Sunday, February 28, 2010

formspring.me

What's your favorite sport?

*snrk!* You ask that like I HAVE any favorite sports! ... Um ... if pressed, I might answer ... COMPETITIVE ORIGAMI!!!!
(Yeah, I'm not all that into sports. Although cricket could be cool. Or ice skating or something like that.)

Ask me anything

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Domestic Diva = ME??? WHAT???

So, yes, I've neglected my dear sweet blog and all you dear, dear readers. AGAIN.

But, but ... well, I have a halfway decent excuse this time! Sorta!

So, I'm trying to start getting back into FLYlady ... getting organized and all that.
(Because, really, it's VERY, VERY ANNOYING when EVERY time you tell the kids to clean up, Bucket will ask "Is somebody coming over??" HELLO!!! That's not the only reason I try to clean up the house!! UGH!!! ... I love my daughter. You know that. She knows that. But, really?? So now I'm trying to BEAT INTO THEIR HEADS strongly instill the idea that we don't clean up the house JUST for other people to come over, but because we are DESERVING of living in a neat, tidy house.)

(Wow, I really do talk a whole heckuva lot in parentheses, huh? Sorry. ... But not sorry enough to actually, you know, DO something about it.)

What else has gone on? Let's see ... We went to the zoo on Friday. Nice visit. Renewed our membership. Always a plus. Had a lorikeet land in my hair and perch on my hand for a bit. It barely even bit me, even though we didn't have any of the fruit juice/food for it. Nice!
The hippos and zebras and caracal were all out to be viewed (FINALLY! Seriously, y'all. I was starting to really doubt that they even HAD the caracal there). Oh, and I got to see (and take pictures of) the mongoose. That's a first. ^_^

Saturday, Bucket opted to stay home and watch a show while Michael worked on things on the computer. So I took Bruise on a little date to see the juggler, Charlie Brown (Go to his site. There's a video of him. He's really hilarious and talented. I think that I was a little more impressed than Bruise was, but if you ask Bruce if he had a good time, he responds that it was fun) over at the local community college. Of course, Bruce was thrilled-beyond-thrilled that we took Michael's truck on our "date." (And, really, since I took some classes at the community college one summer when I was younger and the truck was MY vehicle ... well, it was a real blast from the past. ... If only I still fit in the pants [and bras!] I wore then. *sigh*)

Sunday was nice, since this is the FIRST time in ... oh, FOREVER, that we got to go to church together as a family ... and it will now be a regular occurrence. Yay! (Yeah, yeah, we've gotten to go to church in one vehicle and all that for, say, Stake Conference and stuff ... but this is going to be NORMAL!! ^_^)

And, I got a call Sunday evening ... I get to give a talk. Yup. And I'm the LAST speaker. The one that has to adjust to fill up the available time. .... I've never been the last speaker before. EVER. I would say that THIS is how I know that I've arrived. But, no. It just lets me know that I'm OLD. So, yeah. If you're in the ward ... well, yeah. You'll get to hear me talk.
(And, YES, I've STARTED my talk .... but, oh ... I'm really nervous. As I ALWAYS get when I have to do public speaking as myself. Acting is TOTALLY different. *dies a little inside of nervousness*)

I wish that I had super-really-great-news about my Uncle Mike, who suffered a stroke Valentine's Day morning .... But I really don't have GREAT news. He lost the vision in one eye, has paralysis on one side, isn't talking ... But, hey, on the bright side, he can eat! That's always a good thing! I mean, eating is totally one of the signs of life and health! So, yeah, we've been praying. LOTS. If you want to say a prayer for him, too, I'd be very appreciative.

So, yeah, with the whole FLYlady thing, I've cleaned quite a bit. Hey, our BEDROOM'S pretty clean. And, in this house, that's one of the last bastions for messiness. Because, usually, people (besides the immediate family) don't GO there. But, truly, I was getting really sick of it. (And really? Who's the packrat in this marriage? ME. And I get it honestly. Seriously, it's GENETIC. Not that it's some great excuse ... I'm just telling you what it is, though.
But, hey, as of this morning, it's CLEAN! (I still need to vacuum the house, though.)

At this point, I've cleaned the bathrooms, most of the kitchen, the bedrooms, and parts of the other rooms. (The laundry room is going to be my Waterloo, I'm just telling you in advance.)

I'm caught up on the dishes (for now). I have laundry to fold. I need to cook dinner. And the computer area is a disaster ... but really, I've made a HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE dent. I think my Mom might be pleasantly surprised.

Also, I've been making bread today. I saw, over on SugarDoodle.com, an article about how to make bread every day, using the method in the book "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day." So, since I am a carb addict (as well as, oh, EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY), Mom and I ordered the books and a couple of 6-qt food storage containers (to store the dough), so we can give it a try.
I mixed up the dough yesterday and made a loaf this afternoon. It's not very sweet ... and, since we have a cool home, it didn't rise very well before cooking. I'm trying another one to cook for dinner. Yes, you heard me. I'm making bread TWICE today!!! Yeah, you don't have to bow down or anything. But I do accept gratuitous praise and gifts of chocolate or Pop-Rocks. Or gift certificates to book stores. :D (Yes, I'm joking. And, no, you really don't have to worship me. ^_^)

So, yeah. I need to make dinner tonight. Mom was going to come up today, but wasn't feeling well. So she'll be up tomorrow. Which the kids are really looking forward to. Since we get to go to McDonald's (or, as they call it, "the Donalds") for lunch ... and they get to play with Mutti and take a nap while I volunteer. Then I come home, make dinner, we go to dance class, come home, eat dinner, and I take off for my Tech-level radio class and Michael had EQ visits. Then I come home and am EXHAUSTED. But, hey, the test is April 7. Then I'm FREE!!!!!!!!!!!! And I won't be staying out so late on Wednesdays. JUST IN TIME FOR GLEE TO START AGAIN!!! ^_^

I've been trying to exercise more. I've done a few days of Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred (Checked it out from the library. LOVE my libraries. SO MUCH). It's kinda intense. Especially since I'm not all that in shape. :( Today, I played it easy and did a little Pilates workout. It's supposed to boost energy. Since I'm not DYING for a nap yet today, I'm going to assume that it worked. (Although a Cherry or Vanilla Coke sounds SOOOO good right now.)
Regardless, doing ANYTHING fitness-wise is a VAST improvement (I'm such a slug usually *sigh*)

Oh, I managed to take the kids to storytime over at the Carnegie Library building today. It's been MONTHS since I last took them there. But they had fun. And it was nice. And, yeah, I checked out a PILE of books. Hey, at least THIS TIME I only checked out stuff for the kids. Since I'm behind in reading books and watching shows from my library stash. And things are getting to be due REALLY SOON. (Watched Snow Cake this afternoon. Not bad! ... Next up, Bright Star, Truly Madly Deeply and Lost in Austen.)

Um .... I think that's really most everything that's been going on ... I think.

Now, wish me luck for writing (and delivering) a good talk! I need it!

Oh, and ... if you recall FOREVER ago, when I posted my favorite contenders for the ELE (Evil League of Evil), you might recall PMS Geisha. I was just going through my subscriptions of YouTube and found this. And I had to share. Because it makes me laugh.




Thursday, February 18, 2010

Some closure ...

You're right if you think that, with a title like this, this post won't be the happiest.

For some long-time readers, you might recall how, around two years ago, my best friend's brother disappeared and was (finally) found murdered?

The case is finally as over as it's going to be for some time. Both Austin Clark (who hit Kevin in the head with an axe) and Charley Carnes (who... slit Kevin's throat) have been sentenced.

Yes, there is some talk of appeals ... but ... yeah. I don't know that they'll amount to a whole lot.

It still isn't fair. It still isn't right.

Just two years ago, Kim (Kevin's and Mer's mom) was so different. I was shocked when I saw her at the funeral. Her hair was all white, instead of the brunette it used to be.
Their dad, Don ... he's so changed, too. At times, I can get glimpses of the gregarious guy he used to be. But, yeah.

It kills me. This is a family that I knew so well. I've slept over at their house so many times growing up. And then ... this.

No one deserves to have to go through this.

I mean, yes, I do have a testimony of agency -- those two boys chose to go out drinking. They chose to kill my friend's brother.

And, when there are choices, there are consequences. Some consequences are good ... and some ... some are like this. They change people's lives ... forever ... and not for the better.

Stuff like this shouldn't happen in my sleepy, little backwater of a hometown. Ever.

(Okay, maybe like way back when it was just loggers or something. Just for dramatic town history or something. But howsabout we just MAKE IT UP? Like the Yaquina Bay lighthouse's ghost.)

... Still ... it drives me crazy that people are all over the right to choose things ... but they never want to deal with the unfavorable consequences that accompany some of those choices. It's like people think that they live in a little bubble and what they do has NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on anyone else out there.

I'm not saying that every. single. thing we do is creating a ginormous butterfly effect (NOT that atrociaous movie. I didn't watch it ... but the book was really terrible. ... Yes, even though I won't watch a film that's rated-R, I will sometimes read the book. Yes. I'm complicated.) ... but I do think that the world would be a much ... pleasanter place if people made choices aware that we don't ALL live in little bubbles and that, more often than we'd like to think, our choices do affect other people in very many ways.

If we were only more cognitive when we made decisions, I think that overall, the world would be a much happier, healthier place. But ... it really seems (and I am totally as guilty as anyone else in this), that we just don't THINK of anyone besides ourselves. We don't consider the greater good to be as important as our own wants and desires.

But if --IF-- those two boys had thought before they acted, maybe Kevin would be alive. Maybe my friend's family's life wouldn't have been turned upside down. Maybe I wouldn't be writing this post at all.

And wouldn't you really prefer me to write about something else? I rather think so.
Especially as it seems that, according to Google Analytics, people come here looking for bifocals or don't come here at all. (See?? I just totally reverted to "It's all about ME." TOLD YOU that I was just as guilty of this!!)

So ... yeah.

Go out and make good choices. Think about the consequences and try to opt for the choices that will bring desirable consequences to you and others around you (like choosing to wear deoderant. That's a GOOD CHOICE right there).

And, yeah, maybe say a prayer or send some good thoughts to those out there who really, really need them. That'd be a good choice.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crazy Dream Chronicles .... EVEN MORE!!

So, you know how I posted last night, talking about crazy dreams?

Yup, it happened again!

In my dream, something was up with my hair. So, since I couldn't see what all I was doing, trying to cut the back of my hair (you know, since you can't SEE it, since your eyes are on the FRONT ... and since I was in the bathroom and I don't have a mirror behind me in there), I asked Michael to cut it for me.

