I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

My photo
I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Last Beach Family Fun Time

We will be coming home tomorrow...I'm sure we'll be ready, but will miss all the beachiness.
Here is a pic of the last time The Citizens got some beach time.
This is when we lived in North Carolina and it was just a scooch over the state line to some lovely beaches in South Carolina...







Why do kids love sand so much??


Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Most Beautiful Women in the Universe.

Ok, I'm starting to get tired...and lazy.  So I'm not going to try to put the post I want to put here, here, because it has too many pictures.  So I'm just going to take you there.  But do go there.  It will be worth it, I promise.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

He Should Have Seen it Comin'



Lest you think Huck is somehow an anomaly and mistake what is a crucial part of our domestic landscape for abuse and ill humor, I will show you what I have done to my children and thus prove I have always been crazy, and by joining our family, he should have seen it coming...



I actually made this for a niece but I had to try it on someone before I shipped it...
I've seen this look on Huck's face too....

The Actual first costume

Wm age 2.  Lederhosen.
LEDERHOSEN

Age 3: Robin Hood.


First costume...it just seemed to fit her...
Age 4: He said he wanted to be a pirate....

Wm the vampire.  Anna at 2 & 3 asked to be a
Princess...she never specified which one...



Wm really got into it this year...he designed this one himself.

Prolly my favorite.  

Enter Huck's first costume...see how happy he is to be a part of the family??

















Tuesday, March 27, 2012

India Memories

Many moons ago (before I was a mom, and so very very awesome) I went to India with my job.  For some reason, there is a scan of this photo right in the middle of the files for last summer 's photos which I was just going through looking for an entirely different photo.
I am at the Taj Mahal with my office designated chaperon.
If I look a little miserable to you, I probably am.  I had just gotten over a particularly malicious bout of "Delhi-belly" from eating appetizers at a party, when I knew better and had spent the better part of the previous three days in my hotel room watching Indian MTV.
Also it is really hot there.  And Humid.  And as you can see, I do not know how to deal with my hair.
And also, the poverty was so horrible it was depressing.

But, it is an experience I do not regret (hair aside...) and was really really interesting.

Monday, March 26, 2012

When Huck Was Cute

Look how cute he was....now he's a monster.  I'm sure there's probably a way I could be blamed for this, but I refuse to accept responsibility.







I suppose I could say the same thing about my kids too....

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Why Won't Anyone Stop Me??


A Moment of Insanity Last May



So Yesterday I found myself in the possession of a crate of cucumbers (I'd had them since Saturday, but I had put them in the garage and they only became real to me yesterday when I tripped over them). Yes, a crate. And it was around noon that I realized that the crate of cucumbers probably had a very limited life and that something must be done with them. Now I am aware that a crate of cucumbers does not usually fall into someone’s lap, therefore, some reason must exist for something as cumbersome (!hah!) as a 36 pound crate of cucumbers.
I vaguely remember checking a little box last Monday on my Bountiful Baskets order that had something to do with produce, but then, that is what BB is for. Really they should have better checks and balances on those sites. A person cannot be expected to have reason within her grasp for an order 5 days out with perishable goods that she will need to deal with so far in the future as next week. A little window should pop up and ask “So….what are you planning to do with a crate of cucumbers? Do you really think you’ll have time for them?” thereby causing the person (me) to further think this through.
Which brings me to my moment of realization today as I found myself surrounded by a half dozen very large bowls of sliced, chilled, salted pre-pickles. I have no life filter. A life filter is the person of sanity who stops you before things get carried away. They are the person who will indulge your whims but reel you back in before you do serious damage to your world.
I think there are those out there who function well without this resource, but sadly, I am not one of them. I have too many ideas, too many ambitions, seek too many ways to overfill each and every day. I love a good project. I love a dozen good projects. The term “Bee in My Bonnet” is an apt descriptor for my personality. I constantly have a bee in my bonnet. A life filter, would help me focus my bees and perhaps coax me to let a few of them go. However, if I had a life filter, they may not get to enjoy the 24 quarts of Bread & Butter pickles I managed to put up.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Meaning in Monotony


This Post was originally published last March also.


