Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Things I have Driven (Part two)

About a year after I graduated (GO PIONEERS! Class of 1990 RULES!) I got fed up with working at the Mom and Pop Hamburger Stand that I had worked at since I was 16. I decided to try and find another job, preferably one that contained less grease.

I put in several applications around town, one of which was at the local bank. I didn't think much about it, until about two weeks later, when I received a phone call from the branch manager for an interview. I brought my nice clothes to the grease pit, and changed when my shift was over to go to the interview. I smelled vaguely of onion rings.

Gwen started this new thing. Back firing. It was a FABULOUS confidence booster, and much like acid reflux, it was unpredictable and uncomfortable. And embarrassing. So when I arrived at the bank, I parked about a block away.

I interviewed and got the job. The manager asked me if I had my own transportation. I said yes, and he looked at me funny. I just shrugged.

Every day I came to work and parked a block away. For two weeks.

Then...well, then I got my first paycheck. I couldn't believe all the money I had. EUREKA! I was filthy rich. I decided it was high time Gwen and I broke up, and I replaced her with a vehicle much more worthy of my newly-found high roller life. And my fancy bank clothes. And besides, I was sick of walking a whole block to work every day.

So I thought about my options for about 15 minutes. To please my Dad, I even went through the premise of test-driving practical vehicles, in which I had no interest. No siree, I had my heart set on a Geo Storm. Small and sporty and new. Bright Red. Gray interior. Stick shift. (Yeah, I mastered that one, even on a hill.)

We pulled into the car dealership, and I saw IT. I just knew. And I am sure the salesman knew. I didn't care. I just wanted it. So I signed the papers, and drove it home. Grinning ear to ear. That new car smell replacing the french fry grease that had long been permeating my clothes.

The radio worked. It had a CD player! And an airbag! The keys stayed in the ignition! It didn't back fire, or shake like it had palsy at freeway speeds. Yep, it had all the bells and whistles...and all of a sudden I went from "cute girl" to "hot chick in a sports car!"

My payment was $239.00. My insurance was like 50 bucks a month. I still has money to spare. Until...

...I got my first speeding ticket.

I was flying to the movie theaters on the freeway. I was doing 90mph in a 55. That put me on probation. I had to go to traffic school. In traffic school I learned that little red sports cars were cop magnets. And it was.

Also found out that the back seat wasn't all that comfortable. It was cramped, and was pretty much a total bummer for a post-date make-out sessions.

The final straw was when winter hit Utah. The snow fell, the roads got slick, and the Storm was useless in the snow. It was like a $10,200.00 toboggan. A couple of times I missed my freeway exit to work because the car slid right past the exit. Winters were awful. But still, it was such a darling car...

Time passed.

I met Sam, married Sam, got another job, got pregnant with Jayden. Decided the back seat wasn't going to work for a car seat and sadly, sold the Storm.

Bought a Honda Accord. Just like my Dad tried to get me to buy five years previously, when I insisted on having my frivolous youthful fling with the Storm.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Things I have Driven (Part One)

I failed my first drivers test.
I really did.
I was devastated! I begged my Dad to take me down to the DMV on my birthday so I could get my licence. Then I had to beg him not to tell anyone that I failed. Sadly, it was a full six agonizing weeks when I finally earned my ticket to freedom.

In fairness, I took my test late afternoon, when the sun was setting, and I could not see the red light on the fake drivers test course. I ran it. Apparently that'll fail you. Running a red light.

When I got my licence my Dad bequeathed to me his beloved old Toyota work truck. She was a sturdy gal. Back in those days cars ran until they literally fell apart. You just fed them some gas and oil, and they ran. And ran. Aaaaand raaaaan.

She had over 500,000 miles of experience on her. She wasn't much to look at. Her once blue exterior was savagely ravaged by cancerous rust.

