Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sledding in Flagstaff

Despite my feeling like I was on my deathbed, I was DETERMINED to see snow this year and knew this might be our only opportunity to go, so Friday we packed into the 'burban and headed north to Flag. (For those of you wondering where to go: if you have teens, the two places on the 180 toward Nordic center are fine, but crowded. If you just have little kids, just go to NAU and find a hill!)

Bryce loved the snow, but was cold and shivering after about a half hour, so that was the extent of our sledding adventure. I was actually back in the car about 10 minutes before Todd and Bryce. But I loved seeing the snow! It was so pretty!

Allie stepped over the fence and into calf-high snow. Brrrrrrrrr.

The San Francisco Peaks...AZ's highest elevation at over 12K feet. Isn't it pretty?

I would like to live in that house...okay, maybe not, but what a great spot if you don't mind cold winters (I do).

And finally, me, freezing my buhjoinkas off:

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tracey, Are You Out There?

Growing up in the "State Streets" in Woodbridge, VA, I had a lot of great friends, some of whom I've mentioned recently after reconnecting with them after over 25 years.

One I haven't found yet is Tracey Bradley. I would love to find her. I want to remind her of the time we sat in my basement with my broken tape recorder and how we laughed so hard we could barely breathe.

My tape recorder was "broken" for all intents and purposes, but to us, it was greatly improved. See, if you recorded something, then flipped the cassette over and hit "play," whatever you recorded would play backwards.

We said everything we could think of backwards: our names, places, random words, the alphabet (did you know that "H" backwards says "sh!t?" It does, it really does!)

Our tape recorder hijinks memories came flooding into my head just now after Allie showed me a funny video she and her friend, Cayli, had made today with Allie's new Flip (a very fun thing, by the way; I wish Tracey and I had had one of those back in the day!).

I hope Allie and Zane...and someday Bryce will have great memories like the ones I have from the State Streets.

GelaSkins Inc.

No Crapstain

For those of you who've been wondering why there have been no posts for the past week, I have been sick sick sick sickly sick.
Coughing, sneezing, aching, stuffy, runny...whiney.
I was sick in bed all of Christmas day. So fun!
Friday I perked up enough to take a drive to Flagstaff to see SNOW SNOW SNOW, but haven't uploaded the pix yet. Well, I started, but then the upload crashed. Will do the rest soonly. Here are a couple that made it on; nothing great:

Saturday I was okay-ish. Sunday Todd and I gave talks in Church (mine on missionary work; his on unity) and I coughed and hmmm-hmm'ed through mine. But it went well; I'm grateful for the chance to give a talk.

Yesterday I had the most ginormous headache, and still have it today. Off to NSA to get my head put back on right! Then a stop at Sprouts for some zinc (since mine expired last April) and some olive leaf extract to kill anything in my body that doesn't belong there. (Thanks to my friend who suggested those things!)
So that's it! Yuck-o-rama!

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

crapstain in the News

Go make one for you!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Twilight Before Christmas

BIG HUGE shout out to my sis in law, ERIN, for sending this flipping hilarious video!!!!!

GelaSkins Inc.

Friday, December 19, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is a Mother

This year for Christmas, I sent my mom a package with these yummy fruit and nut candies that Todd thought she'd love and a couple of games I thought she would enjoy playing with my brother, since he recently separated from his wife and moved in with our mom. I should have known better than to send her anything.

I called her this morning and asked if the package had arrived. She said that it had arrived yesterday. I asked her if she had opened it and she said, "Yes, and I tell you I was mighty disappointed. That candy is nasty; I might as well have opened a jar of jelly. And I don't even know if your brother likes card games." (One of the games was Phase 10; I thought she would like it because we grew up playing Rummy and it's similar.)

My heart sank. Why, why, why did I bother? Why do I do this to myself? Will I never learn? After 39 years of living with her special brand of evil, will I never stop seeking that motherly bond that I cannot seem to stop craving, even at this age? Even though I have a family of my own? Will I never stop allowing her to stab me in the heart?

I see other women with their loving moms...arms around each other in a warm embrace. I see the love in their eyes. I long for that. I ache for a mom to call and share things with; one who will understand and just try to comfort. Instead I get the lecturing, negative, everything is wrong in the world mother who is so very skilled at making me feel like crap. She's not the hugging type. She doesn't say, "I love you." I think I moved 2500 miles away so I wouldn't have to experience the pain in person. It's not quite as hard over the phone.

Diamonds are lovely, chocolate is divine, vacations are exciting, but all I really want is the love of a mom.

GelaSkins Inc.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bryce and the Merry Christmas Sugar

This morning, Bryce dumped red and green sugar onto a stool in the kitchen. We have sprinkles of every color of the rainbow in the drawer, so how he happened to pick red and green--traditional Christmas colors--is beyond me.

After I told him he had chosen Christmas colors, he stood back to admire his work.

Then he peeked in the drawer to see if anything could be added. No, our child never wears pants, in case you were wondering.

Having decided that the red and the green were perfect all by themselves, Bryce was then free to taste his artistic creation.

And it was good.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hot Sweaty Cello Players

Metallica, courtesy of some hot, sweaty cello players. Just watch. Trust me.

GelaSkins Inc.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Proof of My Existence

You know those "Coming-of-Age" movies involving young friends who have such a tight bond that it just makes you all heart-achey and gushy? They share good times, tragedy, life changes, and they remain close through it all? You know, like Stand by Me, and all those. Those are friends who are so deeply rooted in your heart that if they're no longer in your life, you have a little hollow spot inside where they should be.

Shortly after my dad died in 1982, my mom and I moved from our Woodbridge, Virginia home, which I had lived in for the first 13 years of my life, to a small rural community in central VA. I missed my friends, especially Laura. My father's death had a huge negative impact on me; I was numb and barely functional for many years. I saw Laura only once in the years that followed. During that visit, I learned that her father had died like my own. That made our bond even stronger. After high school, I joined the Air Force and served mainly overseas in Japan. I never stopped thinking of my old friends back in Woodbridge. Laura and I tried to reconnect here and there, but missed by months or miles.

Yesterday, I thought to search for Laura on Facebook. There she was, right there on my computer screen. My heart skipped a beat; I quickly sent a "friend request." An hour later, a chat window popped up. Technology is great, but nothing beats the sound of an old friend's voice. We talked for over an hour on the phone. We laughed, reminisced, and I cried. A little hollow spot in my heart had been refilled. I can't tell you how much it means to me to be in touch with Laura again. And Wendy, and Tina.... You were all such a big part of my life back then. I look forward to more laughs and more memories in the making!

And now I'll stop being a sentimental (or maybe just mental) dork and post some pix from "back in the day."

Me, Laura, Sonya, Wendy on our way to a school dance. I thought I was hot stuff! These girls were so fun! Sonya and I used to roller skate and sing that song, "I want you to want me...." Wendy always thought up the funniest stuff. One little tune she sang once when we were goofing off at her house was, "Needles and pines sticking in your spines." That was soooooooo hilarious back then. Okay, it still is! Laura and I always seemed to be having seances. We summoned the spirit of John Lennon just a week after he died and when we did, the candle we were chanting to blew out, the electricity went out, and the phone rang once...spooky! We all used to do "light as a feather, stiff as a board." I remember doing that at one of Wendy's slumber worked, but I have no idea why.

Laura and me in D.C.

Me holding Shane, Laura's parakeet.

Heather, Laura, Wendy, and me holding the 13th Commandment, which we thought was just hilarious! I remember Heather giggling at my dad's funeral. Heather, Laura, Wendy and I had gone into the chapel alone and were sitting in a pew. Heather started giggling. Laura and Wendy were trying to get her to stop and be respectful, but honestly, I was grateful for the laughter. I needed it!

Laura, thanks for letting me steal these pix off Facebook! Not that I asked first....

I love you girls!

GelaSkins Inc.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Starry Sky Shutter

It's so fun to goof off with digital cameras, isn't it?

These were taken with the shutter left open for 15 seconds ("Starry Sky" setting on my Lumix). The one below is the Christmas tree mixed with Allie.

This is what we do when we're bored. And now so are you! Bwaahahahahaha!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dr. Faustman, I Love You! I Fall at Your Feet!

Forget my birthday! I declare today

Worship Dr. Faustman Day!

Phase 1 of her trial is underway to determine if the t.b. vaccine BCG can cure type 1 diabetes in humans and tests conducted so far has been successful!

Findings show that the human body can regenerate beta cells (the ones that produce insulin!) and that the T-lymphocyte cells which kill the beta cells can be safely destroyed!

A cure is on the way!

Allie will, within the next couple of years, be able to throw out all those needles and lancets and vials of insulin! I am confident in that!

Dr. Faustman, you ROCK!

This is the best birthday present ever!

GelaSkins Inc.

Happy Birthday to Me!

I love birthdays! They are just so fun, even if we do nothing at all. I have no idea why I love b.days so much, but there ya go!

Look what my cute kids got me:

They know me too well! I'm the ultimate Hello Kitty freak. Heeeeeeeeey, I lived in Japan for two years...that's my excuse!

GelaSkins Inc.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rare Video Footage of Todd (Hehehe)

Sorry these videos are so dark; we were hanging out in the light of the tree. It was such a fine family moment that Todd broke out in song. Enjoy these RARE videos!

The Dolphin Song:

The Sittin' on my Porch Song:

The Jailhouse Farm Song (When the Saints Remix)
Accompaniment by Zane B. (warning: Z was not warmed up :o)

GelaSkins Inc.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Allie!

Allie turned 15 today!


She avoided my dozens of attempts to get a picture of her in her new silver pants and black ballet tutu, haha, but I got her holding my Japanese Black Black Gum!

I think Al had a good birthday. Last night, she chose The Cheesecake Factory for her birthday dinner. It was a fun night. Today we hung out together all day at home and Todd made cupcakes (I'm making an ice cream cake for her sleepover party next weekend).

I love you, Cheeky Cheese! Happy Birthday!

Big smooch from Mother Pony!

GelaSkins Inc.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Crazy Planetary Alignment is Messing With Me!

Okay, for reals, Monday nights are always a little chaotic at our house. I leave for Russian lessons when the kids get home from school. Todd usually arrives home before I return. Every week, I hope SOMEONE will have dinner ready or Family Home Evening prepared before I get back.

It never happens.

So, occasionally we just order out and this past Monday, we all wanted a sandwich from LaSpada (this fantabulicious Italian deli down the road). I phoned in an order and 15 minutes later, hopped in the car to retrieve it.

I pulled out from the garage and noticed this gorgeous crescent moon hanging majestically in the sky, adorned just to the south-right (from my view) with 2 brightly glowing planets (Jupiter and Venus).

Completely WOW'ed, I called Todd and told him to go outside with the kids and check out this amazing sight. They were equally impressed.

But ever since then, one "accident" after another has been happening to me. Just to name a couple, the eyeball incident I wrote about yesterday, and the putting-my-back-out incident I didn't write about yesterday, but mentioned in my status on FaceBook. (OUCH OUCH OUCH)

I'm blaming it all on this beautiful but meddlesome planetary alignment. Jupiter is, after all, my "ruling planet" since I'm Sagittarius (even though I don't live my life by astrology as I mentioned in my right sidebar).

Speaking of being Sagittarius, my birthday is Tuesday and I'm turning 39, which means starting Wednesday, the COUNTDOWN IS ON for my 40th BIRTHDAY BASH!

GelaSkins Inc.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Feeling a Tad RAMbunctious

I follow some blogs that are funny and witty and make me laugh. But some of the funny women who write them will occasionally drop the "f-bomb."

And that ruins the whole read for me!

Why do they dooooooooo that? They're bright, clever women! Surely they have more interesting words in their repertiores! If not, it would be more pleasing to me if they just made one up on the fly; it would show creativity.

And do they not care that their children will be reading that someday?

Instead, they use the completely unoriginal f-word.

BORING. A BIG TURN OFF. FLUMMADIDDLE! (That is a real word, by the way.)

Come on, ladies, surely you can do better than that!

And on another note, after my great computer registry fix the other day which left our computer crash-free and running smoothly, I still decided to order some additional RAM ($39 for 1 GB at!) and it arrived yesterday.

I was soooooooooo excited to put it in, but I couldn't see! Bryce and I were playing on the floor--I was on my back and he'd jump into my arms and I'd lift him over me--the airplane, you know. Well, at one point, something fell into my eye.

"Hoinking crapstain!" I thought, as I ran to the bathroom to wash it out.

Too late; the debris (probably a rogue piece of glitter from the Christmas Tree, O' Christmas Tree) had already scratched my oh-so-very-delicate cornea.

It hurt soooo bad I wanted to just yell the f-word. Instead, I yelled, "Freaking flipping forking flibbidy freak!" Okay, those are all still f-words, but at least I tried!

So, after a long and torturous wait, and my friend and visiting teacher, Tiffany, thoroughly investigating my eyeball (now I know she would truly do anything for me--big smooch to you, Tiff!), and my friend Shawna driving Allie and Zane to music lessons, and Todd's 2-hour drive home from working in Tucson, I finally made it to Urgent Care around 7 last night.

Eyeball numbing drops are wonderful.

Dr. Brooks is wonderful.

Eyeball stain that makes your eyeball glow flourescent yellow is fabulous and should be available OTC.

Friends who are there for you in an eyeball crisis are super wonderful and smoochable.

Husbands who are calm and patient while driving their trying-not-to-shout-the-f-word wives to Urgent Care are delicious.

The goopey ooze in my eyeball this morning isn't so great, but eyeball antibiotics are just plain, yes, WONDERFUL.

And you, you are wonderful, too!

GelaSkins Inc.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rebirth of Our Computer--a Great Fix You Must Know About!

Or maybe I'm the last to know, but anyway, our computer has been slowly dying for about 6 months now. The past few weeks have been pure torture. Seriously, I would click on Outlook Express, then go do something else while it opened. And if, Heaven forbid, we'd try to have more than two programs running at once...CRASH AND BURN, baby. It was super freaking annoying. I couldn't even do my job, so I quit. (That's kinda funny now.)

I figured my RAM was being sucked up by the million behind-the-scenes programs running. I did the anti-spy, the defrag, the clean-up, the lah-di-dah, the this 'n that, EVERYTHING.

Nothing helped.

So finally I ran across this thingamabob that claimed it could clean and repair my registry and my problems would be solved and life would be joyous again. I checked it out. It was $45, a little steep. But still, cheaper than a new computer, and if it didn't work I would argue with them and get my money back. Or at least, in my head I would get my money back.

So I shelled out the $45 and got this program. (It's just for Windows XP, by the way.)

I ran the diagnostics. In less than 5 minutes, it found like 300 errors in my registry. I click "Repair," and in less than a second, VOILA! Computer is running like new!

Life is beautiful!

GelaSkins Inc.