I Think Twinkies are Delicious

Seriously. I'm eating one right now. And it is goood. Thank you twinkie, for your gift of cream.

oh, poo. Everytime I set it down to type it leaves twinkie droppings on my desk. I'm gonna have to lick those off.

Is cleanliness really next to Godliness?  Or is that just one of those things people say, like "All's fair in love and war" or "I don't have time to watch T.V."

If, hypothetically speaking, I haven't done my dishes all week, am I really more evil?

Whatever. Let's move on.  I'm bored of writing about that.  We went to our ward Christmas party tonight.  And the food was good.  Which was a nice change.  Not to complain.  I am not complaining.  A free dinner, not cooked by me, is always worth it, no matter what.  But tonight we had some sort of beef brisket, which was pretty awesome.  The POINT is, we also had baked potatoes.  Which is just fine.  Baked potatoes are like the plain white shirt of the vegetable world.  SO BORING, until you accessorize and then they are great to have around.  I dated a guy in college who was that way too.

What I am trying to say is that I realized that baked potatoes are one of those foods I would rather eat in private.  I put a nice slice of butter on and mixed its melty goodness into the hot recesses of my potato, but it wasn't enough and I wanted more.  Only problem was, we were sitting right next to the line of people still waiting to get their food and I could feel all their eyes on me.  Watching me.  Watching my potato.  All ready to be shocked at my exorbitant butter use.  I could almost hear the talk on Sunday: "She seems so nice.  But did you see how much butter she used on her potato?  What kind of a woman uses that much butter?  I won't be calling HER to babysit again!"

So I didn't do it.  I had a healthy, low-fat baked potato for dinner, and my intense love of butter is still my closely guarded secret.  And those gossiping High Priests have nothing to gab about.  But the joke is on them because what they don't know is that I snuck a 2nd brownie for dessert.  Ha!

Cat Scratch Fever

I do not have a cat.  I do not want a cat.   Not that I have anything against cats.  My problem is with pets.  I don't want one.  And I wish the cat mafia would stop trying to give me one.

A couple months ago someone left a kitten, complete with litter and food in the back of my husbands truck one night.  Who DOES something like that?  If I wanted a cat, I would have one.  I don't want one forced on me by someone who doesn't have the nerve to take responsiblity for it.  The kitten stayed with us for about a week until we found somewhere else for it to go.   Harrison LOVED it and followed it everywhere but it frustrated him to no end because he just wanted to play with it, and kittens aren't puppies.  I don't know if you knew that.

So we got rid of the cat and told Harrison it went home.  He was sad but mostly got over it, though he still talked about it whenever he saw a cat.

B) Our backyard always has its fair share of cats.  I don't know if they are strays or belong to the neighbors and just like to hang out in our yard cuz the hunting is so good.  Either way I usually just ignore them, and they run away from me.  But in the last few days one of them has gotten increasingly friendly, until one night I came home to find him sitting on the door mat.  Harrison got all excited and said "My Cat!  My cat came home!"   which made me feel very sad.

If I go outside that cat starts rubbing against my legs like it is in love with me and it spent all night pacing back and forth outside the back door.  Scratching and trying to get in.  Where does it think it is?  Does it know that it doesn't live here?

I think the Feline underground has had some wires crossed somewhere along the lines.  Cuz when they are leaving their little hobo-cat markings on the fence posts, the ones outside our house seem to be saying "This is a good place to get food."   And it's not true!  Just ask my husband.

Now, 5 days later, the cat is STILL sitting on the back porch.  Sometimes he paces back and forth in a frenzy, but mostly he just sits there, unmoving.  Watching me with those wide, staring eyes. That seem to be saying "Wait till Martin comes."

If Steampunk is Nerdy, I don't want to be Cool

If you, like me, have done as many steampunk google searches as I have (steampunk fashion, steampunk gun, steampunk shirt, steampunk jacket, steampunk goggles, yackity schmackity, etc.) then this just seems like one more blog post about one more nerd who wanted to be steampunk for a day.  But it's not.  It isn't like that at all.  This is a story about two hearts, 3 bags of potato chips, 7 mismatched socks, and a dream that just wouldn't die.

This Halloween we went Steampunk, and it was fun.

The End.

It isn't a very long story.

Crap I found While Shopping

Not literal crap.  I don't shop at those kinds of stores anymore.  I mostly just shop at the grocery store.  And now and then a thrift store or two.  Which is where I found these beauties:

It may not be entirely clear in the picture, but those pants are touching the floor.  They go all the way from the floor to my armpits.  I could not stop giggling. Those pants are almost 5 feet tall all by their lonesome.  Which is apparently all it takes to crack me up.   5 FOOT TALL PANTS!!

Speaking of the grocery store, mine has a "Toy Section", though I avoid that isle at all cost.  Harrison is onto me though, and usually manages to convince me to stop there for at least a few minutes. One day, Harrison handed me this:

Which is a really a beautiful bunch of plastic. Let's take a closer look:

Yep.  You may not know this about me, but I was a cheerleader for about 2 weeks once, and let me tell you, these pom poms have hit the nail on the head.  "Drink for them, colourfulfor them" are the basic tenets they teach at cheer camp.

And clearly THESE pom poms are of the highest quality.  That says they are perfect, and I don't think they would lie.  Skillful manufacture indeed.  These beauties would turn anyone into a first rate Encourage Leader.   "GO! CLAP!!"  Repeat that mantra hourly and you will be peppier, and encouragier in No Time!  And Hygiene!

We Have Willpower!

Eating healthy for me is a lot like that Frog and Toad book where Toad makes cookies and then Frog tells him that it probably isn't good for them to eat all those cookies at once so they get a ladder and put the cookies way up high on a shelf where they can't reach them and then run around yelling "We have Willpower!"

But then the story (and my life) continues by Toad realizing that he could just use the ladder to get the cookies back down.   So Frog throws the cookies out the door and a bunch of birds come and eat them all.  Then Toad is mad cuz he doesn't have any cookies so he goes home and makes a cake.
You know.  It's kind of like that.

Tales of the Macabre

How did Puff Daddy Become P Diddy?

And how can I become E Licious?  That is what I want to know.  I mean, there are a lot of questions out there to ask, but that is the one that prays most often on my mind.

I would just like to state, for the record, that I should be doing something else right now.  I really felt like the record should include that.  Good ol' record.

And speaking of the record, I've been told that it also needs to include my least favorite ways to die.  I'm assuming this is so that when an evil genius finally decides to do me in that he can kill me in the most unpleasant way possible.  Which sounds like a swell idea to me!

