Friday, January 29, 2010


So I made three versions.  I like one the best.  FH likes a different one the best.  We have the same second place one.  What time will the two trains meet?

Which one do you like the best?  The least?  Why?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I don't make resolutions

As far as I can remember, I don't make New Year's resolutions.  There's no point.  You invariably give up.  And people tend to use it as an excuse to put things off.  "Oh, I'll stop [insert whatever terrible, unhealthy, dangerous thing they do] at New Year's."  Bah, I say.  Bah!  Isn't it better to make a course correction when you realize you're on the wrong track, rather than in a few weeks?

Anyway, I decided the other day that I need to be better about planning dinners, otherwise a) we end up eating a lot of breakfast for dinner, including cold cereal, 2) I wander up and down each grocery aisle, trying to think of new things to eat, and d) I don't take advantage of the grocery ads like I could.  Also, it helps me use up ingredients.  If I'm going to open a can of refried beans or buy a bunch of broccoli, it's nice to be able to use it all before it goes bad.

So I started writing a weekly menu.  I even have a magenetic menu planner/grocery list pad given to my by the good people at...Betty Crocker?  General Mills?  Some big food company.  So now the FH can see what we're having for dinner, and I've (at least somewhat) committed to it.  It helps, because if you know you're having cheesy broccoli rice soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner (this evening's selection) you can get in the mood for cheesy broccoli rice soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  It's a great system so far.  I'd really like to commit to it.  Last night we had fry bread, as previously announced, so I guess we're off to a good start.

Next up: getting more produce in our diets.  (See "buy a bunch of broccoli.")  And maybe one day, going back to the gym!  January was not a great month for our family.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'll get you next time, Gadget!

We have a little game in our house, called "Kitchen Gadgets I Don't Have."  It's actually pretty challenging, especially if you're playing the "don't have, but want" version.  I love kitchen gadgets and tools, and I'm not ashamed.  So what if I've only used my mandoline slicer three or four times?  It was super handy for those four times!

I was trying to decide what my favorite tool is the other day.  I love my medium size scoop--it makes cookies or scoops ice cream! It fills mini muffin pans perfectly!--but I think my favorite, my essential non-essential tool, is my very fine mesh sieve.  It sifts, it strains, it drains, you name it.  I can pretty much get rid of my flour sifter and colander, thanks to this little guy.  I can make things with berries (I hate seeds).  I use it to drain spinach, make my own cranberry juice, strain seeds and pulp when squeezing lemons, take the grit out of my watermelon juice when making granita, dust coffee cake with powdered sugar, sift flour, drain small amounts of pasta...I love it.

I have this one:

If you don't have one, might I suggest you consider investing?  I promise, you'll never run out of uses for it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A non-Facebook bonus

When our photographer took this picture, he looked at the preview and said, "Don't tell my wife I said this, but holy cow.  Those eyes!"  Yep, pretty much.  When we were looking through all the pictures last night, I reached a point where I knew we were getting close to this one.  "!"  He counted down to it.  Clearly it made an impression.  FH asked if he was going to use any of our photos on his website, and seƱor photographer nodded emphatically.  I'm guessing this one will make an appearance.  There are some other great shots (see Facebook), but I think this one was his favorite.

Crazy days

So, yesterday was crazy.

Let me preface my story by saying that my fabulous husband is well and has not had a heart attack, blood clot, collapsed lung, or anything else life-threatening.  But we didn't know that yesterday, when he had a pain in his chest, which got worse as the morning progressed.

The sick leave policy at FH's place of employ is draconian at best.  (And, after reading his employee handbook last night, the policy they follow is not that set out in writing.  I suggested he speak to his supervisor and ask where this new, harsher policy is documented.)  Long story short, it's possibly his last absence for the next year.  Maybe.  So the poor man was resisting seeking medical treatment, until finally his coworker insisted that he see someone about it.

