Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Yes, yes, science fair. The time when your kitchen becomes the site of many a great experiment. I was blessed with two very scientific young minds in the form of children. DS-11 has been fascinated with the natural world almost from the moment of birth. He and his daddy watched televised documentaries on volcanoes together before he was able to form complete sentences.
The boy is now proud to be a science nerd, complete with glasses. The other day he spent six hours watching “Myth Busters” and pouted all through dinner when we dragged him away during the seventh hour to go to an ice cream parlor / eatery.
My younger son is a chemist. He loves to mix things together and make things explode.
So last night we spent a good part of the evening purchasing equipment and setting up experiments.
DS-7 is doing the classic dying flowers with colored water experiment. Since he has a set of beakers and test tubes, we put the flowers in his chemistry set to make it more official.
DS-11 is expanding upon his first grade experiment with ice and rocks. The first grade experiment garnered a visit to the district science fair. Basically, we took a piece of sandstone, put it in water, then froze and baked it continually to see if the ice would break the rock.
Our conclusion of this first experiment is sandstone erodes instead of breaking. This time we have three different kinds of rocks, sandstone, volcanic and igneous, to see how each kind of rock will react to the freezing, heating process.
I have agreed to sacrifice my vegetable steamer in the name of science. It’s okay, we received a new one for Christmas a few years ago.
While the science fair is a pain, I love to see my elementary school teacher husband and my children interact as they decide on the projects and work on them together. My job is to do the documentation, as in photographs and typing their findings.
Monday, January 30, 2006
This is one of the things I love about DH. He may not *get it* about my scrapbook obsession in that he doesn’t have any interest in paper and embellishments. But he does *get it* in that he has an eye for beautiful moments and photography.
Today I need to tidy my house. I half-way expect one or more of the Ya-Ya scrappers to drop by and play in my paper with me today. But the table is covered with paper scraps from my last project, and DH pointed out the kitchen floor could use a good sweeping and moping. Darn it all, I hate it when life gets in the way of my good time.
Last week I was thinking about my computer program and the swell way it has of underlining my mistakes as I type them. Spelling errors are underlined in a zigzag red line and grammar errors get the green line. (I had two underlines in the last sentence!)
It also follows behind me automatically fixing the misspellings of words like received. The red zigzag line does annoy me, but it is so nice to have the errors pointed out by an anonymous computer versus a living, breathing editor. My writing has vastly improved since the purchase of this word processing program.
But I don’t think the program goes far enough. Wouldn’t it be great if the words coming out of your mouth were underlined with red zigzag if they were pronounced incorrectly? To take things further, maybe a nice green underline would be useful if your words were going to offend the hearer. Then you could suck them back in, reassess them, and improve upon the thought before casting it out into the air.
Or, maybe someone could design a program to prevent us from turning the wrong way in our daily lives. Every time I picked up a chocolate cookie instead of oatmeal for breakfast, the red line would start flashing. Or every time I decided to wear pajamas all day instead of taking a shower and dressing like a civilized human being, another line would appear.
Alas, life doesn’t work like that. Even worse, I know the red line is there under the chocolate cookie, but I ignore it and not only eat the cookie, but wash it down with a can of wild cherry Pepsi.
Because, when it comes right down to it, no matter how many warnings you get, the bottom line is you make you own decisions.
Take the red skies this morning. According to the age old rhyme, we should be taking warning. But there’s a big difference between knowing what’s right, and doing what’s right.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Yesterday was quite a lovely day with each event bringing more fun into my life. As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, I spent Friday night and into Saturday morning laughing with the Ya-Ya’s. I didn’t get to bed until 2 a.m.
I had to kick Logan off the computer at 9 a.m. to see if the results were in on the Scrappin Trends design team. I was so excited to find out I won!
David was in need of some new slacks for school and we had received a flyer from a place that sells big and tall clothing in the big city advertising a sale, so we dressed and went shopping.
The shop has clothes for men and women, and while David, who is 6 foot 4 inches, was browsing, I wandered over to the woman’s racks, where I found clothes were on sale for 75 percent off.
I never buy clothes for myself. I would much rather spend my money on pretty paper, ink and camera equipment. But my Sunday go to meeting wardrobe is really, really shabby. In the words of my friend Sandra, I was starting to look like “a bag lady.”
So I found a likely skirt and blouse and headed for a dressing room. Once David and the sales lady had me cornered in the room, they kept flinging selections over the door for me to try on.
When the lint cleared I walked out of the store with five shirts, two skirts, a nice pair of slacks and a pair of Capri shorts ~ all purchased for about $100. I think I doubled the size of my wardrobe.
After we came home David took all the tax receipts to file our taxes. We have both been nervous about this because we didn’t know what my income would do to our taxes. But since I work from home we were able to deduct the cost of the computer, the space I use as an office, and even part of our power, water and gas bill. My free-lance job qualifies me as the owner/operator of a private business.
We did end up having to pay some money to cover my SSI, but we still ended up with a sizable tax return.
I have a new blog challenge for those of you willing to take it on. To get more details, check my blog from last Sunday.
The topic for today is:
Describe a Childhood Birthday
I was born in December. Consequently, my birthday was often something of an afterthought. But I somehow never felt particularly slighted on my birthday ~ except the year I turned 17 and my mother forgot it was my birthday ~ but that is a story for another time.
It is kind of hard for me to pinpoint one specific birthday. I remember Mom making really fun cakes. She had a book in her recipe drawer with ideas for making cut out cakes from rounds or square cakes. I remember an elephant and a rabbit, but I don’t know if she ever made a cake using directions from this book.
We usually didn’t have friend birthday parties. But my 8th birthday was special. It was the year I was going to be baptized. I remember thinking I was so cool because I was turning 8 on Dec. 8. Since then I’ve always though of 8 as my “lucky” number.
