Just wondering about...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Eco-friendly" pillows made in Chinese sweatshops.

How much revenue is made by companies from consumers that have a small balance left on their store gift cards? I think there should be a law where stores have to cash out gift cards if the balance is $3.00 or less. 3 bucks is 3 bucks - an extra gallon of gas or a loaf of bread and a candy bar at least! Speaking of which, I'd like a candy bar right now...

How come the moms on "Toddlers and Tiara's" look like they just rolled out of bed, grabbed the first set of clothes they found and forgot to brush their hair?
The other day I watched a little bit of that t.v. show and the 11 year old winner's boyfriend was in the audience. I thought it was her kid brother. The mom was so excited to tell him she was grand supreme or something. Doesn't that title sound a little Klan-ish to you? Scary. Anyway, the girl gave him her sash and he wasn't too excited about it. Then they walked away hand-in-hand together, like they were adults.
I really hope I don't see them on one of those teen parent shows someday.

I'm also wondering why the women's group that is trying to have the Pro-Life Superbowl commercial featuring Tim Tebow removed, feel the need to speak for all women everywhere?
Why don't they focus on the sexually charged commercials showing men and women drinking into oblivion? I'm sure alcohol has something to do with many date rapes. They are saying that political statements should not be made at sporting events. Who knows? But in 1936, Hitler was using the Olympics to show the resurgence of a Nazi regime and hoping the German athletes would sweep the medals. It was one determined African-American man, Jesse Owens, who took home four Gold medals that year.
Now that was one great political statement even if it was never meant to be so and it is awesome to watch the old footage. This women's group wouldn't have a problem with that, would they?

These are just a few things that came up today and got me wondering. I know, don't hurt myself!
What makes you go hmmm?

The little red-headed girl

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dear Charley,

I have watched you grow for 13 years now and although Father time thinks he can sneak the years by me and make me to squint to see the past, I still remember the day of your birth so clearly, like it were yesterday.

You were two weeks overdue and there was a cold freeze in Texas that year - maybe 50 degrees or so. I figured you didn't want to come out to the cold world so I was content on having you stay inside your nice cocoon a little longer.

But when you were finally ready, you made it known that you were in a hurry and we just better hang on because this was going to get fun. I thought we weren't going to make the 40 minute drive to the hospital.
It was close but your birth was easy and relatively painless, much like you have been all these years - easy to raise, enjoy and never causing anyone pain.
I remember looking down at you in my arms. I was so happy God granted me another baby girl. I studied your face, counted your fingers and toes and took note of the "stork bites" left behind from your laborious journey.
I whispered to you that you were going to be a red-head and that you would like the name Charley. You were a quiet baby with big, observing eyes who was always comfortable everywhere we went. You let us play with you and dress you up.

I was secretly hoping I'd have a little girl with red hair to carry on that trait just like me, your grandpa, great-grandma and cousins.
But yours was to out shine all of ours by its brilliance. I always thought that God himself must have sun-kissed your head and the rays followed you to earth, reminding me always that your goodness is shiny like the sun and will always be my beacon.
How lucky am I.

Happy 13Th Birthday.
I love you,

Resolution Update

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So how about those resolutions?

I am still working on mine from October.
Remember, I go from April - October and then October - April so I don't feel like I am failing to get them all done. If my feelings for those resolutions are waning come March, I'll hear a conference talk in April and it'll get me moving again to finish by October. I have to trick myself this way because I am not great at resolutions but this seems to work for me.

I am happy to report that I started off reading more books. I read, "Light on Snow" by Anita Shreve. It was a nice story about a father and daughter, grieving their own family loss and then encountering a baby left in the snow.
You may remember another one of her books, "The Pilot's Wife." Did you read that? It was good but I always wondered who he loved more - if you read it, give me your thoughts on that.
If you haven't, I won't spoil it for you.

I am also reading one of the books my friend May sent me, "Say you're one of them."
That one is a little more difficult to read because of the subject matter on the poor in Africa but it's a reality and reality is not always pretty. The dialogue between the characters is often done in broken English and portrays the accent to capture the feeling of who is speaking. It has been interesting to read.

I also organized my office/craft room and sketched out its new layout and focal wall. It's going to be brown and white with a large print. I'm still trying to decide whether to paint or wallpaper. Paint is cheaper but the design will be labor intensive. Wallpaper is expensive but will give me the satisfaction of getting it done quickly.

As for the French cooking, I pulled out my old Julia Child cookbook and blew off the dust.
And that's as far as I got.
At least she's out in the open now, tempting me to try something, or intimidating me... I vote intimidating.

So how about you? How are you coming along?

Sweet Basil

Thursday, January 14, 2010

January is National Soup Month so in its honor I made home made chicken noodle soup and rolls.
Not the most original soup out there but it warmed the kids' toes on a wintry day and was spicy enough to make them sniffly. I was rifling through my spices to find some Basil to add to the soup but I didn't have any on hand.
I suddenly remembered a box of herbs and spices that I brought back from my mom's house the summer before last. With bittersweet feelings, I spent 3 months there closing up her house and going through her belongings. Some items made me laugh, some flooded my mind with memories, others made my eyes mist and some made me question her taste.

When I got to the kitchen items, I went through all of the spices that she so carefully planted, harvested, dried and bottled in her vintage Ball jars with zinc lids. Some were not marked so I had a sniffing test which ruined my sense of smell for a while. She never liked her handwriting but I always told her that it is part of history and she should write rather than type so we don't lose the personal touch. There is comfort in the written word - being able to see one's hand writing.

