Monday, December 19, 2011

Raising My Kids a little too Seriously...

You know you've done something right (wrong?) when your kids react seriously to one of your hilarious childhood stories...

Case in Point?  Well, Story in point I guess...

I used to work at a Theatre.  Not a theater - you see, a theater is a place where you pay too much to see a movie that has been polished to perfection (or imperfection) and wash it down with popcorn and soda... a Theatre is someplace where you pay 4 times as much for the ticket, starve until intermission then chug down your $3 water bottle, and have about a 50% chance that there will be an actor who is having an off day...

I was a higher class usher...

But one week I had sprained my ankle and could not handle taking patrons (yeah, at the theater you're just a customer... but Theatre has "patrons") to their seats.  My boss decided we'd do something a little different and sat me on a chair where I greeted each patron with a winning smile, tore off their ticket stub and then handed the ticket to the next in a line of about 4 ushers, introducing them with "and Shawn will take you to your seat..."  His name really was Shawn...  and all was going really well until I looked at the end of the line and realized that (although I had met her... and worked with her earlier that week) I had completely blanked on the new girl's name.  Completely.

Rather than admitting defeat I proceeded through the line... "and Tim here will now show you to your seats" (with the winning smile... always the winning smile!)

Shawn looked at me... glanced over his shoulder... looked at me again...

"Tim? their seats please..." (as I force the tickets into Shawn's hand)

and so on and so forth throughout the next 1/2 hour... making up different names each time... hoping I guess to eventually hit on the right name?

It was hi-freakin'-larious... and rather ingenious if I must say so myself.

And apparently - I do have to say so myself... because when I told the Veggie-Teen my story... he just looked at me with a blank stare and asked why on earth I didn't just own up and ask her name...

Yeah... right... that requires a certain maturity that even now I don't have.

Given the same situation - I'd do exactly the same thing today...

Except instead of starting with "Tim" - Shawn would have been called "Donatello"...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stop the Presses!

I suppose that the words "Stop the Presses" shouldn't be used on a nearly defunct blog.

I'd make all sorts of excuses for why I was so busy - the holidays... blah blah blah blah blah...

Guess what I learned this weekend? 

Turns out that each and every one of us on this earth has the same number of hours in the day - so my lame excuses about not having enough time are just not going to sell.

Honesty? Well, in all seriousness - this stupid nutrition class/weight loss thing is the ONLY thing that's been occupying my thoughts and this is NOT a diet blog.  I do not want to write a diet blog... I can only assume that you don't want to read a diet blog...  so I just ended up not blogging.

Okay - so that's actually only half of what I did.  I also wasted a HUGE amount of time on pinterest.  If you are not familiar with pinterest it is a lovely little corner of the web where people like me "pin" all of the things from around the internet onto virtual corkboards so that I can someday look back and see all of the million things that I wish I had actually done. 

Seriously - I have a young friend who has her entire Pinterest wedding planned out down to the napkin rings.  I don't think she's dating anyone right now.

BUT - this is where the Stop The Presses comes in...

MADE something.

and not just the cinnamon roll pancakes.  although those are to. die. for.

While perusing Pinterest yesterday I saw a cute skirt made from fabric and an old pair of jeans...  it was cute so of COURSE it went straight onto my "Sewing, Yeah, like I do THAT" board (seriously, that's what I named it...  I like truth in advertising) and went about my life...

"Life" yesterday included taking my kids to the dollar store so that they could pick out some goodies to send off to some missionaries... we're nice like that... cheap, but nice...

As we entered the dollar store I notice that sweet H is tying her sweatshirt around her waist.  Since it is about negative 23786 degrees Kelvin right now I'm wondering why on earth she would do this... and wondering why on earth she is tying it on backward...  maybe she's just THAT proud of the BYU cougars? (hey, no college slamming around here people... take it outside!)

Turns out she'd been practicing the splits for her Hip-Hop class.

and there goes one more pair of jeans into the trash... but wait!

Yep - I have some fabric... I have a sewing machine... I have thread

and now? now I have a cute new skirt for my little girl!

At the expense of one needle...

Lest you think this is a one time thing - I also have a few other crafts that I made with my Young Women at church... at least one of which began its life on Pinterest :)

So now I need a new board: "Things I can actually vouch for"....

at least that one won't have 2356 items on it :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How I REALLY feel about weight loss

Diets Suck.

Don't get all high and mighty telling me that the real answer is making a "lifestyle change" instead of "going on a diet"

First of all "lifestyle change" just brings to mind a Chaz Bono type of thing.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Who am I kidding...  really, I think there is something wrong with Chaz Bono... but it's not about his lifestyle choices.

