Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday To-Do's

My "Holiday To-Do" list is almost finished. All that is left is to visit the Post Office to mail a package and bake some cookies and other various treats. The cards have been sent, the gifts have been bought (or made), and now it is time to sit back, relax, and bake at my leisure.

My biggest accomplishment this season has been finishing the afghan I have been making for my Mom. It is my favorite out of all of the afghans I have made so far. When I get around to making one for myself I think this is the pattern I will use.

~The picture doesn't do justice to the size and thickness. The pattern is "Winter Warmer" from Our Best Afghans A to Z by Leisure Arts (http://www.leisurearts.com).~/

I am very happy to give this one to my Mom. She was the recipient of one of my very first crochet attempts and, bless her heart, she didn't cringe. I have noticed though that she has hidden it away in the closet.

With the "Holiday To-Do's" just about complete I am getting anxious for the big day to get here. Only two weeks to go!

How are you doing at whittling away at your to-do list?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wal-Mart Woes

Recently the local Wal-mart has undergone a face lift. Since they have made their changes, I really dislike going there. The selection isn't what it once was and whenever I try to find something all I see is a sea of white "Great Value" labels. I refuse to try yet another one of the Wal-mart brand items after having thrown away an entire box of frozen waffles because they tasted like cardboard. The clothing selection for women has become horrible unless you want to dress like Miley Cyrus or are looking for the more mature age 50 plus look.

The upside to this is the rediscovery of my local grocery stores. I may pay a little bit more but I am able to find the products I like. Plus, I don't end up buying a million things that I don't need like I usually do at Wal-mart. So it evens out in the end.

I live in a small town and the Wal-Mart is in the next small town over and many of the other items I usually need are a little further away so it will take planning on my part but my ultimate goal is to avoid Wal-Mart altogether.

I wonder how many other people are becoming as dissatisfied with Wal-Mart as I am.

Made with love….

Yesterday I finished a project I have been working on – off and on- for a couple of months. It is my Mom’s Christmas present. I will post a picture in a couple of days.

I love completing a project. Big ones and small ones. Especially when the finished product is given to someone I love. Not only does it show my love but hopefully when they use it or look at it, they will think of me and know how much I care about them.

Some of my most treasured items are those that were made by the hands of a loved one. The porcelain dolls made by my Grandmother and the quilts given to me as wedding gifts are just a few. When I took out renter's insurance and was asked to value my property the dolls were something I couldn't put a price on because they are irreplaceable. No amount of money could compensate for their loss.

When my siblings and I were kids my mom made a lot of our clothes. She would stay up late into the night to make jeans, pajamas, or whatever we needed. She even made me and my sisters home-made Cabbage Patch dolls for Christmas one year. I still have mine in a box of keepsakes.

It seems to me that there is little regard for hand-made items these days. Unless they are sold in some fancy boutique. I think it is sad that some people value what can bought in the store over what has been made with love. Though this may be the case for some, I will continue to make special gifts for those I care about. Hopefully, by continuing to give a hand-made gift made from the heart the recipient will feel the love put into the work long after the shine of a store bought gift has worn off.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I should be in bed but....

Today was one of those days that started out really well, broke down in the middle of the day, and is ending with me not being able to sleep just yet. Instead of dwelling on the bad, perhaps if I look at the good from today I will be able to put the day behind me and find some much needed sleep.

The good list:
  1. The "Aha" moment this morning when I participated in a meeting and actually used information I have learned in my University of Phoenix MBA program.
  2. Lunch with one of my best friends at a place where we were the youngest, smallest, and best looking people in the restaurant. Okay that sounds a little conceited but everyone needs something to hang onto every now and then.
  3. Having the same friend comfort me when I cried because of someone else's insensitivity and offering to drive down just so I would have a shoulder to cry on if I needed one.
  4. My son doing the dishes and taking care of the dog while I went to my exercise class.
  5. Having a teenager who still tells me all the time how much he loves me and still gives me hugs.
  6. Having a teenager who realized on his own that he needed to break-up with his so called girlfriend because she is a little nutty and because none of the parents want their child to have a girlfriend. Note this is not a serious girlfriend but a silly kind of Jr. High thing.
  7. Exercise class with a friend.
  8. Finishing my homework on time.
  9. Discovering the US (Pirate) language on Facebook which just made me smile.
  10. Knowing that the bad stuff will pass and eventually it will be just a memory.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Dreaming

I heard somewhere recently that the only time you are truly free is when you dream. Sorry I can't remember exactly who said this. I think this statement is true. At what other time are our concious and subconcious free of the clutter of television, reading, every day activities, etc. Sure our worries, goals, wants, and needs follow us into sleep but dreams can take us anywhere.

Twice now my dreams have taken me to a place where my sister who had her tubes tied almost 5 years ago is pregnant with a baby girl. The most recent was last night. I called my sister to tell her about and she laughed. Her boyfriend thought it meant that I was pregnant. It was my turn to laugh at that one. However, it has me wondering what these dreams mean.

That my friends is the downfall of dreams - we don't know what they mean. The Internet is full of online dream dictionaries but what I would like is something like a Urim and Thummin for dreams. Wouldn't you?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Self-Esteem

Self-esteem can be an elusive thing. It seems that one day you have it and the next you don’t. In reality the loss of one’s self-esteem is a slow process and it is hard to pin point an exact cause. I write this because I am currently struggling with my own self-esteem.

I know that I have a lot of good qualities. I am a good mother, a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend, a good employee. I am talented and smart. So why is knowing these things not good enough?

Maybe my answer is simplistic but being single in a sea of couples is part of why I think I don’t measure up. It is a lame answer, I know. I also know that unless I find a way to be happy with who I am now, I won’t be happy with who I am IF I ever become part of that elusive couple.

I am trying to make more of an effort to put myself together every day. Working from home 90% of the time has made me lazy. I also plan to try to get into the office more than once a week, just to get out of the house. I am exercising more and eating less. Maybe being proactive instead of reactive will help.

How do you feel good about yourself when you feel like something is missing in your life? When you feel like you don’t measure up? What is the secret?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Total Randomness

What is it with people who bring their laptops to school programs and play/work on them the entire time? No, I am not talking about the ex-husband, he put his away when the program started. I am refering to the creepyish guy in front of me who had his laptop open during the entire "Fall Sing" program at the Junior High. Not only was the laptop annoying but the constant getting up and down to take care of his umpteen million kids with laptop in hand was uber annoying.
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I generally like couples who act as though they actually like each other. You know, holding hands in public, putting their arms around their wife while sitting in church that sort of thing. But have you ever noticed that some couples give you the heebie jeebies? I saw a couple like this the other day. Maybe it was because they guy looked like he should be on the "sex offender" registry and his wife looked like wife number one in a polygamist relationship but the simple act of him rubbing her back made me want to hurl. Am I just strange that way?
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Does anyone else read their teenager's text messages? I don't read all of them but when his phone keeps beeping and he isn't home, I will look so that I can shut the thing up. He knows I do this. He also knows that I have all of his passwords and if I chose to, will read all of his e-mail. So far I have not done this one. It is not that I don't trust him. I don't trust other kids. I've basically told him he will not have complete privacy until he is legally an adult and I can no longer be held accountable for what he does.
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Is it finished yet?"

