Pandemic, A Poem

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

Today, in my sleep, I went back to yesterday, and felt a little relief for tomorrow.

From my worn mattress and the heavy load

in the flaps of my overloaded BMI screaming for a life renewed.

Today, in my sleep, I escaped back to yesterday

Before the quarantine grind.

I went back and told myself that I was living in an unknown paradise.


There was a storm, but I could breathe easily without a mask.

There was  a fall, but I could hug and hold the injured hand.

There was a circumstance that required not a bit of sanitizer.

There was a school with students hiding phones under their desks.

There,  electronics were the constant battle

And when I said, “zoom,”

it meant to hurry to the bathroom and back,

not a series of technical difficulties followed by thirty emails full of “my internet.”

There was a town hall where people could see the color of one another’s eyes

and make decisions that considered everyone.

There was a church meeting held in the chapel down the street instead of in the Bible on the couch.

There was a run to the store at midnight for the project poster,

and, believe it or not, the doors were open and the lights were on.

There was that longest line at the DMV where people crowded the entire room

and someone coughed and no one noticed.

There was a last minute meet-up with a friend

for two cups of something while laughing at the same table and sharing just a taste.

We could pick up our own straws, and not worry if our skin accidentally touched the plastic.

There was a run for pizza without a dousing of Purel on the drive home

before reaching in the bag for a breadstick.

There was a thing unknown in today’s new normal called 

baking and cooking for neighbors just to say I care.

There were visitors crowding the halls and living spaces 

of the elderlies’ homes to show solidarity 

instead of the touching of hands through glass windows. And no use of doors. 

There were sports on the fields and courts

while also running on the bedroom TV while the husband ignored the kids.

There were dog-walkers who dared to chit about the weather

on the same stretch of sidewalk 

while their animals sniffed one another’s butts.

There was empty space in the fridge full of possibility

Instead of mediocre produce

 bought only every other week or in as few trips as possible.

And on those trips, one could wander, 

and they didn’t get a dirty eye-stare when 

Accidentally venturing down the one-way aisle in the wrong direction.</p>

And they didn’t have to imagine the look of the scolding at the mouth, 

because it wasn’t covered.

When there was a smile,

It wasn’t accompanied by an oral declaration of, “I just smiled at you.”

At the bank counter there were suckers and dog biscuits,

not plexiglass or a “drive-thru only” service sign.

There were students hiding phones under their desks.

There, electronics were in constant battle with learning

Instead of the only means for  learning.

No one was muted

And when the teacher said, “zoom”

She meant hurry back from the bathroom,

Not show me your pajamas

And email me excuses.

There were teachers at classroom doors 

with hands outstretched for a five, a ten, a special handshake, 

and sometimes even a hug.

There were busy restaurants where no one wore gloves.

There were gyms and pools 

and bars and cars 

packed to capacity with complete strangers.

There was an old lady at Target 

writing a check on an ancient and sterile book 

and a man behind her 

with an equally sterile wad of bills 

followed by millennial 

Who, unlike me,

always knows just when to swipe or insert.

There were stadiums full of tearful parents 

and so many simultaneous parties for hopping.

Caps and gowns were waiting to be shed

 instead of just photographed.

The caps could be hurled and exchanged 

without a worry at all by either the findersor the keepers.

There was international travel 

To wherever you wanted to go

and many hotels without vacancies.

“No room in the inn” meant

hoards of people were paying a pilgrimage

not makeshift tents as a place for people to die 

at an otherwise verboten and patrolled Central Park.

Those annoying celebrities 

used to embrace and compare designer clothes 

instead of chanting, “we’re all in this together”

From their annoying vacation homes

Transformed into makeshift studios.

And seriously, who picked out that horrible wallpaper?

Even us poor people wouldn’t have that wallpaper.

Sorry, you’re not more relatable.

There, doctor friends were in the Bahamas three times a year

Instead of selling off their VRBO’s 

And taking skipped mortgage payments on their mansions.

Temple worship was the sharing of holy water before its possible contamination.

There. A hot flash didn’t require a thermometer 

And a walk on the beach didn’t require 6 feet.

There was my sister who was always playing taxi  

instead of complaining about not being allowed across the Idaho border 

to go out to eat 

because literally everything is closed in Washington

And those potato farmers don’t want her bacteria

Yesterday, quarantine was something for sci-fi novels and The Pentagon, 

not a daily reality.

Social distancing was something only introverts did

And it was called being a couch potato

Or “netflix and chill.”

