Wednesday, December 20, 2006


A few weeks ago my roommate Ash had her horoscope read. Like the full deal, we're talking 13 pages of detailed information and personality descriptions. Despite our skeptical approach to it, the document proved to be more dead on than any of us were really comfortable admitting and even caused me to ask my mom what time I was born at in hopes of having my own done. I haven't, I've been too busy/lazy. One morning while Ash was giving her chart a more thorough perusal, she came across a link to a webpage that would tell her the name of her soulmate based on her zodiac information! This was the invite of the ages and before she knew what was good for her she was whizzing through series of questions and sign-ups in order to have her love's name texted to her. Sadly, her stars weren't quite lined up, because all they told her is that his eyes will be blue, green, or brown, he will be an aquarius, virgo, or scoripio, and his name will start with X, P, R, V, S, E, or T. Not too specific. She was crushed.
Fast forward to today, I'm in bed, procrastinating as usual, and I run across a quiz on my friends blog to tell you what kind of Christmas ornament you are. Yup. I'm avoiding my paper so much that I debase myself and go to the page. But, to my ecstatic surprise, there in bold letters, is a link stating GET THE NAME OF YOUR SOULMATE. I didn't need any prompting. It was easy. I just entered my sex, first name, zodiac sign and phone number. In less than a minute I got this text:
Your calculated match is Sean. Together, the two of you will be fruitful whether you are creating a family, a business, or an artistic enterprise.
So there you have it folks. I know who my soulmate is. Pretty lucky day I'd say. Merry Christmas early.

Monday, December 18, 2006

We must be living right. . .

Because we got all this GLORIOUS SNOW!!!!!! Isn't it perfect? I'm pretty much the happiest kid in the country. Late Friday night it started coming down, but to my surprise, and didn't quit till Sunday eveningish. I haven't had time yet to enjoy it in proper style (ie sledding or snowshoeing) but I've taken several walks and enjoyed feeling like I live in a snow globe.
Also, to add to the list of Christmas festivities, on Saturday night we threw a surprise party for my friend Jason (that's him by the deer), that was a birthday/ecosapian party. . .so everyone dressed up like a tree/wood nymph in shades of brown and green, and I made a cake festooned with leaves. We all hid in the darkend house, and gave him near heart attack. Then a friend dressed as Paul Bunyan the corporatesapian came in and tried to cut us all down, until the Lorax (played by Cheri with straw mustache) jumped out and stopped him. Then we all sang "the earth is our mother. . . we must take care of her" hippie chant till he converted his tree cutting ways. (Jason is pres. of the local eco-response club. . .hence the eco themed party). Needless to say he loved it. And then when the drum circle started, our upstairs neighbors pitched a fit so we took our party out into the winter wonderland where we sauntered up and down Center street, drumming, singing, dancing, and making snow angles and peace signs in the snow. The inner hippy had emerged in all of us to celebrate birthdays, snow, and Christmas is fine style!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Santa came early

Announcing a new member of my family. . . tah-dah!!!! La mia nuova biccicletta!!!! Isn't she a beaut!!! I ordered this fabuloso mode of transportation a few months ago, and it finally came today. I was so happy I didn't mind at all that it was raining as I rode her home in the dark. . . because not only does she have a compass and a scope. . . I mean rain/mud guards and a skirt guard, but also a front and back light! (and the front is powered by a little generator that runs off my turning wheel). So pretty much anyone who wants to take a bike ride anytime, I am so down. I think I'll call her Cletta (as in the last part of the italian biccicletta). So I'm pretty much head over heels in love, Merry Christmas kids. . . hurry and write Santa a letter, maybe if you've been good he'll bring you one. P.S. yes that is my oversized flannal nightshirt with bucking broncos on it. . .my roommate says it makes me look like a trailer dwelling floozy in a mining town in WV, all I say is it keeps me warm.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like. . .

Here it is! The most wonderful time of the year kids! So get out your sleds, wrap up in scarves, sip some nog, deck your halls, bake the cookies, and hum some cheery tunes. I'll admit, I am an unabashed Christmas lover (bet you didn't guess that!). I get a bit glum about the gross commercialization and cheezification of certain aspects. . . but those little burrs in my saddle are pretty overwhelmed by my deep and abiding love for the magic of this time of year, the starlit snowy nights, the sweet carols, the being with loved ones, the smell of pine, the making of gifts, expressions of love, and most of all remembering the nativity. On my mission Christmas was the very best, I loved nothing more than spontaneous caroling on the doorstep, sharing Luke 2, and focusing on the birth of that blessed babe (I'm listening to Silent Night right now, I think its having its affect on my subject matter). I'm sure I'll have more musings, recipes, etc. to share on this little blog o' mine, but for now, a few little Christmas gems that came early:
1. When I was cleaning out my grandmother's house this summer, I came across this plastic bag filled with matchbooks/boxes from hotels all over the place. . .Switzerland, Mexico, Hawaii, Utah, England, etc. And on each matchbook in my dear grandmother's neat script is written the date they stayed there, who was there, who they were visiting, etc. A little portable travel log if you will. This is exactly the sort of thing my grandma is so good at, meticulous keeping track and documenting. The other day when lighting some candles I found this little gem I remember this trip so well. We went to San Francisco just before Christmas, and we got new Teddy Bears, saw the Nutcracker, and A Christmas Carol, went to China town, etc. Then we went to Monterey, where we visited the aquarium and where I got lost alone in a hall filled with tanks of octopi. Somehow seeing this little matchbook brought it all back to me, a little ghost of Christmas past.
2. A few weeks ago I was poking around in the basement of our old house, looking for plastic sheeting to put over the windows to save every bit of precious heat we can. I didn't find them. But I did find these lovely 'nativity in a wine glass' decorations. I can just see some beehived Relief Society sisters using liquor glasses for a whole new brand of holiday cheer.
3. On Monday a few friends and I had some Japanese food, and then took a walk down Center St. here in P-town looking at the annual display of
'candy windows'. Its a competition of sorts between the local merchants to make a window display that's sugar from start to finish. There were some pretty snazzy ones, pretty ingenious in some cases, and to top it all off the first big flakes began to flutter down as we strolled along surrounded by the light wrapped trees. How can you not love it?

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Precious

In the middle of rural Missouri, about three hours from my grandparents house, is a mecca of sorts, a mecca of oversized wobbly heads, of large weepy tear shaped eyes, and emotions that drip like corn syrup from them. Yup, you guessed it! The Precious Moments Chapel! Samuel J. Butcher, the genius behind those "beautiful and innocent Precious Moment messenger", was from Carthage, MO, so when he'd established his total world domination (particularly of Japan) through sappy figurines, he decided to give back to the town that gave so much to him (true story folks!). So he built a chapel "inspired by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel in Rome" (he even spent two whole weeks toiling away on scaffolding, lying on his back, painting the ceiling, eat your heart out Michelangelo!), "as his way of sharing the joy of his faith with the world, and it has become his crowning work" (I'm quoting straight from the website, fount of truth). "The Chapel is so much more than just a building, touching the lives of those who enter its doors with a sense of peace (sedate horror), hope (for the apocolypse), and promise (that it can always be worse) since it opened in 1989."

