I promised to write about the chain around my neck in the school picture taken in Germany

When I was in the first grade we moved to Germany. My Dad was in the Air Force. Every day about an hour before the bell rang to go home I would start to cry uncontrollably until they would finally call my Mom and she would come to school and pick me up. This happened every day until finally my Mom got fed up and took me out to get ice cream and just sat and visited with me. She finally got me to tell her why I was crying at this specific time every day:

We lived off base in a big house with a basement, main floor, second floor and attic. It had a high rock wall around it with a gate that locked when you went out and in order to get back in, someone either had to push the button in the house to unlock it or you had to have a key.

Unbeknown to my mother, my brother, who is four years older than I, told me that some day I would come home from school and Mom would not be home and a German would kidnap me and they would never see me again.

Now, I have always believed everything my brother ever told me (let's not go into my Santa Claus stories here) so I knew it must be true. The fact that my mother did not work and I had never come home to an empty house was beside the point.

Once my Mom found out what the problem was, she had a key made for me, hung it on a chain that I could wear around my neck and I skipped off to school with no more tears. The key was one of those big old fashioned keys about 6" long. I am told that I walked bent over from the weight of the key, but no more crying.

Can you remember something specific from your childhood
that changed who you are in a positive or negative way?
Are you aware of events in the lives of
your own children that will have an impact on
their development?

L'Oreal Infallible lipstick stays on all day, even through meals. I put on 3 coats of color and then the sealer and it stays on like magic.

Little things on my desk. The safety triangle blinks, the little green thing is a light rail car (it's an eraser)

Light for the plants in my office.

They didn't bloom this year. We are trying to coax them out.

Lavender frame around my Stitch 'N Bitch calendar

Lunch, love the Voss water.

The guys I work with--laughing.

Oh my gosh, I just found out that not only is the size different, but last year it was SPF 30 and this year it is SPF 15. That is going too far.

On the right, last year's giveaway

On the left, this year's giveaway.

Enough Said!

Those of you who know me, know that Tarzan cooks at our house. Last night I decided to fix Tuna Steak for dinner and called him to warn him so he wouldn't start cooking. I found the recipe on the Target website. Wrote down the 4 ingredients I didn't have at home and went to my local Super Target to buy those special ingredients.



My competitive spirit kicked in and I decided I could fix this dinner with substitutes and things made from scratch. It was AWESOME! Here is the recipe from Target, followed by my substitution for the Tassos(tm) Black Olive Bruchetta Topping

Lemon Pepper Seared Tuna Steaks with Black Olive Orzo
Serves: 4
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes (350 degrees)

What you need:
4 tuna steaks (I used Orange Roughy, it was good)
Lemon pepper seasoning
4 cups cooked orzo pasta
(Fry's had something close very small pasta)
1/2 cup Tassos
Black Olive Bruchetta Topping (see recipe below)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 bunch basil, roughly chopped
1 lemon

What you do:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in oven safe skillet over high heat. Pat tuna dry, season and add to pan.
  2. Cook 2 minutes per side.
  3. Place skillet in oven 12-14 minutes, until steaks are cooked through.
  4. Toss orzo with 2 tablespoons olive oil, bruschetta topping, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.
  5. Place orzo on each plate and top with tuna steak. Serve with lemon wedges.
(Submitted by SuperTarget)

Since they didn't have the Tassos Black Olive Bruschetta Topping and I didn't know what it was supposed to be like, I made this up:

Place all of the following in a food processor and process until finely chopped

2 cans pitted black olives
2 bottles of seasoned artichoke hearts in oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 small can of Ortega chopped chilis
Salt to taste

I love this stuff and this amount made enough to put some on crusty bread and top with cheese and put it under the broiler to melt the cheese. Oh, yes, and I couldn't get Tuna so I made it with Orange Roughy and it was very good.

Do something CAARAAZEE.

Where I work, there is always something fun going on. The Arizona Game and Fish Department set up a display where you could have your picture taken with wild birds. This is a vulture. I was leaning over and talking to it saying "you're a pretty bird" and "do you love all this attention" and things like that -- baby talk. The girl running the thing said, "You may want to move back a little." She then told me that this particular bird loves to peck people. Mine is strictly a pose, but the photographer loved it and gave me both pictures even though they were only offering 1 per person.

Today the Association of Counties and the Society of Civil Engineers are all set up with tents outside. They have all kinds of kewl give aways and usually free lunch.

Praise, is it overrated? Do we do it right? Can we do it wrong? A study published just this year by a team at Columbia University headed up by psychologist Carol Dweck, found some very intersting things.

The first test was on a group of 5th graders:

Children were given a non-verbal IQ test, doing a series of puzzles. The test was easy enough that all children would do very well. After the test, each student was told their score and given a single line of praise. They were either praised for their intelligence or their effort.

Here's the kicker...

Then the students were given a choice of tests for the second round. They could choose a test that would be more difficult than the first, but the researchers told the kids that they'd learn a lot from attempting the puzzles. the other choice was described simply as an easy test. Of those praised for their effort, 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. Of those praised for their intelligence, a majority chose the easy test. The "smart" kids took the cop-out.

The smart kids chose to look smart and avoid the risk of being embarrassed. The kids who were praised for their efforts got into the subsequent tests and really tried hard to master the puzzles even when they got progressivly harder.

What does this mean to you?
How can you implement this in your own home?

I got a sweet letter from Myreel Lewis, the daughter of Clyde and Delon Pease. Many of you will remember Clyde was our Stake President for years. They are now living in Kingman and his daughter, Myreel, has an opportunity to spend a year in China going to school. She will be living with her uncle and is trying to raise money to pay for the trip.

She is selling fresh water pearls to help pay for the trip. This is some beautiful jewelry and not over priced. If you are interested, please join me in supporting her efforts.

Here is her blog:


For many years as a young girl, I had a memory of climbing up onto a very high bed, using a small step that sat beside it. I remembered being on the bed with my Mom, brother and sister and then I remember getting down and looking out the window. Everything had a slight green tint to it. That's a funny memory and I figured it must just be some kind of a dream I had.

When I was about 16 years old, we were sitting around in the living room talking about memories. There were all the usual stories that made us laugh and brought us closer together. Then someone talked about the hurricane...

I had to be 2 or 3 years old at the most. We were living in Bermuda. The house was an old rock home build on the shore. We had our own boat dock. My father was stationed there in the Air Force.

While living there a terrible hurricane hit the island. Mom gathered us all into her bedroom and we crawled up onto her high bed using the little steps beside it. As we sat there trying to stay calm, we heard an airplane fly over our home. Mom commented that she "wondered who that crazy person was out flying in this kind of weather." Later, we found out it was our Dad. He was a weatherman and his job was to fly in the eye of the hurricane to see the direction it was going. He flew right over our house, which means the eye of the hurricane also went right over our house. It took off the roof, but the rest of the solid rock house stood firm. When the storm passed we all looked out the window and the air was a eerie green color.

They say that when you are dramatically affected by an event, you remember it in detail. I wonder how frightened that small child was. I wonder what went through her mind. I wonder if that is one of the reason that until she married Tarzan she never felt completely safe.

Our lives are filled with memories that affect our entire lives. Share your lifetime memories with me.