Bri Colorful

Archive for the ‘Crayonbox’ Category

I grew up loving my great-grandma Leola D. Merrill, so much that I have always wanted to name a daughter after her. She passed away when I was younger, and I have yearned to know more about her but just started in on my family history this year. I asked my aunt, grandpa, and mom to share any histories they have from her and they all said they’d look around and write their memories down.

Then yesterday my mom came across (by total chance) a box of cassette and video tapes she had recorded of my grandma Leola sharing the story of her life, stories about living on a farm, the story of her baptism, the story behind the family cabin she and her husband built at Bear Lake that we all continue to visit each summer, and recordings of my maternal grandparents telling stories from their lives as well. In one of the recordings it says she is 90 and she is very old and frail; it may be the last recording of her during her lifetime. I cannot help feeling like it is a blessing to my family right now, especially my mom and me, directly from Father in Heaven! I feel so grateful!

I look forward to helping digitize and transcribe these recordings when I am in Washington with family in late February.

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Blooming!

Posted on: June 2, 2012

Tomato blossoms:

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I can’t remember if this is squash or cucumber:

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We also put tomato cages on our plants (that we started from seed- so proud of these) and laid soaker hoses, pinning them down with Orbit loop stakes:

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The peas and beans at the base of my green teepee are really taking off. Do you think I’ll need to thin them though or will they still produce even if I let them go a little crazy?

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So excited for these plants!

Super bummed though about these strawberries though:

We think it must be either tarnished plant bug which I am somewhat hopeless of curing (though open to suggestion) or that there might be some problem with the strawberries getting fertilized by each other. I must thank my friend Dana Nash and my sister’s horticulture professor respectively for the diagnoses. It could very well be TPB because we have wild mint (a common TPB host) growing in our driveway. But I couldn’t see any of the little critters on my plants… Hmm.

Now I open it to you to suggest a solution. Anyone know what to do? I’m going to try taking a clipping to the master gardener at the Utah county extension center but I’d appreciate any help with diagnosis or solutions. I’ve not given up to despair for my little berries yet though I’m earnest for their revival. Also, does anyone know, if it is either of the above problem, if it will affect my other plants nearby?

Grounded

Posted on: May 28, 2012

We got most of our plants in the ground now were safe from frost (knock on wood). Here are some great pics of our garden so far.

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Planting day.

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Meet the Dream Team behind our current project: gaining support for WIFE FOR LIFE: The Power to Succeed in Marriage. WIFE FOR LIFE is the book Ramona Zabriskie, creative mind behind Mona’s Musings, is writing. We need to create a following for the book in order to get it published.

We did a Google Hangout last week. Here’s everyone that showed up (Sara Lyn did not want to be included in the picture).

Grant has taken on the task of creating a blog/ landing page for the project to transparently let people know that their support is essential to getting the book published and letting them explore previews of the book and success stories from other married women. I’ll document our process here and be our Twitter-vangalist.

Bri and her husband Grant
Married August 2008

Hannah is our photographer and videographer.

Hannah and her husband  Kenneth
Married August 2011

Sara Elliot is keeping abreast of the conversation about marriage online and leaving comments. 

Sarah and her husband Spencer
Married June 2003

Emily is going to be our Facebook fanpage administrator.

Emily and her husband Brent
Married December 2003

All of us will be contributing guest content to the blog and Sarah Lyn will be managing, editing, proofing, and posting that content.

Sara Lyn and her husband Morgan
Married August 2005

Kristi is our Pinterest gal and gives us the perspective of single gals hoping to get married.

Beautiful Kristi

Ramona is managing what we do and writing, writing, writing, plus making a ton of decisions about the site/blog.

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Ramona and her husband Dale
Married December 1976

We’ve decided to use the project management tool, Basecamp, to collaborate from all our different locations (from Orlando to Los Angeles).

So excited!

It’s been about a month so I thought I’d do a quick update on how our garden in progressing. After finishing removing all the rocks with my husband when he returned home, we asked around for someone in our ward with a rototiller. Brother Jerome very kindly obliged. It was quickly apparent that this guy has a much greener thumb than I do. He apologized for coming late because he had been delivering some baby goats (how sweet!) and his rototiller is industrial size.

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Look at that monster!

Granto tilled up both plots in minutes. Thanks for letting us borrow it Brother Jerome!!

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Here’s what the plots ended up looking like when we were finished.

