Friday, May 21, 2010

Phineas and Ferb, Whatcha doin'?

I wish Phineas and Ferb were here. I really need them to build a Springer Thought Reader. My dog Sparky is exhibiting some behavior that I really do not understand and is driving me crazy trying to figure it out.

Now I have given up trying to understand Sparky chasing imaginary birds, sleeping under an old Ford truck hood instead of in a comfy dog house, and many of the other things he does that baffle me, but this latest obsession is too goofy.
When we got Sparky, he did not like the water. Not at all. After he fell in the pool-twice-, I knew he had to be coaxed into it enough to learn how to get out when he tumbled in. So with a lot of treats and pulling him in, we got him past his initial hatred of water. Soon he liked it. Then he loved it--as long as his face didn't get wet. So imagine my surprise when he started diving under the water and just swimming underwater. Over and over again. He'd spend the entire time we were in the pool doing that. He exhausts himself; he never rests. He is like a hairy little dishrag when pool time is over. Soon I realized that he was diving after one of the "eyes" where the water comes into the pool. Thinking he liked the feeling of the water flow, I turned off the pump, but it made no difference. He still had his head underwater. He still dove and dove seeminly after the "eye" in the side of the pool.
He perches at the edge of the pool and sticks one paw in and tries to reach the "eyes."
What is Sparky doing? Why does he dive and dive and dive? What is so fascinating about the water coming into the pool? Why does he care about it this year and never took notice of it before? He is obsessed with his task. A Springer driven by some need to explore the depths. I know that if Phineas and Ferb would just decide this is that they were going to do today, that the mystery would be solved.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


I read Colt's blog about the Beatles last night and it spurred me on to actually write one that has been floating around in my head ever since the hype for Beatles Rock Bank began--and yes the hype worked on me. I bought the whole damn Beatles Rock Band package even though I already own Rock Band. Of course Colt urged that insane move so he could have the Rock Band instruments I already have. But that's not what I came to talk about.
I came to talk about what a difference the Beatles made in my life. I was one of the millions whose life was changed after that first Ed Sullivan Show. I was in the 5th Grade and I think I can truthfully say I was St George's most ardent Beatlemaniac. I came early to a love of popular music. A Ricky Nelson LP (Look that term up those of you under 40) for Christmas when I was in the first grade; my dad bought Bobby Darin and for some reason I was drawn to The Lettermen and Frankie Laine, but the Beatles, now that was a whole new thing--obsession. I had it all: posters that ruined the paint on my bedroom walls, Beatle dolls, a lunch box, a pillow. All kinds of stuff that would be worth a small fortune now. I did take excellent care of all the vinyl and have lovingly passed it down to my son who thankfully appreciates this kind of crap even more than I do. I loved it all and I lived and breathed Beatles for a long, long time.
Somehow I'd forgotten how much I really truly loved them until the Rock Bank hype. It's not even just that I loved them and their music. It's that they taught me so much.
It was the Beatles that first had me actually listening to words of songs for story and meaning because they wrote their own material. As I assess the artists that I went on to love, the ones that I really admire are all singer/songwriters: Elton John, Toby Keith, Jimmy Buffett to name the BIG THREE in my world. So they taught me the power words of a song can have and the value of making those words your own.
They taught me the value of humor in disarming people who insult or ridicule you. Can you believe the world thought there was something sinister in long hair? It really did. This also served as a primer to my education in WTF as I began to try to figure out why people are so concerned with what other people are doing even when it really has no effect on them.
I saw how celebrity can be used effectively and not so much as George spread Eastern religion and tried to feed the hungry; Paul worked for animal rights and John wanted us to give peace a chance.
When Brian Epstein committed suicide, I was shocked to learn that people really did discriminate against "homos." That's what we called them then, but even with my limited knowledge of sex, I was pretty sure that which sex other people were attracted to really wasn't contagious and that we should just let them be happy and not mess in their love lives.
Paul and Linda showed me true love and the ability to raise healthy good children in a glass bowl and validated my choice of Paul as my favorite.
John taught me that even though your intentions are noble and just, you can totally go about things the wrong way. And he taught me that people you admire can greatly disappoint you (Yoko, yep, I'm a Yoko hater), but in the end what they do with their lives is their business and not yours.
George grew as he aged and I really love his later stuff and I adore the Traveling Wilburys.
Ringo just makes me smile and we all need to smile as much as possible.
Maybe the most important thing the Beatles did for me is shape some priorities. Colt told me one time when I was lamenting about the CD's filling every corner of his room that I had a kick ass music collection and that he admired that and it was one thing he wanted. So I take credit for his music obsession and I am thrilled that he came to love the stuff I love early in life and then spread his musical wings and was exposed to and grew to appreciate many more genres than I ever will. Would I have had that kick ass collection if not for the Beatles, probably not.
Books--Books are a big deal for me. On of the first grown up books I HAD to own was John Lennon's IN HIS OWN WRITE. Jeez, it was clever. I learned to love owning good books and that's another trait Colt has picked up. I happily bought him many, many books on the Beatles, the Kennedys, US presidents and it worked. He's well rounded, well read, and curious about everything.
Concerts--I have a great concert resume and am still adding to it at the ripe old age of 56. I am so happy now that I can take Colt and Maggie along with me on these magical mystery tours to see live performances. The first concert I took Colt to was Crosby, Stills and Nash. He didn't like it much but now is proud to say it was his first concert. It was watching the Beatles at Shea Stadium that made me want to go to see a live concert. It was wanting a concert resume like mine that made Colt want to go to concerts and he is building his concert resume.
So in a lot of ways, the Fab Four not only shaped my life, but they influenced the way I influenced Colt's. Obladi. Oblada. Life goes on.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


