Thursday, January 29, 2009

There will be a brief intermission

As much as I wish my life consisted of nothing more than sitting at my computer writing and reading posts, there are pesky little things like bills to be paid. Due to this unfortunate fact, I am working for the next 3 weeks.

Las Vegas has three ginormous buildings that are named the World Market Center. In these buildings there are a gazillion different showrooms, where vendors pay ridiculous amounts of money to rent space and show their products. Twice a year there is a week long show where people who want to buy things to put in their stores come and walk around and look at all the new stuff.

Apparently in order to entice buyers that they need more new and exciting things, these showroom owners reorganize all of their products every six months for each new show. And this is where I come in.

This week I am working for a company named RAZ that makes and sells mostly Christmas things, but also decorations for every season. The process of moving everything and setting up for a show is ridiculously long and arduous. There are 6 of us working 10 hour days for this whole week.

Next week I will go to my usual company that I have worked for the past two years. They sell home accessories and some furniture. There are 26 pallets of product waiting for me to unpack, when I get done with RAZ.

Then the week after that is the actual show where I will help in the showroom with customer service.

It is exhausting work and I come home so sore I can hardly walk upstairs to my bed, where I fall like a ton of bricks. But the good news is that it does pay money, something that my mortgage company, dentist, and electric company seem to value quite a bit. And it is really only twice a year, so that part of it is ideal. It is just a bit stressful during the two or three weeks every six months that I actually work.

So you may or may not notice my absence around the blogosphere. Just know I am thinking of you and wondering what I am missing out on. Some times I may get to check in and maybe even post, but most days I don't even have the strength to type by the end of the day. I'll be back.

Who knew working was such hard work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tax Tip

The other day I took my daughter to the library to return 2 movies that were 10 weeks overdue. Will that library ever learn, and cut up my card, probly not.

While I was there I noticed that all the tax forms were laid out for the taking. And take I did. I suppose it is the accountant in me that goes all giddy at the sight of tax forms.

As I was perusing the forms during my bedtime reading, I came across a useful tip that in my usual benevolence, I will pass on to all of you.

I am sure that this will come as devastating news to most of you, so brace yourself, but deductions for charitable contributions of certain taxidermy property after July 26, are limited.

See publication for form 8283 for further details. If your walls or front yard looks like this you may be in trouble.

So those of you with stuffed squirrels, skunks, gophers, rabbits, cats, dogs, gerbils, parakeets, snakes, frogs, deer, bison, cougars, giraffes, monkeys, pigs, turtles, or anything else for that matter, too bad you have held onto them too long. Had you donated them to the goodwill sooner you could have taken the full deduction. Now your deduction will be limited. Bummer, huh.
I know that many of you have a slue of stuffed pets, such as these. Having your deceased pet stuffed and mounted is a great way to help ease the pain for yourself and your kids. Who doesn't need a diorama of a squirrel paddling a canoe or two squirrels duking it out in the ring, sitting on their mantel?
I wonder if this guy will try to convince his wife that this should be the centerpiece in their living room?
And for your one stop shopping, check out this store, you can get a tattoo, whilst your beloved animal is getting stuffed.

Please accept my condolences on the tax deduction loss. Dang IRS sucking the fun out of life. I hate it when that happens.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Slicen N Dyson

As a follow up to this post, I thought you might all enjoy some pictorial evidence of just what I was talking about.

Here is my sad little 18 year old vacuum. Ready to go to the big vacuum graveyard in the sky. Notice how he has even lost one of his wheels and the excessive duct tape all over him. I wonder if families are duct taped together forever, will vacuums be duct taped to us forever as well. Hmmm.

After I wrote that post the other day, I decided that I would go out and get a brand new vacuum that very day. No more waiting. And so I got this hot little number. Isn't she cute? Her color just screams sunny disposition. And we all know how I love screaming.

My dad asked if she was sucking up to her new owner. Ha ha ha, Dad, that's a good one. And I am glad to report that she is. I came right home from the store and started cleaning. It probably won't last long, but it is fun to play with new toys. And like my husband always says, the right tool for the right job always makes things easier.

Oh and the best part of it, is that it was the floor model and so I paid $150 less than one in a box would be. I don't need a box that costs $150 and it is still covered by the 5 year warranty, so all should be well. The sales man said to me as I was leaving "Now you can be slicen n dyson." I love punny salesmen.
But then some sibling rivalry broke out. It was kind of mean and nasty.
In one corner we have the Grey Inhaler and the other the Yellow Suctionator. They go at each other like it was a proffesional wrestling match.

