Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Give said the little stream...




You Are An ENFJ



The Giver



You strive to maintain harmony in relationships, and you usually succeed.

Articulate and enthusiastic, you are good at making personal connections.

Sometimes you idealize relationships too much - and end up being let down.

You find the most energy and comfort in social situations ... where you shine.



In love, you are very protective and supporting.

However, you do need to "feel special" - and it's quite easy for you to get jealous.



At work, you are a natural leader. You can help people discover their greatest potential.

You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist.



How you see yourself: Trusting, idealistic, and expressive



When other people don't get you, they see you as: Bossy, inappropriate, and loud



I'm not sure how I feel about being called The Giver. (I'm pretty sure that The Taker is a more apt name for me, most of the time.) But the rest of this is pretty spot on. My favorite is the "You would make a good writer, human resources director, or psychologist." bit. Anyone who knows me knows that my one true goal/wish in life is to write and be published (oh, right, and to hit the bestseller list) and then never have to go to work again. On the other hand, if I do have to work, I want to be in HR (not even kidding). And we all know that I do love to analyze people and that if it wouldn't require so much school (and heartache, I really worry about the work affecting me) I'd be all over psychology.

All in all, this is pretty much spot on. Color me impressed.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Why I am NOT ALLOWED to shop after work.

Yeah, so last night I ran by the store on my way home from work so I could buy a 10 lb bag of potatoes (I'm assigned mashed potatoes for Sunday dinner tonight). That should have been about $5, right? Yeah, too bad I didn't get out of Safeway for less that $30. Here's a little sampling of why I should not be allowed to go to the store when I'm hungry/tired/emotionally drained/snacky and/or on the phone with Genevra Lynn solving the mysteries of the universe.

I went for a $5 bag of potatoes. This is what I came home with:

1 10 lb bag of potatoes (The needed item.)
3 bundles of daffodils (1 and 2 were too few, 4 was too many... I'm silly, I know)
2 1 lb bags of pistachios (They were on sale buy-1-get-1 free. I had to.)
1 giant tub of hummus (It's not even that good, I'm sorry to say,)
1 dozen eggs (For the carton. That's right - the carton. I don't need/want the eggs.)
1 carton of fresh raspberries (Delish, as usual. I do LOVE fresh berries.)
1 3 inch square piece of chocolate cake w/ chocolate icing (Listen, I wanted to buy a whole cake - which I have no doubt I would have eaten in one sitting. So that $3, 3 inch piece of cake was actually a bargain AND a really smart purchase.)


And when I got home and I was putting the fridge stuff away, my first thought was "DANGIT! I forgot to get more cookies & cream!". (I ate the last of the ice cream Thursday night, whilst watching LOST online. I was on an emotional roller coaster throughout the show, so I wolfed down about a 1/4 carton of ice cream that night.) Good grief.

Anyway, yeah... $30 dollars. On the weirdest stuff. THIS is why I need to be careful about when/where I shop. Safeway just sucks money out of me. The store's so little, I can walk the whole thing (or at the very least, my favorite - the frozen, dairy, fruit & bakery - aisles) in five minutes. And last night I had no filter as to what I needed/wanted and I bought it all. The upside is that now I have some pistachios to snack on this afternoon. And I do love pistachios...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A few thoughts on finding happiness... for free! :-)

So, I read an interesting article online while I was at work today. (And, yes, I do work when I'm at work. For reals. It's just that I also like to read... so when things slow down a bit, I like to check stuff out at msn or amazon.com.) Both the name of the author and the article intrigued me (mostly because I have a yogi brother who is in love with all things Indian and/or peace-loving) - How to be Happy in a Recession by Deepak Chopra. And here is the link to the article, if anyone is interested in reading the full thing: http://lifestyle.msn.com/your-life/bigger-picture/article.aspx?cp-documentid=18631691&GT1=32001.

Anyhoo... the article itself is pretty good. It's well written, I have no complaints whatsoever about the way it was written and/or the content thereof (and if you're a regular reader of Razzzberries, you know me well enough to know that if I did have grammar or content to complain about, I'd be more than happy to do that here). Rather, the reason I'm putting this up is that I had a huge "aha! moment" when I read this. So, in customary fashion (you know how I love to subject my loyal readers to my random thoughts and/or feelings), I'm sharing it with you... If having lost the bank (read: 40 hours + a week, stress inducing and higher paid) job and taking this new call center position has taught me anything, it's that I can survive (and be quite happy, thanks) with less. I've been pretty blown away by how I'm not completely (close, sometimes, yes... but I haven't been completely) broke, making almost a 1/3 less than I was making 6 short months ago. It turns out that the time this new work schedule provides me has enabled me to focus on areas of improvement in my life. Most importantly, it has given me time to spend with friends and family. Time that I haven't had in... oh, I'd say, a good 17 years or so (since I graduated from high school and entered the workforce full time).