They happened to be in Layton at the time, and just blocks away from the hospital.  He visitied the ER, and I left work just after 9:30 to drive up there.  Nearly four hours later, he was back on the streets.  They think--think, though I'm not so sure--that he has pleurisy, or inflamation of the lining of the lungs.  He is now on anti-inflammatory pain medication, which seems to dull but not eliminate the pain.  It also seems to make him the tiniest bit loopy, and not at all sleepy.  We watched Twilight and several episodes of Hogan's Heroes.  Our wedding photographer came over to drop off the DVD of our pictures (pictures to come!!) and we chatted with him for a while.  We looked at all the pictures.  He sat and puttered on the computer.  At one o'clock I finally had to tell him, "Baby, I've GOT to go to bed."  He says he didn't sleep much.  He tried to convince me that he should sleep on the couch so that I could sleep better, but I naturally refused.  I did in fact sleep soundly, for once.  If only I could sleep soundly and get more than five and a half hours of sleep.

Anyway, crazy times at our house yesterday.  Well, not so much at our house, as for our family.

Speaking of our house, does anyone want to buy it?  We want to move to Arizona.  We'll sell it for what we owe....

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jerry, when are you gonna come see the baby?

The first time I touched a computer during our trip to Arizona, I was checking in for the flight back. THAT is how delightful it was.  Shopping at the outdoor mall without a coat (although we did buy some lovely winter wear on clearance at Eddie Bauer, since winter is over in Arizona), not wearing a coat, no space heater or heated matress pad...just lovely.

There was also an incredibly cute baby.

I kind of made him hold the baby several times.  He had never held a baby before holding Chloe at our wedding, so I told him he needs to practice.  She started fussing when he held her before, but it was because she was about to spit up.  Lucky him, she spit up all over me.  But when he picked her up this last time, she instantly fell asleep.  I'm just glad he's started holding her normally.  Before, it was like she was a ticking bomb covered in goo.

I'm not much of a picture taker, but I was going through my phone and found this one:

We had gotten to the hotel and I was marvelling at the size of the bathroom.  I took my veil and bobby pins out.  "Honey!" I yelled to the other room.  "Come look at my hair!  My hair looks awesome."  He agreed that it did, but for some reason, he wasn't as enthused. 

In other news, someone just called my cell phone from a number I didn't recognize.  So, as I do in these situations, I answered with "This is Cathie."  "Is this Mrs. Gifford?" the voice said.  I paused.  Do I correct her?  Nah.  "No, it certainly isn't."  It turned out to be my home warranty company, calling to persuade me to renew.  So, because I bought the house, the automatically assume I'm married?  Yeah, well, newsflash, I bought the house when I was single.  Because it turns out you can have a life when you're single.  You can buy cars, houses,'s amazing the things they let women do these days!

I don't know why that annoyed me so much, but it really did.  Shouldn't she have just asked for Ms. Gifford?  There's no male name on the warranty, anyway.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How I picked my vacation destination



It doesn't hurt that my family lives there, too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Minty fresh money!

Do you know about  It's a free money management tool that keeps track of your bank accounts, credit cards, loans, investments...pretty much everything but how you spend your cash.  (I'm sure they're working on it.)  It's a great tool for keeping an eye on where your money is going.  They even make charts and graphs.  Lots of them.  Net worth over time, spending by category, your spending versus the average, etc.

I love charts and graphs.  Pie charts especially!  The only thing I love more is Venn diagrams. I've got a thing for Venn diagrams.  True story.

In addition to being a great, quick way to look at your finances, I like it because they have an iPhone app (alas, no Android app for me) so the Fabulous Husband can keep an eye on things, too.  He says he's content to let me deal with the money--which I'm happy to do--but this way I can't sneak off to Ann Taylor Loft and re-wardrobe myself without him knowing.  It's all about checks and balances.  Or at the very least, knowing what checks have cleared and our current balances.

So, yes.  I highly recommend Mint.  "But you don't have to take my word for it!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coupla things

I found an orange cranberry muffin in the backseat of my car the other day.  I'm pretty sure it's from Thanksgiving time.  Clearly, it's time to clean out the car.

We recently got new nightstands from IKEA, but they're actually desk supports.  We were looking at filing cabinets, too.  Don't think outside the box; just look at other boxes.