The REAL problem is that when you say "lifestyle change" I know that's just a politically correct term for "permanent diet"

The only reason I can stomach eating broccoli florets for lunch is knowing that I don't have to do this forever.

and the first person to even suggest that I will eventually crave healthy foods such as little green mini-trees is getting virtual broccoli shoved deep into their virtual sinuses.

(hmmm... have I mentioned that diets suck... and they make me crabby?)

In a short 78 days I hit a milestone birthday.

Bonus points to anyone who is guessing 30...

and I'm staring daggers at anyone who is guessing 50...

it's 40 - and I know... that's probably ancient sounding to you... 

to be honest - I'm okay with turning 40... it's not freaking me out... much.

Ask again in 77 days.

I tell you this not to give you 78 days to shop for the perfect gift... (my favorite color is green) - but because the impending birthday has a lot to do with that four letter word "diet".

You see... turning 40 means that ManOfTheHouse is about to turn... well... older than 40...

Maybe even old enough to qualify as "Middle Aged"

And as well all know that means it's high time for a mid-life crisis.

A good mid-life crisis has a few required elements.

*We can't afford a shiny new red sports car. 
*ManOfTheHouse has enough self respect to know that he'd look ridiculous wearing spandex on a Harley
*that leaves us with the trophy wife...

You know, that hot young bombshell that seems to go for the salt and pepper guys... the one who is usually photographed draped across the red sports car in a skimpy bikini.

I'd say gold-digger... but let's be real...

I've decided to save us all a LOT of time, money & tears

I'm going to BE the new trophy wife.

which means about 6 more pounds in the next 78 days.  Totally do-able. (let's not mention the hair coloring, extensions, and botox I'd need to REALLY look like a trophy wife)

Perfect Solution right???  Yep, well, aside from the whole broccoli thing!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Phriday... and my "treat bag" rant...

...guess what kind of a weekend that means WE'RE having?

 What? Did you say we're throwing a big fancy party?

Yeah, well, then you're wrong.

Instead this happens to be the weekend where ALL of my kids' friends seem to have birthday parties. Apparently my little girls are prejudiced against people with birthdays in any other month.

(not really... but it feels like that right now)

These gifts are for the parties that are happening this weekend starting tonight (a sleepover) and finishing tomorrow afternoon.

If H is lucky we will have time to rush home after the sleepover to allow for tooth brushing and something to eat besides popcorn before the second party begins.

If M is lucky she will be able to not have a complete come-apart waiting for her party to begin on Saturday afternoon.

If I am lucky ManOfTheHouse will offer to do all of the dropping off/picking up/making sure they remember to take the right gift back to the right girl...

If the boys are lucky none of them will require transportation anywhere during this stretch of time.

and if I am TRULY lucky?  then the world at large will realize what a monumental waste of money/annoyance to all parents those silly "treat bags" are. 

Seriously - and I've been guilty in the past - have you ever seen some of the junk in these bags...  little miniature coloring books that get filled up with one touch of a marker - bracelets that fall apart by the time the kid goes to sleep - lip gloss that is destined to ruin a load or two of laundry... you know, basically the same crap that was in the dentist's "treasure box" when I was a kid...  like that made up for having to endure 10 minutes with that flouride gel in your mouth.

NOTHING makes up for that horrendous stuff.  Just sayin'

I feel for party parents, really I do - treat bags seem to be expected these days... I have had kids ask me for them as they go to leave...  the best? The kid who was wearing the apron and chef's hat I'd made for each of the party guests and carrying the miniature cake they'd just decorated to take home... still wants a treat bag...  trust me, if I'd known that's all that was required for a party I would have skipped the hours of sewing and baking.

So hey, if it makes you feel better - and it WILL make the kids happier - throw a few dollars into your treat bags... but don't kid yourself that any parent on the planet is going to be happy with you when they step on that stupid plastic spinning top tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Belated Halloween

I'm so sick and tired of being governed by the calendar.

Just because the calendar said it was daylight savings time I had to battle with a house full of kids who didn't know which way was up.

and were "up" at 5 a.m.

Just because the calendar said it was nearing the end of the month I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off to meet some deadlines...

yes... for those of you who are wondering, visiting teaching WAS one of those deadlines.

for those of you who don't know what visiting teaching is... well, let's just assume that I got it done and let's not worry :)

The calendar tells me when I have to be at meetings, when I have to start shopping for some holiday (also dictated by a calendar) and when my kids should be at school/dance/scouts/play practice/band practice/etc...

I'm going to throw away the calendar.

Shh... I know that won't actually HELP anything - but I'm in a mood.

