Saturday, November 27, 2010






I apologize to anyone who might have a liking for U of U 
who had to look at the above photo and 
be exposed for who you really are......not really, actually. 
I'm a rabid BYU fan. 
Learn to live with it.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, from the turkey hanging from my front door.

Some things I am thankful for today:

That while my tears and contact lenses froze within seven seconds of stepping outside today, my actual eyeballs did not.

That my favorite grocery store anticipated that I would fail to remember I was supposed to bring rolls to Thanksgiving dinner at Mom's, and got up early to bake some for me.

That I made two pies last night. So that at least one survived until this morning to take to dinner.

That only one of my sisters will be at Mom's today...let's hope they don't read my blog. I don't think they do.

That 33 people care enough to follow this blog and validate my silliness.

But truly and deeply, I am thankful for my wonderful insane family. They think they don't love me, but they do.   Even for my crazy sisters who drive me berserk. For my parents and MIL who do so much for me. For neighbors and friends who help me out and make me laugh when things are crappy. For the employment and education opportunities my family has been given. For the gospel of Jesus Christ and the many necessities of life I am blessed with. I could go on all day, because 
I am very thankful for many blessings today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


If you're lucky, you willl have leftovers. If you went to your mother's house and every relative you have was there and they all are incredible pigs who eat everything set before them, you won't. Have leftovers. And you are a sad panda.

But if you have leftovers, I have some ideas for you!!!

Leftover Turkey: How about some TURKEY and LEEK PIE!!!

Leftover Stuffing: You could use it to make This Decorative Craft! (get it? stuffing? Nevermind.)

Leftover Potatoes: Those should be saved for Home Improvement Projects.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce: Save it for next Halloween and make This Lovely Ensemble.

Leftover Gravy: who are we kidding here? there's never enough gravy. And you know it.

Leftover Pumpkin Pie: We already discussed this. I recommend the Mask.

Leftover Sweet Potatoes: This is a really good one and my own original idea so there is no link. Put them inside a snowball and throw them at people! Imagine their consternation! Pelted with sweet potato! As we are expecting a huge blizzard tonite, I'm really looking forward to this.

Calorie counting during the holidays

With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought I might share some age old wisdom that i learned from my mother. She knows absolutely everything, and I'm trying to learn it all before I die. The big pig-out is Thursday, and I'm so looking forward to it! Going to try some new recipes for some old favorites.

But how do you keep from gaining weight during the holidays? Here's some useful tips.

Calories are afraid of heights. If you keep fattening foods on top of the fridge, or on a high shelf for at least one hour prior to serving, the caloires will leap to their death.

Breaking items into smaller peices make the fat grams fall out. For example, breaking a cookie in half reduces the fat grams by half. Cutting bacon into little tiny pieces before adding to a recipe eliminates the fat completely.

Gravy doesn't make you fatter. It actually acts as camouflage so the body doesn't recognize the food it is covering. Think's everthing is oatmeal instead.

If you eat while standing up, all the calories drop to your feet and get walked off.

Drinking a big glass of water before the meal can help you lose weight. Cholesterol is unable to swim and will perish by drowning, flushed through your whole system without being absorbed at all.

The color of your food is very important. You may have heard that vegetables with very deep colors are rich in anti-oxidants. Your brain knows this and told your stomach. So if your desserts are rich in color as well, your body will think they are vegetables and you will not gain any weight. So eat deep, dark chocolates and darker creamy caramels just to make sure.

If your hot fudge sundae is topped with a crouton instead of a cherry, it counts as a salad.

And remember: A balanced diet is a brownie in each hand.

Friday, November 19, 2010

100 Things...

Everyone is doing the whole "100 Things" on their blogs. Except me! Something must be wrong with me. I've had a blog for like 9 whole months now and I have not blogged "100 Things!"  So, it's supposed to be things about me, so maybe you'll learn something new! Here goes:

1. I like to cook, but I hate cleaning up after.

2. I like making crafts, although I seldom finish them.

3. When I do finish crafts, I rarely put everything away correctly until the last possible moment. Or later.

4. I always burn the last batch of cookies because I have ADD and I already moved on to something else.

5. I'm a binge eater - not like I eat tons and puke it up for some insane reason, but I find something I like, eat some everyday for like a month, then I can't stand to ever eat it again.

6. I love to sew costumes & fun things, but for some reason the patterns rarely get back into the envelope - next time I try to use the pattern, essential pieces are missing.....It's like I didn't want to clean up after or something...

7. I have a bunch of half written posts hanging about in my blogger dashboard. Good ideas for posts that never quite made the cut for publishing. Like they don't quite have what is needed to share them with anyone...

8. I recently plucked my left eyebrow but haven't quite gotten around to the right one yet.

9. I started writing up a cookbook of family recipes about 10 years ago, but the project kinda lost steam.

10. The last time I went to the mending basket to work on a project, I found Thing Two's size 3T footie pajamas that needed the zipper fixed. He's 18 now. Don't think he needs those anymore.

11. Are you starting to see a trend here?

12. I make a list of all the crap I need to do everyday, but less than half of it gets crossed off.

13. Every year about this time, I take a family photo and print 30 copies, then compose the "Annual Epistle of Exaggeration and Outright Falsehoods" for the extended family and friends. I never actually mail it.

14.Speaking of not mailing things, Thing Two's graduation announcements are still sitting on the piano. He graduated in May. It is now November.




(Crap. I think my Farmville crops are dying.)

(You need a check for how much for what?)

(IT'S BURNING! You're standing right next to it! Why didn't you stir it?).

(The cat threw up where?)

(No, I don't know where your shoes are. Try looking wherever you took them off.)

(Where the heck is my cell phone? What do you mean "the dog has it?")

(What do you mean I missed your Parent-Teacher conference? The paper is where? Oh. Your backpack. How helpful.)

(She has how many pills left? I guess I'll just drive up to Primary Children's during rush hour traffic to get her refill.)

(What? You missed the bus AGAIN!?!? I told you I'M NOT DRIVING YOU!.......***sigh***  Go warm up the car.)

100. The only things I have ever completed from start to finish took nine months ended in the maternity ward of the hospital.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank you Debi for making me laugh.

My good friend and former roommate sent this to me today. I loved it and hope you will too. I take absolutely NO credit for this, but I couldn't resist sharing.

Greetings All,

For those of you who are coming to my place for Thanksgiving dinner,
Martha Stewart ain't gonna be here! I'm telling you in advance, so
don't act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few
small changes:

Our sidewalk will NOT be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries.
After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done,
rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.

Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated
with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make.
Instead, I've gotten the kids involved in decorating by having them
track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their

The dining table will NOT be covered with expensive linens, fancy
china,or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match
and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will
refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins
from last Christmas.

Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I
promised. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration
hand-crafted from the finest construction paper.
The children assure me it is a turkey.

We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you
while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice
comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, and the turkey
hot line. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00
a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut

As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of
tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a
recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds
suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They
are lying.

We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the
start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional
method. We'll just holler, "come and eat."

We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke
alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like.
In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate
table. a separate door.

Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey
in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be
happening at our dinner.

For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony.
I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the
kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to
check on my progress. I have an electric knife.

The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win.
When I do, we will eat.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that
"passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean
your sister in the head with warm tasty bread.
Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice
between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the
traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small
fingerprints. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it.

Martha Stewart will NOT be dining with us this year.
Next year is not looking good either.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Epic Family Stories Chapter 1: My ankle hurts.

My ankle hurts because I'm old. And because I have some serious arthritis going on.

But mostly because Luke Skywalker ran over it with the car.

It was many years ago, when he was a little tiny three year old. And it's an exciting tale. Every family has these epic tales that add spice to our lives. So I share it with you today.

I had just made a quick run over to the school for some reason, and I had to go somewhere else in just a second, so I left the van parked uphill on the wrong side of the road in front of our house. At the curb. In PARK. I promise. The kids were all in the backyard playing, supervised by the ever-responsible Thing One.

I ran into the house to grab something: the bag of aluminum cans hanging from the doorknob in the kitchen. And ran back out again. In the house for less than one minute. Didn't stop to use the restroom or feed the chickens or anything.

When I stepped out the door, I saw the van starting to roll down the street.

Luke Skywalker is standing up on the drivers seat.

Panic (just a wee bit, mind you).

What do I do? Continue running. Down the sidewalk. Chasing the van as it rolls backward downhill hugging the curb. I'm pretty sure I dropped the cans at some point. I played basketball in high school and college, and I don't think I EVER ran faster. Thing One comes into the front yard to find the missing Luke Skywalker, sees what's going on, and offers the useful contribution of screaming at the top of her lungs.

