Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our Sweet Helen

This morning I had a phone call come in at 6:45. Never a good sign, right? It was my dad. He left his usual ("urgent") cryptic message that he needed to talk to me and would call back in a few minutes. When I picked up my phone and listened to the voicemail message, my mind (and heart) immediately started to race, trying to figure out what could have happened, "who might have died", and then it hit me... My grandma, Helen. My father's mother. And before I even called my parents back to get the news, I knew that she was gone. And I was so... grateful. Grateful for the knowledge that I have that this life is not the end, grateful for the influence that she had on my life, and grateful - for her, and for our family - that her struggle here on Earth is over.

My sweet grandma was one of the happiest (and funniest) women that ever lived. She could tell a story like no one else I know, and when she laughed, her body would jiggle like a bowl full of jelly (just like Santa), with her silly tongue wagging around inside her (always open) laughing mouth. When I was little, she always (ALWAYS) had the pockets in her mu-mu stuffed with salt-water taffy, and every time we'd give her a hug and tell her that we loved her, we'd get a candy. (And, as you can imagine, she had to buy about 10 lbs of candy every time we'd come to town - sugar hounds that we were.) She laughed harder than most people would think is humanly possible, almost every day of her life. She could make up a recipe on the fly, and nothing (and I do mean NOTHING) the woman ever cooked turned out badly - she had the golden touch when it came to food. She was amazing, always. Even in the last years of her life, when she had a hard time remembering who we were and why we were visiting her, she was always glad to see us. The woman had a heart of gold - and I am one of the 10 luckiest kids in the world, because I got to have her for a grandma.

I'm the oldest child of the oldest child, so I was getting spoiled by her before anyone else was. I treasure memories of going camping and fishing (yes, in my youth I wasn't so adverse to dirt & worms) with Grandma & Grandpa. I love that Grandma gave me my first Milky Way candy bar. (She liked to eat them frozen, and when she found out that I'd never had one, she snuck a handful out of the freezer and we took them out and sat on the front porch and gnawed and giggled our way through them like a couple 6 year old girls.) I love that I have two paintings in my kitchen that she had in hers, and that I have recipes that came from her kitchen as well. I'm incredibly grateful for a weekend I was able to spend in her home the summer before her Dementia got so bad that she had to be moved - staying up with her, "having girl talk" until the wee hours of the morning, is a memory that I'll treasure for the rest of my life.

Needless to say, I'm super lucky to have known her, and I'll miss her like mad. I'm just so grateful that I know that families can be forever - that this life is not the end - and that I will see her again. Because without that knowledge, death would be truly tragic - and we all know that Grandma was not about the tragedies.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Look at what I found on sale for $1.00!

Oh yes, how I love to eat piggies. *snort* (That was for you, Jen. Please be sure and pass it on to Luke for me.)

Yeah, this was $1.00 at the Wal-Mart. I bought a whole handful of them. If there's anything that I love more than bacon, it's sausage. Oh, wait... actually, I do prefer bacon. (But I do like little sausages very nearly as much as I like bacon - which is saying something, if you know me.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

My favorite part of the day today

Today, I worked. For 12 ridiculously long, pain-filled hours (literally - have you ever tried sitting for 12 hours a day, for 3 days in a row, tied to a telephone that you can only move away from in order to take a quick break for 10 minutes at a time? yeah... when I say pain-filled, I mean it). I worked. And then, at 6:00, when the time came for me to take my last break, something happened that made me so giddy with joy that I almost forgot how badly my butt & hips did not want me to be the boss of them anymore (because, let's face it, they knew we had 2 more hours of sitting in the danged chair and they'd HAD it!).

And what was that blessed occurrence that filled me with such joy that I could (albeit temporarily) take leave of my senses and forget my literal physical anguish in such a way that I giggled like a 13 yr old school girl?

Why... it was a voicemail message on my cell, left by my friend Whitney.

I'm gonna go ahead and relay that message here for you all now. Granted, it may lose a little something in the translation (because sometimes these things do). I do wish, more that anything, that I knew how to download a sound clip - because if I did, I'd so be posting the actual message (as it's now saved in the ol' phone as one of my all-time-fave-messages-ever), so you could hear it. But alas, all I can give you is a direct deposition of the call. Here's how it went:

"Hey Laurie, it's Whitney. I just drove down May Street because I'm going to pick up *Sally Sue to babysit for us and right at that ... oh, what apartments are they? ... right at the corner of May & *College, there are a bunch of fireman playing volleyball.

