Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Monday, October 30, 2006

Random thoughts

I went to a corn maze and this is what I saw. Actually, it was a sorghum maze. Apparently kids take the corn cobs and throw them at each other, which makes the maze less than safe.
I've been writing a list of names for our kitten, should we ever get the kitten. I called the Camelot Pet Spa and Health Resort to find out if we could come by tomorrow and pick out a new fur baby. They told me the kittens are there, but they are suffering from a "respatory infection" commonly called a cold. They are only six weeks old, but their mommy wasn't doing a very good job of taking care of them so they are hanging out at the Spa getting healthy.
As it currently stands, we won't be able to pick up the kitten for a couple of weeks.
Here are some of the names under consideration: Lily, Winter, Clover, Mojo and Buster (if we decide to go with a male).
I prefer females, although I'm not sure why. I think it has something to do with them being good hunters.
Tomorrow is Halloween. I'm not excited but A is thrilled. I was called and asked to man one of the booths at the Primary carnival. Oh joy.
After the carnival we will have Trunk or Treat.
The kids are home today and tomorrow because of a school break. I don't know if it's harvest break or deer hunting holiday or what, but if I'm on the computer you can bet L is pacing around behind me waiting for his turn.
I guess that's enough random facts of my life for now. I'll check in later if I get good Halloween costume photos.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Friday, October 27, 2006

Message from the Universe

“Don’t think about it so much” was the enigmatic message inside my Dove “Promises” bon-bon.
It does seem like a fortuitous comment, although I’m not precisely sure what “it” might be. I do have a few ideas.
Frankly, I tend to do a lot more thinking than actual doing. I think about writing, and scrap book pages, painting walls, and scrubbing floors and even the big “it.”
One faith promoting rumor about the LDS President Spencer W. Kimball was he had on his desk a plaque inscribed with the simple words “Do It.”
I really should.
I don’t know why I am such a muller. I ponder endlessly over my need to get some exercise, make a Christmas list, put some lotion on the scaly stuff on my feet and decontaminate the bathroom.
But thinking is so much easier than doing.
The little rodent on the wheel in my head is always running in endless, pointless circles.
Maybe I should just get up and do it.
Or maybe I should throw away this wrapper and get a new one with a better message.
Oh bother, new candy same message.

The boys are making lemonade out of the tree in our back yard. True, they can no longer climb up the tree, but now they can crawl through it. A has made a game of wiggling through the limbs to get to the ice cream in the deep freezer on the other side.
L, who is no fan of heights, now gets to have a tree house without actually leaving the ground.
I’m certain they will have a jolly time tomorrow helping the men cut up and haul away the tree, too.
I have been remarkably composed about whole thing. A asked me today why I cried when the tree butchers (a.k.a. the power company) came and “trimmed” the tree last year and I’m so calm now. I can’t really explain it, except I’ve been thinking too much about other things and can’t really process the tree loss right now.
Or, it could be I am a little more sanguine about an act of nature than I am about a deliberate act on the part of man. Nature is completely random. People, on the other hand tend to really push my buttons.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It could have been worse

It could have been worse.
I woke up this morning with half a tree on the lawn in the backyard. We had a snowstorm overnight and the weight of the snow was too much for our glob willow, which has not yet lost its leaves to fall.
The tree split in half and is now spread across the yard blocking the path between our deck and shed where we keep the deep freeze ~ and the chicken I was planning to thaw for dinner.
But I suppose it could have been worse. The tree missed power lines, avoided the house and although it is resting comfortably on the shed, it looks like the building escaped anything but cosmetic damages.
We might even be able to save the tree or half of it at least.
I met my new editor yesterday.
We had a nice little chat, I sent him a story and he promptly sent it back asking me to re-work it. Unfortunately I wasn’t home; I had driven through a snow storm to cover a budget meeting at Stansbury Park.
But the second I walked in the door at 9:30 p.m. the phone was ringing, it was the office telling me the story was in my e-mail awaiting repairs. So after David went to bed I did as bid on the first story and labored over the Stansbury report.
When I went out to take photos of the tree I discovered this crop of mushrooms growing in what must have been the crack that weakened the tree to the point of breaking in half. Weird, no?
I stayed up until midnight trying to make it work, and it just wasn’t coming together so I went to bed and fretted about it all night.
I was up at six working on the story again and I am currently waiting for the editor to shoot it back to me to re-write it.
It could have been worse. I could be working for him full-time.

