Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homemaking Tip - The Point Is . . .

My professor said to write without worrying where the piece would go. Having a strong herding instinct and a tendency to moralize, it was a stretch to write without a plan. But I did it. I babbled like a brook. Unexpectedly the professor left last week and passed the grading pen to another. Professor Two graded my fluid and flooding essay. He said my sentence structure was sound, details were good, reminded me that “was” and “were” kill prose, and then implied I had no point. 

Correct, sir. You are absolutely correct. There is no point in that piece. I’ll throw in a few morals and slide a few paragraphs around and see if a point won't come up for air when I resubmit it.

In the meantime, I’ve got some prattling to do here on the blog as well. Those words I haven’t been writing for the last few weeks are all backed up.

1.  Remember that test I flunked? I passed it! I wrote the professor wondering if he didn’t think he could find another point or two from the essay portion to throw my way. He responded that not all the essays had been answered, but if they had it would be enough points to pass. Oh I answered them all right. I knew the true/false questions would eat me alive and banked on bloviating to carry me over the 60 percent line. Evidently the instructor didn’t receive all my answer sheets when they were faxed to him.  The go-between-lady quickly corrected the error and I passed.

The point of number one is that miracles, practical as well as not so practical, are alive and well. Bonus point: if you can’t discern true from false you might be able to wear them down with words.

2.  Cali, Ande, and I went with friends for a weekend of creating. We had such a good time. Cali pieced a quilt top. She sews beautifully and has great taste in fabric. Ande worked on three projects. She and Joe are making a darling A-B-C book for their children (Joe writes the words and Ande illustrates them). She is also making a fun Harry Potter quiet book for their baby, and finished a little photo album for him while we were there, too. Yes, that’s right. Joe and Ande are having a him!

Cali, me, Ande

The point of number two is to say it is worth all of the glue, glitter, fabric scraps, and construction paper kids use when they are little, because they grow up to be crafting buddies. Bonus point: I love being with our family.

3.  We had a great Thanksgiving. Besides Ray, Cali, and Levin, my niece Jesse came from BYU-Idaho and Melanie, Ray’s sister, came from Arizona, and friends from here joined us too. Jesse helped me with several projects, like drawing the tablecloth and fixing student gifts. She also made a wonderful berry pie.

thanks for the picture Maddie

Melanie made a lattice-topped cherry and a lemon meringue pie, two cheese balls, little bags of candy corn and honey roasted peanuts, a silver tray of olive penguins, and crocheted us all a dishcloth.


Every now and then you find a person who has an extraordinary amount of unordinary things happen to them. Ray is one of those people. I just learned over Thanksgiving that he has been caught in quicksand.  It gave me a panicked feeling just in the telling.

The point of number three is there is so much to learn in the world and so many good people who can teach it.  I am lucky to have both around me.  Bonus point: I love my family. Extra bonus point: a few homemaking ideas.

Slice a groove out of a long carrot then cut carrot in 1/4 inch slices.
Slice a groove out of a large olive and fill with softened cream cheese.
Make a beak for the penguin from the groove of carrot.
Put carrot sliver in the cross (at the bottom) of a small olive and assemble penguin using a toothpick.
These little penguins took Melanie time to make, but the kids loved them.

honey-roasted peanuts and candy corn = salted nut roll taste-alike
They are good.  Surprisingly good.

Thanks to Melanie and Jesse for making these tags, feel free to grab it and use it

student gifts
on the back is an appreciation for each student along with one thing that I love about them
(Twizzlers were less than 30 cents a piece after Halloween -
I grabbed a couple of boxes and was glad when the 'twizz the season' idea surfaced in pinland)

4.  Abe returns from Afghanistan soon. We’re going as a family to greet him. A few of us can’t be there because of school/work commitments, but the bulk of us will be there to salute the red, white, blue, and camouflage together.

Grace and Abe
thanks to friend Chelsea for the picture

We’re going prepared this time. Last time there were a few single soldiers who had no one to greet them, and hung around the periphery waiting until they could get a ride back to the barracks (soldiers can’t drive for 24 hours after returning). I didn’t notice them until the event center was clearing. Grace and I promised the next time we would be prepared for lone soldiers and have more to offer than a thank you and a hand-shake. We’re putting together a little bag with pop, pizza certificates, cookies, etc. I wish I could think of something else to put in the bags. Any ideas? Is there such a thing as a universal movie that everyone could like?

