Twilight Review

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The verdict is in.  The movie is better than the book.  I finished Breaking Dawn last week and watched Twilight.  I would not have watched the movie but I have a 14 year-old babysitter to loan me these things.  She would be shocked to learn that I read the book between 8:00 Monday night when she handed it to me and Thursday morning.  I watched the movie Thursday night.  You can easily skip over 25% of the book by skimming the Victorian descriptions, which makes for quick reading.


The movie does not contain so many winces and gasps and brittle smiles and bodies automatically freezing and eyes widening and voices trembling and people shuddering slightly.  Seriously, when was the last time you read the word “wince” outside of these books?  The word is so out of use a person could almost imagine doing it to an onion.  “Could you wince this onion please?”  You can open the book to any page and find bizarre and unnecessary descriptions. Try it with any of her books, any page, I dare you.  Of course what do I know?  I don’t have millions of people buying my books.  **wince**


Her storyline is good, it is enjoyable and engaging if you can get past the descriptive actions. I can only think of one other movie, Lonesome Dove, that was as good as the book or maybe even better, well City of Ember was every bit as good as the book, if only they hadn’t left out the library.


If you are concerned about spoilers, skip this paragraph.  It is vague and the book has been out for six months, but if you are the one person who is still waiting to read it… I caught on to several plot twists before they were officially announced; the extra person, what Jacob did to the extra person, and what Alice was up to, but how Bella’s dad was reconciled was a complete surprise.  (I had strange, silent tears streaming down my face) I was not bothered by catching this stuff early.  I think it was good foreshadowing rather than bad writing. 


When I was in college, I had a job where part of it consisted of sorting baked plants into piles.  (Either you understand or you don’t)  Of course we did this in the bunk house in front of the TV.  My co-worker was enamored of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” and I have to tell you, I find myself wanting to do that to the Twilight books.  It isn’t nice and I am not saying that I don’t enjoy them, but they lend themselves to being mocked.


I submitted my story for the 24 hour contest.  I hope it was original.  It was hard for me to determine what route other writers would take, so I could be original.  I guess we shall see.  I am pretty happy with what I turned in.  I also promised myself I would start going to bed earlier.  It is after 11 now…

Leo and his new “spicy” hair-do.  Sadly, my son uses more hair product than  I do.  I spiked Paul’s hair, just a wisp and the stuff stayed up all day.  Reminded me of “There’s Something About Mary.”


Since the weather has been nice until this weekend, we have been eating outside.  Drawback: I have to catch four cats and stuff them into the shop so they won’t bug us while we eat.  Benefit: We can let the cats loose to eat all the food Paul tossed on the deck instead of scraping it off of the kitchen floor.

Jane has decided that she likes to dress in layers.  Often times I will discover she wore her swimming suit under her clothes to school.  She is also famous for wearing two shirts and even a skirt with jeans.  The weather was about 70 when I took this picture.


The artist takes a break.


Don’t you wish you had this on your sidewalk?

These are the little planter things I got for my wildflower seeds.  These are the Scarlet Globemallow if you can’t tell.  I will take a photo after they sprout too.   Looks like I should have enough to give away to some friends.



The last baby came today


I am sitting out here on the deck waiting for our last heifer to have her baby.  She is in the middle of labor.  I put up an umbrella at the picnic table so there isn’t any sun glare on the screen, I can sit outside and write while the kids play.  Love the wireless. I don’t see how I can possibly keep the boys out of my deck plants this year, but I guess I will try.  We have a perfectly good sandbox for them to use, if they just would, or they could at least play with the mud in the yard.


In other news, I did something shameful today.  I am going to admit it here then deny it from here on out.  I bought something at Walmart.  I paid in cash, so there is no proof, but they are the only ones who carry what I wanted.  You see, when I had Mae in 2002 I got a box of baby wipes as a gift.  I really liked the box, it had a big hole to get the wipe out without having to pretend that the single wipe dispenser thing actually worked, yet you didn’t have to take the whole darn top off.  After searching all over town for another I realized it came from Walmart.  I had a gift card so I bought myself a second one.  Then I bought a Huggies box to keep at the sitter’s place and I ended up with a Pampers box as well.  All four are still in existence, but the Walmart ones are wearing out fast.  They look like plastic boxes that have been opened and closed several times a day for the last seven years.  They have been patched with packing tape but they are not long for this life.  I decided that since I have at least two more years of changing pants I could afford to splurge and get myself two replacement boxes.  The design changed slightly, but I still like it.   


I think this cow needs a birthing ball or something.  She is up, she is down, she is on her side, she is walking around…she just wants some….something.  We do have a little hoof peeking out though.


