Friday, November 26, 2010

Give Thanks

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. It is a holiday we are very fond of in this household as it involves lots of really good food and a lovely time hanging out with most of my siblings. We had a great time. The Man of the House cooked the turkey of course. In fact, it was his turkey that he cooked. My nephew, TMOTH and a friend butchered it the day before. It was quite delicious, if I do say so.
The Small One had a fantastic time with her cousins, rowdies all. My dad's house is set up so that the kidlets can play in the basement as noisily as they wish while the rest of us hang out, much to my dad's dismay, in the kitchen. He tries to get us to move to the family room, but it does not seem to work. We are, and have always been, a kitchen-ish family. Plus, if everyone moved to the family room, those of us who do the cooking would get left out. I prefer the kitchen scenario.
I have learned in the past couple of weeks that my migraines and general feeling of unwellness are directly related to the amount of dairy I consume, which is a LOT. I love dairy. Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt. The only type of dairy I don't really eat is ice cream. No doubt you can imagine my dismay at learning that dairy is the culprit in my general malaise! NOT GOOD!
Every year at Thanksgiving and Christmas we load up on the good cheese. Multiple types of Brie and Camembert. Aged cheddars and soft bleus. A good Taleggio for variety. Then add on the potatoes cooked in milk and cream, the eggnog sweet potatoes and the hot chocolate, well, it is a dairy fest. And one of which I partook heavily. May I tell you how greatly I regretted it? Oh, dear me. I was not a happy girl last night or today. Miserable would be an appropriate word for how I felt. The only thing I could eat all day today was some VERY salty chips which helped calm the tum a bit. What a disappointment to have to give up dairy!
Ah well, I will survive. Maybe it will help me get skinnier.


In honor of Thanksgiving, I will tell you the things I am most grateful for.
My family. My husband and daughter are everything to me and I am soooo very grateful for their presence in my life.
My love and gratitude for them was brought into sharp focus this morning when I logged onto Facebook this morning. Being down at my dad's for the holiday, I didn't ever look at the news or internet yesterday, and I think I am glad. This morning, when I logged on, my Facebook update page was deluged with references to the death of a dear friend, schoolmate and colleague. I was shocked. I went straight over to KSL and learned that my friend, Stuart Lewis and his daugter KaraLee were killed when they were hit by a semi just a few minutes from his mother's house. His wife and two of his other children are in hospital with serious injuries. The suddenness of it took my breath away. I was and am heartsick. For the loss of him and for his poor, poor family. And for the poor man that hit the car.
Stuart was a wonderful, caring man. He would bend over backwards to help someone in need. He was never especially financially successful, partly because he spent much of his time and energy helping others. He was a talented designer, an amazing mentor and teacher, a great father and husband. His sense of humour and smile could light up a room. The world is a sadder place without him.
Rest in Peace dear Stuart and KaraLee and God bless your family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kittens and Other Nonsense

This past week has been a busy one for certain Small Persons. And by certain Small Persons, I mean specifically The Small One, capitalized.
The holidays are upon us. Speaking of which, where on earth did November go? I seem to have lost it somewhere. Last I looked it was just Halloween! And now Thanksgiving? Aren't there supposed to be a few weeks inbetween? Perhaps I inadvertantly fell into a wormhole and the space/time continuum was distorted for me. I don't know.
Anyhow. As I was saying, busy week and whatnot.
A few days ago, the parents of The Man of the House, henceforth known as Grandma and Grandpa, stopped by for a short visit.
Grandma was on her way to be presented yet another award. Sort of reminded me of that episode of Spongebob where he keeps getting awards and Patrick feels bad because he never wins awards but Spongebob wins them all the time. The rest of us are Patricks. I am beginning to think that Utah will simply fall apart until Grandma returns home from her mission. I am not sure I ever realized how much that woman can accomplish! Go LS!
Goodness, I keep getting sidetracked! Back to the story.
Grandma and Grandpa stopped by and we all jaunted off to Texas Roadhouse. Now, I do enjoy the food at said establishment, but their goal to make things as hot and noisy as possible makes this girl VERY cranky. Especially when aforementioned girl is hungry. Bless me, but I am at the mercy of my blood sugar. So, as we waited at Texas Roadhouse, hungry as all get out, The Small One stood by the everpresent peanut bin. I thought she was innocently eating peanuts. Turns out she was actually licking them and putting them back. Oops. Slightly embarrassing, that. I informed the lovely hostesses of that fact, so my hope is that they emptied that peanut bin and refilled it with clean peanuts.
After a longish wait, during which The Small One ate rolls and tried to behave, we were finally seated. We eventually ordered and ate, but the heat and noise was wearing on both of us. The Small One even informed our server that she needed some earplugs because people were too noisy.
After consuming our comestibles, I excused self and Small One from the heat and noise and took her outside to wait for TMOTH, Grandma and Grandpa to finish. Naturally after about 35 seconds, she became bored. I asked her if she would like to run over to the Build A Bear workshop in the adjoining mall. Of course, she said yes. This is one of her favorite stores, right up there with Ikea. (Don't ask, I have no idea.) Ooh, that rhymes!
We toddled on over to the Build A Bear to have a looky round. We had been in the mall for a brief moment, previous to dinner, and passing the Bear Store, she asked if she could go it, but SUPPOSEDLY it was nearly our time to be seated at the restaurant, so we had to forgo the visit to Bear Shop. She endured this without complaint, bless her heart.
As she looked happily about the shop, I started looking at prices. I noticed that you could now get a bear for $10. Well, that is affordable, thought I. I recalled how she never complained when I didn't have time to take her into the Bear Store, how, after being told no, she never again begged for a bear and how she had tried sooooo hard to be good at dinner. She didn't fully succeed, but then, neither did I. Well, I thought, good behaviour deserves a reward! So, I called her to me, she came running and then, I asked her.
Would she like a bear?
She stared at me. A bear? she queried, unbelieving.
Yes, dear. A bear. Would you like a bear?
Her jaw dropped, her eyes grew wide and then a big, huge smile.
Really? she asked again, just to make sure.
Really, said I.
She turned to look at her options. I showed her which of the animals fell into her price range and told her to choose.
Now, if any of you know The Small One, she has a very hard time making decisions. If you watch closely, you can see the gears in her little brain ticking along, weighing pros and cons of each option. Her options, in this price range, included three bears, a dog and a turkey. I personally hoped she would go for the turkey and steered her in that direction, but alas, twas not to be. She eliminated the turkey and the dog at once. It was Build a Bear, not Build a Dog and most certainly not Build a Turkey. That left three bears. After much consternation, she chose one, carried it over to the helper at the stuffer and handed it off. The helper asked questions.
Hard or soft?
Hard.
Do you want a heart for it?
Of course.
Does he have a name?
Yes.
What is it?
Bozai.
What?
Bozai?
Ooookkaaayyy.
Helper looked in my direction. I shrugged. I hadn't the foggiest.
After Bozai is stuffed and closed, The Small One took him over to the bear shower, where he got a brush and scrub. This took somea long timeas The Small One is very thorough.
Finally, Bozai is clean and brushed. Just then, Daddy walked into the store.
The Small One rushed to Daddy to show off her new bear. Daddy admired Bear and inquired as to his name.
Bozai!
Bullseye? That is a good name!

Realization dawns for me. Bullseye! I get it!
The Small One asked to pay for Bullseye herself, so I gave her the money. She took it up to the cashier, paid and handed her bear to the cashier. Her joy knew no bounds when she saw that he comes with his own house! As the helper handed her the house/box, she smiled brightly and trotted off into the mall. The box is nearly as big as she is, so I asked if I can carry it for her.
No fanks, it's not heavy.
She isn't going to let Bozai go.
She has slept with him nightly since.

