Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hot Date!

Brandon and I got a babysitter and went out last night. Hot dates these days involve eating food I don't have to prepare and conversations that don't get constantly interrupted.
One of those conversations included special talents that we have that have no lucrative value whatsoever. Example...Brandon can smell something and describe it in a wacky but perfectly spot on way--"smells like a wet dog that ate some parmesan." Okay I can't think of a good example, I'll start taking notes from now on. Anyway...
One of my special talents would be a food/restaurant critic. I love going out to eat and I always find myself dying to fill out a comment card after. I like to let people know what I liked and how the food or service could be better... this is only in a restaurant situation, don't worry! Have I ever been sent by the local paper to dine free at a restaurant and write a review column? No.
Have I ever had the satisfaction of filling out a restaurant comment card? No. Have I ever had the guts to ask for one? No.
Here's the comment card I would have filled out about last night's restaurant experience.

1. CUSTOMER SERVICE--excellent. 6 out of 5 stars. Why?
  • our waiter checked on us OFTEN (which was good cause I needed way more toppings for my salad)
  • IMMEDIATELY gave us ice water WITH LEMON and STRAW
  • gave extra napkins
  • gave us our own salsa bowls for dipping chips
  • apologized for the "cook in training" for forgetting the aforementioned salad toppings.

2. ATMOSPHERE--excellent. 5 stars

  • not too cold or too hot
  • very stylish decor and menus
  • booth seating
  • no loud or annoying music

3. FOOD--fair. 2 stars

I ordered the strawberry chicken salad with sugared almonds, tortilla strips, bacon bits and poppy seed dressing. Sounds fun doesn't it? Did I already mention it was served without the almonds, tortilla strips, or bacon? (good thing I memorized my entree selection.) Of course, this was easily remedied by the waiter as mentioned above but something more was served on a bed of shredded iceberg lettuce (think taco filler). Salads these days have got to be GREEN. Throw some spinach leaves in there or at least some Romaine, please!! I went to all the trouble to resist the smothered fried chimichanga--at least make my healthy selection actually look healthy!

The strawberries could have been fresher and the chicken tasted like a refrigerator. So, I just had to load on extra dressing and nuts. Yeah, so much for being healthy. The chips and salsa were my favorite although the salsa tasted like it came out of a jar. Always best to go with fresh salsa! My advice to the manager in 2 words: GREEN and FRESH.

4. PRICE--excellent. 5 stars.

  • We took advantage of our buy one get one free entree coupon!
  • This month's special was FREE fried ice cream with every entree!
  • Our total food bill came to $10! (plus a great tip for great service)

All in all a pretty good deal for some good conversation.

Do you have any special but unmarketable skills? Are you as picky about your food and restaurant experiences as I am? Do you ever go out to eat?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

serving the dead and killing the living

Brandon and I went to the Manti Temple yesterday evening--General Conference was a pretty good motivator. On the way home we hit a deer--so Scary and sad. Fortunately, there were no other cars around because Brandon had to veer into the oncoming traffic lane. I'm sure that was an awful death for that poor deer and we felt so bad.
It didn't take long for us to find out the damage to our car. I couldn't even open the passenger door to get out. It is completely dented in and it HAD a chunk of fur stuck to the side of the car. I say HAD because our very curious and "hands-on" little 8yr old neighbor pulled it off just recently. She probably would have kept it if I had not screamed in disgust. Brandon is now out in the garage pounding away at the door and hopefully doing more repair than damage.

Here are some tips in case your vehicle ever comes face to face with a deer (like on your way to visit us.)
1. avoid the deer by veering into another lane
2. slam on the brakes
3. travel at dusk on the backroads

1. Travel during the day when the deer are tucked safely away in the woods

I'm just glad I wasn't driving because I didn't know the do's and don'ts before yesterday. My only natural instinct was to scream. It's too bad our temple service had to be marred by such a frightening experience. Next time we'll just follow rule #1 and opt for a morning session.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bee Prayerful

Dad gave a lesson awhile back for Family Night about prayer. He encouraged us when we pray to think of each person in our family, and then ask Heavenly Father to bless them in a specific way. Since then family prayers have become a lot more interesting...
Here is a potpourri of some of things we have heard from the kids:

Please bless:

that Mom won't get stressed out when her kids don't obey........that Brynn will be nice to the new girl at school.........that Daddy can do a good job at work and that people will feel better after he talks to them.......that Cannon won't play with toilet water.......that Adrie can learn to SHARE.......that Kate can practice the piano and not whine.......that Cannon can grow up to be a handsome young man...

In other news: Kate and Brynn participated in a Spelling Bee for our local Family Statesmanship Academy. We had a winner! Kate won for the 6-8 age group! She asked me today if that counted as one of her assignments for developing her talents--you bet. All the kids got trophies and treats and it was a pretty fun event. I was proud of myself for resisting the urge to yell the correct answers from the audience.

Remember those Reflections contests? Of course you do, they are still alive and well. Brynn won 1st place for a picture she drew "I wonder what it's like on Mars." This is huge news in our family because I brought no scrap of artistic genes to the pool. Every year in grade school, I entered the Reflections contest, confident that my drawing, poem, piece of music, whatever it was (I tried them all) would be a sure winner. And, every year I was shocked to see what the OTHER kids had done--and disappointed that mine was pale in comparison.--A poster size oil painting of a teddy bear on a swing? How does a kindergartner do that, I wondered? Where did they get that paper and those special paints??? Yet, every year I would try again and be sure that THIS was the year I would win. I never won even an honorable mention. sniffle. sniffle.

So, now that I've provided the background you can understand why I was feeling completely happy and fulfilled to see a 1st place ribbon on my daughter's picture and NO I did NOT help her--no oil paints or poster size paper canvasses here! (I didn't win any Spelling Bee's either.)
Just living the dream through my children.