No one cares what color bra you're wearing.  People are already well aware of breast cancer.  Indeed, it's the only cancer for which I can name an associated foundation.  I also can't think of any other cancer associated with a color, or with its own month.  I think breast cancer awareness is doing okay.

And let's face it, putting your bra color on Facebook doesn't really accomplish anything.  It's more than I want to know or imagine about my dearest friends and acquaintances.  Or to quote a movie, "Ew. Please let that be the end of your story."

Lastly, my throat hurts and has weird white things on it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


You guys.  YOU GUYS!  Sorry.  I say that a lot.  I blame T-Rex.

You guys, I don't even like pudding, and all I can think about lately is Deb's caramel pudding recipe.

Look at this:

(photo from Smitten Kitchen)

It looks amazing.  So, so amazing.  I think I might have to make a half batch soon because a) I have all the ingredients 2) did I mention it looks amazing? and d) I'm not on a ridiculously strict diet anymore.

I guess what I'm saying is, look for my review soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We're adjusting

By "we" I mean "I."  I am adjusting.  You'd think my fabulous husband has always lived here, he's adjusted so well.

Me?  Not so much.  I've been sick.  A lot.  Am feeling better, somewhat.  Of course, I woke up this morning and my throat kind of hurt.  I also thought the kitchen smelled like garlic.  That's not exactly a sickness, but at 7 a.m., it might as well be.  I'm pretty sure FH had Special K for breakfast like usual, so I don't know where the garlic smell came from.  Pretty gross.

I don't sleep well.  Husband, of course, sleeps like the dead.  Everything wakes me up.  When he rolls over.  When he gets up to go to the bathroom.  (I thought getting up to pee was just an old/pregnant people thing.  I was wrong.  That, or my husband is pregnant.  Unlikely.)  When he breathes.

Thus far, there's no actual snoring.  Just breathing.  But loud breathing.  Deviated septum breathing.  That reminds me of a story.

"Every time I woke up during the night," he said the other day, "your hand was on my chest."

Now, this is not how the Cathinator sleeps.  No, she often sleeps with her hands under her cheek, or her arm under her pillow.  Not with her hand on her husband's chest.

But that is how she wakes him up when his breathing annoys her!  Her hand was on his chest every time he woke up because she had put it there with the express purpose of waking him up.  His story was a lot less cute and romantic after that realization.

Still, it's been great fun.  We rarely have a day off in common--except Sunday, which is always full of church and napping--so I took Monday off so we could have our New Year's Day (observed).  It's so nice to wake up on your own terms, even if you're still waking up at eight.  Stupid alarm clocks, bossing me around all the time.  We went and got his eyes checked and picked out new glasses.  I know he needs glasses, but I'm not sure how I feel about this.  I dated and married a man who didn't wear glasses.  This is misrepresentation!  Bait and switch!

But don't worry, I like his new frames, and I'm sure I'll get used to them.  Jolly well have to, I suppose.  He also got prescription sunglasses, which hopefully he will be more diligent about hanging on to than his regular ones, which he routinely loses for weeks at a time.  I, meanwhile, buy a pair of sunglasses for $15 and wear them for six years before losing them in an unfortunate river accident.  (I was more upset about the sunglasses than the gaping head wound that was pouring blood.  I'm that attached to my cheap-o sunglasses.)

We went out to lunch, we went shopping (honestly, who builds an open air mall in Salt Lake City?!), we went to the movies.  I cried at least four times in "The Princess and the Frog."  It was very cute.  Way better than the last hand-drawn Disney movie, "Home on the Range."  That one was...unremarkable.  I didn't find the songs catchy enough to be singing on the way out of the theater, and I think small children might be frightened of their shadows after seeing it, but overall, it was good.

It was a delightful time, and it really made going back to work painful.  I suppose it wouldn't be as fun if that's all we ever did, right?  We'd get bored and want real work?

In related news, I haven't worked a full week since before the wedding.  And I don't intend to start.  I'm taking next Friday off and have the 18th off for the holiday.  The last week of January is going to be painfully long, I think.

Speaking of painfully long, I'm so over winter.