All posts by Kellie

About Kellie

(Blog Editor) lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing at as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

Peculiar Treasures: Words, Coils, Wholes and Hearts


What’s in a word: A podcast on how our expectations change everything around us, a linguist considers the friction in daughter-mother conversations, and fourteen gorgeous untranslatable words from other languages, including my favourite, “gufra (arabic): the amount of water that can be held in a hand”.

This mortal coil: An exploration of the myth of “after” losing weight (there is one expletive in this post), a blind mother to be gets to see her unborn baby, some fun hand clapping games and the plans to finally get photos of Pluto’s shy little moons.

Being part of a whole: How a company’s search for oil cascaded into disaster one little decision at a time, the exclusive club Sheryl Sandberg (and millions of other women) finds herself in, how to stay Mormon when you’re tired of Mormons, and just how many possessions do you have?

Gladden the heart: on why old buildings matter, and a couple sees how they will look in 30, 50 and 70 years… a month before their wedding. (The way the man says “hello” to his fiancé every single time is incredible!)

This week’s First Draft Poetry is by Sandra, in response to the untranslatable words link:

sometimes you can’t quite

say what you might

words can’t reveal

what pictures can’t conceal

only art translates just right

What words do you wish existed? Have any First Draft Poetry to share? Have a great week!

Arts, Hearts, Carts & … Air Bubbles – Peculiar Treasures!

Ooh, we’ve got some lovely links for you all this week!

Start with an art exhibit expressing love for Heavenly Mother, and an interview exploring the art and heart that has gone into J. Kirk Richard’s life and artistic journey.

We have some practical, printable keys to unlock your child’s heart, and tips on why reality doesn’t help when dealing with a loved one’s dementia, and art from Korea showing home is simply where the heart is.

Some gorgeous art has escaped into the urban landscape in wonderfully surprising ways, and a company has shown it has community heart and spirit in not making anyone give up their urban farms (and has actually upgraded the facilities).

Defending the defence of the family is always timely (be sure to scroll past the links for the post), and this short video is a reminder that not saying the answer can be the best answer (also featuring luscious looking pineapple!)

From Asian food carts to the pixelated carts on the Oregon Trail, here’s a discussion on being a Generation X’er with the technological memories that go with it.  Technology is also opening up new frontiers, with a new crystal that may make breathing apparatus for health and recreation lighter, easier and longer lasting.

First draft poetry this week is teased from several of these posts, no single one in particular. Please feel free (and encouraged!) to leave your own first draft poetry in the comments!

You can’t take it with you,

they say,

like they’re the fake smile at the airport

and your bags are too big.

What would they know?

This isn’t their flight.

It’s for people leaving slowly, Continue reading



The coast is clear. I shove the closest book I’m reading down the back of my Fraggle Rock undies and heave myself up into the tree. Don’t look down, scurry around so the trunk is between me and the front door slamming open then FREEZE! while my sister looks for me, evil-eyed and discontent. She never looks up, we never see eye to eye, she sought my destruction and I hunted out wherever she wasn’t. Being eight is a tough gig.

Finally, higher than the roof of the house, suspended and hidden in the middle of the front yard, I pull out the book from my ever saggy underwear, and settle in to read.  My family say I read too much, that I need to go out and get fresh air, so I’ve learnt to hide my papery friends and climb fast. The tree leaves neon yellow stains under my fingernails in the warmer months, the boisterous red autumn colours camouflage me in autumn, and I’m left bereft like a forgotten scrap of tinsel in its naked arms in winter. When I’m told to go to my happy place, for real or in my head, I’m up a tree, wrapped in leaves, licking library stamp ink and sap off my fingers before I turn a page. Continue reading

Peculiar Treasures: In, On and Out of This World!

No need for a magic school bus this week – we have all sorts of wonders delivered straight to you!

Start with the secret life of plants (who not only are listening to you, but they talk!), then have a look at the wonderfully named (by George Washington no less) Great Dismal Swamp and its current revival.

Then there are links to pieces on themes discussed in General Conference, including how God loves His gay and lesbian children, a podcast on how to support gay members in our wards, the search for heavenly mother in words and art, why we should create a moral bucketlist (and tick pieces off it), and why marriage still works.

We are also delighted to see this wonderful post by our very own Michelle L on how to ruin your relationship with your teenager. See how Finland welcomes its babies into the world one box at a time, and watch a video of how this couple revealed the gender of their baby to their friends and family, after the baby was born.

While you may not be able to keep your mouth shut if you see guys walking around wearing crocheted pants this Summer, this space walk is jaw dropping for all the right reasons! For the last two links, take a walk in the shoes of someone with depression through these analogies, and maybe support the opportunity for girls from tough circumstances in Brooklyn flex their STEM-muscles, minds and horizons.

Finally, this week’s First Draft Poetry is by Mel, who worked to a strict and tiny deadline to create this beauty!

The Miracle

jar of pale clay

holds the water clear and still

until His finger

breaks the surprised surface

like feet bruising skin from grapes

and months of honey yeast

foam and froth

bubbling to purple

in a moment

I am remade.

Peculiar Treasures: Not Nice, Leeches and Real Friends


We have a wide range of links for you today, like why being “nice” isn’t being Christlike or helpful, how to help bees with bombs, why we get food cravings when we’re stressed, and some writing and designing advice from TED speakers.

Did you know a ninth century eye balm recipe from Bald’s Leechbook (now that’s a name for a recipe book!) is being talked about in medical journals? As half the world is warming into Spring and eventual Summer, don’t forget to apply sunscreen – because while a cure for melanoma may be possible, prevention is still better than a future cure. Also, if you like your warmer weather with some barbecue, here’s a different way to cook your steak.

If you’d like some meatier fare to begin your week, what about this most honest, beautifully important question? Or a reflection, forty years on, on the babies sent out of Saigon in shoeboxes? Then for dessert, maybe 51 beautiful sentences in literature, and a group of pyjama-wearing women simply being friends for a friend.

This week’s First Draft Poetry, titled “Dirt and all”  is in combined response to two pieces – the very first article on niceness, and the last piece on women friends.

I took a catalogue of my friends recently

to see what they had in common.

They aren’t nice, that’s for sure

They are themselves magnificently.

Women with brains, with vinegar and fire

some with cuddly hearts, or bellies,

others with warrior tendencies.

Every one ready to help when I’m stuck in the mire -

(once they stop laughing,


praying for my wild, rebellious self,


- by hauling me out, or making mud-angels beside me.

Just like I do,

try to, want to,

braless or well dressed, for with beside them.