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Monday, August 31, 2009

Visiting "Mecca"

And as the sun slowly sinks into the west bringing this summer to a screaming halt, we pause to reflect, reminisce, and wonder "Just why has it taken me 56 years to make it to the SPAM Museum?" A mere 20 miles off the main drag to Minneapolis. Austin--peaceful little Mayberryesque town. And nestled right in the middle (in what used to be a K-mart) sits Hormel's 15,000 square foot homage to all that is good and decent about modern civilization...the SPAM Museum. Was the highlight learning that SPAM pretty much won WWII for us? The gripping 14 minute movie history? Margaret Thatcher admittedly serving it to diplomats for tea? Actual letters from presidents of the United States thanking Hormel for improving international relations? Burns and Allen TV ads? The SPAM Tower? A darn tooting cute puppet show--"This is Your Life, SPAM" featuring a can of SPAM on a couch? A heart-stopping gift shop?..look for the debut of my SPAM rain poncho! Or the diminuative white-haired Aunt Bea-esque relic who walked around with a tempting tray of sample chunks of warm SPAM speared with a pretzel? I'm voting the SPAM Museum my number one summer pick of truly novel experiences. Go. Put Paris and the Grand Canyon on the back burner for now. Embrace your inner SPAMman. And no it does NOT contain all the toxic waste dump ingredients we all thought it did. Nasty viscious rumors one and all! Just some pork shoulder, salt, nitrates, and water. As American (AND Healthy!) as American pie. Or so said Monty Python...

Monday, August 24, 2009

You Betcha...

We've been in Minneapolis for a few days--roadtrip--via Cody and Mt. Rushmore. Loved the Mt. Rushmore segment. Put it on your list. We've been doing the muck out thing in multiple locations, put in a token appearance at a golfing resort for several days, and are off to a baptism tomorrow. I like Minnesota. I can't talk it nor do I understand it when it's spoken to me much of the time, but for the most part Minnesota agrees with me. The big disappointment has to have been the complete and utter lack of Moose Farkel ANYWHERE in the Mall of America. I had to settle for buying six Minnesota dice at a game store. We've been making do.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Take a Music Break

...And That Has Made All the Difference

2:29 A.M. I know some of my readers like it when I can't sleep. They must get off on the image of me wrestling with the tentacles of a long dark lonely night or something. I was actually awakened when Paco came home from a wedding in SLC. I couldn't go because of a SHOWTIME that I'm committed to, and I'm feeling like compost that I missed the event and all of its attendant people of whom I am SO VERY FOND. Dang it. Crossroads and decisions--don't underestimate them. Today I was picking beans with my friends Eugene and Sarah. They were not the first to ask me how I ended up with puppeteers all summer. I gave them the Paul Harvey Rest-of-the-story version which I'm not even sure my kids know! Back in the day of Sesame Street's youth (late 60's early 70's) I was minoring in children's drama down Provo way. You could find me in the media center of the library watching hours and hours and hours of Sesame Street in an analytical way for classes. I took writing classes, sewed up some pretty cool puppets on a Deseret Industries sewing machine, and traveled around a bit doing a show here and there. Not afraid to turn a sock into something. The spring before graduation the Sesame Street recruiters came our way with enticing stories about how Big Bird was engineered yadayadayada. Mind you--this was cutting edge children's TV. I interviewed with them, and for one brief moment in time pictured myself taking up residence on that famous street. But I pivoted, got married, birthed babies...Do I look back? Yep. I'd have been dang good at that. Maybe even made my way to the Mecca of puppeteers--The Muppet Show. And how cool would that have been!! Yoweekazowee... How do I compensate? I collect puppets, I practice voices when I'm driving alone, I keep the stream of Muppet collection going for my daughter, and I sometimes drop back (like I'm doing now) and wonder "What if...?" Oh, and I go to New York more than the average Idaho bear. A little of my zaniness in the classroom probably stems back to the same creative veins. That's not a bad thing. No regrets. I like bending minds. Anybody else out there ever pivot on one single decision?????