My day started out something like this “Mom….when I can I put away my clean clothes?” Now even if you don’t have a ten year old boy, you will immediately recognize that the universe is out of alignment when one asks to do some sort of chore—particularly one involving their general appearance. As related in my previous post, I do wash the clothes….but life has kept me from sorting, folding or dealing with them in any way past the dryer (or even out of the dryer some days…) So, despite the mounting pile of To-do’s on my work list (I work from home on Wednesdays) I chose to put a show on Hulu and climb the ever building piles of laundry. This photo is only about half the story….truly. It is daunting. Particularly when you consider that there are only three people and a dog in our household.
I caught the end of a book review on NPR yesterday afternoon and never did hear the name or author of the book, but the reviewer used the phrase “meaning in monotony.” I do not know how it applied to the book, but the phrase took hold in my brain and stuck with me. Because washing and folding laundry is the definition of monotony. Week after week, no matter whether you keep up with it or not…it is there…looming in forbidding piles in closets and halls and basement laundry rooms. Stained clothes, stinky socks, and the pockets! Oh the pockets! The very act of reaching into pockets for the unknown is an act of bravery.
Yet I do it. I won’t go so far as to say it gives my life some sort of existential meaning, but there is that moment (however brief) when I look at the laundry baskets all lined up filled with clean, folded, ironed (ok, occasionally ironed when appropriate) clothes and appreciate my own usefulness. I can proudly send my kids off to school looking like someone loves them, because I do. I know appearances are really a very shallow indicator of love, and my kids are usually somewhere in the middle of street urchin and coiffed, but clean clothes (even rumpled ones) do represent meaning in monotony.

Friday, March 23, 2012

I'm a Freakin' Ray of Sunshine, Dammit


This post was originally published last March when I first started blogging.
I've had a few people ask me where I got the name...and here you go.



Last weekend I attended a large family gathering consisting of lots of little kids and lots of people from an in-law family that I did not know. There was cake, which was good, but it wasn’t quite enough to keep me pleasant for an extended period of time. My Father-in-law (not exactly a source of joviality and pleasantries) leaned over to me and hinted humorously that I am not the cheeriest of souls. I eyed him narrowly and responded, “I am a freaking Ray of Sunshine, Dammit.”
And in all honesty, I am…comparatively speaking. I come from a family of cranky, depressive, ornery, self-indulgent curmudgeons. And that is being somewhat generous. My extended family may be solely responsible for the drug-industry’s increased revenue over the past decade (as more and more of them reach an age to seek treatment…)
When my son was setting up our Wii a few years ago, he created Miis for everyone in the family. He proudly showed me the one had made for me. I was tickled, but asked him why I looked so angry. He candidly answered “But that is just how you look.”
This only worries me as it may affect my kids. I have worried since before their births of their future personalities and inherited genetic lack of cheerfulness. As of yet, they haven’t exhibited any overly negative behaviors, but I still keep a watchful eye.
So, it is true, I do not have a naturally sunny disposition, but that does not reflect my relative happiness in the present or generally. I am just not a smiler. In reality, I am happier now that I have been in years. I think some of this comes with an acceptance of life (and the #$%#@! it hands you) and of self. I am not perfect. I am not going to win mother-of-the-year or Ms. Congeniality…ever.
But I have little to complain about and much to be thankful for. I have two beautiful kids who could, quite possibly, have a better mother, but certainly not one who loves them more. I’m sure somewhere out there is a small group of loyal friends who like me for my “honesty.” So what if no one else can see my particular brand of sunshine. I claim it as my own, and do with it what I will….which may, on any given day look rather grumpy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Huck: Fiesta








I think Huck was really needing us to take a vacation.
He is going to fiesta and then siesta all week long.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How To Pack

Packing is serious business.  You have to load up your whole family for however many days and hope you don't forget one thing that they can't live without or might need during that time.  All of this stuff normally resides throughout our whole house.
But I'm pretty good at it, so I'm going to break it down for you.

