Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Hoolie!

Yesterday grandgirl Hoolie turned seven years old. It seems like just a few flips of the calendar ago that we were celebrating her third birthday at the park, here:

Now, she's a big seven year old who got her ears pierced for her birthday, and rather bravely I might add.

Gnome had to work yesterday so I got to spend Hoolie's daytime hours with her, except for a brief spell when she took off with her other grandma to go birthday shopping. After dinner, Gnome had us over for delicious MINI-cupcakes. (I stress that they were MINI so no one will think I'm a glutton for devouring four of them.)

Of course there was the mandatory opening of the presents!

And the obligatory photo ops with relatives:

Hoolie with mommy, Gnome

And with Uncle Neo

And her beloved Grandpa.

Pay attention now, because I'm going to reveal how little Hoolie got her name, seven years ago. This will cause me to reveal her actual first name, which I don't usually do, but since it's important to the story, and since I don't have any creepy people reading this blog yet, I will break with tradition.

When Gnome had her baby girl, seven years ago, Computer Geek called me to tell me the good news. I asked what the new baby's name was and Computer Geek replied, "It's Juliah, with an 'h.' "  

Silly me says, "Hulia?" 

Yeah, I know. 

CG instructs me that no, the "h" is at the end of her name.  Nevertheless, after that the name stuck and I always called her my little Hulia, and now shortened to Hoolie.  

My son Weston was taught a lesson last night, a lesson he should have learned a few weeks ago. Attending the party was Gnome's friend...hmm...what shall I call her...I know--Blue Belt Babe!

A few weeks ago, we had a lunch at the park. Gnome and her friend Blue Belt Babe were there, along with some other mutual friends. 

You may remember that Weston used to take martial arts classes. He and Blue Belt Babe started at the same time, both as lowly white belts. In the intervening months, Weston slowly progressed to a yellow belt with a green stripe, while BBB rapidly progressed to--you guessed it!--blue belt status.

At this luncheon get-together at the park, Weston proceeds to insult Blue Belt Babe by calling her "flabby." 
Now any boys reading this may want to be forewarned. You never tell a woman she is flabby, but especially
not when she is a higher martial arts rank than you are. It's like asking for an early death.

The beginning stage of Weston getting his behind kicked. The ice cream may get sacrificed.


"I will never call a woman flabby, I will never call a woman flabby, I will never..."

Lesson learned, right?
Nope. He's eleven.

Last night at the party he proceeded to take on Blue Belt Babe once again, this time in arm-wrestling. 
It got ugly right away...maybe it's because he was wearing that unlucky green outfit?

Truly she is fearsome to behold.

Happy, happy birthday my little Hulia.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Answers to Name That Tune

Are ya ready Auntie M?
Uh huh.
Well all right, Quangsters, let's go!

I couldn't resist.

1. Ballroom Blitz by Sweet from 1973. The song starts out:
"Are ya ready Steve?
Uh huh.
Well all right, fellas, let's go!"

And then the head banging begins.

2. Love is the Drug by Roxy Music from 1975.
"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me."

3. Sunshine Superman by Donovan from 1966.
This was correctly guessed by Ken, and I assume S. Superman. Nice job, fellas.

4. Shining Star by Earth, Wind and Fire from 1975.
"You're a shining star, no matter who you are. Shining bright to see what you can truly be."

5. Straight On by Heart from 1978.
Ann Wilson. The only woman on the earth who can truly sing according to Computer Geek.

6. Aquarius by The Fifth Dimension from 1969.
"When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars."  Must not have happened yet. Correctly guessed by Auntie M. Yay!

7. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver from 1971.
Correctly guessed by septembermom and Auntie M. Good job! Did you know this is now the theme song for West Virginia University and has been played at every home football game since 1972?  One of the highlights of my life was seeing John Denver sing Calypso in concert. Majestic. We miss us some Henry Deutschendorf. (And I will have you know I spelled that correctly on the first try.)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Name That Tune!

My husband has been busy programming all day, so that means his computer has been blaring all kinds of music from the past few decades. Nothing later than 1990 or he would not be listening to it, I promise. Normally we do not see eye to eye on music, but there were a few gems that I was rocking out to today. Don't ask me how he programs with music shaking the floors because I have to have total silence when I am thinking. Maybe that's because when I hear music, I start imagining dance steps or I picture Philippe Candeloro flashing across ice. Can't think because in my mind I am twirling.

Let's see if any of you old folks out there (or those of you young'uns who were subjected to your old folks' music while growing up) recognize these first lines from long ago. Tell me the name of the song and the artist and all my followers, all twelve of them, will think you are amazing.

1.  "Are ya ready, Steve?"

2. "Ain't no big thing---to wait for the bell to ring."

3. "Sunshine came softly through my window today..."

4. "When you wish upon a star, your dream will take you very far..."

5. "Quite some time, I've been sittin' it out. Didn't take no chances. I was a prisoner of doubt."

6. "When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars..."

