November 30, 2006

Final Day of Posting Daily for a Month

I did it! Even if it looks like I didn't... I posted once each day of November. Sometimes more. I will never do that again. Not saying I will never post daily again, just that I will never commit to HAVING to again.

Sideon said it best...

"It's like HAVING to have sex instead of WANTING to have sex. Ya know?"

I'm fairly certain I will still post on my blog daily, considering how much I love to. I have really enjoyed meeting new people on this forum, and look forward to many great times ahead.

Let the good times roll!

PS ~ if I actually win a cool prize from their drawing over on the NaBloPoMo website, forget what I just said.

November 29, 2006

Addict's New Rules

After spending two nights in a row staying up way too late blogging, I've come to the conclusion that I need to exert a little self control and not allow myself to stay up so late. I'm thinking tonight, just to eliminate my dragging thought processes and this horrible feeling of sluggishness, I'd better be in bed by 10:00. I can't produce any quick wit when I feel this way. And work suffers. Self-inflicted misery is the worst kind!

This morning when Mr. SML woke me up on his way out the door, he said, "You must be really tired since you went to bed a half hour ago."

"I did NOT go to bed a half hour ago!"

"You did too! It was really late. What time did you come to bed??"

"I don't know. I know it was late, but I don't remember looking at the clock."

"Riiiight. It was a half hour ago."

I wonder if he stayed up waiting for me. If so, why didn't he come get me then?

I must say I really enjoy blogging, though, way more than I thought I would. I feel like I'm making true friends as well as getting to know myself a little better. I enjoy writing a lot. I love trying out my creativity. I love reading all of the creative blogs I am addicted to.

It may be time for another intervention meeting over at Blogaholics Anonymous. Anyone want to join me?

November 28, 2006

How cold is it?!

Today's high was 9 degrees I think. This morning we stepped outside to total snow cover, the frozen kind that crunches under your car tires. As I watched my daughter high stepping through the snow to the garage in her tennis shoes, I asked her, "Where are your boots?!"

"I don't have any yet, remember?"

"Oh, yeah. Sorry."

So tonight after dinner we got our heavy coats back on and headed out to go shopping.


Last night I blogged too late, and by the time I went to bed I was freezing. I couldn't sleep for the longest time...

This is the weather I wish I had back.

Thoughts on Desire

Do you think we will be judged by God for the thoughts and desires that we have but never act on? It's what we were taught by our Mormon leaders.

I found this quote by Dallin H. Oaks (“The Desires of Our Hearts,” Ensign, June 1986, 64):

God’s law can assign consequences solely on the basis of our innermost thoughts and desires. There is no uncertainty in the administration of this law. As Ammon taught King Lamoni, God “looketh down upon all the children of men; and he knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning.” (Alma 18:32.)

As an LDS parent, I always figured this to be true, since sometimes I could look at my child and I knew what he or she was thinking of doing, even though nothing was said. But now that I don't believe in the church, should I continue to believe I'll be judged for my thoughts as harshly as if I'd done what I had thought about?

I think that's a raw deal.

I can't help it sometimes if I fantasize about something or someone. And what about dreams that come unbidden while we sleep? Will we be judged for those as well?

What was that quip? Oh, yeah. You can look at the menu, but you just can't eat.

November 27, 2006

Skiing the Alps

A blog post a day, a blog post a day!

How difficult is that? I thought it'd be super easy, but I definitely noticed that it was a lot less fun posting because I felt I HAD to vs. posting because I had something to say. But I already wrote about that.

I'm glad I'm almost through the month and have made good on my desire to try a post a day.

We are enduring a lot colder weather this week than we've had lately. Tomorrow is supposed to be 9 degrees Farenheit. Not my idea of a good time. Seriously. Some people love this weather because it means snow is coming and they can hit the ski slopes again.

I discovered I am no skier. I tried it once in my life, in the Austrian Alps, no less. It was a five-day ward party with the church congregation.

A few things I learned:

1. Little kids make skiing the bunny slopes look so easy.

2. Little kids have a lot less distance between their bum and the ground than an eighteen year old has who is 5' 9" tall.

3. I don't enjoy being cold. I already knew that before, but the cold that comes from within due to fear makes outside cold even worse.

4. I don't enjoy feeling like I'm going faster than I can control, unless I'm in a car.

5. I'm a weenie when it comes to skiing.

6. I really, really enjoy a good cup of hot cocoa in the lodge, while watching skiers enjoying themselves through the window.

7. There's something fun about a sleepover with other kids and adults in a lodge setting.

8. Getting off the lift is a lot easier said than done. I fell immediately and humiliated myself. It was only the beginning.

9. Hanging out on the bunny slope for two full days makes your host dad look at you and shake his head in disbelief.

10. Refusing to go back up the mountain after trying it only once makes your host dad really look at you with true despair.

11. It ain't pretty when a tall girl falls. I seriously had snow packed in my glasses. At least 5 times.

12. People who really love me, do so in spite of my inability to enjoy skiing.

November 26, 2006

I love days like this

It doesn't get much better than drawing while watching (listening to) "Singing in the Rain."

I plan to work hard on this drawing today (in between laundry loads) because it just occurred to me I have FOUR WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!!

November 25, 2006

In answer to some questions

My blog was found by an interesting person, (whose blog I will read through soon) My Marrakech, who asked if I ever sent a letter to my relief society president to explain I don't want visiting teachers anymore, like I posted about previously.

I did send her an e-mail. I outlined that I wouldn't be visiting teaching anymore, because I have recently discovered that the Mormon religion isn't all I thought it was. I assured her I wasn't offended, nor was I just quitting to lead a life of sin. I outlined a few of my biggest discoveries that pushed me into non-belief:

1. Joseph Smith gave the priesthood to a black man, Elijah Abel. Why did he do this if it was against God's will, as later prophets preached? Why did the black people get denied the priesthood until 1978?

2. Joseph Smith had many wives, behind his wife's back, some of whom were already married to men Joseph sent abroad on missions for the church. Some of them were only young girls, and Joseph promised her families eternal salvation if they'd give their daughters to him. This screams of lecherous, wrong behavior. And he did it in the name of God.

