Category Archives: Love & Marriage

Let’s NOT talk about my wisdom teeth.

Except for this paragraph in which I’ll tell you that they’re now officially gone (all four of them), and I don’t remember any of the process (awesome).  I’ll also tell you that Merkin got the day off (officially — he still had to log in and work from home a bit), and has been taking very good care of me.  Then he brought BratzBasher home, and she cuddled with me and discussed silly things.  It made me feel better.  That and the drugs.   Mmm…drugs….  Add in the cold gel packs, and the swelling has almost completely gone down.  Also awesome.  So a few days of mashed potatoes, soup, and chocolate pudding should have me right as rain.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of some quilted star ornaments I made.  The one in the middle is from the first year I made them, but the other two are new this year, using scraps.  The one on the right has a cool spiral pattern that wraps all the way from front to back (as you can see in the second picture).  The one on the left has just one piece of fabric in the center and some rectangular pieces tucked into the second row of triangles to hide pins:


100_0218I had a couple of friends over for lessons on how to make these, and we had a great time chatting and folding and pinning.  If  you want directions for the spiral pattern, I’m planning on doing another one so I can document the steps.  It’s for the Purple Lady, so it’ll be in shades of purple.  That should make it easier to see the spirals.

I’m also crocheting a scarf out of Lion brand’s Homespun yarn for my grandmother.  It’s super soft yarn, but a bit difficult to work with, so it’s slow going.  I’m getting there, though.  Should have it done in plenty of time for Christmas.  The color I chose is “parfait” because she likes pink.  This is pink, but not overpoweringly so.  It should go with lots of different things.

homespun parfait yarn

Happy Birthday, Merkin!

In my sleep-muddled morning state, I let Merkin head off to work today without a “happy birthday”.  This is not as bad as the first year we were married when I forgot his birthday entirely.  (I’m never going to live that one down.  Merkin, on the other hand, never forgets an important date — birthdays, anniversaries, whatever.)

I won’t say how old he is this year because he’s feeling old.  I wouldn’t want to rub it in that he’s five years older than I am.  I think it’ll be another couple of decades before I see Merkin as old.  I’d have to see myself five years away from being old before that happens.  But this post isn’t about me.  It’s about Merkin and his awesomeness.  Don’t worry.  I won’t go on and on and on.  He’s too modest for that.  Plus, I’m pressed for time just now.

Five (because I promised not to go on forever) Great Things about Merkin:

(I apologize for any repeats from previous years, but some things are worth mentioning multiple times.)

  1. He’s an awesome dad to BratzBasher.
  2. He’s a fabulous cook.
  3. He’s an amazing storyteller.
  4. He puts up with me even when I’m less than likable.
  5. He never forgets to take the trash out.


Happy Birthday, Merkin!

16 Years and Counting

Merkin and I have officially been married for 16 years now.  Wow.  Sometimes it seems shorter than that.  Sometimes, as Merkin put it last night: “It seems a long time since that tiny, basement apartment in Provo.  Yeah, I think we’ve come a long way.  I thought I’d give you 16 great things that have happened in those sixteen years –by no means exhaustive and in no particular order.  (That means I can’t remember well enough be bothered to put them in chronological order.)

  1. We got married in the Los Angeles temple (LDS) for time and all eternity.  (Okay, that one I know happened before all of these others.)
  2. We moved out of that tiny, basement apartment.
  3. We eventually moved out of our second apartment — the one right above the “retired” Laotian gang leader.  (Actually, our downstairs neighbor was very nice to us.  He put the word out that anyone messing with us would be taken out to the Bonneville Salt Flats and left to die with two broken legs.  This was a good thing for us, so perhaps that should’ve been item 4.  That’s okay.  I’ll come up with another one.  There’s plenty.)
  4. We had BratzBasher.  (The easiest labor one could ask for.  If she had been a boy, we would’ve named her after the anesthesiologist who gave me my epidural.)
  5. We’ve lived in some pretty great wards and met some really great people.  (And some not so great, but they aren’t on this list.)
  6. We won tickets to attend an exclusive BNL concert.  (They couldn’t be purchased.  You could only win them through the local radio station.)  The concert was a lot of fun, though we had to stand the whole time.  It was a nice pick-me-up in the middle of a not-s0-nice semester at BYU.
  7. Merkin got his current job in Missouri.  I love it here.  It’s often sweltering in the summer, but it’s beautiful.
  8. We spent a week up in Nauvoo in a little house right on Main Street for a family reunion.  So nice to watch the envious faces of the tourists as we sat in the lawn chairs on the porch and waved at the buses going by.
  9. We participated in an Eagle Scout project that recorded various people reading children’s books.  The books and accompanying audio were donated to the children’s hospital.  Even BratzBasher got to read for it, I think.  I read The Color Kittens.
  10. We visited DC for a rare family vacation that didn’t involve seeing other family.  We still have the video of BratzBasher in her ruby slippers, pointing at the “real” ones in the Smithsonian and shouting, “Doty shoes!  Doty shoes!”  Priceless.
  11. We canoed on the Meramec River.
  12. Merkin began his triathlon “hobby”.  (He does an Olympic-length one next month.)  I know that seems like a great thing that happened to Merkin rather than both of us, but trust me — it’s good for me, too.
  13. We saw Roger Waters perform “The Wall” live.  A dream come true for Merkin.
  14. We bought this great house that we’ve since filled with 11 years of memories.
  15. We watched BratzBasher perform in three storytelling festivals.
  16. We’re still in love after 16 years.  (Not that we haven’t driven each other crazy during that time, but we were both a little crazy to begin with.)

Happy Anniversary, Merkin!

Here’s to an even better 16 (and counting) more!


A bit o’ this, a bit o’ that.

Ricky from Target (He totally looks like a Ricky) called me today to tell me my glasses are ready.  I’m kind of excited.  Mostly about being able to see better, but also I’m hoping that they will look better when I can see them on me from further than a foot away.  Maybe they’ll be perfect — or nearer to it than I anticipated.

I also need to contact T-Mobile and ask them what the heck is going on with my online account info.  It tells me I have $75 on my pre-paid account, but no minutes.  That’s garbage.  I want to know what my exact minutes are, thank you, not a plea for more money “to avoid an interruption in service.”  Dopes.  Yes, my phone is still working.  It does have $75 on it.

BratzBasher is on a field trip today.  Or, rather, she was on a field trip.  She’ll be back at school by now.  The entire 7th grade went to see A Christmas Carol.  I hope she enjoyed it.  I think the last time I saw a play on stage was when we attended a local high school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

December is almost here.  I don’t do so well this time of year.  I need to make sure I get out of the house every day, not overburden myself with unnecessary holiday preparations, and pray, pray, pray.  I think that last one will probably help the most.

I didn’t sew BB’s jammies yesterday.  I did confirm that Merkin will require the same size.  He’s lost so much weight, plus he wears his pants around his practically non-existent hips.  This is not a dig at my hubby’s appearance, mind you.  I just realized it would look that way.  I like his new look.  I liked his old look.  I like his practically non-existent hips.  If that was too much information, you can just roll your eyes at me and move on.

And moving on…I did finish my skirt yesterday.  It doesn’t look as finished along the bottom edge as I would’ve liked, but that’s due to the fabric I used.  It’s difficult to do certain things with brocade, but I like the look.  The skirt looks great.  I can’t wait to wear it Sunday.  BB promised she’d let me wear it twice before she asked to borrow it.  Ha.  Darn tootin’, kid.  Besides, she still hasn’t worn her new dress to church yet.  I need to get her those leggings, but I have to try them on to determine whether we need large or extra large.  Why can’t they just make magically altering clothing.  One size fits all!  No, really!  We mean it!  And they would mean it, by golly.

I took a nap this morning and had a bizarre dream about living in a dystopian society.  We were getting ready to move away, but the government was helping us move, so we had to get rid of any incriminating evidence in our possession.  If we broke the law, we’d have to stay.  Isn’t that crazy?  I found three articles of clothing that I’d borrowed from someone and never returned.  Rather than give them back — inviting an accusation of thievery — I was trying to figure out how to burn them in secret.  Then I needed to figure out what to do with all the metal parts (zippers, snaps, etc.) so that no one would find them and wonder why I’d been burning clothing.  I finally decided to sew them inside our clothes next to similar metal parts so that the metal detectors wouldn’t give us away.  It was crazy.

Then there was this message mole.  An actual mole bearing a message on his back.  He’d been lurking around, and I thought he was a rat, at first, because he was so small. By the time I figured out what he was, the string tying the message to his back had rubbed him raw under the forelegs, and I had to treat his wounds and figure out how to reply to the message some other way before it was too late.  It was a secret message from some government official that was on our side, warning us to hide any pictures BB had drawn of him as a panda.  Yeah.  I get some weird ones sometimes.

And now I have errands to run — glasses to pick up — things to see and do.

Belated Anniversary Post

Merkin and I celebrated our anniversary on our actual anniversary date, July 26th.  I know I’ve blogged since then, but I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about 15 years of marriage.  Sadly, this will not be a profound post.  I think I’m in a bit of a writing slump these days.  So I opted not to delay any longer and just type.

We didn’t exchange gifts this year — a fact for which I am very grateful.  I’m terrible at gift-giving.  I can never come up with the right thing — particularly when it’s for Merkin.  We opted to just go out to dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant.  We brought BratzBasher along because Merkin and BB had a storyteller meeting to attend that night.  I got to tag along.  The stories were very good.  My favorite was one called “Keeper of Soles”, which was about the angel of death and a shoemaker.  All in all, I rather enjoyed myself.

So…fifteen years.  Wow.  Sometimes it seems longer, and sometimes I’m sitting here thinking, “I can’t believe I’m actually a grownup — let alone one that’s been married for fifteen years.”  Where does the time go?  Not a single regret though.  It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it.

Here’s to another fifteen+, Merkin!  (Insert cheesy proclamation of love here.)

Dottie + Cliff 4ever: an email

I found this sometime last year stashed in a used book in the library bookstore where I work.  I wish I could remember which book it was.  It’s too funny not to share, so here it is, unabridged — minus the personal contact info.

Subj: Hi from Missouri

Date: 5/26/2006 9:35:46 AM US Mountain Standard Time

Dear Cliff — I received your email.  Well, I perceive that what happened to you in Arizona is just like a regular, normal day for you in Missouri. 😛

Hang in there.  We don’t have many more years to put up with our ailing bodies.

I’m having a terrific time here, too.  Right now, in spite of the pacemaker, I have atrial fibrillation.  It’s probably more pronounced today because of the heavy lifting I’ve been doing in just the last few days.  I’ve spent May 22, 23, 24, 25 and now 26, trying to make a little headway at cleaning all the crap out of the garage before you get back home.  I chose to do it while you were gone so that you wouldn’t search through the trash cans as they wait up on the road to be picked up, and bring the thrown items back into the garage.  When I finish (unless it finishes me) I hope to have a neat garage for us where both the car and the truck can be placed at night.

Please don’t bring home anymore of the following items [the words “of the following items” are underlined] to add to the gigantic pile of multiple, multiple stuff on your workbench and on the floor all around in the garage — things hardly (if ever) used by you — such things as multiple cans of bug spray, apoxy, miracle grow, grease solvent, wax remover, paint, paint remover, linseed oil, turpentine, joint cement, pledge, degreaser, oil soaker-upper from the garage floor, stuff to make roses (which we don’t have any of) bloom quicker, multiple kinds of caulking compound, carpet cleaner, mouse killer, d-con, flea and tick killer, spot remover, a never-used mechanical lawn-sweeper, many, many cans of insect repellent, rubber cement, nails of all kinds and sizes, screws of all kinds and sizes, all kinds of nuts and bolts and washers known to man, car washer fluid, armor-all, window-washer fluid, silicone something or other, weed killer, dandelion killer, four big torn open bags of grass seed — purchase dates ranging from 2000 up to 2004 — spilled on the garage floor and upon which the two garage cats poo and pee.  Bags and bags of lawn fertilizer of various kinds of strength, at least 8 bags of de-icer (some open, some spilled), rubber door stops, fan belts — some of them so old they are rotten, — That’s just a part of it, but I think you get the picture because you never throw anything away, you just buy it, bring it home and throw it down.  I can only believe that you have some sort of a secret desire to open up your own hardware store, or that you can’t remember that you just bought some of the same stuff less than a week ago.  I’m tackling the horrible garage mess and what I don’t throw away or store, I’m taking from the garage to the barn where you have your 2003 new cart still in the box down there, and the 2004 mechanized scooter (which won’t carry you or anybody over 200 pounds) still in the box down there, etc.

If you are thinking the previous paragraph has been tedious reading, think about how tedious making a dent in this pile has been.  I would have hired some help to make my task easier, but with no locks on the barn and no locks on the garage, I didn’t want a helper to take a look around and see what he might later want to come back and steal from you.

I wanted, while you were away, to tackle the probably bubonic-ridden trailer, also, with a mass throwing away and shoveling out (mostly shoveling out).  But, alas, the monumental task of just making the garage a two-car garage again has been quite enough of a project for me this time while your [sic] away.

Seriously, Cliff, I do hope and pray that you will have a good time while you are in Arizona.  It’s good to get away.  When I was with John and Carroll in early May in Boise, I was so relaxed, happy and carefree, away from all the clutter and the mess, that I felt like I’d been given a new lease on life.  On June 5th, at 7:30 P.M., (God willing) I’ll pick you up.  But I swear I’ll take a ball-peen hammer to you if you dare take a look around the garage and say something to the effect of, “Dottie, where is that long, cement screw that was laying on the corner of my workbench?” 🙄

P.S.  Thanks for telling me about the special feeding that you give to Blu-Z.  I didn’t know about that.  She’s been begging me for something and I didn’t realize that it was her “Temptations”.  I’ll go take care of that right now, but it won’t be fed to her on the corner of your bed.

That’s everything except for the email addresses.  I did not make up those smileyfaces, either.  Although, I didn’t have anything to match the second one, so I used the one that best matched the sentiment.  What do you think?  Do Dottie and Cliff know the secret to a long, happy life together?

14 and Counting

In celebration of our 14th wedding anniversary, I’ve decided to post 14 things you may not know about Merkin and me.

  1. We met during Idaho State University’s homecoming weekend at Monte Carlo night.  He was the blackjack dealer.
  2. For our first date, he read me a bedtime story.  (In the study lounge, not my dorm.)
  3. When we were first dating, our favorite date was playing backgammon at the student union building.  We still have the set he taught me with.
  4. We were engaged for 3 1/2 years.  That’s very unusual in Mormon culture, but Merkin wanted to have a real job first.  I think it was a good decision for us.
  5. Merkin’s “real job” was a financial analyst position with the Covey Leadership Center (now Franklin-Covey), which meant that I had to transfer to BYU.
  6. My BYU experience was not exactly brochure quality.  For my last final exam before graduation, I wore a t-shirt with a big Y that had a screw in it.  (Of course, I covered it up with a flannel shirt so I wouldn’t get stoned by the zealots.)
  7. Our second apartment was located right above a “retired” Laotian gang leader’s residence.  He and Merkin got along pretty well, so our new friend put the word out that if anyone messed with us he’d take ’em out to Bonneville Flats, break both their legs, and leave ’em for dead.  Don’t think we didn’t appreciate that.
  8. We like to play a game I call “Thank you/You’re welcome”.  For example, if I see this, I say, “Thank you [for not owning a shirt like that],” and Merkin says, “You’re welcome.”
  9. I can never remember our anniversary.  Merkin always has to remind me.  He’ll do it subtly, though, by saying something like: “What do you want for our anniversary next Monday?” and we’ll both pretend I totally knew Monday is our anniversary.
  10. Merkin likes to own a beater truck and drive it aggressively.  He figures other drivers care what happens to their paint jobs more than he does.  Amazingly enough, he’s never been the one at fault for any of his accidents.
  11. He once purchased feminine products for me in an emergency.  Before we were married.  That’s when Mom said, “He’s a keeper.”
  12. He does 99.9% of the cooking in our house.
  13. When I had my mole removed (my first surgery ever), he sat next to me and fed me Andes mints during the whole procedure.  I couldn’t see what was going on, but he could and braved through the ordeal for my sake.
  14. We got married in the Los Angeles, CA temple, which just happens to be situated off of Route 66.  I have one of those signs hanging underneath our wedding picture in our living room.

Happy Anniversary, Merkin!