Monday, March 14, 2011

Death of a cranky, leaky Titan

It is a sad sad day as I commemorate the death of a faithful companion. My red, '91 Mazda MX-6 came back from the clinic today with a very long list of complaints (mostly an oil leak of unknown origin that causes the alternator's belt to slip) that would take anywhere from $800-1200 to fix. Since my dad bought the car for $1500 about eight years ago we decided that it's life must now come to an end.

As you can see it is only 231 miles shy of 200,000 miles. After traveling from Colorado to Utah to California and back, with a very inattentive owner, it certainly now deserves a break and a good send off. We shall forgive it's annoying automatic seatbelts, and how it didn't idle in its last year. Instead we shall remember how it traveled from Provo to St. George through a horrible southern Utah blizzard on a quarter tank of fuel, and how it gave a high school girl a modicum of actual coolness on the occasions my dad felt sorry for me in the cold and let me drive it instead of the Cool-Mobile (Honda Civic Wagovan). It even had a radio that worked! kind of...

Goodbye Red Hot! We will miss you!

In other news, my flowers are blooming! The first image is a Gardenia, I think it's some kind of hybrid because it doesn't smell like a gardenia, but oh well. The second is a Bird of Paradise, and the third is the blossoms on the peach tree. Thank you Grandpa Mizner and California! I couldn't have grown these flowers without you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The best thing I ever learned to do...

Perhaps the only cartoon I absolutely loath and cannot even watch through ten minutes is Disney's Snow White. Which is a shame because the animation is truly artistic and groundbreaking. But I cannot stomach more than a line of Adriana Caselotti, the voice of Snow White.

However, I have not always been aware that I hated the singing, but rather hated the poor, innocent film for another reason altogether, and one infinitely less logical. The song "Whistle While you Work" has always reminded me of something I could never do, which is of course whistle. When I was four years old and had to do the dishes or pick up 20 tons of Lego's, it was always my goal for it not to take forever but it always did, take forever I mean. I probably took me eight months alone to put all the Lego's away.

So for a song to make the promise that whistling while working could make to time go by faster was everything I longed for. From that time on I have practiced whistling with very little success. I think around age twelve I could make a very low whistle, much like a fog horn but very quiet. Maybe more like a dead car horn. The dead car whistle had to get me trough the next ten or so years. I'm sure people would have poked fun of my wimpy whistle--if only they could have heard it.

Then came the horrible day when I discovered I could no longer do the dead car whistle. It was like losing a small hamster friend that didn't do much but was always there when you needed it. My suffering was acute and I can't remember how long I went completely whistle-less. But on another quite ordinary day, I discovered I could whistle real notes--that other people could hear! I was quite astounded and practiced a bit 'till I could show Alex. I don't know if he was amazed as I was, but let me tell you, it has been the greatest discovery of my life . All you whistlers from childhood don't know how truly amazing whistling is, how it can make you happy on a rainy day and all the other poetic claptrap people say about whistling. It is all true! It makes work go by faster and annoys everyone around you as a bonus!

My next whistling adventure is to learn how to whistle for a dog, which my current whistle doesn't quite have the stamina for.

P.S. If you've ever wanted to do really truly do something, don't give up! If I can learn to whistle at 23 you can learn to repair record players, or whatever ...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quilting with a cat

Quilting has been a hobby of mine since my mom helped me make my first quilt for a Young Women's project. It is a ridiculously cute quilt made of old jean that is a checkerboard of pockets and stars. I took it to BYU and used it as my comforter, in fact still use it as a comforter.

My second quilt I cut and pieced entirely on my own, with no help from my talented mom, who thought I was crazy. She did give me advice while choosing the colors. I'm sure my mom thought I was nuts. One spring break we borrowed several quilting book from our friend Bonnie Kelly, and I picked an "unfolding star quilt." It was quite a lot of fun. I think we worked out that with everyone/;' who came to help do the hand quilting it took a total of 150 hours to complete. As a my first solo quilt I think it came out rather well.

Here is also a detail of the quilting we did.

Now, as to the reason I still use a college blanket for my bed instead of a sweet traditional hand quilted quilt--Mr. Tony Fluffypants.
I imagine having a cat is a little bit like having a small child and trying to do something that is clearly very interesting. Except that children don't usually have very pointy claws or love to eat string.

My current quilting project is very small compared to my three queen size quilts. It is a measly 2 feet by 4 feet. It does however have 1058 blocks, compared to the 820 blocks of the unfolding star, and the 117 of the jean quilt. I plan on making the quilting very artistic and last night I finished piecing the top:

I never understood the meaning of annoying until I was arranging the blocks and Tony would treat them as a waterless slip-n-slide, careening through them and then carrying half away on his fur. It took listening to all six hours of the BBC Pride and Prejudice just to find an arrangement that I didn't hate. The quilting will most likely be an exercise in patience.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It may be a year since my last blog, but it's been 2 since Matt's!

Don't have any accidents or oust any dictators; I'm writing a blag!

Actually, I'm not going to write about our inmate who climbs up the curtains unapologetically, but instead about this:

It's a giant tumbleweed. I would have had Alex or somebody stand by it so you could get a better idea of its scale, but no one was home so it sits next to the tangelo tree. It reminded me of a story my mom told me about a soccer match when Joel was no bigger than this tumbleweed. I guess a similar shaped weed came onto the soccer pitch and proceeded to run down one of the tiny soccer players. Everyone, including the kid who was the target of the tumbleweed's furor, watched as it blew across the field, ran over the kid, and blew away again. I have illustrated an alternate scenario:

You might be surprised to hear that writing this little blag was difficiult. You see I'm having a problem with my computer. Most of the time the screen looks like this-----

Other than that minor issue things are going well here in our trailer. Who knows, I might even post again while we live here!