The interior was just as rough. Her dashboard was cracked from hot summer sun magnified by the windshield. The seats were covered with a scratchy woven fabric that sent particles of dust floating whenever you sat on them. She smelled exactly how you would expect the truck of a hard-working construction man to smell. Sweat and sawdust, and the lingering aroma of talk radio.

Nevertheless, I was thrilled to own her. She was christened "Gwen." (It's a long story)

The first Saturday I owned her, I spruced her up good. I washed her, and even hosed out the interior. The rusted out floorboards were great for drainage. I polished the dashboard and gauges with Armor All. I attached all the key-rings I had been collecting for this rite of passage. I even added a Little Tree Vanillaroma air freshener to the rear view mirror.

I went into the house, drunk with freedom! And nonchalantly I announced: "Hey, I am going to THE MALL (in the BIG CITY!) anyone want to go?"

Stunned silence.

Finally, my younger sister fed into my ego, and said she would go. We donned our best duds, and headed off for the big city.

I guess this is the part where I tell you that Gwen was a stick shift. I had only driven a stick shift a couple of times. But I did real good! And really, you kill it a time or two...and it's all good, right? Everyone struggles with first gear. It's just hard.

I merged onto the freeway.

I did great. I checked my blind spots. I signaled clearly when I changed lanes. I kept the mandatory two car distance between myself and the other traffic. Gwen had a tendency to shake when she reached her top speed of 50. She shook a lot. Enough that eventually she shook the keys right out of the ignition. They almost went through the floorboards, had it not been for my plethora of key-rings, I am not sure how that would have ended up.

Everything was going great. Until I hit my exit. I merged off the freeway just as...

...the light turned red. I stopped, and my heart started pounding. This particular exit is on a HILL! And the realization hit me that not only would I have to do the whole first gear thing, but I would also have to NOT ROLL BACKWARDS.

A car pulled in behind me. Then another, and another, until there were a whole string of cars. Waiting for me to do first gear. And not hit them.

My palms were sweaty, and I was literally sick.

The light changed. I gave Gwen some gas. I eased off the brakes, more gas....too much gas....and killed it. "Okay, I can do this.." I try again. I kill it. Try again, kill...oh please...

By this time, the cars behind me are passing me, I am sure they were honking, I was so upset I can't remember. I just remember thinking that I would never get off of that hill. My sister was down on the floorboards. I figured she was just mortified, and trying to hide.

"GET UP! HELP ME!!"I was desperate.
"I AM!" she said, "I am praying!" She was desperate.

Finally, I got it.

I crested the hill, and coasted down to the next traffic light. It was just turning red. I ran it. It was survival.

We made it to the mall. We made it home.

It was a long time before I drove old Gwen again.

Eventually she took me through high school.
Eventually I had to share her with my younger sister.
Eventually, she went through more oil than gas, and started to die a slow death.

I drove her to my first real job interview, and my first job, and clear up until eventually, in 1991, I bought my first brand new car.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Since I am a modern woman of the 80's, I guess it should come as no surprise to you that I am so technically advanced as to have several personalized ring tones for my phone.

I downloaded them myself. For free.
You can get some too, for free HERE.

My friend Wendy gets her own ring is by Crazytown. She has seven kids. She is one of those kind of friends that always makes you feel better about your life. If you are having a crappy day, she can call, and tell you what is going on at any given point in her life, and instantly you feel a whole lot better about your own situation.

Like the time I called her, and she was getting pulled over by a cop. Right then. For swerving all over the road. Why? Because she was changing clothes in the car. She was late for her daughters graduation. And it doesn't end there. She couldn't find her drivers licence, so she just gave the officer her Costco card.

She is Crazytown. (Love ya, Wendy!)

The kids calling me from home call in the ring tone of The Wonder Pets!

All other miscellaneous calls ring to me in Maroon 5's "Wake-up Call."

All except Sam. He gets his own ring tone too. He gets Hot Chocolate "You Sexy Thing."Let me tell you, this song sticks in your head. He called this morning, and all day long I have been singing "I believe in miiiiracles, since you came alooooong, you sexy thang..."
Even Mikayla gets into it.

