Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday Thoughts of a Twitterless Thinker--Friday Edition

Yeah, I'm reaaaaaly, reaaaaaly late getting out my Thursday Thoughts. But I swear to you by the power of Greyskull (don't know why I remember that after all these years) that I thought every single one of these thoughts on Thursday. Also, remember to check out Dolls Remembered by clicking on the Amazon link in my right sidebar. There are entries in the book by Foreign Quang's own Auntie M., Jill, Janice, Juliah, and moi.

------------------------------------> This way to the cool doll book! --------------->

I accomplished five more end of summer goals in the past week or so. Number 9, slathering butter on hot corn on the cob, took place during last night’s dinner. Now I must take this opportunity to tell you that in no way does Utah corn even remotely compare to Iowa corn. Iowa is not famous for corn in vain, no siree. When I was an Iowan child, my siblings and I called the individual kernels of corn “teeth.” Iowa corn has sunflower yellow meaty juicy large “teeth.” Utah corn has pale butter yellow miniscule teeth. It takes about 1/3 of the entire cob to make one mouthful of corn. I don’t know if Utahns in their ignorance just don’t plant the same type of corn as Iowans or if the difference is in the dirt, something like “god soil” versus “pagan soil.” (Anyone who has lived in Utah knows that soil must be “enhanced” in order to be productive.)

On my recent trip to Wyoming, we accomplishe
d #10—splashing in a pool. This pool in Sheridan, Wyoming deserves recognition. Not only did it cost a mere $1.75 to get in (my town=$3.00!) and observers got in free (my town= “I don’t care if you’re only here to watch your children, it’s still three bucks!”) but they also had a water slide! (My town= no water slide. *sniff*) Yeah, Sheridan, your pool rocks!

The other day we were able to pick a juicy red tomato from our garden, thereby snagging us goal # 12. We had it i
n our salad last night and it was divine—a juicy combination of sweet and tart. Other than Farr’s E.L. Fudge ice cream, I might say that tomato was the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

Last Saturday, we listened to a local band perform some exquisite Celtic folk music. If not for the fact that the last time I tried it I ripped a ligament in my knee, I would have pulled out some Irish clicky shoes and danced along. Not only were we treated to free music, but also free hamburgers and ice cream. The Frugal Family is all about free, don’t ya know! Goal # 20—Check!

And lastly, we vegged out in our yard swing, accomplishing goal # 27. We had gone on a family walk and when we got back, the stars were magnificent and there was a sensually delightful cool summer breeze blowing through our backyard. We plopped down in the cushioned swing and briefly contemplated sleeping there. It folds down into a bed-type swing, but the thought of neighbors walking by and watching us sleep was
too freaky for words. Plus, one of us, namely the small child, probably would have gotten pushed off in the middle of the night. Instead, we sat on the swing, idly watching the next-door neighbor trying to get his 4-wheeler started. Without offering to help. The goal said to “be lazy.”

I have triumphed over the Feedburner gods! Regular readers of the Quang will remember this problem that I’ve had where one day it shows 3 readers, the next day 2. Then 3. Then 2. Then 3. Then 2. Ad Nauseum. The other day I saw that it said 4! And the next day it said 4! And the day after that it said 4! It still says 4! Never has a person been so excited over having 4 readers. I love you all!

Boy Scouting has been good for my son. It’s been a trial though, for me! While in Cub Scouts he wanted me to come along on every camp out and even called me once, begging me to come take him home.

Scouts has changed him. He now attends meetings with 11-18 year olds and is attempting to prove his manliness by wanting me to butt out. I think this feeling has been exacerbated by Scoutmaster who doesn’t allow moms to come to anything because we “ruin their fun.”

I can see his point. Wednesday night Computer Geek and I were helping Jere load his backpack. The list said to bring one pair of jeans, those being the ones they were wearing. I rebelled. “I’m not going to have my son wearing the same jeans for three days!” Computer Geek and Jere both looked at me incredulously. CG finally said, “This is a camp out. Whatever he packs, he has to carry for 2 miles.” Well that kinda made sense. Jeans are kind of heavy. “What about pajama pants?” They learned to ignore me by that point.

Yesterday, he wouldn’t even let me take him to Scoutmaster’s house. “I need to get used to carrying this pack,” he said. I nearly cried as he walked down the street to Scoutmaster’s house a block and a half away. Without Mom. What if he can’t carry that pack for three days? What if he runs out of water? How is he supposed to wash his hair when they wouldn’t let him bring shampoo? What if he gets eaten by a bear? (You think I’m being over-protective?)

I understand, though. A successful mom is someone who can train her son to live without her. Success just hurts sometimes.

Are you ready to die for what you believe? On our way back from Sheridan, we came across a historic site called Martin’s Cove. Jeremiah and I stopped there for about an hour.

The visitor’s center tells the story, via wall pictures and captions, of the ill-fated Martin handcart company. These Mormon pioneers trekked westward, hoping to reach Salt Lake City in 1856. A variety of factors caused them to come across Wyoming, pulling handcarts and walking. Of the original 576 who began the trek, 145 died en
route, from sickness and exposure.

Rescue parties came from Salt Lake, bringing food and supplies. Rescuers helped the survivors cross the ice-clogged Sweetwater River near where we stopped. Many had to be carried across the frigid water because they had no shoes.

Needless to say, it was a very touching visit for both Jeremiah and me. He was given a small booklet on our arrival and he was instructed to find all the answers somewhere on the grounds. He discovered that the Martin company stayed 5 days in the cove, now called Martin’s Cove. He learned that each person was only allowed to pack 17 pounds into the handcart. When the load grew too heavy, the pioneers had to discard valuable blankets and clothing along the side of the trail. Also left along the side of the trail were the buried bodies of family members who died during the cold nights. When we left, Jere was given a small wooden n
ecklace to commemorate his visit to the cove.

To these pioneers, suffering through their long journey was better than being persecuted for their beliefs.

School starts Monday! Our four month summer vacation (I know, waaah!) seemed far too short. I will be in a different school from Jeremiah this year. He will be in 5th grade at the elementary and I will be teaching 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade literature at the high school. On the bright side I get to read and read and read and read. On the downside, I’ll be teaching…gulp…teenagers. People who have developed a sense of sarcasm and know how to use it. Most of them will be taller than I. If I survive, and I pray I will, I am confident I will be a better person for having conquered. May the force be with me.

I’m assuming almost everyone goes to Walmart on occasion, right? Have you noticed how the Walestial Kingdom’s store brand for food and grocery items, Great Value, is now sporting packaging that looks very…white? Is anyone old enough to remember the old black and white generic packaging from years ago? Well, that’s what Great Value is starting to look like.

We’ve come up with three theories:

1. Great Value has taken a cue from bloggers and is now going with the c
leaner “white space” look.
2. Great Value is going broke and is trying to save money on ink.
3. Great Value is trying to prepare us for when the recession hits, martial law goes into effect, and Walmart becomes the government’s rationed food distribution center. (Computer Geek’s theory.)

So, what do you think of the new down-scaled look?

My nomination for cool website of the week goes to The Idea Room. Check it out for all kinds of frugal decorating tips, recipes and craft ideas.

No wonder I can’t Twitter. Have I ever been able to keep a thought to 140 characters?

Devil's Gate, WY
Cut through by the Sweetwater River


  1. Randi: Iowa corn, yes, it has no competetion. And tomatoes, a class by themselves. There are people who claim they've eaten the tastiest tomatoes, but if they are not from Iowa those people are simply wrong.

    Here's how to eat an Iowa tomato. Go into the garden armed with a salt shaker, pluck a plump, ripe, still warm from the sun tomato, inhale its smell right at the point where it had clung to the vine, don't bother to wash it,
    sprinkle it with salt, take a bite and let the juice run down your chin, take another bite and suck up some juice. You're tasting what must have been the forbidden fruit in Eden.

    New Englander Robert Frost
    supposedly once looked at Iowa's thick, rich soil and said, "Sun, soil and rain come together in Iowa as in no other state. The soil looks good enough to eat without putting it through vegetables."

    Iowa tomatoes are the meat of good poetry. It's the soil, folks, it's the soil.

  2. Auntie M: Well written.

    Unfortunately, I have never eaten an Iowa tomato fresh from the vine. Back then, I was one of those whose tomato had to be fridge-cold. Now, I know better. I have learned that the flavor is magnified when sun warmed. When I cut into a vine picked, still warm tomato, I salivate, just like Pavlov's dog, anticipating that first, juicy bite. My mom, ate tomatoes the way you described.

    Frost is right. Iowa's dirt smells rich enough to throw in a blender and make a smoothie. It's thick, coffee-dark, and loose. Utah soil is tan, rocky, and full of clay, making better houses than gardens. It is not uncommon in spring to drive through rural Utah and see a six foot pile of 1' in diameter rocks in the front of someone's yard, freshly dug from the "garden" area. Many a Utah homeowner uses those rocks to decoratively landscape his yard. In fact, I have a friend who built a wall 3' high down the length of his yard, from rocks culled from his garden area.

    It is the Iowa god-soil, that's for sure.

  3. That's a nice looking tomato :) I will jump on a swing any chance I get. It's always fun:) The summer is flying by. I still have so much to do on my list. I guess I'll do some things in the fall. This last week will probably be devoted to school clothes and supply shopping. It will be crazy :)

  4. septembermom: In my humble opinion, the more summer activities we can take into fall, the better! That's reaaally stretching out the summer fun! Technically, it's not fall til the end of September anyway, so we may as well devote our weekends to family fun--little mini vacations between those first few school weeks.
    Have fun with all your back to school shopping!

  5. Excuse me Miss Randi.. How would you like me to prepare that onion for you? :)

  6. ekanela: What onion? There is no onion.


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