Saturday, February 27, 2010

Opaque or translucent?

I'm reading a book right now called "Garbage Land: On The Secret Trail of Trash," by Elizabeth Royte, an acclaimed science writer. (She is basically following garbage men/ trucks around New York City to understand how trash is taken care of and where it is put... very, very interesting book.)

The following is an excerpt that, for some reason, I found fascinating:

"I suspect that many people feel guilty about the volume of their trash. As I became more educated about garbage, my feelings of shame and guilt grew. There was stuff in my barrel, like those stained linen napkins, for which I'd failed to find further use. When I'd brought this stuff into the house -- a new shirt, healthy food, a really fun toy -- it was live weight, something was proud to have selected and purchased with my hard-earned money. Now the contents of the bag were dead weight, headed for burial.

No wonder we prefer opaque garbage bags. And no wonder that recycling bags, which flaunt our virtue, are often translucent."

Friday, February 26, 2010

A little celebration

My darling roommate Addie had her birthday today... this was only part of our celebration:

Thank you, Peggy, for the deliciously darling cake!

Cutting the cake...

Display of cake...

Adding a little more frosting to cake...

The initial approach with cake...

The "presentation" of the cake...

Making sure she survived the cake...

(Our celebration at The Cheesecake Factory)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dear Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

You left the following comment on my blog, in response to my post on the visit of Francis Cardinal George coming to speak and I wanted to comment on a few things:

Original Comment from Anonymous:
“It's nice to think of people coming together in solidarity and recognizing the hand of god in things. But what if people don't believe? There is a reason that there is no state religion for example. Religion is a choice. It would be nice if congress sang about god together, but the fact of the matter is, not everyone believes in god, or those who do believe believe in different ways. Let's say I'm an atheist, and I find refuge and solidarity by getting together with other non-believers and talking about what we believe in. Does that mean that if you and I are both in public offices that we should go about building such solidarity my way, not yours? Surely you would object. Stop trying to force religion in areas that are meant to remain neutral to it. It doesn't mean that individuals, or even large groups, can't act in a way that squares with their beliefs, but you have to see the problems when you try to prject that onto the political arena. It's not the place. No matter how much you think it should be. Why don't we try to find common ground that we can build on. Instead of hoping and wishing that congress would sing "God Bless America" (And ******* and moaning when they don't) try to figure out a way to accomodate each other so that we can all have a sense of comradery regardless of our religious backgrounds. Your thoughts are naive and way too compartmentalized. Leave the mountain west and see the world for what it is.”

My Comments:
Thank you, Anonymous. I appreciate the gentle reminder that no two people are alike; exactly how God created us. With that said, I respectfully remind you and any other readers, that this is my personal blog. I have the freedom to write and share my opinions however I please - I may write things with which you disagree - this post being our case in point.

Personally I believe that, (I don’t think you will agree with this, and that is absolutely your prerogative,) this nation was founded by men who were led by God. If people don’t believe in God, that is their choice. I believe in God. He still leads us today – however, men and women have chosen not to believe that or listen to Him. I hope, again, this is my personal belief, that one day our nation will return to worshiping Him and recognizing His hand in all things. That is what I believe. That is my right. I do not believe that I am closed-minded, naive or that I compartmentalize things too much. I work very hard to look at situations from different perspectives - but when I believe something, I believe it, and I don't stray from that. I do think we are arguing a moot point – you believe one thing. I believe another. We both have that freedom. We’ll agree to disagree, but we both have the right to voice our opinions – and that is exactly what I was doing on my blog.

