So, this is a vanity post. Once I get that thought out of the way and those who want to avoid my vain and pretentious ramblings move along, we can proceed.
I recently had my picture taken by an amazing friend and talented photog. She asked to take Weston and my picture and put it in the most flattering possible way that I was delighted to say yes. And the pictures were not a disappointment. Every one had something good, but there were many many that I LOVED! Better yet, she photoshopped them so that I look fantastic. Seriously, I am THRILLED! So, thanks Angie and here are my favorite few just to show off how cute Weston and I are!
So yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on the interpretation of the Second Amendment. While the interpretation was accurate, the vote was far too close. I for one am tired of liberal tromping trash trials such as this through our courts hoping that some officious judge takes it upon himself to legislate from the bench.
But, for now, I would like to address the second amendment of our US Constitution. The amendment states:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
This seems to be a fairly clear and straightforward addition to the Constitution. Our founding fathers had recently fought a war against a tyranical government and were bent on ensuring that should the government they created become out of control, the PEOPLE, that would be you and I could form militias and defend themselves. They clearly state that for a free state to exist, The People must be able to keep and bear arms.
But this amendment says even more than that. It uses the phrase, "A Well Regulated Militia". In the days of the founding fathers, well regulated did not mean monitored by the bureaucracy. It meant proficient. The Fathers stated that the men within the militia needed to be proficient with their firearms, not simply armed. I believe that this is where our country has gone astray.
As a small child, we had guns laying all over our home. I remember rifles propped up between two stools while the finish dried. I remember handguns stuffed between the mattress and the box spring. Most of all, I remember being dragged to the shooting range and being taught how to handle and proficiently shoot handguns and rifles. How many hoodlums and outlaws can say the same?
Now, the argument against the following theory is that you cannot change human nature or force parents to raise their children by your standards. To this I say B*** Sh**. If Switzerland can do it, we can do it. Our Republic is set up in such a way that we could, in theory, require every able bodied man in our Great Nation to take regular proficiency tests in their use of a firearm. This would be a grand solution and would effectively force the older generation to learn and *hopefully* pass their knowledge down. It could be part of high school graduation or required prior to a driver's test. Not a bad idea, considering cars are more dangerous.
If PARENTS in this great country would take the time to learn to shoot and then, and this is by far the most important part, if they would then take time and teach their children from very young ages, so many tragedies could be averted. There would be no curiousity about that box in the closet. There would be far fewer "gangsters" roaming the streets with a piece tucked in their waistband like some badge of honor. If parents would stop selfishly spending their spare hours at bars, clubs, divorce court, or even watching television and instead arm themselves with both knowledge and a suitable weapon to teach their children, we would see fewer broken homes, fewer drive by shootings, and far fewer criminals willing to break into homes and cars and violate women. After all, when you are hungry, it makes no sense to hunt lions when you are surrounded by sheep. Let us throw off our reputation as a nation of sheep and instead let us become the proud, fierce country that once inspired the world but now draws only ridicule.
Waking up this morning, I could never have believed what I found as I exited my house. My first rose is in bloom!!! Ladies and Gentleman, I would like to introduce you to "Blaze of Glory". Blaze is a foster child in my garden. I found him at Costco, lonely and alone in the world, save only for his identical twin (who is not as healthy). After living in Costco for more than two months, this little fighter had not succumbed to the lack of water and flourescent lighting as many many of his comrades had done. No, this little guy was growing! Despite being marked down to $5, this plant was producing new leaves and even a bud!
Now I have a soft spot in my heart for tough luck cases and I figured, Heck, if he can survive this kind of neglect, he might be able to survive MY gardening skills. So I brought him home and planted him in the only space available, which happens to be full shade. But when the going gets tough, this climbing rose gets going. I trimmed him back (And sadly cut off that first bud). Within no time I glanced outside and noticed he was covered in buds. There were at least 20 little buds starting on this poor plant. And wouldn't you know, despite the fact that he was considerably less expensive than any other rose in my garden, he was the quickest to blossom.
Now, as I went in the backyard to water my vegetable garden, I noticed that my Brigadoon rose was not to be outdone. She had managed to produce three open blossoms in the night. And I must admit that they smell AMAZING. However, it seems a little petty for her to be so competitive with my poor little orphan. She has been spoiled since she was planted with plenty of nice rotted manure and compost, banana peels, even a little fertilizer. But, this little premadonna demands to have her picture included as well, so here it is. But, the real glory of my time this year is the vegetable garden. I have never gardened before, so to me, each little seed that grew into something more has been an incredible miracle. How do the cynics justify their claim that there is no God? Have they never planted anything? I know that it was Him who touched each of those seeds and blessed them to grow. My pathetic efforts would never have been enough!!! Despite the fact that I under watered, over watered, added too much fertilizer and then forgot to fertilize again, my plants are doing just what they are supposed to. I have peas on my pea plants, tomatoes on my tomato plants, and green beans on my green bean plants. I have LOTS of blossoms on my zucchini, squash, and pumpkin plants. My raspberries and strawberries are ripening. I can't check on the carrots, so I trust they are doing what they are supposed to.
