Wednesday, July 29

Tomato Success

In the garden, the one thing I have had the most success with is, tada tomatoes! As ifthats a surprise, its in the title. Anyway, back to the post. The only thing is we have been having assistance from some bug helpers. Check out the blurry tomato below.
This is one of the less eaten cherry tomatoes in the garden. In fact I only harvest like 6 or so cherry tomatoes because most of them were eaten too much. Alice also helped, though as a later picture suggests, she isn't so into getting the ripe ones.
Here are the cherry tomateos that I have put i nthe fridge to keep them from ripening any more. I am going to try to make roasted tomatoes in the oven using these bad boys.
Here are the starting to change colors tomatoes! OK, they have a bit of cracking on the tops of some of them. I think thats from not enough water. But, as someone that doesn't really water the garden, I can't complain.
Above is Alice's harvest. Yes, one of them is not completely green. Oh well, she isn't any worse than the grasshoppers.
Yesterday it stormed pretty bad. This is our lone casualty. Poor little guy. Actually he is a pretty big guy, but trust me when I say, the bottom half of the tomato is missing. I know the tomato had not fallen down Monday, so in 1 day we got a couple of inches of rain and half lf a large tomato eaten. Oh do you see the cherry tomato on the ground? Its a half eaten cherry tomato. Yeah, under the pepper plant that isn't growing any peppers. But lets be honest, when you have 6 foot tall tomato plants, they add a LOT of shade to the garden.

Anyway, I will have to post how the rosting of the tomatoes goes. If it works out well, I might have to try making my own roasted red peppers. How awesome would that be?

I have one question. If fresh green beans are 68 cents a pound, is that a good enough price to try canning them?

Tuesday, July 28

Evil Final Exam

So... on Wednesday I had to take my final exam for my Calc 2 class that Rebecca convinced me not to drop. It was one of those ridiculous finals where if you don't get at least a C you automatically fail the class regardless of how you've done on anything else.

I guess I didn't get a C.

It's not really surprising though, when I got to the test there were a few surprising things... it was actually a pencil and paper test rather than on the computer (like all of our other tests)... the test covered material we never covered during the class... (at least 3 of the 20 questions were about things I'd never done). And in general going from showing no work to having to show your work is a very strange change to be thrust upon you for the final that also gives you less time than any other test you've taken.

I would wail, I would deride my teacher but quite honestly... I should have asked more questions. For instance, when I was looking at the test review I assumed since it was a handout from a few years ago that my teacher implied he didn't really look over that the material on it that we hadn't covered wouldn't actually be on the test. Fool.

It'll be fun to see if I still get financial aid for the next year. I've decided that I'm dropping the idea of going for a bachelor's degree for now. It's just too long term of a goal what with my 43+ hours a week job... my daughter and a son on the way. If you're curious it's going to still be something my company should have no problem paying for... but I haven't decided programming or business.

Programming I used to enjoy, as you'd know if you knew me... then I lost the thrill of it. Then I got this job and I end up programming in it, and it's kind of my little secret passion you could say. It's just fun doing the problem solving, where you solve problems via completely logical means. Ah... logic. Fantastic.

Business well... it seems like that's the way my job is moving... according to my supervisor she pretty much expects me to keep moving on up when oppurtunities open up. She's trying to make me ready to take a job like hers... she's rude. The only problem I have with studying business is that I'm skeptical about how much you can really learn from it. Can't I just study the structure of the church? Seems pretty businessy... granted people are "promoted" and "demoted" based on considerably different criteria, but still.

Anyhow... that's enough blah blah

Monday, July 27

Email Fun

"This is a Financial Service Announcement, we offer loan to
all in need, ranging from $5000 to $10,000,000 USD. Our
interest rate is 3% and our service and terms are dependable.
any interested person should apply mow.

First Information Needed:

Best part? Apply mow. Clearly its not a self propelled thing.

Thursday, July 23

The product is not always what the cover says

I just changed Alice's wet diaper and she totally took a dump. A big stinky dump. She has been wearing this diaper for less than 10 minutes. So rude.

Maybe its partly because I am in a bad mood.


