...the Wise, the Witty, and the Waste of your time...

Monday, December 31, 2007

SO cute!

I have to watch this every couple of weeks because I think its so funny!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

...The Saga Continues...

So apparently God reads my blog and He decided that since I was so gung-ho to "behave better next time" He'd give me the opportunity while it was all still fresh in my mind.
We took our beloved money-monster in to the Auto shop as I mentioned and from all the symptoms, expected it to be transmission problems. I quickly noticed that as soon as you say the words "transmission problems" to people they all respond the same way.
"Oooo...ouch....thats not cheap!"
Excellent....just what I'm hoping to hear.
However, according to the mechanic our transmission was fine so he did a few things (flushed the transmission??) and said come back in a week so he could do it again.
We didn't last a week.
Six days after the first incident I was working...had a client in the car with me...and all her groceries...and it happened again. We were SO close to her house and I was on main street with no good place to pull the beast over and and I couldn't imagine what on earth we would do on foot and my next clients were waiting so I shifted down to second gear and limped the thing to her place; praying the whole time that it wouldn't blow up on us and that I wasn't ruining it even further! I got her home and tried to pull away and literally 3 blocks later, it refused to go any further. So I called ahead to say I was late, parked the car, and walked the rest of the way to the office. Thankfully it wasn't far.
I'm happy to report that I didn't cry and I didn't get angry. I was actually feeling quite proud of myself! My goodness I must have grown tremendously in strength and character in only 6 short days!! But I soon found out that the only real reason for my response is because I was automatically prioritizing worries in my head and the car was about third on the list. I got to it later on. While sitting in the dark van as we dropped off the kids it suddenly came crashing down and THEN, I wanted to weep.
But when it happened, I was most worried about work and the fact that I was supposed to be cooking a full Christmas turkey dinner for 12 people and I knew that every minute wasted with the car was setting us back for the evening.
As it was, by the time we had dinner, had santa deliver presents to everyone, and took a tour of the town Christmas lights, we were much later than anticipated. We ended up leaving the entire dinner mess so we could deliver the kids home on time and then went back to the office to clean up.
I was supposed to be finished work at 7pm and instead finished at 10pm! I called Justin to pick me up at 9 but we still had a huge mess when he showed up so Justin, my coworker, and I stayed another hour washing dishes and mopping floors.
Needless to say, the ride home was not a cheery one. But everything looks worse at night when you're tired so we dropped everything, our worries, our coats, and our deteriorating conversation in the entry and went to bed.
I was told in Bibleschool that sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap!
So...we had it towed to the shop and yes, the transmission is poo. Unfortunately since it's the holiday season, few things are open so it looks like it will continue to sit at the shop for another week or so. The good news is....as it sits there, we are saving on gas! :)
Thank you, thank you, thank you!- Brad and Steph for your little car on loan! I've actually grown quite fond of the thing! (BTW, this may be a good time to tell you that the E-brake broke on it. We'll have that fixed too before you get back!)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

To all....

I hope its been (or is or was or will be) a wonderful time together!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Growing Up

I've decided that adults become "adultish" or "age" not because of the number of years they've been alive but because of the number of things they go through. Or more accurately, the way they handle the number of things they go through!
Yesterday was an aging day. And I think the way I handled it was.....anything but exemplary. Gr.
It wasn't an entirely horrible day but things added up so that by the end we both felt like someone had it out for us! It was Sunday and laundry day. Justin had to go to church early because he was singing so I followed and in classic me fashion, was running behind. Because of this I didn't have time to drop the laundry off so I took it to church. Not a huge deal, happens all the time. I just make sure the underwear are covered by the towels!
After church I made the laundry run which involves going to a gas station for change and then dropping it all off.
In the afternoon we were back in town for a Christmas pageant and planned on switching the laundry to the dryer on our way there so we could pick it all up on the way home. As we were driving we started talking about how the car has been weird lately and, right on cue, it stopped working. Seriously. We're driving, and all of a sudden the engine starts revving and the car slows down. We made it the rest of the 10 blocks to the church by shifting down to second gear (drive acts like neutral)...and then it smelled like burnt rubber when we got out of the car.
Now my immediate response to these situations is a few tears. A few tears is all I need and then I can be rational and optimistic but I need a few tears. Unfortunately, you can't do that in church with 37 kids preparing for a play! So instead I got grouchy.
A kind friend let me borrow his truck to go to the laundry mat and when I got there, the towel load said "unbalanced" and hadn't washed! So I "balanced" it by lifting and closing (or slamming) the lid and threw the others in the dryer.
The pageant ended (so cute by the way) and another kind friend helped us deliver the car to the dump...I mean a shop, and drove us to the laundry mat (to pick up the dry load and stick the wet one in the dryer) and then home.
At home we decided to beat the day by hanging up Christmas lights and lighting candles!
An hour later we went back to town and the laundry mat to pick up the final load, using Justin's work car which has been kindly lent to us for a YEAR by some other kind friends!
Annnnnd...the towels were still wet. I hate the towel load! We loaded them up anyway and drove to our dead car to pick up Justin's wallet which we'd left behind. Driving home we spotted a car for sale so Justin pulled over to get a better look. He tried to undo his seat belt....
"Are you serious? Your seatbelt won't open?"
"I'm serious. This stupid thing is stuck!!"
"Of course. Of course it is!"
At this point I began laughing hysterically, here's my strong capable husband, stuck in his seat belt, muttering venemous threats under his breath. And then suddenly it came undone! And by "undone" I mean, it broke clean in half! (Sorry Brad and Steph, we'll fix this before you come home!) Justin just sat there, holding the fragments of seatbelt in his hands as I nearly choked with laughter!! What else can you do!? So we gathered up the pieces of our seatbelt and our load of wet laundry and went home and had some tea.
Because I know this isn't the last of these kind of days, I want to learn to take them well. I spent much of my day angry and discouraged and it didn't make anything better when I could have gone through the same circumstances with a smile and avoided a killer headache!
A friend of mine said: "Life is funny – I’m pretty sure that it takes all of it to learn whatever we are here to learn!" and I think she's right.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


