Sunday, August 31, 2008
I thought it was funny, but Robert gave it a lukewarm response. I guess fonts don't excite him like they excite me. (Warning: the french font and the old fonts swear a little.)
As a result, we have cherry tomatoes coming out of our ears. All of the neighbors have had tomatoes bestowed upon them and a bag of tomatoes has made its way to the in-laws.
Our harvest has been so bountiful, I finally decided to do the unthinkable.
At least it was unthinkable until my good buddy Andrea told me how blissfully easy it was to "can" cherry tomatoes.
So I canned cherry tomatoes and while it was easy, it was also tedious and the result was 6 pints of cherry tomatoes (one which did not seal) which look so pathetic, I'm not even going to post a picture.
Good news: I pretty much cleaned out the 2 cherry tomato bushes, at least until the next 4 thousand tomatoes have had a chance to ripen. Also, I feel very noble for saving all those cherry tomatoes and not leaving them to rot in obscurity in a dark place under the tomato bush.
I'm like, Champion of the Cherry Tomato or something, don't you think?
Saturday, August 30, 2008
So I won't mention your name Jillyn.
Anyway, here's what we did...44 fabulous quarts of delicious Northwest grown peaches. It was a lot of work and I needed a nap by the time we were done. More than anything, though, I look at these jars and I wonder: What was I thinking? There is no way my family will eat this many peaches by this time next year.
Or will they?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Saw a link to this blog on Betsy's blog and I have to say, I didn't really get it at first. After reading some of the comments from the media though (Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, et al) I've realized it's a SPOOF of something called the married Mormon blog. I didn't realize there was a glut of married Mormon blogs out there, or even that "married Mormon" was a blogging category.
Just for all you non-Mormons out there who might be reading my blog, I am guessing there is a lot of Utah-centric stuff on top of the Mormon-centric stuff which is, I will admit, simultaneously confusing, hilarious and embarrassing. But hey, if we can't laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? (Tanya Harding won't be around forever...OK, that was rude!)
So, click at your own risk. It took me a while to figure out that JJWT is her "husband" (stands for Jacob Jason Wes Taylor) and she refers to herself as TAMN (Tiffany Amber Megan Nicole). If you would like a suggestion for fun blog post to start off with, I suggest this one. It clears up the "Special Olympics" post, especially when she talks about Dara Torres being her stand in mom.
**Sorry, I have to add this post too because it's about her Bunco party (hilarious) and how she only eats prenatal vitamins ("prenats") and "pawcorn" so she doesn't gain too much weight during her pregnancy.
Ok, so I'm seriously so addicted:
They won't look at the camera, but I think they are pretty cute just the same.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
At the beginning of the summer, the "thing" was RewardBoard.com. I downloaded this little miracle in a matter of seconds for only $29.99. The testimonials claimed what I already knew...that it would change my life.
The Reward Board is like a chore chart, except on the computer. And it was great...for two weeks. The kids haven't so much as clicked on it since.
Before the Reward Board it was the Family Home Evening Chart. This was going to bring reverence, order and participation to our Family Home Evenings. It was also going to make the lessons magically appear in my lap 2 minutes before Family Home Evening. While the latter never happened, we did have some form of FHE order...for two weeks.
My latest "thing" is this:
This product is called Time Tracker Tags. Each of the 3 timers can be monitored at the base. They have belt clips and wrist bands for portability. I can hand one to a child who is on his way out the door to play at a friends house, telling him to be home in 45 minutes. His timer will be set and I can monitor it on the base so I know when time's up.
Other uses: Practice your piano for 20 minutes, 30 minutes of screen time, take a 5 minute time out! Oh, I can tell this thing is really the "thing" this time. Life will get easier, kids will become more obedient, their rooms will be clean, I won't have to remind them to brush their teeth...Bliss.
Or, at least it will be bliss for 2 weeks and you know what? I'll take it.
Monday, August 25, 2008
"Stop bringing dirty carrots into my kitchen."
"Can't you pee outside? I just cleaned the toilets."
"Please just hold still today and don't touch anything."
"Don't play with the toys, I just put them away."
"No, you can't have a drink of milk, I'm done doing dishes. Why don't you go outside and drink from the hose."
"I just fluffed the cushions on the couch and you messed them up by sitting down."
I might say these things if I wasn't so busy saying things like:
"Does someone have a dead bird stuck to the bottom of their shoe?"
"Hey, don't wipe your dirty face on the couch."
"Whose muddy footprints are these?"
"How long has this wet towel been on the floor?"
"Why is there gravel in your bed?"
"Is that the tadpoles that I smell?"
On a related note,
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
When excitedly explaining something, he might include 4 or 5 "likes" right in a row, in machine-gun-like staccato.
