Friday, December 26, 2008

Your Husband is a Hero

On the way back from our holiday retreat we cheerfully drove along slushy, but sun lit canyon roads in our little compact. We had just polished off the best onion rings and grilled chicken sandwich ever, followed by tasty melon gelato. Kawi was cheerfully singing on C's shoulder while C pointed out all of the places travelers had decided to take a closer look at the snowbanks, when we turned the corner to see a truck facing our way. It was four-wheel drive, but the elderly couple driving were so lodged in the bank that both tires on the left side and both axles were nearly buried in snow. We had nothing to help them, but after we stopped, another man came, directing traffic to slow and move aside on the narrow canyon road. The three cars drew the attention of a jacked up truck from California, who offered to pull the truck out, followed by an officer, and another two vehicles, offering to help. It was a team effort, and took almost 30 minutes of digging, broken pulls and a broken chain, with C guiding the process to keep the group working together. The half-buried truck finally freed, one man walked past me and said, "Your husband is a hero." Yeah! I said under my breath, a superhero!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! The birth of Jesus Christ is truly a miraculous event, an event which the entire world benefits. We are so blessed to worship according to our free will and faith. This blog entry, is also a miraculous event. That's because it's me, C! However, my little electronic scribble is nothing like the birth of the's very unlikely to change the world.

But wait, on the other hand, whom the entry is about just may... A and I are very lucky to celebrate Christmas at a special little retreat up in mountains. We're practically snowed in today with the forecasted snow storm arriving last night, a few hours behind schedule, but with none the less intensity to say the least. There's not really a whole bunch for us to do all day but eat treats, talk, play games, snuggle, oh...and did I mention eat?

We saved some of the edible gifts that were given to us this past week and took them with us on our Christmas retreat. The hardest thing that needs to be done today is run the warm water for a bath. Oh, how will we ever manage? We started off this morning by reading the scriptures, and then watching the video produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, titled, "Luke 2." We then shared some gifts while we watch "A Christmas Story" on T.V..

A is taking a nap and I'm tucked away in a quiet corner to write this note. Now back to what I was getting at a few minutes ago...The other day I noticed on MSN an article titled, "2008 Most Influential Women," and said to myself, "OK, I give" and I opened the article. I would never say that the women mentioned in the read were not influential in 2008, or in any way say anything that would take away from their influence and accomplishments.

But I just couldn't agree with the article. Maybe somehow these women have influenced my life in some way, possibly indirectly by making the world a little different or better. But I just couldn't connect the dots leading to how they have influenced myself. But then, the article wasn't titled, "the 2008 most influential women in life of C." After reading the article, I couldn't help but think of my beautiful, intelligent, and faithful wife of 10 years. She has done so much for me in my life. She may not realize this, but I learn so much from her.

Her spiritual strength is amazing, her willingness to serve others unselfishly is astounding, and her constant pursuit of learning is inspiring. And to top it all off, she's just a down right fun buddy! If you know her, you know what I'm talking about. If you don't know her, I highly recommend getting to know her. She's a great friend. Just don't take too much of her time away from me please.

What I have been able to do in my life over the past 10 years has only been possible because of her....actually, it would be much better framed by saying, all that we have accomplished. I doubt many men in the world can say this, but I have never once questioned my wife's love, commitment or intentions. Even when she "encourages" me to drive a little slower, or "suggests" a different outfit, or "offers" me a different word to use in my vocabulary...she's only doing it out of love.

Can you say that about your spouse? I have never sensed an ill feeling from her toward me....ever! I'm just so lucky to have her as a companion. As I said before, this blog entry may not change the world as the Savior has, but my wonderful wife just may...she's already changed mine! She's truly the best Christmas gift I received today!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eep. Eep.

Kawi has discovered that touching buttons often results in a beeping noise, so in anticipation, he beeps ahead of time. This includes any time we get near the microwave, the oven, the dryer (which, by the way, does not beep), cell phones, or the water and ice dispenser on the fridge. Occasionally he will visit the grocery store with us, and I am sure you can imagine what happens at check-out time.

Recently we visited Costco, where a man and his daughter doted over him. Kawi hopped right onto the man's shoulder and friendlied up to the man. He said he was considering getting a bird, but now he wanted one. As he walked away, he said, "Thank you. Thank you so much." Kawi, in response replied, "Oh, Thank you!"

Just four more work days until Christmas break. I am looking forward to a change of scenery and a break from early rushed mornings and afternoon rush hour traffic. Two days, a weekend, two more days, and a holiday break. It can't get here soon enough. I feel like the High School kid breathing in the spring air, drifting in through an open window in Math class. Just a few more. Just a few more. . .

