Thursday, January 28, 2010

Project du Jour

Here's the latest project that I can now check off my to-do list:

It only cost me:

Less than $50 for the material-the material needs to be upholstery weight type.
10 sore fingers
Lots of staples from the staple gun
2 sore shoulders
1 swear word
The first two.....1 1/2 hours.
The last four.....2 hours-the learning curve shortens.

So what do ya' think?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update on the Alaska Boy

They transferred my Elder to Sitka!
We're yet to hear any more from him except one sentence.
Go figure.....
Can't wait to hear what he has to say!

Monday, January 25, 2010

It Happened....

It Finally happened. They told me it would.
I just didn't think it would happen here.
I often wondered when it would happen.

It happened the other night.
I remember waking up.
And I knew that I was dreaming in Spanish.
And I spoke Spanish back.
But I can't remember what happened.
And I probably didn't say it right.
Then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Edit**** Just so you aren't too impressed with my language skilz....
Tonight I had the opportunity to do a food order...
(a food order is an order for commodities for those who are needy-it's my responsibility as the Relief Society president to assist those in need by filling out an order and assessing the needs of the person/family)

I guess I was rolling my rrrs too much.
Because the ladies were laughing at me, saying it sounded like I said,
"Canned puppy dog"  instead of
Canned pears.

Of course I knew exactly what I was talking about....

Saturday, January 23, 2010

As I have Loved You....Love One Another

If you care to donate to assist those living in Haiti, here is a link to the Humanitarian Services of the LDS Church.  100% of your donation goes directly to those in need.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Flashback

First day of school ten years ago.......

First day of school last Wednesday.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Les Happenins @ le chez Du Madwoman

(I thought it was time to change the language up-my apologies to those who speak French)

It's pouring rain, 3/4 of an inch just last night (not counting Mon or Tues night) with more forecast. Yay for free water!

In between the rains, I harvested some cabbages and planted the potatoes. Yes, there are holes in the cabbage. That's cuz I don't spray for bugs. Yes, those are real tomatoes too!!

Good news:  My new washer and dryer sings to me. My sister wanted to know what genre of music....
Sort of a zippidity-doo-dah kind with a digital twist.
Bad news: The dryer is making a nasty clanking noise inside. New one arrives this afternoon (crazy).

I swear this guy is growing an inch a day! Every time we walk by, it's a little taller. It's some bulbs that I forced, courtesy of Jessica via birthday present to me! It's verry easy to do. Just plant, keep in the fridg for a couple of weeks, take it out and watch the magic!  Springtime in the winter!

TL is on the mend. He's still coughing up a lung, but feels well enough to go to work.

More bad news. It never fails when we splurge and buy something new, something old breaks. You can't see this, but it's a crack right through the burner of my ceramic cooktop, not including the two other cracks that I think crazy Linda, the former cleaning lady, caused. {sigh} Back to Sears....

Phase I of the new bedspread project. I found all this stuff for the same cost of the one other bedspread. More pillows and a quilt at the end of the bed coming......

Sorry to inform you kids, but I'm retiring this quilt. Much loved, full of holes, courtesy of GGMA.
(I can hear the screaming in agony)
If you want to claim it, you have two days......To be replaced by:

This cuteness courtesy of Jessica. Another present for me, made out of our old Christmas jammies!
Cute and clever idea.  It's yummy and comfy and warm too.

He passed his test!
First official day of the newest insurance agent on the block...
Off to his first appointment...

That's it.
At 9:31 am
Mountain Standard Time
Le Chez du Madwoman

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Yelled at a Fireman in an Elevator because I'm NOT crazy

Pure silliness.......
To lift us out of the "Blue Monday doldrums"
Forwarded to me by my sis from Facebook...

Okay, all you lurkers out there.......
Let's see what you can come up with!