In short, I'm pretty proud (I know, shame on me for being proud... but I am, just a little) that I've had the presence of mind to have realized that this not-paying-me-so-much-moolah job has been a blessing. In reading this article, esp in reading this section of the article, I was really hit by and impressed with how incredibly fortunate I've been to have had the opportunity to downsize the financial/spending in my life - and at the same time, upgrade my quality of life. (How that happened is still a bit of a mystery to me, but it's all good.)

To quote the article:

To be happy in a recession means, first and foremost, resisting all the threats that fear possesses. Don't obsess anxiously over what you could lose. Don't reduce your world to a bank account or a 401k. Isn't there an upside to losing some "consumer buying power"? To be honest, we went too far with consumerist mania. By any measure this is an inordinately rich country, and instead of mourning sagging profit margins, can't we use the current slowdown to ask what makes for true personal happiness?

Relationship. Gratitude. Appreciation. Compassion. Mutual regard. Strong social connections. Love you can trust.

I don't know why it takes a crisis to bring out those fundamental human qualities. But if often does. We all realize that the next video game, the next new car, the next flat-screen TV means nothing compared to the rewards of relating to other people. Yet we live as if the opposite is true. The pursuit of happiness is blocked just as much by indulgent over-consumption as by an economic downturn. More, in fact. An impoverished country like Nigeria recently scored number one in a survey of the happiest countries on earth, while the U.S. has never broken the top ten in any such survey.

Okay, so... I know that was kind of long. And a little bit "recession-ary", which, as we all know, is something that I like to ignore is going on. (High spenders like myself do not like to acknowledge that we cannot spend like we used to - mostly because we're not making money like we used to and it bums us out.) But isn't that fabulous? I loooved the bit about what makes for true personal happiness: Relationship. Gratitude. Appreciation. Compassion. Mutual regard. Strong social connections. Love you can trust. Who among us can ask for more than that? I know that I can't. And I'm so glad that, for once in my life, I feel like I have the time that I need to have in order to work on those areas of my life.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Who do I love? Mr. Thornton, that's who.

I spent my day today, between reading, picking up my car from the doctor's and cooking up a FINE batch of mac & cheese, watching 4 hours of one of the hottest little mini-series the BBC has ever (and I do mean ever) put out.


I can sum Mr. Thornton up in one word.
The word is smoldering.
And I love him.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Past, Present & Future

My mom sent me some pics yesterday, asking if I could tell her when they were taken. All I had to do was look at the series and I knew... they'd been taken in March of 1994, exactly 15 years ago this week, when Mom and I went to Provo to visit my friend Jo for her birthday. We'd stayed with my Grammy & Grandad (my mom's folks) and had dyed our hair red, just for fun. (And then, for even MORE fun, I cut my hair at the end of the week. I'd had a bad perm... as you will see... and cutting it was really the only option, as far as dealing with it went.)

As funny as these pics are - and as much trouble as I know they'll get me in with my cousin - I just have to post them. You see, I've been thinking a lot this week about how lucky I've been in my life. Because I have been, ridiculously and truly lucky (nay, blessed). Especially in the realm of friendship. I have had a lot of truly amazing people come into my life over the years (and if you're sucker enough to be a regular visitor to the blog and are reading this, please know that I count you among them). But these girls ... these girls have been constants in my life for as long as I can remember. The only people who've been my friend longer than my mother has been are Bethy, Julie, Jo, and the Solomon girls (and I give those names in no particular order). And with that having been said, here's a little trip down memory lane for your ocular enjoyment.


Bethy & Julie - all soap sudsed up...
Bethy pouring and Julie mixing red dye into my hair - note the unfortunate perm. Also, please note the unfortunate look on my sad & pathetic, 19 yr old face. (I've always thought that the smell of dye is one of the worst smells EVER - and this look says it all for how hard I have to concentrate on not puking when dyeing my hair.)
A couple days later. Jo was going red, just like the rest of us. And while Julie had been putting the dye in Jo's hair, I must've been in the kitchen scooping up some mint chip ice cream. (Don't ask me why I'm spooning it into my mouth right as the pic was taken. Ice cream always has been my #1 priority.) Oh, and how 'bout those Sally Jesse Raphael glasses that both Julie and I are sporting? Hot, right? And here (as I'm sure you noticed), I couldn't keep my eyes open. Yeah, in one pic I'm shoving ice cream in... in the other, I'm most likely laughing so hard that my eyes have involuntarily closed. Some things never change.

And, speaking of things that never change...
Here I am with my cousins, who I love and am so grateful to share blood and so many years of history with.
And here I am with my friends - the girls from home who've known me for so long that they're part of who I am.

