I am grateful for Tarzan
I am grateful for my health
I am grateful that I would never be alone if I was sick
I am grateful for angels who hold me up
I am grateful for service
I am grateful for my Mom
I am grateful for my dog

...just to name a few things.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

"God is subtle but he is not malicious."

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

I saw a mother in Sacrament Meeting with a 2-year old who just found out he could get down and run.

During the Sacrament, he wanted to squirm, cry, and get down.

Mother gathered him in her arms and got out the Gospel Art book she had in her bag. She turned to a picture of Jesus and, whispering softly in his ear, pointed to the picture. He wiggled and twisted. She turned to another picture of Jesus and whispered in his ear again, pointing to the picture. He looked at the picture. She turned to another picture of Jesus and again whispered in his hear. He pointed to the picture.

The remainder of the time taking the Sacrament, he sat quietly and enjoyed the pictures with his Mother.

Wow, what a fun thing to watch, it made the Sacrament a little more precious to me.

Who could not love that face?

Do you hate to clean house? I do. There is no joy for me in a job that just has to be repeated tomorrow. It is sort of like digging a hole and then filling it in without planting anything.

However, having a clean home makes me happy, so I have devised a plan that just might help you.

First, think of this as your "job." Pay yourself in some way--money, time off, treats, whatever works for you. I pay myself $20 a week and I don't loan it to Tarzan when he runs out of spending cash.

Second, schedule your work. Here is my schedule (my home is small, you may have to do 2 rooms a day to get every room in a week).

Monday, clean the guest room
Tuesday, clean the office
Wednesday, clean the bathroom
Thursday, clean the master bedroom
Friday, clean the living room
Saturday, clean the kitchen
Sunday, clean my soul

Third, if you have a bad day, like a sick day as I did this week, don't feel obligated to "clean" just do a quick pick up and call it good.

Finally, every day do two 5-minute power cleans, one right before you go to bed. I do the second power clean right before leaving for my full time job in the morning. If you are a stay-at-home Mom, you might want to do your second power clean right before you husband comes home (oh yes, and something I learned when I was a stay-at-home Mom, set the table, even if you haven't fixed dinner yet, it makes husband feel like food is coming and buys you a little time.)

Cleanliness is next to Godliness--do you think this includes your home?

I gave a long dialogue about my Mom here. She is fun. Today I remember another story.

It was Christmas. Mom put cans of colored hair spray in our stockings, blue, silver, pink and green. It was the latest craze, streaks of color in your hair, everything cycles you know.

We finished our Christmas morning present opening and decided to experiment with the colored hair spray. No one can remember who started it, but...

A chase ensued around the house and we each had our own can of colored hair spray. In the end, my crazy sister, Inez, and I took down our Mom and held her down while we sprayed the bottom of her feet blue.

When she got up and started the chase again, she tripped and broke her toe. We rushed her to the emergency room and when she put her foot up on the table there it was in all its shiny blue glory.

As I recall, the doctor just looked at it and shook his head. He knew us well.

Happy Mother's Month Mom!

"The only failure is not to try."

George Clooney
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill
"The greatest failure is not to try."
Debbie Fields
"The only failure is the failure to learn from failure."
Kevin Everett FitzMaurice
I plan to try, learn and try again. How about you?

I start with a quote from Tarzan "This is something to put in your fricken' blog."

It all started when Tarzan decided our son-in-law needed to borrow his tractor. We had no idea how difficult it would be to get it there. After two days of phone calls and being told repeatedly that the cost would be over $800 or that--what we wanted to do was not allowed--he finally made a personal trip to U-Haul and was assured that his pickup would pull the trailer they rented him and that a 1,000 pound tractor added to it would be fine--all for just $90.

Are you getting the picture?

When I got home from work Friday night, Tarzan had our little 6-banger Dodge pickup loaded with the tractor strapped down on the trailer. We packed up some food, drink, ice, and dog (Dottie) and started on the short and familiar 4 1/2 hour trip.

