Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Piquant Storyteller

I love writing. I have been writing since before I could write. My earliest stories were pictures with scribble writing. My English teachers helped me discover my talent for writing. It soon became a personal challenge for me to finish my work in class and write a short story with a twist before the bell rang for the next class.

I have saved all my stories and essays. I am a sentimental packrat. With each new chapter in my life I have found it easier to throw out objects from my past that remind me of things I have moved on from. However, good, bad, or otherwise, I cannot throw out any writing. I have boxes full of notes I passed in class with friends, letters from friends and family when I was away, and several emails. There is a deeply rooted relentless need to preserve my stories. So I save it all. Each piece of writing tells a part of my story.

I have never been one to follow the crowd. In fact, I have a tendency to go out of my way to avoid any popular hobby. Scrapbooking started gaining popularity in the mid to late 90’s. I refused to scrapbook. I thought it was the stupidest hobby I had ever heard of. To be fair, my first exposures to scrapbooking really were glorified photo albums. I appreciate art but I wanted to know the stories behind the pictures. I started my first scrapbook in college. It was my way of protesting scrapbooking by telling crazy fictional stories about pictures I had. It was called My Life According to Me. I thought it was funny although I quoted Dave Barry and Bill Engvall a lot.

My animosity toward scrapbooking changed when I was ready to start my own family. My first official scrapbook was my wedding scrapbook. I love that book and hate it all at the same time. I hate how imperfect it is but I love the detailed stories. My scrapbooks are an artistic way for me to tell my stories.

My husband started telling me about blogging. He talked about it from a business standpoint. I didn’t understand the technology he was describing. We talked about it off and on for years but never did anything about it. In the spring of 2007, my best friend started a blog. I checked it out and thought I could do that. It was nothing more than an online journal. We moved to California for a new job and I started a blog as a way to stay in touch with friends and family.

My blog is my license to write. I will write about anything from my emotionally analytical point of view. I mostly write about my adventures as a stay at home mom. I also have Type 1 diabetes. I am spirited according to Mary Sheedy Kurcinka and her book, Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (also known as the Mormons). I love music and art. I am opinionated on everything. I like to think I am funny. I was voted most likely to become a comedian. But no one thing defines me. I am not a one trick pony. I enjoy writing about anything and everything in great detail. While I am known as Tristan Westover, I am The Piquant Storyteller.

What do you think of the changes my totally awesome husband made for me? Leave me a comment, whether I know you or not!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Is this truly the definition of Comcastic?

Here is the email I sent to the guy from Comcast who had the audacity to comment on my post without even following through on our case.

Mark Casem,

Your comment was made on my blog after my husband called Comcast to let you all know that the problem was not solved. It is true that the problem was actually a really old phone hardwired into the wall that was producing the static. Who solved the problem? We did. And you charged us $50 for it. Your technician did nothing to discover this problem. Our creativity did. I am less than satisfied. Thank you for making the switch to Vonage that much more of a priority for my family!

Tristan Westover

Becoming less selfish

This is my third attempt to post today.  I know what I want to talk about but I’m just not happy with how it’s coming out.  Basically all I wanted to say was that I have had more people ask me what happened to my arm.  They are seeing this weird thing on my arm and have no frame of reference for what it is.  They ask as if I have injured myself.  I simply explain it’s a continuous glucose monitor. 

I had two conversations about it today.  When I dropped off Gavin at school I was talking to a mom I met last year when our sons were in the same class.  They are together again this year.  Anyway, at one point she asked about my arm.  We had a conversation about diabetes.  It was interesting because she didn’t fully understand diabetes.  I seem to have more and more conversations like that the older I get.  When I was a kid people may not have understood Type 1 diabetes but they at least knew that’s what I had since I was a kid.  Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile onset diabetes.  Now people think I have Type 2 since I’m an adult.  It was a good conversation where I was able to explain that I don’t have diabetes really bad.  (FYI nobody has diabetes really bad.  You either have it or you don’t.  Some people manage it better than others but nobody has it really bad.)  I told her my pancreas stopped working when I was 10 and that’s why I have an insulin pump.  I also tried to explain the continuous glucose monitor (CGM) sensor. 

When I went to pick up Gavin from school I saw a mom who’s daughter was in his class last year.  She asked about my arm and again I briefly explained the CGM.  She had a better understanding of what I was talking about since she has a cousin who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 18 and had just gotten over the chicken pox.  I told her that autoimmune disorders tend to show up after illness or stress.  The body is dealing with so much and starts attacking itself.  (This is how it was described to me once.)  She thought that was interesting information and was also interested to hear that most people who have one autoimmune disorder are likely to develop another. 

I am willing to wear the CGM on my arm in plain sight realizing it looks odd and some people are bothered by it’s appearance or by the fact that I don’t try to hide it.  I am willing to talk about diabetes with anyone who asks about my pump or my CGM sensor.  It’s hard for me to describe the CGM sensor because I’m still learning about it. 

One thing tripping me up about this post is the fact that I sometimes feel guilty sharing anything about what is going on in my life.  While diabetes is something I deal with on a daily basis, I don’t feel like I have any right to say much about it when there are people with trials that are far more difficult.  Today I don’t even consider my diabetes to be a trial.  It’s a part of my life and has been for 21 years.  But I still feel guilty talking about it after talking to some of the women I have this week. 

This week I saw two women I met last year with kids in Gavin’s kindergarten class.  Both women are divorced.  One was just beginning that painful journey as the kindergarten school year started.  I know people get divorced.  My parents divorced when I was 15.  It was hard on my mom to become a single mother but the divorce didn’t bother me.  My brother and I agreed that we divorced our dad in our minds long before.  But now that I am married it kills me to see people go through a divorce.  I have recently talked to a dear friend who is now beginning this journey.  I can’t handle it.  These three women are such amazing and strong women.  They are so selfless.  It doesn’t seem fair at all that they have to deal with this burden.  They are all strong in their own faiths and I know that Heavenly Father is the only thing getting them through some days. 

I believe we all agreed to be born into this world and we knew that life wasn’t perfect.  We knew that our bodies would have limitations and we knew that people would make choices that would affect our lives.  All we can do is support each other and serve each other in whatever way we can.  The Lord will take care of the rest.  I pray for people who have discovered their bodies don’t work perfectly.  I pray for people who find themselves raising their family without a spouse.  My trials, my daily concerns seem so minimal compared to other people.  I hope I can be a good support to those around me. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The secret behind tech support

'Hey Megan, it's your father. How do I print out a flowchart?'

