Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2008

Self Deception and Cheesecake

I had a major revelation about myself the other day. It's such a huge thing, that now I'm finding myself questioning everything I thought I knew about me. I thought I loved cheesecake. I truly believed that I loved it from from the moment I tasted it years ago when I was a teenager. I've been eating it for like twenty years, thinking it was one of my favorite desserts.

But then the other day, I had a moment of clarity and realized I'd been lying to myself. I don't really like cheesecake. What the heck?

I made a small cheesecake a couple of days ago. I ate a piece and was like, "Hmmm, not great. Don't need to make that recipe again." The next day, I went to throw it out and decided to give it one more try. I took one bite and thought,"Okay, it's not too bad." Took a second bite, and thought, "Nope still don't like it." Then I thought to myself, "Okay girl, why don't you like it? This is a basic cheesecake; what's…

Christmas is Coming, The Goose Is Getting Fat!

Have you ever wondered what that Christmas song is really about? Most people think it's about a goose getting fat and putting pennies in hats. But actually the term "goose" is Gaelic for Jill, "pennies" means desserts and/or junk food, and the term "hat", actually refers to Jill's mouth.

So yes, this is my Christmas theme song. And yes, Christmas is coming, and yes, I am getting fat! What is the deal with Christmas? I can't stop eating all the tasty holiday food. There is just so much delicious stuff everywhere. And it all looks so pretty. And so delicious. And so prettily-delicious. Thanks to Julie's baking skills, the other day, I woke up and had chocolate cake for breakfast, and then turned around and had chocolate cake for lunch. Who does that? Is it the cold? Is it the stress?

My scale doesn't work, so I don't know how much weight I've gained so far. (It's actually kind of nice not to know.) Reni claims it's not br…

Real or Fake?

If you were to write down the pros and cons of purchasing a live Christmas tree, the con list would far exceed the pro (as I'm sure you all know). So why still buy one?

Before I answer that, let me just say that I judgeth not anyone who buyeth an artificial tree. To each their own.
For me, a real tree says," mmmm, ahhhh Christmas," like a plastic one never could (not literally though). Yes, a lot of it is because of the smell, but there's more to it that's hard to put into words. A fake tree is always perfect, and always the same. Real trees are always imperfect and changing, which I find quite endearing and continually interesting. (I feel the same way about people.)There is a part of me that gets a little creeped out by fake things that mimic live things. Things like fake plants, mannequins, and dead people who've been embalmed can be unsettling.Real trees provide a lot of opportunity for complaining. I enjoy complaining.
At the end, you get to throw it awa…

Want Seriously Dry Pits?

Very few products meet my expectations. Even less exceed my expectations. So when I recommend something, you can bet that I don't do it lightly. If you've ever been known to sweat in the underarm region, even though you religiously apply deodorant each morning, put down the mouse and go out and by Secret Clinical Strength deodorant; immediately! This stuff is amazing.

When you see it at the store you'll probably mutter, "$8 bucks, are you kidding me, it can't be that good." That's what I said, but I tried it anyway. And let me tell you sister, it's worth every penny. Since buying it, it's like I don't even have sweat glands anymore. I could be sitting under a heat lamp in a humid Madagascar jungle, sweating profusely about the head and neck, but my underarms? Dry as the desert.

When I first heard of the whole clinical strength stuff, I figured
I didn't qualify as a potential user because I wasn't naturally sweatier (is that a word?) th…

Okay, I admit it. I'm a wimp.

For many years I believed I was as strong or stronger than most women, and as strong as a few men. I assumed that if a guy ever attacked me in a dark parking lot, I could easily fight him off. I figured if I got in a bar fight with another woman I would have no trouble taking her out. After all, I lift weights. I can carry our vacuum up and down the stairs. I can lift both my boys at the same time. Plus, I've seen a lot of TV shows where women beat up guys, lift cars off people, and such.

Looking back, there were signs over the past decade that I wasn't as strong as I thought I was. There was that time that I told Reni to stop letting me win when we were wrestling, and he pinned me in like a thousandth of a second. And the time that my 60+ year old mother had to pull out a shrub for me because I was too weak to do it. But I was able to rationalize all those things. Both Reni and my mom must be freaks of nature, I told myself.

But the other day, something happened that made me gi…

Gingerbread Facade

First off, let me begin with a report on my Thanksgiving pie....It tasted so freakin' awesome! Yep. I didn't ruin Thanksgiving afterall. Well, let's just say my pie didn't ruin Thanksgiving. Even my Dad raved. I believe his exact words of highest praise were, "hmmm, not bad."
Now, on to Christmas. Saturday we attended the Gingerbread House making party my haircutter lady has every year. Personally, I wouldn't classify it as a party, but that's what she calls it, so that's how I'll refer to it here. At the 'party' we bring stuff for our gingerbread houses and she makes all the frosting. Then we assemble our houses and leave. She invites her and her husband's immediate family and their spouses and children, as well as some cousins and aunts and friends of cousins and aunts. We are the only ones who aren't related. I'm not positive why she keeps inviting us, but I have my suspicions.

This year, we decided to build a Christmas v…

Pumpkin Pie

Let's talk pie. First off, if anybody ever makes you a pie, then they really must love you. The same could be said for cut-out, frosted sugar cookies, but this post is about pie, so I won't mention that. I started my Thanksgiving pie making at 4:30 PM today. It's 7:34 PM right now. I haven't even started making the filling yet. The last 3 hours has all gone into making the crust. The crust requires 3 separate chillings, which are eating up all my time. Now I'm just hanging out, waiting for the proper chill factor. Why didn't I do the crust last night? Why!? Bah!

7:53 PM. The final chill is complete. Now I will pre-bake the crust, and then heat up the filling (something new I'm trying, hope it works; I wouldn't want to ruin a pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and hear those three dreaded words: WORST. THANKSGIVING. EVER.).

8:30. I just poured the hot filling into the hot pie crust. I put on the pie shield crust protector thingy and put it in the oven. It shou…

And you thought the Internet was a fad...

I started Christmas shopping yesterday. Usually, I wait until about December 21, then rush about in a panic, but this year I vowed to finish early. Actually, I vow that every year, and I never do it. But maybe, just maybe, this year will be different.

Anywho, as I was walking around the crowded aisles of Toys R Us, I realized that store shopping is totally lame. The Internet has ruined me. I couldn't find anything at the store. I kept wishing I could just type in what I wanted, press a button, and be instantly taken to its location. Sure, the sales people mean well and try to help, but they usually aren't helpful, especially if you can only remember a few keywords of the items you're shopping for.

I like to over-analyze almost every purchase I make (which is one of the reasons I don't have cable TV), and it was impossible to do at the store, because everytime I stopped moving so I could conduct my extensive toy analysis, a 300 lb guy and his wife kept glowering over me …

My 2008 Thanksgiving Eating Strategy Dilemma

A good Thanksgiving eating strategy ensures that you don't get nauseatingly full, but still achieve maximum meal satisfaction.

Back in the day, I wouldn't strategize. I would simply eat as much of everything as was humanly possible. Then one day on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner, feeling miserable with food, I realized that my non-strategy strategy wasn't working for me. I wanted to enjoy the food and not feel terrible for hours afterward. And thus was born the yearly eating strategy.

Last year my strategy was to eat a lot of mashed potatoes and gravy (my MIL makes killer mashed potatoes and gravy), a tiny taste of turkey, yams, and one slice of pie. It was a success.

I'm having trouble coming up with a strategy this year. The only thing I know for sure is that I'm going to try some dark meat (if turkeys still come with dark meat). I've lost my taste for turkey, and someone suggested I try the dark stuff. Other than that, I'm at a loss. I wonder if I…

I told my kids the truth about Santa Claus

So as my kids' Christmas lists became so long they required a second page, I decided to sit them down and tell them the truth about Santa...

