Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Someone's going to shoot their eye out!

As many of you know, we have a family tradition of making gingerbread houses each Christmas. What many of you may not know is that we also have a fine tradition of destroying those houses for equal entertainment. We've been pretty slow this year because we kept waiting for a time to head to Kamas to "shoot 'em up" with Grandma's BB guns. This past weekend, we had that chance! Initially, the BBs just struck and bounced off the hard sides, but the closer we got, the more they began to have some impact. A few just embedded themselves in the side. The pellet gun gave us a little more response, but they mostly went through the walls. Occasionally we cheered when we had a direct hit on a pretzel or cookie roof. Hitting a window was also a thrill. But alas, the small ammo just didn't quite destroy as we'd hoped so we had to bring out the big guns. Considering the scale, one firecracker in a gingerbread house is as exciting as watching one of those implosions on the news! The first firecracker gave a good show (if you click on the picture you can see stuff in the air) and the second really brought it down.

And so, I give you the highlights: my kids with guns that did nothing more than spit BBs, Grandma in the spirit of the game with a killer pellet gun, and a firecracker to bring the house down. Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Phone calls

I’ve often said that I want to just log my phone calls for a week and then write a book about it. Let me share a log for one day this week:

7:15 a.m. - My neighbor called because her washer died and she needed some clothes finished before she left town today. No problem, I can help with laundry.
8:45 a.m. - My friend called from Korea. Our mutual friend has a nephew who is going to college in Utah. They hadn’t had contact with him for four days, which is highly unusual and his phone number had been disconnected. She wondered if I could to go to his house in Provo and find him or leave a note on his door to phone home. We talked about options and decided to wait until tonight to decide if I should really go. Lucky me, he called home later today!
Afternoon - Another neighbor called to borrow our truck (fortunately, she’s taking our weeds with her to the green waste dump!)
10:30 p.m. -- A different neighbor called because between 9 and 10 both her sister and her husband’s brother each had a crisis for which they needed help. That meant she needed someone to sit at her house with her kids. (I’m happy to do it, partly because I adore her, and partly because it will give me some time to read the book I am reading for a book club I attend.

None of these rival the all-time classic phone call when I was called to share a recipe with my friend's mom because she and her ichthyologist husband wanted to make it when the King of Egypt came for dinner. Okay, she admitted, he wasn't the actual king, but he should've been had family politics not gottten in the way!

I'll keep track of this week's calls in case there are some more beauties!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Fortunately, I recently had the chance to head somewhere fun with some family. We were riding in two vans, some in mine, some in another. Unfortunately, the other driver ran out of diapers for her young son. Fortunately, we weren’t far from her house so we followed her there. Unfortunately, my van made a wrong turn and we had to turn around and then go to the house. Fortunately, when we got there, she was still in the house getting the diapers so we thought we’d just park and wait for her. Unfortunately, when she got out she’d left her door open so we couldn’t pull up next to her. Fortunately, there was still plenty of room at the end of the left side of the driveway as she was on the right side. And so we parked. Unfortunately, her van decided to slip out of gear and begin rolling backward. Fortunately, my passengers and I were in the van to see what happened, so there’d never be a question. Unfortunately, what we saw was the door hit my bumper and every other panel along the right side of the van. Fortunately, my van stopped her van from rolling into the street potentially harming someone in the street or her baby in the back seat. Unfortunately, such a stop did create damage to both vehicles. Fortunately, we both have good insurance which responded quickly. Unfortunately, it meant someone having to drive a van to the shop with the door sticking out to the side. Fortunately, I’m sure that provided a good laugh for the other people they passed on the street. Unfortunately, it still costs money, even if you make people laugh. Fortunately, long ago my sister Colleen taught me that “If you’re going to laugh about it years from now, you might as well laugh now!”

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

One of the things I've learned in life is that sometimes you have to find a system that works and stick with it. In our family, instead of using the traditional family reunion model, we have instituted an annual girls' weekend. We gather my mom, my two sisters, and the granddaughters above age 12 or so for a fun couple of days. It's awesome! This last weekend was that weekend and it was again a treat. Here are couple of quick glimpses of the trip to be in the audience for "Good Things Utah," a tour of the LDS Church's Humanitarian Center, lunch, shopping, and a fun night/morning spent at a beautiful cabin owned by one of Cathy's friends. Again, I learned some things:
  • Ladies on TV wear lots and lots of makeup and hairspray to look like that.
  • If all of us did a few minutes of humanitarian service, even just occasionally, we could change (and are changing) the world.
  • Lunch with girlfriends/family is good.
  • The definition of "cabin" and "house" are sometimes in the eye of the beholder.
  • People are kind and generous in sharing their possessions (i.e. cabins) with others.
  • Group games are always funnier late at night when everyone's tired.
  • Cathy makes really good crepes!
  • Adult nieces are awesome to be friends with.
I hope this is a long-standing tradition held for many years to come!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A few things I've learned this week

On Tuesday I had lunch with some good friends. One of them talked about something her mom always used to say about whenever you hear of bad news in the world, you can always find good news in all the people who are trying to make it better. I loved that idea. So, I'm looking back on my last couple of days and trying to apply that. I thought I'd mention a few things I've learned, both good and bad.

  • If you have a laundry emergency on a Saturday night (like a cat peeing on your down comforter that's too big for your washer), you'd better have the crisis before 8 p.m. or the laundromats are all closed. (But there are good friends who will offer to come sit with you at the laundromat if you had been able to go at 10 p.m.)
  • I really am getting older. (It's possible to have good friends for a lot of years. On Tuesday I had lunch with a group of 5 women who've been meeting for each of our birthdays for about 12 years now. I hope we still meet when we're in our sixties!)
  • Even really good contractors slow down at the end and do pesky things that make you crazy and hold up the finishing of a job! (But it means that we don't have to write that final check before our ship comes in with that "economic stimulus" check!)
  • When an 8 year old girl slams her finger in a car door, it can cause lots of bleeding and almost unstoppable crying. (But former ER nurse neighbors are sometimes willing to come over and help care for injuries without asking for pay.)
  • ER nurses recommend putting a hole in a fingernail with blood building up under it by using a fiery hot paper clip. (But some ER nurses are very large, strong men who can help it happen.)
  • The prices of food, toiletries, and household goods continue to go up. (But Big Lots continues to offer some great deals on cereal, snacks, and household goods - just a little consumer tip!)