Tuesday, March 31, 2009


In honor of a weekend in Maine, I give you a quote using the word beacon: Modest Doubt is called the beacon of the wise
~William Shakespeare
Do you have any thoughts using the word 'beacon?'

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Because it's like having an extra hand!

And what mother wouldn't like that?

It's why I like pants with pockets.

Because when you don't have an extra hand to hold something,
you can safely stash it away to grab at a later date.

So why haven't more people adopted this new and
clever way of stashing those cumbersome soda cans?
And if you're anti-carbonation, just picture your plastic water bottle up there.
Because clearly it's a hands-free way to travel.

And on those hot days? An air conditioning unit next to those toasty temples.
But it's SO attractive.
Umm..., me

Seriously. WHAT are people thinking?!....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Because I'm thoughtful that way

For those of you considering Florida for your next biking or hiking adventure, consider the following posted sign and (side-of-the) road condition:

Monday, March 23, 2009

age of entitlement

I heard that phrase Sunday night at a meeting I attended. It got me thinking. Why do we feel 'entitled' to so much? Why do we think we 'need' a big house, a ride-on lawn tractor, more than one tv set, dessert after a meal, cell phones, cable, electronic entertainment... Why do we feel we 'deserve' to live at a certain level of comfort when we do so little to get there? Did you eat chicken last week? I'll bet you weren't out in the yard slaughtering and plucking that thing beforehand. Did you have a bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast? Pour and Pour. No cows, no milking, no grinding the corn and no worries. We live in an age of convenience, and we want, want, want. We go to the store to buy something, and we don't worry about having enough money in our wallets to pay for what we buy, because we can whip out the plastic and make those worries go away. Do you use a credit card? I do. But when I was little, owning a piggy bank represented trying to save up to buy something you really wanted. When you finally saved enough, you could reward yourself with that bike, or that new sweater. Today, I'm pretty sure most of my kids think a piggy bank is a cute knick knack that you can plop pennies into. Do they feel entitled to their possessions? Their game systems, their extensive wardrobes, the plasma tv? You betcha. Whose fault is this? We live in a frightening economic time. We need more than political awareness and financial savvy. We need to be educating the next generation. We need to make sure the current generation gets this. The 'buy now pay later' mindset is everywhere. Is it your birthday? Christmas? Groundhog day? And I didn't buy you anything yet... I'll just jet on over to the store and take my plastic security with me. How hard would it be to start saying NO to requests for new shoes? (How much money do you have? Is that enough to buy the shoes you want? Then you better start saving...) Tonight is family home evening. I'm feeling a lesson coming on. My props? A credit card, a credit card bill, an attractive ad full of things everyone wants, and this baby:

who does this?

Except I'm afraid I know the answer to that question, because I have teenagers, and this is what I found in my yard after the last snow:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

better call this one 20 questions.

I would like to speak with the engineers who think up and design things like bathroom stalls for women, and headrests in automobiles.

Actually that comment has been banging around for years in my head. Like when I was feeling VERY pregnant, and trying to get into and then out of the bathroom stall at church. Seriously--trying to squeeze between the toilet paper dispenser and the toilet and the door to the stall which swings INward was nothing short of an acrobatic feat.

I've made the comment before, but I think, no scratch that, I'm SURE these things are designed by men, who don't think about the fact that an inward swinging door might inhibit movement when you're jeri-rigging your hips and thighs around a metal box protruding from the wall, and the commode, which takes up most of the floor space in there anyway.

