Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Eve of all Eves

I don't know how your Christmas Eve went, but mine was exhausting.

It's no surprise.
I did what I do every year. Which is to say, everything.
Except shave my legs. Merry Christmas Hubby!)

Christmas downsizing is not my specialty.

I'm not complaining though (well, maybe I am a little). I
love Christmas. Really, I do. And part of my problem is at the same time I don't downsize - I don't want to downsize.

I'm considering starting a clinic, you know, like Betty Ford did, except this one would be for excessive Christmastime addictions. We would have individual class, therapy-dog visits, yoga, and group sessions . . . . . .

I have a hard time saying this out loud,---" (Bliss)

---Go right ahead, no one is going to judge you." (psychologist, group leader)

Well, I . . I, I can't give someone a gift with curly ribbon on it. I've tried. So many times, oh how I've tried. But . . . like once I made hubby drive 3 miles out of our way, just to pick up the right kind of wired-edged, 2" wide, ruby red ribbon. ---I know it's wrong. I know it's wrong. I just . . I just can't change . . ." (Bliss)

" . .
all the cookie baking was done, but I ate so many I had to start all over, one day before the neighborhood Christmas Cookie Exchange."
(anonymous sufferer #2).

---I get sick just thinking my girls might grow-up and struggle with the same Kohls Early-Bird dependency I have. It's no way to live. . . ."
(anonymous sufferer #3) (whole group nods)

Now, now ladies--and gentleman, --sorry Joe---
---remember we're amongst friends here.
There's no reason to be so hard on yourselves."

. . . I've never found a Christmas magazine I didn't like.' (anonymous sufferer #2) 'They're stuffed in the pantry, under beds, behind the water heater. One day my husband is going to find them -- and I don't know what I'll do! He thinks I'm saving Ensigns and Better Wife magazine!
---Sometimes, when it's late at night, I sneak out of bed and lock myself in the downstairs bathroom to read them over again in secret. I memorize mincemeat pie recipes and cut-out ornament stencils.

I feel like such a failure!" (tears)

" . . .
my calligraphy blows!" (anonymous sufferer #4)

Okay, okay. That's enough, everyone. Let's move on to something else, shall we?"


My day starts out pleasant enough.

I sleep in a wee bit, then the kids and I head out to Hubby's work party. His employer always throws a Christmas-Eve-day family lunch, barbecue.

You ain't seen blue collar 'til you've had a tri-tip with these Real Men.

Every other guy has on a truckers hat with sayings like 'Girls are Wussys' or 'I had Bear for Lunch' or 'Am I
Talkin' to You?'

Most have just crawled out of an air intake or motor of some kind, and haven't washed their hands since last nights shower. And the

When the kids were little, I use to cover their ears, or whisper to them 'he said 'fudge,' '
fudge~ !'

Now with the kids older and mingling themselves, I'm stuck alone trying to hang with PottyMouthMike.

I have no choice but to throw out Utahisms like '
oh my heck,' or 'for sleeping in a bucket!' just to keep up. I start lookin' like a country bumpkin real soon (no disrespect intended, Utah).

I get in the same pickle at boutiques and craft fairs--except those Utahisms are a lot cleaner.)
Jezebel, that's cute!'
I spy, --that's darlin', darlin', darlin'!'
Zip me up and send me to the Celestial kingdom! That's homemade??'

After the work party we go on a round of visits with the relatives, stop for last minute errands, and make a couple of gift drop-offs.

Already dark, and once home--I begin the 400 cinnamon-rolls ritual for Christmas morning breakfast,
plus the recently added apple pie self-made assignment after hearing Hubby sigh,

It'd be great to have fresh apple pie for Christmas eve, wouldn't it?'

Soon he's on the couch unwinding, and in his fourth hour of
The Christmas Story or Elve reruns.
He'd help if I asked him to. But -- I don't. I'm in such a zombie frenzied state -- I can't let anyone in -- even Hubby.

It's my own fault. I leave way too much to do in one night.

At midnight I finally finish wrapping the last kid gifts with whatever is close by.
Strangers and extended family--they got the pretty stuff.

Plastic the newspaper came in? That's fine. I throw a cd in it and wrap a yard of tape around and around the ink stained bag.
Empty Kleenex box? Good. I drop a pair of socks inside, stuff with tissue, and fat-marker a name on one edge.

Don't chuck that empty toilet paper roll, Hubby." ----

I slip a gift card in it and tape over the ends.
---To You Son, With Love---

Just once instead of all that work, I'd like to cuddle the whole evening away with Hubby, by the fire.

Did I say cuddle the evening away with Hubby, by the fire?
---I meant be in bed by 10:00, and sleep slobber'ing on my pillow.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Ice Man Cometh

Somewhere in the mid-eighties (
known to veterans as the Decade-Of-All-Trends-Wrong), popular house decor colors where deemed to be mauve, powder blue, and beige. Although no longer the right colors now (newsflash half of America!) -- back then I purchased a budget friendly cheap plastic beige bowl representative of the period.

However impressive the vaguely southwestern-slash-dawn-of-MTV decorating savvy I possessed then was---
little could I have imagined that same bowl would yet be with me today.

Worse still, could I have possibly imagined it would become Hubby's All-Time, Number One, Hands-Down, --- Favorite Forever Bowl.
Well, favorite
ice bowl, that is.

What is an ice bowl you ask?

Funny you would inquire because it's true, ---no such dining or kitchen apparatus as an 'ice bowl' exists in the books. But because of my first hand experience, I am able to take a stab at explaining to you just exactly what an ice bowl is. ------

An 'ice bowl' is a bowl that keeps ice cubes out where guests can look at them.

'Oh!' you exclaim. 'You mean an ice bucket?' you ask. 'Like what Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, or Bing Crosby use to use!'

Well, no. No, an ice
bowl is different.

An 'ice bowl', is an unsightly, unnecessary, unused contraption, the same beige color of dried desert camel dung.
( . . . and has unsightly brown spots from the heating element of a dishwasher, as well as is accompanied by a just as unsightly slotted plastic oversized spoon.)

An ice bowl can appear at anytime, and at any function (--solely held at Bliss and Hubby's home).

You may find it at barbecues, family gatherings, Superbowl parties, rehearsal dinners, neighborhood socials, family home evenings, Columbus Day soirees, funerals, political events, barn-raising feasts, in-law entertaining, graduation festivities, and retirement bashes.

No occasion is too big or too small for an ice bowl.
If ice exists, it should be melting and center stage in a dumb bowl.

Okay. I sound like a brat. I know.
It's just, I have never had people ask, "
excuse me, where do you keep your ice?"

I mean, we could have the
fanciest of affairs, and there appears out of nowhere--between the Baked Alaska and crystal stemware -- a sloppy dollar store cracked shallow beige bowl of off-tasting ice cubes.

Anyhow, the problem is not
only in the bowl.

Never has a man been more in love with his ice, than hubby is.

The very refrigerator we have exists not because the housewife of the home picked it out after bellowing the merits of its spaciousness and fresh-crisp drawers, or reading 4-star'isms in Consumer Reports, ---
but because Hubby found it deserted outside a welfare home, hosed it off, and gleefully declared (
while haulin' it through the front door on a two-wheeled dolly) ---

"They don't make ice makers like
this anymore!"

The Man Is All About His Ice.

I know if the house were on fire, he'd tell me to save the ice.
When we had our first child, I brought an overnight bag to the hospital -- Hubby brought his ice chest.
Unless Hubby has his mug of crushed ice and Kool-Aid to go with a meal, our dinners are as wrong as Maroon 5.
(catch that? perfect maroon 5 reference!) (they're awful! enough with Maroon 5!)

To this day, no sound pierces my heart deeper than the dreaded words,

Hon - where's our ice-bowl?"

Oh Well.
Maybe time will prove me wrong. Someday we may see pictures of the President in the Oval Office with a plastic bowl of ice next to him -- just-in-case . . . . --- we'll see . . . though time as of yet, has not been a friend to most of my hair-brained theories.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Nose Always Knows

I have to laugh.

A good friend brought me by a goodie bag today. I wasn't home -- but when I did get home from errands, parking lots, crowds, and other such headaches -- an agreeable gift of Christmas cookies and bubble bath gel awaited me.

So here's the thing - one whiff of yummy cookies and I'm off to the races. ---I need you to know I didn't eat them all then and there---
But just in the case I might have eaten them all, and more -- the lovely people at Vanilla Rose Bubble Bath went to the trouble of putting on their label -

"This is not food. Do not eat."

Sadly, I feel quite sure it is for guys and gals exactly like myself, that such labels were created.

So is it just me?
Or do our noses do most of the thinking?

Like for instances,

Hubby put some pine needles from our Christmas tree on the dash of my car. You, know just a little Christmas-scent-fun, for while I'm driving around.

Little does he know (until now) ---that putting a bough of pine tree in my car has me reacting like dogs in Pavlov's famous experiment. ---They heard the bell and went for food.

I smell Christmas pine needles --- and head straight to the mall.

It doesn't matter that I was expecting to pick up kids, have a doctors appointment, or am needed in a charity soup line ---- I'm going Christmas shopping.

Then, once I've stepped out of my car at the mall . . ---I look like a chick just snapped out of a hypnotic trance.

Where am I? Why am I here?

Luckily before I can gain my senses completely, the aroma of mall Cinnabons, Starbucks hot chocolate, or expensive leather purses flows through the air, and I don't need a reason to be at the mall---

-- I just am.

Pine needles have cost my husband many a paycheck.

And speaking of hubby -- my husband smells his food before he eats it. It sounds harmless, I know.

But really it's not.

We could be in the finest restaurants ( um, yeah. okay. So? -- so just use your imagination, alright?!)

. . like I said, --- We could be in the finest restaurant, and Hubby still has to stick his face and nose into a fancy china plate of escargot, filet mignon, or truffle-sauced halibut before he can decide if the food is palatable or not. He looks like a nose-miner.

Now when he does this at home - I just try to ignore it, --you know, look the other way. I mean what can I do? He's an animal.

But with us at fancy restaurants (like, I said -- use your imagination!) ----it's embarrassing. Waiters look at me, -- like I can explain it. Heck!

I tell them he used to be blind, "before miraculous blind-correcting surgery . . . but he's still use to smelling everything before he eats it." (At this point in the story I pat his little hunched-over-smelling-head. He's so busy and so excited, he can't hear a word I'm saying . . )

"It used to be the only way he could tell a meal, from the dirty laundry," I say.

And then I smile politely.

And speaking of the dirty laundry.

A few years back I got what every woman wants. --- (No . . not a pair of these. No, not a day like that. . And no . . not a surgery like those!)

. . .---I got a front-loading washer.

Supposed to be wonderful, right? Well I got news for you. It stinks like-the-dickens when laundry is being done.

Something is going on when the machine tries to drain, I'm telling you. It smells like I've just washed the sickest, foulest, muck off our clothes like you wouldn't even believe.

The cat looks at us like, 'Oh yeah. ---And 'kitty-litters' a problem.'

Once I had hubby go in and try to figure things out. He took a disgusting glob of family crud out of some drain that, well, --I don't want to say this, but, ---- it could be used in enemy-biological-warfare, should word get out.
It was some putrid, reekin', stinkin' funk, I'll tell you.

I don't know what all it was for sure, -- but I don't ever want to see it again.

Hence I just keep washing away, now pretending I don't smell what surely is growing once more in that drain pipe.

Guests take a sniff and assume it is coming from the boy's bathroom. But---

"No, oh no," I laugh carefree'ly. "That's just our clean clothes!" I say, while trying to act sane.

Actually it really does throw them a bit. I mean, what do you say to a nut-lady like that, right?
--They say nothing.

What would solve this problem, you ask?
Well if you think Hubby's about to buy me another new washer before this one's put in four decades, --you're crazy.

And you know what? I bet he's holding out anyway for the day science is so advanced we don't even need clothes.

Funny, but I gotta imagine he's not the only dude holding out for that day to arrive . . . .

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Catalog Shop'ster

Well, since we're on the subject of shopping -- my Sundance catalog came today and ooooo' what a treasure trove!

I can't decide between the Ellis Peak Boots, 'tread lightly but with a sure step in our stylish, pull-on distressed suede boots . . .' at a mere $298.

or the

Open Road Jacket, 'easy going, swings along city streets and country highways in any season of the year,' for a neat $425.

The Pemberton Flip-Top Table ( --
resolute, steady and stable, like the very best of friendships--) would be dandy in the kitchen. $1795 (plus $350 shipping and handling).
But I'm afraid it might 'crack' from the kind of 'friendship' business a family like mine would put it through.
We're no delicate actress-types like Mr. Redford and Sundance might be used to.

What I'd
really like is for hubby to get me the 'Artisan's Organic Cuff', as a stocking stuffer. At $690 it's an 'untamed twist of natural apatite', whose 'organic composition spirals seductively around the wrist' ------
----Now I've never had anything spiral seductively around the wrist . . .

---oh, wait! Yes?
. . . No. . . . . oh, no. No. I haven't. --That was secrete.

I've had something
secrete from around my wrist, --but it was pretty nasty. (I don't want to get into it.) Nothing seductive about it.

Anyways, the Organic Cuff can be ordered Toll Free! So, you see? It's not all about the money, with Sundance.

I think the last thing I did buy from them was the Westminster Brilliant Cut Whirlwind Paperclip, --'a full sweeping twirl of erupting organically molten sterling silver.' 'indisputably fabulous.' It was only $39.95, but I guess in their eyes, good enough to keep me on the mailing list.

("Maybe she has a rich uncle?" they hope to themselves . .)

I don't mind, really. I'm sure Robert Redford would be a friend of mine if we ever met (---
on a plane to China about to go down over the ocean, and I had the last parachute--).

Truly though- there
are affordable items to choose from for the finicky buyer.
Once I ordered a darling prairie dress. I ordered my size, but somehow they mistakenly sent me something fit for an American Girl doll.
I tried to squeeze it on but I couldn't get it past my esophagus without spurting for air.
It might have been my fault, really. I measured around 'the
natural waistline, keeping the tape comfortably loose', just like they said --- but my 'natural' waistline is a little hard to find anymore. I might have mistakenly sent them the measurements to my natural big-toe, line.

It was no biggy though. They took it right back for just the $69 re-stocking fee.

(They gotta make a living too.

Well, if anybody cares, I've got my pile of Sundance catalogs here to look at. It's no doubt you'll find something you'd like to get too.
Just don't go crazy -- we're in a recession you know.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Shop'ster

I went shopping today for a birthday present for my sister-in-law. She's a great gal and really easy to shop for.
I didn't find anything for her - but I did find a nice
sweater for me, a darling chihuahua mug, and shoes my husband might like for work.

Once at home and in
real light--not that 'trick' light they use in the dressing rooms of department stores--I could see the sweater was way wrong on me. I bought it on clearance for such a ridiculously low price though, I'm too ashamed to return it.
I'll just put it in the DI donations for next month. (Helping the less privileged is just something I do.)

And you know, as I really
don't drink coffee, and tea only so rarely -- I think I'll just save the chihuahua mug for a teacher gift? I can like, fill it with erasers - and put a note on it that says, 'You're The Doggone Best Teacher' (they eat that stuff up) --it'll come in handy in five months when school ends . . .

As for the shoes, my husband says he's never worn purple mock-leather loafers in his life and isn't about to start now, -so I return them.
While at the store I notice this
fantastic three legged mahogany chair. It's the last of like, some set - and just might go super in my home office. ( . . I bet hubby can fix it for a song . . . )

I buy the three legged chair, --but not before spotting a cute floral notepad for the sis-n'law. Perfect!

Once home, I prop the chair up with a sturdy paint stick (for the time being) - and notice that it actually gives the chair quite a one of a kind look. I decide I may even keep it that way --kind of vintage like, or something.
With the chair a keeper -- I see the floral notepad happens to match my new pen set, like, exactly!

( . .
I'll just run out one day this weekend and get something different for sissy-in-law.)

Interestingly, that night in bed channel surfing, I come across an infomercial for (
and I'm not usually such a sucker) some sort of contraption-mask thing that if you wear it at night for a week straight -- will make your crows feet disappear.
I pony up the'ol credit card, order it rush delivery, and roll over for some shut-eye.
( . .
some days, just exhaust me.)

The next morning, I decide I'm not keeping some dang screwy chair that doesn't even have four legs, and after a quick errand to return it, I stop at the Walmart to grab a diet coke at the indoor McDonalds, ---when the most amazing crockpot catches my eye.
It does everything but eat the meal itself!
I get it, figuring come summer I'm not gonna want to do
any oven cooking.

At home I put last years crockpot on Craigslist.
It'be sweet if I could make
just enough cash on it, to buy my sister-in-law something for her birthday.

Soon after, Hubby comes home from a bike ride with his buddy and shows me a
darling flower pot Joe's wife was about to throw out.
It's actually in pretty good condition.
Don't hate me . . . but I think if I put a little spit-shine to it, and plant some miniature roses inside -- I could re-gift to my sis-in-the-law, flawlessly!

I grab my purse and head out to a nursery to look at plants.

Sometimes I feel like I just move in one big circle. You know?
always got something to do.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

She's Hot!

It's true. My friend and I made a wedding cake last week. No big'ee.

It was four layers of white heaven, --a Martha Stewart Weddings knock-off. And yeah, sure, --it looked pretty good. What'cha expect? I mean, come-on!

What went wrong, you ask?
Why do you have to go and assume something went wrong?
It was nothing. Nothing at all. . . Alright, yes. ----
---It was a little . . . .

. . . just a little,


Yeah, yeah, --you heard me. A fire. Oh and not just any fire. Me. It was me on fire.