And (... and this might be because, IRL, he refuses to cut my hair at ALL, fearing that he'll totally screw it up. ... HELLO!!!! I'm the one who accidentally BUZZED his head back in the day!), he cut it and my choice was to either have a total fullet (female mullet ... and it looked BAD, y'all. I am NEVER rocking a mullet. EVER. And I forbid my children to do so. They can color/bleach/shave their hair all they want. Just NO MULLET. That's where I draw my line) ... OR totally cutting it in a REALLY SHORT bob.

So, you can tell which choice I made. And, yeah, I had total boy hair. I looked in the mirror in my dream and said to myself, "Wow, I look JUST like Bruise."
(Since in my dream, I was, of course, thinner and not sporting the forehead wrinkles that are setting in ... and I was blonder, too. Guess that goes with the whole younger-thing.)

And ... I had random braids in my hair. With beads in them. And I had to snip them shorter and refasten them.

I was upset at first, with how short my hair was. But then I mostly stopped caring.

So ..... yeah. We can file that one away in my Crazy Dream Chronicles. At least I wasn't in some incense-filled stone temple (like pagan-type temple) or making out with a celebrity that I don't even LIKE in real life (Do you remember the TV show Weird Science? Probably not. ... But I was totally macking with Chett. *shudders*), or running around a castle, hiding from robots bent on kingdom-domination ... and my dad (who's not like my dad IRL, btw) has been turned into a grandfather clock .... Yeah, that one was over twenty years ago (Really? Like twenty four years ago??? I'm ancient!!!!!).

Like I've said before, my subconscious is a ... very ... ODD place. I don't even TRY to explain.

And now I've got the hiccups. Great. *rolls eyes*

Monday, February 15, 2010

Insomnia, my old friend ...

Well, I know a bit more about Uncle Mike's condition.
Besides the stroke, he has a case of pneumonia. And it was a BAD stroke. He's paralyzed on his right side. Lost the vision in his right eye ...

On the bright side, he was able to recognize a picture of his grandson. And to eat tapioca pudding and applesauce. Hey, being able to eat is a very good thing, amirite?

So, yeah, keep him in your prayers. It'd be really awesome if he could be able to use his right side of his body again. It'd also be really awesome (and totally miraculous) if he could regain even SOME vision in his eye. Just sayin'.

------------------

In part umteen-bazillion of Allanna's crazy dream chronicles, I had a bit of a doozy Sunday morning.

I dreamt that I had to tell Michael that he wasn't my first. That he was my THIRD.
(Yes, my dream self had gotten around! I was just as shocked! Tarty minx!)
I couldn't remember at all who the first was ...
The other one that I could remember ... well, I had married one of my guy friends. But I couldn't fathom getting divorced from him. Must have been annulled. And we had TWO television sets in the front room of the apartment that we had in that dream marriage.
(Now, I DID date this guy my dream self was married to. For, like, a month. Very nice guy. We still keep in touch. But we only kissed in real life.)

So, yeah. Really, I didn't have sex with anyone until I got married.

So this dream was totally out of nowhere.

Kinda like one of my WORST DREAMS EVER. That one happened about ten ... can it really be almost TWELVE years ago?!? It can. O.o How did I get so OLD?!?!?!?

Regardless ....

In that dream, I had had sex with my first boyfriend -- didn't SEE it happening or anything. Just saw myself waking up next to him (this dream occurred, like a MONTH after we broke up for the FINAL time). And I just felt SO, SO, SO AWFUL. I started going through the list of consequences for it: I'd have to talk to my Bishop. I'd have to talk to my MOM. I'd have to go through all the repentance process ... I literally felt sick to my stomach and so completely disappointed in myself. HOW COULD I EVER HAVE DONE SOMETHING SO STUPID?????

Then, upon waking up, I realized that ... hey, in that dream, I was in his bed. .... I've never been in his room. (Seriously. How weird is that? I dated the guy for over a YEAR and had never seen his room. I just now realized that. Yeah. That's seriously weird. ... I might have seen it ONCE, but we never hung out in his room at all. Strange, since he'd been in MY room. With the door open, of course. What kind of girl do you take me for??? ... Okay, I AM the kind of girl who has crazy-butt dreams. You do have a point.)

At THAT point I was so completely and totally overjoyed to never have had set a foot in his room!
Seriously, I just about LEAPED out of bed to bounce off the walls and chant, exuberantly, that I was not a stupid, stupid idjit of a girl, that YES! I hadn't broken the law of chastity!

Seriously, the relief that I experienced upon the realization that I didn't do, like, the STUPIDEST THING EVER (and this is coming from a girl who had almost totaled her mom's car earlier that year) ... well, it was a great feeling KNOWING that I hadn't done that.

.... The other TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE dream that I had more recently was while I was pregnant with Bruise and Bucket. I dreamed that Michael died in his sleep. And we didn't have life insurance or anything. But Bruise and Bucket were grown up. I didn't know their genders (IRL) at that point, but I knew who they were and that they were very capable.

Then I woke up and went to touch Michael's arm and IT WAS COLD.
So I kinda woke him up, taking his pulse.

Hey, you don't ask too many questions of a hormonal wreck of a pregnant woman.
Especially one who was the size of a small country and bore more than a passing resemblance to a beached whale (stupid preeclasmia and its bloating. Ugh!)

So, he woke up enough to assure me that, no, he was definitely NOT dead.
And he cuddled me until I fell back asleep.

