Thursday, April 30, 2009

AMERICAN HOME part 2 - Never Too Young to Help

"Yes, boys and girls, every single one of you can help us win this old war! There are lots and lots of ways, and here are some that are right at your front doors!"

This is another reason why we're still having problems in Iraq. Kids these days don't wash and store their rubber beach balls, or take care of their metal lunch-boxes, keeping them clean and dry. KIDS, it's all your fault we're losing this old war!

The suggestions read:

You can help save rubber overshoes by cleaning, drying, and keeping them cool
Neatly placed clothes give you a lot more dressing speed if there's a fire
Rubber beach balls like to be washed and stored dry and cool for the winter
Help the war by taking care of your metal lunch-box, and keeping it clean and dry
Yes, a picnic stove from a big old tin can, holes cut for fire and a chimney!
In New York you can "adopt" a doll if you will always keep her very clean and well
Girl Scout fixes up old toys so other children won't need to buy new ones
New bicycles for juniors are "out," so tip-top care of yours is mighty important
Jimmy helps win the war by taking care of his raincoat so it will last longer

And, get this, the photographs are courtesy of Cleanliness Bureau. What is this magic bureau? Why do the Interwebs offer no information about it? All I can find is something online that says the Cleanliness Institute was started in New York in 1927 by Association of American Soap and Glycerine Producers, to tell women and children that they should be cleaner.


At work, I discovered the best magazine ever. Okay, maybe not the best, but it's up there. It's called "The American Home" and it is fantastic. Someone requested something from volume XXVIII, which is June to November, 1942. I can't put it down.

I have six excellent things to share from within these issues. They are:
1. Four great IDEAs!
2. A Kleenex advert.
3. Two Windex adverts.
4. An Air Warden Shindig.
5. An article about how children can help us win the war.

These are really amazing. If you want to see pictures of the covers from these magazines, they are posted here. Totally worth it. According to Wikipedia, it was published from 1928 to 1977. I don't know. I don't know if it was quite this amazing after the war, but during the war, like every page is about ON GUARD...the home front. Cooperating for VICTORY. I love Victory. So did they. They had Victory vacations, Victory parties, Victory dinners where everyone dressed up as vegetables from their Victory gardens. Victory hobbies, Victory everything!

Just a thought--maybe this is why we keep having problems with our wars now. Maybe if we would just buy some war bonds and take care to feed our future citizens more vegetables, and use more Bon Ami cleaner and take care of our homes since they are Second Fronts, maybe we would win our wars in the middle east. I'm just saying. Nobody invited me to an Air Warden Shindig during the war in Iraq.

Anyway, here is the first part, which is actually four parts:

IDEA! IF "Drink your orange juice, Junior!" raises a storm of stubborn objections, you can settle your tempest, in a teapot! Invite your young problem child to have "tea" with you. Lay the table just as you do for grown-up parties, with regular cups and a large teapot. No kid stuff! Make a plate of miniature, but healthy sandwiches and sit down to "tea," while your child pours. -EFFIE LEE ESTES
IDEA! CAKE FOR BABY: For baby's first birthday, pile mashed potatoes into the shape of a cake, surround with "frosting" of buttered beets or spinach, and center it with a hollowed-out cooked carrot candle holder and an asparagus stalk candle. - MRS. ELMER STOWELL
MYSTERY MAKES MONEY: If you're giving a benefit party, remember that curiosity is one of your best allies, and wrap up the white elephants instead of letting them stand out in the open for sale. People are much more likely to part with their nickels and dimes if they aren't sure of what they'll get. - MRS. DAVID CANFIELD
IDEA! MY THINKING-TIME BILLBOARD is thin wood veneer decorated with decals appropriate to the kitchen and is hung on the wall with tiny rings and glass-headed picture tacks. It holds ABC vitamin lore, perhaps a club speech to be "polished off," a lovely poem, a new recipe, or the day's menu. - MARION FISCHER
TO SAVE THE FLOOR: To eliminate those dark smudges on linoleum caused by the bottom of chromium kitchen chairs, apply Scotch tape to the parts touching the floor. - MRS. FRANK JACKLE
IDEA! Yes, it's done with mirrors--big ones or little ones, whole ones or in pieces--hung on strings or thing wires here and there in the fruit garden so that they swing and send flashes of sunlight in all directions. Robber birds just can't figure out what it's all about, so they go away from there as fast as their wings will carry them. - MAY LEWIS

These things worked in 1942, people, and they'll work now. Help us win the war! Make your babies vegetable birthday cakes!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point

I've been hearing a lot of radio commercials for the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point lately, so on Saturday we went. Saturday was actually supposed to be extra-special, because it was going to be Dutch Day. I was excited about that, because there was to be a costume contest, traditional music, and other stuff going on.