Also, I respectfully disagree with you that I should have to leave the mountain west to see the world for what it is. Why should it make any difference where I live? The world is the world. I’m watching the same news channels and reading the same NY Times articles that you are. (Unless they print two different copies and I get the “censored” version. I highly doubt that.) It is up to each man and woman to educate themselves. Should everyone move to the east coast (the supposed promised land)to receive their education and upbringing? Hmm, I would presume that there are differing opinions on that question. I would say no. I spent nine years growing up in northern California, studying a month in Italy, working and serving a year and a half in Germany and have spent the accumulation of my high school and college years in Utah. There are two sides to this debate: do we need to see blood, murder, sex and violence to appreciate what we have? Yes and no. How can we appreciate good and happiness without experiencing bad and devastation? We can't. However, there is a point where we come to understand how much bad is out there and we don't need or want to participate in it or see it to appreciate the good. So, I think I will stick to my west coast ways. Los Angeles has murderers just like New York does.

Again, Anonymous, I’ll state that we’ll agree to disagree, but we both have the right to voice our opinions – and that is exactly what I was doing, and will continue to do, on my blog.

You cool with that, friend? I am. If you don’t like what you’re reading on my blog, you also hold the freedom to not read my blog anymore.

Your imperfect friend who tries to be a little better and a little more open-minded everyday,

Ashley E. Jones

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Give us our daily bread

Today, I witnessed something remarkable.

His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George, is president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the first Chicago native to become Archbishop of Chicago. He visited BYU campus today and spoke to a full Marriott Center on the topic of "Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defense of Religious Freedom."

Who would have thought that Catholics and Latter Day Saints would be coming together to discuss philosophic and moral matters, on which they agree? Today was a landmark, in my opinion.

President Samuelson noted the attendance of Elders Ballard and Cook as well as two Catholic Bishops from Salt Lake in support of our honored guest. They opened the forum with an opening prayer in a manner that is familiar to Catholics. The BYU professor, a lifelong Catholic, stood and explained a little of the manner of their prayer. She then invited us to stand and repeat the prayer with her.

"Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Honestly, I was in awe. The sound of these hundreds of students repeating these words almost brought me to tears. God's children, under one roof, recognizing His hand, admitting the need to involve Him more than we have been.

Politics and religion can exist in the same arena. Currently, they don't. It would be unfathomable to see Congress standing together today singing "God Bless America." However, nine years ago, they stood together after a national terrorist attack, and recognized God. Why is God being pulled out of everything?

Francis Cardinal George talked about same-sex marriage and abortion and that the Catholics and Latter Day Saints are working together to combat these issues.

I'm excited for the transcript to be posted online - I would encourage everyone to read it and watch it when they post the video online.

I applaud Cardinal George for his actions and words. He received a standing ovation from the attendees in the Marriott Center, which I feel he entirely deserved.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Looking for a date?

I found this hilarious video on a blog I read. Got a great laugh out of it. Where have all these guys gone?

"Type A I am not -- comfortable, caring and serious about a relationship, I am." -Hi Mom Guy.

Checking out

It's here. I've hit it. My college brain is shutting down. My love of Provo is dying, or rather, is dead. I'm slowly checking out of my life at BYU. I'm only taking two classes right now and the desire to work is only enough for one class - my capstone/ senior project class. But the other class is unfortunately taking the brunt of my lack of desire to do homework. My reading quiz scores will be my witnesses.

I have been in college from September 2004 to now. (I didn't take a year and a half hiatus...)I will graduate in April... (Two months from today, thank you!) And then I'm heading to the city of angels (Los Angeles, CA) for an internship with the largest international PR firm in the world, Edelman PR. It is a paid internship; car provided, gas paid, housing provided, weekly food stipend and an awesome opportunity to learn the art of lobbying. The six interns who were hired (awesome people with whom I am SO excited to work) will be outsourced to a lobbying firm in downtown LA to work against certain bills that are being passed. In a matter of words, we're trying to help LA stay green.

Am I excited? Yes.

With all that flying around in my head, you can see why I'm having a hard time doing my homework. My brain is already on the beach and walking around downtown LA.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

One Heart- Bulgarian Orphans

I've worked a little bit with an amazing woman named Leslie Kawai who is working with this non-profit organization called One Heart.

The organization helps orphans in Bulgaria - two percent of all Bulgarian children are unfortunately institutionalized as orphans.