Stay tuned for further adventures, I am too tired to write more tonite. Besides, this post is long.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Brain Candy

I have a problem. I get attached to characters in books and movies. Not all movies and books, of course, but certainly those that I like. And I like epics. I know some people don't love long movies and/or books, but I do. I LOVE them. Prolonging the pleasure and whatnot. So, if some bit of fiction or non-fiction grabs my attention, I prefer it be long and epic. Like, say...The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, Gone With the Wind, The Forsyte Saga and more recently Lark Rise to Candleford and The Duchess of Duke Street. All of these are movies that are based on books. How about that. I like that as well. If I read an epic novel or series, and THEN, it is made into an equally epic movie? Well, I'm done for.
Here is another problem, besides getting attached to the characters. I don't like to put the book/movie down. I feel the need to continue reading/watching, continously. And, as it usually happens at night, it means I don't get the sleep I ought sometimes.
So, as I said, I get terribly attached to characters. For instance, I cried when Dumbledore died. TMOTH made fun of me. I told him I was going to see the final Harry Potter alone because I knew I would cry at it. I cried when Frodo went to the Grey Havens. I cried when Bonnie died and when Rhett left Scarlett. Okay, I didn't cry at anything in The Forsyte Saga, but those people are all rather despicable. And now, The Duchess of Duke Street has absolutely caught my attention. It is a BBC miniseries (I love the BBC) made in 1976, and I am in love. Normally, I do not love watching movies made in the 60's or 70's because they are so dated and the color is odd and the acting style stilted. But no. These are beautifully done and I am completely addicted. Truth be told, I am a sucker for a good period drama, book or film. And these are good. SO GOOD. I am hung up on Louisa Trotter and Lord Haslemere. I want them to go on forever. I am so sad that there are only 2 seasons of it. It has filled in the time in between seasons of Lark Rise (another BBC period drama, hooray!) And I got all teary-eyed when Charlie married someone that wasn't Louisa. The costumes are dead on. The hair and makeup is amazing and the production design is stunning. And the writing! Oh my goodness! It isn't often that you get a series as well written as this.
Here is the funny. The male protagonist is Christopher Cazenove, who played Ben Carrington in Dynasty. Hahahaha! He was such a rotten character, Ben! But Charles, Lord Haslemere is lovely. Not that I watched Dynasty much, as it was on in the 80's and I wasn't that old.
If you were to look at my Netflix queue, it likely wouldn't surprise any of you that know me. And if you looked at the recommendations that Netflix has chosen for me? You really would not be surprised. I am not sure if you are familiar with Netflix? They give you recommendations based on movies you review and rate, and based on movies you have watched. And they list them by category. My primary categories? Are you just on tenterhooks to know? Well, here they are;
Period, British Dramas with a Strong Female Lead.
Hahahaha! Yep, that pretty much nails it.
The other main category that I have recommendations for is Fantasy/Fairytale.
Also not a surprise.

As for books, well, the same sort of thing really applies. A friend just got me hooked on a new series of books. Well, new for me. They are by Jasper Fforde, are set in an alternate universe Great Britain and feature a strong female lead, by the name of Thursday Next, who is a literary detective.
They are nothing deep or anything, really brain candy. Very light reading and whatnot. But so, so entertaining. Because Thursday is a literary detective, much of the plot devices rely on the reader being familiar with a lot of classic, mostly British literature. Which, I am. See above. I suppose, if you aren't a reader of classic literature, they may not be that amusing, but I love them. I would recommend them to anyone who wants a good laugh.

I recently did a meme on Facebook of the supposedly 100 most influential books of all time. It was kind of a dumb list as there was no Twain, no Verne, no lots of other authors I would deem influential, but whatever. Anyway, the BBC (creator of said list) assumes that most people have only read 6 of the 100 books. I have read 48 of them. So there, BBC.

So, what are your favorite books? Movies? Are you addicted to epics, like me? Do you have a hard time letting go of favorite characters, as I do? Fill me in.

And, I have noticed I have rather a few more followers and readers of late. Those of you whom I do not know, will you comment and introduce yourself? Tell me how you found your way here?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Random Stuff and Nonsense


The Small One and her daddy are off to the mountains this afternoon. With dogs in tow. This is an occurence that The Small One, no doubt, wishes would occur more often than it does. Pity daddy is so busy. And that mamma does not love to go to the mountains. When she does go to the mountains, she has to have her proper hiking boots (which can only be worn for hiking or yard work) and her tiny camelbak and mountain cookies. She only eats mountain cookies whilst on the mountain. Do you wonder what mountain cookies are? I did too. Turns out they are granola bars. Clever infant.

The Small One gets the best of both worlds, being the child of self and TMOTH (The Man of the House) TMOTH. Haha. Sounds like a funny sort of super hero. I think I will start calling him that. Anyway, back to what I was saying. Best of both worlds and whatnot. From me, she gets a knowledge and love of sewing, designing, draping, knitting, spinning, shopping and all that. From TMOTH (that makes me smile every time I type it!) she gets a love of dogs, chickens, outside, mountains, hiking, camping, yard work and all things associated with the previously mentioned. Makes for a well-rounded child, no? She can hike with the best of them. As we know, she does love her chickens.



She is the Alpha in the barnyard, so to speak, and is the only one the turkeys at whom the turkeys DON'T fluff their feathers.
For all her bravery, recklessness and "alpha-ness" however, she can still be a big sissy. For example-I give you this video of pumpkin carving, in which she had to remove the guts from the pumpkin.
video
I should also add that I am perhaps not the sweetest mamma to ever walk the earth, as I found it HYSTERICAL that she was grossed out by "punkin goo" so I felt a serious need to chuck it at her. Which, as you can see by this video, I did. I could post the next video in the lineup, but it mostly consists of me laughing like a fool at her.

Here is a photo illustrating her well-roundedness, particularly as pertains to food.


In case you are curious what she chooses to consume, I will give you the rundown. She is having some very expensive triple cream brie, a lovely and well aged white english cheddar, a garlic dry aged salami and a white truffle oil dry aged salami. This is The Small One's idea of a lovely bedtime snack. I must admit, I concur. This delightful repast is what I received instead of a birthday cake from TMOTH. Lovely! Isn't he clever? I don't really like cake.

Here is one more pic from late summer. Just because I think she is so damn cute.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'd know her anywhere!

The Small One wanted to be Tinkerbell for Halloween. I did not want that. I wanted her to be Alice from the new Alice in Wonderland. She did not want that. Then she wanted to be Spiderman. I definitely did not want that. We compromised. I let her be Tinkerbell for her friend's birthday party if she would be Alice for Halloween. She agreed, but then was all sorts of bent that the wings DID NOT MAKE HER FLY!!!!! What a ripoff.
So, here we go. Alice, The Mad Hatter and The White Queen.
I have to say, that Hatter costume might be the best one I have done.





Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Opinions, I haz 'em.

I have fairly strong opinions. If you are a reader of this blog, or happen to know me in real life or even just on facebook, I expect you know that. Not only do I have strong opinions, I have lots of them. On just about everything. And not only do I have strong opinions on just about everything, they are mostly fairly well supported opinions. Which means, if your opinion differs from mine, though I will listen to you, it is unlikely my opinion will change. Not only will my opinions not change, I might stomp yours into the ground, if it isn't well supported. Yep, I know it is kind of a jerk thing to do, and I don't really mean to be a jerk, it just happens sometimes. We all have our cross to bear.
I don't understand people who don't have opinions about things. Boggles the mind, really. My opinion of people who don't have strong opinions? Weirdos, one and all.
The Man of the House and I occasionally have discussions about this, because, for the most part, he does not hold strong opinions on a lot of things. Obviously, I think he is crazy.
Having opinions on things can put one in a stronger position, albeit one that sometimes annoys the living crap out of one's associates.
For instance, if you are hanging out with me and I say, "what would you like to do?" And you say, "Eh, I don't care" I will take you at your word. Since, odds are, I have an opinion about what I would like to do. If you do not voice your opinion, then mine trumps it by forfeit. Benefit for me! Sucks for you if you actually do care. I am willing to take your opinion into account, but only if you let me know you have one!
Lately, I have had opinions on lots of things. Oh, wait, I always have opinions on lots of things. But, I have VOCALIZED my opinions on things lately.
Par example-
I have an opinion about Park51, the Muslim Community Center proposed for Manhattan. Don't call it the Ground Zero Mosque, because it isn't at Ground Zero.
I have an opinion about certain rectally-cranially inverted Happy Valleyites who felt the need to voice their displeasure at a certain local business for having the audacity to allow polygamists to patronize said business. I think they are idiot bigots. The Happy Valleyites, not the business, nor the polygamists.
I have an opinion about opposite sex friendships. I think they are awesome. Let me emphasize the friendship. Nothing more, nothing less. I, personally, do not look on all members of the opposite sex as simply opportunities for sex. I think there may be a bit more to said people than that.
I have an opinion on gay rights, universal healthcare, stupid people, education, cheese, etiquette, funny words, books you should read, reality tv...you name it.
And I don't mind sharing them.

