Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Funniest Video Ever!

Yesterday Megan had to have a few fillings. Afterward she and I had this conversation:

Just in case you can't understand her speech, here's the transcript:

Me: "Okay Megan, tell me what happened to you."

Megan: "Well, I was at the dentist appointment, and they had to make my teethies fall asleep."

Me: "So now what's wrong with you--" She attempts to crack a grin...

Megan: "I can't get this side of my mouth to go up!"

Much giggling and laughter follows. The kid looked like she had a neurological disease. Every time she tried to smile, her mouth would pull off to the right side. It was disturbingly funny. Yay for camera phones!

Happy Halloweenie

Nathan informed me this morning at 7:15 that he was a nerd. "Whatever you say," I said, preoccupied with trying to get kids off to school. "No, mom. I'm going to be a nerd for halloween." Ooohhhhhh. I get it. So we tucked his pantleg into a sock, buttoned his shirt up all the way and left a tail hanging out, and found him some glasses and a notepad for his shirt pocket. Susan helped him fix his hair so it was sticking up in the back... and whallah! Nerdville.

After many weeks of daily indecision, Megan decided on an angel. (Witch was runner up.) With borrowed wings and a pipe cleaner halo, she was the cutest little angel this house has seen in many a year.

Oh, and notice that her face is working again. It's a good thing. Otherwise she would have had to be a mutant swamp monster or something.

My favorite thing about these costumes is that they were FREE! Improvised from stuff we had around the house and a little creativity (not much needed, thank goodness, cuz I don't have much).

Viva la Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Camera is NOT Broken!

Upon further investigation, I discovered that the problem lies not with my new camera, but with the 2Gig SD memory card. Yay! This means, that I only have to return a bitty little light-as-a-feather thingy instead of my big complicated camera. Whew! In the meantime, I can continue taking pics. Woo hooooo!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Great Garden Cleanup

Due to my malfunctioning camera, I have no amazing photos of our day of garden work. I'm sure you'll get over it. I have confidence in your resiliancy.

At 9am, our ward's Scout Troop converged on my garden next door, ready and willing to wreck destruction on all things of the plant kingdom. Interspersed with the work of pulling down cornstalks, sunflowers, and uprooting tomato vines, was a pickupgame of baseball with sunflower stalks for bats and tomatoes for balls. This quickly degenerated into an all out tomato fight. After the work was done, donuts and hot chocolate were passed around.

I recruited my kids to help too. Susan, Nathan, and Megan helped in the garden, while Karianne negotiated for indoor work -- she cleaned the kitchen. It was nice to come in after a long day's work and have the kitchen clean from top to bottom, instead of the usual disaster of dishes that awaits me after a day outside.

In about an hour, a day's worth of work was done. With a rented shredder, Tom reduced the mountain of waste matter into a nice big pile of compost-ready fluff. I fired up dad's old Troy Built rear-tine tiller (ok - Tom got it started the first time because I was too weak to start it cold) and prepared some ground for winter cover crops. What an awesome tiller. It's so heavy in front that it stays on course without any help from me. No jumping around or any silliness like that. I just walked along side it with one hand on the persnickety throttle that had to be constantly adjusted to keep the motor going. It's a bit annoying to have to baby it, but the upside is that I can't lend the tiller out, because it's so hard to keep it running. Of course, nobody else in my ward has a garden large enough to need a big tiller anyway.

The weather was perfect--sunny and cool, ideal for outdoor work. I like the feeling of having worked hard all day and being productive.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I broke the Prius

Ok, not permanently.

The Prius is that new space age car we bought in May for Tom's commuting pleasure. It has lots of coolio bells and whistles that our other vehicles only dream about. Such as - daylight running lights. Which is a fancy term for headlights that are always on. Now, while it's true that the Odyssey can mimick daylight running lights if I simply turn on the headlights while I'm driving during the daytime, with the Prius, you simply leave the headlights on all the time. Yes, even when you park and walk away. Which is how I broke the car.

See, the little technical detail with the Prius headlights is that they automatically turn off when the driver opens his door and gets out of the car. Nifty, huh? And this works great, what happened yesterday afternoon happens.

Karianne drove Susan, Megan, and me to Walmart. I'll spare you the gory details. When we got home, Karianne got out of the Prius (driver's side). I, sitting in the front passenger seat, noticed that some windows had been left rolled partially down. So, I reached over, pushed the power button, rolled up the windows, and then powered off the car. Then I got out of the passenger side door and went into the house.

Problem was, when I turned the Prius back on to close the windows, I also turned the headlights back on. And opening the passenger side door does NOT turn off the headlights. Result - the headlights stayed on from 5:30pm to 8:20 pm when I returned home from visiting teaching and noticed the lights on.

So now the battery is depeleted to the point that it won't start. And that is how I broke the Prius.

More camera woes

So I bought this new camera to replace the one I left at Salem Pond. And it was wonderful. For all of two weeks. Now it's having brain damage, or something. It keeps locking up mid-picture. New batteries don't help. I guess I'm going to have to send it back to Kodak for repair/replacement. Urg.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Buffalo Traffic Jam

It seems clear that I will never finish chronicling our Yellowstone Trip in it's glorious entirety. So I'll compromise and include the highlight of the last day: the drive out of the park. We were 10 minutes from the west gate when traffic came to a stop. I leaned out the driver's window, and this is what I saw.

As always, the idiot commentary is the lowpoint of the film. Sheesh, would that woman shut up already?!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Denial, Depression, and an Overgrown Lawn

I mowed the lawn today. It hadn't been mowed since before my mother died. The cooler weather of fall and some recent rain storms have caused the grass to grow much faster than it did in the heat of the summer, rendering the lawn 10" high in some places. At least it would have been that high if the weight of the grass hadn't caused it to fall over and lay flat. The cats loved it; the whole yard was a bird blind. Even I couldn't see them at dusk if they held still, cozied down in the deep grass.

Why haven't I mowed my lawn for nearly a month, you ask? That's a good question. The only answer I can think of -- inertia. I don't mind mowing, especially during the cooler seasons. It's a mindless task that provides instant gratification; guiding the lawnmower over the overgrown grass leaves behind a neatly manicured level carpet of green. And that smell. Mmmmmm. I've never met a person who didn't like the smell of cut grass. I don't view it as an unpleasant chore at all.

I was planning to mow the morning my dad called, saying that mom was gravely ill, and that I should come up right away. I even had my overalls on. I hurriedly threw some clothes in the car and raced off, leaving a lot of loose ends behind at home. I called Tom and Jessica and neighbors arranging for help getting my kids where they needed to be for the next couple of days. I left my tall lawn behind without a second thought, not knowing that it would be not days but weeks before it got any attention from me again.

Mom left before I got there. I had only been on the road for an hour when dad called to tell me that she was gone. I spent the next couple of days with my dad and siblings, making decisions and funeral arrangements, and preparing the house for company during the coming weekend. My dad's lawn was long too; that grass didn't get mowed either.

I came home for a day to try to catch up on everything that hadn't been done in the three days I was gone, and pack up the family for the weekend funeral. I went next door to thank my lovely neighbor who had helped with the kids in my absence. Then I got a phone call from the ward compassionate service leader.

"Hi Lisa? I'm so sorry to hear about your mom," she said.

"Thanks," I said.

"Is there anything you need?"

What I should have said was, 'Dinner tonight would be very helpful, and could you arrange for someone to mow my lawn this weekend? Also, I've got several bushels of tomatoes I was going to can. Would you find a loving home for them so they don't spoil?'

Instead I said, "Trudy really helped us a lot - she even brought over dinner last night."

CSL said, "Oh, how nice of her!"

"Yeah..." I said. I waited.

"Well," she tried again, "what can I do to help you?"

"My lawn is getting pretty long. I haven't had time to mow it," I offered.

"Oh, would you like me or my husband to come over and do that for you?"

Isn't that what I just said? No, I'd rather have Santa Claus do it. The image of this petite round woman or of her large rounder husband huffing and puffing behind my pathetic little push mower was too much for me.

"Naw," I said, "I'll probably just hire the boy across the street to do it."

"Oh ok!" she said brightly, "Well, if there is anything you need, let me know, ok?"

You. Betcha. Thanks so much.

Now really, I can't blame this woman. She obviously doesn't know me very well, and I didn't exactly make her job easy. For some odd reason, I couldn't just come out and be plain about what I needed from her. Why is that? Because at the time I didn't think I really needed anything. I was perfectly capable of making dinner and mowing my own lawn. It wasn't a big deal.

And yet, somehow, it's been three weeks since that day, and I still haven't been able to motivate myself to get outside and cut the grass. The ridiculousness of the situation peaked when two out-of-state friends conspired to find someone to cut my lawn. I was finally spurred to action when one of these dear, helpful, encouraging, bossy friends sicked an older lady who lives in my town on me. There was no way I was going to sit in my house and watch another woman mow my lawn when I was perfectly capable of doing it myself.

Maybe that was the plan all along. Sneaky....