Thursday, May 28, 2009
Today my compulsion to save money ran head-on into the brick wall that is reality: we were out of wipes and shampoo. I couldn't put off the expedition any longer. The first I could have done without for a while. I have plenty of cloth wipes (some might call them washcloths--don't look so horrified, I won't give you one to wash your face with. They are very specific washcloths, in a very specific place, and almost never get mixed-up with the regular washcloth) stashed with the cloth diapers--which I may just pull out today after my shopping-induced coronary passes. The second, I have found no adequate substitute for--but if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I'll try anything! (Hey--I use cloth diapers, for Pete's sake! After that, nothing else is a challenge.)
Okay--so shopping-induced coronary as mentioned in the paragraph above. Wipes and shampoo by themselves are not particularly expensive. Unfortunately they were not the only things I had to steel myself to purchase. Anders, as may be assumed safely, is getting bigger. He hit the 20-pound mark at the doctor's office today--whoo-hoo! But with larger baby come larger problems. Namely: the problem of where he will sleep, and the problem of where he will sit. We've pushed the limits on the sleeping thing: he was supposed to be out of the bassinet five months ago, but he managed by making sure he never slept through the whole night in the thing. I believe our record is two hours. The rest of the time I held him through the night. (He's the last baby, and I'm spoiling him rotten, but that's a subject for another post.) But eventually, even for adored last babies, reality asserts itself. And the reality is that I'm almost sure I'm ready for him to sleep on his own--like 75% sure, because this whole separation thing is much harder this time around. So the bassinet just will not do any longer.
Remember, the key word today is "cheap." That means I'm not adverse to alternate possibilities. I've done my research on sleeping spaces for the under-two -set. Cribs are ridiculous! Who wants to pay $245 for a tiny, plastic-covered platform, no matter how trendy or precious? (People who enjoy spending--ye gads, that's who, and if the store stocks are any indication, they outnumber us frugal people 10 to 1.) Just in case you were wondering why I didn't do the sensible thing and use the perfectly serviceable crib that had worked so well for children 1-4, I gave away said crib--which my parents gave us after buying it at a garage sale; I come by my cheapness genetically--to my brother and sister-in-law, who were pregnant at the same time I was, and I refuse to renege on a gift, cheapness notwithstanding. I just sort of figured we'd find something in time. No Luck. That's why I found myself weeping in the aisle of a major retailer this morning while Roberto took two of the kiddos to a doctor's visit (two birds, one stone, less gas-wastage; money saved).
The upshot of the story: we have a new playpen which will serve as sleeping quarters for the tiny tiger. Also a new high/booster chair combo ($19.99--gasp! hack!). So to assuage my guilt at spending, I came home and made laundry detergent in my food processor, out of bar soap and various powdered additives. Total spent: way too much. Total saved: $4.50.
I need an aspirin.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
But here's the thing: Facebook is the ultimate in absolutely useless introspection. It is the repository for information about yourself you never knew existed, and which I'm pretty sure you never hungered to know until a friend found the information on her/him-self first. You know what I'm talking about--all those personality tests created by the same psychologists who brought us the "Cotton-ball Rorschach" test, and the "What your sleeping position reveals about your future income" exams. The same psychologists who passed their first two semesters of psychology classes and then decided that they knew enough, that's who. They, in their infinite wisdom, and total lack of real standards to measure us by, have created for Facebook the "What is your Patronus?" tests (mine would be some sort of imaginary creature that I could never concentrate hard enough on to do me any good because I would get bogged down in the insignificant details. Yeti: three-toes per foot or four? By that time I'd be toast.), the "What color is your aura?" tests (I've been told that mine is white--by a budding psychologist, no less!), and my personal favorite, the "What Jedi Master Are You?" test (The one who dies in the first four minutes of the film for basic ineptitude and general un-Jedi-like goofiness).
