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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Couldn't-Be-Easier GF Truffles

Melt together:
Half a jar of peanut butter
A bag of chocolate chips

Stir in a container of whipped cream.
Let it set in the fridge for three hours.

Scoop out of the mixture with a melon ball thing.
Roll the balls in powdered sugar and place on wax paper.

Stick the tray back in the fridge.

That's all, folks!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Restaurant in Denver!

Tokyo Joe's is a fast, healthy restaurant with a neat envirornment and very knowledgable, friendly service. The food is fine; not for those who like Americanized Chinese, as it is very lean and green. Menu includes "make your own bowl" with rice, meat and veggie choices, lettuce wraps and various other usual Chinese fare.

It is also VERY gluten-free friendly; they offer GF soy sauce AND teriaki sauce and even offered to cook my tofu separately to keep it wheat-free.

I can't TELL you how exciting it is to get to eat a sauce on something when going out to eat! YAY!

Identification, Please

Cami and Tasha dropped me off at the airport on Friday morning reaaa--aaaally early. I rather worriedly handed them the keys to Bertha ("Road trip! road trip!" Tasha was singing under her breath as she offered a guileless smile and "Have fun!") and made my way into the deserted airport.

Seriously, I was pretty much THE ONLY PERSON THERE. I weaved my way through the security tape feeling pretty stupid because there was NO ONE in line. I considered the technique Shrek employed when walking up to Prince Farquad's castle (through the tape, instead of around)--but the security guard was already giving me the evil eye.

I offered him my best smile and toss of the blond curls as I handed him my ticket and driver's license. He was not amused.

"Is your name Diondra or Dia?"
"Ohhh, Dia is my nickname!" I giggled back.

"Well, your ticket here says Dia Darcey on it, so you're going to have to produce some ID that HAS that name on it, or I can't let you on the flight."
"Uh....huh?" I tried the hair toss again.
He was stone. "Not gonna cut it, honey."

Dang, I gotta think fast! None of my IDs have DIA on them; it's practically a made up name!! However, Mrs. Sabey, the generous purchaser of my ticket, had unknowingly put my pseudonym down in my flight information, so now I was stuck.

"Well, handsome, let me see what I have here," I said with a slow wink as I opened my purse and stared into it in a blind panic.

My mind was working furiously and, as it tends to do in emergency situations, completely nonsensically: Maybe I could hit him over the head with the purse and make a break for it! No, a better plan would be to loudly require my legal counsel. Or try to convince him I don't speak English--Ooo, wait, that I'm a long lost LOVER who doesn't speak English! OK, um, fake a heart attack! Warn of an impending stampede!

Just when I was on the brink of a breakthrough ("I know! Confuse him with a tap dance routine!") my eye fell upon salvation: my BYU ID!! Goodness knows why I decided to bring it to Colorado or why I put my name on it as DIA in the first place, but praise be! There it was, and I pulled it out with a screech of pure victory, "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!"

The security guard dropped his keys.

"Ooops, sorry," I practically yelled, still exulting, "but I FOUND ONE!" I slapped it on his security stand with all the triumph I could muster.

He looked it over carefully.
And his steely eyes shifted back up to mine.

"I need another one."

My jaw hit the floor; no, no. Surely not. ANOTHER ONE?!

I tried one last act of diplomacy and laughed gently, "Wait, seriously. You need another ID BESIDES this one-- this one, which says my name on it AND has a matching picture?" I formed a contented smile onto my face and attempted to breath normally.

"...Yup, if the names are different, I have to confirm with two IDs, not just one."

That's it. I was DONE with the "pretty, naive, possibly-Scandinavian traveling girl" charade.

This was war.

We faced each other, still the only two souls in the whole airport atrium.
A tumbleweed blew past and I swear I could hear a faint echo of the theme from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" from some forgotten airport speaker.
I stared into his dark, emotionless eyes and felt for the comforting, cold metal of my wallet (my wallet really is metal, you guys).

His eyebrow twitched.

I drew, faster than the eye can follow, and twitched my wallet open with a thumb. I scanned the names on my cards as they flew by like the jet plane I should've been on: Oklahoma Central Credit Union: Diondra Elizabeth Darcey--Healthcare: Diondra E Darcey--Insurance: Darcey, Diondra--Random Walmart giftcard--Summit County Library: scrawled signature--Red Cross: Diondra E Darcey------wait.
Miss Dia Darcey.

I read it, then read it again, "Miss Dia Darcey... MISS DIA DARCEY?!?!"

VICTORY! I threw the card--the blessed card which had saved me many times before in moments of transportation terror--onto the vanquished security guard's crumpled form and pumped my arms in the air with a howl of animal abandon:

"THANK YOU, TRIPLE A!"

I did have one parting word for my defeated foe, which I offered as I picked up my duffel bag and tossed my hair back over my shoulders, "In this world, there are two types of people, my friend..." I continued Clint's timeless quote as I stepped forward onto the security platform and tossed my bags into the X-ray machine:

"Those with loaded guns, and those who dig."

Unfortunately, THOSE security people took me seriously ("GUN? WHERE?! CODE RED!!!")...



.

Monday, November 16, 2009

O'er the Land of Fat-Free?

Dia Darcey
Dr. Holland
Sociology 112
16 November 2009

Don't take this too seriously, kids; it was a quick opinion essay for a class.


The facts are clear: America is getting wider, and not from sea to shining sea. More Americans are overweight than ever before—a whopping two of three adults and almost one of three children. Overweight people are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and debilitating stress on joints and bones; the condition is definitely no walk in the park.

The obvious, looming question about obesity in America is why. Can we point the finger of blame at the school system for only providing sugary soft drinks and cheesy fried snacks for lunch? Can we malign the government for neglecting to inform us of health risks before it was too late? Or can we only hang our heads in shame, muttering that it must be a late offshoot of McManifest Destiny (now bigger than ever!) and we, like our great-great-great-grandparents, are just trying to increase America’s magnitude? Such a huge problem could never have stemmed from one origin, and it is ignorant to blame a single factor (like fast food) for these shocking statistics. Also, it is impossible to blame only the individual for their obesity because we are so affected by the society around us—and the occurrence of obesity is higher in African-American and Hispanic populations, which would imply that they have less self control than Caucasians or Asians. Several of the most basic causes of the rapid, recent increase in the occurrence of obesity in America are the breakdown of family structure and a general and increasing ignorance of nutrition and biology, exacerbated by a healthy capitalist economy.

The family structure provides innumerable benefits to individuals and society; many of these benefits relate to weight management. Close families spend time together playing—and it’s awfully hard to get an entire family onto a computer. Outside activities and play have decreased exponentially in the lives of children, perhaps because their parents simply don’t have time to encourage creative and active play. Eating together as a family reduces the calories which would be consumed by each member eating individually, especially if the meal is home-made and includes plenty of vegetables and fruits. Family relations also provide needed education to children about healthy eating habits.

The general ignorance of and apathy toward essential nutrition facts has worsened in recent years which has aided the media and food companies in making a couple bucks while everyone gets a little rounder. Even the calorie is not understood by five out of six roommates at Regency #309, and surely the statistics aren’t much better for the rest of America. The “big, bad” media and food companies cannot be blamed for making food cheaper and more attractive—that’s what the competition of capitalism encourages, usually providing us with excellent results—even if they use high fructose corn syrup and celebrity promos to do it. The problem results when these two circumstances combine and ignorant consumers cook Hamburger Helper for a “healthy” family meal or provide “low-cal” (but high everything else) soda for refreshment.

Whether the obesity problem busting America’s Bible Belt and clogging up the Continental Divide lays with society or the individual or, most likely, some combination of the two, it is ballooning to ridiculous proportions. As the occurrence of obesity has increased, the average life expectancy for an American citizen has turned begun to decrease. Only a return to the close relationships of the family and a revolution in nutritional education could even begin to contain this epidemic which is truly affecting everyone in the home of the broad.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Little Girl Dreaming

In morning musings, I’ve agency:
And when my mind runs wild
I can remind it,
Gently, Chiding,
And lead it as I would a child
To things at hand, back
To book or stove or
even prayer,
My hand is patient, waiting kindly,
but firm, as
My little-girl thoughts hang back;
She is rambunctious—as children should be—
But comes when I ask.

In afternoon and ev’n, too
I am mistress of my mind and
Would I were a harder mistress!
Sometimes the child skips outside
Without a hand to stop her—and I must take a run
With her round the yard, falling in a heap at the end in a tangle of limbs, laughing
Before returning
Brushing off smells of the cold and grass
To order, reason, older things.

But nighttime thoughts are hers
And she spends them outside: joyous liberty.
Why?! The now freed child
Can run, rampant, rollicking,
Without reproach
Or reminder
To focus on the task here, now.
And it is beautiful to watch her run.

I’m thankful she stays—well-train’ed dear—
Within the bounds of my picket fence
I’ve built so carefully
At the edges of even unconscious thought.
But I still wake, not shameful,
Exasperated!
For the child is far from satiated from her joyous night of rambling—
No, she wants to explore anew!
And I, woman, must choose to tug her gently
Back into the ordered house.
Though she is pleading and pretty and persuades
So invitingly.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sew Cute II












These aprons are pretty much the most adorable thing ever--and REVERSIBLE.
Mom and I made them this summer (because... we can't just have a normal vacation??).



We also made:
This . Took. Forever. There's actually still a lot of hand-stitching I have to finish on it...

-

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Alyssa and Dia's Totally Random, Entirely Exhausting and In All Ways Awesome Saturday




































------------------------------------------------------------

Alyssa and Dia's
Totally Random, Entirely Exhausting and In All Ways Awesome
Saturday

The day began with the by-some-dreaded and by-one-(Dia)-adored cleaning checks.
We scraped, mopped, wiped and pine-sol'd from six thirty am right until the fearful check--only to watch the manager open the door, walk to the back of the apartment, turn, open the fridge, and walk right back out the front door as she mumbled, "Looks good, you passed."
"WHAT?!" hollered Alyssa, hands chapped from hours of scrubbing within the unchecked dishwasher, freezer and cupboards.
"THAT'S SO DUMB!" agreed Ashley, who had spent at least thirty minutes sucking fumes in the ill-ventilated shower whilst cleaning.
"At least our apartment's clean!" chirped Dia happily. "I LOVE cleaning checks!"

After everyone finished beating on Dia, Alyssa and the aforementioned scapegoat got in the car and raced to Wal-mart. Unfortunately, aformentioned scapegoat forgot to bring in her cell phone (big surprise), and Alyssa was unable to reach and or find her when she was done shopping. While Alyssa contemplated asking a cashier to broadcast a message (again ...this HAS happened before), "Dia Darcey, please meet your mommy at the front of the store. Dia Darcey, please meet your mommy at the front," Dia was ogling over the prices of watches.
Although she did eventually find one that would work for timing runs (at least, would work better than Dia's previous method of timing runs: glancing at the oven clock before leaving and then trying to subtract minutes when she got back--which method often resulted in such exciting and ridiculous moments as, "Wow! I just ran a mile and a half in FOUR MINUTES! Wait... carry the two, subtract the three... I mean fourteen minutes.").


After Dia and Alyssa were finally reunited (and it feels so good), Dia dropped Alyssa off at home and drove to Hebrew choir, which is an odd enough experience when there are more than three singers. As the attendance was frighteningly low, Dia somehow was asked and subsequently (in a fit of insanity) agreed to sing a solo for the celebration of Yon Kippur the following day (in less than 30 hours) (in front of all the Hebrew students at BYU) (... in Hebrew).

V'al kulom eloha s'lihos
s'lah lonu m'hal lonu kaper lonu
O Lord of forgiveness, forgive us for all our sins.


At this point, Alyssa was back home, in shock herself--she'd received two MORE letters from missionaries, which made FOUR in TWO DAYS. She was thus newly christened,
"The Distraction."

Meanwhile (back on the farm--I mean, back in the car), Dia was having distractions of her own. In the middle of exulting over the low prices of fruit at Buy Low ("Five BUCKS?! For half my body weight in MELON?! So aweso --" CRUNCH), she backed into another car. She parked and got out of the car already apologizing--for no need!
The cars (well, the OTHER car, at least) looked fine, but even crazier, the lady wasn't angry. Not only "not angry," but she was happy!!

"Oh, HI! Hey, it's no big deal, this happens just by accident all the time!! I didn't see you, and you didn't see me, and you know cars just pull out so quick you can't see, and this car's 12 years old now so as long as it passes inspection I don't even mind a few bumps and bruises! Let me tell you about the time I got THIS scratch on it when I backed up into my son's pickup truck..."

