Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010


There is a man in our ward--I'm going to call him Glen--who is really accomplished in his career. He was known all over the nation as the outstanding Athletic Director for BYU. After he retired, another college--that was having major problems--had him come and serve as their athletic director for a couple of years. He did, and when he got things running smoothly he retired again.

Anyway, what I am getting to is Glen has credentials and achievements a mile long. Not just as Athletic Directors. He had done "stuff." Every summer, when his kids were young, he would take the whole family in the car and they would drive for most of the summer, as he had speaking commitments all over the nation.

Recently he was asked to give a speech and he asked the person in charge what he wanted him to talk about.

"You should take a couple of minutes at the beginning and tell about all your accomplishments."

"Well now, how will I ever be able to do that?" Glen joked.

"Just talk real slow."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


On Tuesdays I attend a personal history group. We write a memory from our life and read it to the group. (I've posted some of these stories here on my blog.)

We are a varied bunch. Our oldest member is 96--yes she is, and she is as bright and wonderful as anyone could imagine--we have three young mothers and the rest of us are empty nesters, or nearly so--like me. This is my "won't miss it" place to go on Tuesdays. These women are my friends and lifeline.

Today one of the women facing the big front room windows, said, "Oh, Sarah, here comes someone to your door."

Mona (the 96 year old) said, "Is it Marcia, she's going to pick me up?"

"No, it's a man."

And quicker than anyone else could say anything Mona said, "Is he cute?"

And there you have it, folks. Our bodies may get old but our minds are just like they were at age 16.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Don't even bother reading's long and depressing.

Our neighbors gave us some of the most wonderful apples on the planet and my busy little brain--and I emphasise the "little" part--decided it was time to can Apple Pie Filling.

One year, the kids and I canned over 50 quarts in the fall. They stuck with me until we were all finished and at one point--one of the favorite memories stored in my little brain--is when Trent picked up a double handful of the peelings--picture a pile of those about a foot high--and threw them in the air and yelled, "Happy New Year!" Gosh, I love that kid. (Well, he's a man with a wife and 7 kids but to me he will always be a kid.)So, today I watched things I had recorded on TV--The Event, House, NCIS, Katie Brown Workshop, 16 minutes of Studio 5 about photography, and other things that my tiny little brain cannot recall at the moment--while I peeled apples, but right from the start things went wrong.

I spilled apples all over the floor and the noise of the stainless steel, pan hitting the floor, annoyed people two blocks away, and permanently damaged my hearing.
Then I couldn't remember how to load the apple peeler and so had to peel and slice a lot of the apples by hand. Then, my brain--the little one--kicked in and remembered how to do it right.
I think the highlight of my day was seeing previews of the movie "Unstoppable,"......with Denzel Washington......and it's rated PG 13. Hooray! (We don't go to "R" rated movies.)Lookit, there are men running on top of trains......and trains crashing......and trains blowing up and school kids on a field trip and other exciting things.Which is more than the excitement of my apple pie filling boiling over and six out of eighteen of the jars NOT SEALING because of the boiling over bit and even the sight of all this bounteous beauty cannot mend my broken heart about 1/3 of my efforts a failure. Another day, another failure.

Phil opened one of the non-sealed ones and ate it over ice cream and said he didn't care if any of them sealed as he would eat them all, one after another, on ice cream, and it was the tastiest stuff in the world. He's nice like that and my love for him grew some more, if that were even possible, because I am already rather fond of him.

And so, now six quarts will have to find a spot in the fridge or freezer. I hope we can go see "Unstoppable" (hopefully soon) to mend my wounded heart, but right now I'm going to go have a good cry in my huge pillow--pronounced "pilla"--and know that tomorrow will be a better day. Hopefully. And because it's Sunday, I will have a nice Sunday nap after church.

I should have consulted The Damsel from Old School--she knows how to do everything and she even has a blog of the 50 best canning sites, which I looked at--too late, but I did look at them--and did you know you can can bacon? (Or maybe "can can" is a dance. I should ask The Damsel.) And did you know you can can rabbit and squirrel? (They do a lot of that in Minnesota, I guess.) And there is even an article--thanks Damsel--about Mormon Food Storage Techniques. I should definitely have gone there first as this Mormon was not doing things right.

