Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tue Pose a Question

Confessional: I am a crappy housekeeper. I've got a whole book written in my head about that very sentence. I loathe this facet of myself. Maybe some of you who have a clean house don't understand the gravity with which I use the word loathe. Loathe, as in to feel disgust or intense aversion for; to abhor, deplore, despise, hate, or scorn; to regard with extreme dislike and hostility. Yes, loathe.

Don't we all want to look like a shiny new penny... not the corroded green, sticky, can't-tell-what-year-it-is penny that screeches under the wheel of your grocery cart? I think the answer to that is yes. That's why we women wear makeup, right? To show the shiny-penny side of ourselves? Well, I'd rather go out without makeup a thousand-and-three times than have someone come into my house when it's really messy. It makes me anxious. It makes me near hyperventilation. It makes me feel like I am going to vomit. If one's mind could go to jail for assault on themselves, my little brain would be locked up for life, lifting weights while it quietly awaits the electric chair. It's that bad folks.

I grew up in a messy house and I haven't yet learned the ways of good housekeeping. I'm trying to ease up on myself because I'm doing the best I know how with the arsenal my childhood equipped me with. So... the question(s) I'd like to ask, which I have no answer for (as noted above), is: How do you keep your house clean? What is your routine? Do you have certain chores on certain days of the week? How do you enlist your children in these duties without a big 'ole nasty fight? Is there a specific time of day you clean, or is it all the live-long day?

My dream is to learn how to love myself, regardless of the state of my house. That is the goal. I'm pretty sure, because of the severe intensity of my feelings around this matter, that it is a deeper issue than just a clean house or a messy house, but I haven't yet dug in that dark corner of my mind to uncover what that might be. Until I am ready to get out the pick and shovel, or jack-hammer and backhoe as the case may be, maybe I can pick up a few pointers from all of you, my lovely friends. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Manic Monday: Nuts

Squirrels and nuts. A match made in heaven, or so the media likes us to think. (think childhood cartoons or the recent version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...) Interestingly enough, I have, in the last 5 1/2 weeks, learned that a squirrel living solely on nuts will develop metabolic bone disease and it will die. Nuts are like candy to a squirrel. They have little to no calcium, a requirement for a healthy squirrel. It's a funny thing because when people think of squirrels they think of nuts, but, like anything else in excess, too many nuts are bad news for little squirrels. So next time you're feeding your squirrel, put away the nuts and give broccoli a try! Your squirrel will thank you!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Five

1- My husband will be home in a few hours. (he's now working out of town five days/week)
2-My dishes are done and my whole upstairs is relatively clean.
3- I tasted stuffed tomatoes for the first time and they were FABULOUS! And the tomatoes and zucchini came from my garden. (Thanks, Maria!)
4- We (me and the kids) had a much better, nicer, more kind day yesterday than we'd had all week and I felt fairly at peace.
5- Rohan is the cutest little three year old boy in my world. I am listening to him play right now. He is making all the sweet sounds of imagination and childhood and it brings me so much joy.

Join me each Friday in acknowledging all the things that are fabulous in your life!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


My little baby is now 5 weeks old! His little eyes are finally opening. He's just growing up so fast! *Clancy dabs at her tears and sniffles* He is so spoiled. I'll tell you what...we even wipe his little bum for him (if we don't he'll die, literally). Seriously, how many squirrels do you know that have gone on vacation? That little dude went with us to Lake Powell and lounged on a houseboat for a week! Spoiled, spoiled, spoiled!!! I guess that's what happens when you are the baby of the family. Lake Powell was probably not as great for him as it might sound, since his eyes were still shut tight. He couldn't even enjoy all that lovely red rock. Plus he couldn't really even stand up yet, so water skiing was out. He tried hard to persuade me to let him ride my uncle's waverunners, but I put my foot down. He pouted a little, but eventually he got over it. But not before he begged to go out and hang with the lizards outside. They promised to teach him how to drop his tail. How many times to I have to tell that boy no??? I told him he was too big for his britches and that he had to be content with chillin' with all us yackers and eating his puppy formula. He was cool with that in the end.

