Monday, September 29, 2008

How to Rule the World with Jello

Someone posted a comment on The MomBabe's blog. Apparently this is her favorite Google search phrase-- "How to Rule the World with Jello."

I have now claimed it as mine. Mine, I say!

How to Rule the World with Jello.
How to Rule the World with Jello.
How to Rule the World with Jello.

It just flows off the fingertips, doesn't it?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beautiful Sunday

Ron, Violet and I decided to go letterboxing** today for the first time. We first went up Rock Canyon in Provo. This is the trail up the canyon-- the colors were incredible! (Violet loved that the mountains were all "dotted".) The letterbox was about an hour hike up into the canyon, in an old mine.

Then we drove up Provo Canyon, and stopped briefly at Bridal Veil Falls. Beautiful! I hope they don't rebuild the tram lines. I never did like them in the way of the view. We had stopped at a gorgeous park just before the falls to find our second letterbox. We have plans to go back sometime to enjoy a picnic there.

We continued on to Midway to find the third letterbox. It was on the Provo River, in a secluded little area off a footpath that fishermen like to use. It was very peaceful just sitting there on a big rock, listening to the water flow past.

All in all, a very fine afternoon!

**For more information about letterboxing, please visit

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

One of the shelves on my bookshelf in my bedroom.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Various and Sundry

I had my 4 week weigh-in and fat percentage testing yesterday evening. I gained 2 pounds, and my body fat went up by 0.6 percent. My lean body mass, however, has increased by 0.1. I'm bummed that the numbers don't jive with the fact that my pants are getting loose.


: "Are you going to eat my brain?"
Sylar: "Claire... that's disgusting!"

I win. I told my kids he didn't eat their brains...


I think for my future Wordless Wednesdays, I'll just put a blurb at the bottom of the picture to let you know where I took it. Or stole it from. :)


I'm getting up the guts to talk to the Manager Who Doesn't Like Me to see if he'd be willing to allow me to swap jobs with another guy in our department. This guy wants a higher paying job, and I want to be able to do his job from home. I figure it would be worth the paycut, if I'm allowed to work from home. Since it's not currently an "at home" position, it will take some convincing. Wish me luck-- I'm going to try to talk to him on Thursday.


And the most amazing news of all: My best friend Carol just found out she's expecting baby #4. What's so amazing about this, you ask? Well, she has some major medical problems that tend to mean you can't get pregnant. And regardless of this fact, plus the fact that birth control obviously didn't do its job, she is now expecting. The jaw-dropping component to this is that her youngest child is currently 15.

Can you even imagine???

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Did It Again

My workplace had a region-wide contest for their new campaign regarding making our hospitals all smoke-free. They wanted slogan ideas for their posters and whatnot...

I had run into a co-worker at the timeclock, and she asked me if I was going to enter the contest. I said I hadn't really thought about it, but she insisted that I should, as I always win contests at work.

So a few days later, I went ahead and submitted a slogan. I guess three other people had already submitted the same thing, and I was told I could try again and could submit as many entries as I wanted before midnight that night.

I decided to run with it, just for fun. The poor PR guy got like 20-30 submissions from me, some of them serious, some of them just for fun. (I think my favorite one was, "Every time you smoke, a puppy dies. Think of the puppies!")

I got a call this morning to go show up for some special meeting thing-a-ma-bob at 7:00am on Thursday to be presented with my award, as I seem to have placed in the top three entries.

Ah, it warms my heart. The type "A" personality part of me just got a good feeding. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playing With the Boys

Kayla has been moonlighting as a keeper on my brother Dusty's soccer team. The unusual thing about this is that this is an all-men's league, ages 18 and up.

It's made for some interesting times.

Here's something from their last game:

After the crash, she seemed like she was hurting a bit. When she came in for half-time, I asked her if she was ok. She said yes, no problem. "Are you sure?" I ask. "Yes! I do have two built-in-airbags, you know." And off she went to play more soccer. :)

UPDATE: I have just found out about a contest on YouTube. If you’re interested, visit SanDisk’s Life Moves contest page and enter your video clip for a chance to win prizes (I entered this one!). Then, head over to 5 Minutes for Mom and enter their contest for even more prizes!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I have just found adventure!

At Applebee's.

In the kids' menu word search.

Insurance Intelligence

Yesterday I had to call my health insurance to ask about a claim. I had taken three of the girls in for annual physicals, and the benefits statements just showed up. For two of the girls, it was just the regular co-pay. For Violet, though, her urine test was an extra charge.

I asked why they paid for the other two girls' pee tests were covered, and Violet's wasn't-- they said that the visit itself had been coded as a "Preventative Exam", but that the pee test was coded with a diagnosis.

Me: "What is the diagnosis? All she had was a regular physical like the other two girls."
Insurance: "The diagnosis is for scoliosis. Therefore, it is not just a regular physical. That's why we didn't cover her urine test."
Me: "During the regular checkup, the doctor suspected that she might have scoliosis. It was just part of the checkup."
Insurance: "Then the doctor must have ordered the extra test because she had scoliosis."
Me: "Are you telling me that a doctor diagnoses scoliosis from somebody's urine?"
Insurance: silence
Insurance: "I'll send this claim back to be coded properly."

Friday, September 19, 2008

Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here

Ahoy, mateys! Greetin's from Pegleg Jackson. Batten down t' hatches, and prepare t' be boarded. It be....

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

So, be ye goin' t' join in t' fun today? Ye can land here t' search for yer pirate name. If not, jes' slink away like the scurvy dog that ye are. Arrrrr!

Ye best be learnin' t' be talkin' like a buccaneer, if'n ye know what's best for ye, ye scalliwag. Else it be Davy Jones locker fer ye!

(Yo, ho... yo, ho... a pirates' life fer me...)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Say Po-tay-toh, I Say Po-tah-toh

My kids are always making fun of me because I pronounce the word "measure" differently than they do. I say, "may-zure" and they say, "mez-zure".

So in the cafeteria today, one of the managers was laughing because people were making fun of how he was pronouncing different words. He said, "It's because I grew up in Oregon." Hey, now... I grew up (mostly) in Washington. Maybe that's the missing link...? I asked him how he pronounced "measure". Guess what? It was "may-zure". :)

My official scientific experiment has proven to me that I suffer from "Pacific Northwesternism".

Dang... I should have asked him if he says "law-yer" or "low-yer". In the meantime, I've just resigned myself to saying "attorney" to avoid any further pronunciation embarrassment.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I Like It!

Black Boxing has exposed me to something in the blogging world I was heretofore unawares of... Wordless Wednesdays. I guess the idea is to post a photo of something that speaks for itself.

I like this idea.

I think I will start today by photographing something off my desk at work.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Working Woman

The Black Box has led me to many interesting blogs. I've been currently reading Joe's blog, who (from what I can tell) is a HR guy. This kind of sent me into thinking about the various interesting HR situations I've been in.

Like, when I was newly married, and 5 months pregnant-- "I'm sorry, but I can't hire you for this job because you're pregnant."

Or, upon giving my two weeks notice to the chauvinist computer store owner I worked for, said to me, "You know, the only reason Microsoft would hire you is because you're a woman."

My current manager wrote me up based on what someone told someone who told him what I did. This is also the same guy who tried to dictate what I could and could not do on my lunch break, and also tried to institute a dictated work schedule because I had "missed so much work". (I was off on FMLA for medical reasons, hello....?) He's also the one who delivers back-handed "compliments" like, "Suz was in charge of this project, but it turned out good anyhow."

I keep a comic strip up on my cube wall. It's in honor of the men who somehow think that my skills and knowledge are inferior, just because I'm a woman. Ha!

(Click on the comic strip to make it bigger...)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Black Box

Jen had this on her blog, and I thought it rather interesting. Make choices that are in the Black Box, and you can have the chance to visit a mystery blog of someone who has made the same choices as you.

Kind of fun! Give it a whirl. :) If you found my blog because of the Black Box, please leave me a comment and tell me what choices made me your mystery person. If you can remember. :)

(P.S. If you came via the Black Box, you have landed just on my Black Box post. Poke around my blog a bit, if you'd like. Links to recent posts are under "Leftover Jello" to your right and down a bit.)

FOLLOWUP: I have decided that the black box is picking websites randomly. People's choices to come here do not necessarily match my own. So chaos is in control, people! :)

FOLLOWUP TO THE FOLLOWUP: After receiving further light and knowledge, the Black Box is attempting to match people up to me. Things are starting to be more than just random picks. I guess that's what I get for spending WAY too many hours playing with a certain little widget...

Friday, September 12, 2008


Ron received a call last night from Lana. She and Nate apparently got married on August 26th! I'm so happy for them, and glad they decided to elope. Weddings are a huge pain in the butt. **grin**

Wow. I'm a mom-in-law now.

I feel like I've entered a new "stage" in life (but haven't left the last one yet). And the weirdest part is realizing that the "grandchildren stage" is just around the corner.

It's almost surreal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I love the smell after a rainstorm. I love the fresh, clean fragrance of trees and flowers; the sweetness of the air; how crisp everything looks all washed off. I love sitting out in thunderstorms, watching the lightning dance frantically in the skies above me. I love the wind whipping droplets into my face, hair, hands...

Ron and I went walking/jogging this morning at 5:15am (please don't ask me what I'm doing up at that ungodly hour... I can scarcely believe it myself), after it had been raining for most of the night. It was still even sprinkling a bit here and there...

It was a small piece of heaven on earth.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

For the Christians Out There

M Light wrote today in her blog about faith posts.

It made me realize that I've been studiously avoiding mentioning church, or faith issues, or religion on my blog. I think it has a lot to do with growing up Mormon in an area that was pretty anti-Mormon. (I even remember getting "Bible Bashed" during speech/debate class in 10th grade! Me against just about everybody else in class...) I think many of those experiences growing up have made me very quiet about talking about my faith, or sharing it (unless I feel safe).

So, thanks to reading that post today, I decided I wanted to share this with you. My friend sent it to me yesterday, and I was touched. May it also uplift you and reconnect you with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Reflections Of Christ

Monday, September 08, 2008


Second flat tire this week. Had to replace the last one (hole in sidewall).

