Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How do you describe a really good cake?

I can't remember when it all started. Perhaps it was when I was 6 and learned the "oi" sound. Perhaps it was when I reached the pubescent age . . . and so did my friends and classmates and there were odiferous emissions from certain teenage body parts. Maybe it was when I had time to think about things that really bug me. I s'pose when doesn't really matter, but somewhere along the line I discovered I really hate the world "MOIST."

Ew. Just writing it makes me cringe. Really. I kinda vomit a little in my mouth any time I hear someone say it. And let me explain why.

Words have meaning. The word moist means: damp, humid, soggy, wet, clammy, tacky. Fine. There is a couple of situations were "moist" is appropriate and it doesn't really offend me. For example: the weather. Sometimes there is moisture in the air and it is fine to note so (like the time one of our friends said during the church opening prayer for my benefit, "We thank the for the moist . . . for the moisture." And yes, I shuddered when he said moist, but conceded that his use of moisture was appropriate considering the summer monsoons we had been having that year.) Another time when "moist" is fitting: when talking about dark, dank places . . . and that could mean bodily places OR creepy, icky basements. I mean, really, people. We all know crotches, armpits, and basement corners are "moist." Gross, right!? Nothing good comes with the word moist. Moist underwear = bad. Moist carpet = vomit. Moist shower = mold. Moist armpits = humidity. Moist air = rain (okay, I already said this one isn't as offensive, but still.) It's not a word we should say.

BUT WE DO!!! If we can all agree on the meaning of "moist," then why do people insist on calling food "moist"? There are plenty of words to describe a really delicious cake. There ya go, I just gave you a replacement word, "delicious." or "decadent." or "delightful." (It doesn't have to start with a "d" either.) If a cake is good, we all know it's good tasting AND the texture is great. We don't have to differentiate. When's the last time you had a cake that was good enough to make you comment, "This cake is SOO good; I think this cake is perfect; I am normally not a cake person, but I would eat this whole thing; BUT THE CAKE IS FALLING APART DRY." !!!!???? You don't say that EV-VER!! Let the "This cake is SOO good; I think this cake is perfect; I am normally not a cake person, but I could eat this whole thing" stand alone. Why must people then say, "AND THE CAKE IS SO MOIST!" ???????? That is like an oxymoron. A cake is not moist. Because a soggy, damp, tacky cake would be NASTY. As nasty as the word MOIST.

Anyway, this aversion to the "M" word is a common known issue with me. So much so that my friends Leslie and Melissa thought it would be worth their money to purchase this beauty from their local Walgreens:

And yes, Melissa tied a ribbon around it a la Relief Society. That's how you know you have good friends. They buy you stuff that they know will make you gag and then literally present it at family history club. I love 'em.

{And PLEASE do not let me go on about the disgusting nature of this dog treat. Puke Me People!} I know I'm not alone in this. I can't be. In fact, when pressed on this issue, I have never had someone tell me a way to use the word "moist" that explains something good . . . logically. Like I said, CAKE should NOT be described as MOIST because of what MOIST really means. (Anyone work for Duncan Hines . . . I think they have a moist brand of cake mixes.) Can anyone tell me of anything good that is moist? Anyone? Crickets? Thank you! Let's stop this nonsense. Nast. Nasty. {{Shiver}}

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Won't you be my neighbor?

There is a private drive located off of Pecos, I believe (here in Vegas) and I remember driving by it in my brother-in-law's red mini van (when we were younger; before he was my BIL). There were maybe 6 or 7 houses on this gated street and we'd all talk about how cool it would be to grow up and live on that street with your best friends living right next door. (Of course Kevin always called dibs on the big house at the end of the street.)

Seriously! Do you ever pretend you could design your own street/neighborhood/ward of people you REALLY like and want to be closer to? Sometimes I think it'd be WONDERFUL to have a neighborhood where my kids could run free and have an assundry of friends to pick from who live RIGHT NEXT DOOR. A neighborhood kinda like Leave it To Beaver where the kids could play baseball in the street and the neighbors would think it was cute and fun to have the kids in the front; not bugged that they were playing outside. I know not everyone's perfect, but in my neighborhood we'd love everyone complete with their flaws and it's ALL GOOD. Trust me, I'm imagining quite the dynamic neighborhood of goodness. Probably a little reminiscent of the old Burley neighborhood I grew up in, but with my peeps (however the Nelson clan is good peeps, so they'd probably be invited to my 'hood.) I dunno, a neighborhood where my kids would have some options when they want to "run away" or when I angrily kick them out the front door for being so stinkin' onry. It'd be great to know they'll end up at Barb's or Nancee's or Chris' or my sister's house and not picked up by some random stranger who'd report me to social services.