I'll post pictures of his little cuteness in the morning.

P.S. I'm a little scared of this next "phase" of squirrel mommy-hood. We'll see how it goes. Does that warrant any prayers??? You decide.

P.P.S. Speaking of prayers, thanks to all of you lovelies who are praying for Tricia's brother. I don't really have much information, except that there has been a little improvement and there is more hope than they initially thought. So YAY for prayers! Keep them comin'! *kiss face from me to you*

P.P.P.S. Chuckle here.

P.P.P.P.S. (how many p's can you put before it becomes totally ridiculous?)

P.P.P.P.P.S (that many, I think... this is the last one, I promise) Just wanted to say that RACHEL ROCKS!!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From The Jar... #19

I have some new readers, so I thought I'd let you know that you are invited to play "From the Jar" with me! Read here to see what it's all about and how to play! :)

And the jar says...

How did you first meet your in-laws?

This was one of those times where Dustin and I were only "sort-of" dating... not really officially. (For more on that story, click here.) Dustin's sister has a son named Wesley. He was getting blessed and Dustin invited me to go along with him to the blessing. As we arrived, we walked into the church building and his mom and dad met us out in the hall. Dustin introduced me to his parents and the first thing his mom said to me was, "OH! You're so pretty!" I blushed a bit, thanked her, and was, naturally, very flattered. I had seen pictures of his dad and I remember thinking how gentle and nice he seemed. It was true. He's got a gentleness about him that's soothing somehow. (although I've since learned that he's got some spit and vinegar in there too!)
I didn't know it then, but after we were married I learned that Roger (that's my pop-in-law) walked away from meeting me and said something to the effect of, "That girl is going to be my daughter-in-law. That's the girl that Dustin is going to marry." I found that very interesting. Obviously my gentle, spit and vinegar father-in-law is also very intuitive. Cool beans.

That was also the first time I met Clover, my sister-in-law. She was cute and friendly. I think she must have been fairly wrapped up in the blessing stuff cuz I don't really remember talking to her much.

I don't remember if Callin, Dustin's brother, was there or not. He left on his church mission just a couple months before we got married, and got back just before I had Mac. Callin is a sweetie- super fun and super easy-going.

A side note here... Callin's wife, Tricia, has a brother that we are praying tonight. He was in a terrible car accident on Sunday and is in very serious condition. Any prayers from any of you would be much appreciated. I've seen the blogging world come together in amazing ways, but all I'm asking for is a little praying. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tue Pose a Question

Image provided for Britta

What's the deal with artichokes? Did you ever wonder who figured out they were edible? Just imagine...

"Hey! Look at this poky, spiky thing with weird leaves... let's cook it!" Cooks for a long time...

"Let's chew on these leaves and see how they taste." Spits leaves out.

"That's disgusting... maybe if we suck them..." Sucks on them and discovers "meaty" leaves. Experiments with best method for meat removal...

"Try scraping it with your teeth!" "Ya! Perfect! Ah... that meaty goodness!" Proceeds to scrape all leaves clean. Discovers a hairy center.

"I just gotta try that!!!" Tests out the hair. Disgusted.

"Get that hair off of there!" Hair removed. Discovers the scrumptiousness hidden under all that fuzz... the heart!

"AWWWW....THIS IS AWESOME!!! We gotta tell somebody about this!"

Ya. I wonder that every time I eat one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Manic Monday: Formula

Better late than never.

A formula for you:

"Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place."

-The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Five

Life is fantastic, isn't it!!!

1- I love that I have a washer and a dryer.

2- I love that said washer and dryer were free... a gift from the universe to us!!

3- It is wonderful to be able to spend a week with fun and loving family in Lake Powell where I can catch up on some SLEEP.

4- I adore my husband.

5- It is fabulous that my adored husband cleaned up some yucky water that we found in a bin under our sink that had started getting moldy and molded and stinkified all the cleaners that were in the bin. Dustin graciously cleaned out the gag-factor while I finished washing the dishes. He is fabulous.