They don't have their shirts off... But still - I thought of you."

Honestly, is that not pretty much the most fantastic voicemail of all time? Oh my word, I LOVED IT! Thanks for thinking of me, Whit. You totally made my day with that, you rock!

*Some names have been changed to protect the innocence/reputation of young women being picked up in order to babysit who may well have been witness to the blessed fireman volleyball event, as well as the actual street location - lest any cyber stalkers/razzzberry fans try to beat me to the punch and show up trying to horn in on the fireman volleyball action that, apparently, takes place in my neighborhood.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Anybody want a cat?

Frankie's on 48 hour notice.

I'm not even kidding. I figured I'd offer her up to my friends and family and give ya'll an option to claim her for your own before I just dropped her back at the pound. She has come to the point where she needs either someone who is home more than I am, and/or an outdoor litter box and/or scratching post. I've been dealing with her scratching up the arm of the couch for nigh onto a year now, but since she's recently taken to "doing her business" in places other than the potty ... she's dead to me.

She went through a phase last week, but I thought we were over it. (I'd gone straight from working 12 hour days to being in Utah for 5 days and then back to work, which screwed with her schedule.) We'd had a good long talk about her needing to go potty in the potty last weekend and I was pretty sure she'd finally learned English and she understood that if she didn't shape up, I was soooo sending her back to the slammer. But alas, she has forgotten all about that conversation. She's NOT going in the litter box, so I figure she's doing it somewhere else - but I can't find where in order to rub her nose into oblivion in it. Stupid dumb idiot cat. I gave her a chance. I even spoke calmly to her when I layed out the options.

She's generally a good girl. She just needs someone who's home more than I am. So.... any takers?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Even MORE proof that I am not a morning person

So, this morning I woke up in complete and utter darkness, which freaked me right out. (Yes, I'm a 34 yr old woman who has a night-light. Total darkness creeps me the heck out. I know most people find it soothing, but I find it terrifying, and not even the "hit myself until I can fall back asleep trick" works in total and complete darkness. It's an illness - or something.)

Anyway, so I woke up and it was completely dark. Of course I proceeded to go into a panic... because that's what I do when I can't see my hand in front of my face. I tried to do some self-soothing - pulled out the old breathing techniques, told myself it was okay... the nightlight had probably just gone out, and it was just that it was the middle of the night, and that's why it was so dark (that I hadn't been kidnapped and thrown into the trunk of some dude's car and at that very moment WAS NOT being driven to some unknown location to be dumped into a lake ... do you see how whacked my imagination can get?).

Obviously, my imagination was working faster than I could at trying to calm down ... so I decided to work WITH the imagination and go with the kidnapping scheme and see if I could trick myself out of a panic that way - at which point I realized that even if I WAS in someone's trunk, there would still be some light coming in from the tail lights - so I knew that wasn't it. As I shook my head (to try and clear it), I suddenly realized why it was black in my room. Uhm .... my eyes were still closed. Ha! I'd woken up, but hadn't opened my eyes yet. So, then I opened them and it was morning, and very much not pitch black in my house, and so was able to commence breathing. (Which was lucky, since then I had to laugh at myself, and we all know breathing is necessary for laughter.)

Egads, I'm such a dork.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I heart carbs...

And apparently, they heart me too.

I bought one of those 10 lb bags of potatoes so I could make and take mashed potatoes to Jo's for Sunday dinner ... Check it. There was a heart shaped potato in the bag! How wild is that?! (Oh, right... and do you love that my red sweater was on the table and able to provide such a nice, warm background? Classy, no?)

Friday, January 9, 2009

What do I love? ... Candy from England!

So, my cousin Bethy pretty much rocks. For a load of reasons, one of which is that she brings me SUPER YUMMY Mint Kit-Kats when she comes back to the states "on holiday". (See? That's British talk for going on vacation. I think it sounds soooo much cooler, more resting AND more fun than 'vacation', so I thought I'd throw it in.) And this year, she brought me an extra special treat. See that box of Quality Street Matchsticks? They're AWESOME. Again, with the chocolately-minty goodness... they're sticks of chocolate that you can use to stir your hot chocolate, and then the chocolate (and the mint crystals, obviously) dissolve right into your chocolate drink and all of a sudden you have a treat of ginormous proportions. (Or, uhm... you can go ahead and skip the drink and put the chocolate stick right into your mouth. That's yummy, too.)

