Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A bit of this and a bit of that

Back in February, we took a little trip to Kingman Arizona to visit my sister. On our way back, we stopped at the always impressive Hoover Dam.
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Here's a bit of fun.  My daughter saved all her money up for several weeks so that she could buy this $5 hand weight--all so that our friend puppy could have a seat belt. Sometimes I could almost die from the cuteness.
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My shuffle bit the dust, so I got a new one, and spent the better part of a weekend loading it with some of my favorite tracks off of my CD collection. Kind of eclectic--but isn't everyone's CD collection that way?
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How I love my mountains.
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And this girl in front of my mountains.
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Does this seem unfair to anyone else besides me?
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Mother-Daughter reading time by the heater.
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T-Bird and proud.
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Just a random little love note. "Sometimes it's funner with friends"
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Just a little bit of fun--this is on a wall (hidden away from customers) in the Lumberyard.
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Back in March, the little girl got a rock dropped on her foot accidentally, courtesy of one of her cousins. Let me say that again--it was a TOTAL accident. Nothing that a bit of ibuprofen and a bandaid couldn't fix. However, the cousin and his mom felt so badly about it that they offered her a free pedicure once her foot had completely healed. And then, they offered me one as well. It was a fun fun afternoon to be sure.
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Back in March or April or so, I chanced to be taking my morning walk by the temple and decided to take a few pictures, to go along with the winter pictures I took in January.
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And that's what we have for today.






Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Oh, the Joy

This post is all about a date that occurred nearly three months ago. Just so you know.

My birthday this year was full of niceties and fun-nesses that I want to remember. So, if you don't like narcissistic birthday posts from forty-four-year-old women who should know better, you might want to just move along today.  :)

I wanted to go to Chili's for my birthday dinner, because sometimes I dream of their Buffalo Chicken Salad. So, we did.
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As it turned out, a young friend was hanging around our house when it was time for Eric and my daughter to come pick me up from work, so we invited her along. This little darling sometimes feels like our kid anyway (which is marvelous), so it was only fitting that she should join in the fun.

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(An added bonus, having a friend along gave my kid someone with whom she could play tic-tac-toe. Someone who actually likes playing tic-tac-toe! Happy Birthday to me!)


After lunch, Eric and the girls made their way to the dollar store where they picked up some presents for me. When I arrived home from work, they were waiting for me. A plastic rainbow garden prism-spinner thing, a cardboard butterfly jewelry box, a birthday card that when you open it sings, "Ceeeelebrate good times, Come on!!", and . . .

A cheetah-print high-heeled ring holder:
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I didn't get any pictures on the day of the present-opening, but was able to get a shot of this magnificence the next morning.
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(In addition, and for my "real" present, I got Amazon Prime for a year. Primarily so I can now binge watch Downton Abbey.  The two-day free shipping sure has been nice though.)



Then, it was time to head to the kitchen and frost a cantaloupe with cream cheese for my birthday party. Obviously, that needs a little bit of explanation.

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Back in the fall, I helped out at an estate sale for my friend Donna. At the end of the sale, when all the shoppers had left and everything else was going to go to thrift stores, Donna told us helpers to take a little walk through the goods and take what we wanted.

I happened to find a smallish cookbook, probably 60-70 pages, soft cover and staple bound called "The Joy of Jello". Printed in the 1960s, it was a treasure trove of oddness, with Jello recipe after jello recipe. I immediately snatched it up, and determined that at some point I was going to have a jello party.

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And so it was, that around the middle of February, I asked my friend Candace (who lives close to us in a home that is infinitely more suited to entertaining than our town home is) if I could have a Jello Birthday party there. She said yes. (Candace always says yes to me. She's very amiable that way.)



