Monday, December 28, 2009


I think I have postsantum depression (the letdown after Christmas). I really maybe even had presantum depression, too. I haven't blogged since forever and have absolutely no desire to.

I want to feel like this. (And, actually my shape is more like this anyway. If I looked like that silhouette above I would probably have less depression.)
So, there you go.

Anyone else have this malady? What are you doing for it? Just akin' case you have a cure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

Tonight Phil and I were driving home. It was already dark, darkness comes so soon now. I was thinking about the Winter Solstice.

"Phil, today is the Winter Solstice. Tomorrow the days will begin to get longer."

"Oh, no," he moaned. "I just got the stinkin' lawn swings put away." Then he paused and under his breath he said, "The rusty buckets."

So, there you have it. So many reasons to celebrate the sun, screeching to a stop on it's journey south and deciding to come back. It means spring is on it's way. It means more daylight. It means warmth. And, obviously it means the lawn swings have a new title: rusty buckets. Stinkin' rusty buckets.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is our boy, Taylor. He is in the hospital tonight.He went to the doctor today because he has been feeling rotten, even throwing up for two freaking weeks! (This family doesn't procrastinate, oh no.) He checked his symptoms out with everyone's best friend, Google, and finally agreed that he might have a problem, Houston. His appointment was for 2:00 o'clock and later today he was resting, un-comfortably, in the hospital, minus his appendix.

He now feels like this:
Sharee called me to see if I could pick Bailey up from school. I was talking to her on the phone when I could hear Taylor talking in the background, "Tell Ma (he always calls me "Ma") that I'm going to go get my 'Kitten pouch' out." When he says stuff like that his wife says, "Say what?"

And then she smiles because he says stuff like this all the time. It's a veritable joke fest around their house. So now the "Kitten Pouch" is removed and they didn't even get any kittens. No wonder Taylor looks like that, getting no kittens for all the pain. He once told me--when I told him, "No, we can't get another cat," that he was going to grow up and have 17 cats. They do have two dog and two cats and four kids. I think that's plenty, don't you?

Get well, Taylor, I had my appendix out--what was left of them after they had ruptured 30 hours earlier. You were just five weeks old. I know just how you feel.

I'll bring more Russian teacakes and fudge when you feel up to it. Just let me know. Yup. When you feel this good. I'll bring them. Fudge and teacakes. And maybe Muddy Buddies. Elizabeth reminded me that I should make some of those but they weren't on my list (and I just got an order for 17 pounds of caramels) so it's only a maybe.

But, you gotta get better first.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Tonight was our Christmas Relief Society dinner and program--it used to be called Enrichment, I'm not sure what it is called now. We held it in our old building--YAY!--which has been being remodeling for eleven months (and two weeks). It was good to be home. I couldn't believe how much I loved being back.

The Relief Society has been collecting jammies for the Division of Family services--photos of the jammies here (thank you, Annette)--to use when children have to be removed from homes because of violence, etc. Then, after dinner, we had a Christmas program and it really got to me, I bawled like a baby. (I've needed a good cry for a while.) I looked around at my friends, and was overcome with love for them. I am so lucky for so many reasons and friends are right at the top of the list.

Meg (who doesn't blog often enough) and I checked out the stage because on Friday we will be having another program for the whole ward. Meg and I were put in charge of the program NINE FREAKING DAYS AGO. Wish us luck. If I never blog again you will know I've been run out of town.

Actually, we hope to set a record for the only Mormon family dinner where the kids WILL NOT run wild. They will see Santa in the Primary room at 5:30 and then at 6:00 will be escorted into the cultural hall where they will join their parents and older siblings for dinner and the program. Like I said, wish us luck.

And then, just because, here is some winter lace that was on my driveway this morning.

Friday, December 11, 2009


(This is long. Go read a short blog. Something with pictures of food. And besides that, this was written several days ago when I knew where I was going with it.)

Almost a week ago these two messages came in my inbox:

1st: “The Seven Major Negative Emotions: Fear, Jealousy, Hatred, Revenge, Greed, Superstition, and Anger.” - Napoleon Hill

2nd: 3rd December, 2009 Marital Satisfaction is Largely a Choice One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Irving Becker: “If you don’t like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won’t mind” (Reader’s Digest, 1975, p. 19).

What Becker’s words suggest to me is that we all make choices to be furious or forgiving. If we choose to be furious, we find plenty of reasons to justify our judgments. After all, we all have human partners just crammed with frailties—including funny ways of holding their spoons.

