You know, we complain a lot, as a society, about our failure to create newer, bigger, better things and processes, e.g. "We can put a man on the moon, but we can't cure the common cold," or We can put a man on the moon but we can't make a plastic package that doesn't cut your hand open," or "We can put a man on the moon, but we can't make sandwich bread that doesn't get soggy." The poor moon is often dragged into these scenarios, because we are collectively flabbergasted that we can do something very hard like leave our Earth's atmosphere, visit another celestial body, and almost always return in safety (I mean, depending on if you believe that we've actually done that, you Art Bell listeners out there), but we can't do something that seems comparatively simple, like making durable sandwiches. So I think it's time for us to recognize the amazing advances that have been made in band-aid technology, specifically fabric band-aids. Remember how terrible they used to be? They used to come off as soon as you got them the tiniest bit wet, and you knew better than to try to save money with the store brand. But I bought some Western Family band-aids last week for my toe, and they are great! They stay on even when I soak them in water. Good job, America! This is the kind of thing that will return us to a position of economic strength. I applaud your progress.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
John got home last night from a short trip to South Carolina, and gave me an interesting bit of knowledge. It seems to be a common custom down there that when people go on double dates the men sit in the front seat and the women in the back. What is this about?
I checked out a book called "Straw Bale Gardening." Looks promising. I think I'll slap a couple of bales on my patio and then I won't even have to go very far to water them. I get lazier and lazier every year, and now with my children all running hither and yon to various extracurricular activities I guess I've finally become everything I hate! No garden, earth-ruining car, constant errand-running trips to town, buying eggs. Good job, me. In days of yore I would cast judgmental eyes on all the families that were running their children from heck to breakfast to sports activities and dance and music lessons and think, "They need to get their priorities in line. One sport and one musical instrument is plenty." But then my kids started growing up, and they needed to get their wiggles out, and guess what? One sport and one instrument per child, times four children, is an insane level of chasing. And as we know, rules are for other people, which is how we find ourselves with Grant playing soccer and basketball at the same time. He's the first child! We didn't even have to be worn down by successive children whining and begging to do just one more thing, we caved immediately! Darn my children to heck for exposing me as a fraud.
How much should I be tipping at a place where they bring you your food, but there's no server and you bus your own table? None? Because that's where I'm leaning, but I don't want to be a horrible person. Modern life is full of conundrums!
Friday, March 7, 2014
My toenails are shaped like a letter C, and so you realize that ingrown toenails are a constant threat to my physical and mental well-being. Many years ago I had a procedure done in which the interior sides of my big toenails were removed and deadened so this wouldn't be such a problem, but my right toe didn't take, and I've had what I guess is called "a spicule" ever since, that grows into the side of my toe all the time and has to be regularly pulled off. So this week I went to my brother-in-law the podiatrist to have the procedure done correctly. So far so good, although the anesthesia shots they give you are horribly painful. This episode causes me to wonder: for what medical treatment would you be willing to see a family member? Obviously OB/GYN is out--at least for me; I don't know how you guys roll. I have spent a few minutes thinking about this, and here are my thoughts:
3. Psychotherapy or similar--no
4. Dermatology--soft yes, depending on the malady (acne no, cancerous mole yes, unless the location requires disrobing)
5. Physical therapy--soft yes, depending on the location of the problem
7. Emergency treatment, such as for broken bones or stitches--yes
8. OB/GYN--hard no
9. Proctology--hard no
10. Cardiopulmonary--soft yes
What about you guys?
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Our family is learning to sing and play the Walk Off the Earth cover of "Little Boxes." Emmett refuses to sing because he has a fixed mindset, which is a problem we are trying to address, but he has conceded to play percussion. When we get awesome we will record it and start our family band. I never watched "The Partridge Family," but we'll probably be just like that, only with better clothes and hair. And our tour bus will have a paleta freezer in the back, and we will sell the paletas at our concerts. This is my retirement plan. I am stoked!
I have a couple of powder-blue chairs that I bought from the D.I. years ago, and powder blue is a terrible color as you know. So last week I dyed them green according to these instructions, and it worked like a charm and they look totally revitalized and fantastic. See (pardon the glare on the corner--the dye really is even all over):
Monday, February 24, 2014
So, tonight we had to go to Grant's soccer practice after piano lessons, so we brought along a picnic dinner to sell it as a feature to the other children, rather than a punishment. Also we had to do something family-ish, else we be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone for not observing FHE. I'm not sure how to delicately say this, but two little girls who were with us pooped the park. Like, snuck over to a pile of leaves and threw down a BM, then buried it in the leaves. When our kids ran over and told us what had happened John went on a poop retrieval and disposal mission, but was unable to locate it. He is such a good citizen. I would say it was an unfortunate clash of poor timing and ignorance, but the elder of the two girls also pooped on the floor of the park restroom last summer, and thought it was ever so funny. Does this make you all feel just a wee bit better about your child who bit other toddlers? It should.
Every year about this time I am forcefully reminded that I do not cope well emotionally with winter. I need my Vitamin D or whatever. This morning the children were late getting up, slow getting ready, Grant rejected his scrambled eggs because they were "too salty," then Ike sequestered himself in the upstairs bathroom, where he is not permitted to void in the first place, and then Grant and Emmett blamed him for their being late getting their teeth brushed and hair combed, overlooking the fact that if they had gotten up at six like they were supposed to IT WOULDN'T HAVE MATTERED, and then Grant missed the bus and I was finally so overcome with fury that I threw a plastic food storage container and broke it. It makes me sad because I liked that container. I guess I was also a bad example of how to process anger and frustration. Well, another day, another headache. Also I have tendinitis in my elbow from playing the guitar. Why is that the preferred spelling? It looks so wrong to me. It should be tendonitis.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Paleta update: so far our favorite is the toronja/grapefruit flavor. John doesn't care for them because he is weird, but the children and I CANNOT GET ENOUGH of them. We are crazy about them. I made some fresa/strawberry ones last week and I think are in the Good category. Texturally odd, because of the many small strawberry chunks. Too jammy. John liked them a lot more than I did, but he agrees that they would be better with some sweet cream mixed in. I ordered another mold this morning, because it's time. I'm sick of not being able to make twenty paletas simultaneously! I demand faster, more frequent access to the frozen treats of my choice. Is this America or not?
By the way, I think pies have begun trending, because recently there have been a few magazine mentions of specialty pie shops opening up. Also I read another one about specialty cake doughnuts. So basically I was right like I always am. In a perfect world, a world in which I was a harder worker, I would be part of this burgeoning pie trend, but in the here and now I am going to sit this one out. I don't like having my pies rushed, and I know my quality would drop if I were cranking out ten or more a day. And it's not like my pies are SO AMAZING or anything--they're just homemade. That's it.
I don't think our goats got bred this year. The buck was pretty small, and we never saw sexual congress of any kind happening out there. They certainly don't look very chubby yet, although I guess they'd still have a while to go before they really start showing. I will be sorry if we don't have any kids--last year's breech kidding was pretty exhilarating and I do so love being a goat midwife.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Warning: this post contains adult language, though out of respect for the sensitive eyes of my mother and grandmother and the employees of the LDS church who sometimes read my blog, I have bleeped the big one
Here's another reason I love living where I do: the other day I went to get gas at the little convenience store up the road from my house. It is a quirky place, and the proprietress of said establishment is the receptacle of all the town news, since she is centrally located and talks to everyone, often at great length. There was another woman in there buying chips and pop, and they were discussing the religious politics of painting Jesus playing the fiddle--would people be offended, could they just pretend it was a violin instead, etc. Lainie broke off in the midst of our talk and said, "Oh, Layne, I've got to run your card again, I charged you for Barbara's shit." There is something so funny to me about the juxtaposition of Jesus talk and swears.
Speaking of swears, you may be aware that I have a fairly high tolerance for swearing in the written word. I don't care for it in spoken communication, maybe because the people I hear who rely heavily on swear words in their speech typically do not come across as super articulate, but I find it fairly easy to look past when I'm reading--or to enjoy, because the talent displayed by Ralphie's father in A Christmas Story is a real thing. Some people really do work in obscenity like another artist works in oils or clay. (Although technically Ralphie's father's talent is the spoken word, not writing. Even so.) However, and maybe this is just my imagination, it seems like people are going back so frequently to the F-word well that it's losing all its impact as a forceful word. As a lover of words in all their variety I mourn the monoculture of the F-word. It used to be reserved for extreme emotion, and now it's just bandied around like no big deal, and it makes me sad that people are limiting themselves to that one crayon. Especially when there are other words that would probably work better. For example, everybody is saying lately that they give "zero f*cks" about something, and I prefer the "zero shits" phrasing. It just sounds better and makes more sense to me. I also enjoy the "ain't give a damn" phrasing from "Hark, a Vagrant" number 331. On the other side of the scale, I was reading an article last week in which the author referred to the singer Lorde as having an attitude of "we reject your horse shit universe of bling, you shallow, worthless f*cks you." That is a terrific sentence, and even though normally I would encourage "shallow, worthless shits," in this case you can't do that, because you've just used shit earlier in the sentence and of the two swears, the horse shit one is the one that needs and benefits from it the most. All I'm saying, people, is just shake it up a little. Use all of your swear crayons, and our world will be richer for it.