3. Why did Brigham Young teach that Adam was in fact God, the Father? As in the father of Jesus Christ. If this was taught as revelation by Brigham Young, why was it later renounced by the prophet Spencer W. Kimball as "false doctrine?"

4. Why did the church not acknowledge the fact that the papyrus that was "translated" by Joseph Smith to become the Book of Abraham, was actually a funerary text, having nothing whatsoever to do with Abraham? Many Egyptologists agree. The church has the original papyri and keeps them locked away and out of the eyes and minds of its membership.

5. Why were there so many differing accounts of the vision in the Sacred Grove? Some of these differing accounts are even by Joseph Smith himself!

6. Why does the temple ceremony so closely resemble the Masonic practices?

7. The church is full of racism, sexism, and homophobia, and I can't condone it.

8. Why did Joseph Smith form the Kirtland Safety Society by telling everyone to put all their money in that bank because God had revealed to him that it would be the biggest, most powerful bank in the land...only to have it fold shortly thereafter? Nobody recovered their money. But Joseph got plenty.

9. Why were we not taught about Joseph using a rock in a hat to "translate" the gold plates into the Book of Mormon?

10. Why, if the Book of Mormon is the "most correct book on earth" has there been no evidence of the people who lived in the Americas from the Book of Mormon? Why did the DNA study prove that the majority of native American people actually originated in Asia?

Then I told her that my biggest disappointment came from the fact that the church hid all these things. Yet they are true. And I can't be part of it anymore.

I never heard again from her. I did find out that she was released, and the other counselor I had worked with in the primary at the time I quit was made RS president. And I found out that the first president forwarded my e-mail to the current one. She and I have been e-mailing on a friendly basis since I quit, and haven't touched on any church topics, because I asked at the beginning not to be contacted in any way but friendship. She told me that she got that e-mail. That's all.

So.....I'm wondering now if the primary president got the e-mail forwarded to her as well, because she never called me like she was going to for a lunch date a few weeks ago. Interesting. I have no doubt they have talked about me amongst themselves. Not that it matters. It's just a fact, I'm sure.

Now, in answer to MM's second question...Last night I did my personal equivalent of Drunken Blogging: I posted while I was still mad. Mad Blogging should be avoided. This, at least for me, is not so wise to do. In future I will probably wait a full day or two, and if I'm still upset, then I will write about whatever it was, or not.

Today I feel much better, and my man is acting like nothing is wrong and is being nice. Of course, we are alone as a family and mine is not here right now. The test will come in an hour when they come over.

My mom and her boyfriend are visiting us from Salt Lake City. They came up on Wednesday night and stayed at my sister's house. We did Thanksgiving day with my husband's family while my mom and sister did Thanksgiving at her house. It was a great day, and none of the things that made me mad happened on Thursday. But Wednesday night when my mom popped in to say hi and Friday was a different story. That is what made me so mad, the difference of how he acts when it's my family vs. his.

Yesterday my mom & her BF left and went back to my sister's right before dinner, and the plan was to go to her house for dinner. That's when I told my husband that he shouldn't come if he was going to keep being an ass. That's the fight we had, and the frustrating part of the whole incident. I don't like having to ask him to be nicer when my family is in town, I don't feel like I should have to. He thinks he wasn't acting any different than usual or that he was behaving rudely. It's hard to reason with someone who doesn't see it in himself. He did end up going to my sister's and after about 45 minutes he was acting fun and nice as I knew he could.

The whole thing is irritating because it's stupid and unnecessary. It doesn't mean I don't love him or that I want out, but in the middle of my anger, sometimes that's the only solution I can see, since reasoning and talking about it gets me nowhere. Each time I'm forced to be mad on my own and then accept whenever he feels like it's OK to act nice again. It bugs me so bad.

Any person who doesn't have a spouse who does this will have a hard time understanding my frustration. It seems so simple to people who live with easy-going, non-stubborn spouses to say "I wouldn't put up with that." I have no clue how to prevent stuff like this from happening again. I have no clue how to make it be different. Counseling for communication improvement will never happen, as I'm the only one who would go. When I say something is wrong and spell out what behavior bothered me, he denies he behaved that way. It's very frustrating to deal with.

This morning my mom called and asked if we could find the BYU/Utah football game on our TV...we found it, so they are coming over to enjoy the game on the big screen. Let's hope it's more fun this time around. We'll see.

In the meantime, I've eaten the donut my man went out and bought this morning as a peace offering (I think) and I plan to be nice, and we'll see where this leads us today!

I know it's what?

I can't sleep because the snoring is too loud tonight. Way too loud. Most nights I can fall asleep anyway, but tonight it's worse than usual. Maybe it's because I'm still feeling some residual anger, so the little things become bigger and seem much worse to bear.

A few late-night wishes:

I wish I were sleeping in my warm bed right now, instead of freezing at the computer.

I wish I were more assertive and better at communicating so that each time I need to say something important, we could discuss things rationally like two adults vs. the way it ends up happening instead.

I wish I didn't have to worry about being treated well each time my family comes to visit.

I wish you would give a shit when I tell you it's humiliating to have you act like an ass almost every time they are over. Instead I get called a bitch for daring to say that I don't like being humiliated that way.

I wish you could see what is plain to anyone else with eyes that the way you treat me and them during visits is really rude.

I wish I knew why you feel the need to do this to me in the first place.

I wish I had the guts to act exactly the same way when we're with your family, so you can see that it's rude and humiliating, except I would never, EVER want to be that lame.

I wish you hadn't been so passive aggressive after we first talked about this, saying Thank You or No, Thank You in a sticky sweet voice each time I spoke to you.

I wish our kids hadn't witnessed all of this firsthand. They need to know that it's not OK to roll over and take shit that's being dished. They need to know that it's actually possible to apologize when they've hurt someone they love.

I wish you had shown my family your nice, fun, friendly side from the beginning, rather than just during the last half of our evening with them tonight. Even though you deny acting like an ass before, you did. You would never dream of acting that way around your family.

I wish you understood that ignoring my family when they first arrive, not participating in planning or doing things together, and refusing to eat with us IS behaving like an ass.

