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Since I never seem to get around to sending out Christmas cards or letters, I decided to blog a bit to keep my fans updated. :-)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas vacation

Christmas was a bit different this year -- one of my brothers called me a few months ago to invite me to come with his family and our parents to Mazatlan for the week before Christmas! So, on December 17th I met up with them in the Denver airport and we all went to Mexico. 75-80 degree days, lots of sun, a beach and pools. Oh, and lots and lots of pico de gallo. I think I consumed half a gallon of it, which will surprise those of you who know I don't care for either salsa or raw onions. Normally, I avoid raw onions because I taste them for hours after consumption, but I didn't have that problem in Mexico. Weird, eh? I even ate fresh jalapeno slices on my nachos.

We tracked the memorable things that happened each day -- here is a recap:

Day 1: Aunt Holly surprised the nephews at the airport -- until I showed up, they didn't know I was coming along.

Day 2: I discovered a pet in the shower -- a small lizard. On the 27th floor. How did he get there?

Day 3: While we were eating lunch poolside, a coconut catapulted out of a palm tree and landed on my brother's chaise lounge - and broke a piece off the frame. Glad it wasn't his head.

Day 4: We taught the boys to play poker (and my brother taught me to play Texas Hold'em)

Day 5: My brother and his family played tennis and then in the tide pools. I was a good girl and worked out in the gym while they played tennis.

Day 6: Fishing and Marine wildlife sightings -- we went out on a boat for a few hours and saw a couple of whales, lots of dolphins, sting rays, and sea lions. Didn't catch much.

Day 7: Spied an iguana walking along a wall by the pool. Swam in a very cold pool -- the water was colder than the ocean waves.

The boys and I played in the surf three times - it was cold, but not as cold as California ocean. We played in the pool pretty much every day.

My phone had no connection at all, and the only wireless connection for my iPod was in the lobby or by the pool. It was great to be by the pool while reading email and Facebook accounts of all the snow that fell in Utah last week. Best of all was being completely disconnected from all stress and busyness. We were truly "unplugged". It isn't often that I come home from a vacation and feel rested and relaxed, but I sure did this time. It was very nice to not feel like I needed a vacation to recover from my vacation.

Upon our return, I stayed a few days in Colorado to visit my other brother and his family and to celebrate Mom's birthday. That felt more like Christmas!

Thanks to the Harvey clan for making my Christmas wonderful! I love you all!

Monday, December 13, 2010


It's 5AM and I've already made 2 batches of toffee today. That's what happens when you wake up just before 4 and your brain engages and tells you, "If you get up right now, you can get the toffee done before you have to leave for the gym".

I even have enough time to clean the kitchen a bit. And believe me, after a weekend of candy-making, it needs it. Sigh.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sing we now of Christmas

I am happy to report that my new laptop communicates nicely with my external hard drive, which means I was able to set up iTunes on the laptop and import all the music I'd previously stored on the external drive. Most of it was already on my ipod, but I had taken the Christmas music off of the ipod last Spring. When my old computer died, I didn't have a way to sync my ipod and bring back the Christmas music. Arrggh!

Happily, I was able to sync the ipod last night and restore the Christmas music. Fa la la la la!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

shhh...don't tell

Shh...don't tell anyone...but I just made my morning oatmeal with hot chocolate instead of hot water...

It looks a little strange, but it tastes great!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Help out the Orem Public Library when ordering from Amazon

I noticed a link the Orem Library website to Amazon. If you access Amazon through the link, up to 15% of your purchase will go towards funding The Center for Story & Art. So, if you are still doing some holiday shopping at Amazon, click on their Amazon link and help the library at the same time!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Two Thumbs Up!

Today some co-workers and I checked out the new Magleby's location in Provo (by the Marriott Courtyard where TGI Friday's used to be).

Survey says? Very much like the old Maglebys. Hurray! There was a terrific lunch buffet - soups, salad, roast beef, teriyaki chicken, trout, potatoes, cooked veggies (squash with carrots), breadsticks, and dessert. I'm sure there were other offerings, these were just the ones I noticed. There is also a lunch menu if one wishes to order a dish rather than wander the buffet.

