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?
Do you want a heart for it?
Of course.
Does he have a name?
What is it?
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.
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.

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!