Category Archives: Uncategorized

HF: What a Difference a Week (Well…5 Days) Makes

Haiku FridayI will eat my words
A week ago, I said:
“Not buying this year”

Little did I know
We’d buy something on Wednesday
We went to “just look”

Car salesmen disgust
E’er the sickening optimists
I tend to ignore

Me? Hard customer?
I told him we’d sleep on it
He didn’t like that

We both stood to leave
He ran off to speak to boss
Then got in our face

He was desperate
“OK, what if we threw in
free oil changes?

It would be for life”
I was sick of the hounding
“OK fine, do it”

Suddenly he smiled
And I began to stress out
Car payments — again!

Life has been stress-free
Nothing for 3.5 years
We’re slaves, yet again

I broke my own pact
“I’ll ne’er own a minivan!”
Silver! Garage! NOW!


HF: Hoodwinked by Corporate Giant Ad Placement

Haiku FridayCorner car/truck lot
Not big enough for Walgreens
We drove passed slowly

[Ian:] “I want a red truck!”
That’s all he ever asks for
Not buying this year

His eyes scanned the lot
“Look [Mum], American Idol!”
It simply said: “Ford”

And the Winner is…

Back before I left for Scotland, I devised a Bloggie Giveaway. All you had to do was fit a caption to this photo (I know, you love me for posting it again, don’t you?) and Bob’s your uncle.

The winner receives: A British childrens’ book, 2 (British) chocolate bars and a Scotland/tartan notebook.

The winner?

It was a close call! Melisa with, “He thought the Coach said “EAT their defense, not BEAT their defense.”

Congrats :o)

Even More Answers – Thursday Thirteen

1. GlassHallFull asked:
Have you read anything by Alexander McCall Smith? (he’s an Edinburgh native and one of my favorite authors.)
No, I haven’t read any of his books. I am trying to read more, but sadly the boys take up all of my free time. Even when the little one naps, I’m probably recovering the house from the devastation they both caused.

2. Do you have any favorite books or movies?
The one series I have followed was Harry Potter. A friend talked me into reading them about eight months before book 5 came out. I really want to get into all the big Chick Lit books and actually bought a few quite a while ago. They’re still waiting to be discovered by me. I actually enjoy most books I read on some level. The only book I didn’t enjoy was one I read by myself for an assignment for a (like AP) English class. I picked a genre and “Catcher in the Rye” was listed in it. Maybe the reason I didn’t enjoy it was because I may not have understood all the terms. I have no idea. All I know is, I was glad when I was done with it.

Movies. I love films and have a varied taste when it comes to picking something. I love the Shawshank Redemption; Planes, Trains and Automobiles; Black Sheep, Happy Gilmore, The Pursuit of HappYness, 13 Going on 30, Night at the Museum, The Goonies, Back to the Future I & II. I love anything to do with time travel, like Frequency too. I also gravitate towards ‘Based on a true story” films. Although I don’t watch them as often as I used to, when it comes to scary films, ones that mess with my mind are the good ones. Unfortunately Signs and The Ring made me laugh.

3. Toni asked:
Are we Americans really as rude as we are told?
The only thing I took as a little rude and off-putting was when talking with a group of people. I found (and still find) that if someone is talking and it spurs someone else’s train of thought, they will interject and continue the conversation over them. Having had to fend for myself and drop the “she’s quiet” and “she keeps to herself” labels, I now do it myself. I have cut my poor mother off in so many conversations now.

I don’t know if I would use the word rude, but Americans are much more likely to voice their opinions rather than keep it to themselves (like my Mum who would blow up over stuff someone else did or said to her after it had festered in her for hours). I have always been able to stand up for myself a little bit more than my Mum (she taught me to, ironically), but living here has strengthened it.

In California, I noticed less people hold doors open for others.

Living here I don’t see it, but I think there are certain aspects to life where others could construe it as being arrogant. Occasionally, Bryan and I will banter back and forth spewing mock insults at one another’s country, one night he made some remark and I retorted, “You only despise the French because they’re more arrogant than you are.” He laughed, so I won! I find Americans to be very generous and open-minded.

4. Momisodes asked:
Do people ask you to repeat yourself often?
Moreso over the phone than anything else, or if it’s someone who’s never met me. I used to get it a lot when I first got here because people said I was ‘too soft spoken’. Bryan still says that.

5. Does it drive you nuts?
It does when it gets to be the fourth or fifth time, yeah. I’ve watered my accent down a bit just because of that. I also change a lot of my words because I got tired of repeating myself or eventually having to think of the American word for it anyway.

6. Karen MEG asked:
How often do you have to spell your name out for people, say on an average day?
Any time I have to say it, I have to spell it. The sad thing is, in Scotland the name was just getting popular in the last five years or so before I left. As an example, I had never heard my name called out in public where it wasn’t someone I knew calling after me. I was in a clothes store in Glasgow when I heard a mother yell out, “Siobhan! Put that down and get over here!” You’d be right in thinking I wet myself. Sometimes I joke with people who ask:
THEM: “How do you spell that?”
ME: “Like it sounds…”
THEM: “CH…?”
ME: “No–”
THEM: “SH…?”
ME: “Haha no…”
And then I put them out of their misery. The exact thing happened at Costco one day when I went to pick up my contacts. “CH or SH?” “Neither, SI.” She actually huffed at me. I’ve met about thirteen Siobhans in my lifetime. More than you’d think were here in the States.

7. The Grand View asked:
Tell the truth; Scottish or American cuisine?
Sarcastic answer? The only true American food that I can think of are hot dogs, casseroles and pies. (But not apple pies. I too was surprised last year when I learned the Pilgrims brought the recipe over with them from England. Who knew?) Everything else is kinda adopted. And at that, if I do eat a hot dog, the only ones I’ll touch are Hebrew National, I’ve liked them for eight years now.

I used to say, throw anything in a 13 by 9 here and it’s suddenly a casserole!

No contest.

8. Elizabeth asked:
Celtics or Rangers?
Although I’ll happily watch football now (on my own schedule and if I so choose–long story), I tend to steer away from those two teams–especially the Old Firm games. I’ll watch anything else though.

My step-dad was more than an avid fan, he was obsessed. If there wasn’t a game on TV, he’d watch a compilation of pre-recordings he’d made. On Saturdays, he’d watch one on TV, listen to another on the radio and watch a live game out the kitchen window (looked over the local stadium) all simultaneously. After they were done, he’d watch the highlights of other games around the country. I grew to despise Saturdays and would leave for hours just to get away from it.

9. Joy T. asked:
Have you ever been to Canada?
No, but I would LOVE to go. I have always wanted to go there. We’re only four hours from the border, and now that the boys have their birth certificate/passport, we have no excuse! Bryan had never been there until his business trip last month. I was spitting glass at him.

10. Do you plan on blogging forever?
Forever seems so indefinite to me. (See last answers I gave). I’m not sure really. I’ve almost given up twice now. Although it’s cathartic at times and definitely enjoyable to interact with others and share thoughts I may not normally voice in outdoor life, it can be time consuming and addictive! I still can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ though.

11. Where do you see your blog being 5 years from now?
Everyone wants to be popular and I won’t deny that I haven’t thought about it. It can be a little disheartening to anyone if you don’t get some sort of feedback. I’m not looking for Dooce, Rocks in my Dryer or IamBossy et al levels, but I’m kinda secretly looking forward to the day when I get 50+ comments.

I’ve always wanted my own website, but all the names I have wanted are taken. We’ll see, I may still do it. In five years, I doubt I’ll still never want to be labelled a “Mommy Blogger” though. I’m stubborn like that.

12. VA Biker asked:
Do you care for Craig Ferguson?
Oh how I love Craig…his coy smile, his shout-y serious voice and when he laughs at his own jokes. His skits kinda creep me out a wee bit, but I’ll forgive him for that. He admits he “Googles” himself (“I like to Google my Yahoo!”), and I hope he finds this! I’ve always wanted to send in an e-mail, but can’t quite come up with anything good enough. I am very happy for him and his success here. Funny thing is, my husband used to watch Conan religiously for years, he now switches over for Craig without blinking. Muahaha!

13. anglophilefootballfanatic asked:
What do you think of Gordon Brown?
(New Prime Minister who took over from Tony Blair.) As politicians go, he’s pretty damn ugly. Oh…wait. I really only knew him as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (i.e. not very well), but aside from being a very well educated and highly intelligent man, he has a prolific education and political career. I like his forward thinking and policy initiatives. I also like that he’s Scottish. It’s about time.

What about total Scottish independence?
If it’s economically sustainable, I have no qualms about it.

Bonnie Prince Charlie?
I think his cause was (and to a certain extent, remains) noble, he gained a lot of support (and rightly so), specifically from Highlanders, but I also think he made many careless mistakes in battle that cost others their lives. Like most leaders, his life wasn’t without scandal or the lack of women. I almost wish more political or moral leaders were like those of the past, there’s definitely something to be learned there.

Queen Mary?
I’ll assume the First, right?
I actually feel really bad for her. Her Dad (Henry VIII), obviously loved her, gave her her own court at Ludlow castle and many royal prerogatives usually only bestowed upon males, then later in her life, disown her and halt her causes and progress. OK, so we’ll skim over the fact that she gained the nickname ‘Bloody Mary’ thanks to a few (fine, over 300) dissenters she had beheaded, but still, I can’t help but pity her, and all because of her father’s love for a bit of skirt (that could produce a male). Even though he was her biological father, due to a remarriage, she was declared illegitimate from that point and eventually lost all of the rights she had. I mainly feel bad that she had to stoop to gain favour with her father again. Henry (in my opinion), was a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I am impressed mostly, that she held to her faith and never wavered, despite being in the monarchy and in the minority.

The role of the monarchy in the 21st C?
I think my opinion has changed slightly, living over here. I think I now respect the tradition, the pomp and circumstance, if you will. I love that “uniforms” and ceremonies of the guards and Beefeaters haven’t changed through the centuries and that tradition holds true. However, the Royal Family – despite refute – hold quite a substantial burden on the UK. I think the role of the monarchy has changed dramatically just in the last century. I also think Princess Diana was one of the only ‘good’ ones left and I was sad that she died. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that they all have causes they support and they’ve all been in the military at one time or another, but I think in my mind, they have less importance and relevance to the British public now, more than ever. In fear of being stoned by some English friends, that’s all I’m saying.

It’s spicy, but herby. Doesn’t really taste of anything else other than that. I think it’s funny that so many Americans get up in arms about it or grossed out when there’s Rocky Mountain Oysters, Scrapple and, dare I say–hot dogs?

If you made it this far (without skipping), I love you.

Crunch Time

Today has been somewhat difficult for me. I’ve decided to make changes and I know it’s not going to be easy. But so far so good.

Yesterday, Bryan and I decided to make some long-term investments and bought some weights, a resistance cord kit and a nifty scale that measures more than I care to know quite frankly.

Before I got pregnant with Ian, I was the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I was always a svelte 123-128 pounds (about 8 stone 12 pounds and a US size 6) in Scotland, and generally just fluctuated those five pounds every-so-often. I walked to public transport hubs: train stations, bus stops and the occasional tube station. When I lived in a flat in Paisley, Scotland, the train station was a good 25-minute walk from home. I also went Clubbing once a week and burned off a few hundred calories there too I’m sure.

Food was never a deterrent to my lifestyle. In other words, I ate what I wanted and never suffered the consequences.

After a few months of being in California, I started to wonder if my clothes were shrinking. Were they thrown in the dryer by mistake? Hems were mysteriously getting shorter and I had to mend a zipper that came unattached. It wasn’t long before I realised I was putting on weight–and fast. Portion sizes in restaurants were bigger, fat content in foods were higher and I certainly wasn’t given much opportunity to walk anywhere.

Before I married in 2001, I was back down to a size 8. I worked hard and tried my best to get off that extra poundage that just crept up on me. By 2003, my weight had shot up to a whopping 153 pounds. I was miserable but suddenly had a newfound appreciation for the stigma of being overweight. I was uncomfortably wearing a size 14. It sucked and I didn’t like it one bit.

After I had Ian, the weight came off steadily and before long, I was back to a very healthy 135, all without exercise. I know, you can throw something if you like. I was ecstatic. I was suddenly lighter than I was before I’d gotten pregnant! We had a multi-level home back in Utah and I’m sure that helped as some sort of calorie deterrent.

The weight gain carrying Cameron was very stagnated. It took until 16 week gestation to put anything on. Believe me, I wasn’t complaining! Here I am at 21 weeks along. Things were a lot different carrying Ian, believe me.

With Cameron, the pregnancy weight has come off pretty rapidly, and for that I am glad. I got down to a size 10 in no time. I thought it was safe to assume I was 135-140. In fact, I remember being weighed somewhere and having 135 indelibly tattooed on the inside on my forehead. That’s how certain I am.

Imagine my shock when I stepped on our new fangled scale last night and saw this:

weight: 151.4 lbs
fat: 31.1 %
bone density: 4.4 lbs
water: 50 % (normal)
muscle mass: 35.9 %

And as a side note: BMI = 25.2

All that ran through my mind was: How could I possibly be that heavy and fit into a size 10 comfortably? I was shocked, humiliated, sad and disappointed all in one go.

So, I made a huge decision. I have decided to track my weight loss in a public forum to motivate and inspire me. I will be updating every Tuesday, without fail.

Plus, I need the support!

Happy Ne’er Day!

Let’s hope 2008 is a little quieter than 2007 (and much less commotion than 2006!).  I had barely moved to a new state, had a baby and the magical meds only worked on one side of my body, finally sold our old home after 5 months on the market, took a 12-hour cumulative road trip (one way) with a barely potty trained 3-something year old and a seven month old, had a basement flooding scare, pre-school, scout outings a-go-go, my Gran going through Cancer for the second time (and still), my brother moved homes, my other brother passed teenagerism (happy birthday today ya big 21er!), my mum and step-dad being split for over a year, sleep deprived months, walking baby and blogging for a full month straight.

Hello 2008.

Wishing everyone a safe and prosperous New Year, say no to fat-burning, live guilt-free and windswept.  Catch ya on the flip side!

Two things I ever, never once blogged about.
That syntax will make complete sense if you know Charlie and Lola.

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I like to think of music as being a warm blanket around your soul. It’s an extremely powerful medium and can evoke many different feelings and emotions. It possesses an inherent ability to both entertain and heal, all with the touch of a button; many times pulling us back to a fond memory – or as the case may be, not so fond and down right unwanted.

It can whisk you back like a time machine to a milestone in your life, bringing with it those thoughts and feelings that made your day so memorable. It can also provoke feelings of contempt or sorrow, rewinding the years to a time where the less time spent meandering down memory lane the better.

Music is also a great tool in teaching, and can oftentimes project a message with more eloquence and vigor than the most gifted of tutors.

I have always had a great love for many different genres of music. Some I have admittedly learned to tolerate, albeit badly.

