. It would be convenient if something didn't come out quite the way I wanted, I could just hit backspace and delete it. That would be nice.


It has come to my attention that a few people with links to this blog have misspelled my name. Now, my maiden name is Nelson, and my married name is Nielsen. I before E, and sEn, not sOn. If any of you are linked up to me, please double check that please. (See? this was the day we became the Nielsens. Not Nielsons, not Neilsens, not Neilsons. the Nielsens.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

crazy day.

Today at work, I turned down donuts and pizza. My willpower is stronger than I expected. I sort of wish I had given in.

Today at work I was happy to find out they would like me to stay on after school starts. This is a huge relief. There may even be a raise in there somewhere.

Details for a fall trip to Germany are surfacing. I may be getting an airline ticket today! This is all happening so fast I almost don't believe it. I am unbelievably excited.

We have watched all of the Harry Potter movies out on dvd in the past week. I find myself humming Harry Potter all the time now, and sort of wish there were more to watch.

I was released from primary (as the chorister) two weeks ago, and finished out my calling on Sunday. I received a new calling, as the ward chorister. I'm sad to leave primary, and intimidated by my new calling. Luckily I have family that will be great help, and I may just ask my grandpa to teach me how to lead a group correctly.

That is all.
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