Monday, February 27, 2006


You have heard me repeatedly mention that I work in our church office. And I am sure you were paying attention when I mentioned a few hundred times that I am Lutheran. My faith is not a funny thing, it is what keeps me going in this world, but the whole culture of Lutheranism is simply hysterical. As a fundraiser for the adoption we considered making a "Lutheran" calendar. Of course by the time we thought of it it was February and who buys a calendar in February? I thought of it again this year, but that was January... Maybe I'll get it right next year.

I thought all of you who are not Lutheran might like a taste of what it is like to live in my little world. This is from www.oldlutheran.com. YMBALI means "You Might Be a Lutheran if..."

...you only serve Jell-O in the proper liturgical color for the season.
...when someone mentions red and green (in terms of Christmas), you immediately think of a battle over hymnals.
...during the entire service you hold your hymnal open but never look down at it.
...during communion you hum the hymns so you can see who's at church that Sunday.
...rather than introducing yourself to a visitor at church, you check their name out in the guestbook.
...you think Garrison Keillor's stories are totally factual.
...you have your wedding reception in the fellowship hall and feel guilty about not staying to help clean up.
...a midlife crisis means switching from the old hymnbook to the new one.
...you forget to put water in the baptismal font but never forget to put water in the coffee pot.
...the pastor skips the last hymn to make sure church lasts exactly 60 minutes.
...you don't make eye contact when passing someone in the hall because you think it's impolite.
...your choir believes volume is a fair substitute for tonality.
...you don't know what was sooo funny about dat movie "Fargo" then.
...in response to someone jumping up and shouting "Praise the Lord!", you politely remind him or her that we don't do that around here.
...you think a meeting isn't legitimate unless it's at least three hours long.
...peas in your tuna noodle hotdish add too much color.
...you make change in the offering plate for a ten.
...you think butter is a spice.
...the church is on fire, and you rush in to save the coffee pot.
...you have more than five flavors of Jell-O in your pantry.
...the only open pew is up front, so you volunteer to shovel the sidewalk.
...you know what a Lutheran Church Basement Woman is.
...you think hotdish is one of the major food groups.
...http://www.luthbro.com is one of your bookmarks. (actually this should be changed to www.thrivent.com)
...your five-year-old recites the Old Testament books as Genesis, Exodus, Lutefisk...
...someone asks you after church if there's any "decaf coffee" and you laugh because you KNOW that if it doesn't have caffeine, it can't be coffee!
...you think anyone who says "casserole" instead of "hotdish" is trying to be uppity (or maybe even Episcopalian!)
...you think the term "Jell-O salad" is redundant.

...you hear something really funny and smile as loud as you can.
...it takes 10 minutes to say good-bye.
...doughnuts are in the official church budget.
...they have to rope off the last pews in church so the front isn't empty.
...you're watching "Star Wars" in the theatre and when they say, "May the force be with you," the theatre replies, "and also with you."
...you tap a church visitor on the shoulder and say, "excuse me, but you're in my seat."
...you can say the meal prayer all in one breath.
...your church library has three Jell-O cookbooks.
...it's time to change a lightbulb and the left side of the aisle begins a debate on "change," while the right side of the aisle musters five volunteers--one to hold the bulb, and four to turn the ladder.
...you laugh out loud while reading this list, and relive your childhood at the same time.
... you think the four food groups are coffee, lefse, lutefisk, and Jell-O.
...you sign a petition to have Campbell Soup Co. rename its "Cream of Mushroom soup" "Lutheran Binder!"
... you pronounce the word Lutheran "Lutern."
...requests you hear are preceeded or followed by the phrase, "If it's not too much trouble then..."
...you know all the words to the first verse of "Silent Night" in German but can't speak a word of it.
...you have an uncontollable urge to sit in the back of any room.

...your mother could give any Jewish mother a run for the money in the guilt department.
...you think lime Jell-O with cottage cheese and pineapple is a gourmet salad.
...Folgers has you on their Christmas list.
...you're at an evangelistic rally and you actually manage to raise your hands waist high.
...the only mealtime prayer you know is "Come Lord Jesus."
...you and your family of six squeeze into the last pew along with the 140 members already sitting there.
...at the close of a memo it states "Peace be with you" and you respond "and also with you."
...you can't get into heaven without a casserole.
...you notice the Kool Aid stock shoots up during the Vacation Bible School season.

...you consider lottery tickets a serious investment.
...you sing "Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus" while sitting down.
...a line item in the trustee's budget is "coffee maker maintenance."
...you think tuna hotdish is a gourmet meal.
...your idea of an affirmation is "This is most certainly true."
...it's 110 degrees outside and you still have coffee after services.
...change means wearing your brown suit instead of your blue suit to church.
...the most mail you receive all year is from the Stewardship Committee.
...you win $10 million in the lottery and decide to throw a party and money is no object, so you advertise in the church bulletin, rent the parish hall, and ask all of your friends to bring a side dish or salad.

...a capital fund drive is needed to finance the new one million cup coffee urn.
...you serve Jell-O as a vegetable.
...your biggest fund-raisers are bake sales instead of bingo.
...you can't have a meeting without having a meal.
...you refer to your trip to Minneapolis as a pilgrimage.
...sharing the peace during the service takes more time than the sermon.
...all your relatives graduated from a school named Concordia.
...you count coffee among the sacraments.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

What does hair loss have to do with my love affair with mops?

I have this strange love affair with mops. I really like to have a clean floor in my house. Now this isn't to say that I clean the floor constantly. On the contrary rather. I just happen to really like it when it is clean.

I cannot tell you how many mops I have bought in the time we have been married. I have tried the sponge mop, the cotton rag mop. I have used swiffer wet and I even own a Hoover Floor Mate. I like the Hoover a lot! But my favorite mop to date is the Libman Wonder Mop. It has a great pull down ring out feature. It doesn't get the floor too wet and it cleans like a dream. It has been a very long time since I have broken out the Libman. I typically use the Hoover or the Swiffer. They are quicker and easier. The whole mop and bucket thing just is a pain in the butt.

We happen to have white kitchen floors. This is not by my choice. We inherited them with the house. My dad's first comment about our house, "ohh, you aren't going to like those floors." Yeah Dad, you were right.

Yesterday our Social worker was coming for the update on our homestudy. So I thought I would get handy and actually mop the floors. By the way the best cleaning agent to be used with said Libman is Murphy's Oil Soap. This stuff is the best for everything. Anyway... I busted out the trusty Libman and mopped my little heart out. This took all of 2 seconds since our kitchen is so dang small.

Well... I found the flaw with my beloved mop. The mop has the ability to get under certain items in our kitchen, like the refrigerator and the butcher block. These are not places that my broom can reach. So what does the mop do? It flicks out dust bunnies the size of small rodents and copious amounts of my hair. I sound like a slob now don't I? I am not really, I just don't clean out under my fridge. This is the problem when you own 2 cats and your hair is falling out from stress.

My 2 second mop job turned into picking up bits of wet dirty cat fur then mopping again. But you should see my floors. They are sparkly clean!!

Friday, February 24, 2006

The one where Elle shows her face

well... not quite actually. The whole blue eyeshadow discussion got me thinking about how the 80's were unbelievably cruel to me. I sat down and looked at all the photos of myself from the 80's and man was I ever an FLK.

I will fully admit that at some point during the cold war I once sported a mullet. Of course we didn't call it a mullet back then. It was one of those my cousin is doing it so I should too. If I knew then what I know now about that particular cousin I think I would have picked a better hair style!

Rhonda said she wanted to see a photo of me with leg warmers and a side pony tail. Sorry to disappoint you R, but my hair just isn't long enough for the side pony. Besides I think that the only place you could get leg warmers would be the Goodwill and that falls into my fear of purchasing second hand items.

But what I can give you is a photo of me in leg warmers from the 80's!! Please take note of what I am watching on the TV. Yes indeed it is the Muppets. Probably the Muppet Show to be exact. Although it could be the Great Muppet Caper. I love that movie! I still do, in fact... I own it. I might just go put in the DVD player right now.

So here it is for your viewing enjoyment. Elle in legwarmers.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Free Gift

About once a quarter Clinique comes out with their free gift promotion. You know the one. Where they price everything just above the minimum purchase price requiring you to buy and additional $32 lipstick that you really didn't need just to get the free gift.

I was at the mall with my friend K a few weeks ago and Clinique was running the special. Unfortunately I don't use this particular line of cosmetics. No free gift for me. K, however, does. K makes a purchase that awards her the obligatory free gift. Of course I am a little jealous, because who doesn't like buying something to get something free? I actually considering purchasing something so I too could have the free gift. Of course what would I have purchased? Lotion.

