Thursday, May 28, 2009


This is one of the lawn swings that EVERY FREAKING DAY has bird poop on it. A robin, maybe a whole herd/gaggle/pride of robins, sit here every morning, noon and evening and sings so delightfully, so happy and then they relieve themselves. On both of the lawn swings. Bird poop, lots and lots of bird poop.Until today, because last night I put flat head thumb tacks on the bar on top. I hope he didn't hurt himself. (Sarcasm, a lot of sarcasm.)
I took care of him and now, someone took car of me.
My computer turns it's self off umpteen times a day. It wipes out whatever I've been working on.

It wiped out ALL my email since May 16th. I hadn't read today's yet, except for a couple.

I have a novel I am trying to work on. Nope, computer won't let me.

I have emails that need to get sent to the students in the class I'm attending for the Writer's for Young Reader's symposium at BYU. I'm already four days late in sending that and now the computer has wiped out the names and email addresses of all the students.

I fixed that Robin/that flock, fleet, flight of Robins.

I'm getting paid back right where it hurts--in the computer. And oh, it hurts. I'd rather sit on thumbtacks.

Gotta hurry and post this before the computer turns it's sel

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Both of us are slack-jawed-yawning-tired. We both need a nap. We were debating about what to have for dinner. How could we have a nap and have dinner too?

"I'll go get something to eat--a Costco chicken or something else, already fixed--and you can have a nap while I'm gone," I said.

"No, I'll go get something to eat and you can have a nap," Phil said.

"Okay," I said.

His little face got all brow-furrowing and he said, "Shoot!"

Ha ha. Dinner and a nap. How nice for me.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Both of my dads were veterans. My birth dad served in the islands. My stepfather—who I never ever considered a “step” anything, he was Daddy to me—served in France. Both men were in jeopardy. Both saw things that made them frightened and weary and sad. Both came home tired but ready to do what it took to make a life for themselves. Mostly that took hard work, which they knew how to do.

My birth dad married Mom and took over the raising of my two sisters, whose dad had died several years earlier. I was born a couple of years later and two years after that he was killed in a small plane crash.

Mom married Daddy a year and three months later. He took over the raising of three girls, but mostly he provided for and loved us—and put up with us—, mom did the raising.

There are only wilting flowers on graves to mark both of my dad's passing. That and the memories two of us girls have—our other sister is gone, too.

I am sad tonight, sad for my losses. But I am happy, too, because I know a bit about my first dad and I know a lot about my second one. Both had integrity. Tonight it will be enough.

I want to have integrity like my two dads—to honor them. This is the best way I know how.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Dear Gilmore Girl,

Calm down. The Naked Lady's got replanted by the fence in the garden, but this is the worst time to move them and they possibly may never bloom again. I still have some to move but they will have to wait. I'm too stiff to dig another blasted hole. And our garden is STILL not planted and it is raining like Noah is the precipitation manager and he thinks everyone should build a boat. It is not a garden, it is a mud hole, waiting to devour anyone who turns a shovel in it's back. Mr. Smith should be our garden manager. We'd be eating tomatoes and zucchini by now.

Dear Everybody Else,

About Mrs. Bird. Every word I write is true. I promise. She is one of a kind. I have more amazing stores to tell. You will come to adore this interesting woman as much as I do. I will post a photo soon. She has forgotten more stories than you'd believe because she is always living another one. If you miss talking to her for a month or so you miss a whole volume of funny stuff.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I worked for an hour this morning, digging up the Naked Ladies. I got less than half of them done. I also sweat like a sprinkler system in "spurt" mode. This afternoon Phil dug the rest up. In five minutes. He was dry as the Mojave.

He is more efficient at everything. Except one thing: my body is more efficient with food. It runs on roughly 285 calories and stores the rest. His body runs on every stinkin' calorie he eats (4,500) and then threatens to digest his stomach if he doesn't put huge quantities of food in it, immediately. So he does. Another 1,500 calories.

All the while, I look on, sucking on a rock. Sweaty. With bulges.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Mrs. Bird called last night. I told her I needed another story and of course she obliged. I could hear her husband in the background, laughing his head off, saying things like, "Oh, dear, don't tell her that, oh my, hahahahaha."

For those of you not familiar with the anatomy of her house it's like this. The garage is on the bottom level. The laundry room/furnace room/storage room--which she calls "a scary place"--is down there. They have a couple of family rooms on that level, one of which is sometimes used as a bedroom. They have NO bathroom!

She comes in from the garage and almost always has been out way too long for her bladder's comfort. She dashes into the laundry room and pees in a cup. It used to be a mason jar but then she found The Training Table's plastic cups. They are big and flexible and as she says, "conform to any shape you need it to." So, now she uses one of those. There is no sink in the laundry/furnace/storage/scary room and she found out the floor drain does not go into the sewer, it drains into gravel under the foundation so there is no way she is emptying the Training Table cup there. She takes it upstairs, empties it in the toilet and then sanitizes it for her next emergency.

The other day she came home, barely made it to the laundry room, pulled down her pants and, well, you know. Then she took all her clothes off and put all her underwear in the washer along with all the whites that had come down the laundry chute. She looked at her tennis shoes and decided to soak her shoelaces in some bleach but she was out of bleach so she went to the garage to get an extra bottle. Oops, she thought, I'm naked, so she put her T-shirt back on and then went to the garage. She got the bleach, soaked her shoelaces and then dumped the bleach into the Training Table cup.

While she was in the garage she noticed some plants she wants Tom Cruise to plant for her. (His name isn't really Tom Cruise but she can't pronounce his first name so asked him if she could just call him Tom as his last name is Cruise. He, of course, is delighted.) (This is also how her stories go, when she is telling them to you, full of side stories.)

So, she took her training table cup full of it's concoction, thinking she would just dump it on the "hill." (The hill is uninhabited and full of weeds where feral cats mark their spot. She wondered if her concoction would change their minds.)

She gathered her plants in her other hand and went outside to put the plants where she wanted them planted and then and only then did she remember she was practically naked. She looked around, sheepishly, and backed slowly into the garage. She doesn't think anyone saw her, in just a T-shirt (Mrs, Bird is well endowed under her T-shirt so that's another reason she would have been interesting) but if they had they would just shake their head and say, "Crazy Mrs. Bird," in the most lovingly sort of way.

Mrs. Bird, my pant-less, underwear-less, bra-less friend. How I love her willingness to let me share all the bare facts with you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


This is in honor of the Scottish Dreamer--yesterday's post.

Doesn't this look like this Dandelion seed head has it's arms raised over it's head and is yelling, "Woo Hoo!?"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have a new Scottish friend. She is intelligent, savvy, funny, spiritual, patient, and, let's face it, she's bilingual. (You ever heard any deep-Scottish person speak their version of English?)

She is a dreamer. A real dreamer and she talks during her dreams. Her husband sometimes records her dreams and they are hilarious. I will wait for her to post her latest and then I will give you a quick version.

She and her husband sleep on a waterbed. She is tiny, about 90 pounds with a mop of blond curly hair, not that her hair has anything to do with this post but her weight does. Her husband is not tiny. He could stop a locomotive. (I will call him Clark Kent.) One night she had gone to bed first and was asleep when Clark Kent got in bed. The waterbed did it's "wave thing" and the Scottish Dreamer put her arms straight above her head and yelled, "Woo hoo!" Just as if she had gone over the edge at the top of the roller coaster. Then all was quiet. She didn't even wake up.

I've been thinking about this. I think she expects the best out of life. The fun. The good stuff. If that had happened to me, my hair would have stood straight up--what hair I have left after this week's Internet outage--and I would have yelled something like, "Ohmygosh, I'm gonna die!"

Yup, the Scottish Dreamer is an optimist. She is going to enjoy the ride that this earth life offers. What she has is Optimistitis. I hope she's contagious.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Zippy salad--Phil loves this and so does our darling daughter-in-law, Nurse Giggleswitch.
Crunchy sweet and savory salad
I made these two salads this week as we are trying to eat a more healthy diet and are eating a lot "raw."