You know when I said that one of the few good things about winter is "more time" - yeah, I was lying. Darn it.
I have yet to decorate this house (or clean it) for the season but I did manage to go out and spend money on decorations. Money I really should have saved for gifts. Sorry friends, you get fridge magnets only this year! But I got such beautiful, big candles and a vase I've been coveting for about a year. (Actually, the Walmart version of the vase I've been coveting.) The vase really is nothing special but somehow, it makes me happy. I rarely spend on household decor (and it shows) so it feels like a big, important step to me.

Hmmm....it also shows by these pictures that I am anything but a photo- grapher.

What have I been doing with my time? Well, school and....school. And work, and school... I'm not complaining because I love school, but I FEEL like complaining because I love time too and I no longer have any.
An update on work: turns out that my Friday off was the prelude I feared. You see, I began my job with a clear understanding that they only needed part time help and I was only available for part time work. Since then they've asked me to go to full time or to pick up another day...twice. And I said no....twice. Immediately after the second "no" they hired a new girl and I received a letter saying that "because part time staff put limitations on their availability (yeah, thats why they call it "part time") we were unable to respond to...individuals who required immediate assistance.....this is your notice to expect a reduction in your hours of work."
Needless to say I took it personally and have been stressed ever since; but I'm trying to take this as an opportunity to be a grown up and develop a thicker skin. Work is extremely hush hush about EVERYTHING so I have no idea if my hours will be reduced by 3 or 30. I do know that the girl before me asked to move from full time to part time and they (in an email) told her not to worry about working, they've figured out how to give her 40 hrs off a week! Seriously. So she quit. :) My boss used to be overly enthusiastic when he saw me and encouraged/complimented me continually, took me out to lunch, told me I had a career in what I was doing. Now I get the barest acknowledgment. I'm not making these things up, it sounds like highschool, I know!
But you know, its ok. Or at least I'm beginning to see it as ok. Like I said, I could use more time. And it's just a job. Their opinion of me is JUST an opinion. As my wise brother Donny has been known to say, "Opinions are like farts, everyone has them and they all stink." Thanks for that little nugget bro, I shall carry it with me to the grave.
The hardest part is that I love my job and I've become very attached to my personal clients. So even though I'm practicing being a grown up, I have come home several times after a day of training the new girl with MY clients, and wept some bitter tears. And, although Justin considers this to be slightly arrogant, I'm also convinced that I do a great job and while the new girl is qualified, I don't think she can do a "better" job. Not that she won't do very well, I'm just already doing very well. Ok yeah, that IS a little arrogant, but no less true! :) A final straw was when I was told I could attend the staff/client Christmas party, but I didn't have to. (Insert swear words here!)
I too have to remember that I am inclined to pessimism (I took a questionnaire, it said I'm a pessimist. More on that later.) and things may not turn out as badly as I think. The story is not over. And if it IS over, life is certainly not over.

Monday, November 26, 2007


This....is great!
Seriously, click here

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Organic shmorganic!

A while back I was in town doing a bit of shopping and was struck by the urge to purge. Our produce drawers to be exact.
"Today, I will bite the bullet and buy organic, it is a good choice," were my thoughts. "So what if I'm gonna fork over a little more, seriously, how much more can they charge for an apple or some carrots? How expensive can it really be?"
Good question actually. More accurately, "Can it REALLY be THAT expensive? Is that REALLY legal?!"
I discovered that day, as anyone who has ventured to buy organic quickly discovers, that in many cases organic prices are legal theft. Don't believe me?...on with my story.
So I walked into the local health food store (GREAT store. Take money.) to buy me some red peppers. I casually picked up a few, not, of course, using bags because that's not "green" and the health food store is very green. Somehow a bit of common sense penetrated my zeal induced stupor and I glanced up at the price. The moment was utterly shattered and, I kid you not, I got real salty tears in my eyes. Apparently healthy produce is for the elite and I suddenly felt like an impostor just being there. I dumped my red peppers back on the shelf and threw myself out the door.

$8.49 a pound! $8.49 a pound!!!! I didn't even use a frickin' bag! At their most expensive, red peppers around here are usually $2.49 a pound. Thats a 241% (it took me a while to figure that number out!) increase and while I was prepared to pay more, I assure you, I am NOT prepared to increase our grocery budget by 241%!!
Oh the frustration! Oh the rip off. Do they water these plants with their tears and sit beside them day and night to scare off the aphids?! (Don't even get me started on the meat! You have to sell your ovaries to afford it!)
Anyway, all that huffing and puffing to say this: I came across this helpful list of clean (don't retain a lot of pesticides) vs. dirty (retain a lot of pesticides) produce and thought I'd share.

And finally, for the first time ever, I prepared and ATE this for dinner the other night.

Justin was so shocked he had to document it.


It was done in the name of true laziness ....I mean thriftiness.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The man that I love...

...is sometimes a little crazy.
Justin does not love jogging. Especially in the winter! When I plead enough he accompanies me and of course, always runs circles around me. It doesn't matter that I jog 5 times as much as he does, he's a machine. But because he doesn't jog that often, the times that he DOES go he tries to get in several weeks of cardio workout in 30 minutes. So while I choose the usual route and set the usual pace, he's looking for hill, sprinting back and forth, running backwards, jumping, and, this past Saturday, packing rocks. Boulders actually.
See, I told you...a machine.
Not to be outdone, I picked up my own endurance training object from the nature around us...

