My Would-Be Easter Report

Due to a missing camera cord, you’re getting a few unrelated smatterings from my life instead of a cutesty Easter post.
HOWEVER, my picture-taking, gardening, jewelry-making aunt wrote a post I highly suggest you check out.
I’ll put a link to it right after I post a couple stolen pictures from it.

We had our Easter Egg hunt in her backyard, which used to be my great-grandma’s backyard. She was never able to do much of anything with it, but Aunt Cat has transformed that piece of property into a SLICE of Heaven.

That’s my boy in the blue. He goes after candy like a blood hound.

There’s Lacy with her Grandpa. I’ve seen this somewhere before. Where was it? Where was it?

Oh yeah. It was 2009.
Check out the way this plays out. Grandpa starts out in the lead, then Lacy takes it.

By the end of the hunt, Grandpa was carrying her basket and she was barking out orders.

But back to 2011:

And back to 2009:

I love that picture. I love that boy.  Can I have another?  Please?  And will he let me drag him through irrigation water like that one did?

Alright, you’ve earned the link to cat’s blog.


And yes, that is my husband worm-hunting.  I didn’t steal that picture… I’ll let you seek it out.


yesterday I found my son sitting on the counter eating out of the sugar bowl with a giant spoon.  Turns out he took well-meaning advice from Mary Poppins too literally (buh dum dum).

I ate a cookie for breakfast and then died after only 15 minutes of yoga.  They call me “Idiot” down at the office.

I’m ridiculously excited about making a list and menu today.  Food planning has become a sort of tiny thrill for me.  Is that sad?  Or is it  capital?  Does it mean I’m losing the luster of life?  Or does it mean I’m getting better at managing a household?  Am I reading too much into my own emotions?  And is over-analyzing always bad?

Do you know where my camera cord, Elmer’s glue, and stamina went?

Did I mention that there was frosting on the cookie I ate for breakfast?  There was.  Fail.

I feel really strange smiling and laughing and going on with life while storms are ripping through the South.  I somehow wish the world would stop for those who’s hearts are aching.

I watched a witty chicky movie last night.  And I must say: there’s nothing better than witty dialogue.  The movie wasn’t all that great overall, but the dialogue was so satisfying that I went to bed completely content with life and slept like a baby.  Sometimes (usually when I turn the radio on) I get down and blue listening to the downfall of wit.  I start to believe that wit is losing it’s place of honor among the children of men.  At times like that, I go home and watch something old -usually The Philadelphia Story -and drink a hot beverage to comfort my sad soul.  HOWEVER, I’ve gone so long watching old movies and not watching modern-ish movies that I was shocked when there was makings out and… stuff… between the couples.  In those old movies, the couples rarely kissed unless they were ENGAGED.  Which brings me to my next point: I’d like to launch a full-fledged return to that idea.  My daughter is much too pretty, and I see no other way to handle life than to make sure she has no kissing or contact with boys until she’s engaged to one.  Okay, fine.  I guess I could try the whole “trusting her” thing.  But maybe … could I make that the fall back plan?  No, no.  Forget I asked.  Forget it.

Has anyone else in town decided that our post master is the best post master in the world, yea perhaps the universe?

Looking for Mother’s Day ideas?  You’re going to want to check this link:


My mother’s day gifts are in the works as we speak.  I can’t wait to share them with you… but my mom reads my blog.  But I still can’t wait.

I miss my friends. This week, I’ve had a hankering to sit and talk with ALL of my close out-of-town friends.  Enter: letter writing.  I’ll be mailing some off tomorrow.

I want a housedress.

I love the length.

I also secretly want perfect 40’s hair.


As long as I’m hoping for the impossible, I’d also like my kids to stop fighting. If you’ll excuse me: they’re running with scissors.

Walkin’ ‘Round in a Haze

I’m feeling better today, thanks for asking.
This is run-down of yesterday.

Stream old movie.

Get up, blow nose, pick up Easter grass and foil wrapper, eat Easter candy, collapse onto couch.
Stream old movie.

Spoiler alert: those two don’t end up together. Bloody maddening. They should put warnings on the movie labels about these kinds of things! Warning: couple does not end up together. Watch at your own risk of severe disappointment.

Get up, blow nose, throw away mountain of Kleenex, wash couch cushion where Trent has smashed the insides of his Cadburry Cream egg into the fabric and make a mental note NOT to tell my husband about it on account of his having cleaned the entire couch with upholstery cleaner Sunday morning because Trent dumped a cup of bubble solutions on it (did I lose you there?), look for my husband’s wallet, found husband’s wallet, pick up toys, pull the children out of the bathroom, eat Easter candy, collapse on the couch.