DH stayed home last night. He was scheduled to work at his second job but a case of tummy troubles kept him home. This worked out well for me because I didn’t have to find someone to watch A and L while I was at Stansbury in a snowstorm until after 9 p.m. covering a budget meeting.
True, DH had to battle his belly ailment, but he was able to get some school work done between trips to the bathroom.
It could have been worse.

By the way, I always thought I was unique. This proves it.

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

It looks like our family will soon have another kitten (pending approval from DH) My son's fifth grade teacher just called to tell me she has reserved a Siamese kitten for us at a shelter in a neighboring community.
My son, (she knows him as Mikel, long story) told her about Katie being killed because she also has a tipped kitty. Hers is a blue-point manix mix.
As it happens, her dog was also killed by a car this summer so she was shopping for a new puppy when she happened upon this shelter. They had a male Siamese kitten on hand, but he had already been promised to another home. But they told her they were expecting a new batch of Siamese kittens on Monday. She said her "grandson" really wanted a new kitten and reserved one for us.
I just called the shelter and sure enough, we have a kitten reserved. She reserved a male for us, but if we go in on Monday we can play with all of them and pick the one we want (assuming no one else has reserved it).
The shelter will then spay and or neuter the kitten, make sure it has it's shots, and put a computer chip in it.
I'm so excited, I want to call someone and tell them about it. But there's no one around right now.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Slaying dragons

There’s nothing much going on right now. I’m still fighting the same old battles. So I decided to post the top ten battles in my life.
1. Laundry. Will the horror of dirty clothing never end!?!
2. Paper. I have a love/hate relationship with the stuff. Junk mail, catalogues, newspapers, scrapbook paper, bills, school worksheets, candy wrappers, oh my!
3. The bulge, nuff said.
4. Money. Bleck!
5. Squabbling children. Sometimes it’s a good kind of fight, like these light saber battles. Other times it’s knock down, drag out as when someone doesn’t like the light saber battle rules.
6. Time. I just don’t seem to have the discipline to manage my time well.
7. Grocery shopping, cooking, wash dishes, repeat.
8. My brain. It keeps forgetting things I need it to remember and remembering things I wish it would forget.
9. Basic laziness. At any given time I really would much rather be in bed with a book and a box of bon-bons, thank you.
10. The house and keeping it clean. It appears to be winning.
I guess it could be worse, I could be battling for my health or the health of a family member. My next post should be my top 10 blessings. But I could never stop at 10.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The friendly goat

I've been a scrapping fool this week because I haven't had any work assignments. It's been positively heavenly to be able to spend some time at home, clean up the basement and the scrap room and play in my paper a little bit.
It's not going to last. I have two story assignments and a meeting next week. But I have learned to grab the gusto when I can get my hands on it.
This is another page my boys think is "a little girly." That was before they saw the lettering and the flower in the corner, hehehehe. But I am very impressed with myself.
The colors are a little off in this photo.
The goats live across the street from my "hillbilly sister." When we were visiting my sister's family this summer I heard the goats bleating and had to go over and visit them. I do love animals, from a safe distance, of course. They were quite friendly little creatures, although DS-L claimed they bit his fingers. Goats do that, you know, it's called nibbling and it's just their way of exploring the world around them.
BTW, Wyo Sis. I need to call you and get some details about the wedding. You little hints are just not enough information!
Where are they going to live? Are you having a reception in Wyoming? Have you met the girl yet? These are all important pieces of information to be given to the favorite aunt. I am the favorite, am I not?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Random thoughts

Darn, I wish Jeffery hadn’t won Project Runway last night. It’s true; I thought his little green and white dress with the zippers was adorable. But I do not think he is adorable, and I hate it when the world rewards bad behavior. I hate it even more when people who are blessed with talent behave badly.
My theory, anyone who makes someone’s mother cry ~ not in a good way ~ on national television, and refused to apologize for it, should not be given a hot sports car.
I love containers. As a kid I always wanted one of those roll-top desks with all the cubby holes. It just looked like such fun sorting things in all those little spaces.
I love to organize things. I don’t love keeping them organized, but I can fill many happy hours putting buttons, brads, pencils, crayons, what have you into categories and containers.
I suspect at least part of my scrapbook obsession is related to all the cool little brads, ribbons, etc. one can buy and sort into containers.

made this checkbook cover Monday. I haven’t carried my checkbook for at least six months, I use the cash card instead because it is less bulky and I can keep track of my account balance on line. But I do use the check book for paying bills, so now I have a stylin’ cover to make the dreadful job of bill paying a little less dreadful.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Christmas crackers

I just finished making this as a possible make-and-take idea for my LSS.
It is a Christmas Cracker, based on the traditional English holiday treat.
One cracker is placed at the plate of every family member, guest, what have you.
You and a partner pull them apart and if the stars are aligned they open with a "pop" spilling treats in your lap.
I have made them several times before using wrapping paper. I made them once for a woman's church party and I have made them for DH to take to school.
You fill them with appropriate treats, fortunes, gifts and toys, etc.
They would be a lot of fun for a birthday party, formal Christmas party, Thanksgiving event, or even (dare I say it) a wedding.
The unfortunate thing is I use toilet paper rolls. But they could be made with wrapping paper or paper towel rolls, if you want to be a little more ~ discrete.

