Monday, August 31, 2009

Life Lesson #1

Today is the first day of the rest of my real life.  

My hub went off to the first day of his new job today and my kids went off to school so I am now officially a SAHM, (that's stay-at-home-mom, for the acronym impaired) which, if you're dyslexic, means I'm a SHAM. 

Either way, I have goals.  On the side.  My first priority, of course, is to be the family transition manager, but when no one is looking I'm going to follow my grail, which means I'm going to be a writer.  

That's right, I said it!!!  I'M GOING TO BE A WRITER!  I've wanted to be a writer since I was nine years old.  

I never wanted to be a teacher.  I only did it because they asked me too and I didn't want to be rude.   

But I'm not going to teach anymore, I'm going to do!   

Unless I can be both a teacher and a writer.  Perhaps instead of being a teacher that writes, I can be a writer that teaches.  

Are you guys ready for your first life lesson? 

LIFE LESSON #1:  How to teach your daughter-in-law patience. 

Step 1:  Take your son, your DIL and their children to The Golden Corral for lunch. Make sure you treat because you will need a captive audience for the entire 98 minutes or so it will take to teach this lesson. 

Step 2:  Eat very very slowly and whatever you do, don't even think about starting dessert until everyone at the table has stuffed themselves silly and are anxious to roll out the door.  

Step 3:  While you're eating slowly, say things like "We have all the time in the world!" If you feel even the slightest resistance from your DIL or her children put on your best drug dealer face and repeat "Are you sure you don't want more stuff?" over and over.  Follow up by saying "I can get you more stuff.  Good stuff.  Free stuff.  And plenty of it." 

Step 4:  When you see everyone's eyes roll into the back of their heads grab your plate and announce that you're ready for dessert.  But wait!  Don't go yet.  First tell everyone a story about bread pudding.  Don't be afraid to make some noise while you're at it--preferably What-About-Bob noise--to illustrate how much you LUB bread pudding. 

Step 5:  Secure your dessert and return to the table.  Make sure there is plenty on your plate--German chocolate cake, peanut butter drops, raisin cookies, swirly ice cream, gum drops, the works--enough to last at least 30 minutes if you savor it.  

Step 6: Savor it.  Each and every bite.  And take lots of breaks in between bites.  The kind of breaks where you put your fork down and talk story.  Tell the story about the missionary who went to Samoa and witnessed all those miracles, only pronounce it maracles.  (Don't lose sight of the big picture here, your objective is to teach your DIL patience.)   

Step 7: Make sure you eat everything on your dessert plate, except one teensy tiny bite of German chocolate cake.  Gently, but firmly put your fork down once again, and heed not the fact that your grandchildren are racing plates across the table and mouthing the words "I have HOMEWORK" behind your back.  This would be a great time to share some family history so your grandchildren feel the importance of being duct taped to you for eternity. 

Step 8: After you eat your final bite, your DIL will rise to leave, but don't let her dictate the agenda.  Remember this is YOUR lunch date.  Stay seated for at least 5 minutes more and pretend you just thought of an important question about your son's high school gym teacher. By this time your DIL will be rocking back and forth on her heels.  Ask her politely if she has to go to the bathroom. 

Step 9:  As soon as you rise to leave your DIL will begin to take baby steps towards the front door.  If SHE is taking baby steps, YOU take premie baby steps--anything to make her look like she's rushing you.  

Step 10:  When you exit the building your son will be beside you because you taught him patience a long time ago, but your daughter-in-law and her children will be waiting for you outside the front door.   You may now begin your first round of goodbye hugs and kisses, taking careful note of who doesn't thank you properly for lunch.  However, before anyone has a chance to depart, quickly begin another conversation. "Oh, do you remember so-and-so?" you could say.  "I met him in Albertson's the other day and he really talked my ear off."  Don't be afraid to recap all the things so-and-so said to you.  By this time you should be ready for round two of hugs and kisses.  

Step 11:  Just as it looks like your daughter-in-law is turning to leave, announce that you have brought them some bean soup you made from the left over reunion ham 5 weeks ago.  If your DIL hesitates say, "are you in a rush, honey?"  If she snaps back, "NO, I'm just BORED! And beans give me gas!"  you know for certain that you still have a lot to teach her about patience.  

(But if it's any consolation, you now have one more thing to complain about behind her back.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Crash Test Dummy goes to church . . .

In Utah. 

Let me preface this post by saying, I think I'm in lub.  The jury is still out, but everyone was uber nice.  I'm sure it helps that my sister is the primary president in the ward and everyone thinks we're twins, even though I'm a primary virgin and I would have a stroke if I ever had a calling in the primary.  KNOCK ON WOOD! 

(Longest day of my life was when I substituted Sunbeams.)

The coolest thing about my new ward is the lighting on the stand.  It was incredible.  I know I would never have to get plastic surgery in this ward because the lighting on the stand is so flattering.   I can't wait to speak in church because I know I'll look like a movie star at the pulpit.  Seriously.  And I'll sound like a rock star too because the sound system and the acoustics are that good.   

The second coolest thing is the rock wall behind the stand.  Visions of repelling off that wall dance in your head during Sacrament meeting, and you can make those visions a reality once Sunday school begins because not a creature is stirring in the hallways during meetings.  You have the whole chapel to yourself.

