Friday, May 30, 2008


Dear Wal-Mart,

A few months ago I would've cursed your store for having so many self-checkout stands and cutting way back on your oh-so-friendly employees thus forcing them to go to the other friendliest place in America--the DMV. But life is all about turning lemons into lemonade, so instead of clenching my germ-filled shopping cart handle when I can't find any checkers with lines shorter than Disneyland, I now let the kids have a blast at the check out stands.

So thank you Wal-Mart for letting my kids play cash register in real life. The three of them have a whole assembly line system each time we go to your dreaded store. One physically scans the items, one is quality control to make sure the item was actually charged, and the youngest child is the bagger--a true division of labor. They are very good at it. I just stand by now and read a trashy magazine while the child labor is being performed. Now that's progress.

Mother Extraordinaire

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, Thanks Dad!

Thanks Dad for serving our country during the Vietnam War. I love to hear your stories and read your blog from those days gone by--this one is my favorite. Recently you told me that you were exposed to Agent Orange during the war as it was your job to load it onto the planes you serviced. That probably explains some of your recent health problems--at least our government agrees with that much. So thanks Dad for giving so much to serve this great land of ours.

Front Page News

I was featured on the front page of last Saturday. The front page features items for sale, usually with a theme, and it rotates every 30-60 minutes from what I can tell. It brought a lot of traffic to my shop. Out of 178,054 sellers on etsy, I feel pretty special. Sweet deal! (Zoom in to see mine better)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Feeding My Son's Star Wars Addiction

Am I a cool mom or what? Nathan wore this shirt again today. He gets compliments from teachers and students alike. Feed the ego, oh yea.

Chain Reaction of Chores

Cleaning house is evil. That's why I avoid it so much lately. How come when I set out to do something simple like mop my 1,000 square feet of wood floors (ha, ha) it turns into a 2 hour cleaning escapade? Case in point--I needed to mop yesterday. But to mop I need to pick up all the garbage the little creatures who live in this home leave scattered all over the place.....then I have to move all 10 chairs and barstools to the area rug in the family room.....then I have to vacuum sweep my floors.....then I can finally mop. It's a chain reaction of chores just to get to the task at hand. I know, whine whine whine. (Marcia, marcia marcia!)

Not too long ago, I was talking to my mom on the phone:

Me: Ugh, I need to mop these floors mom. The sticky spots have now been covered by dust so they are hard mud-caked black spots now.

Mom: Oh Cynthia, don't be so hard on yourself. Spend time with your kids, don't worry so much about cleaning. They grow up so fast. (This is always my mom's pep talk to me when I complain about all my chores.)

Me: Mom, it's bad. I haven't mopped in 2 months.

Mom: that is bad. (chuckle, chuckle) Go mop.

See? My mom is a kind soul and really chooses to think the best of me as a homemaker until I flat out tell her how dirty I let my floors get before I mop. You'd think I told her I took up smoking. Maybe I would mop more often if it didn't take 2 hours. Nah, maybe not.
(Yea, I know if you zoom in on the photo you can see my roman shade are all falling apart. You know the phrase--the cobbler's children don't have any shoes.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fun Find

I found the cutest vinyl decals from a seller's shop just called "holly" on Does this describe me or what? She's local too--just up the I-15 in South Jordan. It sure adds a little life to my red van. Too cute!

The Search For Perfect Waffles

I’m very picky about my waffles. (Ok, so I’m very picky about most of my cooking.) For years I scoured through cookbooks trying to find the ultimate waffle recipe. I knew they had to be light and crispy with lots of flavor. I tried the recipes in all my favorite cookbooks: Favorite Comfort Food by Martha Stewart (by the way, her book has the best pancake recipe ever), How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, The Joy of Cooking, The New Best Recipe, and several recipes on the food network website including Alton Brown’s recipe. All produced good, but not the best waffles. The hunt continued.

Then I bought CookSmart by Pam Anderson a few years ago and fell in love with her waffle recipe. This was it. The perfect waffle. Sometimes I buy cookbooks and find a winner of a recipe and think, "Even if this was the only good recipe inthis book, it was worth the money." That's how much I love this recipe. I modified the recipe just a touch (I didn’t see much difference for whipping the egg whites separately and then folding them into the batter.) The only drawback is that they are high in fat, but I guess that’s what makes them so crispy and good. I think the high oil content and using cornstarch is the secret. This recipe makes a lot but I love leftovers heated in the toaster the next day. (Makes 13 round waffles or 20ish square ones.)

