Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stop the presses! Val wears make-up

What you are about to see and read is totally true.  But first, I wanted to share some more of Missouri's beauty with you (see, the title is the teaser to get you to stop and read--I am learning a lot from watching tv all day, every day  (I wish)

As we would say in Andersonville, Missouri doesn't have what we would call the "destination travel spot" skills.  Meaning, this isn't Alaska.  People aren't spending their whole lives saving for a cruise to Missouri, something Mr. Fun and I have heard living in the "States" (that is for you TA).  If they are saving for a cruise to Missouri, they are bound to be disappointed for obvious reasons.


This red Japanese maple is in the back yard. 
It was soooooo red that it almost
hurt your eyes to look at it.

I put myself in time out on a walk last week
at the local lake.  I needed some alone time. 
I took the camera because nothing will beat off
an assailant when a woman is alone in the woods
like a 2.5 inch camera and a stuffed camera
bag.  Duh, Val.  My dad would say
that is the naive piece in me coming out.

Ok, on to the make up. 
The church Halloween party was this week
and Andersonville ran the puck shoot.
Some years I dress up.  Some I don't.
This year I was feeing Chinese, but I
could not find my chinese jammies ANYWHERE
(this is the sad part of the story).
Did I loan them to you?

Well, it just so happens I have an entire
East Indian outfit laying around the house
so I figured , why not?
The problem of course being that if you
really know me, you will know that I do not
own lipstick, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and my
mascara was no good.

So, brace is true. 
I went to the store and bought some makeup.

It was hard.
I didn't know what it was called....the stuff
to make my eyes look like I am from Bollywood.
Good thing for Google.

Not only did I learn from Google what make up it
was and what it was called, but I learned how to apply it.
Go Val.  :)

It was weird.  Several people said I looked
beautiful.  Strange.  Unexpected.

The most unexpected part is that I cannot
tell you how many people asked me if my marriage
dot was "real".  It is.  I got it from my Indian
friend this summer in England.  I stuck it to
my bathroom mirror when I got home this summer
because it was shiny and reminded me of Europe.

Who has all this strange sort of stuff laying around?
I guess this would qualify as "good weird".  :)
By the way, this is my Val version of the "Bollywood" look.  :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bob the Builder Award: Beyonce and her Hamburger Helper

I never remember having Hamburger Helper until I was in my 20's.
I had only heard of it as a consolation prize given at the end
of a game show to the losers....
like "Rice A Roni" the San (Center of the Universe) Fransisco treat.

I have made up for lost time. There is no doubt that the kiddies think
the Cheesy Macaroni HHelper is a staple in the diet of mankind.
I think they miss it when they don't get it on holidays. :)

All kidding aside, Hamburger Helper is doing a food drive
of sorts right this very minute. Your simple opportunity to help out
could be sitting in your cupboard
next to the refried beens and raspberry muffin dry mix.

Beyonce and I (who knew that we have something in common?)
are asking you a favor. If you have some HH in your kitchen,
check out the front of the box to see if it part of the food drive.
You will see a big black label with text. Read about it on the back.
If you have said box, then cut it open
(after you cut out the $.10 school label to donate
to some school somewhere)
and see the code. Carry the box to your computer,
type in and enter the code.

It is that easy. You will have just donated a meal
to the local food bank.
Like that? :)

Next time you buy some Helper, pick the boxes with the
program on the front.
Don't delay. The program ends December 31st.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Swine Flu update: I am loving it!

It isn't often (if ever) that I have been in isolation for health problems and NOT been the one who needed to be isolated.  This is fantastic!  Minus the vomiting, the fevers, the missed school, blah blah blah....

But you cannot wrap your mind around HOW much I have gotten done in the last couple days!  Clean house, basement, food storage, christmas cards done (all one zillion of them), rotary done, leadership app done, 7th grade math catch up, christmas gifts organized, blah blah blah....:)  I love this vacation at home. 

No one wants to come visit when you have swine flu. No one really calls when you have swine flu because you might send your bad germs through the telephone waves.  It is O-K.  We have had chili and rolls.  Sugar cookies.  Movies.  It is one big PARRRR-ty in Andersonville.  Jammies everyday.  Mr. Fun is even home, basking in the swine flu fun--the downside being he might have it now. Oh well, take the good with the bad. 

