Names have been changed to protect the innocent...and my husband...and me...but not the dog. His name is Dexter.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thoughts On Diversity

Personally, I think diversity is a good thing.  Although I do realize that not everyone agrees with me.  But it seems to be coming up a lot lately.  A lot.  And in less than fantastic ways, I might add.
Quite a few people around these here parts are relocating their children to different schools.  There's lots of hemming and hawing and excuses about how the school is just not good enough for their brilliant child, but the one of the reasons I'm hearing lately is that "they don't like the diversity of the school".

They don't like the diversity of the school.  

Call me crazy, but that seems like a fancy way of describing racism.  It would be just wrong to say something along the lines of  "my white child is too good to go to school with kids that aren't white", but somehow it's acceptable if you say that you "don't like the diversity".  But, really, it's not any different.

It's disgusting.  Appalling.  Ridiculous.  Ignorant.  Racist, for heaven's sake.  It just makes me feel sick inside.  Honestly, in this day and age with all the rich racial diversity of this country, people still feel that they are better because they are white?!  And that somehow if there are children of a different race in the class room, then their children are not getting a proper education??

There does seem to be a few tricks to making racism socially appropriate though.  If you hide behind your concerns for your children's education then that makes it okay.  Even though you're too lazy to teach your kid the alphabet you are still superior to the Hispanic woman who doesn't teach her kid the ABC's.  Because you are white.  Also, make sure you go to church every week because a good Christian woman would never be racist.  She just won't be comfortable with the diversity at the school.

Yes, as long as your racism is veiled with an insincere smile and a condescending heart, you will be fine.  You're only looking out for your children, after all.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book of the Week! That Book Woman

This is another of my favorite children's books that we stumbled upon in our library a while back.  It's a story about a family in the Appalachian Mountains and the Pack Horse Librarian that dutifully comes to bring them books. 
This is such a great story.  Not only does it talk about how wonderful books are and how much we can learn from them, but it also includes details about a little known part of American history that included the Pack Horse Librarians.  When I read this to my girls, I got all teary and how devoted this woman was and what a difference she made in the lives of that family.  Yes, I'm that sappy.  But it's a good book, so read it anyway!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Discounted Tickets for Mary Poppins at Capitol Theater!

Going to the theater is such an amazing (and rare) opportunity.  Last year, CG and I were able to go see The Lion King at Capitol Theater, thanks to my mom donating her tickets to us.  (Thanks, Mom)  It is quite possible that during the opening song of "Circle of Life" when all the animals were coming in to see the future king, I may have almost started crying.  And I may vowed to myself that every baby should be welcomed in to the world in the same way.   

In the program there was an ad for upcoming shows including Mary Poppins.  And ever since I've been trying to devise a way to get there.  It seems to keep popping up.  Like in random ads on the tables of the Gateway food court. 
Mary Poppins is playing at the Capitol Theater in Salt Lake City September 1 through September 25 and they are currently offering a 2 for 1 promotion for a limited number of shows. 

The schedule of shows that are available with the discount are as follows:

Thursday, September 1-matinee showing
Regular prices $42.50-62.50, discounted prices $21.25-$31.25

Saturday, September 3-evening showing
Regular prices $65-$85, discounted prices $32.50-$42.50

Sunday, September 4, matinee showing
Regular prices $65-$85, discounted prices $32.50-$42.50

Sunday, September 4, evening showing
Regular prices $55-$75, discounted prices $27.50-$37.50

To buy your tickets, go here.  Just use the promotional code "utahmama" when you're checking out to receive the discount.

**Disclosure: I was given two tickets to see Mary Poppins in exchange for spreading the word on this fabulous deal.  All opinions and theater envy are my own.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lolly's First Day of First Grade!

My Lolly Girl started First Grade this week.  In order to be prepared she made a special pencil box because first graders get their very own desk.  She picked out the perfect box and the paint, which of course included red glitter paint.

Her lunch was packed for the day and included a note from Mom, as usual.
The perfect outfit was selected along with the perfect hair style.  And of course, the obligatory first day of school pictures.

Here she is at the end of the day with her adorable teacher.  She's brand new and I think she's going to be a perfect first grade teacher for Lolly.  They were even wearing the same colors, as Lolly pointed out to me after school.
And, just because she is SO adorable, here is a picture of Lolly on the second day of school.
Because that's how we roll....

