Monday, June 30, 2008

Mixing up some fun

I don’t know how many of you have heard the tale of the Great Mixer Heist of 2004 so here it goes:
Once upon a time my beautiful mother decided that she didn’t have enough room in her kitchen for her beautiful, gleaming, white Kitchen Aid stand mixer. So, because she loves me the most, she gave it to me. I used it daily and polished it with love every night until the day came that I had to pack up most of my belongings to put into storage so that we could move in order for Charlie to go back to school for his master’s degree. Because I couldn’t bear the thought of my beloved mixer disappearing into a box for over a year I allowed my little brother, Russell, to use it in his home until I could reclaim it in my own kitchen.
For those of you who don’t know Russ, let me explain. He is an ok guy, one of my favorite little brothers really. But he cannot seem to overcome the envy he has held for me every since the day he realized that our parents prefer me over him. Most of my other siblings have come to terms with this, but Russ still stays up seething with jealousy most nights. Apparently, one of these sleepless night he began forming a plan. In his twisted mind the mixer represented the love my parents lavished on me and he decided he needed to steal it. I can picture his eyes gleaming with determination and his dimples in the moonlight as his plan came together.
Suddenly, one day, he declared that the mixer was his. Mom gave it to him because she knew he would treasure it, and I was hallucinating if I said anything different. This was actually a good tactic because he knew that he couldn’t use logic, so accusations of insanity would have to do. He desperately clung to the mixer and shouted at everyone that it belonged to him. Most of us just smiled at him with understanding and patted him on the head, hoping that the crazy wasn’t contagious. A few sat in wonderment, trying to figure out what he was so upset about, it was just a stand mixer. This went on for months, until the day finally came for the mixer to return to it’s rightful home, my countertop.
I phoned up my sister in law, Amy (who is a wonderfully talented person who has the amazing ability to deal with Russ) and asked her if she would be able to bring my mixer with her the next time she came over to my house. She only paused for a few beats until she agreed with reluctance ( I knew she was attached to the mixer too, but only because it makes good mashed potatoes, not because of any mystical force it represented). I don’t know if she used force, or medication, but she managed to get Russ to bring it with them when they came for Thanksgiving dinner. He seemed a little bit more placid than normal so I’m pretty sure he was heavily tranquilized. He glared at me as he set it gingerly on the counter and gave it a last longing caress
Amy tells me they have bought a new mixer, but Russ can’t seem to bring himself to use it. I feel kind of bad for the poor kid, but not enough to give up my favorite appliance. I actually just got it repaired (Mia was helping me make cookies, enough said). I haven’t used it lately though and is starting to collect dust. Maybe I’ll let Wendy borrow it, so she can know what it is like to be the favorite child.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Let's get physical....

Every six months or so I am inspired to become the epitome of health. I go to the store and buy all the produce I can fit in my cart. I toss out any junk food that is laying around and I hit the treadmill like I’m running to a half price sale at Baker’s Bakery (yes mom, you taught me well). My new lease on life usually last for about four weeks, or until I get so many blisters from my ill fitting running shoes I have to stop with all the running and let myself heal so that I don’t have to have my feet amputated. Or, sometimes I am tempted away from the "all veggies all the time" diet by a vacation, or when Charlie brings home one of the 1 pound Symphony bars that his students are so fond of bribing him with (I don’t think he has ever actually had the chance to try any of them, they somehow disappear into my mouth the minute they come through the door...the whole thing, I don’t mess around).
However, my current healthy kick was inspired by fear. My neighbor, whom I secretly refer to as the "Relief Society Mafia Boss" but not to her face, because she could have me whacked, told me to start coming to her kick boxing class that she teaches at our ward building twice a week. I quickly went through every excuse I had in my arsenal: too far away (it’s about 50 feet to the edge of the parking lot from my front door), I need a babysitter (kids are welcome to play during the class), I have post traumatic stress disorder from my college kick boxing class and will start to have flashbacks of the middle aged, 300 pound woman who always stood in front of me and all of her glorious spandex and leg warmers (this one only got a mildly amused look). So I gave in. So I smiled and told R.S.M.B. that I would be delighted to come. I LOVE kick boxing.
I immediately went to the mall and bought new running shoes because I had a plan. I had 5 days before the class started, plenty of time to get into shape enough to make it through a measly hour and a half of kicking and punching at imaginary foes to the beat of eighties techno remixes. I got home and dusted off the treadmill hiding in the basement and began my new lifestyle (Oprah says that if you call it a lifestyle change instead of a diet and exercise plan it makes it easier to stick to...bite me Oprah.) I ran every day for five days before the class. I even ran for reals instead of walking most of every lap and only actually running four a minute or so like I do when I am not so serious about my target heart rate. I downloaded new upbeat songs on my IPod in order to motivate me to move faster (although I now realize that they are all angry songs, I don’t know if that says anything about me or the artists that write upbeat songs).
Here’s me running on the treadmill every morning:
ME: Mia, I am going to go downstairs for a little while to run. You watch Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch friends and I’ll be up when it is over.
MIA: I want a turn first!!! (We then go down stairs and I stand near by as Mia runs with all her might at 2 miles an hour for 5 minutes). Ok mom, your turn. Mia then stands near the treadmill in utter concentration, ready to pull out the red key that stops the machine should I suddenly have a heart attack while I do a warm up lap and watch the tiny lights that signal my progress around the track make the first curve.
MIA: Mom! I want a turn again.
ME: Not right now honey. Go upstairs and watch your show while I finish my turn and then I will come get you.
MIA: NO!!! you aren’t sharing!!! So I go ahead and let her have another few minutes at 1.3 miles an hour.
MIA: Ok mom, your turn.
I start again, just getting into the groove of Love me Dead by Ludo (awesome song if you are miserable, by the way) and I realize I don’t know where Mia is. I turn of the treadmill and wander around the corner to the storage area of the basement where I see her gleefully pulling out clumps of extra pink insulation and tossing them in the air while giggling with delight.
So, this is why exercising at home is not working out great. I think I need more chocolate in my house.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reasons to visit Spanish Fork

