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Friday, December 30, 2011

Because It's That Time of Year Again...

I did it last year, and I feel the OCD need to do it again this year:

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Breastfed my son in the hallway of the high school because he wouldn't stop screaming through his sister's school concert. I was totally covered, but it was still really awkward. There were also a few 6th grade girls who were stunned by what I was doing and couldn't stop staring.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't do resolutions. I try to make a regular attempt to improve my life, but I don't do it on a year-to-year scheduled basis. (I still like last year's answer to this one.)

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Many. I seem to be at a time in my life where everyone around me is having babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My dad (well technically, he's my step-dad) passed away right after my birthday last year. It was really hard, and I miss him all the time.

5. What countries did you visit?
None yet, although one of these days, I'll get my passport and visit the exciting country of Canada, eh.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
My memory back. Baby Brain is a real thing, people!

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
See #6. I have no memory.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Maintaining sanity through MOST of the year.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I still don't have my bookshelves done, but the plan is to get those done by the spring.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just to my pridde.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
DiGiorno Pizza. Lots and lots of DiGiorno pizza.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Surfer Pirate. I am super, super proud of the things he's accomplished this year. The man continues to be my hero.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Every politician ever, probably.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, bills, bills, bills... and DiGiorno Pizza.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Days when I didn't have to cook!

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2011?
Yeah, um. This question is just dumb. Although I will admit there was a song that fit last year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. Happier or sadder?
Happier. I have such a fun family, and I love my life here in this little town.

iii. Thinner or fatter?
Sadly fatter. Let's just say I took the pediatrician's advice "Nursing Mother's shouldn't try to lose too much weight" a LITTLE too much to heart.

v. Richer or poorer?
Tacky question.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Getting all my big projects done. There are still no new bookshelves, storage shelves, pantry shelves built in my house, and I still haven't finished the wedding gift I started working on last spring. Oops!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? eating pizza?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
(Edited because the original question was to be answered before Christmas.) We were home!!! Just our little family, nice and quiet, just the way I like it.

21. How many one-night stands?
I hate this question. Did this meme originally come from Myspace?

22. What was your favorite TV program
That changes constantly, but the top runners are Big Bang Theory, Robot Chicken and World's Dumbest. I'm also working my way through the seasons of King of Queens.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Another stupid question. I don't hate people.

24. What was the best book you read?
Does it count if I'm not quite done reading it yet? I'm rereading Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice. I love that book.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Probably Shine Down. I swear the lead singer of that group and my husband are kindred souls. Almost all his songs match with Surfer Pirate's life.

26. What did you want and get?
Snow! Finally! We've been seriously lacking snow this year, and we finally got dumped on last night.

27. What was your favorite film of this year?
No clue.

28. What did you do on your birthday?
That was a really hard day this past year. There was supper at a nice restaurant, but other than that, the day kind of sucked.

29. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Yay! My gray pants fit! I'm so glad I didn't get rid of them!

30. What kept you sane?
I have two main things that keep me sane - peace and quiet and time with Surfer Pirate. As long as I get those two things on a regular basis, I'm good. (Same answer as last year because it's still true.) Although snuggling with my kids is a good sanity saver as well.

31. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Chelsea Handler. She never fails to make me laugh. And Beavis and Butthead!! THEY'RE BACK!!

32. What political issue stirred you the most?
Politics - Blech

33. Who did you miss?
Same as last year. Always my sister. It kills me how much I miss her.

34. Who was the best new person you met?
35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
How to make a really good cherry limeade.

So there ya go. 2011 in a nutshell. Bring on 2012! I'm ready!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Ol' Fallback

Since my sister passed away, I've sort of adopted a few sisters. They're my sisters because I love them and we all watch out for each other. They're also my sisters because their families are insane and my mom is the greatest mom on the planet - so everyone wants to be her daughter. My "sisters" are B, J and my newest one AB!!

Anyway, I was talking to J last night asking her for suggestions for my blog. I've been having some pretty major writer's block lately and needed ideas for fun things to talk about.

