Thursday, October 29, 2009

Merry and Bright

Yesterday was the most hee-hee-larious day in the history of the world. It was seriously the kind of day Sponge Bob would sing about. 

If he lived in Utah.

Wait! If Sponge Bob lived in Utah, he wouldn't be Sponge Bob, he would be Snow Bob.  

But snow can't sing, so . . . scratch that analogy. 

Wait! Don't scratch that analogy.  This post ain't even about Sponge Bob. It's about that four letter word that starts with S and ends with NOW!    

This post is about the weatherman forcing me at gunpoint to keep my kids home from school so I could capture them on video the instant they saw that four letter word falling from the sky for the very first time.

And capture it I did!  

And believe you, me, it was hee-hee-larious! And exciting!

And sweet.

And my boys learned that snow can't keep you from hanging loose. 

But most of all they learned that four letter words are freeeeezy cold.  


Somewhere in between singing the Rocky theme song and making snow angels and shouting for sheer joy, my twins stopped and got quiet and shook their heads and said, "Man, I wish Jimmy and Nana were here. This would be much more fun if Jimmy and Nana were here." 

Aw shucks!  

Jimmy and Nana are my x-door neighbor, Martha's twins.  

Her twins and my twins have been bosom buddies since birth (sniff).  It's sweet that my twins realized it just ain't right they should lose their snow virginity without her twins, you know.

Insert moment of silence here.

After the snow we cranked on the fireplace and ate musubi and watched Elf.  

Then the boys watched the weather channel to find out when it's going to snow again while I listened to Frank Sinatra telling me to have a Holly Jolly Christmas.  

And then I cooked.  And cooked.  And cooked.  

I was going to wait for Kellie Pickler to write a cook book before I started my Dumb and Dumber cooking blog project, but I CAN'T.  

Something about Frank Sinatra just makes me want to chop green onions and bean sprouts.  

I made Hitachi Steak and Japanese fried rice from Benihanas. YUM-O! Best fried rice ever. (Although I added chopped SPAM--is that blasphamy?) You must beg me for the recipe so you can lub it too.

And then I made the Hard Rock Cafe's Baked Potato Soup.  Mmm Mmm good. Campbell's ain't got nothin' on the Hard Rock. It's Hot and spicey. And baked potatoey. 

And if you want the bestest bestest steak in the history of the world, sprinkle some Spade L Ranch beef marinade and seasoning on it before you grill it.  


I didn't even learn that tip from a famous restaurant recipe book.  I learned that from a tailgate party, put on by a silly goose grocery store, run by crazy dumb people who pay you to take their milk of their hands.  

Tomorrow I'm going to make me some Chili's salsa, cuz I lub me some Chili's salsa. 

Wait! This post ain't about cooking. This post is about four letter words that end with NOW!  

So last night @9pm I heard a shriek, followed by some major commotion, which I quickly learned was my boys scrambling to pull on their snow pants and boots and zip up their marshmallow jackets. Apparently the whole world was covered with an inch of snow.  

My daughter heard the commotion too so she jumped out of bed, pulled her boots on over her pajamas and rushed outside, where she did a Nacho Libre dive straight onto the front lawn. 

She slid across the lawn on nothing more than a wing and a prayer before she commenced to frolick with her brothers. After that it was pretty much a blur--snow flying to the left and to the right and screams of delight shattering the silent night. 

Let's just say all was not calm. 

From there they raced to the trampoline, where they left all their inhibitions on the ground. Then they raced to the park where they jumped on a couple of sleds and covered themselves from head to toe in more snow, glorious snow.  

Finally at 10:30 we felt like we should spank them all soundly and send them to bed, but before we could lay a hand on my daughter, she did a few Toyota leaps.

I fell into bed exhausted and thankful that I'm a lazy mom and not a working mom.  

If I was a working mom, who would make sure their coats and gloves were toasty warm and dry for school the next day?  Who would draw their steaming baths and pour their boiling cocoa? Who would sweep and mop up all their wet, dirty mess eight times a day?  

