Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Study in Color

Pioneer Woman had a photo submission contest involving black and white photos. I had a lot of fun playing around with some pictures. This one was my favorite. I used to not really like black and whites, but I may be converting.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

PW and me

I went to the PW book signing last night. When I got there (8:15) it was extremely crowded. Everyone had already been given tickets with letters on them and they were only on F. I couldn't get there any earlier because I was busy at work saving lives, or something like that. Anyway, I talked to one of the ladies that worked at the King's English Bookstore and she recommended that without a ticket I go and get some food or something and come back in an hour.

So, I went to my parent's house and had some delightful White Bean Chicken Chili and chatted with my mom. Around 10pm I showed back up at the bookstore. The crowd outside was slightly smaller, and much to my dismay they were only at M. Hmm. That is only half way through the alphabet in 2.5 hours. Looks like it is going to be a long night. Then the only guy there came up and started talking to me. We talked about random things for a while, but most importantly he let me know the letters only went up to R. Sweet. A while later Random Guy traded his R for someone's Q. Lots of letter trading was happening. Goodbye Random Guy. Then I started chatting with a couple girls. We had all been talking earlier, but they wanted to leave me and Random Guy alone. Sorry nothing exciting to report there. I decided to nestle myself amid the Rs, even though I had no letter to speak of.

Luckily, they stopped checking letters and we made our way in. I met Stripped Shirt Girl and Token Gay Guy (self named). We all chatted and laughed our way through the winding bookstore. We read The Stick Man while in the children's section. Good book. When we got up to Missy and Ree's mother-in-law we asked if we could get a picture with them. They are super nice. We talked to Missy about Banana Republic and comfy sweaters and skiing and wonderful Ree.

Finally we could see PW. She was still unbelievably cheerful. And seemed genuinely happy to meet all of us. We talked to Ree about my upcoming marriage to Random Guy and how the two girls I had glued myself to were going to be in the marriage too. Those are the kinds of things you talk about when you have waited in line until 11:30. Oh, and most of the wait was in the November cold outside. We talked about the random box of tissues that someone had glued Marlboro Man's face to and given to Ree. Of course we got a picture. Then I said "Thanks Ree" and was on my way.

So worth the hours of wait time. And, if I do say so myself, I think I got the sweet end of the deal. I didn't show up at 3 in the afternoon and still got my book signed.

Thanks PW.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Grandpa's Funeral, in pictures

I took some pictures at the viewing and funeral. I thought I would share. I still cry a lot. But he is free from his worn out body.

The last picture I have of grandpa, Aug 30, 2009. At this point he was already moved to the hospital bed in his home, instead of the recliner that he used for years.

Us 4 kids. All of us smiled, which is a feat.

The original 6 in the KC Johnson family. Most of us smiled.

3 members of the Military were there to do a salute at the cemetery.

Much like the guards for the Queen of England, they were very stoic.

The 8 pallbearers that were in town. James, Greg, Chris, Trevor, Ben, Shaun, Kyle, Brett. Eric wasn't able to come.

The casket and flag.

They held the flag above the casket while taps was played.

Not a dry eye as she played Taps. Quite sobering. Thank you for your service for our country.

They folded the flag.

And presented it to my dad, the eldest of the Johnson kids.

Marching away. I wasn't able to get a picture of them saluting my dad after they gave him the flag. I was in the wrong place.

My dad and the flag.

Before being lowered into the grave.

The flowers that made me cry. I typically mourn in silence, in that I don't like to tell people my problems. Well, I had told a couple friends, and they gave me flowers. And I cried like a baby when I saw them.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The other day I put 2 SD cards in my back pocket so that I would have them while I was taking pictures, in case I needed more memory. Today I washed my jeans.

Poor sad lost memory.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I love you, Grandpa

The flag is at half mast. My grandpa died this morning. I guess you could say that it was expected, but that doesn't mean I miss him any less.

My grandpa was an amazing man. We were very close.

When my family lived in California my grandparents would come to visit us. They would ride Amtrak from Utah and would spend a week or two visiting. My grandpa would always walk to the elementary school to pick us up and would walk home with us. We always stopped at the grocery store on the way home where we each got to pick out a treat or toy.

When they were back home in Utah he and my grandma would send us 2 dollar bills. I remember thinking that they were the coolest things ever, and I wouldn't ever spend them because they were special, because they were from my grandparents. I still have a hard time spending 2 dollar bills.

Once or twice a year my family would drive from California to Utah to visit. My grandpa always took us to the 49th Street Galleria. We would mini golf. Every visit we did this, and I always looked forward to it. I think it was one of my favorite things to do in Utah. I think of him every time I drive by the old 49th Street Galleria.

