Oct 31, 2008

First Thing in the Morning Thoughts

Harrison woke up at 5:30 this morning, so I gave him some water and he fell back asleep. Due to the waking up he slept in until 8:30 (now) and thusly I have just woken up as well. He is my alarm clock. Are you with me? Are you keeping up? Do I need to go back over it? I hope not, cuz I seriously just woke up, and sentence formation is kind of difficultish.

So I was having this dream. I had found an old wallet and an old book of mine (both of which don't actually exist, by the way.) The wallet was so cute and perfect - you know the kind: Small, compact, but when you open it up it has all the slots and pockets you could ever want or need. Inside was a bunch of money - including a $4.00 bill and some monopoly money - and other wonderful things, that I can't come up with the words for right now.

Inside the book I had pressed some leaves, and also some jewelry, though I"m not sure how that works. The leaves all crumbled and fell apart, but the jewelry was so cute! On each page I pulled out more earring and necklaces and baubles and cute stuff and I just kept thinking "Ooh Neat! What a great day!"

But then I woke up and it was just a dream. I don't have that perfect wallet and that awesome jewelry. Drat! And that reminded me of this dream I had once when I was a kid. There was all this food in front of me. Mostly sweets. Candy and cookies and pastries and cakes and maybe a hotdog, I think. And just as I was reaching for it to put some of that delicious food in my mouth, I woke up. AARGH! How bitter was my disappointment! Not just that it was a dream, but even in my dream I didn't get to eat the food!!

And I think that dream may be the source of this: I hate in movies, or on TV when a character doesn't get to eat. Did you see How I Met Your Mother a couple weeks ago, when Robin was starving and they were looking for the perfect burger joint and she kept having to leave before she got to eat anything? It was driving me crazy! I started shouting at the TV - "Let her eat! Just give her your hamburger! Please!" And then on What's Up Doc when the golf club guy takes her room service order? Oh, how it rankles! It is up there with the highest forms of torture in my book. So now you know. And knowing is half the sandwich. Goodbye.

p.s. I know there are more examples of withholding food, but those two are the only ones I can think of right now. You got any?

Oct 29, 2008


Well, tis that time of year again: Oct. 29th! Hooray! By this time each year most people already have carved and lit their Jack-O-Lanterns and have them proudly displayed on their front porches. We aren't those people. We seem to have bad luck with our pumpkins, and by this time each year, we are still displaying our pumpkins, but with more dismay and amusement than pride.

Last time we carved pumpkins we did it early in October. Bad Idea. It got really, really warm that year, and the pumpkins were so JUICY that they just eventually gushed out all over the porch. This is Richard's from that year.

So we decided to try it again this year, but waited until a little later in the month. We carved pumpkins a week ago with Stewart and Anne. I don’t think it would be exaggerating to say that they were the most perfect Jack-O-Lanterns the world has ever seen. The husbands decided that stabbing the pumpkins with knives wasn't quite a strong enough display of their manliness, so they used power tools instead. That really sped things up. So anyway, it has only been a week since the creation of these Halloween beauties, but they have not aged well.

Instead of scary or happy pumpkins glowing with an inner light, they look like shriveled, deformed old men. This pumpkin on the right is shriveling so much I'm pretty sure his chin is going to recede to the point that he will fall over on his face. And that big pumpkin on the left reminds me of that garbage heap lady from "Labyrinth". You know the one?
Sigh. I might just have to suck it up and admit that these pumpkins have given up the ghost.

Oct 25, 2008

I forgot all about this guy. This video was awesome. Just watch it. It made me cry. (Don't make fun.) I can't explain it. But it's like if, no matter where you go in the world, people will dance and be silly in front of a camera, then I think there really is hope for us after all.

Oct 23, 2008

2001: A Space Odyssey?

We just watched 2001: A Space Odyssey. I had never seen it before. Always kind of wanted to. It is a really famous film, and it got 4 stars, so it was sure to be good. But I have no idea what it was about!! I have never been so confused. Does anyone know?? I would really like some answers.

I even looked online to find some sort of explanation to it all, but the only thing I am sure of now is that Stanley Kubrick was a fruit.

Oct 21, 2008

Laundry Closet - Sep. '08

We have been so close to having all the plumbing done for a long time now. And then while I was at the General Relief Society Broadcast a few weeks ago Richard surprised me by getting everything hooked up and moving the washer and dryer upstairs. Hallelujah!! They have been in the Dining Room for years. And now they are in this little closet right outside my bedroom door. Could I ask for anything more?

This picture was taken right after they were installed. Notice we wasted no time in washing some clothes!

Mysterious Confection

What you see here appears to be a regular bowl of pudding. But it ain't. This pudding is shrouded in mystery. Let me tell you why...

The other day I was rearranging stuff in my fridge to make room for a cake I had just made. I was going to have to clear off a whole shelf, but luckily my grocery shopping is more wishful thinking than anything else, so there is always room. I noticed, in the front of one of the shelves, a bowl of vanilla pudding. My first thought was 'When did Richard make that?' My second thought was 'Why would he make pudding when he knows I am making cake?' Then I closed the fridge and forgot all about it.

Later that evening, I came down from putting Harrison to bed, and Richard said "When did you make pudding?" to which I responded "I didn't make that pudding! I thought you made it!" Then we just stared at each other in freakish silence as we had one of those If-you-didn't-do-it,-and-I-didn't-do-it,-then-where-did-it-come-from? moments.

I have come up with 2 possible explanations.

1. A Ghost made it. We are being haunted, possibly by the spirit of the Lady who owned the house before us, and instead of rattling chains in the attic she has taken to leaving desserts in the Kitchen. It really seems like the best possible way to be haunted, now that I think about it. I wonder if she does Chocolate Chip Cookies?

2. Someone broke into our house. Some desperate robber broke and entered with a plan to rob us blind, but when he saw the state of things inside, he felt so bad for us he decided to leave us a little treat instead. That was really pretty nice of him. And he didn't break anything, so no hard feelings.

Anyway, we found the pudding on Saturday. Now it is Tuesday. We don't quite dare to eat it, since we don't know where it came from, but at the same time we also don't dare to throw it away. So it just sits in our fridge. I think part of me is waiting to see if it will vanish as mysteriously as it appeared. How long do you think I'll have to wait?

Oct 17, 2008

Flashback Friday #2

It is time for a mission story. So sit back and get comfortable. Cuz you know how I can ramble. I just hope Sister Thomas doesn't kill me. She was my trainer. This story takes place on an Autumn Morning in New Hampshire. I had been out about a month (if that). It was the morning of District Meeting, and our District Leader, Elder Edwards had called and talked to Sister Thomas. He told her that they were out of consecrated oil and needed her to make some more for them. All she needed to do was melt down some Crisco in a pan on the stove and bring it with us to District Meeting. She is very helpful and reliable and she said she would happily do that for them.

I didn't know anything about this. We were done with our morning study, and I was in the bathroom doing my hair or makeup or whatever. Sister Thomas was bustling around getting everything ready for District Meeting. Suddenly, I heard Sister Thomas Scream. I ran to the kitchen and saw a pot on the stove with flames reaching at least three feet in the air. We grabbed some baking soda and put out the fire, but the room was already full of smoke, and then the building's Fire Alarms went off.

We filed out of the building with everyone else. Lots of people panicked when they saw the smoke and ran for it. We didn't try to stop them. What would we have said? Our main thought was, "How are we going to explain this to the Fire Men?" They cleared the building, made sure the fire was contained, and in the mean time the EMT checked our lungs for smoke and asked us what happened. I really don't remember what we told them. But I am pretty sure they walked away from there thinking: "Those girls sure were dummies!"

We were a bit late to district meeting. When we told them what happened Elder Edward's companion (whose name I can't remember right now) had to run out of the room because he was laughing so hard. We agreed that there was no harm done (except to the hood on the stove. That would need to be replaced) so we all had a good laugh and we thought that was that.

Except that that wasn't that, because when our Zone Leader called that night to make sure we were OK, he told us that he was pretty mad at Elder Edward's little joke. Joke? we said. What Joke? What ever are you talking about? Only then did we learn that consecrated oil is made from Pure Olive Oil. Nothing else. Elder Edwards had gotten this idea from a story one of the member's told about her mission, (except of course in her story nothing caught on fire) and thought it would be great fun to see if he could trick us.

Sister Thomas got a fair amount of slack for this story, since she is the one that did the actual Crisco melting, but I'm sure if he had asked me, I would have done the same. I mean, when your district leader asks for a favor, you don't expect it to be a trap, right?

And yes, my scrapbooking skills are extraordinary. This is Sister Thomas' remarkably accurate reinactment.

So, Flashback lesson learned? "I always expect everything to be a trap. Which is why I'm still alive."

Oct 15, 2008

Basement - Summer '07

The heater all this time was in the dining room. So we planned to move it under the house. The plan was to create a space for the heater and for some food storage. So we undertook the daunting task of digging out a little basement. Richard's dad, and my bro in law Charlie came and helped a Lot. It was so not fun. We pulled up all the floor boards, and then stood between the floor joists to dig. When Faralee was there she would help by watching Harrison. And we would have two diggers, putting their dirt in buckets, and then a bucket guy, who would empty the buckets into a wheel barrel and then dump it in a designated spot. For lack of a better place, that spot became some random location in the backyard, where we still have a huge dirt pile.

We dug and dug and dug. We were going to lay a cement floor for the heater/food storage space, and when we were almost done digging we ordered the necessary gravel and had it dumped in our front yard. Just before we were to get started on our concrete floor, it turned really cold - it must have been late August or Early September - and we knew we couldn't wait any longer to get our heater hooked up. So Richard hooked it up - We also replaced the parlor floor at this time - and we never got back to the basement.

Nursery - Early 2007

Harrison was due in December, so we started working to get his room ready. I don't know the dates on this. Harrison has sapped my documenting abilities. Probably started in Nov 06. Harrison came Dec 21, so when we had a little more energy we got back to it. Only thing I know for sure is that we painted in May 07. The blue was not what we wanted. It was a lot darker than we planned, so eventually Richard picked out a new color online, and went back to the store and bought some more. We tested a bit on the wall, and wouldn't you know, it was exactly the same color! I'm sure that says something about us subconsciously. I just resorted to mixing some white into it and that is the color on the walls now.

So this is before:

I know the picture hardly shows any of the room. But that is pretty much how it looked all the way around. We shortened the room some to put in a closet, and also have space to run the chimney from the fireplace, the vents for the heater, and all the pipes and electrical work.

And here is the room now. The robots have taken over, but hey! It comes complete with one very cute little boy!

The robot on the wall came from here. It was a download from a Creating Keepsakes magazine. I blew it up with an overhead projector, then traced it on the wall and painted it.

That dresser is the one Richard had in his bedroom growing up. Something about that just makes me happy. I sanded it, painted it, and put new knobs on it. And, since this is the Me show, I also put all the shelves in that wall nook all by myself. Hooray!

Toilet Humor (I warned you!)

As we are getting ready to potty-train, I often have toilets on the brain lately. Fun for me. And, fun for you too! One potty training technique I have heard a lot lately is to let your kid run around naked for a while. Because they won't like the feeling of the bodily fluids running down their legs, and will be more likely to want to use the toilet. Seems like a pretty good idea, except Harrison is a very Projectile Peer. Pee-er? Whatever. So it is more likely that it will be running down MY legs than his, and since he thinks it is funny, I doubt very much that it would be a motivation at all. Anyway, just one of the toilety things I have been thinking about. I've also been thinking that with three of us using the toilets, it is probably a good idea to post some Toilet Rules we should all follow, so as to make everyone else's toilet experiences as nice as possible. Luckily for me, someone has already come up with some perfect toilet rules, so I can just use theirs!

You have my brother-in-law Charlie to thank for this. Oh, and of course, Engrish.com. (click on the picture to enlarge).

I know what you are thinking. 'Hey! Weird! Those are the same rules my mom posted by our toilet when I was a kid!'" Crazy, right? But if, by chance, you aren't thinking that, you may find these rules a little hard to understand. So I am going to interpret them for you. Cuz I'm nice like that.

1. If you are using this toilet for the purpose it was intended for, it is only meant for one user at a time. If, however, you are using it for other things - such as a stool, or a hiding spot during a game of sardines - it can accommodate as many users as you want.

2. When this toilet is flushed, the stuff inside goes where all sewage goes, and thus, it is not a great place to stow spare body parts (feet, specifically). Feet don't belong in the toilet, because even if you ask them to, they will not be able to poop for you.

3. If you use the toilet, you clean the toilet, and don't you dare try to get out of it by moving the toilet somewhere else.

4. (This one refers to a very special kind of toilet sold exclusively in China. It is a bit hard to explain, but imagine something like a very large kitty litter.)

5. When using the toilet, don't make a lot of noise. You will scare people away. That isn't nice.

6. It is normal to have a lot of distractions and interruptions when using the toilet. Just stay focused and stick with it and you will finish what you came here to do. (If it helps, repeat to yourself these words: "Into the Toilet! Into the Toilet!")

7. It is not the fault of this toilet that you did not properly cook your food. Please don't come in here and vomit all over the place. That really messes up the environment the toilet is trying to create.

8. If you are feeling emotional or having difficulty, please take advantage of our new "Toilet of Attention" which is not only soothing and comfortable, but will also listen to your problems.

9. Please limit your graffiti to "orderly paintings" only. Disorderly paintings tend to confuse people, and they might start to run into things.

10. Yes, the fountain outside the bathroom smells like urine. But it is not a toilet. Don't treat it like one.

11. Before using the bathroom, (and especially the litter box) please memorize all of the toilet rules so that you will know exactly what to do when the time comes.

Hmm...I'm not really sure that I got number 2 right. If anyone has any better interpretations, please feel free to share.

Oct 10, 2008

Flashback Friday

I love Marta’s Flashback Fridays. Can I steal it? I sure hope so, cuz I am gonna. I know that this should probably include pictures, but my old albums are in a box somewhere, so I really can’t promise you much.

Besides, this first flashback hardly counts as a flashback at all. Cuz it is just from a week ago. But with a memory like mine, anything I can remember at all is good. So last week I had a doctor’s appointment. No biggie. They had to draw some blood, so I sat in their big blood-drawing-chair and waited 10 minutes or so while the nurse typed my information into the computer. This took a while because her fingernails were so long that she had to type each letter one - at - a - time. Finally she was done, so I let the girl stick a needle in my arm. It always makes me nervous when someone younger than me starts coming at me with a needle, but I guess it is just something I am going to have to get used to.

So, she started drawing my blood and I didn’t watch. I never look when my blood is being drawn. It’s not that I’m squeamish, it just seems safer. But this was taking so long, and though she left the needle in my arm, I could feel her clicking things in and clicking them out and eventually I just got curious and looked. The needle was attached to some kind of cartridge that a vial was inserted into. And while I watched, the vial filled up with blood, so she pulled it out and snapped an empty one into the cartridge. And suddenly I started to feel a little dizzy. And nauseous. I immediately looked away, but it was too late. All at once I felt my body go sort of numb and limp and I thought “Oh my. I think I am going to pass out.” And I did.

I have never passed out before. I have never been a dainty girl, by any stretch. Sturdy, that's me. I've always thought of fainting as something reserved for the dainty girls; the kind of girls that men like to take care of. So I kinda always thought that passing out would be so very romantic and feminine, like something out of a romance novel. But it wasn’t. It was pretty crappy. When I woke up again I was sweating like crazy and I felt SO sick. I was really worried that I was going to throw up. And I really, REALLY didn’t want to vomit all over their tiny little lab.

Finally some lady brought me some orange juice (I have no idea what happened to the tech who was drawing my blood)and I felt better right away. I think I can safely say that it was the best orange juice I have ever had. Anyway, soon I felt better, and I left. That is the end of the story.
So... Flashback lesson learned? Fainting is not for the faint of heart.

Thursday Thirteen #2 - 13 Signs That You are Surrounded by Nerds.

1. Your husband reads text books for fun.

2. You brother-in-law thinks that the new software he got that makes his iPhone sound like a light saber when he swishes it around is pretty cool.
3. Your husband is jealous that he doesn’t have said light-saber thingy on his phone.
4. Your company party usually translates into a night of rigorous Halo playing.
5. Your boss wears Scooby Doo pajamas pants to work.
6. You get used to falling asleep to the soft blue light of your husbands laptop.
7. Nearly everyone you know has at one time dressed up in character to go to a movie premier; As a Jedi, one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wolverine, etc.
8. Your brother makes Star Wars fan flicks.

