Friday, May 29, 2009

I took this as a good sign(s)

We were in the city the other day and saw these three signs in about a two hours span.
I took it as a good omen. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In the meantime....

Nothing brings me such happiness as a great photograph. Especially if it is decent of me. :) At least how I think I look.

It is pretty ridiculus that in the meantime of packing for three weeks in the UK, getting every single detail for the 130 person academy picked apart and addressed, packing for two boy scout camps, celebrating the boy's 12th birthday, holding a medieval feast, watching every movie we own that somehow connects to the British Isles, unexpectedly preparing a 1 1/2 presentation for the International Rotary meeting that everyone else preparing for has had 7 months to get ready--I have 10 days, giving a talk in church about a challenging subject, downsizing the 14 lists to a mere 8, hosting company, celebrating Memorial Day with two BBQs, attending a counselor training, setting up 600 chairs on Friday night for the church, losing all 400 of my email addresses....well you get the drift.

What I mean to say is that in the midst of all that has to be done in the next four days, I thought it was time for the family to get some family photographs. We are taking to tripod to UK so that we can take shots in front of "old crap" as the girl would say, but I figured we should do real ones now since there will be no one on the other side of the camera there. Plus after two weeks in the car seeing the history of the world, I doubt any of us are going to look that good....or this happy. :)
PS/ Another reason I posted these is that my girl posted a photograph on her Facebook that I am wearing a housecoat in.....there is a story behind it that I am too tired to type right now, but the point being I look like I am about 11 months pregnant. I can't find it to put here (she has it secretly hidden for some future blackmailing I am sure)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Can I get your email?

Yes, it is true.

My email died last week and along with it--hundreds of email addresses. Since I have 27 followers to this blog, I figure that is 26 (I accidently signed up to follow my own blog...I don't know how...I wonder what I will say today) that I can have sent to me.

I can't even email my own mother. I don't remember the end of her address.

Since we are t-minus 5 days from the trip and every RYLA Academy responsbility in the world due by Saturday, those emails were pretty precious.

Can you write me with your address?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Valsy gets homesick sometimes

I love being a small town girl.

No, I am not of this town, state, region, or even the Lower 48 states.

If you have never lived in a place where you were "local" or knew most everyone in town, you missed out.

I grew up with a "Halibut Head" (Walt), "Weak Vegetable" (DF), and "Jumpiter." There was Ninny, Gooch and Deloris, the crazy-knife-welding girl from my school bus. There was Thor, J. Moon--the smartest boy in the 4th grade, and Salty. There were the Kooley boys who knew where to score some killer bud, and my boyfriend from the 5th grade that I tutored in our Practice Reader work. A boyfriend who later said that the best way to play hockey without your athletic cup was to hold your hand over your "deal" to be safe. See what I mean... you missed out.

Sometimes I have waves of homesickness wash over me. Sometimes I miss the forest. I miss the river I grew up on. I miss the people....the ones that have always known me....and loved me even when I wore men's long underware as pants. And bowling shoes I got from Norm, my dad's best bowling alley friend.

I especially miss Slowtown when I am traveling internationally. Far, far away. I don't know why it is, but part of me feels scared and when I feel scared I feel like going home. To sit by the river behind my house and watch the seagulls. To listen to the river boats drive up and down during the night. I am wishing I were at the river tonight. With the trip only a few days away and lists that need my attention, it is becoming very real. Thinking about it, I will be alone in England for several days. All alone. No one in the whole country will care if I am there, or what happens to me. Sometimes that scares me.

Something I can do when I when I want to feel connected to home is listen to some local boys who sing contemporary Christian music.

They are "This Hope." They started in the church that I went to for several years. I was a counselor to one of their sisters at leadership camp. One of them dated my best friend. I sat next to one of their sisters in our high school choir class. One of them is the son of the legendary local football coach. One of their dads, Coach Johnston, is their manager, the former town swim coach. A darn good one at that.

Me and these boys have a shared history. And it comforts me.

