Celebrate! Category

International Day of Peace

21 Sep 2009 In: Celebrate!

Today is the United Nation’s 27th Annual International Day of Peace. I want to join the World in hoping for PEACE: Peace from War and despair, Peace from political bickering and strife, Peace from illness and suffering – perhaps even Peace of Mind.

I have always loved “A Gaelic Blessing” by John Rutter. It seems like a good “poem” for today:

Deep peace of the running wave to you.

Deep peace of the flowing air to you.

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.

Deep peace of the shining stars to you.

Deep peace of the gentle night to you.

Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.

Deep peace of Love,
of Love,
The light of the world to you.

Deep peace of Love to you.*

Please also take a look at Peace One Day. Lastly, take a moment to read a lovely poem by Seamus Heaney entitled “Doubletake.” (Thanks to Chari Olmedo for sharing this today!)

*Yes, I must confess that this is the “Unitarianized” version of the song. I sang it that way for many years; old habits die hard.

WOW

5 May 2009 In: Celebrate!

Things have been stressful of late, I admit (and I don’t mean the same normal, crazy, colourful stress – rather super-sized, call the authorities, it’s STRESS type), but today a lil’ something happened to ameliorate this condition. I came upstairs, after an especially grotesque change of the litter box, which needed ever-so-much more than just the Burt’s Bees shower cap (bedecked, naturally, with bees) and dirty clothes I pulled off the floor; I needed a Hazmat suit – a full on Hazmat suit. (NOTE: The grotesqueness is entirely due to my neglect and not the hygienic habits of my Kitten Children. Had they opposable thumbs, they’d so take care of it in a timely fashion.)

Anyhoo, I walked upstairs, and there was a package on the kitchen counter for me. I was a little perplexed: I have taken care of many of the orders necessary for Sarah’s Super Wedding Reception Butterfly Extravaganza™, but all the various shoes have long since arrived, the butterfly cages shipped quickly, my phone upgrade came, the bubbles with butterfly tops are here, the disposable cameras decorated with silver butterflies came with those, the personalized, embossed napkins (lavender with BUTTERFLIES and such), the Victoria’s Secret order, the printer ink, Shirleen’s phone upgrade, an order from Drugstore.com, etc., etc. – all have arrived. It’s too early for the live butterflies coming from Florida and the package was much too small and there was obviously no dry ice inside.

But there it was – addressed to me, C/O Bartholomew Consulting Services. And what to my wondering eyes should appear, ShamWow®s!

You'll say WOW!

The Bartholomew Consulting Services part is a tad bit confusing. I have, in the past, ordered many supplies for Bartholomew Consulting Services. However, the President of Bartholomew Consulting Services and I are currently at an impasse as to the terms for this year’s Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis Short Course. I’m going to lose out this time to someone who’ll work dirt cheap (too cheap, I assure you) and will kiss a*#. Oh- sorry. A little bitterness leaked out there. Let me mop that up with a mini ShamWow®.

But if the President of Bartholomew Consulting Services orders something by himself, he does not use my name; he just uses the billing address. And the billing address entails that his name is spelled right and that the name of the company is spelled wrong (long story). So it’s just a delicious mystery. ShamWow® Angels?

The package came directly from the ShamWow® Company. It states right on the package that it contains four large ShamWow® cloths, four mini ShamWow® cloths and the special ten-year warranty (cum instruction sheet). No invoice. Well, I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth (?). I’m just going to send my extreme gratitude out to the Universe and wrap myself in a cocoon made of ShamWow® cloths of both sizes and slip off to dream-land.

Sláinte!

17 Mar 2009 In: Celebrate!

I’m just going to be historical (self-historical, specifically) because it’s not plagiarism if you wrote it yourself. Is it tacky to tell people to read it again? That is the question of the ages.
In the Clover

And Then There Were SIX

13 Aug 2008 In: Blood is Thicker..., Celebrate!

I’m having a very difficult time deciding what to tackle next (I have a mental list – and yes, it’s Kate-typically lengthy). I’m defaulting to CUTENESS. It’s my prerogative as the Aunt who only has Kitten Children.