So here they are, in honor of the morbidness that is Halloween,

5 ways I don't want to die:

  1. Burned at the Stake. Fire is one of those too-much-of-a-good-thing type forces and I just don't think I want to be fired until I die.
  2. Tickled to death. I'm sure we've all said "Stop stop stop!" when being tickled (and meant it to varying degrees, depending on how cute we thought the tickler was) but can you imagine if they just actually really wouldn't stop until you were dead?  It is a fearsome assasin who weilds those fingers.
  3. Glue gunned to death. Enough said
  4. Suffocating in excrement.  I know it is gross, but I read a story about someone who escaped from a Nazi prison camp by hiding out in a toilet hole, and I've thought about it a lot.  I really don't think I would want to live through that experience. But I wouldn't want to die through it either.  I would just like to avoid all close contact with human waste if at all possible.  And I know I would rather die than clean up human poop for the rest of my life.  Animal dung I think I could live with, but human poop? No, just kill me now. Just not in the poop.  I know I am making a lot of demands.
  5. Being hunted, chased and then mauled to death by a giant beast.  Death by beast is bad enough.  Being hunted would be..............I'm at a loss for words.  Being hunted would be pretty darn scary.  Please, just let it take me by surprise, just let it hide in the bushes and spring out at mekkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Cupcake to My Face Ratio = 1:1

All is quiet.  For the moment, both kids are asleep.  Next to me, on my desk, sits a cupcake.

I bought it at the store.  It came with a crown so I feel special.  I already ate two; I am feeling pretty full.  But I am very tempted to try to shove this whole thing into my mouth all at once.

Of course I never would.  I am, firstly and foremostly, a lady. Decorum is at the heart of all I say and do.  But would it even fit?  That is what I would like to know.  I know I have a big mouth, but is it big enough?  Or would I be laughed out of the "All In One Bite" social circles?  And would it still taste good, gagged down like that?  Maybe, maybe not.  But we will never know.  I don't eat three cupcakes in one sitting, I just don't.  Ask anyone.

I definitely should have taken the crown off first.

And while we are on the subject...

I find that you really can't talk too much about throwing up.  It simply doesn't seem to be possible.

Richard got sick last weekend.  Usually I am the one who is sick while he points and laughs at my misery.    He probably gets sick 1 out of every 10 times that I get sick.  So last weekend I guess it was finally his turn again. And while it put a damper on the weekend, it brought up lots of fun memories of sicknesses gone by.

When we first moved in to this house we went to Home Depot like we did all the time in those days.  I started feeling oogy, so I made Richard push me around in the shopping cart.  I think he suspected that I was just lazy, so I was really glad when we got home and I ran strait into the house and puked up pizza all over the shower.  That showed him.

Once when I was young my sister Demi got sick.  So she was hanging out in front of the toilet like you do, waiting for the sweet release of up-chucking.  It was late and she was exhausted and all the sudden she ran into the kitchen saying that her hands wouldn't work.  They were in these weird positions and seemed all frozen and she was freaking out and I was FREAKED OUT!   I thought she was dying, cuz what else do frozen hands mean if not certain death?  Turns out she had just fallen alseep on her hands and they were totally numb, but otherwise fine.

And then there was a time on my mission when a lady in the ward told me that taking Mulitvitamins on an empty stomach made her sick.  I thought that was rather silly.  But when I took one a couple days later on an empty stomach I started feeling sick too.  I think she hexed me.  I knew the thing to do was to eat something, so I grabbed the first thing I could find - leftover fish pasta - and ate it as fast as I could.  About 5 minutes later I hurled in the shower.   (By the way, puking in the shower is way better than puking in the toilet.  Though if I have my druthers  I prefer vomiting into a pitcher from the comforts of my bed.)

Anyhoo, as I listened to Richard hurling into the toilet I realized how generous and forgiving he is for still loving me after hearing me barf all those times.  Cuz now, for me, it is over.  How can I kiss someone after hearing them throw up like that?  I know there are some silent pukers out there, but I'm sure not one of them, and now I know my husband isn't either.    So that is it for us.  We had a good run.  But I was also interested to realize that, while the love is gone, listening to him didn't make ME want to throw up.  It always does in the movies, and I have always wondered if it would work that way for me, but it didn't.  So now I know, next time I am stuck in a room full of barfing barfers, I will be the one with my head held high, holding it together while everyone around me falls apart all over the upholstery.  Man, that is going to be awesome!  I can't wait!

We All Scream, Just Because We Feel Like It

In the movies you can always tell when a woman has had a bad day.  Well, first of all you can tell because she actually did have a bad day - maybe she lost the big account her boss was counting on, or she got left at the alter, or fell off a building, or maybe got chased by zombies.  But there are other signs, for those of you not too quick on the uptake.  She'll come home at the end of that crappy, zombie-filled day and head for the fridge. Her roommate will say "How was your day?"  and she will answer by pulling a container of icecream out of the freezer.  To which her roommate will respond, "Ooh, that bad?"

I never really understood that.  Are you telling me she only ate the icecream when she was upset?  Did she only keep it on hand in the eventuality that she might someday have a bad day?  For months it would sit neglected in her freezer while she ate grapefruit and spinach until the day her dog died? Or was it the fact that she was eating icecream before dinner that alarmed her roommate so?  Somehow I doubt it.  I think this is one of those myths perpetuated by the media, like the idea that bank robbers are good at heart, or that monkeys can fly space shuttles.  Cuz if I have icecream in my freezer, I'll eat it, day or night, before dinner,  after dinner, in place of dinner, for breakfast, whatever.  I'll just keep eating it until it is gone.  Which is exactly why I don't keep it in the house.  If it is here, I will eat it until it is not here anymore. No occasion required.

So if I have a bad day, I don't have the luxury of just going to the freezer to eat that whole quart of Ben and Jerry's that has just been sitting in there.  I either have to MAKE something, which takes more time than I am willing to spend in that moment, or go out and BUY something, which is a bad idea all on its own.  I have a tendency to run over people when I drive angry.  Which means I have to resort to other sources of sugar, and I will use just about whatever I can find: Chocolate chips usually, or all the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms box,  maybe Candy Canes from 3 Christmases ago,or if worst comes to worst, spoonfuls of sugar.

Have you ever tried to seek solace in a spoonful of sugar?  It doesn't have much to offer. I doubt it even really helps the medicine go down.  It only takes about a spoonful to make you wish you were dead.  3 or 4 spoonfuls later the barfing starts, which incidentally makes you forget about the zombies and sort of puts things in perspective.  At least I have a toilet to barf into, you know?

And that my friends, is why.... I don't know.  I really don't know how to wrap this up.  I just like to call you my friends.  But at least now we know that movies aren't real.  Yes, bad things happen to good people, but the odds of a person actually having icecream in the freezer on the day they find out that the perfect guy they just met has amnesia and doesn't even remember them is just too great to fool any one anymore.  You're gonna have to try harder, movies!  We are onto you!

Babies Are Boring

They get born and come into this big ol' exciting world, and what is the first thing they do?

You put them in the car, and

You get them dressed for church, and

You can poke them in the foot,

strip them down naked,

or kiss them in the face,

but they'll sleep through it all.
On this couch,

in the bath

on  a lap

or a shoulder

You name it, they can sleep through it, on it or over it.  Seriously, wake up already!  What are the rest of us supposed to do while you are asleep?  Clean the house?  Cook dinner?  Pay the bills?  Sleep ourselves???  Don't be ridiculous!  It is high time you did your share!  I demand payment for services rendered.  I only accept smiles as payment, so I would get working on that.

My Very Own Star Wars Kid

So Richard made these very cool light sabers for Harrison for Christmas out of pex pipe and old flashlights. I would show you a picture, but then I would have to take one. And it is hot in my house. We don't have air conditioning, but our house is made of brick so it stays pretty cool for the most part. So if I keep very still, I can keep from raising my body temperature in any way. If I have to get up to take a picture, it might cause me to expire. Plus, I am super lazy.

Oh, look at that!  A picture magically appeared in my camera and transferred itself onto my hard drive.  Fairys sure are nice to have around. Here ya go:

Because of these light sabers, Harrison and I have a lot of light saber fights. Lots of them. Long ones. Epic ones. And I always feel a little silly. Until it finally occurred to me that my problem is that I was holding my light saber wrong! I was holding it one handed, like a foil, which is so embarrassing because everyone knows the light saber is a two handed weapon.  Duh.

Having realized my mistake, I grabbed my light saber with both hands and started whipping it around, perfecting my form and increasing my skill until I suddenly realized that I looked just like this guy:

And I was just so happy. I've finally made it, you know?


Here is the very short version and some more pictures. At some point I will force you to sit through the long version, but not today.

The gist is this: last Friday, June 4th, we were chosen by a birth mom to be the adoptive parents for her baby boy. She was due on the 28th. To say we were happy is putting it mildly. It wasn't much time to prepare, but we felt we were more than up to the task. So when we got a call barely a week later telling us she was in labor, we were not prepared in the least. We hadn't even started telling people yet (which is why you didn't know). We ran around like crazy people for the next couple of days, and yesterday morning we brought him home. We named him Colin and he mostly sleeps all the time, which is really very strange. But Harrison seems to like him ok so far and things are great. We are beside ourselves with joy. And some shock. It might take a few days for it to all sink in. We have two boys??

Here are some more photos for your viewing pleasure. If they don't please you, I recommend punching yourself in the eye.

That is a little boy very angry at being photographed without his pants on. Such modesty.


I caught him mid sneeze!

I'm pretty sure that is his "Stop taking pictures of me already" face.

So there you have it. All the pictures we are ever gonna take.

For those of you who are mad that this is the first you have heard about it, I apologize. I was going to be awesome and send out personalized emails in silver envelopes, but there is just so much baby to hold, and 3-year-old to entertain and icecream to eat. I hope you can forgive me.

And thanks to the well wishers and those who have offered to watch Harrison, which I will totally take you up on once he is no longer sick. You guys are nice and I like you a whole heck of a lot.

This Post Has No Title

I don't have the energy or brain function to write, so I am going to let my pictures do the talking. You will have to make up your own words to the story:

Richard is going to be so mad at me for posting that picture of him. Please don't tell him, ok? It wasn't our most photogenic moment.

And Buzz will be pretty mad about that one. The top of his head is cut off!

Well, there you have it. I couldn't have made things any clearer or more comprehensive if I had written you all a 12 page, double spaced, fill-in-the-blanks letter.



Yakkity Schmakkity

One of the best things about being a mom is being able to say things like:
"You are going to have to use your fork if you can't stop putting mashed potatoes in your ears."
In what other social interactions do you get to say stuff like that to people?

I usually stay in Harrison's bedroom with him until he is alseep. I probably shouldn't. He's old enough to fall asleep on his own and he probably needs to, but it means I get to sit quietly in a comfy chair and read while he's dozing off. And it is often so much easier to read until he is asleep than try to convince him it is ok if I leave.

Sometimes he lets me leave if I sing to him, so I figured I would give that a try tonight. I sat down next to his bed, tucked him all nicely in and said "Do you want me to sing you a song?"

His tiny little hand reached up and I thought he was going to lovingly pat my cheek to say yes, so I started to ask what song he wanted when I suddenly realized he wasn't patting my cheek, he was covering my mouth. If that isn't a clear answer I don't know what is. A "No, thank you" would have been sufficient. Is that why he lets me leave after I sing? just to shut me up?

I made bread today. The very first time I have ever made bread all by myself. And I learned a few things.

  1. It is not nearly as much work as I thought it would be. Yes, my kitchen is a mess (but let's be honest, it was a mess before), but it isn't like I had to slave away in it all day. Most of the time you are just letting the dough rise, during which you are free to throw rotten food at the cats in your backyard, learn another language, or just stand by your sink and drink water for a while.
  2. My $20 stand mixer from Walmart is a piece of cow pucky. It is basically just a hand mixer that can be snapped into a stand. And it has been nice because we have the same model mixer without the stand, so our beaters are interchangeable which is good since one of them ended up in the garbage disposal last week. And it came with dough hooks, but after beating the dough for a few minutes today it started to smell like the motor was burning up and there were flames and stuff, but I just ignored because I am fireproof. I was using the mixer without the stand, but someone called during the critical dough mixing time, so I snapped it into the stand so it could mix while we could talked about poop and stuff, but while we were chatting the mixer popped off the stand and went jumping wildly across the countertop.
  1. My bread still turned out great. Really good. How do you not just eat a whole loaf of bread strait out of the oven?
  2. Making bread makes me feel awesome. It helps that my husband thinks it is about the best thing since Star Trek toys. I finally feel like a woman!

"Ode To A Small Lump Of Green Putty I Found In My Armpit One Midsummer Morning"

I have absolutely no doubt that you all clearly remember me mentioning that I had towel day entered as an event on my google calendar, and couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was?

Silly me, I just had the date wrong. Because Towel Day is today! And since Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my all time favorite books, and since I didn't think I could love Douglas Adams anymore until I found out he used to write for Doctor Who, I will faithfully carry a towel around my house with me all day. (The fact that I inadvertently chose today to potty train Harrison is just a stroke of serendipity. This towel is going to come in handy. Apparently the stars have aligned and the potty gods are smiling down on me.)

Many people celebrate Towel Day by reciting Vogon Poetry (see Title), but I have chosen to celebrate by hanging out in a track suit and stuffing my pockets full of leaves. It's not like money grows on trees you know.

Happy Towel Day everyone! May you always know where your towel is!


I just got a letter in the mail from a fertility clinic we visited. It is an invitation to a Patient Party!
What could be more fun that to hang out with a bunch of other people who can't get knocked up?? I know there is nothing I would rather do.

Thouogh there will be food. Which would almost make itworth it. I know it would for Richard. PLUS, they are having some drawings. We could win 1/2 off a Regular IVF cycle! OR $1000 off having my eggs frozen! Sounds like a bucket of fun to me!

