Saturday, December 31, 2011

Have I Mentioned....

How awesome my son is?  I know I have but it bears repeating. 

I have been struggling with a cold or flu bug all week.  I am feeling better today but yesterday was the worst.  No matter what I did, I ached.  I did too much in the morning and by the time we got home, I had nothing left.   While I was blissfully, droolingly, comatose on the sofa my son scrubbed the bathrooms, cleaned the kitchen, and disinfected all the doorknobs and surfaces.  True I asked him to do it and I paid him BUT he would have done it without the moolah so I thought I would show him my appreciation.

Tonight he is at a New Year's Eve party.  This is our recent text convo:

Mom: Having fun?
Son: Lots of fun
Mom: Any alcohol or drugs? :) Just doing like the commercial says. LOL *
Son: There is none of that but good parenting.! :)
Mom: Thanks.  Text me when you are on your way home. **
Son: K.
Mom: Love you!
Son: Love you, too!

* There is a commercial about how texting your child at parties or while out with friends can help reduce the use of drugs and alcohol.

** Not encouraging texting and driving.   He is not driving tonight and he knows use of his cell phone while driving will get both his license and phone taken away.

I am ready to go to bed but I know I won't be able to sleep until he gets home. Especially with all the crazies out there on the roads.

To another subject - Mcat will love this one - my BIL sent me this link today.   Once again I am impressed and thankful for our military.  No matter where they need to go, what they need to do, or whether the folks at home agree with the politics or not, tour men and women in uniform do what is  asked.  They and their families sacrifice so much for all of us and our country.  No matter your politics these sacrifices should be respected.  No-Laughing-at-the-Tomb-of-the-Unknown-Soldier.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Rest and Reading

My son and I went to the library on Wednesday night where I checked out a bunch of Jude Deveraux books.  I am so glad we went because I have come down with some horrible cold that has been running rampant throughout the family.  The books have helped me to just sit and relax.

The Jude Deveraux books are part of her Edilean series.  They are a fun read.  The first book takes place in present day and the second takes place in 1766 and 1770. I am on the third which takes place in present day.  It is the kind of series that if you pick up the 3rd book you won't be lost because you didn't read the first two.  I like those.  That way I don't have to remember who said or did what in the first book in order to understand the last.  Make sense or is the cold causing me to ramble?

This morning before the DayQuil could wear off, my son and I ran around doing what I told him all week we would do:  Hobby Lobby for him and the mall for me to use a gift card.  It was quick and painless.  And because he can drive, I was able to sleep on the way home since the DayQuil wore off.

Right now I am waiting for him to come home with some movies we rented online from the Redbox.  I would like to finish my book but I think the cold is doing something to my ability to comprehend anything from one moment to the next. 

If I could knock myself out for the next few days I totally would.

I hope everyone has a safe New Year's Eve tomorrow.  I will be spending it curled up on the couch with some tissues and a book.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

All wrapped up...

The Christmas decorations are put away.  The only sign left out that it was here is the bowl of chocolate in the middle of the table. 

It is the first year that my decorations have come down before New Year's Day.  This is a sign of how truly humbug and depressed I have been this holiday season.  I tried.  I really did.  But no matter how much false cheer I tried to spread about, I could not and have not been able to shake the holiday blahs.

I could blame it on the lack of snow.   We have had only a few days with some flurries but nothing that has stuck around for long.  It was 45 degrees this afternoon.  I don't do well when the season doesn't do what it is supposed to do.  Yes, I could blame it on the weather but it is much deeper than the non-existent white stuff.  It is a culmination of a year that has been too long and emotional.

A year from now, I hope to have a happier account of the Christmas Season.  I hope the feelings of inadequacy and loneliness have made their way into the past.  I hope I have enough Christmas cheer to keep the decorations up until the New Year.  I hope there will be snow.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Music of Christmas

Tonight I have been searching for some of my favorite Christmas songs on YouTube.  Part of my Christmas playlist is below.  I couldn't figure out how to link you to my actual playlist on YouTube but you can find all of them there.  

I hope you and your family have a safe and happy Christmas.

Christmas in Killarney - Anne Murray
It's Christmas Time - Rory and Joey (Just discovered this one the other day on CMT.)
Just A Kid - Kenny Chesney
Hard Candy Christmas - Dolly Parton (Not really a Christmas song but it's a good one.)
Thank God for Kids - Alabama (Also not really a Christmas song)
Where Are You Christmas - Faith Hill
Rusty Chevrolet - Do Yoopers (Reminds me of my good 'ole Blazer.)
Let It Be Christmas - Alan Jackson
Christmas Cookies - George Strait
Box of Rocks - The Song Trust (This one is a new holiday favorite. Watch the video below.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another year older...

Yesterday was my 37th birthday.  I woke up expecting to have a bad day. I was in a poor, pitiful, lonely me mood.  My son didn't wish me a Happy Birthday as he left the house and I thought that must be an omen for the day.  After getting out of the shower, I found a couple test messages from my sisters wishing me a Happy Birthday.  Then Austin sent me a text from his friends "Happy Birthday Austin's Mommy!"   My mood improved a little.  On the drive to get my morning Coke, I saw a few snow flakes.  The mood brightened a little more.  A friend called and I was able to vent a few of my holiday/birthday frustrations and felt better.  It started snowing!  I felt a lot better.  The snow did it.  I was in a much better mood.  I love snow on my birthday!  The day ended on a positive note.  My parents stopped by, a couple of friends came over, and we had a delicious birthday cake courtesy of Austin. 

Now I am thinking about what I want to accomplish in the next year.  Do I tackle a "38 by 38" list or a more realistic "40 by 40" and give myself 3 years to accomplish the "to dos"?  Or do I forget a list and resolve to live the best life I can in the next year?   I'm not sure. 

All I really know is that I want to wake up expecting the best out of the day rather than the worst.  Maybe that is the lesson I need to take away from the last year and whether or not I make a  list, make "Expect the best" the number one to-do.

Monday, December 19, 2011


A thought entered my head that I should try for 200 blog posts by 2012. Almost as quickly, it flew out again.  I'm not sure I have enough fodder in my wee brain to go from 183 to 200 in just a week and a half.

The fodder really is there but by the time I get around to writing it, the interest level for me has waned.  If I am not interested than the few faithful blog friends I do have definetly won't be interested.  But for the sake of being at least a little interesting, here is an example of the kinds of thoughts that rattle around in my brain. 

I could live in a nudist colony if it weren't for all of the other people.  So it would really only be a colony of one.  Think of the benefits.  Very little laundry.  Clothing costs would be greatly reduced.  I would probably keep myself in better shape since I would ALWAYS be looking at what is normally hidden.  But darn the down side of it all- which is why I would be a colony of one - I don't want to see other people naked.  I REALLY don't want to see other people naked.  I REALLY DON'T want to see other people naked.  Think of the activity list - naked croquet, let it all hang out barbeques, in the buff bingo, and instead of strip poker it would be dress poker.  You lose and you have to PUT ON and item of clothing. 

So maybe I couldn't live in a nudist colony but it sounds good on the days when the clothes are too tight and it sounds like a great idea when I am stripping off a layer because my personal thermostat doesn't have a "cool off" button.  And it sounds like one hell of an idea when I am procrastinating laundry day. 

* IF you are reading this an live in a nudist colony.  Please excuse my ignorance as the ramblings of small town, sheltered, Utah girl.... ;)

Thursday, December 15, 2011


To put it mildly, some people are complete jackwagons! My former church, my sister's church, and the church where my friend's funeral was held a few years ago was vandalized early this morning.  Idiots broke in and set fire to several different areas of the building.  A fundraiser was to be held there tonight for a family of a cancer patient.  The man, who lives by my sister, was diagnosed a few months ago with pancreatic cancer.  The fundraiser still went on as planned, just moved to another church.  Fundraiser aside, I do not understand why people do this sort of thing.  Whether it be a church, a business, or a home. It makes no sense to me.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mid-Week Ramblings

This picture represents my eating habits the last few days.  I just graze and graze and graze.  Perhaps this should be posted on the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets.  However, if looking in the mirror isn't enough of a deterrent I doubt a cow on the fridge will.  Come to think of it the message it sends would be more, "I need steak!" and less "Close the damn door, fatty."

My friend who had the CAT scan a few weeks ago has Colitis - or an inflamed colon.  Through the power of the Internet we discovered some great tips for what to eat and not to eat which means a low fiber - low residue diet.  So far he is feeling a little better but sadly can't eat most of the foods he enjoys.

I ran out of reading material and turned to the Bible for my before bed reading.  I had a marker in the middle of Matthew in the New Testament and went from there.  It has been interesting and I must say I tend to sleep better.  Either the words put me to sleep or God loves me and blesses me with a good night sleep for reading about Jesus.  Believe it or not that was actually funny in my head.

I really need to get out of the house more often.  I can count on one hand how many times I haven' t pulled my hair in a ponytail this month or put on more than a little mascara in the morning.  Sweats and workout pants are almost all I wear these days.  Maybe I should start working in the office again for a few days a week.

To end on a more positive note, a couple of the women in the Biggest Loser finale last night  weighed only 5 or 10 pounds less than I do now and they look fabulous.  It gives me hope that even in I can't lose all of the weight I want, if I continue to TRY, if I continue to work-out, and stop grazing then maybe I can look fabulous too.  Losing the sweat pants would help.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Music Mash Up

To share the holiday spirit I was going to give you a list of my favorite Christmas songs with maybe a clip or two from YouTube but I became distracted when I decided to look up this clip instead.  My son told me about this a few weeks ago, then on Sunday on the way home from a family Christmas party, I tuned to a station I don't normally listen to and heard it for the first time.  I love the way the two songs combine to make something beautiful.  I hope it brings a smile to your face and a spring to your step.  Enjoy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Spirit = Found

On Friday night my friend, John and I went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City to see the Christmas lights. It was one of my more enjoyable visits.  Neither of us was in a hurry. We visited all of the buildings that were open to the public.  We read about the temple.  We read the plaques on statues. We spent a moment taking in the Christus statue.  We stood in the cold and listened to the Nativity story.  We talked about our religious views.  We talked about nothing.  It was fun.  It was relaxing.  It helped me find the Christmas spirit.  The only thing missing was snow.

I can't take credit for the pictures.  I found them on Google. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grandpa's Clam Chowder

To say the men in my family like to cook is an understatement. My Dad’s Dad loved cooking so much he wrote a cooking column in the early 70’s. My dad is addicted to the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. My youngest brother and my older brother both enjoy spending a little time in the kitchen. To clarify, my older brother enjoys grilling, breakfast, breakfast on the grill, and home-brewing beer, when he isn’t off gallivanting working - in mostly unfavorable parts of the world. My son loves to cook and even does the dishes. And to be fair, my sister is an amazing cook – when she has time.

I've been craving clam chowder and asked my dad to dig out his recipe for me. He made a photocopy of the recipe, wrote “Grandpa’s Clam Chowder “ across the top, and then gave me step by step instructions for making this really simple dish. He even recommended I come over for cooking lessons. I am pretty competent in the kitchen, but as my Dad thinks his Mabel is a bit ditzy he feels obligated to educate her at every opportunity.

This evening I finally got around to making “Grandpa’s Chowder” after calling Dad to make sure I was reading the recipe right. The photocopy was faint and hard to read. Again the offer of a cooking lesson came up. And again he was giving me step by step instructions which he followed up with, “Don’t do it like Dad says in his column. He never made it that way.” To back track a bit, my aunt gave me a copy of all of my Grandpa’s cooking columns when I was married.  I read the column and they are different but get you to the same place.

Today was the perfect day for a good chowder or soup: a little snow falling, the windows steaming up from the chowder simmering on the stove, and homemade bread stolen from Grumpy’s Restaurant (Dad’s house) yesterday. I modified the amount of potatoes and clams to my own taste and the final result was wonderful.
Dad's Bread

Grandpa’s Clam Chowder – aka: New England Clam Chowder

¼ lb salt pork, cut into ¼ in dice or 4 to 5 slices of bacon; chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 cups cold water
4 cups potatoes cut into ¼ inch dice
2- 8oz cans chopped (or minced) clams (about 2 cups)
2 cups half and half or light cream
1/8 tsp thyme
Fresh ground black pepper
2 tbls soft butter

On high heat, fry the diced pork in 2 quart sauce pan; stirring constantly for about 3 minutes until a thin film of fat covers the pan. Reduce heat. Stir in onion, cook together for five minutes longer. When the pork and onions turn a light golden brown, add 3 cups of water and diced potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer with pan half covered for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Add clams and their juices, the cream, and thyme. Heat almost to boiling – do not boil. Season with salt and pepper or Old Bay Seasoning. Stir in butter and sprinkle with paprika when serving.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside

I just went out to check on the dog (who has finally decided being in his doghouse when it is wet out is not cruel and unusual punishment) and unplug the Christmas lights.  To my delight there is a bit of snow making its way down and a couple of wet inches on the ground. 

Maybe it has something to do with having a December birthday or maybe I am just crazy as most people would suggest but I really do love snow.  I love how the world looks under a soft blanket of white.  I love how the Christmas lights seem to shine brighter when it is snowy.  I love making snow angels and playing in the snow.  I love coming back inside to hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, and a good book.  I also love that the winter wonderland only last a few months and then we are on to something new.

By the time I forget how much I love the snow, it is time for spring and my favorite flowers.  In the meantime, I will do a little jig of delight when the snow falls, feel a little let down when the weather warms up in a few days and it is gone, then dance with delight again when the big snow storms hit and the white stays around for awhile. 

As for the dog, I feel a little bad about him being out in the cold (his blanket is in the dryer getting all warm and toasty - I know it won't last long) but at least he has finally learned that his doghouse with the nice little carpeted mat and sides is shelter not punishment.