Oh, my NIEPHEWS. They keep growing, and GROWING and officially number A HALF DOZEN now! It’s mind-boggling. Let’s start with the eldest and youngest first.
Sarah & Bela
Sarah & Isabela Sage. And Will’s Legs.

Sarah, who I saw “ripped untimely from…[the] womb,” will be twenty (TWENTY) in November. Good honk. Wow that’s a blast from my OWN past. Don’t know quite what cobwebbed recesses of my brain I have just accessed. Good honk?

Beautiful Isabela Sage was born on May 9, 2008 and joined the family of my Baby Brother and my Baby Sister-in-Law a few days thereafter. She is so sweet and lovely and she has SKILZ (if you’re lucky, my Mother might list them for you in an email sent from HER VERY FIRST EMAIL ADDRESS). Only the GRANDCHILDREN (indirectly, at this point) could actually get my Mother truly online.
Bela BURRITO
Mom? Dad? Why am I a burrito?

I love this next picture so much. It’s actually one in a series (that I’ll get on Flickr soon, I promise). An Engineer, a seven-year-old (slightly chocolaty), and a JV Ballroom Dancer. Which is which???
Wee Wiii!
Wee Wii!!!

In the middle of July as much of the family as possible took some time at a Midway Homestead Condo to celebrate my Dad’s “retirement” from Brigham Young University (he’s a Professor of Chemical Engineering). Oh – and “retirement” SO belongs in quotes. He won’t stop. He’ll enjoy the “emeritus” title. And evidently he’s taking great delight in the fact that he will not be required to attend faculty meetings (seriously). But he won’t stop. He loves what he does. (Though I assert that it’s what he OVERDOES.) Befitting the occasion he had FANS.
Anders Loves Grandpa
Anders ADORES Grandpa

I like the contrast in the following images. Who is the most chocolaty? The youngest? Nope. He only has the tiniest speck on his face.
Leif.  And his teeth.
Leif. And His Teeth.
Anders Blue Eyes
Anders Has a Smut.
CRAZY BANANA HEAD
Crazy Banana Head

And when I came back from the LIVESTRONG™ Summit in Columbus, Ohio, Paisley was already there. PARTY!.
Chocolate Cake Party!
Paisley Loves Cake!

It’s important to look to the left in that picture. That chocolate-laden finger is actually the source of most of the “decorations” on Paisley’s face (ASHLEY!).

ALL my niephews are hysterically funny, and I could go on and on and ON (and on) all about their cleverness and such, but I won’t. Not, at least, until we get the chosen group shot of all six taken late this July. Ha.

LIVESTRONG™ Day 2008, Tuesday, May 13

5 May 2008 In: Celebrate!, LIVESTRONG

LIVESTRONG™ Day 2008 is fast approaching: Tuesday, May 13, 2008. And I must say, I’m a little discouraged and sad. I’m sad because we have a new cancer diagnosis in the family. Granted, that is why I’m involved in this “cause”; we need not only to find cures and help those who cannot survive cancer to die with dignity, but we need to STOP the many diagnoses that would be so easy to prevent. But still, in the back of my mind I guess I still have a small belief that every family has a “cancer quota” and we are FAR BEYOND IT.

I am discouraged, because I had a plan for a LIVESTRONG™ Day 2008 activity that was all about disseminating information and awareness – Cancer Awareness: “Knowledge is Power” – at a hospital in Salt Lake (as well as giving away Wristbands, etc.). I had a positive impression after speaking with the PR director; she just needed to speak with the hematology/oncology big-wigs. They kept me hanging on for almost a month, but I honestly didn’t think they’d turn me down so I hadn’t checked with my possible contingency locations. WRONG. No go.

I called another venue. Again, the public relations person seemed very positive. However, the next day, after consulting with whoever it was who had to be consulted, she sent me an email saying they’d decided it wasn’t “a good fit.” This institution has “cancer” IN THEIR NAME, so I’m a tad baffled.

I’m certainly not “dissing” these places in terms of the quality of their care. I just don’t understand why they aren’t on board with this opportunity. I’m NOT fundraising, as I assumed that would be a problem with not-for-profit entities; I just want to educate and inform people. Also, I want to give people a chance to memorialize someone they’ve lost to cancer, someone who’s fighting cancer, or someone who has had great success with treatment.