In contrast, if we choose to be forgiving, we find a wealth of reasons to be pleased with our partners and happy in our relationships. A plate of food in the lab is transformed into a golden memory by loving partners. As two marriage scholars have observed: “The focus in marriage education programs on problem-solving skills is woefully inadequate because we now know that the emotional climate of marriage matters. . . . If spouses have a reservoir of good will and they show their affection regularly, they are far more likely to be able to work through their differences, to warm to each other’s point of view, and to cope effectively with stress” (p. 955, Huston & Melz, 2004).

Communication and problem-solving are not enough. But how do we develop that “reservoir of good will” that carries us past the challenges? That’s the key question. Gottman (1994) gives the answer: “In a stable marriage…the partners tend to view each other through “rose-colored” glasses. They assume that each other’s positive, admirable characteristics are an intrinsic part of their personality rather than occasional flukes. The good things about their relationship are considered stable and far-reaching while the bad patches or areas of tension are considered to be fleeting and situational. Over time, [unhappy] couples pay ever more attention to their spouse’s actions that confirm their negative assumptions. Over time you [can] become conditioned to look for and react to negatives in your spouse and your marriage. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy: the more you expect and search for negatives, the more likely you are to find them, and to highlight their significance in your mind” (pp. 118-120).

In other words, we find what we look for. If we look for the limits, faults, and flaws, we get dissatisfaction. If we look for the qualities, strengths, and nobility, we get admiration. Psychologists uniformly recognize that this is a bias. We do not see our spouses objectively. We filter our perceptions through our chosen lenses—either loving or judging.
All this is boiled down by God to a simple recommendation: Have charity. See as He sees. Serve as He serves. Love as He loves.

Just a footnote: I have known a handful of married persons who were so extreme in their narcissism that a fully cooperative relationship with them was not possible. For the vast majority of us, however, this is not the problem. Our judging and scorekeeping prevent us from seeing what God sees: One of His cherished children. The mortal shell does not have to prevent us from seeing the divine when we wear the glasses of charity.

References:Gottman, J. (1994). Why marriages succeed or fail and how you can make yours last. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Huston, T. L., & Melz, H. (2004). The case for (promoting) marriage: The devil is in the details. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66, 943-958.

Reader’s Digest (1975). Pocket treasury of great quotations. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest. Posted at 5:54 pm

And then this came today:

Love Should Be at the Center of All We Do Posted: 10 Dec 2009 11:00 PM PST “Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 21


So, today we have a choice. We can choose one of the seven negative emotions to dwell on, to make our lives happier (I know, sounds stupid doesn't it, but we do it, admit it, you've done it, duelled on anger, maybe, because it felt so good and you were so justified), or we can choose to make our lives really happier by participating in the "laughing at the plate of food in the lap" and loving, unconditionally.

I'll give you an insignificant example. Yesterday, Phil and I left the house and, as usual, I overestimated the time I had before we left and so my teeth weren't flossed. I keep floss in the glove compartment for times like that. Phil doesn't like it when I floss my teeth in the car and I don't blame him. Flossing is a private thing but if I neglect it I get a tooth ache. So I pulled out the floss and pulled a piece off. Phil started to laugh, it really was a judging laugh and I felt judged. I fumbled the lotion that came out of the glove box and tossed it all over my lap, trying to catch it and it finally fell on the floor. I was angry. He judged, I reacted. How much better it would have been without the judgement and anger.

Year's ago we had some neighbors who treated each other with total acceptance. "You know how you are," on of them would say and the other would say, "Yah, that's how I am," and they both laughed. No judgement, just acceptance and love.

I want to be like that. I probably won't be, but I want to.

And that's my words for today. I want to but I probably won't. Maybe if I do it a little and then another day a little more, and on and on then maybe in a year or two I'll be like my friends, who each had odd behaviors--annoying things--but accepted each other totally. Maybe if I do, Phil will.

(And maybe if I clean up around my computer desk, a little at a time, in a year I'll be done. Okay, two years.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Went to lunch today with wonderful friends. Twice. Some of the recipes are here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


"The key is to take things step by step. Otherwise, recovery will be a long, slow process." It was in reference to brain injury and was on Colette Amelia's blog tonight.

It set up a firestorm of thought. People I know are suffering, perhaps even me. They want things--recovery, situations changed, excess weight gone, relationships changed, a baby, to have grief over a loved gone, to feel successful. They might want their children to be happy when they are not, children to do better at life, at school, and to have better friends, to quit rebelling, etc.,

They/we want recovery from whatever it is they are dealing with, and they/we want it now. It's like that old saying, "God, please give me patience. Now!"

