Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't let the Cat Out!

While I like animals, it was not my idea to have an indoor cat. I prefer my pets outside. But our son promised to take care of a kitten so nicely that we got him one for his 12th birthday. I regretted my decision the night the cat got into my closet, scrabbling around with enough energy to wake me up. She was supposed to be asleep in my son's room, not clawing up my shoes.
Too tired to carry her upstairs, I set her outside my bedroom door, hoping she'd get the hint.
She didn't. She scratched our door with enough intensity that Bob finally carried her upstairs.
What was it with my shoes, anyway? Had I walked through catnip unaware?
When Bob returned, he told me that the dome light in my car was on. I sighed, crawled out of bed, and stuck my foot inside my yellow rubber garden shoe. Startled to feel something inside the toe, I yanked my foot out and stared in horror at a soggy mouse staggering from the shoe.
Shivers of revulsion flowing down my back, I leaped onto the bed, yelling, "There's a mouse in my shoe!"
Rolling over from beneath his cozy covers, Bob peered over the edge of the bed and said, "Well, it's not there now." Then he sunk back onto his pillow.
With dread, I got off the bed and made a much safer choice of flip flops to walk out to my car and turn off the light. The cold doesn't bother me as much as mice do!
Now I sleep with my door open, an invitation for the cat to come in and mouse-free my shoes any time she wants to.
What happened when you misjudged someone, either man or beast?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shirley Fat Face

I have a wide face just like my Swedish great-grandmother Cecelia, but with the swelling from oral surgery, my cheek grew even broader! Yet in the aftermath, I've remembered to be grateful for modern surgery techniques instead of the old barber in a blood-splattered apron forcing my mouth open and inserting a pair of rusty pliers to rid me of a troublesome tooth. 
With my sore face, I I decided to let myself take it easy for the past three days. It's been very nice and pressure-free, even though not writing can create its own kind of pressure. But I'm not feeling badly about it. This is healing time.
I have to wonder how the surgery actually went... it's reported by eye-witnesses that when I was under anesthesia, I pointed upward and said, "It's glowing!" I have to wonder if that was that the light at the end of the tunnel or what?
This picture reminds me of one more thing... I once came across a diminutive woman trying to fix the part in her hair while looking in a mirror. Looking up at my reflection in the glass, she quipped, "Shirley, you're lucky. You're so tall you don't have to worry that people will see a crooked part in your hair."
"That's true," I said, "but on the other hand, everyone can see up my nose."
This photo proves it. I just need to remember to keep my nose cleaner than most people.
Physical features are important to include in writing about various characters. What's your favorite feature? Why? Do you have a least favorite, or do you just love everything about yourself?

Monday, January 21, 2013

A New Bahlmann Book For Your Reading Pleasure!

I'm excited to announce a new book ready for your reading pleasure! 
It's the first one I've written in a long time! It's available on e-book right now, because I've had the worst time getting it formatted in paper. Yet the paper one is coming by the end of January, so if you like to curl up by a fire and turn actual paper pages, you can! A cool thing about this story is that it's based on true events! READ THE DESCRIPTION BENEATH THE BOOK COVER! 
Charlynn Christensen, Circulation Manager at Snow College Library says, “Hard to put down. Romantic and riveting. One of the best pioneer stories I've read.  Bahlmann has done her research and weaves it seamlessly together with her gift of storytelling.”

Sara's already used up three miracles in her life - one to restore her sight, one to rescue her from an amorous Indian chief, and one to save her from drowning. But the trail hand who pulled her from the river thinks she belongs to him. Are there any miracles left for Sara?
Up next, I'm finishing a story about a nobleman in Medieval times trapped in a tapestry. One of my proofreaders suggested I should write memoirs. Why not? I've got some interesting life stories to share.
If you wrote a memoir, what anecdote you would tell? 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Trying to be Normal

          Anyone who knows me knows that the less shoe, the better. Here are a couple of my favorite footwear choices:

          That's all the shoe I ever need, except when it's too cold for toes to be outside. Since I live in a place with seasons, (what was I thinking?) I tried being normal and got myself some "real" shoes.
          Aren't they nice? I especially like that they aren't fussy. Slip on, slip off. What could be better? But when I wore them to church,  the right shoe started pinching my foot. Puzzled, I stepped on my left foot to see if I could make that shoe hurt. Nope. Perfectly fine. Why would one shoe of a same-sized pair hurt me while the other one behaved nicely? All I could figure is that either my feet are weird or the shoes are. Maybe my foot was protesting its slow suffocation. For whatever reason, the hardest part came while walking home in a pinchy shoe. OW!
          Fortunately, I was not alone. When my 13-year-old son found out why I was limping, he insisted on trading shoes. Really.
          My shoe was too small for him, so he had to walk tiptoe and sort of smashed down the back, but I didn't care about that traitor shoe. When I saw his awkward gait, I offered to trade back, but he refused. Fearing I might insist, he hurried ahead with wobbly steps in his mis-matched shoes. I didn't chase him down, because I must admit it was bliss to walk without pain, my right foot slipping around in the man's size 13's.
         There's a reason God made flip flops. It's because He loves me.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Hare in Me

When Ephraim City offered employees a fitness challenge with a cash prize, I walked and stepped and swam and biked and raked and houseworked toward the month-long goal of walking around Utah with zeal. After moving so much in three weeks that my legs and feet hurt, and learning that my mileage was way ahead of everyone else, I decided to slow down for Thanksgiving week.
Big mistake.
My very own personal trainer son, 13-year-old Michael, urged me to keep going. When I told him I didn't need to, he asked, "But what if someone else is exercising while you're not?" In my best grown-up voice, I assured him that I was so far ahead that no one could catch up to me.
Oh, the smugness of my Hare-like attitude!
After turning in my final mileage, I was astonished to discover that I'd won the contest by a scant 7.88 miles. Now that may sound like a lot to you, but it's not much when considering that my total mileage for four weeks was 522 miles. The tortoise nearly overtook me! That would have felt terrible because I'd slacked off that last week. (I feel like I almost deserved to lose for not keeping up the pace!)
LESSON LEARNED - If you want something badly enough, never give up until the goal is reached. I plan to never slack off again. I will stay true to my determined path of action until my goal is reached or I see fit to change it.
This is not a New Year's goal, as I tend to set goals whenever they're needed. This is a lifestyle change.
What do wish to change about your life?  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Introducing Mikey Brooks, author and illustrator

I haven't met Mikey Brooks personally yet, but I've read some of his posts on the Internet and his books look fun! He's gone the brave, bold, daring route of self publication and illustration. I admire his chutzpah (a Yiddish word meaning the quality of audacity, for good or bad. It's a fun word to say, come on, say it with me:hu̇t-spə!) So I decided to feature the talented Mikey Brooks here today, Now, in his own words, heeeeeere's Mikey!
Mikey Brooks is an author/illustrator with a BS in Creative Writing from Utah State University. Illustration has always been a love of Mikey’s. His art has been seen in many forms from picture books to murals for community art productions. He creates full-room murals and loves to doodle on almost anything. He also manages a bakery where he also is a cake artist and decorator. He author/illustrated Bean’s Dragons, ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures, and Trouble with Bernie. He also illustrated Bongo Flo and Ocelot Scott, both by Carolyn Quist, and Lucius and the Christmas Star, by Jim Long. He’s had poetry and personal essays published in university sponsored literary magazines 2007-2009, and was awarded 3rd place for his personal essay, Waiting for the Morning Sun to Rise, in the Utah Arts 23rd Annual Writing Competition, 2011. He has a wonderful wife and two amazing daughters.
You can find more about Mikey Brooks and his works at: Or on his blog at: You can find Mikey on Good Reads at: on Twitter: @writtenbymikey on Pinterest at: and on Facebook: as Mikey Brooks, or email him at: insidemikeysworld(at)

Bean’s Dragons. 
Have you ever had a dragon in your house? How about a dozen? Bean is a little girl with an imagination that is creating quite a mess. Although Bean loves each of her dragons, she forgets how untidy they can be when having so much fun. When Bean's parents discover what's happened in their short absence, Bean finds herself the blame of the dragons' giant mess.
You can find more about Bean’s Dragons at:
ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures.
This is the first installment in a series of ABC adventures featuring Professor Vontriponmybottom, a heroic explorer determined to share with children the alphabet through exciting and fantastical means. In Magical Creatures you will find all sorts of enchanting beings such as: B is for Bigfoot, M is for Mermaid, and O id for Ogre. The professor shares fun facts about each creature he encounters and never shies away from getting a picture with them. This book is sure to educate and entertain young readers and their parents.
You can find more about ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures at: