Thursday, December 21, 2006

Watch Out !!! We just might stop by

On Sunday, we made the drive down to Mom's for an early Christmas dinner. Taking advantage of having 3 of her children and their families at her home, Mom enthusiastically suggested that we go Christmas carolling to 3 of her neighbors. Now, ever since I can remember, Mom has cajoled us into going carolling each Christmas. Please note that we are not singers. We usually go to some of the elderly people in the ward, but this year Mom had the idea of going to the neighbors' homes instead. After many attempts to find excuses not to go, Mom won and she whipped out the box containing scarves, mittens, and hats. I couldn't stop laughing at Mike all night with those sexy ear muffs on.
Mind you, it was almost 9pm by the time we headed out the door. The first attempt was the house next door. No one came to the door, even after my niece and nephew shouted very loudly, "open your door right now" . (they were definitely home) At door number 2 the neighbor finally opened up after 2 songs and gave us kind of a perplexed look. At door number 3, after singing 3 songs, without opening the door, the neighbor simply turned off the porch light. Ok, hint received: game over. (Mom is convinced that the light was a motion sensor light which simply "timed out" but we know otherwise. )
Moral of the story: Some of us just weren't made for singing. Next year we should simply drop off the treat without opening our mouths.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Is everyone happy now????

Apparently many of you are very concerned about my lack of rotation skills. Unfortunately, I don't care so much whether or not my pictures are rotated because I am too lazy to figure out how to do it.

I am anal about clean bathrooms. So maybe you guys can teach me how to rotate pictures and I will clean your bathroom for you.

so here is the rotated picture.
By the way the tamale party was really fun and the tamales turned out to be very tasty.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Manteca Anyone??

Tonight I am having a tamale party at our home. I have always loved tamales and so last year I decided to take a Tamale Making cooking class to learn how to make these savory treats. You can imagine my horror when the instructor brought out the bucket of lard and told us that the secret to "authentic" tamales was the lard. I have a hard enough time eating chewy red meat such as steaks and I always cut off any hint of fat on my meats so lard is something that isn't really in my vocabulary. To demonstrate the difference between "authentic" tamales and imitation tamales the instructor made 2 different masas, one using lard and the other using some sort of vegetable shortening. I have to say the lard tamales WERE better and I was sold.

A few weeks later my sister Carol and I had a little tamale making fest at her house. I made her purchase the lard and she bought Farmer John brand which is nicely processed into white bricks. It didn't look so bad.

Unfortunately, Carol is in Spain and cannot buy the nicely packaged lard this year and so I got stuck buying it. I went to the Mexican market to make all of my purchases and when looking for the lard I was directed to the "taqueria" section. There sitting on the shelf in all of its glory were buckets and buckets of "pure" fresh lard. I cringed, but took the plunge and bought it. I wasn't really sure what to do with it when I brought it home. Did it need to be refrigerated or could it simply stay out? I decided to put it in the deepest cavern of the refrigerator so I could forget about it until absolutely necessary.

Wish me luck. I hope the tamales turn out. (and yes my sense of smell did come back. Thank goodness)

Friday, December 8, 2006


Has anyone ever heard of this word? Maybe it can be Alyssa's word of the day on her next post. Anosmia is the condition I find myself in currently-that being the loss of the sense of smell. I really like to smell anything and everything I come into contact with. I also really like food. I love to cook and I love to eat. About a month ago I signed up for a cooking class and I was looking forward to making and tasting all kinds of delicious treats. Well, I got a cold last week and when Tuesday night came my sense of smell and taste left. The class was excellent and I am sure the food was too but I couldn't even taste it. How ironic is that. Now losing my sense of smell has happened before, but never for such a prolonged period of time. Last night they had a Christmas Enrichment party where you were supposed to bring your favorite Christmas treat. Once again, I had been looking forward to this activity because it involved 2 of my favorite pastimes, cooking and eating. I made a yummy almond bread to share which went on a table filled with tasty treats. But alas, my smell and taste were nowhere to be found. What's the point of eating sweets when you can't even taste them? So now it's been 72 hours since I've been able to smell or taste anything. This really is torturous for me. There is, however, one advantage, I can't smell the poopy diapers that I change several times a day.

Please tell me my sniffer will work again. In the back of my mind I am terrified that I am going to be like the lady I met at the doctor's office several months ago. She told me that she went to Europe on vacation and picked up some kind of flu that has left her unable to smell and taste in the 2 years since. How horrifying is that. So the moral of the story is, don't take your sniffer for granted because life really is dull and boring without it.

Monday, December 4, 2006

How to have your hair and clothes and pretty much everything in your house smell like a campfire without going camping!!

