Tuesday, December 30, 2008


News flash.

This is a warning to all the citizens of Tampa, Florida. There is a rogue "dough blob" loose in the sewer system of the city. Rumor has it that an unnamed woman was making
Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls for Christmas breakfast but since the alleged citizen has NEVER IN HER LIFE WORKED WITH YEAST she took a wrong turn in the kitchen and the cinnamon roll dough took on a life of it's own. Things were not going well.

She emailed her sister in Utah for advice. "What should I do with it? Should I flush it down the toilet?"

Her sister--I will call her Pam--, being the compassionate sister that she is, laughed hysterically and then dialed her sister's phone number and when the alleged baker picked up the phone she didn't even say "Hello." All she said was, "It's too late. It's flushed!"

Now we all know about "The Alligator," the one that lives in all sewers everywhere. The Tampa alligator tried to eat the dough blob but by now the dough blob had grown--being fed with sugary treats that had also been flushed by mothers who were tired of children bouncing off walls--and the blob attacked back. The Alligator left town and was last seen heading for Miami.

The Blob then proceeded to worm it's way into various toilets just to have a look around and get decorating tips. If the bathroom was decorated in "early make-up clutter and soapy bathtub toys, towels-on-the-floor" style the alleged blob waited slyly in the pipes. When a citizen was sitting, reading a back issue of the Reader's Digest, The Blob gave the citizen a little whack on the bottom with a blob-like tentacle. Men are particularly vulnerable. Reports have been coming in--from bottom-whacked victims--from all parts of the city and the possibility that the blob has procreated is high.

So, if you are tempted to make Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls--and they do look delicious--but you have NEVER WORKED WITH YEAST, think again. The city can only take so much trauma. The emergency room doctors and nurses are overloaded with bottoms sporting welts of the tentacle whacking type.

And besides that, Tampa is now without an Alligator. The tourist dollar may be on the decline because of this new development. The Chamber of Commerce will be meeting next week to see if they can put a positive "tourist enticing" spin on the blobish sewer phenomena. Tampa citizens are encouraged to call the Chamber of Commerce office with suggestions. Ask for Maude.

End of report.


I'm sitting here looking at six fingernail polish bottles lined up, a toothbrush in a case, a Coca-Cola bottle filled with water--because I'm thrifty--an address book with all the pesky codes for all the pesky websites and pesky blogs that demand an unnecessary password, two books on writing--which I don't seem to ever read--a stuffed animal goat I've had since childhood which "baa's" that I can't seem to throw away because Daddy bought it for me, a stack of untidy papers, some tweezers and a mirror so I can tweeze the stray eyebrows off my chin, a copy of the Book of Mormon, a fingernail file that is about a foot long, a sharpie and a pen with a sunflower on the end and I have nothing to say. I could have said that all with one photo.

Sorry. Was that a thousand words?

Monday, December 29, 2008


"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." Albert Pike

This is for my "yesterday angels" and a good reminder for me, too.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


A little bit of a trauma today, starting with a phone call. Nothing I can do and it was upsetting. I get so upset. Then three angels appeared to give me some comfort.

My Nephew and his wife, from Hawaii, are in town and they stopped over. We had limited time but he talked good sense. I wish we could have a couple of good hours with them without the distraction of kiddies. Not that I don't like the kiddies, mind you, the kiddies are great but I really needed to hear more of the things they had to say and there were interruptions. Good experiences that look like bad ones on the surface but they are smart enough to realize the true value. And good things they are doing/have done to stay sane in this insane world. I need more of their wisdom. I may write one of the analogies he received from a teacher some time as I think it may help others.

Right in the middle of their visit I got a call from a friend of mine, she's ninety-four years old, asking me to lunch after the New Year. She said she missed me at church--claimed she's too short to see me--and wanted to know if I was all right. She once said, "Your daughter reminds me of myself when I was her age," and she is the most wonderful ninety-four-year-old on the planet. So, I'm thinking that my daughter will be a wonderful ninety-four-year-old some day.

One of our sons asked us to dinner. It was scrumptious. Everything at their house is so good and they ask us to dinner often. Again, good talk and good wisdom. A calming influence. Time to unwind and let go of the "grabbies" that had a tight hold on my heart and mind and stomach.

And then there is Phil. The stable one in this marriage. I should nickname him The Gyroscope. He is always strong, doesn't let problems tip him, so unlike, me who goes wobbling off into space, screaming like a wounded wombat. So I guess it's four angels--or four angel twosomes.

There is a reason the Holy Ghost is called the comforter. He sends comfort through those with wisdom. The good food didn't hurt, either.

I haven't read blogs for what seems like a week and am too tired to do so now. I owe email replys to wonderful people and am too tired to do that, also. I hope everyone is loving life and taking wonderful photos and dealing well with whatever "stuff" comes their way and that when "stuff" does come their way I hope the angels will appear.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


First of all, I apologize for the length of this post especially with NO pictures. You don't have to read it. Go fix yourself some hot buttered popcorn and watch a good movie.

Christmas is officially over when the last of the kids drove away. I stood in the driveway with ONE of the new cameras, taking pictures of their car until it was out of sight. It's was wise to keep my hands busy so I didn't cry. Until later.

I haven't read the many paged camera booklet yet and so don't know how to download photos. L. Bumhampton took pictures of every step of food preparation and everything else, including someones nose hair, and so there are about 500 photos to download. Goodbye computer memory.

Christmas Day was absolutely perfect. I hope yours was too. The kids laughed until I thought someone was going to need surgery for busted guts. ("Guts" is such a crass word but no other word works. "Intestines" just doesn't carry the same punch.) The food was divine. The house looked good. N. Giggleswitch and Phil decorated the tree on Christmas Eve while L. Bumhampton and I wrapped the never ending supply of gifts. We shopped late this year--what else is new--and so by the time Christmas was here we were exhausted and the house was undone. That's not all. I had the stuffing bread in the oven, drying on a low temp. and then I forgot about it for two days. Christmas Eve I turned the oven on and...burned bread. Black. The house did not smell like cinnamon and spruce! So, Stove Top Stuffing it was and I forgot to make mashed potatoes but the new yam casserole was divine.

I learned something on Christmas Day that is more precious than rubies. My children love me. Long story short: Gilmore Girl organized the kids to buy me a camera. She started this project in October. She was so excited to have me open it because she knew I would be so happy and so suprised. Trouble is, Phil didn't know about her plans so he got me one too. Then she felt their gift wasn't perfect even though it was perfect. Because of her sadness I learned something. She loves me more than I would ever have guessed. I learned what every mother wants to learn, but their kids usually don't even know how much they love their parents until the parents are dead ten years. I am so lucky to know this now. I cannot express this like I feel it. This knowledge is absolutely priceless.

An old high school friend of L. Bumhampton came the other night and visited for almost three hours. He said, "I can't believe I'm almost thirty and still in school and have a ton of school loans." And then he said, "But it doesn't matter, I am in school now and that's all that's important." And he's right. It isn't a competition. We aren't in competition with anyone else. Not even ourselves. We need to stop freaking out about our lack. Instead we should celebrate our wholeness. If we want to change something about ourselves, our behavior, our lives, we can, but I think we should be happy with who we are right now.

We went to a wedding reception tonight at Thanksgiving point and after we got home I looked at my newly painted fingernails--OPI's Dutch Tulips--red--and found nine nails polished, one totally naked. I am so proud.

At the reception there were only sweets, nothing savory; we sampled one of everything. Why? Because we're stupid. The pre-Christmas, Christmas and post-Christmas gluttony has me looking like the Goodyear blimp. Time for some responsible eating.

Next year I will be finished with Christmas preparations before December 20th. Hopefully before December 1st.

All right. Who is laughing in such an insane and disrespectful way?

I almost made my goal of writing 100 letters. I only made it by about half. Every letter I did write I loved writing. I wanted people to know how much they were loved and appreciated by me. I hope I can do the same this year. There are a lot of people who are on my list I want to write to.

I hope everyone is filled with good memories of Christmas and looking forward to a fantastic new year.

Write a letter. Or do something else. Laugh and love and serve happily. You enrich my life with your blogs and your comments. Thank you for taking the time to do both.

May God bless you,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This is my cute little car. I love it, I really do but it has a sense of humor and is a real jokster. It has been on loan to Lord Bumhampton and Nurse Giggleswitch for a couple of years and so I almost forgot what a funny little car it is. For instance, it looks powerful, doesn't it? It will climb mountain roads that other cars tremble at, but it takes four days to go from zero to sixty. And then you have to be going down hill for about four hundred miles.

It has had three--at least--new ignitions installed as it gets in a snit and grits it's gears and when the key is inserted it ignores it. It won't even let the key turn.

We haven't been able to open the trunk for about three years. It feels like a child stuck a tiny little rock into the key slot but you never know. The Trickster car might just have turned the tumblers all by itself.

And the door locks? That's its favorite joke. You are supposed to be able to lock either the drivers side door or the passenger side door and...zzzing, all the doors lock instantly. Not so. The drivers side door locks only that door. The passenger side sometimes locks them all, sometimes unlocks them all but sometimes only itself. Unless you slam the door so hard that people in houses two blocks away report earthquakes. Then, sometimes it locks everything.

The other day I was doing the routine:

  • Lock the back door, manually.
  • Close the drivers door and lock it with a key.
  • Walk to the passenger door.
  • Lock the back door, manually.
  • Close the passenger door and lock it with a key. Everything should be fine.

Zzing--lock. Then Zzing, zzing, zzing. The doors, ALL OF THEM, unlocked, locked and unlocked. I locked that door again, thinking okay, it's going to lock everything again. Not so. Only the passenger door locked, leaving all the other doors unlocked.

  • So, I locked the back door, manually.
  • Closed the passenger door, locked it.
  • Walked to the drivers side, opened the door, locked the back door, manually.
  • Closed the door and locked it with the key.

Everything locked tight. I smiled. Turned to go and "Zzing, zzing, zzing, zzing, zzing...I lost count of how many times EVERY BLOOMIN' DOOR LOCKED AND UNLOCKED and in the end everything was unlocked. The key wasn't anywhere near the door and neither was I.

And so it goes, the cute little red clown car. We have a affair of tolerance going on. It gives me much amusement and I restrain driving it off a cliff and jumping out just before it goes over the edge. But I talk about doing it when I'm driving just to give it a thrill.

PS The car's antics now explain Lord Bumhampton's recent facial twitch. I'm beginning to feel a twitch coming on, too.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Snow, then the lure of books.


" Let's start the Christmas shopping at 9:30 in the morning," I said as Phil kissed me goodnight last night.

"Mmmump," he said, which, being the optimist I sometimes am I interpreted to mean, "Yes, dear."

We left the house at noon.

Our late start might have something to do with what we saw when we looked in the back yard.

Snow everywhere!

I think the hummingbird nectar might be frozen.

We did finally leave...The neighbor's snowman bid us farewell. I heard him snicker, "Slowpokes."This is a busy street. Usually. Today only one other fool was out.Someone forgot to take the flag down.We had a schedule--I even made a map--five places to go. We got to exactly one of them...the BYU Bookstore. We were there several hours. Phil went to get the car while I waited with the 100 pound bags. This is what the weather still looked like.And here he comes to pick me up. It is only an eight minute drive from BYU to our house. How come it was DARK when we got home? I think we drove through some kind of a time warp.

We said we would go back out to the other four places but...as you probably guessed, I am blogging and Phil is channel surfing. I guess we will start in the morning at 9:30. "Won't we dear?"


PS Written the following day. We started at 1:30!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Especially if they are getting on your nerves. I saw this in the back yard of a house in Springville. Maybe they will rent it out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Let me ignore your religious beliefs.


These are some of my favorite Christmas decorations. I think I am the only one in the family who adores these fellows. And how I got them is embarrassing, even now, all these years later.
Look at the lovely detail on Mr. Monty Dromedary. His dreamy eyes, his prickly topknot. He is regal if every any animal were. Don't mind the fact that he spits. The sheep are only interested in dinner. They've only been interested in dinner for years and years.

Okay, on to the story of my great insensitivity and even greater embarrassment:

Years and years ago when Kraut was age two we lived in Greensboro, North Carolina. I worked for a cosmetic company called Carté. One of my customers was a lovely Jewish woman a few years older than me.

One day she took me to her synagogue to show me her little "store." She was proud of the many beautiful things she had stocked. I fell in love with some of the handmade animals and people that had been made in Jerusalem. I bought two camels, two sheep, and a "barber." I thought he looked like a shepherd or maybe a camel driver.

"I want to buy more," I told her. She looked and looked for the catalog but couldn't find it.

"Just tell me what you want and when I find the catalog I'll give you a call."

"I want a baby Jesus and a Mary and Joseph," I said with sincere stupidity.

She didn't say anything. In fact she kind of hurried me out and I never heard from her again. I wonder why?


Elastic lost it's oomph, slip slithered.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I've decided, in an effort to help you all realize how superior you are, I will start putting my embarrassing moments here in black and white. I'm nice, like that. You should all tell me how nice I am in the "comments section" so I will be able to bask in your appreciation and FORGET SOMETHING TOTALLY EMBARRASSING HAPPENED TO ME.

At church Sunday, after all the meetings were over, I was locking the Relief Society closet when my slip slithered to my ankles. There were still women in the Relief Society room, in fact they were sitting not three feet away from me and my slithering-ness. I didn't know what to do, but finally just stepped out of the slip, reached down and picked it up. There were eyebrow's raising, I can tell you. I laughed, in a nervous sort of way, and another woman said, "I used to pin my pantyhose to my bra so they wouldn't fall down under my pregnant tummy."

Then I didn't know if I should be relieved that she was so accepting of my slithering or if I should be offended that she maybe thought I looked like someone who was pregnant and should have pinned her slip to her bra. But, let's face it, the bra is closer to Mother Earth than I want it to be and a slithering slip would just make things worse; there will be no pinning.

I decided I would place no judgment on her comment as the slithering slip was judgment enough. I stuffed my slip in my church bag, told them all goodbye, walked to the door, turned the lights off and left. Then the joke was on them.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Very time consuming and worth it.


The kitchen table has looked like this for some time now. Tins, waiting to be filled. The most time consuming of them all--the Russian Teacakes are finished. .

Here they are, all rolled and chilled in the very cold garage, waiting to be baked.
The baking part. The first dusting with powdered sugar.

The tin, all lined with waxed paper.
The second dusting with powdered sugar.
And here they are, all filled and ready to go into the cold, cold garage, awaiting delivery to the kids.

The other day I said to Gilmore Girl, "The first tin is filled with Russian Teacakes and the person who gets here first gets it."

There was a long pause on the phone and then she said, "That's not fair! The Brown Dot lives only eight minutes away!"

Today I told Her Excellency of Mousehole that the Russian Teacakes were finished and she said, "Don't count on it!" I fainted dead away.

Recipe here. Be warned, once you taste them and your kids taste them they will become a tradition and they are time consuming...just like children, and just like children, they are worth it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Checking fridge and fire and nostrils.


The Brown Dot and Mary Poppins came over tonight to pick up some caramels to give to Mary's fellow students in honor of her birthday. Happy Birthday, nine-year-old!

The Brown Dot brought his new toy. He regularly buys new toys from Woot.com. This new toy is a infrared laser thermometer.

"What good is it?" someone asked.

He looked like everyone in the room had lost their minds. "What good is it? I've always wanted to know the temperature of things. Look!" And then he showed, and told us the temperature of everything IN THE WHOLE HOUSE.

Don't mind the tower of Babel Christmas boxes, waiting to be unloaded.

Yes, he demo'd the temperature of the inside of his nostril. Lucky us, to know the temperature of his nostrils.
His toes are cooler than his foot.We now know the temperature of Phil's ear.The fridge was very cool. But not as cool as the freezer. The fireplace took first place. It was 600 degrees. And this, children, is why you do not leave the fire on when you leave the house for two hours like we did yesterday. Do as we say, not as we do.Jesus was one degree cooler than Heavenly Father in our print of the stained glass of The First Vision in the Palmyra Temple, New York. Or maybe it was the other way around. It's hard to tell Jesus from Heavenly Father.Mary Poppins gave her dad a hug and I, the ever alert photographer, always on the lookout for family unity, took their picture. The Brown Dot, being my child, pulled a face.
I sighed. "Retake," I said. Another face. I sighed again. "Retake."
He is ever willing to show me new photography techniques and take my temperature at the same time.
And then he almost cooperated. Mary Poppins ALWAYS cooperates.
On the way out the door he took one last reading.
"Look'it, Ma," he said. He calls me "Ma" sometimes, just like a real redneck. "The snow is seven degrees."
And then he and my darling grandchild departed in the seven degree weather and went home.

I am so lucky to have a quirky son. I'm also lucky to know about Woot--it's a fun place to check every day. Like I need one more Internet site to check every day.

May you all have a lovely night and perhaps, if you've been good this year, Santa will leave a laser temperature gun in your stocking and then you too can take the temperature of your nostril and everything else. And if you are lucky enough to have a mother like me you can announce the results to her and make a faces when she takes your picture. She will be so proud.