Then, around 3am the other morning Ethan started talking in his sleep. All he said was "like" about ten times. (I was listening eagerly for him to come to a point, but he never did.)
It makes me wonder where they could have possibly picked up this little habit. It must be TV, because there is like no way it was from me.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Until that time, my list of "read" books grows. For the most part, I'm being patient, but after reading "Silent in the Grave" and the sequel "Silent in the Sanctuary," by Deanna Raybourn, my patience is up.
I enjoyed these Lady Julia Grey mysteries so much that I can't wait for the 3rd "Silent on the Moor," to come out in March 2009. So naturally, I have to blog about it.
Set in late 1800's London, the book opens thusly:
To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.
I stared at him, not quite taking in the fact that he had just collapsed at my feet. He lay, curled like a question mark, his evening suit ink-black against the white marble of the floor. He was writhing, his fingers knotted.
I leaned as close to him as my corset would permit.
“Edward, we have guests. Do get up. If this is some sort of silly prank—”
“He is not jesting, my lady. He is convulsing.”
With her eccentric and large family standing by for support, Lady Julia goes through her year of mourning and eventually comes to the realization that her husband did not die of a heart condition, but was instead murdered. She also learns that Nicholas Brisbane is an inquiry agent and had been hired by her husband to investigate threatening notes he had been receiving.
Lady Julia and Brisbane, a moody, enigmatic, Darcy-esqe character, embark on an investigation of the murder.
Julia has just the right mix of winsome naivete and utter disregard for societal conventions. She is funny and gutsy and makes mistakes.
Her relationship with Brisbane lingers right on the edge of propriety and passion through out most of the book.
To say that the cast of supporting characters is colorful is an understatement. From Julia's reformed prostitute maid and gypsy laundress to her brother who is secretly studying to become a physician through questionable practices and her morbid Aunt "The Ghoul" who seems to thrive on death, funerals and mourning, there is hardly a dull moment.
I am not an avid reader of mysteries, but was able to figure out "whodunit" before the book was done. Still, the circumstances and twists and turns fairly unpredictable and make the book a definite page turner.
If you miss reading until 3am and neglecting housework for a few days, "Silent in the Grave" and "Silent in the Sanctuary" will fill your need splendidly.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Have you or someone you know ever gotten the "runs" from eating too many cherries?
Sorry if this is a little personal, but I'd really be interested in your feedback for my non-scientific study. Feel free to reply anonymously if you like.
See, here's the thing--I've never gotten the runs from eating too many cherries. I don't know anyone who has gotten the runs from eating too many cherries. I'm starting to believe that this frequent warning must have originated millions of years ago as a ploy by a cherry-loving cave person to get fellow cave-people go easy on the bowl of delicious prehistoric cherries so he or she could have the most. The myth then was perpetuated and is now taken as conventional wisdom.
In a similar vein is the often believed lie that carrots will improve your vision. (Here's where that story got it's legs...)
As a follow up question, if you have had an adverse digestive reaction to eating cherries, how many cherries was too much? Was it twenty cherries? Fifty? A pound?
If it's a pound or more of cherries that gave you the runs, don't you think we can blame the adverse affects not on cherries, but on simply over eating?
Think about it--if you ate a pound of celery, I'm sure there would be a few changes to your familiar digestive routine. Ingesting a pound of black jelly beans would also surely create a few bodily surprises (don't ask how I know this.)
I just want to clear cherries' good name and restore their dignity. So please help by leaving a comment...it's for research.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Because I love you all so much, and because it's August 13 and I'm tired of giving my kids the perfect summer and need to let them watch crazy amounts of TV so I can lose myself on the computer and in books, I give you this hilarious Twilight Movie Trailer Spoof.
You are welcome!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
They all pocketed their allowance right before we left and even though I begged them not to throw it away on the dumb arcade games, their minds were already made up.
After our free game of mini-golf, the boys went to the arcade and bought tokens (3 for a $1...what a rip off!) and played until their money was gone.
Jonah spent two dollars on games and earned enough tickets for a prize. What prize did he select? Fake money.
People are calling about the on-line application I filled out for health insurance, or the on-line application I filled out for auto financing, or the on-line application I filled out to get a bid on replacing all the windows in my home.
Unfortunately, I did not fill out a single on-line application.
The phone keeps ringing and ringing. I've probably taken 20 calls today and they don't show any sign of stopping. They are slowing down. I think the eager beavers call first thing in the morning. It's the slackers who wait until after lunch to follow up on their leads.
I've called my bank and the police. I have filed a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center. What else should I do?
I know what e-mail address is being used and I also know the fake birth date and social security number they are claiming I have. There was one place that even had a fake height and weight, and I was not flattered!
I can't get any help from the "Do Not Call" list because these people are just responding to requests, supposedly from me. I don't know if this is a computer virus or if there is an evil little person who stays up all night filling out on-line applications just to annoy people. One of the on-line applications was submitted at 3am.
In the olden days the evil little person would have had 20 pizzas sent to my house. Or maybe a better analogy is that they'd have a pizza sent to my house every 30 minutes, all day long.
Anyway, I'm getting better and better at explaining my little predicament and cutting those poor sales people off before they can tell me all about the great loan I qualify for or all the features of the Lincoln MKX I was interested in.
So, I'm having a fun day.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
If looking at Crown Point through free toy binoculars didn't get Jonah close enough, driving right up to Crown Point did.
I was proud of Jonah for walking the whole way up with out hardly complaining at all. Isaac, on the other hand, had to be carried part of the way up and part of the way down!
Before we headed back down, Ethan and Jonah found this lovely little napping rock and both proclaimed they would never climb to the top of Multnomah Falls again.
Friday, August 8, 2008
You can't fathom that the day might possibly come (sometime in August, for your future reference) when those little tags will disappear in a cascade of viney green and your little babies will be huge, gangly monsters. (But they are my monsters!) Robert suggests I cut back my precious plants, but I can't. At the same time, I don't know if I can harvest the tomatoes when the time finally comes. It's not wading through a dense jungle of tomato that seems daunting. I don't mind wading in tomato plants at all. In fact, I love wading through tomato plants. They smell so good.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Here is a picture of what our yard looked like "before" our project started. In this picture, a section of the fence has been removed to make way for a little excavator which was about to come through and grade the slope of the yard. This picture was taken in May, 2008. And here we are today, August 2008. Obviously we are not finished yet. In fact, we have a list of about 20 things to do before we can consider our backyard complete. But, some of those to-do items include purchasing a patio table and chairs and due to budget constraints, that will most likely not happen until July 2009. (Unless anyone knows of an awesome used patio table and chairs for sale--cheap!)
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I'm being a mean mom and it's hard to tell whether I'm helping my kids learn valuable life lessons or just consistently forcing myself to follow through with poorly thought-out threats.
Mean Mom Episode #1 occurred this morning at breakfast. I had to get Jonah out the door and on his way to summer reading camp and was trying to get him to eat a super nutritious breakfast of Eggo freezer waffles in 10 minutes or less. Isaac was also being served a plate of waffles.
As I was plating the waffles, there was some debate about who would get which plate. The individual waffles, although absolutely identical, were also being anxiously claimed. I spent 20 seconds switching plates and waffles, waffles and plates, until I was sure I had the combination right.
I set the waffles in front of the boys. Isaac was appeased but Jonah was not. "I don't want this plate." Jonah said. "I want the pumpkin plate."
I explained to Jonah that he could eat with his eyes closed and pretend he had the plate he wanted. I told him the waffles would taste the same on the plate he had. I reasoned to his sense of urgency and told him that we only had a short amount of time before we had to leave. (Mental note: Jonah has no sense of urgency.)
None of these logical methods worked and Jonah was becoming more and more vocal about his displeasure.
I then suggested that maybe NO plate would be better than the one he had. I said he had until the count of three to start eating off the plate he had or he could eat his waffles off the floor.
"1......2.................come on Jonah, I'm gonna say 3...here it comes..........3!"
I took the plate, dumped the waffles on the floor, and put the plate in the dish washer. I put the fork next to the pile of waffles so he would have something to eat with.
I expected, and got, a big reaction from Jonah, but completely unexpected was the equally big reaction from my sweet Isaac. He sobbed and sobbed like I'd just dumped his own plate of waffles on the floor. It broke my heart.
Surprisingly, Jonah calmed down after a minute and ate a few waffles off the floor before we left for reading camp.
Mean Mom Episode #2 occurred when I entered Ethan's room. To make a long story short, a room that was supposed to be cleaned this weekend and looked clean on Saturday was in actuality a room with a closet jam packed with junk.
In addition, there was hamster food spilled on the floor and a wide variety of other things, which if you have boys, or kids, or even destructive dogs, you can just use your imagination to figure out what kinds of things I'm talking about.
Finally, I smelled, among other things, the hamster cage which had not been cleaned for a while. In fact, the last few times it has been cleaned, it's been done by me.
I think this is called "reaching critical mass."
I immediately called a friend and asked if she would mind keeping the hamster for a few days while Ethan learned a lesson. Since the simple requirements for Ethan to have a hamster were that he keep his room clean and that he take care of the hamster by cleaning the cage, I figured this was a logical consequence.
I picked up the hamster cage and walked right over to my friend's house and, even as I type (about 1 hour after the hamster hand-off), Ethan has no clue that his little friend is gone. I have no doubt he will be devastated.
And to be honest, I have a bit of a pit in my stomach too. I'm kind of sad to loose the little guy, even though it's hopefully temporary. However, I really need to be prepared to go all the way with this and list the thing on Craig's List if Ethan can't keep his end of the bargain.
Why do I feel so crappy? Did I do the right thing?
About one thing I am sure: I'm having the last piece of blueberry pie for lunch--I deserve it!
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
I have an article in August's edition of Vancouver Family Magazine. It's my first time in real, black and white print, on paper. Not that there is anything wrong with cyber print...it's just a little more satisfying to be on paper.
If you live in or around Vancouver, pick up your own copy at any of these places. Or you can view the article on line here. (As of this afternoon, the July issue was still listed at the current issue, so be sure to check back to see August's issue.)
The article is called "Bubble Science."
Monday, August 4, 2008
My heart was set so that even the price of QFC's wild caught King Salmon did not deter me. It made me pause and consider that I could serve Hamburger Helper every night for two weeks for the same price, but it ultimately did not deter me.
I swallowed, gathered my courage and asked for two pounds of King Salmon. Luckily, the slab that was in front, that I thought would probably feed our family, was 1.73 pounds and I quickly told the meat and seafood guy it would be just perfect.
I noticed the read-out on the scale said the salmon was $6.99 a pound. Was there some extra sale I was not aware of? At this point, I might as well tell you that the salmon was on sale at $14.99 a pound. The original price...$22.99 a pound!
He handed me my wrapped up slab of king salmon and I checked the sticker and it said I'd bought just over $12 worth of salmon. Well, I was thrilled, but a bit curious.
"I have a question," I said. "Is there a special sale going on that isn't advertised, because I thought the salmon was $14.99 a pound?"
The meat and seafood guy checked the sticker, then checked the little price thing under the glass and said, "Oh, wow! You are right."
At this point I was feeling honest, but incredibly stupid. In fact, "stupid" had just beat "honest" in a horribly mismatched arm-wrestling contest.
You would think this guy could have cut me a break for speaking up and given me the salmon for the lower price. It was his mistake after all. Maybe he could have offered to split the difference? At the very least he could have praised my honesty and acted like he'd never met anyone who would do such a noble thing. It would have made me feel a little better.
All he said was, "You probably would have felt guilty after you left here if you didn't say anything."
On the way back to the car, I passed the tanning salon. (Why those places are still in business I do not know. Do the people who walk in and out of there not ever read or watch the news?)
There was a sign in front of the tanning salon that read, "Please bare with us during our renovation. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you, but hope that the upgrades we are making will help us serve you better."
"Bare?" As in "take your clothes off?"
It had to be a mistake, even though it was kind of a funny one, for a tanning salon. The rest of the message was so serious that I was sure they meant "bear" instead of "bare."
I was still stewing over the $25.63 worth of salmon I was carrying that I felt just snotty enough to go in and give them a vocabulary lesson. This was some "speaking-up" I could get right.
I told myself I deserved to feel a little smug. I realized that the tanning employees would probably make fun of me after I left and say I was a geek for pointing out their vocabulary gaffe (but they wouldn't know what the word "gaffe" meant.)
I was so close to going in. I peered inside the front window and saw 2 people standing at the front desk chatting and laughing with the receptionist.
I chickened out.
The moral of the story is: Just have Hamburger Helper.
(This better be the best salmon dinner ever!)
Saturday, August 2, 2008
It became clear that most of the crowd had probably been dropped off by their parents, and we started to feel a little out of place when the screaming for Edward and Jacob rose to a fever pitch. Were we the only grown up fans there?
We took a walk over to a nearby restaurant and hung out chatting while a few of us had something to eat.
We made it back to Borders in plenty of time to line up to get our books, and by 12:30am we were ready to be happily on our way. I have to admit, I was yawning and a couple of the moms in our group considered going home early because they were getting up at 5am to run 11 miles.
With the book in my hands, I was pretty sure I was going right home to hit the sack. In the 10 minutes it took to get home, however, I thought that maybe just reading one chapter would not be so bad.
At 3am I finally stopped reading, only because I knew that I had to clean the garage out this morning, take the kids to a rock museum (actual stones, not Rolling Stones) and somehow be awake for the fancy garden party we were going to be attending later in the day.
I would have slept in a bit, but around 7:30 I woke to the non-soothing sounds of "rototiller." Who in their right mind would wake people up at 7:30 on a Saturday with the loud sound of a...
(...oh, the sound is coming from our back yard. Serenity Now!)