Thursday, July 31, 2008


I was in another room, probably doing something worthwhile, like flossing, when I overheard PB&J talking to the Middle Carrotstick. PB&J, a little forlornly, said:

"I've always wanted a chainsaw."


A chainsaw????

A friend of mine says she has always wanted a yellow Mustang.

For me, it's been a robins egg blue VW bug convertible.

But I also really like gadgets. Cool, new gadgets.


(Taken with my new camera/phone.)

(The guy told me this phone/camera/wonder gadget was SO GOOD I would never want to use my other camera. Right.)

What's the secret (or not-so-secret) desire of your heart?

(You guys have done such a nice job of commenting!!! It just warms the cockles of my heart! I commend you, and, once again, invite all of you non-commenters to give it a try! --

It's fun! I promise!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

be nice, or elk . . .

I hope, dear reader, you will forgive me for my bad mood last week. I really did appreciate your happy hints -- shopping (I bought a cute new red purse), reading a good book under a tree, and of course Beaker. How can you be grumpy when there are Muppets on YouTube?

Because I feel bad about my grumpiness, I would like to propose a new Sack Lunch tradition --
Trading Treats on Tuesday.
This is based on a post by one of my blogging idols, CJane, -- 'cept she calls it Good Report Friday. The idea is: I'll share a special something (of Good Report) with you, and YOU ALL comment and share something YOU like with me! You can report on anything you want -- somebody on CJane's blog commented about Fleur de Sel Caramel Haagen Daz Ice Cream. I tried it. And it was of Very Good Report. So, please, share with me your Sack Lunch treat, packed with love by dear ol' mom (or by yourself) and help make Tuesdays (or any day -- you don't have to comment just on Tuesdays) more enjoyable.

My Treat to share:

The Indian word for elk is "Wapiti."

In English, Wapiti means "white rump."

In the summer, both my boys are renamed


Can you guess why?

I took a picture of them running around in their swimming suits. I was trying to discretely hint at the difference between their bronzed backs and their little wapitis.
And that is my Treat for today. Some of you might think skin cancer, but I think that kids running around all summer long, in their swimming suits, is the best part of being a kid. And what summer used to be. Good, good stuff -- Wapiti. Think about it.

Oh, and one more thing -- homemade (or friend-made) Strawberry Jam. There really is nothing better than a couple of bottles of that appearing magically in your fridge! (thank you!)

Now, what's yours? Come on, please don't be shy! It's ok to de-lurk, even! This is a safe blog, where everyone is welcome. Share! Please!!! Even if it is the carob chip cookies your mom made (when you were secretly wishing for real chocolate chips!) I promise I won't think your idea is stupid, and I will never laugh at you. Ever.

(And just so you know, my 100th post is coming up. Soon. There might be a prize involved. And it might, just might, in some Random Integer kind of way, be tied somehow to this post. So . . . if you're interested . . . it's something to keep in mind, 'cause some of you felt a little bad the last time I had a contest . . . )

elk picture originally downloaded by Sandra Leidholt

Friday, July 25, 2008

cowboy caviar

Before the parade passes by . . . I've got to get some life back into my life

Since I can't do the impossible, let me just share with you some pictures of the parade that did pass by.

Before the parade passes by
Before it goes on, and only I'm left
Before the parade passes by
I've gotta get in step while there's still time left

I'm ready to move out in front
Life without life has no reason or rhyme left

With the rest of them
With the best of them

I wanna hold my head up high
I need got a goal again

I need got a drive again

I wanna feel my heart coming alive again

Before the parade passes by...

Before the parade passes by

I've gotta get some life back into my life

I'm ready to move out in front

I've had enough of just passing by life
With the rest of them

With the best of them

I can hold my head (????) up high

For I've got a goal again
I've got a drive again

I wanna feel my heart coming alive again

Before the parade passes by

When the parade passes by
Listen and hear that brass harmony growing
When the parade passes by
Pardon me if my old spirit is showing

When the whistles blow
And the cymbals crash

And the sparklers light the sky
I'm gonna raise the roof
I'm gonna carry on
Give me an old trombone
Give me an old baton

Before the parade passes by!