Grandpa Ken served in WWII on a submarine. He was very proud of his service. I am patriotic because of him. I know how to properly fold a flag because of him.

He got his Silver Beaver in the Boy Scouts of America organization. He came out to California for each of my brother's courts of honor when they got their Eagles. I know a lot about scouting because of him.

I could always talk to my grandpa. In the last 10 years since my grandma died, I have spent a lot of time talking to my grandpa. Because his sight was failing, I would read to him. I don't know if he got anything out of those times, but I will always remember them.

When I was 12 my family moved back to Utah just 3 houses down the street from my Grandpa. I spent a lot of evenings with the "porch patrole," a group consisting of my grandparents and their best friends/neighbors the Becks. We would sit out there each night and just watch the evening pass. I wasn't allowed to move a lot because it would turn the porch light on via the motion detector. I spent a lot of time listening to my grandparents on that porch. After my grandma died I would sit on the porch with my grandpa.

He was always quiet. But I always knew he loved me. Even at the end when he had dementia, he always recognized me. We would have wild conversations as the dementia took his memory. He was always happy despite the confusion, which I am grateful for. I told him one day that he was looking thin and that maybe I should get on his diet (not eating), he told me to get on it. I talked to him about his "girlfriend" at the care center. He said he didn't have just one girlfriend. I told him that there was only so much dating that could be done in this world and since he had so many girlfriends I couldn't have a boyfriend. He laughed. We always laughed together.

When I was 10 I came out to Utah by myself to visit. I spent a lot of time with all of my grandparents. My grandma June made me a wonderful scrapbook, a copy for her and a copy for me. I now have both copies. At the end are the testimonies of both my grandma June and my grandpa Ken. I cherish this book. His testimony:

"Dear sweet, young Andrea Kay,
Just want to bear a special testimony to you of the Gospel in which we all believe. This Gospel has always been a very important part of my life and also important in the lives of your great grandparents, and your great, great grandparents.
I know this Gospel is true, and that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ did appear to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. I know that it was through Joseph Smith that the Gospel, which had been taken from the earth following the death of the original apostles, was restored to the Earth. I know that through this restoration, we have the true authority to act in God's name here upon this earth. Further, this authority was restored to Joseph Smith by John the Baptist and then by Peter, James, and John who had recieved it from Jesus Christ while he was still upon the Earth.
I also know that we who have been baptized by this authority have the privilege (and also the responsibility) to choose for ourselves what we will do while we live here in this world. Those choices will determine what we will do after our mortal death.
Our families are so very important and we must always honor our parents and our families. Never do anything to discredit them nor the Church. The Lord promises great blessings to all of us - if we keep His commandments and always to good things.
I ask the Lord to continue His blessings upon you as you study and learn the Gospel, and pray daily to Him, being receptive to the Spirit. You are a special young girl - and we love you dearly.
Grandpa J. (signed)"

I cherish our time together. I spent a while with him last night. I just sat near him and talked to him. He didn't respond. I knew that the end was close and was glad to share more precious time with him.

For several years he has been too frail to make it to the temple, something he cherished all his life. I always wanted him at my wedding, but feared that he wouldn't be able to make it. Now he can.

I love you, Grandpa.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The summer: family edition

This summer was full of fun. I have not blogged about any of it. So here goes. This is the family portion of the summer. Our family went to Thanksgiving Point and to Yellowstone. More family time than we are used to, and we are all still friends. Good news. I know the pictures are not in order, but I am not going to do anything about it.

Connor didn't want to get his hands dirty so he ate his ice cream sandwich off the table. My laughing might have been an encouragement. I am a good aunt.

Hilary braved the cold water to entertain the kids. She is better than the rest of us.

Annie playing at the lake at Yellowstone.

My dad, the photographer.

The Jr Park Rangers. Turns out that pants are not a required part of the uniform.

One of my favorite pics from the trip.

Cute Ellie and Hilary.

This picture does not do justice to the dirtiness that was Nathan.

The four kids, who refuse to all smile at the same time.

Ah, cute. These two were all about holding hands.

Chris and his boys.

Greg and Ellie.

Downward Dog by Nathan.


It is important to get very very close to the flowers with the magnifying glass.

Again with the hand holding.

Chris and Nathan and the golf cart.

Examining the flowers.

Ellie, at Great Grandma Verla's house.

Nathan at Great Grandma Verla's house.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gigi and Me

I am a cat lady. Sort of. Me and my cat are completely content to just hang out at home. I guess that means I am a recluse. It works well for me. The trouble is, my cat gets lonely if I am not home. When I get home Gigi won't leave me alone. And she does that thing that cats do when they are trying to make their bed more comfortable and they kneed you. Except my stomach is not going to be changing shape regardless of how much she kneeds it, which means that it only serves to keep me awake when I want to be asleep. I wish that she would be cuddly when I want to be awake instead of when I am trying to sleep.