A couple of years ago I made afghans for my sisters and sisters-in-law birthday's. My niece, Alexis, fell in love with one I made for my sister, Melanie and wanted me to make one just like it for her. I took little Lexie to Wal-mart and let her pick out the yarn she wanted then quickly forgot about it. Oops! This year for her birthday I finally finished her blanket, however, I forgot to take a picture.

I decided I couldn't make one for Alexis without making one for my other nieces as well. This year all of the nieces will get an afghan for their birthday. Quickly after finishing up Lexie's, I started on one for her step-sister Chauncia. (They both had a birthday in September) Hers was quite a bit simpler than Lexie's. I couldn't find a pattern that interested me so I created a very simple design inspired by an extremely old afghan I have that once belonged to my Grandma.


I love to crochet and give my creations as gifts. Earlier this year a couple I know had a baby boy. They decorated the baby's room in camouflage so I chose a camo colored variegated yarn for this basket weave pattern blanket. It was a big hit. I think his dad uses it more than he does.


My current crochet project is a Christmas present for my mom, then onto another afghan for a niece's birthday. Out of seventeen nieces and nephews, I sure am glad there are only five girls.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Average American Woman

I consider myself to be an Average American Woman. I believe in God and Country, work hard to meet the needs of my family, and pay taxes. I worry about my child, my waistline, my bills, and the state of my Country. I would rather spend time with family and friends than watch the news.

I have a college degree but refuse to call it a higher education as those words imply that I am better educated than those that do not. I know some incredibly smart people who have dropped out of high school or do not have a college education but can run circles around me with their knowledge.

I am a registered voter. I am neither a republican nor a democrat. I cast my vote based on who I think has my best interest at heart. I am not bound by mascot or color – red or blue. I admit though, that I tend to lean to the right.

I respect the Constitution of the United States. I carry a gun from time to time as the second amendment allows and I respect those who use their first amendment rights to voice their opinion against the second, though I do not always agree.

I support the military. I may not always believe in their battles but have the utmost respect for the men and women who are willing to leave their families to go where they are asked. One day these brave people will be asked to fight on American soil and I want to believe that when they fight for me and my rights, I am deserving of that sacrifice.

I did not vote for the current President of the United States nor do particulary trust him or believe in his agenda. Maybe in time that will change. Many Obama supporters would label me a racist based on that comment alone. I am not. I fully supported Collin Powell’s run for President against Clinton, and had he stayed in the race Powell would have had my full support. Are those the words or views of a racist?

Although I have my own views about President Obama, I respect my friends who have different views. I appreciate when we can share our views without criticism for the other. I was also annoyed when my school district chose not to air his speech to the students and was pleased when they decided to allow them to watch it a few days afterward.

I worry about health care reform. Not because I don’t think some sort of reform is needed, but because I want it done in a non-partisan way. I want the Citizen’s concerns to be heard not dismissed as uneducated, and I do not want to see an increase to spending or taxes which are both too high. I also want any reform bill to be well thought out and not given a dead line for passing in order for the President to say he was able to accomplish this in his first year. I want no provision or loop hole that allows healthcare for ILLEGAL immigrants.

I am for LEGAL immigration and immigration reform. I do not hold ill will to anyone who legally enters this country and becomes a US Citizen. We are all immigrants, and yes I do understand that by today’s standard the immigration of our forefathers would be considered illegal. I believe if you want to live in the United Stated of America you need to respect the laws, language, and people. You do not need to give up your identity to become a Citizen but you do need to learn the English language and use it. I should not have to learn yours. My taxes should not pay for healthcare, food, or any other benefit our government currently provides to ILLEGAL immigrants.

I think Americans do not have a place to go where they can get un-biased answers about issues that concern them. Everyone has an agenda. Every news network and program has a degree of bias, some more than others. I realized this during the election and had to stop watching the 24 hour news networks. They specialize in stirring up controversy, are high on opinions, and low on facts.

I want a place where all of the bills passed by Government are fully laid out in layman’s terms. If someone knows of such a place dealing in facts and not opinion, I would like to know how to find it. I believe transparency in government is needed now more than ever. Obama used this in his campaign but I have yet to see any such thing.

I believe politics have become too divisive and blame our so-called leaders for their lack of leadership and the bandying about of words such as “reconciliation”, which in Congress basically means (as per my understanding) “we get want we want even though it isn’t what you want”.

I believe in term limits for Congress and that each Representative needs to send an annual accountability statement (not using taxpayer money) to their constituents. This should outline what they voted on, why, and how it impacts them. Constituents shouldn’t have to dig through all of the minutia on websites to get this information.

I think the voters should have the final say on whether or not Congress gets pay increases. Congress should not determine this one on their own – the majority of them will say yes every time. I don’t get to decide whether or not I get a raise and neither should they.

I think there is no reason why a member of Congress should not be there to vote on every bill. This is what they signed on for and have been tasked with by their constituents. I also believe a sitting member of Congress should not be able to run for another office unless they have resigned. Constituents are not well represented by a member of Congress who is running around the country seeking votes for President.

I believe every Citizen has a voice regardless of political affiliation, religion, race, and ethnicity, social or economic background and that many of those voices are ignored because they are not those of the majority.

Finally, I will end my post with this: It is your right to disagree with me and my right to disagree with you. If you disagree with me I will assume it is because you have valid reasons behind those disagreements. I will not label you as an uneducated racist or any other derogatory term, as long as you do not label me as such.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Last vacation of summer..

Some friends of mine have a timeshare on a houseboat at Lake Powell and set up an adults only trip for Labor Day weekend. Having never been, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to visit this place that I have heard so much about. We left on Thursday morning and other than listening to sister's boyfriend talk 98% of the time, the four hour drive was relatively uneventful.
Arriving at Powell we unloaded the truck, the car, and the boat. The beach at Bullfrog quickly became a dumping ground for the Clampets. Food and supplies for 15 adults and luggage for 7 quickly piled up. After loading the houseboat, the womenfolk took the smaller boat out to seek a spot to "camp" the following night.

Being my first time to Lake Powell, I was in awe and wonder at the beautiful scenery. By the time we found our camping spot, my neck was stiff from looking up. It amazes me that these cliffs were over a hundred feet high while there was almost 300 feet of water below us (I really shouldn't have told my mom about that part, she hates the water).
The first night we stayed at the beach in Bullfrog and had dinner at the Anasazi Lodge. After dinner we went out on the deck where a couple of park rangers gave presentation on astronomy and the similarities between Mars and the Glen Canyon area. Comparing pictures from the Mars rover to those of Glen Canyon.
The next day the rest of the gang joined us and we headed to Moki Canyon for our first night of fun at the lake. Each night had a different theme and this one was Pirate night complete with a treasure hunt.

Part of Moki Canyon

"Aargh!"

The next day we moved to another part of the lake called Hansen Creek. On the way we went down Forgotten Canyon where they have restored some Anasazi Indian ruins. We were unable to hike to the ruins but did get picture of the petroglyphs above the ruins.


Forgotten Canyon


The Houseboat at Hansen Creek


We stayed at Hansen Creek for 2 nights. We had an 80's night and beach night. Also, while at Hansen Creek we took the smaller boat out for some water skiing and tubing. Several of us hiked around and explored. Of course, I had to collect rocks, shells, and sand. I am almost as bad as a little kid.



Beach Night

I finally caught a fish the last night of the trip. It was an ugly catfish but at least I can say I caught a fish at Lake Powell.



I would love to visit again and explore more of this 100 plus mile long lake. Our few days were just a small glimpse of this beautiful place. As we traveled along the lake I couldn't help but wonder at the history that lay beneath the water's surface; the Indian ruins and artifacts that no longer exist. At the same time I know that I would not have been in this beautiful place, enjoying the landscape and admiring how the wild Colorado River created these majestic canyons had it not been for the creation of Lake Powell. For more information about Lake Powell please visit http://www.utah.com/nationalsites/glen_canyon.htm.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just for fun...

A friend posted this on Facebook. Because I haven't updated my blog lately AND this too hilarious not to share, I thought I would post it. Who comes up with this stuff? I laughed so hard I was crying and my son came in from the other room to make sure I was okay. Enjoy.

  • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
  • More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.
  • Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
  • I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
  • Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
  • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
  • The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.
  • Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.
  • There is a great need for sarcasm font.
  • Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.
  • I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.
  • How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  • I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
  • I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  • The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.
  • A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.
  • Was learning cursive really necessary?
  • Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
  • I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  • Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.
  • My brother's Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, "Cuz we beat you, and you hate us." Classy, bro.
  • Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".
  • How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
  • Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"
  • What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?
  • While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.
  • MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  • I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
  • Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  • I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
  • Bad decisions make good stories.
  • Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!
  • Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
  • If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
  • Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....
  • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
  • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
  • There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
  • I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
  • "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.
  • I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'
  • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damnit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  • I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
  • When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.
  • I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
  • Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...
  • As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
  • Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  • It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.
  • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  • I think that if, years down the road when I'm trying to have a kid, I find out that I'm sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the fact that I was not aware of my condition in college.
  • Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
  • Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my a$s everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time...
  • My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?
  • It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.
  • I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.
  • I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
  • I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
  • The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, I saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimate d that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lord love a duck!

About a week ago I looked out of the window in the room I loosely call “the office” to find two ducks on my lawn, standing in the water from the sprinkler. I grabbed the camera and took a couple of pictures because seriously, at the time, ducks in my yard was not a regular occurrence. The ducks were obviously domesticated and as far as I knew none of my neighbors had ducks. Thinking I was being a good citizen and not wanting anything bad to happen to these ducks, I called animal control. Maybe the local officer knew who had ducks and could take them home.

While waiting for the officer, the ducks tried to run into the neighbor’s yard. I kept herding them back into my yard. When the officer arrived the ducks continued to try and run into the neighboring yard. We followed and discovered that this was indeed their home. The officer told me to just herd them back home whenever they show up unless they start eating the garden. I must say I felt rather stupid having called animal control about the ducks; although, the officer was quite friendly and told me that in the past week he caught 4 goats and a pig within a couple of blocks of my house. Now you know just how rural my little town is.

The ducks are now a permanent fixture around my yard and the yard of the neighbor on the other side. They rarely spend time in their own yard. I tried to herd them back home one day and touched the white one. My mistake. The white and black one, which I think is male, ran at me and pecked at my leg. Not a bite just a warning. Since then when they see me the male starts towards me with an evil glint in its beady little eye and tries to bite me. The last time this happened I was getting into the car and out of the blue I felt a pinch on the top of my foot. That darn duck had tried to take another bite out of me. A couple of evenings ago I was walking from the back yard and both charged at me. I am not proud. I will admit that I ran.

While it is fun to say I have ducks wandering around in my yard, the ducks themselves are not fun. They may be cute but they are kind of mean.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fishing and Dating

As I was floating in my float tube on a lake in the Uinta's, fishing pole in the water, and beautiful skies over head I began to make a list of how dating is a lot like fishing.

* Both require patience.

* The easiest ones to catch are the little planter fish. These are the fish you catch and thank for the thrill of reeling him in. You take the hook out without hurting him too badly, then put the fish back in the water and watch him swim away. These could be compared to the men who have potential but aren’t quite there yet. They need a little more time to mature.

* The “Big One”, the one any fisherwoman would be happy to have mounted on her wall, is the hardest to catch. He requires the most finesse. He is the fish that nibbles on the bait and thinks, “Hmmm. Tasty. Maybe I’ll go in for seconds.” Once he takes that second bite, the fisherwoman has to set the hook just right, otherwise he gets off of the line and finds some other bait and some other fisherwoman. The other fisherwoman is probably a size 2, pulls off sexy in neoprene waders, and has caught so many fish that she has little appreciation for the “Big One”. She is probably looking at her stringer and comparing this one to the others on the line. If she deems it worthy enough she will keep it on the string; if not, she will remove the hook but probably not as carefully as the other women on the lake, and let the fish go. Pretty soon the “Big One” is either in the freezer waiting his turn on the grill, or found floating dead in the water.

* The “Fish Story” is what you tell to make a not so great day fishing sound better than it actually was so the more experienced fishermen don’t think you completely suck at fishing. In dating it is what you tell yourself to make a bad date better. It is the “it was nice to get out and have a free meal” story.

I would prefer a bad day fishing to a bad date any day. Ideally a good day fishing would be followed up by a good date. Or better yet, a good day fishing with a great date. Maybe someday...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Addiction

It is the day before payday and I am scrounging for change.

The basket in the laundry room where I throw the loose change from the washer yields 15 cents while the change canister in the kitchen comes up empty. Forget the change jar in the bedroom, it was raided long ago and never replenished. A search through the car gets me 10 cents. Feeling hopeful and slightly crazed I check the ashtray in the Blazer. I haven’t driven it for a few months and have no idea what to expect.