Join me in acknowledging the fabulous blessings in your life this lovely Friday!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

From The Jar... #18

What is a favorite family place to go with your husband/wife/kids?

My little family loves to go over to my Mom and Dad's house. We go there nearly every Sunday and have Sunday dinner. They have an incredible piece of property... 10 acres with lots of HUGE trees, a creek running through it, beautiful shady yard with lovely landscaping, a gigantic garden, chickens, geese and llamas (for a limited time... the llamas will soon live at a new home- McKee's Petting Zoo), and a great spot where we burn fallen limbs and all the burnable garbage. The latter is not an official fire pit, but we often burn stuff and have hot dog/marshmallow roasts there. Their home is just a pleasant place to be. Relaxed with plenty of things for the kids to do. (Trampoline, teeter-totter, tire swing, riding lawnmower rides, chasing chickens... the list goes on and on!) We spend a lot of time there and we are so grateful for such a beautiful, feel-good place to spend time with the people we love the most.

As a child, a favorite place was the many canyons of the Wasatch Front in Utah. We spent many a Saturday or Sunday afternoon playing up those beautiful canyons. I have a lot of joy wrapped up in those memories, and I am forever grateful to my parents for taking the time to do little things like that that probably weren't always the easiest thing to do (as I've learned since my journey of parenthood began). Thanks Mom and Dad...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tue Pose a Question

Tuesdays are now my official question days. I often wonder silly things- some rhetorical, some not. Either way I've decided to wonder them into the blogosphere.

Tueday's *chuckles to herself* question: Why do they say the phrase "easy as pie"? In my experience pie is not easy in any way, shape, or form. I am a total advocate of homemade pie crust- there's just nothing better- but, come on! It's a pain in the WATOOSIE! I have gotten fairly good at making pie crusts. They are not always pretty, but they always taste divine. Divine or not, there's nothing easy about it. Then you have to fill the stinkin' things. Take apple pie for instance. Slicing, peeling, coring, measuring, tossing, arranging, fluting, latticing or sealing, cutting out a cute little vent hole pattern... easy is not the first word that pops into MY head. Actually, the last time I made apple pie it actually was fairly easy, but only because I capitalized on my mother's efforts by using her homemade, bottled apple pie filling. (plus I bought a frozen crust... hey- get off my case, I was in college and had not refined my crust making abilities!!) Coconut cream is my personal favorite. Make crust dough, put in pie plate, flute edges, poke all over with a fork, layer with foil, weight with beans, bake for a few minutes, remove beans, bake til golden brown, cool and we haven't even started talking about the filling that you have to stir for the rest of your life... (or until thickened and boil for one minute, then add butter and vanilla. I do like to exaggerate!) Easy as pie, huh? I don't thiiiink soooo!

Maybe they are talking about some other aspect of pie when they use this term? Perhaps the Sara Lee or Marie Callander's varitey?? Preheat oven to 400, slice open cardboard, place in oven, bake for 45 minutes until golden brown? Those are easier to make, not as easy to eat in my opinion.

Ah, wait! I may have just figured it out... I must rescind my previous statement of "pie is not easy in any way, shape or form." I found the "easy" in "easy as pie"! The easy part for me is the eating part! I hereby declare a revamp of the age-old phrase! The new official version (at least in Clancy's world!) will be: "Easy as eating pie"!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Manic Monday: Carnival

There isn't much that jumps out in my mind with the word carnival. My kids have had school carnivals and I remember hearing about my cousins having them too. But we didn't have that in my grade school. At least not to my recollection. As an adult I've wondered why.

Carnival is a somewhat creepy word to me. It reminds me of something I can't quite put my finger on, but I don't like it. It brings to mind images of a room spinning with flashes of creepy clown faces, a bearded lady, deformed children and a man so hairy he's ape-like with that creepy carnivalish music playing in the background. It makes me feel a little ill. Yuck. The word carnival is not my friend.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Five

I'm in such a hurry, but I had to get these fabulous things in my life posted!!

1- I have legs with feet attached to them that can run me all over in my busy-ness.

2- I have three kids that are absolutely wonderful, smart, fun and keep my life so very exciting.

3- I have drains that take yucky water away somewhere that is hard for me to imagine.

4- There are fifteen tomatoes sitting in my kitchen window that came from my garden... and more that are almost ripe on the vine.

5- I had a volunteer butternut squash come up from last year, so I thought. I looked at it the other day and I was FABULOUSLY surprised to see a bright orange pumpkin instead of a butternut squash! How fun!

Join me in acknowledging the things that are fabulous in your life today! And then go and enjoy them!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

From The Jar... #17

Describe your wedding day.

(I really have some wonderful things to tell about my wedding day, but I have been TOO freakin' busy, and yes, I did hit publish accidentally! More to come later!!!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Grace Kelly

They don't mean to do it, do they? I read, and my life feels lackluster. I read, and I feel poor. I read, and I wish I could pull off their grace and joy, their class and wit. I read and feel damaged and damaging. I read and feel my heart break as I am so fully and acutely aware of my fissures that threaten to give way and expose everything. Do they have those too? Do they always live in a world of vintage class, doting motherhood and unadulterated bliss? Do they ever cry and relentlessly hurl angry darts of pain and self-deprecation into their hearts and wonder if they are all alone?

Writing is aloe-vera to my sunburned, blistered heart. I already feel better. Who am I to cry over their fresh brushed, dentist-cleaned, plaque removed, with extra whitener smile? Why compare that to my own that might, just now, have morning breath, freshly eaten Oreos, or shag carpet because I ate too many sweets? I go to the dentist. I brush my teeth. Just because I have cilantro in my smile now and then doesn't mean that my smile is not pretty. We all have our morning breath moments, including them.

Let it go. I have loved my words. And I will love them still.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad...

... a bit late! Yesterday was my Dad's fifty-sixth birthday and, I must say, I don't know another fifty-six year old quite like him. Dustin came home from karate yesterday morning and said, "I told your dad 'Happy Birthday! ...Fifty-six and still kickin'- hard!'' (Dustin and my dad are both brown belts in Shotokai Karate, and they are the instructors for our local group) Dust then proceeded to tell me about a kick my dad delivered while Dustin was holding a giant kicking pad for him. Through this big pad, it still hit Dustin in the stomach and made him feel like he was going to throw up! Can you imagine your dad doing that? Cool old guy, huh? ;)

Another fun agile-old-guy story happened about two years ago. Dust and I went over to pick up my dad to go somewhere. He forgot something in his house and I watched him run and hurdle the three-and-a-half foot fence that they have around their yard! Dustin said, "There's not many fifty-four year old guys that could do that!" He ROCKS.

My dad chose to spend his special day working on our remodel job in our basement. Isn't he the BEST?! He has some mad building skills. He knows SO MUCH about construction and remodeling- it blows my mind. There's a term we've all heard: Jack of all trades, master of none. Not my dad... he's the Jack of all trades, master of most. He is amazing and does such fine work. I'm so proud of him and I want the world to know it!

Dad holding grandkids Ella and Lance!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I'm It

Another tag... thanks Ginny and Kristin! This time the rules are as follows: (Listing them does not necessarily mean I will follow them, nor should you feel obligated if you are tagged! Ya. We're pretty much rebels...)

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write 6 random things about yourself.
4. Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let the person know you tagged them on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when you've posted.

Six random things about me...

1- I am freaked out by water. Deep water. I was so scared of the deep end of the pool when I was a kid. It still bothers me somewhere deep in my unconscious mind especially the drain and the light in the pool. I also get the creeps just looking at a satellite image of a lake. And zooming in on that image... it makes me squeench cuz it's just so darned creepy. I was TERRIFIED the first time I went water skiing. Being left all alone in the deep, black lake- watching the boat drift away from me while I wrestled get the skis on and then fought to keep the stupid tips out of the water. It was AWFUL. The boat driver never told me I had to tell them to go, so I sat there floating, fighting ski tips and freaking out about what was underneath me. I kept wondering why they wouldn't go and willing them to go in my mind and then I totally wigged out. I waved them back to pick me up and didn't go at all until later on in the day after I found out that I was supposed to yell "HIT IT!" so they would go! LOL!

2- I am a freakin' awesome boxer. OK, sort of... I've only done it a couple times. When I was in college, a friend of our "household" (there were eight girls in the house I lived in!) had boxing gloves. We would occasionally have boxing nights. If you can imagine eight girls taking turns boxing each other.... it was a riot. We had a rule of no head shots. There was one of my roomies, Cathy, who was a little nuts, like me. We got the gloves on and gave eachother one look... I said "Face?" She confirmed, "Face." None of this 'body-shots only' crap for us! We got the headgear on and started swinging! We were hitting each other all over. I don't know how long it went on, but it ended with me hitting her right between the eyes and she fell like a tree. She wasn't knocked out, but she was stunned. We were all dying laughing. It was great! I won the match but paid for it the next day- Did you know that boxing makes EVERY muscle in your body sore? I didn't, but I got well schooled on the fact for about a week after our "match". One of my roommates got that little episode on video. I've always wished that I had gotten a copy of it. Ah well...

3- I used to have a job hanging drywall. It was with my dad, but he paid me and I learned a lot. I didn't work for him nearly long enough to be any good, but I was a drywall hanger for a while. :)

4- I did random things when I was in high school like walk up to perfect strangers in the mall, hug them and tell them how excited I was to see them. Then I would, with all the sincerity I could muster, tell them "Good luck on your test next week! You're going to do so awesome!!!" Then telling them how good it was to see them, I'd leave them wondering who the heck I was and who the heck I thought they were! LOL! I would also go up to random strangers and say, "HEY!!!! Tell your sister she did SO great in her play! We loved it!!!" Yes, I was a little nuts.

5- As a child, I was a wandering sleeper. I would wake up, go to the bathroom and not go back to my bed, but to the couch in the living room. I'd sleep there for a while and then get up cuz I was cold and go lay by the heater, fall asleep there and wake up later and go to "the sleeping bag place" (a weird little closet where we kept all our sleeping bags so it was all squishy and comfy). Later I'd wake up again and go to the couch in the family room. Then I'd end up back in my bed before the morning. I don't have any idea why I did this, but it's all true and definitely random!

6- I have grand intentions EVERY stinkin' year to send out Christmas cards and I've NEVER done it. I've sent out one or two here and there to Dustin's grandma (who would get very offended if she sends us one, but we don't send her one back!) and a couple of other random friends, but that's it. Last year I even went and had little wallet size pictures of my kids printed. Ya. Those pics are still sitting upstairs in a cupboard with all the cards I hand-made to send out. Nice, huh? I WILL get those cards out some year, and 2008 just might be the one! :)

There. You're all randomized by Clancy's randomness. :)

I almost forgot to tag my six people! Let's go for Kaci, because she doesn't often blog about herself and I want some random Kaciness! Let's hear it for Leah... same reason as Kaci... I want a little dirt!!! Maria, if she feels up to it... she's been quiet in the blogging world because she's up to her eyeballs in homeschooling her kids! GO MARIA!!! Carmen, because she's so charmy!!! Rachel, because I need to see what random facts come out of that girl's history!!! And last but not least, Polly because I love my cuz!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Five

The whining must stop. I just spent a good half hour to an hour on the phone whining to one of my BFFs, and I've decided to cancel the whining. Fridays are now officially dedicated to all things fabulous! (OK, I'm going to limit it to five for the sake of time and alliteration!) Five things that are fantastic in my life right now:

1- Blogging! It brings me joy even when I miss a post now and then. I know it's there waiting for me, as are you, my incredibly fabulous readers. It's fun because you read! Thanks!
2- Lucky, the squirrel is doing fantastic. He is growing and squeaking and getting strong. I am succeeding fabulously at nursing a baby-baby squirrel to adulthood.
3- My fantastic marriage. I feel so lucky in this department. My husband is so good to me and I'm tryin' my darndest to be good to him.
4- There is progress towards getting a second bathroom in my house! FABULOUS!!!
5- My cold is almost completely gone. YAY for fantasticness!!!!