(That was a rhetorical question, so you can stop scratching your heads.)

Anywho . . . not to sound braggetty, but may your day be as merry and bright as my day was!

Monday, October 26, 2009

How do you spell relief?

S- E - A - W - E - E - D.  

And SPAM. And Calrose rice. (But it must be Calrose (unless you're doing an object lesson in Sunday School).  Long grain rice gives no relief whatsoever.  

At least not to a rice snob like me.     

When my heart was on the mend from finding the last scoop of sand in my washing machine I not only found relief in musubi, but also in Japanese Rice Crackers. 

You may have heard the squeal around the world when I found them here in the desert, at the store with no name.   

My son had the same reaction when he found the Bongos.

The store with no name was discovered, thank goodness, by my cute mom, and it is a gold mine for Asian and Hawaiian treats.  

I don't know why it has no name--I would have called it Aloha Sushi Wraps or Da Kine Snack Shack--but you'll know you're in the right place if, before he makes you pay $33 for da kine snacks, da kine store clerk gives you a lecture about how high school sports should be banned because they're lame and they make you lame. 

Da kine snacks at the store with no name are only marked up a teensy bit--$6.50 for the same Tim Tams I used to buy at Longs for $2.50 and $15.99 for the same seaweed sushinori I used to buy at Costco for $5.99--but it's worth every penny when you need relief. 

I don't know if I'm smarter in Utah, but I noticed a few subliminal messages I had never noticed before.

I already WANT WANTED to eat 12 of these in one sitting, but for some reason seeing this made me WANT WANT to eat them even more. 

And about this HOT-KID . . . how did I miss that in Hawaii?  can somebody please tell me if it's a Utard thing.

Another way to spell relief is B. Y. U.   F. O. O. T. B. A. L. L.  G. A. M. E.  

Not because they lost so badly, but because the cheerleaders are so modest.

And because it's so entertaining listening to all the ladies with shampoo sets yelling GOSH DANGIT! at the refs.

Plus I had the most enormous pleasure of meeting one of my favorite blog friends, April from FINALLY, we have arrived! AND Queen from Raders Out Loud. 

Even though I was disappointed because Queen doesn't even wear a tiara, I thoroughly enjoyed the speed-therapy session we had during half-time.  

As my daughter would tell you, I'm the one who looks like a marshmallow.

I personally think I look more like an eskimo, but whatev.

This is me and my blind double date, Julia. Nicest blind double date ever.

And this is me and my date.

He was also pretty nice. 

And then! And then!! And then!!! Because the universe lubs me so much, I just happened to run into Kaisha Ho Ching, the sister of my son's BFF from Hawaii. 

OMGOSH! That's my uber happy face because it's such a rush to run into my peeps from back in the day when we lived in the hood. We felt like we were going to squeeze each other until death did us part.  

For old times sake, here is my boy with his best friend, Kameron Ho Ching on the day we left Hawaii.  Don't let their smiles fool you.  There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Anywayz, that's how I spell relief.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The last scoop of sand . . .

Remember how I wanted a pair of shiny, new, red front loaders when I moved?

And remember how I pouted because my hub said it wasn't a priority?  

And remember how ticked I was when he ran after the movers as they were backing out of the driveway to tell them they forgot to pack our old, rusty, beat-to-helk washer/dryer? 

What was I thinking?

Why would I want something brand-spankin' new when I could have something beat up and sentimental?

This is how I felt yesterday when we finally unwrapped our old washer/dryer and hooked them up. 

((Stop judging me.  FYI, it takes A LOT of time, energy, gumption and sanity, not to mention apple pie, to set up a new house and hunker down for winter.  And $$$, too--tons and tons of $$$.) (Anyone who says Utah is cheaper than Hawaii is living in La La Land--(Granted, Macey's is insane and I just bought five boxes of Life cereal for $5 and a gallon of apple juice for $1.58), it's uber expensive to keep six people warm.)  You have to keep warm on various occasions--when you're in bed and in church and in school and in a tent camping--and there are various levels of warmth required for each of these various occasions at various times and temperatures.)  

