Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Carolyn's Got Talent!

For Carolyn's most recent talent show, she COLORED PICTURES, princess pictures, of course, since she's Princess Carolyn in a sparkly red dress and classy black and red sparkle jacket!
There were so many pictures that her friends Sam and Brailey helped hold them up.
In past years, Carolyn has sung a song, but she's so talented she chose a new one this year.
What's one of your talents?

Monday, August 29, 2022

Carolyn playing a Native American drum with Terry

This nice Native American from the S'Klallam tribe let Carolyn play this awesome Native American drum. 


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A Minute of Fame in Walgreens

Well, wasn't I surprised to see a familiar book on the shelf at Walgreens in St. George. Which one, you ask? The second one down on the right.
Yup, that's the compilation I remember being asked to contribute to several years ago, along with some of my author friends, by Monte Bona of Mt. Pleasant, Utah. I was glad to see that it's still alive.
And there's my author page where I'm doing the look-up-at-the-camera picture trick to avoid the tiniest suggestion of a saggy chin.
It's fun to see my old writing resurface, proving that stories are magic, they never wear out.
What do you like to read?

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Lost Beads, Found Sponge

I really like watermelon, so was very happy to get a pair of beaded watermelon earrings last summer. They were big enough that it's hard to imagine that I didn't discover I'd lost one until after I got home one day. How did I not notice that it had fallen out of my ear?

I only felt a sense of loss until I found a watermelon-shaped kitchen sponge in Grapevine, Texas, while visiting my sister Bev.
The extra size was a bit of a puzzle...

...but not too hard for my creative mind to solve!
A bread knife, scissors, permanent marker, Mod Podge, and earring hooks made my new watermelon earrings a reality.
(They look good enough to eat, but I don't recommend it.)
How do you feel when you lose something you like? What do you do about it?

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Adventures Of Carolyn

As a Special Olympic Cheerleader, Carolyn rode in the Washington County parade with style.
If you know Carolyn, you know that she loves anything tropical, or Hawaiian, and especially loves pineapple, so she had a blast at a Special Needs Mutual Polynesian Dance with lots of friends and sparkly pineapple dealy boppers on her head.
Carolyn was also happy to have pictures taken with me at the tropical island setting...
...but didn't take kindly to me "eating" her pineapple.
We have housecleaning jobs that Carolyn loves to do, but sometimes it takes her longer to finish than others.
When we're not working, we like to walk in the Tonaquint Nature Park. This time, Carolyn was excited to find a swan sitting on a nest! Because there was a barrier, this was as close as she could get, but it was close enough.
We found a bridge that offered a great chance for a sister picture.
We had to stop at the end of our walk to get pictures of Carolyn with a wall of her favorite colored flowers.
What's your next adventure?


Sunday, May 8, 2022

Old Made New

You may have noticed that I don't know how to turn this picture, but I have faith you your ability to see what it is anyway.

     I discovered how to avoid buying a new under-seat suitcase for someone I live with who loves princesses and doesn't care for the personal-item sized case she already has, royal color that she chose in the first place! (Purple is an ancient dye color reserved for royalty.) 

Spending enough to buy a princess-covered gift bag and a jar of Mod Podge, (which, I was happy to discover, costs LESS than a new suitcase) I rounded up a pair of scissors and a ratty little paintbrush and managed to transform Carolyn's 4-year-old suitcase into an adventure all by itself.

     Now Carolyn chooses this suitcase over the slightly larger hard-sided one she has with spinner wheels that she used to choose every time we went somewhere.
     The final chapter of this story is that after 40 years of not using the stuff, I didn't know how much soap was required to clean the Mod Podge off that ratty little paintbrush.
This was enough.
Do you like to fix things that you already have?
Or would you rather buy new things?

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

No Bad Bananas

I like to take food with me when I travel for six hours. I ate the apples, I THOUGHT I ate all the bananas, but when we got to my Uncle Paul's house, I found a spotted straggler banana that didn't look like much compared to Paul's pretty yellow banana collection. 
But to my surprise, Paul greeted my lowly banana with the greatest compliment a food item could enjoy. "That's a perfect pie banana!"
Scanning the fruit, I asked, "Really?"
"Really," Paul insisted. "That one is sweet."
So Paul made banana cream pie.
Do I really have to spell the moral out for you?
You've got it.
What's your favorite pie flavor? (My Dad's favorite flavor was the round one.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

This is the stuff novels are made of.

I found this stuff of novels on my daughter-in-law, Heidi's, site. It's simply delightful.


Monday, March 14, 2022

Who Knew?!

I honestly didn't realize that this required written instructions.
 At what point in your life did you learn this skill?
I am speechless...

Friday, February 25, 2022

North and South

 Here is a snowman we found in northern Utah on February 5, 2022, flanked by my two oldest sons who are each 6' 7",
and here is a "snowman" from southern Utah on February 17, 2022, which is a little shorter than my own 5' 11.5" height, but has more potential lasting power than its northern cousin.
This shows that even though Utah isn't the largest state, it's a diverse one. Bob's parents are natives of the Netherlands, and one summer when his grandmother visited from the old country, the family drove from Salt Lake City to a National Park in southern Utah. Along the way, Grandma asked a time or two, "What country are we in now?" The Netherlands do, after all, take up much less space than Utah.
Now I'm wondering, which snowman's territory do you prefer?

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Gender Wars

My elementary school aged granddaughter is the only girl in her family, so I had to laugh when I saw this sign on her bedroom door, especially the tagline, "My mom said."
At least where brothers are concerned, she's not in the mood for Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Happy Shoes

Someone had fun making these sunny yellow shoes. I'm not referring to the high heels. High heels aren't fun, at least not for wearing. I used to wear high heels, but they did not make my knees happy.
 Still, if someone were to make these into smiley flip flops, I'd be the first in line to get some.
 Would you wear smiley shoes?

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Hold Me Back!

 Hold me back! It's a SALE! What's the deal?

Oh. What a surprise!
Would you buy a $170.00 pack for the benefit of a dollar off?

Monday, January 24, 2022

Best Intentions Burned!


I try, we all try, but sometimes efforts don't match expectations. I've struggled with writing since November 2021, but I've always struggled with cooking.
One night after making soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, one of our six boys said, "Thanks, Dad, it's good."
"Yeah, I love these sandwiches," another son added. "Thanks for making dinner, Dad."
Surprised, I asked, "Why do you think Dad made this?"
Puzzled 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 improve as I went, 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 whether Bob or I am doing the microwaving, and my hard potatoes prove that it's hard for me. (Haha!) 
(Guess who made the GOOD vegetables? Yep. Bob.)
In the writing world, I had the best intention of writing for an hour a day beginning November 2019. I wasn't 100% with my intentions, but I got three books done. (Dessert!)
When I presented the daily writing class at a Kanab Conference in November 2021, I was so scared I felt sick to my stomach!
Say what?
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 chair. I've presented many conference classes, school presentations, and storytelling in several venues.
I'm not afraid to speak, so when I suddenly hated presenting, I didn't even feel like myself.
Why did my best intentions fall short of grabbing the cliff edge?
My best guess is that immunotherapy cancer treatments for recurrent malignant melanoma changed me. Since the 13 months treatment ended in June 2021, I can't make myself eat meat. I was even surprised that I spit out my first bite of comforting bread pudding last week.
Then I found this article:
I also feel best after sleeping for 10 hours, and then having a nap in the afternoon! Here's a forum about that:
For my being unreasonably scared to teach a class comes this little gem of information:
That's what they gave me! One of those is also known as "Keytruda," mentioned in this following article:
You just never know what's next, do you? When choosing a backpack color, I wanted the gray one. GRAY! Not blue, red, purple or orange. That is so Not Shirley!
Have you ever felt not like yourself? What happened?

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?