Jackpot! Could this be enough? I scoop out the change and find 70 cents in dimes and nickels. Almost there. I count out five pennies and throw the rest back into the ashtray.

I feel rich. I have a dollar!

Getting in the car, I head to the gas station. The gauge is on E and the odometer says “Fuel Level Low”. As if I need the reminder.

Pulling up to the drive thru window I ask, “Can I get a 32 ounce Coke without ice?”

The young man hands me my Coke and I give him a handful of change. A dollar to be exact.

Before driving away I take a sip. I feel the little bubbles of carbonation fill my mouth and the cool liquid slides down my throat. It hits my stomach and my nerves are calmed.

I have my Coke. My day can begin.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Finally, a new post…

It has been a month since my last post. I would like to say it is because I am too busy to blog. I’m not. My excuses for slacking are:

  1. I am blocked.
  2. I have an idea and it runs away.
  3. I fall into the “Does anyone really care what I have to say?” thought process.
  4. I am not a mommy with funny cute things to say about my kids. I have a teenager and most the things they say are not always post-able.
  5. I am lazy.
  6. I am kind of boring.

Excuses aside, I am posting now with an update of our summer so far.

During the summer my son spends every other week with his dad, step-mom, and siblings. This doesn’t allow for any sort of real routine in our household but allows him somewhat equal time between houses and friends. It is a good break for me but the days can be so boring when my son is not here. Plus I end up doing all of the chores. My neighbor and I agreed that the reason we have teenagers is to help with yard work. Somehow or other mine tends to get out of it, usually because he is with his dad.

For the Memorial Day weekend, I went camping in Indianola with my sisters, their families, and friends. My son opted to spend the weekend with his dad. It was the first time I have been camping in a long time and I had quite a bit of fun, even with the almost continuous rain.

My garden is doing well. I harvested my second crop of radishes the other day and have realized that radishes give me heartburn but I love them. I love having a garden but hate the weeds.

Two weeks ago, we had a small get together at my parent’s house to watch the city parade that passes right by their house. Not all of us were able to make it, but we had fun none-the-less. The highlight of the evening was watching my father dive out of his camp chair to go after a ball thrown by a group in the parade. He landed on the ball, but knocked over his chair and sacrificed his beer. The cop monitoring the parade from the corner even came over to comment on the gracefulness. My niece and nephew appreciated his efforts when he let them have the ball.

Last Friday, my son, Austin, had his wisdom teeth removed. As expected he was pretty out of it after the surgery. A few hours after we got home, he asked “Mom was I in a wheelchair?” Yes, he was. In the car the next day, “Mom, why is my seat laying back so far?” He moved it while we were driving home from the surgery center so that he could lay down a little bit. Austin is recovering really well. According to him, it is because he is young.

On Sunday, we had a family party at my sister’s house. Again my dad showed his graceful side by falling off of my nephews skateboard. Yes, my 60 some odd year old father was riding a skateboard like he was still a kid. Prior to his face plant on the concrete, he was giving my niece and nephew piggy back rides. My dad is a bit of a curmudgeon to say the least, so it says quite a bit about how badly he is wrapped around my niece’s finger when she is able to get multiple piggy back rides while swatting Grandpa on the backside and shouting “Yah Yah.”

So far we have been having a good time this summer and there is more to come, camping, fishing, time with friends and family…and hopefully more blog posts.





Thursday, May 21, 2009

Eight days and counting...

Did you ever think that as a mom you would be just as excited as you kids (if not more) about school letting out for the summer? I am counting down the days. Our family vacation was Disneyland in March, so we have nothing big planned. Mom just needs a break.

Once we got home from Disneyland the craziness started. In April, my son was in his school production of Oklahoma! and had a choir concert. Between rehearsals and early mornings driving him to Show Choir practice I was worn out. This month, he has had a recital for his Monday night singing lessons, tonight he was in a play for his Tuesday night youth theatre class, and tomorrow is the final choir concert of the year.

I love that Austin is involved in these activities both inside and outside of school. He is becoming quite a good actor and his singing has improved greatly. But trying to manage his schedule and homework with my work and homework has been a challenge. Add into the mix a lot of yard work, including a new garden, and the days have been quite long.

We are winding down though and it is nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel. The Monday singing and Tuesday theatre are over, and show choir ends with the school year. The challenge then runs to keeping him occupied during the summer.

Give me two months and I’ll be counting down the days until school starts. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy a little more freedom in the schedule and coming up with creative activities for the summer.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It is what it is

When I hear certain songs I think, “If they made a soundtrack for my life this song would have to be on it.” One of the songs on my soundtrack would have to be Sugarland’s “It Happens” from the album Love on the inside.

I bought the CD last fall and as with all new music in my house it was played over and over and over again. One song I particularly like is “It Happens”. When my best friend Jodi was killed in a car accident in September the upbeat lyrics stopped many breakdowns in progress. Whenever something is getting me down , I play the song or sing it to myself and start to move on. The song isn’t too flippant, merely a reminder that we aren’t in control of everything that happens to us and sometimes all we can do is “Let go, laughing.”

It Happens - Sugarland

Missed my alarm clock ringing
Woke up telephone screaming
Boss man singing his same old song
Rolled in late about an hour
No cup of coffee, no shower
Walk of shame with two different shoes on

Now it’s poor me, why me, oh me, boring
The same old worn out, blah-blah story
There’s no good explanation for it at all

Chorus:
Ain’t no rhyme or reason
No complicated meaning
Ain’t no need to over- think it
Let go, laughing
Life don’t go quite like you planned it
We try so hard to understand it
The irrefutable, indisputable fact is
It happens

My trusty-rusty had a flat
I borrowed my neighbors Cadillac
“I’ll be right back,” going down to Wally World
That yellow light turned red to quickly
Knew that truck the moment it hit me
Out stepped my ex with his new girl
(“Sorry ‘bout your neck baby”)

But it’s poor me, why me, oh me, boring
The same old worn out, blah-blah story
There’s no good explanation for it at all

Chorus:
Ain’t no rhyme or reason
No complicated meaning
Ain’t no need to over- think it
Let go, laughing
Life don’t go quite like you planned it
We try so hard to understand it
The irrefutable, indisputable fact is
It happens

Yeah, the irrefutable, indisputable, absoluteable, totally beautiful fact us…pshhhhh, it happens

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sunflowers, Chocolate and little boys: Do you know what Today is???

Sunflowers, Chocolate and little boys: Do you know what Today is???

I wanted to share this with my friends who are affected by Fibromyalgia or those who know someone who is.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

As I go about my day to day life it is easy to forget to stop and give thanks for the blessings – large and small – which help me get through each day. Upon waking this morning, I started to think about the many things I am thankful for and why.