What's wrong with slow progress? Why do we have to have it now? Why can't we be happy that we might have the chance of having what we want? Or the thought that today is one day closer to maybe getting what we want? We might not get it, but we might. Maybe we shouldn't be distressed and anxious. And what happens if we don't get what we want? Maybe we will get something else, instead. Maybe something better.

Okay, you say, what about the people who are dying? And then they die? What then, Miss Smarty Pants? Did they get what they wanted?

I don't know. Maybe when they got "there" they found out that they really wanted to be "there." I've heard stories of people dying and having to come back to their bodies and they didn't want to, no matter who or what they had left on earth. They had to be persuaded and sometimes even forced. This happened to my niece. She died and met her Grandma--my mom. She didn't want to come back. Mom had to get a little bit testy with her and told her, in no uncertain terms, that she would go back, and go back she did!

Well, this blog post got away from me. I had no idea it was going in this direction. I just wanted to think that maybe we shouldn't be unhappy with the progress we or others are making--or not making--as maybe we/they are making progress even though it looks like we/they are not. So, there you have it.

Be happy tonight. Everything is under control, even if it doesn't seem like it.

Slow progress is still progress. Give yourself a break. You're doing all right.

And you know darn well that I'm giving this advice to myself first and foremost. And I'm trying to take it. And it's hard to swallow but I'm working at it. Slow and steady. Baby steps, maybe but steps, never the less. Listen to yourself, Lynne. Just listen.

Thanks, Colette for the good advice.

Monday, November 30, 2009


First of all, I know this is too long to read. I hope my kids will read it and if they do that will make me happy.

This is the day my very first baby was born--seven days late, I might add. I was so happy, so content, so new-motherish. Phil couldn't stop beaming. Trent was a wonderful baby, but not a cuddler--I think that's changed--he has seven kids, after all. He was always leaning back, looking at everything. He has never gotten over this habit. Everything fascinates him. When he was a teenager I had to tell him, "Go to bed and stop being interesting!" I blame him for my night owlish habits that got etched deep when he was a teen--but, don't tell--it sure was fun to be up late with him. He has the best heart--would do anything for anyone, and does volunteer work for the Sheriff's Department. When he leaves here, with a car full of kids, he always makes two circles in the cul-de-sac and the kids--and me too--love it. He is quirky as well as hard working. Everyone should be a little quirky and he does it well. He would go anywhere to help and has, even in the middle of the night. There seems to be a middle-of-the-night theme to his life.

Next--four years later--came Taylor, the cuddler. A fast delivery--forty-five minutes (Phil reminded me it was 20 minutes--it seemed like forty-five, times five) once we came through the hospital door, but seven days late. A chubby, happy baby. Then, at about year one he got sick, lost the chub and never put it back on. Well, until he worked in the bakery at a restaurant, when he was a teenager, and ate half a dozen rolls, hot out of the oven, slathered in butter, every morning. When he realized what was happening to his fit form he gave up the rolls for slimness. He is now a great cook and the things that boy cooks/bakes are divine. He asks us to Sunday dinner often, and we can hardly get there fast enough. Whenever his department (at BYU) has a cooking contest he takes first prize--every time. The last one was called, "I don't know what's in it but it sure tastes good." He reassures me when I am doubting and when I am worried. And the things that boy says! Totally off the wall. We're always laughing. His sister-in-law says he has "an excess of personality," and he does. He is quirky but tender too. Reads to his girls every night and then says and does things that keep his wife laughing--and shaking her head in disbelief.

Hillary, my first girl came 2 1/2 years later, two bloomin' weeks late. Her name means "happy" and it fits. Everyone loves her. She woke up happy, was happy all day and went to bed happy. I often tell her I think she is really Aunt Pat's child that got misdirected. (Aunt Pat was a total joy and I have moments of stoic grumpiness.) She has more friends than you could count and they all think they are her favorite--and they probably are. When she calls she often says, "It's me!" in the kind of a voice you would use to say, "You won the lottery!" And with her as a daughter we think we did. She is easy going 99% of the time but when she says she doesn't get mad, she gets even, she means it. She is the bestest friend a mother could have and we "play" often but not often enough. It was the saddest day of my life the day she left home. She is funny, compassionate, strict with the kiddies but says such off the wall things to them that they now say off the wall stuff too and we hoot with laughter.

