Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is it ok to go bra-less???

Well I bet that got your attention!!! But this is a very serious question. I have never done it for any length of time. I am not sure where I got this notion, but for some reason, I have always held the belief that if you go bra less for even a day or two you might wake up one morning and the girls would be talking face to face with your belly button. I mean- isn't it painful? How do you walk? OR RUN??? And don't even get me started on jumping- that would just be a beat -you- about- the -head -fest. Don't the girls need to be bolted down- locked and loaded? I just don't get it. Unless they are the size of quarters- you could hurt yourself. People have told me it's great to go commando up top but won't you eventually pay for it someday when you can tuck them into your waistband? It's kind of along the same lines as plucking your eyebrows- isn't it? You have to be smart and look down the road a little. At some point, you have no eyebrows.
Speaking of eyebrows...

When I was in first grade, one of the teachers we steered clear of if at all possible was Mrs. Kopeland. She was obviously a rabid plucker because she had to draw her eyebrows on. The amazing thing is she actually drew them on "MEAN". I kid you not- she drew them in a menacing down turn and we were scared spit less of her, with good reason. Singing time was always a time of great peril. They would smash all three classes of first graders into one classroom , sit us all on the floor and make us sing. Back then there was no ADD or ADHD, no partial autism, no dyslexia or behavioral syndromes. No aids sitting one on one with the kid who acted out or couldn't learn. There were just good kids and bad kids, smart kids who could read and dumb lazy kids who couldn't read. So one fine day as 150 of us sat on the tile floor for an hour singing our tiny hearts out, one of the "bad" kids had had enough and was acting up a bit-talking instead of singing- which was a sin of the highest order. To be fair Mrs. K told him once to be quite, turn around and sing. Well he didn't. That was all it took. She actually picked him up by the collar, hauled him to the door and drop kicked him across the hall into another class room. I am not even exaggerating. This is a true story- no word of a lie! Can you imagine the consequences to a teacher if she did that today? That kids parents would sue her and she would be out of a job-NO wait- she belongs to the teachers union so they would just pass her onto another school where she could glare at and terrorize new, unsuspecting kids with her one, mean, drawn on eyebrow. It should be said here that that boy hadn't learned the fine art of escaping a first grade teachers wrath. I had. How you ask? I will tell you.
I had Miss Morris for first grade. I liked her- for the most part she was nice. She was a MISS after all and hadn't been hardened to a life of teaching dumb first graders yet. But one day we were supposed to copy a poem about mittens from the board ....BORING. I diddled around most of the day and when she came around to collect the papers I think I had maybe the first line done. She was mad. Not one eyebrow mad, but peeved none the less. She didn't even think my one line was very impressive so she made me go get another piece of paper and start over. I went and got the paper but I sort of slammed it down on my desk, as hard as a first grader can slam a piece of paper. BIG MISTAKE. She grabbed me and hauled me out in the hall and told me I was on my way to the principals office.

SIDE NOTE. In 1962, this was something akin to being lead to the gulag or a torture chamber. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING was scarier than being sent to the principals office. I do not know why they teach you the way to remember the difference between spelling principal and principle is to remember that the PRINCIPAL is your "PAL" PFFFF! No he most certainly is not!! He is your grim reaper/ executioner/Freddy Kruger before there even was a Freddy Kruger!!!

Ok so there I am in the death clutches of Miss M. Think fast tiny, defenseless first grader. What do teachers hate more than bratty little girls with a bit of attitude? VOMIT!!! The big splat kind where the school janitor pours saw dust on it and leaves it there for all to see.That is the ticket. I don't know how my 6 year old brain grabbed onto that thought but it was brilliant and I was going with it. I couldn't make myself actually blow lunch, but I could certainly fake it. So I told her I was going to hurl and she let go of me like I was a stinky sock! Freeeeeee! She told me to go to the bathroom and when I got back I was to sit there and finish that poem. Off I skipped to the restroom and then- I skipped all the way home. That was my second mistake. DAH-there are telephones!!!My Mom was a co-conspirator, drat her hide. I went into a tale as to why I was home and she just listened to me lie my little heart out. Then she said get your coat, you're going back. WHAT THE....????
Back I went. I had to sit in my desk while the afternoon class stared at me and write a poem about stupid, stinky mittens. Oh the shame. But hey- I didn't have to go to the principals office!
And that, my friends is why I shall never go bra less!!! Let that be a lesson!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

dream a little dream.....

