In a rare twist of fate, I watched some of The Morning Show today (or maybe it was Good Morning America? I actually flipped through a couple of them). They happened to have Elizabeth Edwards on, talking about her confrontation/ongoing feud with Ann Coulter. Now, I'm not one to pay much attention to politics. I think it's important to talk about the issues, but I don't love all the hype about politicians' personal lives, it bores me. And watching the clips they had of Ms. Coulter, as well as the interview with Mrs. Edwards, I have come to this conclusion: Elizabeth Edwards has class. Ann Coulter does not. It all boils down to that. Ann Coulter is just plain rude, and she acts like she is doing what is right and sticking up for republicans, but all she does is insult members of the democratic party. And I think she thinks she is funny, but she is just plain dumb. I say, debate the issues, but give the personal attacks a rest.
So we did indeed get our new, excuse me, refurbished fridge on Monday. The fridge man came at about 9am to take away the old fridge. All our food was in 2 coolers (thanks Porters!), which is an excellent solution for a couple of hours. Fridge man came back at about 11 with the new fridge. Unfortunately, he had to transport the fridge on its side, which apparently messes with all the freon, meaning that it has to sit upright for a while for things to settle. Thus we couldn't plug it in for 24 hours. That's right, 24 hours. Not exactly what we had planned on. Fridge man was really apologetic, and it's not his fault, he even offered to go guy a bag of ice for us, but it certainly was inconvenient. Anyway, a day later, we got it all plugged in, and all our stuff is in. It looks good, it feels bigger, and it's definitely newer than our other fridge. And no puddles! All in all, it was worth the wait.
I don't think I've mentioned it before, but we have had a few problems with our fridge. A couple of months ago we started noticing that all our food in our fridge was wet. And the food in our freezer wasn't frozen, no matter how low we set the thermostat. So we called up the folks at Jensen "Stupidhead" Property Management, and they sent out a repairman, he fixed it. It worked great for about 3 weeks. Then we were back to the puddles in the fridge, and the non-frozen foods. So he came out again, fixed it again, and told us that it just needed to be replaced, or else he'd just have to come back out here every 3 weeks. He said he'd talk to the Management, see if he could convince them to replace it. A couple days ago, I again found a puddle in our fridge, and again sent in a maintenance request. And then they called me to tell me that someone would be by on Monday morning to pick up the old fridge, and then he'd come back in a few hours with the new one. Well, excuse me, the refurbished fridge. But it's still new to us! I'm happy about it. Now we just have to figure out where we're going to put all our food from 9-11:00 Monday morning. . . . eat fast, Clark!
Clark has mentioned in his blog before that there are some things in life where the brand name is necessary, such as enchilada sauce. In general, I am all about buying the generic brands, saving a few pennies here and there, and usually I can't tell a difference. But there are just some things that you shouldn't skimp on, and I discovered another one today: Contact Solution.
OK, first off, this isn't a "Helpful Hint" for most of you, because most people either don't wear contacts, or they wear soft contacts. I wear gas permeable contact lenses. The solution you have to buy is completely different. So, for years and years I would always buy the Boston Contact Conditioning Solution (as well as the Boston Contact Cleaning Solution), because that was all that was available at the store. It was fairly expensive (about $8/bottle) but it was completely worth it to me, as it took away the glasses, and nobody wants to wear glasses and be called "Four Eyes" (as a side note, the only time I was ever called "Four Eyes" was by a kid who was in fact wearing glasses himself. I don't think he really got it). A few months ago, I happened to notice that Target has started making a Target Brand Contact Conditioning Solution, and it was considerably cheaper than the Boston brand stuff. We're talking more like $5/bottle. So I figured I'd try it out. I noticed that it was a little different, but it still worked just fine. The biggest difference was my eyes seemed to be a little less wet right after I put in my contacts in the morning. I decided that it was a good bargain, and I've been buying it ever since.
