Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One big catch-up ... That's my life ...

I'm about ONE LOAD behind on dishes. And TWO LOADS behind on laundry.

However, things are STARTING to get caught up. Starting.

I have some plans for meals (at least dinners) this week.

Through LOTS OF PRAYER, I FINALLY found Bubbles' cute new swimsuit (in my old [repurposed] church bag on the floor in our room) AND my old FAVORITE-OF-FAVORITE nursing tops from when I was nursing Bruise and Bucket (it's a t-shirt ... with a second layer in the front. Makes nursing discreetly SO much easier!).

[Pet peeve: When people try to say that women need to nurse "discretely" ... Um, that is a word. And it DOES SOUND JUST THE SAME as "discreetly." But, really, it doesn't mean at all the same thing. Just sayin'.]

So, Mom came up Thursday. We took the kids to lunch at McDonald's. And we stopped by a different market. Found orange extract AND rosewater (so I can make Turkish Delight!!) and orange blossom water.
Michael came home from work early (since he'd have to drive right past town to head back to work ... for that last hour of work. So, instead, he'd gone in an hour early). We tried a new restaurant. Mom and I had Pho. Michael ate the Yakisoba. The kids ... had a burger or chicken strips and fries. *sigh* Bubbles slept. Phew!
We did try the sesame balls (stuffed with red bean paste). Interesting.

Friday, we took the kids (ALL THREE OF THEM) to Mom and Dad C's. The kids got to play there while Michael and I went to the temple (we also stopped by Deseret Book/Distribution Center ... got garments and some books ... and there was a GREAT sale on a picture that Michael's been wanting for his office for YEARS. So we picked that up, too). It was nice to get back to the temple. It's a little difficult getting up there often once I was pregnant and then, having kids and nursing ... it got a little more difficult.
We didn't get back to pick up the kids until about 10 ... much later than their usual bedtime.

My friend, T (now, you'll see yet again why she's such a bestie ... She's also the one that really got me introduced to Michael), messaged me on Facebook ... to let me know that Cherry Poppin' Daddies were playing at a local Art Fair. So, even though Saturday was a busy day ... we added a little more busy to it. (It's been AGES since I've been to a concert ... I think the last one I was at was my first REAL concert [Weird Al, back in 2000].)

So, Saturday, we ran to Fred Meyer to do a little shopping and get our niece her present. Then we went to Costco, went back home, wrapped the present, drove up to our niece's birthday party, drove back home to change, went to a baptism (where I was barely in the room at all. Bubbles needed to be changed. Then she was hungry about five minutes after that ... *sigh*), then back home to change again ... and up to the Art Fair.

Bruise and Bucket were pretty exhausted after the long nights ... so, when the kids' corner (which we should have gone to FIRST ... If I had realized it was there) closed (They really wanted to go in the bounce house. Oops!!), they were reduced to tears.
We did buy cotton candy (which I wanted to do anyways) ... and they perked up. I made them agree to be cheerful in order to eat any of it. And they did share with us.

We were right in front for the concert. Sitting on the grass. T and her family (husband and son) did make it. Phew! They, however, sat farther back (and stayed for the whole concert). We left after about an hour. The kids were so tired ... Bubbles was tired enough that she was fussing and refusing to feed. ... Though I DID nurse her once there (DISCREETLY) ... Ha ha ha, I get to add yet another place that I've nursed to my list. ^_^

We drove back, reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (we're over half-way done!!) and got the kids into bed.

In the morning, we all had showers and got ready for church.
After church, we rushed back home to change (sensing a theme of our weekend, right?) and headed over to a local park for my family reunion (my dad's side).
I was the only one there representing my branch. Nana (my grandma) is recuperating from Strep Throat. My dad and uncles weren't there. Or my first cousins.

But I got to visit with family that I barely ever see. (I had to be reminded of most people's names. THAT'S how long it goes between visits!)

I spent the majority of the time chatting with a "cousin" (consanguity is HAAAAAAARD!!! ... So, it's just easier to refer to everybody as cousins. We can figure out how near or far by stating whose child/grandchild we are.) that I hadn't seen since I met her shortly after Bruise and Bucket were born. She also is one of the few members of the Church in the family. ... And she's how I'm related (distantly) to our pediatrician (and, through him, a family in our ward. Yes. I'm a dork.)

I always forget the my Pop-pop (grandpa) was the youngest of his generation ... so I'm (along with my two cousins, since they're younger than I am) the youngest of the third generation. I was visiting with the mom of a "cousin" my age ... but that "cousin" is in the NEXT generation. Her mom and I are both in the same generation.

After the family reunion, I got ready for choir practice (where I knew I'd see the family that I'm distantly related to) ... and we had a good practice.

Then I came home and had dinner and got the kiddos ready for bed.

Monday was a mostly lazy day. Chatted with my dad ... reported to him about the family reunion. Found the missing swimsuit and my nursing top (I'd only been looking for THAT for, what, six months? Prayer works. Maybe not in the EXACT timetable that one prefers ... but it works!). Worked on laundry and dishes. Marinated some chicken. Helped Michael in grilling pineapple (make a glaze with honey, lime juice, and crushed black pepper. YUM!)