Supporting LIVESTRONG

Last year in D.C. was so amazing. Granted, I lost a friend and an uncle while I was there. And much, MUCH less importantly I spent that important day with a dead animal appended to the back of my head.

This year, the Lance Armstrong Foundation is closing its doors on LIVESTRONG™ Day. Everyone who works there will be attending one of the more than 500 LOCAL events taking place around the country. I haven’t COMPLETELY lost hope that I’ll find a venue (if you wouldn’t mind a crazy lady sitting in your lobby ANYWHERE – oh WITH her amazing, beautifulest survivor Niephew, Sarah – handing out awareness information and FREE wristbands, please let me know). No matter what, I want to make you aware of at least ONE Utah opportunity (you can go to the LANCE ARMSTRONG FOUNDATION website to look up activities near you):

PLEASE go get some sweeties at Vicky Fletcher’s Cookies for a Cure Bake Sale (she is the LIVESTRONG™ Local Army Leader Utah Valley – she was already doing ALL the hard work but I had to convince her that she might be able to use the title at some point as she’s she’s very, very humble).

  • WHERE: In Front of The Orem Wal-Mart SuperCenter, 1355 S SANDHILL RD, Orem, Utah.
  • WHEN: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

I’ll keep you posted as to my progress in terms to finding a venue (which is NOT to say that you should miss out on buying pastries from Vicky Fletcher!).

Happy Birthday, Old Man!

8 Mar 2008 In: Celebrate!

Ha ha ha…

Okay, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAREST FATHER!!! (It was technically yesterday, March 7th.) Wow. It’s the big sixty-five, which, of course, in birthday math, is only ONE. And I like how we’ll always be the same birthday age. One is a lovely age. Too bad it’s the loneliest number.

Happy Birthday!

I’m also thrilled that you’ve decided to “officially” retire at sixty-five, rather than your original plan of seventy (INSANITY). I wish your impetus for making that decision could be different.

Mind you, I know the Brigham Young University Professor secret – BYU PROFESSORS DON’T REALLY RETIRE. They take the nice “retirement” present, enjoy the party and the roast, get a kick out of the “Emeritus” title, and keep working as long as humanly possible. I swear there are professors rattling around that campus who are at least two hundred and sixty-five years old. I’m not kidding. It’s a little unnerving – vaguely reminiscent of the walking dead (the well-read walking dead?). I’m quite certain that I added “walking dead” to the caveat section of my list, oh so many years back, that helped me choose to go to the University of Utah.

By the way, you don’t fool me with all your “organizing the garage into a better workshop” twaddle. Nope. Cold turkey is NOT your thing.

My fondest hope, my Birthday wish for you, is that when the time comes, you will take more time to fish, more time to wind-up the grandkids, more time to scream “WooHoo” at football games on TV, more time for the mountains – maybe even some time to get to some wonderful beaches.

I love you!

Guess Who

15 Feb 2008 In: Celebrate!

Happy Valenslime and All That Jazz

It’s late, yes, but EXTRA festive to make up for its tardiness. Besides, if I’d posted an entry ON Valentine’s Day that would have not been in keeping with my whole boycotting posture. Bah HumCupid.

The item contained herein needs a back story (yeah, yeah – everything I DO needs a back story, I know…). Over the holidays, My Baby Brother and his Lovely Wife WITH VERY FORCEFUL KINDNESS helped sort through my impressive quantity of crap precious belongings so we could make room to empty my storage unit and put my furniture in the basement (a process which also involved the grinding off of lock with a titanium hasp – I will no doubt locate the combination in its “safe” place any day now). This process wrought many an interesting (or sweet or utterly horrific) discovery. Ask Grettir; he received a couple of the most special “finds.” (This, however, must be a story for another time.) We found fascinating things that belonged to my siblings, my Parents, my Grandparents (DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT TELL GRANDMA LEE THAT ANYTHING BELONGING TO HER OR HER PARENTS WAS TOUCHED as she has plenty to freak out about at this moment) and my great-grandparents.

