Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Daddy is My Favorite Pal

My dad was always the coolest guy I knew when I was growing up--always chill, always with a funny quip. He taught me how to ride a bike, and he taught me long division after I spectacularly failed a test in grade school. He would pick me up from gymnastics and then we'd either ride the bus home together, or he'd drive us home in his Fiat Spyder convertible. He tried to teach me not to be too depressed after a breakup. (His famous line was: Cheer up! There's half a billion Chinamen you haven't even met yet!" Trust me, it really did make me laugh and feel a little better.)

When we were little girls, Dad sang us "The Bortsie Song", gave us "Flying Billygoat" and "Hey-up!" rides, and taught us how to do the "Willie the Lizard" face.

He walked me down the stairs at Rowdy's and my wedding, which gave us both great joy. I think that it was a little hard for my dad to want to open up to a new son-in-law, having had two bad experiences in the past. But he and Rowdy are good friends.

My dad thinks (knows?) that my mom is the most wonderful woman in the world. I really appreciate that he feels that way about her, because she deserves such love and devotion. When I finally met the man who felt that way about me, I knew he was the one.

I love my dad so much!

Here's a picture of Rowdy, his dad and my dad on our wedding day. One of the things that made me so comfortable with Rowdy was the way he interacted with his kids. He cares about their well-being, their interests and their progression. He shares his testimony with them either verbally or in the way he lives his life. The kids love being with him, and they don't care if they're doing something fancy or just hanging out.

Terry is a great husband, dad, grandfather and father-in-law. A 70's rocker who became a bishop, who has his own music studio in his house and can give a great sacrament talk and be the musical number in the same meeting. He likes cowboy boots, doesn't like to play board games.

Father's Day COTD

Dark chocolate! It's supposed to be good for you, right? My dad would like this. Mom made him chocolate gelato for his Father's Day treat. He also loves the chocolate mousse at Chez Nous in Austin. It takes all of his self-control not to lick the bowl when he's done!

My husband, however, disdains chocolate. Great! All the more for me! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Red velvet. I have already eaten the marzipan circle decoration.

Friday, June 19, 2009


S'mores, because I'm working all night and deserve the best.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Three Word Book Review--Billy Budd

Handsome but dumb.

One Word Movie Review--Up


Heavenly Cupcake o' the Day

Sugar Cookie

Yesterday's was Peanut Butter, but I didn't get a picture. The Mossy Toyota salesman, Kevin Bolton, sent them to us as a thank you for buying the truck. So, if you live in San Diego or its environs and want to buy a Toyota, you need to go to Mossy Toyota and ask for Kevin Bolton. Got that? Kevin Bolton. Mossy Toyota.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What's New?

We traded in our Lexus 400h last week for a Toyota Tacoma. While it was hard at first for me to give up the fanciness of the Lexus, the overall benefits of having the truck far outweigh having automatic lights, moisture-sensing wipers, seat heaters and built-in GPS.

First of all, our car payment was cut in half, which is always nice. Secondly, it is a perfectly nice and comfortable vehicle, with satellite radio, a very responsive heating and cooling system, and a seat belt signal that doesn't go on for about 30 seconds longer than it should. Thirdly, it fits our needs to have something rugged and outdoorsy much more than our fancy-schmancy SUV.

We took the bikes up to Temecula, about 60 miles north of SD, for a bike race. The back seat held our camelbacks, helmets, and Rowdy's racing gear. We fit both bikes in the truck bed, plus folding chairs, a cooler of snacks, and a pop-up. It was great to have our pit area set up nicely.

In other news, I was released as Primary President a couple of weeks ago. Finally! The last 2.5 years were fun, and I did learn a lot. Fortunately, I had a wonderful Primary Board [particularly my counselors and my four (count them! FOUR) secretaries] and a darling, small Primary. I never had problems with the parents or kids with severe behavioral issues. It was the perfect situation to be in, but I had been feeling for several months that it was time to move on.

Surprisingly, I was not given a new calling immediately. I have an inkling about where I might be called, a definite idea of my dream calling, and definite ideas about where I hope I'm not placed. But wherever I go, I know that it will be good to serve others, I'll learn to love even more people, and I will grow from the experience. So bring it on! I have a new truck to take me wherever I need to go.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sour Cream Chocolate Cookies

I can't tell you how delicious these cookies are and not give you the recipe:

2 c sifted flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t soda
2 t baking powder
3 T cocoa
1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 c sour cream
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat thoroughly. Add dry ingredients with sour cream, beating until smooth after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. When cool, you may frost them with vanilla frosting. (Frosting is important, in my opinion.)

World Superbike Races May 29-31

We went to the World Superbike races this last weekend out at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele. Rowdy, the kids and his mom went on Friday, then Lezlie and Terry went on Saturday. I have to admit that we were bad parents and took our kids to the races on Sunday. :(

But it was a lot of fun! You may notice my new header photo. It's me on a Valentino Rossi bike. I have a hard time believing that he actually has ever ridden that particular bike, but it was sooooo fun to get to perch on it for a little bit.

I'm kind of new to this mothering thing, so I learn new things all of the time. For instance, I learned that teenaged sons do not want to have their stepmom (or any mom) take their picture with umbrella girls. You know, the overly-made-up, underdressed chicks that hold the umbrellas for the racers or "model" for the manufacturers. The boys (especially one of our boys) like looking at them, but a picture? No way. This should've been a no-brainer for me. But, you know, I'm kind of a dork.

My Grandmother, Wilma Swainston Bright

My grandmother turned 98 on May 30th. We had a party for her at her assisted living facility in Bountiful. It was fun, especially because I got to spend time with my mom and aunts and see cousins I haven't seen in dog's years. (How sad that I haven't seen most of these people since Grandma's 90th birthday party and I haven't seen most of my Hawaii-based cousins since my cousin Suzie's wedding, like, 30 years ago.)

Some of my memories and thoughts about my grandma:

She worked at JCPenney's for years and years. She has a commemorative watch from them with a little golden ruler on it. That used to be a Penney's theme--the Golden Rule.

Mom would take us to Penneys for Pixie Pin-Up studio photos. My grandma would pull the proofs out of the trash so that my mom could have pictures for free.

She's a very frugal lady, my grandma. She's so known for her frugality in our family that my second-cousin, Ashley, commented on a blog post that something wasn't quite "Grandma Bright frugal" (or words to that effect). I could totally understand what she meant by that. My cousin David apparently got this trait from her. I did not.

Grandma is great with her hands and is an amazing quilter, crocheter and cook. She made the best mince pie, chocolate chip pancakes and sour cream chocolate cookies.

When I was in high school, we would go on temple trips to the Idaho Falls temple. I was very surprised as we drove up to the temple one day to see her sitting on a bench with a box of my favorite sour cream chocolate cookies. She drove all the way up from Pocatello to give them to me, because she knew how much I loved them.

Grandma was always an avid temple goer. She would go up to IF from Poky at least once a week with some friends and do temple work all day long. She said once, "Sometimes as a treat, (my friend) and I sneak up to the temple a second time without the other girls knowing."

She's very close to her sisters. When they were growing up, they were known as "The Swainston Boys" because they were always into things.

Grandpa died of a heart attack at 48, leaving my grandma a widow at 49 with four of her five girls at home. She never remarried. I'm not sure if it's because she is a very independent person by nature or if she just loved Grandpa so much she couldn't imagine being with anyone else. Or maybe she just didn't want to be bothered. I have never asked her about that, and I think she might be offended if I did.

I think that Grandma was still driving into her early 90's. (Mom, aunts, cousins--can you corroborate that?). Once she bought a male mannequin from a department store that was going out of business. She also bought some clothing for him and sat him in the passenger seat of her car so that people wouldn't think that she was a lone woman driver and try to assault her. She named the mannequin Cy after the owner of the store.

She has a Cache Valley accent. One time, my sisters and I cracked up because she said, "I was barn on a form and I have to have my butter." She wasn't really pleased that we giggled at her.

I can't say that I'm close to my grandma, but I do love her very much and appreciate her example of independence and love of temple work. I know that she loves me, too.
My Rad Life!