Well, guess what? HERE, here on my blog... I'm in charge and I say a big ol' "PAH" to the calendar. So today - just here on my blog - we're celebrating Halloween.

You can bring it back in your neighborhood too... just don't be surprised if you get some strange looks when you go trick-or-treating.

Sweet H... picked the most unconventional costume of the year...

the earrings

the headband

and the necklace...
 ...because every girl worth her salt will insist that an outfit isn't complete without a handbag and shoes...  which no, she didn't get those. 

Does that mean I let her go trick-or-treating half dressed?

Shame on me...

but frankly - have you SEEN the costumes these days?  A nurse costume used to be white clothes with a nurse's hat...

NOW?  a nurse costume looks like the kid is going to bring home a little more than candy after a night walking the streets...  if you know what I mean.

and bless your sweet little innocent heart if you don't know what I mean :)

I bet YOU don't dress up like a nurse on Halloween!

but wait... there's more...
No, I don't know what he was going for either... he was "Bob" of course...
Scary Little Vampire?

the thought of that future dental work scares me... Ch'ching!!!!
So Happy Halloween folks - hope it was good, hope you got all the Vanilla Tootsie Rolls your little heart desired, and hope that in the end you were happier than this:
bless the tooth-brush gifting neighbor's heart...

(and yes - the rest of us dressed up...  and no I didn't purposely avoid the camera all day while dressed up like Donald Duck... it just so happens that nobody took a picture of me... probably...)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My willpower is officially a "Limited Edition"

I don't eat chocolate.  Dark - blech, Milk chocolate - blech...  White Chocolate... okay, I actually love that one... love love love that one...  don't judge.

some of you already knew this about me...

and the rest of you better not be deleting me from your google reader.

avoidance of chocolate does NOT make me a freak of nature.

the freak of nature thing is just a coincidence.

I just... well, I don't like it, and I'm willing to admit that should probably count against my "woman points" and it might even keep me from joining in on certain church activities... but there it is. deal. If it's easier to cope with I actually CAN'T eat it without getting nasty stomach aches and migraines - I prefer to think that I have amazing willpower.

That willpower?  There are certain words that kill my willpower.  Without fail - these words have me questioning every resolve to eat well, avoid overspending, or to be a nicer human being.  The words?

"50% off"


"Mom, you're not going to like this but..."

and the worst of them all?

"Limited Edition"

A few years ago my parents were in town on their way to Vegas (because let's be honest - Vegas is WAY more fun than my house) and I was at the store with them picking up "a few things for the trip"

Somehow "a few things" ended up including a bag of White Chocolate Limited Edition Pirate Pearls M&Ms.

When I got home I took a pair of scissors and snipped off the corner of the bag - removed just 3 little pearls and enjoyed them.  I then put a chip clip on the bag and stuffed it into the freezer door.  See?  Amazing Willpower at work.

My dad?  laughed and laughed and laughed some more...

Whatever - he probably laughed all the way to Vegas... I was going to show him - I had willpower oozing out my ears.


I was going *munch* to show *munch* him how much will *munch* power I had.  *munch* When they *munch munch* came back *munch* through *munch* town... they'd see!

*munch munch munch munch munch inhale munch munch*




Well, what actually ended up happening was that a few hours before they came back through town I ran off to the store and bought ANOTHER limited edition bag, matched up the corners so that the snip would be indistinguishable from the first. I ate just 3 little tiny pearls (by this point I was getting pretty sick of them) and clipped them up and stuck them in the freezer door.

Yes, seriously.

I think my Dad checked out the bag... he was probably amazed at my willpower.  I don't know... I think I was in bed suffering from indigestion at that time.

See, "limited edition" is a dangerous word.

Apparently white chocolate M&Ms (with the normal colorful candy shells) were available as a test market in Australia for awhile before the pirate pearls came out.

It's a good thing I didn't live in Australia back then.

So this year - my will power is being tested to the EXTREME!

Candy Corn colored White Chocolate M&Ms.

I bought ONE bag.

but I've learned my lesson - this bag doesn't have a snipped corner... this bag is shoved WAY back in the freezer... behind the frozen peas where no kids will accidentally find them.

It's been there for FOUR weeks.

That my friends... that is willpower.

My nutrition class ends at the end of November...  I'll open the bag the next day. 

Any bets on how long it will last after that?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Ty Pennington

This post will have nothing to do with Ty Pennington by the way...

I just wanted to wish him a Happy Birthday because I'm hoping to become really chummy so he'll come and build those bookshelves for me.

Yes, the ones that my husband promised as a Christmas gift.

3 years ago.

Hardly a good enough story for "Extreme Home Makeover"... but it's the best sob story I've got.