If you want to know what makes you "Popular," it's nine extra tickets to see WICKED. No kidding, people really, really wanted to see that show and I had nine extra tickets. I chose wisely and everyone who got them really enjoyed the show. Kevin and Jamie from my office saw the matinee along with a friend of Maggie's. The evening performance Colt Maggie and I were joined by Holly, Niece Stephanie (celebrating her 16th birthday) and her mom, my friend Judy, Bryan and Dani.
We had a most excellent weekend. Colt, Maggie and I had dinner at Red Rock on Friday night and then went to see "End Days" at Salt Lake Acting Company. It was a fun play and dinner was so good. If you go to Red Rock, get something with the horseradish potatoes.
Saturday Colt went to the Salt Lake County Democratic Convention. I slept in and then Maggie and I did a little shopping. We didn't find much to buy, but we caught up with Colt and went to the Cheesecake Factory for a yummy lunch. Colt's kind of looked like a Fred Flintstone meal and Maggie got Mac 'n' Cheese so it was all good. After lunch we walked through Fashion PLace and I found some Ray Ban Clubmaters that I really needed to own. I managed to not buy them then, but brought my $$'s home with me and bought them today in St George. They are blue and awesome.
We went to Thaipoon for dinner before WICKED. It's one of Colt's favorites but I think I was still too full of Cheesecake Factory to enjoy it,
WICKED was fabulous. I saw it twice in LA and was a little worried about how the traveling production would compare but it was excellent.
After the show we tried to find someplace for dessert. Honestly, stuff closes early in Utah. We wound up back at Red Rock for appetizers and desserts. Holly and I enjoyed a delightful little beverage called a "Jack Mormon." I highly recommend it. So Holly treated us to appetizers and dessert and it was a grand time. We were the last ones in the place.
Such a fun evening. I love it when I get to spend an evening with people who are entertaining and not stupid.
Sunday Colt and Maggie went to church and when they were finished we walked (Well, at least Maggie and I walked. . .) to the Original Pancake House for breakfast. A quick trip to Costco followed and I was on my way home.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


So I have been terrible about blogging. Chalk it up to my obsession with Facebook I guess.
Anyway, we had a wonderful Easter. The weather didn't cooperate until Sunday so the first part of the weekend was not that swell. Colt & Maggie came down Thursday night. I had taken Sparky for a bath and grooming and he looked so beautiful that they took him to the Arts Festival in St George with them on Friday afternoon. Sariann and Becca went too, but Sparky got all the attention. "What a pretty Dog!"
On Saturday it was not a good day to swim and we were bummed. Colt and Maggie got their hair cut and Maggie worked on her homework while Colt and I shopped for the Easter Feast. At least I think that's what happened. It was a week ago and I am aging rapidly.
Sunday the sun came out and it was a perfect day. Colt, Maggie and Sparky all enjoyed their Easter baskets. Then the guests arrived: Jamie, Addie, Avery, Tashia, Kevin, Sariann, Becca, Abbie, Phoenix, Bryan, Danni, Portia, Roman, and James (who we called Jason for some reason). We had a huge egg hunt with hundreds and hundreds of plastic eggs filled with goodies and coins. And the feast. Of course the feast.
Nephew Brady had some over and repaired my ailing BBQ and I had cleaned off the patio. Colt made good use of the now working BBQ and fixed possibly the best lamb I ever ate. It was an outstanding feast and I think everyone enjoyed it, the sunshine and the pool.
So my work was done: People were full. People got their first sunburn of the season. Diets were ruined.
It was a glorious Easter Day.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


I remember when I lived in Salt Lake that the January Blahs were just unavoidable: the inversion, the cold, the once pretty snow was now all dirty and icy. I just realized that I love January now that I am back in God's Country--Utah's Dixie. True, I've been back almost 30 years, but until I had a Sparky dog to go out and play with, I really didn't think about January much. Also since going to work for Washington City where the year ends in June, January has a lot less unhappy chores.
I am especially enjoying this weekend. I have my little robot friends doing housework; Sparky has had his bath; my neighbor is trimming "our" grapevines, and I have three more seasons of House to enjoy before the football game tomorrow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas 2008