And he has life insurance now. Just in case.
But I hope that he (read: I) never has to use it. EVER.

So, yeah. It seems that my subconscious is a very odd place to visit.

Maybe THAT's why I can't sleep.

Oh well. I should TRY anyways.

Well ...

For those of my friends on Facebook, you'll have already hear this.

Yesterday morning, my Uncle Mike had a stroke when he got up. Thankfully, his wife was there to get to him (after she heard him fall down) and got him to the hospital. He's there, in the ICU. And not only did he suffer a stroke (and his right side is paralyzed), but he also has an infection.

Now, I don't have all the details. And I'm trying to stay faithful and not worry, worry, worry ... like my usual modus operandi ... but ... yeah.

My cousin, Sarah, is taking it hard. Her folks are divorced and Mike's the parent who's in the area. His stroke was the morning of her son's birthday party (he just turned one).
I don't know how Cousin David is taking it ... But I learned from Nana that he has a new girlfriend, so that's nice. Right?

My Nana had a stroke back ... um ... fifteen or so years ago. And she bounced back pretty well.
She's rather optimistic ... When she told me that the doctors say that he's probably lost about 30% of his brain, she was all, "So? I have, too!!" ... That's Nana for you. ^_^

How did I hear about it? Well, last night, Sarah's best friend IMed me on Facebook. Sarah didn't want to talk on the phone (didn't want to break down. Can't say I blame her.), so she had Jessica contact me. As I typed replies to her, I called my dad and talked to him. After I talked to Dad, I called over to Nana's, to see if she was at home or still at he hospital with Mike. Thankfully, she was at home so I got to get some more details from her. She wanted my mom to be aware of it, so I called her. And SHE called Nony (a family friend whom Sarah stays with often ... and who happens to be Jessica's MIL. Yeah, small towns. Gotta love 'em. ^_^ [Like how, when I needed to get hold of Nana's, I could call over to her hairdresser's and they'd pass her the phone. ^_^ Then Alice {the hairdresser} passed away. And Nana ended up moving to the big town. So I can't do that anymore. *sad face* Things always change.]), where Mom got a few more details. And she called me back.

I haven't heard anything this morning. Dad hasn't called yet.

So I'm just praying and fasting and hoping for the best.
And waiting for news.
And putting off cleaning my house. Which I really need to do.

But, hey, at least I fed the kids. Bucket liked yesterday's breakfast so much that we did it again. But I used a flower-shaped cookie cutter to make the hole in the bread for the egg. Since both kids DEVOURED their breakfast, I think we've got ourselves a hit.

Oh, and in other news, here's something that I never EVER thought I'd ever have to say as a mother: "WHO put LIP GLOSS on the CAT? Do we put lip gloss on Diana-cat??? No!!!"
(Now, it would have been CUTE if Miz Di-di were stalking around with a little lipstick pout. But, no. The clear, glittery lip gloss was smeared on her FUR. Kinda like funky-fruity-smelling hair gel. But STICKY. Yeah. Fun!!! ... So she got a bath. And she didn't like it. And the gloss still didn't get all the way off. Oh well.)

...
...
But yeah, if you could just keep Mike in your prayers, I'd really appreciate it.
And if you're opposed to praying (hey, I'm not going to judge), if you could just send positive healing energies/good muju or whatever/good thoughts his way, I'd really, really be grateful.

He is a good, stubborn fighter of a man. But any help would be appreciated.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Because I LOVE you, I will share cute videos with you ...

Since it is (still) Valentine's Day over here, I'm posting some of my favorite romantic or just on the topic of love videos.

Signs - Sometimes, to change your life, all you need is love

Marry Me - Sometimes your plans don't always work out ... And maybe it's really for the best.

EVOL: Love in a Backwards World - This one just makes me smile. Some things you just can't explain.

With this one, ...you must have some passion:

If you need chemistry, try the alchemy of gilding Shakespeare's verse with Alan Rickman's voice:
(Though I wish it were [1] Sonnet 116 and [2] an audio file. But, hey, it is what it is. ^_^)

And, well, doesn't everyone need some Validation?

Yes, I do know that I've shared some of these before. But they are some of my especial favorites.

I wish you all a life full of love and admiration. And that you will all find/keep someone with whom you can do this in another 50 years:

Last week ...

Since, wow, it HAS been a week since I last posted. I'm really sorry.