Anyway, on this birthday I did have a friend’s party. I don’t remember the entire guest list, but I do remember I invited my best friend, Amy Ravenholt, and a boy from my neighborhood and church, Dean Robinson.
Amy and I both had intense little girl crushes on Dean. He was blond, blue eyed, and the son of the local banker. This made him a Very Important Person in our tiny community.
Dean had three older brothers the same ages as my three older sisters. He also had one little sister the same age as my little brother. It was something of a joke in our congregation that the Sorenson’s couldn’t have boys and the Robinson’s couldn’t have girls.
Our two families were friendly, but not close. I always had the sense that they either were better than our family or that they though they were better than our family.
But I screwed my courage to the sticking point and invited Dean to my birthday party. I remember we played the 8-year-old version of spin the bottle, all very innocent. But when the bottle pointed to me Amy thoroughly humiliated me by telling Dean “oh, you better watch out!”
I had my revenge when I was invited to Dean’s birthday party one week later, and Amy was not. His birthday is Dec. 16. I knew even then he had just invited me to be polite because he had been invited to my party a week earlier.
That was almost 40 years ago, and I still remember Dean’s birthday is Dec. 16 every year when I see the date on the calendar.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
I applied for the DG job at the first of January based on a tip by a friend on the message boards, Debbie, who also happens to be on the design team. I am so excited. Stay tuned for more information.
In other news; my Ya-Ya Sisters will be stringing me up by my bra straps for posting this photo, but last night I had the best time with the group at a pajama party.
The theme of the party was “P” We all wore pajamas and brought food that stated with the letter P. Treats included Pasta salad, Pepperoni Pizza, Potato skins, Peanut M&M’s Pringles, Pretzels and a Pretty Chocolate Fountain. We drank Pepsi, dr Pepper and Pina Coladas, (the virgin kind) We laughed until we almost "P"ed our pants.
Guess which of the treats I brought.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Or HOF (Hall of Fame) THE competition of all competitions where any scrap booker worth his or her salt designs a dozen of their best pages ever in hopes of winning $500, a boatload of scrap goodies and the envy of their peers.
I won’t be doing either one of these events, and I’m not sad, I made my choices and I’m living with them.
But the CHA talk, and the HOF talk, and my super-secret involvement in another project to be unveiled at CHA has me feeling a little saturated by the whole “serious business” of scrap booking.
Yes, I am as serious as the next person about getting published. It’s a worthy goal, and one I intend to pursue to the best of my ability. I know all about professionalism, putting the right foot forward, etc, etc, blah, blah yawn.
The funny thing is, CHA is taking place in Las Vegas. Last time I looked Vegas was not the serious business capital of the world. You can tell me you are planning to meet and greet, pass out business cards and make a good impression. But I’m not fooled, there’s a part of you, deep in your soul that’s screaming “party on!”
I recognize it, because I have a little “party on!” voice screaming in my head, too.
The problem is, I don’t do as good a job of suppressing it as most people.
It’s the “party on!” part of my personality that causes me to wear fuchsia ballet slipper style sneakers to “serious” service agency meetings.
My “party on!” alter ego thinks popcorn and soda pop is a perfectly acceptable breakfast food. After all, in colonial times they served popcorn in bowls and covered them in milk, it was one of the first breakfast cereals (right after oatmeal, which is not a “party on!” food.)
Then there’s the bills.
Why should I spend money on electricity and telephone services when I would much rather buy paper?
That puts me back in the scrap room, where I have to get serious with my genuinely good time of playing in paper to try to make my party central into a paying gig so I can cover the cost of paper, ribbon adhesive and the like.
That’s right. It all comes down to a harsh reality. If you want to play, you have to pay.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Adam: “You had this toy when you were little, didn’t you.”
Adam: “You are very, very old, so this toy is a classic, right?”
Me: (trying not to laugh) “I guess you could say that.”
So there you have it, from the mouth of my seven year son, I am a classic.
Last night as I was cleaning out my crock pot (again) I was thinking about how cooking has changed since I was a child. Since I am a classic, we didn’t have crock pots, microwave ovens, or even a dish washer in our home when I was a child.
Mom cooked each and every meal, and we never ate at restaurants or fast food joints. First the restaurant choices were limited in our tiny town and there were no fast food chains to be seen. Second, my father was a rancher with five children. If we wanted a hamburger we had plenty of meat in the freezer, thank you. No point in spending money on it.
My mother studied art and home ec. in college, and after her children were in school she taught these subjects at our local high school. There was nothing of a domestic nature she couldn’t do. But she was not a spectacular cook. She was competent, her food was always nutritious and filling, you never left her table hungry. But it was simple, home cooking.
As a home ec. teacher, she was introduced to the microwave oven at a product demonstration. She was not impressed. The food cooked to fast, it was too hot, and it frightened her. She swore she would never have one of those “things” in her kitchen because she just knew they were dangerous. (Yes, she now has one, and uses it daily)
She wasn’t interested in a dish washer, either. She claimed she had five of them (her children). When we watched “Let’s Make a Deal” with the neighbors, we all cheered if someone won a dish washer, and dreamed about one day going on the show and getting one ourselves.
We didn’t have a television, either. Mind you, I’m not so much of a classic that television hadn’t been invented yet, we just didn’t have one because we couldn’t afford it.
I remember watching the moon landing at the neighbors’ house.
Shortly thereafter we did get a black and white set. We were thrilled, even though the reception in our town was bad and we could only get two channels. I remember being annoyed during the Nixon trials because the daily televised show pre-empted my programs.
I don’t think about it often, but when I do I am staggered by how much life has changed since I was a child. My children can’t imagine a world without VCR’s – which have now been replaced by the much more attractive DVD’s.
According to my offspring, we are backward because we only have one Play Station 2 and we don’t even have an X-Box. Further proof or our primitive living is the lack of Tvios, iPods and the like.
Apparently we live like savages.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
I wish I were asleep right now.