Sorry Kaytee!

I promised Kaytee some new posts quite a while ago and I have not delivered. Oops. It gets stressful around here, sometimes, and it takes some doing to write a blog post. Which doing I do not always care to do. But, I know I should, as this really is supposed to be something of a record of my life, aside from entertaining the people who actually do read it.
I always wonder, though, why they do. Why do you? Because you find my opinions fascinating? I mean, I think my opinions are fascinating, but I am pretty aware that not everyone shares that view. ;)
Halloween is coming up. I love Halloween in abstract. It appeals to the costumer that still dwells within me. It appeals to the child in me that loves to play dressup, to the imagination that allows me to be, in real life, what I sometimes pretend to be or wish to be in my head.
But then, life has this annoying habit of getting in my way! October is such a busy season with weddings and all, that by the time I really think about getting down to the planning of the costumes, it is the week before Halloween and I am just too tired to really care. So, The Small One usually ends up with something pretty cool. My niece usually gets something nice, and me? Yeah, year after year I end up having to dig through my box of costume crap and try and come up with something. Now, grant you, I have a pretty good costume box, so even my thrown together costumes are pretty cool. Just not as cool as they would be if I actually got around to making something for myself. Alas.
I will post pictures of Halloween, though, rest assured. Kaytee, I will not disappoint!
The Small One is going to be "Blue Alice" as she calls it, from the new Alice in Wonderland. The Man of the House will be dressing up as The Mad Hatter. Spoiled niece will be going as Alice in the Red Queen's castle. The Small One thinks I ought to go as The Red Queen (whom she calls Red Queen Alice's Mom), but I don't have the energy or time to do that costume at this point. Bummer, would have been fun. She has also suggested once or twice that I go as the Bandersnatch, but I vetoed that one.


In other news, The Small One's humour still abounds. The other morning, I lay in bed with my hands tucked behind my head. She grabbed my elbow and pulled, telling me to put my arms down. I asked why? "Because peoples don't like to look at your armpits." Why not? I queried. At this juncture, she released my elbow prodded said armpit and announced, "Because, they are all wild or somethin'." Nice. My armpits are wild. Thing is, it isn't like they were unshaven or anything. They simply offended her for some reason.

She is turning into a right little drama queen, lately. I think it has something to do with being three? At least, that is what I like to believe. And that she will grow out of it, right? RIGHT?
Anyhoo, she has taken to throwing these utterly idiotic and annoying tantrums, which drive me batty, so when they occur, if we are home (how is this for a run on sentence!?!) I send her to her room. Where she howls. A few days ago, upon my sending her to her room, she ran in, cast herself upon the floor and proceeded to give voice in a most melodramatic fashion, as follows.
"JEEEEEEESSSUUUUUSSSSS!!!!! Where have you gone? I want to come to your house! Jeeessuuuussss!!! What did I do?"
I jest not. This actually happened. I think she must be channeling her Southern Baptist roots. I did not know that religion could be inbred like that.

In yet other, though related as pertains to her, news, she likes Dance class. Whew. Like big WHEW! She still whines at me when it is time to get ready, as she suffers from social anxiety, but once she sees how incredibly cute she is in her ballet attire, all is well. And I am not kidding, all it takes is for her to see herself in leo, pink tights and bun and she is rarin' to go. The spazziness that seems to be inherent pops up in dance class, and all I can say is that her teacher is unfailingly patient. The child does not follow directions, spaces off mid exercise and likes to admire herself in the studio mirrors. Not a surprise, really, and I warned dance teacher about it. Dance teacher is sweet and kind and gently takes the child by the hand to lead her back into what she is supposed to do.
Much nicer than me. When I want her attention, it goes more like this.
Me-Small One.
Small One-......
Me-Small One!
SO-......
Me-Small One!!!!
SO-......
Me-SMALL ONE!!!!!! HEY!!!! I AM TALKING TO YOU!!!!! PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR MOTHER!!!!!!
SO-......
At which point I generally poke her with something or flick her ear. Occasionally I have been known to chuck a pillow in her direction. Sometimes it works.
Here's the thing. You can shout at her until the cows come home and if she is distracted, she WILL NOT HEAR YOU. But if you open a candy wrapper in the basement while she is upstairs watching TV? You can bet that the stair door will open and a sweet voice will echo down the stairwell saying, "Hey, can I have some candy, too?"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wow, go me.

So, it seems I am a lousy blogger. I want to post more often, really I do, but I just don't seem to be able to find the time and/or motivation! I know, it is terrible, especially because this is supposed to be documenting the childhood of The Small One. And she says and does the funniest things, too, which of course, I cannot remember if I don't write them down. Yep, I am lame.

Anyhoo, let's see if we can catch some stuff up here.

The Small One started preschool in August and well, it did not go well. I thought she would do okay, since her teacher was our backyard neighbor, but oh. I was wrong. I guess going from being at home with Mamma to going to a large school with 18 kids in your class is a bit of a jump. Guess I should have thought of that, since it cost me over $200 for the three weeks she managed to attend. I had hoped she would get over her fear but when she started waking in the middle of the night crying and asking if she had to go to school, well, that put an end to it.

I decided that perhaps we would be better off starting small and then working our way up to prescchool. So, with that in mind, I enrolled her in a creative movement class at the ballet school near us.

Well, as I sit here typing this, The Small One is next to me on the couch howling about how she doesn't want to go to dance class. Great. Awesome. She is going to go anyway, like it or not because there are no refunds with this place. But UGH!!!! It seems I have ruined my child by being a stay at home mom. She doesn't get babysat by anyone but my mom or my niece. She only plays at a couple of friends' homes (who live very nearby) and she doesn't interact with very many children who are not her cousins. So now what? Well, I guess I just hope that she gets used to going to dance class and learns to enjoy it.

A couple of weeks ago, Grandpa Ed stayed the night here. The Small One stayed up a bit late to visit with him, so the next morning she slept in quite late. I finally went in to get her up and she sleepily looked at me and said "Is it time to get ready for church?" No, I assured her that it was not Sunday. "Is it a school day?" No, not a school day. At which point, she gave me a little push, rolled over and said, "Then go out, I want to have a few more sleeps." So, out I went. Silly infant.

Monday, August 2, 2010

More Life and Whatnot...

So, apparently I worried some of you with my last post about being overwhelmed and stuff. Sorry. I am surviving, there is just a lot going on right now. My work, his work, plus some serious stress in my extended family. I have over-extended myself a wee bit, but I shall get through it. This, too, shall pass.

In other news, have I told you how much I like The Small One? Yeah, okay, not just like. Love. Adore. Want to kiss her silly face a lot. She brings me so much joy. She has this way of saying something utterly hysterical and then smiling this little, wrinkly nosed, mousy smile that makes me want to grab her and hug her. And sometimes I do. She is pretty good about it. Unlike my little nephews who think wiping my kisses off is the funniest thing EVAR! Brats.

Speaking of my nephews, have I told you how much I like them? They are adorable little stinkers. There are three in particular that come over here fairly regularly. One of them is my boy. Oh, I love him so much. One is the same age as The Small One and just as much trouble. And the third is a wee, fat little baby. Very kissable and huggable, but kind of likes to be left alone. I love them all. The middle boy and The Small One cause all sorts of really funny havoc. They are so much the same, it kills me. Crazy little rowdies, the both of them. Every time the boys are over, the curtain rod in the nursery gets broken. And they cannot figure out why! I mean, it should hold up their weight when they swing from the curtains, right? Right? Why else would you have floor length curtains?

In yet other news, courtesy of Pioneer Day, I have been looking up my ancestors online. On one branch, all English. Crazy. On the other, we get a Dane mixed up in there. On yet another (through my paternal Grandmother) it goes all Scottish. These people did not do much intermixing. Although, I suppose that stands to reason as they didn't have much opportunity to intermix until they came here. My paternal Grandfather's family popped on over in 1857 via wagon train. Hooray for the Mormon Migration! Woot!

Seriously, though. Following the 1857 ancestor's lines down, I find a whole lot of names I am familiar with. In fact, some friends' names mixed up in there. Now I need to do some research to figure out if I am actually related to said friends a ways back. I am related to the people I grew up across the street from. Through previously mentioned ancestor. Crazy. Utah is so inbred. ;)

Also interesting, one of the daughters of said ancestor lived in Rockville, Utah, which is in Zion Canyon. Right next door to Grafton, which is where some ancestors of The Man of the House resided. Wouldn't it be weird if they knew each other?