One “treasure chest” belonging to my Father yielded some interesting “art” by young Shirleen and Kate. The “chest,” in and of itself, was pretty cool; it was an army surplus foot locker that had been painted (a slightly different green than “army” green, I believe). Evidently this was the only piece of furniture my Father brought to my Parents’ marriage. Well – he did construct some very fashionable brick and board bookcases…

Some of the creative masterpieces were not, unfortunately, signed. I put them on the refrigerator anyway. We also found this:

Sweet Kitty Valentine

However, “Guess Who Sent This Valentine!” indeed! It is well within the Kate and Shirleen era (you can tell by the rampant penchant for using that stupid, ubiquitous gift-wrap yarn to make bows for EVERYTHING – we wore it, we wrapped with it, we probably used lengths of the stuff as jump ropes).

Then there’s the kitten. All throughout my childhood I desperately wanted a kitten. My Father, unfortunately, professed a “deathly” allergy to the creatures. Talk about hyperbole. We’re ALL allergic to felines, actually, but NO ONE in the family cannot deal with the situation. In fact, I believe that my allergies to my Kitten Children have lessened significantly over time.

Anyhoo, the über-pink-super-kitty thematic elements make me lean towards the possibility that I gave this Valentine to my Father. Let’s turn it over and see if there are any other clues:

TV gave the Valentine?

Ah. “TV” gave this touching greeting to my Dad. The priorities of the young (even decades ago).

This leads me to believe that Shirleen was the author of this affectionate message. First of all, I’m guessing she might have been able to spell better than I at this point (or at least write letters when prompted). Moreover, the lovely lady pictured in the television seems to have the correct (or nearly accurate) number of digits on the displayed hand.

I believe I was still at the stage where each of the “hands” in my drawings consisted of a ball. This ball was appended with – oh – two dozen or so (I get the impression the number of appendages was according to whim) additional “balls” that represented fingers (interestingly, not necessarily the same number per “hand”).

In addition, the rendering of the television and the character inside is quite impressive. And examine the casters and the KNOBS – sheer genius. Shirleen still is a far superior artist to me (always has been).

Lastly, if I’d prepared this card, it would have said something to the effect of:

Most doting and warm greetings to my Most Beloved Father on this, the occasion of Cupid’s yearly spree. From your most adoring daughter, Kathryn. XOXOXOXOXOXO

Consequently, I believe Shirleen is to blame responsible for this one. You’ll have to tell me what you think, my most esteemed elder Sister.

Super Fat Tuesday

5 Feb 2008 In: Celebrate!, LIVESTRONG

LIVESTRONG™ Local Army Utah

Tomorrow is very festive SUPER n’ FAT TUESDAY!!!

If you’re voting in the Primary Election tomorrow, please consider a essential and largely forgotten issue in this race for a new President: THE WAR ON CANCER, THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH FOR AMERICANS UNDER AGE EIGHTY-FIVE that has received an obscene lack of coverage.
Lance Armstrong and The LIVESTRONG™ Presidential Forum

This year, the Lance Armstrong Foundation sponsored the LIVESTRONG™ Presidential Cancer Forum on August 27 and 28, 2007, inviting all Democratic and Republican Candidates to share their views on cancer and related healthcare issues. Six candidates responded (and not to show any personal bias, but four Democrats accepted the invitation and only two Republicans did. Hmm). If you’d like to see video or read transcripts of what the candidates said (even though only a few of these candidates are left in the race) as well as commentary on the forum, visit the LAF’s Presidential Cancer Forum Page. At the very least, I do think it gives a sense of prevalent attitudes for each of the major parties concerning this topic.

So celebrate SUPER FAT TUESDAY! Sin, beads, politics – it’s all good.

Ground DOG?

2 Feb 2008 In: Celebrate!

I’d thought I’d celebrate this day with the following prose:

Remember when everyone was buying domesticated groundhogs and then they got Monkey Pox? That was a fun time.
HAPPY GROUNDHOG DAY!

Then I thought about it. Groundhogs as pets. Big, unwieldy groundhogs as pets. Ah, wait – PRAIRIE DOGS! It was prairie dogs with the Monkey Pox. Hmmm.
Happy Groundhog Day…

A VERY SPECIAL Birthday, Indeed

17 Dec 2007 In: Celebrate!

Dearest Shirleen,
Elder Sister of Mine,
Eldest of ALL the Siblings,
Eldest Grandchild of the Matriarchal side of the Family,
Eldest Grandchild of the Patriarchal side of the Family,

I want you to have the Most SPECIAL Fortieth Birthday of ALL. What a rite of passage! I cannot wait until I take this momentous step myself. Oh – wait – yes I can.