I wish you cared enough to say (or even feel) you're sorry. I wish you cared enough to acknowledge that it really does happen, and that you'll try harder not to do it again.

I wish I knew of any other guaranteed method of eliminating this treatment from my life than the one thing I know would work.

DAY AFTER UPDATE: I wish I didn't always wake up the next day and forget that I was so mad, and that you didn't always act especially nice the next day, so that I don't care about it until the next time my family comes to visit.

Of course I love him. It's just another stupid argument where I called him an ass, and he called me a bitch, and we move on the next day as if neither of us were mad. It's always the way it goes. Which is why I'm pretty sure it'll happen again, even though I wish it wouldn't.

November 24, 2006

The Day After

I did pretty well with not eating too much yesterday, which is a lesson learned from many Thanksgiving feasts gone by...The past two years I've only taken that which I like (skipping dressing that comes out of the turkey, sweet potatoes, rolls - unless they are crescent rolls made from scratch - brussells sprouts, things like that.) I hate that feeling I get when I'm so full I can barely breathe right. Plus I started the day with a migraine and took a Maxalt which made me mellow enough to want to nap instead of eating. Not that I napped...

I try to take around a tablespoon of everything I do like, and only a small slice of turkey, and still my plate is loaded. I love mashed potatoes and those I load up on. Talk about too much food! But it was great! Kudos to my sister-in-law and mother-in-law for creating the majority of the food, it was GREAT! We missed some family members, wish you could've been there!

I've got my mom and her boyfriend visiting from SLC this weekend, staying at my sister's house. They are coming over sometime this morning. All my siblings know about my blog, but my parents don't, and I'm not so sure I want them to. My dad is a staunch Mormon man, and he may not appreciate reading my thoughts about Mormonism here. My mom is a lot more open and no longer participating in the Mormon faith, but I have a feeling that I may someday need to rant about childhood experiences and things I say could hurt her, which is something I don't want to do. When I'm at my sarcastic best, sometimes her feelings get hurt, and I would rather avoid the drama that could create.

But a part of me knows that at some point, one of my siblings will spill the blog to my mom, so why not just let her know about it now? She's probably going to feel hurt I didn't tell her before.

Whatever....It may be a moot point anyway. With the way my boys here tease me (translate: MOCK ME) about blogging, I wouldn't put it past them to dog me about it while she's here, and then I'll have to tell her I have a blog. Then she'll want to read it from start to finish. Hey, maybe it'll be a favor to her, as she'll want to start her own blog, and she'll enjoy it as much as I do!

Wait, this just occurred to me...maybe she already HAS HER OWN BLOG, and now I'm hurt because she didn't tell ME!

November 23, 2006

Ending 34 years of abstinence

You heard me right. I've gone and done the unthinkable. I ended my 34 years of Not Ever Drinking An Alcoholic Beverage.

My husband took me to a nice restaurant for our anniversary a couple weeks ago. My son had teased me not to drink, and my husband told him I wouldn't, and I said if I DID, then it was because it's my choice, and I'm an adult, and he's free to choose for himself when he's the legal adult age to do so.

We arrived at the restaurant about 45 minutes earlier than our reservation, so we took a seat in the bar area. I looked at the menu to decide what I wanted to try. He said something like, "You aren't going to drink." A statement, not a question.

I said, "Why not? I might."

"But you never drank before."

I thought about it and said, "The one and only reason I never drank was because I thought it was wrong, that God didn't want me to. But I found out I was taught a lot of stuff that wasn't true."

"You're not going to drink."

I asked him, "Why does the thought of me drinking bother you? You do it and it's no big deal, so why is it a big deal if I want to do it?"

Then he fired, "Would you do it if your dad were here?"

What?! What on earth does my (true believing Mormon) dad have to do with me sitting here having a drink with my man?

I said, "Would YOU not drink if my dad were here?" He said he would drink, he's done it before.

"Exactly. I'm an adult, and I can drink what I want, when I want. If I want to drink tonight, I will."

When the waitress came to take our order, my husband ordered an R&R Seven and I ordered a strawberry daiquiri. (Yes, I had to look up how to spell it!) In my pre-drinking days I would order virgin strawberry daiquiris and loved them. It was fun watching him hold his breath as I ordered.

I looked at him with what I hoped was a nonchalant look. He just stared at me. Like I had done something weird. Or like I had done something wrong. Then he told me if I didn't like it, I still had to drink it all since I ordered it. Wait a minute, is my dad here already?? Hellloooo...I had already decided I was going to finish off whatever I ordered, even before being told I HAD TO.

My first sip was interesting. It tasted like a rotten virgin strawberry daiquiri. But I persevered and drank it. I even tried his drink. His tastes like I imagine lighter fluid must taste. Shivers. For the record, a virgin strawberry daiquiri is much better tasting than the alcoholic version.

We got seated at our table and I had a little of my drink left. I was told once again that I was finishing it. That got a little old. They left us a relish tray once we ordered, and all of a sudden, my stomach started to hurt. Bad.

I told my husband and he was worried. I didn't feel lightheaded or different, just my stomach hurt way high by my ribs, and it was bad. I went to the restroom in case the worst happened. That would be my luck. I hung out in there for a while but nothing changed. Finally I went back to the table. By this time our salads had arrived. I didn't think I'd be able to eat anything, my stomach hurt so bad.

I picked at my salad a little, and after eating a few bites, I discovered it was helping my stomach not to hurt anymore! Yeeeessss. I was better!!! I realized something I never knew...I shouldn't drink on an empty stomach. I had had lunch at noon and it was already 8 pm.

I drank water with my dinner (I didn't like that stomach ache at all!) and after dinner with dessert, my husband ordered a Kalua and Cream. Oh. My. GAWD. I LOVE that drink! I drank over half of it myself. Now, there is a drink I can appreciate.

So...I can no longer say I never drank before. I have reached a new milestone.

I'm not sure I'll ever drink a beer, though. That stuff smells like death.

November 22, 2006

What I've been doing in my "spare time"

Blake & Cal 9" x 12" Graphite

First of all, a huge THANK YOU goes to my friend, JC, who showed extreme faith in me by commissioning me to draw this portrait. It honors me to draw for you, and I appreciate your friendship even more than the commission! You are awesome.

I enjoy creating art so much. It truly feels like what I'm meant to do. But in order to make it possible to actually do it as a career, I've got to pull double duty and work full time in an office, and then draw in my not-so-spare time. It's tough sometimes, especially with deadlines looming! I have one more commission due by Christmas, one due after that (a church), and another portrait commission due before Mother's Day (thanks JK!).

I look back and am surprised by all those years I wasted, not creating any art. Why did I do that? It must have been due to my attempt to find balance in marriage, motherhood, and life in general. I'm not even sure my husband knew I could draw until years after we were married.

I wish I had the guts (and the financial ability) to just quit my job immediately and look people in the eye and say with confidence:

I am an artist. This is what I do.

November 21, 2006

A Special Gift For You!

I have decided to eliminate the irritating word verification requirement on my blog. This is my special gift to you, my loyal readers. However, if I suddenly notice an influx of junk spam on my blog comments, I will change it back.

Apparently my hubby has been reading my blog every day. He rarely says anything, but last night he couldn't help himself from saying that he couldn't believe I wrote about my period. I think he doesn't mention anything to me because he'd like me to think that he doesn't read my blog.

If you want to read my blog, read it. I don't care. I would probably not blog so much if we had one of those relationships where communication abounds, but since we don't, I will continue to enjoy blogging and even talking about my period whenever I feel like it.

Just wait until I start posting about breastfeeding! I'll try to warn you first in the title, so you can quit reading before you start puking and your eyeballs threaten to fall out. Oh yeah, and I may also write about poop, scratchy feet, psoriasis, boogers, ingrown toenails, whiskers on my chin, and anything else I may find is on my mind at any particular moment. In case you wondered.

November 20, 2006

Dear Aunt Flo,

Every month I get a visit from you like clockwork. For the most part I don't mind, as I've become used to you, after enduring over 20 years of these visits. I feel we've become rather "close." Those first few years you were pretty irregular, but I didn't mind that since I was a teenager and had no real need for a schedule in my life yet. I know I like to bitch about you to my friends, and I can't say this makes me sorry. I really enjoy ranting about you.

I've gotten used to your visits causing obnoxious side effects. Headaches, abdominal pain, irritability. The stress of your impending visit sometimes makes me eat more junk food, and I gain weight and retain water like crazy. But I'm used to this as well, and have learned to deal with it. You are part of my life, just like many other obnoxious relatives.

But this month, give me a break! You are acting so gushy and have caused serious upheaval to my routine. Why must you be so overbearing this time?? I find I'm having to check on you at least hourly, otherwise I discover you've made a huge mess of yourself again. And although I haven't noticed any headaches this time (yet!), you have instead caused me to break out in acne. I'm way too old for this nonsense, don't you agree?

Unfortunately, the only way I am able to finally be rid of you involves me paying an arm and a leg to hire an assassin to take you out with sharp objects, and I stand to lose work time and pay as I take time to recover from your death. You are very difficult to get rid of.

Just get this visit over with already, and feel free to make it 5 weeks between visits next time, OK?


November 19, 2006

Random Memory by SML

Our family was large with 7 kids, and we weren't very well off financially as I was growing up. My parents were avid Boy Scout leaders, so we often went camping as a family, since we had the gear and it was cheap to do.

One time, we went camping, and when we arrived and set up, we realized that we were one sleeping bag short. My dad being as anal as he is, as well as someone who never fails to follow the motto "Be Prepared," had an extra tent or two that he decided to sleep in like a sleeping bag.

During the course of the night, it began to snow hard. This was a surprise storm and we weren't exactly prepared for snow. My sleeping bag was in the lowest corner of the tent, and halfway through the night, I discovered that my sleeping bag was soaked through. I woke up my folks, who decided to share the extra tent as bedding and they put me where my mom had been, on a cot in a shared sleeping bag with my little brother, Steve. He was two or three at the time.

About an hour later, I woke up to find Steve shivering and trying to snuggle up to my warmth. He had PEED OUR SLEEPING BAG!

The rest of that horrible night was spent trying to keep poor Stevie as far away from me as possible.

Needless to say, we packed up and went home first thing in the morning.

Could this be why I have never brought myself to buy the gear and take my family camping?

November 18, 2006

Weenis of the Week

I just saw on the news this week that OJ Simpson has written a book called "If I Did It" in which he describes hypothetically how he would have murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. He is apparently going to do an interview about it as well at the end of the month.

This screams tasteless on so many levels I can barely begin to write about it.

I am reminded of when my kids were little...they would take something they shouldn't like my keys, or the remote, and would say they didn't know where it was because they were afraid of getting in trouble. So then I figured out if I asked it this way, "If you were the remote, where would you be?" my kid would suddenly beam and bring it to me immediately from that hiding place in the bedroom.

I can hear the interview now.

"OJ, hypothetically speaking, if YOU were the one who had committed these murders, how would you have done it?"

Then he somehow proceeds to describe how he "would have done it" in an entire book, which will probably make him rich. The only reason he got off was because he was a big football hero and had loads of money to pay for great lawyers. Sports heroes in the US are notorious for doing crimes they never have to pay for. Makes me ill.

You disgust me, OJ Weenis Simpson.

I Dream of Genie

My favorite thing to do on Saturday:

Lounge around and do nothing unless I want to do something.

What I get to do today instead:

All the preparations for a dinner party and birthday party, including

Scour bathrooms
Start laundry
Get groceries for the spaghetti and baked ziti my man will be cooking
Go get ice cream cake per my daughter's birthday wish

And most important of all: try to make all these chores look fun to my kids who won't want to do them any more than I do.

Now to the most important question: Which of you has ever dreamed of having a special power that enabled you to snap your fingers and the house was immediately spotless?

