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[Comments] (3) : What is the point of smashing peanut butter cookies with a fork? I didn't in my first batch because I wanted to put chocolate chips on them, but they got all crackley.

We are enjoying the first episode of the new Amazing Race season. Tomorrow morning Linda and I are going to Salt Lake for a meeting. We have to get up early, but there will be free breakfast. I guess that's about all the news.

[Comments] (1) I love Saturdays: Today is a great day. Since John took his test yesterday he was able to sleep in too today, so he is also in a good mood. I leisurely cleaned the house, cleaner than usual because John is helpng. He is a better cleaner than me, and only have to clean two things gave me energy to do a better job.

We get to see Grandma June this afternoon. We had dinner there last month, but it still seems like a long time since we've seen her. I'm especially glad we're going because she apparently hasn't been feeling well lately. Even though we are old we still get spoiled (this is also true with John's parents). I think this is because we don't have any kids.

Aw, my honey is vacuuming, how cute!

John graduates in just 48 days! Which means 56 days until our cruise! and less than 150 until we move. Yay!

: Had a good day today. At work, I wrote "Happy Birthday, Kathy" on a cut-off end of wrapping paper- the whole roll. Linda and I wrapped it around her office. It was a lovely day and John and I went on a walk. I miss walking. John needs the computer now for important school stuff.

[Comments] (1) : My goal today is to be as productive as possible. (don't worry, I'm not clocked in). I've done lots of filing, put my store order away, and other various projects.

Kathy is back from Canada today. She has learned lots about Canadian employment law and social medicine. Canadians have about twice the amount of taxes witheld, and about 50% of the tax base goes towards healthcare. The social insurance, however, only includes stuff that is done during an office visit. Anything else is not covered at all and you need supplemental insurance anyway to cover anything else (generously provided by your employer, if you're lucky). Sounds like a waste of taxes to me, since they still need to have other insurance to actually cover stuff.

Although I think if you offer insurance to some of your employees, you must also offer it to others in a different country even if social healthcare is provided.

How much of our tax base goes to healthcare anyway? I know there are free clinics, but maybe those are all privately sponsored.

[Comments] (4) : The Girl Scout cookies I ordered came today. Yummy!

: After work I went over to see Shelley and invite her to dinner on Sunday. She has a pet snake named Napoleon.

Thursdays are great because it's Friday Eve! I exercised, made a yummy dinner, and read. It's so relaxing to know I can wear jeans at work tomorrow and there's only one more day until the real weekend.

: The Board is coming next week and we are making expresso. By "we" I mean the corporate assistant. We are apparently practicing, because I feel like I am working in a Starbucks, only I'd probably be busier if I did.

I have done some random projects today, which is probably good. It has given me a chance to catch up and finish things so far back on the burner they'd been lost behind the stove.

: I broke a nail! I've been really good about biting them. Then yesterday my hands were wet and I went to open a drawer and my hand slipped and my nail broke. I'm so proud- I've finally become a real woman.

I've been wondering about boys with fancy cars. I'm talking about both ganstas and mid-life crises. When they're driving around do they just think "I'm the hottest thing!"? Or do they get over it eventually?

[Comments] (4) Saturday Evening Post: Yesterday, as usual, I cleaned the house while John got another A on a test. I also made some pretzels from scratch (yummy). Unfortunately, other than that, yesterday was a pretty boring day. Oh, except I did take Camilla to Jo-Anns to buy some patterns.

Today we are busy, but we are making special plans to go on a walk together. It is such a beautiful day, how can we not?? All the cousins are coming for dinner tonight (Except for David who has to work). We're very excited. I just hope there's enough food.

[Comments] (2) : Well, since John has recounted our wonderful evening with the Whitney cousins, I don't have much to say. On the other hand, I don't have much to do either, so I'll just prolong my lunchbreak.

Linda is at a birthday lunch and everyone else is upstairs with the Board, so I am all alone. Except for Hugo. I think I like Hugo so much because my own grandpa isn't around anymore. I spent the morning doing payroll filing for him, back to 2003. The receptionist spent several weeks putting it in alphabetical and chronological order. At least I didn't have to do that part.

Yesterday Linda and I spent the afternoon cleaning our file room. We threw out a huge pile of stuff, old books and benefit stuff and trashy decorations. Everything is organized, labeled and put away, and we can actually shut the firedoor now!

John made dinner again for me last night. He's the best!

: Woo hoo! My Pampered Chef stuff should be arriving tomorrow.

