Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Grown-up Christmas List

In case you were wondering what to get me for Christmas, I thought I would make it easier.  The list goes from grand to less grand so that by the time you get to the bottom, you think it is such a deal that you buy whatever is last.  Oh, and listen to my calming voice; you are getting sleepy…

  1. I would like a car with four-wheel drive or all wheel drive.  I wouldn’t mind a Hummer although I think their windows are too small.  I would settle for a Land Rover or a Mercedes with all wheel drive.  I want it fully loaded with all of the computer software possible.  I would like it to sync to my Macbook along with an Ipad and Iphone.  I will also, humbly, accept a hover craft.
  2. A spa day.  Wait.  That is not thinking big enough.  A spa week.  I would like to go to a real spa in Southern Utah where I only eat grass, get massages after I exercise and then contemplate life while drinking water I find myself by digging my own well.
  3. I would like to move to England for a year.  I have always wanted to do this and I believe the only way I will stop wanting to do this is to do it.  Questions?
  4. LAMY pens.  You may think this doesn’t fit with the rest of my list because it is only $35, but I would like EVERY pen LAMY makes, with refills.  I actually found a paper and pen store in New York City that sells them and I am so excited to go there in May.  I believe it will be the highlight of my trip to New York.  And there is nothing wrong with that.
  5. Two chairs.  I think I would like them to be reading chairs.  And I would like a protective shield over them so when I sit in them with a book, my children cannot see me.
  6. An Ipad.  I would like this so I can carry it around and write whenever I wish and not have to carry a laptop.  I would do all my social networking on it as well so when I am writing, I am writing and not facebooking because that is easier than figuring out how to describe Sadie riding a horse (part of my plot sort of but not really).

Now doesn’t an IPAD sound reasonable?  I would need a case for it to go in, though.  I learned the hard way with my kindle that one must protect the screen and threaten small children with their lives if they touch it.  I would like a designer case.  One that costs more than the actual IPAD if possible, yet subtle.

So what is on your list?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My BFF James


I would like to be friends with James Taylor. I was listening to his Christmas album in the car and I foresaw my possible future.  He seems to be the type of person who always brings homemade bread to a potluck. I also think he would be great at barbeques.  Then after we ate our fill, we could sit around a nice fire because he has an outdoor fireplace and roast marshmallows while he plays the guitar.
            James washes dishes by hand and only wears cotton layers.  His wife brings out some homemade pie while the kids skip rocks on the beach.  We can’t actually see the children do this, however, because James’ house is in the mountains.  Maybe the kids are at a lake cut into the top of the mountain James lives on.
            And then we all sleep in hammocks that automatically rock with crickets and birds gently singing.  In other words, James Taylor lives with Snow White.
            I think I would do great in this atmosphere with James as a friend.  I could harmonize and we would look at each other knowingly over his guitar when others would try to join in, off pitch.  Then for Christmas, he would give me a basket of handmade candies wrapped in tissue paper.  He would then start to chop wood for the next night’s fire.
            This is how James Taylor lives, don’t you think?  And I would fit in to this lifestyle quite well.  I use to hang out at campsites, although no one ever sang, and I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying around the campfire in Mexico.  I used to fall asleep every night to crickets chirping when I lived in Connecticut.  I never actually slept outside with crickets.  I started camping in Utah, namely Southern Utah, and it is too hot for crickets there.  Mostly, I slept to other people’s snores. 
            But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t fit in.  I have done everything I would do at James’ house, just not all together.  That is why I need him to be my friend.  It would bring me completeness.  I would be a complete person.  Just like Snow White.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pre-fab sugar cookies

With the holiday season upon us, I find that my deficiencies are magnified.  (Although those of you who actually read this on a semi-regular basis are probably wondering how the holiday season is different from any other day of the week in the magnifying my deficiencies arena.)  In particular, I realize I was not meant to be a “homemaker.”  -At least not one that cooks, cleans, or makes decorations for the home.

I was at the grocery story trying to buy unprocessed foods for my family when I walked by the ready-made cookie dough.  I am supposed to make two-dozen cookies for a church activity on Thursday.  As I slowed down between the refrigerated area and the baking goods aisle, I started to question my development as a sugar cookies manufacturer.  From the age of ten to about eighteen, I made sugar cookies by myself.  I rolled out the batter, cut them into Christmas shapes, baked them, re-rolled and cut the dough until there was only a tiny bit left, baked all those, made homemade frosting in multiple colors, frosted and decorated the cookies and then cleaned the whole mess up.  (My mother didn’t thank me enough for this, by the way)  I did this every year like clockwork.  In fact, I have an unhealthy addiction to frosted sugar cookies due to this habit, I believe.  So with this as my background, I wonder why have less than zero desire to make sugar cookies now.  I used to love it and now it is a pain to buy the tube of dough and roll it out a few times to make a couple tree shaped cookies.  Am I giving up on a cherished tradition by not making the dough by hand?

And then I remembered the book I read on the biography of Betty Crocker.  She isn’t a real person, by the way.  It was more a history of the corporation, but I am going to personify the company because they have and why stop a good thing?  So women used to pride themselves by how good a cake they could make, according to Betty.  Many women wouldn’t use a mix when they first came out for shame of it all.  At the same time, many people found that the mixes worked better and tasted better because all of the ingredients were regulated and sifted nicely.  (I personally think brownie mixes are generally better than homemade.)  It saved women time to use the mix and many found it to be a luxury.  Now when we bring a “homemade” cake to an event, it is generally from a box.  (Unless your name is Gail Welch; then it is made from scratch no matter what.)