So, what all has happened?
  • We got a new presidency member (over the Beehives) in Young Women's.
  • I cleaned the house.
  • I read some books -- Didn't like one. It was a compilation of romance short stories.
    EVERY SINGLE ONE had premarital sex. I guess I'm a prude (if you know me, you'd laugh yourself silly about that statement), but really ... when I'm reading a ROMANCE novel, I'm expecting ROMANCE .... that build-up. If I wanted to read a SEX NOVEL, I'd just go read some erotica (Oh, wow. NOW I'm going to get some INTERESTING folks checking out my blog. Hoo boy. *shifty eyes*)
  • The kids had a play date while I had a meeting for YW. Good times. Except that a CERTAIN CHILD had a potty accident. On my friend's couch. Her pretty, pretty couch. I was embarassed. But I had extra clothes for said child in the van, so I didn't have to cut our meeting or the play date short. Phew!
  • Mom and Ju came up for Ju's birthday. I made a chocolate moouse mouse moose TRUFFLE-LIKE cake/pie/thing. And it was really good. Since my mom's on her diet, she didn't get to try it. So I'll make it again next month. It was actually pretty easy to make. Always a plus. ^_^
  • Bucket had her last class of ballet for this session. Next week, she'll be in hip-hop for about a month.
  • I took my first class to teach me what I'll need to know to pass the Tech-level test to be an amateur Radio user. I really know nothing about it, if you ask me. But I can answer some questions about it. I take lots of notes, but I have NO IDEA about how to use a transmitter or off-sets or stuff. Maybe we'll cover that next week. Or, once I get the book, I'll be able to figure it out. ^_^
    Why am I taking this class? Well ... it kinda sounded cool. And it's on Wednesdays, when Michael's out on visits for Elder's Quorum (since he's first counselor) ... so HE can't take the class. But, my Mom watches Bruise and Bucket for us, so I am doing it. ... And, hey, in case of an emergency, it'll be nice to be ABLE to help out, to know what to do and how to do it. Now we'll just have to get a radio sometime, I suppose. Maybe two, so (once Michael takes the test) we can chat as he's driving or something.
  • I volunteered at the library. I had plenty of holds to shelve, so I didn't bring home another HUGE pile of books to get through.
  • Yesterday, Mom and Dad C came and took the kids. So Michael and I had a date. We went to a couple used bookshops and saw Avatar in 3-D (kept our glasses. I'm hoping that they'll work with our DVD of Coraline. ^_^) and then we ate at Baha Fresh. Yum.
  • I've come down with a cold. Just a snuffy nose that's driving me MAD. So, after we watched a couple DVDs at home, I took a couple snorts of Afrin (nasal decongestant spray) and a shot of NyQuil. I was so, so out of it after that. I went to lay down while Michael waited up for the kids to get dropped off back at home. I didn't even wake up when he got into bed. Yup ... Probably a good thing that I don't drink alcohol. If a slug of NyQuil puts me right out like that, I'd be a VERY cheap date.
Today, when I FINALLY woke up, I made breakfast for the kids. I was a nice mommy and made them egg in a hole ... but the hole was a heart (link takes you to Pioneer Woman's cooking site). Easy peasy, really. Just take your bread, press out a piece, toss it into a buttered hot pan to toast and fill the hole with an egg and cook till that egg is done. I even flipped them over, since I have a crazy fear of somehow giving MAH BAYBEES Samonella. They are so easy to make that I even made MYSELF breakfast. And I barely ever eat breakfast, since once I've whipped up something for the kids, I'm usually too lazy and not all that hungry enough to justify making something for myself.

And then I got the kids (and myself) dressed (but I didn't get a shower, since I was running low on time ... so I made sure to put on make-up and a goodly spritz of body mist) and hustled us out to the car. And we went to church.

Where Michael was FINALLY released as Executive Secretary. So now he's JUST the first counselor in Elders' Quorum. Phew!!
Seriously, we had been waiting for him to be released for a month! I was seriously THISCLOSE to emailing our Stake Presidency to ask if they'd just plumb forgotten about his having two big callings in our ward.
(Hey, I try and be supportive. But when there are weeks where he's in meetings Sunday morning AND a couple weeknights? Well, I get a little antsy. I like having my bestie here with me. Come on, I'm not going to let the kids stay up THAT late to watch and snark at DVDs. Besides, the kiddos don't sit still enough and let me concentrate enough to watch anything! ... Or really, to even read anything by myself. But I love them regardless.)

So, yeah. That's really the big news. Michael's not the Exec. Secretary anymore.
And I have a cold. Like, I'm sneezing a lot. So it could be allergies, I s'pose. But I normally don't get allergies acting up until it's REALLY Spring.

Maybe the groundhog LIED?

I've never trusted him. With that crazy first name and his beady, little eyes.

But that is entirely a whole 'nother story.

Okay. I think that's about it.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Personal Progress ... Progress. And then some other stuff.

So, yeah, I'm working on my personal progress (and now you can too! The manuals are FREE!!!! ... WAIT! I just went to ldscatalog.com and they're back to being $2. Huh?)

... WELL, as I was saying BEFORE, I'm going through all the stuff that I need to do so that I can earn my medallion.

And, since I'm only Miz Crazy McCrazersons, I have to ask Michael really dumb questions:
  • Hey, Hon? When it says to regularly say your morning and evening prayers for three weeks, does it count that I don't say INDIVIDUAL prayers in the evening? Like by myself? Since we pray together? Since I feel kinda stupid praying by myself in front of you, no offence.
    And does it mean that if I forget to say one of those prayers in the morning of evening on one day, do I have to START BACK OVER for the whole three weeks?
  • Hey, hon? What's a new skill or talent that I should develop for taking care of our home and family ... since it's not my "future home and family," since, like, I have them NOW and all. ... Do you think that FLYlady would count? Or should I work on time-management?
  • Honey, what standards of personal righteousness do you think I should work on improving? I mean, it's not like I'm PERFECT, but I think I'm OKAY. I mean, I don't cuss all that much or anything. (And THIS led to a discussion of how I usually only let something slip when I'm REALLY upset. And that I usually don't get really upset unless I'm on my period. So, maybe I should just go into menopause and that'd take care of that. And then I cried. Because I'm on my period. And I'm Crazy McCrazersons. Still. But I'm so much BETTER and SANER than I was last weekend. [Yes, do be afraid. VERY afraid.])
  • Michael, I don't really like the Value Experiences that take WEEKS of doing stuff. No, it's not just because they take a long time. It's because I have to REMEMBER to do this stuff. EVERY DAY. ... Yeah, but I don't REMEMBER to USE my planner EVERY DAY. *sigh!*
    (Yes, this is what my husband has to deal with. Lucky, lucky man. Amirite? I know, you're SO jealous that YOU don't get to deal with the crazy woman.)
  • Yes, Michael, it IS called a "self-assessment," BUT you know me just as well as I know myself. What if I THINK that I'm doing okay in some area BUT I'm NOT? What if I have a BEAM IN MY EYE and just don't SEE how much I need to improve??? So, what do you think? Do I gossip? ... Am I LIGHT-MINDED about sacred things? (His answer: No. you've "jovial," but that's not light-minded.) Do I tell inappropriate jokes? Besides to you and to my mom???
It ended with him telling me that I'm too hard on myself. Especially when I'm on my period and MAYBE I should work on my Personal Progress in a few days.
-----------------------------------