  • Friendships that have no expiration date.
  •  Parents who understand that parenting is a lifelong commitment not a job that ends at age 18, 25, or 40.
  • Family
  •  Being a Mother. Motherhood helps me tap into strengths and abilities that I never knew I had. We are Superheroes.
  • Yesterday’s rain.
  •  Instant messaging that allows me to have real time conversations with my long distance friends without running up the phone bill.
  • Crying. My tears tell me that my heart hasn’t been hardened.
  • Laughter. A reminder that there is humor in practically everything.
  • Those who came before who started paving the way for those who come after.
  • Sore muscles. Because it means my body is healthy enough to put in a hard day’s work.
  •  Austin. My son makes me laugh and cry. He gives me a reason to get up in the morning on those days when all I want is to pull the covers over my head. He is the best part of me.
  • My faith. A belief in things unseen. A belief that everything works out in the end. Believing that I am not as alone as I sometimes feel. Believing that despite all of my faults and the mistakes I have made and will make in the future - I am loved by Him.

 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yummy Goodness

God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown

This year will be the first year that I will officially have a vegetable garden. My neighbor has been helping me til up the area that the other neighbor thinks would be the perfect spot. I listen to him because his garden is HUGE and produces tons of yummy goodness - plus he grew up in my house and his mother grew everything under the sun.

Luckily I have a huge yard and can make my garden as large as my enthusiasm and back will allow. I have radishes, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, peppers, corn, watermelon, and pumpkins. I may be getting a bit carried away but I am so excited. I can't wait to start putting everything in the ground. Tomorrow I will plan out where I want everything and hopefully my garden will not only produce yummy goodness but will also be aesthetically pleasing.

As the planting and growing progress I will be sure to post the pictures.

Friday, April 24, 2009

All I really need to know...

Today as I was outside making bubbles and watching them float across the yard, I remembered how such simple things could bring such pleasure. If I hadn't had other responsibilities I think I would have sat on the porch all day making bubbles.

This evening after dinner I pulled some ready made Toll House chocolate cookie dough out of the refrigerator and made cookies. Did my son eat the cookies? No. Just me. As I sat doing my accounting homework, I ate chocolate chip cookies and realized the stress I normally feel during this time was gone. Alas, I believe eating Toll House cookies improves brain power and information processing.

Both of these activities reminded me of simpler times and a poster I had on my wall as a teenager of Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to KNOW I Learned In Kindergarten.

I thought I would share some of it here and encourage you to check out his website. His insights into the world are truly inspirational. http://robertfulghum.com/

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum- an excerpt from the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten

All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder.
  • Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

© Robert Fulghum, 1990. Found in Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Villard Books: New York, 1990, page 6-7.

Excerpt found at http://www.kalimunro.com/learned_in_kindergarten.html

Friday, April 17, 2009

The shelves are empty…go online?

A couple of posts back I wrote about my “possibilities list”. One of the items on my list is love. Just love. Upon further reflection, I realize I do have love in my life. I love my son and he loves me. I love my family and friends and they love me. So love has been crossed of my list and fall in love has taken its place.

I know there are worse things in life than being single but some days those “worse things” are hard to find. Some days the empty half of the bed feels like an ocean of unrumpled sheets and I wonder if it is time to rotate the mattress to make sure it wears evenly. Some days I want to celebrate the little wins in life with someone special and the teenager and dog just don’t cut it. And some days I just want to remember what it feels like to be in love and loved in return. Lately the some days have turned into every day and I have been giving a lot of thought to putting myself out there. By out there I mean online.

I have had some experience with online dating before. None of them have turned out well. The last one was the GPS guy who decided that since he was down in my area he should take the time to find GeoCache’s for his little GeoCaching contest. Yes, we went GeoCaching on our date. This may appeal to some, but not necessarily my cup of tea. I don’t understand the appeal of looking for a box of someone else’s junk or relying solely on the directions given by a little computer on the dashboard.

“Turn left now” says the annoying voice coming from the dashboard.

“Uh really?” I ask, “There is no left!”

“Yes there is. Just wait. My know-it-all computer says so and she has never led me astray,” he says.

“Dude. There is no left. But don’t mind me I just LIVE in this town.”

I digress.

I have to say that my off line experiences haven’t been that wonderful either. There’s the guy who decided he wanted to be with someone else but didn’t want to tell me. Then there’s the alcoholic who thinks that wanting a divorce and being divorced are the same thing. I saw him recently with the wife and baby – not really looking divorced. Then there’s the workaholic I’ve known for ten years and have gone on slightly more than ten dates with during that time span. In my opinion he would be a great catch but I have a feeling he will let himself be caught by someone else.

Bad experiences aside, I honestly don’t feel as though I am going to find my special person online. Maybe the feeling is caused by my reluctance to dive in or someone is trying to tell me something. If it is the latter then I wish it would speak up and tell me where this special person is or maybe even give me a time line.

I know people who have met their special person online and are very happy. The truth is I am a romantic who would like to meet someone in a more traditional way. If a more traditional way even exists any more. I know Mr. Right isn’t going to knock on my door one day and say, “Here I am!” But maybe he will be at the grocery store one day or the service station. Or maybe he is a friend of a friend. Or someone I used to know.

I’ll be giving it some more thought. In the mean time, I am trying to believe that by changing the “possibilities list” and actively taking steps to meet someone, I am set the wheels in motion and there will come a time when I won’t have to worry about making sure the mattress has an even wear pattern.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Proud Parent Moment

I am going to blatantly use my rights as a Mother to say, “My son is AWESOME!”

When my son told me he wanted to audition for the school musical, “Oklahoma”, I just shrugged and said, “Okay. Have fun.” Despite my seemingly lack of indifference, I was kind of nervous for him. I am a shy person and he is outgoing. What I would be hesitant to do, he jumps in with both feet. So I worried. Then his excitement rubbed off on me a little and I started bugging him about when he would find out what role he would be playing.

When he told me that he would be playing Judd Fry, the blank look on my face clearly said, “I haven’t seen this musical before, I have no idea who he is.” When he told me the character was a mean killer I was wondering how my son would pull this one off. My son who gets upset when his friends get teased is going to play a mean guy?

Friday night he more than pulled it off. In my opinion – and that of his dad, stepmom, grandparents, and some random people - he was one of the best actors that night. The audience could understand what he was saying and his singing was better than I thought it would be. I was impressed and proud.

I am proud that he is able to go out and perform in front of an audience like that and do so well. Proud that he isn’t afraid of failing and while I was worried about him trying out, he just did it as if it were nothing. Proud that even though he was – again, in my opinion – the best there was that night, he gave plenty of praise to his fellow cast members. Most of all, I am proud that he is my son.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Possibilities...

