Monday, August 31, 2009

why, yes, I am

the center of the universe, thank you very much.

I had a conversation the other day with my Little Friend that has knocked me for quite a loop and made me re-examine my attitude, my goals, my very purpose in life.

It all started innocently enough. Little Friend had brought home the usual avalanche of back-to-school paperwork and hidden in there was a paper advertising that our school district is looking for lunch ladies. School lunch ladies. At all the schools.

My own mom was a school lunch lady for a time. It has no creepy or awful connotations to me. To me it's just a job, and a pretty cushy one at that. Ten dollars an hour? To work a couple hours a day? And never have to work weekends or holidays? You got it.

So I said to my Little Friend, "How would you like it if I worked in the lunchroom at your school?" And he said sure, that would be fine. Then I said to him something along the lines of "But you know, if I had to do a job, I wouldn't have as much time to make all the magic around here".

And then he laid it on pretty thick. He said, "Mama, it's always magic around here when you're happy".

You know what? It's a lot of responsibility being the center of the universe.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

deep thoughts

So many things have been going through my mind. Our ward met in our new church building for the first time today and so there were lots of thoughts about the years and years (14+ years!) that we've been in this house and this ward. Thoughts about the growth of our family and our ward in particular and the Church in general. We are sharing the building with another ward and since there is a 1 hour overlap I was able to see lots of old and new friends that I don't see nearly often enough. Which means catching everyone up on all our news and learning what's new in their lives. Those conversations brought a whole new frame of mind to the forefront - how quickly time passes, how life just keeps marching forward, how important it is to be fully present in my daily life.
Thinking about things the way they are now, remembering times that are past, looking forward to new experiences and lessons to learn, wondering what's going to happen next, wondering what in the world all the things that have already happened really mean in the grand scheme of things, wondering about my role in all of it.

I feel like my life is flashing before my eyes. But in slow motion, over the course of the past week. It's sort of bizarre.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


The Land of Counterpane, by Robert Louis Stevenson

When I was sick and lay a-bed,
I had two pillows at my head,
And all my toys beside me lay,
To keep me happy all the day.

And sometimes for an hour or so
I watched my leaden soldiers go,
With different uniforms and drills,
Among the bed-clothes, through the hills.

And sometimes sent my ships in fleets
All up and down among the sheets;
Or brought my trees and houses out,
And planted cities all about.

I was the giant great and still
That sits upon the pillow-hill,
And sees before him, dale and plain,
The pleasant land of counterpane.

I love that word, counterpane. It's nice. Old-fashioned, but nice.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Buttercup's bedding

I've been working on a knitted blanket for our beautiful little B, and Karie and I went to the fabric store when I was in Austin last week to check out the materials. We picked out some fabrics to make sheets and a bed skirt for the crib.

People have been asking what the colors are going to be so here is what we've come up with. A medium purple color that has a quite a bit of red in it, some yellowy-green, an aqua blue, and white. I've taken lots of pics and posted what I think is the best representation of the colors in the fabric. The colors in the striped fabric are what matches with everything else and in the above photo seem to be the truest.

I'll post a pic when it's all sewn and finished.

This is the Monet water lilies painting we are going off of and which I hope to get for her room:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

quilting thursday

I went to quilting group today and continued working on my jungle animal paper piecing quilt project.

I completed the koala and began and finished the elephant (except for the embroidered tail, eye, and tusk). I have a total of 6 blocks done. At this point in time I have 12 kits and plan to finish all 12. I may stop at that point and make it into a quilt or I might buy more kits. I'll have to decide when I get done with the 12.

When I came home from quilting group I washed, dried, and pressed all the fabrics for Buttercup's bedding and also for her butterfly quilt. I'm so excited to start on those projects but I'm forcing myself to finish the ones I've already started. The colors, the patterns, the variety and the anticipation of seeing my little granddaughter - oh my. It's enough to keep me awake all night, every night till she's born.

I do have to practice a little bit of self-discipline, you know. Otherwise I'd have 43 partially completed projects. And zero actually completed projects. And even if I stay awake every night till she gets here, it won't happen any sooner than it's going to.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

book review

In honor of school starting and because an old movie version of it was on tv late last night, I thought I'd recommend one of my favorite books.

The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy

Set during the French Revolution, the story was first produced as a play and then published as a novel shortly thereafter.

  • It's got blood and gore and plenty of it. (That whole Madame Guillotine thing, you know.)
  • It's clever.
  • It's funny.
  • It's romantic.
  • It's suspenseful.

A&E made it into a movie which I thoroughly enjoyed. It has been made into a movie several times actually - I've only seen the A&E version.

I didn't stay up too late to watch it last night. Plus it was in black and white - and B&W is just not my thing.

But you know the book is always better! I'm going to read it again soon. Very soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Taking a day off

from blogging to hang with my girlfriends and do some crafts. Have a sunshiney day, my friends!

Monday, August 24, 2009

what to do?

Feeling a little bit at a loss today - I'm home all by myself for hours and hours. Not that there isn't tons to do. I'm just going to ease myself into the new routine rather than jumping head first like I usually do.

Things I could be doing:
  • finish sewing the little purse that matches the sundress I made for my niece C. Then I could mail the box to my mom of all the things that got left behind when they visited.
  • work on any one of the many quilting squares that have yet to be completed - I think I have all the kits in my possession.
  • read handbook and other materials for Relief Society.
  • fill out multiple school forms.
  • write a letter to my son.
  • or my daughter.
  • put away all the various items that were purchased during our many back-to-school shopping trips last week.
  • get caught up on knitting mittens.
  • rake up all the pine needles that are carpeting my front yard.
  • mow the grass.
  • vacuum the upstairs.
  • scrub bathrooms.

But hey, instead I'm goofing around on the Internet and sweating. It's just plain too hot to live. I did get supper in the crock pot while my Little Friend was eating breakfast this morning so the day isn't a total loss.

Crock pot chicken and rice. As my dear friend Rachael Ray says, YUMMO.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

feeling bummed

Feeling sorry. Left out. Left behind. Forgotten.

We went to the Seminary Open House tonight. I'm not teaching this year. And it's the Book of Mormon year which is the best one! And I'm not going to be a part of it! Sob, weep, wail, and cry!

I'm also not getting up at 4 am tomorrow. Which is a small consolation, it's true.

I will miss so much seeing those kids every day and having those relationships. They are so awesome and so fun. I'm positively green with envy over the opportunities that are available to the new seminary teachers. I hope they'll appreciate what a gift they've been given with this responsibility.

I resolve to see my own opportunities within the Relief Society the same way.

But it's going to be hard because let's face it - the ladies aren't nearly as much fun as the youth!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm celebrating today

Celebrating my womanhood, that is.

Parties like this are fierce. What is needed now is a couple of tylenol and a long nap.

Party on, chicas.

Friday, August 21, 2009

getting it all done

I think we are ready for school to start. I'm sure I've forgotten something, and there's one item on the school supplies list I haven't been able to find - 12x18 manila paper. Gah!

Other than that, we're ready. It's been a pretty intense week and I'm glad it's almost over.

We've had a great summer and I'm sure I've driven close to two thousand miles in the last two months. We've seen family and friends and done some super fun stuff. Now that summer vacation is just about over, I'm a little blue.

Mostly, though, you know what they say - it's the most wonderful time of the year!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

you gotta have friends...

I joined a quilting group earlier this summer. I visited one of their meetings just to see what it was all about and figure out if it was something I wanted to do.

I've wanted to be a quilter for a long time. I've made several different kinds of quilts with varying degrees of success and I've thought that if I ever had time, I'd like to make something really beautiful. But at the same time, I kind of think that quilting is sort of an old lady thing to do. It's not a very hip or stylin' thing. You know what I mean? Gossipy old biddies pricking their fingers and sweating while churning out predictable, badly-sewn blankets that future generations would exclaim over. But not in a good way.

It hasn't turned out to be that way at all. I've met a group of talented and creative artisans of all ages, each with their own style and point of view, all of whom are generous with their skills and their time, who are creating incredibly intricate and unique works of very real art.

I'm SO much a beginner. It's embarrassing that I have to keep asking them to show me just one more time how to do something. But these ladies are patient and congratulatory about every single piece I manage to complete. It's embarrassing how long it takes me to finish my weekly square - long after everyone else has left I'm still there going, "What do I do again?"

Sheesh. I hate looking like a slow learner. But I really want to do this.

We had a demonstration today on Picture Piecing. It's similar to Paper Piecing but not quite so fussy. I made the butterfly square because I have a feeling that my dear little Buttercup needs a butterfly quilt.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

coming to you live from...