It wasn't long before the Yellow Suctionator Dyson pinned the Grey Inhaler, cannister Kenmore.

Here is the Dyson in her victorious Rocky like post. Can you just hear the Rocky Music playing?

And so here is the Kennmore waving a sad good bye as he waits for the garbage man to come and take him to the dump. Maybe he will make some new friends there. Or better yet maybe get a role in a disney or star wars movie. Number 5, alive. Anyone remember that movie?

Friday, January 23, 2009

A joke for all you cat lovers.

Two church members were going door to door. They knocked on the door of a woman who clearly was not happy to see them. She told them in no uncertain terms she did not want to hear their message and then slammed the door in their faces.

To her surprise, the door did not close. In fact, it bounced back open. Seeing the two church members at the door frustrated her. She stormed back to the door and flung it shut.

But the door still didn't close. Furious, she grabbed the door with two hands and shoved it as hard as she could. But again, the door wouldn't shut.

Convinced one of these rude church members was sticking a foot in the door, she reared back to give the door a slam that would really teach them a lesson.

Just then, one of the church members said, "Ma'am, before you do that again, you might want to move your cat."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another one bites the dust, or not.

Almost everything in my life sucks right now, except my vacuum cleaner. Just so you know. Because I am sure you were wondering, weren't you? It is due to a long series of unfortunate events, that I am suckless in the cleaning of my floors. Usually when people tell you suck, it is a bad thing, but this is not one of those times.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away, well before we had kids, at least. That would be almost 18 years ago. We had the money to buy the things we needed in life. Funny how that works, you get kids and all your money just flies out the window by the buckets full.

Back to the story, right after we were married, we lived in a furnished basement apartment for the five years we were at BYU. See we liked BYU so much we hated to leave. And this apartment was something right out of the book Charly.

Water heater in the kitchen, water closet for a bathroom, and a bedroom, that's it. The good news of this place is that there was no where to go but up from there. Some people said that they had not even lived anywhere as ghetto as that, on their missions.

The bathroom ceiling was about 2 inches shorter than my husband. You could sit on the commode and touch the wall in the shower with one hand and the other wall of the bathroom with the other. Serious claustrophobia, if you know what I mean.

But the upside to this place was the price. We got what we paid for and we didn't get what we didn't pay for, if you know what I mean. Guess how much it was a month? You will never guess, except Funny Farmer, because she lived there after us. Oh and Stephanie, she lived there too. OK, I will tell you, $125 a MONTH including our heat, which in Provo is the same as gold. Can you believe it? I know I am ancient, but this was not that long ago.

I am convinced that it was the best deal in town. Great for struggling college students needing to pay tuition. And besides we lived on love and macaroni and cheese. We didn't need things like stinkin living rooms.

The point to all this ridiculous detail into the first five years of our marriage is that the place came with a vacuum. Now it may have been a vacuum that came across the plains with the pioneers, but it was a vacuum nonetheless.

So I never needed to get a vacuum. Finally, when we moved into the student housing at graduate school, the time had come. I was working and so even though we were students, no kids remember, so we still had money. And now we were paying $300 a month. The horror, I know. Tragic.

It was at this point that we bought a very nice canister Kenmore vacuum at Sears. The way that thing just followed me around, sucking up any thing on the carpet brought tears to my eyes. Of course again no kids, so not that much sucking up needed.

Fast forward 18 years and countless vacuum bags later. The sucking up still brings tears to my eyes, but they are tears of dismay and disappointment not joy and happiness . In fact it is not uncommon for my vacuum to spit at me instead of suck. That is just wrong and spiteful, to suck things up only to spit them all back out. Very insensitive.

And so even though I think I have been very faithful in following the adage to use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. The doing with out has got to end. Sometimes no amount of duct tape can beat a dead horse.

Any of you who were reading this blog last summer, know that I had every intention of buying a new vacuum at the Fourth of July sales. But that is right when Jared got sick, so it never happened. And then one thing after another, and here I am with still no vacuum.

My sister did try valiantly when she was here at the beginning of December. She went to Wal Mart and bought a vacuum. She even vacuumed my whole house. But she thought it was too heavy, especially to carry up and down the stairs, so she even more kindly took it back.

We then bought a smaller more light weight one. But that one didn't really work out either. It kind of looked like a toy and it was hard to push over the rugs on my laminate floors.

