Sunday, September 28, 2008

The coolness of me...

So, there aren't many people in this world who realize just how cool I am. Seriously. Let me illustrate.

Friday I was having lunch up in the Skyroom with friends and co-workers. We were sitting there chatting and having a good old time when Brother Sampson walked past. Brother Sampson is my institute teacher and friend. When I was in the 6th Stake (singles stake) back in the day, he was in the Stake Presidency and I was in the Stake Relief Society Presidency and we had a chance to get to know each other. It's really fun having him as a teacher. He often jokes about how we grew up in the 6th Stake together, after which people turn around, look at me, and wonder just how old I am. Anyway, I digress... Brother Sampson was having lunch with a group of people also. He saw me, stopped and turned to his guest and said, "there is someone I want you to meet." He brought them to my table and said, "Lora, this is Virginia." I responded with a nice to meet you and a handshake. Brother Sampson related how he knew me. She was very cordial and we smiled at each other. I, being less than observant almost asked if she was the secretary at the Institute or something like that because I couldn't figure out what was so special that I was to meet her. I fortunately did not say any such thing, but just made a bit of small talk. They left, I sat down and began wondering what was so special about this "Virginia" person... then comprehension dawned on me.

Friday is the day that they have Devotionals in the cultural hall of the institute. Brother Sampson is the one who invites the speakers and subsequently takes them to lunch before they leave. That particular Friday the special guest speaker was Virginia Pearce, President Hinkley's daughter. I can't tell you how relieved I was that me and my sparkling whit didn't ask if she was the new secretary and how she liked working there!!! See, I told you I was cool!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Namesake

I recently finished reading Jhumpa Lahiri's "The Namesake". OK, not so recently, but I needed some time to decide how I felt about the book. I also watched the movie with my husband because I was oh so curious about how it would transfer to the screen. What would be kept in? What would be left out? I believe the movie did it some justice but I did feel it necessary to stop and explain things to David as we watched.

It is about a Bengali couple who moves to New York from Calcutta. He is a professor and she is a housewife. They make their life together far away from their own families. They have a son whom they name Gogol after Ashoke's (the father) favorite Russian author. There is more to the story of his name but I need to leave something for you to discover on your own right? It is mostly Gogol's story. The journey of a young boy who grows up trying to find the balance between life in America and the traditions and culture of his Bengali family. I believe he does find balance in the end, although it is left fairly open-ended. Perhaps that is why I can't stop thinking about it.

It is a beautifully written story that I recommend if you like complex characters and hidden freedoms. Parts are filled with heartache and others with joy. In a way we all experience something similar to Gogol as we move through life trying to find out who we really are. Which parts of our heritage do we embrace and which do we do without?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Job

For those of you who are wondering just exactly what it is I do all day with my time, I will share with you. Last Friday, the 12th to be exact, we did the Old Main Society Dinner. This is a dinner for those who have donated $10,000.00 or more to Utah State University. I have long believed that tuition should count but so far no one is on board with me.

Anyway, the University Advancement office get together with us and we design food and themes for the party. It's usually quite stressful because we have to serve roughly 400 people all at once. High stress, but the evening sure is beautiful. I didn't get to take too many pictures because I was running around for last minute stuff (like bowls to put the punch in and lighters for the candles, etc.) but I thought I would share some of them.

Ice Sculpture for the Reception before the meal.

Hors d'ouevres on carved ice block.

Table decor in the Ballroom.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Do you ever find yourself feeling trapped and discontent with life? Today that's me. Not that I don't like my job or where I live or anything like that, but I want a vacation. It seems like life is so short, why not take advantage of the time we have and see as much of the world as possible. It's a dangerous mood to be in because I usually decide to throw caution and finances out the window... Really I just want to be on a beach somewhere with no resposibilities but to apply sunblock once every few hours. Wouldn't that be nice...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Peaches come in a can, they were put there by a man...

Once upon a time in the far away land of Hurricane, Lora was given two 5 gallon buckets of peaches by her wonderful inlaws. "What wonderful, money-saving joy!" exclaimed Lora upon receiving the gift. "I will take them home to Logan and bottle them so they can be enjoyed for months to come." And Lora did just that.

She went home and bought herself a pressure cooker, having learned the proper technique from her mother, and set to work. All evening and into the night she scalded, pealed, pared, and pressured her peaches. And all evening and into the night her husband David was by her side participating in such projects as the lifting of the pressure cooker and the taking off of the lid. They were both exhausted but pleased with their work.

A few days passed and more of the peaches became ripe enough to bottle. Lora decided that Saturday morning was the morning to finish preserving her wonderful peaches. David helped once again, this time with the peeling and paring but only for awhile as he had to run off to a study group so as not to fail his classes. So Lora finished the job herself. She filled the pressure cooker, tightened the lid, lit the stove and cooked those peaches. All seemed to be well in the land until it came time to take off the lid. You see, it wouldn't come off. All she had to do was twist and lift, but the lid would not twist. She grabbed pot-holders and tried again to no avail. "Perhaps the metal is still too hot and it needs to cool down," she thought to herself. So she went inside and took a shower while the metal cooled.

After getting dressed and attempting to do her hair, Lora tried the lid again. Still it wouldn't budge. By this time her frustration was starting to show in the vein in her forehead. "I'll show you!" she said to the lid, and immediately got a hammer and screw-driver. "Perhaps I can give the lid a little 'love tap' and help it move." So she positioned the screw-driver like a chisel and gently tapped the lid hoping it would slide enough to unlatch. Tap tap tap went the hammer. Then TAP TAP TAP went the hammer. Then TAP TAP TAP went the hammer. It didn't budge. Then the cussing began. Not out loud mind you, there were neighbors who could hear, but she was drop kicking her pressure cooker out the door in her head!

"What kind of a stupid pressure cooker is this that the lid won't come off! What am I supposed to do, call David every time I need the lid taken off! What a waste of time and money, I can't believe this is happening... stupid... mumble mumble... dumb... mumble mumble... pressure cooker... lid won't come off.. stupid... mumble mumble." Then the phone rang. It was Lora's mother. "How's the pressure cooker? Aren't you just loving it?!" said her mother, jovially. "NO!" Lora roared back giving voice to her frustrations. "I can't get the lid off!!!" "Have you read the instructions?" her mother replied. "No, but it's stupid, I can tell about these things and I'm clearly doomed!" cried Lora. "Well that's awful" said her mother sympathetically, "but perhaps you should take a look who knows, it might be helpful and if not you can take it back."

Lora thought about this and decided to give it a go. "In case of vacuum seal," read the instructions, "take a flat head screw-driver and gently lift around each wing-nut to break the seal being careful so as not to damage the metal." It seemed so simple she was sure it wouldn't work, but why not try to at least say she did. So Lora picked up the screw-driver and placed it by the first wing-nut and prepared to heave-ho. Applying approximately the pressure of the weight of her little finger, the lid lifted with a small pfft of air and the seal was broken revealing the peaches inside.

The moral of the story: no matter how stupid and unnecessary you think they are, always read the directions first.

For your enjoyment, the Presidents of the United States of America: Peaches

Thursday, September 4, 2008

3 Years! Woo-hoo!

Yesterday was our 3rd wedding anniversary. Can you believe it! In some ways it seems like just yesterday, in others it feels like we've been together much longer. We got a slow start, like it taking him multiple years to finally ask me out and then forever to finally kiss me, but it has all been worth the wait. I don't think that I could have asked for a better match for me. Just goes to show that the Lord knows what he is doing... and it's a good thing because I certainly don't.

So, here's a tribute to my husband, Michael David Sullivan. To the man who puts up with my mood swings, who knows how to calm me down (for the most part), who sees me for who I am and loves me anyway. To the man who cleans the bathroom and helps with the dishes. Who makes me laugh when I need it and even when I don't. He is truly the love of my life.

This song is for him. I don't think either could be considered a Rod Stewart fan, but this song just fits. It's kind of a cheesy version, but you get the idea. Love ya David!

Monday, September 1, 2008


David and I drove to Hurricane this last weekend. We went down for his grandparent's 70th wedding anniversary. Can you believe it! If we make it 70 years we'll be in our hundreds at the celebration... don't really think that will take place.

Anyway, normally it is a drive that I abhor in a way. It's just so dang long. And there are so many patches of nothingness to see that I just never get excited about the drive. Don't get me wrong, I love to go and see his family. I get along with them so well! In fact David and I have often commented that holidays would be so much easier if one of our families didn't like us. (I actually used to want to marry someone with a dysfunctional family cause then I wouldn't have to miss holidays with my own.)

Now, back to the drive and the nothingness therein. I actually did most of the driving. David had homework to read so he sat in the passenger seat and read his math books out loud to me. (I should totally get a gold star for that too.) Fortunately I wasn't bored to tears, but I also felt no great obligation to really listen to him either. I started scanning the countryside as we passed by going 80 miles per hour and what I found delighted me. In the deserted countryside between Utah Valley and St. George were thousands and thousands of the wild yellow sunflower-looking flowers lining the freeway. It was beautiful! I had seen them before, but never so abundantly. The whole median was filled to over-flowing in places. I began to look further and found vegetation that was actually still green in September filling in the spaces between the sagebrush. There was a quiet beauty about it. Much better than burnt, dry, desert. Perhaps that was my gold star.