Tuesday, March 31, 2015

General Women's Conference

Since I now live in Utah,
I am trying to take advantage of some of the very Utah-ish things that there are to do.

Twice a year we have General Conference where our church leaders speak to us.
In Boston we could watch this over satellite at our church building
or on the computer through lds.org.

In Utah we have more options!
Church building (I assume)
go to the Conference Center and see it in person!

The Saturday before the general conference sessions, there is a general women's conference
for girls and women ages 8 and up.

I got my hands on some of the free tickets
and invited my sister-in-law and her daughter to go with me.

Later, Amber invited me to go with her and her sisters...
I hadn't thought to invite her because of the babysitting issue.
But I was glad to hear that she was going, and getting a night out!
(Thanks to her sister's husband who babysat!)

It was a gorgeous day.

As we entered the conference center (which is huge) 
and made our way to our section (which was huge)
I realized that the chances of seeing Amber there were very slim.
So I just found a row I liked and walked in.
This is a partial view of our section. Huge.

As I got to the spot where we were going to sit
I told Summer to wait to sit down because I needed to do a sniff test
to see if anyone around us was wearing perfume.

I try to avoid it whenever possible since it gives me an instant migraine.
Big groups of women are danger zones.

I leaned over to sniff and who do I see sitting right there on my row?
Amber and her sisters!

So we got to sit together after all.

It was a great meeting and I had such a good time hanging out with Summer and Jenna before and after.

A few highlights:
spring flowers
awkward conversations with strangers at the train stop
a slow but tasty dinner
chatting at the Davidson home for way too long...and keeping everyone up past their bedtime
hugs from Randy

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Knock, Knock

 Sometimes when Isabelle decides that she wants to hang out with Grandma, she goes to the door of her apartment (which leads to my basement) and simply knocks.

Amber will usually send me a text at this point saying something like "Are you home? Isabelle's knocking". Because there is no way I would hear her quiet little knocking as I am usually upstairs.

The other day, I wasn't home so Isabelle knocked and then simply sat down to wait.

She waited patiently and would not give up.

Until, finally, Amber found this:

Zonked out while patiently waiting for Grandma.

Monday, March 23, 2015

9 days

I haven't written anything here in nine days!
Is it because my life is super boring and I have nothing to say?
Why, yes, it is.

Boring is actually the wrong word.
I don't believe in being bored.
Boredom isn't a thing in my life.
I may have blogged about it in the past...
if not, I'm sure I will in the future.

It's just that my life is very much the same from day to day.
I've recently added working out to my daily activities so that's new.
But not really noteworthy since I'm still too fat for my jeans.

I go to lunch with my parents every week.
I do laundry.
I clean bathrooms and vacuum and do dishes.
I occasionally read.
I go outside and walk.
I play with the grandkids.
I make dinner 
(ok, ok, not every night but I am doing better than I ever have before in my life)

But if I really think back on the last nine days I did have a few extra/different/fun things going on:

*Movie night at my sisters*
My mom mentioned wanting to watch her favorite movie
(The Student Prince)
on my sisters big screen.
So Diane arranged for all the gals to come over and watch it together.
It was fun!
We ate take out (no cooking for me!) and then watched the movie.
Summer and I sat on the back row of the theatre room and made a few snarky/mocking remarks about the old fashioned idea of "romantic" which is really just a guy being creepy and pushy and somehow still winning the girl over.

Yep, again.
The weather has been so nice that Frank decided on Sunday afternoon that he would take a vacation day the next day and we just hopped in the car.
We are spur of the moment people, that's for sure.
Instead of four-wheeling, we went rock hounding this time.
We went to a few different places and had a good time finding fossils, agate and quartz.

We saw some wildlife

When we came home, Frank put the rocks all over the kitchen counter to see what we had.

Several days later I asked him if there was a plan for the rocks or was my kitchen going to remain like this.
He said to just plan on it staying the way it was.
Oh goody.
Then the next day he cleaned it up.

*College kids visiting*
We invited a couple of MA kids here for dinner on Sunday.
They are here going to college and seemed happy to come over for a home cooked meal.
We had roast, carrots, rice and rolls...a typical Hill Sunday dinner.
I failed to take a group picture, which makes me mad.
I will have to have them over again soon I guess!

We played The Great Dalmuti for awhile.

Arthur taught Isabelle how to make a duck face for the camera.
It was so funny!

All he had to do is hold the camera up and say "duck face" and she would do it.
She really bonded with him and kept bringing him books to read.

We went back to the bakery with the chalkboard tables.
Took mom and dad there for lunch one day...
and I might have gone back a few other times for bread and/or donuts.
It might be a problem.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Nerd wanna be

I feel like I'm kind of a nerd.
For example, I get excited over things like Pi Day.
I like science fiction.
I don't know...what else is nerdy?
Failing already.

However, I seem to lack the actual Nerd SKILLS.
Isn't that what makes someone truly a nerd?
They are good at computers or math or some such thing?

In my excitement over this epic once-in-a-hundred years Pi Day this year
I made sure to help arrange a family Pi Day.
We are having pizza (pie) and pie (dessert) for dinner.

I really wanted a Pi Day shirt but couldn't bring myself to spend the money.

Also I was determined to get a picture!
3/14/15 9:26:53

I googled for a good clock that would also show the date.
I double checked how to take a screen shot so I wouldn't screw that up.
(a true nerd would already know how to do this I think)
and then?

I screwed it up.

Behold my photos:

First a practice shot.

Placing my hands on the keyboard to be ready to take the shot.

Aaaaaand....missing it completely.

I thought it took the picture when you lifted your hands from the keys,
not when you placed them onto the keys.
I swear I read that!!

Luckily, what I lack in skill, I make up for in paranoia.
So I asked Carter to sit next to me with his phone and get a shot.

He did.

Saved the day.
And the hopes of his not quite nerdy enough mother.

I could try again tonight, I know.

But my daughter in law introduced the idea into my head that the only true Pi time was the a.m. time because...you know....military time.
And now I cannot let go of that.

I'm trying not to overanalyze how much this proves my insanity.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Spring has sprung and other news

The saying goes "April showers bring May flowers"
but with the super mild winter we had here
I'm afraid I have March (and a few February) flowers.
doing their best during our recent snow

Someone in the neighborhood was recently bemoaning the fact
that their fruit trees were beginning to bud...
and that if we have a freeze 
(which is fairly likely at this early date, strange winter not withstanding)
 his trees will be in bad shape.
All I could think at the time was
"Oh I hope my cherry trees are budding!  And we have a huge freeze!"

Cherries all over the yard are a pain.
Frank has started his seeds for his garden.
Since its located in my laundry room, I have gotten more involved than usual.
I water and watch them and get all attached.

Our first little sprouts!
transplanted to larger pots
today!  They are getting so big! *sniff sniff*

Yes, attached.
He occasionally comes in and without any warning, simply cuts down some of the plants
(supposedly thinning them is best for them...but heartless!)
Gardening is too hard on my heart.

I have to admit, though, as a child I would get attached to rocks.
A story for another time.
But I do have a history of getting attached to things that most people don't get attached to.
I have been sick for about 9 days now.
Or something like that...feels longer.
I had a cold which never got better then started to get worse.
I finally went to the doctor and I currently have bronchitis and an ear infection.

Anyway, I have been trying really hard during this illness to be a little less 
whiny, helpless and pathetic.
I am usually (extremely) all of those things.
I have drugged myself up with Tylenol Cold and Sinus and 
run errands
gone to church to hear my son talk
taken kids here or there
read to grandkids
played in the yard
I did usually whine at night though.
My sister and I arranged to do some canning together.
So this morning I went over there and started prepping.
I cut up almost 40 pounds of chicken!
But, oh my gosh, I felt like crap.
I wanted to lay on her counter and sleep.

So my sister says to me "Why don't you go home and lay down?"
I did.
She kept on working and canned those 40 pounds of chicken.
I got this picture in a text from her

and she said "Don't we look productive?!"
Nice of her to say "we"
when I was actually home in bed the whole day.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

National Pancake Day

Did you know that Tuesday (March 3) was National Pancake Day?

One of my kids told me about this important holiday
and that fact that Ihop was offering free pancakes.

Well, I love to celebrate these obscure holidays that come along...
especially if they involve eating sweet and/or bad-for-me food.

I was in!

I've never really liked pancakes from a restaurant.
They just aren't that tasty.
Something about the texture is never quite right for me.

So I started doing some web searches for the best scratch pancake recipe.

I found one with lots of good reviews so I decided to make them.

I mean, what an easy dinner!
I had leftover baked potatoes so I cut them up and made home fries.
*I love me some home fries*
I cooked up some sausage.
And made some really delicious pancakes.
What kid doesn't love pancakes for dinner?
Amber putting up with me and my camera :-)

The only real problem with this kind of dinner is that its hard to get everything done at the same time and also be nice and hot.

loves pancakes, hates pictures
So as I cooked, we ended up eating all around the kitchen island...
some people never even sat down!
What a good husband to pose with his dinner.
We just gobbled up pancakes as they came off the griddle.

It was, indeed, a happy National Pancake Day for us.

Next up?
Pi Day!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Isabelle loves snow

It snowed!
Yes, we have had one full day of winter here in Utah.
Ok, that might be a slight exaggeration but only slight.

My granddaughter Isabelle LOVES the snow.

She will play in it for a long time...
long after you can tell she is freezing and her hands are cold and wet.
she doesn't care!
snow is so darn fun!

Today Isabelle and her mom, Amber,
built a snow man and a snow dog together.

I joined them after that...

I just basically followed her around with my phone
 taking pictures and videos.

 This kid is so cute.

We brought poor Kaylee out 
(in the middle of her nap)
so I could take a picture with the two of them for Frank
He requested a picture of me with both girls and gave me 15 minutes to do it...
You can't give me constraints like that and expect a good shot!

 Isabelle helped Amber shovel the walk...

Yep, I followed them with the phone as Amber worked.
I'm awesome that way.

 Isabelle loved the untouched snow of the front yard!

Amber's pretty cute too

No she wasn't asking why I wasn't helping...nice girl!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Curtain Woes (or The Joys of Living with Debbie)

I've posted pictures of my living room curtains before.
It took me a long time to come to the decision to even have curtains in this room
and then I had to pick fabric and style of curtain.
It's been a long road.

Then I hung them.

I was very careful
but the math of the thing was just beyond me.
Measuring is not my strong suit.

You have to figure out the length of the curtain
the rod thickness
the ring they are hanging from
and then hang the rod at exactly the right height.

It's all just so complicated.
(for me)

So after I got them hung, I realized they were just a little (just a smidge) too low.
They dragged on the ground.
Not enough to really look like I meant for them to "puddle".

I tried to accept it.
I really did.

I decided that I couldn't accept it and talked to frank about moving the rod.
He informed me that it would be a huge pain to move the rod such a little distance because of the anchors I'd had to use in the drywall.
(the studs are never where I need them to be)

I considered having my sister hem them.
(She told me she'd sew me anything I wanted as a birthday gift)
But they are so well done now, it seems silly to alter them.

I decided to just learn to like them the way they are.

I am being ridiculous.

Weeks go by.

They are driving me nuts!
I can't live with it!

So, my wonderful husband moved the rod for me.

It was, as he predicted, a pain.

I have some patching to do now...

but I am so much happier with the curtains!

They now just skim the carpet.
No "almost puddling".

Please excuse the poor night lighting and lack of editing.  I'm lazy.

It's such a relief.

Now, if I ever get the wood floors I want...
will they be too short?!

Oh, I am so fun to live with!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Outings with Isabelle

In the last couple of weeks I took Isabelle on three separate outings...just the two of us.
I love that she finally loves me.

She even threw a fit when I left the apartment the other day...
I felt bad for making her sad by leaving
and I felt bad for Amber for getting stuck with an unhappy toddler.
But it is a little bit fulfilling to know they love you enough to throw a fit when you leave.
(Amber was kind enough to take this picture so I could see)

For our first outing we went to the park.
It turned out to be too cold so we didn't stay long but we did go down the slide a few times.

I took her with me to my weekly lunch with mom and dad.
We had decided to eat at my parents house rather than go out
so I brought Isabelle along.
She really enjoyed the raspberry lemonade, had a few bites of  rice, 
and LOVED the stuffed dog that my parents have.

She did not love it when the Grandfather Clock began to chime, however.
Scared the crap out of her!
Then I took here with me to help Frank pick up his jeep from the repair shop.
On the way home I decided to detour to the local bakery.
Such a good idea.
The place has tables that are painted with chalkboard paint.
It's a toddler's dream!

I bought her a donut but she really couldn't focus on it...the drawing was too much fun.
So we put it in a bag for later.

She loved it so much that I really want to take her back.  Maybe we'll do lunch. 

I hope her experience there doesn't become a bad habit at home though...
luckily I'm the grandma and don't have to deal with that.