Tuesday, March 30, 2010
In July of 1999, we went on our somewhat annual trip to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to see my relatives on my mom's side. Bonners Ferry is a beautiful little town, about as far north as you can get in Idaho, so we usually make a trip up to Canada while we are there. This time, Morgan was playing with my cousin Ben's daughter, Audrey, and didn't want to go with us. Tanya, Ben's wife, said Morgan could stay with them for a few hours while we took Ally with us. I was a little concerned about this because Morgan could be quite a handful, but Tanya assured me she would be fine. Little did I know then that Ben and Tanya's kids were every bit as lively as mine are.
We only stayed in Canada for about an hour or so because Ally was asleep so we didn't do much more than buy our usual candy bars and then head home. We were about a block away from Tanya and Ben's house when I saw the strangest thing. It looked like some animals that I had never seen before, running down the road. They looked a lot like two-legged doberman dogs. When we got closer I realized that they weren't animals at all, but little naked black kids running down the road. I couldn't imagine what kind of a mother would let her little kids run down the road like that, without a stitch of clothing on. When we got closer still I realized that they weren't black kids at all, but little white kids covered all over with wet, black mud. And, one of them had a long, blond ponytail that was starting to look very familiar!
(This was after they'd dried off a bit. When I saw them at first they were the dark, shiny color of the wet mud, all over. Also, I couldn't see their faces because they were running away from us, the same direction as the car was going.)
According to Morgan, they had decided to play "piggies" in the garden while Tanya was watering. They were starting to get so dirty that she made them strip off their clothes so they wouldn't get stained. We thought they could just run through the sprinkler and the mud would wash right off, but the water was cold and there was just not enough pressure. They just got little clean stripes on their backsides.
We finally hosed them off, kicking and screaming, then transferred them into the laundry sink for the second round. Then they were finally clean enough to go into the house to the real bathtub, where we tried (in vain) to scrub the last bits of mud out of their noses and ears. Morgan ended up with a nasty rash that lasted for a while.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Anyway, since Austin is so obsessed with Harry Potter (he still sleeps with the wand he got for Christmas every single night), to make it fun for him we (I) decided that we should all read with British accents, like Harry Potter characters. I'm not sure where the idea came from, possibly sheer desperation.
Some of us were specific characters. I started out as Ron Weasley, my personal favorite, though I didn't do a great job. The kids made fun of the way my voice got higher in parts. They dubbed it "Ron Weasley, going through puberty". Not a very flattering description, is it?
Next came Morgan and she does have the accent down pretty well. Austin, of course, was Harry Potter and he was happy to read, which almost never happens. He also does a pretty mean British accent, I must say. It must be all that practicing he does on an almost daily basis. It is pretty cute.
Ally was next and surprised us by saying she was going to be Dumbledore. What surprised us even more was the sounds that came out of that girl's mouth. I couldn't quite place it, but then I figured it out. I swear she sounded just like Marlon Brando in The Godfather. I have never seen Hal laugh so hard while reading scriptures. Usually he is just giving most of the rest of us disgusted looks. She kind of ended up sounding a little more like Marge Simpson toward the end, but at least she was enjoying herself.
Hal was up next and the kids tried to talk him into doing Dobby, but he politely declined. I think he and I had the worst accents by far. But, if it keeps the kids entertained and somewhat interested then I'm all for it.
We talked about who else we could do. Looney Tunes looks like it might be up next.
Also in the future: reading scriptures like Lady Gaga (a' la Poker Face). Try it, it actually seems to work. What doesn't seem to work at all is Bon Jovi music. You can not, no matter how hard you try, read scriptures to the tune of Livin' On A Prayer.
Aren't you glad we try out all these ideas so your family doesn't have to?
Saturday, March 20, 2010
There was only room in the ad for 7 photos, and I really wanted to put in some of more rooms than the space allowed, so I started a new blog to show the other photos and put a note in my ksl.com ad.
Is this a dumb idea? Please tell me if it is because I really want to know. If it is, I'll pull the blog. I just really, really want to get the selling part over with. Soon. I don't know how I'm going to keep the house clean enough to show all the time! (I do have a life, you know!)
I put the blog address in the text of my ksl ad. I hope that's not against the rules. If so, they will ban me from advertising there and then what would I do?
In case you are curious, or may just know someone who is interested, here is my new blog address:
nibleyutahhomeforsale.blogspot.com (At least that's what I think it is. Let me know if it doesn't work!)
Let me know if there is anything else I should list that potential buyers may want to know or see. Thanks!
Wish me luck! (Because I feel like I'm about to have a nervous breakdown!)
Friday, March 19, 2010
He has some funny, quirky habits. One of them is the fact that he ALWAYS has on only one sock when he doesn't have shoes on. Always. No exceptions. The one thing we still haven't figured out is if it is the same foot that has the sock on it. I need to start taking photos of his feet and not his cute little face so I can see for sure. I keep trying to remember, and I know it is the right foot, but then I forget if it is the right foot that is always bare or has the sock on it. I need to start writing it down. (I'm sure it will be of ultimate interest years from now, whether it is the same foot or not.)
So, on to the photo.
Austin gets to use the school library now. His books always have a common theme, Halloween. It's still his very favorite thing, all year long. His favorite color? Orange, of course. (He wants an orange bedroom. I keep trying to put him off by saying it will clash with the green paint.)
Among the various Halloween themed books, a favorite started to emerge. It's called I'm Not Afraid Of This Haunted House by Laurie Friedman. The book started coming home more and more frequently last fall until it came home every single week. Then he discovered that the school had two copies of it and that he could check out BOTH copies. I tried to explain why this wasn't a good idea (other kids might want to check out this book, this way you only have one story from school to read instead of two, etc.). I even broke down and bought him his own copy of the book, which seemed to help him branch out to other new Halloween stories. For a while, anyway.
So, imagine my surprise (and dismay) when he came home from school today, once again, with both of the school's copies of this book. Here he is with both school copies AND his very own copy.
It really is a cute book for kids. You may want to consider checking it out and reading it for yourself. That is, if Austin hasn't hogged all the available copies.
Cathie Astle, a girl who grew up around the corner from me (we waited at the bus stop together every day in junior high, along with Carmelle Floyd) just got married for the first time. I am so excited for her! She married another classmate of ours named Shane.
Anyway, we had a bridal shower for her and lots of the girls we grew up with in Providence were there. So, so fun. I had such a great time. My friend Linda, who I also grew up with, came with me and it was just nice to be with the girls and talk about the old days.
Except for one little thing. (One major thing, actually.)
I think I offended Cathie's mom.
Cathie's mom, Charlotte, was visiting with us too, which I enjoyed, and we were all kind of talking about different things in the neighborhood I grew up in.
One thing that we all agreed was a bad thing was the mink farm. My biggest complaint was the stench. If you've never lived anywhere near a mink farm, you have no way to even imagine how rotten those little creatures can smell.
Cathie's mom told us that once a mink got out and got into their rabbits and ate the FEET off of the baby rabbits. I was highly traumetized thinking of this and was trying to tactfully ask what happened to the baby rabbits and if they had to put them to sleep.
I finally worded it in a way that I think wasn't offensive and Cathie's mom told me that the baby rabbits died from their wounds. Well, stupid me, I started connecting in my brain that they died from losing their little rabbit feet and you can pretty much guess my next statement. (It's true, I have no internal editing tool.)
"Oh, so they died because they were unlucky."
When Charlotte gave me a strange look, I didn't figure out it was because she couldn't believe I would say such a thing to her. I just thought she was confused so I tried to explain it to her ("You know, they lost their rabbit feet."), which made it worse.