Best Waffles Ever
2 ¼ cups flour
¾ cup cornstarch
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
3 tablespoons sugar
2 ½-3 cups buttermilk
¾ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk the dry ingredients, whisk the wet ingredients. Stir them all together. If your waffle iron (like mine) has different settings, Set the iron to a high setting for crispy waffles. As waffles cook, place them in the oven on the rack, in a single layer for 5 minutes. Do not skip this step or your waffles will steam and get soggy on your plate.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's Illegal to Kill Seagulls

At the end of dinner is when we read our nightly verses/chapter from the Book of Mormon. So last night we were reading Alma 1—you know the chapter all you LDS types out there—it’s all about Nehor and how he is executed because he murdered Gideon. Our kids love anything murder and gore. (Don’t all kids?) This of course led to all sorts of questions—

Nathan: So why was Nehor killed?

Paul: Because he murdered Gideon. It’s wrong to murder, so he paid with his life.

Nathan: Does that happen today--you're killed if you kill?

Paul: In some states yes, including Utah.
Ilene: Is it wrong to kill animals?
Paul: Do you think it’s kind to go around killing animals? (Mind you we are eating chicken at the time. Hee hee. We ain’t no vegetarians!)

Ilene: Is it illegal to kill the state bird of Utah?

Me: (laughing out right) Ilene, where is this coming from, have you seen someone recently killing a seagull?
Ilene: No, I just want to know if you’d go to jail or be executed if you killed the state bird.

Paul: (exasperated and ready to end this weird conversation) Yes, you’d sure get in trouble with the law, maybe not jail, but there’d be trouble.
( I the only one who can't get spacing right on blogs? Frustrating!!)

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Feminist In Me Was Dying

I love it when the kids watch old movies. Why? Because I can actually stand to be in the room when they watch the movie. I love old movies and hate all the new kid movies. I’ve never seen Shrek and definitely not a single animated Disney movie since The Little Mermaid. They all drive me nuts. But my kids are getting old enough that they can appreciate a little bit more than talking cars and blue genies in bottles.

So....last weekend we watched the old Freaky Friday with Jodie Foster. I remember watching this movie as a kid and liking it. But I also remember I couldn’t tell if Jodie Foster was a boy or girl. Anyway, as I watched it with my kids I realized some sexist comments that made me cringe. The mom is trying to give her husband some pointers on a speech or something to which he adds: “Ah, don’t worry about that honey. You don’t need to say anything. You just show up and look beautiful as usual.” Gasp!! Women are seen and not heard? I wanted to stop the movie and explain to my kids what an ignorant fool the dad was, but that line seemed to slip past them so I let it go.

Then just on Saturday night we watched “Yours, Mine and Ours.” I love Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda and have fond memories of this movie. What I didn’t remember about this movie is that Lucille Ball is 55 in this movie but she has a newborn baby. Shah, right. That was way before in vitro fertilization baby. But I digress. What made the feminist in me cry out and turn to Paul audibly groaning was when Lucille Ball is writing a letter to her hubby who is overseas and relates to him that "our daughter has finally stopped eating because she noticed a boy. What us girls won’t do for our men. As you can see by the enclosed photo, she still has a few pounds to go before her date Friday night.” Gasp again!! Worse, they show a picture of a normal sized girl!! Once again, I thought I should stop the movie and explain the cruelty and injustice of what just happened, but I didn’t. Both of these movies were rated G, or not rated at all, but I swear I’d rather have swearing than sexism in movies anyday. Serenity now!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Make A Statement

I've avoided blogging about such a very frivolous topic, but I can no longer avoid it. I bought a new sewing machine (or as the Bernina company now calls it) a sewing computer. It's the Bernina Aurora 435. It's an embroidery machine along with the smartest sewing machine I've ever used. (It can go from 0 to 5 buttonholes in 2.3 minutes.) It's kind of embarrassing at how much it costs, so I have refused to even mention here as of late that I got a new machine. (It makes me feel better that I bought the low-end model as far as embroidery machines go. It was sure tempting to buy the $6,000 model, shah right.)

But I'm taking the cat out of the bag because I must share with you all the new creative outlet I have now discovered due to this new sewing computer. Wise, witty, sharp, whatever you want to call them sayings are new being embroidered on aprons and such. Oh sure, the ladies down at the Bernina shop are all into embroidering gorgeous landscapes and their grandkids names (I'm the youngest in my classes by at least 20 years) but I'm most excited about embroidering my sarcasm onto cloth.

So if you have anything sharp and witty that would be great embroidered on an apron, pillow, t-shirt, toaster cozy, doggy sweater, whatever then send it my way. I'm achin' to embroider it. My next aprons I embroider (once I get rid of the virus that ate my lap top) will say "If you don't like it, starve" and "Because I Said So". And possibly a pillow that says, "Don't drool on me." A subliminal message t-shirt for my son that says "I love to play the piano" and a t-shirt for Ilene that says, "I Love to Clean My Room!" It's not cheaper than therapy, but it's a whole lot funner.


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