Monday, April 2, 2012

FHE- First Presidency and Apostles song

I once went to an activity where they asked us on the spot how many Apostles we could name (and made us write down the list.) Shamefully, I must admit to have written a very brief list. If this has ever happened to you, fret no more. The Apostle song is here to save the day! Of course, if you're just a really good person who wants to memorize the names, order, and interesting little details about the Apostles, this is still the song for you. And, if you are just interested in killing time and have a fetish for all things Beverly Hillbilly (you know, those social climbing Clampetts who hit Black Gold and capitalized on their good fortune by packin' up Granny and the rocking chair and high tailin' it to Californy? ) then this is still the song for you.

Without further ado, I bring you:

Monday, December 20, 2010

Gingerbread Cookies (no molasses!)

I dunno about you, but I love gingerbread at this time of year. It's a time honored tradition, a classic that must be honored. Admittedly, when I say 'honored' it should be literally translated as 'bought'. As in, I don't make it; I just eat it. But not this year.*

Ya wanna know what holds me back (aside from general apathy and all around laziness)? It's the lack of molasses. Yup, you heard me. One ingredient. Is it hard to find? Expensive? Short shelf life? No, nope and uhn-uh. I just have no desire to traipse in the snow to the local Wal-marts (the added 's' is in honor of my dear departed Grandma) for the one ingredient I know I won't use again until a full year later. Oh, and that's traipsing in the snow, 5 miles, uphill both ways (this one courtesy of my Dad.)

So, I've officially declared this a molasses-free zone. Unless, some stray friend or loved one happens to accidentally abandon theirs.

Anyhoo, I finally did it. I hunted down a recipe that's gingerbread with no obvious use of molasses (I say obvious cuz it does call for brown sugar which is widely known to contain, yep you know it, molasses.)- and by obvious, I mean 'mentioned as an ingredient by name'. So, this is a shout out and a rescue mission to all those, molasses-impaired peeps.

1 small (3.5 ounce) package cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 cup butter (softened is always the recommendation unless otherwise noted)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (we used dark brown)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream together dry butterscotch pudding mix, butter, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the egg. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; stir into the pudding mixture. Cover, and chill dough until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease baking sheets. On a floured board, roll dough out to about 1/8 inch thickness, and cut into man shapes using a cookie cutter. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. For glittery goodness, sprinkle sugar on top.

Bake for 10-12 min(large cookies), 5-8 min (small) in preheated oven, until cookies are golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks.

Don't get overexcited tho folks, this makes a family-sized portion only (read: small-ish). You may want to double it if you intend to share. Me, not so much.

* Full confession? Maybe still this year since technically I may not have made them, yet again. Technically, maybe Gigs mixed, rolled and baked. But, perhaps I can take credit since I did rescue them from the oven. O, and I did eat of them and love them.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Daring in Dallas

Has it really been a near year since my last post?? What can I say? I'm slacktastic, and I'm not apologizing. (Miracles do happen.) I spose'd I should break the compositional drought, mostly so I can take another sabbatical immediately following this one. Kind of like working between vacations. And, since we are on a type of vacation (which sadly seems to include work) the indexing of it seemed necessary and appropriate. You know as proof. And for the Alzheimer YeaRs tO coMe (it seems irreverent, I know, but it runs in the family).

We are in Dallas.*

We're trying to make the most of it, since it'll be a 3 month+ stint. If we gotta be here, might as well be happy about it. So, I've been doing my research- you can always graduate the student, but ... o, what am I saying? I was always this way. Thanks, mom.

