Friday, June 27, 2008

How to keep a cat from sheding on your couch

Out of my three cats, the smallest one is the top or alpha cat. Why? Because she is not afraid of things like the other two. When I pull out the vacuum the other two jet out of the room while Dafny is determined to keep her place on the couch. Even vacuuming her, she won't leave. So either she really is not afraid of the vacuum or she was wanting me to suck up the loose hair.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Everyone needs one of these!

I saw recently on this blog, her beautiful tassels and I decided then that I NEEDED one. So I made this one, the finishing touch to my armoir.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Just a quick post to update everyone on Sam. He is doing great! In fact he acts much like his old self except he walks with 3 legs. He is slowly putting more pressure on his "new" leg and should get to the point where he won't limp anymore.

Here is Sam "keeping his leg elevated!"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

To be...

One of my favorite TV shows is Keeping Up Appearances. It depicts a middle class British woman, Hyacinth Bucket ("It's Bouquet! B-U-C-K-E-T!") who feels that she really is a part of high society. She does anything she can to put on this appearance to anyone willing to notice. From flaunting brochures for the Orient Express and the QE2, two trips that she will never afford but wants people to think they take, telling about her Royal Doulton with the hand painted periwinkles, or demanding that she gets the same milk bottles back every morning (you know that she took extreme care to wash her's and simply doesn't want someone else's milk bottles!).

Then of course you have Martha Stewart. I have only once seen her new talk show and didn't care for it, but I actually like Martha (in a way). Yes, she recommends products that my budget will not allow, but I see myself wanting to be like her (in a way). I would love to have time to make lots of decorative crafts to fill my home (only well made non-tacky items from quality pieces), the perfect spread for entertaining (complete with real silverware, linen table clothes, perfect appetizers that took two days to make, fantastic centerpieces and lots of guests), fresh baked homemade cookies from scratch daily, and the perfect organized & clean home. I know that I will NEVER accomplish this. Unlike Martha, I must clean my own toilets and bake my own cookies, while caring for children and a husband.

In this regard I will only ever be a little like Hyacinth Bucket, that all I am is a middle class woman wanting to be a part of high society. (In a good way, I hope!)
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the show. Enjoy!

Hyacinth: It's my sister Violet! She's the one with the Mercedes, swimming pool, and room for a pony.

Hyacinth: [she pronounces it "Bouquet", and very, very shrilly] The Bucket residence, the lady of the house speaking!

Hyacinth: This is not Chinese take-a-way. This is a residential number and you are speaking to the lady of the house on a white, slim line telephone with last number redial facility.

Hyacinth: Sit wherever you like, dear... *except* there! I always like to face the window.
Hyacinth: I better answer that. It's probably somebody very important.

Hyacinth: Richard a little decorum please, that is not the sort of behaviour one would expect from a person with a reservation for a quailty cruise.

Hyacinth: I want you to instruct your superiors that this is a first class stamp residence.

Elizabeth (her neighbor): Are there any other Greeks coming?
Hyacinth: Hmmm? Oh, no, dear. They break plates. He may have a tanker in every port, but I'm not sacrificing my Royal Doulton with the hand-painted periwinkles. [pause] There aren't that many left.

Hyacinth: Now, what should I wear to answer the telephone?

Hyacinth: And you are?... Regional Postal Manager. I guess you will do, though I would have preferred to speak to someone on a national scale.

Hyacinth: How fortunate you are, Richard, to have a wife of impeccable moral rectitude.

Hyacinth: People trying to pretend they're superior makes it so much harder for those of us who really are.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Update on Sam

Sam is now home from the doggy hospital and doing as well as can be expected. He was supposed to stay at the clinic until later this afternoon to be evaluated but considering his temperament (or in other words a BIG baby) I was asked to get him early.

It was horrible heading back past two other dogs on the operating table to a small dark room where Sam, and several other recovering dogs, was staying. As soon as the door to the room was opened, Sam started to howl and wouldn't stop until everyone, including myself, was out of the room. He wasn't acting like himself. Now naturally he would be a little loopy after a 1 1/2 hour procedure, but he was very nippy and I was afraid of being bit. So I was asked to come back in an hour.

Not wanting to drive 30 minutes to home just to turn around, I wandered around a foreign grocery store hoping to check off one of today's tasks. Let me say that I hate shopping at stores that I don't know that lay out for and to make it worse I left my shopping list at home. I wasn't expecting to go shopping until later.

After an expensive food bill (and I forgot half of my list so I will end up spending more later, arg!) I headed back to the clinic. This time Sam would leave the confounds of his cage but still wanted nothing to do with me. He didn't want me near him until we got him out to the car and carefully (not wanting to be bit) onto a seat. Once in the car and all strangers were out of view, he finally needed me. I felt nice to be wanted but at the same time I was a little afraid of him. My sweet dog, and I was afraid.

We had a quiet drive home with plenty of time for me to figure out how I was going to get him and all 40 lbs of fur into the house. He did not want to be carried and can't walk. It was a very interesting experience that I do NOT want to repeat anytime soon.

So now that he is home and resting, I worry about the carrying outside to go potty, taking his pain killers, having the staples removed in two weeks, icing his knee 3 times a day and how to keep Livy from torturing him.

I hope that he will no longer be in pain once he is recovered, that he will be able to go on walks, and get up and down the stairs on his own. It is so hard to see a pet go through something like this. He is a good dog and I am SO attached to him. He has been my baby for so many years while I was going through infertility treatments. I even threw him birthday parties before I had Livy.

Okay, I need to stop crying now. He really is fine, I simple hate seeing him like this.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Sam

This is Sam. He is having knee surgery today.

Don't forget to check out my giveaway! Here

Is it time? Oh yeah!

For months I have been talking to Livy about using the potty. When she was able to sit up, I purchased a small potty and I would have her sit on it. I wouldn't expect anything, except to get her acquainted with it. I would bring it to her attention each time she was making a BM and show her the signs for it. Also telling her that mommy or daddy makes their pee-pee and poo-poos on the potty (to associate that that is where big people do it).

Yesterday, I had an extremely proud moment as a mother. After I put the daycare children down for naps, Livy came running to me frantically. She quickly signed stinky and headed off to the bathroom. Once in there, I got her on the potty where she did a BM. I was so excited that she has made that connection and even more importantly that she was able to tell me before she went.

So it is official, I am starting to potty train my 15 month old! I know that many people would feel that this is simply too young. But like many things in the child development world, there is a window of opportunity when children are ready to learn something new. Why wait until she is 2 1/2 and in the habit of going in her pants? One of my biggest pet peeves as a daycare professional is when potential daycare parents tell me that there child (who is 3!) is not interested in the potty yet and they will wait to start training. Or with their 2 1/2 yr old they are not going to introduce the potty for another year! Why wait! My only guess is that either they have never potty trained a child (I do have an advantage of potty training countless children over the years and working on three boys now) or maybe they like to change diapers. Not me! The sooner we are out of diapers (at least during the day) the better!

So today we are off to a great start. Livy woke up, I sat her on the potty (where she went) and in an hour I will put her on the potty again. My goal is to have her mostly potty trained by September when she turns 18 months.

Getting the lid open
Putting the little potty on.
Getting the step stool out
Trying to pull down her shorts.

Livy has been watching the daycare kids go potty. Early Tuesday morning I caught her in the bathroom going through all of the steps that she sees the daycare kids do.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Flowers

I LOVE flowers! There is something about a well groomed garden that is very pleasing to me. I have been working on my garden for several years now. You wouldn't be able to tell that with the sparse flowers. Last fall I tore everything up and reworked the soil, and later replanted a few things. I am very pleased with this year's flowers and looking forward to planting more!
My Turkish Poppy. I was trying to purchase a vibrant red Oriental Poppy, but I am having a harder time finding one.
My rose garden. As related to this post and this post. It looks fantastic compared to what the photo is capable of showing. In front of the roses I planted some Yarrow which has taken over! It will have to be thinned or the garden widened.
As I was out water the drive strip this morning, I noticed how gorgeous this bush was! And the smell....mmmmm!

Old fashioned bleeding hearts. I have also had the pink variety.
My light pink Iris. I have been waiting for two years for this to bloom having no idea what color it would be and it is wonderful. I also have some pure white ones. A neighbor across the street who is a breeder, and gave these to me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Middle of the Night

Every so often I have "freak-outs" at night. The first time that I remember it happening was four years ago after we moved into our house. Eduardo and I were sound asleep when I woke suddenly and couldn't figure out who was in bed with me. I jumped up and grabbed the nearest article of clothing that I could find and ran out into the playroom. I remember standing there alone in the dark thinking that there was a stranger in my bed. Soon I realized where I was and that it was only my sweet husband in bed with me.

The second time was very similar except it wasn't a stranger in my bed but my brother. It didn't take me as long to realize that my brother was far away in his own bed and Eduardo with me in mine.

Back in April when there was heavy helicopter traffic trying to find a local girl that was kidnapped, I woke up thinking that it was an alien invasion. It had finally happened, I was going to be abducted.

The most recent happened Wednesday night. The first time I was woken up I heard the thunder at 1 AM, and I did the only logical thing to dart right out of bed and start freaking out that it was an earthquake. How Eduardo sleeps through any of my night time freak-outs is beyond me! It took me a good 5 minutes to wake-up enough to realize that we had a pretty heavy storm and it was only thunder.

Does anyone else have middle of the night freak-out sessions, where you simple can't figure out what is going on for a time?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Two cute aprons!

My apron arrived from the Summer Apron Swap. Thanks Sarah, they turned out super cute! I received not only one for myself, but also a mini one for Livy, some canceled postage stamps and postcards for my collection!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dancing the Night Away

At one time it was the norm to go dancing on Friday nights. In some places people still go dancing but typically it means that you head to a night club for a few drinks and some "modern" dancing.

On Friday, Eduardo and I went dancing, actual real dancing! The dancing was held at the Murray Arts Center, a building with a small town feel. The price of our admission included dance lessons so we headed into a small dance area with several other couples and learned the Samba.

