Is this the best ice cream in the world?

Yes. Yes it is.


I've been in a bit of a rut lately and have somehow gotten out of the habit of writing out my to-do lists. The results have been predictable: I haven't accomplished nearly the amount of things that I want/need to accomplish on a daily basis.

Last night I decided that this had to come to an end so I sat down and wrote out an extensive to-do list for today and tada: I finished the entire list by 4:00 pm. (Okay, not the entire list. Go to book club and say my nightly prayers are still on the list but they are kind of time sensitive) How on earth did I forget the power of The List? Also, it would appear that I need longer even more extensive lists.

On a side (and completely non-related) topic. It really bugs me that my local "oldies" station thinks that 80s music now qualifies as "oldies". Way to make me feel old this morning!!! Clearly I never should have switched over from NPR. They never make me feel old--occasionally depressed or sad at the state of our world (hence the need for some happy oldies music) but never old.



I spent a lovely weekend watching the 7 episodes of the lovely miniseries Cranford. I highly recommend this on to you--especially if you love BBC period dramas such North and South (not the Patrick Swayze one) or any Jane Austen adaptation. Here is my favorite quote from the series:

Men! They're all the same! They know everything about everything save when it is to happen and how it can be stopped. My father was a man; I think I understand the sex.



In our lovely economic climate we have all heard about the new hot thing in vacation planning: The Staycation. This is where you stay put (or don't travel far) and take advantage of the fabulous things in your own neighborhoods, cities, or area--those things that you always think you need to go see/do but never seem to get around to it (for me it is visiting Timpanogos Cave--never done it). Well for those of you who are nearby, here is a gentle reminder/idea for your September staycation:

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival and so they have created a truly incredible lineup of tellers and events. If you have never been this is definitely the year to come.

Date: September 5-7, 2009
Time: Both day and evening events; see website for further information
Place: MT. Timpanogos Park (up Provo canyon)

Let me know if you need some direction on who to see and I will steer you in the direction of the very best (in my humble opinion) of the best.

Also, although I've said it before I'll say it again: this is not story time at your local library. People of all ages will thoroughly enjoy this type of storytelling. In fact, I think children probably often don't fully appreciate the stories--although they are of course fully family friendly.



Thanks to everyone who passed on some great advice on how not to get leg cramps. I am leg cramp free for nearly a week now!

I'd like to continuing the conversation of getting old--or more specifically I'd like to talk about the conversations that are currently taking place in my family as opposed to the conversations that once took place.

My family (as many of you can attest too) is not much for talking. Sure once you get to know us individually we can open up as good or nearly as good as anyone but first impressions of my family often include words like quiet and shy. Still, the "not much for talking" description of my family is generally a good one and that even goes for amongst ourselves. My family isn't one of those families who sits down on a regular basis to talk about what everyone thinks or what everyone is doing. My mom was once taken to the emergency room and it was years before I ever knew about (despite the fact that I was living at home during the incident). We just don't share.

We are required, though, to check in on a regular basis once we move out (this usually means a call on Sunday night if we are out of state or out of the country) but since we are not a really chatty family our conversations would often deteriorate into questions about the weather (all of my sisters are laughing right now because of how very true this statement is). Lately I have noticed that as we have aged and as our life circumstances are changing the weather questions have dropped off entirely. Into their place have fallen these fun new phone conversation gems:

"You went pee pee in the potty? You are such a big girl."

"She goes pee pee in the potty but still won't poop in the potty."

"Are you going to go poo poo in the potty today? You are? You are such a big girl."

"She pooped on the carpet"

Growing up is fun! fun! fun!


Getting Old

I love British sitcoms. I love the humor. They are not for everyone, but they are definitely for me! There is one in particular that I love called "As Time Goes By." Here is the basic plot according to IMDB:

Lionel and Jean were lovers many years ago at the time of the Korean War. They are separated by a misunderstanding but meet again by chance when Lionel needs a secretary from Jean's firm. He takes her daughter, Judy, out on a date and discovers she is Jean's daughter. The two reunite and fall back in love.

Well, as they reconnect when both of them are considerably older some of the humor revolves around getting old. In one particular episode that I saw recently on my local PBS station the character played by Palmer suffers throughout the episode with painful leg cramps.

