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.)



A few days ago, I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  I took my kids with me.  That is to say: I took my son, Trenton, and my daughter, Rapunzel.

Rapunzel is very particular about being called Rapunzel.  Under no circumstances is she to be called Lacy or honey or sweetie or little miss or Ace (a nickname that has somehow weaseled it’s way into our vocabulary).  Before going to the store, she put on a dress-up dress, her church shoes, and asked for some hair flowers.  I quickly put five temporary hair flowers together, clipped them in her hair, and off we went.  As I pushed the grocery cart around, she made her way under my arms.  She put her feet on the cart and held onto the cart’s handle for balance.  Once she had it, she FLUNG one arm out as I pushed the cart around.  It looked something like this, except her arm was flung farther out and her head was tilted and one leg kicked back for effect.


“Are you being silly?” I asked.
“NO!” She said, defensively, “BE-YOO-TI-FULL.”
She has no enunciate these things, you know. Her mother is so slow.

I laughed at that, and then I had to wonder what Heavenly Father thinks of us sometimes.

(image taken from
Are you being silly?
No! Beautiful!

Are you being silly?
No! Beautiful!


(image taken from

(image taken from


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to do my daily tweeze.

Dandelions and Mama Toilet Paper

Dandelions have always grown in abundance here.

When I was a little girl spending countless hours running amok outside, I used to gather them up for my mom. I’d parade in the house with a grubby little “bouquet” and hand it over to her. I knew that they weren’t the prettiest flowers in the world, but as I watched her fill the bottom of her tiny toothpick holder (shaped like a flower vase) and place the weeds inside, I felt that they were acceptable to her. She would leave them in the windowsill above the sink, and I would stare at them -WILLING them to somehow sprout into a lush wildflower bouquet worthy of someone as wonderful as my mother. They never did though. They only withered up within a few hours, making the area in which they resided lose considerable property value.

Lately, my Lacy has taken to bringing me beautiful flowers. She takes her plastic purple tea cups in the bathroom, fills them with water, and then packs all manner of “shrubbery” into them for me. I remember what it was like to give little gifts to my mother -how proud I was of them -how the excitement mounted in my chest as I gathered dandelions and DREAMED of her reaction as I presented them to her. I presently have two tea cups in my house: one filled with dead dandelions and one filled with cast-off branches from our bushes. BUT I also have something I would have given my piggy bank savings for as a kid:
(please note the dead branch in the middle. Please.)

An absolutely beautiful floral arrangement to give to my mother!
Lacy, as you may or may not know, is SOCIAL. When we first moved in to our house over a year ago, we didn’t know our neighbors all that well. She soon bridged that gap. As soon as she learned that our neighbor’s name was Gloria… Lacy immediately set to calling her Aunt Gloria. As Lacy jumped on her trampoline, she’d strike up conversation with Aunt Gloria via shouting over the fence.
And I’d rush to hush her.

Aunt Gloria has always been much more than kind to my children, who have -on more than one occasion -trespassed on her lovely garden. She’s let Lacy gather shells in her dirt. She’s let Trent get acquainted with her people-shy cat.
And most recently, she’s sent Lacy home with the most beautiful flowers in the world.
Everyone in the world should have an Aunt Gloria.


And here’s something completely off the subject: how do I get my bed back?
When I’m in bed and the kids crawl in, I’m more apt to roll over and sleep in an unnatural position (so as to accommodate them) than to force myself out of bed to put them back in it. Three nights ago, I saw my son come into my room in the middle of the night.
“Go back to bed,” I said. He didn’t reply. He just crawled into my bed, made his way under my arm, patted it, and said, “I lubba you.”
And four hours later, we woke up thus. How could I chase him away after THAT?!
Anyway, I don’t know what to do. My husband suggested solving the problem by purchasing a king size mattress.

And here’s something rather MORE off the subject:
Last night, I took Lacy to the bathroom in Target. She was absolutely taken by the toilet paper.
“Look! It’s a mama and a baby! Oh, they are so cute!”
She also named them. I can’t remember the baby’s name, but I distinctly remember the mother toilet paper was named Wacy.

This is me and the girl who stayed up past midnight to watch “Tangled” last night. Every scene was her “favorite part.” Movies have seemed so much richer since she came along.

Movies and springtime and dandelions and my bed and life in general… all richer.