Please note that we learned the basic steps to the Samba, not the fancy footwork seen in the above clip.

Our instructor was once a professional ballroom dancer and did a marvelous job at teaching us. I didn't have a chance to do any Samba during the actual dance part of the night, so I am very curious if I remember what I learned. I will have to get Eduardo to practice with me.

Most of the couples at the dance were fantastic and I assume that they learned these dances back in the 40's and 50's. There were some younger couples who were equally good, but I enjoyed watching the older generation doing something as natural to them as what the Internet, ipods, and text messages are to us. There was even a woman in her 80's!

At the end of the evening they had a drawing and surprise to me, I won $20! This is a fun way to break a sweat! If I can find a way to fit it into my already packed schedule, we plan on taking ballroom dance lessons.

Here is some info on dances in the area as well as lessons

Dance-Scene: Ballroom, swing and latin dance classes.
Murray Arts Center: Weekly dancing and lessons

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No Chichen Itza?!

I am always surprised at the results on my weekly polls. I think that is why I do a poll in the first place, because it never fails to surprise me. Except for the TP one. Over the top is the right way, sorry mom.

I am surprised that no one says that they would want to see Chichen Itza. Is this because there are other World Wonders that you want to see more or because you have already seen the ruins?

We spent nearly 2 weeks traveling around Mexico back in January and one of our stops was Chichen Itza. The ruins were fantastic even though you can not climb them anymore.

In front of the El Castillo (the castle), the famous landmark in Chichen Itza. We were there very early before any tour groups arrived. It was pretty much us and the local dogs, which are every where!
The ruins at Tulum. These are some of the most visited ruins because cruise ships make stops in Playa del Carman and sends out excursions. They were very crowded for this reason, but look at how gorgeous it is! The Caribbean is so blue and Tulum had our favorite beaches.
Here we are on top of one of the ruins at Ek Balam. From here you are able to see off in the distance (great distance) three other ruins, Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba. The Ek Balam ruins has only recently started to be excavated and has the possibility to be larger then the ruins at Chichen Itza. It is very out of the way and can only get there by a taxi from the larger cities. We were in Valladolid when we made our trek out to it. We had a great tour guide. Livy is asleep, poor thing had to get used to sleeping whenever she could. Who says you can't travel with a child?
At the main square in Merida. Livy was so excited to see the birds in the mornings. We would stop by a local bakery each morning and head to the square with the locals. It also saved us a lot of money going this route instead of eating at the hotels. We also never travel with tour groups, but travel with public transportation. Yep, we caught buses to go on to the next city. I love traveling this way because you get to interact with the locals, see a different way of life, and save a TON of money.
Livy and I, our last day at the beach in Cancun.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Field Trip

On Saturday, I went with my DUP sisters on our annual field trip. This year's trip was extraordinary and I must say that I learned so much. We went to the This is the Place Heritage Park.

Brigham Young's Forest Home. Originally located in the Sugarhouse area. I learned here that this house once sat on 800 acres of land. That means that at one time, my property was a part of this farm. The well in my yard was once Brigham Young's used for the farm.

During this time period (mid to late 1800's) it was a common belief that if boys did not become weathered to the elements that they would not grow into strong men (or not wimps). In the summer, the boys slept outside and in the winter they slept in the attic with Buffalo hides to keep them warm.

We made a stop to the Barber Shop, often called a Barber surgeon because they did far more then just cut hair or trim mustaches. This is also where you would go if you needed a tooth pulled or if you weren't feeling well and needed to be bled (blood letting). Some of the instruments used for these purposes seemed more like torture devices then medical equipment. I couldn't imagine going to a barber to have a tooth pulled and there was no guarantee that they could take the entire tooth out. If the roots stayed, there was another device used to dig the roots out. Ouch! I found it interesting that the Barber Pole was a medieval symbol for blood letting. The red represented the blood or bloody bandages, blue for the color of the vein and white for the hope of a clean bandage.
Lots of baby chickens running around. (I can't call them chicks because they are much larger then chicks but not a full size chicken yet)
Nearly every historic home or building was surrounded by gorgeous flowers. Iris, wild roses, lavender, peonies and sage just to name a few. I don't think I have seen Columbine this color before.
Also, for the time period, it was believed that if you laid flat to sleep that your heart would stop. Many of the beds in these old homes are much shorter for this reason. They slept sitting up or in a near sitting up position.

One of our last stops was to the printing shop. Inside they were demonstrating the printing process with a replica press printing the first edition of the Deseret News. It is surprising that many of our sayings has come from this industry. Like Mind your P's and Q's. The small type pieces were in a separated box and the person pulling the letters to create the story had to have the box memorized and since the P and Q were next to each other, they were told to mind them.

Also, make a good impression comes from this process. When they printed the paper they wanted to make a good impression.

The term dingbat comes from the newspaper industry as well. Of course it has a different meaning now then what it once did. A dingbat is a decorative piece of type used to fill up extra space.

Monday, June 2, 2008