Perpetual Plan B

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It Should Be Illegal For Old Women To Have Internet Access

Because it might make their children have violent thoughts about what they might have to do to get their mothers to quit calling them and asking the same questions over and over.

And over and over.

And over. And over.

And over.

Questions like "Which is my username again and which is my password?" and "My internet is little, how do you make it big again?" and my personal favorite, "Which button do you push to turn the computer on?"

And, hypothetically speaking, it is really annoying to have to remind your mom to use the virus scan religiously if she is going to be on the "hollywood" websites searching for news about Robert Pattinson. (Honestly, it's mainly just annoying to have a mom who does nothing more than spend her time looking up information on movie stars for hours on end.)

And, hypothetically speaking again, it is REALLY annoying to have to FIX your mom's computer after she has been on "hollywood" websites and got the computer messed up because she didn't know what a virus scan is and "forgot" to ask you about it. (Seriously, of all the questions she did ask, this is the one she didn't.)


It is also annoying when your mom says the reason we pulled up something that looked different from what saw at her friend's house on a particular website A YEAR AGO is because I must have spelled "Robsessed" incorrectly. Like, how many different ways are there to spell Robsessed, for Pete's sake? Then she smugly told me that I must have forgotten the .com and that's why it didn't look like she thought it should. It wasn't even worth explaining that if we got a website, I certainly did put the .com. And, just because it didn't look like it did at her friend's house is because they change information on websites every now and then. I won't even go there, it's like arguing with a toddler.

And people wonder why I would be "Team Jacob" if I had to pick a side.

I'm sure you must all be wondering why I'm not worried about her reading this and getting mad at me.

Well, let's just say that I'm pretty comfortable with her level of ignorance right now. I'm sure she doesn't even know what a "blog" is, and since mine doesn't involve Robert Pattinson, or any other Twilight characters or movie stars, I think I'm safe for quite a while.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Daughter Is (Semi) Famous!

Ok, so I'm glad we have such talented neighbors/friends because every once in a while one of us will get to ride on the coattails of their success. Here is one such example:

If you look very closely, you might just recognize the "ghost", none other than our very own Ally. My very talented neighbor, Shaunda, wrote a fun young adult book and needed a dark haired model. We happened to have a spare, dark haired girl at our house and she happened to be available AND she came with her very own wardrobe. I'd say it was a win-win for all involved. (Especially me, since I didn't have to do a thing and I got to read a fun book with my daughter on the cover.) By the way, that is Shaunda's daughter, the lovely Joanna, also on the cover.

This was a fun and enjoyable book to read, though I don't want to give too much away. I do think it was written in such a way that girls AND boys might like it. It was written so descriptively that I actually had a dream (nightmare) that I was in one of the last scenes of the book and I woke up almost exhausted from what happened in my dream. It's not that it's a scary book at all - it isn't, but something that happened is something that would totally panic me in real life. (But we all know that I'm terrified of some normal everyday things - like public speaking. Or doing just about anything in public.)

Anyway, my thanks to Shaunda, who also has written and published other things - most notably The Book Lover's Cookbook. It's a fun book that has excerpts from many well known books along with recipes either from foods in the book or inspired by passages in the book. She even got some of the recipes from the authors themselves, like Roald Dahl.

This book is now available in print (on Amazon) and also on Kindle, for all your progressive young readers.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


The girls won't allow me to talk about them too much online these days, but I think I am still allowed to talk about the past when what they did was usually still cute and funny and not "embarrassing". So, here goes:

One year at the Nibley City Heritage Days celebration our friend's son, Daniel, caught a little frog in the park. My girls were about 4 and 7 at the time. They begged him to give them the frog, which he did, and we happily took him (or her) home. Even I was pretty happy with the frog. We named her (or him) Lily.

Well, the next day I started worrying about what we should feed our new pet. I bought her a little plastic terrarium and we got her environment as close to the one she had come from as we possibly could. I then called the pet store to see what kind of "frog food" they had.

"You need crickets." the guy said.

"Crickets? You mean you sell dried cricket parts?"

"No, they will only eat LIVE crickets."

"Live crickets? You have got to be kidding me." I replied.

"Oh no. We get them in regularly. You just need to pick them up every week or so and they'll stay alive until your frog eats them all."

Well, being the responsible pet owner that I am, I drove on into the pet store for my first bag of crickets. I purchased about 15 or 20 of them and we headed for home with Ally holding the bag on her lap in the back seat. At that time we were juggling between 2-3 different vehicles for some reason and I remember EXACTLY which car we were in, my mother-in-law's old (to her - "fancy" to us) Buick that was a nice silvery blue color. As embarrassing as it was to be seen in the "old lady" car, it was a pretty smooth and comfy ride. Probably the most "luxury" car I've ever driven.

The image of what happened next is permanently embedded in my brain.

