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Wednesday, December 31, 2008


So, after much some thought, I have decided on my new resolutions.

~ say what I mean and do what I say
~ focus on the attributes I like about people
~ listen more and take longer to pipe in
~ embrace imperfection
~ keep my internal body clean
~ know God better

I do these things because I like:
~ feeling good about myself
~ having friends
~ understanding what people are saying and meaning
~ feeling relaxed and confident
~ feeling healthy
~ receiving heavenly guidance

What are you resolved about from this day forward?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Family Christmas Photo

Adhis: Ok, I've got the timer ready. Hold the baby. We've gotta have the dog; he's family.


David: Hey! I wasn't looking!
Adhis: I wasn't ready either. I'll grab the dog quicker this time.


Adhis: She keeps looking at the dog. One more.


Adhis: Hm.
David: Forget the dog.
Adhis: OK.


Adhis: She's still looking at the dog.
David: What's with the hook thing in your hair?
Adhis: I'll get her to look at the camera. BabyDhis, look! (snap, snap)


Adhis: That's not working. How about we just hold the camera up close?
David: OK.

David: Uh, that's too close.
Adhis: Oops, I had it zoomed in. Wipe her face.


David: I'm barely squeezing into the photo. We've gotta leave for church soon.
Adhis: OK, one more.
David: OK.


Adhis: (sigh) Good enough?
David: Good enough.

Ciao, everyone!
May your Christmas be good enough!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Baby Haikus

Sits in her walker
hoping for poop to come out.
Grunts. Only a toot.

Little runny eyes,
slight fever, feeling crappy.
Manage feeble smile.

My big yellow friend:
feathers tickle, beak kisses,
always by my side.

I am filled with joy
sitting in a swing; I reach
for the sky with Mom.

Monday, December 15, 2008

50% Decorated

I dread putting the tree and its lights up every year. That is my least favorite thing about Christmas in the history of all Christmases. Our tree is one we got for free, so it's not an easy 3-piece one. Ours has 300 pieces like Heidi's. This year, David said he'd help me, and then, he ACTUALLY HELPED ME. It was a superbly magical event! Angels sang, branches got fluffed, spouses still loved each other afterward.

I almost left the tree bare for another day or three in my procrastination of putting on the lights, but I decided to bite the bullet rather than gnaw on the electrical cord any longer. Fortunately, this year I had 2 boxes of garland lights and that made the lighting go much faster. I just had to fill in the bare spots with regular lights. (Poo, lights! You're just regular strands. I spit on you!) I didn't bother with creating any tinkling twinkling effects. Everything is just on. Once I got past the crappy stuff, the ornaments and ribbon went on fairly quick.

OK. I know that all of you come to my blog for home decorating ideas, so here is another installment for your crafting pleasure. (/sarcasm)

I don't like paying full price for stuff unless it's something I'm going to use regularly. Christmas decor does not fall into the "regularly" category.

7.5ft tree= free (on
Bows= $1, day after Christmas
Garland lights= $5, day after Christmas
Tree skirt= $10, day after Christmas
Glass ornaments= $2.50-3.50, day after Christmas
Ceramic ornaments= free (on
100yds wired holiday Ribbon= $2, day after Christmas

16" wreath= $1.50, day after Christmas
Brass and crystal Hurricane= $5, day after Christmas
Small glass ornaments= price forgotten (bought 7+ years ago)
Candle= 25¢ at D.I. thrift store

Bows and glass ornaments= leftover from tree
Plastic Glittered Snowflakes= $1, day after Christmas

Pure-bred yappy Cairn Terrier= free (on
Dog costume= $3.50, day after Christmas
Annoying the dog= PRICELESS

You may have noticed a pattern in my spending. Avoid the mistake I made the first year I shopped the day after the holy celebration; I came home with a couple hundred dollars worth of "50% off" Christmas stuff and completely fried my husband's "trying to understand women" circuit board. I ended up returning more than half my stash a few hours later. No sale saves you money if you're buying things you don't need or really really want.

Be warned: Shopping the day after Christmas bears a little resemblance to Black Friday, the main difference being that the crowds are comprised mostly of estrogen. Don't let the excuse-me's, pardon's, and oh-you-first's throw you into a false sense of safety. They may be smiling as they jam their carts up and down aisles, but the desperate crazed look in those women's eyes clearly flash "don't even THINK about grabbing that last lighted holly garland!" The whole thing feels like a polite, yet manic, Enrichment night.

Last year, I stepped away from my cart and when I turned back to it, I realized someone had taken the last of a particular wired ribbon out of my cart. Gone. Along with that person's integrity. You bet I'll be back this year though, perhaps, with Sarah's pitbull in tow.

