Saturday, July 28, 2012


The other day I posted this picture.

That evening I asked my sister if she saw it, knowing the backwards mailbox labels would make her even more crazy than it made me.  We laughed about it as she responded how I figured she would:  bugged out eyes and a, "YES!  What were they thinking?!"

We had met up at an Applebee's with several other girls and were passing around Sentsy scents.  After we had all sniffed and our olfactory nerves were completely confused and all of the scents began smelling the same, we abandoned the little containers for conversation.

Mollie's subconscious couldn't handle the random pile.  She began to line up and move around and before anyone realized it (including herself) she had begun arranging them by color.

Yes, I think she may have a touch of OCD, or as some clever person noted, 
That's OCD but in alphabetical order,
 the way it should be!

Love you, Moll Doll.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Cherry Seed Saga

"Uh, Mom?  You know the seed inside the cherry?  It is stuck in my nose."
Thus began the Cherry Seed Saga.

She is the youngest of five children and I have never had a child who favors sticking small, round objects in their noses or ears.  While I consider myself lucky there, I also found myself inexperienced.

Many many, many years ago on an episode of ER, a patient came in with a button up his nose.  The doctor simply had the guy plug the unaffected nostril and blow.  Pop!  Out it came--like magic.

That was the first thing we tried.  "Blow," I instructed my daughter.  

She sniffed.  Hard.  "No, the other way," I explained and then emphasized the point with a snotty demonstration.

After several failed attempts at blowing out instead of sniffing in, she finally got the idea.  "BLOW," I cheered.  

Absolutely no progress.

I always seed my cherries with a pair of tweezers so I grabbed the pair I had been using and had her stretch out on my bed.  The tweezers were much too fat for her tiny nose.  I could see the seed clearly, but grabbed a flashlight just to verify.  Yup, there it was, hanging out just at the point where the soft tissue joins the harder cartilage.  The bigger problem was the size of the seed.  It was barely smaller than the hole making a tiny escape route for air, mucus and water.  Her blowing was never going to put enough pressure on the seed to force it out.

What does one do when one must solve a problem one has never before solved?  That is right.  
One goes to one's internet--the source of all truth.  
The fountain of knowledge.  
The answer to all questions.

Over the course of the next several days, here is what we tried:
  • Induce a sneeze.  This is harder than you might think.  When we finally got the sneeze to come, it was impossible to plug the unaffected nostril.  Ineffective.  And, plus, gross.
  • With a bulb syringe, try to grab the seed with suction to pull it out.  I could not get a good suction connection.  Ineffective.
  • With that same bulb syringe, squirt water up the unaffected nostril to try to flush the seed out the plugged nostril.  Not only was this ineffective, but it made a terrible mess and I nearly drowned my youngest daughter.
  • Per instructions found on this exhaustive manual called The Internet, I placed my mouth over my daughters mouth, plugged the good nostril and tried to force the seed out with my own breath.  Completely hilarious!  Unfortunately, also completely ineffective.
  • On two occasions, we tried swimming--specifically jumping into the water repeatedly.  With all of the water that flushes through the nose and mouth during splashy, aggressive water play, we were very hopeful that some of the water would loosen the seed, allowing it to fall out on its own.
  • Getting the child to laugh with pop in her mouth--forcing the fizzy drink out her nose.  She swallowed before she laughed.  Every time.
  • Because I could see the seed so clearly and knew that if I could just get her to hold still, I could pull it out.  I gave her Benedryl and waited for her to fall into a sound sleep.  Taking the tool I fashioned out of a bobby pin and with the flashlight in her mouth to provide peripheral light, I began my attempt.  She jumped awake at the first brush of the metal on her skin.  I enlisted the help of her father and her brother.  We papoosed her to the bed and I once again attempted removal.  I got the tool in the right place and began to pull on the seed.  It rolled.  Try again.  Rolled again.  Try, roll, try, roll.  Giving up, I felt a sense of relief that I didn't lobotomize my daughter.  Of course, she still had a cherry seed in her nose.
  • Theorize that the seed couldn't be grabbed because it was too slippery.  Try squirting dry baking soda in her nostril to absorb some of the slippery stuff.  Fail.
  • This is about the time I hollered at everyone in my family.  I was frustrated because I'd tried everything I could think to try and when I turned around, the house was in mayhem.  Why, do you suppose, was the toilet seat off of the toilet?  I may never know.  Then, I felt bad about losing my temper and sat down on the couch with my super drowsy little girl, apologized to my family and quieted my crazy brain.  There I thought and thought and came up with one more crazy scheme.
  • My husband put the smallest attachment on my new vacuum cleaner and we stuck the thing up to the plugged nostril.  This, as you have probably already deduced, did not work.
The next day, my husband and I went to the temple.  As I sat in the quiet, reverent place, I prayed for an answer.  Do you know what I was told?  "Go to the doctor."  Seems obvious, but it was more of a demand than a suggestion.  Knowing a visit like this could be expensive, I kept hoping for the next great idea.  I am a DIY gal, after all!  But, no.  I was instructed to go to the doctor.

