Tuesday, July 31, 2007

They Laughed, They Cried, They Spilled Their Guts

Recently, I've had the opportunity to interview three fellow bloggers. The interviews were penetrating and personal. All I can say is, Barbara Walters look out.

If you did not follow the links in the Comments you may have missed them. So be certain to read:

1. Why Bart can set up the sound system at your next wedding, as well as perform the ceremony?

2. How Dan saved a friend's life, and why he seems to be saving face in his mysterious picture.

3. And finally, Pope Terry, whom we thought was the most obscure blogger on the Internet, tells all from his exact birthdate to his real profession. Heavens! Is that enough information to steal his identity?

If you too would like to be interviewed, it is not too late. Drop me a note here!

Monday, July 30, 2007

This is Me Being Humble

I am always right. Not sometimes right or even usually right. Always right. The sooner DH comes to accept this, the happier we'll both be.

I am so painful accurate in fact, that my personal slogan is, "You can agree with me or you can be wrong." I am never wrong.

Until a few days ago...

I mistakenly divulged that my sister Kim had kissed a blind date, on the first date, in the parking lot of a restaurant, after lunch. When she disagreed, I solicited back up from my sisters, most of whom agreed with me. But we recognized Kim had a reputation to uphold so she was probably denying the occurrence, though she knew for certain that it had happened.

And I feel for her. After all, the most recent blind date might be shocked and appalled at her promiscuity. Or jealous, wondering where he went wrong that he did not receive a likewise tender show of affection.

Then I spoke with another sister and slowly came to grips with the fact that I could have been mistaken.

The fellow was initially a blind date. And it was a kiss initiated by her. In a restaurant parking lot. But it might not have been a first date at a Mexican restaurant, but perhaps a second date at a pancake establishment? Or something similar.

I hate it when I wrong. I really do. But since I was somewhat incorrect in the details, I am sorry.
Kim, are we still friends?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Blessed Birth

Less than two weeks ago, my sister Christine visited her obstetrician's office early in the morning for a 39-week prenatal check up. After the examination, the doctor, concerned with signs of imminent labor, combined with a history of quick labors, suggested an induction for Christine later that day. This would help assure a birth in the hospital instead of home, or somewhere along the way to the hospital.

With the invitation accepted, Christine went home with hopeful preparations to not spend another uncomfortable night pregnant. Apparently her body was thinking much the same as the doctor, but a little ahead of schedule. Within a couple hours Christine's contractions were so regular and strong she and her husband Stephen went to the hospital.

After some monitoring the contractions had seemed to slow down and Christine was about to be sent home. However, when the nurses noticed that she was due back into the hospital for an induction in only an hour and half, they gave her the option to stay, which she accepted.

By early evening her labor was intense again. After the third hard contraction, the baby's heartbeat stopped. With alarms loudly buzzing, nurses scrambled to move Christine in another position in hopes of recovering the weak to nonexistent heartbeat.

When those efforts failed, suddenly a flurry of medical personnel entered the room. Frantically unplugging cords, the doctor ordered them to the operating room for an emergency C-section. With no time for a hand squeeze or a kiss on the forehead, Christine looked up at Stephen. Then with tears forming in her green eyes, she was whisked away.

"Faster! Faster!" the doctor shouted as they raced her bed down the hall. Once in the operating room, Christine calmly obeyed the anesthesiologist's directions. "One," he counted, "Deep breath." Her stomach was scrubbed with a large swab soaked in iodine. "Two. Deep breath." She could feel cutting, but strangely no pain. "Three...Deep...."

A couple hours later Christine awoke in her room to learn that within one minute of entering the operating room, 7 pound 5 ounce Lincoln was born. After careful observation he was brought to her and Stephen. Healthy and perfect in every way.

From a discussion with the doctor they realized that Lincoln's umbilical cord had been wrapped around his body and then again around his arm. The contractions had restricted his blood flow and oxygen. In addition, the umbilical cord was unusually short. According to the physician, Lincoln surely would have never survived a normal vaginal birth. A labor that began at home rather than in the hospital would have been a frightening unknown.

We don't drive expensive cars or enjoy vacation homes in the mountains. But we are rich in blessings. Death's early grasp has not always stayed its hand from our precious family members. But this month, we were fortunate. And for that we are forever grateful.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Like the Warbling of Birds on the Heather

Ours is a home of love and kindness. Where we oft speak kind words to each other.

Which is why I was so surprised to see the following message glued to D2's bedroom door.

Upon asking her what it says, she replied, as if it were obvious, "Don't come in."

I did not think she was eager for Dot, whoever that may be, to enter her private sancuary. However, I am eager to get her some additional spelling lessons.