Me: Santa probably won't get you all the stuff on your list this year.
Them: Why not?
Me: Well...Santa lost a lot of money in the Stock Marketand the price of materials and gas has gone up, so he can't afford to make and deliver all the toys kids ask for.
Them: What's a Stock Market?
Me: It's, it's, well, it's...okay, wait, where's the whiteboard marker?

I explained why the economy was so rotten, and they actually listened. Well, they actually pretended to listen, and did it quite well.

After I concluded, Ryder took the marker and said:

"This is our house. (drew a dot). We drive from our house (drew a line across the board) and go to the bank. Then we get some money (drew another line back to the starting point) and drive back."

Ah, the simplicity of a child. He obviously wasn't paying attention to the cred…

Maybe It's Cancer

I don't know what it is, but something is definitely wrong. Maybe it's cancer; maybe I had a stroke. The fact is, my lifelong addiction to television is waning! That's right. I haven't been into TV at all this Fall. That's so not like me. What's wrong with me? Should I see a doctor?

I've had an unhealthy fondness for television for as long as I can remember. And now, with a couple small exceptions, I couldn't care less if I watch it at all. That's not right. I attribute a large part of who I am today to TV. I'm not ready to say goodbye.

Lately, when I sit down to watch a few sitcoms or reality shows, I get bored. They don't seem funny or entertaining to me. I'm not into any of the hour long dramas, so I can't comment on those. (I'm a "more is better" type, so given the opportunity, I'll always choose to watch two shows per hour instead of just one.)

Why couldn't this happen with one of my other unhealthy addictions…

Sorry Wrigley's, You Do Know Best

I owe the Wrigley's Gum company an apology. When they first changed Extra gum from the traditional gum package to the new gum-portfolio package I was very angry. I complained about it to everyone I knew. I said, Wrigley's didn't know what they were doing. I said, don't they know people don't like change?! I told people that getting a piece of gum had now become a laborious process. Instead of just pulling out a piece like before, now I first had to slide out the closure tab, then open the top, take out a piece, fold down the top, and finally, fasten the tab back into the little slot (whew!).

I went to Costco and bought a carton full of traditionally-packaged gum. Ha! I'd shown them! They couldn't force me to go along with their crazy marketing scheme! So I ate all that Costco gum, well, I didn't eat it, I guess I chewed it, and at some point, not sure when, maybe around pack #7, realized the huge advantage the new packaging had over the old packaging. Wi…

The Truth about Pantyhose

I haven't worn pantyhose in years. I'm not even sure if that's what they're still called.

In the summer I wear sandals with skirts (albeit with guilt*). In the winter, I wear boots.

I decided to start wearing heels to church, so I went to Super Target and bought a pair of pantyhose.

Can I just say, they're awful. I remember now why I stopped wearing them.

The one thing I did remember about them is the weekly struggle I had tugging them on, so I intentionally bought them a size too big. They do go on more easily, but now they bunch and fold and sag (ha, that's the exact description I was going to use to describe the cellulite on my rearend!).

The other problem is the panty part of the pantyhose. I assume the idea behind it is to contain and define the ol' derriere. Unfortunately, the panty part isn't long enough, or maybe my heiny isn't short enough (okay, there's no maybe about it. It doesn't end wear it's suppose to. Will it be down to my kn…

Spin on Boy!

This fall, Asher joined the billion of other kids who play soccer. Does this make me a soccer mom? Ugh, I hope not. Anyway, both he and I have learned many things this season, and surprisingly, how to play soccer isn't one of them.

The first two games, Reni and I groaned as he paused in the middle of the field to show off his handstands and cartwheels. During the breaks, we barked tips and ideas to him.
"Keep focused!" Watch the ball!" "Stop doing cartwheels!" blah blah blah.