Well we bought a Space Saver (you know the ones that go over the toilet) at Walmart a couple of weekends ago. I decided to put it together today since I didn't have a million other things to do.

(also my space bar isn't working all the time, that's super annoying!)

Anyway, I check to see if the boards on the side are thin enough to fit between our toilet and vanity in our upstairs bathroom. Check. Begin assembly.

After getting the two sides together with the main braces for the bottom assembly, I check again. What the heck?

Yes, the toilet is wider than the space between the space saver.

Dang it. I figure the downstairs toilet is smaller, so it will be a downstairs thing, and we will move the downstairs one up.

It fit around the toilet. Great.

I put on the lid. The lid is too wide!

I measured the space saver.

Its 22.25 inches wide.

The package for space saver #2 says its 23.25" wide.

The other one we bought at a yard sale for $5 or something like that, is 23.75" wide.

Who knows if Walmart will even take it as a return.

The product packaging says its wider than it is.


Monday, July 20

Last Minute Move

This week is going to be BUSY.

Yesterday, I found out a family in the ward is having a last minute move. They were trying to get a job 30 miles away, and surprise got it, and someone to rent their house. The catch? They have to move, ASAP. So today and tomorrow was their planned vacation. Nothing like a vacation to remind you how much stuff 6 people can have in a house.

I told her Sunday I would bring them lunch, and when I showed up at 10:30 almost all of the big furniture was in the van, or in the garage waiting to go into the van. I set the food down, and joined some others packing the closets. We had it rather easy. I was told, just throw it all in boxes. I tried to keep things with like things. I didn't feel like I was doing all that much or that I had got much done, but before I realized, it was 11:30. I turned on their oven and threw the big pan of spaghetti in to heat up.

Meanwhile, all the men and heavy laborers seemed to leave for lunch. You know, for a last minute during the week move, I was impressed how many guys were there. I got the food ready and packed a couple of boxes of kitchen stuff before chasing all the kids out to the yard for a picnic. We used regular plates, but the kids liked the idea. Alice didn't seem very hungry and just played in the dirt getting herself filthy.

We left there around 12:20 and came home. For not doing much I sure felt wiped out. I guess I did some serious sweating and a bit of child wrangling. I thought about going back with our carpet cleaner to help with the cleaning, but Alice just passed out on the couch next to me, so I think I will let her sleep until we go get Daniel. In fact, we might still go by after getting him, but for now I have my feet up to keep them from swelling even more, and Alice is getting some Zzz's.

Tomorrow will be just as crazy since we are going berry picking up in Kansas City. Blueberry and Blackberries! How fun. I hope the picking report looks good for this week. Last week the blueberries were poor quality, so we postponed going until this week.

I also got contacted about LINK from the University Ward and so I need to make some phone calls and figure out if any of the other wards have anyone called as LINK Coordinator. Whew. What a day!

Friday, July 17

Making the Trek to the Bishop's Storehouse

Before we get to the trek, I have a bit of a "Yay" moment:

We have been harvesting lots of our tiny cherry tomatoes from the garden. They are about the size of a penny, and so cute. Alice has seen me pick them enough that yesterday when I was picking the first large tomatoes of the season, she cleaned off a vine including the green ones. Looks like we need to learn colors.

Anyway, the large tomatoes we picked weren't quite ripe, but I couldn't help but eat tomato sandwiches with the almost ripe yellow tomato. It was so yummy and quite mild. Its also huge. Its larger than my beefsteak tomatoes and much larger than the 'vine ripe' tomato I still have from the store. They must be really happy in my garden.

Anyway, at 9am(ish) Alice and I headed East. We took the turnpike, and only missed one turn. The food storage center is in some strange warehouse/business park type place, and I didn't see the road name until it was too late. I went to the next turn and turned around.

Then of course once I was in the warehouse area, I passed the storehouse. Its the second right, and its not listed at the street. In fact none of the buildings have addresses listed until the 3800s (the storehouse was at 3601). Alice also woke up around the time I couldn't figure out which warehouse it was and was pretty upset she was in the carseat.

