Thursday, April 30, 2009

I've Got Nothin'

I'm working on a project. I am at complete loose ends. I need either:





I'd take a combination of both.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Work In Progress

I've been working at this paining on and off for YEARS. That is not an exaggeration. The buildings change color and shape. The road widens, narrows, winds around. The sky is white, then blue, then white again when I realize I need to tweak a few things. I only have time to pull out my easel and paints every so often, and so this painting waits. It's actually farther along that this photograph indicates. But not by much. In the meantime I have started and finished other paintings. But this one is slow going.

Maybe nothing will every really come of this work in progress. But maybe something will.

We shall see...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wise Words

I love what Elder Orson F. Whitney once said: "The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience."

We should honor the Savior's declaration to "be of good cheer." (Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!) Speak hopefully. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly.

As someone once said, "Even in the golden age of civilization someone undoubtedly grumbled that everything looked too yellow." ~ Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I wrote something today. But it wasn't what I wanted to post exactly. And then I came across this quote on a friend's blog and so I am stealing it because it is a good one.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

calm and storm

At every stage of life it seems there is some sort of storm that must be weathered.

As Peter recognized Jesus walking on the water and jumped out of the boat towards him a storm suddenly arose. Lovely, impetuous Peter "saw the wind boisterous" and his faith wavered. He could walk on the water to his Master when the water was calm, but when it wasn't? Peter faltered. He began to sink.

We know that Peter went on to develop a great and unshakable faith in his Savior. He bore strong testimony of the resurrected Christ. Ultimately he was killed for his beliefs.

No doubt at this moment of Jesus walking on the water, Peter had already had many experiences on which he had built his testimony of Christ. He had seen many miracles and healings. I am sure he felt his faith growing and that it was strong. And I think it was.

And yet.

We all have moments where seeing the wind boisterous, we fall back, and are afraid.

I find it comforting that in the moment when Peter could not maintain his faith to continue walking on the water, when fear of the elements surrounded him, that Christ reached out to Peter and saved him. When our own storms arise if we will continue towards Christ, even though we may sink, the Lord will come to us, and pull us up and walk us back to the boat.

Peter did walk on the water. He did it. But just like so many things in life, the blowing winds and reacting waves undid him. I suppose Peter had yet to really learn, or maybe he needed to learn again, what we must all learn: that no matter the storms that come to us, and in this world there are many, that He is always there.

I truly believe this:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Personality Evaluation

I recently took a little online personality test. It wasn't too far off. Except that the results failed to take into account normal events like, well, LIFE for example.

Apparently my present stress is that I feel insufficiently valued. I'm not sure about that, except that kids always insufficiently value their parents, and since these days I spend about 99% of my time being mom, that's just how it goes.

I was told that I am over-imaginative and given to fantasy or day-dreaming. I think that may be hyperbole but if you don't day-dream some in your life, I feel sorry for you. If it said I spent too much time at the computer I might believe it.

I am told that I also want to be admired for my charm. Which, duh, is why I blog!

But here's the kicker. At the end of the assessment you're told what you're current inappropriate behavior is.

Oh my!

This is mine: Circumstances are forcing me to compromise, to restrain my demands and hopes, and to forgo for the time being some of the things I want.

Upon reading this I LAUGH OUT LOUD. Because, hello? I know very few people who don't have to restrain their demands and hopes in someway or another. It's called rolling with the punches. Or just rolling with it, period. Or self-control. Or not indulging in wanton gluttony! This is generally not a bad thing. Those I know who spend their time trying to satisfy their every desire are usually rather unhappy.

My overall review is this: This personality test is obviously unaware of the current economic condition and mood of the country.

Having someone giving you a pity pat and saying "you're life is sooo tough" isn't helpful. If you need to have a good cry go for it and then buck up. (I like the advice of a father to his son, a young Gordon B. Hinckley: "Son, forget yourself and go to work.")

Satisfying every last demand regardless of others is so yesterday.

Except that we keep feeling the effects of it today.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


...about a few blog tweaks.

...about why I blog, anyway.

...that I should adjust some of the font sizes on the blog.

...that I should shower while Clifford the Big Red Dog is on,

and plan a productive day, or at least semi-productive.

...about Susan Boyle (who isn't?), and the kinds of demands we make on people we decide should be celebrity.

...what is wrong with a quiet admiration of talent?

...that I felt like punching Diane Sawyer in the face for her interview with Susan.

But I didn't.

I know. Benevolent.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It looks like the weather is finally catching up with the season

We survived Spring Break.

My sister indicated she thought this was turning into a Weather Commentary blog, so I won't mention the 5 inches of heavy snow that fell hard on the blossoming trees, breaking their limbs and then melted, turning my backyard into a swamp with several inches of water, and then mud every where. The winter boots came back into the house swollen with spring moisture and I am not sure they will ever recover.

We went to Chuck E. Cheese, the child's version of Vegas with the loud noises, flashing lights and bad singing acts. The kids had a good, if frantic, time and we have vowed to someday return. In about seven years.

We were finally able to torture the local wildlife by scooping up potato bugs/pill bugs/rolipolies, whatever you want to call them, and putting them into the newly acquired bug catcher. The one I had to super glue together 15 seconds after I brought it home because my 3 yr-old son got a hold of it. And wouldn't let go. Until forced.

