Thursday, May 28, 2009

Summer + Snow= Yummy Goodness

I'm addicted to snow cones. Always have been, always will be. I even owned one of these when I was a little girl:

That's why I get so excited when summer finally rolls around and the snow shacks are setting up shop in every parking lot throughout the city. Shaved ice, snow cones, cup o snow, call it what you will- I call it delicious :)

Thank goodness Michael has a habit of always throwing his left over change in the console of his car. I only pack plastic so it isn't any wonder that every night this week Michael and I have savagely ransacked his stash of quarters, nickels, dimes and anything silver that could go towards the purchase of paradise in a styrofoam cup. His shiny silver stash enables me, a declared snow cone-aholic, to purchase my nightly fix. Even KeeLee looks forward to this daily "treat" as she and Michael have a craving for the same flavor: Blue Cotton Candy.

However, this icy goodness doesn't come cheap. Prices have gone up over the summers, from a mere 75 cents to what is now $2.50 for a 16 oz cup. Kind of ridiculous considering it's ice and syrup. Don't try to tell me I'm paying for the cup. No STYROFOAM cup is $2.50. But an addiction is an addiction, and I don't plan to attend snow cone anonymous any time soon (I'm already thinking about what flavor I'm getting tonight).

Last night we had to break into the large plastic jar that Michael collects change in, because we had emptied out the console in his car. He wasn't at all happy about this as he refers to this as our "vacation money" which makes me laugh considering there's not enough in there to even purchase a full tank of gas for a mere road trip. Michael seems to disagree with me and threatened to "count it" tonight to prove to me that this snow cone addiction could empty us of our vacation dreams. Highly unlikely if you ask me.

Now there is an art to purchasing a good snow cone as Michael and I quickly discovered on Tuesday night. We ventured away from our staple snow cone supplier as we had an errand to run on the other side of town. It was then that we saw another snow cone vendor and decided to give it a go. Although tasty, it just wasn't the same. The ice wasn't as fluffy (yes, there is such thing as fluffy ice). Michael says the blade on their snow cone machine must be wearing out because the shave wasn't as good as our regular place. To make up for this, we stuck to what we knew and visited our regular supplier last night. And you can bet I'll be scrounging up some change and will be in line again tonight.

On another note- I have to mention what Michael and I saw last night while in line at Cup-O-Snow. This mother pulls up in her red convertable sports car, decked out to the nines and weighing in at probably exactly 100 lbs. You know the type: 50 but trying to look 15. And lucky for us she had her 15 year old daughter with her sporting a mini skirt she couldn't sit down in, heels, jewelry on every extremity, and too much make-up. You know the type: 15 trying to look 25. Funny how Mom is trying to look younger than her age (and failing miserably) and Daughter is trying to look older than her age (also failing). I'm not a mom yet, and who is to say if I'll have a girl when I am a mom, but if and when I do- she will NOT dress like a prostitute. Not at the age of 5 OR 25. And someone should tell mommy skinny pants that there's actually SUGAR in snow cones. DUH!
Last night I tried a new flavor- Rio Grande and it was DE-LISH. And if you can get cream on top for free (just another yummy added bonus at Cup-o-Snow) DO IT! It makes the icy sin so much sweeter :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Green Thumbs and Sore Body Parts

We worked all weekend. The bedroom downstairs is almost finished, and the yard is coming along. Still have stuff to plant, weeds to pull, grass to mow, but it's looking nice and feeling more and more like home.

I'm actually excited because last night I planted a bunch of English Ivy in my backyard. My hope is that it will grow quickly and climb the fence and side of the house. I have always loved the yards that have the overgrown ivy climbing fences and walls. There's something so cozy and beautiful about it. And because my backyard faces north, it provides the perfect environment for this lush plant. I also planted some Vinca ground cover which should spread quickly and fill in the corner by the fence that needs some color. I'm going to take pictures to mark the progress of my plants. Yes, I'm a nerd, but a nerd with a green thumb :)

Michael and I are also making plans to put in a water feature off of our deck. We have the perfect spot for it, and it will be nice to sit on the deck and listen to the trickling water. Therefore, I planted ivy here too. I'd love for it to climb the sides of the deck and wall behind the fountain that we'll probably put in next month.

