Friday, October 31, 2008


It looks like one the scariest parts of today is going to be my "to do" list.  I still have supplies to gather to make sure everyone's costumes are just right (things like fake fur and "bullet straps"-whatever those are),  I have not purchased even one bag of trick or treat candy yet (because neither I nor the rest of my family has any will power), and  I have visiting teaching deliveries to make (on the last day of the month, go figure). 
But the very scariest thing is that I have agreed to wear a costume.  I don't dress up.  I wear spooky t-shirts, or braid a couple of skull beads into my hair, maybe I glue a cockroach to the back of my neck or wear funny socks, but I DO NOT dress up.  This year a friend has conned me into being part of a "themed group dressing up scenario" and frankly I'm getting a little anxiety over it.  I'll let you know how it turns out.
I hope your Halloweens are super spooky and you end up with loads of Almond Joys. (my trick or treaters always give me all of the candy bars that have nuts in them, it's my reward for making the best costumes ever.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cheaper than therapy, and more convenient too.

Yesterday morning when I woke up I felt like I had an anvil on my head. I was so stressed about the politics and judgements and if my brother would make fun of me for having a crush on Daniel Craig, but then I wrote a whole bunch of posts, and released my negative karma to the universe and I felt so much better. Loads in fact.

I did worry a little about commenters not agreeing with me and a little more about my bishop finding my blog, but mostly I just felt relief. I think I might like my blog almost as much as I like James Bond.

And that is A LOT.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fiesta Nacho Meat


This is so good, we eat it over tortilla chips topped with cheese and sour cream.

3lb beef roast
1 medium onion diced
1 envelope of taco seasoning
3/4 cup dry pinto beans
4 c water
2 cloves garlic (I just peel them and put them in whole)

Put the everything in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours. Shred the meat and return it to the crock pot. You can use it for tacos, or taco salad or nachos or ..................

Have I mentioned.....

.....my enormous crush on Daniel Craig?
Best. Bond. Ever.

I feel all swoony now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Because danger is my middle name

Did I mention that I was alone this morning? For 3 HOURS? I was. It was glorious. As in I could almost hear the angels singing.

Wanna know what I did?

Since we are having our family pumpkin carving party tonight, naturally, I cooked and cleaned and prepa---------------Nope!!

I did this-
Ate breakfast, in silence.
Watched 2 episodes of The Office
Wrote a letter (you remember, that old fashioned form of correspondence) to our friends far away in exotic Switzerland, and I used actual stationary.

Pretty exciting isn’t. What can I say? I live on the edge.


Do you hear that?

My entire family is gone, I am alone. Alone, as in, the only one home. I will be all by myself for the next 3 hours. For the first time in 3 weeks. I'm feeling almost giddy.

Maybe I'll watch The View.

Just kidding!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is probably how Mary Kay got her start.

My daughter and her friend just came in the house very excited. They had this little bag of shells they found on the playground at school today and they wanted to go sell them to the neighbors. I like my neighbors, but I also like my girl and I remember having similar schemes at that age so I told them they could go to three houses. (Thus limiting the amount of annoyed neighbors and also the amount of inevitable rejection.)

Well, wouldn’t you know they found the biggest sucker on our street behind the first door they tried. He gave them a dollar for four broken little shells. They are planning to be millionaires before dinner.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

But it doesn't look anything like me.

*Thanks for the input. I'm going to go with photo B. for now, at least until I can get some glamour shots taken.
So, my husband who never looks at my blog, looked at it this weekend and he had this to say-

“That picture is awful; it doesn’t look anything like you.”

Yep, that’s the review. I guess it’s better than “Why did you say all that stuff about me and my mother?” But now I can’t decide what to do about the picture. I hate all pictures of myself. The ones he likes I don’t, and well, there really aren’t any I like. I’m thinking of going photoless. The only reason I decided to have a picture is because I like to see other people so I thought it was only fair. But now I am hearing that it doesn’t look anything like me. UGH!!

So, could the two of you who know me please tell me, yes or no on this picture the one in the corner, for the profile?

Or ---I can’t believe I am doing this ----

One of these? Vote. Please.

* Even if you don't know me, I can (obviously) use the help.

A. Long hair, no make up.
B. Make up, bangs need a trim.
C. Make up, goofy self portrait.
D. Me and Ivy
E. Bill's portrait.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I love to be helpful.

This morning I was telling my sister-in-law about some “news” I had gleaned during my regular morning “site check” and I was surprised to learn she didn’t know about this particular fountain of information. So, since I love to help, and since you may have missed some of these excellent sites, because maybe you are not as devoted to wasting time scouring the internet for knowledge as I am; now you don’t have to be. I am going to help you out by giving you the low down (never ever to be confused with the DownLow), here are 4 places I check out every morning. I recommend them all highly.


I love PDP. I myself have never been to Paris, but have always wanted to go. The photos are great here, but the best part is the way he explains each photo, just enough, but not too much. I feel like I go to France, just for a couple of minutes, everyday. It’s dreamy.

Wonkette. It’s like TMZ, for people who wear underwear.

The Pioneer Woman. I know not everyone loves her, and I’m not as smitten as I first was, but you never know what she will have going on over there and would hate to miss a good giveaway.  Not that I ever win, but it could happen, someday.

Her Bad Mother’s Basement. Other peoples’ secrets. Need I say more?

I also check most of those on the link list over there---AND all of the blogs I follow, plus our family blogs a couple of times a week.  It’s honestly a miracle that I get anything else done at all.

Your turn. What are your top out of the way places to go everyday, or every other day, or even just every once in a while? Please enlighten us, because I have like 15 minutes of free time a week that is not being wasted used wisely. 

The eye of the beholder

I have a post, that will hopefully be ready for public viewing later today, but right now I want to tell you about this.

Yesterday morning I went to an orientation meeting for this great program-Art Masterpiece-(you can read all about it there), so I can be a volunteer at my daughter's school.  The coordinator of the program told us about the art, and how it had been approved by the district and been deemed both "Masterpiece" and unoffensive.  Important qualifications when you are presenting in the public school system.  She then stressed to us the importance of ONLY using the approved works, and NOT deciding on our own that something else would make a better presentation.

"Any questions?"

A hand went up in the FRONT ROW "My mother-in-law is a renound local artist, would it be okay if I occasionally took some of her paintings?"

I really think the coordinator lady thought it was a joke, but alas......So then we all got to hear the approved works only portion of the speech for a second time.

Seriously, what is with people?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One man's trash.....

I have developed an irritating habit. I have started saying things like “Well, that was just a HUGE waste of resources!” Or “I can’t get over how they have wasted their resources.” Or “blah, blah, blah with the resources.” On every occasion I am right (naturally) whether I am talking about Sheriff Joe using a SWAT team to take down the cleaning crew at the public library or the excess of political flyers in my mailbox (once I received 3 in one day from the same candidate!! Waste I tell you!) My problem is not my ability to sniff out inefficiency, my problem is, I say “…………….wasted resources…………!” and almost instantly in my mind I see this-

And hear this “Well, I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.”

Help!! I'm turning into Clark's mother-in-law!!!

But, do you want to know what is NOT a waste of resources? Okay, I’ll tell you.

Yesterday afternoon as I sat on my front porch bench trying to soak up some sunny disposition, the mailman arrived with the usual- bills, election propaganda, magazines, catalogs, you know what I mean, you get mail. I began to go through the pile, because if it’s not worth bringing in the house it never crosses the threshold, I take it straight to the recycle can, I never waste my resources, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but this-

A big bumpy envelope from Virginia.

And inside this-

I don’t know if it’s a riddle (I have been racking my brain to solve it), a Christmas wish list (you want things that end in O-camo, ammo, Elmo?), or just clever recycling. Either way you made me smile. Thanks tricky mail sending relatives. You rock.

Lastly, yesterday I was all doom and gloom. What a ridicules waste of resources. Thanks for your kind comments. I really loved what sue q said “There are days that the best we can expect is to just keep breathing. And deeply. And then we blog about it, and go on with our life.” Exactly. Last night I watched the Biggest Loser, which I don’t usually do because it always makes me cry, and I felt so awful for the woman (Amy?) who had to leave, of course I cried. Like a baby. She said something though, about being a half-full gal on a half-empty team, and I thought it perfectly described me lately. I’m a half-full girl having a half-empty month, I just need to breathe and keep going.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If you're having a bad day, this might not be the place for you.

How about a little honesty, anybody wanna play? My weekend sucked. Yep. Really, really, a lot. I haven’t posted anything for a few days because I’ve been feeling a little sad and weepy. By a little I mean, well, a lot. That is not to say that I haven’t written anything for a few days, let me assure you, if I am having emotions of any kind, I write. It’s just not always the sort of thing I want to post here in the sanctuary of my own private blog.

Friday was grocery day. For me that means two different grocery stores, plus Target, and Costco. My husband is STILL home with his back injury, it seems to be getting better, it’s just taking a long time. On Friday he was not feeling well enough to work, but he was feeling well enough to tag along with me as I ran errands. He’s not a good shopper. It makes him cranky on a good day, imagine two grocery stores, Target and Costco, all the Vicodin in town couldn’t make him enjoy that route. I tried to convince him to stay home but he insisted that he needed to get out of the house. I’m sure he did, unfortunately by the end of the day his crankiness had rubbed off on me, and I haven’t been able to shake it.