Gardening and Other Things No One Cares About

Recently we visited with some of Richard's family in Nevada and his aunt told me she has been reading my blog. I was touched. Then she said "You are a very interesting person." Which I am not at all sure was a compliment. But really, can I blame her? Based on what I have written, what else could she think?

So it is time to show the world that I am not only "interesting", but smart and special. And. . . . . . . . I don't have the slightest idea how to do that. . . . . . . I give up. Here is a story instead.

A few years ago I made a clock for my dad. He was always wishing out loud for a great big clock you could see all over the house. So my darling husband and I decided to make him one. I bought a clock mechanism and hands on ebay and got to work. I'm pretty sure the design was Richard's idea. Something square and manly. We took a piece of plywood and covered it with some small sheets of copper that came from who knows where (my house is full of crap of unknown origin), and then I very carefully measured out a circle and added rivets for my minutes and hours. Perfect!

See anything wrong with it? (It really is kind of cool in person. I think.)

Neither did I. Not for a long time. In my defense, nobody else did either, until it was hung on the wall. Until we actually tried to tell time with it. Can you tell what time the picture was taken?

So now it is a big ol' joke. It is still hanging on my parents wall, and people are always saying "I can't tell time on that thing!" Which just makes me laugh and laugh. It's not like I rushed headlong into my project without giving it any thought (though it was Christmas Eve when I made it). I thought carefully, counted carefully and executed my plan carefully. I was just wrong. Very, very wrong, and there is a great big, hard-to-read clock on my parents wall reminding the world of that fact.

Boy I sure learned my lesson!

This year I planted a garden. My very first. It is so very fun and exciting. I made several plans and then found a book on Square Foot Gardening, fell desperately in love with it, adjusted my plans just a little and started building. I built a box that would sit above ground to fill with top notch soil. We have lots of spare lumber, so I grabbed some 2x8's and carefully measured and cut them and made myself a box that is 2 feet wide and 14 feet long. All on my own. I was pretty pleased with myself. Until Richard and I started laying out the grid (which is the Square Foot Gardening way) and realized that something was wrong. My grid was not working out. I finally measured it all again and found that the front is 14 feet wide, but the back is 14 feet 2 inches. I am such an amazing genius. How do I always do stuff like that? I measured. Then I cut one so it would be the same length as the other. And yet here I am. My rhombus garden a testament to my idiocy.

So now, the one person I was most excited to show my garden to, the one who would have been the most interested in it, is the one person who can never be allowed to see it. My Dad. Things being out of square give him hives under the best of circumstances. This might give him a heart attack. Cuz it was already full of soil when I realized my mistake, and Richard convinced me it wasn't worth it to try to fix. So we just fudged the grid to sort look straight and left it at that.

So, there you go. And here you are. At the end. Goodbye.
So I just changed Harrison's diaper. It was stinky and poopy and more than a little gross, so I changed him and then took the diaper straight out to the garbage can and then wandered off to find my calculator and started thinking about my vegetable garden again. I was sitting at my desk trying my darndest to figure out what equation I would use to figure out how many square feet of soil I need and I could hear Harrison in the other room yelling "Mom! Mom! Mom!" And I didn't pay much attention cuz he yells all the time and he can come and get me if he needs me. So I was still working on my math problem, looking online to see if someone out there knew the answer to my question and all the while he was yelling away "Mom! Mom! Mom!" but I paid him no mind. I was focused on the problem at hand. And it didn't sound urgent. It is the same way he yells at me when he wants chocolate milk. But after about 5 minutes, since he never stopped yelling, I finally thought maybe he had got himself stuck somehow and might actually need something, so I went back into the living room to find him lying on the floor with his pants around his ankles, bum as bare as can be. I said something like "What the?" I then asked where his diaper was and if he took it off. He didn't answer. I said "Did I forget to put your diaper on" and he said "Yes!" and I vaguely remember setting an unused diaper on the table and wondering absentmindedly why I had taken two diapers with me to change him. Turns out I just forgot to put it on.

And the crazy kid just stayed there, waiting for me to come and finish the job. I laughed and kissed him and diapered him up so he could finally run off and play. I still can't believe he stayed there. What kind of a kid does that?

Man, I am so smart some times. I can't stop laughing about it.

Some things I learned this year.

I am 32 now. Last year I turned 31 and the year before that I turned 30. Will it never end?? The older I get, the more often I think about why it is that everyone hates and fears aging so much. I'm still working on some theories.

But I'm sure getting old wouldn't be so bad if it didn't feel so much like I was turning into an old man. Balding, graying, mustached, with hairs pooping out of moles and freckles and out of my ears and nose. Deepening, wobbly voice, chronic gas, polyester pants and a shuffling gait. It is the pits! Though I am a very lovely person.

I decided not to make a "Why it is so darn swell to be 32" list this year, since it really ain't that differnt from being 31. Besides, half of the year I thought that I WAS 32, so I don't feel any older at all. But I am wiser. (wisened?) There is no doubt about that. And I would be honored if you, gentle reader, would let me share just a few of the things I have learned this year with you. Ready..... GO!

1. How to keep my house clean. It is about dang time. But I am still mad about having to clean it EVERY day. Every day! I ask you! Where in the fine print of my marriage license was THAT laid out?

2. The actual meaning of the phrase "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth". I always thought that it was because gift horses are known to bite (Gift Horses, of course, being those mythical creatures that deliver presents on all the holidays besides Christmas and Easter). So I thought the phrase was used today to mean that you accept the gifts you get without question, because if you look too closely at the giver, they might symbolically bite you in the bum.

But Richard told me that the horse is not the giver, the horse is the gift. And if someone gives you a horse as a gift, you don't check its teeth to make sure it is healthy before you accept it. You just accept the gift and say thank you. Because it is a gift. It makes perfect sense, but I think I like my interpretation better.

3. Chocolate is a diuretic. Don't believe me? You clearly haven't eaten enough in one sitting yet.

4. Don't let my husband see what clothes I am getting rid of. I cleaned out my closet recently and got rid of all the stuff I don't wear and gave the decent stuff to my sisters and as Richard watched them go through it he was freaking out inside. Later he said to me"You gave away that sweater? You used to wear that sweater when were dating! And I can't believe you got rid of that necklace. I've always liked that necklace!" Nevermind that I don't wear any of this stuff anymore. If he had his way we would never part with ANYTHING, and my clutter would eventually gain consciousness and attack me in my sleep.

5. Sugar gives me gas. Which actually really explains a lot.

6. Don't mess with Richard when he is cooking. He made a refridgerator sized box full of fudge for Christmas. I tried sweetly suggesting to him that maybe he made just a little too much, and he was like "Rrrrraaaaaar!!"

7. Kids don't listen. For good reason I had to say to Harrison (AGAIN) "Don't eat your boogers, please." And he said "Yes, eat boogers! Chomp!!" I don't know how to spell the chomping sound he made. But I laughed so much that I know he is never going to take me sereiously. And I really need the booger eating to stop!

