Thursday, October 23, 2008

How do you ruin Bath Salts?

Proof that I must be an engineer! I can't even do bath salts.

So for my church youth group, I thought I would be cool and do this crafty thing of making pretty smelling bath salts that you fill clear jars or bottles with. I remember doing this activity when I was a teenager, and we filled these clear bottles of light pastel colors and were able to make beautiful sand-like lines to display our lovely artwork.

So I thought how hard could it be?.... Apparently VERY!

So, the recipe I found calls for epsom salt. (which by the way if you look up epsom salt you will get a page about magnesium sulfate, but if you look up espon salt wikiAnswers gives you this page which is completely worthless, so good to know how to spell first) Naturally, I look up online where to get epsom salt and I see I can get it at an average grocery store... great! So I head there, nothing in the salt aisle. Not sure why I looked in the baking goods, its not like I'm gonna put baking goods in my bath with me. But somehow my skull can't handle thinking beyond the aisle that I have time and time again found various other kinds of salt; rock salt, popcorn salt, butter salt, garlic salt, etc. So I leave in frustration.

I get home and refer to the internet again, this time clearly stating "where in the grocery store?" and it politely and clearly stated in the "pharmacy section". Ok, so I head back, and I walk over to the pharmacy area where I see the aisle, skin care. DUH! Why didn't I think of that? So I find my epsom salt and head to my activity.

I had carefully packed the Rock Salt, food coloring, mineral oil (or so I thought), clear jars, ribbon, directions, thoughts for a lesson, and scissors into a nice box. WELL, I can't seem to do a craft night for youth group without forgetting something. (Like the time I forgot the vanilla for the No Bake Cookies, I thought it can't be that big of a deal, but the other leader was pretty sure it was a crucial ingredient, so now I have to stall while she goes and gets some vanilla??? ugh, i'm a schmuck.) This time I forgot the mineral oil. How do you expect the food coloring to spread properly if there is no oil to wet down the rock salt? UGH! So I decide to rush home and grab the mineral oil that is on the counter right next to where the box was sitting that I brought to church with me.

When I return all the girls picked a color red, blue, green, etc. Well, one picks purple. Not unreasonable and a normal choice for a girl. Well, she puts in a couple red drops and a couple blue drops and gets greenish-brown? I know that some food coloring is better than others but you've got to be kidding me! All the other colors turned out fine, except that to get an even amount of color on all the salt, the girls felt the need to put half the bottle of food coloring in the bag. So we had some very warm bold reds, oranges, greens and blues.

Then you poured it into the jar, it didn't stay where you wanted it... nooooo, gravity has to do a mean trick of tumbling it down to the bottom of the jar.

All in all the girls were good sports, and I'm grateful for having 2 leaders to help activities go smoother when you have to jet home to get your forgotten ingredient. Although, if I do say so myself the orange vanilla scent was yummy, but the hideous bath salts were all I had to give to send them home with.

I really should just stop trying to be crafty.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tools, Trucks, Guns...

Whenever the conversation begins to get too girly, Spencer and I always attempt to turn the conversation to more manly topics. We begin listing off as many manly things as we can think of. The list always begins with "Tools, Trucks..." and branches out from there.

Big Dogs
Drag Racing
GI Joe
Hand Grenades
Nitrus Oxide
Ninja Turtles
Rock Climbing
Comic Books

By those standards, I've increased on the manliness meter, apparently. In March, I purchased a truck. I've always wanted a truck, even before I could drive. We'd be driving across town and I'd make mom check out all the variety of trucks as we went by. It was like car window-shopping... without the annoying salesmen. I almost bought a truck right after my mission... a red 1995 4WD Dodge Dakota. The day we were going to meet up to buy the vehicle, the truck's battery died and we decided it probably wasn't a smart idea to buy the truck. Instead, we purchased a reliable, gas-efficient Hundai Accent.

I kept my eye out for the perfect truck. I'd pass one for sale on the side of the road and pay attention to how much it was, hoping that for some reason it was dirt cheap but still in really good condition. I fell in love with the Toyota Tacoma, but not the new style. I like the older ones with silver trim around the wheel wells and slightly lifted with the TRD offroad sports package. The extended cab was a must, but I never really liked the 4-door model. I wanted a red or blue one, but when buying a used car, you can't be too picky.

Well, good things come to those who wait. Just down the road from where we live was a little car dealership which happened to be on my way to the university. Every morning I drove by and checked out his inventory of trucks. To my suprise, early one morning, there was a bright red Tacoma sitting out front. I had to go to class, so I couldn't stop and take a look, but I called Leann and told her about it. On my way home, I drove by and the truck was gone. Later that night, Leann and I were driving by again, and I mentioned that it was gone. Leann, however, saw it in a gated-off back section of the dealer's lot. So, we parked and went and took a look through the chain-link fence. It was perfect.

I would have called it an impulse buy, except for the fact that I had wanted one for so long. I knew exactly what I wanted, and recognized it when I saw it. We went down to the dealer and bought it the next day. I've recently gotten a dog too. Remember those old Nissan commercials on TV? "Dogs love trucks." It's true. Guess I'll have to start working on some of the other items on the manliness list... perhaps the hand grenades or napalm.