I asked a class of young women if they could do or be absolutely anything-nothing to stop you- what would it be They didn't know. WHAT??? Seriously? Do you not dream of other lives or ways to live or be or do? I was stunned!!! It took me actually pulling things out of them for a half hour before they even started to let loose. WHAT IS WITH THAT! Especially at that age? I almost cried for them. Maybe they just didn't want to tell me, maybe they were not "mormon" material dreams- but I could see on their faces that they really hadn't thought much about it. Am I the only one who finds this odd? Who doesn't have dreams of winning the lottery or becoming famous? Holy sad state of affairs, batman!

well- I DREAM!! I have always had great, grandiose ambitions for the "other me"...the one who has nothing stopping her. So here is a list of things I would do if I could.

1. I would love to be an Olympic athlete. When I was little I wanted to be a ballerina or a figure skater, but as I got into sports- I decided those things were for prissy girls. I am a jock at heart- so yes- I would love to play on the American woman's hockey team- and as long as I am dreaming- we would actually beat the Canadians.

2. I would love to travel- not just a little- all over the world- and I would spend weeks in one place- not just sight seeing, but really getting into the culture and the places nobody really sees. First on the list of visits is Scotland and Ireland.

3. I would like to be a motivational speaker. I would actually like to be smart enough to do that.

4. I would love to have the time and $ to actually take an art course at a really huge art institution. To actually know all the techniques instead of just stumbling along and faking it. That would be really cool.

5. I would love to know everything there is to know about photo shop.

6.I want to be the kind of person who has nothing but energy- 5 hours sleep is good enough- and raring to go!

7. I would be someone who works with animals- like people who teach gorillas sign language or keeps abandoned baby animals alive and then releases them into the wild after teaching them everything they need to know to survive. Or working with the walrus and penguins at sea world! DREAM JOB!!!!

8. If there were no limits- I would be in musical theater on Broadway!!! Not painting the sets- actually on the stage- every night- being the comic relief or the bad guy- the villain is always the best part!

9. I would dearly love to teach high school- but only to students who wanted to learn- so I would only teach an elective class such as art or drama. But I also wanted to be a gym teacher!

10. I would like to have the time and know how to incorporate photography into my artwork. I am dabbling with it now but it's always on the back burner. Maybe the dream would be to not HAVE to work for a publisher- I need to be independently wealthy so I can just create for me. SIGH- wouldn't that be a great dream come true!!!

Well there you have it. DREAM ON- MOMMA!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

stinken liar blogs!

The other day I read this on my sweet nieces facebook wall. "Sometimes I look at other people's blogs and think how much more productive, creative, and I think I should do so much more with my time and my kids than I do...not a fan of feeling like that".
Got to admit I have done the very same thing, thought these same thoughts, only all of my kids are all in their 20's or 30's, so I can't change a whole lot at this point in time anyway. But it hasn't stopped me form the inadequate monster or the I should have's.
It got me thinking-How often do we compare ourselves to others and come up short on the parenting scale?