You think this is random? You should be a fly on the wall of the room my thought processes live in. So today I was bopping around being taxi-mom, and I happen to have traded in my very sleek 12 passenger van for a brand-y new Toyota Yaris. Actually, 'traded in' might mislead you. It's more like trading, or van-sharing. Someone needed the large capacity transport-ark, so I gladly complied, and I've been scooting around town in what now feels like a clown car. Have you seen one of these? Humor me.
This here's a shiny angle-distorted showroom picture of what is a much less glamorous little bee bop car that really reminds me of a pregnant roller skate. Don't misinterpret what I'm saying here; I think being taxi mom in this baby is a lot more energy efficient and practical than the big white whale. Especially since I'm usually only transporting one or two passengers, which leaves oh, about nine or ten empty seats that I'm paying good gas money to drag along behind me. But when almost-teenager daughter got in the car this afternoon and said "what's with this seat, anyway?" I burst into uncontrollable fits of belly laughter. Partly because I just needed a good laugh, and there it was. And partly because I can't tell you how many times I've thought about how poorly designed those dumb head rests are in most every vehicle I've ridden in. Not to mention the ergonomics of most passenger seats. Hello. Because have you ever tried to fall asleep in the passenger seat without twelve pillows to prop you up and keep your cheek from being punctured by the door lock?Oh, and I have to show you the dashboard on this baby. Because who puts the driver panel with speedometer, odometer, etc. in the MIDDLE of the dashboard? Isn't that information sort of privvy to the driver? Why share it with the whole back seat, as if you didn't have enough problems with back seat drivers already? Driving with the dashboard way the heck over there just feels a tad bit off. If I had an extra week in my month, I might consider part-timing as a car parts designer, because the ones who are being paid the big bucks are not cutting the mustard in my book. And there's another post for another day. Because who would ever think of 'cutting' mustard?! And anyways, most of us are now just exclusively squirting that stuff. No knives involved. I'm done.

someone got lucky

... and it wasn't me.
I dug into the box of Lucky Charms leftover from St. Patrick's Day breakfast.
I should have known better in a house with six kids.
I started pouring, and my bowl was filling up with gross pasty-colored cereal, and NO colorful marshmallows! I stopped pouring and pulled the bag out of the box.
Ah-hah! Just as I thought. Someone had snacked ALL of the marshmallows out of the cereal box
... and it wasn't me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday=Friends Day

Could we but draw back the curtain,
That surrounds each others lives,
See the naked heart and spirit;
Know what spur the action gives;
Often we would find it better,
Purer then we think we would.
We would love each other better,
If we only understood.

There's lots of thingsWith which I'm blessed,
My problems have been few,
But of all, this one's the best:
To have a friend like you.
In times of troubleFriends will say,
"Just ask, I'll help you through it."
But you don't wait for me to ask,
You just get up and do it!
And I can thinkof nothing more
That I could wisely do,
Than know a friend,
And be a friend,
And have a friend like you.
Today's Goals:
-to make my bed
-to do the dishes
-to eat something chocolate
-to laugh heartily
-to love better
-to be a friend

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


After the morning run-around (dentist, eye doctor, friend's house) I made a stop at Dunkin' Donuts to pick up an after school treat for the kids.
At the drive-thru microphone, I asked "Do you have any donuts for St. Patrick's Day?"

To which the attendant replied "What?"

I repeated myself, and the employee responded "you want pepper spray?"

Ummm... Yes. One dozen please. (Huh?!... do they sell that stuff at donut shops now?)

Top o the mornin' to ya

Erin go bragh!
Happy wearin-o-the-green.
May the road rise up to meet you, and the wind be always at your back.
Got out the Irish Spring for showering,

Lucky Charms! for breakfast
and green napkins for dabbin' the drips.
Now we be lookin' for the pot o gold at the end of the rainbow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just How Pious are your Sundays?

Because with an active family and fidgety teens, (okay, maybe the family is fidgety and the teens are active) three hours at church oughta just about fill up the sabbath-y part of the day. I do try not to let the rest of Sunday disintegrate into stuff that would make it feel like Tuesday or Friday or Saturday. But don't we LOVE to shed our Sunday threads and slink into sweats or PJ pants? Mmmmm.... It's like dessert for the body. And typical to our Sundays is having someone over for dinner or dessert. And also traditional is the 'question of the night.' It's a great way to get to know people, give everyone at the table a voice, and learn some things we might otherwise not have known. It's also a great distraction: a way to break away from an awkward pause, spilled milk or quarrelling. But none of those things ever happen at our table--just mentioning the distraction attraction bonus because I'm kind-hearted and like to think of others' needs like that. SO, because sometimes I plan things out perfectly in my head before they ever happen in real life, I thought in addition to our question, it might be entertaining to read an excerpt from 'The Naked Quaker' to our dinner guests. Let me point out that I borrowed this book from my mother, who is always eager to learn things about our predecesors, and I picked out bits from the chapter titled 'Sunday Meeting.' I thought, who wouldn't want to learn about Massachusetts in the mid-1600s? A book about true crimes and controversies from the Courts of Colonial New England is sure to have some unique and interesting conversation fodder. The chapter dealing with Sundays seemed somehow conducive to maintaining more of a Sabbath feel to the day.

Well ~WOW!~ was I wrong. I began by expaining that in the 17th century there was a law in place requiring ALL residents of Massachusetts (regardless of religious preference) and those areas under the jurisdiction of Mass. to attend Puritan church services. And they weren't required to attend for an hour, or even three; the Puritan services typically lasted six to seven hours, with a brief break for lunch. Enter a church in Newbury. Imagine the surprise of the congregation when a Quaker woman, angry about being fined (for missing 20 consecutive Sundays!) and persecuted for not choosing Puritan-ism chose to disrobe in the church and use nudity as her form of protest. I think the rest of the interesting facts I was sharing with ears-at-table were lost in a sea of blah-blah-blah, as my husband's jaw dropped, and the four guests were stunned into silence. The kids thought it was an entertaining story, however, mentioned to me later that the point of the telling was lost in the experience. My husband thinks my name should be changed. He's worried about the fact that I was fine with discussing nudity with first-time dinner guests over salad. So what did you talk about over your roast or ham or whatever you have on Sunday? Maybe your attempt at maintaining spirituality was more successful than mine.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

For the reader in you.

My delightful escape from the realities of March:
I have finished my very enjoyable book for this month. I feel like I'm saying good-bye to some dear friends, and will miss them. Two of my very favorite things: writing letters and reading, play a very big part in how this book is written, and how it evolves. Another WWII era story, taking place mainly on the island of Guernsey, in the channel islands, including some fascinating facts about the way the people in these islands endured the occupation. A witty, intelligent main character with a bit of a rebellious streak endeared me to the narration of a life I wanted to believe was not a work of fiction. I laughed, I sighed, I almost cried. Five stars. Now I can get on with the rest of my month.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Finding Joy

Someone asked me why I try to find time each month to attend the temple.

Beyond the answer 'because it brings peace and tranquility to my busy life,' here is a short video found on youtube that sheds some light on the matter.

I love to see the temple.
I'm going there someday
to feel the holy spirit,
to listen and to pray.
For the temple is a house of God,
a place of love and beauty.
I'll prepare myself while I am young;
this is my sacred duty.

I love to see the temple.
I'll go inside someday.
I'll cov'nant with my Father;
I'll promise to obey.
For the temple is a holy place
Where we are sealed together.
As a child of God,
I've learned this truth:
A family is forever.

~I love to See the Temple
by Janice Kapp Perry, Childrens Songbook, p. 95

Thursday, March 5, 2009

smoky home fire's still burning...

notable quotable for the week:
(Tuesday evening)
Mr. W. (as he's hugging me): MMmmmm... you don't smell like Sunday.
Me: That's because it's not Sunday. It's Tuesday. Today, I smell like Tuesday. (which, apparently, is noticeably less perfume-y and clean, and more robustly smoky and campfire-ish)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I found this on the floor yesterday afternoon.
me: 'wake up... I said. Wake up (louder)... don't you have to be somewhere? WAKE UP my dear (shaking arm this time)... are you burning the candle at both ends?'
A: [...mama-mia... ummmm, sure... whatever that means]
me: 'Haven't you heard of that expression before?'
A: [no.]
me: It means you're working both ends of your day until you're so tired in the middle, that this is what I find on the floor.
[...I'd like me some of that].

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fare-thee-well to February

and hi-dee-ho to March! (even though it didn't come in like a lion, more like a polar bear)
I'm thinking good-bye to winter, hello to spring.
Adios to long dark nights, hola extended daylight hours!
No more weeks of feeling cooped up inside, instead I'll be popping out into the fresh air every chance I get.
Bye bye cold weather snacking, and a delightful hi there to welcome outdoor distractions. This is the month we build the final, farewell snowman of the season. (If we get snow in April, we turn the other cheek.)
I really should get me some of them crocuses... it would be good to see the color peeking through the snow. I DO love the fact that I can enjoy all of the seasons. Which means that it pains me NOT AT ALL to say adieu to winter. Until next year, then.