But I finally discovered the one place that people are not fully dressed in Utah.  Sacrament meeting. Don't get me wrong, they have plenty of clothes on, but nobody wears their smiles to sacrament meeting.  In fact I was the only one smiling.  And laughing, for that matter.  People take their sacrament meeting very seriously here, but I couldn't stop laughing.  I told my hub that they must pump laughing gas through the air vents because I was giggling like a little girl through the whole meeting.  

My hub disagreed.  He said they pump sleeping gas. 

"Or lobotomy gas," I whispered before bursting into another fit of giggles.  

"Ba dum bum," he said.  

That's why I could never be a bishop.  I wouldn't be able to master that stoic face on the stand if I was a bishop.  I'd be busting a gut when the speakers said things like "you know you have the spirit if you feel like you're being suffocated by a pillow." 

Can you see why I couldn't keep a straight face?  Seriously!  What if you feel the spirit really strong and really long?  Would you kick the bucket from an overdose of the spirit?  

Inquiring minds want to know. 

I giggled again when the 2nd speaker stood up and said "My topic today is moving on with our lives." 

Maybe it was her deadpan delivery that made me think she was joking, but then I realized her delivery had nothing to do with it, she was just deadpan.  And moving on with our lives was just code for my topic today is faith.   

Alls I know is that if I was given such a cool topic I would have done a lip sync to that Eagles song, GET OVER IT!   

The funniest part of the meeting happened when the 3rd speaker stood up and said "Good Morning, brothers and sisters."

My daughter and I automatically, instantaneously and recklessly shouted out, "GOOD MORNING!"

Imagine our surprise when we realized that in Utah you don't talk back in church.  In Hawaii when someone stands at the pulpit and greets you, it's not rhetorical.  You are expected to speak when spoken to.  

Half of our new ward got whiplash, bless their hearts, trying to give us stink eye. 

But it was worth it.  You know your daughter finally takes your blog seriously when she leans over and says, "You sooooo have to blog this." 

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Aloha ya'll

That's what my best friend from Kentucky always said (until we went to Jerusalem together and she started saying shalom ya'll.) 

I still have a tummy ache, but it's not from the Crunch Berries, it's from the shopping. I've been trying some non-stop shop-till-you-drop shock-n-awe therapy.  It's all the rage right now for those of us diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome.

It worked.  For a while.  Until I got a little carried away with the shop-till-you-drop part and my hub got a little carried away with the shock-n-awe part.

Needless to say, my dream within a dream is still my reality, but all that shopping helped me embrace the fact that life is just a big matrix anyway so Carpe Diem! Viva la Vida! JUST DO IT! 

(That's what she said.) 

You guys thought I forgot about that line, didn't you?   Hee hee.   You didn't think I knew how to use that line in context, did you?   

If there's one thing I know, it's my Office.  Especially now that I have a bazillion channels.  (I also know my Beverly Hillbillies and my I Love Lucy and my Brady Bunch.)

So do you guys want to see what I bought during my therapy?

K, close your eyeballs. 

I bought a red spatula to go with my wire whisks.  

I also bought a red pencil sharpener.  An electric one for speed and efficiency.  All things I don't really need, but my therapist says this is my way of expressing my resentment over not being able to have a set of red front loaders.

Forks.  And spoons.  And butter knives.  I didn't need them because, as you can see, I have plenty of plastic forks, but hey, that's why it's called therapy.  

I also got some cute things: 

Is that the most adorable Brother Bear welcome mat ever?  I'm going to program my doorbell to play Welcome to the Family

And how adorable is this runner?  (And notice my cupboards are RED!) 

I LUB resentment. 

We also bought a trampoline.  Our very first one ever!  I am proud to say that we are no longer forty year old tramp virgins.  

Here we are losing our tramp virginity:

Our nephew, Chase, helped because he was a tramp virgin too.

That's not the only first this week. 

My thirteen-year-old son mowed the lawn.  


He MOWED the LAWN!  

Notice I didn't add a ba dum bum?  We cut our grass with a weed wacker in Hawaii so . . . enough said.

Lastly, here's one more first--photographic evidence of my twin's pack meeting in our new ward: 

Not bad as dreams go, eh?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pinch me

I didn't blog today because I had a tummy ache.  

I never have tummy aches.  


I think it's all those Cap'n Crunch Berries. 

My hub says maybe it's stress.  

"Whateva," I told him. "What do I have to be stressed about? It's not like anything life altering has happened to me lately."  

I also didn't blog today because I had a crazy dream last night where I was rushing around packing and cleaning because I was moving.   To Utah.  It was the kind of dream that feels so real that when you wake up your pillow is wet and your eyes are sweaty.    

It was also the kind of dream where you wake up . . . but you don't . . .  you only think you did. You know the kind where somewhere in the back of your mind you know you're asleep and if you concentrate hard enough you know you'll be able to wake yourself up. 

In the dream my kids were getting ready for school, only it wasn't their school it was some school in Utah.  And my hub was there trying read scriptures to us, only it wasn't my hub because my hub never tries to read scriptures to us.  And I was making spaghetti with  a wire whisk because I didn't have a spatula.  And then my daughter said it tasted like POOH! She never says my spaghetti tastes like POOH!  

In my dream I kept looking around and saying This is not my life!  What happened to my life?

And then my next door neighbor Martha called and said she had ordered me some more magic pants from  

I took a deep breath and thought THIS is my life.  All is well.

Mahalo for pinching me awake, Martha.  Maybe I'll be able to blog tomorrow.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bare Naked Sanity (and a little help from your (kid's) friends)

Yesterday I went to my daughter's high school with a bare naked face. It didn't even cross my mind that I might be breaking the modbe code, but, oh my goodness, it was full facial nudity. 

