Thursday, December 18, 2014

Barbie girl

When I was about 6 years old, I had a barbie who, I was convinced, grew her hair longer every day and for some reason, it really bothered me. I told my mom and she said if I cut it, it wouldn't grow back. I knew it would, and I didn't want her hair to keep growing unchecked. I'm pretty sure it was a beach barbie, so her locks went to her ankles.

Stubborn as I was, even then, I took matters into my own chubby hands and gave that amazing barbie a bob. I lopped her hair off in one fell swoop of kitchen shears. After I cut her hair, she was not as pretty and I told my mom that my barbie was ruined. She told me it was my own fault for not listening to what she had told me and said it was just tough luck.

A couple days/weeks later, we got new barbies. My sister Sarah got to pick which one she wanted first. I think it was her birthday and the neighbor boys had thrown her barbie onto the roof, but we both got new barbies for some reason. I remember being a little miffed about her picking first, especially since I had such an ugly barbie now, but fair's fair.

Through the years, I have often rediscovered my ruined beach barbie. The barbie with bobbed locks. I remember cutting her hair and instantly regretting it. I remember the paranoia of her monstrously fast hair growth and feeling the need to stop the madness. I felt the need to make things right with the world.

Perhaps that is why I now look at others' haircuts and think about what they could do differently, or what I approve of in their style. I have been going au naturale lately with my hair- ever since my haircut. It has been looking pretty crazy lately, and yet..Charles still loves me. I, who couldn't love my barbie after her bob, met a guy who tells me I'm beautiful even when I go 4 days without a shower. Now a regular occurrence. You're welcome.

Isn't unconditional love wonderful?

Today a telemarketer called our office and right before I transferred him to voicemail, the man asked me "Why is your voice so sweet?" And I was like "Whaaaa? Oh, because I was born with this voice." So then he said it was perhaps because I ate so many almonds and honey. Afterwards, he commenced saying he knew we were based in California and that in India they label their sweet almonds as California almonds now. Then he asked me what my Christmas plans were. I told him I was going to visit my husband's family. Weirdness.

Maybe he thought if we chit chatted he could pitch his service to an actual person instead of our HR person's voice mail. No chance honey man. I've already got somebody who keeps me away from dangerous nuts and buys me expensive honey (the kind with honeycomb in the jar).

I shouldn't be surprised that I get such questions. After all, my little sister Bon has the sweetest little voice you've ever heard and she has Snow White's song down to a T. Go ahead, ask her to sing it for you. Might as well ask about Last Christmas too. I don't know how, but she has all the words down.


This may or not be the kind of caterpillar that made a cocoon above our water bag (used to keep flies away). Our caterpillar is green though, so maybe not? I want to know what kind it is, so if it's bad, I can kill it. Any caterpillar enthusiasts that can tell me if our green caterpiller with grown back spots is good or bad?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hoots-

I don't have any of my own kids, but I know a lot of kids. Which kind of means I have a lot of kids, since everyone knows if you know a kid, you have a kid. Glad we're clear on that.

Anyway, Charles and I have been teaching the wolves on a weekly basis and they are a riot. Last night we were doing skits and afterwards had the boys explain what they did and what they could have done better.

Luke and Cooper were in one group acting out what you should do if you see a burglar enter your neighbor's house. I almost died laughing when as they explained in short phrases what they were doing, taking turns, Luke clapped Cooper on the shoulder and said "I'll take it from here." Then Cooper waited a couple of seconds and clapped him on the shoulder saying "Ok, I'll take it from here." It was so politely done and we all had a good laugh.

All of the skits were done expertly and we were impressed with their ingenuity and acting prowess. I hope my boys can be so polite and listen with such respect.

Saturday we got our lemon on at home with lemonade and lemon curd. Yesterday I took lemon bars and cinnamon rolls to work as a bribery tactic. We have 170 cards to sign at work and it's always rough to get everyone to sign the monthly birthday cards, much less the mass quantity of Christmas cards. The bribery worked to some extent and we have 17 of 40 signatures. 23 to go.

We have a squash box of them and half have gone to rot and ruin, so I'm trying to save them. I mean, you can only eat so many lemons..and I didn't want to fill the whole fridge, so most of them are still in the open air. Sorry little lemons.

In our back yard, by our shriveled up leaves, is the compost heap. Sadly, it cultivates more gnats than dirt for us. Boo. So bugs have eaten all our leaves and the garden is a sad failure. Also, lots of gnats fly into our house, so we live in a perpetual gnatting hill. Also, I may or may not have broken our kitchen light cover because I was swatting at them. In my defense, it was very easily cracked and almost fell on my head. Bother bother.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Water is the essence of beauty-

You are probably wondering "What in the wide world is that?" Well, we drink lots of water at SMS Masterminds and, since I sit next to the water cooler, people always ask me who drinks the most water. Since that consistent question has started wearing down my patience, I decided to find the definitive answer (I don't have kids yet, so my powers to suppress annoyance at someone asking the same question over and over have not yet developed). So we put up a tally sheet and have been marking tallies of water consumed this week and will continue until the end of next week. The item pictured below is the trophy our bibber will receive. If you won this contest, you would definitely deserve something at least this cool. 

Note: If you decide to do a similar contest, please measure the water in ounces. Due to the competitive nature of the participants here (high achievers), there has been no small discussion of cheating and equal terms for everyone. The latent problem solving skills in me have been stirring. Lesson learned.
I also promised you pictures of the giant framed landscape hanging above our bed. Here it is, a picture of the fridge sized landscape that could kill us any time now. Pictured underneath, in the perfect spot for a good crushing, is Charles Ward, my special angel. Look at that sweet face. 

Also, he made a glider for one of his classes. They were supposed to have a flight contest with fellow classmates tomorrow morning, but it has actually rained here for the second time this year. So we are grateful for the rain and will see the glider contest sometime in January. Woot. Now, take a second to imagine that beautiful ornamental glider hung to the right of the significantly sized landscape on our bedroom wall. That's right, it has been placed just so in anticipation of its first official flight. Definitely my idea.




Thursday, December 4, 2014

Geronimo-

Jump out the window! Well, don't, because it's raining outside and you're not likely to bounce in the rain. Usually though, a great idea.

We watched and cared for some cats over the Thanksgiving weekend in exchange for a real bed. One cat was named Lightening and the other Ally. Lightening was older and white. She drooled when petted and shedded comforters worth of hair to boot. Ally was a friendly kitten that loved attention and her little toys. She also loved to torment Lightening, so she was not allowed into Ally's room.

Cat toys- Ally's toys were suspended from what looked like the end of a downsized fishing pole. There were two- one that looked just like a mouse when it was quickly moved back and forth and the other a bird. She could have played with her two fishing poles for hours. Too bad she needed a person to move them for the true effect to go into play. Lightening had not toys, but would meow for you to pet her whenever you entered her room. She reminded me of our barn cats that we loved dearly. Who wouldn't? They ate all the mice. Well, all the ones they could get to.

The mice in the corn/chicken feed were inaccessible to them. Those mice would just run around in the feed bins when we reached in to feed the chickens. That's why we didn't like going into the barn at night- nobody wants their hand bitten off by mice. Blurgh. Shivers.

They were affectionate and delightful cats. However, after four days of scooping poop, I can safely say I will never own an indoor cat. How could I possibly with such a smell wafting past my nose every time I fished their poop out of a bunch of rocks and deposited the clumps into plastic bags. So gross. The only way it could happen, would be if I could potty train my cat to poop into the toilet. Then I might, but that is a strong if. Actually, there is a way to do it- check out Pinterest to see how.

Anyway, besides having to take out the litter, I'm just too lazy to pet a cat and play with it all the time. Plus, half my friends and family are allergic, so they would never come over to visit me. Then, if Charles and I ever wanted to take a trip, we'd have to find someone to care for our cat. It's not so easy as it sounds.

Cats might also eat our baby. Oops, too late. See- no baby. And that's why Charles and I will probably never have animals.
dogtober.com

On the other hand, I would like to say Facebook has deviously planted many films of adopted animals that needed good homes and so when Charles gets an outdoor dog, we will probably get one from a shelter. I know, I said we wouldn't, but there are two people here and one of them would rather have a dog than a goat. You don't have to milk dogs.

