Friday, December 31, 2010

Midnight pancakes...

Someone at work asked me what I do to celebrate New Year's Eve. For many years, when I had teenagers at home, they and their friends seemed to gather at our small but welcoming house. I learned to love the sound of happy chatter, competitive games and twenty people calling me Mom at the same time. For some reason, it became a tradition that at the stroke of midnight, I started cooking a huge batch of pancakes, smothered with real butter and luscious streams of maple syrup. Nobody ever objected. I started out with small ones, about the size of a silver dollar, so everybody could get a first taste. Then I made regular ones until everybody was stuffed. Fun memories.

In honor of those memories, here are a few things maybe you didn't know about pancakes:

"Names for pancakes:
Silver dollars, flapjacks, hubcaps, Johnny cakes, platters, Saturday morning specials, griddlebacks, panky-doos, berry patches, 2-ds, flipills, circles of life, hotcakes, butter gutters, griddlecakes, and Chuck Norris crepes.

German Pancakes or Dutch baby pancakes served in American pancake houses are bowl-shaped. They are eaten with lemons and powdered sugar, jam, or caramelized apples, as well as fritters.

Pancake Day is widely celebrated in Australia: in a "pancake race" each participant carries a pancake in a frying pan. All runners must toss their pancakes as they run and catch them in the frying pan. This event is said to have originated in Olney, England in 1444 when a housewife was still busy frying pancakes to eat before the Lenten fast when she heard the bells of St Peter and St Paul's Church calling her to the Shriving Service. Eager to get to church, she ran out of her house still holding the frying pan complete with pancake, and still wearing her apron and headscarf.

A crêpe is a French variety of thin pancake cooked on one or both sides in a special crepe pan to achieve a network of fine bubbles often compared to lace - a savory variety made from buckwheat is usually known as a galette. In Germany, pancakes can be made from potatoes. In Italy they can be fried and stuffed with ricotta and chocolate into what are known as cannoli."

Sounds pretty good to me.

Oh, and have a safe New Year's Eve.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nik's Traditions

My son, Nik, is unique, creative, sentimental, fun, mustauched, and a real traditionalist.

For more years than I can remember, he has given punching ballons to each of his nieces and nephews (like Thomas in this picture) for Christmas. In fact, they've come to expect it. (I'll bet Blickenstaff's has some.)

The adults have come to expect something else. He didn't create the recipe, but has made it his. What recipe, you say?

Christmas Honey Taffy, Nik-style:

(Use a good-sized pan:)
2 cups honey
2 cups sugar
1 T apple cider vinegar

Stir occasionally and heat just to hard ball stage, then pour into buttered glass pan.

As soon as it’s barely cool enough to handle, spread butter on both your hands, stretching it like taffy and doubling it back to pull again. (If it doesn't burn your hands, you started too late.) The more you can pull it before it gets too hard, the lighter the candy will be, literally. When you can't pull it anymore, whether because it's almost setting up or because your arms feel like they're going to fall off, stretch it out on the area described below.

Have a countertop or table already prepared. Lay out some waxed paper with powdered sugar spread around on it. Stretch the pulled candy into a snake-like shape and score with a butter knife every inch or so. It sets up fast. When it hardens, turn it over and crack it in your hands with a table knife handle; it’ll break apart. You can wrap it individually in waxed paper to keep it from sticking together or just chip off a bit with the knife handle when you want some.

Wonderful stuff, supposedly good for your throat, too. Medicine that tastes good.

Bring it on, Nik! (and p.s. to the other kids, I'll write about you, too, if you bring me stuff :o) Love, Mom

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stop by on your way from the North Pole, please.

I called to talk to my daughter in Cardston yesterday and my little granddaughter answered the phone. She turns 4 tomorrow and she talks really well. She told me lots of stuff about the cat and dog and her baby sister.

A friend of their family was going to make a trip down here last weekend and offered to take back all the toys, but for some reason, she decided not to come. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I bought a whole bunch of stuff, thinking this was the chance, no international shipping. I had told Taylor and Carver that I was sending them presents!

Little Taylor said, "Grandma, did you send the presents?" I said it was too far and that I couldn't send them now but would save them for when they came to visit. She's a great problem solver. She said, "I'll just have Santa bring me." How rational. I said, "That's a good idea, Tay, but maybe it will be a little too cold."

Anybody know the number to the North Pole? Or somebody who is driving from Utah or Idaho to Alberta around the holidays, besides Santa, I mean? I'll buy them a tank of gas if they'll get the box to my sweet little ones.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I haven't been able to get my hands on a newspaper obituary for Dad, so this will be minus the two great pictures of him. If anybody has thoughts or stories or comments, you can email them to me at or just post something on this blog that we can make into a scrapbook for later. This is the written part:

Edward (Ted) Rice, Clifton, Idaho, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend, took his final walk on Sunday, Nov 21st 2010, at the age of 93. He was born June 3, 1917 in Farmington, Utah to Ira Quince and Myra Winegar Rice.

His were a farmer’s hands, ever-working and always-serving. Whipstrong and smart. Honest in every dealing. Glad he had daughters instead of sons because “Boys just go to football practice and work on junky cars all the time. Girls work!“

Dad and Mom worked the farm side by side and were a great example to us all on the value of hard work. Mom and dad loved to travel. The day they sold the milk cows, they drove out of the yard at milking time. After that they decided to leave no back road untraveled, many times on their bicycles. One summer while in their seventies, they put on over 1000 miles on their bicycles. We will miss him dearly but are full of gratitude for the life he lived, the example he was for so many and for the wonderful memories he left for each person whose life he touched.

He is survived by his wife, Helen; four daughters, Pauline, Lorraine, Kay and Betty; two wonderful sisters, LaMar Bingham and Jane Wood, as well as 8 grandchildren and
14 great-grandchildren.

Monday, November 22, 2010


We will so miss our dear dad.

For my dear Mother and Sisters:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Last Kren in the Box, Big Iz

Saturday, November 20, 2010


tomorrow is the finale...

Friday, November 19, 2010


I'd never heard this one before, but it's beautiful, both the song and the skater.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Aker Bilk

Ok, a different shade of purple.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Think Harry Belafonte

My dad told me once that he liked this song.

The music was written by Evelyn Danzig and the lyrics by Jack Segal. The song was written at Ms. Danzig's home on Long Island, and was published in 1949.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

For Sunday, the GGGOH

A little Elvis reflection...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mr Low Voice

Friday, November 12, 2010

b bop

There are no doubt smoother versions out there, but ya just gotta love the bobby socks in this video!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Veteran's Day

Well, it shows a posting of Sunday's date, but it's really Nov 11th today.

The origin of the y****** r******* seems likely to have come from out of the Puritan heritage. It was during the English Civil War that the Puritan Army of English Parliament wore y****R***** and Y***** sashes into battle. THANKS, VETERANS!

And just for Cousin Julia (yesterday's color) kind of a redneck version but impressive, nonetheless :o)

#3, Love this one

This one just might be my fav

#2, This one everyone will recognize

To see what today's color is, copy & paste the following link:

See if this one rings a bell....

The first song from my "Book of Krens" (Maybe a few of you are too young to remember, but it was a classic in its time. Pauline introduced it to me.) Sorry I couldn't make a direct link, but cutting and pasting to the browser will work. Tell me what color you guess!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


That's the number of crayons (we always called them "Krens") in the box I passed at the Dollar Store yesterday. How can they make any profit by selling 64 crayons, wrapped in labels, along with a box, all for a buck? On Tuesdays, apparently they have a discount, so you can buy any item for 88 cents. I almost feel guilty buying stuff like that...but I never seem to get out of there for less than $20, so I pay for the guilt anyway, it seems.

...BUT, it did get me thinking about blogs for the coming week. In fact, it may take more than a week, but we'll have fun. Rest up.

Oh, and by the way, if you haven't already done so, remember that we turns our clocks back one hour tonight.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Upon Further Reflection...

Last night I braved the evening coldness for the hot tub, where it was a nice 99 degrees. Since it gets dark so early now, I had hooked up one of those standing lamps with the multiple-colored lights extending out like a bouquet of flowers…these look kind of like poppies, not all the way open.

The jets turned off after half an hour, leaving the night in peaceful silence. I was too comfy to move and restart them, so I didn’t. After a minute or so, the water settled down, still as glass, not even a ripple. The white corrugated roof and the lamp to the side were both mirrored in the water, giving it the duplicate effect of the same scene, one above me and one beneath. It was calm, and sort of magical.

I thought how sometimes we don’t realize we are a part of one big whole, not alone in existence. If we saw the entire picture, instead of just part of it, our capacity to understand and appreciate life would increase remarkably.

Then I also thought how there are depths within us that we do not comprehend until we are tested and have to seek deeper within ourselves.

We are more than we could ever imagine.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

You can't make this stuff up, Folks!

Well, I'm over it now and, as they say, stuff happens. (It just happens to some of us more than others of us.) A few of you may have already heard the story.

So, here's how it went today:

My talk was prepared as well as I could do it. I even wore two body shapers; they overlapped a bit. It was quite a setup, so right before I left for Church, I decided to use the bathroom one last time. I couldn't find my pink slip so whipped on an old white one that had a little tear on the lace, but who would know since I was wearing a mid-calf skirt anyway?

I walked in and sat on the stand and was immediately horrified to notice that my slip was hanging four inches below my skirt! How could this possibly be happening? It wasn't like I could just give it a little pull or anything; it was major. Of course, the bathroom is on the other side of the entire building, so i decided to head to the coat closet nearby. A lady stopped me to talk about a song for the combined Priesthood/Relief Society meeting today and she probably thought I was really rude to rush her along, but it was three minutes before sacrament meeting! I hustled out and could see there would be no time to fix it right, so I just went to the back of the coat closet, whipped it off and threw in on a shelf, went back and sat down like it hadn't happened...really helped the nerves settle down, you know. I think even if the only guy in the hallway had seen me, he would have thought his eyes were playing tricks on him.

People were lined up after the meeting to say what a great talk! All I could think of was I need to grab the slip before anybody notices, or I forget. I hurried out and threw it in my car so it didn't hang out of my purse the rest of the day or something. Whew!

After Church I went to go home and could not find my keys anywhereeeee. (I knew the spare was locked in the car because the other day when there was frost on my windshield, I used the spare to warm up the car while locking it with the main set, so nobody would steal it while it was running, and decided it would be handy if I just left it in there.)

We looked in the chapel, on the couch, in the couch, on the stand, lost & found. Nothing. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe I had somehow thrown my set of keys in the back seat with the slip. I got a ride home and after a while, ended up having my grandson call the police dept to see if they still unlock crazy people's cars. I was too embarassed to do it, and didn't want them to maybe ask me why I keep a slip in my back seat. They said they'd send an officer, so my grandson was driving me over there when a fellow in my ward came walking up to us. He asked if I'd lost a set of keys and said he'd found them on the couch, apparently before I even knew they were missing and checked the couch. I called to cancel the policeman.

I have a sorta headache coming on, but somewhere I think I hear a few angels laughing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

7 x 6 = 42=

Well, you know what today is???

Not just a fabulous fall day.

Not just an excellent conference session this morning with more to follow.

Not just a day off from regular work to do domestic things and maybe relax.

IT'S DAY 42...of the famous "haircut" scenario! It's now a proven fact that the difference between a bad haircut and a good one is six weeks. Six incredibly long, patient-trying, inner-strengthening, one-moment-at-a-time weeks.

By Thanksgiving I could look like a hippie, Dude :o)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Eye of the Needle

Grandma Rice used to have quilts set up in her living room. Mother would go over and help her sew, not tie them, while we sat quietly underneath and pretended to be in a little neat tent on some wonderful adventure, sort of a magic carpet upside down. Mother used to sew fabulous quilts out of something soft and satiny, but she was always good at threading the needle. For the purposes of today's blog, we are just talking about Grandma, for reasons I'll explain.

Grandma also used to embroider pillow cases, and crochet the edges as well. She taught me a little bit about it, let's say she tried. The most fascinating part was trying to tie those little french knot stitches. Hers were nice and tight. Mine were like blobs of ink. The concentration was such that you stuck your tongue out while trying to get them to work.

The point of all this is that she reached a time where she couldn't see well enough to get the thread through the needle and would just ask me to do it. That was cool, but in the back of my mind, I thought: "It's right there, big as the sky. How can you not see it?" It took me all of two seconds to thread it and hand it back to her WA LA. She had one of those little gizmos where you somehow attach the thread to it, shove the little pointed metal thing through the eye, and there ya go. I never even tried it out, why bother, being Miss Eagle Eye?

Tonight I sat down to do my yearly mending, hemming a sleeve that had come undone on a blouse and lowering the hem on a pair of slacks. I dug out my "sewing box", which in a former life was a Christmas cookie container. It's a pretty thing and I can cram all my sewing stuff into it, seeing as I don't need all that much. I had left a needle and thread all ready to go from last time, so fixed the sleeve in a flash. Then I had to "refuel." My goodness, you'd have thought little elves had come in the night and fused the eye shut!

I tried it with my glasses on. I tried it with my glasses off. I even stuck out my tongue for effect! It was ridiculous. I moved my arms around like a conductor trying to thread that needle and finally accidentally got it through, a big relief. But then, I ran out of thread again! I wasn't as lucky the second time...other than my grandson came by for a few I pretended to be like Grandma and asked him for help.

The most wonderful thing happened. He couldn't do it either! We decided the eye of the needle was much too small, the thread was probably poor quality, and the lighting wasn't good from that dumb lamp.

Apparently it's a genetic thing.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

As The World Turns...

Got a phone call yesterday while I was at the grocery store, but didn't recognize the number so just let it go to voice mail. I paid for the groceries, put them in my car and checked the message as I slid into my seat.

It was Bishop Pectol's voice saying something about a "glass ball and flames" but "all was well." He said something about they left it by my front door. When I got home there indeed was a little box by the door. Inside it was a little fire extinguisher, empty, and the strangest thing underneath in the bottom. It looked like a burned glass sphere...which it was...a little 3-inch glass ball with fish in it that I got at the Dollar Store and put out in a little spot in the yard at least two months ago.

Robin Pectol had been driving by and noticed what looked like a little smoke out back. She circled around just to make sure everything was ok. Lo and behold, the smoke turned to flames around a decorative glass ball, which just happened to be sitting on some bark chips. She tried to kick up some dirt to put out the flames, but could see that wouldn't work, so she called her husband to bring a bucket of water QUICKLY. He drove over with a fire extinguisher, which didn't quite do the trick. They ran to my neighbor's and together put out the fire with the hose.

Pretty good neighbors, huh? It's an interesting feeling to find out everything you have has been threatened while you were out, but you don't have to worry about it. Indeed, all was well.

It was the weirdest thing. After all summer of sitting in the same spot, it chose yesterday to instantaneously combust. The effect was exactly like those little magnifying glasses we kids held in the sunlight until the paper started to burn, like magic. The globe was still warm to the touch an hour later; the glass on the bottom charcoal black. Sobering.

I can't imagine the odds it took for it to catch on fire at that time. Even greater seem the odds that Robin was driving by just when it started, that her husband who just happens to manage Emergency Essentials in Orem, was handy and prepared, not to mention Reggie, next door, being at home and having his hose available.

I walked all around the yard to see if there was anything else that might cause a similar scenario, since I set out a lot of things for kids to enjoy as they walk by the house.

Thanks to EVERYONE involved! And now, like Paul Harvey used to say, you know the rest of the story.

Prayers answered each and every day...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Swan Song

While sitting in my hot tub tonight, I noticed that the crickets have lost some of their enthusiasm. Instead of sounding like the Tabernacle Choir, they're sounding more like a family reunion group, a little draggy and off-beat. Methinks the "first chairs" have gone where there's a little more S'uthun accent.

The summer nights have been as bold and expansive as Gregory Peck swooping across the valley on his horse to the strains of "Shenandoah" in How the West Was Won.

The music of Fall is always wistful to me, like a beautiful song you wish would go on and on, like Shari Lewis and Lambchop's "This is a song that never ends; it just goes on and on my friends..."

Why is it that a song you love ends way before you wish, but one you don't like at all seems to have never-ending lyrics?

That's how I feel about fall and winter, consecutively.

On a more cheerful note, I looked at the calendar and noticed there are nine more paydays til Christmas. Ho Ho Ho

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Snip Snip Snip

Since I'll be working in Provo rather than Orem starting September 1st, I've been trying to figure out a working morning schedule, so as not to be late at the new office. I'll need to find an extra ten minutes to add to the routine to be prompt, either that or find somewhere to cut out ten minutes from the current routine. One thing I know for sure is I don't want to drag my body out of bed ten minutes earlier!

You know how you fight with your hair more and more every day until you know it's time for a haircut? Well, this past week has been increasingly like that. If they had an "I can't come into work today because my hair is just not cooperating at all" leave clause, I'd have used it.

For some reason, my thoughts got tangled up and I thought it might be a clever idea to get a shorter haircut, thus gaining a few more minutes in my schedule. This is probably similiar to ideas that seem good when one is imbibing in alcohol, but is not so in this case. While I was waiting for the stylist to finish up on another client, I looked through those big shiny books they leave lying around and found a style that looked really good on a woman of my age. She had beautiful silver hair, which thanks to Sally Beauty, mine is not. I admire people who can carry that off, but have seen "what lies beneath" on my head and it's an ugly salt/pepper, not attractive at all.

I like my stylist a lot and we always chatter away pleasantly. Somewhere in the translation of the photo in the book to her scissors today, we missed the communication link, probably by a couple of inches. No hair on my head is now currently longer than 3/4 of an inch. My son's friend, Stirling, just got off his mission Thursday and when Kyle saw me today, he said "Mom, Stirling has hair longer than that!" So you get the picture.

I washed it, put light gel in it, blew it dry with my head upside down, put some hair spray on the roots...and absolutely nothing happened. I look like Mary Martin in Peter Pan, only with dark hair and no green tights. (Did you know she is Larry Hagman's mother, the guy on I Dream of Genie?) The world's smallest curling iron would laugh hysterically if asked to participate. I would need one with a rod the size of a Q-tip.

The positives are: 1-People are too kind to say "Whatever happened to your hair?" 2-I won't have to get another haircut for months or even buy new shampoo this year (as Kyle pointed out) and 3-I'll save some time in the mornings, probably enough to take up dancing or something.

I bought a new pair of dangling earrings in some wild hope that people would notice those and not the cut; at least it'll give them something to say. Sort of along the lines of a friend with a less-than-beautiful baby you see for the first time. You can always say "What a sweetheart, and such a lovely blanket!"

As they say, "The only difference between a good haircut and a bad one is six weeks." So that will be approximately Oct 2nd...

Saturday, July 31, 2010


My best friend growing up was Colleen McDemott, grade school through high school. We lost regular contact after graduation, but saw each other now and then. My mother told me that she had heard Colleen had a disease that was probably fatal. I'd just had Nik and decided to wait until I had time to write her a nice long letter rather than just a note. A few weeks later my mother called to tell me that my sweet friend had fallen down some stairs, gone into a coma and passed away. I was filled with regret that I hadn't just found her phone number or dropped her a card rather than waiting to do it "right." It haunted me for years but did motivate me to pick things up a notch and respond more timely. I had a wonderful visit with her parents a few years back before they passed away, and they were as sweet as ever.

