Today I got this letter from Sam's Club:

"This letter is to inform you that we have learned today that RCBA in cooperation with the FDA has initiated a recall of its Baklava Assortment due to potential contamination of Salmonella.
. . .We request that you review your inventory records and segregate and return the item to your local Sam's Club for a full refund. If you have sold or shipped any of this product, we request that you contact your customers and notify them of the recall.
We apologize for any inconvenience and look forward to meeting your needs in the future."

AUUGGGHHHH!!!!! What if you already ate it! We, actually I, bought the baklava for Thanksgiving! We ate it for Thanksgiving! So that's why I got sick after Thanksgiving. I guess I can quit blaming the turkey.

Well, thank goodness that there is no Peanut Butter Baklava. That would be rather disgusting. If I really did get sick from eating it I guess I would have ended up in the hospital. Thank goodness for living in the land of Advanced Medical Care. At least I don't live in Africa. Although if I was rich I could still get great medical care as BrAngelina has shown us.

And that was so kind of Sam's Club to notify me that my two-month-old Baklava is tainted. And it was so kind of them to send a letter out the SAME DAY they learned of the contamination, although I didn't get it for over a week, love Spanish Fork USPS. But their fears were unfounded. I ate most of that Baklava and didn't get a single bit sick, not even from consuming so much sugar and butter within a few days. Just gained another love handle.


My Favorite Restaurant

Today I had lunch at McDonald's. Yeah! I was craving a Double-Cheeseburger-No-Ketchup. Love that sandwich. I know. It's sad. But that's me. Simple as can be.

I'm proud of McDonald's, they're putting the handicapped to work. My Order-Taker/Cashier was hard of hearing. I'm not sure a half-deaf person should be taking orders from people. Today when I got in line I ordered a 1.) Double-Cheeseburger-No-Ketchup, 2.) Small Fry (gotta watch that girlish figure run away), and 3.) Medium Diet Coke. I swiped my card and patiently waited for my food. Then the Order-Taker/Cashier handed me a small cup. All of a sudden my whole order was suspect. What if she didn't get my Double-Cheeseburger-No-Ketchup order correct?

"I needed (no emphasis added even though I was feeling it) a Medium Diet Coke," I calmly explained.

She kind of looked around, looked at the cash register (I'm sure she was wondering if she should charge me the extra $0.30), and finally just gave me the Medium cup.

Then the other girl behind the counter slapped my burger on the tray. I didn't see that scrap of paper designating my Double-Cheeseburger-No-Ketchup as Special and Different from the rest. I didn't say anything at the time. I just grabbed my tray and headed back to my favorite table in the back corner. It's pretty low traffic back there and I can read my book in peace. I promptly ate my French Fries. Those must be eaten before they go cold. The Double-Cheeseburger-No-Ketchup will keep it's heat long enough for me to stuff my face with fries.

Then I took a deep breath and opened the paper on the Double-Cheeseburger-Probably-With-Ketchup, expecting to find Ketchup today. Not that I was happy about it, but I wasn't about to go up and complain when the poor girl had hearing issues. But much to my surprise, the scrap paper for special orders was underneath the Double-Cheeseburger-No-Ketchup! Yeah! Lunch was great after all. And my apologies to the Order-Taker/Cashier for doubting her abilities.


Beauty Queens Abound

I thought I was doing so good with the whole makeup thing that us girls do to ourselves all in the name of vanity. Really, I did.

Until I went to BUNCO and found out I had the least amount of makeup of everyone. I think all these people in Utah know how to put it together so much better than me. It's something to do with the water their moms drink while their pregnant, cuz I sure didn't get it. At the time I was feeling good because I was at an all-time-high of 5 different eyeshadow combinations! Five, that's probablly more than I've ever had. But I found out that's nothing.

"What do you do with all those eye shadow colors?" I asked, amazed that anyone could have that many.

Several people explained to me how you need to match your outfit, your mood, the day, etc, etc, etc. Seriously? How many shades of pink/brown/grey/purple/bronze is there out there? Can't I just slap on some pink/brown/grey/purple/bronze eyeshadow and call it good? I try to make it match somewhat but do people really notice when your eyeshadow matches your shirt?

I also don't know how to accessorize. If I get more than earrings put on, then I am all dressed up and ready to go! These girls here have so many necklaces and earrings, one for each outfit. There have been jewelry parties I've been invited to. After the first one and a couple of purchases, I didn't know what else to buy.

I keep trying to get it right, and I just keep failing miserably. My only consolation now is that I work and don't have time for that stuff. And I feel pretty good most of the time, til I'm reminded how behind I am. There has been no learning curve on the whole makeup/accessorizing thing for me. I'm still at the bottom of the curve (I typed curse at first and I think that's what it is) and there's no sign that I'll be coming up that curve, unless it starts to curve downwards.

My sisters joke about Utah Women. How they dress up to stay home and be with their kids. It's true. And I can't keep up. at. all.


United Electronics, Inc.

My electronics are uniting against me and to stop it I need your help!

My phone has a dirty mind. It's got one of those fancy qwerty keyboards (now that I typed it I know how they got the name) with two letters per key. I didn't want one of those huge phones, they're not as cute, so I got a regular sized phone with two letters per key. Just now I tried to type 'busy' but got 'bust.' I know that's not really very dirty but the other day I misspelled something and got 'dick.' That's not a very nice word and 'noon' always turns into 'boob.' I'm not quite sure how my phone got into my subconscious, but it did. And it's only finding the naughty stuff I try to keep hidden!

My DVR doesn't know the difference between a 'New' episode and a 'Rerun.' I've got all my shows set to record only 'New' episodes but every other day I have to clear off a bunch of reruns in order to make room for more 'New' episodes of my favorite shows. Now I just need to find time to watch all the shows piling up. I thought maybe Monday would have been a good day to get caught up, a day off of work and all. But no, the kids requested a 'Family Day.' So instead of sitting home and catching up on The Office (haven't seen an episode since October) we went Ice Skating and then when I had a few minutes I got caught up on 'UFO Hunters' and '24.' Then of course I picked up a new show last night, 'Fringe.' We'll see if it makes it through three episodes or not. Last year I thought I would like the show 'Women's Murder Club.' But it didn't pass muster. I'm trying to watch more TV but it's hard when I only have a few hours at night to get everything done. I really hope I don't mess up that New Year's Goal.

My fridge's water and ice no longer work. And the cost to fix it is astronomical (considering the fridge is 10 years old) compared to buying a newer, Energy-Star, stainless steel finish fridge. The promises of lower utility bills is so tantalizing. And the lust that new, beautiful, colorful, overly-gadgetized appliances inspire in us! Those crazy Whirlpool commercials with half-naked anorexic girls swirling in ribbons and water to make us lust after the newest Washer and Dryer set. (If any men bother to read this, STOP DROOLING NOW!)

To top it off, the alarm on my bedside clock occasionally changes from AM to PM without any notice. Granted the clock is probably 13 years old or older and I could upgrade. But what's to upgrade to? It has big numerals so I can see it easily (now that I'm getting old and my eyes are deteriorating), it has two alarms, and it has a radio so I don't have to wake to that nightmarish beep beep beep beep beep beep. But maybe it would be good to make a change to a newer clock. They probably don't cost as much as they did 13 years ago, as long as I don't get a cd player (already outdated) or ipod dock. Then I would just have to get a real ipod. I think I'll just stick with the old-fashioned digital alarm clock. It's so much more reliable. Oh wait, it's not. That was the problem in the first place.

And then there's the computer. At work today a window popped up when I tried to log on, "Password expires in 19 days. Do you want to change it now?" Of course not! I'm going to use that password until the last possible day. If I switch it now I'll have to think of a new one 19 days sooner than if I wait until the last day. Now that I got all my passwords finally synced and memorized, I have to change them. I only hope I can toggle between two different passwords, otherwise I'll never be able to think up enough different passwords. Thank goodness the computer at home doesn't make me change passwords or I'd be in a world of hurt.

If anyone has any solutions to stopping the electronics and appliances from ganging up on me I'd love to hear it. I feel like I'm being passed by with the technology advances. I guess this is how the grandparents felt when the computers came around.


