Wednesday, April 30, 2008

All Right All Right All Right

This is it

And this is what it does most the time.

I hope you are all happy. I took those pictures myself, ah thank you.

Monday, April 28, 2008

15 Albums Everyone Should Own

I am writing this blog as a service to mankind. This is a list of 15 albums that no one should be without in their musical library (according to Emily of course and yes, Scout took a long nap today -see chicken and fries-). I was inspired to write this because I am working on downloading my entire cd collection to my itunes library and this is no small feat. I am coming across albums I haven't listened to or thought about in years. Chances are, if you aren't Radiohead, you've been largely ignored the last few years.
They are in no particular order, well maybe I'll list them alphabetically so there is no mistake- and they made the list either because they are so beautiful, or they are just so damn good.

****Before you pin me to the wall for not including I don't know, Licensed to Ill or something, you must keep some things in mind. This is not necessarily a list of MY favorite albums or the greatest ever (note that it doesn't include my all time fav, The Final Cut -not included because I am not sure it has what you might call "mass appeal"). You might call this a list of albums that it makes me actually sad to think everyone doesn't own a copy. So, after reading this, head to FYE or write me and I will burn you a copy, because we have some gems here guys.

#1. Abbey Road by the Beatles

A Classic. I picked this one (over the White Album, believe me it was a dog fight in my head) because it fit the criteria of what I was looking for in this list. From the first song to the last, you are one happy camper. No skipping around, no funny business, just one great song after another. I love the second side, all the songs kind of mesh and compliment each other.

#2. After the Gold Rush by Neil Young

Oh this album is such a treat, and I don't mean the Japanese version, which is the only picture I could find. It's only flaw is that it doesn't have Down By the River on it. (This album and Decade was another dog fight, but I was trying to steer away from "greatest hits" albums, a goal I had that got shot in the dust later). For all of you that think Neil Young has an unpleasing voice, listen to this album it is beautiful. He may not be Josh Groben, but his voice has a beauty all it's own.
For the record I don't like Josh Groben.

#3. The Bends by Radiohead

What can I say about the Bends? If this was the only album on this earth, I would still be happy. The first 2 songs are good, but with the start of the 3rd song I like to say that Emily's The Bends begins. It gives me pause it is so good and Jonny Greenwood's guitar playing in this album totally kicks my butt.

#4. Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkle
An essential for any great road trip. Roll down the windows in the middle of Iowa, turn it up, and sing every song at the top of your lungs. It will turn the worst mood into the best. This was the last album they recorded together and they were fighting the whole time, but man it has so many of the greats on it.

#5. Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

It's almost embarrassing to put this one on here, as it is such a cliche on every "best of" list out there. But it is on every one for a reason. It's a masterpiece. 'Nuff said.

#6. Greatest Hits Vol.II by Bob Dylan

Another "diamond in the rough" voice. You have to love Bob. I am sorry to say I only own compilation albums when it comes to Bob Dylan, so I can't really say if he has a album that is awesome start to finish. I am sure he does. This has all the greats: Tangled Up and Blue, Don't Think Twice, Subterranean Homesick Blues, etc.
Another must have for any road trip.

#7. Soundtrack to 'Immortal Beloved' by Beethoven
Besides this being a great Gary Oldman picture (is there any other kind?) this soundtrack is awesome. No one can deny that Beethoven is genus, this particular album provides you with excellent adaptations of his work. If you are looking for good old Beethoven, get this album, you will not be sorry, it is haunting and then totally exhilarating.

#8. The Best of Van Morrison

Another greatest of album, it's the only Van Morrison I own. I haven't felt the need to purchase any other after buying this one. This is the quintessential cd for cleaning the kitchen, (just don't dance too much or you wont get anything done). Van Morrison has a great voice and a catchy sound, very bluesy and soulful for an Irish lad. A must have, you can't help but like it.

#9. Unplugged in New York by Nirvana

This album is beautiful. If you need more endorsement, in high school we were listening to it in my friend Beth's kitchen and her grandma said, "that's pretty" and we are talking about a group that recorded "tourettes". This album was released some time after Kurt shot himself and a few tracks like "All Apologies" and "Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam" will just break your heart. They do a great rendition of a David Bowie song and some Meat Puppets.
*I was re-reading this blog this morning and need to add that this rendition of "Pennyroyal Tea" canmake you shed tears if you know Kurt well enough. Talk about heart breaking.