Let's just say the art of staying warm is like an onion--it's layered and complex and multi-dimensional. And sometimes it makes you cry spontaneously. 

But back to my washer/dryer:

How can I describe the flashback I had when I laid eyes upon my old friends, Mr. and Mrs. Kenmore? 

They were exactly as I remembered them two months ago sitting in my bathroom on Kulanui street in townhouse 10-A.  They haven't changed a bit.  

Kinda choked me up to see that rusty ole' dryer and that cruddy ole' washer staring up at me awkwardly, as if to say, "we don't belong in this world, do we?" 

But I assured them that they do belong, and that their ole' rattle and hum is the most comforting sound in the history of the world. 

But when I lifted the lid I got whiplash.


There were clothes!  Little boys clothes--shorts and t-shirts--that have been lying dormant inside my washer for 2 months. 

That's when I remembered that the day we left Hawaii, my X-door neighbor, Martha, took my boys to the beach one last time.  We must have thrown their clothes in the washer and forgotten them. 

And so I pulled them out, one by one, and opened them up and hugged them like they were old, dear friends.  Old, stinky, dear friends. But I didn't care because they were the last things my boys wore on our island far far away.  

And they were covered in sand.  

Sand everywhere.  

The washer was full of sand. 


Do you realize what this means?  This means it wasn't a dream.  We really did used to live in Hawaii.  

And now we don't. 


You know how they say a straw can break a camels back.  If it's the last straw. 

Well a scoop of sand can break a dummies heart.  If it's the last scoop of sand.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

To Helk in a Handbasket

Utah ain't all guns and roses like people think.  In fact, I haven't seen hardly any roses at all. 

But I got a feelin' if I did see some, they'd be scantily clad, (wink wink). 

Seriously, Utah is going to helk in a handbasket.  It's almost startling how the morals around here have slipped since I went to St. George last weekend. I shouldn't be surprised because when I left I noticed all the trees were beginning to blush. 

And the Aspens--good golly, miss Molly--the Aspens aren't just quaking, they were shaking. Their groove thang.  All over the place.  In their shimmery gold-coin dresses. 

Bling! Bling! Bling! 

Have they no shame?   

But now they're corrupting the rest of Happy Valley.  Trees everywhere are undressing right before our very eyes. I have to wear a blindfold when I get the mail because some of them are stark raving naked.  

And proud of it!  They're displaying their goods like a bunch of happy hippies at Woodstock.  

In Hawaii I had to deal with nude beaches.  Now I have to deal with with nude forests?  

No wonder Utah has the highest porn rate.

Now that I'm a grown up I finally get why they call it Fall, as in The Fall.  

Of Adam.

I know we're not supposed to be punished for Adam's transgressions, but look who's stuck cleaning up their mess:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Talking Life Raft Epiphany

A talking life raft is as good an epiphany as you'll ever get, especially if you've been pondering one of the deepest mysteries of the universe for several weeks: How to save a life.  

The best thing about a talking life raft is that you can't get a word in edgewise (especially if it's talking in permanent marker).

It ain't easy to argue with a life raft that won't shut up.  My daughter's life raft has a motor mouth. I don't know how she sleeps at night with that thing yakety yak yaking in her ear: 

You are so awesome! Everybody loves you! Love you chokes!! Everybody wishes you were here! We miss you sooooo much! Miss you like crazy!!  

Her dear friends have thrown her a life raft that can't keep it's mouth shut.  

Thank you dear friends! 

And thank you for throwing me an epiphany at the same time. It's was an answer to a question that's been gnawing at the top of my brain for some time now.  

It all started several weeks ago when I accidentally saw the prophet at a funeral.  He stood up to speak and suddenly all the edges blurred and he came sharply into focus. "It's better to save a life than to raise the dead," he said. 

Or maybe he said, "It's easier to save a life than to raise the dead."   

Either way, it was one of those things that makes you go hmmmmm . . . not unlike the sensation I get whenever I listen to The Fray telling me they would have stayed up with me all night had they known how to save a life.  