In the movie The Bucket List, Morgan Freeman’s character is a middle income terminally ill patient sharing a room in the hospital with Jack Nicholson’s character who is wealthy and “owns” the hospital. Freeman’s character has a “bucket list” of things he wants to do before he dies. Nickelson’s character decides to help him do everything on his list and together they travel around the world and check off items on the list.

In the movie Last Holiday, Queen Latifah’s character is a saleswoman in a department store who is misdiagnosed with a rare brain disease. She has a possibilities book filled with things she would like to do, places she wants to go, pictures of meals she has cooked but doesn’t eat (she sticks with her Lean Cuisine and feeds the neighbor kid the gourmet meals), and people she would like to meet. After her diagnosis, she cashes in the bonds she inherited from her mother and all of her other assets and heads to Europe to turn some of her possibilities into realities.

After watching these movies the message I walked away with was not to wait until it is too late to do the things you want to do, to follow your dreams, or enjoy life.

I have what I call my POSSIBILITIES LIST. It is a combination of a “bucket list” and “possibilities book”. I call it the possibilities list and not a “to do” list because I know I don’t have full control over everything on the list such as getting married. My list is a reminder to take control of my life instead of letting it control me. There are items on the list that are not tangible, they cannot be measured, or held in the hand. They are reminders to laugh, to smile, and to enjoy life more.

The list gives me hope on days when hope is hard to find and direction when I feel lost. Reading the list, adding to it, and crossing things off (making them realities) is a form of therapy for me. I can see where I have been and am reminded of where I am going or want to be.

I try to take out my list at least once a week or whenever I have an idea of something I want to accomplish or do. There are many times when I say “Oh I have always wanted to do that!” It is those times that I pull out the list and add another item.

In the last six months I have turned some of my possibilities into realities and it feels great: getting a laptop, taking my son to Disneyland, and going to Seattle for a wedding (that has happened twice now). There are other items like exercising my second amendment rights and getting a concealed carry permit that need to be completed in steps - last night I took the class with my sister-in-law, the next step is to mail the application.

The point to all of this is that possibilities are endless. It is up to us to make our possibilities realities. Whether it is a bucket list, a possibilities book, a possibilities list, or to do list - whatever you want to call it - the idea is to write them down, remember them, and make them happen.

There is no order to how or when. No time line. They aren’t necessarily goals, but reminders. However you do it, I hope you remember your possibilities and work on making them realities.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's in a name?

It is official - our new puppy has a name. My sister-in-law and nephews came over to see the puppy and name ideas started flying. We went through the names of Star Wars characters and those from Lord of the Rings. We also had Moose, Bolt, and Jack Sparrow. The two finalists were: Chewbacca (Chewy) and Indiana Jones (Indy). On Saturday the name was officially decided.

Indy - as in Indiana Jones or Dr Jones.

It is a bit difficult getting used to a handle for the pup and for us. I stumble over the name and try to call him Maggie (after our old dog), Ozzie (the name of my friend's dog), and for some reason Iggy. As for Indy, he's not sure if we are talking to him or just saying more silly human stuff.

Indy has already made a couple of new friends. My friend, Shae, brought her Australian Shepherd with her from Seattle and Indy and Ozzie got along great. Ozzie is older and hasn't has any pups but she has a strong maternal instinct. The two played together all night and had all of us in stitches. Today, Indy met my sisters new pup, a chocolate lab named Kira. These two chased each other and my niece and nephews around the house like pack of - well - wild dogs.

We have had a few new puppy messes but all in all having a dog around again feels really good. I never really considered myself a pet person - dog, cat, or otherwise - but now I can say I am definitely a dog person.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. ~Edith Wharton

They never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation. ~Jerome K. Jerome

Today we welcomed a new addition to our little family - a Sheprador puppy. No name yet.

A Sheprador is a "designer breed" or "hybrid". No name comes from an AKC registered Australian Shepherd and an AKC registered yellow Labrador Retriever. I found him by searching the KSL.com classifieds for either an Australian Shepherd or a Dachshund. That site has everything. When I saw the picture of these pups, I had to call. Once I held him, I had to bring him home.

So far he is sweet tempered and well behaved. We will see what tomorrow brings.






Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Sissy's Song"

Every now an then a song comes on the radio that expresses my feelings in ways that I cannot. Today I heard one by Alan Jackson called "Sissy's Song". After the first line my thoughts immediately went to my dear friend Jodi who passed away this past September in a car accident. Jodi left behind 2 sons who are in the Army.

Lately Jodi has been on my mind more often than not. The warm weather on the horizon reminds me of lazy days fishing, long drives with the windows rolled down and the radio blasting, floating out on the Spanish Fork reservoir, and sitting on the front porch talking. I miss my friend more and more each day and wish I could pick up the phone and call her like I used to or drive up to her house and go to the gas station for a drink run.

The picture in this post is from our last fishing trip together.

Tonight I went to Alan Jackson's website to find the video for "Sissy's Song" and read the following about why he wrote this song:

"He wrote it after the sudden death of Leslie “Sissy” Fitzgerald, who worked in the Jackson household and who the Jacksons saw every day. Sissy died on May 20, 2007, in a motorcycle accident, and left behind a college age daughter and high school age son and her husband, who is an expert car restorer and also works for the Jacksons. Jackson has said, “I didn’t sleep for a while. So I sat down one day and wrote this song and after that I felt all right.” Jackson recorded the song and gave it to the Fitzgerald family for the funeral." (http://www.alanjackson.com/)

This song reminds me that Jodi is okay and I will be okay to. It will just take some time. The link below is to the video for "Sissy's Song". If you have lost someone suddenly or too soon. I hope this brings you some sort of comfort.

http://www.cmt.com/videos/alan-jackson/355885/sissys-song.jhtml?

I tried to embed the video but have no idea how to do that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things...

On Saturday night we came home from a week long vacation to southern California - specifically Disneyland. The vacation was great. I was able to spend some quality time with my son, parents, and brother, plus I crossed something off of my "possibilities list". But being away from home - even if you are in the “happiest place on earth” - for seven days can be quite tiring. Especially when two of those days are spent driving. Yes we drove!

During the week we spent 5 days in Disneyland and California Adventure - where I discovered that any ride where my backside rises several inches off of the seat while plummeting back to earth is not my cup of tea. On Thursday my Uncle Steve and his roommate Joe joined us. Even though Steve enjoyed ridiculing my fear of the Hollywood Tower of Terror and large roller coasters, it was a lot of fun to hang out with him for a day.

We spent a day in SeaWorld. The shows were great and getting splashed by the whales in the Shamu show was a lot of fun.