Then, lady inside acted like she had no clue I was coming. Even though I called several days in advance, but oh well. I gave her my order and we got it all together.

FYI, if you have never bought just cans from the storehouse, they are expensive. And pretty darn bulky, but I knew about the bulky thing. So yeah, I can see why people were wanting mylar bags, they are only 35 cents each instead of $1 (for the can and the lid). If I can figure out how to remove the metal ring after the cans are open, it will only be 20 cents for lids to replace them. But I don't know if that is possible.

Anyway, we loaded up, paid and started home. Silly me forgot to print out return directions, but I figured I would follow the same route back, right?


You see, when I was on 670 -> 70West there was this semi driving a little scary (like changing lanes frequently, and he wasn't even passing anyone, I guess he was lost or at least confused). I was sort of bummed to see him taking the same exit as me, but figured it would be fine. So there were 2 lanes that exited to 70W and I thought he was in the eastern most one, and I was in the next lane. Only, since he was so big and wouldn't go faster or slower than me, I didn't see that magically a second lane appeared to his left until it was too late to get ahead of him, and it would have been dangerous to slow down and get behind.

I was stuck going to 35.

It wasn't that bad. 35 was empty most of the way down to 435/K10, and except for the strange habit people had of driving 5 mph under the speed limit in the middle lane, it was totally fine. The speed thing wouldn't have even bothered me, except we were passed by a couple of packs of cars, and people driving in packs make stupid lane changes.

So we are home and safe, and aside from a car, rather full of food storage canning supplies, not much has changed. Except we have less gas in the tank. Gas was only one penny cheaper in Missouri than here in town, it was probably because I was off in the middle of nowhere Kansas City, MO instead of a business area. I choose to not fill the tank since Alice was pretty bummed that we were getting in the car again.

Friday, July 10

Taking Flight!

A couple of months ago, when we were notified that meeting Daniel's family for Thanksgiving meant going to Florida, I signed up for email alerts when there were low priced tickets.

I got an email about reduced fares and ignored it.

Until I went visiting teaching. I learned that there was great ticket prices between Kansas City and Salt Lake City so the visiting teachee bought her sister/mom/whomever tickets to come visit. It was some 48 hour sale or something.

That motivated me to actually read the email last night. I clicked on the link and searched for ticket prices. Holy cow. Only $180 round trip. So it was time to do some quick shopping and looking at the airline's website as well.

Can we say $59 down and $79 returning? With taxes, and fees we are paying a more than $200/person but we got to choose our seats, got flight insurance, and only have to pay $15 to check a bag. The second closest price was $300ish per ticket.

Yeah, I am excited. Now we just have to figure out how to get 3 days worth of stuff into either 2 carry ons and a diaper bag, or one checked bag and carry ons. Its only 3 days, so I don't think it will be that bad. We will probably use disposable diapers to make packing lighter, so now we just have to figure out what size Alice wears.

I am so glad we saw these prices and could throw out the consideration of driving down there. Sure it would have been fine (probably), but it would have been days of traveling and hotel rooms. Now, we just have to actually order a copy of Alice's birth certificate. I know, I know she is 18 months, we should have done this before. But, it was put of for a bit, then forgotten. But, I was reminded by the airlines that they may require a birth certificate as proof of under 2. Since Alice will be just a month shy of 2, they will probably expect proof.

Thursday, July 9

Sore muscles and sleep deprivation

Yesterday I did yoga for 35 minutes. The tape was longer, but we got to a sitting section, and I just couldn't motivate myself to stand again.

I also did a 10 minute segment of Pilates. My legs were shaking with all the balancing they make you do.

I came to this conclusion. Pilates is what happens when the Yoga people have thier Zen filled water bottles spiked with Pixie Sticks. Or maybe its because its a 10 minute hard and furious segment.

Either way, I soaked in the tub for a while after that. Alice joined me. She had particular fun pouring cups of water on me. Its sort of funny because if I pour one on her, she screams and tries to run away. Afterall, that means she is getting her hair washed. Oh the horror.

