Too Blessed to Be Stressed
Is Anybody Out There?
Fill in the Blank
In the last week we've had six old friends come to visit, and each of them has asked the very same question: Amy, why is/are there _____________________ on your dining room wall?
Post your best guess in the comment section.
Monday Mocabulary Lesson
You might already know this, but MORMON + VOCABULARY = MOCABULARY
Today's Mocabulary word is Sunbeam.
1. A three or four year old Sunday School student who accidentally spits in their teacher's mouth. Twice.
2. A young child who walks out of the restroom carrying his pants rather than wearing them.
3. A preschool-aged person who likes to lick the teacher's shin repeatedly.
4. A short human being who is incapable of successfully executing The Hammer Dance, The Cabbage Patch, or Jazz Hands.
I sure hope you've been paying attention to this blog, because today I'm giving you a pop quiz.
This is a photo of our property line. Please identify which side of the yard belongs to Amy & Jared, and which side of the yard belongs to George & Marion.
Carefully study the three images below. Then determine if the photo was taken in Amy & Jared's yard or George & Marion's yard.
This is a photo of Amy & Jared's and George & Marion's backyards. Please indicate whether Amy & Jared's yard is in the foreground or the background of the picture.
My Friend Jen
Every now and again I feel the strong and sudden urge to write a tribute to a friend, and today is one of those days. I'm willing to bet a million-and-ten bucks that after you read this post, you'll wish that Jen was your friend, too.
Jennifer and I went to UMaine together, fell out of touch, and six years later we randomly found ourselves living two blocks apart in a town that has no traffic light. What are the chances?
We have a highly unique friendship as Jen is my Yin and I am her Yang. Here's why:
1) I'm a Mormon, Jen is an ex-Mormon. But we're both fluent in Mocabulary (Mormon + vocabulary = Mocabulary), so we can have some really great conversations.
For example: Oh my heck, I'm really excited that the Relief Society chorister and the Second Counselor in the Bishopric are getting sealed in St. George on Saturday. They're having a reception in the Cultural Hall next weekend, and I bought them matching CTR t-shirts for a gift.
See? Most of you have no frigging clue what I'm talking about. But my friend Jen? She knows.
2) I'm a hopeless gardener, but I swear up and down that Jen has a touch of carrot DNA flowing through her veins. I have a yard with a garden, Jennifer does not. Consequently, Jennifer has become my "hippy on call" and I have a beautiful vegetable garden to show for it. When neighbors stop to ask for tips on growing broccoli, I give them Jen's cell phone number. She's fine with that.
3) I lost my greyhound and Jen found my greyhound. I made her some bacon as a thank-you gift.
4) Jen is a very cautious eater. I am not. I make her try new things like avocados, mangoes, grapefruit, gooseberries and tabouli. Sometimes she likes my food and sometimes she doesn't, but despite our differences we do share a common passion for Twinkies, ice cream, Oreos, etc.
5) Jennifer doesn't own a TV. I can watch the home shopping network until my eyes melt out of their sockets. We still haven't really settled that one.
6) Jen knits her own socks. I buy my socks in a 42-pack from KMart. She's trying to teach me to knit my own clothing, but it's not panning out so well. Last I checked, it's completely unlawful to walk around town wearing nothing but a wool purse and a half-finished hat.
7) Jen clearly annunciates her Ts, Ds, and Ns. I just like to swear a lot.
Jen is a passionate, dedicated educator. I'm still a little foggy on what I do for work. She reads the classics, I read gab mags. But somehow, somehow, it just works out. She may be oil and I may be vinegar, but seriously, between the two of us we make one kick-ass vinaigrette.
See? Aren't you a little bit jealous?
Childhood Journals: Part Two
In honor of Gracie's safe return home, I'd like to post another childhood journal entry.
In sifting through my stack of old notebooks, I quickly realized that my penchant for inappropriateness extended far beyond my kindergarten year and well into the second grade. You'll notice that my captions, illustrations, and--um--understanding of the human anatomy had progressed a great deal in a three year span.
In 1985, my repertoire consisted mainly of boobies, nude animals, and bikinis. By '88 I had moved on to the almighty set o' schnuts.
