Earlier this week I read the delightful novel One Plus One by Jojo Moyes; it’s the story of a single mom with a chaotic life, two kids, and a stinky dog who gets thrown together on a road trip with a nerdy software developer whose life is also falling apart. The book is both funny and sweet and I highly recommend it (there are some spots of rough language and some sex, FYI). Yesterday I was trying to explain the book to a friend and why I loved it so much, despite the rather ridiculous twists and turns the plot takes along the way. My friend replied “I’m much more likely to suspend my disbelief for a crazy plot than for unbelievable characters”, and I realized that I feel the same way. As long as the characters in a book are believable, I’m willing to put up with a lot from the plot. Besides, I’ve learned that life can be pretty absurd at times. If I ever write a novel, I have more than situation that I could add that I know would leave readers shaking their heads in disbelief. Continue reading
The year was 1989. I was fourteen, wearing black and white pegged plaid pants, a fair isle Christmas sweater in red, green, black and white, and my bobbed hair was pulled back in a black and white plaid headband. And I can pretty much guarantee that we ate something topped with raspberry vinaigrette or walnut oil at the holiday table. In 1989, in Connecticut, everything was drenched in raspberry vinaigrette and walnut oil.
I haven’t seen a bottle of raspberry vinaigrette in years. The ones in my pantry were replaced by Asian sesame and balsamic vinaigrettes. I’m sure the bottles of walnut oil in my mom’s pantry went rancid decades ago.
These foods are on my mind this morning because I’ve been thinking about butternut squash soup. I know, it’s a far cry from raspberry vinaigrette, but bear with me for a moment. Continue reading
In another ward and another state, I had the privilege of teaching seminary for almost four years. We had a small class of five students who met in my basement. Theses particular students and I all lived in a corner of the county that made it impossible to travel from the meeting house to their high school by the time the first class was in session. Consequently, we had our own little class separate from the others who met at the meeting house.
Because the students had different interests and learning styles, I tried to employ a variety of teaching strategies. We made temples out of building blocks, we enacted battle scenes on the stairs to my basement, we drew pictures of emigration routes, and we played Bible trivia games.
Sometimes, however, we did fall back on the old standard of watching film clips. Most often we used the LDS approved materials, but I was confident that I could bring other materials in support of the standard works. I could judge what was appropriate for viewing. Continue reading
Wanting some time of revery and zen this holiday season? Try some 17 syllable therapy and write haiku! This ancient creative poetry form of 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second, and five in the last is a satisfying way to distill the sights, scents, moods, memories and mischief of life. And who can’t use a little bit of that with the holidays upon us? Here are some of my recent efforts. I look forward to reading yours in the comments!
Pockets Full of Miracles
Quarters, dimes, nickels.
Red buckets & jingling bells.
Helping change the world.
November smells like
Bright swirling leaves; pumpkin pie,
Fine thymes; sage wisdom.
A Reason to Shop Online
Parking place jaguars
Stalk the exhausted shoppers.
Avoid getting malled.
Shape up, you turkeys!
Nothing says Thanksgiving like
Fights over drumsticks.
Autumn Twilight at Michael’s
Cornstalks and scarecrows,
Eucalyptus in the air…
Time for glue guns, gals.
Have some fun. Happy haiku-ing!
It was just after dark. I had parked my rental car at the local Mormon church so that I could talk on the cell phone with my husband back in West Virginia. I wanted to share with him my house-hunting efforts in Kansas. I was mid-sentence when someone pointed a flashlight at me through the driver’s side window. I shielded my eyes from the light. Squinting, I saw a mature gentleman—tall and thin, sporting a baseball cap, glasses, jean jacket, and plaid shirt. I rolled down my window and sheepishly bid him “Good evening.” He then began to interrogate me subtly, trying to determine if I had a legitimate reason for being on church property.