It's a ton of work, and every muscle in my body aches from spending three whole days on my knees pulling weeds and planting. My arms are also very weak from using the giant clippers to give the trees and bushes a much needed haircut. I seriously need like a two hour massage (hint hint because my birthday is in two weeks). Last night I downed some Tylenol PM to take care of the aches and pain, and crashed out at 10:00. But all the while I know I'm burning calories, building muscle, and beautifying our home which makes me extremely happy :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

3 Whole Days of....

Holy Hannah! We have a lot to do.

This weekend, for most, is a 3-day, fun-packed vacation which (at least in Utah) involves boats, campers, ATV's, BBQ's, lots of sun, etc, etc, etc...

For Michael and I? WORK. At least this year. Kyle, Michael's son, is coming to stay with us this summer and we have yet to finish his room. This project began about two months ago when it was still snowing blizzards here and we couldn't work out in the yard. Since the sun decided to show it's face, we quickly abandoned this project and moved outdoors getting our yard and deck ready for the summer months. BUT- since Kyle will be here in a week, we need to finish our bedroom project.

At least the walls are painted. At least the dry wall is patched. At least furniture and decor are purchased and put together. However, the crown molding, floor boards, and bead board isn't cut, mounted, complete. So we have THAT on our to do list this weekend as Kyle will be arriving in 8 days.

Other projects include replacing the ever running toilet in the master bathroom with the new toilet that has been sitting in a box for three months in our now organized garage. Also, the installation of a new garbage disposal (which is currently sitting in a box next to the new toilet in the garage) needs to be installed so my life in the kitchen can resume normalcy.

Oh and of course the basic yard stuff like mowing, edging, pulling weeds, planting flowers, water the lawn, etc...

Oh and the normal weekend chores of cleaning, cooking, laundry etc...

And I'm sure I'm forgetting about 50 other priorities on the list, ETC...

Three days might be enough for most to relax and have fun this holiday weekend, but I doubt it's enough time to accomplish everything Michael and I need to. I swear, once you buy a house there's never enough time, money, relaxation, yadda yadda yadda.

So for those of you who can, enjoy the weekend congrats. And please pause for a moment to think of me sporting my paint stained clothing, accessorized with muddy yard gloves and sweat pouring from my brow as you comfortably sip your Mai Tai in the sun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm too Pretty for this Job

Jessica Biel needs to shut.the.hell.up.Amen.

Apparently, Jessica is so beautiful, she's getting passed up for A-list acting roles (according to her pretty self).

Seriously? Too pretty?

Wow, I can think of a plethora of A-List actresses who have landed great LEADING roles, and are much more stunning than Justin Timberlake's boyfriend, Jessica.

I wonder who takes longer to get ready in the morning. Really, I do. I actually sat here and thought to myself "I wonder if it takes Jessica longer to do her hair than Justin." Their bathroom counter must be full of hair products.

And then I realized, I really don't care how long it takes either one of them. In fact, Jessica probably doesn't care either because she's so beautiful, she can afford NOT to do her hair and STILL get passed up for roles.

Excuse me, I think I may lose my lunch.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Drama Queens

Some people can be so dramatic ya know? Like, they won't let things go, they have to keep bringing stuff up, dwell on past events, and/or draw attention to themselves because they have nothing better going on in their lives and they're what.... lonely? Bored? Feel unimportant and unnoticed?

Sad isn't it, that some people can actually appear this pathetic? I know, I know, I don't sound very empathetic for the kind of people whose lives are so boring they literally have to create drama to feel important...but I just don't have much patience for these types because the drama they create is never anything positive (come to think of it, I don't think I've ever heard of "positive drama").

*sigh* I'm so over it already!

Monday, May 18, 2009

When Crap and Theatre Collide

I just got over the flu, making this weekend a crappy one (no pun intended). I got up Friday morning feeling sorta iffy about whether or not I should get up, get ready, make the drive into work, etc... I wasn't feeling the best (and quite frankly, hadn't been feeling too great all week). Pure exhaustion had set in and I just didn't have the energy I usually do.

Turns out, I should have just stayed home.