Friday, July 27, 2007

For Clarification or More Confusion

If you have not had the opportunity, please visit Grettir's blog for Part One of his side of The Date story.

But for clarity's sake, since some of you may already be a bit confused, I am Debbie, Kim's sister. Not to be confused with Debbie (aka DW), Kim's sister-in-law that coerces (tricks?) Grettir into going on a blind date.

Although I do know of Grettir. And although I did date that Debbie's (Kim's sister-in-law's) husband Pat (Kim's brother-in-law) once. Before he married that Debbie, and before I married DH, of course.

So in another world, that Debbie might have been me Debbie. But it’s not.

That's me with DH in the picture above. No pics of the other Debbie right off. But you'll know who she is because she is the one not pictured here.

Just when one is trying to fall asleep for the night, while wondering how to get a picture for the blog, suddenly a light comes on and she remembers she has the perfect picture in her computer already. How did I not remember I had this picture of my sister's sister-in-law Debbie and her husband Pat?

Are you getting all this? There will be a test later.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lentil Lover?

Yesterday DH worked late so I made a vegetarian dish of lentils with carrots, tomatoes, and onions for dinner. To my surprise, later that evening, defiant meat eating DH came in the bedroom and commented on the leftover lentils he had found in the refrigerator. "They were great!" he remarked.

"Sweetie, please lie down. Here, take this cool cloth and place it on your forehead. Do you need an Ibuprofen? Dear, are you sure you are feeling all right?"

The Date


Many of you have long since given up on seeing another post on this blog any time soon. You call me up and complain about how tired you are of visiting http colon backslash backslash uncommonnotions dot blogspot dot com. Day after day. And to your dismay there has been nothing to reveal but the same boring post that has been there for some unbearable length of time. One without a picture even. To you, should you have the heart to try one more time and then read this, may I suggest a Bloglines account.

To those of you who were alerted to this new post via the amazing invention of web-based news aggregators for browsing weblogs and other news feeds, or by dumb luck, welcome. Plop down in your comfy chair adjacent to the fireplace, grab a cup of cocoa and your favorite cat. Spread that afghan over your legs, and curl up to a romance novel. Not one about a nurse per se, but a romance novel nonetheless. Hold that thought, no need to throw an extra log on the fire just yet. This romantic tale is very short. For now, anyway. Let me start at the beginning.

Once upon a time in a land called Orem, I worked at a company called...(I can use first person here, because I am not in the love story. This is only the Forward. Sorry, did I lead you astray? Let me clarify, the romantic lead in this little number is my baby sister. Ah, yes, DH exhales slowly in a sigh a relief.)

Anyway, no matter to the name of the company, what is mildly important to the story is that at this company there was a fellow employee named Grettir. Of course, that was not the name by which I had come to know him, but it is his Internet veil of secrecy name. So for his future career and his innocent family's sake I will comply. Now Grettir seemed to be a fine employee. One that did his work well and never stole office supplies.

What...Uh, huh...Oh, sorry. According to my sister this is supposed to be her side of the story, yet it is sounding a great deal like my side of the story. Silly me. It being my blog and all, apparently I was a little presumptuous.

Now why this tale cannot take place on eHarmony, or LDSSingles I have no idea at all. But for whatever reason it is being played out here. In blogland.

So now we'll begin at my sister's beginning. We'll call her Kim, as that is her name and she is not well enough versed in 14th century Icelandic literature to have a better nickname. Kim from New York state was visiting her favorite sister in the whole wide world. She was having a lovely time in Utah, shopping at IKEA, hiking above Sundance, and eating for free at Bajio Mexican Grill as much as possible.

Then Kim's sister-in-law (Yes, Kim has been married, but her husband died 2 1/2 years ago. Since this is a love story and not a tragedy we'll tell that drama another time.) So anyway, Kim has a sister-in-law DW (we call her that for somewhat obvious reasons, none of which have anything to do with the PBS children's show Arthur). DW thought Kim should be set up on a blind date. Kim's favorite sister in the whole wide world agreed with Kim that this was probably an inefficient way to spend her few short days in Utah. After all, there were still Nertz games to play.

Nevertheless DW can be very persuasive. With a specific person in mind for Kim's vacation blind date, she petitioned that there was this poor soul of a divorced man who had not been on a date since before iPods were invented. Kim, having a tender heart replied, "Then why would I want to go on a date with him?"

Raving about the potential blind date's sense of humor, DW tried to convince Kim that such a set up would not be too painful. Wisely still hesitant, Kim inquired as to the potential blind date's appearance. Because Kim is young and beautiful, she has a right to have certain standards as to outward beauty in addition to standards for a sense of humor.

DW gave what was definitely a wrong answer. She explained that she is the "worst person to ask" regarding whether or not someone is, shall we say, cute. DW said she gets to know a person and they are so wonderful, yada yada yada, she doesn't even know if they (that is the potential blind date specifically) is good-looking or not.