Ahh, the first world problems of our middle class are just tear jerkers aren't they?

Today's post is brought to you by Klout.  Well, not really BY Klout - it's just ABOUT Klout.

Apparently they like to decide WHO is influential about WHAT?  and then give out perks for the top influencers.

In the beginning (read as - when I was blogging and tweeting and not keeping up so well with my reading and dishes doing) I was ROCKING Klout - I had an awesome score and if you are impressed by numbers which mean absolutely nothing you would have had a jaw dropping moment at mine.

Now?  not so much.  Letting REAL life take precedence has been a good change in life... but when they say "you can't have it all" - I think they are referencing my Klout score.

HOWEVER, all is not lost - I made the top three influencers in one category at least.

Not blogging.
Not authors.
Not baking.
Not even cats... although for some reason I was influential about cats for about a week...

I think I said something about hating them... ?

But - as of last week I was the third strongest influence about...

Drum Roll Please....

yep, Zucchini.

Apparently a day of tweeting every time I took another batch of Zucchini bread out of the oven and complaining about the sheer amount of Zucchini I had in my house put me on the top of the world.

Now I'm thinking it would be a BOATLOAD of fun to sit down with the first and second place influencers... I'm sure we'd have SO much in common... well, you know - as long as I did a little Zucchini research ahead of time.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It doesn't get more random than this...

Sometimes there's just so much going on in life that you just don't know where to start.

and sometimes life is just dull as dirt and there's nothing to tell...

and sometimes... well, sometimes it's hard to know the difference.

picture from - because I'm too lazy to upload mine.

I have beautiful new orchids on my table.  They were an anniversary gift from ManOfTheHouse.

We've been married 18 years.

Apparently they were all out of the cards that said "We've tolerated each other for this long... if it ain't broke don't fix it"

We're WAY romantic like that.

Which is probably why we ended up seeing "Dial M for Murder"...

Maybe he was hoping I'd snuggle in close during the scary parts?

Probably not.  It was HOT in that theatre.

Is it wrong to take off your shoes?  Because if it is I SO didn't do that.  Even if I really wanted to.

But those orchids?

They are mocking me with their difficult upkeep...

or maybe they are quivering in fear knowing that as a child I even killed my "air plant"

and now that I think about it... maybe the "air plant" was just a hunk of Spanish Moss that my parents were testing me with.

I failed.

Yes, you should all probably be very afraid for my children.

Especially the one who decided to add Tenor Saxophone to his instrumental repertoire on Sunday afternoon.

I am currently not in a financial position to soundproof his bedroom...

Confession: he's actually quite good for someone who has been playing for only 3 hours... but there's nothing funny about successes.

Failure is a MUCH better breeding ground for humor.  Case in Point: Rodney Dangerfield.

But then again...  seriously Rodney... have a little self respect. 
also not mine... you really think I'd have this around???  crazy.

I'm embarrassed to admit that I saw that movie.  Years ago.

Maybe instead of me being embarrassed my mother should be mortified because she took me to see it.

I think she also insisted we leave about 15 minutes into the movie.

Hey, give her a break - we all have our little "parent fail" moments...

Wait... reflecting on my own parent fail moments I have to amend an earlier statement.

Failure isn't always funny...  sometimes it just sucks rocks.  Of course, before I had teenagers some of my worst parent fail moments probably involved my kids sucking actual rocks. And dirt. And sand. And any assortment of insects that were on the carpet because I hadn't vacuumed in the past 7 minutes.

Would you believe me if I told you I was berated by a complete stranger because my then infant daughter was munching away on some sand.  At the sand dunes.

Would you think less of me if I told you that I said that fiber is good for our digestion?

and then waited for her to be out of sight before swooping down and washing out my daughter's mouth...

Because while I can find humor in my failures - I certainly don't appreciate other people finding them a source of amusement before I'm ready to laugh about it.

That air plant though - I'm ready for all the teasing you can dish out...

My curiosity just got the better of me.  Mr Google tells me that there is such a thing as "live Spanish Moss"... as well as a large number of air plants... apparently my parents were not making up the entire thing.

For the record - next time I get an air plant I want the one named "Funkiana"...
image from - my favorite (only) source for air plant information.

Not the prettiest of plants to be honest... but I can't wait for the next time I'm at a boring meeting and can say "Oh, I'm sorry to cut this short, but I've really got to get home and not water my Funkiana"...

It'll probably go over a little better than the "I've got to wash my hair" excuse.


Random enough for you? c'mon... you've never discussed Orchids, Rodney Dangerfield, and Funkiana before? Obviously you do not try to carry on conversations with me early in the morning. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Columbus proved nothing to me...