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mobi Post

This is my very first Mobi blog post. There is always that lovely commute home with which to fill a little programming time, but today I thought blogging sounded a little more inviting. Technology is amazing.

Rather than ending the year with extra financial and mid-section baggage, we are doing just the opposite. Last night I paid off the credit card, and we decided that next year we will finish paying off the car.

Paying down debt is sort of addicting, really. It is even better than the rush of buying something new, which by the way is a pretty good rush! Now if I can keep the monthly grocery bill under what I have spent the last two months, I think we just may wind up in pretty good shape!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You are NOT going to that Funeral!

Well, it is a rare thing for A to put her foot down, but when she does, she will not be budged. Following a delightful Thanksgiving, both picturesque and tasty, somehow A caught the stomach flu.

The original plan for the Saturday following Thanksgiving looked something like this:
* In the morning, travel up the canyon to go Christmas Tree hunting
* Travel north to attend a good friend's family funeral
* Join B&B at a musical theater performance of "Into the Woods," followed by dinner

The weather report on Friday morning looked a bit snowy by Saturday, so we shifted gears and cut the tree Friday morning, and it was a good thing. By Friday evening, A was sleeping on the bathroom floor to avoid the 20 foot journey back and forth to bed. C, who decided to sip A's ginger ale found himself in a similar predicament by Saturday afternoon. It went something like this:
C: I am going to the funeral.
A: Are you sure you feel up to it?
C: {Silence}
A: Are you feeling okay?
C: {Sick in the bathroom}
A: You are NOT going to that funeral!
C: Yes I am!
A: I rarely put my foot down, but this time I am. You are not going!
C: You can't make me!
A: Yes I can!!!!

Needless to say, A won . . . this time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So Much to Learn, So Little Time

I once saw a bumper sticker that read, "So many pedestrians, so little time." I admit, my Dad's quirky sense of humor damaged me for life, and I thought it was one of the funniest things I had seen on a bumper sticker. Well, while I won't be knocking off pedestrians any time soon (or ever, as a matter of fact), I am always trying to quench some insatiable thirst for knowledge. My latest quest (in addition to computer programming) is Product Management. In a nutshell, this is the solution to years of computer programmers building software for themselves, and making the rest of us suffer for it.

I have made it about half-way through a book titled, The Inmates are Running the Asylum. While the book may not be digestible by the average Jane, the second chapter on Cognitive Friction redeems and vindicates all of those humans who seem to think that they are just not technical enough to handle technology. If you are ready to feel like you are not an idiot after all, search for the section titled "Apologists and Survivors" on Google Books.

Another newfangled addition for me is Safari Books, where I can read ten books a month for about twenty bucks. My version of "reading" is often as follows:

  • Find a digital copy of a book (ie, Safari Books)
  • Use Natural Reader to read the book to me
  • Copy interesting quotes or phrases in OneNote for later reference

And this after trying to simplify technology for others. Hey, it works for me! It is like washing the car, getting the laundry done, and cleaning the house, all in one fell swoop! You should try it!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pizza, Two Western Bacon Cheeseburgers, Two Sodas and a Cookie

I called my Dad today and told him I would pick up my brother from work. I raced home to swap my heels and nylons for jeans and slip-on tennies, and with Kawi in tow, raced off to pick B up. Our first stop was Pier 49 Pizza. We each ordered pizza, a soda, and a salad. B "sacrificed" his salad which Kawi gratefully enjoyed. I don't often drink soda, so he drank two sodas, ate the pizza and a dessert pizza. He was still hungry, and I had a two-for-one coupon to Carl's Jr., so while I drove home, he consumed two Western Bacon Cheeseburgers and a cookie to top it off. This is a skinny 130 lb kid. If only we all had that kind of metabolism!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Super Student, Super Friend

Tonight C said, much to my surprise, "I actually enjoyed reading that article." We are nearing the end of his first semester of a second graduate degree in Public Administration. As much as he appreciates this educational opportunity, I believe this was the first time I heard him use the word "enjoy" in conjunction with this pursuit. It was certainly a moment for celebration to embalm as a moment of joy amidst apparent and enduring agony.

Along with work, school, and maintaining a home and property, C finds time to be a positive role model to the hundred + youth in our church and neighborhood. How many adults do you know of who receive camouflage birthday invitations to kid's birthday parties, and who show up on the doorstep to show off a new bike? Not so many, I assume.