A full five years later came our last boy, Bentley. He was three days early. Way to go, Bentley. Blond and blue eyed. A self assured little boy. "Counting" never worked for him. He just looked at you as if to say, "What kind of silly manipulation is this?" He was slow to read--wanted to be outside, in any kind of weather. When he was ten months old we couldn't keep him from crawling into Bear Lake--c-o-l-d Bear Lake. The first book he read was "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nim," in second grade, and from then on he was an excellent student. Nothing stopped him from good grades. We never had to say a word. He's put himself through college with scholarships and hard work. He makes me laugh and his laugh makes me laugh more. Then he laughs more and on it goes. I'm almost laughing just thinking about it. My favorite time is having him in the kitchen when I'm cooking, him hovering over me, holding a spoon or a fork, saying, "Maybe I should just taste that." He does love good food. He calls me for cooking advice, which I love.

Our last baby, Elizabeth, was a surprise. Nine years after Bentley was born--our oldest was 21 and on a mission. She was five days late and the doctor hurried her delivery--she's been mad about it ever since. When I wrote an April Fool letter to Trent with a bunch of silly stuff and wrote "The Rabbit died," (we had a powder blue VW Rabbit) he knew I was pregnant. Mom had died the year before and I have always been sad she didn't get to hold this beautiful baby. But, I'll tell you a secret. I think Mom is with her a lot. She looks a lot like Mom too. She is sassy, funny, and smart. I love staying up late with her--there's a staying-up-late pattern here--and I love when she leans over the back of Phil's recliner and talk to me as I'm on the computer. She is independent and determined. She should go into counseling as she can "read" people and sees things no one else does. She doesn't take any guff, well, at least not from her parents and I wonder where that strong will will take her. Good places, I think. Her grandma Snyder was hard headed and we think she watched from Heaven and took note. She is just two inches taller than her tiny grandma and sometimes, when I catch site of her, she takes my breath away as she is so pretty.

These are the things I am most thankful for.

Except for my main thankful, the man I fell in love with so hard so many years ago. He is my strength, my lifeline, brings sanity to my insane moments. He is positive when I doubt. He is steady when I waver. He holds me up when I fall down in a quivering mass of of self doubt. He is the Priesthood holder that I look up to. He goes forward in faith when I whine and look over my shoulder. (I'd probably be the pillar of salt. Well, not really, but I might be a pillar of tears.) He likes facts and numbers while I like Science Fiction. Numbers are Greek to me--I don't even know my own cell phone number. He has every church book ever printed. (Well, he wishes he did.) If you ask him what he wants for a birthday or Christmas he will whip out a 3x5 card that has a list of ten books on it. (He always has 3x5 cards in his pocket.) He is faithful in his church duties and goes the extra mile. He loves his children. He would walk through fire for them but can't express it. I'm the expressive one but he is the one who never steps off the mark. I'm all over the place, dancing along through life, laughing over my shoulder, until I bump up against an obstacle and then Phil rescues me and makes the bump on the head all better. He is a no nonsense kind of guy, so when he says things that are odd, I take him seriously instead of seeing the "funny" in it. Once I learned how funny he really is and quit taking him so literally, life has been a lot more fun. I hope to live through eternity with him by my side.

These are my biggest thankfuls. And my parents and siblings--there is no way to adequately give them the honor they deserve.

Also I adore the people my kids married, and are dating. How did my kids pick so well? I love their partners as if they were my own children. They each have wonderful qualities that complete my children and I honor the parents that helped make them who they are. I am lucky. And blessed.

And up too late, as usual.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


What was I doing in the hospital this morning? I don't know for sure and it turns out neither do the doctors.

I had started an email this morning when my left arm went "wonky." No other way to explain it. In about a minute I had pain--bad pain--in my left armpit. (I gotta stop using cheap deodorant.) Then I had pain in the right armpit. (I am an equal-opportunity-armpit-pain kind of girl.) Then the pain hit my back.

I am not the kind of person who goes to the doctor or hospital but the pain was bad. If "ten" is a "the pain is so bad I'm going to pass out or die" it was a seven. This was not pain for sissies. I told Phil about it and he said we better go to the hospital.

I couldn't go with hair like that! I plugged in the curling iron and did my hair. Phil paced the floor and said things about my priorities that I will not repeat here. (Bless his heart.) It's a good thing I did my hair because about the time we would be halfway to the hospital I threw up. Throwing up in the toilet is much nicer than doing it in the car. (That's the only good thing I can think of to say about throwing up.)

I threw up my fish oil pill, which floated merrily around while I tried to drown it with contributions of my stomach, which was only water. If I had to throw up I'm glad I had something interesting to watch. You can't imagine how amusing a fish oil pill can be during a tempest in a toilet.