1. The Coke (or poison of choice).
Right now, at least 1/2 my readers (yeah, you three know who you are) are saying, "but I don't drink Coke/soda/caffeine"...
Listen to me.  If you want to do this right you have to follow the recipe.
I have learned by hard won trial and error and I'm telling you, you have to start with a Coke.














2. The List
I usually start on this a week or so in advance.  As you can see I color code a chart and break it down into categories.  I save these and have cold weather/hot weather/camping etc. ones that I just update.
You too can be this cool one day.













3. The Gathering.
I give everyone their portion of the list and a laundry basket and have them gather  and basically throw it all into one big pile in my room.  It looks terrible, but is essential...and this part can take several days as people have to search for stuff and wait for laundry.  This is the first time I have given Anna her list, and if there had ever been doubt that she was my child, the pure rapture with which she attacked the list and the happiness checking things off the list gave her, was proof that she is 100% mine.









4. The Downtime.
Which is what vacations are supposed to be for, right?  So I have chosen reading and knitting.  I spent way too long going through patterns and yarns trying to decide which were the best projects to take and then consolidating needles and such...nerdiness at its core.













5. The Books
Depending on whether you are a library gal, a borrowing gal or a buying gal, you may have to do this part more in advance.  I typically borrow and borrow.  I somehow requested Beyonder's for my son a couple of months ago before it came out (new book by Fable Haven author) and it came this week--I think we are the first ones to get it.  He was pretty excited.  I also put a call out to my Facebook buddies and Megan gave me all sorts of lovely paperbacks that are perfect for a vacation read.  I am also a sucker for travel books, so I hit the library for those too.  This little pile makes me so happy.








6. The Sort
This is when I take everyone's stuff and sort it into piles and fold it all neatly and check it off the lists as it goes into the suitcases.  And then go hunt for the missing stuff and pull out ALL the extra stuff.  This looks better, right?













7. The Snacks
If you're traveling with kids or ME you have to have snacks.  Especially since airport food is usually super expensive and not always kid friendly--or fast food.  I take liberties with the snacks and usually get them the ones they love, but I don't usually buy.  So here we have fruit snacks and pringles.  I will be very popular with The Citizens over these choices.













8. The Pack
There is it...you didn't think it would fit did you?



















9.  The Hand-Off
This is where we send Huck off the the doggie-sitter for his own little vacation.  To a high school boy who would never ever consider dressing him up.  He is looking forward to this as much as we are.












10.  The Load
We have to leave the house at 5:00 am. tomorrow morning, so I load up the car the night before.  I'm not sure why this matters, because I will not sleep much, as my brain will be going over The List 14,000 times JUST IN CASE.  You cannot calm the brain down....which, I guess, is what the vacation is for.












Some of you are just now realizing "WAIT!  She's leaving?  Going on Vacation?  But what about us?? Who will care for us?  She's got us in the habit of reading this stupid blog and now she's going to GO ON VACATION?"

Calm down.  I have planned a number of posts just for you.  Some are new, some are some favorites from last year--off the old blog.  You'll be fine.  I would never do that to you.  And just think...I'll have all sorts of things to tell you when I get back.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: Midnight in Austenland

Midnight in Austenland
by Shannon Hale

I'm a fan of Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl, Princess Academy and The Bayern Books are all delightful.  That being said, they are for Young Adults, and this is the first of her books that I have read from her adult collection.  Apparently there is one called Austenland, that I have somehow missed in all things Austen, so I will have to go back and read that one...which means that if this book somehow builds upon that one, I missed it.  But I also love all things Austen, and for that alone, this book appeals to me, but in reality, there is very little allusion to Jane Austen's books or reference to her characters.

The book revolves around a character, Charlotte who is nice, but has just gone through a horrible divorce and is looking for some sort of reprieve.  She goes to an English estate where everything is as it would be if it were 1816.  It sounds great.  She is strapped into a corset,  assigned a "love interest" and learns to play whist. I want to go there.  But mainly for the clothes and the love interest.
It is clear that Ms. Hale was drawing upon the gothic romances that were popular at the time by constructing a sort of mystery story...but sadly, I have not read any of these and am not familiar, so my modern sensibilities were a little bored with the "mystery."

I am intrigued enough to possibly read some of the books Ms. Hale mentions in her research notes though.  Maybe beefing up on my gothic romance is just the ticket.  And I will also go back and read Austenland.


On another note, which is separate, but not entirely different.... another blogger, who is apparently tired of American women wishing for an English Man posted this earlier in the week.  I thought it sooooo funny, and thought you might too, that I'm going to share it here.

British Men

The Expectation























The Reality














Monday, March 19, 2012

Give Away Winner!

Ok, so I clearly am not very good at the give-aways.  But I'll never get to do the big fancy give-aways if I don't get more subscribed readers.  I do it for the kids. My little blog ended up with about 1040 views by yesterday evening, hitting the goal.

But I do have a winner (like it or not)!  Drumroll......Tiffany!  I'll be in contact with you later today prolly through Facebook and you can then pick out your prize from ALL OF THE FANTASTIC OPTIONS.
Forget what they were?  Forget to enter?  You can lust and wish you were Tiffany here.

If you live in Utah County, you will probably notice her gadding about town wearing one of my glorious tutus or perhaps a lovely handcrafted scarf, to which you will murmur to yourself, geesh lady, show-off much?  But knowing Tiff she will probably just wear them at home and curse you all for your stupidity and non-blog-give-away-winningness.

On to Monday!  now where's Huck?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Recipe: Homemade Samoas

Ok, Remember my quest?
Well I gave it a shot after looking through lots of recipes on Pinterest.

And this what I ended up putting together.  I thought they turned out pretty well, although they are not spot on, so if you are wanting THE girl scout Samoa, you'd probably better just go buy them.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to give this another go with some tweaks, but I'll post it if I do...

I used a basic shortbread recipe.  You could probably use any.  This one isn't terribly sweet, and honestly I think that is one reason it isn't quite like the original.  I also think I used too high a quality chocolate and that it was too dark.  I like it that way, but again, not true to the original.  I also wonder if the Girl Scouts use cocaine or some other addictive substance, because once you start on their cookies you can't stop...even if it is making you sick.  I did not have that trouble with mine.  They were really really tasty, but one did the job (this may also have something to do with the fact that mine ended up about 3x's heftier than a regular Samoa--the cookie was slightly larger and the coconut is hard to portion control). It should also be noted that this recipe does not make a lot of cookies.  I used a 2" cup to cut the basic cookie shape, and I got about 20 cookies, but only had toppings for 16 of them (again, that coconut mixture is the devil to spread out).
These cookies are NOT for the faint of heart to make.  These are rather time intensive.  I also found a bar recipe here and a cake recipe here if you don't think you could make it through the assembly of these treats.
Have you seen these?  Brilliant.  You don't
have to unwrap anything.  I still think
homemade caramel beats this hands-
down, but it sure works for basic stuff.

Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 Tbsp butter (should be soft but not melted)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 11 oz caramels (or one bag of the Kraft's Caramel Bits)
  • Chocolate (like you would use for  baking or dipping)
  • 3 cups sweetened coconut




  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy; add vanilla and mix until combined.  Add flour and mix until thoroughly incorporated.  Place between two sheets of wax paper and roll out (you can see an example of this technique here).  Chill for at least 20 minutes.
  2. When chilled pull back the top sheet of wax paper and cut out 2" (or whatever size you have close to that) circles.  Using a smaller circle (I read that many people used the large end of a piping tip) cut out the center.  Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment or a silicone mat.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just barely starting to golden up. Let cool completely.
  3. Spread coconut evenly on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Stir after about 5 minutes.  You may need to watch it the last few minutes, because it goes from toasted to burnt really fast.
  4. Melt Caramels per directions on packaging.  Once melted, reserve about 1/2 cup or so of mixture in a bowl and then mix the coconut in with the caramel.   The tricky part is keeping this mixture warm and soft.  Once it begins to cool, it seizes up.
  5. Once you've assembled the coconut portion of the cookie, melt the chocolate on low power in the microwave, stirring every 30-45 seconds until almost melted, remove from microwave and allow it to continue to melt the rest of the chocolate.  If you've gotten it too hot and there are no chunks left, add some.  This will help tempter the chocolate.  Allow it to cool until about 90 degrees (or pretty comfortable if you stick your finger in it, but still melted)


Assembly:
1. spread a bit of your reserved caramel on the top of the cookie.
2. spread the coconut mixture on top of this.
3. After all the cookies have the coconut mixture dip the bottom part of the cookie in the melted chocolate and allow to set up.  I set my coconut side down on wax paper.  If the chocolate doesn't seem to want to set up, put in fridge.
4.Using a plastic bag w/ a corner snipped off or a piping bag, use the remaining chocolate to pipe the stripes across the top.


Tips:

  • The shortbread cookies break easily.  You can't hold these and spread the coconut goo on them.  They need to rest on the counter
  • Keep the coconut stuff warm.  I read where some people keep it resting in another bowl with warm water, but I just popped it in the microwave for a few seconds every minute or so and that worked fine.
  • Most recipe called for using some sort of spreading spatula to spread the coconut--I ended up just using my fingers and rinsing them off every 2 cookies.  I left them slightly damp and that helped kind of spread/press the coconut around.


If you'd like to see other recipes for Samoas you can look on my board "Satisfy The Sweet Tooth" or just hunt around on Pinterest.






























Saturday, March 17, 2012

Huck Has the Luck o' The Irish

At our house, we firmly believe that if you look the part, everything else will fall into place.
And Huck looks the part, does he not?

Well...what he looks is resigned, but we're leaving on vacation in less than a week, so he'll get a reprieve then.














*Don't forget the give-away!  Only 1 1/2 days left!!! This is your chance to take home this dog or a tutu!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A St. Patty's Menu

I think everyone has a little Irish in them.  According to family lore, we actually do have some Irish blood in us and the story goes that my Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather came over from Ireland and headed west.  He got himself a bride somewhere along there, but wouldn't you know it, he was so far west (mind you, this is somewhere along the western border of Virginia) she got taken by Indians.  But being stubborn, he went to fetch her, and the Indians were just going to kill this small bad-tempered man, but he was able to talk them out of it and work for several years to secure her release.  They then had themselves a baby, which killed her.

In honor of family stories like these and my love of all things historical (true or practically true) I stole this menu from another blogger and I'd like to share.

Posting it today should give you ample time to pre-make your shamrock croutons and get all the other ingredients that were part of this festive meal in 1912.

Enjoy!

*Don't forget the give-away--only a couple of days left!





Thursday, March 15, 2012

Huck Warns: "Beware The Ides of March!"

BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH!
It took me by surprise...The Ides of March.  But Huck was on it.  I think he's getting into this costume thing, which, if you are going to live at our house, is as much a survival technique as anything else.  Kind of like how if you are kidnapped internationally in a South American Country they tell you to talk to your abductors so they can get to know you and are therefore less likely to kill you.  This does not appear to work in Muslim countries.  Huh, I wonder which one we are to Huck?

I think he must have thrown together his laurel wreath a bit hastily, because it is a little wonky, but the effect is still there...

Book Review: Lunatics

Lunatics
Dave Barry & Alan Zweibel

This was my brain purge after my exploits into the Chinese Cultural Revolution.  I'm not sure how I heard about this book, or if someone told me about it, but I'm pretty sure I'm the first one to check this out from our little library (I LOVE being the first one to read a library book...new book smell mmmmmm.....), but I could not have chosen a book more perfectly opposite my last read.  And also it took me two days to read it.

First, let me preface this by saying that this book is not for children.  Or those with an effing revulsion to the F-word.

The book starts out with a preface that is basically an huge list of apologies to all the people, countries, and organizations that were affected by the events portrayed in the book, including, but not limited to Chuck E. Cheese, The U.S. Coast Guard, The SS Windsong, Cuba, black bears named Hansel & Gretel, and a helicopter pilot who got shot in the scrotum.

The "events" are then told by two opposing voices.  One of Phillip Horkman and mild mannered pet shop owner and suburban soccer referee and Jeffrey Peckerman a really really really foul mouthed forensic plumber with bad hygeine.  They each take their turn telling their story in their voice and their interactions lead to a multi-national "event" (I don't know what else to call it?).

You know when a small thing happens and it triggers another thing that triggers another thing and so on until the thing you end up with is not where you expected to be and it is much bigger than it should be considering where it started?  That is this book.

Once I was desensitized to all the effing words in the first two pages of the book, I giggled quite a bit. I think it will probably play well to male readers.   Easy read, funny...I wished I had saved this for the beach.

**Don't forget the give away this week!  I'm prepared to knit all the way through my vacation for you!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Information Please

So I've been a little geared up over Utah's HB 363 lately.  Just the thought of it makes my heart beat faster with angst and a wee bit of rage.

For those of you who don't live in Utah or who somehow haven't heard about HB 363, it is all about sex education, and Utah passing a law that now mandates that schools teach abstinence only if they're going to teach anything at all.


I got this article in my in-box today. There has been tons of coverage, and news and there will even be a Planned Parenthood gathering at the capitol later today to urge the Governor to veto the bill (and although most Utahans do NOT support this bill, no one expects the Governor to man-up and veto it just in case he ticks of the 20% of the state that does like the bill.)

I got a similar article yesterday which featured  Representative Wright, who introduced the bill with absolutely no pressure from his constituency, who basically stated, that parents "have no idea what is being taught in these classes" and that  somehow that meant that he should step in and help us out.
This is exactly why people are not interested in politics and politicians anymore.  But that is a discussion for another day.

Today we are talking about sex.  Talking about sex does NOT make people go out and have sex.  In fact, in the states that currently have abstinence only education, they lead the nation in teen pregnancy.  There are scores of articles out there on this, but here is one.  Do you know what teen pregnancy leads to?  More dependents on the states, a less educated community and an increase in abortion.  ALL of which sounds bad to me.

While I hope my own kids are wise when it comes to these decisions, I cannot expect them to make good decisions based on "because I told you so" ideology.  They need to understand what it is, how it works, and the consequences (which can be devastating).  Education does not lead to more teen sex, it leads to kids who will make better choices instead of experimenting.

Last week I went with my 10 year old 5th grade boy to his maturation program...this was not a fun experience, and although I cringed when they talked about nocturnal emissions (ew, I was never a boy), I appreciated that my son would not have his body suddenly making changes on him and maybe scaring the bejeebies out of him.  I don't want him getting his information from the boy who asked, quite candidly, if a girl's period was also called an orgasm.  BUT, although we have a good relationship, I doubt he'll come to me with his penis questions.  I don't want curiosity and misinformation to form his ideas on his body, sex and all those other mysteries.  I don't want him to feel ashamed of his body, and I don't want him to be pressured to do something he may not have any idea about.
We all knew that girl in high school that got pregnant and all she could say was "I didn't know you could get pregnant doing that."  Some of us knew girls in college that still didn't have a clue (this is a true story about a roommate of mine at BYU-her parents had opted out of sex-ed).  Some of these same girls had a really hard time when they got married because they had been taught to be ashamed of their bodies and the idea of sex.  It wasn't healthy.

I appreciated this post that my friend Jeremy shared on Face book earlier in the week from an LDS bishop who served in the SLC downtown area.  It was in included in his petition to the Governor to veto HB 363:


"As an LDS Bishop living in downtown Salt Lake City, I meet with many young single mothers who weren't taught the consequences of sex. I agree whole-heartedly that abstinence should be taught, but that should also be followed up by a healthy dose of reality as well. I recall being properly scared straight when watching a film of a baby being born in my health class.

The biggest problem that I face isn't really with these young single mothers, it's the fathers of these young children. They hardly ever take responsibility and then society is left to pick up the pieces and help them grow into responsible adults. Single mothers and their families take the brunt and the stress on them is huge.

In my opinion, teaching abstinence will do nothing to end this perpetual cycle and my best guess is that we will eventually have an epidemic of low functioning members of society on our hands. Dialogue needs to happen and it is critical that we help teenagers ease into adulthood as they mature. I am sick and tired of trying to help young kids out of the deep end of the pool.