No, actually he just pulled the lid in the wrong direction and it snapped off. And then handed it back to me.

We whipped up cookies and ate them.

I thought about all the things I could do, and then I read a couple of Robin McKinley books instead.

And that was a good thing to do.

Friday, April 17, 2009

But I Have To Clean My House Instead

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions
And for a hundred visions and revisions
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

~ T.S. Elliot

from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas




It ended up snowing yesterday.

And it snowed last night.

And it looks very pretty. But again. Sigh.

The goal had been to catch bugs today.

Not to make hot cocoa.

This weather is making me really CRAZY!!!

I had packed up all the snow pants, gloves, scarves, hats, etc.


Rather too


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Break It To Me Gently

It is Spring Break around these parts. I must confess, I was hoping for something like this:

Instead I get this:

If I can't have sun, then this would certainly do:

But I am not in any sort of Cobbled Street Town. Unfortunately a quick trip to rainy London or Paris is not currently in the cards. Darn cards. Maybe later?

But perhaps we can do some of this:

And this:

And if not, we'll just watch this:

Ah, Spring.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This Morning

The birds are chirping in the trees.

Plastic eggs cracked open and left empty are spread all over my house.

My son is crying bitter tears because Super Why is not on yet.

See that digression?

Time to pick up. 25 minutes until Super Why. Keep on chirping, birds.

Keep on chirping.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I am persuaded also

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38 - 39

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Doors and Windows

There is a fly on my ceiling. He is a larger size fly. He spent yesterday frantically buzzing about by my kitchen window, trying to get outside. But to no avail.

And now he is on the ceiling. Staying quietly in the same place. He's been there since I put the kids to bed, and when I put them to bed again, and when I put them to bed again. He must be tired. And perhaps resigned.

Poor fly. You must be careful of what doors you fly through.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Welcome to National Poetry Month

And because my conscious brain has taken flight, this week you will all be subjected to
"Thoughts on the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock."

You're welcome. First Post: already up.

{Also, ignore the previously misplaced J. I told you, my conscious brain is on vacation.}

Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?

Oh, J. Alfred. Do you?

I was reading through some online analysis of your love song last night. (Yes. I was. I was an English Major. I am related to many an English Major. And for those of you who don't like T. S. Elliot, well, I'm sorry. He seems to be a funny fellow.)

Everyone was saying that this is some internal dialogue with yourself. You, middle-age, slightly balding and currently single. Afraid to talk to women? No. You are talking to someone who might be in love with you right now. Or, actually, avoiding talking. And you are not man enough to handle it. Yes, you are running away, afraid that you either misunderstand the girl across from you sipping tea, or you are just afraid. So I agree with that portion of the analysis.

Dear J. Alfred. Stop being such a wimp. Guys like you abound, and you are annoying. Eat the stupid peach already. Enough of your ephemeral musings on fog and smoke. You, like so many seem to be a commitment-phobe and you are trying to cover it up with poetic nature.

Either that, or you're just using this girl because nothing better has come along. But you don't want to let her go because it's convenient.

J. Alfred Prufrock, I am ashamed of you. Grow up.

Friday, April 3, 2009


The longest word in the English language. Sort of.

It was extra credit each week on our test in the 7th grade life science class. Which class was taught by Mr. R, a single guy from California who was funny and irreverent in a way that was both appalling and appealing to kids 12 and 13 years old and just moving into adolescence. He was cool. And I was never totally comfortable in his class. He was tall and thin and wore jeans, plaid shirts and cowboy boots. He owned horses and if you were cool enough he would invite you to ride them. It seems, though, that you had to not only be cool, but also a girl, which is utterly creepy from my current perspective. I don't know that he had any mal intentions. (Is mal a word in English? Substitute poor/bad/etc.) He seemed to be a nice enough guy. But there was something he missed about being an adult among teenagers; that just because he had a way with them didn't mean he should be one of them. But he had a hard time with that. There were boundaries he thought were funny to step over; just a quick little dance and then back on the right side of the line. Better to be cool, than be adult. He let us have cool parties when we got good test scores. He had a cool way of taking role.

I was not cool enough to be invited to ride horses {thank goodness for that}.

Cool may be a descriptor, but it is not a virtue.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Art of the Mini-bio

It is an art, right? I have to write a short but sweet bio and I cannot for the life of me figure out what to say. Possible sentences run through my head and say something like this:

Allysha is not a bohemian. No matter how much she would like to be, there is something utterly responsible about her, or at least utterly boring. She does like to read, write and prefers cats to dogs infinitely.


These days Allysha is mostly (but not limited to being only or just) a mom. She is also a pretend poet, amateur artist, former modern dancer and resident exhausted lady. But she just started taking her vitamins last night, so hopefully that last one will fall by the wayside.


Allysha used to speak French, likes pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and tends to be a creature of habit and thinks things she can share with mostly no one because they would think her rude or rather crazy. She avoids movie theaters and thinks we should all go to the opera instead.

Hmmm. I'll come up with something.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Here's Your April Fish

The French have some peculiarly charming ways of doing some things. April 1st certainly falls into that category. Instead of trying to pull of minor or major practical jokes, they stick fish onto each other's backs. It's called Poisson d'Avril.

Seriously. What could be better than that? Very few things, my friends.