November 17, 2006

A Birthday Letter

Dear S,

Nine years ago today, you were born into our family, rounding out our little Brady Bunch and tying us even closer together. You were 9 pounds, 5 ounces, and it felt good to hold you because you fit so well in my arms, especially because you were no longer stretching my ribcage and hips out. When Dad held you for the first time a little after you were born, the nurse gave him a 2 oz. bottle, telling us to see if you'd be willing to eat anything, that sometimes newborns drank a bit. Within about 2 minutes that bottle was empty! You knew what you wanted and got it, even then.

You are such a unique person in our family. I remember when you were first learning to talk, all you could say so far was Mommy, Daddy, and hi. I'd ask you, "Who am I?" You'd say, "Daadddy!" in your little teasing voice and then you'd laugh and laugh at your own joke. Then Dad would act all shocked and say, "But who am I then?" and you'd say, "Mooommy!" You were a tease, and you still enjoy teasing us, and your brother. And Chewie.

A few things I hope you never get tired of doing with me:

Painting & drawing
Telling each other made-up Wormy stories at bedtime
Reading books
Going on walks
Shopping at Michael's
Kisses and hugs
Taking photos of Chewie
Making faces in the mirror
Talking at each other upside down, and pretending our mouths are right-side-up.
Playing in the water and sand at the beach.

And our favorite, making up silly games to play while we do chores, like our game with the sheets on the bed: lifting the sheet high like a parachute, then jumping on the bed while it floats back down, and trying to bellow out "Ground control to Major Tom" before the sheet hits us! That game rocks. You've been begging me to wash the sheets again, and I think I know why! I can't wait to make up even more fun games together.

We are alike in many ways too. We both are afraid of swimming in water above our heads. Maybe we should take some private swimming lessons together to get over our fears. Bright sunshine hurts both of our blue eyes, although yours are way more blue. Ice blue. I love your eyes. We love going to the theater and eating popcorn through the whole movie. We both hate shopping, but understand that it's a necessary evil sometimes. We love to be cheesy. It's a real gift, you know. Isn't it almost time to cut another orange up and use the peel wedges for fake teeth again? We both get headaches when chaos is around us. We get exasperated at the men in our house at the same time.

Your teacher told us how refreshing it was to see a student your age who is not concerned with what others think of her. I know you get this from Dad, and I'm so glad you have that gift. Stay true to who you are, and don't worry about what anyone else thinks of you. You have an inner peace that many of us strive for and never really find.

I want you to always be happy with who you are, and remember that I will love you forever and ever, even when you're an old lady and I'm a really old lady.

November 16, 2006

Sweet Revenge, or Obviously I Need To Get A Life

A couple of minutes ago I answered the phone at work. Guess who it was?!

"Is JJ in?"

"May I ask who's calling?"

"Eric Anderson with Sterling."

"Can you hold for a minute please?"

I push hold........................Smile an evil smile, and immediately start drafting this post about him. You may remember his rudeness from yesterday.

He lasted on hold for two and a half minutes before he hung up.

You shouldn't have messed with me yesterday, Eric. You will NEVER get through to JJ now. Muahahahahahahaha! (Echoing evil laughter fading into silence)

Alone Time

I'm taking tomorrow off as a vacation day. It makes me think of the few times I've had alone time, just me in my own house. It's been so rare, I can probably name the instances from the past 13 years on two fingers.

When my youngest was in kindergarten, my boss told me that since it was my birthday, I could choose any day to take off that week, paid. So I picked the day and it was great. At the time I only had one week of vacation per year, or 5 days of vacation. I used them to go on vacation with my family. Never before this day off had I had time to myself at home, unless you count my year as an exchange student when I skipped school so much...

I had exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes, as long as kindergarten lasted. I had to make this good.

I found my favorite movie and put it in the DVD player. I turned on the TV and got out the DVD remote, and pushed play. And NOTHING. I swore, and started pushing buttons. Nothing. I had three remotes in front of me, and I was desperately trying to remember the right sequence of buttons to push on which remote in order to make a movie play. I had been shown one time, months previous, and I couldn't remember any of it. I tried for a good 15 minutes before I was forced to make THE CALL.

"Hi Honey, I know you're busy but can you just quickly talk me through getting my DVD to play?"

"You don't know how to play a movie?" He starts laughing because he knows he's got me by the balls. I hear him telling his co-workers all about my ignorance, and I endure it because, damnit, I want my movie! I roll my eyes as he enjoys his moment at my expense.

He finally explains what to do, including using one remote I didn't even have out, used solely for making the switch from regular TV viewing to DVD viewing. I needed to choose something like "DVI Component" or something (I forget what it says) from a menu of ten or so items in order to get to DVD watching. I had no idea such a thing was required. Thank you so much, babe! He laughs harder at me as he hangs up. I can see him shanking his head in my mind's eye. I vow to never eat at his restaurant again.

I follow his instructions to the letter, and nothing. I can't get the DVI Component line to take once it's highlighted. WTF?? I try for another 10 minutes, but then give up since 1. I must have gotten the instructions wrong the first time, and 2. My 2.5 hours are dwindling fast, and I WANT MY MOVIE!!!

I hang my head and dial the phone.

One of his co-workers answers the phone, and I can hear her tell my husband that it's me calling. He then proceeds to shout/laugh his disbelief to his entire crew, something to the effect of "Holy Shit! When will she ever learn to use the remote?" This goes on for a bit, enough to really, really piss me off. As if I wasn't already seriously pissed off after trying to get my movie to play.

He gets on the phone with this serious tone like he can't believe I'm intruding so much and like I'm really putting him out of his valuable work time from sheer stupidity. I say, "It's not working. Something isn't working right." He makes another awful remark about it being the operator of the remote, not the remote itself.

Through gritted teeth I grind out in my Damien voice, "I am half a second away from throwing this damn remote right throught the TV! Make fun of me ONE MORE TIME."

Now I have HIM by the balls, and he knows it.

I explain how I did exactly what he told me, and how it won't move from the DVI Component line.

Suddenly the mystery is solved. Apparently, once you choose the right line on the menu, you have to hit the left arrow button, not the SELECT button as one (with a brain) would expect. No WONDER I didn't get it right.

Tomorrow I'm going to draw all morning and watch TWO movies while I do it! I can't wait!

Oh yeah, and the phone's going to be off the hook.