Today I smell like a campfire as does my husband, child, and whole house. How did we achieve this amazing feat without actually going camping you ask?? Well it's called living in a place that periodically gets threatened by wildfires. I should have known we were in for trouble when I was awakened by the howling wind several times early Sunday morning. By 11:00 am there was a thick cloud of black smoke above our home and ashes falling out of the sky. We were advised to evacuate and we left 5 mintues later. I was scared as our home nestles right up to a very large hill with tons of brush perfect for fire. Luckily our neighborhood escaped any damage, although 5 homes in our city were destroyed. We are also fortunate to live near my sister and she took in the smelly refugees.:)
It's weird to think that every temporal thing we have can be destroyed in the blink of an eye. What would it be like to loose everything in an instant? As we hurried and left our home we didn't take much but I had what was most important, my baby and my husband.
We later returned to find all was well but it will take some time for our house to rid itself of the smell of a smokey casino in Las Vegas.
Now our city's claim to fame can be to have a fire named after it. Want to move here?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

50% Certified Bean Counter

Congratulations to Mike!!! He found out yesterday that he passed the second part of the California CPA exam. 2 down and 2 more to go. He takes test number 3 tomorrow and then waits a few months for the results. We will all be happy when all this studying is over. I'm so proud of him. He doesn't need the CPA license for his current job but he is doing it just to be prepared for the future. ( Unfortunately I am much more lazy than he is, as I never got the LCSW license in my field because I didn't want to study for it. Lame I know) What a great hard working motivated husband I have. Cheers to him!!!

Now, for a little treat I decided to make him a chocolate lava cake. The picture on the recipe in my magazine made it look so beautiful with luscious chocolaty goo spilling out of the miniature cakes topped with plump raspberries. Well, so it didn't exactly turn out very pretty but at least it tasted good. Why does nothing I make every look as beautiful as it does in the picture? Are they using fake food? I mean we've all heard that they use glue instead of milk to get those cereal box pictures. If they photoshop models why not every food too? Is nothing real??

Monday, November 27, 2006


We spent Thanksgiving in St. George of all random places. My brother Jim and his wife Kristina who live in D.C. were down visiting her parents and sealed their sweet baby to their family in the St. George temple. It was a great weekend filled with good food, fun times at the sand dunes, shopping, and lots of laughs, but I have to say that my favorite part was the sight I saw on Thanksgiving morning. At 11:00am we were headed over to the Thanksgiving feast and we just happened to drive past a Chuck-A-Rama Restaurant. Now, I don't know about the rest of you but the only times I have been sighted in that restaurant has been when I have been forced to go with my 98 year old grandma who absolutely raves about how good it is. I find it about on par with BYU dorm food-ughhh. Anyway, not only was Chuck-A-Rama open for business, but there were about 50 people waiting in line outside to get in. Most were very nicely dressed in their Thanksgiving best. Oh yeah, and did I mention that a significant portion of these eager clients were in the "blue hair" genre. What is it about old people and gross buffet restaurants. Do they like them because they have no more taste buds? Somebody please explain. I just feel sorry for their family members who were forced to join them. Happy Thanksgiving to them, and stay away from Grandma's next year or you just might end up at one of these establishments.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Purses purses purses

As a general rule, I like shopping for clothes. However there are 2 items that I really don't like buying, purses and shoes. I can't even remember the last time I purchased a purse, unless you count the one I got 4 years ago at a garage sale for 25 cents. My purses have mainly come from two sources, Alyssa and my Mom. I appreciate that others are willing to help me out in this matter. My real estate agent also gave me a purse once. Apparently, however, there are others who live in far away places that are also concerned about my lack of purse buying skills. About 3 years ago, Mike and I traveled to Brasil. While we were there I acquired a most unusual purse from a friend of one of my missionary companions. It is a purse made from one continuous zipper. Very odd, but a great conversation piece as well as very useful. See exhibit A below. (sorry I have no idea how to flip it)

As I wrote in my first post, we recently returned from another trip to Brasil. On this trip we were visiting with a friend who decided to show me her collection of homemade purses. Now these aren't any purses mind you. These happen to be purses made from recycled materials that are crocheted together such as plastic bottles and soda can tabs. And wouldn't you know it, she gave me one of these gems. I now have my own soda can tab purse. Please note that I was instructed to use this purse at high class affairs such as weddings and parties because it has fake pearls sewn on it. I don't know, soda tabs and high class parties- do they mix???? Please see exhibit B.

I can't wait to see what kind of purse I get next time we go to Brasil. And for all of you who have ever given me a purse, thanks.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Welcome to Blogville

Here is my attempt at blogging. I am very lame at understanding all this new-fangled technology but I will give it a try. So, to start out on a funny note, I am including the following picture from our recent trip to Brasil. First of all, I hate dogs, and Brasil has a large quantity of street dogs. I hate everything about them but on this particular day they provided us with some good entertainment. We had arrived at the beach with high hopes, only to find it pouring rain. As we were deciding what to do, we noticed a pack of about 10 dogs chasing after 1 dog. (need I say more) This amusing mating dance kept us occupied while we stood under some shelter in the pouring rain trying to come up with plan b. By the way, we didn't stay long enough to see which dog won the prize.

This is what beautiful Florianopolis looks like when it is not raining.