Stream old movie.

Old movies have a way of inspiring my style. In the middle of that movie, I got up, blew my nose, and then went to get ready for the day. At 4 pm. Really, the movie didn’t have me riveted to the couch. I had folded all of our clean laundry while I watched it and I thought I probably should get up and try to look somewhat decent before my husband got home.

I went into my room, pulled out a pair of jeans and then chopped the bottoms of them off. There was a huge hole in the left knee and the bottoms were all but completely mangled. So I made them into cut-off knee length shorts. Then I put my hair in a high pony tail and slapped some make-up on. I also threw a pink cardigan on to sort of detract from the unhemmedness (not a word) of my pants. Then I put some real flowers in my hair. The Easter bunny brought me a bouquet of beautiful spring flowers, and I popped a few in my hair.
Then I thought the least I could do was put some kind of dinner together.
So, naturally, I collapsed on the couch again.

An hour later, after the movie finished I got up and started frying bacon. I had decided BLTs would be easy enough to make for dinner. We had a few leftover boiled Easter eggs, and I knew we had some potatoes so I googled “best ever potato salad recipe” and came up with


A couple hours later, I put the spread on the table. I was actually pretty proud of myself. After a sick day -and I still didn’t feel well -I had put together a pretty good dinner. There was a bowl full of homemade potato salad, there was a plate spread with cut-up honey dew melon on one side and sliced cucumbers on the other with a small pile of cut-up strawberries in the middle, and then there was a plate full of sandwich squares.
I called everyone into dinner and a few MINUTES later I took this picture:

It felt like a warm hug.
(That was sarcasm.)

Sunday I felt much the same. Don’t get me wrong: I love my life. I love my jobs. I love cooking! I love sewing! I love homemaking! I don’t love cleaning! But you already knew that…

Anyway, I sat across from my mother at my grandmother’s Easter dinner. I was exhausted. The past few nights, I’d only gotten a few hours sleep and mothering had kept me on my toes all day Sunday. Because I know my mother is kind and won’t judge and won’t give me a sermon if my faith in mothering slips a little now and then… I asked her, “Was Sunday ever really a day of rest for you?”
“No,” she chuckled, “Not at all.”
I was glad to know I wasn’t alone.
“Do you want to know the secret?” She continued.
“There’s a secret?” I asked, thoroughly intrigued.
“Excedrin PM,” she winked.

Needlepoint worthy!
Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a miniature mountain range made out of sugar on my breakfast table.
I love my job. s.

(Thanks, Great JuJu for the pictures!)

And No, I’ve Never Eaten Lifebuoy

I paid a visit to my eye doc yesterday.  The reason?  I’ve been having trouble seeing.  Truth be told: I’ve been having trouble seeing since I was nine, and my vision has progressively become worse.  My current prescription is -8 in both eyes.

Yep, I’m THAT blind.

I got glasses in third grade -contacts in 9th.  I haven’t been able to see without help in years.  YEARS.

Two nights ago, I fell asleep at the foot of my bed.  I was laying on my stomach, reading “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and I crashed.  Next thing I knew, I woke up and my glasses and book had been moved to a safe location (NOT the foot of the bed) and I was asleep where I should be (NOT the foot of the bed).  When my husband woke up, I thanked him for putting my glasses and book in a safe place.  He told me he didn’t know what I was talking about.


It seems like I’m instinctively protective of my sight enablers.  Even if I’m not aware of it, I’m taking care of them.  And I should.  Because they look like normal glasses and NOT like

Thank you, modern technology. THANK YOU!

Anyway, anyway this is all going somewhere.
My vision is as good as I can hope for (thank you modern technology), but I keep seeing weird … almost REFLECTIONS of lights right above the real lights.
For example: when I’m driving through a green light, I see the real green light, and then just above the real green like is a sort of reflections of it. This happens with all kinds of lights! Headlights, marquees, closed captions on television sets… so I finally went to the doctor.
He was stumped. The only explanation he could offer was really sort of complicated. Basically, I’m so blind that the light has to travel through all sorts of CRAP -ahem, my outrageously high prescription lenses, be they glasses or contacts -before it actually hits my natural eye. Somewhere between the natural light and my natural eye, the colors are reflecting, causing me to see (perceive) two.
I don’t understand.
I mean, I DO understand what’s going on, but I don’t understand WHY. WHY would this happen to a good little 25 year old girl who never once used the F dashdashdash word OR had her mouth washed out with Lifebuoy?

