Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Old Haunted House

     I honor of Halloween I'm going to share with you a few of the experiences we had at our old house that convinced us the place was haunted. The funny thing was, we didn't realize we all had strange things happen until we all started talking about the old place after we had moved out.
     For instance, one day I was cleaning the upstairs bath room and I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Now, these weren't little creaking footsteps, they were heavy, like a mad teenager stomping to their room kind of footsteps. I heard them start at the base of the stairs and come all the way up to the top. It was like twelve steps. I turned to see who it was and there was no one there. I walked over the the staircase thinking someone was playing a joke but there was no one there. The hair on the back of my neck instantly stood on end and I had the chills. It was very creepy. 
     And then there was the time I was watching TV with my youngest and he had fallen asleep on the couch so I decided I was going to go and do the dishes while I had the chance. I turned of the TV and was at the sink in the kitchen when I heard the TV go back on. I thought that was really weird, so went back into the living room and turned it off again. I also shut the doors to the entertainment center. I made it all the way back into the kitchen and started doing the dishes again when once more the TV was on and the doors were wide open again. Once again the chills crawled over me.
    Then there was the time my son had two friends spend the night. From his bedroom you could see the front sidewalk at at two in the morning they heard a knock on the front door. They looked at the window and saw a little kids about five years old standing at the door. My son when to go open it while his friends watched out the window, but before my son could open the door the little boy walked half way down the walkway the then disappeared into thin air.
    There are just a few of the weird and creepy things that happened there. All the kids had things happen at different times but for some reason none of us ever shared them with each other until years later.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Only Two Months Until Christmas

     Do you realize that Christmas is in less than two months. Where did this year go? I swear time goes by faster every year.
     At least I can say that I have started my shopping. Yes, I have bought exactly one present. Whoo hoo! And today, if I can pull it off, I will have purchased two more. It reminds me of the saying, 'you can eat an elephant one bite at a time.' Only with our family being as large as it is, you have to take large bites and chew fast or else Christmas will come and go and I won't be ready.
     I always feel like if I just had one more week I could really do Christmas right. Do you ever have that feeling, just seven more days and I could do all the baking I want, I could wrap the presents prettier, I could send more Christmas cards to more people? Why does it always seem like time is against us? Or at least against me.
     With tomorrow being Halloween, it's a down hill slide into the new year, so hang on everyone here we goooooo!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Just Call Me Mother Hubbard

     I don't know what it is about this time of year that gets me to thinking about food storage and what we have on hand versus what we may need. Perhaps it's the thought of running to the store in the snow or on icy roads. Or maybe it's that you see those huge bags of onions and potatoes at the store and I think, "I want some of those." Or maybe this time it's seeing the folks back east rushing to the store for supplies before the big hurricane hits, only to find empty shelves. How scary is that? Now I'm taking inventory and though I do have some stuff well stocked I have other stuff that has dwindled.
     I try to store what we eat, the only problem with that is that we eat it. So it's a never ending cycle. I buy, we eat, and I have to buy more. If you have a solution to that problem let me know. I make dinner one night and the very next night they all want to eat again. Go figure.
     And then there is the question of whether you should store the long term storage items first or keep trying to have the day-to-day stuff. I'm never quite sure where to start. I do know, however, that there is great peace of mind that comes to me when I have my cold storage room full of canned goods, sugar, rice, pasta and the other stuff.
     I did a major push on food storage a few years ago and I loved to go down into the basement and see shelves full of chili, refried beans, peaches and case upon case of cream of chicken soup. Knowing we wouldn't go hungry was like having money in the bank. So if you see me buying cases of canned goods in the near future you'll know why. Mother Hubbard is filling her cupboard.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hate Halloween!

     I have to say that Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Hate it, can't stand it, its only redeeming factor is the candy. I eat my own because I buy the best stuff. Since my kids were little it has always been a battle.
     Two weeks before Halloween.
     Me: "What do you want to be for Halloween?"
     Them: "I don't know?"
     Me: "How about this, or that, or maybe this?"
     Them: "No, I don't want to be any of those things."
     Me: "You better decide because the costume parade at school is in two day."
     Them the night before: I want to be a little Mermaid and I want to to make a costume just like Jenn's mom made for her."
     Me: "I can't make a costume in one day. You're going to have to be something here. Like a dead soccer player, or a zombie cheerleader."
     Them: "Noooooo, I don't want to be that. Let's go buy a costume."
     Me: "There aren't any good ones left because you waited too long."
    We run all over town trying to find what I knew wouldn't be there anyway.
     Them: "I don't want to be a fifties girl."
      Me: "but I just spent a fortune on the skirt."
      Them: "I'm just going to be a dead cheerleader."
      Me: "I hate Halloween."
      If it weren't for the candy, I'd cancel Halloween all together.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My Monthly Recipes