The scriptures are full of "blogging" so to speak and there are TONS of blog-i-fied scriptures about parents with less than stellar familial conditions and outcomes. Sure, there are some pretty great kids in the scriptures- Isaac comes to mind. Could you just see that story in blog form? ABRAHAM_ spent the entire day with my boy Isaac, hiking to the top of a mountain together- building a fire and roasting some ram-(AFTER the angel declared Isaac wasn't on the menu). And then there would be some pictures of the two of them gathering wood and sword fighting with marshmallow sticks. Can you just see it?
There is some quality parent/child time going on there to be sure- just hanging out. Did Isaac freak on his Dad's head when Abraham told him- " Son- you are the sacrifice today!"- nope -just took it all in stride and accepted what his Dad was doing. No acting out, not tantrums or crying fits, and no "time out" was needed there. I give Abraham a lot of credit for rearing such a great kid. But I think Isaac was pretty amazing all on his own.
But how often in the scriptures do we read about what some might construe as failed parenting?
I give you Cain and Able. I am sure Father Adam and Mother Eve spent time with both these boys teaching them and caring for them, but Cain killed Able because he was jealous. Does that make their parents failures? Did they not teach the boys the same rules and acceptable behaviors? And what about Laman and Lemuel. Jealous rebellion gone a muck! They can't even blame it on middle child syndrome. Nope, they were just rotters making bad choices- as kids sometimes do.
Even God, who is all knowing and loves us unconditionally, lost a third of his children to the dark side. Lesson? Just as we can't take credit for everything our kids do right, we shouldn't take the blame for everything they do wrong.
I wonder when I read Miss Perfect Susie Homemakers blog about all the amazing things she and her perfect children are doing in their perfectly decorated and smashing, crafted up home, if she isn't being a tiny bit selective in the things she chooses to write about. She probably isn't going to tell you that she screamed at her 4 year old for 3 minutes solid like a rabid harpie because at breakfast he stuck his elbow in his cheerios and spilled milk all over the handpieced, cross stitched table cloth.
She doesn't tell you that she spent so much time scrap booking the pictures of her little angels piano/violin recital that her children, left on their own for 3 hours, painted on the living room wall with double chocolate chunk jello pudding... just to entertain themselves.
The great thing is, God doesn't expect you to be like perfect Susie homemaker down the street. He only expects you to be like him. Period. He is the ONLY person you should be comparing yourself to. And lucky for us, God has infinite patience, so he can wait for you to perfect yourself- for eternity if it takes that long...and it will. Where as mothers, well, our patience is spread a bit thin from time to time.
And then there is the feelings of I am never going to be good enough. And who says you aren't "good enough?" Do your kids say that? No-you do. The most harmful thing we do to ourselves is think because we aren't like those crafty, energetic, creative people who spend a lot of time blogging about their perfections, we aren't good enough.
Now that I am 50-ish I have learned that everyone feels inadequate as a parent. Remember the scriptures? How do you think Lehi felt, or Abraham, or Jacob-heck Jacob's kids sold their little brother to some Ishmaelites and then told Jacob that Joseph was dead, only to find out later that he was kicking it up in Egypt. I bet the thought went through Jacobs mind that he had gone wrong somewhere as a parent. Kids don't come with a list of how to's! And just when you think you have it figured out, another one comes along who is totally different and needs an entire new list of parenting skills from you. You won't do everything right but you'll do enough right. I believe that our children come to us for specific reasons. You are exactly who they need to get them through the life ahead of them. A mother who loves her children is a GREAT mother! If you watch a movie with your 4 year old instead of reading flash cards and practicing piano is he going to die? Nope. If he eats cereal for dinner once in a while will he shrivel up and become
malnutrition man? I don't think so. I still remember the very special times when my mother let us eat gingersnaps dipped in milk for dinner. It was the highlight of my childhood. BEST DINNER EVER!!! Personally, I think kids need to be kids- not concert pianists in a 5 year old body. Cartoons will educate- just ask my kids. Everything they know they learned from Bugs Bunny. Well, not everything, but parts! It hasn't hurt them as far as I know. Is it any wonder that Utah is the prozac capital of the world? Holy over achievers, batman!!! Lighten the heck up, people. Have some fun with your kids, love them, keep them safe and fed. Go ahead and read the blogs, you may get some great ideas, but remember those words on that page are not the entire picture. And just be you- the Mom your kids love. Ask yourself this. When they are throwing a fit because you are leaving them with a babysitter, are they crying for Susie Homemaker down the street or are they cry for MOM? Mom....that would be YOU!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

I am an artist...there, I said it!

