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Thursday, July 31, 2008

My inner highschool reunion

I wasn't going to give in. I wasn't going to "go with the crowd", but I bought it for something to do on the 10 hour flight back home from France, and... well.... I got completely and utterly sucked in to the "Twilight" series, and now I can't think of anything else!

Confessions of my inner highschool girl: I must admit, I never really and truly left high school. Oh, it wasn't like it was the pinacle of my existenance- far from it- but life was simpler then, in a complicated way. (what?) I was totally guy obsessed, it's true. I couldn't help it, isn't that what 17 year old girls are supposed to do? That's what my manual book said.

So, when I read "Twilight" just before leaving Paris, I wasn't prepared for how my inner 17 year old would react. She violently overthrew my more mature woman half, suppressing her into the deepest recesses of my psyche, and now I hear her occasionally screaming from somewhere deep inside that the laundry needs to be done, or something about cooking dinner. Honestly, all I hear is "Edward".

So, book 4 comes out on Saturday. I didn't even freak out this much when the last few Harry Potters came out. I knew Harry would live in the end. I just knew it- Good always trumps evil in the end. But, I am just not certain at all how this series will end, and it is freaking me out! (Remember, I no longer have a mature side to function with.)

I am rooting for Edward all the way. Ya, Ya... I know. Jacob would be better for her in the long run- she'd be able to have babies, and not eat her neighbors, be human- blah, blah, blah. But who wants normal? What's the point of reading a fictional novel if it's all going to end up like your own life? (I love my life, don't get me wrong. But everyone's gotta have a little fantasy in their life, right?)

Edward is unrealistically handsome, to be sure. He is intrigued by his inability to read Bella's mind, and some would say that, along with her alluring scent, is the only reason he loves her. I disagree. They have an inexplicable connection. I think they are truly "soul mates" if such a thing existed. (If he has a soul, even!) I think things would only get better between the two of them when she becomes a vampire. I think she will have very special powers that we can't even imagine.

Also, I think Bella needs her relationship with Edward. She has always had to be the responsible one with her mom. That is really hard on a kid. Her dad seems like just a guy who eats the food she cooks, and is worried someone will come and take her away from him so he'd have to go back to Hungry Man dinners again. (No, I know he loves her, but it isn't a father/daughter relationship.) Bella needs someone to take care of her, shelter her, protect her. I think Edward would always do that for her- Jacob just wants someone to play with.

So, let me know your thoughts. Let's put down our adult sides for a minute and revert back to high school. Think like a hormone- ridden teenager! Who do you think will get the girl in the end? Who do you WANT to get her? (I will forgive you the error of your thinking if you choose Jacob over Edward.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

How many computers does it take...

I need my own computer! Or rather, my hubby needs me to have my own computer so he can get this one back.

I do a lot of work on the computer- my apron business, shopping for fabric deals, getting labels, cards, etc. I also do most of my regular shopping on the internet- clothes, gifts, books, etc. And, I do the occasional blogging (hear that hubby? the occasional blogging.) and a lot of emailing, so I rely pretty heavily on the computer. In fact, when the internet is down, I break out into hives!

My son has also discovered his love of computer games. I tried to keep him from it, but it is pretty much impossible when my husband loves them as well. (No, he doesn't play them often, but it gets pretty frustration when he does want to use the computer and I'm on it. I understand that.)

So, there has begun a battle for the computer in our home. We are all quite civilized about it, though- "Mom, when you are done may I please play my game?" "Sweetie- would you kindly unglue your behind from in front of the computer so I can have a turn, pleeeeeeease?"

We've decided it's about time to start looking for a second one. I don't want to spend a lot of money, and it doesn't even have to be new. I would like to be able to access the internet in a resonable amount of time, though. So, I am shopping around.

If any of you have WAY too many computers lying around your house, let me know!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yay Mormon Pioneers!

Today is Pioneer Day in Utah. I have always loved this holiday. I am very proud of my pioneer heritage!(although I wouldn't have lasted even a day out on the plains!)

I am encouraging you all to watch "Legacy". (available for $3.50 through The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints distribution center here.) It is a very poignient story of the Mormon pioneers, and what they went through to escape persecution and reach a place of safety and freedom.