So far, we've seen the:
Dallas aquarium (small, pricey, but interesting- they had live mayan dancers. I know- the live part is what got us too.)
Architectural tour of Dallas (I.M. Pei made a lot of moolah designing buildings here.)
Dallas Art museum (Way more fun if you do the cassette tour and recreate in living color- human still life. Some of you may need a stiff drink to relax enough for this kind of fun. That's a byo whiskey alert; the museum does not provide. You're welcome.)
Farmers market (Don't eat before you go- they'll see your pinched face staring wistfully at the fruit, and, voilá! You are full.)
City Hall (I.M. Pei. Enough said.)
Dallas City Library (But only the outside, apparently librarians get Monday off too. Dang government jobs. Or, er, state job? Should I cuss city jobs?? Anyway...)
Fort Worth Stockyards (Sadly, we missed the actual cattle drive due to an incessant chatterbox who couldn't bear to part with the phone. No, not me. Surprisingly, no, not Gigs either. Ding, ding,ding. Yep, it was Leroy, Dang it! Was sooo bummed- missed it by an inch- the dust was still settling and the herdsmen yet lingered. But, was there a sign of prime rib? Well yes, actually, there was one a little up the road- the faux wood kind, a lá Wild West, swinging in the wind. I digress...)
Downtown Fort Worth (It counts. I'm counting it- it was a separate trip from the first!)
San Antonio Riverwalk (Ok. no joke. Listen up: i. Love. the. riverwalk. Take the boat ride- it's way less than a stupid venetian gondola (still bitter about not taming one. At least we have the water taxi's.), and there's still singing. Well, it does fade in and out- we pass by an amphitheater with paid professionals of the singing sort. Of course, Gigs and Bubs both did the Simon Cowell. It takes a lot more to impress them than some silly singing yokels.)
Austin (unimpressed. Nothing more to say. Well, it could be becuase the Goveror's mansion, the one we kept circling like vultures around long dead prey, was entirely covered in scaffolding. so much so, that we couldn't see it from across the street. O, and everything noteworthy was closed. It was New Years Day. We did some perfunctory outlet haunting on the way back- there were several large villages of them.We had to stop; they were uselessly irresistible- useless in that we got not one thing. >sigh< We had just had Christmas.)
Well. That's all she wrote, folks. Oh, unless you want to number the countless and enormous malls they have here. All but one of which we've visited. Purely in a sightseeing, cover all the jots and tittles way, if you wanna know.

We have plans for the Fort Worth zoo (reportedly superior to Dallas') and the Log Cabin Village and mini railroad, Nature/ScienceChildren's museum (it's an all for one, since they reside together in the same building), and the Fossil Rim Conservation Center, a petting zoo on steroids since you can feed the deer, rhinos and giraffes, etc. that live there.

Speaking of feed, we have found a human feed store of note (we've now 'fed' there 3x's): Eatzi's Market and Bakery. Oh, the yeasty aroma of the fresh baked artisan bread! Gourmet sandwiches made to order! Mile high lasagna! Big as your fist Shrimp! The fresh imaginings of the on-site chef! Tantalizing sweet treats- morsels of Olympian delight. A taste symphony! Meanwhile, a joyous Marriage of Figaro cavorts about in the background coercing the customer into triple the consumption intended; we left heavier of stomach, lighter of purse, but giddier of manner, and completely satiated. But, I digest. I mean... uh, I need to run a quick errand.

*Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A wasted trip: Four Corners marker off by 2.5 miles

Imagine my chagrin when i read this article:

Monday, 20 April 2009
Readings show Four Corners marker off by 2.5 miles Print E-mail
The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY -- Tourists who want to put a hand or foot in each of four states at the Four Corners area are apparently off the mark -- by more than a couple miles.

According to readings by the National Geodetic Survey, the Four Corners marker showing the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is about 2.5 miles west of where it should be.

The only place in the United States where four state boundaries come together was first surveyed by the U.S. government in 1868 during the initial survey of Colorado's southern boundary line.

The intended location was 109 degrees west longitude and 37 degrees north latitude. But, because of surveying errors, the popular tourist spot is actually just a bit off.

The accurate location would be downhill to the east of U.S. 160 in Colorado and northeast of the San Juan River as it flows into New Mexico.

"That's a long ways to be off," said David Bronson, surveyor of San Juan County, Utah. Still, he said the monument's present location is the accepted one.

Bronson said that given the crude equipment of the era, it's amazing surveyors were as accurate as they were around the time the marker was established.

Do they not appreciate how long a drive it is? How on the way to nothing this means?? They have managed to negate the not-to-be-repeated memory-making experience, nay precious bonding moments with my bored out of their minds, tired into delirium, way-to0-small-to-appreciate-the-extra-drive children??? Aarghh. Researchers, phooey on you. I mean, really. Is this information a matter of national security? Will it bring on world peace?? Will it reverse global warming??? I thought not. This, dear scientist is not a matter of interest at all. TMI, is all I have to say.

Yup. We all fell for it, even Roxie the dog. Hook, line and sinker.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Deep Thoughts

"It's more honorable to question your beliefs, then to hold convictions without knowing, the latter is a lie. Believing something blindly is not belief, its fear. If you knew that 12x2=24 you would have no problem working the math out… Questioning something doesn’t disprove your belief, it’s actually the contrary. Unwillingness to question is the result of disbelief. Work the math out."