In 8th grade, I had a really awesome teacher. Mr. Spendlove. He was my geography teacher and he was exceptionally funny and very cool. What does that have to do with art, you ask. I will tell you.
We had some really fun assignments in Mr. S's class. My favorite was the farm game. I think it was a "45 years ago precursor to Farmville"-Somebody should have marketed it then! One assignment that I will always remember was our oral report on "what I want to be when I grow up"...job wise that is. I wanted to be an artist. I had no idea what an "artist" actually did, but I wanted to be one, so that is what I did my report on. I made a poster to go along with my report with some of my "artwork" displayed on it and the major points of artistic employ such as places you could work, hours-(as if there are set hours for that..pff) and yearly salary etc. I don't even know where I got these statistics. I don't think I would have been brave enough to pull them out of thin air but really, I don't know that I could pin those details down even today. I think that the only "artist" profession I knew about was a graphic artist. I could never be one- they have to be so precise- I am a fine artist and I can live in it'll do land- more mess and creativity there. Less rules and finesse. But how do you write a report on that? So I said I would be a graphic artist because at least it was in the encyclopedia. Any who, I really got into the oral part of this report. Talking a blue streak and I remember thinking this is terrific, I am unique, a stand out! Every other girl in the class was giving a report on being a nurse, a teacher, or and secretary. That's it. Those were our options. NOT ME!!! I refused to settle for the mundane. I would NEVER be a secretary! I even refused to take typing classes in high school (big mistake by the way! definitely should have re-thought that one) For some reason I have always wanted to be different. In high school when everyone else of the female persuasion wore jeans and cords I wore dresses. Other girls were in shorthand and business classes, I was in the photography dark room, graphics, and art classes. Good thing too- more on that later.
Back to 8th grade. I am humming along nicely with the class hanging on my every word, (probably because they were sick of nurses and secretaries.) At the end of the report you had to ask if there were any questions and hope like the dickens you could answer them. One kid asked if I really drew that picture or had I traced it. Well you moron, of course I drew it, I am an artist! It's quite possible he meant it as a complement but hey, we were in 8th grade and we weren't smart enough for that kind of subtle exchange yet. Then Mr. Spendlove raised his hand. "Oh this is going to be good," I thought. He is going to complement me on looking outside the box, or tell me that he fully expects me to be famous one day. But no. He asked me if artists needed to be able to spell. ??? ~Chirping of crickets~
"I assume so, yes," I answered, "why do you ask." Well that might be a bit of a stretch- I think I just stood there looking dazed and confused.
"You misspelled salaries on your poster."
I know Jr. High is a most regrettable period in most peoples lives. We tend to mentally block it all out. This I did not forget. This was an especially hard blow from my favorite teacher. And dang it- don't we all have our Achilles heal? Up to this point in my educational career spelling was my nemesis. Always has been, and always will be. I was actually quite good at math until 9th grade when Algebra knocked and the door closed on that and all subsequent mathematical subjects FOREVER. I do not have the ability to spell words correctly. I hated spelling tests- How the heck do you study for a spelling test. Or a math test? You have to have facts, people- cold hard ones that you could memorize, that mean something in context with something else- like science or history or English essays.- not just random letters or numbers in certain orders. I know now that this is the right brain left brain thing, but in school it just meant that I was an idiot at spelling and math.
I forgave Mr. S for for taking me to task. He was a teacher after all and I learned from that.
Obviously I never forgot that embarrassment in front of the entire class! And the best part of it is in spite of a spelling deficiency I AM AN ARTIST. I became what I wanted to become. It has taken me many years to actually be able to say that. I honestly didn't think of myself as an artist for a long time. I thought of it as a hobby as I sold originals for quite a few years- but still, when someone asked me what I did I would just say I am a stay at home mom. Truth be told, I NEVER imagined I could make a living as an artist. In high school I took the required courses for graduation but virtually all of my electives were art classes. I stubbornly clung to my statement that I would NOT be a secretary, much to my humiliation when I had to give in and take a beginner typing class to survive in University courses.
I had some great teachers! One in particular I will always be grateful for is Mr. James Stewart. I think I learned more from him than any teacher or artist I have studied with. I sincerely love him. I wish I could find him now and thank him. I have tried to find him but I am afraid he is long gone. I wonder if teachers ever know that they inspire us and give us the skills to build a life on. I believe they are undervalued and under paid!
I work for an art publisher in New York.
You can look them up online under

