Book Comparisons

I recently checked my Goodreads account. I just finished reading World War Z: An oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. It was a good book. Left me wanting more and trying to find out more about the war! Too bad there aren't any other books about the Zombie War. I love history books and this one was interesting.

While I was there I thought I'd check out what my friends were reading. Here's a sampling of what they're reading:
Pride and Prejudice
The Goose Girl
The Swan Thieves
Firefly Lane
The Host

Boy, couldn't be much different than my list if I tried. Why didn't I get any of those sappy, girl-movie genes? But now I'm off to read Lost City of Z. It's about some guy trying to find a lost city in the Amazon. It's not about Zombies, although that would have been pretty cool.


Thank You Thank You and Thank You Again

Recently Olaf went on a field trip with Baby's 3rd grade class. He is a fun Dad and all the kids like him. This year he had two groups since the other Dad was pulled away on last minute business. He didn't mind cuz he's a trooper like that. I would have gone bonkers. It was an hour long bus ride, nothing more needs to be said. As usual the kids wrote Thank You letters. They're usually boring and barely readable. This year he got some really good Thank You's.

Apparently Chandler thinks Olaf rocks. Not quite sure what the picture is saying.

Another boy provided some lively pictures.
Not sure what it is but it's pretty original.

This kid had a "Stomp of an Adventure!"

This kids uses Elefannt Mail. Haven't heard of that company, have you?

Here's yet another kid that thinks Olaf is cool.
I never thought any of those parent-helpers were cool
when I was kid, who are these children?

Here's Baby's letter. Quite obviously the worst handwriting.
It was so bad the camera had a hard time focusing to get the writing clear enough to read.

My favorite letter was this one. All it said was that he was a Clone. That's awesome.



I recently got a new flat iron. I decided to enter the fashion age and purchased a cute one.

I thought the safety warnings were rather curious.

Apparently people in Canada are even dumber than us. They're not allowed to use flat irons.

And my favorite part was that they had to warn us not to use it on our eyelashes because our eyes would probably get burned.


Now That Spring is Here

I've contracted my yearly cold. I feel like ick. Ick on a stick. I don't know what that means but my brain has been pretty muddled for the past few days. It doesn't help that the weather is so nice I can't stay inside. And I thought about calling in sick to work, but that's no guarantee I'll feel better tomorrow, so I keep trudging to work.

Today Olaf made me buy some of that Emergen-C stuff at the store. Of course I bought the generic, it was $2 less. Here's my first official review, it's pretty nasty. But hopefully it'll do the trick and help the cold dissipate into the sunshine and breeze.

And to top it all off I've been sucked into a new book, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. That means when I go to bed early I just read until my regular bedtime. Technically I'm getting enough sleep, but not the extra hour I need to shake this crummy cold.

Here's hoping you are all enjoying Spring more than I am right now. Thank goodness Spring last for a few months around here, I hope to be relishing it next week.


A Peaceful Weekend

This last Friday all the boys headed out on a campout. In Goblin Valley. Now don't be scared. It doesn't get its name from little goblins stealing children. The name comes from the rock formations that were formed in this valley eons ago.

As you can see the formations are everywhere. The boys absolutely love going on this trip every spring. They go in the spring because it's HOT in the summer. When you visit the Southwest in the summer you sweat profusely. Not so fun and comfortable like the spring.

I read that originally it was called Mushroom Valley.
I like Goblin Valley better. Sounds funner.

At night the boys run around with flashlights
and light sticks and play night games.

Then when the finally come in the daylight the next morning
they are always in amazement at what the place looks like.
Well, if they've never been before.

The shapes are one of a kind. I don't think there's
any other place on earth quite like it.

In fact, in the movie Galaxy Quest, they set the crew on an alien planet and it happens to be Goblin Valley! You can check that clip out here.

In the meantime I did some stuff that I've been working on for a while and finally finished. Whew! For Sister's Weekend this year we are making quilts. Everyone is bringing eight quilt squares and we will share them to make each of us a quilt.

This has been quite an experience for me. Once I tried to quilt something and it turned out so misshapen that I threw it away. So this time I chose a pattern that didn't have any exact measurements, it was do whatever you want. And I did. The best part is no one will know if I messed up because nothing is square! This one isn't misshapen, it just isn't trimmed perfect yet. I just didn't want any seams to come undone and ravel. That would drive me crazy!

While my weekend wasn't quite as adventurous as the boys, I got some important things accomplished and that made me very happy.

And to top it off, I made cupcakes. Delicious. I bet you're jealous of my weekend now.


Country Living

I always brag about living in a smallish town and how great it is. But sometimes it's not all that great.
  1. Small, useless public library without a drive-by book-drop, creating lots of late fees
  2. Few parks for the kids and without the newest and coolest contraptions to play on
  3. Not enough stoplights
  4. Nothing within walking distance, maybe biking distance but not walking distance
  5. Not much of a cultural arts scene, unless you count the High School yearly play
  6. A lot of people know your business, especially the stuff you don't want anybody to know
  7. Lack of restaurants to choose from making Friday dinner dull and repetitious, sandwiches at home isn't so bad after all. No specialty restaurants unless you count chicken fried steak as a specialty, but definitely not sushi.
  8. Few or no walking paths, but plenty of neighborhood sidewalks
  9. Walmart is the best choice for almost all your shopping, we have three closer than any other acceptable big box store
Hope this cures your jealousy of my small town living.

Actually I like it enough here that this stuff doesn't bother me, but it might someone else and I just wanted you to have an informed decision before you moved to the country.


Just Around the Corner

Spring is just around the corner! How do I know, you ask? The other night when we were coming home after dark we almost ran over some kid. A teenager type person. Then as I looked, I noticed other teenagers roaming the streets. Spring is officially here, the children are back outside in droves.

Also, the yearly battle between Baby and me has started.

"Mom, I'm gonna go play with Z" he hollers on his way outside without a coat since the temperature is above freezing.

"Hey, stay right on our Block/Corner. Don't roam, I want to be able to call you home without looking for you," I yell out the door at him.

An hour later or so when I go outside to call him home he doesn't answer my calls. I go inside and text my neighbor to send him home. She texts back that they are at my house. Ugh! I go outside and yell again for him without any luck. So I get in my car and head for the "Park." The "Park" is a collection of backyards without any fences. Most of the people have some type of play structure or trampoline which Baby and his friend play on til they are dragged home. 90% of the time they are at the "Park." As soon as they see my car pull into one of the house's driveway they scramble to get out of there and try to beat me home in an attempt to stay out of trouble.

Once we meet back at home I try to find out what part of "Stay on our Block/Corner" he didn't understand. Apparently, to Baby, our Corner/Block comprises the whole neighborhood, despite my definition of the term.

Thank goodness for the sun and blue sky we're seeing now that the inversion has gone the way of winter. Sometimes that's the only saving grace of Spring.


What's for Breakfast?

Last night I made cinnamon rolls. Sister Homemaker came to town and we have been baking exclusively from the Pioneer Woman's cookbook. Everything has been delicious.

This morning after Baby ate breakfast he announced to me, "I put that white sauce on the cinnamon rolls. It is soooo good!"

I kind of laughed. "That white sauce is frosting."

"Huh. It was good. I put it on my bacon too."

This is how often I make cinnamon rolls for my children. They are so deprived.


I'm not the Only Girl in the World

On the route home through town there is a pretty, little, formal dress shop. She's been around for a long time. Before she was in her current shop she altered my wedding dress. Then she moved. Soon after Sister Accountant got her wedding dress altered there. And not much later when Sister-in-Law Nurse got a wedding dress, she also altered it.

Her cute shop sits on the main road to my house. And she has some big show windows with mannequins showing off dresses. She changes the dresses every few days. They are always pretty. Every day when I drive by I check out what dress she's put in the window. It's one of the things I look forward to on my drive home. I check it every day.

I live in a family of boys. They never notice what dress the mannequins are wearing any day. I so rarely have another girl in the car with I was beginning to think she dressed the mannequins just for me because no one else ever noticed them. Then one day I was in the car with a friend of mine and her girl. As we drove by the Dress Window the young girl noticed a new dress on the mannequin.

She said, "Look at that dress Mom! It's so pretty!"

I turned around and looked at her and said, "Do you look at the dresses?"

"Every time we drive by!"

Apparently other people look at the dresses too. I guess I'm surrounded by boys a little too often.


That Makes Me Look Fat

The other day Olaf got Baby up and going. He threw him in the shower. He got him a towel. And he put some clothes in the bathroom so Baby wouldn't have to leave the warm bathroom and venture into his cold room to get dressed.

Baby showered and got out when I finally knocked on the wall to let him know he'd been in there enough to cost me a small fortune in a water heater bill.

About five minutes later I noticed he was still in the bathroom. No surprises there. He likes to crawl under his towel and over the heater vent and get nice and hot. So I went in the bathroom to help him get moving.

"Hey, you! Get up! We need to get you dressed. Here's the clothes Dad got you. Do you have your underwear on yet? Nope, here it is. Dad even brought you two pair to choose from. Do you want light or dark blue striped undies on your bum today?"

