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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Three Items for Your Thursday Morning Consideration

1) I need to obtain a childproof lock for my fridge before I take any more showers.

2) Being sick is such a waste of a beautiful spring day.

3) The sound of Adam and Ellen making each other giggle wildly in their play is delicious ear candy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Now That I Think About It, I Can't Believe This is the First Time He's Ever Asked Me to Sew a Bag for Him

One nice thing about sewing is the option of creating that particular thing that you have in mind but can't find. In this case, it was a bag for Peter. Understand, Peter takes his bags seriously. A strong believer in the right tool for the right job, he's on something of a lifelong quest when it comes to finding just the right pack for each of life's gear-carrying situations.

What he's been wanting is a waist pack to wear when he's out on his bike, with just enough space for a spare tube and the tools he carries. After trying this pack and deciding it was still overkill, he finally came up with this highly elaborate pattern for me (note the special, high-tech pattern paper):

which sewed up into this:

Peter provided the webbing, buckle, and heavy duty nylon, leftovers from his own bag sewing days. Yes, he sewed a few mean bags himself back in the day. (Does anyone else find that you and your spouse tended to "specialize" after you got married? He almost never touches a sewing machine anymore and I usually get him to do the things that require power tools. It's just more efficient. I let him install all the Dixie cup dispensers too, and you get points if you know the reference for that inside joke. This parenthetical aside has become considerably longer than the rest of the paragraph.) He cut the black rectangle of grippy stuff from a now-obsolete bag's shoulder strap.

A place for everything and everything in its place. With just enough room left over for a set of keys and a stick of gum.

Monday, April 27, 2009

If You're Zuzu, You CAN Take It With You

Knowing her aptitude for hanging upside down, we require Zuzu to wear shorts under skirts to school.

Me: Zuzu, do you want to wear some shorter shorts that don't show?
Zuzu: No, mom, look! With these, I have SIX pockets in the front. See? One, two . . . (lifts skirt) three, four, five, SIX!


On that note, let me share the contents of her backpack from this morning:

  • school papers (including several blank "extras" -- every day she brings home whatever leftover worksheets she can get her hands on)
  • froot* roll wrappers
  • 5 rocks
  • 2 plastic magnifying glasses
  • 1 brand new pencil (I can only hope not stolen from her teacher's desk)
  • my bodhrán tipper (no, unfortunately I don't play -- my sister sent it to me from Ireland where she was a missionary)
  • small tree branches and their dried-up blossoms
After I took this picture, Peter found, in addition, two pairs of clean underwear in another zipper pocket. I was baffled, but she explained they were still there from when she packed for a sleepover at a cousin's house a couple of weeks ago.

You're right if you think this post feels like a rerun.

*Normally I'm not a lover of novelty spelling, but considering the questionable connection of this item to actual fruit, it seemed like the right thing to type.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

On Rare Occasions, a Girl Has Better Ways to Spend Her Time than Blogging

Friday, while Peter and a couple of his Footnote homeboys rode Porcupine Rim, I hiked to Delicate Arch.

I love this part of the world. Achingly. Hopelessly.

Sign I'm old #762: I overheard a young woman say to the young man she was with, "It's sick how there's no one here!" and I thought, "But I love how it's not crowded," and "Hmm, does she mean that all this beauty is wasted on so few appreciators?" Then I remembered: sick=something good in Young Upstart Speak. I can't help it, when I hear the word sick, it sounds like a bad thing.

Saturday a group of nine of us (mostly Peter's coworkers) went into Dragonfly Canyon in Arches.

Peter's throwing and catching skills came in handy for getting backpacks, ropes, etc. across a series of potholes full of water. (Once citywide MVP in his baseball pony league, dontcha know.)
He wouldn't throw me across. I had to jump in.

First rappel, just after that last pothole.

Russell and Brent setting up the second rappel.
View from the top.
Walking down the wall.

I am sorry if this is making you ooze with jealousy. If I were reading this post instead of writing it, it would be killing me. I am totally buying flowers for Helen and my Dad for watching the kids so that I could go.

The whole group, after the beautiful hike the rest of the way out to Courthouse Wash. Russell, in the green hat, was our guide and the ropes expert. His wife Molli (in blue) carried a full sized pack of gear the whole way and washed the mud off of my feet with the last of their drinking water. Sure, we were all headed back into civilization and its plentiful water sources, but still.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Every Time You Read a Blog and Don't Leave a Comment, a Fairy Dies

Just kidding.  I'd be the worst kind of fairy-killing hypocrite myself.  I don't leave a lot of comments on blogs -- usually only when I really have something to say.  But I did begin to comment more after starting my own blog, because before then, I had no understanding of how you go crazy for the comments when you blog.  

Before I started blogging, I guess I had this idea -- don't laugh -- that blogging would be more, well, social. In retrospect this is funny. I mean, duh. Me publishing something, alone in my house (actually "alone in my house" is a rare luxury, but you know what I mean), with no idea if or when any stranger might be reading it = not social.  But in fairness to myself, I was coming from my background of reading blogs, that activity where you're looking in on other's lives and reading their thoughts, and that does feel kind of social.  And there is a moment when, as a blogger, the experience can turn into a social one: the moment when someone leaves a comment.

"Houston, we have contact."

I get some statistical reports on my blog through Google Analytics.  The other day I figured out that there are around 260 people who have visited more than 9 times, which kind of blew my mind, even if it's a tiny number in blogospherical terms, because: who are you?  What is your favorite color? Do you like cheese?

A couple of times I've had the experience of running into an acquaintance who I didn't know had ever been to my blog but who makes an insider reference to something they read here.*  And I'm like, wow, all this time that person knew that about my life and I didn't know that person knew that about my life.  It's kind of a bizarre experience to me not to know who knows and who doesn't. How do I keep track?  If I start telling this story to this friend or family member, will she have already heard read it?