I'm a much lazier machine, but let me tell you, I carried it proudly!

Oooo...feel the attitude.

Heavy? This? Pfffft....I could carry this with my little finger!

Actually, folks, I did run with the rock, twice. No, truthfully, I waddled with it...for 30 seconds at a time- but I was proud and Justin was proud and my arms hurt real bad so it counts!

Two days after this display of manly madness, our area was hit with a severe windstorm. Trees came crashing down all over, some on homes, houses lost roofs, street lamps came down, anything that wasn't bolted was literally blown away. While most cowered inside and stressed about the damage, my husband ecstatically jumped straight out of bed and bolted out the door! He was joined a few other crazies and off they went for a surf. Nevermind that the wind was 60-70 mph and it was raining and it was about 9 degrees outside, he was SURFING!!

I don't know...I don't think he's tame-able. But then.... I don't think I want to. Plus he offsets the craziness with some major wife spoiling. Like last Sunday, I woke up to find a hot latte, eggs, and toast on a tray, in bed. Awww...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Suki part 2

Because you asked...
I purchased Suki from makeup.com. It's cheaper and if you order over $60 you get free shipping....only in the USA. They don't currently ship to Canada. But for you on the other side of the border, I think thats your best choice. I noticed you can find it on Amazon.ca (or .com) but I don't know what the shipping is like. Ebay also carries it but its heinous expensive.
And furthermore, be careful if you're opening the lemongrass facial wash around kids. It smells like lemonade as pointed out by my niece Lindey. I had mine shipped to my sister, Diana, in WA and her 3 yr old helped me open the boxes. I let her hold all the products and smell them and we talked about it smelling good enough to eat.
A minute later I saw her stick out her little tongue to taste the lid.
"Auntie Carolyn, it's good."
Awesome. So of course, being a fun auntie, I tried some too. She was right, initially its good. Then it tastes like you just ate soap.
My sister's response was, "Well, it IS all natural, I guess it shouldn't hurt you." Spoken like a veteran mom!
*More licking*
"Auntie Carolyn, it IS good but its making my tongue feel funny."
Uh huh....maybe its time to put this away, shall we?

For those of you who are wondering, she lived.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


I love it. I love my new Suki face wash and moisturizer. Anyone out there who is product hopping and struggles with skin problems, BUY IT. Buy it right now. It will change your life. Or if not that dramatic, it will at least change your skin.

Ever since I turned 17 I've been fighting my face. I've plucked it, pierced it, masked it, steamed it, scrubbed it, lotioned it, painted it, naired it, spritzed it, toned it, waxed it, "facialed" it, and I STILL look like....me. It's possible this is part of the problem. It's been suggested that if I stopped picking on it, it would be fine.....or not. Maybe I'd have to join the "mustached women" club.

Anyway...my skin has been the hardest part. It's dry, sensitive, and reacts violently to my diet, emotions, and hormones. In the past two years since I've been married, things have definitely improved. Exercise, better eating, emotional stability, hormonal....ness....(yeah, still working on that one), less stress and worry have all made a world of difference. I know, I'm pretty much one of those "ducks in a row" kind of people. Millions envy me.

For several years I've been buying expensive, healthy, natural, "from America so the shipping charges double the cost," facial products that don't work well for me but don't make it worse. And then one day I decided that was dumb so I went to the local health food store and stocked up on samples of several recommended brands, intending to find one that worked and just buy it locally. Let me tell ya, I found one that worked GREAT!... buuuut I'm not buying it locally because it's cheaper online. And FYI, the Alba cleansing gel (that says "avoid eye area") burns the heck out of your eyes and makes you scream and curse.....I mean...weep.

So for the past month I have been using this most excellent team

and I have LOVED the difference. In fact, today my husband was gazing fondly at his beautiful wife and commented (without any prompting!) on the transformed "smoothness and softness" he beheld!! For real!

Although I was already a Suki supporter on my own, this has propelled me into a passionate devotee. Try it (start with free samples), you'll see! In fact, I'll bet that if I actually downed my daily H2O quota I'd look like Heidi Klum. I'd be the "she of the alabaster face..."

Thursday, November 1, 2007

For Tianna

Hi Tianna, I always ask people for recipes and never get them so this has been on my conscience for a the last week. I know "blogging" it is stupid but I don't know your email address so...gotta do what works! And yes I DID steal this photo from the world wide web.

Tamale Pie
1 LB Ground beef
1 Onion
1 Green Pepper
14 oz. Stewed or Diced Tomatoes (I rough chop the chunks a little)
2 ts. Chili Powder (I used more...just till it tastes good to you)
1 ts. Cumin (optional, my addition because we like cumin a LOT!) :)
1 ts. Salt

Brown beef with onion and green pepper; drain. Add tomatoes, chili powder and salt. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile mix:

7 oz. pkg Cornbread mix
15 oz. Corn
1/3 c. Milk

Pour the meat mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish and top with cornbread mixture. Bake at 370 for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes.

As an alternative (I couldn't find ready made cornbread mix) you can just scrap their topping and make a small batch of cornbread to put on top. We like this recipe: 3/4 c. Yellow cornmeal 1 c. Flour (I use whole wheat, they'll never know the difference) 2/3 c. Sugar 3/4 ts. Salt 3½ ts. Baking Powder 1 c. Milk 1 Egg beaten 1/4 c. Oil Mix dry ingredients first and then add milk, egg, and oil. Add a can of corn and spread on top of meat mixture. Bake as directed above.