And for any of you unfamiliar with the faces of my sweet cousins (which is doubtful, because if you're a Razzzberries fan, then you've seen my kin plastered from here to kingdom come on previous posts) ... please allow me to introduce us in all our middle-of-the-night goofy cousinly glory. This is me (obviously), Lisa (who is known to all of the world, except to those of us that knew her when, as Anna), Julie and there's Betho, stretched across all of our laps as we hold our hair up to measure whose is longest. (I told you, it was the middle of the night. Don't judge.)

Oh, how I love my cousins... And, oh, how I love eating the creamy, smooth, absolutely fabulous and completely-unlike-American-candy that Beth brings to me. I lead a blessed life, truly.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas Present Show & Tell

This afternoon, I stopped by my friend Jenni's blog and saw that she'd put a post up about her favorite Christmas gift (received) this year. Her post reminded me that I'd come home (from my mom & pop's) on Christmas Eve, meaning to do the same. Time (and the fact that I had to work the next day) caused me to lose track of that thought, and, in fact, I had spaced it until today. I know it's been a couple weeks and we're past the time of Christmas-appropriate-posts, but I can't let the opportunity to do this pass - again.

Christmas this year at our house was a little different than in years past. My mom had jokingly (or so I had thought) mentioned the idea months ago that maybe we should home-make our gifts this year... Imagine my surprise when I opened this little beauty.

Yes, it's an embroidered, personalized pillowcase. That's Miss Muffet, sitting on her tuffet, eating curds & whey while a spider appears beside her there on the hem of my pillowcase. Isn't it awesome?! (For those of you who don't know, Miss Muffet (or Muff) was my nickname when I was little. I use it as a user name and/or email address whenever possible.) I absolutely love my mom - for a myriad of reasons - but that she'd think of making me a personalized pillowcase for Christmas, and then search high and low for an appropriately adorable Muff makes my heart just melt. She rocks - and so does my new pillowcase.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Snow is a four letter word.

I mean, it's pretty from the sky (when I was flying into SLC, I thought "ooh, that's so pretty!"), it was beautiful in its pristine glory at the temple (I thought "Shelly's so lucky to have this beautiful, perfect snow as a backdrop in her wedding pictures!"), I thought it was absolutely lovely as I drove down from the airport to American Fork yesterday (I thought "it's like a literal winter wonderland... I can't believe I'd forgotten how absolutely gorgeous fresh, clean snow is!").

And then it started to snow last night - as I was driving home from the reception - down hills, and roads that look like they haven't been cleared in 1,000 years... and I started to have very different thoughts on the matter of snow. Very different thoughts indeed. And since I know that my mother (along with varied and assorted other friends & relations who read this blog) would be shocked and appalled if I told you the actual words I was using as I was driving down hills, on said roads, I'll spare you the details. But rest assured, S-N-O-W has been added to my ever increasing list of 4 letter words. And right now it's beating most of them out. The usual top offenders: camp, dirt, tent, fish, hike, etc... have been replaced with what I have decided is the most insidious of all weather issues.

Because snow is so darn pretty, it was easy to forget how much I hate it. But now that I've been in it again, the memories have come back full force. (And not many of those memories are happy ones, let me assure you.) And I'll be in it for the next 3 days. Driving at least twice during that time frame. Egads and Heaven help us all! (Yeah, I'm not kidding. Any and all prayers are greatly appreciated.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's Shelly's big day!!!

Yes, the time is correct. I'm posting at 5:20 AM on a Friday. Why am I up at this horrid hour? ... So glad you asked. I'm leaving in about 5 to go to Utah, so I can be at my cousin Shelly's wedding at 11:00 this morning AND I WAS ACTUALLY EXCITED TO WAKE UP AT 4:30 so I could be there.
Won't she be the most beautiful bride? (Do you see why Cate Blanchett was making me miss my cousins? They're so thin & willowy... with the most obedient hair. You'd NEVER guess we're related!)