I got to work about 9:00 and at 11:30 I was headed home. When I finally got there, I landed in bed and that's where I stayed until about noon the next day. I lost count over how many trips I made to the bathroom. Water didn't even sound good. It was just horrible. And I was disappointed because here it was, FRIDAY of all days (the day I live for) and we had plans to go to see Angels and Demons with friends. I had already purchased my tkts online and was determined to go. But finally, at 6:00 when I was still putting all my efforts into having control over my bowels, I decided sitting in a movie theatre wasn't the best idea and I forfeited my tkts to some friends.

Saturday was a little bit better. I felt a little stronger but still had zero appetite. I focused on staying hydrated. I got out of bed to take a shower and after that, was completely exhausted and landed back in bed for about another 45 mins to recuperate from my shower. Doesn't it suck when you don't even have the energy to dry your hair? It's like an invigorating shower should make you feel better, and instead, it wipes you of all the energy you saved up while laying in bed for 24 hours.

I was bound and determined to feel better though as Michael and I had tickets to go see Miss Saigon (my all time favorite Broadway musical) at Pioneer Theatre. So I took it fairly easy all day, drank tons of fluids so I was hydrated, and ate next to nothing so I wouldn't have to race to the bathroom after a 2 second warning from my rumbling, upset stomach (thanks stomach, for giving me hardly enough time to not completely embarrass myself with details I'm not even about to go into).

We made it. To the play that is. Yup, as sick as I was, I was able to put on a nice skirt and top, heels and handbag, and off to the theatre we went. I was so looking forward to sharing this experience with Michael as I truly LOVE this show, and he was seeing it for the first time. However, complete and utter disappointment awaited us.

IT SUCKED! I kid you not, WORST RENDITION of Miss Saigon that I have EVER SEEN. Now granted, I didn't go into this show expecting a replication of what I saw on Broadway. I mean, it's called Broadway for a reason and although shows that leave Broadway on tour are darn near as amazing, there are still some bells and whistles that just can't be pulled off by other theatres based on their structural limitations. Pioneer was NO EXCEPTION.

I was pissed. The whole reason I even blew my money on season tickets this year was because of guaranteed seats to THIS SHOW in particular. I don't even know where to begin. There's literally too much to bitch about to know where to start. My good friend and theatre buddy Patrick came with us, and he too was shocked at the complete disaster that was presented in the name of theatre. To list a few disasters:
  1. Kim (main character) could sing (she had an amazing voice), but there was ZERO acting skills. No expression on her face through the entire show. As Michael so accurately put it- "It's like everyone was on Botox, the facial expressions were absent."

  2. The huge freaking screen that was overused to project lame images throughout the ENTIRE SHOW. Really? Did the director feel the need to spoon feed the audience because she made the assumption that we wouldn't understand the show on our own? Here's a director's note for you, director. LAME!

  3. Um- if you know anything about this show, you know that the opening scene is a raunchy, sexed up version of Vietnamese whores selling their bodies for money, American Visas, or any chance in hell of getting into the states. That's how it really was in Nam, thus that's how the show was written, and that's how the show should be performed. Don't clean it up for Utah. We can handle it. We're all big boys and girls who have respect for the arts (otherwise I don't think we'd be at the theatre). Don't change the lyrics, tone down the blocking, and clean up the costumes. It is what it is- and as an audience, we deserve to see this show as the writers intended. There is a good reason for it.

  4. Ellen- your acting sucked. Albeit you actually did act so props to you on that, it just wasn't very good. Ellen is not a condescending character, however, you made her as bitchy as you possibly could. Why? Please tell me you actually read the script in its entirety and not just the scenes where you appeared.
Overall, I'm depressed. What does a girl in Utah have to do to enjoy good theatre? I know it's out there, I've seen it. I've just had to leave the state to do so. And to think, I sucked it up, flu and all to go sweat in a jam packed theatre with no AC for this craptacular production. LAME. Even Michael (who is by far not as critical as I am) walked out of there astounded at the lack of quality.

So yeah, in a nutshell: my weekend was full of crap.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I'm missing North Carolina today.