I was mortified when I realized that she didn't think that was amusing at all. I forgot that these were their family pets I was being so flippant about. I tried to move the subject to those crazy blue and green dyed rabbit feet we used to buy when we were kids (I had a green one), which was the only thing I could think of, but Charlotte still kind of looked at me like I was nuts.
I only felt a little tiny bit better when first Linda very discretely chuckled and then Lisa Fuhriman, a few seats over, giggled just loud enough so I could hear her.
I was glad somebody got my unfortunate sense of humor and vowed, once again, for about the millionth time, to keep my comments to myself.
We'll see how long it lasts this time.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Right after my Grandpa Hendricks died, in 1992, Hal and I stayed overnight with my grandma to help her do a few things and so she wouldn't be alone.
Quite late at night, probably around 11:00 or so, I started craving a sweet treat. I knew where my grandpa usually hid a stash of caramels, his favorite candy, and I figured there would probably still be some there because he hadn't been gone very long. (Though caramels aren't my favorite, so I must have really wanted something sweet or hoped that there might be other candy hidden there as well.)
I sneaked out to my grandma's kitchen as quietly as I could, so I wouldn't wake her up. Then I opened the cupboard and reached in. I found a glass there, in front of the usual candy containers. I went to move the glass to the countertop so I could get to the candy and something splashed on me. In the dim moonlight I examined the glass a little closer to see what the deal was when I realized what was in it, a pair of teeth! It scared the daylights out of me. (I don't know why it scared me so badly, I was used to seeing my other grandparents' teeth in glasses in their bathroom.) I think I even squealed a little bit. I hurriedly set the glass back and ran back into the guest room and jumped under the covers.
At the time, not thinking clearly, I really thought that my grandma had put her teeth there to scare me away from eating all her candy (which is funny because she is my "nice" grandma - maybe that's why it was so scary to me, because it seemed so out of character for her).
Now that I am a lot of years away from the situation, I bet she put them there to hide them because she was embarrassed and didn't want us to see her teeth. It was just rotten luck for both of us that I happened to have such a bad sweet tooth.
I still get a little chill thinking about the whole ordeal.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Here's a photo that I keep by my computer desk. It's from when the girls were around 4 and 7 years old. I think we ALL look a lot younger.
One thing that I remember about this photo is that I HATED the haircut that I had at the time. You can't really see it here but the funny thing is that it's similar to the one I have now.
Ah, life seemed so much more simple then, but really it wasn't. I'm glad we're at the place we are now.
It is fun to look back once in a while, though.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
What I hadn't heard, because I don't really pay attention to that sort of stuff, is the exact day the world will supposedly end, December 21st.
December 21st? What? Why hadn't anyone informed me of this before?
Why is this significant? Because it's THE DAY BEFORE my 45th birthday. Why didn't this ring a bell for anyone in my immediate family? They all seemed to know what day it was. Didn't they think I might want to know ahead of time if I will have yet another unhappy birthday?
Well, I am here to tell you all right now that I am going to throw myself a major birthday party on that day. (No, not THAT day - on my birthday, the day AFTER that day.) Right now, you're all invited to a birthday open house in my honor. (I did mention that I've only had one actual birthday party in my life, right? I told my family they need to do something big. Let's hope they follow through so I don't have to make my own birthday cake that year.)
If you come we can crank up the tunes and have a dance in our basement (my personal favorite leisure time activity). We can also play pool or charades or pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey or any other party games we feel like playing. We may even go nuts and have a pinata.
In other words, if you come, we can all party like it's 1999. (Or any other time when we all thought the world was going to end and it really didn't.)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Anyway, a few hours later, after Hal had already gone to take the girls to their first basketball game tonight and Austin and I were hurrying to get to my last Activity Day activity (a mother-daughter tea party), I tried to open the garage door. It went up a little and back down, up and down, up and down, up and down, like it was possessed. I stopped it and it went back down. I tried again, up and down, up and down, up and down. I tried to open it manually, but I can't do it myself, which I usually can. I tried to call Hal, but his phone was dead (I found out later).