Until last night. I went to Target to pick some up, and they were completely out of the Target brand stuff. Gone. All that was left was the Boston. Since I was totally out of it, I had to buy something, so I bought the more expensive stuff. And when I put my contacts in this morning, it was like a flush of water in my eyes. It felt soooo good. I felt refreshed, my eyes felt more moist than they have in quite some time. I know that sounds kind of silly, moist eyes, but it just felt great. And thus, I've decided to go back to the good old Boston brand. Poor Target. They didn't stock enough of their own item, and thus they lost me. Kind of ironic. Don't ya think?
It had been quite some time since we'd gone up to Salt Lake for the weekend, and since my parents will probably be out of their house by the end of the month, we decided we needed to get up there to "say goodbye" to good old Amanda Ave. Stewart is in town, so we had all 4 kids there for the occasion (Michelle was sadly missed, however).
It's an exciting thing, moving. I am thrilled for my parents, their new house is amazing, and they deserve to have a new house after all these years with small closets, no grounded plugs, and no sprinkler system. I got to see the model home while we were up there, and it looks fantastic. And it sounds like the apartment they are moving into until the house is built is fabulous as well. They'll have a pool! We can bring our swimsuits next time we come to visit!
But you know, it's also kind of sad to say goodbye to that house. There are a lot of memories there. A lot. All of us grew up in that house. I remember when Stewart and I were just little and we would tilt our mattresses on an angle so we could slide down them. And we tried to make tunnels out of sleeping bags. It was quite a while before we realized that sleeping bags aren't tubes. I remember when Stewart made the big move downstairs, and all three of us girls were too afraid of the dark to sleep in a room by ourselves, so we had 3 beds in one room, and all our stuff in the other room. There was so much moving around of rooms. There was a time when each of the bedrooms upstairs was "My Room," as well as the bedroom downstairs. We used to have this huge dollhouse, and for a while it was in my bedroom, but it creeped me out at night, so we moved it. Apparently I was a fraidy cat. And then there are memories from more recent years: coming home from college for Christmas and summer vacation; the time a truly embarrassing moment was avoided by seconds when Clark, after dropping me off for the evening, walked down the driveway and saw Kim, who was coming home; my wedding dress hanging in the front room. It's hard to let go of that history. Which seems silly, I know. The memories aren't disappearing, the house is just being left behind. But it still has a bittersweet sting.
In other news, Happy Fathers' Day! And Happy Birthday, Suzanne! We got to see the Blockburgers on Sunday, which was a treat. It got me all pumped for the big Yellowstone Excursion in a couple weeks.
So, I made the observation that our neighbors put up a fence last week, but I forgot to discuss the key points of this "new" fence.
First off, look at the fence in the picture below. The new portion is the small bit going from the house to the outside fence. I guess they wanted it to look original or something, because they used the same nasty wood planks. Maybe they are calling it the antiqued look? If you are going to build a new fence, at least make it new. Especially when it's not that big.
A little background on this duplex next door: It has been For Sale since we moved here back in September. The sprinklers were on for a large part of the winter, which made for a very slippery sidewalk out front, and I'm just sure the grass had some sort of mold, I mean really. And there was a large pile of wood that sat on their cement pad all winter long. It got plenty of water from the rain, snow, and continual sprinklers in their yard. And now, as I look closer, it seems that the large pile of rotten wood has gotten smaller. The way I see it, 1 of 2 things happened. 1) Someone finally bought the place and moved in (I did see a dog in the yard all day Monday, which lends credence to this theory). But if that is true, did they see this nasty pile of wood and think, "Oh, that is perfect fence making material!"? And situation 2) It's still for sale, and the owners have just been over a lot more recently, in an attempt to get this place to sell. And if that is the case, how on earth could they think that building that nappy fence would make someone more likely to buy it? And another thought, did they leave the wood out all winter in the hopes that it would "cure" or something? It's just an interesting situation. And since I sit here at the computer every single day, I have lots of time to glance out the window, see what is going on, and speculate. Some days I feel like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window.