In the middle of his third game, Asher reached out his arms and started running in big circles pretending he was an airplane. He turned his face to the sun and closed his eyes half-way (or maybe all the way, we couldn't tell). He had a huge crazy smile on his face. Reni and I were yelling to him, "Asher, stop spinning and watch the ball!" Asher, watch the ball!" But he couldn't hear us. He was in his own little world. I looked down and noticed Ryder had the same c…

Bathroom Smells like Pee

Our bathroom has the overwhelming stench of urine. I know with two little boys, that's bound to happen, which it has, a lot, but this time is different. This time, despite our cleaning efforts, we can't eliminate it. We can't find the source, the ground-zero, if you will. First we thought it was the tub, then the floor. Cleaned them both, still stinks. Then I thought it was the heater vent. That must be a tempting target. I cleaned that this morning. It still stinks. Where could it be?

I've interrogated both boys, but their memories are spotty at best. Each time I question them, I get different answers. They did both admit to going in the tub, but other than that, their stories don't match up at all, and frankly don't make much sense.

We have several options here:
1. Hope we get used to the smell and stop noticing it.
2. Hang an air freshener to cover the smell.
3. Perform an even more thorough cleaning (walls, ceiling, etc ---I'm not sure what their maximum ra…

Jill Day Let Me Down

I probably should have taken Cherice's advice and had a pedicure yesterday. I've never had one, and actually, that was one of my 2008 goals. But I didn't. The day started off wonderful and ended fine. The middle wasn't so great. But as I said to Ren, every day has a blah part, even the best of days.

The criteria I set down for my activities were: 1) They must be things I couldn't really do or enjoy doing with the kids 2) They couldn't involve housework of any kind and 3) They had to be things that would be fun alone (i.e., bowling was out). That really doesn't leave much too choose from I discovered. Two things that fit the criteria were a long hike and reading a book. I decided to do both at the same time. I had an audio-book on my iPod; I've never "read" a book while hiking. It was a very interesting experience.

At 9:38 AM I left the car and started up Adams Canyon. I hadn't planned being there so long, but was enjoying it so much I decide…

My Dilemma

I have a dilemma. It's a good dilemma, but a dilemma nonetheless. I have the day off tomorrow. That's right. Zero obligations. Reni took the day off and told me to have a "Jill Day." A day where I could go anywhere I wanted and do anything I wanted. So what's the problem? The problem is, I can't think of anything I want to do!

Here's a few thoughts I had, and my reasons for rejecting each one:

Go shopping, and not for groceries (I don't really like shopping. I know, I know, I'm ashamed of myself)
Get a massage (I don't think I'm the massage-type)
Go on a 2 hour bike ride (Sounds fun, but it might be too cold; I am a cold baby)
Go on a 2 hour walk (Sounds too tiring)
Read a book (boring)
Go to a movie (alone? boring.)

My worry is that I will twiddle away the hours tomorrow and end up doing nothing. I don't want to waste this rare opportunity. Why can't I think of something I want to do? Have I become one of those women who doesn't have …

When did I become such a slob?

It must have happened pretty gradually, or I would have noticed. Or maybe I've always been a slob and I'm just now noticing. But that can't be the case. I remember seeing women shopping in their jammy pants, shameless, at the grocery store, and I would think,"I'll never be like that." I vowed in those days to only go out of the house with at least some makeup on and in clothing instead of lounge-wear. Fast forward to now. What happened to me?

The other day, I walked my boy to school. (He's in afternoon Kindergarten. It starts at 12:45. This is relevant to the story.) While we waited for the bell, his teacher came out. Asher stepped out of line and started walking towards her. I wondered why he wasn't staying in line like usual. I tried to coax him back to his place. He kept walking. When he was standing next to her, he announced, "My mom's still in her jammies!"

Okay, now let me explain. I wasn't wearing actual jammy pants, I was wear…

Another Great Idea

Ya know how all the tree-huggers and/or celebrities are criticizing everyone for buying/making water in plastic bottles? They say that there's something like a billion thrown in the trash every minute. They say that they're killing whales and causing global warming---or was it warming whales and killing the globe? Either way, they're apparently bad. Well, I have to make a confession: I still buy them.