Kirk sent this to us, Heath says it is about right

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The best purchase we ever made

In desperation for a way to solve Parker's night wetting issue, Heath said we would buy him new pajamas. He chose Buzz Lightyear and practically lives in them now. I wash more clothes now too because he puts an outfit on for about 30 minutes, tosses the clothes into the laundry, and puts on his new pajamas. This goes on at least 4 times a day!

Candi said she really wanted to see Parker's new pajamas that have kept him dry for several days in a row. So I made this video of Parker the Superhero. He's no Superman though.

video

Of course, Parker was thrilled to do a photo shoot for Aunt Candi. When we were done he said, "Who's Aunt Candi?" I showed him the picture of my family on the wall. He said, "I see her. She has red toes!" So Candi, he does remember you but it's your nail polish he remembers best!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Supra Genius

video

First day of school tradition is to take a picture right? How about 54? Gavin is so funny when it comes to taking pictures. We either get cheesy smiles or crazy poses. Heath started taking pictures and Gavin was trying to be normal. Somewhere in the middle of Heath trying to fix the camera settings so the pictures weren't so washed out, Gavin started posing. Heath kept snapping pictures. I love all of them so there you go. I have never put together a movie quite like that before. But I hope you enjoyed seeing the photo shoot set to Supra Genius by Soul Coughing. Gavin is my supra genius.

Where to begin about Gavin's first day of first grade . . . The backpack fairy came and gave Gavin an alarm clock with a bunk bed shelf for it to go on. Gavin and Parker could not have been more excited to have an alarm clock. I have never had an easier time getting the kids to bed. They were in bed by 8:15. Only 15 minutes later than I wanted them to be in bed but they couldn't wait to go to sleep to wake up to the alarm!

I braved the insane school traffic and crowds to take Gavin to school. I was so glad Heath had Gwen and Parker at home. With the help of parents of kids in Gavin's kindergarten class I found where he was supposed to line up. I was nervous about the teacher mix up I mentioned yesterday. I was even more nervous when I found out the class is co-taught. The parents spoke very highly of both teachers. I don't want to make Gavin change classes so I was prepared to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and just keep him where he is. I like the kids in his class that followed him from kindergarten. There are 5 kids from that class, including Gavin.

Gavin was a little nervous and I think he was pretty relieved that parents were invited in the classroom. We didn't stay long before we were told to say our goodbyes. I didn't cry but I thought about it. The decision to have a child is deciding to have your heart forever walk around outside your body. (or something like that. The boys are asleep or I would find the actual quote off the picture in their room.) I left my heart in that classroom and paid his lunch money.

I saw the principal talking to a parent. I didn't want to get into a big discussion with him but I didn't want to walk right past him without saying anything either. So I touched his arm and said hi while walking away. He stopped me and told me to come back. The parent left since she was just saying hi. He told me he did get my email and he tried to respond but the email bounced back. He said that he didn't feel comfortable with the way the class was shaping up in the one teacher's class we had agreed on. So he moved Gavin to the class he's in now. I knew there was either a good reason for Gavin being in this class or it was an oversight. I just wanted to know what was going on. I trust this principal. He has done so much for us and has been so supportive and understanding. So when he said he moved Gavin because he felt it was a better fit for him I was ok with that. He said he has been wrong in the past and I can have Gavin moved if anything comes up. I told him I trust him and it was fine. He told me Gavin has two of the best teachers in the district. We'll see what happens. I feel a lot more confident today that it's going to be a fun year.

My favorite thing I heard today is that Gavin's kindergarten teacher was out of her classroom in about a week. She had left everything for the incoming teacher. The incoming teacher was pink slipped with the budget cuts and was given about a week's notice that she would be rehired. So she had a week to prepare her classroom for a new kindergarten class while getting rid of extra stuff left by a teacher who had accumulated a lot in her 30 plus year career! There was dust inches thick on some of it! A mom from Gavin's class last year has a kindergartener this year in the same classroom. She said the room looks so different. The new teacher was apologizing to the parents for the cluttery room. The mom raised her hand to say how amazing it looked compared to last year!!!

When I came home I had to get the mail from yesterday. Dawn says my goal should be to check the mail daily since I missed some important info. Apparently the teachers had sent a letter and a postcard explaining where the kids were supposed to line up. The letter also said the kids are to bring a healthy snack for the morning and afternoon recesses. Are you kidding me??? I hoped we were done with snacks now that he is in first grade so I sent him to school with nothing. Now I have to pack two snacks a day! I am not amused. We bought him a cool lunch box and some granola bars because he likes those. I thought Gavin would be so mad at me for not giving him anything to eat but he didn't even say anything. I asked him about recess and he was excited that he gets 3 recesses. When I asked about snacks he said that you can buy snacks from school. I told him I would send him with something.

He was a pro at lunch since last year he was one of 7 kindergarteners on the staggered schedule that allowed them to have school lunch. He thinks his teachers are nice. He's excited about his journal that he got to write in today. His teachers had the kids put together a big puzzle that made a heart. It sounds like every piece has a child's name on it. The teachers said that they have to come every day or the heart will be missing a piece. Gavin is so excited to go to school and he doesn't want his piece missing. Between the alarm clock and the heart puzzle I think we can make it through the week before he loses interest in going to school. I know Gavin and I know the novelty of school wears off fast. I will be ok with daily morning temper tantrums again if he can come home as happy as he did today. After school we saw the principal and he asked how things went. I told him things seemed great. Then he asked Gavin if he had a good day. Gavin said an enthusiastic yep. I did a practicum in Cedar City and the principal at the school was amazing. He knew every kid by name and would talk to them before and after school. That's what Gavin's principal is like. This guy is so awesome.

Gavin was allowed to choose where we went out to eat tonight. He chose A&W. It was fun. We've been eating out a lot lately celebrating different things in our family. I love eating out so it's hard to stop. I do love that we celebrate as a family different milestones and achievements. I was skimming the Ensign for September and read that a couple decided to make a big deal out of each person's achievements. I love that we do that in our family. First grade is a big deal. Congratulations Gavin! Hopefully it only gets better from here.

Who Put a Quarter in You?


