Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

At least one corner of my world is finally under control. After three days of work I have whipped my (s)crap / craft room into shape.
Notice the pink cart on the lower right hand corner under the table. It's my Christmas gift from DS-12. Right now I have some files in it, but since it is portable and on wheels, I plan to use it to take my supplies to crops or when teaching classes.
I’m digging the little storage pails on the wall. While I was excavating the mess I found a clothes pin, and on a whim hot-glued it on the wall. Before long I had a whole row of the clips stuck to the wall. (they peel right off without removing the paint, I tried it.)
Then I clipped a little metal bucket (bought on sale for no reason except it was cool) on one of the clothes pins.
Cool looking, easy accessible storage.
I ended up making a road trip to Wal-Mart (which was terribly busy, noisy and annoying) and brought home a dozen or so of the metal pails. They aren’t filled yet, but they will be in no time at all.
DH gave me a new cutting mat and craft knife, so I'm using the old mat for painting and keeping the new one exclusively for cutting.
Now I want to go in there and play with paper.
But first, I need to clean the basement family room. I hope that doesn’t take another three days, but it shouldn’t, there are not nearly as many things to file in there.
I have really enjoyed the mental break from work the last few days, and getting my craft room cleaned has helped me clear out my brain a little bit.
Unfortunately, DH hasn’t had the same break. He’s been working all but two days during his break. One of these days was Christmas. He’s working New Year’s Eve, and will be working New Year’s Day.
I have a little story to work on tomorrow, as well, but it should be fairly straightforward, so long as the police are available to talk to me.
I’ve almost caught up with the laundry, being fully aware laundry is one of those jobs that is never really finished.
I also need to work on my Relief Society secretary job; I have a lot of end of the year, start of the new year tasks to complete.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Something's gotta go

There is something deep in my little brain that wants to have the house clean for the new year. I was mentioning this to my boss when he called and said he didn’t have anything for me to do this weekend (Yahoo!)
He’s fairly widely traveled, most recently from Hawaii but I believe he lived in Singapore for some time. He told me the clean house is a deeply held tradition among the Chinese. I think I have also read of this tradition and in fact it might even be where I picked up the idea of the big pre-New Year’s purge.
My house is not going to be Chinese New Year clean. But I do plan to get the (s)crap room cleaned out so I can work in there. It’s taken a big hit over the holidays, what with my making pajamas, cards and mini-albums.
In a constant, futile, attempt to be organized I have established files for:

Scraps of paper (by color)
School and church memorabilia and photos (by family member)
Paper I will never use (by theme)
I have even gone so far as to throw out back issues of scrapbook magazines dating back to 2003.
I briefly thought about going through all of them, carefully tearing out inspirational ideas and filing them. But after about three magazines my back said “no more” and my reasoning, logical mind was laughing hysterically at the thought that I would ever remember to use such a file.
So I gathered them all up and tossed them in the dumpster.
I’m still a long way from having a usable space in the room, but by golly, now I have all my paper scraps organized by color, should I ever remember to use them.
You should hear my reasoning, logical mind. I think it’s going to wet itself from laughing.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Time for some random stuff

I’m thinking about the New Year.
It starts on a Monday, which is very promising for those of us who like to make New Year’s resolutions. A new month, a new year and a new week all at the same time, what could be better?
Well, actually achieving those resolutions, for one thing.
I went wild and crazy and bought a planner today. I also signed up for this site It offers a place to list your “life list” and sends weekly prompts. No doubt these prompts will be just something else to fill up my e-mail in box, like the Flylady newsletters I have been getting every day for the last year since I resolved to take better care of my house.
Hahahahahahahahaha *sigh*
Also, DH called the toilet paper hot line to find out how hard it would be to get an adaptor for the quadruple rolls we bought at Wal-Mart. (Harder than one would think, as it turns out) While he was on the line the automated system listed options. Apparently there is a hotline for people who have questions about their toilet paper not rolling or tearing correctly. I’m thinking if this is the greatest stress in your life, you are in one sweet place.
About those fly wheels, we found them ~ for $1 each while shopping for toilet paper and caffeinated drinks. (I’m quitting on Jan. 1, 2007, but there’s still a few days left in the year). Wyo. Bro and southern niece can expect a package full of fly wheels for your male offspring sometime this year.
If I stay true to my resolution to stop procrastinating, you should get them in January, along with your Christmas presents. If not we’ll get them to you at least by Easter.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Fun game at our house

DS-12 was given a fun new game for Christmas. It’s called “Davinci’s Challenge,” and it is right up my ally.
The game is played on a board (as seen) with several pieces of the two shapes seen. The goal is to make as many specific designs ~ earning points along the way ~ as possible. Of course, you also want to prevent your opponent from making high scoring shapes.
The basic shapes are:
Triangle = 1 point
Diamond = 1 point
Gem = 5 points
Eye = 5 points
Pyramid = 10 points
Hourglass = 10 points
Star = 10 points
Circle = 25 points
Flower = 25 points.
You have to declare the shape as you make it, because it’s quite possible you could make several designs and not know about it. You can also make several designs with one move as in making an eye and two triangles at the same time.
It’s fairly easy to learn and it can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be, depending on the player.
If you get a chance to play this game, give it a try.
You can start by looking at this game board and trying to figure out how many points each color has. I have included the answers on this score sheet. ------>
Click on score sheet to enlarge it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas wrap-up

It’s time for the long blog of our Christmas events. Starting on Christmas Eve, where we spent the early part of the evening at Flying J with Daddy while Mom interviewed passing truckers to see what their plans were for Christmas.
I had a nice chat with Darren from Texas. I think he would have kept me, but David and the boys were in the next booth eating their supper.
Afterwards, we left DH to work the rest of his shift while the boys and I settled down to an evening of the traditional Christmas Eve hot chocolate and watching “Nacho Libre” while tracking Santa on the computer.Well, okay, we usually watch “A Christmas Story,” But we wanted to do something a little different this year.
I was settling the boys into bed when DS-8 came to me and told me “my heart hurts, I think I have heart burn.”
He sent me upstairs to get him a Tums, and when I returned he was in the bathroom throwing up his hot chocolate.
Whew, at least it wasn’t something serious.
DH came home at 11 and we spent the next hour helping Santa assemble the big surprise Christmas present, a game table with 15 games including billiards, foosball, basketball, air hockey and table tennis.
It’s a small table, a little less than waist high to the boys, and it was not on their wish list, but Santa figured out it was something boys their age would enjoy while having friends over for a visit.
Somewhere between 1 a.m., when we went to bed and 6 a.m., DS-8 climbed in bed with us. Apparently he had been throwing up again, and came in to sleep with us to calm him down.
Along about 7 a.m. he started climbing out of bed and when I asked him where he was going he answered oh so casually, “I just thought I would wander around the house.”
Ha! Nice try!
We managed to hold him off until about 7:30 a.m. before we had to climb out for the paper ripping festival. And a festival it was!
I was thrilled, and maybe a little guilty, about all the nice things the boys and DH gave me. DS-8 picked out Pepto Bismo pink sheets for the bed, DS-12 selected a pink storage bin for my scrap room, DH gave me a carpet sweeper (I love it, so much easier to haul up and down stairs than the vacuum ~ and it’s great for between vacuum cleaning), and surprised me with a craft knife and some good sewing sissors.
Mom gave everyone in the family a scrap book she has been working through the summer, fall and winter. A few years ago she gave us a book with photographs of our ancestors and our family of origin, (my parents, sisters, and brother).
But this book featured photos of the grandchildren in every family but one. We are still waiting for her to finish the pages for Hillbilly sister, because she was delayed getting the photos sent out due to some health issues with her husband.
I LOVE the book. She used pages made by me, my sister-in-law and my niece as well as pages she put together. It is absolutely lovely and reminds me once again of one of the core reasons for my scrapping hobby. Photos are so wonderful. I love the way they capture a slice of history.
We bought a smoked turkey for Christmas and DH made the potatoes, beans, gravy, etc while I talked on the phone with Mom. Did I mention my DH really spoils me sometimes? Cuz he does.
He didn’t have to work on Christmas Day, so we spent most of the day wandering around sleeping on any flat surface we could find while the kids played pool and learned the ropes of their new video game
The cat also had a fabulous time. She loved the wrapping paper, the games with balls and the smoked turkey. Before warming up the turkey DH and I pulled all the meat off the bones and put it in baggies in the refrigerator so it wouldn’t take up so much room. Ginger really wanted to help us.
We threw her in the bathroom during the turkey pulling part of the day. But when we let her out she vacuumed the floor and licked the table clean of every stray scrap. Then she collapsed into a tryptophan haze.
DH and I stayed up late to watch “The DaVinci Code.” He had never read the book, so he came into the plot cold. DS-12 wanted to watch it but I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea. Halfway into the movie DH agreed it was not suitable for our children.
I’m not really sure how I feel about the movie. I really enjoyed the book, but there were a few disturbing themes in it, and it did spark quite a conversation between DH and I.
I climbed out of bed early this morning to write the truck driver story. DH went to work at noon and I went back to bed for an hour or two. I spent the rest of the day playing with the kids, something I rarely get to do anymore. I had planned to clean house, but I didn’t get a whole lot done.
Tomorrow I will probably been thrown back into the real world ~ kicking and screaming.
I am going to take down the tree ASAP because the cat keeps climbing in it. I’m itching to dig out my scrap room and start playing with paper, and the floors, laundry and bills all need attention.
Our Christmas vacation was brief, but enjoyable, and while the build up started to make me a little crazy, I’m a little sad to see it end.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Saver Christmas on the fly

