Friday, November 25, 2005

Those Darn Commercials

I have to admit I am a sucker for commercials and ads.

There is a Hallmark commercial out this year...they get me everytime...

To see the one that has got me this year go to

Under the Crown Stores column click the "commercial" link; then click the "Now and Then :Featuring the Christmas Plate" commercial.

It's too much...

On a less weepy note:

We are so thankful here...Thanksgiving was great. We baked and cooked and walked and ran around the yard and enjoyed a warm(er) day of 62 degrees! We played Uno and the Cranium Family fun Game and ate about 2.3 pounds of the 19.5 lb. bird I made! (We will be eating turkey for a while.) We all watched a movie and then tucked ourselves into bed for a well earned slumber.

La Vida Dulce!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thanksgiving Eve

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Not only is it the Mr.'s Birthday, but this is the day that I love! All the preparation before the BIG DAY! I spend a good portion of the day baking and preparing for tomorrow. I am already listening to Christmas CD's and my house smells of Garlic and yeast rolls.

But the BEST part of this day is that today is the day that I get to get my Turkey drunk.

Yes, I intoxicate my turkey...And this makes me giggle every year. I make a joke of how soaking in a beer brine will help the turkey to feel less pain as he slowly cooks tomorrow. My long enduring husband, who has heard this same joke for 10 years, will smile like he has never heard it before and play along saying, "Yes, Honey, I am sure he will like that MGD as his last 'Hurrah'....only probably not as much as I would have enjoyed it." (Happy Birthday Honey!)

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tree's, Being Lost, and Long Underwear

It is officially cold.

Literally overnight all the trees dropped their leaves. Last Saturday we spent about 3 hours sweeping the area around our house and raking up the yard, pushing leaves into the "woodsy" part of the yard. We felt so accomplished until Wednesday... when a large of gust of wind came through, followed by a little rain. When I woke up on Thursday the trees were completely naked and our yard, driveway and deck looked as if we hadn't swept since last Spring!

This "shedding of the leaves", if you will, means only one is cold. And this desert rat has a tough winter-time reality to face...I am going to freeze my keister off.

Unfortunately this has effected my poor children. The Kindergarten teacher has had to send a note home to me, not once, but twice because "we still go to the playground on cold days, please send your child to school with a jacket". The second note said "You don't live in the desert anymore, between October and March it will be frigid here (even if there is an occasional "warm" day). Your kid needs a jacket so that she doesn't go outside and turn purple and have to be sent to the nurse to treat frost bite. What kind of mother are you anyway?"

I am exaggerating...but that second note did get my attention.

On Saturday my running buddy and I went for a run at 7:00 am. It was 27 degrees. I actually had to put on long underwear, running pants, gloves, two shirts, a running jacket and a "keep-your-ears-warm-headband-thing" and I was still so cold that running was actually enjoyable....mostly because my legs were so chilled that I couldn't feel them. It was like running with a spinal block. The only downer was that my friend and I almost broke out in a sweat trying to communicate with each other... our lips were numb. It is very hard to run when you can't talk. We managed to talk but it was slow...we ran 4 miles but the conversation was only about 2 miles worth...

Which bring me to another crazy seasonal changing problem. Every time the season changes, the landscape changes, and I end up getting lost and having to find my way through a new city all over again. Thankfully we are rounding out through the last season of change before we start our second year here. So I will now know what everything looks like Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall. At least now I have friend here who has lived here all her life and doesn't mind me calling her in a pinch. I like to think of it as a "Win-Win" situation. I get to where I am going and she gets a good laugh for the day. These (weekly, or so) phone calls go kind of like this: "Hey, I am trying to find out where the Jacket Store is to get an acceptable coat for my daughter who is currently at school turning purple... I thought I could find it without my Mapsco, but because all the leaves have changed and fallen to the ground all my landmarks have been changed...where the heck am I going? By the way, is it always so cold this time of year?"