And if you are so inclined, you can also make the:

Verde Sauce
2 medium-sized green tomatoes, coarsely chopped (you can substitute yellow if you can’t find green ones, but never use red)
2 tomatillos, cleaned and chopped (if you don't have them, just use more green tomatoes)
1 jalapeno, stemmed and coarsely chopped (wear gloves)
2 small garlic cloves
4 sprigs cilantro (I use more but then, I'm addicted to it)
1 tsp. of salt

Combine chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapenos and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (tomatoes provide the liquid), reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place tomato mixture with the cilantro and salt in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Or if you'd like a tasty, spicy chip dip, add 1-2 medium-sized ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced into the blender and then stir in 1/2 cup of sour cream. Very tasty but it doesn't keep more than about 4 days.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I am an Amoeba

When your boss approaches you out of the blue and tells you that, "by the way, you get next Friday off, the new guy's taking your shift..." ...is that a reason for concern? You get a day off???? What? Is that code for "You're being phased out, let go, fired? You're a lousy worker?!" Grrr! What are you saying?!?!

What is an appropriate response for something like this? Thank you?... What have I done wrong?... Is this about hating?

The frustration and uncertainty of this stupid announcement, made first thing in the morning, has been pounding in my head all day; wanting to unleash at the most inopportune times in a flood of tears. You see, lately I've made a few innocent yet obvious blunders at work. Nothing major, no lives have been lost or psyches' harmed but they have been mistakes and worse yet, personal pet peeves of my employer. (Quote- When you don't make your end of the week phone call, I take that as a personal finger to the boss!-end quote.)

I feel (I do not know if this is FACT, but I FEEL) as though I went from star player/valued employee to "get 'er replaced, asap!" I HATE this feeling.

So now I'm getting a day off. I should be ecstatic because I haven't had a Friday evening at home in 7 months but instead here I am; a pathetic neurotic, hunched over my keyboard, posting my fears and insecurities to the general public, and desperately wishing I had been born with a backbone.

Yep, there it is...there's my backbone. All pink and squishy.

I didn't even ask why or if this is something I should expect long term or if its a reflection of my job quality or if they are revamping schedules for everyone or ANYTHING! I didn't ask anything. As always, I responded with a dead-calm "Ok" as if it really was. Why is it just always "OK" with me. I mean, it is not my goal to be abrasive and confrontational but seriously, I don't have to be a passive doormat to everyone. I'm the proverbial ostrich with its head in a hole or possum playing dead. Hide, wait till it blows over, take the blame, say you're sorry, just heaven forbid don't hurt anyone's feelings or stand up for anything.

Except the phone company, I'm sick of the phone companies calling with their newest bundle that only costs a fortune. I am very to the point with them. I can't hang up because that feels rude but I can say very sternly, "No thank-you, I'm very uninterested, you don't need to call here again. If I change my mind, I'll call you!" I know, bravery at its finest.

You know, there is always the option of just not reading into my "day off" and actually enjoying it. I hadn't thought of that till this very second. If this IS a precursor to bad news than I could just deal with it as it comes, IF it comes. Isn't there a Bible verse that says not to worry about tomorrow..."...sufficient for the day is its trouble..." or something like that. Hmmm...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Nasturtium invasion

My garden is past, done, kaput. Note that I stopped posting pictures of it several months ago. Justin and I went to SK in August and upon our return, things were not quite as happy as they'd been in spring. Since than my plants have always looked a little ragged. It might have had something to do with the fact that i have absolutely no way of knowing how to fight for the health of a plant. If its green, sweet. If something's wrong...well than I guess its a goner. Even though my plants showed signs of strange maladies, they produced quite a wealth of lovely vegetables which we thoroughly enjoyed. But now...summer is officially over, I think the tomato plants froze last night (I couldn't be bother to cover them cuz it was raining!) and everything else has already been torn out. It was a good experience...mostly. Gardening is a lot of work and for me...its not so much a "labor of love" as it is just a "Labor" you know.

And furthermore, has anyone here ever planted Nasturtiums? Yeah those plants are crazy! I have a love/hate relationship with them. I planted them because I was intrigued that the entire thing is edible and tastes like pepper; and because they do well when neglected. I just didn't know HOW well. I planted them as a border in a sandy little flower spot and of course, watered sporadically because I'm like that. None of the other plants stood a chance. The "border" is so healthy and robust and huge, it took over the flower patch and is actually creeping INto our house!

I posted this picture a while back...notice the tiny contained little nasturtiums along the front and side.

And now look....I'm actually a little bitter at them, this was not the look I'd intended and I can't MAKE them die. Rain or shine, hot or cold, water or no water...they just get bigger! Because I'm bitter about them choking out the other plants (those plants are almost all still there, ya just can't see 'em!), I give them a daily kick as I go by. Unfortunately I think they like that! I've had to trim them back from the door several times.

See what I mean....they're actually crawling into the house here!

They are pretty though, I can't deny it. And because they are I might have just the tiniest little soft spot for them...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Girl Gone Crazy...at the Wholesale.

I have a love/hate relationship with grocery shopping. I dread it and look forward to it at the same time. Its strange, I know, but not nearly as strange as my weird "random item fetish."

In looking through my pantry today I realized that I have 3 cans of evaporated milk. Why? In my two years of cooking and baking I have never used evaporated milk, why do I feel I need to keep buying this? Same with canned and dried beans and canned tomatoes and whole wheat pasta. Every time I go grocery shopping I feel compelled to pick up a couple of cans and/or boxes of these items. Oh - these and laundry soap. For a while I kept running into laundry soap sales and I felt I had to take advantage of these good prices. Then one day Justin noticed that we have 4 giant (because of course I buy them in bulk) containers of laundry soap and he confronted my lunacy. I have curbed this one in particular (for the time being) because it takes up so much space...and because Justin is watching. In fact, whenever he shops with me he thinks it is the funniest thing in the world to casually grab several boxes as we're passing the aisle just to get me to glare at him...which I do.

I've decided I feverishly stockpile these items because they're inexpensive. "89 cents a can!? I'll take 6!! Oh my goodness gracious, the pasta is only $1.49 today, I'd better buy two of each kind!!"

Yeaaah, its ALWAYS $1.49. What I REALLY want to do is pick up some of those beer sausage pepperoni sticks and some specialty cheeses and herbed crackers and icecream and sundried tomatoes and juice and wild Alasken salmon fillets and steaks and those ramikens that match my kitchen. But those are all "splurge" items and not necessities so, canned tomatoes it is.

Don't get me wrong, we eat very well. Its just that we eat a LOT! And by "we" I really mean, "Justin." So even withOUT the splurge items I find our grocery budget to be staggering. What on EARTH are we gonne do when we have kids, especially if they are boys!

Today however, I broke out of my pathetic rut. Yes, I still bought both tomato products AND pasta. In all fairness, I thought we might be out. We most certainly WEREN'T but I thought we MIGHT be! And I bought bowtie pasta, we haven't tried that one yet. I mixed things up by adding to my list a splurge item. I was cringing as I paid for it because I could HEAR my mom telling me that when you're trying to be thrifty you DON'T buy things like chocolate and icecream, but I bravely sallied on and shelled out $2.97 on my unnecessary purchase. NesQuik chocolate milk syrup. I felt a little excited but mostly guilty and confessed my misdeed immediately to Justin as I stepped in the door and instead of "WHAT ON EARTH WERE YOU THINKING!" I heard, "YESSSSS!"

Hm, well that wasn't so bad. And since mom's not watching anyway...I might do this again someday.

Unfortunately my little excursion on the wild side comes with 70 calories a Tablespoon. Is it possible I could ration this delicious temptation in my fridge? Will I be sane with my consumption? I honestly don't know, but from past experience I'd say the chances are not good.

You know, I work with disabled people and find it amusing and endearing how repetitious some of their odder habits are. One withdraws $54 every Tuesday and another greets me with the predicted weather highs and lows every day. To these I give a small patronizing chuckle and think, "Ah, disabled people, what funny quirks they have." And then on my break, off I go to buy another can of evaporated milk.

Too Many Schoolbooks!

I love the school I'm doing, I really do. I'm actually fascinated with things like body systems and vitamins and the healing power in marigolds. For instance, did you know that offensive body odor is usually a sign of poor health, (as well as hygiene) particularly poor "elimination" health? (If you're not eliminating properly your body can reabsorb some waste and try to get rid of it in other ways...like through the skin.) And did you know that white postmenopausal women are most susceptible to osteoporosis, black and white men get it but its far less common, and black women almost never get it?!?! And that you should have a bowel movement 18 hours after every meal. And that strength training actually increases the strength and density of your bones, not just muscles. (Which by the way, decreases the risk of osteoporosis.)
Anyway, I love learning but like any student, sometimes its overwhelming. The reading pile begins to look like a mountain and deadlines invade your dreams. I think one of the many earwigs in our home knows just how I feel. I pulled one of my particularly large books off the shelf the other day and laughed at loud at what I found.

Perfectly pressed. I feel like its too much to handle some days, but for this creepy crawly, it really IS too much! Talk about a big workload!:) Or biting off more than you can chew! Apparently this earwig was quite impressed at the facts about marigolds, osteoporosis, and vitamins as well! muwahaha!

And from the side!! This gives me the giggles every time. I get so tired of these hideous little things coming into our house so it really makes my heart smile to see the rather dramatic end of this particular fiend. I guess this taught him!
I know, I'm very pun-ny.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Snow Angels

I want to thank you all for your contributions to the "Good things about Winter" list. I really should print this off and chant it as my mantra each morning. I would be a happier, more balanced winter person; less the snarling, sobbing, pathetic, chocolate crazed beast of years gone by.

Actually, on the top of THIS year's list specifically is the fact that Justin and I get to have a 2 week window of blissful, sunny AUSTRALIAN summer in the middle of the Okanagan winter!! Seriously, IS there anything better?!?!?! This year, it will be "snow" angels on the beach!!! Justin and I have been deliberating on this decision for some time and finally took the plunge. Money shmoney...you only live once! The tickets are paid for and we are already there in our minds. Yesterday Justin was already mentally ticking off a list of things to bring with us!! We get to hang out with some fantastic friends and soak in some much needed sunshine. The anticipation of the trip and the afterglow when we get back should propel me quite nicely through the gray days a'comin'!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Death - Famine - Winter - Disease - Crime

I hate winter. I know I shouldn't say it but its true, I hate it. I haven't always hated it, I remember looking forward to winter as a kid. I loved the cold, the snow, school, Thanksgiving. Funny, Christmas was never anticipated...we were too poor to celebrate Christmas so we barely acknowledged it in the first half of my life. I do remember distinctly one year when mom bought a rather festive piece of material from Joanne's Fabrics and put it on the table for Christmas, I thought our place was the fanciest in the neighborhood because of it! Dad only worked half a day and we had some sort of glazed pineapple ham dinner. That, seriously, made Christmas for me that year! It felt extravagant and wealthy!

Anyway, things have changed. I still anticipate winter all summer long but with an ever growing despondency. I think I should have been born a bear, hibernation is the only thing that really sounds sensible to me from November to April. My husband could probably argue that during those months I actually AM a bear.

So, having begun with lament, I now make a resolution that THIS winter will be different! I will be cheerful, positive, snowloving, and discover a winter sport or hobby! I shall rediscover the magical essence of a world dressed in white, breath you can see, and icecycles. *sigh* Did that sound too rehearsed and just a tiny bit forced?

I've been compiling a list for myself of some positive aspects of winter because I really can't bear the thought of barely enduring it with my sanity in shreds at my feet. I thought I'd share some with you all in case you also experience the winter blahs/blues!

I don't know who this poor kid is but I feel a strong connection between us!

  • hot drinks
  • long sleeps
  • stews and soups and enchiladas, all the hot meals you don't feel like eating in summer
  • shoes with arch support (flip flops hurt my feet)
  • sweaters
  • cozy blankets
  • books, lots of books
  • time for pulling out the hobbies
  • everything slows down
  • a time to try a new activity, Justin and i talk about taking pottery, learning to waltz, or cross country skiing...its fun to talk about!
  • Christmas
  • Thanksgiving
  • no gardening
  • thick socks
  • How clean the world looks
  • Time...more of it
And now I need help...what are some more good things? Your additions go below.

  • You don't have to shave your armpits and legs as often -Tianna Riemer (I unfortunately, need to otherwise I'd be mistaken for a Sasquatch....it gets pretty bad!)
  • I've always thought "winter beds" were so much more cozy than summer beds. The blankets are thicker and softer and it just seems way more snuggly than in the summer. Yay for winter beds!!
  • I also look forward to the candle scents that come out in winter. Cinnamon, Apple-cinnamon, Winter Spice, Pumpkin Spice, Evergreen, Cranberry... love it, love it.
  • FIRE. Its cold enough to use a fireplace.
  • It smells so much better in Starbucks because they have their nutmeg, eggnog, peppermint, etc. lattes!! (Can you tell I like winter because of the smells??)
  • Holiday movies. A Christmas Story, Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Mixed Nuts, etc. NOT Miracle on whatever street or Its a Wonderful Life. Too cheesy.
  • People actually congregate! Particularly in my area of CA, you don't have a neighborly feel most places-- too busy, too crowded. In winter, its decent enough outside that people actually go downtown and just hang out. Or maybe I just slow down enough in winter to hang out myself?? hm... Contributed by Rachel Meeker.
  • Snowboarding (not that I get to do that down here)
  • I love all the scents that come out as well, the holiday, pine, cinnamin smells are all so yummy. (I'm sensing a theme here.)
  • Pumkin pie
  • Oh oh, Scarves, I am addicted to the things and can never wait to be able to wear them. -From Jennifer...? (I just realized I don't know your last name anymore...)
  • There's nothing quite like coming in for hot chocolate and a warm blanket after an afternoon of sledding or skating or skiing.
  • I also love to be more crafty in the winter. Sewing things, crocheting scarves, baking....mmmm shortbread, hot buns with butter, pumpkin pie, turkey, cider...need i go on?
  • Plus a shopping trip to Washington can be a pretty good salve to the open wound that the frightening, bitter cold of winter can bring..... -From Christy
  • -Sledding, I know I am grown up, but since I still do not ski and never will (unless certain requirements are met), it is free fun. (sledding hurts my tailbone, i'm a sissy)
  • -Snow, I hate driving in the snow, so it means I have a good excuse to say no and stay home as much as I want. Now if it would just snow alot this winter! We have not had a good winter for 10 years.
  • -Hot tea, I love hot tea (I'm supposed to like hot tea but its not nearly as good as latte's wirh eggnog and rum...)
  • -Warm pajamas- I love snuggly pajamas and you can wear them in the summer.
  • -Family get togethers- we have lots of birthdays in the winter so we see each other alot. These are usually positive. (hmmm...I sometimes wonder what Justin and I are THINKING living so far from either family!)
  • -The trees looks so pretty and it looks like everything is so peaceful outside. -by Martha A
  • more layers of clothing to wear to hide the fact that you have not been to the gym for about a year. (sad but true, you can blame all the bulk on the sweaters!)
  • Plus, lots of time for chocolate chip poker!
  • And have husbands come home early from work because they can't work in the dark! (very true, I love this reason, Steph.)
  • Plus, lots of time for chocolate chip poker! -From Steph
  • I have started to ski the last few years and that is one bright spot in the dreary cold. -by Moriah

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Skinny Jeans

Ahhhh....skinny jeans. Yes, the newest fashion trend. (And of course by "newest" I mean the most recently repeated. This is not the first time such a spectacle has been forced upon us.) Anyone who's anyone is now greasing up their lower half with vaseline and then forcing their body into denim pantyhoes....finishing off with a pair of skater shoes. The effect of big shoes on skinny legs is similar to that of an uncomfortable and immodest clown.

It looks goofy but predictible on the girls. Since the beginning of time, well, since the fig leaves went out anyway, we've been coming up with unlimited torture methods by which we cripple ourselves into socially accepted shapes...all in the name of fashion. Think, corsets, foot binding, starving, waxing, highheels, and underwire bras. For the record, I'm not apposed to underwire, its just that when cheap underwire cuts through cheap fabric during the receiving line at your reception....eeeeyouwwww! Small taste of hell. Its already deeply nestled in your left lung and you still have 80 guests to hug! And with the way you have to hire a "dresser" with the purchase of your dress just to sew you in on the morning of the big day...there's no way you're going to get under 12 layers discreetly to rearrange the offending lance in your heart. No, by the time you can get to it, you'll need surgery to remove it!

Now where was I? Oh yes, skinny jeans. As I said, on girls...not surprised. The kicker with skinny jeans is that
they are unisex. And let me tell you, just like tight shirts are a quick lesson in the shape of girls vs guys....tight jeans are a whole new anatomy lesson! Its strange you know, because of this lovely metro trend, there is a whole generation of really pretty guys out there. Cute hair cuts, colors, and do's- possible eyeliner, tight tailored clothes, pink....its as fascinating as it is disturbing. From the back its toss up as to which sex you're looking at anymore. But just wait until those skinny jeans turn around! Yahaeeeeugghhh....blink blink.....ew. Annnnnnd now you know. Not only can you tell you're looking at a male, you can tell you're NOT looking at a boxer wearing male. If he were a clock you could tell what time it was! I know I know, a little graphic for my Christian blog but hey, its a little graphic for my Christian eyes! By the way, none of the pictures I've put on here are as tight as some of the real life wearers I've seen on the street!

Seriously, tell me I am not the only person who sees this!? Guys often use the term "headlights" when referring to a woman baring a bit too much of her.....well of her headlights. I propose that if we have to watch where and when we shine our headlights, they ought to show us the same courtesy with their....hehe....flashlights. :) I came up with that one on my own! I probably look like the straight jacket woman on the streets with the way I walk down the sidewalks keeping my chin up and my eyes studiously at nosehair level.

Of course, between the highheels, the corset, and the chandelier earrings I pretty much AM the straightjacket woman. Turn my head too quickly or tilt my chin just a bit much and I'll literally tip over into a fashionable little pile on the crosswalk.

I saw an online article titled "Scrawn is the new Brawn." Yeah I don't think so, thanks.
When did we trade in the dream of this...

to something like this? Think he'll slay your dragons? Or maybe just paint abstract pictures of them.

Its all About the Hating

Yesterday I was driving down mainstreet on my way to work and 1 block before I got there I saw two clients on the sidewalk, also headed to the office. Being the naturally friendly and personable darling that I am, I gave them a wave and a hello, just to brighten their day with my presence! As I was looking, waving, and smiling at these two, I ignorantly went zooming across a crosswalk...with people on it!

Now I did NOT almost hit these girls but the point is, they were on the crosswalk and I was in a vehicle and it is MY responsibility to be watching and STOPPING for the peds. Even though it was not a near miss, it was a stupid mistake and a cop would have had a thing or two to say to me had there been one nearby.

My parking spot was about two cars lengths in front of the crosswalk so naturally, I parked. The girls crossed the street with life and limb intact and then proceeded to walk down the sidewalk I had just parked beside. And guess what, I cowered in my little car, pretending to be busily looking for something on the floor of the backseat on the passengers side so that I would have no chance to meet the eyes of my almost victims. Real mature. The whole time I was feeling sick to my stomach and quietly chanting, "please-don't-hate-me-I-didn't-mean-to-I'm-not-a-bad-person" under my breath. As they neared the car I stopped breathing and was sure I heard them say things like "...such a jerk...sucky driver...dumb blonde...hate her..." etc. Of course they passed the car without incident and of course, weren't even looking at me as I tried to blend into the blue upholstry. The 2 second incident probably didn't even register on their "very cool" highschool day but I got out of my car, went to work, and ruminated on the entire event for the rest of the evening. In fact, I'm writing this the morning after so obviously I'm STILL obsessing.

The most startling and I confess, most disgusting part of it all is that I was not NEARLY so concerned with the fact that I was being a careless driver as I was concerned about how my actions may have negatively influenced someone else's opinon of myself. Instead of chanting "I'm sorry" or better yet, lifting my cowardly head and actually saying "I'm sorry" as they passed, I just sat there convinced that they hated me and felt terrible this could be so.

Upon thinking this through, I came to a humbling realization of how much everything that I do or don't do is based on what others will think of me. I like to believe I left this childish mentality behind when I was four but I'm afraid that is not the case. It would seem I'm still pretty affected by the opinions of others. Whenever I make a mistake, turn down and invitation, say something out of line, or get too nervous to say hello...I walk away thinking, "Well, now you've done it. Good work Carolyn, now they hate you."

Ha! Writing this out actually made me laugh because of the sheer lunacy of this thinking. Yes Carolyn, everyone hates you because you didn't say hello.

It may well be time to get over this defeating, self-centered, and cowardly thought process. In some ways, its good to grow up, I think this is one of them.

Now lets see, what person or incident in my childhood can I dig up to blame for this inadequacy I find in myself...heaven forbid this should actually be MY problem. No no, I'm sure there's something...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh so matronly

Most people assume, upon finding out I have 10 siblings, that I must be the whole matronly package. Highly skilled in the arts of baking, cooking, cleaning, nose wiping, sewing etc. These people, all of them, are wrong. The beauty of having so many siblings is that, while there is ample opportunity to learn every one of those skills, there's also enough helpers that most of the time, you are each put to what you do best. That is why some of us knew how to cook at age 12 but I didn't learn until I was 24 and why some of us are highly skilled seamstresses and I have so far only managed the "stresses" part.

I liked to take care of the kids, clean, and do laundry. I still do. Cleaning is very high on my list of things I enjoy. I especially enjoy cleaning the bathroom sink, the shower, the kitchen aid, any metal appliances, and the kitchen counters. (note: all those things shine when cleaned...part racoon perhaps?) I have a sense of inner peace when these things are done. Who needs yoga or massage? Give me a mop bucket and some windex and my happy place COMES TO ME!!

Ahem...pardon me. I am losing the point of this post. I might be a little passionate about cleaning stuff.

So, yes, the things I didn't learn. Cooking, gardening, and sewing are 3. I've had almost 2 years of cooking now and am a work in progress.