I'm keeping up my straight of not sleeping well. This is getting ridiculous. I think that, tonight, I'm going to take a Unisom and see if that helps.

I know that my dreams lately have been strange. I can't remember last night's ... but a few nights ago, I dreamt that I was subbing in Primary (because I HAVE been substituting for the secretary the last couple weeks), and it was in a different room/building than usual. Bruise and Bucket had gone to the bathroom and come back being silly. Bruise, in particular, didn't have his pants on. And both legs were stuck through one leg-hole in his underwear.
I had to wrestle him out of his briefs to put them on correctly ... and ... well, in my dream, he hadn't been wiping properly, apparently.
You know how, when kids don't wipe well, they can get a rash? And how, some babies' diaper rashes can get REALLY bad? All open and weepy?
In this (crazy) dream, Bruise's butt ... it looked like raw, ground hamburger. There were bits that, when they did finally heal, would be all misshapen. It was BAAAAD.

Yes, my subconscious has some SERIOUS issues.

I'm pleased to report that none of my kiddos has even as much as a diaper rash, let alone anything THAT horrific.

I also have taken it upon myself to foster the kids' musical education ... by showing them music videos.
Bruise's favorite is "Thriller."
Bucket, however, is not so impressed by it.
Everyone's a critic.

Okay. Time to get more dishes done. And laundry. And clean up the kitchen and front rooms. And get a shower. And go to the library. And go feed the ducks. And change more diapers.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nope, no interesting title. Sorry! (but not THAT sorry.)

So, we didn't make it to the historical house last weekend ... because it wasn't open! Oops!
However, we did make it to the Farmers' Market (bought broccoli, raspberries, and had a free sundae). Then we checked out a new trail/wetland/water-treatment-site.

Funnily enough, as we were there, we ran into Michael's uncle ... who was the ONLY other person there!
(Well, as we were leaving, another couple of cars came by). Uncle L let us look through his binoculars (got to see a spotted sandpiper) and we chatted.
We also got sunburned ... well, Michael and I did. The kids didn't look burned at all ... and Bubbles was in her sling, where I tried to shade her as much as possible.

Then we went to Costco ... sample time! Yum! ... And we bought milk. And a hooded towel for Bubbles, so she'll have her OWN beach towel.

After that, Michael set up a sprinkler and Bruise and Bucket ran through it.

Sunday was a little busy ... Michael had early-morning (before church. And we meet at 9 AM this year) meetings. And I needed to get ready, grab his phone (which was charging), and pick up a gal that I visit teach and her son ... And we made it to church. Even though I totally forgot the print-out that I was going to have copied for the RS binder. Ugh.
And I filled in for the Primary secretary. (I'll be doing that next week, too.) ... Then we went home, had a quick lunch, Michael headed back to the church to give a ride home to my VT sister and her son (they had a meeting after church ... and I was exhausted. And Bubbles needed to be fed. As usual). After he got back from that ... and went with the missionaries on a visit, I went and laid down ... Couldn't sleep, so I read a magazine ... and then I got ready for choir.
(It appears that I actually AM learning that alto line for one song ... Since our choir is so small, the men are singing melody of one song. And the ladies sing the alto line ...which is HAAAAAARD for me. When my choir teacher in 6th-10th grade said that sopranos are the dummies of the choir, he wasn't lying. When you sing the melody about 99% of the time [small exaggeration], you don't get in the habit of listening and learning harmony parts. Yeah. So I kinda SUCK at it.)

And, really, that's about all that I really recall about Sunday. Except that Dianne got me hooked on the SongPop app. (There are many genres that I'm not very good at. But, gosh, I'm not too shabby at "Animated Movies." ... Most of the time. ^_^)

Monday ... what happened Monday? ... um ... I was mostly exhausted. And I noticed that, even though I colored my hair to get rid of the blonde-ish skunk stripe that was going on, my roots were still kind of obvious. Ugh.
Oh! Bucket took over dinner (well, a bit of it). She wanted to have pasta and creamy pesto. So she started the sauce and I boiled the noodles. And took over the sauce when she got bored. And threw the last of the meatballs into the oven.
And I got caught up with some YouTube videos (Titli's Busy Kitchen and the BoredShorts Kid Snippets).

Yesterday (Tuesday) was more productive. I printed out the return label for a pair of Crocs that didn't fit. Got those mailed off. Went to Wal-Mart. Ran into one of my "babies" from high school (She played my youngest daughter in The Music Man. She was a freshman my senior year. SWEET girl). Went around town looking for thrift-store dress-up stuff for a present for our niece's birthday (couldn't find anything worthwhile. UGH). Dropped off some books at the library ...