They are so darn convenient. Sometimes I just want to carry water in over-priced, single-serving containers. And I don't think I'm alone. Which leads us to my great idea---Imagine you're at the beach, you're hot and need a drink. You reach in the cooler and pull out an icy cold can of...water.

That's right, water; canned water. Why not sell water in aluminum cans? Aluminum is cheap and easy to recycle. Nothing gets a drink colder that aluminum.* Sure, there would be some "re-education" required. People like to see their water to know it's clean…

Is It Over ?- Update and Conclusion

Okay, so like most my worries, my worry over my haircutter lady dumping me, was unfounded. Turns out her phone hasn't been working. Thank you for stopping me from turning to SuperCuts in my state of weakness. I'm sure I would have regretted it.

Why Don't I Look Like a Victoria's Secret Model?

Why don't I look like the woman in this picture?

I mean, really...if I buy the same pants as her, I should look like least from the waist down. Right? Right? Isn't that the veiled promise from the company?

Here's a picture of me in the same pants (in olive green, not tan as shown). I know it's a little hard to tell how they look from this angle, but this was the best shot of the bunch. My three year old was the photographer, and my five year old wouldn't stay out of the picture.

In desperate need of pants, and as you may know, unable to find a good place to buy any, I decided to try some from Victoria's Secret. They had an offer for free shipping both ways, so I figured I had nothing to lose (except, apparently, a bit of self-esteem). Plus, they send me so many catalogs, I was beginning to feel guilty for not buying anything. Plus, plus, look at her butt...I wanted my butt to look like that!

So I ordered the pants . They arrived, I tried them on, and was…

Is It Over? -- Part 2

So I decided to try out one of our local haircut places. There's quite a few that don't require an appointment. I like that; I have a phobia about appointments. But I needed someone else to try it first. I needed a guinea pig...Ryder! That probably sounds mean, but I did ask him first; he had a choice. Plus, his hair grows the fastest, so it seemed fair. Here's our conversation:

Me: Do you want to be my guinea pig?
Him: Yes.
Him: I don't want to be a sinny gig.
Me: Ha! Too late, you already said yes! Get your shoes on, let's go.

So we went to Totally Clips. (Whenever I say that name, I can't help but break into Totally Eclipse of the Heart. I actually bought the sheet music for that song way back when, and could sort of play it on the piano. I thought I was so cool.) We walked in, had to wait about 20 minutes, and then she took us back to her chair. She was really nice. I told her what I wanted, and she did exactly what I said. She put a cartoon on for Ryder an…

Is it Over?

I think the person who cuts my hair is trying to break up with me! Maybe I'm being paranoid, maybe I'm over-analyzing it; I hope that's the case. I've called her many times over that past couple of weeks and she never picks up. She usually sees my number on her caller ID and returns my call within a day, but I haven't heard from her at all this time. A bit suspicious. I thought maybe she was on vacation, but then I saw her at church. I've been racking my brain trying to think if we did something wrong on our last appointment, but I can't think of anything. I've always paid her well, the kids love going there. Asher only squirted her once with the sink sprayer, and that was awhile ago; I'm sure she's gotten over that.

She's been cutting our hair for like 10 years. If she is breaking things off, wouldn't a decade-long relationship warrant a face-to-face break-up rather than this? Don't I deserve better? I'm a bit torn. Each time I c…

Self-Service Blood Donation---A Good Idea?

