Monday, December 31, 2007

Oh no, you didn't.

Quitter? Quitter? The gauntlet has been thrown. After reading my previous post my brother-in-law Michael had the effrontery to call me a quitter. I stand by my statement that I like to finish what I set out to do. Maybe I don't always get everything done that I'd like to, but I look at New Years resolutions more as "guidelines" rather than rules.

That said, here's my plug for being politically involved in the New Year.


I have a bit of an obsessive nature when it comes to finishing things that I say I will do. I'm somewhat cautious about committing to do things, because I know that if I tell someone that I'll do a thing, I will pretty much guilt myself into getting it done.

So what is my problem with New Years Resolutions? I nearly always make them, and I nearly always come up short when it comes to completing them. This year I had 10 goals. Okay, that's probably part of the problem - that's a lot of things to work on. Of the 10 I accomplished 3, did way better in a different way on 1, started, then fizzled on 5, and totally blew 1.

What's funny to me is that I don't feel too bad about the 5 I started and fizzled on. I may even make some of them goals again for this year. I look at it this way - at least I did something in those areas. One of my goals was to write in my journal regularly. I just looked through it, and I actually had 80 entries. That's a new record for me, and I'm not even counting this blog - which is up to 21 entries as of yesterday. I may have fizzled during the middle of the year (April through September), but something is better than nothing, and 100 entries is a huge improvement on nothing.

So, what are my New Year's resolutions for this year? I'll have to get back to you on that. Tomorrow.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tinkering around.

Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, Legos, K'nex....what's your fancy?

At our house we have been into K'nex ever since giving Nathan a set for his 8th birthday. I think K'nex have only been around 15 years or so - and since Nathan is now 22 years old, we've been in on K'nex almost from the start.

Grandma Erminie sent me some money this year to buy the boys something for Christmas that they would enjoy - so when I saw the roller coaster, I knew that was it. Andrew put it together, all 1,100+ parts, on Christmas day. It's not the biggest model they've ever built, but it is pretty fun.

I just need to find a place to keep it for 3 months until Nathan gets home....

Saturday, December 29, 2007


A little over a week ago my daughter was involved in an auto accident while out running errands with her 2 month old son. Daughter and grandson are fine, minivan was totalled. She was willing to take all the blame - but I have another theory. I think she was just embarrassed to admit what really happened.

WENATCHEE — A 29-year-old Wenatchee man told police a pterodactyl caused him to drive his car into a light pole 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
Wenatchee police cited the man with first degree negligent driving. A breathalyzer test showed “a minimal amount of alcohol,” said Wenatchee police Sgt. Cherie Smith.Witnesses told police the man was northbound on Wenatchee Avenue and drifted into a southbound lane for less than a block. Oncoming traffic stopped and waited for the man to pass, Smith said.He then totaled his car on a light pole in the 200 block of North Wenatchee Avenue, Smith said.When police asked the man what caused the accident, his one-word answer was “pterodactyl,” Smith said.A pterodactyl was a winged reptile that lived more than 65 million years ago. The man was driving a 1994 Cadillac DeVille.He was treated and released at Central Washington Hospital, hospital officials said this morning.— Rachel Schleif, World staff

Friday, December 28, 2007

I did, did I?

Most of the time I have to no real liking for palindromes - occaisionally they can be funny and clever, usually they are just awkward and contrived.

pal·in·drome /ˈpælɪnˌdroʊm/ –noun
1. a word, line, verse, number, sentence, etc., reading the same backward as forward, as Madam, I'm Adam or Poor Dan is in a droop.

Today I'm in love. I've avoided writing much about NYT crossword puzzle - but today I'm feeling smug and smart. Part of the smartness is offset by the fact that I thought I finished the Friday crossword, when actually it was yesterday's paper (Thursday). Oh well, it still feels good. The theme for today's (okay, yesterday's) crossword was palindromes. There were three long palindromic answers:

"Must save vast sum"
"Aerate pipet area"
"Page gawks at task wage gap"

Bring it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's a Jungle Out There

"I'm going to the zoo, zoo, zoo,
how about you, you, you,
You can come too, too, too,
we're going to the zoo..."

Think I'll skip the tiger cage.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas favorites

Someone, somewhere messed up, 'cause I'm pretty sure my kids weren't nearly as good this year as their presents seem to indicate. I'm pretty sure that I wasn't that good either.

My top 3 favorite presents:

1. Phone call from Elder Nathan. Awesome dude.

2. I got a Nikon camera. I promise to sing "Kodachrome" at every available opportunity.

3. Opal necklace. I'm not much into jewelry, but I've always wanted an opal since I was a little girl and found out it was my birth stone.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Conspiracy Theory

I don't usually buy into conspiracy theories, but they had me with the word "chocolate". Who knew the chocolate industry could be so cloak and dagger? I mean, meeting secretly in coffee shops. I hope they were having a nice cup of hot chocolate. Being as this occurred in Canada, I'm just visualizing Dudley Doright undercover as a fed.