We were not able to go over 45 miles per hour. Each time we approached 45 mph, the trailer started to sway left and right. It was like being on a ride at Disneyland only scarier because we had so little control.

I hope you can picture it in you mind--freeway, large semi's going too fast, impatient fellow drivers in cars, trucks and motorcycles, honking and waving at us inviting us to get off the road. We left home at 6:00 p.m. we arrived at the half way point at 1:00 a.m. 7 hours and we were only half way on a 4 1/2 hour trip.

We stopped and spent the night at a truck stop motel. We took Dottie into the room with us and didn't ask permission. Tarzan went out and hunted for food while I crashed in the room. We were still speaking to each other.

Here is an interesting little tidbit about our weekend. I forgot to bring any hair products including a pick so not only did I have dirty hair, I had tangled hair. Stopping at a drug store was not on the list of possibilities. AND we could not turn on the air conditioning because it took needed power from the engine AND it was over 100 degrees all day and just barely down to 100 after the sun went down. Are you getting a better picture now?

Saturday morning we started out at 5:00 a.m. and another 7 hours later, the pickup decided it could not possibly pull the tractor another inch. I tried praying and repeating "I think I can, I think I can" but the answer to our prayers came in the way so many prayers are answered, someone came to our rescue...

There we were stopped going up hill (only 5 feet from the top) and the clutch started to smoke. The truck was going nowhere but backward down the hill. I called the kids to let them know but lost reception before I could tell them. Tarzan, got out and put rocks behind the wheels of the trailer so it wouldn't roll back down the hill. I got out and directed traffic.

The hill curved right at the bottom and left at the top, there was a double yellow line and people were just whizzing around us with no thought of what was coming over the hill toward them. I saw two near accidents. I began stopping traffic coming up behind us when there were cars coming over the hill toward us and averted any incidents.

I no sooner stepped out to direct traffic then our son-in-law came down the hill. He may as well have been on a white horse wearing a coat of armor. However, if it had not been a Clydesdale it would not have been an answer to our prayers. He has a big, high powered, SUV and they had just put a hitch on the back of it the day before.

The two men unhooked the trailer from our pickup and you could physically see our pickup bounce into position with relief from the load. We were able to move the pickup and hook up the SUV. It easily pulled the tractor over the hill and the final short distance to their home.

Another 7 hours and Tarzan and I were still speaking to each other.

We unloaded the tractor, played with the grand kids, hugged the kids and took off for a faster trip home.

But wait, not so fast--literally.

We still had the trailer connected to our truck to be returned to the dealer that evening. If we were dragging an elephant before, we were now dragging at least a hippopotamus. We never were able to get up to 70 mph and we didn't realize how exhausted we were.

We stopped after less than 100 miles. We decided we needed to get rid of the trailer before we ruined the clutch on the pickup. However, U-Haul had no interest in a return to a location where we did not pick it up and were going to TRIPLE the charges for renting the trailer if we left it there rather than drag it all the way back home. We left in disgust and decided to chance it with the trailer.

We knew we couldn't make it any further that night and got another motel room. We dragged ourselves to dinner and crashed at 8:00 p.m. We slept through the night without moving, even Dottie was worn out but we were still speaking to each other.

We got up and started home at 6:00 a.m. I had washed my hair with the shampoo and creme rinse in the room and combed through it with my fingers. Now, I had clean hair but with windows down, I soon looked like a crazy woman from a silent movie. We started out with, what would normally take us, just over 3 hours left on our trip. It took 6 hours to arrive home and we were still speaking to each other.

When we have a unity of purpose, we both have the ability to put everything else out of the picture and focus on what we have to accomplish and remember our family motto "If we are not having fun, why bother."