The more we give, the more we get. Join me in bringing more fantastic things into your life by expressing joy and gratitude in the things we already have that are fantastic and fabulous (feel free to use other adjectives if those two start looking weird... you know, like they're spelled wrong cuz you've typed them so many times? LOL!). Anyway... I invite you to join me on Fridays in focusing on the great, good, fantastic and fabulous things in your life! Like attracts like. Focus on what you want. (I've been trying hard to have this be my own personal daily mantra for the last two weeks, so I'm telling this to myself!) Have fun!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Dustin and Rohan were sitting at the table sharing a hearty bowl of macaroni and cheese. (hearty... RIGHT!) Dustin had just gotten off work and had dirt or concrete on his shirt. Rohan noticed it and fingering it he said, "Dad, you got work on you shirt!" Cute boy.

From the Jar... #16

Describe the most serious illness you've ever had.

I have always been as healthy as a horse. A healthy horse, that is. The worst I've seen is a very bad flu when I was in 7th grade. I had a high fever for about five days (around 103) and on the fourth day it spiked to over 104. I was hallucinating and delirious. There was a hornet that I could see and it was buzzing and stinging the "tight" air. "Everything's tight", I said over and over. The air looked like a hornets nest, papery and gray and swirly. And then it was wood, swirled with the grain and that hornet was trying to drill into it with it's stinger. I was fidgety. I couldn't stop twirling my gold ring on my finger. My eyes darted everywhere taking in the brown paneling on our kitchen walls, the stools haphazardly strewn around the table, the blue of my clothes they were putting on me, the way my mom's fingers looked as she tied my shoelaces. My ears hurt. Likely my parents were talking softly, but sound of their voices was sharp to my tender ears.

My parents were getting me dressed to take me to the E.R. and while they were doing so they called my grandpa, who is a doctor. He told them to put me in a lukewarm bath to try to break the fever. They did that before they took me to the hospital and it did, indeed, break the fever. I never left the house.

I believe that was a Wednesday... possibly a Tuesday. Regardless, shortly thereafter was Thanksgiving. I was on the mend after that night of hornets and swirls, but I remember feeling weak and "puny" on Thanksgiving and only eating nibbles. It was my own personal measure of how sick I was that I didn't eat one bite of pumpkin pie.

I've always been very healthy and I feel profoundly grateful for that today. I read about NieNie for a long time the other night. I read her blog and saw her joy in her husband and her children and her life. My heart ached as I read about she and her husband laying burned in a Phoenix hospital while their children are lovingly cared for by her sister. There are no mistakes in this life. This family, whom I've never met in person but feel like I know on some personal level through the magic of blogging, has challenges ahead of them that will not be easy but they have so much to gain. The lesson and the growth is always compensatory to the challenge. Imagine how much they get to gain and grow and love in this "tragedy"! They are expanding their capacity in this moment, as are you and I. But we do get to choose to expand and learn and grow. Or choose to not learn, be bitter, stagnate or even shrink our capacity. The choice is ours, and that, my friends, is the hardest and best choice we face everyday.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Manic Monday: Iron

It was the ironing board in the wall that closed the deal. Isn't it silly that something so small could make the difference? It also helped that the kitchen was yellow from floor to ceiling.... yellow is such a happy color. We had been apartment hunting for two days solid and nothing had felt like a fit for us until we saw that yellow kitchen and built-in ironing board. We knew we were home. Our first home.

How strange that in only a week, we would be married and living here together- sleeping in the same bed, washing our hands with the same bar of soap, hanging our clothes in the same closet, and sharing our fears, our dreams, and our love in the same moment. Who could guess at that point what our lives would bring? That all of our early memories would be wrapped up in a basement apartment with a musty room, hissing radiators, a carpeted bathroom, a yellow kitchen, and an ironing board that was built into the wall...

Be sure to visit Mo for more Manic Monday fun!