Sunday, September 28, 2008

How About If I Use The Magic Words?

Pretty please.
S’il vous plait
Per favore
Por favor
onegai shimasu

Follow my blog
by clicking
the cute little button
over on the right side.
It says, "follow this blog."
Thank you.
Dank je/u
Xie xie

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Two Toblerone Chocolate Bars Need Homes

First, a reminder about the Toblerone Giveaway. Enter to win chocolate by correctly guessing the name of this politically neutral country which I attempted to use as a joking symbol of my staying out of Californian politics this year. Of course, I've recently declared my definitive stance as a flip-flopper, but I'm still giving away the amazingly yummy Swiss chocolate bar. I know it's hard, but go ahead, take a guess. You know you want to win this exquisite chocolate crafted in Switzerland.

I shall be holding a drawing from all the correct answers on November 4th as the polls close here in California.

Second, Alison (whose blog is well worth a read) voiced a fondness for limericks, SO in her honor I announce the
Win a Toblerone Limerick Contest!
Yes, that's right! A second Toblerone will be awarded to the writer of the best limerick!

(Just to give you courage, I'll go first.)

There once was a blogger named Jami
whose contest was silly and lame-y!
November 4th it ended
because it felt splendid
to be done with smeary, dumb blame-y.

P.S. Keep it clean.
PPS. Enough with the eye-rolling. Lame-y, Blame-y and Jami DO TOO ryhme.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You can handle it.

OK, don't go away. I know it's the scary Mr. S. but it's one of the best sonnets ever written. You can do it. So close your eyes and still your inner rebellious teenager. OK, now open your eyes again. Um...OPEN YOUR EYES. Dang it. You think I could have seen that one coming.

So for those of you who did not still your rebellious natures and kept your eyes open. (No one ever listens!) Here you go.

Wait! One more thing. You'll need your archaic word of the day before you start. Here she is "bootless = absolutely useless."

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least:
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee,--and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings'.

W. Shakespeare

(Hey thou, yea thou, thou knoweth who thou art, I thank thee for thy sweet love.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Resolution Redux

Due to some freakish self-defeating mental condition, I am much less likely to accomplish something if I make an official goal. The only New Year's resolution I have ever kept is 2006's: I will not kill anyone. (That was back when I was on the school board and TRUST me only the fear of God and my New Year's Resolution kept a couple of people alive.) By golly, I did not kill (or maim or even threaten) a single person all year long.

So here are the 2008 New Year's attempts (and results).
  1. Get the playroom clean. (Define "clean.")
  2. Oft speak kind words to the munchkins and the wizard. (Define "oft." Define "kind.")
  3. Blog less. (January 1st I was reading By Common Consent, Mormon Mommy Wars, and Feminist Mormon Housewives daily, commenting and following the links found therein. September 22nd. I am following approximately twenty blogs and comment regularly on all of them. AND I started my own little mish-mash blog, my own little bloggy playground. [I am not addicted! I can stop any time I want. I just don't want.] I spend about two hours a day playing. More if I'm looking for a picture of a pirate kitty.)

So that's how the New Year's resolutions are going.

So how about my fake gastric bypass? DOA. Oink, oink. Got some seriously unattractive gluttony going on here.

To add the final flourish to my goal-making humiliation, I have the following to report:


How's about that not talking about it plan? Not going so well. I've been reading everything I can find on the subject, chatting with sympathetic friends, and pretending not to be listening to all of the exhortations being dished up at church. I've been wandering around, irritated at this blatant politicizing in my place of worship, looking forward to November 4th (oh SO looking forward to November 4th) when the whole stupid issue will be laid to rest!

AND THEN?!? Why, the Living God decided to have a little chat, of course. Not a face to face chat. More like a heart to heart. I will spare you the details, but the gist of it is that I have been asked by God to obey. To humble myself, to trust him and to volunteer to make phone calls. Oh and since my objections were made in such a public forum, He thought it would be a good idea to use that same forum to mention my acquiesce to His will.