E-vites went out, with the request that no guests bring gifts, but that all guests make a dish from the attached scanned cookbook, also known as "The Joy of Jello!!"
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As a testament to the goodness of my friends, and the richness of my life, around twenty different people showed up that night, holding their Jello concoctions, smiling, ready for an evening of fun.
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One couple  took the Jello quest to the highest level, bringing a dish that instructed, "Fill this ring with potato salad and you'll have a complete meal!" Made with chicken broth instead of water, and congealed with chicken, celery, and pimentos, you can bet that this savory offering was among the most popular of the event for sure.
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At one point in the evening, I looked around the room, seeing person after person walking around, smiling, chatting with plates full of nothing but jello, and I thought to myself, "What kind of person invites a whole bunch of people over to spend their free evening, and rewards that sacrifice with nothing but Jello???"

"Who does that???"

Apparently I do that. And apparently, I have friends who are willing to go along with me in all that silliness.

If that's not love, then I certainly don't know what is.

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(I gave the picture taking duties opportunities to the younger set, and ended up with a bunch of pictures of this little girl from different angles and in different levels of blurry-ness. So, there you go.)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Stumped for mother's day? I've got you covered.

So, last year for Mother's Day, we tried something new with our gifts, and found that they were appreciated quite a bit.  So, since I took a few pictures along the way, I thought I'd share it all with you.

First of all, we sat down as a family wrote down some words and phrases that we felt best described four of the mothers who bless our lives. I later took these words to wordle, and created two or three collages for each of them, with different fonts and different colors. There was really no need to make more than one collage for each mother, but I couldn't decide which I liked best, so I went ahead and wasted the printer ink to have more choices.

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Because my own mother doesn't live near enough for us to hand-deliver her mother's day present, her gift mostly stopped here. We picked out the collage that we liked best, taped it to some chip board, and each of us signed the back of it. Then I put it in a manilla envelope and sent it off.

Not realizing that I was going to want to share this process with the world, I didn't take pictures of this step.

Either my mom absolutely loved her collage to pieces, or she was totally lying to me when I called her on the actual day of mothers. I'm gonna go with the former.


As to the others, a few days before Mothers Day, we broke out the paints, and got to work on embellishing our creations that would be hand-delivered.
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We took some 11x17 cardstock that I had on hand, and once I had trimmed it to the size I liked, we did a watercolor wash over the whole thing. Once that was dry, I traced around the wordle on the cardstock and called upon the girls to paint the "frame"

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Some of the girls chose to start work on new Mothers Day Projects as well.
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It was all very exciting.
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And necessitated much concentration.
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When our frames were done we hung them up to dry. . .
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and when they were dry, we pasted our collages to the frame.
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Seriously, what mother could resist something so splendid?
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None of ours, that's for sure.



Friday, April 24, 2015

I always knew I liked that Lindsey.

This story happened awhile ago. I'm obviously not up-to-date on the ole blog here.

For Eric's birthday (last November) , his brother sent him a box of Yoda Christmas lights. They came straight from Target, and when I opened the box, not realizing that they came from Scott, I rolled my eyes and immediately peppered Eric with questions as to why on earth had he ordered Yoda lights from Target?

Upon learning that they were a gift (and therefore not a waste of good money that could better be used to purchase yarn or airline tickets), the lights immediately became much more of a treasure in my eyes, and we determined to put them up outside on our Christmas Bush (which, as you might remember, is the only portion of our exterior that gets Christmas decor).

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Little did I know how well that decision would turn out for me.

I posted the above picture on Instagram:

'Cuz nothing says "holiday cheer" like a Yoda Bush in front of your home! #crackingupweare#thosecrazycantwells #thanksscottie @linzcantwell

And in so doing, learned that Lindsey (Scott's wife) was quite impressed that we would decorate our home, and even outside our home where any yahoo driving by could see with Yoda lights. 

linzcantwellLove the lights. I'm totally impressed you put them up and outside at that! Scott is laughing hysterically!


She was so impressed with my wifely forbearance in this matter, she apparently decided that I should be rewarded.


So, this is what Lindsey & Scott (but really just Lindsey) gave us (but really just me) for Christmas:
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You might remember that Eric is not a fan of The Willow Tree. You might be interested to know that there was some good-natured ribbing that went back and forth between Lindsey and Eric when this gift was received, unpacked, and set up. However, I think we all know that this particular set will now have a permanent place in our Christmas decor.

That Lindsey, she's got my back.

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