Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Give Spring a Hug!

I am resolved to embrace spring and all that it brings this year.  Yes, even if it means heavy snowstorms!  Even if summer vacation starts after school on Friday.  Even if Saturday is May Day and I will be wearing snow boots. I won't let it get me down. Nevah!

This little guy is happy about spring!

These fruit trees were sporting some beautiful 
white and pink blossoms yesterday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Top Ten Reasons Why I Can’t Wait to Move!

Hello, my faithful Quangsters!  I know I have been ranting monotonously about my upcoming move to the point where all of you are saying, “I get it---you hate to move, right? Sheesh!”

Because I try to be a positive person, and because there is nothing that will destroy my optimistic mood faster than the word “nomad,” I decided to make a list of all the reasons I am happy as a clam* to move. This should be a refreshing change.

10.  The sooner I move; the faster I can plant flowers.

 9.    I have been acquainted with, and love, the last 5 inhabitants of the new house, so it comes pre-installed with a good aura.

 8.    At least this time school will be out when I move. Unlike the other times I have moved in the last thirteen years, I will not have to go to work the next day.

 7.    I get two weeks to transition from one house to the next. I will actually have time to clean the old place well before turning it over to new people.

 6.   We will only live about a block away from the dirt hills where my son loves to have bike accidents.

 5.   Friends have offered to help move and to prepare dinners for us during the transition time.

 4.   Wood burning stove! (Don’t worry, that’s not the stove I have to cook on.)

 3.   The new place comes with a built-in security system: two peacocks who live in the front tree and caw raucously when anyone pulls up.

 2.   I get to live in a house with its own name: The Toothpaste House—so called because of its Crest-blue colored exterior.

And the number one reason why I can’t wait to move:

 1.   Rent that is $200 cheaper!

* I now know where the expression "happy as a clam" comes from---clams are always happy because they take their homes with them!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thoughts of a Twitterless Thinker 4/22/10

My son was rappelling this weekend and got quite a burn on two of his fingers. After school, I took him to the store to buy some more band-aids. He went in by himself and when he came back out, he just had to show me the packaging on the new band-aids. After pointing out tiny Braille bumps on the front of the package he said, “Look, Mom! Band-aids for deaf people!”

We read lots of short stories in my literature classes. On a recent test, one of my students couldn’t remember the author of a story we had just read.
The question was “The Night the Bed Fell” was written by ___________.”

He answered “John Edwards.”

So…I’m lying there at the dentist yesterday with my upper lip anchored somewhere near my nose, some contraption pushing down my lower lip and pulling my mouth wide in a grotesque grin, a block pushing my tongue to one side [and don’t we all know how cute the undersides of our tongues are,] and drool running out of my mouth. 

While I’m trying to avoid listening to a high-pitched drill squeal in my ear, I start thinking.  I’m thinking about how at least two people (my Woody Harrelson look-alike dentist and his assistant) who live in my small community now know what I look like with my face pulled in bizarre directions. Totally not cute. (I learned a long time ago, to never wear lipstick to the dentist or I’d be wearing it on my cheek on the way home.) (Here’s another parenthetical thought—my trip to the dentist meant a huge bowl of chocolate pudding for supper. Nothing else. Isn’t that grand?)

With all that face pulling and drill whining, I started wondering. Is going to the dentist in fact more humiliating than going to That Other Doctor? 

When my dentist meets me on the street and looks at my face, does he really see me with my face all distorted? And no matter how polished I might look that day, is he really remembering how my tongue kept flopping over so he had to restrain it with a dental device? Who would I rather run into downtown, the dentist, or That Other Doctor? A toss-up, for sure.

But on the bright side, having my face contorted and my teeth sandblasted is a lot less painful than moving!  By this time next month I will be cursing like my saintly mother because having moved into my new home, I will not have been able to find anything of importance.

I will be able to find my Iowa library card from 14 years ago (which I will promptly throw away, Janice!  Hee hee!) but not my contact lens case. My cross-stitch project from twelve years ago will be right on top of some box, but my bathrobe will be buried in either the storage unit or the spare room of the new house. Did I ever mention in at least eight or twelve previous posts that I hate moving?  I didn’t?  Well let me tell ya!

I really need to not be so vocal about my distaste for moving because my eleven-year old has begun mimicking me, word for word.  “I hate moving. Why do we have to? The new house is smaller.” 

Whether or not it really is smaller is up for debate. I say it is smaller, my husband says it is bigger. My current landlord’s wife says it is bigger, but my current landlord says it’s smaller. Some friends say, “Oh aren’t you going to be glad to have so much more room?” while others say, “It’s always an adjustment going to someplace smaller, isn’t it?”  