My DS-12 came home from the school Christmas gift exchange with a box of microwave popcorn. He took a fly-wheel, because deep in his little heart of hearts he wanted one for himself.
Alas, he was given the popcorn.
I guess popcorn is the Lifesaver book of this generation. Surely you remember the Lifesaver book? The box came packed full of rolls of candy, I never did get one and I always wanted it. DH said he never wanted one and always ended up bringing it home.
Generations of children have been sent to the store clutching nickels, dimes, quarter, dollars ~ or most recently $5 bills ~ charged with buying a class exchange gift.
And countless children have returned either with something they desperately wanted for themselves, or a Lifesaver candy box.
Meanwhile, DS-12 continues to want a fly-wheel, even though his 12-year-old coolness hates to admit wanting it.
When we took DS-8 to Target to spend his $20 birthday money he picked out a fly-wheel. DS-12 tried to talk his younger brother into buying a different fly-wheel, (very much like the one he purchased for the gift exchange) but DS-8 held fast and bought what he wanted.
The boys have been playing with it in the hall for the last two days (bless them!)
Yesterday, DS-12 admitted he did, indeed want a fly wheel and has given Daddy his birthday Wal-mart gift card so he can buy a fly wheel. (DH is working from 2 to 10 p.m. today, and can hit Wally World after work when the crowds have subsided) Christmas may be two days away, but they want to play right now!
Meanwhile, I continue to put of the job of sewing pajamas for my boys. I made a pair for DS-12 last night, tried them on him today and decided they will be going to DS-8. Good thing I cut out the biggest pair first!
I need to finish the DS-8 pair, and cut out and sew the DS-12 pair. As well as fringe the fleece blankets I am giving to both of them. By the way, these gifts are no longer a secret.
It looks like I will not be working on Christmas day. But I will be working on Christmas Eve, which also happens to be a Sunday. I just hope I can find truck drivers willing to talk to me about their plans for Christmas.
Ready or not Christmas is just about here. If I don’t check in before the big day, have yourself a merry one.

