Wednesday, April 29, 2009

we're all such introverts

There are some traits, interests, hobbies and passions I like to claim that I have passed on to our kids. However, being on stage IS NOT something I like or have ever liked. So, where do our kids get their stage presence?
hmmm . . . I wonder. . .
Here's Dave. He's not on the front row, so you have to look for him, kind of "Where's Waldo" style.

Then there is Rachel. Her piano teacher coerced her to enter a competition on a county wide community college level. She didn't want to, but relented. She tied for first place in the piano division, got to perform at the Herberger Theater downtown and received a check for $300. Go figure!

Here is the sad thing. Right before Rachel performed, there was a very specific announcement to the audience that there should be no pictures taken, copyright laws blah, blah, blah. Well, I surmised that Beethoven's copyrights have well passed their expiration dates and by definition a video is not a "picture". Nevertheless, I was afraid one of the elderly woman theater hostesses would seize my camera and put me in cuffs so I sort of hid the camera close in front of me. The camera's focus feature captured the silhouette of the head in front of me therefore I didn't realize it wasn't focused on Rachel whatsoever so she was left in a complete video blur. Sorry Rachel.
Afterwards, she had to sign some autographs for her fans (well, her aunts . . . but sometimes aunts are the best kind of fans).
Next there is Melanie. She never shuns the spotlight. She's always the first to take front and center stage. She's probably most like Dave. Her partner in crime here is her "other" sister, Rachel. Those two are practically conjoined twins - and I'm glad they are such good friends. They are good for each other.

Roxanne made a video the same night as Melanie at the talent show. She's got some mad acting skills, but just prefers that I don't blast it across my blog. It was actually kind of funny. They dressed as a tribute rap band and spoofed Melanie and Rachel's act. But on an unrelated topic, doesn't she look so cute heading off to prom? Last but not least - Brady is a boy after my own heart. He stays out of the limelight at all costs. The last video we took of him performing for the camera was, oh . . . probably 3rd grade.

how does your garden grow?

I think I'm going to get Dave some overalls for his birthday this year. He is such a farmer. He still drives his tractor around town and he's got a beautiful garden growing. We've been enjoying squash, swiss chard, radishes, lettuce and the peas are almost ready. We've got sunflowers growing in our garden too, for no particular reason except they are pretty. If we had small kids around, I would make one of these very cool sunflower forts . (I bet if we planted one, we would find Melanie playing in it.)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

i'm a poet, and i know it

To Shannon, who complained today that I hadn't posted in 12 days.
and who hasn't posted herself in 56 days. hmmm. Nevertheless, this is for you. (You'd better leave a comment!)

I've written 3 poems in my life. I will share all 3 of them with you.

You're welcome.

As a senior in my high school English class, we had an assignment to write a poem. Our teacher submitted the poems to our school paper for a vote. Mine won:

When asked to write a poem in class
My paper showed a large white mass
No inspiration came.
The style shown in the book was clear
The weekend passed, but still, oh dear
My paper looked the same.

Assignments really get to me:
My grades will show my destiny
My heart is full of remorse,
For doomed am I to an awful fate
For now if I procrastinate,
I'll flunk this stupid course.

When I was a substitute teacher in the kid's elementary school, there would be a daily exercise in the younger classes each morning. The teacher would write a sample journal entry on the board and we would discuss sentence structure etc. Then the kids would go write in their draftbooks. I would always write the same funny story about our dog. I was glad to be in a different classroom every day because I only had one funny story to write about, and I could use it every single day. But occasionally the writing assignment for the day would be poetry, so my sample piece would be as this lovely poem:

Clouds are fluffy, clouds are nice
Clouds are pretty, too.
Clouds give rain, clouds give shade
Clouds are sometimes blue.
But do you know what I think about
When I get out of bed?
I hope one doesn't fall down
and bonk me on the head.

(ok, ok. Don't be judgemental. It was for 1st graders)

So today, I happened to be in a poem writing mood:


Thank you for the shade you give
When temperatures will soar.
Thank you for the green you share
I couldn’t ask for more.

But please, oh Mr. Mulberry tree
I’ll tell you what I meant
When we talked about this problem before
“Keep your fruit off our cement!”

I hate your berries underfoot.
I hate the them on our tiles
I hate them tracked inside our house
The spots go on for miles!

I hate the goop squished ‘tween my toes
When I go get the mail
I hate the mess, I hate the spots
I hate the rotten smell.

But here's the thing I must discuss
I know you will agree
The birds are eating your mulberries
as surely you can see.
I park my car under your shade,
For just a moment . . . it’s absurd
My car is covered with droppings
the size of an elephant’s turd.

Monday, April 13, 2009

this and that

He's 20 and I still make him hunt for Easter eggs. In other Brady news, he just finished up a season of Football playing on the mighty fine "Flagstaff Hitmen" team. They played their way into the championship games, but sadly came up short of a victory. I am glad some of these men play on the same team as Brady, and not against him. To a mom, he just looks so breakable out there against men twice his width.
He really loves this game.

