Nov 30, 2008

NABLOPOMO is ALMOST OVER! & Here's your chance to PICK A WINNER!!!

This is my last lame entry!  SOOOO to celebrate, I will be giving away the LAST THREE "AMERICA AT HOME" BOOKS!!!!

If you haven't entered, you have one last chance.  If you don't want to enter, maybe you want to help PICK A WINNER!  (Get your finger out of your nose.  Gross.)

Go to Gratuitous Reviews now and vote for your favorite of 12 Custom Covers!!!

P.S.  Doug says he's finished his (probably highly inaccurate) version of our Dating History but wants me to review and edit it--(as if I WOULDN'T)--so it'll probably be here tomorrow.  

I'd work on it tonight, but after the events of last night, my bum is too sore.  

So I'm goin' to bed.

Nov 29, 2008

Don't worry...

the gratuitous blogging will end in two days and be replaced with intermittent blogging that is actually inspired by more than just stubborn adherence to a pointless goal.  In the mean time, here's a run-down of some my extremely disturbing hygiene habits and medical traumas...

*WARNING!  This post includes graphic descriptions of an absolutely disgusting lack of personal hygiene.  Seriously.  If you're a man, don't read this.  If you're a woman, have a garbage can handy.*

Last night when after the kids were tucked in, Doug insisted I get out of bed and come watch a movie with him.  I'm not entirely sure why he wanted my company.  After arriving home from our Thanksgiving Feast around 7 p.m., I fell immediately into bed fully clothed.  With every subsequent trip to the bathroom, (there were MANY) I watched in total apathy as my appearance deteriorated from bad to worse; my previously styled hair getting ever bigger and rattier and my applied-specially-for-the-holiday mascara creeping farther down under my eyes.  I'm pretty congested thanks to allergies, but I'd wager my womanly pheromones were also ripening like a good cheese.

None-the-less, Doug demanded my presence and I was too weak to argue so down I went.  After the movie, (21 with Kevin Spacey.  Pretty entertaining but one or two fast-forwardable s-e-x scenes) I checked my e-mail, stared blankly into space for a bit, and then dragged my stinky, sorry, self back to bed at around midnight.  

And there I stayed.   

Until noon today.  

When I got up for the first time in 12 hours to go to the bathroom, let's just say my visage hadn't improved any from the night before.  The mascara that had started on my eye-lashes had reached my chin.  The grease in my hair had weighed it down a bit, so it wasn't astronomically high, but it's rattiness had only increased.  

And then there was my mouth.  I vaguely remember Doug bringing me cereal at some point this morning along with the Advil I requested (to dull the throb of my left eardrum.)  Well, I'm pretty sure there was an entire bite of Honey Bunches of Oats glued to the roof of my mouth indicating that I fell asleep mid-bite and couldn't be bothered to swallow.

Fortunately, my stomach had stopped acting like an active volcano and was no longer somersaulting tumultuously.  This allowed me to stumble, on weak legs, into the shower/power washer*.  Allowing me to leave the land of the dead and rejoin the land of the living.  

The day has been improving steadily since then.


Good thing I didn't push publish because my day just took a rapid turn for the worse...

It's now 10 p.m.

After tucking the boys in tonight, I decided I'd procrastinated long enough.  My sore throat and ear infection haven't cleared up on their own and I didn't want another night of crappy sleep.  So I went across the street to urgent care.

Where I was clucked over and and finally given...


Yes, that's right.
I have an abscess in my left tonsil, an ear infection in my left ear, and strict orders to come back on Monday morning to see an ENT.  Oh, and I need to get my tonsils out a.s.a.p.

Why aren't any of  you Med School friends doing ENT???  WHY????  I NEED YOU!

 Gotta go now.  Doug made Hot Chocolate to console me.  

Maybe this day isn't going to end badly after all...

See you tomorrow!

*We have so much water pressure that after my first shower here I felt like a battered woman.  Emily tested-Kramer approved.

Nov 28, 2008

Bah Humbug

Still sick. (see yesterday's post or Doug's most recent post.)

Will NaBloPoMo ever end???

Nov 27, 2008

Gobble gobble goo and Gobble gobble gickel...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

On thanksgiving in my family and in Doug's family before dinner begins, we go around the table and all say one thing for which we are thankful. We didn't get to do that this year so I'm going to go ahead and take the liberty here.
I am Thankful for:
My Family.

Now, since this is my blog, and because I can, I'm going to add a few more...(ADDED FRIDAY!) In no particular order...
*I'm really thankful for my printer/scanner. I was pondering it the other day and just had to stop for a minute and praise it's goodness. I mean, how cool is it that I can find a Thanksgiving nameplate template on Martha and immediately print it out in color? It's WAY cool! Even if I never made the nameplates...
*I'm also thankful for my relative good health. I've spent the last 24 hours either in bed, or on or near the toilet. Just so you know, I'm dying of dysentery with a throbbing ear infection thrown in for fun. And I've been whining like a nap-deprived two-year-old all day as a result. But in the back of my head I keep thinking..."at least it's not always this bad. At least I'm not ALWAYS sick..." And I am truly grateful for that.
*I'm thankful for having a good book to read today. I love reading. I love love love reading a really good book. Being allowed to stay in bed all day reading ALMOST makes up for the fact that I'm dying a slow, painful death.
*And finally, I'm thankful for T.V.! Because now that I've finished "Goose Girl" (started this morning) I'm going to find an old episode of Scrubs on "watchtvsitcoms(dot)com" to cheer me up and keep me busy while awaiting the return of my family from HSM3. And really, what more could a girl ask for?!?

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. What are YOU thankful for???

*BTW Doug has agreed to do the next installment of How I Met My Husband. It should be ready in the next two days, he's a bit slower than me. Which is sad 'cause I'm pretty slow.

Nov 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Tips

*Make sure you put a cookie sheet under your Turkey otherwise you might wake up to your house filling with smoke.  (Go by the temperature, not the recommended cooking time.)

