Friday, December 31, 2010

Year of Change. RIP 2010

So, I suppose every blogger in the cyberspace world is going to be writing their new years goals and telling the world about the amazing things they are planning for the next year. Perhaps I'll do the same---if I deem it necessary. I mean, who wants to tell the entire world of their goals. It's bad enough when you fall short of your goal, and the devil on your shoulder jabs you with a fork, and yells, "told you you'd never make it." On the other hand, if the goal gets completed, you may enjoy the angel on your shoulder strumming your praises on her harp, while others who, weren't so lucky, inwardly hate you for actually reaching earth shaking accomplishments.

On a different note, feels like I've shirked my bloggers duty, skipping posting on Christmas and everything. I'm sure there are blogger rules out there that say you must post something very interesting every holiday, and every other day between. Hope the blogger police don't catch me and put me a cell. I'm sure capital punishment would be to put me in a dark cold cell with the command to write until my eyes fall out of my head, and my fingers turn bloody. Then again, commanding someone to write, and then giving them only a pen and no paper, would be pretty mean too.

Right now I'm in a rather reflective mood--as I always am when I blog. Weird huh?
Maybe I'm not really in a reflective mood at all. Truth be told, I'm sitting on the couch, buried in a nest of blankets, with my laptop on---well, my lap. My nose is red, raw and rosy = plugged, and my throat is scratchy, my face a ugly pale color, my hair his greasy, and altogether ugly from being ill and having my head pushed up against a pillow. I've got a pile of snot rags gathered around me large enough to help jump-start four or five camp fires. If someone set a match to the paper surrounding me, I'd literally be toast. Come to think of it, if I didn't know better, I'd tell someone to set it on fire, that way I'd end up as a burnt offering sacrifice to the Goddess of runny noses, so no one else could suffer sinus pressure. Morbid I know. :)

Now that you have seen that I'm really writing to you because I'm deathly sick, perhaps you'll want to leave. I mean, you can catch bugs on the computer. And we wouldn't want that. Wear a face mask if your worried. Or leave if you want. I'll only be offended for life. *Smiles sinisterly* :)

Oh, yeah. I was going to tell you about my Christmas. Okay. I'll tell you. Funny thing is, this year, my sisters and I spent oodles of time getting music programs ready for various peoples, meetings, and programs, so that I had zero time to do any Christmas shopping or baking. Thus I became one of those guilty persons Christmas shopping at the last minute. I felt very proud when I actually found the desired gifts I had been seeking, even though it looked like I was a totally thoughtless person, shopping for my wonderful family members the day before Christmas.

After I had finished my shopping ventures on Christmas eve, I started making orange cinnamon rolls at about 6:00. P.M. Somehow between 6 and and the wee hours of night, the Twilight Zone hijacked me. For I had nothing but trouble with those rolls. They refused to rise. They sat there, like bricks. Dead, lifeless, and not breathing. Very rude. So, I decided to make another batch, using some different yeast.

This time the new yeast my mom gave me turned into little round balls of millet, or something not normal. It smelled weird. So I threw it out. And started over again, while my mom tried to save my un-rising rolls with more yeast and flour.
To make a long story longer, my last batch of rolls sat there, also, like large pile of poo. Sorry, but there's no other way to describe it. So I gave up, and joined my family in trolling around our street, enjoying the Christmas lights, and reading our traditional Christmas story. Before I went to bed I made a special effort to ignore the un-rising pile poo, feeling rather depressed over my huge failure, I gave up the grandiose idea of having cinnamon rolls for breakfast---or even in this century, and went to bed. That is, if anyone can really go to bed on Christmas eve. It seems like no matter how old I get, I still can't really sleep on Christmas eve. It's like my subconscious still doesn't know there's a Santa, and it's trying to keep me half awake so I can catch him in the act.

But I must have slept, because the ghost of Christmas Present sprinkled his magic water on my "no longer pile of poo," Because the the dough had risen. What a nice Christmas present! Now, more fully in the Christmas Spirit, I turned on the radio, where the chipmunks were singing of their secret longing for hula hoops for Christmas. I feel sorry for the poor creatures. After all these years, nobody has bothered getting them something so simple. And I have so many hula hoops. Perhaps, I should send them a few.

After that, I spent the morning baking the cinnamon rolls, eating breakfast, and enjoying the whole spirit of Christmas that comes with everybody giving and receiving. For those interested, the cinnamon rolls were a success, after all. So don't be discouraged if at first you don't succeed.

For the rest of the day it was actually quiet for the most part. My brother and their family were going to come over for our Christmas feast---at least I think they were. I never can tell these days with most my family doing dinner with my's most...well...different. So, after we found out our brother and his family was too sick to come down, our feast turned into a Christmas nibble. Which means we all watched, "It's a wonderful life," while nibbling on the feast.

Then towards evening, the rest of my family showed up, which was nice, and weird, because it was the first Christmas I can remember not having our Christmas feast together as one big family. Towards night, my sister and I went to visit my dad and my grandparents. We sang them a few Christmas carols, and then we came home and finished the night playing card games with the family. Twas altogether a good Christmas, despite the fact that there is a huge rift in my family, that....well no one really speaks of.

Divorce is like that I guess, especially when people are hurting. But it is there, like a big obnoxious pinata hanging in the middle of the room that everybody is watching, swaying back and forth, pretending like it isn't there, but secretly waiting for the right time to swat it so that all the ugly details can come spilling out onto the floor. Truth is. I wish somebody would swat it. I'm not one for holding in what I'm thinking for too long. I'd rather my whole family just started communicating what they felt, face-to face. Not that you needed to read any of that. But hey. It's my blog. Read at your own risk.

On an entirely different note, I'm exited for the new year, and glad that it's coming to a close. Not that I think that this year hasn't been beneficial. I have learned some things I never thought I would learn, and for that I am thankful. Goodbye old 2010. I'll miss you. You've been a good friend through it all. My you rest in peace. I will always remember you as the year "of CHANGE," in every aspect of the word.

Here are some of the things I have learned this year. It's a long list, just so ya know.

1. Expect the unexpected! And even when you expect it, well, there will always be something even more unexpected to expect. So be happy anyway, and expect the best, because it's the best thing to expect.

2. Life goes on. Hurt, even the worst kind, does in fact heal, but slowly. You can't force it.

3. Trust once broken doesn't instantly come back. Trust to relationships is like oil to a car, if you don't constantly put oil in your relationship car, it will break. Once you've overheated your relationships, by forgetting to put oil in your car, it takes a lot to gain that trust again. Trust is in fact---in a way, greater than love. Or to put it more accurately, it is the highest form of love. You may love a person, but that does not you will ever trust them. Trust is something you earn. Not a right. It is something that is gained day by day, action by action, deed by deed. By being constant and reliable, in time of need, and in time of plenty. By being willing to be there for others when they need you. It means being willing to listen, to keep your promises. It means sacrifice, listening to others in a Christ-centered way.

I have always loved the example of Christ, when Mary comes to him crying, telling him that Lazarus is dead. He could have said so many other things at that moment. He could have judged her, and told her that he could heal Lazarus. He could have told her that he knew so much more than her about the situation. He could have accused her of not tending to his sickness in a better manner. He could have told her that he was busy. He could have told her not to worry because there is a afterlife. He could have told her not to cry, and to just have more faith. To not be such a baby, that he could raise him from the dead. He could have given her the typical man response of "hey I can fix you. I can fix this problem. I can go in there and bam---make him alive." But instead doing any of that, he weeps with her. That is one of my favorite scripture stories because of Christ's beautiful example for us in communication. Mary came to him with a problem, and he offered what? Comfort, an ear. He didn't disagree or agree with her. He wept with her. He didn't drown her with any of his own superior knowledge about the situation. He looked at her with compassion, and sympathized with her needs on a deeply intimate level, where he felt exactly what she was feeling---which was loss, and cried with her, even though he knew that Lazarus would soon be alive again.

So, I guess, what I'm trying to say, in a round about way is, that this year, I have learned many things about what it means when the scripture says, "And Jesus wept." I've learned that Christlike communication means to forsake your pride, knowledge, judgments, insecurities, our paradigm (the way we see the world) and what it really means to listen with love. That in itself is a huge deposit if your trying to build trust in a relationship. I'll admit, right now I have a huge problem trusting men. Not that you needed to know that either. But I do, and I suppose I should get over it. But hey, things like this take time.

4. Word of advice to single people/things I've learned from being in a singles ward. Have goals. Don't be in a hurry to jump on the marriage wagon just because the world says now is the time to be married. Be the type of person you are seeking. Be enthused about life. Have interests because it gives others the permission to do the same. Never rush into things. Date lots of people. Eternity is a long time, so don't be in a hurry. Have fun, and learn to relax, and above all, be happy right now. No one can make you happy. You can only share in each others happiness.

5. Sometimes, you have to believe in yourself when nobody else does. And sometimes you have to forgive yourself, and forgive others too, especially when they don't even know they hurt you.

6. Music has the power to bring about miracles, to heal, to brighten someones day, to bring back old memories, to inspire. Music breaks language barriers, and brings meaning to the simple ordinary things of life.

7. If you're going to go sledding down a canyon, watch out for bridges with ten feet drop offs. They can be dangerous.

8. If you're going to write a book, write it. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to complete it. It doesn't matter if others like it or don't. It matters that you believe in the story, that you love writing, that you sincerely believe you have something to say. It doesn't matter if agents turn down your work, or if editors have too many other books on their plate. What matters is you do what you love. That you write, and you keep on writing, because that's who you are.

9. Never keep your glasses on your lap wile eating in the car. They might end up on the road, smashed into small pieces.

10. Life is precious. Never take the small moments for granted. Show people you care for them right now. You may never get a second chance.

11. Sometimes even when you show people how much you care about them they might forget. They might use you. They might even forget you're there. Show them you care anyway.

12. Some people will only like you if you're doing what they think you should be doing. And even if you decide to do what they think you should be doing, they probably won't like you anyway, so why not stay true to yourself, and do what you know you should do.

13. Kids in preschool know lots more than adults do who've graduated from collage.

14. Puncture weeds hurt bare toes.

15. Wear appropriate swim gear when doing any sort of water activity, or you might end up embarrassed.

16. Too much Cyan pepper hurts.

17. When hiking through the snow, wear boots, not summer shoes.

18. Wind is a powerful force. Don't offer your mom to come wind running with you, holding a sheet. She might end up with a bloody knee.

19. When running a marathon, make sure you don't drink ice cold water. The side ache that will follow will be very painful.

20. Laughing is good medicine.

21. Don't drive a truck that pretty much has no breaks, on a hill, near a dumpster.

22. Don't touch the heater, and our light switch at the same time. Electrocution may follow.

23. You get always back what you put into something.

24. I've learned that caffeine, exciting movies, and rock, with loud speakers can be something very enjoyable. Yes. I'm a heathen I know.

25. It's fun to break paradigm barriers.

26. If you believe you have something good to offer the world, the world will believe you too.

27. There are things much worse in this life than the world coming to the end. Get over it. Live your life.

28. Dare, dream, and go after your goals. Nobody else can dream for you. Nobody else can touch the world in the way that you can.

29. Hobbits are real. King Arthur really had a round table. And fairies live in our backyard.

30. Things worth trying, doing, or being, will nine times out of ten, be ten times harder than you think to do, be, or become. But it will be worth it, if you stick to it, every time.

31. I can hula hoop on on my feet, nose, shoulders, elbows, neck, knees, and about everywhere else.

32. When tubing down a rapid river, makes sure you and your companions use tubes that are the appropriate size and shape. To do otherwise could be disastrous.