So I'm requesting that from now on you will please leave your initials in the comments field after every post you read.  With a link to your full life story.

Just kidding again.  I know some people feel there's something shifty about "lurking" on someone's blog without revealing yourself -- and maybe that's becoming more true with the huge explosion of friends-and-family type blogs -- but I've never been of that mind.  I always figured that was exactly what I'd be signing up for if I decided to publish myself on the internet. 

OK, is it just me, or have I now used the word "blog" enough times to reach that critical mass where a word takes on a life of its own and becomes a strange jumble of sound divorced from meaning?  I'll take that as a cue to end my metabloggy rambling, after this quick summary of what I've written so far:

Blah blah blah BLOG blah blah BLOG blah blah blah blah blah BLOG.

Blog.  Bloggitty-blog, blog, blog.

*One friend I hadn't seen in a while greeted me with, "You're sarcastic.  I didn't know that about you.  I am too."

So Much Descends Upon

Remember a couple of days ago when I posted pictures of blossoms under snow? Turns out, that was nothing. Turns out, the storm system was only taking a breather, gathering strength for the real show. It started coming down again Wednesday evening, and Thursday morning, we awoke to this. On April 16th.

Peter took this picture last Sunday. He called it "So Much Depends Upon."

He titled this one, taken on Thursday, "So Much Descends Upon." Every day that man gives me new reasons to be proud I'm married to him.

I know at least one person who's thrilled about the crazy weather. Last night he was down in the garage, mounting bindings and putting wax on his brand new telemark skis. And today he was taking advantage of the free-after-3:00 p.m. policy at Alta.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2007 Easter Dresses

This year for the second year running, I wanted, but didn't manage, to make Easter dresses for my girls, so I'm consoling myself with pictures of the last ones I made, in 2007.

I had this vision in my head of a dress with gathered neckline and sleeve inserts for a couple of years before I made it come true. It came out kind of close to how I envisioned it.

Now I'll treat you to an exclusive behind-the-scenes view of how a typical photo shoot goes down at our house. Witness the quick devolution from picture perfect . . .

into general shenanigans . . .

into pandemonium.

This pattern of behavior is not limited to photo shoots. It's a fair description for most undertakings at our house. Except usually, there's also crying involved.

Also, see pretty Zuzu?

Here's what she was hiding in her mouth the whole time.

If I wrote medical textbooks, I would tell pediatricians-in-training that a blue tongue indicates a child who has recently had gustatory chemosensory exposure to saccharides.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I Forgot to Warn You . . .

. . . that those chocolate nests can be a bit messy.

Melts in your mouth, and in your hands. And on your cheeks. And on your chin.

Just when you thought nothing could be yummier than Adam, along came . . .
Chocolate Coated Adam™.


Happy Easter.

Friday, April 10, 2009

No More Hard Boiled Eggs for Ellen

The debris radius extended another 6 feet beyond the borders of this image.  Ellen has a a pretty decent throwing arm.  She even got some onto the living room carpet.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Did you mean: ghkadasdFDFJKL;'?"

I don't know what Adam's looking for on the web, but I have a feeling he's still not finding it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Fingerprints. On Steroids.

While we're on the subject of sliding glass doors that need cleaning . . .

This is the 10-foot door that makes up most of one wall of my living room. I promise I cleaned it right after I took the picture. It stays clean for approximately 5 minutes.

Now is the part where I should insert that poem about fingerprints that comes home with your kids from school along with a print of their little hands in plaster or paint to keep forever, but this keyboard doesn't need to be doused in my tears and snot.

Seriously, just those words "I'll be grown someday" will get me every time.

Excuse me. I need to go get a kleenex.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Halfway to "M"

Back in January, Zuzu unexpectedly volunteered to clean a sliding glass door. When I came to check up on her, the word she was just about to finish up was "Adam," and this spot in the middle of the window was very clean -- at least on one side.

Last Year's Easter Treats

I know Rice Krispies nests are an old standard for Easter, but I'd forgotten about them until our neighbor brought some to us the first year we lived here. After that we started making them at our house.

Jane's school has a store-bought-treats-only rule, but last year her heart's one true desire was for me to make these so she could bring them to her class. And I did. Because I have a small rebellious streak.*

And because look at that face:

Aw man, I think we'd better look at that face some more:

I love that face.

Where was I? Ah yes, Easter treats. It was Jane's idea to add a Peep to sit on each nest:

Then out of the blue last year I had a flashback to my mom making another kind of nest with crispy chow mein noodles when I was a kid. I'm sure these are another well-known standard, because there were all kinds of recipes online for making them -- some with peanut butter or corn syrup or butterscotch chips mixed in -- but in the end I just melted chocolate chips in the microwave on medium power, stirred in the noodles, and scooped it into a muffin tin. Putting the muffin tin in the freezer for a moment made them easier to pop out. And here's the thing: they taste really good. Those crispy noodles fulfilled their true destiny when they paired up with semi-sweet chocolate.

And now you see that not only did I write blog posts in my head for years before I had a blog, I even took pictures for my imaginary blog of food I made. Some kind of head case, for sure.

*When I wrote that about a rebellious streak, I suddenly remembered sitting in a meeting, years ago, as a missionary in Japan, while two young men, also missionaries, carried on a good-natured argument about whether I was majime or wanpaku, mission slang for two types of missionaries, the straight arrows and the ones who tended to break mission rules or get into trouble. I think the one who was arguing for wanpaku was working from a false dichotomy that majime=no fun/no sense of humor and was trying to pay me a compliment, and the one taking the majime position was defending my good name.