*Lifting a 28 pound turkey is harder than you might think.  Your hands wont work.  Neither will a large spatula.  Try two large dinner plates, one under each end.

*Electric knives are excellent for turkey carving.  

*Stick your turkey drippings in the freezer and the fat will be easy to scrape off the top.  (FYI, you can use potato flakes in your gravy to thicken it up.)

*If you're making Peanut Butter Pie, don't cook the custard too fast, (it'll burn) Don't cool the milk in the sink (it'll get a dirty spoon thrown in it and water poured on it) and don't forget the sugar.  (It just doesn't seem right somehow without the sugar.)  (I'm working on my third batch.  Wish me luck on this one.)

Gotta go to bed now.  I have another Turkey to cook in the morning.  And mashed potatoes.  And a couple of Peanut Butter Pies.  


Nov 25, 2008

In Preparation for Turkey Day(s)

I almost didn't blog today.
I'm really tired.
Doug had to bring me the lap-top in bed.

See, I've been wrangling a 28 pound turkey all evening. And it's no easy task for my twiggy little arms.
Last Friday I told Maxwell's cute teacher that I would bring a turkey to the harvest festival at school tomorrow...and then I sent Doug to the store to buy a second turkey.
And he did.
A 28 pound No-Name brand.
(We all know from America's Test Kitchen that no-name brands are a no-no, right? The tasters prefer Butterball, frozen. Which is what I bought for OUR Thanksgiving meal.)

Anyway, No-name has been in the fridge all this time, but when I took him out for a little cursory feel-up this afternoon, he was still pretty frozen. So I put him in a cold-water bath hoping by tonight he'd be ready. (for quick thaw, place in cold water bath for 30 minutes/per pound. Yep, that would be 14 hours if I were starting with a completely frozen bird.)

Unfortunately, tonight when I reached in to remove the neck and giblets, he was pretty icy inside. I'm just hoping in his new hollow state, he'll take the opportunity to finish thawing-- before 3 a.m.

That's when I have to wake up.

To put the turkey in.

28 pound turkeys take a long time to cook.

This is going to make my 16 pound Butterball seem like a CINCH on Thursday.

The thing is,
despite it all,
I'm still feeling thankful for turkey.
I'm happy my 28 pound ugly-step-brother No-Name and sweet, adorable 16.5 pound Butterball have fulfilled the purpose of their creation by offering themselves up for my dining enjoyment.

And I'm thankful for a husband that will do my shopping for me. Even if he does buy gargantuan turkeys.

But now I must sleep. And dream dreams of giant frozen turkeys and cooking calamities (as I know I will.)

Here's wishing YOU better dreams!

Good night!

(And see you tomorrow!)

Nov 24, 2008

This and That

Okay, so maybe I was a little abrupt.  I was T-I-R-E-D last night.
I'll do more.  And I'll try to convince Doug to guest post.  But not today.  LATER!

In the mean time, I'd just like to say, THE GIVE-AWAY ISN'T OVER!!!  For all who didn't enter and for you whiners who didn't win, you still have THREE MORE CHANCES!  So if you're a non-enterer, get on it!  It's takes all of two minutes!  And if you've already entered, be patient!  You'll have another chance!

Now GET BUSY!  I want to see more awesome covers!!!!!

Nov 23, 2008

How I Courted Your Father -- Part IIII

(No idea what I'm talking about?  Get caught up here!)

Two days after our first date
, Douglas joined me at my cousin Wendy's apartment for a dessert party.  Wendy(Rama) and I got together with our Carlsbad friends semi-regularly and the functions usually revolved around food of some sort.  Usually dessert.  

Doug and I arrived at Wendy's apartment at The Riv where we were joined by Kristen and Shawn (married), Wendy, (maybe her latest boy-toy?) probably some of her roommates, and Mindy and Matt who were dating.  

It just so happened Wendy's parents were in town.  My fabulous Uncle Clyde and marvelous Aunt Jeanette.   (Remember Uncle Clyde has already been mentioned as an important character in this saga!)  They stopped by that night and Doug and Uncle Clyde immediately hit it off.  My Uncle Clyde is a dentist.  He actually served in the military in the Vietnam War as a dentist.  I watched them talking animatedly and felt happy that Doug was with me.

(When they went home to Carlsbad, they gave my mom, who was living there at the time, a very favorable review of the boy I brought to Wendy's party.  Doug had earned their seal of approval.  They weren't the only one's he impressed.  All my friends told me later that they really liked him.)

The thing about that night was, I had an additional engagement scheduled for after the party that I hadn't discussed with Doug.  When the party was wrapping up, I told Doug that Matt had asked me for some help and asked if he'd like to come with me.  

Matt was a film major and that night he'd gotten permission to use a local photography studio for a few hours to work on a film project for school.  He was making a Mac Computer commercial and had asked Bryant and I to be in it.   Yes, the same Bryant from the Rock Garden.  (I met Bryant through Matt and Mindy.  They were all in the same ward.)  (Yes.  I did find Bryant on Facebook.)

The instructions Matt had given me for that night went something like this:  "bring a really sexy outfit."  Hmm.  Okay.

The premise of Matt's commercial was this:  A man (Bryant) has a choice between two doors.  He walks up to door #1 and looks in the peep hole.  He sees a ravishing and fantastically beautiful woman... (that would be me, people).  He then goes to door #2 and looks in the peep hole...he sees a Mac computer.  

He picks door #2  
(just kidding.)
(It was actually a really funny commercial.)

When we got to the studio, Matt and Mindy were setting everything up to do Bryant's part first.  Matt led us into a dressing room and offered me his theater make-up telling me to get prettied up.

Then he left us alone sitting in front of the dressing room mirror.  For the next hour or so, we talked.  We talked about life and school and family and friends and all sorts of things.  The conversation flowed smoothly while we stared into each other's eyes by way of the mirror.   (Did I ever mention that Doug has the BEST blue/green eyes?  They're very pretty!)

I was sorry when we were interrupted...

"I thought you said you knew how to put on liquid eye-liner!!!"  Matt rebuked when he entered the room.  

He then proceeded to put it on for me and thus began my film career.

Now, you know how when Oprah started out, her show was pretty trashy?  Well, my job that night was to sit on a stool in a short skirt and look seductive.   (Hey!  You take what you can get in Hollywood!)

I was woefully unprepared for the part.

As you may have noticed from reading my blog, I don't take myself very seriously. 

And I had no other acting skills to speak of.  I never took dance as a kid, (which involves using your body to relay a message to the audience...usually while wearing spandex of some sort)  or drama or acting...I took 10 years of violin lessons.   And I was never, EVER required to look seductive at a recital.  

This was entirely new territory for me.  I was so embarrassed I couldn't do anything but blush and giggle.  I made Mindy and Doug leave the room but it didn't help.  (Little did I know they were right around the corner and were still watching and listening.)  

Matt tried to coach me and coax me into hamming it up.  "Come on!  Pretend you're a Playboy  model!!!" he joked.  It didn't work.   I couldn't relax and I couldn't make myself stare deeply into the camera and wink.  I just couldn't do it.

Matt DID finish the commercial, but my acting career began and ended that night.

On the way home, Doug let loose on Matt.  "I can't believe that guy!  That was totally inappropriate!  I was THIS CLOSE to telling him off!"  

I was shocked and amused!  We'd just met and yet he wanted to defend my honor!!  I had to laugh and assured him Matt really was a good guy and my virtue was still intact.  (He eventually forgave Matt.  They're friends now.)

That night I came to an important conclusion.  But before I tell you what it was, we need to jump even further back in time.

Flash back to June, 1994

I was 16.  I was the last kid left at home living in Salt Lake City with my parents who were NOT happily married and hadn't been for as long as I could remember.   (Six months later I would move with my mom to Carlsbad.)  

In my Mia Maid class at church, we had a lesson on marriage.  We talked about what kind of person we wanted to marry.  We were then asked to list everything we wanted in our future spouse, in a letter to ourselves.  We were given stationary and told to seal the letter and keep it for the future.  We could open it later when we found the man of our dreams to see how he measured up.  

Remember how I said I keep everything?  Sometimes being a pack rat pays off.  This is the letter I wrote in June of 1994:  (It currently resides in my Wedding Album.)
And now back to April, 2000.

Shortly after meeting Doug, I started keeping a mental tally in my head of his pluses and minuses.  

Pluses;  Goes to BYU, has a definite career goal, (good aspects...I mean prospects!!) spiritual, handsome, funny, down-to-earth, rock climbs, similar family values, gentleman, worthy priesthood holder, loves his family....CHECK CHECK CHECK!   

Minuses; played tennis in High School* and listens to Country Music. (bleh!) 

I decided those last two were of no eternal import and decided to forgive him.   Oh, and he was tall, BLONDE, and handsome instead of tall, DARK, and handsome as clearly specified on the reverse side of my letter.  But I let that slide too.

That night I made a decision.  It was our second date and I distinctly remember thinking;

  "I could marry this guy!"

And four months later, I did!

The End
(Was that too abrupt?  Should I go on?  You tell me.  I'm just really tired tonight.  But  I'm just here to make you happy, so tell me what you desire!!!)

*Sorry tennis players.  It's just that at the time I associated tennis players with short white shorts and sweaters draped over shoulders.  I've since forsaken that evil view and now look very favorably upon all the tennis players of the world.

Nov 22, 2008

Did I Say Today?

Because I meant tomorrow...
Tomorrow I'll do the next installment of our love story.

And for you inquiring minds, I picked six action figures from my wreath.
SIX!  (little hellions.)

Nov 21, 2008

Important Announcements

ANNOUNCING the first winner over at Gratuitous Reviews!!!
There will be one every Friday...for three more Fridays. SO ENTER NOW!!!

NEXT, tomorrow night I'm going to write the next installment of my love story. Now, I don't think I'm going to take you through our whole courtship. (Although I could...we didn't date all that long...) But the next date is pretty important so I've got to talk about that.

The final announcement is this: Max threw-up this morning. Sam threw-up this morning, and then later in the morning, and then in the afternoon. And I'd just like to state, for the record, that mothering is not as glamorous as I've formerly led you to believe. Sorry. Just wanted to get that off my chest.

That is all.

Good night!

Nov 20, 2008

Let's Play Hidden Picture...

Can YOU discover how many Star Wars action figures Samuel stuck in my wreath???  
(Hint:  It's more than 4.)

Speaking of pictures, have you entered the contest over here yet?

Nov 19, 2008

Winter Has Come to (Northern) Japan

Before I was even out of bed, Max spotted the first snow fall of the season...When he came home, it looked like this:Between the snowfall, and Daddy coming home, my boys have had a FANTASTIC day!  (I'm just happy that Doug's home.)

P.S.  Have you been HERE yet?!?!?!?!?  GO NOW!!!

P.P.S.  Doug flew home from Tokyo today and said it was 60 degrees there when he left.

Nov 18, 2008

Giveaway Tomorrow!

I'm tired!  Doug's been gone for a week, and I'm just plain tired.  I've probably never mentioned this before, but my boys are a handful.  Two handful's, actually.  And I'm just pooped.
Which is why all I can muster for today's blog post is this announcement:

Tomorrow, on Gratuitous Reviews, I'll be hosting an awesome give-away.   I can't even spare the energy to turn on caps lock, so you'll just have to believe me:  It's awesome.

See you there tomorrow!!!

Nov 17, 2008

How I Met (and dated) Your Father -- Part III

(Read Part I here, and Part II here)

"Hey, I'm going climbing with some friends this weekend, do you want to come?"

This is probably the first and last lie Doug ever told me. He made it up on the spot. And I knew he made it up on the spot. And I was thrilled!

Me: "Um, YEAH! Let me get write down my number for you!" (as I leap towards the front desk to grab paper and pen.)

I went home happy!

Doug went home and called his friends to make arrangements to climb that weekend.

This was a Tuesday. On Wednesday, I got my first phone call from Doug. We made plans to climb on Friday. He would bring a friend and I would bring a friend.

Friday came. Doug arrived with his BFF Mike (a very nice guy who was planning on going to Law School) and picked up my BFF Anna and I in the car he shared with his brother Dave. (an old Taurus named "The Maroon Marauder")

Anna was actually dating her future husband Travis at the time but she came as a favor to me...and 'cause she loves climbing. (And Travis loves climbing. So I'm sure he totally understood. Right, Travis???)

***Unimportant Aside: As we were pulling away from The Old Mill, I saw something in the road and made Doug stop so I could grab it. It was a key chain of a cartoon character holding flowers behind his back. When you push his button, he blushes. The cartoon character's name is Doug.

I found it ironic. I kept it. (I keep everything) He currently resides in my underwear drawer--He's happy there.***

Now, if you'll recall, because of my recent painful break up, I had determined that I wasn't going to care deeply about boys anymore. I wasn't going to try too hard, put on an act, or take myself--or dating--too seriously. I was just going to have fun. And I did.

We went up to Rock Canyon and while I waited my turn to climb, I made jokes and played in the dirt.

Here is my creation photographed by an amused Doug:
Here is my butt in a harness:
And here I am climbing:

Do I look hard core?

Because I am.

I'm super hard core.

Please note my casual attire. Baggy shirt and pants. Hair up in a twist. I was probably thinking derogatory thoughts about girls who get manicures while I climbed. ('Cept not you PB. You're still hard core even if you do have nice nails.)

The day was great. The climbing was great. Everyone was laughing and joking and having a good time. Everyone was relaxed and seemed happy. Mike knew Anna had a boyfriend, so there was no pressure there. They both seemed to have fun anyway. On the way back to the car, we started talking about food. I mentioned that I was going to a dessert party at Wendy's that weekend. I jokingly invited Doug and Mike to come. Doug said okay!

As we continued to walk, Doug asked me if I had plans for that night! Now, it was a Friday night. If I were following "The Rules", I wouldn't have accepted a date on such short notice. But I'd decided not to play games. I didn't have plans, and I was happy at the prospect that our date would continue.

He took me home and arranged to come back a few hours later.
When he picked me up, our first stop was a little hole in the wall (basement) sandwich shop in Provo called Gandolfo's. If you've been there, you know it's awesome. It's a local favorite and is always packed.

While we waited in line, I blew the wrapper off of my straw and hit Doug in the face with it. When we got our food, Doug asked the cashier "Do you take American?" while holding out his money. (I laughed. She stared in confusion.)
Yes, this is the foundation upon which we built our eternal relationship: Dirt Land, straw wrappers, and general silliness.

Next stop was the local bowling alley where we reconnected with Mike and some of his female friends.
(I probably bowled between 60-70. I stink at bowling. I usually get one or two strikes and 5 or 6 gutter balls. That's just how I roll. (pun intended.))

Last stop was a typical last stop for Provo dates: Village Inn for dessert. Of course, even though it was late, it was packed. While we waited for a table, I made myself comfortable by sitting on Doug's lap. I say the rest of the seats were taken. He says I'm a brazen hussy.
Tomayto, Tomahto!

During dessert I continued to sweep Doug off his feet by dumping a packet of sugar onto my tongue and blowing it at him starting a sugar-spitting-fight.

It's hard to be as mature as I am.

It's a real burden.

That night, Doug dropped me off precisely at midnight.

(Did you know BYU students have to sign an Honor Code in order to attend school there? They do. And it includes a 12 o'clock curfew. Doug was one of the only guys I ever dated who actually kept curfew. I couldn't help but be impressed.***)

He gave me a hug at the door. I don't want to brag, but it was a pretty darn good hug.

You might think after my earlier performance I wouldn't get asked on a second date. You obviously underestimate my hugging ability...

To Be Continued...
(yet again.)

***Alright, alright Zoobies! I stand corrected! The curfew meant that the opposite s-e-x had to be kicked out by midnight (or 1:30 on Friday). Which means I had probably invited him in and he declined and THAT'S why I was impressed. Anyway, you get my drift...!

This--for you non-BYU-alumni out there--should give you further insight as to why the Provo Denny's and Village Inn were always packed in the middle of the night. CURFEW!

Nov 15, 2008

Sunday Deep Thoughts

How I Met Your Father Part III coming on Monday morning.
(Sorry to string you along, but it's just so fun.)

For today, I only have one thought:

Doug wasn't here for church today.  I got myself and the boys ready and we were only five minutes late.  This beats our latest late trend by about 10 minutes.

This leads me to only one conclusion:  It's Doug's fault.

Doug's excessive primping is the reason we're late every week.  I blame him.  And only him.  As a matter of fact, I would have been right on time if Doug hadn't previously hidden the lesson manual.  (Let's just say I didn't do a whole lot of prep for the lesson this week.  Sorry girls.)

So yeah.  It's you sweetie.  It's all you.  I guess YOU'LL have to get your pretty little self out of bed earlier...not me.

I love you anyway!

Nov 14, 2008

How I Met Your Father -- Part II

Read Part I here!

I was about to give up and drive the 4 of us back to Old Mill when Anna walked in to The Rock Garden and saved the day.  She quickly got behind the counter, told the other employees we were "okay", and grabbed us all climbing shoes and gear.  

Now, Doug teases me all the time that I was on a date with another boy when we met.  I maintain that it was strictly a "hang-out" and that Bryant was just there for the free climbing.  This is evidenced by the fact that he disappeared from my side as soon as we had our climbing shoes on.  (I don't deny I had a crush on Bryant, but I am pretty positive the feeling was not mutual.)  (Now that I mention it, I think I'm going to try to find Bryant using Facebook. Maybe then he can settle this once and for all!) 