With this bright, glaring red flag, Kim was understandably more than hesitant to commit to a date. Then DW played the pity card. Poor broken-hearted potential blind date man. Simply needs a little outing. One short date to get him back in the saddle again.

"Make it an afternoon lunch," was Kim's final and only offer.

Kim's favorite sister in the whole wide world remarked that Kim had better things to do with her time than spend her precious few remaining hours in Utah with what was probably an old, white haired, half bald and obviously most uncomely man. Those were her words exactly. But Kim is always one to help the poor, sick and ugly. So she kept the commitment.

In hindsight the sob story portrayed by DW was very convincing and has most likely worked for this poor man in obtaining numerous "first-in-a-long-time" dates. It's sheer genius really.

Sporting a darling black shirt and white Bermuda shorts, Kim drove to the specified restaurant at the specified time. When what to her wondering eyes appeared "tall, dark and handsome" Grettir.

This is where I, the favorite sister in the whole wide world, get a little vague. Mostly because the details have yet to be divulged. But I am sure Kim will fill us in on all of them in the Comments section where she is very good at taking over my blog posts.

What is known is that Kim ordered Southwestern Egg Rolls and something else. That she gabbed for nearly two hours about things in hindsight she realizes should never be divulged on first dates. If at all. To Kim's credit, she did not kiss the man good-bye in the parking lot, like she has been known to do on other blind lunchtime first dates.

Finally, after paying the bill, Grettir had to drag himself away, back to his place of employment, where he was most likely questioned as to why at the late hour of 3:30 PM he was returning from lunch. Though certainly he made up some excuse like having to stop by the office of the Executive Vice President of International Global Operational Marketing Accounting and securing an insecure website router Internet connection breakage, or something.

When Kim finally returned to her favorite sister in the whole wide world at 3:30 PM, there was no time to play Nertz. Only time to discuss the surprising fact that her favorite sister in the whole wide world used to know Grettir, and that Grettir was not white-haired, balding and ugly.
Then it was to the computer where Kim made a quick stop to Grettir's LDSSingles profile. On this website, it is important to note that Kim is slyly masquerading as a bald, overweight pizza delivery person.

There was also a little time to visit Grettir's blog. The link to which should be included here, but the author of this tale, fears loss of readership. For when you see a blog more well-written than my own, you may never return. Okay here is is. Okay, okay, here.

Kim visited and commented on the well-written blog. Which comment elicited other comments. Very soon there was more chatter than appears typical for the well written blog. Are Kate, Pam, Chris, or even Chronicler potential or previous dates of Grettir? Maybe some of them are not even single or female. Kim does not know and doesn't seem to care, unlike her favorite sister in the whole wide world, who is concerned that Kim provide Grettir with some privacy.

Not at all bothered by what others may think, Kim has challenged Grettir to post a summary of the date on his blog. Which she is certain at some point in the near future Grettir will do. In the meantime, Grettir is milking the situation, enjoying the increased traffic to his blog as Kim and soon all of you will be repeatedly checking in. Searching for some sort of reply.

Kim, committed (threatened?) to post her own version of the date. Not on her blog mind you. For why would she need a blog when she has the blog of her favorite sister in the whole wide world. So that is why you are reading this here.

The End.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Interview

Hello, all! I'm back. Or at least trying to be. In an effort to get me back in the swing of things, Chewy was kind enough to interview me. Our conversation went as follows:

Lunch hour ran a little long as I wrote this. Your blog is often about your loving family. Your writing is witty and uplifting. Here are five questions I propose to you. - Chewy

1. Why did you start blogging? What were your expectations? Are your expectations being fulfilled?

My life seems difficult right now. I started blogging to help me realize the joy I experience in life and to take my mind off my perceived troubles. Blogging has helped me do both, but has taken on a entire life of its own that I never expected.

2. I guess one doesn't need to cook to own a restaurant. (ha-ha) How did you get into the fast-casual Mexican restaurant business? What dish is most favored by your speedy-easygoing customers?

Neither DH nor I are a chef extraordinaire, nor did we ever expect to end up in the restaurant business. We have a good friend that started the first Bajio Mexican Grill in Provo, Utah. Dave encouraged and helped us to open franchises in neighboring Salt Lake County.

Our customers are easygoing. How did you know? Quite simply, they are the best!

We are famous for our Chicken Green Chile Salad as well as our Shrimp Tacos. Both of which used to be DH's favorites until he started smelling and cooking them, all day, everyday, for more than two years. I recommend that if you really like a restaurant, don't ever open up a franchise of that brand. Unless you are willing to lose your favorite dine out spot.

