Deer Kralling…

Stop it with the lame titles, Whit-Bot… just STAHP!  Meanwhile, back on the lame farm… summer week 1200 ended with a jaunt up to Deer Valley/Park City because for Madre’s birthday I bought her a ticket to see Diana Krall play with the Utah Symphony.  Those who don’t know who the helium balloon Diana Krall is, get with the times!  She’s a jazz pianist/vocalist and I used to worship the songs she walked on because she has this deep/low range, which meant that I could totally reach the notes whilst singing her karaoke songs without having to transpose them down 12 keys.   “Peel Me A Grape” and “Frim Fram Sauce” anyone?  I rest my case.  Although, I was not happy that they chose not to do those songs at the concert.  I digress.

The thing about Deer Valley is that it’s first come, first serve, so if you don’t get in line the night before you might as well realize you’re going to be hiking to the top of the dagnabbed ski hill.  I couldn’t see her… period, end of story… but that was okay because my hearing is clogged from sticking transcription headphones in my ears every day… besides that fact I was too busy experiencing altitude sickness to care.  :P  That’s not true… the sickness part or the clogged ears part… but the altitude thing is real, folks!   By the by… the dude she had playing the violin for her was mad talent at scatting.  We left half of our dinner in the trunk of the car, but hell if we were going to hike back down to Logan to get it… I’d rather starve than hike back up the ski hill again… and let’s face it… look at me… I got a good 45 years before I’d be able to starve to death.

The older lady who was sitting in front of us with her husband and another couple had like a Mary Poppins magic bag of goodies… she kept pulling out food like she worked for Chuck-up-A-Rama on the weekends.  They had salad and sandwiches and 14 kinds of chips and cookies and cake and trail mix and wine (oh, there was wine), and pretty sure she pulled out a lasagna and half a pig she pit-roasted the night before.  We sat their drooling whilst our food was in the car.  I did hike down the hill and back up it to buy me a lemonade, but I didn’t realize they ruined it be putting mint in it until I got back to the top.  It tasted like I was at a hemp herbal yoga class.  Oh to be classy!

The next day we hung out in Park City pretending we were all coordinated enough to be bikers and hikers in the altitude.  Instead we sat in a park and watched the puffy clouds next to an old mining hospital built in 1904.

Didn’t see any ghosts of miners… but I did keep the peepers open just in case.  Instead some chics wearing sashes and crowns came over and asked us to take their pictures in several different poses and then an older lady carrying a knitting bag and a lawn chair sauntered over and asked me where the concert that started at 1:30 was.  Considering it was 1:29 and the only people in the park were the sash/crown ladies and us, I’m pretty sure she had the wrong location.  She decided to sit down and wait for the concert to start anyway.  Someone forgot to tell me to prepare some numbers… I have a feeling she was tres disappointed when she finally left the park that night… but on the bright side, maybe she finished her king-sized afghan.

On the way home, we had to stop off at the newest Trader Joe’s where I bought pickle-flavored popcorn… PICKLES!  And then I had to go out of the way to hit up a place called Mem’s Fruit Truck.  It’s totally on the wrong side of town, North Salt Lake business district, but holy worth it!  It’s a bag of freshest of the fresh fruit with lime juice and a chili flavoring.  Chili spice on fruit!?!?  Totally weird… but it was holy night dee-vine!  It just brought out the flavor of the fruit.  Now, how do I get them to move up this way so I can buy one every day?

Cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, mangoes, cucumbers (I know), jicama, and coconut!   Run, do not walk to Mem’s on Redwood Road!  WERTH IT!

In other news, does anyone want to follow me around with a frim frammed baseball bat and whap me upside the head every time I decide to eat my anxiety and feelings away?  I’m feeling kind of stuck and out of control and annoyed and overall frustrated with myself.  This too shall pass… as they say… but in the meantime, I’m going to need to buy a strait jacket.