Friday, December 22, 2006

White and green Christmas

I looked out the window and what did I see.
A snowy, foggy, wet white Christmas for me.
I might end up working on Christmas day
Writing about saps who have nowhere to stay.
Yep I’ll be at the truck stop with my honey
Talking to truckers who smell funny.
It’s not my idea of fun.
But I get to be.
Paid a very tiny green Christmas fee.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Harry Potter fans

I pulled this quote from a news article: (Sorry, I don't remember which one) with the link to J.K. Rowlings game so you can find out the title for the new Harry Potter book.
It's kind of fun, even if you have heard the title by now.

"Meanwhile, she set up a test for her Potter fans if they want to find the title for themselves.
If you go to her home page, click on the eraser and you will be taken to a room -- you'll see a window, a door and a mirror.
In the mirror, you'll see a hallway. Click on the farthest doorknob and look for the Christmas tree. Then click on the center of the door next to the mirror and a wreath appears. Then click on the top of the mirror and you'll see a garland.
Look for a cobweb next to the door. Click on it, and it will disappear. Now, look at the chimes in the window. Click on the second chime to the right, and hold it down. The chime will turn into the key, which opens the door. Click on the wrapped gift behind the door, then click on it again and figure out the title yourself by playing a game of hangman."
Or you can just take Scholastic's word for it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It's great to be eight

It's great to be eight, even if having a birthday five days before Christmas isn't all that grand.
That's right, DS-7 is now officially DS-8. We celebrated by inviting three families to join us for a night of bowling, pizza and cupcakes ~ frosted to look like one cake ~ great for easy serving at a bowling ally.
DS-8 was thrilled to have his friend K come to visit. The boys have been buddies since we moved here when DS-8 was still just DS-2. They met in the nursery at church and I worked with his mother in the Primary for three years.
K turns 8 in January, about the same time DS-8 would have had his birthday, had he not been born six weeks early. They were in the same kindergarten class together. But, their family moved to a town about an hour's drive away from here, although it is still in the same county.
My little guy still misses playing with him.
The bowling turned out to be a rather entertaining ~ if slightly unorganized event. The lack of organization comes from the folks invited to play with us, and the many different directions one is obliged to go during this time of year.
Eight is a big number in our church, because it means my son is now old enough to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We are very excited about it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Yet another Christmas project

We’ve been working on a gingerbread house. I bought the kit last week and have been promising the kids we would work on it for days.
Finally, this weekend, I put it together and let the youngsters loose with frosting and candy.
I love the comparison between the two sides of the house. My little perfectionist DS-12 did one side; my free-spirited DS-7 roofed the other side. DS-12 tried very, very hard not to “fix” DS-7s side. But it was a struggle for him.
After they had finished DS-12 was not at all happy because the confection did not meet with his expectations of perfection. So I joined them and gooped frosting about on the eves to make icicles. While symmetry is great in actual architecture, it doesn’t add much to the charm of a gingerbread house.
DH came home from shopping ~ he said he was going to pick up milk ~ with a string of tiny lights to wrap around the house. The boys were delighted! We saw the lights earlier in the week when shopping for candy, but I didn’t want to spend the money on them, although I knew they were going to tell Daddy about it and he would find a way to get the lights for the boys.
I was right. In this way DH is very much like my Daddy was. He loves to do small, funky, impractical things that he knows will thrill the children.

Since I can no longer blog without an obligatory photo of Ginger (the cat, not the bread) here is a shot of her sitting on my computer keyboard. I wasn’t paying attention to her yesterday because I was on the phone doing an interview. So she settled down on the one place she knew I would be unable to ignore her presence.

Monday, December 18, 2006

I did it

I finally finished making the mini-album for my Mom. Now I need to wrap it and get it in the mail, pray over it a little so it gets there by Christmas and in one piece. Seven days before Christmas and I'm off and running again.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Guess which one I identify with?

I just finished my mini-album.
Too tired to show it now.