See you in the seasonal aisles on the 26th! And keep your hands off my cart!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Me in a Fishbowl

Ok, so I was trying to stay all calm and nonchalant, but Harmony blew my cover in the last post, and I've received a couple emails about this, so I might as well twirl and glee with it.

Remember this?
This week, Sue at Navel Gazing posted the list of writers whose writings made it into the book.

Lookie! Lookie!

It's me! I'm blog famous!
(Sort of.)
And it has happened in perfect timing of my decision to cut back on online time. Yey- hooray- hiphip!

The book will be available for purchase soon and proceeds go to the Nie Recovery Fund.

Sue has over 700 subscribers. Some of them are peeping in on me right now. (You, the one breathing down my neck, please step back a little.) (And ... here's a Tic-Tac.)

Ahhhh! the pressure! The ever crushing pressure!
Just act normal... just act normal...

TEEEheee heeee bwaHA! [/nervous laugh]


[Posted song: "Trendy" by Reel Big Fish]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Easy Meals

I love my local hometownish grocery store. They often have sales revolving around themes and often address the interests of the community.

Here, they offer suggestions for easy meals during the rush-rush of the holiday season.

Seems helpful enou-- wait a minute--

Pizza? Check.

Lasagna? Check.

Bread? Uh... not a meal, but ok, you can make sandwiches. Semi-check.

Cereal? Well, sure... why not. Check.

Shampoo? Conditioner?

Ok, it may be easy to prepare, but will it leave my stomach shiny and touchably soft?

I guess in tough economic times, we all gotta make tough economic choices.

Here is a FOR-REAL easy meal, high on flavor, low on suds.

Mexican Rice and Veggie Skillet
(from Pillsbury's Easy Vegetarian Meals)

1 (15oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (10oz.) can mild enchilada sauce (or whatever degree of heat you prefer)
1 cup water
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1½ cups uncooked instant brown rice

a) In large nonstick skillet, combine all ingredients except rice; mix well. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 18-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, stirring occasionally. (Oops. Just realized I've never stirred it.)

b) Remove skillet from heat. Fluff mixture with fork. If desired, add salt and pepper to taste. (I don't think it needs salt and pepper.)

Yields: 4 (1½-cup) servings

I serve this with warm flour or wheat tortillas and shredded cheddar.
Enjoy sorbet for dessert.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bouncing Baby Girl

If you haven't heard already or seen my tired face...

At 6-months old, I decided it was time for Baby Dhis to start her 'stunt baby' training. Yesterday, I was walking down the stairs carrying BabyDhis in my left arm and her car seat in my right hand. Then, I tripped.

I used my left hand to reach for the banister to catch myself. The next thing I found myself thinking was "Is that a doll?" as I watched a little body bounce off the steps.

I watched her fall, bounce off a step, flip upside-down, bounce onto the top of her head, twist sideways, bounce off another step, roll off the bottom step and land on her back with a thud. She then emitted a WHATTHEFETCHWASTHAT! scream.

I was incredulous at first, but as I absorbed what had happened, I began imagining what the damage might be. Not a good thing.

I cried and screamed, "I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!" as I ran down the stairs and tears flooded my face. I dropped the car seat and scooped the screaming baby. It took me a minute or two to realize I was the one screaming the loudest. I tried calling David on the phone, but my hand was shaking. The dog was worked up and was jumping up and down snapping at my arm with the baby. It was a House of Hysterics.

I got a hold of a nurse at the pediatrician's office and brought BabyDhis in. She was checked out and there was no serious injury detected. I was given instructions on what to look for (scream of pain when moved, unable to be woken up, swelling) and what not to do (no Tylenol or pain medicine; they want to know how much pain she's in). Additionally, I was given instruction to wake up twice in the middle of the night and check on her to make sure she was still breathing (assuming I was going to be able to sleep).

Dhis ended up being fine but cranky and sore all day. I was physically and emotionally drained and in need of sleep for the rest of the day.

On top of the times I checked on her last night, Baby Dhis woke me up twice, but I wasn't annoyed at all. I was just glad she was breathing and alive.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Quadrant II

If you're wondering where I've been... I've been here... looking at the bar on the side of my blog that states I posted 23 entries in November. That's just not right.

It now seems pretty obvious why I haven't had "enough time" in the day to live my life.

Marriage Business Family Health Rest Play Church Friends Finances Home Maintenance
have all been getting scraps of me.
And the poor dog has been getting the shaft. Poor, poor doggie.

blogs email news web-surfing to-do lists
have been getting the best of me.

Yeah- something's outtawhack.

Stephen Covey Sr. created a chart to show the relationship between the urgency and the importance of a task. Everything we do falls into one of those four categories. (

"Urgent" means it demands your attention right this minute.

QI: Important and urgent
Recommended reaction: Do it now.

