Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve 2012

I think I used every single fancy gadget in my kitchen today.
Tarzan and I had the bright idea to make some fancy food for our New Year's Eve "party." Which is consisting of him and me, a pile of food and USC in the Sun Bowl. (What is with those announcers? They have apparently never called a game on national television before.)
We had the time and shrimp was on sale this week. 50% off regular is a decent price for the little buggers so we decided on Coconut Shrimp:
With Mango Dipping Sauce:
Then, because I found another recipe to try, we made Crab Rangoon:
It is one of Tarzan's favorite childhood foods and we have been looking for a substitute for years. This was close, but not enough cream cheese, I think, or too much everything else.
And to top it off - because I am in the groove with the soup - we had Tom Kah Gai:
Essentially, coconut soup. A little off balance for me. Not sure what to add to fix it next time but Tarzan loves/loved it, so he'll eat all the iterations while I figure out what I am missing.
Final score - USC: 7, and Georgia Tech: 21 (So not my favorite game of the year.)

This is me, stuffed.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Record Day

I think today is the first day I have left for church when it was dark - well not really dark but cloudy and grey and early; 8am meetings - and come home when it was dark.
(No baptisms or anything, just regular RS President stuff.)
The leaving and arriving in the dark used to happen when we lived in the Frozen North but we were much, MUCH closer to the top of the world then we are now.
It was just a really long day. Which threw off the dinner/calling family/post church activities. Thank goodness tomorrow is an almost-holiday.

This is me and there has got to be a better system.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Missing A Day

I'm not sure what happened to Thursday...
I only just realized that not only didn't I post that day, but I didn't even turn on my computer that day.
Tarzan and I slept a lot on Thursday. We've slept a lot every day. We've been using this week to recuperate from the rest of the year and especially December and I think we skipped a day.
Except for the missing a day so close to the end of my 90 streak, I don't know that anyone is bothered by the lapse.
Tomorrow we kind of have to get back to regular life - church and all - but then we have a few more days of rest and relaxation. Tarzan has until the 7th so he's not even thinking of the end of vacation yet.
I remember those days.
I wonder if there's a profession I could get into that let's me have the same vacation schedule that Tarzan gets but doesn't have me dealing with teenagers all day long?

This is me and it's been a nice couple of days.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Tarzan and I saw Skyfall last night. The latest in the little franchise known as James Bond.
It was interesting.
Exciting, implausible, explosive and 007 as always.
And Daniel Craig gets to flaunt his pecs a few times which is never bad.
I fear I am too practical though, as I wondered throughout the flick, how many times can a person almost die before they really do?
And M got some back story finally which was cool.
I thought Q was adorable. I would totally crush on him if he was real.
Silva was a really creepy villain, but his demise was a tad anticlimactic.
And despite the continuous jokes about him aging, James sure managed to thwart hypothermia there at the end with no sweat.
In all, it was a fun romp. We had an empty theater, which was nice and it was a great date.

This is me and who names their kid after a vegetable?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After

Aaand just like that, the magic and anticipation of Christmas is done, the music is off the radio, the Valentine's candy appears on shelves, and all there is to do is go back to work and endure cold, dark days while we wait for spring to come.

This is me and aren't I a bundle of laughs today?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

This is me and Merry Christmas everybody!

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Night Before

'Twas the night before Christmas and everyone was gathered at Aunt Richie's holiday party.
Including her daughter and granddaughter, her sister-in-law, various friends, her husband and his son from a previous marriage - who hates her - her husband's nephew, his ex-wife, two daughters AND his new girlfriend who looked to be about 22 years old. (The nephew is about 70.)
All smushed into one tiny side room of a really nice restaurant.
The dirty looks exchanged around the room, the seating card rearranging, the PDAs, the snide remarks.
The food was fabulous, the dessert decadent, Tarzan was enthralling - several people commented on how fun he is to have at a party - polygamy was mentioned at least twice - there was a lot of laughing and I think we agreed to drive an RV to Vegas sometime next year.
And I heard someone exclaim as we drove off into the night, "Did you see what she was wearing?!"

This is me and if I'd had time I would have put it into iambic pentameter.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Another One Bites The Dust

After all the stress, worry and scheduling conflicts; the changing of songs and then changing back; after the nerves and the tears and the practice...
The Christmas Sacrament Program is all over and it went okay.
Surely not our most professional sounding work ever - we miss you Rocketgirl and PhatFiddle and your violins - but it was all local talent and everyone tried their very best.
Tarzan and I sang, which was a first for us, but the final number (ours was a male/female duet) blew everyone away so I never thought to ask if we sounded good or not.
Now ALL the obligations are done and I have one whole day before Christmas to finish my gift shopping and baking and thanking of people.
Some specific one I need to mention:
Seth - thank you for mastering that piece in 2 days so Brenda didn't have to play alone. You're my hero.
Leafy - thank you for coming from across town to play the hairy piano part and then being okay when they skipped ahead and missed part of it. Coolest accompanist EVER.
SuperMom - thank you for playing for half of the numbers and then singing for the other half. I would quit if not for you.

This is me and I wonder if these things are worth all the stress and trouble, OR would it be as good without the stress and trouble?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Would That I Had Learned

There are times when I feel all proud of myself for recognizing notes or being able to dink along on the piano for a bit.
Today, when I sat behind the man who not only could play Mannheim Steamroller's 'Stille Nacht,' but accompany two violinists who weren't sure where they were all the time, and still have it sound good, I knew my talents do not lie in that direction.
Not even a little bit.
I am a little envious of their skills, but even more glad I know people who can do it and are willing to share.

This is me and tomorrow will be good.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Not So Lucky

Well, I've lived through both 11:00s of the day and it seems the world isn't ending.
So it looks like I have to clean and do the laundry this weekend after all.
Crap-ola. I hope when it does come for real, it's before I break out the vacuum and the foaming cleanser.

This is me and there are miles to go before I sleep.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lock The Doors

All I can say, if tomorrow is the end of the world, is thank goodness.
I could use the rest.
I am so tired.
Not the sleepy-didn't-get-enough-shut-eye-last-night kind of tired, but the turn-off-the-phone-don't-go-out-please-leave-me-alone kind of tired.
This has been a tough year and a really hard month and I will be glad to see it all end. If the world ends too, well it's been nice while it lasted.
I'm going to take a nap.

This is me. Wiped. Out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Life Beyond #7

Yes, that is a tennis court in front of the pool:
And yes that is a pool in front of the back house.
No, that is not the main house. That is the pool house.
The main house is behind me as I take this picture, and it has it's own zip code.
I wonder what they would say if I told them my house is smaller than the tennis court...

This is me and who sweeps up at this shack?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Drainage Matters

The down side to all this rain is that Stingy lives on a hill.
A very steep hill:
And in the manner of roads on steep hills, her street angles back and forth to allow the water to drain all the way to the sewer and not flood anyone's property:
My luck, or Stingy's, depending, being what it is, her driveway opens right where the water changes sides of the street:
So, when I stepped from the car today, it was into the wave of water washing down he hill. And it went right up, over my shoe, down into my socks. Both of them.
It was not good.
But it got a whole lot not better as the day went on.
First I walked the dog in my soggy socks. Then I went to work at Aunt Ritchie's and she has specific rules about no shoes in the house, but I couldn't walk around in my literally dripping socks, so I took them off too, but then my feet were super cold, so I wore the shoe covers she keeps to protect the carpet from service personnel.
That was marginally better.
The house boy noticed my socks dripping onto the garage floor and suggested they go in the dryer - but even by the time I left to go home they hadn't dried out enough - and my shoes were still sopping, so it's been a day.

