Thursday, December 20, 2012

You Smell Of Beef And Cheese

"Santa isn't REAL!  My mom and dad told me!," said a little boy in my Sunday school class.


The debate was heated. Back and forth they went.  Stating the facts as they understood them.  All the children took a stance and finally looked to me for guidance.

As a Sunday school teacher I wondered what my responsibility was regarding Santa and these impressionable young minds.

I told my little class the truth.

"Santa Claus doesn't come to Tommy's house because Santa can only go to the houses of those children who believe in him.  Because Tommy doesn't believe in Santa his PARENTS now have to buy all the gifts."

Children are very smart and know the economy is less than stellar.  Several of the children shook their heads disapprovingly at Tommy for making his parents foot the entire Christmas bill.

Why do parents RUIN the Christmas magic by telling LIES??!!

Adults like to LIE to children regarding the really realness of Santa because they have forgotten the magic of the bell. Adults like to worry about calories. As a result they refuse to drink hot cocoa and eat entire plates of cookies in one fell swoop. 

Adults like to run marathons, zip up their flies and wear collared shirts with virtually no breakfast food stains. Adults shop at Target for things they don't need and pay bills and make rules and LIE ABOUT SANTA.

Last night I was texting Santa and lemme tell you, folks.  HE'S ANGRY!  (In a jolly, loving sort of way.)  He and I were discussing how little children are growing up way too fast these days. 

My 8 year old is embarrassed to play with Barbies.  Instead she wants a fancy ipod, which she is not getting.  I played with Barbies until I was TWELVE!  (Sometimes I still play with Barbies when everyone is gone.  And I sometimes eat paste and tape my fingers together and tape my nose up like Miss Piggy.  It hurts when you pull the tape off real fast.)

I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!!! I love shopping and Santa and singing praises to God and singing Frosty the Snowman. I love being grateful and remembering the birth of our Savior and eating too much and spending too much on people I love and wearing red sparkle nails.

My senses are heightened regarding my love for family and friends. Everything tastes better. Colors are brighter. Delicious scents are richer. Warm blankets are softer. I do a lot of hugging and smiling.

I love harder at Christmas time.  I pray more sincerely with all the energy of my spirit.  I have more of a desire to serve others.

Uh oh... I've gotta go... Santa is texting me.  The Elves have been drinking again...  They try to get sober all year long and then Christmas rolls around and BLAM!  They fall off the wagon.  Some literally fall off the sleigh... It's a problem.

Merry Christmas, my friends!!!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

$40 Miracle

A friend of mine is struggling financially. 

She texted me a few weeks ago to tell me she was having to sell some of her prized possessions in order to pay for gas and utilities. 

I offered my condolences.

"that super sucks," I wrote.

I'm compassionate like that.

After I wrote "that super sucks" I had a thought.

The thought said, "send her $40 in the mail."  (She lives in a whole entirely different city.)

It felt like a good idea but I didn't do it right then.

The next day I had the impression again.

"Send her $40, bonehead."

Rude. Still a good idea. I told myself I would do it later.  I didn't do it.

The same thought about the $40 floated in and out of my head for two weeks.  I entertained it.  Promised myself I would.  Then I let the idea slip back into the shadows of my fickle mind.

My friend came to town recently.  Right before I went to see her I made sure I had $40 in cash in my wallet to give her.  Why $40?  I didn't know.  Nice round number, I suppose.

Better late than never.

As soon as my friend got into my car she burst into tears.

"I was expecting a check for $300.  But the check written to me is only $260.  I just really need that $40!" she sobbed.


We are connected.  All of us.  God answers our prayers through His children.  I am capable, I now realize, of being an answer to your prayer.  You may very well be the answer to mine.

I am thankful for The Spirit who whispers all things what I should do.  

My greatest wish is to be of service in an important way.  I want to die knowing I did all I could to lift and help those within my reach.

I thank God for inspiration and an extra $40.  How very blessed I am.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rage and Fat Pants

So I am driving my dad's big ol truck into the Circle K parking lot in Phoenix after having attended the Mormon temple.

I feel uplifted and glorious in my very soul.  To further improve my sweet mood I had stopped by the local DQ for a gooey pecan mudslide with extra pecans and extra slide.

As you may well imagine, it is difficult to manage a big daddy truck in a tiny Circle K parking lot whilst enjoying a delicious ice cream treat featuring whipped topping, hot fudge and caramel.

There are several empty parking spaces available.  I take two.  I  am loathe to put my confection down and attempt to struggle into ONE parking spot so my tires straddle the line.  I sit soundly enjoying every mouthful of sin while my sister goes into the convenient store to supply my mother and I with water bottles.  One becomes quite thirsty in the face of soft serve and nuts.

A grumpy brown man in his mid 40s parks two spots away from me.

He parks and gets out of his beat up pickup truck.  He's got a rough cholo vibe, a shaved head, funky hairy scary facial hair and lots of menacing tattoos.  Cholo stands before my truck.  He checks out my parking job.  He checks ME out.  I am calmly eating my treat.  Not molesting a fly.

Suddenly Cholo becomes ENRAGED.  It is a sight to behold. 

Cholo is waving his arms wildly in my direction.  Cholo's eyes look as if they may explode from his pock marked face.  Then Cholo begins to shout.  At me.  He shouts at me for all to hear.  He calls me every awful cuss in the book.  His fingers point at me and then my tires.

Cholo continues shouting low class insults and expletives in my general direction.

I sit on my perch.  Doors locked.  Calmly enjoying my creamy dreamy dessert.  When our eyes meet I stare at him mildly and cock my head to the left, because I am left-handed.  I lift an eyebrow.  The left one.  Because I am left-handed.

He sees no fear in me which infuriates the man in the white wife beater all the more.  He becomes more irate and creative in his insults. 

I  believe he finally sees pity in my eyes.  He takes his ranting into the store.  I understand. I would not want to see pity in the eyes of a stranger on my behalf either.

This is not my only experience of this nature.  A couple of weeks ago I was looking for an address in very congested downtown Phoenix.  I accidentally cut someone off in that mad traffic.  The man I cut off took the opportunity to pull up next to me, roll down his window and shout unbelievably horrid insults.  Again all I felt was pity. I gave him a similar reaction to the one I gave Cholo.

And on both occasions I was grateful neither man decided to shoot my face off.  I assume crazy, angry people like that carry arms (just in case someone double parks at the Circle K).

I am having to teach my children to beware of people for we never know what some are capable of.

 I hate that.

The other day I was driving my 13 year old around town.  She happened to have on a very scary Halloween mask.  She also happened to hang her head out the window and shout


at every passerby.  She startled elderly walkers and middle-aged joggers.  Then she said, 

BLOIUGHFKDJHGF  GAGAGA RAAAAAAGAGAAAA!!!  to a bike rider only several feet away.

Serena startled the biker so badly she wibbled and wobbled on her bike somewhat violently.  Then she promptly proceeded to flip my child the bird.

Uh oh.

I did my best through my own tears of laughter to instruct Serena in the ways of righteousness and respect.

Respect means never scaring random strangers with Halloween masks because some of them may be armed and others will certainly flip a bird or two. Plus, it's not polite.

I think scaring people is hilarious.  I just don't appreciate being scared myself.  But I digress.

The subject is rage.

I am grateful this November 2012 to have the peace in my life necessary to function mildly and rationally even in times of stress.

I know there are those in the world who are lost.  They are angry over awful life occurrences I cannot begin to comprehend.

I am grateful God has made it so easy for me to be happy.  I have parents who love me.  Siblings I adore, all 3.  Children I would die for and a husband my very life revolves around.  I have employment.  Food, clothes and cable for my babies.

Tonight I plan to pray for the cholos that said those awful things to me.  I'm so sorry for them.  It must be terrible to be so hurt and angry with what life has dealt that common decency is no longer a virtue.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!  Let's all pray to find ways to serve one another and to be more mild and loving in our treatment of others.

I'm so super excited for Thanksgiving!!!! 


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Catrina Candy Can




MWAAHAHAHAHAAAA! and junk and stuff

I love a holiday where people dress up like super heroes and pirates and hot dogs.

I don't get it when adults don't dress up.

