29 October 2009

Doorbell ditching

Look at what just showed up at our door. (Yes, just. At 11. Don't worry 12 is our bedtime.)

Inside the bag was another bag wrapped around two candles and two knives.

And the knives have me utterly perplexed. Who would just give away two knives? Was the bag wrapped around the knives just so they wouldn't cut up the bag that was holding the carving tools? Is this one of those pass-along things? If it was, there is not letter indicating such, and no ghost sign for us to put in our window so other givers do not target us again. Also, we only have two days left to give it away!

Well, we are going to have fun carving anyhow! Thanks, stranger!

28 October 2009

Forget Squa Peak, I'll Show you a Real View

We went camping this weekend. As in, we set up camp last night at about 6:30. We roasted hot dogs and chatted until about midnight. Then we slept (and I use the term loosely) on the cold hard ground until 7:50 this morning. At which point we packed everything up and came home.

Originally we were going to go with friends, but they had something pop up this weekend. We thought about not going at all, but we haven't been camping since Jenn came to visit us in New Zealand. We wanted to be sure to go before it got too cold, and while the canyon is still very fall-ish.

We went to a campsite that Eric found while running a few weeks ago. He had been up there a few times since then to go roast hot dogs for work. It was a great site, and the views of Utah Valley were awesome. Hopefully there will be enough time this season for us to go at least one more time. (And hopefully some friends can come with us next time!)

24 October 2009

Utah Food Co-Op Strikes Again!

This is what I brought home this week from the Utah Food Co-op. It cost $23. Yep, that's an eggplant. I've already turned it into baba ghanoush. (Yes, I actually cooked!)
Food included:
  • 2 lb. boneless, center-cut pork loin roast
  • 2 lb. split chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (85/15)
  • 4 4oz. cubed steaks (1 lb. total)
  • 1 loaf Stoneground artisan wheat bread
  • 16 oz. lentils
  • 2 avocados
  • 6 Golden Delicious apples (Utah-grown)
  • 6 pears
  • 5 bananas
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 2 lbs. carrots
  • 1 eggplant
  • 3 lbs. yellow onions (Utah-grown)
I will say that I wasn't uber-thrilled with the meat selection this month, but I went ahead and got a standard share instead of a harvest share, which only includes fruits and vegetables.

If you live in Utah, you should really do the food co-op. There are pick-up locations all over the state. It gives you great food that is often grown locally. (Hooray for sustainability!) There may be stuff that you don't want, but you can always (a) try something new or (b) give it away. Plus, the things that are included are, as a rule, really great quality and really good for you.

21 October 2009

Like taking $20 from a baby

I mentioned back in July that Eric made our nephew, Dave, cry. And I mentioned that it was a story unto itself. Ready?

So, there we were playing Guess the Person with the kids. Frankly, since Dave is only five (and a half) he was only marginally involved in the game. Eric and I had read most of The Wednesday Wars on our way to Jackson Hole, so the civil rights movement was on my mind. (That may sentence may lead you to believe that The Wednesday Wars is about the civil rights movement, but it isn't. The book just takes place during the sixties.) So, the person I had in my head was Martin Luther King, Jr. Eric figured it out pretty quickly, and he was doing his darndest to ask questions that would be really good clues for the older boys, Ty (eleven) and Bridger (nine). For some reason Dave became particularly interested in this round of Guess the Person. As Dave tried to guess who it was, Eric told him, "Dave, if you guess this person I will give you $20." What Eric really meant was, "Dave, if you guess this, I will be ASTOUNDED, and I will give you $20." What Dave understood was, "You can do it! Earn your $20!" Within a few guesses one of the older boys guessed that my person was Martin Luther King, Jr.

Then Dave cried for about 35 minutes. This is why Dave loves me most, because I do not make him cry. (That's one nephew of whom I am the favorite. Eric is the favorite of the other 13 nieces and nephews. And, that's not much of an exaggeration.)

19 October 2009


You know how sometimes you have a discussion with somebody and she (or you) says something to the effect of, "Our family is starving. I haven't gone to the grocery store in so long. There is nothing to eat in my house!"?

Yeah, I could have that discussion with you. Except, not really. The last time I went grocery shopping? I'm honestly not sure. It was definitely before I went to Washington, D.C. last month.

Only, I'm not starving. At all. This is because Eric does the shopping. And the cooking. And most of the cleaning. And the laundry.

This is partly because I am a terrible wife, but mostly because Eric is just that awesome (and I taught him how to cook). Also because I get home from work every day at like 7:30, and by the time I get home I am way too tired to figure out what to cook and to be bothered cooking it. Plus, usually I don't have to because Eric has already cooked something by the time I get home.

Husband, in case you are actually reading this, you are the best. I will keep you forever. And I promise that one day we will return to normal.

18 October 2009

Healthcare fail

Eric went to the doctor a couple of months ago, and I have been stewing ever since. I do not make much of a secret of my left-leaning politics and my pro-nationalized-healthcare sentiments. But this whole episode doesn't have a lot to do with that. So you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I am not about to bombard you with my political opinions. I am, however, blogging about just one problem with America's healthcare industry.

Eric had been having problems all summer with his allergies. After using practically every over-the-counter medication and not having much luck, he finally buckled down and went to a doctor. He took with him a list of the medicines he had been taking, which included a nose-spray and the generic version of Claritin, called Loratadine. The doctor listened to Eric and then prescribed Claritin-A (or something like that). The doctor warned Eric that it would be a rather expensive drug, but Eric felt like he didn't have much of a choice because he was feeling so miserable so much of the time.

Off Eric went to the pharmacy where he learned that his medicine would cost him roughly $120. He did not expect it to be that expensive. When he told the pharmacist that his allergies weren't $120-per-month bad, the pharmacist said, "Well, Claritin-A is really just regular Claritin mixed with Sudafed." Both of those drugs are over-the-counter medications. The pharmacist called the doctor, had the prescription changed, and Eric went home having spent about $30.

Here are my problems:
  1. Eric was already on Claritin. Why would the doctor prescribe the same drug that was already not working well for him? Aren't there other drugs that are possibilities?
  2. What interest did the doctor have in prescribing Claritin-A? If he knew that it was rather expensive and could be replaced rather cheaply, why would he ever prescribe Claritin-A to anyone? Shouldn't his number one concern be his patients?
  3. Why are drug companies making drugs that already exist? Obviously, the answer behind this is money. It's clear that the drug companies wouldn't research, manufacture and market drugs unless they saw profit behind each drug. They wouldn't see profit behind such a useless drug if the doctors weren't prescribing it.
Am I the only one who thinks this is absurd? Are there any medical personel out there who can shed some light on why this doctor would prescribe something that costs four times the amount of the cheaper alternative?

16 October 2009

I demand change!

Okay, if you know me at all, you know that I don't read private blogs regularly. In fact, there are two that I check MAYBE more than once a week. The others get cursory checks when the idea pops into my head. Usually when that idea pops in there are so many posts that I don't bother to read them all. I wrote once before about how annoying it is that private blogs do not show up in my Google Reader despite the fact that both are linked to my Google account. It seems so simple and obvious to me. I'm sure the millions of genius programmers at Google can figure it out. They aren't dummies.

I don't usually read the Google blog, but a recent post asked for good ideas. It dawned on me that I should use this opportunity to request the ability to access private blogs through Google Reader. As you might imagine, other people had already made that suggestion. (Multiple people had made it, in fact.) I logged in to the product ideas site. I did a search for "private reader." There were about four suggestions that said to the effect of, "Allow me to access private blogs in Reader." I voted for all of those.

Now, you go do it. It will take like two minutes. It will change the world. One blasted private blog at a time.

15 October 2009

Not quite sleeping in a box

There sure was a balloon boy today. The end of the story (where he was in a box in his parents' attic) reminded me of a quasi-similar experience growing up.

Usually when I came home from school during my high school years I was the only one home. Steve usually went to work or had after-school activities. (For that matter, I usually had after-school activities, too.) My parents were working. Marissa was in day-care. Generally this meant that I threw my backpack in the middle of the living room (much to my parents' dismay) and played mindless computer games, did my homework, watched t.v. or talked on the phone. Sometimes I did many of these things at once. A great multi-tasker, I was.

One day, I did not leave my backpack in the middle of the floor. No, I took it to my room. And I stayed in my room where I fell fast asleep.

My parents came home, did not see my backpack in the middle of the floor and assumed I was not home. They figured I had some after-school function. Hours went by. My ride for my Wednesday night church activity came to get me. Where could Sherry be? They looked all over the house, even my room. They called some of my friends. They called the church building a few minutes into the start of the activity to see if I had gone there straight from whatever school function.

I woke up. I entered the living room. My mom hung up the phone and said, "I guess I don't need to call the police."

I'm still not sure how they didn't see me sleeping in my own bed. I mean, my room was always a mess, but I wasn't literally buried in my clothes.

08 October 2009

Who knew how awesome this could be?

During my stay in North Carolina, I spent heaps of time chatting with Shalissa. She is one of the best people ever to talk to partly because she asks very engaging questions. We talked about oodles of things, but one of the things that keeps coming to my mind was actually one of our more trivial conversations- things she likes about her house.

Now, the background to this is a little interesting. The family was living in Michigan when Nate accepted the job, and due to their circumstances Nate had to travel to North Carolina to go house-shopping by himself. He felt like he had a pretty good grasp on the things that were important to her in a home, especially since by that time they had lived in a few places and moved a number of times, but it was still a daunting task. And of course, Shalissa was nervous too, because even if Nate did his very best to explain every detail of the house, it's just not the same as seeing it. Not to mention that he'd be looking at the house from a man's point of view, which is just plain different than how Shalissa would view a home.

What was interesting to me was that Shalissa has a list of things in her house that she loves that she never would have known she would love or else that she never would have thought to request. That is, there were things that came with the house that she now knows are awesome, but never knew before. They are simple things:
  • shower heads with hoses - I think Shalissa always thought they seemed smart, but her homes never had them. This house came with them, and she loves them. We came home from the beach, and the kids were hosed down in no time.
  • ceiling fans/light fixtures - When Nate and Shalissa put the kids to bed, they can pull the string on the light so the kids can't reach and turn the light back on. (Which, the kids CAN reach the flip on the wall. But flip all they want, if that switch has been pulled, the light is not coming back on).
  • in-tact garage/house door - Even though the garage is now the toy room, the door that connects the house to the toy room is still a heavy-duty door, which makes the toy room nearly sound proof. That means the napping baby can go in there and not be bothered, or the noisy kids can go in there and not bother folks.
This has made me think about things I've encountered that are awesome but I never would have expected to be awesome. Only, I can't really think of anything. Can you think of things that are awesome that you wouldn't have expected to be awesome?

Go offline for cover

Watch my friend, Marcie, sing this song she wrote about Facebook:

To me, this video is Marcie. I met her when Eric and I chaperoned at the YSA conference in Dunedin. She is one of those uber-fun people that I should try to be like. (Since I am one of the most boring people on the planet). Anyway, I found the song highly entertaining, and a fairly good description of Facebook.

06 October 2009

Just when I thought I could turn back time

Today I woke up and promptly turned off my alarm. It's what I do. I then proceeded to sleep for an extra thirty minutes. At some point I awoke, realized I had already turned off my alarm, and I hustled to get out the door. I got dressed. Did my hair. Applied my makeup. Brushed my teeth. Put bread in the toaster. Packed a lunch.

And then my alarm went off. It baffled me. If I had pressed snooze, the alarm would have been going off every five minutes for the time that I had been up. (Yes, five minutes. Stupid cell phone alarm.) It wasn't 9:20. It was 8:20. How had I managed to turn back time?

I had dreamed that first alarm. Argh. Goodbye extra sleep. I'll miss you forever.

04 October 2009

He who is in bed last...

Eric and I have an agreement that whoever is last in bed has to make it. This agreement works well for me because I am rarely the last one out of the bed. Of course, the bed is still hardly ever made. I'm not complaining. Eric does far more around-the-house cleaning than I do. Far more. But this does give me an excuse for the bed rarely being made. I can't very well make the bed if Eric is still in it when I am walking out the door. In accordance with our agreement, we have also agreed that if Eric neglects to make the bed, I can tickle him. This is great fun for me because Eric is extraordinarily ticklish.

This morning I woke up before Eric, and while I was lazing about contemplating getting up, he got up before me. I was bummed. But then he came back to bed, so I hopped up and declared him the maker of the bed. Victory.

I originally started blogging about this because Eric and I had a really funny conversation in regards to bed-making later in the day. Now I can't remember it, so this is all you get. Sorry.

03 October 2009

Leaf Crunching Goodness

My freshman year at BYU I spent the majority of autumn being terrified about winter. I was just so scared that the cold weather would... Well, I don't know what I was really scared about. Maybe "dread" is a better word. I was truly dreading the cold weather. And it came. But it wasn't as terrible as I expected. It wasn't fun or anything, but I adjusted to it. Spring came, and it was delightful. Having grown up in Dallas I had never experienced four different seasons. Dallas has two seasons- hot and wet. Anyway, I adored the spring weather. I loved the blossoms. I loved sitting outside to study in the warm-but-not-hot sun. I loved the pansies peaking out through the snow in the early spring. I loved the tulips and daffodils that came out soon after. Everything was fresh and lovely.

Then I went home for the summer. When fall came upon Provo during my sophomore year, I realized there was a whole season I had missed the previous year. Fall was gorgeous. The leaves really did change colors. The weather was cool but pleasant. That year, instead of spending all of autumn bemoaning the oncoming winter, I was really able to enjoy the weather.

Since then, spring is still my favorite season, and fall is a close second.

One of the things I love most about the fall is the experience of needing a jacket when you leave the house and coming home wondering why you lugged that thing along. It sounds silly, but I love that fall comes gradually like that. Cool mornings, warm afternoons. Perfect weather for sweaters (which I love), football (Go Cougs!) and soups to my heart's content.