And now, since it is Good Food Friday, I am going to share a recipe that perfectly combines the 24th of July and the beautiful Miss Rainbow Trout Royalty:

(Oh How I Wish I Were a Rodeo Queen Instead) Cowboy Caviar

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons hot sauce (or to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 firm-ripe avocados
2 cans (15 oz.) black-eyed peas, or black beans (or one of each)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 pound Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 bag tortilla chips or 2 cups finely shredded cabbage

In a large bowl, mix vinegar, hot sauce, oil, garlic, pepper, and cumin. Peel, pit, and cut avocados into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat.

Drain and rinse peas/beans. Add peas/beans, corn, onions, cilantro, and tomatoes to avocado; mix gently to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve with chips as an appetizer, or add cabbage and mix to make a salad.

I made this for the first time on Monday, and we all liked it a lot. It'll make you hold your head up high and know you're alive again. Try it, before the parade passes you by.

That's it girls, just smile and wave -- smile and wave.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

out of the blue

A BAD MOOD has been hovering over me for the last two days.

Like a migraine.

It won't go away.

I woke up with it yesterday. And it's still with me. It sits right next to me -- not respecting my personal space at all-- and scowls at me, taunting me, daring me to defy it.

It recedes temporarily, after a dose of chocolate. Or ice cream. But still it niggles in the back of my mind, ready to flare at the slightest provocation.

Stupid little things bring it out. Like noises. And not even my normal pet peeve noises (cornnuts), but the sound of my dog panting. And my stupid stupid brakes that squeal EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I come to a stop. I'm embarrassed to pull up next to pedestrians because of the violent assault my brakes make on their innocent eardrums.

Unfortunately for my kids, even the sound of their happy, non-fighting chatter is BUGGING me!!!!! Poor kids -- and no PB&J to come to their (and my) rescue.

I'm trying to excise this foul, foul mood. I thought by doing something constructive I might cast it off. Apparently blogging is not enough. I might just have to break down and do something really, really awful to justify my bad mood. Like clean my shower. I celebrated my 30th birthday that way. Nothing could be worse than turning 30 and cleaning hard water deposits off my shower walls, right?

I did find this great quote while wandering around the wasteland of the worldwide web. It's by this guy of this band. I don't want to actually write his name because then my nice grumpy blog will get hit by a bunch of random emo/rockers searching for their hero. The next thing you know I'll be dying my hair black, applying excessive amounts of eyeliner, and wearing skinny jeans (which I look horrible in).

Then what would people think?

They'd probably think I'm in a REALLY REALLY BAD MOOD. And they might be right.

But. Back to the quote:

"We are in love and live in a castle in the sky. Our next door neighbors are carebears. Grumpy bear has a Baditude, but I still heart him. I hope your life is as magical as ours is."

You can sing along, if you'd like.

Just don't let me hear you.

emo picture originally downloaded by s0ugintou

Monday, July 21, 2008

pms poem monday

I found my ideal body the other day at the local water park. It was young. It had no stretch marks, no cellulite, no chicken pox scars. Everything was firm, toned, and in its appointed place.

As of late, I feel a little betrayed by my body. In the beginning, things were good between us. But Time, childbearing, gravity, and ice cream are taking their toll. As are the occasional (and the regularly recurring) aches and pains -- not to mention the dreaded genetic defects. (Shouldn't there be some kind of warranty for those?)

And so, I can't help but think that perhaps I didn't end up with the same model of body I originally requested when the bodies and parts were popping off the heavenly assembly line. The one I got is a bit defective. (Not that I'm asking for a recall, mind you.)
If I had picked which model of body I was sporting in life, I would have been tempted to go with something a little more like a sports car, and not so much like an old jalopy (I don't really know what a jalopy is -- I read it in a book once and I have always liked the way it sounds.)

And so, Rumi, though you may be hailed as one of the world's greatest mystical poets, today, on PMS Poem Monday, I have to disagree with this poem of yours:

When grapes turn
To wine, they long for our ability to change.

When stars wheel
Around the North Pole,
They are longing for our growing consciousness.

Wine got drunk with us,
Not the other way.
The body developed out of us, not we from it.

We are bees,
And our body is a honeycomb.
We made
The body, cell by cell we made it.

Because, Rumi, if I had made my body, I would have made it a little differently.

Now, I'm sure there is a reason for this model T body I've been blessed with, and I'm okay with that. I really am. But in the resurrection, when things are restored to their perfect frame, is PERFECT subjective or objective?

Just wondering.

