she just left.
and i miss her already.
come back soon.


::home::summer nights of tending

i keep hearing folks talking about summer winding down.
not here. we're just hitting our peak.
the weather last night was perfection. we went out around 7 pm
and spend the evening outside with the naya-lator.
still loving summer.


::weekend:: close to home

chad and jo - the funny thing is that she's standing on the table, he's on the bench and she's still that much shorter!

::friday:: dinner at home with the Solis, Trespasser and his visiting girl. a new lasagna recipe, red and white spinach lasagna - a success

::saturday:: a visit from one of chad's old interns from SCA, johanna, back in his north dakota days. a walk downtown with johanna, Tresspasser, and his visiting girl (she stayed at our house. how appropriate!) while at the farmers market, we ran into my old roommate, visiting town with her dude. first time i've met him: i approve! quiet afternoon visiting with johanna and then naps for us. time travelers wife - not as good as i'd hoped. not nearly as good as the book. i don't know why i don't prepare myself for disapointment? purchased a new puzzle! inspired by the puzzle-putting-together at B&Bs last weekend...

::sunday:: absolutely NOTHING! worked on our wrigley field puzzle and got a good chunk finished. took little catnaps, went through coupons in the paper. delicious marvin joes for lunch (recipe to come once we've perfected it) and some homemade chocolate chip cookies for dinner (hee hee.)


::postcard:: happy birthday brother

happy birthday TODAY to my littlest bro!
hope you had a great day
with lots of birthday wishes!
one thing i most admire about ty-som:
he has an ability to talk to practically anybody. young or old, whatever.
he just walks right up and strikes up conversation.
love you, ty!
ps - you know who i chose THIS picture for...


::guess who's coming to visit?::

and we cannot wait!



we spent this last weekend visiting with lots of family up north. (and taking no pictures. boo.)
we headed up thursday night for a long weekend. i spent most of the drive up devouring time traveler's wife (some pretty serious language, so not sure i would recommend it to sensitive readers, but an amazing, amazing love story. cannot wait to see the movie.) while husband listened to some tony hillerman on tape. brendan was sleeping over so we got to see him and the 3-B-Boys before they went to bed (see=playing star wars, wrestling, bowling at the boys with pillows, etc.) after the kiddos went to bed, husband and fred went out for an evening run (we both appreciate fred as a running partner. me because then i don't have to feel bad for being lazy and husband because he doesn't have to do it alone)
friday morning we loaded up the boys and headed up to this is the place monument where we met Bud & Barb, Gary, Mary Ann, Beth, Christopher, and Taylor (visiting family from IL). we had fun making crafts, visiting old buildings, and riding the train. it was fun, but i'm mostly excited to go back at christmastime. they decorate with millions of white lights, and have christmas crafts and reindeer - just up my alley!
that evening, all the boys (ahem, men.) loaded up for a father/son campout. husband was an honorary participant and welcomed because of his mad dutch oven skills! camie and i took little spencie on a trip to ikea and dinner at thanksgiving point - thanks, camie, for going with me! after all the time we spent in there (i bought frames. mirror. shelves.), the mirror is def too big, and the shelves are too short. so i'll be going back soon...
saturday when the boys got back from their camping trip, we re-loaded and made the drive up to logan (of course, i fell asleep. i've decided it's a disorder. a sleeping disorder. don't judge me.) we had a fun afternoon hanging out with all the aforementioned family, AND jenny, casey, and sequoia. we worked on a puzzle, looked at recipes, ate some delicious food, laughed a lot, maybe mentioned a tank, sat around the campfire in the cool northern utah weather, and got to know the illinois crew a little bit better.
sunday morning we had a big brunch and then headed out to our various churches. after our meeting, we piled back in the big honda (it's a van, but it's still a honda!) and drove down to springville, got back in our car, and headed home.
thanks to everyone for such a fantastic weekend! we just love it when we get to be around family!


happy birthday to my gramma!

things i admire about my gramma*:
her love.
her constant learning.
her constant teaching.
her involvement in her church, her community, her culture.
her written communication.
her non-stop projects.
her unfailingly good attitude.
love you, gramma! wish we could be with you today!
*and yep, that's how you spell it.


::saving:: the pigs

we do what we can to be wise financially in this economy. we work off of a fairly tight budget.
we pay cash for most things. we put money in savings and investment and we're working up to
6 months of expenses in our savings account. we pay extra every month on our mortgage and
on our student loans. but this is my favorite way of saving: the pigs. cause this money
goes to our VACATION!

::couponing:: this is serious business

so the other day, one of the girls at work came in with a picture of her previous evening's shopping purchases. she's one of the coupon-ers. "guess how much all this cost me?" she had purchased two of the TP pictured below, two of the Tides pictured below, 15 powerades, a package of gum, two air deodorizers, and some other smaller things that i can't remember.

finally, she whipped out her receipt. "SIX dollars and nineteen cents!"okay, WHOA, now that had my attention. so i went home and i tried it. and this is what i bought;

"Guess how much all this cost me?"