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book of the Week! The Green Mother Goose

Ya see, I'm a total book nerd.  I love reading books to myself, I love reading books to my kids and I love hearing about the books you're reading.  When we go to the library I will randomly pick up books and if it looks pretty and sounds interesting, I'll check it out.  And of course I pick up the books that I've reserved, sight unseen.  I just really like books.

As with most things in life, books are better when they're shared.  So I thought that I would highlight a different book each week.  It will most likely be different kinds of books each week and possibly different days of the week.  And maybe I'll even skip a week here or there.  Or forget entirely.  We all know that's how I roll. 

But today, I'm going to share a new favorite kids book.  We found this while wandering through our local library and have enjoyed it immensely.  It's The Green Mother Goose by Jan Peck and David Davis.
This book contains many traditional nursery rhymes that have been changed to embrace going green.  While some of them are over the top, they are all very entertaining.

One of my personal favorites:

There was a little girl who had a little curl-
On top of her head it glittered.
When she was good, she recycled all she could,
But when she was bad-

And this one:

Little Jack Horner
Changed bulbs in the corner,
Replacing the old incandescents.
Now the lamps on the sills
Cut his mama's high bills,
'Cause the lights are
all compact fluorescent.

Oh and I liked this one too:

Mary, Mary quite contrary,
Refused to garden green.
Her toxic sprays, a choking haze,
Spreading dangers, hurtful and mean.

Organic Mary, not contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With ladybug smiles and compost piles,
And pretty herbs all in a row.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Speed Hump Photo Op

Our neighborhood is classy.  Oh, the people are fine, but the street signs fodder.  Or joke fodder.  Because we have signs like this:
In all honesty, I have mocked these signs a time or two.  And someone has painted "me" in glow in the dark paint on one of them.  It wasn't me but I do applaud them for their creativity. 

But this week I saw something that I found to be a bit disturbing.  Maybe I'm just a prude.  Maybe I'm out of touch with modern day teens.  But I was deeply disturbed.

Picture it.....

I was heading out of the neighborhood on one of the endless errands that has had to be run this week.  I was stopped to turn and happened to notice two teenage girls standing by one of the signs.  Judging from their faces, I would guess they were 13-14 years old.  Judging by their appearance I would guess they were fresh off the Las Vegas Strip. 

As I was watching, a woman (I'm assuming the mother of one of them) climbed out of the giant SUV parked (poorly) right near by.  With a camera.  To take a picture of two young girls posing with a "Speed Hump" sign.  Not adults taking a picture of a tacky street sign to put on Facebook.  But two children

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I thought that was trashy.  Or maybe she was just thinking of their future and having them practice on that pole until they graduate to the next pole.  So tell me...what do YOU think?!

Monday, August 15, 2011

You Know Your House Is Hot When....

Our house is kind of hot.  Not terribly hot, but just as hot as you would expect without air conditioning.  Of any kind.  In the past we have used window air conditioners but they're getting a bit old and last year the house still got up to 85+ and it cost us $200+ per month to run them.  Now, most days it gets up to 85+ and doesn't cost us $200 per month.  Very logical, actually.  I've noticed that it's really not bad until it starts getting hotter than 85.  If it keeps going above 85 then it can get uncomfortable.  I have found that my personal breaking point of when the heat really gets to me is 89.  Once it is 89 in the house, I refuse to do any one's hair or dishes.  No exceptions. 

Honestly, the house hasn't been too bad.  We just hang out in the basement a lot, which is nice now that it no longer smells like our former renters dog pee.  The lack of air conditioning in the van....well, that's just no fun.  Cars nowadays are just not designed to not have air conditioning.  There isn't great air flow.  Or windows in the middle that open.  But it is nice and loud on the freeway.  And my hair always looks great after driving....pretty much anywhere. 

So, short story long, I've decided to dedicate this post to all the signs that your house is hot.  Mostly because I thought it would be funny.  Perhaps the heat is getting to me.  Anyway.....