9. People selling trucks on KSL do not know how to spell. The further they get from Salt Lake, the worse the spelling.

10. Guilt trips don't work on 3 year-olds. When Harrison shoots me--which happens a lot-- and I have to fall down dead, I always try to make him feel bad for killing his poor MOTHER, who loves him and takes care of him and always makes him hot cocoa. But he just laughs and shoots me again.

11. If the person you are trying to kill won't just shut up and die, you can always shoot them again.

12. No matter where you go, in cities large and small nationwide, little old ladies still hang around the house in their muu muus and house coats. Because this is America!

I may not feel much different than last year, but I know I am getting older because I LIKE the clothes in the Chadwicks catalog. Crazy right? Those are clothes for middle aged moms, not a spring chick like me. But I happened to look through a catalog recently and I liked something on every page. What is next? Embroidering my grandkid's names on my Muu Muu?

And the Winner Is...


Hooray and congratulations! I will contact you to get the info I need. Thanks for playing!!

Because it is almost my Birthday.

So my three year old has robots in his bedroom. On purpose. I put them there. They aren't invading or anything. But really, the room is kinda bare, and I don't know what to do about it. I suppose I could hang stuff on the walls, but that just seems a little TOO easy, don't you think?

Richard keeps talking about making him a very cool, rather large bed that will look neat and fill up lots of space, but I honestly don't know when that will happen. Today I saw these Kids Beds at AllChildrensFurniture.com and now I am all covety. They have some very cool beds! I think my favorite is this one.
If it was different fabric. Because there is no way my kid is having a camouflage bed. But what better way to start your day then scootin' down the slide in your jammies? It would almost make up for waking up in that awful pastel room. But seriously, with free shipping it might be better to just buy a bed than waiting until never for one to get built. Only joking husband dear! I know you'll do it when the timing is right!

And now I know what you are all thinking. I am clairvoyant, and it is pretty great. Except sometimes it sucks. But I know what these beds have got you thinking: When is Elesa Going to Do A Giveaway? And will she give away one of those swell beds? This thought has plagued your waking hours, and haunted your dreams. It isn't fair to you for me to keep you in suspense any longer. The answers are NOW and NO. Sorry. No one is going to give you a free bed. That is not the world we live in.

But I am giving away this. Monster Bowling, by Melissa and Doug. Why couldn't I have had nightmares about these guys when I was a kid? If you win, these crazy cute monsters are yours. It is that simple. Registering is somewhat more complicated however.

Here is what you gotta do to register: You must build a tower of books in your living room that reach as high as your desire to win is. Take several pictures. Compile those pictures into a slideshow set to your favorite Beach Boys song and post the video on YouTube. Once your video reaches 1000 views, write a letter to your mom and ask her to register for you. Easy as that.

OR, you can just leave a comment. Just say something like "Sign me up, Matey!" I guess I will accept that too. But the book thing would be cooler.

So, I don't know, you can tell your friends if you want to. I wouldn't if it was me, cuz it just decreases my chances of winning. (Ha. The first time I wrote that sentance it said "degreases your chance of winning.") But, since this all about advertising, I suppose it behooves us to spread the word. It also behooves us to use the word behoove at every opportunity. I guess if you mention the giveaway in a post on your blog then you can be entered again. Just comment again to tell me you did so. But you really have to ask yourself if it is worth it.

Giveaway Ends April 1st at noon. And just because you may not have children doesn't mean you shouldn't enter. Look at those monsters? Wouldn't you love to spend an evening throwing things at them?

Food for Thought

It smells like poop in here. And now that I've got that off my chest, I have something more to say. Hmmmm. . . . . How to say this without offending either of my male readers?

What is the deal with your freakin' gender? Why are you such babies about food?? Oh yes, I think that worked out nicely. Very tactful. Well done, Elesa.

But seriously, why does it smell like poo in here?

I'm going to try something a little different and talk about my husband. Just this once. Don't tell him, Ok? He is sitting right next to me and all, but he doesn't have to know. He doesn't read my blog - his excuse being that he "doesn't even know how to find it" (sure, good try), so I don't have to worry about that. So, for the rest of you, if we could just keep this between us, that would be nice.

I have a very honest husband. And of course, yes, he is honest is the doesn't-try-to-steal-from-blind-old-ladies way, but he is also honest in the won't-tell-a-lie-to-keep-from-hurting-someone's-feelings way. Even the socially accepted "lies-to-keep-your-wife-from-throwing-things-at-you" are not acceptable to him. This is the man who, when asked by me "Do these pants make my bum look smaller?" said "Uh...not really."

I have come to appreciate it. Or, I have decided to appreciate it. I know when he tells me I look good, he means it and if he tells me something tastes good, it is. As aggravating as it is, it is nice to know he isn't just saying something to make me feel good.

Cooking is fun when I get to try out new recipes. But I have given up trying to find a recipe that will knock my husband's socks off. I don't think I am capable of cooking something he goes crazy over. He will always thank me for dinner, because he really is grateful that I am cooking for him. But if I ask him how the food was, the answer is usually "It was ok", The best I have ever gotten was "It was good" but that doesn't happen all that often. So I just don't ask his opinion anymore. Instead I tell him that if he never ever wants to eat a particular meal again, he better let me know.

Such was the case with this meal:

The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti.

I thought a recipe from a back-country, meat-and-potatoes-lovin', down-home-cookin' lady like The Pioneer Woman would be just the thing for Richard, but he eyed it very suspiciously and looked quite afraid. I tried to convince him that it was going to be delicious because it was The Pioneer Woman's recipe, but he didn't believe me. He did eat it though, out of politeness. It had pimentos in it (and I am not even really sure what those are) and Richard picked them all out. I said "How do you know you don't like them?" and he said "They look funny".

I, however, thought it was really good. Though I think it would have been better with a different pasta, like rigatoni or something, instead of spaghetti.

The good news is I DID find something he likes. These:

These Ginger Spice Cookies are good. And easy. And since I bought some molasses for something recently, I always have the ingredients on hand. THAT is a huge plus. I was in love from the first. But Richard is nothing if not backward with praise and I didn't even know he liked them until he asked me to make them again. That was when I knew. I found something wonderful, and I'm never gonna let them go!!

I'm only sort of a Criminal

Well, larceny was my crime today. That's right. I robbed a Shopko.

But you should know, I'm not a thief. Really. After my first attempt, I gave it up. This time was an accident. Honest. I just went into Shopko to get one thing. Something totally normal, not something sad and weird like Depends or Female mustache remover or anything like that. And then I had me a hankerin' to watch some Harry Potter, which is also very normal, but they didn't have the one I wanted so I left. It wasn't till I got home and saw my merchandise sitting on the seat next to me, and I started trying to remember PAYING for it, and realized I hadn't. Brilliant.

So I had to go back. I kept trying to decide how I should act. Guilty? Embarrassed? Ditzy? Scatterbrained? Rushed? Angry? In the end I went for matter of fact and the customer service lady obviously couldn't have cared either way. Just rang me up and that was that. Stealing really isn't as exciting as they make it out to be in the movies. I feel like I've been lied to! By the media, of all things!