     Those of you that know me well, know that I try to plan my dinner menu for a whole month. I have this handy-dandy calendar that has the full year. At the end of every month I sit down and start looking at the next month and start filling in the blanks, because there is nothing worse than knowing it is four in the afternoon and you have nothing planned for dinner. The natives start getting real restless around here if they don't see food being prepared, so, at the request of a friend, I thought I would share with you my menu for Oct. just so you can see it.
Taco Salad
Parmesan Chicken w/Alfredo sauce
Pancakes w/sausage
Crockpot chicken
Chili sizes
Biscuits and Gravy
Chicken Fajitas
Enchilada Cassarole
White Bean and Chicken Chili
Pork ribs w/cheesy potatoes and vegis
Mostaccioli Bake
Parmesan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Grilled chicken w/pasta and garlic cream sauce
Pepper Bellies
B-B-Q steak w/baked potatoes
On Sundays we do really easy stuff like eating all the leftovers. When I was a kid my mom called his Hobo night. Or we have Nachos or something like that. We also have had several days this month when I was out of town and there were birthdays so on those nights I didn't plan a meal because I knew we would be eating out. Gotta love birthdays.
I have found that when I know what were having I can buy everything I need at the store and just go back for things like milk, fruits, vegis and bread. 
I'm not always perfectly organized, but I try to do a little better every month. If you are interesed in any of these recipes let me know. These are not necessarily in order and I started making breakfast one night a week in an attempt to cut down on our horrendous grocery bill. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What is Going on Here?

     Do you ever wonder what the heck is wrong with people? Everyday it seems that the world gets a little bit more cynical, uncaring and inhuman. First the little girl in Colorado disappears on her way to school and now another little girl is killed in New Jersey for bike parts. A man waiting for his father to shop in California is set on fire by a stranger. What is up with that?
     I know that random acts of violence have been going on since the beginning of time, but doesn't it seem like they are happening more and more? How is it we have lost our sense of compassion or empathy for our fellow man? What happened to the Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. I remember hearing that in school when I was little. How did we get so far from where we need to be?
     It makes me want to keep my children inside where they are safe, but that isn't realistic nor is it healthy, physically or emotionally.
     I have decided to try and do random acts of kindness for people whenever the opportunity arises. By doing this I hope my kids will see they have the power to make a difference for good in the world, even it is a small gesture. And I am going to sit down with them, when they least expect it, and talk about how we treat others. We need a change and it is going to have to start in our own homes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To My Baby Boy

     Nine years ago today, I checked into the hospital to be induced with my tenth and last baby. To their surprise he had flipped since my doctors appointment just the day before and was now breech. They wanted to do a C-section. I told them I didn't really need a c-section since I had already had nine babies and I could push this one out just fine. They wouldn't hear of it, so to surgery I went.
     By the time they cut me open, he was on his return lap and was head down again. C-section for nothing.
     The strangest thing about the whole experience was Scot was born during one of the worst fire seasons California had seen. "Firestorm 2003!!!" the news anchors would say dramatically, as if it was the end of the world. And it was bad. There were fires they couldn't stop and they burned all the way to the ocean. Hundreds of homes were lost state wide, it was devastating.
     So there I am in the hospital, sore from surgery, and outside my window the sky was dark orange from all the smoke. I was due to go home and then the infection set in. Those few extra days in the hospital happened to be when the time change occurred. When I did come home, it was like coming home to the apocalypse. It was four in the afternoon and the sky had this dark orange glow and it was raining ash. I will never forget it.
     Happy Birthday to my baby boy, Scot Thomas. I love you. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Investments

     Being a mom is a thankless job. You can never do enough and you can never do it right. Why do we put ourselves through this? Because we hope and pray that in the long run it will be worth it.
     It's sort of like a long term savings plan or investment. You put a little away for a rainy day even though it's painful to give up at the time and you are thinking, "Gee, I could use that money now for a lot of cool stuff."
     Someday you will be glad that you made that investment. It comes back to you with interest.
     I always hope that as my children grow up they will someday see the work, sacrifices, time and love we have invested in them. And I hope they show their appreciation by becoming productive members of society who reinvest in their own children the way we did in them.
    At least that's the plan. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Me and Silence

     Hello from Powder Mountain. No I'm not skiing, there's no snow yet. But even if there was snow I wouldn't be skiing. I'm writing. I'm at a writer's retreat trying to finish Out of the Darkness. I have no phone service here and I'm having to use FB to keep up with the fam. How weird is that? When we have all this technology and I can't call or message my family because there's no service here? I depend on that technology to get me through the day.
     I always wondered what it would be like not to be at everyone's beck and call and now I'm finding out. It's very quiet. Can you hear that? It's called silence. I haven't heard it in so long I had to stop and think about what the word was called. And since my room is in the basement I'm getting a lot of it.
     I wonder how long silence and I will be friends before it drives me crazy and I have to go in search of human contact. I'll have to wait and see. For now it's a shower and back to work. Have a great weekend everyone.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Conversation With My Daughter

     Went to Walmart today with one of my daughters and this is how it went.

     Her: Mom do you love me?
     Me: No!
     Her: MOM! Why not?
     Me: Because that questions always costs me more money.
     Her: Mom!
     Me: It's true.
     Her: You've already spent enough on me today.
     Me: Then I love you very much.
     Her: Okay, just checking.
     This kid added twenty-five dollars to my total already, so was it worth it? I'll let you know.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I'll Live Forever

      Do you ever have those days when the lists of to do's is as long as your arm and you just can't work up the enthusiasm to do any of it. That's where I am today. The day has barely started and it seems as if I am already behind. And the hubby hasn't even called to give me his list of things he needs me to do. Yikes.
     You know the old saying, "I was put on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things and at this rate I'm so far behind I'll live forever." That's how I feel. Maybe that's a good thing because now that I had my birthday, my kids keep pointing out that I have one foot in the grave.
     Thanks kids I needed that.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Post Birthday Post

     Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes yesterday. It made my day to hear from so many friends. I am very blessed.
     Here are a few random thoughts about birthdays. I spent part of mine at Walmart. It really doesn't bother me that I turned 50 because I don't think I look 50. I am getting a new printer for my birthday and it should be here tomorrow and I will be linking it to my laptop. This will make me very happy. The hubby still owes me Coldstone for my birthday and I intend to collect. I got my five dollars from my mother-in-law so all is right with the world. I'm going to have to think long and hard on what I want to spend my money on.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

     Today is my birthday.......and it's a big one. It's times like these you step back and take stock of your life and wonder if you've done the right things, made a difference, will be remembered for the good things you've done.
     I'm pretty sure I will be remembered as the crazy woman who had ten kids. And barring the Apocalypse, my DNA should be around for a long, long time so I've made a mark there. I have tried very hard to always be kind and if I have a chance to do or say something kind, I have taken that opportunity.
     I genuinely love and care about the people in my life from my family, friends, ward members, who are my friends too, to people I've never met.
     I am far from perfect, as my kids will tell you, but I have tried to do the right things in life, even when it was hard.
     All in all, I think I've done a good job of it. Hopefully, I will have a long time left to perfect myself. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Mayo vs Miracle Whip

     We had a deep philosophical discussion yesterday on the age old question: Mayo vs Miracle Whip? Needless to say Miracle Whip lost. We are and have always been a Mayo family. And not just any Mayo will do, it has to be Best Foods, Hellman's for you folks east of the Mississippi River.
     We love it so much it is a huge part of our food storage. For a year supply I figured out I would need about 45 jars of the stuff, so when it goes on sale and you can't find it on the store shelves, know that I beat you there. 
     We wondered about what kind of people prefer Miracle Whip? Did they have a bad childhood? Maybe their parents suffered from strange genetic condition that made them unable to really taste Miracle Whip and they passed that down to their poor, poor children. We feel bad for you, really we do because Miracle Whip is awful.
     Don't be upset if you are one of those people. I'll keep your secret and we still love you even if you don't have working taste buds.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

