Friday, July 31, 2009

toy store shake down

My Little Friend and I have been saving our McDonald's Happy Meal toys for a couple weeks now. McDonald's is giving out TY miniature beanie babies and because they are pretty darn cute we have fairly decent collection going now.

My Little Friend said that we had enough we could have a little toy store for Buttercup when she gets here. I said sure. My LF said, "We could charge her like fifty cents or a dollar for each one. Should I make some price tags?"

Oh, my sweet, dear, precious little Buttercup. I love you. You're not even born yet and your uncle is already making plans to relieve you of your cash.

Better always leave your money at home, honey.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

midnight madness

Blogging in the midst of a full-blown insomnia attack may prove to be dangerous. I do take responsibility for my words, but please keep in mind that by 1 am I'm running on empty here.

I could spend a lot of time blogging about the few people in my life who are difficult. I could talk about the people in my life who have caused me great psychic pain. The people who frustrate and annoy me. The people who scare me and the people who gross me out. People who think I'm ridiculous. People who honestly believe that I've never really thought anything through. People who accuse me of stupidly swallowing whatever absurd load of crap is being fed to me. People who think that my point of view is without any value whatsoever.

There are a couple people in my life who do all those things.

If you are one of these people, may God smile upon you always.

If you are one of the many people in my life who brings fun, enjoyment, peace, love, friendship, acceptance and solace to the table, I thank you sincerely. You are in my thoughts and my prayers. You probably don't know how much you mean to me. I'm a bit backwards in regards to expressing myself.

Please forgive my shortcomings. Those other people that I talked about first have made me a little nervous.

You will not ever read in my blog about how awful any other person is. Or how insensitive. Or how criminally insane, unjust, or negligent. I deliberately choose not to go there. You will not see the dark side of my personality. It's there, sure enough, but it isn't available for public viewing.

(Although I will make no promises about never casting aspersions on the character and moral integrity of the big dogs who dig their way into my backyard to perform their giant morning business. When I use the term "big dogs" it's not an analogy for the people who don't appreciate my brand of person. I know that's what you were thinking, but it's not. I really do mean over-grown canines.)

You will read about the trifling minutiae that has composed much of my daily life. You will see what I think about books I read, household cleaning products I try, and recipes I concoct. You will see poems, jokes, pictures, and stories that I find interesting or funny or clever. You will see it every day, because if I skip a day, then I'll skip two, and then three, or more, and then I'll have quit without meaning to. The reason I started this whole thing was to make life more interesting and fun. To gaze on the good and sweet and delightful parts of my life. To turn my face to the sun. When I don't feel like writing anything is usually when I most need to redirect my focus.

Without a doubt there isn't something scintillating going on in my life every single day.

No matter.

If you find my musings in this blog absolutely unappealing and shamefully boring, so be it.

May God smile upon you always.

chlorox bleach pen

Have you seen these? I don't think I'd ever use them in the laundry but they are the perfect thing for getting rid of mold on the grout in the shower.

I live in a hot, humid part of the world and we get mold in the shower.

It's gross.

But a Chlorox bleach pen gets right into the cracks and somehow soaks through the silicone/rubbery/whatever-that-stuff is in the lines and kills and cleans the mold.

It's fabulous.

My neighborhood Walmart doesn't sell them anymore. Oh, they say they do. And the people who work there send me all over the store to find them. But they aren't there.

It's aggravating. Because I have company coming next weekend and there's mold in the showers.

It's practically an emergency! I guess sometime in the next couple days I'll toss the kids in the car and go on safari - we'll be hunting bleach pens.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

what's on your mind?

Me? Nothing. Mr. Dub comes home from work every day for the past week wanting to know when I'm going to write my blog. He says he wants to know what I'm thinking about. I tell him to just ask and I'll let him know but he wants to read it.

Here are the things I've done or thought about today:

  • went to Walmart. Our nearby Walmart bugs me. I mean, really bugs me. They don't have everything a normal Walmart has, so I end up going on some huge hassle-y trip to get what I need and want. Bah.
  • made muffins for breakfast because we were out of milk. (Obviously this happened before the Walmart trip.) Had to use some leftover half-and-half.
  • thought about half-and-half. Why does it have an expiration date that lasts at least a month longer than regular milk? Does it really stay good that long?
  • I misspelled the word "wondrous" the other day on my blog. I had spelled it "wonderous". It's a good thing that spellcheck caught it for me but now neither way looks spelled properly to me.
  • Does that ever happen to you? When you aren't sure you've spelled a word correctly so you look it up in the dictionary, but then the correct way looks wrong too?
  • Once I start having spelling problems I also start second-guessing my grammar and punctuation.
  • I feel functionally illiterate sometimes.
  • This blog is driving me nutzo lately. I think I may have run out of things to say. But then people, not just Mr. Dub, will ask me why I haven't put up anything new that day. It's a lot of pressure.
  • I feel pre-menstrual and peri-menopausal at the same time lately. Don't mess with me.
  • Seriously, don't. It's for your own good that I tell you this.
  • I feel bored and overwhelmed at the same time. How can that be?

What's on your mind today?

Monday, July 27, 2009

the good ol' summertime

I have been enjoying this summer so much. I've spent time:
  • with Taylor before he left for Sweden
  • with the other two boys just hanging out
  • relaxing and recuperating from another year of seminary
  • getting better acquainted with several women in my ward
  • with my grand-dad
  • finishing some projects that have been on hold for nearly a year
  • contemplating and anticipating my impending grandmotherhood

Basically I've just been having fun with friends and family and getting caught up on some things I've been unable to do for whatever reason until now. I haven't got to Galveston yet for our day -trip at the beach but I'm still looking forward to it. Maybe in a couple weeks when my sweet niece comes to visit.

School starts in a month. I'm sure I'll be ready by then but for now I'm really enjoying the slower pace of things.

This summer has been lovely.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chores, part 2

I'm reading this 800+ page book called Home Comforts, by Cheryl Mendelson. It's a book about how to do the many tasks involved in keeping house. One of the things she says in it has been on my mind and made me think about and re-evaluate the work I do in our house.

She says, "Home is the one place in the world where you are safe from feeling put down, or out, unentitled, or unwanted. Coming home is a major restorative in life. These are formidably good things, which you cannot get merely by finding true love or getting married or having children or landing the best job in the world - or even by moving into the house of your dreams. Nor is there much that interieor decorating can do to provide them. "

What really works "to increase the feeling of having a home and its comforts is housekeeping. Housekeeping creates cleanliness, order, regularity, beauty, the conditions for health and safety, and a good place to do and feel all the things you wish and need to do and feel in your home."

That seems like a lot to ask dusting and vacuuming to provide for people. But according to Mendelson housekeeping is so much more, although regular daily and weekly housework-type chores are certainly a part of it.

Still thinking and reflecting...

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Saturday is my day to clean the house.

I like a clean house.

Some days I like cleaning better than I like it on other days.

Whether I happen to like cleaning any given day or not, I always feel good when it's over. A shining, scrubbed, fresh house does wonders for the soul.

And I totally wear heels and earrings while I'm scrubbing and dusting. (not)

Friday, July 24, 2009

It is

an Excedrin kind of day for me. Carry on with your lives, people, while I suffer in silence. : )

Thursday, July 23, 2009


These pink lilies started growing spontaneously in our backyard a few years ago. One day I looked out the window and I saw a pink thing out on the lawn. At first I thought it was a piece of plastic or a popped balloon or something and when I went out to pick it up of course I saw that it was a flower.

Flowers that I didn't plant and don't take care of. Lovely pink flowers that just started showing up regularly in my life with no effort on my part. Serendipity.

It's like God saying, "Hey, girl. Life is good. Have a nice day."

Yesterday there were 7 blooming at once. Life is very, very good.

I'm not ever going to try to move them out of the grass and in to a flower bed. I'm just letting the beautiful goodness happen where it will.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On top of today's to-do list...

...has to be cleaning off the desk. There isn't any more room for my elbows here. Mainly because whenever I can't figure out what to do with something, it goes on my desk.

It's a bad habit.

The Contents of My Desk, by Kenn Nesbitt

A nail.
A nickle.
A snail.
A pickle.
A twisted-up slinky.
A ring for my pinky.
A blackened banana.
A love note from Hannah.
My doodles of rockets.
The lint from my pockets.
A fork-like utensil.
But sorry... no pencil.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I have come up with an idea so amazing, so incredible, so wondrous, and so thrifty that I just about blew my own mind. (I'm probably not the original thinker of this idea. I'm sure other people have been doing this for years. I'm not smart enough to be that original.)

Of course I have to send it out into the world to justify it and give it the honor that this idea is due. Otherwise it will be forgotten and discarded. Which would be just too bad.

About a year ago we started saving all our plastic shopping bags to take back to the store for recycling. It's taken me a while to get used to always having a pile of these things around. You know how much clutter bugs me. It actually keeps me awake at night. Anyway, it's the responsible thing to do, or so some say, and I have just adjusted my attitude and dealt with it.

Yesterday I needed packing materials to fill the big box that I had to buy to ship my mother's jam and cracker/bread thing. The bread discs are so big around that the box that would fit them sideways ended up being too tall or too deep or whatever. And I didn't want a glass jar of jam knocking around loose in all that space. And I didn't want to have to go buy packing peanuts because spending perfectly good money on them just seems ridiculous to me. I hate those things so much - the static electricity, the tiny broken bits that will not vacuum up - they're awful.

Voila! I used great big wads of bunched-up plastic shopping bags to cushion the glass jar of jam and keep everything secure and immovable in my shipping carton. You'll have to let me know, Mom, how it worked.

And make sure you recycle those bags. Or maybe you'd like to keep them around to use as shipping filler.

Monday, July 20, 2009

a new challenge

I got a new job at Church yesterday - Relief Society education counselor. I thought it was going to be fairly straightforward - make the lesson schedules, do periodic teacher training, help out a bit here and there - but at an orientation this afternoon I had quite the awakening. I'll have some responsibilities I hadn't counted on and a lot of new things to learn. But overall I'm very happy about the opportunity and eager to serve the women in my ward.

Which is not to say that my heart isn't breaking over letting go of my seminary teacher position.

(One of my Little Friend's little buddies opposed me during the sustaining. It was quite hilarious - I'm sure his mom didn't see it. I only saw it because I was up on the stand. Because yesterday I also gave a talk in sacrament meeting. Oh, and I also gave out the end-of-the-school-year seminary awards in sacrament meeting. It was sort of like the AmyDubDub show at church yesterday. My Little Friend apparently got tired of it all. He's mentioned once or twice that my talk was really long.)

Anyway, I will hopefully learn to love the women like I've grown to love the seminary students, but I'm not quite ready to take "seminary teacher" out of my blog profile. It's been a part of my identity for a long, long time. Years, in fact.

Maybe I'll do it later. Like tomorrow. Or maybe next week.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

maybe not SO awesome

I went to Ikea yesterday to pick up a prize for my mother. I took my bff D with me (my other bff K didn't answer the phone or she would have been there too and it's too bad really because K is a very accomplished and savvy shopper - something I am not) and we were wandering through the store, trying to choose the perfect thing. I use the word "perfect" here to mean not too expensive but not too cheap either and fairly simple to mail. At one point we had decided on something - I don't remember what it was - and I checked the label. Made in the People's Republic of China.

It turns out that the Ikea doesn't get all their stuff from actual Swedes. And while it's all so cool and chic and Swedish-design-looking it isn't actually from Sweden.

Which naturally took a lot of wind out of my sails.

Because maybe my mom wouldn't notice or care if her Swedish prize was actually Chinese. But I noticed and I cared. D and I went through the whole store, picking up everything that would fit into a somewhat smallish mailing carton. Thailand. Bangladesh. Vietnam. India. Great Britain. China. China. China.

The only actual Swedish stuff in Ikea, stuff made in Sweden by - I can only hope - Swedes, were the foods by the cash registers.

So, mother, you're getting some very interestingly funky flat giant rye bread/cracker things. Also some lingonberry preserves which according to the nearby sign is typically served with meatballs and cabbage rolls. Which I believe is right up your alley. I hope you love it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ikea is awesome

That's all.

Okay, that's not really all. I checked my sitemeter and the lucky person with a good enough memory to check out my blog on Wednesday, July 15 at 1:00 pm (as Taylor was checking into the MTC for his Swedish mission) was Linda Rae!

Good job, Mom. You are the lucky winner of a fabulous prize from Ikea.

