Wednesday, June 27, 2007

But I neeed it

Yesterday my 9 AM piano student asked me about half way through her lesson, "Do my eyes look different?"

"No." I said.

"Oh. Well I'm really tired. And this is how my eyes look when I'm really tired."

(Her again a few minutes later) "Do you drink coffee?"

"No." I said.

"I do." She said proudly. "I had to get up at 6 this morning. My mom told me I could have coffee later if I was too tired. I really need it today."

"Zoe, you're 9 years old. You don't need coffee to get you through the day."

"Some days I just neeed it."

SHE'S 9! and already thinks that the best solution to lack of sleep is coffee. It's summer. She doesn't have a job. Take a nap for heaven's sake. That's really what she neeeds.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mexican Memories

Tonight as I was cooking up some flautas, making guacamole, and chopping up lettuce, different memories connected with Mexican food came to mind. Mexican food would probably be the closest thing I have to "comfort food", though I don't consider myself an emotional eater.

My most vivid memory of cooking with my mom was when I was somewhere around 8-10 years old. We were making tacos and I wanted to help. My mom handed me the lettuce and showed me how to core it by banging the end on the counter and popping it out. She then told me to shred the lettuce thinly. I distinctly remember cutting the lettuce very carefully, wanting to make the thinest most perfect lettuce possible for Mexican food. I think I succeeded.

When I lived in the Riviera apt. 90 some of my roommates combined food budgets and traded off making meals. I didn't always participate because I was still fairly vegetarian and I was quite afraid of having to eat (or not eat and offend my friends) meaty dishes. However, I have to admit that I could not resist their double decker tacos with homemade flour tortillas. Mmmmm...I still make tortillas with that recipe when I have a little extra cooking time. A conversation centered around the spicy salsa we had one meal still makes me chuckle.

One of us: "J@#$, I didn't know you liked spicy food."
J@#$: "My dad's from AZ." (in a tone that was very conclusive, as though that explained it all.)

And the final Mexican memory tonight was when I was making guacamole with one of my other roommates to garnish our dinner. It was customary practice at my house growing up to make guacamole by smashing up an avocado with salsa. I was just about ready to pour salsa into the bowl with the avocado. "NO! Don't put that in the guacamole! It'll ruin it." "What should I put in it then?" I asked. "You just need to smash the avocado with a little salt." I don't remember who won out on that one, but I remember thinking (and maybe saying), "That's not guacamole. That's just smashed up avocado with salt."

And now I make guacamole my own way. Avocados smashed up with fresh garlic, finely diced onion, lime juice, jalapeño salt, cumin and sometimes red pepper flakes and cilantro.

I'd never heard of jalapeño salt until moving here, but it is one of my most used spices.

Now I will remind you all that you do not have to let left over guacamole go to waste. Freeze it in a plastic zip bag or Tupperware. It keeps its color and thaws out marvelously.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

How quickly we forget

Last year was horribly hot and dry here. We had record breaking heat streaks and next to no rain. We had to water our houses so our foundation didn't crack and cause structural damage. We were on a level 3 drought water restriction which meant we'd be fined for using over 10,000 gallons of water in a month, water any day other than our designated water day, wash our cars at home, or water any time 10AM-6PM. I sweat like CRAZY jogging at 7 AM.

We went ahead and splurged on a sprinkler system this year, anticipating it to be like last year. But we were wrong. And I guess I'm ok with that. Our sprinkler system can't hurt our home's value, and who knows what the future will hold for our weather.

It's been raining here quite frequently. Flooding in some places near us. I really don't mind when it rains during the week because it gives a little reprieve to the sweltering heat, means we don't have to water that much, and we don't have to worry about our garden. However, the weekend raining does put a damper on things like trying to mow your long grass that's actually grown because of the rain. It also produced a horrifying 2 years worth of flood water mosquitoes that are gigantic and aggressive.

Today as I was waiting for Matt to pick me up from work it was sprinkling again. I stood there and watched about 20 people pass me coming out of the building. Only 3 didn't have a comment about the weather. Some of the actual quotes that made me laugh were:

"Gosh, you'd think we're British!"

"Dagnabit! I'm not a duck! It needs to stop raining! I live someplace where it's not supposed to rain every day."

"The Ocean called. It wants its water back."

"Can it be any more balmy?"

Have they already forgotten the horrible cracks in our yards and foundations and the record breaking heat? Good heavens, it's true our water table is up from last year, but we're still considered in a drought.

I'll take the rain for now, even if it means a few mosquito bites and an overgrown lawn between opportunities to mow.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Looking for advice

If you missed it, I'm looking for advice on baby gear two posts down. If you have any, I'm soliciting it. I'm looking for what you've found to be good purchases or bad purchases. Brands, items, things you can't live without, things you've never used. You know. I've disabled comments on this post so I can keep all the ideas in one spot. So please visit my "uneventful" post to help.