...Austin, Texas!

I'm here for just a day and 2 nights visiting my Pretty Girl. We unpacked a few of her moving boxes and did a little shopping. We found some very cute fabrics at Hancock Fabric store to make some adorable bedding for her sweet Buttercup. That little girl has very good taste, I can tell you that for sure!

My Pretty Girl is such a good person. I love her with all my heart. She's smart, funny, pretty. I hit the jackpot with this daughter. And now she's having the beautiful Buttercup. It's hard to take it all in.

My cup runneth over.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

wisdom from Eleanor R.

I've heard Eleanor Roosevelt's quote "You must do the thing you think you cannot do" a bunch of times in my life and I've taken it to heart. Because of a conversation with my bff D I've been thinking about it again and wondering why you have to do the thing you think you cannot do. What difference does it make really, and shouldn't a free, adult person get to choose what she will do and won't do? Why must I do what I sincerely feel I might not be any good at?

And does this quote apply to golf? If it doesn't apply to golf, does it apply to getting on the loop-de-loop roller coaster?

Here's the whole quote: "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do."

I still think it's true, those words. What if one day I am called upon to do some great but incredibly hard thing, and I have not prepared myself for that destiny by taking advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves one at a time, day by day? Will God hold me responsible for that failure? If I am unable to complete it because I am not prepared? When the chances to prepare were offered all along the way and I turned them away?

Eleanor Roosevelt accomplished some amazing things. I wonder which of them she initially felt she could not do?

Monday, August 17, 2009


...are cool.

Don't you think this one created by my niece C, my Little Prince, and my Little Friend is extraordinarily cool? (You might have to click on the pic to view it full size to get the total effect.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

busy, busy, busy

I have a busy week ahead of me - the kind of week that makes me tired just thinking about it.
On my to-do list:
  • sort through the boys' clothes to determine what is needed in the way of new school clothes
  • haircuts for both boys
  • get together a care package and mail it to oldest son
  • pay bills
  • sort through our school supplies stash and compare to this year's supply lists
  • hunt down and acquire the school supplies we are short on (why oh why can this never be easy!?! Shopping for school supplies sounds like the simplest thing in the world, but...)
  • get the boys (and myself) back into a sleeping and waking schedule that at least somewhat resembles a normal school-night routine as opposed to the free-for-all we've been living all summer
  • visit daughter at her new apartment and spend quality time together with her
  • figure out daughter's student loan needs and get the ball rolling on it

And of course there's the always there stuff like laundry and grocery shopping and meal prep and vacuuming.

I may need to go do some yoga in the ocean to center and calm myself. My little niece C showed me how while we were at the beach last week.

Hope everybody has a great week!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

the Little Prince

He's a good guy. He's a good sport. He likes and gets along with pretty much everybody. He's willing to play with the little kids and he's nice to them.

He had a good time with his cousin C while she was here. He took exceptional care of her at the beach - very careful and aware of her safety.

They built a really great sandcastle together.

You rock, my Little Prince.

Friday, August 14, 2009


We finally made it to Galveston! It was a perfectly awesome day - I had my mom and my niece with me along with the Little Prince and my Little Friend. I have lots of good pics which I will share over the next couple weeks.

The highlight was the time we spent on the beach. It was C's first time to the beach and she had a blast. Her dad, my brother Mark, is going to have to bring that girl back down here again very soon so we can go again. I think she will torment him until he does.

It was a great day. There is C cheesin' it for the camera.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We had bunco tonight - very fun. My mom got to come with me and meet some of my friends. I wonder what she thinks of them and what they think of her.

Worlds are colliding!

Next month it is my turn to host bunco here at the DubDub home. I've got a whole month to think about what I'm going to cook for the meal and to finish up my house projects. It's kind of a good thing to have people over - it makes me get my act together.

Now I have to keep track of the bunco game materials for a month. I really hope I don't stash it somewhere safe and then never be able to find it again!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

it's a sickness

or it could quite easily become a sickness.

Shopping for a new baby girl, that is.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

my sweet Buttercup...

is a girl!

I'd like to say that I knew it all along.

But if I I am going to be completely honest here I'd have to say that I only knew it because Karie is a girl so of course her baby is a girl.

And of course that makes no sense at all.

I am happy that there is a beautiful girl in my future. I saw her picture today and I bonded with that little baby. I can't explain except to say that I love her immensely and I haven't even met her yet. I don't even know her real name.

