teaching our kids to watch out

While buying pretty board books and egg-cup pin cushions and other local goodies today, a good friend and I talked about how all families are crazy in their own ways, and that we should just try the best we can to pass on what we know without inflicting too much psychological damage on our children. She sent me here for a bloggy example of a mother trying to pass on important advice to her daughter.

I don't have a daughter yet (and, no, internet—this is not an announcement that I will anytime soon), but I can imagine the stress involved in showing your kids how to watch out for things/people/places that will hurt them. Which is part of the reason I like the board book we found:

Seahorses, fish, shells, and boats: all standard characters in an ocean. But urchins are often overlooked—even though they're ubiquitous in the part of the ocean that a baby might become acquainted with.

This page reminds me of the time my husband and I went swimming in a little ocean cove, without realizing that the tide was going out of shallow water. So many urchins had set up camp in that cove that we couldn't just stand up and walk out of the water without cutting up our feet. So we had to make little swimmy breaks for shore when a wave came in. We were so very, dangerously close to those urchins.

When I DO have kids, I want them to know about urchins from the time they chew on their books. You know, so they can watch out.

No Swine Flu for me

I felt really sick yesterday, but thought nothing of it, until I read my cousin's blog. He's a doctor, and he and his son got swine flu. I planned on babysitting my nephew visiting my grandma on Friday, and I didn't want to accidentally kill them.

My nephew and his pet lion

I'm averse to going to the doctor because I'm a man. Dave Barry said something to the effect that a man won't go to the doctor unless he has a gunshot wound, and then only at the persistent nagging of his wife. Then he'll go to the doctor, and the doctor will say, "You have a gunshot wound." And the man will say, "That's what I thought. I'll just put some more duct tape on it."

I called the health center to make an appointment, they told me to just come in. It was closing soon so I hurried in. The receptionist said that they're closed. I told them that I was going to babysit my nephew, and wanted to find out if I had swine flu. She smiled but just wanted me to go away. Instead of being assertive and saying, "So you'd rather have my nephew die from swine flu than be inconvenienced?" I just walked away.

Rant: If health care were a local issue, instead of a federal issue, if you knew your doctor, he wouldn't turn you away at the door. But the health care system has little incentive to care about you because the majority of their money comes from insurance companies.

I stopped by the health center for a swine flu test. The nurse stuck a half a foot of q-tip up my nose. I'd never had anything go up that far into my nostril. It brought tears to my eyes. She scrapped the back of my brain and brought the q-tip back out.

It came back negative. Hurray. I just have normal flu. I posted on my other blog about the origins of swine flu.

Kathy has taken really good care of me.

we like our new camera (and our new sister)

How convenient that we finally replaced our broken camera less than a week before my brother and his girlfriend got engaged. On the night he proposed, we took lots of pretty pictures of her—which isn't tough because she's gorgeous. She's also a lovely human being, but I don't know how to take a picture of that.

i sometimes wear shoes that are bad for me

And when I do so, my husband protests.

Him: "I'm racist against high heels."
Me: "High heels aren't a race."
Him: "A race of shoe."

Lucky Chick and our Farmer

Remember that chick we found on Easter morning? We went to visit the farm he's staying on.
I'm not sure which one he is.

This is where we buy our eggs, honey, and sometimes our leafy greens.
She recycles leaves into compost.
The Llama scares away raccoons.
This is the biggest turkey I've ever seen.
Here's Julie, our farmer.
Anyone is welcome to walk around the farm—just let her know you'd like to come. It's just 3 well-managed acres. I recommend you buy some eggs. She has chicken or duck eggs.
You have to eat three apples today to get the same nutrients that one apple would have given you 50 years ago. This is because agribusinesses have increased yield at the expense of nutrition. Chemical fertilizers make the plants grow, but they don't give them nutrition that healthy soil used to.

Eating is a political act.


Before we left for a family reunion in Idaho this weekend, we both had a strange moment when we actually contemplated bringing our laptops. We would have no internet connection up in the mountains, and probably no time to work on any projects that required computers. But, still. We almost took them—just in case.

Fortunately, our lapse in judgment didn't last long enough for us to actually pack them—the laptops stayed home. And can I just say how nice it was to ditch all things electronic (the internet, cell phone service, tv, etc.) and just BE?

The one gadget I did allow myself was a camera. We replaced our broken one and the new one took some pretty sweet pictures of the fam this weekend. I don't know how to load said pictures onto my computer yet, so I haven't posted any. I'm just going to prolong this semi-unplugged weekend a little longer and worry about pictures tomorrow.

PS: Yes, I realize how silly I am. I'm on the computer right now, writing about how great it was to be off the computer. Looks like I could only handle the joy for 3 whole days.

Money in the Bank

We just had an Ensign story happen. Kathy won 1st place, and I 3rd, in the David O. McKay essay contest a couple of months ago. We just got our reward, and decided to buy a nice camera and a blendtec blender.

We found out that we wouldn't have enough money to buy both if we wanted to pay our tithing. We decided to pay tithing anyway. A few days later we found a better deal on the blender, so now we can do both.

Warm fuzzies.

Also, our bank, Mountain America Credit Union, is awesome.

I didn't check how much money was in the bank when I paid our insurance. The check bounced, I needed over $100 more than I had. My bank automatically took that extra 100 bucks from my credit card and paid the bill, and didn't charge me any fees.

Also our landlord lost our deposit, so I went in to cancel the check. Guess how much they charged me? Nothing.

And I can pay off our credit card online, on the same page that my checking and savings are on. It's really easy. I sound like an infomercial.

We'll post more videos soon of our new blender. You can blend stuff without water. So you can make snowcones out of ice, and you can knead dough, and you can make soup without using the stove, and you can destroy the evidence. Yep, awesome.

summer food is hard to burn

If I've ever talked to you about cooking, I've probably mentioned that I only know how to make 6 things. This is not entirely true.

I cook in spurts. I get excited about the kitchen, collect new recipes, experiment, and end up with a series of 6 or so items that I love. I then make them all the time until my husband gets sick of them. And then, because those 6 have worn out their welcome, I retire them long enough to forget they're still in my cooking repertoire.

Fortunately, I've stumbled upon a series that may last a while. And once we tire of these recipes, I probably won't forget them easily. Here are some of the happiest summer foods I've found. They're packed with vegetables (read: good for you), but rather than tasting like obligatory veggie servings you must choke down, they're tasty and light.

Click on the links and eat up:

  • Adrienne's frittata. You can't mess it up—provided you remember that broilers work quickly. I didn't. The first time.
  • Deja's burger relish. I haven't actually tried making black bean hamburgers (sorry, Dej—perhaps in the next 6 recipes). But I did pair the relish up with some apple-gouda-cheese-chicken brats we found at costco. The combination was amazing.
  • Strawberry salad. I lied. This one isn't new, but I love it in the summer. The link is as close to my recipe as I can find. I usually just use Brianna's poppy seed dressing instead of making my own (I'm lazy). I've also left out the red onion before and nothing in my kitchen has exploded.
  • And, the most repeatedly made recipes of the bunch: Lara's yummy pita dips. The woman who gave me these is so gourmet that she knows where to buy pomegranate molasses (and which brand is best!). Obviously, I worried I would mess something up. Not a chance. The explanations are so clear that even I could make these foods. (I made them again tonight. I'm eating them right now.) Be sure to let the bulgur sit long enough to soften. And don't be surprised when your mother-in-law calls to say she ate the extra you left at her house for all three meals the next day.
Well, there's summer for you. I hope it's yummy.