Monday, November 9, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Another perk about autumn is that flies fly slower and I can actually swat some of them. The ones that I keep missing die soon anyway. Recently I had a medical condition that has left me a little unbalanced, forgetful, screwed up my depth perception, and messed with my hand-eye coordination. In other words I have a bit of brain damage, which, actually serves as a handy excuse in most situations, although it has not served me well when I am trying to swat flies.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
"As a writer you spend most of your time in the minds of people who don't exist which is the definition of schizophrenia."
--A gem. This explains a lot.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Just for the record, I did not send her a loaf of spit-on-bread. Thank heavens. I did not spit on her or anything else in the parking lot. I did not chew her out about her recipe. I did not say hi. What I did do was concentrate really hard on my feet. That will show her.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
The sticky, (then 14-year-old) in the back seat of the car is not the only one who has a difficult time sharing. I have seen the aunt’s freezer jam in our fridge bearing a sign that says, DO NOT EAT. I HAVE SPIT IN THIS.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
My fourth child left for college with an orange frying pan and a cook book from her aunt who is a fabulous cook. The cookbook is practical. The frying pan is necessary. The orange is fun. This great desire to learn the culinary arts came quickly and urgently last spring, when she spent a weekend with her older sister at
After years of me begging and pleading to teach her how to make good food, the tables finally turned. This summer SHE begged ME to teach her. Now, I am not a great chef nor am I a naturally qualified teacher. That’s why I taught her a few basics and sent her to school with a couple boxes of Pasta Roni and the number for Little Caesars.
I remember the first time my husband and I invited another couple over to eat in our small apartment, the husband sat next to his wife and said, “Look honey, biscuits. I love biscuits.” The wife kicked the husband under the table and said with strained enthusiasm, “No, dear, I think those are rolls.” She then picked one up and took a bite and said, “Oh honey, you were right. They are biscuits. . .” Only they weren’t and it had taken me all day to make them. They tasted like hockey pucks.
Not that my husband was complaining. His tastes are simple. To be happy, he needs white bread, cereal, Oreos and additional chocolate in any form. He is the inventor of the bread sandwich. The first time he asked for one, I asked for instructions. I will now pass this family heirloom recipe to you. Take note: The bread sandwich is two pieces of bread with a piece of bread in the middle. Voila! My husband is also the genius behind homemade Oreo cereal. Recipe: Put several Oreos in a bowl. Cover with milk. Let sit for about 2 minutes. Eat with spoon. Drink milk from bowl when cookies are gone. Very easy. I’ve memorized them both. I think I will write a family cookbook.
As newlyweds, we were eating dinner with his brother and wife who were only slightly less newlywed. The wife brought out a beautiful cake and announced that she had made it from scratch. My husband took a bite and gave her the best compliment he could think of, “Wow, this tastes as good as a mix. . .” This is the man I cook for and it has been a fairly easy task. Thank heavens.
Yesterday was my birthday and I actually got a year younger. I thought I was turning 45, but my brother, on the eve of my birthday, informed me that I was only 43 turning 44. For an entire year I thought I was 44. . . I’m not sure if I feel like I got an extra year, or that I missed out on my whole 43rd year. I’ll let you know. Anyhoo—
It was my birthday so I wanted to drive to
Anyway, I took all the fixings for spaghetti because I have figured that one out after 25 years. I did garlic toast too and I miraculously burned only one pan of the three. (Why is it that 2 minutes after you’ve taken the burnt pan from the oven all the helpful voices chime in, “Check the bread? I think it’s burning.” Thanks.)
We all ate; the roommates ate. We laughed and took funny pictures. The kids commented on how well they were eating. They told me about the great dinners they’d been making. My son actually said that he was eating better at college than at home. If I was the jealous type, I would have been, but I’m not, so I wasn’t.
Then said son pulled out a birthday cake. It sagged in the middle, but it was dripping with chocolate frosting and love. They put 44 candles on it because I am not 45 this year, and tried to light them. Only nobody had a match. So we lit cardboard on the stove burner which burns quite faster and bigger than a match or candle and puts off a lot of ash and fyi-- if you light candles with a candle, it drips wax all over the cake. So, I finally blew out a mere 20 or so candles, feeling 20 at heart anyway, to save the cake from being an ashy, waxy, molten mess.