We are home safe, still speaking and even laughing at ourselves for making such a dangerous trip. One of Tarzan's fishing buddies called us while we were on the road and after Tarzan explained what we had been through, he asked to speak to me. He said, "I want a woman like you." I can't type the rest of what he said but in his way it was a great compliment to my ability to take what Tarzan dishes out.

Limp celery, shriveled asparagus, rubbery carrots. Here is one cure for any of them.

  1. Cut off the tips of the vegetables.
  2. Fill a glass about a quarter full of cold water
  3. Place the veggies -- cut tip down -- in the glass of water
  4. Put in refrigerator

You veggies will crisp right up and you will be able to use them within a few hours.

If cute matters, bind the veggies with a piece of raffia before placing in the glass of water.

If you know me, one look will tell you which one is my Mom. For those of you who don't, she's on the left and her sister Pat is on the right.

This month my Monday Memories are all about my Mom in honor of Mother's Day.

I have read all the beautiful blogs others have put out about their wonderful Moms and I wanted to blog something mushy and sweet like that. However, we are not the sentimental type. Our greeting cards are all funny. Our terms of endearment are all sarcastic. We live funny lives.

So... Mom, you know I love you, you know I would die for you, you know I think you are the best Mom in the world and here is my Monday Memory.

We were living in Germany. There is a celebration in Germany known as Fasching where everyone wears traditional costume and then parties like Marti Gras. The basic idea is that you can do whatever you want to on this one day with no consequences, "repent" the next day and move on.

The party, at that time, was so wild that, during the party, all military personel and their families were banned from one particular little town close to where we lived. My Mom, in her innocence and some of her friends talked it over and couldn't think what could be so bad that they couldn't at least see it.

You guessed it, they all got traditional German dresses and went to the party with a vow of silence so no one would know they were Americans. They were standing on the street watching the parade when a man reached out and grabbed one of the women and began dragging her down the alley. She started screaming for help in English and several airmen who were there in traditional costume with a vow of silence came to her rescue.

They were all thrown in jail.

When the military police came to get them out, my Mom todl me the jail cell was just around the corner with a partial wall separating them from the front desk. She heard the military police come in and was mortified to be in such a situations, but her mortification got worse when one of the soldiers said, "Who have you got in here?" and started reading the names, when he got to her name he said, "That can't be the I know, her husband is my Bishop."

Need I say more?

"One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats."

Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch is an Irish novelist who had an opinion on everything. I am right now contemplating what treats I can have today--yeah baby.

This link is for certain people who collect favorite quotes. If you go to this website and register, you can collect favorite quotes all in one place and make yourself a "book" of quotes.

I saw a woman with type 4 terminal cancer who acts like she has something as incidental as allergies.

I saw her husband care for her and take up the slack in the home.

I heard him say, "you don't have to go," when I got up to leave and he made me feel like he meant it.

I saw the two grandchildren they are raising engage in the conversation like they were adults.

I saw the family together, while the grandchildren did their homework.

I saw a grandson who was a perfect gentlemen, walk me to my car and say "come again."

I heard this woman say, "My spiritual gift is denial." Sounds funny, but in her case, it is a true gift, she and her entire family talk freely about her illness, and then act every day as though it is not true. She will survive.

I left feeling uplifted.

This is such a great idea and one you would never know about if you, like me, are allergic to cats.

Have you ever walked into your house and the first thing you smell is the kitchen trash can? Well, I have the best cure for you.

Put a little cat litter in the bottom of the trash can and a little in the bottom of the trash bag. Do this with any trash can that can get an odor--read bathroom.

You will find a new freshness at little cost. It's not Potpourri, so you will have to do something else to add a fun scent to your home, but this will sure get rid of that yucky one.

I wrote this in 1996.
It's funny how you think they will always be there. The first time I realized that feeling was when my Granner died and I walked in her kitchen and expected her to come bounding out of her bedroom singing a song, but she didn't and I had to inhale and smile and make the homemade chocolate chip cookies to put in the red pottery cookie jar for Digger. Digger was next and I realized he wouldn't answer anymore at 373-1688. Then Bert and there would be no more cowboy stories and there was no one to be with Mom. And Uncle Howard who wasn't even sick, he isn't there anymore to fix things when they break and squeeze Aunt Pat.