And before I go on let me just say, --this is exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me. It's no mystery. If I were to have seen a psychic last week - it'a'been a cinch for her to inform me of impending personal disasters to come. I'm a no-brainer for disasters and foul-ups. It'd be like, go ahead lady, take your pick -- which 'day-gone-wrong-in-the-future' would you like to relate to me? Like it's some mystery! Pleeeease!
Will I be tripping off a curb? Wetting my pants? Shooting coke out my nose?

And if she had told me, "I see in your future, --your body on fire at a wedding reception," I'd be like, "duh! . . and you want a twenty for that??!"

However, --since I was not psychic'ly prepared (and really, when am I ever?), --the whole 'body-on-fire' thing was fairly unexpected.

And it's not like I didn't assume something would happen to me -- it's just I was thinking more on the line of "you've got something in your teeth," or "gee, you have on the same dress as the flower girls."
You know, --the classics.

The whole evening started out harmless enough. My friend and I had successfully baked and decorated, and transported the layers without flaw. Heck, we even assembled them with not so much as a quiver. ( . . . well. maybe a quiver.)
But Trusty Husband was there, --supplying dowels, measurements, screwdrivers, matches, saws, flashlights, and you know, --just overall construction superiority.

Best yet, -the corner we were assigned for set-up at this outdoor reception, was dark and mysterious. Just the environment we needed to make our cake look even better. In fact, it was so dark we decided to add little votive candles around the small table for atmosphere and romance.

I had on a real cute billowy blouse that always served to cover my pregnant looking non-pregnant belly.
Plus it was good for the kind of maneuvering I was needing to do. I mean I could have done acrobats over the cake table and nary a bellyblubber or grannyundie would be shown.

Now here's where the story gets interesting, (or amusing - depending on your take) (p.s. it's times like this I find out who my real friends are).

As I leaned over the table to lift off the top tier cake for the bride and groom to keep, --my billowy blouse lit itself ever so flammable'ly, --and in no time I was upright with both precious cake in my hand, --and inferno on my bod.

The thing is, (and I never really knew it would be like this until the experience happened), ---when I catch on fire - I am more embarrassed than I am worried.
Strange, uh?

People complimented me on my 'thinking so clearly', and 'saving the cake', and how 'cool I was underfire' (so to speak).

But really, I was just too embarrassed to draw any more attention to myself yelling and carrying on. I had a look on my face like, "Yeah, I know I'm on fire . . so what? I mean to be on fire while I hold cake." Like, if I looked nonchalant enough -- maybe the others wouldn't notice the flames shooting from my belly.

And well, the truth is, --people tend to notice when you are on fire. There's just no way around it. It's a crowd getter.

Oh and you're sitting there thinking drop-and-roll, right? Well, you're not so smart 'til you've walked a mile in my shoes, (while on fire).

You can't just 'drop' and 'roll' when you're holding cake! And even if the pool was nearby (and it was), if you think I wanted to make a 'Splash' to go with my Fire -- you're crazy!

Luckily, and so luckily indeed, ---Trusty Husband was nearby and with amazing vigor he slapped at my blaze bare-handed until black smoke alone billowed above.
Now, I'm not quite sure if his amazing zeal rose from want of saving my life? or the blouse ( i.e. $$ )?

But no matter --- the deed he did, and a hero he was.

Whoo! Today I sure as heck count my lucky stars. In one evening I made cake, ate cake, and saved cake, ----all before any dastardly photographer or heyday wedding-go'er could snap a shot of me for the record (or the album).

Listen, --I'm memorable enough. Even without a pic.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trash Lords

Good News!
We are officially throwing away less trash then we used to.

And here's how I know.

On trash night, I used to have to send my little ones out into the dark with a pail of stinky diapers or Hefty bag of dinner trash, --to find a neighbors half empty bin, because ours was always filled to capacity and beyond.

But no more! And I don't know if it's because the diaper years are long over, or the one boy gone on a mission was a bigger trash maker, than I knew -- but it doesn't matter why. All I know is there's no more of me standing at the door (too ashamed of our gigantor trash deposits, and of the twelve year old robe I am wearing -- to venture out myself) and gently ushering my children through the threshold.

"It's okay honey - they're all asleep, they won't mind," as I shamelessly send a six year old to dump in his neighbor's bin.


"Oooooo, --your muscles look so big when you carry that kitchen trash like that," to husband.


"Of course honey, --it's not 'illegal'. We just do it in the dark because it's good for your Cub Scout Trash Nightowl badge. ---Now run!" to a middle child.

Yes, sometimes the neighborhood dogs would bark, or people would peek out their blinds to see what all the hubbub was around their cans . . . .
"It's just the Moriset boys again Gloria, --one of them is standing in the recycle can trying to make room for a buttload of empty cereal boxes. Go back to sleep . . ."

Bless their hearts -- none of our neighbors ever did complain -- so you'd think I would've gotten brave enough to start doing our surplus dumping in daylight? I don't know. I just always felt like sneaking was better.

I'm the only mom who's ever taught 'sneaky'?????

The root problem--truth be told--was I refused to order extra bins from the city. We have more stuff piled on the side of our house than a homeless camp has recycle'able cans, and I could not accept adding extra trash bins to the maze.

There were times, yes, a little bit of guilt would rise up in my throat ---like when I'd wake a toddler just to have him bring my bath trash out. But you know what? Ultimately it's taught us how to stick together in times of hardship, or mass waste product.

Listen - Every family's different. And besides, --these days any one of my kids could slip a used Taco Bell wrapper into your purse faster than you could say hot tamale. It's just one of those practice-makes-perfect things, I suppose.

Plus (and I don't like to brag about my kids, but), --a talent is a talent.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I'm knitting socks for my cutie son who is away on a LDS mission. Isn't that darling of me?

Yes -- and if only I were a knitter.