The cake was dished up and passed around. Everybody eagerly dug in. I’m not quite sure how it’s possible, but the cake tasted like dish soap. If I was the jealous, revengeful type, I would have smiled smugly, but I am not. We Campbells, generally speaking, are hardy, resourceful folk, so we rolled up our sleeves and ate it anyway. It was the best birthday cake ever.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
BTW--there are lots of great things I could write about many of you. . .those things might include things like scrambled omelets, karate moves, mechanical skunks, NGCR, some of you know what that is, moose sitings, caramel apples, and the point and snap.
p.s. I never would have guessed omelet was spelled like that. Who knew?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I finally saw the movie Marley and Me. I was on a flight to
I should say right up front if you haven’t seen Marley and Me this blog could be a spoiler. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED. Okay, the dog dies. Not soon enough. If I had a dog like that (which I have) I would get rid of it, kill it (okay I wouldn’t really kill it, because I can’t even kill spiders. . . most of the time) or have myself locked away somewhere where there is lots of padding.
As much as I hate to admit it, I did get a little tear in my eye when Marley went to that great dog kennel in the sky. NOT because I was going to miss a dog like that, but because I thought of my sweet, blind, diabetic dog who died a couple years ago. BTW --(By the way, that stands for by the way.) -- I would highly recommend owning a blind, diabetic dog, but that’s another story.
Before the sweet, blind dog, we had dogs from Hell. Exhibit A. Toby. Dalmation. That dog not only had spots, he had me seeing spots. He ate everything. I planted rose bushes. He ate them. Didn’t chew them, engulfed them, swallowed them thorns and all. No more roses. I baked plates of brownies as Christmas gifts for my neighbors. He got them off the counter, not quite sure how, and ate every last crumb. Chocolate is supposed to be toxic to dogs. Apparently it’s not toxic enough. He ate his own collar while it was on his neck. How do I know this? After his collar turned up missing, I found it again. Coming out his back end. He’s lucky he didn’t turn himself inside out.
The worst was when he would get out, which was often. The front door would open and he would plow through small children, frazzled mothers, and terrified visitors like a crazed woman at Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving.
Now I am not one to be messed with. Actually, I’m a total pushover. But you know, one can only take so much. So I devised this ingenious plan. I would go out the front door and stand against the house with a newspaper. . . okay it was a frying pan. One of my children would then open the front door. When Toby bolted, I would give him a little thump, thus teaching him never to plow through the door again. Dang. That plan still looks good on paper. . .
However, I didn’t reckon on him being so fast and me being so old and slow. Missing my big chance as he flew through the door, I dropped the pan and dove for him. (What was I thinking??) I managed to grab his back legs as he/we sailed off the front porch. He landed on his feet in the front yard while I landed on my stomach and was dragged a few feet before his feet slid out of my hands. I laid there with a mouthful of front lawn and grass stained clothes wondering if I was alive and how many of the neighbors saw.
Now with this kind of dog, you just want to let them go and hope they never come back. But everybody knows when you have a monstrous, abominable Dalmation. The phone starts ringing: “Your dog’s out again.” (I should be so lucky.) “Your dog just pooped on my lawn.” (I’ll bill you later for the fertilizer.) “My kids would like to ride their bikes, but your dog keeps chasing them. . .” (Tell them to pedal faster.)
So, you leave a 5 year old in charge of the 3 & 2 & 1 year old while you go catch the dog from Hell, bring him home, just so you can repeat the whole process in an hour.
I finally found a good home for Toby, and no I absolutely did not cry when he left. I did the victory dance with a capital V. A Hell’s Angel biker man bought him. Even paid me money. I braced myself for the worst when Toby ran at tough-biker-Hell’s-angel guy full speed. (He was a pretty protective dog, when he was around.) Toby planted his front paws squarely on biker man’s chest. His tail started wagging and he licked his face. Hell’s-angel-biker man cried tears from heaven (for me). He took him away (for-e-ver), telling me they were going to sit in the recliner, watch t.v., eat pizza and drink beer every night. “Rock on,” I thought, “rock on.”