So I will leave you with this jem:

Erma Bombeck's Christmas letter to Martha Stewart:

Dear Martha,
I'm writing this on the back of an old shopping list, pay no attention to the coffee and jelly stains.
I'm 20 minutes late getting my daughter up for school, packing a lunch with one hand, on the phone with the dog pound, seems old Ruff needs bailing out, again.
Burnt my arm on the curling iron when I was trying to make those cute curly fries, how DO they do that?
Still can't find the scissors to cut out some snowflakes, tried using an old disposable razor ... trashed the tablecloth.
Tried that cranberry thing, frozen cranberries mushed up after I defrosted them in the microwave.
Oh, and don't use Fruity Pebbles as a substitute in that Rice Krispie snowball recipe, unless you happen to like a disgusting shade that resembles puke!
The smoke alarm is going off, talk to ya later.

Martha Stewart's Christmas letter to Erma Bombeck:

Hi Erma,
This perfectly delightful note is being sent on paper I made myself to tell you what I have been up to.
ince it snowed last night, I got up early and made a sled with old barn wood and a glue gun. I hand painted it in gold leaf, got out my loom, and made a blanket in peaches and mauves. Then to make the sled complete, I made a white horse to pull it, from DNA that I had just sitting around in my craft room.
By then, it was time to start making the place mats and napkins for my 20 breakfast guests. I'm serving the old standard Stewart twelve-course breakfast, but I'll let you in on a little secret: I didn't have time to make the tables and chairs this morning, so I used the ones I had on hand.
Before I moved the table into the dining room, I decided to add just a touch of the holidays. So I repainted the room in pinks and stenciled gold stars on the ceiling.
Then, while the homemade bread was rising, I took antique candle molds and made the dishes (exactly the same shade of pink) to use for breakfast. These were made from Hungarian clay, which you can get at almost any Hungarian craft store.
Well, I must run. I need to finish the buttonholes on the dress I'm wearing for breakfast.
I'll get out the sled and drive this note to the post office as soon as the glue dries on the envelope I'll be making.
Hope my breakfast guests don't stay too long, I have 40,000 cranberries to string with bay leaves before my speaking engagement at noon.
It's a good thing.
Love, Martha Stewart

P.S. When I made the ribbon for this typewriter, I used 1/8-inch gold gauze. I soaked the gauze in a mixture of white grapes and blackberries, which I grew, picked, and crushed last week just for fun.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Five down

Seven more pages to go in the mini-album I am making for my mother. I read on my ninja-living niece's blog that she, too is trying to scramble together a last minute photo album. I am also helping a friend / client put together a 12 X 12 album for her mother in law.
Why are women so stupid?
Christmas is what, a week away? And we are just starting more little projects. This one has to be in the mail by Monday at the very latest, and it is going to cost me as much to send it as it would have cost me to buy Mom a pricy gift certificate.
It's 8:30 p.m. and I'm dizzy from lack of sleep.
But look how pretty the page is!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Making Progress

I can see the floor of my living room!True, it might benefit from the application of a vacuum cleaner, but at least I know the floor is there.
Instead of going to the Stansbury Park budget hearing last night, my boss told me to write the Air Force One story, which cut one project off my to-do list and gave me a little free time today.
Yippy Skippy!
I managed to deck the tree with a minimum selection of ornaments. I went with the plastic Hallmark keepsakes that are unlikely to break when batted about on the floor by Ginny.
The trick was getting her out of my hair long enough to do the decking. This kitten is only slightly less demanding than a new baby.
I literally had to wait until I got her put down for a nap, (in my computer chair) in order to dress the tree without her “assistance.” She came yawning up the stairs just in time for me to wind the ribbon. But a little application of the spray bottle kept her at bay long enough to do the job.
DH tells me “you wanted a cuddly cat.” Although truth to be told Katie and I were rubbing along quite well. She wanted to be in the same room with me, but she had no desire to sit on me. DS-12 was the one wanting a cuddlier.
But, Ginny has taken to sleeping with him at night. I do miss the foot warming, but I don’t miss being able to turn in my bed without warning claws sinking into my ankles.
Tomorrow is going to be a scrap-0-rama day. I told my friend I would be happy to help her make her album, but she would be doing the making, I would just serve as advisor and supplier of tools. I have my own scrap book project to finish. I need to get in the mail ASAP!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Time is not on my side

Time management is not really working for me right now. I firmly believe if there were three if me I still wouldn’t get the laundry done, Christmas cards sent and the children fed.
I am having some serious issues with my job. It is really getting in the way of my life. Since I do work at home I do a lot of phone calls and waiting around for phone calls to be returned. I’m not exactly sure what I should charge in the way of hours for the not-actually-working, simply waiting time.
I can’t shower, go grocery shopping, or work on any of the other projects circling overhead waiting to be cleared for landing while I am waiting for someone to call me back and tell me how many signatures are required on a petition before a movement to organize a township can be put to public hearings.
I suppose I could unload the dishwasher, fold underwear, or make the bed while I am waiting. This is where the time management issues get in the way. I have a really difficult time focusing on all the different things demanding my full attention.
I have a party or a meeting going on every night this week.

Monday ~
Transcript party, (children invited)
We ate, won door prizes, colored pictures, participated in a basketball shoot and collected bonus checks.

Tuesday ~
Elder’s Quorum Party (children not invited)
We ate, played games, passed around gifts, opened them and played family feud.

Wednesday ~
Work (children not invited)
DH works second job at truck stop, I attend Stansbury Park meeting, DS-12 attends Boy Scouts where they go to a city council meeting, DS-7 visits a friend.

Thursday ~
Ward Christmas Party (children not invited)
I’m not sure what the plans are, but I am confident they include eating and listening to some kind of program. I have no plans to attend.

Friday ~
Payback. I’ll be helping the woman who is planning to entertain DS-7 tonight put together a scrapbook for her mother-in-law.

Saturday ~
DH working, has company party (we wrapped up door prize from my company party to give as white elephant gift for his company party)

Somewhere in there I still need to decorate the tree, clean the house, finish making my gift for mom and put it all in the mail; finish making DH teacher friend gifts, address Christmas cards, sew pajamas and write a story about a local kid who is now on the Air Force One staff.
I guess I can sleep in January.

As you can see, my house is still a “Christmas Staging Area.” I hope to have the actual look and feel of Christmas by the time the big day arrives.

Note: I have been interrupted by phone calls twice while writing this blog, once by the fore mentioned Air Force One staff member, and the second from Tooele City Police Department.
During the second call I did a little howling because the cat was hanging by two claws from my chest when I tried to grab my notebook. I’ll bet stuff like this never happens to Katie Currick.

Meanwhile: I'm trying my hand at putting stuff on my cat.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I got you, Babe

Happy anniversary!
Yep, 13 years ago this handsome man made me his wife. We have had a great time together, (some times better than others, of course)
I am so happy to have you by my side the father of my children, my companion, my lover, my friend.
You have given me a good life.
So know that I love you for all you do to make my life better.
You truly are a DH.

BTW, I know 75th wedding anniversary's are Diamonds, 50th are gold and 25th are silver. Is the 13th wedding anniversary company dinner? Because that's the big plans I have for us tonight, lol!

13th Anniversary
Traditional: Lace, Lingerie, Table coverings, Hankerchiefs, Clothing
Modern: Lace, Teddy, Bras and panties, Belgian lace, Lace mantel scarf, Placemats
Alternate Modern: Faux Fur, Clothing, Teddy bears, Faux fur outerware, Faux fur lined gloves, Trip to Alaska (Ha! We can just turn off the heat and feel like we are there!)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

My artistic son

DS-12 had an assignment in school to write a poem or story about the Van Gogh painting Starry, Starry, Night. This is his drawing. Cool, no?! I have always loved the painting and it pleases me to see him exposed to the fine arts. I am really proud of the job he did on the drawing.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Thanks for the Calendar Wyo. Sis.
I found this link to go with it.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

What does not belong?

