Sunday, December 21, 2008

So...The other night my husband and I were driving in the car and listening to Christmas music on the radio. A commercial came on for a grocery store and the announcer said, "Be sure to stock up on our gourmet cheeses for the holiday season".

"What?!" My husband exclaimed. "Gourmet Jesus?"

So, yes - - here's wishing you all a healthy helping of (gourmet) Jesus this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Seeing is Belize-ing!

So many of you know that we recently took a cruise vacation to the Caribbean - Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Bahamas - - all amidst the hub-a-bub of buying a house and preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I suppose, then, it was what you would call a much needed vacation. (Though, we did take all the kids with us).

My son was mo
st excited about riding on an airplane....

...though he was pretty excited about the big boat...

and his bunk bed he got to sleep on...

Our first stop was Cozumel, Mexico, but we hopped on a ferry and went ov
er to Playa del Carmen, followed by a long bus ride to the ruins at Tulum. The ruins were cool there.......and excitement abounded.....

Okay, it was a long day for the kids with a lot of transfers and travel. But if we could get through that, I think we could probably get through anything with them..

Our second stop was in Belize, which, agreeing with our native tour guide, was un"belize"able.
After a tour of the city it was off into the interior for a spicy native lunch followed by a speed boat ride up a crocodile-infested river to Lamanai.

We hiked through the rainforest, climbed Mayan ruins, and saw a toucan and howler monkeys in the wild. Here we say, "Don't eat yellow snow", but there they should say, "Don't drink yellow rain". (Monkeys mark their territories). The jungle was awesome and the climb up the temple is not for those with vertigo or a fear of heights.

(Can you see the little people way below in the photo on the right? I wasn't e
ven at the top when I took it.)

Our third stop was in Hondorus where we went down zip-lines in the jungle. (Our kids went to feed and pet Iguanas with the Grandparents).

Afterwards, we met up with the rest of the family at a beach and observed some of the local animal life....jellyfish, hermit crabs, stray cat and dogs, and biting bugs that left tons of big red spots all over us.

After another day at sea, our last stop was in the Bahamas. There we got some fresh pina coladas and hit the sunny white-sand beach.

It was a great way to cap off a vacation.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . But Not a Pie to Eat!

Yes, I love Halloween.
(The smell of the burnt pumpkins and the candy concoction in your sack?
Ahh.....absolute heaven).
And this Halloween was especially fun because my so
n finally "gets" the trick-or-treating thing.
Plus,it was great taking
him around in jeans and a t-shirt! (Has it ever been that warm before?)
I dressed him in a warm doggie costume, but I don't think he needed it.

My husband gave up on any real costume and wore his "I'm a Shark" t-shirt, complete with drawn dorsal fin on the back.

I wore Halloween socks.

But we had chili and br
ead "bones" for dinner (perfect for little dogs and courtesy of my mom) and then went to trick-or-treat with some cousins.

We also carted our carved pumpkins around in the car with us so we could light them on Halloween night at our final destination
. (Though we have lit them since on our own porch....and will until they die).
(And who knows... maybe they'll just get replaced by some of our uncarved pumpkins that I'll eventually do Thanksgiving carvings on).
Many of you have seem my pumpkins already, but I'll post them here as well, along with my husband's "Foreclosed" Haunted House pumpkin.

(My husband's scary foreclosure pumpkin)

(My Twilight movie pumpkin - I tend to do things that are currently popular at the time on my pumpkins. This one I did on a whim and started on the pattern after 7:00 and had the whole thing finished before midnight).

(My witch and cauldron pumpkin actually took longer than the Twilight pumpkin, carving-wise.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And the Pagans Played Shuffleboard at Midnight.

Ok, so there probably wasn't shuffleboard at the ancient Pagan festival celebrating the Summer Solstice. But they did gather to celebrate and party on the longest day of the year which usually took place at the end of June. Although the longest day has shifted its date over time, today it usually falls on June 21st. Still celebrated by neo-pagans and other groups, the longer days around the solstice are known as Midsummer. (Shakespeare? Midsummer Night's Dream? If anyone wondered when it took place, now you know! Hooray for cool useless facts!).

But I was fortunate enough to be on vacation in northern Europe during these days a few years back and was able to experience the longest day of the year, a day in which the night never got dark and the sun never truly "set". At midnight (see above picture), my husband and I were playing shuffleboard on deck of the ship taking us to Stockholm, Sweden without the aid of lights. When we went to bed, it was still light and the sun had just started its brief dip below the horizon before it rose again a couple of hours later. We were up early to see its full return as the ship navigated its way through the many little islands of Sweden. It was calm, peaceful, empty of the party-goers of the night before. It was also slightly unnerving to have things drenched in sun so early in the morning.

So to the real point of this post.

I did a poll asking when my blog title picture was taken - yup, here it comes (drum roll) - and only two people guessed correctly (most likely my own family members). Believe it or not, my blog title picture was taken a little after 4:00am.
I remember at the time looking at the little houses and summer cabins on the islands and wondering if their residents were all still asleep. I think if it hadn't been so beautiful (and for the fact that I probably wouldn't be able to pull myself back out of bed again due to the late night before) I would have gone back to my pillow to join them in their midsummer night dreams. (Hopefully minus the heartache and donkey).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Yes, the Economy is Going Down the Toilet........

"Dow Industrials Fall Below 10000"
That's the headline of today's "Money & Investment" section of the Wall Street Journal that my son is reading in the above caption.
(And no, I didn't give him that section, and no, I did not force this picture. He was "reading" his "instruction manual" before getting ready for bed and he insisted he take it to the toilet with him.)

Perhaps an appropriate title for this picture would be:
"Future Market Investors Uneasy About Current Market Trends".
Either that, or: "Start- Your- Children's- Financial- Education- Now- So- They- Don't- Make- The- Same- Stupid- Mistakes- As- Us- Though- They- Probably- Still- Will".

I think I'll stick to the first one.

There is a bright side still to all this financial crisis, though. Just check out Dave Barry's Blog to find out what that is.

Monday, October 6, 2008

7 Random Facts About Me

1. As a child I did NOT have naturally curly hair. Any curl was t
he product of curlers forced upon me by my mother.

(I hated sleeping in them.)

And if I didn't have curl-induced hair, it was because it was cut short.
(Very unbecoming to the princess that I was.)

2. From the age of 4, I was in at least one show choir for a part of every year until I was in college. Then, I just joined Institute Choir.

3. From the age of 4, I also took swimming lessons every summer until my senior year of high school. I used to be able to dive, swim the butterfly, and save your life if you needed it. But the key phrase is "used to". Swimming suits and I don't really get along anymore.

4. The old phrase of Disneyland being the "happiest place on earth" is actually true. I was going to either live in Cinderella's castle or the Haunted Mansion.

5. I like jumping spiders.

My favorite variety is the phidippus (workmani or audax)

6. I want to live in the Pacific Northwest (Washington or Oregon) at some point in my life.

7. My original wedding date was set for Sept. 11,
2001. Good thing I got cold feet the month before and pushed it back, right?

Well, that looks like 7 facts, so that means it's.......The End........

.....Oh, I guess I should mention that I did this little post because I was tagged by my friend, Bonnie
I am also supposed to post these rules.

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blog.
4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Since I am a rule breaker though, I think I'll break half of them.
(That's socially acceptable, right? To follow most rules, but not all of them?) If anyone wants to do this, though, please do. It was fun!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods." -William Allingham

It's that season again! The season where the sweaters come out and the crispness of the cool air reminds you of juicy, sweet apples and big orange pumpkins. It's the season where the world turns vibrant and rich in its color, the deep azure sky a perfect complement to the orange of the mountains. Finally, you can light up that fireplace and drink cider and cocoa while cuddled up in your sweats or favorite comfy quilt.

I love fall! It's my favorite season. I love "sweater-weather" and the smells and colors. I am reminded of my childhood and the fun we had with raking leaves and making "leaf houses" and mazes. Anticipating Halloween, and coming home from school in the cold to find a warm house (sometimes a fire going) and frosted sugar cookies shaped like pumpkins and bats.

Just recently my husband, son, and I went up into the mountains to see the fall foliage and to take pictures. These pictures posted here are some of the scenes we got to see. It was gorgeous and I honestly couldn't compare it to any other season. Perhaps the author Albert Camus said it best - "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."

So welcome, October, my favorite month of all! Here is a little poem in celebration of your arrival....

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
~George Cooper,
"October's Party"

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When you know you watch too much tv....

I think our tv has been working overtime the last few weeks.
I don't mind my son watching some of the shows that are on (thank goodness he's not asking for Sponge Bob anymore) but I think I'm not monitoring his time as well as I probably should. Last week when he got a scrape on his elbow and we put a band-aid on it he didn't stop singing the "I am stuck on Band-aid brand" song for days until his elbow had scabbed over and there was no need for a bandage.
Then tonight he decided he would bless our supper by himself. We were having alphabet soup (like a certain talking dog character on tv eats) and he blessed the soup that it would give us letters and sentences. Sadly, he can also tell you all about master bathrooms, vaulted ceilings, and about updated kitchens as well. I don't know if that's from the tv shows that I personally like to watch or if it's just from seeing a lot of houses in our quest to buy one.
Either way, though, it's probably time to return the tv to its main responsibility........holding down the video cabinet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Millions of peaches, peaches for me...."

Thank you to The Presidents of the United States of America for writing such a wonderful song. Peaches ARE wonderful and I look forward to getting some every year in August and September. Of course, the anticipation starts much earlier. I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas as soon as the Fourth of July passes.

And where do I get my peaches?
Why, I get the very best......Mannings in Fruit Heights.
Their peaches are to die for - Or at least let your skin turn orange for because you've eaten so many of them. But, I must say that my sister has probably eaten more than I have. She's probably on her third half-bushel box by now.

If you are out there and reading this, sister, my husband implores you to seek out professional help. Peach-Eaters Anonymous, perhaps.

Monday, September 8, 2008's a blog!

Congrats to me on the birth of my new blog. I hope to feed it, burp it, and watch it grow. I'll admit, like with my son, I had a rather difficult time giving my blog a name. When it comes to names it seems that you have to be mindful of what other people around you are naming their children (and blogs), mind any negative connotations, and still find the name meaningful in some way to you. Easier said than done. Naming a blog is like submitting a child's name to the hospital only to have them tell you, no, that name was taken by your neighbor down the street. Yet, the name came down to two alternatives - both available, both meaningful, and, not surprisingly enough, both Shakespeare.
My friend Carrie, on our first meeting, called me Ophelia and it became one of my nicknames. These words were ones spoken by her to Hamlet.

O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectation and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th' observ'd of all observers, quite, quite down!

Hamlet, Act 3, scene 1, 150–154
In Shakespeare's time "glass" usually meant "mirror", while "fashion" not only referred to fashion and what was popular at the time, but also to "demeanor" or "self-disposition." Hamlet was "the glass of fashion," or mirror of behavior, that others emulated and/or looked up to.
While I don't expect anyone to look up to me--and hopefully not emulate me since that is sometimes a pet-peeve of mine-- this blog is my "glass of fashion." It will serve as my mirror of disposition, a reflection of my state of mind and nature. A look into what is currently popular in my life. And should you choose to read my blog on occasion, perhaps you'll get to see things about me you didn't know.
Maybe, like Hamlet, we'll all get a little crazy, too!