Please Governor Herbert, I implore you to veto this horrible piece of legislation. I would also invite you to spend a Sunday afternoon in my office and experience the plight of these single mothers."


I appreciated this man's voice of reason in an issue that shouldn't even really be an issue because parents who object to sex ed can just opt out.  But somehow they want to press anti-education onto my children all in the names of "morals."  I guess that just depends on your idea of morality, because it sounds immoral to me to send teenagers out into the world with adult bodies but without the information to deal with them.

*If you want to sign the petition urging the Governor to veto HB 363 go here, but you'd better hurry.
** Please also don't forget the give away!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Huck Explores his Viking Roots

So I wanted to start the day out right.  Good mood, clean house, cute outfit...you know the kind of day I'm talking about.  Besides, I have to grade some papers, so I feel I OWE it to the students to get myself in the best possible mind frame.  I do it for the kids.

Well, I had such success yesterday when I humiliated my hound for my series 101 Ways to Piss off Your Beagle, that I decided to do it again today.  I don't usually do this to him two days in a row, but if you think he doesn't secretly enjoy the attention, you'd be wrong.

Immediately after this photo he jumped up wagging his tail and led me to the treat jar....I'm mean we both got what we were after, right?

And now he's napping and I'm happy.  win-win.

1000 Approaches

Friends, Readers, Fellow-Blogolians!

To my great astonishment my little blog reached 900 views as of today...which is pretty good since January 1.  Which means, that within the next week or so, I'll hit 1000.  Wow.  Thank you for coming back...except those Russians...I get a lot of hits from Russia, and I don't know what they were looking for on the Internets, but my guess is it wasn't me (unless you are a Russian who purposely keeps coming back, and then I thank you too).  HOWEVER, in honor of these 1000 views where ever their origins, I'd like to offer a give-away!

Now since this is not a big fancy blog where merchants just beg me to give away their stuff (someday....) and since I am not making any money off this blog (oh to dream...), I have more humble reward options for you.

I'm going to MAKE you something!  Yes I am...something of your choice (and the choices are practically limitless!!)
You can choose one of the hats I knitted here, or the scarf I terrorized Huck with here, or this pillow or a wee pair of leg warmers like this, or a pair of comfy socks like this.  Isn't this fun??  I will also let you choose your color!

You could also choose a hair clip, or a tutu (available in ANY size) featured here. Or maybe you have a small daughter?  Choose an outfit for her doll here.  You will notice that many of the choices take you back to my old blog...but that's OK, because we are one big happy family.

If you live within a 50 mile radius (which means Utah readers in SL, Davis & Utah counties) of me you can also choose a sweet treat as your winnings...I will hand deliver it to you!  (I'd like to see the Bloggess or Nat the Fat Rat do that for one of her readers...)

OR if not one of those choices gets you goin'  I'll even let you have your very own Huck the Beagle to torture with your own outfits for a whole week!

So here's how it works:

  1. Comment on any of my posts this week, receive an entry
  2. Be a subscriber, automatic entry
  3. Become a subscriber, receive an entry
  4. Get someone else to subscribe, receive an entry for each subscriber.  Be sure to come back to this post specifically and in the comment section say something like "Hey! I suckered LeRoy into subscribing to your stupid blog" receive an entry for EACH subscriber.
  5. Post my blog to Twitter, Facebook or any other social media of your choice, and then come back and tell me about it in the comments section-receive an entry for each one.
  6. Link to me in your own blog-preferably saying something about how awesome my blog is.  Then come back here and tell me about it-be sure to tell me the name of your blog.


Soooo depending on how desperate you are to get one of my many awesome and amazing prizes, you could spent several minutes in pursuit.

Contest ends Sunday, March 18 at 6:00 pm.  Winner will be announced Monday.
I will gather up all the names and use one of those fancy contest generator things (or scraps of paper in a hat...) and use the Citizens as my witnesses to make sure it is all sorts of fair.

Please allow up to 3 weeks for your PRIZE, since I will be gone for spring break almost immediately following this super cool contest and then of course, I have to make it.

Thank you readers for coming back...



Monday, March 12, 2012

Time Change Blues and How to Cope


So today I was feeling rather peevish all day. Actually what I was feeling was pissy, but that's not a very lady like way to speak in blog....
Anyway, I was cranky as all get out.  The time change is not my friend, and not only because it disrupts very particular sleep patterns, and makes people super extra unproductive, but because it is stupid.

And then I read a rather moving post on my friend Kirsten's Blog about healing, and where she found it (ward choir of all places!!) and then I felt even MORE melancholy and decided to seek out some healing of my own.

For those of you that know me well enough to know me well, know that I have not found much healing in my life--ever (which is probably why I have, at best, a rather twisted relationship with God...), but since I'm a do-it-yourself kinda gal, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

And wouldn't you know it, but right then, right when I was about to seek my own brand of healing (probably in that stash of Girl Scout cookies I picked up Saturday), Huck walked in.  So happy, and carefree....he walked right past me to go lay in the sun that was pouring in through the back door....and wouldn't you know it, but his careless attitude pissed me off even more.

And that my friends is when I realized I haven't visited one of my favorite past times of late.  101 Ways To Piss off Your Beagle.

So I bathed him first--he stank and he hates it...and then I decided that with his now sour expression he looked particularly French, and wouldn't you know it, but I happen to own a black beret and red scarf?  If I thought I could have wrestled him into a striped T-shirt I would have, but there is no point in gilding the lily, so to speak.

And although there are probably better ways to soothe the soul, or whatever, what I say is DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU...until PETA calls you on it.

On to a better day!

*It should be noted, that this post was in no way intended to infer that the French are sour, but since that is where I descend from and I am sour I think I can draw that line however I want.








I had exactly 2 seconds to giggle and get my photo before he did this until I took it off him...then he slowly (I am assuming with what little dignity he had left) left the room, and I am not kidding tooted at me as he left, which quite frankly I deserved, but was worth it, and also proves my point that dogs do have control over those sorts of things.



























Book Review: Wild Swans; Three Daughters of China

Wild Swans; Three daughters of China
by Jung Chang

Whew.  It took me about 6 weeks to plow through this book.  That is a pretty long time for me to spend on any book, but this was not light Saturday sunshine by the pool reading.
It is a pretty hefty book to be sure (500 pages) but mostly it was subject matter.

Jung Chang takes us through three generations of her family starting with her grandmother who had bound feet and was a concubine in the early 1920's to her mother who fought for communism to Jung herself who battled with her family through the Cultural Revolution and the horrors of comrade Mao.

Like I said, not light reading.  Extremely interesting though.  I really didn't know much about China other that what I gleaned from the Beijing Olympics, and although I had a passing understanding of the rise of communism in China and what the cultural revolution was about (raise your hand if your thoughts immediately went to the movie The Red Violin...), but as Westerners we really aren't schooled much in the ways of the East.  They are very much the Other when it comes to culture, identity and history.

What was particularly fascinating was the very distinct clash of cultures that occurred as result of the "uprising" of the people.  Both between the old culture and the new as well as distinct geographical and educational clashes as China entered the 20th century and these revolutions forced university educated "city" people into the country to accept as their own (and often in positions of power above them) those who had lived as illiterate peasants and spoke completely different languages.

I was also keenly aware that my own bias was such, that when the author would mention conveniences or technology that I perceived as distinctly western, I was surprised that China had access to these things in the 50's & 60's.

While very informational and well written, it lacks ease of wording, which may make it hard for some to read, but which I attribute to English being a second language.

If the book has a fault, it is that is perhaps a touch too detailed.  My attention faltered in the mid-section of the book when she presented a very thorough account of the rise of communism in China.
In the book's defense, it must also be stated that I typically read right before I go to bed, and as much as I did enjoy the book, it only took about 10 minutes before it put me right out....hence why it took me so long to read it.

If you have even a feigning interesting in 20th century China, this would be a good book to read.

You can follow me on Goodreads HERE.