While we’re together the big Army-Navy football game will be televised and we’ll watch it. The last time Army won the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy was in 1996. A win would be nice. (At least in this academy game we will all be cheering for the same side.) Go Army. Beat Navy.

We’ll have our Christmas celebration while we’re together, too. Last year we started a new gift exchange tradition. Every family chooses three of their favorite things from the year and brings the other families those items. One of Cali and Ray’s gifts last year was a hummingbird feeder because their family loves to feed and watch the hummingbirds out the kitchen window. Abe and Grace gave everyone a Nalgene bottle with the note that they love to go hiking so each family was to go on a hike in the next year and use their Nalgene bottle. Ty and Michelle gave us all a funny one. (Remember they were newly married.) They gave each couple Christmas negligĂ©e, even the men, because one of their favorite things is to . . . well, wear negligee I guess. (I have a lovely Mrs. Claus robe with a white feather boa if anyone needs one.) Ande and Joe gave us a recipe journal and included two of their favorite recipes in it. This week each family is trying to finish up their three things so we can exchange. Believe it or not, this has simplified gift-giving immensely. No longer do I worry and wonder if I got the right thing, spent the right amount, or have the right taste. This way we get to include everyone by sharing what is important to us. Even Cali, who likes gifts least in our family, gets excited about this exchange.

The point of number 4 is I can’t wait for Abe to come home and our family to all be back on the same land mass. Bonus point: I love my family.

5.  The election knocked the wind out of me. It was a rough night seeing so many things that are important to me voted unimportant by others. I remember the first time I had the wind knocked out of me. I fell off the monkey bars and landed on my back. David, my neighbor friend, stood over me. I wasn’t sure if I was paralyzed or dying. He promised me neither.

The point of number five is to breathe deeper and carry on.

6.  I have rediscovered tights.

No point.  Just thought I'd share that my feet are warm again.

What point would you like to make today?


Tiffany Fackrell said...

I loved every word of this post! I think my favorite thing though is that Abe gets to come home soon and spend the holiday's with you. Oh and that you and Grace are doing something for those lone soldiers. I get teary eyed whenever i see a man or woman in uniform. I wish I could go and sit in the rafters and just watch, and cry, I always cry!

Cali said...

I loved this... until the end then I felt guilty because I forgot to take your other shoes home with me and get them fixed. TOTALLY forgot until now. Bring them over at Christmas and we'll get them fixed in 5 minutes.

Deidra said...

"Those words I haven’t been writing for the last few weeks are all backed up." I like that.

Congrats on passing the test! Recently some insurance stuff was denied, so I appealed it. A woman called me back yesterday saying, "You shouldn't have been denied. Everything was right on your end." I was glad to hear that (and I knew it anyway!) Never hurts to appeal.

How exciting for Abe to be coming home. I can only imagine how excited Grace must be for that homecoming.

I've sort of adopted the same (favorite things) idea for my sister's gift exchange. I'm sending lots of treats to my sister that she just can't get in her small town. I joked that it reminds me of the Christmas stories where the cousins from Canada send crates of goodies to get the cousins in Idaho through the winter. Even with the magic of the internet, there are just some things you can't order online.

I've rediscovered my tights, too. I'm particularly liking the ones with lots of give in the belly and have retired my control top ones until next winter. Fun, patterned tights make winter church-going more fun!

Oh, and Levin is going to have a boy-cousin! Cousins are the best.

Grace said...

I LOVE your tights- so cute! I am so happy you passed that test and didn't have to take it again. I'm glad you don't have to worry anymore. I am so excited to see everyone in 6 days... or maybe a week... who knows! I'm just excited, and SO excited to see Abe! :)

melanie said...

I'm so glad all those backed up words found their way out.

Abe coming home, the gifts for the soldiers, the cute tights, your test and time with your family. The point is, I loved this post.

Michelle said...

Yay! A post! And a good one too! We are so excited for next week!

Lyle and Mary: said...

Loved reading this, its almost like having a conversation with you. I can even hear your voice as I read it. So happy Abe is returning home, now if he can just stay put for a while!
Congrats on having another grandson in the family!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE those tights!

I love that Abe is coming home and I LOVE that you and Grace are so selfless and thoughtful.

Melinda said...

I so hope Abe is home? I am so happy for your family he is coming home. Wow what a relief to have your family all back together! And I love what you are doing for the other soldiers. That is so very thoughtful.

Cute tights!

Noriko Anderson said...

what about a movie they may have missed while gone, like the lorax or avengers

Noriko Anderson said...

oh i had another thought. just do redbox gift codes