Jess and Mitch came with us. We went in the afternoon, and by the time we got there, not much was happening for Dutch Day. I saw one lady dressed up. Jess said they saw a couple others, when we arrived. [We did get to hear a little bit of traditional music (although we'd had our fun by then, so we didn't stay long), and we passed up the opportunity to paint little wooden shoes for $3. ]

However! Thanksgiving Point arranged for it to be cold and rainy, just like it probably is in the Netherlands, and that was pretty impressive. We rented a golf cart, which made our visit quite pleasant, partially because it kept us dry, because we got to see everything within the amount of time we felt like being there, and also because it was super fun to drive.

The gardens were lovely. The signs and commercials and everything said they had over 250,000 tulips. Apparently, they order the tulips directly, from Holland. A sign in the bathroom said that if you like what you see, you can place an order with them by 30 May, and on 1 June, when they order for next year, they will add your order to theirs so that you can grow lovely tulips directly from Holland.

We wondered what they do with all of the tulips, and apparently they have to take them all out every year. Otherwise, they wouldn't know what would pop up where next year. So they remove them and sell them.

Anyway, it was all very pretty. The festival goes on until 2 May. It's $10/adults, $6/kids, $9/seniors, and I think golf carts are $25, and worth every penny if it's rainy or if you don't feel like walking, or if you like speeding (THERE ARE NO SPEED LIMITS!!! WOOOO!!!), and especially if you have four people.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day Revue!

This Wednesday was Earth Day, and we had something on campus called Earthfest. It was a big thing with a bunch of booths that helped everyone get excited about being green, or going green, etc.

There was a booth that had facts to prove that unless everyone in the world moved into 2-bedroom apartments and used solar electricity and grew their own foods, and only walked and rode bikes and stopped having kids, etc, then we would destroy four Earths within our lifetime. I didn't read all of it, but that was basically what my coworker said about it afterward. So here's what I don't get, though: have none of these scientists ever been on a road trip? There's still a lot of space. Hasn't anyone played Sim City 2000? Because obviously, of course, the solution is to start building arcologies when we need to. I don't understand what the problem is.

There was a sculpture of a unicorn that said "clean coal" on it. I heard someone explain why they built it, and basically it was because Matheson has clean coal ideas, and they think it's as real as a unicorn which should fly off to some magical fairyland or something. It sounded really ridiculous, but I guess they probably got a lot of attention, and that's probably what they wanted.

One of the booths had soil and seeds, and they encouraged people to plant a seed. So I did. A lot of the seeds they had were for things that I'm already growing or for things that I wouldn't know how to use if it did grow. So I planted catnip. Paley will like that. She loves catnip. And then I carried the little planted seed around all day so that everyone would know that I Care About The Environment, which is a Big Deal here.

The booths that I was more interested in were:

The Utah Museum of Natural History. They had a booth about their exhibit called Toadally Frogs! There was a guy dressed up as a frog at the booth, and I got a picture with him, but my favorite part of his costume you can't see in the picture--he had green little-kid swim fins on top of his shoes. And he was wearing green tights. The costume was pretty awesome, actually. I think the exhibit sounds cool, too. I want to go. It is free for [U of U] students and $7 for adults. (Other students with ID are $2.50, and kids are $3.50.) They have some neat lectures and events coming up. This weekend we're going to the Tulip Festival (for Dutch Day! At Thanksgiving Point!), but this exhibit goes through September, so maybe we can go after school gets out.

Sun Ovens. I had never heard of these before! Basically, it uses reflector things to heat up an oven. They were cooking cookies (at 350 degrees F!) and bread right in front of us. These seem like they would be great for emergencies or for camping.

Salt Lake Food Co-Op. I volunteered at their shipment last month (counting lemons!), because of a group I'm involved with on campus, but I didn't actually know much about them. I think I may start participating, though. Basically, a whole bunch of people as a group order stuff mostly from local growers. So it's fresh, and supporting local farmers, and a bunch of it is organic. Plus! Since they order directly and cut out the retailers (people volunteer to make it all happen), things cost like half of what they do in the grocery stores. That's kind of cool. And it's not like, a poverty thing. It's an anyone thing.

Local Green Things. There were several booths about gardening opportunities, and free classes on gardening things, etc. One booth was about urban chicken-raising. I would really like to get some chickens, because I think it would be great to have fresh eggs! That booth had adorable little chicks. Apparently, in Salt Lake a lot of people are becoming interested in raising chickens. The laws here say that you can have chickens in the City if you get permission from your neighbors. No roosters, though. Nothing prohibits having roosters, exactly, but people kind of assume that it would disturb neighbors, which is a pretty safe assumption since most people don't want a neighbor's rooster to crow early. And if you were to get a rooster and it bothered your neighbors, the City would make you get rid of it. So people are sticking to just hens. (Which is kind of like the opposite of China--makes me wonder what they do with all of the left over roosters...)

The U of U's new bike program. The senior gift this year was a bunch of bikes, which students can borrow for free, for a couple weeks. Our campus loves bikes, because we love going green. Bikes are kind of silly, though, because our campus is on a huge hill. Senior gifts are silly, too, I think, because basically what they do is: take our money, spend it on something they want, present it to us, and we're supposed to feel like we're receiving something nice. I'd rather just keep my money. But hey, whatever. (I guess that would kind of be expected, since I'm conservative and prefer to keep my own money, thankyouverymuch.) The bikes look nice, anyway.

Farm to Fork Food! One booth had a bunch of food that you could taste that was made from fresh ingredients. So I bought tickets and I had bruschetta on fresh bread with fresh tomatoes and onions and olive oil. And I had watermelon juice to drink. It was fantastic. I ended up buying some artisan bread (honey whole wheat), which was excellent.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Salt Lake City 1/2 Marathon!

This weekend I ran my first half marathon.

I loved it!

Although I registered months ago, this semester has been intense, and I really didn't train for the race much at all. I think the farthest I had run before the race was 5 miles. Maybe? If that. A half marathon is 13.1 miles.

So I just kind of assumed that the race was way too much for me. And then they sent out final preparation instructions and there was a whole paragraph about how they welcome walkers (which they defined as people who need 16 minutes or more per mile). People walking the whole marathon could register for early start, but everyone else would start at the normal times.

And, huh. I hadn't thought about walking. I knew that I do just fine in 5Ks, though, and they're 3 miles. So I decided I would run until I got tired and then walk until I felt like I could run some more, and the whole race would be just a little more than doing 4 5Ks in a row. Which sounded like a lot again. But I walk a ton every day, so I decided I'd go for it.

I was nervous the morning of. Also, I had only gotten 3 or 4 hrs of sleep the night before, because since I was planning on not racing I had gotten tickets to a comedian and magician, which didn't even start until 10p. So I was way tired. It was totally fine, though! I ran the first 4 miles without really walking much at all. After that, I started to get tired. By mile 8 or 9 I was walking more than I was running. But there was no point where I felt like I was dying, and I never felt like I might not finish. I felt like I was closer to then end than I was, and I think I ran the last mile and a half without stopping, because people on the sides kept telling me I was almost there.

People were suuuuper encouraging. They always are at races. I love the atmosphere. Total strangers cheer everyone on. When I was downtown, someone walking back from the finish told us that we just had four blocks down hill, and that was it! (Sooorrrrt of.) So I ran. And towards the bottom of the hill, I realized that the finish was probably farther, and started walking, but another guy leaving encouraged me and I started running again. And then, when I finally got to the finish line, we had to run all the way down the Gateway, and I was suuuuper tired, but the sides were lined with people cheering, so I kept going. It felt awesome to finish.

A couple of my favorite parts were:

1. At about mile 2, a girl with a prosthetic foot passed me. She was totally in shape, so obviously of course she passed me, but I felt way motivated because if she could be a hard core runner, I totally could too. It was kind of like when you're standing in line for a scary roller coaster and not feeling too sure about things and a 7 year old in front of you is all excited to go on it again because they've already been on the ride 4 times.

2. At mile...6? ish? a couple guys had brought a griddle out in front of their house, onto the side of the road. "BACON!" "BACON!" they called out to all of us passing by. So I went over to them and they gave me a strip of fresh bacon. Fantastic! The whole thing was totally random, and all of us running thought it was great.

3. Finishing! I finished in 2 hours and 48 minutes, which isn't really fast, but it's like a 12:30ish pace, which is totally reasonable, I think. Also note: I was not last! Or even close to last.

Today the pictures came up on MarathonFoto, which is way spendy to order from. Still, I think ordering pictures is sensible because, what, am I going to ask other runners to take my picture while I'm running? Not so much. I'm posting the two that I'll probably order. (Wahoo! My first 1/2 marathon!) The other pictures of me are not very flattering. I blinked in a few of them/ could barely get my feet off the ground, etc. The top picture is one I took while we were lined up to start. It was a sea of people!

So now I want to do more of these! My marathon training group is doing Hobble Creek (sp?) over the summer, and I think I'll also do the Provo River Trail 1/2 Marathon this summer, and then hopefully I'll get into St. George for a full marathon this fall. I'll find out in about 3 weeks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hidden Love Letter!