Seriously, think about it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Making Connections

I saw this on another's blog and appreciated this:
Music is powerful.

It's nice to understood, to be 'got', to step away from life and other people's judgments, prejudices, opposing opinions. It's nice to connect with someone or something else. Be: Less alone. More significant.

I don't need music for this, other people do this for me too, but sometimes, a song can really be moving. It can make a difference.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I've been challenged

Actually, I've just been tagged. This is not a once in a lifetime occurrence being that it is about the 29th time, it's just that this one is different. I'm not even sure I'll be able to succeed. But, I think I'm up to the challenge.
Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others. (See how diabolically complex and yet supposedly simple this is?)
First problem, one word answers. On the surface it seems uncomplicated, but when you're me, sooo many words are screaming, kicking and shoving to get out, that I require floodgates of Niagarian proportions to hold me back. (I know; suddenly I have Herculean restraint; you thought I talked a lot already, just imagine me without the verbal levees.)
Problem two, conquering the monster of inconclusiveness, practically undefeated in my lifetime. Not to mention, a recurring one.
But, having confessed all (well, bearing Herculean effort in mind, perhaps not quite all) or most, I find it has had a cathartic effect. I may be able to do this after all. Wish me luck and Remember, if I do it, you have to too!


1. Where is your cell phone? Andrew!
2. Where is your significant other? car
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Avon
5. Your father? pre-occupied
6. Your favorite thing? travel
7. Your dream last night? ?!!!- disturbing
8. Your dream/goal? actualization
9. The room you're in? confining
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? inadequacy
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? -???!!! here!
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. What you're not? Tibetan
15. One of your wish-list items? Dinero!
16. Where you grew up? NJ?
17. The last thing you did? shop
18. What are you wearing? eyeliner
19. Your TV? dusty
20. Your pet? fatter
21. Your computer? Slower
22. Your mood? Grumpier
23. Missing someone? Maybe?
24. Your car? Reliable
25. Something you're not wearing? panties ; )
26. Favorite store? target
27. Your summer? scorching
28. Love someone? 'course
29. Your favorite color? azure
30. When is the last time you laughed? noon
31. Last time you cried? Yesterday

Look at me: the picture of self restraint.
**Was so excited, almost forgot. I nominate:
The Jen's (Jen, Jenny, Jennifer, and sundry others)
bloggers all... be NEXT

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This is a figment...

and therefore part of your overly active imagination. My blogging, that is, when I have 38 other things I should be, need to be, doing. But, I find I need to do this more than say blog about the kids first day of school (this is the 5th and 7th time for each of the Biggies, after all) or Bub's scoring of his first goal of the season (again, since it's not his absolute first, does it really count as crucial blogging??) The fact that Andy is finally (geez- the little guy took his first steps two months ago) walking/waddling penguin style (it actually resembles Frankenstein more accurately, but it didn't make for an attractive mental pic; couldn't do him that much of an injustice since I'm already outting his lack of perambulation) should definitely cause some blogging angst. Yet, no. Well, yes, it is still coming soon to a Blogger site near you.

Anyway, I sit before you writing my little heart out because of stinky politics. Yep. You heard me. I am more bound up now than an 8 day constipation would make me. Ewww. Scratch that. You get the drift. I can't decide how to vote! I should already have the candidate's name and 80 kilowatt Grin tattooed on my lower back already! *This is not to be taken literally. I only have so much room on said back after all and elections come every 4 years, or sooner if including local...)

The point is, I am not etching either Obama or McCain's name in any sort of wood pulp ever. I sinply do not heart either one and I have tried hard. Now that the VP's are in it too- even worse. I mean, Palin for Pres is on the rise after what, 6 days? Biden didn't exactly stay out of the kitchen with his patronizing 'good looking' response to Palin. Seriously, that's what you have to say about her??

On the other hand, she did come out swinging. Or should I say biting, mastiff style. Gotta say, after hearing her speechifying, the girl's got talent. She was made for politics with her: needle-sharp wit (and a great writing staff), good looks and charm-a-plenty(hey, I can say it- I'm a woman, and DANG, she's hot), pit-bull mentality (that one could come back to bite her- and already has), combined with mass appeal (she's a middle class hockey Mom, kinda. ) What's not to like about that? Meanwhile, she underscores McCain's pro-life policy with her erstwhile seventeen year old >who plans to keep the baby and marry the now infamous boyfriend, while her special needs child tugs the heartstrings of any who have some. (Am not mentioning the Female part of things. SO obvious and overstated.)