What is interesting about all this is that I have not been asked to change my mind. I still don't think that the world will end if gay marriage is legal. I still don't think that homosexuality is any more of a sin than any other kind of unchasity. I still think church is a rotten place to talk about Proposition Anything or Candidate XY and his running mate XX. However, I am going to be making phone calls on behalf of the Yes on 8 campaign. Because God asked me to. Because He created me. Because He knows best. Even when I disagree.

(p.s. Yeah, I'm still having the Toblerone give-away.)
(p.p.s. I just achieved my unspoken, unofficial goal of writing a post with the word redux in the title.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sadly, The Cats are Unable to Join Us in Celebrating International Talk Like a Pirate Day

What do ya do with a drunken kitty? What do ya do with a drunken kitty? What do you do with a drunken kitty earl-i in the mornin'?
Throw him in the brig and fix him! Throw him in the brig and fix him! Throw him in the brig and fix him earl-i in the mornin'!

The Dread Pirate Westley an' his best matey Edward

We wanted t' go sailin' wi' th' other kitties.
Oh t' sail th' high seas wi' th' Black Fur Ball when she sails today!
But, arr, th' fat wench had our balls cut off last high tide'!
Fixin' she calls 't. We'll fix th' lass!

Fixin'! Arr! That's how 't all started! Firstly, th' tom parts then a leg an' arm.
Ye canna trust the lasses! Or swabbies! Arr!
Ye ugly lousy excuse fer swashbucklers! I be goin' wi' lots o' body parts missin'.
We could break ye ou' o' th' brig, if'n ya wern't lazy, lily-livered cowards!
Ya scallywags who ortin' t' be keel hauled!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Yep that's right folks! I am officially forty-one TODAY!
We partied yesterday because the 17th is
wacky Wednesday which looks like this:
6 am Seminary Kids out the door
(J says this doesn't count since he and E ride bikes and that I'm just using them to garner sympathy. True enough.)
7 am School Kids up
7:45 School kids to school
8:00-9:30 Last minute prep for teaching later on
9:45 Homeschool kids to co-op classes
1:00 Teach General Science at co-op
3:00 Pick up big kids from building class
(4:15 Yay! No activity days today.)
4:30 Cub Scouts (Yay! I'm not the assistant den leader anymore! Sorry Jen. Still love you!])
6:30 Brownie Girl Scouts
7:00 Mutual (church youth activity) for E & J
7:30 Pick up V from brownies
8:30 Pick up kids from mutual
10:00 The Man leaves for work
(I'll squeeze in meals, baby care, survival housework and emergencies in between.)
(A visit from the Truth Fairy: I am writing this on Saturday and scheduling it to post on the 17th, because I know that I will have no time at all to write on Wednesday. I will have time to check my email and stat-counter for little signs that you all love me. You know, like COMMENTS or gift cards or something.)
Anyway! Happy Birthday (forty-one years of mortal probation down and no more than fifty left to go) to me!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I love this.

For the writer I'm nurturing within me and for all the writers I love.

A Writer's Prayer

Oh Lord, let me not be one of those who writes too much;
who spreads himself too thinly with his words,
diluting all the things he has to say,
like butter spread too thinly over toast,
or watered milk in some worn-out hotel;
but let me write the things I have to say,
and then be silent, 'til I need to speak.

Oh Lord, let me not be one of those who writes too little;
a decade-man between each tale, or more,
where every word accrues significance
and dread replaces joy upon the page.
Perfectionists like chasing the horizon;
You kept perfection, gave the rest to us,
so let me earn the wisdom to move on.

But over and above those two mad spectres of parsimony and profligacy,
Lord, let me be brave, and let me, while I craft my tales, be wise:
let me say true things in a voice that is true,
and, with the truth in mind, let me write lies.

Neil Gaiman

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On Edward's Rescue

During my blog-cation in late August, one of our kittens went missing. Edward disappeared on a Friday night. The first thing we noticed was Westley meowing inconsolably Saturday morning. It was so unlike them to be separated that we were immediately worried.