What did you all do this weekend?  Happy back to school week for a lot of you mothers out there!  :P

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Treble Without A Cause…

I slay me with these titles… don’t call me, I’ll call you!  This week has been quite the mover and shaker said the 80-year-old woman at the sock hop.  No time to sit around dithering at my preferred activity of plucking nostril hairs this week, no siree claudette.  There were things to be done and places to go!  Madre and I were involved in the backing choir when a certain member of the Celtic Women came from Ireland to put on a concert in lil’ ole Cache Valley, Utah.  Madre was in charge of wrangling up the choir and supposedly the requirements for folks who could be in said choir were strictly enforced… aka you couldn’t have gold eyes or like sardines.  Phewf… totally passed both of those requirements.  We started practicing as a choir in June… and were able to finally have our very first rehearsal with the Irish talent, Alex Sharpe, a week ago when she flew in to prepare for the 2-night event.  Alex was as sweet as sweet can be… very humble and down to Earth and was insistent on sharing the spotlight with everyone (and believe you me, some people took advantage of that fact.)

There was other talent too.  Brett Pruneau is an up and coming singer who right now is headlining shows in Las Vegas, Steve Young is an accomplished pianist/organist/arranger (it was he who was responsible for putting this all together), John Knudson, an accomplished violinist having lived in Washington DC and performed for presidential inaugurations and other celebrity shindigs, and Ryan Olsen, an accomplished tenor vocalist (fun fact… he is the nephew of famed football star and “Little House on the Prairie” actor, Merlin Olsen).  There was that shindig to practice for, and there were a lot of moving parts with a lot of different singer/musician involvement.

Photo courtesy of Weston Lee Allen (Ignore the blob on the 2nd row who looks like she’s drooling out the sides of her mouth… she must have been dreaming about chocolate cake).  There was also an orchestra ensemble and an entire children’s choir.  If you’d like to see more pictures (coughcoughMADREcoughcough) check out the Salt Lake Tribune’s coverage. The music was wide ranging… hymns, Disney medlies (including “Feed the Birds”), broadway numbers (including “Bring Him Home” from Les Mis), pop hits, opera, etc.  Lots of talented folk up there.  I was blessed to get to be a part of it… thanks to my hatred of sardines for making this possible.

Alex and Brett courtesy of Brett Pruneau’s Instagram account.

The performance was 2 nights… but Madre and I were trebles without a cause and had to skip the 2nd night due to prior commitments.  Long before they’d set an actual date for this shindig, we bought tickets to see Pentatonix and Kelly Clarkson in the land of congested traffic jams!  We discretely blended in with the pipe organs the first night and then didn’t show up the 2nd night and no one even knew the difference!  Plumpomatic 2000!  I’m sure had they asked me to do a glockenspiel solo, it would have been a different story.  You don’t forget the glockenspiel lady!  (side note before I get any booking requests, I do not play the glockenspiel… it was a bad joke).

I wrestled with whether to skip out on the second night for months and had almost decided to bag the Kelly Clarkson concert and finish out the concert we’d been practicing for, but my cheap wadness and hatred of wasting money won out.  The Pentatonix/Clarkson concert was the bomb diggity and definitely worth the traffic jam afterwards where we sat in the parking lot in the car for an hour before we finally moved an inch.  That’s called a Heinz Ketchup Bottle Neck if there ever was one!

We had pretty stellar seats… and that is exactly why every picture I ever took looks like an angelic blob of light descended into my camera lens.  This is as good as it gets!

For kicks and giggles, here’s BOTH Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix singing together… they rocked!

There’s my run-in with actual rebellion… said no one who’s ever been to prison before.  How was y’all’s weekend?

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Criminal Trespassing…

There are a lot of things I could blog about this past week.  Activities galore happened up in this joint.  There was the fundraising comedy night for a sweet little girl with cancer where my friend and I got heckled by the comedian for sitting in the wrong place.  I’ve never been heckled by a comedian before… twas tres hee-larious!  I probably would have been uncessarily totally mortified as a teenager, but it’s funny how maturity totally makes you not even care.

There was choir practice for our upcoming big concert with Alex Sharpe (from Celtic Women fame) wherein I sat for 10 minutes while the orchestra played “Feed the Birds” wondering where I’d heard the song before!?  Oh my Alzheimer’s disease, Gertle!

There was my madre’s birthday shindig where I touched actual raw chicken, gloveless, like a boss whilst making dinner.  I still shiver to think about it… dead poultry in my hands!!!  After which I washed them for 30 minutes straight in scalding water.  Et tu, Chicken!?

