Archive for March 2011

Elephants and Stuff

March 14, 2011

Oh sweet, glorious, wonderful (and childless) weekend, you were kind to me.

We cleaned, A LOT. We ate in, worked around the house, watched movies, had friends over for dinner and games, took the dog for walks, went shopping, and went to the home show. I love these kind of weekends… ones that are productive but also have enough lazy down time that I am feeling somewhat refreshed.

My only complaint is that it wasn’t long enough. Oh yeah, and daylight savings is stupid.

This week is going to be a busy but short one. The kids are out of school on Friday, so we’re taking the family, along with my parents, to St. George for a little vacation. Woo hoo! Tomorrow I’ve got my first of three injections of an “artificial lubricant” into my left knee (it’s giving me trouble again), so that should be interesting.

Until we meet again, consider this tidbit: Elephants are the only animal that can’t jump.

WOW… and not in a good way.

March 12, 2011

I’ve never thought of Kentucky as a, well, I’ve never thought of Kentucky.

If you have, please read this. Actually, regardless of your Kentucky status, please read this:

http://thinkprogress.org/?p=149958

It’s not long, so I suggest just reading the link, but in short, Senator D.B. Hardy, who has helped cut mental health services by almost 50% the last 2 years, told a health care center manager that all mental ill people are “defective” and should be sent to Siberia to freeze and starve to death. Oh yes, and he gave Hitler a big thumbs up. There’s more awesome stuff that the S.O.B. states.

Disgusting, barbaric, and on the verge of evil Senator Martin Harty has now won the top spot on my D.B. list. Seriously, this is a man who is representing American people! The excuse is that he is 90 years old and has “earned the right to say what he thinks”. I don’t give a damn if he’s 90… all it means to me is that he has had MORE than ample time in which to learn what being  a decent human being is about. I guess he’s used his years fermenting in his ignorance and hate. Maybe he was right when he said Hitler was on to something. I propose that all a-hole 90-year-old politicians could use a little Hitler-ing. At least he doesn’t deny saying, which makes me wonder if that might not be a clue that he’s not completely well. Siberia it is!

Ugh.

Date DAY!

March 11, 2011

Cooper was next in line for a date with me. It was supposed to happen in February, but due to time constraints (and piss poor planning), we had to push it into March. Because the kids didn’t have school today AND Greg was home, it seemed like a perfect time for Cooper and I to spend some quality time together.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t think the Nickelcade is great and all, but I’ve been there on my LAST 3 kid dates, and even though it was Cooper’s first pick, I gently tried to persuade him to choose something different. But ultimately I left it up to him. He told me he’d think about it and let me know after lunch :).

He had gotten a gift certificate for a free children’s meal (I love these) at Archibald’s Restaurant, which is located at Garner Village (the place I took Emma in October), so he decided that was the place he wanted to eat. After a yummy meal (and a huge dessert he polished off all on his own), we decided to walk around and look at the shops.

It was fun walking hand-in-hand with my sweet boy, who tells me multiple times every hour that he loves me :). We stopped at a little shop and Cooper was immediately drawn to a display of children’s watches. They were cute, and pretty inexpensive, so I asked if he wanted one. He said yes, but that he was worried about how much it cost. Seriously, this kid is so incredibly thoughtful, almost in a way that makes me sad. It’s like he felt like he didn’t deserve it, but I assured him he did, and was more than happy to buy it for him.

We strolled the shops for a few more minutes and then headed home. I can’t count the times he said that he told me thank you not only for lunch and the watch, but also for spending time with him. MY PLEASURE! I can honestly say that I have never met a more polite or sweet child in my entire life, and today’s wonderful afternoon was well spent!

It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

March 9, 2011

I had an entirely different thing planned for my post today. I had actually already WRITTEN a part of the post that I was going to use for today’s IGGW. So you know it’s gotta go if I’m forced to ditch my semi-prepared post to write a new one. Yeah, it’s that bad.

There are some people in this world that can be somewhat gullible. They are quick to buy into get rich schemes, often purchase everything they see that promises to make their life better, and pretty much believe whatever it is they hear. For simplicity sake, let’s call these people dumb. Then there are those some might call cynical. They are the ones who think if it probably sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before they buy into anything, serious research must ensue. Let’s call these types of people smart. Or even “me”, because it’s shorter.

