Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Wedding Season Is Upon Us, Fo' Sho'!

Short of someone proposing marriage on American Idol (go here to see that impossibe-for-the-average-person-but-so-cool-for-these-people hoohah), the marriage proposal pulled off by the guy in the video below is pretty hard to top!  Can you imagine the preparation required?  The anticipation?  The thrill of pulling this off?  THE SECRETS KEPT BEHIND HIS BRIDE'S BACK FOR PETE'S SAKE??? 

This bride better get working NOW on her wedding reception flash mob cuz you know that's just gotta happen, right?  I mean, she now owes him at least that, I'd say.

Let's all give one, huge, collective AWWWWWW . . .

Monday, May 28, 2012

You're Tellin' Me!

Amen, sister!
The end.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"And Then I Saw Your Face, Now I'm a Believer! Yeah! . . . "

" . . . not a trace of doubt in my mind . . . "  Hey!  Whoa up!  Does this mean that I have to pay royalties to The Monkees?  If so, then I take it all back.

Anywho, I stumbled across this very interesting take on faces and the screwiness of the human mind.  From the website Petalpixel.com:  

"If you ever create a slideshow of portraits, you might want to avoid showing them aligned side-by-side with a gap in between. The videos [ linked below] show a crazy optical illusion that researchers have dubbed the 'Flashed Face Distortion Effect'. By flashing ordinary portraits aligned at the eyes, the human brain begins to compare and exaggerate the differences, causing the faces to seem hideous and ogre-like." Researcher Matthew Thompson writes,
Like many interesting scientific discoveries, this one was an accident. Sean Murphy, an undergraduate student, was working alone in the lab on a set of faces for one of his experiments. He aligned a set of faces at the eyes and started to skim through them. After a few seconds, he noticed that some of the faces began to appear highly deformed and grotesque. He looked at the especially ugly faces individually, but each of them appeared normal or even attractive.

See if you become as furrrrrreeeeeaked as I was:

 I am pretty darn sure I won't be able to sleep tonight . . . 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How Sean Graciously Saved Me From Myself

Gear up for the sweetest thing, boys and girls:  

I called Seanie on Saturday and got his voicemail.  I figured he was at his work at the MTC doing that whole, you know, teaching adoring greenie missionaries how to say "Howdy-do, ya'll!  Want to learn more about the LDS Church?" {except in Espanol} thing, so I just left a voicemail message.  A little bit later, Seanie returned my call and then almost immediately said, "Uhhhhhhhhh, Mom?  Uh, can I call you right back?"  Well, GUESS WHAT?  Yup!  You're probably way ahead of me here, right?  Seanie indeed was just leaving work right then when he returned my call and then just happened upon Christian!  While I was on the phone with him!  I know!  Can you believe this?!  So, Sean hung up with me without telling me what was what and then promptly went and gave Christian one last, lovely brotherly hug goodbye as Christian was due to fly out the following Monday.  Wanna know the truth?  (Excuse me.  Tick, tock.  Tick, tock.  I'm tearing up even as I write this because those two boys have such a love for one another like you've never seen. Tick, tock.  Tick, tock.  It is truly a beautiful thing.)  Sorry.  Okay, I'm okay.  Yes, I'm okay.  Waaaaahhhhhhhh.  Anywho, Seanie then called me back and told me he had just seen Christian and embraced him and sent him off with his blessing.  Hark!  Do you hear angels singing?  

Believe me or not, I was actually very thankful that Sean didn't tell me what was going down while I was on the phone with him, for that would have simply been just too ding-dong hard for me to handle at that moment in time.  It also would have put me in an impossibly awkward situation in that I would have desperately wanted to talk to my young elder, yet I'm all about keeping those mission rules because I know awesome blessings come from that whole being obedient jazz.  What would I have done given the opportunity?  What?  What?  WHAT?  Thankfully, Seanie saved me from myself that day.  What a good boy he is to go behind his mama's back like that.  Thank you, Sean.  I love you for being so protective and wise.

Sidebar:  Sean has had the great luck of seeing and speaking with Christian quite a few times during Christian's nine-week stay at the MTC.  What a tender mercy for this mama who loves all of her children more than life itself.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

That One F.R.I.D.A.Y. Fiesta When Aldolpho Totally Chilled Out (Literally)

Meanwhile back at the ranch . . . 