I feel like there has to be a happy go between- like if I had to milk the goat more than once a month for a year, I would have full reign to sell it like Anne or just to make it unexpectedly into goat burgers. Charles: "Where's Franny?" Me: "Look at the chart. It's filled with tallies. You know what that means. I made her into goat stroganoff. You can enjoy her all week, no hassle." Then we'd be done with it because he would know the triumph of owning a goat, and he would finally get to say he ate goat. Goat for you Charles!

When I was younger, I wanted a dog. Actually, I wanted a puppy. Big difference. Puppies are so cute. Dogs are crazy. Anyway, for Christmas my brother Neal wrapped a round mermaid sled in butcher paper and drew a dog on the outside. He also glued together popsicle sticks and pasted one of his school pictures onto the front, cut in the shape of a dog head. So that Christmas I got two fake dogs. Thanks Neal.

We ended up getting a big dog sometime that year. He was a dog named Major and he was not a nice doggy. He would bark and didn't like to be petted. Then one day he was gone. He ran away from us into the Missouri abyss and we never saw him henceforth. My mom said he ran back home probably, but his family had moved. See Homeward Bound.

If we had a dog, Charles would love it and pet it and rock it to sleep. Too bad we have no room, but sorry dogs of the world, his love is all mine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Well bury me in your chip bag remnants-

Gross actually, but I usually wonder what to do with the salt accumulated at the bottom of chip bags and cracker boxes. Perhaps some hardy raccoon is licking them up as I write these speculations. Perhaps they just juice together with old trash bags and dry all retired goods into a crust of abundance.

I always think about where I can put this salt to good use. We don't have any horses, so nobody is around to lick all that excess salt up. You can't just drink it. I'm telling you, that was not a question. It's ok really, because we don't eat many chips or crackers- so we don't run into my Depression era sensibilities much with that conundrum. Thank goodness.

Charles is a sweet man who instead of getting mad, gets even. Thanks for being a genius AND patient with me. We crazy people can only get so far on intelligence fumes. Meanwhile, the blue sheets I've mentioned in previous posts could and totally do double for a spider's web, since we always get wrapped up in them and I feel the claustrophobia closing me into the abyss of..wait, I wanted to get those. They were so soft.
seekingalpha.com

Last night I dreamed I was working at McDonald's again- just like during high school. I was late; in my dreams I am always panicking about something. Also, I had quit my current full-time job to make fancy animals. Thanks for encroaching into my dreams Mom.

The tub turkeys have flown the coop and may have dribbled onto our bathroom rug- to the laundry with you, bathroom rug. It happened this morning as Charles was taking the turkeys out of their old bags and putting them into new, dry bags. It hurt me to see all those bags in the trash, but I've been saving my  chip salt, so I'm doing my part. For now.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Table this-

Charles and I have decided to buy a dining room table. Why must we have a dining room table? The same reason we need a couch- to sit at for food time. Currently we have a tiny square table that only fits four people and no food. So we have decided this will be the week to do it. This week's Black Friday after all and we are hoping to find some fresh deals- isn't that the feeling you get from the name Black Friday? I don't know why, but for me it seems to bring feelings of foreboding and death. Why couldn't it be yellow deal Friday? Anyway, who cares? I never shop around on that day.

I'm eating an almond snickers as we speak. Well, you're not speaking. All I hear from your end is radio silence. That's ok. We can always catch up on Facebook later, even though we never do, because Facebook is like a giant grocery store where everyone is always window shopping and never buying anything. Since that's what I usually do at clothing stores, sounds like my kind of place.

Yesterday Charles and I had a cowboy salad for lunch. We couldn't find any cowboys to add, so it's mostly beans and corn. It says to serve it cold in the recipe, but since I love my Mexican food warmed up, it gave me the chills to eat it chilled. Next time, I'm warming it up. Blah. Besides that it was good.

We also finally put the artwork in our bedroom onto the walls. We've only lived here since July. What's 4 months with a giant landscape sitting in the corner of your bedroom? Nothing I say. Actually, Charles might call me a liar on that one, since I was the hassler trying to get the art up onto the walls. I didn't want to do it myself- the art would surely have crushed me during the hanging, thereby breaking me and our bed it was hung above in one massive stroke. I say massive because the painting is easily the size of Maryland...or our refrigerator, but sideways.

I'm also researching what makes something cool. Do you have any suggestions? Here is my current list- I'm trying to stay partly away from hipster trends- too young to be in my state of cool perhaps?

1. Mustaches
2. Mullets
3. Ninjas
4. Toupees
5. Peanut butter
6. Knives
7. Goats- Unfortunately
8. Cats
9. Ugly clothes
10. Mad skills- any kind
11. Puns
12. Friendliness
13. Kindness

Which list actually does not help me in any way to make cool stocking stuffers this Christmas. I will prevail. I will conquer cool this Christmas. 

I know, Thanksgiving is coming up. Don't I know it. I finally get to see all my friends I haven't seen in 4 months and my Kitty Kat- who has completely forgotten me and has already begun to run. How dare she! It just makes me want to see more babies around and have one on hand. You know, just to cuddle. Everybody loves baby cuddles. 

We'll probably also watch some movies over Thanksgiving and eat loads of turkey and other delicious things. How could you not?

Tomorrow Charles is helping with our community Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless. That means today we had 8 turkeys bobbing in our bathtub, thawing out for Tday. What? You don't do that?

Happy Birthday to my niece Sally last week and to Annette this week. It seems like only yesterday they were born and adorable. Now they're getting taller and more beautiful. It's so weird to have such grown up nieces and nephews, but so it goes.

My mom recently asked what our favorite movies/books were. She said to count series' as one book. So I did. These are mine..kind of. It's hard to pick favorites when you watch/read so many. In no particular order:

Books

1. The Blue Castle
2. Poison study series
3. Storm Testament series
4. Jane Eyre
5. Alvin Journeyman series
6. Ender series
7. The lost Gate series
8. A tree grows in Brooklyn
9. Life of Pi
10. The Miracle of Forgiveness
11. Atlas Shrugged

I haven't read Atlas Shrugged since high school though, so it's been a while, but I remember I could hardly put it down.

Movies

1. You've Got Mail
2. Wild Target
3. Pride and Prejudice
4. Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea
5. Wild Hearts can't be Broken
6. Groundhog Day
7. The Scarlet Pimpernel
8. Indiana Jones
9. Deja Vu
10. Robin Hood- the cartoon

Stop judging me because I didn't put Star Wars. There are lots of movies that I like that didn't make the list. It only goes to 10 and I added movies I can watch over and over with a heart full of love, quoting them shamelessly along the way. I also tried thinking of movies that delighted me the first time I watched them and continue to do so.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pill shaver-

You probably don't even know what a pill shaver is. Well, perhaps I'm not giving you enough credit. What is it?

No, silly. It does not shave the pills you eat. It shaves the tiny balls of lint off your sweaters/sheets that accumulate when you don't want to have to pick them off one by one by one. It's been a long time coming.

Charles would tell you, I'm pretty weird about my covers and sheets. Whenever he gets tucked into the sheets, I reach over and untuck him. When the 5 layers of sheets, comfort, warmth, and style we call our boudoir get into disarray, I smooth them back underneath the pillow nest until our nightly appointed slumber.

Lately, the blue sheets- not the pink cupcake sheets- have gathered together a mutiny of pills by our designated foot area. You may think  "Big deal. Who cares? What's the problem, Boblem? Well I care, and it's been driving me nuts. Pecans not the other kinds, because I'm allergic to some of those. Anyway, I could never pick them off one by one. They're too small and I have tiny arms. I don't think you thought this through. Master. And besides that, I don't have that type of patience. Out of all my projects, have you ever noticed any homemade miniatures for my (whispered) shadowbox? No, it stands empty on our crafting table, taunting me every time I look inside.

So last night, I got all crazy when I changed the cupcake sheets over to the blue set and got out our new...ba da da da!!!!! pill shaver. It worked like a charm. I can't wait to use it on that flesh colored sweater I own that's notorious for pill accumulation. That sweater has a serious drug problem.

