Friday, March 26, 2010

something's brewing

It isn't the snow storm.  It isn't a fight.  It isn't a stew in the kettle.

It isn't the flu.  It isn't my temper.  It isn't a squabble to settle.

But something is brewing, and I think I know
Just what that something might be...

It's a growing compulsion
To set into motion

A new obsession for me!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Temporary Tragedy

Have you ever noticed that tragedy strikes when you least expect it?  I had one of those heart-stopping moments just this evening.  I was plucking along, making improvements to my life, my blog, my online presence...  And the unthinkable happened.

Now, not to get all shallow on you again, but tonight I made a serious mistake while updating my blog.  I accidentally deleted the whole template.  I mean the whole template.  That includes formatting, photos, links, you name it...  I just sat here and stared at the computer screen...  I didn't utter a four-letter word, because there were no words to adequately describe how I felt.  I have to be honest, I was a little sick to my stomach.  Does that make me spectacularly shallow, or what?

Anyway, as dumb luck would have it.  I actually did find a backup of my original template.  Of course, I didn't find it until after I tried (unsuccessfully) to replace it with myriad other templates.  So, for those of you who logged in earlier today (mom?), I hope you weren't caused any lasting distress by the unreadable and generally disjointed content of my blog.  I know how you look forward to my blogging (lol) and I assure you that I'll be more careful in all future attempts to beautify my blog.

I know we will all rest a little easier knowing that I've learned my lesson: Always backup your incredibly important files. 

Thank you for your support.  :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Day of Spring

The First Day of Spring.  It came and went--and I missed it!  I was too busy throwing a frisbee to a puppy, sitting out in the sunshine, going for a walk (and then another one), running errands with the sunroof open...  Oh.  Maybe I didn't miss it after all!

Happy Spring, everyone!

Meet Lola

I'm not sure how it happened, but my kids talked me into this:

Her name is Lola.  She's a beagle-Aussie mix. 

Now, before you get all judgmental on me, I already admit to a certain amount of anxiety about this decision.  But, HRH has always wanted a dog, and we've promised her one for years.  

She promised that she would clean up the poo (which she has already done several times), take Lola for a walk (repeatedly done), feed her, water her, take her to do her business at all hours...  
And now HRH is working on this:

 Sit, Lola.  Good Girl!

I think this is going to be OK.  Oh, and about the cutie from Friday?
We decided that we really didn't want to do the whole puppy thing.  
We decided that 5-month old Lola, with her little bit of training,
was a better way to go. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Isn't she cute?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Me? I am shallow...

The Mister has a favorite quote that he frequently recites from the 1986 movie The Money Pit:

I am shallow and self-centered. But you... you are "complex."

The Mister has often used this quote when speaking about our relationship.  But I think he has just reevaluated exactly who is whom in the shallow/complex relationship.  The Mister just finished catching up on my blog, and he informs me that I am at risk of being labeled shallow.  I wonder, after 15 years, is he really just now figuring that out?

Oh well, I guess I can live with that!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

In the Unlikely Event...

On the evening news, I listened as the newscaster re-capped the story about the disappearance of a local woman.  I watched as images of her flashed across the screen.  This slide show of photos made me think...  Would she have chosen those specific photos to share with the public?

It's weird isn't it?  Sometimes I look at photos of people who have been lost and are later found.  I wonder, would I have recognized that person if I had passed him or her on the street?  Are the photos shared with the public good representations of how these people really appear?  I'm not sure I would have recognized Elizabeth Smart from her photos...  It's hard enough for me to recognize family resemblances...  Could I really pick out the features of a stranger just from a photo?  Could I recognize a stranger whose photo I had only briefly seen?  What about seeing that person out of context--would they even seem familiar?

All I really know is this...  There are many photos of me that I hope never see the light of day.  I certainly don't want them broadcast across the local or national airwaves.  In fact, I think I'd rather not be recognized at all, rather than be recognized by some of those photos.

You hear about celebrities whose obituaries are written years in advance.  These seemingly-posthumously written tributes are continually updated.  I'm going to work with that idea.  On my computer, I am going to create an in case photo file.  This file will not include the bikini era.  It will exclude the post-triplet baby-fat era.  It will bypass the what was I thinking hair-style era.  I think it will focus strongly on the thanks for Photoshopping that era.  The photos in this file with be resplendent in rich color (no gray hair, please), expert airbrush techniques, and digital enhancements (can you slim that thigh a little?).  The wind-blown hair, pouty-lipped look will be optional, used only as required. 

