Archive for May, 2009

Who’s Your Guru?

May 28, 2009

“I’ll take my advice from Jack.
You take yours from Oprah.”

The tweet I shared with @BlogAtHomeMom.

See, I caught a tweet supposedly from Oprah about how she was so busy extracting ticks from her dog..? I mean.. does anyone believe she is tick-harvesting (or tweeting for that matter or both at the same time? Um no.)

Okay I’m going to out myself. I don’t love Oprah. Wow.. how nice that feels. It’s true and now that I’ve said it… I feel so light and airy… (did someone faht?)

And while I’m at it can I rant that I really detest that she takes fabulous books and ‘Oprah-fies’ them?? Barbara Kingsolver, I mean seriously my all time favorite author, from like EONS before she vomited out her book club rating. Oh Pa-lease.

Okay you’re saying wait, what’s the problem with the whole Oprah-licking of my books? Isn’t it great? She finds books and then the whole world gets to read them… and maybe they wouldn’t have read them otherwise? —Yeah great.

Except for the sheep mentality problem.

You heard me right. What ever happened to talking to a friend about a recent book they stayed up all night reading? —Or oh my gosh… GOING to the library and BROWSING {…okay okay… so I Browse via my online library search tool too..whatevs..you know what I mean!} What shall I wear today? I’ll just go ask Oprah, she’ll tell me. What shall I have for breakfast today.. HOORAY! Oprah knows the perfect thing. Good thing she got paid to tell me about it! And thinking. On my own? Heck no. That’s what Oprah’s there for..she thinks FOR me!

Oh and shall we start in about Dr. Phil? No I didn’t think so.

At this point in my twitter conversation.. a few others jumped in with “Martha probably doesn’t even iron those D*mn sheets herself!” {Not a direct quote, but close.}

And I worried it’s possible they all think I’m like a complete pop culture-a-phobe. And while I beg my hubby on a weekly basis to release me from the vow “thou shalt always watch watever sitcom the spouse is in love with because there is only one couch in this house” I would be overjoyed and blessed to never have to watch another reality show… {whoops new rant there…}

I feel the need to share with my peeps the fact that I’ve seen all 1400 seasons of 24 with Jack Bauer.

Favorite Quote of this season: “Not TODAY.” ~~I find I need to say it about 3 times a day in fact..

So my bloggy friends:


OPRAH Vs JACK: Who’s YOUR Guru?(online surveys)

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photo credits:Aubele AND Alan Light

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Silhouette: Monster Cave Opening

May 27, 2009

Does This Look Like The Cave Is Opening It’s Mouth??
(Or closing it!)

On Memorial day we drove south a bit and crossed the California border… ohhh does that sound cool or what? We were headed for the Lava Beds National Monument. And by just looking around it wasn’t all that exciting. Desert terrain, a lot of sagebrush. A funny lake Named Tule Lake. (Pronounced Tool-y.)

But beneath that giant sagebrush plain…. over 700 caves and lava ‘tubes’. This picture is after exploring a cave and walking back out… she was at the ‘mouth’ and I was still down inside a ways… My little silhouette!


And play along at Angie’s Circus for WordFUL Wednesday!
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Church Chat: A Definition

May 24, 2009

Mormon Culture Translated
VISITING TEACHING: {VT for short}
It’s simple and it’s elegant.
(I mentioned VT in a past church chat.)

Here’s how it works: 2 women are assigned as a team to visit another woman within the congregation, meeting with her once a month preferably IN her home. But a phone call works in a pinch (for those months where it cycles thru faster than you can say *’oh my heck‘ -as is often the case for me!)Yes, there’s a spiritual side; a worldwide monthly message is provided for a discussion starter. But equally important is the social side of these visits and the welfare of that ‘sister’. Is she well? Does she seem to need any help? Is there something the visiting teachers can do for this woman? -Help out with childcare, -notice that she’s in the middle of repainting her living room and offer to come over for a painting night, -find out that a grandparent is ill and they may need some help in the near future should they have to leave for a funeral…

An example:

*I got special permission to use this image from the comedic geniuses over at 9th Ward Cartoons.com, wow THANKS so much!

~My VT sisters came to my house last week. They mainly just chatted and our kids played together for half an hour. Looks like playgroup? Maybe. But at the end they asked if I needed anything, and of course I answered that I didn’t. But they also knew my husband was going to be out of town all the next week. (From that earlier chatting part.) And one asked if she could help out while he was away?