C and fellow leaders held a bold Q&A with the young adults, allowing them to ask any question to the bishopric. C had the pleasure of answering such light fare as, "Does God love Satan as much as Jesus?" I had the pleasure of hearing the answer and felt C handled it rather well, albeit with some assistance from our local scripture maniac and neighbor (a generous compliment, I assure you). On top of everything else, C is an amazing friend and partner who stayed up late last night to listen to the chatter of a not-so-tired wife. Thanks for everything you do!

Wishy Washer

I know it is every woman's dream to tear apart a dishwasher piece by piece, but I am truly living the dream. It only took fifteen minutes or so to tear it apart, and then a couple of hours to de-scale each piece from the built up lime caked so thick in the filter that it is a miracle our dishes were getting anywhere near clean.

C was kind enough to pick up some dinner, otherwise it is possible he would have gone without. The counters and stove were draped in dishwasher parts, and the sink was full of white scales. I believe I came close to finding a stalagmite in the bottom of the dishwasher, and may have destroyed some rare and unusual formations growing beneath the filter.

Well, to make up for the non-meal last night I buckled down and provided a bounty of food tonight, including my homemade sweet red curry sauce. Is it wrong to say that I am my own favorite cook? If only I had a little more time, I would hire me as my own personal chef. Oh, and yes, my dishes do look much better now . . .

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Paid to Blog?

Yes, it's true. I am paid to blog. I know there are those in the world who aspire to such job responsibilities, so how, you may ask, do you get paid to blog? Excellent question, and one that I am afraid I am not qualified to answer. Let it suffice to say that my line of work is interesting enough to merit blogging, so last week I was told that I would be an author on my company's blog.

On to more exciting topics, I spent the last two days recovering from strep, and the moment my 48 hour contagious timer went up, I hit the road for Yoga class. Nothing like planking it with a sore lower back. I was almost up to par, but a little trembley. No, that is not a word, but did I mention I am a non-conformist? Still, you knew what it meant.

As it turns out, dictionaries are really only a collection of words that exist and are used frequently enough to merit notation for common understanding and clarity. So, if you want a word to show up in the dictionary, just use it often, and it will catch fire. You'd be surprised how many listeners will pick it up. Just watch out for the brainiac who gets the itch to look it up in the dictionary. Slip him a twenty and tell him to check the dictionary next decade, and you're on your way to giving birth to a brand new baby word.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Caulk Me

I finally buckled down and re-caulked our bathtub yesterday. It really didn't take much time, but it is the hassle of keeping it off of your skin, and clothes, and everywhere else it shouldn't be. For those who have ever experienced getting caulk on their skin, it somehow effects the nervous system and you wind up extremely irritable, not to mention the joy of cleaning off of your hands. Thank goodness for latex gloves.

I had a wild streak of cleaning following caulking the tub and base-boards. I decided to refinish the master bathroom just because I was tired of having three bathrooms in the house and only 2 1/2 functioning as they were designed. As I raced to the store for some last minute supplies, C rolled over and said, "It's 11:00! I have to wake up at 6:00!" When I came home just shy of midnight, he was attempting to sleep, so I abandoned my plans to overhaul the bathroom, and saved the remainder of the project for another day. It will ultimately be a mini remodel to hold us over for the real remodel some time in the future, but it will just be nice to get a functioning sink and shower in the master bath we haven't used since moving in. As you may know, three bathrooms just aren't enough for two persons. {Smirk}

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Winter Storms

It is late, and outside the wind is blowing in a storm. So much for a weekend trip tomorrow!

Update on Kawi

If it is possible for a cockatiel to have separation anxiety, I am sure ours does. When we arrive home, he calls out (C's name, rather loudly). On especially clingy days, he will only sit on our hands or fingers rather than our shoulders, and will insist on sitting on an arm or hand even when eating. The other night I took him in the car with me to the store. He realized that if he climbed off of my shoulder, I would leave him in the car, so he bit and squabbled to keep me from taking him off of my shoulder.

Aside from his very clingy nature, he is a great little pet, especially first thing in the morning, when he sings Mozart, chirps like a cricket, says "Come here!" and shows off his wings to get our attention. Occasionally he snuggles down and wants to be petted, but otherwise he just wants to play, dodging C's hands to run onto his keyboard and pull off yet another key.

What Ever Happened to Heyday Bars?