So, they ran tests--how much this will cost me I can only imagine. I had "leads" stuck on every available inch of my skin and I was hooked up to wires. The cuff for blood pressure cut my arm in half every time I got semi-relaxed. (They don't allow relaxation in hospitals. It's a rule.)

They wheeled me by the cafeteria at lunch time on my way to get an x-ray. Roast beef, the technician said as I inhaled, salivating on my gown. I will never taste roast beef again because I am changing my diet.

They said I DIDN'T have a blockage that made part of my heart die but that's about all they could say. After four hours they sent me home. I am supposed to have a stress test next week--which I have decided I aint havin'. Because I'm changing my life and I won't need it. Besides that, people die after stress tests. I've heard stories.

And when I was ready to leave do you know what was written on the prescription pad. "Take and aspirin a day." Does that sound familiar? "Take two aspirins and call me in the morning." I aint callin'. Most expensive dang aspirin I'll ever take.

So, I'm still here, a little nervous that this may repeat but having positive feelings that it won't.

Here's a tip for those of you who are local. Timpanogos hospital is not busy, it's somewhat relaxing. You can almost doze off, until the blood pressure cuff pumps it's self up, that is. I recommend it. But change your life with me, and you will never have to go and the blood pressure cuff will have to retire to Hawaii.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Do you ever feel like your life is in shambles? Me too.

Tonight on the PBS station Dr. Daniel Amen--book: Magnificent Mind at Any Age--is talking about depression, anxiety disorders, ADD, ADHD, changing your perception of a problem--just about everything that might be stressful in your life (except a non-functioning computer--I hope Santa reads this blog). I think I need to read his book--he is giving lots of help to overcome the negative and encourage the positive. He says these things will be life changing. he has a weekly email. Click here to subscribe.

Also, today I got the following email in the mail. You probably have seen it yourself. It comes around every so often. (Thank you, Terri). See what you think. I'm picturing my computer on fire along with other things on fire, too. My fatness, perhaps. Man, that fire should burn for years!



The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The Moral of This Story:

It's easy to get discouraged when things are going badly, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering... Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.
If you hut is on fire I hope the ship is just beyond the horizon and chugging toward your island at this very moment.

PS Here's just one of his suggestions: Write down five things you are grateful for. Meditate about them during the day--every day. This will increase your level of happiness in just three weeks. What have you got to loose? Make your list today. I'm going to do it, too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I wrote this for personal history this week, forgetting that we had cancelled because everyone would be knee-deep in Thanksgiving preparations.

LONELINESS—written November 23, 2009

When I was a teenager, and wasn’t dating anyone special, I was lonely. How can you be lonely in a house with parents who loved you? I’m sure you all remember such times.

I remember one of those times with such clarity that I can feel the winter’s cold coming off the window in the east bedroom. I was kneeling on the king sized bed, watching the snow falling under the street light at the corner of Olive and Lloyd’s house.

Photo credit's here. I tried to register so I could borrow a photo

with no watermards but ran into a glitch. My apologies to the owner.

The snow was falling at a slant, and it was a brilliant white. I mentally saw myself walking into the bright snow. I could almost feel the snow hitting my face. I felt like the only person on the earth.

I watched my imaginary self, walking through the snow, and out into the dark, all bundled up in my green coat. That night, kneeling on the bed, I felt like I had no future and was maybe the last person on earth.

The house in Annabella has now been sold to my bestest cousin, Holly, who loves it more than I ever could. The east bedroom is redone in antiques. The king sized bed I knelt on is gone. Gone is the teenage girl with the unknown future.

Sometimes, now, in the still of a winter night, with the snow falling at a slant through the streetlight on my cul-de-sac in Provo, I remember that girl I was. I want to comfort her, and tell her things will be better.

Today, in two separate emails these messages came. I wish I could have read them to her, so long ago. I wish she would have listened, as her breath made frost patterns on the window. I wish she could have seen the girl she imagined, lifting her face to the sky. I want to see her fling her arms wide and turn in circles, delighting in the knowledge that nothing bad stays forever and that her future would be bright.

And, even saying that, I hope I will remember this advice, for my day to day life right now. And I hope you will too.

Email #1:
One day it will all be a distant memory, Lynne, yet I can tell you now, with the supreme confidence of someone who's gone ahead in time to know, that you'll look back on this life and be so flush with love and admiration for yourself, your journey, and who it made you, that you'll wonder, as I do now, how it could possibly have escaped you then. Maybe this will help.

