A Post Even Though I Should Be Sleeping–

30 01 2009

It’s late and I’m tired, but I don’t want to go to bed. I haven’t watched television (besides Little Einsteins and Phineas and Ferb) for a couple of weeks, so I’m glutting on the Food Network (Good Eats “Olive Me” episode currently running) and doing random things on the computer. Random, like updating my blog.


I’ve been taking a photography class at a community college. Every Sunday, my brothers, parents, and I have a Family Chat. After almost everyone else left this last week, I told my one brother, El Jefe, about my class. El Jefe is a great photographer. If you don’t believe me, just look at these.

Actually, most of my brothers know more about photography than I do. Anyway, I was telling El Jefe about my assignment this last week, which was to take three to five pictures in manual mode.

All week long, I’d been taking photos, yanking the aperture and shutter speed clear one way or the other until I came to a happy (lucky) medium. I got a few good shots:


He’s watching tv.


This one was a little out-of-focus, but I love it–Colby’s walking and quite happy about it.


This is my favorite from this week. I wish I knew what I did so I could do it again.

So, El Jefe and I were chatting away, and I was bemoaning how thick my skull is when it comes to figuring out aperture and shutter speed. El Jefe gave me some tips, a few things to try to get used to manual mode. Then he said, “And don’t forget to use your meter!”

And I said, “What meter?”

And he said, “Your teacher wants you to take pictures in manual mode, and he didn’t teach you how to use your meter?”

Me: No.

El Jefe: That’s lame.

Friends out there in blogland, I have excellent news: you don’t have to memorize which apertures go with which shutter speeds in any given lighting condition.

[Insert sounds of angels singing.]

Here I thought in order to be able to use the manual setting on my camera I would have to know that (up there, right before the angels) in my brain. My brain is too full for all those numbers. But guess what! Your SLR camera will have a METER somewhere that will TELL you which aperture and shutter speed will work in your current condition.

[Insert angels singing again.]

I asked Stan the next day. “Did you know about the meter?”

He smirked and said, “Yeah. Didn’t you?”

So, I am apparently the last person on earth to find out about the camera meter. But that’s okay because NOW I KNOW.

And I will use this knowledge to take fantastic pictures. Or at least try to, and possibly come closer to achieving it.


Stay tuned for next week’s assignment: Use shutter speed to stop action or a panning motion to take a photo with appropriate blur.

(As opposed to inappropriate blur.) I need to focus on Alton Brown now; he’s telling me about making dips. There’s nothing I like more than a good cracker/chip dip. Good night!

Foggy, Kangry Days

27 01 2009

Last week (or was it the week before? I forget), we had several days of fog. I took these pictures in our backyard:


I’m not quite sure why it turned out so blue. I didn’t mess with the colors at all.


Kind of creepy, eh?


The reason I was outside at all in the awful, bone-chilling stuff was to launch a rocket Zack made using a book he got for Christmas entitled 501 Science Experiments.


He was using the goofy glasses from our dress-up box as safety goggles. Gives him a bit of a mad scientist look, don’t you think?


The rocket was built around a film canister (and I don’t have nearly as many of those around as I used to) where you half fill it with water and an antacid tablet. Aren’t Tums antacid tablets? Because it didn’t work. Zack was pretty disappointed, although I finally realized “antacid tablets” probably meant Alka-Seltzer. Let’s hope it works after I buy some Alka-Seltzer, since the film canister we found after much searching had an (ahem) unfortunate incident involving the disposal.


Rainbow coined a new word Sunday night when we were playing the Newspaper Game. We were thinking of animals, and she said, “Kangry!” We all started laughing, and she said, “Kangry is where you jump around and you’re angry.”

And then today, I had just changed Colby’s diaper and said, “He’s as fresh as a daisy.”

Rainbow apparently didn’t think that was the right phrase. “He’s as fresh as hair.”

Pause. “As hair?” I said. Another thoughtful pause.

“No, he’s as fresh as the inside of a refrigerator.”

Somehow, I don’t think that’s going to catch on (especially considering how unfresh my fridge is some days), but you never know.

Lastly, a word from Eden. “Mom, I love it how they made YMCA so easy to spell. It’s like this: Y-M-C-A.” That is pretty cool. Do you think they planned that?

New Blog Launch

26 01 2009

(The word “launch” makes it sound as though starting a blog is a big, important thing. Even though it isn’t, feel free to think so.)

I’ve started a new blog for book reviews and writing “stuff”–although right now there are only two reviews posted and not a lot of links. Still, it’s a start. Let me know what you think.


Apron Envy

25 01 2009

I know you were all pretty scared when you saw the picture of TSUPE. I am now redeeming myself because, frankly, I think Christina’s apron turned out great.


It’s cuter on, because the way the skirt is cut makes it flare just a little bit around the bottom. Also, it has darts, which will most probably be the death of me someday. Don’t you just love the rick-rack (I love just saying “rick-rack”) trimming the pockets? I thought that up myself.(Yes, I’m probably laying it on a little thick here, but you’ve got to admit: it’s a long climb up from TSUPE’s depth.)

I couldn’t get a picture of myself modeling Christina’s apron, but I talked Rainbow into it:


I made one for Christina’s daughter Ella so they could have some girl bonding time when the testosterone levels at their house get too high.

So—Happy Blog Contest, Christina! Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy the goods.

By popular demand–

23 01 2009

A picture of the picture.

You know. THE picture.


Even from a distance, you can tell something’s up.


Upon closer inspection . . . well, yeah. It’s still rather frightening.

A Bit of an Anniversary Story–

22 01 2009

Sunday was me and Stan’s (I know that’s not correct English, but I just had to include that nod to my hometown) anniversary. Twelve years.

That’s right. TWELVE YEARS.

It’s particularly amazing because there’s no way I’m old enough to have been married that long.

Actually, though, I am and we have been.

Because of some crazy goings-on last week (Pack Meeting, Stake Conference, special fireside) we decided to go ahead and celebrate on Thursday night. Several friends of ours had told us about The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant, and I’d been wanting to try it out for awhile, so that’s where we ended up.

Stan called ahead and got us a reservation. When we arrived, 15 minutes later than our reservation time, it was a full five minutes before anyone even acknowledged us, and that was basically to say, “Oh, I’m not the hostess. He’ll be right with you.”

Five minutes after that, he came and seated us. So far, I wasn’t exactly impressed with the service. When we got to our table, there was a gorgeous red rose in a classy arrangement.


What can I say? I’m a sucker for a red rose with waxflower and salal.

Anyway, here are a few more pictures of us fondueing—


They have hot plates right on the table, which reminded me of fondue growing up. We’d always put the electric fondue pot in the middle of the table, and the cord would stretch across to the plug. It’s truly amazing no one ever tripped on that and doused a sibling in boiling oil.


(Looking at this, I guess I do look old enough to have been married twelve years. Darn.)


This is the cheese course, my favorite part I think. After the cheese, we had salads (not fondued).


This is the meat course. Unlike meals in my youth, we cooked the meat in broth as opposed to oil. There was filet mignon, chicken, shrimp, and spinach ravioli. Surprisingly, I liked the ravioli the best. I think if I’m going to eat steak, I want it to be a steak, grilled and with a baked potato. I didn’t think it had much flavor this way. The chicken was good, though.


This is about half of our dessert plate–a chocolate fondue. That was . . . okay. I don’t know, but I expected it to be better. The experience was fun and different, but overall I’d have to say the food was . . . all right. Overpriced, certainly, but Stan’s company actually paid for it. (They don’t make it a habit of paying for our anniversary meals; I think it was guilt because Stan had worked through dinner most of the week. “Take your wife out to dinner,” his manager said. “Up to $100.” So, hey—we did.)

With the anniversary package, they take your picture and put it in a little sleeve, like Homecoming. We waited at the front desk for a few minutes, and then Stan said, “Let’s just go.”

“No, we are getting that picture,” I said. “We paid for it.” The host was really not my favorite person.

While we waited, Stan took a few pictures on our camera.


The point was to have us BOTH in the picture, you know, because it was our anniversary.

The host finally noticed us standing around, came forward and said, “Oh. Your picture. Right.”

He took one, deleted it, then took another.

We waited while he ducked into the office to print it. It felt like a long time.

He came out, handed me the picture, and said, “Have a nice night.”

I looked at the picture and almost started laughing out loud. Instead, I grabbed Stan’s arm, said, “Thanks,” over my shoulder, and walked out the door. Quickly. Because I really needed to laugh.

In the picture, Stan’s eyes were all funny. I realized right off that stemmed from some inexpert photo-shopping (forgive me, Adobe, for using “Photoshop” as a verb) to get rid of Stan’s red-eye.

It wasn’t until we got home, however, and Stan took a closer look at our beautiful anniversary photo that he discovered what at first appeared to be inept photo editing was actually a bit more primitive: ball point pen.

No kidding.

We don’t have an accessible scanner, or I would share it with you in all its glory.

I admit it had to be done. After all, it puts a bit of a damper on the anniversary when the husband looks possessed, doesn’t it?

(Also, in my rush to leave and laugh, I left my rose on the counter. Curses!)

Pictures of the Pillow

18 01 2009

Remember when I told you about TSUPE? Well, my brother posted some pictures on his blog, so I stole them so everybody could see.

Okay, just kidding. I guess I’m not technically savvy enough to poach pictures yet. So–here’s the link to his post, but it’s kind of like an entire year overview because they never update their blog. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll be able to see my sewing, um, unprowess.


See, now you’re not jealous of Christina at all, are you.

Random Photos

15 01 2009

Just a few photos from the last couple of weeks–


 Colby, eating his applesauce.


Check out those awesome spoon skillz–


I love those little crescent-moon eyes.


Zack + joke book = happiness


Ice cream imbibing takes lots of concentration.


Remember this post? Um, it’s apparently time for some new footie pajamas.


Rainbow is always willing to be my model.




15 01 2009

First of all, I want to again thank all of you for your kind comments. Comments, I realized, are a nice way to show love.

So are prayers. Thank you.

I dragged myself out of bed at six and exercised like I knew I needed to, I ate more protein (although the carb thing, well, didn’t actually happen), and I made sure I drank my milk. Turns out, taking care of myself really helped. (So did changing about eight [8!] light burned-out lightbulbs.)

As did this:


Ahh. We’re socked back in today, but the sun made a big difference.

I also talked with my mom on the phone and a sweet friend came to visit. So yesterday was a great day, and today has been really nice as well. I’m breathing and feeling alive.

It’s a nice feeling.

P.S. Nice try, Mrs. Olsen and Alias. I hate to disappoint you. Not pregnant. But that would explain the inexplicable life-force sucking going on around here . . .


15 01 2009

I just wanted to post a quick thank you for all your concerned comments and suggestions. I’m feeling much better, more like myself, both today and yesterday. It’s our busy morning today, but I’ll post more later.