Here’s an illustration I meant to get done before Christmas, but, you know, life.
It’s finished now, and was great fun!
Here’s a detail.
I love drawing so much <3
In unrelated news, I realized yesterday that I made the coloring contest deadline on Sunday, April 13th. There is no Sunday April 13th this year. This is yet further proof I shouldn’t be allowed near numbers.
Anyway, the coloring page deadline is now Wednesday, April 13th. Wear those crayons to the bone, my friends.
My mom is pretty much perfect.
…Except last week she set the house on fire.
(It was an accident.)
She’s not quite sure how it started, but here’s what we think.
In my mom’s kitchen, she has a cupboard she keeps small appliances in, like bread mixers and toasters. It has an outlet, so the toaster always stays plugged in.
The cupboard also has a sliding door.
Anyway, mom was cleaning the kitchen (as she does every hour or so), and made this cupboard good and squeaky clean.
What we think happened was the door caught on the toaster lever and forced it down.
Here’s a diagram. (I know this is fascinating.)
So however long later, mom was tucking my niece Sarah into bed for naptime. (My mom’s been watching Sarah while Katie’s in for a bone marrow transplant.) (Update on that at the end of the blog post.)
The fire alarm went off.
You know what the weird thing about fire alarms are? They go nuts whenever you try to boil water, but for some reason don’t go off when things are actually important.
They’re just jerks, that’s all.
Anyway, mom got downstairs to find:
MY MOM DOESN’T MESS AROUND!
She grabbed some hotpads, threw open the cupboard door
Grabbed that fire
Shoved it onto the floor
And started batting it out!
Meanwhile, on the porch:
(That’s the UPS man. In my family, we affectionately call the UPS guys the Brown Santa Claus. Except they’re even better, because they come every day.)
The UPS man saw all the smoke and beeping and RAN INSIDE TO SAVE THE DAY!!
He threw on the faucet and began pouring cups of water on the fire!
He was. I hope UPS makes him Employee of the Year!
Things settled down a little. My mom’s next-door-neighbor came over to help out (West Point, UT is Niceville, USA. I’m not even making this up, my family moved when I was 11 and we were like, Why is everyone here being so nice to us?? I haven’t met one mean person yet.) (Granted, I don’t ever leave my house…but still.)
Anyway, the neighbor was like, “We should probably call the fire chief, I think it’s regulation or something.” The phone call went kinda like:
NICE NEIGHBOR: We had a small fire kitchen fire here, it’s out now, you don’t need to send anyone, but we thought you ought to know–
FIRE DEPT: Really???! You had a fire???!?!
NICE NEIGHBOR: Well, it’s out now–
FIRE DEPT: HOT DOG!!!
They sent aaaaaall the firetrucks with alllll the sirens!
Everyone had a good time.
The demolition crew came and removed her burnt-up cabinets. They were also, oddly, quite impressed with her china (which I’ve only seen once in my life.)
My mom was having a hard time with it all. She was mortified by the whole scene it caused, sad about her kitchen, worried because my dad was gone on a business trip to the Middle East and she was alone to take care of everything, and to add to all that, she was scared to death of the insurance adjuster because he’s kind of a crab.
And then, suddenly everything was okay….
My mom says she’s not going to give up her hopes…but I follow her on Pinterest and I’ve never seen so many nice kitchens in my whole life:D
In other news: My sister had her bone marrow transplant on Wednesday!!
Here’s my sister, the donor:
(She’s okay! The Okayest!)
It’s really interesting how they did it–they gave her a big shot every day for five days in a row, then stuck a needle in each arm and pulled blood from one side, sorted it, then put it back in the other side. Somehow they were able to get stem cells from this. Crazy, huh?
The transplant went wonderfully :)
The doctors and nurses all came in and gave her a balloon and birthday card, because it was her Bone Marrow Birthday. This means when she’s 60, she’ll only be, like, 20!
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers…right now she’s recovering well, though these next few weeks will be dicey. We are so grateful for all your help!
My friend Joe once told a story of his screenwriting class.
In screenwriting class, you workshop the scripts your classmates have written. The class each gets a copy, you read it aloud, and then you “discuss”. Joe’s class had just finished reading a script written by a guy named…Sean. I think his name was Sean. Anyway, in Sean’s script, there was a scene where two women are sitting on a bed, in their underwear, eating chocolates.