So we did.  Two doctors, actually.  Three hours and $423 later, there is no longer a seed in my daughter's nose.

Thank goodness for those golden pliers.

The end.

May there never be a sequel.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Girl Day

It was brought to my attention that each of my children were in need of something; the thing they needed was  the kind of thing that would be a nightmare to get with all of the other kids in tow.  We put the dates on the calendar and I've been checking them off.  Today was the third's turn.

I handed another dress to her younger sister as I proclaimed to her, "This is too small for you!"  With tears brimming her eyes, and while I watched her bravely trying to keep them from spilling over, she explained, "Mom, that was my last summer dress."

You should know that her favorite books in the universe are the Fancy Nancy books and have been since she was four. This girl prefers dresses and would wear one every day.  Unfortunately, her older sister whose hand-me-downs fill her wardrobe, rather dislikes dresses.  Shopping for dresses became the number one goal of our day.

After our successful shopping trip, we went to "get our toes done."  She mostly has her toes done by someone under the age of 10, so going to a salon was definitely in the fancy column.  Unfortunately, the nail technician talked at lightening speed about how drunk she got last night . . . and how she threw her daughter out of the house . . . and changed the keys and how she is so stressed and . . . and . . . and.  She had a pretty strong accent so I don't think my daughter picked up on most of it, but every time the lady brought up a new topic, my eyes grew wider.  They were trying to communicate telepathically that the child whose toenails she was painting was EIGHT.  Honestly, lady.

Toes turned out cute, though.

After the toes, we went to get a pretzel.  You will not believe this, but the gal dipping our pretzel in the Parmesan cheese was telling us all about her little brother's girlfriend who was pregnant and they wanted to "take care of it."  She wanted to tell her parents, but had been sworn to secrecy.  
"Maybe I want that baby," she declared.  

Now, I love people and I love talking to people, but mercy!  I was with my little girl.
Good thing she missed most of the meaning behind the words in that conversation.

To add insult to injury, the mailboxes outside our window were labeled this way:

Augh!  WHO DID THAT???
It was almost more than I could handle.

We came home and I decided it was as good of a time as any to give her hair a much needed trim.  
I'm not sure what happened, but I can tell you that it kept getting worse
and worse
and worse.

I finally gave up.

We didn't say a word to the stylist, but we kept giving each other secret looks as the stylist made comments like, "Who usually does her hair," and "Oh, my.  This is really uneven."  and "Was this supposed to be an asymmetrical cut?"

Ha Ha.  Nope, I just completely screwed up.  :)

Cute, huh?

An eventful day, no?  I am sure lucky that I had her to spend it with.

Friday, July 20, 2012


Guess what came in the mail today.
Okay, I'll just tell you. 

Justin is now a licensed Pharmacist.  

There was a lot of hooting and hollering, clapping and jumping, hugging and and overwhelming feeling of relief.  

You have no idea how nice it has been to have someone to help do the jobs I have normally had to do on my own.  Jobs like digging and moving sod, fixing things, helping educate the children and even helping everyone get ready to go swimming!  

Something is wrong with our dryer.  It is mega loud.  Because of the summer heat (and my lack of a clothes line) I've been trying to only launder at night.  Our bedroom is right by the dryer.  Doing the laundry at night has helped with the temperature inside our house, but it isn't my favorite lullaby.
Here.  Let me show you:

The good news is that my husband is officially and totally done with school and has volunteered to solve this problem for me. 
Yeah for me!!

We have had an extra share of stormy weather up here this year.  I LOVE it, love it, LOVE it.  You have to hear how loud the rain is on our roof. Here are a couple of my daughters (one in her Luna Lovegood getup) and a niece.

The boy repented and has even given a few honest and enthusiastic thank you's over the past several days.
We got the bed built, closet rod hooked up and dresser slipped into place.  The room is still only about 6' x 5', but at least it isn't the living room couch!

It is still pouring down rain with massive amounts of electricity coursing through the air.  
The boy is on the side of a mountain on a backpacking trip with his Scout Troop.  
Good thing my dad is who he is.  Isaac should be plenty prepared.

I made a goal a while back to read all of the Newbery winners.  I forgot about it until recently.  
You know what?  Not all of them are amazing.
But enough of them are that I keep going.

So that's my story this week.  Not too exciting, but based on the stories on the news, I can safely say that I'm not interested in exciting in my life right now.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another "Bedroom"

Our son has had no bedroom since we moved into our trailer.  On average, he spends three out of four weeks at the home of a host family.  That one week he spends at home, he lives in the living/computer/TV/library/music room.  Yes, he has needed privacy and a place for all of his things and all, but really, I needed for him to have a place.  If I have insomnia (which is frequent, if you'll notice the times on my blog posts), I was stuck!  I couldn't turn on the computer or TV because the boy was asleep on the couch.  I couldn't turn on my bedside lamp to read because there was a man sleeping in the bed next to me.  I found myself in the bathroom, humphing that I had no other place to hide away!

When we knew that we would have him home for most of the summer, we decided that something had to be done . . . and without going to great expense.  We considered many ideas, but decided to enclose half of our front porch.  It was just long enough for a bed and already had a roof, floor and electricity.

At the beginning, with one of my pajamaed helpers.

This, by the way, is what a project looks like when you do not have a shop or a workbench and you do have a lot of help. 

And he has a door!  

And, yes, a door knob.  I had to stick it in backwards so that it opens out.  If it opened in, there wouldn't be room for a bed.  :)

Walls.  What a spoiled brat.  His own walls.  No one else in this family can claim something so frivolous.
Also, check out that good little worker.  

Trim and caulk.  
There are also a couple of paint chips up there for us to think over.

Because we made due with the front porch, there were some open spaces that needed filling.  
They have been filled.
After the foam cured, I cut until it was level with the floor.  It is now safely hidden under carpet or behind insulation.

Add insulation and a carpet remnant and it's pretty much a bedroom.

The truth of the matter, is that I was going to build a bed frame that was tall enough to stick a dresser beneath, but my son is being . . . well . . . 13 . . . 
and he ain't gettin' nuttin' else outta me until he gets his act together and starts 'preciating what I do for him!!

Did you get that, son?  
I tried not to be too subtle.


It is the cherry time of year.  It has been a great season for them and I've been picking. seeding and freezing like mad.

My fingers may bear the stain for months.  
(This was after scrubbing and scrubbing and doing a sink full of dishes!)

Are you "doing" cherries, too?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Landscape Design

This is how our meadow looks right now.  It is full of wildflowers and waving grasses.  It is about the most peaceful place in the universe.  I love the ocean, but for me, nothing beats the soothing lullaby of flora dancing in a fresh mountain breeze.

As we plan our Someday House, we have to think about landscaping.  Something I see a lot is a garden that is too sculpted for its surroundings.  This house, for instance, blends well with the forest setting, but the stark landscaping sticks out like a sore thumb.

Ug.  That lawn and the perfectly pruned shrubs take away curb appeal!

When my brother was in town last week, we took a trip to a local Japanese Garden.

I don't know why because it's really not a great photo, but this picture makes me laugh.
I don't want to disrupt what I've got going with the meadow and the wildflowers, but there is a bit of control that must be done so that our land is usable.  I think the Japanese garden style is just the ticket.

I love the interplay between the different greens and dark reds.  And I love that all of the hardscapes are natural materials--wood and stone--with a careful use of water.

Here is an image I snagged from Pinterest that portrays the same kind of tamed natural setting.

Sometimes divisions are required in a garden.  You can fence an area without it detracting from the beautiful setting.

This isn't to say I won't have color or vegetables, but it will be carefully placed.

Ah, yes.  We cannot compete with God's garden, but even in the Garden of Eden, 
Adam was instructed  
"to dress it and keep it."  
Genesis 2:15

So we shall . . .
in our own Eden.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


This last weekend, my husband had an honest-to-goodness Saturday OFF.  He has had to work or study or help me slave away at some urgent task every Saturday for the last forever years, so it had to be done right.

We took a drive up to the top of the highest peak in our area to take a look around.  Literally, around.

Someone built these great viewers on top of the mountain.  They weren't binoculars, just metal pipes aimed so that, upon spying through, you would see a lake.  It is easy to get confused when you are looking at things from an unfamiliar vantage point so these really helped us navigate.  I don't know if it was, but it looked like a great Eagle Project!

Though they were a bit tall.

Next to the ski lift is this old stone building.  I'm not sure its original intended use, but I know it has been used as a lookout and a refuge.

This is not my picture (swiped it from Sewell Scenics), but this is what it looks like in the Winter.

Cool shot, huh?

This crazed fan loved it because she thought it looked like The Three Broomsticks.  

I didn't see the connection much, but I did love the massive fireplace.  You can warm up those frozen tootsies fast in front of this flame.

Back out the door.  Such an amazing view. 
Not worth winter's hefty price.

We enjoyed just dinkin' around, as my dad would say.

With no where to go and no chore that had couldn't wait.

Surrounded by mega dorks.

We found a shady spot (in summer's version of the place we cross-country skied my childhood winters away) and had a picnic.  

This was my favorite part of the day.  Laying down in the cool mountain air, listening to the birds banter in the trees.  

(The pipe lookout thingy's are right at the base of the radio towers.)
We happened to go to the mountain the same day a bunch of nuts athletes were killing themselves taking on the insane challenging 34 mile, 4000 feet elevation gain Climb a Mountain run.  There is no way we couldn't be impressed by them.  (Parenthetically, my dad completed this run several years ago.  He had never even run a 5K and decided to go straight for the throat.  Yes, he trained for a while and all, but couldn't his first run been the Tiger Trot or some other such nonsense?  Awesome.  Really.)

But us lazies?  We drove down the mountain and dove into this:

It was a fabulous Summer Saturday.


Last week, all of my parents' grandchildren and great-grandchild were in town.  This sort of thing doesn't happen every day!  As children grow and families spread across the nation, we knew we had to capture them all together in a "quick" snapshot.  
Hahahaha, snort, bwahaha.  Quick?  With all these kids?  What were we thinking?

Remember this nice photo?  I actually had several poses in mind, but, as you are about to see, getting just one decent shot was, well, miraculous.

We start getting everyone in place and the youngest ones are reluctant.  No problem, we'll pull the grandparents in to help hold and put a stop to the crying.

With the small ones being pacified under the practiced hands of the grandparents, we thought we would get the shot and move on.  Have you ever tried taking pictures with big kids?  No, I'm not talking about 9 or 10 year old big kids, I'm talking about the 16 and up category.

As we're hollering at the young ones up front, problems are brewing in the back.

Oh, no.  Things are getting worse.

And look how hard the little kids are trying!  We could have just socked those kids in the back.

But, we didn't.  
Now the younger are starting to play along.
The photo shoot is falling apart.

Things are reeling out of control.  Digressing fast. 

Aaaand . . . that was that.

Sorry, Mom and Dad.  We tried.

No one can call us boring!