First World Problems

     I have always been grateful to have been born in this time and in this great country for so many reasons. When I was a little girl my family would watch things on TV like the National Geographic shows and sometimes you would see how people lived and barely survived in other countries. That made such an impression on me.
     I love having first world problems like, should I get my nails done today or should I wait until next week? Should I sign the boy up for basketball or football? Should I make dinner tonight or get pizza?
     It's not like we don't have our problems. We do. It's just that when you look the world over, I'll take the kind of problems we have here over the ones a wife and mother have, say, in Afghanistan. I don't have to worry about being put to death if I go outside of my house without a male relative escorting me. And I don't have to send my children to the local dump to scrounge for their dinner like they do in, I think it was Brazil.
     I don't have to worry about my kids dying of an ear infection because there are no doctors for miles or babies dying from dehydration because the water they drink makes them so sick.
     I have always been a silver lining kind of person and when things start to get me down I step back and count my blessings. In fact on my family room wall I have the words, "Because I have been given much."
     It's a gentle reminder of how lucky I am to be right where I am. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Tribute to Women.

     I have come to the conclusion that women the world over are the most amazing, beautiful, intelligent and creative creatures ever.
     As you know, I spent the weekend at a writer's conference in Park City. It was awesome. There were women of all ages, back grounds, circumstances, political views and religions, yet we all found a common ground to stand on.
     We don't bicker about our differences, we embrace our commonality. I can't tell you how much I love and respect these women. We also had several men at our conference and we embrace them with open arms.
     I am always impressed by the women in my ward at church also. I could fill a page with their attributes and still not cover them all.
     We get so down on ourselves and don't give ourselves the credit we deserve, so for today, lets pat ourselves on the back for being the lovely creatures we are and do something especially kind to us. And if anyone asks you why, tell them I told you to.
     I wish the world was run by women. It would be very different I think.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Park City Here I Come

     I will be off to Park City tomorrow for a writers conference. I am looking forward to it because it will be my first conference since I moved here five years ago. There will be agents, publishers and authors and for those of you who are Sherrilyn Kenyon fans she will be there. I am very curious to hear what the publishers have to say. In this world of changing technology the publishing world has taken a hit.
     Writers no longer have to get through the pearly gates in New York to get their work out there.
      I love being with my writer friends, we inspire each other and can talk about plotting and characters like they are real people and no one looks at you funny. Whether or not I actually get any writing done waits to be seen but I have high hopes.
      I'm also leaving the hubs to take care of two soccer games, a drop-off and pick-up for work and all the meals. Hehehe, good luck honey and good bye.     

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To My Daughter On Her Fifteenth Birthday

     I can't believe it has been fifteen years since I gave birth to my baby girl. Kaelyn was my last home birth and to our surprise weighed in at 10lbs 3oz. and I did that with no epidural. What the heck was I thinking?!
     As our eighth child we thought we were done, but our count was five girls to three boys and that wasn't going to work. Talk about severe OCD. I had to have two more boys just to even the score to five and five.
     Kaelyn is your typical teenager and wants a new cell phone for her B-Day. She does need one as her screen is cracked and the phone is temperamental, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Sort of like a fifteen year old I know, but who shall remain nameless.
     On second thought they are perfect for each other. :)
     Happy Birthday my girl. I wish for you a great day with many more great, awesome, out of this world days to come. Love you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gnats on Crack

     I didn't believe the world was going to end with the Mayan calendar, but now I'm having second thoughts due to the plague we have going on. We have been besieged with bugs the likes of which I have never seen. If I was on vacation and saw bugs like this I would never go back. The problem is I live here.
     I have to clean my car windows three times a day and that doesn't do much. We all are fighting over who has to take the dog out to do his business. We have fought over that for a while now, but at this point, we all have justifiable reasons to not want to go outside.
     I wonder if this is how the Egyptians felt during the ten plagues, because the flies have been out of control also.
     I keep hearing we need a cold snap to kill them off and I say bring it on. When I look out my sliding glass doors and see nothing but tiny gnats on crack every where it freaks me out.
     Normally I am looking forward to the cooler weather just for comfort but this year, I feel like it's a matter of self-preservation. I don't need anymore protein in my diet from inhaling those things.
     Where is Jack Frost when you need him?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Book Bomb

     Today is a nerve-wracking day. It's Book Bomb day. I don't know why I let myself get so stressed. The book will either do well, or it won't. If it doesn't, I'll write a new one. Come to think of it, I'm going to write a new one anyway. It's the only way to keep the people in my head from taking over in mutiny. Can we say schizophrenia? At least it's the internal kind. And I can channel it into something productive.
     Thanks again to all of my family and friends who have supported and encouraged me for a very long time. You all mean the world to me.