Then this morning, I was reading my (real) sister's blog and was inspired by a meme she did back in May of 2005. Since I love meme's, I figured this would be a good way to get back on the blogging horse. Here it is:


1) My uncle once: got his foot stepped on by a bear when he was camping.
2) Never in my life: have I smoked a cigarette. Although strangely enough I craved them in college when I was stressed.
3) When I was five: I met my "sister" B! (Love you!!)
4) High School was: crazy and fun and entertaining, and I'm sure glad I don't have to do it again.
5) I will never forget: "Gimmie a 'poon right now please! NICELY!" (family joke)
6) I once met: Chad Brock - former professional wrestler, turned country singer, turned disc jockey, turned potential politician. My ex and I saw him in concert in a small club in Salt Lake City. He spent a good part of the night checking me out - much to my ex's annoyance.
7) There's this girl I know who: has been married 3 times, engaged to at least 3 other guys (that she didn't marry), had 4 kids (that I know of) with 3 different guys (only 1 that was actually her husband), all before she was 35 years old. And she once tried to strike up a conversation with Surfer Pirate in order to talk to me. I ignored her because I don't want to get sucked into her weird life again.
8) Once, at a bar: I found out how small the world really is when I got to hear about the Karma Bus coming after a guy who was my bully in the 8th grade.
9) By noon I'm usually: starting to wake up - even though I've been out of bed for hours. Oddly, I used to be a morning person!
10) Last night: I talked to my "sister" J! (Love you too!)
11)If I only had: a bathroom on the main floor of my house. Oh, and a garage... and a wood shop... and a greenhouse.
12)Next time I go to church: I hope the roads will be clear (it's a long drive)
13)Amy Winehouse*: isn't talented enough to be in the 27 Club.
15)When I turn my head left, I see: my daughter reading a book and using the dog as a footstool.
16)When I turn my head right, I see: Christmas stockings.
17)You know I'm lying when: I blush and look away. I hate lying.
18)Right now I'd rather be**: taking a bath. Or a nap.
19)If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be: Much more eloquent that I am now. (I like my sister's answer. I'm keeping that one.)
20)By this time next year: I'll be very busy.
21)A better name for me would be: QUEEN
22)I have a hard time understanding: why they had to mess with Geometry by adding Algebra to it. Geometry was the only math in high school that I could really understand!
23)If I ever go back to school I'll: focus entirely on classes I want to take instead of getting stuck in classes I feel like I have to take.
24)You know I like you if: I blather on to you about my whole life. I talk too much.
25)If I won an award, the first person I'd thank would be: God. Unless I win a Grammy. Then in all likelihood I'll thank my Dad first. (Also keeping my sister's answer here.)
26)Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro: Would be fun to have dinner with. (Gotta keep this one of hers as well.)
27)Take my advice, never: marry a guy with commitment issues.
28)My ideal breakfast is: Stella's Surprise at Stella's Restaurant in Billings, MT. (Minus the onions.)
29)A song I love, but do not have is: Erotic City - the George Clinton version. Verizon doesn't have it in their song list. :( I want it on my phone.
30)If you visit my hometown, I suggest: you go to Softies for yummy ice cream. Get a toasted coconut dipped cone for me, k?
31)Tulips, character flaws, microchips & track stars: would make for a very weird salad.
32)Why won't anyone: design a pretty digital watch? I might still wear a watch if I could find one.
33)If you spend the night at my house: don't mess with the ghosts, and they won't bother you at all.
35)The world could do without: most of the politicians
36)I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: eat meatloaf.
37)My favorite blonde is: a toss-up between my husband and my son.
38) Paper clips are more useful than: rocks.
39) If I do anything well, it's: make steak! I used to not be able to make a steak to save my life, but I've recently mastered it.
40) And by the way: Listening to Erotic City right now. Thank you Youtube!

* Originally, that question was about Terri Schiavo - showing how old that meme is. Since it's not really current news, I figured I'd go with a memorable death from this year.

**There wasn't a question 18, so I made one up.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


My waffle iron died a while back. It made me extra sad because it made heart-shaped waffles! They were fun and cute and made me smile. On Valentines Day, I liked to throw some strawberry flavoring and red food coloring in to make them extra special.

But when your waffle iron starts shooting flames out the back of it, it's time to throw it away (once it's no longer on fire, of course).

Money is tight around here, and a new waffle iron was just not in the budget. I had borrowed one (and kept it WAY too long! Oops!) but as often as we all like to have waffles around here, we really needed our own.

Then, I noticed that one of our local stores was changing out their small appliances, and their previous display model was on clearance. I mentioned it to Surfer Pirate, and I guess that idea stuck in his head because a couple weeks ago he declared "We need waffles! I'm going to go find out how much that display one is." He got a killer $10 deal, and brought it home.

We've been back in Waffle Heaven around here.

So Sunday morning, I made waffles. I made a big double batch of waffle batter, but I was too hungry to make the whole batch all at once. I made enough for everyone to each have some, and then I sat down to eat.

For the record, if you've never had peanut butter and maple syrup on a waffle, you need to try it. It's all kinds of awesome.

I finished my yummy waffle and went into the kitchen to rinse off my plate. There, I was hit by the most offensive smell! It was like messy diapers, moldy bread and rotten cream sauce all at the same time!

Gah! What is that???

Figuring there must have been something bad in the garbage, I took the garbage out.

There. That'll do it.

Too lazy to make more waffles right then, I took the measuring cup I'd been using as a scoop for the waffle mix and set it on a plate where it wouldn't get my counter dirty, until I could start dishes later. I covered the waffle mix and put it in the fridge. Then I went into the living room to join my family in watching some TV.

I returned to the kitchen later, and was met AGAIN by the horrid smell!!

Gah!! What IS that???

I started looking all around, trying to figure out where the smell was coming from. Nothing seemed amiss.

Back to the living room I went.

Again later, HORRIBLE SMELL slapped me in the face as soon as I walked in the kitchen!

GAH!!! What the h*ll is that????

Could it possibly be the scooper from the waffles??? There was a bread smell in the nastiness. I bent down to sniff it. Slight bread smell, maybe, but was there a rotten smell? Not sure. I ran it under hot water to clean it off and then went to the fridge to make sure nothing terrible had happened to my bowl of waffle mix and I just hadn't noticed (can't destroy my dreams of waffle goodness for later!) Nope. That's fine.

Huh. I don't get it. Another search of the kitchen came up with nothing odd.

By yesterday afternoon, either the smell had gone away, or my nose was just so offended by the nasty smell not going away that it decided to ignore it. Either way, I didn't notice the smell anymore.

So last night, Surfer Pirate requested baked potatoes with supper. I'm all for some tasty baked potatoes!

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm..... buttery potato goodness....

I opened up the bag of potatoes on the counter and started selecting the best ones.

And then it hit me!

Nasty icky smelly disgusting knock you down the stairs and beat you senseless smelly smell!!

One mean little nasty rotten potato was hiding down in the bottom corner of the bag.

I threw out its offensive little self and scrubbed the heck out of all the other potatoes.

My kitchen is safe for noses once again!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Go me!

These two are such buddies they even sleep alike.

For 7 painful years, I worked retail. Back then, I always swore I would be done with my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving. And I pretty much succeeded with that goal back then. But there is life after retail. Eventually, the madness didn't bother me anymore. I still don't shop Black Friday, but I don't worry too much about being done that early.