The neighbor across the street (not the one who spent the better part of a month painting the mortar between the bricks of her house with a craft brush and craft paint, the other one) who is out front pruning her roses, hears Karen screaming, sends her husband after me and calls 911 (I especially love how she didn't wait half a second to see how it would turn out -- she prepared for the worst). Her elderly husband tries valiantly to catch up with me and the van.

Me? I'm able to catch up with the van because I'm amazing. Then I try to open the driver's door. Which I actually succeed at while running sideways now. The transmission is in reverse. Thank you Luke Skywalker for changing the gears for Mommy. We had just had a new transmission put in, and I recall thinking "Crap. New tranny. Must save kid from certain death. To hell with the tranny."

Have you ever tried to change gears in an automatic transmission while it is rolling downhill and you are running sideways outside the vehicle?

I don't recommend it. I don't really think it can be done.

You'd probably just trip and fall. Like I did.

I hung on to the steering wheel, and proceeded to be dragged by the car down the street. Left hand gripping the steering wheel, both legs under the car. Right hand? Put that on the foot brake and stopped the car.

Yep. I'm amazing.

Except the car stopped on me, the tire having rolled up my foot onto my ankle.

Ow. Quite a lot of ow.

The two elderly neighbors caught up with me (another saw what was transpiring and joined Neighbor One in the chase) and then pushed the car off me. Luke Skywalker wasn't even slightly unnerved by the adventure.

The paramedics, a police car and a fire engine arrive. Did I mention we live one block from the fire station? Very convenient. Allows you to be humiliated in front of ALL your neighbors so much more quickly. They check me out, diagnose me with "lacerations and contusions," and a little bit of road rash. Since I can walk okay, they chose not to transport me. They do recommend that I see a doctor if the ankle gets any worse. And then they blessedly leave quickly.

Thank the burly neighbor men who pushed my van, and Neighbor One's quick-thinking wife. Start the car, drive it home and park it in the driveway. Reassure Thing One that she is not a failure at babysitting, Luke Skywalker is just an unstoppable holy terror. Calm the kids down, and start counting the bruises.

Fifteen minutes later, my INSANE PSYCHIC MOTHER calls. "Is everything okay? I was just feeling kind of worried about you." What's up with that? This is not the first time Insane Psychic Mother has done this. Gave her the run down, everyone is okay, no worries. "But what about the baby?" Oh, he's fine. Just fine.

"Not him, the new one?"

Holy Crap.

I forgot I was preggers.

Four months along, three high risk babies with history of miscarrage.

"I guess I could call the doctor and get checked out."

There's an understatement.

I spent two months in a giant black velcro walking boot. Eclair was born 5 months later, and I still wonder if maybe Pervasive Developmental Delay can be caused by extreme levels of stress and anxiety? We'll never know.

Alas, no good lessons were learned. Luke Skywalker? He learned that it's easy to put the car in reverse (new cars you have to push the brake pedal to change gears from "park" so this lesson no longer applies), and if you run over your mom with the mini-van FIRE TRUCKS AND POLICE COME TO YOUR HOUSE!!! Thing One? She learned that you can't take your eyes of that kid for even a fraction of a second. So instead she went on babysitting strike. Had to take that little ornery boy everywhere with me.

Why do I share this today? Because Luke Skywalker just turned 13. He's a teenager now. Almost old enough for a learners permit.

Not in a million years, buddy.

Monday, November 15, 2010


This photo of Eclair feeding leftover oatmeal to the dog has absolutely nothing to do with this post.

Cough Syrup.

Furnaces that work.

Children who help around the house for longer than 12 seconds at a time
(I'd be especially thankful if one of these lived in my house).

Eclair trying and failing to say "photographer" so many times
 that I  now cannot pronounce it correctly.

I'll be thankful if it is EVER COMPLETED.

That my sisters live very far away. And I can leave my mother's house when they are visiting
and escape to my own home where only I am allowed
to yell at my children for no good reason.

Leftovers. So I don't have to cook tomorrow. Unless of course, Luke Skywalker
 eats all the leftover Tortilla Soup for breakfast
and there is none left for dinner tomorrow....
it is highly likely that this will occur.

My mother's cornbread. Tonight in her sick-as-me and confused state
 she added extra sugar. Didn't mind that at all.

Other people's blogs that make me laugh. Out loud.

Finding a Snicker's bar in my sock drawer. I am saved.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11

It's Veteran's Day. A day where we should express our appreciation to the many brave men and women who serve our country. Many. Past, present and future. Their willingness to serve allows us to live our peaceful little lives.

So, if you see a vet, or an active duty soldier, or anyone who might fall into that category, give 'em a high five today. You owe them. Big time.

I have family members who have served in every branch of the military, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. And since my scanner is on strike, I can only share a few here.

Thanks, Dad! 

Thanks Doran! 

Thanks Carl!

And thank you Uncle Buddy. He wrote on the back of this picture "Ready for polar bears."

Nearly ALL the menfolk on my dad's side -- all the uncles and a few of the cousins.

Not pictured, but valued all the same:
Grandpa Hummel
Grandpa Lewis
BIL Paul
and hopefully I haven't forgotten any.

Also remembered today, for a different reason 
is a dear friend, Amanda.

As you can tell from the incandescent smile (and the duct tape pants), she was our kind of people. She passed away two years ago today after a car accident. Karen misses her "stylist" and friend.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What I did this week instead of blogging.

I kinda burned out there, blogging every day in October. Karen wanted to do it again this month because of the whole "Blogging Month" thing, but I said no. Unless she wants to post everyday instead of me.

I can't do it! I is bizzy! I has lots to do! I'm a responsible adult, after all.

So here's what I did this week instead of blogging:

VOTED -- please see previous post.

Edited 14 BILLION photos: family portraits mostly, and also Lovely Whit's engagement photos.

That Aussie fiancee of hers was all squinty in all the photos except the ones where we were under the bridge. Aren't they cute!! They're getting married in January. So, yeah. Pitchers. Lots of them. ALmost all edited now, only about 300 to go. Seriously. Out of over 1600 frames over the last four weeks. It's Taley's fault, she gave me a new 4gig card for the camera. Shot until it was full.

In other news, my two insane daughters decided to switch rooms this week. So they emptied all their crap into my formerly clean living room. All of it. They have too much crap. Way too much crap.

See? And there's still furniture in the rooms! Tons of it! They started last Sunday night, and a week later my living room still looks pretty much like that. GET TO WORK, LAZY GIRLS!!! Finish the job. If they think they are getting any new clothes for Christmas, they are sadly mistaken. I now know how much they already have. They don't need ANYTHING.

Also, I spent a lot of time cleaning up from Halloween. Taking the paper down from the windows, recalling all the borrowed costumes, and cleaning up the crafting mess I left behind me on the dining room table. That's where I discovered this:

Which of these things is not like the others? Which of these things just doesn't belong? I tell ya' what -- tha's what happens when you buy da google eyes at the dollar store. There was a billion in there, so I shouldn't complain.

The high point of my week was when I was SOOOO tired and SOOOO not paying attention in the shower.  I am sick, you see, and not at my best. Thing Two has shared some kind of plague with me, and I feel like I'm going to cough up a lung. My head hurts. My throat feels like I swallowed a bottle brush. I am achy and swollen, and hungry but not at the same time. It's pretty horrible, really, probably because I haven't been sick for a very long time. Probably more than a year. So I'm really being wimpy about it. And I hadn't put in my contacts yet. So in the shower I was presented with some choices when it came to hair care:

Hokay - so all are pink, and all are.....bottles of soapy stuff. So I probably shouldn't have chosen the one right in the middle. 'Cause I don't really have a problem in need of "HAIRBALL CONTROL."

WOULD SOMEONE LIKE TO EXPLAIN TO ME WHY THERE IS CAT SHAMPOO IN MY SHOWER? The cats get bathed like what? Once every six months? So maybe we could keep that under the sink instead. And then I won't have to worry about "Hairball Control" shampoo being my option for today.

Thank you for tuning in.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Civic Duty


I hate hearing the statistics afterward. About how some absurd number like 3% of the registered voters actually managed to show up and have an opinion.

That means if half those people are whackos, you're in trouble.

Here's why you don't vote:
Not time -- too busy
Don't know where to go
Don't know enough about the candidates/issues
My vote doesn't make a difference
I hate ALL the candidates
The issues don't affect me

As a fire-breathing patriot, I must respond to this.

"Not time -- too busy": Okay, so you'd rather have people who sit around doing nothing all day vote in your place? the do-nothing's or society? Imagine if only the vagrants who watch Oprah and Tyra Banks could vote. ***run screaming from the room*** Please don't leave important decisions in the hands of people who do nothing with their lives. You're busy because you are doing stuff. Talking to people. Being a productive member of society. Please add voting to the many things you have to do. Please.

"Don't know where to go": Here's the number for the Utah County Clerk: 801-851-8128. Google it if you live in another county. Call. Ask. Besides, they should have sent you a notice in the mail. Mine said that I vote at Brent Brown Toyota, and the polling place is open from 7am until 8pm. And bring an ID. Stick this to the fridge when it comes. And don't let them sell you a car until after you have voted.

"Don't know enough about the candidates/issues": Find out. Read the Voter Information pamplet that comes in the mail. Ask your friends and/or people whose opinions you respect. I know you have internet access, because you're wasting valuable time reading this post instead of searching for voting information online! Do not rely on commercials. If you delete the name from the candidates ad, it could be for any person. Even Gary Coleman. You can't vote for him anymore, because he died in a tragic accident ealier this year. You can't vote for Arnold Schwartenegger anymore either, he's bagged his limit. Read the pamplet. Read the paper. You're smart, you'll figure it out.

"My vote doesn't make a difference": Yes, it does. Like if you disagree with your husband, you can cancel his vote out!!!!! Or not. Or you could add more power to the votes of other like-minded individuals. Al Franken won his seat with a margin of 350 votes. So 351 lazy people could have kept that from happening and didn't.

"I hate ALL the candidates": So what. One of them is going to be elected. Let it be the one you can live with.

"The issues don't affect me": Well, they affect somebody. Probably someone you know. And if they don't affect you now, that is no guarantee that they won't someday in the future. Get informed. Read that pamplet again, and make a determination about what is best for your community.

Once upon a time there was a movie called "Idiocracy." I'm not endorsing it, I rented it by accident not knowing the rating, and I didn't get far into it before the profanity drove me away. But the premise is valid: if intelligent, rational, thoughtful individuals stand aside and do nothing, the idiots will take over the world.

Please, help me out here. Don't let the idiots take over the world.

Thank you for listening to my rant.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ushering my Own DOOM.

While Mother attempts to recover from Halloween, I figured I'd share with all of you! :D

For the information of those of you who aren't nerds like me, November is National Novel Writing Month (and ironically, National Blog Posting Month). Typically, those who are crazy enough to celebrate NaNoWriMo, decide to write a novel of 50,000 words in the month of November (<1700 words a day or so). Those who celebrate NaBloPoMo typically try to write a post every day (I don't have the heart to even suggest this to my mother). (And this post has lots of parenthesis. WHOO SHINY!) Anywho, I am sort-of participating in NaNoWriMo. Except I'm sane enough to realize that there's not a snowball's chance in Tahiti of MY novel actually getting written. So instead, I will be working on smaller projects-short stories and biographical...Is there a non-boring word for essays? I will be shooting for my 50,000 words all together though. So chances are if you see me posting here, I'm most likely procrastinating. Or I have writer's block. Wish me luck! Maybe mom will revive soon to enthrall you, as I am boring and unfunny. And as per mother's demand, my OWN attempt at being funny... a Top Ten. TOP TEN THINGS KAREN DID TO PROCRASTINATE GETTING READY FOR NANOWRIMO

1. Updated every user profile on every website I use regularly.

2. Wrote in journal and contemplated why I'll never get married and die alone as a crazy cat lady
2 1/2 . Facebook.

3. Enacted "Sister Tax" on siblings Halloween candy and discovered a surprising lack of good loot.

4. Watched Veggie Tales with Eclair.
4 3/4. More Facebook.

5. Thought about how to rearrange room when I move back downstairs.

6. Wondered how I'm going to move downstairs with my attempts to compete in NaNo.
6 5/8. Facebook....again.

7. Wondered how I'm going to participate in NaNo while living in a household of seven.
71/2. Realized that I'm absolutely crazy for even trying to do NaNo. Oh well.

8. Helped cousin move to her new house.

9. Facebook.
91/3. Watched murder documentaries on Discovery Channel due to alarming lack of Simpsons Treehouse of Horror and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."
2/3. Tried to turn my Sim into a vampire celebrity in Sims 3.

10. Made a blog post here on the family blog. OH SNAP!!! :D