Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just another day in the life of me...

Today, I did a bunch of stuff. I mean... a whole bunch of stuff. A whole of out-of-the-ordinary-stuff. I'll tell you about it right now, because I know that's why you're here. Because you love getting the latest, the nitty gritty, the... scoop, shall we say, on my life.

I woke up at 7:13. (This was not my plan. My plan was to sleep until 8:30. I'd set an alarm to make sure I woke up at 8:30, and I woke up on my own at 7:13. Some days living in this body makes me want to scream, I tell you.)

I went to church with my brothers (well, half of them). Spencer and Brea blessed their baby while her family was still in town. I was lucky enough to sit with Kirk's family - which translates into a whole lot of fun me. And their kids. During Sacrament Meeting alone, I:

Learned the "proper way" to play the little piggies game (apparently there should be tickling and/or shrieking "wee, wee, wee... all the way home" - heaven knows how I got to be this age without that little knowledge gem).

Explained (repeatedly) to Russell (who is 5) that a blessing is a kind of prayer, and we should fold our arms, close our eyes and not talk out loud during said blessing.

Played "hide the skittle" with the same skittles so many times that the S got rubbed off - and the grody little kids that are my nephews still ate them.

After church, we headed over to Spence and Brea's, where I ate the following (until I thought I was going to die):
Biscuits &

Red-Eye Gravy (a full plate of it - because I'm an Evans and that's how we roll)
Roughly 3 lbs of turkey (I only wish I was kidding - really, I probably ate 3 lbs)
Cranberry dressing
Cranberry salad (hey, I love me some cranberry... don't mock me)
Mashed potatoes & gravy
1/4 pan of Coconut Cream Pie (again, I only wish I was kidding - Seth served me... bless him)
The Most Delicious Corn Side Dish of All Time (yeah, it deserves caps, like a proper noun - it was that good)
Pecan Pie slathered in Belly Full of Goodness (what Spencer calls his home-made whipped cream)

I ate all of this within a 45 minute time-frame, no less. It was pretty insane... (By which I mean: disgusting. But Kirk was eating, and then Spencer was eating, and then I just had to join in. "Mom, the brothers made me..." - Do you think that excuse would fly in this scenario?

After eating, I:

Looked at Seth's dinosaur book for what seemed like eternity. (Not that I'm complaining. The dinos are pretty cool, and it's awesome that he knows what they all are. But the pics of the carnivores tearing into other animals get to me after a while. I know, I'm such a sissy.)

Actually pulled a muscle in my neck, holding Kirk (my nephew, not my brother - no worries) down while I forcibly kissed him. (And before you start to feel sorry for him, trust me, the kid asked for it - literally.)

Ruined mashed potatoes forever for my niece, Hazel. I gave her coconut cream pie (because I had enough and to spare, see above) and she wouldn't eat anything good/wholesome off her parents' forks after that. (It's good to know my role as Aunt Laurie, aka: The Never Ending Source of Sugary Treats is in full force with her, and she's only 15 months old.)

Held Russell or had him clinging to my left leg (literally) for hours on end. (Odd, for a 5 year old boy, but adorable.)

Played basketball with Connor, who explained to me that in order to make a basket, you have to kiss the basketball 3 times in a row, and then shoot. (And I'll be darned if he wasn't right. Every time I kissed the ball, it went through the hoop. How funny is that?) Con is hilar. He was so into kissing the basketball that he started calling it "my female" (not girlfriend, mind you, but female). He also asked me when I was ever gonna get a wife. I kindly explained that I'm looking to be a wife, thankyouverymuch, not have one - and advised him I was more than happy to have him help me in the quest to finding someone to wife me. He just nodded, which I'm taking as an acceptance of responsibility in finding me a husband. This should be interesting...