So, it seems that this little hobby is paying off. I also have many cucumbers and look forward to canning in the fall. I think that the crowning achievement of my garden would be to make and can my own spaghetti sauce (from my own tomatoes, basil, parsley etc), my own salsa & chutneys(from my own tomatoes & jalapenos), my own pickles, green beans & peas. Hopefully, Thanksgiving will be graced by pumpkin pie made from pumpkins grown in my very own yard! I am even hoping for a batch of raspberry jam from my own raspberries. And when Weston & I go to Oregon in August, hopefully we can pick our own wild blackberries & marionberries for some delicious jam to die for.
They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD— the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.
So, we all agree that I am, by far, the most spoiled wife, right? Well, Weston continues to make sure that I can lay my head on the spoiled pillow night after night.
Last week, in an attempt to make me happy, he bought me six red roses from the grocery store. Now, this is a sweet attempt, but I really don't love grocery store flowers. They are small, they never open, and they don't have any smell at all. But, I thanked him profusely, placed them in water and promptly, well, honestly, I forgot about them all together.
But, my darling husband who knows how much I LOVE flowers, noticed on Monday that I had nothing to put as the centerpiece of my dining table. The peonies have all bloomed and faded and my roses are still working on producing buds, so as far as free flowers, I am out of luck. So, considerate and sweet husband that he is, he stopped by the florist and purchased a dozen roses. They are absolutely gorgeous and I know now, for a fact, that I am extremely spoiled.
However, while I was cutting them to place them in the vase, I noticed something a little odd.
"Honey, did you buy a dozen roses?" "Yes, why?" "Well, I think that they only gave you eleven." "Are you Sure? Did you miscount?"
Now, I forgive this questioning of my elementary counting skills due to the fact that I am staring at eleven HUGE blooms. The rest of our discussion was about what the florist did with the other bloom. Is this his way of saving a little extra money in a down economy? Every twelve dozen he sells, he gets to sell one extra that is pure profit? We can't be sure (and neither Weston nor I feel comfortable calling him on shorting us one rose).
The only thing that is truly for sure is that I am the proud owner of nearly a dozen roses and the delighted wife of probably the sweetest man in the world.
So, sometime in the middle of last week (On Callie's First Birthday, in fact) Weston and I became and Uncle and Aunt respectively. Remarkably, nothing changed. Our lives are exactly the same as they were before. I guess I expected to feel something, but no. I found that I was neither happy nor sad. Perhaps it is because the event simply does not affect me at all.
Oh, sure, the gatherings with the in laws are going to be noisier and thus fewer, but other than that, my life remains unchanged.
In more eventful & important news, Callie turned a year old! My darling little puppy is growing up! She is now considered "full grown" and has tipped the scales at a miniscule 41 pounds. Now, on the one hand this is fantastic. She is still small enough that I can pick her up and carry her home. When she is curled up, she fits just right on my lap. I am sure she is grateful that she didn't get so large that she doesn't fit between me and the stove when I am cooking. However, now I get to have the following conversation three times a day every day for the rest of our lives together:
Ignorant Bystander: "Oh, what a cute puppy!!! What kind of dog is it?"
Me: "She's a lab."
IB: "Really? She's so small! How old is she?"
ME: "She's a year old"
IB: "Oh, really? What is she mixed with?"
Me: "She's pure bred, just a little smaller than usual."
IB: "Really? Are you sure? I haven't ever seen a purebred lab that color."
ME: "Yes, she is considered the darkest shade of yellow. Its called fox red."
IB: "Hmm, she looks like she might have some golden retriever and maybe something else mixed in."
ME: "No, she is 100% lab. We have her papers."
IB: "Hmm, well, ok.......?" (IB Walks away thinking I am dumber than a sack of rocks. I walk away wishing I had a sack of rocks to hit IB with)
Well, I suppose that is the price that must be paid for having the absolutely most adorable dog in the world. To all those who read, let this be a lesson to you. Dogs are cuter than babies. Except my babies, which will (of course) be cuter than any dog you might stumble across. However, puppies will trump all babies every time. Sorry, but that is life.
So here it is, my surprise! I know, its amazing isn't it!! In case you can't tell what it is, it is a VOLVO XC90 with the 5 cylinder engine (gets SUHWEET gas milage for an SUV) and AWD. It is black with tan interior and I am in LOVE with it!
In fact, my in laws were able to drive in it before I did and liked it so much that they just bought one for themselves this morning!!! How exciting!!