The point is, Bryant disappeared into the depths of the gym as did the girls from church, and Anna and I did our own thing.   

For me, that meant attempting a "bouldering problem".  For Anna, it meant staring at a long-haired, tattoo-covered, bare chested Tarzan on the wall opposite me.  After awhile, I got tired and sat down to watch also, with a small crowd, as Tarzan attempted the last few moves of a particularly difficult climb.  At some point, someone sat down next to me and somehow we started talking.

It was just the casual chatter of two people taking a break before going back to what they were doing a moment ago.  But we chatted long enough for me to draw two conclusions.  1) This guy was hitting on me, and 2) I didn't mind this guy hitting on me.  I do remember feeling vaguely worried that Bryant might walk up and scare the new guy off, but he didn't.  Like I said, he was busy doing his own thing. 

After a few minutes, we went our separate ways and I wandered over to Anna.  She was still watching Tarzan and made some comment about his climbing magnificence.  I pointed across the room--toward a total stranger as far as she knew--and said "I want to go on a date with that guy!"

Part III tomorrow!

Just kidding, I'll keep going.

So anyway, Anna hadn't seen me talking to this person so she was a little baffled that I was pointing to someone random in the crowd. 

Awhile later it was time to go.  I'd kept my eye on "the guy" and noticed he was also leaving.  After my bold declaration to Anna, I determined I really did want to go on a date with him.  He was good looking, seemed nice, and was a rock climber.  But I could make the first move.  Dad said girls don't call boys.  And I didn't.  Nor did I approach them and ask for phone numbers.  

It was all in his hands.  But I was running out of time and was giving up hope.  He didn't know my name and definitely didn't have my number.    He had his shoes on and all that was left was for him to drop off the climbing shoes and leave. 

He set them on the counter.

He turned towards the door.

Then miracle of miracles...he turned around and caught my eye.  

He walked over to me on the bench where I was changing shoes.

(Bryant was nearby but not conspicuously close.)  

We started chatting again and I quickly learned the following facts:
1) His name was (and amazingly still is) Doug
2) He was going to BYU  (Score!  This meant he was likely a good student.  You need good grades to get into "The Y".)
3) He was majoring in Zoology and planning to go to Dental School  (EXCELLENT!  He actually had a real major and a PLAN!)
4)  He'd done a Semester Abroad in Jerusalem  (Bonus!  He obviously valued culture and travel.)
5)  He'd been on a 2-year mission to Germany  (Righteous!  'Cause, you know...he's righteous.)
6)  He was four months older than me  (Seemed important to him, but whatever.)

I have no idea what I said to him or what info he gleaned from me other than my name and probably school, but I guess it was enough.  Just before walking away he said, almost as an after thought;
"Hey, I'm going climbing with some friends this weekend, do you want to come?"

Okay, I really will do Part III tomorrow.  Don't want to use all of my best material when I still have 15 more posts to write this month...

Hasta Manana!

Fat Chance

Does he really think I'm going to unlatch the door and let him in the house with those hands?

P.S.  Part II coming tomorrow.

Nov 13, 2008

How I Started My Day...

An errand took me off base early this morning and I thought I'd finish up a little Christmas Shopping while I was out.

First, I drove to the house of a friend for directions.  (I took the same hand-drawn map she gave me last week to the door and she pointed the way.)

I knew I was a little too early for anything to be open, (Misawa wakes up at 10) but I headed over toward my destination anyway.  I pulled into the parking lot of the local "mall" at 9:45.  

There was only one other car there.  

I hopped out (and's very high) of the car, got the stroller out, and started readying the children.

With 10 minutes to go, five or so more cars had now entered the lot.

I noticed an employee come and unlock the outer automatic door so I let Sammy push the stroller towards the entrance.  We joined a few other early birds inside the entryway, but still couldn't get past the second set of sliding doors into the stores so we just waited.

A few more minutes passed and I noticed a few things.  First, the parking lot continued to fill up almost to capacity before the store had even opened.  Second, all of those people tried to cram themselves into the same small space I had cluelessly meandered in to.  Third, I was a FULL head taller than every other person--man or woman.

As we stood there, I had a front row view of what was happening inside.  Just beyond the glass a group of young women were standing in a circle.  All were wearing black slacks, white shirts, and pink aprons.  There were two men standing near by and one was giving what I assume was a pep talk.  All at once there was a chant (probably "hi" which means "yes" which is used constantly here) and everyone bowed at once.  And then again.  Then again.  Then again.  And...I wasn't counting but...probably again and again.    

After the last bow, the circle broke up and everyone scurried in a different direction.

Five minutes later, they let us is.  

And I almost got flattened.

The sweet little old ladies who only moments before were ooohing and ahhhhing over my children, were now single-minded in their determination to get past me even if it meant trampling afore mentioned children.  It was insanity!  It was like Super-Walmart at 5 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving.  Those ladies (and men) were serious!

Once the stampede vanished into the distance, my first order of business was to get to the nearest bathroom, and quick.  Sammy had made it abundantly clear with word and deed that he REALLY needed to go potty.  

I walked up to the nice looking young greeter and asked "Do you have a bathroom?  Bathroom?  ...bathroom?"  hoping that it was a word she was familiar with.  It wasn't.  I was tempted to imitate some of Sammy's hand gestures, but refrained.

She had no clue what I was saying and called over an official looking male.  I repeated my question.  More baffled looks but no results.  Then I remembered my cheat-sheet...the little card they gave us our first week here with a few key words and phrases printed on it.  I pulled it out and pointed to the kanji sign for "bathroom".  Both employees brightened and said "AHH!  Toilet!!!" at the same time.  Directions were given and we got there quick.  


Note to self:  Next time ask where the "toilet" is.  

After that, it was pretty smooth sailing.  I got my shopping done, (oh, I WISH I could show you what I got...but I don't want to ruin the surprise for the recipients) and headed to play group at The Weasel's Den (an airplane hangar converted into a giant recreational space which includes a huge indoor playground).

All in all, it's been a pretty good day.'s YOUR day been?

Nov 11, 2008

Love the 100 Yen Store

I'm uninspired today so I'm going back to my list of suggestions from a few days ago.

I'm going to skip the suggestion "Why I have the Best Husband" for now and use Marta's suggestion:  Favorite 100 Yen Treasures.
(Oh, and Thank you Marta for the compliment.  I also love my little yellow tea pot.  If only I drank tea it would be PERFECT!)

So let me tell you a little about the 100 Yen Store.  They're sorta like Dollar Stores.  Only much MUCH better.  The one we like is called "The".  Well, it's "The" and then something in Kanji.  So we call it "The."  Anyway, it's really cool.  

Now, not EVERYTHING in them is 100 Yen.  But most things are and we've gotten some real treasures.  Here's a list of everything I can think of off the top of my head;


(If you can blow up this picture, read the second to last bullet.)
battery operated bullet train toys
A fly swatter
Plastic containers perfect for organizing cupboards
more stationary
Sushi Erasers
Plastic Samurai Swords and Shields
Small Plants
wooden toys
swim goggles
mouse pad

The 100 Yen store has a veritable plethora of treasures  (Yes.  I WOULD say plethora) and if we ever have visitors, we'll take them shopping there first.  In the mean time, let me know if you want me to pick something up for you.  

I'll take any excuse I can get to go again!

Chapter Two Coming Soon

I'm not gonna lie. Yesterday's post took me pretty much all day to finish. First I had to dig out my scrapbooks and unpack my stash of old loose photo's. Then I had to sit on the floor looking through all of them for an hour or two reminiscing. Then I had to figure out how to connect the scanner, do all the scanning, edit out all the red eyes in Photoshop, decide which photo's to use and then stare at the screen for a solid hour wondering whether or not what I had written was too personal to publish. So yeah. It was a little time consuming.

Therefore, I'm going to wait a few days to do Chapter 2. I really REALLY need to go grocery shopping... and do some laundry...

and maybe vacuum...

and consider doing ANOTHER load of dishes.

So yeah...

it'll be a few days. In the mean time, there will be more trivial--less time consuming--posts like this one to keep you entertained.

See you tomorrow.

Nov 10, 2008

How I Met Your Mother...

er, Father.

I'm trying to be clever here. Give me a break.
Okay. Since this is the month of Gratuitous Posting (thanks NaBloPoMo) I'm going to tell a gratuitous story. The story of how I met Doug. Or at least the first chapter.
This needs to be recorded for posterity anyway, since Doug's memory is shockingly unreliable. (Puh-lease...I did NOT flirt as shamelessly as he claims!) (Or, if I did, he can't prove it.)
If you are one of the friends mentioned in this story, please feel free to correct or add to my details. Doug accuses me all the time of being a pathological liar, but in fact, I just have a creative memory. (No. Not like the scrapbook company.)
But I need to start at the beginning. Or at least, I need to start at the beginning of the year. Actually, the end of the year. Actually, Christmas 1999. Okay, I'm just going to start...
On Christmas Day, 1999, I broke up with my fiance. Over the phone. He was in Utah, I was visiting home in Carlsbad. It was a mutual thing but I'm not gonna pretty much ruined my day. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Many tears were shed and one very regrettable e-mail was sent. By me.
My sister tried to help by getting me a date for THE VERY NEXT DAY! The guy was in fact very cute, but I'm afraid I wasn't good company...being all listless and staring off into space as I was.
My mom's effort to help ended up being more effective. She took me to visit my Uncle Clyde for solace and advice. Now, Uncle Clyde and Aunt Jeannette are two of the best people you'll never meet. Uncle Clyde was my surrogate dad after my parents separated. He helped me get through the last two years of High School with my head on straight. He was also my spiritual advisor, and I was in desperate need of advisement.
You see, I had met T when I was 16. I had fallen madly in love with him when I was 18. And at 21, I thought I would marry him. So our broken engagement threw me for a loop.
(Seeing T off on his 2-year Mission, August 1996.)

(This picture could be titled "He's Just Not That Into You". We had just gotten back together after a one year break and he called me the wrong name two times that night. Whoops.)

ANYWAY, back to Uncle Clyde. I went to him for help and that night he gave me a very special Priesthood Blessing*. A blessing that put me completely at ease and helped to heal a lot of my heartbreak. In my blessing I learned two very important things: 1) I had not yet met the man I would marry, and 2) It would be through my friends that I would meet him.

Of COURSE I was still heart broken. But I was at peace.
Unfortunately, I was stuck in San Diego because T was supposed to have been my ride back to Utah.
Fortunately, roommate PB and our friends Jayson and Chris drove out from Utah, celebrated Y2K with me in San Diego, (when I had been hoping to get my ring) and then drove me home to get on with my life.

Life, just then, found me living at The Old Mill with two of my very best friends and my favorite 76 year old German; PB (Michelle), Anna, (Banana), and Ursula.

And things were pretty good there. Being in our early 20's, we were on the young side in that particular complex. (All except Ursula, of course, who tended to be on the slightly older side.)This meant we got plenty of attention from guys.
I resolved that I wasn't going to worry/obsess so much about boys any more. I was just going to date whoever I wanted, keep it casual, and focus on having fun. (Oh, and on school, of course...)
Thanks to the blessing from Uncle Clyde, I felt that confident that I wasn't supposed to marry T which made it much easier to move on and date other people. Which I did. Frequently. (But not nearly as many as my petite long-haired roommate PB, darn her!)
{In case you're skeptical, I should note here that I used to spend quite a bit of time in the ol' tanning beds, plus I had access to the wardrobes of two very fashionable roommates. So yeah...I was in top form and quite capable of securing a free meal most Friday and Saturday nights.}
It was towards the end of March when I got a call from Bryant**. Bryant was a friend of a friend and we'd been on one date and hung out a bit. He worked at a ski resort and I thought he was pretty darn cute. Anyway, he was calling because he wanted to go rock climbing and thought maybe my roommate Anna could get us in to The Rock Garden for free! Two other girls living in my complex had been wanting to go too, (Anna had offered) so I called them up and we all went together. Unfortunately, when we arrived, Anna had already gotten off work and none of us had brought money. I was JUST about to give up trying to sweet talk her co-worker into letting us climb when she walked in.
Turns out she had left work earlier and--I think-- had gone around the corner to visit her dad. On her way back, she noticed my car in the parking lot and came back in.
Just in the nick of time. We were set!

To be continued...

*The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God. Through the priesthood God created and governs the heavens and the earth. Through this power He redeems and exalts His children, bringing to pass "the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). God gives priesthood authority to worthy male members of the Church so they can act in His name for the salvation of His children. Priesthood holders can be authorized to preach the gospel, administer the ordinances of salvation, and govern the kingdom of God on the earth. (Definition from Don't knock it 'till you've tried it.

**I went on one official date with Bryant and rock climbing wasn't it. He found out I'd never been fishing and decided to remedy that. We drove up a mountain. The road to the lake was blocked off. We parked the car and hiked through snow to the lake. It was cold. The lake was frozen solid. He taught me to "cast" for a few minutes until my fingers were blue and then we hiked back down to the car. It was a bit anticlimactic as far as first dates go, but I still managed to have a huge unrequited crush on him anyway.

Nov 8, 2008

Sunday Thoughts and Observations

  • There are several families in our branch who have deployed husbands/fathers and yet their wives, these "single" mom's, still manage to get themselves--and their children--to church every.single.week...ON TIME?!?!?!?  (9 a.m.!!!)  (Props, ladies!  Serious props!)
  • Today was the primary program*.   Three different dads came up to me after and commented on Max's award winning performance.  He was singing loud enough to be heard on the back row and had his brow furrowed in extreme concentration.  It was indeed a sight to behold!
  • Doug and I team-teach the CTR-5 class.  Our class is composed of nine five-year-old girls.  (There is one boy in the class but he doesn't come...yet.)  Today the lesson was about "service".  We talked about ways we give and receive service and then gave some examples of how Jesus gave service while he was on the earth.  I mentioned that back in the day everyone wore sandals and got really dirty feet, but Jesus was so nice he washed the feet of all his friends!  There were some "eeewwww's" from the audience. Then I asked, "Would YOU wash JESUS'S feet if he were here?"  Chorus of "Yeeeeeees!" ...except from Aubrey who said "I'd take Jesus home and give him a bath!"  (awesome.)
Well, that's all for today folks!  We're having the neighbors over for a Crepe Party (sometimes known as 'dinner'.)  I'd better go start spooning Nutella into decorative bowls.  I'll be back tomorrow with the first installment of "How I Met Your Father".  Stay tuned, it'll be juicy!

Happy Sunday!

*All the kids under 12 sing songs they've been practicing and say short lines in Sacrament Meeting**.
**Sacrament Meeting.  Usually the first meeting in the three hour block.  The entire congregation meets together for 70 minutes with the emphasis on  the passing and partaking of the Sacrament.  The rest of the time is filled with opening/closing prayers, opening/closing hymns, sometimes an intermediate hymn, and usually two or three speakers.  The speakers are mostly members of the congregation.  Sometimes they're given by those in leadership positions.  It's very non-threatening.  If you've read this far, you're probably not a Mormon.  So you should try it sometime.  I PROMISE no one will try to baptize you.  (At least not on your FIRST visit.  buahahahahaha!)

Remembering Warmer Days...

when I could still do projects outside...


Nov 6, 2008

Our Car

We bought a $500 car.  Yes, that's right.  Someone let us borrow it when we first got here, and we ended up buying it.  I mean, you really can't beat $500--even around here--and the A/C and 4-wheel-drive are all in tack.   We figured, Why not?  We'll drive it 'till it dies then get something nicer!  So it's not like we were unprepared.  We knew there would be problems.  

***flash forward two months***

It was one of those good days. I was driving the carpool to preschool. The windows were down and I was blasting AFN which was playing that one song that everyone likes...goes like this...
 "little ditty about Jack and Di-aaaaaane!  Two 'merican kids growin' up in-the-heart-land!"  (You know the one.)  Anyway, all of the sudden, I honked the horn!  Just a little toot.  I thought my arm must have bumped it in my zeal.  Then it happened again.  HONK!  Then again.  HONK HONK!!!

There were cars in front of me.  This was starting to get embarrassing.  I wasn't touching the horn but it was in fact honking.  Repeatedly.  Randomly.  Loudly.

 A second later I arrived at an intersection where a Japanese man stood directing traffic around some road construction.  The horn blared at him.  I raised my hands in the air and looked sheepish.  He laughed and laughed while I drove away honking and pounding the steering wheel in frustration and annoyance.

By the time I got Sam to preschool, the random honking had stopped and I had partially recovered from my embarrassment.

In the next few days, the horn would blow at random times.  Sometimes going over a bump, sometimes just a random toot to say hello to a passerby.

I rolled my eyes.  What do you expect from a $500 car?

Then one night, at about 8 p.m.  I heard someone honking outside.  
Loud and long.  
Shattering the quiet of the peaceful evening.  
It caught my attention.  
I listened.  

I realized it was in fact MY car making that noise.


I jumped up and ran for the door  yelling behind me 

I barely made it in to the car.  The noise almost burst my eardrums.  I started my futile pounding and pulling in a vain effort to make it stop.  

Finally Doug arrived with a screwdriver.    With a few wrenches and a little wire pulling he got it to turn off.
It was a quick fix.  

Later, we would take more drastic and permanent action...
But at least, there will be no more random honking.


And that's what we get for buying 
a $500 car.

The End

Nov 5, 2008

It's Finally Over!!!

Well, we have a new President.  Congratulations, President Obama.  I would have sooner stabbed my eye out with a fork than vote for you, BUT since you're now the President, I support you and really really hope you'll do a great job and be as wonderful as everyone thinks you'll be!!!

Now, before you ask, NO I did not vote.  But not for lack of trying.  We THOUGHT we had filled out the correct information to do the absentee ballot, but evidently it didn't go through or get processed correctly or something.  Which was a bummer.  But whatdaya do?

The good news is, Prop 8 passed in California!!!  (YAY!!!!)  Which means the definition of marriage will not change!  (For now)  Which means I haven't changed my plans to move there in the future!

So there you go!  You win some you lose some!  Hope all of YOUR wildest election day dreams came true!

See you tomorrow.

P.S.  My dad was asking what the stance of the Air Force is politically.  In the last few weeks, we've been subject to MANY lame commercials about exercising our right to vote.  But the Air Force does NOT support one candidate over another.  They stay non-partisan and keep the emphasis on voting...not who you should vote for.  So now you know!

P.P.S.  To vote here, people have to fill out an absentee ballot from their legal state of residence.  

How to Make a Six Year Old Really REALLY Mad...

You give away his Halloween candy while he's out trick or treating.  (The candy he got at Dad's work party which was much better and more plentiful than what he got Halloween night.)  

What kind of mother would do such a thing?  The kind confronted with literal HORDES of Japanese trick or treaters who had been bused on to base.  (These pictures don't do justice to the waves of humanity lapping at my front door.)
I started out with probably 15 bags of candy.  It wasn't nearly enough.  We went through all of our candy (and Maxwell's) within the first hour.  After that, I was forced to turn off the porch light (and every other light in the house) and cower sheepishly in the darkness.
Oh well.  It was fun while it lasted.  I saw some of the cutest kids!!!  Many of the Japanese children had been practicing for days at school to learn how to say "Treeck oh Tah-reat", "Happy Harroween", and "Sank you bery much."  It was the cutest thing ever.  (And they were all impressed when I said 'you're welcome' in Japanese.)

Now I know that next year I'll need at least 30 bags to even be able to show my face Halloween night.  (But I'm afraid it's gonna be the cheap stuff.  I bought all yummy chocolate in case there was any left over...I wont make that mistake again.)

As for Max, Doug took him to the Commissary last night and he got to pick a bag of clearance Halloween M&M's.  So I've been forgiven and all is now right with the world.

Good thing Halloween only comes once a year!

See you tomorrow!  
(Now go vote!)

Nov 3, 2008

Lost in Translation...

A few fabulous shopping finds:

I got me some new stationary at the 100 Yen store.  Jealous???
"Many flowers are in bloom here.
It seems that flowers who do not have the name are singing.
funny flowers."

Oooh, so close...  "Pittsburgu"

I usually don't condone propaganda, but they seem so sincere at this Farmer's Market!!!!
"Parsley-na is raising it from the seed.  
Our being aiming must become more natural 
in the vicinity.  Because the green earth is loved, 
one seed is valued.  "Raise it" it is our eternal theme.  
Please make your wonderful flower bloom!!!"

And it's always nice to get a few extra cooking tips from your dinner-ware...  (We found these at a Recycle Shop and gifted them to our vegetarian neighbors.)
You can make dishes from Vegetables.  If you want to eat full, best cooking is boil.  Well, What's your favorite menu?
(Well, what IS your favorite menu???)

I would have definitely purchased this shirt for one of the boys if it hadn't cost $17.   (Found it at an expensive children's clothing boutique.)  'Cause really...who DOESN'T want to 'watch various cultures as going on trip to several countries' when they grow up???
I know I do.

It's fun here.  Care to join us?

Nov 2, 2008

For Melissa

Melissa commented first when I asked for posting ideas so this is JUST FOR HER!!!

But before I fill her request, let me introduce everyone.  

Everyone, this is Melissa.  Melissa is from Southern California but is currently living in Rhode Island (which is where we met) but will be moving back to Southern California.   She is the wife of Chad and mom to adorable baby Grant.  (Chad was a co-resident of Doug's last year and is finishing up his last year of Peds residency this year.)   

Melissa is just a kick-bottom cool girl.  She's lots of fun to be around, and she appears to be the World's Greatest Mom to cutie-pie-Grant!

Melissa, this is everyone.  They're blog stalkers!  

Now that we're all introduced...

Without further ado, here is what Melissa requested: cute pictures of the kids and some Sammy quotes. 

It just so happens that I have some of BOTH! 

Here ya go!

Sammy quotes from 10/28/08
Sam: "Mom, when my pants awe on, dat means it’s time to go back upstais
and my pants awe on! Wets go!!!"
Sam: "Mom, awe you nuts?"Sam: (with extreme exasperation in his voice!) "MOM! You can do betta den dat!!!" (I pulled up his undies for him, but accidentally left them a little twisted in back.)

And here are a few more cute pictures:

(Max has since lost his second bottom front tooth earning him a total of 600 yen.)

And here are some shots of Gabey in the raw.  He's had a bit of, let's call it
sprinting bowel syndrome resulting in a terribly sore bottom resulting in...well, obviously...

Can't rain on his parade, though. 

If any of you have problems with the gratuitous nekkidness in this post, please forward your complaints to Melissa!

See you tomorrow!

Nov 1, 2008


Me: Doug, look! (Pointing at something of extreme importance.)

Me: Doug LOOK! (Pointing more pointedly.)

D: What? (Without looking up.)

Me: I said 'look!’

D: Just tell me!

Me: When I say 'look', you have to look or you'll miss it.

D: Or you could just tell me...

Me: If I wanted to tell you, I would have told you!

Me: Usually saying “look” means there’s something I want you to see!

D: You’re taking 8 years of baggage and applying it to this situation.

Me: (trying not to laugh while also throwing something at his head.)
(Okay, I didn't throw anything this time, but I would have been totally justified.)

(Sadly, he's right.  It's true!)