As I lifted jars and plastic bottles out of the bin today, I inspected each. Some were store bought and had labels and others were in vacuum sealed pouches, unmarked.
I looked for Basil, hoping I'd find some and as I turned over the last blue jar, on its label in deliberate and beautiful, crooked hand writing were the words "Sweet Basil."

Chicken soup was good for my soul today.

Par-tay ideas

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I love me a good party. Don't you?

I've been wanting to have some sort of soiree and was thinking of different themes.
Superbowl, Valentines, Summer kick-off, famous couple or a Tamale making party (this is one of our favorites and I'm planning to have one in May. Homemade Tamales- yum!)

But I thought a "Poor Taste" party that my friend told me about was funny.
At this party she attended each guest was asked to bring something or do something in poor taste. One guy brought chips and dip.
Harmless and easy, right?
Nothing in poor taste there except that the dip was presented in a diaper. Pretty bad...

One couple sent their 3 kids to the door with a note saying they were going to skip the party and go out on a date. When the host opened the door, the couple honked the horn, waved good-bye and drove off laughing. That was a hilarious choice of poor taste! I fully expect that to happen if I do have this type of get together...

My brother and his wife have huge parties. They are kind of known for them and everyone looks forward to their big bashes every year. When they have a white elephant gift exchange, there is one gift that has been going around for about 10 years now - a men's speedo. Whoever gets it has to bring it back the next year and pass it along with a picture of themselves wearing it.
Let's just say there have been many who would've liked to have gouged out their eyes after seeing those photos.

At least they had a year to get in shape...or not.
It can't be as bad as the guy I saw at a waterpark up in Fishkill, NY who was wearing a men's thong swimsuit. It was silver. Shudder.
And I wanted to gouge out my own eyes...

Do you have any good party ideas? Inspire me!

(Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. 3 laptops in 2 years and my desktop is biting the dust too. I had to call a foreign country to get the US address of where I needed to send the laptops. Don't even get me started...)

I DO have goals, you know.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I remember one time when I was asked at a church gathering of women about my goals, I replied that I didn't really have any. The lady who asked me was the Sunday School teacher and the next morning while she was teaching she referenced how she was speaking to someone and they said they made no goals. {Ahem, that would've been ME!}

She went on to say how she thought this was the dumbest thing she had heard and never knew people existed that had no goals. I remember she was shaking her head, saying she just "couldn't understand it!"

She must have forgotten that I was in her class as I sat there and recounted this small conversation.
I wanted to hit her.
I didn't. It took all my strength not to go up and ask her about that remark but
I just rolled my eyes to myself and took delight in the fact that she was having a bad hair day.

Well, I do have goals. Some are lofty. Some are small. Some I know I will never reach and that's okay. They are now more like daydreams and I think it's fun to daydream.

I make goals that I know are within my capabilities. Some days between work, kids, schedules, church callings, my husband's career, house remodeling, a family situation that nearly drives me to hit the hard stuff, and a baby's diaper changes, I feel stretched very thin. And those resolutions that I meant to get to are put on the back burner along with my hobbies.

So, I make a few goals, incorporate my hobbies in to them and I don't worry about it too much after that. I'm just a realist which I guess plays to my casual nature. Remember, I like Bart Simpson for a reason...

I also start working on these things every October and April - just in line with LDS General Conference. That's when I hear some great talks and it motivates me to start moving in the right direction again.

So this year's resolutions are - a continuance from October:
1. Reach my goal weight in May.

2. Organize the craft room/office and create a focal wall.

3. Try some dishes out of my Julia Child cookbook I received for Christmas a long time ago.

4. Organize better birthday parties for each of my kids. I tend to only throw a party for them once in a while. I guess this stems from my parents not making a big deal out of birthday parties and I am falling into that mindset. I don't want to do that anymore. They deserve to know the day they came into my life was a bright day and their presence makes our lives better.

5. Read more books. My ability to speed read came in handy when I used to devour books. I haven't taken the time to sit and do that.

6. Get back to my jogging/walking 2 miles a day. (I slack during winter.)

7. Start my house blog and another one yet to be named.

8. Play guitar with Lenny Kravitz. Ok, that is a daydream...

And when April comes, we'll see how I do!

How do you guys go about setting goals/resolutions?

A New Decade

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year folks!
I can't believe another year is winding down and we're already ending a decade.

Weren't we supposed to be driving hover cars by now?

2009 has been filled with ups and downs, laughter and tears, twists and turns - just like life was meant to be.

10 years ago my little family was celebrating the beginning of that decade and going into a new century atop the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City, Utah - dining at the Roof Restaurant. It was a beautiful dinner. We each received a complimentary champagne flute (w/Martinelli's of course :)) a red rose, party favors, hats and a bounteous feast. We had the best view of the fireworks display in the whole city until the fog rolled in and then we just had the best sound.

We've added 3 more to the family since then and have continued to move all over the country. In each place we have met great people and continue to make great memories. With the exception of adding more kids and moves, I expect to meet many more great people and pile up on memories.

So a virtual toast to all my bloggy friends -
Cheers! Salut! Pumpkin pie! - {that's the way we toast in our family.}
Here's to a good 2010 and embracing all of its possibilities and enduring them too.