I wanna say,

HEY!  AREN'T YOU SICK AND TIRED OF LOOKING AND ACTING LIKE YOURSELF ALL THE TIME???  I know I am!  I'm TOTALLY sick of you acting like yourself all the time!! 

(Just kidding).  I meant to say I know I am about ME. Or whatever.

I'm so sick of normal and rule following I could puke green jello with carrots.

All I want to do is paint my face like a savage, wear too much color and ruffles, throw back my head and howl at the moon.

Don't you ever want to be a moon howling savage?

I want that everyday.

But instead I wear pencil skirts to work and say things like,

"Would you prefer the color of your tub in white, biscuit or bone?"

Clients hum and haw and sweat it out. 

"Oh me oh my!  What a DIFFICULT decision!  I'm sure I simply won't SLEEP tonight deciding....".

Bone is more expensive.  You can brag to your friends about the color of your bone toilet! You can casually mention that not only are your tub and toilet bone but ALSO your sinks! Matching is fancy. I say bone is the obvious choice here.

Speaking of bones.

One day you and I will be nothing but a box of femurs and knee caps.  And then we'll be dust.

How often do YOU think of your own mortality?

It freaks me out on a minute by minute basis.

We don't belong here.  Look around. 

Death is the great equalizer.

Jose Guadalupe Posada drew political cartoons featuring skeletons wearing fancy shmancy clothing.

He meant to poke fun at the rich and powerful by showing that dust they once were and to the dust they would return.  Money would not save them.  Praise of man would not save them.

He called these fancy skulls in feathered hats and jewels, Catrinas.

This Halloween I am La Catrina.

Posada spent the majority of his life trying to share a message.  His cartoons were controversial and angered the wealthy.  He was popular for a time.  But he died in poverty.

That is to say that no matter what color your tub and toilets are, you will one day die.

Posada never even HAD a toilet.  Imagine that.  Imagine if you didn't have a toilet.  What would the neighbors say?????



That's what I'm saying.

I'm also saying it's okay if your baseboards are dirty.  And it's okay if there are child lick marks on your sliding glass door. 

I'm even saying that it doesn't matter that my Bella (12) tried to be a sweetheart today whilst I was away at work. 

Bella tried to be a big helper by scrubbing the dirty spots from off the carpet in her room.  With straight BLEACH.  There are 11-ish HUGE bleached out spots on her carpet now.  It looks horrendous.  And I can't replace it any time soon.

Bella cried.  I laughed. 

What's done is done.  These things don't matter.

What matters is that I'm gonna go TRICK OR TREATING TONIGHT, BAY BAY!!!!!

I'm gonna cavort with ghosts and witches and men in mustard suits.

What matters is that I'm gonna kiss my babies good night after a full day of savage howling and then I will pick all the Reese's PB Cups out of their candy bags and eat until dawn (or probably just 10:30 cause I have to work on tomorrow...).

Friday, September 21, 2012



I'm a guest writer on Middle-aged Mormon Man's blog!!!!!

We are celebrating the Family Proclamation. READ IT RIGHT NOW!!!  You can leave comments on his page telling me how fab it is. ;)

I'M SO EXCITED I WANNA DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's YOUR turn to pray!

My husband and I have a mini-battle every night of our lives.

We argue.

About prayer.

Ironic, eh?

It goes like so:

We are cuddling on the couch watching television. (I'm totally into the X-Factor right now.  My man humors me.  But then again, I humor him with all his antique boring car shows.)  10 p.m. rolls around.

Mr. Hotty Pants Pistol:  *yawn*  I'm going to bed. I'm beat.  I gotta get up at 5 to lift. *yawn*

(My husband lifts weights every morning and is stronger than 10 oxen. He is built like a Mack truck and looks super scary. If I weren't his wife I wouldn't mess with him... But I AM his wife and messing with him is in the contract.  It's my JOB.)

Me:  Mmk.  I'm gonna read for a bit. I need to unwind.  I'll go to bed soon.

Mr. Hotty Pants:   So... you want to say a prayer.

Me:  Yup.  Your turn.

Mr. Hotty:  Nope.  It's your turn.

Me:  It is NOT!  I said it last night!

Mr. Pants: No. I said it last night.

Me:  Whatever.  It is TOTALLY your turn.  I'm not saying it.  YOU'RE the patriarch of this household!

Mr. Pants:  Oh.  I see.  The old patriarch of this household card.

Me:  Yup.

We stare at each other real hard until one of us crumbles.  It's usually the person whose turn it really is.

The one praying always rolls the eyes and sighs heavily before beginning, just to let the other know... 

Then we hold hands and pray.

We pray for kind of a long time.  We have a lot to be thankful for. 

We also have a lot of requests for blessings, pretty please with a cherry on top.  Blessings on our children, home, parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, leaders of the church, political leaders, hungry people, sad people, angry people and confused people.

I like praying with my husband.  I even sorta like the mini battle every night of our lives.

Perhaps, however, from now on we should have a system. 

He will pray the even days.  'Cause he is even-tempered.

I will pray the odd days.  'Cause I am odd.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Gracias A Dios, My child tooted on the kitchen table

Someone recently told me he often wondered if there is a God.  That God seemed sorta "fairy tale-ish".

It had never occurred to me that someone would have doubts about God.  The divinity of my Father in Heaven and the joy I am promised if I'm a good kid helps me wake up in the morning when I'm super grumpy and don't wanna make breakfast for kids and take kids to various destinations and then clean their messes all day only to have them create new ones when they return from their various institutions of learning.


I'm super happy today!!!

I've decided to be grateful, like I told you in my last sappy post.

So today when Tyson shouted, "[One of my sisters] just tooted on the dinner table! She was sitting on it and just GASSED so loud!" I was grateful that my child's gastro insides are in wonderful working order. (Normally I would have been very put out by that kind of lack of decorum in one of my girls!)

I once read of a man who could not pass gas so he expanded and expanded until he had to be popped.  My child will not have to be popped for gas expansion, gracias a Dios.

Gracias a Dios is what people say in Spanish when you ask how they are doing.  It means thanks be to God.

How are you doing? You might ask.

Muy bien, gracias a Dios.  or Very well, thanks be to God.

I have always loved this phrase.  The idea that everything is okay, thanks to God.

I was gonna make oatmeal raisin cookies tonight but there was no butter and no vanilla and no raisins.  And it was the Sabbath so a grocery run was not a possibility.

Instead I found some almost rotten bananas and made bread out of those bad boys.

Gracias a Dios I used what I had and made a delicious treat. 

My family and I watched Good Luck, Charlie as we ate our nana bread with a cold glass of milk.  I love that show!  I'm like the crazy mom character that wants to be on Broadway singing and dancing the LEAD but instead she's a mama.

Gracias a Dios, I'M A MAMA!!!  What would I do without my little changos (monkeys) jumping on my head first thing every morning.  One day they will grow up and I will be saddened to find no one sitting upon my cranium at 6:30am or blowing raspberries on my tummy and shouting, "Mommy farted!!!"

Oh, how I will miss these days.

God made all this joy possible, ya know.  I refuse to accept anything else.

God made my eyeballs.  And my thighs (they are a bit too thick for my liking at the moment) but I'm grateful for those thighs.  Imagine if I were to not have them!!  I'd be short.

I have skin on my face, gracias a Dios.

And fingers on my hands. 

There are beautiful stars outside right now.  God made those.  There are no coincidences.

God put my spirit into this body of mine.  As I get older this body will fade and eventually become dust. 

My spirit will return to the one who created it!  God.

We live in a dark and dreary world where bad things happen.  People get sick.  Marriages dissolve, finances fall apart, there is war and death and random shootings in movie theatres.

Thanks be to God this is a test.

This dark realm is a temporary place.  We do not belong here.

While we are found on this earth, which is a veil of tears, we must have FUN!  FIND JOY IN THE JOURNEY!

I will think of the million kisses Maya gave me on me cheek this afternoon.  And how Tyson held my hand as we watched our favorite Sunday show and ate warm banana bread.

For those who wonder about God let me say this.

God is REAL.  He loves you.  He wants you to be happy.


Happy Monday, Everyone!!! 