Thank you for madre’s birthday brownies sweet Tara and family!  We had double dessert with my grilled pound cake with ice cream and raspberry sauce.  Happy Birthday to my favorite Madre!!  She who taught me everything I know and everything I think I know but really don’t!  I hope this year brings you many more fond and happy memories!

There was the annual sleepover extravaganza 2015 with Makayla and Corbin wherein we criminally trespassed onto a miniature golf course and then waded waste deep in deer, bird, and bug sewage in the backyard canal.  Oh summer…   Back to the criminal trespassing.  It’s a tradition that we go to my favorite old (and I mean OLD) miniature golf course.  A place I’ve been going since I was a kid.  It used to be kept up and had all sorts of fun elements.  As the years went on, it got more and more rundown and less and less kept up.  Last year when we went, it was still open, but it was self-serve and pretty crapified looking.  This year when we arrived, the gate was all locked up and everything was in shambles.  It looked like post nuclear bomb crap in that joint.  We were a little disappointed, until I found an opening in the fence next to a live wasp nest where all I had to do was remove the chain that was wrapped around holding the fence together and we were in!  Voila!  Try to keep me out… I graduated from the school of breaking and entering… and there wasn’t even any chocolate to get to on the other side!

This picture was last August 2014’s sleepover extravaganza.  At least they had a totem pole then… and golf balls.

This year, 2015 there was this:

Nasa’s missing a rocket.  Also, they only had one golf ball… ONE… and so Makayla had to golf with a crab apple.  I’m telling you… I bring the ghet to the word Ghetto!  We went to the Minions movie instead… a foreign film without subtitles!  :P  You’ll only get that if you’ve seen the movie.   The night also included our traditional jaunt to McDonald’s, Ryan’s Place Park, and Island Market!

The next morning, they were supposed to go fishing at the fish farm, but when they arrived there it was closed until noon, so instead they came home and waded through the backyard canal full of all sorts of pleasant dirt and animal waste.  To get into the canal, we had to go down by the bridge where it was a bit shallower.  The bridge is on the road, and after half an hour of supervising the wading activity standing in the hot sun, I opted to bring out my camp chair.  It must have been quite the sight for the passersby to see some large chic sitting in the hot sun by the road in a camp chair staring at the canal like a psycho patient.  They couldn’t see the kids in the water from their vantage point… just me and my chair.  That’s how we country-fried folks roll, yo!

All in all, we didn’t get arrested and my pride is still intact despite looking like an idiot 12 times in a row.  It’s a gift.

***

I’d be remiss if I didn’t send out love and hugs today to my sweet Berger family as today is the 1-year anniversary of sweet Spencer’s passing.  I’m thinking of you all today.  Sure do love you guys.

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Connicky Babies…

That’s called a mish-mash title.  I mish-mashed my topics into one convenient made up phrase that’s actually a take on another real life phrase… and oh boy can you see my sides splitting!?!?!?  What’s that?  You’re absolutely right… I’ll never do that again.

This past Wednesday we ran up to Salt Lake City to Red Butte Gardens in order to glimpse us some Harry Connick, Jr. action!  Seeing as I’ve pretty much had a crush on him since I was 12 years old, it was well worth my tripping.   Oh, Harry Connick!!  I should probably note that more than the Harry Connick show was a real life family soap opera happening right in front of us.  I decided to call it As the Schmuck-Wads Turn and I’ll be selling it to whatever station wants to air it… probably whatever station airs the Kardashian shows… so that I won’t have to watch it… PASS!  So, Harry Connick was crooning away and I was watching some chic who looked like an older version of Miley Cyrus wash down 15 bottles of wine in a metal goblet and then get sloppy drunk and start bawling and arguing with her family members.  She was in her 30s with young kids and her older dad had to take her by the arm and escort her off the lawn.  She disappeared somewhere but other family members (it looked like a whole family reunion with siblings and their families) kept having counsels with each other about what to do about her wherever she was off crying.  I don’t know what happened at the end of the episode, but I’m pretty sure it probably included a bathroom stall and someone holding her hair back whilst she vomited.  OH THE SUSPENSE, KIMYE!!!