I was driving along happily, contemplating the "Mother of the Year" award I would receive someday when blood curdling screams from the back seat assaulted my ears. Since I was driving I didn't immediately turn around to see what the problem was. Pretty soon I didn't need to turn around, I saw them.

Lots of them.


Lots and lots of crickets, jumping ALL over the car. Ally was deathly afraid of bugs back then (she still screams like that whenever she sees a spider and I swear that girl can spot a baby spider from about a mile away) and she was terrified. Somehow the elastic or twist tie or whatever it was that was supposed to be holding the plastic bag shut had come off. And they were jumping. All. over. the. car.

I could barely drive, it was like we had our own little plague going on right there inside the car, it was wild! (And hard to concentrate on driving I might add. Good thing I wasn't more freaked out by the crickets themselves or I might have crashed or something.)

We managed to make it all the way home, about a 20 minute drive, and I hurried to catch as many crickets as I could - which was only about 4 or 5. We fed them to Lily that day and the next one and then I convinced the girls that we needed to turn Lily loose where Daniel had found her "because she missed her mommy". There was no way in heck I was going to to through that again. The crickets were pretty expensive too, around $5 if I remember right.

I was pretty sad to let her go, because Lily was a pretty fun pet while it (he, she?) lasted.

Back to the Buick, that car is the same vehicle that we took to Nebraska one year where we caught fireflies and THEY somehow got out and as we drove along at night you could see one light up in the car every once in a while. We did get a few of them home where we promptly released them. They hung around and lived for about a week. Hal swears that about exactly a year later he saw them again one night. Maybe some of the other neighbors happened to bring some back from somewhere else, who knows.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Quick Peek At The Girls' Rooms

Since things are a little dreary around here, I thought I'd let you peek into the girls' rooms. I love the bright colors there, and I think both rooms turned out really fun.

Disclaimer: Both these photos were taken shortly after we moved in, when it was still fun for them to keep their rooms clean and school and real life hadn't started back up yet.

Here's Ally's room. We added the beadboard and I think it makes it look kind of fun and beachy, which is what she was going for. This aqua paint is BY FAR the paint that gave me the most stress. The first color was even more "in your face" than this one, if you can imagine it. Even this color kind of glows in the dark. But, she is happy with it so I guess that's mainly what counts. I do like the green that she chose as the accent color. I've also promised her that we can get rid of the Hello Kitty pictures in the frame as soon as we find something that is more "her" at this point in her life. I like the hanging Japanese lantern balls. We had some in her old room but I guessed at the size and ordered the wrong ones. I wish they were bigger.

Here's Morgan's room. Her bedspread was definitely the most expensive one in the house (like three times the cost of mine). But, it was the only one she really loved and I hated the first one she picked out so it was worth it to me. I love how her paint color turned out. We added the board and batten in this room. It was pretty much the same as in her old room. She got the Japanese lantern ball things too, and I wonder if it looks weird, since their rooms are right next to each other. Oh well. I do love her orange pillow. I found out there is a Home Goods store in the Salt Lake area so I made a special trip there and I think it was worth it just for this one pillow. I think I'm going to have to head back there again this summer. We were going to paint the pink tray she uses as a nightstand but we haven't gotten around to it yet. Also, she made a cute bulletin board that has her room colors plus pink in it, so we may just leave it.

Well that's it. Have a bright, cheery day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hey, I got roses! I don't usually get roses for Valentine's Day, so it was kind of a big deal. (Austin made the cute decoration in school.)

I don't generally love our white mantel, because it's a little too formal for me, but it matched everything else quite nicely for this month's decorations.

Over the kids photos is my favorite quote, because it's so true. Also my favorite photo of each of the kids. I thought the mantel needed something else, so I made the banner the day Hal took the kids to his mom's when I had bronchitis. I was supposed to be resting but I thought I'd "hurry" and make it. A full three hours later I was done. At least next time I make one (I'm thinking a "summer" one would be really fun) it shouldn't take so long, right?

Hope you had a great day too!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blessings In Disguise

You know sometimes things happen that have a pretty big impact on us at the time but then for one reason or another we might forget about them. This is something that I haven't thought about in literally years, but then a talk I read this morning reminded me of it. I thought I'd better write it down now, before I forget again, because it made such an impression on me at the time and at least for a little while afterward.

I went out one day to see my friend Patty, who worked at a scrapbook store in North Logan that was owned by her mother-in-law. Somehow I missed Patty and she had already gone home, so I bought what I had gone in for and got ready to leave and finish up the last of my errands as quickly as possible.

As I was walking out I asked her mother-in-law a quick question, just to be polite. Well, either she is a talker by nature (like my mother-in-law) or was lonely, because she didn't give me a quick answer, she just went on and on.

