Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge Scriptless Flickr Badge

October 30, 2006

A Series of Unfortunate Events

It's an entire WEEK past when I thought I would be posting about the garage sale. But that about sums up my life right now - a week behind in everything. Sleep being the primary one...

Our garage sale was supposed to begin at 9 am, and end at 1 pm. We knew that the die-hards (and there were many) would arrive a lot earlier, so we began setting up at 7. Time of our first customer? 7:45. Item purchased? One huge roll of DHL bags. We weren't even going to sell them, but off they went for $4. Probably the LAST thing we thought we'd sell first, but whatever. We were makin' money! Even IF he looked like Hulk Hogan - who'd totally let himself go, we were suddenly $4 richer. We could ALMOST buy lunch at Costco.

I'd say our first blunder was my *bright* idea to buy cheap pop at the grocery store the night before, and sell it for 25 cents. The Weather Channel said it would be 70 degrees! The first warm day in over a week! They failed to mention however, that before 1 pm it would be insanely foggy and cold enough to freeze over hell. We bought four cases of pop....and sold 2 cans. I don't drink carbonation very often, but as punishment have been sucking down grape Dimetapp-flavored soda ever since. They didn't even bother to come up with a creative name for it, it's just "Grape". Lovely.

Our second, well, not blunder. More like crazy it-would-only-happen-to-us moment, was when I was standing on our grass surveying the masses sorting through our carnage. I looked down and saw a white RAT perusing the towels and sheets. White rat. With red eyes. We quickly discovered that it was domesticated when Caleb tried to run it off, and it just sat there. Blinking at us. We spent the rest of the day trying to scare it off, because if I were at a garage sale and had to stand quietly and wait for a RAT to move on to something else, so I could look at the sheets? I'd probably leave. Screaming. Apparently the rat took a liking to us because it decided to live in our backyard, which drove our dog (and therefore us) completely insane. *Update* - The rat finally met it's doom. Cabe found it in the backyard dead, with Bear licking it. I don't know if he killed it, or if he was just trying to console it, but if he gives me some hope that the NEXT time someone tries to break into our car, he'll actually DO something about it.

We ended up selling a lot of the smaller things, and absolutely NONE of the bigger ones. The ones we actually thought would sell first. We made a little over $300 though, so it wasn't a total loss. We still have a bunch of items left, and I'm contemplating having another one right before we leave..... though I don't know if I can handle the stress again. Is that how people decide to have another baby? The magic of another one makes them forget all the hard work, sleepless nights, and stress?

We spent the rest of the week recovering, and then this last weekend I decided to run for "Best Laurel Advisor Ever" and volunteered to drive up to the retreat that the young women from our ward were at in Redmond, OR, 2 and a half hours away, just so that I could leave super early the next morning to get 3 girls back home for their track meet. My one fatal mistake was using Mapquest. I cursed myself during the entire 3 and a half hour drive....that's right, 3.5 hrs. CURSE YOU MAPQUEST!!!!! I got there around 8:30 pm, and had to leave the next morning at 7 am. They had brownies and cookies and even a chocolate fountain going, so you can imagine what that would do to 15 teenage girls, and consequently, our sleep that night. After sleeping on the world's worst mattress and waking up with an incredible back ache, I made the long and silent drive home (thank you CD players and sleeping girls!!). I dropped them off and headed straight for the OSU vs. USC football game (great game bytheway...), where I worked from 10:30 - 3:30 pm. We had a great Halloween party planned that evening with our friends, but I was so exhausted I could hardly enjoy it. We made fondue and chicken kabobs, and I managed to cut my finger with a knife...twice... and then stab my other finger with a fondue skewer. I think Cabe was worried about what else I would do to myself, so we left early and I probably fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.

I wish I could end this lovely story saying that I'm now resting and recuperating (at least for the sake of my hands, right?) but I can't. Sadly. We started the packing process, and we're well on our way to a gutted house. Let the hysteria begin.........

October 19, 2006

I have exercised the demons! This house is clear...

As I've mentioned, we're currently in the process of trying to get rid of half of our house. Half. So that we can attempt to fit into the apartment we've chosen in California. So I decided to go with the flow, jump into the Oregon Culture, and have a garage sale. I don't think I can accurately describe the zeal that Oregonians have when they get a whiff of a garage sale. Insanity - like the way I feel when I find yet another dog hair on the plate of food I'm about to eat. I absolutely LOVE going through my crap and throwing away things I've held onto for some odd reason. How in the world I found enough sentimental value in an old receipt from Mervyn's to actually keep it for three years is beyond me. The following are some random items I found during the cleansing process:

Ninety million of those mini-purses that come with the little bottles of lotion and bathwash from Bath & Body works. Number of times I ever put something in one of these purses: 1

Birthday cards from relatives that were 5 years old. Number of times I looked at, or thought about them after my birthday: 0

3 old journals that Caleb had kept, each with one page written in them. One of them wasn't even his. Numbers of times I had to convince him that he would still breathe without them: 2 (thankfully he had no qualms giving up someone else's)

2 college essays from either one of the 2.5 semesters Caleb actually was in college.