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday I read an article in the Salt Lake Tribune about a woman who could communicate with animals. People would actually take their dogs and cats to her to see what they were thinking. Her remarkable skill was not limited to domestic animals, but to wild animals as well. I believe she said that a bird said to her while trapped in her backyard that it wanted out. Hmmmmmm. I may be going out on a limb here along with the bird, but I bet I can communicate with animals too. In fact according to this woman, we all can. It’s something we’re born with that we lose.
Yes, I have to say, I am a firm believer. I think that I have been communicating with animals my whole life. I had more animal friends as a child than people friends. That could still be true.
Candy was my best friend when I was twelve. Candy was a horse. We were two souls living in one body or maybe that’s one soul living in two bodies or something like that. I was sure that we were so in sync that we could communicate without halter, bridle, saddle, not even a stinking carrot. So, I jumped on my naked horse and nudged him through the open corral fence. I hugged his neck, feeling his mane gently brush my cheek. I felt the rhythm of his breathing, the beating of his heart. His muscles quivered beneath me. I willed him with my mind to be one with me, to go where I wanted. I pictured the headlines: Girl Rides Horse Using Mental Telepathy, or Girl and Horse Share One Mind (or maybe that’s brain. . .)
Upon closer examination, Candy communicated to me the following: I really don’t care a rat’s whisker where you want to go. I would personally like to leave my footprints in the neighbor’s newly planted lawn. I would like to trample and eat most of the vegetables in the Terry’s and Ferre’s gardens. I would love to run at small children just to hear them scream. And the last, hardest blow from my mind speaking session with my soul mate: I know you think that I like you to ride me, but you are really just an added burden, a burr under my saddle so to speak, and I think you’d be happier here in the mud with the neighbors all yelling at you, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? Now that you KNOW what I’m thinking, just try and explain to them what you were thinking. Then he mind-spoke a little “hee, hee, hee” to me as he trotted off. Actually, he might have said the hee hee hee out loud.
After this episode, we were not one soul living in two bodies, but two souls living in two bodies, one in the pasture and one in the doghouse. Speaking of dogs. . .
I once owned a dog that said to me in mind-speak, I want to make you look like a total idiot in front of all your friends and neighbors. And he did. When I put him outside, he would make a sound like I was peeling the flesh from his bones. When I’d try to bring him in, he’d move out of reach and crank up the volume on the death scream. Naturally this forced me to chase him harder and yell at him louder as he would move faster and scream louder drawing a small crowd on the other side of my fence angrily accusing me of boiling him alive which I certainly would have done by this time if I had a fire, a pot and some hot water. . .and if I could catch him. (Deep Breath)
My amazing ability to communicate with animals does not just include my own. I once saw a dog that said, I want to eat your hot dog. The drool, the jumping up on and knocking down of my body were all sure signs that I was not mistaken.
I saw a dog the other day and do you know what he said to me telepathically? He said, I want to sniff your nether-regions. I replied, all telepathically of course, I don’t think so dog. Don’t even try it. As I juggled an armload of stuff, trying to free a hand to stop a protruding nose, he replied, I’m sorry. Was that a telepathic message from you because I don’t mind-speak with people. He said this with a big dog smile of course as he took a big SNIFF.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I miss my mom. She’s been gone for three years this week and I still occasionally pick up the phone to call her. Ouch. I want to ask her how she kept all the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of her picnic cake recipe. I should have made it when she was alive but she always did. Sometimes I just want to tell her about my day, get her advice, or tell her something funny that one of the kids did. But then, she probably already knows.
There is only ONE good thing about my mom being dead. When someone (especially a salesperson) calls and asks, “Is your mom there?” I can reply, “No, she’s dead.” For some reason, I get a kick out of this. (I like to think my mom does too.) I tried this on my sister-in-law once and she did not think it was funny. Before you go thinking I am a total schmutz, you should know that I probably get this irreverent, playful attribute from my mother.