I found myself driving to work listening to music that always takes me back to the beach there. Isn't it funny how things like music and smells can take you back to a specific time or event as if it just happened? It's like my mind has a CD labeled "North Carolina Soundtrack" and I just get carried away to her coast when I hear those familiar melodies.

I miss having a reason to escape there, now that Michael is here. North Carolina was my perfect hide away from Utah. It's a place I went for rejuvenation. Of course my main reason for going was to see Michael, that was always the best part of the trip. But the other best part of each trip was the way we spent our time there, doing things together, and just soaking up the sea breeze and digging our toes in the sand.

I miss our leisurely drives where we'd look at the coastal style houses that always had a wrap around porch I could fall in love with. And the vibrant colors the houses were painted, with mismatched, weathered Adirondack chairs.

I miss North Carolina today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall...

Remember how Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall and then he had a great fall? Well, for the sake of this story, Grandma Mary will play the role of Humpty Dumpty, the wall will actually be replaced by a wall of different sorts- Wal-Mart to be exact, and yes, there was a great fall. Lucky for Grandma Mary (and all of us too), all the doctors were able to put her back together again.

I get a call Monday morning from my father. As soon as I saw the caller ID I knew something was wrong. My dad has never made a habit of calling me at seven in the morning and so when he did, I thought the worst (we do we always do that? What if he were calling to tell me he had won a million dollars? Maybe some day all those Publishers Clearing house entry forms I filled out WITHOUT purchasing the magazines will pay off... I'll hold my breath for THAT call).

Anyway, Dad was calling to tell me that Grandma took a spill at her favorite walking location: Wal-Mart where she's a regular and all the workers know and love her. She goes every morning before the crack of dawn and walks the perimeter of the store. Monday didn't turn out to be a good walking day. Apparently Grandma slipped on some baby oil that had spilled the floor and landed on her right knee (I guess she was in a lot of pain as you can imagine).

At this point, Dad didn't know if she had shattered her knee cap or dislocated it, but he did know she was in pain. And he did know they would be heading straight to the hospital. And I knew that Grandma was "rip roarin' mad" that she lost the fight between her and the Wal-Mart floor. Nobody messes with Grandma Mary. She's the sweetest little lady in the world, but one tough cookie, I tell you what.

So as of yesterday, I learned that Grandma broke her knee cap in three different places. Doctor said to imagine a plate falling on the floor and breaking, not shattering, but breaking into three different pieces. This is what happened to Grandma's knee cap. Overall, Grandma was really lucky as things could have been a lot worse. At least she didn't break her back or shatter a hip, or crack her head open. At least she didn't break multiple bones or crack ribs. At least it was just her knee right? Although the fact that Grandma is full of arthritis makes me wonder how well she'll be able to walk again considering she's got about 6 weeks of healing time ahead of her, including a summer of physical therapy.

I gotta hand it to her though, Grandma is a strong woman. She has been through so much in her lifetime, including losing her father at a very young age, and then one by one each of her brothers died leaving her with only one brother left. She watched her step father die a slow death of cancer, and watched her own mother battle three different types of cancers. She also took care of Grandpa after he had a major stroke and lost the ability to communicate as easily as he had before. Not to mention, she's put up with my family over the years and still manages to love us despite our crazy antics. Needless to say, all of these endeavors have made Grandma a strong woman.

Grandma Mary is loved by so many. All my friends adore and love her as if she were their grandma too. She's not "Michelle's Grandma" because she's Grandma Mary to everyone which just thrills her to no end. And I know my family wouldn't be as strong as we are without her love, support, wisdom, and strength. She might be tiny, she might be a little wrinkled, but she's shown me the meaning of strength and durability on more than one occasion.

It takes a strong and determined woman like Grandma Mary to give that Humpty Dumpty a run for his money (or egg shells). After all, Grandma didn't shatter, and she didn't require all the King's horses and all the King's men to put her back together again, just a little bit of wire, and two hours of the good doctor's time. And and now that I know she's going to be okay, I can put meyself back together again too.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Leavin' On a Jet Plane

Okay, not quiet exactly. But sorta.

Michael and I have oodles of sky miles since we had to fly back and forth from North Carolina and Utah to see each other during the time he was stationed in Jacksonville and I was surviving (as I like to call it) in Salt Lake. Anywho, when you fly about every two-three months for three years, you build up a butt load of miles.

However- although I've now earned myself a silver medallion status with Delta, (all silver medallion status really amounts to is your own special 1-800 number to call where you get to talk to the same annoying reservationsists that don't evern seem to know their heads from their asses) I still have miles that are set to expire in August of this year. "Michelle, can those miles be saved?" you're asking this very moment... Why yes! Yes they can.

If Michael and I book a trip by August (just book, which doesn't mean have to have taken) my miles are saved and I can redeem them on a ticket to paradise.

I was on the phone with the international reservationist last night. First question "How many sky miles it would take for Michael and I to get to Bora Bora (grass huts over oceans of blue in the French Polynesian islands- my never yet had a honeymoon prime location)? And as it turns out, Delta can get us there, (are you ready for this?)... they just can't get us home. They call it seasonal flying. Yeah, I don't get it either.

Second question was "Can we get to Hawaii or the Caribbean with the miles we have?"
Answer? YES!
Third question was "Yeah but can we get home too?"
Answer? YES!
DING DING DING, we have a winner!

So, I've been researching different islands in the Caribbean as neither Michael or I have been there but we've both been to Hawaii. I've found a slew of beautiful pictures, maps, and enticing vacation ideas, but still haven't arrived at exactly WHICH island would be best to visit. I'm leaning more towards Inagua, Bimini, or Rum Cay/San Salvador (which you see pictured below).

Although I have lots more research and drooling to do over this decision, I'd love to know if any of you have any suggestions. If you've ever been there, tell me where and what you thought. Also, feel free to check out this web site which offers lots of good information (and best of all, pics):

Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama....
Key Largo, Montego, Baby why don't we go, off the Florida Keys
There's a place called Kokomo
But where should Michelle and Michael go?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

If You Build It, They Will Come

And so we did.

Last night Michael put together our patio set furniture and I.LOVE.IT. It's so nice and comfy and inviting and I know I'll be spending many a summer evening lounging in the swivel chairs watching my husband BBQ and throwing a ball across the yard for KeeLee. *big smile on my face*

Sometimes it's the little things ya know? Notice I didn't say cheap, because I quickly learned that patio furniture is NOT cheap (thank goodness for tax returns). But something as simple as sitting on our deck in the summer evening sun, just enjoying our home and family... that's what it's all about.

I'm excited to put up our cute yard lights. And I already bought citronella lanterns to fill with oil to keep away all the fun Utah bugs.

I'd take REAL pics but as you may know by now, we have been playing Rock Band, and the memory card for my digital cam is in the Wii currently saving all our band progress. But I WILL WILL WILL take REAL pics soon, I promise :)

For now here is a web shot of our patio set:

I'm super stoked for the fire pit that also serves as a table. This way, we can enjoy cool spring and fall evenings too, without freezing on the deck. Not to mention I'm for sure going to test this out to see if I can make smores :)

An here are the cute oil lamps I've filled with lemon grass citronella to add some color and keep away the bugs:
And these are the adorable patio lights we're going to put up to add some jazz to finish off the project.

So there it is, my deck and accessories in all it's summer glory. As I said, if you build it, they will come, and I expect many friends over to enjoy tastey BBQ's this summer :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Have you ever had one of those dreams that is so disturbing you remember every detail when you awake and then you think about and analyze it throughout the entire day?

I had one of those dreams last night. And I still remember it (although I'm pretty good at remembering my dreams). And I'm sure I will continue to think about it all day and try to understand what it means.

It was horrible, brutal, and very, VERY vivid. So vivid, I can actually smell the room my dream took place in, and my muscles are still somewhat tense with anxiety. I think at one point I grabbed Michael's arm in the middle of the night, clutching him with fear. I wonder why I didn't wake myself up and start over, with a new, more pleasant dream.

I'll spare you the awful details but I will tell you, it involved a murder. A very gruesome, horrible murder of a woman we didn't know, and it took place in a house I was living in with my old roommate Jen. The house resembled my grandmothers, however in the dream, my grandmother actually lived behind the house Jen and I were living in. Strange, I know.