Except this morning she switched the words up:
"I believe in SANTA CLAUS...."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A new routine

I still don't like to exercise. Wish I did. But...I have been exercising. That is the good part. The bad part, is that Sam has been exercising with me. Okay, I guess that is not all bad. The motivation is great. If I put it off, he asks "Hey, are we doing a tape tonight?" So, I have been pretty regular about it. Almost every night, in fact. And yes, we do TAPES, as in VHS. Shush.

We put the kids in bed, and THAT is a term I use very loosely. They always end up getting out of bed for a million different reasons. Mostly for the sheer entertainment of watching both of their overweight 30-something parents huffing and puffing to an exercise tape.

Which leads me to the bad parts of Sam exercising with me....


Why do men have to make noise when working out? Why?? PLEASE TELL ME! Why is it, when he lifts weight he always has to grunt? We are both lifting weights. I am sure my weights are just as heavy to me, as his are to him (comparatively), and yet, physically it doesn't help me to Gaaaaaarrgh! Hmmmmff! and Yyyyooooorff! when I lift mine.

And when we are doing abdominal work, side by side on the cramped family room carpet, the intense crunches ALWAYS elicit a fart from him. Always. Sometimes a string of farts. To fill the small room.

And when we mix up the routine with those giant exercise balls that you sit on for core work-outs, you should hear him rip farts off those! In fact, I am sure you have. They are that resounding.

And then he laughs. It's so funny!

I just love working out with him.

I found a tape we both like. Please do not laugh as I make a recommendation for an exercise tape, and yes they sell it in that new-fangled DVD format. I like the tape because:
1- It requires no coordination. For which, I have none.
2- It mixes weights and cheesy lunges and stuff. And you don't even need weights, really. I have moved up to 5 pounders, but you could start out with like soup cans or something.
3- It is only 40 minutes long. Including warm-up and cool-down.
4- The tape has three workouts on it, two 40 minutes and a ten minute for when you don't really want to do much.
5- I can make it through the whole workout.
6- You will be sore the next day. But not the sore that you curse all exercise and never want to be sore again, just the "Whoa, I feel my thighs!( Arms! Butt!)"
7- It's only a penny on Amazon. And $2.98 to ship.

Are you convinced yet?

Sam likes it for the same reason that you all are going to make fun of me...
Please don't make fun of me...

Just spring for the three bucks, try it, and then shoot me an e-mail. Thanking me for changing your life and toning your body.

It', Cindy Crawford.

Sam likes the eye-candy.
I wish she could smell his gratuitous fart offerings.

Friday, January 18, 2008

There's some talent!

Going through some brochures and whatnot leftover from Cancun. I found this.
Can anyone explain?

And how does one procure tickets to an event like this?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Here is the tally

The last twelve days I have completed:

41 layouts
12 cards
2 mini-albums
8 miscellaneous projects (those mailboxes, bag toppers, altered notebooks, etc)
(insert applause here)

I have four layouts, and two cards to go.
(insert booing and hissing here)

I am tired.
I still love what I do, but I am due for a break, no?
Maybe back to Cancun, without kids, maybe without husband(?)definitely without adhesive of any sort.

Sharing some stuffs.

New QuicKutz stuffs that I worked on forever ago, and finally released today. A new cookie cutter alphabet, called Diesel, and some new shapes that remind me of being a kid in the 80's (rainbows, mushrooms, cherries...)

In other news. I am almost done with my trade show stuffs. Almost. Hopefully by tonight. I am heading for a burn-out.

I will break for American Idol. It starts tonight, and this week and possibly next are the only weeks worth watching. When all of the kooks come out to audition. Yeah, I know it's probably 90% staged, but I find it entertaining anyway. And it makes me feel pretty hopeful about my own singing ability. I can belt out a good "Here Comes the Rain Again" in the shower.

