Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I think my dad may have been a pre-freegan freegan. He raised pigs and arranged with the manager of a nearby grocery store to pick up their daily discards for the pigs. It didn't take long for him to decide that much of what was being thrown away was too good for pigs. He started delivering things around town to widows, single-parent families, college students. I certainly have not resorted to getting our food from a trash dumpster, but I do think we are a wasteful throw-away generation. I always loved President Kimball's little quote about Fix it up, Wear it out, Use it up, or Do without.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Last Monday I was talking to Isaac. I told him that I had just mailed him a valentine. It was clear from our conversation that Isaac, at just five years old, isn't exactly sure how the whole mail thing works. So yesterday when I was talking to him I asked him if he got the valentine that Grandpa and I sent. He hemmed and hawed around and then said, "Yeah." I wasn't so sure he had put everything together so I decided to test him. "What was inside the valentine?" I asked. He hemmed and hawed around and then said, "A dollar!" "Yep," I said. "You're right." Isaac said, "Hey, how did you know there was a dollar in there?" "Because I'm the one who sent it to you. It was from Grandpa and me." There was a long pause and then Isaac said, "Grandma, if you already knew there was a dollar in there, why are you asking me?"
Saturday, February 16, 2008
While I always like to have a book on hand, there is nothing worse than being in an airport without a book. I've spent a lot of money at airport book stores, which drives me crazy, as you know that I hate to pay full price for anything. So in preparation for an upcoming trip, I asked a friend if she could recommend a good book. She brought it to church on Sunday. That afternoon while I was waiting for Randy I decided just to take a peek to see if I thought it was a book I'd enjoy. I finished it up that night. Then another friend said she had a good book I could borrow, but when I went to pick it up she couldn't find it. I borrowed a book from my daughter a few years ago that I enjoyed so much I never returned it. I decided I could re-read it on my trip and then leave it with her when I left. But I couldn't resist the temptation to get started, and finished that this morning. Please tell me your favorite book or books. If I were "Pioneer Woman" I would give a prize (like a computer printer or a Wii) for the best suggestion, but I'm waiting for my readership to increase before I give away the big prizes. I will, however, share with you a list of books that I've read (or re-read) and enjoyed during the last year.
Ella Minnow Pea, by Mark Dunn
A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
The Mormon Way of Doing Business, by Jeff Benedict
My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Piccoult
A Train to Potevka, by Mike Ramsdell
Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
Digging to America, by Ann Tyler
About Alice, by Calvin Trillin
The Peace Giver, by James L. Ferrell
Gift from the Sea, by Ann Morrow Lindberg
My Grandfather's Son, by Clarence Thomas
Beethoven's Hair, by Russell Martin
Plain Truth, Jodi Piccoult
I am a Mother, by Jane Clayson Johnson
The Last Summer of You and Me, by Ann Brashares
I look forward to reading all of the books you recommend. As I won't have access to a computer, I won't be blogging for a few days. Gotta go! Just noticed that Part XXIX of Black Heels to Tractor Wheels is out. Happy reading!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I was devastated! I walked straight out of class to the phone booth in the hall, shut the door, called my mom, and burst into tears. It created a huge hullabaloo that resulted in our parents having to come to school for a meeting with the teacher and the principal. In the end, it was decided that Mr. Woodbury would teach our class for the remainder of the year. Mr. Baxter did not return the following year. The failed grade has never been a big deal to me. It certainly didn't represent my ability as a student. But Mr. Baxter wrote something on the back of my report card that's been in my mind for 50 years. He said that I was a very selfish child and that it would probably affect me for life. I confess that a million times (give or take a few), I've come to the realization that I was being selfish (You're shocked, I know!). And how many times have I thought to myself, "He was right. It has affected my whole life. How could he have known? At age 16 was it so obvious that even a near stranger could see it!"
The other day I was organizing some memorabilia and ran across that report card. There was the big black F right next to the A he had scribbled out. I flipped the card over and read, "Judy is a very spoiled child." Spoiled? Not selfish? Spoiled? I confess that there are lots of labels that could be appropriately applied to me -- selfish, stubborn, stupid, insensitive, proud. But spoiled? Never! I grew up in a family with seven kids and very few frills. My parents had very high expectations of us, and we were all compliant and worked our fingers to the bone in everything we did to make sure they were not disappointed. We paid our own way, and any growing up "toys" we might have had (such as a hi-fi or a Brownie camera) were paid for out of our own baby-sitting money. I learned to sew and almost everything I ever wore was made by me or my mother. I got my first wrist watch when I was sixteen years old. We never asked for money. We even paid our own way through college. Spoiled we were not!
I am really sorry that we were such stinkin' rotten teenagers, and I hope that Mr. Baxter went somewhere else and was a successful math teacher. I wish that I could go back and be sixteen again with the knowledge and experience I now have. I'd do things differently. But I'm also sorry that one sentence written on the back of a report card (incorrectly remembered) has caused 50 years of anguish. The report card is now a non-issue. However, that little word "selfish" is still an issue. I'm working on it!
Monday, February 11, 2008
You probably know that a mole is a little burrowing animal with small eyes, concealed ears, and soft fur. Did you know that it is also a unit of measurement -- 6.0214 x 10 to the 23rd, to be exact. At our high school, they celebrate Mole Day on October 23rd at 6.02 a.m. The chemistry teacher passes out mole shaped cookies to the students and wears a "Mole Day" T-shirt. He hands out a pattern for a six-inch mole, and students can earn extra points by making a mole. Well, Quinn's brain simply couldn't wrap itself around a six-inch mole, so he and a friend decided to make a twelve foot mole. They went to JoAnn Fabrics and purchased the cheapest fabric they could find (which happened to be pink). They multiplied out all the dimensions, cut, sewed, and stuffed this twelve foot mole. They spent days working on it and finished it very late the night before Mole Day. They strapped it on top of Quinn's car, and early the next morning they drove it to school. It was a huge hit. I'm sure they got the maximum number of extra points. However, in their zeal to make a mole, they forgot that there was also a chemistry test worth 100 points that day. It's a good thing that, in addition to CQ, Quinn also has IQ!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
There are different ways of winning. When Heidi was in high school her Consumer Ed teacher assigned them to write either a letter of thanks or a letter of complaint. Heidi asked for help with an idea. We had purchased the one (and only) new car we’ve ever owned—a Dodge minivan. Within a few years, and while it was still under warranty, something “expensive” went wrong, and for reasons which we didn’t understand, they said it was not covered by the warranty. We worked our way up the supervisor ladder arguing our case, but with no success. We were not happy campers!
P.S. Just a little trivia which might make you feel happier about wherever you may live other than Chicago. It said in the paper that so far in the month of February (that's 9 days), Chicago has had 11 minutes of sunshine.
Friday, February 8, 2008
1 cup egg whites
1 t. vinegar
1/2 t. cream of tartar
Combine and beat very stiff at high speed. Add 2 cups sugar a little at a time, keeping mixer at high speed.
Spread in 2 well-buttered pyrex pie pans.
Bake at 300 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 degrees and bake another 30 minutes.
Turn oven off and allow meringue shells to cool in oven.
When serving, remove from pans and place on platter. Fill with fresh fruit (peaches, raspberries or strawberries),
which have been sweetened with sugar to taste.
Whip 1 pint heavy cream (1 c. per pie) with 2 Tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Spread over fruit.
Refrigerate for several hours before serving.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
For my other "big" win, I have to go all the way back to Jr. High. I entered a party-planning contest sponsored by Seventeen Magazine. You had to choose a theme, plan out the invitations, decorations, refreshments, activities, etc. I don't recall what my idea was, but growing up in a family that didn't even have birthday parties, I'm sure I must have been a deep untapped well of clever ideas. I didn't win the $100 prize, but I did get "Honorable Mention," and the prize for that was, believe it or not, a bottle of A1 Sauce. Whoohooo! That's something that a fourteen-year-old can really get excited about! The day that prize arrived in the mail will long be remembered. Well, actually, it has been remember by me for a long time. Now that you understand the thrill of winning that I've experienced, perhaps you can better understand why losing is so difficult for me!
To be continued . . .