A Birthday Wish List

This year, I’m turning 40.  (I can’t believe I just said that.)

I’m planning on having a party, and the thing I want most is to be surrounded by my family and friends.  To be able to hang out with all the people that keep me going, there’s no better gift!  There’ll be a pinata, good food and my favorite mocktail.  Kids will swim in the pool, grownups will play bocce, Ker-Plunk! and Giant Jenga while the music blasts; and maybe there’ll be some dancing under the twinkle lights as the evening winds down.  I’m even boarding the dog so she won’t get on anybody’s nerves!

I don’t expect any gifts, but I know some people won’t be able to help themselves.  It is for them that I created this list:

Things I Will Not Look Horse In The Mouth At:

  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini (I read his other two books and finally understood what the conflict in the Middle East is about.)  Book
  • Admission to this year’s Sunstone Symposium. I’m dying to attend the Mormon Food Matrix lecture given by the incredible Jerilyn Hassell Pool!  I’m hoping if I touch her apron hem, some of her awesomeness will rub off on me.
  • Bubble Talk.  It’s one of my new favorite games.
  • Cards Against Humanity.  I’d actually love the limited edition Mormanity, but there’s no one around for miles that would appreciate it besides myself.  Though the fundraising campaign is over, I know a guy who knows a gal, and may or may not be able to secure a copy of the game.
  • Torani Cane Sweetner syrup with pump.  I’d like to try my hand at making my sweet sweet iced coffee at home this summer…#Starbucksaddict
  • A pineapple mint plant.  I hear it tastes great in lemonade!
  • Gift cards are always appreciated!  My favorite flavor is AMC, but I also like Home Depot, Target, Sephora, iTunes, World Market and Amazon!
  • California Poppy seed bombs.  They’re one of my favorite flowers!  And Zinnias.  I love those, too.
  • Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Good luck finding it, though.  I read that there has been more demand than the publisher has been able to keep up with.  I’d settle for borrowing your copy, just to be able to read it. 
  • A lunch date with Jude Law, Ewan McGregor, RDJ, or Thor.  No, not Chris Hemsworth, THOR.
  • A complete and total reboot of the Divergent series of films with a brand new and more appropriately paired cast.
  • A gift certificate for somebody that’s not me to come paint my interior.  I’ll supply the paint!
  • Branch shears.  I’m tired of the backyard neighbor’s tree shedding into our pool!
  • Table Topics! I’m a pretty good conversationalist, but sometimes my brain hurts and I need someone else to do the work.
  • SIMON Carabiner.  For badassery on the go!
  • Aaaaand this set of Glassware.  Because, Nojitos!  And pineapple lemonade!  Aguas frescas!

 

You’re all invited.  I hope you make it!  It’s gonna be fun. :D

To Whom It Concerns, Spring 2015

And now, another edition of “To Whom It Concerns”.

 

Dear TP Companies,

If 12 Mega Rolls = 48 Regular Rolls, am I supposed to believe that there are only 10 squares of TP on a regular roll?  Today’s Mega Roll looks like yesterday’s Double Roll.

Sincerely,

I’ve Known Since It Started With the Diaper Packs

 

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Dear USPS,

By and large it takes 1, maybe 2 days to send in-state mail.  Why come did my mail sit at Santa Clarita for 16 hours?  And then Sacramento for 24+?  It shouldn’t take 5+ days for a small padded envelope from Reseda to reach Me.

Yours Truly,

I Wants It NOW, Precious!

 

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Dear Amazon Sellers,

If you’re willing to sell your book for $0.01, why not just donate it?  That seems like a waste of resources.  Maybe you are able to ship it for less than the $3.99 allowance?  Even still, it’s so insignificant a profit you should still consider donation.

Regards,

One Who (albeit, Marginally) Cares About Conservation

 

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Dear Amazon Prime & Netflix,

Why no love for Chicago Hope?  Is one of the cast members a punk holdout demanding more royalties than they’re worth?  Shoot, it’s not even available on DVD!  Or do you have some sick deal with iTunes?  Lemme go check….  Nope.  Not on iTunes, either.  Tell Mandy, Aaron, and Christine their public awaits!

Anxiously Awaiting,

A Serial Binge-Watcher

 

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Dear Hugh Laurie,

I’m re-binge-watching House, MD.  The first time I watched, I didn’t know you were British.  Many moons later (now that I do), I find myself watching your mouth and looking for places where you almost lose the American accent.  I keep wanting to hear you blast somebody in the same voice I heard on Sense & Sensibility.  Bravo, Sir.

Affectionately,

Accent Lover Anonymous

 

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Dear Guy Ritchie,

RDJ is HAWT.  And getting old.  He still has to be Iron Man in Cap 3.  You best hurry up and make Sherlock 3 before he hurts himself (a tragic day for us all, to be sure).

Urgently Yours,

Attracted to Badasses

p.s.  I KNEW Irene didn’t die!!!

 

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Dear Netflix,

I am quite enjoying my free 1 month trial that you’re using to lure me back.  It might work, if you can stop logging my device out every time I turn it off.  I know you said my device needs a software update, except I checked and there aren’t any.

Tick Tock,

The Impatient Clock

 

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Dear California Poppies Growing In The Corner of My Front Flower Bed,

MULTIPLY AND REPLENISH FASTER.  The weeds are winning!

Sincerely,

The Rainmaker

Good People Are Everywhere You Look

You guys!  You guys!!  YOU GUYS!!!