Thinking about how strong those pioneers were helps me get through the de-junking of my basement. If they could haul their entire life's belongings across hundreds of miles of prairie land, being persecuted along the way, then I can clean out the junk from my basement with a whiney child at my elbow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

If you don't do it, who will?

My mom uttered a phrase throughout my childhood that I hated. "If you don't do it, who will?" It applied to any variety of situations. If we came across a wadded up piece of paper on the sidewalk, she'd say, "If you don't pick it up, who will?" I would always feel guilty, imagining some poor little old lady trying to bed over to pick up someone else's trash and having a heart attack while doing it. Once I had seen the paper, it was now my trash, my responsibility. If I didn't do the dishes, my mom would say "If you don't do it, who will?" I pictured my poor mom washing the sinkfull of dishes after I had dirtied them. Again, Guilt.

So, I find myself cleaning the apartment in my basement we have rented out since we moved into this house 7 years ago. This last renter was, well...... not clean! It took 4 hours to clean the bathroom, and it still isn't finished. It took me 3 hours to do the counter and cabinets, and I'm still not done. There's trash everywhere, strange un-nameable things are stuck to the walls. There are suspicious stains all over the carpeting, and it reeks. I am reminded of what my mom always said. Why should I have to clean up someone else's mess? Why should I dry-heave while scraping off stubborn sticky attrocities

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gangsters don't wear plaid.

As a mother, I try to have my child look nice. I want him to feel like he "fits in" so to speak. I don't want him to feel like the strange child in school, wearing the homemade jeans and nerdy buttoned-to-the-top shirts. (we all knew kids like that in school, right?) So, why is it, despite my best efforts, my son refuses to wear the cute stuff I buy him????

I absolutely love the style now with the cute plaid shorts the guys wear. I got my son a pair of brown and blue ones, and an awesome brown t-shirt to match. He looks soooo stylin'! So, why won't he wear them??? "I hate plaid, mom!" That's what he says, I hate plaid???? Come on, who's son are you? I adore plaid! I would wear plaid every day if I could! I had a million plaid skirts in high school (when they were in style), and even a pair of plaid socks! I still have them, though they are too tattered to be worn. :(

A while back, I had to convince him that although his long sleeved chamois shirt was very good looking, it isn't meant to be worn buttoned all the way up to the collar. It just isn't done. "Why, mom?" Because, it..... it.... it just isn't done!" I finally had to tell him that's how gangsters wear their shirts, and he abhors all things gangsters and bad, so he agreed not to wear it like that again. Whew! Now, how can I convince him plaid is good? Maybe I'll tell him gangsters would NEVER wear plaid.... then maybe he'll wear them. Reverse psychology has always worked with him!

Monday, July 14, 2008


My dear, sweet, charming, cute, funny, loving hubby has decided for my emotional health, I am to be banished to my mother's. I think it's for his emotional health!

This prompted a funny thought: If all mothers could be banished away whenever they got stressed out, there would be no mothers around to take care of their children. Lucky for me, I get to bring my child with me during my exile. (Or lucky for my hubby!)

So, I am going to sew the next few days away, making aprons to post on my saucy frocks site, and get my mind back in working order again. I wonder if my mom has any fluffy white robes and slippers to wear. I feel like I'm going to the sanitarium, in a way. I guess this is good for me. I need a breather. Sew.... breathe.... sew..... breathe.... sew some more. There will probably be some eating of chocolate in there somewhere, as well.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ben and Jerry..... I need you!!!!!!

Life has a funny way of throwing you a major curve ball at the most inopportune times.

The post I did entitled "Warning... downer blog ahead" gave some detail into what I've been going through with a certain person in my life.

Today, I found out that person has gone into the hospital because they have been bleeding internally for a few weeks now, and didn't tell anyone. The doctor said if it had gone another day, they would be dead. Now, they will be in the hospital for a few days having tests done, and a blood transfusion when they find out where the bleeding is coming from.

I am exhausted emotionally and physically. I can't keep doing this with this person. I am turning comments off because I just can't deal with it right now. All I want is Ben and Jerry's "Everything but the....". But I have no drive to go get it.

Macaroni and Cheeeeeeeeese.....

