Tag Archive | G

The Princess Bride

Cover of "The Princess Bride (20th Annive...

Cover via Amazon

Recently, a series of disasters led me to drive my loaner car to my sister’s house, to pick up a loaner computer (although, I suppose I’m very lucky to be a part of a family that has random cars and computers lying around. The good news is, at least one of the disasters has since been resolved) After spending the afternoon and night at Sis’s house, I asked her to come to my house to continue to hang out, and she agreed–even though it meant fighting a five year old and two year old all the way down.  She must like me or something.

We wanted to get a Redbox movie, but G was having none of it, and several tantrums later, we both gave up on trying to have fun out in the wilds of Utah County (whoo.) and ended up back at my house. A cooling off period, and some full bellies later, I was examining my (meager) DVD collection for a film that would both keep a five year old boy’s attention, and was fairly kid-friendly. What I came up with was “The Princess Bride”. G had never seen it before, and I have to say, it was really interesting to watch what was my favorite movie when I was his age through his eyes.

The first thing I noticed was how well the movie had held up–I mean, I know that I’ve loved it for the past 25 years and it’s considered a classic, but–how do I put this?

It’s like your old, favorite sweater. The color looks great on you, it fits well and it accentuates your bust.  Then one day, while wearing your favorite sweater, you happen to be watching an early season episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and slightly chuckling at the fashions of your high school years. Then, you glance down and realize the sweater you’re wearing would not look out of place at Sunnydale High.

What, I’m the only one that’s happened to?

Anyway the point is, “The Princess Bride” is near enough to my heart that I wasn’t sure I had been watching it objectively as a teen and adult.  But G loved it–I’ve never seen him that still when he wasn’t sleeping, sulking of seat belted down–even if he was up and down a bit. So, enough of my long, rambling, introduction: Here is  “The Princess Bride”, via a five year old’s first viewing.

It didn’t really hold G’s attention until Buttercup was kidnapped and jumped off the boat, which, okay, there’s not a lot of action up to that point. He definitely lost interest when Peter Falk and Fred Savage were on screen, though he did understand that the action was part of the story the Grandpa was reading, at least a bit into the movie he asked  “Is this still the story?”

My favorite part was when the Man in Black appeared for the first time. G declared definitively  “He’s a bad guy.” I don’t ever remember wondering if the Man in Black was good or bad–but then, I guess I don’t remember the first time I saw “The Princess Bride”. G loved the sword fight, and said he was rooting for Inigo (I think that Inigo was his favorite character, or maybe Inigo is just my favorite character.)

I don’t think he understood the exchange between The Man in Black and Fezzick (by the way, you can tell that Andre the Giant had a blast making the movie) and Vizzini, though he did laugh at Vizzini’s death scene–which I still maintain to be the greatest death scene ever put on film.  He was fascinated by the Fire Swamp, and wasn’t scared at all by the ROUSes–which scared the crap (not literally) out of me when I was a kid.  I’m not sure if that was simply because he’s a boy, and more action/protection oriented than I was, or if he could tell that they were actors in rat suits where you could practically see the zipper.  He was worried that Westley was all bloodied up after the battle with the ROUS, but didn’t die–“Why is his shoulder bloody? If he’s bleeding, why didn’t he die?”  Ah, kids.

I know that he didn’t understand why Sis and I were laughing during the Miracle Max and Impressive Clergyman scenes, but he loved the storming of the castle, and was once again rooting for Inigo during his duel with Count Rugen.

When the movie was over, I asked him what the best part was, and he said “The sword fights”. Sis then asked if that was a movie they should watch at their house, and he agreed that it was.

So, I think it’s safe to say that S. Morgenstern’s (and I guess this Reiner guy had something to do with it, too) masterpiece has a new fan. And the fact that “The Princess Bride” is continually gaining fans in the new generation makes me happy beyond belief.

Of course, not that any kid I see on a regular basis would have had any choice but to watch “The Princess Bride” on a regular basis. So it’s a good thing he liked it.

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Temple Square

I’m in the midst of a two-week break between semesters.  Besides waiting less-than patiently for my summer semester grades to be posted (I’m really only worried about my Math class, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t get lower than a “B” in any of the other classes), I’ve been trying to find things to do to keep from being bored–how in the world did I manage two and a half months as a kid?