Wanna see em? Go to

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Try something super yummy: Shatto Milk

You know I am in a good mood when I come home from the grocery store with Shatto Milk. That means I coughed up the $1.50 bottle deposit, which may make it back to the store for refund and may not. Those bottles are so quaint and so cute...I just can't resist from keeping one or two.

This blog pays homage to the Shatto Milk people,
who make us happy and they didn't even know it.
Meet Matt Shatto, the milk man

May I suggest that you pick up some if you have it laying around in the milk section of your store. It is a local product--sorry Alaskans. Sorry Utahns--another reason this place is Zion.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bob the Builder Award: The 6th grade Vikings Team Teachers

The Boy and I passed sixth grade yesterday.

No, I am not being funny. No, I am not kidding. Yes, I am very serious.

All Anderson praise and thanks to Mrs. VanBallas, Mr. Dennis, and Mrs. McDonald, the core of team teachers at the Boy's middle school...head honchos of his team: Team Viking.

When Mrs. VanBallas finished tutoring the boy yesterday and said that school/homework was finished for the year, I literally cried. Tears of happiness. You couldn't have smacked that smile off his face the rest of the night.

We passed.

We celebrated with popsicles in the driveway of friends at the Girl's work (insert here)

Ever since he fell ill again in January, these teachers have been so kind, patient, considerate, concerned....everything you wish your child could have in a teacher....we found in three. And in all fairness, it isn't just them. It is those nice office ladies, the school counselor etc... I know they are sick of my emails, my morning phone excuses, my tardy arrivals, my early departures. Enough Anderson already-- I am sure.

We have had homework literally sitting on our kitchen table since the beginning of January, minus the last three days of spring break when we had caught up. Until the following Monday. Now we have a dish of fruit.

Mrs. VanBallas (who is the Social Studies teacher--naturally the Boy's kindred spirit) graciously offered to come and tutor him through the district, which has literally been a life preserver. Well worth a diet Pepsi and granola bar everyday, for sure. :)

Here our proclaimation to the world that in the annals of Anderson history, it will be forever remembered that the Vikings teachers saved the Boy from being held back in his 6th grade year.

To the Vikings Team Core Teachers of New Mark, you have our neverending debt and gratitude. Thank you.

I know he will not let you down.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"Ireland" by Garth Brooks

Andersons+ a mere two weeks= Ireland. Had our Medieval Feast kick off last night. Yum.

They say mother earth is breathing
With each wave that finds the shore
Her soul rises in the evening
For to open twilights door
Her eyes are the stars in heaven
Watching oer us all the while
And her heart it is in ireland

Deep within the emerald isle.
We are forty against hundreds
In someone elses bloody war
We know not why were fighting
Or what were dying for
They will storm us in the morning
When the sunlight turns to sky
Death is waiting for its dance now
Fate has sentenced us to die.

Ireland I am coming home
I can see your rolling fields of green
And fences made of stone.
I am reaching out wont you take my hand
Im coming home ireland.

Oh the captain he lay bleeding
I can hear him calling me
These men are yours now for the leading
Show them to their destiny
And as I look up all around me
I see the ragged tired and torn
I tell them to make ready
cause were not waiting for the morn.

Now the fog is deep and heavy
As we forge the dark and fear
We can hear their horses breathing
As in silence we draw near
There are no words to be spoken
Just a look to say good-bye
I draw a breath and night is broken
As I scream our battle cry.

I am home ireland

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some really smart musician quotes

I have read some great quotes from this generation's musicians.
I would like to share with you here today.

"Hip-hop will be in a great place because I am back."


Whew....that was a close one. Thanks Eminem

"I just want to be a doper person, which starts with me not

always telling people how dope I think I am."

Especially dope in that sweater, buddy.

Danny and me hanging in Edinburgh (loads slow) or
go to YouTube and type in: Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009

Apparently I need to pack my bike to take to Edinburgh, Scotland in a couple weeks so that I can hang out with Danny. ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bob the Builder Award: Grandma Lois Lakey

Lois Lakey has been the local children's hospital every weekday for the last 12 years, solely to rock the newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit. That is every weekday for 12 years.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Did you forget the words?

