Saturday, February 28, 2009


Utah is a beautifully state. We have a little bit of everything. Mountain streams empty into rivers which feed lakes. We have deserts, national parks, wonderful cities, quaint towns--some so small they are merely a string of houses with a minuscule post office. photo by Pamela Stubbs
Photo by Ryanee Walker
Photo by Alvin Sherman
Photo by Shaunna Fuller
We have lots of land-owners/homeowners who keep their property and homes in pristine condition. Lawns that look like velvet, gardens that are neat and beautiful. But I have been noticing that sometimes people keep "stuff." Stuff they must think has value. Stuff that is simply junk.

Here's some stuff/junk I have seen lately. This will be an ongoing feature as I attempt to see my own stuff as junk and get rid of it. So, for me, this is a motivational post, although these junk-keepers make my garage full of chairs and boxes of Gourmet magazines look pathetic. These junk owners are serious!

This stuff/junk was so intriguing... that I zoomed in for a closer look. What is all that stuff? The only things I recognize is the cinder blocks. And maybe a motorcycle or maybe it's parts of more than one motorcycle.
This looks like a defunct swamp cooler. Swamp coolers are used in Utah because it is such a dry state. Therefore, the owner may think he can fix this one.
Here are more cinder blocks--we must really value cinder blocks in this state--, firewood, tread-less tires, an empty spool that held electrical wire and a couple of coolers.
A truck topper that has seen better days. And a fan. When the hot weather returns I wonder if the owner will come out and clean the fan off and bring it inside. He should talk to the guy with the defunct swamp cooler.
This is the favorite of this set of photos. I hope I can remember where it is so I can go back in the summer and see if they have tidied things up, although from the look of the blinds maybe they will not tidy things up, maybe this is the perpetual state of affairs--or maybe they have a toddler who is a blinds-messer-upper. I think this family has high aspirations to be shabby chic. I hope they make it.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Spring seems to be further away than ever today. So, thanks to our home teacher, here is a little bloom in anticipation of the real thing.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Here are some of the things DeAnn and I decided I need to take out of, or put in, my chapter book. (DeAnn's blog is here.)

We took out the cattle guard at the cemetery. We figured modern kids wouldn't know what a cattle guard is and it had no reference to the story anyway. I overwrite. Obviously. I'm sure you have noticed this.

We took out my wanting to sit on the grave that had the ornamental fence around it. (I slept on my grandparents graves once--with all my girl friends, but that's a story for another day.)

We took out Mr. Anderson's grammar lesson.

We decided we needed the "smell" of the country store.

We liked the thumping of the watermelon but again, it has no reference to the story. Can I somehow pick up the watermelon and shoot it later? (Reference to, "If you show a gun someone is going to have to shoot it later.") Maybe watermelons are exempt. In the version DeAnn didn't see, they thumped the different watermelons to play a tune. DeAnn is spared some nonsense.

I decided the protagonist wants to design shoes, not be a fashion designer. I'm not sure either one works. I got the idea
from Curly Sue who wants to be a fashion designer but not sew the fabric, just pick it out.

I took the reference about the bottle caps out before I even showed it to DeAnn. I loved it though. Maybe I'll put it back so she can tell me to take it out next week.

We took out that the plural of dice is die.

We took out that Mr. Drake chops off the lamb's tails. He did it with an "Ai-Yah" and a very big knife. Some things are obviously not meant to be in kid's books.

I ended the chapter--twice too long, I think--without a climax. I ran out of steam. I must fix all this stuff by next week. I didn't talk about how the sandals were ruined or the protagonist knew her sister was going to punish her.

Oh, how well sisters can punish and never have to lay a hand on the victim. I am personally damaged by my clever sister's psychological punishment. That's why I blog, to punish my readers as I was once punished. Is it working?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Photo taken from a car going 75 miles an hour. No, I wasn't driving.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Where do you go to hang out, to have some peace, some space, some alone time? Do you go onto the roof?
This youngster has the best view. He can bark at whatever he wants and knows he is safe. He even naps up here.
Where do you go? I go to the computer but the TV is on and I am--right now--listening to George, complaining about something. Seinfeld is saying, "What kind of sick person does something like that?" I don't know, Seinfeld, I just want some peace and quiet so I can write. Try to write. Okay, I want to think about writing.