Friday, September 14, 2012

You Did

I've been super stressed.  And depressed, kinda.  And anxious.  And all crazy like. My husband has been concerned for my brain.

So I did some praying last week.  And I was all like, "Please help me to not feel this way. What do I gotta do to not feel so low?".

I tried to ponder and divine what God's answer might be but I feel asleep.

I always fall asleep when I ponder at bedtime. Pondering should be done not when you're in bed flat on your back, apparently.

I had a dream.  I think Heavenly Father sends me important dreams often because I am too busy and loud and stubborn to Hear during my waking hours.

The dream goes like so:

I am walking along the wash below my parent's home.  There is someone walking with me.  I don't know who.  He feels like a he.  I never actually see his face.

I have my purse on my left shoulder, like always.  I set it down.

The bag is open.  Unzipped.

Inside I can see 4 or 5 medium sized stones at the bottom of my bag.

"Who put those rocks there?"  I ask.

"You did," he replies.


That's the dream.  Powerful, eh?

I put the rocks in my own stinkin' bag! 

Okay.  But how do I get them out. 

I dunno.

The rocks in my bag are the sorrows of my friends.  I have talked to three of my good friends in the last month who are in the process of either separating from or divorcing their spouses.  Children are involved.  Hearts of people I care for will be obliterated. 

The rocks in my bag are the health issues of people I care for.

The rocks in my bag are the stresses of being an American concerned for the leadership of this country. Financial ruin is imminent if things continue as they have.  The negativity on the news is enough to spin anyone into a deep abyss of sadness and anxiety.
I am weighed down by personal finances, my children's academic success now and planning to pay for their college educations.  Saving money is HARD!  (I've been clipping coupons.  It's really fun, actually, but still... Saving money is HARD!  ...Especially when there are SO many super cute shoes and such available online with just a click of a button.)

I am weighed down by my weight.  I freak if I gain 5 pounds. It's easy to gain 5 pounds when you feel sad and a cookie (or 4) might cheer you up. Five pounds may as well be 500.  Have you ever SEEN what 5 pounds of fat looks like when it's in a jar?  GROSS!  Do you think I want fat from a jar on my THIGHS?? So upsetting.

I'm very concerned, lately, about what people think of me.  I want to be funny and fun but I'm no one's Circus Clown.  I want to be taken seriously.  But not be boring and all lame.  I want to be spiritual and righteous but not all stuffy and judgey.  What DO people think of me anyway?  Maybe I don't want to know.  And that's sad.

I am weighed down by the realization that I have lovely teen/tween daughters.  ACK!!!  Boys.  Need I say more?

I'm in charge of FOUR CHILDREN!!!  EVERYDAY!!!!   And on judgement day God will say, "Did you do everything you could to lead these children aright?"



I'm weighed down by the fact there are spots on my carpet because my children have dirty little feet and no matter how much I clean and scrub there is always more to clean and scrub.  So I scrub and clean and clean and scrub until I'm in a tizzy and mad at the world.

After my dream I still felt pretty crappy.  Rocks. Shmocks.  Stones.  Shmones.

A couple of nights ago I was clipping coupons with a bad attitude.  I was tired.  My brain was racing with worries and all the things I needed to do the next day.

A coupon for Scrubbing Bubbles with Fantastik fluttered away and landed beneath my coffee table.

I need Scrubbing Bubbles with Fantastik so I can clean and scrub and be mad at the world.

I quickly climbed under the coffee table to retrieve the runaway.  In a jerky, angry motion I tried to remove myself from beneath said table.

I banged my head.  Hard.

I hit my head so hard I thought the second coming had been announced.  Stars fell from the heavens and the moon was blood red and whatever. I acquired a huge goose egg on my noggin and everything.

I'm not usually a crybaby when I hurt myself physically but I had had it.  I burst into tears.  I cried like a little kid.

I prayed and cried and cried and prayed.  I said a lot of it's not fairs and this life is so hards.

Sometimes a good cry will do a world of good.

This was not one of those times.

Just kidding.

It was one of those times.

I got the sense knocked back into me.  I suddenly had a very clear understanding that I was being a whiny little brat.

I lacked gratitude.

So now I'm trying to be more grateful.  I'm grateful for my fat thighs. 

I'm super grateful for my marriage.  My husband is my rock and my very best friend.  We have learned over the years to take care of each other.  Put each other first.  I could not do without him!

I'm grateful for my healthy children.  And that I live in a free country run by good people (even though Obama is dead wrong on divers issues I believe he is a good man with good intentions).

I'm grateful for my religion and my god.

I'm grateful for my friends so that I can comfort them when they need comfort.  I know I can count on the same treatment if I am ever to need it.

I'm grateful for my lovely teen/tween daughters and am learning to operate a pistol with confidence.

I'm grateful for coupons and scrubbing bubbles.

I'm grateful for a whole bunch of other junk.  I think you get my drift.

Have any of you been watching the X Factor?  It's so entertaining!  I'm grateful for brainless television.  It makes the world go 'round.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I Was Lost. But now I'm Found. Literally.

It's a surreal feeling. I can't get over it.  My tummy still churns. Dehydration is the culprit there. And fear.  My brain can't wrap herself around what happened today.

I'll take you there.

Let's go, shall we?

It is 7a.m. My husband nudges me.

"Honey, wake up.  It will be too hot to run if you stay in bed too long."

"Uh ugh.  I don't wanna get up.  I just don't wanna," I say burying my head under my pillow.  "It's SATURDAY!  It's stupid to get up early and go run on a SATURDAY!"

He chuckles.  He knows this is how I do.  I'm a professional sleeper.  Grumpy every morning without fail.

I get up.  Get dressed.  Throw on a hat.  Kiss the hubby and two little ones good-bye.  (The two older ones are still sound asleep.  I'm happy for them.  Sleeping can be such a happy time.  I covet their sleeping.  They are a tween/teen combo. Sleeping is their JOB.) 

I grab a water bottle and piece of toast and hop in my car.

My car is named Lola.  She takes me to Catalina State Park.

I've never been to Catalina State Park before.

I want to run.  And I don't want to run on the stupid dumb boring old road or the stupid dumb boring old treadmill.

I want to run on a trail with rocks and trees and the threat of snakes and perverts in the bushes.  So exciting.

I pay $7 to park my car.  I snarl involuntarily as a kind elderly woman takes my hard earned $7 from my sweaty fist.

I leave Lola at the trail head parking lot.  I'm about to take my cell phone with me.  But think better of it.  I should be free to run a measly eight miles without a leash, right?  The phone is awkward and doesn't fit in my sports bra as well as my car key and Chapstick do.  I would look pretty silly with a large-ish rectangle protruding from my brassiere.

No phone it is.

I grab my 33.8 fl oz bottle of Dasani and get runnin'.

I think of Robert Frost and take a left onto the Sutherland Trail.  The road less traveled, ya know.  I mean, I don't actually KNOW if it's less traveled or not but it seems like maybe so.  Plus, I'm left handed.  So... left I go...

I run.

The running feels good.  I've been hurt and angry about something/someone recently.  My feet pound the soft sand.  I jog through a wash with cold, flowing water.  My smile in spite of myself.

I let myself be angry at the injustices in life against me.  I imagine all the things I will say to the people who have offended.

In my mind my rapier tongue and indisputable logic stops the offender in his/her tracks.

Sweat is dripping down my face and into my eyes.  I keep running.  Jumping over rocks.  Listening carefully for the tale tell rattle of a serpent.

If a snake bites me I will take a sharp rock and gash my flesh.  Then I will suck out the venom..., I think. 

It would be awful if a snake bit my face though.  What if it bit my leg and I toppled to the ground?  And then while I was on the ground he bit my face?!  ...Why, I believe I could handle a snake bite to the leg but... man... I would be REALLY upset if he struck my face.

I imagine the scene in detail for good measure.  It's gruesome.  And no one hears my calls for help.  But I drag my poisoned body back to civilization (for now I am in the middle of the desert and have seen no people for an hour)...  I would drag myself back to civilization and I would be famous. I would be on the NEWS!

I think some more about the snake scenario.

What if I died out here? 

Would the persons hurting my feelings and disrespecting me at the moment even care? 

Would all the people who were ever unkind or judgemental of me cry and beg God for forgiveness?

Yes.  I believe they would. 

I feel smug.

Just like in Tom Sawyer.  Everyone thought he was dead and they were so sorry and all crying and carrying on about what a good boy he had been and how sorry they were for having licked him with a switch.

I'm betting if I died in the middle of the desert everyone who has ever licked me with a proverbial switch would be good and sorry.  They would never forgive themselves.  I'm glad of that.  They should have been nice when I was alive.  And now it's plum  (or maybe plumb?) too late.

I come to a rusty barbed wire fence that reminds in faded lettering me to keep the gate closed so the cows don't escape.

My Garmin fancy watch says I've run for almost five miles.  Oopsie.  I meant to run four and turn around.  It is taking much longer to run this trail than I thought.  It is rocky and steep in parts.  I trip a few times.

I turn around now.  I'm running out of water.  I'd better get home.

I run and I'm still fired up. 

Would people come to my funeral?  How many?

Who would cry openly?  I hope the undertaker gives me a mani.  My nails are a MESS!

I'm running and running and running.  There are various trails.  I don't think about it much.  I just pick one and keep going.  I'm sure they all go to the trail head.

I run for a few miles and stop.

I don't recognize any of my surroundings.

Maybe I just wasn't paying attention when I was planning my own funeral.  Maybe I did pass that dry wash...  with no water...

No water...

I jog slowly now.  My clothes are drenched in sweat.  It's supposed to be at least 100 degrees today.

There are no human footprints on the trail before me.

I distinctly remember human footprints on the way up.

Now all I see are deer tracks.


I've stopped planning my funeral.

My heart sinks.

"I'm lost."

I say this out loud.  A butterfly lights on a purple flower.

I have no earthly clue where I am. I stop running.

I'm walking slowly now. I walk for 45 minutes.  I don't know what to do.

I recognize nothing.

I have seen no one for hours.  It's almost noon.  I'm out of water.

I remember the scripture about people going off on strange roads.

Being lost on a strange road is a horrible, helpless feeling.  How did I get here?  How do I get home?

I finally sit under a tree with my empty water bottle.

I am tempted to cry. But I am feeling light headed and sick to stomach. I refuse to dehydrate my battered body any further.

I pray.

I'm really worried for my safety now.  I'm terribly afraid and dizzy.

So I pray.

Please help me to know what to do.

The response is simple.

Stay where you are.

I feel helpless but heed the prompting.

I wonder how long it will be before my husband comes to look for me.  I wonder how long it will be before they send out forest dudes and helicopters.

What if the helicopters can't see me under this tree?

People die in the desert heat all the time.

This summer there were several deaths in Tucson.  Hikers.  In the middle of the desert.  Like me.  I'm in the middle of the desert.  With no water.

I feel numb.

Stay where you are.

I stay under the tree.

Literally five minutes later a young man in head to toe camo comes walking over the hill before me.  He carries a bow and a backpack.

I stand.

"I'm lost," I say aloud to the young man.

But now I'm found,  I think.

The End

P.S.  I didn't really think the "now I'm found" part.  That's a lie.  I wish I had.  It would have been cool if I could be honest about that part.  So, that particular thought is a lie.  But the rest is true.  Hope to die dead.

P.S.S.  I don't ACTUALLY hope to die dead.  That's just what my Pops says when he's telling a true story.  He always ends in "hope to die dead."  It's a southern thing.

P.P.S.S.  The young man in camo had been hunting since 4a.m.  He informed me I was "a long way off in the wrong direction".  He offered me water and walked me to his truck, which was also "a long way off". 

He also let me know it was a fluke that he was hunting today.  He almost didn't go because his hunting buddy drank too much last night and didn't get up this morning.

Something bad really could have happened to me.  I'm eternally grateful for a prayer answered in the form of a kind young man in camo.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Tender Mercy Leather Skirt Lady

I considered (seriously considered) lying to the elliptical when it asked my age today.  An invasion of privacy is what it is!  The nosy machine also asks for my weight every time I intend to begin a vigorous workout. I do lie about that.  These are very rude questions to ask a woman.

I'm a girly girl, in case you haven't noticed.  I really like that about myself.

Guess who else is a girly girl.  GUESS!


VICTORIA BECKHAM! (She's that English, very well-dressed, super skinny, ex-Spice girl who is married to that soccer player guy in all the man pantie ads.)

I just love her.  She's on the cover of Glamour mag this month.  I read my Glam Mag as I ellipticalled today.  I adore simultaneous reading and exercise.  Two of my favorite things in one convenient package.

Guess what Victoria says, first and foremost.  Go on!  GUESS!

THAT'S RIGHT!  (You are very good at this!)

She says, first and foremost,

"I've always been a girl's girl... I don't like women who don't like women!"


I really feel that Victoria and I could be great pals in real life.  And then she might give me some of her gorgeous, expensive designer dresses that she designed all by herself.  (Too rich for my blood.)  They are TOTES FABU!  (That means totally fabulous in some languages.)  

I love this particular quote today because my sweet Bella Boo turned 12 today.  Why, she's practically a lady...

In my Mormon church 12 is the age little girls get to join the Young Women's program.  It's a pretty amazing program.  Inspired. By God.  So... needless to say... it's effective.

I'm THRILLED!  Bella is BEYOND thrilled!!

Bella has been DYING to join the ranks of Young Women for years now.  She'll now be a part of youth activities every Tuesday night.  She will learn to cook and sew and serve old people!  She will be taught to be a leader for good rather than a follower of... whatever the unsupervised kids are doing these days... 

Bella will learn about her Divine Nature and Individual Worth.  I can't WAIT until she really realizes what that means and how special she is!

I want her to be open to what her young women leaders are teaching her. I want her to look up to them and emulate their good examples of what it means to be a virtuous woman.  I want her to become BFFs with the girls in her age group. 

There is so much beauty in good friendships to be had with good women/girls!

I always feel badly (and slightly put-off) for women who say,

"I just never really get along with females.  I prefer men.  I have always just had good male friends...".

EWWWWWWW!  Men are STINKY!  And you can't share lip gloss or bum feminine products off a STINKY MAN/BOY!!! (I should add, because it's true, I like my own personal man real well and he smells quite nice, actually.)

That's all I really have to offer on that subject.

Next subject?

Vintage Leather skirt I found for the low low price of....

Can you believe it????!!!! 

Just the other day I was telling Mr. Pistol how badly I needed a pair of leather pants!

And he was so boring and practical.  He was all like..."something something... needs vs wants... blah blah blah....".

But leather is positively EVERYWHERE for the new fall season!  I was feeling so DEPRIVED!

So look what I found!!!!!

It's even a decent length for a respectable mother of four.  Which I AM! :)

It's a tender mercy.

That's all I'm saying.

A tender mercy.

I must be living right. ;) I fear being twinkled.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Following Suit And WPM

I wore a one-piece bathing suit to the Wet'N'Wild last week.

I felt a bit grumpy and frumpy.  All the other cute, fit moms were showing off their tight abs in adorable little bikinis.  I used to be one of those moms.  I strutted and peacocked and preened.

But now I've decided to be a modestly dressed, one-pieced, respectable type of mom.  I am trying hard to follow the standards set by my church.  I'm not going to lie.  It's tough.  I LOVE cute Betsie Johnson funky two piece suits on me.  I really really do.  But I'm trying to be obedient for a change.

Obedience over vanity.  Imagine that!

There are probably lots of you not-Mormon people who are thinking, What's the big deal? Just wear the bikini if you think you look good in it!

There are probably some of you Mormon people thinking, Oh my WORD!  I can't believe you like to wear bikinis!  How immodest!  I would NEVER..."...

I thought good and hard about not writing the story I am about to divulge because people can be so uber judgey judgerson.

I even said to my husband, the love of my whole entire life, I said,

"This story is WAY too narcissistic.  I can't tell anyone about this.  Plus then people would know I have a major bikini problem... I can't have that!  ...I'd like to be Young Women's General President one day.  I should dress the part..."...

So last week I donned the serious one-piece suit to the Wet'N'Wild.  I thought I looked alright, I guessed. 

