Monday, December 19, 2011

Birthday Celebration

It was a dark and lonely night, the fog so thick that it was difficult to stumble from lamppost to lamppost.  Struggle we did, and slowly made it from building to building, praying for an open door that would take us in from the frigid night air.  Everyone dutifully carried bags of hope, filled with their food assignment; pickles, olives, salad, fruit, cheese, meat, even party hats, noisemakers, and tablecloth.

Alas, hope was dashed as each and every door was found locked and only darkness peered out through blackened windows into the darkness where we shivered.  As we numbly opened car doors to relinquish our food bags and admit defeat, we knew that Josh would stand sad and sullen-faced when the explanation was made that there would be no picnic for him this cold December night.

One last chance, one beacon of hope, one light in the darkness remained.  Perhaps we could sneak past the ushers, actors, and building maintenance crew and set up our picnic in the basement of Pioneer Theater. In we went, one-by-one, hauling our food assignments once again,  making no eye contact with anyone who might question us, to our secret destination.  Three ottomans sighted and drawn together made our place of celebration.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kicking It Into Gear

The sound of slap-slap-clump-slap-slap-clump intensified as its source neared the feelin'-good-today runner.  A thought of pity crossed her mind and she realized by the sound of the approach, that her companion on this clear crisp morning must be somewhat handicapped.  She slowed to more closely listen and prepared for a fellow runner exchange of pleasantries.  The gait was loud and uneven, but approached surprisingly quickly.

An expression of bewilderment fell across her face when she realized that her comrade of fitness was none other than a black marshmallow with arms.  No face, no hands were visible on the 8-year-old child who had pulled them safely into his puffy parka warding off the icy air.  Slap-slap-clump-slap-slap-clump sliced the sounds of the quiet AM.  A bundle of buddies hunkered against a wind safe school wall, awaiting the arrival of their pal and the scheduled opening of the doors.

Two steps ahead of her his 40 pound backpack fell from its thigh-high perch to the ground. CLUMP!  In the instant that she thought that perhaps she should offer to help, the pack was swooped from the ground, returned to its perch, and resumed its clumping on the back of the black marshmallow child.  Small feet slap-slapped onward.

The feeling of perky fitness drained from her heart watching this young marshmallow child streak toward his destination, gleefully unaware of the anchor of textbooks strung to him.  She had been lapped.  Cognizant to the fact that she was at full throttle gave way to new inspiration.  "I must kick it into gear if I am to run like a 3rd grader."

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sweater Slam

With great care and pride, I manage my Christmas sweater inventory, never desiring to be an embarrassment to my offspring.  As a result, only two sweaters remain in my closet (see example #1 below).

A friend recently sent out an email request for an ugly Christmas sweater that she could borrow to attend a party mocking those who sport the hideous light-up versions.  Mentally, I noted that I would be unable to help her because my collection only contains tasteful pieces.

Feeling festive and rather stylish, I confidently browsed the aisles at Macy's, looking for fun Christmas jewelry to give as gifts at next year's tree day celebration.

When I happened upon the round display table of awful pins, I commented to a young clerk, "Wow, do you ever sell these ugly things?"

She replied, "Yes, I don't understand it, but we really sell a lot of them."

After I smugly raised my eyebrows, she added, "You could get one to go with your sweater."  Guess I should have loaned the sweater out.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


funny flip-flopped folks
shedding shivering shadows
across arctic asphalt

knobby knees knocking
frigid fingers frozen
seek shelter shakily

chins crimping chestward
heads hunckered hopelessly
wondering where warming was

spiked shoes slip sliding
forcing feeble femurs
down desperately downward

frigid fannies fall
plummet pathetically
smacking, slamming, soilbound

wise winter warriors
amused among amateurs
see science in seasons

chuckling, calumphing
merry masked meanders
seen slit-sighted scarf squinting

head, hands, hearts, heated
when wisdom is working
frost flat-out forgives

pleasant participants
forward-forging forth from
enveloped environments

weathering winter
prompts practical planning
when warriors win wisdom

Monday, December 5, 2011


Dear Mr. Pinky Toenail:

Are you kidding me?  Supposedly you serve a purpose, but I am perplexed by your minuscule existence upon my pinky toe.  