I think even Annie Lennox would be proud of my stirring rendition.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Compliments that are also burns.

What do you call these?
I know people mean well, but sometimes you just aren't sure how to respond to certain statements.

Some recent gems:

"WOW! That is so awesome you actually get paid to do THAT!" (Said about my scrapbooking projects)

"I honestly didn't think you had THAT MUCH weight to lose!" (Said about my recent 25 pound drop)

"You look so great for having five kids!" (Um, what if I didn't have ANY kids? Then would I look like crap?)

I always just smile and say "Thanks." And pacify myself with a 100 calorie pack.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

white trash snow fun

Sending the kids out sledding in the neighbors yard, because they have a slight hill. The kids buried the bike ramp in the snow and made their own sled jump.
Good freaking times!
I tried to clone out the house in the background to make it look like we actually took them somewhere to sled, and then I got a crick in my neck from staring at the screen in photo shop for so long, and thought...WHO CARES? Who cares that there is a garbage can in the background?

So here are the kids. And yeah, I am avoiding my scrappy deadlines for today. I have done a lot in the last week, and I needed a break. Don't tell.

Do me a favor--

Next time you are at the grocery store, pick up a 25 pound bag of sugar. Carry it around for a few aisles...see how it feels...

Cause that, my friends, is how much weight I have lost so far with Weight Watchers.

25 pounds! Almost a whole toddler.

Back to trade show work...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Trade Show Mode

The author of this blog will be temporarily unavailable due to overwhelming work loads. CHA winter 2008 is imminent and the author is in the arduous process of completing deadlines for manufacturer obligations. We appreciate your patience until we are able to resume regularly scheduled blog-casts. Please send condolences. And chocolate.
Thank you,
The Management

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

In case you missed it, or shockingly don't live in Utah...
They aired one of my projects on Good Things Utah (a morning variety-type show) during the craft segment.

This was the one that I kicked out in the two hours the other day.

You can see it HERE.

That coupled with my muy professional video demonstration segments for the Scraparatus by Karen Foster which are now on YouTube .

I guess I am pretty much famous.

I think I will start sending my laundry out to have someone else do it. Cause that is what we famous folks do. But wait...then would it be sold on eBay? Just because I wore it?

Fine. I guess I will have to do it myself. Like the peasants.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Impossible Pie

When I was a little girl, (in 1976 to be exact) I used to beg my mom to make this pie. I just thought it was awesome, and I could actually "help" make it. We found the recipe for it in The Friend and the recipe is still online, I looked it up.

I had forgotten about this pie, and found it in some old recipes. I made it last night with the kids. I mostly just instructed them, they can make it themselves. The coolest thing about it, is that you just throw everything into the blender, buzz it for a minute, and then dump it into the pie plate.

The pie separates while baking into a crust, and then a custardy-flan-ish middle, and the coconut floats to the top and toasts. It is quite delicious, and like I said before...entertaining for the kidlets.

Here is the recipe:
1 c. coconut
2 c. milk
4 eggs
1/2 c. butter
2 t. vanilla
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
Spray pie tin with pam. Dump everything into the blender. Blend. Pour into the pie tin. Bake 45 min. at 350.

Enjoy that.

In other news, I have been cranking out scrappy stuff. I can't share anything. It's kinda a bummer. CHA winter stuff can't be seen until after the trade show is over, and the QuicKutz stuff I have been doing is for the trade show and the February releases. Sigh.

I will share when I can.

I am thinking about getting a perm. What do we think of that? Opinions?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Weight Watcher friendly snack review.

These are Quaker Rice Cakes. They are not the rice cakes of the past. They are actually a pretty good snack. They have flavor and everything.

Ranch flavor--Pretty good.
Cheddar Cheese--Haven't tried it yet. (Anyone?)
Caramel Corn--SO good! I mean, really good.
Cinnamon Apple--Haven't tried, not really a fan of Apple Jack-y stuff. (Anyone?)