If you have had a recent failure would you please tell me so I can know that I'm not the only one in the whole wide world that does things inadequately. Thanks so much.

And come on over. I'll give you some apple pie filling with ice cream underneath.

PS Knock loud, because I might not hear you because of my damaged hearing. And if I don't answer the door just stick you head in and yell, "Yo-hoo." (There's not enough yo-hooing done now-a-days.) But if it's on a Sunday after church, I'll be napping, so you might have to get in the fridge and get your own.

PPS I have never actually made an apple pie with the 100's of jars of apple pie filling I've made over the years. We just heat it up and eat it as a side dish. You should make some--that is if you can can successfully--or dance, either. I'll put the recipe on my cookbook blog soon.

Friday, October 15, 2010


This is Kate. She is in 2nd grade. She is very sweet. She always wants to help in the kitchen. Today she and Liza helped made buttermilk fudge and then we told stories on the lawn swings.Here is Liza, feeding apples to the horses that live just around the corner. Kate doesn't feed apples to the horse because she is afraid. She thinks they will bite her.

But Liza wasn't afraid.

Sweet brave Liza.
Sweet timid Kate.
But...Kate can do something even her dad can't do. Sweet, timid, little Kate can burp the alphabet.

Never underestimate the power of a woman.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Life isn't fair, is it? But, as I was once told, I wasn't the one who will be judging what is fair, that is up to God.

But in the meantime, I have a few things I'm currently grumbling about.

One of my son's lost his job. This was after he was offered a job last year by another company and his employer matched the offer because, "We don't want to lose you." Now, I ask you, in what universe is this fair?

I ate a bunch of Halloween candy--don't ask. Those in my strictest confidence know and they will not tell, not even if threatened with death--okay, maybe they will tell if threatened with death, so I will fess up so they won't have to. It was a lot. And now, the pants that were getting too loose to be comfortable TWO WEEKS AGO! are now too tight to be comfortable. Now this is not fair. What nation has a holiday where people are supposed to spend a horribly large amount of money on something that is bad for children, and then the kids ring the bloomin' doorbell until the people inside would like to tear their hair out, and so in anticipation of the future frustration one of the future frustrated people eats the candy before the kids have a chance to beg for it? Not fair, I tell you. The kids should beg for toothbrushes and pencils and apples. (I hated people who gave toothbrushes and pencils and apples when I was a child and so did my kids. One of them, and maybe more, are still holding "pencil" grudges.)

In what universe is insomnia a good idea? Not this one. When I have it I feel guilty and when my child has it I feel guilty for passing on the gene--along with the underarm perspiration gene. How is that fair?

Beauty is a wonderful thing but at a certain age--obviously the exact age I reached three days ago--it is gone. Not only is it gone but in it's place are things that obviously belong to dogs like droopy eyes and Shar-Pei wrinkles and chin hairs and whiskers and gas and... I'm telling you, it's not fair. Old age is bad enough, how is becoming ugly going to make it easier? (Are you listening from Heaven, Mom? I'm sorry I said your wrinkles were beautiful and that your alligator skin on your arms was interesting and I'm sorry for the fun I had with the skin on your hands that I pinched and pulled up to watch it not return to where it belonged for thirty seconds...well, Mom I'm really sorry. I hope you look like you did when you were twenty and the most beautiful woman alive. I've seen your photos, I know it's true.) Anyway, how is all that stuff that happens to women fair? Especially when men's wrinkles (if they even have them) just make them interesting and grey hair is sexy and no hair at all is sexy too? What bald man is given a second look because he is bald? But if a woman is bald we will walk backwards for half a block gawking at her. Not fair, I tell you.

There are a plethora of other things that are not fair today but since it is already tomorrow and that means the insomnia gene has kicked in I'm going upstairs to wash my ugly face and brush out my thinning hair and take off my too tight jeans and worry about my son and then I will say my prayers and be thankful for all my blessings and realize that there are many.

Until next time. May old age never, EVER catch you. I'll try to hog-tie it and keep it here but because I suspect I'm getting a bit of arthritis in my hands and don't have the strength I used to, I'm not promising anything. You better run. I'll tell old age you went the other way.