Monday, December 5, 2016

Tall Hot Blondes

When Rebecca and I met up with our equally tall, hot, blonde cousin, Jolene Rallison Garcia, at a store that had a sign that read, "Everyone wants a tall, hot blonde for Christmas," well, we had to take advantage of a photo op!
The only two problems are:
1. None of us stood up to show how tall we are.
2. I don't know how to crop this photo!
Argh!
(I want an electronically savvy brain for Christmas...)
What is your favorite beverage to warm up your insides in the winter?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Do I Look Like a Turkey?

I am thankful for FACE PAINT!

Or maybe I'm just thankful to spend time with people I love, like one of my granddaughters and her friend. The red and green snake girl could go on a Christmas tree! The apple/banana cheeked princess could go to a royal grocery store! And I could be... um... I could be a lizard lipped splashy cheeked jungle baby!
Or a turkey.
I painted two faces, my pictured granddaughter (better known as Banana Face) painted one.
(Guess who painted what!?)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Big, Mean, Pink Machine!

What did I see while riding down the road? A Hummer!
Big, tough, alligator stuff, Hummers are designed to be serious, hardcore, off-road-ready military vehicles designed to do battle in camel-infested nations.
Unless they're pink.

Then they are for Christmas shopping, to run over all the other cars parked near the front entrance of the store. The capacity inside won't have to hold the troops, but all the equipment needed for an over-abundant Christmas.
I think this Hummer is headed for some serious Black Friday shopping. It could certainly fit a camel in it.
Do you like the Black Friday shopping tradition?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Be Too Kind!

(This did not happen to me, but I saw this online today and I wanted to share this lengthy story...the message is one worth remembering. We all live in glass houses, so be kind to others - you never know what might happen because you shared a little kindness. Choose to consistently err on the side of kindness. Who knows? Maybe magic happens.)

"I work in a decent sized, local, indie bookstore. It’s a great job 99% of the time and a lot of our customers are pretty neat people. Any who, middle of the day this little old lady comes up. She’s lovably kooky. She effuses how much she loves the store and how she wishes she could spend more time in it but her husband is waiting in the car ‘OH! I BETTER BUY HIM SOME CHOCOLATE!’ She piles a bunch of art supplies on the counter and then stops and tells me how my bangs are beautiful and remind her of the ocean.
‘Wooooosh’ she says, making a wave gesture with her hand.
Ok. I think to myself. Awesomely happy, weird little old ladies are my favorite kind of customer. They’re thrilled about everything and they’re comfortably bananas. I can have a good time with this one. So we chat and it’s nice.
Then this kid, who’s been up my counter a few times to gather his school textbooks, comes up in line behind her (we’re connected to a major university in the city so we have a lot of harried students pass through). She turns around to him and, out of nowhere, demands that he put his textbooks on the counter. He’s confused but she explains that she’s going to buy his textbooks.
He goes sheetrock white. He refuses and adamantly insists that she can’t do that. It’s like, $400 worth of textbooks. She, this tiny old woman, boldly takes them out of his hands, throws them on the counter and turns to me with an intense stare and tells me to put them on her bill. The kid at this point is practically in tears. He’s confused and shocked and grateful. Then she turns to him and says ‘you need chocolate.’ She starts grabbing handfuls of chocolates and putting them in her pile.
He keeps asking her ‘why are you doing this?’ She responds ‘Do you like Harry Potter?’ and throws a copy of the new Cursed Child on the pile too.
Finally she’s done and I ring her up for a crazy amount of money. She pays and asks me to please give the kid a few bags for his stuff. While I’m bagging up her merchandise the kid hugs her. We’re both telling her how amazing she is and what an awesome thing she’s done. She turns to both of us and says probably one of the most profound, unscripted things I’ve ever had someone say:
‘It’s important to be kind. You can’t know all the times that you’ve hurt people in tiny, significant ways. It’s easy to be cruel without meaning to be. There’s nothing you can do about that. But you can choose to be kind. Be kind.’
The kid thanks her again and leaves. I tell her again how awesome she is. She’s staring out the door after him and says to me: “My son is a homeless meth addict. I don’t know what I just did. I see that boy and I see the man my son could have been if someone had chosen to be kind to him at just the right time.”
I’ve bagged up all her stuff and at this point am super awkward and feel like I should say something but I don’t know what. Then she turns to me and says: “I wish I could have bangs like that but my darn hair is just too curly.” And leaves.
And that is the story of the best customer I’ve ever had. Be kind to somebody today."

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

FOR SALE BY OWNER by Marlene Bateman



Filled with plans, McKenzie Forsberg returns to her hometown to spend Christmas with her family. Stressed by a year of intense, ongoing problems, she quit her high-powered job to move back and rebuild her life.  Kenzie desperately needs the peace and security she is sure will come from buying the home she grew up in. But when she arrives, Kenzie discovers that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, has already put an offer on the house. However, he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve.


When Kenzie unexpectedly runs into a couple who are considering buying Jared’s house, she unthinkingly gives them information that changes their mind. Jared is more than a little interested in Kenzie, but has second thoughts when it appears Kenzie may have attempted to sabotage the sale of his home. Feeling bad, Kenzie apologizes but the damage may be too much for their relationship to overcome. Despite themselves, sparks of attraction grow into something more. Then, a few days before Christmas, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past. In that moment, everything changes. Will the power of love be enough to bring Jared and Kenzie together and allow them to find their happily ever after?

Excerpt

“What made you decide to move to Lake Forest?” Kenzie asked.
“I’ve always loved it here,” Jared said. “It’s a beautiful area, and there’s a special atmosphere here. People are so friendly. I guess part of the reason I came is because I needed to go someplace new and kind of start over, you know?”
            Kenzie did know. That was exactly what she was doing now. She’d gotten over Larry, but she needed to go someplace new and reinvent herself and her life.
“Now let me ask you,” Jared said. “What made you decide to come back?”
            “A lot of reasons. I need a fresh start too. I’m tired of the hectic pace in Chicago.” Impulsively she added, “Also, I had to get away from my job at Midwest. A guy was causing some real problems for me—” She stopped. Their eyes met and lingered. Jared’s compassion was evident and the expression on his face kind. She felt so comfortable talking with him—as if they were kindred spirits. Something in her heart softened into a spreading pool, and she smiled at him.
Tearing open his packet of Oreo cookies., Jared took one and dunked it in his hot chocolate.
Kenzie frowned. “Figures. You’re a dunker.”
“And I bet you’re a twister.”
Snatching up a cookie, Kenzie twisted it open and took a bite of the creamy middle. “Ummm.”
Jared shuddered. “That’s wrong in so many ways.”
Picking up her mug and warming her fingers, Kenzie sipped her hot chocolate. “This is wonderful!”
“It’s a secret recipe—been in my family for generations.”
            “Really?”
            “No, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?”

Links
For Sale by Owner is available at Deseret Book and Seagull Book. It can also be purchased online at:
Seagull Book; https://goo.gl/yQboNh

GoodReads;  https://goo.gl/ksPihN


Bio
Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah.  She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS, non-fiction books:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, Brigham’s Boys, Heroes of Faith, Gaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Weird to see so many buzzards

I couldn't get all the buzzards circling over the funeral site in the frame of my camera, but I never saw so many in one place.
I would say there were at least forty, maybe even fifty.
I know Halloween was last week, but hey, we can pretend, can't we?

Monday, October 31, 2016

Scared to Read

These are the awesome people I once worked with. We chose the biggest book we could find so we could crown around it for a picture to encourage children to read.
And then I made a scared face and claw hands while everyone else is smiling!
Does that make children want to read?
Does my pose put them off, make them curious, or feel like giving me slight push to see if I can easily be knocked off balance?