I’ve been doing very well on my New Year’s resolution to keep up with the housework, stay on top of my newspaper job, my scrapbook work, my cooking for the family, etc
I’m failing rather spectacularly on the laundry; bill paying and cleaning the bathroom, (my least favorite chores in the world) but hey, the month of January isn’t even over yet. I’m not going to beat myself up over a little pile of unwashed socks. (That laughing sound you hear is my DH who knows what my laundry room looks like.)
I have thrown my hat into the ring for a design team, completed and entered the BH sketch for July, convinced my LSS to display one of my layouts, and actually sketched a page design I love.
This morning I made sure the babies were bathed, fed, dressed and sent to school. I wrote and submitted a newspaper story. I started another load of laundry. I have dinner planned (crock pot garlic chicken).
But I am very tired and I want a nap.
So now I am on the horns of a dilemma. Should I just push through it, sleep walk through the day and do the best I can.
Or throw in the (damp and dirty) towel, climb back in my warm bed with a few scrapbook magazines and try to dream up some new ideas?
I’ll let you know my decision after I wake up.
edited and updated later today with the newest news.
A Happy Mail Day
My red boxes are here. This makes me inordinately happy and gives me a much-needed shot in the arm to get back to the work of cleaning, scrapping, organizing, etc.
I owe this cheerful dozen of red boxes to a very thoughtful woman, Tania, on the Two Peas in a Bucket scrapbook message board. Several weeks ago she showed her scrap room on the web site. I noticed her red boxes and commented on how much I like them. Shortly thereafter she emailed me and offered to get the boxes for me at her cost. The boxes were $1 each, wholesale, and I was to pay for shipping and handling.
Long story short, after exchanging money and addresses, I found this box of boxes on my doorstep today. Thanks Tania for all you work on my behalf. I have met the nicest people on line; I can’t believe my good fortune.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Today in Relief Society (the LDS church’s woman’s organization) we were handed a folder with a sheet of paper inside. This year we are going to work on writing a personal history. Each week the leaders will give us a new topic. Since I missed last week, I was given two topics in my binder.
So I am going to use the topic as the jumping off point for my blog each Sunday. Since I suspect the topics will be a little personal, I am not going to include the entire writing in my blog. But I will include some thoughts.
You mission, should you choose to accept it, it to write with me on the topics.
Again, I don’t need to see your entire entry in your blog, but I would love to see a few lines to get the gist of your personal history writing.
I have two topics today, since I missed last week. So you can choose which of them you wish to use. The topics are:
What is the most trying experience that ever happened to you?
Tell about the places you’ve worked.
I am going to write about the first one, the lose of my baby, Duncan at 18 weeks. But it is going to take me some time to formulate my thoughts and go where I need to go mentally to write it.
Good luck, everyone.
The story of Duncan
Okay, this is very long and very sad. I understand if you don't want to read it all. Believe it or not, this is the edited version.
After all the excitement we went home, I laid down on my bed for a nap and David went in to put Logan to bed. I got up to go to the bathroom then it happened. I heard a pop, and then felt the wetness, followed immediately by a sense of panic.
No, it didn’t happen. My water did not just break.
There was no blood. So everything was okay, wasn’t it?
Yes, my water did break. I had started the morning laughing with the doctor who was pleased because I had managed to get my blood pressure down. That afternoon I was on a gurney at the local ER waiting for a specialist to come and see what was going on. I was 15 weeks into my pregnancy.
My next doctor’s appointment was a nightmare. The waiting area was stacked to the rafters with cranky pregnant ladies. I was past cranky, I was terrified. I knew one of the couples in the waiting room from my church. They were due to deliver about a month before my due date. They were there to have an ultrasound and determine the gender of their baby.
We joked about baby names and had a great chat while I tried to keep my fear at bay. Eventually my husband threw a fit that I, who had been told to lie down, had been sitting in the doctor’s waiting room for over an hour.
They ushered us into an examining room where I reclined and studied the drawings of the fetuses in various stages of development. As I laid there I felt it, the tiny fluttering of movement poetically known as quickening. My baby was still alive and kicking. It is rather unusual to feel the quickening at 15 weeks, but I think the loss of amniotic fluid made it easier for me to feel the tiny little body flipping in my womb.
When the nurse came and took us into another room she told me a woman had been having a miscarriage, and she was so weak from loss of blood she could not get off the examining table.
So I sat on the table and noticed in the corner next to the trash can a clot of blood on the carpet. I knew, as I studied the stain, that I would be next.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I stayed in bed through that month of October. I watched the leaves turn golden outside my window. The course for the St. George marathon passed a block away from our home. I can remember the window to my room was open and I could hear the crowds cheering as each runner came down the hill, past the park. They were almost at the home stretch.
We went in for an ultra sound and I thought I saw something indicating my baby was a boy. I had wanted a girl, but, hummm, that sure looked male to me. But the ultrasound tech wouldn’t tell us anything, which is never a good sign.
I think it was the next day that I was in the waiting room again. I had been throwing up, and I was quickly losing hope that my baby would survive the ordeal with any kind of good health.
The nurses had decorated the waiting room for Halloween. I tried not to look at the grinning paper cut-out of a life-sized skeleton. It looked a little too much like my ultrasound pictures.
That afternoon I started having contractions. I dressed and knelt down to talk to Logan. I remember telling him that I was sick and I thought the baby was very sick. I told him I didn’t think the baby was gong to survive, but I thought I would be okay.
We went into the hospital and sure enough, I was in labor.
I don’t know how long it was before my baby was born. He was alive, he was a boy, He looked just like his brother, Logan.
David and I sobbed as the doctor came in and cut the chord, handed me my son, Duncan, then I handed him over to David who held him as he died.
I was given some heavy-duty medication. I don’t remember the pain. David was not so lucky.
We called the mortuary, owned by a life-long friend of David’s family, and made arrangements for a graveside service.