1 Scooby Doo shaped figure filled with bath bubbles. Long since forgotten.

1 rooster shaped pitcher. Usage? None.

3 different coat racks, none of which ever saw the light of day.

2 full sets of silverware that we don't use. 1 random knife, 2 spoons, 3 forks.

1 pair of Gap black leather pants, bought during the torrid high school years. Number of times I wore said pants? Nada

It will be interesting to watch people go through our personal items. I hope the free underwear I got in the mail from Jessica Simpson gets snatched up - real quick.

October 16, 2006

Oh, this old thing?

You know that scene in "Apollo 13" where the people working at the space station have to figure out how to stuff like, a triangle into a circle? Or a square into a circle? Whatever it is, it looks impossible, right? That's what's happening to us right now. We're trying to figure out how to stuff our 2 level, 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom townhome into a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment. It's impossible. Especially when your husband feels it is absolutely positively NECESSARY that he keep the wadded up shirt that I've never seen him wear in the five years that I've known him. The ripped jeans that he swears he'll wear as soon as they are sewn. Who he thinks is going to sew his jeans is beyond me. He did NOT marry a girl who sews. Is it even possible to sew jeans that are frayed?!

If both of us make it through this moving process ALIVE, it will be a miracle. A real live Christmas miracle. Because heaven knows I am no more than three deep breaths away from either screaming until my lungs burn, or bawling in the corner.

October 15, 2006

No U Turns

Well, I guess it's time to talk about our recent trip to California, and what it means. In a nutshell, my husband and his business partner bought another franchise to the company that they already own. His business partner will stay here and run this franchise, and we will be moving down there to run that one. The Oakland, CA franchise, to be exact. We went down there a few weeks ago to try and find a place to live. Preferably one that won't require we hand over our first born child. The area stretches all the way down to just north of San Jose, so we had quite a big area to cover in just a few short days. This is where my I made my fatal mistake ("Clue" anyone?). Cabe said he'd go through all the apartment websites, and craigslist, to find some places for us to visit. Which he did. What he failed to do, was get directions....or an any of them. You can imagine the frustration and arguments that insued. We lost track of how many U-turns we made. When we finally found a place with a map, we were both already at the end of our short, short ropes. Not only had we wasted an entire DAY driving around, finding nothing, we had also finally accepted the fact that no, there was no possible way we would find a place to live that was both safe and in our price range. The one bright light that day, was our hotel room. :)

Too bad you can't see the floors very well, they were tiger-print. Also, yes, the Aveda products were fabulous. There was a phone mounted next to the toilet. In case you simply can't wait those extra three minutes. I couldn't resist.......

Another obstacle that we hadn't expected, was our dog. I swear, by the end I was ready to sell the mutt. We walked into SO many places that either didn't allow dogs, or didn't allow them over 25 lbs. Since we didn't think it wise to starve him, we had to move on. The second day was more successful, we found two places that we liked, despite the price tag. Plus, we only made 14 U-turns, which is a success in itself. It was interesting to drive around all the different towns, thinking that we'll soon be living in the area. Here we are, in our first California traffic jam -

And again, in our 999th.......

Our moving date is quickly approaching, and while we're excited for the new opportunity, and to see a different place, we're sad to leave behind his partner and his wife, one of my best friends, and all the other friends we've made here. I'm going to miss not having to pay sales tax, and all the wonderful fruit and produce available. I'm even going to miss the people I work with, and I didn't think that was going to be an issue. :) While it will be hard, I know that this is one step closer to bringing us back home to Utah. And if I get a great tan in the meantime? Well, so be it.

October 12, 2006

Knee-Slappin' Good Time

So I'm driving in the car to work yesterday morning, and Bob and Tom (a lovely am radio show, for the uninformed...) goes to commercial. This is when I start going through every radio station I know of to find SOMETHING to listen to besides all those annoying commercials. Normally this ends in me getting so frustrated that EVERY STATION has decided that NOW is the best time to go to commerical, that I turn back to good 'ole Bob and Tom and wait......this morning however, I ended on a oldies station where a song was playing that I'd never heard of. It sounded like an old song my dad would listen to, with a bit of an Australian twang to it. So I start bobbin' my head, tappin' my fingers...gettin' all into it. By the second time I hear the phrase "Let's go Outback tonight" I realize my error. I've been listening to (and really enjoying...) a commercial for Outback Steakhouse.