Heath was backing up in the van and looking over his shoulder. Parker said, "Don't give me that look!"


Gavin: I see Chuck E. Cheese's!
Parker: I want to go to Chuck E. Cheese's!
Me: We will never go to Chuck E. Cheese. I don't like it.
Parker: Well, you can just stay in the car!


Parker: It's A W.
Heath: No, it's A and W.
Parker: No! It's A W!
Me: Well, let's just have a fight about it.
Heath: Ok, because I will win.
Parker: No I will win!
Heath pointing out the logo on my cup (Gavin chose A&W to celebrate his first day of school): What's this? A! What's that? And. What's that? W. See, I win!
Parker: No Dad! I just fighting with you about it!


Me: Parker you just have the answer to everything don't you?
Parker: Well, you just have too many questions!


Parker seeing the display of bikinis: Ooh, nice ties on underwear!
Heath was laughing because he thought Parker said nice tiger underwear. I was dying laughing!


I honestly can't remember the other crazy things Parker said today. We have been laughing all afternoon because of the things he says. For anyone who has not had the privilege of meeting my 4 year old comedian, he says things that are something you would expect from a 4 year old but his delivery is so deadpan. I don't think he realizes how funny he is. He says things that make us laugh. When he sees our reaction he will laugh and say in his patented growly voice that he made a joke or "I just kidding!" Sometimes he uses really big words for such a little guy and that is funny too. Our lives would not be the same without Parker.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Distraction

School starts tomorrow. I don't think I'm ready. Gavin isn't nervous but he doesn't jump up and down about going back to school either. I know in my head that things will be fine. Last year's experience was a one in a million chance. The likelihood of it being repeated in any way is virtually impossible.

I have to admit that the closer we get to school starting, the more nervous I become. It doesn't help that Gavin is not in the class I had discussed with the principal. Yeah. For real. I went out of my way to talk to the principal to find the perfect teacher for Gavin and he's not even in the class I requested. I emailed the principal as soon as I found out. I guess I should have paid for a babysitter so I could go to walk thru registration. The principal has not responded. I don't even care what happened. An acknowledgment would be nice. I feel like the school year is already starting on the wrong foot. But I know that it will be fine. Gavin will be fine. Of all the teachers he has had in his short life only his kindergarten teacher was a problem. Heath will give Gavin a priesthood blessing and I have decided I need one too.

Anyway, enough of my ranting about school. For Gavin's last day of summer vacation we decided to go to the Jelly Belly Factory. It was a nice distraction.

The kids love to go on long drives because it means they get to watch a movie. Since they chose SpongeBob episodes they wore headphones so we could listen to our music. I love SpongeBob and all but I hate listening to 10 episodes in a row. We didn't put headphones on Gwen and she didn't care!

Parker has been really moody lately. I think part of it is Gavin is getting a lot of attention with going back to school. Gavin and Gwen got all the new clothes. Parker got new shoes. Then new pajamas only so we could better motivate him to not pee in bed. The rule is if he pees in his pull up his pajamas are confiscated. He loves his Buzz Lightyear pajamas and so far has had no accidents. I'm glad that Heath is home for another week so Parker can have some Dad attention while Gavin is in school. I think Parker needs some personal attention.

I don't know why I took this picture. But now that I have it makes me miss Candi and Ed all over again. Seeing Heath look up stuff on his Blackberry reminds me of Ed and how he was always looking things up on his phone. This picture reminds me of the day that Candi wanted to find a credit union and Ed kept directing me but would change his mind because he thought it was too far away! It was a great field trip. Standing in line at the Jelly Belly Factory made me miss my family. We met them at the Jelly Belly Factory when they came to visit us.

The boys were so excited when we said we were going to the Jelly Belly Factory. I think all they really cared about was playing in this car and getting the free jelly beans at the end of the tour.

It was a long wait for the tour. The kids about drove us crazy with hanging on the ropes, mauling our legs, and begging to be picked up.

Gwen was pretty content in her stroller.


Poor Parker just needs a hug.

Gavin could not contain his excitement.
For $22 we could have bought a picture of us in front of the big Jelly Belly mascot at the beginning of the tour. We chose not to. I thought the tour was fun. I think it's cool to see how things are made. After the tour Heath bought some candy. He didn't want the Belly Flops because he doesn't like all the flavors and he hates playing Russian Roulette trying to figure out which colors are the flavors he hates. He has a good point. So he picked out a few flavors we all like. He also bought 25 lbs of fruit snacks for $20! The kids eat the Jelly Belly fruit snacks anyway so now we have a year supply of fruit snacks. Bring on the natural disasters!

The boys got another turn in the car. As a kid my parents never paid for us to play in these types of things. I love that Heath spoils our kids. What's a dollar for two turns in a coin operated rocking car with Jelly Belly candies all over it?


Gwen was surprisingly patient in her stroller just watching her brothers have all the fun.

Parker was in heaven!

Gwen is just cute so we have to take tons of pictures of her.


She is talking all the time now. Our favorite is how she says "I love you!" She is so sweet. She's really funny about kisses though. We ask for a kiss and she pokes our cheeks with her index finger. She'll give great hugs but doesn't seem to get the kissing thing. Today she planted a big, sloppy, french fry kiss on Heath's cheek at lunch. Then she gave me one too. We were so excited!

The funny thing about lunch was we were going to find a Wendy's but decided to go to IKEA on the way home. Wendy's was in the opposite direction of where we needed to be. So we drove on the freeway for a while looking for anything that sounded good. Jack in the Box never sounds good! We randomly decided to get off the freeway and ended up finding a McDonald's. The kids love McDonald's and I don't remember why we ever started going there! Although I craved it for a few weeks after Gwen was born. Weird. Well, I sit down with the kids and notice a family that actually was on the Jelly Belly tour with us!!! How random is that?
We thought it would be funny if we saw them at IKEA. But we didn't. It's strange since everyone else on the planet seemed to be shopping at IKEA this afternoon! I was losing steam fast. I'm not a fan of shopping and then when I can't find what I want my patience runs thin. Hordes of people just makes it worse. I finally turned to Heath and said, "Don't people have jobs? Why are all these random people shopping in the middle of the day?" It wasn't just women and children. We're talking half the state of California was crammed into that one IKEA. I'm telling you, there is no economic recession. There just isn't. It is a lie! Every time we go shopping there are no parking spots to be found and the stores are crowded with annoying shoppers. There simply cannot be an economic recession under those circumstances. I'm sorry.
Now that I'm home I am painfully aware that school is starting tomorrow. Must find a new distraction!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Lizards, Water, and Vacuuming in Heels for Cash

Let's just say it's been busy around here!