Then Jason and there would be no one to cause trouble at the family get-togethers. But now my Mom, she's not going anywhere. My Mom will always be here. I know, I don't worry, because she can kick the hell out of the world wearing high-heeled combat boots.
But I saw her through anxious eyes when she almost died and now I fear. I think I'll call her tonight and say, "Hi, Mom, when are you coming to visit? I miss you."

I found this in Woman's Day this month and thought it was worth repeating.

"In her new book, Real Solutions for Busy Moms, Kathy Ireland reveals how she does it:

Getting our three kids ready and off to school in the morning can be hectic. On those days, everyone feels a bit crabby and frazzled (including me). I have a rule for the car: Video games and cell phones, including mine, get turned off. Our drive to school takes about 12 minutes, and for that short period, I talk with the kids about what's going on in their lives. Sometimes we'll play word games too. By the time we arrive at school, frowns have turned into smiles, worries have faded away, and the kids are ready to tackle a new day. When we're in that bubble, we're insulated from the world's pressures. It our time to focus on each other."

I tried to find a link to it on the net, but no such luck so this credit is in lieu of a link.

Sister Bailey is in the hospital. She has two adult young women living with her. When I went to the hospital to visit her, one of the girls was sleeping at the hospital to watch over her while the other girl held down a job and the house. Not knowing the family very well, I asked how they were all related. I was told they are not related, but that when these girls were very young Sister Bailey took them in at time when their parents were not parenting them and has cared for them all their lives.

Now, when Sister Bailey is alone, scared and sick, they are caring for her as she has cared for them.

Kindness is always returned.

Here is a tip I read in Woman's Day...

You know how your graden hose will get a little pinhole in it and squirt water everywhere? To fix it, put a toothpick in the hole, break it off even with the rubber and wrap it with duct tape.

Sounds like it would work, doesn't it?

I thought I would do a memory of Mom every Monday for the month of May...

My Mom is way kewl. She is 86 and still wearing high heels after 2 hip replacements. Her entire life is filled with exciting and fun experiences along with heartache and pain. Yesterday, her younger brother, Uncle Lynn died. I wish I could get her to blog, she could keep you in wrapped attention as you read about her fun-filled life.

Today's memory--

My mother was consistent in her discipline.

When I was 5 years old, we lived in Tucson. The family was planning a trip to Dairy Queen. On one particular occasion (though I'm sure not the only one), I had behaved so badly that my Mom told me if I didn't shape up, I would not get to go to Dairy Queen with the family and they would leave me home alone.

I was deathly afraid of being left alone.

As you guessed, I didn't shape up and the whole family got in the car and drove off. I can still see the scene. I sat on the counter in the kitchen where I could see out the window in the kitchen door. I just knew I was never going to see any of them again. I cried uncontrollably.

To me it was an eternity, I didn't know they only drove around the block. Mom tells me that the neighbor boy heard me crying and came over and stood by the kitchen door consoling me, which still makes her mad when she tells the story. I don't remember him being there.

I don't recall if I got ice cream or not, but I never forgot that when Mom said a punishment was coming, it came.

By the time I was 15, you would think I would have learned this lesson. Not so.

I wanted to sing in the choir. Mom warned me to behave when I was sitting in the choir seats. One particular Sunday, I was chatting with my friends during Sacrament Meeting and my Mom, who was sitting on the back row of the church, stood up in the middle of the meeting and said in a loud voice, "Sandra Conant, be quiet."

I melted down to the floor in embarrassment, but I can tell you this for sure, I never talk to my friends during a church meeting EVER AGAIN.

Remember this. There were only 2 takers. She responded and I made her this...

one more to go...