I read The Undaunted just recently. Wow. Great story. Not a Gerald Lund fan, really, his writing style gets on my nerves, but this book was worth the irritation. It is a novel based on the Hole in the Rock pioneers. Look them up. Because, HOLY CRAP, they did some serious pioneering. The Hole in the Rock is a crack in a cliff that they blasted out and took wagons down. You will flip if you do not know the story because it is mind-boggling what they were able to accomplish.

Well, I have got to go finish cleaning up my studio. Again. I am so disorganized when I work, that periodically I have to go through and shovel up the mess, put things back where they go, clear off the table and sewing machines and sweep up all the clippings. Just so I can continue using the room. Yippee. I hate cleaning. Not my forte.

First, however, I will go gather the eggs. 9-10 per day. Are you jealous? You should be.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Life...

"I try to take life one day at a time, but sometimes, several days attack me at once."

This is how I feel right now. Dear friends, please be aware, I am utterly overwhelmed right now. If you asked me to do something and it hasn't gotten done, I am sorry. It probably won't for awhile. If you are wondering why I haven't spent time with you, it isn't because I don't like you, it is because all of my time is taken up doing stuff for other people and when a free moment comes along (and that is all it is, a moment) I want to sit down and just be me.

I am so overwhelmed right now that my work is suffering. I am doing very poor work and not even being aware of how bad it is until my unhappy client points it out. And that just sort of adds to the feeling of overwhelmed-ness. It makes my confidence in my abilities suffer. Which makes me do poor work, which makes my...well, you get the idea. Vicious circle and whatnot.

Stop asking me when I am going to have more children. I don't know. The thought of adding something like that to the mix right now may just send me straight over the edge. I love my daughter more than life, but she requires a great deal of time. And, as I do not have much of that right now, taking away the bit I do have for her in order to care for an infant seems cruel. Besides, I don't have insurance.

I am taking a break from working for a bit, as soon as I wrap up the clients I have. Don't ask me to sew for you. The answer is no.

I am going to focus on fixing the things I screwed up and then once I finish that, focus on figuring out how to get my head back in the game. Thanks for understanding.

Monica, this does not apply to your boys. They are welcome ANYTIME, as their presence makes me happy.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicken Girl

The child is a born farmgirl. I am not sure how that happened, but it did. Would you like to hear (or read, really) an amusing story about The Small Farm Girl? I thought you might.
Once upon a time, long, long ago...oh, wait. Wrong story. Hang on a second while I reload...Okay here goes.
The other day...
The Small One and I went out to the back yard to give the chickens and turkeys a little treat. Well, at least they think it is a treat. I call it kitchen scraps, but chickens aren't that bright. As we walked over to the pen, The Small One decided she wanted to hurl the lettuce and carrot scraps to them. Being, as she is, Small, she can't hurl them over the top of the pen with quite the panache I seem to be able to muster. Or at all. So, I opened the door to the pen to allow her to toss her scraps to the chickens.
In the ensuing melee, one chicken managed to escape! As she headed for freedom (of a fenced yard?) The Small One gave chase. There was a great deal of flapping and squawking and barking (fear not, the barking was from the dogs who got a bit excited at the fracas. Our chickens don't bark.) Then the chicken, apparently one of the brighter ones, ensconced herself behind the lilac bush, without the knowledge of The Small One.
However, I had watched said chicken's every move and knew where she had hidden herself. Being not so small as the child, I could not quite fit behind the previously mentioned lilac bush. So, calling The Small One back to my aid, I armed myself with a leafy branch, crawled under said bush and blocked the escape on one side. Then, The Small One made her move. She slid under and behind that bush and snagged that chicken by the tail! The chicken flapped, she squawked, she squirmed and she flapped some more, but The Small One was relentless.
Despite all the flap, which would have conquered more valiant hearts, she persevered. She hauled that chicken out of it's forest fastness by the tail, when she got it close enough, she wrapped her little arms around it, hefted it up and hauled it back to it's imprisonment. I quickly opened the gate to the pen, she tossed the chicken in and I shut the gate before another could make a bid for freedom.
The Small One just dusted her hands off, said "There you go, mama." and went off to jump on the tramp. Just another day in the life, for her.
Yeah, I think she's pretty awesome.
From Drop Box

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

Well, it seems we survived the drive home. I wasn't really sure, but now I am. Fairly sure, anyway. I have weird bits of soreness from being in the car for so long, and the skin on my right hip is a bit raw from the seat belt. 15 hours is a long time to be in a car, my friends.

We left the grandfolks at 4 am, partly because we couldn't sleep and partly because we just wanted to get home. Mom was supposed to drive in the morning so I could sleep, but alas, that did not happen. She has had a severe back and headache since last week and simply couldn't do it. Oh, well.

The Small One did remarkably well on the drive home. It was hard on her, poor little fidget. She is an active little baby and being strapped into a seat for that long was difficult, to say the least. Part of the reason it took so long to get home is because we stopped a lot to let her out. She kept telling me she wanted to get out and play on the grass, even when there was no grass!

I knew going into it that the worst part of the trip would be from Winnemucca to the border, and boy, was I right. Not only had we been on the road for soooooo long, but that part of the drive is so boring. There is nothing to see. However, crossing into Utah was like magic. I felt so much better, not too tired anymore, just anxious to get home. I love coming home.

Having been on the Central Coast for the week, I can tell you, I do not want to live there. It makes me uncomfortable for a number of reasons.

The sun rarely shines. Cloudy, cloudy, cloudy. I require sunshine.
It is HUMID. Oh, my gosh. I cannot bear humidity. Truth be told, I am a desert rat. I likes my dry air.
There are too many trees. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but the area in which my grandparents live is full of trees. You cannot see where you are going until you are right on top of it, and I find that annoying. Plus, the trees are weird and unfamiliar. ;) When we drove into Auburn on the way home, I breathed a sigh of relief. It is up in the mountains, so much more familiar territory. Normal trees and sunshine. Very pretty, too.

My mom loves the ocean, and my grandparents are very near. I like the ocean. I think it is pretty. But I will take my mountains ANY DAY! I love it here. I have lived a bunch of different places, but this is the place to be. One of my old roommates told me she though Utah was rather ugly because it is so bare. She is from a much more lush environment. I like it bare. It feels open and free and breathable. I love looking at the mountain outside my window and seeing the craggy, majestic rocks. And, did I mention the sunshine?

PS-Update on most recent bride. She had gone out of town suddenly and came home to a deluge of emails from me wondering what had become of her. She paid IMMEDIATELY (paypal) before she even emailed me. Then emailed, loved the dress. Whew.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ye Olde Folks

It has been...a week.

After the debacle of the nasty bride and her nastier mom, I was feeling a wee bit of stress (to put it mildly). I had another dress that HAD to be finished, that I was delayed on due to nasty bride and her nastier mom. Not only that, but I had to head out to my grandparents in California. Grandma had to have surgery to clean out a major artery and someone had to stay with Grandpa while she was in hospital.

So, Sunday morning, I hopped in the van with Mom and The Small One and headed out. Mom drove for the first few hours while I worked on the wedding dress. The whole of the dress was covered with hand sewn appliques and I was not quite done. So, whilst Mom drove, I sewed. And sewed. And sewed. And still did not finish. We stopped that night in Vegas, wandered around a bit, forgot to have dinner and returned to our hotel. Where I sewed and sewed and sewed some more. Then undid some of the things that didn't look right and redid them. And then I was done. Well, almost.

We arose the next morning, piled into the van and off we went to Los Angeles. I have been running out of lace and whatnot for some time and needed to get to LA to replenish the stock. However, this trip was not terribly successful. I found a few things that I needed, but the prices on some of the other things weren't really very low and I couldn't afford to spend that much all at once. Especially when I could get it for less with a coupon at Jo-ann. What a bummer. After a few hours in the fabric district, back into the van for the drive up to the grandparents.

Long drive, that. I had to do all of the driving from Vegas on. Mom doesn't care to drive and then at night, she can't see, so there wasn't any other option. Around 7 I started to get very tired and cranky, so we stopped for a bite to eat. And then on again. We arrived at the grandparents about 1:30 am, utterly worn out.