#10. OK Computer by Radiohead

The only band to have the honor of having two albums on my list (come on! Is anyone surprised?) This was my first introduction to Radiohead and I bought it while I was living in New York and I didn't just like it, it knocked me down and slapped me in the face. Perhaps you could call it a life changing experience. It has many times been given the honor of being compared to Dark Side of the Moon for being an album that is just pure genius (and Radiohead as the new generation's Pink Floyd) while I can see the comparisons, of course they stand on their own. The album gives the smackdown to all yuppies (when you hear Thom talk about piggies, which you will numerous times, he means yuppies) and the song Paranoid Android has some of the greatest lyrics I have ever heard. (opening with,"please could you stop the noise, I'm trying to get some rest from all the unborn chicken voices in my head" and "I may be paranoid, but I am NOT an android (what?)" and last but not least, "the panic, the vomit, the panic, the vomit, God loves his children, God loves his children yeah!" Classic. Thom, I love you.

#11. Pinkerton by Weezer

If you only know Weezer in passing, perhaps can dig "Buddy Holly" or "The Sweater Song" out of your memories of the 90's, look closer. This fairly obscure album is their second and hands down best effort. It hides in my cd collection until about once a year I find it, pop it in my car and am blown away at how much I love it. With each song that comes on I am like, "Oh yeah! This song is the best!" Nerd rock rules.

#12. The Otis Redding Story
With Otis Redding, I pretty much could put any album on here. I picked this one as it has 3 disks and just about every song he ever recorded. The 1st disk starts with "These Arms of Mine" and I don't know anyone that could hear that song and not just melt into a puddle. That man could have sung a banshee scream and it would have been gold. Just pick up any of his albums, it doesn't matter much, but if you don't have at least one of his in your collection, I will personally come over to your house and slap you in the face.

#13. Cat Steven's Greatest Hits

This is the only Cat Steven's album I own. I bought it when I was about 19 and was enchanted. Every song is just so good. It starts off with "Wild World" and ends with "Another Saturday Night" and has some surprises in between. Play this album while cleaning out the garage or going through boxes of old junk.

#14. When the Pawn........ by Fiona Apple

(The title of this cd is like a paragraph long).
Who knew when Fiona first appeared, that skinny writhing waif would turn out to be among the few women singers I would absolutely love? This album is just so incredibly good, one fantastic song after another. If you are sensitive to some swearing, I guess you can skip this one (there isn't a lot, but a little). A must have if you just got out of a bad relationship, if you are happily married like me, you imagine you have while listening and then when it is over, you are happy married person again and thankful for it (this girl is unlucky in love, and I am glad I'm not the person she's singing to). The song "Get Gone" should be every slighted women's theme song. The whole album is heavy on the piano which is always a great thing to me, and she produced it herself at like 19. Pretty cool.

#15. Wish by The Cure

This album is art. I wrestled with a lot of Cure cds trying to find my favorite start to finish and this is it (dog fight galore). The trouble with The Cure is that they have a habit of starting every cd with a fantastic intro song that is instrumental for 3 or 4 minutes at the very least and very pleasing to the ears, so it was hard to choose. For about a solid year I fell asleep to this album every night. The intro is a desperate plea from Robert and the album includes the classic "From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea" -that song kicks my butt. Some die hard Cure fans might string me up by my toenails for having it beat out albums such as "Faith" and "disintegration" but, you know what, I like those albums too, but this is my list! (Cure fans are a snobby lot, and oh so serious about their Cure albums. Trust me.)

Alright I've said my peace. What I would like is some feedback! Tell me what you think, pin me to the wall, disagree with me, and I'd love to know which of these albums you own too. Let me know if I grossly ignored an album I shouldn't have (I feel like I may have some blaring omissions here, I came up with this list in about 15-20 minutes, ok, truth time, this was originally a top ten, but things happen, and some albums can't be ignored). There are a lot of you out there that read without commenting. I know this from emails and texts and talking. That's fine, but don't be afraid to comment. If you don't want to open a google account, you can do it "B style" and publish under "anonymous" and sign your name. We all would like to hear everyone's opinions I think.