I think the verdict is that inside storage room such as closets and cupboards will be greatly diminished, but outside storage space will be greater. Translate: We’ll have a garage now!  So anytime during the next month if you come to this blog and see nothing but #@#$%$%&^%!!!!!!!!  you will know to quietly sneak back out and come back another day.

I’m going to really stick my neck out and say something daring. I think spring is finally here.  I don’t want to say it too loudly, lest the nature gods try to pull another April Fool’s Day trick.  But today, I looked at our lawn and saw yellow.  Not the normal yellow of Utah grass, but bright dandelion yellow. In addition to seeing yellow, it rained.  Not snowed. Rained. Shhh…

Have you ever had a close friend or relative that you love dearly, but with whom you disagree on almost everything?  I have a loved one like that. We disagree on politics, religion, life outlook, government and pretty much everything else. I think we both love tomatoes.  

The nice thing about having someone like this in my life, is that he causes me to think. Frequently he’ll make a comment that ignites my ire, but when I stop and take a look at what he’s saying, my viewpoint morphs somewhat. I won’t say that I change my views, but my views are tempered.

Last week he said that the more he knows about science, the more he knows there is no God.

That statement threw me, because the more I know about science and mathematics, the more I am convinced that there is a God, and that our universe was not accidentally formed. It only took me a brief layman’s study of Fibonacci numbers in nature and of Pascal’s triangle (and of Fibonacci numbers within Pascal’s triangle!) to know that if I was looking for logic to settle the question of whether or not God existed, I had my proof right there. Of course I had already believed spiritually, so believing logically was just icing.

What do you think? Do science and math lead you to question God’s existence, or to affirm it?

Update: I jinxed myself by mentioning spring! When I woke up this morning, it had snowed!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Serenity 04/11/2010

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, April 5, 2010

One Year of Extreme Chunkiness

It hardly seems possible that one year ago I was posting pictures of a little slug that looked like this:

And now I post pictures of his Extreme Chunkiness that look like this:

Yesterday, on Easter Sunday, little Chunk turned one year old.  I don't recollect ever knowing a happier camper. Chunk toddles around [has been walking since 9 months!] with a perpetual smile on his cheeky little face.

He is so obnoxiously happy that even men like to hold him. As I mentioned in a previous post, I sometimes have to knock men out in order to hold my grandson. My own husband is one of the culprits. A few weeks ago he asked my daughter if we could take Chunk on a road trip with us. Em looked at him strangely and said no. I looked at my husband even more strangely and said, "What the hell were you thinking?"   I know what he was thinking---that *I* would be the one to feed, carry and change soiled diapers for His Chunkiness.

I can't blame him though. Little Chunkster is fun to be around. He appears genuinely happy to see each new person who walks into a room and puts up with us always wanting to cuddle his smooshy little body.

Yesterday though, we saw a new side of Chunky Style. He went from happily playing with his cool new toy

to being an inconsolable little tyrant who wanted nothing to do with birthday cake if it meant he had to stop playing with the colorful balls that popped into the air.  Birthday cake instead had a nice encounter with the floor, while Chunk tried to get rid of the offending pastry by wiping it on whatever was handy.

Hoo-boy, was he irritated.  I think what made him even madder was to see his family standing around laughing at him.  Laughing and taking pictures.  Laughing and videoing the outburst.  Laughing and eating cake before we finally let him down to go play with his new found love.

I think his mother was not too offended that Chunk's piece of her meticulously decorated Mickey Mouse cake ended up on the floor. He really doesn't need the calories.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cheap Spices

Last week's storage item was spices and herbs. Since I'm trying to follow my own advice and stock up on the items recommended, I was on the hunt for cheap spices to put into storage.

Walmart carries a spice brand called 5th Season that they sell for 50 cents!  They had different varieties of spices, including garlic and onion salt and powder, Italian seasoning, chili powder, cinnamon, lemon pepper, dried parsley, seasoning salt and others.  Because they want you to pay $4 for the same sized spice bottle, the 5th Seasoning brand was way on the bottom shelf.  Because I am cheap, cheap, cheap, I found those well-hidden bottles and am now passing on my shopping secrets to you.  If there's one thing my college marketing class taught me it was that the stuff they want you to buy is at eye level.

Of course if you are 6 inches tall, you would have found the 50 cent spices right away.

Make sure to check out the sidebar for this week's new storage item. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nature Loves a Good Joke!

Yesterday kids were playing outside, riding bikes and flying kites. The scent of spring was in the air and our fruit trees were beginning to show little buds of hope.

Today...on April Fool's Day no less, we woke up to this:

Other than snow, my April Fool's Day has been pretty mild. A few students hid under desks and another one feigned amnesia [quite well, I might add.]

Did anyone play a good trick on you today?
What tricks did you play on others?
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