Eleven days ago my daughter in law, Dayna, called to tell me that my former sister-in-law had been ambulanced from Vernal to the Provo Hospital with cancer and was only expected to live five more days. I just happened to have that afternoon off so rounded up Nik and my granddaughter and went down to the hospital. I wasn't sure what reception I would get after 17 years but decided it didn't was worth a try since I'd always thought she was a sweetheart. I gingerly walked into her room and was greeted by a big "KAY, how good to see you!" She gave me a wonderful 20-second hug and we visited like old friends for half an hour or so. They hadn't run tests yet and she didn't know the diagnosis, so it was a positive experience. She certainly didn't seem like someone who only had a few days left on earth.

The next day they ran tests, found it throughout her body and started chemo Thursday. She got steadily worse, slipped into a coma and passed away last night. It made me feel good not to have waited, because there would never have been another opportunity to visit with her before it was too late. Two nights ago I couldn't sleep because I hurt all over so was just lying there thinking. The most incredible thought came to me. It wasn't just that I had made a quicker response, though that was a big deal. I realized that both of these women were named Colleen, the only two Colleens I have ever known. Quite the coincidence, huh?

It was as if it were a gift from Heaven, a comfort from my old friend to fill that hole that never would fill. Finally, after 29 years, I can let that sorrow go.

My condolences to Dennis and family at this sad time for them. God bless.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Well...almost, anyway. I'm not sure if it's Mickey or Minnie personally visiting our house, hopefully just one or the other.

Yesterday while I was at work, my visiting granddaughter sent me an email and started the following conversation:

"I had to get on to tell you, YOUR KITTY BROUGHT IN A MOUSE! The good news is I safed it but the bad news is it's still inside your house...."

Me: "Do you know where it is? "

She: "Under the couch, It is soooooooooooo cute!"

Me: "Well, try to scoot it out with a broom or something ok? It's better to let her get it so it doesn't die in the house and rot."

She: "I was going to move the couch and let her get it. She is trying don't worry. And the door is open so it can run out." (She apparently wants both of them to live happily ever after, just like at Disneyland.)

Last night after I got home from work, Kyle, who was unaware of the day's scenario, casually mentioned: "Mom, by the way, there's a mouse in my room." I said, "So
that's where it went! Swirl had it." He said: "No, this one's alive." (Such is Swirl's remarkable reputation for causing mice demise.) I said: "No, Teelay tried to save it." That lead him to a discussion with her on feline instincts and not interrupting the cycle of life.

I told Kyle maybe he should let Swirl sleep in his room last night. He declined, and I fear Mickey/Minnie is still visiting us...perhaps seeking some weekend party rate.

As for me, I'm keeping the door to my room shut 'round the clock til further notice.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Those Loaf Things

While driving through almost the entire State of Utah this past weekend, I saw a lot of hay fields, no doubt "first crop". The first crop was the heaviest and came in June. The second crop was ready 4-6 weeks later. If you were lucky you got a third and perhaps tiny fourth crop; then it was into hauling straw after the fall grain harvest. Hauling straw makes you feel very strong.

The memories took me back. The hay-hauling itself doesn't hold any good spots in the memory bank, and thankfully I don't remember the time before baling, the days of derricks and forks and farmhands stacking it by hand. It was SO much work, always SO hot, and seemed SO thankless. There were always leaves flying down your neck and pokey things scraping you and sometimes the twine would give way and you'd have a big mess to gather up. Those alfalfa bales could weigh a horrendous amount if packed tightly. Some of them were even hard to roll. Dad used to try to make smaller bales, "lady bales", or something he called them. We got good at loading them and tying the special knot on the back of the load. He was proud of us, not a slacker in the bunch. It was always such a roll of the dice as to whether or not it would rain at the wrong time, or hail or blow, or all three. If you stacked bales that had moisture in them, your haystack and barn could all burn down from heat they could rot and make the cows sick. (Farmers don't have it easy.)

Anyway, it was so fun to see Dad out cutting down the hay. Raking it was easy, since you got to ride the tractor all day. The hardest part of raking was not getting sunburned. The smell of newly-mown hay is wonderful, better than fresh cut lawn even. (I suspect this is why I splurged and bought my red riding mower a few years ago, all the fun part and none of the work, simulated farming if you will.)

The gigantic bales of hay out in the fields from this weekend, created by special gigantic machinery, reminded me of a comment somebody once made: "What are those big loaves doing out in the field there?" It made me laugh.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Summer Nights

It's nights like these that bring back old fond memories of childhood games.

Remember Mother May I? Someone, "Mother", would stand at the end of the lawn and everyone else would be "Child" players. We would take turns asking permission to make certain moves, such as: "Mother, may I take ten baby steps...or...Mother, may I take two tree falls...or...Mother, may I take three giant strides...or run until you say stop?" If you ever moved without her permission, like Simon Says, you had to go back and start all over again.

"Mother" would then say "Yes, you may...or No, you may not." The first one to reach "Mother" would be the winner. In retrospect, what an unfair game! And worse yet, there was some unwritten rule that if you cheated and got away with it, good for you. If "Mother" didn't see you do something, you got away with it. Probably not a very good game, all in all.

Then there was freeze tag where "It" ran around, and the person who got touched by "It" had to freeze in place until another player touched them and set them free. Goodness knows what this was about.

There was hide and go seek and a game we played about hiding behind numbered trees. It seems like there were something like 5 trees. "It" would say: "Pauline behind tree #2!" If that guess was correct, Pauline had to step out. If that was wrong, "It" had to guess again.

Before my time, there was Kick the Can, which sounds kind of fun.

My dad had a furry coat that he would wear, always approaching dark. All I remember about this game was how dang scary it was. We would tauntingly chant "No-o bears out tonight! Daddy killed 'em all last night!" Then he, or whoever was wearing the coat that game, came lumbering out while we all squealed our guts out. Once he somehow broke his finger playing this game and was so humiliated, he didn't tell us for years.

You might call it cheap thrills :o)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

One Size Doesn't Always Fit All

Today is an important day, Father's Day. I'm blessed to still have my dad on this earth and have been thinking about him a lot today...and about gloves.

There are many kinds of gloves. Some are soft and fleece-lined. Some are like ski gloves that keep your hands warm but don't allow for much flexibility. There are gloves just for looks, like ladies wear at fancy dances. Then you have the leather ones to protect the hands when serious work is being done, like fencing and such.
My favorite pair of gloves are Isotoner-like and wonderful for driving and keeping out a little chill. Of course there are boxing gloves and batting gloves and mitts, but right now I'm talking about the other kind.

As with gloves, which have basic similarities, one size doesn't necessarily always fit all...and it's the same with dads.

My dad is the leather-glove-like kind of dad, the one you need when there is hard work to be done. He's never been afraid of tackling a project, has always been responsible and gone the extra mile. He's up before the crack of dawn and doesn't go home til the job is done. He never has to be reminded to do anything and never passed onto someone else something he didn't want to do.

For years I thought weeds didn't grow in gravel, since I didn't see any in the gravel driveways on the property. Then I realized he spent hours spraying weeds or pulling them out by hand. No magic gravel after all. When we went to mow the lawn, we never had to find the mower or see if it had gas in it. There was no risidual grass gunked under it either, and the blade was always sharp. No magic there either, apparently.

It doesn't matter. I still think my dad is magic! Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Elvis has left the building...

My parents had a bird, seems like it was a magpie but don't quote me, that would come sit on their roof each year. It visited for several years and became such a solid fixture that they even named it...Elvis. One year Elvis didn't come back.

After spending the night in my room with the door closed very tightly, trying not to have dreams of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, I got up wondering when and where we would find the errant fowl's remains.

As Gomer Pyle used to say: "Surprise! Surprise!" There, fluttering by the back sliding door, was the bird, (not sure if was Elvis or Priscilla) but it was definitely wanting out. Swirl, the cat, was sleeping in the chair by the door. I walked over, slid open the door and hoped for the best. After a minute, it hopped out and looked around. I didn't see any way it could possibly fly, but more "surprise", it took off and flew over the carport!

Maybe that was because it wasn't weighed down with all those missing feathers we have been trying to sweep up for over a day. Did you ever try to sweep up little soft feathers? They either stick to the broom like little children whose mother is leaving without them or they scoot ahead of the broom like a fly does when you swing the swatter.

Anyway, Folks, Elvis has left the building and I'm so glad!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Scene of the Crime

Today I got home on my lunch hour, having left the back door open enough for the cat to go in and out during the day, and WHOOF! Right before my very eyes was a bird flying around trying to find its way outside. (We do not have a pet bird, just so you know.) At first I thought it had somehow flown in through the 6" opening, but then noticed gobs of feathers everywhere. I thought (hoped) maybe it had battered itself in its attempt to escape the inadverant entry and lost a little plumage.

But then I noticed something else...dark drops of blood across the floor, and then across the other floor...and then down the hallway where I had seen it struggling in flight. It was like something from a crime scene, and would have been, had it not been feline natural instinct. It was awful. The cat was just taking a nap. I didn't know what to do and spent the few minutes trying to search for the bird and encourage it go to outside, but couldn't find it. I had to go back to work and left the front door open, too, just in case. But, alas, I fear it is in here somewhere...somewhere where we don't know enough to look. Kyle cleaned things up because I had to run back to work, and he didn't find it either.

This could be a long night. And not just for poor Cock Robin.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Button, Button, Who's Got The Button?

It's interesting the unnoted-before role buttons played in my childhood. Surely they must make some fantastic buttons these days, but I don't recall noticing any lately. There was a game children played where the person who was "It" kept the button inside tightly-closed hands, palms and fingers together. The children in the circle would hold their hands out together in the same way. "It" would go around the circle and either pretend to slip it into someone else's hands or pretend not to slip it in while actually doing just that. I don't recall just how it worked, but the winner was the one who guessed correctly who had the button and the loser was the next "It." The name of the game was "Button, button. Who's got the button?"

You could thread a string through the holes of a button (the bigger the better and it could only have two holes), tie the end, put your thumbs inside the string and start swinging the gizmo in a circular forward motion. It had the same effect as spinning in a swing, where it winds up one way and then unwinds the other direction and repeats itself, only faster. Once you got it going at a good pace, it would actually make a humming noise, very cool.

My Grandma Rice had a metal can with a lid, much like the one those Christmas cookies come in every year, the ones never purchased by the person who actually ends up trying to eat them. My best recollection is that it was a deep cobalt blue. That thing was chuck full of buttons, hundreds of them, maybe thousands or even millions! I would go over to my Grandma's house, which was conveniently located just next door, and play with those buttons for hours. I would count them, line them up by twos and fours and sixes. I would line them up by size and according to color, by buttons with two holes and those with four and those with loops on the back and no holes at all. Some of them had sparkly middles. Some were flat and some were very fat and artistic. (Where is that box of buttons now, I wonder?)

A couple of years ago, I was in a store and saw a puzzle, a puzzle with buttons all over it. Most of my puzzles end up back in the box for another round, but this one got framed. It took me a while to realize its appeal. Every time I see it, it reminds me of my Grandmother and brings me a moment of pleasure. See for yourself.

Oh, and by the way, I have a little glass jar with buttons in it, but I know better than to suggest to my grandkids that they entertain themselves lining up buttons. We may just have a little button-spinning contest at the next family party, however...that is if I can find some string and a gigantic button.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Preston Idaho Main Street

Ok, since I'll be driving through the town of Preston (population about 4900; ironically, elevation about the same) sometime this weekend, I decided to think back to the stores that existed up and down Main Street, or close to Main, years ago. If I waited until after the weekend drive, you might think I "peeked from under the blindfold" and we can't have that! Preston (of Napoleon Dynamite fame) is about 12 miles east of Clifton, and a trip there was considered "going to town." There are no doubt some businesses that are now gone, some that Ive forgotten, plus some new ones, but here goes:

OP Skaggs, the grocery store with a room in the back where people could rent freezer lockers (before people owned their own freezers) to store their harvested beef or ham, etc. It was a little eerie to enter through the big door and hear the definitive "CLANG" beind you. You always made sure to shadow Mother closely. Nobody was ever locked in there to my knowledge, but it always seemed a possibility. There was a specific smell that hit you upon entering, a good idea what it could have been and I've not smelled it since, but would recognize it in five seconds with my eyes closed even today. The temperature was such that when you went there in the summer, it was a fantastic respite from the heat, but when you went during the winter, you had to brace yourself first...sort of like visiting Canada during the winter months of September through June :o) (Sorry, Sherry, couldn't help that; it slipped right out of my fingertips.)

Other businesses were:
a good bakery, whose name I forget
Sprouse Reitz (a wonderful Kings-like store)
Polar King (homemade fries and the world's best non-homemade ice cream)
The animal auction just west of town; next to it, but never mentioned out loud, was the slaughterhouse.
Across the street from the auction is a bar that still exists, by the name of Tattlers, (or something like that).
Foss Drug (incredible malts so big you had to refill your glass to eat it all)
Famous Preston Night Rodeo & the Franklin County Fairgrounds, next to the ball fields
East Side High School, also of Napoleon Dynamite fame (bigger than West Side, but still rivals)
My Grandma Shaffer's place, with the ice cream parlor next door
The County Courthouse
Edwards Floral (I stopped in last summer and it still smelled like Heaven.)
Pop N Pin Lanes (self-explanatory)
two motels, one next to the Pop N Pin Lanes
a doctor’s clinic
the library
a pretty park
DI (Deseret Industries)
The Preston Hospital
Webb Mortuary, conveniently located next door to the hospital
The Preston Citizen
The Owl, a bar and cigar store
Isis theater
a dry cleaner
Preston Lumber
the bus station, inside a hotel
the barber shop with that turning pole
U&I furniture
Artic Circle
a car dealership
First Security Bank
Police Dept
Drive In Movie, south end of town and over the tracks
Owen’s café
a photography shop
Montgomery Ward (nicknamed Monkey Ward for some reason), a catalog store
JC Penneys
possibly a shoe repair shop, not sure
a farm implement company

All stores closed by 5 or 6 p.m.and were never opened on Sundays; most still aren't.

The beautiful cemetery is located a few miles east of town, just north of the golf course and close to the radio station.

Around Christmas time, they have a winter celebration with a "bed race." One time I took my children to watch, and it was quite a fascinating experience. The teams take things very seriously and competition is stiff. It seems like the year we went, the Dean Abrams family won it for something like the third time. Frankly, I'm pretty sure if we lived in the area, my children and grandchildren would be giving the Abrams a literal run for their money.

It'll be nice to drive through town again and note which stores are still open. I'll bet Pauline could come up with at least ten of them I have forgotten.

Cute town, available on your GPS.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wildflowers 'n Things

Yesterday I noticed that there are rose buds everywhere in my yard that should be blooming very soon and after thinking of Spring on the farm yesterday, more things came to mind; namely, Flora and Fauna, Twins of Nature, that provided such sights and smells as:

Indian paint brush, fiery stocks of red, feather-like and about 9 inches tall lit the hillsides were their vibrancy. Then there were blue bells (no cockle shells)sometimes called larkspur and almost a shade of purple, a bell-like flower on a stalk, softer-looking but lovely. There were the ever-beautiful sego lilies, a simplistic elegant wildflower held almost in reverence by anyone of Pioneer heritage. I've heard it's illegal to harvest one from the wild, but I would love to have some legal ones in my back yard as a reminder. There are small cactus plants here and there that sometimes surprisingly develop bright and pretty flowers on their tops. There are beautiful "docks", sometimes mistaken for sunflowers. There is the lovely and rare columbine, almost too fancy to be a wildflower. There is always the fragrant sagebrush which really isn't a flower but smells good enough to qualify in a way. Up at the Loading Place there was a plant with little white beads that we called kisses because if you put them against your cheek and squeezed them, they would give you a wet little kiss. Sometimes you'd come across a wild huckleberry bush and somebody would make up some jam.

Sometimes in the barrow pits, you would find asparagus, growing wild and rampant.

I loved hollyhocks, tall stalks with big blooming flowers full of circular seeds. The flowers were always a bright color; we used to pick them from my Grandmother Rice's yard and make dancing dresses for pretend dolls out of them. Under some of her trees were little violets that smelled so good you tried to breathe them against your nose til you had to breathe out. The theory was that the more you picked them, the more they grew, and I picked my share. Grandma had unique flowers you don't see much any more, like Lilies of the Valley. A year or two ago, I noticed that Lavene Cox had a bunch of them on the north side of her house and it made me happy to know they still grow there. Pansies were always a hit because they like cool weather and have the strength of a lion, along with their deep velvet-like texture and color. Mother grew some flowers called Johnny Jump Ups that looked like miniature pansies and were equally hardy. Grandma also had lilacs...white, blue and purple ones. The white ones smelled the MOST like lilacs.

In my family's front yard we used to have a bunch of rose bushes, the kind where there were bunches of small roses all over, bright golds and oranges, but they were in the way and got chopped down. On the front lawn there was a single white rose bush that had blossoms like perfume. I tried to get a start of that growing but it didn't work. Those white roses would take me away to Ferdinand Land.

The hills were filled with pines trees and cedars and quaken aspens. Everybody in town, at least one time or another, carved their names or initials into a "quakie." Years ago my Dad said somebody found a tree with his girl's initials on it; he probably still has it somewhere. You would carve your name in a tree and the bark would defend itself by swelling up, like lips full of collagen, so it became even more prominent. In retrospect, people probably shouldn't be carving their names into forest trees, but it's a good memory nonetheless.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Salt Licks and Baby Chicks

Now that it looks like Spring has possibly "Sprung"...

One of the...ok, THE most fun thing for a kid on the farm was driving over to Preston in the Spring with Mother and returning home in the back seat with a box or two of the cutest little creatures ever, baby chicks. The box had big holes in it and you could watch their tiny fuzzy bodies wiggling all over as they were chirping their little peeping noises. There must have been a hundred or more in a box, and what an exciting time that was! (This is when the children offer to take care of ALL the work involved, forever.) We would take them home and turn them loose in a section of the chicken coop under a big ceiling light that simulated Mother Chicken. They huddled together in a big mass and sounded like a Jr. Tabernacle Chick Choir; a literal visual of "How often I would have gathered you like a mother chicken under her wings..." There were little boxes with feed holes in them and the cutest metal upside-down-like cans with a little trough at the bottom where the water settled, refilling itself when needed. (I've seen little candy dishes out of that style.) The poor little ones didn't know how to drink water, so we got to hold them in our hands and dip their little beaks in water, then turn their heads back so a few drops went down their throats til they got the idea. Oh, they were so so cute I almost wanted to be a baby chicken! After a few weeks, their feathers turned from soft down into harder feathers, and they weren't so appealing. By the time they were a year or more, they seemed like a lot more work than fun. I never did like the chicken harvest and to this day don't have much taste for chicken. I wrote a poem about them literally running around without their heads, which they seriously do, but won't include it here.

Another spring thing was setting out salt licks for the cows. I thought that was weird, but knew it was important. It was amazing to see a salt lick half gone and wonder how many thousand swipes of the tongue that took. There were brown ones and it seems like some greyish or white ones, no clue why.