Where to begin . . . how about this little guy? Oh wait, this is actually an alligator and not a lizard. Heath built this robotic alligator from Legoes. It chases the kids around the house. It's pretty funny.


For as long as we have lived in this house there has always been a lizard living under our front porch. Heath saw this little guy on Saturday when he went out to get the mail. We're guessing he is the grandson of the first lizard we saw sunning himself on our front porch. Dawn thinks lizards are cute. I agree. They are very cute from a reasonable distance. She used to catch them and show them to her mom. I'm glad my kids have a healthy fear/respect for the lizards around here. I used to have a lizard hanging in my car. It was made by the Resource students I student taught. I also had a lizard on my keychain. My grandpa thought he was too heavy and would ruin my ignition. I kept him around for a long time but his feet kept breaking off. He was sure cute though.

We also have a bird nest under the roof over our front porch. The saddest sight ever was seeing a tiny broken egg with smeared yolk on the porch. An egg must have fallen out of the nest. The circle of life never bothered me until I had my own kids. Now everything makes me want to cry!

At least I look good and my house is clean! My new shoes cost me $10 from Dress Barn. $10!!!! How hot am I vacuuming in my high heels? If you're going to clean your house you may as well do it in heels! The world looks a little different from up here though. I'm not used to wearing heels all the time. Heath said that he's tall and I should celebrate that and just wear heels. His height was the first thing that attracted me to him. I'm not that tall yet I have had trouble finding guys taller than me to date. I all but gave up on heels pretty early on because I don't have the confidence to tower over guys. But I think I've changed my mind now. My shoes are so comfortable, well until I wore them outside my house and after a couple hours they started giving me blisters. This is why I never wear shoes! I hate shoes. I hate having anything on my feet. So ratty flip flops are awesome because they keep a thin layer under my foot protecting it from the elements. Seeing my fantastic tan and my stylin clothes and my sexy $10 shoes, I think the price of beauty is worth it here!

I was the best dressed mom at the playground, that's for sure! Stacy and Clinton would be so proud. We took the kids to play in the water at a park near us. I had taken them a few days earlier. They asked to go that day. I was all for taking them but last year when I took them Gavin was so intimidated by the other kids there that he refused to play. Parker followed Gavin's lead. I was so annoyed. So I told them in no uncertain terms that they were to have fun. I didn't care if other kids were there, they had to play and have fun. I told them most likely there would be other kids there because it was a hot day. And they had to promise me they would have fun. I said that if they weren't going to play we would come home and they would take naps and I would not set up the pool or the caterpillar sprinkler. They had fun. It really helped that there were no other kids playing in the water but I think they were determined to have a good time after my no nonsense lecture. Aren't I the best mom!

There were other kids this time at the playground. The boys had fun anyway. They got pretty wet and enjoyed the heck out of the water for a decent amount of time.

Gwen drank to her heart's content and refused to get wet. Silly girl!

I can't think of a segue for these pictures. I was going to have a poll and let people guess how much money was in this peanut jar. For some reason my blog is a guilty pleasure to most of my readers. Nobody wants to publicly participate. No worries. I will tell you without all the drama. All this change plus the redemption from these recyclables – by the way, this is about 2 years worth of bottles. We don't drink that much Thomas Kemper root beer, soda pop, and bottled water. There is an alarming amount of Diet Coke bottles though. I must have been premenstrual and stressed a lot lately! I blame my addiction on Heath who enables me to drink more than my fair share of happy juice. Anyway, all of this combined came up to $100. $8 of it went to CoinStar for counting our coins and kindly giving us back our Canadian coins and a plastic penny. I am impressed with the total. That's pretty cool. It goes into the vacation fund.

Not bad for the weekend before school starts.

He gave this up?

Can you imagine this view from your desk at work?
Or this?

These pictures are a view of Pier 39 in San Francisco. Heath would walk out to Fisherman's Wharf for lunch nearly every day. How he got any work done I will never know.

On Wednesday he said goodbye to this gorgeous view for the last time. He said goodbye to his co-workers for the last time. Many of those goodbyes were quite emotional. He came home with an empty computer bag and mixed emotions. It was sad to say goodbye but for the first time in our married life, Heath left a job on his own terms. Opportunity knocked and he opened the door.

The next 12 days were his to do whatever he wanted. Sleep in, disregard daily hygiene, play video games, eat junk food, etc. Thank heavens that hasn't happened yet!!! Heath has plans to do some things he doesn't normally have a lot of time for. His biggest plans are to spend stress free quality time with his family. So far so good.

As his wife, I could not be prouder of Heath. He has worked so hard to achieve success. He is intelligent, witty, creative, even tempered, and popular among his peers. Finally he is getting the recognition he deserves in the business world. Doors are opening in his honor. People are seeking him out for jobs. He picked the best one and will begin a new adventure at the end of the month.
The other day we were thinking of how truly blessed we have been. We remembered Spring 2007 and how difficult it was to make a decision. Which job was the right one for us? Where did the Lord really want us to go? Did it matter? In the end we believe it did matter. A lot. The Lord guided us to the Bay Area and our lives have never been the same since. I prayed that we would make the right decision and I prayed that I would never look back. I have never looked back.

Heath painted a picture of what our lives could have been like if we had chosen the job in Memphis. If we had listened to a General Authority, he joked. Elder Nash is a Westover family friend and has been for quite some time. His advice to us was not as a General Authority, it was as a friend. I feel no remorse for choosing opposite of his advice. I don't think he feels we have made a mistake either. But yes, he did advise us to move to Memphis. Other people we respect also advised us to move to Memphis, take the secure job, live in a cheap city in a big house we could own. Had we chosen that route, Heath certainly would not have been fired. That company doesn't lay people off. But with the economy the way it is he would have had a significant pay cut. Heath believes we would have been upside down in a house. And we would have been stuck, not being able to afford to quit for a better job, much less move.

Have our lives been easy? No but we have been happy. And that is all that matters. That is why we chose to take the chances we have. No regrets.

