Friday, January 30, 2009


So, the week is ending better than it began. That's good, right? I got in a few extra hours at work (this week and last), which after taking two full weeks off at Christmas is a blessing. I got caught up and a couple of chapters ahead in the Grapes of Wrath and I just got caught up in Song of Solomon. I'm even doing the journal work for my Steinbeck class. I was in the middle of it when Mom called. I'm so glad she did. I was thinking about her today. She always seems to know right when to call. I should do the same thing, just call when I'm thinking about her. But she's such a busy woman, I don't want to interrupt her groove. But, like the call just now, we don't have to have a long conversation in order for it to be worth-while. I'm starting to realize that. And to realize that if I'm thinking of someone, I can call, and if that person is busy, they'll tell me and that's OK. I love my Momma. I should call her more often.

I took a Spanish test on Wednesday that I'm pretty sure I didn't do very well on. I don't think I failed (I hope not, anyway) but I don't think I got a very good grade, either. I guess we'll see next week. This semester of Spanish is really gonna be HARD! But if I make it with a "C" I'll pass, and that's all I need!

I hate that school and work are the center of my life. I need to fix that. But how am I supposed to get an education without focusing on school? I need to have a social life, but I need to get my degree. Conundrum.

K, that's all, for now.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Mostly for the sake of a new post and also because I don't want to be reading my text book, I've decided it's time to write.

Before I launch, Grandpa is doing really well! Thanks to those who've sent up prayers in his behalf and my family's. We're all doing great and we're happy to have Grandpa on the mend.

School sucks. I really don't want to go. Every morning I have to talk myself into getting out of bed and starting the day. I know that if I just get started, get myself ready and off to work, I'll make it to the end and everything will be OK. But today, I had to talk myself into going to every class. I hate having to talk myself into things I know I need and that are good for me, like school and work. I hate having to go, though, too. It's all very frustrating.

I really like cookies. I have a few of those off-brand Nilla Wafers. They're good.

I'm getting an iPod, finally. I can't wait to load it. I'll probably waste a lot of time playing with it this week.

I just got two movies and a book in the mail. I love Amazon. I now own Dear Frankie and Sweet Land, plus River Secrets by Shannon Hale. I really wish I had time to read that novel right now, but it'll have to wait. I have an amazingly long line of books I really want to read. I may not get to them until after graduation, sadly. The next few semesters are going to be devoted to reading required material. Hopefully it will all be interesting. So far, so good. I just finished Americana by Don Dilillo and I'm currently in the Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck and Song of Solomon by Morrison. All depressing, but very interesting.

Love Life and Learning. This was the lesson in Relief Society the first week of January. It was a great lesson, and I was really feeling the message through the Spirit. Today, I'm not really loving life or learning. Not good. Maybe I need a refresher course on loving life and learning.

Marie might move to St. Louis. That kinda freaks me out. But what an amazing opportunity for her. She also may be staying in Salt Lake to work for the Children's Museum. That would also be a great opportunity to build her resume and gain some more business experience.

I had lost count of how many cousins and cousin's kids there were in my family, the Heywood's and the Chinn's. All of them, including my family and my aunts and uncles and grandparents...there's 98 of us. With two on the way, and a ton more to come. Can you imagine your entire extended family? Ancestors and posterity? This is just the family right here, right now. Not my grandparent's brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. Not even my parent's aunts, uncles, and cousins. Just mine. 98, soon to be 100. And I'm on the older-side. Lots and lots of cousins younger than me and four siblings unmarried, five including myself. Imagine how much bigger we're going to get. It's nuts.

OK, I think I've ranted and gabbered enough. I am going to read now. And probably fall asleep doing it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


This has been the longest six days of my life, I swear.

It all started with the end of my first three days of school. Believe it or not, I was late to my second "Steinbeck" class and I left after five minutes. No, it wasn't the teacher, students, or content of the class. I will explain.

My Grandpa Chinn went into the hospital for an angiogram. The doctors found major blockage and saw that part of his heart wasn't receiving any blood. They decided to schedule an emergency bi-pass. This was all happening very quickly Friday morning. By the time I arrived (late) to my class, Jana had called to tell me she could pick me up in twenty minutes and we'd be on our way to Salt Lake. Needless to say, I left class. We picked Marie up at her new apartment in Salt Lake and headed to St. Mark's Hospital where we met Heather and Travis and the rest of the family. When we got there, we did a lot of waiting and talking with uncles and aunts. We finally got to see Grandpa just before they took him into surgery to put a balloon in one of his arteries to keep it open and help the blood flow in preparation for the bi-pass he would have on Saturday morning. We kissed him "goodnight" and he was rolled away. We waited and waited til they brought him back out, went to see that he was still alive, gave him a kiss goodnight (for real this time) and went home. My mom, in the mean time, was buying a plane ticket, getting packed, and driving to Long Beach to fly into Salt Lake late Friday night so she could be at the hospital before Grandpa's surgery Saturday morning. She made it. No worries.

Saturday morning, Jana and I met the family in the waiting room. The bi-pass took only three and a half hours (as opposed to the estimated five to six, maybe eight hours). Everything worked out beautifully, according to the surgeon. They did a quadruple bi-pass. Things were mostly "wait and see" all day Saturday and Sunday. We all spent most of our time in the hospital, waiting to see. He was doing really well, according to the nurses and doctors, and spent a lot of time sleeping Saturday, and sitting-up on Sunday. (P.S. Jana and I went with Marie to her new Ward on Sunday... all the single, good-looking, older guys in are Salt Lake, I swear! I may have to move... )

On Monday, his heart started to go out of rhythm, and they had to "jump-start" him three times, only to have no real change. So they put him on a medication that helped to even out his rhythm. He's doing much better now, and the doctors have even decided not to put in a pace-maker. If his heart goes out of rhythm more often and more irregularly, they'll obviously change that decision, but as of right now, everything is GOOD!

Interlaced with the weekend that never ended was a lot of reading and homework that didn't get done. So Sarah's been playing the catch-up game all week long, and it's only the second week of school!! But I'm not really complaining. It's been good for me to do all of the assignments in speed-mode. Besides, my grandpa is alive and well. Why complain?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christmas in California

I'm so happy to report that I made it through this Christmas at home almost completely unscathed! Not that I don't always enjoy my time at home, but this year was especially great. Here's a short breakdown. Well, short for me. We all know how verbose I can get.

The Chinn Family Christmas Party with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

We got to visit Disneyland! I really like Disneyland. It was a rainy and overcast day, so all of the season-passers weren't there! It was so nice! Our longest wait was for Indiana Jones, and that was only 30 minutes. We basically walked right on to every ride!

On the Pirates of the Caribbean

In front of Tom and Huck's Island

The Tree. See all of those presents? Well, we (meaning my siblings and I) were supposed to get Disneyland tickets and only Disneyland tickets for Christmas, but the Chinn grandparents contributed to the ticket purchases and we each put in $20 for our own tickets, so we got more Christmas. There were more presents for us than for the poor niece and nephews, who's Christmas really was mostly Disneyland. Poor kids. *evil grin* And yes, we were watching A Christmas Story.

The Heywood Grandparents

My youngest nephew really likes tape. His parents are trying to help him get over his tape obsession, but he was indulged while at Grandma's house. Here he thought he was pretty funny, walking around with a long piece of tape covering his eyes. Yes, he's strange.

Here's my oldest nephew, chillin' on my uncle's couch. We spent a few hours on Christmas day with the extended Heywood family, but I think my nephew got a little bored. He spent most of his time playing video games, though, so maybe he wasn't bored.

Of course Dad wasn't bored. He had a piano to play!

Here's my niece modeling her new PJs. She's pretty cute, huh?

We played games a few nights. Jana stole my camera and took this picture. Not very flattering of us, but it's real. Yes, that's my adorable double-chin!

This is a demonstration of Wasco: fog and orchards. This is a moving picture taken through the car window of an almond orchard. Imagine these trees in full-bloom, covered in pink and white blossoms. It's gorgeous and reeks havoc on my sinuses.

Need gas? Oil? It's ALL over California! Why are we so worried about oil?? It's all over the place, and we dig it up constantly!! It baffles me, really.

On the first day of the new year, my sisters, Mom, and I took a three-hour road trip to San Luis and Pismo Beach. Here's a great shot (in my humble opinion) of my Mom watching the frustrated surfers. (My mom is the one in the white sweater with her hand covering her eyes--I don't think she knows about this picture.)

Pretty poetic: Christmas in California. The tree, the poinsettia, and the bright, happy sun!

It was such a beautiful day on the coast! It couldn't have been less than 72 degrees and there was a slight breeze. That sun made it warm and happy!

So, that's all. It was a great trip home. I loved being there, relaxing, not having any time-constraints, no papers to write, no required reading, and mostly being with my family! I hope everyone else had equally wonderful Christmases!