Category Archives: Memory

W is for White Wash

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

I loved Tom Sawyer as a kid, it has been such a long time since I have enjoyed his adventures. One of my favorite stories from Tom Sawyer was the white washing the fence story. 

Even though I enjoyed the story, I did not find white washing to be the funnest thing to do.  Of course, it was a lot better than picking rocks out of a garden that was at least an acre in size.  From time to time it would be time to white wash certain buildings on the farm so they wouldn’t look quite as dingy as before.  If anyone is uncertain about the technique of white washing, it is the same as painting, except the white paint is watered down to stretch further and not go on as thick.  There were times when we loved it though. 

There was a little one room building on the farm down by the barn that had housed geese, I think, at one point.  There were scraps of lumber strewn haphazardly across the rafter beams with rolls of chicken wire on top of them.  The little building wasn’t used for much, from time to time we used it for a club house, or a secret meeting place.  One day I pleaded with my parents to let me clean it and turn it into a play house.

I was delighted when they agreed and set to cleaning away all the goose droppings and scrubbing down the walls.  They even allotted me some paint to white wash the walls with.  There were glass-less windows that I hung some material over and got permission to move the little white wood stove and fridge that my mom had built into to building.  I accrued a small table, a cradle for a baby doll, and some other miscellaneous furniture.  I vaguely remember being allowed to put in an old bench, where the bench part was a little bookcase, with a large back going up.  I think my mom may have painted it cut it into the shape of a cat or something – in the Richard Scary style.  It is hard to remember if such a thing exists, or if I just dreamed it up.  There might have even been some kind of bed in there at one point – the memories fade after time.

Anyway, I loved that little cottage and played there for hours – when I wasn’t busy fighting off the monsters with my brothers, hanging out of tress, jumping into manure piles, or going scampering about the rafters of the corn crib.

So, the word ‘White wash’ carries a few endearing memories for me.  What sparked these memories?  Last weekend we were driving out to Tillamook when I saw this, and it reminded me to an extent of the old days.  Of course I made Paul stop so I could get out and take a photo.  I think it might just become the wall paper on my laptop. 🙂

Old barn

Here is a close-up of the barn, though I think I like the first photo better – something about that mist and the surrounding autumn feel.

Old Barn Close-up

I’d say that barn needed a good whitewash, but it would spoil its charm. 😀


Filed under Farm Stories, Meme, Memory, Photography

M is for Meaning

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

This was my hubby’s idea, to do language for “L” and write in Spanish and then the next day do meaning for “M” and then translate what I wrote.

So, hear is the meaning of the beginning of yesterday’s post, should you need it…

“Ok, I have never written in Spanish. I thought that for this post it would be perfect, the only problem is that nobody is going to understand me.

I loved learning Spanish. The funniest thing is that the only language that I had studied before Spanish was French. The Elders in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) where I learned Spanish always laughed at me because I spoke it with a French accent. 🙂 Ah, good times. I remember the first time I gave a talk in church in Spanish. I was terrified. But at least I didn’t say anything embarrassing.

Before my mission many people gave advice. One of them told me about a time a sister missionary, who was just out on the mission, was asked to give a talk in church. She was very nervous and wanted to say that she was embarrassed. There are a lot of words that are similar, but embarrassed is not one of them. What she thought she said was, “I am embarrassed and it is all the bishop’s fault” but instead of the word for embarrassed “vergüenza” she said “embarazado” which actually in Spanish means pregnant. Hmmm… awkward moment, though extremely hilarious. Definitely not what she meant to say. 🙂

I am very grateful that, while I am sure I made many funny mistakes with the language, I didn’t say something like this.

Good, now for something in English about funny mistakes that people make in language:”

(I won’t bother repeating the English part 🙂 )


Filed under Meme, Memory

L is for Language

Encyclopedia of Me Meme 

Bueno, nunca he escrito en español. Y pensé que por eso post estuviera perfecto. La único problema es que nadie va a entenderme.