I had a craving for chili, starting Monday ... so I had soaked the beans ... and, somehow, missed the part that tells you that the beans still have to cook for about TWO HOURS ... So I started the beans only about ONE hour before Michael was getting home (before he had to jet off for EQ visits). Yeah. THAT was annoying.
Also was the part where Bubbles was crying, crying, crying and wouldn't be soothed. So I ended up being a MEAN, BAD, HEARTLESS MOMMY and put her in the swing to rock her to sleep (which worked ... took a few minutes, but it worked), and I closed myself in my room and played a few rounds of SongPop.

The kids, while I was working on dinner, heard the ice cream truck come by, so we scurried out.
Bruise chose an ice cream sandwich. Bucket opted for a Creamsicle. I got Michael a chocolate Drumstik-thing. And I got a cotton-candy swirl.
Which was a nice thing to munch on as he ran back out to pick up a couple things ... like a new propane tank for the grill (This way, we can go take the other to be filled AND have one as backup. We'll never go hungry be without propane to grill with again!).

So, I colored my hair this morning. Hopefully, once it's dry, my roots won't be noticeable anymore.

I need to try and sew up one spot on Bruise's backpack. And make it to the Summer Reading Program activity today. And call one of the gals that I VT. ... And print out the NEW printout (that I've condensed and updated) for church next week.

Maybe tonight we'll eat the raspberry white chocolate ice cream I made Monday night.
(I also had soaked the beans AND made a double batch of "energy balls" for breakfasts ... Now that I have jars, I can make morning pudding and oatmeal smoothies to have in the fridge. ... Now, I need to stop typing and make some eggs.)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Another HP Meme (rife with spoilers)

Though, really ... the books and the movies have been out long enough that I'm not going to apologize for any spoilers.

And, since I'm a REBEL, I'm going to do this in one fell swoop.