I want to get in on all the fun my friends seem to be having, but with all I have to do (the whole pajama/1 p.m. thing notwithstanding!), and with my general distrust of computer-generated psychological analysis, I've resisted. But the urge is becoming more insistent. I. Must. Take. a Test. And in this case, a mere mathematics exam will not do! So, for those of you who are active in the Resistance to All Token Tests (R*A*T*T, because we couldn't find a more congenial rodent-related acronym) movement--or even if you just have a few spare moments of time and a burning yen to know yourself better--I present my non-psychologist-approved, not-at-all-scientific, totally-stun-your-neighbors-and-in-laws personality test:
- What is your skin color generally, without the aid of cosmetics or artificial measures?
b) rosy red--2 points
c) sort of sun-kissed--3 points
d) mottled, like a lab-experiment gone wrong--4 points
- If you had a choice, which food would you rather be slathered on?
b) French fries--2 points
c) hot dogs--3 points
d) Aunt Martha's "famous" meatloaf--the one most relatives avoid at the Reunion (the meatloaf, not Aunt Martha, who while a "kooky character" is a sweet soul with a mean mouth for family gossip)--4 points
- Your secret life-long dream is to:
b) set off the fireworks for the Fourth of July celebrations in Washington D.C., making sure they were very carefully aimed at certain points of interest, if you get my drift!--2 points
c) finally tell the neighbor across the street what you really think of his "going to get the newspaper" attire, with helpful illustrations on a white board and relevant hand gestures --3 points
d) travel the length of the Amazon river in an inflatable swimming-pool-appropriate ducky float--4 points
- Your guilty secret is:
b) your enormous collection of dentist-visit toothbrushes--each lovingly preserved in its original wrapping and none used!--you dental subversive, you--2 points
c) sometimes you sing along with ALL the words of the songs on the radio--even when you know they aren't church-dance appropriate--3 points
4) you haven't changed your socks since third grade--4 points
- In your shower are:
b) one bottle of shampoo/conditioner combo (plus dandruff fighter!), two bottles of body wash ( citrus and lavender, respectively), one loofah--2 points
c) half-used bottles of whatever was on sale, partly-used hair dye, two razors, and six nylon scrubbies (assorted colors and stages of disintegration)--3 points
d) one tub of wet-wipes, six hairballs pulled from the drain, and a toilet brush for unspecified purposes--4 points
Whew! Now, total your points, and discover what your condiment alter ego says about you:
5-7 points: mayonnaise. You are bland, boring, and the perfect appetizer or sandwich mix-in. You work hard to cooperate with others, and strive to blend in with whatever crowd you find yourself in. Try to assert yourself more frequently and you may raise your status to Mayo with Zip! or even, if you try really hard, Miracle Whip.
8-13 points: ketchup. You are all-American, loyal through and through. You have zing, but are oddly comforting. You are dependable, if lacking in excitement. Work on standing out a little more, or at least add a little Tabasco for some kick.
14-17 points: mustard. You are bold, assertive, and when aged, a little too vinegar-y for endurance. You aren't afraid to be yourself, or to completely take over a situation. You come in a variety of styles and versions. (Including that painfully hot Chinese version that I can't get enough of, even though it clears my sinuses and makes me cry like a Miss America winner.) Try to restrain yourself, or your total dominance will cause people to reject you in favor of someone a little more "palatable."
18-20 points: relish. Face it, there's no explanation for you. I'm baffled why someone would want to be this, anyway. It's chopped-up pickles and gunk. If I want pickle taste, I add a pickle. Take the test again, and this time, lie a little bit.
There you have it: you personality analyzed by an expert who actually PASSED high school psychology. Feel free to enjoy your enlightenment.
Friday, May 22, 2009
But I'm stuck here. Not at the reunion.
But why? you ask. Haven't I warned you about this before? Must we do this every time? You have been warned.
Because I am the victim of extremely poor planning. My own, unfortunately.
Ha! You thought you got away easy that time, no? Think again, bucko.
Here's how it all went down:
I will occasionally admit to being in the Young Women's organization in my ward. I usually phrase it as "Serving with the YW." I try not to name the actual calling I have. Not that I'm ashamed of it or anything--I just hate the disbelief that creeps into people's eyes when I tell them I'm the president (small "p", please). I understand--I am not the stereotypical YW president. I'm not hyper-organized; I don't cross-stitch, embroider or crochet; and the depths of my wisdom couldn't swamp a paper boat. But for some reason I said yes when the bishop asked me to do it--and in my defense I love serving with the young women. I think they and the other leaders are amazing, and they reciprocate with a tolerance that surpasses belief.