Then I saw a 70-ish year old lady wearing the EXACT same suit.  She and I were all matchy matchy.  I wanted to DIE.

"I'm wearing an old lady suuuuiiiiit!" I wailed.

"No, Mama.  That lady is wearing a suit too young for her," said my diplomatic Bella.

I avoided the lady for the rest of the day.

My family and I had a wonderful time!  We rode every single slide together.  Even the super scary ones.  I screamed and laughed and was beyond happy in my functional old lady suit.

Aside:  I must mention I love Water Park Mentality (WPM) regarding bodies.  At the typical water park one will see every size and shape and age of human imaginable wearing as little fabric as possible.  One will encounter exposed stretch marks, scars, cellulite, tattoos, weird moles, hairy backs, and cellulite. A veritable sea of cellulite.

The beauty?  Due to WPM, no one CARES!  It's WONDERFUL!  Everyone has exposed their scary physical secrets and nothing can be done now but to holler like a howler monkey as one jiggles his way down steep and swirly slides.  Liberating, to say the least.

Water parks are my Tiffany's.


I had all kinds of fun.  We slipped and slid from 11am- 9:30pm.  WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! (It was like that.)

When night rolled around I found myself stationed at the Lazy River under a street lamp (or river lamp, as the case may be).  I awaited my two lazy river babies to float toward me on their yellow inner-tubes. 

As I waited two handsome, athletic 16-year-old-ish rich kid lookin' boys floated past me.

"Woah!" said one, nudging the other.

The other looked up at me in response.

"Woah!" he said.  THEN he pointed right at me and stated, "YOU are PRETTY!"

"Yeah."  said the friend.  "You look like a MODEL standing there!"

The teen girls with them stared me up and down and gave me meanie stink eyes.  HOW GREAT IS THAT?!!! I'M OLD WITH 4 KIDS AND I HAVE A BIRTHDAY ON SATURDAY!

I blushed 10 shades of red and thanked the boys sincerely before they floated off.



If I had worn a little bikini and looked like everybody else maybe they wouldn't have thought I was anything special.  But I WAS special.  I followed the rules and I was BLESSED!


Jealous stink eye from a 16 year old girl is SURELY a great blessing and I can't be convinced otherwise.

I have learned 3 valuable lessons here.

A)  Modest IS Hottest.
B) Avoid old ladies wearing your same swim wear.  It damages the self-esteem a tad.
C) No one is more narcissistic than I.

PS I'm going back to the water park tomorrow.  WOOO HOOO!  WEEEEEEE!  Wonder what I'll wear... :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

True Opiates of The Masses Or AWAKE

Can't sleep.

Sometimes I can't sleep because the same sentence swirls round and round my mind. It dances and spins and swims and stirs my thoughts.

The phrase of the moment is,

Opiate of the masses.  Opiate of the masses Opiate of the masses opiate of the massesopiateof the masses 

I wish for individual sedation but sleep does not come. 

So here we are.

Carl Marx.  He said Religion is the Opiate of the masses.

What a sad soul he must have been.

For the true Opiate that lulls the masses to sleep are, in fact, actual opiates. And other drugs.

 I'm unclear on drugs 'cause I'm a Mormon and all but does alcohol count?  I know alcohol makes people sleepy and silly and depressed.  I looked up the definition of opiate but it didn't really give specifics.

True Opiates of the masses (if we're gonna get philosophical) are all those things that dull the senses.

Media does that.  Like with sex. People really pay attention when you write the word sex.

Media tells folks it's cool to sleep with lots and lots of people. TROJAN MAN!  Trojan man will take care of everything!

But does anyone, in the quiet of peaceful solitude, really believe promiscuity is healthy for body or spirit or mind? Individually we know better. As a society our true desires are blurred.

A society where the new morality is no morality is the real opiate.  

I am terrified to raise my children in this world.

Opiate of the masses spins about my brain and I see their trusting little faces looking to me for guidance.


Who am I that I should offer guidance?

So I pray daily to my God and ask, nay BEG, for inspiration. 

Help me to see things as they really are, Lord, I pray.  Protect my family.  Protect my children.  Help me to teach them how to be happy in this life!

The answer I often hear as a response to my plea is AWAKE.

Tonight I read to my children. A passage from The Book Of Mormon

A dying father, Lehi, speaks to his children with trembling limbs before he goes to his cold and silent grave, from whence no traveler can return.

His last words to his sons are,

Awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains with which ye are bound...

Awake, my sons, put on the armor of righteousness...come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust...  (2Nephi 1: 13-23).

I read to my children and reminded them that every morning we are given a chance to do better.  And be better.

Every morning we are granted the opportunity to AWAKE.  To get up and do something good.

Tonight I told them I have been guilty of sleeping whole days away with my eyes wide open.  On Monday I eagerly wait for Friday.  Come morning I can't wait for evening.  This is not living.

Life is a gift.  Every second.  Every breath.

Marx was wrong.  My religion does not lull me into a zombie-like sleep in which I cannot think for myself.  Rather, I am taught in my beloved scripture to AWAKE.

Awake.  Breathe.  Love.  Think.  Serve.  Give.  Laugh.  LIVE.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Froggy Loses His Mind And Is Nevertheless Protected By Frog Angels

We are saddened to note that after the marvelous monsoon we so thoroughly enjoyed a frog has emerged and lost his amphibian mind.

My family, friends and I are not saddened by the presence of the frog, per se.  We are merely concerned his choice of action is to hop into oncoming traffic.

"NO!  Froggy!  No!  Come back!" we shout.

But Froggy pays no mind and continues hop hop hopping his way through the busy parking lot.

We are camped on the outer edges of said parking lot armed with canvas fold up chairs, thirst busters and Cheetos of various levels of spice.  The 4th of July fireworks display is meant to take place at 9pm from downtown Tucson's A mountain.We have arrived at 7pm to secure a good spot.

There are lots people of all walks of life and many degrees of sobriety also enjoying the parking lot and awaiting the fireworks display. Some have brought small grills and are roasting wieners.  Others have large coolers filled with beer and cola.  Many of the men are gang tattoo laden and corn rowed.  Several women threaten to explode from the uber tight fitting attire they have chosen to wear to celebrate the Independence of this great nation.  Their several body parts are screaming for independence from cheap spandex and the like.

Nice families also line the lot and are tossing frisbees and footballs.  The paleta man wheels his cart and rings his bell.  An ice cream truck plays her little ice cream tune.

I am enjoying being one with The People.  I speak Spanish to a lady with a baby.  And English to the many police officers prepared to keep the peace.  I love this environment. My children are a bit frightened. I laugh at their fear as every good mother should.  Man up, I say!

My family and I enjoy the company of my dear friend, Shannon, and her two little boys and husband.

And as we sit we wring our hands for Froggy of the death wish.

Froggy is protected by unseen angels.  Car after car pass Froggy by, barely missing his mucus ridden little greenish body.

We are amazed and are suddenly cheering for Froggy.

"YAY,  FROGGY! THAT WAS A CLOSE CALL!" we shout after the passing of a large white Dodge pickup truck.

The family next to us also begins to shout encouragement to Froggy. The large Mexican father shines his flashlight on Froggy.  Froggy is in the spotlight.  Froggy is a celebrity!

A red minivan approaches.

"You're a gonner for sure, Froggy," we say wringing our hands.

But what's this?!

The minivan straddles Froggy as it rolls on.  Froggy is safe!!!

Car after car threaten to end Froggy tonight.

My nerves are shot.

There is finally a gap in traffic.  I run out with an empty Styrofoam cup and chase a hopping Froggy about.  All the people laugh heartily as I chase and he eludes me with the maddening hopping.

Yes. It is all fun and games until a Froggy get flattened.

He finally tires of the chase and jumps into my cup.

The children and random strangers cheer with wild abandon.

Froggy is set free in a muddy ditch.

Froggy is free from the tyranny of parking lots and angry vehicles.  Froggy is independent of spotlights and human interference.  Froggy is free to practice whatever religion he chooses and will never again suffer the injustices of taxation without representation.

It is a good day to be an American (frog.. or maybe he is a toad... I really don't know the difference.).

