Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jed's totally into dress-up

Cool Dude - Jed trying on Momma's glasses. Uncle Clark declared he looks just like a rock star.

Jed loves running around with my pantyhose flung about his neck like a demented Frenchman. Then when he saw me putting a pair on for church he really really really wanted to wear some too! Dad wasn't around... so I happily obliged. He was thrilled and wore them for hours. He kept running his hands over my legs and then over his, giggling at the funny feel.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Local Election News

From the Evansville Courier Press

RABBIT HASH, KY - Following the death of its mayor, the small northern Kentucky town of Rabbit Hash is preparing to elect a new leader.

The only candidate so far is a border collie named Lucy Lou.

The situation isn't unusual for the Boone County town. The former mayor was a black labrador retriever named Junior Cochran, who died May 17 after serving since 2004.

. . .

According to the Web site http://www.rabbithash.com, candidates for the office may be humans or animals but not ducks or geese.

Voting will be online at www.rabbithashusa.com or at the Rabbit Hash General Store.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I am the luckiest man alive!

I don't know what I did to get them, but I sure don't know what I would do without them.


This morning I had the chance to tour the oldest power plant that my company owns. It has sat unused for decades, and the decision was made to decommission and tear it down. Right now they are in the process of pulling all of the asbestos out of it. It was absolutely fascinating to see how our power used to be produced, and to see how in some ways, the process hasn't changed at all.

Doors to the main furnace.

I just loved the double bell on this P.A. speaker. I wish they made things like this still.

This is in the basement. You would pull this lever to open the ash shoot.

On the board you can see the various towns and facilities that this power station served. Among my favorites are "S-16 Electric Shovel" and "Square Deal Coal Company".

One of the more modern turbines in this facility. It probably dates back to the mid to late 1930s.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Joyful Anniversary (warning: may be sappy)

Today we celebrate THREE fantastic years of marriage! Seven job changes, two graduations, five moves, three pot bellies and one child later, we're happier than ever. Life seems idyllic here, in our own little home nestled beneath the trees. The best moment of the day is always when Jed comes running through the kitchen, a HUGE smile on his face because Daddy is home! Michael peeks through the door window and makes faces, much gratified by the cries of "Hi! Da'ee! Hi! Da'ee!" He comes in and I throw my arms around him and life just seems better than possible. We may both be a little less fit and gray around the edges, I probably smell like sweat and garden, Jed has food, snot and mud smeared all over him, Michael looks exhausted and worn out, but somehow none of that matters at 5:15 PM. We are the luckiest family on earth. The Lord has taken us places we never expected, and blessed us beyond belief. Thanks for three great years, Darling Husband. I love you more than ever! Happy Anniversary.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Education In Zion born at last

At last! The Education in Zion Project, where I spent one very busy and blissful year between graduation and Jedster's birth, opens this weekend! I am terribly excited to see it, too bad I live several thousand miles away. Anyone want to go stop by and give me the full review?

(A few personal comments: Emily, isn't it a miracle!? Shiloh, my darling wonderful friend, I beg, plead, and cajole with my cutest most begging-ful face for you to post some cool photos or at least your own take on it! I know you're newly moved and in grad school but PLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAASE!?????)

You'll find the news release here and I did find a few photos:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Washington DC

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Recent News and Developments

Well, there aren't any, really. So I'll go ahead and waste precious minutes of your life by boring you with mundane details of our uneventful daily existence.

Michael took off for Washington DC last week, for a Usability Conference courtesy of Vectren. He attended two back to back sessions, which puts him halfway to his certification. He obviously had a terrible time, meeting smart and interesting people from around the world, bumming around the city taking photos, visiting the major sites, eating disgustingly gourmet food with his favorite cousin Amanda, hanging out at the Air and Space Museum... yeah, it was rough. Poor guy. He was happy to be home.

Meanwhile, Jeddy and I had a quiet week here at home. Turns out it isn't much fun to cook without anyone to cook for, so the two of us survived primarily on applesauce and muffins. Jed didn't mind that at all. That boy devours applesauce like nobody's business. I always try to feed him other food first, which he obligingly eats. But as soon as the applesauce comes out he's grunting with pleasure, smearing it all over his body with joyful abandon, using every possible utensil and body part to shove it in his mouth as quickly as possible. And when the bowl is empty, shouts and moans and gesticulating hands more moRE MORE MORE!!! I do use the unsweetened kind so I figure, hey, it's fruit, right? And I put kale in ou ten pound muffins so that counted as vegetables. No wonder I was so skinny in college, I thought applesauce and a muffin was a meal back then, too. Times have changed and so have I, at least in girth.

Meanwhile, I was bumming around the house painting Michael's chest of drawers blue (Funky. Love it.), attempting to wrest my garden back from the grass invasion (a losing battle but I've made some headway,) experimenting with green tomato pie (delicious!), practicing the piano for the first time in seven years , and working on an article for a BYU magazine (Such fun! I forget how much I miss writing.)

Speaking of which, I don't think I have mentioned that my darling wonderful fantastic adorable husband got me A PIANO for our third anniversary next week!!!! Wahoo!!! It's quite old, and in need of tuning, but makes a lovely addition to our living room. Most of you know I used to be quite the little ivory tickler but ever since my mission that talent has been sadly neglected. Now I'm resurrecting the scales and arpeggios (I still remember the circle of fifth scales, go me) and dusting off my old books. I've practiced every day and I am exceedingly proud of myself. I'm working on a couple of Chopin waltzes and a Bach Toccata. Sure, they sound clumsy and awful, particularly since the piano still hasn't been tuned and you can't even tell what note you're playing half the time, but I still find great pleasure in just feeling the music beneath my hands. I'll have to post a photo for you all sometime soon.

Yesterday, my crowing achievement was 7 quarts of crushed tomatoes canned from my very own garden! I've canned tomatoes before, and I've grown tomatoes before, but I've never actually canned my own. I pranced around the house with a smug-happy expression on my face all afternoon and Michael kindly fed my ego with exclamations of manly appreciation. What a guy. Love that man.

While I canned, Jed ran around the house gathering random objects, as he is wont to do. He likes to run with something clutched in each hand. I feel that my house is fairly well baby proofed, but he never ceases to amaze me with his finds. This time he appeared with:
1) a pocketknife
2) a pair of toenail clippers, opened, with which he banged my toes
3) a button pin with a nice sharp pokey part with which to impale himself
He ran by, waving his finds in the air, and then scampered off, shrieking wildly as I chased him down and traded him acceptable alternate objects (trucks, cars, trucks, etc.). I figured out later that he'd been raiding his dad's half-unpacked luggage. Sheesh. That kid. What talent. I should rent him out as a bomb sniffer for the airport.

So, there you have a really really really unnecessarily long recap of really nothing much at all. Talk about talent. Rambling is my gift!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bye bye Daddy!

A few weeks ago, after Michael left for work, Jed played for an hour or so while I did my morning chores. He kept making the same sounds over and over, and I didn't pay much attention. But then I stopped to listen, and I realized he was saying, "Bye-bye, daddy!" over and over in a high little falsetto voice. Here is the closest I could get to a sample (no video, just audio):

The best part is that every time he hears this played, even right now from across the kitchen in his high chair, he starts giggling and chuckling until his belly shakes. He thinks that his own voice sounds hilarious.

Note: Apparently the audio on this video is not working. I'm not sure why. We'll try again tomorrow. V

Monday, August 4, 2008

Breakfast with Jed

This morning I made myself a banana orange green smoothie. I offered some to Jed in his little suction cup bowl. Usually smoothie+suctioncupbowl+spoon=babyjoy but today he screwed up his little face in an expression that said, "Yuck, Mom I do NOT want to eat that for breakfast!" He tried to shove it away. I grabbed it before I broke the suction loose.

I grabbed a piece of bread I had out and put some peanut butter on it and slapped it in front of him. More screwing up of lips and waving of hands. So I took off the tray.

Finally, being the generous soul I am, I grabbed a bowl of applesauce left over from a late morning snack yesterday and stuck it in front of him. Ew! Yuck! Get it away!

Annoyed, I took all three and shoved them on the tray with the friendly but firm order "Eat, child!" He pointed forlornly at the ground. OHhhhhh, his truck, of course, we can't eat without the truck. So at last, with a breakfast buffet to choose from and a trusty truck in one hand and a baby spoon in the other, he let out a happy sigh of baby joy and dug in. Within moments, peanut butter, smoothie, and applesauce caked every square centimeter of exposed skin, and all was well with the world.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Becoming Famous

While riding on my wave of excitement at being quoted at blogher yesterday, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on becoming famous. As I see it, there are several ways of becoming famous on the internet.

1) Jumping on a bandwagon. Or a soapbox. Find some topic and just go nuts over it and everyday put all sorts of crazy stuff about that topic and start posting on other people's blogs about that topic and soon you're all interlinked and wah lah you are famous.

2) Be a Mormon related to half the state of Utah. Too bad this doesn't work in our case. We need more relatives.

3) Porn. We have learned this through an amusing recent experience. Usually we can check our feedjit and see that we get probably, oh, three hits an hour. Or less. But the other day, right after Michael put up the hog wrestling photos, we noticed that our stats were going NUTS! I mean, we were having some random person from Slovenia or Peru hitting here every TEN SECONDS! What the heck! Michael commented on this and then I noticed the title of his most recent post: "Find the Third Girl." Well, my darling darling clean minded spouse, that answers the question of why we are getting so many hits. So we renamed it something else entirely avoiding any references to multiple females annd.... nobody hit on us for an hour. Oh well. Our brief brush with fame turned to dust. All I can say is there were some pretty horribly disappointed dirty old Eastern European men that afternoon. hahahahahahahahahaha!

PS - Hey, look, I used the p*** word above. Wonder how many hits we'll get on THIS ONE? You sickos!

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Car Seat Ordeal

I saw that my recent post on the very good very bad day, and the car seat loss, was picked up by Mir Kamin over at blogher.com. So I figured I might as well fill you all in on the REST OF THE STORY.

So, it's 1 AM, we put the nasty awful disgusting rental seat in our nice clean car and head off for our hotel. Michael gave them all the next day to find our seat and call us, but no call. So the next morning we called them up and gave them our info. Nobody knew where the seat was, and they said that it hadn't been tagged properly so it was just floating around airport-world without any easy way to find it.

Later that day, we got a call. They'd found it. It was in Missoula and they would send it up to Kalispell that night and deliver it the next morning. We could trade it out for our rental and be done with it.

The next morning, still no car seat. Several dozen phone calls, and several days later, nobody has the faintest idea where it might be, but maybe it was rerouted to Salt Lake City (?!) from Missoula en route to Kalispell. They will keep looking.

Finally, on Thursday, the seat has been lost for almost a week. After a long line of useless employees, Michael found one that seemed to have a brain and kept her phone number. Amanda, the intelligent employee (and perhaps the ONLY one in existence), called us up and said that they didn't know where the seat was and it would take a while to find it. We had two options. 1) Go buy a new one. Gee, that's easy in Stevensville, MT. At the gas station? or 2) Keep theirs. When they found ours they would send it to us. So Michael asked the obvious question: So what if you never find ours? She said we could keep their dirt-cheap hair-covered piece of junk. Or work it through corporate and try to get our money back later.

We said thanks but no thanks. Michael took a whole morning of our vacation to make the hour drive to Missoula, drive around and try four different stores until he found the one acceptable car seat in the city, purchase it, and drive home.

When we checked in the next day, Amanda was extremely apologetic and put special priority tags on all our luggage. She was great and we were grateful for her help and we generally liked the new seat, even though the colors were reminiscent of, well, unsavory bodily fluids. We checked everything with a sigh of relief and went on our way.

We arrived in Louisville several hours later and waited at the luggage pickup. We found our bags. And waited. And waited.

You guessed it, they lost it AGAIN! Michael just about blew a sprocket.

Fortunately, this time they found it (in Chicago) and the seat was delivered the next day at 1 AM by an unfortunate employee who had to drive three hours just to get to our home. Sheesh, what an ordeal!

We have had a major piece of baby equipment lost or damaged every single flight this year. We've already gotten a brand new stroller (thank you Delta) and now a brand new car seat (thank you United!) And the airline companies wonder why they are always in the red?!!!

Marshmallow Warrior

Ever since the infamous and bloody Tarpit Massacre many years ago, The Marshmallow Shooter War has become a firmly established Camp Ground-doggie tradition. This year a whole bucket of pvc shooters awaited the hordes and all participated with much gusto (get it? Gust?!) Even Paloma terrorized with her dreaded Spit Missiles. We were all amazed, though, when the little ground-doggie yanked his mother's shooter from her hand, carefully placed a nasty spittle-and-dirt-enhanced marshmallow down the barrel, and put it up to his mouth for a well-placed shot. I guess the violent marshmallow murderous tendencies are deeply instinctive to the Dowdle Clan and Jed is no exception.