A Valentines Love Story

The title may be a tad misleading but it got you here right?  Naturally with Valentines around the corner our lives have all been saturated with (or in my case commercials that contain) cards, flowers, heart shaped candy, pink, red, love, …well you get the point.  I’m not a hater of the holiday but I honestly think it’s sort of ridiculous.

But then I caught a snippit of a morning news show that said something so wonderful I thought I heard it wrong.  So I made a beeline to google and found this article confirming the joyous news!  Chocolate is better for you than fruit!!!

Holy crap –  I am the healthiest person alive!!

And if this wasn’t good enough news, I read that white chocolate isn’t REALLY chocolate.  Thus confirming what I’ve always suspected.  Of course my suspicions were based  on the fact that “white chocolate” is disgusting and vile but now I have scientific confirmation that it’s an impostor to the chocolate family.

This is shaping up to be quite the Valentine’s Day.

Better than last year??

I was talking to my brother tonight and realized that I can’t remember January – April of this year.  I know I wasn’t in school or working but for the life of me I can’t remember what I WAS doing.  I just honestly can’t remember.  I looked back through my posts but they weren’t much help so I guess I look forward to making this year even better.  Although better from what I’m not entirely sure.  And just for a little bragging rights, last week I baked 400 cookies (3 different kinds), 5 loaves of zucchini bread, 4 batches of fudge, dipped 70 pretzel sticks in chocolate and nuts, made a pan of cream cheese cookies brownies, and successfully experimented in making homemade peppermint oreo cookies.  It was a busy three days and I should have taken a picture but trust me when I say it tasted and smelled fantastic.

A Community Within A Community

One morning we took a little drive out to a local Amish community because I guess they usually have really good deals in their grocery stores.  Actually I’ve never visited an Amish community and that’s the real reason we headed out there.  The deals at the stores were just a cover up.  Though I’m not sure who I was trying to use the cover up on.  Myself I guess.  Anyway, I wanted to take pictures because I knew there would be some cool images I’d want to remember but when I got there I just felt like some big creep invading their privacy.  So most of these pictures (the ones of actual people) are courtesy of my sister who was better at getting the pictures without drawing attention.

First of all, it was really cold.  And windy.  Windy and cold, and I understand they don’t use modern technology like electricity but there’s no way I’d want to put these on when they finished drying.  Partly because I don’t think they could get fully dry in this kind of weather, especially the blue jeans.  I’d definitely want to put them next to a fire first.  But I’m a pansy like that.

We  get to the store and see this:

And when you look closer, just a little further down you see this:

Not something you see everyday.  Can you imagine the poor kid that works at the store thinking his job would just be to bag groceries and help carry them out for little old ladies.  Then he finds out he also has to be the horse pooper scooper?  Tough break kid.

Inside the store we found some niffty little gems:

You may not be able to see the writing very well but we have green bean crisps, squash chips, purple sweet potato chips, and okra chips.  Hmm, sounds yummy.  I’m not understanding why the green bean bag costs $7.31.  I thought green beans were pretty common everywhere and would be the cheapest out of the four.  Guess not.  Well, I guess I now know I’d lose if I ever was a contestant on the Amish version of the Price is Right.  My little mountain climber wouldn’t have a prayer.

If dried vegetables aren’t your thing, check out their gummy selection.  Missed breakfast?  No problem, have some fried eggs:

Not sure your teeth are up for the challenge?  Try some of theirs:

I don’t know what to say about the chicken feet there on the right.  I would like to know why the teeth are only $.88 while the others are closer to the $2 mark.

Thirsty?  Try this line of soda and don’t worry, it’s good for you:

Here are some of the locals:

A few days later my sister and I were in Staples and were standing by an Amish couple who was returning a fax machine/scanner.  I kid you not.  Maybe they were part of a less strict group?  I don’t know but not something you see every day.

Heading out we were behind this guy:

I thought this was a pretty cool shot showing the contrast in lifestyles between the Amish and others in the community.  As we got closer I noticed this:

The buggies have license plates and side mirrors.  The side mirrors make total sense but the license plates make me scratch my head.  I don’t know why exactly.  I guess I just assume, maybe ignorantly, that they don’t get in accidents very often.  I mean it’s a buggy for crying out loud.  It’s not like it comes out of nowhere going 70 mph. *shoulder shrug*

There’s more to come from my little trip to Charleston.  Phew, I know, no doubt you’re all on the edge of your seats.

Rice Krispy Hearts

I saw this and decided it looked easy enough that even I could do it.  For a first attempt they aren’t too bad, but there are some things I’ll do differently the next time I make them that I think will make the process easier.  But the 8 year olds these are for will love them…they’d better (shakes fist)!