[Comments] (4) Why grind wheat when you can blend oatmeal.: Joe left a piece of chocolate cake with us. I asked John to save me half, but he accidentally ate all of it. He was so sweet when I asked about it and promised to make me a replacement treat. Unfortunately, I didn't give him a chance because I made Jake Cookies today. I need to post the recipe for that, but I'm too tired now. The cookies have shaved chocolate and blended-up oatmeal in them. They're John's favorite, but a lot of work.

Jake Cookies:

1 cup butter
3/4 cup blended walnuts
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar

Cream together.

Mix in:
2 eggs
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda

Add:
2 1/2 cups blended oatmeal
2 cups flour
1 12 oz. bag chocolate chips
1/2 8 oz chocolate bar, grated.

Cook at 375° for 7-8 minutes.

[Comments] (1) Orange-Mint Marinade:

1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons sesame seeds -- toasted
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

John prepared steak in this marinade for dinner tonight. I think it is supposed to be for chicken, but it was delicious! We used dried mint though, because we are poor.

I cooked the steak while he was at class and also made Cheddar-herb bicuits and garlic mashed potatoes. We also have some kind of a pear with a brown skin (John did the grocery shopping...) It is yummy, and I think it tastes like hyacinths.

: On my way home from work I drive down old State St. and pass a mileage marker that says 332. I can't figure it out; this sign isn't 332 miles from anything.

John made french toast for breakfast, which almost makes up for snow on the first day of spring.

[Comments] (2) What is the opposite of buyer's remorse?: I am very happy with my new wiper blades. How can something so cheap make such a happy difference in a commuter's life?

Rainy Day: John made some yummy french toast for dinner. He is in class now. I ran some errands, including buying our last allowance of groceries for the month. We have been so good- we haven't eaten out at all and we've been very good with our grocery money. We're trying to save up for moving, as well as clean out our cupboards a bit.

I'm going to a stamping party tonight, but I'm sure I won't buy anything. After Pampered Chef, I don't need to spend anything on stuff like that.

This weekend we are going to Park City, hopefully with Jodi and Franco. Should be fun times.

[Comments] (3) Okay: I'm a liar. But I'm a liar with cute 50%-off stamps! I also won two free little stamps at the party. It was a lot of fun and we made a cute little gift card holder.

Yesterday I signed up for our 401(k) program. I figure, if the company will match 50% of 6%, and I can transfer it for free into our IRA when we move, why would I not take the free money? I realize this works out to about 1% of my earnings, but still- free money.

I got myself a nice project at work last night, so hopefully I will be busier today.

[Comments] (2) : Not only did I dream this last night, but I kept waking up and saying "I had a dream about this. I need to write it on my weblog." So I guess I do.

Ahem. I had a dream that a niffler dug a hole up into my bedroom (some fake bedroom). Now, I don't know exactly what a niffler is. In my dream it was a bear-dog type animal. It was supposed to be either those things that sniff out gold in Harry Potter, or the truffle-hunter thing in Ever After. And in real life, probably my Piglet pillow. Anyway, Mom and I couldn't figure out what to do with the niffler. It kept snuggling up to me. Maybe I miss Gretel.

: I am getting very excited for my day off. John and I are going to go to the temple tomorrow morning, and then up to Park City. Jodi and Franco are coming up for the night too. We're making dinner, they're making breakfast, we'll play games. I hope the weather isn't too bad, because Franco has never been to Park City, and we should show him around downtown.

In the meantime, I have one more day of work.

: I'm sitting at the front desk, and it's raining, which is lovely. There is a huge skylight over this part of the building, and it sounds so cozy.

[Comments] (7) : I knew the scary headless Gretel picture had to be around somewhere.

[Comments] (1) : What a great weekend. As John said, it's weekends like these that make you feel like you can go back to work. We had a great time in Park City with Jodi and Franco. We watched movies, played games, wandered around town, ate food and talked. And rested.

For Easter, we went up right after church, other than a short visit with Grandma and Lawrence Welk, and hung out at the Chadwicks. I made eclair cake and helped make the rolls and ham and Jello-eggs. It was fun cooking with Susan. She made funeral potatoes, which are my favorite, I think I ate 2 cups of them. Her rolls are really good too.

Everyone loved my eclair cake and wanted the recipe. I've never gotten anything but raves for it, but Linda made it for Bunco two weeks ago and a few people just said it was "ok". Weirdos.

We also had a nice shopping trip in the food storage room. We got lots of meat and some flour and sugar. The flour and sugar were food storage that needed to be rotated, and I think the flour smells funny. But it was free so I will give it a try.

Anyway, we're home now. I'm exhausted, but I actually feel like a break- maybe cause I took Friday off- and I can go back to work. Hopefully it will be a busy week.

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