This was all well and good while I watched it. I thought it was funny. Well, leg cramps as a humor device became infinitely less funny to me when I was painful awakened by a leg cramp in the middle of the night--I mean really painful. Painful like I jumped up out of bed from a deep sleep to try to save myself painful.

And so I am getting old and am starting to have painful leg cramps and I have a gray hair and I don't at all care for the Jonas Brothers--although that last one may have more to do with good taste than with the fact that I am getting old or at least older.


A Glimpse

I thought on this fine Friday I would share a small glimpse into my Internet world. Lately I've been fascinated with the way in which Internet Explorer tracks my use of the Internet. So far I've found it to be very useful and interesting--I'm ignoring the possible scary implications.

Here is what I have found:

My top visited sites (when opening a new tab) are:

10. Ancestry.com
9. Google
7. Amazon.com
6. YouTube
5. FaceBook
4. All Recipes
3. Goodreads
2. Gmail
1. My Blog

My recent bookmarks are:

So there you have it a (perhaps not very interesting to you) look into my Internet habits. The thing I love best about this is watching the new-tab rankings change ever so slightly as my different interests show their faces. Fortunately it doesn't mention how long I stay at any of these websites. It also doesn't track all the sites I visit when I open a new page otherwise my local library would feature as no. 1 and several of your blogs would also make prime showings.


The Great Office War

This fab video comes courtesy of the same folks who did One Semester of Spanish Love Song (Run Away Box) (see below) and was also too good not to post.

I'm going to have to stop now because all the fun is starting to make it feel like Friday.

One Semester of Spanish Love Song

Science Teacher Mommy referred me to this video on YouTube and it was so very funny that I had to put it up for all to enjoy:


le francais ou francais

My fabulous local library--which I love almost more than anything--is wonderful in part because of all the free stuff it allows me access to. Obviously there are the books, the music, the magazines which I borrow/read all the time. There is also a reasonably wide variety of lectures, movie showings, author appearances, musical performances, etc. to choose from. But the free stuff doesn't stop there. They allow me free access to a large number of databases (education, literary, and not) and other Internet/computer programs. The one I have called you all here to discuss today is a nice little web-based program called Mango Languages which teaches me languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, ESL, or even Greek for free (there are 12 in total).

Once upon a time I took French classes and so I thought that I would try my hand at relearning everything that I immediately forgot after the final exam was completed. It has been a rather fun experiment and I feel that I am coming along in my French quite well (I can now order red or white wine in French! very useful for someone who doesn't actually drink red or white wine--perhaps learning how to refuse red or white wine will come next). A couple of the things that I like most about the program is that there is a lot of review as you progress and, in addition to teaching you what a phrase actually means, they teach you what phrases literally mean.

There is of course the problem of not having a teacher in the room to answer my many, many questions but I figure that is, in part, what blogs are for, right? So blogging world here is my French language question:

When speaking about speaking French (or English or Spanish, etc.) why am I sometimes instructed to use "le francais" and sometimes instructed to use just "francais?" When speaking about speaking anglais and espagnol I never seem to be instructed to use le or la but I am when I am speaking about speaking protugais. What is the rule?

Here are some examples from the program:

Vous parles tres bien le francais.

Parlez-vous anglais?

Je parle anglais et espagnol.

Je parle uniquement anglais et un peu francais.

Tu parle tres bien francais.

J'apprends le francais avec un super site web Mango Languages.

Je parle et je comprends un peu le portugais.

Help me please.



I love movie trailers. I can't stand the commercials they play before a movie begins in the theaters, but I would be truly sad if I missed the movie trailers. I don't love them because they tell me what excellent movie selections I have in the coming months because, let's face it, far too often the trailer is better than the movie itself. I love them for the possibility of a great movie--or at least because they give me enough of a tease that I can recreate that great movie in my imagination.

It is best to see movie trailers in movie theaters because it is only in the theaters that the trailers are hand selected for the type of movie they will be preceding. For example: if you are going to see a romantic comedy you can expect to see trailers for other upcoming romantic comedies with a few family-friendly movies thrown into the mix. Watching trailers on a dvd before your movie begins is far less targeted because the movie company is trying to sell you on other films they have made not necessarily other movies that might appeal to you based on your current movie selection--not that you don't know all this for yourself of course I'm just trying to set you up for my most recent movie going experience.

Last week I went to the theaters to see Sandra Bullock's latest:
The Proposal. Now this post could be about how I did enjoy (for the most part) the movie--if you liked While You Were Sleeping you will probably like this one as there are some strong similarities between the two movies. This post isn't about why Hollywood insists on placing crude scenes in otherwise enjoyable movies in an unnecessary attempt to be funny. This post isn't even about the elderly man sitting next to me who kept tossing a bag in his hand while giving play-by-play commentary to his wife who was presumably deaf and blind. No, as you, I'm sure, have guessed this post is about the teasers that were presented.

All was going along fine. The first 2 or 3 trailers provided me with the kind of trailers I was looking for: romantic comedies. And several of them looked rather promising. And then. Out of nowhere. Up popped the trailer for a movie called
Shutter Island. Have you seen this trailer? It is not a romantic comedy. From the looks of it it is a creepy, suspenseful movie along the same lines of The Ring--only it appears to be of very good quality. This is not the type of trailer I want to see before a Sandra Bullock movie. This is not even the type of movie I will ever see. What followed afterward were a series of "comedic" movies that involved men getting hit by golf balls or lit on fire.

I have this one thing to say to movie theaters out there: do not take away my romantic comedy trailers when I am seeing a romantic comedy movie (or drama trailers when I am seeing a drama, etc). If I were interested in creepy movies I would be in a theater showing a creepy movie and could then hear and see upcoming previews of more creepy movies. Okay? Okay. And what will I do if you don't follow my directions on this matter you ask? Well, my friendly movie theater, there are these theaters popping up all over the place that sell assigned seating. This means that I can purchase my movie ticket in advance and wait until the very moment the movie is about to begin to take my seat thereby skipping all of those horrible commercials and your misguided trailers. I have power and you best remember that.

Okay, mini tirade done. There was one trailer shown that night that was particularly interesting:
Julia and Julie. I've heard bits and pieces about this movie but all I thought of it before was why would I want to watch a movie about Julia Child. Well this trailer convinced me that I do:

I hope it is good.


I Heart Lists

Here is another free printable goodie for you to download. And how cute is it? I especially love the to market to market piggies. Head here for the download or head here to read the designers blog.

picture here.

The Help

I thought rather than saving up a list of fabulous books I'm reading to make one longish post I would start telling you about them as I read them.

I Recently finished reading Kathryn Stocketts' wonderful novel The Help and since then have been telling everyone that they must read it. Now I am telling you that you must read this book. It takes place in 1960s Jackson, Mississippi and is told from the point of view of three women (one recent college grad who is white and two African Americans who work as housekeepers/nannies in white homes) and their impact on this civil rights' movement in Jackson. In addition to telling about the movement, Stockett paints such a very real picture of what it was like for many at that time period in the South that you will find yourself slipping effortlessly into the era. One of the things I found most remarkable and fascinating is the ability of Stockett to give each woman such a distinct (and lovely) voice. It really is a very good read that has already become one of my favorites.

Now I must get back to the book I'm currently reading: The Great Gatsby. Strangely every time I pick this book up I find myself falling to sleep (and it doesn't matter what time of day or if I am even tired). This isn't because the book is boring or difficult to read or that I am not enjoying it because it is really well written and I am loving it. In fact it is on its way to getting 5 out 5 stars from me and being put on my favorites list. Any explanations?


I'm Back

Sadly, though, I didn't actually go anywhere. These are my top 3 reasons for not blogging in over a week:

1. I was so distraught over the death of Michael Jackson (and Farrah Faucett and that infomercial guy) that I was bedridden with grief. It is quite fortunate that places like Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan have ceased to exist since MJ's death so as to allow so-called news channels to devote all of their time to his passing, will, children, etc. Strangely NPR seems to think that Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan do still exist.

2. I was depressed by the US Men's soccer loss on Sunday against Brazil. I was sad and actually maybe this would be a valid enough reason for me not posting on Monday. Overall I was so pleased by their performance and am looking forward to increased coverage of men's soccer.

3. I was an excellent facebooker last week and can't figure out how to balance facebooking and blogging and sadly blogging fell by the wayside. However, I have only been on Facebook once this week so the excuse is not entirely valid.

The real reason: I had some kind of posting error that kept preventing me from posting and like the idiot that I am it took me quite some time to figure out how to make the simple, simple fix.

But now I am back.