Now, you may be asking yourself, how the crap does Zina know so much about it? Well friends, I've been there. Twice. Yup. Twice. How did I get so lucky? Well, like I mentioned, my grandparents live out that way, so whenever its family road trip over the river and through the woods, well, we make our pilgramage. The first time I was about 12 I think, young and full of hope for a bright future. After almost two days non-stop in our suburban packed with 9 people we pulled up to this bright shining ediface and staggered out- veritable children of Isreal who'd been wandering over many strange lands to find the promised land. We entered the large and spacious building, and were meet with a mix of Japanese tourists, life sized precious moments dolls, and elderly guides who looked like they should have tags that read "Elder" or "Sister" so and so.
We wandered past the multiple gift stores, stared in abject horrer at the documentary of ol' Sam, and then slowly, as though drawn by some unseen power, we shuffled dazed towards the chapel. We passed marble sculptures of precious moments (PM) cherubs lining the manicured gardens and fountains, following the tidy paths that lead to the large looming building with soft light gleaming from its stained glass windows. Upon entering we were all dumbstruck, dumbstruck that such a place existed, dumbstruck that people actually came to it (ourselves included), and totally floored that people paid thousands of dollars to get married there. The chapel is filled with murals (5,000 sq ft) all showing sloppily (oops did that slip out!) painted scenes from the Bible a la wobbly head, teary eyes! There's paintings on the ceiling, on the walls, stained glass, pews, triptychs, the whole nine yards. There's a side chapel for Sam's son who died, and just like all the cathedrals in Rome (and elsewere) there are relics. Oh yes, relics. Unfortunatly no fingerbones encased in a jewel encrusted case, but there are dolls, Sam's paint spattered shoes, memorabilia from fans, and a host of equally weird and creepy stuff.

After stuffing ourselves into a nausiated stupor, we scampered back through the village of gift stores, almost in a panic to find our car and leave. As I rushed out the door, a grandma lady dripping in doillies grabbed my arm and looking deep into my eyes said "have a precious evening dear". I'm not sure if it was a blessing or a cursing, but that old woman's words drew me back some 13 years later for another precious dose.
This second pilgramage met us with new features, the recently opened 'Angle fountain' and the new 'Wedding Island', both of which we skipped, feeling our 20 bucks a head could be better used at the World's Largest Jackalope farm on 1-70 in Kansas. We simply revisited the chapel, worshiped the relics, stifled our laughter and feigned respect for the sacred sacrin. I even went so far as to get my pic snapped with a life size PM clown. So kids, if you ever need a lift on your cross country road trip, I recommend a visit to the PM mecca. You'll never be dissapointed, I promise.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The saga of the Squash

About 2 months ago my mother gave me a squash, a happy present from the earth. This was no ordinary squash however, this was a squash of prodigious size and weight. It was so large that when I tried to put it under my shirt to pretend I was giving birth to a squash child it wouldn't entirely fit. Its impressive length and width made it a bit intimidating to fathom cooking. I had nighmarish visions of cutting it open and beginning to cook. .. and cook. . .and cook. . .and eat squash. . . and squash. .. and squash for the entire winter. However, last Saturday I mustered my courage, took the biggest knife in my kitchen, and pierced it's caulosed flesh, sealing my weekend fate to squashy endeavors and consumption. After cutting it into four very large hunks, I baked it with frequent bastings (bast: equal parts oil, & orange juice, seasoned with cinnemon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cardemon). It sizzled, and slowly softened, leaving in its wake an aromatic trail that filled the house with fallish sentiments. Once it was baked and cooled, the flesh was scooped and pureed with some sauted onions and garlic. I added to this (in my ultra glam large stock pot) enough chicken stock to get the consistency I wanted, a bunch of curry powder, tumeric, cracked pepper, coconut milk, coconut, and then some toasted black mustard and cumin seeds. After sufficient simmering it was slopped in a bowl, garnished with a drizzle of coconut milk and some chopped cilantro. So friends, give it a try, use that winter squash looming on your table, feed the world. Viva la calabasa!
Reuben shows off his new hair patches for the winter cold whilst lounging on my new flannel sheets, also for the winter cold.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Weather systems