Actually, I have to come clean for a second. Our (whispered) shadowbox is not completely empty. It currently has some rings from Ashley's Halloween cupcakes- they were super cute. It also currently displays some mini candy boxes from Jacob and Katie's wedding reception- they're shaped into little groom and bride bodies. Super cute. Perhaps it will become our holiday (whispered) shadowbox.

Tonight we are going to an ice cream social. Unfortunately, I've become a bit of an ice cream snob. In my younger days I loved ice cream. Due to some tifs and misunderstandings between me and ice cream, we have become less easy friends and have become more awkward acquaintances that text every once in a while. I have become more of a connoisseur and less of a gorger. How in the world did I spell connoisseur right on the first try? Let it be recorded I wrote that word correctly the first time. That must be some kind of record. Get this girl some ice cream.

However, let it be Tillimook Mudslide or some such lovely flavor, not Rocky Road or pistachio. I know, those other kinds have nuts, so I shouldn't eat them anyway, but those nuts always seem to stick in one's molars for hours before becoming unceremoniously dislodged by a person's (hopefully) nightly flossing regime.

Charles recently talked a stranger lady into trying TM while looking over her shoulder to see if it was on sale during a recent visit. That one loves ice cream. And I fear, I have also begun passing on the snobbery to him. Woe. Woe to the land of ice cream. Unless ice cream does not like to be eaten, but such is the purpose of food, so it must be in want of consumption. Wot. Otherwise, what would be its purpose and meaning? The meaning of life for ice cream is delight. Not a knife fight. Sticky. I do not like being sticky. Picky. Quite.

And what's the deal between moths and butterflies? Why does the ugly cousin get such a bad rap? You see a butterfly and think "I live in a magical wonderland". You see a moth and thi-SMASH!!! No more moth. I would have to admit that butterflies are majestic and colorful. You never see butterflies in your house, eating your sweaters- with and without pills- and living in old bags of wheat. Bleeh. It just gives me the shivers thinking about moths. The moth pictured below is known as the red velvet moth. Actually, I made that up. But doesn't it remind you of red velvet cake? Yeah, like I said.

Next time I see a moth, I'm going to say "Hey moth, go get butterfly. We love him. Bring him over and you can totally hang with us." Then SMASH. Seriously, you win twice. First, because you have a magical woodland creature flying around you because, for the love, you killed his cousin. Second, you got rid of a pesky moth. What's not to love about this scenario. You even get a fresh batch of glitter out of the deal because everyone knows that's where glitter comes from. Haven't you ever killed a moth? It's a sin to kill butterflies.

On my mission, my companion would kill butterflies. Then she would encase them in clear tape and make them into bookmarks. I would just pick up dead butterflies I saw on the street. Weirdly, instead of picking up coins on my mission from the street- almost never happened- I would find flowers and butterflies and put them into my weekly planner. That's what I did on the road.

These days I don't pick up change in the parking lots and on the ground. For some reason, I feel like money in California is dirtier than Missouri money. Is that Statist of me? Anyway, I will only pick up coins of a nickel or more. Or perhaps, instead of changing areas, it is more a change in my state of mind. I have grown up a little bit. High minded and the like. You know how I do.

Apparently this is a trend evidenced not only by my inability to ignore pills, but also in my ice cream preferences. I enjoy nice things. So sue me. Actually, I've said this before, but don't. I'm not as rich as the ice cream I prefer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Apple muffins-

Have you ever listened to a podcast? I haven't listened to many, but my friend Amar recently recommended this one to me. It's called Serial. It's like what they used to do on the radio- a weekly episode highlighting different aspects of a mysterious case you want solved.

This podcast is based on a true story which makes the ending even more tantalizing to hear. I got to the seventh episode and had to stop- There were only 7 episodes. So now, every Thursday, I can feel a tiny bit more frustrated about how it will all end. You should listen to it. Or maybe not, because then you'll be hooked.

To the person who leaves their dirty dishes on the clean side of the sink at work:

How dare you? I am not your mother. Nor do I command you to clean your own mug, you work at an adult job, why should you be expected to wash your own cup? However, the fact is, you are kind of a jerk. If you're going to leave your dirty dishes around the break room, have enough respect to put them on the table or in the sink, instead of in the midst of all the clean dishes I cleaned two hours ago. You swine.

Swine eat apples. I'm positive I've already raved about these muffins, but this is a good way to dispose of old apples. I like crispy apples as much as the next girl, but I do not tolerate shriveled apples, nor do I encourage profligate mushy apples. What a waste. Anyhow, these don't last long at my house and there are only two of us.

Rolled paper art. How have I never discovered this before? Paper rolling is the coolest new artistic medium, though it's probably as old as Ali Baba. It is a new discovery to me though and I'm wholly impressed with the people who actually make cool stuff like this out of rolled up paper.


Also, hair art. Honestly, I heard about this when I was like 15 years old. I met a girl, who had learned the skill from family members, at an exhibit in Independence, Missouri about olden time traditions. She said the hair only had to be 2 inches long to use it. You just clean out your hairbrush or whatever to get useful supplies. Actually, just thinking about this gives me the willies, but I used to be really interested in this or rather the pragmatic artist inside of me was. It's a way to remember departed friends or family members. Also called mourning wreaths.


However, when I first googled hair art, I found this.


This is probably where the first willies started. Bah.. can you imagine wearing that around? I can't even handle one hair on my neck without going into spasms to find and remove it, much less a wreath of hairs.

Charles, don't go harvesting from my hairbrushes either. If you're looking for something to do, we need some banana bread. Love, your weird wife

Friday, November 7, 2014

Costco, you would-

Charles and I have recently received, from the bounty of some new friends, a Costco membership. Perhaps previously mentioned, Charles tried before our wedding to petition for a Costco membership, but was denied membership. Thanks Costco. Apparently, even though they will only accept money straight from your debit account or cash, we were not deemed worthy to shop there. So pfft Costco, we have a full year to decided whether we wish to throw our money at you or not when we get filthy rich. Or filthy richer. Since we are blessed beyond belief in our lives already.

We are grateful for this freedom to shop where we want. That said. What in the world!? For those of you who don't shop there, you are probably doing ok. I mean, besides some shopping during my summers in Alaska, I don't have much experience with Costco. Granted, early in my childhood we would eat platforms of muffins from some heavenly place, but more recently I have discovered the home of said muffins.

Charles and I try to get in and out with staples that will keep us alive. The deals there are terribly tempting. Unfortunately for us, or is it fortunately, we have found deals in raspberries, heavy cream, butter, milk, flour, chocolate chips, toilet paper, clorox wipes, and paper towels.

If you know me, you know I love saving money, and what better way is there than spending loads of money to save your future self a couple bucks. Meanwhile, I'm trying to keep Charles from the orange chicken and he's talking me out of a 15 lb. bag of blueberries. (We could use them for smoothies and muffins and every delicious thing!) 

I suppose one problem with giant buckets of produce is using said produce before it goes bad. We currently have a half gallon of heavy cream and a drawer full of spinach waiting to be combined into this. So not only does it force us to eat like kings, but also gives us some new territories to forage. Plus, there are only two of us. I'm sure once Christmas comes around we will get some serious use out of that card.

Oh Costco, how you pain my budget and challenge my self control. As an added bonus, heed this warning: never shop at Costco on a Saturday. The people there are all crazy- yes, especially me when I decide to shop on that most hectic of all days and knowing better. It's like trying to find cheese you dropped on the ground in the middle of a buffalo stampede.

The last time we visited we noticed a colossal bear that I doubt would fit a standard sized door frame. Sorry kids, your Christmastime fancy animals are NOT that size. I even need to shrink down the t-shark I made, because for some reason, he looks misshapen and rather strange and nobody wants a strange looking stuffed animal. I trow. I'll see what I can do.

Even without a giant teddy in your cart, it is nigh near impossible to leave the store spending less than $100. However, we just bought a 25 lb. flour for $7.50. Now that's a bargain! Plus, we bake a lot, so using up all that flour will be pretty easy for us. 

Besides Costco, the cats are still prowling around our back fence. I know, I've seen them. Stealthy monsters wreaking havoc and parasites into unsuspecting soils. How dare you!