It never lasted more than a few days

Unless it was Spring or Winter Break

Or you were a thirty-something living in your dad’s basement

Because people were actually required to go to work. 

.Corona that was a beer

and COVID sounded like something that maybe two people did on YouYube

instead of the excuse I use to justify my kids are watching YouTube 

all day every day.

Back then, whenever it was, 

Last February

Or five years ago

The unemployment rate was the best it had ever been,

and China was the place where we got cheap goods 

instead of conspiring germs or gauged medical supplies.

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.

And today is the first today ever

that I want yesterday instead of tomorrow.


Why Trump?


Dear Washington,

I’m just an average Republican. I’m religious. I’m middle class. I’m conservative. While growing up in California during the Reagan administration, I believed in America. I believed it was the greatest country in the world, and I still do. However, all you slimeballs are ruining it for the rest of us patriots. How we see it, you sit around the White House and the Capitol, and pretend you are working for the people while really just employing strategies to keep yourself on the American governmental dole. A lot of the time, you are just out playing golf and taking your family on luxurious vacations on my tax dollar. Some of you are sleeping with prostitutes. You drink your Starbucks coffee brought to you by all your unpaid interns and 37 assistants. You assign yourselves exemptions from ObamaCare and pay raises. You crap on the Constitution with your executive orders and Supreme Court legislation. You wine and dine the big money and make secret deals for your campaign funds. You smooze with Hollywood and throw ridiculous parties. You fly first-class. You go to church for the cameras. You pretend you want race and poverty issues resolved yet continue to oppress people. You think everyone should do what you say instead of doing what the majority of us wish.

You do all the things that I don’t do — that I will never do. I don’t fly, much less first class. I can’t afford Starbucks coffee, if I did drink coffee. I don’t have the luxury of ever sitting on my butt.  I don’t have ideal healthcare coverage paid for by people with less than I do. I didn’t even go to the doctor when I broke a rib last year because the last thing I needed was another doctor bill. I don’t have a retirement fund that was given to me by people I ignore.  I don’t have a single assistant although I could really use some help at home while I am in my college courses. You see, even though I believe in the mother’s role in nurturing her kids at home, I need to gain my large family a second income so that we can pay our mortgage.  I rarely go on vacation, and if I do, I camp somewhere close by so that I don’t have to spend too much on gas that was drilled in the Middle East.

But, enough about me. Let’s talk about Donald Trump. I’m not in the Trump camp, but I can see why so many are. Half of my party is grumbling on facebook about the other half who support Trump. You see, in case you didn’t know, Trump supporters must be idiots.The other quarter of Republicans are divided between Cruz and Rubio, and the liberal media is already innundating us with their typical propoganda about how all three of them are in Washington’s pocket. Surely, we can trust Hillary or Bernie more than any Republican. Psh. I believe I am in the last quarter of my party. I am in the quarter who gave up on Washington somewhere between a Bush and the first African-American president. It may have been when Clinton was lying about Lewinsky. It may have been when my health insurance became a bad joke. It may have been when I lost my home in 2011 because the state of TN couldn’t pay their court-appointed attorneys on time, even though that attorney’s clients always got their welfare checks on the clock. Maybe it was when I realized that America would jump at the chance to elect a fradulent woman, but not a cleancut patriotic Mormon. I don’t know, but I am definitely Washington-averse. I don’t like you people. Any of you! And you don’t like me, so the feeling is mutual. Let’s just make that clear, so I don’t feel bad for admitting my unChristianlike feelings. Let’s not even get started on religion.

So, why Trump? I believe it’s because a lot of America is saying, why not? Can it get any worse than the circus it is now? If we have a bunch of selfish crooks in Washington, why not let a reality TV star join them? At least he will bring a little of his own money that he made without the IRS involved. Why not get a guy who can give his own speech without a staff telling him what needs to be said to secure the most votes? Why not get a guy who recognizes that the average American is sick and tired of paying for things illegals get for free? For delivering the babies for the people who don’t pay taxes? Why not elect the guy who doesn’t want drug addicts buying steaks when I can’t afford hamburger? Why not? Anything has got to be better than what we have now? Anything. Trump is anything. He is the only viable candidate that we have that has not made a career out of pretending he cares about me.

Trump is popular because Trump is seen as the outsider. Period.  If we could go back to Ross Perot, we would, but we all know how that turned out. America is screwed. We have no choices in government anymore, so why should we care? It’s all going to hell in a handbasket.