7. "Almost Heaven, West Virginia..."

Have fun!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Everything's Coming up Roses at the Toothpaste House

I am so grateful to the previous tenants of the Toothpaste House for their foresight in planting some gorgeous rose bushes for me to enjoy. For the past week I have been enjoying crimson, fuchsia, peach, and pink pearl roses. (I know those are not their technical colors.) Later this week I'll be chatting with my best friend (Google) to see how to best care for these beauties. We spent some time a few weeks ago cutting off some dead areas but I know there is more I could be doing to enhance their loveliness.

And what are these blinding neon cherry red flowers? Anyone have a guess?

I wish I could capture the scent of the roses as I walk through my front door and send it along to you. Scratch and sniff computer screens? 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sisters' Stuff and Flirty Aprons

Recently I have been scoping out a sweet site called Sisters' Stuff. Whitney and Alish, two--you guessed it--sisters, run the site and are full of ideas about crafting, home decor, and being moms.

Apparently the time I've spent haunting them has paid off because I just won a fancy new apron in one of their giveaways!  The apron is one of many chic feminine aprons sold by a company called Flirty Aprons.  The styles and patterns are adorable and I was so excited to find out that I was a winner!

If you want to come home with the goods like I did, visit Sisters' Stuff--they always have cool "stuff" going on. Just check out their sidebar for all the deliciousness.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What to do on a Rainy Day

It rarely rains here for more than a few minutes at a time, so when we get a steady rain for the entire day, we tend to enjoy it. (Today is actually the second day of rain--Computer Geek is now missing Seattle like crazy.) So what do desert dwellers do on a well-fought for misty day?

1. Attend an epic yard sale. Hardly anyone else was there because of the weather, and the words "epic" to describe it was a marketing tactic by those putting on the sale. Still, we had our choice of the goods because of sparse attendance. Here are two of the gems I came away with:

I love this sign because I had been looking for something rustic to hang on an outdoor wall in an alcove between the house and the garage. Fifty cents.

And then I saw this:

You're thinking, "Oh. My. Gosh. That would be so perfect sitting on an outdoor table with a splash of white daisies hanging over the side."  I thought so too! And someone let this go for a buck.

2. Check the garden to make sure it is not flooding. Central Utah dirt is a mixture of clay and rocks. Rain turns the dirt to a consistency more appropriate for pottery than for growing plants. The moisture tends to flood the plants rather than do what it should and seep into the ground. A quick check and I was reassured that all was well in the garden.

3. Unpack boxes and de-clutter.  We are still in reorganizing mode after the big move. I have been going through box after box and trying to separate our possessions into categories, as can be observed by the signs in the below photo.

4. Do something crafty with the things you've organized. Maybe this is why it takes forever to get anything done. I spend too much time trying to make things "cute." 

5. Capture the beauty of your wet surroundings.

raindrops on roses...

6. Grab a blankie and a pillow and cozy up in the recliner.

7. Go to a movie. Cry your eyes out.

8. Eat a rainbow pudding pop that you made the night before.

Find out how to make this little delicacy here, at Random Thoughts of a Supermom.

After two days of rain, I'm ready for a little sunshine. Computer Geek is ready for a vacation to the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Feeling Crafty

There's nothing like moving into a new home to bring out the crafty side of a woman.  First, there's the thrill of decorating someplace new. Second, since many belongings are nestled deeply in some box located in the basement, garage, shed, or storage unit, a gal has to get creative with what she has at hand. And last of all, moving is ex-pen-sive so free and cheap become the operative words.

When school got out last month, I bought a teacher gift for the high school principal.  I got her a nice smelling candle and also picked up a gift bag since I have never mastered the fine art of wrapping cylinders. I knew I had just bought some tissue paper so I was fine on that account.

After I got home from shopping, I put the candle in the gift bag and then panicked. I remembered where the tissue paper was in the old house, but where had it gotten stored in the new house? Hadn't a clue. Now most women out there will recognize that a gift bag without tissue paper is like...like...LOST without Jack Shepard, or Penn without Teller or Percy Jackson without Riptide...it's just unheard of. What was I to do?

Luckily, a zap of inspiration hit me. I may not know where the tissue paper was, but I had colored computer paper and I could decorate anything!   I took some green paper and sliced it lengthwise into many strips. I then accordion-folded the strips to make a nice little nest for the candle, like this:

Even white paper would have worked but since I had a green and blue bag, I went with the green.

Did my creative streak end there? Nay, I say. Past readers of this blog will remember that I moved into a house that already had its own name--The Toothpaste House.  One day I was online looking for some new decorating ideas and happened upon a blog called A Place for Us 5 that is run by a creative genius named Destiny. She came up with a wonderful idea to hang signs in front of some of her rooms.  Using her idea I made a sign of my own for the front of my house.

I bought a blank wood piece in the above shape at Walmart for $1.17.  I then spent a little under $4 each to buy almond and brown leather colored spray paints. Using Destiny's method, I painted the shape in almond first, then circled it with leather. I then topped it with a circle of almond again. After it dried, I applied the letters which were simply alphabet letters purchased in the scrapbook section of Walmart for $3. I then coated the front of the sign with three coats of Mod Podge to help protect it from the elements. I bought the chocolate ribbon with toothpaste blue dots at Walmart, and used thumbtacks that I had on hand to tack it to the back of the sign. The sign itself is hanging on a magnet that used to be an ugly manila folder color. I spray painted it white and attached it to my door, which must have some metal somewhere even though it looks like wood. Thanks for the idea, Destiny!  (Her signs are much cuter. Go check them out.)

Our new house is heated by oil in the winter. I have never had a home that is heated by oil, but previous owners already warned us of the expense. Apparently we will have to buy a minimum of 100 gallons from the vendor, at a price usually ranging from $3.50-$5.00 per gallon.

To help us with the shock of initial payment this fall I came up with an idea.  At any given point I can walk around our home and find between $2 and $5. This is because we empty our pockets in many different rooms. I can walk around right now and find spare change on my desk, my husband's desk, the kitchen table, our dresser, my nightstand, the bathroom counter and the top of the clothes washer. What if--my eyes got all sparkly--what if instead of just dumping spare change all over the house, we put it in one common place, like a jar!

I took an old mayonnaise jar (hey, I can be environmentally conscious) and printed "heating oil" (duh) on some blue paper. I then matted it with white paper (inking the edges for effect) and matted that on light blue paper. I glue dotted the whole label onto the jar, then decorated the top with twine. Now I just L-O-V-E throwing spare change in there. Came home from the bank today with $21. Yee-haw!

My last little project involved our fridge. We have lots of fridge magnets that we accrued over the years and usually they were plastered all over the front. I decided to do something a little different this time. I took all the magnets that were from businesses, or have recipes on them or otherwise were bound to be recycled as a craft item and stuck them on the side of the fridge that no one sees.  We have no particular attachment (attachment--get it?  ha ha!) to these magnets.

On the front of the fridge I put those magnets that are beautiful or that have meaning to me.

On the other side, I put our collection of magnets from places we have visited, a mini-travelogue. I was going to make a little magnetic sign that said something extremely creative like "our travels" but ended up making one that said, " We came, we saw, we spent money on magnets."  I printed it off and inserted it into a $1.50 magnetic frame from Walmart.

Far right column, top to bottom: Seattle, Wyoming, Devil's Tower, Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake, and of course Forks--home of all things Twilight!

Middle column: Snoqualmie Falls, WA; Capitol Reef, UT;  Leavenworth, WA; Mt. Timpanogos, UT.

Left column: Lake Powell; Mount Rushmore, SD; Bryce Canyon, UT; Spuds Fish and Chips, W. Seattle.
The little turtle says "Boracay, Philippines." Daughter Em got it for us when she was there.

I'm hoping that by then end of the summer we will have a few more travel mementos.  Here's to a wonderful summer for all of you, filled with creativity and fun adventures!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Your Brush with Greatness!

In light of that fact that a few of our commenters mentioned meeting famous people in my Seven Things About You post, and because our daughter Gnome (comments as juliegoose)  recently had a brush with greatness, I decided to open this post up to you again.

Have you ever met anyone famous?  Even if you haven't actually met someone, have you shared the same breathing air or noticed them across the room? We want to hear about it! If you already mentioned it in a previous comment, we now want the dirty details.  Seeing a famous person in concert doesn't count (unless they shake your hand or kiss you--heh heh heh.)

I'll get things started!

1. Merrill Osmond shook my hand. I have it on video.

2. I met author of Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner, outside of a convention center in Salt Lake City and got my picture taken with him. ( He was a very gracious man, I must add.)

3.Derek Hough of Dancing with the Stars fame walked past me at the Salt Lake airport two Christmases ago. I could do nothing but stare and point and by the time my daughter figured out who I was madly gesturing at, he was gone.

4. One of John Cougar Mellencamp's band members pinched my rear in a bar after a concert.  Okay, since I can't actually name this person I will disqualify this entry. Besides, it made me mad.

This is your chance to tell all!

5. Oh. Oh. I can't believe I forgot this one. I have talked to Arsenio Hall on the phone several times. When I worked at Gateway computers, he was one of our customers. When he called in, he used an alias, which I will call "N.W."  The director of public relations would come to me and say, "N.W. is on the phone and he is having a technical issue. Would you please assign him to one of your technicians?"  I would pick my most mature technician on duty, then pick up the line and say, "Good afternoon, Mr. W. I am now transferring you to our technician, William."  William even got sent an autographed photo. 

6. I remembered another! When I worked at Gateway, I was eating in the lunchroom and in walked Ted Nugent. I was about 25 feet away from him. He and the owner of Gateway were hunting buddies and the owner, Ted Waitt, was giving the Nuge a tour of the place. 
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