Back to the concert… couldn’t see the Harry-friend very well seeing as I was sitting so dagnabbed far away, but he was as funny as ever… kept commenting over and over on the sun radiation blinding him in a mountain setting and the fact that there was a rainbow mid-show… apparently they don’t get rainbows or mountains or sun radiation in New Orleans where he’s from.

The rainbow he was forever commenting on.  Fun fact… it rained pretty much all the way on the drive down to SLC and then it rained pretty much all the way home from SLC that night, but for the few hours of the concert, even with black storm clouds over head, it didn’t rain.  Lindsay’s hairdo thanks you!  :P

A clip of Harry singing It Had To Be You.

A clip of Harry singing The Way You Look Tonight.  

*****

This past Saturday I held a baby shower for Lindsay’s relations and close friends/co-workers.  Well, me and Madre did.  Apparently planning a baby shower for a fashionista when you be from the back country ain’t easy.  I was all about the owly owl and polly pocket theme, but obvs that wasn’t going to cut it at a baby boy shower… the nerve!  Instead we settled on mustaches and arm pit hair… except without the arm pit hair because that’s just nasty.  Madre made her famous cinnamon rolls and lemon blueberry rolls and there was fruit and candy, so basically everyone should effectively have cavities and diabetes by Tuesday.  You are welcome.  I’ve always been a giver.

Thank you to all of the friends and relations who showed up on a busy holiday/summer weekend!  I know Lindsay appreciated y’alls kindness and thoughtful gifts and advice on account of the fact that when she babysat as a teenager, her method was to tell the kid to SHUT UP I’M WATCHING MY STORIES!!!!!  Good thing for maturation, right!?  She’ll be an excellent mother… already is an excellent step-mom so she’s had practice!

The cavity-inducing spread!

I individually cut out and hand wrapped all of these because I’m a factory worker now.  It was fun for an hour.

The big brothers of the new baby… they’re wearing wrapping paper bows… they have so much to teach their new lil’ bro about fashion.  Move over Lindsay!

I really don’t have permission to post all of the individual people pictures I took, and if I did I’d be sure to get carried away and post them all… so I’ll stop here!  Showering babies is a good thing… before and after they’re born.

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Summer?

Y’all realize it’s almost August which is almost the start of fall?  Because I feel like I haven’t done anything summery all summer.  I’m missing out!  There have been no late night rendezvous with the mosquito tribes and no cricket listening sessions.  There have been no wilderness visits and no traipses amongst the wild flowers of my beloved Tony Grove.  There have been zero accidental sunburnings (by accidental I mean stupid-ental) and no muddy shoes to show I’ve traipsed through a corn field.  There have been no crick hopping sessions and no dam visits, dam visits, y’all!  Y’all… that’s a crime!  I also realize it’s like I done turned into cuzzin Betty Sue in this here post with all my y’alls and such, but it’s that serious, y’all!

Time is like a thief… by the time you wake up on Monday morning, it’s Friday and you’ve forgotten what you’ve done all dang week.  Just me?  Good to know… the men in white coats will have something to go on this time.  I figure I ought to turn the fact that I haven’t done anything summery all summer around, but it’s also like there is no time to do anything summery because it would require me to quit my job and school and move to a Yurt in the mountains next to Griselda the wicked witch and Bobby Joe the hermit, which I’m totally not against because I always say I’d make a great wicked witch/hermit.  Hansel and Gretel wouldn’t know what hit them!  I’d still require a shower and a grocery store… ain’t no way this hermit be killing her chitlins with her bare hands… so it’d be more like a pampered hermit.

As soon as this week is over… it’s on… summer… full dang force!  Bring it Bobby Joe and Griselda!

Question of the Day:  What summery things have you done so far?  

I call this next sequence of pictures:  The Joys Of Siblinghood…

My plan was to take a picture of Makayla’s farmer’s market because she charged me 500 bucks for ONE apple!  This picture was actually take 3… only because takes 1 and 2 turned out like this:

The surprise!

The annoyed sister face…

Brings me back to my young days.  Lindsay… remember all them times you sabotaged my farmer’s market!?  Good times… good times…

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Adult Status…

You wouldn’t know it to look at me… okay, you’ve looked enough… but I’d consider myself a fairly picky eater.  There are just some foods I haven’t acquired a taste for no matter how many times I’ve eaten them… meat (bloody STEAK gives me the willies), fish, smelly cheeses, weird mushy things like cooked squash, bananas that aren’t green, and most things that shouldn’t be eaten in public anyway (FISH EGGS, I’M LOOKING AT YOU RICH PEOPLE)!  That’s the short list.  If you want to the read the long list said no one ever, consult with my 5-year-old self.

Blue cheese and some greens (i.e., the ones that taste like dirt) were on that list until I discovered the wonder that is Wendy’s strawberry fields and chicken salad.  Um… what!?!?  Basically they put down a bed of weird lettuces (by weird I mean anything that isn’t considered iceburg or romaine lettuce) and then top it with grilled chicken pieces, blue cheese crumbles, strawberries, and an apple vinagrette dressing.  Take me to heaven, Nancy Sinatra!   Whitney’s now eating and enjoying mold and dirt!  STOP THE PRESSES, FANNY PACK MAKERS!

Pretty sure this means I’m entering into a sphere of adulthood.  Only took me 30-some-odd years to cross it but I have a feeling if I keep this up, pretty soon I’ll be dancing around an alter I’ve made of prunes and arugula whilst moo-ing with my cowly bloody-steak-providing ancesters.  If you need me, check the caviar aisle.  Grey Poupon my rear receptacle! 

It’s a “limited edition” salad and also costs more than I like to spend on meals, so I attempted to make my own version.  Eh… it wasn’t the same, but it will do as a substitute.  Wendy’s must have magical salad-making fairies… either that or by the time I got done making and cutting up everything I was too tired to care about my homemade salad.  I’m going with option B.

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Root Beer Floats and Playtex…

My mom’s going to kill me after I finish this blog post.  Nice knowing you all.  If you could get me a nice plot near the chocolate factory, I don’t think I could even complain about the maggots.  But it’s such a cute story… it has to go down for posterity sake.  This post is to celebrate your cuteness, Madre!!  Take it and like my girl Beyonce used to say… Girls… we run the world.  That made more sense in my head than on the computer screen.

We had a gathering for the city firework show on Friday night late.  Some of my awesome cuzzins got together and partook in desserty items before we hijacked the neighbor’s backyard to watch the firework extravaganza (not gonna lie… pretty sure at least 3 of them were drunk ON LIFE… the neighbors, not the cuzzins).  So, we were eating our desserty items on the back deck and gabbing about really important things like mosquitoes and ducks… and sunsets… and various other things like boomboxes (yes, the folks still have one).  I was sitting next to cuzzin Kale, so I intermixed my Berger klutz gene with her Berger klutz gene and we managed to drop an entire root beer float into her lap.  THANK YOU… I’m here all week.

Being the nonhelpful being I am, I went inside the house and wet down some paper towels… like that would magically erase the stickiness.  Madre was inside and so I asked her if she had any wet wipes and then went back out with my wettened paper towel glob.

Next thing we know, Madre is back out the house and in front of John Deere tractors and country fried steaks everywhere, she plopped the following down right next to the fruit pizza and vanilla ice cream container:

Now, maybe some of you from the other gender will not know the real purpose of these suckers… and I can guarantee you Madre thought nothing of it… totally an innocent romp through trying to be helpful to the root beer stickiness sufferers, but the whole end of that picnic table burst into laughter.  Every time I think about it I burst into laughter.  Like I’m seriously laughing right now (maybe it’s because I borrowed a little sumthin sumthin that was making the neighbors so dagnabbed happy).   Madre was all like… “I ain’t had a baby since 1980… you think I have wet wipes!?!?!?”  Apparently, my mom talks like the grandma from Beverly Hillbillies in my head space.  Needless to say, cuzzin Kale passed on the wet wipes.  Good call, cuzzin… good call.

***

And just so we even up the parental embarrassment unit, here’s something to give you nightmares:

He’s apparently angry about being a clown fashion model… and I’ve had a nightmare every night since.

Happy Belated Fourth of July, dear friends and family.  Thank you to all of those who have served to make this country free for the rest of us!!

LucyFur awaiting further instruction after I made her memorize the Pledge and the entire Constitution.  And you thought your pet was smart.

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