One Heart is, I believe, the largest non-profit to help Bulgarian orphans. Under the organization's direction, windows (to protect children from abusive night intruders) have been installed in orphanages, medical supplies delivered, nutritional deficiencies corrected for hundreds of orphans, and much more.

Thus, One Heart (and Club Bulgaria at BYU) are sponsoring a benefit concert at BYU on March 5 with performers including Peter Breinholt, Sam Payne and Mindy Gledhill (all LDS performers).

Would love to see you there!

Here is a little more information:

Friday, February 19, 2010

C.S. Lewis speaks on giving up

"No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptations means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it; and Christ because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means -- the only complete realist."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thank you Super Bowl/ Olympic commercials

Olympic emotion

Can I just say how awesome it is to see Olympics contestants yelp/ scream for joy when they come down from an amazing run? So much better than the smug cocky smile.

Perfect example of an awesome celebration: Lindsey Vonn... tears and pure joy. She deserves it.



Bagpipers + Wedding/ Funeral=Yes please.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Welcome back Freckles

Guess what I'm doing right now?

I'm sitting outside on my sister's porch in Arizona.

Guess what the temperature is?

68 degrees

Feels like 74 degrees. (The slight breeze keeps it blissfully pleasant.)

The sun is out. It is 3:15- great sun time. Blue skies. My freckles are coming out to say hello. I've missed them.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm! I don't want to go back to Utah. Boo for gray skies and snow. Yay for sun, warmth and palm trees!

2010 Olympic time baby!

It's here again! There is something so amazing and magical about the Olympics. Magical might be a cheesy word for it, but you know what I'm talking about. I love the Olympics! I missed the last Olympics because I was on a mission so I didn't get much cheering in. But this year... mmm, I'm so stoked.

2010 Olympics in Vancouver Canada

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dopple what??!

So the Facebook trends have gone from bra colors to celebrity look-a-likes. I can't keep up. Actually, I never posted my bra color... that is just awkward. But, I have thought about the doppleganger thingy. (By the way, who came up with that word? I think it is close to German but I can't figure out what it means besides "double-something." Weird.)

So, I'm curious... who do I look like?

Rick Roll

Thank you to my friend Hannah and her blog for providing me with this laugh. Watch out friends... you may be getting Rick-Rolled. :)

"Never gonna give you up..."

I think my favorite part is the Asian woman freaking out in excitement at rick-rolling her coworker. Hilarious.

Random Hilarity:
How To Rick Roll Somebody

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Label on Love

I'm not usually one to really go all out and celebrate Valentine's Day. {Kind of cute that we put a label on love and call it a holiday: Valentine's Day.} Shouldn't we love all the time? So, everyday could be called Valentine's Day? Hmm, maybe not - we'd all be sick from all the chocolate we were given.

Remember in fourth grade when we made those awesome Valentine's Day mailboxes? I think we should bring those back. That would be neat. Then you could give me a treat. But please make sure it isn't anything made out of wheat. That wouldn't be sweet. I might call you a cheat, and bite your feet. (That little rhyming section was for my sister, Arian. Go...)

Anyway... Happy Valentine's Day to all of you. I hope you all enjoy the long weekend and a little lovin! I will be getting some lovin from a big, brown-eyed boy named Brody in Arizona - aka, my nephew. My niece, Danica and other nephew Tanner will be getting some time with Aunt Ash as well!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Utah drivers... and drivers everywhere

So, at first I thought it was just Utah drivers. No, it isn't. Drivers are the same all over the place when it comes to balking at accidents on the freeway.

You know what I'm talking about.

You're driving along on the freeway/ highway, whatever you like to call it, at a nice speed of 70 mph (I record that speed to preserve my trust with my lovely mother who already thinks I speed...) and all of a sudden, you see the red break lights start flashing.

Your stomach flutters a little and you slam on your brakes. You veer a little into the other lane to see if there is an accident or a car with a flat tire or something... nope. Nothing. You're driving along at about 10 miles an hour now... that lasts for about 15 minutes.