Instead of the standard Birthday Blather, as you are a scholar of history and science and anything else that strikes your fancy, here are some most interesting facts about your natal day:
128,767 People

Cool, huh? But there’s more! Here’s a plethora of fun birthday facts from “The Death Report – Morbid Facts About Your Birthday:”

People who died on December 17, 1967 (the exact day you were born)

  • Harold Holt, Australian Prime Minister
  • Jack Perrin, American actor

Unusual Deaths in 1967

  • …a flash fire began in the pure oxygen environment during a training exercise inside the unlaunched Apollo 1 Spacecraft, killing command pilot Gus Grissom, senior pilot Ed White, and pilot Roger B. Chaffee. The door to the capsule was unable to be opened during the fire because of its particular design. Had the soviet union revealed the earlier death of Valentin Bondarenko, this incident could likely have been avoided.
  • Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy following re-entry.

Natural disasters in 1967

  • Belvidere – Oak Lawn Tornado Outbreak
  • Caracas earthquake
  • St. Louis tornado outbreak

People who died on December 17 (various years)

  • 2006 – Larry Sherry, American baseball player
  • 2005 – Marc Favreau, French Canadian humourist (Sol)
  • 2005 – Jack Anderson, American journalist
  • 2003 – Otto Graham, American football player
  • 2003 – Ed Devereaux, Australian actor
  • 2002 – James Hazeldine, British actor
  • 1999 – Rex Allen, American actor, singer and songwriter
  • 1999 – Grover Washington, Jr., American saxophonist
  • 1998 – Claudia Benton, Peruvian, Pediatric Neurologist and researcher
  • 1992 – Dana Andrews, American actor
  • 1987 – Linda Wong, pornographic actress
  • 1987 – Marguerite Yourcenar, Belgian novelist
  • 1982 – Homer S. Ferguson, American politician
  • 1978 – Don Ellis, American jazz band leader
  • 1964 – Victor Franz Hess, Austrian-born physicist, Nobel laureate
  • 1962 – Thomas Mitchell, American actor
  • 1957 – Dorothy L. Sayers, British writer
  • 1940 – Alicia Boole Stott, Irish mathematician
  • 1933 – Thubten Gyatso, 13th Dalai Lama
  • 1917 – Frank Gotch, wrestler
  • 1917 – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, British physician
  • 1909 – Léopold II of Belgium
  • 1907 – William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, Irish-born physicist
  • 1897 – Alphonse Daudet, French writer
  • 1833 – Kaspar Hauser, German foundling
  • 1830 – Simón Bolívar, Venezuelan-born libertator, six nations
  • 1721 – Richard Lumley, 1st Earl of Scarbrough, English statesman
  • 1663 – Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba
  • 1273 – Rumi (b.1207)
  • 1195 – Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut
  • 1187 – Pope Gregory VIII
  • 942 – William Longsword

What auspicious company! Men and women of science, the screen, the pen – a Nobel laureat, a Dalai Lama, a Pope, royalty, revolutionaries, PORN STARS – what more can I say? Oh – I can tell you that we are directly related to William Longsword (843 – December 17, 942), also known as Guillaume Longue-Épée and Viljâlmr Langaspjôt, who was one of the six famous Dukes of Normandy (all ancestors of ours); he was, more specifically, our somethingth great-grandfather.

But seriously (she says after a long report of death facts – HAH), you are an inspiration to me, my bionic, Bluetooth® enabled big sis. And though I haven’t figured it out yet (let’s see, dinner is at about 6:00 – I still have a few hours), I really want to do something special for you – I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. If I fail miserably, know that the thought counts. Right?

Cheese Wisdom

Comment voulez-vous gouverner un pays qui a deux cents quarante-six variétés de fromage?
(How can you govern a country which has two hundred and forty-six varieties of cheese?)”
— Charles de Gaulle (1874-1970)
Les Mots du General (1962)

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