She takes her opponent unawares with a surprise lefty delivering a sharp 'community organizer' quip, trucks in a sideways jab with her Scranton/San Fran taunt, hooks him hard with her entrenched interests and power broker gibes, and lays on a muscle-packed uppercut with her drilling/pipeline allusion, among several notable other direct hits.

All I'm saying is, she complicates things. >Do people elect a pres merely for an appealing vp? Don't count out Obama and Biden- they're in it to win it. The rabbit punches are already coming, fast as, well rabbits. They have some fancy footwork to exhaust/confuse and have a sharp eye out for the counterpunch with the ruthlessness to draw blood. This one'll definitely be a bleeder folks while they duke it out for the swing voters like me. I guess I'll just wait it out til there's one left standing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Savin some for later

I have lost control...of the spoon.
Guess who has it?
The opening is around here somewhere. If I could just find it...

I'm afraid he insists, and there's no turning back now.
Gloating is so unnecessary. And rude.

Nor is there any quiet wrestling to win back some measure of control. Come to think of it, there's no quiet anything, now that he's found his lungs. Yup, they're workin.I've seen that look before- wasn't it at Thanksgiving?

It's no wonder he's low on weight- very little makes it in. Just on, under, over, and generally all around. It's a work in progress.
He wins; to the victor go the spoils.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Tutorial: Changing the Date on a Post

As per request: Those of you who have Google Reader, which monitors favorite blogs and sites for new content, have wondered if my post, appearing new to you yet having an old date, is really new. Rest assured, it is. The reader does not have some strange bug nor is it leading you astray. I simply change the posting date; this can be done at any time, pre or post-posting. I do this to reflect the actual date the event occurred, particularly useful to me since I am the quintessential blogging slacker, and because I wish the Hartman Annals to appear chronologically. If you want to know the how-to, read on.

How to Change a Posting Date:
  • Select 'New Post' option at the top left of your blog.
  • You should automatically land on 'Posting Tab' .
  • Click on 'Post Option' located at the bottom left.
  • 'Post Date and Time' will appear at the bottom right with a text box beside each.
  • Make changes at will.
  • Publish post.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Andy's First

HaPpy BirThdaY to a 1 Year old.

Just can't wait. lemme at em.

The Boy likes cake.

The future foretells: Days after, we are still digging out baseball lacing a la crimson creme from his ear canal.

Weeks beyond that, a stale cake crumb will be found in the folds of his armpit.

Months later, errant morsels and latent frosting will be discovered in hidden crevices and heretofore unexplored crannies.

Until, it is again a birthday. At which he will, cookie monster style, descend and destroy, crumbs a flyin'. Again. But, for now it's great to be One.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Barbeque and Camping Day

Ok. Otherwise known as: Father's Day.

I, the constantly guilt-ridden (shoulda been a Catholic), am feeling bad about something; my parents finally move here after years of role-reversed nagging, and we aren't even here for Dad's 1st Father's day with us. So, my apologies are extended in a sincerely offered note of regret.

That said, we did (guiltily, of course) have a lot of fun at Dinosaurland (alas, no pics made it- what can I say? Those dinosaurs are voracious eaters. Luckily, we went armed with sandwiches.) And Flaming Gorge - where the area is beautiful, but the fishing less than generous (meaning no fish at all. Sad. Hot. Rather boring if you ask me.)

When all was said and done, the best part of the trip, you know, the one thing/event/place the kids can't stop talking about, was the mini 'KOA Kabin' we stayed in. Andrew did have a traumatic moment the first nite, however. He, unbeknownst to us, slithered under the bed and fell asleep, then loudly awoke when he couldn't rollover at 2am. Since we were in deep, exhaustion induced sleep, not to mention utter darkness, it took us (me) a frantic and extended (ok, 9 minutes- but who's counting) amount of time to find him. Meanwhile, Roxie, ever the sympathetic mutt, joined Andrew in protest of the situation. I'm fairly sure the mass exodus by the other campers might have been pre-planned, but the extra thanksgiving in their hearts at leaving was all us. Silver lining: at least we had solid walls around us. Other campers, you can thank us later.

The Hartman Ritual- it's now required, oh boiled ones.

Morgan, fresh from her other camping trip (pre-burned, but only slightly this time), Jared, and Andrew. In the very back, behold our Kabin. The kids are sad this is all we got of it. Therapy will ensue shortly.

The token pic of me: to prove I was there. Thx, little mIss.

Monday, June 2, 2008

School Daze

The school part refers to the kids; the daze, me. I can't believe the school year is over already (something I say each year at summer's end. Boy, am I repetitive.) But, really, it's over? I find myself waxing nostalgic at the end of the year. A kind of days gone by regret- I wish I had done...moments missed, activities un-numbered. The days seem to be speeding up like a car accelerating on the freeway and I am sad. (I can guarantee to have the same lament at summer's end as well, tho I may choose not to torment you with it. I'll simply refer you to current posting. Ahhh, the favors I grant.)

Thus, here I am, belatedly cataloguing the past year's sad ending. Farewell, 3rd grade. And a sad so long to 5th. Here comes summer.

Morgan and Mr. Bunker, a favorite teacher.

5th Grade Dance: the Cha Cha.

Jared with Ms. Mattinson: just a tiny crush on his cute teacher.

3rd Grade Dance

Fan club Pres.

A groupie. (Brynn)

Engrossed. Those Hartleys just can't get enuff.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Red Rock Happiness

Every year (excepting one), we have gone to Moab.
The past few years, we've hit the Moab Arts fest with the kids, minus the hubbys. Apparently, the hubs have long since met their Arts quota. We haven't, however.

Last year, the big smash was the Giant Slingshot. Actually, I don't know what it's called. All I know is once the kids saw it, they couldn't forget it. Which means, neither could we. Now, we have to top it.

This year, the sleeper hit was the skate park. No skates involved for our crew tho. Just heelys for the Hartmans and scooters for the Stewarts. (Morgs did Hijack a scooter at one point. That poor child never saw it coming...don't worry, no permanent damage was done.) Not really. I just stated it that way for alliterative purposes.

One of the best things about the arts fest is the children's corner. They organize free activities (art, of course) and entertainment round the clock for as long as the fest is open. They always love the magician (he even made it to the big stage this year. Don't scoff. That's big time.) You can always count on an interminally long, scorching hot, sweaty wait for lightning streaks, butterflies, snakes, and flowers. There might even be a cloud or two. Very tame, rather small, generally minor stuff- hardly worth the wait in Moms eyes.

However, we pulled out all the stops. Well, technically, we had nothing whatsoever to do with it, besides the aforementioned waiting. Did I mention how hot it is in the line?? I keep looking for heat lamps incognito, but so far, nada. At any rate, somone got creative all over Bubs and Jules faces. And I mean All over their faces. If we could have seen through the thickly spackled paint, we'd have seen two beaming, I mean shade your eyes from the glare, kids under it.

Monster mash and Geisha girl

Immediately after, we retire to the The Money Pit, conveniently situated next to the chilldren's corner. Where, wonder of wonders, is The Pond (ie. blow up pool) complete with boats (of the paddling variety), sponges (of the dollar store variety), and one interfering yet well meant 'ride operator' (typical fair variety). Technically speaking, that would be Morgs and Jules, but traditionally it's the one charging and enforcing the payment of the astronomically expensive, ridiculously small pieces of cheap construction paper labelled 'TICKET', of which surrendering several at once is required. (Don't worry. I have two of them and I really won't miss the right one much; I will quickly master writing with the left. You'll see.)

Anyhoo, Morgs and Jules could not contain their excitement, since this was the very first time this 'ride' was here and there was no waiting (a big draw for all of us). Pipes and Bubs, the jaded 9 year olds, set their minds to the proven high of the Slingshot, rather than the watery thrills this one might lack.

As you can see, however, thrills is what they got. Apparently, the ticket taker, possibly to attract more than the 4 more interested would-be-boaters, decided to make it a little more interesting, becoming actively involved in the be-wetting of the riders. Utilizing running hose, now airborne sponges, and splashing hand, he did a thorough job.

Unfortunately, something wasn't waterproof.
Giesha girl meets water.

Sadly, none survived the 6 minute ride. (I know, we thought it was extraordinarily long too.) Jules was all smiles, even as Jen wiped off, mid-chuckle, all of her Geisha makeup. I think her makeup might have lasted all of 8 minutes. Maybe a touch more since none of us could stop laughing at her makeup-run face.

After all the excitement of the day, neither of us Moms were surprised when all four big kids were found sleeping on the ride home.