Monday, September 25, 2017

Sparkler Kids

As I drove by an urban structure, I saw these blue and purple kids herding a field of sparkling pinwheels.
The building looked like a house from the side, but I imagine it was something else, like a daycare center, even though I didn't see any signs. It could be someone's house.
Whatever it is, it looks like a fun place to be.
Even without going inside, the outside display inspires wonder and sparks creativity.
Did you ever play with a pinwheel?
If so, were you a purist who blew on the blades to make them spin? (Along with your spinning vision as you flirted with passing out.)
 Or were you the stick-it-in-front-of-the-blowing-fan, turbo blade kind of kid?

Monday, September 18, 2017

A New Place to Put a Car Key

How in the world did a wind-up car go 75 mph on the freeway?
Having a key sticking out of your car wasn't so unusual when the first crank start variety of vehicle was rolling down the streets, but it's a novel place to store a car key these days.
I'd hate to have to wind it, but it might be easier than finding a place to plug in an electric car. And what if you ran out of gas on a remote roadside? It would be handy to wind your car up and just keep going.
When I was little, my dad brought home a red VW Bug car and proceeded to fit his family of 10 inside it like puzzle pieces. Then he drove us seven blocks to church.
I was generally one of the riders in the space behind the back seat with my face squished against the window. I wasn't alone, sharing the squishy spot with Bev and occasionally Greg, too.
Meanwhile, Melinda, Rebecca, and DellRay sat side by side in the back seat with Loraine and sometimes Greg as "floaters." (No seat belt laws.)
With Mom holding Carolyn in the front passenger seat and Dad behind the wheel, we had a place for everyone and everyone was in their place.
Do you like to be driven places?
Or do you prefer to be at the controls?

Monday, September 11, 2017

In Defense of Women

I don't know what it is about this book cover that I like, but there is an abnormally tall lady. I like her hat, too. I also like the title, although the contents are more satire than serious.
I read a bit of biography on the author, H. L. Mencken, who apparently had such a low opinion of marriage that his cohorts teased him mercilessly when he married Sarah Haardt at 50 years old, after a 7 year courtship. (Old habits and all that.) He said he'd married because he was inspired and informed by the Holy Spirit, and it seemed to be a superb communique.
In spite of her being 17 years younger than he was, Sarah died five years later of meningitis.
The sad irony of it! He lived for 18 more years before dying.
That's not so sad, because I think he met Sarah again.
I wonder if she was taller than him.
  I like the lady's elbow on the guy's head on this cover, too. I can relate.
What do you think of this book cover?

Monday, September 4, 2017

Quick Caterpillar

The picture does not do "Speedy" justice. He just looks like a pipe cleaner lying on the dirt. But use your imagination to animate the pipe cleaner into a wriggling speed demon, crossing the road with a speed matched by no chicken in history.
Most likely, if Speedy were racing a chicken, the chicken would let Speedy hitch a ride... in her gullet!
Did you guess that this photo was not taken recently? Do you remember from your childhood school days the time of year that caterpillars tend to crawl across roads in a race against:
1. Starvation before reaching the other side to climb whatever plant looks greener than the ones on the original side of the road.
2. Being flattened by a vehicle, whether it be 4, 3, or 2 wheeled variety... or even the 1 wheeled unicycle my son rides.
3. Being eaten by a curious dog, frog, or passing chicken, who also feels a compulsion to cross the road.
Yes, you guessed it. Springtime.
Do you step on caterpillars?

Monday, August 28, 2017

When I Wanted to be Taller

When I wanted to be taller, my baby nephew, Glenn Anderson Roth, beat me anyway.
This picture was taken the summer after Bob and I were married on June 1, 1978.

I thought I was overly tall at just half an inch away from 6 feet, but the guy I fell in love with happened to be 6' 7". I suppose that made being 6 feet tall easier, but why did I want to go taller?
(How did we do that, anyway? And how did itty bitty Glenn get on MY shoulders? LOOK HOW HAPPY HE IS!)
The details are lost, but the evidence is there, in an era before digital photography doctorization.
As the oldest of six, Glenn got a chance to reverse positions, just as happily, it seems, on the bottom tier of this family pyramid.  (Bottom row, L-R: Greg, Glenn, Grant. Middle row: Gretta and Genna. Top row, er, child: Gable. Mother Melinda is acting as spotter behind her well balanced children.)

Have you ever been in a pyramid?
(Okay, I heard that, cousin Suzanne, Egypt-traveler!)
I mean, have you ever been part of a HUMAN pyramid? If so, did you get the top, bottom, or middle position?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

What's Your First Thought?

When I passed this road sign, I was so full of ideas about the origin of the broken side that I had to turn around and go back to take a picture.
What's the first thing you thought of when you saw this sign? That it had fallen over in a high wind and broken? That it was caught up a in a tornado and whirled through the air to crash into a bridge and narrowly miss a school bus full of children? That it had been run into by a car, truck, taxi, driven by a new driver, oldster, or Siamese twins fighting over the steering wheel? That it was struck by lightning? Hit by a meteor? Bitten by a monster? Used as a weapon between road worker guys expressing their Road Rage? 
It's a very entertaining sign.
What did you think of?

Monday, August 7, 2017

8 Cow Wife

I saw this license plate that reminds me of my sister, Loraine. It's posted today because her birthday is tomorrow (laaaa!) and her husband, Kory, treats her like an eight cow wife.
In case you aren't familiar with the story, it's about a rich, handsome Polynesian guy named Johnny Lingo who wants to marry the village "ugly" girl, Mahana. The thing is, he had to pay cows for her. Wives in the village bragged about how many cows their husbands paid for them for a bride price, with 5 cows being paid for the Mayor's wife.
Mahana's father thinks he'll be lucky to get a 3-legged cow from Johnny Lingo, shrewd trader that he was, as he had decided to bargain for a girl no one else wanted just so that he could pay almost nothing for her.
But when Johnny offers eight cows for Mahana, her father can hardly believe it. He accepts the offer, reveling in his new wealth while the newly married Johnny and Mahana go off in a canoe.
When Mahana shows up a few months later, her father claims he was cheated at 8 cows, because she is so beautiful and poised, she is worth 10 cows.
He'd loved her since they were children, because she was kind and compassionate. So after he left the island and made his fortune, he came back for his childhood sweetheart.
Just like Kory and Loraine (except they were college sweethearts.)
Where did you meet your sweetheart?

Monday, July 31, 2017

Eating in the Car on a Sunny Summer Day

Sometimes I eat in the car.
No matter where I eat, I usually spill. (I don't TRY to... I just do!) I even keep a towel in my car to tuck into the neck of my shirt and let the rest drape down over my lap.
But it didn't cover my seat belt.

I made a doozy of a spill when I dropped a piece of food in the padded sleeve I keep on my seatbelt to prevent it from digging into my flesh and hurting me.
It's so funny to me that Bob and my boys don't care for the pad.  Bob even takes it off if he drives my car. What is their skin made of? Rhino hide?
Do you eat in your car?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

You Can Never Have Too Much Romance!

Indulge in some summer love. Click on the book covers or descriptions from these popular authors!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Can you even SEE the doggies?!

Oh, my - my computer issues! I KNOW I can learn how to do electronic things that need doing, such as cropping this photo so the subjects show up better, but I have to balance the amount of life I have left against how long it would take me to learn, as well as consider all the other things I'd dearly love to do with the remaining mortal time left to me. 
It's a matter of priorities, so get out your Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass to see the majestic white dog on the back of the truck (right), tooling down Main Street, looking doggy cool. Once it passed a car (left), an unexpected doggy head popped out the window as if to say, "Wha's up?" to numero coolo canine.
At least, that's what it looks like to me.
Do you think dogs communicate with one another?
Do you think they communicate with humans?
Do you think they celebrate EVERY DAY?
Today is not only Pioneer Day in Utah, but it's also my granddaughter, Anneke's BIRTHDAY!
(Have some cake for me, dear, since I don't eat that kind anymore.) 
I am grateful for the freedom I have to stick my head out the car window if I want to.
(But I'm not allowed to ride in the back of a truck down Main Street anymore... that only worked during my hay-hauling days on the farm!)
Did you ever ride in the back of a truck?
Did you like it?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

TWO NEW Rocky Mountain Romance titles!

Wow! Get lost in love with these two new Rocky Mountain Romance titles!
Click on covers to get yours.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A Man's House is His...

There I was, driving down the road during a visit to Logan, Utah, minding my own business, when what to my wondering eyes should appear?

After assuring myself that I hadn't been transported back in time or across the ocean (more's the pity) I got out of my carriage, er, car, and took a picture.
Because that's what I do.
I would have liked to have a tour of the house, but I imagined how I would feel if someone came knocking at my door and asked to see my bathroom.
Yet, someone actually did that when I had a "house for sale" sign up in my yard. For the first breathless second, they pretended like they wanted to see the house.
Then, in the second sentence, they admitted that they couldn't hold it anymore, and asked, "Which way is the bathroom?!"
I pointed.
I'd already cleaned the floor and didn't want to have to do it again.
Have you ever sold a house?
How much fun was THAT?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rocky Mountain Romance Series Launches Today!

If you enjoy captivating, heartwarming stories by talented authors, then transport yourself today with the first book in the Rocky Mountain Romance series
right here on AMAZON!
Then you can enjoy all the other books to follow for a huge dose of July love!
(And you can eat sweet ice cream or juicy melon while reading... just keep the drips off the Kindle.)
Here's the FACEBOOK PAGE for more info!
Happily falling in love again.

Michael State Champ.... Again

Hey, it's my son Michael's birthday! (He's the blond guy closest to the camera on the front corner of the pictured fire engine, where Manti High School State Champs ride after a win, be it any sport or THEATER! Manti High School won state in Theater on Michael's senior year, after winning it his Junior and Sophomore years, too.)
Now I can stop telling him what to do.
Do you remember turning 18?
What did you do to celebrate?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Marlene Bateman Sullivan Writes Again!

What happened to Irene?

When Anna Coughlin, a modern 1920’s woman, travels to the secluded hills of Virginia to work for wealthy Lawrence Richardson, she discovers that the previous secretary, Irene, mysteriously disappeared a few weeks before.  Upon arriving at the castle-like mansion to begin working, Anna finds that Lawrence’s handsome, but antagonistic son, Tyler, wants nothing more than to have her gone. And he isn’t the only one—

After Anna sets out to find the truth behind Irene’s disappearance, a series of frightening incidents ensnare her in a maze of intrigue. Anna is helped—and often hindered—by the temperamental Tyler Richardson, who—despite her best intentions—begins to steal her heart.

But even as Anna begins to uncover dark secrets in a troubled household, she must continue to hide a significant one of her own. When her life is threatened, Anna is left to wonder if she’ll be able to unravel the mystery before she disappears as mysteriously as the unfortunate Irene—

EXCERPT FROM "Searching for Irene"

The tallest parts of the mansion—fanciful turrets and a circular tower—were visible only in glimpses Anna caught between lofty oaks and towering pines as her cab wound through the knolls and hills of eastern Virginia.

When the cab turned up the long driveway lined with dogwood trees in full bloom, Anna Coughlin reached for her handbag, gripping it with a tension that had knotted her muscles ever since getting on the train.
The vast estate stood on a hilltop, like a castle—and she craned her neck to better view the starkly impressive gray-stone mansion of Ashton Hall—where she hoped to be hired. With its arched, leaded windows and slate roof with numerous chimneys, the house rivaled pictures she’d seen of castles in Europe.
Instructing the driver to wait, she climbed out, patted her hat in case it was askew, then smoothed her gray suit with gloved hands in hopes of presenting a professional appearance. Anna had no confidence she was clever enough or bold enough to pull this off, but she had to try.
Her eye was drawn by a tall man—more than six feet—who came from the side of the house. Since the man was striding toward her so purposefully, Anna stopped and waited. As he drew near, Anna noted his deep-set eyes were as black as his hair. His skin was tanned, his thin, long-fingered hands brown and strong.
“Miss Coughlin?” He stretched out a hand and shook hers, but there was no warmth for her in his eyes. “I’m Tyler Richardson. Unfortunately, your services are not needed after all.” A touch of arrogance marked his manner, as though he was long accustomed to command those around him.
“Your father called only last week to have someone come out,” Anna blurted in dismay. “May I ask what caused him to change his mind?”
A fleeting glimpse of discomfiture crossed Mr. Richardson’s face. “I wasn’t consulted about his hiring another secretary to replace the one who left so suddenly. My father isn’t in good health, and the last thing we need is someone coming in and upsetting him by making a muddle of things.”
His words kindled a fire that glinted in Anna’s eyes. How dare he make such an assumption? It was difficult to hang on to her temper, but there was too much at stake to let his boorishness sidetrack her. “Since I’m here, I’m sure you won’t mind if I keep my appointment. After all, your father is the one who requested my services. I’m sure he’s expecting me.”

Her words hit home.It took a few bitter seconds, but he finally acquiesced. “Come in, then,” he muttered ungraciously before leading the way up the steps and opening the door.
Following his rigid back down the narrow hall, Anna’s brows furrowed as doubts crept in. How wise had she been to come to this remote place? Especially when the previous secretary had disappeared so mysteriously? Even her employer thought it odd that no one in this mansion seemed to know where Irene had gone or where she was now. It was as if Irene had vanished into thin air.


Marlene’s website:

Stressed by a difficult year, McKenzie Forsberg quits her high-powered job to move back to her hometown. Desperate and determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie seeks to buy the home she grew up in. The only problem is that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, also wants the house. As a battle of wits ensue, sparks of attraction grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past that changes everything. Will the power of love be enough to allow Jared and Kenzie to find their happily ever after?

Marlene Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and 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 cozy mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner.

Marlene has also written a number of non-fiction, LDS 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.

Marlene’s website:

Monday, July 10, 2017

What's UP?

Some people upon seeing a festive display of balloons may imagine tying one around their wrist by a colorful ribbon and running through a carnival, grassy fields, or weaving with running feet among people at a birthday party, secure in the knowledge that the balloon won't launch into the air when they aren't looking.
What do you think of when you see balloons tied to chairs?
That they're in place to attract attention to the chairs for sale?
That the stretch dinner table will be along shortly?
That someone is plotting to transfer all the balloons to one chair to see how high it will fly  off into the air with a single passenger hanging on for dear life?
That it's ready, set, go! for a spontaneous game of Musical Chairs?
Do you like to play Musical Chairs?
(Were you ever the last one sitting?) 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Shiny Thrift Store Lady

Tripped by technology.
Even though I got this illustration turned right-side-up in "Photo Viewer," it didn't translate to downloading on the page. That being the case, go ahead, stretch out with your head comfortably propped on your hand, and imagine this as a realistic photo (which I forgot to ask the subject if I could take) rather than a creative (if I do say so myself) animated rendition.

 It was while browsing at a local thrift store that I was captivated by a mature lady dressed in classy clothing complete with sparkles, especially concentrated on her hat, collar, and bodice.
The sparkles came mainly from crystally jewelry, which she said she'd affixed to the fabric herself. Rather than looking overwhelming, the shine actually complimented the woman's life journey lines (translate: wrinkles.)
Yet the smile on her face and her accessory glow really did appear to make the skin lines irrelevant. Instead, her appearance created a feeling of joy and infinite possibilities, perhaps in part because she admitted to creating her outfit from the very thrift store in which we stood.
So how about you? Do you like sparkles? How about for wearing?
Or are you more of a keep-the-sparkles-to-the 4th of July type of person?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Running Cloud

When I saw this cloud, I knew immediately what it looked like, but my teenager, Michael, said it wasn't what I said it was. 
I see a frog running across the sky, taking long strides.
Is that what you got?
Do you like finding shapes in clouds?
When my boys were younger, we used to make a bowl of popcorn, then pick up one kernel at a time and say what it looked like before eating it. (Why should the clouds have all the fun?)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Shirley on a Rolly Thing

When I saw my niece (check out her handstand on the right side of the photo! We're both amazing) zipping around on this little white two-feeter unit, I asked for a turn.
Wow. Watch out! Windmill arms coming through!
My niece didn't have that windmilling feature on her speedy quick ride through the house. She just zippity-do-dahed right along, arms wherever she wanted them to go, not focusing on keeping her balance.
She was just... balanced!
Well, adventurous Anderson girls abound, so of course my little sister had to take a turn. She got to where she could steer herself pretty well, and she didn't even run over my toes!

My son Scott got the hang of it so quickly that he rolled down the hallway with perfect balance in a kind of creepy-blue-lights-robot/alien-coming-to-get-you (Look, Ma, no hands!) 

If you had to the chance to ride this space age- looking thing (which I was told is called a "hoverboard" EVEN THOUGH IT ROLLS, PEOPLE!) would you ride it?

Sparkler Kids

As I drove by an urban structure, I saw these blue and purple kids herding a field of sparkling pinwheels. The building looked like a h...