Click on photo to enlarge

A shopping story

Christmas shopping: The bad, the good and the Ugly.
The Bad:
Toys R Us. Apparently I did not give birth to a Toy’s R Us kid. A visit to a North Salt Lake Toys R Us proved to be singularly unhelpful. We arrived with a list assembled by the children. True, DS-7s list was a little difficult to read, but the one compiled by DS-12 included graphics and links. (Note to self if the kid includes links, you might be best served staying home and ordering on-line)
We showed one of the pictures to several Toys R Us employees who gave us blank stares, vague and inaccurate directions and / or snotty attitudes. Everything was either pink and purple or primary colors. This Toys R Us might have served us very well if DS-12 was in fact a DD, or if DS-7 was 3. But there was very little in the place suitable for our youngsters.
Commuter, holiday, accident on the freeway traffic. It took us 10 minutes to go one mile. But after we passed the accident things eased up considerably. I am so happy I don’t live in the city or valley proper and I traffic is not a regular part of my life.

The Good:
After our unsuccessful foray into Toy’s R Us, walking into Borders book store was rather like stepping from a cold shower into a pre-warmed bath towel. I picked up something I wanted before we had walked three steps into the store. As a funny side-note, the Borders sales clerk recognized the toy I had shown to several Toys R Us employees. He didn't have it, but at least he he knew what we were talking about.
Target was equally pleasing. We happened on one section of the toy department (I can’t go into too much detail, because DS-12 reads the blog) that was perfect for our children. Not to pink, not to young, just right.
Looking for a price on another item, DH and I wandered aimlessly around for a while until he discovered the red phone and scanner attached to a wall. He picked up the phone and a computerized voice told him if he wanted help he should press the No. 1. Sure enough within seconds a red-shirted employee showed up and not only gave us a price but helped use with other aspects of the purchase. (again, I’m being deliberately vague here for the sake of little pictures.)
Café Rio. Possibly the best Tex Mex food on the planet. Usually when we go to Café Rio we can expect to stand in line for a good 45 minutes before we get the food. But last night we lucked out, there were only a handful of people in front of us. I ordered way too much food because Café Rio is such a luxury in my life. But DH took the leftovers to school with him today for his lunch.

The Ugly:
Downtown Salt Lake City Malls. The downtown area is about to be renovated, and while one of the malls was limping along with a degree of holiday cheer; another right across the street was a ghost town. Almost every store was closed and the building was a little bit spooky.
But the best thing about the entire experience was I spent time alone with my DH and I managed to get most of my Christmas shopping done.

I’m sending out a big (((hug))) for my “Pudding for Brains” friend who watched DSs while we were gone on our shopping safari. You have no idea how much I needed the break. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It's all in the perspective

The Lego advent Calendar came to our house yesterday. Sure, it’s a few days late, but the kiddos love it.
We immediately had to dig out last year’s Lego people, as well as DS-12 train and directions to make tiny houses and put them under the tree. The tree itself is still bald. (I take that back, we have three ornaments left over from yesterday’s gift wrapping party hanging on it). But now we have a thriving village under it.
There seems to be an inordinately large population of police men, firemen, construction workers, astronauts and even a basketball player or two in this town, where nary a woman dwells.
I asked my sons who was going to pick up the dirty underwear and buy groceries in this town. They pointed to a grey haired ceramic figure left over from my old, more traditional village, as the resident female. Poor woman, I do feel for her.
The village also has a problem with a terrorizing force we have come to call Hurricane Cat-rina. At one point we had the village set up on a side table in the living room, but Cat-rina jumped on the table, sliding across it, scattering villagers everywhere.
The boys and I had a great time playing with the Legos, until my old body started to ache from sitting on the floor bent over tiny blocks. But still, you gotta love Legos. I’ve always been a fan, even when I was a little girl at a time when little girls were not supposed to play with building blocks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Trim this