I know and love people who are both smart and dumb, and while I might not agree with the group who isn’t “me”, I don’t judge the dumb. It’s always good to have a handful of dumb’s in your corner so that they can be the little guinea pigs and then tell you first hand their experiences with the stuff they buy. WIN WIN!

What I DO not appreciate is when the dumb get a fire lit under them, and then try to me down into the pit of dumb by trying to force me into becoming something other than what I am and have always been… “ME”. Let’s get more specific.

Last night I got an urgent message to return a missed call. “It must be important”, I thought. “Or this person must need something”. Grrr. Imagine my absolute delight when I called back to learn that this person has found the greatest and most awesome thing ever. It’s something that will change my life, change their life, cure AIDS, and cause the people of the world to form a gigantic circle around the globe, holding hands and singing. Yes, another name for it is a pyramid scheme.

Legal, yes. The biggest bunch of crap, yes.

But this person is an adult AND dumb, so hey, enjoy that ride sunshine. The problem is that this person is strongly trying to shove this crap down my throat. Yes, it might be wrapped in a delicious pita and smothered in yogurt sauce, but it’s crap none-the-less. Ironically, one of Greg’s dumb friends tried equally hard to sell him on the exact same program a year or two ago. Greg listened to the spiel, did his research, and politely declined. That friend is no longer involved in the awesome “program”. ANYWAY…

I hate being pushed to do something that I do not want to do. I don’t particularly like (some) salesman for the simple fact that some are pushy and try to manipulate. But the world needs salesman, I guess, and even though I can be a total wimp, I can still walk away and forget about it 5 seconds later. But when family or friends become the salesman, and not just an innocent hard-working salesman, but the pushy, annoying salesman, well, that’s a whole different story.

About 12 years ago a childhood friend called me. I was thrilled! “Wow”, I thought, “she called to catch up with me and see how things are going”. Yeah, or not. She called to sell me on Amway shiz, and I was really bugged. Enough so that I haven’t talked to her or seen her since. Friends who try to use me as one of their stepping-stones up their pyramid have pretty much sealed their fate of never seeing me again.

Now when family does this crap, it gets even more complicated. You can’t quit your family, even if you want to. So when this person, who is kind of like family, called and then proceeded to aggressively push the crap filled pita down my throat, it made me not only uncomfortable but also angry. I hate being put in that kind of position. I said no, I meant no, and I shouldn’t have to explain myself any further or justify it in any way just because there is a DNA connection. I really enjoyed the, “I will laugh in your face. AND in Greg’s face” comment. I really hope this person does… I hope it works out for them. Still, I’ll pass (probably because I’m not a complete idiot). It’s one thing to pitch an idea or let people know what you’re doing. Pushing it is a whole other ball of wax… ear wax with little hairs in it.

If you care about the people who you are theoretically supposed to care about, trying to strong-arm your family or friends into some amazing “program” you just got into after going to a convention has GOT TO GO.

Killing You

March 8, 2011

Due to some technical difficulties and broken stuff, getting the photos off of our camera(s) have been impossible this past month. I know your anticipation of the photos from my activities the past month have been killing you! You’ve probably been unable to concentrate on your work, families, etc. I’m here to ease your pain. Welcome to the post with a plethora of photos (say that fast 10 times).

The first set of pictures are from Ian & Cooper’s recent scout banquette that I wrote about a few weeks ago. FUN!

RAD KIDS are the second glob of photos. Ian did it. Alex did it. And this year, it was Emma & Cooper’s turn. If you want to know more about this child safety program, read here. It’s very entertaining to watch the kids show their newly learned skills, and also attempt to open a can of whoop A on the principal (the guy in red).

Last but not least: Introducing… BLUFF, UT., which happens to be the place where my great-grandfather came across the country with pioneers and settled. It also is the place my grandpa Charlie grew up.

