Saturday, December 20, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

From the Williams Family to yours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

At Least "Meltdown" Was on My To-do List

by Andilyn Jenkins

I write everything in my day planner (although I call it an assignment calendar because I'm still in fifth grade, apparently). Call me old-fashioned, but there's something I get from a hard calendar and scribbles that I can't accomplish on my iPhone. And this week, I have my time calculated to the minute. Today was chores-day and writing night. I spent my entire day vacuuming, tidying, scrubbing, dusting, and washing. And after finishing the laundry at 10:00, I began writing. Tomorrow is errands-day, mutual, ANWA, and freelance work. Thursday is baking-for-neighbor-gifts-day and temple-night. And Friday is deliver-neighbor-gifts day and Christmas party/date night. I think you see where I'm headed as far as my schedule this week goes. In fact, it probably looks a lot like yours. It's that time of year.

Well, three hours ago I started working on a poem for my post tonight--a beautiful poem I'm trying to write for my dad for Christmas that I've put off far too long. Two hours ago, my computer started telling me it needed to shut off in fifteen minutes to do updates. I declined. It postponed for fifteen more minutes. I was almost finished with my first draft of them poem, then I was going to post it here and request feedback from our readers to help me get it ready for Christmas. And then the fly flew into my ointment. An hour-and-a-half ago, my daughter woke up with various ailments ranging from sore limbs to an upset stomach. So between squatting on the bathroom floor holding her as she tried to use the bathroom to make her stomach feel better and rubbing her arms/legs/feet while telling her happy stories and singing her lullabies in bed, my computer restarted without my consent. And when I came back in my room for a brief moment before being called back into my daughter's bedroom, I discovered a blank computer screen and nothing recoverable in Word.

And you know what? I have no idea when I'm going to be able to sit down again and rewrite that poem, assuming I can recapture the spirit I had put into it. But it won't be tonight because every three sentences I get down here, Evelyn calls, "Mom!" from her bedroom. And my mommy-brain is kicked in and my muse is kicked out as I listen for whimpering or rustling from down the hall muffled beneath the clicks of my keyboard.

So, just to make myself feel better, I add "comfort sick Evelyn" to Wednesday and cross it off my list.

Merry Christmas. May your preparations go smoothly and may you always cut your wrapping paper the correct size on your first try. (Wrapping day was Sunday.)

EDITED NOTE: Immediately after posting this, I found a recoverable version of my poem in Word! Tender mercies :). Look for it Wednesday night on Andilyn Thinks and come give me your feedback so I can get this Christmas poem sent on its merry way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Striking a Blow for the First Admendment

by Terri Wagner

Things are still crazy around here. Mobile home, or manufactured home, or trailer, I've always thought it funny to have 3 different names when it is the same thing has finally arrived. Today I have to bring to the table all the information they need for the loan to go through. I must be unaverage because I passionately resent giving them all that information. Do they really need to know all this? And further more why does my employer have to verify my employment? Really it is any of my employer's business what I am doing on the homefront? And why we are at it why does anyone have to know what I am doing with the house I own outright?

And another beef while I'm at it...what is this infernal onslaught when it comes to FB? If a person offers up a personal opinion about something that happened at work to several hundred friends at one time, why can that be used against that person? Who made up that rule while I wasn't looking?! And no I am not talking about extremes here. And why should we all be concerned about this attack on free speech? Because as the German people once learned, if they come after the one guy, eventually they will come after you.

My best example is the attacks for your own good. Lookit, I'm LDS right? Never smoked a day in my life. Can't stand the stuff. BUT if you choose to smoke, and accept the consequences (which may or may not include cancer but certainly causes you serious health issues), and pay extra for your health care for it, then so be it. But no one really stood up for the smoker, so now they can hardly smoke in the streets. Then they went after the fat people. Using the same tactics. And again I was appalled at the lack of response to the fat police. Now they are after your free speech on something as simple as blogs, and FB. Don't be fooled, they are waiting for the opportunity to pounce. Just ask Canadian preachers who can't speak from the pulpit about homosexuality (that may now be toned down but the framework for it is in place), and it's not just Canada. Recently the lesbian mayor of Houston wanted to check out the speeches of several city pastors before they gave them. For now, the pastors' protest was successful enough that the mayor backed down. However, the law that preceded the demand is still in place.

I just wonder where it will end? I'm still mad about all these intrusive things I have to answer. Makes me wish I could just pay cash in hand. Hmmmm, maybe this is yet another reason for the emphasis on being debt free.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fairy Fun

When our children were little, a fairy family would come to our house right after Thanksgiving to stay until Christmas day. They came for fun adventures and to be Santa's helpers in spreading Christmas happiness.

Our kids built elaborate houses for them each year - sometimes out of graham crackers, other times we made homemade gingerbread, and when they wanted a really fancy design, cardboard covered with vanilla wafers. They decorated the yards with candy cane toboggan runs, gumdrop trees and silver sprinkle skating rinks.

The fairies wrote notes to the children to tell of their escapades. One year Tom broke his leg because he got going too fast on the toboggan run and crashed into the gumdrop forest. Another year Melinda and her winged horse needed a high dive to practice jumping into a swimming pool. Aunt Matilda got a cold. Uncle Henry needed honey candy  to cure a tooth ache. 

The children watched for the tiny foot prints and little wings. Each night before bed our little ones wrote a letter to the fairies.

The best part was having the fairies help with holiday service projects. Everyone made cards and cookies for older people in the ward. Tiny foot prints magically appeared on the envelopes. Everyone sang for neighbors. We were all sure we could hear the fairy voices. The winged creatures were very good to scout out a house to see if it was safe to door-bell ditch.

We had lots of good times with this over the years, and now the grandkids are in on the fun.  Here is one that should be interesting. Sharks on this roof. Wonder how the shark/fairy story will turn out. We'll just have to wait and see.

Try this in your family. Magic is part of Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Indie Author? Go read the linked article

by Marsha Ward

I'm a confirmed Indie Author, which many of you already know. I ran across a link on The Passive Voice Blog leading to a blog post by M.C.A. Hogarth that all indie (and probably lots of traditionally published and hybrid) authors should read, oh, maybe every three months or so. It's very affirming. I recommend you read the comments at The Passive Voice, and also, when you click his link to the article, the comments on the blog post, too.

I Am an Indie Midlister (and That's Okay!)

I think the big take-away quote for me is the following:

I do not begrudge my peers their better sales, because they don’t need to fail for me to succeed. This revelation is deeply freeing, because it means I can be thrilled for their successes, and fine with my own more modest accomplishments.

What a great outlook!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

If You Give a Writer Chocolate...

By Kari Diane Pike

I intended to have today's post published before nine a.m. I forgot about the contractor coming at eight. No worries. I finished cleaning the kitchen while he painted the drywall repair in the entryway. I wanted to be nearby in case Martin's hip gave out on him again. Sixty-something-year-old guys with bad hips and climbing up ladders scare me. Besides, he shares funny stories about his life in England and his accent makes everything he says fascinating. Why is that?

Anyway - after Martin left, I planted myself in front of the computer. The moment I opened my Gmail account this crazy vortex opened up and sucked me into a Facebook conversation started by Tristi Pinkston. I couldn't pull myself out! Fortunately, my visiting teacher and her two adorable daughters dropped by and rescued me. The girls bounced all over the porch vying to show me the reindeer food they made in preschool and how they planned to sprinkle the sparkling oats on their lawn so Rudolph could find them. They begged their mom to let them stay and play with my doll house with me. But their mom told them we have to wait until after Christmas.

When I sat back down to write, my bangs kept falling in my eyes so I had to run up stairs and find the  right scissors. I didn't want to get hair all over the sink which meant I had to go back downstairs for a paper towel. I solved the bang problem with just a couple of snips. Since Christmas pictures are still two weeks away, I think I'll be okay.

Upon returning to the office, my tummy grumbled and woke up the chocolate covered cherries, raspberries and Oreo truffles from their hibernation in the refrigerator. They shouldn't have called out to me. I wouldn't have eaten them if they had just stayed quiet. It's not my fault! Now I'm going to have to make more to hide the evidence. Do you think if I add some Cookie Dough Buckeyes to the plates and wear a long sweater over the popped button on my jeans I can keep anyone from noticing?


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Thoughts

by Cindy R. Williams

We all know that Christ's real birthday was in April. I have this theory that Christmas is celebrated after Thanksgiving for a  good reason. The need for gratitude and thanksgiving, for our Savior and the many wonderful gifts we all have but often forget.

Here are some thoughts of the season.

"The United States Post Office dead-letter department receives annually thousands and thousands of children's pre-Christmas letters addressed to Santa Claus asking for things.  After it was all over one year, a single, solitary letter thanking Santa Clause was received. Could this be on of the problems of this troubled world; that people thing only of getting -- not giving?  Of receiving -- and not even expressing their gratitude for that which they do receive?
-- President Thomas S. Monson, Pathway to Perfection, pp. 254-255

"Don't be mad if you don't get the things  you want . . . just think of the things that you don't get that you don't want."
"People who complain that they don't get all they deserve should congratulate themselves." 
--The Irish Digest

--"And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him.  Doctrine & Covenants 78:19

"Cultivate a spirit of thanskgiving for the blessing of life."  --Gordon B, Hinckley

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls"--Aesop

"The depth of our gratitude is the depth of our understanding." 

"The best things in life are yours, if you can appreciate yourself." --Dale Carnegie

I wish you all a warm and happy Christmas full of a heart of gratitude to our Savior!