When we moved to a new neighborhood with our three legged dog, someone asked, “What’s wrong with your dog’s front leg?” My mom looked at the dog, looked at the person and said, “What leg?”
Mom was known to start water fights not only outside, but inside. Wild, wet, crazy fun. (Side note: if any of my children are reading, do not try this at home. I will not think it is funny, really.) I remember frantically trying to get inches of water off the kitchen floor before my dad got home.
One day my brother and his friends were working in the yard. They found a huge earthworm and decided to go scare my mom with it. When they dangled it in front of her face, she grabbed it and started chasing them with it.
Mom had a theory that you could balance an egg on end during the Winter or Summer Solstice. My brother sat at the kitchen table trying to disprove her theory. As he rolled the egg between the table top and the palm of his hand, my mom got tired of his know-it-all behavior, smacked the top of his hand which crushed the egg.
In grade school, mom cried and cried one day on the steps of her school. She wouldn’t go inside. When her mother arrived at the school to sort through the problem, she was told by my sweet mother that she was crying because God made her a little girl and not a horse.
I never got the rest of the story—what my grandmother did. That is another thing I would ask my mom.
If my mom was a horse, she would be the kind that was all playful, and kind. She would give you sweet rides on her back and then when you were least expecting it, she would kick up her heels and you would slide down her neck into the soft grass. (Yes, she would make sure you landed on something soft.) You would look up at her like, “What was that for?”
She would bat her big horse eyelashes with a look of “Who me?” That’s the kind of horse my mom would be.
When she lost all her hair to cancer, she had a very stylish wig. It was great hair. She never had a bad hair day—all she had to do was put it on. No fuss. No problem. When complimented on her great hair (by people who did not know it was a wig), she would lift it straight off her head and say, “Thanks, do you want to borrow it.”
My mom thought of a great invention before she left. If you’ve ever had to buy a coffin, you know how crazy expensive they are. And for what when you think about it. It’s not like you try it out before you go to see if it’s comfortable. It’s not like people will be looking at it for years to come.
You lay in it at the viewing while people say you look great or peaceful when what you really look is dead.
But on the other hand, if you buried your loved one in a cardboard box, people would think you were pond scum. So, here’s the beauty of the invention. You buy (and use for several family members) or rent a coffin. At the cemetery the coffin is reverently lowered into the ground while someone is playing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes. Then when everybody leaves, somebody pushes a button on a remote control device which opens the trap door on the bottom of the coffin. The body falls out, and the coffin is pulled back up and reused.
My mom. A thrifty, funny lady. I miss her.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Getting older isn't too bad when you compare it with the alternative. Death. But what's up with this "hang-over?" I'm talking about the thing hanging over my belt; the 15lbs. that has magically appeared and is not budging as if to say, "Howdy, I"m here for the long haul." And do I really have to have zits again? And what's up with standing up? Everything rises except my hip which remains anchored to the chair by my butt. Everything is falling, sagging or puddling like wax dripping from a birthday candle. My husband is faring a bit better. The hair he's losing on his head is being replaced by new growth in his nose and ears.
When my daughter and I sat through the fifth grade maturation program and got the 411 on pu-ber-ty, wide-eyed she turned to me and said, "Now I know why they call them HORRORMOMES."
I know what she's talkin about.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Apparently Michelle Obama dresses quite nicely. I haven’t noticed this. I’m sure she probably does. I don’t tend to notice what people are wearing, I do notice however if they are wearing something as opposed to not wearing something. So while not a great advocate of fashion, I am a great advocate of clothes. Everybody should wear them.
I read about First Lady Obama’s great fashion look in USA Today. I don’t usually read USA Today, but I was staying at the “
Hello people. Hello first lady. Did you know that we are in a recession? That is more than my clothing budget for an entire year. If I bought that, I’d have to wear it every day. I wonder how it looks inside out? (Remember the 80’s when you wore your sweat shirt inside out for a different look. . . or was that just me?) Also slacks or a skirt were not mentioned. This creates a small problem.