We went to the Preparedness Fair over at one of the church buildings here in town. Got some good information. Might take a HAM radio class soon. If we can scrape up the cost. I like that even though you have to renew your license every couple of years, that the renewal is FREE.
(Free is SO my favorite price!)

Michael and I were talking in the car on the way home. And, yeah, I mostly want to be self-sufficient and able to help other people because I hate feeling useless. I don't like to think about something bad happening and just having to WATCH and WAIT and not being able to DO things because I'm not prepared/don't know what to do.

I should save up some pennies and take another First Aid/CPR course. It'd be REALLY cool if I had the money to take that course that teaches you how to use a defillibrator defibrillator. (Hey! I was close! Just spoonerized it in my brain! Like when I try and say "Aeropostale," I find myself saying Aero-STAPLE. Yup. I'm special.)

But, yeah. I want to be able to take care of my family, immediate and extended. Instead of having to have them take care of me so much. I love that most of my family is WILLING (not all are ABLE). But it really is time that I, as an adult, step up and manage to help.

Okay. Michael needs the computer. Gotta close up.

Some company praise -- Hedstrom

No, I'm not being paid for this.

We received the bushings (that plastic bit on our Wonder Horse that broke Monday) today.

And Misty, the Customer Service Representative that I talked to, did send us more than just the one. JUST IN CASE.

Seriously, we got replacement parts within the same week and for free. And I dealt with a lovely, lovely person.

If you're looking for some toys, seriously, I can totally recommend Hedstrom (who markets toys under the name Ball Bounce and Sport.)

If you want to have a look-see at what they make, here's a link to their 2010 catalog: http://www.ballbounceandsport.com/products.php
You'll have the option to flip through the one online or download the PDF (that one may be faster. Just so you know).

I even called them a couple minutes ago to tell them how much I appreciate their great customer service and how quickly they got the bushings mailed out to me.

(Seriously, it took me maybe two minutes to remove the screw, put the bushing in place, replace the screw that holds the bushing, affix the spring, and put the ... hose? guard? ... that thing that protects your fingers from being pinched in the spring, THAT thing .. in place. FAST FIX. And I probably didn't NEED the screwdriver, but using it did make it easier and faster to screw the bushing back into place.)

Now, if my kids didn't already have their blue and purple balls, I'd be buying them more (since Ball Bounce and Sport is the maker of those balls in the huge box?/case? at Target. In fact, the balls that my kids HAVE already are most likely made by them. ^_^ And Bruise and Bucket have had those balls for ... at least two years. I've had to pump some more air into them, but they've REALLY held up. My kids use them like those exercise/balance balls, you know, sitting on them and all? Really!)

But, yes. This is my plug for a company that treats its customers well. Yes, it did take them a day to return my call. But they did return it and went above the line to ensure that I was a happy customer. I know how to fix the horse's tail. I have some extra bushings in case I have to replace any. Really, I'm very pleased.

Just thought I'd share and let you know. Since I like my friends to have good things, too. ^_^

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Insert something clever here, kthxbai!

So, when volunteering yesterday, the time flew by. I did not tip any carts.

But I did shelve the new books (since when I arrived there was ONE hold to be shelved. ONE. Not one CART. ONE Dvd.) ... And that could be looked upon as a mistake. Since I ended up checking out about ten books from that section. Oops. #^.^#

One thing about shelving holds -- if you see a book that looks good or that you've been wanting to read? TOO DANG BAD! It's going to someone else. (Unless it's one that's come in for YOU.) New books? Mmmmmm ... those are ripe for the picking!
(I used to shelve the New Book section when I started volunteering, back before the kids were born. I'd come home with PILES of books to get through in a two-week period. Since that's how long you can check them out for. But, like I said, I didn't have kids, so I could hole up in bed all day, jump out of bed to get a shower and clean up a little before Michael got home, and it was ALLLLLL GOOOOOOOOD. Can't do that nowadays. *sigh* ... Well, not without getting CPS called on me and/or walking out into a house that looks like a hurricane swept through. Just sayin'.)

Other things that should be reported --

At storytime yesterday, Scott was reading a book about a Cat and a Mouse, with nursery rhymes in it.
I asked Bruise, who was sitting next to me, "Do you have a cat at home?"
"Yeah," he replied.
"How many cats do you have?" I asked, expecting him to say that he has one.
"Two. Gingi-cat and Dina-cat." (He calls Diana, "Dina" [DYE-nah].)
"Um, Bruise-y, when people ask you how many cats you have, they usually are only referring to ones that are ALIVE. Not the ones that are dead and buried in the garden. Just so you know."
"Okay!"