The most AMAZING thing just happened for me!  But first, just because I like to drag it out, let me give you some back story:

I love my family.  I love them a whole lot.  I’m not too sure how they feel about me, but that’s ok.  I especially loved my Grandpa C.  He meant the world to me, and even though I said my goodbyes to him each time we parted (as I was sure it was always the last time due to his age and health), it still devastated me when he died.

Grandma & Grandpa C lived in a sweet little craftsman bungalow house in a darling little town near Pasadena.  A little more than a block from the library park and bustling main street, there was always something fun to do when we visited.  In their ginormous (by California standards) back yard there was a lemon tree from which the best lemonade is made.  Not quite a year after Grandpa C passed away, Honey and I were married.  We had a beautiful reception in the back yard of my childhood home.  Grandma C was not up for traveling and it was hard for me to know that two of my favorite people couldn’t be there to share in celebrating our joy.  That didn’t mean they couldn’t be there in spirit though, and the way I chose to involve them in the production was by having my mom travel from our home in suburban Sandy, UT to theirs in sunny southern CA to process those lovely lemons into juice for lemonade to be served at the reception.

In 2006 Grandma C was no longer able to live on her own.  Uncle Dick and some of the family packed her up, sold the house, and moved her up north to be near him.  Being so young and unestablished, we couldn’t afford to buy the house ourselves (something I still hope to do one day), and the loss of the family house still weighs on me.  So many Christmases spent in the glow of the C7 lights and tinsel strung on the tree decorated with vintage ornaments, so many summers playing with the toys tucked away in the attic…

In the front of the house, and along one side of the back yard are these beautiful, hot pink camellia shrubs.  When I was a child I loved to pick the fat, round buds and peel them layer by layer.

Instead of a regular garage, Grandma & Grandpa had a big, rickety barn.  That barn was so full of grandpa’s junk… we used to joke that when they died, instead of packing up and junking the majority of what was inside, we’d blow it up as the most efficient means of getting rid of the contents.  Underneath the house was a semi-upright crawl space.  I never would go down in there because I was convinced it was so full of spiders and snakes that I’d die from some kind of bite in the dark.  To the side of the yard was a small shed visible from the front, and behind it were permanent clothesline posts.  Grandpa made a swing of sorts out of a small log and a length of rope.  He’d attach it to the posts and swing us all afternoon.  He also rigged up a horse made out of a barrel and scrap wood with an old rag rug for a saddle.  It was parked under that lemon tree and we’d ride like the wind in our imaginations!

In the front on the side, there was this gnarly tree of undetermined species.  All I remember is that it had a branch that was curved and shaped like a nest, making it a favorite spot for photos of the littlest family members.

cropped-sisters2.jpg(Can you guess which one is me?)

This year I’m turning 40.  That’s right, the big 4-0.  Unlike my hubby (who is also turning 40, this week in fact!), I plan on having a huge party.  There isn’t much that fills me with joy more than being surrounded by my family and friends, celebrating the life we share together; and I intend to do just that.  We’ll have a piñata, music, kids swimming in the pool and grownups playing with the giant Jenga and Ker Plunk! games that B and I are going to build (from Pinterest, of course!), eat my favorite foods and a delicious cake that I will not be baking myself.

Can you guess what we’ll be drinking?

Last week I wrote a note to the current owners of the house.  When I told Honey what I wanted to do he said I was crazy.  I thought of what I could say that would convey to them that I’m not some crackpot; I don’t want to invade their privacy or go inside the house to case the joint, and I’m certainly not the Craigslist killer.  I just miss my grandma and grandpa.  I miss her sour face and his silly jokes.  I miss stealing Brach’s butterscotch candies out of the crystal dish in the living room while grandma napped and singing the Johnny Appleseed song before meals.  I miss the piano in the front parlor (that as far as I know, nobody ever played), and the cool seafoam tiles in the dark, tiny bathroom.  I even miss the ancient stove in the kitchen and doing laundry on the back porch.

I miss that house and all the happy memories that were made there; and even though I still hope and dream to one day be able to buy the house back and live my golden years hauling toys down from the attic via the closet entry and making lemonade from the back yard tree for my own future grandchildren, I know it will probably never happen.  But lucky for me, a kind and generous family live in that house now.  They received my note and called me earlier this evening to let me know that I’m welcome any time to come down and pick lemons from the tree.

I can’t wait!

The Sun Is Shining, The Tank Is Clean!

So, I’m totally afraid to say this out loud for fear of jinxing myself, but I feel good.

The last couple of weeks my life has really changed from bored to death, to actively engaged.  I’ve had lots of playdates at my friend’s homes, been able to give support to an acquaintance while her husband was dying, and had a really great Girl’s Night Out.  I even got a couple of Valentine good mail packages sent, and have plans for future projects (ok, I always have those) that I actually think I might carry out.

I don’t really have anything else to add, I just wanted a public record of feeling good.  So there it is.

This Night

This night is mine.  It’s only you (and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you, and you) and I.  Tomorrow is closer than I’d like it to be, but this night will last until next month.  (Maybe not.  This night will last until next week, and then I’ll look forward to our next Girl’s Night Out.)

This night I am happy.  This night I feel love.  This night I have sisterhood.  This night I have kindness, and understanding, and laughter.

This night we waited entirely too long for food that wasn’t that great at a place whose door we’ll never darken again, but we did it together and though my wallet is lighter, my heart is fuller.

This night I learned I am not alone, in more ways than I ever knew.

 

 

 

 

 

(This Night is brought to you by Track 4 of the CD playing in my car, An Innocent Man by Billy Joel.  And all my girls.)

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