I would love this situation so then, when my friends have babies, they would come to their homes right around the corner from my house and I could run over to their house and hold their baby while they shower OR call and say, "send your other kid(s) over here for the day while you nap and sniff your new baby." And then, in my dream neighborhood, I could help my friends more and share with them more and learn about them and their spouses more and appreciate them more and . . . basically soak in their goodnesses. When they'd have good news we'd ALL celebrate with goodies, but then we could all work out together the next morning since my neighborhood would have miles of wonderful walking paths where we could burn of calories whilst we counsel each other. One of the best parts would be seeing my friends from college become friends with the gals I love in my current ward. OR my old ward friends really getting along with my family. And if, heaven forbid, there'd be a tragedy we could support and help each other. Because I, for one, have a ton of wheat for when the world falls apart and a generator big enough to run our house's power, but I KNOW in my dream neighborhood SOMEONE would share their water with me. (AND B.T.W., thanks Mindy for the water barrel heads up at Wal-Mart . . .you may now be invited to my 'hood!)

Then, as time goes by, our little kids would transition to teenagers and we moms and dads could be a team of cool, loving, stern, but fun adults for all our kids. And the kids could all date each other (or just hang out if they want) and I'd be excited just at the prospect that I could be actually related to some of my friends if our kids actually married [totally after missions and college, etc.]! (OBVIOUSLY I'd want some family to be in my neighborhood, but feel I should make it clear that I would not think the relatives dating would be so cool; that would be incest-y and that's gross. Plus I'm already related to the relatives, so no need to be all excited that we could be more related . . . anyway, you know what I mean. My kids dating my friends kids = cute.) Trust me, I know this neighborhood would be fun. Totally compound-ish, maybe, BUT we'd all love it so much I think we'd even want to vacation together too! Don't get me started on those plans.

Not that I even think the neighborhood would be perfect. I'm sure there'd be sorrow and struggles and problems, BUT I know these people are the best out there and my neighborhood would rally around each other. We'd lift each other up. We could help, not hurt. We'd laugh, oh my gosh! We'd laugh ourselves skinny because my peeps are funny. Like, it'd be funny to hear someone else yell at their kids through their shut windows or as their loading their kids into the car for church. It'd be a community when you could yell, "SERIOUSLY I will beat you bloody if you poke your star wars character into your sister's scriptures again!" and those who heard you would either wave like you hadn't just threatened physical violence OR shout a back up threat just to help you out. I'm telling you people, it'd be fun. Don't you think? C'mon, don't you want to be a neighbor? How could it be much better?

Wonderful Women Wednesday

The other day as I was thinking, I thunked, "I should record something about the various women who've impacted my life." There's lots of men, too, but particularly women who have affected me and changed the course of my life. Mostly I am grateful for them. Generally, I'm pretty sure that my "experiences" with them have barely blipped on their radar. In an effort, though, to record more of my thunking, I think I'll try and use Wednesdays to reflect on some of those women. There will be no particular order to my thoughts (I know, not a big shocker there), so please nobody take offense if I don't get a chance to acknowledge your contribution in my life until the year 2056. (And yes, to Tyler's chagrin, I hope to be blogging when I'm that old.)

Tonight I'd like to thank the blond woman who dropped her kids off at the precise moment I dropped my kids off about two and a half years ago at LVAC's gym. I don't know her name. I only talked to her that one morning and perhaps one other time in a brief passing in the locker room, but somehow I felt we were kindred spirits. I was in a particular funk about my body and my overwhelming ONLY-A-MOM life with four small kids, saggy boobs, and a big butt as my main accomplishments. Since we had been religiously been paying on my gym membership, but had only used my membership about ten times in two years, I thought I'd work up the gumption to try it again. BUT, of course, getting my three kids TO the gym was a huge feat; having it go flawlessly was another story. Brock, at the time a baby, was not so into the random strangers who took him from his mother's flabby arms and he was scream/crying as I walked out of the daycare door to walk to the members' entrance.

