Monday, March 9, 2015


I promise these won't all be bunny pics. I just have a few that are too cute not to share. 

Mimi Lee and Baby Mabey (Formally known as Mimi and Mabel.)

Mimi likes to jump on my back and walk around whenever she notices me lying on the floor. What a cutie. Here she is perched on the best seat in the house. ;-)

This is pretty much the only time I think chewing is adorable. 

I looooove it when she flops on her side to nap. She is the picture of comfort.

Mimi isn't quite as easygoing as her sister is. I rarely catch her with her eyes closed. She must be a very light sleeper. 

I seriously love our bunnies. 

Cora trying to get Mimi to pose for a pic.

Oliver went through a phase months ago where he'd put all my metal frosting tips on his fingers like claws.

One of several Jane selfies I discovered on my phone. =)

I finally got the chance to check out Trader Joe's in January. I was downtown reporting for jury duty, but the judge ended up not needing anyone that morning, so we were dismissed after a while of waiting around. At least I got free cocoa. I skittered down the street to Trader Joe's and selected some yummy-looking products. The treats pictured above were delectable.

I came across a seriously sad shirt on a juniors' clearance rack at Shopko...

Just the kind of encouragement teens need. =/

Here's evidence of Cora and Jane raking the leaves. They weren't too thrilled about having to do it, but I caught them having fun together. They didn't notice me peering at them through the front window.

These pictures don't show that they're getting anything done, but they did in real life. 

When I bought these earrings, the cashier made some lighthearted remark about how they must be a gift for someone else, since she couldn't picture me wearing them. She obviously doesn't know me at all. 

Jane loves painting her nails. She fashioned these Santa hats for Christmas...

So cute! She really has a knack for nail art. 

I'm often amused by the way things are advertized. 

I hate to tell you, Jergens, but I bet the bottle would look fresher without the little magenta corner telling me how fresh it looks. 

Ahhhhh... I can almost smell the rosiness of this pic I took at the end of September. It's never too late to share a flower photo, right?

Ryan and I took the kids on a greenbelt bikeride the beginning of October. We stopped for a bit at this remarkable tree behind Veterans Park that we like so much.

Once in a while it seems that our kids actually like each other. =)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

22 Tidbits

It's been a while since my last random post. Get your snacks ready and start reading. (Not that it's going to take too long to get through.)

1. Here's a cake I made for my niece way back in May. Her mom gave me about a day's notice.

I still can't figure out how to make the frosting smooth. =/ Other than that, I liked how it turned out.

2. Almost nothing stresses me out as much as having to cook a meal for someone other than my immediate family. Most of the problem is trying to decide what to make that'd be acceptable to everyone. The rest of the problem is knowing that I'm not a good cook. =P

3. Whenever I see an old shopping list left in a cart, I wonder: what if the next person to take that cart HAD to buy and do everything on that list? Wouldn't that make a thrilling movie plot?  It could show various shoppers embarking on seemingly routine grocery excursions, only to have things take a serious downward spiral when a discarded grocery/to-do list is discovered in the bottom of the cart. Don't need or like anything on the list? Too bad -- you're getting it anyway! Or. ELSE. (I'll have to think of a good consequence.)

4. How about something called macarooni? It's like traditional macaroni and cheese, but with crushed up macaroons mixed in.  =P

5. I fixed up this special batch of cookies for my niece's baptism in September. She wanted her initial on some of them. This pic makes me want to make some more. I'm gearing up to bake a bunch for Valentine's Day.

6. I think from now on my signature way of saying no should be "I shan't."  After a while, people will stop asking me to do stuff because they are confused about why I keep saying that. Duh - it's the first half of my name and a refusal all in one. My own personal "no way."

7. I think it's about time for a drive-thru hair salon. It could be called Rush Cuts. Customers simply drive up to the window, then kind of lean out the car window while a stylist reaches out with a pair of shears to swiftly whittle away unwanted wisps of hair. Folks could prepay for up to 2 minutes of pampering. Who wants to go inside a salon anymore and sit around in some strange, soiled chair? I think people would rather just stay in their cars. Another bonus: no tedious sweeping between each lousy haircut. Birds would collect the hair off the ground and make some really illustrious nests.