You might be reading this in horrified wonderment at how I could live for so long without a vacuum. I share your astonishment. One reason is that the first floor of my house is laminate flooring, so a broom works for cleaning purposes. The other reason, is that it has just not made it to the top of the priority list. And hey, you can't feel guilty for not vacuuming, if you don't even own a vacuum, right? Well some might, but I can't.

So at this time I bid a fond farewell to my old vacuum. Thanks for all the great cleaning memories over the past two decades. Good bye, farewell, Adios, Sionara, Adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow.

I can no longer live with your lazy ways, I need something that sucks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Self Esteem File

The other night when I couldn't sleep, I went to a comment party over at Crash Test Dummies. It was so much fun although eventually it turned to singing 99 bottles of milk, pete and repeat, and knock knock jokes.

But before the super silliness set in, we were talking about that fun post Crash did in my behalf. I mentioned that I need to print it all out and put it in my self esteem file.

Just what is a self esteem file, you ask? To clarify, it is not something clever I thought up, but something I stumbled upon in my online search for help with depression.

Any of you who struggle with similar challenges might want to check out It is a treasure trove of inspiring helpful ideas. One of the contributers is Therese Borchard who writes a blog titled Beyond Blue.

And so I have plagiarized her idea and post about "how to start a self esteem file" to share with all of you. Except I am giving her credit and linky love, so is that plagiarizing? Hopefully/probly not.

(this is kind of long, but Therese is funny and inspiring, so hang in there, or not, your choice)

By Therese Borchard

Three years ago I walked into my therapist's office feeling like a Krispy Kreme donut: I had no center. Everything I attempted, both professionally and personally, seemed to flop. I had no sense of self, no confidence, and no faith in myself. I found nothing of value in my DNA.

So she assigned me a project that turned out to be a meaningful, lasting tool in my mental health toolbox. I call it "The Self-Esteem File." Here are 10 steps for starting your own

Step 1: Identify 10 Strengths in Yourself

My therapist first told me to try to identify 10 of my strengths--10 positive qualities about myself--and to write them down on a piece of paper. This first step, trying to recognize your own assets, and to begin, ever so slightly, to believe in yourself again, is the most important. And the most difficult.

Think hard about what people have told you in the past: things that you do especially well, or personality traits they admire. Think about your job. Why are you good at it? Or about your hobby. What makes you enjoy it? What is that something special about you?

You might also go through old birthday cards, or report cards, or annual reviews (excerpting ONLY the positive), think back to past conversations with friends, page through photo albums and scrapbooks--anything to recall those times when people recognized your talents and assets and expressed appreciation for them.

Step 2: Come Up with Four People to List Your Strengths

If you were unable to come up with 10 positive traits about yourself, I totally understand that. Because the first time I tried to do it, I couldn't get there either. I stopped at two: I had a nice-shaped nose and thick fingernails.

And those two qualities weren't exactly making me feel whole again.

So here's the next step: come up with four people who will write that list for you. Now, I know what you're thinking: if I had four people in my life who would tell me why I am wonderful, then I wouldn't have low self-esteem...right? Of course, it's not that simple. But I'm thinking that there are four people in your life who could do this for you. Not necessarily friends, but maybe coworkers, or siblings, or teachers, or pastors, or mail carriers. Think about people who have complimented you in the past. Go there.

Step 3: Make Four Friends

If you still can't think of four people in your life who could identify and list 10 of your assets, then you need to make more friends. And I have some ideas on how to do that!

Go read my post "12 Ways to Make Friends," in which I mention a few strategies like: joining a book club, volunteering with a charity or civic association, getting involved with your church, going online and joining a group like "Group Beyond Blue," seeking a support group, taking a night class, getting a dog (pet owners stick together), "stealing" friends from other friends (my favorite), carpooling to work, attending a conference, connecting with your alumni associations, and talking to strangers (which is how I met my guardian angel, Ann).

Step 4: Ask Your Friends to Make the List

Now that you have at least four people who can ideally compile a list of positive traits for you, what do you say to them?

I know. This is not easy. Because it is admitting that you are, well, in a bit of a rut. Which is why you can make up something like the following (which isn't a lie, really!): "For a project I'm doing with an online group, I need to assign four people with the task of listing 10 positive traits about me. I thought of you since you're such a positive and complimentary person. Would you ever consider doing that for me?"

If you know the friend well, you might say something a tad more revealing: "Hey, you know, I've been feeling really down on myself, and someone suggested that I have my friends compile a list of my character strengths, because I can't really see any. Would you mind doing that for me?"

