Wednesday, May 19, 2010
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.
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
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
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
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?