If you're thinking, "hmm, that doesn't seem that impressive," I would agree. BUT I did learn some things. And I am here...to share.

  • I went to Albertson's. So at Albie's (as the coupon-ers affectionately call it), they do these sort of package deals. "Buy thirty dollars worth of qualifying items and get fifteen dollars off your next purchase. They print out 3 - $5 coupons for your next purchase, and it continues. The professional coupon-ers, though, know which coupons to use, and so they can actually spend a lot LESS than the thirty dollars, and STILL get the fifteen dollar coupons. It's a skill.
  • It is also stressful. I'm looking around, trying to figure out which items are qualifying, which are not. You also know, walking up to the cash register that the cashier has a pre-determined hatred of you. It also takes about five times as long because items are not listed together, so you go back and forth around the store a million times.
  • These women do NOT mess around. I encountered two while I was in the store. I knew they were coupon-ers because they were buying exactly what I was buying. Head down, flipping through the coupons, with a MISSION!
  • I went on Tuesday night, which is pretty much the worst night to go. Sales change on Wednesdays so Tues is the last night each week. These coupon-ers stock up, so they literally empty the shelves. Also, the employees were already starting to switch over signage, so some sale prices were no longer posted so it was even HARDER to figure out if I was picking up the right item.
  • They definitely jack up prices in order to give you the sales. I came home and added my stuff up according to what I believed the Wal-Mart price would be: I think it would have been pretty close to $33. But I did get a five dollar coupon. I guess. Anyway, so not a crazy successful trip. But I'm determined - I will keep trying until I, too, can ask with REAL excitement, "Guess how much I got ALL THIS for?"

ps - i went to Grocery Smart and the code for our area is Studio5, in case you want to check this out. If you'd like more info about how it works, just let me know...most tutorials out there about it are really confusing, i think.

pps - next week they're running a "buy 25 dollars worth of participating Kraft foods and get an instant 5 dollar coupon and 20 dollar rebate. i'll let you know how that goes.


::on empathy::

six rhesus monkeys have been trained to pull chains to get food. at one point a seventh monkey, in full view of the others, gets a painful shock whenever one of them pulls for food. on seeing the pain of that shocked monkey, four of the original rhesus monkeys start pulling a different chain, one that delivers less food to them but that inflicts no shock on the other monkey. the fifth monkey stops pulling any chain at all for five days, and the sixth for twelve days - that is, both starve themselves to prevent shocking the seventh monkey.
-social intelligence, page 55
i hope i can be like those little monkeys.


::future destination:: duck creek & navajo lake

took a drive this afternoon up to the duck creek area. GORGEOUS! we will definitely be planning a puppy-friendly
weekend up there soon. about an hour and a half drive from home and the temps were amazing...
we've actually had great weather here, but even cooler up there.
highlights included: reading at navajo lake, the drive up to cascade falls (trail closed),
checking out some campsites and an itty-bitty visitors center, millions of aspen trees (my fave) and even more ponderosa pines*
*do you know this trick? if not, try it. next time you come upon some ponderosas,
stick your nose in one of the bark splits. stick it in as far as you can,
and inhale deeply! smells like butterscotch. (and this is for real - not
like a "is your hand bigger than your face" thing)
ALSO - that picture of both of us is so FUNNY! i look like a very, ahem, large person
the wind picked up at JUST the right moment...!
i got some junk in my trunk!


::getting to know you:: blue honda

the rear view mirror is there.
but doesn’t work.
it just kind of spins around
and won’t stay where you put it.

the gas tank latch doesn’t quite
pop the hatch.
it’s really a two person job.
you have to stick something
under the latch
to hold it up and then pry open
the hatch.

the light blue paint job is chipping.
and peeling.
especially on the hood.

only two (and a half) hub caps.
there should probably be four.

husband removed the
radio, and never replaced it.
it kind of looks like she was thieved.

even when there was a radio,
it was kind of
hit or mess,
whether or not the speakers would short out.

the backseat is puppy zone.
not allowed.


last weekend
(thanks, utah road construction)
she had no rear passenger window.
now it’s the shiniest thing on her
and I like to check my right
blind spot.

during this whole road trip
mom couldn’t
adjust her seat
forward or backward
i guess there was something stuck
under the seat.
now it moves freely.
dad got it fixed
for me.

the passenger door
used to be hard to open
the casing was broken.
sometimes the driver
had to open the door
to let the passenger out.
now it’s red and the rest of blue Honda
is blue.
and in & out is a breeze.
dad got that fixed, too.

riding in blue Honda
used to almost shake your heart
but one day,
i got a flat.
and when husband put on the spare,
the shaking quit.
now she’s a smooooooth ride.
now do you see why i can never part with her?
all right, sis, what's ramona got?
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