So, if you don't see a post for awhile it's either because my fingers are frozen and i can't type, or I fell over during a run and can't get up because I look like a Stay-Puff Marshmallow in all my winter running gear (and having frozen lips can't call for help) or I am bundled up in my queen sized, "cookie monster" blue, heating blanket,turned up to DESERT HEAT HOT...and will be there 'til March.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

New Alarm Clock

Now that the temperature has gotten close to freezing each night we have a new boarder in our house. He sneaks in through the outside vent holes that lead from the outside into the attic above our garage. Then he squeezes himself between the tiny two inch crack that lies between the attic pull down door, that sags (just a bit) from the ceiling. His name? Mr. Mockingbird.

We don't mind housing birds at all. As a matter of fact we have the sweetest pair of wren's that make the eves of our front porch into there fine casa each night. They fly in around dark and place there little beaks into the corner (we think there might be issues because they sleep in separate corners) and sleep til dawn promises to break. When I get up in the morning it is often before the moon has set, yet that sweet couple has already started their day....the early bird you know...

But back to Mr. Mockingbird. This bird is not as quiet as the Wren couple. As a matter of fact, when the mocking bird is outside he mimics the sounds of the other birds in the neighborhood which is beautiful and melodic. But the sound he chooses to mimic in our closed garage at precisely 6:15 each morning is the exact sound of a car alarm...and I am being very serious.

We laughed the first morning. How fun is it that it can mimic the exact sound of a car alarm? But on the weekends we are not amused. Now, not only does it sound off and let us know that it is awake and ready to be let loose, but it perches on the window sill inside the garage and watches the door to see if I am awake and going to come out and open the garage. I know this because I get up and watch him through a window that looks into the garage. This bird is no dummy. He points his beak up into the air, takes in a deep breath, sounds his alarm loud enough for people in Florida to hear and then looks over at the door with a look in his eye that says "I should only have to do this once."

He's got me trained.

But in my defense, I make him wait until I have poured my cup of coffee.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Story of Being 33

I have found emancipation in being 33! It's made me daring and brave.

For instance, when I went to a restaurant the other day I didn't order the same thing that I have ordered since I was 10 years old. As a kid my parents would laugh at me, and make bets with each other over what I would order. Inevitably I would order the Turkey Club (no Mayo), where upon I would receive my order and proceed to pull out the bacon, the middle piece of bread and the ham (which by the way...why, when it is called a turkey club, do they insist on putting in ham?). This routine made my "turkey club" a dry Turkey sandwich.. So, when I ordered my lunch the other day and branched out from my usual order I thought to myself--Must be the "33 Factor".

This is true with others things as well. For my birthday my mom gave me a gift certificate for some shoes I had been looking at: they are Red, a little funky, and I love them. I haven't owned a pair of red shoes since I was like 5... So two days ago, I was wearing jeans and a maroon shirt and I thought to myself --These red shoes don't exactly match what I am wearing. But then I decided, I am 33 years old...who cares?

Well today I made another 33 year old decision...

I am going to make tamales for Christmas.

I know, I know... My dad will say "You always managed to find something else to do on the weekends we made tamales." And yes, I have a history of bailing...there was even that one year when I was dating that sweet man of mine; He came over to help with the tamales and I managed to sneak away. My Brother will say "Is this such a great idea? Do you not remember that year when you burnt 12 pounds of the Masa?" (note: the masa isn't supposed to be cooked until the tamale is already rolled with meat and placed in the pot to be cooked together!) My mom will laugh and say, "Make sure you get it done before we get there to visit. The mess is amazing....and I know messes. We have made tamales for 30 years together... plus, I raised three kids." My youngest brother will say "Cool. Send me some."

Maybe this decision comes from being 33, or maybe it comes from a desire to establish traditions in our home that creates a place of belonging and creates a centerpiece where stories are born. It's a fact that parents want to give their kids what they never had, and I am no exception. But being 33 also makes me think that I want to give my kids what I did have...traditions.

So, look for the blog sometime around Christmas when I write about my first attempt at tamale making. Having grown up in a house where tamales are a tradition, it is common knowledge that where there are tamales being made, there's always a story!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A Letter From The Dog


Kellie and I have talked about your great frustration over my intense need to roll in poop. I know this causes you a great deal of anger and I am sorry. Per my conversation with my co-owner, your beloved wife, we will do our best to keep on a leash so that I am not tempted to run away (although I have a compulsion that I cannot control...since I am a canine...and although I am exceptionally bright, I am a little lacking in practical matters).

However, there are a number of dogs that run around our large yard (which, by the way, I thank you for) who tend to do their own business...and although I have agreed to the leash terms I cannot guarantee that I will never be tempted roll in disgustingness when it is lying around our acre.

Also, in my conversation with that lady who does her best to keep me fed and watered, she mentioned that she hates it that she had a tiff with you first thing in the morning and had to send you off to work in such haste. She sincerely hopes that you will forgive her.

Sorry for annoying you so much. I will try harder to be "man's best friend"...which I know is hard when I have "Ode de Feces" behind my ears.

Your pet,

PS: Early this morning I had a bath and am now bright and shiny, if not a little cold, and sitting in my kennel in the garage awaiting your homecoming. If I could I would have the paper and your slippers ready for you upon your arrival....but alas, I have been told that you have neither a subscription to the weekly paper nor a pair of slippers. I will make note of this and add it to my Christmas shopping list this year.

PPS: The Mrs. says she loves you...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


This weekend we took the kids camping. The four of us and some new friends from church went camping in Central NC. Someone told me that North Carolina is God's country and after this weekend I am inclined to shout: I Believe! I Believe!

On Friday we loaded up and met our friends, a family of 8, and headed for Hanging Rock, NC.

After a fairly long, but beautiful, drive we arrived and my breath literally was taken away...and without trying to be dramatic (as some have accused me of being) I felt weepy. I could hardly believe that there could be so much color on the tree's! The photographs can't really give you the full picture of the awesome view.

The weather was amazing. We are experiencing a very late Indian Summer and the weather was perfect - warm in the day and chilly at night.

I really do love camping but must admit I was a little concerned about spend two nights in a tent, sleeping in the cold, eating food over a campfire with 8 children and three other adults, all while wearing no make-up and wearing camping clothes. But it was one the most fun and relaxing weekends we have had in a long time.

There something to be said about sitting around a campfire in the afternoon and doing NOTHING...thinking things like: Do I want to go for a hike and burn off the smores, cookies, hot dogs and chips from last night? Or do I want to sit here and talk with my friend about everything and nothing in particular for 2 hours (while eating something) because I never sit around and do NOTHING? Or should i say, I never sit around and do NOTHING legally. Meaning that I can choose to do nothing around here, but it always hangs over my head so I can't enjoy doing nothing....kind of like the days so long ago when I should've been doing my homework...but I digress...We had a lovely time and got to experience the fall leaves and it made my little family happy.

La vida dulce!

Disclaimer: Dad, I know you may have a thought or two about the attire of my youngest child...Although I am still loyal to my UofA heritage, when in Rome..... ;)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I can't believe my favorite month is already over! Although it was incredibly eventful!

As a kid there was a song that I heard on my Mom's Barry Manilow record...and yes I do mean vinyl...that I always think about when October is over. I looked up the words on the internet and the fact that it is even more sappy than I remembered makes it even better!

When October Goes

And when October goes
The snow begins to fly
Above the smokey roofs
I watch the planes go by
The children running home
Beneath a twilight sky
Oh, for the fun of them
When I was one of them
And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years
I turn my head away
To hide the helpless tears
Oh how I hate to see October go
I should be over it now I know
It doesn't matter much
How old I grow
I hate to see October go

But on the flip side...I wish you could see the leaves here. They are amazing. And trick or treating last night, it was actually cold, with dry leaves on the ground that rustled when we walked, and the smell of all the pumpkins and was very fun.

PS: Don't judge me 'cuz I have a soft spot for Barry...I can't help it...I was brain washed as a child. My Mom also listened to Willie Nelson, Barbra Striesand, and Anne Murray...and (just between you and me)I love them all too!