PS  I have tried to re-enable my comments (with moderation, 'cause a dude I know wants to slander my name and harm my tender feelings) but it doesn't seem to work when I push all the right buttons.  I'd ask you guys for suggestions but... no comments, you see...  I'll figure it out eventually.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mama Hoops Has Smelly Feet

I had no idea my feet could smell like that.

Foul.  Putrid.  Stanky.

The smell became progressively more rank as the week rolled on. My new BFF and tent buddy, Elisa, was super sweet about it the first two days.

"I can't smell your feet at ALLI don't know what you're talking about..." she said the first night, after I had removed my hiking boots.

On night number two she said, "Your feet totally don't smell.  ...Do you want to borrow my baby wipes to clean them off?"

Night three she actually coughed and choked.  "WOAH!  THOSE FEET ARE RIPE!... Smell mine."  She proceeded to stick her bare foot in my face.  It was my turn to cough and sputter.  Good grief!  The fumes brought tears to my eyes.

Despite the smelly feet I had a FABULOUS week.  I was happy every cotton pickin' minute.  From dusk til dawn I reveled in glee.  There was no where else would rather have been in the whole wide world.

I fell in love with the girls I was assigned to direct as Girls Camp Director.


I fell madly in love with each and every one of them.  My group of girls and adult leaders were creative and hilarious.  There was constant laughter, teasing, hugging, dancing, singing and butt smacking.

At one point my friend, D'Nel (who smacked my butt good and hard on more than one occasion), taught me all the choreography to M.C. Hammer's "Can't Touch This".  We blared the music and danced until we could dance no more.


I felt free up there on the mountain.  I was forced to leave behind the distractions of The World.  I did not hear one disturbing news headline the entire week.  I read no fashion mags that convinced me I was in need of some material Thing.  I watched no television programs that upset my sensitive spirit.  I had no phone or internet service.  I found myself in heaven.

As a group we lifted ourselves away from the confusion of the world below.  We prayed and sang praises to our God.  He blessed us as we did so.  We were blessed with clarity and peace.

We are promised one day we will experience a peace that passeth understanding if we are true to God's commandments.  This week I experienced a fraction of That Peace.  It is the closest I have ever come to understanding what a peace that passeth understanding might feel like.   I was overwhelmed with Love.

On the final night of camp we gathered together to share our testimonies.  Each of my 12 girls spoke.  I was filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be in the presence of such beautiful innocence, strength and faith.

My own daughters shared their feelings about God and their beliefs.  Tears slid down my cheeks and I thanked my Heavenly Father.

Bella said that she loves the 13th Article of Faith which says, we believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous and in doing good to all men.  She continued by sharing that she wanted to have these qualities when she grew up.  What an amazing desire!

What if all people on this earth were honest, true, chaste, benevolent and virtuous?  What a marvelous place the world would be!

Serena said she felt sad a few weeks ago when a friend informed her she would no longer be her friend because Serena is Mormon.  She also shared that although it hurt to be rejected so, she was grateful for the gospel and her friends at church who love her.  She was grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves her.

There is no better reward for a mother than knowing her children are happy, safe and doing what is right.

I was loathe to drive down the mountain and back to civilization on Friday.  The feeling of peace and love was far too desirable.  The World does a marvelous job of stripping us of that peace.  It takes a great deal of effort to maintain the feeling that was so effortless at Camp Zion.

I earned the name Mama Hoops this week as a result of the huge earrings I kept dangling from my filthy lobes.  I feel pretty cool about that.  I'm not gonna lie.

People teased me about the full length mirror I brought and propped up against a tree outside my tent.  But those same people were caught RED HANDED primping and preening before it.   HA!

I was also teased about the full face of make-up I dutifully applied daily. 

I didn't mind. 

I was too happy to mind even the biffys, which are the permanent version of a port-o-jon and smell just as wonderful and full of wonder. 

On Friday I begrudgingly packed up my hoops and mirror and headed home. 

I missed my husband and little ones.  My greatest desire is for them to be filled with the spirit as I was.  The feeling is like a fruit that is sweet above all which is sweet.  The feeling is delicious.

I have emerged from this experience changed for the better.  Strengthened.  Clean.

(Ironic I would feel clean, considering I only got one 45 second shower the entire week and smelled like a dump truck).

I'm eternally grateful I was given the opportunity to join the ranks of righteous girls and women. 

I'm equally grateful I was not eaten by a bear or skunked in the middle of the night.  I was worried about that.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mirror Mirror in The Woods

 I'M READY!!!!  I'm all packed up to spend the week roughin' it in the mountains with a gaggle of girls.

I packed one duffel bag full of stuff.  Then I said to myself, Oh!  Oh no.  This will never do.  You can't survive with so few accessories and delicious smelling lotions to mask the smell of nature. MORE!  You need MORE!

There are now two duffel bags stuffed to capacity.  I feel slightly better but still wonder what I will realize I have forgotten once stranded in the forest.

Basically I'm good to go though...

Sun screen?  Check.

Hiking boots?  Check.

Full length mirror?  Awwwww yeah, baby!

My husband thought I was nutz when I asked him to pretty please wrap a full length mirror in a blanket and toss it in the bed of the truck. 

He tried to talk me out of it.  But Mama wants what she wants.  He finally complied.  Thanks, Mr.  Sexy Pants!

I plan to lean the mirror up against a tree outside my tent.

I simply refuse to wander about without even knowing what I'm physically presenting to the world.  I need to look glamorously disheveled.

The teen girls in question are armed with cameras.  There will be pictures taken roughly every thirty seconds.  I won't be caught (and tagged on FB) unawares.

I'm ready physically.

I have also prepared spiritually for this thing.  I am ready to be uplifted and to uplift.

What an amazing honor to be allowed to join hundreds of girls and women away from the stress and darkness of The World as we strive together to come closer to God.

Anywho, have a lovely week!   

PS  Be grateful for your hot shower everyday as I am allowed TWO COLD 45 SECOND showers for the 5 day period. Pray for me! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Evil Alters The Mind

An evil spirit jumped into my body in a dream two nights ago.

She had no body, which thing she wanted most in the universe. She searched for a soul who would let her in. 

She eyed a crack in my righteous energy.  She saw my weaknesses and waited.

When temptation came I fell.   

She saw my erroneous actions.  She heard the wicked words I spoke.  She acknowledged the chink in my armor and she jumped into my body.  She felt comfortable there.  Inside my skin.  Because in my carelessness I had let her in.

She forced me to fly about in tattered green robes.  I was helpless to stop the mad flying.  She controlled me.  I had given her an inch. 

I found myself in the back of my own mind.  Weak.  Helpless.  Tearful.

Now it was her words.  Her actions. 

She spoke to people.  Laughed loud.  Flew high and wild.  The people thought she was me. 

I would never say these things! I cried. I am not me!  But no one could hear.

I wanted to so badly to regain the control I had lost of myself.

Then I woke up.

My heart was racing and I wondered at the significance of such a dream.

I once read a spiritual account of one who died and returned.  He was not of my religion.

As he wandered the earth in the spirit he saw wicked, greedy spirits following mortals endlessly.  Waiting with wild eyes for the mortal to ere.

Every live man and woman was surrounded by a brilliant, energetic glow.  When sin betook a person the brilliant glow was diminished and even extinguished in places.  Chinks in the vibrant armor. 

Evil spirits would shriek with delight and dive through the chinks into the body of the sinner to confuse the mind and alter actions.

The account has come to my mind many times.  Our spirits are vulnerable to outside influences.  There is a constant battle for our souls we cannot see.

Every time we act with unlove our spirits are weakened.  We become something we wish not be become. 

In a recent conference talk given by Elder Ulisses Soares, President George Albert Smith was quoted,

"There is a line of demarcation well defined between the Lord's territory and the devil's territory.  If you will stay on the Lord's side of the line you will be under his influence and will have no desire to do wrong; but if you cross to the devil's side of that line one inch you are in the tempter's power and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord."

I have been over that line an inch or two at times.  Sometimes I've jumped several feet on the wrong side of that line.  I know about not being able to think or even reason properly as a result of poor choices.

I feel motivated as of late to cease walking that line.

There is pain on the wrong side.  Searing.  Burning. Anxious pain.

