Oct 28, 2009

Family Pictures

Thank goodness for Christmas cards, or we might never get a real family photo taken. My sister Faemarie was nice enough to take our pictures this year. I tried to pay her in cookies, but she wouldn't let me.

It wasn't the plan, but because of lighting, and parks being closed for the winter (even though it was only the middle of October) we ended up at the Gun Club/Shooting Range. Such a lovely, family-friendly environment for picture taking. I knew Harrison wasn't going to love posing for pictures, so I told Fae to just take as many pictures as she could as fast as she could until Harrison lost it. He was done as soon as I picked him up to take the very first picture. So we had to get creative. We spent a lot of time posing for pictures around this bulldozer:

which only sortof worked. He loved playing in the bucket, but getting him to look at the camera was tricky. We tried hiding behind the bucket walls, counting to three and then popping out to surprise the camera. Harrison thought it was great fun and smiled a lot. But it turned out to be pretty hard to get good pictures of Richard and I. Either we had a hard time getting our faces in the picture at all,

or else I would forgot to wipe the crazy off my face before she snapped the picture:

We did lots of swinging: (Harrison calls the following picture "Mad Daddy")

But Harrison spent most of his time doing this:

So we gave up and took pictures without him for a while,

which was boring.

Our last plan was to to tell Harrison that on the count of three, we were all going to scream. He thought that was a swell idea. Of course, Richard and I were supposed to smile while screaming, but it was kind of hard to look Natural:

And when Harrison started licking his daddy's face, we knew it was time to call it quits.

Merry Christmas Cards!

Oct 27, 2009

That is Just Sick

All right. Here is the scoop. The skinny. The scuttlebutt. Someone very close to me may or may not have the Swine Flu. Not that I would tell you if they did. And I certainly wouldn't post it on the internet. That would be way too embarrassing.

Why, you ask? What is the big deal, you ask? Because it is called the SWINE flu. Which basically means that you are a dirty pig. Might as well call it the Germ-infested Mud-hole flu, since it feels about the same. Why couldn't it be called something tragically romantic, like Scarlet Fever? I've always wanted to get Scarlet Fever. Doesn't it sound lovely? Dying from Scarlet Fever is right up there with dying from a broken heart on the romance scales.

The Swine Flu Council really screwed themselves over when they decided to name this strain of Influenza after pigs. I don't care if it did start out as a pig virus. Nobody wants to have an infectious disease named after a barnyard animal. No one really minded coming down with the Bird Flu, but Mad-Cow disease? No way. Sure, they often use the designation "H1N1", which is like sugar coating bat guano, because if you tell someone you have "H1N1", their first thought is always "Oh, right! That's that dirty pig disease! Stay away from me!"

Over the years the Disease Naming Committee in Washington, D.C. have made lots of similar disease naming mistakes. Don't they know what they are doing? Can't they see that it is all in the name? The real problem with Swine Flu is not its symptoms, but its name, and it is not the first disease to be maligned this way--Cat Scratch Fever? Who'd want to catch that?--while on the other hand, people are falling all over themselves to catch diseases like Anthrax, just because they sound so cool. Then there is Gas Gangrene, which is just adding insult to injury, but African Sleeping Sickness really sounds exotic! Canefield Fever? I don't know what that is, but it sounds nice. Dum Dum Disease? Well really! Who wants to tell their friends that diagnosis! And we still have to look out for Jock Itch, Lemming Fever, and Oral Hairy Leukoplakia.

So what's the take home lesson? CDC, if you want people to want to succumb to these diseases, you are going to have to step things up a bit. Use exciting words like "Jazz", "Spaceship", "Magic" or "Cash". Look at Rock and Roll Lyrics if you are out of ideas. Who doesn't want to come down with a raging case of The Boogie Woogie Blues, or Jungle Fever? Come on! Have fun with it!

To recap; Barn yard animals: Bad, glamorous vacation destinations: Good. Use words that compliment the infirm, like Smallpox, instead of derogatory words, as in Largepox or Dumb-n-Uglypox. Avoid words that make people giggle; while Swimmer's Ear is ok, Swimmer's Itch is definitely not. And when in doubt, use a different word altogether; Traveler's Diarrhea is questionable, but Traveler's Flux gets two thumbs up from me!

So Come On! Let's all work hand in hand to raise awareness of the danger of diseases with humiliating names. Together, we can come up with illnesses that people will be proud to get, and prouder to share with their friends and family!

Oct 19, 2009

The New Shed So Far

You might be surprised to learn that not only did we plan to build a new shed, but we actually started building it. I think Richard started on September 19th.

Leveled the ground. Placed cinder blocks and gravel as supports. Leveled some more. Built floor. Built trusses for roof. Built walls. Put the walls up.

I'm pretty sure Harrison liked it better without any walls. I know the local cats did. Every time I looked outside there was a different cat sitting right in the middle of the floor, like it was sitting on a throne.

On Saturday, 10/17/09, Faralee and Charlie came and helped us put the trusses up. And thank goodness they did, because we never could have done it by ourselves! Only a few things left to do!

Won't be too long now! It is supposed to snow this week which is going to put a cramp in things.


For a while now we have been talking about building a new shed. The one we have right now is an aluminum shed that came out of a box. It has served us for 5 years. We put it up at night, in the pouring rain. I guess we were pretty desperate for a little storage space.
But we have out grown it. I wish I had taken a picture of it before. It was full to bursting. Holding the two mantles we pulled out of the house, a few huge bags of insulation, and a million other odd items.

Saturday, we decided it was time to clean the Shed out. And, in doing so, decide once and for all if we needed a new one. So we pulled everything out of it and separated it into categories:
Boy, this picture just doesn't do it justice. There was so much crap in there! And we got rid of quite a bit, but there was still all of this left.