The bathroom used to be a sanctuary. Every mother in the history of the world has locked herself in the bathroom. At my house, my middle child would waggle her fingers under the door and say, "Can you see my fingers, Momma?" If I ignored her she laid with her ear fused to the floor and said, "I can see your feet." If I lifted my feet off the floor she panicked and I had to put them back so she didn't think I was sucked up by the bathroom fan. Or maybe an extraterrestrial. Maybe that's why she hates Sci-Fi, my sweet happy middle child.

And yes, I could ALWAYS see her fingers. The question is, can she see her children's fingers and can they see her feet? And does it drive her crazy?

I thought so. There is justice.


Yesterday I talked to Mrs. Bird in the hall after church.

"How are you," I said.


I can read between the lines. She was not fine.

"What's the matter, you don't have your..." I lowered my voice to a whisper. "...bottom stuffed with fabric and taped shut again, do you?" (Don't believe me? Read here.)

"Oh, no," she said, "but I do have a rash on my bottom and it won't go away and I've tried...." and then she proceeded to tell me all the things she has tried to get rid of her bum-rash. (Mrs. Bird will tell you anything, really, she will. Ask anyone who knows her.)

And then she proceeded to tell me more than I wanted to know about several others subjects and my eyes glazed over and...well, I was in for a long listen.

Did I mention that I adore Mrs, Bird? I don't want to give you the wrong impression, because I do.

And, if you have a rash and want to know several ways not to cure it, and if you want to be entertained by a number of other subjects for a good long time....she'll be at church next week and you can catch her in the hall.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I was listening to NPR radio the other day and the author, Martha Lear, who wrote Where Did I Leave My Glasses?: The What, When, and Why of Normal Memory Loss, was being interviewed. It was a call in show and one woman has my problem pegged. "We simply don't look," she said.

Earlier I had turned my phone on to see if it was fully charged. When it came on the first thing it said was the time--in GREAT BIG NUMBERS. I didn't even see the time, I was looking for the bars. So, by not looking, I was early BY ONE HOUR.

I can go to a restaurant and not know what my waitress or waiter looks like.

Phil often says, "Did you see that?"

"What? Where?"

Of course I missed it. I always miss it simply because I'm zoned out with my own internal dialogue and am not paying attention. I think this is a hazard of a natural born story teller, and not that I'm even that good of a story teller but I always have one going on in my head.

Do you look? Do you see things, or are you like me and think you have a lousy memory simply because you never noticed whatever it was in the first place?


58 words


But I was typing with wet fingernails because my fingernail polish was chipped and I can't go to church with chipped fingernail polish so I am using that as an excuse for my poor performance. But I'm not as vain and my cute friend who goes to lengths to not speak to acquaintances in the morning when she's naked--as in naked face--but is Miss Charming in the afternoon when she's all put together. See here. It's so funny.

Sorry Shawn, but it is! And did you notice I gave your link a color that you wore on Friday--or as close as I could get? I knew it would be important to you, yes, we must coordinate everything and tweeze and spray and powder and gloss and lengthen and color and suck it all up--that's only me, the "sucking it all up part." And, if times get really bad, we must lipo and botox and go under the knife. Well, maybe not. But then again, maybe so.

Thank goodness we know this life isn't all there is and the next one we will be in our perfected state and I can tell you some of us--coughmecough--are counting on it. And hoping for faster type speeds, too.

PS I just retook this test with almost dry nails and got a score of 74. Better, but not good enough. I will be taking this again, I'm sure.

Friday, February 20, 2009


This is the Vivacious and Totally Fascinating Shawn. I met her--well, kind of met her--through her blog. She is the mother of a woman who is the friend of a woman who is in my ward (church ward). I don't know how I first stumbled on her blog but it had to be a link from Lisa's blog--the woman in my ward who is also a Totally Fascinating woman and ALWAYS LOOKS LIKE SHE IS READY FOR THE RUNWAY. No, I'm not bitter. Lisa is so fascinating she has two blogs. Here and here. I showed up to pick Shawn up ONE HOUR EARLY. Honest, I did. First time I've been early in my life. So I told her I'd run a couple of errands first and then I showed up fifteen minutes late. One or the other, early or late but not on time.We had a delightful three hour visit and then our little corner of Heaps filled up to overflowing! Noisy? It was noisy. The rest of the restaurant? Empty.
More emptiness.
It's a mystery. Why can't they share the noisiness a bit with some of the empty booths, empty tables, empty rooms. Shawn thought so too.