The Pros

The Pros of Working Full-Time over Daycare

  1. Lunch hour! This is my favorite perk of working. A full hour of time to myself to do whatever I please. No children, mine or others, calling my name. I haven't had a free lunch hour in 10 years and love this time, even if I just sit in the break room eating leftovers and reading a book. I get to meet Olaf at least once a week for lunch, which is priceless.
  2. Paid Time Off! I get paid to not work! I get paid to go on vacation instead of saving up not only for vacation but for the money I'm not making while gone.
  3. And along with PTO comes Paid Holidays. I get paid to stay home on Christmas and a bunch of other holidays. Who doesn't love a paid holiday, something I hadn't experienced for the last decade.
  4. Bathroom breaks. Whenever I used the bathroom during daycare either a fight would break out or someone would start crying my name. No one does that at my work, thank goodness. I'd be a little worried if it happened there.
  5. A steady paycheck and I don't even have to beg for it! No more wondering how much I'm going to make this month and whether I'm even going to get paid.
  6. An eight hour workday and set work times. No more working 6am to 6pm and waiting on someone to show up in the evenings, when I had many more important places to be.
  7. The chance to get the kids ready every morning without other children pestering me for my attention.
  8. The ability to have meaningful conversations during the daytime hours with my adult coworkers. My brain no longer feels like it's going to mush, at least most days.
  9. No more snotty noses or dirty diapers to change! Nothing more needs to be said.
  10. Benefits. Not that I need them, but at least they are there.


The Things I Miss

It's been a rough few months without Calvin here. I just wanted to let you know a few things that I miss about him. No one else got to live with him but I'm sure none of these are a surprise.

1. While driving in the car he would listen to his ipod and sing to the songs at full blast. Whenever we would turn around and ask him to be quiet he would act oh-so-surprised that he was singing loud enough for us to hear.

2. Mornings are quiet at the house now. Calvin was the only one with energy in the morning. He'd be bouncing around, getting everyone moving as the rest of us tried to lay on the sofa.

3. His phone constantly buzzing or chirping whenever he got a text which I figured must have been on average 400 a day.

4. Taking him shopping or buying clothes for him. He was starting to get into fashion and it was fun to shop for him

5. Watching him get ready for a camping trip. He loved camping and was always excited to go.

6. His incessant teasing. He teased everyone. He's like Olaf in this regard.

7. His escapades. He was always getting into some kind of trouble, no matter how minor.

8. Watching him pass the sacrament at church.

9. Grounding him to his room for eternity and beyond.

10. Trying to fill his bottomless pit of a stomach.

11. His creativity. He made a collecting can contraption when Middle Child was collecting cans.

12. His listening to every conversation, trying to find out all that was going on in the world around him.

13. His love of service to others.

14. How he loved to play sports with his friends. A was always rounding up a game of football in her backyard and he was usually her first draftee.

15. His love of everyone. He loved everyone, young or old, and didn't complain too much about being stuck with someone.

16.The way he would cock his head to the side and grin when he was happy.

17. His favorite movies playing in the background. And they weren't cartoons anymore. They were movies I would even enjoy, most of the time.

18. His incessant talking at bedtime as he tried to mischievously stay up later by talking and offering to do things for us.

19. His wonderful babysitting skills.

20. His daily reminder for family prayers.

21. His snappy fingers when he was happy.

22. His annoying hugs at the most inopportune time.

23. Telling me "You're beautiful & the skinniest Mom I know" when he wants something.

24. His arm around his brothers cuz he loved them and was the only one who could tease them.

25. The balls thrown over the roof to a friend on the other side.

26. Taking him to ref games for Salem.

27. The zest he had for life. He was usually so positive about almost everything. And when he wasn't he was most often tired or hungry.

28. His crankiness when he didn't get to eat every hour.

29. His ability to do his chores awesomely.

30. His love for Boomer the Basset Hound.


The Epitome of Randomness

My boys on a drive home from Barry's.

Middle Child: Do you wanna hear the dumbest joke?

Me: Not really. (I get questions like this on a regular basis, not a monthly or weekly basis, not even a daily basis, but more like an hourly basis.)

Baby: That star looks like it's falling. (pause and stare) Yes, it definitely looks like it's falling. Please don't fall in the United States!

Middle Child: It's a good thing that when the sun goes out we'll still have eight minutes of light. Did you know that the nearest star is 400,000 light years away? Pluto has 12 moons.

Me: I didn't know Pluto was still a planet or that it had moons. They must not have been discovered when I was in school.

Middle Child: Yes, Pluto is a dwarf planet and it has twelve moons. I read that on a report a girl did at school today.

Baby: (still staring at night sky) Whatever you do, don't fall in the United States, falling star!

Middle Child: Did you know that you have to exercise for at least two hours a day in space? Otherwise your bones will incinerate. But you will grow taller because your spinal cord with get thinner and longer.

Me: (turning a corner) Wow.

Middle Child: Did you know that giraffes have seven bones in their necks? Humans also have seven bones.

Baby: Wow, if I could be an animal that lived around lions, I would be a giraffe.

Middle Child: Did you know that giraffes have the same amount of bones in their neck as humans? Those must be some long bones.

Baby: Maybe I would just be a lion.