I felt like a stripper walking down the high-school-musical-hallway because everyone else's faces were fully dressed, (all the way down to their smiles).  

(Am I making Utah out to be too . . . Disney?)

BTW, Did you know that at Disneyland if you fall off a ride, the ambulance arrives through the back gate dressed as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, puts his siren on mute, then tip-toes you to an underground hospital where he puts a gun to your head until you sign your name in blood that you fell on purpose.

I have no idea why I told you that story.  It's pretty much top secret.   (If I'm not back here tomorrow I've probably been "silenced" by the lambs.) 

J/K, everyone!  No one falls off the rides at Disneyland. 

NOW would be a good time to smack me!  


I hope I'm not giving the impression that I don't enjoy living in Utah. It's pretty much bee-U-tiful right now. And the weather is purrrfect. There is already that faint hint of nip in the air.

In the mornings, after my kids leave for school I stretch out across my bed and stare out my newly windex'd sliding glass doors watching the trees turning burnt amber and thanking Gad that I'm not sweating myself silly.  

Despite all the things I miss about Hawaii there are SO many things I don't miss.  Like the cockroaches.  And their poop.  

Pardon moi.  I mean, their droppings.  

I don't miss the gecko droppings either. 

And I don't miss my afro. 

Surprisingly I don't miss my warped, gray particle-board cupboards either. 

And It's so fun to be able to scream at my kids above a whisper because none of the neighbors can hear me. 

For the record, my sister's vacant house pretty much ROCKS!  It's just like a playground. 

There's this thing on her fridge door that you can put your cup under and when you push it water comes out.  And if you switch it real fast, all this ice comes out in itty bitty pieces.  And then you can switch it back again and you get more water.  

It's awesome!

And my darling sister brought some rolling desk chairs over so my boys could fling themselves across the empty wood floors until my head explodes.  

And my bro-in-law brought some super slick sleeping bags over so my boys could practice sledding down the stairs until their heads explode. 

I was going to say it's like living at Disneyland, but I hate to over-kill a simile.

Plus you don't have to eat salad with a plastic spoon at Disneyland.  

If my life were a soda right now I would call it Life Light.  Diet Life.  Life Zero.  It's crisp and clean, w/no caffeine.  

If you don't mind eating salad with a spoon, it's downright carefree. What you realize is that you actually can get by with a little help from your friends (and family) and you begin to feel sorry for the poor shmucks who are burdened with all those couches and chairs to sit on. 

Surprisingly it's not the big things you miss, it's the little things.  Like rubber bands and pencil sharpeners.  Like bowls and spatulas.   

Like your kids friends . . . 

And their sanity . . .

In fact, you almost miss their sanity more than you miss your own.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gad is watching us . . .

A new temple was dedicated yesterday so the whole state of Utah got a day off of church.

My hub and I woke up and smiled.

Then we went back to sleep.

Then we woke up again, ate some Cap'n Crunch Berries and went for a walk around the neighborhood.

It was eerily quiet.
Actually, to say it was eerily quiet is an understatement. It was more like a ghost town--not a creature was stirring, not even a house.

Not even a car.

We checked our watches--9:30 a.m.

"Maybe everyone is at the temple dedication," my hub said.

"Why would they be?" I said. "There's no church. Shouldn't they be out dancing in the streets?"

Just then a streak of lightening split the sky and the clouds opened and the rain began to descend upon us like tiny drops of correction tape.

At first we were unafeared, but within minutes we were drenched in white out and we began to tremble.

"Do you ever feel like Gad is watching us?" I said.

"From a distance?" my hub said.

"No, from close up," I replied. "Like maybe Gad lives right here in Utah."

A thoughtful silence spread between us as we stood under a tree waiting for the rain to stop.

"Wasn't The Truman Show filmed here?" My hub finally said. "And Bruce Almighty?"

"And isn't Jim Carrey a Mormon?" I added.

More thoughtful silence.

It wasn't the first time I sensed an all-seeing eye watching us since I've been back in Utah.
There was that morning I walked my twins to school on their first day. The crossing guard was wearing corky wedges.

What crossing guard would wear corky wedges unless Gad was watching?

And everyone I passed was holding their child's hand and saying enthusiastically, "Today is going to be a GRRRRReat day!"

Who would say that to their child on the first day of school unless Gad was watching?

I would have said, "Today is going to be a GRRRReat day with a capital GRRRR!"

And then my kids would have said, "Ba dum bum" under their breath.

But then Gad doesn't live in Hawaii, so . . .

When the R.S. Presidency came over to welcome me to the ward, I made the mistake of saying "High five, sistahs! I bet you're pumped there's no church on Sunday."

Their eyes fluttered to the sky for a split second before swearing up and down that they enjoy their callings immensely.

You guys are probably thinking I'm easily spooked, huh? Paranoid, right?

Well get this . . . later that day we decided to roll the dice and go for another sabbath-day walk.

We only got as far as our chapel when the sky opened up again and James Earl Jones spoke to us across the universe.

"Simba, you have forgotten who you are!" he boomed.

And then I swear on my copy of Twilight we heard someone whisper "cue the rain."

Within minutes we were dripping in white out again.

And I was whispering "Ba dum bum!" under my breath.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

All is well in Zion

My hub has now arrived on planet Utah so all is well in Zion.  