Anyway, given my sudden influx of all sorts of time, I’ve had a craving to get my watercolors out. The problem is, I’ve let my sketching taper off, and I didn’t have a clear inspiration for a painting.

To that end, I went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City yesterday. And, because I can’t visit Salt Lake without bugging Sis, I dragged her, G and E along with me.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to Temple Square–and I have to say, going on a Tuesday afternoon in the summer is a much more pleasant than going at Christmas Time. I’m a cold weather kind of gal, but I’ll take 90’s and no crowds to 20’s and loaded with tourists.

The original idea was to do some sketching there, but I threw my camera in my purse as an afterthought.  Which, had I been thinking, I would have just taken the camera–there was no way that I could have expected a 5-year-old and a 18 month old to wait patiently while I sketched. It was hard enough getting them to wait patiently while I took pictures.

I was more interested in the gardens than the architecture, but still:

It’s something of a requisite shot.

At the Conference Center. Not happy that his Mom and Aunt were telling him to stay out of the water.

In the lobby of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Originally known as Hotel Utah, it was built in 1911. Love the Art Nouveau styling.

Now, onto the gardens:

There were lots of gorgeous hostas, which, I think will work well for watercolor painting.

There were lots of gorgeous hostas, which, I think will work well for watercolor painting.

Hostas, or any plant with gorgeous greenery, really, make me think of an allegory once told me. I was taking a religion class, and my instructor was talking about having bought her first house, and putting in a garden. Her mother had suggested only plants that produced flowers or fruits, and getting rid of everything else. The point was we should fill our lives with productive things. In my literal-minded view of the world, I stopped listening to the lesson, and instead thought about all the beautiful, useful plants my instructor would miss out on if she took this advice. Like hostas. I came to the conclusion that it was a bad allegory.

And yes, hostas are technically a flowering plant, but you plant them for the beautiful leaves, not the rather lackluster flowers.

Black-eyed Susan. I’ve got this sketched and stretching, as soon as it’s dry, I’m going to try painting it.

I have no idea what this beauty is. The pink and purple flowers came from the same stalk as the orange and yellow flowers. The leaves look like mint, but it doesn't smell like mint.

Petunias are flowers that I've had to learn to like--but they are so cheerful, and they like the hot weather.

Just a couple of random lilies. I love how everywhere that could grow a flower is growing a flower. G didn't believe that there weren't any fish in the water in the background.

I wasn't the only person taking pictures of flowers--and if I had been thinking like a photographer and not a painter, I would have taken pictures of people taking pictures of flowers. I'm pretty sure I was the only person taking pictures of tree bark, though.

So, I’ve got plenty of inspiration, and for a handful of change for a parking meter, I had a fun outing with my sister and nephews. I think when you live close to monuments like Temple Square, it’s easy to take them for granted.

At least, I realized on the way home that I probably should have just gone to the public garden by my house for inspiration.

In other news, I’ve opened up an Etsy shop. You can find it here. Right now, I just have dog toys for sale, but hopefully, I’ll be able to expand into more artistic territories.  I’ve even already made a sale–a feat made less impressive considering the buyer is my cousin and one of my product testers. (Thanks, Sarah!) Anyway, check it out.

Cooking with Children

For all my talk about doing better on the blogging thing, I still missed yesterday.

But then, I didn’t really have access to a computer and time at the same moment, so there’s that…

Anyway, the bread was a huge success–to the point where we’re going to make some more today–the batch wasn’t big enough to satisfy me, my sister’s family, and still have enough to share with my sister’s neighbor from Winnipeg.

The whole rye berries–well, cracked would have been better, but oh well.

G had a lot of fun “helping” make bread, even when I wouldn’t let him stand on the counter any more.  Even though he’s a confirmed carnivore–no  superfluous starch products for that kid!  He was excited to taste it, and even more excited to make some more today.

So, here’s the recipe with my adjustments, and what I’m planning to do today:

Winnipeg Rye Bread:  The Cori Version

1/3 c rye berries

1/3 c water

Soak the rye in the water until it is absorbed (I honestly don’t know how long this took.  Somewhere between one and three hours.  I’m upping this to 2/3 c for today’s batch)

3/4 c milk

1 c water

1 tsp salt

1/4 c packed brown sugar

1 egg

3 Tbs butter

4 Tbs gluten

1 3/4 Tbs active dry yeast

Mix together until blended

1/3 c rye four (’cause I have a bunch that needs to be used)

4ish cups flour

Starting with the rye, slowly add the flour until the dough comes together.  Knead.  Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.  Punch down, let double again.  Form into two loaves, place on a baking sheet, and let rest for 10 minutes.  Bake at 350º f for 30 minutes.

I decided yesterday that I need to talk to G when I’m hesitant about going to church–except his ward starts before mine, so I can’t just call him…

However, upon finding out that I didn’t make it to church yesterday, he told me “You need to go to church.  You have lots of friends at church.  Like Aunt Cori, and pickles, and cinnamon toast, and Jesus, and fish, and dogs…”

It’s official, I’m not an adventurer.

Even if, in the grand scheme of things, they are small, boring adventures.

Yesterday, about 7:30, I took the dogs out for a walk.  I had been fighting a migraine all day, and was feeling just good enough to take the dogs out long enough to pee, with the plans of  coming right back inside and laying down again.  The dogs had other plans.  Okay, fine.  I’d rather spend an extra ten minutes traipsing around outside than spend an hour scrubbing  my carpet.

Well, while we were out, my roommate left, locking the door behind her.  And my keys, cell phone, and wallet were all inside.

Crap.   Max, Lulu and I were stuck outside.  For three and a half hours.

I considered borrowing a phone and calling Sis to come and rescue me, but I couldn’t remember her number.  Usually, I don’t have to–my phone has at least three ways of calling someone without typing in a number.  I thought about calling my parents at their house, I know THAT number, and having them call Sis to come and rescue me, but I didn’t want to involve the whole family in my drama.

I thought about going to a friend’s apartment, and waiting there–but I still had that stupid migraine, and really needed peace and quiet and darkness.  I didn’t feel like I could burst into someone else’s home, and demand that they wait on me hand and foot because I was stupid enough to leave my house without keys.  Plus, all of my friends in the complex are renters, where as I own my unit, and I wasn’t sure about bringing my dogs into their homes for an extended period of time, no matter how well-trained and recently emptied they are.

Fortunately, my car was open (my security system is driving a 1997 Geo.  It’s a good little car, but it’s not worth stealing, and if I could afford anything worth stealing to keep in my car, I wouldn’t be driving a 1997 Geo.) so I was able to retrieve a few things to make my wait a little more comfortable–like a dish I could use for water for the dogs (again, feeling super-lucky that there are outside spigots on every building in my complex) a toy for Max, and a bottle of water and a book for me.

Even with these little things, I was, understandably in my opinion, pretty upset.  To the point of not only tears, but full-on sobbing.  It wasn’t until I realized that a big part of my headache was because I was upset, that I worked on calming myself down.  And I have to say, the Roommate was extremely lucky she didn’t come home while I was so upset.

Amazingly, I was able to  get myself settled down, and stuck it out for the long haul.  The dogs were just as unhappy about the situation as I was (perhaps more, I stole the doormat to sit on, and made them sit on the hard concrete.)  Lulu kept looking at me, then looking at the door.  When we’d take the time to wander downstairs, rather than running off the way she normally does, she’d run back upstairs to wait by the door.

Just as I was about to give up and spend the night in my car, the Roommate came home.  I’ve never been so happy to see another human being in my life.  Max and Lulu agreed–they’re never slow about going inside after our walks, but last night broke a record, I’m sure.

This morning, I woke up to the power flickering on and off before completely going out.  Which, admittedly, is an odd thing to wake a person up–it was the change in the sound my air purifier makes that awakened me.   I took that opportunity to take the dogs for a long walk, (being very careful to grab my keys) and took that opportunity to make sure it wasn’t just because I was late paying my power bill.  It wasn’t– power outages are fairly common, but they usually only last a minute or two.

Having returned from my walk, and finding the lights, and more importantly, the air conditioner and fans, weren’t on, and being unable to fall back asleep, I called Sis because I was bored, and I needed to tell her about my adventure the night before.  She was on her way down for the funeral, but, a while later she called me back saying that between her late start and the traffic, she wasn’t going to make it on time.  So, by chance, would she like to meet me at the Harley store?

Okay, back up a bit–Sis and her family were planning to take a long vacation when the B-I-L got his masters, but somewhere along the way, they decided that the B-I-L needed a motorcycle instead.  And, as part of getting that motorcycle, he’s been taking classes at the Harley dealership that’s about ten miles away from my house.  He liked (his last class was today) getting to class a bit early so he could wander around the showroom and store, and thought Sis and the boys would like to see it too.  Sis, knowing her children, wanted me to come along to help keep an eye on them.  Mostly G.

The Harley store is a-mazing, and it was fun to see all of the beautiful bikes and cool riding gear they had.  It was less fun trying to convince G not to touch anything.  When the Brother-in-Law’s class was on a break, his instructor took us all down to the basement to see the bikes.  And the store mascot, a man dressed like a Sasquatch.  Dave the instructor really didn’t understand G’s intense fear of costumed characters.  Not at first, anyway.

Sis had called Mom and told her that she wasn’t going to make it down in time, and Mom suggested that she meet us up here for a picnic.   So after the store, Sis, G, E and I headed back to my house.

I forgot exactly how destructive a four-year-old can be, especially those whose names start with ‘G’, and how un-baby proof my house is, because my little ones aren’t interested in things like the glass jar on the coffee table that’s full of pens, or finding out how the night-light in the hallway is connected to the wall.

Sis wanted to get E down for a nap, so I was left to entertain G–a child who is not content to be entertained simply by turning on the TV.  At one point, he decided he wanted to take the dogs for a walk, and so off we went.  I had to explain several times that when we take the dogs for a walk, it’s so they can use the potty, and so we need to let them stop when they want to stop.  Still, Max did AWESOME.

Backing up again, both of my nephews are fascinated by Max.  E is, I think, because Max is black and white, and therefore, easier for him to see than Lulu.  For G, I think it’s because he plays when Lulu doesn’t.  It’s more than a little frustrating, because Lulu is so much better with kids than Max.  On our walk, G insisted on holding Max’s leash.

Upon returning from our walk, G rang the doorbell, waking up both E, and my roommate who has apparently developed a head cold.  So, when Mom showed up, we had a hyperactive four-year-old (par for the course, really) a cranky baby who didn’t get a long enough nap, and a house that had been destroyed by the two of them.

We headed off to Nielsen’s Grove,  a beautiful park not far from my house.  After chasing G around, and successfully preventing him fromgoing into the pond to meet the ducks personally, and less successfully preventing him from dumping ice all over his baby brother, Mom decided that she needed to go to Wal-Mart and pick a few things up before she headed home.

Now, I always hate Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart on a Saturday?  Ten times worse.  Wal-Mart on the Saturday before school starts?  Yeah…

And what Grandma can resist buying toys for her grandsons when she’s at Wal-Mart?

So one soaking baby, one big tantrum, and lots of tears (not all from the children) later, we all got packed up into our respective cars, and headed our separate ways.  Mom commented that G alone is more of handful than Sis and I were, combined.

I seriously love that kid, but I’m glad he doesn’t come home to my house.

Hopefully, my adventuring is done, at least until school starts on Wednesday.  I don’t think I can handle many more days like yesterday and today.

G and the Best Toy Ever

Yesterday, Mom and G went on an adventure–Mom had promised to buy G a toy because his birthday is coming up.  I asked to go with them, because the toy store they were going to is close to my house, and I was worried that my plants needed water.

On the way up, we were talking to G about what toy he was going to pick–and made sure he knew that he had to choose the very best one.  Mom and I started talking about what we thought was the very best toy.  Mom thought she probably would have chosen a doll.

I remembered the toy I always wanted but never got.  See, growing up in the middle of nowhere, trips to the toy store was a rare treat.  Sis and I would memorize the toy section of the various catalogs that came home, choosing what we thought were the best toys ever.  Sometimes, we would get those toys, but most often, we did not.

I chose, as my Best Toy Ever, an artist set that was sold in the JC Penney catalog year after year.  I was happy to see they still sell it online.   I never got this art set–I think Mom used the very legitimate excuse that it would be too messy.

I think that half the reason I still remember this toy as the one that pinned after is that I never got it.