Are you offended by my neglect during clean-under-the-nail procedures?  Skipping you altogether causes no remorse on my part.  

Honestly, were you a mistake within the complexities of the human genome?  During copious clipping engagements you are left to your own ingenuity to later remain unsnagged upon my cashmere sock.

Do you feel that you are worthy of even the fumes that fill the room during a painting of your other piggie team members?  I think not, my friend, and I have taken to ignoring the 1/16th of a square inch that you occupy.

Consider yourself disowned, abandoned, warned, neglected, ignored.  You turn your petty little face arrogantly away from your fellow piggies totally ignoring the visual inspection of your conscientious tender.

I courageously hobble to stand and declare:

Expect nothing!

Unless.... you threaten, once again, to painfully abort yourself  from host piggy and embed yourself into the leg of that blasted high chair.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ready to GO!!!!

7 a.m. and I am ready to go......anxious.....filled with hope.....glee....excitement.  There is a skiff-a-new on the lawn (not a little animal that hides in the bushes on cold mornings).  A bit of new snow send me to the ski closet to check my gear.  But first, I check the reports - 2 inches on a 24 inch  base - hmmm.  Then I check the mountain cams.  If there are 2 inches, then the 85 mph winds blew it all away - hmmm.  Then I check the ticket prices - $78 to ski rocks - hmmm.  Me thinketh not.

We shall go Christmas shopping for charity and make a gingerbread house :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just so Cute!

 Finn brings giggles and laughs to all.

His latest love is his animals and he carries

It is quite a sight, him with the whole gang: hippo, pig, elmo, giraffe, dog.  None can be left behind as he totes the whole lot!

It warms this old granny's heart,

Mystery Injury

During the night, my finger was hurting.  Odd, but sleep sporadically prevailed until those early morning hours when the brain starts to kick in and the finger became more of a nuisance.

With a paper-cut ringman finger from yesterday, it was not until I realized that the pain was coming from longman, not ringman, that I became aware of a new injury.

Who gets a laceration at night?

Sure enough, upon examination, a bloody and lacerated longman was what had disturbed those precious nighttime hours.  Dear hubby said that I must have caught longman on the headboard during my nightly thrashing/tossing/turning approach to sleep.

Blogger tip:  DO NOT look for an image to post on your blog using the words "finger cut" before breakfast.  "Bandage" returns a much safer collection of pictures.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Non-Christian Zone

The closer I drive to my employment destination, the more insane and cut-throat the drivers.  Ironic, in that my destination is an employer of  "uber-mo's."  Only those in our group of a "peculiar people," understand the meaning of  "uber-mo."  In our race to the Celestial Kingdom, this really happens:

  • cyclists must ride in the gutter as cars will run them over and they are not allowed on sidewalks
  • the right-hand lane next to the sidewalk is a high-speed passing zone
  • speeds exceed 60 mph on Canyon Road and top out at 80 mph passing LaVell's stadium
  • drivers accelerate through crosswalks if a pedestrian is not squarely centered on the car's radiator
  • no eye contact is made with other drivers so the "I am Christian if I didn't see you" cut-off can be accomplished
  • a minimum of 5 cars must turn left on a red light
  • squealing of tires can be heard in parking garages as drivers vie for coveted spots
  • under no circumstance is anyone allowed to merge into traffic
  • both cyclists and pedestrians crossing at an intersection are flattened if a driver can turn right on a red and beat oncoming traffic
  • fasting is required to exit your car as each parking spot must accommodate 1.5 cars
  • all cursing is done without lip movement so as to appear kind and within the bounds of our honor code

After five years of observing these odd behaviors, it makes one wonder about the transition from Sunday School class to daily life.  Pedal to the metal baby......and show no fear....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday

Birthdays this month for Garth and Dennen.  A fun birthday dinner included Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup, Light Pumpernickel Bread, Whipped Grape/Raspberry Jello, and Cake with Dream Whip Frosting.  

That goofy face of Finn's is what he does when we tell him, "Say cheese!"

Great times!