3. Seems kids always get embarrassed by their parents. How have you embarrassed your children lately? (You can ask the kids)

I embarrassed S1 yesterday, when I told DH that S1 shared a car with a cute girl during Driver's Ed. S1 immediately asked what made me think she was cute (since I had not personally seen her and he thought he had not indicated such). I said, "A mother know these things." The real answer is that he gave her coupons from his wallet to Bajio after she heard a radio advertisement in the car and made a positive comment about the restaurant. S1 doesn't come out of his shell for just anyone.

I embarrassed D1 at Girls Camp with 42 of her closest church friends. After a great deal of coercing I stood up during evening campfire and sang "No Bananas", complete with goofy actions.

4. My nephew, 12, is at the age when he is starting to spread his wings of independence. Have any of your brood gone a little too far in their test flights?

When D2 was only 18 months old, she learned how to open the front door. With older children going in and out, locking the door was not always practical and child safety door knobs only succeeded in keeping everyone but D2 from being able to open the door.

Early one Saturday morning my doorbell rang. After struggling a bit with the baby proof door knob, I tentatively answered the door, still in my pajamas.

To my surprise there stood my elderly neighbor from the end of the street. He was holding D2 who was in in her pajamas. Apparently she had crawled out of her crib, gone downstairs, opened the door and taken a stroll. My neighbor and his wife were enjoying breakfast on their deck and fortunately saw her toddle by.

I was immensely embarrassed at my apparent poor mothering. But not half as embarrassed as I was two hours later when during D2's supposed nap, my door bell rang and the entire scene was replayed.

5. If money were no object, what would you (and your family) do with the rest of your life?

This is an easy one. We would buy a terrific houseboat, and spend our life cruising on Lake Powell. Well, at least our springs, summers, and falls.

I REALLY want to interview you. Do YOU want to be interviewed?

Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


I am going to be away on vacation for the next little while. But it won't be the relaxing lounging type pictured above. My vacation this weekend will involve DH and I driving with five children in the car for at least 20 hours. My vacation changes next week (for better or worse is yet to be seen) when I (sans DH) take 40 girls ages 12-17 camping with a bunch of dirt and without electricity, refrigeration, or showers. For five days. Now you all wish you were me, don't you?

While I'm gone you can read:

One of my favorite posts

The three posts with the most comments

My first post

DH's favorite post

My brother's favorite post

My brother's least favorite post (Please remember, b., I wrote this before I met you)

I'll catch up on all your blogs after the 15th!

Monday, July 2, 2007

I Don't Cook

I'd like to think I am a nurturing mother, but I do not do typical nurturing mother things, like make meals. In fact I'm very bad at that. I do try to make one or two meals a week. I know, that's pathetic.

But I don't want my children to starve either. This is why they are taught critical survival skills at a very young age. See, I do love them.

By age two my children know how to make at least three meals for themselves:

1. Breakfast: Cold cereal with milk (very popular)
2. Lunch: Toast with butter
3. Dinner: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich (not very popular)

D2 was an exceptional child and went beyond the basics. She learned how to make her own microwave popcorn as well. I did not consider this a possibility for S1, D1 and S2 when they were only two years-old, because the potential for burning the popcorn was too high. With that type of liability, the risk far out weighed the benefit.

But when D2 was a baby, we got a new over-the-stove microwave/hood combo. It had all the bells and whistles (at least by our standards) like a single touch, perfectly popped, "POPCORN" button.

So when D2 expressed an interest in making, or at least an interest in eating the buttery salty puffs, I took the initiative to show her how to make it herself. It does not seem easy, but at the tender age of two, she quickly mastered all the steps. Hunger can do amazing things.

In case any of you are as negligent about feeding your children as I am, here was my training outline. Please feel free to copy this for incidental home use.

1. Push bar stool to pantry and stand on bar stool seat.
2. Take one package of popcorn out of Costco-sized bulk microwave popcorn box that for some odd reason is kept conveniently on the top shelf.
3. Remove plastic wrapper (this step is important).
4. Move bar stool to microwave oven.
5. Make sure stove top is not hot (this is a crucial step).
6. Climb on bar stool and then onto stove to reach microwave completely.
7. Open microwave door.
8. Insert bag of microwave popcorn. (It has a side which the bag specifies needs to be "up" - This is not so important as long as you don't mind butter dripping out of the bag and all over interior of microwave, which Mom doesn't mind at all. Mom is okay with cleaning, but not with cooking, remember?)
9. Close microwave door.
10. Push "POPCORN" button.
11. Let microwave pop the corn while standing away from front of microwave door (because Mom thinks that causes cancer).
12. When microwave dings and lights goes off, open microwave door.
13. Carefully open bag (another important safety step).
14. Eat your meal without bothering Mom.