Though maybe I should give it a try:

I’m all about daintiness.

Anyway, I’m blind. But at least I can still sort-of see. Mostly.

“Spray Some [Vinegar] On It!”

It turns out I have a little problem.  It started so small that I didn’t even notice what was happening, and then one day I woke up and had four different kinds of vinegar on my kitchen shelves -one of those being two gallons of white distilled vinegar.

Now, I ask you.  Is this normal?  But wait.  There’s more!


I went to Sam’s Club yesterday and bought spray bottles! You can get six for about $7! That, reader, is one HECK of a steal. But guess what? Guess what? I now have bottles filled with all manner of home cleaning products AND they are labeled AND I’m using them! This is some sort of record for me, so applaud.

I asked my husband, “You know the old saying ‘Patch it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without’?”
And he said, “No.”
I wasn’t to be deterred, so I went on anyway.
“It’s an old saying, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately. With the economy the way it is, I’ve just noticed a huge trend in the country right now. That OLD saying is now… like, hip.”
I then went on to tell him how dirty my cookie sheets are but how they still work just fine, and instead of buying new ones (like I really REALLY want to!) I’m just going to suck it up, clean them as best as I can, and keep using them in hopes that my neighbors never ask to borrow them. Because they are WELL USED.
Anyway, this train of conversation eventually led to saving money and all of the many ways we do this.
Menu planning
Sam’s membership (NON-OPTIONAL!)
Buying 1/2 a cow from Pops (that’s not a company. That’s just my Dad. Though come to think of it, a company called “Pops” with him at the head wouldn’t be a bad idea at’all.)
Making syrup from Mapeline
Using homemade laundry detergent
Making gifts for people with what we have on hand
Repurposing clothes
Planting and Harvesting a garden



Okay, don’t stop reading. Really. Don’t. My grandmother once told me to gargle vinegar when I complained of a sore throat. I thought she was loco, but that’s only because I was seven.
Now that I’m 25 and running a household with two children during a recession, vinegar has come to the rescue. If you have the faith to try it, it will absolutely revolutionize your life. You think I’m being dramatic. Okay, I’m being a little dramatic.
All I’m going to say is that, when used right, vinegar can clean windows, soften water, ring out dishrags, and I don’t know what all!
(It doesn’t ring out dishrags. In the middle of that sentence, I got carried away and quoted “Oklahoma!” Sue me.)

The point is: I’m out of mopping solution, but I have my vinegar.
I’m out of Downy, but I have my vinegar.
I hate my window cleaner, but I have my vinegar.
And now! NOW I have squirt bottles and know exactly how this guy feels:

Truth be told, vinegar works harder and better than most all of my household cleaners. So here’s a short list of my homemade home cleaning tips.

*substitute vinegar for fabric softener, ounce for ounce. It’s better for your clothes and your washer. My good friend, Cayla, passed this one on to me emphasizing that fabric softeners are made from animal fats. We are, neither one of us, animal rights activists. We just don’t want lard on our clothes. Amen.
*make a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and put it in a squirt bottle to use as an amazing streak-free window cleaner (polish with crumpled newspaper, if desired -and I suggest it because it makes your windows GLEAM), a dependable sanitizer (think doorknobs), all-purpose cleaner (counters and kitchen table), and it polished products without leaving a messy film on them.
*Every so often, rinse your dishes in a sink full of water with a cup of vinegar added to it. It makes them ultra clean.
*To get the smell out of your plastic dishes or cutting boards, dip half of a lemon in baking soda and rub your plastics down with it. As you rub, squeeze the lemon so the juice comes out and reacts with the soda. It smells good, sounds neat, and is generally pretty fun.
*Before doing dishes, dump a cup of baking soda down the drain and rinse it down with a cup of vinegar. Wait five minutes then run hot water down the sink for a bit. It cleans the drains out really well and is perfectly safe for septic systems.
*I forgot to tell you that I also use the lemon-dipped-in-soda thing for my counters sometimes.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will not smell the vinegar in your laundry or your home. Okay? Well, you sort of smell it in your home but only right when you’re cleaning and for a few minutes after. BUT THEN it smells really fresh. Vinegar gets the smells out of basically anything. It also kills weeds. And now I’ll shut up because I’m getting boring.

If you’re interested in learning more about vinegar and all of the billions of things it can do, google “how to use vinegar” and a list as long as the world will pop up.
I heart the age of information.


As I type that word, I can’t help but think of David Spade.


Yesterday’s long post was about housekeeping -it’s true.  In a way, I’m glad it deleted itself because after I wrote it, I thought a lot about it and came to realize something.

A few years ago, I worked as a writing tutor for a community college.  Students of all shapes and sizes would come in.  They were all different, but they all had one thing in common: they didn’t GET English.  Well, that’s not totally true.  Some of them “got” English and only came to the Writing Center for extra credit.  Smart, smart.

But back to the others: I had a lot of students complain that they hated English because there were SO many possible “right” answers when it came to writing essays and papers.  I would always light up when they said that, “I know!” I’d gush.  “Isn’t it GREAT?!”

“Why can’t English be like math,” They’d sigh, “Math only has one right answer.”

The “math” reply always left me stunned.  English?  Like Math?  Ew.  Bleck.  And no thank you.

I once had a student come in with about 40 billion note cards (source cards).  She was writing a research paper.  She had done the research -BELIEVE ME -she had done the research.  She had written every fact she felt was important on a note card and then written where she’d found it on the back of the card.  Through tears, she unloaded her English stresses on me and I listened.  Then she unloaded her family stresses on me and I listened.  Then she unloaded her health stresses on me and I listened.  When she was done crying, I made ONE suggestion that completely simplified her project.

She tilted her head in one great big “AH-HA!” moment, dried her tears, and then left with hope.

After she left, I sort of laughed a little.

“It’s not that hard,” I wanted to say to her, “You’re making it so much harder than it needs to be.”  On the other hand, she was getting advice from the girl who once wrote a research paper the night before it was due and aced it.  We’re talking 100%.  I don’t tell you this to boast over my procrastination skills -something that is hardly admirable.  I only tell you this to make a point.  (Also, I should point out that I spent hours researching my topic.  I just didn’t make any physical note cards.  I just made mental notes.)

When it comes to housekeeping, I feel exactly like 40 Billion Note Card Girl.  EXACTLY.

I’d love to burst into Martha Stewart’s office and tell her all about my housekeeping stresses.  Telling her would eventually lead to telling her about my emotional stress and I’d inevitably get around to telling her about my physical problems.  Of course, I’d be sobbing the entire time.

I doubt Martha would listen though -unless she was getting paid like I was.  I bet she’d smack me, give me a few pointers, and send me on my way.

As a Writing Tutor, I watched students come in completely tense and stressed because writing made no sense to them.  I suddenly know exactly how they feel.  I remember thinking ‘It’s not THAT big of a deal.  Just DO it!’  I think Martha would say the exact same thing to me.

I love writing.  I would never trade my ability to write for the ability to keep house better.  I wouldn’t.  I just wish I GOT housekeeping.  I wish it came easy to me.  Like 40 Billion Note Card Girl, I’ve worked harder -not smarter.  I’ve tried different avenues to get to one goal, and in doing so got hopelessly lost in the woods.

I’m going in circles now.  I know I am.  I swear I’ve walked past that SAME pile of laundry 7 times now.

A few years ago, Tia gave me a book on housekeeping.  Don’t get any wrong ideas.  She didn’t come over, see my house, and then hand me a book on housekeeping with a pity half-smile.  She looked through the book and attached sticky notes to the funny pages.  The first paragraph, for instance, is funny in a “yeah right” kind of way.  Please take into account that the book (The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole) is absolutely inspirational.  It is full of great tips, advice, and pointers.  It was written in 1962 and I KNOW that if I were to follow the book to a T my house and home would be absolutely oozing with syrupy sweet wonderfulness.  But I also know my own limitations and gifts.  I know that if I were to follow the book to a T that I would lose parts of myself that I treasure.  My late night writer, for instance, would be maimed beyond repair.  I know this from experience, by the way.  And I HATE maiming my late night writer!  She’s funny!

I’m getting off the point.  The point is this:

Just reading that sends me into a sort of panic. No complaining?  And I need to look nice?!  All the TIME?!

As we speak, I’m still in my PJ’s.  I served baked oatmeal to my family while wearing said PJs and I even went so far as to not even look in the mirror once today (yet).  And frankly, I’m feeling pretty durn good that they got wholesome food for breakfast (if you’re not taking a close look at the sugar and butter content)!  Victory!


I fall somewhere between those two women.  Burnt toast is never on the menu, but my hair is never quite that lovely, um, ever.

This picture was me two days ago. But instead of a book in my lap, it was Lappy. And Lappy was treating me to an embarrassing amount of “Parks and Recreation” episodes. Instead of chocolates, I was eating french vanilla marshmallows that I picked up whilst visiting Sister. And despite the fact there IS no mop at my house, I did spend part of that day mopping up the flooded laundry room. It’s all better now, thanks for asking.