Your greater-self,
The Universe

Email #2:
Sunday Will Come “Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

“But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.

“No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, in this life or the next, Sunday will come.” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Dark Friday, Bright Sunday," New Era, Mar. 2008, 4 )

PS I still have that coat, just in case there is one day no heat on the earth. There is actually a knitted insert inside and it weighs so much it's a chore to walk in it. Whoever wears that green coat will really be alone because they will be the last person on the earth to freeze to death.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


This is the year everyone goes elsewhere else for Thanksgiving and so we have been invited to go to Taylor and Sharee's house. This is what she said in an email today:

"We can laugh and throw spaghetti at the cats or just put their heads in socks and watch them try to get out. At the very least it will be laugh therapy. "

Now, I ask you, how could things be better than that?

One year we were at their house for Thanksgiving. The weather was like September. My dad came up to spend Thanksgiving with us and we sat on the back porch, in the sun with him. Dad's gone now. He lived seventeen years after Mom died and he took such good care of us, his adult children. How I miss him. We all miss him.

I don't know if it's the same year or not but one year we were at Taylor and Sharee's house and I bought Silly String for every member of the family. I told them to come out back--it was warm so maybe it was the same year. Some of the parents weren't coming so I nagged and said at least bring your cameras--of course, no one did so there are no photos. Finally everyone was there and I "armed" them.
The Silly String flew. The laughter bubbled up in explosive bursts. It was one minute of craziness. If I remember right I was covered with every color. I could hardly see out of the tangled mess.

One grandson couldn't get his silly string to work. He was simply too little. Every one's canister was empty but Mark's. He kept saying in a little voice, "I can't do it," while the frenzy was in full force all around him.

When everyone's Silly String canister was empty, Tricia--generous girl that she is--said, "Here Mark, let me help you." She picked him up and the two of them sprayed all of us, laughing like two happily demented people. I can still see the two of them, spraying the last burst of colored goop. We were too startled to do anything but just stand there and take it.

Sometimes Thanksgiving's aren't traditional. Sometimes they are extraordinary!

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving--and ours--is one of those extraordinary ones. Or one with someone you love, sitting in the sun, talking and storing up a feeling of peace you can draw upon in years to come.

Friday, November 20, 2009


This week has been a bummer week and, as Taylor said, when he was about ten, "I hate bummers." So I'll leave you with a quote which brings me comfort this week.

"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness."-- Carl Jung

I hope you do not have too much sadness and that your happy is in full swing. And I hope the turkey is waiting patiently in the freezer, that the pie recipe is dusted off and that you have some family to look forward to next week.

And get the sadness (and the bummers) over early so you can have some laughs.


PS I liked this blog post today entitled, "How to find happiness."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I am so frustrated with myself. I have the attention span of a gnat.

Today was Stace's class--her blog here--she gave great information. Valuable information. Information I need THIS VERY WEEK. You know what kept happening to me? My mind wandered. The first time was when I saw one of the women's bare feet and thought, Humm, I should invent some kind of bottom-of-the-foot scrubber for the shower where you could just squirt a little soap on it and rub your feet back and forth and voila, clean feet. And then I remembered that I can't invent that because someone already has. And then I tried to remember where I had seen it so I could go check it out because let's face it, at my age, scrubbing the feet is not always a pleasure, all the bending of the stiff body parts, etc.

When I "came to," Stace was finishing a statement which was sounding pretty much like exactly the information I needed this week. Something that would make my life so much better. Something that would help my family in times of stress. Like Today. But my empty head had been designing foot scrubbers that were already designed. I'm so happy that I waste my valuable time, like this, and miss the one thing that would be the cure all. This happens so often. sigh

So, once again, my gnat-ness has left me wanting. I'm calling it the empty-head-syndrome because I Googled images of gnats and I'm not admitting to anything that ugly. I borrowed the image from this blog. (She is a fabulous artist and so witty.) I guess I could call it "attention deficit" but where would I find such a swell drawing if I Googled that?
Please tell me you have the empty-head-syndrome too. I'd feel ever so much better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Me to.

For instance: I take my photo card out of my real camera and put it in my old camera because my old camera has a program on the computer to read the card. (My computer has no more room to do anything and so I can't load the new program EVEN IF I KNEW HOW.)

So, every single time I pop the card out of either camera I see myself, doing this, in a gondola in Venice, Italy and the card popping right into the water. Every single time.