8.  When I was placing this box of oatmeal on the conveyor belt at the store, at first glance I thought it said "party pack." What better way is there to celebrate an occasion than with steaming bowls of microwaved oatmeal?

9. I'm getting better at introducing myself to new people and having less clumsy conversations with them. =)

10. I used to draw pictures for my parents and sign them with: "I love you. Love me too."

11. I just realized Oil of Olay dropped the "oil" part of their brand name at some point.

Now would be the perfect time for them to introduce a zesty twist on their product. How about changing the name to Olé? It'd sound about the same except the moisturizer would be infused with taco seasoning and refried beans.

12. More cookies I made at some point in the past year...

Speaking of which, the other morning I asked Oliver if he'd eaten breakfast yet. He confidently answered, "yeah, I had sprinkles." Gah. Well, I guess he feels like I have more than enough to spare. I'm trying to teach him that sprinkles alone don't make a meal. There at least has to be a cookie underneath them.

13. How to get citizens to cut down on committing crimes: make a public service announcement warning about the quantity of creamed corn they serve in jail. (Maren and I thought of that idea one night on our drive to tap class.)

14. Sometimes I wouldn't mind being one of those guys who gets paid to dance around with a sign outside a business. It looks sort of fun and/or humiliating. I'm pretty good at both of those things.

15. This happened when I was about to make enchiladas. All I did was pour some sauce in the pan and tilt it at alternating angles, which somehow formed a tiny, perfectly shaped heart.

What does it mean?!

16. A while ago I was at Forever 21 in the mall when that one Taylor Swift song suddenly came on. "I don't know about you -- but I'm feeling 22."  I felt like the music and everyone in the store should have come to a screeching halt in that moment. When that didn't happen I just giggled a little at the irony of hearing those lyrics in that particular store.

17. Here's a crummy picture of my budding bicep. My sporadic participation in Body Pump classes has paid off over the last couple of years. I really have noticed significant changes in my arms, legs and bum. Now if I could just step away from the junk food and start running again I might be able to fit back into my favorite jeans from last year. =/

18. I got this letter in the mail months after we consumed the last helping of potentially lethal almond butter.

I especially enjoyed that it instructed me to destroy the product and container, not just discard it. Does Salmonella tend to crawl out of trashcans and attack if it isn't properly slaughtered?

19. When listening to the oldies station, a DJ was discussing a contest and how to enter. Just as he'd finished up giving instructions, the Beatles' "I'm a Loser" started playing. Whether he planned that "coincidence" or not, it made me laugh.

20. Here's a peek at a pair of my dewy blooms from late last summer. Aren't they pretty in all their polychromatic, watery glory?

21. I've gotten a lot better at self checkout lanes. I used to hate them and avoid them, especially if I had any produce to buy. But now I can get through them without my heart rate spiraling out of control. Go me.

22. How about a store called Pants to Ponder? (inspired by that phrase "points to ponder.")
It's exactly what it sounds like. Pants, and lots of them. The kind you want to contemplate. And they'd all have pockets. Because pants without pockets are practically pointless.

I guess that's it for now!

Monday, February 9, 2015

"Real Women"

"Real women have curves,"  said a whole lot of people over the Internet.

Really? I thought all adult females were women, and real, no matter the amount of contours.

I see the comments people make, claiming that so-and-so's body is unrealistic, or gross, or some other insensitive adjective. Aren't all women real and unique and beautiful in their own way, regardless of size? Then why the heck are we regularly led to believe that men only like women who are built a certain way, and if they don't have just the right volume of this or that, then they simply aren't worth looking at?

Every man out there apparently admires the same body type; so if she weighs too much or too little she just can't be attractive to anyone, ever, no matter how great her character traits are? I happen to know not all men want the same kind of woman, so why do articles and their comment threads keep trying to prove the contrary? It's like people think their personal opinions are scientific evidence.