The other pix.

Blogger had a little temper tantrum, so I had to add L's pix on another file

And the winners are ...

My boys had a good time last night. They both won first place in the school Reflections contest ~ a win that came with a trophy, a ticket to the IMAX show “Santa Versus the Snowman” and a $10 gift certificate to Wal-Mart.
Guess where I’m going today after school?
The boys won in the photography category. I encouraged them to enter in photography because this particular category is not flooded with entrants as is the literature and visual arts (drawing).
And, as it happens, we have a good camera in the house.
The theme for the Reflections contest was “My Favorite Place.” A-7 wanted to take a photograph of his elementary school, so one afternoon after classes we went over to the school, wandered around the building and took some shots.
I had one photograph in mind, and even encouraged him to take it ~ a shot of the school through the playground equipment. But he was set on taking a photo of the front of the building.
He took several shots. When it came time to print them out I talked to him about composition and let him decide which one of the shots he liked best.
L-12 photo was a little more creative. While we were at the school we spotted the large map of America painted on the pavement behind the school. L came up with the idea that his favorite place really is Utah, or the United States of America.
I showed him how to do a self portrait with the camera, and he took some photos of himself sitting on the map. As it happens, the one shot he liked the best also had A-7 in the background. I loved the creativity of the idea, and it seems the judges liked it too.
L-12 is in the middle school category, so when his work goes to district it will be up against 6, 7, and 8 grade students.
Winners of district go on to state, where winners of the state competition are entered in a national contest.
Both boys are tickled pink.
L has wanted to win a reflections contest since he first entered at the age of seven. This is the first time he has capture a trophy, but it is also the first time a $10 gift card was attached to the win. The child is motivated by money.
A, the lucky duck, pointed out “every time I enter a contest for the first time, I win!”

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Instantly slimming, butt lifting ....

Seems like a lot to ask from a pair of pantihose.

Monday, October 16, 2006


We were visited by the neighborhood phantom this weekend.
Our neighborhood has a fun Halloween tradition started long before we moved here. Each October the Halloween phantom haunts families with children, leaving a goody bag, basked or plate with the above ghost attached.
After getting haunted, it is your obligation to come up with two treats of you own to haunt other people in the neighborhood, and so it grows.
Once haunted, families post the ghost on their front door so they don’t get a second visit. I guess you could chose not to post and get ghosted again, but that is considered bad form.
Anyway, the phantom came and delivered a heaping bucket of salt water taffy to our house, so we went haunting last night.
It is a fun game, if you want to start the tradition in your neighborhood, feel free to capture the ghost from the top of my blog and haunt your neighbors.

I’ve been released from my job teaching Relief Society (the woman’s organization of my church congregation).
DH didn’t go to church yesterday because DS-12 was sick. Yes, DS-12 could have stayed home alone, but DH was tired, so he took the opportunity to go home and crash.
Anyway, when I came home and told him I had been released from my teaching job he said “and called too ….”
Ha, he was right. I’ve been called a secretary of the Relief Society presidency. I have my first meeting on Tuesday. It’s not official yet, as I have not been announced and set apart in church ~ this should happen next Sunday.
I’m hoping when they set me apart they bless me with some kind of organizational skills, because right now I’m floundering.

I’m also starting a challenge on my blog for my ScrappinTrend friends. The challenge is based on a personal history writing program through my church. Each week they give us a new topic. This week the topic was remembering and writing about your grandparents and great grandparents.
I’m giving you a week to think about and write on this topic.
I’ll start a thread so you all can weigh in when you have it finished.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A few frightening things

Ack! The computer CPU (?) is overheating and I’m going to have to send my baby away for repairs this weekend.
This does not bode well.
I have a story to interview/write today and a deadline for ScrappinTrends on Oct. 15, plus now I need to back up everything (photos!!!) before the computer goes to the shop, assuming it doesn’t crash before I get everything done.
If I were a different kind of person I would be in a full fledge panic. But since I have DH to do the panicking, I’m pretending all is well in computerland and writing my blog.
We went to a local amusement park yesterday. I was given the tickets through my work in July, but as we were visiting my sister on July 24 we held onto the tickets until later. This weekend was UEA (Utah Educator’s Association) which means school is out for two days. Wonder of wonder, DH had Thursday free from his moonlighting job, too, so we went to the park.
It was a mildly diverting event. It was nice and cool, and the park wasn’t crowded, so that was nice. The place was decorated in Halloween finery, which was rather fun. But I’m still not crazy about amusement parks. I ended up riding Pete’s Dragon with A. Rattlesnake Rapids was closed because of the weather, but we did take the train ride and see a few animals.
I would have been unhappy to pay for the event, but as it was free, I do believe we got our money’s worth out of it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I love you guys

Last night I interviewed this guy, a native of New Zealand (cute accent!) who now works with the Salt Lake City SWAT team.
He was very interesting.
One of the things he told me was he helped with the security for President Bush, 43, when he was recently in SLC. I asked if he met the President, and he said, no, but he was close enough to "feel the power" emanating from the man.
I've never had anyone tell me about the palatable power felt in the presence of the President. It was a great bit of information.
The interview mostly made me appreciate those people, like this police officer, America's soldiers, and the country's president, who stand between the citizens of this country and the evil trying to destroy it.
This also includes the firemen ~ even my very own nephew and nephew-in-law, who live for the fight.
I love these guys!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Itchy fingers

This package of papers and other scrapping goodies came in the mail for me on Saturday just as I was headed out the door to "Scrappily Ever After," where I was in charge of some make-and-takes for the first anniversary.
I spent all day at the store on Saturday and Boo kept me up most of the night. Sunday I went to church and came home and napped for three hours.
Today I worked on some stories for the newspaper and cleaned the kitchen. But during all of the activities the paper has been whispering to me. "Come scrap, you know you want to!"
I have taken the paper out of the bundles and fondled it several times. I'm formulating ideas. My fingers are a itching to get into the paper and start creating.
Alas, I still have three stories to research / write for the Thursday paper. Since the family is planning an outing on Thursday I need to do all the writing by Wednesday, and I still haven't been able to set up an interview for one of the stories (the other two are rather straight forward and don't really require appointments).
I'll be spending all day Tuesday and Wednesday chasing down and writing the stories instead of scrapping. Thursday will be the afore mentioned family day.
I won't be able to play in my paper until Friday, at the earliest ~ a full week from the day it came into my home.
Don't you feel bad for me?
K, I would love to have you come visit me in my basement and play with paper one weekend. I can muck out DS-As bedroom so you have a place to crash. Since your home is in the same place as the makers of Cosmo Cricket (one of the paper lines featured here) you could pick up some goodies. ;-)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

We are in love

Boo came to visit yesterday and I don’t think her feet have hit the ground for ten minutes straight since she joined us. (Except for the three hours we had her locked in the bathroom while we went to church.)
She is such a frail little thing she is rather like holding a ball of dandelion fluff. But she is a little scrapper. She has a remarkably loud voice, and knows how to use it. And very sharp claws.
DS-L wants to offer her owners (for whom we are cat sitting) $20 if they let us keep her. But I don’t see that happening, they are rather charmed by her as well.
She was rather frisky last night while I was trying to take photos on a slow shutter speed:

This is all I managed to get.

Jumping at the camera lense.

Playing with a feather.

falling down while cleaning herself.

It was better this morning with the light streaming through the windows on our sofa.

After lunch DSs settled down to play a few video games. This is where I last saw them.
It’s going to be a sad day when she goes home tomorrow.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Too many Thinks

Last night my DS-L accused me of being unorganized and forgetful. He claimed if he were not in the family, there would be no schedule of any kind.
I pointed out that were it not for me he would not get up in time to go to school, eat supper, have clean clothing (most of the time) have a set bedtime, shower schedule, etc.
But, he said, you always forget things.
Guilty. The most flagrant case of forgetting last month was spacing off a dentist appointment. I thought it was Sept. 28 and had in the back of my head that the dentist office would call me the day before to verify the time.
Alas, the appointment was Sept. 26. If they did call me, they missed me because I was off running errands, or interviewing people or who knows what.
But, Sept, 28 would not have been good for me either ~ I was busy writing two stories for the 10:30 a.m. deadline. I also forgot to deliver two dozen rolls to a funeral that day. My bad. I clearly am losing my mind.
Determined to get all my “to do” list today, I wrote everything down.
Pick up book about the Metaphor Tree (a research tool for a story I need to write by Monday at noon) from the newspaper.
Check in with LSS about make-and-take obligations tomorrow.
Shopping for: Toilet paper, butter, garbage bags, eggs, Kool-Aid (for make and takes), rubber erasers (for my stamp cutting experiments) etc.
It was pouring rain, but I managed to get everything on the list (plus some extras)
As I unloaded everything from the shopping cart to the car I realized I had forgotten to buy floor cleaner.
After driving home, I walked onto the back deck with an armload of groceries and realized I neglected to purchase clear spray lacquer for my chair painting project.
It occurs to me that I am not forgetful (although I am) as much as I am trying to do way too many things at once.
O crap, I hope I don’t have to teach in church Sunday. I better go make a phone call. But I need to pay the bills, and I need to get everything ready for the make-and-takes tomorrow, and the boys will be home and I haven’t done the breakfast dishes yet and ….

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Look who's visiting us

I'm very excited. We get to babysit "Boo" this weekend. She was adopted by a friend of mine who found her among her brothers in a box of kittens outside Wal-Mart. She is so very young, just six weeks old when she was adopted a couple of weeks ago.
DH said he wouldn't adopt kittens from Wal-Mart because you don't know anything about their history. "Boo" has proven the point.
A) at six weeks, she was much too young to be seperated from her mommy.
B) my friend has had to "finish" litter box training her. I'm a wee bit nervous about this aspect of babysitting her.
C) The original owners were feeding her cows milk, which has an unfortunate effect on a kittens digestive system.
But seriously, who could resist this face.
Her current owner says she is a little love muffin, she wants to be held all the time (my DS-L is happy to oblige) and she cries at night if she gets lonely.
The weekend will help us decide if we want to try to adopt a kitten again, or not.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I feel a new obsession stirring

Today I interviewed a woman with a most fascinating skill; she makes her own rubber stamps out of ordinary erasers. Using the tools employed by people who make wood cuts, she carves elaborate little designs and stamps them on the pages of her version of scrapbooks, art journals.
Once again I am intrigued by the many different directions people can go with paper crafts.
Her books were marvelous. She started as a book binder, and keeps her personal journal in between the covers of antique books, removing the original pages and installing her own sheets of paper in their stead.
I will admit to coveting her talent, just for a minute. But since I don’t have her talent, I certainly plan to expand upon the ideas she showed me.

LIttle pictures

Last night my DS-7 asked me about war and death, thus prompting a nice little discussion about both topics.
The death discussion centered on the loss of our kitty Katie, and her burial in the back yard. DS wanted to know what was going to happen to her body. The day before, he came downstairs after I had tucked him in bed sobbing because he missed Katie. I wonder how long he has been worrying that seed.
He is like me in that he’s a “still waters run deep,” kind of kid. He appears to be doing just fine, but things are gnawing away at him. I suppose the same could be said about war. No doubt he has seen television reports about the fighting.
He asked me how long the war was going to go on, and who was going to win. We’re not talking simple questions, here.
So I told him about death and resurrection. I reminded him that although a spirit leaves the body for a time, it will eventually be reunited and Katie will live again. I’m not really clear where pets go in the whole eternal scheme of things, but he seemed to be comforted by the thought that he will see his kitty again.
The war talk involved delving into the basic premise of good and evil and God’s plan of free agency versus slavery. He remembered similar discussions from church, and was able to contribute to the conversation in a surprisingly mature way.
I then told him the difference between killing, taking a life in order to protect yourself, your family or the innocent, versus murder, killing because of your own desires. I used the example of killing to get someone’s car; we didn’t really get into the revenge and hatred discussion.
Five minutes later he was playing upstairs, the entire conversation tucked away in his brain. But I was left to ponder the enormous responsibility I have as a parent to guide my children on the path of righteousness.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Note to self

1. Black furniture may be cool but it is a major pain to paint.
2. Paint dries slower in the rain.
3. When you child says his stomach hurts, believe him.
4. Don’t give red Kool-Aid to a sick child.
5. It is better to say it will take you 10 hours to do something and finish it in five, than to say it will take you five hours to do it and finish it in 10.
6. You can ignore things (bills, deadlines, grocery shopping, laundry) but they will not go away.
7. Stop digging up your garbage. (one of my favorite lessons from conference)
8. You are never done, (one of the truisms of conference)
9. It is better to want what you have than to have what you want.
9. You can have too much paper.