October 10, 2006


Have you ever had one of those incidents when you know that THIS moment is the moment that could change everything? A combination of change that could affect your life, your outlook, how you view the world around you? At the time, you’re not even sure what the outcome will be so you’re stuck in it, waiting to see if your life will continue on as it was…or not. We had one of those moments last night, and thankfully (hopefully!) our life will continue on as usual.

It started out as a normal night, after dinner and running some errands I convinced Cabe that our dog DEFINITELY needed his nightly walk. Aussie’s don’t take kindly to sitting in the house all day long licking themselves. They need to feel like they accomplished something, ANYTHING, to be happy. In our dog’s case, it means getting enough energy out of him that he won’t feel the need to rummage through the garbage can, eat the remnants of last night’s corn on the cob, have a stomach ache and eat as much grass as possible and later puke it up at 1 am. So that the first thing I *GET* to do on my birthday is clean up this mess….anyway…. we have the same route we follow every night. We start off walking in our neighborhood, and then end up doing a few laps around the park before heading home. On this night however, Cabe had found an abandoned tennis ball and so when we got to the park we let Bear off his leash and let him chase the ball around. You can see where this is heading. One of the throws headed straight for the street. Caleb yelled at Bear to not go after it, and I went from watching Caleb, to the dog. I yelled back that it was okay, the ball had stopped on the grass before the street. However, Bear gets insanely excited when chasing a ball and sometimes he doesn’t stop soon enough and his feet knock the ball in front of him. It happened then, and THIS is the incident that is etched in our brains; the one that will no doubt stay with us for a long time. The moment that could change our lives - the one that stood still. Caleb was screaming Bear’s name, and I was in complete shock as I watched – that sickly thud, the screeching tires, the dog’s yelps. Luckily the car didn’t actually run over him, as much as it pushed him forward, and then swept him under it, pinning him. When the car stopped I finally managed to MOVE, and ran up to where Caleb was trying to coax Bear out from under the car. When he finally did the smell of singed fur followed, and loose hair burst into the light of the headlights. I remember touching him and feeling the burned hair, and sort of looking from him to Caleb, and the driver in a daze. We managed to get him to the side of the road, and the car drove off. It wasn't until after he left that I felt angry that he didn't feel it necessary to at least see if the dog he hit was okay. Caleb ran home to get the car, and I sat with Bear, who was strangely acting himself, wanting desperately to follow Cabe. We got him to the vet’s (why Albany doesn’t have an emergency vet is beyond me…) and he seems to be doing okay. A few staples to heal a cut, pain medication, hopefully this will be all he needs. He’s definitely sore, and moves painfully slow, but hopefully that’s all it is – soreness. I know he’s just a dog, that if this had happened to a child it would be much worse. But for those few seconds when I was rendered unable to move I thought about what it would be like to not have him around, how strange that would be. I’m glad that this moment, this incident, hasn’t changed our lives as drastically as it could have. He’s a very lucky mutt.

October 5, 2006

Popcorn anyone?

It's time for another "science news" entry. This one is uh......a juicy one. Crunchy....

So the first thing that drew my attention to THIS particular article was the title.

"Crunchy Big-Butt Ants Entice Gourmands".

As if those qualities were a GOOD thing. In a nutshell, virgin-queen ants, "hormiga culona" (which honestly, I'm not kidding, means big-butt queen ant) are in hot demand right now. Not to be burned with a magnifying glass by an eight year old boy, but to be made into "gourmet" desserts. Dipped in chocolate. Perfectly delightful Belgian Chocolate. They come from Colombia, where people have been eating them for centuries. CENTURIES. Generally the Colombians toast them and eat them as a snack, but now they're being exported (last year they shipped more than 880 pounds of it!) to be dipped in the above mentioned staple for all women, and then sold for as much as $8 for a half dozen at stores like Harrods. $8 for 6 little ants. Maybe little is an understatement, it says they're about an inch long. The French have even gone as far as to name them the "caviar of Santander". The funny thing, is that the Colombians also consider them as pests. Andres Santamaria, a native, best describes their problem - "It's an age-old dilemma for the farmer - should I kill it or eat it?" Not a problem I'd have, I'll tell ya that much. One man organizes a hunt every year during the harvest season (the one time the little buggars come out of their colonies in search of a mate). A 71 year old woman took second place last year, and won herself an electric blender. Fitting, as it states she no longer eats the ants because nearly all her teeth are gone. Maybe she can use it to make herself an ant shake?

All I know is that this is just another thing to add to my Things I Will Never Eat list. Right up there with snails, raw fish, beans of any kind, and milk.

I'll leave you with the article's opening paragraph. Ya know, sort of a palate cleanser...

"The first loud crackle tastes and feels like popcorn, but by the time the juices spray wildly in your mouth and the filament-like legs slide down your throat, there's no mistaking this toasted ant queen."

Now excuse me while I go kill the ants that have decided to call my kitchen "home". I could box them up and ship them, if anyone's interested.