Saturday was worse. Our dog has a tumor, the kind that is going to make her die. There is nothing to be done but wait. She doesn’t seem to be in any pain, and she can still walk around, go outside, eat, all the important dog stuff, but the end is near and I can hardly walk by her without tearing up.

There’s more, but I have some dignity so I won’t post it all here. Let’s just say, when it rains it pours, you know?
We used to have this quilt. It was ugly. The top squares were all cut from the same kind of polyester my granny’s pants are made of and the bottom was some kind of sturdy canvas. I don’t know what the batting was but it was heavy. We called it the lead blanket. For years we took it on camping trips or used it to line the trunk of the car, it was solid.  If an arctic cold front had blown in, the lead blanket would have come in handy.

Lately I feel like I am wrapped in it all the time, or like I am wearing a suit lined with a  thick layer of warm sand.

For as long as I can remember I have fought against her; my arch enemy, depression. Since I was a young girl we have known one another.  I can see her coming from a mile away, I convince myself her visit will be short and I can fight her off. Sometimes I can and I do, other times I am not so lucky. For the past couple of months I have been getting post cards from her, sometimes she's been out in my yard hanging around, but this weekend she came right in the front door, without ringing the bell, she's rude like that.

Having her here now, when I have all this crap going on is scaring me. What if I can’t get rid of her? Also, I don’t have time to be depressed and if you’ve ever been depressed you know it can be very time consuming. All of the sitting around staring at nothing, thinking about all of the stuff you ought to doing. It’s exhausting.

Anyway, don’t feel sorry for me, I’ll get over it. Either on my own, or if that doesn’t work, in a week or two I’ll call up my doctor and get me some Prozac. I’ve hosted my pal depression enough times to know if I am going to be able to get rid of her on my own, or if I am going to have to call the sheriff to evict her.

Thanks for listening. I know that this is going to be one of those posts that makes me feel nauseous as I click the publish button, but just having this saved as a draft isn’t therapeutic enough for me. I don’t know if that makes any sense, I’m not sure I get it, but for some reason it’s helpful for me to “get it out there”.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just for fun.

This morning I got up at the crack of dawn and ran (not literally, who do you think I am?) down to 7-Eleven and bought a whole stack of blue cups. I don't even drink coffee. I'm going to use them at our Halloween party. You know, to make it a really scary night for my conservative friends and neighbors! HA!HA!HA! Then I'm going to dress up as Tina Fey being Sarah Palin, just to throw my liberal friends for a loop.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

While you're at it, what do you think of the Girl Scouts?

No less than 3 times yesterday I caught myself thinking that I can’t wait until the election is over and all of this tension over different opinions can go away. Yeah, yeah, I know you are sick to death of me talking politics here. Unfortunately for you this is MY blog, and the only place I speak completely unmuzzled. It’s therapeutic, and my mental health is important to me, I’m selfish like that. Come back the middle of November, I should be settled down by then.

Also, apologies in advance, this is long, it got away from me. Oops!!

Anyway, like I was saying. …After biting my tongue for the 17th time, it occurred to me (I’m a little slow) that just because the election passes and we stop talking about issues all day, doesn’t mean suddenly we will all live in harmony. In fact, in my case anyway, my eyes have been opened to just how many people in my life I fundamentally disagree with.

Most of them I knew didn’t see things as clearly and rightly as I do (I’m JUST KIDDING!!), but there are a few who are (in my expert opinion) just narrow minded and wrong. --Still kidding (kind of). I’m going to see these people just as often after the election, only now I see them differently, and they me.

The worst is my husband, you know, because we live together. I feel like we are at opposite ends of so many things. He is very conservative and I am pretty moderate, with some liberal leanings. We both tend to be passionate about our beliefs, but we express our passion in very different ways. I like to haul out the facts and try to sway you to my side in a “playful” debating manner. My husband likes to state his opinions as common sense and the “right thing” and dare you to spew that lefty propaganda at him, lest you force him to explain why he thinks you are such an idiot while he makes that face where his forehead gets all wrinkled up. Sometimes I say something like “Maybe you’re right, I should put a little more thought into that.” Just so he will smooth out his face. I don’t want him to get a cramp between the eyes. Can you imagine how that would feel?

Last week I was at lunch with a friend and we were talking about a mutual acquaintance (NO, we were not gossiping and I don’t think I like your tone) anyway, we were discussing some of the personality traits of this person (for clinical purposes) and my friend said “Do you think she even knows who she really is?” At the time I thought, and said, that if you live and act a certain way for so long, you become that, thereby having that phony self become your real self.

Are you still with me?

Well, I have been living the life a fairly conservative person. I’ve been busy being a mom. The last time there was a general election our youngest was four years old. It’s been that way for the last 17 years (I don't mean she's been four years old for 17 years, I mean, I've had young children or babies for 17 years, keep up.). My biggest priorities have been diaper changing and getting small people to eat enough green vegetables, while thoughts of politics and foreign policies may have crossed my mind, I just didn’t have a lot of time to spend on them. Mind you, I realize that being busy is no excuse for burying my head in the sand, it honestly wasn’t intentional, some things were at the top of the list and others were farther down, a few I didn’t get to at all.

If we use the argument I used about becoming the person you pretend to be I would be someone else. I haven’t been “pretending” exactly, I have just been hanging out with other mothers and our conversations centered on dinner menus, our callings, and who is the best 3rd grade teacher at the local elementary school. Most of those mothers, I am finding out, don’t share my views on lots of things. It turns out, current events aren’t such a hot topic at Park Day.

So what I’m saying is, I’ve always been this liberalish person (just ask Mr. Campbell my AP English teacher) but I guess that side of me has been lying dormant. I didn’t become June Cleaver just because I was leading her life. I have opinions; anyone who knows me will tell you I have opinions, lots of them. I just haven’t felt a need to drag them out and show them off, and now that I have time to use my brain, when these topics are raised I don’t have to do much soul searching; I just have a feeling in my gut which is the right way to go. Which must be how my husband feels, only our guts send us in different directions.

Tell me, please, do you and your husband agree on all things political? And if not, how do you handle it? What about your friends, are you all on the same page? Are you a debater or a peacemaker? Or a peaceful debater? Do you discuss these things at all? Is this too many questions? Humor me, it’s Tuesday, what else do you have to do?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

All this was crammed in my head, now it's out. Thanks.

Apparently the folks over at Bank of America don’t watch the news because this morning I was e-mailed an offer from them to apply for a credit card. Are they serious? I’m half tempted to apply, just for laughs.

What exactly does it mean when a carpet cleaning company advertises that they are experts at “removing RED stains”?

I’m thinking of heading up to the McCain’s ranch in Sedona this weekend. They won’t be home and with us being such good friends and all, I’m sure they won’t mind. (I wonder if Cindy would care if I tried on her shoes?)

Contrary to what you may have been told candy is not a balanced breakfast, or any other meal for that matter.

Has anyone read this book, The Secret History by Donna Tartt? It’s the book my book group is reading this month, I started it last night and I’m finding her writing style a little annoying.

How many times can you ignore phone calls from a "friend" (no, it's not John McCain) before they start to feel blown off?  Because some people require a lot of energy, and some days I just can't spare it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hello...Crazy over here.

I feel like I’m cracking up. I’ve been getting crankier and crankier and more and more gloomy. I knew it, but I didn’t realize that everyone else could see it. Last night some friends came over and I love them but the wife is notorious for her negativity and I got the feeling I was bringing her down. That’s bad.

I hardly slept last night and I woke up early this morning thinking about why I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach. I realized that it’s fear. It’s not fear that the stock market is going to crumble or that my family will have to eat turnip soup or that I will soon be learning how to darn socks. If those things happen I will deal with them and press forward. We live in Arizona, who needs socks?

I’m scared of other things.

I am afraid my daughter will not make it home from school. She walks now. She’s in the 3rd grade and thought it was time I let her. I’m not so sure and everyday at 2:30 I feel like making up an excuse to go pick her up anyway. I mean, what if something happens? Not just “bad guys”, I worry plenty about that, but what about the other things, like bullies or that her backpack is way too heavy and 3rd grade is the last year she ever walks upright?

I’m frightened that my son who is a junior in high school doesn’t take his future seriously. (Because, you know, I did. And I’m so incredibly successful now because of it.) I worry that he won’t decide to go to college, then I worry that he will and I won’t be able to help pay for it.

I worry that I will wake up in the morning with a migraine and be unable to fulfill my obligations.

I’m afraid my winter grass won’t grow and ours will be the only house on the street with a brown lawn.

I’m concerned that I never seem to get caught up. There is always one more thing. Another load of laundry, an undusted room (or eight), a meal to prepare, or we’re out of milk….. It’s a long list, and I feel almost frantic in my need to cross everything off.

I worry constantly over what others think of me, all the while pretending that I don’t.  Which makes for all kinds of awkward situations.

I am afraid that my dad will remarry and our newly formed fragile relationship will be ripped out from under me once again.

I'm scared I will always feel like this, that it won't go away and that my kids will think it's normal to be stressed and worried all the time.

I’m in a constant state of nervousness, which is not entirely new for me, I’ve always been anxious; I just think I used to be a little better at hiding it. I really used to be able to outwardly project a positive perspective. How do I get that back? Most of these things I am worried about are out of my realm of control. Is there a way to let go but still be in control? Does that even make any sense?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Heaven help me.

I know I am a horrible wife, but if my husband doesn’t get well and go back to work tomorrow, I may kill him. Did that sound harsh? Gosh, I hope not.

Listen, I love him, but there is NOTHING worse than a sick husband. Not sick kids or a sick dog, I would rather have my own mother here with a sinus infection for a week than have my husband laid out on the sofa for 2 long whiney days with a back injury.

I’ve been kind to him. I drove him to the chiropractor, I made him lunch and delivered it to him in bed. And when he needed more ice in his water I came downstairs and got some, and when I got up there and he remembered he needed another napkin I hurried right back down and I brought that up too. I was sweet and asked it there was anything else—I didn’t even use the slightest twinge of sarcasm.  I swear!

--oh, that’s him now. He can’t reach the remote. Gotta run.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

You can always take the bus.

My parents weren’t much for organized religion, or disorganized religion either, as far as that goes. It was always implied that both of my parents had been forced to go to church as children and they weren’t going to do that to us. In fact, aside from saying Grace on Thanksgiving and knowing that we owned a copy of The Living Word Bible, religion wasn’t really discussed in our home.

Every summer when we visited our grandparents we went to the little Methodist church down the street from their house. It was dusty and attendance always seemed kind of low, but if memory serves me correctly, they had doughnuts, which is never a bad thing.

We also rode the “Church Bus”.

We lived in the Bible Belt and I suppose the idea was, if you can’t redeem the whole family at least try to save the kids.

It worked like this. Every so often someone from the youth ministry of a local church would tract out our neighborhood. They came to the door and asked if they could come by on Sunday and take the kids to Sunday School. My mom, knowing a good thing when it knocked on her door, never passed up an opportunity to have our little souls cleansed, or for her to have a morning off.

The first time I remember going I was in the second grade and we lived in Alabama. The bus came and my younger brother and I rode with a bunch of strangers singing the “B-I-B-L-E” and “Yes Jesus Loves Me” through the countryside. When we arrived we were split into age groups for a lesson then all brought back together in a large room where we were told about sin and strongly encouraged to come forward and “Be saved”.

If you wanted to be saved you were to come to the front, then the group of you was taken to another room, for the casting out of demons I suspect. I never had the courage to go to the next room. I was always curious, but also afraid. My mom, never known for her consistency, would send us for a few weeks then we would stay home until a different church came to free us from the bonds of childhood sin.

After a while I started to break out into hives when I went to church. Really. Itchy red hives. I got a stomach ache too. My mom never could figure out why I only got them on Sunday.

When we moved to Kentucky she was able to get us on the Vacation Bible School circuit. We got to go on “vacation” 3 or 4 times every summer. We made macaroni necklaces and popsicle stick crosses.  It wasn’t that bad, I think those church ladies felt sorry for us, they were always really nice, in that “poor things are being raised by heathens” kind of way.

Eventually we were too old to ride the bus and we got to stay home on Sundays. Of course growing up in the south, most of my friends were being dragged to church every week and being reminded of their eventual eternal damnation on such a regular basis that I felt fortunate that my parents didn’t care about my salvation.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Time is almost up.

PLEASE, if you have not resigtered to vote click on that button over there. See it? The round one that says "Register to vote NOW". Click and go do it. Today. In some states you only have until Oct.4th.

Also by clicking on that button you can get lots of other election information, like basic voting facts and how to recieve an early ballot . There are also links to all the candidates websites , even that goofy Bob Barr guy! (Just kidding Todd! --about the goofy, not the link, there really is a link.)

If you don't register you can't vote and if you can't vote you can't complain when things go wrong (which, duh, they will!) And if you can't complain where is the joy in the political process?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Because you ought to know.

I say too much. Except when I don’t say anything.

On some topics I only need the slightest encouragement and the flood gates are open. Then I spend days wishing I would have just given a polite one word answer.

Other times, I feel really strongly about something but I keep quiet. Then I spend days wishing I would have spoken up.

Also, I can’t keep a secret.

I just thought I should tell you, you know, in case you were thinking of confiding in me, or expecting me to defend your “honor”.