Forget you people. We are over it.


Just an average Republican who wishes she could start a revolution. Instead she might just vote for Trump because it doesn’t require her to buy guns illegally in a month from now when her beloved Republic becomes a socialistic dictatorship.

Egg-xactly. That tradition is so Egregious!

Egregious adj. – Conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible

So, you mean to tell me that every year you oblige your kids in the traditional Easter egg hunt? And you don’t feel completely insane while at it?  Personally, I feel outrageously bad and reprehensible before, after, and during participation.

Why? I’ll tell you why.

First, let’s review the steps of easter egg huntery:

1- Gather your very large bin of plastic eggs you store for annual insanity. (If you aren’t as prepared, you will be forced to your local Walmart where you’ll fork over a minimum of $20.)

2- Prepare the candy. (We do that by taking our twelve bags of variety and dumping them into a pile and mixing them together on the living room floor.)

3- Fill the eggs.

4- Hide the eggs.

5- Find the eggs.

Now, this is where it really starts to get to you. You must sit patiently with a smile on your face, as to not ruin the tradition’s fun for your children. Just look happy as you watch the kids do #’s 1-3 in reverse order.

6- Dump out all candy from the eggs, back to a pile on the floor.

7- Reorganize the candy back into it’s original sorting so that you can literally place it back in the bags from where it came.

8- Take the refilled storage bin of empty Easter eggs back down to the basement for next year.

I’ve been obliging my family for fifteen years with Easter egg witchery. I’ve implemented every way around the frustration. I started with saving the eggs from year to year so I didn’t have to purchase them over and over again. (You’re welcome Mother Earth.) I advanced to requiring the children to do the work….more every year. Fifteen years ago they just had to do the finding. A decade ago, I started making them fill. (I kindly informed them there would be no finding without filling.) Five years later, they had to start hiding the eggs too. This year all I hoped to do was buy the candy. I tried to get them to do the whole thing without me, but they guilted me into believing that a mom’s participation is essential for the fun.

I snapped.  I’m so ashamed. I started screaming, “WHY? WHY do we do this every year? Just eat the candy! Just eat the candy!” Tears started streaming down my face. My maniacal laughter must have startled them, but children…they just can’t see the error. It’s like their corneas have been rainbowed over with egg-dye and bunny candy poop. They were in a trance just going through the motions like an Energizer bunny with faulty programming. I tried waving my hand in front of their eyes, they just held their arms out stiff in front at 90 degrees and mumbled, “We must get Easter candy.”

This is my plea to the American public. We must find an immunization for this nonsense. And we must do it before next Easter. Please help me! We can’t all convert to Judaism, even though they are obviously the most sensible of the religions.

Maybe my parent’s solution can help you start thinking outside the egg. They just opened the bags of candy and threw them around the house and called it good bucking the eggs all together. Easter morning, their seven children would scramble like starving field-working immigrant children experiencing their first pinata. We never even knew to complain, we didn’t know any different. I think by keeping the plastic eggs out of the house they saved us from the trance all together. My only regret is that even though we lived in Southern California with perfect Easter weather, we only celebrated outdoors once. You see, we all learned the hard way that this method didn’t really work outside. When attempted, the morning dew sogged up every last piece (especially the chocolate) leaving me traumatized for life.

Although, I’m telling you, I would take eternally sogged up candy over one more year of the dark side. We must stop the madness. I’m afraid next year I might need a straight jacket. Maybe I can just start sporting one so my kids will see that my hands are tied?

My only consolence is at least I don’t live in Germany where I would be expected to hang 10,000 eggs from a tree.

Together we are better.

I just got done watching this great news coverage
on the silver medal win for Noelle Pikus-Pace.

I loved Noelle’s quote:

“Together we are better.  Together we are stronger.
Together miracles can happen and dreams come true.”

Photo Gallery  Kragthorpe Family bonds make Pikus-Pace’s medal meaningful  The Salt Lake Tribune - Google Chrome 2172014 120401 PM

Together we are better as families.
Together we are better as a country.
Together we are better in our marriages.
Together we are better as parents.
Together we are better as citizens of earth.
Together we are better as Christians.
Together: It really is the best place to be.

Who the heck is Mae Jemison

About a month ago my 5th grader, Sophia, came home with the information on the school’s wax museum. She was to pick an American hero to impersonate. They gave her a list of great choices such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, and Rosa Parks. We talked the choices over and forgot about it.

A few weeks later, after a long night at work (I now work 4 nights a week to subsidize what we call the Obama tax/health care) I came home and helped LG with the delayed bedtime rituals. As we went through Sophia’s backpack, she remembered to tell me that she had chosen her wax museum hero that day because it was the deadline. (Way to be an absent mom! – And how I would pay) My excitement was immediately erased as she informed us that she had chosen….wait for it……

Mae Jemison.

“Who the heck is Mae Jemison?” my hubby and I questioned simultaneously.

“The first female African-American astronaut,” Sophia answered innocently enough. (But I know that deep down inside she was really like, “I’ll show you, mom, for being at work.”

My mom radar immediately alarmed, “Did you say African-American?” as I carefully reanalyzed my 11 year old very blued eyed, very blonde haired, very Caucasian daughter.

It’s times like these that I am 100% convinced someone has hidden a secret “gotcha” camera somewhere in the couch cushions. And times like these happen every day at our house.

LeGrand couldn’t contain his overly exuberant smile headed in my direction with the subliminal message of, “Thank heavens I have the Y chromosome. It’s all you babe.”

Today I am proud to announce that I not only immediately committed, but embraced my daughter’s dream of being the first Caucasian girl dressed as the first African American female astronaut.

After 2 hours at the thrift store, 1 hour at the sewing machine, 5 hours at the computer, 1 hour printing, taping, and pinning (and re-washing and pinning after the other daughter’s judgement error of spilling a bottle of coke on the orange outfit waiting to be worn on top of the nightstand ), 1 hour of wig trimming, 2 hours overseeing the poster making, 1 hour of help with the speech, and 3 hours of searching for the right make-up, a stroke of genius with the snow boots that look like they belong on the moon, and 30 minutes of haggling (and losing) to the girl to let me do it before she went to school, I gladly share the end result.

And yes, she tore off the wig in less than 
two seconds after I turned off the camera.
(I forgot to mention the special trip to Sally Beauty Supply
 for what I learned is called a wig cap.)
And even then the wig was still too itchy.
White girls are so whimpy
about their beauty aides.
It’s at times like these that
homeschooling doesn’t sound so crazy.

And just in case you moms are ever
called upon for the same task,
here is everything you ever need to know
Dr. Mae Jemison
in the first person
 I was born on October 17, 1956 (which would make me 57 now) in Decatur, Alabama. My parents were Charles and Dorothy Jemison and I was the youngest of three. I am still alive today and achieving many things.
            I was raised in Chicago and graduated high school at age 16 and went to Stanford University on a scholarship. I graduated from Stanford with two degrees! One was a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, the other an Associate Bachelor degree in African and Afro-American studies. I later attended Cornell medical school and achieved the requirements to become a medical doctor.  I then went to West Africa with Peace Corps to be a medical doctor from 1983-1985.
            I then came back to America and became a doctor in Los Angeles, California. I was also a dancer so at the time I was deciding which I should be. Should I be a dancer or a doctor? And I still wanted to achieve a childhood dream, a dream I had since kindergarten, I wanted to go to space. Many people told me that I couldn’t go to space because I was a woman. But I applied to NASA to become an astronaut and they accepted me.
            On September 12, 1992, I blasted off into space becoming the very first African-American women ever to go to space. I went into orbit on the Space shuttle Endeavor and I was in space 7 days 2 hours and 30 minutes. My space mission was called STS-47. On that mission I was the science mission specialist. My mission was a joint operation between the U.S.A and Japan. My experiments dealt with bone cell research. With me I brought a picture of my old dance crew. I proved many people wrong that day. I also fulfilled my dream to be an astronaut.
            Since getting back from space I quit working at NASA. For a while I was a professor of developing countries and advanced technology at Dartmouth College. I got to be the only person who has been to space to act on the TV show “StarTrek: The Next Generation”. I have created the Jemison Group which works to bring advanced technology to people worldwide and fosters a love for science in students. Now I speak at a lot of engagements, am the President of two technology companies, and love to spend time my cats in Houston, TX where I live.

Next year, I am hoping Bella will be wise enough to pick Bill Gates, like this smart neighbor.
Of course, we would have to chop off all her hair and dye it blonde.

Book Review: Before the Dawn

Before the DawnBefore the Dawn by Dean Hughes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I forgot how much I love Dean Hughes as an author. I haven’t read anything of his in quite sometime, but I am so glad that I found this book at the local library. It was so touching and inspiring.

This historical fiction book, even though focused on the LDS women’s organization called Relief Society, can be enjoyed by people of all faiths. The greater story told is the power of womanhood, and the importance of community: loving and caring for one another. Community works best when it consists of people who all want to give but are willing to humble themselves to take once in a while too.

I cried a lot while reading this book. I took an emotional journey with the fictional small Utah town during the Great Depression. I personally related to the main character: a hard-nosed independent stick her foot in her mouth Relief Society President. In the book she was described by a friend as a coconut: all hard on the outside but all milk/meat on the inside. I also related a lot to many of the other women in the book: the ones living in poverty, the ones living with means, and especially the ones living in desperation.

Mostly this book made me proud to be a part of the greatest women’s organization in the world: The Relief Society. It reminded me of so much good that is accomplished world-wide and it brought to the surface of my heart all the good that has been done in my personal life because of my associations with good women.

I highly recommend this book to be read by all women everywhere. I love how Hughes always ties in his historical facts so well. I mostly love how he masterfully tells stories of humanity. The characters in this book will stay with me for a long time. I hope they will whisper to me in the moments when I need to be reminded to let down my pride, to reach out and help others, and especially when I need to try and understand better my enemies.

View all my reviews

Freedom Week

To start this post I want to share a photo
that I took with my own two hands.
I am so proud of it.
I caught it when coming out of the grocery store.
I didn’t have a tri-pod,
but apparently I got the camera still enough
to do justice to that gorgeous moon.
I have this amazing ability at getting myself roped into things.
That’s a nice way of saying I often forget to say no.
This year, my big project has been
Freedom Week.
It’s be a beast.
Just enough to remind me to say no
for another year or so.
What a gorgeous view, eh?
Freedom Week
is a yearly week-long celebration
at the girls’ school
that focuses on the freedoms we enjoy
as Americans.
I was originally told that all I had to do
was plan a few dress up days
and line up a speaker for an assembly.
If that is all I had to do
I wonder why it occupied about
80 hours of my time over the past
two months.
Anything for freedom.
Or my kids.
Or because I can’t say no.
I did rope in a few people to help.
My ward’s (Mormon way of saying congregation)
young women
did a great job with the big banner
and small posters for each classroom door.
Aren’t they cute.
I was sad I didn’t get a photo of them all.
They cranked out 16 of these
in about 30 minutes
and no one uses glue and glitter
like young women.
The greatest sacrifice for me
was waking up at 6 a.m.
to hang up the flags outside.
It was dark
and I hate mornings.
I let Abigail drive around the
empty parking lot
as a reward for waking up early.
She was pretty stoked.
Each student got their own personal
American flag
as they arrived to the assembly this morning.
Aren’t they just the cutest?
We lined the halls with red white and blue.
And messages of freedom.
I’d like to think that this is what
I looked like
all morning.
This is me teaching the kids about IwaJima
while introducing Mr. Mason a WWII vet.
But I am sure it was much more like this.
 Props to the school orchestra and choir.
They did amazing.
Two of my perfect children
are singing
about voting
and loving America.
Can you spot them?
The Mayor of Orem
brought along some of his heroes:
A local police officer,
and some firefighters.
You should have seen the faces of the kids
when this guy walked in the room
in full firefighting garb.
It was awesome.
My personal favorite part of the day
was introducing a true
American hero.
He is in the middle of this photo
in the Marine Corps shirt.
His name is
Fred William Mason
and he faught at IwaJima.
What an honor it was to
give the kids a piece of history
and to see them give
Mr. Mason
the standing ovation
he deserves.
(See the bottom of the post
for his story)

Perhaps my greatest gratitude should go to this man.
He is always my technical support and go-to guy.
As you can see by the photograph,
he was perfect
at entertaining Caroline.

We’ve already over-established what a handful she can be, right?

Here’s the slideshow I made.
I had no idea what I was doing,
so give me grace people.
It was a great way to spend my 39th birthday.
And the day before it. And the two days after it.

We also did a few other things:

  • school-wide speech writing contest (the winners gave their speeches today at the assembly and got $20 giftcards to Wal-Mart)
  • The Cub Scouts officiated at the flag ceremony
  • A student soloist did the Star Spangled Banner
  • A mock presidential election (Governor Romney won with 74% of the votes)
  • Letters from the kids for Vets at the VA Hospital
  • We were supposed to do a donation drive but student council never got it together
  • Each student received a white star to write about what they appreciate most in their freedom. They will each tape them on their classroom door banners. (picture above)
  • Oh and we have dress up days all week.

Monday – stars and stripes
Tuesday – red white and blue
Wednesday – Dress like your favorite American hero or wear a uniform
Thursday – Denim day (jeans were invented in the US)
Friday – School spirit colors – which happen to be blue and white.

* Oh and an added not for future reference. I asked Bella what she liked best about the assembly and with all attitude she immediately responded with, “I hated it when you cried mom, you embarrassed me in front of all my friends.” Maybe someday she will see that differently and be proud of a mom who is so grateful.

Fred Mason’s introduction

It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to one of our great American heroes. He’s a friend and neighbor to us all.  He lives right off 1600 North in Orem. His name is Fred William Mason and I am proud to know him.
Mr. Mason was a corporel in the Marine Corps during WWII. He faught at Iwa Jima.  There is a famous photograph that won the Pulitzer Prize of soldiers raising the American Flag at Mount Serabachi on Feb 23, 1945. Mr. Mason know the soldiers in the photo personally.
IwoJima was a volcanic island and no civilians lived there. Its name means Sulphur Island. It was a very important military spot in the Japanese Territory and it was a critical victory for American strategy. If we hadn’t won at IwoJima we probably wouldn’t have been able to drop the Atomic Bombs and the war may not have ended so fast.
The Battle of IwaJima happened from Feb 19 – March 26 1945. Only 216 of the 21,844 Japanese survived and of the 70,000 Americans who faught 6,821 were killed and 19,217 wounded. Many of those soldiers were friends of Mr. Mason. He served in the 5th Marine Division of the 28th Regiment.
Mr. Mason is 86 years old.
He was born in 1926 in Lexington, KY.
He was the fifth child of 9 kids in his family.
His four brothers also served in the military.
Two also served in WWII
Richard fought in the army at Okinowa.
Earl was also in the army and was taken as a Prisoner of War at the March of Batan in the Phillipines.
Glen and Ernie enlisted after the war into the Navy and never had to fight like their older brothers.
He worked on farms from age 8. Sold veggies at the market.
He wasn’t able to attend school but a few years as he was expected to help provide for his family.
Around age 12, his family got indoor plumbing.
At age 14, he started taking the bus and going to church to every Sunday with his sister.
He grew up during The Great Depression. When I asked him what his favorite food was, he said he was always hungry and would eat anything he could get his hands on. He particularly like his momma’s biscuits and gravy, and was always really happy when he would get a little bit of ham in his beans.
He was drafted in 1944 at age 18.
Went from Lexington to Louisville to join the Navy, but there was a Marine recruiter who snagged him and 4 others in line up to fill his quota for the day.
Went to Camp Pendelton in California for Basic Training.
When he was done he boarded a ship and was told 4 days into it that they were on their way to the South Pacific to fight the Japanese.
After the Battle of IwaJima, Mr. Mason reboarded the ship and remembers many soldiers celebrating. He however just wanted to brush his teeth (they had been in the trenches for over a month) and went to the Red Cross to ask for a toothbrush but was told they didn’t have enough to give him one.
Mr Mason was shipped back to Hawaii, where he served 8 months of occupational duty and was discharged in 1946.
After the war he went back to Lexington where he worked at a Wholesale Food Distrubutor. He delivered food to Colonel Sanders of KFC and says he looked exactly like his pictures. In fact, he can’t remember him every changing from before the war.
Mr. Mason is a hero to me for another reason then his honorable military service, after the war, he taught himself to read. Remember he didn’t have much school growing up.
In 1950 he met Mrs. Mason and they had their first child, a girl named Debi, who is also our neighbor.
Mr. and Mrs. Mason then moved to Indiana so that Mr. Mason could work at a Defense Plant building helicopters. The had two more children. Both boys who still lived in Indiana.
Mr and Mrs Mason moved to Utah 14 years ago.
They have been married for 62 years.
Mr. Mason continues to make a difference for his country by working a Heritage School in Provo. He has worked there mentoring troubled youth for the past 6 years.
Mr. Mason is truly a remarkable person. Tom Brokaw once called his generation the Greatest Generation. I believe they were a great generation and I believe Mr. Mason was one of the greatest.
Please join me and give Mr. Mason and all his friends who fought for our freedom the round of applause they deserve.

Halloween by NutMom

November 1st has quickly become 
one of my favorite days of the year.
It used to be the 2nd of November 
as that’s my birthday,
but now it’s the first.
For sure.
No contest.
It’s the day after Fall Madness.
That’s the only reason.
I hate the pressure
of Halloween.
The pressure.
Even without comparing
it’s horrendous
to be a mom
at Halloween.
Here’s a poem
to explain.
The teenager hollered
starting three weeks ago.
“Mom, I need black tulle.
I also need black tights.
Don’t forget the spray paint
Oh, and I need that special make-up,
don’t worry
I’ll make sure it is just right.
Why don’t you dress up mom?
Why don’t you?
You’re no fun.”
The two girls in the middle
“Mom, I don’t want something out of the box,
I want something new.
I don’t know if I like
that 70% off costume.”
Chili cook-off dinner,
make sure you do the award winner.
Do you have some table centerpieces
to bring?
Why of course.
I just have to go and find them
in the garage,
buried under all my
back to school bins.
Not really.
Make all the calls for school parties,
try to get it done before dinner.
Take three days
to go to the school
and paint pumpkins
with the kids
because the PTA
thought it would be a great
idea to have a huge
Pumpkin Walk
just weeks following the carnival.
Oh, and don’t forget all the stuff
you had to purchase to put
in the gift baskets.
“Oh, you don’t want to do the craft.
You don’t want to do the game.
You just want to come to the class party and enjoy.
No worries.
I’ll take care of it all.”
Google and pinterest
are my best friends.
Too bad they can’t come
over and party tend
for me
so I can have a nap.
Off to the dollar store.
They don’t have orange balloons.
Neither does Wal-Mart.
Ah- ha I got the last bag
at the specialty party store.
I don’t need 100,
only 32,
I convince the clerk
to open the bag,
and sell them individually
for a quarter a pop.
Yes, you, even more procrastinating mom,
you are very welcome
at 10 am tomorrow.
do you like this one?”
No mom it’s scary.
I don’t want to dress up.
I want to be a butterfly.
No, I don’t want to be a butterfly.
I want the cheap plastic wand.
But, what will you be with that?
That wand will be broken before
tomorrow night.
I’ve been there, done that.
At least 50 times.
Oh, look Caroline,
look at this cute
cowgirl hat.
It will go perfect with your
Oh, yes mom.
I love it.
It’s pink.
Do you want to wear it
trick or treating?
No I want to stay home with dad.
Dad wrote off Halloween
years ago.
He hates trick-or-treating.
Can’t we all just stay home?
We try to bribe the kids every year,
so far only the three-year old
thinks it’s a good idea to stay home.
Maybe we are moving in the right direction?
Let’s not even get into 
pumpkin carving.
That’s a whole other poem,
with the guts,
and the seeds,
that have to be roasted,
and the candles that have to be
And the specialty tools
that all break before the night is over.
And then I sit down for two seconds
before I have to run to the school.
And I look at the blogs.
And her family is all themed.
And her costumes are all homemade.
In fact,
I saw them
all over Pinterest
just yesterday.
this lady had a party
with handmade masks.
Oh, and this friend
has an annual
Halloween dinner
with spooky food.
Check out the jello worms.
I asked her if my kids
could come next year.
Because I am too tired.
And I just have to wonder?
Are these all the moms
that didn’t want to do the craft
or the game
for the school party?
Did they say no?
Or are they all as crazy as me?
Did they take them self to the picture show
last night too?
Because they just had to get away
after accomplishing
500 things yesterday
and then working their 4 hour shift
at their part time job
so they can afford
the game, craft, treat,
costume, pumpkin,
and the regular groceries.
Did they go to the movie
to avoid putting the kids to bed
because one more mom moment
would set them over the edge?
On the way home did
they sing to themselves
“took myself to the picture show
sat myself in the very last row
(da da  da da da da da
da da da da da da da –
because I couldn’t remember how
it really goes)
I’m a nut.
I’m a nut.
I’m a nut.
I’m a nut.
I’m a nut.”
Somehow I’m doing something wrong.
Terribly wrong.
Every year.
And maybe
next year
I’ll get it right.
Or maybe I will just
keep holding my breathe
and try not to flip out
for the next 20 years,
and then I can be the grandma
who takes the grandkids
for their photoshoot
every year on Halloween.
Maybe at that point,
my new 
favorite day of the year
will be Oct 1st
instead of Nov 1st.
Because I
won’t have to
worry about my sanity.
I don’t think it’s
a coincidence
that this song was written
about an acorn on the ground.
Probably in the Fall.
Like late October.
I’m a an acorn on the ground, 
Sitting under this here tree.
Everybody steps on me, 
That is why I’m cracked you see.