So, I did the only thing left for me to do at that point. I "borrowed" the truck that was sitting in our driveway. I'm not sure whose it was, I just know that it was not ours. But, the key was in it, and Hal always loans his truck out to his friends so the fact that it was there meant that someone else probably had one of our vehicles. (And I'm glad this truck was not ours. It stunk. It reminded me of lots of vehicles my family had while I was growing up. Not only did it smell, the seats were a mess, it was full of junk and it was very loud.) I had a hard time figuring out why the clutch wouldn't work, but once I got it going I hurried out of my driveway, swinging wide, just in time to narrowly miss the police car that happened to be driving by at the time (our neighbor's son-in-law). Rats. I forgot my purse, but didn't have time to go back and get it. I was just glad I remembered to grab my glasses. This would not be a convenient time to run over something.
I hustled to the church just in time to explain that I was late because I had to steal a car to get there. (I told the leaders, not the girls. I don't think it's a very good example to steal a car to get to a church activity. Maybe this is why they released me last week.) I gave the girls my lovely little speech on etiquette and then proceeded to break every rule of etiquette while I scarfed down lots of little tea sandwiches because I had missed dinner tonight, taking care of other things that needed to be done.
Hal came and found me and he was not happy at all that I had taken the truck. He thought someone had stolen it for real. He traded me vehicles, which I was very grateful for because I never could figure out how to turn the lights on in the truck. When I made it home later, he had already traded back with whoever the truck belonged to so our truck was in the driveway. I was quite happy to see it.
So anyway, back to the tea party, after I had eaten and stayed a polite enough amount of time, I let the other leaders take over while I ran to take the girls to their 2nd basketball game of the night. I had missed the first one earlier. They were playing to see who would get to go to regions. As I sat there, my head started to pound. It wasn't a particularly thrilling game because neither of my girls got to play but their team will be going on, which means they need to play on Saturday, which I'm not entirely thrilled about. Oh well, it will all be over soon enough.
So, we just got home in time to get Ally ready for her 7th grade ski day and just realized that the waterproof gloves she needs are neatly packed away at the other house, which I can't get to because the present owner is already in bed. We'll just have to send her with the three non-waterproof pairs we have here and hope for the best. She will try snowboarding for the first time. Today she bought enough candy to feed a small third-world country for a week, so she might not feel so great when she gets home, no matter how well she does. I worry about that girl. She is mad at me because I wouldn't let her buy a Rock Star caffeine drink. It was kind of nice to have to ask someone else to pick her up tomorrow because I need to stay here to wait for the garage door opener guy to come fix our broken spring and I still can't get out of my garage. Maybe I should wait a couple weeks before fixing it so I can stay home. Doesn't that sound nice? It does to me.
Well, it's time for me to eat something healthy and get to bed. Tomorrow is another day. A clean slate. I like the sound of that.
And, if I stay home all day, I just may not commit any more felonies. (Or is stealing a car a misdemeanor? Let's hope I never have to find out.)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
So, anyway, I have really been working hard to get rid of all the piles of clutter that have had no place to go since I lost my storage room when Austin was born. I've been able to move all the extra stuff into the storage room of our new house, which has been nice. I love living like this. I never, ever want to live with clutter again.
Apparently not everyone has appreciated my efforts.
Since Austin has been camped out in our bedroom for the last few years, (one of the big reasons for our move, hopefully he'll sleep in his own bed once he has his bedroom right next to ours) he has had a lot of stuff floating around our room, toys, clothes, blankets, etc. We've also had lots of piles of books and magazines, as Hal and I are both avid readers, though our time is pretty limited these days. So, all the things we are hoping to read get tossed on nightstands, on the floor by the bed, on the table by the couch, you get the idea.
So, my point is, I've slowly gotten rid of each and every pile. Our house is now 99 percent staged, with just a couple of piles left in the kitchen and two boxes left under the pool table that need to be taken care of. It looks much, much (much) better.