Heath will still be working in San Francisco but he will not be along the waterfront. He will be doing generally the same work but he will be higher on the totem pole. Sad to give up the view but the memories of working there will always remain. The tourists, the F trains or the long walk to BART (almost 2 miles each way), the food, the environment. Ahh yes. Good times.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Growing Up

Every now and again it hits me. My kids are growing up and there is nothing I can do about it. It's strange for me because I'm not a baby person but my babies are growing up.

Candi kept saying that Gavin is looking so much older and mature. We got him a new backpack yesterday. He chose Lightning McQueen. I'm a terrible mother because I tried to talk him out of it. It just seemed a little juvenile, even for a 6 year old first grader. So then he picked GI Joe. I like that it's a character backpack yet appropriate for his age. I can't believe my baby is growing up. I remember crying a little the first time he wore 3T jeans. Those pants shut the door permanently on his babyhood in my mind. Now he's in first grade.

Gwen is growing like a weed. She is 18 months old tomorrow and already growing out of her 2T clothes. I shouldn't be so surprised because Gavin was the same way. He was so tall he was into 3T t-shirts by 18 months. I don't remember how old he was when we bought those 3T jeans. Not 3 years old! Those pants made him look like a little boy and not a tall baby anymore. I just find it interesting that Gwen is wearing the same size of shirts that I just cleared out of Parker's drawer a couple months ago. In fact, she gets Parker's gray BYU t-shirt. If she was a boy we wouldn't have to buy her new clothes at all. I never wanted a spoiled girl. She sort of has to be since she can't wear her brothers' old clothes. I think the one item of Gwen's that kills me like Gavin's 3T pants did is her shoes. Yesterday we bought her some new shoes since all she can fit in is her sandals. The Sunday shoes don't bother me. It's the sneakers. They're a size 8. Two sizes bigger than her sandals. We couldn't find a size 7 in those shoes. But still. Those shoes are not baby shoes. They look like little girl shoes. What happened to all my babies?

Poor Parker. He only got new shoes. He doesn't need anything else. He has more clothes than anyone in our family. He has a dozen pajama outfits as well as countless pairs of shorts and t-shirts. I always knew the day would come when he would realize used clothes are just not as cool as new clothes. I think he would have been fine except Gavin got new pajamas. I was tired of seeing Gavin's underwear peeking out of the bottom of his pajama shorts. Parker lost his mind. He thought we got two pair of pajamas so each boy had a new pair. The jealousy of Gavin having all the new stuff was too much for my tired Parker. My heart broke because it really wasn't fair. Heath is the best dad though. He brilliantly came up with the idea that Parker could earn new pajamas. Parker has been having problems with bed wetting. We don't know if he physically can't help it or he doesn't care to use the bathroom at night. We have been paying him pennies for every morning he is dry. I'm so tired of washing sheets. But Heath said that if Parker can wake up dry every morning until Monday we will buy him new pajamas. So far so good!

I have great kids. I have been stopped in the bathroom at a restaurant by a woman wanting to compliment me on my family! She said that she also has two boys and a girl and they are all grown now. She told me that she and her husband really enjoyed watching our cute little family. She said the same thing to Heath as she and her husband were leaving. Parker hadn't finished in the bathroom yet. Another time the waitress said that our kids were the most well behaved kids she has ever served! I figure people don't have to say this stuff so it must be true. I love my kids. I love watching them grow up even though it is painful sometimes to see how quickly they grow up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Facebook

I have been laughing all day today. Everything is cracking me up. When I found this YouTube video on another blog I had to post it along with my favorite Normal Mormon Husband post. These reasons are mostly why I haven't joined Facebook. Enjoy.

more reasons NMH's reason of only staying in touch with 2 people is my favorite.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Twighlight Zone

Really strange things keep happening around here. I think all the issues have now been solved. First the phone was acting up. The Comcast guy was scheduled to come between 2 and 4 today.

I was trying to finish getting ready for the day and make sure my house was clean for some random guy to come in. My kids were hungry and I told them I would make them lunch soon. Suddenly my pump started to buzz. (It's set to vibrate since I hate beeping all the time) I thought it was a little weird since I wasn't expecting a Check BG (blood glucose) reminder and I knew my reservoir wasn't low yet. But it kept buzzing.

My next thought was that something had caused it to not deliver insulin. I hate those alarms because it means I have to change the infusion set. But it kept buzzing. Huh. It never buzzes more than 4 times. It buzzed at least 6 times. I thought, "Good heavens, what is going on?"

The screen lit up and it said A12. A12? What the heck is that? I cleared the alarm and it showed a VER number like when I change the battery. And the number was different than what shows when I change the battery. Then the screen went blank. My heart stopped. I thought, "Oh crap! Now what am I supposed to do?" Then I saw a large number 1 in the center of the screen. It slowly counted up to 6 showing one number at a time. Then the bottom half of the screen went black. I was just staring at my pump, my heart racing a mile a minute. The screen blinked and showed what I normally see on the screen only the reservoir and battery symbols were completely full. Then the reservoir symbol went down to 2 bars like it was before and the battery stayed full. But I think I recently changed the battery so that's probably right. It's been normal ever since. Hmmm . . . cue Twighlight Zone music.

I called Heath knowing he wouldn't know what to do any more than me. He suggested I contact Dave. I thought maybe Dave would know. Most likely not but maybe. He does train on pumps as well as continuous glucose monitors.

My blood sugar was nice and low since it was noon. So I made lunch for everybody. I was clumsy and felt like I had adult ADD or something because any time my kids said something I wanted to shush them because I seriously could not think. Poor Parker kept running off saying I was hurting his feelings. I finally said, "I'm sorry, Parker. I'm low. I don't feel good. I'm trying to make you lunch. Just let me do my job!" He ran off again.

We ate lunch and everything started happening at once. I quickly cleaned my kitchen. I tidied a few more parts of the house and then emailed Dave. Gwen was tired or something because she was clumsy and kept crying. I finally got her down for her nap. She cried a normal amount. Then she started crying like she was terrified or broke her arm or something. I went in there and she was upset because she had dropped her cell phone on the floor and couldn't reach it. She was not happy that I would give it to her and then shut the door again. Dave replied that I needed to call MiniMed as soon as possible.