This is a totally pointless post. I just have to say, something is horribly wrong with me. I think it could be all the nicotene I inhaled while in Paris, or maybe the lag from the jet lag I had a few weeks ago. Or maybe it's none of those things, and I am just losing it from all the stress I've been under lately. At any rate, something is totally and seriously wrong with me, I can't get enough macaroni and cheese. No, not the yellow death we all grew up with, but homemade mac and cheese.

Let me explain why this is so wrong, I HATE homemade mac and cheese. I have always hated it, and thought I would always hate it until the day I died. I guess I was wrong. The other day, in an attempt to cook something as quickly as possible so as not to have to spend any more time than absolutely necessary in my tiny, cramped, HOT kitchen, I threw some elbow macaroni noodles into a pot of boiling water, cooked it, drained it, added some canola margarine, a dash of flour, grated cheddar cheese, grated parmesian cheese, milk, and a little salt. Out came cheesy mac and cheese.

I originally made it for just my son and my hubby, knowing full well I would hate and detest such a peasantly concoction. But I had to taste it to make sure it had enough salt, and it was like choirs of angels sang in my mouth. I suddenly couldn't stop eating it. I had to make another batch so my family could have some too. I have made it every day since, and there is no end in sight. I thought I should maybe add some veggies so it would at least feign being more healthy, but I just can't do it. I am quickly killing my family off with mac and cheese, and I can't stop!!!!! Somebody help me!!!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Warning..... downer blog ahead. Proceed with caution!

People. Let me fill you in on a little life lesson. Am I perfect? No, I am not. Am I somewhat logical in my thinking? Yes, I must say that I am. So, when I see someone throwing their life away.... no, that's not the correct phrasing. When I see someone doing NOTHING with their life, and therefore it is going quickly southward in a tsunami of uncontrollable negatively impactful ways, I get very frustrated. So, here's the life lesson:

Make pro-active decisions and act on them. You are empowered to do what you want to do for yourself, and you do not have your life dictated to you because of inaction!

We are all given thinking minds. If we use them in a positive way, we will achieve great results. If we let our fear stop us from acting, we are acted upon, which is never a good thing. We lose control of our circumstances, and therefore surrender our freedom of choice.

When I was little, I used to take FOREVER deciding which treat I wanted from the bakery counter. I would stand in front of the glass and vasilate between all the different choices before me. I had the hardest time just picking one... what if it was the wrong one? So, my mom would finally pick one for me, and it was NEVER one that I wanted. I would go home upset that I didn't get what I wanted. I have since learned to make the decision for myself, and I get what I want! (It's usually an eclaire, incidentally!)

So, why can't some people do this? Because of FEAR!!!! The particular person who has prompted this ranting is losing all control of their life because of their inaction. They are bound to be homeless in 2 days because they decided not to look for an apartment for the last month and a half. They have no job because they have made a series of decisions NOT to do something important that could help them get a job, or help them keep a job. They have quit going to counseling because they didn't want to make it work. They have not acted when they could have, and now it is too late.

My heart is broken for this person. I have done all I can, and it is out of my hands at this point. I hope somehow they will make a positive choice and try to reverse the direction their life is headed. I hope. That's all I can do.

I will take this lesson to heart. I will not let my life be dictated to me. I will decide who I want to be, and what it takes to be that person, and then act!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Fairy Tale City- Canterbury

Once upon a time, I went across the great big ocean with my handsome prince, and visited many lands. The very best land of them all was a little town called Canterbury. Have you heard of "The Canterbury Tales"? Well, this is that place!

The streets are brick, the shops are quaint, the pastries are perfect, the people are nice, the river is winding, the cathedral is beautiful and filled with history. What's there not to love?

*looking down over a bridge into the river, we saw these statues laying in the water. No explanation- just an eerie sight!

We stayed in a charming little hotel which was so beautifully decorated, called the Best Western Abbots Barton. The bathroom was all tiled, and had high ceilings. The bedrooms had gorgeous chocolate brocade curtains, and old fashioned wing-back chairs. The desk clerks were friendly and helpful- no snotty european attitudes. The food was good, too.

My favorite part was the little river trip we took in the center of town. It was a small, winding river with lush greenery on either side, little ducks floating and bobbing, and beautiful old churches and shops and houses along the banks. We went directly under a bridge that was almost 1000 years old, and is still in use! I even touched it! It was so picturesque I thought I was in a dream!

The Cathedral there is famous for Thomas Beckett who was murdered there. I stood in the spot the tragedy occurred. We saw where he was laid and enshrined before the evil king had everything destroyed. The history there was awe-inspiring!

What a lovely little town, Canterbury. I would love to return again. I highly recommend it to any and all who may find themselves traveling to distant lands!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Paris.... anyone???

Ahhhh.....Paris. One of my favorite movies of all time is "An American in Paris" with Gene Kelly. I had a massive crush on him as a child. No, I never said I was a normal child! I loved the scene where he is walking along the Seine river eating ice cream. I envisioned myself walking beside him... in the romatic setting of Paris. Reality Check: The Seine is... well... not so romantic. If you call looking at ugly naked people splayed out on their boats in a crowded river romantic, than I guess that's your thing. Not so much for me. "French Kiss" is another french fave. Kevin Klein is fabulous, and funny. I thought a little too over-the-top... that is until I went to Paris myself!

My 4.5 days in Paris was NOT the highlight of my trip, sadly to say. I am sorry to those of you who either love Paris, or think they would love Paris if ever given the chance to go. My questions the entire time I was there was: Don't these people die from cigarette smoke like we do in America? and What's the big deal???

Ok, to address the first question, it seems that 99.9% of the population of Parisians smoke. I didn't take one fresh breath of air from the time I got off the ferry at Calais until the time I stepped into the Paris airport. No... not one! I even had to buy nicotine patches for the flight home so I could survive the withdrawals! I also didn't see a lot of old people, so maybe they all die off from lung cancer before they hit old age.

Second question: What's the big deal?? Ok, there are huge, beautiful buildings everywhere you look... and I mean, EVERYWHERE! It was like architecture overload! Yes, I got very quickly that Napoleon thought very highly of himself and erected many large and spaceous buildings in honor of himself. For a very tiny man, he left a very large footprint on the planet. I absolutely love beautiful architecture, so the tour was frustrating to me because we never stayed in one place long enought to really look at it!

But, what about Notre Dame, and the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower, and the Arch de Triomph and..... Yes, I hear you. What about them? They're... big. Yes, I loved the Louvre, I'll give you that. All 3 hours I spent inside were wonderful. Even when my husband got lost and I had to go find him, was still wonderfully.... artful. Honestly, we did so much sight-seeing in such a short time, every large edifice melded into the next. I was happy at the end of the day to crash on my dilapidated twin bed with the shabby bedspread, hearing the smoke rattling in my damaged lungs while watching German movies with french subtitles on television.

The highlight for me in Paris was when we sang the Mass at Notre Dame on Sunday morning. Despite the fact that we couldn't breathe, yet again, because the incense guy was going a little too crazy with the stuff, it really was awe-inspiring. I didn't understand a word the priest was saying, but it all sounded very religious. At the end, we processed out down the long isle to the back of the cathedral, behind the priest, while the huge pipe organ was playing triumphant music. I really felt like royalty. The people of Paris were clapping and blowing kisses and giving us money and their little children.... ok, well, they were smiling... most of them. It was a memorable experience!

Dining in Paris: a HUGE let-down! We were sooo excited to leave the hum-drum food of the UK for Paris' culinary artistry, only to find out that if you want anything decent, you have to fork out at least 40 Euros each... which translates to about $70+ dollars.... gasp!!! We've never spent that much on a meal in our entire lives! Not even anniversaries! Not even if I gave birth to a golden baby who spits up money would we do that! Our first night I was so tired and exasperated from trying to read french menus and figure out what was edible and what wasn't, we finally ate at Pizza hut. We could recognize "Meat Lovers", even if we didn't recognize the meat on it!
The second night we had greek food. But, we did eat a TON of pastries, and boy were they delish!!!!! My husband and I are going to write a travel book called "Eat your way through Paris, or a Pastry on every block".

So, do I recommend Paris? I'll have to say, not if you value your lungs, or your arteries, for that matter. And if you like to take a little more time in the museums and at the Eiffel Tower, maybe a mass bus tour isn't your thing, either. I think I much prefer the smaller, more quaint little towns we saw in England. I'll write about those later. But, I will always love "An American in Paris", and I think I'll go watch "French Kiss" right now. I still love that movie, even though the main male character is much more realistic than I ever realized!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Back To Life.....

Hello. My name is Erin. I am a recovering world travelor. (Hi Erin....) I've never been a world travelor up until now. Oh, I've been on vacations, for sure. I've spent half my life in Yellowstone. My mom was fantastic for just picking up and taking us off for a fun-filled weekend in places like Yellowstone, Wyoming, Montana, the 4 corners area, Canada, and camping more times than I can even count. But, we never went overseas. Well, I've now been overseas, and am still recovering! I will attempt to paint the picture for you of my first few days on my trip to Europe.

Day 1- wake up at 4:00 AM after having pretended to sleep for about 5 hours. My excitement and anxiety level was up, so I was able to function. We got to the airport and met our choir at the ticket counter. Everyone was soooo full of excitement... well, almost everyone. Some still looked like we were interrupting their dream. I was wondering how I was going to stand 2 full weeks with some of these people!

We flew to Huston, and had a 4 hour lay-over there. Then, got on a great big plane and flew for the next 9+ hours, through the night, to London. It was hard to skip ahead 7 hours like that. We were advised to try to sleep the entire trip over so we could acclaimate to the new time difference, but who can sleep on a plane crammed with people, holding your pee because you can't get out of your seat because the guy next to you is asleep, trying to find the redeeming qualities in "Fool's Gold" you are forced to watch on the plane (incidentally, there are none!), wondering if this is going to be the day you plummet into the ocean and become fish food!

We landed in Londed about 7:00 AM, and began our day of sight-seeing. We drove and drove and drove and drove in a big bus to Stonehenge. We were all soooooo exhausted, it felt more like we were walking in our sleep. ("I had a dream we were at a strange place with large stones all layed out in a strange formation, thousands of years old.....") Our tour guide kept telling us not to sleep on the bus because it would be better, but no one heard him because they were all asleep!

We finally arrive at our hotel. Somehow I make my way inside and crash on the bed, going against everything the tour guide told us about not sleeping! By the way, he was totally wrong! I felt sooo much better after my nap, and still slept great that night! Oh, the hotel room kept losing power and lights, so we had to use the bathroom in the dark. The hotel manager woke us up about midnight to tell us our power was off..... Really? I thought I was just SLEEPING!!!!!!

I won't go into great detail about every day of the trip! You don't need that kind of torture! But, as this posting is about recovering, I will just tell you how the last day went. (I'll do more postings about cool things we saw along the way, don't worry!)

Last Day- woke up at 5:00 AM, Paris time (which is 8 hours ahead of Utah time). Loaded bus at 6:00, drove to airport and stood in line for 45 minutes. Plane trip back was much better. Probably because we weren't flying through the night. I was reading the 2nd book of the "Twilight" series by Stephanie Meyer, so the flight went quickly. We had a 7 hour layover in Newark, though, which was sooooooo long and tedious. The line to get through security was so long, we didn't leave the airport. Then our flight was delayed, so it was even longer. I felt like I was in a bad dream- trapped with people you are sick of in an airport you can't leave, and home is just a few hours away by plane!

The plane trip home was awful. We were stuck in the very back row of the plane, so the seats didn't recline. It was hot and stuffy, and noisy! I was tired and cranky, adn sat next to a guy with horrible breath~ not my husband. Our luggage took forever to be unloaded, and we had people waiting to take us home. I felt so bad they got their luggage first and had to wait for us!

We got home and crashed. Our bedroom looked foreign to us after being gone so long, but our bed felt heavenly! Merritt woke up during the night yelling things like "Not the Museum!" I kept waking up thinking I was on the floor of a dark cathedral. I think it's called "Post choir trip stress disorder" or something! I think it will be quite a while before I am willing to take another long trip again, especially on an airplane.

We are still acclaimating to the time change. Our bodies are ready for bed at 6pm now, but we hold out until at least 10. I still have an aversion to doing housework, I keep thinking the housekeeper will come and make my bed for me, and leave me fresh towels. *sigh* I guess it really is back to life, back to reality!