QII: Important, not urgent
Recommended reaction: Decide when to do it.

QIII: Urgent, not important
Recommended reaction: Delegate it.

QIV: Not urgent, not important
Recommended reaction: Dump it.

"Dr. Covey’s advice is to spend as much time as possible working on things which are important, but not urgent (Quadrant II). This will take the pressure off in the future, as the 'not urgent' things are completed and do not have a chance to become 'urgent'." (excerpt from

I was reminded about this easy way to prioritize when I read an article by Martha Beck the other day. I followed her advice to take 20-30 slips of paper and write on each everything that I could, should, want to, plan to, and dream to do. (I actually ended up filling out 40 slips.) Then, I divided each of those slips of paper into different categories, per her instructions, and ended up with 4 piles that corresponded with the 4 quadrants above. Imagine my chagrin when I went through the Quadrant 4 pile and found that most of the things in there were things I did EVERY SINGLE DAY for MOST OF THE DAY. Boy, that was an eye-opener! I felt a little sick to my stomach as I suddenly realized how many parts of my life have been slowly wilting.

Beck pointed out that while we all have to spend time in Quadrant I, we feel the most fulfilled when we spend our time in Quadrant II. Those tasks bring us the most satisfaction and fill most of our needs and desires.

In the vein of living a more enriching life, I'm gonna slow it down a bit in the blogging department. Don't cry for me. You'll like me much better this way.

[Posted song: "Turn! Turn! Turn!" by The Byrds]
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but youre older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the english way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought Id something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells.

"Time" by Pink Floyd

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cutting It

Baby Dhis has been sleeping through the night, which should mean I've been getting more sleep, but I've been a bad girl by staying up way too late. I recently recommitted myself to taking care of my health by getting enough rest at night.

Last night, Baby Dhis started teething.

is over.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

And then I got high.

Yippee! My house is alighted with lights!

Anthony, one of my neighbors, is a roofer and, with ease, leapt onto my roof and put my lights up in no time. Hooray, roofer monkey!

(He'll do your house for $50/hour. It took him about an hour to do mine. Give him a call! )

But before he arrived at my house, I decided to spray paint my extension cords so they would blend in better with my house. I meant to do that in the summer, but I kept forgetting. Something about just having had a baby.

I took a trip to Home Depot and selected a spray paint intended for plastic so it would adhere to the rubber coating on the cords. I paid with a dryer hose I "won" at a white elephant gift exchange a year ago.

I got home and stretched most of my extension cords onto my lawn and began spraying. (Yes, there are taupe streaks on my front lawn. The school kids getting off the bus made it known that was "weird.") I tried to spray while holding my breath and staying updraft of the fumes, but I ended up crouched down close to my project most of the time. I used a can and a half before I felt that "I better take a break." I went in the house, prepared a snack, and sat in front of the computer. And then I got high.

I was really fatigued and quite dizzy. I didn't want to think and my eyesight got a little wonky. Things just looked a little off, like I was looking at things cross-eyed.

I wanted to sleep so bad, but then worried that perhaps I would not wake up. I kept imagining myself found in a heap somewhere in my house and the neighbors in shock while those in the blog-world sadly whispered "she just got her Christmas lights up."

I called David and said, "I think you better come home."
"I think I'm high."

And then I know I garbled about something else. I do remember thinking, "that's not the proper form of that verb. Or that one." You'll have to ask him about the conversation. Maybe he will enlighten me/us with a comment about that call.

Well, at least I got my lights up, though I didn't finish painting my extension cords. There's always the next Grateful Dead concert.

I began writing this post shortly after David assured me I would not die and that I should just get some fresh air. This post was riddled with a plethora of misspellings, homonyms, and missing words. I thought about leaving them in so you could witness some of my side effects, but the mistakes were in such great quantities, it would be painful to understand what I was trying to say.

And seriously, call Anthony. He is not scared of heights, will get your lights up quickly, and will take them down safely in January.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hello, body!

I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight! HOOORAY!
I fit in most of my pre-pregnancy clothes! HOORAY!
It seems most of my clothes are WAYYYY out of style! BOOOO! Hisss...!
Anybody need some baggy corduroy pants and polyester peasant shirts?

What a relief to no longer wear maternity clothes! However, I will admit that I wore mine longer because it was awfully nice not having to worry about whether my zipper was up or not and whether I could undo my belt fast enough when the need to pee was urgent. Bye-bye, blue belly panel! Hello, belts!

Now, I am focusing on building my body strength back up. HOORAY! Just in time for the holidays!

First, to be clear, I have not done any dieting (gag-- never!), extreme workouts, or nutritional cleansing to boost my progress since I am still breastfeeding the bambina. I have only been moderate in my behavior.


Yeah, I... (get this)... eat when I'm hungry. And I stop eating when I am satisfied.