Gardening has been given a shot with a mixture of successes and failures.

And sewing. My sister inherited the art from mom who could sew anything from a tent to jeans to a wedding dress and I....well, I inherited the old sewing machine. We are not friends.

I had a lovely relaxing, domesticated little wife of a day today. (yes i DID clean the counters!) I baked some bread, tidied, dusted, grocery shopped, picked some vegetables, mended a broken spoke on our covered wagon wheel, and sewed a new bonnet for the upcoming harvest festival... :)

....oooor something like that. Anyway the result of these accomplishments was a superficial feeling of invincibility, and in this state I happened to notice the small mending pile that has been sitting and whining at me for about 8 months. Without a second thought I dug out the buried machine and set it up. Easy enough. Then for 2 hours I fought with the beast to sew 6 simple, straight seams. Just the sight of that hungry little needle chomping its way toward my fingers makes me tense and unfortunately, my FOOT tenses which of course makes it chomp even more insanely and then my straight seam flies off its little path and offroads into my shirt. There must have been something wrong with the tension as well because my material kept gathering and following my needle. I wanted a SEAM not a RUFFLE goshdarnit!

I also mended a pair of Justin's work pants which had split up the crotch. THOSE seams are no walk in the park, let me tell you. The first try looked like my needle was drunk and chasing my thread. I looked inside at the bottom seam and found I had a most impressive birds nest! Not what I was hoping for. After several trial and errors the thing no longer has holes but I have no false hopes of it lasting with those flimsy little seams.

The invincible feeling was shot to ribbons and now I need chocolate. Unfortunately I ate all of it yesterday when I had cramps. And I do mean ALL. I'm ashamed to say I bought it and actually HID it from Justin. I love the bridge mixture and purchased a little extra to put into Justin's lunch. Good luck. Not a single chocolate covered raisin escaped my frenzied face stuffing. I'm pretending I only bought 1/4 cup even though, oddly enough, I wasn't hungry at dinner time. Look, I had cramps ok?

I guess since the matronly shoe doesn't fit so well I'll have to find a different box to put myself into. Maybe I'll get a tattoo and buy some leather pants...

Monday, September 3, 2007

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

....Then a Thousand pictures should make up for a summer of no updates!

We went to Saskatoon and have almost no pictures of this event on our camera. This is Mr Wiebe Senior with the antique tractor he got running again. Note the smoke, it got so bad it nearly hid the tractor. Needs a little more work maybe!

Our one and only shot of us in Saskatchewan. You'll note both of us LEFT SK with new hair.

After we left SK we went to Radium and enjoyed the natural hot springs. I enjoy posting pictures of me in a swimsuit as naturally, its my best look.

My artistic shot of Justin at the hot springs. If it doesn't look artistic to you, maybe you don't have the eye for it...sorry.

We stayed in a...um...thrifty motel and had no food so we went to the "RobbingYouBlind" local grocer and bought food...but no spoons. What you see fashioned there is from a pocket knife and a gas station coffee cup.

We even had a big one for Justin's mouth and little one for mine!

Yeah, that motel room wasn't bigger than it looks...

And the next morning when we left, set for Summerland BC....THIS happened. You can see I was very sad.

"Beats me? Fuel injector? Spark plug? Carberator? Distributor Assembly? Timing Belt?" We're really not car people. We got a 70 km tow, an all afternoon fixin' (timing belt) and were back on the road by dusk...and still not home. Oh well, another motel room, another night, and no photos of that one. But finally, two days after we started out, we made it back to home sweet home!

This is what we came home to!! It was like Thanksgiving. This and dead corn, thanks a lot racoons.

Possibly an overgrown zuchinni.

Hey these could double as weights! Whoa, look at those biceps!

No worries, I have just the pan for that! I know, lets have Zuchinni for dinner!

The next week two of my sisters came to visit. Lots of fun, way too short. But aren't they cute.

And an extra one with Krystal because she's off to Nashville and who knows how often we'll have posing chances now!

...annnd then a couple shots of myself. I just feel I'm not in enough of the photos on my blog so I'm taking care of that!

Oooh...playful pose.

And pensive....or possibly stoned.

The next week was off to Montana for a wedding and some quick family time. Lucky for us we rolled in on the annual Bull Thing (thats what its really called) weekend!

How excited were we!? (Would have been a fun picture but the person sitting in front of us, we didn't know her, thought it would be funny to put her finger in front of the camera. Kinda ruined the picture but you can catch the power of our excitement anyway!)

How excited were we all! Look at this happy crew!

The fun loving family. This really captures them. Nathan is snarling, Whitney is posing, and Kaitlynn couldn't care less.

Ahhh...one of the cutest babies around. We couldn't get a good picture together because she bobs so much!

And the wedding...Justin had a reading part in it! We felt very honored to be there as it was a small intimate affair and absolutely gorgeous!! Congratulations Jason and Angelia.

We flirted while waiting for the reception to begin.

And took some photos!

Then we were scared at the reception because the only living soul we knew was the groom and he was sorta busy.

And finally, this past weekend we got to be home. We hiked up Giants Head at night and took some pictures. This WOULD have been a great one if someone hadn't blinked. But the nighttime flash is so bright!

At least my eyes are open in this one!

Had a little bit of trouble with a peeping Thelma but we dealt with her.

We harvested our potatoes and pulled a lot of weeds and now dead plants. Tried to prepare the garden a little for winter. Had some dancing lessons with the shovel. Went quite well.

And after all that, we feel like this. And we're ready to stay home for a while.

I hope you all feel a little caught up with the Wiebe junior's summer. Here's to hoping the updates will continue!
Ps, i might have figured out our computer/camera problem. I'll keep you posted.