33. Don't pack hula hoops in a suitcase in an airport. It's bound to be searched.

34. Don't run with your cellphone poking out your coat pocket.

35. Goats will and can get tangled in anything and everything.

36. Never let others define who you are.

37. Grownups are just kids in grown up bodies.

38. Not all things are what they seem. But sometimes it seems like it.

39. Chewing saved up pieces of gum is gross. Just throw them away.

40. Be thankful in all things.

41. Give in anyway you can, to anybody you can. And give lots of real hugs. Touch is healing thing.

42.It's fun to have a secret place, even if it's in a corn patch, to be still and think.

43. Try new things. Stretch. Some things I thought were bad weren't as bad as I thought they were, and some good things aren't as good as I thought they were.

44. Always give someone a second chance, including yourself.

45. Round objects, such as volley balls, footballs, and Frisbees can nearly break ones nose, when thrown at high enough speeds.

46. Appliances are like teenagers. They like to go off together.

47. Smile, after you've eaten spinach.

48. When the toilet is starting to overflow, don't just stand there.

49. Girls bond through talking. Men through doing stuff.

50. Wash your pillow case if you have zits on one side of your face.

51. The goals we set for ourselves make us stretch, and grow. But it's journey towards those goals that truly defines us. It's the consistent, daily realignment of who we are and what we wish to be, with our true selves, that brings us joy. Not what we reach in the end, not this grand palace full of gold. It may bring us partial joy. But the real tangible beauty and joy is not what we get, but who we become in the end.

52. I write too much. I think I should go blow my nose. This is the longest post ever.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Live a life of gratitude

This Thanksgiving has made me stop and rethink a lot of things.
Re-center if you will. Yesterday, and early this morning I wasn't very grateful. In fact, I was feeling as un-greatful and grumpy as a cactus patch. I guess it started out by me thinking of everybody who wasn't going to come to our house for Thanksgiving this year, via to my parents divorce, and things being awkward. That made me feel particularly blue. Poor me. Poor us. Poor everybody.

After that, it seemed like my day gradually grew worse. I got a headache, and I started feeling ungrateful for a hundred other things that weren't working the way I wanted them to. Then early this morning my grandma had another heart attack. Bam! Not good!! I love my grandma so much, and I haven't been visiting her as often as I would like. Thus I started inwardly beating myself up for all the things I wasn't. So I sat on the couch and cried.

After that, I kept on thinking to myself, "Hey, Steph, it is Thanksgiving. Duh! Why am I not giving thanks? I need to give thanks. Not only do I need to give thanks today, I need to live a life of thanks and gratitude everyday!"

Then the question of the day was, "How am I going to live of life of thanks?" As the day progressed, I started thinking about what gratitude really is, why it's so important, and what I need to do to live in Thanks.

I surmised that gratitude is much more than a word. It is a feeling so strong that when you genuinely feel gratitude, and abundance in your life, it shows in your countenance, in every aspect of your deeds, and it flows like water and gives freely to all those who surround you.
When you truly acknowledge the abundance God has blessed you with in your life, you no longer need to compare yourself to others, or feel as though you aren't or don't have enough, or that we will never measure up. Lack is a lie the devil cooked up! So don't partake. It's not very filling. And you'll always be hungry if you eat what he serves.

Once you start to look for God's hand in your life everything starts to change. His love for us is endless, our potential is eternal, his abundance is everlasting. With the Lord there will always be enough. His abundance will be reflected in our lives if we go to him in prayer, and remember to remember that he is and will always fill those empty spaces in our Thanksgiving feast. There will always, even in the most difficult circumstances, be something to be grateful for.

My challenge to you is to go about this next week (7 days) and try to acknowledge God's hand in your life---try to be thankful, even when things go wrong. See, for that short time, if anything in your life changes for the better. Try to acknowledge his hand in the little things, as well as the big things. Then before you go to bed each night, write ten things you are truly thankful for in your new (Thankful Notebook)

I'm taking the challenge, how about you?

This is my grateful list tonight

Tonight I'm grateful for the healing power of laughter.
For warm hugs!
For people who need me.
For the opportunity to sing and make music with my sisters.
For the long summers past I had with my grandma gardening with her, and talking about everything under the sun.
I'm grateful for time to reflect and recenter.
I'm grateful for happy secrets, and long talks in the night with my sisters.
I'm grateful for the seasons of the year, and what they teach of renewal and acceptance of change, growth and harmony.
I'm grateful for the snowdrifts, and the fun I have stepping into them.
I'm grateful for the fun it is to eat homemade huckleberry pie with my fingers.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Polar Bears under water

So I Was at the Zoo in PA and I took this video. The kids screaming the background are a little annoying. But it's still pretty cool.

Have a great day.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Steph's hula hooping

I was hooping this morning and noticed the nice shadow on the wall, so my mom got the camera and videoed a short bit. As you can see I only have a small window of space to hoop, thus my hooping tricks are VARY limited.
Someday I'll figure something out so I can actually get some neat tricks on camera.

Thanks for watching

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Funny! The yawning horse

So I saw my sister's horse yawning one day, and I decided to give it corn every time it yawned. Everyday when I was milking the goats I would work with the horse. It's so funny. It sees me and starts to yawn. Guess I make her sleepy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I read this and thought this was really good. Are you apart of the fellowship of the unashamed?

Mission Statement


I AM A PART of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.
The die has been cast. The decision has been made. I have stepped over the line. I won’t look
back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is in God’s hands. I am
finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, the bare minimum, smooth
knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, frivolous living, selfish giving, and
dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, applause, or popularity. I
don’t have to be right, first, the best, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live
by faith. I lean on Christ’s presence. I love with patience, live by prayer, and labor with the
power of God’s grace.
My face is set. My gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my
companions are few, my Guide is reliable, and my mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I
will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the
table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, let up or slow up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid
up, and spoken up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till He comes, give until I drop, speak out until all know,
and work until He stops me.
And when He returns for His own, He will have no difficulty recognizing me. My banner is
clear: I am a part of the Fellowship of the Unashamed.
Adapted from the original (author unknown) by Patrick Madrid

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You Are Worth It

Can you believe it? It's raining like crazy, and it's June, for crying out loud. If it keeps up, my little piece of the world may very well become a rain forest. (hope, hope)

I've been thinking a lot. Stressing a little too much, and feeling guilty for it. Life is so complex, and there are so many facets to life and relationships. Take for instance, this lady I worked for; let's call her, (The Red Queen of hearts) She even had red hair. To make a long story short, she worked me, worked me HARD, and then, when it came time to pay up, she looked at me with an, off with her head, look in her eyes and told me she couldn't pay me what I asked. Believe me, she could afford to pay me, and I had done a lot of hard work. What I asked was fare. However, she wouldn't budge.
I thought of lots of spunky, assertive things to say. I tried to go for a win win--a compromise. But instead, she intimidated me, and then she went for win loose. So, what did I do? I let her (proverbially of course) chop off my head. She won, I lost. Then she had the assumption that I was going to come and work for her again. No way was I going to go back, and be made to feel like my work was worthless.

It bothered me. A lot. I like looking for the good in people, and I'm sure this woman has many admirable qualities, but she is very lacking in other areas. Situations like these always put me in a sour mood. Perhaps I must further learn humility and forgiveness. Maybe I shouldn't be blogging about (The Red Queen Of Hearts) I don't know. Perhaps It has nothing to do with what I must learn, but perhaps something I must learn to be, instead.
Maybe I must learn to be assertive.
Learn to be kind---to a point--but(sharp)
Be a person who knows when to say, "No," because in saying no, to distractions, counterfeits, demeaning people, I am saying, "YES" to something much greater and better. Saying "YES" to the fact that I am worth something.

Seriously, no matter where you go on this world, there will be people who look nice at first glance--in all appearance queens with loving hearts, but when it comes time to pay the piper, you may find that the they are the queen of hearts only by default, and the only reason they possess such a name is that they rule with fear, not love.

So, when you find yourself before a queen, or king, who gives you that, off with your head, you smelly servant, look. Please know, in your own heart, that they can't tell you your worth, or see the greatness inside of you. You know exactly how much you are worth. Don't let their small words, and demeaning glances get to you.
You know you are worth it, even if they don't. No outward sign will ever prove to the world the greatness inside you. Oh, you'll do great things, and some people may remember them. And some people will forget them and think that your efforts are silly. Do great things anyway. Your deeds, words and actions are only a very small reflection of who you are on the inside. You are an amazing person. Always remember that, and let your words, actions, and thoughts reflect that message, and you will change lives.
You are worth it. You are amazing. You are great. You deserve it, whatever it is that you are seeking. Right now, this very second, you are every inch, loved, a hero, and a person with limitless potential for good. YOU ARE WORTH IT. There are so many messages in today's world that try to make you think that you are less than what you are, and when that happens, when you give in to those demeaning messages, you loose sight of that greatness, and stagnation happens. Push away the negative barriers, unlock the cell doors that bind you in, open the beautiful window of your mind and let in the light. Use your wings, even if your peers say that you don't have any. You do. You will fly. You will go places that they never dreamed of, and you will see things from a far greater perspective than you have ever been before. You will inspire others.

Below is a few videos that I came across that inspired me. I hope they will inspire you as well. I'm not sure how to get the videos to play from my blog, so I think you'll have to copy and paste the links to see them. They're really "WORTH IT."

Have a great day.

Motivational Video - Overcoming Adversity

Fun quotes

Love this video

Motivational Video Inspires Excellence

Inspiring Authors

(Love it)

Ray Bradbury speaks about WRITING! (We are Put on earth to love being alive)

Literature (Beautiful)

All time favorite

Keep holding on

An Inspirational Video 1 (Chart your path)

(Feel good song)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why I Love Mosquitoes

My niece was with some neighbor kids, showing off our horse, trying to inform her friends all about our farm animals. She got on top of the fence, and patted the horse, then pointed to the horse's nose.
“K, guys,” she said, her big eyes shining, “see that really big nose hole there on the horse. Well, anyway, make sure you don't stick your finger up it because you'll get lots of really gross horse boogers on it."
It got me thinking that her extensive knowledge on this subject must have come from personal experience in the matter.

Then, at dinner, while she was eating her hot dog, she asked, “hot dogs are in the food group, right?”
I shrugged. “I guess so. But I think they should be in the junk food group.”
She looked at me and laughed. “No, silly. Hot dogs are in the meat food group. They’re also in the food pyramid, aren’t they?”
“You know about the food pyramid? Wow. Where did you learn about that, Preschool?”
“No, first grade.”
Gosh, kids are too smart for their own good.

Last one.

