Monday, December 26, 2011


It's not snowing in the house... it's bubbles! I forgot how fun our bubble machine could be until my 12 year old dug it out of the basement and set it up in the bathroom. After playing in the spout of bubbles for awhile, he left the room and left the machine on. When I went in there a little while later, I burst out laughing at the bubble pile on the floor. It was very slippery, and very easy to clean with a towel from the laundry. (Always clean with dirty laundry... it must be washed anyway, so why dirty anything else?)
New Year's Resolutions are six days away. I'm an optimist at heart, but this past year I've been more uptight than I ever remember being in my life. I don't like it. Happy is better. So here's my resolution - laugh more. Laugh every day. Find fun in ordinary things. Find fun with you!
What is your New Year's Resolution?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Playground for Parents who Hate Kids

Yesss! Heather Justesen chased the Kindle formatting demons away with her mad skills! Now that the PDF monster is off my back, I'm now pursuing regular old WORD publication on my own, with the kindly offered resources that have dropped neatly in my inbox. THANK YOU! I love you for caring. (I love you anyway, but caring is a bonus!)
Okay, so, Christmas is all about loving and caring and hugging and sharing and taking your kids to the playground in spite of the snow. Right? But any parent who would take their child to this playground would most likely dress their little ones in shorts and t-shirts and pour water on the slide before sending the child down in order to make their bums stick to the metal. I mean, look at that drop at the end of the slide! It's got to be two feet tall or more! If a little person is barreling down and there is no one to catch them at the end, which any parent who lets their child play on this slide would not be, then the child falls their entire body length to the ground.
Some fun.
Maybe they aren't done yet... maybe there's a giant inflatable pillow installation pending... or a hidden camera for a candid camera TV show.
What was the most memorable play experience you had as a child?
And Merry Christmas, one and all... I love Jesus.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Sorry, this is a scrumbly week. (Don't look up "scrumbly," it's only in MY dictionary!) I just can't seem to figure out how to publish e-books and it's driving me insane! All that beautiful writing time spent scrolling through web search results and all that wondrous creative brain power spent trying to figure out unfamiliar terminology!
WHO SAID IT WAS EASY? You must have computer parts in your genes!
Well, at least you can look forward to "Playground for parents who hate children" next week. Really.
I have a picture and everything.
What is hard for you to do? Do you keep trying, or shift your energy elsewhere?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Surprising Thanksgiving Eating Contest and Cauliflower Ships

Are you tired of Thanksgiving stories? Well, this one is weird, so it's worth going back in time a couple of weeks. Most of you know that I have boys. And boys don't generally think much about their weight. So before Thanksgiving dinner, my guys weighed themselves. After dinner, they weight themselves again. The differences ranged from 4.4 pounds gained to .8 pounds lost.
Yes, lost.
HOW DID HE DO THAT? He ate. I saw him. But this is the son with the killer metabolism, who got so tired of eating continually in high school that he began eating normally and started losing weight.
Hm. He and I ought to split our metabolism and do co-transplants.
On Thanksgiving, even our entertainment was food-themed. When the grandchildren got together to do a play about the Pilgrims coming to America, they found a couple of mattresses stacked in a bedroom. "Hey!" our 7-year-old granddaughter said with wide-eyed excitement. "Those can be the Cauliflower!"
"Um," her nearly 10-year-old brother said, "You mean the Mayflower."

Monday, November 28, 2011

What Color is His Bathroom? By the Way, What's Your Favorite Holiday?

I walked my son to school last week and happened upon a teacher struggling with two hands full of heavy plastic grocery bags. Knowing how those thin, tough handles love to cut into flesh, I offered to carry some for her so she could unlock her door. We ended up talking the WHOLE FIRST PERIOD of school about holidays, their meanings, and the way people perceive them. (Yep, I can talk to anyone.) I once got involved in a conversation with a stranger in the visitor's center at Flaming Gorge. When I finally got in the car with the impatiently waiting males of my family, my husband glibly asked, "What color was his bathroom?"
"Yellow," I replied.
It was true. We'd meandered into discussing his current remodeling job. (Come on, who couldn't open up to a face like this? Yes, it is mine, and after watching some old episodes of the medical drama "House," I'm grateful I have a face. Any face.)
Anyway, back to the teacher talk, the one who opened my eyes to the wondrous simplicity of Thanksgiving, where the focus is not on gifts nor baskets nor sugary sweets, but on giving thanks for simple abundance and on gathering together in groups to reflect on our blessings and enjoy our kinship and friendship. She pointed out how it appears to be squeezing out of popularity by the BIG COMMERCIAL holidays near it. She helped me realize the appeal of Thanksgiving to the point that it has now become MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY. (Next to Halloween and the ballerina costume my Grandmother made for me when I was about THAT age!)
Im also thankful to have launched my new pen name blog! Do you wanna see? Really? If you follow it, then you get to read TWO blogs from this infathomable mind of mine. (Which goes along with the gratitude-for-my-face sentiment. I'm glad I have any mind at all.) Can you take it? CAN YOU?
Be one of the first to click to visit!

Monday, November 21, 2011


When I last saw my doctor and proudly reported that I walked my dog 10-15 minutes a day, old Doc Nay raised his eyebrows and said, "If you upped that to 45 minutes a day, you'd get greater benefits."
(What, was he calling me FAT?)
Obedient girl that I am, I experimented with using my walky thing that sits in the living room (I don't know it's official name...see teeny tiny photo below)
or walking on the streets of my town. What I have learned is that if you walk on a walky thing in your living room, it's very easy to step off "just for a minute" to go get something to cool you down... say, a dish of ice cream... and then answer the phone and run to the post office before it closes and deal with a child's emergency and ultimately fall into bed without getting back on the walky thing.
On the other hand, when you walk on the street a certain distance from home, there is no alternative but to walk that same distance back in order to reach the freezer and bowl and spoon, thus getting in the desired walking time.
This means something profound. It could be that you've just got to get yourself far away and then write yourself home.
What do you dedicate yourself to completing? How do you reach your goal?