Next on my random blogging agenda, as we were driving in our car the other night, Dave told me he was wearing some pants he hadn't worn for a very long time and guess what he found in the pocket? $100 in cash. Well, not 5 minutes later, we realized that a little traveling carnival was set up in a shopping center parking lot in our neighborhood and I immediately ratted Dave out and told the kids Dad had $100 in his pocket at this very moment. Immediately, they talked him into a few rides in this little parking-lot-of-thrills. Within 30 minutes, we had our fill of thrills and Dave's pocket was half empty.

(Rachel - sorry we couldn't wait for you. Cash drains out so fast at a carnival, another 30 minutes until you could meet up with us and Dad would have gone bankrupt. )
I was remembering a daddy-daughter date I went on. We went to the coolest carnival EVER. I was about 5 or 6 and it was just me and my Dad. My favorite features were the dark and scary Spook Alley and the House of Mirrors. Looking back, I am guessing it was just a little neighborhood parking lot carnival too, but to a six year old? It was the BEST!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

i almost didn't wear a slip today

I was all settled in the chapel for our church services today and I realized I hadn't picked up a program and stepped out into the foyer to get one. As I leaned over the table to retrieve a program, a sister whispered in my ear "did you know you have a big tear down the back of your dress?"
Oh, crap.
Ok, so what exactly does one do at a moment like that?
I can't flee, Dave has the keys to the car and he is sitting on the stand at the front of the chapel and the meeting is starting any second. This woman offered to give me a ride home, but still . . I have no house keys. I am basically trapped in the foyer with my back against the wall. I am singing with the choir in 40 minutes or so, and I am on the program to give the closing prayer at the end of the meeting.
I decide to stay against the wall and wait for our kids to arrive. I was going to take Roxanne's car home, but I found out Brady drove today. It is a huge monster of a truck. I can't drive it, I'm not even sure I can climb up into it. But I talk him into taking me home. His truck is such a boy toy - it is lifted so high I can hardly reach the door handle. As I attempted to climb in I had to warn Brady "Look away please . . . there is no pretty way to do this".
Anyway, quick drive home, get out the sewing machine, attach it all back together, vow to check all seams on all new clothes in the future, iron the seam, get dressed again and drive back to church. We got back in time for the choir piece. Whew!
Here's what will keep me awake tonight. Had I not gone out to pick up a program, I would have risen from my seat on the third pew from the back, and walked up in front of the entire congregation to the choir seating area in the middle of our beautiful and spiritual Easter program with my white delicates flowing out the back of my dark blue dress today for all the world to see. Lovely!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I realize my life has calmed back down when I have time to play on YouTube. Here you go . . . for your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

there is something about my grandpa that i still think is kind of funny

My grandpa was an amazing man. Everyone loved him. Seriously. Everybody. He ran a successful Bakery here in central Phoenix. He was a bishop for years in this area (in the 1950's? I'm not sure.) When he retired from the bakery, he was a counselor in a nearby funeral home. To this day, I still run into people that remember Wallace Stowell. Living in this area, I hear things like "He made our wedding cake" or "He was my bishop when I was a teenager" or "he helped with my mother's funeral". One friend even tells me "To this day, I carry a $10 bill in my scriptures that he gave me when I left on my mission. I could never spend it. It reminds me of him." He was the best Grandpa EVER!
But there is one other thing that some people may not have known about him. I heard a radio ad for the "Guiding Light" last month and memories flooded back. I lived with my grandparents while I was finishing college. I used to come home from my classes at ASU and get home around 2pm. I didn't have air conditioning in my car (I know . . . my kids can't believe it either). After my drive home from Tempe, I would be sweaty head to toe, the core temperature of my body would be about equal to the outside temperature, 109 degrees or so. Anyway, I would sit in Grandma and Grandpa's den, in front of the oscillating fan and cool off and watch "Guiding Light" with Grandpa. (No, I didn't get him hooked on it. I had never watched soap operas before. He was already a regular viewer).
There has been an ad on the radio recently. The ad reviewed the story line of one of the main characters : "When Phillip left Springfield, he was in one word: insane. Phillip kidnapped children, faked his own death, and spawned a daughter who is just as crazy as he is." Hmmm . . . just as I remember. I suppose I could sit down and watch it today and catch up with the characters and story line within a day or two. Same characters, same drama.

(Oh, Reva, Reva, Reva . . . how do you keep up that high drama for 25 years?)
Last month, they were promoting the show like crazy. This month, CBS is pulling the plug on "Guiding Light" after a 72-year run. That's before television was even around. I'll bet Springfield was a crazy little town even on the radio.
With "Guiding Light" all the talk in the media this week, it brings back warm fuzzy memories of me and my Grandpa. Ahhh, good times.