Yup ... Gingi-cat's still a part of our life. *spookily* FROM BEEEEEEEYOOOOOOOOOND the GRAAAAAAVE!!!!!
(j/k) ... But we still love her and miss her. And, since I'm getting off of my wicked PMS-bender, I'm not breaking down into a quivering mass of sobbing pitifulness. Which is a big plus.

Last week, Michael (after reading my posts) talked with the kids in the van while I dashed up to drop by at one of the gals that I visit-teach. While I chatted with her for a few minutes, he tried to impress on them that they need to lay off bringing up Ginger and how she's dead and not in our house anymore. Which was a sweet and noble thing for him to do.

So, as soon as I jumped back in the van and put on my seatbelt:

Bucket: Mom?
Me: Yes?
Bucket: Why can't we ask you about Gingi anymore?
Michael: *facepalm*
Me: *voice warbling with unshed tears* Because I really miss her. And when I think about it, it makes me miss her even more, which makes me really sad.

Tonight, Bruise told us that we should have pancakes for dinner. So Michael told him that he should make some.

"You need some STUFF to make 'em." He told us. So Michael helped Bruise get the pancake mix, syrup, water, whipped cream, and a bowl ... and Bruise made us pancakes (with some adult supervision and direction).
The boy's not a bad cook!! I think he's better at making pancakes than *I* am!

(Now to teach him to do laundry. Or at least to sort it! And to help clean the bathroom! And unload the dishwasher! Then we're REALLY talking! ^_^)

Oh, and so you know ... if you're interested in the new Personal Progress manual, I went online today and ... instead of being $2 each (like they were YESTERDAY .. or, at least they were that price Sunday), they're my favorite price: FREE!

So you totally have NO excuse for not doing Personal Progress (if you're interested in it ^_^). Well, unless you're holding out for the journals to be free (they're still $1) or if you're a BOY. (Sorry! I mean, well, I guess you can do all the stuff ... but you're probably not interested in earning a pretty necklace or a charm or ribbons for a cool bookmark and embracing your femininity anyways. Just sayin'!)

Yeah, I do feel tons better NOT being Crazy McCrazersons. Can you TELL???? :P

Although, I do still have the urge to eat a whole Sarah Lee Cherry Cheesecake straight out of the freezer all by myself. Or half a bag or Doritos. Or a plate of carrot and celery sticks with ranch dip. Or Irish Creme-flavored Hagen Daas. Yummmmmmmmmmmo.

Yeah, I think that I live to read and eat. ... Which does explain why my body looks the way it does. Too bad that I don't love to RUN or something as much as I love, love, love to eat. Or read blogs. Or play Facebook games. >.< Oh well. Gives me something to work on. ^_^

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Woo-hoo!!!!

I love it when things start turning around and getting better (WAY nicer than the alternative!).

So, the company that makes the Wonderhorse (Hedstrom is the name of this company) returned my call!!

Not only was the Customer Service representitive AWESOME (Misty, if you ever read this, you are completely full of win!), but they're mailing out the replacement bushing today or tomorrow (should arrive sometime this week or next) AND they'll even send out a few extras, just in case any of the other bushings eat it!

THIS, my loves, is how customer service should work! Answer a call, come to a happy conclusion, and leave both parties happy.

Seriously, this is Misty's SECOND day at work. Good choice, Hedstrom, good choice. She was absolutely LOVELY and personable. I would add her as a friend on Facebook IMMEDIATELY if I had that option!

And she's even checking with people there to see if there's a way to fix the horse's tail. She didn't have to do that. But she IS.

Even though it took a day to have my call returned, I am VERY pleased with Hedstrom's customer service. It makes me REALLY want to do business with them again. IMMEDIATELY if I had the room and the money to buy lots and lots and lots of their toys!

This is looking to be a good day. Even if I totally skipped taking my kids to a free concert. :P

Good things ...

I just want to let you all know that I appreciate you.
I appreciate your comments, I appreciate that you still read my blog (even when I'm full of ennui and smattered pissiness -- even when I'm not all that entertaining).
It means a lot.
I just wanted to let you know.