I just found something neat at work--a love letter hidden in the margin of an independent film newspaper from the summer of 1984. Back then maybe it was out on the shelf, but now someone would have to request it specifically from our storage thing here at the library.

It says:

I want you to know that I have fallen in love w/ you in the short time that we've been together. It is such a great sensation one that I have not felt for along time & I feel better than I have for 5, 6 yrs. Anyway thanks for caring about me you make me feel important. I hope you see that Tim is not the one for you because it is me.
Your Soulmate


I have so many questions!
1. The corner is torn right beneath "soulmate." What was there before? His name? Did she see it? Did she know? Did she take it? Did he?
2. Did she choose him?
3. Who is Tim? What happened to him?
4. Why confess your love in the margin of a newspaper that belongs to a library?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

35 Suggestions for a Healthy Home

I'm pretty sure I've shared things from the Apartment Therapy book before. Although the fixing-up-my-apartment project continues [forever], after four months of borrowing the book from my library it's finally due. I have one more section that I've been meaning to share, and it's from the appendix. I've tried a bunch of this stuff, and it just seems good, so here it is:

35 Suggestions for a Healthy Home

When you wake up in the morning, make your bed. [I usually do now. I like it.]

Make sure the seat is down after you use the toilet. [I always do this. One time I actually left it open and Paley accidentally jumped into the toilet, because she usually jumps from the toilet seat to the sink, and didn't know to be careful. It was pretty funny and she got a bath right after I pulled her out. Poor cat.]

Always leave the shower curtain pulled across, so that it can dry and not mildew. [I try to remember this. It also makes my bathroom more colorful.]

Use your kitchen in the morning, even if it is only to have a glass of orange juice.

Take out the recycling when you leave home each morning. [I hate the environment so this doesn't apply to me.*]

Always include a thank you note with your rent. [I started doing this. I like it and will continue to do it. Now that I think about it, I bet it could just be a card that says "Thank You" with the check in it. What I've been doing is giving him an update on the apartment and telling him a little of what I'm up to. For example, this month I will update him on my painting project. Maybe I'll start doing just a blank thank you card for months that I don't have things to tell him about?]

Have your paper delivered. It is cheaper and more efficient.

Always go out of your way to say good morning to your neighbors on the street.

Pick up garbage in front of your building even if it's not yours. [Dilemma: I have a neighbor who is a collector. Of everything. I've heard his apartment is packed with stuff. He has two cars next to the house that are full of stuff too. I want to get rid of the junk on the side of our house, but I think he may be "saving" some of it. What to do?]

Before you leave the office, take five minutes to clean up your desk. [More relevant if you have a desk at work.]

On Fridays, take fifteen minutes and clear your desk, throwing out or filing all Post-Its, cards, or papers that are old.

Buy flowers for your apartment at least once a week on your way home from work. [I did this for a few weeks, but it gets kind of spendy on a student budget. Still, it brought life to my old little house. I wonder if the kitchen herbs will have the same effect? Eh. Probably not.]

Take off your street shoes when you come home. Use house shoes inside your home. [I started wearing house sandals. I like this and will continue to wear them.]

Hang your coat up right away when you come home.

Sort your mail right away when you come home.

Keep all coats, bags, and shoes by the front door. [Works better if you have an entryway, I would guess.]

Use the time just after you get home to run any local errands, such as dry cleaning, pharmacy, or laundry.

Check your messages right away and then erase the tape. [Huh. Do people still have answering machines?]

Return all your calls before dinner.

Use a cordless headset to make calls while you cook or straighten up your house. [ = Bluetooth?]

Don't let your refrigerator fill up with old food.

Always eat on a real plate with a real napkin.

Light a candle when you eat, even if you are alone.

Drink water.

When you are done, clean up and take this opportunity to clean your counters and table. If any counters or tables need oiling, do it right away.

Do all dishes before you go to bed.

Floss each night.

Don't make calls after 9 p.m.

Put all clothes away or in the laundry before going to bed each night.

Take a bath before bed if you have trouble sleeping.

Plan on at least 7 1/2 hours of sleep a night.

Buy good bedding. Invest in a good bed. [Someday.]

Get in bed early and read for 30 minutes.

Only have one book at your bedside at a time. Finish the books you start.

Give four parties a year.

Anyway, those are the 35. I almost felt like I should bold all of the ones that I'm doing and post it on Facebook. Doesn't it seem like one of those?

*Just kidding. Mostly. I did switch to earth-friendly dish soap and laundry detergent because of this book.