Thanks to those who've contributed and will contribute...assuming that someone else will contribute...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Smoke your socks off youtube talent

Matt just had me watch these two youtube videos from Britain's Got Talent. I wonder why in the world America's Got Talent is one big freak show while they come up with these gems. Is it because David Hasselhoff is a judge? Or because Jerry Springer is the host?

You have got to hear these two though. They're amazing.

Just so uneventful

Wow. I almost started a post about 72-hour kits.

All I've really been doing the last couple of weeks is work, garden, quilt, make cards, and attend two enrichment nights. (One for the old ward and one for the new. One was on food storage, 72-hour kits, women's self defense, and wheat grinders. Hence the near post about provident living.) It's felt so uneventful and I'm having a hard time thinking of anything worth sharing.

My co-workers are throwing me a baby shower on Tuesday so I'm trying to register for stuff at Target. Problem is, I'm having a hard time figuring out what I need. Also, I know some things I need (stroller, car seat, high chair, etc.), but I don't know what brands are good/ a good deal. I don't really think I'll get those items, but I would like to have an idea of what I should purchase the next couple of months.

So here is my open thread for you parents out there who know more than I. Don't let me down. =)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Baby, baby, that all you think about?!

And the results are in!

We are having...

a baby.


A baby boy that is. The data was conclusive.

This was the technician's first time getting a 3-D picture to resemble a baby, so I don't know if it's accurate or not...hehe. She was a pro at the regular ol' 2-D ultrasounds, but not so up to date on the 3-D. The 3-D tech left without training her and just gave her a few notes on how to get the image to come out correctly! She said she usually just winds up with a blob, so she was super happy to see this picture of our baby turn out.

And look at those lips!

So I may have already shared, but Dean and Edward are our two front runners in the way of names. I'm guessing Dean will be the final choice (because it's a family name and my favorite) and Calvin is my choice of middle name, though that's not set in stone.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Winds of Change: a svithe

If you recall, our ward was gigantic. When we moved in we had around 600 people. In the last year we've probably exceeded 700 people. I have been a primary teacher for the 6 year olds, of which there were 24 total (only 12 in my class). Our primary had over 200 kids in it. Not only was our ward huge, but our Stake is quite large too. There are now 16 wards and 1 branch in our Stake. Carrolton, our neighboring Stake, also has 16 wards.

It was time for a change.

We were a little surprised last Sunday, however, when they announced the wards would be rearranged and a new ward would be created this week. We're in the process of building a new chapel that will be done at the end of the year. I thought that'd be the time we'd split wards and Stakes so there would be enough room for everyone. But no. The time has come; the time is now. The Stake wasn't split, but our ward of 700 has been farmed out to a more manageable situation.

Rumors of the new boundaries were flying this past week. Our Bishop told the Young Men's President that it would be useless to speculate because it would be nothing like anyone would expect. Of course that makes speculations all the more enjoyable. Our mechanic told us that he'd been told by one "in the know" that the new arrangement would be "a test of faith" for many in the Stake. I studied the current ward boundaries coming up with all sorts of possibilities, wondering where we'd end up. My worst (and only) fear was that we'd end up having to drive to Sherman, 45min. north, since there weren't enough buildings here in McKinney. Luckily that wasn't the case.

In the end our Bishop was right, and I was surprised by the outcome. The Stake President said he was actually surprised by the final outcome. They've submitted suggestions to the First Presidency more than once in the past year, but none of them were approved until this one.

I don't mind change for the most part. I figure the Lord's in charge and things will work out how they're supposed to work out. I probably have an advantage over "homebodies" who have lived in the same place and same ward with the same friends their whole lives. In the past 8 years alone I have had membership in 9 wards! Today's change makes the 10th.

It's kind of funny that the group of friends we hang out with are totally split up. One couple is in the new ward. We happened to be a part of a little section that was transplanted into a different existing ward (3rd ward), and the other couple will remain in our old ward (1st ward). In truth, the person I will miss the most is our Relief Society President, but that's how it goes sometimes. A good time to meet new people and get new callings.

All 5 wards in McKinney were affected on some level. Not only that, but an Allen ward was temporarily kicked out of their building and they have to travel to Plano (which is actually a different Stake) until the new chapel is finished in McKinney so the new ward can have a place to meet until then.

It's always interesting to see how different the people are and how the same the doctrine is wherever you go.

Oh, and our new ward meets at 12:30. I guess it's a slight improvement over 2:30, but I don't think we should get too comfortable since they change times in August here. I'm betting at that point we'll end up at the 2:30 slot once again. I haven't had church before 12:30 in 3 or 4 years now. I have vague memories of Sunday afternoon naps...

One day. One day.