In my early days of family tradition creating I vowed not to put up the tree until after Dec. 8 so as to make my birthday separate from the Christmas. That was before DS-7 was born on Dec. 20. I don’t think even I with my grand procrastinating skills could manage to resist the tree urge until after Dec. 20.
So last night DH and the boys opened the box containing the tree. Mind you, the box has been in the living room for at least a week. But with sinus infections, sore throats and the like we have just stumbled past the box on the way to the sofa.
But unable to put it off any longer, we put together the tree last night. It’s pre-lit, which makes life a whole lot easier, but as I am currently entertaining the tummy troubles associated with ingestion of antibiotics I didn’t trim it. Rather I took photos of the young en’s as they pawed through the boxes of ornaments.
Sometime before Dec. 20 I do hope to have the whole thing assembled, festive and sparkling.
I’m not exactly sure what has happened to me this year, I have been jolly about the idea of Christmas. But the reality of executing the event has completely eluded me. Perhaps it’s because I’m currently working frantically to earn enough money to put a gift or two under the tree.
DH and I plan to go shopping tomorrow. He’s not working at his second job Wednesday p.m. and he only has a half-day at school. But in order for that to happen I have to research and write two more stories before tomorrow at noon. I also need to make a list, (and check it twice!) I’d get on it right away, if I didn’t have to go wrap presents for the Relief Society party to be held Thursday night.
I feel like I am being pecked to death by a flock of Christmas geese.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Ice Ice baby

It’s cold here.
Somewhere between 19 and 20 degrees F. as I drove to Wal-Mart at 8:30 a.m. after dropping my kiddos off at school.
But my trusty 21 year old car went ahead and started, even if my trusty more than 21 year old body did not start up so easily.
I took advantage of the first free day in over a week to do a little Christmas shopping. I had my cell phone turned on and with me, but in my heart of hearts I hoped the paper wouldn’t call and I could take care of a few chores.
Things went pretty well, although I did have to do a little chasing around to find what I wanted.
In keeping with the family tradition I planned to buy pajamas for my sons to open on Christmas Eve. I also planned to pick up some blue fleece that DS-12 wanted for a TV blanket. Of course Wal-Mart was out of blue fleece and the pajamas were all in sports and Superman motifs, something I have been specifically told not to buy for DS-12.
I though briefly about calling Hillbilly sister and asking her to make P.J.s for me until it occurred to me that I too know how to operate a sewing machine.
I spent the next 15 minutes trying to remember the sizing on patterns, finally caving and asking a blue-coated associate what I needed. Alas, all the flannel at Wally World was either (to quote my DS-12) too “girly,” “babyish” or just plain wrong.
Feeling courageous, however, I ventured into the quilting store. I knew they had a huge selection of flannel because I had been there with Hillybilly sister, and she loved the place. (She makes sleepwear for each of her five children, and her daughter-in-law every year for Christmas).
Sure enough, there was a wide selection, and blue fleece for blanket making! I thought I was in tall cotton until they rang up the purchase, *gulp* $40 plus. Still, I figured I would pay something like $18 each for off-the-rack jams and these would have that home made touch.
I had just settled into the house and spread out the pattern to make sure it would work when the phone rang.
DS-12 was on the other end, suffering from an unpleasant tummy ailment and requesting to come home.
I told him I had purchased “something for Christmas” and asked if he wanted to see it. His answer *moan* “I don’t care.” I explained it was his Christmas Eve gift, and he said sure, he knew what to expect and he wouldn’t mind getting a sneak peek.
So I cut out his jams while he tried to keep Ginger out of the pattern pieces (I forgot how much fun it is to cut out patterns with the help of a frisky kitten!)
He’s thrilled with the blanket material, okay with the flannel and he was fascinated by the cutting process.
It’s currently 1:30 p.m. and I still haven’t had lunch. I didn’t buy pajamas, and I picked up another pre-Christmas project. But at least I’m making headway on the whole holiday business.