Pick the month you were born:
January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March----------I karate chopped
April------------I licked
May------------I jumped on
June-----------I smelled
July------------I did the Macarena With
August--------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7-------my mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10-------my neighbour
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
19------- a smurf
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22-------Chuck Norris
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an iPod
29-------a surfer
30-------a homeless guy
31-------a llama

What is the last number of the year you were born:
1--------- In my car
2 --------- On your car
3 --------- In a hole
4 --------- Under your bed
5 --------- Riding a Motorcycle
6 --------- sliding down a hill
7 --------- in an elevator
8---------- at the dinner table
9 -------- In line at the bank
0 -------- in your bathroom

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White---------because I'm cool like that
Black---------because that's how I roll.
Pink-----------because I'm NOT crazy.
Red-----------because the voices told me to.
Blue-----------because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green---------because I think I need some serious help.
Purple---------because I'm AWESOME!
Gray----------because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow---------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange--------because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown---------because I CAN.
Other----------because I'm a Ninja!
None----------because I can't control myself!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

DaRn, CrAzy, mIxeD-Up nO gOOd DaY

(Is that the name of the children's book?)

Yesterday was one of those.

First, the day was cloudy, gloomy and drizzly.
For Arizona, which has 350.5 days of sunshine, was downright crazy.
Not that I'm complaining.
Being a desert native, I never, ever complain about rain.

And TL was home sick.
What is it about having a husband home during the week unexpectedly that throws me off?
I can't get anything started or completed.
I always get nervous when he's sick.
Due to his past bouts with meningitis.
It's not like he's a sick toddler.
On the other hand.....hmmmm.....

And it was a holiday.
Kids home, sleeping half the day
No mail.
But I did get an email from my missionary in Alaska.
He was happy and busy and not-so-cold last week.
And watched a muskox get butchered......yummmm...

And I started off the day with a new yoga class.
That was recommended to me.
Two hours later......after lots of puffing and humming and chanting....
uh, yeah...I decided it was not for me.
And by the time I got home, it was 11 am.

And then I got a call from my oldest son.
He broke his foot yesterday.
Tripping over the front door mat.
(our family, we're graceful like that)
His right foot, which means he can't drive.
Therefore, he can't work.

Just a darn, crazy mixed up day.
Of which I'm very glad is over!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

God Knows each of Us

I believe that God knows each of us by name.
He knows our needs, wants and the deepest desires of our hearts.


Last week I had just returned home from a yoga class.
Dressed in my saggy yoga pants.
White socks and goofy slippers.
When I received a call from my husband that a blessing was needed.
Would I send my son to the nearby hospital
To assist in giving a priesthood blessing?


I relayed the message.
And then I stopped and had a thought.
I really should go with them and check in on one of my dear sisters
Who has been in the hospital, recovering from surgery.

I ran after my son,
In my saggy yoga pants,
white socks and goofy slippers.

After the blessing was given, we rode upstairs to the fifth floor.
Entered the room quietly and hesitantly.
And saw my dear little sister sitting, propped up in a chair, looking forlorn
in front of her lunch
which she was trying to gag down.

Her face brightened, and she spoke of her pains, her family and her future plans.
Then a doctor entered.
Brisk and professional.
A very nice man, to be sure, but with a different accent than ours.
He checked her over, speaking rapidly.

We began to translate for her,
making sure she understood what he said, and he understood what she said.
Then he left.

She looked up at us with tear-filled eyes,
and began to praise God for her many blessings
at this difficult time in her life,
and especially at the exact moment that He sent us there
to help her understand and communicate with a busy doctor.

And I almost missed it.
Because of my saggy yoga pants
white socks and goofy slippers.

And that's how I know that God knows us each by name.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Parenting Keeps you Humble

(minus 1 kid)
There's nothing like a bunch of kids to help you remember your lowly place in the world.

You can be going along in life, feeling mighty fine about yourself.
You've lost that last 5 pounds.
You've read your scriptures every day for a week.
You've finally cleaned out that closet that has been nagging at you.


Your four year old has a major meltdown in the grocery store. And you happen to be at the grocery store that is the frequent haunt of the winter visitors in your town.  And it's winter. And they give you dirty looks.

You are sitting in a row, with your large family, in a single's branch, where your husband happens to be the branch president. It's the quietest place on earth during the Sacrament.  And your two year old starts making weird noises with his mouth and voice and you can't  get him to stop because the rest of the kids are giggling and snorting.

Your kids come home from their semi-annual dentist checkups and between all of them, they have about 15 cavities.

You forget to set the parking brake on the car and the car rolls backward and accidently runs over your three year old. Miracle of miracles, he isn't hurt badly.

Your kid complains of a stomach ache and not feeling good for the 500th time in the morning, and you allow him/her to stay home, but are very annoyed.  When you finally take the kid to the doctor later that day you find out he/she has a massive case of strep throat.

The schoolteacher/primary teacher calls to report your less-than-stellar behavior of your child in school/Primary.

The well-meaning person in the ward sees fit to call you to report that they have seen your child coming out of an R-rated movie/making out with a person of the opposite sex in the bushes/hanging out with a "questionable" people/not attending their church classes/ditching school/"insert your own scenario here"/because they felt like you ought to know.

The teenage girl child walks out wearing something immodest, and the Mormon missionaries are sitting in your family room.

Your teenager makes snide remarks which makes you feel like you are about to win the "Worst Parent of the Century Award."
I have the remedy for all this......

It's Grandchildren.....


My mom has been laughing for over 30 years......

(these incidents may or may not be true)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Listening to Your inner Voice-Part 2

I shoulda listened.
It would have saved me some grief.
It's not a big deal.
It's just that now I have another thing on my list of things to do.

You see, I've wanted a new bedspread for a loooong time.
It has to be just the right one.
Not a heavy comforter.
Because we live in AZ.
I like the color red.
Just because.

I could never find just the right one.
Until I was surfing the internet last week and I saw one that spoke to me.
I had received an unexpected refund from a medical bill.
I had a little saved from the measly paychecks I receive for transcribing doctor reports.
And I thought, hey....just go for it.
But then I hesitated just a little bit.......
And I forced myself to push the purchase button.
Because it was high time I got a bedspread.
And I needed to just be done with it.

The UPS man rang my doorbell the other night.
In anticipation, I went running, opened the box and laid the bedspread on my bed.

My heart sank.
I just wasn't feeling it.
I took a picture with my cell phone and forwarded it to some of  the female members of the family for her opinion.
The response was all a guarded, well....yes, it's nice.
I could tell they were trying not to hurt my feelings.
Finally the statement,
"It just isn't you exactly."
Even TL kindly said it was fine with him.
I even asked Steve's girlfriend her opinion.
She liked it.
I think because she wants to please me.

But they were all right.
It wasn't me.
Too country.
I like toile, just in smaller amounts.
So there you go.
Listen to the inner voice.
Now I have to trot down to the mall 20 miles away to return it.
And start my quest for a bedspread all over again.

I shoulda listened.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hooray Ole!

I finally figured out how to grow this:

It doesn't like the heat, so don't plant it in the summer (if you live in Arizona)
And the best way to plant it is from seed.
And then be patient. It takes for-ev-ah to sprout.
But I went out back today and snipped a batch:

(sorry bad photo)
To make this:

Black bean/Corn salad. Yummmmy!

I know there are people who will want the recipe but it is copywrited.......I'll give the approximates and  you go from there.....

I used one can of black beans, rinsed
A bag of my frozen corn from last summer (you gotta use frozen or fresh-canned is nasty)
Chopped red onion to taste
Chopped red pepper to taste
An avocado
A bunch of cilantro, chopped to taste.
You can add some sliced black olives too, if you want. I didn't this time.

Now you have to make the dressing:

I used equal parts of agave nectar, white rice vinegar (unseasoned), lime juice, one verrrry small jalapeno from my garden, seeded, another hunk of cilantro, some salt and pepper, and fresh garlic. I whizzed that in my blender and poured about half of it on the salad.

Yummmmmmm. So fresh. It's very pretty and colorful and fresh for the winter and good with Mexican food.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It Takes a Village.....

or...a Family...

To put on a Winter Formal.

It takes a big sister....

To do the hair and makeup.