After a good 6 or so hours of good times with my immediate family, I headed out the door to drive to Scottsdale and meet my cousin Doug and his family for dinner. As I pulled out of Spencer's neighborhood, I had the most bizarre desire to push the button and open the sunroof on my car. (I'm gonna come clean right now and tell you that the sunroof in my car hasn't worked for at least 5 years. Oh, and the sky was cloudy and looked like rain was coming. I don't know what I was thinking.) As I pushed the button to open the sunroof, I heard/felt a mechanical click and thought, "Gosh, that's weird. This thing hasn't opened in years!". And did I stop pushing the button? No. (Again, let me say... I don't know what I was thinking.) As the window was open half way, it kind of stuck and I thought "I don't know why this is working, when it hasn't in 5 years. I should probably close this right now." So I tried to close it - and it wouldn't budge. At which point, I thought "Huh... maybe I have to open it all the way to close it. I can't believe I can't remember how to work this thing, it's been so long!" (In retrospect, I can't believe that I thought opening the window all the way was the ticket to salvation. I. Am. An. Idiot.) Anyway... I opened the sunroof - all the way - and then tried to close it. And of course, I just got a dead click sound. And by now, I was on the freeway, cruising along at 70 mph, with a windstorm happening inside my car, cursing my own stupidity for opening a window that I couldn't close. (Honestly. What kind of idiot 35 yr old opens a window that she KNOWS good and well has been broken for years? Uh... this kind of idiot 35 yr old. Good grief.) But I wasn't worried. Yet. Oh, no. I was thinking that I'd just meet Doug for dinner, leave my car under covered parking in my complex that night, and then take it to a mechanic and/or a window guy Monday morning and have it fixed. That was a great thought. Until it started to rain - in my car. (Yeah. It. Rained. In. My. Car.) I kept driving, coming up with scenarios in which I could meet Doug for dinner and then take my car home (for example: I keep a blanket in my trunk that I figured I could spread across my front seats so my chair wouldn't get soaked while I was in, eating dinner) ... but after a good 10 minutes of sprinkles, it started to rain in earnest, and I knew I needed to cancel my dinner plans, act like a grownup and just go home and get someone to help me close the hole that I'd opened up in the roof of my car. So I called Doug and left a 3 minute long (somewhat hysterical) message detailing the reason that I had to bail on dinner (namely: I am his idiot cousin who had opened a window in the roof of her car that would not close and now had rain streaming into her car). He called back 4 minutes later (keep in mind, he had to listen to a 3 minute long message before he could call me back), laughing, and telling me that I should go home and "get that taken care of" and we'd have to catch up the next time one of us was in the other's state.

I was bummed.

And wet.

And cold.

And amused, amazingly enough.

I called home to tell my sister, and we laughed good and hard at my idiocy, while I held my phone in my left hand - under my hair - away from the gaping hole in the roof of my car that was letting the rainwater in. We laughed hard as we made up a whole new set of lyrics to "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head". (Yeah, don't look for us to be winning any awards for our lyrical prowess, but we sure were laughing.) After a good 10 minutes of some pretty good rain, I drove out of the rainy spot and then it was just cold and windy in my car. (But hey, cold and windy is better than cold, windy and wet, right?)

After a nice and breezy 70 minute drive home, I was pulling off the freeway and wondering what in the world I was gonna do about my sunroof, aka: the big, gaping hole in the top of my car (leave it to me, to open that window and not be able to close it on one of the approximately 4 days a year that it rains here in The Valley of the Sun), when I tried the button that should have been making it close for lo these many miles... and voila! There was a creak, and a lurch, and the mechanics engaged and.... MY SUNROOF CLOSED. On its own, with no help from a mechanic and/or window repair man. And so I prayed. I prayed a great and mighty prayer of thanksgiving. And then I laughed - again.

Honestly, what a day. I think I'll go to bed now...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Me & my voicemails...