I've missed the former Maglebys that used to be just off the diagonal. The Riverwoods location didn't have the same feeling to it, even though the food was delicious. This new one just felt right.

If you want to go and need an additional member of your party, I'm your girl! It is my birthday on Sunday...so feel free to call it my birthday present -- I'm happy to take rain checks for 2011 since you are probably as busy as I am right now...

(Good things come to those who wait?)

Christmas Music

Greetings from your long-lost blogger!
I thought I would let you know of some Christmas Concerts happening this weekend in case you need some Christmas cheer!

Christmas Chorus (Treble Choir)
Saturday 2:30 PM (kid-friendly)
Sunday 7PM (well-behaved audience members please)

--These concerts are in the chapel at the state hospital in Provo (top of Center Street). If you are facing the admin building, the chapel is the next building to the right. This choir is in its 31st year and specializes in Christmas Carols from around the world, as well as Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols. (we do the Ceremony of Carols every year). This year we have an awesome gospel piece that I suspect will be an audience favorite.

Utah Baroque Ensemble
Monday 6PM and again at 7:30PM in the Orem Public Library (same program for both performances) Some UBE-only pieces, some audience + choir pieces.

If your kids need to attend concerts as homework for their music classes at school, these are great.

I love these concerts because they are ALL Christmas music, and I do love my Christmas music. fa la la la la...la la la la!


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Wow! That went by quickly...

Today is my 1-year anniversary at Novell! I am grateful every day for a fun job and terrific colleagues. Here's to year 2!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring is really here!

My windows are open!
Birds are singing!
One tulip has bloomed!
My neighbor tilled my garden this morning!
Whitney mowed the lawn!

And so begins the season of yard tools and weed-killing. Welcome Spring!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kids have it sooooo easy today

This just came in on email, and I laughed more than once when I read it.

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning... Uphill... Barefoot... BOTH ways- yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of hooey like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog.

There was no email -- we had to actually write somebody a letter - with a pen. Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox, and it would take like a week to get there. The good news is that stamps were only 10 cents.

Child Protective Services didn't care if our parents beat us. As a matter of fact, the parents of all my friends also had permission to discipline us! Nowhere was safe!

There were no MP3's or Napsters or iTunes -- iIf you wanted to copy music you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio, and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and mess it all up. There were no CD players -- we had tape decks in our car. We'd play our favorite tape and "eject" it when finished, and then the tape would come undone rendering it useless. Cause, hey, that's how we rolled, Baby! Dig?

We didn't have fancy phone options like Call Waiting - if you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy signal and had to try again later.

There weren't any cell phones either. If you left the house, you just didn't make a call or receive one. You actually had to be out of touch with your "friends". OH MY! Think of the horror... not being in touch with someone 24/7! And then there's TEXTING. Yeah, right. Didn’t have that either.

We also didn't have fancy Caller ID. When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was -- it could be your school, your parents, your boss, or a salesman... you just didn't know. You had to pick it up and take your chances.

There was no Cartoon Network either -- you could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons.

And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove. Imagine that!

And our parents told us to stay outside and play... all day long. Without electronics to soothe and comfort. And if you came back inside... you were drafted to do chores!

And car seats - oh, please! Mom threw you in the back seat and you hung on. If you were luckily, you got the "safety arm" across the chest at the last moment if she had to stop suddenly, and if your head hit the dashboard, well that was your fault for calling "shot gun" in the first place!

See! That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled rotten! You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in 1980 or any time before…

The Over 30 Crowd

NOTE: My personal favorite is the "safety arm"!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Best Children's books

For a nice list of children's books, check out the Six boxes of Books blog. It was a countdown done by an NYPL librarian. Six boxes kindly compiled the individual posts into a single list.

I have some reading to catch up on as there are 33 of them I either have not read or am not sure I have read. Definitely lots of favorites on that list.

What would you add to the list? I would add "Understood Betsy", but I'll bet most of you have never heard of that one. Oh, and "A Girl of the Limberlost". I'm sure I will think of others. I look forward to perusing your suggestions!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Family Reunion Tshirt Question

My immediate family (parents, siblings, spouses, nieces, and nephews) are all getting together this summer to celebrate Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. It will be the first time we have ALL been together in a very long time. The last time there were only 4 grandkids...now we have 7, and the youngest is already 8 years old! So yes, it has been awhile. We've all seen each other in the meantime, we just haven't gathered everyone in one place at one time.

I think it would be cool if we had a commemorative t-shirt -- but how does one go about creating a logo for something like this? I have ZERO artistic ability in that area. Any ideas? Any volunteer artists? I'll trade you for some kitchen treats...

I thought about tie-dyeing a shirt for everyone because I can handle that kind of artistry, but if we take a group picture I don't want it to be blinding. (I have such a picture of me with the nieces - it's hard to look at straight on). Then again, perhaps a group picture should be in something nicer than a t-shirt. I still think it would be a cool souvenir.

Meanwhile, does anyone have any photographer recommendations in the Las Vegas area? I think we need to document this event -- who knows how long it will be before we gather again?

Monday, April 5, 2010

UBE Spring Concerts

It's one of the most wonderful times of the year -- CONCERT SEASON!

The Utah Baroque Ensemble is presenting three concerts this month:

Date: Sunday April 11th
Place: 1081 West 1060 North, Provo

Date: Saturday April 17th
Place: Assembly Hall on Temple Square, Salt Lake City

Date: Sunday April 18th
Place: 865 West 1000 North, Orem

Each performance begins at 7:30 and is suitable for audience members 8 years of age and older. All performances are free of charge.

For maps to the Provo and Orem locations, please go to the calendar on the UBE website, www.utahbaroque.org


Festival Jubilate / K. Lee Scott
Wash Me Throughly

Jubilate Deo
Psalm 114

Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150 / J.S. Bach

Psalm 100 (Jauchzet dem Herrn, Alle Welt) / Mendelssohn
Beati Quorum Via / Charles Stanford

Bless the Lord / David Sargent
Praise Ye Him / David Sargent
O Clap Your Hands / David Sargent

How Firm a Foundation
Saints Bound for Heaven (shape note)
Saints Bound for Heaven / Alice Parker


The Word was God

Hope to see you there! (My favorite one, if I can only choose one, is the "The Word was God". If I can choose two, the other one is "Wash me throughly").

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Memory capacity of a 1-year old

On the way from the airport to my friend's house, I asked her whether she thought her one-year-old would remember me from Christmas. Ha! When we arrived, she started giggling immediately and came right over to me, ready to be picked up and tickled. What a great greeting! Silly Girl, who is 5, seemed equally pleased. We had time to read a few books share a few giggles before she had to go to bed.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Greetings from....

Cloudy, soon-to-be-wet Southern California. I suspect it will be a new Disney experience today -- Disney in the rain. Interestingly, that though does not seem to be deterring my Disney companions one bit -- even though three of them live here and can go pretty much any day they want. (I just read this to my friend and she responded with, "Would you still respect me if I let a little rain deter me from going to Disneyland?)

I spent 16 months in the Netherlands -- so some rain won't bother me. At least I'm not riding a bike in it! :-)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Favorite Christmas Moment of 2009

I was at my brother's house snuggled on a couch with his 8-year old boy, getting ready to watch a movie, when my nephew looked up at me and said, "You look just like my dad, except the girl version!"

I'm still giggling about that one...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good-for-you Muffins

Sorry, I know it has been awhile since I've posted. Here's a  new recipe for muffins that I tried today that uses Agave instead of sugar. I thought they turned out quite well. I substituted dried apricots for the dried cranberries. I also must not have filled the muffin tins as full as the recipe says, because I got 20 instead of 12.

I tried one warm, just a few minutes out of the oven, and tried another later in the day. Surprisingly, I liked them better when they'd been sitting around for ahwhile.

I think this recipe will lend itself well to other fruit/nut combinations. I used pecans for the nuts today, but I suspect raspberry with almonds will be nice too. I'm wondering how dried pineapple and coconut would be.