Monday, January 24, 2022

Best Intentions Burned!


I try, we all try, but sometimes efforts don't match expectations. I have a suspicion as to why I haven't written since November, which I'll tell you, but first, it relates to another skill I lack.
I've been "cooking" for enough years to keep six sons alive. One night after making soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, one of our boys said, "Thanks, Dad, this is good."
"Yeah, I love these sandwiches," another son added. "Thanks, Dad."
Surprised, I asked, "Why do you think Dad made this?"
Puzzled brown eyes turned to me. "Because the food isn't burnt." Then, with a gasp of sudden realization, my son asked, "Did you make this, Mom?"
"Yes, I did!"
"Good job," said another son, genuinely impressed.
"Yeah," said another of our boys. "You did it, Mom!"
You'd think I'd learn, but just last week I was trying for this:
But got this:
(I was SURE I'd turned the oven off!)
And, honestly, how hard is it to microwave a potato?
It depends on who's doing the microwaving. I managed to make a couple of potatoes very hard, so it's hard for me! (Haha!) 
(Guess who made the GOOD vegetables pictured? Yep. Bob.)
Now for writing: I had the best intention of feeding my writing soul for at least an hour a day beginning November 2019. Even though I wasn't 100% with my intentions, I got three books done. (Desserts!)
When I presented a class at the Kanab Writing Conference in November 2021 on the subject of regular writing, to my great surprise, I was so scared I ran to the bathroom 5 minutes before class because I felt sick to my stomach!
People, if you know me, you know I'm not afraid to speak. I've taught a decade of writing classes to children and adults. I created and ran the "Write Here in Ephraim" conference for six years. I was the Storymakers Conference queen (chair) one year. I presented classes there more than once, have done many school presentations, and told stories on several occasions in several venues.
So when I was inexplicably afraid, and hated the presentation I'd worked so long on, I didn't even feel like myself.
Why did my best intentions fall short of grabbing the cliff edge, so I fell, screaming, into the bottomless pit?
My best guess is that my immunotherapy cancer treatments (for recurrent malignant melanoma) from May 2020 to June 2021 changed me. Since then, I can't eat meat anymore. It generates a gag reflex. I was even surprised to have to spit out my first bite of comforting bread pudding last week.
In other worlds, I feel best after sleeping for 10 hours...and then have a nap in the afternoon!
for being unreasonably, unexpectedly, impossibly scared to teach a class, comes this little gem of information:
and this one!

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Never Unpick Again!

I began sewing as a 9-year-old after I was given a toy sewing machine that really worked. I excitedly traced my hand and thumb in a mitten shape on two pieces of red calico fabric, cut the mittens out, sewed them all around the edges, and then was extremely puzzled that my hands wouldn't fit inside.
What was going on? I'd traced them to my actual hand size.
I didn't know about seam allowances then, but I learned all about them, and unpicking, as a 12-year-old Home Ec. student. It also helped that my grandmother Alta was a professional seamstress. As a nearly 6-foot-tall teen, I sewed a lot of clothes simply so they'd fit my long arms and legs. If something didn't get put together right, I unpicked it, even though it wasn't easy to cut all those tiny little tight threads and avoid cutting the fabric itself, I knew if I didn't, I'd never want to wear that puckered article of clothing.
So I was amazed to see this dress in a store, actually for sale rather than stuffed in a rag bag alongside my sewing failures.  
Do you see what I see? You may initially think, as I did, that perhaps a clueless new employee simply buttoned the dress buttons wrong, but LOOK AT THE HEM! IT'S EVEN! So why isn't the collar even?
Even the front placket is off. Who thought that this design was worth selling? A 9 year old with a toy sewing machine?
However it was created, I can imagine that it was sent to the runway in order to automatically turn it into the next big fad.
One thing it proves is that if I'm willing to wear whatever I sew with pride, and perhaps a high priced tag trailing from the sleeve, I never need to unpick again! 
Do you like fads? Do you sew? What kind of handiwork do you do?

Sunday, January 9, 2022

It just looked weird

While driving along the highway with Bob and Carolyn, I spied this most interesting cloud that seemed to have bumped up against a mountain wall. I asked Bob to take a picture for me, but he suggested that I just stop and take my own picture.
So I did.
Have you ever seen a cloud formation that looks like it could be steam coming from the ground?

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Dead Christmas Tree

 My neighbor and her husband were so busy, they just put lights on the front of their tree this year. No one walks around between the Christmas tree and the wall anyway.

When their granddaughter visited, she was eager to help finish decorating the front of the tree, the only place where everyone could see the decorations anyway. Good plan!

The next day, everyone went to work and school, everything going smoother because they anticipated Christmas cheer in the joy of going home to a cheerfully decorated tree.
No one expected to see what was in their house when they opened their door.
The Christmas tree died from front-heaviness. 
What do you think?
Shouldn't they just roll it over? I mean, it was already decorated.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

What Kind Of Store Is This?

With Christmas coming, consumer spending, and money being shelled out for things people might not need or even want, I was actually stopped still by this sign I saw in a retail store.
 I mean, honestly, what retail store in its right mind encourages shoppers to spend less money?
Is it a trick?
Is it some kind of reverse psychology?
Are they trying to make shoppers think that all the stuff in their store is high quality, thus matching high standards?
Or do they really care about helping people save money?
Maybe they just don't want to process a lot of returns.
What do you think? Is it a store with a real heart? Or is it subtly messing with shopper's minds?
And Merry Christmas! This reminds me of the family tradition we adopted with our three youngest sons (since we didn't think of it with our three older ones.) We told them that Jesus got three gifts, and it's a celebration of Jesus's birthday, so each of them would get three gifts.
Wow. Simple, focused on the reason for the season, and no more counting gifts or tallying costs.
Now there's a sign I'd put up in my store!
"3 Gift Christmas. Happy birthday, Jesus."

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Besides the Bathroom...

When Carolyn and I were on the road, I stopped for gas and she went into the gas station to use the bathroom.
After I filled the car, I went into the gas station, too, and found Carolyn, not using the bathroom, but PLAYING BASKETBALL!

It was clearly worth the wait.
Do you like playing basketball?

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Not a Black Cat

Black cats are all the rage at Halloween.
We used to have a black cat named Slick, who sat in his heated water dish on the porch in his last few weeks leading to his 18th birthday because he was a cold old cat. Then he suddenly disappeared when he turned 18. 
We looked for his body for days, in every place we could think of, but we never found him.
One of our current cats is not black, as you can see in the picture, but this part-Siamese has her own spooky story.
She's not right in the head.
Our son Brian and his girlfriend (at the time) found tiny Sage Kitten in a gutter before her eyes were even opened. They fed Sage with an eye dropper and saved her life.
But something affected her brain. We think it may have been her too-young separation from her cat mom, but it could be something else. 
Sage lets you pet her, but may suddenly bite or scratch with seemingly no provocation. She'll easily roll on her back and bare her belly, but growls fiercely and unsheathes her claws, aimed at you, if you touch it. She likes to sleep in weird positions. If we don't put her out in a timely manner at night, she'll hide, then early in the dark morning crawl up on Bob's stomach and bat his face with her paws until he wakes up.
Then he puts her out.
In spite of her white fur and innocent blue eyes, she makes a perfect Halloween cat.
Do you like cats?
Do you like Halloween?

Best Intentions Burned!

  I try, we all try, but sometimes efforts don't match expectations. I have a suspicion as to why I haven't written since November,...