I found it on the autotrader website (eat that, Ringo) and it was WAY cheaper than the ones at the dealership, lower miles, and overall just in better shape! We got it about $8k under the book price and about $6k less than the one we wanted up in SLC. And it rides like a cloud!!!
It was in AZ, so Weston flew down, bought it, and drove it back up to me! I am so so happy with him and he has won TONS of super husband points to be redeemed at a later date. Anyway, if you want to ride like a baller, give me a call and I will happily come pick you up. As long as you aren't too far away. Or if I am not busy. Ok, how about, you come over here?
This headline is what several businesses around town might be thinking this morning. I feel a little guilty for taking them, but then I think "do banks clip coupons?". Maybe they do. Maybe they feel the value of the dollar more keenly than anywhere else. However, after consulting my mom, she agrees that it probably would simply have made it into today's garbage and the coupons would have been lost.
Yesterday morning I woke up to go grab a morning paper and found myself looking at several lonely papers laying along the side of the road. A doctor's office, a couple of banks, and a physical therapists office all had their sunday news sitting there, ignored. So, I pulled over and rescued them. I still went and purchased my own paper but I soon had 5 copies. I went through each one and clipped all of the coupons. Then I rolled the news back up, sans coupons, and delivered them back where I found them. I know, I am a bit compulsive. But, I did save $$$$!
Then, after strategizing how I would most efficiently do my shopping today, I hit Walgreens at 8 am. Unfortunately, someone MORE savage than I am hit it first. All the sale toothpaste, batteries, and kleenex were gone. Well, I will try again on Thursday, I guess. Then, I went to Wal-Mart (not my favorite place but the Price Match, so oh well) and combined all the sales from around town with the coupons I savagely clipped. I saved $30 there! Yay!
Now I am at home, cleaning up, hanging out, and generally relaxing while the snow comes down in big fluffy white flakes outside. I am confused about how it is April and the snowflakes are the size of my head! It has been Spring for two weeks! I guess the upside is that it isn't sticking!
Tomorrow Weston comes home with my big surprise. I am way way way excited! He has sent me pictures and I just could not be any happier. I will post pics later. I will say to the world, however, that I have the BEST husband and I am the MOST spoiled wife. If you dispute these facts, we can have a contest, but I promise you I will win.
So, here we go again. I am about to drive Weston to the airport so he can fly far far away and do all sorts of fun things without me. Now, I am not jealous of this trip. In fact, I was invited but decided that the relationship with the in laws was better from about 600 miles away, at least right now. That is a totally different story though.
The story I am telling right now goes something like this. Once upon a time in a land just a little bit southeast of Provo there was a girl happily (ok, usually happily) married to Prince Charming. However, Prince Charming had many extended family member's and with a wedding every third weekend, family business required him to travel far far away to appear in photographs and deliver gifts and good wishes to the new bride(S) and groom(S). With his frequent traveling and his mother, the Queen, attempting to fit the entire family in a palace barely the size of a minivan (ok, fine, the size of something a bit larger than a minivan-maybe an F450 van?), the girl decided to stay home in her own palatial cottage and "rusticate". This left her free time that she didn't know what to do with, so she began a new string of hobbies....
And that is where I am at right now. In fact, my Prince Charming is in the backyard as we speak building me a planter box for the new vegetable garden that I plan on having this year. I think this is his way of saying he doesn't appreciate that I have saved numerous egg cartons, filled them with dirt, and put them in front of every south facing window in an attempt to start my seeds. Also, he likes fresh, yummy vegetables.
I have also gotten to watch nearly all of the films that he keeps bumping to the bottom of the netflix queue while trying to convince me that he got emails stating those films were all "long wait"....yeah, I'll believe that Dirty Dancing is "long wait" when someone points out a flying pig. But I got to watch three BBC 6 hour period dramas (North & South, Wives & Daughters, & The Way We Live Now), cleaned my house, mined the internet for all sorts of "work from home" opportunities that I know I will never take, and spending money I would normally not spend (Hello, Shopbop!)
However, this weekend I have to be good. Weston is actually planning on bringing me home a BIG surprise. I know what it is, but I will still pretend to be surprised. In fact, I will be ecstatic!!! Lets just hope the measurements on the internet are correct!!!!
Anyway, if you're bored this weekend, let me know! We can watch chick flicks, go shopping, or just hang out, guy and guilt free!!!
So apparently dear husband has given up on this blog, but I won't leave you hanging. I know that you all wait with bated breath for our next entry. Knowing how we are doing and what we are doing is central to your happiness and ongoing existence, right? In that case I highly sggest that you get a telephoto lens and start stalking us, because it seems that our blog entries are a bit hit and miss.
However, for today you are in luck.