Springtime on the farm, not a bad time at all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For My Dear Mother, May 2009

So Good

My mother has always had an easy life. She weighed about four pounds when she was born and got to have her own bed…a shoebox on the oven door. She only had to walk four miles to school (while wearing a dress), sometimes even getting a horse and sleigh ride in the winter.

She got to gather all the dirty clothes in a blanket, like Santa delivering gifts, every Monday doing “the wash” in a wringer washer…got all that exercise and fresh air to boot by hanging clothes on the line out back. Sometimes on Tuesdays we even “helped” her with the ironing by doing handkerchiefs and pillowcases.

We let her darn our socks on a light bulb because she was so good at it. We let her stoke up the stove on cold winter mornings before we got up because she was so good at that, too. We let her off hauling one load of hay each day so she could go make a big dinner, and she was pretty good at having it all cleaned up before we went back out, as well.

All she had to do on the farm was that hay hauling…oh, and hay raking, and hay bale-turning, and the laundry and cooking; bathing us all in a galvanized tub and putting bobby pins in all our hair…and sewing doll clothes and flatfell-seamed flannel pajamas for us for Christmas, and helping us with school projects and volunteering for Clifton’s 24th of July potato-peeling, sorting potatoes, making bread and butter pickles with hand-peeled scallions, replacing the wallpaper every couple of years, making bread by hand, having her “club” once a month, being the ward Sunday School secretary for 60 years…little stuff like that because she was so good at it, you see.

We let her plant a huge garden and tend it mostly by herself because she was so very good at that too, you know.

She’s voted, done visit teaching and made fudge till she had forearms like Arnold Schwartzenegger. She still Mothers and Grandmothers us and we love her so much! She’s very good at that, too, real good!

Love, Kay
Mother’s Day 2009

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Old Mother's Day Story

When I was younger and more niave, I loaned out my only copy of a wonderful Mother's Day story to someone who lost it. Here is my best paraphrase; the original story was much better. (It's a story about two girls, their dad and mother.)

For Mother's Day this year, we decided to do something extra nice to honor our Mother. We thought and thought about it and decided to rent a limo and go on a day-drive. Since it would be good weather, and we were out driving anyway, we could stop by a lake and have a little picnic. Mother is so good at putting together a great picnic--fried chicken, potato salad, vegetables and maybe even one of her wonderful apple pies--that she'll be excited!

And since it's such a special occasion, it would be a good idea if we had new matching dresses, maybe with hats. Mother is so good at sewing she'll be proud to do that. Dad said that since we were out for a drive and by a lake anyway, what a waste not to do a bit of fishing--and he will just buy a new pole. Oh, how excited Mother will be about the whole day!

The celebrated day arrived. The girls were dressed up in their wonderful new matching dresses; Dad was smiling with new pole in hand; the picnic basket was chuck full of a wonderful variety of food. As they were getting read to leave, they noticed Mother looked a little tired. Then it came to them; they would let Mother stay home and rest, maybe do a little tidying up which she liked to do, while they were gone. As they left, they noticed tears in Mother's eyes and they were SO glad they had done all these wonderful things to show their mother how much they loved her.

************** What a great story, huh? Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kids-Part 4 (Kyle)

Mom to Kyle: “That was before your time.” Kyle: “Everything is before my time.”

After daylight savings change: “Mom, it’s 8:56; you’re late!” I said, “No, remember we turned the clocks back an hour?” Kyle: “Our watches too?” “Yes.” “How do they know??”

4-1-92 Kyle to his Grandma Rice: “We don’t have cows. We have bugs.”

4-8-92 First day of daylight savings time: “Come on, Kyle, get up
so we can go to Belle’s. (babysitter) Kyle: “I don’t know if I can make it.”

May 17, 1992 Me to Kyle, “Grandmas are nice, huh?” Kyle: “Yep, and Sherry’s not mean any more; she’s nice.”

Jan 26, 1993: Obviously we went someplace nice; Kyle: “Can I stay in this world?”

April 6, 1993 Me to Kyle: “Tell me if you find Jordan’s (his nephew’s) bottle.” Kyle: “If he drops it, I don’t know where it finds.”

Sep 20, 1993 at 7:15 a.m. getting Kyle up to go to the babysitter’s: “Morning is when it’s light. This is not morning.”

Dec 12, 1993 I got Kyle cereal in a metal bowl. He ate it and said “Look, Mom, I ate the whole bucket full.”

Dec 12, 1993 Kyle, regarding Nik: “Vince, could you please hold his hands so I can ticklish him?”

Dec 12, 1993, Kyle: “Mom, how many more sleeps ‘til Christmas?” I showed him on my fingers and he replied: “That’s too many. I can’t sleep that much.”

Dec 17, 1993 I was lying on the couch and Kyle was lying on my stomach. “Mom, how come your tummy is making noise.” Me: “Maybe it’s the food I just ate running around.” Kyle: “Maybe it’s just your heart playing basketball.”

Jan 12, 1994 Kyle “I want Jared to come play video games with me.” Mom: “He’ll probably come over tonight.” Kyle, big sigh, “Well, how many days is that?”

Jan 15, 1994 While battling stomach flu, “My stomach wiggles.”

Jan 20, 1994 I put vasoline in his bleeding nose at bedtime. Next day, “Mom, why did you put gasoline in my nose last night?”

3-2-94 “Mom, I know which foot to put my boot on.” “How do you know?” “I thinked it.”

3-10-94 Kyle: “I love you real big. Big is heart, huh?”

April 11, 1994 Teelay in her “dancing” dress had just been blessed. We told Kyle to be very careful when he held her. He said:” Why is she so expensive?” We finally figured out he meant special.

April 11, 1994 Kyle, while exiting the Church walking backwards, “Look, Mom. I’m walking upside down!”

April 12, 1994 We were super tired and I said “Kyle, you need to wake up now.” He dragged out and came to my room, “Mom, why did you say it fast? You’re supposed to say it SLOW.”

Kyle, after I was whining Sunday morning (Nov 14, 2004) about my too-short bangs: “Can we stay home from Church then?” (the Opportunist)

April 21, 1994: While playing at the park and waiting for Sherry at school, “Mom, come play on this thing. It takes two.” Me: “I’m real tired. I’ve been working all day.” Kyle: “But this isn’t working, Mom.”

April 29, 1994, calling me at work, knowing I have goodies in my desk there “What do you have for me at work?…Well, check every single door. Check in the one on the right.”

August 1994 Kyle “A triangle has 3 pokies and a square has 4 pokies.”

Oct 10, 1994, he got new light-up shoes, Kyle “See how jump I can go up!”

I gave him a waffle and sent him off to eat it. He came back to say:“Hey, Mom, we need some prayer!”

“I just have my feetsies.”

6-5-95, Kyle (age 7) “I would consider cleaning the whole house for $2.”

Kyle had his friend, Richard, sleeping over. Sometime in the night Kyle got bitten by a spider and when he woke up couldn’t open his eye. He said: “Richard, I can’t open my eye! What’s wrong?” Richard said: “Well, try to rub it or something.” That, of course, made it worse, so Kyle said: “I can’t see! I’m blind!” (We laugh about it now.)

Kyle, (age 18) after tonsils were removed, but while still obviously well under the influence of anesthesia: “piece a cake! it’s kick a**!”; he couldn’t even sit up, but said “let’s go.” I asked him, “Can you see anybody?” He said, “I can see everybody in twos! Do you have my bag? Let’s just get this on & go.” Nurse asking if he wanted jello: “What kind of flavors do you have?” Nurse: “Strawberry and raspberry.” Kyle: “I probably couldn’t taste it anyway. Why am I cross-eyed?” Me to Kyle: “Are there still 2 clocks?” Kyle: One and a half. This is so lame! I’m kinda disappointed they didn’t make me count. I wanted to see how far I could go. We should make a sign on the door--watch out for my breath!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kids #3 (Nik)

3-21-85 “Your shirt’s dirty, Nik.” “Yeah, I know. Maybe I’ll just rub it off…real fast!”

7-6-84 Nik: “Mom, one, two, three, six kittens is eatin!”

8-29-84 “What a bump! I got a headache on my yeg.”

8-30-84 “My kid’s goin at the school. Bye, kids, bye.”

Dec 31, 1985 “Oh, my muscles are ranned out by Dad’s power!”

7-17-85 Nik, how come you have such beautiful eyes? “Cuz I just had ‘em for a long time.”

7-7-85: Arriving home after our long trip to Canada: “Who lives here, Nik?” “Nobody, just we.”

10-14-85 “What’s that you put in the microwave, Mom?” “Meat.”
“Yuk. What do we always have to have food for supper?”

4-23-86: While walking with Nik, I told him how the white flowers on some strawberry plants turned into strawberries. He said: “Yep, MAGIC!”

6-20-85 (lightening) “I saw a blink. Maybe it’s gonna rain.”

Nik: “I know what skunks do. They skunk people.

8-16-85 Nik about the nurse, “She shotted two hurts on me!”

9-30-85 While we were pushing foreheads, I said, “You must have a head made of rock.” Nik replied, “No, I don’t. It’s made of body.” (duh)

Nik, waving the fly swatter around, “Come on flies. I’ll kill ya to deff!”

4-21-07 Mom to Nik: “You’re thinkey today”. Nik: “I’m always thinkey.”

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kids Sayings Part 2

2-27-74 (age 3)
Mom: “What did you do at Lisa’s house?” Jason, “I played at her.”

3-6-74 Dad: “There’s a bare toe sticking out there.” Jason, NO, that’s MY toe!”

1974 Jason before blessing: “We’ll have to turn the radio off so we don’t wake the prayer up.”

7-3-74, Jason while swinging high: “My belly likes it.”