In fact, quite often, I do my "Santa shopping" a week or so before Christmas. Usually, the gifts will be purchased in an okay time frame, but I don't buy the stocking stuffers until the last minute. But today, not only did I get the Santa gifts, but I also got the stocking stuffers! The only thing missing is the oranges and nuts that go in there, but I'll get those later - so they're fresh.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on my dad's coat. Thankfully, he hasn't been booked up too much this year, so he doesn't need it right away. I should be able to finish it this weekend so I can get it mailed to him. I'm also in process with my bookshelf project. As I was sorting through the piles and piles of boxes of books in my basement, I came across my mom's and my old record albums. I was telling her about it, and we discussed getting a turntable that hooks into a USB port so I could start saving digital copies of all those records. She jumped right on that idea and bought one and had it sent to my house. It arrived today. So now I have that project to add to my list. Some of my other projects for when I have free time (Ha!) are as follows:

Previously mentioned dog coat

Pirate quilt I started 3 years ago

Wedding gift for my friend who got married last March. I'm hoping to get that done by at least their first wedding anniversary

Scan in the huge box worth of old pictures I have on loan from my dad

Shelf in Pirate Munchkin's room for her dolls

High shelf in Pirate Baby's room to run track for my mom's old model train

Rebuild the pantry shelves in my basement

Sort through all the boxes of random schtuff in my basement

Build storage shelves for all the schtuff I decide to keep

Build storage cabinets and bench in my mudroom

Curtains in almost every room in my house

Sew lots of fun new (vintage style) clothes for me

Whew. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Germans and Gingerbread

This gorgeous gingerbread house is not the one I made. I found it here.

I was telling my mom this story tonight, and she suggested that I blog about it. So here you go.

Christmas of 2000 found me living in Utah. My oldest step-son had just come to live with us (14 at the time), and I had a very sweet and smart 2 and 1/2 year old German Shepherd.

I had decided I wanted to build a gingerbread house from scratch. I put a lot of time and effort into measuring and preparing to make sure it was just perfect. It baked perfectly - not a single crack. As soon as it was cool, I started assembling.

Once the frosting holding all the walls and roof together were set up, I started the fun part - decorating it. I had already chosen Andes mints for the roof. I loved the idea of the striped brown/green/brown look for the roof "shingles". I spent probably an hour getting all the mints on the roof. It looked gorgeous! I had to start getting ready for work, so I set the house in the middle of my dining room table with plans to finish decorating when I got home that night.

I was just getting out of the shower when I heard "Zeus* NO!" My heart dropped. I hurried out of the bathroom to find the gingerbread house in pieces on the floor with frosting everywhere. While I had been in the shower, my step-son had gone downstairs for something. The dog had taken his chance to go after the gingerbread house. I was horrified at all my work being destroyed, but not nearly as horrified as I was when I realized that half the roof as gone - including all that chocolate!

I was quite thankful that the other half of the roof was intact, and I quickly counted the remaining mints to see how much he had eaten.

THIRTY Andes Mints!

I called the vet, panic in my voice, while I said to the receptionist "I have a problem." She had already started chuckling a little as she said "Let me guess. Your dog ate chocolate."

The calm and humor in her voice put me a little at ease. It may not be as bad as I had thought.

What kind of dog is it?
German Shepherd

What does he weigh?
90 pounds

What did he eat?
30 Andes Mints

...I thought she was going to die laughing. She laughed so hard! I felt soooooooo much better.

So then she told me I needed to get some ipecac and hydrogen peroxide. I was supposed to take the biggest serving spoon I had and force a spoonful each of peroxide and ipecac down his throat. If he hadn't thrown up in 10 minutes, I was supposed to do it again!

So I hurried to the pharmacy and bought ipecac (I already had the peroxide), then I came home and gave my baby his medicine. I finished getting ready for work, and after 10 minutes, nothing had happened, so I dosed him again as instructed. I told my step-son to call me at work when Zeus had thrown up, and I left for work.

After a couple hours, I still hadn't heard anything, so I called the house.

Has he thrown up yet?
Nope. He just keeps belching!

That crazy Zeus never did throw up, just had the burps all day long. It's my own fault. He was my spoiled baby, and since he was little, I had always given him gingerbread cookies whenever I made them. He was also EXTREMELY smart, which came in handy when it came to training him, but not so handy when he wanted to do something he wasn't supposed to do. (The process of keeping him locked in his kennel when we were away from the house was insane because of his super intelligence. He was a Houdini Dog - and could get out of anything!)

I still gave him gingerbread cookies every year, but I haven't attempted making a gingerbread house since.

*His real name wasn't Zeus.