How totally unrealistic is that? I'd say stupid but I don't want to admit to stupid, unrealistic is bad enough.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This is what I see when I'm out and about, running errands. It's cold here, folks. Beautiful, but cold.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I teach my first Achievement Days class on Tuesday. The girls are ages eight through ten.

We are going to talk about Thanksgiving. I originally had "1,000 things our family is thankful for," on these little booklets but Phil said that 1,000 things was overwhelming. I wonder how many they will end up with.And now, once I have them all printed I spellchecked and it says, "End of sentence preposition (consider revising)" NOW it tells me. Or maybe I should say, NOW I decide to check.

What are you thankful for? Do you think you could be find one thousand things you are thankful for this month?

PS Phil is thankful for Costco chickens. Oh my.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Here is the recipe for the Chocolate Mint Cookies I took to the Cookie Exchange.

Original version:

Easier version:Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Oh, you are all so darn smart. The Answer is: I had poured vanilla into French toast batter. Michael had the best imagination: a dinosaur eye! And Michael Creighton died! Oh, the nerve. I wanted more lovely dino tales.

This is a little pine tree at my friend Sarah's house. It is all decorated for Christmas. I can't decide if it's a PinAspen or a AsPine. What do you think?
On a final note. I made a wacko comment on a friend's blog the other night. I do that sometimes, usually because it's late at night and I have lost all sense of right and wrong. (That's why teenagers should be home by midnight!) Then I signed it "Anonymous." THE VERY NEXT DAY SHE MADE HER BLOG PRIVATE. Now, do I tell her the wacko (who was a redneck male) was me or do I not?

I already did. She says she forgives me. But....does she or does she not?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


A mystery.
What is this?
Answer tomorrow.
Tonight was our Relief Society's cookie exchange. I made the chocolate ones on the bottom row. They had to be baked and then topped with a mint candy. Supposedly it would melt and then you were supposed to swirl it around on top. I used Jr. Mints and they did not melt so they had to go back into the oven for two minutes. A lot of work when guess what? I could have opened a can of chocolate frosting or made some from scratch and it still would have been easier. I could have added a bit of mint extract, if I wanted the mint flavor. The cookie was very good. I'll put it on my cookbook blog in a day or two. The cutest ones were the turkey and the one next to mine, it is an acorn. It didn't photograph well. The same woman did both of them. Annette. She is Wonder Woman. And here is her post about them.

Every single cookie I have tasted so far has been a keeper.

And now, I hear them calling, "Yoo hoo! Come and get me."

Oh my.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


If you eat a carrot and a peanut butter cookie at the same time you can't tell you are eating a carrot and your cookie is chewy and crunchy, all at the same time.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Phil and I were in Target the other day and guess what? It's beginning to look like Christmas. I see you holding your head in your hands. I nearly danced down the isle. I got so involved looking at all the finery that Phil lost me.
Now a question: Why does that dear man even have a phone if he's going to leave it in the car? Cell phones major purpose is to find the spouse at Costco and Target. And to call someone while they are driving. And to call the wrong person OR send text messages to the wrong person. Repeatedly. Like someone kept doing to me last week. (Bless his annoying little heart.)
I bought Christmas dishes for one of my daughter-in-laws for Christmas one year. Several years later I found more of them on ebay at only about four time the cost of buying them the first time. I won the bid and she was surprised. It was a good gift. I was a hero. I'm not a hero often so I particularly like this memory.

I wonder if anyone wants Christmas dishes for Christmas this year.

This is this year's patterns.
They only had a few of these so if you want some go get them soon.
All this Christmas stuff brought me... PS Maybe Jason and Elizabeth will surprise me tomorrow and exchange my regular dishes for the Christmas ones.

It's okay to serve Thanksgiving dinner on Christmas dishes, isn't it? Well, isn't it?

Please say yes.

Friday, November 6, 2009


This is what downtown Provo usually looks like when I need a parking space. Okay, I've exaggerated a bit but parking spaces downtown are a scarce as hen's teeth.Today was a crazy day--a meeting all morning and when I got home I had twenty minutes to meet my sister and a friend for lunch. I had to go all the way downtown--ten minutes--buy a wet stone--five minutes (it should have been 1.5 minutes but the Chinese lady was having an argument with someone on the phone: "No, it is your fault," she kept saying. Finally she hung up on whoever it was because it was NOT her fault, that's for darn sure.)