I'm happy to see that our Canadian friends spend a whopping 2.3 billion loonies on chocolate every year, and what with the falling U.S. dollar, we're talking some serious chocolate insanity, eh.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Bourne Ultimatum

Wealth, in monetary terms has never been a defining feature of our family. With 6 children, that's pretty much a given, with 6 children who need braces, it's a certainty. Alex, (child #5) got his braces on about 2 1/2 years ago. Our dentist has a neat program - buy 4, get 1 free. He has seldom had to actually pony up for it, but in our case, he did.

A few weeks ago when we were asking our kids what they would like for Christmas, Alex said he'd like to get his braces off. Not gonna happen. Not for Christmas. He went in for an adjustment today, and was informed that the braces come off in about 3 weeks. Wahoo!

Did I mention that our orthodontist's name is Jason Bourne?

Coincidence...I don't think so.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Gratuities Welcome

I'd like to take a little time out from all the commercial hoopla surrounding the holiday season to lighten things up with a totally gratuitous music video. It'll help take your mind off of...well, pretty much whatever you need your mind off of. Besides, I don't think we hear enough falsetto in these musically degenerate days.

And yes, I am still running a fever.

achoo, Achoo, ACHOO!

Still running a fever.

I am also sporting that winter fashion statement, a twisted piece of tissue stuffed up my nose. Yes, my nose is running.

Mr. DeVille, I'm ready for my closeup.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Go towards the light

2:45 am. discovered a new use for Christmas lights. You can just barely read the display on a digital thermometer without having to turn on the house lights. 100.9. I was going to blame Jack, but now I can calmly say,"It's all Andrew's fault."

Captain's Blog, Stardate 12*18*07

Several years ago as our family was seated around the dinner table things were not all sunshine and roses. Some of our children were engaged in verbally bashing each other. In an effort to change the subject I spoke up, "How about those black holes?" Since then that has been our family code for talking nice.

Our mission: To boldly avoid places no man has gone before

"Avoid black holes." That's what an astrophysicist in New York advises, based on a new report by NASA about a black hole that's shooting a jet of deadly radiation at a smaller neighboring galaxy.If this were an episode of "Star Trek," the intrepid crew would get sucked toward certain death in the radiation stream, then find themselves forced to fight their evil doppelgangers from another dimension to get the dilithium crystals they need to escape. In the process, the transporter would fail, the shields would fall to 60 percent as soon as the enemy looked at them, and Capt. Kirk might very well be drugged and then seduced by someone wearing a minimum of clothing. -The Buzz (our local paper, the Everett Herald)

Monday, December 17, 2007

It's All Andrew's Fault

My son Andrew and his friend Nathan are working on a computer downstairs (this is actually about day 3 of the project) - anyway, I heard Nathan exclaim,
"Ow, it burns.... get me a towel..."

So, being a concerned parent of his friend I hollered (not concerned enough to actually go see if there was anything serious going on)

"Is everything okay?"

Nathan replied "It's all Andrew's fault".

Still not quite sure what happened, but I'm going with that statement. It's short, concise and able to cover a multitude of sins. When something happens I now have someone to blame. I'll just calmly reply, "It's all Andrew's fault."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Typhoid Mary

Woke up this morning with a woozy head and a sore throat. Dang. Had a 3 hour dress rehearsal for our stake choir Christmas concert...which is tomorrow. Downed a couple of tylenol and went to practice. I admit to feeling conflicted. While the choir would not miss my one weak and wobbly voice there are many other people that would be missed. I'm hoping that I wasn't too contagious, but I really didn't want to skip the practice. I hope I'm feeling better tomorrow because I would be really mad if I went to all those Saturday practices and then didn't get a chance to participate. I feel the need to blame someone. How about Jack?

Friday, December 14, 2007

I am sew done....

Like leaves changing color in the fall or tulips popping up in the spring, come December at my house out comes the sewing machine. I am not an avid seamstress - frankly most sewing projects just leave me cold, but there is something about the Christmas season that brings out the needle and thread in me.

When my oldest children were young I spent hours making them teddy bears with real suede pads on their "paws". 20 years later I still manage to find things that need sewing. I think it's sort of a "comfort food" activity - sewing evokes the Christmas spirit - but taken in excess (like comfort food) it eventually causes physical repercussions. Frankly it can turn into a real pain in the neck. It's time to stow the ol' Kenmore and kick back and watch a Christmas movie.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Site sighting

I promise this is not going to be a blog all about me doing the NYT crossword puzzle. I promise. Okay, I promise that TOMORROW I will not write about a crossword puzzle.

