Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There are still good people

The other day J was jogging in an unfamiliar place. He used his iphone to look for a jogging path. He was following the signs and jogging along. Suddenly, the area was looking less like a jogging trail and more like a ghetto. He stopped someone walking down the road and asked for directions.

There had been a wrong turn somewhere along the way, and yes, he was in a pretty bad part of town. The stranger was really worried about J getting back to the hotel ok, and gave J his phone number. He asked J to call when he got back, and said he just wouldn't sleep well that night unless he knew J was ok.

I thought that was very sweet of the guy.

Now, as I type this out, I realize it's entirely possible that the guy was subtly hitting on J. My darling husband would be oblivious enough to not get the signals.

Regardless of his intentions, it reaffirmed my faith in humanity.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ogden Raptors Baseball game!

My brother in law and sister in law, Jai and Jody, had some free tickets to go to the Ogden Raptors game today. They called and invited us. I reminded them that Jim was going to be out of town, so I would be SERIOUSLY outnumbered. Jai said that was fine, but then called back and told me I didn't HAVE to come. I think that he was trying to back out of the invitation, given the adult to child ratio I was bringing to the game.

We got to the game and we went in. It turns out that tonight was a special night and the kids got a free dinner pack (hot dog, chips, cookie and drink). Wow! Killer deal!
We get settled, and I realize Z needs a diaper change. I didn't think to bring diaper or wipes inside the stadium. So, I start trekking back to the car, which is about a 4 block walk. I get to the car and remember that the diaper bag had been in J's truck yesterday. I'm silently praying that he put it in my car for me. Thank the stars above that I have the most sweet and considerate husband ever! Z was NOT doomed to sit in a stinky diaper for 2.5 hours. Hallelujah!

It sprinkled a little bit throughout the game, but overall, the weather was really nice and pleasant.

My kids loved visiting with their cousins. Partway through the game, some of the people abandoned our section of the stadium. Some people may say it was because of my kids, but I'm going to say it was because of the occasional sprinkle. The people who sat behind us were constantly laughing at the antics of my kids.Zack trying to escape. Didn't work out so well. He's small, but not THAT small.Since it had cleared out a bit, we let the older kids go sit on the front row where they could see the action a little better. Note that S is in the bottom left hand corner, trying to make friends with the couple innocently sitting there, trying to enjoy the game.

All in all, it was a lot of fun. The Raptors won, and it's always fun when the home team wins.

Monday, August 17, 2009

View from my bedroom

This is what I am greeted with when I look out my bedroom window each morning. It's guaranteed to put a smile on my face because it looks so pretty.

a bit irritated. Literally!

Last August, on the advice of my optometrist, I switched from Acuvue Advanced to Acuvue Oasys. I was assured they were a much better contact. I hadn't been having any problems, but why not?

Things went ok until February. I started feeling a bit of pain, light sensitivity, eye goop, redness. I finally went to an urgent care in March. To make a long story short, I have been battling eye ulcers ever since. Since March, I have only been able to wear my contacts a couple days at a time until the ulcers come back. I keep my contacts very clean, change/clean my case frequently, change the contacts frequently. I have been using the same solution for years.

Since all this has started, I have literally spent hundreds of dollars on doctors appointments and antibiotics to treat this. I've replaced all of my makeup. I've spent money on sitters to go to said appointments. My doctor told me that I may have to consider giving up contacts altogether. I hate glasses. Really, really, really really hate them. This has been absolutely tortuous to wear glasses these past few months. The whole thing has been really upsetting to me.

J was talking to a co-worker of his late last week. He happened to mention all the problems I've been having with my contacts. Nate said he'd been having the exact same problems recently as well. He's a materials engineer, and started doing some research. Apparently, the new oasys contacts are silicone based, and allergies are popping up everywhere- the exact same symptoms I've been having.

mad people
more mad people
even more red eyed, angry people

I'm not sure who I am most angry with- myself for not doing more research, the opthomologist for not being aware of such a widespread problem, or Acuvue since this does seem to be such a big problem.

I have yet another appointment scheduled with this doctor tomorrow, and I will be switching brands. I bought my oasys contacts from Costco. I intend to return my unopened boxes.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Purple Mashed Potatoes

I planted Adirondack Blue Potatoes in my garden this year. I am ashamed to admit how many times I've giggled with glee over these.

It is so fun to go digging in the dirt and find a POTATO! And even cooler, it's a BLUE potato! Best crop ever! I need to figure out a way to save a bunch and grow them next year.

Last night, I harvested enough potatoes to make blue mashed potatoes for the family. It turns out that quite a bit of the color boils out. I expected this.

This is what the potatoes looked like prior to boiling:

After boiling:

And after I mashed them:

Yes, I left the skins on. My reasons that I tell people include: "It's what restaurants do", or "There's more vitamins in mashed potatoes with the skins". The honest truth is that I'm lazy, and it's easier to just scrub them up, cut them up, and toss them in the pot.

Well, that's kind of funny

We were visiting with my dad the other dad, and he says to Jim, "I saw your name in the paper today!" Jim, looking confused, said, "What for?"

Apparently one of his patents went through. When he worked at Autoliv, he applied for quite a few patents. Because he quit the company, he never heard whether or not most of them went through. Apparently, one recently did. The bad news is that he probably won't get the fabulous payout that he would if he were still working there.

He still is absolutely thrilled with his new job, so I think he's fine with that.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Virtual Scentsy Party

I know, I know. I always say I'll never do a party, but then I go and do them anyway.

I am going to host a "virtual" scentsy party. That means no awkward gathering at my place, no pressure to order. Scentsy is discontinuing a lot of fairly popular scents, and I thought we could order together under a common name. That way, I get everything delivered to my house, and you don't pay shipping.

To order, go to and click on "place an order". You'll see my name as a party. Click on the link and place your order.

To see the products that are discontinued, click on this link:

Anything that is on the discontinued list is 10% off regular price, and will be totally unavailable after August is over. Because of that, we have to have this party closed within a couple weeks, so hurry and order!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Funeral for Grandma Doris

We went to the funeral today for my Grandma. I had only planned on bringing K & M, but since they made both of my boys honorary pallbearers, I decided to take the whole bunch (minus my nephew, Jonathan, who I've been watching this week while his parents were on vacation). I was really worried about handling the kids on my own, so I made my severely funeral allergic husband take time off work to come too.

The kids did remarkably well at the funeral. They were very quiet and reverent, and seemed ok with seeing their grandma laying in a coffin.

Two of my grandma's bosses spoke at the funeral. When introduced as such, they quickly corrected the statement and said they were actually "two of Doris' BOSSED". The other funny part of the funeral is that one of the grandsons had once told her that he was special, and he knew it because he was the only one who had been called an "SOB" by my grandma. She'd replied that he was the only one to deserve it.

I think another grandchild of hers deserved that title, if not worse. Around Christmastime, she and my grandfather had decided to give all of the granddaughters a special ring for Christmas. They'd purchased all of the rings, and had them ready to go for Christmas. One of the grandkids is a drug addict. This person had come to visit, and brought a couple friends. After the visit was over, every single one of the rings were "misplaced". I was really angry about it at the time. But now that she's gone, I'm even more angry. Not that I missed out on a valuable present, but that I lost the last gift she'd picked out to give me.

After the funeral service, we went to the cemetery to dedicate the grave. As soon as we got there, S went to claim a seat so she could have a great seat for the grave dedication. It was very cute and funny to me. She cried today, saying that she was going to miss her "Grandma Dora". After the grave dedication, she wandered around today, and found a rose that had "fallen" off an arrangement. She sat on the front row again, playing with her rose. A cousin of my sat next to her, and had a flower in his hand. She turns to him and says, "Why did you steal that flower from the other flowers?" Flustered, he replied, "I didn't steal it. I was going to put it on the coffin in a minute." Sabrina replied back, "Oh. I'm not putting mine on the coffin." Then turned to me and said, "I'm not putting my flower on the coffin."

