Showing posts from November, 2011

On the Eve of my Oldest Child's Birthday

19 years ago, at this very hour, I went into labor for the first time. The contractions were tentative at first, irregular, but definitely more intense than the braxton hicks I'd previously felt.  These followed an appointment with my doctor, where he performed what must be recorded in the annals of medieval torture.  Stripping of the membranes. Holy white-hot pain!  If I hadn't wanted to have my baby so badly, I would've taken my foot out of the stirrup and kicked  him in the head.

(On a side note- I've had two OB's, both of them men.  I adored them and was completely satisfied by the care they gave me. BUT, every time they said to me, 'This will hurt a little' and then went on to cause pain they couldn't comprehend in an area they don't have, I wanted to flick their ear. Or gouge their eyes with my big toe.  Looking back, it may have been more prudent to have a female doctor. *sigh* Live and learn.)

So, my contractions began and the 'plan'…

Thanksgiving Pics


Secrets of the Blog-Blog Sisterhood

"It's hard to be responsible, adult and sensible all the time. How good it is to have a sister whose heart is as young as your own."-Pam Brown

I've posted about my sisters before.  They are woven into my life's tapestry in such a way that it would destroy  it should I try to take them out. There are many other women in my life whom I consider sisters, who also are entwined in my life.  They give my tapestry color and diversity.

 I cherish sisterhood. There is strength in women and more so when those women have a bond.  Men don't have the same connection. Oh, they can be brothers and friends, but I honestly believe that they cannot have the closeness that women do.  We are lucky.

Perhaps it's our nurturing nature. Not necessarily our motherhood, because I've felt it, do feel it, with many women who are not mothers.  But, it is something in our capacity to bear children and our tendency to tenderness that pulls our hearts together.  We are creators, whethe…


Massive headache. Even the light from my laptop hurts.  So, I'm re-posting one of my favorites, hope you don't mind.  And, here's hoping someone will remove the vice from my noggin by tomorrow.

Don't Blink

 I hurried you along today.  You were doing your thing, climbing counters, poking the cake I just made, playing the wii.  was in a hurry.
 'Time for school. Let's go.'
I got you dressed, and didn't laugh at your antics.
 'We need to hurry.'
 You wanted to clean your own face- no time. I did it for you and you grimaced. Once we were ready (finally!) you insisted on going around the block.  My shoulders drooped. Fine. I tried to rush you as you got out your scooter.
 'Come. On.'
Down the street, I urged you to go faster.
 'We'll be late.'
  My poky little puppy, you had better things to do.  Like inspecting the 'snakes' left all over the sidewalk after yesterday's rain.
 'Please don't stop.' when you …

Random Saturday

What’s on your mind? ·Does my Barbie avatar look frumpy or pregnant? Because she/I  are not pregnant.·I sometimes wish I actually looked like my avatar. Even if my measurements were 38-12-42.·Everytime I type ‘actually’, I type acturally, then, I have to fix it.·If you’re going to be on Price is Right and you bid $1 over someone else, don’t apologize.  You’ve given them no chance to win unless they get it on the nose. Own your rudeness. It is a game after all.·I watch Price is Right.  Some days.  It lost its appeal when the Handy Man and I went to the show years ago. But, it makes good background noise when I’m blogging. (The stage is really small.)·I cut my own hair in July.  Now I’m stuck in this place where I keep cutting it, because I’m embarrassed to go to a stylist and explain why it’s so incredibly uneven.  “I don’t know. I guess it just grows that way.”·I can’t roll my tongue.  As a kid, this was a serious flaw.·   When my husband and I were dating, he gave me a t-shirt he’d go…

Six Word Fridays- Thanks

(Melissa's blog, which I follow, has Six Word Fridays.  She gives a topic during the week, then on Friday, gives her six words and encourages anyone who wants to join in. Here's mine for this week.)
Those people who love me unconditionally. 

Thanksgiving- lumpy or fluffy?

Fluffy or lumpy? No, I'm not talking about any of my body parts. Potatoes.  That was my biggest decision this morning. How to make the mashed potatoes.  My life isn't perfect, some days, not even great. But, today, my only worry was about the spuds. (I'm an Idaho girl at heart.)

Pretty lucky, aren't I?  When there are people in the world, our country, maybe even (tho' I really hope not) my neighborhood, who are wondering what they're going to eat today. Or if they will.  

I woke up this morning and I was hot. I realized we forgot to turn the furnace down. We have a home, a furnace, beds.  I did laundry in an electric washer and dryer. Flush toilets- need I say more?

Later today, we will drive to my mom's house where I'll be surrounded by family and loads of good food.  My house is loud and chaotic, but I'm never lonely.

Today, there is so much to be grateful for. I could go on and on.  But, I won't. I'll just mention one more, I am  thankf…

Danke Shoen, darling, danke shoen

I'm a sucker for gifts. If you want to get on my good side, anything wrapped in shiny paper will do. Chocolates make me melt and flowers will make me positively giddy. Since I started blogging, I've found that comments have the same effect.  It's so nice to know that someone is reading and enjoying what I've written.

Yesterday, I got a lovely gift, like hazelnut wrapped in chocolate ganache. It melted in my mouth and left me with  the sweetest surge of serotonin.  It was from  S. Staus whose blog Periphery has become a part of my daily routine.  Her gift was this-

Liebster is a German word that means 'dearest' and it is given to up and coming bloggers with fewer than 200 readers.  I've seen it around as I've perused blogs this month, but didn't imagine someone would be so kind as to award it to me.  S. has a true knack for blogging and I was surprised to read that she's so new to this world.  She can be funny or thoughtful, and her posts always l…

Body Balance

"Beauty is only skin deep. I think what's really important is finding a balance of mind, body and spirit."  -Jennifer Lopez
I found that quote and was rather surprised that it came from a celebrity. Then again, it's easy to say beauty is only skin deep when your skin looks like Jennifer Lopez.  I do like what she says and that is one of the things I'm working on.  Like I said in my post before, I'm still struggling with taking it slow, but here goes.  My two goals for this week are these-
First, I will listen to my body. For example, when the walnut brownies my kids made call my name (oh, yes, they know my name) I will ignore them. Because I know that eating a palm-sized brownie, while heavenly at first, will result in some serious stomach churning later. And a sugar headache. Do you get a sugar headache? I get lots of headaches, but the sugar-induced kind are especially fierce.

Second, I'm going to start reading this-

-again. I read it a few years ago and lo…

Where's My Haz-Mat Suit When I Need It?

I cleaned all three bathrooms today. Two things about that. First, we have 3 bathrooms. I really love that about my house. We lived for 8 years with one bathroom. One. And, I was pregnant 3 ½ times during those 8 years, which means I needed that room a lot.
Second, maybe you don’t think cleaning my bathrooms is a big deal.  I am a SAHM, for goodness sake, and my job is cleaning, right?   Thing is, one of the bathrooms I cleaned was the downstairs bathroom. The one used exclusively by three boys, ages 17, 12 and 11.  You have no idea what that bathroom can look/smell like.  I never use that bathroom.  I never go in there.   I pass by it on my way to do laundry and I try not to even look at it.  I see it out of the corner of my eye and hurry past.   Kinda like with mirrors in the dark when I was  kid.  You do know if you look in a mirror in the dark you see that Bloody Mary Lady, right?  I never looked.  Ev. er.  That bathroom strikes the same fear in my heart.  But, my oldest is coming …

Just Grateful

"When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,"
This is a hymn sung often in our church. So much so that it is one I have memorized. There was a day recently when I was feeling especially 'tossed on life's billows'.  I was discouraged and though I didn't think all was lost, it was close.  The frustrations and difficulties had ganged up on me and beaten me down till I couldn't stand up straight.  It was a bad day.
As I left an appointment that hadn't gone well, I began to pray.  I pray a lot in my car, mostly when I'm alone (or when one of my teeangers is driving).  I find it a good time to express myself to my Father in Heaven, no distractions.  This day, I began by asking what to do. The trial I was facing seemed so encompassing and I really didn't know what my next step should be. I poured out my heart and begged for something, anything to help.  I didn't get any great 'instant…

Good Morning- or not.

If I ever doubt that the Handy Man loves me, which I don't but, if I did, I would only need to do one thing to reassure myself.

 Look in the mirror first thing in the morning.

See, of all my skills, (fingernail-growing skills, giving-birth-to-large-babies skills, making-killer-enchilada skills), one I do not have is the waking-up-pretty skill.  It has something to do with my short hair and how I lay on my pillow.  Seriously, my hair can defy gravity in the a.m.  And you know those lines you get on your face from your pillow? Did you know that when you get to be 45 they don't go away very quickly?  Cruel trick of nature.  Throw my glasses into the mix and it's a scary sight.

Still, he kisses me good morning and pretends not to notice how hideous I look.  That's true love, baby.

Happiness 101

Our local news had a story about an actual class to learn how to be happy.  Happiness 101.  I think it's a sad state that we need to be taught to be happy. We're too stressed and worried.  I'm pretty happy, most days, well, some days. I could teach you what to do to be happy. Here's some ideas-

Stop doing laundry for anyone but yourself.  When someone (your kids) ask where their clothes are, tell them to look wherever they took them off.Buy sunglasses for your teenagers, make them wear them at.all.times. Then, you won't see the eye rolls. Unplug your alarm clock. Unplug your husband's alarm clock. Sleep till you can't sleep no more. (Then do some other stuff.)Stock up on cup-of-soup and corn dogs.  When the kids ask what's for dinner- make that 'W' with your hands. Whatever.Eat chocolate at each meal. Heck, eat chocolate for each meal.Every time it snows (which it's doing right now) declare a snow day and refuse to leave the house.  Drink ho…

Crush- a Particularly Apt Description

Do you remember that crush?  You know the one.  The one who was completely clueless to your pining?  He who cherished you- as a friend?   Who asked nothing of you when you would have given him everything?  The one who built a heaviness in your gut that you carried with you long after he had walked away?  Do you remember his name?  Of course you do.  Though the butterflies and stars he summoned have long since turned to dust, he is engraved on your heart, like a carving on a tree.

He was a Marine. Blonde crew cut, blue eyes. And that smile. The night we met we talked for hours.  He didn't kiss me or hold my hand, didn't even touch me.  Didn't matter.  He unknowingly reached into my chest and stroked my heart. I fell hard and fast.  He had found a friend.   For the next few weeks, we talked often.  We were comfortable, like curling up on the couch.  He told me his stories and listened to mine.  The days I didn't talk to him, I sulked and worried.  Weekdays were spent dreamin…

One Word Wednesday-- Attitude



The Handy Man came home from work today, took one look at our room and said,

"It looks like the dryer threw up on our bed."

Time to fold some laundry.

Michelle Duggar and Me

Friday night I had a party for my Primary class. Six 10 year-olds in addition to my five that were home.  I'm wondering if our neighbors could hear the rumble.  I'm pretty sure our house was shaking at one point.
Friday was also the day I heard about Michelle Duggar's pregnancy.  I don't care how many kids you have. One or dozens. As long as you don't abuse them and can provide for them, I don't think anyone should care.  But, after having 11 very loud kids in my house, I wish I could ask her,  "How do you do it?"

Not the pregnancies.  I managed to get pregnant 7 times and I'm pretty sure I could have continued.  If I'd wanted. And if I'd been crazy.  No, I wonder about some other things.  As a mom of a large family- even by Mormon standards- I'd like to know how she handles it.

1- The physical part. I had my first at 26 and my last one at 40.  There is a HUGE difference in a young body and one that is older. Add in the pregnancies a…

My Wand is a Pen

"Words are, in my not so humble opinion,  our most inexhaustible source of magic." -Albus Dumbledore
Today, I am grateful for writers.  Since the beginning of this month, I've read LOTS of blogs.  First I was surprised at how many bloggers there are. I'm also amazed at the many fabulous writers.  As a writer myself, I don't feel jealous of others talents (well, maybe a little), but I do appreciate their gifts and their willingness to share it. Writers have the power to uplift, empower and inspire, and literally change the world. Don't believe me? Look at JK Rowling.  
She inspires me with her imagination.  My book is a fantasy and I have to admit I've sometimes had a hard time letting go of reality.  I worry that others wouldn't believe something in my story. Then,  I read the Harry Potter books and I'm in awe of her ideas and her profound insights.  Ms. Rowling  makes me want to be a better writer. As do the other bloggers.
I don't have any delusi…

I Can't Live, If Livin' is Without You

'Ultra-slim Dell laptops' 'New Macbook Air. Thin and light.' 'HP Mobile Thin Client'
Pretty sad when the pressure to be thin even extends to our technology. I've been trying to reassure my laptop that it's ok to be heavier than her peers. She's beautiful.  I love her just the way she is.  I don't need the newest, thinnest gadget.  I'm happy with her.  She isn't heavy to me.  Compared to the dinosaur desktop that we make our kids use, she's a supermodel. Seriously.
I think she's feeling the pressure, though.  She's been sluggish and crashes a lot.  Depression will do that to you. Make you not want to do the things you enjoy. I know she enjoys our time together, so that must be it.  I've been trying to let her get more sleep, but it's hard.  I'm a bit addicted to her.
Maybe it's NaBloPoMo.  This posting everyday has been stressing me out.  Perhaps she feels it, too.  I may have to break down and take her in to the…

Can You See the Difference?

Even growing up as I did, with meager circumstance, I don't think I knew we were poor.  Most of my friends lived in the same situation.  We went to school together, attended church and played side by side.  I had one friend, who, looking back had much more than I did, but I'm not sure I noticed.  

The time I really understood that my home was different was one Christmas.  Our morning came and we'd had a good day.  I don't remember everything I got, but I remember one thing. It was this little, white, stuffed bear.  I had asked for it specifically and was thrilled to have found it under the tree. After the gift opening, we would normally just stay home to enjoy our gifts.  This year we did something new.

My dad's cousin had invited us to brunch.  First of all, we didn't eat brunch.  We had breakfast and lunch. Secondly, the cousin lived one neighborhood over.  Just a few streets away, but the differences put miles between us.  I starkly remember walking up the …

11-11-11 Three Wishes

Hold your breath, Make a wish, Count to three...
To me, a wish is something just out of reach.  As a child I often made my plea to the first star at night, on dandelion fluff,  and let's not forget the birthday kind- I never told a soul.  These days, I don't dwell on wishes that often, though I have many, like a decent singing voice or a brand-spankin-new minivan.  But, if I had to choose three, today this is what they'd be-
1. An anniversary trip with the Handy Man. 2. A book agent. 3. That my children will have a fabulous Christmas.
What would your wishes be?

Wordless Wednesday- Hunter is 11


National Xray Day

Seriously, it is.  You can look it up here. In my life, I've had a total of one x-ray.   My kids have more than made up for that.   One I really wish I had was of Noah's 9 month-old chest, with a penny stuck in his throat.  But, still, I have this one-
 This happened 2 years ago at our family reunion. Max fell off some monkey bars.  Here's what it looked like to us. What's worse than that?
Having your most active kid in a cast all summer.  We're celebrating today by not having any x-rays done.

My Quest for Balance

Recently, I sat on a park bench.  Half of me in shadow, the oak leaves sending fluttering shade over and past me.  The other half  bathed in sunshine, tingling, slightly burning the skin on my shoulder.  Each half balances the other so that I am the perfect temperature.  Every so often, I get a chill, my body’s response to the exquisite harmony.
This is what fall is to me. Balance.  Other seasons do not have this.  Summer is hot, sticky, miserable.  Winter has its bitter cold.  Fall sits in the middle, a respite from their brutal influences.  And, while the other seasons have beauty in their prospective natures, they cannot compare with the amazing portrait that is Autumn. Bright orange and red, balanced with mellow green and brown- even her face has symmetry.
I don’t give much credit to astrology.  Don’t read my horoscope, except as entertainment.  But, as a Libra, I must say, I see some of my sign in my personality.  I cherish balance in all things.  The scales tip one way and anothe…

Gratitude Sunday

(Note: I don't usually post on Sundays, but with NaBloPoMo I'm doing it this month. I thought, with it being the thankful month, I'd do gratitude posts on Sunday.)

I've been trying to be all meaningful and spiritual, as it is Sunday. That's giving me writer's block. So, here's my Sunday in a nutshell and why it makes me thankful.

1- I laid in bed (extra hour of sleep-bless you daylight savings) and listened to my kids get breakfast. My kids get their own breakfast. What about that isn't gratitude worthy?

2-  We made it to church on time. OK, we always get there on time.  I'm annoyingly punctual. But, today, we had to sit three rows closer to the front because we had lots of visitors.  I'm thankful we got there when we did so we weren't on the front row.

3-One of those visitors was deaf and I had the opportunity to interpret for him.  I haven't done that in years. It was fun.  Poor guy may not have gotten much out of it since I'm as r…

Cheating on Thanksgiving with Christmas

It snowed today, and I listened to Christmas music. I'm not ashamed. OK, maybe a little. Thing is, I love Christmas music. It brings back so many good memories of stacking those black LPs on the record player. Also, it's calming and joyful.  Most of it, anyway.  I refuse to listen to a few songs, like 'Rockin Around the Christmas Tree' and 'Jingle Bell Rock'.  Those two grate on my nerves like a 2 year-old whinefest.

A friend pointed out to me that I shouldn't forget Thanksgiving.  I know.  It sort of gets lost between the candy orgy and Santa visits.  I read on facebook about one woman who puts up her tree while the kids are trick-or-treating.  I'm not quite that bad.  I do love my Christmas decorations though and feel like I want more time with them.  I stood in the garage today looking at the boxes longingly.  I. Love. Them.  Why don't I marry them? I would, but my husband might take offense to me becoming a polygamist with garland and ribbons.…

Why Do I Get Ideas When I'm Tired?

Lights out, house is quiet, I'm comfy under the blankets. And I start to write.  In my head. I don't want to get up and put the ideas down.  I want to sleep.
Today's blog prompt on BlogHer was do you prefer a pen or computer to write?

It took while, but now I prefer the computer.  My handwriting is okay for the first paragraph or so, then it steadily goes downhill from there. Plus, my hand hurts when I write much.  Also, I'm faster on my laptop.  (And I really like the way it sounds when I'm typing. click. click. click.)  The only time I like pen and paper is if I'm trying to write poetry.  Which I don't do often.  I'm not sure why, maybe it goes back to when I started writing when there were no computers.  Except the kind that took up a whole room.

I'm a child of the 70's- clunky typewriters and correcting fluid.  We were so excited in high school when we got self-correcting electric typewriters.  Oops! Made a mistake.  *backspace/correct*  Awe…

Embracing Our Average-ness

Can you keep a secret? Just between you and me?
My kids aren't above average.
There, I said it.  
 If you held up one of those measuring sticks that scales in IQ and accomplishments, they wouldn't rate very high.  I'm not being mean. They're smart, all of them.  They're talented, too.  But, when it comes to a comparison between them and the rest of the world, well, they get about a 'C'.  Average. Coasting along in the middle. 
Is there anything wrong with that?
I mean, there has to be someone who's average, doesn't there?  Otherwise, why would we have the word?  We have to have something for all those overachievers to do better than.  Really, my kids are doing a service.  Giving their peers someone to surpass.   Your welcome. 
See, these kids have been ignored way too long.  I think it's high time we embrace our average-ness.  Wear it proudly, like a badge, or a bumper sticker. "I'm proud of my average student." 
Why not?  We can't all…


Welcome to our Halloween Home! Here's some pics from our party. It was fun and I'm a little sad about taking all the  decorations down.

On to Thanksgiving and the holidays. (My decorating ideas came from; and
If you look to the left you'll see the button for NaBloPoMo- National Blog Posting Month.  Since I'm taking part, I'll be posting daily. (Hope you don't get sick of me!) Todays subject idea was this- If your next meal was going to be your last, what would it be? Mine- a really good chimichanga, spanish rice, and chips and salsa. Washed down with a diet Coke, of course. What would yours be?

Writing = Inspiration

"The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself.

"My mother told me something similar when I was young: you don't get to choose whether you're a writer; your only choice is whether to be a writer who writes or a writer who doesn't. What she didn't tell me then, though I'm certain she knew, is that if you're a writer and you're not writing, you will never quite be happy."--Joan Didion
I've been a writer for as long as I can remember.  It started with poetry and then on to stories.  As a teen, I wrote constantly.  I recorded my thoughts and wrote poems about anything.  It truly was a compulsion.
Then, I went years without writing.  Years.  I was a young mother, busily nursing, diapering, and running around after my kids.  Occasionally I would toss out a poem, but never much.  Admittedl…