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Emancipation Proclamation

I'm declaring a truce. Calling "uncle". Admitting defeat. Heretofore I have kept up my end of being a responsible human/woman by taking on duties and showing up to fulfill whatever obligations I have agreed to. I am no longer willing to do that. I'm divorcing the human race, if you will. I'm calling a time out. This is me making that "T" thing with my hands that you see in basketball games. I'm getting off at this stop. Don't bother to look for me, call my name, or report me missing. I won't be missing; I just won't be responding to anything I formerly jumped up to do. I won't be crashing around trying to get ready anymore. I won't be tearing out of the driveway hoping that I didn't run over Mugsy. I've had enough of all of it. I'm no longer answering the phone knowing that the voice on the other end probably wants me to do something. From now on you will find me sipping something cool from a deck chair. You'll notice a scattering of books on my lap and at my feet and I may or may not have brushed my teeth or combed my hair. Please walk carefully around my basket of knitting. If you need to address me, do it softly. I would prefer you didn't address me, but if you have come bringing me something to eat or read, I'll acknowledge you, but don't expect me to carry on a conversation. I'm not being rude; I just don't want to run the risk that your presence might require that I leave my deck chair (shudder). My bed will still look disheveled from the night previously spent. Don't look for anything edible in my cupboards, refrigerator, or oven. Don't be dismayed by a layer of dust. I divorced my dustrag too. I'm slouching and staring blankly into the mountains to the west. I'm studying a hangnail for 90 minutes. I'm remembering second grade and the time someone threw up during a spelling bee and everyone froze, including the teacher. But then I (why me?) ran to the cupboard under the drinking fountain and found a rag for the teacher--even though she hadn't requested it. That's what I'll be thinking about if you come and find me somewhat catatonically checked out. Or else I'll be re-enacting receiving that trophy I got for being a somewhat above average left fielder in high school. You might be dismayed that I'm no longer going to make suggestions or plan outings or try and get a group of folks together to traipse off into the Alps. I'm going to lay low...Yeah, I'm going to check out right after I scramble up a gift and head out to a bridal shower. Do you think anyone there will comment on the fact that I'm wearing purple Crocs and a somewhat ripe shirt that says "Kids are my business" over the left breast pocket? My hair is kind of windblown and needs a weedwhacking. My right eye is looking lazy--it's something I inherited. It causes just about everyone I meet to say, "You look tired," whereby I usually respond that I feel GREAT!!! I may go and sit quietly in a corner counting mosquito bites once I get to the shower. Or I may get lost by squeezing myself between some marathon talkers. But just as soon as I get home I'm going to hibernate. Until at least tomorrow at noon...then it's SHOWTIME yet again. And again. And again...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Day's Agenda


Do you ever wake up with an immediate mental weight loading you down? I had to catch myself today with the thought, "But maybe something really great will happen today! Get up and chance it!" So here's what's going down today: put up curtains that I sewed into the night yesterday on puppet theatre,take easel from my classroom to puppet show venue, find four paint sticks for props, create a set of dentures to be used in a dog puppet's mouth, pick up all 7 puppeteers and stage a dress rehearsal, take puppeteers for ice cream because I promised, sponge paint "Lights! Camera! Giggles!" on 7 little shirts, test microphones with Wayne the sound man, clean my sty of a house, and finish off the day by judging a Little Miss Bear Lake contest (ages 3-11) tonight. All I really want to do is read. What's on your agenda today???

The Guest

I met Baden at the public library. His horse, Osage, was tied to the bike rack in front, and my good senses told me there must be a story here. Four days later, after horse doctoring and some R & R, Baden and Osage are once again on the road. This time Osage is riding in a horse trailer pulled by Paco. At 30 miles a day from Craig, CO, this will shorten their trip to Klamath Falls, OR, by about a week--Paco's taking them to Burley,ID. Baden has been an interesting houseguest and certainly earned his keep by chopping wood, whacking weeds, cooking omelettes, coloring puppet play props, helping a neighbor prime a pump, and making a sinew necklace for a newfound friend. He graciously gave horseback rides to about 15 little kids who were here one day, and he was the hit guest at a family reunion of my daughter's in-laws that we crashed. A man and his horse on the road is a part of history we have forgotten. Thanks Baden for your optimism and kind spirit in our home for a few days.

We're glad that Osage and the llamas finally made peace with each other! (Originally when we tried to pasture the horse with the llamas she was petrified and jumped the fence, cutting her legs on the barbed wire.) Hope Osage heals up well and your trip is soon completed.

Friday, August 7, 2009

What's New in Pink and Blue?

Nursery Report:
We had an amazing wind last night. I half expected to find a baby llama blown into the next county! Obama has taken up the role of sentinel! Who knew he had THAT in him? He's most impressive as He Who Must Be Passed in order to visit Mary Jane! And as you can see we're eating, growing, and cuter than bug whiskers! Come and visit!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Now We Are Three!

Born today!!! Little Mary Jane Morningstar!!! Not five seconds out of my mouth were the words, "We've given up on a baby llama. It just isn't going to happen!" and then we walked out to the pasture!! Lo and Behold!!!!

She looks like her mama llama, doesn't she?

We did sort of an unofficial test to determine the sex--nothing REALLY official like the toilet seat up test or the won't ever ask directions test or the farting arm noises test. Nope. All we really did was look for things hanging down! Didn't see any, but in the event that we do we'll have a naming contest. Mary Jane is our obvious first choice for a girl name. I'm going to send a little family picture birth announcement to the Washington Obamas. We thought they'd like to know.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley