Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 Top Ten Favorite Things

1. Cannon Rebel T1i
You probably know how long I've waited for this camera. It is my Christmas present this year, but yes, I've already opened it and used it. It's a beauty. Here are the geeky specs: 50D's sensor (a 15.1 megapixel CMOS with sensitivities up to ISO 12,800) and 5D-Mark-II-like 1080p video capture. Costco has a deal going until January 15 for this camera body, plus two lenses and a 4gb SDHC card for $799. Incredible.

2. Grandeur Luxury Towel
Again, from Costco. Hygro Cotton, which means it's small in the washer and fluffy coming out of the dryer. Every guest that uses these towels asks where I bought them. Under $8.

3. L'Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara
Finally. After 19 years of searching, we've found each other—water-proof, smudge-proof, and goes on without clumping. Even if you don't want the undercoating that really does make your eyelashes longer, use the mascara part alone. This mascara is as close to perfect as it gets.

4. Biolage Cooling Mint Conditioner
Cooling Mint Conditioner cleanses and awakens the scalp and hair with an energizing scent for an uplifting experience. Works great with my new short hair.

If you are looking for a great online fabric source, try here. I ordered fabric and paid extra for shipping and it came the NEXT day, before 10am, wrapped up in tissue paper, tied with a bow, with a hand written personal note. Their prices are the lowest you will find on designer fabrics like Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry. A perfect apron-making source.

6. Eureka Lemon Tree
Purchased at Home Depot in Lindon, UT for $14.95 (weird, I can usually only find these in Arizona. I've never seen one there before or since). Lives in a pot outside when the weather is nice, and then comes inside for the winter where it blooms and fills my home with a heavenly scent.

7. Green Smoothie
I got this recipe from the cleanse I started in October, but this has become an almost daily habit for me. I love seeing that bright green color in a glass every morning. The original fast food.

Green Smoothie

blend until smooth:
1 1/2 cups almond milk*
2-3 leaves black kale (or any other greens)

Then add:
3/4 cups frozen mango chunks (or any other frozen fruit)
1/4 avocado

Blend again until smooth. Serves 1.
*you can use whatever kind of milk you want, but I think almond milk is one of the things that makes this smoothie so delicious

According to their website, this non-profit organization's mission is "to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth. Heifer does this by providing appropriate livestock, training and related services to small-scale farmers and communities worldwide."

You donate, Heifer gives the flock of geese, the water buffalo, or whatever is most needed and teaches the recipient how to care for their gift animals. The recipient agree to share the offspring of gift animals and the cycle continues.

9. Voss. Artesian water bottled at the source in Norway. Comes in a glass bottle, and makes me feel like I am really in Norwegian fjord country.

10. Owl City: Ocean Eyes album
Effervescent electronica with a geeky sounding male vocalist. If I could dream up my favorite musical sounds, this would be the result. Favorite songs on the album: Fireflies and Vanilla Twilight.

11.Women's Perfect Khakis from Old Navy
Yes, these pants are so awesome that they compelled me to add another item to my top ten list. Boot-cut, smooth, brushed twill, and works some magic with my rear end that even Mr. Coleman noticed. My favorite colors: jalepeño and whistler blue (shown).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Top 10 Reads of 2009

Keeping my New Year's Resolution for 2009 to read less, I cut my reading down to 107 books. (Although I think I might read at least 5 more before the end of the year). These are my favorite reads of this year, but obviously not all these books were published this year.

10. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. My only non-fiction on the list. This book is awesome because it made me think in a whole new way, laugh a lot and cry once. And a caveat: if you live in Arizona (as some of my readers do), it might depress you. The author begins the book by explaining why she is leaving her home of Tucson for greener pastures. And those reasons are compelling.

9. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. Jenna has transformed herself from chubby outcast to popular teen when her long lost childhood friend returns and throws her for a loop. Not a book for everyone, but this one really struck a nerve with me. I love stories about people returning from our past, and found this one hitting just the right spot with me—not too melodramatic or predictable; incredibly sweet and very emotional.

8. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. Brutal, startling, poetic novel about forgiving and accepting oneself. The best example of the technique and artistry of the writing craft I read all year.

7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Lyrical, dark, paranormal romance. This book was a great escape from the real world, and I loved the ending. I am anxiously awaiting the next in this planned trilogy: Linger. Oh, and printed in blue ink. What's not to love?

6. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Apparently, there are people who have not read this yet. This was every bit as good as its prequel: The Hunger Games, except for a few melodramatic moments for the main character. But overall an adrenaline rush with plot twists, building political tension and a killer love triangle. I cannot wait for the third installment.

5. Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock. The most fun and refreshing read of 2009. A novel that left me feeling lighter and happier than when I started. So delightful that I didn't mind one bit that there wasn't much of a plot at all.

4. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale. Hilarious clash of two different cultures, an exploration of friendship, but mostly a beautifully romantic husband-wife love story, and an emotionally charged tribute to motherhood. I found a little bit of everything in this book with a hopeful, richly satisfying ending. Highly, highly recommended. I absolutely loved this one.

3. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. This is NOT a book for everyone, but for me it was practically perfect. Really interesting, mysterious characters (and some are quite funny); a deep and intricate plot that takes the entire novel to unravel and totally surprised me the whole way through; witty references to other works of fiction; the sweetest touch of romance—just enough detail to make it lovely, but not any explicit details; funny; and heartbreaking over and over again. It was a totally unexpected treat. Every detail is crucial to the story, but I didn't realize how genius the plot was until I finished the book.

However, it is really confusing in the first chapters—there is no background given for any of the characters, so as a reader you really have to work hard to stay with the story. I think the book had to be written this way though, since it was in first person present tense, and that is exactly what the main character is experiencing: confusion. It just takes a lot of work from the reader. Possibly that's why I loved it so much. I did edit my version with a sharpie, this author uses a lot of profanity, but I forgave her because I loved everything else so much.

Well-deserved winner of the Michael Printz Award and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

2. Fire by Kristin Cashore. In a perfect world everyone would love this book with the fiery and passionate fervor that I do. A slowly enfolding romance, poetic writing, political intrigue, fantastically imaginative, a lovable best friend, and a leaning horse. I loved this book so much, I immediately had to reread it after finishing it.

Cashore shows her skill at story telling again in this one like she did in her first novel, Graceling, but the writing quality felt more lyrical and honest to me. It hit me right in the heart. I think that's why I love it so much. This is categorized as Young Adult, but on this issue I have to whole-heartedly disagree. The main character is an adult, and all the situations she is in are adult issues.

I knew I would love it when I first read the poem A Dellian Lament that comes before the Prologue. Absolutely lovely. I would love to discuss this book with anyone who reads it.

1. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marrillier. (And also, every other book written by her. Juliet is an auto-buy for me now. I love all her books and own them all.) And I know I already reviewed this book here. So just to recap: as close to perfect as a novel can get. A lovely heroine who grows, learns and changes over time; beautiful, poetic writing; epic plot; emotional depth; themes of sacrifice, family love, and romance—one of the greatest stories ever written. I found it utterly enchanting and haunting as well. Beautiful and an absolute favorite.

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Headed to Arizona after we open gifts tomorrow.

Any questions?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

hairs cut

Ask and ye shall receive. Here are some pics of my haircut taken via Photo Booth. It looks different every day. Today it is looking very Maria Von Trapp (as in: ~*doe: a deer, a female deer, ray: a drop of golden sun*~).

See? I told you.

Monday, December 21, 2009

boy howdy: more gift ideas

My sister asks (speaking of the phrase "boy howdy"): When did that enter your vocabulary?

The answer: when I saw this amazing ad in my mailbox. I can't get my scanner to work, but BOY HOWDY, they have the same ads online here. Enjoy.

If you missed the chance to get these for Christmas this year, you could order now and then have them for next year. And tell me if you don't feel like saying "boy howdy" when you see these.

Item 1: Leather Hat. Notice the use of exclamation marks in the ad copy: Genuine Leather! Handsome! Crushproof! One size fits all! (So exciting!)

Item 2: Dog or Cat Wall Clock. Sure to become a household favorite! With wagging tails!

Item 3: Senior Discount Hat. Of course, I save the best for last. The cap that saves you money! Colorful embroidery! Cool!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

last minute gift idea

things at the coleman household (and inside of my head) are a bit crazed at the moment.

new and noteable:

new ipod touch, which led to:

new imac, which led to:

new airport extreme router. finally the internet is *mostly* working after 3 weeks.

and now my computer is being filled up with 80's metal band music, courtesy of mr. coleman.

i got my hair cut. really short. boy short. i cried and now i like it.

i am sewing, teaching piano, designing, writing, watching my nephew, buying gifts, all on the same days.

(someone please teach me the art of telling yourself no. i can't seem to let go of any of these things, but i know deep down no sane person has time to do all these things well AND mother 4 children.)

my lemon tree is covered in blossoms and filling my house with the most delicious scent.

and, I ORDERED A NEW CAMERA. best news of 2009. period.

now on to the actual point of this post. a great last minute gift a idea: a book.

here are my top picks:

for the youngest readers: Good Egg by Barney Saltzberg

for your reluctant boy middle reader: Guinness World Records 2010

for your tween girl who loves to read: The Wrinkle in Time Quintet by Madeleine L'Engle

for your adult brother: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

for your sister-in-law: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

for your best friend or sister: Fire by Kristin Cashore or Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

for your mother: Abigail Adams by Woody Holton

for everyone else: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

say your prayers that i can figure out how to work my scanner with our new internet/network set up because boy howdy do i have a treat in store for you if i do.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Whew. Got the neighbor/teacher gifts all done yesterday. Now we need to finish handing them out. This year, we burned a cd of our favorite christmas songs, made a lovely little envelope, and tied it with silver curling ribbon. Much less messy than the baking done in the years of Christmases past, and everyone got to help.

And to all of you, dear readers, I wish to extend the same Christmas gift, only you can download the mp3 version, kindly split into two downloads here and here.

Peace to you and yours,
The Colemans

Friday, November 27, 2009

musings on NaNoWriMo

Well peeps, I did it. I wrote 50,196 words in one month. And let me tell you, it's exhilarating. I imagine this is what it would feel like to finish a marathon, only without the chaffing, the pulled muscles, the severed tendons. I kind of know, because I've finished a few half marathons. My thoughts upon finishing a 13 mile race: I will never, NEVER run a full marathon.

I have similar thoughts on participating in NaNoWriMo. I don't think I ever will again. But.


I am so glad that I did it. It forced me to stick with my story, to think about it every day, to have the characters become real people living inside my head who talk to me when I scrub pots and drop off the carpool, to establish a routine that includes time for writing.

On Monday night, after I finished, I made myself a milkshake and took a long, hot bath. So long, in fact, that I fell asleep in the bathtub.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday in a sort of word-war-hangover. The thought of turning on the computer made me cringe. I'm okay now. I still have this other silly goal I set to finish a novel in 2009, so even though I wrote all these words, my novel is still incomplete. Only about 1/2 way done. So maybe tomorrow I'll have the mental fortitude to carry on. Until then, I am on a well deserved vacation.

The following describes my internal dialogue for the entire month exactly (unfortunately, in my Nano-induced insanity, I didn't make a note of where this came from):

"What, precisely, is wrong with me? Why did I decide that the best way to spend the month of November would be indoors, strapped to a chair, writing thousands of words a day, alone, friendless, and insane? Why didn't I just agree to come to my desk every day, bang my head on it for a solid ten minutes, and be done with it? That would have been so much faster."

And then here's the response I got from NaNoWriMo upon reaching my goal:

You did it, writer.

Pitted against a merciless deadline and battling hordes of distractions—including the most tempting fall TV season that's been unleashed upon novelists in decades—you kept at it.

Now you've arrived at a place that very few NaNoWriMo participants ever see: The winner's circle. Overhead, the November sky is bursting with fireworks celebrating your victory, and the entire NaNoWriMo staff joins me in applauding your creative achievement.

You did something amazing this month, novelist. We couldn't be prouder.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

writing class: wherein my heart is flayed

Last Wednesday I shared the first 3 pages of my WIP with my writing class. This was a first for me. I wanted to throw up and cry at the same time. I have never been more embarrassed in my life. And I want to rewrite every word as I heard them reading it out loud. My teacher—who I happen to believe is very wise—basically told me that my story is schizophrenic: adult, YA, and middle grade all at once. I agree. He thinks I should focus on making it only middle grade. On this point I still disagree. We'll see.

I knew the story was starting in the wrong place. Who wants to read about someone laying in bed trying to sleep? Not me, not my writing class, and probably not anyone else. At least I have an idea about where the story needs to start now.

And, I am NOT READY to share any more writing in my class for a awhile. Still in the "closed door" phase, I think. Need much, much more practice.

So do you want to know what my writing class said about my first 3 pages? Here you go:

Too much detail for my liking. Takes too long for the story to move.

Not enough detail: I have no idea what is going on.

She acts younger than 17. (noted EIGHT times in the 3 page critique [and yes, I totally agree])

Need a better name for the beach. (The name: Xene Beach. Do you think I need a better name? What does that mean, better? Easier to pronounce? This comment has been haunting me.)

Is Bloom Day a celebration for a girl getting her period? (Note to self: change the name of this day immediately. Tell no one about this. Ever.)

You have down-right lovely sentences. You really are a talented writer. Your writing makes me smile. (This from someone who was 100% complimentary. I think I'll leave her something in my will.)

It's very Goose Girl. (This, I think, was said as a negative critique, but was the only thing that I heard in class that actually didn't make me want to dig my own grave right there in my chair. It's actually the best compliment I've ever gotten for my writing. I wish my class read more kid lit.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

feel the pain

There is this old Dinosaur Jr. song that I used to listen to called Feel the Pain [unrelatedly, it's a song on our Guitar Hero game that I rock at]. The lyrics say:

I feel the pain of everyone.

This happens to me sometimes. Today I am overwhelmed by the pain of everyone else. Maybe it's because I have been writing all day about how sad and lonely my main character is. Maybe it's because I read this obituary here today:

Heroin stole John first from his family, then from his friends, then from all who loved him. Early Thursday morning, heroin stole John from himself. We are so sorry.

Maybe it's because I read this poem at the beginning of the book Fire by Kristin Cashore and thought of my brother Steven:

Dellian Lament
While I was looking the other way your fire went out
Left me with cinders to kick into dust
What a waste of the wonder you were

In my living fire I will keep your scorn and mine
In my living fire I will keep your heartache and mine
At the disgrace of a waste of a life

Maybe it's because right now it seems like nothing ever, anywhere could make up for the waste of a life. If you read this, say a little prayer for anyone you know struggling with addiction. And I'll keep working on my recovery. Feeling this is part of that process. I hope in the end it will be enough.

[And if I have utterly depressed you, don't worry. It won't last. I have funny things planned for my next post involving a J. Crew catalog and captions. But sometimes life is not funny, or pretty, or happily-ever-after and it feels important for me to make a record of that here.]

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fiction Friday: Needs

Week 2 of NaNoWriMo has a reputation for being the hardest week. I hope that's true, because this week was a doozy.

If I had no other life, writing would be no problem. But I have a husband who is so needy. He expects me to answer him when he asks me questions and actually have conversations with him when he comes home from work. And then there are the 4 children. Needy, needy. They need lunch money, birthday gifts for friends; they ask what's for dinner; they get sick and need to go to the doctor.

And then they wet beds and poop outside without telling anyone. Then before you know it, every sheet and blanket in the house is waiting in a patient pile by the washer and every mattress is bare. Meanwhile, the rest of your family has tracked poop up and down stairs, hallways, and kitchens. So you spend your writing time looking at people's bum crack cleavage in doctor's offices and lugging your carpet cleaner around your house and thinking you should buy stock in Clorox Wipes.

So, is it really necessary to let you know that I am 4900 words behind? No, I didn't think so. Don't worry. I am plotting the rest of my novel today on index cards and Mr. Coleman is headed to Phoenix until Sunday night. I have a Friday and Saturday night date with a few of my favorite people. I hope someday you get to meet them too. Here are some novel stats:

Number of times I thought seriously about quitting: 26
Ounces of caffeinated beverages consumed: 40
Number of times I called this project "stupid": 2
Insomnia episodes: 2
Topics researched on google: corsets, fjords, Båhus castle, coming-of-age rituals

Nearly every sentence in Part 2 is spoilery, so I'm not sharing much. But this should give you a feel:


I shall not come into the hall with words of fear upon my lips.
The Aesir will welcome me: death comes without lamenting.
The disir summon me home.
Gladly shall I drink ale in the high seat.
The days of my life are ended: I die with a laugh.
-the Krákumál

Someone should have warned me. Perhaps then I would have made less of a fool of myself.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

See that girl on the left?

That's my little sister Anna. Solid to her core. She's the kind of person whose strength of conviction is contagious. And I love her. (But sometimes I am also a little jealous because she is skinnier than me and eats way more frosting than I do). Happy birthday!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we'll have this tale to tale—
All is well! All is well!

It happened. It was not a tale of love at first hearing, but I've made an emotional connection to this cd and now I can't stop listening to it. And I'm girding up my loins. And all is well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fiction Friday

Last night I dreamt that my brother Steven was a zombie and to destroy him we had to tear him into tiny pieces while he was still alive and without him noticing. My first thought upon waking was not ewww, or, I'm so glad that was just a dream. No, my first thought was where's my pen? I've got to write that down.

Today is day 6 of NaNoWriMo and I am still ahead of my goals. This week of writing has been made possible by Micah, who made chicken enchiladas and french bread all by himself. A few stats:

Number of times I thought seriously about quitting: 8
Ounces of caffeinated beverages consumed: 0
Number of times Mr. Coleman called this project "stupid": 2
Topics researched on google: albinism, Krakumal, Gokstad, ship diagram

So, with that, here is an excerpt:

I inhaled deeply and closed my eyes. I wanted to remember every detail from that first trip to Xene Beach. I remember the pale blush of the morning sky, the feel of the shrubs brushing my bare feet, and the sticky coolness of the salty air. I remember Olek from the backside too for all that it matters: his green uniform and straight back, dark head of hair, cross bow slung across his shoulders.

The photo is a shot that I am using as inspiration for my setting. It's the greek island Corfu. Some say it is the most beautiful place in the world.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

the bark gets 'em every time

During our yard sale a few weeks ago, I gave Casey Anne a 10 minute photography lesson. We ranged over topics like depth of field, aperture and shutter speed, composition, and a mess of other things. It was genius really.

She wanted to enter the photography division of an art contest that her school has. We went out later that day to snap some pictures at the temple. Her theme: Beauty is... I suggested she take a picture of the bark on some of the trees.


Every photo contest I have ever entered, I have won. And I always take a picture of bark.
[Okay. I've only entered one contest. And the total number of contestants was the total number of students in my photography class at Snowflake High School. But I was still the winner, so shut it.]

So, she decided to enter the above photo. And guess what?

She has been selected to move on to the next level. I'm telling you, the bark gets 'em every time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

the spoils

Can you guess which child of mine sorts and lines up his/her candy like an obsessive compulsive? [Hint: This child is the most like me.]

What is your favorite candy? See's aside, my favorite is a toss up between Milk Duds and Kit Kats.

Mr. Coleman took the kiddies trick-or-treating with his friend T.D. and then they went and saw a movie together: Couples Retreat. Do you think I should be worried?

And, I am starting my 50,000 words TODAY!!! I am so excited, I've been having a hard time sleeping. So, even though it's not Friday, I want to start with this little teaser. It's the epigraph I am thinking of using at the beginning:

The sun that sets may rise again
but when our light has sunk into the earth
it is gone forever.

And my working title: Against the Dying Light

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Conversation overheard last night during Family Night while carving pumpkins:

Me: I have some exciting news to share with you guys.

Mr. Coleman: What? [pupils dilate, swallows dryly]

Micah: You're pregnant! [points at me and giggles]

Casey: You're having another baby?

Me: Uh, no. Did you know that November is National Novel Month?

Everybody else: [blank stares, eyes blink slowly]

Me: So, I signed up for this challenge to write a novel in a month. It's called "NanoWriMo". I'm starting November 1st and I set a goal to write 50 thousand words in one month.

Everybody else:

Me: I just want you to not expect as much from me the next month. And I'll be expecting you guys to help me out around here.

Micah: What do we have to do?

Me: Cooking, cleaning, laundry, ironing.

Mr. Coleman: So it will be just like normal.


Mr. Coleman: And WHY are you doing this?

Me: You'll just have to read my blog post about it.

So to answer Mr. Coleman's questions, I am doing this because I needed some extra motivation to finish what I started, and to complete one of my goals for 2009. Also, on the NanoWriMo website there is this perfect explanation:

"Art for art's sake does wonderful things to you. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you want to take naps and go places wearing funny pants. Doing something just for the hell of it is a wonderful antidote to all the chores and "must-dos" of daily life. Writing a novel in a month is both exhilarating and stupid, and we would all do well to invite a little more spontaneous stupidity into our lives."

I am so excited to bust the rest of this story out. I plan on sharing excerpts from it on Fridays. Scary for me, but I think I am ready. I write longhand during the day, and then at night I type it in Word. I won't be working on this project on Sundays, so my goal is 2,000 words a day, for 25 days. Just typing that increased my heart rate.

So, November should be productive for me, but don't expect a lot from me next month, 'kay?

Photo is of my pretty red notebook where I jot down name ideas, take notes on the plants and climate of my world, and flesh out characters. It's where the magic happens.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pearly Girl

She chooses crepes for breakfast and homemade pizza for dinner. We have small family birthday party at the house with vanilla cupcakes and six tall candles. Then we take a short trip to Kangaroo Zoo where all the kids jump until they're covered in sweat and Mr. Coleman and I watch.

And bust out a few dance moves to the boy bands playing on the speakers. It may sound crazy but it ain't no lie. Baby, BYE BYE BYE. So You Think You Can Dance: eat your heart out.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Few Unrelated Thoughts

1. My waffle iron is shunned. Actually, no, it's worse than that. It's about to get dumped for something that can handle more than 1/4 cup of waffle batter without vomiting all over its own innards and my counter.

2. The picture at the top of the post is also unrelated to anything I have to say here.

3. I am getting my haircut. Short. What do you think of this style? I think I like it, but with shorter bangs. Or maybe shorter all over? I really need some suggestions. I've finally given up the fantasy that one day I will wake up with thick, long, wavy hair like a fairy tale heroine.

4. There are only 3 reasons that I am allowing Walmart to continue to exist:
1. Their nylon foot liners.
2. Their fruit snacks.

5. I want a new camera in the worst way. Every time I check my sister's blog, and see her rad photog skills, I have to restrain myself from blowing the family budget on a new one. Will someone please send me a check for $1,000 so I can get the one I want. Thanks!

6. I cannot stop eating Milk Duds this week. Last week it was pesto. The week before: caffeine-free Diet Coke. Does anyone else do that?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Matters Most

Last week, a friend, neighbor, and leader of our church's congregation (our bishop) passed away. At his funeral, his children talked about the kind of father he was. He was loved so deeply by so many. He was a man among men and his influence will always be felt in my life.

Last night, Casey Anne's musical theater teacher died in a tragic bus accident while trying to save the lives of her students on the bus.

Suddenly, so many things in my life seem to hold so little importance. Today I can't stop thinking about the legacy I will leave behind after I die. Will my family know that I loved them? Did I spend my time on things that mattered most? Am I making the most of my time here? Am I grateful for the people I love? Did I do enough?

Am I enough?

And I want to be. I'm trying. I just have to remind myself that life is a marathon, not a sprint.

I want to be able to declare like Paul: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."

And feel as confident as Enos: "And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father."

And now, if you'll excuse me. Mr. Coleman just arrived back home, giving me a dusty kiss, after being outside in the dirt and wind for three days. I have important things to do.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Choeronycteris Colemanus

Want an idea for a cheap Halloween decoration? Make a bat tree. This cost me nothing, since we already had about 9 cans of black spray paint hanging out in the shop.

1. Gather twigs.
2. Cut out bats from junk mail paper [use a whole punch for the eyes].
3. [optional] Buy birds in assorted colors from your local craft store. I already had these.
4. Spray paint everything black [outside, on the grass].
5. Apologize to your husband for the black spots on the grass and convince him it adds to the "spooky Halloween ambience" of your exterior. Offer to mow the grass if that doesn't work.
6. Fill a container [I used a vase] with something heavy i.e. rocks or sand.
7. Add your twigs.
8. Tie your bats on with black thread through the eye holes.
9. Attach your birds. I left some orange.
10. Ta da!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reason #245

Reason #245 why having kids is the best thing that ever happened to me: Casey slips me this note in the middle of a long day of piano lessons. Suddenly my stuffy nose and raw throat don't bother me as much and I laugh through the rest of the day.

Here she is on the first day of school. I love age ten, because she still likes me and hasn't realized I don't have all the answers yet. Plus, she babysits and finishes her jobs without being asked.

p.s. Flashback week is postponed until after Christmas. I headed downstairs to find my photo albums, got sidetracked organizing boxes in the basement, and before I knew it a week had gone by. Not to mention that I've had TWO I Have To Return To High School For Some Terrible Reason Nightmares this week. I think I liked high school more than the average person, but still, the idea of returning now at my age is not ever cool.

When I go to visit AZ during Christmas Break I'll steal my photo albums back from my mom. Until then, we'll have to make do with pictures from the current decade or so.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Flash Back Week #2: 1984

Idaho, summer 1983: me, my cousin Kristie and my sister Emily

March 1984: I was in the second half of first grade. My cousins had come to live with us after my aunt and uncle died. I moved into a new neighborhood, a new house, a new school. My teacher, Mrs. Owens, was a bright memory during a scary time. She had a curly mullet of black hair, a ready smile, and I loved her fiercely. She told me I should be an author when I grow up. I still remember. I hope you enjoy this lovely illustrated novel.

The Girl Who Lost Her Glasses
by Rachel Anne Melzer

Once upon a time there lived a little girl. In her land everybody had one heart shaped eye. That girl was spoiled because she got everything she wanted. She asked her mom for some money.

Her mom said yes, of course. So she went to the store and bought some glasses. She liked them a lot but one day she lost them at the park. She was looking for them and she found them!

But she was so sad still because they were cracked in the middle. She cried and cried but she got a new pair, of course, and she was so happy! And her glasses were too.