Mysticize on that Mr. Medieval Persian Philosopher Man.

oh, and according to wikipedia "Jalopy is a common slang nickname for an old, decrepit and unreliable automobile which has limited mechanical abilities, and at times can barely move. It does not refer to a well kept antique car, but to cheap cars which are mostly rundown." There is no excuse for ignorance in the age of information.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hebrew National Kosher Beef Franks

Can I be frank?


Thank you.

In case you didn't know, baseball can rule your life.

For the Middle Carrotstick, baseball started in the middle of April.
The Littlest Carrotstick started T-ball in the second half of May.
T-ball finally ended the first week of July.

And the Middle Carrotstick's last baseball game was on Thursday. THURSDAY! That's 12 WEEKS of baseball. And not just one game a week. Oh, no. Try 4 games a week, for most of the last 73 weeks.

Do you know what that means?

It means we have spent many, many evenings at the ballpark.

Do you know what else that means?

It means I have not made very many good, healthy, sit-down, dinners in the last 326 weeks.

It also means (and I hate to admit this) that I have eaten a few frankfurters/hot dogs/coney dogs -- the official food of the national pasttime -- in the last 751 weeks.

(please don't think less of me.)

And one thing I know for sure: Ballpark Franks are not the way to go.

So, for Good Food Friday, can I recommend you try this week's recipe:

(Drumroll please)

Hebrew National Kosher Beef Franks

Cook 'em however you like. And eat.

That's it. This week's recipe. Fast and easy.

Some people like chili, cheese, onions, jalapenos, sauerkraut, bacon, or basically anything else on their hot dogs.

For the most part, I am a purest: Bun. Dog. Miracle Whip. Ketchup.

Unless PB&J takes me to J-Dawgs (yes, they do cater. So call to schedule your wedding or 50th Anniversary party.)

Or Puka Dogs .

And then I get whatever it is they put on 'em.

Both are definitely worth trying.


Stick to the Hebrew National.

Yes, they are more expensive, but for those times when you CRAVE a really really good hot dog (and you know you do) they are so, so worth it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

a post by dallin h oaks

Not really. But, in the manner of many a Mormon blogger, it is modeled after this great talk he gave in Conference last fall.

Playing on a great baseball team.

Playing on a great baseball team and winning the state championship.

Breaking your batting mental block, and repeatedly whacking the snot out of the ball!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

just one more thing

I know that last post was a little long. But I just have two more things to add to my COOL list. I'll try to keep it short.

Cool: Airplane rides home.
Not Cool: Trucker Butt. (sorry. no picture.)

Cool: A little metro panini bar in Charlottesville VA serving all kinds of crazy panini -- like panini with prosciutto, parmesan, and fig paste (weird, but good.) And the all time best -- nutella, marscapone, and strawberry panini. Mmmmm . . .
Not Cool: CORNNUTS! Death to Cornnuts! And to all the gas stations between here and "THE DISTRICT" that sell them!

panini picture originally downloaded by -clb-

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

the district

According to the now misplaced Mr. Beaver Mountain & Farm Girl,
all the Cool Kids refer to Washington, District of Columbia as merely "The District."

Being thus enlightened, I thought I'd share other some other COOL things with you.

Cool: A detour to Room and Board in Denver, courtesy of the GPS.
Not Cool: A detour that lets you see the St. Louis Arch only from the FREEWAY, courtesy of the *blank-ity blank* GPS.

Cool: Revisiting your old junior high, knowing you never have to go back there again.
Not Cool: Knowing your kids still have to face junior high.

Cool: The high humidity "smoky" mists that enshroud the famed Smoky Mountains.
Not Cool: The high humidity makes it hard to keep cool, and impossible to keep my hair straight.

Cool: The prodigious mansions of two of our nations presidents.
Not Cool: The prodigious amount of money Farm Girl will have to pay to rent an apartment that is the modern equivalent of George Washington's slave quarters. (Not quite. But close. Actually, their apartment is nice. But expensive. And it doesn't include a chicken coop.)

Cool: Finding the portrait of an ancestor in the National Portrait Gallery, and looking for family resemblances. (See any similarities?)
Not Cool: Finding pictures on your camera that your baby sister took when you were unaware. (Ok, so the pictures are just ridiculous, not uncool.)

Cool: Viewing "The District" from the roof of Mr. Beaver Mountain's office building.
Not Cool: Viewing the sore on my foot, after a day of walking around "The District" and just a few museums. (Warning: The following pictures may be disturbing. Viewer Discretion is advised.)

. . .

On second thought, just imagine the sore on my foot, and instead, enjoy this picture: (That would be a side view of the White House of the left side of the picture.)


Cool: My sister, Farm Girl.

Not Cool:

Leaving my sister 2000 miles away in Washington, District of Columbia.

Very, Very Not Cool.

p.s. arch picture originally downloaded by because, as you will remember, we couldn't get close enough to it to take a picture of our own.

p.s.s. if you care, you can click on any of the small pictures and get a larger view.


(please cue the triumphant sounding music)

It is official.

I have conquered Mount Laundry.

Otherwise known as L7.5 (or the laundry 5 people create, increasing exponentially and unchecked, for the last 7 days. However, it really should be L7.5+, because the Oldest Carrotstick changes outfits more times than a schizophrenic changes his/her/their mind.)

It took an entire day and more loads than I can count, but I can now see the dim light of day from the very high, oxygen deficient top of the folded clothes piles.


Now, if only I had a sherpa to pack all the piles away.

Laundry picture originally downloaded by catiedid242.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

competitive kate

Lunch Lady: Please welcome to the Sack Lunch Conspiracy: my baby sister.

Competitive Kate: Please, I prefer to go by Competitive Kate.

LL: Kate, just a few preliminary questions. Which do you prefer: crispy crunch fries, or smushy fries?

CK: Soft, smushy delectable fries, of course.

LL: Ewwwww. What about bacon: crunchy satisfying bacon or disgusting, soft, flabby bacon?

CK: Lovely, still malleable bacon is the best.

LL: Really???? Are you sure we're related???

Tell me a little about your family, Kate.

CK: Well, I've got a cutie pie husband, a fabulous mom and dad, three sisters and three brothers.

LL: Wow! That's a big family.

CK: I don't believe in the word "in-law". We're all just one, big, happy family.

LL: Interesting. In this large family of yours, where exactly do you fall?

CK: Very dead last. But I am the favorite child.

LL: Is that why you are so competitive? Are you trying to make up for your birth order? Is that the real reason you are always racing? In cars? In swimming pools? In marathons? In life? Do you have to be first in everything?

CK: I resent that. I am not that competitive.

LL: Right. Whatever makes you feel better. You have to admit that because you are the lastborn, you've really scored as a result.

CK: I have not!

LL: Oh yeah? Who did the parents take to Hawaii?

CK: Just their favorite -- MOI! (sticking her tongue out)

LL: See? Just as I said!
Thinking back on your favored childhood, what was the best thing Santa ever brought you?

CK: My puppy, Wicket the shih tzu.

LL: Kate!!! That dog was not just yours! He was the family dog! You think everything revolves around you!! How do YOU spell spoiled rotten?

CK: K-A-T-E?

LL: (under her breath) You got that right.

LL: Did your brother or sister ever call you names?

CK: (angrily) Yes. They told me I was a "part-time boy", that my real name was Reggie, and that Mom and Dad got me on a blue light special at Kmart.

LL: Huh. Sad. Is that the reason you wrote your name on your arm? To dispel the myth that your name is Reggie?
CK: No. I did that the second time I ran the Boston Marathon -- if you write your name on your arm (or leg) the spectators standing on the sidelines will call out your name and cheer you on. It's really cool. I wrote my name on my arm in permanent marker, and during the race I got really sunburned. When the marker finally wore off, my name was still there in white, untanned skin. Who knew permanent marker was an effective sunscreen?

LL: Ok. Enough about you. Kate, which one of your sisters never ever called you names, and instead coddled you, spoiled you, and bought your love with trips to the park and Mrs. Fields cookies?

CK: That would be you, Lunch Lady.
LL: So, looking back on your childhood, who would you say is your favorite sister?

CK: I'd like to take the 5th, and consult my attorney.

LL: You can't consult your attorney. He's still a law student, and you left him at home in Las Vegas. And besides that, since you are married to him, I think he has a conflict of interest and therefore can't represent you.

CK: I still object! You are trying to lead the witness -- I mean the interviewee. I think you are just trying to get me in trouble with the rest of the family! What kind of big sister would do that?

LL: If you'd just do what I tell you, we wouldn't be having this problem!

CK: You. Are. So. Bossy! I'm telling Mom! (she stomps off)

LL: (under her breath) Baby.