We all know that I love to hoard messages in my phone like a squirrel gathering nuts for winter. (Or maybe we don't all know that. ... But, erm, now you know. Don't judge. I don't keep all of them - just the exceedingly funny and/or sentimental ones.) Anyhoo, tonight, I came out of work and listened to my voice mails and found a new prize. My cousin Doug (Doug the elder, not Doug the younger, for those of you who know I have multiple cousins Doug and need clarification) is in town for the holiday weekend and we needed to make a plan to get together while he's here.

This voicemail is one of my new faves. Of course it's now saved in the archives in my phone. What in the world I'm gonna do when I fill all the available space in my phone and have to start deleting my fave messages, I don't know. We're not going to talk and/or think about that tonight, however. Tonight, I'm just wanting to share this with you. Why? Because it made me giggle. And I'm in the habit of sharing things here that bring me joy and/or laughter. So, without further ado, here's his very short message, transcribed for all to read:

Cousin Laurie? Cousin Doug. Just give me a call back when you can - insert phone number here. Talk to you later.

Hahaha... I love that my cousins and I call each other Cousin, like it's part of our names. Gosh, it's awesome.

This message made me especially happy tonight, because when I got out of work yesterday, I had a message from my cousin Julie, singing (to the tune of the Happy Birthday song, of course):

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Happy Thanksgiving to you... Happy Thanksgiving, dear Cousin, Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Gosh, I love my cousins. We're a nutty bunch (and I'm one of the nuttiest, posting about my voice mails... but whatever, it's what's making me laugh tonight). I'm super excited about seeing Doug & Dana and the kids this weekend (and only part of that is the giddiness over my getting to go to The White Chocolate Grill - which I love!).

That's all. You can all go back to what you were doing before you came here to read this goofy post about my cousins and my voice mails... Thank you for your time. And patience. And understanding. And for loving me in spite of the insanity. Oh, and for your funny voice mails. (Now that you know how much I love a funny message, I'll bet more of you will be taking care in exactly what you say, lest you get quoted here.)

The End.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to me!

As much as I do love a store bought pie (and I do love Marie's Razzleberry pie, as previously discussed).

I like making pie as much as I like eating it. (I know, I know. I'm a sicko and a total weirdo, but I do like to make pie. It's the crust. I like the process - the rolling, the pinching, the brushing with milk and dusting with cinnamon-sugar. Mmmm!) So, last night I made this apple pie. It's a little goofy looking, with all the juices having seeped out of the top... but I'm pretty sure it'll be delicious.

The good news about this second pie? (Since I ate the first one - all by myself - in less than 48 hours.) I'm taking it to work, so I can have people help me eat it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May you all have (and enjoy) as much pie as I do! :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hey... This quiz called me a tart!

You Are Cherry Pie

You are a total sweetheart, but you also have a tart side to you as well. You can't help but be a little naughty.

During the holidays, you try to lighten the mood and keep things fun. You think that the holidays should be a time of joy... not stress.

Your ideal holiday has lot of laughter and good times. You definitely prefer a holiday with zero drama.

You believe that people often forget that holidays are for celebrating. You try to make every holiday event a bit of a party.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Three of my favorite things

So, last night, my friend Myra came over.
(No, this pic wasn't taken last night. And no, she didn't bring Riley with her. I just ripped it off her FB profile, so I could show you all her pretty face. Here's hoping she doesn't mind...)

She came over to watch my favorite show with me.
(Monday night TV. Ya just can't beat it.)

And she brought this. (Chocolate curls and all.)

Myra's a fellow Pioneer Woman fan, and she'd wanted to do a pre-Thanksgiving trial run of this recipe. I consider myself a very lucky woman to be beneficiary of her need to do try a new recipe out before she could commit to it, publicly.

So, a recap of my Monday night: Myra, Castle, and chocolate pie that is pure heaven on a fork.

Just three things I'm thankful for this week.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pie. It's what's for dinner at my house.

Seriously. This is what I'm having for dinner, and it's pretty much all I'm having for dinner.