They weren’t dressed in Victorian underwear, though. (My mom reads this blog, sooo…)
It was time to “discuss”. Joe, who was married and also had a bunch of sisters, began to “discuss”:
And Sean was like:
He obviously didn’t know what girls did when guys weren’t around. Because if he did, the scene would’ve been a girl sitting on the toilet, browsing Pinterest. For like, an hour.
(I’m sorry you had to see this. I’m sorry I had to see it, too. The truth hurts.)
(Side note: I have over 1800 recipes pinned on Pinterest. 1800! Guess how many I’ve made? 3. Not only am I a digital hoarder, but when the next giant solar flare hits, I’m up a creek…all those delicious recipes, sacrificed to the sun god. It breaks my heart (and my tummy) just thinking about it.)
Anyway, I’ve been thinking about poor Sean-who-knew-nothing-about-girls lately. At first I thought this was pretty funny…
Until I realized that, having been single for most of my life (minus that 1st grade fling with Gage), I don’t really know much about guys.
I am Sean.
Well, okay, not entirely. I once talked to a boy, so…I like to think I have a pretty good idea of what guys do when girls aren’t around.
And I am about to tell you.
The typical day for a man begins at 6:00 AM. Because guys grow beards while they’re sleeping, they have to shave in the morning. I don’t know a lot about shaving but I believe it’s done with an ax.
They then go and lift heavy things.
Men love lifting heavy things!
I can’t lift heavy things so I’m kind of jealous.
Oh my gosh…it’s just…I’m…this may have been the dreamiest picture I’ve ever drawn I need to go take a cold shower.
After that, most of the day is spent taking car engines apart. (Something I also cannot do.)
Hot sauce with names like: “Land of a Billion Tiny Black Peppers”….”Sweet Sweet Salsa Muerte”….”Melted Boiling Heart Cockles”….”Virgin Viper Kisses on Hot Asphalt.”
(I could do this for hours. I’m thinking about starting a hot sauce-naming company.)
And then…men put masks on, grab baseball bats, and go out into the city TO FIGHT CRIME!!!
Whap whap whap whap whap
Whap whap whap whap whap
Whap whap whap whap whap whap whap whap
After crime has been eradicated (around 11:00 or so), men like to get in touch with their soft-side by watching a feel-good chick flick. (Men love feel-good chick flicks.)
And then they aaalll go to bed…so they can do it again the next day!
Now you know. The secret life of men has been exposed. I’ve done you all a service. Thank me, shake my hand, leave a comment…but most definitely do not tell me that what men really do is just wander aimlessly around the aisles of Home Depot.
Don’t destroy my dreams.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the craziest day Of My Life. OF. MY. LIFE.
It began at 4 am, when I ran a Star Wars-themed 10K in Disneyland.
I’d been so nervous about it, I hardly got any sleep the night before. In fact I kept on having nightmares that I had to stop in the middle of the race so I could finish household chores.
It didn’t help that at the seedy hotel where we stayed, I was sharing a bed with my sister. (The Taylor Swift one.)
(She really did say that.)
Anyway. While it is crazy that I did any kind of outdoor activity, the REALLY crazy thing happened that night!
It turned out my friend, Christina (who’s as obsessed with Mary Poppins as I am!) was helping out at a Vantastix concert in California that same weekend!
The Vantastix is the acapella group that sings with Dick Van Dyke!!
And she asked if I wanted to come along!!!
I said yes…of COURSE!
I helped set up at the booth in the theater lobby, with CD’s and books and DVD DVD’s and things. I also met Dick Van Dyke’s wife, Arlene.
She was really sweet, and on the ball too. In fact, she hosted a Dick Van Dyke art show a couple of months ago! I’ve heard rumors there’s going to be another art show soon–all you artists who read this blog, get your Dick Van Dyke artwork gussied up!! I bet there’ll be a call for entries soon!
When the concert began, the stagehands even found me a seat, so I could see Dick Van Dyke himself in concert!!
I loved it when he told stories between the songs.
He told about when he was filming Mary Poppins, he also played the Elder Mister Dawes. (You probably already knew this.)
Sometimes, when he was still in costume, he went out on the studio lot where buses full of tourists were being taken around the studio to sightsee.
The bus would stop to wait for him to cross the road…
and he would take…
Then, when he finally passed, the bus would get going and he would kick up his legs and race the bus, hightailing it past all the stunned tourists! Hahaha!
I wish I coulda seen that :D :D
After the concert I helped pack up the booth, and Christina was like:
We followed a stagehand through a bunch of double doors, and there, at the end of the hall with the other Vantastix, there HE was!!!
Dick Van Dyke!!
I GOT TO MEET HIM!!
By george, I got my picture with him!!