And, here we have remained. With brief trips into town (or surrounding towns) for a bit of shopping and simply to get out of the overheated, overloud, undersized home which my grandparents inhabit.

I had been communicating quite frequently with the hopeful owner of the aforementioned wedding gown and when I got to Salinas, I went over to the post office to post her dress. Express mail, you know, with tracking. She sent me a few emails about her excitement to receive her dress and then, I got the notice that it was received and...silence. Nothing. I have heard nothing from her end. Nor did she make her final payment as I thought she had. Awesome. She has now had the dress in her possession for three days and not a word, not a payment. As of right now, I have offically been stiffed $650 in two weeks.

So, that kind of added to the stress I have been feeling of late. I am sure you understand.

Stress from a nasty bride and her nastier mom, stress from a long drive with The Small One, stress from cleaning grandparents house (oh, you have no idea!), stress from trying to keep Grandpa happy whilst Grandma is in hospital, stress from the incessant noise of a VERY LOUD TV and the level of heat the old folks prefer, stress from the inability of The Small One to go out in play in the yard due to the very real possibility of her being dismembered by falling on something that normal people do not have buried in the weeds in their yards (possum in a cage, anyone?) and her consequent rowdiness in the house and STRESS from another bride who apparently does not want to pay.

Good times, I tell you. Good times.

It kicks one's confidence down when one has but one client who is displeased with one's work. Although in that case, it was the Mother of the Bride, not the Bride, but still. But, when one has two clients who are displeased? Ugh. I feel...lousy. Unable to work. As though I really am that sucky at my job. Last time this happened, I took a year off. I don't know why it does me in in such a major way, but it does.

We leave for home in the morning. I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am of that.

East, West, Home's best.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Humanity

As many (or all) of you know, I make and alter wedding gowns for a living. I work out of a studio in my home, but I am a professional. I have a degree in my field and have been doing this for 17 years.

A few days ago, I finished major alterations on two wedding gowns for a bride. And I mean major. And the bride's alterations changed over the course of the 4 weeks I had her gowns. Mostly due to her mother's objections to the gowns not covering enough on top. So, I ended up doing the top of the gowns three different ways, in order to satisfy the desires of the MOB (Mother Of the Bride). It was annoying, but did not really matter as the bride was going to pay for the continual changes. By the time we were done, it was 2 1/2 weeks past her original pickup date and her bill had increased a bit.

She came to pick up her dresses, loved them, and was ready to take them. I was not satisfied with the fit of one of them and wanted to fix it (this was her first and only fitting with the third top). She said she did not have time to have them fixed before her bridals, so I said I would do a quick fix that would hold for her pictures and then she could bring it back for me to fix for real inbetween pictures and wedding.

She said yes, gave me a check for the $650, took the gowns and left. Normally, I do not accept checks because I have been stiffed twice before.

Now, I was looking forward to this money, because my grandmother is having heart surgery next week and I am going out to stay with my grandfather while Grandma is in the hospital. He cannot be left by himself. The money was intended to cover the cost of the trip.

Next day I got a phone call from MOB. She was not pleased with my work. It looked terrible, she said, and would not hold up for the wedding. I asked her to what she was referring and she explained that it was the quick fix I had done. I explained to her that her daughter and I had agreed on it and that it would be fixed before the wedding, but she was welcome to bring it to me right then and I would fix it. She got angry, began telling me it was all shoddy work and that the lace looked cheap. HAHA! It was Chantilly, beaded and VERY expensive.

I told her I would work around her schedule to get the dress back and get it fixed, as she was from out of town. She said okay, she would call me back and let me know what time. I never heard from her. I contacted her daughter (who had gone to Lake Powell), she said she did know what her mom was on about, she liked the dress.

I ran over to the bank, deposited the check and never heard from MOB or bride again. Until yesterday. I noticed my bank account was overdrawn and I was not sure how that was possible. I knew I had plenty of money.

Yep, she had put a stop pay on the check. Did not pay for the work. Took the dress and absconded with it, if you will.

Awesome.

Ruins one's day really. Disappointing. Make's one think people suck.

Here's the thing. Today, one of my online friends offered to deposit the money into my paypal account so I could afford my trip rather than wait for "wheels of justice" to get my money for me. I was floored. In a good way. I guess people don't suck. Just a few of them do.

I did not accept her offer as I can use my credit card if I need to, but it was amazingly kind.

Tastes Like Chicken

We have poultry. You may have noticed them in the post somewhat below. The one with pics of The Small One running about in her skivvies and wellies.

To be specific, we have 12 birds. 2 turkeys, 4 Bard Rock chickens and 6 Rhode Island Reds.

The Small One loves her birds. So does The Man of the House.

The birds are somewhat dangerous.

Why, you may ask? Do they bite? No. Peck? Not really. Rake one fiercely with their claws? No, not at all.

They are dangerous because they spark OBSESSION.

The Man of the House felt he would like a couple of birds. He came home with 10. Then, several weeks later, he showed up with 2 turkeys. Then he began to talk of exotic chicken breeds. Silkies, Bantams, Crevecoeurs.

Then...it happened.

He wants pigs. And sheep. And cows.

The Small One wants a pony. And a cowhouse (as she calls barns). Maybe some gokes. (Goats).

A farm, my friends. The Small One and her daddy want a farm.

I would not have thought it.

In other, related news, three of the hens have begun laying. Teeny little eggs, as they are still very young. The first day The Small One found eggs, this is the conversation I had with her.

SO-Do chickens have eggs?
Me-Yes, they do.
SO-Are they in their stomach?
Me-Mmm, yeah, close enough.
SO-Do they poo them out?
Me-(laughing) Something like that.
SO-(looking quizzically at the egg in her hand) Well, can I eat it?

Naturally, I howled with laughter, then followed her in and she fried herself a tiny brown egg with lashings of butter.

(Yes, I let her cook on the stove. Yes, I keep a very close eye on her. How else will she learn?)

Mmmm, Toasty

I love my bed. It is big and comfy, the pillows are perfect and the sheets are crisp and cold.

After working late on a wedding gown tonite, I went into my room to take my rightful place on the left (stage left) side of the bed, next to The Man of the House.

But, alas, I could not.

You see, The Small One had been eating Cinnamon Toast on my side of the bed and it is rather...sandy.

So, I leave The Man of the House to enjoy the comforts of the bed himself and I shall betake myself off to the bed of The Small One.

Which is delightfully free of crumbs and sugar. Though the pillows aren't as nice.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ugh

I am overworked.

The Small One is feeling neglected.

It is wedding season.

You know I make and alter wedding gowns, right? You can check out my website at www.thedress.net . It is a bit messy right now. Because it is wedding season and, yeah, I don't have time to fix it right now. Sorry.

So, here, because I am just too tired, are some photos of The Small One that illustrate why I enjoy being a mother.

Truthfully, the child would never come into the house if she didn't have to.

She loves her chickens: This is a daily occurence.

From Lilly


From Lilly


From Lilly


And her dogs.

From Lilly


This is also a regular occurence. Shedding of the clothing. Playing in the dirt.

From Lilly


From Lilly


From Lilly


From Lilly

Friday, April 30, 2010

In Review

Hello there, and welcome to another installment of Has it Really Been a Month Since I Last Posted. Because that is what I think every single time. Where exactly does the time go? Oh, I know, it is wedding season, that lovely time of year when I can't even call my soul my own. The Blessed Brides seem to think that I belong to them, 24/7.

Anyway, on to my subject. Do you like to read? I do. I am a voracious reader. Don't get me wrong, I won't read just anything. I am (sort of) discriminating in my tastes. Though some people may like a good trashy read, I myself usually pass.

Why do we say that? I, myself? I mean, it is really redundant. It isn't as though one would say "I, yourself" or "I, himself", right? Although, perhaps one might. Once upon a time, long, long ago when I was still in college I had a friend named Ai. Prounouced "eye". I was telling my roommates something about him one day, and I started the story thusly. "I was sitting next to me on the couch..." they heard. What? "I was sitting next to me on the couch..." Confusion reigned. You were sitting next to you on the couch? I don't get it. "Oh! Haha. No, AI, as in the person who lives across the street, was sitting next to me on the couch!" Oh! Laughs all round and I carried on with my story. Which I don't actually remember at this juncture' the point being that one might indeed say, Ai, himself.

You know, we had a lot of oddly named people in that complex. A guy named Amerik and a girl named America. A guy named Tuna (I think his given name was Ryan) an apt. of guys named Larry, Moe and Darryl, but we called him Curly (and he was).

But, I digress...

Do you like to read? There was a meme going around on Facebook for awhile of the top 100 books that people ought to have read and the deal was that Americans had in general only read around 30 of them. I had read 80 or so. I likes me some classic literature. A lot. But, I also like some good, dorky fantasy as well. Hook me up with The Belgariad and The Mallorean anytime. Then there is the be all and end all of literature, which is classic fantasy! Does it get any better than this? I think not! T.H. White's The Once and Future King is a delightful book from cover to cover. The Lord of The Rings? Awesome. It is true, I am a sucker for a good fairy tale, I cannot deny it.

I get my street cred by reading Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope. If literature can have street cred, something of which I am not sure.

I have been asked before what is my favorite book, and truthfully? I do not know the answer to that. I love books. Here is a partial list of several faves, as I cannot pick just one.

Mary Stewart's Crystal Cave Trilogy-best King Arthur books, hands down. Although they are about Merlin.
The aforementioned The Once and Future King-yeay King Arthur!
Gone With the Wind-I love Scarlett, that is one hell of a woman.
The Chosen and The Promise by Chaim Potok. I would recommend anything he wrote.
Harry Potter-of course
The Emily Trilogy by L.M. Montgomery. I also love the Anne books, but the Emily's are definitely the fave. Much darker.
Emma by Jane Austen-although I like all of her books.
Anything by Anthony Trollope-so entertaining!
The Forsyte Saga
John Adams by David McCullough-so fascinating.
Jeeves and Bertie novels by P.G. Wodehouse-absolute howlers.

That is a short list of books I love. I could go on indefintely.

Then, there are books I don't love. What are they, you ask? Sit tight and I shall tell you.

I do not like modern smut, though I won't turn down good 18th or 19th Century smut, since it generally isn't actually smutty. Well, except maybe Lady Chatterly's Lover, which I have not actually read.

I do not like Gothic Romances. Jane Eyre? Blech. Wuthering Heights? Ugh. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall? No, thanks. I think Gothic Romance is not romance, it is idiocy. I do not care to subject myself to it, thank you very much.

I also do not like badly written sequels by person's other than the author of the previous books. Take for example, Scarlett, the sequel to Gone With the Wind. Dear heaven above, was a worse book ever written? Of course, I read it. I wanted to know what the author did with Scarlett. It was plain a couple of chapters in that she DID NOT understand the character of Scarlett, which she proceeded to butcher in the most heinous manner. Margaret Mitchell must have rolled over in her grave.

I do not like boring books, though I confess to loving books that others might consider boring. If it bores me, I probably won't finish reading it. Moby Dick, I am looking at you!

I do not like dark and depressing novels. Anything by John Steinbeck does not belong on my personal library shelves. So depressing. Yes, I get that he was writing about the human condition during a particular point in history, and yes, I get that things were dark and depressing, but that does not mean I want to read about it.

Evidently I am an escapist. Hmm. Intersting.

I do not like cheeseball romances. Nicolas Sparks. Ugh. Seriously. No offense if you like him. I just don't.

So, there you go, there are some of my likes and dislikes. I am a re-reader. Big time. I have a couple of shelves full of books that I have read countless times. Always good to fall back on when I haven't anything new to read. And it is hard for me to find something new to read. I don't often read newly published novels, because too many of them are so trite. I rely on the suggestions of friends and family whose taste I trust, my dad in particular. He has good taste in books and knows my taste, so I have a pretty good list from him. I have read some fairly obscure (now) books thanks to him. Here are a few good ones-

The Thorn of ArimatheaThe Egyptian by Mika Waltari
Quo Vadis (not really obscure, but, you know)
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (laughed my head off!)
The Last Grain Race
Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl (I think)
Endurance
Ghost of Everest
The Silver Chalice
-Thomas Costain
The Last Plantagenet-Ditto
The Magnificent Century
A Distant Mirror

Hmm, that is all I can think of off the top of my head, but good reads, every single one.

Well, that about does it for tonight. Won't you leave a comment and tell me what books you love? I am always on the lookout for something new!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Peek

It is nearly 2 am and I am sitting in bed next to my blessed daughter, The Small One. Laying in bed with her is a bit easier sometimes, than with The Man of the House for one simple reason. He is a light sleeper, she is not. I can type, read, knit, listen to audiobooks, eat sunflower seeds, what have you, whilst in bed with her. With him? Not so much. So, I let him wander off to slumberland by his lonesome and I sit cozy in bed with my little fidget, because, you know, I don't always want to sit out in the front room to do whatever it is I am doing. It is lonely and not cozy.

That is not to say that I don't sometimes like to do just that. Sit out in the front room. In fact, sometimes, I like to fall asleep out there in front of the fire. But then, I usually wake up all sweaty, with drool on my pillow. Thus ends the romance.

Anyhoo...Did you know The Small One will be three in a couple of weeks? Three? THREE? What the...? Where did the time go? What happened to my wee sweet baby? I swear she was there a couple of minutes ago. Now she has been replaced by a smart, mouthy, funny, rowdy, hyper little girl. Or big girl, if you ask her. She likes to remind me that she is getting bigger. Of course, if she doesn't want to do something, well, she just tells me she is too little. Whatever. It always seems to work in her favour, sizewise.

She is a big girl, though. And one who brings me insane amounts of joy. Sometimes, okay, lots of times, I like to just sit and watch her. When she is unaware that she is being watched, she is soooo adorable. Does the funniest things. I love to watch her concentrate and try to blow bubbles. I love to watch her sit on the couch and color with her markers, so determined. Seeing her out in the yard playing with her daddy, her dogs and her chickens makes me smile.

And yes, they are her chickens, just ask her! She has 10 of them, in case you were curious.

She is a bold and independent sort, just the kind of girl I like. She is a girly tomboy, is that possible? She loves pink, and princesses and makeup and fluff and sparkles and dollies. And she loves racecars, and dumptrucks and dirt, and climbing and dogs and horses. And chickens, of course.

And I love her.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sundays

Sunday mornings are sometimes difficult here our household. Not because we aren't holy and stuff, you know. Okay, we aren't holy, but we try. ;)
Anyway, The Small One, she does not enjoy having her routine messed with. And Sundays? They mess with her routine. Not pleasant.
I would like Sunday mornings to be nice and peaceful, but they aren't. In reality, they are an ongoing fight to get The Small One ready. And then, when we finally make our way to church, she fights about going to nursery, which is utterly ridiculous because she LIKES nursery!
This morning was no different than usual, fight, fight, fight, finally get to church, take her to nursery and she glues herself to me. So, I sit down in nursery with her and try to make her get off of me. I am not terribly successful. (And before you tell me I should just drop her off and let her cry, yeah, that doesn't work. She barfs if she cries too hard and the nursery leaders tell me they aren't up for that.) I rarely make it to my first meeting. Aargh.
Fortunately, she acclimates and I am usually able to leave her there at the point that they switch rooms. That means snacktime and as it involves cheese, she is always up for snacktime.
After I pick her up from nursery, it is time for the main meeting. Of course, having already been through 2 hours of church, the last hour is exceedingly difficult for her. She goes into the chapel and makes her rounds. There are certain people she has to say hi to before the meeting starts. Social little infant.
Then the meeting starts and so does the aggravation. She hates being trapped in a pew. We try to keep her entertained, but are not always successful because, you know, sometimes we like to listen to the speakers and not her. Oh, well.
Today, she picked up my scriptures and climbed into Daddy's lap for a story. He took them and started very quietly "Once upon a time..."
NOT GOOD!
She says, not quietly, THAT IS NOT HOW WE READ SCRIPTURES!!!! WE SAY "AND IT CAME TO PASS!!!!" Oh, dear. Well, at least she is familiar with the scriptures, right?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Latest Words from the Small One

She continues to entertain.

Never fails, really.

Wanna hear the latest?

Because it is pretty amusing.

How about this.
Saturday, I got dressed in some fairly comfortable and, I thought, rather cute clothing. It consisted of black leggings, a tan turtleneck and a short black dress over the top.

I came out of my room in the outfit and added a knit headband and some Ugg style boots. And then I walked into the kitchen where The Small One was waiting to go to Memma's house. She took one look at me, crinkled up her adorable little face and said,

"Don't look like that! You need go change!"