Gosh, I love living alone - where I don't have to share the pie. (When one of these puppies comes out of the oven at my mom and dad's, you're lucky if you're one of the three or four folks who'll get some before you have to put another pie in to bake. I'm not even kidding, it's gone that fast - esp when it's warm.)

I called my mom tonight, and she told me she was making chicken noodle soup and rolls for dinner (because we Evans girls heart carbs) - then she asked me what I was making. I said "a Razzleberry pie". She said "that's my girl", which I followed with "it's Thanksgiving week, I figured I should get a head start". She then had to tell me she'd gone grocery shopping this afternoon and was $4.80 away from getting the discount on the turkey (if you spent x amount of $ on your total bill, the turkey went down to .29 a lb). When the checker told her she needed to spend another $5 to get the cheaper turkey, she said "I need another pie" - and she went back to the frozen food section and pulled out (another) Razzleberry pie. We figure she made money on that pie, what with all the money she saved on the turkey when the price per pound went down, she had to get it.

We love this stupid pie. It's the best dang thing... uhm, EVER. (And I'm a pie snob, esp when it comes to frozen pie. I won't go anywhere near any other brand of store pie and have been known to stick my nose up at homemade pies found at potlucks and such.) I'm telling you, here and now, if you are a fan of the berry family - and if you like flaky pie crust - go right out and get yourself one of these puppies. You'll never know what you're missing if you don't. I'd invite you over to have some of mine, but... erm... see the first paragraph. (I'm pretty excited to have this whole pie to myself.)

Honestly, this pie... it makes me sing, it's so good. (Not even one little bit of an exaggeration.) Go buy one tonight, you'll think you've died and gone to pie-eaters heaven.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's in a name?

Okay, so... any regular readers know I'm totally random. Oh, and more than a little sappy from time to time, too. (For those of you who haven't been here before - welcome - and I'm sorry to have to break it to you like this, but welcome to my little corner of the www, where you just never know what I'm gonna be thinking/posting about.)

This morning, for some reason, I'm finding comfort in the familiar. Last week, I was able to hang out with some old friends and it was, in a word, fabulous. There is something so comforting, so warm, so ... well, fabulous ... in spending time with people you have history with. You can't beat that. At least, I can't. And I was lucky to have a double dose of old friends, both Saturday and Sunday, last weekend.

On Saturday, before I headed out to my friend Rhonda's house, I got a text (the standard "here is my cell, and here is the home number, and here's the address - again - and really (REALLY) call us when (not if, but when) you get lost" text) from her that started with "Laur". Ahhh... Laur. That name is home to me. Home in a way that I'll never be able to explain. My mom and my brother Kirk call me Laur almost exclusively, I hardly ever hear two syllables come out of their mouth when they're talking to, or about, me. My Cousins (yup, with a capital C) call me Laur, my CB gals do, my high school friends do, as do a handful of friends both recent and past. But no one (no one) calls me Laur who doesn't know me. There is comfort in that name, there is love and history and friendship. It sounds so cheesy, I know. Something, somewhere, gets lost in the translation between how hearing it makes me feel, and how to make sense of that when I'm saying it, out loud. As I said earlier, I can't explain it - but I love it.

And this morning, it hit me - with a vengeance - all the people in my life who call me a shortened name... I'm so lucky. So lucky to have people who love me enough to shorten my name, lengthen my name, or give me a nick-name. So, to all the people who call me by these names, some of them or a combination of them, or by an altogether different name that I either can't remember right now or just can't publish (you know who you are) - I love you. Thank you for making a difference in my life, for being close enough to really know me, and to nick-name me accordingly.