"GASP! She must be a witch!

Second, when I eat, I eat things that are the most satisfying in the least amount of bites, meaning I eat naturally filling foods. This usually involves eating a variety at one meal. It takes a smaller serving of chicken, whole grain pasta, and green salad to feel full than when eating only a large platter of white pasta with sauce.

"She IS a witch!"

Third, I'm addressing the sugar dependence I created during my pregnancy of gummy worms and ice cream. I was inspired by Sheree's 100 sugar-less days to go 100 days of "less sugar." I eat sugar only on special occasions, parties, and celebrations instead of every day that I am confronted with delectables. I'm on Day 24 and have found it liberating! It's amazing how programmed I was to eat a treat just because someone offered one. Another side effect of "less sugar" days is that it also helps cut out the unhealthy fats that usually accompany baked goods.

"Witch! Burn her! BURN HERRRR!"

Once in a while, I may eat something sucrose-inspired, but it is definitely a treat and not one of my meals. (And yes, I have done that!) (Ice cream for breakfast, anyone?) (Cookies for lunch, anyone?) (Ice cream AND cookies for dinner, anyone?)

You know what's better than having my body return to it's previous state? Being free! I am free from the bondage of food addiction. I feel powerful when I eat what my body wants and not a serving more. It is much more satisfying to eat and not have the pained full stomach after a meal. Success is never having to regret what I ate! There is freedom in eating a treat when I crave a treat and being truly guilt-free because I know I have been eating well.

In addition, I am increasing trust in myself when I DO what I say I believe in. I feel better when I eat nutrient-dense foods because it is in alignment with my goals to be healthy. I feel great when I go for a walk with my baby because it is in alignment with my views about taking care of our blessed bodies. And I feel wonderful knowing that I am becoming more and more of my potential and paving the path for my daughter to be free of food addiction, self-inflicted illness, and an unhealthy body image. Can you feel this way, too? You betcha!

I hope you will all enjoy Thanksgiving this week with your families and traditions. Really enjoy it! This is a time to celebrate gratitude for our many blessings and for God's bounteous hand. Instead of gobbling everything down, enjoy your favorite foods! While you eat them, chew them and totally sit with them. Rise to a Zen-like state as you taste the flavors, as you feel the textures, as you smell those delicious aromas. Meditate in the celebration of a bounty of food and shout "MMMmmm... This is SOOOO GOOD!" There's no hurry. The food will get to your belly soon enough!

Food is a gift. Treat it with that kind of reverence and it will reciprocate by blessing your body and mind.

Happy Giving of Thanks!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Looking for a Monkey Husband

Do you have a monkey with electrical experience?
Do you have a husband who is careful and not afraid of heights?
Better yet, do you have a careful and experienced monkey husband?

I want Christmas lights put up on my house ASAP.
This is the house. (The photo is a few years old, but the house hasn't grown any taller since.)

The concern is getting up on the high area above the garage.

This is where I'd like Christmas lights:

My husband won't do it, and the guy who did it for us the first year wants to charge us more.

The first year we had lights put up, the guy got on the roof of the porch with a ladder. Then he pulled the ladder up and set it on the porch's roof to climb up to the highest point of the house.

We have the lights, the hooks, and the extension cords already. We just need your monkey husband or (so as not to discriminate) your monkey self to climb up and put everything up this week and take it down on a safe day in January.

I will pay the lights monkey around $50 to do it, but I am a little flexible with the price. (I'm a LOT flexible if they want to charge less). And I would like the interested installer to sign a waiver that essentially states if they fall and crack their head open, we're not liable. Our insurance doesn't cover Christmas monkeys. Easter monkeys, sure.

Pass the word around. Ideally, I'd like this done in the next few days before the forecasted snow/rain.

Robbers and murderers need not apply.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Investigator

Clarice asked "What Number Are You?"

I took the personality quiz because those things are NEVER WRONG.

Clarice, I'm 5.
So true, fortunately and unfortunately, though I'm confused by the fixation of "greed." I don't know what that means, but I want more of it. NAY! I WANT IT ALL!

What do you think? Do you see these traits in me? Don't be afraid to tell me if you see the negative ones. I'll just zap you with my death laser gun later. And then, I'll take all your cookies.

What number are you? What does that mean? Does it describe who you think you are? Does it match what close ones say about you? If you don't believe in these little quizzes, why do you take them?

You Are 5: The Investigator

You're independent - and a logical analytical thinker.

You love learning and ideas... and know things no one else does.

Bored by small talk, you refuse to participate in boring conversations.

You are open minded. A visionary. You understand the world and may change it.

At Your Best: You are sharp, inventive, and creative. You have the skills to lead the world.

At Your Worst: You are reclusive, weird, and a bit paranoid.