Divinity

Tonight I took my baking to a new level.  Usually a new level would be like going from opening a box of Little Debbie Ho Ho’s to making microwavable brownies (kidding.  I’ve never made brownies in a microwave before.  There’s something not quite right about making them that way.)

But tonight for the first time, I made divinity.  Personally I think the stuff is disgusting but I have to say I was pretty proud of myself.  I’m sure there’s more baking to come but so far this week I’ve made over 200 Christmas sugar cookies, a couple batches of fudge, and divinity.  Talk about a lot of sugar!

Halloween

Even though I stayed home and handed out candy, I didn’t think that was enough of a reason to pass on dressing up.  So at the last minute I put threw this on

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I think the kids liked it.  Well, except the one little girl that burst into tears and wouldn’t come up on the porch…whoops.

For the Love of Fall

I’ve never been much of a fall person because it always meant winter was around the corner.  And with winter comes snow and ice, shoes instead of flip flops, and all whole smorgasbord of stuff I don’t like but equals misery for me.  With a sense of winter dread looming around, I’ve always bypassed the cool things I equate with fall that I really do enjoy.  This year I’ve decided to post those things in what I’m calling For the Love of Fall (this may end up being my only post) and to kick it off…drum roll please…Caramel Apples!!

Today, for my first time, I made caramel apples.

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Turns out they’re a little trickier than I thought they would be and the first couple have WAY too much caramel on them.  Oops.  But it got a little better and while they may not be the prettiest every made, I’ll bet they taste just good as any other.  Let the love of fall commence!

Ho Hum

Oh man. Where do I start? Not in that “I have so much going on” kind of start but rather in the “I have nothing to write about so I literally don’t know where to start” kind of start.  Almost 5 years ago I came home from Guatemala and found myself in a situation similar to where I’m at now.  I had no job and no real plan set.  I spent the summer of ’04 sitting at home doing nothing and I absolutely loved it.  I didn’t understand how people could get stir crazy and bored.  I found it to have the opposite effect.  I had all the time in the world to do and go wherever I wanted.  Five years later I’m getting stir crazy and bored.  So I ask, am I maturing?  Am I becoming one of those people that have to be productive?  No, I don’t think so.  I think the difference is that it’s not summer and Utah is cold.

So this afternoon I decided that I should get out of my apartment so I could at least say that I did this week.  Going running (which I’ve been doing everyday except today) doesn’t count because I’m still technically in the complex.  Other than being cold, it was a really beautiful day so I thought I would go walking at the park.  I blindly threw on some clothes and when I looked in the mirror I thought, “My, my don’t we look spiffy today?”  I had all sorts of color combos going on and to top it off I wrapped up in a scarf.  Not too odd except I don’t think I’ve ever worn one before, so on me it looked a little out of place.  I sat down to put on my shoes and when I got up I thought, “Oh my gosh I’m pregnant!”  Yeah, it was the light hoodie underneath my rain jacket that had bunched up when I sat down.  Phew!  That was a close one.  And other than church on Sunday I haven’t worn make up in almost two weeks because honestly, why bother?  I now go days without any human contact.  At least I haven’t stopped bathing…yet.

And would someone please tell me why every time I walked past the window in the front room I still look out to see if my hottie neighbor is outside or if I can at least see his car.  Hello!  He moved a couple of months ago…HE’S. NOT. THERE!!  Ok, right.  Moving on.  I get to the park and start walking only to come across a very aggressive dog on my path.  He’s going beserk and all I can think of is Clint Eastwood asking me if I feel lucky.  No good sir.  No, I do not.  So I turned around and walked back to my car and left.  So much for the walk but at least I had gone outside.  I knew if I didn’t head back to my apartment I would find myself at Target and inevitably spend money.  They had a great sale not too long ago on their movies, two for $9.  How can someone refuse that?  And by the way, I know I mention Target a lot in my posts because 1) it’s my favorite store ever and 2) I’m really hoping someone fancy from Target will start sending me gift cards for promoting their awesome store.

I came home, sat down on my couch bed, and looked at my reflection in my TV and thought “man, my life is like a movie.  Not an action movie or heaven forbid, a romantic comedy, but one of those quirky Indi films.”  You know the kind where the main character is some normal, usually a little quirky character and for an hour and half you get to peer into their little world.  Waitress, Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, and Pieces of April are my favorite.  I don’t know if those are all Indi films but they have that style to them.

Something is on the horizon I’ll have all of you know.  I’m planning on going down to Mesa this next week – for real.  I’ve already talked to a few people I know down there, so if nothing else I’ll at least be able to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in forever.  I’ve been looking online at apartments in the area and it looks promising.  Now all I need is a job…  But I’m excited for the trip because it’s a change of scenery if only for a few days and it’s warm down there right now!