8-13-74 Jason: about breakfast: “I don’t want any ‘cuz I had a headache in my stomach last night.”

Jason, telling about Vicks “It makes you cry tears.”

“Jesus was baptized by emergency.” (immersion)

Jason: 2-7-74 Getting read for Romper Room pledge of allegiance, “Let’s put our hearts on.”

Jason..3-6-75 “I don’t want it to snow. I want to play on the grass green.”

Jason..9-3-74 playing organ and deciding to use a music book, “Now I’ve gotta stand the notes up.”

Jason..10-8-73 (age 2 ½) We bought him a little boat at mid-morning. He was all dressed but looked up sweetly and said, “Mommy, my knees are dirty. I need a baff.”

4-1-75 Mom: “Where’s the bird?” Jason, “I don’t know. They have a hidey house.”

2-20-76 Jason: “Hey, Grandma, what do bears do in Bear River?”

Jason.(Age 2): We were driving on a night with a full moon: “”Let me get the big ball!” “It’s too far away.” pause....then he said:’ “Let me get a chair.”

3-5-75: About pillowcase “My pillow says it doesn’t want its blanket on.”

10-13-73 While eating pizza: “It tastes like it’s got fire.”

6-28-75 “What do choke cherries do, make you choke?”

4-8-75 Jason washing dishes: “See how dishy wash I am.”

2-20-74 Jason to Jared: “Ok, Baby, let me get on my nerves!”

Vince: 1-3-91 Going out the door to his girlfriend’s party, he excitedly said to me, with a hug–“I love you lots and lots and a little bit hot.”

1-25-81 Vince ate a hot dog in a bun and told me, “I want another hot dog but not the band aid.”

2-1-81: Vince came upstairs in the middle of the night with a sore knee and said “My knee had a bad dream, but it’s ok now.”

Sherry: 3-13-85 “There’s two things I’m allergic to–mosquitos and the dark.”

Mom to Dad: "Don’t leave Nik alone, ok?” Sherry: “No, cause I’d get him, huh?”

Vince: “Nik isn’t even one yet.” Sherry: “No, he’s only two, huh?”

9-17-80 Mom: “Do you know I love you?” Sherry: “Yup, but I don’t love you. I love suckers at the barber shot.” (Shop)

12-18-81 While singing with Sherry:” As for me, Dear Santa Claus, when you come tonight... (I stopped, she didn’t) BRING ME PRESENTS!”

Sherry playing with her little brother, Nik (she obviously wanted a sister instead): “Mom, this is Heather; say hi Heather.”

Nik: 3-21-85 “Rusty don’t wear shoes. He just wears feet.” (dog)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kids really do say the darndest things. Part 1

Seeming as this is the week that turns into Mother's Day, thought I'd post some of the sayings from my kids over the years:

Jared, age 3, to his brother, as mom was saying “one...two...three” “Jason, mom’s counting you!”

Jared: age 3, reading a book: “That’s the wicked switch.”

Jared: age 3: must have been studying the Civil War: “That’s Paul
Root Beer”

Jared, age 3: “There’s tuna in my peanut butter sandwich!”

Jared: age 3: After hearing Dad’s made-up scarey story: “Read us another story, Dad.”

3-7-76 Jared, while feeling my newly-shaven leg, “What’s that? What’s that porcupine?”

Age 3: Reporting on sick neighbor friend: “Hal has the weasels.”

Age 3: Jared, putting toys on toy elevator: “See me put people on the alligator.”

Age 4: “It’s starting to stop raining, Daddy, so we can go fishin!”

What did you learn about in church today, Jared? “I learned about the grasshoppers and the ducks!” (locusts and seagulls)

Dec 1975: Jason assumed ownership of his dad’s cowboy hat. His dad had it and Jason said, “That’s my hat!.” Ferron said “I don’t see your name on it.” Jason took it and went in the bedroom a couple of minutes. He came out and showed us some scribbles on the hat that said “This is Jason’s hat.”

4-14-76 Jason: “I know who the first man and woman were.” Mom: “Who?” “Adam and Even”

Jason, about off-brand life savers, “They’re not fit for my mouth.”

I sent Jason to a neighbor with some casserole he didn’t like and told him to be sure not to fall in the road and get his face in the casserole and he said “I wouldn’t live through it.”

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I love this story whether it's true or not--

Alleged conversation between a hotel client and maid service:

Dear Maid,
Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six little unopened bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way. Thank you,
S. Berman

Dear Room 635,
I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management is to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.
Kathy, Relief Maid.

Dear Maid--I hope you are my regular maid.
Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening, I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won’t be needing those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.
S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn’t remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new checks-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Your regular Maid, Dotty

Dear Mr. Berman,
The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this A.M. that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints, please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thank you.
Elaine Carmen, Housekeeper

Dear Miss Carmen,
It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45a.m. and don’t get back before 5:30 or 6:00 p.m. That’s the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bathroom shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap!. Why are you doing this to me?
S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thank you.
Elaine Carmen, Housekeeper

Dear Mr. Kensedder.
My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.
S. Berman

Dear Mr. Berman,
I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room. The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologizes for the inconvenience.
Martin L. Kensedder, Assistant Manager.

Dear Mrs. Carmen,
Who the he** left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap! I don’t want 54 little bars of Camay. I want my one da** bar of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I have 54 bars of soap in here? All I want is my bath-size Dial. Please give me back my bath-size Dial.
S. Berman.

Dear Mr. Berman
You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them, the 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily. I don’t know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps, so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays. I don’t know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.
Elaine Carmen, Housekeeper

Dear Mrs. Carmen,
Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory.

As of today I possess:
On shelf under the medicine cabinet 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2
On Kleenex dispenser 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3
On bedroom dresser 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet, 1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
Inside medicine cabinet 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2
In shower soap dish 6 Camay, very moist.
On northeast corner of tub 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.
On northwest corner of tub 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.

Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries. One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-size Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstanding.
S. Berman

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ha Ha

Interesting weekend, gorgeous weather.

Had a visit from Talon and family tonight, Mr. Thinker. He said, "Happy Birthday, Grandma. So how old are you now?"

I said: "61, remember?"

He said: "Well, how many more months til you're 100?"

Not being that good with math, I whipped out my cell phone and checked the calculator. It's 468 months, so I feel safe for now. HA HA

He got Sarah to play robots with him. In his robot-voice, he told her: "Go bang your head 100 times on the couch, ten bangs at a time." She was good; told him something like his robot was now broken. HA HA

Kyle's waterbed had been leaking for a week and had to be "let go." His friend sold him a waterbed bladder stored in a basement. Kyle and another friend, Mr. Amazing-Fix-Anything-Cameron (and I'm not kidding here), filled it up outside to make sure it didn't leak. Kyle hadn't noticed it was a smaller size until he got it in his room the next day. The funniest thing was he was in the living room yesterday talking to me and Jason and Nik and Sarah. All of a sudden he jumped up and moved faster than I'd ever seen him move in his life, literally flew out the front door then flew back in the house and ran down to his room (impressive speed). Nik and Jason followed him and came out laughing hysterically a minute later. You've seen the pictures of those ladies who are expecting six kids at a time and they can't move? It looked like that! He had forgotten the hose was filling the bed; one more cup and it would have EXPLODED in a million trillion drops of water. Nik was like: "Dude, don't touch it! It'll blow!" It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen, though Kyle still can't see the humor. Apparently, however, the thing doesn't leak. HA HA Good old Cam came over today and rebuilt the bed frame to fit the new bladder. I'm serious, that young man can do anything. Thanks, Cam!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's a Wrap!

Leggo my _____!
Frosty mug sensation.
A day without _____is like a day without sunshine.

I am the ______ bandito!
Pardon me, do you have any________?
Where’s the cream filling?
No more tears…
It’s the cheesiest!
Mom’s depend on _____ _____ like kids depend on moms.
Let’s get _______ to eat it!

A sloppy joe is just a sandwich, but _____ is a meal.
The other white meat.
We sell no ______ before its time.
Gather ‘round the good stuff.
How do you spell relief?

Sorry, Charlie. Only the best tasting tuna gets to be ______.
I don’t wanna grow up. I’m a ______ kid.
4 out of 5 dentists surveyed recommend______
The few, the proud, the______
Give a hoot. Don’t_______
________, it gets the red out.
________ wobble, but they don’t fall down.
_____ ____, helps build strong bodies 12 ways.
You’re not fully clean til you’re _______ clean.

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!
Flick your______
If I only have one life, let me live it as a ______
Our repairmen have the loneliest gig in town.
_______, kills bugs dead!

We’ll leave the light on….
It keeps on going and going and going and…

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Two...

Where the good things are.
The softer side of______
Can you hear me now?
Pizza! Pizza!
You’re in good hands with______
Zoom! Zoom!
We’ll pick you up.
One call, that’s all.

He bought it at ______’s (think jewelry)
On Road Redwood!
So easy, a caveman could do it.
___________, more than meets the eye.

Only your hairdresser knows for sure.
Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.
Oh no, he’s got ring around the collar!
Fly the friendly skies….
Are you gellin?
If you’re ever unsatisfied with one of your tires….
Better not lay a finger on my ________!
No one can eat just one.
Snap into a _____ ______
Taste the rainbow.
I want my baby back baby back baby back____
Dress for less at ______

You can do it. We can help.
Greatest show on earth.
_______ goes in; stains come out.
“It’s time to make the doughnuts…..”
I love what you do for me.
What’s in your wallet?
Obey your thirst.

Think outside the bun.
______, the heartbeat of America.
THAT was easy!
Don’t leave home without it.
We try harder.
_______, the quicker picker upper.
Have it your way.
Look, Ma. No cavities!
When it absolutely, positively has to get there over night.

Finger lickin good.
Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.
_____, the UNcola.
Raise your hand if you’re_____
Let your fingers do the walking….
My bologna has a first name….
Nothing beats a great pair of ______
Nothing comes between me and my_______
Be certain with ______
People who like people like_____

Monday, April 12, 2010

For Rent, Apparently

No wonder we can't fit everything into our brains. They are being used for storage by companies, like wireless computer hackers. In case you don't think so, see if you can fail this test--I dare ya. (It's a 3-day test.)

Plop, plop, fizz fizz_______
________, and I he’ped (think Loretta Lynn)
Made by elves….
Everything tastes better when it sits on a ______

Woops! I could have had a ______!
2 beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, tomatoes (yada yada) on a sesame seed bun
Melts in your mouth, not______
Wheeere’s the_______?

_______, a little dab’ll do ya
It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.
It takes a lickin and keeps on tickin.
Only YOU can prevent______ ______
Nothin says lovin like something from the oven.
M’m good M’m good________
There’s something about an ______ _______ man.
______, it does a body good.

______, take me away!
When you hear the crash…..
Like a good neighbor, ____________
Nobody doesn’t like ______ ____
J E L L __
_________, good to the last drop.
I am stuck on _______ cuz ______’s stuck on me.
10,000,000 strong…and going.

With a name like_________, it has to be good.
In the Valley of the OH HO HO HO HO ______ ______
Don’t get mad, get _______
Ah, oh, better get __________
The nighttime sniffling, sneezing…..________medicine.
When you care enough to give the very best.
Ladies, please don’t squeeze the _______
I’d like to teach the world to sing_______

Silly Rabbit…..
Gotta have my________
Kid-tested, Mother approved
Choosy moms choose_____
The touch, the feel of ________
The incredible, eddible_______
Ding, dong, _____ calling
_____57 varieties
_____31 flavors
_______ ________, the only way to fly.
How many licks does it take to get to the center of a _______ ______?
___________, like a rock!
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to _______ _______?
Y M __ __!

Just do it!
Is it in you?
If it isn’t ______ ______, spit it out.
It’s a hemi…
It’s what’s for dinner.
The best part of waking up…
I’d walk a mile for a ______
You’ve come a long way, Baby.
Tastes great, less filling.

_______, the breakfast of champions.
I can’t believe it’s not _______
It’s FANtastic!
Strong enough for a man, but ……..
________ ______, gives you wings.
Wait’ll we get our _______ on you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

PC woes

Press ESC to exit (boy, I’d like that in real life)

SQL error: (followed by something like: Error 6329xB,flr sqn_es49 daq on dr.not)

Your session has “timed out” (like a little child)
Not Responding (like a teenager)
…monitor is going to sleep now (like someone over 50)

Returned undeliverable, intended recipient failed (is this personal, or like a wrong number?) or mailer-Daemon (this Daemon guy never delivers the mail!)

You hit the button to open up an attachment, wait.....and it never opens, but at the left bottom it says “Done“ as in, "done, Dude, not going anywhere."

Do you want to restart your computer now? (I’m right in the MIDDLE of something!)
Do you want to sign up now, or later? (none of the above, please; oh wait, that’s not an option)

You do not have permission to cashier! (Never mind that I did it two minutes ago and will be able to do it again in five minutes.)

We cannot open this file unless we know what program created it (Who is We?)
Some new programs have recently been installed…(by gremlins?)
Do you want to report this error? (I’m not so niave as to think Mr. Gates and his staff of elves are sitting at their computers waiting to help me solve this problem.)

The insults:
Did you forget your password? (Idiot!)
After 3 failed attempts, you will be locked out and have to call headquarters (and admit your sorry little excuse)
You only have 5-4-3-2-1 more logins before you have to change your’ve used that password before. (Now, if passwords were all that private, how would the stupid computer know this?) You must use a minimum of six letters, a symbol, and at least one number. (Left-brained people will not understand this dilemma.)

Do you want to enable cookies? (Cookies??? What kind?)
Refresh Refresh Refresh!
please wait (and my options are?)

Now and then I have computer issues and have to call my son, Vince, who is a PC guru compared to the rest of the family (Jason isn’t bad either.) The conversations go a little like this: (Me)“Hey, Vince, my computer is making a loud ‘fanning’ sound.” He comes over to check it out, digs around and comes up saying, in a calm voice: “Mother, once in a while you need to take off the cover on the hard drive and remove the cat hair.”

(Me)You know the thingy on that thing line at the top of the screen? Well, say, hypothetically, someone accidently clicked on view, then……and something disappeared, how might they get it back?

Why is the picture I saved to screensaver all distorted? Why are there 12 of them?

Does the printer printing out purple mean I’m running out of black, or color ink?

How do I know if my mouse is actually dead and not just pretending?

Years back I read online that since it was March, everyone should clean those windows. They said after you get your house windows clean, you ought to go through your computer and clean out all those unused programs and files. I skipped the house window thing and went straight to “add and delete programs“, deleted some exe files (surely those aren’t important, right?) and had to reinstall my computer from the original discs.

I HATE “Application Terminated“ (this one’s Checkmate!) shut ‘er down and go home.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

and Heber City

East of Midway, you run into Heber, a cute little town with its own high school. Granny’s (a vintage house converted into a malt shop) is famous for its ice cream and shakes. There used to be the Wagon Wheel Café where you could slide into those red-leather seated booths with the gold upholstery-tacked edges and order a terrific home-cooked meal, but we didn‘t see it last trip through town. At the north edge of Heber, not quite on the actual main road but set back in a little ways, there is the wonderful little throw-back-where-you-can-find-things-you-can’t-find-anywhere-else-in-the-world-store, technically named Kings. It is indeed the king of all stores wonderful. The basement is entirely given over to toys and games, treasures like: bags of marbles and bins of hula hoops, little girls Cinderella slippers with pink feathers and diamond-looking beads, boxes and boxes of puzzles, stick horses, stuffed animals, cap guns & caps,sheriff's badges, bottle rockets, plastic dinosaurs and boats, inner tubes for bikes, model car sets, name it…Kid Nervana. I have literally spent hours (totally unregretted) of my life on the main level looking through the approximate 10,000,000 items, like: wind-up music boxes, Indian ceramics, wind chimes, Mexican jumping beans in little wooden boxes, little mirrors that say things like “Mother, I love you”, baby clothes, sunglasses, garden décor, popcorn, finger nail polish, stationery sets, spinning pinwheels, kitchenware, clothing dye, dangly earrings, watches, radio sets, batteries, hoses, magnets, nets for catching butterflies, metal napkin holders for those lousy napkins you have to dig out at little cafes, lemon drops, pillowcases you can embroider with the little hole-punched edges for you to crochet, embroidery thread and yarn, pins and needles, needles and pins, lace, thimbles, post cards... Oh, it’s a treasure trove of discovery, like something you’d imagine inside Snoopy’s doghouse that stretches to the size of your imagination! There is another King’s store in Preston, Idaho, and my children would have thrown a mutiny had I not stopped there one way or the other on each and every trip. That Kings has a back entry, and before I could clear the door, the kids were all running down the aisle headed for the basement. I’d have run with them, but you know about the knee thing.

On the trip home, you can’t relax at all because of the assault on one of your senses, namely your eyes. For an example of what I’m talking about, here are a few pictures snapped on the way home from the doc the other day. Keep in mind that they were taken through the inside of a raindrop-covered windshield by someone who had a little Lortab in her system, and no, I was not driving. Every single trip it is a beautiful sight, summer, winter, spring and fall, but this time it was breathtakingly magnificent!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Provo Canyon to Midway

If you drive two miles north and east of my home, you intersect with University Avenue as it turns into Provo Canyon, surely one of the most picturesque drives in the world and very popular year ‘round. Each mountain has a totally different look from any other, but all obviously have experienced earthquake activity in the past. There are parks lovely enough for summer wedding receptions. Canyon Glen Park is probably the most-used by families and Church groups with its running creek, campfire spots, electricity access, adequate parking, sheltered eating spots, restroom facilities, playground and area for Frisbee or even volleyball. There is Nunn’s park which branches out into all sorts of areas big enough for family cookouts. It would be hard to find a spot that wasn’t a beautiful background for a family picture. It’s not unusual to see someone tubing down the Provo River, and almost always there are men in waders fishing. In the summer it’s quite likely you could see a big puff (!) of black smoke followed by a very loud CHOO CHOO sound, quite a thrill actually, to see an old-fashioned real train engine chugging up the mountain side. You can pay a fee and ride the train from Heber to Bridal Veil falls and the other way around. They have even used it at Christmas time as the "Polar Express Ride". Bridal Veil Falls is pretty any time of the year. In the wintertime, it is frozen in place, as if Jack Frost waves his magic wand quickly, creating a gigantic icicle molded along the side of the mountain. There is some sort of a walkway up there I hear, which was used in the movie Savannah Smiles. There even used to be a fancy hilltop restaurant accessed only by a tram, but it kept getting destroyed by avalanches and such and no longer exists. "They" say it is the most-used falls in the USA as far as people practicing climbing such areas goes. I wouldn’t know. Every few months the Search & Rescue teams have to go up there and save somebody.

A little farther up the canyon, you come across Deer Creek Reservoir, which now has a little resort where you can dock your boat and also store it during the winter if you wish. They have a restaurant there, rental for water Skidoos and such, even a little parking fee-collection kiosk. On a beautiful summer evening drive, you can see probably two dozen brightly-colored sail boats riding the waves.

When Salt Lake City hosted the winter Olympics in 2002, they developed a cross-country skiing venue called Soldier Hollow which is past Deer Creek but not as far as Midway. Midway is a unique town. I don’t know what it’s midway between, but it doesn’t matter because when you get there, you don’t care about anywhere else. You just want to look around. In the old part of town, all the little houses have very sharp roofs and chalet-type shutters, each with just a little difference from any other. As you meander to the newer part of town, you run into some incredible summer mansions and a resort that actually has a man who makes fantastic ice art displays in the wintertime. Around Labor Day each year, they have “Swiss Days” where people have booths and sell quilts, crafts, and all sorts of things they’ve spent the year making. It’s a big deal.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hop on the MAGIC CARPET...

Today's nostalgic ride is apparently to the land of black and white tv days, all three channels, no remote. 1-The Andy Griffeth Show: poor Barney Fife who was only allowed to have one bullet, and he had to keep that in his pocket; the town drunk, Otis, who checked himself in and out of jail; Sweet Aunt Bea who dreamed of a pretty pink sweater for her birthday and dropped a few hints about it only to have Andy proudly give her a box of Mason jars instead; the Darlings who came "down from the mountain" to try to line up Andy with their daughter. (What was her name?) 2-Lassie, who was responsible for saving more people than Billy Graham himself. 3-The Lone Ranger, his horse "Hi-Ho" Silver, his silver bullets, and his ever-present helper, Tonto. 4-I Love Lucy; imbedded in our minds even without tv reruns are the episodes of her trying to hawk Vegevetavitamins, stomping the grapes in that big vat and the hilarious chocolate conveyor packaging episode. 5-Rod Serling (du du du du) in the Twilight Zone 6-Red Skeleton's Klem Kadiddlehopper and so many other personalities he played that I've forgotten now 6-Rawhide; little did we know that the young poncho-wearing Rowdy Yates would grow up to be the famous Clint Eastwood! 7-Jack Benny, who wherever he is, is still probably 29; 8-This is Your Life with Ralph Edwards 9-Eugene Gelesnik's Talent Show 10-Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzaaaan scream as he swung on the ropes to save yet someone else (Where is Carol Burnett when you need her?) 11-Queen For A Day, where a woman's wildest dream was a new washing machine 12-WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE (was Jack Palance or Steve Mcqueen in this show?) 13-The Invisible Man...I can still see those mummy bandages unwrapping...14-Gunsmoke, faithful Mr. Dillon, faithful Chester, faithful Miss Kitty, faithful Doc...seems like there's a common thread there 15-Fury, and Sky King, both probably before your time 16-Dragnet, dum da dum dum dummmm; Hello, my name is Friday, Joe Friday. 17-the scarey Mr. Hitchcock, master of suspense, who spoke almost speech-impaired like and faded out to a large silhouette after each episode. What sentence did he close his show with each time? I was too scared to watch a whole episode. 18-Perry Mason (Mr. Eyebrows), Miss Della Street (who would still be beautiful even by today's standards), the snazzy-dressed Paul Drake, the surly Mr. Hamilton Burger, Lt. Tragg who surprisingly never lost his job even though his cases always fell through, and the only one you could be sure was not the killer, Mr. Mason's client. 19-Good old Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, Tom & Jerry, Tweety & Sylvester, Porky Pig, Yosemite Sam and the poor Roadrunner whose eyes always reflected the knowledge he was about to face yet another imminent death. 20-My personal favorite show, The Millionaire, where a rich benefactor would hand over a cashier's check each week for his assistant to deliver to some deserving recipient whose life would be forever changed. The catch was that the person could never know who the benefactor was. We never found out either, but oh what a warm-fuzzy show! 21-Disney movies: Lady & the Tramp (Swing Low, Sweet Chariot); Cinderelly Cinderelly; Sleeping Beauty; Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs, all of whom nobody can cite at the same time; Robin Hood; Bambi; The Shaggy Dog & That Darn Cat; Parent Trap; and the Disney Sunday movie, (7:00 p.m.) when Every American was glued to their tv sets. Oh, and let's not forget The Beverly Hillbillies: Granny, with her cures and spells, her fancy eatin' table and big cement pond out back; the shy-but-wise Miss Hathaway; the selfish-but-somehow-still-likeable Mr. Drysdale and his neurotic wife; the beautiful animal-loving Miss Elly Mae; and poor Jethro who is probably still in sixth grade and looking for "them pretty bells" he can never find because every time he goes to check them out, somebody comes to the door!...(Cue the banjos): "Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Jed, poor mountaineer, barely kep' his family fed and then one day he was shootin' at some food, and up through the ground came a bubbling crude, OIL that is, Black Gold, Texas Tea..."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

FOR ONLY $19.95...

My son, Jared, bought his wife, Dayna, an I Touch for her birthday today. They were over here trying to get it figured out this afternoon. Nothing is more annoying than a new toy you don't know how to play with yet. All the gizmos these days have so many options, almost no one has them all mastered. Give me a basic cell phone with the texting option, calendaring option and an alarm option and I'm good to go. Two or three years ago I held my breath and cancelled the home phone. It was hard to let it go (what if we missed an important call??), but it dawned on us that for months the only calls we got were telemarketers or wrong numbers. Kyle had a cell phone by then, so no longer did we need to make the mad dash to the phone to hear: "Is Kyle there?"

If my phone rings at night, I know it'll be a dire emergency, but kid's phones and texts are beeping all the time. I've actually heard Kyle's phone beep...he twitches and reaches out in his sleep, responds to it, and rolls back over without even hitting consciousness. Nik cannot get enough options on his phone. He can tell who is calling and texting without moving a muscle, because he's assigned and recognizes 200 different tunes he's downloaded. There is a setting where it goes on silence while you know you'll be at Church or in a meeting, then it comes back on automatically, almost psychic-like. The craziest thing is, he used to set an alarm to go off about 9 p.m. each day...just so he would know it was 9 p.m. The only reason I'd ever want a home phone any more is to call my cell phone when I've mislaid it. (Now THERE is an option I'd pay for.) I was raised with a party-line system. You and three other people in town shared one phone line. Mrs. Powell was 4 rings, ours was 3, Grandma Rice's was 2, and Someone-I-Forget was the single ring. If you picked it up and someone was talking, you just had to wait. It was considered bad form, even rude, to call someone just to "chat."

Last year I qualified for a new phone and picked out a cute red one. Nik was excited because it had a "qwerty" keyboard. I got rid of it after a couple of weeks, because who wants a keyboard with the letters all in a different place and keys so small you have to use a q-tip to type on them? And the fonts! Do they think no one over 50 uses these things? My current phone is set to a "large" font and I all but have to carry a magnifying glass around in my back pocket. As for being able to download a movie to watch on your phone, are you kidding? (Remember those pin's heads that had the entire Lord's Prayer etched on them?) If I want to watch a movie, a 32" screen suits me way better than a 1 1/2 inch one. There aren't enough pixels in the world, nor enough high def, to make that a fun idea. (I can hear that on the farm: "I'm borrrred. I'm going to download a movie on my phone." Response: "If you have time to be bored, there's a field out there thick with thistles. Here's a shovel!"

And speaking about gizmos, how about those tv ads? For $19.95!!, YOU can have in your own little fat hand: 1-a magical pen in a kit that will remove scratches from your car INSTANTLY; 2-a tool that holds an egg and has a prong that will reach down inside the egg BEFORE you crack it and scramble the yoke so you don't have to waste time doing that in a pan; 3-a pet brush/tool that will magically remove ALL loose hair, "like the professionals use", and as an added extra, a pad that will make your cat want to scratch his own claws off! 4-a kitchen knife that will cut through bones like BUTTER then slice through a fresh tomato, cut through a steel bolt and a one-inch rubber shoe! Does that not scare you out of your mind? What if you accidently dropped this thing on your toe or forgot to remove your finger in time while chopping the salad? Keep it away from me! BUT, you will have to admit that for 20 seconds you know you need each of these items and ought to order it before they rescind the offer. To seal the deal, the voice says "BUT if you order within the next 20 minutes, you will get not just one, but TWO of these wonderful items you cannot live without!" Let me run and find a pen and right back.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sugar High Anyone?

Yesterday after work, I decided to go to the store and get some groceries. Not on the list, but purchased anyway, were the following items: one regular bag of Oreos, a big bag of Wint O Green lifesavers, a large bag of M&Ms, a triple chocolate cake, 2 boxes of 4 Pillsbury turnovers (couldn't decide between cherry and apple so bought both) and, while waiting at the checkout, threw in one of those big boxes of Jr Mints they place in a vulnerable spot. To my credit, I also purchased two bananas, a bag of oranges and some applesauce. Today after work, I got thinking about candy bars, etc. Do you remember: everlasting gobstoppers, jolly ranchers, wax bottlecaps and wax lips, pixie sticks, fizzies, colored dots on strips of papers, gummy bears, atomic fireballs, Slo Pokes, taffy, Now n Laters, chocolate candy wafers sold only at the movies, sugar-covered orange slices, brown licorice (hollow-barreled inside for filling with pixie stick stuff if you preferred), Snaps with that little box you used for a whistle after it was empty, red candy ball in the middle of black licorice rolled up around it, Bazooka bubble gum with the comic strip inside, cracker jacks with the prize, runts, neccos, real all-day suckers, root beer barrels, Bit o Honey, sixlets, Payday bars, Almond Joys, Mounds, Peppermint Patties, Big Hunks, Pez, chic o stick, Sugar babies, Charleston Chews, lemon drops, jaw breakers, tootsie rolls and my mother's favorite which always made me shudder, Idaho Spud? Oh, I just remembered the toothpicks soaked in cinnamon oil that burned your eyeball out if it happened to get loose somehow. It's interesting to see how many of these are still manufactured. Anybody remember any others?