Heyday Bars. For a kid who didn't like too much sugar, there was certainly something delectable about these store-bought cookies. I didn't even notice when they disappeared from the shelf, but I remember how much I enjoyed them. For those of you who remember, but need a little help satisfying the urge to "Heyday," I have included the time-intensive, no-bake recipe below. Really, there has to be a better way to get wafers than having to scrape the frosting out of those little sugar wafer cookies!

Nabisco Heyday Bars Recipe

14 oz. bag of Carmels
9 oz. package of vanilla sugar wafers
3or4 cups of chopped peanuts
8 oz. Hersheys Chocolate Bar, Milk or DarkRecipe (or chocolate chips)

Separate the Sugar Wafers with a knife, and remove the filling so that all you have left are the wafers. Stack the empty wafers in stacks of three. On a sheet of wax paper,take one (1) wafer from each stack, and lay them out on the wax paper. Put the carmels in a microwave safe bowl and add the water to them. Microwave caramels on high for intermittently for 5 minutes, stirring every minute. When melted, drizzle the carmel on each wafer (one from each stack), then put a second wafer from the stack on each when you finish. Drizzle carmel on the second wafer, and top with the third wafer. The end result will be about 20 and 25 cookies each with three wafers and carmel.

Put the chopped peanuts in a bowl. Using a pair of tongs, dip each cookie in the melted carmel, drain off the excess carmel, then roll in the peanuts, completely covering the cookie, and set on wax paper. Finish all the remaining cookies the same way. Let them sit for ten minutes to set. Break up the chocolate bar (or chocolate chips) in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high 30 seconds at a time, stirring, and then heating for 20-30 seconds again until completely melted. Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate in stripes over the cookies. Let the cookies cool until chocolate and caramel has set.

Makes 20-25 cookies.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Superhero

Saturdays are no longer really about play. When you are young, you think so, but then you get older and that fantasy disappears. Sometimes the closest thing to fun is managing to get to the gym. C was driving home from the gym tonight and came across a flipped jeep, that had rolled in an attempt to avoid another misbehaving vehicle. This was not his first experience at helping at the site of an accident, in fact, it seems to be an ongoing one - just another event in the day of a superhero.

Two little kids were in the back seat of the car, so he and another man worked to get the car seats out after checking the little ones to make sure they were safe. Minus a few scratches on the older of the two, they were safe and unharmed. He and the other man held the little ones out of sight of bleeding mom (still in the jeep) and talked to them to keep them calm. The little girls did remain calm until out of control grandma arrived on the scene, creating an emotional explosion in the oldest child's mind. Some adults just don't get it, I guess.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Saturday Night Show

After a lovely dinner at B and B's house (Pizzas on the grill - awesome, almost as good as the company!) we were walking home and C picked me up and slung me over his shoulder, then started running with me. I was laughing and telling him I was going to lose my dinner, so he put me down. Suddenly there was shouting and applause. Ja- and Cr- were having a dinner at their house with Ja-'s book club and they were watching us. :o Cr- shot an infomercial earlier that day with our movie-producer neighbor - the JAW horse. Maybe you'll see us in the background building our retaining wall for the flowerbed. C did an amazing job making it look awesome. :)

Introducing: Kawi

So I think we have decided on a name for our 2 month-old bird. We were looking at bird names online the other night and I mentioned that Harley was listed. C came in and said, "How about Kawi - you know, for Kawasaki?"

Friday night I ran to Ace to buy chains and hose to hang a hammock Dad gave me a couple of years ago. The chains rate over 500 lbs, but unfortunately the hammock rates at 350. I think we pushed the limit between the two of us plus that heavy Kawi, but got two lovely, relaxing evenings in our back tree under one of our 9 apple trees before some of the ropes pulled out of the binding. Our unsuccessful, late-night hunt for a replacement led us to believe that we were not the only ones enjoying the summertime back yard.

Kawi has made a hit with our neighbors' kids. Today Br & Be, and daughters Ka- and Ma- came over for lunch. Br was especially enamoured with Kawi - an obvious bird-lover. He has a big heart. Ka- became quite the bird-handler tonight also.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Rocket Ship" Park

Tonight we rode on C's bike to the "Rocketship Park" and watched the sun set. It was dark so we rode right down to the "Rocketship" and took the big yellow - watch out for that right turn, it comes out of nowhere. C hung our new wooden blinds, so when I left for a while, I came home to a nice surprise! And I had a surprise for C - a cockatiel! Fortunately he was very understanding and extended a finger of friendship right away to our new found friend - a finger for a perch, not a gesture, that is. The bird didn't like going into his cage, but was much more interested in watching TV with us, and perched on C's toe.

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