Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trying New Things!

Well, since as of late I am all about adventures and exploring new facets of life, I figured I would share two stories from the week that expose me more than I should probably share. However, thinking back on them, I just can't help but smile.

The inability to appreciate art. I have been exploring every Saturday so that I can see as much of DC as possible in my short stay here. It is amazing what I have already done in the short four weeks I have been here. I have seen most the of the memorials, Mt Vernon, all the "important" buildings like the capitol and white house, multiple museums of the Smithsonian, the botanical gardens (indoor of course), the zoo, and a few more things. Until yesterday, I had yet to enter any of the numerous art museums in the area. I had just convinced myself that I was saving them because of my appreciation for their beauty and culture. However, deep down I knew I was just putting it off until the other sites to see where few in number or I had limited time to be there. I figured since I am merely an appreciator and not an expert in art that it would be a pleasant stroll through the museum. And it was...for the first floor, which is really just a half a floor. However, as I reached the second floor, which is where most of the art was displayed, all the pictures started to look the same. There are only so many displays of the crucifixion, the virgin Mary, and the naked body that I could handle. Eventually, I resorted to simply sticking my head in each room just to say that I had seen them. I may have done more but art galleries and I seem to be incompatible. About half of the security staff at one point or another approached me to tell me that I was breaking one rule or another. If you ever want to know what is or isn't allowed in an art gallery, just ask me. But, I can now say I have seen one of the art galleries, and I will probably visit the rest just for the sake of saying I did. Maybe one of these trips it will click that my life long calling is to be a potter. I wouldn't mind except that since my art skills are lacking, I wouldn't be very successful. But then again, they may name me the next Picasso because my art is so different that it is genius. :-) But who am I kidding? Really, the one thing I did "take home" from yesterday's 1.5 hour peruse of the National Gallery of Art was that my favorite forms of art are either sculptures or nature scenes. Both were beautiful to me.

The deep rooted desire to save every penny I possibly can. As of late, I have set a new goal to pick up every penny I find. Half the time I probably look crazy to passers by who watch me quickly walking down the road, coming to a sudden halt, picking up some random object off the ground, and then continuing on with my brisk walking. It has proved to be quite handy. I have used all of those pennies, except for one. But this isn't really what I wanted to write about. On Friday, we had the sister missionaries over for dinner at 6. I got on the metro about 4:45 which gave me plenty of time to stop by cotsco for some of the dinner we were going to make and get home. However, I couldn't resist getting off one stop early to pick up a small Bath and Body Works lotion that was on sale for $1. On my way to the store, in the mall, I passed by one of the booths where the sales people stand in the middle of the walkway with a sample of something and eager to draw anyone in to make a sale. You know the kind! Well, this happened to be one of those stations where they were selling these great organic salt exfoliating hand, face, and body washes. I caught the girl's eye and could tell that she was sure I was her sell for the day. I had hardly time to speak before I was pulled over in order for her to demo to show me how great her product was. She introduced herself as "Debby from Brazil" and started. Knowing that I was not going to buy anything, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of my exfoliating hand wash that made my skin SUPER SOFT. Debby was sure she had me after that but was surprised when I told her that "I LOVE this!!!... but I am not going to buy anything today." At this the gloves were removed and the real battle began. She then showed me the lotion and body wash. She asked if I knew how many weeks there were in a year, to which I proudly replied, "52!"Her rebuttal, "this container has 60 you see, more than a year." Did I mention her thick Brazilian accent? It just added to the splendor. Well, seeing that I still wasn't convinced, she asked if I had a boyfriend and explained how wonderful this all would be for him. Then she asked about the condition of my feet, and explained how those can even be soft. After that was the reduction of prices. She was going to give me the originally priced 45$ container of salt for 20$, after I had refused the 30$ and half price offer, plus give me some of the lotion for free. After I still didn't budge, she looked carefully at my face, whipped out the strangest machine which had some sort of camera on it, and stuck it to multiple areas on my face pointing out EVERY blemish that I had. (Side note: this is not a way to make friends) Even after all of this, which I was still enjoying to the utmost degree, she did not have a sell. I told her that she was wonderful, I loved the product, but she had picked the wrong girl as far as impulse buying goes....and that I was a poor college student. I did say I would think about it though, and if I decided it was something I really did want (which I do), that I would come back. She said, "Okay, I give you a card...when you come back, I will give you same deal. But you come to me and can't tell anybody else. I make you my customer!" I just smiled and said I would and almost got away but she had one more trick up her sleeve. She pulled the pity strategy and said that since she had spent so much time with me and demonstrated so many things, that I at least needed to take home some soap for $9.99 (orignally priced $29.99). I just smiled once more and said sorry and RAN!!! I quickly picked up my $1 lotion from Bath and Body Works (my favorite store in any mall), stopped by Costco to pick up the food, and got home just as the sisters were walking into our building. So, while time consuming, I definitely count that worth it. I just might have to stop by that little station again when someone else is working, just to get another free demo that makes my hands super soft! :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Washington D.C. Rocks My World!

Wow, Washington D.C. is a wonderful place. There is a just a special feeling about all the places I have been to here so far. I think it is just all of the symbolism and everything this place represents. This week I started school am teaching at the wonderful Wilson High School. Prior to school starting and on the weekends, I have been exploring...I just thought I would post some evidence today!

This is the first memorial I saw, and so I had to take a picture. Turns out that it is someone I had never heard of, but he sure does look official, right?
I definitely recognized this one. I felt like I was in the movies as I stood next to Old Abe just because that is the only place I'd ever seen him before.
And here you have it...from Idaho to Virginia. Two very different places but I love both :-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A First For Our Family

The biggest news of the week was Grandpa Fager died. It is the first of my grandparents that I have had pass away. He has been suffering from dementia for a number of years and was finally able to let go. I saw him on Monday and he didn’t look so good. Grandma had called us and told us to come immediately. When we arrived Grandpa was scooting around in his wheelchair trying to get up and grandma was in tears. She said he had been extremely agitated all afternoon and both of them were extremely exhausted. She cried, almost in our arms, while dad calmed grandpa down. They were having issues getting assistance. Well help eventually came and the medicine put grandpa to sleep. That was the last time he was really awake. He passed away on Thursday about 3:30. He passed away in his sleep and had simply stopped breathing. Dad told us and then we just all sat in silence for a few seconds. Grandpa’s passing was a blessing and spiritual in a sense. It is nice knowing that he is finally at rest. The only worry now is Grandma. I know she was ready for him to go but that still does not make it easy. It is good to know that we have a foundation which helps us to stay steady in times of uncertainty.

May 10, 1917-December 30, 2010