Me encantaba aprendiendo español. La cosa mas divertido es que la única idioma que había estudiado antes fue Francés. Los Elderes in la MTC donde aprendí español rieron a mí porque siempre hablaba español con un acento de Francés. Ah, buenos tiempos. Recuerdo el primer tiempo que tuve hablar in la iglesia enfrente de tantas personas. Me dio tanto miedo, pero por lo caso no dicho nada que me dio vergüenza.

Antes mi misión muchas personas me dieron consejo. Uno de ellos me dio un tiempo cuando una hermano fue hablando in la iglesia. Tenia que dar una dicho y fue muy joven en la misión. Ella no sabia la palabra para vergüenza – y pensó que semejante a la palabra en ingles “embarrassed”. Entonces ella dijo, soy muy embarazado y es la falta del obispo. Por su puesto, eso es no lo que entendía, pero fue muy cómico.

Estoy agradecido, que mientras estoy seguro que dije muchas cosas cómicas, nunca dije algo como este.

Bueno, ahora algo en ingles acerca de equivocados en idiomas que es muy divertido

A friend sent this to me before I left on my mission, about stupid mistakes with languages that people make – to make me feel better about the inevitable stupid mistakes that I would make…

Here are som signs and notices written in English that were discovered througout the world.

In a Tokyo hotel:
  Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not a person to do such a thing please do not read this notice.

In a Bucharest hotel lobby:
  The lift is being fixed for the next day. During the time we regreat that you will be unbearable.

In a Leipzig elevator:
  Do not ener the lift backwards, and only when lit up.

In a Belgrade hotel elevator:
  To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order.

In a Paris hotel elevator:
  Please leave your values at the front desk.

In a hotel in Athens:
  Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 AM daily.

In a Yugoslavian hotel:
 The flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid.

In a Japanese hotel:
  You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid.

In the lobby of a Moscow hotel across from a Russion Orthodox monastery:
  You are welcome to visit the cemetery where famous Russian and Soviet composers, artists, and writers are buried daily except Thursday.

In an Austrian hotel catering to skiers:
  Not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension.

On the menu of a Swiss restaurant:
  Our wines leave you nothing to hope for.

On the menu of a Polish hotel:
  Salad a firm’s own make; limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rasher beaten up in the country people’s fashion.

Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop:
  Ladies may have a fit upstairs.

In a Bangkok dry cleaners:
  Drop your trousers here for best results.

Outside a Paris dress shop:
  Dresses for street walking.

In a Rhodes tailor shop:
  Order your summers suit. Because is a big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.

Similarily, from Soviet Weekly:
  There will be a Moscow Exhibition of Arts by 15,000 Soviet Republic painters and sculptors. These were executed over the past two years.

From a brochure of a car rental firm in Tokyo:
  When a passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage the tootle him with vigor.

Two signs from a Majorcan shop entrance:
  -English well talking
  -Here speeching American

I hate to think of all the mistakes I have made with other people’s languages.  I just hope that as I find humor and not offense in some of the things people say in English, that I was much more humorous rather than offensive.  🙂


Filed under Humor, Meme, Memory

K is for Kelp

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

I have very fond memories of a trip my family once took from Pennsylvania to Oregon when I was 7. That was the year I went on my first 10 mile hike.  That was also the year I remember discovering the most amazing beach on the Oregon Coast.  It was south of Coos Bay and it was called Garden Acres.  There were beautiful botanical gardens with a path leading down into a fascinatin cove.  The rocks were in the most fascinating  formations – we called them peanut rocks because some of the had big dents the shape of peanuts on them.  They were big enough for my brothers and I to sit in and curl up in.

We also found great pieces of kelp that we stuck in the back end of our shorts and paraded around like we had tails – my Dad has slides of that one, and we laugh and remenisce whenever we see those slides.

Just before we left for Montana we went to the beach with Paul’s parents.  Laying on the beach we found a huge peice of bull kelp – perfectly intact.  It looked like a giant whip.

“Just what I need to keep you in line,” I teased Paul as I pretended to whip it through the air.

 Paul laughed as I handed it over to him – it was heavy and very long, so I couldn’t get a very good swing on it.  But Paul just whipped that thing through the air,

“Everyone get in line!” he shouted teasing the kids as we all giggled.