  1. My favorite of the books, generally, is Goblet of Fire.
    Why? Because it's the last one where things are generally happy. After that, things get hard. And Harry's all emo for a bit. And too many people die.
  2. You can tell that when this meme came out, not all the movies were out.
    My favorite movie of the series? ... Gosh, I don't really have a favorite. I like them all.
  3. Which film(s) made me angry for leaving stuff out? Well, I can handle most of them ... but I'm ALWAYS irritated with Goblet of Fire's film for NOT having that Rita Skeeter getting her comeuppance.
  4. Least favorite character? Delores Umbridge. She's the perfect example of why NOT to get fanatical and arrogant. She gives pink and cats a bad rap. Grr.
  5. Favorite male character? There are lots to choose from ... Probably Arthur Weasley. (Though Snape -- always trusted him!! -- and Gred and Forge are right up there, too.) I love that he loves his family and takes such good care of them ... even though finances are always tight. And his obsession with Muggle artifacts is pretty cute.
  6. I'm SO Ravenclaw. Always. And I think that the sorting hat would agree with me.
    But I could be in Hufflepuff, since I do believe that you need to follow rules and be polite. But, really? I'm all about seeking knowledge. And I look better in blue.
  7. For my favorite female character ... it's really a toss-up. My all-time favorites are Hermione, Luna Lovegood, Molly Weasley, and Minerva McGonagall. They're all very strong women. (Thanks, J.K. Rowling for giving me LOTS of characters to adore!!)
  8. Again, I'm not totally sure about which Hogwarts subject would be my favorite. DADA is always great ... but Potions, Charms, and Transfiguration all sound VERY intriguing. (And Astronomy? TAUGHT BY A CENTAUR?? TEMPTING!!)
  9. Least favorite male character ... hmm ... Maybe Peter Pettigrew. I just can't respect him. Or ... what's his face ... Fenrir Greyback. I don't like that he targets kids. It's NOT cool.
  10. HALLOWS. No contest. I'm not a Horcrux type of girl.
  11. Off the top of my head, I most relate to Hermione. But I love Luna. And, since I have kids, I'm starting to relate more with Molly.
  12. I do adore Hermione and Ron together. They are the OTP of the book.
    I'm bummed, though, that Rowling has declared that Luna and Neville don't end up married to each other. I really wanted that to work out.
  13. Again, I rather like all the movies ... so I don't have a least favorite.
  14. Team Harry. Most definitely.
  15. Oh, goodness ... I'd want to hang with Gred and Forge, of course. They'd keep things interesting.
    And, since I only get ONE more, um ... Luna. Since she's smart and will accept that I'm a total weirdo.
  16. As much as I adore Snape, he's not a very good teacher (some just aren't suited to the profession), so  he wouldn't be my favorite teacher.
    I'm going with McGonagall. She seems to love her profession ... which translates to striving to foster a love of learning in her students.
  17. Well, after looking at the Pottermore Forum on this subject, I'd like to say that I'd get a cedar wand (or applewood wand) with an unicorn hair core. ... That's not what I have in Pottermore ... but it sounds nice.
  18. I suppose that either Half-Blood Prince or Order of the Phoenix could be considered my least favorite of the series. Harry's rather emo ... and I don't like that people start dying off like flies (not nearly as much as in Deathly Hallows, though. *sniff*) ... I don't like books where I end up sobbing ... so maybe I don't like Deathly Hallows that much ... since I didn't even get 1/3 of the way through before I was crying so hard that I couldn't read aloud to Michael. *sigh*
  19. The books. There's so much more detail.
  20. Um ... would it be shallow to say Alan Rickman? ... that voice ... It's just ... well, it's awesome.
    If not, then John Cleese (Nearly-Headless Nick). We could talk about lemurs.
    (If you haven't seen his documentary on lemurs, you should go check it out! I kind of NEED my own DVD of it.)
  21. Is this one character per book??
    Yeah, I didn't think so.
    I'm kind of torn ... At first, I'd say Sirius. Then Tonks. But, really, I think that I'd go with Fred. It PISSED ME OFF that the twins were separated. And I think that Hedwig's death was a cheap blow... mostly because I sobbed so much due to it.
  22. Harry Potter, naturally.
    I'm sorry, Twi-hards ... Edward Cullen is an Inferi of Cedric Diggory. He hangs out with an unregistered Animagus. These are serious charges.
    And that's not even getting into (1) how weak of a character the LEAD FEMALE is or (2) the fact that this series AND the smut fanfic based on it have topped the best-selling charts.
    I could handle The Book Thief outselling Harry Potter. But the fact that a story whose vampire legends would make Bram Stoker spin in his grave outsells it? And then BDSM fanfic on THAT hits the Bestsellers? ... I don't think I want to live on this planet anymore. /booksnobbishness.
  23. Sirius' death.
    Dumbledore's death.
    Hedwig's death.
    Lupin's death.
    Tonk's death.
    Fred's death.
    "And all was well."
    But, really, Sirius' and Hedwig's deaths were the ones that had me SOBBING.
  24. As I mentioned, I'm always IRRITATED that Goblet of Fire's film doesn't show Rita Skeeter getting blackmailed by Hermione (NEVER MESS WITH A SMART GIRL. That's the moral of that story. If she can read? She can THINK. And knowledge is power.) Because, dude, Skeeter needed to learn a lesson.
    ... Shoddy reporting, too. If not for Umbridge, she might be my least favorite female character.
  25. Overall, yes, I'm satisfied with the epilogue.
    Like I mentioned, though, Luna and Neville really seem made for each other.
    I want them married, having adorable courageous-and-intelligent babies, dang it!!!
  26. I think "repario!" would be a great spell to be able to use. It'd save me a lot of grief. :P
    I'd be willing to settle for having to use a wand ... if I could use magic. ^_^
  27. I've already answered this within the last few posts ... but, as much as I'd want to use the Resurrection Stone, I think it'd be safest (and best) to use the Invisibility Cloak.
  28. I'd hope not to have a nemesis ... but if I HAD to have one ... um ... I suppose Peeves. He's very irresponsible.
    But if I hand out with Gred and Forge, THEY could handle him, right? He listened to them. (On occasion ... if it suited him.)
  29. Being an Auror sounds interesting ... Or being a Hogwarts professor could be cool. Still, Molly Weasley makes being a wife and mother look fine, too. ^_^
  30. I think that HP has a little something for everyone. And I'm so glad that it got a generation (or MORE) to read and to dream and to think. I'm glad that I've read it and shared it with Michael and that we're sharing it with Bruise and Bucket.
    I think that it's an important series because, though it, you do see that (even with magic) life isn't always easy or fair. You have to accept that people die. Things go wrong. People's choices affect others. You are in control of your actions. Love is powerful and cannot (and should not) be forced.
    .... there's more, there's always more to write ... But it's still early and I'm not that well-rested. So I'm closing up. But it's a series that resonates with me. And I'm glad for that.

One thing less to worry about ...

So, with the HUGE wave of nostalgia hitting me, I ... really didn't do anything.
Except fret about how crazy-hormonal I was getting.

Yeah, being a lady with lady-parts is CRAZY FUN Y'ALL.
(Not always. Especially with hormones running all amok.)

And then I started getting worried ... that I WASN'T getting my cycle started. Because it had been a little over a month. I should NOT be pregnant. I SHOULD be experiencing "shark week." But it wasn't happening.

So, I take a test. Within about five seconds (as opposed to the three minutes recommended), there's absolute proof that NO, I am not incubating.


And, of course, Murphy's law kicks in and I start shark week the next day.
Of course.

Because my body has a crap sense of humor like that.

But, hey! At least I totally get to have just ONE kiddo in diapers at a time for a while. That's a GOOD (WAY LESS EXPENSIVE) thing!!

Besides that, what else has been going on?

  • Been pinning things to Pinterest. I'm not totally addicted ... but I can see how some folks would be.
  • Had the C Family Reunion last weekend. Good food, good visiting with the cousins. 
  • The kiddos had their last week of Sports Camp. They enjoyed Soccer.
  • We got our free Slurpee on 7/11 (or 11 July for the rest of the world). Almost got hit by a car while getting to the 7-11 Parking lot ... but we made it. PHEW!
  • Ate at a local burger joint, which brags the best burgers in the Valley. It was good ... but I don't know if they're the best ever. The toppings are GREAT (Mom and I opted for the buger with avocado, bacon, and chipotle sauce. YUM. Michael had a [to-go] burger with guacamole and bacon. He liked it. The kiddos were boring and ate chicken strips. Bubbles, of course, had to nurse in the middle of the shop. I utilized my Moby as a nursing cover. Hope I was discreet enough. Ugh.)
  • Cleaned the house.
  • Got caught up with dishes and laundry (which I'm slipping on. Again. But not in the literal sense).
  • Watching Doctor Who. Got through the first season. Yes, I do like Tennant best (thus far).
  • Actually made it to Relief Society at church (after filling in for Primary peeps for a few weeks ... and I'm back to two weeks of filling in for Primary again. Which isn't awful ... but I do miss my time spend with the grown-ups).
  • Totally missed (again) the Summer Reading Program activity this week that I REALLY MEANT to get to. *sigh*
Bubbles woke up about 4:45 this morning. I can't get back to sleep ... so .... here I am. Catching you up on my EXCITING! GLAMOROUS! LIFE! (Ha ha ha.)

Bubbles can stand ... if she's holding on to something ... someone's hands, the edge of a bathtub, the couch ... Yeah, she's not acting like she wants to crawl anytime soon ... but between this and rolling over, homeskillet's going to be walking before I know it.

Popped the last (as far as I can tell) of Bubbles and Bruise's Molluscum. Let's hope and pray that THAT'S the last of it. EVER.

I need to call a company and order a lid for my awesome water bottle. Walking the kids to Sports Camp, my tumbler took a tumble out of the stroller's cup holder as we hit a bump in the sidewalk. Took a chunk out of the side of the lid. It still seals, but it looks like hell. And it's a little sharp. So I need to order a new one. And they don't sell them in stores. *sigh*

I think that's most everything that's going on right now.
Today, we'll go to Farmers' Market and a historical house ... Could maybe make the paddle boats ... Never done paddle boats before.
Once I know that the kiddos are wart-free, I can get them signed up for swim lessons. Won't that be nice.
I also need to get a wading pool set up for them. ... And it'd be nice to get them a basketball hoop or something. We'll see.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Since Our Last Episode ...

Okay ... I THINK Bubbles is going to stay down for a nap while I type this.

And then Bucket asks if she can have potato chips for breakfast. Ha! As if!
(I may be a bit lenient in some things ... but ... no. Not potato chips.)

So, what all has gone on ... Let's see.

Monday, Michael came home early and we picked up (and paid for the repair of) the truck. Back to having two vehicles. Phew!
He took the kiddos home in the truck and Bubbles and I went to Target to pick up some groceries and things.
Michael worked at trimming the grass until the Weed Whacker quit (might have to get a new one. No idea).
And we went out and bought fireworks.
(I don't know that we'll do BoomTown again ... there were QUITE A FEW duds in the assortment that we got. The sparklers in that assortment were pretty pathetic, so it happens.)

Tuesday, Bruise had a dental appointment, so we headed out that away. And stopped by WalMart to pick up the last of the groceries for feeding the missionaries that night.
I made a pudding pie -- graham cracker crust, strawberry cream-flavored pudding, and strawberry glaze on the top. For dinner, we had grilled chicken, salad, and watermelon (I think that was it. It's been a few days).
I like when we get to feed the elders (even when I'm dashing about cleaning the house like a MANIAC, which I had been), because we get to talk to them and get to know them better.
(And, hey, the house is a HECKUVA LOT CLEANER. Which is nice.)
The kids and I also went downtown to get some more stamps on their scavenger hunt. Just a few more to go! Pretty exciting!

Wednesday, we went to the Farmers' Market, then to the Dollar Store (for candy), then to Michael's folks' house (to drop off Bubbles), then to watch Brave (we liked it. The kids want to buy it NOW so we can watch it again). Then we went back to Michael's folks' place (to pick up Bubbles and) to eat tacos with the family.
We headed home and did fireworks in front of our house ... and got to see some of the neighbors' fireworks. And caught a glimpse of some larger fireworks (some legally done by the county ... and some ...NOT).
I had a headache and Bubbles was hungry, so I bowed out early and went in and fed her.
Once we got her laid down (in her bed, even, not just the swing!), she slept through the night. Which was very nice.

Yesterday, Bubbles had her four-month appointment. She's up to ALLLLLLMOST 13 pounds and is just over 24 inches long. Her doctor looked her over and pronounced her a beautiful, healthy baby.
Bruise's Molluscum are nearly gone. Bucket's are working their way through. Bubbles does not have ANY. (And I'd like to keep it that way, thankyouverymuch.)

Now, since I read a Tumblr and I have friends who love the series, I'm passably familiar with Doctor Who. Michael and I are now watching the series together. (And, while chatting about it last night, I was able to accurately guess how many seasons Tennant and Smith have done.) So, we're about halfway through Season One of the newer series (with Eccleston). He really DOES say "fantastic" a LOT.

In other news, Google announced that, come November next year (2013), they're retiring iGoogle ... which Michael and I have LOVED as our homepages (on our respective computers/accounts) since it launched.
So, I'm now setting up a protopage ... which is a lot LIKE iGoogle. So, I hope it'll be suitable. Still, it's sad.

As I was driving us back from Bubble's appointment yesterday, I was hit (SO hard!) by a wave of nostalgia. I'm in my thirties now. And I just wanted (SO badly!) to go back to being around Bruise and Bucket's age. Back when everything seemed so much simpler.
Back when my cousin S and I were always hanging together during the summer.
We'd play in the wading pool at Nana and Pop-pop's. Or get to "help" drive the riding lawnmower with Pop-pop. Nana would feed us fresh strawberries with cream and sugar on top. She'd give us a bath and then dry us off with a hair dryer and powder our skin with a puff. We'd play dress up with her old nightgowns and use her umbrellas as parasols (I wonder whatever happened to the one that we'd fight over? One was a plain black umbrella. The other was [so wonderful!] a dusky lavender umbrella with a white handle that ended as a swan's head. Like a more elegant version of Mary Poppins' umbrella).
I miss going to the Pinecone (restaurant) for ice cream with my dad. Or going to the 76 Station so he could talk to his friends working there and I'd get a soda out of the machine in the office.
I miss the smell of the town Drug Store (it STILL smells the same. Still. I can walk into that pharmacy and, for a second, I am a child again ... a lot of the stock has changed. But never the smell. What will I ever do when it gets torn down or turns into something else??).
I miss the smell of Javelin's health food store (it, too smells the same. Even though his daughter and I are all grown up, moved away, and have our own children).
I miss waking up to the sunlight slanting in my window and the smell of a summer's morning filling the air. I miss the possibilities -- I could read all day. I could go play in the creek. I could go to Nana's house. I could maybe go to S's house. Or play down the street with Heather or the Brinkerdinks (not their real last name ... but one of the Bishopric members later? He couldn't pronounce most people's names. And we always got a chuckle out of some of the mistakes. Strangely enough, he always got my name PERFECT). ... I could walk down to the elementary school and play on the playground ... I miss all of that.

And, there I was, driving home and missing everything SO. MUCH.
I was fighting back tears for a minute or so.

I wish I knew of a way to bottle up those scents. I'd bottle up the drug store. And the health food store. And Nana and Pop-pop's attic (since it was always SO SPECIAL to get to play up there. Even with the threat of rats).
... At least, with the carnation-scented oil I do have, I get to smell a bit of my childhood, a patch of carnations that grew in our yard. They always smelled AMAZING. These little pink flowers with dark magenta stripes ... all spicy and lovely-smelling. Carnations from the florist never smell nearly as nice. Which is such a disappointment. If you haven't smelled a carnation NOT from the florist's, you're so missing out.
You should change that. Post haste.

What a tangent ... but, well, isn't that why you read this blog?

Regardless, I am missing family that have left me behind shuffled off this mortal coil before I was ready to let them go.
I'm not able to remember their voices as much as I want to.(Oh, but when Grandpa C's brother talks? It's so close. And ... well, I forget how much I miss hearing Grandpa's voice. Even though it's only been a few years.) I do have a video I made (back when I was SO MUCH MORE ANNOYING. Seriously, it's a testament of love that I have ANY friends or family who put up with me back then) with Pop-pop talking a little in it. ... I don't have anything with Grandma Darlene's voice, though. ... And it's been almost 16 years since I saw her last.

Okay, I need to wrap this up. I should eat breakfast. And make sure that we have something ready for lunch. And Bubbles is waking up again (after either filling her diaper or just passing a ton of gas).
... And I have a cat on my lap. I shouldn't go anywhere. ... But I do have things that need doing. ... So I'll get them done after I have some time with my sweet, purring Freyja-cat.

Book meme

I stole this from my Cynthia. Just so you know.
And I'm sure I've done this before (at least on Facebook). But, well, it's been a while.

The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well let's see.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Put an asterick next to the books you'd rather shove hot pokers in your eyes than read
5) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)
(Allanna edit: You DON'T have to do this unless you want to. I always hate it when forwards or whatever are like "Send this to five/seven/fifteen friends!!" Even the recipe ones. Yeah. I'm a jerk. I'll admit it.)

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (Even though I've TRIED. And I read that first chapter over and over again and have NO. FREAKING. CLUE. what's going on.)
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Does this really count? It's PART of the Chronicles of Narnia. Whoever made this list has lost some respect. *sigh*)
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (Started it once. Didn't get very far. Need to try it again)
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert (One of Michael's favorites. I NEED to read it. And Children of Dune, too.)
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (Again, another of Michael's favorites.)
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare 
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (I only got through maybe HALF of it. And that was about 20 years ago. *sigh*)

So, there are a lot of books that don't have any markings ... because I'm not that familiar with the titles. 

I didn't do the astericks, because -- even though there are some books on the list that I'd prefer not to reread (as opposed to the underlined ones that I HAVE reread. More than once, for most of them) -- I could possibly go through a change of heart and want to reread them ... give them a second chance, per se. When I have time. Which seems to be, oh, NEVER right now.