Apple Store

Just an observation - Is this a required look for employees in any Apple Store?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Snot on My Shoulder

Gladdenings of My Heart:

snot on my shoulder - cause I've been loved by our smallest one

pat on the head - cause the black-haired youngest offspring has lovingly passed behind my chair

masterful gift wrapping with perfect curly ribbons - cause the sandwiched daughter adds extra love as a finishing touch

goofy face in family photos - cause hairless son-in-law fills the left ventricle of my heart

words of thanks - cause red-headed gal thinks to acknowledge the little things

helpful hands - cause the tallest one sees my fatigue

bright side of things noticed - cause the humorist in the eldest son always sees it

turkey carcass in my soup pot - cause thoughts of a sister's turkey carcass simultaneously submerged pop into my brain

wide-stance-hands-in-pockets musings - cause moments observing or listening to my brother link laugh, language, and Lairdisms back a generation or two

calls or visits perfectly timed - cause my mother always knows

heartwarming stories - cause my dad shares them with love, wisdom, and humor

efforts given - cause my father-in-law does everything possible to assist

bulwark of strength - cause my eternal companion is by my side loving, forgiving, strengthening, and listening

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tree Day

Grandma Jensen started the tradition with her Tree Trimming Party, when 27 grandchildren were invited to come help trim her tree with years-old ornaments, electrical taped lights, and new boxes of icicles.  After the tree was trimmed, we were treated to her wonderful pineapple milkshakes (made with raw milk from Uncle Paul's cows).

Helping my mom with her home decorations was always a joy because I felt that she had the most beautiful decorations placed all throughout the house.  As a child, I felt that our home should be featured in Better Homes and Gardens.

My sister, Denise, re-invented the tradition and marked the day after Thanksgiving as its date.  I look forward to the day with great anticipation and sit back and marvel at the Spirit of Christmas that is felt as we share time together.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spokane Sister Time

A great time was had in Spokane with my sister as we laughed, talked, shopped, talked, ate, talked, drove, ate, talked and sewed together!
Discovered Wisdom

Buggy Barn Visit

So Many Choices

Stitching Flying Geese

Knit Shop

Sewing Room Sisters

Excellence in Dining - Greg Allowed

Savings Account Busters

New Grandbaby Quilts

Olive Oil Shop

Dining - Again

Canned Food for Charity

Snowman Quilts

Completion:  Two Snowman Quilts and Two Baby Quilts

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Mom's Birthday Party and Halloween Preparations !!!

The Hearth Monster

Ready for Trick-or-Treating and Ward Party

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


If a person must begin a question with, "If you don't mind me asking," then DON'T ASK!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friday & Saturday

Alta is ready for us.

Priming the snow machine and testing the lifts.

Relaxation at a SLC bed and breakfast.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dave's Killer Bread

As I stood in the aisle at Costco with my monster of a shopping cart, my eye caught a very interesting label.

"Just say no to bread on drugs!"

"Killer taste and texture."

Seems that Dave had spent some time in the pen sorting out his life.  

"I was a four-time loser before I realized I was in the wrong game.  15 years in prison is a pretty tough way to find oneself, but I have no regrets.  This time around, I took advantage of all those long and lonely days by practicing my guitar, exercising, and getting to know myself – without drugs.  To my utter amazement, I started liking what I was seeing.  It’s been said adversity introduces a man to himself and I found this to be true.  If I had not suffered, I can safely assure you that you would not be reading this label on a loaf of my killer bread.  A whole lot of suffering has transformed an ex-con into an honest man who is doing his best to make the world a better place…one loaf of bread at a time.”
After reading about his loser life, I bought his bread just because of the label .  Check it out.

When I got home, I even watched the movie on his web site.  He looks just like the picture on the label.

The bread ain't  bad either.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Master Gardener

I learned:
  • the best place to cut off a limb is the branch collar ridge
  • 60 to 70 degree angles are best for branches coming out from the trunk
  • pruners love their bypass pruners like chefs love a good knife
  • there are three cuts to make when removing a heavy limb

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Do You Cook a Duck?

Every now and again a student comes along that makes one laugh out loud, who is so totally uninhibited and full of life that it takes one's breath away with the bizarre stories and comments delivered on a regular basis.  I have a feeling that I will have an arsenal or stories by semester end.  I should have been writing more of them down. See previous post:

Guns and Vinegar

Recently a couple of new stories made me laugh.  Since "Joe" is a hunter I asked him if he had any good recipes for duck.  Without batting an eye, he replied, "Why, yes Sister Smith, I do.  First you must totally skin the duck, clean it and prepare it whole.  Soak a cedar board in water and place the duck on it.  Then slow cook the duck on the board in the oven for about 3 1/2 hours.  When it's done, take it out, remove the duck from the board and eat the board."  He went on to say that he really didn't like duck, that it tasted like "a cross between a Big-O tire and liver."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


What do you call an ocean full of noodles?