Which reminded me -oh yeah– the next Tuesday night, I was going to need some help with my little boy, while I attended the oldest’s band concert. He’d be no fun to take along with out the hubby to help? “Sure!” She said, bring him over.

Simple, huh?

Even better. When we get to KNOW each other more than scheduling playdates, we know when things are coming up in each other’s lives. Through Relief Society and the VT program – if you are having a baby? We KNOW how to mobilize! Expect anywhere from 3-8 meals delivered to your family, after the stork delivers your baby.

Same goes for sickness and even tragedy.

First Wave—your two VT sisters likely will show up or call. “What can we do?”

Second Wave—They’ll report back to the Relief Society Presidency—”Carissa is sick and on bedrest for the next two weeks.” She’s going to need help getting her kids home from school. Who lives nearby and can help with that? Oh and since we’re good at it, let’s start taking meals over a couple times a week—we’ll start by taking the first week, help line up the second week?”

Third Wave—From there the network is managed from the leadership end.

The beauty here {and if you’ve ever had the chance to serve then you already understand} is that YOU are the one who feels served, blessed even.

A friend in New Jersey was surprised once at my willingness to help when her kids were sick. She wanted to know how to pay me back? I smiled and said, simply help out your neighbor the next time you see a need, don’t wait to be asked. Oh? She wondered—’Like, pay it forward?’

YUP. Exactly. Except lately I think we’ve been calling it Mom it Forward!


*{NOTE: I was outed as a Mormon the other day on Twitter when I used the phrase: ‘oh my heck’.. who knew that was such a clear calling card?}


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Crabby Wednesday?

May 19, 2009

Been a rotten week.

On the happy side. The Tree just outside my living room window (yes the living room is on the second floor and the tree is eye level…) is in full bloom. And I’ll take whatever I can get!

Here’s to hoping your week is less crabby than mine?

I just stepped outside and it seems the kids were playing outside before heading off to school and this greeted me on the front step… Now who wouldn’t be all cheered up seeing this? I honestly think she has more talent as a sidewalk artist at 8 than most of us have in our pinky toe!

I’m sure you’ll find happier posts at Angie’s place…!

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Planning The Vacation For 2012…

May 19, 2009

I haven’t told my husband yet.
In the summer of 2012?

We are going on a long drive.

Who plans that far in advance?

Well… let me tell you a little story. Probably in college.. yes that was a really long time ago.. 15+ years in fact. I first came across a modern art GOD named Christo. Do I sound just a little crazy? Or maybe you’ve heard of this guy? Anyway. If you haven’t. He has created all these massive works of art out IN the world. He and his wife Jean-Claude claim there is no meaning beyond the immediate aesthetic for each massive project. They have no actual artwork, in fact each piece is removed at the end!

From the Umbrella project:

Christo's Umbrellas 1991

To Wrapping Statues and Trees:
See some videos of these events and others as well on Plexifilm. (thanks for the suggestion by @HappySquid!)

Christo and Jeanne-Claude / Wrapped Trees 1998

To Wrapping Whole Buildings!! The Riechstag:

Reichstag wrapped by the Artist Christo

He even wrapped the Opera House in Sydney, Australia!

Okay back to my story.

So I knew of his work, and honestly I thought he was dead or something? Turns out.. there was this gigantic project called The Gates, that he and Jean-Claude were creating right in Central Park. And of course we were moving away from that area JUST BEFORE the project was set to go up!! (I cried when I found out.)

How did I NOT know about this?

I vowed, if I ever saw anything else by this amazing artist… I was going to plan IN ADVANCE… I was going to purchase plane tickets… I was GOING. TO. SEE. his next exhibition.

And guess what? {Did you already guess?}

In 2012.

YES.

The Project is called ‘Over The River‘.

It will be located in Colorado.

They are covering 5.9 miles of the Arkansas river.

They are not kidding.

Check out the Over The River website with the detailed information, {they’ve been working on this project since 1997 folks!!}

Where will you be in July/August of 2012?

Would you like to join me on a family ART vacation? Once in a lifetime kind of trip? Possibly one step above the world’s largest ball of twine? {Who needs Disneyland?} You will be able to raft down the river UNDER the covering, seeing the sky through the translucent fabric! There will be walking trails up to the art installation. I am SO doing this… Planning now for this.