Besides, if I shoved hot pokers in my eyes, I wouldn't be able to read OTHER books ... more worthwhile ones. So, yeah.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Harry Potter Memes

I was going through a Tumblr and came across these ... and they looked kinda fun ... so HERE:

1. What House you think you’d belong most in.Ravenclaw. Obviously. I'm kind of ADDICTED to learning. And I love blue. And birds.
Seriously, I think that crows are kinda awesome.
Most quizzes that I take place me in Ravenclaw.  But, really, ask anyone. I'm SO Ravenclaw.
Pottermore agrees.

2.  Your ideal wand description.
According to Pottermore, I have an 11-1/2 inch hard hawthorn wand with a dragonheart core.
I wasn't really sure about it ... but, I guess it works.
I always thought of myself as being the type to possess a wand with a unicorn hair, but as they say, "The wand chooses the wizard."
I just want a pretty one, really. That feels right in my hand.
3. The animal you’d take with you to Hogwarts.
Either an owl (preferably a barn owl ... blame my OBSESSION with "Labyrinth") or a cat.
4.  The class you think you’d be best in.
I'd like to think Transfiguration or Potions ... maybe Herbology. Or DADA. Definitely DADA.
Or, maybe, like Hermione, I'd manage to be exceptional in all of them.

5. If you were a Quidditch player what position would you be?
I know that the Seeker gets all the glory ... but I think that being a Keeper would be okay. I prefer defense. ... But, y'know, being a Beater would be a GREAT way to work out aggression. Let's go with that.
6. Member of the Order or Death Eater?
The Order of the Phoenix. All the way.
7. Your ideal wizarding career
I think I'd emulate Molly Weasley. I like taking care of my family. And she does a great job at it.
8. If you were a teacher at Hogwarts what subject would you teach?
Oh, goodness. Any of them sound pretty amazing. (I don't know that I'd do all that well at Herbology, since I don't have much skill in keeping plants alive.)
I would like Defense Against Dark Arts. Or Ancient Runes (like a foreign language, right?).
History of Magic would be nice. As would Potions (since it's CHEMISTRY! FOR WIZARDS!).
Transfiguration and/or Charms would be fine, too.
9. The one spell you’ve always wanted to cast.
Since I'd like to see what my Patronus would be. That'd be fun.

10. The spell you think you’d use the most.
Accio or Wingardum LeviOHsa.
Unless I locked myself out ... then Alohomora would be stellar.
And Episkey/Reparifors, since it'd work faster than Band-Aids.
Legilimens could be very useful, too.
Portus would DEFINITLY save me a LOT in gas money. ;)
So would Reparo.
And Scourgify ... my house would be CLEAN!
I might abuse Silencio, though ...

(No, I didn't know ALL of these off the top of my head. I looked them up.)
11. Your favourite spell.
I don't really know ... since I'm a Muggle. Boo.
I like ALL the ones above, based on theory. And the one that lets you create flowers (Orchideous).
12. Favourite magical creature.
Probably, in no particular order: Griffin, Hippocampus, Phoenix, Thestrial, and Unicorn.
13. The Invisibility cloak, The Elder Wand, or The Resurrection Stone?
I'd LIKE to say the Resurrection Stone ... but it doesn't seem to work as well as it should. I mean, the fiance brought back to life wasn't quite how she was before.
So, with that in mind, Invisibility Cloak.
14. Favourite Hogwarts teacher?
Probably McGonagall. But I also like Sprout, Hooch, and Lupin. I probably would enjoy Slughorn, too.
And Hagrid ... at least he's got enthusiasm. ^_^
I LIKE Snape (and I did always trust that he was a good guy deep inside), but I wouldn't want him as a teacher.
And I think that Longbottom will be a most excellent Herbology professor.

15. The one character you’d want to be best friends with at Hogwarts.
Oh, I'm torn. I really, really, really like both Hermione and Luna.
Or the Weasley Twins. Because they're always good for a laugh ... and they keep things VERY interesting.
16. What would your Patronus be and why?
Um, I'm really not sure. That's why I WISH that I could use the Patronus charm and find out!!
Off the top of my head, maybe a tiger. Or a platypus.
(If YOU have an opinion as to what mine would be, do share. )

17. The happiest memory you’d use to produce a Patronus.
Probably my wedding day. Or when any of my kids were born. Those were all very good days.

18. What form of magical transportation would you like to use most? (port key, apparition, broomstick, thestral, flying motorcycle, hippogriff, etc)
Portkey or Phoenix. Or Griffin, if one can ride them. Or apparation (hello! It's TELEPORTATION!!). But broomstick would be fine, too. 

19. The one character you’re most like and why.
I can be like Hermione ... in that I love to learn. And I did get through school without ever getting detention (since my mom would have flipped).
But I also have some McGonagall and Luna in me, too.