The kids and I began knocking doors in the neighborhood by Saturday afternoon. I posted pictures on Craig's List (a shot in the dark since we live in a computer-challenged neighborhood). At the SPCA, we examined all the found cats, the squished cat reports, and filed a lost report.

We drove slowly through the streets after dark, shaking the cat food bag and here-kitty-kitty-ing out the windows of our van. By Sunday, we'd hit the entire neighborhood twice. We attracted much feline and human attention but no Edward.

Tears. Prayers. More here-kitty-kitty-ing. More prayers.

To be honest, by Sunday night, I was really thinking someone had fallen in love with our boy and we would never see him again. I forced the words "thy will be done" out of my unwilling lips and cried again.

Monday morning we got a joyous call from the SPCA. We rushed to the shelter with Westley in tow. Our reunion was celebrated with a quick and inexpensive micro-chipping ceremony, so our boys would have a ticket home should they ever roam again.

Edward had been found five miles from our house, and they immediately recognized him from Craig's List. Apparently, a young skateboarder found him and skateboarded two miles to the SPCA with our kitty in his jacket. We shed more tears and and offered much happier prayers of gratitude for a boy who literally went the extra mile, for the dedicated SPCA staff, and for our God who keeps track of stray kitties.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday's Child

Overall, I love blog rolls, aggregators and the like, but if I have something very brief to say it kind of saddens me that the entire post is visible before anyone even gets to my blog. Steals my thunder a bit, if you know what I mean. So now that I have thwarted thunder-stealing forces of the universe, I shall proceed to today's little post. the glass half full or half empty? The classic question to determine one's level of optimism or pessimism is missing one little detail: what is in the glass? It seems to me that if you have a glass filled (or emptied) to the halfway mark, much would depend what is in it. For a nice yummy glass of juice, milk or soda, the optimistic response is half full. But what if it contained something vile like maggots, hemlock or brussel sprouts? Would it be more optimistic to say it was half full? I think not. The cheery souls among us would say the vile glass is half empty. Whereas the realistic dour among us would certainly write an entire post about the challenges of our half full glass of woe.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Never a Story of More Woe

Balloons and I, we want to get along. They wish to please me. I admire and respect their uplifting potential. Alas, 'tis a star-crossed relationship. In spite of our best intentions, things always go awry.

Long ago, I decided that my man needed a huge buoyant symbol of my love. What to do, what to do? Ah! Fill his car with balloons while he was at work. I would write little things I loved about him on slips of paper. "Musical genius." "Amazing singing voice." "A melt-me reading voice." "Great with kids." "Comfy hugger." "A fine enchilada maker." Stuff 'em in balloons. And fill his car! He'd love it!

Let me tell you. I don't care how much you love someone, finding 100 ways to say "You're cool! Glad I married you. Let's smooch!" is a creative challenge. "You leave fantastic outgoing messages on the machine." "You are so gifted at Jenga." "No one reaches high places quite like you." "Wow! Can you open jars or what?!?"

So after much effort, I got the little love notes done, stuffed into balloons and began inflating the eighty-some-odd balloons the old-fashioned way: I huffed, and I puffed, and I puffed, and I huffed. Then I bagged them all up and drove to my man's parking garage while he was still working, my car filled to the brim with loving balloons. It was so fun emptying bag after bag into his little sub-compact.

OH NO! I was out of balloons and the car was nowhere near completely filled. The loving gesture wouldn't work if the car wasn't completely full! He had to pop his way in so he could see how much I admired his ability to carry out the trash with athletic grace and poise. Scrambling around, I managed to come up with some leftover balloons.

But OH NO! I had no paper, no pencils, and to be frank I was plumb out of ways to say, "Hey Baby, you light my fire!" Besides he was getting off work really soon and I needed to skedaddle. Oh well, this batch would have to be love note-free.

I puffed and I huffed and I huffed and I puffed. Thirty more balloons! Whew. In they went. On his car door, I taped a pin on a copy of Browning's "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." It was SO CUTE! I knew I'd score eternal brownie points for this one.

OK...let's stop. What happens next? Jewelry, right? Special snuggles? NO WAY. The experience involved balloons. It was doomed from the start.

My man came home a bit perplexed. Apparently, being forced to pop a hundred balloons after a hard day at work didn't strike him as romantic.

"The little love notes were sweet though...right?"

"I guess, but what was with the empty balloons? It was like you ran out of stuff to say."

"Uh...well..." Doomed.

And so it has gone. Balloons have burst, gotten caught in trees, flown away, caused fights, caused tears. Balloons were shiny sorrows on strings. I swore them off forever.

Then I was struck with Stephanie Nielson's story and the whole balloon release for NieNie. Surely for something so beautiful, surely, it would all turn out well.

E and I bought our balloons last Tuesday. As always, the sight of the balloons gladdened my heart. Eight red balloons, gloriously glistening, bouncy and new! Watching the baby's delight as she bobbed them up and down—pure joy!

The homeschooled kids were curious. My man was curious. Balloons? Mom never gets balloons! Who were they for?

"You'll see," I'd answered mysteriously. I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I had the markers ready. After the school kids got home, we'd each get a balloon, choose a wish and a goal to work on, write wishes and commitments on the ruby surfaces, then we'd release them heavenward. We would remember it for the rest of their lives.

OK...let's stop. What happens next? A sweet bonding moment for the family? Treats? A big group hug? NO WAY! The experience involved balloons. It was doomed from the start.

When L and V got home from school, they noticed the balloons in my bedroom right away and immediately began fighting about them. L grabbed the bunch and ran out the front door. V ran screaming after.

"Do not take them outside!" I warned. By the time I got to the door, L had released them to the tune of V's sobs.

I sighed as I watched them shimmer away. I should have known. Doomed.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Because I am a sucker for contests.

When I was in labor with my first, in between killer back-labor contractions, I was licking the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes stickers so that we could win TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!! It was so cool when they showed up on my doorstep with that HUGE check and the cameras and the fruit basket right after E-Baby and I got home from the hospital. Really made the choice to interrupt the sacred process of birth seem wise.

Anyhow...ain't no way, no how, I'm going to get the most answers right in Annette Lyon's Quiz. So I'm going for the "link to the quiz and get entered into a drawing" contest. Of course, if you all link to her quiz the hundreds of extra people entering the contest seem like they might reduce my chances of winning. Oh no! I know the secret. (Actually, I only overheard it, but that's close enough.) I am sending winning vibes out into the universe and the universe is about to dump the motherload in my lap.

So thanks, Universe!
And thanks, Annette!

Monday, September 1, 2008


which one of you narked me out to the bishop? I got called into the principal's bishop's office on Sunday. About this. He was a bit worried about me and thought a testimony check was in order.

Testimony? Check!

I am seriously so blessed that my bishop is one of the nicest men I've ever known. And even more blessed because he's fairly shock-proof due to his marvelously outspoken wife. So, my dearest narking friend, now that you know the bishop is reading you don't have to forward him my posts. He'll catch them on his own.

If you become concerned, you can just talk to me personally. If it's just too scary to talk to me, rest assured that I love my husband and my children. I believe that the gospel has been restored in its fullness. I know that Joseph was a prophet, that President Monson is a prophet as well. The Bible and Book of Mormon are the word of God. I know that God is my Father and loves me. You too, as a matter of fact. Jesus is the Christ, my Savior. Yours too, as a matter of fact. Even though I blog, I am still praying, reading my scriptures, and seeking to increase the influence of the Spirit in my life.

In short, I'm OK, but please don't do that again. Love ya!

Happy Bunny Says

Three hundred sixty-seven and nine-tenths cents per gallon looks good!
(Through rose colored glasses.)