Does saving a life require staying up all night?  

Peter, James and John didn't stay up all night when Jesus died.  He was bleeding from every pore, and they were dozing off.  

But even if they HAD stayed up all night with him, that wouldn't have saved his life, right? He HAD to die.  That was the plan.

Still, wouldn't the story have been so much better if Jesus hadn't had to ask them over and over if they could please keep their eyeballs open for a spell while he suffered the sins of the entire world. Sure it was his choice to experience excruciating pain. That was the requirement. The sacrifice. Yet I love to think of his disciples at least TRYING to save him while he was saving the rest of us--at least washed the blood from his face with a cool cloth, given him a sip of water, lent him words of gratitude and reassurance that what he was doing was what had to be done.  

When I wrote Letting Daddy Die I asked my hub to read it.  He didn't like it.  He said the ending made him uncomfortable. I told him the ending was supposed to make him uncomfortable.  It was an uncomfortable ending to an uncomfortable story.  He said, "but it's not true.  It's not your fault that your dad died. You were only fourteen. You didn't do anything."

"That's exactly right," I said. "I didn't do anything."

"You couldn't have saved him!" he protested. 

"But I didn't even try!" I said, and then the room must have gotten really hot because my eyeballs started sweating profusely.

Intellectually I know it wasn't my fault. My dad chose to opt out when I was too young to understand the complexities of life. 

But my stone-cold heart doesn't quite buy it.  My stone-cold heart knows I didn't even try.

I never said what I needed to say.  Mostly because John Mayer was just a toddler at the time, but also because I just didn't feel like it.

I wish I had taken the time to throw my dad a life raft back then.  At least he would have had something to hold onto for a little while before he slipped away.  

Maybe it's not too late.  Maybe I can send him some belated air hugs and kisses and a belated air life raft. 

Maybe I can make it talk with a permanent air marker . . . and then pray to Gad he hears me.

Everybody loves you. Love you chokes!! Everybody wishes you were here. We miss you sooooo much!  Miss you like crazy . . .

Oh, and P.S. FTR, BTW, we forgive you like crazy too!  

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Best Day Ever!

I feel so close to Sponge Bob right now.  

I think it's because he totally gets me. And I get him. 

We both understand what it really means to have the best day ever.  

Up until now I thought meeting Jack Johnson was the best day ever, but last night I had an epiphany and I now realize that meeting famous people doesn't even come close to being LUBBED. 

The Beatles were spot on when they revealed the ancient chinese secret of life: All you need is lub.  

My daughter didn't even have to learn this lesson vicariously from listening to them sing at 95 mph, she got to learn this from all the letters and packages she received on her birthday from her dear friends in Hawaii. 


I'm telling you, peeps, my eyeballs had a serious workout when we pulled up to our house after spending the better part of the day at Snowbird swimming and eating lasagna and watching the Yankees lose.  

Waiting on the porch were gift bags and candy and cards and the mailbox was so stuffed with letters that the mailman had to use RUBBER BANDS! 

And as if that wasn't enough. 

There was a package . . .  

Full of Hawaiian kine treats . . .

But that's not all. At the bottom of the box was a card signed by even more friends. 

In Hawaii they don't give just regular ole' birthday cards. They give inflatable cards. Floaties and inner tubes and life rafts and such. 

This year my daughter got a life raft.  

How appropriate.

I never in a million years thought I would derive such pleasure from watching my daughter prance around the living room with an inflatable life raft.

If life rafts could talk this one would be saying, "I told you you are lubbed, you silly goose!"

After the initial excitement, we all gathered around and ate Hawaiian candy and listened while my daughter opened each birthday letter and read it out loud. 

I was so overwhelmed by the outpourings of glad tidings and great joy that I wasn't even very ticked that nobody mentioned ME, ME, ME and the fact that it was ME, ME, ME who so graciously carried her around for 9 months inside my body and endured incredible pain for hours on end to get her out into this big wide world

At the end of the day I learned an important lesson:  There ain't much better in life than a singing sponge and a talking life raft.