20. Expelliarmus or Avada Kedavra?
Expelliarmus. I'm more of a pacifist, I guess.

And the OTHER meme:

Harry Potter- Tell about a scar on your body.I have a few. There's the half-moon on my forehead from pulling a bicycle down on myself when I was three or four. 
Or the one on my collarbone from the last decade, from when I was helping move a mattress and sheared a light fixture. Didn't get stitches, since we didn't have insurance. But it's all okay."
I also have one on my butthigh, from where a friend in first grade had me sit on his scissors. (I'm still bitter that I got a hole in my pink corduroy Osh Kosh B'gosh overalls from that.) 

Ron Weasley- Something you’re afraid of.
Like Ron, I'm not wild about spiders. I also worry about not having enough money. I worry about being a bad mom. I worry about being a bad wife. I fret about not being good enough/responsible enough. I dread change most of the time (I'm a creature of habit).

Hermione Granger- A subject you know a lot about.
Books, I suppose. People seem impressed by that.
I try to know a bit about most things. I like to know things.
I don't feel very smart ... but people are impressed at things that I know. Or, at least, that I'm able to recall things. And, usually, quickly.

Draco Malfoy- Closest green item to you.Post-It notes.
After those, it's the list of suggested summer "homework" for the kiddos. Then a Kleenex box.

Severus Snape- Your favorite Alcoholic beverage.Um, since I'm a teetotaler, I don't have one.
But I like water, milk, smoothies, ginger ale, Shirley Temples, rootbeer floats, Irish-cream-flavored steamers, hot cocoa, herbal tea, milkshakes .... I need to try butterbeer.

Rubeus Hagrid- Your favorite animal.
I don't feel like myself if I don't have a cat. There's only been a few times where I haven't owned a cat (There's been one year when we were in an apartment where we couldn't own pets. And a few months after Diana-cat died, where I didn't have a cat ... While I was in the dorm and my first apartment, Gingi-cat still lived at my folks' house. So that doesn't count.) ... and I haven't been very happy either time.

Though, given my druthers, I'd love to have a tiger.
As I said to a friend once, it'd be awesome to have a tiger. I could curl up against it while I read a book. And there'd be NO REASON NOT to go running.
Instead of people being all, "Oh, that chubby girl's running," they'd be all, "WOW. There goes a girl with a tiger!" And, really, I could go anywhere, anytime. Because NO ONE is going to mess with a girl with a TIGER.

Luna Lovegood- Something about you other people find weird.
Um ... I don't know what people find NORMAL about me.
I'm an only child who grew up with books as besties. My mom's one of my best friends. My husband and I have a strong marriage. And, yes, he's totally my best friend.
Even though I'm a mom and my mom's a teacher and I majored in Education, I often feel like I have NO FLIPPING CLUE what I'm doing. I feel like an older sister (just one that's breastfed these kiddos) for the most part ... but, apparently, I'm doing an okay job.
Like I said, I majored in Education, even got my teaching license ... and I have NO DESIRE for a classroom of my own.
I think being a librarian would be an AWESOME job.
As much as I like Science, I don't have the best relationship with Mathematics.
I sometimes read poetry just for the rhythm. I enjoy diagramming sentences when I get the whim.
Most of my friends growing up weren't LDS, so I'm used to being the "token Mormon" in the group. But now most of the people I hang with locally ARE members of the Church ... so that's a different thing.
I have stubby thumbs. I can be really naive. I sometimes mix up things (like "Dante's Peak" and "Dante's Inferno."). I don't watch a whole lot of television anymore ... but I can make references to Dr. Who (since I READ what people say about it. Whereas, I have only seen about five episodes. SAD!!) and other shows.

Neville Longbottom- Your favorite flower.Violets, roses, and lavender ... I don't have just one favorite.
I also like jasmine and honeysuckle.
And CARNATIONS. ... But they have to be fresh. The ones from the florist's just don't smell right. Those smell GREEN. But fresh carnations smell spicy, almost like cinnamon.

Nymphodorah Tonks- Something you would change about your appearance.If I could immediately be thinner and toned? I'd do it. So quickly.
But I do change my haircolor pretty often. Whenever I get bored and in a funk? Time to paint my toenails and/or color my hair.

Fred and George Weasley- The last prank you pulled on someone, or someone pulled on you.I told Michael that his Christmas present (a couple Christmasses ago) wouldn't arrive in time for Christmas.
Originally, that was true. And I can't lie to save my life ... but it came early ... and I made sure to act all miffed and sad that he wouldn't get his present until AFTER Christmas. ... But he got it on time! I was SO proud of myself.
Gred and Forge would be ashamed. It doesn't compare at ALL with ton-tongue toffee.

Voldemort- If you were to make a Horcrux, it would be…I wouldn't. As Slughorn said, death would be preferable. And I prefer NOT to split my soul with evil acts.

Moaning Myrtle- The last thing to make you cry. 
Feeling like a crap mother. Feeling like a crap PERSON. Yeah ... blame it on my wild hormonal swings. FUN!!

But, yeah ... Now I got those done, it's time to be productive!

Counting ...

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