I looked at her and smiled and inquired into her opinion concerning my attire. Do you like it?

"No, I fink its really, really, really, really ugly."

No exaggeration. She honestly said really at least 4 times. Maybe more. I laughed.

Shortly thereafter, The Man of the House walked in and looked at my outfit. Hmm, judging by the expression on his face, I gathered he didn't like it either. So, I asked his opinion of my sartorial choices. He thought I looked like a Russian peasant.

I took The Small One over to Memma's, still wearing said outfit and walked in the house. My mom looked at it and said, "Well, that's interesting." I told her to ask The Small One what she thought, so she did.

"Small One, do you like your mamma's dress?"

"Yes, it's...NO! I fink its kind of ugly!"

I took the dress off at that point. When she has such decided opinions about something, she is probably right.

And here, just for the sake of amusement, is a picture of The Small One eating a cinnamon toast sandwich. Without pants.

From Lilly


And here are a few pics of her hangin' with dad in the evening. This is a nearly nightly occurence.

From Lilly


From Lilly


From Lilly


They like to work together.

Oh, and I nearly forgot! A house exploded about 100 feet from me last week! How weird is that?!?!

The Small One and I had gone down to the Covey Center to meet The Man of the House, who was TD-ing a ballet in the space. We went to get dinner, took The Small One back to the Covey to watch the ballerinas for a bit (which she thoroughly enjoyed) and then she and I headed home. As we were nearing our turn, I considered heading over to the gas station to get a drink. Then I decided I didn't want to bother as The Small One had conked in the back seat and I didn't want to wake her and drag her in the store. So, I turned off State street to head home. Then, I remembered a very important fact.

There is a gas station nearby with a drive thru! Dr. Pepper would indeed be mine. So I turned down the next cross street to head over to said drive thru. It was about 7:40 in the evening and quite dark. There I was, driving calmly along in my lovely residential neighborhood when, all of a sudden,

KABLAAMMMMM!!!!

An earth shaking explosion. It shook my car, rattled the windows good, but curiously, did not wake The Small One! I looked in the direction of the sound and a HUGE plume of smoke and flame was rising over the trees just to my left. I reached the cross street and turned down it and then promptly had to pull over. The street was blocked with debris. Bricks, glass, insulation, stuff. I got out of my car and walked over to a girl standing nearby, in the parking lot of a local diner.

What happened? I queried. She looked at me, a bit shocked and said, "It just...it just...the house just exploded!!!!"

There was a loud hissing noise coming from where the house had been (there was not much left) which I realized was probably gas. I told the girl we should probably get out of there, she agreed and turned to go to her car in the parking lot and I realized she had been in the diner when the house blew. I got back in my own car, flipped a U and headed back up the street as the emergency vehicles came howling down (from 2 blocks away) And still, The Small One did not budge.

I drove back down the next day to see the damage, as I could ascertain nothing but a mess in the dark the previous night. And here, for your viewing enjoyment, are pics of said damage.

From Lilly


Notice the debris up in the tree.
From Lilly


The roof of the house and a semi trailer belonging to a nearby business.
From Lilly


From Lilly


Oh, and in case you wondered, I did not get my drink that night. I was so shaken from the violence of the explosion that I completely forgot about it. Blasted it clean out of my head, if you will.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Heart Governor Herbert

WOOT! In an update on my previous blog entry, Gov. Herbert refused to sign the bill criminalizing women who have miscarriages due to reckless behaviour. The bill was revamped, saying that it is against the law for anyone who is not a doctor to cause an abortion/miscarriage, but that the woman cannot be punished.

Seriously, awesome.

Also, another reason I like him is that he is of the opinion that all school districts in Utah should get the same amount of money per child regardless of whether the area is rich or poor. I agree. This comes from the recent split of the Jordan School District into two. The Canyons (who chose to split off) has a much higher tax base that results in a budget of about $2200/child. Jordan was left with the lower tax base which gives them $1200/child.

Not cool, folks.

It shouldn't matter where the kid lives, they should all have the same opportunity for public education. Now, if you want to send your kids to private school, fine, have at it. But as far as public education goes, being wealthy shouldn't mean your kids get a better education. Or having the luck to live near wealthy people. Kids in Utah are the future of Utah. All of Utah.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh, The Frustration

Frustration reigneth here in Utah amongst those of us who treasure women's rights. That includes me. I am terribly frustrated with the Legislature here for a number of reasons. Let me enumerate.

1-Sex Ed in Utah.
Rep. Steve Urqhardt from St. George, sponsored a bill here in Utah about Sex Ed.
Turns out Utah is an abstinence only state. Seriously. Also turns out that the rate of teen pregnancy and STD's in Utah is high. Somehow or another we are surprised about this. Seriously? Steve's bill would change the law to allow for more comprehensive sex education in school. Understanding the conservative viewpoint, the bill included an opt-out for parents who, for whatever reason, did not want their children getting comprehensive sex ed. See? Something for everyone. Those who believe comprehensive sex education is in the interest of protecting our children get what they want. Those who want to keep their children in the dark about sex get what they want. Everybody's happy, right? Wrong. The bill was not even discussed in the Senate. Just voted down and dropped. For shame Utah. For shame.

2-Women's rights as concerns pregnancy.
The Legislature just passed another bill that I find so appalling that it makes me sick. Current law in Utah allows for prosecution of persons causing harm to an unborn child. As in, when a woman gets an illegal abortion, the person performing the abortion can be prosecuted. If a woman is beaten, and it causes her to lose her fetus, the person inflicting the violence can be charged for the harm to the woman and the harm to the fetus. Basically, if someone causes the loss of an unborn child, without the consent of the woman, can be charged for the loss of that unborn child.

BUT, and this is very important, the woman herself CANNOT be charged.

Until now.

Now, the woman can be charged. I understand (sort of) the reasoning behind the change. The girl last year who hired someone to beat her up in an effort to end her pregnancy. Certain persons want her to be prosecuted. So, yes, I understand the reasoning, but I think it is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!!!! On so many levels.

Instead of considering what might have possessed this girl (and she was a girl, not an adult) to hire someone to BEAT HER so severely that she would lose her pregnancy and, oh, I don't know, figuring out WHY and HOW TO HELP HER, they choose to prosecute instead. That is smart. There is one level.

Next level. They want to prevent abortions. That is what this law is supposedly about. But, instead of doing things to help prevent pregnancy, like SEX EDUCATION in school, they just want to prosecute those who are accidentally pregnant and need to end it. Maybe, just maybe, if they considered that comprehensive sex ed might help prevent unwanted pregnancies, we could get somewhere. But no, dear heaven above, if we teach kids to have safe sex they will just go out and bang anyone and everyone!!!!!!!! HORRORS!!! I hate to break it to you folks, but fear of STD's and pregnancy does not prevent most kids (or adults) from having sex. If they are going to have sex, they are going to have sex, whether you not you give them the info to do it safely. This is proven by the high numbers of STD's and teen pregnancy abounding in our lovely state. If keeping the info out of their hands would prevent them from having sex, there would be no teen pregnancies and no STD's! Clearly, abstinence only education is not the answer.

3-And this is the one that REALLY makes me angry.
The law criminalizes any woman who recklessly or with intent causes a miscarriage. Of her own. Sounds kind of innocuous, no? But it isn't! It means that some random prosecutor, doctor, midwife, judge, nurse, whoever, gets to decide what is reckless behaviour for me. Say I have a miscarriage and in the midst of my treatment mention that I had been drinking Dr. Pepper. My doctor could decide that was reckless behaviour on my part and report me. I could be charged with causing the loss of my baby. Doesn't matter that I may be devastated by this loss and am probably blaming myself (wrongly) anyway. They will make it worse by slinging me in jail and charging me with the murder of my child.
What if I am out running while pregnant and fall and hurt myself and cause a miscarriage. Is that reckless? Should I be jailed?
What if I eat alfalfa sprouts on my deli turkey sandwich and end up with listeriosis?? I mean, it looks healthy, right? But it is pretty damn reckless, isn't it? I mean, doesn't everyone know that raw sprouts and deli meats can carry listeriosis? Oh, wait, probably not, since we don't talk about pregnancy and sex in schools.

