Thursday, January 29, 2009

Remember the Time When We Went to Buca di Beppo's...

I just returned from sunny California where me and my Paper Crafts peeps descended upon the Anaheim Convention Center for the annual Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) trade show. While I have many funny stories to tell ("Remember the time when...) and a whole memory card of pictures to share, I thought I would dedicate an entire blog post to two gems I found in the ladies room of the Anaheim Buca di Beppo's.

If you've never been to a Buca Italian restaurant, they pride themselves on their generous "family style" portions and irreverent humor. They even have a table set aside for the Pope himself - just in case he should find himself in America and craving some good ol' fashion Italian cuisine.

So when me and the PC gals found ourselves at Buca's the other night (with the very entertaining gals from Technique Tuesday), I couldn't wait to go to the little girls room! Because even though the restaurant wall pictures are a tad suggestive, they're a bit more risque in the bathrooms. (I'm assuming this rings true in the little boys room, although I don't have actual, physical proof. Let me do some more investigative research and I'll get back to you!)

Aren't these great? Doesn't it make you want to go to a Buca's and take your own vintage photos? And if a good bra and padded underwear is all I need to catch a man, I better get shopping!


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Memoriam

Robert Harold Smith (1919-2009)

"In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of the stars I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night."

~The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thank you for being a loving husband, father and grandfather to all of us girls. Mom will always be your "Charlie" and we'll always be your "girlers".


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Don't Mess With Texas

As I was watching all of the inauguration coverage from today, I had to smile at this e-mail that fortuitously landed in my inbox. President Bush had just uttered this sentence at a press conference in Midland, TX: "We are back in the state of Texas and we are here to stay."

So maybe W. isn't fading off into the sunset like we all assumed. Maybe he has big plans for the Lone Star State... or should I call it The Mighty Republic of Texas? I'll let you be the judge.

A Proud Texan,


Please note that Texas is the only state with a legal right to secede from the Union (Reference the Texas-American Annexation Treaty of 1848.)

We Texans love y'all, but we'll probably have to take action since B. Hussein Obama won the election. We'll miss you too...

Here is what can happen:

#1: Barack Hussein Obama becomes President of the United States, Texas immediately secedes from the Union.

#2: George W. Bush will become the President of the Republic of Texas (hehe).

So what does Texas have to do to survive as a Republic?

1. NASA is just south of Houston, Texas. We will control the space industry.
2. We refine over 85% of the gasoline in the United States.
3. Defense Industry - we have over 65% of it. The term "Don't mess with Texas" will take on a whole new meaning.
4. Oil - we can supply all the oil that the Republic of Texas will need for the next 300 years. Yankee states? Sorry about that.
5. Natural Gas - again we have all we need and it's too bad about those Northern States. John Kerry will have to figure out a way to keep them warm....
6. Computer Industry - we currently lead the nation in producing computer chips and communications--small companies like Texas Instruments, Dell Computer, EDS, Raytheon, National Semiconductor, Motorola, Intel, AMD, Atmel, Applied Materials, Ball Miconductor, Dallas Semiconductor, Delphi, Nortel, Alcatel, etc, etc. The list goes on and on.
7. Medical Care - We have the largest research centers for cancer research, the best burn centers and the top trauma units in the world, as well as other large health centers. Dallas has some of the best hospitals in the United States.
8. We have enough colleges to keep us going: University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Rice, SMU, University of Houston, Baylor, UNT (University of North Texas), Texas Women's University, etc. Ivy grows better in the South anyway.
9. We have a ready supply of workers. We could just open the border when we need some more.
10. We have essential control of the paper industry, plastics, insurance, etc.
11. In case of a foreign invasion, we have the Texas National Guard and the Texas Air National Guard. We don't have an Army, but since everybody down here has at least six rifles and a pile of ammo, we can raise an Army in 24 hours if we need one. If the situation really gets bad, we can always call the Department of Public Safety and ask them to send over Chuck Norris and a couple of Texas Rangers.
12. We are totally self-sufficient in beef, poultry, hogs, and several types of grain, fruit and vegetables, and let's not forget seafood from the Gulf. Also, everybody down here knows how to cook them so that they taste good. Don't need any food...

This just names a few of the items that will keep the Republic of Texas in good shape. There isn't a thing out there that we need and don't have.

Now to the rest of the United States under President Obama:

Since you won't have the refineries to get gas for your cars, only President Obama will be able to drive around in his big 9 mpg SUV. The rest of the United States will have to walk or ride bikes.

You won't have any TV as the Space Center in Houston will cut off satellite communications.

You won't have any natural gas to heat your homes, but since Mr. Obama has predicted global warming, you will not need the gas as long as you survive the 2000 years it will take to get enough heat from Global Warming.

Signed, The People of Texas

P.S. This is not a threatening letter - just a note to give you something to think about!


One Nation Under God

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

All in the Family!

This past August we held the Smith-Dame Family Reunion up in the gorgeous McCall, Idaho. I've already posted a few pictures from this fun Labor Day weekend, but I recently got my hands on some more great ones, so I thought I would show off the photography skills of one Cristi Dame. Despite the chilly temperatures that day, she was able to capture a lot of love!

We were so cold, we were all in favor of huddling close!

The predetermined color scheme was red, orange and yellow. Somehow me and my sisters all picked orange shirts, even though they came off more red in the pictures.

The Not-So-Orange Smith Sisters

My dad was totally rockin' his orange t-shirt. He obviously went the casual route. If you want to see a classic picture of my parents, make sure to check out their engagement photo at the top of my blog. I think they look pretty good for 53 and 55! Ssh! Don't tell anyone!

Here's my aunt and uncle and three of their five boys. Photographer Cristi actually set up the shot and then gave the camera to Tanner's girlfriend Darlene (below).

Ah! The happy couple! My sly aunt made sure Cristi took plenty of pictures in hopes an engagement would be announced shortly thereafter. No hurry, kids - this perfect picture isn't going anywhere!

My grandma and her handsome grandsons - Tanner, Brooks and Taylor

And I saved the best for last! Here's a cute one of youngest grandchild (Carter) and my grandma.

Thanks again, Cristi! Your amazing photos will be treasured for years to come. Lexus will be more cooperative next time!


Monday, January 12, 2009

The Big Bang of '09

A week ago today I was in a pretty scary car accident. Rest assured, I'm completely fine and my car's injuries are relatively minor. I've never been in a serious car accident before, so this one really shook me to my core. And to think it all started with a beautiful Sunday afternoon drive...

I was heading up Provo Canyon, which I have to say, is one of the most picturesque drives in all of Utah. If you've ever been to or seen pictures of Robert Redford's Sundance, Provo Canyon is nestled right in this mountainous paradise. I've been driving up and down this canyon road since I was a freshman at BYU. My grandparents used to live in Heber (22 miles north of Provo), so I would frequently come up for Sundays dinners, long weekends or whenever I needed some space from my roommates.

Anyway, I digress... So when I woke up last Sunday to sunny skies and no snow, I decided it was a perfect day to go on a little "walkie-walk" (our family's term for some good ol' fashion me-time). I was enjoying my ascent up the mountain, as the roads were clean and clear. I had just reached Deer Creek Dam and the two-lane road began to bend and wind, curving to the mountain slope.

Suddenly I hit some black ice and completely lost control of my vehicle. I ended up swerving into the other lane and nearly hit an oncoming truck. Luckily, he was in control of his vehicle, so he was able to swerve and miss me. As I hit the brakes, I did a complete 360* and it occurred to me that the only way I was going to stop was if I hit something... hard. And I did. I came to a complete and abrupt stop once my driver's side came into full contact with a nearby snow bank. Thankfully, the deep powder of this bank completely absorbed the brunt of the impact so no damage was done to my driver's side. My front bumper is another story...

In my traumatic swerving and braking, somehow my front bumper completely came apart...

But at least my newly-repaired headlights were spared!

Once I came to my senses and realized I was, in fact, okay, I said a quick prayer of gratitude and then concentrated on the problem at hand - little me stuck in a deep snow bank. How do I get out? Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long. I nice couple stopped and fished me out with a rope and their 4-wheel drive truck. Their friends were nice enough to block both sides of traffic (and pick up bits and pieces of my former bumper).

Once I was out, I pulled over to access my damages. Then another couple stopped to ask if I was okay to drive, could they call someone for me, etc. Another man stopped and said he saw the whole thing from across the lake where he was hunting. He lifted my hood, checked the engine and then made sure there was no snow in my exhaust. I came across so many genuinely nice people that afternoon. If anything, it did restore my faith in humanity a bit.

So to all of you complete strangers who stopped to help, inquire and calm this frazzled driver, you'll never know how grateful I am for your selfless service. And a big thank you to my attentive guardian angel (who according to my mom was working overtime that day). I'll try to keep the rest of 2009 relatively safe and uneventful.