This is me with - albeit warm - wet feet.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mystery Solved

So this is why nothing grew in that pot:

This is me and it all makes sense now.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


It's raining today and I enjoy the benefits that come from the rain, however, I am feeling a little wimpy for feeling the cold.
It's 54 degrees outside in the wind and the rain today.
Once upon a time, when I lived in the Frozen North, 54 degrees meant we shed out jackets and ran around so excited that summer had finally come. Of course, that was after six months of snow, boots, fur hoods and numbers in the negative numbers. The WAY negative numbers. So I suppose it's like they say and it's all relative.
Plus, we don't have insulation or central heating in our house now and we had both when I was growing up.

This is me and it's a different world down here.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Harsh Reality

What to say on days like this? It is a crying shame that some people feel their only recourse is a gun.
Turned on others or themselves.
Sad that lives can be shattered by a stranger's bad mood.
All we can do is hug those we love and try to be nicer to everyone around us.
Maybe a smile or a handshake would have helped, maybe not. At least we would have tried.

This is me and what to say?

Friday, December 14, 2012


While I dream of this:
The blog might be the only thing getting decorated this year. We're lucky if we manage to hang a wreath on the door:

This is me and I love the season, hate the scheduling.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Light Dawns

When Tarzan and I were first married I would hear tales of his mother staying up until the wee small hours of the morning working on lessons for school, editing papers, planning Visiting Teaching excursions or sending letters to family.
I will admit to thinking she was nuts.
Why on earth would anyone stay up that late/early? Do it tomorrow or plan it better and then it would all be done in a timely manner.
Ah. The naivete of youth.
I respectfully ask for Gamma's forgiveness for ever thinking she wasn't better organized; when the truth is, she was SO organized she had everything scheduled down to the last minute detail and was going to get it all done or the delicate balance she had made between work, family and church would collapse.
Or at least, that's what I'm thinking as I stay up late to make gingerbread men for Christmas plates that Tarzan is taking on the last day of school - tomorrow - for his fellow teachers.
Sure, I could have done it a different night this week, but all the days are scheduled out the wazoo. With weddings and parties and shopping and weather and family and the business and the car being sick - it's back now and just fine - and all that stuff, I understand the scheduling conflicts, the emergencies that come up, assignments that someone falls through on, or get changed.
And just plain  not having enough hours in the day.
I am reminded of a book we used to read when I was a kid with the Sesame Street characters and Ernie keeps putting "one more thing," and "one more thing" into Bert's bath until there isn't any room for Bert.

This is me and as it is I need a week to get caught up to where I'm only behind a little.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Life Beyond #6

It was a pretty cool house anyway. Pool, great kitchen, sun room, huge bedrooms, great closets, and then...
And then.
I walked into the "family room" and saw this on the wall:
Oh yes it is.
And lest you think I am kidding, here is the label:

This is me and I saw The King's suit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Transportation Issues

My car is sick, poor thing. Apparently the regulator for the motor that raises and lowers the window on the rear passenger side has failed.
And I need a new one.
Which is fine, except they're keeping my car for 3 days, 3! DAYS! to diagnose the problem (yesterday), order the part (today) and install it (tomorrow).
This puts a tiny crimp in our regular, tightly, down-to-the-second, don't-forget-the-last-minute-detail, scheduled days that Tarzan and I have worked 12 years to perfect.
He's on his bike for school since it's a mere 3 miles from home to there. And I have his car for the 15miles is it for me. As neither the bus nor train go to the neighborhoods where I work that is not a viable option. (I've thought it was a bit stupid of the neighborhood councils. All their 'help' come via public transportation. How do they get up and down the hill?)
Here's hoping this doesn't happen too often. We live in a car dependant city.

This is me and have just the one vehicle for a bit.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Not A Good Omen

An indicator of how my month is going; I intended to send BHB and Seth a program outline for the Christmas sacrament meeting in two weeks.
Instead I sent them the list of Christmas presents for the entire family, including the one planned for them.
So, now I have to rethink my gift planning and hope BHB has a short memory.