We went back to the lobby to finish packing up the stuff, but I was kind of in a daze and don’t remember much.
But WAIT. It gets even CRAZIER.
…Because as we finished putting cleaning up the last of the booth, Dick Van Dyke himself came out into the lobby!! Just chatting and milling about and having a good time!
I am not kidding!
He began to dance like this!!
He’s still totally, totally got it.
When everything was packed up, Arlene was like, “What places are open til late around here?” and the stagehand was like “Cheesecake factory is open until midnight” and Arlene to everyone was like
“Okay, let’s go!”
And lest my ears were deceiving me, Christina was like:
WAS THAT OK
I WENT TO THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY
WITH DICK FREAKING VAN DYKE!!!!!!!
I still am trying to process this.
All through the restaurant, everyone was going nuts.
People were taking pictures and selfies.
Even the Cheesecake Factory waiters were geeking out!
Heck, the waiters…I was geeking out!
In case you were wondering…he’s exactly like he is in all those movies!! It’s so crazy how full of life he is. Just so bright.
He’d just look around the table and grin and everybody!
At one point, the waiter set a giant appetizer platter in front of him, with tons of leaves and fancy lettuce sticking up, and Dick Van Dyke was like:
At the end of the night, I ordered a lemon raspberry cheesecake to go (their best flavor) because I wanted to share with my sisters.
But when I asked for the bill…
I found out that Mr. and Mrs. Van Dyke were already paying it!
(I probably would’ve only ordered a glass of water and napkin had I known this)
(But still…awesome :) :)
We all left the factory as a group.
Dick Van Dyke held the door open for me!!! (!!!!!!!)
Needless to say, it was an amazing night.
I showed up at our seedy hotel around 1 AM, excited to tell my sissies the story and to share our cheesecake…compliments of Dick Van Dyke :)
And we ate it up, every crumb.
Here’s my picture from that night:
It was…the best night of my life.
(I can only go downhill from here!)
BTW, if you share this post, be sure to tag The Cheesecake Factory. I’m trying to convince them to change the name of their lemon raspberry cheesecake to “Dick Van Dyke” cheesecake.
Right now I’m drawing this in a freezing cold house. It’s freezing cold because the furnace went out, and the company it’s under warrantee with can’t come until Monday.
We’re also experiencing the coldest weather we’ve had in years. (Go figure.)
I don’t mind though because it means I get to sleep in my fridge, which is very warm comparatively. Plus: FOOD!
Did you have a good New Years? Have you already made your yearly unrealistic goals?
Last year I decided to record everything I ate on my phone.
It was the worst week of my life.
The first couple days I did pretty good…until I realized that not eating at all was way easier than logging it in my phone.
So I didn’t eat.
It got to the point where I didn’t want to get out of bed and I was seeing black blotchy things whenever I lifted five pounds or more.
About a week in, I was beat. So much for that goal.
My little sister made that same goal this year.
She’s eaten an apple so far.
I’ve decided that this year I’ll be much more realistic with my resolutions. In fact, I’ve decided to make them UNresolutions–things I won’t do this year.
They might actually get done!
First off, I resolve to quit staring out my window at my neighbors at all hours of the day. (They’ve said it makes them uncomfortable. I think they’re being overly sensitive.)
The same goes for following them around in my car, parking in front of their house and watching them come and leave.
This was one of my favorite pastimes and I’m really bummed about this resolution. (I secretly think they like it when I do this.)
My next unresolution is to not spend a penny on groceries–the whole year!
…And visit my parents more often!
I live about a mile away from my parents. They really love it.
My next unresolution: I resolve to NOT run the presidential candidates and all their little minions over with a giant tank that has poisoned spikes attached to its treads.
This one will be hard. Really, really hard.
And then there’s this unresolution: This year, I won’t buy a little white puppy in a moment on loneliness and then realize I’m always at work and can’t take care of it so I give it to my mom.
This has happened the past several years. (Really.) Sorry, mom. (She loves it.)
I unresolve to never leave my home again.
And lastly, I resolve to not set my sofa on fire in a moment of broken-furnace weakness.
This one will be the hardest one of all.
(Time to go make my bed in the fridge).
Dick Van Dyke (my favorite actor of all time) celebrated his 90th birthday this past week. I wasn’t able to go to the celebration in Disneyland, but I was still lucky enough to contribute! This limited edition print was given away at the Jolly Holiday bakery. I feel absolutely honored to have played a part in the event.
You probably recognize the Chitty doll and the chimney sweep, but that smiley face is from a little-known movie called “Bye Bye Birdie”–in one of my all-time favorite songs ^_^ Dick Van Dyke is just stellar in every role he plays.
I brought my camera & tripod to Temple Square last year, and made some cinemagraphs. The one above is my favorite, but these other ones are fun too.
Waaaait for it…
This one’s subtle. But I like the picture anyway.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, HOW in the world did she take these pictures without 5 billion people in the background??
I’ll tell you, my friends, and it’s Salt Lake City’s best kept secret:
Temple Square turns the lights back on at 6:00 AM.
Even the music plays. When I went, no one was there.
Except me :)
…And about 500 other photographers.
…And one very sleepy family of 7.
(I think they enjoyed it.)
The last blog post was inspired by an urban legend. You’ve probably heard it:
About 50 years ago, a lady decided to try one of those fancy beehive hairdoos.
The hairdresser was like, “Okay, it’s set. But if you want to keep it nice, never wash it–wrap it up in toilet paper every night and carefully sleep on it instead, and you won’t have to fix it in the morning! It’ll stay nice for a good long time.”
And the lady was like, “Swell!”
And that’s just what she did.
But after a while, her beehive hairdoo got real itchy.
Yeah, you guessed it. One night, in the middle of the night, she woke up like this:
This is a morality story: WASH YOUR HAIR.
Did you ever hear the urban legend about the bride? She decided to have her wedding at an old farm, with an old farmhouse and an old barn.
They decided to play hide and go seek.
Anyway, the bride went up to the attic and hid in a trunk–
…Which immediately slammed shut
And locked. Of course.
Everyone in the wedding party looked, and looked, and looked.
But they had to go home.
The groom searched but I guess gave up.
It’s weird how in these stories, they never contact the police.
The trunk remained untouched in the attic for years…
(You guessed it)
They found her!
This story is a cautionary tale as well: Never play hide and go seek on your wedding day. And I promise you: I never will.
Did you hear the urban legend about Martha Washington?
They dug up her coffin (why?) and found scratch marks on the inside of the lid.
This was a legit fear way back when…they didn’t put preservatives in bodies or anything, they just dressed the corpse in a Sunday suit and stuck it in the coffin and buried it.
Some people invested in a bell that was connected to a string tied to their finger, so if they woke up buried alive, they could ring it and someone would hurry and dig them up.
Now that we are civilized, of course, we make sure that you’re good and dead first by draining your blood and pumping toxic chemicals into you. Isn’t that a relief?
I bet you had a haunted auditorium when you were a kid.
(Everyone’s auditorium was haunted)
My elementary school was haunted.
Or so they said.
They said it had been built on an ancient Indian burial ground, and now 44 Indian braves haunt the school.
…Which I never witnessed (DARNIT!!!!), but a few months ago they were doing construction nearby, and what do you think they dug up?
Not a skeleton (I wish). But they did find Indian artifacts! So maybe it was true after all….
I won’t say what elementary school it was, because some of the kids who read this blog go to that school. I don’t want them scared to go to school, like I was. (Though for entirely different reasons.)
Have you seen This Man?
If you have, you are not alone. Everyone dreams about him…or so they SAY.
Learn more here at www.thisman.org…and don’t punch me in the face when visiting this site gives you nightmares O_____O
One last story. You know how every school has a haunted auditorium? I think every family has an urban legend.
Wanna know mine?
My grandpa ran into Bigfoot!
Here’s the story.
When my grandpa was a young’un, he had the smartest donkey you ever met. Her name was Ginny.
Ginny and Grandpa would often go to Democratic conventions (you know, because a donkey is their mascot) and they would do a fun little show for all the folks there. My grandpa would say:
And Ginny would shake her head furiously.
And then my grandpa would say:
And she’d be like:
And everyone thought that was pretty great, until of course the Republican nominee actually did win (because this is Utah.)
All this to say, Ginny really was a smart little thing!
Anyway, one day, Grandpa and Ginny would backpacking up in the mountains.
On their way to the middle of nowhere–there wasn’t a person around for miles–there was suddenly a giant rustling in the foliage up ahead.
Along with the rustling came a terrible, terrible smell. It was just awful.
Ginny went crazy. She bucked and pulled and sat down and refused to go any further at all.
Grandpa was forced to turn around. Ginny hightailed it down that mountain!
Was it Bigfoot? My grandpa thought so.
And maybe it was! Who knows? It definitely makes for a good Halloween story!
Does your family have an urban legend? Ghost sightings? Mind-reading? Leave your story in the comments section!