Thursday, October 30, 2008

One Lunatic Rant & A Game of Tag!

I recently had to go shopping for a new cell phone.  I find this event taxing beyond all reason, but our provider was bought out, rendering my desire to just stay put impossible.  I did not want a fancy new phone, I just wanted to get in and out of there, BUT the little sales girl HAD to give me her pitch.  When she was done, I told her politely what she could do with the "features" and just give me a danged phone that makes calls!  I added that the entire set up is an obvious scam.  Considering how much I utterly loath waste, I find having to replace a perfectly usable phone simply because it is not"compatible" with my new carrier something akin to consumer fraud that should be on all accounts reported to the BBB.  Anyway Hunky Hubby put up with my diatribe, and we left the store with a new phone that lacks (of course!) the only features that my old phone had that I liked.  Ugh!  HH thought I was the most unreasonable cell phone shopper on the planet until...I got this email from Brother.
"I need to get off my bum and go get a new cell phone, but it seems like a pain.  I look in the windows of cellular stores and see all these sales clerks that cannot be thirteen years old.  Seriously, I'm going to conduct business with a junior high cheerleader? Ugh.  I can't face it.  She is gonna tell me junk about the latest brandX super-phone-with-buttons-and features-up-the-wazoo, and then I'm gonna have to feign interest just long enough to say, really all I need is a phone.  Maybe a camera phone would be nice.  THEN she is gonna giggle like the brainless twit that she is, and rattle off some scripted, overly rehearsed, and totally unconvincing sales speech about said brand's super-camera-phone-with-buttons-and-features-up-the-wazoo!  Once again to be polite, I will suffer through it just long enough to squeeze in a comment like, really just a simple phone...nothing fancy.  She'll look at me like a I am some sort of old luddite codger and direct me to the display of 14 phones that come in 68 colors, all fully customizable to the slightest weird quirk the user might have.  Aaaaagh.  The horror of it all.  I just want a @#*!* PHONE!  Then I will strangle her little chicken neck until fluids burst from her eyes and then spend the rest of my days in a padded cell.  Which actually seems like a nice alternative to shopping for a cell phone."
 Thanks Bro, for making me look like a totally lucid and reasonable person.
In lieu of today's quote we are playing tag!  I was tagged by another blogger (Live the Life), so here goes...
7 random things about me
1.  People who stay in the right hand lane when they are going straight, preventing me from turning right on a red light, makes me crazy.
2.  I love to pour milk over my ice cream cuz it makes little crunchy pockets of frozen milk.
3.  When I was a kid I put aluminum foil on my teeth to pretend I had braces.
4.  Unloading the dishwasher is the worst chore ever!
5.  I know all the words to old sit-com theme songs like, Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, Love Boat and The Addams I actually think it might come in handy someday!
6.  I am always embarrassed by pumping gas, because I am afraid I won't do it right (I have never been bowling for the same reason).
7.  I am a recovering cheapskate (I said recovering not CURED!).
I am tagging shan, pam, kneedled, cyrie 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Albert O'Lantern?

So, of course, it is pumpkin carving time.  Like everything else it seems, this is no longer the simple task it once was.  Nope.  Triangle eyes and crooked, single-toothed grins have gone the way of the rotary phone and rabbit ears.  
So deciding how to carve Jack has become quite a mission.  That said, our littlest carver (female age 6) came to me the other day and said she wanted to carve her carefully selected pumpkin like Einstein. Shocked, but slightly impressed at my obvious parenting skills, I asked her if she knew what Einstein looked like.  She said, "Yes, he is tall and green and has black hair and screws in his neck."  I will let you fill in the punch line on your own.  
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

10...(ok 7) Seven Things I am Loving Right Now

There are more than 7 things that I love, but these just photographed well...
The table by the big picture window.  The kids draw, do homework and daydream here.
My new doorknobs.  Yes, doorknobs.  I just really like them!
A necklace that I bought from a young woman whose husband recently passed away.  It reminds me to "follow my heart" and to never take for granted the people I love.
Love this cookbook.  Great recipes, and great pictures.
The new firepit in the back yard.  Yes, it is finished.  I can't wait to have a mallow roast and make some s'mores. Yum!
The kids enjoying the last few warm days...
Lovely colors in the yard...