Lou and/or Lulu
Little Miss
De Caca (my mom, I'm sure, is shuddering right now, even as I type the word caca)
Wah-wee (it's gonna break my heart when Luke gets the hang of the L and the R, it really is)
Mormon S-word friend (it's family friendly, so I just can't put the word, but any of you who know Christian and/or me, you would know this nickname ... it's one of my faves)
Pollyanna and/or Darth Pollyanna (a recent fave)
The Prophet Laur
Lizzie (I have two friends who call me this, actually - one as in Bennet and one as in Bordon)
Miss Laurie Evans (yeah, I know, it's my name - but one of my favorite people in the world calls me this (with the word "miss" included), and this exclusively, and I love him for it)
Oz (as in The Wizard of ... I'm not sure if that's a compliment, since he's a big fat faker, but I still love it)
La and/or Lala
Laurie Lou
Lauralee (which seems silly, since that's my actual name, but it can be so endearing ... it's one that's hard to beat, few and far between are the people who can and have pulled it off)
Sis and/or Sister (Yeah, I know, like it's my name - it's very Buster-like, but I love it)
Mrs. Nathan Fillion and/or Mrs. Rick Castle

Okay, you caught me. That last one is something I'm calling myself these days, so it doesn't really count. But still, I do like the ring of it.

Thanks, folks, for putting up with my insanity, for being my friends and/or family and for calling me names accordingly. Gosh, I love you. I love you with all of my sappy little heart.

The End.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you.

On Veteran's Day, I am grateful.

I am grateful for my life, for my freedom, for my country.
I am grateful for the soldiers, throughout American history, who have fought to preserve those freedoms for me.
May God bless them, may He continue to bless all of us.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Signings: a place for making new friends & semi-stalkerish behavior...

So... I know my last post was about the PW book signing, which was last Thursday, and it's a little boring to do two posts in a row about the exact same thing, but hey... I'm her #1 fan, (and my two new friends from the signing posted pics on FB over the weekend, which I'm now feeling the need to share with the world - or, at the very least, my own little corner of the www). That being said, sit back and I'll show you some pics - and give you some commentary - that I hope won't bore you to tears and make you never want to come back and see me again.

I'll start here with a pic of Ree and me. (Ree and me. Doesn't that have such a great sound, kind of like we're best friends? Yeah... I'm pretty sure we'd be super tight if she knew me in real life.)

Speaking of how sure I am that we'd be best friends if she knew me in real life... here's a still-life of the part of the night where I was trying to convince her that she'd love me if she really knew me. (Yeah, I'm not even kidding. I told her that I knew we'd be best friends if we knew each other in real life. I told her that I know I can come off a bit like a stalker, but it's just my natural enthusiasm - that I'm not dangerous, just excited.)

And here's where I told her about how she really (REALLY) should invite my cousin Julie and me to the ranch. I told her that we love butter, that we're super funny, and that we both really want to come and see the lodge.

You can tell, by the look on her face, that she was intrigued with my story of how much I wanted to come to Oklahoma. I'll bet she really wanted to just pack me in her suitcase and take me home with her, but she didn't want to hurt the feelings of the other 627 women who'd come to her signing and take only me home with her. (Even if I was one of the few single women at the signing. I'm talking the kind of single woman who could set up house with Cowboy Josh and be the kind of neighbor she could call whenever she wanted to borrow some butter, garlic, cream cheese and/or taragon from.) It's so sad that she didn't want to crush the other women... by now, I could be home on the ranch. (Totally just had a little song-fest here in my apartment. I know the words are "home, home on the range" - but just now I busted into "home, home on the ranch" and had to giggle. Oh, dear. I'm an embarrassment to my own self.)

Here's a shot of me and my giddy grin while she signs my book.

And here's a list of some of the things I said while I was talking to her, that I am now more than a little bit mortified about:

Ree said - "I love your hair!"
I said - "I love YOU!"

Ree asked - "How do you want me to sign your book?"
I answered - "You can say that you love my hair. Or not. You can write whatever the heck you want, I won't care. I love you that much. ... Tell you what, you write in my book that you love my hair, and when I write a book and you come to my book signing, I'll write that I love yours."

I also said:

I'm your #1 fan. No, really. I am. ... But not in a stalkery way, don't worry.
I love YOUR hair!
I want you to invite me to the ranch.
No, really, I know it's not appropriate to invite myself... but I really (REALLY) want to come.