Speaking of peeking…we went to Radio Shack today, the gentlemen and I.  I was looking at phones because our answering machine is fried (about 12 years old) and I thought I would get a phone/machine thing so instead of having a phone and a machine on the counter I would have one thing.  Well, the boys were admiring the merchandise, as boys are wont to.  But they were really pretty well behaved. 

****Break to look at the new baby,

when he came he came fast****

Leo got out his teddy bear and it looked like he was trying to put it in his pants.  I went over to stop that and noticed that his pants looked a little, well, poochy in places.  I peeked down the front and saw that one side of his Pullups had come undone and his underwear were pretty much dangling from one hip.  I told him we would fix that in a little bit.  I turned back to pay for my purchase and Leo whipped his pants down, Pullups and all.  I couldn’t help myself I was laughing so hard.  The two guys in the store looked at each other in shock then the manager said, “That is a new one.”  I don’t suppose we are welcome back.


The cow is going to be a good mama.  Motherhood doesn’t always come naturally.


The picture was at about one minute old. 

The first video was at about 20 minutes old. As you can hear, I have a whole yard full of kids.


The second video was at about half an hour or maybe a little older.  These little guys are go-getters. 

Weekend Schedule


Yesterday my kids spent all day with one of three babysitters from 9-8.  I went to MOPS, a field trip at our local museum about doing chores on the farm 100 years ago, and a seminar on sex.

Today we just had fun.  We hung out in the morning and then went to town and played on the swingset display at the big box hardware store (no mud and I needed stuff there too), ate lunch in the park with Aunt Annette then this evening we watched a movie. 

Tomorrow I plan to plant some wildflower seeds and some pansies.  I need to clean off the deck so it looks inviting again and do something about de-winterizing our dog.  Both he and Prairie Horse need a good combing.  The dog probably needs a shave.  I hope to maybe plant some peas too if GD gets the garden rototilled.  He was busy today digging out our ditch with the loader on the tractor.  It looks nice, and it should drain too.  (he didn’t even hit the gas line)  I only hope the county gets the hint and digs out the other side too.  If it doesn’t frost, our crabapple should be showing her stuff soon.  What did Anne Shirley name her crabapple?  I will look that up later, as I have lots of writing to do before I go to bed.

Stuff I like that starts with “D”


My friend madhousewife invited me to play a game, to find ten things I liked that all start with the same letter.  She even gave me a letter, D.


1.  Daughters  I love my daughters, all three of ’em.  My daughters are great mirrors, they use this ability to teach me about parenting.  They are also just the right size to snuggle with while watching a movie.  They make my heart sing.



2.  Diplodocus  Pronounced Di-PLOD-o-cus these herbivores were among the largest of the dinosaurs.  They stood 16 feet at the hip and were around 90 feet long.  Their tails made up 45 feet of their length.  A dead one of these puppies makes several thousand barrels of oil.  I just made that fact up.  I have been reading a lot about dinosaurs lately since I have a two-year-old boy.  They have different dinosaurs now than when I was a kid.



3.  Daiquiri  Somewhere around the turn of the century, the last one that is, some Cuban got the bright idea to use rum with lemon juice as a pain killer.  When he got better results than he expected he added sugar and started marketing the drink.  Through the years bartenders have fiddled with the recipe and came up with any number of versions.

Can you believe there is a site called ?

1/2 oz strawberry schnapps
1 oz light rum
1 oz lime juice
1 tsp powdered sugar
1 oz strawberries

Blend with ice (in blender). Garnishing with strawberry takes a little bit of time, but if you are making the drink for anyone but yourself (ie, a party, barbecue, or any visitors) the garnish will make you look like a professional bartender and is well worth the extra few seconds it takes.


4.  Drench I love this word.  It reeks of blissful excess; drenched in chocolate, drenched in light, drenched in rain.  I try not to think of it in a veterinary sense.


5.  Donuts Speaking of chocolate…Our conservative Puritans brought these confections to the New World from Holland.  The dilemma of a baker, what to do when you finish a project and have leftover dough?  Some boiled it and made dumplings, some fried it and made donuts.  Where would you rather live? Fried breads evolved in societies all over the world.  Originally donuts were of the raised variety, but I don’t care for them as much as a cake donut. Not that I have any business eating either.


6.  Disco I am a mere dilatant of disco music, but it makes me want to move.  I love Roberta Flack who segues between R&B and Disco, the other stuff too, BeeGees, KC and the Sunshine Band (I know, lame).


