Friday, March 24, 2006

The Month of Abject Poverty on Pause

The Month of Abject Poverty has been put on official Pause.

You may say, "Hey! You can't do that! A vow of poverty can't be put on pause!"
And I would have to agree with you if you were the one that made up The Month of Abject Poverty. But you didn't. The ThSteeds did, so we can change the rules as we see fit. Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

We have enacted the Pause because we are taking a vacation to a place of unrestrained opulence and gaudy monstrosities. (See photo)

We are leaving tonight, Friday, for the Brass Clan home. We will stay there for the weekend then leave The Big O with his grandparents while Theric and I take a two day trip to see Hearst's Castle.

We are very excited.

(We did not pay for the tickets to see said Castle. See! We are so still being thrifty.)

We will try to not spend money. But there will be restaurants to eat at, lots of gas to buy, and possibly some sort of large marble statue to bring home.

Hmmm, should we get a male or female nude?

Monday, March 20, 2006

Time Out!

Saturday I attended Time Out for Women at the Long Beach Convention Center. If you have the chance to go I would recommend it, you’ll have a good time.

I got to hear Wendy Watson, Sherri Dew, Emily Watts and Stephen E. Robinson speak. Oh and Michael McLean too. The first three were great; they were so funny and gave me much to think about. Stephen E. Robinson was also good but seemed a strange choice for this event.

First, he’s not a woman. Second,well he just wasn’t nearly as funny or as skilled at working the crowd as the previous three—I felt like I was back at BYU in a religion class listening to a lecture. Which makes sense, since he is a religion professor at BYU. Not to say he wasn't entertaining at all, he was, he made a few good jokes, got the crowd to snicker, but he was no Sherri Dew. Though he did say one of my favorite things of the day (this is a paraphrase of what I remember, not a direct quote) :

‘I have suggested to the Brethren many times that we institute a thing I like to call Public Slappings. A slap would be administered to each person in a ward that has taught or
perpetuated a falsehood about salvation. These slappings could take place on Fast Sunday
just before the blessings of the babies.’

I’ve got to admit that think this is a great idea! Some people just need to be slapped. Though it might make a bad impression on investigators…

So, Time Out for Women was great. I laughed, I cried, I felt the Spirit and my soul was fed—pretty good deal for 35 bucks, I highly recommend it.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Vote for The Big O

Late last week I was going through the MyPoints Bonus Mail I get. One offered a chance to earn fifty points by regeistering with Shutterfly and entering their Make Me SmileContest. I thought, "Hey I've got at least fifty cute pictures of The Big O easily ascessible on the computerhere, I could enter and get me fifty quick points!" So I registered then proceeded to go through the pictures. I got it narrowed down to five.

After much personal debate, I managed to pick one to enter. And yes, now I'm going to ask you all to go and vote for my photo of The Big O...Before March 31. Please.
(Just so you know, going here you will learn The Big O's real name, and learn my name as well. So if you would perfer to not know these things, don't vote.)

Do it here:

I picked this photo because

a. It makes me smile

b. I think the pose is unique. I really like the fact he is not looking at the camera and that I caught him right in the middle of laughing at something...I don't remember what.

c. How could those dimples and all that baby fat not win?

(Ok, I know it's not going to win, there's like 6,000 entries, but hey maybe if you all vote it might have a chance.)

If I win, I'll make you a cake.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

If I knew you were comin' I'd've baked a cake

I made this cake for Enrichment Meeting. It was delicious.

If you let me know you are coming maybe I'll make you a cake.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Month of Abject Poverty:Report Two

The Thteeds did much better during the second week of March. No unallowed purchases. Just allowed purchases of gas, milk, cheese, corn tortillas, flour tortillas and bread. Hooray for us.

However, we did have outflow of money that fell into the Ambiguous, but Absolutely Necessary category:
1. Renewal and upgrade of Costco Membership
2. Renewing Car Insurance Policy and adding me to it.

Both of these expenditures were huge and will pretty much negate any saving we have this month. ...sigh...

Perhaps April will be a Month of Poverty too.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sacrament Celebrity

Today Theric and I spoke in our ward's Sacrament Meeting. I managed to use up all of my time and some of Theric's. I also managed to speak clearly and not puke all over the podium. Plus I think the talk I prepared was pretty good and it seemed like people were actually interested in what I was saying.

After the meeting was over many people came up to tell us what a good job we did and they all seemed like they were actually really impressed by our talks and us. It was nice to know that the words I had prepared were heard and appreciated by the fellow members of my ward. Plus it felt really nice to have so many people I don't really know yet tell me how great I was.

Preparing a talk for sacrament meeting is not an easy thing for me. I also have a difficult time speaking in front of large groups. But afterwards, it seems I always receive many compliments saying how good it was and what a good speaker I am. So that's nice, having my ego stroked. I just wish I could remember how good it feels.

It occurred to me that being the speaker in Sacrament meeting automatically makes you a Celebrity in your Ward for that Sunday. Perhaps it would be easier for the bishopric to convince people to speak in sacrament meetings if, instead of saying, "Brother and Sister So-and-so, how would you like to speak in church in two weeks?", trying, "Brother and Sister So-and-so, you've been selected to be the sacrament meeting celebrity on March 26!!! Congratulations!!!"

But of course the real celebrity of sacrament meeting is Jesus Christ, not the speaker. So shame on me.

Some Additional Information

I recently learned that the Betty Crocker Catalog will be shutting down at the end of this year.

HA! Turns out I was right about their poor shipping practices running them into the ground.

(If you have no idea why I am posting this go and read the previous post.)

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Beautiful Shards

Warning: What follows is a rant from Lady Steed. Please excuse me while I rant a while.

My Fiesta ware arrived yesterday. I was excited, and a bit amused at the two huge boxes that arrived. Then less amused when I noticed one of the boxes had a hole at the bottom.

The first box I opened had the Halloween pieces I ordered; they are so cute! I can't wait till Halloween to use them.

On to the next box--the Sea Mist pieces. This was the box with the hole and the larger of the two. The actual dimensions: 22.75in x 13.5in x 16.25in high, this was a large box. I opened it--packing peanuts. Arrgh! I dug through the peanuts and pulled out a medium sized box, a smaller box, then another, then a stack of something wrapped in bubble wrap, then another wider stack wrapped in bubble wrap. The second stack was noisy and limp, not a good sign.

Amazingly the fruit bowls (a stack of four, each separated with a piece of paper, wrapped with bubble wrap) were each in one piece. Sadly the 2 serving platters were in many pieces. They too were only wrapped in bubble wrap. Two of the serving bowls were fine, the other cracked right down the middle. I was most upset. These pieces were all in Sea Mist! A color Homer Laughlin is no longer making! Each piece is now a collectors item! What a tragedy!

One would think that the Betty Crocker catalog, which has been in existence for many years, would know by now how to ship breakables so they do not break! From my order, a third of it was ruined! You can't run a mail-order business if one third of each shipment you send arrives to the customer destroyed! Then you have to replace each destroyed item! How is that profitable?

All of these items were in this big box together with just packing peanuts as protection. Obviously during transit the box would get tossed around a little and all things inside, since there was lots of extra room, would bang into each other! And then of course break! Why didn't they use a smaller box?! Or just ship each item individually? WHY!? WHY?!

Fortunately they are sending me replacements for the broken pieces.

I just hope they pack them better.

On a happier note: The Big O had a great time playing with the packing peanuts. Then he had even more fun trying to clean up his mess with his little vacuum. Those peanuts kept him occupied for at least an hour--it was great!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Stood Up

Yesterday I got stood up by my new visiting teachers. I haven't even met them yet and they already don't want to visit me!

(SOB!!SNIFF!! NO one LIKES me!!!...Whoa, pull it together woman!....Breathe....Ok, better now. Let's continue.)

One of them called me on Thursday to set up the appointment. We settled on Monday at 4.30pm. I spent most of the day trying to make the apartment look presentable. At 4.15pm I had Theric and Big O go into the bedroom and settle into a movie. 4.30pm came, passed and no knock on the door. Soon it was 5.30pm. I decided they must not be coming.

Now I don't feel insulted by this or anything. I am sure there is a good reason for their not showing up. I can think of a few occasions in the past when I failed to show up for a visiting teaching appointment I made. But I can't help but wonder if this is a foreshadowing of my future with these new visiting teachers. I hope not. I would really like to have good visiting teachers while we are here in the AV-it will make living here a little more palatable.


Theric likes raspberries.

I learned that they are his favorite fruit on Saturday while we had dinner with his parents and grandmother at Marie Callendar's.

While there I heard him utter the sentence, "The thing I remember the most from our wedding day Lady Steed, is those raspberries at the reception. Man, they were the best raspberries I've ever had!"



On our wedding day I was outshone by produce.

This does not please me.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Month of Abject Poverty:Report One

The Month of Abject Poverty is off to a shaky start.

March 1st: No purchases of unallowed items. Good.

March 2nd: Big O and I went to Tehachapi. Through great restraint did not purchase favorite cookies (Nuss Eken) from Kohnen's Country Bakery. Whew.

March 3rd: In Tehachapi for the day went home late afternoon. Attended first session of Stake Women's Conference. No unallowed purchasing. Excellent.

March 4th: Attended rest of Women's Conference with V. , my sister-in-law. At the end of the meeting V. asked if I would mind if she stopped at Target so she could pick up some picture frames. I panicked. My mind said, NO! Don’t do it! You are weak! But my mouth said, No problem. Big mistake. Up until this point I was doing well. I knew Target would be a temptation but I felt I could handle it. (Never mind that I knew putting myself in a Target was like putting a hungry monkey in a barrel of bananas and telling him not to eat any bananas. Hah! You know that monkey is going to chow down till he bursts. Silly monkey.) I was just going to help V. pick out some picture frames and then show her the clearance areas in the Lancaster Target. Simple. But I just couldn't help myself; I had to look through the merchandise. How could I not?!

V. asked my opinion on throw pillows, sheets and drapes (she's decorating her apartment). It was so fun to help her find stuff. I was just picking out some window panels for her when I saw this beautiful shade of pale sage green. Oooo! I said, “Pretty..... I picked up the package Cashmere Throw. Lovely...I love this color. I opened the package and the true seduction began. Oh my goodness. This is so soft.... mmmmm. I looked at the price. Could that be right?! Wow V. look. Marked down to $7.50 from $30.00!Amazing! V. made an effort to talk me out of it (she knows about the Month of Abject Poverty) but I could tell she really didn't want to; the girl knows a deal when she sees one. I carried the throw around for the rest of our time in the Target. Soon it was time to leave and before I knew it I was standing outside with the throw in a Target bag, bought and paid for. The seduction and consumation was complete...How did that happen? When we got back to the apartment I quickly went to the bedroom and put the bag under the bed. Theric still doesn't know about it, but now he will. Sorry love. I am weak.

Further weakness: Threic, Big O and I went out to dinner with Theric's parents and grandmother tonight. If they had not dropped by unexpectedly we would not have gone, but it seemed rude to not accompany them to dinner. And we couldn’t really ask them to pay for us. So we went to Marie Callendar's. We bought a pie. (It’s the last day of Pie Month! How could we not? We love pie!) We had a tasty dinner. We are experiencing slight indigestion due to feelings of failure.

We resolve to do better next week.

tagging/four things...thing...

Four Jobs I've Had
Newspaper Delivery Girl
Bed and Breakfast Receptionist/Housekeeper
Graphic Designer for Marriott School Alumni Relations, BYU

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over Again
Napoleon Dynamite
About a Boy
Pride & Prejudice (A&E mini-series and the one directed by Andrew Black)
Legally Blonde

Four Places I've Lived
Millbrae, CA
Moss Beach, CA
Provo, UT
Tehachapi, CA

Four TV Shows I Love
Home Movies
Malcolm in the Middle (Got the first season for Christmas and have already watched it twice.)
Cowboy Bebop
Good Eats

Four Highly Regarded and Recommended TV Shows That I've Never Watched a Full Episode of
My Name Is Earl
Everybody Hates Chris
(and practically any other one you could name. We don't have tv.)

Four Places I've Vacationed
Crater Lake
Santa Rosa

Four of My Favorite Dishes
Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup
Roast Chicken with Roast Vegetables

Four Sites I Visit Daily
Miss Nemesis' Voice of Reason
thmazing’s thmusings
Foxy J's Yellow Wallpaper

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
My Parent’s house
The Beach
Any Art Museum
A Dance class

Four Bloggers I Am Tagging
I refuse to do this…..I don't even know four other bloggers that have not already done this.