Anyway, I had to call a company that specialized in cleaning up "those kind of messes" (you know, the kind that you don't even want to go near because it's so disgusting and you wouldn't know where to start?). The house smelled and looked like a butcher shop, and the two modest bathrooms were the rooms that were in desperate need of cleaning. You get the idea.

My roommate Jen and I decided we couldn't stay there that night for obvious reasons. We needed to get out while the rooms were professionally cleaned, and the strangest part (and yet not so strange in the dream) is that we hopped on our bikes (yeah, don't ask me why we didn't have cars) and rode uphill to the hotel my family actually stayed in when Michael and I got married. We didn't have much as we quickly packed our things...and toiletries weren't packed because, well, they were located in the bathrooms where the crime took place. We figured the hotel could provide them so we only packed a clean change of clothes and something to sleep in.

Michael met up with us at the hotel and now there were four of us: myself, Michael, Jen, and our friend Kim. Kim and Jen had a room and Michael and I had a room. Mind you, it was about 4:00 in the morning so everything was very quiet when we checked in. And all we could think about was taking a shower to wash away the stink of fear and grime from being in the house.

The strangest part (as if this dream isn't strange enough), the light in the bathroom was so dim, I could hardly see anything. The lights were on, no bulbs were out, but it was still so dark I couldn't find my way around. And I kept thinking how strange it was that the lights were on, but it wasn't doing any good.

It was then that I woke up, and it was time to get ready for work.

I'm still haunted by this dream. I'm trying to figure it all out. Why did I have it? What events took place during the course of yesterday that my conscious had to filter through in dream form? Why on earth would I dream something so horrible? It's not like I immerse myself in horror films or even crime investigation shows. I can't figure it out.

All I know is that I'd better have SWEET dreams tonight. Perhaps that's why I'm so tired today... how does one relax and rejuvenate when they are in terror? That's NOT what I call a good night's rest.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Board for the Bored

I'm a fan of games. Card games, board games, the occasional computer game, etc...

I particularly enjoy games of strategy as do my friends, and we often get together on a Friday night to play. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites and would love to hear about your favs too. Rather than lull you to sleep with descriptions, I decided to include images of some of my favorites, past and present.

Favorite Board Games:

Some oldies but goodies:

And of course, the fun card games:

I'd love to hear about other games that are fun to play. If you have any suggestions, please comment :) Happy playing!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Wicked Clean

So no tickets. Apparently Michael's good looks and charming smile didn't win over the lottery ladies handing out those much coveted Wicked tickets. No show for us. But we have all next week to try again.

Instead? I pulled weeds and planted flowers in the front yard. I know, such a fun alternative isn't it? Oh, and I also raked probably three years of dead leaves out from under all the ground cover. I tell you what, I'm beginning to think the previous owners of our house didn't do much in terms of yard work or cleaning.

Since January, I've probably thrown away more blackened rags than I care to count due to cleaning out vents that were covered in a film of gross, wiping out window seals that served as a grave yard to years worth of flies, washing dust and cob webs off window blinds, and washing walls and baseboards so we weren't painting over dirt.

My house is clean now (and so is the built in grill that Michael spent the last three days cleaning, scrubbing, and de-greasing) and I couldn't be happier. There's nothing better than a clean house and a weed-free yard.

I know the people we bought our house from were older, and nearing retirement, but really, is that any excuse to live like pigs in your own filth? My mother raised me up right so I know the difference between wiping off a counter top and actually CLEANING. Sure- you might walk into a house and see that it's "picked up" and things are "in their place" but that doesn't mean it's clean. When there is dust, grime, grease and just plain out grossness lingering in the nooks and crannies that the average eye doesn't notice, well... I just don't consider that clean.

Needless to say, it's been three months of cleaning, painting, weeding, scrubbing, shining, and yes, I could eat off the floor if I wanted to. It's now THAT clean folks.

The backyard? Well, I've still got work to do back there. Weeds, dead growth from last year's flowers, and just basic yard work. But Michael and I will get to that. For now, we're focusing on the front yard because that's what people can see. We'll get there, slowly but surely. The backyard might take all summer, but I'll have the front yard wrapped up in a few days. And dammit our house has some fine curb appeal if I do say so myself :)