Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the perfect pumpkin plan

Every year we carve pumpkins. When my kids were little, I made a big deal out of it. I wanted them to truly love it. We talked about it for weeks ahead and took long, involved trips to the pumpkin patch. Once there, I would gently advise (read obsessively control) the pumpkin choices of my children to ensure a good variety of shapes and sizes within our allotted budget.

At home we would struggle with the kids to help them understand the scientific truths about pumpkin carving. (There are always icky pumpkin guts in the middle of the pumpkin and you can't cut out everything around the eyes and expect them to magically float in the middle.) Some years we had arguments and tears over who got to carve the biggest or extra pumpkins. It usually turned out to be more work than it was worth.

But this year, I implemented the perfect pumpkin plan. I sent Dave to get them. He came home with one for each of us, all of them large and desirable. I didn't have to think about it one little bit ... and even better: I can hear Abby getting the table and pumpkins ready as I write. Life is good!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

bon appetit!

Until you have cracked over a hundred eggs and shaped several hundred cookies by hand in one day, you may not understand the term "scratch bakery." Now that I have done this, I say to you all, eat at Flour Girls and Dough Boys! Hand-crafted, whole food ingredients and still less expensive than many chains. There may be a wait, but it is definitely worth it.

My recommendations: all the cookies, all the breads, the mint brownies, the lemon bars, the cakes, soups and sandwiches...and the pastries. All fresh and divine. Bon appetit!

Monday, October 20, 2008

true max fashion

While working on the kids' Halloween costumes tonight and reminiscing about Halloweens past, we remembered the first year Max was old enough to talk at Halloween. He was so cute dressed as a little tiger (or maybe it was a fireman...or Thomas the Train). Anyway, he was so cute and everyone was excited to talk to him and give him candy. But, in true Max fashion, he wanted nothing to do with these people. With a look that reminds me exactly of my dad, he would look up at them as if they were completely insane and say, "No thanks, I have candy at home."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

without abrupt change

My brother has a friend who says everyone who wants a driver's license should be required to take marching band so they can learn how to merge. I whole-heartedly agree! I spent an extra 30 minutes driving home this afternoon due to a long line of stop-and-go traffic. I thought for sure I would ultimately find a huge pile-up or men working in the middle of all lanes.

But after the 30 minutes, I saw the true source of delay; a sign reading "right lane ends ahead." Ignoring the cars who were doing their best to stop me, I drove an additional mile or maybe more before I ultimately had to merge. And, despite the glares from the car behind me, I had no problem fitting in to the left lane when the right lane actually ended.

My question is this: why do some people interpret the meaning of "merge" to be "slow down to a crawl and move over as far in advance as possible." The true definition of merge is "to blend or come together without abrupt change." Maybe UDOT could print that on the sign instead.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

political hooey

Remember the old adage that says we should never talk politics with family and friends? I really miss that old adage! But, since people seem bent on sending me their political hooey, here is my response…

I am sickened by the state of our political system. I find the concept of dumping millions of dollars into slander ads and personal attacks despicable. I long for the days when presidential candidates reeled off empty promises and slogans of hope just to uplift the American people; when the media was either blissfully unaware of scandals and lies, or sufficiently bribed into silence. At least then people wanted to vote…

I also feel we spend too much time analyzing the faults of our candidates. After all, we have to have a president and there are very few people who could live up to our expectations. And if they could, would they really want to be our president? So let's keep the personal dysfunctions personal and move on to the issues and facts.

Alas! Facts are elusive in the political world. I see very little presented in a reasonable way, but am bombarded daily with emails and videos; sensationalized materials designed to excite fear and dread. With no references or credits, or educational purpose that I can see, I hold no stock in such stuff. Give me a long, involved, dreadfully boring, un-biased pamphlet instead!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

so tired, so young

People (usually strangers or people I've just met) often remark on how tired I look. They also say I look young; much too young to have a 12 year old daughter. I've always found this odd. I don't usually feel really tired. And how can I look so tired and so young at the same time? But I finally figured it out - I look tired because people think I am 28. Since I am actually 38, I must look as though I haven't slept in about ten years. While discussing this with a friend yesterday, she suggested I get a button that says, "I'm not tired, I'm just old!" I'm seriously considering it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

shed a little light

In our tiny little house, is a tiny little family room down the steep stairs in the basement. With low ceilings and poor lighting, it has sufficed but never satisfied me. Aside from putting in new carpet and removing some gnarly wood paneling, we haven't done much with the room in the four years we have lived here. A few weeks ago (or was it months?) I finally got around to painting the rest of the walls and hung some bright and colorful curtains, but still the room lacked. Then today I brought in some lamps. I put them back in the corner and immediately the room felt better. We have sat in the lamp light all afternoon, tucked in, warm and tight. Max says it feels like we are modern pioneers, like we are more of a family. I guess it was high time to shed a little light...

Friday, October 3, 2008

a word

I am currently reading the book Eat, Pray, Love. It's okay; I don't love it, or eat it or pray for it either. But last night I read a passage that has been milling around in my head ever since. During an extended stay in Rome, the author finds that she loves the city but somehow feels she doesn't fit in. Her friend tells her this is because her "word" doesn't match the city's "word." They then discuss how every city and person has a "word" that sums up their overall mindset or attitude. After thinking about this for a few minutes, I decided my word is "worry." I'm not proud of that, but there it is. Even my husband agrees. We haven't figured out yet what his word is, but I'm sure he has one. I really like this concept. It makes me want to figure out more words. Like the word for Payson, or Utah. Any ideas?