Then, you see it. A car on the side of the road with its hood propped up. That's it. The car is pulled over to the side of the road with its hood popped up and the silly driver in the Mazda and Honda slow way down and with mouths hanging open, try to see any blood or guts. Dude, the hood is up... that's it. Keep driving!

As soon as you pass the stalled car, the space between you and the car in front of you increases and you're back up to 70* mph again.

When I come to a situation like that, the temptation to honk at the people who are slowing down by the accident shoots through the roof. Have I ever done it? Yes, I have. I also avoid looking at the accident in order to help decrease the slow down.

Want to help me?

Rush Challenges Obama to Health Care Debate | The FOX Nation

Rush Challenges Obama to Health Care Debate | The FOX Nation

Posted using ShareThis

What are people saying to this?:

"Only if Obama gets his teleprompter."

"Presidents don't debate comedians."

"Mr. President - Please debate Rush!! Put an end to his credibility once and for all!"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Failed jumping jacks

HAA ha ha ha ha ha! This just makes me smile!

Wall St. sends cash to G.O.P.!?

Here is a really interesting article on Wall St. throwing some financial support to the G.O.P. I was pretty surprised to come across it, especially when the CEO is a close friend of President Obama. Some interesting things happening right now.

“The expectation in Washington is that ‘We can kick you around, and you are still going to give us money,’ ” said a top official at a major Wall Street firm, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of alienating the White House. “We are not going to play that game anymore.”

Wall St. sends cash to GOP

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Joyful redemption out of sin and despair"

A few thoughts on Sunday about my Savior come from the book, "The Infinite Atonement," by Tad R. Callister:


"One wonders about his [Christ's] emerging Godhood, as he grew from infancy to boyhood, and boyhood to manhood. What were his feelings? What was it like to be a God among mortals? With whom did he discuss his burdens? True, the bodies of other men walked by his side, but none was his intellectual and spiritual equal. None could see and feel and understand as he saw and felt and understood. What was it like for Christ to walk the dusty trails of his own creation, to see his divine works through mortal eyes? When did he come to know that the birds that sang music to his ears, the flowers that scented the air, the hills and valleys on which he loved to run and play, the sunsets and stars upon which he longed to gaze and ponder were his creations? he was their designer, their architect, their framer -- yes, their very creator."

What an interesting thought - was it over a process of time? When did He truly realize that everything on this earth was created by His hands and word?


The Atonement was both an exercise of power and an acquisition of power. One of the ironies of life is that we acquire love as we give it away; we increase in knowledge as we dispense what we have. And so it is with certain power. As we exercise power in righteousness, we acquire more power. As we exercise power in unrighteousness, we lose even more than we 'gave away.'"

That IS one of the ironies of life - what we give away, we keep. It is a reflection of the parable of the talents.(Matthew 25:14-30) How is it, other than through the power of God, that when we serve someone, we develop a greater love for them?


The Atonement seems infinite, as so designated by the Book of Mormon prophets, for at least the following eight reasons:
First, as Elder Maxwell has suggested, it is "infinite in the divineness of the one sacrificed." The title of the song, "O Divine Redeemer" is a reminder that he who brought about the Atonement is the consummate expression of godliness.

Second, it is infinite in power. The Savior went from grace to grace until he "received all power, both in heaven and on earth." (DC 93:17)

Third, the Atonement is infinite in time. It applies retroactively and prospectively through time immemorial.

Fourth, it is infinite in coverage. It applies to all God's creations and all forms of life thereon. Elder Maxwell called it "infinite... in the comprehensiveness of its coverage."

Fifth, it is infinite in depth. It is infinite not only in who it covers, but in what it covers. "The Son of Man hath descended below them all." (DC 122:8)

Sixth, it is infinite in the degree of suffering endured by the Redeemer. It was that suffering that caused "even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every power." (DC 19:18)

Seventh, it is infinite in love. The words of the hymn "He Died! The Great Redeemer Died" are a powerful reminder of his boundless love:

Here's love and grief beyond degree;
The lord of glory died for men.

Eighth, it is infinite in the blessings it bestows. The blessings of the Atonement extend far beyond its well-known triumph over physical and spiritual death. Some of these blessings overlap; some complement and supplement each other; but in the aggregate the effect of this event so blesses our lives in a multiplicity of ways, both known and yet to be discovered, that it might appropriately be said to be infinite in its blessing nature.

I know this is a long post, but I invite you to just give five more minutes. With these thoughts in your mind, watch this short Mormon Message... I think it sums everything up quite well.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Recovery Act

Inform yourself. It is your civic duty.

Recovery Act

An Obama moment with the GOP

Thank you to my friend Alexa for sharing this link. President Obama accepted an invitation to speak to the GOP. He gained some respect from me for facing that. "Keep your friends close and only speak to the Republican party once in a while," Obama said.

Well, this is one of those"once-in-a-whiles."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Joy Diane Harmon Jones

I spent the day with my mother on campus today. The purpose: my mother, Joy Diane Harmon Jones, is thinking about returning to college to finish her Bachelor degree. We met with two different advisers and learned what it would take for her to return and get that valuable piece of paper.

Something I learned in our hours of conversation together, was that she has spent the last 32 years of her life dedicating every second to a husband, who she loves more than anything, and her five children. Everything in her being has been for us. She gave up finishing her education so that she could fulfill her ultimate purpose: being a wife and a mother and raising her children to be intelligent, independent, spiritual beings with their own testimonies of their Savior Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father. She wanted nothing more than to see us grow up and understand who we truly are and what our potential is. Now, almost 32 years later, she has three of five children graduated from BYU, one who will graduate in three months, another who will graduate in about four years, four returned missionaries, one child who spent a semester in Jerusalem studying the Savior's life, three children-in-law, nine grandchildren and a testimony that will bring anyone to tears.

She has given everything.

It is her time now.

Remember the feeling of the first day of freshman year on campus? Walking onto campus and experiencing that magical feeling that only exists during the first couple days of Fall semester? Ya, that magic was here today - embodied in my mother. Tears filled her eyes a few times as we talked about different possibilities and options for her returning to school, as well as the blessings that would come from this. She has been blessed for giving the last 32 years to her family, and not that that was a sacrifice. She chose that and that was what she wanted most. She wouldn't give it up for anything. It's just that now that that time has passed and almost all of her children are married off and mostly independent, she has a little more time on her hands and she wants to use it wisely.

Joy Diane Harmon Jones is one of the most phenomenal women that lives on this earth. I know that everyone reading this post right is slightly biased toward their own mothers, and I completely understand that. But, I just have to say how much I love my mother who also plays the roles of my best friend, hero, example and confidant.

Good luck Mama!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Lost Art of Compliments

I found this awesome article on my friend's blog. Talks about the lost art of compliments. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the article.

Dreams of Flying

Found this awesome photographer...Jan von Holleben

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell

The Alladin 

Top 5 Program in Nation

The Public Relations program at BYU, to which I belong, and from which I will be graduating in April, has been named one of the five best programs in the nation!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A week of only Twitter and Facebook

This week, five French public radio journalists (one Belgian, one Canadian, one Swiss and two French) are evaluating new media. Isolated in a cabin in a rural region of France, they have vowed to consult only Twitter and Facebook the entire week.

The point of the exercise is to evaluate how well these two media reflect what is actually going on in the world. The journalists are reporting back to the five participating radio stations throughout the week and are keeping a blog.

How well will Facebook and Twitter keep them informed?

New Temple

A new Temple in Utah!

Think about the line that goes from temple to temple: Logan, down to Ogden, to Bountiful, Salt Lake, Oquirrh Mountain, Jordan River, Draper, Mt. Timpanogos, Provo, now Payson, Manti and St. George. Absolutely amazing. Did I miss any?

A day of romance

The faces are different but the love is the same.

It's like being surprised with the ring of your choice, because he is your choice!"

Disclaimer: I am not a lesbian. (Read the post and it will make sense)