Yup, the F.R.I.D.A.Y. tradition lives on, although I'm sure you'll agree that I'm seriously a huge slacker cuz this particular F.R.I.D.A.Y. was about three decades ago.  But, anywho!

The very lovely Emily, a very good pal of Christian's from back in his good ol' BYU days, joined our rapidly shrinking F.R.I.D.A.Y. foo-la-la membership this go-round, boosting our numbers by a healthy 33%!  YEAH! Thank you, Emily!  Not only did Emily totally liven up the joint, but she also livened up the conversation and funness (not a real word, but ya know) by much, much more than a measly 33%!  YEAH!  Thank you again, Emily!

Emily factoid:  She has perfect teeth.  Boom!  (See them?!!!)  She is also quite the smarty-pants, having earned some itty-bitty, full-ride, four-year scholarship to BYU--no big deal there.   She also loves shoes and shopping.  Sean was totally outnumbered and out of his element in that regard, but I was having a euphoric moment, if you want to know the truth of it all.  And!  She didn't mock me once (well, as far as I know . . . ) about our Aldolpho inaneness.  That, right there, is the mark of  stellar etiquette and proper comportment in my {Emily Post's} book. 

So, yeah!  Aldolpho!  He took a chill-pill while we were lunching and seemed to be no worse for the wear.  Check it!:

Did you spot the tot? 
(As in, Aldolpho?)
Aldolpho looks especially comfy-cozy here as he acts as a replacement for the traditional pocket protector.  He needs to nerd himself up a bit more if he really wants to be a pocket protector.  His hair is too trendy.  Just MHO.

Whoooo boy, I miss this handsome elder!
A little help here?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our Very Own Lil' Lehi, Utah's Version of Susan Boyle

Want to give yourself a break from all of the bad news in the press?  Then, give this article from the Salt Lake Tribune a read.  I couldn't say whether or not the guy highlighted in the article is all that as far as his technique and talent are concerned, but after watching the video below and after seeing the wack-a-doodle acts prior to his (stripper magician, anyone?  anyone?), I do suddenly feel the need to go put on a shimmery evening gown and pearls, drive my Rolls Royce somewhere, and eat some Grey Poupon Mustard, right pinky raised.

Skip to the video if you're too impatient to slog through the article.  You don't have to do everything I tell you to do, although I like to think that you do.  Just don't tell me if you don't.  I like my delusions of grandeur, don't you know.

Salt Lake Tribune:    
Utah has its own version of Susan Boyle - opera singer/nurse Luiz Meneghin, who blew them away on "America's Got Talent" on Tuesday.

One website is already calling him an "early favorite" to win the NBC talent competition.

The 54-year-old native of Brazil, a nurse at an elder-care facility, looked like a regular guy until he started to sing. And then he got a standing ovation from the audience, a standing ovation from judges Howard Stern, Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne, and a ticket to the next round of the auditions.

It wasn't just his talent that made an impression, however. Meneghin charmed Stern and the audience with his story about singing for his elderly patients at a care facility.
His patients encouraged him to audition, and he, his wife and daughter saved for six months to pay for their trip to San Francisco. And they drove there.

"I sing for my patients every day that I work," said the Lehi resident. "They gather after lunch in the lobby and I sing for about half an hour for them.

"I sing opera for them because help them with their bowel movements." he joked.

Beyond that, however, Meneghin talked about how much appearing on the show meant to him. He talked about his "very poor" upbringing and his father buying a "little record play" and classical music "so we could have some exposure to that."

"His dream was [for] one of his kids to make it into the music field," Meneghin said. "And he passed away last year."

And he clearly bowled the judges over. Even Stern, who admitted he is "not an opera fan."

"I'm bored to tears by it," Stern said. "And I don't know what happened. You converted me. Something's going on here."

"I think you are quite fabulous," Osbourne said.

"What you have just done is you have made his dream come true," Mandel said.

Quick poll:  Howard Stern--brilliant casting by America's Got Talent or a telling sign of complete desperation and/or insanity?

Monday, May 14, 2012

" . . . I Gather the Blossoms the Whole Meadow Over . . . "

Although I needed not a whit of anything more for Mother's Day, what with already having the best gifts I could ever ask for--my awesomer than awesome children and son-in-law and cuter-than-belief grandson--Dave did it up right and gave me the next best thing in the world:  flowers!  Loads and loads of lovely, beautiful, gorgeous, inspiring, hope-giving flowers!  Just have a look!  From the backyard to the front porch to the balcony to the deck!  That man planted and planted and planted, leaving me practically giddy with all of the adorable colors and cuteness!  Did I mention that I LOVE flowers?  

Take a close look at the pic of me with the two little pots of delicate yellow blossoms.  Dave salvaged those flowers out of the late winter/early spring plantings we had in the urns on the front porch, and he put them in these little pots which are now tucked away on an obscure little pathway in our yard.  He calls it my "secret garden."  Now, isn't that just the sweetest thing ever.

Oh, and there's more!  I missed taking pictures of the planters standing guard by our garage doors.  Thank goodness for those; one never knows when a mighty guard petunia might be needed!!!  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Magnificent, Majestic, Maaaaaaarelous Women!


My darling Ashley who is so very, very loving, kind and patient, always accepting, never judging, so full of adventure and wonder

My beautiful mother-in-law who has been nothing but supportive and encouraging and the perfect example of goodness, obedience and 
Christ-like charity

My own very much missed mother who never criticized me, sacrificed all for me, 
and always, always, always told me she loved me.  
And, I know she still does.  As I do her.  As I do her. 

And what would I like for Mother's Day?  I do not want for a speck of anything 
more.  Being the mother to Ashley and Jordan, Sean, and Christian, and Deedee to Kimball is the absolute ultimate, empyreal, most complete, astounding, divine, brilliant, staggering, superb, and supremely supreme (ha!) gift I could ever, ever, ever wish to obtain.  Supreme Sagers indeed.  I am surrounded by angels.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Grand Poobah Pie!

As promised in my last post, I now bestow upon your floured culinary heads the recipe for the grand poobah of pies!

Are you listening?  You should all rush to your respective kitchens and try this recipe; it will send you over the moon!  Seriously.  It is like one ginorm chocolate chip cookie with a lot less flour and a lot more butter.  That should hook you right there.  It is also Dave's favorite pie, and I must admit to using it on him as a distraction when:  1) I'm wanting to buy something that I know will raise Dave's eyebrows, or 2) when I'm asking for forgiveness after I buy something that I know will raise Dave's eyebrows.  I do use that particular pie tactic with discretion, however.  I certainly don't want its charms to wear thin now that I have a good system going and all . . . 


Doesn't this presentation look just so cute and artsy-smartsy?  Why, thank you.

Whip the eggs into a frenzy

 Add just a smidgeon of flour

Next comes some white sugar followed by . . .  

. . . some brown sugar

Mix that goodness together until smooooooth, 
just like a Barry White song 

Okay. Remember!  I'm only the messenger here!  Don't shoot me for simply relaying to you that you will now be adding a swimming pool's worth of butter to this party in a bowl

Gotta have chocolate chips if you're going to have a chocolate chip pie!  (I figured that one out all by myself; I am so proud.) 

This is the point in the recipe where we may end up parting ways.  I use a pre-made crust for my pie!  *Gasp*  Sucre bleu!  I know!  If you want to go to the work of making a home-made crust, you have my respect and my blessing.  I, however, usually wish to save my temper tantrums for bigger and better issues rather than fight with a made-from-scratch-but-it-didn't-turn-out-yet-again pie crust.  But that's just me. 

It may not be much to look at, but I promise that this pie will have you doing whatever it takes to get a second slice.  Just ask Dave--my bathrooms have never sparkled more. Just kidding.  
(Psst:  Between you and me, not really kidding.  Try it; it works.)  
Oh, hey Dave!  Heh. Heh.

Toll House Pie
Uh, excuse me, people?  Let's try that again . . .   
Award-Winning Grand Poobah Toll House Pie!
That's more like it.
2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the flour, white sugar and brown sugar; beat until well blended. Blend in the melted butter. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour batter into one unbaked 9 inch pie shell.
Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 1 hour. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Monday, May 07, 2012

And, I Didn't Even Burn Down the House! (That's a miracle, right there!)

When our neighborhood got together a while back for a folksy, old-fashioned, and fabulously fun picnic in the park, many, many homemade pies were held up for public scrutiny, heckling, and/or admiring. They were also held up for judging. Those pies were judged. Publicly judged. Is that what we're supposed to be about, people? Judging others? Alright, it was judging others' pies. I guess it's a different matter entirely once food gets involved in the dustup.

As it turns out, my little ol' pie was the grand poobah of the pie contest! SHRIEK! I know! Stuff like this never, hardly ever, happens to me and my pies. For the record, yes, Dave was one of those doing the judging, scrutinizing, heckling and/or admiring (and tasting, I'm guessing), but since he is a man of integrity, he recused himself from judging my particular pie. How that all worked out in the end is a mystery to me, but apparently the other judges just ate up my pie (literally) and let me have it! The prize, I mean. Not the pie. And, certainly not in the face, praise the heavens. 

For my efforts, I won a bag of beautiful cherries, a gift card to Kneaders, and a handy-dandy pie server which doesn't work quite as well as a rolling pin when it comes to defending oneself from an home intruder while in the middle of one's pie baking, but it can give a good slap!

Tune in next time to get this swimming in butter award-winning pie recipe so you can make it yourself!  Who knows?  Maybe you too will win a handy-dandy home intruder repellant in the form of a good, sturdy pie server.  (I still maintain a rolling pin would give a better klonk to the head, but whatev.)

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mercy Me! PB Cookies Going Rogue!

"Holy mackerel, Ethyl, do I have some juicy, neighborly gossip for you!  You know that Sagers woman who lives up the street?  The one with the very serious Internet shopping habit?  Yeah.  Her.  Well, she's absolutely crossed the line this time.  She strayed from the straight and narrow peanut butter Hershey Kiss cookie path and went rogue!  YES!  She did!  I know!  If we don't stop this kind of behavior, you can kiss the respectability of this neighborhood GOOOO-BYE.  I know!  Spread the word!  LaVerna for sure needs to hear about this!  I never!  . . . " 

So, yeah.  Ya'll know the ridiculously easy peanut butter cookie recipe using only three ingredients and then topped with a delicious but boring Hershey Kiss, right?  Well, I threw a wrench into the works and switched things up just a tetch.  Not so much because I suddenly became fantastically creative, but because I had mounds and mounds of leftover candy.  Heh. Heh.  

Try this at home, boys and girls.  Look around your house and see what kinds of unusual toppers you can pop onto the tops of these cookies.  Make sure those unusual toppers are edible though.  My guess is that my leftover Peeps from two Easters ago just wouldn't cut it.  Just a guess though.  

Ridiculously Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
Chocolate candy for topping cookies

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or with a hand mixer.  Personally?  I go with the hand mixer--it is much easier than fighting with that stubborn egg yolk.  (It sorta puts me in the mind of this.) Once mixture has come together, scoop out heaping teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet, using both hands to smush dough together to form a ball.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for eight minutes.  Remove cookies from oven but leave cookies on the cookie sheet.  Immediately top cookies with your spectacularly unusual toppers.  Or, just go with the Hershey Kisses.  Either way, it's a win-win sitch.  If you are going to wrap the cookies with plastic wrap, etc., for gift giving (making you a very popular friend, btw), allow chocolate to melt slightly from heat of the cookies, then place cookies in the refrigerator for about five minutes to allow the chocolate to solidify again.  Otherwise, you'll be giving away a messy, albeit delicious, heap-o-goodness.

This is what you COULD use for your cookie toppers--as boring, humdrum, or dull as they may be.  (Although this picture does make one salivate just a little bit, doesn't it?  I just may be rethinking this whole thing, now that I see this . . .)

Or, you could turn your neighborhood on its ear and go for one of my brilliant choices!  Never mind that it was simply out of desperation to rid my house of all of this chocolate. Just don't pay any attention to that part.  Swooosh!  Wipe it right out of your brains.  Swooosh!  Gone?  Let's try that again.  Swooosh!  Whatev.

Yes, yes.  I KNOW I still have a lot of candy to plow through.  Stop spying on me through this photo.  I'm doing the best I can here, people.  I'll get to it, don't worry.  I have grand plans for all of those malt balls which you can see here, by the by.  Bet you'll wish you were one of my neighbors when that brilliant idea becomes a baked-good reality!  Hey!  If you were one of my neighbors, you and LaVerna could totally be gossip girl buddies at my expense! 

I'm not going to swear on Gideon's Bible or anything, but I do believe these cookies are gluten free.  FWIW.