Sugar is my drug of choice

Since I had to go and announce to the world that I was was off sugar, I guess it is only fair that I inform you that I am back on again. That is right. I quit. Cuz it was a super sucky day, and it was either eat something delicious and sweet or run away, and I KNOW I would regret that tomorrow.

So I made myself a batch of snickerdoodles,

(I took the recipe from Domestication in Progress and added 1/4 tsp cream of tartar). and enjoyed every single bite. I could only eat three cookies, but I'm not sorry at all. I was sad and sugar made me feel better and I can accept that.

For a while there I was thinking "Wow! I'm sure not a quitter!!" Which was a nice thing to think and all, but it turns out that I am. And I am ok with it. Sometimes I think not quitting is just a little over rated anyway. For instance:

Have you seen this billboard?

Do I really want to stick with things at the cost of my limbs? Sure, some things are worth any cost, like my family, the gospel, good stuff like that. But if sharks keep biting bits of you off whenever you go to the beach, maybe you should start swimming at the pool. It's not like you are going to teach those sharks a lesson by surfing with one leg. They don't care. If your current activity is detrimental to your remaining limbs, it might be time to take up a new hobby. That's all I'm sayin.

Losing My ( )dentity

My I button seems to be malfunctioning. If I don't pay careful attention it just doesn't type anything when i press on it. Most words can be gnored and fixed with spell checker, except when I am talking about myself and use the word "I". If I am not paying attenton, I will get to the end of a sentence where I expound my opnions on icecream flavors, and when I look back over it, I will have been completely left out of the sentence. I feel a lttle bit lke I am losing my identty. So I have to keep going back over it and saying “I! I! I’m the one who loves Heavenly Hash!” I have to be really forceful and jab the “I” key really hard to convnce it that I am the one who is talking.

Though it occurs to me now, that maybe the reason that I is the key that is going, is because I have always been too forceful with it.What am I trying to compensate for?

Where My Nerds At?

My husband is just the teeniest bit nerdy. Only the teeniest, tiniest bit. Ever since who-knows-when he has wanted his very own Tricorder, just like the following:

If, by some bizarre accident of nature or TV programming, you have no idea what I am talking about or what this is a picture of, then I'm afraid there is nothing I can do for you. It would be like trying to describe the binary language of moisture vaporators to a hedgehog. Not that you are like a hedgehog. You are beautiful and good. And. . . . oh, let's just move on.

I bought him a phaser and a communicator for his Birthday last year

- only to find out JUST YESTERDAY that his mom gave him both when he was in highschool. He pulled them out to display in his Shrine to Nerd-dom he is putting together next to our bed. He assures me that these new ones I gave him are different and nice and he is very, very glad to have both. But the truth is, what he really wants is a Tricorder. He would happily own every one that has ever been made (and believe me, there are lots.) And as much as I like to surprise him, I think I have learned enough not to try to buy a Tricorder for him. Indeed, picking out your first tricorder is what turns a boy into a man.

So he's been looking at them online lately. Researching, comparing prices, reading reviews, watching videos. The videos are the best. In the "Sheesh, and I thought YOU were nerdy!" kind of way. Here is a very helpful and informative one:

No, no, I don't expect you to watch it (unless you are into that sort of thing). I mean, this guy happily rambles on about his tricorder for Twenty Minutes! And Richard watched the whole thing.

My favorite part is at about 8 minutes, 10 seconds. We watched it over and over cuz we thought it was so funny. Man, that guys is a nerd. And he doesn't know. I really don't think he has any idea what a nerd he is, which is what also makes him a dork. Not that there is anything wrong with that. And also, I kinda wish I knew him. Cuz nerds are the best, ya know?

and so on, and so forth...

I just woke up from a nap. Sort of. As much as one can wake up from a nap. There are those who believe that you never truly wake up from a nap, and as your life goes on more and more of you stays asleep until there is more of you asleep than awake. That is why old people are such bad drivers.

Sitting at his computer, Richard got a popup advertising The Secret to thick, strong, shiny, Asian hair. And Richard said, "Uh, yeah. Isn't the secret being Asian?" And unfortunately, I think he is right. My mongrel, European heritage has bestowed upon me limp, frizzy, thinning hair, and I'm proud of that. I don't need any "internet secrets" taking that away from me.

My shocking news of the day is that I have decided to give up sugar. Temporarily. One day the notion popped into my head out of who knows where and I just up and decided to go without sugar until my Birthday in April. For a total of 6 weeks. Because--I reasoned--I can do anything for 6 weeks.

It has been almost 3 weeks so far. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is so hard it is all I can do to keep from smashing things, but I have stuck with it. And I guess I will stick with it till the end, cuz it seems like a waste to quit now, though I'm not really sure why I decided to do this in the first place. Mostly what I feel at this point is just bored. Dessert is fun. Cooking dessert is fun. How the heck am I supposed to entertain myself if I don't eat dessert?

Underneath this world, there is a whole nuther, different world, and they have really delicious potatoes.

There is a whole bloggy world out there that some of you don't even know about. Some of you do, of course, and that is why you are here, but the rest of you are here because you are related to me, and as such feel a certain responsibility to read what I write, and find out what is going on in my life (which is increasingly infuriating, because I never actually SAY anything!)

Anyhoo, what I am driving at is that there is this whole, bloggy community of women (and men, so legend has it) who only know each other through their blogs, and read each other's blogs and from time to time go out to lunch together, and then casually attend Blogging Conferences where they meet and talk to MORE people and read MORE people's blogs and this goes on and on exponentially until eventually someday they will break the internet.

But until that day, blah blah blah, I really don't know where this sentence is going.

Ok. So these people get together. For instance, I assume it is not a secret that Kristina has announced a blog lunch on March 20th at the Old Folk Mecca: Golden Corral. (She also announced that she actually cares about Old People, which you can read more about here.) So, with that announcement comes a decision. Should I go?

See, the thing is, I went to one of these once before. Though it wasn't a lunch. It was a Bridal shower. Brittany was having a baby shower hosted by Kristina and she basically said "If anybody wants to come, let me know." So I said, "Send me on down one-a them thur invitations!" And she did. And somehow I found myself on the fateful day in my car, heading toward Salt Lake to attend the shower.

It was exciting to meet these people, but as I drove I was mostly just nervous. And then I got lost. And then I got loster. And then I was yelling "Where the heck am I??" and then I was like "CURSE YOU AND YOUR STUPID MAP KRISTINA!" and then I was like "Oh. I'm here." And then I was nervous again. Really, crazy nervous. What was I thinking coming to this thing??

