Thursday, April 21, 2016

Dearly Beloved...

Oh gosh guys.

Cynde texted me with the news because it's important to hear these things from your best friend. And then everyone started texting. Even my Mom! And Andrea posted on Facebook that she was waiting for a tribute blog post and I said to hold on because I had to get a sparkly black caftan and turban to mourn properly and then she responded, "Take all the time you need. If you can't find the turban, I hear a raspberry beret works too."

ZING, Andrea! I could leave it at that because you can't beat it. I laughed until I cried.

But I won't leave it at that because we need some music. The man was a star.

First, let's watch this video of Let's Go Crazy, which features two incredible performance - one by Prince and the other by Prince's feathery cape:

Forget the caftan, where can I get that outfit?

And now for some Purple Rain because this was the song that got me hooked on him over 30 years ago.

Next, this chart of Prince's hair through the years. I would absolutely hang this in my bathroom.

And finally, how much are we going to miss his epic side-eye.

prince gifs photo: prince side eye prince.gif


So much!

Let's all go sit in our cars and weep as we belt Purple Rain.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Small town charm

My sister-in-law Kylea is from a small town in Nevada called Logandale. It is halfway between Las Vegas and St. George right off the 15 in this little valley but you can't even see it from the highway. You probably didn't even know it was there, right. I had driven that road dozens of times (what California Mormon hasn't?) before I met my friend Sara, who is also from there, and even then I didn't exactly know where it was until I went there for Casey and Kylea's wedding. And here's the crazy thing, besides Kylea and Sara, Camille's roommate is also from Logandale. How in the world do I know three people from this little tiny town? Furthermore, Sara's mom lives right behind Kylea's house and Kylea's mom has lunch with Camille's roommate's mom on the regular. It's like the Stars Hollow of the Desert and I know half the population. I wonder who their Taylor Doose is. 

Anyway, Kylea brought the kids out there to visit her family so naturally the Knechts descended. We like Kylea's family a lot. They feel like our family only younger and more tan and they cook better food. Camille drove down from Salt Lake and Katie and I drove up and we had a lovely 20 hours of snuggling with the kids and dancing and painting our nails and running around their enormous backyard picking wildflowers and generally loving on them before having to get back.

But worth it, because look at these kids.

Sigh. They're just the greatest. Dumb Oregon.

Small town life is so charming. Sure there's no Target (deal breaker), but there's a real draw to going into your local ice cream parlor and literally knowing everyone in there, which Kylea did. When we got there we found out that her youngest brother wasn't going to be home that night because he was going to the school for a senior lock-in, or lock-down, or something like that. This is a senior activity where the kids bring board games and hang out in the gym all night long with just two adults supervising. We were initially confused by the term because lock-down means something very different in California schools. Stop being so cute, Logandale! 

Off-shoot conversation: what's with all the random trailers in the middle of the desert. Have you noticed this? Like, you're literally miles away from civilization and there will be an outcropping of derelict trailers. Who lives there? Who dragged his family somewhere between Baker and Barstow and said, "This is where we're going to settle, Mama." Because men like that always call their wives Mama. Are they so opposed to city dwelling that they can't even stomach Baker?! If Logandale is the Stars Hollow of the desert then Baker is its roach motel. You have to either be desperate for solitude or running from the law if you can't handle Baker. And it's never just a trailer. It's like a mini settlement. Like three trailers and several pick-up trucks and some haphazardly planted palm trees that are now dying because even palm trees need some water. What sort of dream life did these people envision for themselves? And at what point did they abandon it? I have so many questions. 

Additionally, I have a million questions about that enormous solar plant at the state line. What the heck is going on there?! Why are those towers glowing like the Eye of Sauron?! I'm all for alternative energy but yikes!

But as we were driving by it Freedom by Wham! came on and you know I can't pass up reminding you how great this video is. You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Art Society Does the Getty

The Art Society kids were on spring break a few weeks ago and when Heather asked them what they wanted to do they said, "Hang out with Rachel on one of the days." Oh geez. My heart. So we went to the Getty. 