Like this pile of gas-cans for instance. They say you can never have too many.

I'm not sure it is true though. They seem to be multiplying!

Here we have a pile of automotive bric-a-brac. Can I use that word when I'm talking about car stuff? I think the car lovers of the world might object. But too bad. I'm not even sure what most of this stuff is.

Then we have this:

Gee, do you think I have enough pots there?

And finally, some camping stuff. The one pile of crap that we actually use. Good for us!

Of course, that isn't everything, but you more than get the idea. We pulled all the stuff out of the shed and spread it all over the yard, grateful that it was such a sunny, cloudless day, so that we could leave it all out there for a while.

Then Richard hoisted the tin shed up on his massive forearms, and carried it across the yard. We want to build the new shed right where the old one was. The new one is going to be twice as big, and tall enough to stand up in. I'm pretty excited.

Elesa's Remodeling

So, it may not be considered "remodeling" or "work", but I did it all by myself. First thing in the morning I hung up my broom rack. It is made to attach to drywall, but I really wanted it attached to the fridge. I wasn't sure how to do so, but finally thought of using these spiffy hooks that attach with double-sided tape.

And Voila!

Good Times.

Yeah, it has been a year...

I know.I would apologize, but that is sort of like apologizing to my diary for not writing often enough, so let's just move on.

OK, let's take stock of the house and just see where we are?

Last October, General Conference time, Richard put the last window in the Kitchen. Harrison helped.

Then we finally got back to the crawl space. We got it all dug out the summer of 2007, but didn't get back to it until the fall of '08. Richard had to do so much stuff down there. I couldn't even begin to tell you what. Cuz I don't really know. All I know is he spent every Saturday crawling around under the house and having himself a real swell time/hating life.

When it was ready for cement, Richard wheeled the gravel in by the wheel barrel full, pushed it up a ramp and dumped it through the window. So here it is, all gravel-covered:

Then we covered it with plastic and on Dec. 23rd we rented a cement mixer and poured cement in the crawl space by the shovel full. Good times. So here it is. Richard sealed the walls and then cemented them too. In this picture the floor has been put down in the room above and everything.

Oct 8, 2009

Best Read After Midnight

Harrison and I went on a little Pumpkin Picking field trip yesterday, after which they gave us doughnuts and coloring books. Score! And I guess I was just tired enough that I found the coloring book hilarious and couldn't stop giggling about it all the way home.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures out of it. No doubt I am breaking several copyright laws:

Oh boy, yeah. I can totally relate to this girl. Hasn't this exact thought passed through all our minds at one time or another?

Hey! I took that class! I paid $250 for the book at the beginning of the semester and the bookstore would only buy it back for 10 bucks when the class ended. Such a ripoff!

Ooh, but here is a little something thrown in just for Mom!

I never knew pumpkin farmers were so. . . shirtless. I'm starting to gain a whole new respect for October.

Truly, there is no more romantic moment in a young girl's life than being helped down off a gargantuan pumpkin by her beau. Yes, there really is no squash more dreamy than a pumpkin. Did Cinderella ride to the ball in a giant zucchini? Of course not. Because zucchinis are as ridiculous as pumpkins are regal.

Here is a little guessing game! Who in the above picture is thinking the following: "Boy, if you laugh at one more pumpkin today, I swear on my candle I will hunt you down and bring down a hurt on your hairy little head like you have never known!!"

And, lastly, this little gem:

Note the caption. Ironically, that is also eHarmony's new slogan. What are the odds?

Incidentally, Harrison loved the pumpkin patch, and loves the little pumpkin he brought home. He set in front of the heater all day so that it wouldn't get cold and is sleeping with it right now. Aww.

Oct 1, 2009

I Was Betrayed By the Internet

My computer is the biggest time/brain suck in my life. Example:

I will be in the middle of making dinner, and trying to figure out what time to have everything done by, and will sit down at my computer to IM my husband and ask him what time he is getting home.

But when I sit down, Gmail pops up to tell me that I have a new email from LDS Family Services telling me about the next Adoption Workshop we need to attend, so I will open my email just for a second to read that one message. And then I see an email from Facebook telling me that Marion has just tagged me in a picture, so I gotta check that out really quick, and because it is a truly horrible picture, I figure I need to retaliate by posting a bunch of humiliating pictures of her, so I scan in some of my own pictures (which I'm sure will only take a minute). While those are scanning I jump back over to my email and see an ad for discounts on lawn chairs, which reminds me that I have been wanting to look at a new bedding set, so I will start searching to see if I can find any good deals online. I end up at Amazon, and when I add something to my cart I see all the movies I have added in the past, which makes me wonder; When is Sherlock Holmes coming out? So I take a quick trip over to ComingSoon.net to see what movies are coming out in the next 6 months or so and end up watching movie trailers for the next half hour and then see that there is a movie coming out starring that kid who played Erkle and I wonder if he has done anything else in the last 20 years, so I stroll on over to IMDB where I am sucked into a wormhole.

Before I know what has happened HOURS have past, Richard is home from work and passed out from hunger in front of the TV, and Harrison has figured out how to make a bomb out of flour, paprika, and a toilet plunger, and actually managed to blow up the kitchen. And that is without me even peeking at anyone's blog.

I wish this were an exaggeration, but it is true! I sit down for 1 little thing, and before I know it, an hour has passed, I have no idea why I sat down in the first place and my real, actual life is passing by around me, while my brain has basically shut off! How am I supposed to live like that? And now I have no kitchen!

Needless to say, I really try not to get on line much these days.

Ok. And that isn't ALL true. In that scenario Richard would never let himself pass out from hunger. He is perfectly capable of getting his own food. He probably would have eaten 5 or 6 bowls of cold cereal and some pepperoni and called it good.