9. One of your husband’s favorite things is flashlights.
10. A date night with your husband almost always involves a quick stop at CompUSA just to “look around”.
11. Your brother gets gun cases, tactical vests, and a years supply of ammo all for his vast collection of airsoft guns.
12. Your husband would rather watch old Star Trek reruns than football.
13. A friend writes a blog post entirely in ASCII, and almost all his readers decode it. (Seriously, you have to check this out.)

Oct 7, 2008

Movie Review - "The Phantom of the Opera"

Yeah, I know I am not with it. This movie came out in 2004. I didn’t realize I was THAT far behind the times, but whatever, I only just signed up for Netflix. Cut me some slack.

Now you should know I spent most of Middle School and Junior High (6th-9th grade) listening to the Broadway Cast Recording from Phantom of the Opera. But until now I had never seen it. (Ok, that isn’t totally true. In 9th grade on Band Tour we saw Phantom of Opera in L.A. - I somehow got my hands on a very shiny, green dress with massively puffy sleeves for the occasion. I looked awesome. - However, most of that day was spent at Huntington Beach. So not only was I sunburnt and exhausted, our seats were WAY up at the back, and I slept through the whole thing. Disgraceful I know.)

Not having seen it, I had to just piece the story together in my mind. Some of the stuff was very similar to how I had always imagined it, but some things I had guessed all wrong, and lots of things I never understood till now. Weird though, after loving the music as a kid, I didn’t really love the movie. I always sort of thought the Phantom was just misunderstood, but no, he’s a psychopathic murderer. And a stalker. And, it turns out, kind of a big baby. I was pretty annoyed with his tantrums by the end of the movie. And Christine! Could she be any dumber? "I’m so terrified, but when he sings I am powerless to resist him! Oh my!"
All in all, it was kinda creepy. Haunting. That is how I would describe it. Probably how they planned it. But I don’t particularly like to be haunted. It is kinda rude.

On another note, when I found out "Wicked" was coming to Salt Lake, I was determined to go see it. But then I found out that even seats in row Z (yeah, in the BACK) are $194.00. Per Person. And I am just way too cheap to pay that kind of money for a few hours of entertainment. Sooooo, I guess I will just have to buy the soundtrack and spend the next 15 years listening to it and piecing the story together all wrong in my head. Fun!

Oct 6, 2008

What to say when you don't know what to say

I just read "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. I liked it. But that is not why I am here. On the cover of the book is this quote:

"Chinua Achebe is gloriously gifted with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent." -- Nadine Gordimer

Well. For some reason whenever I read it it makes me laugh. That is praise indeed. But first of all, I'm not even really sure what that means. He is gifted with a talent? it seems obvious that he has some kind of talent, but it is unclear exactly what that is. Who knows?
And second of all, Who is Nadine Gordimer? She could be his next door neighbor for all I know. So that gave me an idea. Will someone write me some ridiculously flowery (and somewhat vague, if necessary) praise so that if I ever get published we can put it on the cover? That would be super nice. Thanks a bunch!

Oct 2, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #1 - The List List

So I just discovered Thursday Thirteen.
I really wanted to do one, and though I came up with lots of ideas for lists, I couldn't actually think of 13 things to put on each list. So, today is the List List. Perhaps someday I will be inspired enough to be able to actually think of stuff to fill these lists up, but that day is not today. If any of you are interested in using one of these list ideas, feel free.

1. 13 ways to say "Let's Just Be Friends":
- this might include things like: "So, I have this really gross looking rash. But it probably isn't contagious."

2. 13 things I should have done today and didn't:
- like shaving my legs before I went to the doctor's. I didn't know I was going to have to wear a hospital gown!!

3. 13 things I want to say and don't:

4. 13 reasons I love my tiny little laundry closet:

5. 13 ways to wake up happier:
- Go to sleep with a very deadly scorpion in your bed. Then, if you wake up at all, you already have one thing to be happy about!

