Friday, September 30, 2016

Once Upon a September

There's no minute like the last minute, right? I promised myself I would blog this month and I just never find the time and motivation at the same time. Most of my days have been like this:

But I did do *some* fun things in September. The following pictures are representative of how I spent my month.

At work we had a little "It's 5:00 somewhere" party just before labor day.  It was so fun! And everyone really chipped in. We had all kinds of daiquiris and margaritas (all virgin of course, we were on the clock... and most of us are Mormon). There was also stuff to make Shirley temples. I got really good at being the mix master. Even for the next few weeks with the leftovers people would ask me to make them a margarita.

For Labor Day my sister and her kids came to stay with me. We didn't have major plans, but one of the things we'd always wanted to do was go to the Swiss Days festival in Midway, Ut.

We got up bright and early- much earlier than they would have liked for a Saturday, and headed up to mountains.

Here are pictures from when we were still happy and enjoying each other.  By the end of the day we had some pretty grouchy kids.

Road trips are always fun, even if they're short.

A few posts ago I wrote about small town parades and how I'm not a fan.  Well, Midway is a dinky, tiny town- but they had the most awesome parade I've been to in years! Chubbuck Days needs to take lessons!

I didn't take statistics like I did last time- because I was really expecting a rinky dink parade.

The little girls in their Swiss attire were just adorable- as well as the little chalet.

They had bands. Like, legit bands!

And they were marching in proper band uniforms.

Again, with the cute kids in the traditional dress.

It was Swiss Days, sure, but everyone is always included- even the Irish dancers. They were great!

I'm thinking the reason I took a picture of this train is because the name on it is the last name of Sadie's friend... but even still, it was cute.

There were some things that I thought were a little out of place in a parade, but who knows. I can't see anything in this picture. I don't know why I took it. (bahahaa)

One thing I expect in a small town parade- especially in the West- Horses! Chubbuck Days had NONE! This parade was full of horses. So even though this is a political entry- it is forgiven because it is a horse and buggy.

Did you notice before when I mentioned bands it was plural? Because there were several! Even the cute little oldies got out there and had a band performance.

More horses!

And a headless Horseman!

A pioneer town *should* have a covered wagon in the parade! It just *should*.

There were also cheerleaders. The Chubbuck Days parade totally lacked civic pride. None of the local schools were represented.

Even the LDS missionaries got involved! They were being pulled on living room couches. Ha!

Another band! Not marching, but still awesome!

There were even some floats. Way to go!

And an appearance from Smoky the Bear! Woohoo! Celebrities! This parade had it all!

They totally pulled a house down the street! Again, sure they were adverts, but at least it was more than a flatbed truck with a few balloons tied to it. Isn't this house the cutest thing? It's kind of my dream home... just maybe... Heather size.

Another band. In band uniforms. I think these guys were playing the them from the Incredibles!

To be fair to the Chubbuck Days parade, this parade also had heavy equipment entries. I still don't get why.

Again with the Swiss traditional dress. So cute!

This is only a fraction of the parade. It was like, two hours long. Ok, maybe only an hour- but it seemed to go on forever! Whenever we thought it was over, more stuff would come around the corner. At on point we thought it was done, so we walked away- only to hear the dulcet tones of bagpipes on the air! I ran back to the parade route- I can't *believe* I almost missed the pipe band!

In the town hall they had several different performances. The one I stayed for was a bell choir. It was awesome! They played songs from all around the world. There was also a performance from the One Voice Children's Choir but I didn't see them. Sadie did and said they were great!

Out in the main pavilion there were other performers. I came across a friend from the hospital who is in a Barbershop choir, their performances are always fun. Then just before we left there was a guy who was playing the accordion and yodeling. It. Was. Awesome! I've never heard live yodeling before. It totally made my day.

The following weekend I was commissioned to do a wedding cake. It was a simple cake- I just did it plain frosting and then they did their own flowers and stuff- but because of miscommunication and two traffic accidents- I was two hours late delivering it. That caused me no anxiety whatsoever (seriously, when is someone going to invent a sarcasm font?).

The 19th of September is national Monte Cristo Day so I celebrated by making the Disneyland recipe and inviting my neighbors over to dinner and a movie. We had to watch Princess and the Frog to stay with the New Orleans theme (Monte Cristos are served in New Orleans Square).

If you know me well, you know I'm not super crafty.  I blame my mom and sisters. It seems that everything they touch turns out perfect so I don't even try- but my friend invited me over to make this cute craft with her- and it turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself. (ps, I had a lot of help!)

Last week my friend, Carol, and I went to the women's session of General Conference. I've been to conference before, but I don't remembering it being this chaotic. It seemed as if the lines to get in were not even moving. There was a lot of estrogen on that city block that night.

We got to our seats *literally* as it began. We had great seats too! It was probably the best session of conference I've ever had the privilege to enjoy. President Uchtdorf's talk was meant exactly for me. Every thing he talked about I had discussed just three days earlier with my therapist. Seriously- just for me.

You can't hang out with a friend without a few obligatory selfies.

Finally (whew, at the end of the month!), my friend Ana and I went to see the Hale Center Theater's Beauty and the Beast. I look positively atrocious in this picture. I took it myself and the sun was totally in my eyes. I could not see a thing- I was trying not to squint though, so I may have blinded myself. bleh. Ana brought two of her little nieces- both are the sweetest little girls and it was even more fun to see it with them! (It was also a huge bonus that my theater crush was in the cast we got. Totally by luck!)

That's it for pictures- but the good news doesn't stop there! For the last few months I've been trying to get a second, part time job- just for a little extra money and for an excuse to get off my butt after work- and the day before yesterday I interviewed at Zurcher's (by "interview" I mean, I walked in, she said, "tell me about yourself" and after I mentioned I love Disney and I'm a total nerd who themes everything and plans stuff for the most random of holidays and observances, she said, "forget the interview. I like you. When can you start?") and got the job! Woohoo! When I walked in the store the song playing on the overhead was Grim Grinning Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion. A Disney song. Totally meant to be. :)

Friday, August 26, 2016

This Day in History

This day in history- my personal history- appears to have been a significant day several times over. Facebook does this little thing where it lets you see what you posted on this day in years past. It just chooses one memory, but you can look through more. There were too many good status updates to share just one. So I'll share them here instead. 

8 years ago
I am a princess and you would do well to remember that. 

8 years later or not, this still remains in force. It's actually probably more true now than ever.

6 years ago
I got a job!!!

apparently this was the day I found out I'd been hired at EIRMC. After being unemployed for a year and moving back in with my parents, it was a blessing. A major, major blessing. You have no idea- well, maybe some of you do- the depression that comes upon you when you're unemployed. I felt worthless and stupid- un-hireable and... It just felt wonderful to have a job again.

Did my first wedding cake today! AND it was fondant!

This was exciting for me. I haven't done many wedding cakes- or any cakes for that matter- but for a while there I was on a roll. I DO have a wedding cake coming up in a couple of weeks, but it's just a bare cake that they'll decorate themselves. 

5 years ago
Last day at EIRMC (smile-cry)

I find it interesting that my last day at EIRMC fell on the anniversary of getting the job. It was a wonderful year there, without that job I wouldn't be where I am today (and I'm trying to look at that as if it's a good thing, haha!) I made some great friends there- and a best friend. I am so grateful for that.

I finished my work day on a Friday, and moved to Salt Lake the next day, which means that tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary of my moving to Utah. It's the longest I've lived anywhere- except home- and sometimes I feel it's time to move on, but then I remember how much I hate packing and I stay here.

2 years ago
Happy back to school week everyone. I'll just be sitting here at work... you know- not using algebra.

I'm sorry- I still think this is hilarious. And it's still true. Take heart my friends who are students- just pass algebra and you'll survive to see another day.

Monday, August 22, 2016

An Olympic Event 2016

I've never been on to keep up with the trends- as they're happening. I'm always a day late and $5 short (I'm feeling pretty broke at the moment, more than the cliche $1). So now that the Rio Olympics are over, I feel it is time to post about my traditional Olympic opening ceremonies dinner. I give 99% of the credit to my aunt and cousin, without whom we would have only had cold Taco Bell burritos to eat.

It was lucky that my sister and her kids happened to be in town for our party. First item of business, decorations. I hung up my old flag garland put out small table flags that I have collected. I could not for the life of me find a Brazilian flag, but luckily there was one on the garland.

This party is one of my favorite traditions- and I (ever so humbly) take credit for it. This is the third or fourth one I've done. I love the Olympics and I love food, it's only natural to combine the two, right?

Remember, we dream on a budget here, and sometimes to get a variety we have to use our imaginations and stretch the definition of authenticity.

We had represented Italy, Mexico, China, Japan, U.K. India, Switzerland, Thailand, France, Australia, Germany, Brazil and of course the U.S of A. There might have be a few.. oh... Greece. Yeah. That one was good. I should have taken better care to take close ups- but I didn't. Sorry.

My aunt ordered some sweet and sour chicken, chow mein and rice. I brought tacos and burritos. They were slightly less authentic than the Mexican wedding cookies- which were fantastic. 

My aunt made some bean-y sauce-y thing from India. There were mozzarella sticks (again with the stretching authenticity) and French Bread. There were a variety of candies from different countries. I broke into my stores and shared the candy my sister had brought over from England and Scotland.  There were some rather yummy chocolate covered lemon rolled wafer cookies.


My mom sent down a batch of pizzelle cookies that she had made. They were fantastic.light and airy and just the right dessert for such a filling dinner.

My niece, Sadie rather enjoyed them. 


For some attempt at authenticity, my aunt got hold of a Brazilian cassava and cooked it up. It was good too- and fun to try something from our host country.

One of the most popular selections was the fun sodas that my cousin found at world market. 

I don't drink soda very often, but It was bottoms up with this bottle of French cherry and lemon soda. Yum-o!

That's it for this year's opening ceremony. I had a great two weeks following the Olympics. I was with the rest of the country cheering on our swimming team (and feeling the embarrassment because of a few of them). I nearly drove my coworker to drink as I nervously watched the volleyball games. They were intense, geez. I love the Olympics. I can't wait till 2018 when we get to do it again! I already have plans for what Korean food I'm going to bring!

Obrigado, Rio por ser um anfitriao muito gracioso!

Friday, August 19, 2016

You Can Take the Girl Out of the Small Town...

I'm from a small town. Chubbuck. I mean, It's no Arimo, but as far as the world is concerned, it's a small town. I will admit I do love my hometown. I make fun of it a lot (which I'm going to do a lot of in this post), but it was a great place to be a kid and I like going back to visit family and friends. I am more of a city girl though, at heart. I like a certain level of anonymity that living in a larger city gives you (even Salt Lake is a little small for my taste). I like being able to go to the store and not running into everyone I went to high school with. 

Last week I went home to visit family and just happened to be there during the celebration of my little town. When I was a kid, Chubbuck Days was a BIG deal. At least, it seemed bigger... My parents live on the main drag of town, so the parade always went right in front of my house- we never had to go early to save seats. They live right across the street from a church so there was always plenty of parking. The party used to go on all day and have tons of different activities and games and auctions and... it was awesome. Now they have a lame toilet paper parade and lunch in the park and it's all over by 3. 

Come on, Chubbuck, even Kuna Days is more exciting. They have a mud run, vendors, food and fireworks...

I'm not much of a fan of small town parades. The only attraction these days is year supply of salt water taffy you may pick up of the side of the road. When I was a kid there was thought put into the parade. There were floats. Like, real floats with people on them. Anymore the parades are just cars and trucks... well, let me just get to my point.

I could have slept in- but I chose to sort of be a part of the festivities. I sat on the porch of my parents house. I took a few statistics as the parade went by.  (please note that some of these are doubled up, for example, a pick up truck may also count as a political entry)

There were:
  • 39 Pick up trucks
  • 48 Commercial entries
  • 7 Old cars
  • 5 Sport cars
  • 7 other random cars or dune buggies
  • 12 political entries (that I noticed- I started counting this one a little late in the game)
  • 7 Heavy equipment entries (being hauled on flatbed trucks. We didn't even actually get to see them in action!)
  • 40 little girls doing cartwheels
  • 5 actual floats
  • 2 street sweepers.
Now see, when I was a kid there were horses- and bands- and cheerleaders and stuff that made you hometown proud. Now it's just an hour long string of advertisements.

There were a few things that I thought to take pictures of. You'll have to excuse the pictures- I was mostly lazy and sitting on the porch while taking these- so you get a view of the crowd more than what I meant the picture to be of- but remember, I was being a grouch and this  was the most I had the motivation to do.

 One of the more traditional entries is the trolley bus. I don't know. I personally have never used public transportation in Idaho...?

There is usually an entry with a local musical group. I actually like these. I wish there were more of them. But it seems that the music is slowly dying. Sad.

 Here's an example of the heavy equipment. Why...? Just... Why....?

 At least a few of them got somewhat festive and at least put balloons on their entries. I used to call these "toilet paper parades" but the balloons won out this time.

I was a little more encouraged when I saw this one go by. Granted, it's still just a flatbed truck- but at least they went to the effort of putting green glittery stuff on it.

Now we're talking. Superheroes. Although one of them is a kid my niece goes to school with and called her a not very nice name. We don't like him. If I'd've known it was him, I probably would have kicked him in the shin. NO one says mean things to my babies!

But at least they made something of a try. It's a bounce house. Huh... Ok. They never did that when I was kid, but points for trying- and for the cute little old veteran they had riding it.

This one was the first *actual* float (when say "float" I mean more than just a flatbed truck with some hay bales on it- granted, you can see that these are being pulled by trucks, whereas a true, actual float you would not be able to see right away what is powering it- hence- float). There was more effort put into this one. Way to go Pizza Pie Cafe. We had lunch there later that day. Thanks for the coupons.

This one was clearly the best. A real float that someone put a lot of thought and time into. I like floats. They are why I watch parades. I love the Days of 47 parade, and the Rose bowl- because they have incredible floats. This one did my little town proud. I don't even know who sponsored it, but really, really well done. You win the prize.

What's the prize? Bragging rights of being the only entry that didn't get made fun of, of course.