Anyway, I’m spending too much time talking about this. I am. But what’s new?
The bottom line is: I need housekeeping help of the hired sort. Hired Housekeeping Help. I love alliteration.
However, I don’t want to pay for it -mostly because I don’t have the money to. So for now I’m stuck, wandering in circles in the woods.

But at least I feel better about the whole situation for having talked to you about it.
40 Billion Note Card Girl


I wrote a long post today and it deleted itself when I hit “publish.”

I sat down to rewrite it and made so many typos in one sentence that my self-esteem plummeted.

I will attempt to rewrite the post tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’m going to clean something.

Until then.


Those Who’ve Seen Us Know That Not a Thing Could Come Between Us

In the fall of 2009, my sister packed up and flew the nest.  I told her then that “one of these weekends, I’m just going to pack up and come see you.”

Last month, I looked at my calendar and went, “Seriously?!  It’s been THAT long?!”  She’s graduating from college in May.  I talked it over with my husbsters and then set aside the second weekend in April as THE weekend.  Our Weekend of Fun.  Then we proceeded not to make any more plans.  We didn’t do anything really “fun.”  I mean, we didn’t head out to any exciting parks or shopping centers (unless you count downtown Safford as exciting which I do.  But not everyone does).  BUT we ate!  And we finished Ju’s puzzle!  And then we ate!

As we were packing up, my husband mentioned that he wanted to take my lap top (“Lappy”) with him (he spent the weekend at his parent’s house).  I felt like Andy at the end of Toy Story 3.  My husband reached for Lappy.  I yanked it away.

No!  Mine!

“Do you really need it?” He asked.
“I usually blog in the morning…” I said.
“But, your SISTER.” He said.
And he had a darn good point. So I handed Lappy to him and finished packing. I spent an entire weekend Lappy free. My sister met us in a top-secret meeting point which happened to be a gas station a few hours from home. I went to the bathroom and saw a girl from our hometown who was a few years younger than I was.
“Hey!” I said as we washed our hands together in the bathroom, “Who needs facebook when we’ve got public bathrooms?”
That was the first of many tiny spontaneous reunions over the weekend.
I squeezed my family, said goodbye, squeezed them again, and then hopped into my sister’s car. I then proceeded to talk the entire drive to her house.

My best friend’s husband once suggested I make voice recordings of myself  talking and then put the recordings into dolls for people to buy and take on road trips. I’m thinking about it. Seriously thinking about it. The only problem is that my voice has been constantly sore since I had my daughter. I’ve been to the doctor a few times and they can’t find any problems, but -as I told my sister on the drive over -I’m mildly suspicious that I have cancerous growths choking out my vocal cords (chords?) and that someday I’ll be rendered completely SILENT and mothers will make an example out of me.
“See that girl?” They’ll point, “She talked so much it almost killed her. The doctors saved her life, but she’ll never talk again. Let that be a lesson to you.”

After we got into town, we dropped my luggage and then went grocery shopping. We got everything to make won tons. We also got toasted coconut marshmallows because, hello? Amazing.
After a dinner in the which we stuffed ourselves beyond stuffing, we went for a walk. At 10 pm. Don’t worry mom, I took my pepper spray.
The walk afforded us enough room in our bellies for Horchatas.

The Horchatas at this place are SO delicious. They spoil you. You fall in love with Horchatas and then two years later, you buy Horchatas from someplace else because you think you like them AND your heart falls down into your chest. Your stomach heaves. Not to be dramatic, but it’s horrific. Devastating. Bleak. You end up pushing the glass of Horchata away, saying “I will never love again” in the voice of Princess Buttercup.

After Horchatas (around midnight) we finally went to bed in the living room. All of us. We drifted off watching “Beauty and the Beast” and woke up in the morning to the menu playing background music on the screen. I woke up before any of the girls, and I wanted to take a picture rearry rearry bad of three “little” girls all bundled up in blankets sleeping away.
Once my seester woke up, we got dressed and walked to the fine arts area where the grass is lush and green. We had a morning devotional and both learned a little something about Passover.
Then we went back to the store and bought everything to make loaded scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs the way they SHOULD be made. Scrambled eggs really ought only to be made this one way.

Cut up pieces of bacon, fry them until crisp, drain (most of) the grease, add chopped up green onions and bell peppers (we used an orange bell peppers because the green ones at the store looked like total ca-ca), saute until the bell peppers are soft. Add beaten eggs (I used a dozen because there were five of us eating breakfast). Once the eggs have cooked almost through but not quite, add a cup of grated cheese and a bunch of pineapple (tidbits or crushed, either one).  Then let the eggs finish cooking.
And, viola!
Heaven! And I might say that I hate scrambled eggs, but I love loaded scrambled eggs. Thanks be to my mother for making them this way. The first time I made them for my husband, he thought I was crazy. After partaking, he commanded me never to make ordinary scrambled eggs again. I suggested he make a note somewhere that I was right and smart.

After our 10 am breakfast, we managed to shower and stuff. Then we took ourselves to my good friend Stephanie’s house. This was the one reunion I had planned, mind you. I had been looking forward for weeks to seeing Stephanie and her new (now four month old) baby. Did you know the house behind her is for sale? Bloody tempting…

We stayed long enough to watch Stephanie’s niece fall asleep with her head in a popcorn bowl, and then we drove off. I promised Stephanie that we would be planning a trip to see her and it WOULD be barrels of fun. My mommy taught me that inviting yourself over is naughty, but in Stephanie’s case I have to make an exception. Even if she doesn’t want me, I’m comin’ over! I love that girl.

What we did next is blasted amazing.

Okay, so we didn’t quite finish the puzzle, but we did make a ton of progress on it. The above picture wasn’t taken until later that night when we actually DID finish the puzzle. I like her face though. It’s almost like she’s game show co-host, presenting the shiny new car that MIGHT be yours if you win it.

I also managed to make it to the bank. This isn’t as boring as you think it is. When I met my husband he worked at the bank, and the reason I chose to bank at Bank of America was this: when I returned to college for Spring Semester, my roommates told me that a new guy had moved into town and that he worked at Bank of America AND that he was delicious to look upon.
“Hey,” I thought, “I need to open an account.” So I went. To Bank of America. As I walked through the doors, I spotted an extremely good-looking bank teller and I managed to peek constantly at him while I sat at the front desk and opened my account.
I snapped a picture of his window and texted it to him (Seeing as how he’s now my on true love.  Oh, and husband.)
“Do you miss it?” I asked.
“Not at all,” he replied. I used to take all the time in the world making deposits at that window. I’d ask for help every step of the way, just to prolong the process.
“Where do I put my name?” I’d ask.
“Right here,” my future husband would say, and reach over the counter to hold my hand through it all.
We were ridiculous. We are ridiculous. And we will forever be so.

Puzzle-doing can really make a girl hungry, so we picked up Julianne the Second (Julianne has a best friend named Julianne and they’re precious) and went downtown. We stopped off at a few shops. This is where it got funzy-funzy. We loaded our heads with loud accessories and then I said, “Make a pucker face. You know, the classic Facebook Profile Pucker Face.” So they did. And I laughed at them.

They thought I was going to do it too. Puh-lease. Like I would. I mean, look how silly they look! Not that I’ve ever really minded looking silly.

After window shopping, we grabbed some nachoes and were lucky enough to visit with Christie Dobbs. She, of course, had forgotten all about me but still manages to send me email forwards faithfully. Dear girl.
After dinner, we raced home and slipped into our Sund’y best. We went to the Gila Valley Temple to do baptisms. My sister, it must be mentioned is a PRO at them. I’m not. At all. The last time I did baptisms was in October in Snowflake (aka Home Temple) and it was with my husband. This time I was baptized by someone who wasn’t my husband and I was awkward and lost and confused and couldn’t figure out what went where and when and where the right rooms were and how I was supposed to walk and talk and speak… in general, I was humbled right down to my white socks.
Which is okay.
And good for me.
But not for the kid who baptized me because I stepped on his foot accidentally. Grace isn’t exactly my forte. Because I don’t want to forget: Julianne was baptized for an Alice Cooper (and I sniggered) and one of the temple workers was named Dave Matthews. Red letter!

After baptisms, we went back to the store for more food on account of our wanting dips. Namely: spinach and vanilla bean cream cheese. We came home and THEN finished the puzzle. For realsies.

All of Saturday, we were freezing. Nature played a little joke on all of Arizona. The week before was so hot that we all turned out heaters off and cranked our ACs. Then came the storm, and Mother Nature had a laugh. Because we had eaten so much since I’d been there, we weren’t hungry. We sort of stared at our dips and willed our stomachs to want them, but they didn’t quite. But we decided we definitely could manage some hot chocolate from Denny’s.
We checked the clock and realized we would have to leave RIGHT THEN to make sure we got our food and service before Sunday officially started.
The hot chocolate was a gross disappointment. And when I say “gross” I mean it quite literally.

That’s Deanna and Stephanie. Stephanie started dumping packets of this and that into her cup. The other girls followed her lead. I didn’t though. Moms know better than to take in sugar before beddy-by time.

After hot chocolate, we went home and ate dips and fruits and Hawaiian sweet rolls to our heart’s content. And then we slept. All of us. In the living room.

Sunday morning, I followed my sister around. She took care of her Sunday biddness (she’s the Relief Society President and had a lot to attend to) and I held on to her lush red hair and followed her wherever she went, wagging my tail behind me.

While she was in Ward Counsel, I ran into Andra Jensen! There was much joy and rejoicing as we caught up and laughed and laughed and laughed. Spontaneous reunions! Huzzah!

My husband and children came in the middle of sacrament meeting to fetch me. Have you ever had two little kids in a single adult sacrament meeting? It’s snort worthy. Single adults know how to be pin-dropping silent. Little kids do NOT. And that’s okay. If you’re not the mother of the little children. Then you’re a little nervous about the whole thing.
Julianne sent us on our way completely filled to the brim with good food and good memories.

I love that girl. Love, love, love. LOVE.

More than my Lappy.


Last night after the kids went to bed, my husband lit a pretty oil lamp in the living room and we sat up late talking.  When we talk we always gets on the subject of “Remember when…”

I ended up opening up my old blog, and we read and read and read.  We were laughing so hard we were in stitches.  My daughter is a RIOT!  I mean, it wasn’t funny at the time that she did everything she did, but I am SO glad I wrote it all down.

I can’t believe that life is going on.  It’s sort of sad.  Lacy wears 4T now.  When we buy her clothes, we shop in the LITTLE GIRL section instead of the baby section.  It’s not right!  It’s not right!!!

That was her four years ago. Don’t you love that face? She was falling over. I make that same face when I fall over.

Needless to say, we both got very baby hungry last night.

I guess he didn’t like playing horsie for Barbie.

Oh my heart strings. They may not survive this post.

Do you think I can place an order for one of these? Can I just send up a prayer to the Lord.
“I’d like a baby. The usual, please…”

“… and can you make sure that this one STAYS small?”

The Play (Guys and Dolls)

I live in a very small town, which you know.  What you may not know is that small towns are rife with traditions.  We always celebrate Founder’s Day.  Founder’s Day always starts with the firing of the anvil.  There’s always a pancake breakfast.  On Christmas Eve night, Main Street is always lined with luminaries and it’s so beautiful I tear up every time I drive by them.  There’s hay rides and parties and casseroles and neighbors and a real sense of community.

At the heart of the community is the school.  Our little town operates around the school schedule: the Friday night football games, the awards assemblies, Homecoming Week, and the concerts.  Once a year, the high school auditorium will fill with town folk for one reason: The Play.

The Play is a sound tradition in our school and town.  It doesn’t matter if The Play is a play that’s been done before.  The actors are different!  It doesn’t matter if lines are forgotten, dance steps are missed, or actors walk into the wall and hit their head square on a fake telephone as they try to exit the stage (Dayna).  All that matters is our kids get the chance to shine, and they deserve it.  I took part in four plays, one every year of my high school career.

Bye, Bye Birdie (I was on the sound crew)

Crazy For You (I was Patsy and for the life of me can’t find the pictures from that play)

Lil’ Abner (I was Mammie, my very favorite roll)
That’s me with our foreign exchange student, Mitch.

Meet Me in St. Louis (I was Rose)
That’s me on the left with Erin.
And here’s some of the cast:

I have so many great memories of those plays. The late rehearsals, the smell of the dressing rooms, the make-up, the piano, the adrenaline rush that comes when you hear your cue.

Well happy days are here again:

It’s time for The Play!
This year they’re performing Guys n’ Dolls under the direction of Kyle Gardner.

The Joseph City High School Music Department presents the timeless musical comedy “Guys and Dolls” in a special three-performance run, April 7-9, 7:00 p.m. Performances are at the B.G. Bennett Auditorium, located at 4629 East 2nd North Joseph City, AZ on the High School Campus. The show is directed by Kyle Gardner. General Admission tickets are $5 and sold at the door so get there early.

Set in Depression-era Times Square, Guys and Dolls is about a couple of big city gamblers and the women who love them. It tells the overlapping stories of high-roller Sky Masterson (Dallin Baldwin), who falls in love with mission worker Sarah Brown (Mackenzie Fields), and lovable rapscallion Nathan Detroit (Austin Gardner), engaged for 14 years to Miss Adelaide (Malisa Farnes), a headliner at the Hot Box Club. Nathan runs a famous floating crap game, and an ongoing plot line involves his quest for a safe place for the game as Adelaide continues her quest to convince him to marry her. Meanwhile, Sarah, mistakenly believing that Sky set up an illegal game at the mission, tries to fight her affection for the charismatic crapshooter.

Considered one of the finest musical comedies ever written, Guys and Dolls is packed with one unforgettable song after another—not to mention loads of romance and charm to spare. With beloved tunes such as “A Bushel and a Peck,” “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” “Luck Be a Lady,” and “The Oldest Established,” there is plenty of toe-tapping to be had. If you are the betting type, you should know that Guys and Dolls is the odds-on favorite to ride to the winners’ circle of your greatest Broadway loves. These gents and dames have an irresistible mix of naughty, nice and hilarious.


Finding Inspiration Amongst the Sledge

I cleaned the fridge out.

I know you don’t want to hear about it, but I’m afraid I have the floor.  It all started when I spent the entirety of Saturday failing miserably at my job.  We all have those days, don’t we?  Sometimes the lawyer loses a case.  Sometimes the janitor slips on his own mop.  Sometimes the waitress drops the plate.  Sometimes the editor misses a comma.

Sometimes the mother can’t gather the courage to… do anything, really.

And so I sat down and was ever-so-steadily and gradually buried alive by my own children and in my own house.  Sunday I wallowed in it because I’d really rather not break with my grand tradition of resting on Sunday.  Also, you might very well replace the words “with my grand traditions of” with “that one commandment about.”

I woke up this morning with renewed resolve, and if you were to come into my house this very minute, you would point your finger at me and accuse me outright of lying.  Because my house looks terrible, that’s why.  BUT I did work.  I just focused on those hideous hidden areas we all have that no one else knows about.

Like the fridge.

In my defense, the fridge is generally cleaned somewhat regularly.  I just haven’t happened to give it a proper scrub down lately.  Maybe ever.  I can’t be sure.  I can’t be bothered.

I filled the kids’ tub up with warm soapy water and dunked the crispers in it.  Then I went back to the fridge, opened the door and gasped.

There was a substance: unknown cascading down the inside of the fridge.  It had been completely hidden by the crispers.  Now, now… before you go barfing your way away from the computer…

I must tell you what this substance: unknown did for me.  It inspired me in two different ways.

#1) It totally and completely grossed me out to the point that I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO RID MY WORLD OF IT and I proceeded to make an afternoon of it, scrubbing until my arm and hand were literally cramping from exertion.

#2) I wrote something of a mental sonnet about it.  Or maybe it was more like a tribute.  It really deserved one, don’t you think? I’ll tell you why.

  • It refused to give up it’s age, no matter how hard I tried to figure it out.  THAT, dears, is a mark of true refinement.
  • It never let on what it really was.  Mysteriousness is always something to be admired -in my case especially on account of my desiring it so much.  It isn’t my nature to be mysterious.  It’s more my nature to fling the tedious details of my daily life into your face. Fridge sledge, for instance.
  • It was absolutely resolute.  It refused to go down without a fight.  I began the battle in a dignified squat and ended it flat on my belly, scrubbing with what little energy I had left.  After I wrung my baking soda covered rag out for the last time, I nodded at the filthy water as if to say, “I’m better for having known you.”  I can’t be sure, but I think it spit back a little.

I’ll also tell you that cleaning my fridge is entirely disconcerting.  Aside from the guilt that comes from throwing away wasted food, there’s the matter of Tupperware that comes flying at you when you least expect it.  Just when you think you’ve bleached the last of them, you pull the bottom left crisper out only to be surprised by Tupperware tucked far in the back filled with only MOLD knows what.  I’m not even going to talk about what happened when  pulled the bottom right crisper out suffice to say I jumped all the way from my fridge to my stove.

If I’d have had the strength of the sledge, I wouldn’t have done that.

Friends, if you do nothing today (and by “today” I mean “tomorrow” which actually starts in 42 minutes) I’ll understand.  But if you DO do something, I might suggest you make that something “clean the fridge.”  You won’t come out smelling good, but you’ll feel like a million.

(one last note: I once came in third in a spelling bee.  I might have come in first if I would have been able to spell “refrigerator.” They let me go to the county spelling bee, but I lost there as well because I couldn’t spell “tempestuous.”  T-E-M-P-E-S-T-U-O-U-S and I’ll never forget it.)