I’m a nut,
I’m a nut, 
I’m a nut, nut, nut-nut-nut.

Called myself on the telephone 
Just to see if I was home. 
Made a date for half past eight, 
Better hurry or I’ll be late! 
– Chorus 

Took myself to the picture show 
Sat myself in the very last row 
Wrapped my arms around my waist 
Got so fresh I slapped my face! 
– Chorus 

Bought some roses at the store.
Told myself I wanted more.
That’s why I broke up with me.
Now I am a nut that’s free!
– Chorus 

Gee, I miss me all the time.
Wonder if I’m doing fine.
Maybe I’ll stop by to see
If I have a chance with me.
– Chorus

Coca-Cola went to town, 
Pepsi-Cola shot him down.
Dr. Pepper fixed him up, 
Now we all drink 7-Up.
– Chorus

For those of you that don’t know the song.


 Oh and here’s another fun find.


Fat is a nasty word.
The only time it should be used is in regards to the stuff on the backside of a butchered pig.
Fatback is the only time when fat is a good thing.
And what a good thing it is.
Just ask the green beans.

I’ve been called fat. A lot. It sucks.
After watching this video on facebook yesterday, I was perplexed.

I offered the following on my page as a passive aggressive response to a few people I know who judge “fat people.”

“I hate it when physically in-shape people look down upon those who aren’t. I hate to tell you this, but you’re not superior, especially in regards to the things that matter most: kindness and appreciation for others wherever they are in life is a learned art and maybe you should get off the treadmill long enough to take some lessons. I don’t experience as much prejudice in this department as I used to, but it sure makes my blood boil whenever I encounter it.”

The funniest thing about my above rant is that I got all kinds of people, my friends mind you, apologizing to me for the way that I had been treated. Why did they apologize? Because they think I am fat and that I have reason to be apologized to. Kind of ironic, huh? I never mentioned that I had been treated badly, did I? In fact, I hadn’t had any teasing at all, I only posted the comment in defense of others and in opposition to the people out there looking down on this lady. I’ve actually been feeling pretty good about the way I am looking until yesterday. HA.

Well as you, who read my blog, know I’m on a journey of self-discovery. I’ve learned to love myself and I am still learning to take care of myself. I all too well know the life of this anchor. I know what it is like to be raising 3 young daughters (and she has a full-time job to boot) and to feel the stress and eat too much and exercise too little. I also know what it’s like to get off my butt and count calories. I also know what it’s like to have a propensity to being larger as a child and as an adult.

I also know what it’s like to lose a nephew and to know that in his last week on this earth he was called fat by some mean little girls and that the word F A T may have been racing through his mind in his last breathe. It breaks my heart. Absolutely makes me shed tears. Right now in fact.

Yes, people are fat, but trust me, they know it. You pointing it out to them, or looking down on them, or even apologizing for others’ fat name callers to someone who has recently lost 35 pounds doesn’t really help the situation and it doesn’t really motivate people to be better.

Do you know what motivates people to be better? Loving them wherever they are. Loving them right where they are. Even if it’s at 700 pounds. Anyone who has watched Richard Simmons should know this fact.

Do you know why loving them helps? Because the reason they are fat is that they don’t love themselves enough. Period. Or maybe they have a health condition? Or maybe they are just a husky kid that could eventually be a college football star if they live long enough to pursue that goal? The point being: You don’t know what they are capable of, if all you see is F A T. And you will also never know the beauty of loving people in their weakness if you can’t see past it. You don’t even know what scars are under the fat.

If you can love F A T people then maybe they can learn to love themselves. And if you can love them F A T, maybe they will love you in your weakness.

See how that works? Well, yeah, you do kind of have to admit your own weakness first. Maybe you could start with judging,  lack of charity, or complete and total PRIDE?

Adds Pounds

I copied this off of a friend’s facebook.
It portrays perfectly
how we let society influence
our sub-consciousness.
I’ve lost about 40 pounds in the past year
and I’ve been feeling pretty good about myself.
Not because I’m skinnier
but because I am healthier and stronger.
And then I got pregnant.
Happens every time.
It’s a good thing I don’t let society
tell me what to do.
Or I probably would have stopped a few kids ago
or at least at #4 when I was 36.
I miss you my bloggy friends.
I think I am going to start blogging more.
It seems to help me through pregnancy
and the newborn blues.