Get in Line!

A little while later I snuck this shot of Jacob – always eager to do everything that Daddy does.

Yeah, Do What He Said

“Yeah, do what he said!”


Filed under Family, Jacob, Memory, Photography

B is for Blueberry

Encyclopedia of Me Meme

Part of the 15 acres I lived on as a child in Pennsylvania was covered with marshes. During the long humid and hot summer months the marshes would burst with blueberries galore.  Each of us were sent out with a large bucket to pick bluberries for cobblers and jams.  I loved the way the bushes would curve and curl – many time growing so closely together that the branches would arch creating tunnels between them.  I would pretend this was the home for the pixies and elves, and occasionally miniature trolls who guarded the blueberries.  My fingers would get that delighted blue-ish purple stain on them as I poked the biggest juiciest ones I could find in my mouth.  We would trudge back to the house, not only with our buckets full, but with our tummy’s full as well, knowing that in the morning we would have a feast of blueberry pancakes.  Just the thought of them was  mouth watering.

It’s funny how over the years we forget our love for certain things and then the memory comes crashing upon down upon us.  I hadn’t had blueberry pancakes since those farm days. Then, one morning while at Paul’s paren’ts house in Montana, his mom served us delicious blueberry pancakes.  My eyes bulged with delight as I remembered this dear love I had forgotten and relished every bite.

So, what did you think I bought at the farmers market the other day? Why a flat of blueberries of course, and this morning we gathered around the table and enjoyed some blueberry pancakes.  YUMMMM!


Filed under Farm Stories, Meme, Memory


We seemed to go through dogs like tissue when I was a little kid. The first dog I remember was Leeta – and she had puppies, I’m not sure if I remember her or just remember seeing pictures of her.  I know there was a black dog of some kind before her, because I have a picture of it licking my face (I look to be about 2 in the photo).  Leeta died.  And then there was this great big orangish dog I have a vague memory of- it died to.  Then there were 2 dogs (One we named Prince, the other I don’t remember), I ‘m not sure what kind (they were black and brown), but they weren’t very nice.  As pups I was playing with them in the hayloft and one of them chomped on my finger.  I tried to show my big brother the finger that Prince chomped on and he said in a very scandalous voice, “J, put that finger down.”

“How come?” I recall asking.

“Because it means all the most terrible swear words in the world that you can think of.” 

Talk about making an impression, I never put THAT finger up again.  Then a while later those two dogs were caught killing chickens.  There is only one thing you can do with an animal that gets a taste for killing and that is putting them down.  I remember hiding with my siblings in the basement so we wouldn’t have to hear the gunshot.  We understood why, but it still made us sad.  Then there was this really pretty collie mix, and that dog got hit by a car.  I suppose we weren’t having the best of luck with dogs.  I often wondered why in all the stories people had dog friends for life, when ours didn’t seem to last longer than a few months or maybe a year.  It all seemed terribly unrealistic, that is until the year I turned eight.

He was a tiny puppy, black and brown and so adorably cute.  Longish hair, floppy ears, and a fan tail.  He was actually a long-haired dachstund mixed with a cockerspaniel – so we called him a long-haired cockerdox. (We thought we were very clever).  Since he was smaller than all the other dogs we managed to convince mom that he needed to be an inside dog.  He would take turns sleeping on all of our beds.  Mom taught him to beg, roll over, and even sing.  Some dogs can speak on command, “ruff”, but our dog was way better.  You just had to say “sing” and he would let out the greatest howls.  He even joined our singing time around the piano.  We tried to teach him to fetch but he thought it was much more fun to play tag once he got the ball.  We named him Fritz.

Fritz was the dog of all of our dreams.  He followed us wherever we went, only chewed on a few of our more precious items, and chased his tail for large quantities of time, much to our delight.  There were occasions when we would be gone most of the day to come home to find all of our stuffed animals piled by our front door.  None were chewed on, he just missed us and gathered all the stuffed animals he could drag to the door where he waited for our safe return.