If I ever go missing, due to head-trauma induced amnesia or anything else, will someone please remind The Mister not to use any photos unless they come from this pre-approved file?  If not, I might find myself in Arkansas or somewhere, too humiliated to return home. 

Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.


Monday, March 15, 2010


No more tender snowflakes.  The wind-drifted snow is no longer light and fluffy, now resembling crystal and glass instead of lofty down.  The early breath of spring has burnished the mounds of snow to create polished swaths of translucent cornices and weeping icicles.

The grass is peeking through the bleached landscape.  Reluctant to make an appearance.  Hesitating lest it be too soon.

The trees are skeptical.  Feeling the sunshine, yet sensing the chill of the still indecisive elements. 

Spring is coming...  Swirling through the branches and across the valley.  It may retreat, but it's here for a brief moment and I will enjoy it while it lasts.


Sunday, March 14, 2010


Habits, what are they?  Nuns wear them, druggies succumb to them...  What do you think of when you hear that word?  Is a habit a flaw, a weakness, a foible?  Or is it merely a quirk in our personal nature? 

I've been contemplating the topic of Habits a lot lately.  What is it about the term habit that is so negative?  I know that not all habits are bad.  In fact, there are several habits I wish I could aquire.  I'm not sure I'd ever truly enjoy being in the habit of getting regular exercise, but I am certain that I would see positive results.  If I could exercise regularly enough to make it a habit, I'm sure I wouldn't be sorry.  Maybe I should strive for habitually, healthy eating.  Or maybe, I could engage the habit of cleaning on a weekly schedule.  I'm sure that would make my life less stressful than the frantic, company-is-coming cleaning that I currently do...

But it's true that there are many bad habits that we pick up along the way.  Isn't it curious how something completely innocuous can turn on you in an instant?  And it's usually the seemingly unimportant things that turn into bad habits for me.  Nothing like smoking (which is not only unhealthy, but also stinky).  But the little things that creep up on you.  Like driving a little too fast, or drinking enough caffeine to keep the whole neighborhood abuzz.  Or even something as simple as grooming.  I once had made such a habit of my nightly make-up removal routine that I nearly had a melt-down when one of my preferred cleansing products was discontinued. 

My most recent priority in regard to habit-breaking involves the aforementioned frenetic housework.  Why is it such a struggle for me to keep the house orderly?  I used to be able to claim a neat and tidy house.  I was well-trained by my neat and tidy mom.  But somewhere along the way, that habit was lost and replaced by the sleep-til-the-last-minute-and-rush-out-the-door-with-the-beds-unmade habit.  I gotta break that!

So, that is my goal.  I'm going to break one habit, and (hopefully) in the process I will create another, more positive habit.  Habits are not something I usually go looking to create, and that's what will make this an interesting experiment.  Let's just hope that by next week I have a clean house, but without my manifesting any debilitating Clorox habits!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sure looks like spring to me...

I awoke to blue skies striated by wispy bits of cloud.  The fact that I could even see blue sky was remarkable, not only because we've recently had so many cloudy days, but because I was expecting a storm.  But blue sky was indeed visible out my window.  My only complaint was that I was viewing it rather early on a Saturday morning...
By the time 10:00am rolled around, I could see little flutters outside my window.  They were the type of snowflakes that seem to hover...  Drifting, floating, rising to fall again...  Those fluttery bits quickly transforming to chunky, cottony bunches of fluff.

But as with most spring storms, I thought this one would quickly pass...  Leaving a soggy world to thaw out again...  It was a great surprise when I returned home from an appointment today.  The dainty flakes of the morning and the chunkier flakes of the afternoon had collaborated to form a billowy cloak that spread across the mountainside.

 Lest you think that our storm was fleeting and unremarkable, let me assure you that as of right now (10:22pm) the snow is still swirling around the neighborhood hills and dells.  In fact, I was fortunate enough to follow the snowplow home this evening.  And even with the benefit of the freshly blazed trail, I nearly found myself walking in from the main road.  Isn't March one of the spring months?  Because I'm fairly certain that it's winter outside my front door!  Snowshoeing, anyone?

Friday, March 12, 2010

What's a sunchoke?

Sunchokes, Jerusalem artichokes, sunroot...  Call it what you will, but it makes a great pizza!

I know I've already blogged about Pizzeria 712, but I just can't get that sunchoke pizza out of my mind.  When we ordered dinner, we asked the waitress for recommendations and went with her suggestions. (A very good decision.)  After she suggested the sunchoke pizza, but before we ordered it, we asked our cute waitress what a sunchoke was.  Her answer,

...a cross between a sunflower and an artichoke...