While I was playing on the trampoline, one of my nieces said, “I gots a mosquito bite. Want to see?”
She showed me the red bump, smiling the whole time as if it was a wonderful red jewel.
I made a face. “Ouch. I don’t like mosquito bites, they make me itchy.”
“I don’t itch dem.”
“You don’t?”
“Nope. I only itch it with my eyes. But sister itches hers with her fingers.”
“You itch them with your eyes?”
She nodded. “Yes. Look at it.” She traced the red bump lovingly. “It’s pretty cute.”
I shook my head. “Doesn’t look cute. Mean old mosquitoes. I hate them.”
She looked rather upset when I said this. “I don’t hate mosquitoes. I love dem mosquitoes.”
“Really? Why do you love mosquitoes?”
She smiled and laughed as if I was ignorant of some great knowledge. “Because Jesus made the mosquitoes.”
I looked at her dumbfounded. “Why do you think Jesus made the mosquitoes?”
“I don’t know, because he wanted to.”
After that, I stopped asking so many “stupid” questions, after all, Jesus made the mosquitoes. Who was I to hate the blood sucking monsters. Maybe he made them for a reason. Maybe our problems----the annoying little the 'mosquitoes' of life, that buzz in our ears, making us itchy uncomfortable, buzz into our life for a reason. Maybe as adults, we are not fully able to comprehend or understand the reasons why we have these ‘mosquitoes’ in our life. Maybe the only thing we can do is except that whatever 'swollen itchy bumps," we happen to acquire, are beautiful, because they are blessings in disguise. Wouldn't it be an awesome thing if we could learn love whatever comes into our lives; be it butterfly, mosquito, rude people, bad weather or stink bug days. Wouldn't it be a neat thing if we could just look at those little monsters and just say, I love them. Jesus knows best. Lessons from the young.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Hiccuping Shopping Cart

I was thinking about all the strange, funny things that happen in life. Me, myself, and I make a great team, when it comes to the humor department. I play terribly funny jokes on myself, without even knowing it.

Take for instance, the fact that when graced with a new idea, especially when it has to do with health, I'll usually try it, just to see if there is any interesting, happy results.

This strange habit of mine always gets me into interesting situations. For instance, yesterday, when I decided to try a new anti wrinkle concoction. (please note that most of my concoctions are very nice) But this one, was very unpleasant. I mixed up some clay powder, with a heaping tablespoon of cayenne pepper, some honey, and some Neem powder. I rubbed it all over my face, around my eyes, and down my neck, thinking that the heat from the cayenne was good for circulation a overall beauty and health.

The day before, I had tried the clay and cayenne, and it had felt okay---not too hot. I'm guessing that the clay from the day before dried out my skin, so that's why my experience was so000000oo0 very unpleasant. Two minutes passed before I felt my face and neck pulsing with heat. It felt like I'd put my face in a pan of boiling oil. I was rather irritated that my skin was being so sensitive today, so I figured that I just needed to leave it on a little bit longer and all would be well.
However it just got hotter, my nose started to run, and my eyes started watering so bad that I couldn't see. I ran to the tap and started scrubbing off all my wonderful facial. The more I scrubbed the hotter it got. My face became so bright red that you could have roasted bacon on it and still had room to fry a steak. Seriously. It was soooo hot! I put milk on my face, but that didn't help. So I butchered our aloe plant and smeared aloe juice on my face. After that, I went to the honey jar and plastered that on my face as well. Then I put some neem oil, which is great for burns, on my face. All in all, it took awhile for my face to simmer down, and I did not have to call the fire department to have them put out the fire on my face. Though, it crossed my mind.

Oh, and did I say that my mom, sister, and brother all laughed at me? But I don't blame them. I laughed at myself too. If you're wondering the status of my skin today? Well, the skin smooth and soft, and feels nice and firm. So maybe, (VERY BIG, CAUTIOUS, MAYBE) when I'm feeling the need to torture myself again....I'll brave the horrors of cayenne (only after I've moisturized my face veryyyyyyy heavily)

So that was one funny, horrible thing. Yeah, I know, I should be nice to myself. I thought I was being nice though. Second funny, when I went out to pick asparagus, in our ditch outback. It had started to drizzle, and the clouds overhead were looking very dark and nasty. But I pressed on anyway. Just as I got out there, the rain began to pour down in sheets, cats, dogs, geese, tigers, and elephants. I went ahead ignoring the downpour, through the mud, over rocks and hills. I wanted to prove to the rain, or whatever, that I was super woman, "The woman" who could travel though rain, mud, and wind to reach the goal. Nothing could stop me. The further I went, the more drenched I became. I had to get down in the muddy ditch to get asparagus, and got very muddy myself. The rain became more fierce, and pelted against my body trying to get me to go back home. Pretty soon, I could feel the wetness seeping into my underclothes. Not cool. When I reached the end of the ditch I decided to go back on the other side, where it was much more muddier, in hopes of finding more asparagus. As I went, I began to feel very dilapidated, and soggy. My shoes squeaked with water, and felt extremely heavy because of the huge logs of mud that kept building under their treads as I walked. Then, to my horror, I found that the bag I was putting the asparagus in had conveniently acquired a slit, so who knows how much hard-earned asparagus I had lost on the way. I stood there feeling like a pretty picture of a person. Soggy, cold, muddy, with a bag that had a hole in it. Nice, Steph, real nice. (funny?) not then. But now (yes) The things we do to prove to the rain that we are tough. (I mean really, does the rain care if I sit out in it all day) No. Just like mud doesn't care if I stand in it all day. Sometimes it's just better to wait until the sun comes out. Seriously.

Third funny,

Last weekend, my sister and I had a pity party, as we all do, when life just keeps on handing you onions. And when life hands you onions, you don't have any choice but to cry. However, when life hands you lemons, you can pucker, that's it, and possibly make some lemonade---if you have enough suger. Onions, on the other hand, can't be made into lemonade. That is, not unless you want onion juice. And I don't see how drinking onion juice can make anybody happy. Onions, can only be chopped up, stewed, and fried.