Monday, October 19, 2009

15, there's still time for you . . .

My 14-year-old daughter suddenly turned into my 15-year-old daughter.  

It literally happened overnight--last night, actually--and we spent the better part of the Fall break in jolly ole' St. George celebrating the occasion with her and Rue 21. 

My hub and I made it perfectly clear that it was her weekend and she could do whatever she wanted. 

She only wanted one thing--to eat pork salad at Costa Vida, so we took her to Bajios because, same dif, right? 

Wrong! Whatever you do, DON'T eat at Bajios in St. George whether or not it's your daughter's 15th birthday or not, unless you don't mind watching the workers blink and shrug at the missing pork and the missing trays and the burning quesadillas as they go through the swinging doors, in and out, back and forth, to do whatever it is they do back there thats make them blink and shrug themselves silly like that.

A better place to eat would be Brick Oven, especially if you want to see you daughter turn bright red when all the cute waiters keep checking her out and bringing her free chocolate mousse and singing and clapping at her in spirited birthday fashion. 

I wonder if having a 15-year-old daughter will be any different than having a 14-year-old daughter? 

Do 15-year-old daughter's laugh and point at their mom's when they go shopping and tell them their head looks hilarious in hats?  Do they tell their mom's that their cute jokes are so not funny and the southwest bean soup they are slaving over looks disgusting?

I hope not. 

Mom's are people too.

Do 15-year-old daughters roll their eyes when you say, "Hey, for your birthday, let's have a party or go get a pedicure, or your ears pierced, or a nose ring, or a tattoo that says smile and be happy?" 

Do they put pillows over their ears when you're listening to The Beatles at 95 mph on a Sunday afternoon, or say "This is a looooong song," after listening to The Beach Boys for twenty minutes?

I hope not.  

The Beach Boys are people too, too! 

Someone should totally write a song for my daughter about how when you're 15, you're caught in between 10 and 20.  

Never a wish better than this, right?

I would do it but I would probably get too sentimental and start singing about how being caught in between 10 and 15 is way easier than being caught in between labor and delivery.  

Then I would probably go off about the day I became a member of the big girlz club when my water broke at Kentucky Fried Chicken in White Plains New York and my hub shoved me into our Ford Escort and raced me to the hospital. 

"This isn't that bad," I told my mom, who was there to help us usher in our little princess.
"I definitely won't need the epidural. Especially now that I know how to breathe through the pain." 

I forgot to knock on wood, so shortly after that I began to feel like a Mack truck was tap dancing across my belly.  

Shortly after that I drop kicked my the Little Miss Mary Sunshine nurse every time she told me to Hee Hee Haw, and punched my silly goose mom every time she said "This too shall pass!" 

Shortly after that I told my doctor I would give him a million dollars if he would just PALEASE shove that ginormous, holy honkin' needle into my spine, PRONTO! 

He agreed, if I didn't mind holding off for 12 more hours until I was sufficiently dilated.  

If only I had been sufficiently dilated I would not have had to wake up so early this morning and stumble through the cold and the dark to start the fire and the music and the French toast for my fifteen-year-old daughter's birthday. I would have done all that yesterday, on the 18th.  But as it were, I wasn't sufficiently dilated until the 19th and had to labor all night long without the help of the holy honkin' needle, until finally my first born arrived into the world to make sure I never wear hats or make southwestern bean soup or listen to The Beatles at 95 mph. 

Do I really look THAT bad in a hat?

I look better than my son, right?

Or at least I did before we moved.

Moving really cramped my style.

Anyways, Happy Anniversary to me for getting through my first labor and delivery.  

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my daughter's hoity toity English teacher, Mariko.  Her mom got through labor and delivery on this day too.  Oh, and my x-door neighbor, Martha got through labor and delivery with her twins on this day too.  And my gigi got through labor with my aunt Carol on this day too.  

Happy Anniversary/Birthday to all!

But mostly to my one and only daughter--the apple in my pie.  

She will always be my little girl.

And she will always make me smile and be happy.