Anyway, we leave the department store 1 free gift richer. (ok K was richer by it, but I live vicariously through her sometimes)

About a week later I get this package in the mail from K. I love mail. Especially surprise packages! I open it up and lo and behold the package contains a free gift from the Clinique counter!! The little note read that she needed some moisturizer and got another free gift. So she sent it to me. Isn't that just too sweet? Aren't I lucky to have a good friend like this? I am. Thanks K!

This quarter's free gift is pretty cool. 2 cute little bags, a little mascara (jury is still out on this one), a lipstick (almost a rockin' color on me) and a little eyeshadow. I am not one for much eye make up, but on occasion I like to look a little more than a mousy housewife. The colors are even decent in this one. A soft pink, a cocoa brown and a steel blue.

Blue? I don't think that even in the 80's I wore blue eyeshadow. I try out the pink and brown. Love them. However, today I thought I would give the blue a shot. Yes people... I willingly put on blue eyeshadow. I am not exactly sure if I should be proud of this or horrified. It actually looked half way decent.

My god! Am I going throwback? I have the sudden urge to hunt down some stirrup pants and leg warmers. Thank god my hair isn't long enough to put in a side pony tail. Someone might have to do an intervention.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Where do I find this crap?

I found this on another blog and thought it to be rather funny.

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Elle!

  1. Every day in the UK, four people die putting elle on!
  2. The pharoahs of ancient Egypt wore garments made with thin threads of beaten elle.
  3. Louisa May Alcott, author of 'Little Elle', hated elle and only wrote the book at her publisher's request!
  4. Early thermometers were filled with elle instead of mercury.
  5. Elle will always turn right when leaving a cave.
  6. Elle can taste with her feet!
  7. Elle has enough fat to produce 32 bars of soap.
  8. Elle kept at the window will keep vampires at bay!
  9. It's bad luck to whistle near elle.
  10. Elleicide is the killing of elle!
I am interested in - do tell me about

Everywhere itchy

I have issues. You all knew that though. I told D one day that I wanted a body transplant. If they can transplant a whole face, why not my body. Of course I am not sure of what on my body I would like to keep. I can tell you what I want to get rid of. This is not one of those "I'm fat and want the body of a supermodel" kinds of things. I just want parts that work. For instance, I would like eyes that can see, ears that can hear better, feet that have arches, a stomach that will actually process food in a normal fashion, a uterus that doesn't spontaneously grow strange objects and most of all skin that doesn't itch!!!

When I was a kid I used to get these weird red patches on my skin. My mom freaked out one day and took me to the doctor. She was convinced that it was ring worm. It looked distinctly like ringworm. The dr. said it wasn't, gave me a cream and sent me on my way. I still get these little patches on occasion. However, they don't really itch that much. It is just the rest of my freakin body.

I have tried nearly every lotion on the market. The problem is they may stop the itching, but they make my skin break out. Talk about damned if I do and damned if I don't. I have never been able to moisturize my face. Any lotion that touches my face makes me look like a 12 year old boy. I wash my face with a basic neutrogena face wash and that is it. I wear as little make-up as possible and call it good. This seems to help, but it still doesn't solve my itchy body problem.

To illustrate my point of the itchy skin, below is a photo of all the lotions I currently have in my house. I throw about 10 bottles away about once a year. Actually, I have curbed my lotion buying obsession because I am running out of room to keep them.

Yeah, I'm a big H2O fan. Their stuff smells great!

I have found nothing that truly works on my skin without making it break out... until now! Apparently the bargain lotions were just not good enough. I had to go into one of those fancy skin care shops that sells $65 face cream. For $65 I better look like a supermodel! However, I did scope out a body cream that might just be my ticket out of itchville. It is this super thick 25% Shea butter stuff. I got the girl to give me a couple free samples to try. I wasn't quite sure if I really wanted to invest $36 in body lotion that is just going to throw me right back to my teenage years. Well... Day 2 and I am mostly itch free and mostly zit free. I think we might have a winner!!

What is better is this company also makes a hair conditioner with shea butter in it. I thought at $16 a bottle I could give it a try. D told me that at that price it better damn well work. Considering I think I spend $3.00 on my 2 in 1 shampoo. (I know it's cheap, but I like it) So how did the conditioner work? FABULOUS!! I also whipped out my curling spray that I already had and by golly I have some fairly nice hair. I am still waiting on the stuff I ordered from Amazon, but Jen recommended it so it has to work right?