The Girl has photo skills and she just showed these to me.  I just finished my Bob the Builder blog for you, but these were funner.  Who needs to donate food to the local food bank anyway?  JUST KIDDING.  That will be in a day or two.  You want to see these. 

See how fun Swine Flu can be! 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

And a second one falls

The Boy, highest risk category of Swine Flu, now has it.  Could you mutter a little prayer for him so that his doesn't get out of hand. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Another Staley First

Staley is the new high school that the Girl goes to.  It is quite a facility.  Award winning.  Full of achievers.  Great faculty.  It actually is nicknamed "The Land of Milk and Honey."  It is in its second year.
They love their "firsts" there.  First pep ralley.  First homecoming.  First senior class.  First, first, first.
To add medical insult to injury here in Andersonville, the Girl is now the first confirmed case of H1N1--you know....swine flu.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Fall'-ing for Missouri

This is one of THE most beautiful falls that we have ever had since
we have been here.  The trees look like those trees
you see in a hobby store that you would make a train
 model diarama with.  They are so wonderful. 
It is a visual feast everyday.  :)
None of these have been edited.  All natural, baby.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Can I ask you something?

A French man this summer told me I ask too many questions.  While I am sure it is true, it still hurt my feelings.  I had really never thought about it before.  I have thought a lot about it since. 

I have always been a "question asker" by nature.  I wouldn't be LDS if I hadn't asked a question (remember that conversation with Henry at AASG, Darrel?).  I wouldn't have a medical diagnosis if I didn't ask a question.  I have a big pile of questions that have been really pivotal to my life. 

This is what I decided.  I like questions.  No, I love questions.

Here are some I read in the paper this today. 

If they made a movie about my life, I would be played by:
Mary Stuart Masterson.  When "Some Kind of Wonderful" came out in the 1980's, everyone told me that she and I looked alike.  That is until she "sold out" and grew some hair.  Traitor.

At 11 pm on Saturday night I am:
Asleep on the couch, while the family is watching tv. 

It there is such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a:
The manager of a branch of the post office.  Or a cat named Mr. Whiskers.

My guilty pleasure:
hording stationary and gifts in a secret closet

I love/hate Mondays because:
I hate Monday because it is laundry day.  I love Monday because it means a new week to tackle projects. 

Have a great fall week.  :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Behold the Power of Three (translation: Tom Allison Day)

Three years ago, today.  Tom called.  "I have cancer.  And it is bad."  Bad like you might have an operation and be out of work a couple months?  Bad like you might have a scar?  Bad like you might die?  "Die."

I can remember pacing back and forth in the living room while he was talking.  I don't remember much else.  My heart raced.  My head swum.  And all I can think was "call Mr. Fun and we have to go to his house.  Now."  He was alone when he heard the news.  No one should be alone when they find out they have terminal cancer.  Over the phone.  From some stranger.

When we got there (Fun came from work) we sat there, all three of us dumbfounded.  "Errr...".  What do you say?  He was 37.  And had never been sick a day in his life.

We did what all people do when they get the worse news ever.  We went to dinner and ate BBQ ribs.  :) I mean we are in Missouri after all.

And we have had dinner together every October 18th since.  We only thought we would get one.  They said we would only get one. 

They were wrong.

Tonight, we are having dinner number three!  Three like the Godhead.  Three like Dale Earnhardt's racing number.  Three like stooges and Three's Company.  Three blind mice. 

Three is, of course, a "magic number." 

Here is to you, Tom Allison on Tom Allison Day.  Behold, the power of three.

(and just for the record--I really like four too!)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"Have a happy period." Yeah, right. One word for that...Hys-ter-ectomy

Maybe you have to be a woman to "get this" but man, we women here in Andersonville had a great laugh.  Thanks, Mom, for sending it on.  It is legit.  I read it on her blog.  Enjoy
"Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years, and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core™ or Dri-Weave™ absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from "the curse"? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my "time of the month" is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call "an inbred hillbilly with knife skills." Isn't the human body amazing?

As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers' monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.

Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: "Have a Happy Period."