And before you tell me that I am being ridiculous and they would never push things this far, let me tell you this. Not too long ago, a woman in Ohio became the victim of just such a law. She was very distraught, briefly lost consciousness and fell down her stairs. She elected to go to the ER to get the baby checked and while talking to the nurse about her distress, due to her husband's decision to leave her over the pregnancy, mentioned she wasn't sure she wanted to be pregnant.
Nurse told doctor, doctor called the police and she was jailed for two days. Two days, kids. She had two little ones at home who had to be taken care of, but no matter. She fell down the stairs and obviously must be punished.

Or how about this one? A woman here in the United States was told she needed to go on bedrest. She was a single mom, had other children and a job. She couldn't do bedrest, if she did, she would have no one to take care of her children and no money with which to pay for food, home, clothes, bills, what have you. But, instead of providing her with useful assistance, the state chose to prosecute her. For being unable to care for her family while on bed rest.

So, my friends, it is not that ridiculous. In fact, what it is, is dangerous. A slippery slope, if you will. What is the next step in the erosion of my rights as a woman? Telling me what I can or cannot do WITH MY OWN BODY while I am pregnant is beyond ridiculous and criminalizing it is incomprehensible to me. You can be that I will be writing a letter to the governor and to my representatives about how utterly ludicrous things are right now. I mean, really, we won't teach the kids about preventing pregnancy and then we will punish them for their lack of knowledge if they do get pregnant and happen to lose said pregnancy. That makes a whole lot of sense.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Stuff and Junk

Hey there, what's up? Thanks for dropping by! Hope you find things entertaining, at any rate. Won't you leave a comment if you drop by? Just let me know you have been here.

Did you watch the Opening Ceremonies? I am sitting in front of the tv right now, waiting for them to start. I love the Olympics. So entertaining. And I hope the USA kicks some trash. No offense to any international readers I may have. I'm just a wee bit competitive.

Watching the Olympics always brings back memories. The Man of the House and I were heavily involved in the 2002 Winter Games, as they were here in Salt Lake City. The Man of the House actually shot fireworks for much of the Games and then for the Closing Ceremonies. I gt to attend the Closing Ceremonies, which was seriously AWESOME!.

We both worked for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints prior to the games, making costumes for the VERY large show that the Church put on during the Olympics. I had an all access pass to the tunnels underneath the Church complex in Salt Lake City. That was also, seriously awesome. Tons of fun.

Then, shortly after the Games ended, we got married. Also, awesome.

Sadly, these games in Vancouver are getting off to a bit of a tragic start. A Georgian Luge Runner was killed in a horrible accident this morning. My heart goes out to his family.


So, I have been busy the last couple of days trying to get stuff up in my etsy shop. I focus mostly on boutique style children's clothes, although there will be some adult fashions in there as well. There isn't much up yet, but there will be more soon. Check it out at lillyblythe.etsy.com

I am still planning to do my lovely wedding website, but I need to finance said endeavor and am hoping this etsy site will help me do that.

Don't know what etsy is? You should totally check it out. It is a shopping site for handmade and vintage items, so everything in my shop is handmade by me. Hope you like it!

Also, I finally finished knitting this gorgeous tunic for my darling daughter, The Small One. What do you think?

From Drop Box


Okay, well, I think that is all for now. I will post again, soon. I hope so, anyway. I have some thoughts floating around in my head that I need to organize.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Post of Random

This is going to be a fully random post, so fasten your seatbelts and I hope you don't get confused!

I am sitting here with The Small One eating Nerds. Well, I am eating Nerds and she is pouring her Nerds between two boxes and eating the occasional few. And handing the occasional few to me with a reminder to not eat them all or she will spank my butt. Then she apologized and said she wouldn't really spank me, but make sure I don't eat them all!
From Drop Box

Too many Nerds will make your teeth hurt. In case you wondered.

My dear SIL, Kaytee, got me hooked on Overstock.com. Bad Kaytee! I found these shoes that I want for Valentine's or whatever holiday for which I can justify having them.
Here they are: Shoes of Fabulousness

From Drop Box


Ooh, pretty! Don't you think?

The Olympics are coming up very soon. I love the Olympics. Of course, they aren't quite as much fun as they were when they were here, but still fun. And, for fibre geeks like myself, it is time for the Ravelympics! Woot!

What are the Ravelympics, you ask? Simple. It is a contest in which all fibre geeks, like myself, who are members of the great and wonderful fibre community, Ravelry.com, pick a project that is challenging and try to finish in the same amount of time as the Olympics. Last Olympics, I made my first sweater. It was very simple. This year I am up for something a little more technical. Like this!

From Drop Box


I love this sweater. I have not decided whether or not to knit it in brown or cream. But yummy! It is from Vadis Designs, which is one of my FAVE knit designers.

I bought a new camera. A little Sanyo 1200. Sadly, my awesome Canon broke and I haven't gotten it fixed yet. And it will likely cost a lot to fix. And I needed a tiny camera I could stick in my purse, anyhow. I have been borrowing my Mom's camera and that of The Man of the House when they are around, but I really needed my own, for work. And for The Small One.

Speaking of The Small One, here are some more pics for your viewing entertainment.
Just because, you know?

From Drop Box


From Drop Box


And just for kicks and giggles, here is one The Small One took of me the other night.

From Drop Box


Oh, and I have thought of a new nickname for The Small One. I think I shall call her Miss Adventure. Because, you know, she is rather adventuresome, and said adventures often end...not goodly. ;)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Housecleaning is a sin

Okay, maybe not. But if you know me, and odds are fairly good that if you are reading this blog, you know me, or maybe not, I don't know. Anyway, lost my train of thought there for a mo'. If you know me, you will know that I HATE cleaning. I think I may have mentioned this recently. Or was I talking about laundry? I can't remember. But, I do. I hate it. It ruins my day. Most of the time. Here's the thing. Clutter? It makes me twitchy. Cleaning? Makes me even more twitchy. (On a side note, my husband generally hates clutter, was a neatfreak when I married him, as a matter of fact. Fear not, I have since corrupted him.)

Here is another interesting aspect of my enormously complex personality. I hate dirtiness worse than I hate cleaning. Does this make sense? I do not like clutter, but am a seriously disorganized person. I hate cleaning up, which results in largish amounts of clutter (I am also a bit of a packrat, but that is another post entirely). But I do clean up, sometimes. I really, really hate dirtiness. Nastiness. So, while I don't subscribe to submitted wifery (haha, inside joke) I do clean my baseboards. And my fridge handle. And the fact that the paint is wearing off of my cabinets and so they look like they are very dirty. It bugs me. Scunge bugs me, it is gross. So, my entire point is this; my house may be very cluttered (and it is) but it is not dirty.

That brings me to my second point. Have you seen my house? No? Here, let me show you some pictures.

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

It is adorable, is it not? My delightful abode is composed of three different parts, which occurred at three different periods in time.
The first part of the house, that consisting of the front room, dining area and what is now my studio were built around 1880. They have lovely thick walls and deep window wells. The exterior walls are adobe, faced with brick. The interior walls are lathe and plaster. What does this mean, you ask? Dust. Lots and lots of dust. The adobe breaks down, the plaster cracks, 100 and some odd years of dust leaks out of every crevice. The second problem. We have a wood burning stove in our fireplace. Heats the house deliciously, makes things oh, so cozy...BUT...oh, the ash that flies hither and yon when one opens said stove. Everything around the fireplace gets pretty heavily coated and it flies lightly about the entire area.

I hate dust. It makes me sneeze and it makes things look...you guessed it, dirty! Ewwwwww. Dirt. Yuck.

Problem number next. The second phase of the house, that consisting of the kitchen and bathrooms, was built around 1900. Back in the day, not having cars, there was no need for a garage, so the garage we have was an afterthought and therefore, not connected to the house. So, the entrance to the kitchen is straight out of the yard. Also? No mud room. This means that every bit of dirt on anybody's shoes gets tracked straight onto my floor, which foolish me for choosing it, is white. What was I thinking? Because, guess what?

DIRT! MORE DIRT! DIRT EVERYWHERE! I HATE DIRT!!!!!

Dirty floors, yuck. Dirt on the baseboards. Nasty. Dirt on the door from a certain Small One's grubby little fingers (not to mention the dirty fingers of the hardworking Man of the House). Ewww.

Are you getting the vision? The whole, entire point of this whole entire post is this. If you come to my house and see lots of clutter and think that I am a terrible housekeeper, you are right and wrong. It is messy, but baby, it is clean.