Friday, November 25, 2011


A Letter to Jane, the Sister of My Soul.

In the seventh grade I was a bit of a tender flower. That terrorist called puberty had rocked my world with a scandal. Still, at twenty-four, I am trying to figure out how to navigate through life with these hips. When grace abandons a young girl just before it’s time to start wearing high heels and batting her eye lashes, the adjustment is, well, awkward. I wasn’t sure what would become of me.  
Mom used to haul me along on her trips to “The Book-a-teria”, a used book store here in town, where she would trade in her paper-back cowgirl/mystery/romance novels for “new” ones. I discovered one day, while wondering through the cinderblock and wood plank shelving, a classics section. The first novel I selected was creamy brown with swirly, rough font. “Wuthering Heights”. Her thin yellowed pages were soft as feathers. I held the book by its binding in my left hand and with my right I bent the book like a rainbow. I slid my thumb across her page edges, fanning them open. The sweet, dusty smell of old moist paper and ink puffed out into the air, along with tiny floating particles of paper dust that blurred in the sunshine from the store windows. We understood each other. Used books are the reality of “beautiful on the inside”. I took her home with me.
Oh, Heathcliff! What you did to my heart!

I needed more. Inside the front cover was a cheesy list of “similar titles you might also enjoy”. That’s where I first found her.

Pride & Prejudice”, by Jane Austin.

By the time I was a sophomore in high school I had read my Barnes&Nobel copy at least a dozen times. On the cover was a dark haired Miss Elizabeth, in a pink floral patterned dress, sitting at a tea table in the garden. Next to her stood a rigid and fearsomely handsome, Mr. Darcy, in a top hat and a dark suit. I was forced to purchased a new copy eventually, the text had begun to rub off of my first love’s pages.
I read everything I could find of Jane’s. I read everything that seemed similar. I read everything that sat next to something of hers on the shelf. Something about her voice, her understanding of the love between sisters, her endless hope, her shameless delivery of the inevitable happy ending, built a bridge between us. I have been wondering back over that bridge to visit her ever since.
Jane knew something that I am always trying to forget. She knew, absolutely, that beauty is so much more than superfluous. She knew that good conversation was the secret of life, that walking heals your heart, that dancing is the best way to fall in love. Pride & Prejudice is not about practicality. It is about the heart of honesty, the bitter that enlivens the sweet, the dream that you don’t even realizing you are living until, suddenly, you wake up!
Jane might seem silly, or romantic, but she was real, and she believed. If I could channel a little bit of that energy, open my heart and not feel like it’s a chink in my armor, but a badge of courage, perhaps it would improve my senses. I feel an increase in my olfactory reception just thinking about it. What must the stars look like to eyes that are in love!
Gosh, I don’t mean, “let’s have a tea party and embroider cushions!” I just mean, have a little faith. You never know, it could happen. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

See You at the Whore House

Talking with my brother the other day about music, cause that’s one of the three things I think about, I mentioned some rad new tunage I had been experiencing on Spotify. Magically I was producing all kinds of delicious ear nourishment without paying. Flabbergasted, he insisted that I explain. So I told him, “Dude, it’s Spotify.”

“Where’d you here about that?” He said.
“My friend Jeff.”
“Where’d you meet Jeff?”
“The Whore House.”
“Oh, Okay. Move over, I’ll show you some good stuff.”
Guess you wanna know how he responded so coolly to such an interesting reply. Not a ton of big brothers are down with their little sister meeting fellows at a whore house.

This isn’t just any old house of ill repute, no no, around here, those are words of love. They refer to a few rooms surrounded by a few more walls that hold all kinds of sweet memories for me and my besties. We went in girls and boys, we came out Men and Women. Weird, but beautiful. It started a few years back, somewhere just before my first niece, Alexandria, was born.

Near the end of the summer my life took a sudden turn, a crazy one. I had been working at the car dealership, the cookie factory, processing and boxing bags of saline solution for shipment, selling long distance over the phone, tickets at the Dee Event Center, blah, blah, blah, and then; unemployed. I filled out an application at “The Living Scriptures” and when they called to offer me an interview I answered my phone, “Ticket Offi. . Thank you for. . Ken Garff. . . Hello?” 

They let me come anyway and later that week I was sitting in a conference room of noobie telemarketers looking for an irresponsibly quick pay day. 

Two weeks of training at $12 an hour followed wherein I met the former Miss Brittany Faye Garrett, now Mrs. Bee King, halved some delicious “Villa Bella” BLT’s, scrounged enough change to wrestle a Nutroll out of the vending machine on breaks, and ultimately, got fired for being a useless telephone salesperson who had never seen a living scriptures video and questioned the historical accuracy of the facial hair on the animated interpretations of biblical characters.

I ended up waitressing for Mrs. Lee at the Wing Wah, several stories for another day, and spending every egg-drop-soup free moment at the Whore House.

We were both stretched pretty thin in the cash department, and by thin I mean broke-da-broke. Starving for some salty sweet goodness and someone to talk to about our crazy trainer; I purchased a Nutroll and sat down next to Brittany. I don’t remember our first conversation but I’m sure it involved lots of laughing at least two enormously overstated “RIGHT?’s” and a sharp increase in volume and speed. In the background Karen Carpenter started singing, “We’ve only just begun. . .”
Bee invited me back to her place after work one night, while she smothered a slice of toast with a liberal smathering of peanut butter I was introduced to the roomies. Chau, Wendy, Lindsay, and Amanda. Beautiful and virtuous women though they were, they always seemed to have “company”. Technically, I was still living at home so when Mom asked me who I was hanging out with it took me a minute to report. “Where are you meeting all of these people?”
“At Brittany’s.”
“This sounds like an interesting house. . .” Matt mumbled in passing.
“You aren’t going there.” Mom said.
Matt didn’t, but I did, all the time.

 We joked one day in the kitchen about what the crazy old neighbors must be thinking, what with the swinging front door. The joke continued after I left for my shift at the “Wing Wah” and by the time I got back that night it was official. “The whore House” was our home.

Ironic really, considering the way we all left that great house. Chau and Lindsay were married in the summer to their handsome princes, Tyler, Austin, and I left on our missions, Amanda got married sometime in between. The house adopted Lyndee and Ruth, not sure when, Bee was a lousy pen pal, Wendy left on her mission, then bam, bam, bam, Lyndee, Ruthie, and Bee scooped up some princes for themselves. Tyler followed me home and stuck around, King officially crowned, Austen reclaimed his princess (not the one in fake eyelashes).

 T-Roy and I grew up, but just a little, and discovered some dreams to chase. One by one we left the house, but it never left us.
One of these days we’ll fold and one of us will buy that house. We’ll walk out the back door one afternoon to a mysterious BBQ (dejavu) and a text message will whip across the screens of my favorite non-relations in all the world.  

“Foods Hot,
See you at the
 Whore House.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Tart Treat

Raspberry Tarts

o   Preheat oven to 450 degrees
o   Prepare pie crust.
o   Roll crust into 2” balls and flatten into round discs.
o   Shape discs into mini cupcake tin pressing discs into the shape of the tin as though they were tiny pies.
o   Brush edges of crusts with egg wash and then sprinkle with sugar sprinkles for a golden brown color and some sparkle.
o   Fill each cup with approximately 1 Tbs. of the Raspberry filling, be careful not to overfill.
o   Bake at 450° for about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown.
o   Allow tarts to cool completely
o   Remove from pan carefully and pipe or spoon on a dollop of raspberry cream topping.

Raspberry Filling
o   2 c. partially crushed raspberries
o   Granulated sugar to taste (I use about ¼ c. for every 2c. berries)
Mix and let macerate until they are juicy and delicious
Raspberry Cream Topping
o   1c. heavy whipping cream
o   4 oz. room temperature cream cheese
o   2 Tbs. raspberry filling
Whip cream until it is nearly ready, add cream cheese and raspberry topping. Whip all together until smooth and creamy. (add powdered sugar to whipped cream to sweeten if desired.)
Grandma Maud’s Pie Crust
o   2c. Flower
o   1c. shortening (Crisco is best)
o   1 egg
o   Ice water
o   Vinegar
o   1 pinch salt
In a large bowl cut shortening into flour until well mixed. In a separate small bowl beat one egg with a splash of white vinegar and a splash of ice cold water. Add egg mixture and a pinch of salt to the large bowl and cut in adding more flour if needed. Dough should not be sticky at all but combine easily into a ball.
Bake at 450°
To increase your yield, maintain the 2 to 1 flour: Crisco ratio and multiply egg mixture to achieve desired texture.