My dream—a first lady that shops at Target. Say it like “Tar-jay,” you’ll feel better. And while the green pumps were very appealing, if I was going to do as much walking as the first lady, I would opt for green sneakers. And would it kill the first lady to wear sweats once in a while? It would do a heap of good for my morale.
So here is my first campaign promise if I am ever elected first lady. I solemnly swear (with my hand on a bag of chocolate chips) that I will not wear designer clothes. Not even knock-offs. I will make women everywhere feel better by wearing sweats, jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, sneakers and flip flops with maybe an occasional pajama bottom. If I have to wear a dress, I will be on my way to church and my feet will be happy feet in my sensible but colorful flats. You should be able to duplicate my wardrobe by shopping the clearance rack at any Tar-jay, Ross Dress for Less, or Deseret Industries.
Monday, July 13, 2009
My neighbors had a yard sale over the weekend and actually made money. They are business people with thick-skins and tough-spines who also happen to be fun to go to dinner with and will do the carpool for you when you are in a bind.
I have banned myself from having yard sales because I am of the lily-livered, weak spined-kind. My husband is just as weak, maybe weaker except he is taller and can count the money we don't make better than I can because he is of the accounting kind.
In our old neighborhood our neighbors had a sale and we decided we would set out our entertainment center. As we were hoisting the thing up the stairs subconsciously working on my husband's upcoming hernia, we made a solemn pledge not to take less than $100.00. We had bought it within the last year for $300.00 and it was in great shape.
We were dragging it onto the porch when a "garage sailor" (these are people of the sail-around-on-Saturdays-from-yard-to-yard-looking-for-an-easy-kill-kind) slyly sneaks up on us and says, "I'll give you $50.00 for that. My husband and I look at each other. For some reason we are frozen, unable to speak, like deer in the headlights. We both weakly nod and my husband squeaks out an, "Okay." The shark moves in closer and asks, "Can you deliver it to my house?" We both nod, wondering how this all went so wrong.
We end up delivering the entertainment center to the guy, picking up pizza for him on the way there and dropping off his dry cleaning when we leave. Then we go home and sit in front of our t.v. which is sitting on the floor and pinky-swear that we will never attempt to sell anything again because we are just a couple of guppies.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I started reading my first adult fantasy book. That means that all the Harry Potters and Fablehavens did not count (according to my husband) even though they have a gazillion pages. Who knew?
Fantasy is really quite complicated. Just ask Brandon Sanderson, Brandon Mull or L.E. Modesitt Jr., I mean really, how do they keep track of all those characters, their secret powers, the powers of various objects, mythical creatures, the kingdoms where they live, blah, blah, blah? All of a sudden, I need a reference sheet to tell me what I just read and I'm only 100 pages into the book. My mind starts to leave—you know, the light is on but nobody’s home. I’m just wondering when he (said super fantasy hero) is going to kiss the girl. And who cares if the dragon comes back because dragons aren’t real anyways. Okay, really, I try to be scared when I read about the dragon/demon/evil power, but I just can't because, well, I don't want to blow it for you, but it's NOT real.
And that is when I had my little epiphany. As I reviewed in my wee brain all the many people I know who enjoy fantasy, they were all folks not like me. Fantasy readers aren’t right-brained creative folk, they are left brained, record keeping factual folk. I think. However, this is hard for me to decipher since most times I can’t find either side of my brain.
I shared this remarkable insight with my husband who is totally left-brained; he also functions as my left brain, and he was totally not surprised. He also happens to be a huge reader and lover of fantasy. He has always said, “Why should I read about something that could actually happen?” I always say, “Why should I read about something that could never happen?”
He explained that right brained people live in a fantasy world all the time. So, why on earth do they need to escape? While, left-brained people, like himself, live, work and breathe in the real world. That’s why they need fantasy—to escape. . .
So all this time I’ve been living in fantasy land doing fantasy laundry, making fantasy mac n’ cheese, and shopping at the fantasy grocery kingdom. I guess driving the carpool is my idea of fantasy too. Maybe I need to escape to the real world.