Your Fixation: Greed

Your Primary Fear: Being useless or incompetent

Your Primary Desire: Being competent and needed

Other Number 5's: Bill Gates, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bjork, and Stephen Hawking.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What. The. Fetch.

Uh... What?

I haven't really been a Josh Groban fan. I'm not sure if I am or not after seeing this.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Winner is...

Well, we ended up having to draw from a hat after all. Thank you much to all of you for your witty jokes; they successfully initiated the humor sequence in my psyche. Le Ha!

The winner of three sets of miniature-sized shampoos/conditioners/soaps/lotions/combs is...

But first, let's look at the beautiful flowers my husband got me for our anniversary!

They're beautiful AND fragrant. Just scratch n' sniff your monitor.


The winner of the three hygiene sets for their 72-hour emergency kits is...

HEATHER of Englishfam fame!

Heather, I'll "ship" out your kits to you ASAP. Just let me get my shoes and some makeup on first.

Thanks for the laughs everyone. I SOOOOO appreciated it!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Crappy Business

The news story itself does not contain much humor. It's what happens when KSL allows readers to comment on a story about a fire at a port-a-potty company. (Considering this involves bathroom jokes, maybe this post would be more appealing to your husbands or guy friends.)

I did the hard work for you and flushed out the serious comments.

by Boo-Kuts : Toilet fire??? OH CRAP!!!!

by DC : It is The ULTIMATE Flaming Bag of Poo!

by ThinkFirst : What I want to know is if someone rang the doorbell and then ran before calling 911.

by yfz450 : Country song: "Put another log on the fire"

by Sixes : Even KSL could not resist a wise crack. “...firefighters didn't ‘waste’ any time.”

by Orgabama : You know at least one firefighter took a pee on the fire like a boy scout. :D

by capital p : Yuck. I would say light a match to cover up the smell, but that's probably how this whole mess started.

by Lee : Possibly ...let's float it by the investigators and see what they think.

by : I liked the Trib Online headline better: "Firefighters quickly slam the lid on portable toilet plant blaze" lol..

by troll33 : “Dash to the Outhouse”

Written by Willey Make it?
Published by Betty Wont
Illustrated by Doris Locked

by Kb7a : Breaking news! Shizz hits the fan .... and now back to the weather.

by mommyisinsane : well if business wasn't in the crapper before, it is now :)

by Thunderbolt : Sounds like a real stink is being raised in Ogden.

by deanofmean : I don’t give a crap if it burns.

by Don L. : Talk about being on the 'hot seat'....

by Respiratory rocks : I should've used Preparation H.

by The Schwartz : Right now (detectives) are investigating the port-a-potty fire. Currently, they have nothing to go on...

by : I don't know about you but there would be nothing worse than fleeing a fire with your pants around your ankles.

by kenny412 : I bet the guy who caused all this is no longer thinking Arby's.

Man, I sure feel for the owners, they're waste-deep (giggle) in trouble. On top of that, they're the butt (snicker) of a lot of jokes. I just hope they don't get angry and just turn the other cheek. (snort)

Well, poo! Gotta go! (laughs into the distance)

Original KSL story found here: Workers spark fire at portable toilet company

Monday, November 17, 2008



Today is our 8-year anniversary. (Not you and me, dear blog reader. David and me.) That is the longest I have ever been with anyone I kiss on the mouth!

I remember the first time I saw David.
What a creepy guy.

I was working for the Census Bureau in the 2000 Census. My job as an enumerator was to confirm residences and locate residents who had not responded to the mailed census forms. David was one of those hooligans who ignored his duty to help count America. He is also the miscreant who kept ignoring the notices I left on his door! The blatant disregard for courtesy and Americanship set me stubbornly on the course to nab the guy. I stopped by his apartment often, even when working in a different part of the county.

It was a Thursday night. I know this because I was trying to finish quickly to make it home in time for the season finales of Friends and Frasier. I was rounding a corner in the apartment complex when I saw a guy walking towards the building The Communist Ignorator lived in, and I just got a feeling that was the guy!

I picked up my pace. When I arrived at the apartment, the door was open, and the dude was working in the kitchen area doing some un-American thing, I'm sure. I knocked on the opened door and said "My name is Adhis, I'm with the Census Bureau. I'm here to conduct your census interview."

Here's where David and I disagree on the story.

He says:
"I saw the most beautiful woman in the world at my door, and I said 'OK.'"

I say:
"He tried to make a quick getaway out the kitchen window. I lunged forward, pulled him off the ledge, threw him on the ground, and yelled 'You ain't going nowhere, BUSTER!'"

Anyway, the interview took an hour and half. I was ticked. All I could think about was if this was the episode where Ross finally told Rachel he loved her. Ugh. Why was this residence assigned a long form? Why did this guy have to answer questions for him AND 5 roommates? And WHY did he keep staring at me like that? Creepy!