Huh?  What's that gonna be like?  I just couldn't imagine it.   I'm thinking a veggie with spiky points and seeds...  Sorta sounds like a pinecone...  How tasty is that gonna be?

Even after eating the sunchoke pizza, I wondered why is had been described as it was.  I would describe it as being like a boiled potato--but in a good way!  :)  Our pizza had lots of interesting toppings, a lack of any "pizza sauce" and scant amounts of cheese.  And yet, the sauce and cheese were not missed at all.  But (as previously mentioned) the flavor was mildly reminiscent of a breakfast dish.

I came home and had to know more about the sunchoke.  This is what I discovered.  The sunchoke is also known as the Jerusalem artichoke.  The edible portion is actually the root--and guess what, it looks like this:

Kinda looks like a potato, huh?  Or maybe ginger root?  But the texture is similar to an artichoke--which is the obvious link to that part of its name.  (Although it is NOT related to the artichoke at all.)  But what I found really interesting is the link to the sunflower.  The sunflower is not apparent in the looks or the flavor of the sunchoke that was on our pizza, but look at the flowers that the sunchoke produces...

I see the reason for the sunflower reference, although it's completely irrelevant to the flavor...  And, shocking, the sunchoke is a member of the daisy family.  Go figure...  So, next time you see some pretty yellow flowers, dig up the roots!  You might not have sunflowers on your hands, you might have the makings of a fabulous sunchoke pizza!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reality v. Wistful Thinking

What it looks like outside my window...

What I wish it looked like outside my window...

I guess it'll come sooner or later...
Sooner...  I hope...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pizzeria 712

On an impulse, The Mister and I decided to go out to dinner last night.  We chose Pizzeria Seven Twelve based upon good reviews and the recommendation of friends.  We didn't really know what to expect, but were quite happy with our experience.

The Pizzeria is nestled into a cozy space just off Orem State Street.  The entrance is marked by substantial-looking wood and glass doors, with rustic lighting for ambiance.  Upon entering, I was struck by both how small the seating area was, and by the homey feeling created by the wood-burning pizza oven.  The pizza oven, is actually the inspiration for the name of the restaurant.  Seven hundred and twelve is the temperature at which the oven is kept.  Luckily, with adequate ventilation, we were kept pleasantly warm throughout dinner without ever feeling over roasted by the cheerfully leaping flames.

If you are looking for an intimate location for a heartfelt conversation, this probably isn't the place.  But, if you can be happy wedged between strangers at small tables for two, then head on over!

We started our meal with the yummy, warm pita bread served with a mildly spicy hummus.  The bread and hummus was followed by braised short ribs on polenta with horseradish cream.  Our salad course featured soft goat cheese and orange dressing.  The fresh green salad was lightly garnished with tender orange slices and studded with almonds.  I'm not sure of everything that was on our pizza.  But it was delicious!  The Mister and I decided that the sunchoke, pancetta, cheese combination was reminiscent of a breakfast entree.  It had a bit of that bacon and hash brown taste to it--but very unique and tasty!  On the recommendation of our waitress, we followed up our dinner by splitting a pecan blondie with ice cream and caramel sauce.  A very delicious end to a fantastic meal. 

If you're looking for pepperoni and cheese pizza--head to Brick Oven.  But if you're in the mood to be a little adventurous, I highly recommend Pizzeria Seven Twelve.  And you can hope that you get Sandy as your waitress.  She's great at recommending something special and she's adorable to boot!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Cat with No Name

Have I ever mentioned that we have a cat without a name?  She's about a year old, she was born here in our garage...  She's the one remaining cat that we consider "ours."  The others decided to flee at their first opportunity. 

Shade (no-name kitty's momma) left our house for the better handouts at the neighbor's house.  Just before Christmas, she discovered that the kids there would hand-feed her deli ham.  She continued to visit as they continued to feed her...  We haven't seen her back at our house since New Year's Day.

Chubby was seemingly offended by the moniker we bestowed upon her and ran off with her stud boyfriend.  She was such a floosie!  If it wasn't Nekko, it would have been Hunny (the neighbor's carousing cat)  And BTW, like Hunny is any better as a name than Chubby?!

Nekko was one of ours.  He went were the action was...  Did I mention that Chubby was a floosie?  Of course, I'm sure it wasn't just her loose ways...  I'm sure they were deeply in love.  I hear he's become a caring provider for their brood.

Anyway, back to the no-name cat.  I guess we could name her Store Brand or Generic...  JJ's teacher asked The Mister if we really had a pet cat that didn't have a name...  When he answered in the affirmative, she was a bit perplexed.  I'm not sure I would have been able to give her a reason.  The best I can come up with is that The Boy named her something that just didn't stick.  He called her Train, or Trane, or Trayne...  I dunno, but it just didn't take.

But you know what I find even more perplexing than having a pet with no name?  Having a cat that doesn't purr.  She is the whiniest cat.  She cries and moans and is generally pathetic.  But she loves to snuggle and be rubbed under the chin.  She loves to have her nose stroked.  She sidles up and winds herself around your legs (tripping you if you aren't paying attention!).  But does she ever give you the satisfaction of letting you know how much she enjoys the attention?  No.  No, she does not.  She has not once, ever, even for a second, granted me the pleasure of letting me know that I'm appreciated.

Dumb cat!

A Lucky Neighborhood

This is the month of leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.  
The month of luck and superstition.  
What an apropos time to find my neighborhood adorned by
this colorful symbol of good fortune!

Now, if I could just convince that patch of four-leaf clover to grow!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Black Snow

You know that Spring has been a long time coming when the snow begins to look like this.  Isn't it sad?  Those clean drifts of pure white snow have deteriorated into this black mush.  ick.  I'm ready for Spring.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Demons in the Microwave

Our microwave is possessed.  Or rather, it was, now I'm not sure exactly how I would classify it.

The freakishly scary behavior started just after we moved into our new house.  I would put a dish into the microwave and it would shoot sparks and make a loud, growling noise.  As if that weren't bad enough, it then started "cooking" whenever it wanted, and would only stop when it was so inclined.  It once melted a microwave-safe dish--I tried to stop the heat...  I pressed cancel, I pressed pause, I opened the door...  That freakish thing just kept cooking!  I was standing in front of it, turntable turning, lights on, heat still emanating from the unit, and the door was wide open!  It can't be healthy to be standing directly in front of a microwave, with the door open and the thing still running.  I yanked it out of the cabinet, dropped it to the floor, and pulled the plug from the outlet.

The repairman (I use that term very loosely) came next.  I'm not sure if I'd rather deal with the possessed microwave or the diabolical  repairman.  He arrived as scheduled and asked to see the offending appliance.  That wicked kitchen appliance but on a deceptive show and worked flawlessly.  (Go figure, right?)  The repairman then charged me $75 and told me it looked like it was working as designed.  I described the usual (unusual) activity that we had experienced but he said that unless he saw that activity first hand there was nothing else he could do.

I played devil's advocate and asked the hypothetical question:

IF the microwave ever did X, what would you say the problem was...?

He told me that IF that ever did happen, the expected repair would cost about $200 (that, of course, being in addition to the $75 I had already paid--a new unit costing about $300).  I said I'd pass on the repair.  duh.

So, we've been dealing with ghoulish growling, malevolent melting, depraved defrosting, corrupt cooking, and all methods of madness.  That is, until last night.  It a final act of dastardly defiance, the microwave tortured me one last time with a blatant refusal to do my bidding.  It held my popcorn hostage.  After a long day, all I wanted was a salty, crunchy snack--and that mean microwave flatly refused.  It popped three kernels and then just kept spinning that turntable and the popcorn bag...  Nothing happened...  No more popping.  No heat.  The lights were on, but nobody was home, so to speak.  And that's how it has remained.  A shell of its former self.  Buttons and lights, motion without benefit...  I hate that thing (but how can you live without one?)!  And now I'll be spending $300 for another one.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Proof Reading

I don't claim to always submit flawless posts to my blog.  I've been known to make an error or two, a typo here, poor grammar there...  Odd use of punctuation  :)   Beginning sentences with words like And or But...  The difference being, I don't get paid big bucks to proofread and edit these blog posts (or really anything else).

Last night, in a near-sleep state, I was still coherent enough to catch this interesting oversight.  The ad was promoting a law firm.  The firm was suing on behalf of individuals who had suffered serious side effects from a certain drug.  The ad urged people to call if they met a certain criteria.  The entreaty requested that you call if: or a loved one has suffered from serious effects including stroke, heart attack, suicide, or even death.

I would think that it would be difficult to call and schedule an appointment if you had personally suffered suicide or death.  And to be honest, I'm not sure that heaven even broadcasts that channel.  I like TV as much as the rest of the world, but even I have to think that heaven would have sit-coms without the interruption of commercials.  So what is the likelihood that you'd even see the commercial if you had suffered in that way? 

Just asking...

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's a snowblower kind of day!

Eight inches and still falling.  Spring is nowhere to be found!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

300 Plus A Few

I'm not sure how I made it here, but somehow I've reached another milestone.  At some point in the past week or two, I hit the 300 blog posts mark.  In the amount of time it has taken me to post 300 random thoughts, I've dieted, cooked, shopped, cleaned house, and complained.  Thanks for sharing those moments with me.  My goal over the course of the next 100 or so posts is to share something brilliant.  I'm still waiting for a brilliant idea to hit me, but when it does, I'll be sure to share.  In the meantime, thanks for visiting.  I'll be posting something odd and irrelevant again soon. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chocolate hearts to marshmallow Peeps.

Last year I was peeved when I stopped at Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve.  I was looking for small treats and last minute items for the Christmas Eve celebration and for Christmas Day.  To my chagrin, instead of discounted prices on Christmas goods, I was bombarded by an inordinate amount of Valentine's Day paraphernalia.  Inordinate Amount of Valentine's goods being defined as any Valentine's goods, as Christmas hadn't passed, and the Day of Love was still three holidays (Christmas, New Year's, and President's Day) away. 

The point being, I have found myself in that position once again.  Overwhelmed by holiday items, with the featured holiday still hovering far from the foreseeable future.  In case you haven't noticed, the hearts and flowers of Valentine's Day very quickly segued to chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps.

Of course, in the spirit of chocolate love, this is my most beloved time of year.  It's the season of Dove Chocolate Truffle Eggs, candy-coated Cadbury Mini Eggs, and (although not chocolate) brightly colored jelly beans.  And, while I find extreme pleasure in being able to purchase my all-time favorite treats, it sure makes it difficult to remain faithful to my healthy goals.

And what of the official holiday of the month?  Why is it consistently overlooked by the merchandising department?  Why has someone not taken hold of this prime opportunity to celebrate in the traditional Irish way?  I am not satisfied by a single sheet of shamrock stickers.  I won't be content with a shiny, green, plastic bowler hat.  I am disappointed by the towering display of green Jell-o that mocks me from the grocery aisle end cap.

Please, for the love!  Can't someone come up with something (anything) to stave off the Easter displays?  If I can procure Dove Chocolate Truffle Eggs for three months out of the year, it's not gonna be pretty! 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Strange Catch

Strange is what we found in the garage yesterday.  It's not a mouse, it's not a vole, it's not a rat, it isn't even a gopher, but what is it?  The kitty-with-no-name is certainly proud of her conquest.  But I just wish she'd take it away and not leave it out as a trophy for me to step on...  ick!

I'd post a photo so you could submit your guesses, but that's a double ick on the Ickiness Scale. *shudder*

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lucky Me!

I've said it before, I'm a bit of a techno-nerd, still shocking, isn't it?  I like the new gadgets, the upgrades, the latest and greatest.  But my current run-of-luck regarding technology has been a bit of a challenge.  

I don't think I've ever mentioned the high-tech aspects of our home.  To turn on the music, TV, DVD player, or digital photo frames, we are obligated to use a specially formatted remote control.  This specially formatted remote control cost us a fortune ($250 give or take a little) and it runs nearly everything...  At least it's supposed to run everything.  The problem is, our remote should look like this:

But instead, it looks like this...

Why is that a problem?  Because there is a very complex menu system that should be visible on the LCD screen of the remote...  Note the cracked screen--our menu is not so visible with that cracked screen.  And that's the problem.  Actually, it wouldn't be a problem if we hadn't lost the additional (and equally expensive) remote.  But seemingly, we have--or at least had.

Sometime during the holidays we lost our remote.  We tore apart the house, the couches, the beds, the closets, and everything else in an effort to locate that expensive remote...  All this searching seemed to be fruitless, as we remained the owners of only one (very sad looking) remote.  A common refrain has become,
Who has the remote?  And where do you have it?

That remote had become a bit of a nomad...  Being hauled from room to room to perform channel surfing on one TV after another...  It's been a busy piece of technology.

I'd come to the conclusion that we must have inadvertently thrown out our remote with the holiday trash.  It's been an annoying few months...

Thankfully, I think I'm arriving at the end of my techno-tragic streak.  I have officially located all the ringing phones.  If you call, I will answer (assuming I'm home).

I have adapted to talking to both the GPS unit and the hands-free feature of my car.  We are all getting along (with only a limited number of outbursts).

And the best news of all.  I found the remote!  Oh, Happy Day!

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