I was fairly gobsmacked when I totally finished today's (Thurs) crossword without once having to turn to Rex for help. It's not that I can't do it, I usually just don't have the time/energy/stars in alignment/lead in my pencil/dog ate my paper/there was a total eclipse of Saturn, so I just couldn't do it. Later on in the day I got on his site to see how he had rated the crossword (easy/medium, darn it). I noticed he had a place in his sidebar for "friends of the show" and lo and behold, there was my humble little blog. How cool is that. I also noticed that he has another site Pop Sensation - Vintage Paperbacks and Other Cultural Detritus. Definitely worth a gander.

It got me thinking - the borg queen and I could start a blog about Grace Livingston Hill. Between us we probably have 40 to 50 of her books (at the very least). GLH was amazingly prolific, if not uniformly great in her literary efforts. Her books are good clean fun, not that she necessarily meant them to be fun (she had a lamentable lack of humor). about it? Resistance is futile.....

Dear Sir, What's your policy on honesty?

Ah, the joys of working for a large corporation! They don't always make it easy to be honest. My husband forwarded this email that he had sent to the payroll department of the company he works for. He has been working insane hours and using the cafeteria for meals - often 2 meals a day.

"While I appreciate the adopt an employee plan you currently have me on, I kind of wonder if you want to charge me for eating or if I get to stay on the adopt an employee plan. Please let me know what you decide.Thank you for you kindness. And for the food."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

..and remember, this is for posterity, so be honest...

My husband keeps reminding me that whatever is posted on the internet is there forever, so be careful what I write. On the other hand, does anyone besides me actually read the Christmas newsletters that come this time of year?

I used to angst about how these other families led such perfect lives, you know:

This year our little Sally was the head chearleader, validictorian, and Miss America. She also volunteers in a soup kitchen every day after schooland collects teddy bears for the starving children in Greenland. Our older son Billy is the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize and he plays pro baseball AND basketball in his spare time while working on his presidential campaign and being a volunteer firefighter......

I finally realized that these were truly pathetic attempts by those people to validate their existence. Okay, so no one wants to have their faults held up for the world (or at least family and friends) to see, but I like the letters that throw in at least a pinch of reality. When my children were younger I considered a year in which we didn't need the orthodpedic department at the Everett Clinic on speed dial a red letter year. Let's hear more about years like that.

So, lets celebrate the little things in life - not try and make everyone else feel like losers. Trust me, your friends and family won't be surprised that you're not perfect, they'll be grateful that you're honest.

Now, it's time for me to start on our Christmas Newsletter......let's see, is there one or two e's in "genius"...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

insects vs. primates

Before any music critics come to my house with a lynching party, please let me explain. I was young. If there is any crime here, I plead youth.

The first pop song I remember singing was The Beatles "I Wanna Hold Your Hand". Those were the only lyrics I knew. I would sing those words over and over and over and over. I probably drove my parents nuts, but it must have been their fault that I had even heard it.

Fast forward a few years and The Monkees were on our black and white tv every week. I was in love with Mickey. Big sis Marcy was in love with Davy. We had a record (you know, vinyl)of theirs...we had every song memorized. I know that the Beatles have much more critical acclaim. Much more. And in spite of that I still have that crush on Mickey.

Literal Hero Worship

As a novice at blogging, I'm still trying to get my bearings - I wrote another post this morning and accidently erased it.

I had a comment posted by Rex Parker (of NYT Crossword Puzzle blog fame!). And now a crossword puzzle digression...

I have a love/like/hate relationship with the NYT Crossword puzzle. On Monday and Tuesday I usually love it. On Wednesday I sometimes love it, sometimes like it. It only goes downhill from there. I love Friday and Saturday if I am able to finish. I feel like a genius. It actually just means that the puzzles were exceptionally easy for a Friday or Saturday - but I still feel like a genius. If I figure out answers that had Rex Parker stumped for a while (unusual, but it has happened) I again feel like a genius. That said, I would be ungrateful if I neglected to thank Rex Parker for helping through the dumb days. Especially the rebus days. He is my crossword puzzle superhero. Not a MAN OF STEEL with unlikely superpowers from another planet nor yet a mutant SPIDERMAN with webslinging abilities, but more like the classic BATMAN as portrayed by Adam West NOT any of his successors. I like that he looks like a regular Joe and doesn't have any freaky superpowers - just cool accessories - and no padded muscles for him. What you see is what you get. And ya' gotta love the giggle factor.

Monday, December 10, 2007

On your mark....get set....go!

So...who knew how effective peer pressure could be even in your late 40's! Two of my younger (much younger) sisters started blogs and talked me into it. I am not, nor ever have been much of a creative writer, but here goes. I take great comfort in the fact that very few (if any) people besides my sisters will ever delve into my writings.

The only blog I read on a semi-regular basis is "Rex Parker Does the NYT Crossword Puzzle" - and I only read that towards the weekends (when the NYT crossword gets too hard and I need to cheat to finish it). I suppose now I will be checking posts by family members. Since I have an incredibly large family this could get out of control...