Master Gardeners

my babies that are now safe inside
Enrollment is full and I made it into the class.  There I sat, shoulder to shoulder will fellow soil, compost, pest, propagation, and new-tender-green-thing comrades.

The excitement was palpable as we sampled tomatoes, took soil sample cores, evaluated each other's soil brought from home in canning jars, and shared best practices.  The course is every Tuesday and Thursday from now until December 1, at which time true gardeners  give it up for a month and begin again with seeds, mail order catalogs, planning, and seedlings in January.  On Tuesday I learned:

  • have your soil tested by a county agent, just mail in the sample
  • don't trust those selling "top soil", have it tested
  • use the special recipe for soil from Square Foot Gardening for raised beds because of compaction
  • at 35 - 38 degrees, your tomatoes are toast
  • ripen tomatoes until late November by bringing them indoors to a cool location
  • the earwig infestation in Utah is due to too much watering
  • it takes three years for proper ripening of compost
  • eco scrap has the best compost, lowest salinity

Monday, October 3, 2011

Holy Culinary Gag-Fest

In an attempt to choose more healthy snacks, I concocted a raspberry smoothie using soy milk, raspberries, and (supposedly) spinach. The lovely package of spinach from the freezer looked particularly fresh and green, so after putting half of the baggie in the blender, I thought, "What the heck!" and dumped the whole thing in. Spinach is flavorless in smoothies and very good for one. After the first throwback of the drink, however, I detected something amiss. My memory instantly cleared and I remember telling Hilary to freeze the leftover cilantro for future use.


Not to be defeated, I threw in a lovely fresh peach, thinking that I might just be a culinary weakling. Second throwback, not even a possibility. A total waste: soy milk, raspberries, cilantro, and a beautiful peach (sorry Ashley and Paul).

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Here are some of my favorite quotes from the October 2011 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints:
  • Look how far you've come.
  • Teach as Christ would teach.
  • Sin has many faces. It leads some to revel in their own perceived self-worth, accomplishments, talents, wealth, or position. They count these blessings as evidence of being “chosen,” “superior,” or “more righteous” than others. This is the sin of “Thank God I am more special than you.”
  • We have promised to become charitable. We promised to become witnesses of God.  We promised to endure.
  • "My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments." Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011


you let me down,
i feel so low, 
eleven seconds,
left to go,

my spirits soared,
my heart was glad,
but then it turn out,
really bad,

i've waited years,
this day to come,
your play it turned out,
somewhat dumb,

so with my head,
upon my chest,
a weary Ag fan, 
cheered her best.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

We Do Not Golf

As we sat on the beautiful patio at Sleepy Ridge Golf Course eating lunch, enjoying the fall flowers and the scenic mountain backdrop, I commented on how disgusting it was that they had installed little urinals on all the golf carts.

"I guess the neighbors got tired of all the men peeing in their backyards," I wisely informed my friends.

"But what do the women do?" Jan commented.

"They must have to go in, just like in skiing," Brenda replied.

"The ski resorts finally had to post signs so that people (the men) would quit peeing in the trees because it goes into the water supply." ...sighing and shaking of heads...

Hospital Bedside Urinal

"How do they keep it from sloshing out as they go over the bumps?" Conna asked.

"They should at least paint them a solid color.  Can you imagine what they look like full?"  I added.

After our lovely lunch, on our walk back to the car, Brenda announced that she was going to ask some male golfers how they used them.  I just assumed that the procedure would be the same as in hospitals.

Horrified at Brenda's boldness, Conna and I ducked behind a bush, but overheard, "Oh, they are divot fillers.  You sprinkle dirt in the holes where your clubs damage the grass.....laughter....more laughter...nope, we don't pee in them."

"Well that's a relief, at least it explains the brown color in some of them," I exclaimed to Conna as we emerged from behind the bush.