The nurses took Duncan away, cleaned him up, dressed him in a tiny donated gown, and had photographs taken.
I took the bow off the back of my wedding gown and picked out the stitches. It was a big bow, big enough to serve as an elaborate beaded blanket for my tiny little son.
Then I wrote a poem:
Born too soon,
My little one,
And too soon from me taken.
But you will always be my son,
My God has not forsaken.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
My DS-11, the one who is too cool to have photos taken, begged me to take some shots of him, his brother and the neighbor child playing on their sledding hill.
This is, after all, the whole point of snow when you are a child. You don’t worry about driving on slushy roads, paying the power bill or mopping up puddles. Snow means a new toy.
When I see my boys climbing up and sliding down the same small hill all day long it brings back memories of my own childhood doing the same thing. I don’t recall if it was just one year, or if it was something that happened every year, but I do remember building snow caves in the piles of packed snow outside our driveway, too.
The inside of these caves were somewhat mysterious, a shadowy light filtered through the snow to make them a strange blue white color.
I suppose this was a somewhat dangerous practice. We could have been caught in a tunnel collapses, frozen our fingers, been hit with a flying shovel. But we didn’t care, we were kids, we were bullet proof, we were having fun.
My children have school, and soccer, and Scouts. Yet I wonder if a moment they will remember with the greatest fondness was the day they built a hill by the driveway in the front yard and used shovels as sleds
This is why I like snow, in spite of the cold, and the puddles and the high electric bills. I like snow because of memories of hot chocolate after a cold day digging caves and riding down hills on bits of cardboard.
I think this is why my children will love snow, too.
Friday, January 20, 2006
But I think all doubts have been removed today.
At least this time I was dressed.
I took a shower, put on jeans and a t-shirt and combed my hair.
Then I opened the curtains on a dazzling world. The 18 inches of snowfall yesterday, compounded by a thaw, then a freeze, and morning sun, had resulted in sparkling icicles dripping from the trees.
I had to shoot them. So out I went, just in my back yard, mind you. But I noticed the ice rimming the neighbor’s trees was catching the light just so. Careful not to fall on the snow packed road, I made my way across the street.
Hum, it doesn’t look so good here. I’m going to have to get into the snow to get the right angle. Just as I was contemplating the best shot, a woman drove by smiling and shaking her head.
Apparently I forgot to change out of my pink fuzzy slippers before running outside in the below freezing weather. I should have noticed the icicles forming in my still wet hair.
Worst of all, I didn’t get the shot.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
I believe I’ll be staying home today holed up in my scrap room playing with paper. Sure, now and then I might have to get up to fold laundry, or throw a new batch in the dryer. But my plans to go out today have been sidelined by several inches of snow. I was going to buy bread, some more embroidery floss so I can complete a scrapbook page in progress, and maybe even go out for lunch.
Instead, I will throw some flour, water, and a few other ingredients in the bread machine, get creative with my scrapbook page, and open a can of soup. Maybe I’ll even whip up some hot chocolate. Yummmmm.
Tonight, if I’m not mistaken, is another new season of “Survivor.” I love the new season when I get to size everyone up and make snap decisions about who I think will win.
I’m never right, of course. But my pick always ends up in the final seven, at least. Usually those skinny girls slip under my radar. Of course, they slip under everyone else’s radar, too. That’s why they win.
I would be perfectly happy, were it not for the fact that DH is driving into the big city today for a workshop. Once he gets home to a batch of fresh bread and something warm out of the crock pot, life will be very, very, good.
I just hope the power doesn't go out!
I am editing this post to include this story my niece put in her blog about my nephew ( her brother) who Paul was mentioned in a local news story about a volunteer group he is involved in. I just wanted to share the article.
Shoveling into hearts
By Denise Albiston
Group removes snow for those who can’t
For more than two years, Kevin Isakson has been the organizer of the volunteer group called Helping Hands, but he is better known around the valley as the snow-shoveling guy.
“We just want him to know how much we appreciate him,” said Kim Jolley, a Logan resident who uses a wheelchair. “If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have our snow shoveled.”
Kim and her husband Wayne said this is the third winter Isakson and his Helping Hands crew has relieved some of their winter burden. She said there just aren’t enough good things to say about the group other than: “It’s genuine kindness.”
This act of kindness all started a few years ago while Isakson was working at a local retail store. He was asked by a wheelchair-bound neighbor if he could stop by and shovel off her walkway. He eagerly agreed to help the woman out, and since he walked past her house daily, he just continued to shovel her walk the remainder of the winter.
“It got me to thinking that there must be a lot more people who need help,” Isakson said.
So for the past few years, the Utah State University student has formed a volunteer group that removes snow from homes of those who are unable to do so themselves. He said whether they are elderly, disabled or both, the cost is free and comes with a smile.
“We are freezing outside,” Isakson said, “but our hearts are warm inside.”
This year Helping Hands has about 14 volunteers and about 30 clients. He said for now, the volunteer group limits itself to homes in Logan, but he hopes the idea will spread into nearby communities, eventually becoming valley wide.
Paul Bowling, one of Helping Hands’ most dedicated volunteers, has spent more time shoveling snow than any other group member. Isakson said he is a lasting member of the group, always willing to help.
“I love it,” Bowling said. “It gives us an opportunity to help those who need help and get some exercise at the same time.”
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Long story short, Sandra and I have supported each other through the struggles of being single, and the struggles of married life. We cried on each other’s shoulders as we lost dreams to miscarriages. We rejoiced together as each child was born into our families.
I’m sure we would have been friends without the common link of “The Princess Bride.” But somehow, seeing that book on her shelf gave me a peek into her personality long before we bonded as friends.
I was thinking about the movie this morning as I was talking to my children. Several of the phrases from “The Princess Bride” have become part of our family lexicon. “As you wish,” being one of them.
In the book and the movie, “As you wish,” was code for “I love you.”