Some of my favourite pieces of music are found more prevalently during this time of year. More recently, I have grown to have a greater appreciation for all types of Christmas music: the quiet reverence, the wool-blanket-and-cocoa, or the jolly holidays types. Some of my favourites include: “Pie Jesu”, “O Holy Night”, Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar-plum Fairy” and intriguingly, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

However, as with everything in life, there are equal and opposite reactions. Here are but a few of the musical epitaphs that typically make me want to rip my ears off so that I’ll have something to pound the life out of my speakers with:

“Hey Santa!” – Carnie and Wendy Wilson
“Feliz Navidad” – José Feliciano
“Christmas Shoes” – New Song

Honourable mentions:

Anything by Karen Carpenter.
The line: ‘Christmas comes this time each year … ‘ (no frickin’ kiddin’ Sherlock) from “Merry Christmas, Baby” by The Beach Boys.

Which holiday songs both delight and disgust you? I’m interested to know …

What The href Is Going On?

I’m really starting to get ticked off with MSN Spaces. Of course, this has been coming for some time.

Somehow, somewhere along the line, I lost the desire to continue writing here. I can’t put my finger on it. There is no explanations, no excuses–but after all, who really cares. And that’s the truth. Coupled with the lackadaisical approach to something that has followed me for so long, was an increased boredom with the availability to make it grow and change. I had taken the design (and feel) of it as far as I thought I could, and it had all just lost its appeal with me.

I made a silent appearance from time-to-time, but just couldn’t bring myself to ‘talk’.

One day, I realised it was time to face it and decide if I wanted to come back. I had left unannounced and without notice. How rude of me. I poked around and noticed Spaces had made some interesting changes and I started mucking about to see what I could mess with.

Apparently, a lot less than I had hoped.

With the last banner I made (with the zebra), I quickly realised MSN couldn’t allow me to make isolated buttons (called mapping) on it to click to links to e-mail me, RSS me and post in my guest book or guest map. So, I split my banner into 5 pieces and made each section a huge button. Problem solved and Bob’s your proverbial uncle.

Even though I don’t always embrace change as readily as some, I felt a new look would do me good. So, I set about making a new banner with a new title and a new look. I was excited – a fresh start! I coded everything up to launch it all–and nothing. A banner, yes, but no linkage. No clickability, no snazzies. What a downer! The head haunches at Spaces decided to deactivate that specific HTML coding, opting for BASIC, boring code that allows nothing, but a banner.

So, I ask, MSN Spaces? What the <href> is going on?

Happy New Year

Here’s wishing you all a safe, prosperous and happy New Year.  I’m hoping this next year won’t be as stressful!
(Still nothing, btw.)

This Week in Pictures

On Boxing Day, we welcomed two new additions to our family:  Hamish the goldfish and Magnus the snail.  Ian has been fascinated by fish for about 4 months now, so we thought it would be the perfect present.  Having been quarantined for 2½ weeks, we had to do a one-day swoop at the stores and decided the best plan of action would be to pick up the fish last thing on Christmas Eve.
When we arrived home exhausted and a little less rich, we realised we were missing one very important fish.  Good thing Ian was too small to notice or care.  Two days later we swung by the local pet shop and got our fish and snail. He loves his “feesh.”
Thursday night, we decided to drive downtown to SLC and let Ian see the Christmas lights. Every year, the area around Temple Square is always jam-packed with lights on trees, bushes and buildings –  it’s a huge crowd puller.  Even though it was a little cold, it was amazing to watch Ian’s face as he saw tree after tree lit up in different colours.  I think we got more joy out of watching him than anything else.

When we arrived home our DSL modem was sitting quietly on our doorstep.  What a great day!  We love our DSL connection and have had a great time going to websites that were previously unaccessable to the 26.4k (on a good day) download speed.  Now you know why we put up such a stink about it!
Later that night I got a hair-brained idea, and spent the ensuing hour and a half typing out a HUGE explanation on how to successfully add Windows Media Player to your Space; also adding how to shrink your music files.  As I was finishing up getting ready to publish, it crashed.  I crawled into bed at 02:00 seriously ticked off.  I’ll be using Word before I publish anything that involved now!
This leaves me with just one more thing:  I’d like to wish everyone a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!  See you in ’06.
Love and kisses,