I can't wait (uhm... except that I'll have to, literally) to see where we'll all be in another 15 years. In the meanwhile, I know that there will be more pictures, more late night hair parties and gab fests, and more ice cream. (Oh, and a heck of a lot more laughter, too, if I know us. And I do know us.) These things are certain. And I'm certainly grateful for them.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

IT'S BLUE HAIR DAY!!!

For those of you who don't know my mom, my dad... or my home school district, this is for you. (And, well, it's for the rest of you, too.) I got home tonight and had the cutest/funniest email from my mom. I've decided to post it here, in its entirety, for your viewing (and reading, because "as for me & my house, we will encourage people in their reading") pleasure. Behold, my funny (and fabulous) father...


For the last eight years, Dennis has told his elementary kids that if they read
ONE MILLION MINUTES he would DYE HIS HAIR BLUE!





So again TODAY Dennis told elephant jokes to his Kindergarten to third graders in an assembly
and the kids LAUGHED ~ AND I DON'T MEAN JUST AT THE JOKES!!



They love his "NEW DO!"

He is SUCH A GOOD SPORT!!



Dennis only waited 20 MINUTES before he rinsed his hair in the custodians' sink.
Some years he has left the dye on for 5 HOURS!!



This lighting isn't good, but trust me, HE'S LOBO BLUE!!!
Here's hoping it lasts at least 2 weeks. It generally does.
THE BEST YEAR EVER, IT LASTED 3 HAIRCUTS!!!



OH MAN!! I LOVE THIS GAME!!

AND THIS SMURF!!!

My favorite thing about this crazy thing that my dad does... the man wears his blue hair about town, proud as can be. I love it! I love that he's a bishop, and he has no qualms conducting meetings on Sundays with his "blue do" - for as long as it lasts. He either lets it wash out, or he cuts it out, depending on how strong the dye was. I love that there's a generation of kids that know that he'll dye his hair blue for them if they read. I love that every year, his K-3 school reads over a million minutes (K-3, people... those are some YOUNG kids), because they know what's waiting at the end of that goal for them - and every year, the kids beat their 1,000,000 minute mark from the year before. It's pretty fabulous, right? My dad rocks. And so does my mom, because she goes to the school with the camera and then sends pics out to the fam of Dad being such a cool principal. I'm pretty darn lucky to have them as parents, wouldn't you agree?


PS - Is it weird to any of you that know my parents personally (and/or were around when I was growing up in what was quite possibly The Most Sheltered and/or Censored House of All Time that my mom (my mom) referenced my dad as being a Smurf in her email? We weren't allowed to watch Smurfs... and now, here she is, name dropping them like they were just as common an occurance as can be. ... This is just like when my dad started watching Lois & Clark (the New Adventures of Superman... perhaps you remember this show from the early 90's) and he had to tell me about it, because he thought I'd "enjoy it". (Mind you, this is a good 8 years AFTER the show was off the air and had been doomed to re-runs on USA.) Imagine my surprise that not only had he decided that the show was "okay" (I'd been strictly forbidden to watch it when it was on the air-waves, live) - but now, all of a sudden, he thought is was appropriate family viewing. Which takes me back to my mom letting my sister (who is the youngest, btw) watch Happy Days after school. In my day, we could listen to the intro/theme music, but then then we had to turn it off. Mom didn't approve of The Fonz - she said he was a womanizer (and then she wouldn't tell me what that meant... no worries, I looked it up in the dictionary). Oh, my... how times have changed. Next thing I know, she'll be (gasp) calling herself "Smurfette". What is the world coming to?


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Now you, too, can make FABULOUS dinner rolls!

By popular demand (and a little because I want you all to think of me, should you ever choose to make these rolls and taste their buttery goodness), here is the recipe.

Sweet Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1 pgk (or just less than 1 Tab) yeast
1 egg
1/3 cup softened butter
1 tsp salt
3 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup softened butter (yes, more butter)

Mix the water and milk together and nuke them in the microwave for 75 seconds. When liquid is "warmed", place it in your Kitchen Aide and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Then add the yeast and let it foam (takes about 10 minutes, give or take). Once the yeast is foamy, add the egg, the salt and the 1/3 butter. Begin adding flour in approx 1/2 cup intervals until it's all in there. I leave my mixer on level 1 for somewhere between 7-10 minutes to "knead". Cover the dough (I just leave it in the stand with a towel on top) and let it rise for 45-60 minutes. When dough has almost doubled in size, punch it down. Remove dough from bowl and split it into halves. Roll each half out (on either a floured surface or on a non-stick sprayed surface... I've done it both ways and it's always good) into two 12 inch circles. Split the 1/4 cup softened butter between the two circles and spread out on the dough. Slice each circle into 8 sections, and then roll (firmly, but not too tightly, from the big side in) into crescents. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, tip down. (Or they'll unroll. And believe me when I say that they're ugly little suckers when they've unrolled - I learned the hard way.)

Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Yeild - 16 DELISH rolls.

Note: I've sprinkled garlic salt on top of the butter before rolling them up, and that was good. I've also sprinkled parmesan cheese over the butter, which was pretty great. Tonight I felt the need for a cinnamon roll, so I made cinnamon rolls with half the dough, which were FABULOUS. Pretty much, I think this is the best bread recipe of all time. I'm in love with it, truly.

Oh, and I've read reviews online that told me that you could make "traditional rolls" by just pinching off pieces instead of doing the crescent style. Of course, I'd sooner die than do that. (Because, hi - how do you get the butter inside a regular roll? ... That's the beauty of the crescent!) But you all can let your conscience be your guide and do whatever you want. I won't judge you, either way. (I'm sure I'll think my way is better... but I won't judge.)

P.S. And my oven bakes hot, so I actually set the temp at 375 instead of 400 and it's perfect. (See... look at me, NOT lying and/or leaving anything out. Are you people proud that you outed me on my recipe alterations and now I have to tell the whole truth, every time?)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Besides running errands and doing 5 loads of laundry...

...I read this book today.




It was tough going there for a while, I'm not gonna lie. Both Tourette's syndrome and OCD are pretty near and dear to my heart, so there were elements and situations in this book that made me want to put it down and never pick it back up. But I stuck with it, and by the end I was incredibly grateful for this family's choice to share their story. I loved how both Hal and Sophia Friedman continued to love and support, as well as care for and fight for their son. I loved that it was Cory's emotional strength and determination to find another way that ultimately enabled him to conquer his body. Bless this family. Bless this boy for having said, when asked if the story could/should be told, "If it will help other people like me, yes."

Tonight I am grateful for people who are brave/strong enough to share their story. I'm also incredibly, ridiculously grateful for the way my body and mind work. Granted, it's not like they're spot on 100% of the time, but when I'm handed something like this book, I realize how incredibly blessed I really am. Truly, really, ridiculously and incredibly blessed.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I'm a roll maker now!


Yeah, so last week my friend Jo asked me to bring rolls to Sunday dinner... And since she cooks for me every week (at least one day of the week), I can't tell her "are you kidding me? ... rolls?" - so I said "okay, sure... no prob... but do they have to be homemade, or can I buy them?". Per Jo, I was approved to buy a bag o' rolls (yay!) - but then I forgot to buy them on Saturday. Which left me stranded on Sunday ... stranded in my kitchen, with nothing but a bag of flour an old bottle of yeast. Egads.

Luckily enough (for me, and for the rest of the crew that heads to Jo's for Sunday dinner), allrecipes.com had a pretty sweet roll recipe with step-by-step instructions for a Kitchen-Aide. I was a little nervous (as you would understand, if you had ever had to eat any rolls/bread I've made before), but... Oh. My. Gosh. This roll recipe is FABULOUS. And it's super fun, because you roll them up ala Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. There's butter in the recipe, and then you slather butter on the dough before you roll them up. Seriously... HEAVEN.

I've made 3 batches of rolls in the last week, kids. THREE. BATCHES. OF. ROLLS. (That, btw, is way more bread than I can actually eat. I threw away about a dozen rolls this morning before I made more this afternoon.) They're just so darn good when they're hot ... and for two days after I make them, that I can't help myself. I keep making them. And eating them. It's a sickness. I should turn myself in to Carb-o-Holics or something. But first, I think I'll go and grab another roll. I do still have a bit of strawberry freezer jam, after all...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter

So, remember when I went to Disneyland with my sister at the beginning of February and it was cold & rainy and I was in the park with nary a rubber band to be found to hold my hair? Yeah, well... trust me - it was ugly. Cold, wet, dripping hair that whipped around and hit Katie in the face when we were on rides... And on some rides, because my hair's so long, it was whipping around the back and hitting the folks behind us - which inspired me to tie my hair under my chin in a triple knot. Sexy, right?
And while I thought I was quite original in my hair-under-the-chinny-chin-chin-do... apparently, great minds think alike. My mom sent me this circa 1960 beauty of her just last week. I've always known that I got my hair from the Ball side - but I didn't know until just recently that I got my creative flair for the hair-under-the-chin-do from that side, too.

Yeah, I know. We're lovely.

Monday, March 2, 2009

This is sadly accurate




You Are Caramel deLites / Samosas



You are blessed with a brilliant, dynamic mind. It's sometimes hard to figure out what your focus should be.

You're the type of person who does almost everything well. You are very competent but also unfocused.



You're not an easy person to pin down. You are vibrantly complex.

You have many facets to your personality, and they're often in competition with one another.

Hmph. I'd wanted to be a Thin Mint (because they are, hands down, my fav cookie of all time) - but it appears that I'm too coco-nutty for my own good. The funny thing? The description here is pretty much spot on. Too funny...