We also love “Have fun storming the castle.”
Our family is big on irony and anachronisms. A rancher’s job is never done. The chores include fencing, ditch irritating, branding, and haying. But whenever my brother and our hired hand left for work in the morning, the hired hand’s wife always sent them off with a cheerful “have fun storming the castle.”
You never know what will spark a friendship between two people. You never know what you will discover you have in common, and how much you have to learn from differences, springing from a simple, common bond.
Star Trek The Next Generation brought my husband and I together. I remember the first day of the singles ward established in southern Utah. (A ward is a church congregation in the LDS church, normally they are based on geographic boundaries, but in some cases they are based on other factors, such as single adults, Spanish speaking congregations, etc.)
I think there was something like 80 people in the first meeting of the singles ward. We met in the historic St. George Tabernacle, a pioneer building of elaborate construction and uncomfortable benches. The most striking feature of this building is the large painted all Seeing Eye on the wall directly behind the pulpit.
During this first informal meeting, we were all asked to introduce ourselves. I had just discovered TNG and mentioned this in my introduction. At this point the stranger sitting next to me jumped. When she stood she introduced herself and said she also liked watching TNG.
From here a geek squad was formed of people who watched TNG together. Sandra, the stranger sitting next to me, was among the group.
A few months into the project after I had developed strong friendships with Sandra, Sue, Kathy, Rita and Woody, our church leader set Sandra up on a blind date with David. The relationship between Sandra and David didn’t take. But she invited him to join our TNG watching parties.
Then everyone began to pair off.
Woody and Rita married.
So did Sue and Jeff.
Then I married David.
And Sandra married Ray.
Just think, if I hadn’t mentioned Star Trek at that first meeting, or if I hadn’t decided Sandra and I would be friends because I spotted “The Princess Bride” on her bookshelf, David and I might not have found each other.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
9 a.m. photo from my front step.
Ack! I’ve been tagged again.
So once again I have a blog proving how very ordinary my life is.
I’ve been working on a layout that uses all the skills I developed when I was in high school. Isn’t it interesting how your childhood influences everything else in your life, good and bad?
Anyway, I’m very excited about this LO, although it is taking me hours, and hours to complete.
My other project for this weekend, besides trying to keep the boys from murdering each other during a four day break, was photographing the elements. Yesterday I took a series of photos by standing on my front steps. It gives proof to the saying “If you don’t like the weather, wait an hour or two and it will change.”
The top photo was taken at 9 a.m., the second was taken at 3:30 p.m. the same day.
The infamous tag
Follow very closely...The rules for this particular tagging are as follows:
Remove the blog name in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add yourself to the bottom slot.
Then you get to select five people to pass the love on to:
1. Sophia C.
2. Niece Karen
3. May (Chocolaholic Pea)
Now, on to the questions!
What were you doing 10 years ago?
January 1996. Living in St. George. DH was a college student and I had a 1 year old baby. I believe in January I was working part time for a paper supply company.
What were you doing one year ago?
January 2005: Applying for a job with the local newspaper. Scrapping with all my Ya-Ya Scrapper friends.
Five snacks you enjoy: ( in no particular order, as all snacks are created equal... )
2. Swedish Fish
3. Lays potato chips
Five songs, to which you KNOW all the lyrics:
I have a horrible memory so most of the songs I know have been pounded into me from years of working in the Primary (children’s program for LDS church)
1. “I am a Child of God”
2. “As I Have Loved You”
3. “The Wise Man Built his House Upon a Rock”
I also have amind full of of theme songs from children’s cartoon. The one I will remember on my death bed is … Are you ready? “Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
4. “Sponge Bob Square Pants” theme song
And finally, anything by Dire Straits. For the record I’ll list
5. That Ain’t working, Dire Straits
Five things you would do, if you were a millionaire:
1. Set up a missionary / college fund for family members.
2. By vacation houses in St. George, Utah and Afton, Wyo.
3. Get myself a big ol’ comfortable vehicle, or two. Currently we have two, the one without leg room, and the one that came fresh off the lot in 1995.
4. Give ‘big time’ to Charity
5. Shop anywhere but the big, blue W.
Five bad habits:
3. Planting my behind in front of the computer too much
4. Eating constantly
5. Spending too much time in my head
Five things you like doing:
2. Making people laugh
4. Taking photographs
5. Snuggling with my family
Five things you would never wear, buy, or get new again:
1. Leg warmers
2. Hair scrunchies
3. Bubblegum pink lipstick
4. Blue frosted eyeshadow
5. Self tanning lotion
Five favorite toys:
1. My Digital Camera
2. My computer.
3. My scrap corner.
4. My PSE
5. My scanner
Monday, January 16, 2006
I have been "Tagged" by a fellow blogger to complete this list. Alas, the only thing I discovered about myself is I am remarkably dull. Good thing I have a rich fantasy life.
Four jobs you've had in your life:
Clerk at a convince store, Clerk at Deseret Book, an LDS bookstore, Editor of a weekly newspaper; writer/reporter/editor at a daily newspaper in southern Utah.
Four movies you would watch over and over:
“Enchanted April,” “A Walk in the Clouds,” “The Gods Must be Crazy,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”
Four places you have lived:
A ranch in Idaho, a small town in Wyoming, a small town in southern Utah, a small town in Northern Utah.
Four TV shows you love to watch:
“LOST,” “Survivor,” “Desperate Housewives,” reruns of “Cheers.”
Four places you have been on vacation:
Yellowstone National Park, San Diego California, Zion National Park, Las Vegas, Nevada
Four websites I visit daily:
Two Peas in a Bucket, Scrappin Trends, Pink Martini Design (another scrap book forum) And all my blog friends (does that count?)
Four of my favourite foods:
Shrimp Scampi, Café Rio smothered Burritos, anything chocolate ~ right now I’m obsessed with the mega M&Ms, really good bread and butter.
Four places I would rather be right now:
On a scraping cruise with an enormous supply of goodies and all my cyber scrapping friends.
In a clean house.
In my LSS with $500 and no questions asked.
Four bloggers I am tagging:
My niece, Karen (time to get this game somewhere else) Scrappin Barb, and both Melissa’s that were involved in the November Photo of the Day Challenge at Two Peas I’d tag Cindy Lee, too, but I think she’s pulled her blog. :-(
In other news
I was named "blogger of the week" on my Two Peas in a Bucket message board. This is so much fun. I hope I can live up to the hype!
My brother just emailed me his four job list.
" Cowboy, delivery man, fireplace designer, gunmaker,"
So now you know a little more about my family.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
I’m happy. I finally figured out how to layer photos in PSE. I don’t know that I am doing it the correct or easy way, but I am very proud of myself for making this frame around the photo of my great niece and great nephews.
How shocking, I am a great aunt. But the funny part is my DS-7 is younger than my 8-year-old great nephew.
Large families produce these convoluted relationships.
It’s been really windy today. DSs want me to go and get some movies to watch over the weekend, but I don’t really want to venture out in the wind.
Then again, I haven’t been to my local scrapbook store for more than two weeks…..
But I have resolved to limit my scrapbook spending in 2006.
However, I have made six pages for a client, which means I have $$$ to spend.
But I don’t actually *have* the money, as she hasn’t picked up the pages yet.
Oh, sorry, was that out loud.
Friday, January 13, 2006
True, I had to go to an interview, but I took my camera with me ~ and on the way home I stopped and snapped a few photographs.
I was in this cheerful relaxed mood when I applied the breaks as a cat darted across the road.
“Watch out,” I said to myself.
Then I noticed the cat was black.
“A black cat crossed my path,” I though. Some people would consider that unlucky.
Then I remembered today was Friday the 13th and started laughing. It’s a good thing I am not superstitious.
While today has not been at all unlucky, it has been odd.
School is out today and Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. I knew this was going to happen, because DH had plans to visit his family for his father’s 80th birthday party.
But, all week I’ve been thinking of Friday as if it were a regular school day. When someone called to arrange for the 9 a.m. Friday interview I hesitated, because Friday is my “day off.” Usually I spend about an hour volunteering in the school, but the rest of Friday is my day to relax.
Then ladies from the church called and wanted to set up an appointment for me Friday morning too.
I figured the day was a wash. I’d go to my 9 a.m. interview, meet with the church ladies at 10 a.m. and go to the school at 11 a.m. At least I’d have the afternoon to myself.
I have done my interview and my church lady visit, sent DH to visit his family, taken the boys to get (long overdue) haircuts, struggled to communicate with the teenaged employees at Quiznos, (do teenagers have to pass a mumbling test to be hired at fast food places?) and finished off my shopping expedition at the big blue W. *shudder*
But now we are all safely home, trimmed, fed and playing with “Floam.” Don’t ask me, the boys wanted it and I figured it was going to be a l-o-o-n-g weekend without some form of entertainment.
It is now 2:30 p.m. and I am just now getting to sit down and do my usual morning routine.
Maybe tomorrow I can have a day off.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
1. My dry wit. I love to make people laugh.
2. My ability to put emotions on a page when I write. I love it when people tell me a newspaper story they read “made me cry.”
3. My open heart. Some may say I am overly sensitive, but things touch me deeply.
4. My loyalty and dedication. Once you have won my friendship, you have it forever unless you betray me.
5. My doggedness. I am usually not flashy or dramatic, but once I decide I want something I will hang in there, quietly working, until I get what I want.
6. My ability to listen, really listen, with my whole heart.
7. My own company. I am perfectly happy to entertain myself, and while I like to be around people, I don’t mind being alone.
8. My relaxed attitude. I have several people say that although my home is not showplace clean, they always feel “at home,” in my home.
9. My vocabulary. I know a strange thing to like. But I love words, and I love being able to find the right word for the right moment.
10. My creativity.
Sophia was right; making this list is harder than it looks.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
My mother is the original thrifty seamstress. As kids, we joked she could cut an entire three piece suit out of a fat quarter. The woman knew how to stretch her resources.
One of her penny-wise practices was saving buttons. She had several Mason jars filled to the brim with buttons, all sorted by color.
I remember many happy hours dumping the buttons on the living room carpet and sorting through them to find the diamonds in among the stones. I can still picture some of the buttons, elaborate knot like forms, simple two and four holed varieties, some were shaped like flowers, and others looked like door knobs.
These practical little fasteners are tiny samples of design, an example of how form follows function, and function turns to decoration and fashion.
When I spotted the bucket of buttons at the quilt shop, I immediately plunged both hands into the mass, feeling the smooth plastic run between my fingers, listening to the gentle swish as buttons rubbed together.
It took some self control, but I didn’t sit on the floor and dump out the bucket in search for the diamonds among the stones. Still, I did find a few little prizes, and I know I will be back.
Monday, January 09, 2006
I have lots of thoughts whirling around in my head today. I’ve been thinking about contrasts, and change and I have some scrapbook mojo going with ideas that I think will be spectacular.
On contrast: The best shower I ever had was taken after a three day river trip on the San Juan. Southern Utah is hot. The San Juan is cool, but dirty, and the whole event took place in the desert.
I remember on the bus ride home thinking longingly of a warm shower. The second I walked in the door of my apartment, I peeled off my clothes and let that hot, clean water blast me. I think I stood in the shower until the water turned cold. It was marvelous.
The best meal I have had in recent memory was a garlic steak and shrimp meal at Applebee’s after having tummy trouble for days and being on a bland diet. When my stomach returned to normal, the rest of the family was out of commission, so we ate soup and Jell-O for days. I can’t imagine anything tasting better than that meal did.
Mothers can appreciate the joy of holding a newborn after struggling physically and emotionally to get the child on the earth.