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While my sisters were in town, we decided to go get materials for some of the projects we were going to work on. We went to Lowes for all our pots and stakes for the green teepee. We went to the transfer station (the dump) for free tires to grow potatoes in (still haven’t completed that project though) and industrial pallets for our raised strawberry beds. Our favorite place we went was Mc Coards Garden Center over by the Provo Municipal Airport. We didn’t know what to expect but that place is huge! I loved Kristi’s face as we drove up to it.

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I have to put a plug in for Mc Coards here. They were so great. They only sold BIG packages of black plastic, a ton more than we would need and it was priced beyond my budget. I asked if they had any packages with less, and the gal went and found some used white yard plastic and gave it to us for free. Nicest people ever!

Then we had to take a slight hiatus from gardening projects while I finished school and graduated. In the meantime I kept up my little nursery of potted plants we’d been growing from seed ever since February. I love all the light in my laundry room/ pantry/ greenhouse. I wish I could capture the smell in there for you: an amazing mixture of laundry detergent, pungent moist soil smell, and all things growing.

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My son cheered me on at graduation from BYU.

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Go mom!

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With the digital shift to social media and the near necessity of creating an online persona, publishing agencies have “encouraged” authors to start selling themselves; having them do more of the heavy lifting. It is no longer enough to be a writer; you also have to be an advertiser. And you’re selling more than your writing; you’re selling yourself. I learned this in my Children’s Picture Book Writing class at Brigham Young University, but I’m seeing the practical application of it in “real life” with my mother-in-law and good friend, Ramona Zabriskie.

See… Mona is a writer. I mean, she’s really a writer. At heart. Something like what I aspire to become one day, but fear may be inborn and thus unattainable. You have only to stumble across the shelves upon shelves of binders FULL of old journal entries at her house as I did to realize the prolificacy of her writing. She’s kept two different (award-winning) blogs in the time I have known her, evidence of her incredible ability to adapt to emerging technologies, though at her age, most of her peers resist such changes (Mona’s Gospel Musings or Mona’s Musings with a Hint of Romance).  She is also a playwright (With Mine Own Hand) and a public speaker (she is currently presenting “Understanding, Supporting, and Appreciating the Men in our Lives,” all over the Northwest U.S. and Canada), not to mention directing and acting in numerous plays over her lifetime.

Right now, Mona is writing a book. I think it is an important book. I have read some of it. I find it incredibly inspiring, just like I find Mona incredibly inspiring. The book is entitled WIFE-4-LIFE: The Power to Succeed in Marriage and a top New York literary agent thinks it “could be an important book” except for one thing: Ramona Zabriskie does not have the academic credentials to write a self-help book nor fame to lend support to her words, and publishing agencies won’t take the book on the merit of her ideas and writing alone.

BUT, they will take it if YOU say it’s good and if YOU say you like her ideas.

I, along with many others, am trying to help her set up a marketing plan  that puts her “out there” so more people have a chance to read what she has written, judge for themselves, and become a follower. That is all it takes: a few thousand followers and that agent will be able to convince an agency to publish. Did you know public opinion had so much power? Do you know how much your voice counts when combined with many others?

Mona, a few other ladies, and I are going to collaborate on some ideas for this project next Monday. They need a little tutorial on how to join a Google Hangout, so I’m writing that below:

To hangout on Google, we all need to have google accounts and be on Google+ (A Google+ profile is a nice place to have a short bio and a public “online resume” of sorts for people (potential employers) to learn more about you quickly anyways. You can check out my profile here.) You will have to go to Google+ before our meeting and “download Google Hangout” – it only takes a few seconds. (I think it’ll be to the right of the screen in Google+, but I’m not sure as I’ve already downloaded it).

Everyone make sure to be online by the time we decided on and I will “start a hangout” and I believe it will automatically send an invite to your gchat (so make sure to be logged into your email and into chat too) – at least this is what has happened the few times I’ve used the Hangout feature. The invite will be a link. Just click that and it’ll take you to where we’re “hanging out”. If you have any questions, call or email me ahead of time and I’ll try to walk you through it.

So here’s the long and short of it. It’s been so long since I’ve posted here that I don’t even recognize the backend anymore (not saying its not totally slick, dear WordPress Gods; on the contrary), but I’m just feeling terribly shameful. So… since my husband is out of town, and I miss him, and he’s already asleep, and so is my baby, and because my heart is waxing sentimental this weekend from all the General Conference watching, I’m reaching out to you, dear followers. Are you still there?