So, knowing these fact about me, you can hardly be surprised that I accidentally scheduled the YW fundraiser for the same weekend as my family reunion. My thinking was somewhat along the lines of: Hey, look, the only free weekend ALL the young women have is the weekend of the 23rd! And we can actually use the church cultural hall for it! Whoo-Hoo! It is a miracle!! The gods of all planning and organizing endeavors smile upon me!!! How perfect is this? . . . What? (slowly coming to reality after the initial burst of adrenaline-powered euphoria and AFTER setting the whole thing in stone by announcing it to the entire world who was willing to listen--total count: six young women, their moms, and one lone pigeon who flew in for the refreshments.) That's Memorial Day weekend? That's the weekend of the family reunion? Why, oh all that is holy, why?
And so I sit in an almost quiet house--if you don't count the frantic and poorly-timed barking of Tibby the wonder-weirdo. And if you don't count Anders, who is actually cooperating at the moment by taking an extremely well-timed nap. (small, hushed whoo-hoo! for naps!)
I've decided that if I can't enjoy the family reunion, I'll at least enjoy the spirit of the reunion: the absolute thrill we Merkleys get out of the completely useless. I've watched old TV shows on the computer, stashed stuff for Christmas (find THAT, kiddos!), and torn out all the irritating and extraneous slips of advertising cardstock that my magazines are infested with. But mostly what I've done is watch Anders enjoy his day.
I've never had this chance before. Our first son was born with extreme developmental difficulties, and never reached this stage, and his care sort of took up all our extra attention. I loved my older children as babies, I just didn't get to stare at them all day with no distractions. So this is what it's like. Kind of fascinating, and kind of boring, with moments of sheer panic when an inquisitive baby takes a fancy to things like electrical outlets and cords.
So, after a good chunk of the day watching a baby's explorations, I can make one certain announcement:
(Explanatory note: our laundry room opens onto our kitchen, with only a doorway separating them. And we don't have a gate there, because the only gate is blocking the stairs--a much bigger baby booby trap, in my opinion, and because I go between the two rooms so frequently. I'm getting older and lazier about such things. The dryer lint in question has been removed from the dryer--obviously. Not even Anders, who will probably grow up to be a problem-solving genius, in a weird mad-scientist sort of way, if his older brothers are any indication, can get it out of its original location at only seven months of age! It--the lint, not the baby--is tossed after removal into a wastebasket which has been inexplicably placed above head level. Trust me, I've tried to explicate it, but alas, no success. Sometimes my tossing of lint into the designated receptacle is ineffective--no basketball scholarship for me!--and the lint falls to its doom among the brooms and mops, from which doom I rarely rescue it. I believe I've already explained the older/lazier component of my existence.)
Anders, in his wanderings about the house, has discovered that lying among all those amazing cleaning tools are golden nuggets of fuzzy goodness. Yum! He can find them, retrieve them , and pop them into his mouth faster than I can rush to his aid while simultaneously fighting a monster gag reflex. I have cleaned out his mouth three time already today--and those are the times I was aware of what he was doing! Who knows how many good-and-lintys line his stomach after the craziness that was this morning's packing and car-stuffing preparation. Please, don't think about it; it will only cause you pain, and maybe a small bout of empathetic vomiting.
So recap of my day:
Not at reunion
Rotten calendar-reading skills
Anders likes lint
Sometimes it's good to be the mom.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Yup, that's the desert version of the song. Not quite as Primary-appropriate, but much more accurate. (And I suspect even the senior Primary would be willing to sing this version.)
Oh, what do you do in the summertime,
when all the world is hot?
Do you play in the park,
when it's well after dark,
or crank the a/c to high?
Is that what you do?
So do I!
Oh, what do you do in the summertime,
when all the world is hot?
Do you gasp like a fish,
and sit still and wish,
that the sun would just go and die?
Is that what you do?
So do I!
Oh, what do you do in the summertime,
when all the world is hot?
You're still singing this song?
It's gone on too long,
and my brain is beginning to fry!
Are you crazy, too?
So am I!
Okay--so summer plans, that is the topic. I only have 12 weeks-- if you count the five days of YW camp, which I'm not, because it's not so much a part of summer vacation as the mother of all really efficient stressors. (I love it, but it enlarges my ulcer every year. I have a recurring nightmare that we arrive at camp, only to find I only packed the skit costumes and feminine hygiene supplies and left all the certification materials/decorations/snacks/necessary stuff at home, and then have to decorate the addie with things you don't talk about in mixed company while the other leaders shake their heads and just mutter something about "snack fob" or something to that rhymes with it. Trust me, it's more realistic-seeming than you think. That explains the extra ton of stuff I cram in at the last minute every year. It also explains why my basement is no longer adequate for the storage of camp-related items.) And in that almost 12 weeks I need to work in some goal-setting-and-achieving-type stuff, some educational stuff, some recreational stuff (without actually taking a real vacation, because it just doesn't fit into the schedule this year), and some of that organizational/cleaning stuff that we moms seem to feel is necessary to life. So, in no particular order, here are the things I want to do in the next somewhat less than 12 weeks:
- Label everything in the house with its Swedish name to give myself a real chance to learn the language I've been vowing, and failing, to learn for two years now.
- Sew my brains out (Commitment Hike costumes, pants for camp, cute dresses for my daughter, slipcovers for couches and chairs) even though it's 110 in the studio.
- Install a real air conditioner in the studio. Something that reaches farther than two feet and which actually cools the room, rather than just making it just seem clammy.
- Take the kiddos to an observatory. For Pete's sake, there are several in the state to choose from, and yet we've never been to one! Wasted opportunities!!!!!
- Read something totally frivolous. Also try to refrain from snarky criticisms. After all, I'm not brave enough to attempt to write a book myself, so I have no right to snark at those who are.
- Attempt to write a book. If I can choose a genre. And maybe a plot. If I don't fry my brain on choosing character names first. That always throws me.
- Really get the porch converted into the kids' art/craft space. And make it inhabitable by installing a fan. And some shade. And make it Country Living-worthy. Or at least blog-worthy.
- Remember to water and harvest the veggies in the garden. Not like the other years when I screamed out the back door, "Fend for yourselves," and then wept over the seared remains in October.
- Totally immerse myself in creating an innovative/inspiring/exciting curriculum for the next school year. That way I won't feel so guilty when I abandon it two weeks into September. At least I will have tried.
Call me ambitious. Call me crazy. Just don't call me when I'm sobbing with exhaustion.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Gotta love that nose action!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
There was dancing around a Maypole. (Frolic, Roberto, frolic.)
Sadly, not all family members knew all the songs.
Have I mentioned the sack races?
Would you like to see the sack races in video form? Of course you would!
Yeah, that's not embarrassing at all! Funny, but embarrassing.
Luckily, at the end of all the embarrassment there were hot dogs to ease the shame. Hot dogs make everything better. Yum.
Monday, May 18, 2009
(to the tune of Hinges, page 277 in the Children's Songbook)
I'm covered in snot from my head to my toes.And snot comes from noses as everyone knows!There's snot on my front,and there's snot on my back.I've got to wipe snot offbefore I barf--ACK!
We haven't always seen eye to eye, have we? The whole me not ending up 5-foot-10 wasn't quite like the deal we had, and I'm pretty sure there was some unfulfilled obligations on your part regarding the whole "Blondes have more fun" concept. I'd hire me a lawyer if I knew where to send the resulting court-related paperwork.
But this latest shenanigan of yours really takes the cake. Cake . . . yeah, that's the idea.
You see, dear Universe, dear sweet, well-organized-and-yet-cruelly-humorous Universe, I am starving. Unfortunately, perhaps, not literally.
Here's how it all started:
I woke up this morning, according to the rhythms of life which you ordained, and nearly scared myself out of my wits. I had inadvertently looked in the mirror, and saw not the lovely, svelte 25-year-old I am used to seeing, but something hideously distorted. When, O Universe, did I get this old and this fat?
Oh, sure, I may have craved the products of Messrs. Ben and Jerry--your evil minions of all that is yummy--through my first pregnancy, the resulting post-partum period, as well as my son's infancy, toddlerhood, and early childhood. I may have become the best homemade-bread baker in the world--or at least on my street. I may have indulged from time to time in a small snack or thirty of whatever chocolate was lying around the grocery store. (Not that I stole it--I've always been scrupulously honest about my commercial activities. I just bought in bulk. Thank you, Costco--I'm drafting my letter to you next!) I'm willing to admit my part in the current fiasco. But the majority of the blame lies with you, dear Universe.
Did you have to make chocolate and carbs so tasty and broccoli so green? Whose idea was it to make the dressing more enjoyable than the salad it drenches? Why can we send a robot to Mars, but not perfect the no-cal sundae? Seriously, what were you thinking?
And so I have been forced to take action. I have parted from the loves of my fat life: chocolate, bread, anything enjoyable, and have sentenced myself to veggies, chicken chests, and water. Humph! I'm hungry, and it's all your fault. I'm suffering for your sins.
I'm willing to negotiate. I'll stick this out for as long as I can, and in return, you'll remove the calories from cheesecake. We'll call it even. If you have a counter-offer, you know where to find me. And this time it won't be in the snack aisle.
Chubbily but determinedly yours,
Saturday, May 16, 2009
An overly long explanation of why the pictures at the end of the post look suspiciously like they were taken at a party
(Note: the picture above is not a spoiler. I just thought he looked cute. Look at those little legs flail! And it's my blog, so I can do what I want with it. Even post random, non-related photos. Deal with it. I don't whine when I read your blog, do I?)
Friday, May 15, 2009
- heat (it's 100 degrees out there today, and we still have six months to go. If we're lucky. We wore flip-flops to Thanksgiving dinner last year. Heck, we wear flip-flops year round. At least my sister who lives in the Midwest insists on doing so when she visits. Even if her toes are turning blue, they're a lot warmer than they'd be in Missouri.)
- cactus--some of which my neighbor insisted on planting too close to the sidewalk, and now her yard is a threat to our clothing and skin when we walk to church. Some days I wish we lived where people landscaped with lilacs and juniper. Make that most days, except in winter, because I don't do the whole freeze-your-tush-off thing anymore, as proven by my very existent tush.
- gated communities
As for the latter, it's not like people here are less friendly that they would be in other regions of this great country. It's just a bonus that developers like to include in order to convince buyers that they're moving into an exclusive enclave--one that will encourage a certain life-style, while discouraging riff-raff and pizza-delivery persons. I'm not sure what the life-style it's meant to encourage is, unless it's the life-style lived by those who don't mind attempting to punch in access numbers to open a gate at three in the morning after a long car trip to the nether ends of the civilized world with a screaming baby and whiny kids who just want to get into their own beds! Sounds like a treat! Sign me up!
As for me and my house, well, we're not quite so fancy. Said house is in an older section of town--one that is becoming more economically diverse, interpret as you will. Our street is straight and runs due east and west--no hoity-toity curves for us! It has no landscape flora-/olde English-/quasi Mediterranean-inspired name. Plain old numbered streets will do for the plain old likes of us! Houses on this street are completely individualized. There are two two-storied homes--both of which I've lived in (such nomads we are!), one cream-stuccoed house, several block/brick homes. There are no gates, except leading into the back yards. Trust me, no developer every took a gander at this site.
Every now and then I get posh neighborhood envy. "Look at them there," I think to myself, "with their cozy, curvy streets and their private community parks. Look at the landscaping on that block--such precisely-trimmed cypresses. And how quaintly named they are! I want to live in Meadowgreeene Towne Village and Estates." Rats.
I got back a little of my own this week. HA!
With Anders crawling around here like a slightly shaky but very determined millipede (seriously, I have no idea how he coordinates those hands and feet, except that there is a rather deliberate placement of each) we have had to take defensive action. Non-board books have been banished from the lower shelves. Floors are patrolled with extra vigilance for Legos, marbles, and stray hair chihuahuas.
But my finest moment was the move I made when I realized electrical wires had the same attraction for the tiny tiger that ice cream and brownie dough have for me:
Even if I don't live in a gated community, I live with a gated desk. I'm moving up in the world.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Feeling fine and back to chewing on innocent insectoids.
Anders isn't too bad. either.
Monday, May 11, 2009
- Why does the baby only feel better after barfing all over me?
- How do one hundred pounds of children translate into two tons of laundry?
- Can I pass off the dog-snot smear on the windows as a new "frosted" look, or will I have to clean it today?
- Why is mac and cheese with hot dogs hot stuff, when mac and cheese with ham is kid cuisine suicide?
- How is it that after five sweepings I STILL have dust bunnies playing tag on the family room floor?
- Where does my patience go when I lose it completely? And why doesn't my weight accompany it?
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Take me for instance. Please. Take me somewhere--especially if you have Hawaii in mind, or maybe a walking tour in Yorkshire. (I promise to bring lots of blister ointment!) Because there are things in my life I'm certain I did not sign up for.
For instance, I'm reasonably certain that when the buyer's form which detailed my life was brought to me in the pre-existence, I did not read a sub-paragraph about living in the desert for the rest of my mortal experience. I would have definitely stricken that bit out and initialed very neatly my having done so, just like my business law teacher taught us to do in high school. And I would have done so because I am not really adapted to desert living. I am, in fact, a vary pale person. So pale as to be ethnically impossible. If there is a race of glow-in-the-dark cave people, science hasn't found them yet--but if they do, I will become a footnote in the monograph written shortly after their discovery. I'll be cited as the link between the "glowies", as they will be called in the popular press, and the rest of humanity. So, no, desert living is not optional for me. (I get sunburns from sitting too close to North-facing windows in July, for Pete's sake!) I had planned to live in a slightly shadier clime--London or Colossal Caverns, for example. Some place where my shadow would be a semi-occasional visitor. But here I am, living in the very sweaty armpit of the American Southwest, and anticipating the inevitable skin cancer for the sake of my family, immediate and extended.
But the thing that really blows my mind--or at least makes me consider the whole "life is funny" thing--is the fact that I am the de facto roadshow writer for my ward. (This is almost as hilarious as the previous casting of me as branch/ward/ all-purpose pianist--all too funny for those in the congregation, not at all for me. ) I am not a writer through any effort or training of my own. (If, though, the ward had perennial need of a costume designer, well then, I'd consider myself to be first on the list of people to call. That was what I intended to do all along--or at least the along part after high school graduation and before marriage.) Me playing the role of writer gets me all kerfuffled.
Here's what I think happened: genetics--or at least the LDS concept of adaptive genetics. Allow me to boil it down for you who may be new to or hazy on the idea.
Let's say a woman, call her Sister Suzy, has a mother who is known for her amazing funeral potatoes. It then stands to reason that Suzy will always be assumed to make amazing funeral fare, even if the poor woman cannot create a stable dish of jello without extensive coaching. Cheesy funeral potatoes are in her genealogy; they are her eternal destiny. And if several generations of her family are known for the impossible cheesiness of their potato casserole, then plead though she may, no one will ask her to do anything else. Ever.
My apparent destiny comes courtesy of my grandma. The woman is incredible. Whoever said Mormon women are oppressed never met a Merkley, and certainly never conversed with my grandma. She tells whomever whatever needs to be said, gently and sweetly of course, but never with a hint of submissiveness. Don't try to tell her you have no time to do your family history work--you court disaster in the attempt. She tells a mean, if somewhat interestingly-timed joke. Her ability with a camera is (in)famous. But her forte--her pinnacle of power--is roadshows. She wrote them for longer than I can remember, and they won prizes almost every time. There were roadshows with Western themes: "Stringtown Tied in Knots." There were romances: "How Peanut Butter and Jelly Got Together." There were dancing mice and my father as Twinkletoes.
And when I grew up, I moved into the ward she had vacated.
When roadshow time rolled around, it was a case of, "Hey, she's vaguely Merkley-ish. She can do it." And I did. It was not a stellar achievement. (Consider the following elements, and YOU be the judge: a Greek chorus, a biker group called "The Wails", and a reluctant fellow named Jonah. Not my finest work.)
Ha! I am a failure, and no one will ask me to do it again, I thought. It was the only time I have revelled in failure. It was my deliverance from something that seared my guts and disturbed my ability to breathe.
Wrong. Three years later roadshow season came again. And I made the mistake of answering the phone. The requirement were simple: one fifteen-minute playlet, on the theme of Emergency Preparedness, and remember to make it a musical. And just for kicks, be sure to use the following props: a tree (???), a vacuum cleaner (?!?), and a mattress (!!!!!!!!!).
I wrote it while in line at a book sale, woke up every night screaming the tunes to corny 70s songs with poorly-altered lyrics, and performed a re-write in twenty minutes the week before the performance.
I barely survived.
And now roadshows are coming up again. They aren't due to be presented until October, but I have been informed that my talents (ha!) are requested. I know somewhere at the Stake Center the following conversation is happening:
"So, thought about the theme for this year's roadshows?"
"I was going along the lines of Etiquette Do's and Don'ts."
"That could be fun--nothing perks up a roadshow like songs about the proper addressing of thank-you cards."
"And we should require some wacky props. Otherwise it'll be too easy for the writers."
"Sure, why not? We could ask each ward to use a caged monkey, an inner tube from a semi, and an 1880s bank vault. Those're sure to be real crowd-pleasers."
My genetics are out to get me.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
2 p.m.--102 degrees--is it love I smell, or just excessive sweat?
10 p.m.--95 degrees and still going semi-strong!
1 a.m.--almost done!
Friday, May 8, 2009
- made most of my first son's baby and toddler clothes. From remnants. Which were bought with coupons.
- occasionally make my own laundry detergent.
- eliminated the dishwasher from our kitchen ON PURPOSE .
- endure the heat until it gets to 100 degrees.
- asked my husband to give me a used engagement ring. (He did. What a sweetheart!)
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
It's that time of year again. The time I dread. More than dental visits. More than OB/GYN appointments. More than the monthly call from my (very sweet and absolutely lovely) visiting supervisor--who has never ONCE chided me for my lack of visiting teaching zeal, but who is disappointed in me, nontheless.
It's time for the shedding of the chihuahuas.
Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. (Ten points for the correct movie identification!) We have a dog. She is a large, hairy specimen of her species. I'd say breed, but what that may be is any body's guess. (I'm betting on a German shepherd-rottweiler-yeti mix, but I'm no expert.) She is the subject of punch-lines--literally: she actually followed my aunt home one day. We were given the fabulous opportunity to adopt her, and we thought, naively, "Hey, free dog. Cool!" Idiots.
Tibby is, in fact, a very good dog--as far as untrained, affection-starved pooches go. She doesn't attempt to sleep on our bed. (She's deathly afraid of stairs.) She doesn't climb up on the couch. She is a very effective door-to-door salesman deterrent. She eats what we give her without complaint. (That's a better attitude than three of the four children in the house have.)
Alas, no pooch is perfect. Some dogs smell odd; some look odd; some are odd. Tibby is of the last variety. She is a keen hunter of home-baked goods, having eaten whole pans of cookies and brownies--and once a frosted cake--left on counters to cool. (Not that the cake was cooling, of course. It was left out accidentally. No matter--the effect was the same. As were the eventual results and the clean-up.) She has a thing for feet, burrowing under them in desperate and annoying attempts to get belly rubs. She is driven insane by the sound of the doorbell, by knocking on doors, by knocking on wood, by knuckles accidentally tapping on tables, and even by knuckles merely passing millimeters above hard-ish surfaces.
But the worst trait, as stated previously, is the shedding of the chihuahuas.
Tibby is a thick-coated dog--obviously one of those hardy Northern breeds whose fur enables them to survive in extreme cold. Slight problem: we live in the desert. Fur here is a problem. So, when the temperatures start warming into the 90s, Tibby starts to shed. Chihuahuas. Disgusting, grody, fuzzy-matted hairy chihuahuas. (Happily--if such a tern can be used appropriately here, this answers the question of where chiuahuas come from. They are, in fact, a Tibby by-product. like drool, or deposits on the lawn. Just in case you thought they were some sort of dog or something.)
