Monday, March 31, 2008


When Kraut and The Brown Dot were little kids they shared a room. One day, when I was putting their clean clothes away I noticed an "off" smell in their room. I attributed it to a stray pair of dirty socks and dismissed it.

The next week, when I was putting their clothes away there was a definite odor. I should have been smart enough to realize that I only smelled it when their drawers were open but you know how mother's are--tired half the time, from being up with someone in the night, and so I just scoured the floor for any dirty clothes I had missed earlier and left it at that.

The next week, when I opened the dresser drawers, the smell nearly knocked me dead. I probably have permanent brain damage and a facial tic. I was pretty sure there was a petrified animal in the dresser. I unloaded their clothes. All of them had a faint sulfur smell. How had I not noticed that my children smelled? Their teachers must have been wondering what on earth was wrong with my stinking kids. I’m surprised I hadn’t had a phone call or two.

Finally the clothes were piled on the bed and I reached way in the back of their drawers and came up with an Easter egg—a very smelly egg, one for each boy.
I was livid. “Why are there Easter eggs in your drawers?”

“Gosh, Mom,” they said with big innocent eyes--children have the "big innocent eyes" maneuver down pat. “We just saved our favorite Easter egg.”

The stinkin’ eggs went into the trash and I scrubbed the drawers with Lysol. I washed every single piece of clothing they had and that was that.

So be warned. Do you have children who might be saving a favorite egg? Check now, not in three or five or seven weeks or however long it takes an egg to ferment. Don't get caught with a post Easter surprise. Like me.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


See this? It's a planter outside my front door. It has pansies, waiting to be planted in it. Yesterday they were yellow and cheerful. Today? Not so much.

This one has an ivy topiary--which has an identity crises, not knowing if it should really grow or not--and sweet Johnny Jump-ups, waiting to be planted.

The daffodils have closed up tight.

And the lawn swings? The ones that promised bright, snow free, GLOOMY FREE days?

Sigh. So much for Spring. I hope it looks better where ever you are.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Hooray! The lawn swings are up. Here is Tuesday, pretending it's no big deal.

It's a big deal, Tuesday, trust me. It means spring is here even if the temperature was thirty-seven degrees this morning.

But Mary Poppins and Curly Sue know it's a big deal. Here they are, saying, "can we play Mother May I, can we huh? Pleeeease, please, please."

Gilmore Girl does not give normal commands, such as you may four giant steps. Oh no, she says things like you may take four "Stand Alone in the Dark Forest of Fear's." Just kidding, I made that up, but it's no more bizarre than what my darling daughter does makes up.

How about four Wheel Round Pixie Doodles? Then they have to make up what they think a Pixie would doodle, with a wheel round. Think, think, think. I've got it.

How's this?

If I remember right this has something to do with a bean stalk.

"Oh, no! I forgot to say 'Mother May I'"

Back to the starting line.

Tuesday decides she'll go keep Mary Poppins company.

And then Curly Sue forgets to say "Mother May I" so so back she goes. But...they go back so often we begin to think they forget on purpose so the game can go on...and on...and on.

Almost there.

Here I come with my Fangdangled Top Twirlers.

Oh, no, she is winning.

And then, when the game was done Curly Sue got punctured with a bolt on the very ancient lawn swings and we adjourned inside for neosporin and a Band-aid.

And Tuesday wondered what all the fuss was about.

But I'll tell you, THE LAWN SWINGS ARE UP and that means spring and sunlight and no more gloomy snowy days.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Your kittens are ready to be picked up. Seriously, if you live in Provo, Orem, Spanish Fork, Payson, Lehi, Pleasant Grove or points north or south come and pick them up.

Here they are for a group photo, on the chair they now think they own. I had to be quick as they never stay in one place long. You can see William, on the far right. He's ready to take off. Gregory is going to launch next.

See! They are already all over the place.

The one looking at the camera is Gregory. He is the fatty of the group and very loving. When I pick him up and hold him he feels like he's swallowed a great big pear. He likes to purr on my shoulder. I'll miss him but he will make someone a nice pet. And yes, I realize I called "someone" the pet. Kittens are that way, they take your heart and make you theirs.

Here is Gregory, playing with his tail and Japhy, who is the princess of the group. "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful," she says.

"Okay, I won't," says Toves and she proves it by chewing on Japhy's leg.

When I told Toves to stop and be a nice kitty she stopped long enough to say, "Who me?"

"Look at my innocent face. Would I chew on some one's leg?"

She is the runt of the litter, was the first to eat solid food, the first to be litter box trained and the first to leave Momma cat and explore the big wide world. She was the first to make friends--she has every one's heart.

This is funny William. he likes to take life at a full run. That is until he runs out of steam...

...and then he snoozes where ever he can, even if the snoozing shoulder is really too low.

So, leave me a message and I'll save your kitten. You can come and pick it up tomorrow. It's a good kitten day.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Today Gilmore Girl and Tuesday came from Outer Mongolia to shop, go to lunch, and play. Gilmore Girl cut my hair before we left so when we went shopping I wouldn't have to wear a bag over my head. As it turned out I should have worn a bag anyway.

Years and years ago, when we bought our house, when dirt was new and dinosaurs still roamed the earth, we had no idea we were moving into a sheltered spot. We live close to the mountains, probably exactly on the Wasatch fault. So, one day we will not be sheltered but teetering on the edge, peering into the abyss. But, because we live close to the mountain the fierce winds that come out of the mouth of the canyon don't come our way. It's been a blessing in our lives, it truly has. I grew up in a windy town, slept in a room that had eves that invited wind to howl around them and I really dislike the wind.

After the hair cut and style we went to Target, roughly five miles away. Before leaving the house the sky was sunny, the air was cold and the weather was as still as a ten year old playing hide and seek in the best spot ever. When we got to Target the sky was sunny, the air was cold and the weather was as if the ten-year old's hiding place was on top of a red-ant hill--a red-ant hill of nine million ticked-off ants. My hair went straight in the air and my breath was snatched from my lungs and hurled to Nevada. By the time we actually got into Target I looked like I had been to a dance with the Tasmanian Devil. It was not a pretty sight.

Because I am such a marvelous artist and because I am so accomplished in the "Paint" program--and this is my first time ever, too--I am so proud--I am going to show you exact replicas of how I looked as we pulled into the Target parking lot and after opening the car door and actually stepping outside.

Here is my before picture:

And here is my after picture:

As you can see, even my ears took a beating. Even my shoulders were sucked toward the sky.

That's how it is where we live. We rarely have any wind but a few miles away the wind is as if the God of the Vacuums has his best machine turned on, either on the "suck" setting or the "spew" one. It matereth not. The effect is the same, horrifying hair--except for the "spew" setting when you get horrifying hair that is full of bits of things that you'd rather not know about.

And so, as we close today's blog, I will leave you with a picture of what might be coming next, because I know you are maybe hungry for more real life pictures and because I don't want you to feel bad in case you live in a hurricane zone, a tornado zone, a tsunami zone or any other zone that scares the living daylights out of me.

Here is the zone I may be living in sometimes soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I cannot think of anything to write. It's one of those days, one of those weeks when I just feel "off" and don't want to have to figure out why. I just want it fixed. A sissy way out, I know, but I'd settle for having it fixed without knowing the why's, the what-could-I-have-done-differently or what-do-I-need-to-change. Just fix it please and let me go on my way. Do you ever feel like that?

So, I surfed a few of my favorite blogs and on Afterburn he said "For some years, I have ruminated over the right thing to say when passing someone on a dog-walk." Then he discussed all the disadvantages from "Hello" or "Hi" to "Good afternoon." He said someone passed him today and said, "What ho!" He felt it was perfect.

So I am saying to you, "What ho!" Take it for what you want.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I made this last night--it's totally vegan, as I am on a quest to avoid heart disease and stroke and am adding more veggie meals into our diet. We were vegan for six years so it seems it wouldn't be so hard to recreate, would it? Humm. Harder than I thought.
The soup was tasty. The recipe is here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Easter, today and I didn't prepare myself mentally or spiritually. I sat in Sacrament Meeting and the music of the choir--the last line of the last song brought me to tears. I finally got it. "Come to me, thou art mine own." (Did You See Him in the Garden by Shawn M. Stringham and Lynn S Lund)

Come to me, thou art mine own.

Those words bring comfort. When I am despondent, feeling afraid, worried, I have one person who will understand. Understand because He felt my hurts, my worries, my physical pain, my fear and feeling of inadequacy. He also knows of my bad times, my selfish, tantrum throwing, saying bad words, doing bad things times and gives me the chance to give them up and be washed clean.

For me that line has a double meaning. Come to me, thou art mine own. I feel that way about my children. They are mine. I love and cherish them--each of them. Their spouses are mine too. I will share with their real parents but they are mine now, too.

How much more does the Savior love and understand us than any mere mother ever could? Each and every one of us. I cannot comprehend because I have never loved like that. Not even our brand new babies, just born. The fierce love we felt for those children is nothing compared to what the Savior feels for each of us. For you.

He wants us back because we are his own. That comforts me. I know he will not rest until we are all safely gathered in. There is hope for me. Hope for my children. Hope for all, everywhere. It's fitting to know this on this day when the greatest miracle of all time occurred, this Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Lord Bumhamptom and his lovely wife, Nurse Giggleswich came yesterday with their two dogs, Gordon and Arnold.

Add Minkey--the cat who is terrified by Gordon and Arnold--who is also terrified by Dyna, the growling, hissing mother cat, add Pika, who refuses to be intimidated by Gordon and Arnold, who just sits there and looks pretty, Toves, Gregory, William and Japhy and this has been an interesting week-end.

We locked Dyna and the kittens in Her Excellency of Mousehole's room and the dogs got a chance to relax and be Lord's of the house.


I just posted the cookie recipe for these fabulous cookies on my cookbook site.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Tough times.

My friend's hubby lost his job. She's frightened. Should she get a job or trust that he will? She doesn't want to move. Again. He says they won't have to but how does he know?

Another friend fell and is on crutches, no one at home to help her. Her husband, the love of her life, that she found late in life, died, and the loneliness is worse now than before she found him.

Two people have leukemia. Not good for either one. One's kids are grown but those kids have already lost their mom to cancer and this would be devastating. The other one is young, married with a two year old--a whole life to want to live, a child she wants to rear, to teach, to watch grow, to laugh with and love--a husband she wants to grow old with.

Another in the hospital...again. She has had so many surgeries she can't remember how many. Close to 30, maybe more. She, too is alone. Her husband was not a very happy person but she adored him until the day he died.

Money worries. For so many it is money, the lack of money, it's never having too much, is it?

Another friend lost her husband and has four kids to rear. The oldest is fifteen, youngest six. How will she do this alone? The loneliness--in the midst of the noise, the scheduling headache with the four kids in sports and music and homework and of them missing their dad--is almost unbearable.

One woman's husband divorced her, he lives high, with a new house, new wife, new life. He knows how to manipulate the system, She lives in poverty with constant stress, going back to school and hopes she can earn enough to live humbly, at best.

Another has a child doing dangerous or illegal things; many are dealing with this.

One's wife has Alzheimer's, he is her caregiver and has health problems of his own. Will she out live him? He wants to care for her until the end, but will he go first?

Another invested her retirement with a scoundrel and lost it all. He probably isn't a real scoundrel, he probably thought he could do well for her but he didn't, and now she has nothing. Now she is older, in poverty. She needs to work but is older, and tired, and discouraged.

Ill health abounds.

This is just the ones I can think of without straining my poor little brain too much. I know that many--that I think are blessed--are nursing worries and fears and hurts that I don't know about.




But also reality.

Most of these people have faith, but some still have some fear. We know that fear and faith cannot exist at the same time. So, if you have faith, can you see, out of the corner of your eye, a wisp of fear? And, if you see a wisp of fear has the faith departed like a freight train?

The pain of divorce, death, an uncertain future...what to do?

Let go? Tell Father to let the Savior carry your hurts? Yes, sounds easy but it isn't, is it? But what other option do we have? We can work hard. We can eat better so the disease doesn't have a running start--I'm REALLY speaking to myself here. We can prepare for the future. We can love those who will let us, help those who we can, and when we need help, we can be gracious and let others help us.

The best relief I know of is prayer. And faith. And stomp on the fear until it smolders. And personal favorite, have friends like I have who say, "All is well." And believe it. I have a friend like that, more than one--several actually, but one in particular who says, "All is well," and when she says it, I calm down and feel better.

Years ago, I was pregnant, at age 42. I worried. I knew the statistics. A dear friend who I will call Pammie, because that is her name--sort of--said, "There is NOTHING wrong with that baby!" She was the voice of authority and I believed her and quit worrying and the pregnancy was easier. Way easier. There was nothing wrong with the baby--that baby is Her Excellency of Mousehole and she is beautiful and smart and funny and I adore her. But what if there had been something wrong? I would have had several months of no fear, no worries, and then I could have faced the problems when they came, instead of anticipating them all along.

What am I saying? Have faith. Be strong. Don't worry. Is it possible to have faith and not worry and then, when, and if we have to face hard times we will be rested and ready? In the meantime let the Savior handle it. He says he can and wants to. So let's believe him. Let's believe him and be his helpers when others need our strength.

I hope all of your are handling what you have in your life right now. If not, I hope you will have faith and I hope that you have a friend who can give you the love you need and the words to give you courage to get through this time with dignity and grace or even with slobbering tears if you need to do that. I've done my share of that, too--it was not a pretty sight but my friends stood by my ugliness with encouragement. They listened. Sometimes they gave advice but mostly they listened and said things like "There, there." It's nice when you have friends, who will just listen and say, "There, there."

Will you believe me if I say I am sending my love to you, even if I don't know you? I am, I hope it will help in some small way or maybe even in a large one, like it does when my friends say they love me, when Phil says he loves me and when they all say, "Don't worry, all is well."

I love you. Be comforted. Let the Savior carry your burden, just for today, just for tonight, just this week. You can pick it up later if you want, but let Him carry it today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Here is The Soap Queen with Brand New Baby (#7) and in the other corner...

...we find a box and two boys inside. Taz and Lego Boy .

Hiding out.

And then popping out just to make sure we were watching.

Lego Boy is running things, he is the power of the box, so to speak. He rattled and rolled the box while Taz bounced, fell over and took all the rattling, rolling action.

The box is disintegrating, becoming less of a box and more of a tent.

One more roll and its back in box shape and Taz... ready to escape

because Lego Boy is still into the rolling, bouncing mode and Taz has had enough.

Mom does not interfere. In fact she is amused because she knows that Taz will be back inside in about 30 seconds, ready to take whatever his brother dishes out.

Finally, Lego Boy emerges and the two turn the poor abused box into a slide. Whew, that box entertained those two for over an hour of non-stop play. I was tired just watching them.

The cost of this toy? Well, since it is the box for a new car seat for Brand New Baby it probably actually cost more than I originally thought. Not cheap after all, but, let's face it, it's worth it.

Phil said, when he saw Brand New Baby for the first time, "God sends a child to change the world for the better," and He has. We're sure of it. And these boys will change the world for the better too.