So my sister, having been handed an especially powerful 'Onion,' wanted to make the best of it, and we both went to town to forget our troubles and pick up some items at the grocery store for my mom. When we got to the store, I went to grab a cart, but my sister pulled one out before me, and so I took it, and away we went. Ca-chunk-ca-chunk-ca-chunk. The cart throttled its way down the isle like one ridden with palsy. It sounded worse than a washing machine that has been way overloaded.
We started to laugh. "We should put it back," my sister murmured.
I shook my head, getting that, 'We can trudge through the rain even if we don't have umbrellas---we can take any cart that's handed to us, even if it sounds like its having seizures," look. I guess I can be a sucker for punishment, but we kept the cart. As we went past other shoppers, where one usually nods very discreetly to the other shopper, that was no longer an option.
The cart-ca-chunked-ca-chunked so loudly that the other shoppers started to giggle, and we laughed. The cart let everyone know that we were there. The cart, though very handicapped, caused us to forget the truckload of onions waiting for us at home. We strolled through the store, with our sneezing, hiccuping cart, joking that perhaps the cart had a blood sugar drop, and needed some candy. However, we settled on filling the cart with strawberries, but the cart kept on hiccuping, letting the world know that, the 'Skeem' girls were taking their dear sweet time buying milk.
When we got to the checkout, the cashier, laughed and said, "oh you have THE CART," as if he knew the implications of pushing it around.
I giggled and said, "So you know about THE CART?"
He smiled and told me that he could hear us pushing "THE CART" a mile away.
I commented on the fact that it was a beast to push around.
He started to laugh. "Yeah, the cart got hit by a car, so that's why it's so noisy. should have let that hobo take it when he tried to wheel the cart away."
"A bum tried to take the cart?"
"Yeah, but I tackled him and got it back."
I smiled, thinking of a hobo trying to wheel off the noisy, handicapped cart, only to be tackled. Poor guy.

As I left the store with my sister, I thought of the cart---the broken cart that lurched like stick shift truck. I wondered what other stories were attached to the cart. Perhaps life is a lot like that cart. We all have different carts, some get get hit by cars, other get wheeled off by hobos, some don't get used, some are decorated with gold, silver and filled with riches, some are empty, and some get overused, but no matter what our circumstances, it's still up to us to make the best out of whatever 'cart' we get dealt with--hiccuping cart, or not. It's up to us to fill our cart with good things, and take out the bad things that other people put in it. Life is meant to be fun. Learn to laugh, even while pushing a cart with hiccups, a cart full of onions. What matters is that we keep pushing the cart. Eventually we'll get to the checkout and find that everything happens for a reason. Life is beautiful. Live it. Keep on pushing your cart.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Magic Of Great Endings

I'm an author who craves good endings. Constantly I am frustrated with books, movies and stories of all kinds that have endings that are too easily resolved. I detest endings that leave you feeling ripped off. I am a author who believes in the ‘Wave technique,’ yeah, sorry if you don’t know what that is, but it’s my terminology for bringing the reader to a magnificent peak, where the main character is brought face -to-face before his fears, before his enemies, battles them with great struggle, so much struggle that you can’t tell what’s going to happen, or if he will win in the end.

In a story, I want struggle, because that is what makes stories great. Then after the struggle, I want to be brought down to see what happens. Do they really live happily ever after? Will they be able to live normal lives after this? What do they do after the battle? If I create a relationship with a character I want to know these things. I don’t want to be suddenly cut off after the bad guy is dead. It’s really stupid! I hate that! That is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves! After investing so much time in writing a screenplay or book, why in the heck does the author or movie director cut off the ending without us letting us see the results of the main characters struggles. Sorry if you're not into details. As an author, I believe in letting a story settle. When you cast a stone into the water, you don’t just see the splash. You see the ripples. In a book, I want to see the ripples, I want to see the details. Not all the details, some details you can, and should leave up to the readers imagination. But why not put in the details that matter.

Good books are like friends. I don’t know about you, but when I create a friendship, one where I really care about the person, I want to know about their struggles, and the results of those struggles. So, in story telling, I believe that all truly good endings come in perfect time. Good ends are never forced, hurried, or even easy ones. Good ends are made GREAT because after all the hardship, all the struggle, there it stands, solid, beautiful, magical.

Good endings aren’t like the spark of a firework that blasts off and sparkles for a second, only to suddenly vanish. Good endings are like enchanting sunsets, that set slowly, softly, and subtly. Their coming is gradual, and it casts a spell over all who see it, and for that moment in time, people gaze up and are lifted, inspired, and brought to a higher plane of thought. That is what a good ending is like. That is what I love. That is the magic that good endings cast. They are truly rare. When you find one, hold onto it.

Truly Good Endings are the things legends are made of.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Daughters Of Beauty

So I just got home from a long day at church. My mom, my sisters and myself, had the privilege of putting on a program for a ward that lives waaaay out yonder. The high councilman, our kind neighbor, Steve, also spoke. My sisters and I sang, and my mom talked. My sisters and I had to wake up early just to get ready for the meeting. We left the house about 8:30 A.M and sang in a branch that is about two or three hours away from my house---out in the middle of nowhere, and got back an hour or two ago. It's funny how traveling to a place much more desolate than where you live can make you appreciate where you do live. I know that where I live is VERY nowhereish but this place gets the grand prize for being the nothing of nowhere. There was miles of desert and sagebrush for far as the eye can see. Getting there was a long drive, and we got there even before the church had been unlocked. So we went for a stroll down the dusty roads. The ward was nice, and we had a good meal afterward. (I know that's not much description) but I'm tired. So suffice it to say that we came, we prayed, we sang, we ate, we laughed, and overall it was a good experience. I came home to check my email, and found that I had a awesome letter in my e-mail box, telling me that I had WON a 130 dollars worth of beauty products for an essay I had entered in a contest. I guess that not too long ago I entered a contest called Daughters of Beauty. Part of the entry process was to write a short story about a person that inspires you. Then I had to load a picture of myself, the person that inspires me, and a picture of what inspires me, (which is my sweet niece, Acacia) Then a beauty tip.

All in all, the contest wasn't that complicated, but I totally forgot that I had entered the contest. Surprisingly, I made it to the top ten, (which is pretty cool) considering all the other super awesome entries. Not to brag. But it made my day, as unexpected things tend to do. Just think, had I remembered, maybe I could have gotten all my facebook friends to vote me up to the grand prize. (what a fun thought) I think the prize was a vacation to some where cool, or something like that. Anywho, I'm really excited. If you wish to share in my bliss, you may click on the link below to see my winning entry.