Here's a lame saying I've seen: "Real men go for meat. Bones are for dogs." First of all, what a rude thing to say. Some women are naturally slim, no matter what they do or what they eat. Some men prefer that look. Some women aren't slim, no matter what they do or what they eat. Some men like that. It stinks that people feel the need to say one group of similarly shaped women is less (or more) desirable than another. I think it's feasible to believe that some men are attracted to an array of womanly shapes. Maybe the men who realize there is more to love about ladies than just physical appearance.

Just the other day I saw an article and accompanying photo of a curvy "plus-sized" woman in a bikini. Since I've been in the process of writing this rant, I felt the need to skim through some of the comments. One of the first I noticed was, "FINALLY! A normal-looking body!" Of course a bunch of people clicked "like" on that comment, which was posted by a woman. What is normal? Why is it okay for people to bash one body type or another? I think women dislike being called "too skinny" just as much as others don't enjoy being labeled "too fat."

I have a few bones here and there that stick out a little. It's just the way I am built. A boy once compared my figure to that of a skeleton and joked that I might blow away in the wind. After a five-pound weight gain, a different male told me I was chubby and a turn-off. Those evaluations were nothing but two separate perspectives. (And boys think girls are choosy!) I've tried not to let assessments like that get to me. I've learned to appreciate my frame the way it is on any given day. I should be able to look the way I feel most comfortable, for me -- not for anyone else. But I guess that would be mighty selfish of me. ; ) My physique will never be acceptable to everyone, but it shouldn't have to be.

My point is, not all men favor the same female form. The first boy I mentioned probably would have preferred a slightly heavier version of me, when the second male would obviously opt for the lighter version of me. This is proof that the same body can be too much of something for one person and not enough of it for another person. So how can anyone make general statements about how a girl is "supposed" to look?

People need to keep mean observations to themselves. They don't help. It's especially hard to shrug off unkind comments from people we personally know. And all the online know-it-alls need to hush up once in a while instead of typing the "truth" about what guys like and don't like.  (I really should stop reading biased articles and the accompanying comments.) Everyone is different! That's the way it'll always be. Generalizations are annoying. What one person loves, another doesn't. And that should be okay.

It shouldn't matter what anyone else thinks or says about anyone else's body. If a woman feels comfortable in her own skin, who is anyone else to tell her she's wrong?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Call Me

Sometimes I miss phone conversations. It seems like people don't have time for them anymore. Or they just don't want to have time for them.

Texts can be handy, but not when a series of short questions and answers spans hours (or days) rather than the couple of minutes a quick phone call would take. Maybe people don't call because actual talking takes longer than typing - especially when they remember how much fun it is to hear a friendly voice on the phone, which makes it hard to end a call in a timely fashion.

It's understandable when there are long lulls within text conversations. It's admirable when people aren't attached to their phones, just watching and waiting for the next text to arrive. I'm just saying it's kind of sad to think that humans are increasingly avoiding the old-timey art of talking on the phone. What happened to it? Don't folks know that hearing the expression in a voice can't be replaced by a string of typed words? At least not all the time.

The other thing with texts is, if there is no answer, the sender is left wondering whether the recipient is pretending not to see the message, somehow didn't see it, forgot to reply, or is simply away from their phone. I usually tell myself it's that last option. When speaking over the phone it's harder to remain aloof.
("Um. Why aren't you answering my question? I know you're there. . . I can hear you breathing.")

I bet the song "Say Something" was about a text misunderstanding. Someone sends a few texts and doesn't instantly hear back from the recipient, which causes some slight paranoia. The minutes tick by, and still no answer, so the same someone sends this playful little nudge:

Say something, I'm giving up on you.  ; )

Seven painful minutes more...

I'll be the one if you want me to... 
Anywhere, I would've followed you. ='( 
Say something, I'm giving up on you. 

43 and a half miserable minutes later...

And I am feeling so small. It was over my head. I know nothing at all. 

A dozen more minutes pass...

And I will stumble and fall. I'm still learning to love. . . just starting to crawl. =/

(At this point the sender of the texts is parked outside the recipient's house, peering through the tear-streaked car window.)

One last poignant text, for good measure.

Say something, I'm giving up on you. I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you. Anywhere, I would've followed you. Say something, I'm giving up on you . . . 

Actually, one more tiny text...

 I will swallow my pride. You're the one that I love . . . And I'm saying goodbye. =(  

Another tiny while passes by, and then finally a reply:

Hey, what's up? I just got done having my phone repaired. I haven't checked all the texts you sent yet. 

Oh, uhhh, it was nothing, really! LOL. Just silly stuff. Go ahead and delete those. =) 

Of course he reads them all.  =/


Well, that was a nice tangent. And more than enough for now. Call someone soon, and hope they actually answer the phone so you can have a really lovely chat, with laughs and all that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Romeo & Juliet

Back in November my nephew Isaac played a significant role in his high school's production of Romeo & Juliet. He was Friar Laurence. Cora and I gladly attended the Friday evening performance. We met Erin, Barry, Ethan, and my parents there. After the show, Erin invited us to their house for some yummy brownies and ice cream.

We were impressed with the amount of lines he had to memorize, and most of them weren't simple or short. He and the rest of the actors did a great job, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing them on stage.

Being the lame aunt I am, I forgot to take a picture of Isaac.

Whenever I hear about this particular Shakespeare play, I can't help but think of a makeshift MadLib a friend once created for me. He chose this famous scene and took out various words, replacing them with words I supplied. Neither of us had a clue what hilarity would ensue.

Here, just read it and see for yourself...

But, soft! what casserole through yonder window bathes?
It is the east, and Shannon is the goose.
Arise, fair sun, and blush the embarrassing moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her dress art far more frumpy than she:
Be not her maid, since she is mangled;
Her lunch livery is but sick and beige
And none but hammer do wear it; arrange it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my bomb!
O, that she knew she were!
She stirs yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her femur discourses; I will attack it.
I am too ginormous, 'tis not to me she trembles:
Two of the scrumptious stars in all the smackerel,
Having some business, do entreat her groin
To twinkle in their poptarts till they return.
What if her boob were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her thumb would shame those blankies,
As daylight doth a knapsack; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so unbelievable
That cheerio would whisper and think it were not night.
See, how she yells her cheek upon her shoulder!
O, that I were a flesh upon that hand,
That I might undress that cheek!

=) I had a hard time telling which were the original words and which were my offerings. (What can I say, I have a bad memory and tend to confuse easily.)

On that note,
"Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow
that I shall say good night till it be morrow."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Summer So n' Such

Now that we're about halfway between last summer and this upcoming summer, I will proceed to share a small collection of phone photos from the tail end of Summer 2014.

I took Oliver to the park one evening as a storm formed. Seemed like a good idea.

Summer storms are the best. Oliver's not so bad either. =)

The end of August/start of September means hot air balloon time. It's more than worth it to get the fam up at 6:00 and drive across town for a whole lotta beauty in sky. I need to figure out how to get someone to take me for a ride, especially during a mass launching like this. Can you imagine?

Picture you and me in whichever one of those balloons you want to. 
(Except the boring Remax one. =)

The chance arose for me to take Cora and Jane to the Discovery Center one mid-morning. We saw the impressive DaVinci exhibit and then played in the bubbles for a bit.

Later that day (I can't remember where the girls went instead) Shirley and I took the little bunch of cousins to that special spot by the river.

They worked for a while collecting all those rocks.

A few other things we enjoyed that I want to mention rather than totally forget:

We took a Lytle day trip to Roaring Springs. That's always a blast.

We also went on a quick camp trip to Silver Creek Plunge with an assortment of Ryan's family. It wasn't the best because it ended up pouring rain on us during a thunder storm, and it continued much of the night. But it could have been worse. =)  I do always enjoy mountain drives.

Cora joined a sand volleyball team through the Y and had a lot of fun with that. She learned that it's a little trickier than playing indoors. It was fun cheering her on at her weekly games.

I'm tired, so that's all I remember of summer for tonight. =)