And a bunch of other embarrassing things that I've luckily blocked. ... I'm telling you, I was giddy and I was sleep deprived. Not a winning combination, as far as me behaving like a cultured, refined, well-bred lady, if you know what I mean.

Since PW didn't invite me to the ranch, I took my sales pitch (oh, and my needing-their-autographs cookbook) to Nan and Missy. You can see that they enjoyed me. I told them, "Imagine how much you'd like having me around the ranch - get Ree to invite me, okay?". (Yeah, I only wish I were kidding. I really said that to them.)

While we were talking - and laughing (I'm telling you, we had a good time) - height came up. It turns out Missy is 5'9" and Nan is 5'10" - but Missy was wearing heels, so she appeared to be over 6'. Nan came out to measure up against my 5'10", but I got giddy and made this STUPID face and bent over like a freak of nature who had so much excitement in her body that she couldn't hold still. (I'm, even now, before I post this, regretting putting this picture online, because I look like such a freak... but hey, you all love me, right? ... Erm, maybe don't answer that right away.)

And because this post wouldn't be complete without a nod to the women I met and friended at the party - I mean signing - that night, here's an introduction to my new friends...

This is Susan and Sharon (yeah, I know, Susan and Sharon, like in The Parent Trap ... I knew we were destined to be friends forever when I knew their names). They are a mother/daughter combination, and just so much fun. Susan (the mom) learned how to cook from her grandmother and is making a blog with step-by-step pictures (ala PW) for her daughter, so the family recipes will live on. Isn't that fabulous?

Here's Carolina with Nan. Carolina's a mom to two little kids and she wishes she didn't have so much tile in her house, because she hates sweeping and mopping. She prefers laundry to sweeping. I can't imagine preferring laundry to any household chore - but I instantly liked Carolina. (It's because we're fellow PW fans, I'm sure.)

And here are my friends Monique and Missy. (Okay, so what if Missy wouldn't remember my name? ... But I'll bet she'd remember I was the tall girl who laughed loud enough to bring the house down, right? I can only hope she tells Cowboy Josh all about me.) Monique had the most fabulous sparkly eye-liner (you know how I feel about sparkles - I knew we were kindred spirits before she even talked). We're both intent on making the mushrooms on page 202. I'm gonna go out and buy some red wine tomorrow for that very purpose. I'm not even kidding.

Seriously. The. Most. Fun. Night. Ever.
I love PW.
I love making new friends.
I love my life.
The End.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Thursday night activity...

As if there are any of you who don't know how much I love Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), please allow me to take a moment of your time and tell you what I did last night.

I went to a book signing here in Tempe. I made a bunch of new friends (the kind of friends who pitched right in and took a photo shoot of me with PW, as well as Missy and the MIL, because I'd forgotten my camera - all I had with me was my phone, so please forgive the less than stellar qualities in the pics I post this morning). They estimated there had been 600 people there (many with multiple books). PW signed/personalized for every one. I waited for about 3 hours for her signature in my book.

It was the most fun I've had in... I don't even know how long.

Here is the signing room. This was taken at about 8:30, when I got there. You can see her if you squint, signing away. (The signing started at 7:00. It had been standing room only when she spoke. Curses that I had to work until 8:00, so I missed that part.)

Three hours later - around about 11:30 PM - I took this pic when I was standing right in front of her myself. Please pardon the complete and utter stranger's arm in the picture. I was wanting to cut him out of the picture, but I didn't quite make it.

The first thing she said when I walked up to the table? "I love your hair." ... I don't know what she was thinking, my hair wasn't having its best night last night, but I've never loved that compliment more - and I told her so. And then she wrote in my book that she loved my hair and I was even more giddy.

I'm such a nerd. And I don't even care who knows it.

More to follow... I should have pics from my new PW friends to share in the next few days, so be looking for a complete blow-by-blow in the next few days.