You Know Your House Is Hot When:

*The basement is 81.4 degrees
*The antibacterial ointment melts
*The coconut oil hasn't been classified as a solid since June
*All chocolate must be refrigerated.  Or drank. 
*Cooking is unpleasant
*Washing dishes is even more unpleasant than usual
*The wood floor and tile is very warm to walk on
*The house sounds weird if there are not at least 3 fans running
*I have a completely neurotic way of cooling down the house
*But it totally works
*If it isn't respected, I get annoyed
*Possibly because the house might be reaching 89
*Standing in front of the fridge for no reason seems perfectly logical
*One Mountain Dew a day is no longer enough
*I don't even remember the last time I used a hair dryer
*CG actually takes his shoes off when he gets home

Please feel free to add to my list.  Bonus points will be given for creativity.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tip Tuesday-Bee Sting Relief

Lately we've been having some issues with bees.  Bees being in our house, in particular.  They were our numerous and unwanted guests.  Now, I realize that bees play in important part in our environment and in my garden, but in my house they are a nuisance.  Nothing inside needs pollinating, thank you very much.  We figured out where they were coming from (hopefully) and got it all taken care of.  The only problem was that there were still a few rogue bees floating randomly through the house.  Which was fun. 
Last week, we were getting ready to head to the theater.  I was taking my girls to see the Wizard of Oz in a local park and they were primping accordingly.  Of course this primping included mood changing lipstick and various layers of jewelry for the girls.  I was just hoping to get my hair brushed out and dressed in clothing that would be vaguely appropriate for our outing.  Out of the blue, Lolly started screaming.  She doesn't appreciate bees and she said that one was on her.  Obviously I rushed to her (saw the bee on the floor) and she told me she had been stung on her face.  I took her into the bathroom and CG was dispatched to, um...dispose of the attacker.  I can live in peace with the bees, but not if they sting my baby.

To be perfectly honest, my biggest concern was that she would have an allergic reaction.  She had never been stung before (despite having a bee stuck in her hair at school this past spring) and I was worried she might have inherited that particular allergy.  I wanted to help her calm down and go from there.  Within a couple of minutes her check went from being red all over to having two small red bumps appeared on her face so it was clear she had been stung.  Twice.  And she needed some relief.

I've only been stung by a bee once (I think I was 10) and I was at a friends house.  When we told her mom that I had been stung, she got a paper towel and wetted it with cold water.  Then she folded it into a square and put baking soda on it.  She told me to hold it over the sting and it would help relieve the pain.  Amazingly it worked!  And it worked really well with Lolly too!    I don't know if it's the cold water or the baking soda (or the combination of the two) that's the miracle worker, but Lolly calmed right down.  And the red bumps were gone within 5-10 minutes.  She also explained to me that the only reason she was so upset was because that was the first time she had been stung and she wasn't expecting it.  My sweet girl...trying to help me feel better when she gets stung by a bee. 

And of course my Lolly girl is my Lolly girl, regardless of the situation.  When I asked (a bit out of paranoia) how her tongue felt, she looked at me and said, "It feels wet".  And then giggled.  That's my girl.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tip Tuesday-Homemade Eco-Friendly Garden Bug Repellant

Since starting to garden a few years ago, I haven't really had much of a problem with bugs.  Seems my luck has worn off a this year though.  At the beginning of the season the bugs were eating more than my plants could grow!  I've actually had to replace several of my plants because the bugs ate them down to stubs.

Although I grudgingly share our backyard with bugs, this was going way too far.  The bugs should not get to eat more out of our garden than we do!  But I didn't like the idea of spraying a bunch of chemicals on the plants that would be (hopefully) growing the food that my family would eat.

I had heard about a homemade soap spray that was supposed to get rid of pretty much any bug so I decided to give it a try.  From what I've read, it's about 3 teaspoons of dish soap to one gallon of water.  But who has a one gallon jug with a spray nozzle attached?!  So I washed out (really well) an old glass cleaner bottle and mixed 1 teaspoon of soap with enough water to fill the bottle.  Then I sprayed my plants and crossed my fingers.

It worked!  It worked really really well!  And you can do it weekly if you have a serious bug problem.  I used it on every single plant and didn't have any problems.  One of the best parts was that my girls could do it too.  They beg to be involved in the gardening (except weeding...can't even bribe them to do that) and this was something that would be safe for them to do and really helpful to me.  Win win.

And here's an extra tip because I'm feeling generous.  Fill the bottle with water before adding the soap.  It's much faster that way.  I might just know that from personal experience.
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