Apparently the world is flat.

I know this because I recently fell off the edge.

I know - you wondered what happened to me, well, there you have it, "there be monsters" and all that jazz... I can't confirm or deny the existence of elephants and a hugo-mongous turtle holding it all up, my last pair of contacts got ripped and it's hard to tell the difference between elephants and my laundry pile.

Turns out it's kind of a long way down at the edge, but not entirely impossible to claw your way back up.

Good to know.

If you want a BETTER excuse than that you're welcome to invent one.  Until then, I'm sticking with my flat world theory.

And don't believe anyone who tells you that it's because I'm busy...

They're a bunch of liars...  whose brains are obviously mush from all the museum meetings, youth conferences, party planning, sewing, PTA meetings, laundry, shuttling kids from school to school and back again, field trips, nutrition classes, shopping, planning meetings, church classes, eye appointments, working out, dance classes, scouts, youth group, cooking, cleaning, oil changes, wasting time on Pinterest, hair appointments, helping people move, and trying to just read a darn book before the deadline they've had to do.

Those kind of people just can't be trusted.

Don't worry, today will be devoted to thinking of something hilarious for tomorrow... it's a good bet it will be inspired by an eye appointment, nutrition class or a museum meeting though...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Lego Lobotomy

It's not a very well kept secret that I'm a Lego Nerd.

I can't help it, really!

I just love building with Legos.  Before someone comes down and says "they're Lego Bricks" I'm just going to come right out and say:  I. Don't. Care.  Seriously - a Lego employee once reamed me for using the word "legos" and ever since then I've gone out of my way to use it as much as possible...

because I'm a sweetie like that.

My kids?  All Lego nerds as well.

The 12 year old had a little shin-dig to celebrate his manhood and wanted a lego cake...

it looked cool... but my favorite picture?

The Lego Lobotomy.

Of course, that resulted in a very interesting conversation with a room full of 12 year olds about what a lobotomy is...

at which point it was sounding like a better and better idea...

and now... days later when the "lego mess" has become a true "lego apocalypse" throughout my house...  I think I'll take a lobotomy with a side-order of electro-stim... it certainly can't hurt much more than stepping on all those stupid little things!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm steeling myself for the hate comments.

(Today is my guest post at Chocolate on my Cranium - which might make you still like me if I'm slamming your favorite book today...)

I read a lot of books...

Don't act shocked...

I mean... seriously - I put up a bunch of reviews over at that book blog I can't believe you don't all spend more time at!

Sometimes there's a book that just blows me away with its insight and tender moments.

This book?

SOOOOO did not do that!!!

Sorry, I know I'm begging for hate mail, but this book makes me want to punch orphans.
Okay, maybe it's not the book... maybe it's the people that read portions of this book from the pulpit in church.

No, I'm not kidding. We both wish I were, I know...

Question: Have you ever read anything ELSE by Robert Munsch? He's a hilarious author who writes funny stories about two kids who spend hours and days making fried chicken until they've perfected the recipe (and nearly burned off their mouths in the process). He writes about a young couple who leaves their barely old enough to see over the edge of the tub daughter at home while they run off to the hospital to have a baby and end up at the zoo instead and mistakenly bring home an alligator.

Do you think he expects us to take him seriously? So why, for the love of all that is good and holy, when he writes about a mother who is guilty of Breaking & Entering in order to lift her grown man of a son onto her lap and sing a song am I the only one stifling my laughter?

No, I actually don't find it touching... Sorry, I'm cynical like that... (I just re-read the end of the book after scoffing at it for the past 15 years... the LAST page is touching, but by then I'm too disturbed by the mental instability of the mother to shed a tear....)

My heart is NOT made of stone, stop saying that!

I read a book once about a grandpa who pushed his grandson in the stroller and helped him learn to walk and then their roles were reversed later in life... that was WAY sweet and I was mortified when I read it to a classroom full of children and ended up bawling... see, if my heart had been made of rock I would have made it through that day without mascara streaks on my face. (Can't remember the title to save my life, sorry)

I read another book about a baby who turned into all sorts of horrendous creatures before finally becoming human again...  and while that sounds just strange - that brought a tear or two (or twelve, I didn't count) because I have teenagers... and trust me... that book was as close to real life as it could get while being about a transmogrifying toddler. (Zagazoo)

See, totally human heart...  but seriously, I'm considering making it a condition of my living will that my children not be allowed to pick me up and rock me in the rocker... because THAT is perhaps the most disturbing image of all.  
 Now... if he were rocking an alligator from the zoo?  THAT might be a good story...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seems like a good time for a Serious Sunday

I am a big joker...

it's a curse... and a gift I guess...

but some days just call for a little more serious.