Middle Child: So human beings are homo sapiens. Homo means human, right?

Me: (distractedly) Um, yeah.

Middle Child: So sapiens means being. You know what an alien is called? Hobo Sapiens!

Me: Do aliens ride trains around like hobos? (Middle Child has an incredible fascination with Hobos from the Depression, the ones that rode on trains. I was so proud to tell him my Grandpa rode the trains for a little while, not long, but long enough for Middle Child to gain a greater appreciation of him.)

Middle Child: Um, no. The easiest constellation to find is Phoenix. (looking at a constellation map of the night sky.)

Me: No, I believe the Big Dipper is.

Middle Child: (snickering) Yeah, I know.

For anyone who doesn't know, Barry's (a local burger joint) is less than two miles from our house, meaning less than a five minute drive. But my children are masters at how to fill time with random snippets of conversation.


Not Enough Shoes

The other day I went to Target for lunch. It's a great place for lunch. Not only can I browse and shop but it's the only sit-down Pizza Hut in the whole county. And Pizza Hut has a great lunch deal. For less than $6 you get more food than any human should consume for lunch. As I was browsing through the clearance men's section I heard a cart crash into a rack behind me. "Mom's letting their kids drive again?" I thought. As I turned to look at another rack of clothing I saw Sister-in-Law Nurse picking stuff up off the ground.

"Hey! What are you doing here?"

She replied giggling, "I saw you walk by, but I only saw you from the neck down so I wasn't sure it was you. So I kept looking all the way down and saw your shoes and knew right away it was you! So I tried to push my cart into you, but it didn't go far. That rack of clothing jumped in the way."

Right now you're thinking, "What a sad sad sad girl that she can be picked out by her shoes! What, has she only got three pair or something?" But it's not like that at all! I promise I have more than three pairs of shoes, not many more, but a few. There is a logical explanation and it was that she was actually shopping with me when I got the shoes.

One day we went to Famous Footwear, not my favorite shoe store, but they were having their Famous Buy One, Get One Half Off. We thought, Perfect! We can both get a pair of shoes 25% off! I looked all over and found a pair of sneakers that I loved. They were a great color combination, soft and cushy, and most importantly the shoes had a good arch, hard to find. I was sold, except they didn't have them in my size. I wasn't worried though, there were signs pasted all over the walls "Can't find your size? We'll ship it to you free of charge!"

So I took the shoe up to the register and asked the girl, "I love this shoe but need it in a 9½ , can you have that size shipped to my house?" I know, gargantuan feet.

She replied, "Let me look it up online." typing, pausing, more typing, "Oh, we have a pair up in our South Jordan store. Would you like me to call them and put them on hold for you?"

"Umm, can't I have them shipped to my house like the signs say?"

"Oh, we only do that for shoes in our warehouse. They aren't in our warehouse, only at our store."

"Really? Well, can someone bring them down here?" thinking of the $3.50 gas price. This was before the New Old Car and I wasn't driving that far for a pair of shoes. That would rack the cost up another $20!

"No, we don't do that. Would you like me to call and put them on hold for a day or two?"

"Not at all," I replied. "I'm not driving up there and if you won't bring them down then I just won't get them here. I'll find them somewhere else."

And find them somewhere else I did! I got them online for the same price with free shipping.

So, that is why she knew me by my shoes. Yes, a long story to explain a short story, I don't mince words.

And while I'm posting this, our cable and internet are inoperable.

My boys just hollered from the basement: "The cable's out?"

"Yes. The city's lame."



"Yes they are! We neeeeeeeeeed cable!"

"You'll just have to watch a movie," I told them.

"What? I hope my boys survive without TV!" from Olaf. "What have I been teaching you? How will you survive when we have to live off our food storage and there is no electricity?"

Be Prepared, the Boy Scout and Olaf motto. And if you know Olaf, you know I'm not kidding.


It's Going Up Again

Yesterday morning I drove by my Gas Price Indicator. Don't I sound special with my very own Gas Price Indicator? I bet you all wish you could have one too so you'd know whether to get gas today or tomorrow! Mine is the Holiday Oil Gas Station, a.k.a. the Scary Clown Gas Station.

I get to see this lovely picture every day to and from work. But I brave this scary place because this gas station has the cheapest gas in town besides Costco, to which I don't have a $50 membership, but I wouldn't save that much in gas a year, so it's more economical to go to Holiday Oil. Not to mention more convenient.