Are you kidding me?

What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness—actual smiling, laughing happiness—is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything "happy" about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and KahlĂșa and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like "Put Down the Hammer" or "Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong"? Or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that's a promise I will keep. Always.

Wendi Aarons

Austin, TX

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"God, can you please bring the coats today?"

I am leading the humanitarian efforts for our church ladies organization in our congregation. I like it because it allows me to think about service to others, one of my favorite subjects. Today was an especially great day that I think you will enjoy. Feel free to share this lovely--and true--story with anyone.

In July, when I was asked to do this and I was developing an outline for the next year of projects, Mr. Fun suggested we collect coats. It was humid and hot. Who wants to think about coats in July? I heard some ladies say September was too early to collect, but it felt right so that is when we did it.

The ladies came through, and we even had a large donation from a Baptist who--gently put--isn't the fan club president of the LDS church. :) In all, there were 91 gathered up. It was a lovely showing.

That isn't the best part.

The group I felt inspired to give the donation to is a group in the city (ghetto to be exact) that I have never worked with. They are the Don Bosco Center. I have never donated to them. I have never called them. They had no idea what we doing. I figured we would just show up with our 91 coats and they might find some homes for them.

We had a record cold weather this last week. The coldest on record in years and years.

Tom and I went to the city today to deliver them. It is the ghetto, so I figured I better take some man muscle--just in case. I have been kind of slurry as well for driving.

We knocked on the poorly painted garage donation door and this nice lady opened it up.

Val: "Hi. I have some coats we collected from our church that we would like to donate."

Woman: Stared at me. No answer. Obviously shocked for some reason.

Woman: "What did you say?"

Val: Feeling nervous. "We collected 91 coats from the ladies at church. Would you like them?"

Woman: She brings her hands to her face, covers her mouth and eyes and begins to cry.

Val and Tom: Look at each other and think, "What the...?"

Woman: "We don't have a single coat to give away. We have been praying all week that we would get some coats. This morning I prayed and said, 'God, can you please bring the coats today?"

Val: Crying. "I can't believe that. Stop crying. You are making me cry!"

Tom: "I am not crying."

Woman: Crying still. "Thank you. Who are you? Where did these come from?" (like we were magic coat fairies or something)

Val: Smiling so happy. "We are just some nice Mormon church ladies. And there was a generous donation from a Baptist lady."

Woman: "Promise me you will go home and tell those ladies what has happened today."

Woman: Turns around and literally ran to another part of the donation hall shouting "The coats are here! The coats are here!"

It was a great moment. I will never forgot the look on her face and the feeling in my heart.
Thanks Heavenly Father. I needed that.
Love val

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Her first Halloween costume

The Girl's First Halloween Costume
We were poor college students at Utah State University.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Sabbath Day

When I was 8 or so, my parents brought home a small portable organ for me. It came with a book of religious music--? The only song I ever learned to play on that tiny organ, with the orange juice stains by the cord buttons was "Nearer My God to Thee."

I got this today. My rendition never sounded like this....holy hannhah, this is good.
Happy Sabbath Day

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bob the Builder Award: Jackie and her cans

Time for a sunshiney story. Warm and an Anderson Family gathering. :)

Meet Jackie. She is 11 years old and takes the bull by the horns. She is from Greeenwood, Missouri. Nope, I don't know where that is. But I did read about her in the local newspaper. And she sounds like my kind of girl. Loves the post office. Loves to recycle. AND has a form of epilepsy. See what I mean? Kindred spirit.

She has created her own website. Check it out here:

She tells her story in her own wordsm much better than I can. I love the link about her favorite charities. It would be nice if some of you could send her a can from far away. Like Alaska or Hawaii. :)

You go girl.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Things that are bugging me this week

"Who peed in your cereal?" That is a phrase I have heard more than once in my life.

It has been a long week. I woke up this morning thinking it was a good day for a Bob the Builder award. You know, sunflowery talk of sunshine and warm puppies. That kind of nice girly talk. Try to see some silver linings.

Then I read the news. It made me cranky. Crankier, actually.

Here are things that are bugging me: in no particular order

A guy who got a car to deliver bikes for his charity he works for.. the car was stolen this week.

Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Never mind that the Dahli Llama won it after 30+ years of effort and exile from his homeland. The president had been president a mere couple weeks. Gag me.

I hate it when people text others when they are suppose to be socializing with you.

Jon Gosselen wants his kids off tv...ironically it is after he is off the show.

When my printer has to be aligned.

No personal time of my own.

Unexpected expenses.

Feeling fat.

My head is hurting for almost three weeks now. Since I bonked it at the hot rod shop.

That I have to go to Columbia tomorrow. Instead of staying home and taking photographs of fall leaves.

Checking my voice mail.

Wearing pants instead of shorts (see feeling fat above)

Going to the kid's hospital three times in one week.

Whew. Vomit of negative energy done. :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wanna take a field trip? Rena-is-sance Festival

Took a field trip to the local festival recently. This one is big
and really well done. We go every year. LOVE it.
This would be a good shirt for me. I always want to
buy some wench outfit, but it might not go over
so big at church...the only place I usually wear a dress. :)
My photographs are going to be taking on some
width in their subjects. It used to be that when I was
taking photo in high school, my friends and I
would head to the local grocery store and take pictues
of the patrons. That was, of course, until we
got banned from the store. I have never
wanted to take pictures of people when they know
because they move, complain, scratch, talk,
get embarrassed, etc... so I gave up.
However, now that I have the new camera
(which I am dialing in for the trip to Alaska
next summer) and the new telephoto lens,
I can photo-stalk people and most of the time
they don't know.
Here is to pictures of people.
These colors have NOT been edited.
I was thinking that Mr. Fun could get one of these.
Do you think the belly comes with it?

These were some guys frolicking in the woods.
I love how the green popped off here.

She was really pretty. Those eyes.

She had a wonderful face painting.

This fairy was adorable. She has amazing green eyes.
This was an unbelievable site. That, and the guy
dressed as La-La, the Teletubby. ?

He just happened to glance my way.

Mr. Fun's youngest sister used to look
like this.
No festival is complete without a turkey leg in the forest.

There were a lot of men in leggings that should
not be seen in public. No good.
LOVED these best girlfriends. They held hands
throughout the day. They were adorable.

It has only taken me 40 years to learn how to spell "renaissance" correctly. Thank goodness for parking traffic and a nice big sign to practice with. :) Mrs. Rogers, my beautiful 5th grade teacher, would be very proud of me.
Side Note: Tony Stewart won the NASCAR race.
The Girl was 15 rows up from the Finish Line.
She claims this is the best week of her life. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

See Val be "Mom of the Year"

Tony Stewart, the Girl's favorite NASCAR driving idol on this planet, has come to town. She missed some school yesterday morning so we could lounge around some cold sidewalk in the city by the Office Depot so we could get our wristband to go BACK later in the afternoon to meet "Smoke." She became instant best friends with these linemates we met when we arrived at 4:30 in the morning. This is about 6 am and the Lowes had free hot chocolate. I must say that I was certainly underdressed (no red) for the occassion and they mocked me because I have a unexplainable affection for the Jimmy Johnson Crew chief...not a driver. At least I am not a Jeff Gordon fan, who were scorned when they lined up after us. The older couple in the red coats had driven 9 hours ONE way from Kentucky just for this meet and greet. The tall man in black did the same thing --From Kentucky--unrelated to the other folks. THe standing blond lives about four blocks from us, and the kneeling blond is from St Louis. The Yellow hat is a local, and was a professional memorabilia collector. It was like seeing the Mothership from Escape to Witch Mountain had come to Earth to claim all their aliens... This is the famous Tony Stewart. He is cuter in person.
He has some Burger King commercials out and used to do
Subway ads so you might recognize him.
He looks thinner in real life and actually
had a quite pleasant energy about him. This is him
signing the Girl's homemade Burger King crown,
dedicated to him. She almost cried she was so happy.
You cannot fake a face like this.
Although I was slurry and drunk from lack of
sleep, I would do it again Girly
to see that smile on your face.

By the way, we were on TV.
Mr. Fun's words included something like

"I cannot believe my daughter

is on TV leading the

Tony Stewart wacky fans!" :)