Gigi is also good at making sure I pay attention to my alarm. I am of the persuasion that hitting the snooze button is a wonderful thing. Gigi, like Pavlov's dog, has come to realize that the alarm noise is associated with me getting out of bed. And my getting out of bed is associated with the bathroom door opening. Don't ask me why she loves the bathroom so much. Her love of the bathroom is the reason I keep the door closed. It just doesn't seem sanitary for her to be drinking out of the toilet. And she likes to attack the rug, something that I don't enjoy. Needless to say Gigi, like a 2 year old, is highly interested in what is off-limits.

In other news, Gigi is having major surgery soon. She is going to be fixed and get her claws removed. I am pretty sure she is really excited about it. If she wouldn't claw my carpet then I wouldn't have to declaw her. She is probably going to be really sad to be away from me overnight. Or maybe it is me that is going to be sad to have her gone. I might be co-dependent. Maybe.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Just thought I would update you on the study.  After several hours of "screening" on Tuesday I was $100 richer and still unsure of my participation in the study.  On Wednesday I got a call that I have been "excluded".  So, no miracle cure for me.  Better luck next time.
In other news, I have decided to exercise despite the extreme discomfort.  We will see how long this lasts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

say what?

I am supposed to go to my doctor appointment today with hives.  So I just went outside and jogged/walked (I am really out of shape) for 30 minutes or so.  Did I get hives? No.  But I got hives yesterday just walking to McDonalds.  I don't get it.  If I don't have hives for this appointment I can't get the clinical trial medication that might change my life.  It could be that I am healed, lets hope.  If not, I am going to be very sad next time I get hives.


So I get these hives.  It is kind of a bummer.  I thought I understood these hives.  But I am realizing more and more that I do not know about my hives.  I used to think that I got hives whenever I would sweat or get hot or get stressed or ...  However, now I am finding some loopholes.  Today: I walked 1.5 blocks, weeded a garden for FHE for less than an hour then walked back to the church.  Then I walked 1.5 blocks to McDonalds (don't judge) and at McD's got hives.  Not really bad ones, but hives nonetheless.  This evening I tried Jillian's workout again.  (Deck of cards= 84 pushups, 84 lunges, 84 crunches, 84 reverse crunches.  I can explain in more detail if you really want to know).  Anyway, this is the second time I have done this workout and I have not gotten hives either time.  Seriously?  I don't understand.  I took a bike ride last monday for 30 minutes and got crazy hives.  This is all very confusing.  Hmm.  They look something like this when at full flare.  Sorry for the ugly leg shots.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Good and Bad News

The Good News: I just filed my taxes for only $45.
The Bad News: I can't e-file because of my sick leave pay.
The Good News: I get lots of money back (thank you for buying a house this year)
The Bad News: I bought my house on March 28, which was 12 days before the April 9 cutoff to get the $7000 tax credit for buying a home in 2008.
The Good News: The $7000 tax credit would have actually just been a loan, so now I don't have to worry about keeping that much in a bank account to pay back within 15 years.
The Bad News: My tax refund is already allocated to a new (to me) car and new carpet.
The Good News: I will be able to get to and from work without worrying that my car is going to fall apart at any second.  The only thing holding it together: faith and paying tithing..

Oh and more good news: I am going to California with my parents in a week, and I am going to Indiana with my mom in 5 weeks!  And I can expect my tax return in 5-7 weeks.  Woot!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


My brother and s-i-l came to visit earlier this month.  I have been very slow about taking the pictures off my camera, but finally did last night.  Here are some of the fun ones I found.  We went to Del Taco one afternoon for lunch and so Connor could play in the Play Land.  I was convinced by the 2 year old to play in the play land too.  It turns out it was a bad idea.  I broke my toe.  And then re-broke it a week later, and again a week after that.  It is healing really well.

Coming out of the slide.

Pre broken toe.  I am still smiling in this one.

He has very blue eyes, I love it!

Cute Nathan

Nathan and daddy.

I love his chubbiness!

Connor was not terribly interested in pictures, he was interested in convincing me to go down the slide again.

Case in point: do not share drinks with toddlers.  Big old spit string commin off that straw.

Neither of the boys really wanted to participate in this picture.

He must be looking at his mom.

This is what happens when you tell Connor it is time to go home.

The good news is, Liz is still smiling.

And one of my cat.  Isn't she cute. (people have been asking for pics of her).

Now I need to go take some pictures of my nieces one of these days.  To prove that they are just as cute as the boys.