"Light blue! That Dark Blue makes my butt look fat!" and he snickered his evil laugh.


Help! I Need a Job!

Recently Middle Child has been trying to come up with ways to earn money. He is 12. He can't work at McDonald's. He can't work at Macey's. He could babysit if there were kids in our neighborhood to babysit, but there aren't. I talked to Olaf and we came up with a great idea. On the way home from Middle Child's play practice I told him that over dinner we'd talk about an idea for a way he could earn money.

After we had all dished ourselves some food and started eating, Middle Child asked, "So, what's this job that you think I can do?"

Olaf gave him the first idea. "We thought you could donate plasma in town."

Middle Child's smile diminished somewhat. "Does it hurt?"

I jumped in, "I've never given plasma, but I've given blood. It only hurts a little bit when they poke the needle in your arm."

Olaf then added, "It does hurt a little. But it's not a big deal. But if they don't do it right they could mess you up."

Middle Child's smile completely disappeared at this point.

Olaf added, "You're supposed to be 21 to give plasma, so when they ask you your age you'll need to add 10 years."

Middle Child got a little upset, "I don't think this is a good idea! Any other ideas for a job?"

I then mentioned, "You've got two kidneys and only really need one. There's a pretty good black market for organs. We could try to find out how to sell yours on the black market."

Olaf piped in, "You'll have to have surgery and probably not in a hospital since it's illegal. So we'll have to make sure we get someone that will take almost as good care of you as a regular doctor and hospital."

Now Middle Child looked completely dejected. "I don't think I should break the law!"

We paused and ate a bite or two of food.

Then Olaf brought up one more idea for a job for Middle Child. "Why don't you come with me to clean the office once a week. You'll have specific things you have to do. You'll have to do them really good. And if you do a good job we can pay you a certain amount each time."

Middle Child jumped out of his seat he was so excited. "That sounds like an awesome idea! I'd love to do that!"

I added, "Now, you'll need to pay your tithing and put some money in savings every time you get paid."

This didn't dampen his spirits at all. He was so excited at the prospect of what he thinks will be painless employment. Yesterday we went to Best Buy and he spent his time there figuring how long it will take him to earn enough money to buy a Laptop and his own account for World of Warcraft. At least he's got goals.


Bling Bling

Middle Child has always loved Sparkly and Bold Things. When he was younger, somewhere around six or seven, everyone was buying me jewelry for Christmas. Calvin had picked out some nice earrings for me. Middle Child wanted in on the action. He looked through all the jewelry cases at the store. He pondered. I had left to wander the store while the boys took care of things. When I came back Olaf pulled me aside with a little snicker.

"You may want to talk to Middle Child about going on a special date to help him pick some jewelry for you for Christmas. He's been looking tonight and he wants to get you the biggest, gaudiest, class ring available."

I was not surprised. He's like a crow in that regards. The sparklier and brighter the better. When we walk by leopard print bags, shoes, or shirts he's always suggesting I get that for myself. It's all I can do to not laugh at his suggestion. I politely tell him I would never be caught dead in that outfit. (I better make sure I don't let him pick out my funeral clothing.)

So a few days later we went to another store. Middle Child had a certain amount of money to spend. I looked at some of the jewelry. There was a necklace I liked, but when we looked at the price it was a little too much. So then we looked at earrings. I picked out a few I liked. Then I turned around to look at some other things while he wheeled and dealed with the cashier and purchased me something for Christmas. He was so pleased with himself.

We went home and he instantly dragged Olaf into our room to help him wrap the present. Later that night I told Olaf how I picked out a few earrings and let him choose the final pair. he looked at me a little funny.


"Well, yeah. The necklace I liked was a little too much so we decided on earrings."

"Huh. Well he picked a good one. You'll like it."

Christmas morning came and Middle Child was so excited for me to open his present. I opened it up and found the necklace we had looked at sitting in a pretty box. With his big blue eyes, blond hair, and adorable smile he had finagled his way into purchasing the necklace for much less than marked!


Good Friends

Last week we went and put up some new lights at Calvin's grave. We had just bought some pretty glass mosaic balls that light up at night. While we were there some girls were meandering around the cemetery, looking at headstones. I didn't think much of it, lots of people come to the cemetery.

As we were leaving Olaf decided to check on our neighbor's mother's decorations. She had helped us decorate Calvin's headstone for Valentine's and we wanted to see how hers looked. Then we drove around the cemetery. On our way out we drove by Calvin's section again.

And there were the two girls. They were there to visit Calvin. How sweet. I'm glad that his friends still remember him. It really makes me happy.