November 15, 2006

To the Judges at NaBloPoMo

Dear Judges,

I really have posted daily. However, I didn't realize if a post is started the day before as a draft, and not posted until the day after, it still shows the previous day's date as the post date.

My post yesterday with the cute portrait of me drawn by my daughter, was actually posted on Tuesday, November 14th. I have many witnesses who read my blog who will vouch for me.

Hopefully I will still be eligible for the prize drawing, as I'm feeling very lucky right now.


Sister Mary Lisa

The phone call I just had

I answer the phone at my work, politely as usual.

"Hello. This is Eric Anderson at Sterling. I need to speak to whoever is in charge of ordering your printer supplies."

I say, "I'm in charge of..."

"Noooooo, you're not. Your boooss is. What's his name?"

"It's JJ, but I AM the one who orders the..."

"No, I'll call JJ back." Click.

Note how he automatically assumed my boss was a "he." What a prick.

November 13, 2006

When a dinner date and flowers aren't all...

I got home Monday night to a special meal prepared just for me. There were candles burning on the table, and the lights were turned low. My kids and husband had worked hard to clean up the house, which we had left in messy chaos when we left that morning.

My man had cooked a delicious angel hair pasta with shrimp and homemade alfredo dish, and we had a salad with baby romaine, croutons, grape tomatoes, and raspberry viniagrette dressing. We each had a little dish of oil and balsamic vinegar to dip our bread into. We also had corn and our favorite fun beverage, sparkling apple cider, that the kids love to drink out of our stem glasses.

On my plate was a little card made just for me by my daughter. It's a portrait of me. She did a good job capturing the likeness! She said to me as I was admiring it, "Mom, I'm sorry I screwed this part up, (pointing at one side of the blue body) it's kinda big."

I said, "But it looks just like me, don't you think?"

"Yeah, kind of. Not that you're fat or anything!"

After dinner they surprised me with a delicious dessert, caramel chocolate bar squares with nuts on top.

I thought our dinner date last Friday was enough. Usually we only get out about twice a year or so. But then I got flowers, and a special dinner too!

What did I do to deserve such grand treatment?? My husband told the kids they did this for Mom's Anniversary. His is next month.

To D, with love

Dear D,

We've come a long way, baby! It seems like just yesterday we were sitting across from each other on our first date at Bruno's, trying hard not to make eye contact because we couldn't stop smiling cheesy smiles whenever we'd look each other in the eye. Even though we only dated for a few short weeks before we decided to get married, I know it was the right choice for me and I'm so glad we've made it this far, beating the odds.

How blessed I am to have you in my life! Our kids are awesome, and I know that's partly because of how great a dad you are. When we got married, you took on the job of raising my son as your own, and you've always shown him support and love. You amaze me sometimes with what you are willing to do for and with our kids that I know my dad never would have done for me.

Remember how mad at you I was when we went to our Halloween dinner party last month, and you didn't end up using your "wardrobe malfunction" costume I created for you? I know it was probably due to the unfortunate design error that caused the pasty to fall off your nipple each time you pulled the hidden string to make your chest pocket fall away, and also your discomfort/anxiety at social events that happens once in a while.

I was so mad at you for just sitting there and seemingly not having fun, when we were surrounded by friends, but then I thought twice about it over the next few days. Did I really have the right to be mad at you for being uncomfortable with exposing your bare (sexy) breast to the people at our party?

When we got married and had our reception afterward, you stood up in front of all those people, family, and friends and read me your personal vows.

"I promise to you, Lisa, that from this day forward I will live my life for you. I will be your dearest and closest friend, whom I will respect and trust forever. My heart belongs to you - to comfort and cherish you, and my love you shall have until the day I die. But until that day, these promises that I have shared with you I will always keep and honor with all my heart and I will make all your dreams come true."

I knew you were going to do this, and that you wanted me to read you my vows as well, but I was young and I was scared, and I was irrationally afraid of crying in front of all those people (you know how ugly I get when I cry). In the end I chickened out and couldn't do it. But you read your vows to me anyway. And you made me cry with how romantic your words were. I wonder if your entire family judged me for not saying vows back to you, but if they did, I never felt censure from them, only love and acceptance.

That's what I feel from you, and it is the best gift a wife could ask for.

Happy Anniversary, my love.

November 12, 2006

Weenis of the Week

We were driving last night and saw a painted sign at the side of the road:



A breezeway is the narrow area between a house and a detached garage. Sometimes it is enclosed, but still called the breezeway. Usually it is no more than 3 or 4 feet wide.

Why would you call it a Breezeway Sale and not Yard Sale or Garage Sale? Why would you ever HAVE a sale in such a tight location?

I considered driving back with my camera to take a photo of the sign, but then I'd be giving it more attention than it was worth. Plus I was afraid someone would see me taking the photo and drive by saying, "Look at that weenis taking a picture of that dumb sign."

The person who made their yard sale into a "breezeway sale" and created the stupid sign is a WEENIS.

NaBloPoMo No Mo

I'm gonna finish this month since I already promised myself I'd post daily during the entire month of November, but I vow right now...

Never again.

My creativity is stifled doing this stupid thing. Where once I used to post as soon as a good idea hit me, now I weigh whether or not to post it yet, or save it for days when I have nothing good to say. This causes me to not post anything that's any good, because I forget my great idea. And even though I've thought that it might be a good idea to keep a little notebook for jotting good ideas down in as I go about my day, I'm not going to because my purse is already 30 pounds and I know I probably would forget I had the notebook anyway.

Also, I must admit I did it for reasons that weren't completely altruistic. I also did it to get on their list of blogs in the challenge, in order to maybe get lucky and win something at the end...Now that I dogged their idea and challenge, I wonder if I won't win now, even if my name is drawn...

Well, some of the whole blog daily idea is good, but I know you know what I'm talking about here, especially those of you who have also decided to take the challenge.

Repeat after me:


Unless, of course, I win something awesome, then y' DAMN RIGHT I'll do it again!



Nothing new to report. I drew all day on a portrait (which is looking GREAT by the way, JC!) and in the evening we went to play board games at my SIL's house. Good times were had by all.

Even if I didn't win.

My husband's new favorite game is Killer Bunnies, and I hate it because it's all luck of the draw. I much prefer strategy games. Settlers of Catan and all the different expansions/versions are my favorite games to play. Some luck, some skill with trading, and strategy are required in that game.

And you don't have to blow any bunnies up!! Nor do you have to have THE winning carrot card. Nor do you have to wait until you get lucky just to get a bunny card to play.

OK, that's all for tonight. Time to hit the sack.

November 10, 2006

I bow to their gifted way with words...

While I was shopping for said index cards last night, I saw a cardboard display unit for Kotex feminine hygiene products with this slogan:

KOTEX. Fits. Period.

Ingenious. I'd like to shake the hand of the ad exec who came up with something so profound.

Picture their brainstorming session: Four men sitting in a conference room, late in the evening. Boxes of Kotex, pads and tampons strewn all over the table, intermingled with open Chinese take out boxes and hundreds of crumpled pages of rejected ideas. Until suddenly...

"I've got it!" One ad exec stands up in excitement, not aware that his hair is standing on end or that he's spilled Chinese red sauce on the front of his white shirt.

"I mean, what does your wife or girlfriend say SUCKS THE MOST about when she has her period? That the products don't fit or they feel funky or they don't protect, right?"

One man speaks up. "Umm, call me crazy, but I thought it was the cramps, bloating, migraines, and water retention they hated the most. And don't forget the PMS."

Groaning and nods of agreement from all.

"Yeah, but how on earth can we promote this product with a positive spin if we mention all the shitty things about menstruation?? That's no good. Here's my idea. It's simple really. Kotex fits."

"Yeah, but how about all the people who have never heard the word Kotex? They need to know it's products for when a woman is on her period..."

"Saaaaay! That's IT! Kotex. Fits. Period. Our work here is done."

Good Riddance

I had to go to Target last night with my kids to pick up lined index cards, because the two grocery stores close to my house were empty on the shelf where index cards should have been. Where are their capitalistic values?!

Anyway, on the drive home, we passed the Mormon church we attended until recently. I asked my son (13) if he missed going to church.

He grinned, huffed a little, and said, "No."

"Me neither! It's been so nice to have Sundays to ourselves. Even when I do laundry all day on Sunday, it's still so peaceful."

He said, "I got tired of getting a headache at church every Sunday."

I didn't know he was getting regular Sunday headaches too. All I can say is:

Thank God It Is Done.

November 9, 2006

Confirmed idiot sighting

I, my friends, am an idiot.

The scene: my desk.

The players: a co-worker from next door and myself.

She came over and we got to talking about meat, and how she doesn't eat chicken due to the gristle found there. And how she doesn't like most ham due to the skin and icky layer on the outside of it, yet she loves bacon, the greasier the better. And she loves beef of all kinds, and turkey, but not chicken. Then we got on the subject of different kinds of meat (get your minds out of the gutter, please) and she said she can eat veal, since it's a form of beef.

I said, "Veal is from sheep. It's lamb meat."

She said, "No, I think it's from baby cows, who've lost their mothers."

"No, it's sheep meat. I'm sure."

"It's baby cow, I'M pretty sure."

I reach for my dictionary, and say at the same time something utterly pompous that only someone who's ALWAYS RIGHT can produce.

I read out loud "The meat of a calf."

Oh. My. God.

OK, so I'm an idiot. But at least I eat chicken, unlike some people.

November 8, 2006

Blast from the past

Sorry, so damn busy again today, it looks like I may be working late and into my lunch hour too...'s a short post to keep my commitment to post daily. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe this isn't such a short post, right?

I drew this when I was 18 as an exchange for my host parents for Christmas, since I was poor and had nothing else to give except homemade gifts! I used color pencils, borrowed from my 12 year old host sister, and paper from a sketch pad. I found a little image of a famous painting in a magazine, I don't know who did the original painting, but the image I copied from was only about 2" x 1.5".

The funny thing about it: note the weird black thing on the peach in the foreground to the right of the knife. I thought that it was a dried up stem thingie like what you find on tomatoes, but after I gifted it to my host parents, we looked at the magazine and used a magnifying glass and discovered that the "thing" should have been a BUG! I drew it like the top of a tomato. Sheece. It's a good conversation piece, though, and they assured me they mention that funny mistake whenever someone comments on the drawing. It hangs over their dining table, and has for 16 years since I was there.

I miss Austria! My host family, the beauty, the trains, the food, the people.

November 7, 2006

Fun Times

I hate having a bunch of short posts, but I've been super busy and haven't had time to write my usual 10 page dissertations. I really do want to complete my goal of a post a day in November.

I encourage you all to vote today! I've got the fun of deciding between Conrad Burns and Jon Tester for Senator. I'm mostly republican, although I've been extremely ashamed of our country leaders and their handling of foreign affairs. If I vote for Tester, that will leave Montana with a mostly republican population and a democrat as governor, and two democratic senators. Hmmmm. Yet I don't like Burns anymore either. What to do, what to do. I predict that Tester will win, no matter how I vote. The best news of all is that we no longer have to endure the stupid smear campaigns of all our politicians. I just want the regular commercials back, thank you!

On a better note, last night I went through photos of our trip to Hawaii that we were lucky lucky lucky to be able to go on in January of this year with our kids. It was business related, but we added an extra week onto the business trip and enjoyed ourselves immensely. I had never been to the beach before that time.

The photo below is the first and only sandcastle I've ever made. I made it with my daughter and son on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. Note the groovy seaweed embellishments! And Waikiki isn't the best beach...Kailua had a much more impressive, less rocky, less populated beach by far! The big island (Hawaii) had even better beaches, but we didn't get a chance to do much there due to the business trip. Someday I'll post more about Hawaii.

Back to work!!!

November 5, 2006

Taking Back Sunday

I've read numerous blogs where reference has been made to what they do with their Sundays now that they no longer use so much of it to go to church.