I wrote this a while ago when I was really bored, and I fell that it deserves an encor presentation:

Reason’s to visit Amy in Spanish Fork:

1. Despite the name, the town has no Latino leanings. This brings a copious amount of puns to the local culture. Delight in heading to the local movie theater, Spanish 8, and asking the clerk "wouldn’t Spanish 8 just be Ocho??"
2. The Icelandic Memorial. I know that you have asked yourself from time to time "where can I go to pay proper respects to whatever Icelandic veterans have fallen in defense of Utah and the American way of life/" Well here is your answer. The beautiful Icelandic Memorial is a small grove in the middle of suburban Spanish Fork, fully equipped with a light house and stone benches scattered artfully so you can ponder the great works of the many famous Icelandic freedom fighters the way you have always dreamed of.
3. Johnny’s Thirst Aid Station. I know that the name alone is enough to bring a clever smile to your lips. Ha! THIRST aid! That’s rich...but it brings up even more topics of conversation when you realize that they do cater to all your hydration needs without ever leaving the comfort of your vehicle. This does seem like a revolutionary idea, one that could change the world until you ask yourself "Is a drive through that serves beer a good idea?" We may never know the answer to this, but discussing it can while away the hours as you enjoy your frosty beverage.
4. The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple. Man, I am tired of hearing about all the self righteous Haria Krishna’s in Utah County. I wish that the world knew us as more than just a state founded by the disciples of Lord Shiva. But, one look at this beautiful Indian inspired architecture that blends seamlessly into the landscape of the Mountain West, with llamas peacefully grazing in the forefront and you will know, this is the place indeed. With walking tours and a gift shop you may be ready bow down to the mighty bovine as well.
5. Makin Babies Doll Shop. You all have been to your local Build-A-Bear and asked yourself the same question, "Hey, this is great, but I wish they would let me craft a doll that resembled a real baby in every way...maybe I could even give it life like hair and a voice that said ‘mama’ whenever I came into the room. Then no one would stare as I carried around my baby in its ratty blanket and cooed to it while roaming the streets with my shopping cart and my tin foil helmet." Look no further! At Makin Babies you can craft your own life like child that looks, weighs, sounds, and smells just like a real infant. If the doll comes alive and slaughters you in your sleep there is a money back guarantee and everything. Probably.
6. Amy is bored. Come on, come play with me. I live in Spanish Fork. Help.

My new apron

Being a somewhat incompetent homemaker in beautiful Happy Valley is a little bit intimidating for me. I try to can my own tomatoes (except that I can't seem to grow any and I don't really know how to can), and my food storage consists of a case of macaroni and cheese and some ramen noodle soup, and I have never ever gone visiting teaching with a hand crafted refridgerator magnet with some sort of inspirational thought to share. So, on the whole, i would rate myself as a 4 out of 10 on the scale of Mormon Housewife successfulness.

Last week this all changed. I bought an apron. You didn't see that coming did you. It is stunning and just so wrong it is brilliant. I saw it on a kiosk in the middle of University Mall while I was wandering aimlessly waiting for Charlie do be done at the dentist. In it I feel like a derranged housewife from the early sixties and I am compelled to wear kitten heals and flounce about a bit with a feather duster. My life has been changed, I am now on par with Donna Reed and June Cleaver. They would recognize me as one of their own. My house is still a mess and smells vaguely of old fishsticks, but none of this matters when I wear my Apron (yes, it deserves a capital A).

Because of my new lease on life I am committed to learn how to sew, and maybe make a jello salad that contains all the basic food groups. Folding laundry is now a joy. I swish around the living room as I vacuum. I hear strains of my own sitcom theme song as I hand my darling husband his well packed lunch and wave goodbye to him from the front door.

I can't find my camerat at this moment so I will direct you to the website that sells these magical aprons.

I hope you all find the joy and harmony with this as I have. I am always happy to share.

Introduction blog

Alright, I am caving. I have kind of a prejudice against blogs. It seems a lot like a digital scrap book, not that there is anything wrong with that, but it makes me want to scratch out my own eyes. But then I had a startling "A HA! Moment" (that is Oprah’s shtick, and it also makes me want to scratch out my own eyes, but then I could still hear her say it constantly and then what will I do, scratch my ears? That doesn’t sound remotely threatening). By not creating my own precious blog, my friends, nay, the world is being deprived of enjoying my thought process. This is a tragedy that I cannot allow to happen. How will my second cousin be able to continue with her day if she doesn’t know my favorite ice cream, or the fact that I work out to classic rock because techno gives me migraines?
Once this horrifying picture formed in my mind I became obsessed. My views on life, and more importantly, food, must be presented for public consumption. Who knows, I may end world hunger.
So, without further ado...DUN DUN DA DA!! Amy’s Blog.