I’m graduating from Brigham Young University in 17 days. It makes my mind stagger like I’ve been hit over the head with a backpack full of bricks. After four long years, I’m finally achieving a dream. Maybe not all that big a deal to some people, but to me it is. I came to BYU right after getting married at the ripe old age of 20. Growing up in a culture where motherhood is highly valued (I’m a mormon), deciding to prioritize my education (not the only reason we waited to have a child) was more difficult for me than I had predicted. I was uncompromising (to myself) on the issue of whether or not I would finish my degree, and I yearned to have a child. These goals are not impossible to do simultaneously, but at that point in life I was not good at balancing major responsibilities, I knew that, and I feared neglecting one or the other, since both are so important to me. As it is, I learned to balance better and ended up finishing my last year of college after being blessed with our beautiful son. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As a side note, I always saw myself marrying late in life after completing my education, having a few years of a career, and, you know, traveling the world (now my family is my work and my world). God had blessed me by sending me my husband while I was very young. I consider this a blessing, while acknowledging how difficult it has also been, because my husband and I were able to formulate so much of our worldview together. As opposed to being fixed in patterns and having to overcome these in order to become more “one in purpose.”

Anyways, I have been writing super sentimentally, but my purpose in writing this post is that I feel like I should be sharing what I have learned with you dear friends. I have many ideas floating around in my head for things to write about. I hope you won’t hold consistency against me. I shall do my best.

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My next big project is our vegetable garden. I am so excited about this. Our current landlord has been gracious enough to grant us plenty of space to do so, and has even scheduled trimmers to take out a few trees to enable more sun and beautify the space a bit.

As for the vegetables, I will be learning as I go. I’ve only done a little gardening with a lot of help and guidance from a master gardener, our previous landlord and friend, Chauncey Riddle. I’m really planning on trying a lot of stuff and just seeing what works.

I’ve inserted some photos of the plots I’ll be working with:

Image(Above) This plot is in the southeast corner of our backyard. It won’t get a ton of sun, but I’m hoping it’ll be enough to plant pumpkins, squash, zuchinni, and cucumber. We’ve cleaned it up considerably since this photo was taken (the trash there was presumably from previous tenants). My sister, a horticulture major at BYU-I has designed a plan for the space (below). I haven’t yet told her that I think I want to put the lettuce over here somewhere too. Hey Traci – have you ever heard of doing cucumber on a trellis? Just an idea I ran into tonight that we could possibly try.

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Below is the other plot in the northeast corner. It’s quite a bit larger and I think it will get almost full sun during the day. The trimmers are going to take out all those trees and we’re going to remove all the rocks and till and enrich the soil.

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Here I would like to do onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, cantaloupe, watermelon, potatoes (grown in a tire), and strawberries (in a raised bed made from a recycled industrial wood pallet). Oh! and herbs in the cinderblocks (working with the space I’ve got).

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Below is a preliminary plan for the space, though I’m no artist or horticulturalist like my sister.

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Below is what raised recycled pallet gardening looks like:

Elsewhere in the yard I want to plant carrots in a big barrel. I found some at home depot for only $15 and saw instructions for how to do this here. Also, in another corner of the yard I want to build a green teepee (teepee on which vinning plants like green beans and sweet peas can grow) for Bracken and the kid downstairs to play in. They look super fun!

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My other sister, who lives nearby and is doing this project with me, has already begun several indoor starts. I’ve created a collection of links to ideas and advice for the garden here, on my diigo profile. I also visited our extension center to get advice from the master gardener, and I intend to go back or call again for more.

That’s a good summary of what I’ve done so far I think.

This and next week I have several goals I hope I’ll get to between finishing up a few projects for school:

  • plan which plants to start from seeds and which to transplant from nursery plants
  • buy the rest of the seeds I need
  • do starts for whichever plants I need to
  • get rid of all the rocks in the garden area
  • follow up on tree trimmers (can’t borrow rototiller and prepare soil in both locations until trees are removed)
  • buy soils, fertilizers, etc in preparation for planting
  • find two used, good quality industrial pallets for free (check behind home depot or lowes?)
  • make planting plan (when to plant what, where, and draw out instructions for each plant’s care and harvesting)

I can’t think what else I need to do cause it’s starting to get late, and I’m getting sleepy. I am super excited though.


Photo of Bri

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