Wake up at 7 a.m. and rush to get ready in order to be on time to church.
Arrive just as the first song is ending in Sacrament Meeting.
Read lesson during Sacrament Meeting since I didn't prepare until Sat. night, late.
Get home around 12:20.
Eat as if I've never eaten food before.
Endure all-day headache that started during Sacrament Meeting.
Help husband do laundry that he started while we were at church.
Watch a movie or play a board game together while continuing laundry.
Order Chinese and feel guilt that I'm not really keeping the Sabbath Day holy.
Put kids to bed and watch another movie.
Go to bed around 10:30.


Woke up at 9:30, see that the kids had been up a while.
Lounged around in my lounge pants...Watched a shark show and then a show called "Eaten Alive" about parasites such as tapeworms, round worms, etc. I'll never be the same again.
Ate a bowl of granola at 10:30 and cooked daughter eggs per her request.
Showered at 11:30.
We all ate lunch at different times due to not being hungry at the same time. I had chips and salsa at 2:30 for lunch.
Drew and perfected one of the two faces on my current portrait commission while husband watched TV beside me.
Got up to play Water Works with kids.
Remembered laundry we started, threw another load in.
Made dinner and ate as a family.
Watched The Amazing Race while working on portrait more.
Dishes done.
Write blog about my Sunday.
Realize I've had no headache on Sunday since quitting the Mormon religion, remember that every single Sunday previous to leaving was a big headache...
Youngest to bed at 9:00.
Rest of us going to bed at 10:30 or so.

I love taking back Sunday.

November 4, 2006

Trick or Treat!

I know this is somewhat late, since Halloween is over, but I have to get this off my chest.

Yes, I said chest.

We went trick or treating to my sister's house, and she made my husband and son trick or treat at her door. I was preoccupied, so I didn't see what they were given until the next day, when I saw my son drooling all over this:

My sister and brother-in-law have 3 daughters, aged 7, 5, and 1. I wonder how much they'll enjoy it when I give their 13 year old daughter a PENIS SUCKER.

November 3, 2006

Fine, Bishop Rick, I give up.

I tried like crazy to get Bishop Rick to guess which of my TAKE TWO statements was a lie. He was right the first time when he guessed my first ones were all true (although how on earth could he know??) and I really wanted to see if he could guess the actual lie in my second try.

But since he's not interested, I shall divulge here now...

1. During childbirth the first time, I went from being dilated to 6 to actually having my baby in only 15 minutes.

TRUE. JOOM, I was in the hospital from 9 am to 3:45 when they checked me and said I was only dilated to 6. I couldn't take it anymore, so I said those words that many women swear by: Get. Me. An. Epidural. NOW! While they were going to get the tray to do the epidural, my body pushed and suddenly I was having my baby. He was born at 4:00. I only pushed twice. Blame my child bearing hips.

2. My first romantic (wet) dream starred me and . . . . wait for it . . . . Christopher Reeves. I was maybe 11 at the time. And it was HOT. Of course all we did was kiss, but it was lying-down-in-bed kinda kissing.

TRUE. Nothing but kissing, but it was HOTTT. I'd be ashamed, but I can't help what my subconcious finds attractive, can I? And no, he wasn't in Superman garb, but he was wearing those sexy Clark Kent glasses. Mee-ooooow.

3. I once endured a 12 hour layover in Brussels, Belgium. We wandered the city and then slept next to a really cool fountain most of the day.

TRUE. On my way to Austria as an exchange student. We arrived at 6 am and had until 6 pm to get on the last flight over to Vienna. Beautiful city, I'd love to go back.

4. On an all-day hike at Girls Camp, I found a huge mushroom (6” across) that had another mushroom growing out the top of it which had another mushroom growing out the top of it. I picked it and hauled it back to camp because I knew nobody would believe me otherwise.

FALSE. Janet, you are GOOD. This is what really happened! I was hiking and we came upon a patch of these really huge mushrooms. The biggest was at least 6" across. I decided it'd be funny to fake the rest of camp out (aka LIE to a bunch of gullible LDS biddies!), so I used my pocket knife and cut them to create a 3-tiered shroom, and I did carry it back to camp (it wasn't far or else you'd have been right, it would have been ruined) and I told everyone I'd actually found this freak of nature. They all believed me! It was such a lie, and even more priceless duping the bitches at girls camp!! Absolutely awesome.

5. The first concert I ever attended was Kool and the Gang. It would’ve been a hot date except my host brother insisted in coming along, damn him.

TRUE. In Austria in 1991, an open air concert at the DONAUFEST, an all-city outdoor party on an island on the Danube River. I loved the concert, even though Kool and the Gang were no longer "cool" in the US. I actually flirted my way into getting a returned missionary in my Austrian ward to take me, and as I was getting ready, my host brother said, "Are you ready? We're gonna miss the train."
He INVITED HIMSELF ALONG on my hot date. I was so mad at him I wouldn't talk to him the whole night. Now, as I look back, I wonder if he really liked me and I never knew it!

So now you know, even if you didn't care.

November 2, 2006

Weenis of the Week


Montana is enjoying a serious smear campaign between Jon Tester (D), senate hopeful, and Conrad Burns (R), who has been Senator since 1988. Conrad is also serious weenis material...

Jon's haircut is an embarrassment to the state of Montana. His campaign slogan is "Real Montana. Real Change." That's serious advice right backatcha, Jon. Get a haircut! Why doesn't he just name himself Biff and make it official?

What a weenis.

I'm Sister Mary Lisa and I approve this message.

Another reason he's still mine

When I crawl into bed, if the bed is cold, my body immediately becomes the temperature of the bed. The bed does not become the temperature of my body.

Last night, after lying in bed for five minutes, he let me put my ice blocks I call feet on his warm legs. Aaaaahh, sweet bliss.

"Just think, if we lived in Hawaii, I wouldn't have cold feet every night."

"I'm sure you'd find a way."

November 1, 2006

A blog a day keeps the doctor away

I vow to post on my blog every day in the month of November. To have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health...

See NaBloPoMo for more information.

To: Almond Joy lovers

Only buy the bag of MINI Almond Joy bars. The almond to coconut ratio is perfect!

When you buy the fun sized ones, you end up eating each end first, and saving the almond bite for last. With minis, you don't have that problem. Each one is perfection in coconutty goodness!

You may thank me later.