Thanks so much

Have a great day


Your entry in the Elizabeth Arden “Daughters of Beauty” contest has selected
as one of the ten finalists and has earned the Honorable Mention prize.

K, so I had a friend tell me the link I just put on here to see my entry wasn't working right. So here goes again. Hope it works.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tearwater Tea Moments

I hope you all have read the Children's books of Frog and Toad, by Arnold Lobel. If you haven't you need to go check them out at your library.
I've always liked those simple little stories. Today I was thinking about one Frog and Toad story called, "Tearwater Tea." For some reason I really like that story. It's rather funny, but sad in a way. In the story Owl thinks of sad things so that he can fill his teapot with tears. It's funny because owl, at least in my perception, likes thinking of sad things, so he can cry. He seems to revel in the sadness, as if he enjoys it. He thinks of beautiful mornings that no-one will see because they are still asleep, spoons that have fallen behind the stove and are never seen again. Songs that cannot be sung because the words have been forgotten. Mashed potatoes that have been left on a plate because nobody wanted to eat them. He thinks of pencils that are too short to use, and so on.

The story sounds rather silly, but who isn't silly at times? Who doesn't feel sad, now and again. Tonight as I was having my Sunday, ritual star-gazing alone time with the sky, and I had what you might call a 'Tearwater Tea Moment,'

I wondered what the stars had witnessed throughout all the wars and all the centuries of troubles of this earth. I thought of a sad movie I'd watched. I wondered why so many sad things happen to people.
I thought of world war II, and the struggles innocent people on both sides had to endure.
I thought of all the lonely people in the world, and how sad it was.
I thought of all the hurting that must be going on throughout the world, and all the pain, and wished that somehow I could stop it. I marveled that the stars will still be here after I'm gone. I envied their steadiness and great beauty.

After long introspection, I cleared the sad thoughts away, and surmised that if love is one of the most powerful forces on earth, then I can do my part and be a loving person. Even though being the most loving person in the world won't take away the world's suffering masses, it might, perhaps, ease, at least, one person's pain. My kindness may not stop wars, but it might stop a fight. I may not solve the hate that so often stalks the word, and the greed, selfishness, and pride that make up half of the world's problems, but I can give what I can. I can be humble, and I can think of others before I think of myself.

I can make a difference. And so can you.

The stars are watching. What will you do?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Conversation With The Big Man Upstairs

Dear blog,

I know you and I haven't had a chat in a while. So I guess we'll chat. A lot has happened since we last talked. My world has changed drastically. It's like someone blindsided me, and I'm just totally baffled.

It's like I woke up one morning, and God said, guess what, I'm going to take away your dad. Not only that, I'm going to take everything you've ever known and loved and I'm going to turn it upside down. Now howdah like that?"

And God's sitting there, rubbing his hands together, sayin, "Okay, Steph, now's your big chance. What are ya going to do with this whopper of a trial?"

And poor little Steph looks up, scratches her head, and says, "I don't get it? Is this some kind of joke. Because it's not really that funny?"

God looks down and says, "Well, maybe not. But I'm refining you, making you better."

Bewildered Steph raises her hands in confusion, "God, I thought that refined things were bad for you. Like sugar and that sort of thing. You know it's not all that healthy? Refined stuff causes cancer, and stress is not healthy, is it?"

God smiles. "Yes, you're right, refined things that man makes are very undesirable and corrupt. Their silly ways at playing God never work. When they could be following me, they seek to discover ways around me. But my ways are not your ways. Your refining isn't my kind of refining. When I refine, I make better. I make perfect. You understand?"

Steph shakes her head. "I don't know. I'm feeling pretty homogenized right now, and far from being better. God, it feels like your cooking me in the Microwave. How much longer do you want me to fry? I'm afraid if you leave me in here too long, I'm going to go up in a puff of smoke."

God laughs. "I don't microwave. I've use a really nifty a melting pot. When I'm through with you, there's going to be a lot more to you than just smoke. I'm thinking more on the line of Gold."

"You mean coal. It's black and sooty."

"No, G-O-L-D, as in shiny."

So when is this "gold" going to happen. I'm not feeling shiny. Feels like you hate me, like I hate me."

"Hate is a strong word."

"Yeah, I know."

"So why do you think I hate you. Why do you hate you?"

"Because you must think I've got some terrible flaws to put me through this. So others can't help but think the same thing."

"That's what Job's friends thought too. But they were wrong."



"Why then?"

"Why not?"

"Why not?! Why not? I'll tell you why, because it's lame. Everything was perfect before this came along."

"Really, your family was perfect?"

"Well, almost."

"Almost isn't perfect. And that's why."

"Gosh, your a perfectionist."

"I'm God. Can't help it. It's in the genes."

"In the genes?"

"Yes, and its in your genes too. You are my child, so you can't be content with imperfection. I want to make you perfect."

"I don't see how you're going to make me perfect with this trial, God. I mean, it seems like it's bringing out everybody's flaws, and everybody is just getting nasty and rude and mean, and those who are nice are getting hurt."

"My son was bruised for your transgressions, do you think you are above him?"


"But what? Trials will bring out the best in some, the worst in others. It's all apart of the refining process. You see, I can't fix things people hide. Like resentment, or unforgivness. Once those things are out in the open is when they can be fixed (in place) or fixed as in repaired."

"Funny reasoning."

"I thought you said it wasn't funny."

"Funny as in---strange."

"Thank you. My was are peculiar."

"Yeah, I agree."

"I'm glad you finally agree with me."

"I do?"

"Yeah, you do."

"God, I just have one more question, I mean, since we're all agreeing and everything. Why do I feel so alone? Why don't people believe me? Haven't I been honest all my life? Haven't I tried to do my best with what you've given me? Why do I have to carry this load alone. Sometimes I just get so tired.

"I sent my son to this earth, and they didn't believe him either, and he was perfect.
He died on the cross, and I had to hide my face from him---he was alone, tired, and tempted. You have never been alone, and you never will be. My son took care of that so you wouldn't have to."



"Thank you."

"Your welcome."

"Oh, and one more thing."

"I'm always listening."

"You know those trials you were talking about?"

"Yeah. But I prefer to call them 'love notes,' because I send them to those I love."

"Well, after all this perfecting is completed, could you send those, 'love-notes,' you call trials, somewhere else. I mean, I'm feeling overly-loved."

"Gosh, I don't know. I love you lots."

"That's what I'm afraid of."

"Awe, you're just sayin that."

"No, I'm shouting it! No more love-letters. Not unless they're flowing with milk and honey."

"Oh, but they are."

"You have a very active imagination."

"So do you."

"If they were filled with milk and honey, how come I'm not drinking a glass of milk, and dipping my fingers into a sweet honey-jar, right now?"

"Perhaps, if you took a look around you, you would see the wonderful blessings I have heaped before you. They have always been there."



"Gosh, I need a new pair of glasses. Hey, is that glass half full, or half empty?"

"Only you can answer that."

One of my hobbies Hoop-dancing

My mom took a video of my shadow while I was hoop-dancing. So I thought I would share.

Copy and paste the link into your browser if you would like to take a peek.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Therein is your peace

Life is funny. One moment you think you've got everything figured out, and the next, it's as if you've been handed a hot potato that you don't know what to do with.

I, as in me, the writer, have had my share of the unspeakable R word. That topped off with other stresses, have been eating away at me, grinding on me, to the point where I'm feeling a little thin, and in need of a pick up.

Big gasp. Cheerful Stephanie has problems too. It's funny to see how people deal with problems. Some talk, some eat, some trumpet their woes before the world. Some just deal with them quietly. Others fight it. Some except it, others try to make sense out of this messed up world, and do the best they can with what they've got. Some thank the Lord for their problems, while others curse him.

Once I had a someone tell me that I could never understand their awful problems, because I never had any, and was all so cheerful all the time.

That's when it hurts. I wish I was so fortunate as be perfectly perfect all the time. But seriously, Stephanie is human. And when I talk in the third person, I mean it. :)

Anywho, I thought, for the record, that I would write some of what I read that helped me feel a little better.

Excerpt from the book, "The power in Thank you---By T.T. Braun

Man is fickle. What he loves one moment, he may hate the next; that which he thinks will bring joy sometimes brings sorrow; his dreams can turn into nightmares, and that which stalks him in the night are the shadows of his own creation---man, the enigma. Life is unpredictable. Men plan, and the world revolves oblivious to men's plans and desires. Change is the only constant, and with it, comes pain and pleasure---life, the crucible. Considering man's world, consider this counsel: "Put your heart into it but don't set your heart upon it."

Set goals; work them; do your best; expect the best; but that's all; your part is done. Having done all you can do, be unconcerned with the results, the outcome. Do not even care what the outcome will be. After all, having done all you could do, there is nothing left you can do. Therein is your peace.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wonderful ways for writers to stay fit

Lets face it. Writing requires a lot of sitting. I mean, a lot.

Writing for a long time always makes me feel like a toadstool, cemented in place, ironically wishing that I could look as good as all the characters I write about.

So the question of the century is: how do writers stay fit? How do they honestly keep their spare tire from sprouting three or four more? How to they get rid of spare tires and make it so they don't have flabby necks, cramped wrists, and tired tushes?

As a fit fanatic, I tried many things to keep in shape, and this is what I found out.

First: chew lots of gum while you're writing. Not only does chewing gum help your neck to become toned. It's also great for toning the muscles you use when you sing. Spry is my first choice of gum. This gum has Xylitol in it, so it's very good for your teeth. Note, most name brand gums that contain fake sugars are bad for your health. Also sit ups are excellent for keeping your neck from becoming flabby.

Second. I noticed that I slump a lot when I write. So I did some research and found that exercise balls are great for your back while sitting at a desk, and they make wonderful computer chairs. I got one and love it. It's helped my back, and I find it useful to stretch out on after long hours of writing. You can also do sit ups on them, which is a lot easier for me than doing them on the hard ground.

Third: No matter what anyone says, you need to get your heart rate up to keep a healthy motab. It's hard to do this when you're a writer. Sitting is the name of the game. But it doesn't have to be. I've found that the answer to this lies in the simple circular object of the hula hoop. It's convenient and you can pick it up anytime you want. I know what you're thinking. It's a kids toy. I haven't hooped since I was twelve.

Well, I'm here to tell you that hooping is amazing, and once you start it, you'll be hooked. Research has shown that you can burn up to 600 or so calories by just hooping for a small amount of time.

It tones your core, helps you become more agile, and besides all that, it's fun. However, the first thing you need to know about hooping, is that most hula hoops you buy at the store are JUNK! Made in china crud. If you're like most adults, you need something a little heavier and sturdier.

If you're in the market to buy one, you can google: hoop dancing hoops, or sport hoops. If you don't like that idea, you can be like me and make your own hoop. If you don't like any of those ideas, I can make a hoop for or about 30 bugs+shipping. Yeah, it's a lot of money for a hoop. But it's worth it.

You're abs will love you for it. Sometimes I find hooping more energizing than a nap. Hooping is wonderful because you don't need to go outside to do it. You don't have to go to the gym. All you have to do is pick it up and swivel your hips, turn on some music and dance.

Oh yeah, one more thing. If your wrists are bothering you from typing, a copper bracelet works wonders. I wouldn't have believed it until I put one on. Now I can't take it off. It really does help.

Until next time.


One of these days, when I'm feeling especially nice, I'll get up a video of some hoop dancing I've done. Someday I hope to have my own little space in which teach hoop dancing, not only to kids, but adults.

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