Chocolate--SO foul. They taste like butt. I would rather eat a whole plate full of beets.

I had to quickly cleanse my palate with some Hershey's Kisses.

Friday, January 04, 2008


I get on an average 10-15 spam e-mails in my spam folder every day.
I just delete them...but sometimes while the computer is taking its own sweet time while disposing of them, I happen to catch a couple of lines.

Like today:

"shauntewadley Unleash the Dragon in your Pants."

I am not exactly sure what that means, but I am quite certain that I would need a prescription for it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

I am awesome.

Not only do I grow great hair...but...

I got a call late yesterday afternoon from one of my manufacturers with a last minute project request.

Of course I said yes. The trip fund is low ever since Cancun.

So the box of product gets sent overnight.

It had to be some sort of holiday themed home decor project. I can't be more specific until the segment airs, then I can share the goods. Anyway, Sam wanted me to go out with him and see a movie that night. We saw National Treasure II, which was entertaining, but that's about it, IMO.

Anyway, periodically during the movie, I am running ideas through my brain. I multi-task like that. I also thought about laundry. Working on that today too.

I had an idea so we stopped off at Target on the way home to grab some stuff for my project.

Next morning.

The Brown Truck drops off my package at 11:30. I open the box. Right then my manufacturer calls to make sure I got it...and also, that they had someone in my area checking on the new catalog...and possibly could they pick up the finished projects? (!!)

I needed to complete one project. Make another duplicate project half-way done, to be completed on air. And another duplicate, with all the fixin's un-adhered to possibly be completed on air. Three projects. Plus instructions.

So I crank on some tunes and dig in.

I meet the guy at 1:30 for the drop.

Two hours, people. Two hours!

But the real miracle here is that in that same two hours, I also showered, got dressed AND did my hair and make-up.

I think I need a medal of some sort.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


The kids FINALLY go back to school tomorrow.
Thank goodness.
They have been like locusts....descending on a clean room in the house, trashing it, and then moving on.
I have been on "pest control" since December 20th.
All cooped up in this house, with LOCUSTS. Messy, cluttery, bickering LOCUSTS.
And I swear...I just get through feeding them, cleaning it all up, and they need to eat again. It never ends. Ever. But it will tomorrow, oh yes, my tax dollars at work for my sanity.

On the plus side...they have been in the same pajamas since December 20th, so the laundry is down.

told you there were more pictures coming.

I think if you click on the pictures you can see them bigger.

Me and Sam in Kindergarten together. Awwwww, for cuuuute! Sam jokes around that he probably looked up my skirt in Kindy. But I know better. I never wore skirts. I was more of a tom-boy. I bet I kicked his trash at the monkey bars. That's more likely. Neither one of us remember clear back then.

Me and Sam in second grade. Don't remember much about him in this grade either. I know I was in the highest reading group in the class. He wasn't in my reading group. Which is not to say that he wasn't smart or anything. Just not as smart as ME. In second grade. Come to think of it, he still doesn't read. Unless you count off-road magazines. Which I don't.

And finally our first date. My future mother-in-law took the picture. I am so glad she did! I am happy to have something tangible from our very first date. And holy cripes! Look at my hair! Have you seen such hair? I bet there were live animals living in it at the time. That's some hair. And we matched. Awwwww, for cuuuute!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I am always confused. Do we say Happy New Year 2007? Or Happy New Year 2008?

And how would we put this in the scrapbook:
Photos of New Year 07...or 08?

Does it depend on if they were taken pre-midnight, or post-midnight?

Ugh, its all so confusing. Especially when you are all hung-over on the Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider. Heh.

This is the first year in a long time that I haven't stuffed myself with a whole bunch of appetizer crappies and felt bloated and slightly sick...then to write out my New Year's Resolutions; always including LOSE WEIGHT.

So glad I joined weight watchers back a few months ago. I felt pretty good about NOT writing down "Lose Weight" this year.

Now I am going to focus on "Get Rich." Or "Reverse Gravity."