One time we took him with us on vacation from PA to Utah and Oregon.  We were visiting the Great Salt Lake and accidently left him in the parking lot.  Were at least an hour away when we noticed our precious Fritz wasn’t with us.  We were all distraught and turned around, not daring to hope he was still there.  But there he was sitting in our vacant parking spot and howling with all his little lungs.  We had quite the reunion.

I finally got to see what it was like to have a dog companion for life like in all those stories I had wistfully read.  Fritz was our faithful buddy until Jan (or so) of 1999 when he had to be put down he was so sick – I was 23 and a half.

My parents replaced him with Susie ( a Welsh Corgi) the following fall who is now our dog.  Last night Susie was barking at 3 in the morning and I remember Fritz our watch dog.

It was while I was in my senior year in highschool.  Fritz began barking madly in the middle of the night, waking up myself and my parents (I was the only one left at home at this point). Dad ran down the hall.  I had forgotten to close the front shade and turn off the lamp.  As Dad walked out from the hall he saw a face pressed up against the window and heard another man trying to jimmy the lock, Fritz was still going crazy.  Dad flicked the hall light a bunch of times and it scared the robbers off, but it was still a scary experience.

So, last night when I heard Susie growling and barking I got chicken livered and woke up my hubby to check on things. Everything was fine.  But I couldn’t get back to sleep. Instead, I laid in bed thinking of our faithful dog Fritz and writing this post in my head.  I should have just done it last night at 3:30 A.M. when I was thinking of it, maybe I would have gotten it out of my system and finally gotten a decent nights rest.  Oh, well, that is what naps are for. 🙂


Filed under Memory

Just when you thought you’d heard enough…

some one goes and asks me another 5 questions, and you have to suffer through all the answers here. 😉

Deb sent me these questions a while ago and I’ve been procrastinating, so here we go:

1.  From one accident prone person to another:  What was your most memorable “lack of grace” moment?

Gee, there are just so many to choose from. 😉 My most memorable, huh? (This is the main reason I’ve procrastinated, Deb, I just can’t choose one out of the millions, heh).  I suppose I could tell about the time I accidently nailed one of our church leaders where it counts with a snowball, or then there are the jillions of times I’ve cascaded down stairs, or crashed into doors.  There’s the time I dumped (accidently of course) gingerale all over my best friend’s homecoming dress, or when I body slammed one of those door posts that stands in the middle of a double door.  Oh, and there’s the lawn mower toe and all the times friends have hauled me back off a curb as I’ve stepped off, twisting my ankle and trying to plunge into the oncomeing cars.  But, no, I think I will tell the epilady story.  I may have told this one before, so bear with me if I have. . . .

I was on my mission in Chile, I had been in Chile for nearly 6 months and was getting a very good handle on the language.  We had a number of people we were teaching and seeing regularly.  It was so easy to get to be close friends with the Chilean people quickly, I loved my time there.  When we are on a mission we are always with a companion, mainly for safety reasons, I can sure tell you I wouldn’t want to wander the streets of Chile alone being a young blond American girl (shudder) who speaks spanish only semi well.  At this particular time I had a companion from Bolivia, and she was so sweet.  One particular morning she was shaving her legs with an epilady.  “You, should try it,” she tells me in spanish, “you don’t have to shave for a long time.” 

“Doesn’t it hurt?” I inquired.  She assured me that it didn’t hurt much and me, forgetting momentarily my very sensitive skin gave in and gave it a whirl.  Most of you know that an epilady basically plucks out all the hairs on your legs.  It hurt some, but what was worse was the reaction after wards.  Because of my super sensitive skin I had red dots and splotches all over my legs – it looked like I had some horrid rash.

We had no time to worry about that however because we were off to visit a family that was very close to us.  Now, it was not an easy feat for me to traverse the sidewalks of chile, as often they would be broken and uneven, and just calling to me for some klutzy disaster.