Monday, October 20, 2008


I am afraid I am starting to sound like a broken record, but we had our annual pumpkin patch this weekend, and I loved seeing all the little ones thrill at such a simple thing as picking a pumpkin.  At the grocery store, all detached from Mother Vine and his siblings, it is hard to tell where Mr. O'Lantern got his start!  A couple of the kiddies couldn't resist plucking a big red juicy apple from the tree on their way out as well.  It is so chic right now to be "green". Everyone is on the reduce, reuse and recycle, all organic bandwagon, but we are completely detached from where even the most ubiquitous of all personified gourds comes from!   Some folks at our little 'earth-fest' were surprised to hear that you can actually eat a pumpkin as well as carve funny faces into it.  There was something just so sweet about the kids running to find their perfect pumpkin.  Some chose tall and skinny, others wanted short and fat.  Some cared about shape, others color.  Two little girls wanted the smallest pumpkins they could find, while the bigger boys went for the whoppers!  All in all, the weather was fine, the company was good, and the pumpkins were harvested.  I would say, a weekend well spent!
Quote of the Day:"I never met anyone I couldn't learn from."
--Henry Eyring scientist

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dueling Banjoes

This is the scene this morning at our house.  Quite a few mornings actually.  The kids all play various instruments, and have to get their practice time in...sometimes simultaneously!  One french horn, one piano, two boys, two different songs (both very loud) and one mom trying to pack lunches in the next room while keeping her ears plugged!  It got me thinking though.  Both songs were very pretty, but together they were just a lot of loud noise.  If I concentrated on just one of the songs (to offer encouragement and positive feedback from my kitchen post) it sounded nice.  Both compositions competing for my attention was the problem. I was reminded of something one of my ecclesiastical leaders said recently, "We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it.  The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them.  Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives." (Dallin H. Oaks Good, Better, Best)  We are constantly given so many opportunities to do good things in this life that we are often run ragged by them.  If we exhaust ourselves on those things which are good, we leave little time for the things that are better or best.  I see this with my teenagers' friends, and young moms especially.  The kids are soooo involved in good things (sports, music, dance, debate, clubs etc) that they have almost no down time.  We have become so focused as a society on achievements and accomplishments, that ordinary creative play is a lost art for kids. Adults feel like they (and their kids) have to be busy all the time. The overscheduling of children and families means we are spending less and less time together with those we love. The family dinner table has all but disappeared. I miss the idyllic Walton family gathered around that huge farmhouse table to share a simple meal together.  I suppose this rant is just a reiteration of two past blogs (Balancing Act and Feeling Groovy both in September), but perhaps I needed to hear it one more time.  "Slow down, you move too fast..."
Quote of the Day:"The purpose of an education isn't to become wealthy, but to become rich."
--Willis Blaine teacher

Monday, October 13, 2008

Everything's Coming Up... Pumpkins and Apples?

We have been baking!  After the heat of the summer (i.e. too hot to cook) it is nice to get back into the kitchen and start mixing up some sweet treats.  Kids number 1&3 were anxious to try their hands at apple pie and pumpkin bread.  Especially since #1 got to wear the cute apron my sister made for ME (crazy wool socks optional)!  Both turned out well, and we have been enjoying them for a couple of days now.  Yes, even for breakfast...yum!  I am not a great cook, but when it is chilly out and there are fresh apples from the tree, there is something quite satisfying about the smell of apples, pumpkin and cinnamon wafting through the house.
Quote of the Day:"Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread & pumpkin pie."
--Jim Davis cartoonist

Let it Snow!

Yes, this is the making of the first snowman of the season.  I told you winter comes early in Idaho!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Peachy!!

Well, we are expecting our first real cold snap of the season this week. Snow a possibility in the forecast. Winter comes early in SE Idaho,  but right now I am love, love, lovin' Autumn!  We made peach and blackberry pies this week.  The peaches came from Utah where the growing season is a bit longer than here, but the blackberries were right out of our own garden!  Since the advent of quick cross-country trucking, and refrigeration, the art of eating seasonally and locally has been lost.  Only a few short generations ago, people ate what was produced in their own area and only while it was in season.  Don't get me wrong, refrigeration and easy transportation of goods is a blessing, but there is something so mindfully simple and pleasant about knowing and seeing exactly where your food comes from.  
Not too long ago I read a lovely, amazing, beautiful book called Plenty: One man, one woman and a raucous year of eating locally by Alisa Smith and JB McKinnon. The young couple spent an entire year eating only food that was grown within 100 miles of their Vancouver, B.C. home. Even if you never plan on trying the experiment, the book is a great read.  I must admit, that I have not yet had the guts to go completely local (with 5 other people depending on me for their sustenance-there would likely be a revolt) but I am easing them into it.  I am becoming more aware of what is available in my own area, and adding variety to my own garden.  When we eat foods as they are in season not only are they nutritionally superior, but they taste better and are cheaper!  I also think that our bodies were designed to feed on those things that naturally come from the earth during certain times of year.
The changing of the seasons really gives us the opportunity to reconnect with the earth and with nature.  Go to the farmers market and see what is fresh this week. Taste the difference in food that is really ripe.  Take a drive, or even a walk, and see all of the changes in the trees and flowers.  Smell the air.  Take advantage of all of it.  Perhaps in your area Fall lasts a while longer, but I know that here, winter is just around the corner.  I will relish that when it comes too (only through March though), but for now I am love love lovin' Autumn!
Quote of the Day:"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
--Pablo Picasso