We also moved the day bed into Alice's room. I had this idea that if one of us slept with her, Alice would sleep in her own room, then we could run away.
Last night went like this:
1. We read scriptures and pray.
2. Daniel takes Alice to her room, shuts the door, and lies in her bed.
3. Alice cries.
4. Alice wails.
5. Silence. I nod off.
6. Just starting dream mode, Alice starts shrieking again.
7. I make him bring her back.
8. At 5:17am I got out of bed to go to the bathroom. Alice followed me.
9. I lay down with her in her bed.
10. She tosses and turns for a while trying to get some boobs (a strange thing since she stopped night nursing way before she was weaned).
11. By 6am Daniel's alarm was going off and Alice was asleep. I tried to leave her.
12. She followed.

Sleep extraction has not succeeded. Yet. I am visiting teaching this morning, so she has been up since then. Though she did try to convince me that she needed some boobs. Sorry, even if i gave them to you, it wouldn't be what you remember.

And so life goes on.

Tuesday, July 7

When 2 day shipping turns into a week...

I am sort of upset about

I ordered some stuff last Friday, and they said if I did one day shipping I could have it by yesterday. I decided to pay $5 less and get 2 day shipping.

Its supposed to arrive Thursday.


Because thats 2 days after it was shipped out (Monday).

If i wanted the items in a week I would have taken free shipping. Aargh. So annoyed.

Monday, July 6

Holiday Feasts, of a different sort

Summer holidays remind me that I should wear bug spray. We keep a bottle of bug spray in the car, but I still rarely put any on. I regret that now.

You see, firework smoke or grill smoke will chase off the mosquitoes, but the chiggers are different. They crawl into your clothes and seek the tight warm confines of things like bra and underwear lines.

I have a nice ring around my knees.

As well as the obligitory "I'm not feeling myself up" bites. Those are the most obnoxious because they ALWAYS seem to itch when anyone is over.

Random fact about chiggers: their saliva contains enzymes that liquefy cells walls in our bodies, then they suck out the goo. Out bodies react by hardening up the area around the destruction, which ironically makes a sort of straw so the chiggers can continue their tyrannical attack. A good soapy shower will wash them off, but the itch remains for about 2 weeks.

Just in time for Pioneer Day.

Oh, and women and shildren are more likely to get chigger bites because they have nice soft delicate skin. Men have tougher skin, so chiggers seem to avoid them.

Alice seems to have avoided getting any bites. A true miracle, since she was sitting in the grass during the ward picnic/4th of July party. Though she was held most of the time for the evening fireworks.

I am wearing sweats today, but its not because I am going to be outside in the grass, its because I need to do laundry. So I guess I will do that now.

Thursday, July 2

Who understands Toddlers?

I will never understand toddlers.

Why they get up at 7am, even though they just cry and whine because they are tired.
Why my cereal bowl, with the very same cereal in it, but skim milk instead of whole is so much better (by the way, it was before she had even taken a bite, so she wouldn't have known any better).
Why eating cold soggy cereal by hand is a good idea.
Why I should also eat the soggy cereal from her hand.

These are the true mysteries of the world.

A close second is how I thought she got her diaper off, only to discover her still wearing one.

And, did I actually schedule a house payment? Because I thought I scheduled it for June 29th, but there has not been money taken from our bank account, and nothing has actually posted on the mortgage company's website.

I have scheduled the payment for Monday. If its a second payment, it won't matter because we get paid on the 3rd. If its not, its early enough we won't have any finance charges. Its still a complete mystery though. We made the conscience decision to not double the mortgage payment at the beginning of July, because we have made some big purchases, and we wanted a bigger cushion in the bank account. Also, we get paid 3 times in July, so we could pay a larger amount for the August 1st payment.

But, I might have double paid the mortgage this month.

On accident.

Thanks to Bank of America (who now owns our mortgage) not posting transaction details on the website quickly, and nothing hitting the regular bank account before the holiday weekend.

Though the bank account my register it later in the day.

Oh well, if we haven't double paid we might just pay off the HELOC this month, or we might just pay even more extra toward the house. Its hard to think about things like money when I have the mysteries of the 3ft and under crowd in my life.