As we approached the family’s house I saw that they were all outside, and I was excited to see them.  I flung my arm in the air to wave a hearty hello and started to shout a hearty “Hola!”  Right at that moment with my arm in the air and the word barely begining to escape from my vocal cords I hit an uneven piece of sidewalk and my ankle gave.  My “hola” turned into an “Holaaaaaaaah!” as I flew forward with such force that my backpack disengaged from my body.  I watched as it soared, almost in slow motion, over my head in a beautiful arc.  It’s flight to freedom ended with a dull thud at the feet of the papa, as the whole family stared at me in open mouthed horror, or most probably bemusement, because I must have looked terribly funny.  So there I was, on my hands and knees gasping for breath, blushing furiously, and staring at my backpack in the distance when I felt the Paps hand on my arm helping my up.  With a worried voice he asked, “Hermana (sister), Hermana, are you ok?”  I mumbled something somewhat incoherent about being fine when he caught a glimpse of one of my freshly epiladied legs (I was wearing a skirt, just past mid calf, so they were plainly visible).  “Hermana! Your leg! What did you do, are you sure you are ok?”  In horror I stared at my companion, trying desperately not to dislove into a puddle of laughter right there on the sidewalk.  I don’t remember what excuse I came up with, but I just know I managed to leave out the epilady, for how do you explain that to a man?  Aye, aye aye! 🙂

2.  You wake up one morning and find a time machine in your back yard, fully operational.  What era would you journey too and why?

Garsh, there are so many to choose from – but having just past Easter, I would love to transport to the time the Christ was on the earth.  It would be something amazing to have been hear and to see and hear the Savior in person, could you imagine?  I would have loved to sit at His feet and be taught by the Son of God.

3.  What’s your favorite song, and what special meaning does it hold for you?

I don’t know that I have a favorite song, or maybe it’s just that I have a lot of favorites.  There is one song that is very very old called “Lullaby Land” that I just love.  you probably wouldn’t ever find a recording of it, but the song has been in our family for years.  I remember my mom playing it on the piano when I was a little girl and she would sing the words to all of us, and to Grandma.  As I got older I learned to play it and mom and I and all the rest of us would gather round the piano and sing that song along with numerous others.  It holds so much memory.  I think that song has to be one of my favorites.

4.  Your favorite genre of writing?

Children’s of course! 🙂  In children’s I like to writing commical fiction about children getting into one scrape after another (sound familiar?), I also like to write fantasy/fairy tale type stories too.  I more recently have really enjoyed poetry, as with kids it is easier to finish a poem which is usually rather short in length, rather than an entire story.

5.    What teacher impacted you the most in your school life?

There are three teachers that impacted me the most.  First was my third grade teacher, Mrs. Trask who taught me that school and learning was indeed fun and that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to.  Second was my 6,7, & 8th grade science teacher, Mr. Blanchard.  He was funny, challenging, and loved his students – and let us eat crickets, how cool is that? 🙂  heh  Last was my band director all through highschool, Mr. Elliot.  You learnd a lot more in music than just music. 🙂

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Filed under Humor, Meme, Memory

Something Grand

I decided to add my grand announcement and join the ranks of a few of my fellow blogging friends….


So, there you have it.

April 1, 1980 (or there abouts)

“Dad! Dad! The sheep got out of pasture, come quick!” I was panting from charging up the hill and into the house.  Dad looked up in surprise and went running out the back door, as I sat silently inside holding my sides and chuckling.

April 1, 1981

“Dad! Dad! The sheep got out of pasture, come quick!” I was panting from charging up the hill and into the house. Dad looked up in surprise and went running out the back door, as I sat silently inside holding my sides and chuckling.

April 1, 1982

“Dad! Dad! The sheep got out of pasture, come quick!” I was panting from charging up the hill and into the house. Dad looked up in surprise and went running out the back door, as I sat silently inside holding my sides and chuckling.

April 1, 1983

“Dad! Dad! The sheep got out of pasture, come quick!” I was panting from charging up the hill and into the house. Dad looked up in surprise and went running out the back door, as I sat silently inside holding my sides and chuckling.

April 1, 1984

“Dad! Dad! The sheep got out of pasture, come quick!” I was panting from charging up the hill and into the house. Dad looked up in surprise and went running out the back door, as I sat silently inside holding my sides and chuckling.

April 1, 1985

“Dad! Dad! The sheep got out of pasture, come quick!” I was panting from charging up the hill and into the house. Dad looked up in surprise and went running out the back door, as I sat silently inside holding my sides and chuckling.

I think after my tenth year I finally laid off of the joke. But, every year without fail my dad would go charging out the door – I think I knew that he knew I was joking, but it made me feel like a million bucks every time he went running out there to look. What an awesome Dad I have! 🙂

Oh, and about earlier comments:

APRIL FOOLS!!!! Well, I suppose I really am expecting, I’m just not sure what -and I definitely am not expecting what you thought I was expecting. 🙂 But now, after this post I am most definitely expecting your comments.

 Oh, and I guess you know what to expect next year! 🙂


Filed under Farm Stories, Humor, Memory, Parenting

Well, you asked….

There’s been this fun little interview game floating around – I saw it first on Stephanie’s site and then on Awesome Mom’s so I joined in to play… I’ve been running short of  blogging ideas and inspirations so maybe this will help get the flow going again. 🙂

Anyway it’s simple, really, some one asks you five questions and you answer them on your blog.  So, Awesome Mom asked me five questions and here they are (if you have a desire to be interviewed just say so, and I’m sure I can come up with some rather intriguing questions for you…if you dare…. heh)   🙂

1.  Knowing what you know now about Jacob’s heart defect if you could have chosen his birth order would you have had him first or not changed things at all? 

This is kind of a tough question because I can see the benefits to having him first.  The struggle and guilt of needing and wanting to be in two places at the same time was terribly difficult.  I couldn’t bear to be away from Jacob in the hospital long, but I couldn’t bear not being with my other three children at home.  I wouldn’t have had to worry about arranging school transportation and places for them stay, and it was rather traumatic for them as it was the rest of us.

However, on the flip side I wouldn’t have had three very helpful (though young) girls at home who really did a lot when we came from the hospital.  Jacob wouldn’t have the examples of his sisters, and I think that is one reason why he isn’t behind developmentally, because he wants to be just like them and sees them walk, talk, go potty, etc.  Also (not knowing if we are going to have more or not here), it seems to me that subsequent pregnancies would be rather stressful and full of worry that there would be something going wrong , and who knows if we decided to have another sometime down the road I won’t let that deterr our decision, but it will definitely be harder. (if that makes any sense at all.)

So, there you have a long and complicated lesson, but I think I would leave the birth order just the way it is – I think there have been a lot of benefits, both seen and unseen.

2. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

I have two: Breyer’s (has to be Breyer’s) Mint Chocolate Chip and Dreyer’s Rocky Road.  Paul introduced me to the deliciousness of Dreyer’s Rocky Road, but the Mint Chocolate Chip stems from my childhood.  It was my father’s favorite and he would often have a carton of it stashed in the freezer.  It was a luxery for us, and so he would get it out after everyone was in bed and eat a few spoonfulls at a time.  I remember feigning bad dreams and restless sleep, sneak quietly up the stairs to the kitchen where I knew dad would be snacking on the icecream.  He’d pop me up on his lap and slip me a few delicious mouthfuls and send me of to bed, savoring the delicious flavor of the best icecream in the world.  In fact, I think the reason it is so good is the memory of those special moments with Dad.

3. If you could be a character in any book which book and which character would you choose?

Yikes! This is a tough one, there are so many awesome books and great characters.  At first I thought of Anne, from Anne of Green Gables because of all the trouble she gets in, but then I realized I don’t necessarily like being in fixes, we just happen to share that commonality. 🙂  So, I chose Eillonwy from The Chronicle of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander.  She is awesome, grand adventures, battling undead with a sword, you name it she can manage it.  I’ll be her – but the only draw back is that she never sails on a pirate ship – Arrrrr! 🙂 heh.  But she does manage to find true love, so I suppose that makes up for the pirate part – see I can be all girly and swoony sometimes.  🙂
4. Do you have a favorite pen?

I do, and I bet you could never guess what that favorite pen happens to be….

Ages ago Paul got me a cool Goofy pen. It’s metal (rather heavy actually) and blue, with a goofy head at the top. It’s very sheik and I love it.
5. What is your earliest memory from childhood?