The rock house pictured is justly named, “Rock House”. It’s the home where my grandpa grew up. The tree doesn’t really have any significant meaning, other than it’s on the property where the rock house is, and I thought it was incredibly cool… a possible inspiration for the next Tim Burton film :). And of course, my beautiful cousin Carlie, who is also a board member, had to be included. The other photos are of a historical site where the pioneers who came into the valley settled. My family’s cabin is the Lemuel Redd one. The “BUTT” family plaque… ha! No, I’m not a member of the BUTT clan, but I definitely had to record this for posterity. What an unfortunate name. Even better is that the Butt’s still live in the area, including Richard Butt. I’m not sure, but I think maybe his parent hated him.

We visited the cemetery where my great-grandfather (Lemuel Redd), my aunt, who only lived a few days, and my grandparents (Charles & Annaley Redd) are buried. I LOVE the headstone for my grandma and grandpa. It’s contemporary, original, a beautiful stone, and as far as headstones go, just really cool. I’ve never seen one like it. My mother took a picture of my body “draped” over it (think damsel in distress pose), but of course it’s on her camera, and she’s not the most technically “talented” person. I’m just happy I wasn’t struck by lightning :).

Hope you enjoy the photo overload!

Quest for Perfection

March 6, 2011

I would not want to be a woman in any other country other than America. I love that I don’t have to wash clothing on a rock in a stream. I’m happy that I don’t have to grind corn into flour and can go to the grocery store 2 miles away to get anything that I need to feed my family. I’m grateful that while I’m a “homemaker”, the household duties don’t fall on me alone. There are many wonderful aspects about being a woman. That being said, it’s not all flowers and cotton candy.

The 3 years between my marriages taught me a lot. Not only about myself, but also about what men want and think, as well as how society views women.

One lesson that became apparent is that insecurity is NOT attractive to men. They are looking for a woman who doesn’t order a small side salad at every meal. One that doesn’t ask if she looks fat in her dress. One that doesn’t constantly complain about how she looks or say that she’s fat. Men want a woman that oozes confidence. I dated a man who talked about his ex and how she was obsessed with her weight and appearance. She was also very critical of the way other people looked, especially her female “friends”. And he hated it. For him, dating a woman who was OK with herself was a priority.

Confidence is great and all, but the flip side is that men AND women put a lot of emphasis on physical appearance. As a women, there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way. Just take a walk or drive around your neighborhood any given morning. I guarantee that you’ll encounter numerous women pounding the pavement in an endless quest for perfection. So how does a woman balance being OK with herself and loving her body with the demands (whether placed on her by her man, society, or herself) of looking a certain way?

Try Googling “celebrity cellulite”… there are so many links to magazine “articles” on just this subject. It’s a little confusing, because even celebrities can’t live up to the standards that are set by the airbrushed versions of themselves.

I have a friend whose body is rockin’. She is beautiful, thin, toned, tan, has a SIX PACK, and has given birth to 3 children.  She knows she’s thin and doesn’t go into the “I’m fat… I need to lose 10 lbs” rant that so many of us do, but there are parts of her body that she doesn’t love. In fact, she hates them. She runs and works our regularly and eats healthy, yet according to her,  she’s got a little cellulite on her thighs. It doesn’t matter how many times people tell her how great she looks… she see’s a perfect (and airbrushed) leg in every woman’s magazine, and that is the goal.

I remember seeing an interview with Heidi Klum where she talked about how there isn’t one photo in a magazine that hasn’t been retouched. Tyra Banks has said the same thing. Even supermodels have cellulite, so how is the average, everyday woman ever supposed to look like the women we see in magazine, even though those supermodels aren’t as flawless as they are portrayed. Check out this photo of a Victoria’s Secret photo shoot… untouched. I think they look awesome, but they look a little different in the magazine, don’t you think?

My point is this: It doesn’t matter WHO it is, it seems like the majority of women have a problem with at least ONE aspect of their body. That is why I really like the article in the most recent Life & Style magazine featuring Holly Madison & Kim Kardashian. Holly M., the former Playboy bunny, talks about her body and weight gain. She also bravely posed this untouched photo…

What a heifer, right?!

She may have cellulite, but I think she looks AMAZING, even if she’s completely let herself go ;).