It takes a big sister.....

To cook a fabulous meal....
It takes a Dad.....

To play Grandpa babyholder so that big sister can cook the meal.....
(and fork over cash on a regular basis)
It takes a big brother.....

To serve the food with his cute girlfriend...
And wash dishes...
And plan the entertainment....

And it takes the mom to practice photography and try to get some decent photos of the event.

I have a great family!  Thanks for all your help......

Monday, January 11, 2010


I've been studiously avoiding the word for nearly two weeks.

New Year's Resolutions.
I gave them up last year.
Because they were the same year after year after year.
And they are always broken by the 5th day of the new year.

But I came across an interesting concept.
Which has been floating around BlogLand, so I can't give any one person the full and total credit.
But it's not my own idea.

It's one word.
A word for the year.

After much pondering, contemplating and discarding, I've distilled my one word down to this:

I've realized that what gives me a "buzz" is learning. I love learning new things. Learning something new motivates me. For example a couple of nights ago I went to a class about agave nectar. I came home so energized to try some healthy new recipes and actually made some fabulous bread using agave nectar. (it's a low glycemic sugar substitute-google it)  I didn't sit down and make a goal....

I will eat healthier in 2010.

Because I knew that 12 hours later I would be scarfing down the chocolate.

So I just decided that this would be my word for the year.

Because if I learn some new exercises, I'll be energized and motivated to exercise.
If I learn something new out of the scriptures, I be energized to study more.
And so on and so forth.
It may not work for you.....

But I'm thinkin' it will work for me.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Proof Positive..

That I did create for Christmas.
I'm only a few weeks late.....

These don't look like much in the photos but they are so cute!
I found this pattern in the fall and made the littlest people matching jackets.

The girls got matching diva skirts, with tulle slips.

And because I was so lame on Christmas Day, thinking about my missionary phone call and such...
I forgot to take a photo of the matching aprons.
So this is the model demonstrating the apron a week and a half later.

All the little guys got their own jammie pants to match their daddies.

I came up with the genius hair-brained idea to make all the girls jammie pants this year.
I thought if I made them that I could cut them longer (since we're a long-legged bunch)
But they all fit weird.
So girls, you have my permission to do something else with these pants...
Make a teapot cozy, or some such thing....

I made each family a heritage book, with their ancestors.
And what has become a fun tradition...

An ABC book for the kids.
I also made quiet books for each family.
I'm really not an overachiever.
I just love creating for Christmas.
Most of the stuff I made in a couple of days.
I started working on it last summer.
I'm still recovering.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What Happens When you Completely ignore the Garden

You have masses of broccoli, including a bunch I had to throw out because it had gone to flower.
To the tune of more than five pounds!

And I had to mow down the lettuce patch because a lot of the greens were too bitter to eat.
But these guys are nice and sweet, romaine hearts.

I'm hoping to jump on the bandwagon again and pay a little more attention..
Until the next crisis/activity.....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sole Possession of the Remote

New Year's Day, 2010.
The family living room
Football Bowl Games
Parents, grandparents and siblings.

For the love of Pete, he's not even four months old and he's already got possession of the remote!

I'm tellin' ya''s genetic.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Slice of Life from the First monday of 2010

I've been super busy with this for the last week.
And the forecast is for more busyness this week.

I've pretty much de-Christmas-ized my house.
Except that it looks nekked.
I'm going to put some lamps on this table; we need more light.
P.S. Jen, I took this photo with no flash, iso 800, f/2.8!

Evidence that I still drink green smoothies.
Except I've fallen off the wagon this last couple of weeks.

We're starting a new project.
More details later.

We're hosting the Winter formal dinner here this weekend.
The first one was cancelled due to the High School State Championship Football Game.
(which they lost)

My garden is a jungle.
This is the "tuce" patch.
Most of this is destined for the compost since the greens are too bitter to eat.

Trying to get the cooking mo-jo back.
By gaining inspiration from some cookbooks.

Okay, now I got to get back to the 29 1/2 things on my to-do list.
Oh, 28 1/2 things.