Today? Definitely one of those days.

Don't worry, I won't regale you with my story of "where I was when" - because ten years ago... we all remember that day and frankly? My story is boring... hey, I wasn't some glamorous bloggy goddess 10 years ago, I was just a regular old mom doing regular old mom things with kids who were still in their pre-genius phase.

Suffice it to say there were plenty of tears, fears, and a lot of protecting my children while trying to sneak a peek at the news when they were out of the room.

Ten years have passed... and mostly that makes me... well, sad - sad that the families most affected aren't necessarily getting to grieve in the own chosen ways... because I'm more of a "crawl in a hole and don't come out" kind of person rather than a "participate in a televised memorial service and cry in front of millions" type of person.
So my TV is off today - not because I don't care... but because I can't cope... and I can't worry that my children (most of whom don't have personal memories of that horrendous day) will be as affected today as many of us were ten years ago.

Today I'm focusing on positives - you want to know what kind of wonderful positives are happening in my world today?

My newly 12 year old son went to church today in his snazzy new suit and bright pink tie - and stood up in front of the congregation and welcomed as a MAN! (well, sorta...)

My 14 year old son and 16 year old son participated in vital ordinances that helped me to remember the sacrifices made for me by Christ... All willingly.. my sons are good people.

My sons have good examples :)

Traditionally on 12th birthdays for our boys I request letters from their older male relatives - and without fail I am humbled and amazed at the thoughtful, humorous, insightful things that are shared with my sons by people who I judge myself lucky to be related to (by blood or marriage).

A public thank you to my family! While I'm at it - a public thank you to any man who honors his responsibilities and shows a good example to the young men of this world.

Parenting would be infinitely harder if I couldn't point around me and show my sons that there are good, COOL, men out there being good husbands, good providers, and morally strong at the same time.

While I'm on my serious kick... I get to tell you about a little side-project I was privileged to participate in. I was asked to help celebrate the Proclamation to the Family with a couple of amazing bloggers - run to "We Talk of Christ"  to see who else is participating - and if you're really really brave and think you can handle my slightly more serious (but never completely over that official serious line) take on my assigned portion - visit Chocolate on My Cranium Tuesday morning...  heck, visit them both right now - there's good stuff happening as we speak!!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

of Cakes and Camping...

Po-boy turned 12 today.

That's a big one for a boy - and I'm having heart palpitations that all of my little baby boys are now Young Men!!!!

One thing that young men enjoy doing is camping...
and so tonight, rather than trying to please the boy here at home with his birthday dinner and a big old cake - he's going off with friends and eating food cooked in coals and a cake that likely has more dirt than frosting.

How do you decorate a cake that's destined to get nice and dirty?

that's how :)

I mean... if there's going to be rocks, mud, sand, and soil on there eventually... may as well toss some on there to begin with right?

(okay, it's all edible - no need to report me to some Child Protective Services... unless they're concerned about the amount of calories in there... then they might have a case.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Foghorn, Leghorn, and Sam

If you follow me on Twitter you already know a lot of this.

If you don't follow me on Twitter - what is your problem you Twitterless weirdo?

Okay, probably not a good idea to call my dear followers weirdos.

Especially since I really relish the opportunity to tell this story again...

and Twitter is a monumental waste of time. (but I will deny that in a court of law... so don't quote me on it)

My neighbor has roosters. 3 roosters if you can believe the rumors.

I have never actually SEEN these roosters. (hmmm, can't say as I've actually seen the neighbor either)

Thus I have no idea what the roosters names are... for the purpose of today's discussion I am calling them Foghorn, Leghorn, and Sam.

No, there is no point in naming them since I don't know WHICH is which... but aren't those names better than "Cacciatore" "A la King" and "Saltimbocca"? (obviously I should never raise chickens...)

I get up fairly early each morning - 5:35 - but the roosters? They get up before me... every day... and have a tendency to wake me up with the way they enthusiastically greet the day.  Even mondays... they must have been dropped on their heads as eggs.

The first time? They must have been young roosters at the time because I heard an odd noise and thought I heard a baby crying outside my window. Either I was really tired or I have a low opinion of the parenting skills of my neighbors - because I went out and walked the street up and down for a little while before pinpointing the noise and putting my mind at ease.

The roosters are not young anymore... and while I'm glad that I no longer have dreams about small children being abandoned outside my bedroom window - I am not so thrilled that their little voices have become fully developed wake me up from a dead sleep loud booming Cock-a-Doodle-Freaking-Doo voices.