I just realized that it’s 6:00 and I’m starving.  And I also realized that the only thing I’ve eaten all day are little peppermint patties from a large container I bought at Costco sometime last week.  Or maybe it was the week before.  I’m off to find some food.

Oh yeah and P.S., Maury Povich should never be watched when you have nothing better to do.  Ok, so it should just NEVER be watched.  I learned that this week.  And I also learned that there are a lot of kids out there who don’t know who their father is because their mom is a slut.  And that’s just really, really sad.

My Heaven

Lastnight I was over at the park near my house, as I am almost every night, and it occured to me that it was my heaven.  So let me paint the picture for you seeing as how I did not follow my own advice about having my camera with me at all times.  In my heaven it would be sunset all day.  That perfect time in the evening when there’s still enough light to do whatever but not so much that you swerve off the rode when you turn your car west.  It’s in the upper 70s maybe even low 80s but feels cooler than that because there is a slight breeze blowing.  And heaven is a gargantuous park with soft green grass (with no chiggers!) to lay in possibly taking a nap, wide sidewalks, flowers/trees, and maybe even a pond.  In heaven I wear my shorts and groddy work out shirt because it’s unbelievably comfortable, switch between flip flops and sneakers that I don’t lace up, and pile my hair in a high, loose ponytail on my head.  And I never run out of Otter Pop Flavor Ice Popsicles or Jr. Mints.  All the orange and blue Otter Pops have already been removed and discarded from the box because those flavors are barfy and taste like cold medication. And I eat as many of the others as I want at one time,  I usually have 3-5 at one sitting.  There’s a never ending supply of good books everywhere and my Ipod battery never needs to be charged.  AAHHH, heaven!

Trix are for Kids…Another Sign of Aging

We all know that I love candy.  As I wrote in my last post, I went into an old fashioned store with old school candy in it.  However not all of it was rare, hard to find candy like the cigarette sticks, but some I just hadn’t eaten in a very long time and had sort of forgotten about.  Some of these included: Pixie Sticks, Smarties, Sweetarts, Nerds, Fun Dips, and Air Heads.  When you think about it, all of these with the exception of the Air Heads, are the basically the same thing – colored sugar.  Some like the Pixie Sticks and Fun Dips are in the powdered form while Smarties and Sweetarts are in solid form.  But whatever, I used to love to eat all of these and decided to take a trip down memory lane. 

I started with the Air Heads strawberry flavor.  I took one bite and thought, “This is disgusting!”  But choked it down because heaven forbid I waste 10 cents.  Thankfully I still really liked the Cherry flavor and semi-liked Watermelon.  Hmm, onto the next candy the Smarties.  These were heavy duty industrial sized not like those puny ones you get at Halloween:

   

That’s a mangled paper clip on top of the Smartie so you can get an idea of size.  They look like Vitamin C tablets and ended up tasting about the same as one.  Chalky and gross. 

Moving on to the Pixie Sticks.  I guess I inhaled as I was trying to dump the contents in my mouth because I ended up choking and coughing.  Further proof that I could not ever be a Coke addict.  Or Meth or whatever other powdered drug there is because I would not be able to snort it.  Not that I tried snorting the Pixie Stick but you get my point.  Drugs and Pixie Sticks are not for me.

Fun Dips!  I remember these being fun – as their name suggests.

                                            

Not so.  I and my face are not having fun:

   

My jaw tightened into this vice grip and I didn’t know whether to swallow or spit but was momentarily paralized and couldn’t do either.  And my left eye started watering and twitching.  So I thought the fun must be in the stick you use to dip into the sugar.  Again, not so.

   

It tasted like I was eating chalk and a calcium tablet.  Why I thought this candy equaled a good time I have no idea and why the stick used to be my favorite part will forever remain a mystery.

I didn’t buy any of this but I used to really like Bubbalicious Gum.  Mostly grape flavor.  I had some a few years ago and not only did the flavor run out in .5 seconds, I put my hand up to my jaw while chewing.  Remember in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure when they gave everyone gum to chew so they could use it to stick the antena back together?  Well, notice Freud.  That’s what I looked like.  Plus I had an added problem that I didn’t use to have.  I started drooling.  Apparently that much gum was too much for my mouth to handle at once and I had trouble keeping it all inside.  That was the last time I had Bubbalicious.

Anyway, I made it through the Sweetarts and Nerds though there was a little jaw tightening and slight eye twitching going on.  And for the record, I brushed and flossed my teeth immediately after.  Twice.