I’ve gathered all of the various art supplies included over the years, and kind of ironically, my favorite medium is watercolor pencil–which isn’t included here.

G was as serious as I’ve ever seen a three-year-old as he was wandering up and down the aisles of the toy store.  We finally had to remind him that he could choose something, then if he saw a better toy, he could put the one he already chose back.

First, he chose a firehouse play set, complete with fire truck, fire fighters, and noise.  Then, he announced  “AUNT CORI!  I WANT TO PUT THE FIRE STATION BACK!”  He then chose a dump truck, that would pick up the garbage can, make noise and talk.

But then, we found The Very Best Toy of All.  We found football players!

G ended up choosing four collectible football player figurines, which, of course, being three, he didn’t realize that they were supposed to be placed in their stands and put on the shelf to look at. They’re shaped like actual pro players, but me, being as sports deficient as I am didn’t recognize any of the names.  On the way back to Mom’s house, I had to sit in the back seat and play with him.  You know, until the motion sickness kicked in.

So, I was thinking about this last night, and I was wondering, if you, dear reader, were to choose your best toy ever, what would you choose?  What’s the one toy you wanted but never got, or what was/is your favorite toy?  I’d love to hear about it.

Fun fact: Once you’ve had heatstroke, you don’t ever really recover.

I hate to complain about the weather, mostly because it’s been consistently 5-10° cooler than average this summer, and all y’all on the east coast are in the midst of a heat wave.  Seriously guys?  Thanks for taking the worst of our weather this year.

So, there’s a new gorilla at Hogle Zoo, and, as gorilla’s happen to be G’s favorite animal, Sis suggested taking a trip to the zoo to see it.  The zoo was fun.  Afterwards…

I love my nephews, I really do.  And I’m glad that I can do fun activities like go to the zoo with them.  The problem is, activities like the zoo wear out little boys, to the point of orneriness, but not necessarily sleep.  So, while wedged in the back with a 3-year-old going back and forth between throwing a tantrum and stealing his brother’s pacifier, and a 9 month old who wanted to go to sleep but couldn’t because his pacifier kept getting stolen, I started to feel sick.

Like,”Oh, crap, I’m going to puke.” sick.

I get car sick, and know that I can’t, say, read while in a car, but usually just driving, even if I’m in the backseat isn’t enough to make me sick.  Especially on paved roads.

The B-I-L mentioned that it was a warm, if not super-hot day, and it might have been brought on by heat exhaustion and dehydration.  Which actually makes sense to me.  I had full-on heatstroke as a kid, and, like I said in the title, you don’t ever really recover from heatstroke.  Once you’ve had it, your sensitive to heat for the rest of your life.

Of course, the extra weight I’m hauling around isn’t helping anything.

I did make sure to bring some water, but, G liked my stainless-steel water bottle, and ended up drinking most of it.

Anyway, I ended up staying at Sis’s house for longer than I meant to, trying to recover before heading home–I would have stayed the night except I didn’t take the dogs.

So I’m home, alive, and still feeling whatever this is.

The good news is, I’m tired enough that I’m actually going to get to bed at a decent time tonight.

So much for giving myself a break from G

There is nothing like a 4th of July celebration in a small town.  Especially if you grew up in said small town.  And, despite my reservations, somehow, I got talked into coming down for the celebrations tomorrow.  Because, you know, the 4th is on a Sunday, and Mormon’s take the whole “keep the Sabbath day holy” very seriously, so the party is tomorrow.

Um, yeah.  I was playing with the shutter speed on my camera while we were lighting fireworks (because, you know, the best way to celebrate the birth of our country is by blowing up a small bit of it.)  I don’t want to do the photodump thing but…

a bit too short of a shutter speed.

better...but we didn't understand the direction to "draw pictures using the sparklers"

it's a good thing that the B-I-L was there to help with the "draw a picture" thing

The proper response, when a three year old shoves a sparkler in your face is to talk about how dangerous that is, not to take a picture of it. I guess I'm not a very proper person.

the firework and the batteries in my camera died at about the same time.

So, while I was waiting for these photos to upload,  I remembered that my home town had a tradition of shooting a cannon off at sunrise on the 4th.  And I’ll be sharing a bedroom with a very gunshy little dog who isn’t allowed on the bed.  This will be interesting…

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