Monday, May 18, 2009


Because, when their Internet connection is down--as it was earlier here. For. EVER!--they tear their hair out.

New hair should be back in by fall.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Mrs. Bird was just a tiny girl when her dad started taking her and her brother fishing. Her dad was a patient man. Translation: he could sit in a boat all day, waiting for the mountain lake trout to bite. Sitting in a boat all day, with a lunch and canteens of water and, if they were lucky, some bottles of pop, made for some interesting bathroom needs. Mrs. Bird's dad and brother were equipped for easy disposal of full bladders. "Turn around," they would say to her and in half a minute, "Okay, you can turn back."

But for a little girl it was a different situation. That is why her Dad took two cans in the boat. One was full of worms and the other was empty. Mrs. Bird learned to go, even in the middle of Fish Lake.

Mrs. Bird's learned nonchalance about bathroom duties in odd places at an early age. This will help you to understand future posts about Mrs. Bird.


Yes, some of us are special, indeed.

Try not to be jealous.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Today my visiting teachers gave me a message out of the Ensign--the May, Conference Report issue. It was Be of Good Cheer by President Monson. My visiting teacher said she wanted us to have a positive message, but there were three terrible-suffering-sad stories in there. I was not positive or cheerful or nuthin' when she read them. In fact she cried and I was glum.

President Monson advised us to, "face our challenges, to meet them head on, and to emerge victorious."

Now I ask you, what's wrong with not meeting our challenges head on, but running like blazes and hoping to outrun them? Do they always catch up? Are they stronger and bigger if they have to puff and pant to keep up? Can we still be victorious later?

These are the questions that keep me up at night.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


This is a darling woman who lives in my neighborhood. She has an amazing garden, you would never know it is in the middle of a city.

She has three ponds.
And many fish.Here and there are working garden tools and implements that are beautiful little still life's.

She is a school teacher and so doesn't begin to garden until June. You could have fooled me and all the other woman that attended the class.

I learned a lot, the most important bit--because our soil has so much clay in it--is to add every bit of organic matter to the soil that you can get your hands on.

Many thanks to a generous woman, generous with her time, her talents, and her plants--she is going to let us have starts, bulbs, etc, and perhaps most important she is generous with her laughter. You just can't help but feel good when you are around her, this amazing gardener.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Yesterday the grandkids picked rhubarb. Some of them made hats and then... ...the rhubarb was peeled and salted and they had their first bite.
They loved it. They loved it so much they had more.
" Oh, my. This is so good we can hardly stand it."
So they had some more.
Yes, those girls ate a whole piece, bit by bit.
A younger grandchild had some.

"Humm. Not bad."
" Yup, actually it's pretty darn good."
This youngster knows how delicious rhubarb really is.

Yes indeed. Rhubarb, the fruit of the Gods.

PS Remind me to teach you how to make rhubarb fruit leather. It's fantastic. Really, it is.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I will share my sidewalk chalk Happy Mother's Day greeting with you. Thank you, Her Excellency of Mousehole and The Boarder. May each of you know how much our Heavenly Father and the Savior love you. May this year be a wonderful one for each of you, married or not, with children or not.

And if you have children, may they someday know how much you love them, as much as I love mine, I'll bet, which is an unimaginable lot.

Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Tonight we took Her Excellency of Mousehole and The Boarder to dinner at Heaps. When Phil paid the bill he tipped the waitress very well. She didn't look at the check, just took it, along with the bill and said, "Thanks for coming in."

It took us a few minutes to leave and on the way out she came up to Phil and--with tears in her eyes--said, "Thank you so much."

It was no big thing, but maybe tonight she needed to feel appreciated. Her appreciation made Phil's day. And because it made his day I realized--once again--how tender and caring he is and I'm so glad he belongs to me. It was a win-win experience, all around.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Tonight I was having feelings of impending doom, hovering just out of sight. Phil and I went for a walk--that is often just enough exercise to snap me out of it.

Some of our neighbors saw us and came out of their house to talk. After we left another neighbor drove into the cul-de-sac and stopped to talk.

We had a magazine article to give to another neighbor but when we got there they had just received a long distance phone call from their son. "We'll let you go," we said but the husband stayed to talk to us for a few minutes. He was so gracious, even though we knew he wanted to get back to the phone.

We came home and I got online and checked blogs. Some are funny and some tell of suffering. Some bloggers are suffering and still they write funny. Then I remembered a quote I put on this post. I decided not to surf the feelings I was having.

I decided to remember my neighbors. I decided to remember my friends, to think of you, out there, connected to me via the Internet. I thought of your goodness, the goodness of my neighbors and friends.

I decided to think of my family--which I consider my greatest blessing--I decided to think of Phil, who is my rock and gave me the chance to have a family. I remembered my original family, the one I came from, the one that goes back and back through the generations. I decided that you--neighbors, bloggers, family, Phil, especially Phil--are my safe place. I know many of you love me. I know you want my happiness. And so I got some. Sounds simple doesn't it, but it's true. I thought of all of you and I got happy.

Thanks for being there, for hanging on through tough times, for helping others by sharing your stories, your photos, quotes you find, and the wisdom you have. Thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for sharing your love.

You are my safe place.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


PS Further reminder. Learn how to spell.

PPS Read camera manual so you will know why yellow post-it notes photograph pink.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I Googled this to try and find the author but had no luck. If anyone knows, please leave me a comment so I can give credit.


Your mother is always with you. She's the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.

She's the smell of certain foods you remember, the flowers you buy and the perfume that she wore.

She's the cool hand on your brow when you're not feeling well, she's your breath in the air on a cold winter's day.

She's the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colours of a rainbow, she is Christmas morning.

Your mother lives inside your laughter. . . she is crystallised in every tear drop.

A mother knows every emotion . . . happiness, love, hate, anger, helplessness, excitement, joy and sorrow. And all the while, hoping and praying you will only know the good things in life.

She's the place you came from, your first home and she's the map you follow with every step you take.

She's your first love, your first friend, and even your first enemy, but nothing on earth can separate you. Not time, not space and not even death.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Nine years ago I had insomnia. My neighbor had insomnia too. I walked the neighborhood. She did laundry. I filled the night with quiet footsteps and thoughts. She filled the night with the scent of laundry detergent and fabric softener. I loved the scent of her detergent so much that I changed mine. She did not hear my thoughts so she didn't change her opinions, habits or normal behavior to quirks.

I never saw another person at 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., etc, but I did see an occasional car. That always frightened me. Who was driving in our neighborhood at that hour? What were they up to? I didn't carry a cell phone nor a weapon. My karate skills were kind of the "wax on, wax off," variety and I can't stand on one leg for longer than a few seconds.

I always went right home when a car came into the neighborhood and hoped I didn't fumble the key in the lock before bad men came to kill me. They never did, of course. The next night, when I couldn't sleep I went back out, into the night--perhaps an egg salad sandwich is missing from my picnic basket.

Last night, for the first time in about eight years I had insomnia . At 1:30 I gave up and got up to watch recorded "House" episodes because it's eight years later, the world has changed--more crazies driving the neighborhood at night--and probably the biggest reason: I'm lazy, so I watched three House episodes instead.

Since I haven't watched House from the beginning and since some of these were recorded in 2004 and some in 2009 and some, somewhere in between, I'm wondering things like, "How did Cuddy get a baby?" "Who killed himself and why?" (I only saw about three minutes of that episode--where Cameron said, "He's cold.") "Did Foreman, Chase and Cameron get fired and if so why? And if they did how did they get re-hired? And while they were fired what was with all the numbered people wanting to fill the vacancy? Is this a 'teaching' hospital?" See how much I don't know. "Why is Wilson so nice and why is House" And my final question, "Why doesn't House get fired!?" I mean, really, let's face it, he's pretty much a law unto himself.

Oh, one more question. "Why can't normal hospitals have a House?" I wonder if my neighbor has answers. I see her light on at all hours of the night so I know she is back in an insomnia mode and maybe she watches TV while folding socks.

At 4:00 a.m. I still couldn't sleep but went to bed anyway. As I lay there, staring at the dark ceiling, I wondered one last thing. Why do I like House so much when the mere mention of his name sends my dear husband from the room, muttering and questioning my sanity.

These are questions that feed insomnia.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Snapped this photo on Canyon Road. I think it will be a bargain. It comes with a spare tire. (Unfortunately, I can relate to that.)
It will be easy to check under the hood. Hurry, a bargain such as this may not last long.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Church today was wonderful. I love "Fast Sunday," when we fast two meals and give the money that would be used for those meals to help those in need. On Fast Sunday we have testimony meeting where members of the congregation can bear their testimonies. Also, the last ten minutes of Relief Society are reserved for that purpose.

Today, one of my dear friends bore her testimony in Relief Society. How I love her. She doesn't have an easy life. She is a single mom, retired, and she invested her retirement money with someone who lost it all, so she is living a very simple life--translation: poor. She won't accept help and carries on, always serving in the church with a cheerful heart. She is also in my personal history group and I love hearing what she writes. Her testimony strengthened me--made me cry and made me want to be a better person.

Someone in Relief Society today coined the phrase "Emotional Clutter." It may have been our visiting Stake Relief Society President or it may have been our 1st counselor--who gave an excellent lesson on "Peace,"--I'm not sure who it was but the idea was a good one.

The thought was when we worry, when we are hurt by something someone else says, when we feel inadequate or sad, this is all "emotional clutter," that clogs our life and hinders us from being the best we can be. The thought was for us to turn all those problems over to the Lord, who has promised to deal with them. (Matthew 11:30) "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Let's all purge our emotional clutter, even if just for one day. Let's turn all our worries, hurts, anxieties, fears, etc. over to the Savior. He has promised to take them; I know He will.

PS I found a quote that I like: "Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf." ~Jonatan MÃ¥rtensson

Saturday, May 2, 2009


This our Bookworm. Her birthday was LONG ago but I have been negligent about posting her photos. There really isn't a black line between her eyes, I don't know what I did to get one there.
She wanted to go to Lotus Garden for her lunch. She said, "We used to go here so often as a family that when they saw us come in the door they didn't even ask us what we wanted to drink, they just brought us all the right drinks."

This is the back entrance. We had to walk past cases of tomatoes and boxes of groceries and shinny past stacks of stuff to get down the steps inside. I stepped in a pot hole full of water in the parking lot. Bookworm thought it was funny. I pointed out other pot holes she could step in, to be trendy with me, but she declined.
She only eats two things there. Potstickers and sweet and sour chicken. I told her she needed to try two other things. She put noodles on her plate and I gave her a cream cheese stuffed won ton.
Her gastronomical review? "It's crunchy!"
She is a chopstick kind of girl, no sissy forks for her. After two plates of potstickers and chicken and one new crunchy food and one new noodly food she had a tiny dollop of several kinds of ice cream--which she smooshed all together into a new and "wonderful" flavor.
Her fortune: "You will find your solution where you least expect it." The movie she chose was Monsters verses Aliens. This is Bob. She laughed at all the funny parts. There were a lot of funny parts.After the movie we found a bouncy ball machine and we fed five dollars into it. All the balls weren't bouncy balls, some were puzzle balls which are impossible to put back together. It was a fun day with my Bookworm. How I love her. She is twelve years old now and is in Young Women's. She will be a wonderful asset to the Beehive Class.
Happy Birthday, Bookworm. May you always find the solution. And I'll give you a hint. It's right at home, where you are taught faith and good works and integrity and everything else that is good in life. I love you with all my heart and Grandpa does too. You are a wonderful girl.