Even though by Friday night I was ready to be home I wasn’t quite as ready to face the real world again. But here I am back in the real world of work, school, bills, housework, grocery shopping, Mom Taxi, and responsibility. Quite frankly, it has been hard to get back into the swing of things. My equilibrium feels out of whack and I want nothing more than to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

To top it off it has been a busier week than usual. On top of the normal schedule of work and having Austin to school at 7 am three days a week, there were other activities. Tuesday night Austin had a choir performance and I had to make changes to a tablecloth I made for my brother-in-laws display this weekend at the ISE, Wednesday night I went with my mom, aunt, cousin and Grandma to a Relief Society enrichment night, tonight my visiting teachers came over and I tried unsuccessfully to clean my office/storage/work room.

This has truly felt like the longest week! It seems an unjust punishment to come back from a vacation and still feel like you need a vacation. Does anyone else struggle with getting back into the swing of things when you get home from a vacation or other activity that takes you out of your regular routine for awhile?

Maybe the upcoming weekend will help me get my equilibrium back and I can start next week feeling like I can take on the world again. It may be a short lived feeling though as I fly to Seattle on Thursday night.

Hmmm…maybe a short trip to Seattle will be just what I need.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I won!

After weeks of prodding my teenage son into getting a haircut, he finally said to me the other day, “Mom, I think if I got a haircut to get some of the hair off my forehead, maybe I wouldn’t get so many zits there.”

Score one for me!

This is how I win battles at my house. I make suggestions.

“You know, Austin, if you hair was shorter the sunlight could reach you scalp better and help your psoriasis.”

“You know, Austin, maybe your forehead wouldn’t break out so much if your hair was a little shorter.”

Now I don’t know how true either of those statements are but it worked a lot better than the “Cut your hair or you don’t get to go to Disneyland” threat (Yes! I really did say that). He knows I would never follow through.

I figure, if I plant enough suggestions he will eventually think something is his idea. On the haircut front, this has worked exactly twice. Until I figured this out it took a mix of bribery and the “You’ll do it because I tell you to do it” line.

I took a before and after picture and he looked at me like I was about to board the crazy train but I had to document my win. When I told him this, he rolled his eyes and I could tell he was mentally waving goodbye as I rode off on the crazy train. The conversation that followed went something like this:

“Mom. It was my idea.”

“That’s what you think. I won.”

“No. You didn’t. It was my idea.”

“Whatever. I still won.”

“Mom! You’re weird!”

He can think I am weird all he wants. I won! And I have the pictures to prove it. I admit the after looks like he is in the military but give it a couple of weeks and it will look like the before.

Grandma


On Monday I had the opportunity to take my Grandma Nielson and Aunt Sandra to the LDS Temple in Draper. This is my second time visiting the temple and normally we would have to park at one of the churches in Draper, watch a short video, then take a bus up to the temple. Instead when I told the gentlemen at our designated church that my Grandma has a hard time walking long distances he sent up straight up to the temple. Once there were able to park close enough that it was a short walk for Grandma to where they have wheelchairs. From that point on I pushed her around the temple in a wheelchair

At first she was reluctant to use the wheelchair - said they make her feel old. But we convinced her it would be a good thing and I believe in the end she was glad she had one - even parking at the temple there was a lot of walking. Fortunately, being the klutz that I am, I didn’t run her into anything!

Seriously, I was a bit worried about running my poor Grandmother into walls, doorways, and furniture. The last time I pushed someone in a wheelchair was at the airport when my Grandma and her sister Luella came back from a trip to Georgia. I was pushing Aunt Lu and I think I ran her into everything. However, at the temple I managed to keep my Grandma from running into anything or anyone.

I love simple wins!

Coming home we chose to try the new road connecting Alpine and Draper. What an amazing view from up there! It’s a wonder how good Utah Lake looks from a distance.

The temple and drive were nice but what I really enjoyed about the day was spending time with my Grandma and Aunt. It may seem strange to some people but I really do enjoy hanging out with Grandma. When my Grandma and mom go to my Aunt’s house in Mt. Pleasant I try to tag along whenever possible. I’ve taken a trip with her to Montana and a couple of times up to Pocatello.

Over the last few years I have gotten to know her so much more than I had before and feel blessed that she is still around so that I have these opportunities. I think my Grandma is a wonderful lady and I hope when I am her age my grandchildren will think the same of me.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Countdown to Disneyland

A week from tonight I will be in California with my parents, my brother Ryan, his girlfriend Jessica, and more importantly my son Austin. We will be spending a week at Disneyland and possibly a visit to Sea World.

I am a little nervous about the trip - not the logistics - just making sure that Austin has a great time. I worry that I am a little too tense most of the time and don't loosen up as much as I should. On this trip with my son I shouldn't be like that. As it is we don't spend enough time doing fun things together.

I haven't been to Disneyland for about 20 years. I was in fifth grade when the Honeyman clan climbed into the station wagon - without Ryan - and ventured west. My dad likened it to the Griswold's heading to Wally World. I remember having so much fun on that trip and want to make this one fun for my son.

Austin has been to Disneyland, Sea World, and accidentally to Mexico with this Dad. Imagine your child calling you from his vacation and telling you he spent a day south of the border when California was the only destination. At least he can say he has been to Mexico. Since his experience is more recent than mine, I've told him that once we get there he gets to take the reins. Thankfully he knows I have a weak stomach and won't expect me to go on anything I can't handle - that is what Uncle Ryan is for.

Austin also knows that my Dad and I both have a serious aversion to the song "It's A Small World" and I remember from twenty plus years ago how much that ride bugged me. I mean, seriously, does it really need to be sung in every language out there. Okay, yeah, so it is a small world and I get the meaning of the ride but hearing it in English is more than enough for me. Hearing it in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Arabic, etc. is just too much. Honestly, I would not be surprised to hear it in Klingon or ancient Aramaic though I think Jesus would find it just as annoying in his Language as I do in ours.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pick it. Park it. Walk it.

Pulling into the parking lot at work this morning I noticed a little red car crawling through the lot looking for a place to park. The lady in the car drove down one row and up the next then around in a circle. Then she did it again, as if in the thirty seconds of circling someone would be leaving. Come on, lady! It is 9 am. People aren’t leaving - they are staying. They have swiped their yuppie badge, are checking their e-mail, and trying to figure out how to make the next 8 hours go by as fast as possible. After I parked out in the north forty as I always do and made my way to the building, the little red car passed me making yet another circle.

Seriously, unless you are a candidate for a handicap sticker or pregnant - park it wherever there is spot and walk. Now I may be wrong, she may not have been looking for a parking space. She may have been stalking someone. Which then causes me to wonder, what is stalking all about?

My next parking lot issue is people who see you walking to your car, follow you, and then wait for you to load all your Wal-mart goodies in the car so that they may have your parking space instead of the one five or six spaces up. This happened to me the other day. I had a primo parking spot at the Wal-mart and when I got back to my car lo and behold there they were just waiting for me to leave. Folks, this makes people uncomfortable. I don’t like thinking that the person in the other care is impatiently waiting for me, hand hovering over the horn, steam seething out of their ears because I am not able to unload a cart full of groceries at lightening speed.