Do you remember when Jamie Lee Curtis did a similar thing about 9 years ago? Here are her untouched and “touched” photos:

I don’t think that the blame can be placed on one person or thing. How girls and women feel about themselves and their body is a culmination of everything we see and are exposed, starting at birth. I am no different from every other woman out there… I have things about my body that I like and other parts that I’d gladly trade. But I have made a conscious effort to be more accepting of myself, not just for me, but for my girls. These days my decisions about what I put into my body and what I do are more about being healthy and feeling comfortable in (and out) of my clothes than trying for an unattainable level of perfection.

My goal is to help my girls (and boys)  know that, while they ARE cute, their value as people doesn’t hinge on it. They are smart, funny, kind, and yes beautiful, human beings.

I *Heart* Stuff

March 3, 2011

After I.G.G.W. (It’s Gotta Go Wednesdays… duh), I always feel the need to counteract what is obviously witty and charming yet sometimes negative, with a post that is a little more feel good. You know, something that says “Life is like a box of chocolates… filled with caramel, sprinkled with fairy dust. Fed to you by Colin Firth. Naked”. And while they don’t consist of brown paper packages tied up with string (how lame is that for a favorite thing?!), here are a few of my favorite things :).

  • Sudoku – Because crosswords puzzles are beyond my intellectual capabilities (except for the PEOPLE Magazine crossword, which happens to be the only crossword I’ve ever finished. I love you People. I ain’t so smurt.), Sudoku is my kind of puzzler. My favorite part of Sudoku is 1) finishing it and therefore declaring to the world that I. AM. GENIUS! and, 2) the mornings I get to Sudoku (yes, I reserve the right to use it as a verb) means a morning of semi-relaxation, aka… no volunteering or dr. appointments or cleaning up poorly aimed pee around the toilet. I make my morning eggs, brew some joe, and enjoy my breakfast doing the Salt Lake Tribune sudoku puzzle and listening to the only morning show in Utah that doesn’t make me want to punch babies my favorite morning radio show. I HEART SUDOKU!

  • http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com – My lovely friend Sarah sent me a link to this blog on Tuesday. To give you an idea of how I feel about this blog, think about unicorns. And then think about those unicorns running under a rainbow that showers candy down upon all of those standing below, and that candy happens to be grape Laffy Taffy. And on the backs of the unicorns are saddles made of chocolate, and in the chocolate saddle bag, there are millions of dollars. That’s how much I love this blog.
  • Spring –  I mention this in hopes that some mystical power reads my blog and takes pity me, and will use all of his/her powers to bring out the sun and raise the temperatures to, oh, 70 degrees? Exciting news: I saw some green leaves sprouting under a melting patch of snow. My dog Jake proceeded to walk over to the fresh leaves, sniff them, and then urinate on said foliage, but it was green none-the-less. YAHOO SPRING!
  • Floss – This isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy brushing, but everyone does that (or at least they should). Flossing, however, is taking oral hygiene to another level. I love the way my teeth and mouth feel after I’ve flossed, and I also feel like I’ve accomplished something that day. Or not. But still, it rocks. Some might see flossing as a duty… I see it is an HONOR! One I partake in multiple times daily. Yeah, that’s right baby… I have multiple flosses EVERY DAY. Sexy, I know. Does your dentist ask you if you floss? Mine doesn’t, because my teeth speak for themselves. Floss is my friend.

 

 

It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

March 2, 2011

As a Realtor, anything that I see out there in the world with the words “Real Estate” or “Realtor” tend to catch my eye.

I’ve noticed these signs for years and find them more amusing than annoying.

So let me get this right… I’m going to be your “apprentice”, and you’ll pay me $20k + per month, and it’s going to be the best thing that ever happened to me. YET, all you could come up with is this crappy handwritten sign? $1 for the poster. $2 for the jumbo permanent marker. But the b.s. is free. Maybe it’s time to invest your millions in some better advertising. And if any of you are interested in this job, I’ve got a time-share I’d like to talk to you about :).

Oscars

March 1, 2011

My favorite part of the Oscars, other than the fact that my favorite movie of the year won was: