2014

2014

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Merry and Bright

Christmas was very good to us this year.  We got to spend one night with my brother's family, three nights with my parents, and chill with my whole family and Kris's brother's family all together on Christmas Day.  What more could anyone need than good times with great family?  Oh, and did I mention that our stay was spent in a gorgeous cabin, lovingly decked out by my mom and dad and surrounded by snow?

 

We played games, made a snowman, instituted a new family joke (somehow "Cindy Crawford" became the answer to every question when we played the "Thing Game"), started a new family tradition (a Christmas skeet tournament, because nothing says "Happy Birthday, Jesus!" like a bunch of shotguns), ate too much good food, and came home with a new bag pipes cd.  Kris landed some new woodworking tools and I got a lable maker (!), some Avett Bros. cds, a sweet beanie, and a super-stellar flat iron.  We also got some nice greenbacks, a new wooden ornament for our tree, and a really cool family history compilation from the Bell side.  In short, we made out like bandits!   

So, who won the First Annual Robinson Family Christmas Skeet Shoot?  I guess that among other things, one up-side of marriage is that you can choose which family to claim when it's most convenient.


This is the official press-release photo of the winner (Kris, with an amazing 19/20 record) and his big brother, the runner-up.  Note that there are no Robinsons on the podium.  Ouch.   

At any rate, we had a great time.  Here's hoping for a happy New Year for all! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas 2010

During my college years I developed an underground addiction: reading archived Dave Barry articles.  The man is a comedic genius.  (I say that fully aware that this post will only contain an example of his potty humour--super sophisticated, I know.)  So although today was LONG (all 230 students of it), it was a fantastic day.  Why?  Because Dave Barry's "2010 Holiday Gift-Giving Guide" came out.  It's full of the craziest, real-life items.  My favorite this year?  Allow me to introduce, with absolutely no insinuations about any of my husband's sleeping habits, "The Better Marriage Anti-Flatulence Blanket."  I'll allow Dave to explain how it works:

"The Better Marriage Blanket is designed to improve marital bliss by absorbing odors emitted by a sleeping married person. According to the official website, the Better Marriage Blanket "contains the same type of fabric used by the military to protect against chemical weapons." That's right: We're talking about a military-grade defense against nighttime tooting. How does it work? Scientifically, here's how: "The molecules that cause the odor are absorbed and neutralized in millions of microscopic pores in the activated carbon so it has an almost unlimited capacity for eliminating odor." We imagine it would also be a huge hit on Valentine's Day. In fact it's the perfect gift to give any time you wish to express the heartfelt sentiment, 'You tend to cut the cheese in your sleep.'"

So for all of you last-minute shoppers out there...Kris appreciates your kindly consideration.



We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Remodeling...And Such

When you purchase a home, it's a given that you will discover (only after mortgaging your life and spending painful hours packing, moving, and unpacking) that there are a few things wrong that weren't listed on the property disclosure. So the stain on our living room carpet, previously and oh-so-coincidentally covered by a couch, didn't come as too big of a surprise. Neither did some dings in the paint. That the shower and tub in our upstairs bathroom produced only the tiniest trickle of water when turned on...that was a bit of a shock. Didn't we have a home inspector? And didn't he charge us hundreds of dollars to find stuff like that? Yes. And yes. A pox on his head!

But, that's not the end of the world. Especially when you are two people living in a two-bathroom house. But we always said that we'd fix it "someday." So imagine my further surprise when "someday" happened to fall on a Friday and turned out to be only the beginning of a lot of work. I came home a few weeks ago to find this:



It started with a simple plumbing job. It escalated to stripping everything down to the studs. It continues with a total re-tile, and a quantity of dust hitherto unknown. Ah, yes--and here's the crux-- a ridiculous number of new "necessary" tools as well.



I once thought of Kris as an innocent, at the mercy of the master "we-need-this-kitchen appliance" manipulator. I've been duped.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Everyone I Know...This Is Life-Changing

I'm serious. It's like this: I love fresh bread. My problem? Since I'm gone from the house at least nine hours a day during the week, it's pretty darn tough to fit in a three hour process before dinner. Bummer. But a couple of years ago I heard a thing on NPR, talking about how easy it is to make artisan bread. I was driving, as luck would have it, and couldn't write down the directions. So I eventually just forgot about it. But a couple of weeks ago, Ucreate's food section featured the same recipe! And it really is incredibly easy. We're talking a 10 minute initial investment, five minutes for shaping a loaf, and then an hour and ten minutes of waiting until your fresh, hot loaf, each time you bake. Genius! And here it is. You've simply got to try it. Trust me :)



In a 2-quart food container, mix the following ingredients:
3 C. warm water
1-1/2 T. yeast
1-1/2 T. salt
1 T. sugar
6-1/2 C. flour (I like a mix of white and wheat, but whatever.)

Don't knead the dough--just make sure it's mixed and moistened. Then let it sit, covered, on the counter for a couple of hours. Now put it in the refrigerator.

Every time you want bread (the dough lasts a week in the fridge), pull out a hunk of dough, and:
1)Form it into a ball and place it on a floured baking sheet
2) Allow it to come to room temp for about 40 min.
3) Sprinkle flour on top and make a shallow slice with a sharp knife
4) Bake in a pre-heated, 450 degree oven, for about 35 min. Water in a baking dish on the lower rack of your oven does wonderful things to the crust.



That's the basic recipe. I'm now experimenting with all sorts of variations. Try it and let me know what you think! I am positive that it beats the heck out of $4.50 a loaf artisan bread.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lament

Tonight every curling yellow tomato blossom and each fuchsia rose petal will sink below the dew point and engender tiny crystals lodging across their surfaces, sharp as white picket fences.

I hate first frost. Our kitchen is cluttered with green tomatoes and half-formed bell peppers, culled this evening because some hope is better than no hope. I'll place them in crowded bowls and line the dark of our coal room with each chartreuse sphere, a promise of ripening that I can't even intend to keep. Who knows? Maybe some will redden before the rot sets in.




Forty-five. The number of roses and buds I stripped from their bushes just now, violent splashes of flaming orange, pale yellow, pink, violet, scoops of sherbet in glass vases. They rest now, a week only, atop my dead grandmother's dining table. I'll throw them away soon enough.

See how morbid I become in frost? I'll be better tomorrow in the newness of fresh snow beneath crimson oaks. Taking Hunter for a walk, the golden weeping willow leaves will flutter lightly to brush my upturned face.

In five months, our first tulips and daffodils bloom. We'll till up the soil again, imbue it with black flakes and creamy pebbles, the tiniest bits of hope. And those seeds will bloom.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gratitude

A couple of weeks ago the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints held its annual General Conference. Speakers addressed a wide variety of issues, including improving the quality of time spent as a family, increasing personal spirituality, sound financial management, and service in our communities. The talk that I appreciated most, however, was on the subject of gratitude.

In this talk, President Thomas S. Monson quoted a Greek philosopher (Epictitus, for those of you who are Greek philosophy buffs...which I AM NOT!) who once wrote, "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." Then, after reading Jesus' story of the ten cleansed lepers, President Monson recounted the story of a poor family whose Thanksgiving celebration during the 1950s always included an inventory of their summer harvest, as preserved in their barn. That story moved me deeply and I've been thinking about it ever since.



A complete inventory of all that I have would certainly bore you to death AND either A)make you bitter with envy or B)make you send an anonymous donation to my poor house (depending on our relative positions in life), so I won't make one here. But this is an inventory of the Bell's summer harvest:

*24 quarts cherries
*26 quarts tomatoes
*16 quarts pears
*24 quarts peaches
*14 quarts grape juice

I'm very grateful for those gleaming jars, tucked up all cozy like in our coal room.

We only grow enough grapes and tomatoes for canning. I'm most thankful, then, for generous neighbors.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Puppy Love

Q: What's the worst thing that can happen to a backyard?
A: Two Border Collie puppies.


Enter, Diablo "Baby D" Robinson. This perp looks too tiny for trouble, but comes armed and dangerous with needle-sharp teeth and razor-wire claws. His favorite hangout is in the tomato garden, but he can also be found in any other fenced, off-limits location. He's even been located scaling Kris's cargo pants, dangling from the back pocket flap. Baby D has a ruthless streak and will launch full-frontal assaults on knees, ankles, or dogs ten times his size. This puppy has a nose for trouble and should not be underestimated...no matter how adorable this mugshot is.



Baby D doesn't operate solo. His accomplice? Real name unknown, this bruiser has been living under the alias "Fatty." His special skills include hypnosis via droopy puppy dog eyes, super-puppy ability to fake his way through a lie detector test, and deceptive calm. It has also been noted that Fatty can compress his body into eerily small packages for worming beneath fences, which is particular dangerous when giving pursuit during a high speed chase.



These puppies are known to have been involved in a two-week long crime spree, aided and abetted by one Hunter J. Bell. Damage included one flower pot, three petunias, four panels of lattice, one 2'x 2' patch of lawn, and 670 lbs. of fecal matter.



Their most recent heist involved the kidnapping of two middle aged white people, last seen Colorado-bound. The biggest problem in apprehending and punishing these worn criminals? Undercover agents in Utah have been purchased to the puppies' payroll with an overabundance of cuteness.



Can you blame them?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Single Once More

You know those married people who talk glowingly about recapturing the glory of their single lives? They're ridiculous. Just my humble opinion. And I even had some really terrific times with amazing friends during those years, but I'd still never voluntarily go back.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Govt. decided a forced retrogression would do me good, so they took Kis from me for the better part of the last month. I was miserable! But of course he wasn't, no no. Kris was swimming with dolphins and touring D.C. and visiting old friends during his evenings off. Doesn't that sound fun? He says that he missed me, but I just reply, "Yeah, I'll bet, especially when you were WHALE WATCHING!" I gotta get a job with the Feds!

Here's the fun I had:

*sleeping on the couch every night, so basically not sleeping at all
*obsessively checking every lock and burglar bar in the impenitrable fortress
*posting in the living room window my target from a recent lady's pistol night (Just so you know, in case you're planning on breaking into my house and murdering me, I'm a crack shot; and this image is not my target, but it makes a good point-- you should definitely cover your ears if you're planning to let me shoot you.)


*eating grilled tomato and cheese sandwiches for dinner every night
*watching every old episode of "The Office," replayed late at night
*hearding cats (i.e. teaching 7th grade)

So after the military's expiriment on one happily married couple, these are the preliminary results: I'd better be the one who dies first, if quality of life is a determining factor.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sink Like a Stone

So we used to drive this:



But then...
Car: ping, ping, ping.
Sam: What's that noise?
Kris: Noise? Bah, this old thing's gonna run forever.
Sam: No. What's THAT noise?
Car: PING! PING! PING! PING! PING! PING!

So now, we drive this:



Don't let the scale of these photos fool you; the new car's just a Geo Metro on steroids. Gone are the days of leisurely cruises and extra-thick cushioning. Gone are the days of blaming all driving mistakes on our presumed old age. Gone, like so many withered leaves. Gone.

R.I.P., Car With the Couch in Back, 2002-2010.
R.I.P., Our Bank Account.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoreauing the Days Away

A few years ago, while writing my Master's thesis, I happened upon a book published in 1950, titled "Great American Nature Writing". I seem to remember purchasing it at a used bookstore (which I frequent) or perhaps a library book sale; however, at present I can find no tell-tale price in pencil on the front matter. (I fear I may have stolen it, though from whom I don't know...sorry, if it was you...)

When I first read the book, back in '06, I read to contextualize my own memoirs as nature writing. (I'm full of asides today--In case you didn't know it, you are now free to say that you know someone with published memoirs. Written at the age of 24. And gathering dust in some ignominious stack of irrelevent what-nots. The memoirs, not myself. Gathering dust, that is.) Anyway, I guess inspired by our trip last week, or in one last desperate attempt to elevate my thinking before ruthlessly punching it back down to the size of werewolves and dragons and seventh graders, I've been rereading portions of that nature writing anthology this week. Thoreau, mostly. I don't think I realized in previous readings just how funny that guy was (his passage about playing games with the loon on Walden...it might not be stand up, but I was cracking up for sure!). And, of course, he's a quotable sucker. Here are some of the passages that caught me this time around:

*"How to make the getting our living poetic! for if it is not poetic, it is not life but death that we get." This last year has been a hard one for me. Don't get me wrong, I can easily list (in ten seconds or less) ten trials that would be worse than what I've struggled with and ten blessings I enjoy that other people would die to have. Still. I didn't realize it for a long time, but the process of coming to grips with our infertility took a lot of poetry out of me. It's like that one failure to create (that one failure, every month) sapped my will and desire to make anything. Maybe even my faith that I could create or that it would matter anyway. I'm embarrased to admit it, but in Jewel's words, my "standard of living somehow got stuck on survive." Even appreciating beauty eluded me. I finally figured that out a couple months ago and I've rejoined the process of creating by learning to make artsy, crafty things. I'm even cooking nice meals again (sorry for the negelct Kris!). Maybe sometime soon I'll even be able to write something worth reading. I've missed that. So this idea of Thoreau's really struck me coming from all of that context. It's my goal this school year, in all the getting of my living, to make it poetic.

*"As if individual spectators were to be allowed to export the clouds out of the sky, or the stars out of the firmament, one by one. We shall be reduced to gnaw the very crust of the earth for nutriment." I love this quote because it has some keen warnings for today, though offered 160 years ago. It's also such a lovely simile. And at least a little of me likes it because I can admit in it that Thoreau tended to be a little self-consiously melodramatic sometimes (Sorry Thoreau lovers, I can find fault in the man's work, even while appreciating him!).


*"When I think what were the various sounds and notes, the migrations and works, and changes of fur and plumage which ushered in the spring and marked the other seasons of the year, I am reminded that this my life in nature, this particular round of natural phenomena which I call a year, is lamentably incomplete. I listen to a concert in which so many parts are wanting. The whole civilized country is to some extent turned into a city, and I am that citizen whom I pity."

*"Cold and damp--are they not as rich experiences as warm and dryness?" Thoreau made this observation just after celebrating the "evening chant of the mosquito from a thousand green chapels." So while I agree with the sentiment in part, I am not about to hunker down in a swamp until the bugs devour me or glamourize the mosquito's whine. (Sorry, Henry. And sorry for using your Christian name; after all, we don't even know each other!)

*"Today it snows again, covering the ground. To get the value of the storm, we must be out a long time and travel far in it, so that it may fairly penetrate our skin, and we be, as it were, turned inside-out to it, and there be no part in us but is wet or weather-beaten--so that we become storm men instead of fair-weather men." This one sounds to me a lot like a fair metaphoric sermon on life. Amen!



This morning, I harvested in our garden.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Flat Tops Wilderness: 'Shroom Lust 2010

When Kris started his job in June of 2009, he had zero time off. So this summer, with his newly acrued days of freedom, we planned to do something big. Something epic...but what? And that's when my dad offered to take us on a week-long pack trip in Colorado's Flat Tops Wilderness.



I was stoked! Right after high school I spent three summers working for the Forest Service up in the Flat Tops and I really wanted to go back. So how cool is my husband? He takes his first vacation in a year to get down and dirty in the woods with me. Yep, pretty sure he is AMAZING! So here Kris is, adventure hat and all, riding like John Wayne. Check out the rock pile behind him...we rode through it right before this picture.



And this is my rad dad. My parent's lived in a tent beneath Shingle Peak (pictured in the background) the summer they were pregnant with my brother. The story goes that Dad wove a cot out of willow branches for Mom to sleep on more comfortably... but she prefered a belly-shaped hole dug in the ground.



This is a closer view of Shingle Peak and the still water stream where we were catching fish like crazy. Our sheep used to feed in that meadow.



And here I am, roasting over the open fire a fish Kris caught. It's the only way to eat fish, I tell you!



Dad and I with Island Lake behind us. You can't tell from the photo, but we are standing at the edge of a pretty sheer cliff.



Kris and I with my old horse, Hoppy. I got him for Christmas the year I turned six; best $200 my parents ever spent!



And now we come to the title of this post...Bolete mushrooms. I love them! If you've never had the opportunity to pick and saute one, you haven't fully lived. I grew up hunting for these mushrooms and a common snack in the summers of my youth was a tasty Bolete bud fried up in butter, salt, and pepper. Some of you may be thinking that this revelation explains a lot about my quirky self, but these mushrooms are quite safe and unmistakable. Here I am with a rather large specimen. I love how the alpenglow lighting showcases our mutual beauty. :)



This was Kris' first time picking mushrooms, and Dad was as hungry for them as I was...so we may or may not have picked enough to eat Boletes with every meal. And then some. The 'shroom lust was upon us! From the big one we made mushroom "steaks."



My dad is a real gourmet camp cook. From this little wood stove and oven combo we had steak, pancakes, roasted cornish game hens and other delicious treats. When I was a kid, my mom used to bake gingerbread in the oven.



Our trusty pack string.



It gets pretty dirty out in the woods. Kid the horse demonstrates proper bathing technique...if you're a horse.



Dad with fish from the South Fork of the White River.



Home, sweet home!



It was a spectacular trip. I could go on and on and, believe it or not, post even more pictures. We rode through grass shoulder-high to a horse in Park Creek, covered some 60 miles, and mostly didn't see a soul. We laughed as our little pound puppy became a fish-eating, river-swimming wilderness dog, and we marveled at the stars, so bright and crowded. It was just the reminder I've needed about the simplicity that really makes life beautiful.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Taste of Georgia

The first city where I served as a missionary was Macon (the last place on Earth I wanted to be). Along with the discomforts of a regular city, good Ol' Macon still had more roadkill than anywhere I've ever lived. And opossom is not pretty roadkill. Besides that, it was full of the saddest people I'd ever met: women with stories of surviving attempted murder at the hands of their sons and boyfriends, people who had watched loved ones shot down in the street. I once saw a woman there fight physically with her son over food she'd brought home for herself to eat. Real people, not Hollywood people, with unimaginable lives.

But I learned another side of the South in Macon too; those people love to cook, and specifically they love to bake cakes. Have you ever been to a church (any demonination church) cake auction in the South? You won't find any wimpy "I made this at the last second from Duncan Hines and a can of Betty Crocker" abominations. No, no. Siste Stone, of the Macon ward, invited us over for supper once while she was preparing a 12-layer chocolate cake for the annual cake auction. And she baked that cake one 1/4"-layer at a time. It took all day. Literally. We didn't get to eat any because that cake was for the auction, but don't worry: our meal was homemade chicken and dumplings, followed by a six-layer caramel cake. Could that woman cook! I think people in Macon had babies and prayed to get sick because they could always count on Sister Stone (did I mention that she was 78?) arriving five minutes later with an amazing dinner, piping hot.

Recently Carol and Joe, friends from a tiny town in southern Georgia (and fine cooks themselves!) stayed the night with us while they were passing through. Thoughtful as ever, they brought me a gift:



I was thrilled...not only do I LOVE cookbooks, but this one has a recipe for caramel cake! Sister Stone's version looked a lot like this one I found on the web,


but my recent attempt did not. However, I think I've got it figured out for next time.

It is a fantastic book. I've made several recipes from it now, and they've all been totally Southern: delicious and written in the way you'd expect to receive directions in Georgia...in other words, the directions aren't real specific, which adds the fun elements of deduction and surprise. But the pages also contain random pearls of cooking wisdom, like this one (from the bottom of page 131): "Bananas give a special interest to grilled sandwiches. Place a slice of ham on a slice of bread, spread with peanut butter, top with sliced bananas, add a second slice of bread, and spread with margarine. Grill in skillet over low heat, turning once, until bread is golden."

And advice like that, my friends, is golden! I can't wait to cook more things from this delightful collection.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Our Adoption Profile

As I mentioned earlier, we finished our adoption paperwork and home study a couple of weeks ago...well, it has finally all been reviewed and approved! To quote the Simpsons, "And now we play the waiting game. Eh, the waiting game sucks; Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos!" Nevertheless, wait we shall.



Anyway, I'm excited to share with y'all our profile. You're welcome to check it out yourself just because you're online and bored (we've all been there!), but you are especially welcome to pass on the link to anyone you may know who's considering placing a baby for adoption.

So here we are, with answers to all of your burning questions about the perfect life (of course it's perfect!) of Kris and Sam:

https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/24740248/ourMessage.jsf

Monday, July 12, 2010

DIY Decor

Well, it's taken me a year, but I believe that our living room decor is almost complete. This, after a serious bout of crafting fever.

Our house was built in 1939 and has a lot of cool old features, like rounded corners in the entryway and living room, so I've attempted to keep that feel while updating with a blend of retro and contemporary styles. What do you think of our old-fashioned silhouettes? The canvas has a tiled photo I took of the Logan LDS Temple (where we were married). I wanted a picture of that special place in our front room, but I was trying to avoid some of the cheesier LDS art out there (admit it, you've seen the stuff I'm talking about).



My guitar is acting as demo for a friend who is considering buying its twin; note the sadly empty stand in the photo. Our piano is lonely without Gertrude. :)

The only thing remaining is to hang a painting my grandma did (a pastoral scene of a sheep camp and sheep in the mountains) and then I'm calling that room done! It's been a fun project.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Independence Day

Last week we went to Colorado to visit my parents, and we also attended my ten year class reunion. It was interesting, in the "not much has really changed sice high school" kind of way. Well, except it was legal for my classmates to do all of that drinking this time around. It was nice to see that people are happy and living their lives.

I don't have any pictures of that event, but I do have this fun shot of my friend Mel and I. We go way back, to first grade at least, and we still keep in touch quite a bit (even after I made her work a summer with the US Forest Service...). Anyway, she was in town for a business trip a couple of days before the reunion and we got to meet up for an afternoon; too much fun!



For the most part, we spent our Fourth of July vacation here, chilling in my parents' back yard. My dad built their cabin by hand and my mom has slaved over those poppies for years. Isn't it a gorgeous setup?



The rest of the scenery wasn't bad either. You know how sometimes two beautiful people freakishly produce ugly kids? That is definitely not the case for my brother and his wife. Gordy did not condescend to take a good photo, but Grace is an angel face!



And for the record Hunter loves Colorado too, because he gets to play with his friend Buck and go for long runs with Alpha (my dad). Here Hunt chills after a long wrestle.



We had a great trip. And yes, Kris definitely won the "hottest spouse" award. :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Are You Bored Yet?"

People--who are not teachers--always ask me that question during the "lazy" months of summer. Like, what on earth could someone do with 2-1/2 months of free time? Well, I'll tell you...
*Fully two of the last four weeks have been spent with visitors in our home...relatives from California and Colorado, friends from Georgia, friends and relatives from Utah...SO much fun! So much work and time invested. They might have been bored, but not me!
*I painted our living room and bathroom already and I'm preparing to stain our deck. Boring? Yes. But this is not watching "As the World Turns" and eating bonbons.
*I have a daily weeding schedule, in hopes of erradicating the endless unwanted plants in our garden and flower beds. And there are still so many weeds. But the peas are nearly on and that makes it worth my time!
*We've spent two of the last five weekends out of town, visiting family and doing some sweet hiking in Moab (more on that someday, when I get pictures from a friend). Definitely not dull! Kris read the Hunger Games sequel to me as we drove, so even that wasn't boring.
*We've attended (and completed, as of last week) our mandatory adoption classes and finished all of our adoption paperwork. Ok, that last part is a sick joke. We've completed all of the paperwork for now. I know that there is more lurking in our future. Boring? Oh, my, yes! But so worth it and so busy.
*Right now I am creating wall art to beautify our house. Pics to follow, as soon as I finish and hang the pieces. I just love creating things.

So that's a little taste of my summer so-far. And yes, I've read a couple of books because I wanted to (not because my students begged me to). I take Hunter for walks and sometimes--gasp--take naps. With nearly half of my summer vacation gone and several more trips and projects in the works, I don't see myself having time to get bored before that first school bell rings the start of a new year. But I am absolutely loving all of the things that I don't have the time or energy to do August-May. Want to come visit? :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stay in Bed!

Because sometimes, when you don't, you're sorry. Take, for instance, yesterday. It seemed like a great day, the kind of day that makes you jump from your bedclothes, hair on fire, assured of smiles and good times start to finish. I straightened up around the house after a weekend of abandonment, started reading a new novel, chilled around the house and then headed South to see a favorite mission companion after nearly a year's separation. Life was good.

And then Kris's granddad had a stroke. So I came home early to be with Kris.

And then, this happened:



Oh, fine, that's an exaggeration. I didn't get any pictures (besides with my cell phone) but my six-car pile up looked a lot more like this one (thank Heaven!):



In my time as an adult driver, I have been involved in three accidents (none of them my fault). Perhaps you will see a common thread as I relate each one... 1)An old man pulls out of a parking lot, not seeing my car traveling down the road, and tears off my bumper. 2) I am stopped at a stop light. The old lady behind me sees the arrow light turn green, thinks it is our light, and rams my bumper. 3) I am traveling down the free-way and slow to a stop with the rest of traffic. And old man does not slow down and rams my bumper. Four additional cars join our merry meeting, the last one traveling at about 65 mph.

Conclusion? Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but three times is enemy action! Old people have a vendetta with my bumper. Don't ask me why.

But although it's tempting to think that I should have stayed in bed to start with, I feel quite blessed that my only damage is a bumper and a stiff/sore back and neck. And seeing tiny little Permann with a basketball strapped to her front was definitely worth it anyway. She's going to be a great mom. :) Ah, heck, it's another story for the grandkids of someday, right?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Do this!


Mix roughly equal parts brown sugar and sour cream. Allow it to "come together" for about five minutes or so. Then dip your strawberries and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Big News

Well, folks here it is. We've been trying to get "in the family way" for almost as long as we've been married. But apparently, for all of you skeptics out there, there IS a Higher Power, and he has enough wisdom to refrain from cursing humanity with my genetic contributions (Do we seriously need more frizzy hair, adult onset acne and beakish noses? Exactly!). So the short of it is this: We've decided to adopt and we're pretty dang excited about it! But let me just show you what adoption looks like.
It's this:



Plus:



And we're only just getting started. Do you think that I'm supposed to learn patience? Seriously, I think that it has to be easier to grow a third arm. I might just try that theory out, race myself. Anyway, wish us luck!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ah, Weekends!

Last weekend we got to see almost all of Kris's family, gathered together in Twin Falls. It was a luxurious feast of family fun, painting, plumbing, other home repair, and reading to the nieces and nephews. Oh, and stalking them with our camera. This is one cute photo that Kris took:



Didn't I marry into an attractive family? I could easily post a whole wall of these cuties, but I'll only do one more:



This weekend, we planted flowers in our back yard and spent nearly all day Saturday in our garden. I love petunias. And peas. But I hate thinning beets--it's too sad!



We also had a pipe break in our basement...which lead to a midnight scramble to locate and shut off our water main. That was interesting. Fortunately we accomplished the feat and no major damage was done. But the best part was discovering a massive crawl space (hitherto unknown to us) adjacent to our bedroom. We call it the "torture chamber." It was a regular Goonies-style adventure. The crawl space looks just exactly like the picture below...but minus all of the lights, vaulted ceiling, water, etc. Oh, fine, they look nothing alike! But it gets your imagination going, doesn't it? Kris want's to go camping in our crawl space sometime...I think not.



Anyway, life is good. School is nearly out for summer and we're happy people.