So I thought about this history and realized that I was simply carrying on the evolutionary process, as it should be by using pre-made sugar cookie dough.  This was created to ease my life, which is hard enough when making sugar cookies with three children.  I still make the frosting by hand, but now I only make green, red and white instead one of every color in the food-coloring box.  Stars can be white instead of yellow.  I have spoken.  And I really only like to make the frosting because I like the cloud the powdered sugar makes.  I can pretend I am inhaling a different white powder and then pretend nothing bothers me for the rest of the day.

So I guess this is not a deficiency.  It shows how adaptable I am to evolutionary changes. I do, however, still have issues with tadpoles turning into frogs, but only when they are doing so in a bowl in my kitchen.  In fact, next year I may buy the pre-cut sugar cookies to show how evolved I am (and to make one less thing I have to clean up).

Now if I could just figure out how to make Rhodes rolls (pre-made frozen rolls you just have to defrost and stick in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes which supposedly every Mormon on the planet knows how to make except for maybe three.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Macey's Thanksgiving Turkey

I am sitting at my kitchen table looking at the snow, while my three year old watches Iron Man 2 – don’t judge me.  What’s more worrying is that I find myself strangely attracted to Mickey Rourke in this film.  That is what you should be judging me for, not the fact that I am knowingly raising a delinquent. 

It is negative gazillion outside and I need to go to the store for Thanksgiving.  I have to buy everything I will need for a small family of 5 Thanksgiving.  This is not very easy because I do not want to gain the ten pounds I have lost by counting the points that Big Brother, a.k.a. Weight Watchers, has given to every food created.  So I can’t buy a ready-made pie, because my family does not eat pie.  I may not finish off the mashed potatoes but I could very easily sit down with the pie pan three fourths full and finish it off while reading a nice book.  Or a trashy book.  Or both, depending on the size of the pie.  So I am going to make a Weight Watchers pumpkin pie.  It has graham cracker crust, but the rest seems to be the same.  If I don’t eat for the rest of the week, I can have as much pie as I want.  Maybe two.

I was going to buy a turkey breast because three of our five do not understand how much you are supposed to eat at Thanksgiving yet.  Katherine will ask if she has to eat everything on her plate and Seth will have his Storm Trooper hiding in the potatoes before I have to loosen the top button of my jeans.  When I bring out the “pumpkin pie,” they will ask for chocolate cake.  Or just the frosting.  Or maybe just Thanksgiving decorated Oreos. 

So here is my dilemma:  do I make the traditional foods, like pumpkin pie, or do I make cupcakes that the kids will like more?  In five or so years, they will be addicted to the traditional foods and then all will be well.  But I have to go through the next five years.  I think I should have gone to my parents.  Then there would have been more people there and they would have succumbed to peer pressure.  Actually, tradition has been eroding from my parents’ house lately.  My sister brings a Costco pumpkin pie instead of making one.  That is almost as bad as making a pie with a graham cracker crust, in my personal opinion.  I don’t care if Costco makes a good pie.  Thanksgiving is the time for homemade food and if you can’t cook, it is the time to eat someone else’s homemade food.  That is the spirit.

So now I am stuck in negative weather, writing down ingredients for recipes I can eat more of while Big Brother is watching.  When really I should be writing stories about other people’s Thanksgivings, selling those stories, and ending up in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.  I want to be on the big paper Mache turkey whose wings flap and the head moves from side to side.  I think that is a nice attainable goal.  It’s good to keep your goals attainable during the holiday season.  If you don’t, you end up eating the whole Costco pumpkin pie your sister brings.  In a closet.  Behind the bathrobe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Improving my Internet Personality

So I am trying to get my name out there more than it is.  I am social networking and commenting and figuring out how the Internet works.  I am realizing that while I do this, I may actually have to think about what I write.  I mean, the Queen of England is on Facebook according to Entertainment Weekly. What if she reads what I write? I can’t actually find her, though.  When you put in her name - Elizabeth Alexandra Mary – all sorts of pages come up for her.  I want to friend her, though, because I want to get an invite to the wedding next year.  So far, it does not look like it is going to happen.

Any who – I have to actually concentrate on what I write now.  For instance, I just wrote the entry on sewing.  I think that if I write entries on domestic issues, people will think I am domestic.  The whole point of the Internet is to let you create a reality that is only on your computer.  I am domestic, tall, no body fat, and my hair is long and flowing and I don’t have to do a thing to it and it looks amazing.  I love the Internet.

What was I saying?  Ah, yes.  So I now realize I should think about what I write.  Here is the rub:  I slept from 3am to 7am last night.  I have been doing that a lot these last two weeks due to the fact that I live in such domestic bliss with perfect children who shower regularly and go to bed when asked that I lie awake at night thinking of its wonderfulness – once again, I love my Internet reality.  Surprisingly enough, when you have had the amount of sleep required for a normal female for one night splattered among three, not only should you probably not operate large machinery in a snow storm, you should probably not write.  At least not if you are thinking of posting it on the World Wide Web.  It may hurt your Internet personality.  People may think my hair is not flowing.

So I have come up with a plan.  I just gave my three year old his brother’s DS; I put a two hour video on repeat play; and I am drinking drug laced hot chocolate (it is a special Swiss Miss flavor only found in Canada.).  I have one hour and ten minutes before I am in charge of picking up the kids in said snowstorm.  I can nap for the one hour and I will take the ten minutes and get a Diet Coke on the way to the school.  After all I am a responsible adult.  (Ooh, just added new characteristic to online persona.)  And then I will write an entry that I will post and it will be coherent and everyone will love it and it will make me one million dollars.  Or maybe I should stop buying my Swiss Miss in Canada.