I needed the wet stone because I was giving someone a Chinese chopper--also known as a cleaver (for those of you who are such sticklers about calling things what they really are)--for her birthday--I know--an odd present but if you put caramels with anything people think it's a good gift. Besides that everyone should have a wet stone. I love sharp knives! They slice your fingers with nice clean cut and everyone knows a band-aid on the fingers is a great sympathy getter. I'm for getting all the sympathy I can. And I love my Chinese chopper, and whatever I love everybody should love. Except for Phil. They should like Phil, and that's all. Unless it's the kids and then they can go ahead and love him.
Then I had to get to Chili's in Orem--ten more minutes--so before I left the driveway I said--to my angels-- "I need a parking space downtown, right next to Chow's!"

So, off I went, in a cloud of exhaust, and when I got downtown, every single bit of the block before Chao's and every single bit of Chao's block was packed full of cars except for a huge space, SIX FEET from Chao's front door. I didn't even have to back up to park.

I got to Chili's only two minutes late.

Thank you, my angels.

Have your angels done anything for you lately?

PS Wet stones at Chao's are only $1.15 but don't go for two weeks. I give a good knife, a breadboard and a wet stone for wedding gifts and I bought all the wet stones they had--they only had three as it was. I'm sure it wasn't the nice Chinese lady's fault that they only had three. It was that dufus-on-the-other-end-of-the-phone's fault.


I was going to remember to do this: Give each of my children and their families a little book with the instruction to write 1,000 things they are thankful for at the beginning of this Thanksgiving month. I didn't remember. They have no little book from me.

The baby might be thankful for his Binky and his mom. One of the kids might be thankful that one day she will get horse riding lessons--thankful things can be anticipated. Mom might be thankful for the children's bedtime. Dad might be thankful for week-ends. The list could go on and on.

Here are a few of things I'm thankful for today (not the biggies, but the odd, little ones):

I'm Thankful...
  1. ...that I have a friend good enough to tell me a secret and know I won't tell.
  2. ...for bathrooms--flushing toilets. How did Grandma do it, traipsing to the outhouse?
  3. ...for Costco. Actually, that one would be Phil's.
  4. ...for the seasons. Even the winter one with ice and snow.
  5. ...for best friends who know we don't need to talk every day or we can talk every day, sometimes several times, or email instead.
  6. ...old best friends can go without communication for months and start up as if we only talked yesterday.
  7. ...for movies. I love movies even though I seldom go. Gotta love Red Box.
  8. ...for geraniums. They remind me of Italy which reminds me of grandma's with maybe whiskery chins. Grandma's in black dresses, braiding garlic--which I did once, on the lawn swings in honor of the Italian women in black dresses. But I didn't wear the black dress or have the whiskery chin. Thank goodness.
  9. ...for the furnace and the fireplace insert. Mmm, heat whenever I want it.
  10. ...that I won't live forever.
  11. ...that I had a childhood that was just interesting enough but not too interesting.
  12. ...for Indian Summer. Today was glorious.
  13. ...for grass. I love the feel of it under my feet.
  14. ...for hope. There was a time I didn't believe in hope.
  15. ...for this computer, even with all it's problems. I love it. Thank you Trent for building us a computer which has never crashed. It's hiccuped and it is slower than molasses but I love it. Yes I do.
  16. ...for screen doors.
  17. ...for tomatoes. I have a batch in the dehydrator right now. Michelle will get some Sovory Italina Tomatoes for her LATE birthday.
  18. ...for legs. I saw a woman today whose legs didn't work well enough for her to walk the isles of the store.
  19. ...for the ability to write what my imagination dreams up.
  20. ...for calendars that tell me when I forgot someones birthday because I forgot to look at it. And while we're at it I'm thankful for grandchildren who want lunch and a movie instead of "stuff." I owe a couple of them lunch and a movie which I hope to be able to do soon.
  21. ...for tweezers. See #8.
  22. ...bed. Where I'm going now. After I read my scriptures and write in my pathetic journal. And brush my teeth and clean my face and go to the bathroom--which I don't have to go outside in the cold dark night to go to.

What are you thankful for today? The little things. The simple ones.

PS 23 ...for spellcheck.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This is how it all began. Kramer loving the back yard. Phil and Elizabeth cleaning up. It was too tempting.
Get me outta here!
Right after that he tumbled head over paws; Elizabeth caught him before he hit the halfway mark.
But, all that outdoor fun meant Kramer eventually needed a bath.
What's that water on for? Is it just for entertainment? Huh, huh? Just for show? That's it isn't it? Just for fun. I'm not goin' under that waterfall, am I?
This is not entertaining.
Every part is attended to. It's a bum deal for sure.
Feel better now? I don't know if he does or not, but he smells better.