PS. One of my closest friends back in New Jersey did get to see The Gates. And it took me 3 weeks to get over my jealous twitching eye. (Remind me to tell you about my Museum of Modern Art story.)

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Strawberry {Daiquiry} Shortcake

May 18, 2009
Sorry Folks—It’s A Virgin Daiquiry
{Mormon thing again..}

Inspired by Betty Crocker. I changed a few things so I hope they don’t mind?

It was great fun to walk into Safeway looking for Strawberry Daiquiry Mix… there I am standing in the alcohol aisle with a fairly perplexed look on my face. My kids in tow, asking, mom what are we looking for?? Good question I’m thinking? Talk about having no idea what I was doing! The recipe calls for a bit of non-alcoholic mix… but the best I can see is a GALLON sized Jug of the stuff? How many cakes do they think I want to make here! Oh I see the writing now, PARTY size… I get it… backing. away. slowly

Turns out I found the frozen stuff in a much smaller dimension; I left looking a little less like an alcoholic Mormon at least!

Birthday tradition dictates stawberry shortcake every year for the hubby’s birthday, and since basically I’m incapable of sticking with the same thing twice, I generally experiment and try to find the best Shortcake Recipe possible…

I was hoping this cake would be the one! But this needed a dose of moisture. In the form of some sort of fat maybe? Sour cream..? or Keep some of the egg yolks…? or Did I over bake it? I’m not sure.. but the flavor was great! And we all loved the topping spiked with Daiquiry mix! I should have doused it with a few drops of rum flavoring whadayathink??

RECIPE:

White cake mix (follow directions on box) plus add 1/3 cup Daiquiry mix-I didn’t even dilute the mix first… but like I said, I would keep some of the egg yolks and add something else in there to make it more moist? Yougurt, sourcream, applesauce…

Bake in 2 round pans.

Whip up a pint of Whipped Cream (and hooray no problems with the Cream this time around!) Add 1/3 Cup of Daiquiry mix as you whip it.

Spread on the cakes and top with sliced strawberries… Sure Looks Purty!

Share your recipes with Rachel’s:
Mouthwatering Mondays!

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Ma Ma Ma MY Sedona!

May 16, 2009
Can You Say Slide Rock!!

The second installment from our recent family vacation to Arizona. And once again, thanks goes to Uncle Tony who took the photos!

Can you say Cathedral Rock?


Can you say slide down WHAT on my bare WHAT??
Can you say that is FREAKIN’ COLD dude!


Can you say ‘Let’s do it again Dad!’

And now.
As a special favor could you please help this blogger out? Let’s just say for a second… hypothetically speaking… not like I’d really do it or anything… but what if…?

If you had to choose between these pictures for a family Christmas Card Greeting… What would you choose?


{I know you don’t want to,
but could you click this photo to really see the charm that is my family, you won’t regret it…}

Yes I’ll post pictures of myself in a bathing suit to the internet, but in a Holiday Salutation? I don’t think so…

This last one is in front of Montezuma’s Castle, an ancient indian ruin built right into the cliff-side. The group used ladders to hike up there!? There is no sign of the tribe and it’s assumed they died off or were killed off or joined another tribe. I think it’s obvious?? They got tired of all that climbing and LEFT!

{PS. please say hi to Aunt Connie! She begged me to include a shot of her in her swimsuit scraping her butt on slide rock, sorry I didn’t give in.. she’s on the far left in this shot tho!}

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Two Sites: Great Connections: Fun Stuff

May 14, 2009

Time for some More Good Than Crazy


LILYPADBABY.com

I was talking with Kathie via Twitter a few weeks ago as Earth Day was fast approaching and she mentioned that she was hosting a couple fun giveaways from her site.. you had to write an Earth Day Themed Haiku, and then enter it on her shop’s blog: LilypadPlace.com.

Rock on! I was IN! I was also intrigued… from her blog I skipped over to her shop site: LilypadBaby.com and oh my heck such great stuff… And yes I’m all about fabulous fabric finds don’t cha know! I totally get what it takes to create and sew products!

Kathie said she was tired of spending so much money on baby shower gifts, she wanted something special and valuable. So nine years ago she sat right down at her kitchen table and designed baby bibs!

Talk about someone I could sit down with at that kitchen table and chat all things fabric huh!?

And NOW?? You can find Lilypad Baby products in numerous publications and in retail stores around the nation! All handmade, custom, quality baby products from the heart. And I was excited to know that she has them all manufactured in the US, in fact she thought maybe I could get some of my ApricotAlot items in with her team of seamstresses! I’m so excited!

{PS.. I won one of those haiku contests and I received my super cute handmade and very Earth Friendly reusable napkins!! Perfect for my kids’ lunchboxes!} Are you jealous yet?


Please meet Kathie, owner of Lilypad Baby, and blogging at Lilypad Place. You can chat with her about fabric (or whatever..) on twitter @KathieLB.



~~~~~~~

Round TWO: More GOODIE than crazy!



TODAYSGOODIE.com

I came across Today’s Goodie a few weeks ago..and I couldn’t help but wonder what it meant? Cupcakes? Palm Readers? Of course I just flat out asked Shane (one of the founders) what is TodaysGoodie.com? She was happy to share. In fact she was happy to talk to me directly on the phone!

Turns out they have found a fabulous way to share current and trendy finds every day. From chic baby gear, to massive mom stuff, to foodie finds… {ohhh maybe some cupcakes after all?!} Great items delivered right to your inbox everyday.

Shane in Kentucky…Jacki in Chicago: Two Hip chicks sharing a couple-a-goodies a day! How cool is that? Well after chatting with them about what they do I realized something WAY more cool… They are able to sell each of the daily finds at a discount! So you are thinking, OH.. last year’s stuff right? WRONG. Current items, you’ll find in boutiques across the country. And you can check for giveaways on Today’s Goodies Blog!

So what are TODAY‘s Goodies? Glad you asked:

  1. Flatten Me: A personalized storybook involving your child and their photo.
  2. SnapShot by Nuvo Vino – A wine thermometer that helps serve wine at just the right temperature.

AND… I’m kind of excited… Shane and Jacki let me in on a little secret… You want in too? Shhhhh don’t tell them I told… !

All of next week they are hosting a giveaway a day on TodaysGoodie.com! They are celebrating their new name! Whoop, let’s help ’em celebrate huh? For five days a $20 gift certificate a day. Be looking for my tweets next week. I’ll be spreading the #GoodieLuv via twitter!

I was thinking how great these two sites are for each other… LilyPadBaby please meet TodaysGoodie, maybe those bibs can be a goodie sometime in the near future.. what do you think!?

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I’d Marry That All Over Again

May 13, 2009
Awesomeness huh? I mean, what else describes this?


Srsly. He has been asking for these for months. I saw these beauties at WalMart today and figured, come on baby light my fire…

Oh yeah, that’s some glory right there.


It has come to my attention that there are people out there who do not know what these are? And while I’m appalled, I will help you out. If you don’t know what these are you may check out Kristina’s awesome review of these toe stretchers. She gives a fair and even report. You won’t be disappointed. After all I ran right out and bought ’em!

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On Being a Mom

May 11, 2009

Please pardon me. I’m stealing from a forum I just wrote in. Over at MOMeo Community.com But they ARE my words so it’s not really stealing is it? Oh forget it…

The discussion topic is this:

Does Mom Have to Do it All to Have it All?

{my response}

You can try to do it all, but what comes around goes around eh? I see a lot of ‘SAHMs’ doing a lot of dang near ‘real’ work, from putting in part time hours with former employers, to acting PTA presidents, to basically full time daycare in their home..(playdates?yeahright) and all most of this goes completely unpaid. Falls under the role of volunteer, service and mom right?

But there is a breaking point… the hubby’s not happy, the kids ain’t happy and pretty soon even the mom’s not too happy and has to take a little stock in life.

What the heck does having it all really mean anymore? In America so much of us believe more is better. But is it?

I think one of my favorite books is “Your Money Or Your Life“. And there are a lot of great lessons in it, but the one I love the most is —throwing out the window the part of your thinking where you actually believe having more is MORE. Cuz…When you get that MORE… then what? You’ll just want more— right?

So no.
Mommy does NOT have to do it all to have it all. She has to decide what ALL means in the first place…!

How about you? At what point do you snap, just a little bit? Do you have it all? Do you even have it all figured out?

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