And do you know what else? Pinterest! What a guy! I have so many crafty projects floating through my mind, it's a wonder I don't have more crafty material supplies floating around my house. Sorry Charles, I love you so much!

The beach! We should go to the beach. Remember how we live like 10 minutes away and we never go? Granted, it has been a little chilly, but maybe tomorrow? We don't have plans do we? Probably just loads of homework. Homework? That's one nice thing about being graduated, no homework anymore for me. Woot!

Now in the spirit of Jimmy Fallon: Thank you Daylight Savings, for changing the light in my cubicle and putting stalking shadows that look like murderers in my peripheral anytime someone walks past my opposing window after 3 pm.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Trash Inspector-

I should label my blog, "The weird parts of me". As it is, I will stand by my title "Compost of the Mouth" since I always only have a little to say about everything.

Man! I just dropped an oat into my keyboard. Now I'm going to need a keyboard cat to eat all the mice.

Does trash fascinate anyone else out there? I recently was asking Charles about something in the trash can- I believe it was a ziploc bag and he was like "Why are you policing the trash?" I have no idea. However, I do know it may be in my genes.

Speaking of jeans, I cut up a pair of jeans into squares last year, thinking I'd sew them into a jean quilt and have instead made fancy animals out of the squares. They're actually pretty cute with the denim. Woot. When you combine other materials with the denim, the sewing machine is still able to get through it all without too much trouble. In case you were wondering.

My friend Chelsea who bought a fancy animal for her son Windham, just told me he knows what a whale is, and what a penguin is, but he insists on calling his penguin a whale. I don't know why, but I get a kick out of that. Perhaps he thinks the penguin is too fancy to be just called a penguin. I don't blame him.

Back to trash. My mother has been known to find things we've hidden in the trash, and my father is notorious for pulling out food scraps and putting them into the compost or chicken feed pile. You know, since peeling potatoes is messy, we'd peel into the trash. When we finished, he would tell us we should have done it into the sink, etc.

ensia.com
So now I look in the trash when I throw things away. Sorry Charlie. As for policing, I have blogged before that I often wonder what's in the black trash bags on the side of roads and highways. If they were just full of trash, wouldn't they be in a landfill? That's my line of reasoning. Since they're not, they must either be forgotten treasures or bodies. I have not yet had the courage to investigate.

Onto my love of containers. I don't know why, but I also have an explainable love to containers. I don't even know what to put in the containers, but any containers I find, I want to keep and find uses for them. It must stem from the dismay I feel when I see good things going to waste. Like one time use Ziploc bags. Or perhaps when I find things that need containers, I mourn the containers I have not kept track of. Anyway, I might start giving you gifts in old vitamin bottles and pretzel containers. You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Decorating the Season's Greetings-

I love decorations. My mother always decorated our house like crazy year round. If there was a holiday, we got holiday decorations. If it was just seasonal, she would put out the leaves. It was like living in the forest in the forest-we lived in the woods.

So we enjoyed a decorated existence at home. When I went to college, I usually had crafty and creative roommates who utilized their craftiness to holiday decorating effect. However, somehow I never contributed to the decorations- just the food. I'm all about holiday foods. On my mission, I most certainly decorated. My mom sent me a couple cards and pictures and I hung them up above my desk. Voila. Decorated.

Now, I have a husband. He decorates my house. He's a very handsome man, who says he doesn't like cats, but really loves all animals profusely. I know it, because he's always telling me I'm all manner of different animals. He calls me animal names and I call him pastry names. We are madly in love. Can't you tell?

Anyway, Charles loves decorating, our garden, and studying for his frightfully difficult classes. He studies all the time and still has time to play with me when I get home. It's nice. I appreciate the time we spend together. Usually we make food together or throw rocks at the cats coming into our garden to poop. Well, maybe that will happen eventually. It's on our list.

I saw that orange tabby stalking the base of our fence yesterday on my way out. I leave the house out the back- less walking and I feel cooler walking in and out through our timid garden shoots.Our own secret garden. Or it would be a secret, except everyone in the world knows about our garden. Don't worry, though it was once perfect, the bugs have found it somehow. Our poor pepper plant, previously untouched, has pinholes punched in its poor plump leaves. Poor pepper.

Back to decorating the inside of my house. I should probably decorate for these holidays. If I don't decorate for them, I won't feel like it is that time of year. I know because my sparse mission decorations always left me feeling like I missed out on something. Perhaps I will make my own decorations and then turn them into fancy animals when the season is over. How do you like them apples?

When my major was Recreational Management Youth Leadership, I would always say I'd probably change my major. However, I never did. Thinking on my ideal job, I would perhaps make a list of all the things I love and pull from a conglomeration of those activities my dream job.

1. Reading- I love reading books. The other worlds I find there amaze me.
2. Babies- I love babies. They are so cute and fun.
3. Movies- I don't know why I love watching them so much. They delight me and some, though horrifying in style, amuse me to infinity.
4. Talking- You may not know this about me, but I love talking. I love hearing hilarious stories and then telling those hilarious stories to other people. Maybe that's why I love reading blogs so much. I read them, and then I tell Charles all the funny stuff I read.
5. Laughing- I love funny jokes. I abhor lame jokes. An aside- puns do not count. Word play is a gift.
6. People- Meeting people is cool. Where else can you get such rad stories?
7. Dancing- I'm a dancing spaz, but I love it.
8. Creating- Making cool stuff is awesome.
9. Writing- It's like talking. On paper. And people can just stop reading if they want, instead of just walking away from someone who's just talking and talking. It's less rude to do it on paper.
10. Not Arithmetic ie. Charles- He's the only math I like. Actually, wait. I love money. Money is math. I love my baby and money = I love math.
11. Singing- Charles and I often make up our own songs and sing them around the house.
12. Cooking- Really eating.

So I guess you could say my dream job would be something where I could watch movies, sing, dance, read, and laugh. Sounds like a mom. However, I don't want to watch the SAME movie over and over again. Maybe I could find a job like that. Being funny. Baseball. I love many things. I guess being a receptionist is a good stepping stone.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You're a monster-

Well, perhaps. It is Halloween by the way. You can do what you want. Just be prepared for the candy to follow.

Sorry to be boring, but have you been eating all the fall stuff you need to be eating? Like potatoes, pumpkin, and cinnamon? I'm just asking because Christmas comes but once a year, and it's only around this time I actually eat apples. When is a better time? Never.

What am I doing right now? Eating second lunch. It's a delicious scalloped potato and cheese dish. It pleases me, this dish. Lunch was a sloppy joe. I met two people at work who had never heard that song before. So I shared it with them. Weird.

wired965.com
After work, I'm going to help my friend Emma make her mermaid costume. She already looks like a mermaid, but I'll do my best to sew her into a fish costume. Doesn't she know she's already all of Ariel's dreams come true?

Charles and I need to get his costume. He insists his costume should be a secret from everyone until the big day. So, I guess we'll surprise everyone with a big reveal next week, after the fact.

Happy Birthday to my eldest sister America and Charles' eldest sister Jenny. It's a great day to be born the eldest. Woot you two!

Our garden is not growing very fast anymore. I don't know if it's due to lack of sunlight or what. Hopefully they'll keep growing, despite the what. We could really use some crazy grazing at our house. See apple pie and quiche from last weeks lunches.

Whenever I see people have been canning all over the place, I feel the need for a fruit tree. However, I know all trees produce differently, and when would I eat all that fruit? I do love fruit though, so I would try. My favorite fruits of the moment are:

1. Raspberries
2. Apples
3. Strawberries
4. Bananas

This is what we've been putting in our smoothies: yogurt, orange juice, spinach, bananas, strawberries, raspberries. So I guess you could say my favorite fruits are very smooth. You can also put carrots and apples into your smoothies. Or kale..bleh. Too healthy. Blend it all up and you're drinking magic.

My friend Megan also posted this divine looking pumpkin cookie recipe, so I'm going to link it here so you can find it and make them too. They look sooo grood.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I want to be a witch-

For Halloween. I don't want to be some other weird thing. Everyone knows a witch is a great costume for a mommy. I'm no mommy, but I'm sure everyone wishes I were. Someday. Don't worry, we'll have beautiful babies for show, at the latest, in 2030.

Charles wants to be Batman. For realzies though, not just for Halloween. He saw a video where this guy talks like Batman to torture his wife and he loved it. So he was doing that for a little while. Once in a while for me is great, but when he was doing it all the time it freaked me out a little bit. He loves this talent of his. He liked to talk in that voice to Kitty because she wasn't scared of it, she just smiled up at him like he was the sanest person out there. She's a baby. She doesn't know.

I sometimes wish I could do cool deep voices. My voice was not made for such things however. So I will have to be content with my shrill voices. Witches have shrill voices. See what I did there?

Picture compliments of Disneywiki.com



Now, I will need a pointy hat. I can probably use my brown boots. Do witches wear brown? Well, I'll be a cowboy witch. That's not something you see every day. I will capture the cat that keeps digging in my garden. I will put it in my giant bird cage and make Charles carry it around. He is the best husband ever. Batman loves cats anyway. Didn't he marry Cat woman? I guess it does matter what kind of cat, but I am a little older and I graduated from BYU. So Cougar it is.

We have to bring some candy. We will trade out the sugar, teeth decaying candy from our house and maybe score some chocolate to bring home with us. We don't have any kids though. Perhaps we can borrow one. We should just worry about building up our carrot stick hoard. I'll put Charles in charge of that.

Speaking of sticks, I could bring my broom. It's not a fancy witch broom. Who cares? If anyone asks me about it, I will turn him into a toad. Then I will feed him to the cat. That'll teach him to not ask silly questions.

I don't think face painting is allowed. Thank goodness. Face paint always makes my face itch. I painted my face once for a BYU football game and by the end, I wanted to scratch my face off. I will also make my hair look a little crazy. Perhaps put a couple barrettes in it? Thanks, I will do that. I'll just do it how I usually do it.

Ok, we are making chili and that's a wrap. Or is it rap? We should do a Halloween rap. You dig? Aw Snap. Busta Cap!!! Witches.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ode to comments - An excerpt from Awkward Begets Happiness-

Rachel, if you could get me some motivational speaking gigs, I would so be there. I love hearing myself speak and dancing around in front of people. I guess you could say it's one of my talents. If not, it's just something I love to do.

Heather, this one's for you. A little sample from my book. I know many Heathers. You are my favorite one. No offense to the other Heathers, but I have known you the longest. Maybe it is and maybe it isn't. Oh, and in response to the Mighty Mouse coloring book comment, which I'm not sure you saw, I didn't color in it because I was saving it. It was too cool to color. And now it is dust in the wind. Long live Mighty Mouse.

Buried Treasure

Starting in kindergarten and extending all the way through high school, my personality took some time to blossom. In high school, it usually took me a full semester, 4 months, to get comfortable and during the next four months, everyone would wonder who the weirdo was that had taken over my body. I did have some outgoing friends that inspired me to climb out of myself. One of those friends was named Stephanie.

Stephanie was always encouraging me to shine. When she called me up, we would go out and do things together. I turned into a semi-social butterfly instead of folding into some kind of stunted moth partly because of her. One particular Saturday Stephanie was bored.

When she called me up, she said we were going to make brownies. When she came over and told me were going to give them away, I groaned inwardly. The plan was to make brownies and take them to her boyfriend Frank. Do not get me wrong, Frank was a fantastic boyfriend for her and a great friend to me. I just did not want to make treats for someone else. Look at me, I am wasting away over here!

Besides that, I also reminded Stephanie about the never ending game of tag we encouraged in our circle of guy friends. Futile as it seemed, we insisted on playing a modified version of tag.

Instead of mutual running and tagging, our version was mostly giggly girls running up to boys and saying“Tag, you’re it. You’re it. Tag, come chase me. Hey, want to play?” Laughing off my qualms, Stephanie insisted on an offering of delicacies headed straight to Frank’s mouth.

After glorying in this confection perfection, we drove my sporty red Toby twenty minutes to Frank’s pad. Unfortunately, during a fateful timing accident, a policewoman also gave me a ticket for running a red light. I did not run it; I was in the middle of an intersection and did not want to block oncoming traffic. Truly undeserved, but given anyway, this ticket was a cause of grief on our otherwise joyful goody trip.

When we got there, Frank popped the door and showed us in. Stephanie presented him with the platter of brownies he courteously directed us to furniture. Stephanie sat by Frank on a bench and I sat on a cushy flowered chair across from them.

After arranging ourselves in comfort, Steph went into an elucidation of our Nazi policewoman experience. While doing so, Stephanie requested the plate of brownies and delved into its sugary goodness, accidentally dropping a tidbit onto her awaiting cleavage. This confection went unnoticed by Stephanie but was observed by Frank’s acute senses, who must have waited a full two minutes before abashedly pointing to her face and saying, “You’ve got something on your…”

Both Stephanie and I watched where his finger pointed and thought she had some chocolate on her face. Stephanie spotted her vixen opportunity and decided to play it coy. She slyly grinned and with a shimmy shake of her upper body said, “Oh, really? Why don’t you get it for me?” Poor Frank, confused and blushing responded, “Because I don’t want to.”

By that time I had realized the cause of Frank’s supreme embarrassment. I never saw any chocolate on Stephanie’s face, so I looked down to her chest. Lying somberly on a cushion of unabashed chest flesh, lay a fat brownie crumb. Since I now saw the situation from both vantage points, I let out a high pitched squeal. Sucking in gasps of air sandwiched between loud guffaws of laughter, I somehow managed to point out Stephanie’s lost morsel to her.

Mortified, she pinched the lost crumb between her thumb and forefinger and devoured it. Frank’s embarrassment was akin to Stephanie’s and as they both sat in astonished consternation I stood up to retrieve another delicious cookie. Stephanie swore off brownies before dying of embarrassment.

This story had to go into a book. Embarrassment happens to everyone including Stephanie, me, and Frank. Being a good sport makes any story worthwhile. Playing tag is a fun game when everyone plays. It stops being fun when nobody is serious about the game anymore.

When you stop paying attention to your garden, weeds sprout up and take over. Do not think you can plant a garden without taking care of it afterwards and expect a large harvest. Plants and relationships need time and care to develop to their full potential.

Moral: When people start leaving and paying attention to other things, the game loses its charm. Advice: Be a good sport and play the game with your whole heart.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ahh the French-

Perhaps I should mention other countries in my blog posts, but this week, since more people from France (71) have looked at my blog than people from the United States (70), I am thrilled and don't mind mentioning anyone else. It might be due to past references of the French. I do love me some French bread.

In other news, I am working towards getting my book published, but it takes forever and gee whiz if it isn't a pain to edit my lovely word child over and over again. However, as Orson Scott Card said, don't get mad if nobody wants to publish your book. Just make it worth publishing. Something about risk and publishers assuming it all, yada yada. True dat.


So I decided to write a Query letter on my blog. That way, you people have to read it, or have already stopped reading this. If you like, you can give advice about what to change so you would actually want to read this book. Or if you know anyone who wants to publish a book like mine, or mine, let me know.

I know, it's shameless of me to talk about my book Awkward Begets Happiness: Memoirs of a Playa on my blog. However, I'm assuming if you read this blog, you would also be totally interested in reading a whole book based off all the embarrassing situations I have been. Or at least a small percentage of them. Plus, Amanda, Cyndi, Sarah, Bonnie, Tiffanie, Heather, Summer, and Clint, your stories are in here. That said, here is my query letter thus far:

Query Letter

Attn. Mrs. Snoops (that's you):

(The Hook) So I said, “Yes, but if you touch me, I’ll put my skate in your face.” Every bad situation includes serious awkwardness. In Awkward Begets Happiness, a 47,289 word compilation of essays, readers experience weirder than fiction yet relatable stories and walk away with a smirk and some advice for love and life.

(Mini Synopsis) Embarrassment feeds growth. That is what I will tell my drama filled teenagers someday. Yet teenagers do not have a monopoly on embarrassment. You know it and I know it. This compilation of humorous essays tells of awkward dating stories, life experiences, and that time my hand got stuck in the buttcrack of an acquaintance.