Now, to be honest, I am not much of a "shoot the breeze" type of person. I'm not fond of small talk or filling up space and time with non-essential words. That said, if you see me in person and I talk to you for quite a while it means that either A - I enjoy talking to you as a person more than I enjoy talking to the average person, or B - I am putting off doing something else that I really don't want to do. Or, thinking back on this particular day, C - that I get trapped into talking to you and don't know how to end the conversation.

Anyway, I must have stood there a good 20 minutes trying to figure out how to gracefully exit the premises to get on my way. I think it might have been a school day, so I probably needed to get home before the girls got out of school and I wanted to enjoy those few minutes of peace and quiet that I would have to myself before they came home.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, I was able to get on my way. I jumped into my car to do a last quick errand before heading home. I pulled onto the highway and headed toward Smithfield.

Less than a block later I realized that things were not looking good traffic-wise. Cars were backed up pretty tight, with nowhere at all to pull off or turn around. I was not happy.

We crawled along for quite a while, taking at least 20 minutes to get to the site of the accident, only a couple blocks away. I was surprised to see that it was very recent and that emergency vehicles were just then arriving on the scene.

Again, I was frustrated at the amount of time I had wasted, both in talking to Patty's mother-in-law and then waiting all that time to get up to and past the accident. I thought about it all the way up to Smithfield and all the way home. I kept thinking how annoyed I was that I wouldn't get my free time and how inconvenienced I was.

Well, luckily something started turning around in my head and I started thinking how inconvenienced the poor people in the accident were. It looked pretty bad, not just a little fender bender, and with the amount of emergency personnel and multiple ambulances that showed up I'm pretty sure the injuries were extensive. One thought led to another and then it dawned on me.

I was truly blessed that day. When I started adding up the timeline of everything, I realized that had I not been talking to Betty (Patty's mother-in-law) for that extra 20 minutes, I might very possibly have been one of the vehicles IN the accident.

I'm not one to think too much about guardian angels or even believe that I have any - at least not specific ones like some people do, but I feel pretty certain that I was saved from something pretty awful that day. I don't know why, but I really do feel that if I hadn't been detained that extra time, things would have turned out very differently for me that day.

For that inconvenient delay, I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Embarrassing Conversation #697

The following is a true story. I'd like to try and change the names (okay, only MY name) to protect the innocent but as you will see, I did that and it didn't work out so well.

I was sitting in Relief Society on Sunday, a little freaked out about leading the music since it's not something I usually do.

As I was sitting there contemplating all that could go wrong, I realized that a new neighbor that I hadn't met was sitting right behind me. Austin is particularly excited because they have a little girl who is in his class at school.

I turned around to her and said, "Hi, I'm Austin Fronk."

Something in my head didn't click quite right, so when I realized my mistake I said, "Oh no, I'm sorry, I'm not Austin Fronk, I'm Morgan Fronk." (I'm not sure why Morgan's name came up at that time.)

I think I started physically shaking my head once I realized THAT mistake so I tried one last time.

"No, I'm sorry, I don't know why I said that, Austin Fronk is my daughter. He's in your daughter's class at school."

At that point my friend Lisa, who was also sitting behind me, started laughing and said, "Austin isn't your daughter, he's your son."

After that I don't really even know where the conversation went but hopefully the treats that Austin and I am taking them tonight will help with the situation.

Long vacation needed? I think we can all agree on that. (Or some very strong medication.)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Next Day .....

So we got yesterday out of the way and with all the stress about the paperwork, final details, etc., on the house - plus extended family stress that I don't even want to go into (though I was dealing with it off and on all day and it finally came to a head right before dinner time), I ended up with a lousy migraine.

I hate migraines because they make me practically worthless for 2 days. Today I have the "hangover" feeling and still the tail end of a headache. (And no, I've never had a hangover in real life, though this is what I would think it would feel like. Weak and lousy feeling, sick to my stomach, etc.)

Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to bounce back because I'm supposed to go put together some new bookshelves for my mom.

One last note:

We have one side of our fridge that can be seen (very obviously) from the front door.

I've been meaning to make a little chalkboard to put there to put quotes, notes for the kids, etc. on. It will probably be a while before I can get around to making what I am picturing in my head (and figuring out how to attach it to the fridge), but after some of the things that happened yesterday, I felt like I needed to put SOMETHING up there, especially something that our family needs right now. A little reminder of how we want to be.

The reason I think this is timely is because lately I've run into people who seem so short fused and, well, grumpy. Okay, to be honest, we've all had pretty short tempers here at home too. We've had a lot of big, important and stressful things going on. One thing that happens pretty often is that we ALL will seem to have had a bad day and somebody will snap at somebody else when a kind word would go so much further (farther?). We are all so wrapped up in our own problems that we are not thinking of the other family members and trying to help them in their own struggles. So, at least temporarily, I just printed this out and stuck it on the fridge. Don't you think it's a good quote?

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Plato

(I kicked around the idea of just sticking it on a particular child's bedroom door, but then I realized that that might directly conflict with the message that is conveyed here.)