LL: This concludes another installment of Interviews with the Lunch Lady. I'd like to thank Competitive Kate for consenting to be interviewed. She really is the #1 Baby Sister in my book.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

ubermom 90210

Lunch Lady: Ubermom, thank you for joining us today on the Sack Lunch Conspiracy.

Ubermom: Thank you for having me!

LL: Thank YOU for being a part of the family!

(Ubermom smiles graciously.)

LL: Now, with all the niceties done with, let's get down to business. I understand you live in Hollywood, is that correct?

UM: We are actually closer to Beverly Hills than Hollywood.

LL: Ooohhh! I know you want to protect your privacy, (you Hollywood types are like that), but does your zip code rhyme with 9-0-2-1-go?

UM: (rolling her eyes, discreetly) No.

LL: So, what's it like living in Hollywood?

UM: It's more exciting than Salt Lake.

LL: (aghast) What? More exciting than Salt Lake City? The Gateway to the West? The Home of the 2002 Olympics? (shaking head in disbelief) Ok. So. If it's so exciting, do you see any Stars?

UM: Yes, but I don't really know who they are, because we try to protect our family from the filth so prevalent on the Silver Screen (and on the small screen). But I did see Basketcase Spears and her bodyguards in Target one day, and I occasionally see that crazy guy from 24.

LL: I understand your husband (my little brother) is in movies. What was it like to see your husband's name on the big screen for the first time?

UM: It was very exciting! I cried and yelled "WOOOO HOOOOO!"

LL: Your daughter's voice was scheduled to appear in the summer sensation Kung Fu Panda, but, I understand, at the last minute, her scene was cut. How does that make you feel?


LL: I understand you have children of several Stars in your primary class. Were you asked to sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements before you could teach them?

UM: No.

LL: In your experience, what is the most effective way to deal with paparazzi?

UM: Run 'em over.

LL: I understand you have met the famous Stephanie Meyer (of the Twilight series) several times. What was she like? What did she say to you? Were you disappointed when you met her in real life?

UM: Steph (that's what I call her) was about what I expected. She was very nice. The first time I met her, she confessed that she was currently serving on her ward's enrichment committee, and that she wanted to be released, because she was too busy, but her husband was in the bishopric and wouldn't let her get out of it that easily. So, she is just a person, just like the rest of us.

LL: (under her breath) Yeah, maybe just like you Ubermom. The rest of us aren't quite are with it as you. (outloud) Ubermom, I understand that on one occasion, you and your girlfriends went on a roadtrip to see Stephanie Meyer. BUT, for some reason, you declined going on a roadtrip with your mother and sisters-in-law this summer. Would you care to elaborate?

UM: No. Let's just say, Lunch Lady, that your brother has told me horror stories of traveling in a car with you, and that you have very long, very sharp fingernails and an aversion to chewing sounds.
LL: Don't believe a word he says! The cornnuts made me do it!

LL: Ok, Ubermom, I'm down to my last few questions. What's better, crispy crunch fries or soft smushy fries?

UM: Crunchy fries, but only if they're from Dairy Queen.

LL: Crispy bacon or flabby bacon?

UM: Both.

LL: Both? Eeeuuwww. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Thank you, Ubermom, for joining me today. It's great to have you as part of my family. I only I wish you thought we were as cool and fun as your girlfriends and that you were road tripping with us!

Kiefer picture originally downloaded by ballookey stephanie meyer picture originally downloaded by meesa

Sunday, July 6, 2008

break 10-4

10-4: I'm leaving the Home 20 and hitting the Big Road, takin' a Four Wheeler cross country with the mom and the two of the sisters. I'm leavin' the Better Half and the Ankle Biters at home. We're gonna go through Bright Lights, to the Gateway, and then it's on to Capital City. Hopefully the mom won't be doin' too much driving, 'cause she's happiest only goin' Double Nickles. I'll be doin' the Flip-Flop on Saturday, but takin' a Bird for the Backslide.
But don't worry. If you get bored, while I'm out Standin' on the Fuel Pedal, I've got a few things prepared for you here on the Sack Lunch Conspiracy.

Catch You on the Flip Flop.

(If you need a refresher course in trucker lingo, check here. It's very informative. And it will tell you why you don't want to go casually flinging around the "Good Buddy" phrase next time you're playing with a CB.)

Back Out.
Semi picture originally downloaded by lunacalle66.