(Writer's Bio) As an active blogger, I have more than 500 page views monthly and 16,740 views in its history. I have always loved reading. I always had more than my fair share of awkwardness and began collecting these stories to prove that others have similar experiences. I read about your (agent's accomplishments).

Thank you for your time and consideration. I have included an outline, table of contents, and sample chapters for your review.

Sincerely,


Merilee Ward


I then will include my table of contents and outline. Except my table of contents is just a list of chapters and my outline is just a list of chapters with little blurbs and a quote for each story. Turns out my story is 76 pages, but my outline is 6 pages.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Oh you little faker-

Once again, I am blogging about Wells Fargo. Come on Fargy, you would think after the first three calls you would have gotten it right. Perhaps after three more, it will be all settled.

So remember how I had to call in and get my stolen credit card number set to rights? We also got a notice from Wells Fargo telling us to sign the paper if we had not authorized the charges. Both people on the card had to sign it and they would take care of the rest.

Imagine my dismay, when I noticed duplicate charges again on my credit card statement for the fraud charges. After calling in yesterday to straighten it out, we found out the person who had received our paper had gotten confused. They thought by signing the paper, we admitted to authorizing those charges. So they put the charges back on our credit card.

HELLO! Why in the world would we call in and say we had not authorized those charges, and then sign a paper that said we did? And why in the world did the last girl I called tell me it was all taken care of when I told her exactly what I told the guy yesterday and he found the problem after a minute or two?

Seriously? No, seriously! Why would I keep my money in a place that is always making clerical errors? Money is important to me. Maybe it is not important to you, but it is to me. Bank.

So dumb. I am not pleased. Thanks for listening to my rant, especially since I have not written in a whole week. Why have I not written? Because I have been working on my book silly, like I told you before. And now, I am on page 67 of 71 and am terribly excited to finish it.

Did you see how my book has grown? Now it is 10 more pages than it was before. I think it's because I've added some spaces and tried clarifying some inconsistencies- thanks Heidi. Anyway, I am excited about where this can go. Will go! I wrote a book and it will see the light of day. It's in my life plan yo.

And I donated my hair. I know, you already saw my pictures on Facebook. However, just in case you are one of the people in France that reads, here are some pictures.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Lefty toilets-

I have never noticed before today, but the lady's room at my office has a flusher on the left and the men's room has a flusher on the right. What in the world?

You are probably wondering what I was doing in the men's room. Well, that's a great question. Anyway, back to the point. Why in the world are the flushers on different sides for men and women? I'm not lefty, but I am glad our lady flushers are located on the left.

Some people like change. I love change, but it's in an owl on my dresser ie. chest of drawers. As I say it, the chesterdrawers. Obviously that is the correct way to say it. Who in their right mind would just say dresser with such an interesting substitute resting on the tip of their tongue. Granted, it is quite difficult to say multiple times in a row, but who does that? Nobody does. And everybody dislikes nobody. So there. 

Aside from the button conspiracy, belts are also opposite for men/women. Truth be told, I belt my waist as a man. Clearly I was taught at a young age to be ambidextrous. There is no other explanation for it. Why do belts look like snakes? Or why do snakes look like belts?

I am also a lefty at pool. Congratulations people, you are in the company of a gifted friend. Clearly if you read my blog, you are my friend. Welcome, friends. Welcome also my enemies, who are looking into all my devious and deciduous plots and deciding when to spring your counter plots. Well, cheerio and add some milk, because the day is young and I'm wearing a striped shirt today. Plus, spring is a good time to foil deciduous plots, because the winter is over and summer is afoot. 

Now, I use the men's room here when the women's room is occupied, because I don't want to have to walk to the end of the hall or downstairs to all the other unisex bathrooms in the building which are not specifically labeled. I do say, wot wot. Who cares what the label says if it's a single person use bathroom. I would hope nobody is using the door sign as an excuse to pee on the seat- if you'll pardon my French.

In other bathroom news, we've put coffee grounds- from my work- on the garden bed, brushed the top of the fence with grounds, and covered the dirt with nothing but net- and we're three days without a cat digging in our garden. Hooray and hallelujah. I saw a tabby around our place the other day. It was right by my parking spot and I figured it was probably The One. You, orange tabby, get away from my garden.

Last week, I looked through a couple forums to see what to do about our cat problem. One person wrote concerned about their neighbor's newly placed fence spikes. I was impressed by the neighbor's creativity. However, the person posting was concerned about the spikes harming her cat. Clearly she does not understand the point. Keep your cat out of your neighbors' yard.

I was also surprised by the sheer number of cat lovers befouling said neighbors' ingenuity, each in agreement that such cruelty was atrocious. Those spikes could seriously wound the writer's cat and encouraging her to send any vet bills caused by the fence to her surly neighbor. I was alternately delighted to read a comment by another guy saying if her cat was planting feces in his garden, he would do more than put spikes on his fence. What a hilarious bunch of comments. Come on people, don't be dumb. Take care of your cats. 

I have dedicated some of my extra writing time to edit my book. Some of you have read it. It's called Memoirs of a Playa. I thought I had put it someplace on my blog, but I could not find it anywhere when I looked for it today. I'm on page 23 of 62 pages. Believe me, it is high time I edited this baby again. Then maybe I can send it out to readers and publishers and whomever wants to make my writing dreams come true. 

I have a friend, Heidi, who is getting a work of fiction published. Congratulations Heidi! I know your book will be great! Editing is such a pain and totally worthwhile. Even as I am editing, I feel the book getting more interesting and refined. Of course I do, I'm writing it. Anyway, I have added a couple things Heidi suggested and am working to increase my readership so I can prove people would actually buy the book. You would buy the book wouldn't you? I have been thinking of changing the title to Awkward Begets Happiness. 

It's just a huge story fest. Mostly they're awkward dating stories, but some are just awkward stories. You know how my life is, chalk full of weird. I'm beginning to think perhaps 40% of those situations were of my own volition. Maybe when I get closer to finishing my grand edit, I'll post a story or two on here and fuel your interest. I mean, come on, it's already 62 pages and it is not even double-spaced. 



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Garden city-

Saturday was a special day. We planted our garden. Our back door leads to a cement patio, surrounded by a foot of dirt all the way around the patio. We have four chairs back there..but they're stacked because there isn't much room. However, once the plants start sprouting, I'm sure we'll just sit and watch them grow.

If you'll remember, we commandeered a bucket of sand from the beach a while back and dumped it in one of the boxes. Saturday, when we started spreading it with our trowel, we found a trove of cat feces. I could not have imagined a bigger stash fitting into such a small pile of sand.

We've never seen any cats around here, and our garden is surrounded by a tall fence, so we were surprised to find out cats even go back there. Blessings. Anyways, we got rid of all the sand. After we'd filled the boxes with dirt and planted them, Charles put a net over the garden and hopefully that will keep them out.

We mixed 5 types of compost, vermiculite, and peat moss. It's 1 part each, to make a good mix for plants to grow in. SLO apparently has really good soil anyway, but we didn't want to give the plants any reason to deny us results. Plus, the weather here is really fine.

We planted cantaloupe, tomatoes, green beans, peas, cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, spinach, onions, chives, basil, oregano, parsley, cilantro, and brussels sprouts. I know, it sounds like a lot of plants, but we're hoping to get quite a spread of plants to grow. If there's inadequate sunlight for our plants to thrive, we will find out soon enough.

We did a square-foot garden. I'll send some pictures later. Thanks America, for the book. We'll bring it back at Thanksgiving.

Out of the three available sections, we only planted two. The right and back sides are all ready to grow. The left side has no dirt yet- we ran out of vermiculite and wanted to stay in budget. Maybe next month/year we'll finish everything.

Meow

This morning, Charles looked in the garden and saw a big hole. Something was digging in there. It's on. I have heard cayenne will cause cats to scratch their eyes out. Believe me, it's tempting. Or we could put our own scent onto the fence- so our backyard could smell like an outhouse. Or we could boil pepper and pour it around. We're also thinking about broken glass bottles. I saw that all over the place in Guatemala and we're both quite taken with the idea. More news when it comes.


Boo on cats.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The tiny green alien bug-

Yesterday, while reading at the red lights on my way home, a tiny green alien bug hopped onto my hand. Did I mind? No. Did it bother me in the slightest? No. That got me thinking about Cockroaches. Would I have killed it immediately, probably also wrecking my car and killing five other people in the process? Most definitely. I hate cockroaches. Like a lot. When I kill them, I think about the future millions I kept from populating this earth, and somehow my own personal residences by proxy. Yow, those plague bugs give me the willies.

But what about that tiny little green alien bug? We'll call it a bugreelien. I just let it bounce up my fuzzy arm. Then onto my book, and shooed it away from a good pressing with my bookmark when the light turned green. Look at me all warm and thoughtful.

Now it's someplace in my car, roasting. Perhaps you would like to taste a bugreelien smore. I'll send one to you.
allexperts.com

Wednesday was game night for the boys at our house. Well, the manchild. So I watched an A&E movie and burning my fingers off as he unwound. Was it worth it? I'll let you know at Christmas. However, I did immerse my wounded fingers in cold water, suffocated them in waves of aloe vera, and stopped crafting about 15 minutes into my 220 minute movie. I told you, it was an A&E movie. They need all that time for plot development.

I couldn't continue crafting anyways, my fingers were out of commission. Or rather, my left index finger and my right thumb, were out. They're fine now. Thanks for asking.

I need to also fix my purse straps- or get a new purse. When gophers chew through your purse straps in the night; or when pleather has had too much use; you've got to get creative.

On a side note, we didn't rack up any points this week- I was battling a cold and Charles wounded one of his legs while stepping into a bear trap.. or walking all over campus this week. One of those two, I can't remember which is the right one.

That's ok, we didn't eat any treats this week. We did, however, feast like kings since Charles has been such a gracious dinner maker. Not only does he make me dinner, he also lets me read books when I get home from work. He's a suitor.

Oh, I guess I forgot to mention our trip to Irvine last weekend. It was a blast. Our nephew and niece are adorable. Noelle sounds like Minnie Mouse and Blake love the game Mastermind- very fitting, since that's where I work.

I also found I'm no match for my brother-in-law Paul at Scrabble- which could be one of the reasons neither Charles nor Paul's wife Melanie would play. It might stem from the fact I never play for points and he always does. Learned gaming skills. Paul also makes up words. Fact. Then he Googles them. I shouldn't be sore about it, we always did that growing up- but we used the 100 yr old fat dictionary to check words. We never got penalized for challenging- another rule introduced last weekend. The Scrabble Wars have begun.

We also played pirate Life- which Charles won instinctively- since he's a love pirate. Also, we went swimming and had a lovely time. Have you ever waltzed in the pool? You should try it some time. I don't know if Charles loves it as much as me, but I adore it. I know he doesn't like dancing much, but I think it's safe to say he excels and therefore also adores water waltzing.

Needless to say, we had a blast! Not only did the Wards make us feel welcome, but Melanie, Paul's wife,also has a welcoming and loving family we saw over our weekend adventure. It was fun to catch up with them and eat their delicious food. We were well taken care of the whole Irvine trip. Thanks Wards and Schulls!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Who do I know in France?

Google told me today 21 people checked my blog from France. Thank you very much my lovely French fans. I hadn't realized my blog posts were internationally read. Well, keep reading and eat some pastries for me. Oh, I know about French pastries. I've had some experiences with them and my sister ate them all the time for breakfast during her mission for the LDS church.

In other news, I'm ruminating about my hair. Usually when I do that, it's a good time for a trim. Better a trim than a hedge clipping. If you ask my immediate family to confirm, they will agree I have a hair cutting compulsion. Sometimes I just cut through everything into baldness. Then I can do crazy and fancy things with my hair instead of feeling burdened by the difficulty of brushing and styling my luxurious locks.

Charles knows I can be a little obsessive about certain things and a touch melodramatic. He also loves my long hair. I recently asked him how straight of a cutter he is. He said average thereby failing his first test ever. After asking why, answer: to save us $20, he got a worried look on his face. Why you look so worried Charlie?


Yesterday, I shared a cutting clip with Charles on Facebook. Later that night, while Charles was in the oblivion of homework, I took my weekly shower and pinned my hair back. I did it to remind myself how I looked with short hair. I don't necessarily want to have short hair, I just need a break from having all this hair everywhere, all the time. I settled into the couch and read my book.

When Charles finished his homework, he came over to say hi and had a heart attack. Poor guy. Apparently my hair pinning looked terribly realistic and with his knowledge of my low impulse control he even felt the knot behind my head a couple times to make sure I hadn't pulled a 4 yr old trick. I have since been commanded to get a trim today of two inches and to forget the hacking impulses of yesterday. Ah, young love.

On a similar note, I am a reading addict. I love to read. To read is my friend. To read and I like to hang out. We can spend the whole day together and still want to interact at night. Woot. To read and me forever and always.

When I was younger I would get my name on the board for reading during lessons. I wouldn't realize my teacher had started on lessons after our spelling tests and so Kimberly was placed next to me to wake me out of my reading stupors.

I would walk the hallways of my middle school, erstwhile reading novels during passing periods. There's only so much time and there are many books. Don't waste this precious commodity by walking or eating without a book. Such was my motto. (Sometimes instead of walking, I run. Same reason).

I know, I'm a total weirdo. At least now I go to bed at a normal time instead of reading until 3. I've done that before. Now I have a job, so I can't spare the sleep. I do need like 9 hours a night to function normally. So nice.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ya, das es goot-

pirates.wikia.com

Yarrrgghh! Ahoy me mateys. I wish to tell ye of a fair tale. Not everyone knows of the like, but I be meet'in donuts in my dreams tonight. Wherrrrre? Well, of courrrrse, the Krispy Kreme is what the place be. Don't furgett to eat some greens, so yourselves not be getting scurrvy. Yo ho ho.

Sorry, now that I've cleared my throat a bit, here's the real me voice. Last night I was going to record my voicemail differently. However, when I listened to it, I left it the same. You never know who's going to call you and who wants to stumble through 20 different versions of the same recording? Nobody, that's who. And you know when somebody calls, she's not going to want to leave a message for nobody. Especially if nobody has an obnoxious voicemail. Somebody does. I know that from personal experience.

I sent out an email to my brothers and sister visiting for Christmas this year. I know, it's early. I sometimes just get too excited to contain it all. Then I write and write and write and then I'm all right. Right? Rrrright.
miriamhaskell.com

Why you should..earrings

1. Showing off- You have some cool turtle ones nobody has ever seen

2. Economy- Why else did you buy them?

3. Timing- No children yet to pull them out

4. Fancy- They go well with everything (except exercise)

5. Gussy up-You don't do your hair; you have time to push little nails into your ears

6. Convenience- An easy check on the pirate costume list

7. Jewelry is so in- You can't handle bracelets

8. Pretties up your Yoda appendages- It's better than ear polish

9. Accessory lady- You've seen that girl and she looks good

10. Nothin' doin'- You don't have to have pierced ears. I have some clip-ons I put on every once in a blue moon.


Did you know there's a complain tab while I write this? What am I going to complain about?Writer's block?

You could complain, but what would you complain about? I just told you a bunch of great reasons to accessorize yourself. You're welcome.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fancy Animals-

What am I talking about? What are you talking about?

I have long looked for an outlet for my creative energy. My hair's getting too long to twist into bobbys and I don't paint nails well. Ask Bonnie.

A couple years ago, I was enticed into taking a bunch of material trimmings, buttons, lace and such home from a church activity. Oh the trickery. In an attempt to keep from hoarding it all for centuries, I began making fancy animals. My mom always had us do projects during movies, so I held onto that habit, much to the chagrin of King Charles.

                                Mustache Cat likes to be fancy by Maruuco on deviantArt

Well, I don't make fancy animals. They usually make themselves actually, like clay. I start sewing pieces of material together, and they form themselves into different animals. My brother Christian told me I could only make them if I gave them away, so I didn't become a crazy stuffed animal lady. I decided to listen to his sagely advice, and do not own any myself, but Charles has an anteater stitched with his initials on the side.