Mr. Comcast came to the door along with a guy from the city. Ok. What's up? The city guy talked about broken concrete between my house and my next door neighbor. Blah blah blah. I knew about the broken concrete he was basically telling me they (the city) would fix it and it would take 10 days to be done.

The Comcast guy came in and went to work on the bizarre problem with our phone. I love that I cleaned everything but never made my bed. The modem is in my bedroom. That's awesome! An hour and a half later I was signing his paperwork. It took him forever because he couldn't get a modem box of his to work and he was trying to talk to people he knew after some people were blowing him off saying he needed to try a new box. I would have done what he did. Two of his boxes and an operator telling him to try another. Yeah, I would be asking for people I knew could make equipment work too. Finally he got the phone to work and we checked on the Internet. That took an extra phone call to Comcast but we finally got it all to work. He left.

I picked up the phone to call MiniMed. No dial tone. Good heavens! I called Heath and we decided to wait it out and if that didn't work he would call Comcast later tonight and also make the switch to Vonage. The phone finally started to work. We still need to switch to Vonage since it's cheaper. Some days I wish we hadn't moved because we didn't have a phone bill for 3 years. For real. We switched from Qwest to AT&T. Heath would get bills emailed to him that said we owed $30 or whatever but had a credit for the same amount so our balance due was $0. After a few months the bills stopped coming. Heath tried to call and neither company would say they were providing our service. More Twighlight Zone music. So we just used cell phones for long distance calls and never had a home phone bill again until we moved.

I called MiniMed and found out that my alarm was the result of my pump finding an internal error but it fixed itself. The guy I talked to had me do a couple of things to make sure everything was working fine. He told me I don't need to replace my pump but if it happens again to call and they can replace it. It's still under warranty.

Everything seems normal except I am now getting errors with all of my RSS feeds. It's certainly been a day today. Time for more laundry. I hate laundry and wish it would fold itself. But given the strange things that have happened lately, it's certainly possible!

Don't call us, we'll call you!

Our home phones don't work. When I was gone over the weekend I would try to call Heath at home. The phone would ring a couple of times then it would sound like he picked up but all I heard was static. So I would call his cell phone. After a while of this I just stopped calling the house.

Out of the blue on Saturday my cell phone said "Invalid Battery." I have no idea what that meant. The phone still worked. But I couldn't tell how much battery I had left. I tried to charge my phone before I left on Sunday. It was plugged in but there was no indication it was charging. Just the weird message of Invalid Battery.

My mom started giving me cash. She gave me $1 so I had $3 and I wasn't tipping Sky Cap with my $5 bill. Then she gave me tons of change in case I had to use a pay phone to call Heath. I had no way of knowing if my phone was suddenly going to die. It didn't die. In fact, I called Heath when I got to the gate. We talked for a brief minute and he told me to save my battery. So I turned off my phone in preparation for the flight. I hoped it would turn back on when I landed. Once I made it to baggage claim I turned it back on. The Invalid Battery was gone and I could see my phone was fully charged! Weird!

The home phone was still acting a little strange. Heath said he couldn't get a dial tone on the phone in our bedroom. The phones had a lot of static when we called out. Heath's mom returned our call on Sunday. We were outside by the grill and the door was closed but I never heard the phone ring. She was lucky enough to leave a message.

Yesterday the phone rang once at 8 am. There was no data that came through. I was going to delete Dawn's message when I heard there was another voice mail message we missed. It was a woman saying a confused "hello?" and that was it. My guess is it was my 8 am call. Heath tried to call to say he was heading home. I was in the garage with Parker for some reason. We have two phones in the garage from the previous home owners. We were only out there for a second. When I walked back into the kitchen I happened to glance at the phone and saw I missed a call. Heath had called exactly one minute earlier. I never heard the phone ring! I called him back and we decided we must be able to call out but nobody can call in.

We thought our phones were dying and needed to be replaced. He hooked up the phone he uses for conference calls when he works from home. It's not a cordless phone. Nothing happened when he called home from his cell phone. So it's not our phones. It's a Comcast problem. Heath called last night to tell them the issue we were having. The guy had never heard of anything like this! Heath had to explain it to him a couple of times. Someone will be over later to look into it. In the meantime, don't bother calling me. You couldn't get through anyway.

If you don't know my cell number it's because I never give it out because I never use my phone. I only charge it when I go to the doctor or go on a trip. I never have it with me and I have never set up my voice mail! If by some chance my phone is charged and I have it with me the only calls I get are wrong numbers because nobody knows my number! I don't know why I don't use my phone anymore. When we had T-Mobile I used my phone a lot. But when we moved here the only place we could get enough of a signal to talk to people was in our bedroom sitting right up against the window. It was uncomfortable so we switched to AT&T and got a discount through Heath's job. Now I have millions of unused minutes! I have a love/hate relationship with phones in general. I love talking to some people and will talk for hours. Most the time I hate using the phone. Just another little quirk of mine.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I've Been at the Airport All Weekend

At least according to Parker I have! Friday afternoon, Heath dropped me off at the Oakland Airport. I flew to Salt Lake City to surprise my family.

Originally only my mom knew I was going. A few more people were let in on the secret at the last minute. My sister in law Deanna, my brother Tyson, and my Aunt Barb. Nobody else knew.

My family was definitely surprised! They all had a similar reaction. A double take, a look of total surprise or a huge grin, a hug, and lots of laughter. Then some variation of the story that at first they didn't think it was me or they thought nothing of it until they remembered that while I belong at family barbecues, I don't because I don't live there anymore!

My favorite reaction was my Grandpa. He looked like a little kid on Christmas with the hugest smile you have ever seen. My Grandpa is not doing well anymore after suffering from advanced prostate cancer for over 10 years. My mom is now at Lake Powell with my Uncle Chris and my grandparents. It kills me that she described the trip as my Grandpa's last hurrah.

My other favorite reaction was my brother in law Ed. He was very surprised. Maybe more animated about it than my sister Candi. Later that night he told me his version of the surprise story. I can't repeat what he said but he was very surprised! Ed cracks me up.

I had dinner at what felt like the kid table. Only because I was sitting with Candi and Ed and my cousin Jeremy and his wife Bridgette (I think that's how she spells her name). It was like old times when the cousins would all sit together and laugh and laugh until our faces were all stretched out and we were near tears. Ed and Jeremy were good friends before Ed met Candi. Those two boys together are so funny. We laughed about anything from parenthood to inside jokes from when we were kids. It was the best family barbecue.