I'm a winner too, because I'm going to Ikea right now to pick out your prize. You should be checking the mail in the middle of next week because it won't get mailed till Monday morning. Hope you love it! I wonder what it's going to be...

Friday, July 17, 2009

I've always wanted to go to...

Prince Edward Island! (Well, not always. But ever since I read Anne of Green Gables.)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

A winner! And a new give-away!

Lucky visitor #5555 is...can you guess?...has a Chevron ISP...from Houston...

It's Mr. Dub!

Somehow I don't think he's going to want for his prize something cool from the summer clearance table at Kohl's or Target.

And I don't think he'll be watching the mail with great anticipation.

I think he's going to expect what he always wants in the way of prize. Mr. Dub is a smoochie kind of guy.

Well, thanks for checking in so often, everybody. I think that in honor of my Little Biggie leaving for his mission to Sweden in TWO days that I will be going to Ikea next week and picking up a new prize. He checks into the Missionary Training Center at 1 pm on Wednesday, July 15. The fabulous Swedish Ikea prize will go to the lucky person who remembers to check into AmyDubDub at 1 pm on Wednesday, July 15. (This way there's no chance Mr. Dub will be the winner!)

If you want to know what visitor # you are, scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on the SiteMeter logo. When you get to that page, click on By Details, then click on any of the small boxed numbers running down along side the ISP's. It'll bring up details about that visitor including the visit number.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

dear little buttercup

I have to learn this by Christmas so I can sing it to Buttercup.

Although I think it would be equally awesome for a ward talent show. But in a different, more hilarious, bring-down-the-house kind of way. Can't you picture Mr. Dub and I doing this song and dance in front of our friends and fellow church members?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

the thing about this summer

Every time I think I'm going to have a week or even just a few days to get caught up on things or just have some down time my calendar fills up. It's like every day I wake up with 10 things that have to be done that I didn't know about the day before. Add that to what I already had planned and I am a teensy bit overwhelmed this summer. I'm looking for school to start so that I can sit down and relax for a minute.

Speaking of teensy-

When we were at Doctor Schreiber's office yesterday I had him look at my Little Friend's chest. He has some weird skin discoloration there. There is a triangular shaped patch on his chest tapering down to a point at his belly button that doesn't tan. So there's this very pale and white shield-shaped area of skin surrounded by tan skin. It is bizarre. It's like a superman logo without the S. Doctor Shreiber took one look at it and said "That's teensy versacolor".

Actually that's not what he said. That's what I heard him say. It's actually tinea versicolor which is what came up when I googled "teensy versacolor". Which is a type of yeast infection that he probably got at the pool. It actually works itself down into the skin and eats the pigment.

If that doesn't gross you out I don't know what will. I almost threw up a little bit when Doctor Schreiber said that.

Anyway, Doctor Schreiber said that the cure is some Selsun Blue shampoo dabbed onto his chest with a cotton ball every night for a week or so. That will kill the yeast and then his chest will begin to tan normally like the rest of him does. Doc Schreiber suggested that I dab it onto his chest in a big "S" pattern so that as he begins to tan there it will truly look like a Superman logo.

We love Doctor Schreiber. He's a cool guy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ah nuts!

My Little Friend had allergy testing done today. It's been five years since he started allergy shots so it was time to re-test and see how his situation has improved.


It's worse rather than better. He's overcome his immune responses to two molds (epicoccum and aspergillus) but everything else is the same. Plus 17 new antigens tested positive that were negative 5 years ago - grasses, trees, molds, and weeds. Doc Schreiber said that 90 % of his pediatric patients have no new positives and usually only a few that remain positive after 5 years of immunotherapy. My Little Friend is a special case. But this time it's special in the bad way.

Peanuts, which they don't include in the serum, remains at a level 4+ which is the highest. Doc Schreiber said Jake will have to stay away from peanuts his whole life.

We're discussing our options and making a decision about further treatment.

I'm going to go cry now.

Monday, July 6, 2009

In Defense of Fort McHenry

By Francis Scott Key, written in 1814

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

May our cause always be just and our land always be free!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

missionary farewell

It's been a busy day here at the Dub's. My Little Friend gave a talk in primary and I taught Relief Society. Which I love doing! It's been over a month since seminary ended and I'm so anxious for them to give me something to do in the ward. I was very grateful for the assignment to teach today, and the lesson was beautiful. I was happy to do it and I think it went well.

