Wednesday, February 23, 2011


We had a little bit of winter weather this weekend.  But first, Friday.  I was back to Olivia's classroom.  She was celebrating her half birthday, since her real birthday is in August.  I took in Uhura the hamster so Olivia could talk about her as part of her VIP presentation.

Friday night Sam, Ben, and Bethany went to see The Unknown. They had a good time but weren't over impressed. Ben said it was too much like the Jason Bourne movies, one of his favorite series.  Kyle spent the weekend with a friend.  Saturday they went to Kyle's second Monster Truck Madness show.  I'm jealous. Grave Digger was there.

I spent another Saturday cleaning.  The girls and Grant and William wanted to go out for a walk in the rain just to use their umbrellas.  It was easy to convince Sam to go as well.  I love Sam's gadget love, even for umbrellas.

Sunday we woke up to snow.  Bethany was getting picked up early because she was going to sing in Stake conference with the activity day girls. I wasn't sure that I should take the van out, due to fact that it was still snowing and remembering the last time when I had to abandon the van up the street.  Sam volunteered to walk up to the Stake Center so that Bethany would have a family member in the audience.  I felt grateful that he is such a good older brother.

I felt like spending the day at home with nothing to do would be under stimulating, so I took the willing, made the unwilling babysit Sophie and we all hiked up the hill together.

Sam's Sunday creation.

Monday was Presidents' Day. I didn't have the heart to make, what we declared last year, would be our traditional meal. Two birthdays and a funeral  was one of my favorite posts of 2010.

I have been looking at the mountains all winter and hoping for Spring to come so we could go to the canyon again. I decided it was springtime enough. So after a morning of more cleaning, we loaded up the van.  First stop was haircuts for the boys, picked up Grandma Martha, then to the car wash, always worth the money for the excitement of the sprays and brushes alone.

Then we went up to the canyon for our survivalist picnic. It's always colder in the canyon.
I took this picture right before the kids, with remarkable politeness, requested that we finish lunch in the van.
Ben took these pictures.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Now I have to share some pictures, for the sake of archiving.  I didn't want to write about my blood and valentine's day in the same post...too much like an eighties horror movie.

I felt so happy to be able to spend time at the elementary school.  I was in charge of the cookie table in Olivia's class.

Kyle's stash.

Mary's artwork.
Heart shaped pizza from Pier 49 Pizza.
Chocolate and strawberries are everywhere this year.

In the evening the Bishop and Becky, his wife, came by with this desk that they didn't need anymore.  We put it in Kyle's room. He loves it. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

parable of the onion ring

Wednesday February 16, it's blustery.  This morning I was sitting the dentist's chair watching clusters of clouds move past the mountains.  I have the most wonderful dentist...Dr. Smile.  If you want more information please ask me.  If I refer you I get a twenty dollar gift certificate to Costco.

  I was so dreading having these three cavities filled, the grinding, drilling, mouth contorting, blood rushing to my head for an hour, bad hair for the rest of the day.  Happily found out there were head phones and movies. Watched part of Indiana Jones.  That will be Ben's salvation when he goes for his fillings Tuesday.  And I watched part of some Mel Gibson movie I'd never heard of before, where he gets frozen in 1939 and wakes up in 1992. If you know the name let me know.  I'd like to see how it ends.

On the way home I went to Big Lots.  My first time in there.  I saw that they were having a pretty good sale on some electronics that I'm going to try to sell on e-bay.  I'm finding that the prices with the big name drop shippers are not much better than going to a pseudo-wholesale store. More on that another time.

It's funny how those wholesale places try to make you feel like you're getting a good deal by making the store feel really dingy and stinky and putting big ugly orange fluorescent price tags on things and making every thing an even number. You see a box of cookies for two dollars and you think it must be a great deal, but really it's 1.99 at Smith's.

It also helps that they're so often located in the wrong part of town. So I drove in to the parking lot, which was pretty empty, except for a kind of unsavory looking man and two women, blond with bad roots, having an altercation. I could hear them shouting, but couldn't make out what they were saying due to the wind.  Of course I was trying to, since I'm nosy. Wondering if it was safe to pass by, added the element of risk.   The seedy atmosphere legitimizes the wholesale experience.

So we'll see how the electronics sell.  If not, they're things that Sam and Ben would love as birthday gifts, and cheap anyway.  Got a good deal on potting soil.

Meanwhile my mouth is numb from the fillings. Feels like it is not connected to the rest of my body.  I still taste the terrible taste of dental work and I come up with the great idea to pull over to the Sonic, that shares the creepy all but forsaken parking lot with Big Lots. I am remembering the lovely onion rings that Sam and I enjoyed together the other day.  They are so large, and round with a so nicely textured crunch.

I think, surely I'll need just one bite for my mouth to have a re-awakening.  I took the hot bag from the girl behind the window and I could feel the crunch with my fingers and the oil seeping through two layers of paper. I couldn't wait to pull away from the line to try the first bite.

And so I didn't wait. I bit right in, and all I could taste was swollen gum.  So I tried some of the large Coke I got to go with it. Swollen gum.  And I tried again and again and could hardly find the place in my mouth where my top teeth meet the bottom row, but I was desperate to enjoy those onion rings.  After all, I'd spent four bucks on the whole deal and that was probably equal to my e-bay profit for the day...if I was lucky.

So driving home I determined that the dentist must have left something stuck to the top of my teeth.  I reached into the back of mouth to pull it off. Nothing but teeth, but my fingers were covered in blood.  And that's when I realized that I had been chewing on my own gums!  Now my mouth is so sore and bitten up that I don't have an appetite for anything.  Who would have thought that would be possible?

We learn from this. Don't buy hot delicious onion rings on the way home from having three cavities filled unless you plan to enjoy them pureed.  Don't expect something, just because it is delicious, to awaken you from a state of numbness.    Don't be so addicted to Cola products that you can't see that they might just be how you got all the cavities in the first place.  What else?  You think about it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

counting catching corners cupid

My house has so many corners, the cluttered shelf, the moldy edges of the sink, the disorganization in the garage, stories waiting to be read together, projects unfinished, so many opportunities to improve.  Meanwhile, I look out the window at the sun on the mountains, hoping that before the end of the day I'll go out and breathe in it's beauty, relieved. I say wait there I'm coming, but by noon, I start to feel desperate because I know it won't wait.

It's Valentine's day and absolutely the most beautiful morning of the year, warmth, sunshine, blue sky, white mountains.          

Driving to school today Caitlin asked,"If it's Valentine's day why is Cupid not shooting arrows in the air?"

Sam replied, "He is.  He's just invisible."

I dropped William and Sophie off at Grandma's, then Caitlin and Grant off at the preschool.  Grant's class was already out at the playground, but on the classroom carpet were bags decorated with red hearts and each child's name, already filled with surprises, lined up in neat rows.

Valentine preparation has been the industry around here lately.  Counting, collating candy and cards.  Some spreading their goods out carelessly on  the carpet, then screaming with horror to find William tearing in to their lollipops.

I went to the store to buy Valentine cookies, frosting, sprinkles for Olivia's class.  Found some beautiful hyacinths to give away. I love the smell of Easter.

Came home, walked in to the off-to-the- bus- was extensive and all throughout the house.  Determined to leave it and sit down to write. About what? Accepting the limitations of the day.  Learning happiness that way.  Because Saturday, while I spent the day cleaning I kind of had this idea that it would make Monday easier. But here I am again.

So I even left the bags of groceries on the floor.  Looked down to see the enormous pork loin that was half price still lying on the carpet, slithering out of the bag like an anaconda.  I have to find a zen focal point and let the rest go.

Keeping this blog is a way of reminding myself that this is about more than catching up. I've already arrived at the day.

And here were some things to celebrate.

Thursday, February 10, I was grateful that we were able to pull together Olivia's science fair project. Proud of her for wanting to do it and for keeping me on task.
Bethany made a Valentine's day box to take to school. 
Friday morning, Ben invited me to come to the Middle school to see his musical theater class perform a one-act play.  I think Ben has a future in physical comedy.

Friday at noon, the preschool kids had open houses for me to attend.  Caitlin is serious and detail oriented about her artwork.

I got to frost cookies with Grant.

Friday evening, on the pizza pick-up the kids and I stopped by Petco.  I was planning to buy a new companion for the Dwarf Hamster.

"Not gonna happen," the Petco guy responded when I told him we were looking for a new cage mate.

Apparently, once they've tasted independence they can't be paired again.

But he did give us some advice about  how to catch a Dwarf Hamster.  Here it is.  There's an apple, her favorite snack, there at the bottom.

Sophisticated as this may be, Julie the hamster is still at large.

Saturday cleaning.

Sunday warm and beautiful. I went to the park with the kids. It was great to see them playing with their neighborhood friends outside.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

my life in drop shipping

If this doesn't qualify me for State of Utah residency...  I bought into a we'll-train-you-how-to-make-a-passive-income-on-e-bay thing.  So now I have e-bay homework. Here's a list of a few things I'd rather do...

- Fold laundry..

- Check for cavities at the dentist...

-Sniff out what's rotting in the kitchen...

- Hunt down the dwarf hamster who's been missing for two weeks but was spotted alive, scurrying about Monday morning in the basement.

-Post pictures of the mundane details of my life on blogger...

Like the pizza, for instance...

Friday we went back to Pier 49 Pizza.  This is the Ghiradelli... Ham and Pineapple with Alfredo. Yummy concept. Very delicious.

The Lombard Street...Sam and I agree that this one always remains the favorite...barbecue chicken, red good.

Their pepperoni, the 49er, is nice too. I try to reserve it for the little kids, but usually end up snitching.

Here's a piece of advice for anyone who might be going through marital transition...don't do something just because it's the kind of thing you wouldn't have done while you were married....You probably haven't changed that much.  But I'm still plugging away at this e-bay thing..trying to come up with my own cheesy, annoying slogan to make myself want to sell things like...Imperceptible growth is still growth.  How's that?

Off that topic,  we had a fun weekend. It was great to have a visit from Uncle Joe and Aunt Courtney.

Sophie and cousin Mia's first meeting.

Courtney and Joe always come bearing sweet gifts..Red Vines for Ben...

and Valentine Loft cookies..something to love about February.
Sunday Sam was in the kitchen making Superbowl pretzels and homemade cheese sauce.

That's Olivia and her 3D glasses. Monday night we saw Megamind. We've decided to try to go out more for Family Home evening...just to make it different than our other nights of scripture-time-turned-chaos.

 Tuesday..found out I do have cavities, three in fact.  And here I am Wednesday, doing what I can to avoid browsing the drop shipper's catalogue.  What does sell on e-bay?  Not rubber chickens apparently.  I'm tempted to try selling the Alien paddle balls Grant was admiring  over my shoulder. You may find them for sale here soon.

Friday, February 4, 2011

did you ever wonder

Did you ever wonder if you could use your own cookie dough in an Easy Bake oven?  I'll admit that's the kind of thing I think about.
So after Olivia made the two Easy Bake cookies that come with the oven, she spent two hours filling the little pan with my  homemade chocolate and butterscotch oatmeal cookie dough, and sliding them through the Easy Bake oven, one by one, until she'd made ten of them.
It's kind of strange that you can cook with a light bulb.
That was Sunday.

Monday I thought the clouds were beautiful.
Tuesday I went to the elementary school at lunchtime.  Bethany's class was putting on a sale as part of their economics unit.  Bethany was selling her homemade tie dye shirts.

Wednesday Feb 2--the day that one thing fell into place...

Caitlin escorted Grant to his first day at the daycare center where she attends preschool.  Caitlin went to her regular class and then went down the hall to a new teacher after lunch.  When I picked up Grant at three-thirty he was surrounded by a small posse of boys who were calling him "Batman."
 He introduced them as his "new brothers."   William and Sophie are going to spend MWF with Grandma Martha.  So now I have to figure out how to make those hours remunerative.  I wasn't expecting to do it in that order, but sometimes life is that way.

Wednesday night Sam and Ben were really excited to go tubing at Soldier's Hollow with the church youth group.

Thursday Bethany went to school in her blue traditional Chinese dress.  For the sake of honest blogging, I'll admit that I was  more comfortable letting Chinese New year pass by this year. But I thought Bethany looked beautiful.