If you're in LA and you have time for just one massive art museum choose the Getty over LACMA. Yes, it's farther and you will feel like you've been in traffic for your entire life, but it is so worth it. It's free, it's in the prettiest spot, the art is amazing, the gardens are restorative, and the tram ride up is fun. I promise you will feel like a more cultured, elegant, enlightened, and sun-kissed person while up there. 

Also, you should take children. Because that's a hoot. You get to follow them around and say, "Don't put your hands on that priceless work of art." Which is really rich coming from me because all I want to do at a museums is touch the art. I've been called out by several security guards for getting too close. So I get it, kids. I totally get it.

Here's something you should know about my Art Society Kids. They are engaging, curious, and fun. They are up for adventure. When I ask them to do something silly or thoughtful, they do it and they do it well. If I ask, "Which painting in this gallery would you hang in your bathroom," they will answer not just with the choice but why they chose it. And they'll be genuinely amazed at what they're seeing. I don't know what other kids are like but these kids are the perfect museum companions as well as totally great life-long buddies. I said to Kaiya as we were walking through the gardens, "Isn't it great that 30 years from now we'll still be friends and still go to museums and have adventures together?" Then she grabbed my hand and said yes. How many other childless spinsters are lucky enough to have that?

How about some pictures.

Quinn didn't want to take off his mask he made in the kids room. Even when he passed out before we made it out of the parking lot. Art is exhausting!

Near the end of the day Sammy started posing like a statue in every gallery we went into. She's too much!

This is titled "Elegant Lady Writing at Her Desk with a Dog Beside Her". As the kids say, #goals.

I made Jarron stand still for 30 seconds so I could arrange the mirrors for this shot. That's a tough thing for him to do but worth it.

The most glorious thing they have at the Getty is this bed. They have a mini version of it in the kids room.

Love these faces

It was such a treat to have Heather and her amazing bangs with us.

And finally, will someone please talk me out of planting bougainvillea. It's such a pain to maintain but I love it so much!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Roll Heaven

1. Does anyone else get stressed out by baking bread? Cooking is easy enough because you can taste as you go but with baking you have to hope that you got all the measurements right and you kneaded the dough enough times and the temperature was perfect for the yeast to work its magic and you sacrificed the goat properly in the light of a full moon. Then you pop it in the oven with a prayer in your heart. Well, on  Easter I was in charge of the rolls and if there is one thing I really care about at holiday meals, it is the rolls. And if there is one thing that has ruined many perfectly lovely holiday meals is me making sub-par rolls. I feel like Ruby from the Great British Baking show every time I have to make them.

Get a grip, Ruby!
All my life I've been trying to find the perfect roll recipe. I like rolls to be enormous and fluffy and have those layers that kind of peel away. You know what I'm talking about. And you guys, I did it. I made those rolls - and I did it entirely by accident! I totally botched three steps on the recipe and yet they still turned out like roll heaven. So now the question stands: do I follow the recipe exactly the next time or do I make the same mistakes? It was America's Test Kitchen Fluffy Dinner Rolls from their baking cookbook, which you should own. Amen.

2. In other success news, I changed my first sprinkler today. This morning at 5:30 I woke up to a gusher outside my window. I think the guys who mow our lawns must have run over it. So I got Dad on the phone and had him talk me through it. Here's how you do it: 1. unscrew broken one, 2. take it to Home Depot and find a similar one, 3. screw in new one, 4. test it, 5. do a victory dance when it works, 6. consider getting a job at Home Depot since you're there all the time now. The hardest part was digging the old one out enough to unscrew. I was covered in mud and felt like a real champion. Now, if I could just be more successful at growing stuff my Yard Master status would be secure.

3. Maybe you're really missing Commander Kelly's Instagram feed from space now that he's home. Well, never fear, fellow space nerds! There are always astronauts in the ISS and most of them are on Instagram. All three of the non-Russians have accounts. There's Tim Peake (astro_timpeake), Tim Kopra (astro_tim) and Jeff Williams (astro_jeffw). Have a look.