When we got home from church I started cooking and baking because this evening we had the open house for T. So many of our friends and ward family came, even good friends from our old ward showed up. Several of T's friends from school came too - what a fun bunch! There were so many people that our house got a little hot and a lot crowded and we ran out of cookies and fruit pretty quick. I didn't know how many people would come or how much food to prepare. I fed everything that was left to a big group of teenage boys and now I don't have to feed bruschetta to Mr. Dub every night for two weeks. I'm sure he's grateful.

It made me feel very good to see such awesome evidence that so many people care about us.

Here's T with my good buddy Thuan and his little sister Janice. Thuan was in my seminary class for the last three years and he's such a good kid. That's Michael (another seminary student) in the picture too - what a goof!

I'm tired. But it's the good kind of tired that comes from working hard. I've accomplished a lot in the last two days. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

no turkey burgers today

I realized after my grand-dad left this morning that I've invited literally hundreds (and I mean literally, not figuratively. I'm not exaggerating for the drama! Not this time, anyway.) of people over tomorrow for a farewell open house for the Little Biggie. He's leaving in a week, and I know lots of people will want to say goodbye. He's a cool guy. People like him.

So this morning I thought maybe I should get my downstairs bathroom put back together just in case any of our guests had to use the facilities. I goofed off with Grampy the last two weeks instead of finishing my projects. You can call me later - I think I'll be up all night long working.

All this to say that I don't have time today to tell you all how to make the best turkey burgers on the planet. That will have to wait until another day.

Hope you like this pic of Grampy and the Little Biggie!

Friday, July 3, 2009

fast fries

Have you tried these? These are the only kind of frozen french fries that my Little Friend will eat. I bake them and they turn out crispy and crunchy but still sort of soft in the center. There's some kind of coating on them that makes them crispy.

We're having Ore-Ida fast fries tonight with our turkey burgers. Tomorrow's post will be how to make the most delicious turkey burgers on the planet. Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Pretty soon, maybe in the next week or so, I will have had 5,555 visits to Visitor #5,555 will win a yet-to-be-determined prize of some kind. I wanted to treat visitor #5000 to a prize but I couldn't figure out who that was because the location of their ISP was "unknown".

(It would help if more people left comments on my posts or simply said "Hello". Heck, it would help even if they just said "Hey Amy, your blog stinks" when they stopped by here. Because then with a little bit of sleuthing I could figure out who was here and what # visitor they were.)

Speaking of treats, I've been to McDonald's late at night TWO times in the last week for a vanilla cone. It has helped me cool off and settle down after some very long, very blistering hot days.

Reduced-fat vanilla cone from McDonald's at midnight. Yum.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

it's a random kind of day

I was thinking today how quickly time has passed. It's already the middle of 2009 and I remembered that ten years ago I had a newborn baby boy - my Little Friend. Giving birth is a different kind of experience. I mean, a person coming out of another person? It's too crazy weird to be possible, right?

I was remembering our New Year's Eve party that we had in 1999 and how some of our friends left early that night because they were worried about the Y2K thing. Remember Y2K? They were sincerely anxious about it. I wasn't at all.

It's interesting how different we all are.

I was thinking today about something my sister-in-law wrote on Facebook - "I'll keep my eyes peeled". Isn't that bizarre? Peeled eyes? I was thinking about all the things we say that are weird like that:
  • Can I give you a hand with that?
  • Lend me your ear for a minute.
  • Follow your nose. (how can you not follow your nose?)
  • I've got your back.

Some things you just cannot take literally. Like the time my Gram was telling me about her acute heartburn and how her chest was literally on fire. Literally. And I said, "you mean figuratively" and she looked at me for a second and said of course. I remember that I wondered how many times she'd told people the story exactly the same way, insisting that her chest was literally, literally on fire, and if she now felt embarrassed about it. I remember the mental picture I had in my head of Gram and her flaming chest.

I was missing my sweet girl today and remembering this funny picture of the time when she did my Little Friend's hair up in ponytails. That shark shirt was his absolute favorite. He wore it long after he'd grown out of it but he just couldn't stand to get rid of it.

Don't you agree that my Little Friend was the cutest little kid ever? Even with ponytails?