Farmers relish sitting down in a cool room with an iced drink after a long day bailing hay and fighting flys in the hot sun.
Children rejoice in the thrill of opening Christmas gifts after what seems like an eternity of hoping and wishing, and wondering what is under the tree.
Today, my basement is clean. It feels so wonderful to walk down the stairs without seeing plastic lizards, unwashed socks and scraps of paper scattered everywhere. It’s as refreshing as taking a shower after three days riding a raft in the Southern Utah desert.
On the Mojo
Sometime last night or this morning I came up with two wonderful ideas for pages. I’m frankly surprised I didn’t get out of bed and start working on the ideas immediately. Well, I would be surprised, if I didn’t know how much I love my bed.
When I wrote a weekly column for a small-town newspaper, people would ask me “where do you get your ideas.” I never had an answer. But I’m sure we have all had those “Ah Ha!” moments after ruminating on a problem for moments, hours or days.
I know the thought process leading to my current idea. It has its roots back to a project I made in high school. Who knew idle puttering from some 20 years ago would make it’s mark on a scrapbook page today.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
While I’m wandering down towering aisles of 20 pound cans of olives and gallon sized jars of pretzels, I wonder what people in France or Russia would think of these shopping centers.
Not only do we fill our carts with a month’s worth of groceries in one swell foop, we have people offering snacks of thawed cream puffs, shrimp, chicken and rice casseroles and energy drinks as we wander the looming heaps of bath towels and cheesecakes larger than the tires of your average SUV.
The plan was to buy new printer cartridges for our computer, which we did. We also purchased enough meat to fill the crock-pot through most of 2006, six (6!) packages of soup mix to flavor all the meat and a package of toilet paper so big we had a hard time getting it in the trunk of the car.
Now I won’t have to leave the house for another week, easy.
But then again, I do have to go to work to pay for the mega-pack of frozen pizzas, tanker full of laundry detergent and bucket of mayonnaise.
I love America!
For love of fowl things
I think it started with rubber ducks. These cheerful, bright, and whimsical toys make me smile every time I see them.
From rubber ducks I developed a fondness for all things feathered. Shortly after our first son was born, we bought a bird feeder and hung it outside his bedroom window. We amused ourselves and him watching sparrows fight over sunflower seeds and mullet. A few years into the bird feeding, we noticed a sparrow hawk periodically visiting our feeder, waiting for dinner to arrive.
I suppose we should have been alarmed to see this bird preying on our little feathered friends. But he had as much a right to eat as the sparrows. Besides, he was such a handsome fellow, with a noble bearing and hooked beak. He was small, but mighty, and we welcomed his occasional visits. The sparrows, understandably, were less thrilled.
I don’t know if it was before or after the arrival of the sparrow hawk, but at one point we added hummingbird feeders to our growing array of bird feeders. Hummingbirds amused the heck out of us. They are so small and feisty. Whenever DH went out to refill the feeder you could see the little hummers, hovering and peering into the window waiting for their fresh food.
Since moving north, we have found a whole new flock of fun in the California Gulls making their homes on the Great Salt Lake. I suppose it is ecologically unacceptable, but when we go to a fast food place near the lake, my children love to save their French fries to feed the gulls.
On one occasion we walked out of the business and spotted one gull, so we threw out a fry. Suddenly the sky grew dark as the gull let out a (mine) caw and hundreds of gulls descended from the heavens. I swear, it was like a scene from “The Birds.”
The Great Salt Lake is a wonderful place to watch birds. In the summer the water provides nesting grounds for geese, pelicans, gulls, a stray flamingo, “Pink Floyd” that escaped from the local aviary and has made his summer home on the water. Yes, we even have a few ducks.
So now my scrapbook room is supervised by a turkey and two chickens, my user name is SageHen and my pajamas are decorated with Tweety Bird.
Don’t try this at Home
It’s January 8th and I am one week into my new and improved, time management, flylady, supermom self.
But I have run into a few snags.
Take this morning. DH has pink-eye which is apparently linked to a sinus infection.
DS-11 is complaining of a sore throat.
DS-7 can’t find his white shirt for church, or his black pants. We know where his shoes are because we keep stepping over them in the middle of our bedroom floor.
I am giving up going to church today.
This is not part of my supermom plan, I should be able to go to church, shepherding my shiny, well-mannered, well pressed children in front of me while hanging lovingly on DH arm. But it ain’t happening today. Part of good time, resource management is knowing your limitations.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
But the good news is I managed to make some impressive changes in my scrap room. I inherited a large paper cabinet from a friend, who bought it at a yard sale. I think it was originally in a school or office.
I was thrilled to have it, but there were a few problems that made it inconvenient. For one thing, it was designed for 81/2 X 11 inch paper, and I buy paper in 12 X 12 sheets. Shortly after the cabinet took up residence in my house, I filled up all the slots with magazines, paper and scraps given to me by a friend who works in a printer supply company. The problem is, I have long outgrown this paper because I don’t like the colors and it is not acid free.
Second, several of the shelves had shaken loose, and in order to replace them I needed to take the back off the unit.
I could have passed the cabinet on to my school teacher husband, but the cat used it as a perch and a gateway to the basement window, her favorite way to get in and out of the house.
Yesterday, I decided things had to change. I had nothing to lose because the cabinet was essentially useless in its current state. Besides, I wouldn’t be out any money if I destroyed it. The loss of the cat perch would make her unhappy, but oh well!
After hours of sorting and tossing paper, prying out nails with a screwdriver, and using vice grips to get some of the shelves out of the cabinet, I was done.
I chortled to myself with glee as I hammered the nails back into the cabinet, telling my DS-11, who was hanging around helping me “your mommy is amazing.”
You can see the final results in this photo.
Now, I need to figure out a way to change the color of the photo boxes. I tried covering one last night with paper (it is a scrap room, after all!) But I had to piece the paper to get enough of it to cover one box.
I’m now considering buying a large selection of paper, using wrapping paper, spray painting them all a uniform color or (gasp!) trying my hand with Contact Paper.
Suggestions would be welcome.
Friday, January 06, 2006
I have gone outside to pick up the mail, take out the trash and drag the Christmas tree and all the trimmings out to the shed. But otherwise I’ve been completely housebound ~ and completely content.
My 32-year-old, single, librarian niece wrote in her blog about spending the first 48 hours of 2006 without speaking a word to anyone. She posted a self portrait of herself, taken during her period of silence. She looks so sad and so lonely.
When I was 32, single, and working as a journalist I had the same kind of experiences. My days off were spent in total isolation. The only people I talked to were store clerks and pizza delivery men.
It’s amazing how much my life has changed, yet remained consistent.
While I have settled comfortably in my little corner of the world, I have also been occupied, entertained, and productive.
I have talked to my family, my sons’ friends, my own friends, my boss and strangers I was interviewing for my job.
From my computer I have earned money by writing and filing two news stories and applied for another job, a scrapbook design team. While online I have discussed business, kept in touch with family members and researched a theater production from the 1930s.
With the convenience of a crock pot, refrigerator, dish washer and clothes washer I have cooked, and cleaned and done laundry. I have spent seven hours with a client, put together four scrapbook layouts and studied the work of other scrapbook artists.
I’m not bragging. I’m just saying it’s fascinating how much can be done from my little spot with the aid of modern technology.
I’m going to leave my house today. I have an obligation at my children’s school. But truthfully, I don’t really want to go. I love being in my home.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
It has layers.
Not tasty layers of cream and chocolate and cake, no, I have nasty layers of dirty socks, newspapers and toys.
Last night DH found his keys.
They had been missing since Friday. They were under the chair he sits in to watch television. He thought they were probably in the chair. Over the past few days he has moved the chair, dug around in the cushions, and vigorously shaken the chair to no avail. But last night as we were getting ready for bed he glanced over and saw the keys sitting under the chair as pretty as you please.
This morning I found my hand-held Tetris game.
The game has been missing since before Christmas. It was in my bedroom under a pile of bed linens. I was digging through the blankets, sheets, etc., in search for my Flylady book. I still haven’t found the Flylady book, so at this point I’m flying blind.
I did manage to get the Christmas tree and all the ornaments into a box yesterday.
I have included photos of my “helper” Katie cat, who thought the ornaments rolling around the floor were great fun. Also fun was grabbing my hand to kick, bite and scratch the tar out of it when I reached for the ornaments.
When I smacked her head to stop the mayhem, she retreated to a corner, glaring at me through silted eyes.
Speaking of ornaments, am I the only one who has a bazillion little boxes with plastic liners ~ one for each ornament? I spent countless hours finding the right box and fitting the ornaments back into the box to keep the plastic propellers, or delicate wires from being damaged in storage.
I am left to ponder if this is a monumental waste of time, or a clever management of my financial resources.
After sorting and boxing everything all morning, a scrapper friend / client came over in the afternoon. We spent four hours picking out paper to match her photos.
When she left I had 15 pages to be scrapped sitting on my table, along with piles and piles of paper.
While she was here my boss called with two assignments due today and tomorrow.
Now I remember why I have such difficulty with time management. I can’t call all my time my own; a goodly portion belongs to my boss, my family, and my friends.
Today’s goals are simple:
Keep the sink clean.
Unload the dishwasher (done!)
Get showered and dressed.
Do my two stories.
If I have any time left I’ll work on scrapbooks, floor sweeping / mopping and laundry. I should be able to put in a few loads between interviews, but the pile of clean, waiting to be folded laundry is mounting. *sigh*
“Just keep swimming.”
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Yesterday the Flylady goal was to get showered and dressed down to the tie up shoes (*snort*). I did shower, I did get dressed, but tie-up shoes, not a chance! I am in love with my whimsical, pink fuzzy slippers. I still managed to get quite a bit done.
Yesterday’s list of accomplishments includes:
Shining up that kitchen sink ~ it’s still clean.
Cleaning the bathroom sink ~ boy, oh boy, was that a necessary task.
Putting dinner in the crock pot ~ I used lemon lime soda instead of wine in the stroganoff, odd, but still tasty.
Making a yummy jello salad ~ this is a holiday tradition that I didn’t manage to make for Christmas or New Year’s Day thanks to my flu bug. Turns out I’m the only one who likes this salad. Note to self, don’t make it again.
Washing two loads of laundry ~ to be folded and put away later.
Scrapping one 5X7 page for my Christmas Album, I still have two more to go.
Taking most of the ornaments off the Christmas tree ~ but the tree is still standing in the corner of the living room.
Goals for today:
Shower and dress.
Keep that sink shiny.
Finish putting away the Christmas tree.
Sweep the kitchen ~ mop if I can fit in the time.
Entertain my YaYa Scrapper sister, who pays me to do pages for her ~ this goes toward my managing finances and talents goals.
Do the evening routine of cleaning hot spots and getting to bed at a decent hour.
I’m feeling good, but I am concerned that I will get board and run out of steam somewhere in the middle of January. Please help me by keeping those positive comments headed my way!
Monday, January 02, 2006
On the first day of Flylady, I was assigned the task of cleaning the sink. So I did it! My kitchen sink is clean, empty of dishes, even shining.
Flylady calls this the first “baby step” in the quest to conquer ~ once and for all ~ the overwhelming tasks of overcoming CHAOS (can’t have anyone over syndrome.)
As proof of my accomplishment I am posting the remarkably boring, but to me astonishing sight of my clean sink.
I’m not sure what the “baby step” is from Flylady today, but for me the goal is to get the Christmas tree out of the living room.
I anticipate it will take me several days, even weeks, to get my house backing order after Christmas and several weeks of being so sick and weak I could barely function.
But at least I have a plan.