Saturday, DH and I decided (ok, I decided, DH agreed after several doors slammed and he was locked out of the bedroom for awhile) that I need a new car. OK, Fine. I am willing to admit that I WANT a new car, but the need phase is just not that far away. In 2007 We put a TON of money into keeping my 1995 Nissan Maxima running, and while it is in fact still running, finding my self meeting two truck drivers to tow my car to the shop more than once in a 12 month period is just no fun.
So new car shopping we went. I have been doing research for awhile so I had narrowed down my choices, but kept my "dream car" at the back of my head as too expensive and never even checked the price. Well, what do you know! We looked at the price of my dream car and realized that it just isn't that far out of the realm of possibility! And even better, there was one at a dealership up at point of the mountain that had one just like I wanted in stock. So, we call, make sure it is still there, load in the maxima, with Weston gimping it due to an unfortunate collision with a door, and set off to do battle with used car sales-people.
So we met with Ringo Delgado at the Ken Garff Volvo dealership in Southtowne and test drove a similar car since the one we wanted to test drive hadn't even been cleaned up yet. So far so good. We drive around the block, enjoying the smooth ride, the great acceleration, the comfortable seats and decide its a great car. We will buy it RIGHT THEN if Ringo will take 10% off the price of the car. Reasonable, right? Any used car shop will take off 10% to sell a car. WRONG! Not only will Ringo NOT take off 10%, he tries to charge us the full list price rather than the internet price we brought in. WTF? The internet price was ~$22k. The warranty we wanted was ~$2k. Our offer was this. Include the warranty in the $22k internet price and we will pay the taxes, tags, and licensing out of pocket and we drive this car home as soon as its ready. Reasonable? Apparently not.
Then he has the nerve to try and get us to look at mitsubishi. I will look at the mitsubishis when cows grow wings and fly over my house. This is actually the 2nd time we have driven up to Ken Garff to look at a car. The last time the guy flat out REFUSED to show us the car we had come up to see and tried to get us to look at mitsubishis as well. I guess the moral of my story is DO NOT buy from car salesman. When we bought Weston's truck, we purchased it from an individual off of the internet and that was an EASY, GREAT transaction. The F150 was in perfect condition, exactly as advertised, and the haggling was nil, he had a good price listed, we agreed to it, and VOILA! we have a new truck. And, we saved the sales tax on it as well.
My DM says that it is because Weston and I look 16. Ok, maybe 18 now. Either way, the phrase young and stupid entered her mind. But I guess it doesn't matter. I am sure that someone out there has a certified (with warranty) 2004 Volvo XC90 with the 2.5 L 5 Cylinder engine in an AWD that they want to part with for a price we can agree on, so we will keep looking. But it will be an icy day in you know where before we buy it from Ken Garff Volvo.
While I imagine that this particular blog has received very few hits, I think that perhaps it should be maintained. After all, when I google my name I want something to come up. With that in mind, I think I shall grace the canon of the internet with our goings on. Life is fairly short and sweet and we should record our minor successes in life. In January, I awoke on a sunday mornng to find that my refrigerator was standing in a shallow pool of water that most definitely had NOT been invited in the house. Being an industrious house wife who prides herself on a sterile kitchen, I promptly mopped up the mess. Then, like most christians, I got dressed and ready for church (after putting dinner in the crockpot of course, but that is a different blog).
Well wouldn't you know that upon arriving home from church a shallower, more puddle like pool had appeared under the refrigerator. Also an uninvited guest, I called for Mr. Darling to assist me with explaining to my new visitor that neither he nor any of his kind were welcome in my home. We also examined the refrigerator and freezer and made a ghastly discovery. It was warm inside. Not balmy lets put on our swimsuits warm, but definitely not the antarctic of our house. It seems that title had fallen on the master closet for the time being (which apparently has NO insulation and is directly on the corner of the house over our garage, also another story)
With a few quick calls, we ascertained that our refrigerator was not going to be freezing our food, cooling our milk, or keeping our ice cream at exactly the perfect stage between rock hard and too soft until we made some repairs. In my fury at our refrigerator. I ordered him out of my house. He was thus banished to the garage and the kind people at Mountainland Design took pity on me and a new refrigerator was ordered. Only, it wasn't. Not quite anyway.
I was most clear on the fact that a white refrigerator would be necessary to cool my food to the proper temperatures while still adorning my kitchen with the proper degree of panache. Apparently Whirlpool had other ideas. They must have felt a black refrigerator was a better choice, since they sent that instead. Of course, I am not one to be stepped on by the man or have my decisions made by a multi-million dollar corporation, so I promptly sent it back.
10 days of no refrigerator does make one appreciate modern conveniences. On the 10th day of coming up with meal plans that involved nothing cooled or frozen, my refrigerator appeared in my driveway with two very large gentleman to deliver it. Happily, my new refrigerator has vowed that for the rest of our lives together, (which will probably only be a few years where it is covered under warranty), that no further puddles will appear in my kitchen.