Friday, December 31, 2010

Clean stove...for the moment

We have a glass-top stove in the kitchen, which means special cleaning instructions and equipment (okay, special glass-top stove cleaner). Anyway, Mr. Perfect has always been the one to clean the stove, so today I thought I'd try my hand. Here are the results.

I've very proud.

Mr. Perfect's perfect Christmas gift

Mr. Perfect got the perfect Christmas gift this year, probably because he asked for it and picked it out himself. He got a composter for the garden. It's a big, round ball that you put things in and out comes beautiful, rich, healthy dirt for your garden. We are very excited. We're planning on expanding the garden this year, probably doubling its size from last year. Here's a picture of Mr. Perfect putting it together. He's so handy.

The first adventure of Percy and Harry

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but my mother's father leased some land from the National Forest in the 1950s and built a cabin on it. It's in the Soapstone Recreational area, about 14 miles up the Mirror Lake Highway from Kamas, Utah.

Over the years, it has changed a bit. People have come and gone as part owners. Interior walls have come down. The stairway to the upper bedrooms moved completely. Electricity was added. And the bathroom has become a real bathroom.

Mr. Perfect loved the idea of a family cabin, just maybe not one quite so rustic as this one. The first time we took Beatles Lover and Game Boy, I think they were really scared of the place. They've only stayed overnight once (okay, it was for two nights, but still...).

For Christmas, Mr. Perfect gave me a beautiful pair of snowshoes. I love my snowshoes. They are a thing of beauty, and I plan on using them for many, many years.

So, on Tuesday, we packed up Dexter the Xter with the snowshoes, Mr. Perfect's cross-country skies, plenty of water and lunch, and headed up to Kamas. The weather reports said there was a 20% chance of snow in the afternoon, but Wednesday there was a 100% chance of snow.

The weather more than cooperated. It was beautiful the entire time we were there. The snow gates start at the Soapstone turn off, and the road down past the Provo River bridge was groomed. Past the groomed stuff, we followed snowmobile tracks on the road up to the gate and to the first fork after the gate. From there, we were cutting new trails.

The snow was about 3 feet deep, and the snowshoes handled it all perfectly. I mostly followed Mr. Perfect as he cut the trail ahead of me. It took us about 1-1/2 hours to get up to the cabin from the highway. It's a good thing we both love to walk and use the elliptical, treadmill, and stair climber on a semi-regular basis, otherwise we wouldn't have made it past the gate.

Once up, we built a nice fire. It took about an hour for the three feet in front of the fireplace to warm up enough for us to remove our coats. We ate our lunch, drank some water, and played plenty of Angry Birds. (Psychotically addictive game on Mr. Perfect's Droid X phone.)

After a couple of hours of rest and heat, Mr. Perfect headed up for some more skiing opportunities, and Most Happy Girl headed down towards the gate. I actually made it all the way back to the highway and sat waiting on the Provo River bridge for about five minutes before Mr. Perfect came into sight. Good thing there were no bears or crazy hunters in the area.

By now, you're probably asking yourselves "Who are Percy and Harry?" Good question. Another thing we did for Christmas was have a contest to find travel mascots similar to the Travelocity garden gnome. Well, ours are Percival the Penguin and Harold the Hound. They're small, cuddly, and fit perfectly into a fanny pack.

They made the trip with valiant courage, never wavering when asked to step into the deep snow and pose for a picture. What troopers.

So, here are some pictures from our first adventure with Percy and Harry.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas is over...sigh

I love Christmas. I love the music, the T.V. specials, the lights. I love it all. But most especially, I love how I feel at Christmas time. I love how most of the world, whether they believe in Him or not, is focused on the birth of our Savior.

It doesn't matter when they tell you that it's really a secular holiday. They'll tell you that you can't call it a Christian or religious holiday because governments acknowledge it and businesses give you the day off of work. Even the word holiday comes from holy day. It also doesn't matter that pagans celebrated the solstice anciently and some today, and the Christians usurped it for their own reasons (isn't that why most people do things? for their own reasons?). It doesn't matter that atheists rant and rail against you the rest of the year. In December, most people--Christians and non-believers alike--celebrate. Especially in America. Here, you can't get away from it. Sure, groups will tell you that it's insulting to them to call it Christmas and you should say "Happy Holidays!" (hehehe there's that word again). Some will even lobby the government about getting Christmas music and T.V. specials off the airwaves. Good luck on that one; it's been tried for decades.

None of that matters, because for one month each year (and sometime even longer), people celebrate. And most of the world recognizes that the reason we celebrate is because of Mary's Son, born in a lowly stable, who came to save us all, whether we believe in Him or not.

Friday, December 24, 2010

I've created a new blog

I'm not abandoning this one. This one is about life. The new blog is a cooking/baking/recipe blog. It's called One Crazy Girl's Kitchen. Right now, there's only two post (and one recipe), but check it out and let me know what you think about it. I love cooking and baking, so I'm hoping it will be fun.

The link is

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brahms Waltz and Sleigh Ride

Here is a video of Psycho Exercise Sis and Most Happy Girl at the piano recital. I finally got tired of everyone asking me when I was playing on a recital again. My students thought it unfair that they had to, but I didn't.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New counter...*sigh

I was having so much fun watching the counter on the blog build and build and build, and then one day it just disappeared from the blog. The title for it was there, and there was an empty box, but no matter what I did, it wouldn't display the counter any more.


This makes me very sad because I was really excited for when it finally reached 10,000. But all you wonderful people reading my blog are making the new, lovely counter move really, really fast! (Either that, or I'm visiting it way too much each day.)

Thanks! And please keep reading.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I have a confession to make...we're pretty much ready for Christmas. The cards have been sent. 90% of the presents have been bought. And the house is decorated and looking festive. I think this is the earliest I've ever been ready.

Whew! What a relief. Now, let's see if we can get through the next couple of weeks of parties with work, friends, and family.

Ho ho ho!

A very hard thing to blog about

A friend recently blogged about the dangers of being too passionate about what is happening in the lives of her friends. Her Mr. Wonderful suggested being passive with a situation involving a friend's seemingly bad choices.

This is my reply to her blog:

I don't know if there's a good answer to the passive vs. passionate question. We are who we are, but we also need to allow other people to make their own choices without it taking over us completely. I see this over and over with Mr. Perfect's kids. The two oldest have decided to choose their mom over their dad. They will contact him when they want something (usually money) but don't want him in their lives otherwise. It's been especially hard with his second daughter because they were so close, and she used to defend him when her older sister attacked. He can't remove himself from his kids' lives. We both know that's not an option. But I have a really hard time watching him being used by them and then ignored or openly mistreated.

Because the oldest has always chosen her mom's side, he's been dealing with this for years, but it's fresh for me. He will be there for them when they need it, but he also tells me that I don't have to. If a request comes to me for something, I now have the right to say no. In fact, he told me the next time the younger daughter asks for something, I shouldn't even consider it. I should just say "Hmm...considering how you treat me and your dad, why do you think I should do this for you?" This is a new concept for me. I love these kids and want what's best, but supporting them in things I find harmful or wrong or enabling their treatment of their dad isn't the best for anyone. It is okay to be passive, to look at your friend and say "I can't help you or support what you're doing right now." And it is okay, at times, to consider your own mental and emotional health, otherwise there won't be enough of you to help the next time.

So, does anyone else have some advice for either my friend or me with these kinds of situations? All suggestions will be gladly accepted and considered.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Perfect!

Everyone sing along! [cue music]
This month is such a special one,
It's birthday time for you.
We'd really like to celebrate this happy day with you!

Okay, so we are going to celebrate with him. Last night it was dinner with Game Boy, including in-bone ham, funeral potatoes, and homemade carrot cake (complete with homemade cream cheese frosting). Tonight, it's Game Boy's band concert and then on to The Forgotten Carols. We are very excited about both. Most Happy Girl is happy to be a cougar no longer. Now, they are the same age (at least for the next 6-1/2 months). However, no matter how many birthday's Mr. Perfect has, she will always be older. *sigh*

Monday, December 6, 2010

The saga of Dexter, the Xter and the clutch

In May of 2009, we bought Mr. Perfect a fun little SUV to drive that was quickly named Dexter, the Xter. It's lovely blue 2000 Nissan Xterra. To christen Dexter, we dragged him through the beautiful red mud of southern Utah.

We do fully understand that buying a used SUV comes with its issues. We knew that we'd probably need to put some money into him over the next few years. We just didn't realize that he needed all of the following repairs:
  • A/C (fixed in May 2010)
  • Heater (yeah, completely different issue than A/C) (fixed in October 2010)
  • Brand new clutch (fixed in March 2010)
The new clutch came to $1200 because it also needed a new master cylinder. Well, in late November, Mr. Perfect notices that the clutch is acting funny. By the end of the month, it's obvious that something has to be done. And he's thinking that the warranty on the clutch was only for 3 months. I'm thinking, "Well, so much for Christmas. What can we return for a refund instead of store credit?"

Nothing so drastic. The master cylinder was leaking and would to be replaced, but it's still UNDER WARRANTY! Wah hoo! Huzzah huzzah huzzah! Hurray for our side! So, the Grinch doesn't get to steal Christmas, and we don't have to return anything, and Dexter gets to live at least another month...until the next big crisis.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

O Tannenbaum O Tannenbaum

We are very exited about the Christmas tree this year. We bought a new tree topper, and were a little frustrated when all Walmart seemed to have were ones with blue lights. Shesh! We found what would seem to be the last one with white lights. We think the guitar adds to the look, too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

The Friday after Thanksgiving, we took Game Boy to see Tangled, the new Disney animated movie. Grab one, grab all, and see this movie. Hollywood really needs to make more like this one. Okay, the songs aren't as memorable as Alan Menkin's usually are (this isn't Beauty and Beast by any means), but the animation is wonderful, and the voice cast does a great job. Who knew that Zachary Levi could sing? Apparent, Disney. And I can never resist an intelligent cartoon horse (like Price Phillip's horse from Sleeping Beauty only smarter).

Then on Saturday we headed out for HP7 part 1. I have to admit that the thought of Harry Potter 7 part 1 makes me laugh. I mean, it's really the seventh part of the story, but only the first half of the seventh part. Is your brain hurting yet? Mine is. I think they did a really good job, but there were still things missing from the book I would have liked. My favorite version will always be the book.

Beatles Lover's 17th birthday

Beatles Lover turned 17th in November, and we celebrated by going out to dinner (she chose Chili's). After dinner, we had banana bread at home.

She's not big on cake, but she loves the breads.

She loves hates, so we gave her one she can wear to school (because it's "official" school attire).

And we couldn't resist this picture of Game Boy. He's into hats, too. Or at least this one.


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