Writing My Life

Now and Then

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Still Thinking about That Time-Travel Wish

Today G.E. and I finished off one fine Labor Day  weekend by going to see Lee Daniels’ The Butler, starring Forrest Whitaker and Oprah – what IS Oprah’s last name anyway? The film is inspired by the life of Eugene Allen, who served in the White House from the Eisenhower to the Reagan administrations. (Remember that when a movie is “inspired” by actual events, there is very little correlation between the two.) Nevertheless, the movie was excellent, and it served as a time-warp for us both as we sat through some of the tough times of the 50s and 60s.

While we remember the Civil Rights’ headlines and the TV news stories, G.E. and I both remarked how insulated we were from the horrors of those events. Growing up in Utah and Idaho, we knew very few African-Americans. In fact, I can only remember one girl I worked with at Fargo’s Department Store in Pocatello. We often met in the break room at the same time and talked of ordinary, but unimportant, things. So that brings me to the other reason I’d like to that that trip back in time: to be more aware of all that was happening around me; to take a serious interest in those world-shaking events, and to do something about them. Not always big things, but something more than nothing – regardless of the distance between Idaho and Alabama.

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Wishful Thinking

If I could be granted my own “make-a-wish” desire, and if it were truly possible, which Ronald Mallet believes it is,  I would sign up for time-travel. Instead of heading for Swiss Days over the Labor Day weekend, I’d tell the ticket agent me “when” I wanted to go instead of where. For my first trip, I would head back to my own childhood to soak in thousands of details I thought I would remember forever but have sadly eluded me. I would bask in those less-than-significant family moments with Mom, Dad, and Connie  that added up to what I remember as happy times.  time_travel

While I’d enjoy revisiting monumental experiences, I really yearn for those tiny times – eating Dad’s toast and cocoa breakfasts he whipped up for Connie and me; watching Sunday night’s Kennecott Neighborhood Theater but listening to Mom’s rhythmic beating a batch of fudge; or sitting  at the vinyl and chrome kitchenette and talking. I remember the food more than the conversations – why is that? I’d love to listen in to what we chatted about while eating corn fritters, the main course that usually preceded paydays. I hated corn fritters, but I’d eat them again if it meant I could drop into 1958.

Upon my return, I’d record all those particulars that meant little to me then but everything to me now.

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Thanks for the Memories, as I Can’t Find Mine!

More than once I’ve commented upon my absent-minded behaviors. Thank heavens I have kind friends and family members who help me keep track of myself. Among those is a clever colleague who just left our school district’s curriculum office.

For sometime, Luann watched me leave the office and return for my purse and again for my phone or for my glasses or my laptop.  Once I couldn’t leave because my keys had totally disappeared, NEVER to be found. Another instance, I had to enlist the help of our young custodian to rifle through his large trash can to find my cell phone. And a few times returned home to retrieve my work laptop that I forgot!

One day about a year or so ago, I was packing up to head home and Luann walked to my desk.

Reminder 1“See this little check-list posted here,” she said. “I did that as a reminder to gather your critical necessities BEFORE walking out the door.” Even though I had not noticed the flashy reminder during the day, I was delighted!

“That’s perfect!” I said.

“Oh, but that’s not all,” she answered. Then she led me past the 5 cubicles that lined the aisle to her desk. “Here is a second checklist just in case you forget to refer to the first one!” Reminder 2

Thank you, Dear Luann. You don’t know how many times these little checklists have saved me trips and time.  I especially appreciate the last two items on the lists: “smile” and “mind”. I will ALWAYS smile whenever I look at these as they will remind me of you! Many hugs to you, my friend.


I Miss Me

Every time I pull up my iGoogle page and see the last entry I posted on “Writing My Life” was in March, I am sad. I miss my written reflections whether anyone else does or not. I think about life and its crazy characteristics all the time, but until I record those thoughts, I don’t feel as if I’ve truly reflected.  Besides, those hit-and-miss ideas are fleeting.

So, with a few weeks off work, I hope to capture those momentary meditations before they take flight and confine them here. That won’t be easy because some are long-gone, but I know I want to record the follies of growing older. The process is really quite humorous.

For example, yesterday I was talking to G.E. as I finished combing my hair. When I started hair-spraying the styled coiffure, he yelled, “Stop! Stop!” and  tried to grab my arm.

“What?” I said, pulling away. And then I noticed the Windex in my hand. Can’t say the spray increased the shine, nor did it help my “do” hold up in this Windexheat, but maybe the ammonia brightened my highlights???!!!!

Remember Gus Portokalos, from MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING,  was convinced that Windex could fix anything. Now my Grandpa B. claimed the same of VicksVicks Vapor Rub – maybe I’ll use that instead of mousse. =)


44 Years and Counting!

How can a type A personality and a type Z stick together for 44 years? Such a good question, but G.E. is a BIG “A”, and yours truly is far beyond type B, C, D, etc. And yet, here we are – an old couple who have been together for four-plus decades; that’s two-thirds of our lives! Surprising?

My friend and colleague, who is also a scientist, says, “Not so.” Opposites do attract and for good reason. According to studies she has perused, humans are often drawn to those who say “poTAYto” when their personal preference is “poTAHto”. (You have to be pretty old to understand that reference.)

It seems that this is Mother Nature’s way of producing “normal” offspring; otherwise, the youngsters would all be busy cleaning, organizing, calculating, and so forth. Or they would be in a constant state of  spilling “stuff”, stumbling over “things”, and searching for lost items, people, and places.

There are some who may doubt our sons are “normal,” but the boys do have some of both of us mixed in with a lot of “them”. Which is a great thing. I’d like to say they inherited the best of their dad and mom, but that’s wishful thinking. Instead, they’ve combined everything together to be A.MAZ.ING people that we love so darn much.

But, I have to say, the best decision this crazy lady made o-so-long-ago was to marry her crush! He was adorable then and even cuter now. In between have been trials and tears, laughter and LOTS OF LOVE!!!!

Before this starts sounding like a Hallmark card, I’m wishing for NOTHING more than many many days of continued adventure.

I love you, my Gar! (not GAHR).

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Before February Bows Out: My Funny Valentines

The month of March, with its lambs and lions, moves in tomorrow, but before it does, I want to bid farewell to the Valentine month by posting a few pictures of 10 of my favorite sweethearts.

His big brother made the heart crown in his kindergarten class, but Carter models it!

His big brother made the heart crown in his kindergarten class, but Carter models it!

While the menfolk watched the Super Bowl, us little women worked on Valentine Boxes!

While the menfolk watched the Super Bowl, us little women worked on Valentine Boxes! Nice job Mia and Evie!

 I didn't help Maegan create her Valentines, but I did oversee the construction of her Valentine box!

I didn’t help Maegan create her Valentines, but I did oversee her construction of her Valentine box! 

Miss Abby and her "50's-clad" daddy date enjoyed a good ol' Valentine Sock Hop! Fun stuff!

Miss Abby and her “50′s-clad” daddy date enjoyed a good ol’ Valentine Sock Hop! Fun stuff!

I think  Connor - ninja on the left - prefers October 31 over February 14!

I think Connor – ninja on the left – prefers October 31 over February 14!

Drew isn't too cool for Valentine's Day, he just "looks" like he is! Such the cutie!

Drew isn’t too cool for Valentine’s Day, he just “looks” like he is! Such the dude!

Spencer celebrated the V-Day at the 6th-grade dance, BUT he also headed into the wilderness for the Klondike Derby!
Spencer celebrated V-Day at the 6th-grade dance, BUT he also headed into the frozen wilderness for the Klondike Derby!

Brayden's big February celebration is his birthday, which takes precedence over Valentine's Day. The Zombie Apocalypse outweighs cheesy cards any day!

Brayden’s big February celebration is his birthday, which takes precedence over Valentine’s Day. The Zombie Apocalypse outweighs cheesy cards any day!

In a Valentine message to her dad/coach, she wrote, "I love posting up against you." Too funny.

In a Valentine message to her dad/coach, Taylor wrote, “I love posting up against you.” Too funny.


My Wildtree Cooking Workshop Adventure

If you know me – or don’t know me but have read past posts – you realize I an NOT a confident cook. As I have also mentioned before, I want to be, but I just don’t like it enough to work at it. Nevertheless, I agreed to host a Wildtree Freezer Meal Workshop as my daughter-in-law Lisa is a Wildtree Representative in California and has convinced me of the ease and value of these products.

Not am I only a nervous Nelly in the kitchen, I am a worse promoter – “You wouldn’t like to come to my Wildtree Party would you?” (Pause for negative response.) “I didn’t think so.” Or, ” I don’t suppose you’d like to drive to my house out in the western desert on a 3-day weekend to put together 10 freezer meals?” (Pause for another negative response.) “I don’t blame you.”

Anyway, after approaching 20 or so friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers off the street, FIVE folks committed to come. I was thrilled. But as I labored through the pre-workshop preparations, I feared my participants would ask for their money and time back. It took me about 4 hours! BUT remember, I am also a freakin’ SLOW chef. Picture Meryl Streep chopping onions in Julie and Julia before she got good! What took me 240+ minutes took my sister 2 hours and my friend 45 minutes – she used one of those fancy food processors that good cooks use.

Because this was a monumental undertaking – one that I am actually very proud of – I decided to document the experience through pictures. My personal shopper, G.E., actually performed the first step – buy the meat and veggies – but these pics feature my contribution and my party!

Step 1

Step 1: Skin, chop, dice, and slice!


Step 2

Step 2: Bag, label, bag, label!


Step 5

Step 4: Organize the workshop to impress your guests!




Step 6: Party Hearty with your sis and your friend -

the only ones who came!

Final note: 

The three of us had a great time, and now we all have 10 GOURMET meals that each serve  4+ people in our freezers. And what’s even better, we can throw them into the crockpot after thawing them overnight and PRESTO-BINGO, dinner is served.

I feel like I channeled Julia! YaY me, and THANK YOU Connie and Melissa!

P.S. I omitted step 3 – placing the bags in the freezer! =) This post sort of sounds like an INFOMERCIAL, doesn’t it? =)


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