Normally, I would hurry as fast as I could but on this day I took my time and made sure each bag was in its proper place (as if they have proper places) and even made sure my cart was returned to the inconveniently located cart return corrals. I think next time I’ll pretend my car won’t start and tell the people I can’t move it, then after they have parked half a mile away, pull out and drive past them with the “Oh Gee! Silly me forgot to put the key in the ignition” look on my face.

To be perfectly honest, I am guilty of having done all of the above but my usual parking lot motto is “Pick it. Park it. Walk it”. Pick a spot. Park the rig. And walk off some of the doughnut I inhaled on the way to work.

Monday, February 16, 2009

My love of reading and books....

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

Anyone who knows me well knows that to take away my books would be like taking away my spirit. I love to read. For as long as I can remember I have needed to read something.

As a young girl I fell in love with the Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gable's series and ever since have wanted to visit Nova Scotia. After Anne, I discovered author Lurlene McDaniel who writes about teenagers who are faced with life threatening illnesses. Through her stories I discovered there are worse things than being a somewhat awkward, kind of nerdy, healthy, teenager. I went through Francine Pascals Sweet Valley High series and wanted to be just like Elizabeth. Somewhere between high school and now, I've lost these books that I cherished so much as a teenager. I miss these books I loved as a youth in the same way I miss my old, ceramic, hand painted piggy bank given to me by one of my Grandmothers.
Thankfully the hardback copies of Anne of Green Gables were not lost with the paperback copies.

Though I will read almost anything, Romance novels have always been my favorite. After the Sweet Vally High phase, I discovered Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood, from there LaVryle Spencer, Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber and the list goes on and on.

A problem I have is that I don't borrow books from the library, as much as I buy them. A trip to the grocery store will usually involve 5 minutes of book browsing. I have at least five boxes in my basement full of books, there are books on shelves in my living room and office. Then there are the boxes in the storage unit, and the books laying around the house in random places. I currently have one on the bed next to me saying "finish writing and READ me, please"; ten in the night stand that have been read, are waiting to be read, or were started but didn't hold my interest; one on the couch that I finished earlier today: and two more on the microwave waiting to be read.

Life is meant to be lived but there is something wonderful about being to escape reality for a few hours. I recommend it to everyone.

If anyone needs suggestion for a good book, I'm fairly certain I could give you one. You can also check out the "What I am reading now" link.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Solo Movie Going on Valentine’s Day

Today I went to the movie He’s Just Not That Into You…alone. I am not the most courageous person in the world, but I think it takes a brave soul to sit in a movie theatre on Valentine’s Day, alone, watching a romantic comedy. Had I gone to see something like The Pink Panther it would not have seemed like such a brave thing.

I have been single going on 11 years now. As a single gal there have been many activities that I’ve passed on as going solo is not nearly as fun and trying to find a date these days is not as easy as one would like, but that is a topic for another day. Going to movies is one of these activities, as is eating in restaurants that don’t have Happy Meals on the menu. I do have some wonderful girlfriends but with kids, work, and life it is not always easy to get together for a girls night out. And while my son is 14 and fun to spend time with he isn’t always with me.

He’s Just Not That Into You is my third solo movie going experience. This does not make me an expert but here are some tips for anyone single, married, or otherwise who isn’t afraid of buying a ticket for one and walking alone into a theatre filled with couples.

1 – Get to the theatre early but not too early. This may seem obvious but walking in alone after the previews have started is slightly uncomfortable. If you are alone while others are still coming in, they may assume you are waiting for the rest of your party. Walking in alone after everyone else has been seated and enjoyed half their popcorn makes it pretty obvious that you ARE the party.

2 – See the matinee. There may be fewer people in the theatre but it just seems more acceptable to see a matinee alone rather than an evening showing. Don’t ask me why – it just is.

3 – Do not be a solo movie-goer on a Sunday afternoon. This may not seem important in other areas of the world outside of Utah County but you may find yourself watching the movie completely alone. Example: One Sunday afternoon while living in Orem, I decided to see the movie You’ve Got Mail. I arrived at the theatre early and so did not find it unusual that there was no one else in the theatre. Then the previews started… I had the theatre to myself for the entire movie. I have to say it felt a little strange and not in a good way.

4 – Don’t be embarrassed.

5 – Don’t be afraid to laugh or cry during the show just because there is no one in the seat next to you laughing and crying at the same time.

6 – Have a good time. Movies are a great escape and you shouldn’t feel as though you can’t escape without someone holding your hand.

That being said, there are some perks to being a solo movie-goer:

1 -You miss having the whole “what movie do you want to see?” discussion. If you are having this discussion, then seeing a movie alone is the least of your worries at this point.

2 – You can get whatever incredibly fattening, buttery, chocolaty treats you would like without worrying what your date or “no-carb” dieting friend might think. Eat up!

The downside to solo movie-going is there is no one to talk to about the highlights and lowlights of the movie afterwards. Or share those random movie lines that you and your friends find completely hilarious but said around someone else would get you the “you should be committed look.” Where Maiken would get it if I randomly asked “Did I ever tell you that I’ve been struck by lightning seven times?” from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and if I were to use a tampon as a microphone to sing ABBA songs, Andrea would understand the Mamma Mia reference, my mom or sisters might wonder how much I have had to drink.

All in all, my solo movie-going adventure today was fun. I enjoyed the movie a lot more than I thought I would (a topic for another day) and when I turned my phone back on after the show I saw that someone I kind of like sent me a Happy Valentine’s day text. It is not as romantic or "aww" inspiring as flowers or dinner, but considering we aren’t actually dating, it has me thinking that maybe this one might just be “into me”.

Hope everyone had a great day whether celebrating Valentine’s Day, Single’s Awareness Day, Hallmark Appreciation Day, Saturday the 14th, or just another Saturday.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blogging: Everyone is doing it..

Remember when your parents asked, "If so and so jumped off a bridge would you do it too?"

I remember it well and as a parent I am sure I have said it to my son at some point and will probably do so again... and again...and again. As I have been contemplating creating a blog, this is the one question that keeps popping up and apparently my answer all those years ago should have been "yes."

Here I am at 1:25 am on a Friday morning...blogging.

I wonder what I could say that is interesting enough that others will actually want to read my ramblings. Maybe I will come up with something profound, maybe review a book I just read, or simply share the events of my day. Whatever it is, I hope it has some meaning to someone even if it is just me.

So, to Jeev, Maiken, and Cynthia, you guys have talked me into it. I am blogging…after all everyone is doing it.