Last night I had an interesting dream. I went to the post office and noticed they had a self-service kiosk setup for donating blood. I missed my last blood drive, so I figured now was my chance. I sat down, pushed a couple of buttons and a blood bag appeared. Then, similar to those automatic coffee machines, it filled up with some type of red gel. I figured this was the preservative. It was very cool. I grabbed a donating kit, and the blood bag and walked over to a table to begin. I pulled out a tiny piece of paper with a few instructions. There wasn't any antiseptic, but I found a couple of wet-naps on the floor and used those to sterilize my arm. I felt so medical; it was great! The instructions then said to use a safety pin to poke a hole. There wasn't a safety pin in the kit, but there was a big yellow pencil. It looked like it had been sharpened by a beaver. It was the sharpest thing I could find, so I decided that it would have to do. I looked at my arm, found a vein, a…

Buyer's Remorse

Here is a list of purchases that I have never regretted (at least not yet; there's always time for regret)
King Size bed (why didn't we buy this sooner?)
50" Plasma TV (Who needs to go to the movies now?)
The Pilot (It may not look pretty, but at least it's not a mini-van!)
Bicycles (They all get used and abused---in a good way)
Bread Maker (Who said making bread was hard?)
A really nice cheese grater (totally worth it, no more grated knuckles)
Here's the list of purchases that I have since come to regret.
Siding through K-Designers (love the siding, but regret falling for the over priced, super-high pressure sales...hence the current the 'No Soliciting' sign on our front door)Rolling Kitchen Island (we only use it to stack crap on, like we need more places for that!)Nearly white carpet (It sure isn't nearly white anymore; more like a rustic, mottled gray)Treadmill and the stepper before that (I will never use exercise equipment at home; when will I ever learn…

My Latest Great Idea!

Okay, this is huge. Are you ready? This idea could change the world. Or at least America. Or at least all the snack lovers out there. You know the chips in the potato chip bag that are folded over? How about a bag of nothing but fold-over chips? I was going to post a picture of said chip, but I, uh, ate it before I had a chance to photograph it. Can you deny that the fold-overs are the best of the possible potato chip experiences? In our house, we all pick through the bag and pull out the fold-overs. Last night, I was fighting with my son over some prime fold-over chips. With a bag full of fold-overs, we wouldn't have to pick through, or fight over, potato chips anymore!

I went to the Lay's website to email my great idea to them, but it turns out they, just like the M&M/Mars people, don't accept ideas from people like me. I guess it has something to do with the idea-submitters wanting a piece of the profit. But I wouldn't want a piece of their profit, just the oppor…

Where am I suppose to shop?

I'm perplexed. Not again, but still. Where should I be shopping for clothes these days? It seems I have two choices: skanky-looking teenager clothes (hee, hee, don't you just love the word "skanky"?) or old lady clothes. By skanky-looking teenager clothes, I'm talking about super-tight shirts that make me look like an overstuffed sausage and teeny, tiny skirts that probably only look good on Barbie dolls. And by old-lady clothes, I'm talking about stuff like sweat shirts with little bears and daises sewn on them.

For the past few years, I've been shopping at Aeropostale a lot, mainly because their stuff is so darn cheap! But lately, I've felt very conspicious amongst the teeny boppers in there. When I went to their website the other day, instead of having links to the 'Women' and 'Men' sections, they have links to the 'Boys' and 'Girls' sections. That just doesn't feel right.

I went to American Eagle two weeks ago; t…

The Utah State Fair: A Poor Man's Disneyland?

Every couple of years or so I get the hankerin' for a good old fashion state fair. It's hard to resist the lure of deep-fried foods, farm animals, and carnies all packed into one convenient location! And did you see that commercial for the deep-fried peanut butter sandwiches? That looked like some serious cutting edge deep-fried cookery that I simply HAD to check out.

As we walked into the fair grounds, the kids looked around with awe and excitement.

Then my oldest exclaimed, "Is this Disneyland?!?"

I paused, and had all these crazy thoughts go through my head when he asked that. If I said yes, then think of all the money we would save! We could go to "Disneyland" every year for only $56.00!. We would save thousands of dollars! Then I imagined the Disneyland conversations the kids would have with their friends over the years and laughed.

"Did you meet Mickey and ride Space Mountain?" their friends would ask.

"Uh, no...we must have missed that. We…