Oh sure, -- I've knitted practice squares and long plank scarves, --but I have learned socks are a whole different animal. And every dang time I go to read instructions it just makes me feel all the more lame. Even to
"cast on 40" I need to crack open my Easy Knitter for Girls book and look at the pictures -which than makes me crazy 'cause it appears every ponytailed strawberry-shortcake eleven-year old can knit like there's no tomorrow -- meanwhile I'm doubled up in arthritic pain just trying to hold my needles the right way. Really I don't need these kind of comparisons (I have enough issues).

So I put away the picture book and decide to check out YouTube.

I figure there's a video there for just about everything - there must be a few about knitting? I'm looking for the perfectly nice granny-type, who will both show me what to do, and talk me through it in a soothing lullaby voice.
See? There you go sweetie. I'm so proud of you, you know! Aren't you just the little knitter? Would you like a cookie?'

Come to find out -- it looks like nobody on a YouTube knitting video will even show their face! And I bet I know why -- it's because they
know to knit, is not a natural state, --so they hide their pompous faces to keep from laughing while they imagine us mediocres desperately trying to keep up.
I can tie a bow, for pete's-sake, why can't I knit a
darn purl stitch??

One Brit had such a delightful accent though, that while she knitted away I was lulled into a definite state of knitting talent - except when I looked down at my work I saw it wasn't knitting I had done -- but yarn origami . . producing something that looked rather more like an exotic twenty-four inch rainbow snake, than a sock.

In gentler times folk would sit around the fireplace at dusk, and gently prod their female youngins' into knitting slavery. They were eventually to knit every item the household needed --skirts, bedspreads, and rifle cozies. And this would start at a very young age because the older women were sick and tired of doing all the household knitting, and wanted to move on to something more liberating -- like soap making and varmint fetching.

Ahh for a simpler day.

You know, there is a hierarchy in the modern knitting world. Last time I went to get yarn, I picked up a lime acrylic skein while a lady next to me gasped. Had she not swallowed her gum in the act, I might not have even noticed -- but between the gagging and coughing, I couldn't help.

Is there a problem?" I asked her.

"Oh, I . . I just was so surprised to see you pick that up," her eyes still wet from the choking spasm. (Or where they eco-tears?)

"Surprised?" I ask.

"Yes. I mean, you weren't going to knit with it,
---were you?" she replies.

Oh No, I thought I might do some baking . . ." (What the heck, lady?)

It's just, well. We only knit with natural fiber, non-toxic dyed." I took her use of the word 'we' to mean the rest of civilization, --bar me.

(Prop. 8 having been hard enough, --I wasn't ready to take on the rest of the world over yarn.)

Oh no, you see. --Actually, I was just looking for the manufacturers address. I want to send those goons a real nasty letter about their mother-earth-hate'n products," I explained.

Whereupon, she glanced into my shopping basket and easily spied four other skeins of varying loud toxic colors, made of manmade material -- one even bragged '
Knit Him a Vest That Will Last His Lifetime, and Yours!' right on the label.
I see," was all she could muster, but her beady judging eyes shot me a look of utter disdain -- and I knew right then and there I would never be able to run with her crowd.

Well no loss. So I'll never be a part of the Elite Knitting Superior.

Man. With my whole mood spoiled now, I might just skip the socks, and knit the boy a bookmark -- or even? Yes, --that's it!
If I hirer a knitter instead, will it still be the thought that counts?

. . . I'm going to mull that over, and get back to you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boo Hoo Hoo

It's Halloween. So how about a scary story for you? It's from my teen years, -which explains 'scary'.

I was real boy hungry as a teenager. Not a surprise--I know--as the words 'boy hungry' and 'teen' go together like 'church' and 'late' for a girl.
But man, I could develop crushes the size of small third world countries.

In high school Spanish class, ninth grade, my
object'd'crush was Mark. He was a senior, on the football team, and hardly made a peep. In fact the only time I heard him speak was when Mr. Garcia had him say something in Spanish. To think of it, I can't even be sure he spoke English! But, when he'd turn his head to smile at his buddy behind me, --his smile had to go through me to get there -- and that was all I needed. I was a goner.
interpreted Mark's quiet nature to mean a deep maturity and super high IQ. Don't ask me how I made the leap, but I also figured he'd make a great husband. (I obviously had very tight standards then by which to measure a man. The only thing else he needed to be a perfect 10 was a car and prom tickets.) Oh, and did I tell you? Mark had a full grown beard. Now that - that was a man! The facial hair alone, was fonder for hours of daydreams.

There was the pesty problem though, of Mark having a little brother my age. And it seemed to me if I was to love one of them -- I was
probably supposed to love the one that was assigned to me.
But I just couldn't!
ItalicLittle Bro was barely my height and his chin was pasty and hairless. I knew in my heart I was doing the right thing in pining for Mark.

As is usually the case in a school that has other girls, --I was not the only one to notice Mark . . and out of all the luck, --the other woman was his age, blonde, and a cheerleader.
I was none of those things.
I could best be described as a ninth grader.

Now here was the pickle, even further, ---eight weeks into ninth grade, comes Halloween. When you're grown up, like I was, you can't be a little kid and go door to door begging for candy.
Buuutt, at the same time, when you need the candy, it can put you in a real predicament.

Let me just insert here, for the children reading along, --this was all back in a day when the world was not ours on stick. Teenagers didn't expect to do or get whatever they wanted, and at any age. --Like nowadays even with lights off - a band of wild-eyed teens might just as soon climb through a window for candy or whatnot if so inclined. There is no respect for Halloween anymore. Ask your parents.)

Sooooo, after much debate my girlfriend and I knew we had to do what we had to do. . . Dress up as either a baby or a hobo
(--our same choices, every year), and get busy. We went with baby, and decided to hit the neighborhood blocks away so nobody would know us. I was the most adult looking baby ever to don a pacifier.

We weren't having a ball however. It probably truly was the year we had needed to quit rather than keep looking for Mr. Goodbar. After a dozen houses, and at least enough booty to make a dent -- we knocked on one last door.

I do not remember her name (an obvious
mental block, I'm sure) but Blonde Senior Cheerleader (let's just call her Bertha), threw open the door to a porch spotlight of this baby ninth grade trick or treater - who loved her MarkMan.

Oh My Goooooo*****!!! You guys are toooo old!!" I heard a hundred peers behind Bertha laugh at me, and winched, as she slammed the door on our faces.

I could have wet my diaper.

My life as I knew it (
okay, -it wasn't that great yet. But still!) was over! I imagined Bertha running back to Mark, sitting on his lap and petting his beard, as they both threw their heads back with belly laughs at my childishness.

I always knew she was just a little girl,--not old enough for true love, or winter formal," Mark would comment to Bertha, and the others. " . . . somebody bring me a mustache comb . . . "

That night, I cried myself to sleep in a bed of sticky Twizzlers wrappers, as the horror of my misadventure sunk in deeper, and I knew Mark was to be
no mas. That tender woolly face ---forevermore gone from the grasp of my sticky hands because of this Halloween's bitter trick.


True, as Halloween tales go
this one rather less scary -
rather dull, rather slow
But when you trick or treat
this year, in fun, in glee
be thou ever fearful -
as your own Bertha,
you may see!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Now's The Time to Invest ! ( . . maybe)

The husband and I are shopping for a wee investment.

Well not
so wee -- as it is a house we are looking for. (We feel blessed to do so.)

But at the same time we are big chickens, so I'm not exactly sure how we will fare in the World of Trump. We don't
reeeelly want to spend very much, yet we still want something solid.
There is lots to understand about the California market, and one of those things is that you can't buy a nicely new, eighty-two thousand dollar, 2-story farmhouse charmer with a basement, like you can in Louisiana and Ohio --or wherever the heck else it is I keep reading about that has such places. (In fact in California, you
don't even get basements -- at any price. Even our malls hover 10 feet about ground level.) (Maybe it's so we can look down at the rest of you? But whose laughing now, right? At least you guys have somewhere to go during your hurricanes and tornados. For earthquakes we all bite our nails and congregate at the local SmoothieKing!)

Well we went shopping last week---and the city in which we are looking has a lot of fixer uppers in our price range. In fact I'm just thrilled when the houses we look at have 2 to 3 of their exterior walls intact, and electric versus candle light. (At one house I saw this
cute little family of rats runnin' the wheel just as hard and fast as their little bodies could, to keep that power going!)

I mean, we must be looking at the bottom of the real estate barrel, -I'll tell you that much.

One place had two bedrooms (that was if you decided to keep the curtain in room-divider position) and one bath (that was, if you didn't mind bathing in the sink). And it had it's own kitchen!
(That was if you were a wiz with the hot plate and toaster oven).

I take umbrage with the fact that I've never had new carpet in my life, and my 10 year old car doesn't believe in brakes or FM radio, (if the steering pulls anymore to the left I'll be in my right mind) ---and yet a new house would get all the 'my' house and car money.
Buuuut, it'll be the price we'll have to pay if we want to become Ma and Pa real estate.

One house actually didn't look too bad cosmetically - which made us wonder what was brewing underneath.
If only my husband owned an old work shirt, he could crawl around and check it out a bit. Oh Wait! I Forgot! He Does!! 32, Do-Not-Touch work shirts, 8 pants, and 6 old pairs of hole'y shoes. One pair with Power Ranger heads that light-up, belonged to our son -- though it's irrelevant that they don't fit my husband. They're Good Shoes!

Upon finding out the plumbing in this looker of a house would work just as well if we stuck a straw under the front yard and blew water through our mouths to the showers -- we passed on it.

Listen, it's not easy investment shopping. I suggested we invest in the
GoldDigger 5000 motorhome instead - you know, for making more memories in -- but with no response from my hubby. Though he would, I reminded him, be able to fit more work/camping shirts in it then any 'old house we might buy!
Yes, I suppose it's true, --the long term value would be better in a house that's not on wheels.

But what do I really know? I'm a consumer, not a professor.

( . . . For the record.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Serves, Peaches, and Cream

I don't even eat bowls of ice cream -- but I was feeling melancholy, and had on stretchy pants.

Some friends of ours gave us a huge box of delicious peaches straight from the farm. They picked them up driving through Littlerock, and I was thinking how the church used to have a peach farm there. The farm has since been closed (too bad).
--But anyhow, since I'd already had my dinner, there were peaches getting soft, and someone had told me they're delicious cut up over ice cream . . I was about to party.

Really, -- am only having this bowl of peaches and ice cream in Honor of the churches welfare system. Am deep in thought pondering charitable acts of service I may one day offer when phone rings. It's Brother M from the ward. Another ward's co-ed adult volleyball team didn't show to their game tonight, --and would my husband and I be able to run down and play?

I hadn't prepped myself for this. I know pathetic, right? How does one prep for a little semi- senior citizen volleyball? Well for starters you don't eat peaches and cream while watching HGTV. (Jeez. Just
saying the words peaches and cream, and HGTV, coaxs a grin.)

course, hubby is up for some game time. He's a stick figure with the energy of a blender, --and under the mistaken illusion these volleyball games feel just like the old days. Not so. Let me tell you something about our volleyball games. 'Old' is one word that comes to mind, yes. But then probably 'daze' --more then days.

-Before the game, --forget sportsmanship. We should
be praying deodorant and support garments hang in there.
-No one swears but there is a lot of grunting from the men
and high-pitched apologizes from the women.
-Whenever the ball goes over the net there's a hush in the
audience like they've just witnessed a rare Olympic dive.
-Most of us women--when the ball is heading for us--look
like we go through the entire sign-language alphabet before
deciding on a position for our hands.
-Our team's ball goes into the net more than Bishopric
members nap during sacrament.
-Three of us wear sweatpants so big, laid out they could double for the court lines.
-It's humiliating when the nursery kids behind the baby gate, laugh at us.
-In our game 'ace' refers to being able to return the ball without injury.
-In a sea of eyeglass wearers - it's still a shock how
fast the ball comes to being in front of you.
-We all have to carpool home in the same mini van because
our kids have our cars, our gas cards, and our twenty dollar bills.
-After the game no one wants to go for root beer, --only Advil.
-Somebodies husband keeps wearing his ninth grade "lucky" shorts to our games. (not saying who's husband - but
let's just say I happen to know
very well, his poor wife has tried to
hide those shorts, like, a million times.)

Some might counter, it's not in the Winning - but how you Play the game?

Uh, yeah. Be a peach will ya? -and let's not bring it up again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to Nature and Back

Went a campin' this weekend!
What fun, eh?

Well, sometimes. Sometimes fun, sometimes just a count down to a hand washing.

Okay I'm not a complete spoiled sport. First of all I did my time tent camping and bush potty'ing years past. And I learned a valuable lesson from it. I gotta have running water and a toilet everywhere I go in this life (and in the next). (It's how I'll know I'm in Heaven.)

I'm not sure about in other states and all, but in Cali the one with the biggest motorhome and most attached awnings wins.

Grateful for it, --but our motorhome is like the booby prize of motorhomes. Every once in a while during pre-trip prep I will hear my husband mumble things like "I hope that part doesn't blow-up on us" or "this leak might get into the back mattress" or "that sewer line is the thinnest dang sewer line I've ever seen". Now I don't make a big deal out of it because bottom line, the motorhome doesn't come with us, my primitive indoor plumbing doesn't either - and I'm willing to risk leaks, blow-ups or a little camper fire for that.

I've done my part too, trying to cute it up with patio lights and such, --but my husband warns me plugging them in our outlet, might deliver an electrocution. (It's either that - or he just doesn't want Debbie Mumm Daisy Lites hanging around his man-time. Whatever.)

Also, space is cramped in our home away from home. When the boys were little they used to sleep together on the top bunk, like a litter of cute puppies, all intertwined and at peace. Now it's like a cruel chapter from Alice in Wonderland as they spread themselves masculinely and heavily across tables, floors, window ledges, counters, and faucets to sleep at night.

We camp a lot with my high school girlfriend and her family, and that's one of the saving graces to our trips --
Because their motorhome is freakin' Awesome! . .
it has push-outs, flat screens, spa tub, queen bed, food pantry, and a Cuisinart.

(Oh, and we really enjoy their company.)

With our motorhome you can hear us coming for fifteen minutes before we arrive. It has avocado appliances, a staunch supply of baby wipes, and swell walkie-talkies. --And my toilet, of course.
I admit one appears very ungrateful when they get to the point of coveting other peoples toilets - but her's is a glistening globe of porcelain paradise! . . mine a fairly functioning bucket with foot pump. Plus when you sit on it, the whole camper leans.

Each night after a long day of fun and games, a lengthy line of hairy, grubby, roast-beast smelling band of man and young men (all mine, --but that doesn't mean I want to sleep in the same space with them) line up to enter at the camper screen door. By this time in the evening I have swept it out three times, founded a pile of dirty clothes the size of Mars, and disinfected anything that doesn't move, twice. A terrible mean streak comes over me and I suggest in my sweetest mommy voice from the clean side of the screen "wouldn't it be fun if you guys all slept in the real outdoors tonight??"

It never works but I never cease trying. That whole bit about us women being natural nurturers really only applies to certain situations.

And while for this trip we were at the beach --which truly, is so lovely--thank goodness we had one of the front row spots where you can look out at the coastline instead of the six-hundred people in sites, packed in behind you tighter than pubescent girls at a Hannah Montana concert. I don't know what it is with Los Angelinos and this fantasy that we can ever 'get away from it all.'

But now that I ponder on it a bit more -- I'm pretty sure a good upgrade on our ol' tent-on-wheels might be the ticket just the same. If we can't get away from it all --- maybe a simple in the motorhome arms-length distance from each other would feel just as good. I'll keep you posted on any changes in this department

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Psychology of Blogging

I have a few insecurities.

I know, I know - You find that hard to believe from a opinionated but anonymous complainer like me, for example, too chicken to leave her real name or address, and obsessed over her site pic -- but it's true.

So imagine my pain when a friend mentioned reading one of my blogs, agreeing with it, but then deciding not to leave the comment 'good one!' (--apparently the temptation to comment 'you're brilliant! and sooo funny. I wish more people were like you!' did not exist. -- but I'm not going to second guess it. No.) (No. Don't be silly.)

(Am ready to quit the blogging business, get my overdue chin-lift, and sew oven mitts in a closet.)

Well anyway, since my conversation with her I feel it imperative I say -- that actually, yes, I need positive feedback. I need it like fleas need dogs. Yes, to leaving nice comments. Goody for compliments. If you can't say anything nice - don't say anything at all.
. . . . . Well alright, truth be told, anything commented will do. -- I mean I suppose either way I am getting attention, right? And isn't that what it's all about?

As I think about it more, even if someone were to leave the post 'that was a bad read' -- I could still make it work for my ego. I would first, mentally block out the rejection and judgment - and second, become like a comment hacker, you know? Hacking into the negative comments and playing around with them 'til they came out leaving me less self-loathing. I could play around with the word 'bad' for instance, like a tatoo artist does . . . and change it into a beautiful twirly flower, or a new word altogether, like, baa . . boodylicious. Or something.

Okay. What I'm trying to say, is I don't really care. Read my blogs, or don't. Comment, or don't. Love me or Hate me -- it doesn't matter.

Strike that. It does matter.
Love me, love me.

Forget that. It doesn't matter.

**she says, blinking a twitch kind of blinking**

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One Man's Junk is Another Man's Hearth

Okay - that is Enough!

(I am only bold in my reprimand mind you, as we are not actually standing face to face. I perform all my best tyrants this way. Something I'm sure you have noticed by now.)

The mantels of America are a disgrace, and I can't take it anymore!

I recently came home with a clearance'd book on decorating. The premise of the book was how to re-decorate with what you already have, and thereby creating an affordable makeover. A bit of home therapy, if you will. All well and good - until page after page after page I had to see, what this decorator had to see, ---Mantels-Gone-Wrong.

"Every time I'm in this room, it feels sad to me," said one oblivious homeowner.

"We haven't an idea how to make (the room) any better," said another.

"I love my home, but nothing seems right," said nutty professor number three.

'Uhh, why don't you try removing the line of thirty-two Happy Meal toys from your mantel top!' I wanted to scream at the pages.

While I at least give these men and women credit for feeling 'something' was askew in their living spaces, --I at the same time felt like boppin' them on their little printed page heads for allowing such monstrosities of mantel and fireplace decor to co-exist with their apparently existing IQ's. What in the world is so hard about not leaving every life memento and awarded fast food 'treasure' strewn across ones mantel? I understand how this sort of stuff ends up bouncing around in the back seat of your car a week or two too long -- but then to actually carry them into your house and decorate with them? Pleaaasse! I may not always know my Monet from my Warhol, but I do know what a mantel should look like. Just close your eyes and think Pottery Barn or Martha Stewart. How hard can it be?

I ask you, --if you had a tractor in the living room, wouldn't you feel it needed to go? If a meteorite burst through your ceiling - would some clean-up be in order? If fairies came in the night and laid bright inflatable pool toys on your couch, might they strike you as ill-placed? So why doesn't a knick-knack parade of free plastic vases, pig-themed votives, eighteen sets of candlesticks, change jars, dusty red-silk roses, and birthday cards from the entire last decade--placed across the mantel--strike the average American as all wrong??!!

One may think I am making too big a deal out of this, but no, --I disagree. I have seen it for far too long, and in too many homes to remain quiet. This is not rocket-science, and I refuse to believe we can't all do just a little bit better than we have been doing. If everybody within the sound of my voice would take just one souvenir Slurpee cup or superhero collectible from off their living room mantel, the world would be a much saner place.

And I a much saner discount book reader.

Friday, October 3, 2008


on, I'm not the road rage kind of girl. But I am the kind to call a spade a spade.

--and some drivers get on my nerves. Now is that such a bad thing to say? Haven't we all at some time or another counted ourselves as the driver unlike the other drivers, that get on our nerves? Alright, you won't admit it - but I will, and while we are on the subject --- here's a couple 'getting-on-my-nerves' scenarios for you:

1. At stop signs we all take turns. Turns aren't only for the one with the biggest car or capable of the least amount of eye contact.

2. When the green left turn arrow goes dark, but your overall traffic light is still green -- please enter into the intersection while you wait your turn. From behind you I don't want to 'almost' make the light. 'Almost' only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, and I've got places to go and people to see.

(Solved by a good honk, you say?
I don't like confrontations. Plus I want everyone to like me.)

3. The more bumper stickers on your car the less sense in your head. I know this one isn't going to go over well with some folk -- but still, it's a scientific fact. If you have more bumper stickers on your car than eggs in your fridge--you have crossed a mental health line.

4. When I have to go potty and need to get home, do not test drive your energy efficient puff-puff cars in front of me. One of these days I will literally explode -- and will have your memorized license plate to report to the poor handsome paramedic that is called to clean up my accident mess. Everyone involved is going to be humiliated.

5. If your radio is so loud the metal of your car door protrudes with the force of each drum beat -- I don't want to share the road with you. I used to want to share the road with you, --and date you, -- but that was in my twenties and I'm much better now.

6. I love a diet soda as much as the next girl, but not in cups the size of space shuttles - and watching you try and drink from them constitutes a coronary for me.

7. I wasn't born yesterday. I'm perfectly aware my car looks like mother gooses'. (Please, feel free to start a charity for me.)
Someday I will be rockin' the streets in a smaller car, but for now I drive like I sit . . . Wide.

8. Picking up our children from school should be illegal. I know stuff is serious in Afghanistan, -but has the government really looked into what is going on in school parking lots? Serious warfare. Serious sin.
This could all be fixed, except for in a teens mind the term 'walk-home' is akin to 'skinned-alive'.
(---Just for the record, I have driven my children to somewhere (including today) a grand total of one billion, six million, four hundred thousand, one hundred and twenty-nine times.)

And so, who is it that coined the phrase Highway To Heaven?
I'd like a word with them.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What's In A Word?

Oh my
gosh! How fun is it to pick out a name for your 'own' blog site, right??!!

No Fun At All!
how much fun it is.

There are like sooo many cute words out there, and everybody else has already snapped up like, every clever title there could ever be! I mean, there are like a million trillion, mczillion words to pick from, right? But they are
all being used, I swear! s-w-e-a-r! And how come everyone else gets to have all the way cute titles, for eternity? Shouldn't we, need to share or something? Like, couldn't we maybe like take turns, you'd think? WWJD?

I would have
loved to use words like daisy, birdy, bloom, condescending, sunny, and tender in my title. Or rosy, sing, home, idle-talk junkie, meadow, faithful, or love. But nothing . . and I mean nothing seemed to come together. Whatever I did think of was either already taken, -- or was pretty lame, let me tell you. Just look at a few of the titles I decided against:

www. longtiredroadtobedtime
www. mormondamselindistress
www. youcantakethegirloutofjuniorhighbutyou
www. hesaidshesaid_Itoldyouthatalreadydon'tyoulisten
www. mycupsizerunnethoverandsodoesmytummy

I mean - come
on, right??

finally - I came up with --and then what happens the very next thing?? The computer tells me somebody else already has that blogspot title too!!

Twenty minutes and one 5th grade neighbor later -- I gratefully learn it is only 'me' who is the somebody else. Why don't these computers come with an instruction manual, you know? . . . Well, I mean, I suppose they do. . . But who's going to look at
those? . . . You'd have to be an idiot!

I guess the point of the whole matter is --- don't get your own blogspot now. Don't even try, I'm telling you. There is nothing left out there. Nothing.

I'm just going to have to try and do the best I can, -- for
all of us. I know there's a lot on our minds - but I'm up to the task. You don't know 'a lot on your mind' 'til you've seen what's weighing on me. And, --if you really, really just feel like you have to say something somewhere (and since I have the last blog title in the whole universe of any real relevance or cuteness) - I guess you could comment here.

But keep it brief. This isn't your site.