All the men there gave my Grandpa a blessing as the women cleaned up and chatted more. I am very grateful for the Gospel and worthy priesthood holders.

After the barbecue, my mom and I went to visit with Tyson and Deanna and their kids. They weren't able to make it to the barbecue because of previous engagements. I don't know if Daphne and Calvin knew I was coming. Their faces lit up when they saw me. I wished my kids could be there to play with their cousins.

Then we went to Candi and Ed's house to watch Mad Money. My mom didn't see much of it. Ed was snuggling with Baby Isabel on the floor trying to get her to go to sleep. Candi and I really got into the movie. We were so nervous and had to laugh at ourselves. The movie was hilarious but I feel evil for watching it! Not really. It was interesting to watch this group of people robbing the Federal Reserve. What an immoral show. But so funny.

My mom and I poured ourselves back into her house sometime after midnight. I was so wired from seeing my family and having so much fun. I couldn't sleep. Plus, it wasn't that late for me on Pacific Standard Time. So I read more of my book. More on that later. I turned off the light sometime after 1 am and lied awake for a while after that.

Saturday morning was cold and rainy. I was so excited that the pilot announced the weather in Salt Lake and said there were possible thunder showers. It started to rain soon after we landed. The rain held off for the barbecue and was off and on the rest of the night. My mom tried to blame the weather on me! Ed thought I brought rain clouds with me! Ha ha! Like it rains in CA in the summer!!!

We ate breakfast at IHOP then Ed and Isabel spent the day lounging around the house for much needed rest. We girls went shopping. By the time we were finally done around 2 pm, the sun had come out and the air was starting to warm up.

Candi and I attempted to help our mother get ready for Candi's baby shower. We weren't much help I'm afraid. We sure had a good time though. I nearly wet my pants laughing as we arranged the chairs outside to face the plants or each other with barely an inch between. It was stupid and not funny but to us and the natural high we were on it was the funniest joke ever. My mom thought we were just laughing until she realized we "were being naughty!"

Candi and I did all the jobs we could to help and then went to Candi's house so she could look pretty for her own party. I got to change Isabel's clothes and then hold her. I was afraid to pick her up at first. She is 2 months old but is a little smaller than Parker was when he was born. Once I got used to her, I just told myself she was a newborn, we were best friends. Isabel is so sweet I could eat her up. She made me miss my Gwen so much more though.

Then the party. This is the princess among all her gifts.

People made scrapbook pages for Candi to add pictures to later. It turned out so cute.

My cousin Rachel and my niece Daphne on my mom's swing.


Sweet Baby Isabel

The beginnings of the diaper raffle. My mom had some really fun prizes and all day I kept saying I hoped I would win. Kind of hard to when I didn't bring a package of diapers!!!

My cute sister Candi in her stylish outfit. She tried to sell me her shirt that she had just bought that day when she realized I had tried it on too and liked it. There was only one that was our size. I told her to keep it because I had my own new shirt. I think that shirt is adorable on her. If I get jealous, I can check out my local Kohl's.

This is the beautiful blanket my Grandma made. She makes a blanket for every great grandchild born. This is the same blanket she made for Gavin. Apparently she had started another blanket for Candi that was colorful but it wasn't finished yet. She told Candi that she could choose which blanket she wanted. I'm glad Candi heard my telepathic encouragement to keep the gorgeous white one!

I only took pictures on Saturday. I didn't think of my camera any other time. So here is the happy family.

The girls. My mom is across the top. Candi and Isabel and me.

My new best friend Isabel. That baby is so sweet I can't stand it. I feel so lucky to have been allowed to hold her. Candi and Ed are very protective of her. I would be too with a preemie. She is so precious.

We went back to Candi and Ed's house after the shower. My mom wanted to see Candi's gifts more closely than she was able to at the shower. Candi and Ed could not believe how spoiled Isabel was with new things. She got a lot of great stuff. I have several pictures and video but I figured a 10 page post about my weekend was long enough!

Then we watched another movie. Now I can't remember the name of it. Probably because I didn't see more than the first 10 minutes. I was so exhausted I just crashed.

My mom and I stumbled into her house after 1 am. Again, I couldn't quickly fall asleep. Then this morning my mom and I took turns crying about me having to leave. I got on another plane and my family rescued me from the airport that Parker thought I was at all weekend.

I was nervous to fly alone. The last time I flew alone was 15 years ago when my mom was able to go all the way to the gate with me. And Uncle Chris and Aunt Darla met me at my gate in Oakland. This time I was really alone. It turned out well. It wasn't scary. I was fine. All except for one moment of panic.
I was going through security at the SLC airport. I handed the guy my boarding pass and my driver's license. He looked at it for several seconds, lifted his somber face, and said, "I'm sorry . . . " my heart sped up. Then he went on, "This isn't you." My heart stopped and I made a weird face as I was ready to protest that it was me. How could it not be I just got it a couple months ago! Luckily he didn't string me along too long. He kept his dead pan face and said, "You're too young to be this person!" Then he smiled and joked about giving me a panic attack. I clutched my chest and laughed out a, "I can breathe!" He told me to have a nice flight and I smiled all the way to the next step of security.

When I told Heath the story he laughed with me. When he told his mom the story he started it by saying he needs to get my wedding ring fixed because the guy was obviously flirting with me. I actually felt really old when the guy said I was too young to be the girl in the picture. You only say that to flatter old people. Whatever. I haven't been wearing my wedding ring all year because a prong broke and I lost a bagget (or however you spell it). The hole makes me sad so I stopped wearing my ring. We just need to have it fixed. I have never wanted my ring more than I did this weekend. Traveling alone, without my kids even, and no way of advertising I do have a loving husband was oddly difficult for me.
This is the first time I have been without my kids. The kids had a blast with Heath all weekend. He says he knows they missed me but they never made a big deal out of me being gone. Gwen decided to freak out about me tonight at bedtime. She refused to let Heath put her to bed. I had to do their special nightly routine while Heath went through mine with the boys! I feel so loved!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When I grow up

Gavin: What can I be when I grow up?

Me: You can be anything you want to be. What do you want to do?

G: I want to be two things. A chef and a firefighter.

M: You're going to be a cooking firefighter?

G: On Saturdays I will be a firefighter and I will be a chef every Monday.

M: What are you going to do on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday?