Bitter Blessings Leaves a Sweet Taste

(Shirley) Thank you for coming to the cemetery today. Sorry about the rain, but at least we’ve got my big golf umbrella to stand under. I love the sound of rain. One thing I don’t love is reading cliché “conversion stories.” They make me want to gag on my Postum.
“Bitter Blessings” may be classified as a conversion story, but I think it is so much more. For one thing, it’s not sappy. It’s actually more like a delicious mystery, with a compelling twist that I did not see coming. Each character is true to their role, and the protagonist, Megan Randall (did I spell that last name right :o)?) is not a perfectly-picked-on Cinderella.
Thank goodness.
Megan has trials, indeed, with family deaths and trauma handed out to her right and left. She shoulders her load for a long time, but then finally breaks, just as a real human being (like me) might, and has to deal with added regret and sorrow. (Also just like me.)
But hold on! This book is not without its lighter moments. I had to laugh out loud when Megan’s friend, Adam, described some prom dresses he’d seen in a catalogue with a shudder and the words, “There was lace and big bows and poufy skirts.” Having raised six sons, I can just hear the perplexed and dismayed tone in his voice when uttering those words.
Well, well, look who’s coming. If it isn’t Christine Mehring herself. Look out for that headstone, Christine. Here, get under this umbrella with me.
(Christine) Hello, Shirley. I'm so glad you were willing to meet me here today. Most people get a little skeevy when they find out how much I enjoy walking in the cemetery but I think the atmosphere here is just dense with stories, and besides, it's quiet and people tend to leave you alone.
(Shirley) Especially if you're standing in one spot, reading headstones. Hey, I have to wonder, have you ever lost anyone close to you?
(Christine) Only my grandparents, all of whom were dear to me, and very elderly. So far, the rest of my family has been kind enough to stick around.
(Shirley) That is nice of them. Your description was so close to the heart that I’m curious just how this story developed in your wondrous little brain.
(Christine) I just have a slightly overdeveloped imagination. :) Actually, I start stories with what amounts to a couple of snapshots in my head - a beginning scene and an end. Watching my characters get from point A to point Z is what makes everything worthwhile. As the story developed, I realized I wanted to accomplish a couple of things with it. First, I wanted to write LDS YA fiction that would have appealed to me as a teenager. I read a lot as a kid, and I wanted to like LDS fiction, I really did, but I always left it feeling like, well, let's just say that Polly Perfect Protagonist and I didn't have much in common. Second, I wanted to explore how a "typical" LDS family would handle the need to share the gospel in a situation where they couldn't just bear a testimony or offer an invitation to church.
(Shirley) Well, it really worked. From the greenish thumb that sends tendrils through your book, I’m thinking that you probably have a fern at home, or did when you were a child. I loved your description of lying on the floor and looking up through the fern’s branches and feeling transported to another place. Are you quite the gardener?
(Christine) I am an outdoor gardener only. I've actually had my license to own houseplants revoked due to criminal neglect. My mother is the queen of houseplants and the ferns belong to her.
(Shirley) Hey, look, the sun’s coming out. Let me just move this umbrella… oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to dump that water down your neck. It’s almost like going swimming in the waters around French Polynesia, isn’t it? No? How do you know, have you ever been there?
(Christine) I haven't ever been there. My imaginary self is an accomplished sailor who spends at least half of each year blissfully island hopping. Unfortunately, my real self gets seasick in the bathtub. Maybe someday my imaginary self will tie me up, buy a boat, stock the hold with Dramamine and off we'll go. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
(Shirley) How are you at crossing your toes? Oh. Never mind. That makes your eyes cross, too. No matter. It’s so nice to feel the warmth of the sun and the warmth of love that you so skillfully wrote at the end of your novel. I do hope this cemetery doesn’t mean that this is the death of your writing career.
(Christine) I hope not. It certainly isn't the end of writing, or the end of killing characters off. I'm currently working on a murder mystery for the LDS adult market. It deals with a woman who comes back to her small hometown after a long absence just in time for the suspicious death of a person she used to know. I love complicated characters with buckets of motives, secret personal agendas, quirks, conflicts, doubts, and deeply held convictions. Mysteries seem to be my natural home. No matter which genre I choose to work in, there's always going to be a puzzle to solve.
(Shirley) Oh, look, our ride is here. Hm. There’s only one seat left up front. I’ll take it. You go ahead and ride in the back where you can stretch out. Go on, there’s plenty of room, all the coffins have been unloaded. That’s what you get for killing off your protagonist’s families. There you go. Nice and comfy? Good. Let’s go out to eat. What do you say to some good old all American hospital food?
(Christine) Sounds good to me. Can I have your jell-o?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Eating Eyeballs but Not Toes

My son grabbed a piece of leftover Halloween candy and declared, "I like the eyeballs, but the toes are too thick and chewy, just like real toes." (How does he know? Has he chewed on any toes lately?) I thought it was hilarious that he was choosy about which body parts he ate, so I braved the senses and ate a toe. It was chewy, and thick, and had a hard part where the toenail was supposed to be. But it was sugary, so I chomped away. What's the saying? "More for me."
Who's to say what's good to eat? It all depends on what you grew up with and what your tastes are. It was fun when my son shared some candy his friend brought back from Japan. There were pieces that tasted like cough drops that one son really liked, and ones that were spicy that another boy liked, and the jello candy and the cookie bear candy. They were good, but better if you didn't look at the sweet koala bear faces before chomping down.
It makes me think of koala revenge in the dark, scary night when you hear noises and aren't sure what they are. What could they be? Koalas marching in your nightmares, wanting to eat your eyes and toes! Ahhhh!
What do YOU like to eat?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adventures in Permissive Parenting

When my son asked if he could cut his own hair, I said, "Sure!" I mean, more time for me, right? I tend to be a permissive parent, letting my sons eat peanut butter and baloney sandwiches and wash their own laundry, even if it meant they wore wrinkled Sunday shirts. When they got old enough to care, they handled their laundry differently. Experience is usually the best teacher.
When I heard my independent barber son use a water spray bottle in between bouts of the buzzing hair clippers, I called through the door, "Clippers like dry hair better."
"But they aren't working," he answered.
"Maybe we need new ones," I said.
But it was too late. Several minutes later, he said, "I'm bald." Well, some spots were bald, but other spots weren't. So I used my Magic Mom Moves to even out his haircut. Yes, he still has hair. Being blond, it's hard to see.
Once his 18-year-old brother caught his breath from laughing, he told him he looked just like Aang from "The Last Airbender." Then he made a blue arrow like Aang wears on his cartoon head. Michael took the arrow to school with him. Who knows? He may wear it until his hair grows back.
What kind of fashion/design/social faux pas have you experienced?

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Loverly Blog!

Aw, Marsha Ward is so nice to say my blog is lovely! CLICK RIGHT HERE to see how lovely Marsha's blog is!
1. I come from a family of six super sisters, yet I have six studly sons. (I also have two brawny brothers, bless their boyhood bond, and two darling daughters-in-law. And 7 goodly, goofy grandchildren.)
2. I love Halloween, although I've been accused of wearing costumes even when it's not Halloween.
3. It took me until my mid-30's to get comfortable with my height. (5', 11 1/2")
4. When I was 12 I wanted to be a truck driver so I could travel the country and see cool things! (I tend to wreck trucks, though, so that dream fell by the wayside.)
5. I can say the alphabet backwards. I can say it fast. I can do it in one breath! I can annoy anyone you want me to annoy with this skill!
6. I've liked blue cheese salad dressing ever since my first taste of it when I was a pre-schooler.
7. I forget people's names unless I hang around with them a lot, see them often, or they remind me of one of my family members. Because of this, I often have the delight of re-meeting fabulous and interesting people. (Which may very well be you!) Be patient with me. It's nothing personal.

Here are some other Lovely Blogs for you to visit:
Throwing Up Words (Carol Lynch Williams and Ann Dee Ellis)
Write Up My Alley (Cindy Beck)
Pink Ink (Jewel Punzalan Allen)
Janet's Blog - Fiction for the thinking woman (Janet Kay Jensen)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011


I was surprised to get my package returned in the mail. Did I say package? I meant the LID of the package. Not even the whole lid. Just a sawn-off part of it.
What does the Post Office DO with boxes of books? Practice their shot-put throws? Use them for driving range cones? Open them to read during slow times?
It made me laugh to read stamped on the lid: "RECEIVED WITHOUT CONTENTS." Did they only get the top? Or did they receive a whole empty box? They sent papers to fill out for a search of the lost articles, especially if I included titles and soft or hard covers if they were books, but I don't know how they'd round up two dozen books destined for donation to a neighborhood library effort in Missouri.
I'm just glad this didn't happen to the prize necklace I sent to Tonya Dean, although she did say it looked like the package had been opened and resealed. (But the bow on the gift wrap was intact!)
I must say, I personally love my local Post Office workers. They even came in after hours to retrieve a galley I needed to edit over a weekend. But accidents happen. So if you'd like to help the grass roots Missouri library, please send any books you're finished with to STEVE WESTOVER/re. library, 5124 NW Holly Dr., KIDDER, MO 64649. Encase your box in concrete and ask the nice Post Office people for the media mail discount.
How do you feel about having access to a library? How would it change your life if you didn't have one?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Burnin' up the Road!

Have you seen this person? Last known whereabouts: weaving around a driver's course in Nephi, Utah, flattening only one cone. Once she heard she passed the road test for her motorcycle license (YES it says "MOTORCYCLE," not "SCOOTER!") she screamed in delight and took off into the sunset, throttle fully open, roaring down the road at the trike's maximum speed of 35 m.p.h. (It's supposed to go 55 m.p.h. plus...)
Hey, if I can get a motorcycle license in my Grandma years, tell me what you've done lately that's "outside the box?" If you haven't done anything that makes you jump up and down for joy... okay, maybe that's just me... but something that makes your heart beat faster, whether it's cooking dutch oven or learning to stand on your head or whatever, make a plan right now to do it. Age is out of the picture! Come on, be brave, dare to post right here and tell us what you'd love to do. We all want to know!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Winna, Winna, Winna!

Tonya Dean had the luck of the draw! Congratulations, and may the necklace not be haunted and choke you in your sleep. ;oP

Paint it Pretty!

I had so many great comments on my BLOG HOP prize that I wish I had twenty-four necklaces to give away! The winner was chosen at "random dot org" this morning by my 12-year-old before he hopped off to school, leaving me without the list of candidates or a clear indication of the winner! (What a master of suspense.) The winner will be contacted by midnight tonight (which also gives me plenty of time to find the GREAT hiding place where I safely put the mysterious disappearing must be haunted, because it's certainly not me!)
For those who don't get the ghostly necklace, you can always do as my son did for my beautiful new granddaughter...paint it on! Just think of it... with a little glitter you could wear a sparkly tiara whenever you wanted. (Or you could paint on "man jewelry," Chas!) With green and white paint you could dot on a necklace and matching earrings, and with glow-in-the-dark paint you could do an entire Safety Sam Halloween costume!
What was your favorite Halloween costume ever? What are you going to dress up as this year?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hop into this fun jewelry for Halloween!

Welcome to the October Blog Hop, where you can visit new blogs, enter to win prizes, and have a great time!

At the bottom of this post, you'll see a list of participating blogs. Just click on each link, check out the prize, and follow the easy instructions to enter. You can enter on each blog, so it's possible to win multiple times. It's frighteningly easy.

On this blog, you can win a piece of fun jewelry! This mysterious ghoul green and ghost white shell necklace.

You can change jewelry to fit your mood more easily than changing into a Halloween costume!

To enter, all you need to do is:

1. Become a follower of my blog.

2. Leave a comment on this post and tell me why you'd like to win this prize. If your e-mail address isn't visible through your Blogger profile, please also leave it with the comment so I can notify you if you win. You can enter until midnight MST on Saturday night, October 15th.

That's it! You are now entered. Now please go visit all my friends on the list below. It's almost like trick or treating!
October Blog Hop Participants
1. Tristi Pinkston
2. I Am a Reader, Not a Writer
3. Bonnie Harris
4. Michael D. Young
5. Misty Moncur
6. Debbie Davis
7. Mandi Tucker Slack
8. Mary Ann Dennis
9. Deanna Henderson
10. Laura Bastian
11. Kristy Tate
12. Kristy Wilson
13. Jennifer Debenham
14. Jenny Moore
15. Elizabeth Hughes
16. J. Lloyd Morgan
17. Close Encounters with the Night Kind
18. Billy Boulden
19. Scott Bryan
20. Maria Hoagland
21. Shirley Bahlmann
22. Shelly Brown
23. Marcy Howes
24. Lynnea Mortensen
25. Jaclyn M. Hawkes
26. Diane Stringam Tolley
27. Gail Zuniga
28. Betsy Love
29. iWriteNetwork
30. Canda's InkBlast
31. Stacy Coles

Learn more about October Blog Hop here.

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Drive By Tuning

I was headed to the Literacy Fair to help my talented sister Loraine paint faces (see face paint blog below) when I noticed the back window on a car lettered with "PIANO TUNER." That is a rare breed in Ephraim, let me tell you, so I flipped a U-ey and screeched to a halt next to the startled man and his equally startled wife. With scarcely a fearful glance at one another to reassure themselves that they could watch each other's backs and safely deal with this crazy lady, they followed me home. (Aw, please, can I KEEP them?) My off-key piano was finally tuned, and we all lived happily ever after. What have you wished you'd done when the opportunity flashed past your eyes (or your car)? Did you do it? Why or why not?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Old...Uh...Well Seasoned Friends!

This is me and one of my best and oldest...uh...I mean most seasoned friends, Anita Young Wight! Ever since my six foot self moved to Utah from New Jersey in 1970, petite and pretty Anita has looked up to me. I admire her equally, impressed that she won our high school's English Sterling Scholar award. Since we are both exclusive mothers of sons, I had the joy of going to her son's reception in August, which resulted in this amazing uncropped photo of us. (I still expect her to have waist long hair, but otherwise, she looks the same!)
I love reconnecting with former friends and gathering in new ones. The variety of people is a never-ending source of delightful inspiration!
When was the last time you saw an old friend?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Does this look like a furnace to you?

Wow, look at that traction! In spite of a crunched hood, it's climbing a mighty steep grade! (Yes, someday I will learn how to rotate photos, or else take them with my phone so they're right side up!)
So, back to the question of the moment - does that image to the left look a furnace? Well, it is. Use your imagination - three years ago, we knew we needed a new furnace some time soon. Last January, the point was brought forcefully home when our furnace conked out. Patched together, it limped through the rest of winter, but would not survive another season. (The solemn sound of "Taps" plays in the background.) Sadly, we did not have a furnace fund. We began praying for help to get a furnace to get us through the upcoming winter. Then our son was in a non-life-threatening car wreck, totaling this car and bringing in enough money for a new furnace.
This whole thing reminds me of "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs. What? You didn't read "The Monkey's Paw?" Why not? Oh, all right, you really should read it, but basically it is built around a mummified monkey's paw that grants wishes... at a price. In order to bring about wealth, loved ones die, generating high life insurance payments. It's creepy good. You should read it on a cold winter night. Go ahead. I dare you.
We're glad it was only the car that had to die so we could be warm this winter.
So what about you? What potential disaster has turned into a blessing in your life?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creative Marketing - and partial photo success!

I finally figured out how to install my photos myself! (But the PhotoShop make-it-look-good technicalities are still pending...Bob turned the photo of me and my great-nephew right side up, but you'll have to tip your head for the one of my sister. I downloaded it all by myself! Yay-uh!)
So, I was at the County Fair painting faces next to a soldier booth raffling a rifle for money to send to troops. They were doing a fine business. One of the guys in uniform asked if I would give part of my face painting money to the soldiers if they sent business my way. Sure! So every person he talked to was directed toward my booth. Sweet! I gave a dollar out of five for each face painting from the soldier booth. That was creative of him, and it worked for me, too. It made me ponder on ways I could piggyback with other businesses to sell more books. Captivating thinking!
What piggyback marketing ideas have you come across?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Grrr, Grrr, and double Grrr!

I want to hibernate because I hate it when I have to change programs and can't figure out how to make the new ones work! I can do everything on the Dell computer that died (which death trapped my website with it), but this Apple staring me in the face and laughing silently at the funny faces of despair I make is unfathomable! I can't access the photos I have to illustrate blogs about a really WEIRD looking furnace, a mah-velous marketing example, and my green face, but I don't know how to get them where they need to go to download on this blog! Argh! Grrr! Burp! (Burp? Oh, excuse me!)
I will corner Bob for ANOTHER instruction on picture manipulation so you can revel in my photo brilliance next week. I WILL LEARN THIS, even if I have to turn this hard-drive-hearted computer to applesauce!
What frustrates you?

Monday, September 5, 2011

What's Your Hawaiian Name?

In doing research for a new book, I came across this delightful site that translates your name into Hawaiian (unless you already have a Hawaiian name.) Since the closest I've come to Hawaii is my complete collection of Magnum P.I. episodes on DVD, it was fun to spend a few minutes looking up my name, my husband's, sons', family pets... Try it! Click here: MY HAWAIIAN NAME!
Until I get there, I'll just have to dream up tropical island adventures.
Where is a place you dream of going?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Incredible Power of Persistence

This is my mother, Ruth, who found to her great surprise last spring that she could no longer walk on her own. When I watched my tall strong son and nephew practically carrying her down the sidewalk for "walking practice," all I could think was, "She's headed for a wheelchair."
You'd think I'd know by now that Mother does not take anything like this lying down.
She forced herself to take baby steps around the house while leaning heavily on her walker. Then she became a regular on the cemetary's smooth roads, laughing off the sextant's challenge to a race. She put in her time, step by step, until two weeks ago she could stand without help. She's graduated to using a cane or two, except on the day she got an adrenaline rush and dashed from the computer to retreive her purse without thinking. When she looked around for her canes to return to her computer, they weren't there. She'd left them behind, walking without any help at all! She is living proof of the value of determination and consistency, whether you want to write a book or race the sextant around the cemetary. Let's all stand as tall as straight as my mother and step out to meet whatever it is that brings joy into your life!

Monday, August 15, 2011

TAG! You're IT!

I was only trying to be nice when I moved forward one row at church to whisper to a lady, "I can see the tag on the back of your shirt. Unless that's the new style, it might be on backwards."
"Oh, dear," the white-haired lady said, pulling her sweater from the back of her seat up over her shoulders.
"Don't worry," I assured her. "I put my shirt on inside out yesterday and didn't know it until my sister told me."
"Honestly," the woman said, hunching herself smaller. "I need a keeper."
"No, you don't," I assured her. "I do it all the time. I button my buttons wrong, too."
She was too immersed in her embarrassment to say anything.
I assure you, if you ever see my shirt on inside out, I'd like to know about it. The same goes for food in my teeth, dog poo on my shoe, and any length of toilet paper trailing out the back of my clothes. I mean, if you're my friend, you're not going to let me wander in public like that, are you?
This incident reminds me of the time I went to speak as a professional author. I sat waiting for my turn, smiling and happy to be there, when a lady leaned over and said, "Your dress is unzipped." It was a side zipper, so I quickly slid it upward just before they called my name.
"I'm so excited to be asked to speak," I said into the microphone. "I was equally excited that my dress felt kind of loose, which meant I'd lost a few extra pesky pounds. Then I discovered my dress was unzipped. When I zipped it up, there went all my weight loss. But I'm still happy to be here."
I suppose we could solve the inside out clothes problem by stuffing our closets with that nifty reversible clothing! Then the only thing I'd have to worry about is putting my shirt on upside down!
Would you be embarrassed if someone told you your shirt was inside out or backwards?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rockin' out on hymns!

I'll admit it, I really like this! WARNING - not everyone will, I'm sure, but it made me smile, and this is my space, so here it is! I see energy, I see joy, I see gladness - all good things in Shirley's book of Living Large and Free. I also see a trip to the store for sore throat lozenges, but even that can be an adventure. "Do you want wild cherry or lemon echinacea to go with that throat, Elder?"
What kind of music brings you joy?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Electric Blue Shirley

It drew me like a bug to a bug zapper - a swatch of electric blue swishing down the church hallway. I zeroed in on the bright, happy hue of blue and tapped the lucky lady on the shoulder. "I love your dress," I gushed. "It's so bright!"
The woman gave me a brilliant smile. "You know, when I pulled this out of my closet this morning I wasn't sure I dared wear it. Then I thought to myself, 'Shirley would wear it,' so I went ahead and put it on."
Really? She wouldn't have worn it without my silent, absent stamp of approval?
I cannot fathom people calling each other to ask what the other is going to wear to whatever event they're both attending. What difference does it make?
Speaking of clothes, a couple of ladies recently talked about me while I stood beside them. After making vague references to some book they'd both read, one said, "And that's just like Shirley."
"What's like me?" I asked, not following their thread.
The other lady turned to me. "You're authentic to your style."
I blinked in surprise. "I don't even think about style," I admitted. "I just wear what I like."
The woman gave me a patient smile. "That's why you're authentic."
What is YOUR authentic style?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tristi Pinkston Book Launch!

Author Tristi Pinkston is excited to announce the release of the third novel in her Secret Sisters Mysteries series.

Titled Hang ‘em High, this novel takes place on a dude ranch in Montana. When Ida Mae’s son invites her to come for a visit, of course she brings Arlette and Tansy along with her. They are expecting to spend the week looking at horses, avoiding the cows, and making amends in Ida Mae’s relationship with her son. What they don’t expect is to be stuck on the ranch in the middle of a blizzard and to be thrust headlong into the middle of a mystery.

Help Tristi celebrate her new novel in two ways. First, come participate in the two-week-long blog contest, where you can win a book nearly every single day! All the details are up on Tristi’s blog.

Second, come to the book launch!

You are invited to an

August Authorama!

Saturday, August 13th

Pioneer Book, 858 S. State, Orem

12 – 4 pm

Games, prizes, balloons, face painting,

and Dutch oven cobbler

prepared by world champion cook

Keith Fisher.

Authors Tristi Pinkston, J. Lloyd Morgan, Cindy Hogan,

Nichole Giles, and Heather Justesen

will all be there to sign books.

This is one book launch event

you will not want to miss!

Monday, July 25, 2011

At the Zoo...

Sometimes writers need to take a fresh perspective, a new approach, an unexpected tack.
When my family went to the zoo, certain animals were more visible through plexiglass windows than over their enclosure railings. Guess what I saw at the rhino pen? Aw, how did you know?
I can't help it that this view really struck my fancy. Some people think it, but I go ahead and say it. I had to take a picture with my phone because the guy holding the fancy-pants camera didn't appreciate my subject matter. But, hey, why fight it if something resonates with the funny bone in my twistedly creative mind? (And, may I add, I'm not the only person on the planet with funny bones in the brain!) You've got to admit that this is a classic composition. I simply couldn't resist!
What is hard for you to resist?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"It's better than your paint shirt"

I hate shopping. But when my sisters took me with them to find performance outfits for our singing group "My Sisters and Me," I was swept away on the shopping tide and brought home some clothes to try on. (Maybe that's why I hate shopping!) When I asked my youngest his opinion on a certain dress, he frowned and said, "I don't really like it, but it's better for going to grocery store than your paint shirt."
I took the dress back.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Shopping in a Paint Shirt

I have this great shirt, a former nightshirt that serves as a paint and project cover all. At the end of a recent painting project, my youngest pestered me to go to the store with him. "But I need to change."
"No you don't," he said.
"Really? You wouldn't care if I went to the store in this?" I spread my hands to show off the splattered shirt hanging nearly to my ankles.
"I don't care," he insisted. "Let's go."
So I went. In the first aisle, my son looked at me sideways and said, "You look funny."
"You're the one who didn't want me to change," I said, plucking a bag of raisin bran off the shelf and tossing it in the basket with a flourish. I figured if anybody at the grocery store cared to stare, I'd give them something to talk about.
What have you seen in the unusual clothing department lately?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!

Please take a moment for this truly inspiring message from my friend Gordon Ryan about a real story of humans treating humans as fellowmen even when it was not a popular practice. Check it out on this day of brotherhood and freedom - A REAL HERO

Monday, June 27, 2011

Scream, Scrame

My youngest son was telling me about a scary dream he had. At the horrifying climax, he said with wide eyes, "I scrame as loud as I could!"
Now that makes sense in an English-exception rules way..."come-came, scream-scrame."
This made me wonder all over again about the English Language. How can we ever even communicate? I found a fun answer it Steven Fry's presentation. Check it out! Kinectic Typography

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is There Any Other Kind?

I saw a sign that read, "It all starts with farm grown potatoes." I couldn't believe my eyes, so I read the sign again. Really? Is there any other kind, say, apartment grown potatoes?
I don't think so.
Apparently none of those potatoes ended up at certain select restaurants, because I overheard some ladies talking about going out to eat. One woman said, "They have a Sizzler and a Golden Corral," to which the other woman replied, "They don't have food."
Hm. What is on their menus, then? Food shaped furniture for apartments, perhaps?
Then again, the food-less woman may have been related to the lady at my catered dinner table. When served her plate of food, the woman scowled and said, "I only eat cereal, yogurt, and peanut butter," and pushed her plate away. She looked normal. I think she would have been happier after eating her potato, but I'll never know.
I think I'll write a character with potato issues. Maybe that character could even be from Idaho and afraid to step outside his door for fear of potatoes. (Dun-dun-dun!)
What food oddities do you have?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bowling Alley Funnies

More than just for rolling the odd strike, who knew a bowling alley could be so much fun? First of all, our local establishment lost its distinctive and far superior name, "The Cow Palace Lanes" when it changed ownership. "Sno-cap Lanes?" Come on, where's the imagination there? And it isn't even spelled right!
While there, I browsed the list of bowling teams hand-written on a sheet of paper tacked to the wall. I was delighted to find, "Dolls with Balls." Now there are some gals who know how to laugh.
Half-time entertainment for our bowling game came in the form of a 2-year-old boy who ran down the bowling lane as fast as his 12-inch legs would take him. His father, a quick thinker, took off after his son, his feet pounding in the gutters so as not to mar the bowling lane finish. He managed to catch the little lad more than halfway down the lane. Good thing, too, as the boy wasn't much taller than a bowling pin.
Last of all was the man who stopped in front of the mens' restroom door. Yes, there was a mens' room sign posted. Yet the guy walked over to the ladies' restroom door to read the sign, "Ladies" before moving back to the mens room and pushing his way inside.
Could he not decide?
Or wasn't he sure?

Monday, June 6, 2011

As Nice As Pie... er... Cobbler

At a church dinner, random flavors of fruit cobbler were set down at our places. Bob's was glistening red cherry cobbler, mine was pale apple. When I tasted each, the cherry tasted much better, a burst of flavor in a thick, not-too-sweet crust. "Hey," I whispered to Bob, "since I like yours better, can we trade?"
"Well, then, if we both like yours better, how about if we split half and half?"
"No way."
I sat looking at my anemic apple cobbler. Since it gave me nothing to look forward to, I ate it first, feeling mighty unlucky with every soggy bite.
The char-broiled chicken was good, though. Just as I finished it off, Bob's dessert plate came scooting my way. I blinked at the single gleeful bite of cherry cobbler winking up at me. My heart warmed, my tongue tingled, and I enjoyed the last bite of sweet cherry cobbler while falling in love with Bob all over again.
When was the last time your heart was tickled by a small act of kindness?

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Power of the Crone

Sometimes you feel pretty, sometimes you feel old, sometimes you feel pretty old - especially when falling from a full speed run down the road, skidding across the blacktop, scraping shoulder, hip, and knee. It's rib-cracking good fun, I tell ya (from 2-day-ago experience!) I just thank my lucky stars for a really WIDE elastic wrap around my rib cage.
According to experts, I'm passing out of my crone year tomorrow. (Now I can say I've been there, done that.) What comes after "crone," I'd like to know? "Ultra-crone?" (If ultra-crones look like this one, where do I sign up?)
Actually, I read a paper in one of my college classes that said crones are wise. Crones are strong. Crones should be revered.
So bring me chocolate and a pillow to put my feet up on, and I'll tell everyone what to do!
What do you think of crones?

Monday, May 23, 2011

By popular request...Dandelion Crowns!

You asked for it, you got it! Just for you, here's a pix of my little sis and me modeling our new dandelion crowns.
What things do you still like to do from your high school days?

Picking Noses

So I was writing along, shooting for my daily word count in a dramatic scene where a woman had a terrible accident. A doctor approaches her, and in that heartfelt moment of horror and compassion, he thought he could pick out her nose.
It's not what I meant, not really! The good doctor could identify the structure of her nose from the surrounding mass of mangled flesh. But how wordy is that?
Ah, how can writing be so alluring and yet so tortuous? How can I love it so?
Why do you love the things you love?

Monday, May 16, 2011


I received a message from talented new author CHERI CHESLEY that really can't be ignored if you have a heart beating in your chest. If her words doen't move you, then you'd better whip out your stethoscope and check to see if you're still alive.
In part, Cheri's message reads "I hate feeling helpless...So I decided I’m going to help. And here is your opportunity to join in the fun."
This can be a great chance for you. I can vouch for the fresh, exciting approach that Cheri takes to literature. We can't keep her book in our library doors. It keeps getting checked out.
Now it's your turn to check out the following link and read the message from Cheri. (I think she's my new hero.) MORMON MOMMY WRITERS

Can You Beet That?

I admit, it was an impulse buy. I was actually at the store for marinara sauce to get my youngest son to eat my homemade cheese sticks. (They're cheaper than the take-out Italian food he begs me for, but he thinks they're not as good. Hah!) That's when I saw bright beets beaming at me from the label on a can. I reached up and grabbed some.
The teenage checker at the till rolled a beet can over the scanner, paused, glanced at the label and asked, "What do you do with beets?"
Was this a trick question? Cautiously I answered, "Eat them."
The girl's eyes widened in surprise. "Really?"
What planet was this girl from? "You've never had a beet?" I asked, waiting to see if she darted out a forked tongue.
"No," she answered. Then her face grew thoughtful. "I think my mom tried to make me eat one once, but I wouldn't because I thought it would stain my teeth red."
Well, alrighty then. All the more for me.
Is there a food that you get sudden cravings for?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dandelion Wars

For exercise, I dig dandelions. This is a reversal from my teenage years when I delighted in weaving the bright yellow blossoms into crowns to wear to school. (Yes, I did.) But experience changes Points of View. I would rather have grass in my yard that screaming yellow flowers that all too soon grow gray and war-like, shooting out their missiles of grass-killing destruction.
So I go out every day and dig up the fiends disguised behind cheery yellow faces. It sometimes seems never-ending, but it's like writing a book. If I keep at it, word after word, dandelion after dandelion, eventually it will get done.
Until the neighbors' evil dandelion seeds attack from over the fence...just like the next book that's screaming to be written.
What kind of work do you feel will never be done?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lost A Limb

Since I would be gone two days at a book selling convention, I thought, "Why not work on writing while I sit at the table?" So I slid several folders of working book ideas, PLUS my big fat folder of random collected story ideas in a canvas bag and left home with high hopes.
I returned without the bag.
I searched everywhere.
I called everywhere.
No bag.
It took me years to write and file those story ideas. I felt like I'd lost a limb. Yeah, it hurt that bad.
But then... oh joy! It struck me that Father in Heaven loves me more than I love my own boys... that is SCARY MUCH! So much, it could smother a person. With that much love, Father in Heaven would never hurt me, only help. So what if all those story ideas were, dare I say, junk? He obviously has better ideas to shower down on my brain?
That's better.
I'm open for new ideas, and they're a comin'. I've actually started two new folders to hold them all.
How have you dealt with a numbing blow to your life?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Trench Coat and Soccer Sock

I didn't want to go to the store, but I had the debit card. So I was the designated payer. Disguising my disarray under a trench coat and a thick soccer sock tied around my rumpled hair (masquerading as a head band) apparently did not do the trick.
"Mom!" whispered my teenager as we wandered down the store aisle. "You look like a hobo vagrant!"
"Really?" I asked, patting my soccer sock. "Should I have tied the knot under my hair instead of on top?"
He rolled his eyes and moved four steps away from me, pretending he wasn't with me. He even offered to drive home, taking the key and leaving the store to get the car while I was at the checkout counter.
Wasn't that nice of him? And do you think he'll hurry me to the store again before I'm ready?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sticky Coins

For some reason, my boys like fast food hamburgers. I'll admit there are times when getting them a dollar burger is more convenient than taking them home to fix food. On one occasion when I was talked into a spontaneous drive-through trip, I realized I didn't have my purse. A missing purse can jump-start your heart, especially after you've ordered the food.
What to do, what to do?
Fortunately, there were coins in the console. I had to pry them up because soda had spilled on them during an earlier car trip. We nearly lost our fingernails, but managed to pry up enough to cover the cost. After handing them over, I felt kind of bad to see the cashier struggling to separate the coins as she counted them.
But I got over it. I didn't have to cook, and the boys were happy.
Do you like fast food?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Was it my Forehead Tattoo?

My 11-year-old son opened a package of temporary tattoos and eagerly sifted through the contents. Then he looked up and me and asked, "Should I put one on my forehead?"
"No, I don't dare."
"I do."
Eyes wide, he asked, "Really, Mom? You'd really let me put a tattoo on your forehead?"
"Yeah," I said, lifting up my bangs. I chose the girl tattoo, knowing he'd never use it. You might think that my bangs would hide the tattoo, but, no, more than one person asked me what had happened to my head.
Then came the phone call..."Hello?" I answered on the second ring.
"Is this mental counseling?" asked a male voice.
"No. What number were you calling?"
He rattled off my home phone number. "I found this listed on the Internet under 'mental counseling'," he explained.
"I'm sorry, it's the wrong number," I said. I hung up and caught sight of myself in a mirror, tattoo and all. Maybe the Internet was trying to tell me something.
Would YOU ever wear a tattoo on your head? (My seventeen year old said that some people get PAID to wear advertising tattoos! There's a career path for you.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ragged Hems and Sparkle Butts

How are crooked hems pretty? I don't get it. (I've also been accused of having no fashion sense, so ignore me if you closet is full of sweeping asymmetrical hemlines.) When I see a crooked hem, my fingers itch to get at my scissors, pins, needle and thread to fix it.
And how are sparkle butt pants attractive? (Again, if you have nothing but sparkle butt pants, WHY?") Unless you have the dimensions of a pencil and your butt is your best asset (har-har) why draw attention to it? I've followed behind ladies clad in sparkle butt designs and, yes, it does broaden their base.
What fashions curl your eyelashes? (I'm sure you'll find some in my closet!)

Monday, March 28, 2011

One Shoe Prayer

I was happy to say the prayer at church. What I wasn't happy about is that one of my shoes fell off when I stood up to pray. What the...? My first impulse was to turn back and bend over to get it. The very next flash of thought was how awkward that would be. The third flash (happened faster than the blink of an eye) was the question, "How reverent is it to pray with one shoe off and one shoe on? Diddle Diddle Dumpling, my son John." The people in back couldn't see my bare foot. The people in front were supposed to have their eyes closed.
So I folded my arms, bowed my head, and prayed. On some words, my voice strained against a giggle rising in my throat, but I hoped listeners would mistake the change in tone for heartfelt emotion.
What awkward situation have you found yourself in?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rhinestone Squash

Have you ever heard of that special cake that has real gold leaf on it? You're supposed to eat it, gold and all. (I saw it on an episode of MONK, so it must be true.)
Have you ever heard of rhinestone squash? Trust me, it's not as good. I invented the recipe. I don't even know how it happened. One minute I was gluing rhinestones on my sweatshirt, and an hour later I was sitting in class eating from a container of cooked squash, picking rhinestones out of my teeth. How did they get from my sweatshirt to my squash? That is the mystery. No rhinestones were missing from my shirt, but there were 8 rhinestones mixed in my squash.
All I can say is, weird.
What weird thing has happened to you?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Can't sleep? Eat ice cream!

Ice cream and chocolate help you sleep! How delightful! Who knew? It must be true, since my very-educated niece serves her pre-school daughter vanilla ice cream and chocolate at night to help the cutie little girl sleep. It has something to do with the relaxing properties of calcium and magnesium. Even better, it works HOT, too, because when my MOM heard about it, she got up one restless night and fixed a cup of hot chocolate with added creamer. (She said if she'd had squirty whipped cream, she would have used that, but she made do.) As soon as she stumbled back to her bedroom, she didn't remember going to bed, but woke up rested in the morning, chocolate mustache and all.
If it works for young girls and old girls, then it ought to work for middle girls like me. I'm going to try it!
What do you do to help you sleep?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tristi Pinkston shout-out!

This blog is for my friend, Tristi Pinkston. For one thing, she's kind. She made time to help me set up this blog. I even trusted her with my password, but so far she hasn't slid in any of her witty, wonderful writing for me. BUT SHE DID feature me on her blog, and I get the AIRHEAD AWARD for not putting her on mine during the same week! Tristi is a versatile writer, with actual factual historical books and FUN-FUN-FUN mysteries! She is classy and professional, with an editing service AND panelist positions at BYU's most recent LTUE (The Life, the Universe, and Everything) conference with hundreds of attendees. Her sense of humor is divine. I still laugh when I think about her cake song presented with real pathos during one of our Storymaker Conferences! You will be so happy if you visit her website right HERE: Tristi Pinkston. You will see her "Ooh-la-la" photograph and could follow her blog to give you a spot of happiness! I think everyone should have a Tristi in their lives. I'm sure glad I do.
Who is one of your "Tristi's?"

Monday, February 28, 2011

Silver Beauty Nails

I saw the cutest little girl at church the other day, no more than four years old, carrying her bag with long, shiny silver nails glued to her fingertips. As she set her bag down and trained her eyes on her nails, fluttering them slightly to catch reflecting light on their luminous surfaces, I had to smile. She had a great mom. I could tell the girl felt extraordinarily pretty, like a real grown up at nearly three feet tall.
As she fluttered her fingers through church, it brought back memories of my own long nail experiments with scotch tape. (Done when I was a child... and as an adult, too, ha, ha!) Placed just right on the fingernail, folded over double at the end and trimmed with scissors, scotch tape nails are the closest I've ever gotten to have long, luxuriant nails. They have a certain allure, an exotic edge to living the high life of fashion and ultra femininity. I can only stand them for an hour or two, then I have to peel them off so I can actually get something done.
Hm. If I color a strip of scotch tape black and cut fringes along one edge, I wonder if they'd work as false eyelashes...

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to de-stress your life

I recently read an article about how to de-stress your life. It held such pearls of wisdom as singing into a spatula while cooking, dancing around while folding laundry, and sliding across a polished floor. The article even stipulated that you should wear socks while sliding.
How silly. The whole thing was pointless. It was all about every day life. Doesn't everyone know you need to wear socks while sliding across a floor? Either that or shoes so worn out they have no tread to speak of. (Shoes worked for me in a Las Vegas casino two years ago.) And what's with singing into a spatula? My fake microphone of choice is a black plastic spoon. Duh. It looks WAY more like a microphone.
Dancing only while folding laundry is just plain ridiculous. You should dance while folding laundry, doing dishes, trying to open a stubborn jar of peaches, walking the dog, going upstairs (and down), when hearing a store's peppy piped-in music, and while trying to get your kids' attention away from the TV. Any time is good dancing time.
Everything mentioned in the article was such ordinary, every day stuff that they really need look into getting a real creative writer on staff.
But I have to admit that a tortoise wearing socks is a new one. It's positively inspiring! Let's see, I'll need a couple of pairs for the dog, twelve pairs for our three cats, oh, and we can't forget our two bunnies...

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Loves of my Life

(SCREAM!) What a handsome buncha hunks! (Swoon!) And they're all mine! (Well, except for the married ones. I get to share those with my adorable daughters-in-law.)
May I introduce my husband, Bob, and our sons Andy, Jeff, Scott, Zack, Brian, and Michael?
The only way you could ever offend me is if you tried to tell me my sons are ugly. So don't do it. Don't mess with this momma bear. Of course, it would be hard to lie.
Happy Valentine's Day! May you hold love and joy in your heart on this day of affection.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Suess in Two Minutes!

I found this fun YOUTUBE clip of a teenage girl reading Dr. Seuss's FOX IN SOX in two minutes! I offered it to my college English professor as a literary current event, but she said it was more suited to junior high or elementary school than secondary education. SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, PASTE-BOARD HEAD!
I think this is something we should all try. If we talk faster, we can get more done, yes?
Since I don't know how to make it show right in the screen, then please CLICK HERE! CLICK HERE!
(You'll be glad you did!)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Skunk Butt Hair

"Why do women do that?" Bob said.
"Do what?"
"Wear their hair like that."
"Like what?"
"Like a skunk butt," Bob said in all earnestness. I burst out laughing. "No, really," he insisted. "They make their hair look like a skunk ready to spray or a porcupine with its quills sticking out. It's ugly."
Note to self - avoid skunk butt hair.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bahlmanns in Rows

Whenever I spend time with my grandsons (all currently single digit aged), I feel transported back in time because it seems such a short while ago that my own boys were that age.
One of my sons commented to me over Christmas, "Mom, thanks for never making any of us feel like you wanted us to be any different. You never seemed to wish that any of us was a girl. You were just happy to have us like we were."
I wanted to cry with joy to hear that my boys know I love them with no ribbony strings or hidden hair bows attached. What makes it even better is knowing they love me too, in all my weirdness. The best thing is to love one another just as we are.
I can't imagine being anything but a kid inside, no matter how my face may look to you. I'm still just a kid, loving all my kids, and the kid inside of you!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Curly Shirley

Sons and cameras can be a dangerous mix. They could be hiding around any corner, behind any door, with their weapon of choice at the ready. They don't care if a person is presentable, pulling pins out of their hair or taking bites of tapioca pudding with it falling off the spoon and sliding down the chin. But then, they don't care if a mother and son are sitting side by side on the couch, either.
Taking chances can create wonderful memories.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Boys and Toys

My sons got some two-piece magnetic push pins for Christmas presents. Did they push them in a cork board?
Did they put the magnet part on their refrigerator?
They put the magnets behind their ears and lips and in their noses to make facial piercings!
Yes, I laughed myself silly. They're my boys, all right.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Seuss in Two Minutes!

I found this YouTube clip about a teenage girl who read FOX IN SOX in two minutes! We should all try it! (Since I don't know how to download a YouTube right on the page), please CLICK ME! CLICK ME!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Roses in December

I met my newest grandchild this past weekend. Mallory lives in Las Vegas with my oldest son, her mom, and her sister and two brothers. While I was there on December 31, my son cut me a couple of roses blooming in his front yard.
Imagine, roses in December! It was breathtakingly magical, like Beauty and the Beast! We even have the beauty. (See photo for proof.)
I am a happy Grammy.