Sometimes I forget the words...but then I take a fun ride on a scooter, eat ice cream at the Baskin Robbins, watch 24 with the Anderson boys, get a "loser of the week" story from Utah, girly gossip magazines from buddies, see an amazing cloud formation, get a parent "paycheck", enjoy free long distance, get to drive a 1955 just for fun, connect with a long lost friend....
Thanks friends. :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nick Latch-ey and other butchered names

We saw this last night on SNL I knew I had to get me one of those! I have mispronounced every celebrity name, most details are fuzzy etc....tonight I called her Ciley Myrus.
Mine is ordered!


I thought you would enjoying sharing in my great news! :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wanna Take a field trip? Hey Billy Bob, wanna do some crawdad fishin?

Since the boy is sick at home in the "den of sin" (as a guest once lovingly --yeah right--referred to my family room --nice eh? there isn't a porno mag, no rated R movies, no HBO at Night....I am not really sure WHAT sin he is talking about...) a lot, I want to try and get him out as much as possible.

We went what the locals call "Crawdad fishin'". Apparently the boy is a natural. Let me show you how it is done.

First, you need to know that we don't eat them. I think people do, but I, however, am not one of them. We drag ours home and throw them in our fish ponds. Part of that Circle of Life gig for the balance of ecology in the environment.

Second, you need a stick, string and some cheap hot dogs. Check, check, check. You break a piece off of hot dog, and tie the string around it. No hook necessary.
The boy was soooo excited to go that he didn't even notice that he had two different types of flip flops. Don't mind his bruised toe. Some sort of Star Wars ship mishap. :)

Then you wait. Not too long...those creatures are hungry!

You gently but quickly pull the string up every minute or two to see if you have a guy (I don't know if it is a fish, crustacean from the roach, crab whatever it is). They hang on to the hot dog because they are greedy.

Then you drop them in the red bowl. I won't tell you what other stuff that bowl has held. Yuck.

Some creatures were concerned they were next to find their way to the red bowl.

Some ran off

before we got there.

These crawdads are not pretty. Watch those pinchers. I hear they hurt.

Here is a little friend, dubbed Juan Pabler, who did make the trip home. Not in the red bowl. Who says I am not a humanitarian? :)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bob the Builder Award: Stamping out Hunger by the National Association of Letter Carriers

I have a confession.

I am in LOVE with the mail system.

I love the idea of sorting, stuffing, stamping, delivering...the is endless. I can't help it.
I grew up with a post office box. Going to "town" to get the mail was a social event in itself. Getting mail was like a christmas present every day. Man, I sure love that mail.

I go to the PO so often now that the buddies at the mall mail know me. :) Wink and Darrel. Wink owns a Model A and got an earring when he turned 40. You would be surprised too if you knew him like I do. Darrel owns a motorcycle. And a Mr. Rogers blue sweater.
I leave a treat every Christmas in my mail box for the mail man nowadays.

I knew the name of every mail man I had in Utah....Blain, Chris...
I worked for the college mail system when I was there playing softball on scholarship. It was my favorite job ever.
So, when the mail men want me to donate food to their yearly fundraiser which is this Saturday...I do it. Over 230,000 letter carriers will be collecting food. They do not receive overtime pay. They make extra trips to deliver the mail and collect the food. They pitch into each other's routes. Last year they collected 73 million pounds of food for the local food pantries, the largest one day food drive event in the country.
I hope you donate too. Wink and Darrel thank you. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Speaking of life...

Spring has arrived and it such a relief. My eyes
and camera have been thirsty for the last couple months.

This is the Bleeding Heart that I planted when we moved
here in honor of Lori, her favorite. :)

Word is out that Val has snacks so the mother birds are
back in force this year. They have wised up and built a
condo in a more secure location than last spring. I think
this is new resident to the housing association:
A family of cardinals. This is the mother.
The father, interestingly enough, is never far from the nest.
I like that.

Val is happy with her wildlife habitat.
Val loves those animals, even those plastic pigs...
no swine flu there.

Count them: One
(who is seemingly saying..
where is my snack?")

Two more snack wanters.
Look closely at their bony wings.

Now for the bad news.

This is the new, animal unfriendly addition to our bumper.

Deer hair.

We offed a deer Sunday night driving home a church function.
It was twilight and it jumped right into us while we were on a curve.

Mr. Fun was going about 60 miles a hour,

and if I would have been driving,

I am sure I would have driven us off the embankment.

It hit the left driver's side front panel, just low enough

that it did not bounce up into the windshield...which it normally

does. I know because I saw it on Mythbusters a while ago.

It ripped off the license plate and pull the panel away.

Fortunately, one of our new best friends is a car guy who can fix it

(insert advertisement here--

by the way, I took the bigger picture of the car burning

rubber on his home page).

Mr. Fun tromped around the field to find the license plate,

dragged the dead deer from the middle of the highway to the side of

the road. All in his Sunday best.

Mr. Fun and the Girl are fine. I got the brunt of the force and it jostled me

and my brains enough I was slurry and drunk that night and the next day.

Doing better now. :)

Someone asked why we didn't take it home and keep the meat.

Hey, this isn't Alaska. No "Road Kill" list kept here, so

dang it! I could be inviting you over for a BBQ if I had been thinking

more clearly! :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

That Guy: The nipple-ringed stranger weed wacking his yard

I moved to Missouri before I really moved to Missouri. The kids and I arrived here the beginning of October 2002, but my heart made the move in that first weekend of September.

How did I know Missouri was the place for me? It was a guy on 108th street that was doing yard work that sold me. Easy sell, I tell ya. Better than any promotional flier.

Mr. Fun was here already house hunting and I flew out for the weekend to pick one of the three finalists. We were cruising along a street when I beheld "that guy."

He is in his 60's. He had on overalls, without a shirt. One strap was done up, and the other hung undone, flopping about.

He has a tummy. A big furry tummy. And a nipple ring. A nipple ring that could be seen from a moving vehicle.

He was using his weed wacker to carve "KC CHIEFS" into his lawn.

He was the man for me. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car, with Mr. Fun and the real estate agent (who we didn't end up buying from) and saying, with a big happy smile on my face, "Did you see that?!!! Oh, I can live in a place that has a guy like that!"

I think about him every time we drive by his house. I see him sometimes. He has stopped carving up his front lawn with the weed wacker (the Chiefs has been sucking so maybe he is thinking that it isn't good curb appeal....). I saw him once on his back porch, in what looks to have been his wife's robe. Hair flying around.

I always want to stop and thank him for his role in my enthusiasm to live here.

Here is to you, Mr. Lawn Weed Wacking Nipple Ring Man.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We last find our lung surgery hero smiley and happy to be alive. The next day, however, proved to be a little more taxing. Not so many smiles that day....

even though Tom had a lovely view of Mr. Fun's work office and the stormy Missouri skies.
Even though he was exposed to some international flavor including these ladies in the parking lot, warm yellow jello (how did that hospital know he was Mormon? :) ) and some Jamaican super sugar "Breeze" juice, he just wasn't feeling it at the hospital.

It was too bad his room was on the other side of the building. This was a lovely, spellbinding sunset taken from the sad floor of the hospital: the 5th floor --Oncology.

But with 20 needle pokes in 3 days and the removal of this giant-bigger-than-McDonalds-new-straws-tube out of his chest, he had had enough. See that black string to the end of the tube, that is how much tube was in his was seriously very large and very long. We have other photographs of the removal, but you will have to get those from him. Yuck.

He was ready to come home. He missed the sunshine (he is from California you know). He missed the green spring and taking photographs. However, image our surprise when on the SECOND day after his surgery he is released and when we came to his house to see him, this is what we saw!

He was lounging outside and reading a People Magazine!
Tom rules. :)