We had an amazing Christmas this year. We started celebrating on Dec 18 when Colt graduated from the police academy. I flew up to attend the graduation. It was really special. Colt's dad would have been so proud. Two of his dad's best friends were there to support him: Dale Elton and Jim Raburn. It was super chilly in Salt Lake but it was such a warm lovely time that it was easy to bear the snow.
Friday morning we loaded into Maggie's car and tried to head home early to beat the storm. We did beat the storm, but we really didn't get out of town early. . . That's another story that Maggie or Colt should tell. I was just a passenger in the back seat.
We spent the weekend at home in St George getting ready for Colt's Festivus party on the 23rd and doing the food shopping for the week's special dinners. On Saturday we went shopping . . . again. We slso wrapped a lot of last minute gifts, went to see "BOLT," and Colt went shooting with the Ence Cousins.
Colt and Maggie went to church on Sunday and then had the bad luck to go visit the grinches. This would have been a totally negative experience except that it gave us lots to laugh about over the next few days. That evening we had our family Christmas Eve dinner. It was just delicious. We were joined by Sari and Mike, Jamie and Addie, Abbie and Phoenix. It was just so much fun. After dinner there was a game of Apples to Apples while I tidied the kitchen and got the lemon sauce ready to go with the gingerbread.
On Monday I went to work. Colt and Maggie went skiing with the Ence kids and they had a wonderful time. I fixed corn chowder and they all ate and experienced the "Tim Tam Slam."
Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with Festivus and Maggie preparing her family's traditonal Swedish Christmas Eve dinner. We had a surprise guest join us. Maggie's brother Scott flew in on Christmas Eve and that really made it special for her. We were joined again my the same group from Sunday plus my niece Ciera. We ate later than we planned because Scott's plane was weather delayed and the little girls got pretty tired and hungry but we finished up in time for them to get to bed before Santa got to town.
Colt, Maggie and Scott went to Midnight Mass and Sparky and I waited for Santa. We all got to bed about 2:00 AM and Colt (Bless his heart) got us up at 6:00 AM. We had a really perfect day. Santa was more than generous and the gifts we gave each other were heartfelt and wonderful. Sparky was especially entertaining discovering his stocking. We went over to deliver gifts to the Ence's and Becca came to my house to get her gifts and play. She and Ciera arrived in time to eat turkey turnovers. A very important Christmas tradition in our family. Ciera didn't eat any of course because she doesn't eat meat, but Becca quite enjoyed hers.
The Wii was a lot of fun. Colt, Scott and Maggie stayed up playing Rock Band until after 2:00 AM.
For me it was probably the best Christmas ever. (This time for real Colt, not like your "Best Christmas ever in '06). It was a BB gun Christmas for me and that was ever so fun.
Friday we ran around and did some errands and went to Red Robin for a late lunch. Today we got the kids all loaded up to head north. Maggie's family is flying in from Pittsburgh for a family ski trip. Colt and Maggie are really looking forward to that. Before they left I got a cash course in Wii 101 so I can at least do something with it before they come back down and we took some family photos.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I have been trying to do my Christmas baking this week. It's not like I do a lot of baking, but I do like Christmas cookies so I have sifting and mixing and baking various kinds of cookies. I did some chocolate chip with some special Christmas chips first. I did them first because I went to see Colt and Maggie last week and Colt really likes chocolate chip cookies. I am not that thrilled with that particular cookie so it is one I can make and not be tempted by too much.
Oh, but next I did snickerdoodles. I have a really, really good snickerdoodle recipe and even though I made a double batch . . . they are almost gone. I took some of these to work and they didn't last until 10:00 AM whereas the chocolate chips batch lasted almost all day.
Saturday morning I discovered a really fun recipe. I don't remember what they are called, but the are a bit like shortbread and a bit like Mexican wedding cookies. They are tasty: covered with powdered sugar and they have the white baking chips with the Christmas swirls in them. Yummy and festive!
So I have three kinds of cookies made. I will still do some minty coconut cookies that we made for the first time last year, molasses cookies and, of course, sugar cookies. The sugar cookies don't keep as well so I think they will be a "Weekend Before Christmas" project.
And the other stuff: Now I don't make candy. I figure if God had meant for me to make candy, he wouldn't have invented See's. Their bordeaux pecan fudge is so much like my favorite of Nanny's fudges! And See's caramels. . .there is nothing better.
I'll make a Christmas pudding for our dinner next Sunday and I may make the rice or bread pudding we will have on Christmas Eve, but that's about it for the goodies I will bake.
The other stuff mentioned in the title??? Turkey Turnovers. That was my project today. Turkey turnovers are a Christmas Day tradition in our family. So dear family members who are worried about such things--Never fear. They are all done and safe in the freezer along with everything we need to make delicious gravy on Christmas Day.
Happy Holidays!