Thanks Shawn for the delightful lunch and for your spirit of determination and for the love I read in your blog for your children and husband. It makes me want to be a better person. Or be on time, one or the other.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Do you ever wish you had someplace to go, a private place with no telephone, a place that is warm with a cozy nook containing a big comfy chair with an ottoman, a table for snacks, a stack of books, and a good reading lamp? A place with a gate that can be closed against the world? Well, maybe this is it.

Oh, wait. Maybe this is the hideout of someone in the Witness Protection Program.

Forget I mentioned it. And try to make it fuzzy in your mind.

PS Thanks, Butterfly for the clandestine photo.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


When Curly Sue--aka Elasta Girl--saw Butterfly's "day out with Grandma" she decided that is what she wanted for her birthday too. She and Butterfly and Mary Poppins were born seven weeks apart--three little granddaughters who have all turned nine years old.

Here she is, in front of the Clown Car. Isn't she cute?
She has freckles, just like her mother did at age nine.
I gave Curly Sue the camera, just like I had done with Butterfly, and let her take pictures. She started out with some that weren't really great.

The horse barn and water droplets on the window. She liked these trees.
Not sure what her idea was with this shot.

Another barn. We buy apples here.
I taught her how to use the telephoto lens. Her photo taking skills are improving.
It was a c-o-l-d day.
She took lots of photos of sky's.

Yes, she still has the telephoto lens on. Good grief,
A "octopus arm" tree.
Provo City Library.
Downtown Provo is busy with construction. Look at the mountain in the background. Good shot, Curly Sue.
This has always puzzled me. A tiny set of apartments with HUGE trees in front.

More trees.
More construction.

We were going to Ottavios for Italian food. This is how they keep the birds off their lights and window sills. I wouldn't have even noticed it but Curly Sue did.
Almost there.
The doors were locked. A notice said, "Open at 4:00." It was noon.
Curly Sue was not pleased.
So we walked up the street to Gloria's Little Italy.
She took this picture of ornamental grass on the courthouse lawn across the street.
This door better be open.
It was. She was happy. She ordered bow ties with pesto. She LOVES pinenuts and wants to eat them every day.
A nice gentleman took out photo.
Stir your Italian soda slowly, our waiter said, it has a tendency to explode.
Curly Sue stirred. Slowly.
So slowly she almost went to sleep. She told me it was dee-licious,
Because it was her birthday she got a free gelato. She chose coconut.Oh, it was so good!

Next time she is going to choose hazelnut.
We're not sure what this decoration was but Curly Sue took a picture of it anyway.
Other desserts that she took photos of.

When we left it was still cold.

We found this next to the car. It took her about five pictures to get one in focus.
Okay, Grandma, lets go to the movies.
Coraline. "Some doors should never be opened," the movie poster said. it was scary, I thought but Curly Sue grew up watching "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and so it didn't scare her at all.
Another poster says, "Oh my gosh," but in the movie--twice that I noticed--they don't say "Oh my gosh," they say the real thing and I was not pleased. What is the matter with Hollywood? I'll bet 98% of parents in America didn't like that part. The other 2% are deaf. Another part had an old lady wearing hardly any clothes, a few sequins. Really! I was peeved and ashamed of what we present to the world. Can't our cartoon movies be totally clean?
Here is Curly Sue with her 3-D glasses. She's so thin the seat kept folding up on her.
After the movie she wanted to go to Robert's, which is a craft store. She loves jewlery. We talked a lot about what she wants to do when she grows up. Maybe a fashion designer but NOT someone who sews the clothes, just picks out the fabric.They have silly flowers at Robert's.We talked to Gilmore Girl to see if she was still in town and could meet us so I wouldn't have to drive to Outer Mongolia to take her home.
Gilmore Girl was still in town and so she and Tuesday met us at Robert's.
It was a good day for me, and for Curly Sue, too. We decided we should go to Italy together and eat gelato every day.
Happy Birthday Curly Sue and thanks for being such a nice girl. I love you very much.