Austin walked into my bedroom today and looked around and said, "Boy, it looks kind of bare in here now that you've gotten rid of all the extra stuff. The only pile I see in here is that stuff on the top of dad's dresser. It doesn't look cozy like it used to."
Gee, Austin, you're welcome.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Are you kidding me?
Don't you know nothing kills the ability to be funny quicker than someone requesting for you to be funny. Right now. (And, haven't you heard? I've had a few things on my mind lately. Actually, now that I think about it, I've rarely left the house in the last two weeks, thus cutting the possibility of getting into my usual sticky situations WAY down. Remember Ikea?)
Someone please teach me how to link to an older post and I'll try to find you a good one. (If I recall correctly, I think last May was a particularly brutal month.) I'm still a little link impaired, I don't know why I've never figured it out.
Actually, now that I think about it, Ms. "Please try to be funny again", why don't YOU send ME a link to a funny post?
Saturday, March 6, 2010
You know how there are the "live to eat" people and the "eat to live" people? I'm definitely a "live to eat" type. Luckily, I've been blessed with a pretty good metabolism so far. I guess it makes up for the lack of good luck in other areas, like skin, hair, personality, etc.
Ok, so on to the food. This is a snack that I eat literally every day. Sometimes it counts for lunch if I don't have anything else good that is easy to fix that day. I just eat more of it.
Next, take a box of these babies. I just LOVE these crackers. If you haven't tried them, you're missing out. Unless of course, you don't like the taste of rosemary. The people in my house either love or hate these crackers, so if you buy them and don't like them someone else hopefully will. One warning, do NOT under any circumstances buy the store brand of these. It is not anywhere near as good as the real deal.
What's your favorite healthy snack? In case I decide to branch out some day.
It could happen.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The room that says dining room is actually soundproofed and used as a music room. We are thinking of building bookshelves and making it a library because we have LOTS of books (and a library) here.
Anyway, this gives you a general idea of the layout. All the bedrooms are in one spot so hopefully (fingers crossed) Austin will sleep in his own bed once we move.
(My OCD self doesn't like seeing it so crookedy, but I won't take the time to fix it today. I just thought you might want to see it sooner, rather than later. )
If anyone is local, I'd love to give you a little tour after May 5 so I can bounce some of my great (and maybe not-so-great) ideas off of your heads.
I've already been talked into keeping both the bright emerald green Corian kitchen countertops with the white racing stripe (at least for a few months so I can live with the kitchen and see if there is anything else I'll want to change) AND, believe it or not, I'm also keeping the Pepto Bismol pink countertop in the laundry room. I do have other plans for that room though. Great plans. (That may or may not involve more bead board. - Is that one word or two?)
That's it for now. I'll post photos of the inside of this house in May.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I know people looking at houses don't want to see other peoples' family photos all over the place, but it sure looks stark seeing the bare minimum that is left.
Maybe I'm just sad because I never got the wall quite right, to my satisfaction. I never did take a photo of what I had up because it was always a work in progress. It was never "finished". I was always waiting for that semi-perfect (I don't like the word perfect - in my life there is no such thing) family portrait where everyone looks pretty good. We usually had at least one person with a scowl on their face or their eyes half shut. (I always looked somewhat presentable, because I'm no dummy. I put forth all the effort to make all the appointments and get everyone to the studio on time and in somewhat coordinating outfits. I had to listen to everyone grousing because they are being inconvenienced by yet another family photo. I also spend the time agonizing over the proofs to pick out the least bad photos. I also pay for the finished products (in more ways than one), so you can bet I'm not going to pick one where I look too bad - no matter how good everyone else looks.) You would think these guys would catch on that if they would just cooperate and all look relatively happy in the same shot, we wouldn't have to try as often to get a "good" family portrait. Some people never learn, do they?
Anyway, I need to just focus on what's ahead and remember it will all be worth it in the end.
If not, please shoot me.