But here is the plot twist: It was great! I ended up sitting by Annie of Regarding Annie, which was nice for me because Annie is good at talking. Well, no. That's not quite it. She is good at conversation. Talkers are nice cuz they do all the talking and I can just listen and I don't have to do any work. But she asked me questions. Got me talking, and it didn't feel like work at all. On my other side was Jessica, from Duck, Duck, Cow, whose blog was the first stranger's blog I ever commented on. Thusly, she was the first stranger who commented on my blog, and I was pretty dang excited, I can assure you. I also met the Boob Nazi, and Shanna of Just So, and Christa (whose blog I cannot find anywhere) and gosh it has been so long that is as far around the circle as I can remember.

So what I am trying to say is, it was really nice to meet them and I was so glad I went, but now there is another lunch coming up and even though I liked the last one, I am afraid to go to another one. I just read This Post by That Girl, and I totally get where she is coming from. Though for me it is not so much fear of having to meet expectations as just having to talk to people. Talking to people is the worst! And 19 million times more worser when they are people you don't know. With one of my sisters I can be like "Hey, what's up? Why don't we sit down, eat 27 peanut butter bars and watch some Firefly" But with a stranger I have to be like, "Hello. How are you on this fine morning? Would you care to sample some of these delectable peanut butter bars? Oh, you don't eat carbs? You don't like Sci Fi? You don't watch TV??" And then I have to fake a nose bleed and run for the bathroom. Yeah. Pretty painful. So, anyway, I think the point is,

Talking = BAD
Peanut Butter Bars = GOOD.

Oh, and the other point, which I learned at the aforementioned Blog Lunch, is that the name of my blog "Ahem" is no fun to say out loud. So when people asked what my blog was I started just clearing my throat. And then they would say "How do you spell that?"

I could try to sum this all up nicely, but what good would that do? Let's just say that I have shared all the thoughts I have on the matter, and leave it at that.

But what are YOUR thoughts?

It is Hot and/or Ready, if you are willing to wait till it comes out of the oven.

Friday night I was going out with some friends, so a quick and easy dinner solution for my family was Little Ceasar's Hot and Ready pizza. Because I'm cheap like that.

At 5:00 Harrison and I pulled in to Little Ceasar's, (in order to beat the dinner rush) and I ordered a Hawaiian pizza. They used to have them hot and ready, but not any more. I didn't realize this. The cashier told me it would be about 5 minutes. No big deal. I grabbed a balloon for Harrison and we sat down to wait.

Turns out 5:00 on a Friday is NOT early enough to beat the dinner rush. It was packed. Crazy busy. I think Hot and Ready pizzas was probably the best thing Little Ceasar's ever did for themselves. The pizza is not fantastic, but it is cheap and it is available NOW. Those two qualities are pretty hard to resist. And those highschoolers employed there work really hard. People say teenagers are lazy, but those kids were working their non-existent bums off.

So we waited. And waited. And waited. After about 15 minutes an employee told me they had just put my pizza in the oven and he was really sorry and gave me a couple expired coupons for free crazy bread. So we waited some more.

Harrison was done sitting quietly by this time. I tried to find the balance between keeping him from driving everyone else in the place crazy, and giving him enough freedom that he wouldn't scream. I didn't do a very good job, but I honestly thought about trying harder. Some little kid sitting next to us was smacking his parents in the face with his balloon, so Harrison started doing it to me, and I was like "NUH UH." Then he wanted to roll around on the floor with his balloon, but I wasn't having any of that either.

I considered leaving, but thought, if I don't bring this pizza home to my family, how will I provide them with the nourishment they need? After around 20 minutes the same employee gave me my money back for the pizza. I said "Are you serious?" And he assurred me they were sorry that my pizza was taking so long. I wanted to ask how much longer it would be at this point, but after such a kind gesture on his part, I felt like that would be a little greedy of me.

So I just kept waiting. And it really would not have been a big deal if not for Harrison. He spent his time jumping in front of people on accident so that they tripped over him, sending their pizzas flying (OK. Nobody's pizza flew through the air. That would have been just so awesome), sticking his hand in the door to keep people from closing it (to which my response was "WHAT the CRAP are you doing???"), or patting strangers on the bum. The poor old lady he did that to probably had a mini heart attack from that little surprise.

At 5:30 I was just about to tell them that, Thank You, they had been very, very nice, but I was going to have to leave, when someone who looked like a manager came over with my pizza, an apology, and coupons for TWO free Hawaiian pizzas. Wow. Really, Wow. I thanked him for the excellent service and went home to scarf down my pizza. And I felt a little bad. Did the manager realize I already got my money back? Not to mention the crazy bread. Cuz while I did have to wait a while, that was a very profitable pizza acquiring expedition. And that is some seriously good customer service! Better than I would have ever expected from Little Ceasar's. Far from being annoyed and deciding to go somewhere else next time I want pizza, I'm gonna go back to L.C. because they were so nice to me. But, when that next time happens to roll around, you can bet your pajamas that I will be leaving Harrison with his Father.
Here I sit in my 3 year old's toy strewn room, laying on the floor at the foot of his bed, reading a book while he slowly drifts off to sleep. I cannot help but look at him and my heart skips a beat. He is everything I ever wanted. It hurts a little, loving him this much. He catches me watching him and grins and scrunches up his shoulders. I smile too, and we spend a few moments just grinning and shrugging at each other. It's like feeling your whole self expand from the inside. I live for these moments. For joy like this. I have never felt so complete. What more could I ever want than this?

Oh, right. Another one. A little girl would be nice.

What Valentine's Day is Really About

Just in time for V-Day my husband came down with the flu. So he spent most of the weekend watching NCIS and the V marathon on Syfy and reading The Silmarilian. And I spent the weekend eating every piece of chocolate and candy that I could get my hands on. And then I also made cookies and ate them too. Good times.

So, while we are discussing Valentine's and all the gooey love garbage that goes with it, let's not forget to discuss the most important, some might say pivotal, part of all Valentine's Day activities: SHOES.

I always think that I have told you all of my most secret secrets, but I might have left one out. I am 5'8". I guess all my other confessions didn't include that tasty bit of info. So, yes. The top of my head is 5 feet, 8 inches from the ground. Which really isn't that tall. There are all kinds of women taller than me. What is the average, about 5'6"? Hmm, I'm gonna look it up. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Oh. . . . . . . gee. . . The average height for women in the U.S. is 5'3". Now you know.

I tell you, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows being tall. It hard to find pants, strollers, or men tall enough. And for most of my life I have just felt TOO tall. My best friend was 5'2" (5'2 & 1/2", thank you very much), so I have always felt kind of, um, LARGE when I wasn't with my family. People often talk about tall women in vague exclamations of how enviable it is, but I've never heard them say why. I certainly couldn't ever see what was so great about it. All I knew was that I was taller than all the boys I liked, and I was always tripping over things.

I hear people complain about being short, but I was always jealous. The guys always seemed to like my short friends. I think there is something about a girl he can pick up with one hand and throw over his shoulder that is irresistible to a guy.

Here is a picture of me and some of my college roommates. Guess which one is me?

This is a picture with the short roommates, of course. I have a picture with some taller ones, but that would not have illustrated my point. Sheesh! It is no wonder I had a complex. I'm like a head taller than them!

And here is another picture that one of my roommates was kind enough to post on Facebook, for which I am very, very grateful.

This picture just cracks me up. I am like a giant. Why in the world am I so big? I look like I am standing on a stool or something, but I can't think of any reason why I would be.
Note to self: Rugby shirts make you look like a Rugby player. Please avoid.

So anyway, here I was three years into college; Tall and hating it. But then I went on a mission and things changed. Because it was a great, life-changing experience, but also because I had 8 different companions and all but 2 were the same height as me or taller. And even the short ones weren't very. For the first time in my life I wasn't associating with the tops of people's heads! (All right, I'm exaggerating here, but just go with it). And I had one companion who, though she was almost 6 Feet tall, wore heels all the time, and looked fantastic doing it. For the first time it occurred to me that I could be tall and proud of it.

So then I came home and married a guy 5 inches taller than me who loves high heels and I started wearing them and one day I suddenly realized that I actually LIKE being tall. When the Young Women come into Relief Society and we all get to stand up to do the theme and I find myself looking out over a sea of heads because I am wearing 4 inch heels, it makes me smile.

So, in honor of Valentine's Day, and as a gift to my husband, I got a pair of 5 inch heels. (I just went and measured them.) And they are really cute and pretty hard to walk in and I will probably be falling down even more than usual, but it is totally worth it! Happy Valentine's Day Shoes!

5" heels: $21.00.
Liking Your Height No Matter How Tall You Are: Priceless.

How to Polish Your Plants

There are many, many things that I excel at. Cake Decorating and Photography are just a few that come to mind. Well, also Plants. And, apparently, writing good sentences, such as ones unto the similarity of this.

For today's lesson:

I realize I am probably telling you something you already know. But that is my job. That is actually what I have been assigned by the higher-ups to do; Tell you stuff you already know, like ....... I don't know, don't punch cows and stuff. Whatever.

So I live in a dusty house. I would swear that it is at least 3 times dustier than your average Utah home. And I deal with the dust by ignoring it. Which works wonders! Except today, for who knows what reason, I realized my plants were looking pretty sad. Ok, so the point!!

How to clean and polish your plants. Ta da!

The secret is mayonnaise. Mayonnaise will shine them up and make them look like plastic. (Which is the goal with live houseplants.) Lots of condiments have more than one use like this. You can use ketchup in your windowsill to seal up gaps, mustard will kill a beetle on contact, and pickles are great for throwing at people. Obviously. But the mayo on the plants really is real.

Here is my philodendron BEFORE. Can you see the dust? Can you tell that it is dirty enough to shock your mother-in-law and make her seriously concerned for her son's future?

No, I guess you really can't. You'll just have to trust me.  It is worse than it looks.

And here is the plant AFTER polishing:

Wow! Just look at those leaves shine!

So, here is what you do:
  1. Plop some mayo into a small bowl or plate.
  2. Put a paper towel or soft rag into your hand (right or left, the choice is yours).
  3. Get a little mayo on a corner of the rag and gentle rub it into a leaf. Continue rubbing and polishing until the mayo is rubbed in and it looks clean and shiny.
  4. Repeat with remaining leaves.
It goes without saying that you should be careful. Your plant is fragile and you could easily break a leaf. Which, unlike the phrase "Break a leg", is not used to mean good luck. However, if you do manage to break one (or several), just pinch the leaf off at its root, or base, or jointy-joint thing. (Yeah. Like I said. Knowing everything about plants is what I do best.) Plants really do like being pruned this way.

Maybe you are worried about the smell. Don't worry , it will only smell like sulfur for a few weeks, and you probably won't even notice it anymore after a day or two. If neighbors come over and notice the smell, just blame it on them. That is Basic Hostessing 101.

So maybe there are some of you complaining that you can't even keep your plants alive. All plants are different, with differing needs, but it is safe to say that you are probably over watering them. Very few plants need to be watered every day. I water my plants no more than twice a month. The philodendron is one of my favorites because it starts to look very sad and droopy when it is thirsty and this reminds me to water all of them at once. And it works out perfectly. I also have an Umbrella Tree (or schefflera) that I stuck in an unused room once and forgot about for months. Barely even looked thirsty when I found it again. Just keep it out of direct sunlight and it never asks for a thing. I recommend finding a plant that is as needy as you are giving. I used to have plants that needed lots more love, attention, and water than I was willing to give and they have since died (actually, this happens with my relationships too). It is survival of the fittest at my house. You get on MY watering schedule, or you meet your doom.

The point is, there are plants out there that are beautiful and incredibly easy to maintain. I would tell you what more of them are, but then how would you ever learn anything? Most plants will tell you when they are getting thirsty, and it probably isn't as often as you think. Don't fret over your plant, don't water it every single day, give it the amount of sunlight the little tag that comes with it says to give it, and suddenly you'll find that you have had it for a whole year and it is still thriving.

So get out there, get a plant or two, polish those leaves (it doesn't really stink. I was only kidding), and feel like a botanical genius!

The Best of 2009

Now I would like to preface this by saying that, while my taste is flawless, this isn't actually THE best of 2009. This isn't even really a list of my favorites from all the new things that came out last year because I am probably at least a couple years behind. (No jokes now.) I don't even listen to the radio, so how could I possibly tell you the best new song from 2009?

No, what this is is a list of my favorite things from last year. They might be new, they might be old, they might be neither new nor old, but just something I came into contact with, and liked and remembered enough to have them come to mind right now while I am typing this. Ok. Prepped enough? Yes, I hear you saying "Shut up already and get on it with!" So here we go!

  • Star Trek
  • Up

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • The True Meaning of Smekday
  • The Hunger Games

TV shows
  • Doctor Who. The new one, of course. Yep, this is my very favorite show. And if that doesn't tell you just about everything there is to know about me, then I don't know what will.
  • Warehouse 13
  • Community. This show has some flaws, but there are just some things about it that make me laugh and laugh and laugh. I think it is my favorite new show of the year.
  • Leverage

  • Pepperjack cheese. I am 31 years old, and only last year discovered pepperjack. And it has changed my life forever. I just now ate a pepperjack cheese quesadilla, and my happy belly and greasy keyboard can attest that it is delicious!!


  • The Christmas Waltz (It was my favorite Christmas song this year. I just wanted to hear it all the time. That very rarely happens.)
  • I Am The Highway - Audioslave
  • Hey ya - Obadiah Parker (I never loved Outkast, but this version of the song makes my heart go all mushy. Sigh.)

  • Bananagrams (aka "Speed Scrabble")
  • Runebound (for which my husband better consider himself pretty darn lucky)

  • 1,637,529. That number is just so hot right now!

So, anyone else want to do this? I would very much like to hear what everyone else's favorites of the year were. And did I miss anything? Should I include my favorite word or website or anything?