Now if any of you have the same skin condition I will gladly take any suggestions on what works for you. And yes, I even tried the baby oil on wet skin trick. I smelled nice, but that's about it.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


D took me to the NW Flower and Garden Show today. I haven't been to the show in a few years now. I don't like large crowds and this event is the epitome of large crowds. We paid $19 per person to get into this place. $38 for 2 hours of entertainment. That is how long it took us to get through this thing. You would think that with me being the plant person that I am it would be an all day event. Not exactly.

Imagine thousands of people crammed together who instantly have become "plant experts." Every Dick and Jane in the place was the fore most authority on everything botanical. Combine that with the scent of 2 million hyacinths. That is the flower and garden show. Not to mention the morons who buy bundles of willow twigs, plant stakes, long handled pruners, and tomato cages and DON'T check them! Every time you turn around you run the risk of losing an eye.

The best part about the show was the entertainment value. My 2 favorite comments were the following:

Clueless lady #1

Looking at an all pink display garden decorated with a "path" of little pink balls that look distinctly like gumballs, Clueless lady #1 says to clueless friend, "Oh look, tomatoes."

Uhh, lady those are pink! and they are gumballs!!! Can't you smell them. Also note the lack of stems and for God's sake they are PINK!!!

Clueless man #1

Peering into another display garden Clueless man #1 states, "That's a pretty willow."

Sir, I hate to inform you that that plant is a Coral Bark Maple.

I am very aware that not everyone has had the luxury of spending years of their life living nothing but plants day in and day out. And I am very aware that I am not the world's expert on plants, gardening or landscaping. But some of these people are very very funny. There were some students their studying the display gardens and "judging" them. Husbands and wives looking for ideas for their own gardens at home. Ordinarily normal people who have now become plant experts.

The best part about the show was getting to spend the day with D. He had to listen to me blabber on about all kinds of crap he doesn't really care about. He followed me as I wandered around in circles around the orchid booths trying to decide on if I could kill it or not. I really wanted a new orchid, but I just can't grow them when they are in moss. I have 6 already, 3 that are blooming and really no space.

It was a good day all in all. Humorous and fun.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Living life right

You ever have those days where you hit every green light in town and get rock star parking at the mall. Well for me the past few days have been like that. The sun came out and life perked up.

Thursday I was pleasantly surprised by my girlfriend Ingelaurie who brought me a coffee. She is the best! When I arrived home from the church Thursday night I had a package waiting for me on my front doorstep. It was a beautiful wall hanging quilt from Margaret. Thanks M, I love it.

D got paid more than we expected so he actually gave me the OK (and a budget) to go buy some plants. Friday's weather was beautiful so I decided to try to find a way to maximize the given budget. Yes, I entered the plant department at my local mega home improvement store. Being the good plant lady I am, I just couldn't bring myself to actually purchase plants there. So I drove across town to one of my favorite independent nurseries. To my great delight I actually found the plant I was looking for. A dwarf burning bush! It looks like a bunch of twigs right now, but just wait until fall. I also picked up a few heaths and 2 rhubarb roots. I haven't ever grown rhubarb, but I really like rhubarb pie. 2 roots will feed our entire neighborhood!

My day in the yard included removing more than my fair share of Bee Balm. This plant is part of the mint family. If you know anything about plants it will give you an indication of the aggressiveness of this little monster. I left one clump because it really is pretty. The rhubarb took its place. I planted my new little babies, mowed the back yard and pulled a few weeds.

My car is now a happy car and evidently it really is gray. I just thought it was the dirt. Of course it is supposed to sprinkle today. Figures.

D also let me purchase some bark for my rose garden. We have had landscape fabric down, but no bark for months. Our last wind storm whipped it up and piled it on top of some of my rose bushes.

So despite the crappy few weeks I have had, this week I feel like things are starting to feel a little better.

Thanks to Jen for the advice on the hair stuff. I ordered it from Amazon. Can't wait to try it. Because you are all so captivated by my hair I'll let you all know how it works.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Damn hair!

I think the world is out to get me! I really do. I feel like I take one step forward in the world and then 12 giant steps back.
First, the back seat of my car is wet. I have a large mass of pine needles that have built up where the hatch hinges are. During the really heavy rain the seal just couldn't take it and the hatch leaked. So I have to shop-vac out the pine needles and hope my car dries out.

I figured since I have to whip out the shop-vac that I might as well clean the rest of the car. So I trot on off to Target and purchase a fancy new wash mitt. I figure my little car has been through enough abuse with the way I drive I might as well pamper it a little.

What does all this have to do with my hair? Well... as you may recall my hair is the bane of my existence. It is that type of hair that isn't quite straight and isn't quite curly. I still have not had it cut and it is getting dry. A girlfriend of mine suggested that I start using a conditioner every few days in addition to the 2 in 1 I already use. While we were in Canada I tried the hotel shampoo and conditioner. I know, I know, hotel shampoo sucks, but this was different. Apparently Bath & Body Works now supplies the hair and skin care products for Marriott. They had this aromatherapy (orange ginger) stuff. It is freakin awesome!!! My hair looked nice. It was a pretty curly not a frizzy curly. I loved it. So of course I forgot to take the little bottle with me.

The next weekend we stayed in Seattle for the fancy dinner and guess what? Another Marriott! I was smart this time. I took the conditioner with me. But as luck would have it I ran out today. That means tomorrow I will go back to frizz head or I have to find some conditioner and quick!

Now the smart person would just run out to her local B&BW store and pick up a bottle of the miracle cream, but would Elle? NOOOOOO! B&BW is in the mall. The mall is full of babies and teenage mothers, stupid people who don't look where they are going and fun boys who wear too much cologne. I. hate. the. mall.

So as I am doing my errand this afternoon to purchase the fancy new wash mitt for the car I spied with my little eye the most fantastic thing ever. In the same shopping center with Target is a B&BW!!! Filled with joy over the though of ridding my life of the frizzy hair I ventured in. I saw the Aromatherapy line of products. I scanned, and scanned, and scanned. Didn't see hair care. Little clerk girl asks if she can help me. "Hair conditioner" I grunted. "Oh, I'm sorry. All we have is the American Girl products. We will be getting the Aromatherapy line in soon though." "When will then be now?" "By the end of the month."

Great. I have to go another 3 weeks with this rat's nest on my head! Hey, at least my car got a new wash mitt.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Elle vs. Football

I live in the NW. Yes, this is Seahawks country. I grew up with rabid Seahawks fans. My dad, my uncles. All Seahawks fans. I remember the days when they used to bitch and moan over the fact that the games weren't on TV, because they were blacked out (due to poor attendance.) I remember when Qwest field was being built, them complaining because you couldn't have alcohol at Husky Stadium. Of course none of us could afford to actually go to the games, but it was something to complain about. These men in my life have loved football. They are the epitome of the 12th man. Despite all of this rabble rousing in my life I have never developed a love for the Seahawks. I am the anti-football fan. I don't understand football. I don't get that a game that has a total playing time of 60 minutes could take 4 hours?! Give me a break!

So what is an anti-football girl like me supposed to do during the biggest game of the year? I asked myself that very question when we were invited down to the in-laws house for a Superbowl party. I packed up my book and my computer and we headed down.

During the first quarter I sat in the family room reading my beloved blogs and looking up other miscellaneous stuff on the internet. That is until I heard the cackling coming from the other room. My MIL and her friends have this laugh that is just hilarious! The funniest thing is it gets louder and louder the longer the evening goes on. These women are notorious for this. Of course the source of the laughter is coming from the commercials. I may hate football, but I do find Superbowl commercials a bit funny. Reluctantly I took my place among them to watch the big game.

You all should be proud of me... I actually watched a football game for 2 whole quarters! That is some kind of record. Yes, the commercials were hilarious. The officiating was terrible and I even saw the touchdown that wasn't, and the interception and 72 yard return! Aren't you impressed I know a little football lingo? Somewhere around the end of the 3rd quarter I lost interest. So back to my computer.

Kudos to the MIL for the food. She made brisket and Oma's potatoes. (Ask me for the recipe, they are to die for) She put on quite the spread and didn't ask anyone to bring anything!! I actually had a good time at a Superbowl party. Imagine that!

Now do you think anyone will come to my house for a Stanley Cup party if the Canucks make it?

Friday, February 3, 2006

A new mark

I think Elle might have found a new mark for a bloggy make over. There is a newbie on the scene in the world of Russian adoption. Jen and her husband Mike are going to adopt a little girl. They already have 3 biological boys. They need some estrogen in their house I would say.
Go check out Jen's blog if you haven't already done so. Adopting from Russia

Of course Jen has to agree to the Elle makeover first. In the mean time let's all welcome Jen to the world of waiting. *Welcome Jen!*

I am still taking orders for any other adoption bloggers that might like a bloggy makeover. Just have to let me know.