At the end of the interview, I packed up my things and was standing at the door thanking him for his time when he asked, "Now that you know everything about me, can I take you out to dinner and find out about you?"

Oh sheesh. Was that cheese I smelled? I rolled my internal eyes.
"Sure," I said.

The next part of the story we DO agree on:
Suddenly, David was fumbling around his kitchen counter looking for a blasted pencil, a pen, anything. I lent him my pencil.

When I arrived at my supervisor's home to drop off all the completed forms for the day, I told her all about the creepy guy who kept staring at me. She shuddered.

Three weeks later, I was available for a date with him. The rest is, as they say, a big old jumbled tug-o-war of emotions. I didn't have the desire to get tangled up with one guy. Dave knew who he wanted. Eventually, we kissed on a trampoline, and I knew I was going to be Mrs. Creepy.

If you want the romantic version of this story, you'll have to ask David. He's the teddy bear, I'm the evil action figure. It all works out in the toy box. (Yeah, I don't know what that means.)


UPDATE: Yes, that first photo above is the actual notice I left on his door. I don't know what compelled him to keep it as that was before he met me. Also, one day, I'll dust off my scanner's glass. One day...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Blessings and a Giveaway

As Latter-day Saints, we live in a culture where a sense of preparedness constantly lingers in the background. I suppose it begins in the history of the restoration of the Church. Our spiritual ancestors had to pick up and move so many times and endure the harshest of political and environmental climates for the chance to practice their spiritual beliefs and to avoid being murdered.

While our lives are generally more stable today, the topic of emergency preparedness is still a popular characteristic of our faith: extra food in our pantries, kits for emergency evacuations, frugal shopping and home canning, camping and survival skills, independence and self-sufficiency. The ward I currently live in often addresses the issue of being prepared for economic and natural disasters. Today, we had a ward activity to give us ideas on how to plug the holes in our family emergency plans.

Ed and Kari worked out a sheet for home storage budgeting. It helps figure out how much of what ingredients we need to store 3 months' or 6 months' or 12 months' of our favorite meals.
Dallin brought Donna's homemade granola and this hot oven made from a cardboard box!
The bottom pan holds briquettes. The top pan holds whatever food you are baking. There is a lid to close off the entire thing and ventilation holes on the sides. Each briquette puts out 50°F of heat (so, to bake at 350°F, use 7 briquettes). Neat!
A spectator mentioned one could probably even attach a thermometer inside the contraption as well. I'm thinking of hosting a project night where those interested in creating one of these each bring the supplies necessary and Dallin helps us make them. I like that in case of no electricity, I can still bake with somewhat accurate precision. How hard can it be to store a year's supply of briquettes?

Here's where my 72-hour kit vomited onto the table. I could have done a cleaner-looking display, but that's what you get when I'm at the end of having had no husband for 3 of the last 4 weeks. (The wooden turkey is not part of my kit.)

Beau showed off a slide show of his amazing year's supply of food. And he has 5 (or 20) kids! AMAZING!

Rich shared some helpful information and products for various water purification and storage methods. I found a product at his table I want to add to my kit. I'll just wait for him to look the other way.

Man, I'm SO in the right neighborhood for riding out an economic depression!

This morning, our neighborhood also participated in the emergency food drive to stock county food banks. They have been depleted by the increase of people needing assistance during this downturn. I was walking through my house last night with the list of needed items and feeling, at first, a little apprehensive about giving away our fortune. But as I saw how much we have, I heard the song "Because I Have Been Given Much" in my head.

Because I have been given much, I too must give.
2 packs of toilet paper, a box of oatmeal packets

Because of Thy great bounty, Lord, each day I live.
canned chicken and cans of tuna

I shall divide my gifts from Thee
bag of pasta, cans of evaporated and condensed milk

with every brother that I see
tomato sauce, cream of mushroom soup

who has the need of help from me.
a million hotel soaps/shampoos, and conditioners

Because I have been sheltered, fed by Thy good care
I cannot see another's lack and I not share.
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
My roof's safe shelter overhead
That he, too, may be comforted.

By the time I opened my front door to set the items out on the porch for collection, I was overcome. How blessed I am! How ungrateful I have been!

I am surrounded by material and spiritual blessings all day, every single day! But I rarely take the time to acknowledge them, much less appreciate them. I was told by a patriarch when I was about 16 years old that I would always have what I need and always have a surplus to share. What an awesome blessing! One of my challenges is to wrap my head around that blessing and let go completely of a scarcity anxiety.

In the spirit of emergency preparedness, I'm doing a giveaway. This one is for your 72-hour emergency kits. I have here (try not to faint) not one, not two, but THREE hotel shampoo/conditioner/facesoap/bathbar/bodylotion/comb sets. These are perfect for 72-hour kits. One set for you, one for a spouse, one for a child. Or three for you. Or two for you, one for your spouse. Or one for you, one for each of two siblings. Or one for three kids' kits. Or... you get the idea.

These have been imported from various parts of the country. I don't remember which parts, but be assured they're from Seattle, Anchorage, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Diego, Omaha, New York or one of a dozen other U.S. cities. One of the bars of soap has the word "French" printed right on the label! (Fancy? Oui!)

All you have to do to be eligible for the drawing is tell me a joke in the comments section. It doesn't have to be an original joke. Dave and I will read them and select the winner by who makes us laugh hardest. If there's a tie, we'll draw names from a hat. The winner gets ALL THREE hair and body sets for your emergency kit!

The deadline is Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 5pm Mountain Time. I will announce the winner the following day (Wednesday, November 19, 2008).

OK, get to it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The cakes! The cakes are funny!

At SuperDuper Saturday Freakingtastic Friday Fabulous Friday three weeks ago, Brooke gave a little tutorial on decorating cakes. Brooke is good at cake decorating, but she doesn't think so. But she is. That night, she mentioned that she felt a bit underqualified to decorate cakes (which she is not), and I was reminded of a blog. I promised her and a few people present at the time that I would post about a funny cake blog. I'm only 3 weeks late, why the pout?

OK, I'm finally gonna share with you one of the FUNNIEST collections of cake disasters on the internet. I'm laughing right now because I just saw the November 8th entry.

Cake Wrecks is a blog featuring PROFESSIONALLY-decorated cakes that suck. What can be funnier than spending an arm and a leg on a cake all your friends, family, and/or co-workers will see and eat only to pick it up an hour before the festivities and find an embarrassing/confusing/disappointing/creepy creation? Well, it's not funny if it happens to you, but this happens to OTHER people, so it's HILARIOUS! And I just love the author's commentary on some of those wrecks.

(On Sundays, the author takes a break from the visually-assaulting and posts photos of amazing cake creations. You can skip over those if you just enjoy looking at tragedies.)

I don't recommend entering the comments section unless a particular cake inspires you to comment. There are too many cake wrecks waiting for you!

Now entering Cake Wrecks.
( for the link-challenged)

Warning: Some cakes not appropriate for the under-age crowd.
Just covering my butt. Even though some cakes didn't.

Treats and Karaoke

Thanks, Aubrey 1 for organizing a treat exchange!

Apples and caramel, lemony thingies, some yummy jammy concoction, cheesecake and fruit, cookies, breads, hot cocoa, and the sucrose didn't stop there.

Got together with some ladies in the 'hood to partake in sugary delights. I learned something. Treats, cabin fever, and karaoke don't mix.


Aubrey 2 is no stranger to the long hard nights of a rocker. She showed us how to do it. Feel the passion!

I learned something else that night. Half of the women in the room had some singing background.

They, in turn, learned an unfortunate thing.
I do not have any singing background.

Martha sang her little arm off! (I wish I knew how to edit the video with her flailing arm. Alas, you'll have to settle for a snapshot of that video.)

Friends don't let friends karaoke. But if they do, they get it on video.
There may have been a little something extra in the treats.


I wanna rock 'n' roll all night!
Or until 8:30.
I get tired.

Here's the recipe to Poor Man's Turtles I brought (pictured on the right).

(got this recipe from Kat)

Use an equal number of each of the following:
Rolo Candy
Tiny Pretzel Twists
Pecan halves

Place pretzels on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet.
Place 1 Rolo Candy on top of each pretzel.
Microwave for a few seconds until Rolo Candy is softened.
Gently press one pecan half onto each treat.
You can bake at 325°F for about 4 minutes or until chocolate gets shiny.
Remove from oven and gently press one pecan half onto each treat.
Cool for 10 minutes; place sheet in refrigerator to set.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Boogie Woman

My responsibilities as a mom (to nurture and to love, to lead and to guide, to nourish and to protect) have all taken a back seat to gathering booger berries. Apparently, my primary job at this point in my daughter's life is to pick out her boogies. As delicious as this responsibility sounds, it isn't without its drawbacks. First, my daughter's life goal is to prevent me from reaching said boogies. Second, there's the incompatibility in the size of her nostril and the girth of any of my fingers. Third, there's the challenge in trying to insert what can only be described as a small turkey baster into her tiny nose without suctioning out her hypothalamus.

Why even bother with a boogie hunt? I don't want to do it, she doesn't want it done. Sounds like an amicable solution. Unfortunately, her nose hoards boogies like a Mormon mom hoards #10 cans of potato pearls. By 6am, Baby Dhis wakes up packed with mint mucus and not able to breathe. This is a full hour before I would like her to wake. It's a full two hours before *I* would like to wake. So, each day, the bugle sounds the hunt for the little green goblins.