My grandparents' ward put together a really nice lasagna lunch to eat afterwards.

It seems like there was something else that happened that was really funny, but it's escaped me for now. If I remember, I'll edit.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Black Bean Brownies

I have a bulletin board that I chat at where I learn all kinds of things. Some of these tidbits are really, really useful. Some things I wish I could bleach from my mind (two girls one cup comes to mind. No. Don't google it. Trust me. You don't want to know).

A couple days ago, they were talking about a new brownie. A low calorie, easy to make brownie. Instead of adding the eggs and oil to a brownie mix, you add a can of pureed black beans. Most of them swore it was just as good as regular brownies.

After a trying day yesterday, I was ready for chocolate overload. However, my fat clothes are starting to feel a bit snug, so I didn't want to gain a bunch of weight from my binging. Perfect time to try the black bean brownies.

To make, I just needed a can of black beans and a brownie mix. I chose Betty Crocker because it is totally nut/egg free. I don't worry about that for my kids, but my niece is allergic, and I was thinking to future family get togethers when I did this experiment.

I drained the water out of the black beans because that stuff is always so gooey and freaky. Then, refilled the can (still filled with beans) with water. Dumped all of that into the blender. Blended it til it was perfectly smooth. I then added the dry brownie mix, and mixed til it was all incorporated.

Pour into a greased pan and baked at 350 for 30 minutes. It made 24 brownies. My guesstimate is that each brownie had 93 calories and .5 grams of fat. That is AMAZING! A regular betty crocker brownie has 9 grames of fat.

I fed them to the family last night. I didn't tell them what was different, and just fed them to the kids. K and M could tell a difference, but said they were good. All five kids (I'm babysitting my nephew for a few days) scarfed down two brownies each, and probably would have eaten more if I'd let them.

I could also tell a difference. I will admit I didn't like them nearly as much as the "real" brownies, but they were definitely a good substitute. They were better the next morning too.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Out of Time

For Mother's Day this year, I got my Mom, my MIL, and my Grandma Jane each a gorgeous hanging basket. I decided to get my Grandma Doris a flowering cactus because they are a lot lower maintenance. Grandma Doris never seemed to have time to take care of the baskets, and was always at work. She always talked about retiring, but never seemed to actually do it. She swore that with the downturn in the economy, business was bad enough that she was really going to do it. She and my grandfather had plans to go on a church history tour this summer, vising Palmyra and other similar places.

I ran out of time Mother's Day weekend, and didn't deliver her flowering cactus to her. Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and kidney failure. I visited her that weekend, but didn't bring the cactus then because I thought that a plant that needed care would be too overwhelming to her. I did give her a gorgeous bouquet of cut flowers, but there was a bunch of other arrangements, and I'm not too sure she felt good enough to appreciate any of them.

When I bought that cactus, I never imagined that it would outlive her. But, I found myself watering it today, and thinking about how she died last night.

I'm sad that she's gone. She was a sweet, enthusiastic, wonderful person, and my world seems a little dimmer today without her.

I saw her on Friday, and she was in terrible shape. She was on a lot of painkillers, and only briefly woke up. She tried to say she loved us, but I'm not sure how aware and conscious she was. My grandfather was in a mild state of panic. He didn't want to let her go, and didn't want to face life without her. When they'd left for the hospital, she'd said that she was scared to death. He replied that he understood how she felt. She was a little angry and said she didn't think so. I think his situation was almost worse though. I can't imagine being 80 years old, in relatively good health, and watching the love of my life dying. Knowing that I was going to have to face life without that person. Watching them suffer, and feeling helpless to do anything. Knowing I'd face death eventually as well, but without a spouse there to hold my hand. While I'm sure my grandma WAS scared to death, I think my grandfather was even more scared.

I'll mourn her loss, but I am happy that she is no longer in pain. I'm not sure what I believe about the afterlife anymore, but I would like to think she still exists, and is with her family and loved ones. More than mourning her death, I think I'll mourn for my grandfather's sake. I think death is much harder on the living. I'm not sure how he'll deal with this.