Step 5: Buy a Folder and a Label

Next comes one of the easier steps: simply drive (or walk) to the drugstore or to an office-supply shop and buy a folder. Any color. Any style. Write the words "Self-Esteem File" on the front. Make it so obvious that you would be embarrassed if anyone found it.

Why? Because if your home catches on fire, you want to be sure to grab the right file: the one with all the warm fuzzies inside.

Step 6: Start Collecting Letters

One by one, as you collect your letters of affirmation, place them in the self-esteem file. If two weeks go by and you haven't received anything, which makes you feel worse than when you started this project (my apologies), say something like this to your four people: "Um, I gave you a very important assignment that you've blown off so far. Now get your butt off the couch and start writing!" Or something like that.

Step 7: Find More Friends

Most of the time, one, two, three, or four of your friends won't follow through on their promise, which is why you need a list of four additional people to serve as alternatives in case your lazy so-called friends bail on this task. So, review Step 3 on the different ways you can meet friends, and say to your additional four people something like this:

"As you may or may not be aware, I need some affirmations. Lots of them. Could you please list 10 positive qualities about me? Why are you my friend? Why do you return my calls?" (If they don't, skip that one.) "What would you say at my funeral?" (But reassure them that you have no plans to die right now.) "You see, I am starting a self-esteem file, and I'd love for your positive words to be among the first pieces to fill it."

Step 8: Propose an Affirmation Exchange

If asking friends for a list of 10 positive traits still has you a bit freaked out, because it is asking something of someone, and I know how hard that can be, here's an idea: propose an exchange of affirmations.

I'll rub your back if you rub mine. I tell you 10 positive things about you, and you tell me 10 about me. A little collaboration. That's not so scary, right?

Step 9: Continue to Collect Affirmations

Become an affirmation hoarder. That's right. Whenever anyone says anything remotely positive ("You smell interesting today"), record it: on a Post-It, legal pad, receipt, or on anything that you can shove into your self-esteem file. Pretend you are a New York Times reporter with the assignment of breaking the story that you are a precious, lovable, wonderful human being that so many people in this world appreciate, respect, and admire.

Put into your file all those letters, cards, notes, emails that are complimentary in any way. Look also for "proof" in the past that you are worthy and lovable: professional feedback, birthday cards, thank-you notes, Mother's Day presents (if they are made of paper), Valentines.

Step 10: Read It!

As you watch your self-esteem file widen, fatten, thicken, and grow, a curious thing might might not depend on it so much. You'll graduate to what David Burns, M.D., author of "10 Days to Self-Esteem" calls "unconditional self-esteem." Explains Burns: "You realize that self-esteem is a gift that you and all human beings receive at birth. Your worthwhileness is already there and you don't have to earn it."

That hasn't happened to me yet, and it's been three years since I started my file. I still read it fairly often, and continue to stock it full of affirmations whenever I get one. This is true, though: because of my self-esteem file, I no longer feel like a donut. I have a center, and I am loved.

Ok I am back. Isn't that a great idea? And if you are not in the depths of despair right now, you could prepare one of these things for a rainy day. Because I have learned that no matter who you are, we all get a turn in the refiners fire. Just saying.

And wasn't that so cute how she felt like a Krispy Kreme donut? She may have felt dead inside, but at least her taste buds were still alive. I know just how she felt.

In all honesty, I have not actually done every step of this great idea. Perhaps now that my life is calming down, I could actually put it together. The good news for me is that I have way more than 4 friends so half of this assignment is done. Several of them have already written me such a letter, thanks to some of my posts on here. And their letters have helped. In addition, I have joined an online support group called the blogosphere. Which by the way is a great record of postitive affirmations.

I think for those of us who have one, you would have to include your patriarchal blessing. I can't think of a better friend who knows and believes in each of our strengths than our Heavenly Father. So don't forget about that Heavenly High Five when you are feeling low.

Arighty then people get those post it notes ready and start recording those affirmations.

Ready. Begin.


One of the things that I learned, well probably relearned, from the First Vision lesson ;ast Sunday, was how so often in life it is darkest right before it gets to be lightest.

As Joseph knelt to pray, the adversary tried to bind him down, both physically and emotionally. And just when Joseph was about to despair that all hope was lost, the light descended. And then his whole life and the lives of millions were changed by the next few minutes.

It seems that there are many such stories through out the scriptures of people enduring something terrible, only to have things turn for the best. It's that whole "you receive no witness until after the trial of your faith", thing.

Someone in class also commented on how the darkness Joseph felt right before the Father and Son appeared to him, probably made the light even more majestic and glorious. The principle of opposition in all things. Because you can only go as high as you have been low. It is like some law of physics that says a pendulum can only swing as far in one direction as it has swung in the other. (I might be making that up, so don't quote me)

I had not really thought of it in exactly that way before. So yippee for gospel doctrine discussions that make you go hmmm.

Oh and I provided the class with some comic relief when I read a quote about the framers of the constitution, but I said farmers of the constitution instead of framers. Practically the same thing, right?

As Jared prepares to return to school on Tuesday, and it looks like some of our darkest days are behind us, I am wondering what wonderful light-kind-of a thing might be in our future.

The suspense and hope are killing me. I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

American Idol

Besides others in my house hogging all the computer time, I have of course been occupied in the evenings watching American Idol. Who doesn't love watching people pursue their dreams on national TV? It is just as good as a Veggie Tale movie. I laugh, I cry, it moves me BOB.

And is it just me, or did it seem a little bit kinder and gentler this year? As much fun as it is to watch people makes fools of themselves and then receive insults from the judges, I would much rather watch the heart wrenching stories of people who really need this in their life.

Like the guy on Wednesday night, whose wife died 4 weeks earlier. His story broke my heart. I hope he goes far, and his best friend is going with him. How cute is that?

But I wonder if they gave some people tickets to Hollywood that they knew would not make it. Do they purposefully bring people they know will be easy to cut? And is that even meaner to give someone false hope? Would it be better to be disappointed right away, or would you rather think you have a chance when you really don't?

Just some thoughts running around my crazy brain. I think I might like to be strung along as long as possible. Like I always say, denial is a great place to be.

And watching so many of these people who were so passionate about this show made me wonder if that is what is missing from my life. I need a dream to make getting out of bed each day more appealing.

So I wonder what my new dream should be.

I think I am pretty close to achieving the dream of the BYU football team obtaining a restraining order on me, or at the very least posting my face on the dart board in the locker room. So I need something else.

Joining the circus? Possibly not. I might like to be a cheerleader for the BYU football team, but I think that ship has sailed. Actually, I might like to join the CIA, like one of my favorite characters, Mrs Pollifax. I think life as a spy might be my only chance to travel. Another unfulfilled dream would be to sing on Broadway. There is the little detail of my not really being able to carry a tune in a bucket. So maybe one day I will settle for just attending some musicals on Broadway. Next best thing and all that yada, yada, yada.

For now I think I should just settle for seeing everyone else in my house go to school each day and me getting out of bed. That will be nice. Baby steps, right?

What are your secret dreams?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Feeling the love

A very dear friend of mine, threw me a surprise friendship party. Go here if you want to share in my "It's a wonderful life" moment.

She put all of my favorite things in the friendship basket. Well most of them anyway. And all of my blog sisters wrote the kindest things about me. I hope they know how much they mean to me. I know they are part of the way the Lord is helping me through each day.

Thanks everyone.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tis the season to worship the porcelean throne.

The other day Diana and I had the following conversation:

Me: How was school today?

Diana: It was good, but when we went out to recess Talia barfed all over on the playground, then we went into the cafeteria and Jasmine barfed in her lunch box, and then we went back to class and Alexandra barfed there. It was a crazy, throwing up day.

Me: (throwing up a little in my mouth) That sounds just awful.

Diana: I know and poooooor Mrs. B (school nurse). I feel sooooo sorry for her.

How sweet is that, she felt bad for the school nurse. I spoke to the nurse the next day, and she told me that 9 kids had tossed their cookies that day. And then Diana's teacher came down with it, and had to cancel our parent teacher conference that was rescheduled from when we had a snow day.

So far our house has been spared from this infectious disease, but now that I have posted about it and mocked the Gods of Nausea, I better get the buckets out. People should start puking any minute. Actually, zip lock backs are amazing for containing the mess and smell of vomit. Just so you know, especially in the car. Words to live by. And good thing I just bought a new case. My preparedness just might stave off the fates of murphy's law.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Zip lock bags, worth their weight in gold.

Well I may die from the shock, but I am getting another chance to have the laptop. Two turns in one day. What the what. It must be my lucky day. And April is right, I should put my foot down and insist on equal rights for women. Sadly, I am a pushover when it comes to my rights. So don't feel sorry for me, it is my own fault. Go ahead, play your finger violins for me in mock sympathy.

So let me see if I can remember anything that I have to write about. That is the problem with sporadic computer time. Sometimes you just have to be in the right mood or frame of mind to write. At least for me anyway. Here are some random things that have happened this week.

Yesterday, I got a bill for crutches that were given to Jared at our first doctor appointment last summer on July 2. These are the people who sent us home after 6 hours, with the diagnosis that he had a pulled muscle and the flu. Well, that is almost the same as a staff infection that would turn septic and almost kill him, so I can understand. The bill is only for $15, but talk about snail mail. Good golly, Miss Molly, I may be receiving bills for years to come. These people are not exactly timely in their billing, are they?

Speaking of medical bills, I spent the morning trying to track down and list all our medical expenses from last year. In a bad news/good news moment, we had enough expenses to deduct. I think it is a moment akin to when you accidentally set off fireworks inside the house and punch a hole in the ceiling and say, "Hey, I wanted a skylight there anyway". Not good that there was so much money spent or debt incurred, but since it happened might as well save some money on the taxes, right?

In the first tragedy of 09, we ran out of zip lock bags the other day. Not just sandwich bags, but gallon and quart sized as well. Not a baggie to be found anywhere. Horrifying, not to mention inconceivable, because I buy zip lock bags by the case at Sam's club, and they usually last for about forever. Apparently, forever was over. Who knew?

I never realized just how much I appreciate the joy and convenience that is the zip lock bag. At first I was puzzled at just what to do. See, I have a system. When there are leftovers that need to be stored, I put them in a zip lock bag. That way I can put the bag in the fridge, until it turns into some unidentifiable substance, and then I can throw it away in good conscience and with very little effort. It has been a system that has served me and the land fill well. It is also why our state of no zip locks, was a state of emergency.

Then I remembered the neato storage container set I got for Christmas. And that saved the day when putting away left overs.

So now I love my new containers, I am just not sure where to put them in my over crowded smallish kitchen. I suppose that I need to throw away all the cottage cheese and sour cream containers that I have been using in the past.

But for now, I am storing the new containers in my fridge. Of course that will mean cleaning them out when they become filled with unidentifiable slime. Dang. Maybe they are not so neato after all.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I've missed you all.

Oh my goodness. I am totally having posting withdrawals. Perhaps I need a twelve step program to help with my addiction. But I don't even want to get over it, so that might need to be the first step.

My absence from blogging has been a combination of my part time job and my husband and son hogging the computers full time. Seriously, I love you both dearly, but GET OUT OF MY HOUSE AND GO TO SCHOOL. Next Tuesday. Next Tuesday, I could be sitting in my house all alone.

Actually I will probably be working. I work part time as an personal assistant for a friend who sells home furnishings and accessories to stores and hotels. It is a great job because it is so flexible. Her husband is usually her assistant, but he works during Tax season so she needs more help this time of year.

Looks like my turn is up again. Thanks for letting me vent for a minute.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Princesses of Quite Alot

We had a nice New Year's Eve. Jared was tired and so I took him home early, but it was OK because I wanted to work on my puzzel. Diana brought me home this cute new year tiara to make sure I didn't feel left out of the celebration at midnight. So we snapped this pic for the sake of documentation. It is shabby chic don't you think?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Things that make you go hmmmm.....

This is a picture of a house that is around the corner from me. I drive past it many times a day. I couldn't help but be amused by the sight of the homemade scarecrow wearing some one's bathrobe and a plastic bag for his head. And then in case robeman can't do the job, there is transparentman there for extra measure. From the sight, I can only guess that the owners of this house are trying to grow new grass. But do you notice all those pigeons sitting on the roof? Well many of the times I drive by, those birds are helping them selves to the buffet of seeds on the ground. Apparently they are not afraid of the big bad Robeman Rob or his sidekick Transparency Tim.
Here is a closer shot of the dynamic duo. Are you trembling in your boots? Or would you like to sample the tender juicy seeds, lying just under the soil?
Here is one shot I did manage to get of some of the birds feasting. But seriously some of the times the ground was just covered with pigeons. It was a total convention, like something from the world buffet at the Rio.
I detest pigeons by the way. Burt and I from Sesame Street, do not see eye to eye on this one.
I have a bunch of pigeons who like to hang out on my roof. Apparently there is some appeal to my roof that I fail to see. Anyhoo hanging out includes leaving their deposits of disgusting bird poop all over the place. So I pretty much classify pigeons as the spawn of Satan.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A trip to the health department

Today I went with my oldest son to the health department to help him get a health card. With said health card, he may actually have a job at Wendy's. Which will not be as awesome as if he had gotten a job and In -N-Out, but still in these hard economic times a job is a job. Beggars can't be choosers is my motto in life.

It brought back such fond memories of when I first took him as a newborn to the health department in Riverside CA. And by fond, I mean I was emotionally scarred for life. My husband was in graduate school and our insurance was not very good. So even though it was not my first choice, the price was right at the health department.

Here I was a first time mom, sitting in the waiting room, hoping that no one would breath on or even look at my precious child. And somehow I had not anticipated how devastating the whole immunization process would be. Again, where is the Valium vending machine for traumatized parents of children pained my the medical system? Huge untapped market, I tell you. The fact that drugs are illegal, is the only stumbling block to a potential multi million dollar business.

Oh well I am sure that multi million dollar businesses are highly over rated.

Anyway, mercifully I did not pass out after watching the nurse give my infant his shots. But it was necessary to do lots of deep breathing. And there may have been a paper bag. I can't remember.

By the time my other children came along, we had good insurance that provided for our shots at the pediatrician. So we were spared from trips to the scary parts of town, sitting for long periods in the waiting room, and exposure to interesting/different people some who may or not have been axe murders.

Hence, it has been about sixteen years since my presence at the heath department has been necessary. But today, my long absence was ended.

I went like a prisoner to the gallows, expecting to be there all day long. Subjected to hours of waiting. Because that's what bureaucracy like to do, suck your will to live.

Except for one little incident, I was pleasantly surprised. The one little incident involved me invading the kingdom of an elderly man in charge of dispensing the number to people.

He was talking with someone else. I saw the number dispenser on the wall. You know the red machine with a number sticking out from it. I figured that the sooner you get your number, the sooner you get to go home. So I was in a hurry to get a number. Wasn't there a Seinfeld episode, where Jerry missed out on buying a marbled rye, because the person with the number ahead of him bought the last one. I could be wrong. It's happened before.

So back to the story, I innocently stepped around the volunteer and took a number. I mean it is not rocket science. A number dispenser in a waiting room with a "now serving such and such a number" electronic sign on the wall. But apparently I had committed an unforgivable sin, at least from the way the volunteer reacted. I suppose he leads a sad sad life where he heats up a can of soup each night for dinner. Apparently handing out these numbers is the highlight of his day and he couldn't bear the thought of missing even one chance to pull the number. I wonder if he has ever seen those coupon dispensers at that grocery store. He could just pull those repeatedly if it brings such joy to his sad life.

He let me know in no uncertain terms that I was not to touch the number dispenser. What was I thinking? Was I crazy just going around pulling numbers? That was a job for a trained professional, such as him self. I apologized profusely. Truly I did not mean to rain on his parade, I just wanted to expedite any waiting going on.

So after we managed to procure a number the rest of the process went lickety split. Papers were signed. A scary picture was taken. More shots were given. And my son and I left after just a half an hour with a lovely health card.

Now hopefully all his employment dreams can come true.

Alphaba watch out!

The other night Diana was bored. She had a friend over and they gave each other manicures after soaking their feet. After the friend left, Diana rummaged through the stuff in my bathroom. She found this facial mask, that I have been meaning to use for a long time. Diana gave it a try for me, although her skin is already smooth as a baby's bottom and completely unblemished, as any nine year old's skin should be. But nonetheless, she seemed to enjoy the whole thing. That is until the mask hardened and she couldn't talk. She only needed to leave it on for 5 mins, but she kept mumbling, trying to talk to me with out moving her face. Finally she insisted on writing me messages. When it was finally time to wash it off, she was so relieved to be able to talk again. Such are the sacrifices for beauty.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Some days surprise even me.

Last night I sat down and made an enormously long list of things to do today. The time had come, the time was now, I needed to climb out from under the covers and start making things happen around here, again.

And I have to say in a nanny nanny boo boo, kind of way that I am rather impressed with myself. To begin with, I tackled the educational needs of my two oldest children. There are still some loose ends to be tied and i's to dot and t's to cross, but the hour I spent at the high school was time well spent in alleviating many of my fears and anxieties that both my sons will end up living in a van down by the river.

Then I went to an absolutely delightful breakfast with friends at IHOP. I ordered what I always order, the garden crepes. Which are scrumptious crepes filled with mushrooms, spinach, and onions, covered with hollendaise sauce and tomatoes. I could eat those every day for ever. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I always order the same thing, because I am not a risk taker. And then it was even better because there was much laughter and giggling. And of course we were celebrating the return of the children to school. We had all survived another year of the holiday season, school break, and travelling. All seemed right with the world again.

The next dragon to be slayed was Jared's medical care. I was successful in moving Jared's doctor appointment up to tomorrow instead of next week. In which case the doctor can advise me on what needs to happen next. Then I took him to physcal therapy and to the eye doctor.