G: Just go on vacation or something.

G: But I need to learn to drive first. I need to learn to go forward and backwards. I know how to turn but I don't know how to go forward and backward. How do you go forward and backward?

M: I don't think you need to worry about it so much. You'll learn to drive when it's time.

G: With a map or something?

This must be what Evil tastes like!

I seem to be on a roll with the food posts lately so I may as well continue.

Today I was making dinner and the phone rang. It was my mom. Heath told her I was there and he told her what I was doing. Then he handed me the phone. She had me on speaker phone so she could do her dishes. Loudly I might add! Before I could say hello I hear her saying my name.

Mom: Tristan! Tristan!
Me: What?
Mom: Touch your forehead!
Me: Why because I'm making dinner and you think I might be sick!
Mom: Yeah! I'm impressed that you are making dinner.

The conversation continued from there. My mom is hilarious. For those of you who don't know, or have maybe forgotten, I don't cook. I help Heath a lot with simple things like defrosting meat or getting things started so he can finish when he comes home. Every once in a while I figure he needs a break so I attempt dinner. Usually messing it up somehow. He doesn't care. He's just glad I help.

I have to say, I am proud of myself for tonight's dinner! Doesn't it look delicious. It really was.

When Heath said he didn't know what we should have for dinner he said something about being fine if all we ate was popcorn chicken. So I surfed for things to eat with popcorn chicken and found a bunch of recipes on how to make it part of a meal. We had most of the ingredients for a Mexican Fiesta Salad. I substituted tortilla for salad greens. And made up a lot of it as I turned a salad into a wrap. Tasty success!

The Evil part is the tomatoes came from our garden. That's right. I went shopping in my garden for ripe Roma grape tomatoes. I found five. There were a lot of green ones. Gwen ate two all herself. That girl loves tomatoes.
This new family favorite may be called Evil, just for kicks.

Peach Fuzz

The first time I met Heath I thought he personified the phrase "smooth as a baby's behind." I don't think I had ever met anyone who didn't even have the slightest hint of facial hair! I thought he either shaved really well, and I knew some people who would want to know his secret, or he only had a peach fuzz beard.

Last week we were sitting around and I noticed Heath was looking kind of scruffy after being home sick for a few days. So I mentioned the fact that he hadn't shaved. He replied, "I know. This is two days of growth. Imagine what I will look like when puberty hits!!!"

Yesterday I decided to take care of the peaches. There were peaches all over the ground and they were starting to smell. Every time we're outside Heath says it smells like rotting fruit. Sad but true. I grew up with a cherry tree and a plum tree that constantly dropped plums. We would play kickball and would skid out on plums while trying to kick the ball. We never wore shoes either, so the worst was stepping square on a plum and having it squish between the toes. Nasty. For all those fruit memories I don't remember being bothered by the smell of homegrown fruit. I remember hating to pick the cherries and plums so my mom could make stuff with it. She made the best plum jam ever. No, the smell I remember was rotting grass clippings that we played in with Barbie dolls and GI Joe action figures.

The task of picking fruit off the ground and trees gets nastier every year. Besides the smell, there are spiderwebs and bird poop. If the fruit looks ripe all you have to do is turn it over to see that a small animal ate a huge chunk of it or the bugs have gotten to it. Our first year here we got tons of peaches and nectarines. I even let the boys eat the peaches without cutting them first. Man was I a brave mom! Nothing happened. They loved the peaches. Then last year we only got two huge peaches. And they had worms inside. Shudder! So did the apples. I don't think we have eaten more than two or three apples in the time we have lived here. Heath always says he doesn't trust homegrown fruit. I'm starting to agree. I think I would be fine with oranges but all we have is fruit with edible skin.

Luckily I found a couple of decent peaches. I washed them and cut them before serving them to my children. No worms or anything not right! Parker claims he is full. This is his new thing. He begs for snacks all day and only eats a couple bites of any meal. I haven't been letting him have hardly anything for snacks lately and he still wouldn't eat his lunch today. He kept poking at his peach until it would split. He claimed he liked it so I guess he just likes to maim his food. Gavin worked hard to eat everything to get a second peach. We had Thai noodles from a box. I wasn't sure how the kids would like it but I'm so tired of making them Ramen noodles every day. They always ask for Ramen. Gwen said thank you to me when I cut up some more of her peach for her. I had one too. It felt like the peach fuzz licked me back! I washed these peaches but maybe I'm supposed to do more to get rid of more of the peach fuzz.

I'm not very good with homegrown food. I don't know how to bottle my own food. I don't know how to make jam. I feel like I'm taking my life in my hands just to deal with the fruit we have in our yard. The little neighbor girl loves our fruit. I told her she can come over anytime she wants to have some. Don't worry about the state of the economy. I will singlehandedly turn things around as I still buy my food from the grocery store. In the meantime, don't be surprised if I get hair on my chest from eating my free garden food. It will be like peach fuzz!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Harvesting Evil

Last year we planted a garden. That's about as much effort as we put into it too. The automatic sprinklers took care of watering. The gardeners (part of our rent pays for them) would weed for us. We ended up with a decent crop.

The tomatoes were uncontainable. Heath used 3 or 4 different cages to keep the tomatoes from taking over everything. They busted the cages and continued to grow! At the end of the season we ripped everything out except our chive plant.

This year we procrastinated too long and never planted anything. We thought it was weird that the gardeners weren't pulling all the weeds though. After a few weeks we realized it wasn't a weed but a tomato plant!


With zero effort on our part this is our garden.

At first we laughed. Without sowing we were reaping. The plant continued to grow. And grow. And grow. I'm getting nervous now. I was fine with the tomato plant spontaneously growing against the fence.

But somehow it jumped a couple of feet and is now growing next to the chives. Actually, it's choking them to death.

I have this sneaking suspicion that I need to rent "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" to do some research. Why were the tomatoes attacking? How did they do it? Am I a target and I don't know it? Perhaps the answers are found in the movie.
I'm also concerned about the fact that tomatoes aren't a favorite food in our house. Gwen and I are the only ones who will eat raw tomatoes. The last time tomatoes reared their ugly heads (here) I learned that tomatoes belong to the dreaded nightshade family.
Something is going on. I know it's just a tomato plant but it is still ALIVE! Little Shop of Horrors? I can't help but think my garden is harvesting evil!