This is me and it was not my finest move.

Sunday, December 09, 2012


Why are there not any green or yellow or PINK buildings in downtowns?

This is me and it would be pretty.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Additional Job

It's not in the handbook but apparently one of my duties as Relief Society President can be photographer:
I can't say it was all sunshine and roses:
But in my defense they were really booking it up the aisle.
Others were much better:

This is me and I'm not giving Ansel or Annie a run for their money.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Long Day

If I may say, after a 14-hour day of driving across the largest geographical city in the country - if not the planet - twice; all for the good of an event wherein I am not related to anyone involved, spending large amounts of money that isn't mine, and doing a lot of talking on the phone while in said traffic...
After all of that, may I say that missionaries, especially, ESPECIALLY the elders, should not be allowed to plan/manage/heck, even comment on a wedding.
Not even their own.

This is me and it had better go well tomorrow.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

White Christmas

So, tonight was like the Perfect Storm; but in a good way.
It began a few months ago when ATL got an email about a movie showing. She gets them frequently and sometimes the movies are good - we saw 'How The West Was Won' a while back - and sometimes the movies are epic.
Like tonight.
ATL got tickets for us to go and see 'White Christmas' on the big screen:
Actually, on a big screen on a lawn next to some studio lot. And all the major actors daughters came and spoke for a few minute before the show. Which was very sweet.
The movie was as adorable as always - even Tarzan said it was good - and then at the end, when the snow comes to save the inn, the hosting group had fans turned on and blew fake snow all over the audience. It was also very cute and romantic.
It wasn't soap snow, which I thought was a decent fake alternative, but it looked good. In fact, in this picture ATL took, it looks like a veritable blizzard:
But it was fun and the movie was of course excellent and we made it on time - quite a feat for us making it from our neighborhood to this one in only 40 minutes - and everyone ate (also quite an accomplishment) and it was all twelve kinds of awesome.

This is me and I love this perk of living in The Jungle.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

A Life Beyond #5

When I was working in architecture there was a lot we had to do with fire walls and area separations, so I am no stranger to doors in odd places and hold opens and all that sort of thing.
I have never seen a door in an open hallway though:
And it's all the way up:
On an open air hallway. What's the area that is being separated? It's a little weird:
This is me and I really want to hear the Building Department's reasoning for this one.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Rice Krispies

I love Kellogg's Rice Krispies. Hands down my favorite cold breakfast cereal.
And did you know they are puffier and take longer to absorb milk than any store brand iteration of the same type?

This is me and even breakfast teaches me.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Via The Facebook

I do not love Facebook as a lot of people do. It's good for getting pictures to and from across the world and it's nice to catch up with old and new friends, but I guess the point is that I don't see every trend or cute picture that goes on because I don't visit that much.
And that's okay with me.
It also means that when I do see something good or appropriate, I find ever so much more interesting because I haven't seen 25 other things, equally as good or appropriate.
The short version is, when I signed on today I was met with a statement from RHM that perfectly captured my state of being these days. With her permission I quote it to you now:
"With great power comes ridiculous responsibilities."
Summed up the whole day in six words. I need to be that efficient and then I might not have the challenges I do.

This is me and it's so true.

Sunday, December 02, 2012


It's seldom that we get what is termed "weather" out here in the Jungle. At least weather like the rest of the country gets.
So when it does come, it's a surprise - people SO freak out on the roads - but it's also cool and exciting because it's new.
We're getting some rain this weekend and sometimes, when it takes a break, we get crazy clouds:

With the sun setting behind the rain clouds and the new clouds rolling in over the top, it looks nice:

This is me and it's nice.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Can I Get An Amen?

The following may be slightly offensive to some peoples, but the point is extremely valid:
Many thanks to whoever comes up with these things. I wish I was that witty.

This is me and you can only blame spell-check so much.

From Whence You Cometh