In a wonder of wonder moment, I mailed something at the post office. This alone made it a red letter day. Also it proves that the day of miracles has not ceased.

Some day we should have a comment box discussion, where in you all analyze my inability to actually return things or mail something. I am sure that it is some sort of genetic defect. It couldn't be a character flaw?

For whatever reason, if you lend me something and need it returned or need me to mail something to you, you have a better chance of winning the lottery. FYI. Just so you know. Bless my heart. And no offense intended.

Although in another astonishing moment, yesterday, I returned a bowl to someone at church that I have only had for a month. Last year I kept some one's bowl that they insisted I take home full of chocolate fondue. I had that bowl for 11 months. Good grief Charlie Brown. I need help. Just ask the library and red box, they will tell you all about my horrendous tack record.

And then as if all this weren't enough. I made chicken nuggets for dinner. Pretty impressive don't ya think?

And as the crowning glory of my day of many accomplishments, I put away my Christmas stuff of many colors. Not quite all of it, and not quite all away, but close enough for government work.

So tomorrow I am crawling back under my rock. Enough crossing things off my list.

It was like one fine day in the emerald city, except everything here is gray right now, and there was no singing and dancing or wearing green. But I think you get the general idea.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

On the Blog again.

My good friend Crash Test Dummy reminded me that if I want to post 365 times again this year, I better get back on the horse. But I feel rather speechless, or perhaps in blogspeak, it is wordless.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? You achieve this amazing thing like running a marathon, and then you think "Golly Gee" I will never live up to the standard I have set for myself.

Or perhaps it is some overwhelming task, like cleaning out the fridge. If I ever manage to do this, then I just want to open the door and stare at it and never go grocery shopping or cook anything again.

So we will see how this year goes. Truth be told, I posted 61 times in July and that was because of the tragic events that were happening. So I will be OK if I don't make it to 365 posts this year, if it means nothing devastating happens. Do you hear that blogging Gods?

On the other hand, that doesn't mean, that when tragedy and comedy hits, as seems to be wont to happen with me, I won't rub my hands together with glee, and think to myself, "Boy is this going to be good to blog about."

My sidebar doesn't say that I am 71% addicted to blogging for nothing. I find that blogging is like scrap booking. When I first got into scrap booking, I found that no matter what, I would think how can I scrap book this? What should I wear or the child wear that will look cute on the page?

And now my focus has changed to the Blog. It is all about the Blog. What will I blog now? What will my friends blog now? When will I blog again? How can I take a boring dull life and make it interesting and entertaining to my readers? Will anyone comment? Will anyone think I'm funny? How many people will LOL today because of me? The thoughts go on and on.

So perhaps I am not so wordless, after all. Only time will tell.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

No regret

Sorry that I have taken such a break from posting. It is true that I did become a postaholic. And then I just went cold turkey for a few days.

Today was my friend Ann's funeral. It was very beautiful. I am sure that she liked it. Her three son's and a grandson sang the most beautiful rendition of "I need thee every hour." It was amazing. There were so many of the most beautiful flowers. Her family had a wonderful display in tribute to her life.

There were many happy things to be learned from this funeral. One of the best things is that it was a funeral of no regrets. Her daughter in law gave the most beautiful eulogy and spoke of how in a way they were blessed by not knowing how sick she really was. They enjoyed this past year without knowing it would be their last together. They had 50 Sunday dinners at her house. They had all the holidays. Apparently one of her traditions was to deliver Valentine treats to their houses, the ding dong ditch way. How cute is that. Over all they did not need to say "I wish we had spent more time together" because they always did things as a family. I can't imagine a more wonderful thing to be said at a funeral.

And because of my followed prompting to visit her, I felt the same way. I cried tears for the family left behind that will miss her so dearly. But for me, I felt at peace knowing that I had managed to visit. I spoke with her son today, and he told me that the Friday night I visited was the first time in two weeks that they had left her alone. In some small way, it gave them comfort to know that she had a visitor because this son had called while I was there and the nurse told him about me. The Lord is amazing in the way he helps us help each other.

And so I was sad to say goodbye to a dear friend. And yet to borrow a line from Wicked - because I knew her, I have been changed for good. I know I will see her again. I love that friendships are another thing we take with us besides our knowledge. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that she was visiting with my grand parents, who must be terribly concerned about me.

Bottom line, we never know when our time on this earth will end.

Because of Ann, I will try to live my life so that some day I can have a funeral of no regrets.