And I am now the proud owner of one of the greatest inventions known to man. OMGOSH you guys, write this down.  It's called a DVR.  You should all try it!!!! With the touch of a button you can record every episode of the Office.  NO VHS TAPE necessary!!  It's that easy.   No more ditching out of pack meetings because you forgot to press record.  No more arguing with your hub about whose turn it is to get out of bed and fast forward through the commercials because you can't find your remote. And no more taping over your wedding highlight video. 

It's tremendous!  

And I never say tremendous. 

I am also the proud owner of a bazillion channels.  

Nani nani boo boo BYU-H.  

Oooh, that sounded ungrateful.  I take that back BYU-H.  I lub you BYU-H.  I miss you BYU-H. (Most of you.)  

I miss you so much that I had to console myself by watching MASH last night.  

MASH!!!!  Do you know how long it's been since I watched MASH?  I bet I can watch Cheers too, if I want.  It's a good thing I'm not working yet so I'll have more quality time to spend with my new channels and my new DVR.

So last night my hub and I went shopping together.  At Maceys.  

Oh my gad, don't ever ever ever take your hub shopping at Maceys on a Saturday night. Especially if he just barely landed on planet Utah.  Break him in easy, for goodness sake.  

First of all, the shopping carts are gigantic race cars and fire trucks and everyone is Nascar-racing around the store trying to see who can get their food storage first.  

HOLY FOOD STORAGE, BATMAN!  Utah is the place to be if there is an emergency.   Don't tell anyone I told you this, but my RS Presidency dropped by and brought me some food storage to welcome me into the ward.  A plate of brownies would have sufficed, but if there is an earthquake tonight at least I will have some salt and honey to keep my kids alive for a few extra days.  

After we run out of salt and honey I'm going to camp out at Macey's (since it's just down the street) and eat from their 40 gallon tubs of green split peas and hard red wheat and black turtle beans. 


FYI, BTW, my Gigi just took me out to lunch at Chuck-a-rama last week and she pulled me over to the black turtle beans and kept tugging at me until my face and her face were pressed up against the glass above them.   And then her voice got really low and quiet-like, as if what she was about to say was top secret. 

"Those beans'll kill ya," she said.  "If they're not cooked.   They're poison, I tell ya!"

So thankful for my Gigi.  I would hate to be killed by a dry black turtle bean.

But that's neither here nor there.  Let's talk more about Maceys.  I kid not!  The whole store is filled with food storage.  It's like walking into a bomb shelter.  A bomb shelter with a race track.  I saw a man at Macey's with his fire truck cart filled all the way to the top with cans of Simply Supreme Kandy Kane hot chocolate.  My hub said it gave him the heebie-jeebies, but I felt sorry for the guy.  I mean it's Saturday night and the poor guy is O.D. ing on misspelled hot chocolate. He needs a porn addiction or something.  

I didn't get the heebie-jeebies until I laid eyes upon a lady licking a 40 lb ice cream cone.  I pinky promise, if I had some photographic evidence, your jaw would hit the floor (and so would your apple bottom jeans and your boots with the fur)  It was so big that my hub honest-to-pete said "Is that even legal?"  

So no one won the $30,000 yesterday for my blogaversary.   I was 7 hits short of 30,000.  I feel like a big fat failure.  

Jami, you couldn't have hit me 7 more times???? 

Oh well, maybe I'll be more pop-U-lar next year.  

Before I close this post I need to make a public apology for my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad communication skillz over the past month or more.  If you've emailed me and I haven't emailed back yet, MY APOLOGIES.  If you've called me and I haven't called back yet, MY APOLOGIES.  If you've commented in my comment box and I haven't comment back yet, MY APOLOGIES.  

And If you've come to my door and I hid in the bathroom until you went away, MY Deepest, sincerest APOLOGIES! (I'm out of toilet paper).

Okay, that never happened.  

And no one has tried to call me, but my apologies if you thought of calling me and I didn't call you  back. 

Next week I am going to be better.  I'm going to start snapping back into life.  I'm going to start eating something other than Cap'n Crunch Berries.  And I'm going to start exercising.  And paying my bills.  

And most importantly I'm going to do my visiting teaching to each of your blogs.  In fact I'll even bring you some salt and honey. 

See you next week, peeps!  


Saturday, August 22, 2009

We're all in this together

Okay, so I grew up in Utah, but it wasn't until I moved back, after 20 plus years, that I finally get why they call it Happy Valley.

It's because everyone is so happy. All those statistics about depression in Utah must be propaganda because alls I see is smiles.

Big smiles.

Big bright smiles.

Big bright shiny smiles.

Utah is full of big bright shiny happy people holding hands.

They're not just happy either. They're funny too. Everyone's a comedian in Utah. Seriously, it's like being on the Donny and Marie show. The last thing they need is another Crash Test Dummy. But I think I could make a great sidekick---you know the one who says ba dum bumafter every joke. I say it all the time under my breath. I can't help myself. I think I'm just a natural born side kick.

And they're nice too. Even the gas pumps say Have a nice day!!!!

Yesterday the checker at Albertsons was talk-talk-talking my head off so I finally had to put my hand up and say, "Just tell me your name and I'll vote for you."

She was like, "huh?"

And I was like, "You've got my vote, just put a lid on it, would ya."

And she was like, "but I'm not running for any office."

And I was like, "Then why all the pleasantries? Just cut to the chase and ring me up already!"

Was that rude?

Utah is also so darn cute. And clever. Everything is downright darling. Especially the schools.

My kids started school this week. If you want to know what it's like to go to school in Utah just watch High School Musical. Fo' real, everyone is Disney adorable and they break into song all the time. My 5th graders even get to line up outside their classroom and do a cheer before school starts. And after my daughter's soccer games a whole bunch of bee-U-tiful teenagers stand on the sidelines and sing and dance about how they will love their school until they die.

That's a big commitment. I just hope they don't put that on a t-shirt because if there's one thing I've learned about life since this whole moving thing it's that school loyalties are easily broken.

The only thing about my kid's school that's NOT like High School Musical is the over population. The high school is so crowded in between classes that they actually call one of the halls The Birth Canal.

On the bright side, at least they're all in The Birth Canal together. (Together. Together Everyone.) (Well, everyone but Zach Efron.)

The only complaint from my kids about Utah schools is that they have too many rules--or, as they say in Utah, TONS of rules. In my twins 5th grade class they are only allowed to go to the bathroom three times a week.

I wish I had known you could put a quota on bodily functions when I was pregnant.

I wonder what will happen if they have to go to the bathroom, like, say, every single day. I wonder if they can get bathroom credit. Like if they only go twice one week, do you think they can carry the remaining bathroom pass over to the next week?

The schools are also very safe. After they go to the bathroom they are required to wash their hands for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I must confess, it's kinda comforting to know that my twins will be washing their hands for at least 4 and a half minutes a week.

I hear the classes are super hard too. Allow me to do an impression (in pidgin) of my 8th grader when I picked him up from his first day of Jr. High.

Ceramics is sooooooo hard! We have to make clay pots and stuff.

And English! Sooooo hard! We have to read a book! On our own!

And Keyboarding!! Did you know that keyboarding is typing? Why don't they just call it typing?

Apparently he thought he'd be playing computer games all period. Go figure!

On the upside, his U.S. History teacher lubs Jack Johnson so I'm going to somehow accidentally on purpose print up that photo of ME with JJ's arm wrapped around me and staple it to his first assignment. I might even include the one of JJ's BVD's for extra credit.

Hey, I do what it takes to get my kids by.

I have to say, one of the worst things about moving is watching your kids wander around the halls at school by themselves. But what really gets me is imagining them sitting alone at lunch, silent in a sea of chaos. There is something so forlorn about eating alone in front of people.

I was relieved when my twins came home yesterday and said they were making TONS of new friends. "That's how we roll," they said. And then one of them said there are four brown people at school and he has already made friends with one of them.

On an unrelated note, today is a special day, and not just because it's the day we get ready for Sunday. 1. We get the internet. 2. My hub arrives. 3. It's the one year anniversary of the Crash Test Dummy Diaries.

Moment of silence please.

Wouldn't it be cool if I got my 30,000th hit on my anniversary? I'm only 100 hits away.

I should totally give away $30,000 to my 30,000th hit, huh?

Remember when I gave away $1,000 to my 1,000th hit?

And I won.

That was so awesome. (Until my hub wouldn't let me give myself the money.)

Anyways, cheers to my first year. My last year in Hawaii.

Thanks for sharing it with me. You peeps have no idea how much all of your support and encouragement--especially through this move--has helped me. (I honestly couldn't have done it without you.)

So glad we're all in this together (except Zach Efron).

Lub you all! And I feel seriously, so blessed!! (Hey, that would be a cool title for a blog, don't you think).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rudity and Nudity

So you'll never believe what happened!  The movers came while my hub was at work.  It only took them 5 hours to pack up and load our entire life onto their big ole' moving truck. 

Well, our entire life EXCEPT our washer and dryer.  They thought it was supposed to STAY!!!!!  They DIDN'T load it onto the truck.  What luck, huh?  

Except my hub just so happened to come home just as they started pulling out of the driveway, so, with visions of red front loaders dancing in his head, he flagged them down yelling "HEY, YOU FORGOT THE WASHER/DRYER!"

Can you believe it???????  

So they backed up and loaded it on!  What a cruel twist of fate.

And then he accuses ME of telling the movers that I would hunt them down in their sleep if they even so much as laid a finger on that old washer/dryer. 

AS IF!!! 

But my poor, poor hub.  He had to stay an extra week to work so he had to see our whole life stripped away right before his eyes.  It makes me SMAD! (sad/mad) that he had to see it bare naked like that.  How do you get an image like that out of your head.  Nudity sticks with you forever.  

And then yesterday he was sitting on the floor eating his lunch when a bunch of guys dropped by and said, "Hey, do you mind if we start ripping up the carpet?"  

So there he sat, my poor forlorn hub, on the floor, eating a McChicken Sandwich, all alone, in our empty vessel of the life-we-used-to-lead, and they just ripped up what remained of the dirt beneath our feet.  

Talk about heartless! 

Pardon me while I dab some anti-perspirant on my eye-balls.

I'm glad I didn't have to see my house in her birthday suit myself.  

Tomorrow we're getting internet so I can start blogging my brains out again (if I'm not too busy watching my bazillion channels)! 

I'm excited because I finally figured out why they call it Happy Valley and I want to share. 


P.S.  Happy wedding day to Wolfgang!  Wish wish wish I could have been there!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I have arrived!

Aloha from planet Utah.

We have landed. Safely. And soundly. (Except my hub, who won't land until Saturday.)

I have been playing Boxcar Children at my sister's vacant house because all we brought with us were the clothes on our back and the skin off our teeth.  

And a whole bunch of duffle bags.  

Oh, and a bunch of back packs too.

We have no T.V. or internet and my phone is completely dead because I forgot to grab my charger before I was dragged off the Island of Oahu. 

In essence we are camping. We've even been foraging for berries and such. (Cap'n Crunch Berries). Living off the land. That's how we roll in Utah.

It's just too bad the Boxcar Children didn't have my sister around to bring them toilet paper and buy them garbage cans and make them taco salad and remodel their master bathroom.

That's not even the half of it, peeps. She snoops through my shopping lists then makes like a Walmart fairy. She types and notarizes documents for me while making my kids feel safe AND feeding all the teachers at the elementary school. 

All the while looking too cute to boot.   I would say she's a regular martha Stewart, if Martha Stewart were darling, and charming, and didn't go to jail, and wasn't obsessed with pitch black horses.  

My wish is for every Boxcar Child to have a sister like mine!  

Soooooooo, anyways (I like to say anyways because it drives my SIL crazy, as it's not proper English.)  

Soooooooo, anyways, have you all been sitting around breathing the breath of life (HA) into each other and wondering what the helk happened to me?

Allow me to summarize.

Remember how right before I left I said I was at that I CAN'T stage of my "moving" labor?

Well I wasn't. That stage didn't come until about 2 hours before I actually had to get on the plane. I honest-to-pete said I CAN'T leave yet. I was seriously so NOT ready to close the book and say The End.

I even called up the airlines to see how much it would cost to change our flights to the next day. It was only $2,000 but my cheapskate hub said "NO WAY, get your booty on that plane."

Such a kill-joy!

My eyeballs were literally sweatin' to the oldies when Martha and Swirl and all of my kid's BFF's were tossing plumeria flowers at our car as we drove out of our driveway and made our way down Naniloa loop for the last time.

I'm going to relive all the goodbyes for you (with photographic evidence) as soon as Comcast finally gets around to hooking up our internet (and our t.v. with a gazillion channels, plus DVRs (what the helk is a DVR?) plus UNLIMITED long distance phone service so our friends, Romans and countrymen can lend me their ears.)

On the plane I had a splitting headache because my eyeballs were water logged, but there's nothing like a good headache to help you come up with some great ideas. I thought of a title for my get-rich-quick cooking blog project.

Are you ready?

The Dumb & Dumber Project. (Any similarities to the Julie & Julia project are purely coincidental.)

Now I just have to wait for Kellie Pickler to write a cook book.

While I'm waiting I have another project in mind. I'm going to produce a reality t.v. show like The Bachelor meets Survivor meets a Japanese game show meets Harry meets Sally. 

My show will be heavy on the REALITY and light on the candles, wine and beaches. No heels. No bikinis. No roses. When the bachelor picks his dates he will not hand them a rose, he will hand them a baby with a dirty diaper or a bread maker or a to-do list--something a man would actually had a woman.

To test their compatibility they will have to do all the practical things a husband and wife actually do together--like raising a colicky baby, on a budget or getting through school, on a budget or remodeling a home, on a budget . . . or . . . I don't know . . . MOVING across the ocean. On a budget (which doesn't include a red front loader washer/dryer combo.)

Couples get divorced, on a budget, over such things.

But anyways, my boys and I missed the plane from Phoenix to Salt Lake. 


I was sitting right next to the gate with my ears perked for the boarding call and my mouth engaged in conversation with Kendra Ho Ching's fiance about Cambodia--that's when the plane closed it's doors.  It was embarrassing, but can you blame me?  I mean, it's so sad what happened to the Cambodians under that treacherous Pol Pot. 

So me and my boys and Kendra Ho Ching's finace all waved to the plane as it flew away before we murdered five hours before the next flight.  

Oh, pardon me for a moment, my mom just showed up to take my sister and I to get a pedi.  

Gotsta go!  

BRB (be right back) PP(pinky promise)  IHSMMTS (I have so much more to say)

Monday, August 17, 2009


I'm not laughing at you.

Or thumbing my nose at you.

I'm giving you the breath of life. From my nose to yours.

In Hawaiian, Ha means breath. Hence the AloHA. Alo means "share" (among other things) so when Hawaiians say aloha they are sharing the breath (or essence) of life.

They used to greet each other nose to nose in order to literally share the breath of life.

Breath is sacred in part because it carries the words of the pule (prayer) and in ancient times, long prayers were chanted on a single breath.

Since it's my last Sunday in Hawaii I thought I would say the closing prayer and send out my mahalos to all of you, my readers and friends who have shared a laugh with me here over the past year.

It's been a pleasure, peeps.

I'm so glad we had this time together. (Carol Burnett sums my feelings up best here.)

LY Anjeny and Iwa and Martha and Swirl and Mariko and Wolfgang and Kute Kasey and Dolly and Colleen.


And mahalos to those who have lubbed me and helped during my gone-too-soon time here in Hawaii--which is nearly half my life.

LY Hawaii! LY dancing trees and playful wind. LY blue skies and rainbows and butterflies. LY soothing sunsets and sand. LY wistful waves and bee-U-tiful beaches and velvet Ko'olauloa mountains.

LY BYU Hawaii--the classroom of my soul.

The first time I heard the words BYU Hawaii a bolt of electricity shot through me. I was a junior in high school--traveling on the bus to a cross country meet. I overheard a senior girl, Sunny Bennion, talking about her plans to attend the campus in the fall.

Sunny Bennion turned the magic knob in my soul and a flame ignited. I knew that I would attend BYU-Hawaii one day. And I did. For one semester. As a single student.

But I didn't know that I would later return with my husband and finish college at BYU-Hawaii. That I would find my gift from the gods--writing--which would help me binge and purge the buffet of childhood pain in my soul. I didn't know that I would become an apprentice and then a teacher at BYU-Hawaii for 13 years--lucky me.

And I didn't know that I would raise my children in Laie.

So lucky I lived Laie. (We don't use prepositions in Hawaii so that wasn't a typo).

Ancient Laie was set apart--literally blessed--as a place of refuge, a sanctuary for desperate men and women seeking escape from man's law—or perhaps tribal law.

Laie is a healing place. Who needs therapy when you've got Laie?

LY Laie!

And Fare-thee-well. I go to make my journey across the ocean to begin anew in the place where I began.

Gad be with you til we meet again.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I'm just stretched out here in the dark, listening to the wrestling waves.  

The wind is flirting with the trees and alls I'm thinking about is a profound post LoW wrote a while back entitled "I Can't!" which featured a photo of a woman in labor.   

She was recollecting that epiphany you get when you're pushing and pushing and all the sudden you realize you CAN'T do it.  You can't push that big ole' baby out of your iddy biddy body.  

You girlz KNOW what I'm talking about, right?  How when you break the news to your hub that you CAN'T do it, you WON'T do it, and you don't even WANT to do it, he smiles condescendingly and says "Of course you can honey.  And you WILL.  Now PUSH!!!!" 

So that's when you give him that gentle reminder, Kung Fu Panda style, that he's the one who got you into this in the first place so he better not even THINK about ever ever ever coming near you again when he's wearing his Aspen cologne and his stripey P.J.s.

I don't know why I told you that story.  It has nothing to do with anything.  Totally random.  

It has nothing to do with the fact that I have less than 48 hours left to live.  

In Hawaii. 

And it has nothing to do with how Ronnie, my mover, totally abandoned me like a Radio Head song.  That's right!  He left me so high and dry.   When I called him this morning for reassurance the nice customer service lady said my move had been reassigned to some dude named Bill.   

You see now why I have a stone cold heart, peeps.  

And it has nothing to do with the fact that I am on my . . . comma.    
And it has nothing to do with finding out that my van down by the river needs $4,000 worth of repairs before we can park it at Utah Lake.  

ba bye van down by the river.  Have fun being a kidney car.  

But wait!  You can't even be a kidney car because I can't find your title!  

And now my house is a nervous wreck because I laid into it like a woman in labor.  Without an epidural.  And I grabbed it by the collar and got all up in it's grill and screamed "Where's the freakin' title, huh? huh? huh?  SHOW ME THE TITLE!!!!!" 

I turned my whole house upside down and got nothin' but a nauseous house.

But then the universe took pity on me and Martha brought over the most delicious secret recipe sandwiches for lunch.  I would have taken a photo if I wasn't so busy trying to find the remote control for the sweat glands in my eye balls.  

Mmmmmmahalo Martha.   Now I can't feel sorry for myself. 

And Mahalo Teresa Kimball for dropping in to help me clean my kitchen.  Teresa and I have been soul-sistahs for 13 years--ever since I heard her say YEE HAW when she introduced her family to the entire BYU-H faculty.    

She taught me to clog in her back yard.  And she named all of her kids after cities in Wyoming.  

And now she's seen my oven naked.   

Would you guys like to see my oven naked?

K, you've seen my oven naked.  

Now say YEE HAW and name your next kid Sheridan or Cody and we can be soul sistahs too. 

Gotsta go!  (Some of us on this blog are still in labor.)  

Friday, August 14, 2009

My Get-Rich Quick scheme (and another girlz day out!)

I had a brilliant idea while I was trying to think of a way to get rich quick so I can come back to Hawaii whenever I want. 

I'm going to create a blog where I cook my way through a recipe book.  I haven't decided which recipe book yet.  It's between, The Mormon Family Cook Book, Creative Cooking The Costco Way or Jack La Lanne's Health Master 100.  I'm leaning towards the Jack La Lanne book because it's only got 100 recipes and they're mostly smoothies.  

And I'm going to do what Julie did with her Julie/Julia project--add a paypal button so you guys can donate money for the ingredients to my recipes.  That way if the blog doesn't end up making me rich, at least my kids won't go hungry for the next year.   

With three days left to live.  In Hawaii.  We're down to a jar of pickles and 10 cans of vienna sausage so basically we're starving ourselves silly.  

Well I'm not because my homey's took me out to lunch today. 

Tai food at Haleiwa Eats. Mmmmm, mmmmm, goooooood.

Pad Thai is my new favorite food!

I went with my girlz.

Anjeny made all the arrangements.

And my girl, Dolly, treated us all to lunch.

Sometimes Dolly lives in Saudi Arabia and sometimes she lives in Hawaii. And sometimes she lives in an RV which she drives across the country so she can teach her kids to appreciate America. She has a million interesting adventures to share with the world. I wish she would start BLOGGING her BRAINS out! For OUR sake.

Look to it, Dolly.

My next door neighbor, Martha was there too.

And so was Swirl and her cute mom, Jane. And Jane's cute mom and Jane's cute cousin and Jane's cute daughter, Emily.

I was so excited to meet Emily because she is the one who started the Stepping Stones blog. It is a beautiful blog for anyone who has experienced pregnancy loss.

(btw, Emily is the uber duber cute one pointing the shaka/rock star/gangsta sign in my direction.)

Emily and Swirl and Swirl's grandma were going shark diving after lunch so they were a little bit nervous.

It was so good to see Jane again. Did I mention how cute she is?

And just between me and you, she is just as bedazzling the second time you meet her.

Hey, maybe instead of blogging my way through a recipe book, in which I would actually have to cook, I could blog my way through a different exotic restaurant every night, in which someone could treat me like a rock star.

Would you guys still donate to my paypal?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

If life is a bowl of cherries . . .

Then why is moving the pits?  

Worse than the pits!  Moving is more like one bottomless pit FULL of pits.  

Especially when you only have four days left to live. 

In Hawaii. 

And you're cleaning out your kids rooms.  sniff.  sniff.  sniff.  


Moving makes you do the darndest things.  Things you normally wouldn't be caught dead doing, like drinking diet cherry Coke and cleaning your house.   

And you start taking three showers a day.  

And saying words you've never said before.  (Well I don't, but my hub does.) 

Moving makes you confront your abandonment issues.  My poor movers.  I call them several times a day.  "Ronnie, you're going to show up on our moving day, right? right? right? You're not going to leave me high and dry, are you?  Cross your heart and hope to die?  Pinky promise you're not just using me for my money and my stuff?"  

Thank goodness he is so patient and reassures me that he is also using me for my personality.

Moving also turns you into a flaming manic depressive.  One minute you're in a state of euphoria because you're finally getting rid of all your kids junk.  It's so liberating.  You flit and flutter around like a ballerina doing a softener sheet commercial.  Then suddenly you're doing a face plant into the unfolded laundry, bawling your brains out.  Every stray Pokemon card, every broken pencil, every rusted trophy holds the fondest memories.

You feel powerless, like trying to hold water in a net. 

And yet powerful, because who wants to hold water in a net anyway?  It will only slip away. And turn the dirt beneath your feet into mud.  Mud which you'll later track through your house. Which you'll then have to steam vac out of your carpet . . .

You get me?

Moving also makes you soft.  You can hardly believe how many people lub you and want to help you or hug you or cry in your arms because you're going or shout hosannah because you're coming. 

But mostly moving makes you tough.  

Remember last week when I was boobing about Kahuku High refusing to let my daughter come on campus because there are no visitors allowed during the first week of school?  

Well today I called back to ask if my son could visit and guess what they said?  "Sure!  As long as he has never attended school here before." 

"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . soooooo, does he get to keep his Red Raiders for LIFE T-shirt?"   

I wasn't about to burst into tears this time, baby!  Instead I raised my fist to the sky and said, "As Gad as my witness, he WILL say goodbye to his friends at school!" 

And then I did what I should have done in the first place.  I went undercover and incognito and went through the back channels and the back door and through the underground railroad until I finally secured a freakin' visitor pass for my son.   


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's all Greek to me!

So yesterday I got a phone call from my daughter's hoity toity English teacher, Mariko.  She and a couple of my pals said they wanted to sacrifice their beauty sleep and desert their families so we could stay out late together eating Greek food and watching movies about French food.  

I was so excited I peeled off all my clothes and jumped in the shower.

It wasn't long before I remembered that I'd been cleaning and scrubbing all day and there was no soap or shampoo or satin fresh shaving cream within 100 square feet.  There was, however, a bottle of lemon lime soft scrub and a scrubbing brush so I'm not complaining. (Though I will say I've gained a new sensitivity for porcelain and tile cruelty.) 

I was ready and waiting (and squeaky clean) by 5 p.m.  Since there is no Olive Garden in Hawaii, Mariko and pals took me to The Olive Tree Cafe, which is one of those hip Greek joints where the combination of sparkling lemonade and Greek bluesy music makes you want to start spilling your (psychological) guts.  

When Mariko asked me what I wanted to eat I shrugged and said,  "It's all Greek to me."  

So she ordered for all of us. 

First we had babaganoosh, which is a fancy way of saying tortillas and eggplant.

Then we ate Shawarma. 

And for dessert we had baklava.  I have no photographic evidence of it, but it it was finger lickin' YUM-O!  

Mmmmm.  Mmmmm.  Mmmmmmm.

Great food.  Great conversation.  Great friends.    It was all very intoxicating.

My only disappointment is that Mariko isn't hoity toity at all.  (I hate it when my blanket stereotypes and sweeping generalizations are way off.) 

Here I am with Mariko and Pam.  Pam is also an English teacher who is light on the hoity toity, heavy on the uber cool hippy vibe. (Just between me and you, Pam is a fantastic writer who should be hoity toity.)

Here I am with Pam and Colleen (sistahs). Colleen is one of my closest friends. She's the reason my kids get so far in the History Day competition every year.   

LY Co!

Lub this photo!
After dinner we spent a few hours becoming even more intoxicated by French food with Julie and Julia.  Great movie!  (Nothing like the book.)  Meryl Streep is amazing.  And Amy Adams ain't bad either.  

After the movie Colleen said, "I heard Amy Adams is a Mormon."  

"And so was Lionel Richie, (before his wife smacked him around)," I said with a hardy har har.  

Then we got into a fist fight over it in the parking lot.

But that darn Colleen googled it, and tamnit, she was right. Bless her heart. Amy Adams was a Mormon until her parents divorced when she was eleven.   

And so was Jewel, until her parents divorced when she was eight. 

(I bet Colleen didn't know that!)

Anyway, MUCH MAHALO Mariko for making all the arrangements and for driving and for using handwritten directions instead of that skanky GPS.  

For a second you almost made me forget I was moving away!