But as I was saying, Gas is Going Up. I'm actually surprised it didn't go up around December 20th. Usually the Oil Mobsters Producers jack up prices right before any major traveling holiday. But they didn't this year and we didn't go anywhere. I almost felt guilty for not taking advantage of the cheap cheap cheap gas prices. But yesterday morning it all ended. Gas went up to $1.59. Not that I'm complaining because gas hasn't been that cheap since we bought the truck, but IT'S GOING UP! It went down so fast I'm afraid it will go back up that quickly and we won't be able to go anywhere this summer either cuz the price of driving anywhere is prohibitive, well at least until they bring the 100 mpg cars to the US. But then those usually only seat two people so we'd have to take two cars everywhere, which would be a major hassle since I've quit driving whenever we go somewhere as a family. (something to do with Olaf getting carsick whenever he doesn't drive.) So we can all hope and pray that gas doesn't go through the roof again. Maybe if we quit spending money it'll go back down. Oh wait, people are already spending less because of that nasty word "recession." Well, start spending less anyway!


Yes, We are Rednecks

An actual conversation while shopping with a friend (A). We ran into a friend(B) of my friend's from High School.

B: So there's this big wedding tomorrow that we're in town for. I live back in Virginia now but that's why we're here for Christmas.

A: How fun! Are you guys all ready?

B: Almost. They're having this Western theme cuz his new wife is into that kind of stuff. We almost scored with things to wear tho! Have you ever heard of that store CAL Ranch?

A: Yeah, it's one of the main stores in town.

B: (incredously) Really? (pause) Well, I guess he got us some nice cowboy shirts from there. But he almost got us Cowboy boots!

A: Really? What kind? I guess he decided he didn't want to spend as much since he just got shirts. Cowboy boots are kind of expensive.

B: Yeah, but boots would have been great. I mean, I live in Virginia, they would have been perfect.

A: They are pretty handy.

Me: OOOOH, You wanted the Cowboy Boots?!? I thought you guys were being sarcastic at first. I didn't realize regular people wanted Cowboy Boots.

A: Don't you like Cowboy Boots?

Me: No, I already live in Redneckville, like I need any help advertising that fact! I just didn't realize that other people who weren't rednecks would actually want Cowboy Boots.

B: They would be great for where I live.

A: I like mine but they don't have much traction on the bottom.

Me: I don't think you want grooves on the bottom when you're walking around a horse yard, you'd never get them clean.

B: So, do a lot of people wear cowboy boots in Spanish Fork?

Me: Yes. They are a pretty rednecked crowd, but it's slowly changing. In the past. . .
I then proceeded to tell them how Olaf used to take his shotgun to school. On his way he would occasionally shoot a duck or some other fowl. When he got to school the Lunch Ladies would wrap it up for him, put his name on it, and put it in the freezer. Olaf would then put his shotgun in his locker and go to class. After school he would pick the bird up and take it and the gun home. Did you notice I said they put his name on the wrapping? It was because he wasn't the only one shooting winged creatures on his way to school!

A week later when A & B got together and hung out.

B: I never really believed all your stories about how rednecked the people in Spanish Fork are until I met your friend the other day and she told about her husband hunting on his way to school.

A: Yeah, it's true. They don't do that anymore, of course, but they still have gun racks in the back of their trucks.


Partying Hard

This is how the New Year's Eve festivities began:

What more could one ask for? Hot men and guns! After the excitement of checking out new guns and scopes and comparing a few stories (someone shot a buffalo this past year) we were ready to eat and party like 1999. We had a yummy potluck dinner and then proceeded to the partying part.

We played Guitar Hero for hours on end! (refer to 9 New Year's Resolutions for 2009 #8) It was a blast til no one could get past a certain song at around 1 am when everybody decided to head home and sleep. So we finally got to sleep around 1:30. The next morning came with everyone feeling like the Baby and his Dog.

This was at 9:30 am. Tank soon got up and went outside to take care of business. Lately he's on a short leash. With the snow and wind we now have a three-foot snow drift in our backyard, enabling the pooch to jump the four-foot fence and run free. So we had to buy a 20-foot chain to attach him to so he stays with his loving family. But unfortunately he promptly wraps it around everything within reach in the backyard and ends up whining when he's stuck with about a one-foot radius to move around in.

Then at 10:30 am Baby was in this position.

Then Tank came in and decided to wake the sleeping child.

But then Tank said "On second thought that looks comfy. I think I'm gonna join him."

And that was how 2009 began for us! Hope yours was almost as fun as ours cuz we had the rockingest party in town!