6. 13 things my husband wishes were different about me:
- That sometimes I would dress like a girl from a White Snake Video. (This list is just a bad idea. If I continue to ask him what things he would change about me, either he will have to lie and say "Nothing Dear. You are truly the picture of perfection and beauty." or he will tell the truth and I will be really mad at him. Lose/lose.)

7. 13 Things I found in the backseat of my car.
- More goldfish crackers than I ever would have thought possible:

8. 13 places I looked for the baby's sippy cup full of milk:
- None of the places I looked was the right place, so there is still a cup full of milk SOMEWHERE, and I just don't know where else to look!!!

9. 13 things I can do with my eyes closed:

10. 13 reasons I love "Pushing Daisies":

11. 13 things I need to throw away, but can't bring myself to:
- The robe I made for myself. It is very pink. Not that there is anything wrong with pink, it's just that it is SO VERY pink. Not to mention the sleeves. I thought the baggy sleeves in the pattern might make my arms look too big (I'm a dork), so I altered the pattern a bit and now the sleeves are so small I can barely get my arms in. Oh what a clever seamstress am I!

12. 13 things my baby uses his head for:
- Closing the cupboard doors. He will open them over and over so that he can close them with his head.

13. 13 books on my "To Read" list:

Oct 1, 2008

Giving Gum a Chance

I would like to defend my gum stance. (Or my stance on gum. Whichever one makes more sense.) I think I may be turning into my father. He hated gum. He would never let us chew it. It was forbidden because he knew it would end up in our hair, in the carpet, stuck under the table or to the bottom of his shoe. Kids really are horrible at chewing gum. So any gum chewing I did I had to do in secret, but yes, I still chewed it. I really don’t know when I switched from secretly rebelling against my dad's Nazi Gum Regime to finally seeing gum for the diabolical substance that it is; all I know is that at some point my eyes were opened.

This reminds me of Marion’s gum story. Can I tell your gum story Marion? I would just ask you to tell it, but there is no knowing how soon you will even see this request, and the masses will not wait. So I am going to tell it. Feel free to correct me if needed. Everyone knows my memory is lousy, and I will probably screw it up.

Marion lived under the same strict gum rules that I did. Gum was so taboo that she thought it was truly a sin to chew it. But gum is a strong temptation for any little kid and when somehow she became the owner of a pack of Bubblicious, she had every intention of chewing it. She kept the package a secret, snuck outside, went and sat at the end of the driveway - making sure that her gum pack was never in view of the house - and right then and there chewed the whole pack. It was wrong, but it was so delicious. Or maybe, so totally gross. Those big colorful squares of fruity gum are super disgusting.

I don’t know how this story ends. Was she filled with guilt and eventually confessed? Did she became some kind of Bubblicios addict and chew gum behind the gym after school? Did she completely overcome her temptations and never chew gum again? I don’t have a clue. So I just can’t tell you.

I should somehow wrap this all up now, but I’m not gonna. Cuz I just remembered that I tried to steal some gum once. I’m pretty sure it was gum. It might have been a candy bar, but that wouldn’t really tie in with this post, so let’s assume that it was gum.

I was at a store with my mom and older sister Arlene. I was probably about 4 or 5. I wanted some gum so bad, and my mom wouldn’t buy it for me. So when they weren't looking I stuck it in my pocket, my mom checked out, and we went out to the car. I thought I was in the clear. But Arlene knew. They kept asking me what was in my pocket. And though I tried to deny it, it didn’t do any good because they KNEW, and then they made me take it back inside and give it to the cashier. I tell you what, I learned right then that crime doesn’t pay, and I never stole anything again.

For years after that, I always wondered how they knew. Some sixth sense tuned them in to the crime being committed under their noses? I was baffled, but I think I have figured it out. I was 5. With all my 5-year-old Stealth, how could they NOT have noticed? I thought I was being so nonchalant, when in reality I must have been SO WILDLY OBVIOUS that I may as well have broken their knees and run off with my prize, and it wouldn’t have been any clearer. (Though certainly more violent. Wow, where did that come from?)

Ok. I have rambled enough. Let’s just say that the devil in the gum made me steal it, and only thanks to my highly intuitive sister and mother was I saved from the life of gum related crime that the Hubba Bubba had planned for me.

The End.