When we asked my niece C what she thought would be a good name for the baby, she thought for just a second and said that Buttercup is a really nice name.

I knew it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

veggie wraps

I don't have pics for this recipe but you'll be able to figure it out without them - they're super simple.

Veggie Wraps
shredded cabbage (napa is good but any kind will work)
shredded carrot
thinly sliced bell peppers
thinly sliced green onions
bean sprouts
flour tortillas
Dipping Sauce:
peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
soy sauce
sesame oil
rice wine vinegar
hot water

For the sauce: Put about 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwavable bowl. Add a minced clove of garlic, about 2 tbsp. soy sauce, 1/2 tsp. sesame oil, splash of rice vinegar and enough hot water to make the mixture into a suitably thin dipping sauce. I always end up adding more water than I think I will - it takes quite a bit to thin out the peanut butter. Just add a little bit at a time. If the peanut butter resists mixing with the soy sauce and water you can heat it up a little bit in the microwave, but hot water is usually plenty good enough to make it work.

For the wraps:
Place some of each kind of vegetables in the tortilla. Roll or fold the tortilla around the veg. Dip in the sauce while you're eating it so you get a little bit of sauce with each bite.

Obviously each person will need his own small dish for dipping sauce to avoid the dreaded double-dip.

Also obviously you increase the amounts as needed to fill the hungry people you have at your house.

Also obviously you can add sliced cucumber, red cabbage, lettuce, whatever makes your skirt fly up. Or whatever you need to clear out of the vegetable crisper. The dipping sauce is really what makes the whole thing delicioso.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

the day of rest

Nana's foot is swollen and painful so we've been taking it easy today to try to help the swelling go down. We had a super long car ride yesterday and that's what happens to her foot on long trips. We'll see if she's better tomorrow - if not then we'll take another day off and just hang out here at home.

It's been nice having her here today. We made a fabulous dinner together and have had lots of conversation.

Today was my first day conducting the Relief Society meeting. It went well overall, and I was really very happy when the teacher walked in - I hadn't seen her yet at that point and was beginning to think about what I'd have to do if for whatever reason she didn't show. Needless to say, I was quite relieved when she walked in!

My niece C is so cute. She's been playing very well with my Little Friend. I can tell that she's used to getting her own way a lot of the time, which is only natural, but she has a pleasant and mostly cooperative disposition. We've had lots of fun together. She let me do her hair this morning and I realized that I didn't have any hair clips or barrettes or anything. I thought that I didn't even own a hairbrush anymore but after digging around found one and also a couple of pony-tail holders. We raided my craft drawer and came up with some suitable ribbons for her hair. It was a blast brushing and braiding her hair but we ended up with a plain ponytail because "that looks the nicest".

I'm wondering if my little girl's hair-do skills are rusty.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

sightseeing V

Home, Sweet Home.

Friday, August 7, 2009

sightseeing IV

A very pretty girl - my niece.

Today she and I went to Party Galaxy, then we frosted cupcakes, then we decorated Nana's house for her retirement party.

This pretty girl said it was her "happiest day ever".

She's a cutie-patootie.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

sightseeing III

The three amigos. The year 1992 was one of excellence for the Dubs. How awesome to see them all together again - it's been a long time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mother's 66th birthday. It's a great one because it means she's finally able to retire from her job. She's been looking forward to this for a long, long time.

Hope your day is everything you want it to be, Mom!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

sightseeing II

I-35 North, Monday, 5-7 pm.

Remember the other day when I said I didn't like long trips?

Monday, August 3, 2009


Oh, I wish I was an Oscar Mayer wiener,
That is what I really want to be-ee-ee.
'Cause if I were an Oscar Mayer wiener,
Everyone would be in love with me.

My nephew D took this pic out the window of the car on our way to Oklahoma today. Then of course I had to sing the song for 20 minutes. I'm the coolest aunt. : )

Sunday, August 2, 2009

road trip

Although I'm very excited about seeing quite a few family members in the coming week, I'm not excited about the hours and hours in the car.

I don't like long trips.

Mr. Dub, when he wants to be particularly cruel to me, insists that in our golden years we will sell the house (our home!) and travel the country in our tricked out RV.

He says we'll be like rock stars. I say more like hillbillies living in a bus.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Julie and Julia

I cannot wait to see this movie!