          The measurements and techniques involved in Grandma Maud’s crust are not exact by any means. When my mom taught me how to make it she used just the words that Grandma Maud had used to explain it to her.
          “What’s a splash, mom?” I asked.
          “You know, just ‘splash’, turn the water on, let it get really cold, then run your bowl through the streaming water. A splash.”
          No joke, that’s how she taught me. That’s how Grandma taught her. I never knew my dad’s Grandma, but I bet she was really somethin’.

Friday, October 21, 2011


I am a Desperado.

I was chillin with Linda this morning,(Linda Ronstadt) as I often do when seeking direction and an opportunity to sing super loud while I clean the house. And just like she always does, she hit me with the truth, square on the chin. Here’s what she said;

“Now it seems to me some fine things have been laid upon your table,
But you only want the ones that you can’t get.”

You’re absolutely right Linda, but I still want them. What do you say to that?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ain't Life Grand

My friend lost his grandpa last week. He didn't wonder off, he passed away. Away from the mortal sight of his loved ones still on this earth. It has been several years since I have had the sight to see my own grandpas, I wanted to express, somehow, my empathy.

I know where you're at buddy.
I know where our grandpas are too. Busy and peaceful, safe and waiting. 
ps, my radd and fearlessly loyal puppy dog Butch is there too.
That might not make you feel better. Maybe later it will.


I miss my grandpas every day. I miss their wisdom. I wish I had known then to ask them everything. I wish I had written down all of their stories. In times of discouragement I want to read their lives. I want to invent ‘Grandpa Google’, where all the answers come from the millions of wrinkles made moment by moment in the minds of those clever, brave, generous, resilient, tender men.
I feel the loss of their experience, especially now, as I step further and further every day into adulthood. I miss their hands. Huge, careful hands honed and infused with muscle memory and perfect timing. They were soft and generously folded with wrinkles where once had been hard callouses, tough skin, torn epidermis. They cradled my heart, wrapped all around my shoulders with long arms, still strong, and creaking joints. I remember laying my face in my grandpa’s large cool hand. His eyes had grown sad.
Love you Grandpa, love you both.
Thanks for the music, thanks for the laughs, for my parents who honor you, for the love you gave my Grandmas who miss you achingly. Thank you for a name I treasure, a place where I belong. Thank you for always looking at me like I was beautiful.
Wish you were here,

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The One About Love and Stuff

Here it comes, the blog ya’ll predicted would eventually come. The blog who’s anticipation made you slightly uneasy, maybe even a little queasy.  This is

 “The One About Love and Stuff.”

Where to begin? I’ve been mulling this idea over in my mind for a while and I think that to get us all on the same page I’ll start with a story.

Once Upon a Time, there was a princess in a kingdom far far away. Well- loved and well cared for, the princess wanted for little. She was satisfied, happy, but she had one very persistent problem. She couldn’t sleep.
            Not a wink.
            The princess tried everything! But nothing could be done, sleep would not come. Her father the King was desperate to find a way to provide his beloved daughter with relief. He searched far and wide. At his command the most educated scholars in the kingdom researched and fathomed endlessly for a solution. Valiant and cunning explorers, Knights, warriors, and loyal servants of the crown ventured into dark and unknown paths seeking the secret to the princesses sleep. All were unsuccessful.
            The king appealed to his people with a proclamation, a plea; the man who can grant my dear daughter one full night of restful slumber will be given my daughter, the princess, in marriage. For one night of real sleep that man will receive all of her succeeding nights and days as well.
          Soon men began to arrive at the palace with hopeful hearts. Some came with magical words, weaving blankets of drowsy peaceful poetry over the princess’s exhausted body as she lay in piles of manifested clouds infused with warm sunshine.  
                Men with stringed and scrolled instruments strummed and plucked and serenaded with wide, long, mournful voices. Others with reeds and nimble fingers blew notes of drifting fantasy through puffed cheeks up into the night air above the princess’s bed.
                They brought tears with their beauty, but no sleep.
                Weeks passed and hope waned.
One night as the sun fell below the hills a young man arrived at the kitchen door of the castle. The cooks received him and cared for him, filthy and worn with dust covering his body from the furthest roads of the kingdom. A shepherd tending his flocks in the far hills, the young man had begun his journey as soon as news of the princess’s plight had reached him. Pushing away the hands of the servants offering supper and a bed for the night he said, “Please, just take her this pillow. She must be so tired. I know she’ll sleep, just take her this pillow.”
“You’ve come such a long way.” Said one of the princess’s ladies in waiting.
“I hate to disappoint you, but we’ve tried pillows. Pillows from the feathers of a golden goose, pillows of sea-foam from the splashes of mermaid tails, pillows made from the floating seeds of dandelions blown with a wish. Your pillow of sheep’s wool will not bring my lady rest.”

“My pillow will bring rest to your lady; it will bring her sweet dreams of love. In her sleep she will see the face of her true love and peace will fill her heart. She will sleep.”

The maid blushed and took the pillow.
“I will take it to her.” She said.

The Princess received the pillow and the story of the young man who had journeyed far to deliver it. So tired, she placed the pillow of her last hope on her bed alone.  Wrapping a blanket close around her she crawled into bed. Leaning back slowly she let her heavy head rest against the earthy fresh smelling pillow. She closed her eyes and breathed in a deep slow breath. Exhaling, her mind opened up into a beautiful dream.
A command from the king required silence from the entire castle and all waited with baited breath in quiet stillness as the princess. . . slept.
All through the night and into the next day they tiptoed on slippered feet about the castle, the only perceptible sound the even breathing of the slumbering lady. Another night passed in peace and with the sun the princess lifted her head from her pillow.
The shepherd, the dream walker, the hero, was summoned. The princess saw with her waking eyes the man of her dreams. As promised the two were married.

A small stone cottage was erected in the far hills of the kingdom with a bed and a blanket and a pillow. As the prince had tended his sheep with love he tenderly cared for his wife. She slept very well.

That's How I feel about love. My life is wonderful, but I have trouble sleeping.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Nature of My Neurosis

Welcome to August! Now that the summer is winding down mine has finally begun! My exciting plans; read as much of next semesters course work as possible before it begins! I know, that is a terrible plan. So, to off-set the epic lameness, a break to tell a story.
           To preface this story I must reveal a truth about myself, a neurosis that I have fostered for many years. If you have spent more than ten minutes with me you have probably seen me pull out my calendar. I keep it with me always, it remembers everything!  As a writer I am always in need of a handy place to keep some notes, they all spill out onto the pages of this abused and beloved calendar. It contains the endless list of books I need to read, quotes collected, recipes, addresses, directions, notes from sunday school classes, literature classes, presidency meetings, sacrament meetings, Dr. Who.
           I record my goals, lists for the grocery store, where I went today, where I'll go tomorrow, the hours I worked, the miles I've driven, how many times I've been to Costa Vida this month. I write it all down in this record of Elizabeth. I save them when they are filled on the same shelf as my journals. What was I doing on January 21st of 2010, you can find it in last years calendar.
           I took Stinker to "the LaundryMutt," worked from 6:45 to close at the Hastings, and noted that a new episode of "The Mentalist" would be on that night. I worked 25 hours that week and turned in my Avon order by the following Monday. 
Crazy right?
Maybe not. . .  
           My great Grandma on my Mamma's side was called Olive. I met her a handful of times before she passed away but I was pretty young, I don't remember much. Several months ago, maybe a year and more by now, Mom and I took a jaunt down to SLC with Grandma Lois to visit "the Aunties," my Grandma's sisters. Sitting in a room (walls lined with books, of course) with Olive's daughters, her granddaughter, and her memory, my Grandma passed me an old note book that had belonged to her Mother. It felt like buried treasure in my hands, it smelled like a thrift store. With worn edges and a surface polished smooth from the friction within the walls of a prepared lady's purse, I recognized what this note book must be.
          Tenderly I spread open the scribble filled pages. There it was, proof positive that I am not the random assemblance of inappropriate outbursts and DNA that I once believed myself to be. I come from somewhere, there are others like me! Or, rather, I am like them, like Olive, my great grandma. 
         In her calendar she had made a long list of all of the books she had read that year, how many times she had read them before, who had recommended them, what she would read next. She had taken notes from a stake conference meeting, written her shopping list, included notes about the women she was assigned to visit-teach. In a smaller notebook she had written a detailed account of a family road trip including miles driven each day, stops made, items purchased, and random comments from her husband about the general condition of the roads. Brilliant!
          Though it was a small silly connection I felt tied to that wonderful woman in a deep and intimate way. All my life I have wondered about, pencil in hand, recording the scenes unfolding around me, never knowing why. It is so sweet to me to know that, at least in part, it was simply within me. To write, to relate, to tell a story, that desire was passed down to me through blood and tiny proteins breaking and recombining infinitely, but remaining in tact just enough to encode a message that would cause a single desire to persist over generations. I wonder if she also shared my callus on her third finger. . . 


Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Renember?" -Alexandria

It has been forever since I have taken the time to tell you a story.
Things have been busy, life has been fast, I have been making plans, working hard.
I had a birthday!
You know, it surprises me every year. Suddenly it's May and I am another year older. How does the time move so fast?!? But each year is a treasure to me. Another piece of the life I have been blessed to build here in this magical place I have grown to love. We added two shiny new members to our family last year. Claire and Scott Paul. Alexandria went to pre-school ( where I am sure she claimed the territory for her crown and country, to be named later, and subjugated all of her countrymen to her imposing but beautiful will.) We all lived through another year of school, work, and lawn mowing.
           Funny how sometimes we mark the passage of time by chores like cutting the grass or the release of the next Harry Potter book. "It was a few years back. . . just after we went to the midnight release for HP 6." "They've been out of town for a while now, we've cut the grass three or four times since they left."
         Anyway, I have had a fabulous year. I haven't grown any taller, but I have learned how to measure myself more truly. My contact prescription has changed, I suppose I asked for that one, English majors read tiny print. My pants size has changed, thank the heavens! And I'm still me.
So here is a story about me.
            All my life I have been full of questions. I used to follow my Daddy around wherever he went, peppering him with endless inquiries about every move he made. If he stopped moving I would have a question about that too. After a few minutes of breathless pestering Daddy would send me away. He has always had a respect for quiet which time in the house doing dishes has taught me to appreciate. Mom said if I could be quiet he would let me help. This was the Mount Everest of my seven year old life. I wasn't sure if I could even breath if I wasn't producing some sort of sound, but I had to be out there with my dad! Early on a Saturday I got dressed in my most rugged looking jeans and my only T-shirt that didn't feature some sort of girly animal. I would not be sent away today. I puttered about desperately behind my Father. Breathing deeply and nodding swiftly when asked a question. My mind was racing but my lips were perfectly still.
          It was working! We had discovered the broken part on Mama's garden hose and now needed to visit the hardware store for a replacement. Yes, we would be going in the truck, just the two of us. If I played my cards right I might even get a hostess pie out of this!
          I got in the passenger side and slid across the woven seat covers to the middle. I buckled my seatbelt and looked proudly up at my Daddy.
        Best Day Ever!
         As we pulled away from the house my Daddy looked at me strangely.
"You don't sit in the middle like this with a boy until you're eighteen, ok?"
         A boy? What a weird thing to say! Why would I go somewhere with a boy? None of the boys I know can even drive.

         Nine years later, a Junior in High School, a boy came to my Daddy's house. He walked me out to his Daddy's truck and opened the door. I slid naturally over to the middle seat. I buckled my seat belt with a stupid grin on my face and we started to drive away.
       "Stop!" I yelped, shocked at the turn my life had taken. Wasn't it just a few summers ago that I had considered this exact scenario preposterous? What had I become? Certainly not my Daddy's Dizzy Lizzy, but something entirely foreign. Something more shocking than when Cory kissed that other girl on the ski trip with Tepanga.
       I was a. . . a teenage girl.
       The shock wore off, for me and my date. I stayed in that middle seat. Whats more, that same night I let that boy kiss me. I had gone off the deep end. Like Jasmine, on a magic carpet ride, I had seen a whole new world. I walked back through my Daddy's door seconds shy of midnight.
       I would never be the same.
       The other day I slid across the seat of my Dad's truck to the middle. We shared a conversation with just the right amount of words. We paused thoughtfully and discussed important topics like the emerging bluegrass/ pop genre and how to properly fold a bandanna vs. a handkerchief.
       Guess I'm the same after all.
      Time is a funny thing. It passes even when we are asleep. Even during hide-and-seek someone is counting the time away.
        When I am old, when I am aching on a Saturday morning for my Daddy to come and take me away for a drive and a nut roll and coke, I will remember the time I spent with my Dad. I'll remember every piece of advice he gave me about building a wall to stand plum and adjusting the balance of your stereo speakers. I'll remember when he put his hands on my head and blessed my broken body. I'll remember how he loved me so well that even when I was only seven years old he was thinking about my future. He was watching for that boy who would show up in his daddy's truck and try to take me away.
         Time will take us from here to places we cannot imagine, just as it has before. We will change and move and grow. We will remember. I hope I always remember.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Rainy Days Mondays

       Believe it or not, there are still things I am learning about life. I has been nearly 3 years since I left on my mission. Sometimes I feel like Herman Melville when he said that his life began at 25, when he returned to America after many adventures upon the sea. Some new way of understanding was imparted to me one afternoon in Virginia. It had pored all day long, it had been raining like that for days, weeks maybe, I don't have any dry memories of Marion, Virginia. We had no appointments, no one to teach, so we walked, all day long, house to house to house; and it rained and rained and rained. Near the evening, when the gray blues were turning to violet blues, we were marching through Hungry Mother State Park. Misty all over, hungry, wet through and cold, but still mumbling to each other every now and then about how beautiful everything was. Virginia is sneaky like that, it leaves you miserably in awe. Sister Nelson stopped suddenly, I walked right into her back. (Just ask her, I did this all the time! I was always looking out at something, forgetting my feet.)
"Shhhhh!", she whispered. "Look!"
         Not fifteen feet in front of us were two tiny deer, looking right in our faces, not scared at all. I had never been so close to a wild animal before without a zoo fence in between us. I was transfixed. Everything in the world was dripping, steam was rising from their backs, their quick instinctual bodies still hot and ready to flex into motion should we pose a threat. We stood their forever, watching each other.
         We never stood anywhere, we were always moving, walking, running. Never enough time, always in a hurry. My companion was  inhumanly prompt. In contrast to everything my two months in the mission had taught me about never never wasting a single moment, we stood there.
          No matter where I go I can hear the drip drip in my mind. I can smell the mossy moistness of the first real forest ground I had ever tread. I can see their short breaths bathe them in a cloud of thick warm haze. I can't feel my toes. (Some things never change.)
        Some things in this life are absolutely precious. Occasionally, in milliseconds, we are changed thoroughly. I had never wanted to be a missionary. I never wanted to live in a moldy smelly apartment with a stranger who wouldn't let me drive and always made me shower first in a cold tiny tub with a ceiling so low even I couldn't stand. But I had craved all my life the feelings that overwhelm me, even now, when I think back on the miracles of those thirteen months.  Isn't it a perfect plan our Father in Heaven has made for us?
       A natural resilience to conformity has gotten me into some sketchy situations, including but not limited to: knocking my fifth grade mega crush's tooth out in a game of basketball, wearing teal boots (as a missionary) to hear Elder Bednar speak about exact obedience, being stuck on the second story roof of my apartment while my companion was inside with the Sheriff, and teaching a Sunday school lesson to the priesthood in my singles ward about what "women expect of them". You would think that by now I had learned my lesson, not so.
          I believe that individuality, in all of us, is so beautiful. It is what makes us, children of God, as unique as the stars. It is what necessitates the personal  and custom plans/ paths we all take back home. The lessons that are tailored exactly to each journey, each soul.
           So, if the words of He Man thrill you like the words of Capitan Moroni, do not be ashamed! Take your sward in you hand. Shake it at the evil of the world. Tell them just exactly who "has the power". My Heavenly Father loves me. He loves you. He knows you. This life is a joyous time for you to prepare to meet him again, to show him the talents  you Did Not bury, but multiplied.
           Like a little sparrow he  tenderly lifts you in his hands to the sky and whispers, "Fly."

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Pink Lady

             It is the week before spring break, suddenly much like the week before finals. So, in keeping with tradition, I have gotten sick. Feeling overwhelmed and lousy after class and the doctor and on my way to work I realized that I was also famished! "Food must quickly be obtained with as little effort as possible!", I thought to myself. "But what choices do I have between school and work?"
 7 11, two of them.
 "There has to be another way!!"
         Wilst re-formulating my plan I asked myself, "What do I really want?", the answer. . . butter cream frosting.  "Where can one procure such a treat at 1:00 pm between Weber State and down town Ogden?" A singe option presented it's self, The Vintage Cupcake on 24th and Jefferson.

 Thither I went. Behind the glass case I saw, among other fantastical treats, at least four inches of swirly, piped, hot pink, butter cream conveniently attached to another four inches of chocolate cake: The Pink Lady. It was fate.
       I was also thirsty by this point. I inquired of the proprietor whither I might find a chilled beverage to quench said thirst. "The old fridge behind you", he said. Truer words were never spoken, for there I found a chilly coke-a-cola in a frosty glass bottle. Providence had smiled upon my miserable day and led me to a miracle.
       It's a small little shop, filled with funky furniture and giant cupcakes, it is my saving grace through this stamina sucking week. I must admit that only two days later I returned to the scene and purchased another cupcake. The calories I am sure are beyond our current recognition of numbers, but smiling with palest pink tinted teeth at each client I was obliged to greet that evening, the physical repercussions were the furthest thing from my mind.
          I might also add, by way of imparting information, that The Vintage Cupcake is currently producing girl scout themed cupcakes, yesterday was the Samoa, I know! Shut up! Right? But it's true.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No Poetry in Tax Season

          There is nothing poetic about Tax Season. Nothing poetic about getting up early and staying up late to rage through my homework so that I can contribute to the massive haul in one giant breath that is Tax Season. It's a rush of numbers and names, file folders, paper cuts. Staple, copy, file, scan, sign, file, send, stamp, label, file, type, check, pass, fold, file. I feel like a lacy hankie in a business suit tornado. It's strange to imagine how I ever ended up in this world of math, money, and "ice cream" breaks, but here I am, a lot, and I like it.
          It's an awkward testament to the truth that life is always surprising you. I make the lame and disapointing assumption that I have some control over the direction of my life and then suddenly reality hits me. Skirting around an accounting office with files stacked up to my nose in my fluffy boots with a bow in my hair. What do you know? Another surprise. But if life limits it's surprises to crazy part time jobs and bad hair dye jobs, I think I can bend through them gracefully. All in all, even on my grumpiest day, I got it pretty good.
may my heart always be open to little birds
who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them, men are old
may my heart stroll about hungry and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it is sunday may I be wrong
for when men are right they are not young
and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there has never been a fool who could fail
pulling the sky over him with one smile
e.e. cummings

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blame it All on My Roots

                            My dear parents, you may not know, were both born on farms. Farms. The outside kind, with animals and fields and things. If you know me, you know that the ability to be a "farmer" is not genetic. In fact the opposite genes seem to have won the primordial battle. In the rush to become my DNA was scattered and re-assembled in a way contrary to my ancestors. Contrary to outside in general if you get right down to it. For that reason and many others (including the rebellion inspired by rock and roll) our family has always been a city dwelling circus. My Momma is, however resilient, though the girl was out of the country, the country was not to far removed from the girl. In the car, on Saturday mornings, Country music was pulsing from the speakers. It seems to me now that it was some form of hypnosis. Why? I'll tell you. Last night, learning to dance a bit of country-swing, it all came flooding back. Mid twirl, halfway to a dip at near warp speed, my lips parted and out came a phrase I have not repeated in at least twelve years, " I"m a full grown queen bee lookin" for honey, ah ooo ooo, oh play somethin' country!"
Thank goodness I was spinning too fast for my partner to notice what had happened. (Or just to fast for me to catch him noticing.) My face was red enough from the little girl giggles inspired from said partner. The last thing I needed was something new to be embarrassed about.
I found solace in another tune from my past. "Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black tie affair." Make no mistake ya'll, high speed chase though it was, I'm not such a bad dancer.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

There's a Battle Cat in My Bed

    For Christmas in 2010 our family received a most excellent present. We were all together. We don't have that chance too often these days, so we made the most of it. Alexandria, my oldest and most opinionated niece stayed here at Grammy's house and took turns sleeping in which ever bed she liked. Two days after they had all gone home to the sub Arctic tundra known as "Iowa" I kicked something hard at the bottom of my bed. After further investigation I discovered that it was a Battle Cat. That's right, He-man's loyal giant cat. Green with yellow stripes and a snazzy reddish brown saddle. Al had left the poor little guy behind and he has sought refuge under my covers. Now it's February, frosty cold, and no Al. No Scotty to snuggle, no Becky to eat chocolate with, no Danny to poke me during the prayer at dinner. Just me, the Battle Cat, and Norton (my constant companion and anthologies of various literature). So the other night, getting ready for bed, BC (Battle Cat) and I were chatting. I asked him if he knew of any plans He-man had made for Valentine's Day. Apparently it is an unknown holiday in Eternia, but BC promised me he could work something out. I'm hopeful. So, with the assurance that my Valentine's will be a happy one,(bordering on epic really). I now feel the extra obligation to wish ya'll one as well! Have a happy Valentine's Day! Remember the blessing it is to have someone you love near you when the winters of life get absurdly cold and the weather man's predictions let you down again. Love ya! Lizz