I must have sighed or something. Maybe I was crying, or fighting back the tears, at least. I probably had peanut butter wiped across my forehead or a cheerio smashed on my backside. Somehow I projected a neediness to this blond, fit, shorter-than-me (but, really, who isn't) mom. She had a gym bag over her shoulder and I remember the compassion that lathered over me when she asked, "Is this his first time to the daycare here?" Kinda caught off guard I just volunteered our entire gym history (which, remember, it was pretty short). I think I finished with something like, "It's just so hard and I need it to be easy," and she said these life-changing words, "Okay, what you do is the next time you're at Wal-Mart get yourself a lock. Then pack a gym back with everything you'd need to shower and get cleaned up. You can book that daycare for two hours, so spend your first hour working out and then go get showered and cleaned up for the day. At least this way you know they're not opening up everything in your pantry while you're trying to get cleaned up."

For some reason her advice resonated with me and my experiences at the gym became vastly better. Sure, Brock still cried and sometimes I forgot to make the appointment or something annoying like a poopy diaper pulled me away from my workout. BUT more often then not I could go workout and get changed and ready for my day. It wasn't that what she said was profound, but her calm, together attitude really influenced me to see that it was possible to take care of my kids AND to take care of myself.

So, thanks, lady. I don't know who you are and I could be blow drying my hair right next to you and I probably wouldn't even know, but I'm grateful for you speaking to a completely frazzled stranger. And yes, more often then not I will pack my gym back and get it all done before I have to go be ONLY-A-MOM (still with saggy boobs, but with less of a butt . . . thanks to HER!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Baby making season

Just thought I'd share this little moment from yesterday's car ride home after church. I asked Mackenzie if they sang to her in primary since her birthday is this week. She said they did sing to her and some of the adults had commented that it must be a busy week at our house since they had already sung to Caylee in Jr. primary which meant two birthdays in our family this week. Mackenzie then told me she explained that her and Caylee's birthdays are three days apart in May and then Brevin's and Brock's are three days apart in September. She seemed pretty pleased with herself for sharing all that with the Sr. primary so then I told her she needed to conclude (the next time that subject ever came up) that "my mom is just super organized like that." She kinda nodded and grinned at that statement. Then I said, "or you could just tell everyone that your mom only makes babies two times a year." Mackenzie hardly ever blushes, but apparantly Mom randomly bringing up reproduction on the car ride home from church does the trick. The we got a pretty good case of the giggles. Can't wait for next year when we can talk about the "maturation" course she gets!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I know, it's a shocker. I am actually blogging. But here's the rub; I will not be blogging about much of substance. Blech. I know. You might as well go check someone else's blog. There's plenty clever, witty, inspiring things out there on the internet and I LOVE them. However, I'm finding that it gives me a bit of a blogging complex if I don't have pictures or links or, heaven forbid, a super positive thing to say.

So, here's my deal. EVERY time I open my computer to "do" something I have all these choices I have to make. Email? Girls' camp program writing? Mackenzie's decade scrapbook? Blogging? Facebooking? Facebook album updating? Facebook discussion group threading? Picture organizing? Online ordering? AAAHHHHH! The pressure, I tell you. I have a lot to write about, just for record-keepings sake. I have super cute pictures I'd love to share. I also have a scrapbook project I need to finish before Mackenzie's 10th birthday (which would be WEDNESDAY!) and today, since it was mother's day and all, I busted out an old scrapbook project I was working on for Tyler's mom. I am on to myself, though, I know all my "projects" are ways of procrastinating. And what REALLY annoys me about myself is that I have all the normal stuff to do like laundry and dishes and cleaning and tending to the offspring and to do that leaves me with this impending doom-ish feeling of all the "projects" I have to get done. Yes, those projects that I have created for myself. It's weird and messed up, I realize that. Here's the real doosie, though. I cannot stay off facebook. PLEASE my people. I am about to ground myself for a week from facebook, but I know I will "sneak" a peak here and there. The brain-numbing act of reading status updates has me completely hooked. Oh, dear, and if there be a thread of funny comments or anything, I'm a gonner. SOOO, then I'm really behind. All of this entire previous paragraph has probably been a lot of "waaa waa waa waa waa waa." Sorry. Workin' it out. Aren't you sorry you didn't click on someone more clever already?

Not that I should sound like I am complaining, because, let's face it, my laptop is supposed to be fun, a luxery even, and compared to the other travesties going on in the world, I have it pretty cush. However, sitting in front of my laptop tonight, perusing all the super sweet facebook Mother's Day wishes and then reading the make-me-weep posts on others' blogs I realized two things: 1. Sometimes Mother's Day is crappy. I mean, it can start out great and it can be muddled through and faked through, but then, by the end of it, one can be in a pretty funked out place about the whole holiday and 2. I have completely whacked out expectations, which is a bad habit to have in the first place, but add some hormones into it all and VOILA I have a good dose of anxiety. And I'm blaming it all on my Laptop.