7.  Denver  I have been to several big cities, but Denver holds a special place in my heart.  I certainly have no intention of living there, don’t misunderstand me.  My wonderful Aunt Mildred did live there.  She used to let us walk her dog around the block.  I  had never heard of walking a dog until we visited her, ours just ran free.  Denver is home to Six Flags Over Elitchs (as I will always call it), Casa Bonita, The Tattered Cover, The Denver Art Museum, The Denver Stock Show, Baby Doe’s (which probably is not around any more), and Cinderella City, which I know is not around any more. (I dare you to come up with a mall name that would appeal more to young girls than Cinderella City.)  I learned about elegance and class in Denver, which is not to say that it is either elegant or classy, but in comparison to my hometown it was worlds away, but only a three hour drive.


8.  Dimples

9.  Donnybrook I love this word too.  Donnybrook, Ireland was famous for drunken brawls that would occur there during the annual fair.  Since then, the word has come to mean a free-for-all fight.  Rumor had it our HS Wrestling coach would say, “Fasten your jockstraps boys, there’s gonna be a donnybrook tonight” before meets.  I think it came from a movie, but I don’t know what.

10.  Drupe  But isn’t that a peach?  Ah yes, I did manage to learn a thing or two from my taxonomy class.  Peaches and cherries are both drupes.  Believe it or not coffee beans and coconuts are also drupes.  Other drupes I like include olives, walnuts, pecans, almonds, mangos, pistachios, and dates. It helped when the teacher brought samples of what we were learning about.

My seeds came!


I was tooling around on the internet when I found a place that was selling wildflower seeds.  Plants of the Southwest  (that is a link, even though it doesn’t look like it) I mean real, native to the USA flower seeds.  I placed an order, gave out my credit card # and prayed it was not a hoax designed specifically to entrap homesick native plant lovers.  Sure enough they came yesterday. 

I ordered a penstemon, spotted gayfeather, purple poppymallow, Indian paintbrush, and scarlet globemallow.  All are species native to Nebraska except the paintbrush.  Of course my Nature Conservancy buddies will point out that while the species are native, the plants themselves are not and will not be as hardy as locally harvested seeds.  All I can say to that is…then put some locally harvested seeds in a packet and sell them to me!  

These little packets only cost $2.50 each, not too bad eh?   I hope I can keep these little guys going.  The purple poppymallow grows around here, but I never had the nerve to dig it out of the ditch across from the race track.  It grows low and has really pretty flowers, I plan to plant it out by the mailbox so I can mow over it (when it is established).  Surely it will look better than the weeds we have there currently. 

My next step is to put them in the freezer for a month then plant them in little containers like you do with tomatoes.  I got tons of scarlet globemallow so I can give it to friends and  people who watch my kids from time to time.  I can’t wait to get my camera out…probably next year though.

They are also peddling a $50 native plant book.  That seems like a lot, even to a person who collects plant books.  Aside from that tome, they have tons of books about organic gardening and native plants and medicinal plants and composting and oh, all kinds of neat stuff.  I can’t wait to get into my garden!

My earliest memory


Write a real memory from your early life, if possible from before you started school. Emphasize physical description and sensation. Then, write an early memory that belongs someone else, perhaps one of your parents or a friend. Emphasize physical description and sensation in this other person’s memory too.


My earliest memory


The hospital lobby was empty.  The floor was white tile and the walls were either white or a pale institutional green.  For some reason, it seems that the room was an odd shape, like rounded or something.  It had a high ceiling.  Our footsteps echoed in the emptiness.  At the center of the room a nurse looked out of a window in the wall.  This is where I got my replacement baby dolls when I lost them, as I tended to do.  (I still have the final one and the ladies play with it from time to time.)  At the left hand side of the window were some rounded steps, or maybe they were sharply angled, something was distinctive about them, but they spilled from the wall forming a puddle in the lobby.  I held someone’s hand, it must have been Dad’s, as we climbed the steps.  As we went up, the light got dimmer and the stairs curved.  I also remember someone in a white coat on the stairs, like a doctor.  They were breaking the rules to let me in so I was instructed to be quiet or I would get into trouble and they would make me leave. I really wanted to see Mom, so I was as quiet as a mouse.


I don’t remember any more than that, but I know now that we were going to see my mother who was recovering in the hospital after having my brother.  I was 21 months old when he was born. I guess I remember the scary part and not the happy part when I saw Mom.  I didn’t embellish this at all, but I did the next one.


Mom’s earliest memory, from my memory


The sled’s runners sliced through three inches of crusty snow.  As Mother made the turn at the bottom of the hill, the sled wobbled and nearly fell over.  I clutched the grocery bag with one hand and my little brother with the other.  When the sled was steady again Mother started up the hill. Lee was squashing me and he kept squirming.  Because I was the biggest I had to sit on the back of the sled and hold the groceries and Lee too.  My toes were starting to tingle, a combination of my brother sitting on my legs and the cold.


The sun made the snow sparkle like diamonds, but I looked down into a shadow because it was so bright. My breath warmed my face then hovered around me like a halo.


The trip to the store was long and cold.  What my brother and I really wanted to do was use the sled as it was intended, for fun.  Unfortunately Mother mostly used it to haul us to the store and back, but home was in sight.  Mother’s black coat trudged ahead of us, her shoulders stooped from holding a second bag of groceries and pulling the sled behind her.


When we got to the top of the hill, Mother lugged the sled up to our front step and dropped the pull rope wearily.  She took the bag from me, fumbled with the door, then stepped inside and set the bags on the table.  Lee and I followed her in, our noses bright and running from the cold.  Mother gave the soup simmering on the stovetop a quick stir and straightened her stocking hat. She wiped our noses then led both of us outside to the sled again.  When she got us settled, she started pulling us toward the sledding hill.


Life on Mars and other randomness


Yeah, I am gonna pretend it ended at the last commercial.  The last bit was really unnecessary.  I am not sure what it is with me, but I am liking that 1970s stuff.  Even Lost in the 70s is good.  (Well, Lost is always good). 

You know, I am perfectly capable of spelling Nebraska, N-E-B-R-A-S-K-A.  I don’t need to mess with a pull down window and the mouse to find my appropriate state every time I fill out a form.  I could just type in the two letter abreviation and then go on without scrolling down a stupid list. 

I bought a snail for the aquarium today.  Nobody has died in a long time, so I thought I would mix things up a little.  He is hanging out on the bottom of the filter.  Should be good snail food there.

I played Uno with the ladies tonight after their bath.  Jane informed me she was going to sleep in her panties, like Dad.  (for the record his are called boy-panties at our house…even he does this) It was kind of like playing strip Uno with a bad loser. 

My Brother-in-law talked me into hosting Easter.  There will be probably four siblings of the 11, and spouses.  We are the only ones with little kids, so there will be eleven little kids running around the oldest will be 11.  Pray for warm weather. GD’s brother thought it would be fun for us to all get together (at my house).  His wife called tonight and didn’t realize that I was hosting this event, so I invited her to come a day early and help me get ready. 

I bought lawn fert yesterday.  The guy tried to talk me into crab grass preventer.  I told him crab grass was part of the reason we had a lawn at all.  I ended up with a post emergent broadleaf killer mixed in.  He made some comment about having to water the lawn 3 or 4 times before I used it.  I had to sit down I was laughing so hard.  We don’t water our lawn.  People down here are nuts.  There is more than enough moisture to keep bluegrass and fescue going all summer.  Well, we do water it occasionally, but I can’t imagine watering it 3 or 4 times before July, unless we have really, really dry weather. 

Unless our county digs out the ditch we won’t need to water anyways.  Every time it rained last year the ditch across the road ran over and we got second hand Atrazine water on our garden.  Note: Atrazine tends to be a broad leaf weed killer and it can wipe out a pretty row of raspberry plants in no time.  We are in the market for a nice Atrazine-Ready Tomato.

I was feeling overwhelmed on Monday and confided to a friend.  She offered to help, and I let her.  It was a huge relief.  I am not really good at letting people do stuff like that for me, but I ought to learn.  I don’t hesitate to do stuff for others… 

If they had a Nobel prize for ice cream it should go to Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

I have been spending a lot of time at the Y for swimming, Zumba etc lately and the parking is horrific.  They have a tiny lot, then some street parking and then across the street they allow parking on what looks like the railroad right of way.  There is no good place to cross, you just kind of have to dart between the other people circling around looking for a better parking place than the one you settled for. The other day I thought of three things they ought to do, including close the street in front and convert it to a parking lot, tear down the fence to an adjacent city-owned parking lot and, finally, use a door on the other side of the building for the daycare kids and the after school kids to cut down on traffic through the main door.  I happen to know the guy who is the manager, so when I saw him I casually asked him what they had in mind to alleviate the traffic problem.  He proceded to walk me through my three ideas.  It was pretty amazing, but I guess logic is hard to beat.  They are hoping to implement these changes in the next year.

I better end this before I eat this whole stupid pint of ice cream.  I accidentally left the last empty container out and had to answer some sticky questions from my six year old who can read now and knows the difference between an ice cream container and “something someone gave me to put stuff in but I need to wash it first.”