Thursday, March 29, 2007


Tonight I have this overwhelming desire to play the piano. The funny thing is, I don't play well at all. I can plunk out a few hymns, some random Andrew Lloyd Webber stuff, and maybe a waltz or two. But what makes it particularly funny is the fact that it's 10 p.m....Not that late by most folks' standards, but my parents are long asleep. Just now I started laughing, remembering one of Reuben's stories from freshman year, when he came home one night to play the drums. The problem? It was 3 a.m. My favorite part was when Reuben described this incredibly quiet (and weird) guy named Kenneth poking his head out the door and making an angry face, without saying a word. Priceless.

Actually, I think my sudden musical ambitions are a result of nervous energy. I've got big plans for the weekend, and I can hardly contain myself. In addition to the regular stuff, I'm looking forward to more moving (and actually staying at my place), some dancing (already have planned a kickin' salsa outfit) and a yard sale. These are the things I live for. OK, not moving, but nesting. And of course dancing and garage sale-ing. They make life worth living.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A little movement

A little update-- the house is finally mine! Hooray! I had my final inspection yesterday and it's all official. So last night my mom and I went over to my house so I could start the HUGE unpacking process. It's a little overwhelming, but fun at the same time. I ran my dishwasher for the first time last night, and hung up a shower curtain, and got the study in pretty good-looking shape. I won't give you the big rundown on everything else that needs to be done, because it's boring and long and, let's be honest, who cares? My goal is to have everything basically set up by Easter. Folks are coming to my house for Easter Dinner, and I want the house to look put-together.
And, I can't remember if I said this already, but spring fever seems to be working to my advantage these days. I love this season! The clothes are cute, I'm in the mood to clean, and everyone around me is falling in love (not with me, necessarily, but I'm working a couple good leads). The flowers are blooming in town, so everything smells great. Plus also, I was visiting my little pal Jacob the other night, and this cute little boy from down the hall in the dorms handed me a little bouquet of flowers he pinched from around campus. I loved them not only because they were beautiful and unexpected, but also because they reminded me of another illegal flower-gathering I was privy to, back in Poland. My friend/roommate Emily had been out of town, visiting some friends in Katowice. Our mutual friend Agnieszka (the president of Emily's fan club) wanted to have a little surprise for Em, so she asked me to come pick flowers with her. First, we went to this field with a bunch of weeds. That went all right, until Aga remembered all the flowers at the dom studencki (dorm run by nuns, by the way), and stared pulling up roses, hydrangeas, etc., etc. The nuns yelled at Aga, but she didn't really let it phase her. I miss that girl.
Anyway, happy, happy life!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

News, News, News!

Ta-Da! I'm in my house. Well, right now I'm at my parents' house. But most of my possessions are in my new house, and I'll be joining them in a couple of days. I'm in the process of unpacking and setting things up, but I'm hoping to settle in soon. I love it so much! But wow! There's a lot to do! I'm completely worn out.

I've had the most interesting week ever, I must say. Happily, I've had several friends call me up and tell me they're getting married! Hooray for weddings! Honestly, there must be something in the water… it's that time of year, I guess. And my "boyfriend," Jacob, just got called on a mission for our church and is going to South Africa. My friend Trav is moving from Utah to Texas to sell alarm systems, and my cousin Garret is going to Mesa to sell pest control. It feels like everyone I know is on the move and doing new, cool things. I'm glad we're all in motion.

And… what else? Well, I'm in kind of a funny situation, because I've got this new friend, but it's making one of my old friends a little crazy. Don't want to say too much, in case it's just my imagination, but here's hoping it doesn't lead to a bunch of drama, and that any part of it I might need to handle will be taken care of without any hurt feelings or weirdness. It's going to call for delicacy, anyway.

OK, it's late, but I'm happy. That's all.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

And now for something completely different, version 2.0

I'll bet I'm now going to tell you something you wouldn't expect. Monthly, I play a game called Pokeno (like Bingo, with cards) with a nun named Sister Frances. Tonight at the Pokeno Party, Sister Frances told the group that she'd "been with" three men. Like, known them, Biblically speaking. Before she joined the convent. What was even more alarming when she told us that "Chris" had been her best. That's an awkward way to find out that you are the only virgin in a room-- I can't even count on the nun for solidarity on this point.
In totally unrelated news, I'm THIS CLOSE to getting in my house. The heating and cooling inspector is actually in the hospital, so we're all praying one of his assistants can inspect the house in the morning so I can get my final inspection tomorrow afternoon as planned. But what can you do? I guess I've waited this long, it doesn't really matter if I have to wait for another weekend to get moved in. But the really tragic thing is I'd lined up a moving party with this nice new kid I met at church. It's not too often someone tells you, "I live for moving people." I was really looking forward to spending time with him at 7 a.m. instead of the 10-Midnight chats that have been our standard get-to-know-you-better times. Mostly because I'm so tired. I hope that the offer will still stand if moving is moved back.
Um... I think that's all, except to say that I'm just an extraordinarily blessed person. Countless people have done some really special things for me recently-- things that I couldn't hope to pay back. I'm just trying to pay it forward, ya know? Because if we were keeping score, I'd definitely be in the hole.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Shelf Paper and Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

OK... it's the middle of the month now. Still no moving-in party. All I lack is a propane tank and a final inspection. It's getting close now.
This weekend I bought the cleaning supplies. I'd forgotten how much it costs when you get the stuff all at once... but it's ok. There's something really exciting about all of it. I've got a pristine-white trashcan for the kitchen. I've got a really cute broom and dust-mop, and, if you can believe it, fashionable rubber gloves for washing dishes. I bought toilet brushes and toilet-bowl cleaner, and sponges and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers (what a grand product!) and carpet fresh in "Clean Linen" scent. I know my house is starting off clean and all, but it's like the spring-cleaning bug is compounded by the need to get everything arranged. Tonight I lined about a quarter of my cabinets with shelf paper (a job I hate, but I feel a good sense of accomplishment) and I'm looking forward to putting up the shower curtain in the guest bathroom.
Truthfully, what I'm really looking forward to are the parties and the guests. This weekend it was like the Polish embassy phoned. Friday night I was getting ready to go out dancing with the peeps when I received a call from my old pal, Pani Heather. Heather is part of a little clique called the "Pani Triumvirate" from my second summer in Lublin. We were chatting about my plans for the evening when suddenly Heather's voice became quite masculine. No! Actually, it was my good friend Nathan, who is now friends with Heather in D.C. (Nathan and I met and became palsy-walsy during my first trip to Poland... he was always good to have around when you were looking for a W.C.-- he could spot 'em from a mile away!). So, much to my own surprise and happiness, I got to speak to TWO of my favorite kids from the Lublin era of my life. But wait, there's more. After a brief discussion on the progress of my house, I heard a third, special voice on the phone. It was none other than Andrew, my very own scarecrow (that is, I love and miss him most of all). Andziej is the one I went to Prague with, and the one I've always admired because he's such a doer. Like once, he noticed a smoke stack on campus was putting out mighty amounts of pollution, so he found a way to help BYU cut back on the problem. It was amazing, and so is he. Anyway, Andrew was visiting Nathan (his former roommate) in D.C., and they met up with Pani Heather. The only thing that would have made it better would have been for me to actually see them, but here's hoping it'll happen soon. And now that the house is practically finished, I'll be able to accommodate any or all of them quite comfortably. Andrew also tells me he's building a condo in P.G., which I'll get to see when I'm in Utah for Nessa's wedding later this year. Oh, it's simply blissful. I love my friends!
But again-- there's more. Tonight during the shelf-papering extravaganza, I received a phone call from the OTHER wonderful member of the triumvirate-- Pani Emily. Emo tells me she's now engaged, so the weekend is getting better and better.
I have all these visions of people I love coming to stay with me, letting me show them why New Mexico really is enchanting.
But even if that takes a while, I think the locals will pop in and pay me a visit or two here and there. Tonight a couple of my neighbors stopped by. I've known them practically all my life (the wife used to babysit me when I was very little, and she led the singing in Primary on Sundays), and I know it'll be great living next door to their family. They told me that their 13-year-old daughter (honestly, I remember when that kid was born!) has been asking them if they thought a) it would be all right for her to visit me, and b) if I'd have Otter-pops in my freezer. You can bet I'll be stocking up on them now. Isn't that so cute?
Friends, come see me. There may just be an Otter Pop in it for you! Love, Pani Rachel

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Tonight I was at a play, selling hotdogs to all the proud parents who'd come to see their little ingenues/child prodigies/sunbeams perform. It was kind of weird. The High School auditorium still smells the same, but it's not as strong a scent. It makes me a little sad. And it makes me a little nervous that we were that bad when we performed back in the day. But still, several of the kids get an A for effort, and a couple really have the beginnings of some talent. I wish them well.
The really interesting part of the evening was I ran into a couple I've known for years. They're divorced now, but seem to be on good terms. I guess they're those cool new divorcees who love each other but don't want to be married anymore. On the one hand, I really respect that. But it also makes me really sad. Even people I've thought I've hated I still love. Does that make sense? I mean, I may hate what they do, but I still love them. Of course, I've been fortunate in that no one has ever done anything that bad to me, I guess. But that would be a sad day-- to hear that someone doesn't love you anymore. I guess what I'm saying is that once I've loved someone, it sticks.
I miss a few people these days. Some of the ones that stuck, I think.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Home of the brash, outrageous and free

In case you were wondering if I fell off the face of the earth, the answer is no. If you are wondering if I'm in my house yet, the answer is ALMOST! The weather kind of put us behind schedule (again!) but tomorrow my house will no longer be grey. It will be "Adobe Brown." The blinds are up and the carpet is in. I still have to hang curtains and get a propane tank. My pellet stove is being temperamental, and I need some molding and towel rods. The exterior lights must go up. And then… final inspection! And then… I can't even move in. This weekend will be dedicated to some volunteer work I signed on for months ago. But after that, I'll be nearly in. And then… it's party time!

Life is great. I've had a series of experiences recently that have caused me to do a little self-evaluation. I talk too much (that sound you hear is a chorus of, "Tell me about it!" from everyone who knows me). The upside is I usually am interesting. But I need more mystery in my life. I was hanging out with some friends the other night and pulled out my harmonica and randomly played a few tunes. The thing is, most of the people didn't know about my little harmonica talent, but no one was surprised. It seemed like the most natural thing in the world that I'd play the harmonica. And this week, I'm having dinner with my mom and about five of her good friends. We're going to a restaurant where there's a waiter I've admired from afar. It's a nice show of support from the ladies, but they're all keyed in to the ins-and-outs of my social life. And while I don't really expect to change much on this one, I think I'm going to make a few adjustments. Don't worry—there will still likely be the over-sharing we all love, but I don't know. I just feel different somehow.

Anyway, not much of note has happened recently. I did get a call from an old friend's girlfriend the other day. It was a little odd. She didn't tell me her name (he and I didn't really talk about her much), but she called to let me know he's in jail, and wanted to know if there was anything going on between the two of us. I'm not gonna lie, that's kind of a freaky phone call to get, even when you're a pretty nice girl who generally stays out of trouble. But other than that, life is floating along. It's scary, and it's fun, and it won't be long before I should have exotic locales to write from, boys to write about, and pictures of the finished house. But all in good time.