It was supposed to be a goat, but it turned into an anteater due to its snout. I don't control what comes from this genius, it just happens. So far I've made an owl- the first- for a much-missed roommate. I've made a platypus, an alligator, an anteater, a turtle, a seahorse, and a couple others which I cannot specifically recall.

That's the thing about fancy animals. I've tried making requested animals before, but they usually turn into something else in the middle- due to minimal planning I'm sure. I think of them with fondness, children of my hands. They could always use more glitter and I've thought about using them as cozies- a syrup bottle turned my fancy last week. Can you imagine getting your own syrup cozy? That wouldn't be messy, but splendid I trow.

Spoiler: Coming soon, Christmas 2014.

As interest has been expressed by SLO natives, we may be starting a fancy animals night. Perhaps Wednesday nights, since I've heard those are the new game nights of certain male relations.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Breaking Bad- no breaking good!

Actually, I fully realize breaking things is bad. Well, most things besides bad habits. Those are difficult to break and good. Howevs, I keep breaking things all over the place. You can now call me Allabreaka.

I just broke a glass by attempting to put it into the cupboard. How? By tapping it against the shelf quite innocently. Did little slivers shoot into my hand and arm in 5 countable spots? Yes. Am I still alive? Barely.

My first day at this new job, I broke a sister cup- by knocking over my water. Granted, these are the cheap cups of the world. They're no mugs if you know what I mean.

I now use a smoky, higher grade of cup. Unfortunately, my clumsy self prefers glass/ceramic to plastic. I can taste the plastic in child grade cups;  that's the reason. I drink water essence of beauty in my liquid and nothing else.

For now, since I'm a grownup, I can convince other adults I can handle glasses. Sometimes I can convince my friends. Sometimes not.

Last night, I convinced Charles to pop open my phone from the camera end and shattered the glass backing by proxy. Luckily, it missed his eyes. This break was unfortunate, since I actually liked that phone. Also fortunate, because we currently have Verizon, but are converting back to the more affordable T-mobile network. I hope it works...net of the time.

When I visited Jenny, I also spilled a load of ranch dressing on the table when I was trying to eat and talk on the phone at the same time.

What can I say? Clumsiness grows with you. Hooray!

Also, since I spit sometimes, I have to be careful. As you read in my previous post, it's not cool to spit in your hair. Not that I've ever done that, but if I had, I would have done it more than once. And that would be ultra uncool.

We have been compromised- Thanks Wellsy's-

Our credit cards did anyway. Luckily, Wells Fargo bank puts a hold on my credit card anytime I go on a trip. Usually it is highly annoying, but this time they actually got it right. Those crooks only got to Whole Foods and Benihana before the card was frozen. They also called Wells Fargo and reported a stolen/lost card and tried to get the bank to send another set of cards to them. Unluckily for them, they are idiots. When they got all the security questions wrong, the card was blocked. Thanks for being anal about blocking my credit card Wells Fargo.

They caught them soon enough that they're only out $300 because of the thieves. Thank goodness for that. Also, traveling to Venice and Santa Monica with my digits was stupid. You are really dumb. I hope they find you. Run and tell that.

Thieves- stop it! Somebody always has to pay for your laziness. Get a job for goodness sake and stop taking money from hardworking people. Shame on you. And shame on you for making me pay for your vast quantities of food intake. So dumb. So dumb.

Also, they didn't have my credit card- Charles and I both had ours safely stashed inside our wallets. Someplace online they got it. We hardly ever use the internet for purchasing. The old ones are shredded and we have new ones. With chips. Not excited about that my friends. I've heard things.

In other news, I found out that if your new CC has a chip, you can block scanners from getting your info. by lining your wallet with foil. Done and done.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Double Cool-

I'll bet you had no idea about cool was until I published my last post. Well, now you're in the know. Perhaps.

Well, don't you think you're pretty cool? I've always felt on the cusp of cool, except at Girl's camp. I was ultra cool at camp. I think that's why everyone loves girls camp. No shortage of cool in the woods. Also, now that I'm grown up I feel like cool just comes with the territory. When I have kids, I will be sure to embarrass them as much as humanly possible. I'm that cool.

My favorite Girls camp projects

1. Pet rock
2. Pick up lines to the lifeguard
3. Infinitesimal possibilities
                                                             Make a mansion

I have always noticed that crafts look so much cooler when done by others. When I bring back my crafts, they never look quite as professional. What am I doing wrong? Here are some tips to making a professional looking craft.

1.  Have a dream- What excited you about this project in the first place?

2. Plan it out- On paper, put pins in your sewing, and sketch the general idea

3. Details- The more details you include, the closer people will look at the final product

4. Incorporate a fetish- Put something on there you love. That'll bring in your personal passion. Plus, you know what cool whateveryoulike's look like. Don't you?

5. Give it time- Nothing cool is made in an hour. If you know of anything, you let me know. I need some cool projects that take little/no effort. It's like those girls selling boondoggle at our last apartment complex- if it took you 10 minutes to make, it would take me the same amount of time.

6. Don't get carried away- Sometimes it's good to stop fiddling with your project and just look at it. If it's looking pretty good already, you don't want to overdo it. Get a second opinion if needed.

7. Would you buy it? Sorry boondogglers- unless it's outrageously cool, I probably will wait until my unborn children go to camp and get some for free.

8. Practice- The more you try, the better you will get. However, you mustn't get too frustrated if you're still not an expert after much practice.

9. Presentation- Just because you made something cool, doesn't mean you are finished. If you wish to display your new craft/treasure, put it in a spot people can study it.

10. Crafty crafters craft crafty crafts- That's about all you can handle right now.

Tune in next time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cool is in-

Here are some pictures taken of me at work. If you'll notice, the first picture my hair is tamed, the second shows what usually happens in my pictures.  In a futile attempt to give my hair body, I actually make random strands stick out all over my head. Luckily, I told the guy taking the picture and he let me know I should smooth it down a bit. Mom, this one's for you.

On another note, I still have a cold. Bother. I am trying to cough myself to death. Hopefully I won't do it. Wouldn't that be awkward. Who would answer the phones?

I made strawberry rhubarb sugar-topped breakfast cake yesterday and corned beef and cabbage. It was lovely. Charles and I are working on our points. I could always get more points though. You know how it is. 

We've been running every other day. It's only about 3.5 miles, but hopefully we can keep up our positive habits. We might even wear our hobbit habits.

JSYK- an informative list

Cool
1. Seahorses
Not Cool
2. Slugs

Cool
2. Crocodiles
Not Cool
2. Earwigs

Cool
3. Yoda
Not Cool
3. Having a cold

Cool
4. Detailed projects/Art
Not Cool
4. Uneven haircuts

Cool
5. Elf ears
Not Cool
5. Electric shock

Cool
6. Brownies
Not Cool
6. Spitting in your hair


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chilly chilly cheesecake-

We're trying to decide between United Healthcare health insurance and an HMO. I don't know  much about health care and insurance, but I know I've heard a lot of bad stuff about HMO's. So that's something. We will decide sometime this week. Two cents?

We're trying to switch over to T-mobile from Verizon. It's like 1/5 the cost and we're living on a smaller budget these days. What with the baby and..ha. There's no baby. But if we had a baby, we'd be running an even tighter ship. We'd just feed that baby milk all the time. Sorry baby.

I think we got a cold from that kid at church. He's a cute kid, but I hate his guts. Well, that's what happens when you breathe at church. Anyway, I wasn't feeling my 100% self last night, nor do I feel the best today. It doesn't help that our neighbors were doing a smoking intervention right next to our bedroom window at 2:30 am this morning. They talk quite loudly. He has been chain smoking and "That's not you". Apparently it is him. Maybe we'll invite them all to church.

They're also the guys who sing at the top of their lungs off their porch until 10:30 pm. We're obviously old farts- we are getting quite grumbly about it amongst ourselves. We need hobbies. Perhaps we'll give out some homemade gifts this year.

Neal, what do you want for Christmas? We'll send you a piece of water.

Charles and I discovered this new rap app. It's hilarious- smule.com. The Stacys that visited us this weekend showed us where it's at. Now we're a little cooler. You can be cool too. Just speak into your phone and it turns the words into rap magic. Get ready to waste some time- the first tune is the only free one. Don't get too crazy.