Peace, on the other hand, smiles upon us when we stand in holy places.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

If A Bear Eats Me At Camp, My Husband Does Not Have Permission To Get Remarried.

Camping is disgusting. 

When you camp you become smelly, crusty, musty, dusty, uncomfortable bear food.

Come Monday I am going to be atop a mountain (for 5 days!) praying not to be sprayed by a startled skunk or eaten by a famished lion. 

Frankly, I'd rather be eaten than sprayed.  How humiliating to wear Eau de Skunk Butt. Shameful. Only Chanel for me, thank you. 

You're welcome.

I asked for The Job this year.  I bugged The People to death, in fact. 

I said, "If God tells you I should not be Church Camp Director this year then I'll back off.  I won't be mad.  But I don't see why God would say that. I'm a good person.  So do your praying and let me know asap if I get the job so I can start planning my outfits.  Love, Sister Pistol"

I got The Job.

Both of my older daughters are going to girls camp this year.  I like to be the boss of all the things they are involved in.  Now I'm the boss of their camp.  YAY!

When I was twelve years old I went to the very same church camp we will attend this year. 

Some (most) of the girls in my ward didn't like me much.  I was scrawny and white and spoke very correct English and Spanish.  They spoke broken Spanglish and wore half a can of Aqua Net in the thick brown fuss that nested atop their mean, stupid heads.

On the very first day of girls camp I found myself face to face with a very large, very tall, very loud, very brown 17 year old girl.  Angelica.  The leader of the pack.

Angelica was angry with me for having the audacity to breathe her air and speak her language when I was very clearly  the wrong color.  My father was white.  How dare I erroneously think I was one of them?  How dare I speak to them with so much confidence?

I remember walking backward slowly as she yelled two inches from my face, towering over me. 

Angelica demanded I show her some respect.  Her hands were flailing in every direction. I could swear her neck turned to rubber the way her head bobbed about furiously on it as she spoke.  She pointed her fat finger between my eyes for emphasis.  My eyes crossed and I frowned.   I felt my back come in contact with a tree trunk. I was trapped.  She kept screaming and threatening until I broke down in tears.

My camp leader (who happened to be Angelica's mother) was not very sympathetic to my cries.  She turned up her 4 chins at me as I begged for someone to take me home.  I could not cease my tears. I felt unsafe and unwanted after that experience.

I went home the same day I arrived.

My first year of church girls camp was horrendous.  I was traumatized by the thing.

This is why, although I detest camping with a flaming fiery passion, I asked for The Job.

I know the leaders of my current ward are sweet as pie.  I trust my children with them completely.  I feel as though they are family.

I also know that I am SUPER FUN! I am the ANTI-ANGELICA!  I'm prolly the funnest gal I know.  I can't deny that I'm pretty AWESOME most days.  I have some pretty fun friends but I think I'm the funnest.

I'll be the OPPOSITE of fat and mean.  I only have ONE chin!  And also I LOVE TO LOVE!!

My girls (meaning ALL those campy camp girls) will have THE BEST experience.  No bullies ALLOWED!

I'm gonna be sooooo nice and sweet and crazy at that place!!

I won't smell sweet but WHO CARES?  I'll swing from the trees and sing at the top of my lungs and be pissed off every night that I have to sleep in a freaking TENT  on the freaking FLOOR  in a DANG STUPID IDIOT SLEEPING BAG! 

PS  Sorry about having to moderate the comments as of late, but some dang, stupid idiot is being verbally abusive toward me.  So annoying how one naughty person ruins the fun for the rest of the class.  Bullies suck. *sigh*  Grow up, man. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Witches Are Notoriously Jealous

I hopped on my broomstick tonight.  I needed to clear my head.

Heads get so muddled sometimes.  Especially mine. 

I flew to Las Vegas and picked up Coral's cat. It took about 20 minutes as the broom flies.  Worth the trip.   My powers are always stronger when traveling with a black cat.

I always had a black cat when I was growing up.  Any witch worth her salt has one.  My sisters and my mother each have one.

Alas, my husband and child are allergic so cats are off limits to me.  Which is fine. I rarely need my witchy powers as a Mormon mom living in the burbs Tucsonia.  My diminished powers keep me positive and able to mingle. 

My witchy powers are cheating powers anyway. Mortals are meant to operate through Faith.  And communicate with The Beyond through properly sanctioned channels. I play by the rules.  I must stand on my own two feet and fall on my own two knees for answers now.  Such is the plan from above.

Sally Fourth of July purred the moment she saw me.

"Where are we going?" she asked, weaving her sleek body round and round my bare legs.

"I'd like to hie to Kolob, if you don't mind," said I. "I have some questions I need answered."

Sally smiled and licked her left paw.  "Don't be ridiculous."

"The moon then.  Let's go to the moon."

We flew above Las Vegas and saw a middle-aged homeless couple kissing in the park below.  A soft pink glow surrounded them.  The Love Glow.  It can be seen from the heavens when it is real.

I sighed.  Ah.  Love.  Love it what we live for.  One day, after a peaceful millennia, the world will be governed by Love.

"Why are we flying tonight, Cryssy?  Why have you dragged me away from my warm bed and out into the night air?" shivered Sally.

"Death," I said.
"You are obsessed with death, I know."

"I am obsessed with life, Sally Fourth.  I am obsessed with the life before this one. Pre-existance.  I am trying to excel in my current Telestial situation.  My thoughts are constantly turned to the life after Now.  We will all die, Sally.  All of us.  Everyone should be obsessed with life and death."

"Scratch my chin.  ...pprrrrrrrrrr....yes... mmmmmmm've done this before," she smirked.

We flew higher and higher into the night.  We came across The Cat and The Fiddle. 

"Hello Tom," said Sally in her husky come hither feline voice.

"Sally, you look ravishing as ever," said he, tipping his hat.  "What brings you here?"

Sally tossed her lovely head lightly in my direction and rolled her eyes.

"Hey Tom,"  I said.  "Tonight it came to me that I will either die a very old woman.  Or I will die slowly of cancer.  Either way, I will become more and more unattractivee as the process progresses. I fear becoming terribly unattractive.

Tom played a happy tune on his fiddle as I spoke.

...I told my husband, I said, 'When I die of cancer you're probably going to get married right away.  There is no way you could last long alone'.

"He said, 'No I won't!  That's ridiculous!  But if I die YOU will surely find the first tall, handsome doctor in the hospital and make him your man.'

" 'That's STUPID!' I said.   'I WOULD NOT FIND A DR AND MAKE HIM MY MAN!  I would never want another man again. 

" '...But YOU!  Ugh!  YOUUUUU!  Your mother would set you up within 2 weeks of my death to a desperate 45 year old Mormon Returned Missionary.  You would find solace in her 45 year old virgin BREASTS!'

"He said he would not get re-married if I die first.  And I don't believe that for one minute.  He WILL marry and when he finally dies, I'll KILL him.

"I was so upset I cried a little.  For emphasis.  I wasn't sure if I was joking."

I had just finished my monologue to the cats when The Little Dog Laughed To See Such a Sight.  He laughed so hard he urinated on a star and extinguished it completely.

I saw his point.

It's all a big joke, isn't it?  Death and ugly?  These things are silly and temporary.

As I contemplated the Universe the Dish Ran Away With the Spoon.

I felt better. 

Venting on a broomstick in the atmosphere is so cleansing.

Love can make a mortal crazy. 

Lack of control or knowledge of what the future holds makes one crazier still.

When The Cow (at long last) Jumped Over The Moon a thought came to me from a higher power.


Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am God. Just the inspiration I needed to calm my troubled mind.

In a world of chaos and witchcraft and laughing dogs and loud music and flashing lights and constant sleight of hand, the peace of knowing I am in His care is invaluable.

My descent to Earth was a peaceful one.

However, if my man thinks he's gonna find a lady after I'm dead he's got another thing coming!  I'll haunt that hooch until she is deemed clinical insane.  BOO!

Are you cool with YOUR spouse marrying someone else after you die? 


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bull In A Crystal Shop or What Was Your First Fight?

Today I celebrated 15 years of being married to the same man.

We had a wonderful gift exchange and date.  The date included sushi, the movie Bernie (which was equally morbid and hilarious) and a trip to Walmart.

The gift I bought him was a heavy, solid pewter catch-all in the graven image of a bull.

His favorite romantical story is The Faithful Bull by Hemingway. He sees himself in that terse prose. I see him there as well.  ...So that's why I bought him the durn thing... It was terribly thoughtful and romantic of me.

His gift to me was Crystal.  Waterford.  Did you know one is supposed to gift crystal on the 15th wedding anniversary? I did not know this fact or I might have found him a crystal toro.

So far as gifting goes I thought it was, like, one year equals paper.

Five years equals wood (probably so one can knock on it in the hopes the next five years will go more smoothly than the previous five).

Ten years requires Prozac.

And 15 years sees that Prozac and raises the spouse in question a Zanex script.  (Don't you for one MINUTE think I take these happy pills!  Don't be RIDICULOUS!  ...I have been off the juice for at LEAST a year and a half!  Hmph!)

But no... Crystal it is.  HOW FORTUITOUS!! What a coincidence!  I happen to LOVE anything Crystal related because I have no concept of what it means to be narcissistic.

I adore Crystal because Crystal is pretty, pure, and classy.

Wouldn't you agree?  You WOULD??!!  I'm blushing.  Thank you!!  You are TOO kind.


My anniversary tonight got me thinking about all the years of wedded bliss my man and I have enjoyed.

Then I got to thinking about our very first fight. 

We were dating.  Up to that point I had accepted Mr. Pistol as a sexy bull of a man.  I questioned nothing he did aloud.

He was gruff and strong and sweet and sensitive and passionate and temperamental and spiritual and passionate and muscular and PASSIONATE...

I answered all of these qualities and more with a fun loving smile.  (Often my smile had a decidedly comehither quality which was torture for both of us given the nature of our religion.)

A for instance of my husband's hot headed personality is found in the following.

Once a guy cut us off in traffic in Provo, Utah.  My man was so angry he jumped out of the jeep at a stop light and threatened to beat the life out of the clueless cutter. He banged on the window of the terrified traffic idiot and demanded he come out and take his punishment like a man. I responded by calming and soothing my riled man with gentle words and soft caresses. The cutter lived to see another day.

Before I continue about our first fight it is important for you to understand I love food.  I LOVE food.  Food is sexy.  Food feeds the body and soul and brings pleasure to one's entire being.  Food relieves the weary and afflicted and pot heads with the munchies.

A simple baked potato, for example, is succulent.  Desirable. A feast for the soul.  When I consume a steaming hot baked potato I am overtaken by the experience.  The soft, hot flesh is solid and satisfying.  The cool of sour cream and melting butter is the perfect silky contrast to the steaming tuber itself. If I am lucky and find bits of crispy bacon on my spud I can only describe the experience as otherworldly. 

I can (and often do) describe any good food in like manner.

When I eat I savor.  Slooowwwwwly. I am always the last to complete any given meal.  I just don't want it to end.

My husband loves food too.  But he is a bull.  He devours his meals with gusto.  With passion.  He knows what he wants and he goes after it.  

The evening of our first true argument found us on the floor of my little college house with enormous plates of food on our laps.

We watched a movie and we ate.  I was happy. 

I slowly enjoyed each and every morsel.  I rolled each bite around my tongue and focused on every spice, temperature and texture.

My man devoured his plate of food in record time, as masculine bulls are wont to do.

"That was GOOD!" he said.

Then he did something I still have a hard time forgiving when I remember.

He used his fork to casually REMOVE some of MY food from MY plate!  He shoveled MY food into HIS mouth, CASUALLY!!!!

"Mmmmmmmmm," he said.

My eyes widened.  My pulse began to quicken.

Calm down.  I thought.  He won't do it again.  He was just trying to be a cute, food sharing boyfriend.


He simply took his fork and again STABBED at my meal and devoured it!  CASUALLY!!!

My face felt hot.  My breathing became uneven.  Fury began to engulf me.

If he does it again I swear I will stab his hand right through with my fork! I thought.

Oblivious to my inner turmoil he reached over yet again to scoop a sizable portion of my meal from off my plate.

I could bear it no longer.

"STOP EATING MY FOOD!" I raged.  "It is MY food! And YOU are eating it ALL!  And I am HUNGRY!!!!!"

The shock and hurt in his electric blue eyes only fed my flame of fury.

He became angry in return.  I then became ENRAGED that he felt he had a RIGHT to be angry.

It took us a good 24 hours to figure out how to make up and play nice.

The last fifteen years have been delicious and maddening.

Remembering our first fight has also brought to mind the first time we kissed.  Ohhh.  That man can KISS. MMmmmmm.

It brought to mind the first moment I knew I was in Love with this man-child.

I am reminded of the day he proposed and I cried and whispered, "Yes." 

I am reminded of our honeymoon in Hawaii.  Our luggage was lost.  How perfect it was to have no clothes available on our honeymoon!

I am reminded of our first apartment that had no furniture beyond a television and a mattress.  We needed nothing more.

I am reminded of the birth of our first child.  And our second.  Third.  And Fourth.

I am reminded that this man is mine forever.  And I am his.

I have always been his.

I will always be his.

It is written in Eternity.

What was YOUR first fight?   

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eternal Violet And A Ghost Story

I hoped I would make it before she took her first breath.  I drove all night to get to her but was too late.

My mother and I raced from Tucson to Las Vegas.  Coral called at 9pm.  We were on the road by 10.

We were worried about my sister.  She was all alone!  (She had her husband and full hospital staff at her disposal but WE were not there!  How could she possibly deliver a child without us!? This would never do!)

It is safe to say we were freaking out. 

We felt my grandmother. 

Do you know the feeling of knowing someone is staring at you?  When you turn you may catch the staring person.  Or the watcher my avert her eyes.  But you know she was looking at you.  You felt her.

I felt my grandmother looking at me.  Watching over my mother and I as we drove.  When I looked I could not see her.  But she was certainly there.  I felt her.

"I know we are not with Coral yet but I feel that many of our unseen family members are with her. She will be okay," I said.  I suddenly knew it was true.

My mother shivered a little and gasped.  "Oh!  I just felt my mom! For a second it was like her hand was on mine!  ....What day is today?" asked my mother.

"Thursday," I said.

"What's the date?"

"May 24th."

She drew in a sharp breath.

"My mother died one year ago today," she said.

Half an hour later we received a text from Coral's husband. 

Baby Violet Winter was born 15 minutes before midnight. 

Violet was born on the one year anniversary of my Abuelita's death.

I cannot be convinced my grandmother did not have a hand in Violet's delivery.

When Violet was at long last in my arms I was overwhelmed. She was perfection.  Silky black hair.  Olive skin.  Large eyes.  Tiny ears.  Long fingers.

Her eyes moved back and forth beneath her sleeping lids.

"She's dreaming," said her starry-eyed daddy.  "What could she be dreaming about?"

"She's dreaming of the world she just left," said my mother.  "We dream of memories.  The only memories she has are those of the place she once lived."

The birth of my precious niece has reminded me of the eternal nature of things.

We came from another world. 

We have always been.

We will always be.

Our deceased loved ones watch over us always.

There is a divine purpose for our existence.  Life is a test.

Our life on Earth is but a sleep and a forgetting.

I held Violet many times before returning to my own home tonight.  I could not cease staring at her perfect little face.  I watched her fuss and squirm and try to make sense of this new body.

I realize I am still, at the age of 35, trying to make sense of this new body.  I am forever reminding my hands to be of service to others. I am teaching my legs to run and not be weary and walk and not faint. I am schooling my tongue to be kind and never speak guile. 

I am a slow learner. 

My abuelita lived a rich life. The winds of time welcomed her last breath as it joined them. She said goodbye to her own vessel of clay with a final sigh.

One day I will do the same.

We all will.

I hope that when my mortal probation is done I will look back on my earthly experience with a peaceful heart.

I hope that my life Here will be one of constant spiritual progression, constant concern for others and an ever increasing abundance of Love for all those whom I come in contact.

I hope to wax confident before my Maker.

It is a difficult and treacherous journey with great Joy and Love to be relished.

Welcome To The World Little Violet.