The chihuahuas, knowing I don't smile kindly upon them, scuttle away as soon as they are cast into the world, taking refuge under the refrigerator, under the couch, and under beds. They come out at night to hunt dust bunnies and to exchange tales of survival and non-grooming tips. When dawn arrives, they scurry back to safety. Occasionally one fails to make it back to its lair, and I pounce on it, screaming my war-cry: "AIIIEEEEEEEEEE!!!! WHERE THE HECK DID THIS THING COME FROM???" sweeping it into oblivion. "DIE, YOU FILTHY THING! DIE!" Another day, another hunt, has begun.
I'm on the prowl. Take cover while you can.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Let me tell you how it feels: un-tell-able. There's the disbelief that this child is really old enough --how on earth is he 8?! Then there's the absolute joy that he's prepared himself for this step. And just when you're about to burst from overly-mixed emotions, the actual baptism takes place, and it's overwhelmingly perfect. That's the only way to explain it: perfect. The Spirit testifies, the heart answers, and strange watery stuff starts leaking from eyes.
Moms. We're moist about things like that.
The baptizer and the baptizee. (The rose? An old Merkley tradition. But not as old as I am, since I didn't get one on my baptism day. I am the un-rosed one of legend.)
If it has to do with LDSs, it involves food, right?
Jobe wanted a blue cake, "because water looks blue. right?"
(It was originally a Barbie cake--but we eliminated the incriminating evidence. Lindy loves the incriminating evidence. It's a win-win sort of thing.)
"Aw, man. Two more years until I can have a baptism/Barbie cake."
"TOO. MANY. ICE. CREAM. OPTIONS."
Friday, May 1, 2009
Clyde the Fridge, ?-2009
Devoted chiller and family message center, Clyde the Fridge passed today. He is survived by the Kydd family, who barely survived eating anything that came
from his innards.
Clyde was a good fridge, a humble fridge. Of unknown origins and of uncertain vintage, nevertheless he strove to do his duty, remaining cooler than room temperature almost eighty percent of the time.
He came into our lives on a hot August afternoon in 2000, when we purchased him at a used appliance store as part of a package deal. ($600 for Clyde and his siblings, Mabel Washingmachine and Randall Dryer.) He was enthusiastic, eager, and kept our milk nice and cold. He was a bargain hunter's friend.
He slowed down a bit in his later years. In 2004 his lower shelf cracked in two, and he had a replacement shelf inserted using the revolutionary plywood technique developed by Dr. Rob. In 2007 his motor was replaced after a summer of buzzing so loudly he interrupted conversations. In 2008 his door shelf bar was lost, and his grasp on bottles of ketchup and jelly became tenuous. During his last month he required weekly defrosting and was only kept alive by frequent administrations of the blow dryer and ice scoop.
We know he has gone to greener pastures--or at least a dump that someday may be covered over and become a pasture. His space may be filled, but his odor lives on.
And so, in with the new! Meet Mandy, a dandy newer (we're still cheap!) model, sporting a fashionable and eco-friendly bottom freezer, as well as clear-view drawers--no more games of "what's in drawer number three?" ! (It was usually something green, moldy, and unidentifiable.) Mandy comes to us via Craigslist and is already purring away in her corner. We do not expect food poisoning to be a factor in our future food-related events. An open house will be held in her (and Jobe's) honor tomorrow after Jobe's baptism. Cake will be served.
It's Friday, the first day of May, and I am sooooo done with teaching for the year.
Gosh, doesn't the garden look verdant. That's the magic of photography, folks! And , yes, that is my daughter in the viking hat.
"Just a little more red . . ."
The finished portraits. Suitable for hanging in the finest salons. Or at least filling frames in the entry. Mine is the one that looks like it was done by a precocious kindergartner. The boys were VERY impressed. I love an overly-appreciative audience, don't you?
So that's the plan: education through creative expression. (It sounds very official when put that way, no?) I'll keep you posted.