Why do you always have these kind of things happen when you really don't have the money to get 'em fixed? (But then you have no choice but to get them fixed, and you eat a lot of mac & cheese for the next month...)

Friday, September 05, 2008

What's Your Bias-- Followup

Lu and I spoke in front of the school board last night.

I made copies of the "What's Your Bias?" paper Lu had received in class, and started passing them out to the board members. I told them, "Let's pretend for a moment that I'm your employer. I am telling you that you must fill this test out, or risk having a written disciplinary action that could affect your job." As I got to the end of the line of people who wanted a copy, the school principal said, "WHERE did you get this?!"

I responded that many of the middle-schoolers were given this survey, and told if they did not fill it out, they would fail the class for the day and be given a zero. Even though many of the children were clearly uncomfortable with the survey, they were still forced to complete it. I can't remember everything I said, but I do remember saying, "Our children had no choice but to make a prejudiced decision."

When I was finished with my allotted 2 minutes, Lu stood up. She started out with, "I was one of the students who had to take this test." She told them how she felt; how her best friend felt like she was labeled (she is Native American), and how upset/mad she was that she was forced to make a choice based on the color of someone's skin.

I was very, very proud of her. It's scary standing up and speaking in front of a lot of strange adults at age 13. But she wanted to come and tell them exactly what she thought about that test.

Not sure what will happen with this, but I am hopeful that action will be taken at this point. The board members were horrified with the survey, just as much as I was.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Day of Caring

Today was the United Way Day of Caring. My department participates in this every year, and it's a good experience for everyone.

This year, our assignment was for an elderly lady who needed yard work done... BADLY.

It took over 100 people 4+ hours to mow, trim, prune, haul, and paint. We filled up 5 community-size dumpsters to overflowing. Her house looked GREAT when we were all done with it. She cried with happiness at how beautiful her home looked.

The sad part? I noticed that all the neighbors in her circle had beautiful yards-- carefully manicured lawns, flowers, landscaping, the whole nine yards.

Why would neighbors allow an elderly lady to accumulate 30+ years of growth on her property, and not help her out? Her lawn was over a foot tall, for crying out loud. Not even a simple lawn mowing, folks?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What's Your Bias?

Lu received this as an in-class assignment. She was told she must fill it in, or receive a "zero" for the day. What are your thoughts?

What’s Your Bias?

Directions: what would be your reactions to the following situations? In each case, number your choices in order of preference.

1. You are the captain of a sport team. You are to pick your team members from the following players:
___ an African American
___ an Hispanic
___ a Swede
___ a Chinese
___ a German
___ a Native American

2. Several families want to buy the house next to yours. Which would be your choice as new neighbors?
___ an Oriental family whose parents are both doctors
___ a large family from the rural South
___ a divorced working mother with two children
___ a family whose parents are of two different races
___ a family who has recently emigrated from Puerto Rico
___ a single professional man

3. You read a highly technical, intelligent article on a thought-provoking subject. The essay is unsigned. Who do you think is the author?
___ Elizabeth Adams
___ Lamar Johnson
___ Eli Steinberg
­___ Jose Martinez
___ Wilson Stuart III
___ Michael O’Connor
___ Cookie Norris

4. You get on a bus with several empty seats. Who do you choose to sit next to?
___ an overweight middle-aged woman
___ a tall muscular African American
___ a leather jacketed teenager
___ a shabbily dressed elderly man
___ a person in a business suit

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sloppy Joes

Since I know people will want the recipe after reading yesterday's post, here it is! My kids have said they are now spoiled for life for ever eating anyone else's Sloppy Joes... and you know they must be pretty good if teens gush to their friends about their mom's recipe. :)

Sloppy Joes

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 clove minced garlic (optional)

Brown meat and onions until no longer pink, and drain off any excess fat. Be sure to break up the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients to the meat in the pan. Cook, uncovered, for 30-60 minutes or more on low heat until thick. Serve on buns.

The longer you let it simmer, the better it tastes. And this tastes even better the second day, so I always double the recipe.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day

My brother Dusty and his family came over to spend Labor Day with us. The cousins had a grand time together, and the adults got in some good visiting time. (Why is it that when you're a kid, adults are SO boring 'cause all they want to do is TALK when they get together, and then you end up doing just that when you grow up?)

Ron and Ana (sis-in-law) talked music-- she really wants his Beatles' collection-- and Dusty fixed a master dimmer switch for me. It's nice having an electrician brother. I'm sure he thinks the same about me, being a sister computer geek and all... :)

We had a yummy dinner of fairly standard summertime food: my to-die-for sloppy joes, chips, red and green grapes, watermelon, and fresh corn-on-the-cob. We all ate too much!

After dinner, we popped in our Heroes DVDs. My brother and sis-in-law hadn't seen them yet... They had to leave after the third episode, and by then they were hooked. :) They took Season 1 home with them.

I really want to get Season 2, but money is too tight right now. Still waiting on Washington to return a "verdict" on the whole child support issue. I hope they hurry... they're killing us right now.