She actually offered the stunned collegiate blond a hug at the end of the conversation and left with a joyful benediction of "Go Cougars!"


Dia returned home, still "well"-shocked, and found Alyssa up to the wrists in a deep blue liquid. She was dying shirts for her soccer team--an honest and harmless enough endeavor, when not paired with two such devious, creative and thrifty young ladies!!
There was so much leftover dye...














we probably could've dyed the kitchen floor blue if we'd thought of it in time. As it was, we dyed (or tried to dye): fifteen shirts, a white bathroom rug, Dia's tennis shoes, Alyssa's hands, an extra towel, Jasmyn's failed tie-dye shirt, a couple locks of blond hair and pretty much anything else that would hold still. If we owned a Pomeranian...


After our dyeing adventures, we headed to the BYU football game (properly attired with stained hands and hair).


The heat was unendurable (but we... endured...?) but we doggedly clapped and cheered, rose and shouted our Cougars on until halftime. At exactly 5:45, we rose righteously from our bleacher bench to make our way to the Marriott Center, as the Relief Society Broadcast was showing at 6. Though we left a bit half-heartedly, we knew we were doing the right thing as Relief Society sisters and, as we left the stadium, refused the temptation of an re-entrance-stamp. "No," we cried, "We're going to go watch the Relief Society Broadcast! Do not try to shift us from the iron rod! We will be unshaken! Stalwart! Brave! We shall not falter! We cannot be moved! True to the truth! We will spend our Saturday night in the company of the Relief Society's appointed servants! We will--(cheering from the stadium)---GO COUGARS, C'MON! RUUUUN!"
Alright, so we were a little attached to Mammon that night. But really, who schedules football during the Relief Society Broadcast? Men. That's who.

Sexism stowed and back to the story.

Imagine our dismay, our horror when we finally reached the Marriott Center to find a notice:
"The Relief Society Broadcast will not be shown at the Marriott Center. It will be showing in the -----blah----blah---some-other-buildings---- and on KBYU at 8 pm this evening."

"IT'S GOING TO BE ON TV TONIGHT? WHY AREN'T WE AT THE FOOTBALL GAME?!"

Alyssa and I dashed back to the field of victory only to find that the foregone reentrance stamps were not just for show or school spirit--you actually needed one to get back into the game.

Our righteous intentions smashed into teeny bits, we held our heads high (ish) and screamed ourselves hoarse outside for a while (we had to make sure the players could still hear us!), then realized we were on the brink of thirst-ation (not one of my favorite realizations. "Oh, it's Saturday!" or "I already finished this homework!" or even "The milk's still good ...somehow!" are all WAY better) (why isn't there a word for "death by thirst"?).

We bought waters at Citgo and concluded that Dasani was probably the best thing on Earth (and when we say, "the best thing on Earth," we mean the best) and walked to a friend's house for dinner. He'd graciously offered to cook, but when we reached his dorm, we realized there was a problem.

What do you do if your gluten-free when the cook's in the middle of making spaghetti??
You exchange alternately horrified, at-a-loss and hilarious looks with your roommate every time the cook turns around, that's what you do. Looks that mean something like,
(silently) "SPAGHETTI? What are we going to do?"
(still silently) "I don't know! Doesn't he know?"
(very silently) "I'm sure he forgot! What do I DO?"
(you get the picture) "...This is HILARIOUS!"

THEN you try to find a way to artfully slip it into the conversation, such as, "Dang, I didn't come prepared for spaghetti. Do you think I have time to dash home and grab some of mine?"
I have to say, though, the embarrassment of the cook when he realized and the awkwardness of having to bring it up were totally worth the volume of hilarity Alyssa and I exchanged without an audible word.

After the spaghetti scare was solved and we enjoyed a five-part rendition of "Brown-Eyed Girl" accompanied by ukulele and African drum by roommates of said friend, Alyssa and I realized we needed to run home-- in the dark-- across campus-- without shoes in order to make it in time for the broadcast. Well, the "without shoes" part we just decided on because it would be more fun.

The results:

After the Relief Society Broadcast, we rested our tired toes in the lovely pool--then fell into bed, finally completing our wonderful, ridiculous, all-good very fun day.


.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sew Cute




We've been sewing like madwomen for days~ more results coming up!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Big, Fat, Brown Sugar Disasters

Brown Sugar Muffins:
Sounds good, doesn't it? Tuesday morning my cousin Cami and I woke up already salivating for these delectable morsels of sugar-rushing starch.
Cami took care of most of the not-flour part. Soda, butter, egg (catch that shell), vanilla, salt, milk and grimace at an entire cup of brown sugar. Then she handed me the bowl for my magical gluten-free replacement skills.
Yeah, sure.

I substituted about a half cup of tapioca starch, three fourths of a cup of sorghum flour, some corn starch, a tiny bit of potato flour and of course xanthum gum for the two cups of flour. Then I dumbly handed the bowl back to Cami to stir.

I said NOTHING about "make sure they're thick enough before you put them in," or "the consistency of GF muffins should be the same as gluten muffins." Oh, the pain that we could have avoided!

So Cami fills the muffin tins to the brim with too liquidy-muffin liquid, I turn on the oven, and she pops them in. They look great for a few minutes...



Until...

They bubbled up and over the sides, then (somehow?!) sank in the middle of each muffin. The result was a delicious but DENSE and GOOEY inch of brown-sugar mixture in each muffin tin and a burned crust on the top of the pan. We ate what we could,


then gave up and made eggs.

Oops. Oh well, we were about due for a disaster.



.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Betty Crocker Brownie Mix Possibilities



Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Berry Brownie Cream Cheese Deluxe Torte!

Best-Bet-Intructions:

Betty Crocker brownie mix
8 oz cream cheese
some eggs
some oil
some vanilla
some milk
some sugar
some chocolate chips
some raspberries
some nuts
some flexibility, courage and 3 AM giddiness

Make the brownie mix.
Beat an egg and mix it with sugar, milk, vanilla and the cream cheese.
Put those together in a 9 by 13 pan.
Add whatever else your little heart desires / your cousins throw in without your knowledge.
Cook it for about half an hour.



.

The BEST things in life!



Chicken Noodle Soup and PB&J --all GF!!




.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Chex Love

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BETTY CROCKER GLUTEN FREE?!?!



Ahhhhh! SO exciting: Betty Crocker cake/brownies/cookie mixes that are totally, completely GF!

GF girls beware: it is coming to the point when a GF cake made by an admirer is NOT a reason to marry him! It's becoming, dare I say it, EASY!
But still about 5 times more expensive than a normal cake mix, so maybe there IS still some significance within GF baked goods...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hem, Hem: A Literary Essay about, You Guessed It... FOOD

Forgotten Fruit


The falling fruits,
Through the still night, forsake the parent-bough,
That, in the first grey glances of the dawn,
Looks wild, and wonders at the wintry waste.
–James Thompson

It was on a recent ward temple trip that I realized that no species of food has lately been so much multiplied as the extent of pizza restaurants. Once again, the committee for the planning and accomplishment of activities forwent the possible intricacies and new delights of an extended taste pallet, instead choosing the always-safe marinara reds, limp greens and crusty browns of an always appreciated, never novel restaurant choice. Again, our limited perspective was reinforced by the mores of ease.

The college experience is an Eden of forgotten fruit. Sustenance, sleep, studying and socializing are the four necessities at college, but it is widely believed that the industrious scholar can only really focus on two or three of these objectives at a time. Nourishment’s nutrition and diversity are the first martyrs to the college cause—not only is it more time consuming to plan and create healthy meals, it’s also considered more expensive. As students count pennies and minutes, cheap chow and mindless meals are first endured, then pitied, then embraced.

Oft times, a student’s only contact with the sweet flesh of an earth-grown item is through the straw of a Jamba Juice cup. Even Emerson had a passing relationship with the vegetable, however odd (it nods to me, and I nod to them??). Though unexcited eaters are perhaps not aware of their denial of the body’s relationship with the intellect, the consequences are fixed: both mental and spiritual capacity to create and invent are crippled by a dull diet.

What good are the mental powers given man if our senses are degraded to the point at which we cannot tell Splenda from the healing dew of honey? Ease, price, the quickness of preparation—each specter with a pleasant face denies poor students the joys of taste and the rapture of real food. Months of Easy Ramen, burnt eggs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on store-bought bread do more than bore the body senseless; they stunt the common college student’s taste buds from a spring of growth to lifeless winter. Ah, smooth is the descent and easy the way to a damnation of taste’s progression!

What hope have we to awake slumbering students from their sleep of snacking sameness? What chance can we cherish to save students from their troubles of tide-me-over tedium? What actions must we take to alert and divert these wanderers from their paths of repetitive rations, minute-meals and green-less groceries?
Few who chew comfortably on their Hamburger Helper think what others undergo who have perhaps been as tenderly educated and have as acute sensations as themselves—but who are incapable of enjoying the same easy pleasures because of allergies, sensitivities or other disruptions of the digestive system. Could it be that these seemingly cursed consumers are blessed with the teachings of the school of experience—an institution which teaches by first exposing the student to everything they do not know?

A knowledge of good food must be bought dear by knowing ill baked goods. Only when we have experienced the absolute dark can we begin to recognize day again—and to appreciate the intricacies of light instead of stumbling around, blinded, in a bright haze of tasteless and empty foodstuffs. Desperation is the mother of all experimentation and nutritional expansion, for really, what well-fed fellow would ever look at a cow and decide to drink whatever came from …it?

For this reason, my tongue may envy the Ho-Ho thoughtlessly sucked down by some oblivious passerby, but my intellect is untouched. Though seemingly innocent Little Debby’s baked confections bestow delicious sugar rushes and delights to the purchasing student, the ease of acquisition cheapens the joy acquired from negotiations with this she-devil—and as Faustus warns, she shows herself to certainly be a hot ho (ho).

Ah, but we may well say that all the schools of cuisine are already catalogued carefully into numberless cookbooks and food magazines; nothing remains to be learned about the subject. So quothe the followers of Ptolemy and the priests before Martin Luther or Joseph Smith—the heavens are still open!

Menus are not dead. They live and change under the hands of those who would dare to experience their pages. Those who have much leisure to cook will always be enlarging the stock of recipes. Creativity surely has its costs: predictability, comfort, ease, even reason, logic, sanity and previous epistemologies—but the price is worth the product, and, more crucially, is much less than the cost of inaction.

Milton’s blossoming ambrosial fruit surely pales in comparison with my fresh banana pancakes—a product of invention, desperation, need, creativity, time and the willingness to laugh in the face of danger.

Repeated experiences may be the stuff that creates wisdom, but new experiences give new knowledge—which, when allowed to develop and evolve, becomes wisdom. Those who forget the pasta are condemned to reheat it. As a newly politically correct Cookie Monster rapped in the nineties, “Me promise that when you eat varied menu, you get more out of every meal— You need balanced diet, come on and try it, not believe how great you'll feel! Word up.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

Restaurant in Provo!

Los Hermanos has a DELECTABLE gluten-free menu!

Their rice and beans have wheat in them, but they'll make you different beans in a jiffy and hold the rice without blinking.

It's on Center Street in Provo. YUM.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bike Trails

Do you ever feel like life is maybe a little too cushy?

You've been slouching around in your pajamas all day... snacking on leftover cheese sticks and the remains at the bottom of potato chip bags... the basement is so dark, you think you're losing your eyesight... you can't find your left slipper... you've watched three hours of homestarrunner.com straight... your milk's gone bad...

What to do?!

BIKE TO THE GROCERY STORE! Duh.

I was feeling a little disgusted at my inactivity last Saturday. The weather was just perfect--cool, humid, windy and beautiful, and I stared out the window in self-disgusted disgust at myself (?).

"Jennnn!!" I whined, "What am I going to DO tonight? I feel so boring!"
"I don't know," Jenn replied patiently.

Ah hah! I had just brought my bike, Henry, down to Provo. PERFECT!

I decided to bike to Buy Low and purchase cheap and healthy produce--despite my lack of bike clothes, a map, previous biking-in-traffic experience, or even a helmet.
Whatever! It would be a great wake-me-up! I put on my shorts, grabbed my wallet, and ran outside... where it was now sprinkling.

No matter! I just grabbed my highlighter-yellow hoodie ("This will keep me safe from cars!" I hollered to Jenn, who tried to care) and headed back out!

"Bye, Jenn, I'm going to go have an adventure!"
"Ok, Dia..."

My bike seat was already wet, and the pedals were a little slippery. My running-on-stupidity brain didn't care--this will be fun! The rain started really, well, raining after about a block. I threw my hood on and kept on a-riding, as the internal dialogue (well... "internal" as in, I was talking to Henry) began in earnest.

"Ummm...
This way?
...
Sure! I'm pretty sure it's in this general direction; I'm sure I can get there just fine."

"Hey, Henry? Do you think the rain is getting harder?"

"And colder?"

I was passing the duck pond and the rain was now, at least by Utahn standards, "pouring."

It's an interesting feeling, really, the sting of rain droplets on your hands and face as your feet keep slipping off the pedals and your brakes start squeeling on wet tires.

"This is kind of fun!"

I'd made it about six blocks when my brain finally kicked in.

DIA. THIS IS STUPID.
"Henry, did you hear that?"

Unfortunately it took four more blocks before I started to listen.

DIA. THIS IS STUPID. GO HOME.

"....
Uhhh, Henry? I know you're excited and everything, but, I'm thinking we should maybe turn around. I don't have a helmet on. Annnddd... I don't know where we're going. Or... where we are. And it's really cold. And wet."

Henry complained, but we turned around and made it back to the house in record time. I drove the car to Buy Low like a sane person, and got back into the now-deserved sweats when I finally got home.

"Sometimes you just gotta live a little, Jenn," I reminded her, sipping hot cocoa and searching for my left slipper.

"Sure, Dia."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

That Kind of Mom



































































" Losing one's mother would be like losing the sun" --Life of Pi





"My tummy feels funny, Mom. I'm hungry,"
I declared to a too-busy mother from the comfort of the front passenger seat. Ian was still too little to sit here, in the regal, glorified throne of antiquity from which this majestic six-year old could command armies, direct trade routes, and roll the window ALL the way down.

However, the view from the heavens contrasted a little too sharply with the usual expanse of blue-ish polyester that usually met my eyes, and all the reveling over my kingdom made me feel… besieged. Mom could empathize, as she had two minutes to get two kids to two lessons and felt a little too frantic to listen to me.

She made time to grab Cheetos at Wal-Mart. When combined with the Spaghettios we had hurriedly eaten for lunch, the chester-cheetah-emblazoned treats were a history-making carte de jour. Such treasures were unheard of in a realm where sugared cereal was outlawed and decrees like “if it didn’t come from the garden, it better be toilet paper” dealt almighty justice. The “if it rhymes with no, then guess what? NO” edict absolutely banned such treats from our menu, but today mom was just too busy. Now this, I thought whilst sucking orange fingers atop my blue-polyester perch, is paradise.


The Cheetos were scarcely chomped, however, when the bourgeoisie of my stomach decided to revolt. “I don’t feel very good” escaped my lips right before the amber remains of my dear spaggecheetos. I stared at the mess dripping from the front dash and—typical of ruling elite—started bawling. “How am I going to clean this up?” the sore-tummied child wailed—for I knew that if you did nothing else in life, you cleaned up your own mess.

“That’s what Moms are for, sweetheart”.


A dozen years later, I’m all grown up. Now I sit in the driver’s seat, I find my own food, I clean up my own messes. I’m responsible for myself! I’m going to college, I can’t have MOM coddling and babying and feeding me from 2000 miles away!
And yet, at the end of senior year I found myself bawling on my bathroom floor with a doozy of a tummy ache. This is what you want, right Dia? Independence, I think to myself just a little tiny bit sarcastically. Woot.

Right on cue, Mommy’s knock and a tray of thermometers and love came to my bathroom door.

“This is what Moms are for.”

This story isn’t finished, because I still need her. Whether she’s around or not, her lesson will always stick with me. Mom’s are for loving even if you’re messy or smelly or ugly or alone. They’re for giving all they have, all the life they have to give and then watching it walk away, telling them that they can make it on their own now, thanks. They love all the same, that’s what moms are for.

So please don’t make fun when I tell you my plans after college. Sure, I’ve always wanted to be a princess and a firefighter and a surgeon and an architect. But when I’m finished pretending, I want to do the hardest thing of all.

I want to be that kind of mom.