This Halloween I was a cirrus cloud. I don't think anyone really got it spontaniously though. I thought the light blue pants and turtleneck festooned with whispy strips of cotton batting was a dead give away, but people kept guessing some kind of angel, cotton ball, and other ridiculous options. I guess the youth of today are just not as in touch with their cloud formations.
On a totally unrelated note I've decided I'm not a huge fan of apples, well at least I'm picky about which ones I like. And I prefer them with cheese.
I'm sad about Ashdown and happy about Rumsfeld.
Maybe it will snow today. Snow clouds. Time to make snowflakes for the window.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Ok. I am getting pretty unabashed in my views here. But election time is coming near, and I've never felt more passionate about a cadidate. For those of you who missed the golden opportunity to meet Pete Ashdown you can make it up to me by voting for him. If you are still holding to some party line logic, here's a little something to help. Peace out. ZB
Why Mormons should vote Democratic
By Fred Voros
Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:10/28/2006 03:55:02 PM MDT
"Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of all major political parties," declared the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is certainly true of the Democratic Party.
Mormon descriptions of a just social order read like a Democratic manifesto. The Book of Mormon decries a society in which every man prospers according to his genius, and every man conquers according to his strength (Alma 30:17). It condemns those who ignore the plight of the hungry, needy, naked and sick (Mormon 8:39).
This brother's-keeper principle animates government programs pioneered by Democrats. In 1937, Franklin Delano Roosevelt saw "one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished" and acted.
LDS scripture warns incessantly against economic stratification: " . . . it is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin" (D&C 49:20). Yet Republican tax cuts on one end of the economic spectrum and aid cuts on the other have widened the gap between rich and poor. Thanks to our Republican Congress, the world lies a little more in sin.
LDS scripture also calls us to "renounce war and proclaim peace" (D&C 98:16), and condemns offensive wars (Alma 43:45-47; Mormon 3:8-16). Yet the Republican administration misled America into invading Iraq, a nation that had not even threatened the U.S. Nor does LDS teaching justify the administration's fall-back rationale that the invasion was justified by our attempt to impose democracy.
In 1942, Church President David O. McKay declared, "Nor is war justified in an attempt to enforce a new order of government . . . however better the government . . . may be."
Astoundingly, the Republican Congress is borrowing money - from China, Saudi Arabia and federal trust funds - to cover the war, lavish tax cuts and their own profligate spending.
Even on abortion, the Democratic position is friendlier to LDS Church teachings. Mormonism does not teach that life begins at conception. President Gordon B. Hinckley declared that abortion inevitably brings "sorrow and regret."
Yet Church policy makes allowance where pregnancy results from rape or incest, where the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy, or where the fetus suffers from fatal defects. In such cases, Latter-day Saints are to consult with priesthood leaders and seek confirmation of their decision in prayer before proceeding.
The 2004 Democratic national platform says Democrats uphold Roe v. Wade; "strongly support family planning and adoption incentives"; and believe abortion "should be safe, legal and rare." This position grants Latter-day Saints freedom to follow the prophet.
The Republican position does not. The 2004 Republican platform declares that "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed." In other words, it would prohibit all abortions. Consequently, a Latter-day Saint's decision to seek an abortion may be allowed by church policy, approved by priesthood leaders, confirmed by the Lord in prayer, but forbidden by the Republican Party.
We need both parties. As the First Presidency foresaw in 1891, "The more evenly balanced the parties become the safer it will be for us in the security of our liberties; and . . . our influence for good will be far greater than it possibly could be were either party overwhelmingly in the majority."
This will never be achieved in Utah, however, until Mormons see the light and vote their values. By which I mean, of course, vote Democratic.
* FRED VOROS is a lawyer living in Salt Lake City.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Yup. That's my house. It's pretty cute. I like it. Ash and I found it during a 45 minute crazed housing search in Provo. We got lucky. We have the main floor with two large living rooms, a spacious kitchen, two bedrooms, cellar, and lots of awesome features like the big picture window festooned with stained glass, the fireplace, the wood stove (that is so far our sole sourse of heat thanks to wood harvested at the ranch this summer), super high ceilings that are wooden and look like a cabin, red formica in the kitchen nook, and our great landlords/neighbors the Polos. I live here with Ash, Mo, and Pack. They rock. I got a lot of furniture from my grama which makes for it feeling a little more like a real house. It's a super close bike ride or walk to both campus and downtown Provo. Just now I rode my bike to the post office, sewing store, bagel shop and back. There is a bakery across the street. Mmmm. So come visit! I gots a double bed! and a couch! Here's some more views, and details from my room.