"Best guitar player in the world! Self taught, no lessons, thank you very much, POP!" Yay for The Wedding Singer! Really, we do need to eat Chinese food and watch that fine piece of cinema. I've decided to expand the Quote of the Week. It won't necessarily be from a movie. I just realized that the number of movies that I quote from is small. So it could be a movie, a song, a TV show, pretty much anything. New quote up!
I've gotten a little behind on my RadioWest listening, so I was listening to the May 28 broadcast today, titled, "Mormonism and Popular Culture." They based the conversation off of the South Park episode focusing on Mormonism, and expanded to the views that everyone has about Mormons in general. It was really quite interesting.
But on to the part I found worth blogging about. They played a clip from South Park, where one of the characters has been invited over for Family Home Evening, and the Mormon family is singing a song about the Joseph Smith story. So, it's South Park, you know that they are just making fun of Mormons, which is fine, they make fun of a lot of people, and I really don't have a problem with it. The funny thing, though, is the song tells this ridiculous story about Joseph Smith, about how he saw God and Jesus, and about how he saw angels, it just all seems like stuff the South Park people made up, but it's all the truth. I found nothing in that song that I don't believe. I mean, really, if you think about it, it's crazy. And yet I believe it. They played another clip of the creators of the show talking about it, and talking about how you'd think that they made all this stuff up, but no, they are simply telling it exactly as Mormons believe it. From time to time I have these epiphanies, that what I believe can sound absolutely insane if you don't have the spirit there. And it just strikes me as, well, as funny. So I guess the song fulfilled its purpose, at least for me. It made me laugh.
Today is another blustery day, which is fine by me because it cooled things down quite a bit. I have the windows open for the first time in weeks! But I appear to be highly unobservant. I sit at our computer desk every day for at least 4 hours. And I quite often have the blinds open. And I sat here for a hour this morning before I looked out the window and noticed that our neighbors have put up a new fence. How have I not noticed them putting it up?! I guess it might have happened while we were on the trek, but even then, how have I not noticed it for the last 3 days? As it turns out, I'm oblivious.
Well, it appears that none of the Andersons check this blog, because they certainly would know that last week's quote, "I've got the most scathingly brilliant idea!" was from The Trouble With Angels. Ok, now I'm going a little easier on you. New quote up!
In a miraculous turn of events, we survived the trek! It really was a wonderful experience, and it made me appreciate the pioneers that much more. It also was the spiritual experience I needed to re-center my life. I feel like every so often, when I get caught up in the details that don't matter, I need a big experience to give me an eternal perspective again. So this trek was perfectly timed. Anyway, here are some highlights:
Ma and Pa getting the handcart ready The Howard Family banner (We walked in honor of Emma Howard and her family, Clark's Great-Great-Grandma) Our chicken. His name? Dead Meat. We feasted on him Friday night. This was one of the things Clark and I were the most worried about, who would kill the chicken. Luckily, we had some awesome kids who all volunteered to do it. So while they killed, gutted, cut up, and cleaned the chicken, we peeled potatoes. I say we got the far better end of the deal. Are we there yet? Trekking along Digging a firepit On Friday afternoon, we got to play pioneer games. Here are some of our kids at the stick pull. And here is Clark racing on stilts. And we're still trekking. This was the last day, and we were all pretty tired. Our "after" family photo When we came into "The Valley," they had all the parents waiting there, along with a lot of the youth leaders, waving white handkerchiefs, welcoming us home. And they had a brass band playing. It's so funny, I knew all that would be there, I had been prepped beforehand, but it still got me choked up to think about making it to the end of a long journey, and having people who love you there to greet you. It was a beautiful thing.
We really did have some amazing kids. They never complained, they were happy, they worked together, it made the experience that much better. For future reference, I don't recommend adopting 7 teenagers (we had 4 girls and 3 boys) at the same time, but for 3 days we could handle it.