I honestly don’t know what is my eariliest memory – the order of things starts to get jumbled as to what happened when, but I suppose one would be a Halloween from when I was about 3 or so.  My brothers and sisters decided to make a haunted housein the garage. On the farm, the garage was separate from the house and was quite huge.  I don’t remember a whole lot. I remember they had a whole lot of decorations and witches and things that would fly down from the ceiling.  But the coolest part was that I got to be the mummy.  They wrapped me all up in toilet paper and laid me in a red sled.  They had attached another red sled on top to make a sort of coffin and when people came by they pulled a string that opened up the top sled and I sat up and moaned.  It was pretty cool – but very vague. In fact sometimes I wonder if really happened, but there are pictures, so I know it must have. 🙂


Filed under Children, Farm Stories, Heart, Meme, Memory, Parenting

They Call me Chipmunk

*This post is inspired by Karen’s ant pancake

All through middle school I had the same science teacher.  He was the best science teacher I ever remember having.  He was funny and challenging, and especially fair.  I went back to visit him for years after I left the 8th grade, at least once a year I would pop in at the end of the last day and he would call me “chipmunk”, the nickname he adopted for me during my 8th grade year.  I even went back after I had kids and introduced them to him.  He is retired now, but I still see him from time to time.  It is amazing how a great teacher can impact a person’s life.

The event that triggered my nickname occured toward the end of my middle school years.  I was sitting at the long black table surrounded by my fellow classmates…

“What is in there?” a girl leaned close and whispered to me eyeing the terranium sitting on the table at the front of the class.

“Looks like crickets,” I whispered back.

I chuckled to myself as the girl shuddered and said something about crickets being gross.  “How could a cricket be gross?” I wondered to myself, and thought about how fascinating I found them.

“I have an extra credit project for you today,” the teacher announced.  Ears suddenly perked up.  While we all loved our teacher he definitely was not easy and you had to work hard in his class – extra credit was always a welcomed boost in his class.

“Crickets and other insects have been a major food source to many over the centuries.”

We eyed each other – half excited and half being filled with dread, not to metion those who were grossed out with the mere thought of eating bugs.

“The extra credit will go as follows: you will get 20 pts if you eat the cricket completely – chew it up, swallow it, the whole bit. 15 pts if you chew it up and spit it out. 10 pts if you at least bite it in half, and 5 points if you hold it in your mouth for at least 5-10 seconds.”

A chorus of ewws arose from most of the girls, while the boys were nodding their heads determined not to show us how grossed out they were.  The thought of holding the cricket in your mouth with it jumping around in there was much more terrible to me than eating the thing.

After a moment of tension – excited, nervous, and shocked – the first boy stood up to obtain his extra credit.  He did pretty well devouring the little devil and then took off like a shot to the water fountain. After a short time about 3 or 4 boys had eat crickets (or tried to eat crickets – I almost felt sorry for those in the first row having to dodge flying cricket guts if a person couldn’t get it all the way down the hatch.)

“I can’t let the boys get all the glory.  Girls are just as daring,” I thought to myself as I found myself rising out of my chair and walking up to the front of the class.  My nerves were jumping just as much as the crickets in the cage.  My teacher scooped one out and plunked it in my hand.

To my dismay the cricket promptly hopped out of my hand and started to make its way hopping across the table.  My nerves made me even more awkward as I tried to recapture my afternoon snack.  Finally I had it in my hands.  I could feel it whacking against my palms trying to free itself from its fleshy cage.  Without thinking about it any further I popped it in and began to chew like a wild woman.  It was rather salty – and crunchy. I managed to gulp it all the way down and dove frantically for the water fountain.

“You chewed so fast, you looked like a chipmunk!” my teacher chuckled, myself and the class joining in.  The nickname stuck, but I didn’t mind.  After my infamous cricket eating a few more girls were brave enough though only one other was able to obtain the full 20 pts.

Needless to say, I can’t stand crickets today.  They completely gross me out, and just writing about this was making my insides squirm.  I have found I am not nearly as brave and wreckless as I was in my youth.  Sometimes that is a good thing, but sometimes I kind of miss those daring days. 🙂


Filed under Humor, Memory, Youth