Other good things:
  • Mailed off the mortgage payment this morning. Always a good thing.
  • My kids RAN from the kitchen into the living room so they could watch me hoof it to the mailbox (Yes, I am wearing sweats, no ... upper support, iykwim ...aityd, and bare feet. Yes, even though it's this cold and wet. And even though I go all OCD on my feet -- They HAVE to be smooth and soft. Yet, I still go around barefoot a bit. I'm complicated.)
  • As I started to type this entry, Bruise calls from where he's sitting on the couch, watching the Tinkerbell movie (the first one, we don't have the treasure one) with Bucket, "Mom?" "Yeah? What?" "I wuv yoo." (Cue: Awwww...! Yup, he's sweet.)
  • Bucket told me this morning that I had to read my book in bed. (Nice!!) So I did. And she climbed in and snuggled with me, wrapped her arms around my neck, and told me, "You're my mommy and I love you." (Moments like these are a definite reason we don't mail our children away when they're naughty. ^_^)
  • Diana-cat cuddled with me most of the night.
  • I slept a bit better, which is really nice. After I woke up to the alarms, I had to use the bathroom (TMI, I'm sure) and Michael asked me if I was going to be up for the day (which, no offense, but I didn't want to be awake since 5 AM. Really.) And I laid back down and slept deeply. Which was really nice.
Yesterday, I went through my Personal Progress book. Since I'm a leader, I don't have to do ALL the things that the girls have to (I might anyways, though). However, I'm closer to earning my Young Women Recognition than I thought I was. Which is nice. And really, I do have two of my value projects underway. Technically three -- if I can get through the whole Book of Mormon with the kiddos (we're reading a chapter of it together most days).
When Mom gets here today, I'm going to have her sign off the ones that I've done in the NEW manual that just came out. (The old manual came out about ten years ago. Last year they added an eighth value ... then they totally revamped the program.) The new manuals are really pretty. There are some changes, but not a whole lot of radical changes. But the changes that are made are to help the Young Women (and any women, really. Any sister can earn her YW Recognition medallion now! It used to be JUST the YW and their leaders. Then JUST the YW and their mothers and leaders. Now it's open to everyone, which is really cool.) to embrace their femininity (because there is NOTHING wrong with being a girl. ... Even though I kvetch about my period.) and to strengthen their testimonies and to prepare for the covenants they will make in the temple (because being sealed to your husband and children for FOREVER is completely ftw. Yup, there's no way that Michael's getting rid of me. Ha!! :P)

But, yeah, I didn't complete my Personal Progress when I was in Young Women's. I didn't apply myself as I should have. So it's really nice to have the opportunity for a do-over.

I even have the medallions that I could have earned, using the older PP manual (the one that _I_ had when I was 12-18. It was BIG and white. The newer ones are smaller and more simplified ... If you ever really want to see my old manual, I still have it. It's all beat up and kinda empty after the Beehive requirements ... but I have it. Sometimes, it pays to be a packrat. ^_^). And once I complete my PP, I am going to allow myself to wear them. Which is another reason I think I might do ALL the requirements that our YW have to do now. ... Heck, it's not like I can't go through my old manual and complete all the requirements in there, too. Which, you know, I have thought of doing.

Speaking of PP, have you seen the new website? It's not completely functional yet, but ... WOW! I think that being able to keep track of one's progress online will be a good motivator!

But, yeah ... as you can tell my crazy hormones are starting (okay, maybe you should use the air quotes around that -- "starting") to even back out. Phew. Because, really ... I don't like being a crazy-crazy.

So ... yeah. Since I really have just gotten out of bed, made breakfast for the kids, and mailed off a letter, and finished a book ... I really don't have much to talk about. I could rush around and put on clothes, get the kids dressed, and take them to a concert this morning .... but I really have no desire to. *sigh* I'm LAZY today. But, hey, at least the house is MOSTLY clean. That's got to count for something!!

Also: SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER? WITHER THE FRIES? Don't know about you, but I'm ready for some sunshine so that I don't have to debate about turning the heat up. Just sayin'.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Begin the Crazies

So, as you all can surmise, we've past the peak of crazy and are now descending into the hilly, bits ... the mid-crazies, if you will.

Yes, I am feeling better. Praying and throwing myself into my calling (creating a forum, NOT procrastinating, and doing things that involve a lot of type-type-typing) have helped.

I also got past the "must eat everything in the house" phase. Which is, of course, peppered with bouts of "I'm hungry but don't know what I want to eat. WAH!"

Yes, my husband is a saint for putting up with me. I find it hard enough to live with me ... and I'm totally stuck with me.

But, yeah. Sunday morning I did well. Got a shower and everything. Even was able to look at pictures of my Gingi and not burst out in sobbing tears. (Not then ... but I did AFTER the day was through and I was telling Michael how I DIDN'T cry when looking at those pictures ... and started crying. FAIL.)

This weekend mostly consisted of sticking around the house and my being irritated with my kids.

Oh ... and that spring-horse that they got for their birthday ... yeah, not even a month ago?
It broke today. Yup. Fun.
No one was hurt.
Where the springs are connecting the horse to the metal frame? Those bits ... "bushings" ... are made of plastic. And one of them tore completely apart, so it won't hold the screw in place.

So I looked online and called places. One place (referred by the company website that MADE the horse) tells me that the company went bankrupt. ... This company that's supposed to have gone bankrupt? I was looking at their website's _2010_ toy catalog. Doesn't look bankrupt to me!

So I call THAT company's number. And I haven't heard back from them at all. *sigh* Stupid plastic part that sheared. *sigh*

And, since I'm ALL about health, I'll tell you what I did for dinner.

It involves potatoes, heavy cream, plain fat-free yogurt, a stick of butter, milk, a packet of ranch dressing mix, and bacon.
yup, mashed potatoes with bacon and ranch flavoring. Mmmmmmm.

So, yeah ... things are looking up a bit. Wish I could tell you that I suddenly came across, say $5000 and was sitting rather pretty.

But that'd be a total lie.

And I don't want to lie to you.

Kids didn't really take a nap today. But they're not acting as cranky and grumpy as usual when they've skipped a nap. So I haven't been yelling and getting as frustrated.

Probably helps that we read scriptures and prayed together this morning.
(That "probably" = most definitely. Not like it's been the BESTEST DAY EVAR ... but it hasn't sucked, either.)

Okay. Closing up. I feel boring. Sorry.

Counting ...

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