I have become "influential" on Twitter about Roosters I have been tweeting my annoyance out so often! (usually at 5 a.m.) 

My first tweet?

My neighbor has a rooster. I want to throttle him. #IntentionallyVaguePronounUsage

it's too bad my neighbor is a Twitterless weirdo...

I've woken up craving chicken breakfast burritos. (which really don't sound appealing at any time other than 5 a.m.)

I've had dreams about sharpening axes.

I have cased their yard in hopes of finding a small gap in their fence so the roosters could just "escape"

I have twisted my pillow between my clenched fists until the feathers threatened to burst forth...

I have spent more time than I care to admit brainstorming ideas for a "chicken muzzle"

and finally... finally I lost it. another night with very little sleep this week and I guiltily dialed the # for animal control.

I inquired nicely about the legality about roosters within city limits. (just double checking... but no, not allowed) and then was surprise when the animal-control guy knew which street I lived on... apparently other neighbors were fed up before I was...

Yay - for two reasons:
#1 - I should be able to sleep in soon
#2 - technically I wasn't the pain in the neck complaining neighbor who got them in trouble. so no guilt.

Okay... maybe a TEENSY bit of guilt.

Let's just say that if they throw a block party this weekend I'm totally going to avoid the bucket of fried chicken.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The not-so-complete guide to Utah parades...

ManOfTheHouse has been to his fair share of parades this year...
well, let's be honest - a "fair share" of parades is probably one apiece, which means that I (even though I've missed out on a few of the ventures) am well over my limit.

A good parade must have certain elements - some of which can be controlled... some of which...
well, hey, you can't blame the parade organizers when Mother Nature decides she doesn't like the blaring fire engine sirens and horses clomping down the street wearing diapers.
and though diapers may be funny... it is SO much better than the time we saw a marching band following a bunch of horses...

though in all honesty I have to admit that was pretty funny too.

and so my not-so-annual probably-won't-ever-happen-again awards for best parade entries are:

(drumroll please...)

First, let's introduce the contestants... and I apologize for not being able to make it to every small town rinky dink parade this year...  there are just only so many of me to go around... you are welcome to put your own awards in the comment box.

Cedar City - we visited this fair city on the 4th of July for their festivities... ended up standing in the middle of an intersection to scope out the parade action.
Escalante - ManOfTheHouse and a few of the older boys were in Escalante for a band gig over the Pioneer Day weekend...  because these boys are older they may or may not have run after candy... they're not telling me, so Escalante begins behind because they are automatically out of the running for "best candy"
St George - the parade was held alongside the County Fair... but not on a holiday or anything... that might explain a lot.
Hurricane - to begin the Labor Day holiday ManOfTheHouse took the girls out to the Peach Days parade...  (I had a valid excuse... really...)
Payson - and to finish the Labor Day holiday we all went down to the Onion Days celebration...  no, you didn't mis-read that... I did say Onion...  I think all the good produce was taken.

Best Candy?  This award has to go to Payson, thanks to their generous football players, 20th reunion floats, and many MANY others...  other parades (ahem, Hurricane and St George) also had plenty of candy... but my kids are not really fans of that salt water taffy stuff and apparently that was on sale in those cities.  Note to all parade cities - tossing dum-dums?  really dumb dumb... 97% of the time they will shatter upon contact with the ground and you are left with a very sticky mess in addition to crabby kids who just wanted something sweet for crying out loud!

Best Floats?  Sweet M debated this one for awhile, but eventually gave it up to Hurricane who apparently had a float come through with peach shaped little beds for the dogs... usually she is all about the princesses so those must have been some seriously impressive doggie beds! Worst? a large semi truck from a local grocery chain...  sure, the grocery carts with their good candy were great, but looking at the side of your very long truck for the 4 minutes it took to pass... not so thrilling. 

Strangest Float? This one has to go to Payson and the lovely Electrolysis business that had all of their  employees walk along with mounds of long curly hair glued to odd spots on their bodies...  it was very very very disturbing. (and I know... we both wish I'd taken my camera)

Best Weather?  We actually didn't get rained out at any of these this year...  from word of mouth we're going to hand this one off to Hurricane and their Peach Days...  but probably because I wasn't there to complain about the sun in my eyes or the wind.  I mean, it's Hurricane... isn't there always wind?

Noisiest?  Hands down - Cedar City.  I think every siren on every emergency vehicle from every fire station in a 63 mile radius was blaring for the entire parade...  my question is... what happens if someone's house catches fire during a parade?

Best Swag? Okay - the nice flowers I got in Cedar City were cool...  but my all-time summer favorite?

an onion shaped stress ball.  (from the Onion Days in case that wasn't obvious) I know... you're jealous too... 
and yes, my poor nephew had no idea I was making him re-enact a rather famous book-cover in this shot...  I promise he's not a sparkly vampire :)

Best Crowd? I'm going to have to give this one to Escalante - #1 because they pretty much tripled their actual population on the day of the parade and #2 because I haven't given them any awards yet... and I'm one of those "everybody wins something" type of people...  unless it's kindergarten graduation in which case can I just go home already???

Worst Crowd? for turn-out I'd have to say St. George... there was more candy than kids... which if it hadn't been 78% taffy would have been great... but for sheer annoyance I'm going with Cedar City... or maybe just that one obnoxious taller than me kid who kept sweeping up all the candy before my little 7 year old could get anywhere near it?

I might have parade rage...

okay, definitely, definitely I have an issue with parade rage...  don't get me started on how offended I am when I'm handed coupons for electrolysis, tanning, and micro-dermabrasion...  did they target me for a reason?

I just don't get it...

you see, I grew up in Colorado - and the only parade I remember was a Homecoming Parade that I had to ride in... 

and that was 20+ years ago... so I don't even remember anything except my silent prayers that the fake goal posts wouldn't fall down while we went down the street.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Let's talk about Shoes...

Did you know I love shoes?

I didn't USED to love shoes, shoes were my arch-nemesis for many many years... (something about being on crutches and only getting to wear "sensible" shoes might have something to do with it - maybe)

And I should qualify that statement...
I love the LOOK of shoes... I prefer the FEEL of barefoot. except on hot sand. ouch.

Currently I have a shelf in my closet labeled "shoes my podiatrist hates"
my over-abundance of Chucks... what can I say...
Okay, so maybe he hates ALL of my shoes except the ones he insisted I purchase.
Which I wear nearly every day... for one hour... and then they might get thrown unceremoniously back into my closet to be traded out for something I actually like. or bare feet... depending on whether or not I am getting OUT of the car that day.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot? If so, I never go anywhere without my shoes.
Or I at least have learned to keep a pair of flip-flops at hand for when I get pulled over.
"when" seemed so definitely - I meant of course "if" I get pulled over...
although anyone who has ever driven with me might rightfully argue that "when" is more accurate.
Hey, I'm sorry... but the word "Limit" has always brought out the rebel in me.

What were we talking about?

So. with this insane shoe fetish does this make me the new Imelda Marcos?
Nah... I could never afford the shoes she stuffed her closet(s) with.

Besides, I could never marry a dictator. (it's that "limit" thing again...)

Shoes don't have to be expensive for me to think they are fun... as a matter of fact some of my favorite shoes? uber cheap... and not only because with my itty bitty baby feet nobody else buys them.

ManOfTheHouse - he's got plenty of shoes... hiking shoes, biking shoes, etc...   all sensible. He's kinda boring like that.
Boring is HEAPS better than being a dictator though so I try not to let it bug me.
Does he love MY shoes? Hmmmm... well, let's just say that there might be two or three pair that he would rather I not wear if we have to be seen together.

My kids? Well, a few of them have inherited the fun-shoe gene. Don't laugh, with all the other things that they're learning are encoded in your DNA I just KNOW that a proclivity toward funky footwear is going to be identified soon :) The Eldest (Veggie Teen) has his own "style" when it comes to shoes...

I Spy:  Cookie Monster

I Spy: Bill the Cat
 The first pair... the first day he showed up other kids asked "do your parents know you drew on your shoes?" and he'd point out the cat drawn by ManOfTheHouse and the alien I drew...
I Spy: Dharma symbol, The Yellow Submarine, Oscar the Grouch

The second pair... which are so well loved I'm not sure you can see all the detail... those went to two family reunions with us a few years ago and have contributions from a variety of sources...
I Spy: The Lorax, Calvin & Hobbes, Marvin the Martian, Tigger, Toucan Sam & Wakko Warner...

I Spy: Mike Wazowski, Gir, Apple Jacks, Ernie the Keebler Elf, Jack Skelington..

The third... the cheap junk shoes just couldn't be found...  so we had to start with some of MY fave shoes... I'm sure I had more fun with these shoes than anyone else... although I never did find out whose phone number is written on them... (obscured enough in the photo that I've protected the... hopefully innocent)

The fifth...  (ummm yeah, the fourth never got finished...  let's just ignore those ones...)
He's moved away from cartoon characters and all that fun stuff... now it's just color and funkiness...  Frankly I was a little saddened... I rather enjoy these projects that last for weeks...

but no worries, because I always have the second grader and her great love for all things Hello Kitty...
she loves 'em...  I'm thinking they need some sparkly laces :)