Even I'm a bit thrown off by this illustration. I honestly don't recall learning anything about the family jewels until 'Puberty Movie Day' in fifth grade. I do, however, have a vague memory of my classmate Antonio helping me draw the accessories.
After twelve long hours of weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, Gracie has been found.
I'll post the details later....but in the mean time, thank you, thank you, thank you for the kind thoughts.
Gracie is Lost
Gracie slipped out the back door around midnight and we haven't seen her since. She has never been allowed off-leash, has a brain the size of a walnut, and is an all-around bad candidate for being lost in the woods of Maine.
Fortunately she's microchipped.
Unfortunately she's not wearing tags. I recently bought her a new, pink collar and hadn't switched them over yet. Please call me an idiot in the comments. And if we run into each other in town, slug me in the gut. I deserve it.
I've been up all night searching and I'm worried sick. I've also experienced brief bouts of hysteria.
Please keep your fingers, toes, and paws crossed that she makes it home safely.
I'm having one of those weeks where I just want to ball myself up in Mrs. Butterworth's lap and let her twirl my hair into teeny-tiny knots. She would tell me stories about farm animals and muffins and syrup-making, and I would tell her all about my estimated quarterly tax payment that's due on Monday. I'd ramble on about the contractor who installed the wrong carpet in Jared's office, the woman who forgot to cut me a paycheck before her week-long vacation to Cape Cod, and my leaky front window. Then, when I had exhausted my list of concerns, she'd pull an unopened bag of mini-marshmallows out from under her apron and feed them to me one by one by one.
I live in a town without a stop light. But what we lack in traffic signals we make up for in lakes, ponies-for-sale, and hubcaps. Yes, that's correct. Hubcaps.
Every morning, as I drive to my office, I pass a mobile home on the right side of the road with a pile of hubcaps so large that it could literally fill the single-wide trailer three times over.
The first time I saw the pile, I was driving with a very well-mannered coworker. She glared at the large metallic mountain, raised a nostril in disgust and limply pointed with her pinkie as she uttered, "That...is disgusting. I wish the town would do something about that slob."
I've made it my personal policy to never lie with my lips, so I offered up a flat smile and nodded my head in sympathetic, albeit fake, agreement. Because honestly, I thought the pile was pretty neat. I sort of wanted to update my tetanus shot and swim around in it for a minute or two.
You see, for the past 365 days I've been driving a Toyota wagon with two missing hubcaps. Before you scoff at the appearance of my automobile, go ahead and answer me this: Do you have any idea how expensive those suckers are? I replaced each of the hubcaps one time, promptly lost the replacements, and completely abandoned all hope.
I hadn't planned on regaining a sparkle of hope until my husband started collecting forty-million bucks annually, but I can't lie, that single-wide trailer rekindled my flame.
It took a few months, but last week I finally worked up the guts to stop on my way home from work and ask the property owner about hubcap pricing. I took a deep breath, applied blinker, and pulled into the U-shaped driveway.
The property owner was a very pleasant, middle-aged man. He evaluated the condition of my wheels, approached my car window and said, "Welp. I ain't got a thang that matches."
"Oh," I replied, trying to mask the disappointment in my voice.
He shouted over his shoulder as he disappeared into the pile..."But I do got some sets of two that would look nice on yer car."
He emerged a few moments later carrying four sets of two. One set was obviously emblazoned with the Buick emblem. Another set had a lot of spokes, and appeared to belong on a Lincoln Town Car. I didn't pay much attention to the last two sets. Instead, I interrupted the man in the middle of his sales pitch and said, "This is a Toyota, none of those hubcaps match my car."
"That's true," he said. "But yer missing both hubcaps on the passenger side of yer ve-hicle. You can replace 'em with anything you want."
I offered him a long, silent, confused stare.
"No one can see both sides of yer car at the same time, Ma'am. You cin put different ones on this side. As long as they match front 'n back, yer all set!"
"Oooohhhhh," I replied, giving the man an honest smile. "Let me talk to my husband about it, and I'll be back."
My goodness, the man was right. What's the big deal if I have late-model Toyota hubcaps on the driver's side of my car and 1986 Buick Regal hubcaps on the passenger's side?
Well, if I do it my husband says he'll leave me. I guess that's the big deal.
Potty Training Update
Jared and I received a note from James's daycare provider yesterday afternoon. When I read the note I instantly felt the blood drain out of my face and had a very strange tingling sensation in all of my appendages. Jared, on the other hand, nodded his head in a smug, approving sort of way and mouthed the word "Awesome" over and over again.
The note read:
Amy & Jared,
I thought I should let you know that James has been pulling down his pants and peeing on the playground in front of all the other friends. When I ask him about it he tells me that it's cool to pee outside. I don't mind, but I thought you should know.
I wrote back:
I'm so embarrassed that I think I want to die. My husband taught James that it's "manly" to pee in the woods. I'm guessing that James is having a hard time distinguishing between wooden trees and wooden playground equipment--but trust me, we're working on it. I've talked to James and Jared both. James will apologize to all of the friends today, and Jared is setting up his new apartment in our storage room.
I'll let this one slide, but if James ever decides to drop his drawers and pee in the Target parking lot I'm moving somewhere tropical. Without the boys.
Kindergarten Journals: Part 1
I had a bit of a sad trip to Connecticut this past weekend. My parents, you see, have sold my childhood home to a man with the last name "Wiener" and it's my job to pretend to be okay with that. My father is so emotional about the sale, that the mere sight of a footlong hotdog will bring him close to tears. So I've been acting as my dad's emotional rock. In other words, I've been telling lots and lots of wiener jokes.
While I was sadly sorting through a stack of boxes in the attic on Saturday, my mood was quickly lightened when I found a stack of childhood journals that I referred to in a post a couple of days ago. They were even more risque and fabulous than I had previously remembered.
I'm happy to say that there is no shortage of my 5-year-old nudie drawings, so I'll spread them out over the next few weeks.
And now, without further delay, I present you with solid evidence that I haven't changed much since 1985.
This is a drawing of my friend Judy. According to the caption, she is naked in her Halloween costume. Judy's parents must have been on a budget that year.
This drawing is a little more difficult to make out, as it incorporates crayon and pencil illustration. The caption reads, "The lady is going to have a baby and she's crying. She's naked. She's crying." For a five-year-old, I'd say I summed up childbirth pretty well.
On the left side of the page you can see a OB/GYN happily reaching above the cabinets for a pot of boiling water. On the right side of the page you'll find the patient: a sad woman in labor, with a rockin' set of purple tee-tees.
In the last twenty years, I have switched from paper to the computer, but other than that, my journalistic style has never ever wavered.
Stuck. Still Stuck.
June 4, 2008
I recently received an email from a nice reader named Dave who is 'getting kind of tired of all the pictures and videos of James.' Apparently he wants more stories, more writing, and more Sharpie-drawn illustrations of my sensitive, embarrassing moments.
Well Dave, let's make a deal. Today I'll post THREE videos of my kid. But to make it up to you, next time I experience childbirth I'll illustrate the whole thing for you with my trusty Sharpie marker. Sound good?
And besides, James is like the cutest 42 pound creature on the planet. Seems like you might need glasses. Or a brain transplant. Or a heart.
Anywho, without further hesitation, here are three thirty second videos of James. Please be sure to watch them in sequence. And as always, please ignore the mess, the unpainted trim work, and my voice.
What he lacks in guts, he makes up for in whining power. Right?
Another Near Death Experience
It's official. My mother-in-law is trying to kill me.
You may or may not recall my post on May 8th entitled Near Death Experience. It recapped my very unfortunate experience with my mother-in-law's bathroom, a feisty hemorrhoid, and a poorly placed container of Lysol wipes. She came darn close to doing me in that time, but holy heart attack, she came a whole lot closer last night. I never should have trusted her when she sweetly uttered the words, “Have a seat on the porch swing, Amy. Really, have a seat.”
Well, I did have a seat on the porch swing—and about four minutes later I had a very painful seat on a triangle shaped rock, which makes me think: Maybe Meredith's not trying to kill me dead, maybe she just has an issue with my buttocks-region. And believe you me, if that woman ever decides to buy me a 12-pack of cotton briefs I'm throwing them over my shoulder and running the opposite direction. The last thing I need are 12 pairs of 'factory reject' underpants with Brillo pads 'accidentally' sewn into the crotch.