Chicken and fries became the tag line of the last Wyoming trip I took with my sisters. It was last month and I believe is now Scout's nickname from her Aunts' Sue and Cath. The phrase was yelled a lot for fun in the backseat as we headed in and out of Popeye's in Rock Springs. Is it just my family or does every trip have a running joke? We have a running joke in our family from a California trip running back at least 15 years..................."father of mysteries" which is probably best not explained to the whole world, we will just keep that in the family. Along with chicken and fries last trip, Scott became someone akin to Tony Soprano or The Godfather in my, Cath and Sue's heads to our own great amusement. I sure hope everyone's family is like that.

The reason I bring all this up (besides my random tangents) is that Scout talked of nothing else since 8:30 this morning then chicken and fries and root beer. So, even though tomorrow is the new day I get my car. Yeah, har har we have all heard this before, it still seems to be. Shhhhhhhhhhh..... don't jinx anything! So, even though we are possibly being mobile as of tomorrow, I figured we better walk ourselves to McDonald's for lunch. It's not too far, a few blocks further then Smith's, and it is a lovely day and also, Scout eats nothing, so when she shows great interest in any food, it is best to provide it, cause who knows when she will eat again.
Two funny things happened on this trip I had to share. First, on the way there, I was listening to my ipod and Scout would say things now and then, some I'd hear, some I could just say yeah and she was appeased. Midway there she was sure saying a lot of stuff and I finally decided it needed my attention I stopped the stroller and her little arms were flapping and I hear, "please mama please!". I walk around to her front and crouch and she said, "ladybug! ladybug!" I look and on her shirt front was a little ladybug and it was really freaking her out. I picked it up and it flew away much to her relief. She likes ladybugs, just not on her shirt. It reminded me of that old Calvin and Hobbes where Calvin is chasing a butterfly and then it lands on his arm and he screams. Anyway, it was just one of those times where you feel bad that you were ignoring your child. I hope she doesn't develop some ladybug phobia because she was forced to suffer the terror of riding 2 blocks with a ladybug on the attack. Something similar must have happened to her last spring but it involved a flying insect of some kind too close to her ears. This is the result of that:
This picture was taken today. It never fails if she is outside and hears or sees any sort of flying insect, she covers her ears and either runs in the house of goes about her business. The first time she did it, I went as far as calling the doctor thinking she had an ear infection, but I told them it only happened when she was outside. They told me to watch her and bring her in if it looked like she was in pain. It took a little sleuthing, but I finally figured out she was afraid of bugs flying in her ears. I like how if she happens to have some thing in her hand such as a baseball, she doesn't put it down, she just uses it to plug the hole.
The second thing was while we were eating lunch, she chose the seat, it was in the front and everyone had to walk past us to get in line to order. Scout was a baby kitty today and was standing up in the booth and every last person that came into McDonald's while we were there got meowed at as they walked by her. It was very funny for me to watch. Some people totally ignored her, some meowed back (much to her delight) and some smiled and waved. One very old lady waved at her after she got her meow and Scout said (very loudly), "mommy! That little guy said hi!" Oh, that was good stuff. I don't think the old lady noticed or heard, I couldn't stop giggling.
Alright, can you tell I am bored today?? Rob is working long hours lately and Scout's asleep. I swear, everyday I have this long mental list of things to do when or if Scout naps and when she does I am totally stunned and forget all those important things and walk around the house aimlessly not knowing what to do. So today I am writing a random fairly useless blog.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

3 Reasons Why I Have Recently Become a Chump

Reason #1--

I got a new haircut.

For years, I have had pretty much the most low maintenance hair-do available to women. I have worn it "pixie style" which means it is so short, there really is nothing you CAN do with it. Jump out of the shower, slather some pomade in it, and it's done and dry in minutes. If I let it grow a little long, I may have steeped to putting a bobby pin in it. If I let it grow a lot long, I was forced to put two pony tails in it to look presentable, a look I was forced to don for 2 solid months as I grew it out for my new haircut. Now---- I've had to dig out my hairdryer (yes, I do have one used only to blow up the air mattress and for company's use once or twice in the past 6 years or more). I also had to buy a CERAMIC HAIR STRAIGHTENER, a round brush, and clippys. I have seen these things used before and thought they looked complicated, but now I find myself needing to use them. I am telling you, it's not easy and I really, actually suck at using all these foreign objects.
So now I have to reserve some time to do my hair (like a chump) and "getting ready" means a whole lot more. More time, more cords all over my bathroom, more products, more chances for Scout to burn her curious fingers on the alligator chomper looking thing, and more clippys.

Reason #2--

No more DVR in my life

We moved out of our house and are living with my father in law until we find a new house. We subscribe to Dish and have a DVR (digital video recorder). We called them and put our account on hold until we move into our new house. Here, my father in law has Direct TV (Rob and I could write a whole other blog about the pros of Dish and the many cons of Direct TV, but I will spare you all). He is a "no frills" type of person and doesn't have any sort of DVR. Let me explain to all of you that have never had a DVR before (those that have, know exactly what my problem is): -I am going to interrupt here and say for the record that is not a frowny face, it's actual punctuation- ok, I stopped watching any tv in real time (the news now and then, but rarely, Rob and I would actually record the news and watch it a little delayed, shhh). If I happen to want to watch tv while a show I wanted to watch was on, I would more often then not, record it and watch some other show I had recorded previously -at least until the show had been on for 15 minutes or so, so I had a commercial buffer, very much like we watch the news. I know, I'm out of control- I (or some old man more like, could probably go off on a social commentary about "our now! generation" and so forth, but hey-I am what I am, and I like it and make no excuses!)

Now, if I want to watch tv (we only have one receiver here, so between living with 2 men who like basketball A LOT and a 2 year old that likes Noggin, believe me, watching tv is a rare event for me these days) I have to actually watch it when it comes on (and be home), and watch commercials (like a chump). I tip my hat to anyone that does watch tv and has no DVR and also has a 2 year old. I forgot how much they interrupt you while you are watching tv, that fact is easy to overlook when you have a pause and a rewind button at the ready. I also must tip my hat here to anyone who has no DVR and watches American Idol or Deal or No Deal. If a show isn't online, I most likely am not watching it at all, as I can pause, etc. on the laptop which brings us to...

Reason #3--

We are having a problem with our laptop.

Oh sigh, our laptop. For about 8 months now, the battery has been crap. It doesn't hold more then 10 minutes of juice. Rob has it under warranty at CompUSA, he took it in and they had it for a few weeks, then called him and told him they were going out of business and he better pick up the unfixed laptop before they close. So, ok, no problem, while we use it we just have to keep it plugged in. Well, a few months ago, the cord got a short in it and if anyone touches it, you would have to shake it and manipulate it until the little battery light goes off. Annoying, but, again, no problem, this just became a part of our everyday life and was accepted. Last week--PROBLEM. We could shake it and shake it and battery light just stayed on. Rob stripped the cord and fused it together and wrapped electrical tape around it. There was a beautiful moment where it worked and 10 minutes later.... hated battery light. Fused cord works no more. Perhaps we should be thankful our house didn't burn down from Rob's do it yourself electrical work, but it is hard to have perspective when your beloved laptop is sitting in the corner of the bedroom useless.
Here's the chump part. Once upon a time I could lie in my dungalees* in my bed and surf the internet or watch movies or online tv shows with my ipod noises**. Now, I am sitting in the living room, cold, my back hurts and so does my bum because of this hard chair. Believe you me, that is exactly where I would be right now while writing this blog. Notice the times of all my blogs are mainly late at night. After 9:00 is precious Emily time, Scout is asleep and then Rob is asleep and I am free to do what ever I want. I take full advantage of this time and am more often then not up until 1 or 2. At these hours, yes I am up, but that doesn't mean I want to be "up". Rob is a lightweight and likes his sleep. I am a night owl. We mesh well in this way because once he is asleep, he is out. I can be right next to him and type on the laptop, read with the lights blazing, laugh right out loud, etc. all in the comfort of my own bed next to My Favorite.

See!!! Total chump. What's next I ask you??

Scout Dictionary

*Dungalees: See Pajamas. This is Scout's word for jammies and it is just the best word Rob and I have ever heard and from the first time it came out of her mouth, became the only word any of us use when we refer to our night clothes.

**Noises: See earphones. That is just what Scout calls earphones. It is always delightful to witness what her little brain comes up with and how it works. It is related to her word for flashlights: darks.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Some great pictures from this week I had to share

I came home from work and found this little scene:


This is baby kangaroo in action, who says only the mommy kangaroos have pouches? For all you that are keeping track, the other day she tried to squeeze in and baby kangaroo it in my jeans, trust me, there is no where near enough room in there!

Today she woke up with a stuffy nose. She was convinced this would help:


Never underestimate the power of snoopy band aids to a 2 year old.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Super Happy Fun Day!

On Thursday, Scout and I had a super great day! We started off taking daddy to work, then we went shopping! I got 2 pairs of shoes and a pair of slacks - all on Riverside, it was time for cashing in on a little clothing allowance- a definite perk of my job, I would have bought more (and will soon), but that's all I liked that day. Then we went to the zoo and saw this gorilla:

We saw other stuff too, but we were mostly impressed by this guy that day. He was wandering around and posing for us.

A family stopped us to take their picture with this gorilla (they were all posing around him AS gorillas), they offered to take ours too. Scout and I opted to keep our dignity.

Then, we went to our friend Bruce's house (his mom and I (Emily) go way back) for all of you that don't know Bruce, this is him:

He and Scout get along famously, and the word is, things got a little bit lovey that day (mine and Emily's plan that they end up married someday is all falling into place *tapping our fingers together in a Mr. Burn's like fashion*) While Scout and Bruce (and little Annabell) played, mommy got her haircut! Yay! I have been growing it out forever and it was a very ugly process, so 1000 pony tails later, I now have a Jenny McCarthy bob. Sorry, I have no photo at this time, but I will take one when it is done properly or it isn't midnight as it is now). Then we picked daddy up at Thanksgiving Point (did I say work before? Plans changed last minute and he went golfing with his buddies.) I guess it was a super fun day for all.
We had to high tail it back to Orem as I had to work that night. That part isn't super fun, but hey, I take what I can get.

Make Scout famous!

Yeah, I'm a proud mom. I submitted these photos of Scout to Jones Soda to try to get her on a bottle of soda. They are doing a 10,000th photo contest and Matt saw a picture of Scout (neither of these) and said it was "Jones worthy" and it reminded me of these. I submitted them a year or two ago, but didn't have them in the proper pixels (or something) to be considered, so they didn't have a chance. I got my computer savvy brother in law Nathan, to help me this time, so we are go!
I will try the goat-feeding-Scout picture next time Matt! Her hands ARE great in that picture, it always makes me smile.
I added a link on the main blog page where you can click and it will take you to the voting page, if you are so inclined, go ahead and vote! As long as you vote = 10 ha ha!

Yes, this is shameless propaganda.

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Adventure!

We woke up this morning feeling adventurous. -I say we, but Scout actually woke up a little freaked out. She apparently had a dream that she and her daddy were outside and there was some sort of bee that hurt her arm. I think she is having a little trouble figuring out what dreams are and is confused. But that's another story-. Anyway, the day was gorgeous and could only be described as hot. I wanted to do something out there and Smiths or the park wasn't going to cut it this time, so I cooked up a plan that we would take.............. THE BUS!!!
The bus is not something I ever think of, for any of you readers out of state or country, Utah public transit is a pretty good system, but not utilized like it should be. You can find yourself the only one on the bus in the middle of the day sometimes. We are rural to a point and people like their big trucks. It's sad really. Anyway, I am not a total bus virgin, I used it quite regularly when I lived in New York, plus have gotten somewhat familiar with the bus and train systems in some major cities nationally and internationally. I even took the good old Utah buses for a while there when I was single and had crashed my car. The point is, it took me over a month to be trapped in a house without a car before it even entered my head. It entered, and I decided that a bus ride would be something akin to Disneyland for Scout. So I looked up a trip plan online and we were out the door by noon.
I was right! Scout thought she had died and gone to heaven. She was so excited, she climbed on the bus chose us a seat and was just delighted. Until, we had to transfer buses and when we went to get on the second bus she took one look at the driver and headed for the hills. He looked like Santa Claus on crack and most of us know Scout's issues about Santa. I chased her with a stroller and a back pack in tow and hauled her on, and she hid the whole way to our stop. Poor thing, he wasn't amused either, I think he knew he scared her and he must have needed more crack. Well, we got over that, arrived at our destination (Joann's Fabrics) we needed (I needed) some more art supplies. Scout got a butterfly to paint and we wandered around the store for a while looking at all the neat stuff. Then we left and walked to Rumbi's Island Grill. I've never been there and it was yummy! It could have used some more authentic island noodles (they were obviously just spaghetti noodles) but it was all very good and Scout was delighted to eat outside. We walked back to the bus stop and rode home. Scout was getting a little cranky at this time, she was hot and wanted to go home and was still looking over her shoulder for that crazy Santa man.
It was fun and felt like a special little day for us (I know that may sound ludicrous, but it's true!) We were out of our element and had some special little moments that never would have happened if I had a car. It was just fun to be together and have a little adventure.

on the bus (sorry it's dark!)

at the bus stop (pre-crack Santa)

Umm... Rumbi's

You see this face in a few photos? She is literally saying cheese.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Shades of Sarah


We went to the park yesterday and Scout rode her little Pooh car there and I couldn't help but to be reminded of her cousin Sarah. Sarah had a little car not unlike Scout's but it was a big shoe. She loved that thing so much and was an expert at handling it. She rode around next to her sister Haley (who was riding a trike or something) and that girl could go!

Her little legs would just be in tune with the cement as she would glide that thing down the sidewalk. Scout was handling hers in the same manner and it was just cute to me. I wish I had a picture of Sarah on hers so we could contrast and compare, but I don't (maybe I can talk Amy into sending me one).

I would like to tell you that there was a happy ending for Sarah's car, but it's a tragic one. It went missing one day and was later found smashed to bits in a neighboring yard. The victim of some unknown, unfortunate incident. Alas, such is life.


We had fun at the park by the way.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yummy Homemade bread

I have been making homemade wheat bread for the past few weeks (I know, I'm Donna Reed), I thought I should share the recipe since it has just been so yummy. It's chewy not crumbly like all the other breads I have made and that makes me happy. It has a few ingredients I didn't have on hand (one I had never heard of) but I found them easily at Smiths. These are the questionable ingredients:

The vital wheat gluten was kind of expensive ($6.29), but the recipe is for 3 loaves and it only calls for 1/2 a cup, so that bag will last a long time and it's worth it, I think that is what gives it it's chewiness.
I got this recipe from "" by the way

Westrup Whole Wheat Bread

1 1/2 T. active dry yeast (that's 2 envelopes)
2 3/4 C. warm water
3 C. whole wheat flour
5 C. bread flour, divided
1 C. wheat bran
1 C. wheat germ
1/2 C. vital wheat gluten
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 C. dry non-fat milk powder
2 T. sesame seeds (I've actually never added these. It sounds weird.)
1 T. salt (I make it a heaping, it improves the flavor)
1/4 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs
I add a 1/4 to 1/3 C. of honey too (We like it sweeter- you can do whatever you want)

1. In a small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 mins.

2. In a large mixing bowl (I use my kitchen aid) combine the whole wheat flour, wheat bran 3 C. of the bread flour, wheat germ, milk powder, brown sugar, wheat gluten, sesame seeds, and salt; stir well. Mix in the yeast mixture, oil and eggs.

3.Add the remaining bread flour, a half cup at a time stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, start kneading it until it's smooth and elastic. About 8 minutes. (Ok, the first time I did this, I used my Kitchen Aid kneading hook (I may be Donna Reed, but I am not a pioneer), and about a minute and a half my mixer was REALLY STRUGGLING! Then it started to smell bad, so I turned it off and finished kneading by hand. The dough is very tough! I recommend just kneading it by hand. You can skip your bicep workout for the day. I say that like I actually work out my biceps! Or anything else for that matter)

4.Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about an hour.

5.Deflate the dough and turn it out onto the counter and divide into 3 equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into three lightly greased bread pans. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume about 40 minutes. (I let mine rise longer, it makes the bread less dense.

6. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

7. Slice it right away and eat it with lots of honey butter.

I added the last step myself, but it is as important as all the other steps. The first time I made this, I tried to half it and it worked fine, but the bread was gone very fast. I have since just made the full recipe and the other two loaves freeze well, so it's worked out great. Bread is like pie, if you are taking the trouble to make one, you may as well make a lot and freeze!


Here is today's handy work

peace out

Problem Solved

So if I end up not being able to have any more children, it won't be so tragic. I'll just have these two.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Confessions of a Guitar Hero Nerd

GH nerd book
This is my notebook where I write down all my scores when I play Guitar Hero. I was getting frustrated because the game doesn't record your longest note streak for any given song and I like to know when I have beaten my old streak. I also write down my high scores. I have it broken down by song (separate pages for hard and expert scores) and separate sections for GH's I, II, III and Rocks the 80's. The only other person who knew about this notebook until now is Rob and he finds it very, very funny* I am coming clean now because recently something crazy happened with our memory card and it erased itself. Well, I happen to have a record of all my old scores la la la la la la. Who's laughing now? Probably everyone (including Rob).
*see: nerdy

The Artful Dodger

Yesterday was one of those trying days. You know those days where the kid doesn't sleep well, therefore mom didn't either. This is bad because you are now both short on sleep which equals short patience and lots of crying (her, not me- although I could have). The past 6 months or so, the vast majority of her naps have started while in the car, and I have come to rely on that method and it worked like a dream until we found ourselves carless. Now, naps are few and far between, unless we happen to have a car and then she is out like a light. Yesterday was a no car day, so despite her major sleep deprivation, it was also a no nap day. Not cool on such a day.
Well later in the afternoon, I got out a little project to work on hoping Scout would leave me alone and watch tv. It sort of worked, but this project involved FABRIC markers as seen in Exhibit A:


I let her sit down and color but the rule was if she wanted to color, it had to be next to mommy, but if she wanted to watch "Go Diego Go" she needed to leave the markers with mommy. She was in and out and ended up being out for a while. When she came back she sat under the kitchen table for a while and when I finally noticed her fully, I caught her scribbling with exhibit A under the table. I took it away, got out a rag and some 409 (I have come to the conclusion that one of 409's ingredients is magic). If you can't get something out or off, try 409. We mostly got it off, and Scout got a lecture about drawing on things other then paper, a well worn lecture in our household. I got the table mostly clean (doesn't matter too much as it was the underside). She felt bad and cried and gave her a hug and some Ritz and put her on the couch to watch Diego. Feeling pretty good about things, I laughed with her a little and turned to go back to my project, and that is when I noticed it. Big black scribbles ALL OVER the cushion of the other couch. Let me explain something. First, it was this couch:
our couch

Which, to start off is the most expensive furniture purchase (by quite a bit) we have made to date. Secondly, it is our favorite, most comfortable couch. Many of you readers have sat on or even slept on this couch and we have a lot of family that "calls" it when they sleep over. Even though we have a queen size guest bed, another couch, and a futon.
Ok, back to the story. Black, fabric marker generously scribbled over one of the cushions. I literally did a blood curdling scream. I was shocked. I immediately filled a bowl with hot soapy water, got a rag and my precious 409. I ran back in, watched by a very nervous Scout (I didn't have time to deal with her yet) and began spraying. Our minds are funny. I was suddenly thinking of what we can do to rectify this. My options were,
1)unzipping it and taking it tearfully to a dry cleaners, hoping there was a chance.
2) calling the factory and seeing if they could send us just one cushion replacement
all the while scheming very Lucy like that one of these options could be carried out before Rob got home from working that day or noticed the absent cushion (you see, earlier this week Scout scribbled with a ball point pen all over our computer monitor on my watch -windex didn't touch it, 409 cleaned it right off) Rob was the one that discovered it.
I didn't get much further with my list when, miracle of miracles, it was coming right off. I couldn't believe it, it all came out without a trace. Sorry I have no exhibit B, I was in no frame of mind to take a picture of Scout's handy work and now it's gone forever. I'm sure you can imagine it though. Scout got a MAJOR sit down lecture and is not allowed to use markers even in mommy's presence until she is at least 18. Rob came home shortly thereafter and I told him the story. I got my own mini lecture which I was fully expecting, I suppose I deserved it, but man! She is sneaky!!
So anyway, crisis averted with none of the I Love Lucy stunts that were starting to form in my head (picture a sheet over the couch for 4 to 6 weeks for a very "believable reason" while the factory is busy at work crafting us a new one with Rob none the wiser). I shall endlessly sing the praises of 409 and micro-fiber.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I am mommy gorilla

Scout spends little of her time these days as Scout. I spend an equal amount of time being all sorts of characters. She is baby kitty, so I am mommy kitty. I have to address her as so and add a meow or two into my sentences. She does her best to talk in all meows, but if she finds it is absolutely necessary to speak, she talks in this super sweet quiet voice that just delights Rob and I.
One experience of note was when she was baby kangaroo and tried to crawl into the front of my pajama pants (they are fairly baggy so she was successful for a minute or two until I kicked her out). I probably find myself as "diswald" the most. That would be Oswald, the big blue octopus depicted below

She is "wienie girl" that little hotdog dog, Rob is Henry, his penguin friend, and if grandpa is around he gets the honor of being daisy, which is just what it sounds like: a big, walking, talking flower. If we are really lucky, Scout (as wienie), on all fours, waggles her little bum in the air trying to do doggie tricks with an imaginary ball of string.

When she wears her Adidas's she is her cousin Kyle and therefore, I turn into mommy Ne-Ne. When she wears jeans and this navy blue tee shirt, she is "Burger" (her cousin Booker), and you guessed it, I am mama Cath. Sometimes she just mixes it up a little and I am the baby and she is the mama. She is a very solicitous and caring mommy. I love it when she reads me books, my favorite is "Stinky Stunk" aka "I Love You, Stinky Face."
Rob and I like it when we are the gorilla family just because we are in love with the way she says gorilla. We are glad she has an active imagination and that she doesn't spend all her time being a princess or something, we prefer gorillas around here.

(Not that there is anything wrong with the little girls that are always princesses, they are cute too, this way is just much more exciting.)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Oh my poor little monkey

So, the day I decide to start my blog, this happened.

(Don't worry, she isn't dead - ugg! Is it just me or do these look like postmortem photographs?- , I just couldn't take the picture until she was asleep because she, well really, need I explain?)

We are currently living with one car since my brakes went grindey and we are getting a new car in about 2 weeks. Rob is busy as can be, so if Scout and I want to leave the house, we are hoofing it. When the weather cooperates *shaking my fist at the sky* we walk to the park or the grocery store. Today, we did both. Smith's is about 10 blocks away, and the weather has been terrible, but today at least the sun was shining. It was fairly windy and not terribly warm, so Scout was bundled up in a blanket.
We did all our little things without incident, but about a block from the house Scout's blanket got caught under the wheel of the stroller and the whole baby bundle was catapulted onto the cement. The poor little thing had no defenses since she was bound, so it was face plant city. She cried very hard the rest of the way home and I just felt awful. Oh, I felt so bad. Luckily, she bucked up very quickly with promises of Nemo band-aids (excuse me, bah-bades) and a little Wow Wow Wubbsy.
I wasn't as fortunate. I kept replaying the sound of head conking cement and I worried about head injuries. About an hour after the incident, she asked for what sounded like "pretzels" (a favorite snack of hers), so I hurriedly got her a bowl, eager to please, and she was upset. She kept saying it and I kept telling her that they were right there and she kept turning them down and saying "No! Pretzels!". Finally she got up and said they were downstairs and at this point, I am starting to imagine the swelling happening in my little monkey's head that is causing this confusion. She took me downstairs and showed me the box where her "pencils" are. She just wanted to draw. My monkey will be fine.

Jumping on the bandwagon

Well, it was time. I knew it would happen eventually. I STINK at journal writing (by stink I mean it's been about 8 years since I wrote anything down in a journal), I do like to write though- so like I said. It was time. Get ready for some unimportant events in the lives of some very important people (to me).


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