Let me add that this sweet tiny angel has HUMONGOUS snot. Proportionally speaking, if I had a boogie as big as hers, I'd look like I had a green penny as a sewer cover for my nostril. (Lovely image, isn't it? Try not to stare the next time I see you.)

I am fully aware that this new addition to the Mom job description has cost me the last two Cool Points I had left. I lost my first few when I began adorning my daughter's peach fuzz head with a flower or bow while my hair stayed relegated to a banana clip. The uncoolness snowballed after I squealed at the sight of a diaper sale. No more Cool Points, nothing else to lose. Bring on the tapered-leg Mom Pants.

[Posted song: "Boogie Oogie Oogie" by A Taste of Honey]

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kleenex says "Let It Out."

I think I'll cry for a few minutes.

That is all.

You Rip What You Sew

A lady who knows how to sew recently moved into the 'hood. She takes some cloth and some tiny rope (she calls it "thread") and attaches them together to fashion some sort of garment or fabric-like thing. Carol offered to teach a "basic" sewing class and 6 of us took her up on it.

OK, 5 ladies took her up on it. *I* was forced to take it by my husband.

The reason he "consistently and firmly encouraged" me was because two years ago my dad got me a sewing machine for Christmas. I had asked for one but not to learn how to sew. I wanted one so when my old skirts from the local thrift store unraveled (again), I wouldn't have to remedy them with safety pins and Scotch tape. I had in mind one of the machines in WalMart, the kind that sews a straight line.

My dad got me this:

I didn't know what I had until I mentioned to my friend Sara on the phone that I had just gotten an intimidating-looking sewing machine with a computer screen.

"What kind is it?" she asked. I read her the name on the front of the machine.
Sara gasped and then I heard nothing for a few seconds. "That's not fair! You don't even sew!" Sara sews. In fact, Sara sews shimmery shirts by the seashore. (Say that 10 times fast.) She made this awesome quilt for my baby girl.

Anyhow, I didn't care if it was a Bernina or a Bert, it had a computer screen on it and came with the King James version of the manual. So, it sat unexplored for two years. Things with unraveled hems and torn sleeves piled up in my laundry room.

Enter Sewing Lady Carol. Mix in my husband's firm urging. The Bernina Activa 220 was coming out!

Carol was nice enough to come to my house and get the machine out of its bag and set it up for me. She even plugged it in! After watching her push buttons and enticing the machine to make whirring sounds, the computer thing didn't look quite as intimidating.

Carol gave me a supplies list for the class. It contained things I had never heard of, things like a hem gauge, and Milliner's needles, and ThermoLamb.

"We've been locked in this freezer by the evil Dr. DoodlyPoo. Who will save us?"

"ThermoLamb to the rescue! Stand BAAAA-ck! "

I walked into JoAnn Fabrics with my list looking like a freshman on her first day of high school trying to figure out where her classes are located. I asked no less than 3 sales associates for help finding things. I'm sure I caught one of them slightly rolling her eyes. I got my supplies. Except for the fabric, they were all teeny tiny things that all fit in the palm of one hand. Nevertheless, the sales receipt tells me I paid over $40 for my handful of sewy things.

Am I rambling? ThermoLamb! Help me get to the point!
"BAAAA-ck on track, evil wanderer!"

This is the fabricy stuff.

This is me with Bernina, that wicked digital witch.

(You know, she ain't half bad. I push buttons and she makes designs and letters.) (People! She even THREADS THE NEEDLE FOR ME!)

This is the result.

Check it! We were supposed to make potholders and I totally WENT ON MY OWN and also made an oven mitt. Granted, it's made for someone with an inhuman thumb (luckily, I know someone with such a thumb), but daggone it, it handles hot stuff. It only took me 11 hours to make that sore-thumb potholder. (No, my "1" key didn't stutter.) Mostly, I repeatedly sewed and ripped apart the thumb and the little hanging tab. Sew, rip. Sew, rip. Sew, (temptation to swear), rip. Sew, (grit teeth), rip.

Oh, did you also notice the matching dishtowel, HMMMMM??

As for the sewing class itself, I was on pins and needles the first day and batting I'd hate it. Just cutting the fabric for the project almost had me in shears. The other ladies had previous sewing experience, and I could tell that I was just not cut from the same cloth. I hemmed and hawed for a while, but did I quilt? Knot me! I asked the instructor as many questions as I fleeced, adopted a measure of patience, and soon enough, I was bob-bob-bobbin along on my potholders. An iron will takes one a long way. When my potholders were finished, I felt zipper great about myself!

All in all, it was a sew-sew experience.