Here are a few of my images-

( I find it somewhat ironic that "GRAPHICS" is part of their title! ) I have worked for them since 1990- that is 21 years. And somewhere in there I got the notion and the guts to say, I am an artist. It might have something to do with a monthly paycheck, but I think it has more to do with someone taking me seriously. People tell me they saw my artwork somewhere- in a hospital or a hotel lobby or a store. I see my artwork in magazines sometimes and once when Paige and I were watching a movie we saw one of my pieces on the wall behind the actor. It was pretty funny! We got all excited and screamy.
It must be said here that I believe that we have a loving, all knowing Father in Heaven who knows us and knows what we will need in our lives, and he guides us in those paths that will be of the most use to us. It is no coincidence that I chose the path I chose, even down to the attitude I took in school. I would have liked to be a teacher. I still may be some day. But God knew I wasn't a secretary. Maybe that is why I can't spell. Secretaries have got to be able to spell, don't they? And EVERYONE knows I could never be a nurse! Me and puking do not gel well! Just two weeks before Paige was born, Stewart was in a car accident that made it impossible for him to continue working. Soon after that, I found an advertisement for an art publisher. I sent some photos to them and the rest is history. Apart from a small disability payment, I have been the bread winner for our family for the past 20 years. God knew I would need those art classes. He even worked on my mother so she didn't protest my choice. I have to give her credit. I am sure she thought I was just taking goof off classes, but she let me do it. I kind of think I thought that too sometimes, like the time Mr. Stewart let us go rollerskating in the halls and we all got busted by the vice principal, including Mr. Stewart. He didn't get in too much trouble because art teachers were always thought of as a little off and rebellious.
I am an artist. Do you hear that Mr. Spendlove? Every time my spell check underlines a word in red, I try to correct it myself first, just for you. I am an artist. Every time I can say that with confidence, I say it for you, Mr. Stewart. I thank you form the bottom of my heart. an artist.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hate is a strong word!

All righty then- I promised another list and here it is. 10 things I hate- hate is kind of a strong word, but it's amazing how many times it pops out of your mouth without you even thinking about it. I should try to use a different word, something like abhor, loath, resent, despise, detest, dislike, irritate, disagree, un love? So maybe I will!

1. I RESENT it when I am working, really getting in there, being creative, and someone interrupts me with dumb questions.

2. I get EXTREMELY IRRITATED when I am talking on the phone and someone in the room asks me questions or talks to me at the same time. I would yell at that irritating person but then the guy on the other end of the phone line would hear the she devil harpee who possesses me during these IRRITATING situations. So instead I get one eyebrow and make the CUT sign with my hand across my throat whilst continuing to talk sweetly into the phone that I now hove a death grip can picture it, can't you.

3. I DESPISE grasshoppers. No matter how you try to walk around them or avoid them, they still jump ON you. I can NOT step on one- there's just too much gishy squishy there!

4. I LOATH revisions! HELLO!!!I painted it that way for a reason, but sure, I'll repaint it and make that sky a totally different color, never mind that there are 4 trees in front of that sky. I'll take 6 flowers out and leave just 2. No problem- Piece of cake...gggrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The customer is always right, the customer is always............

5. I ABHORE getting old. I always thought I would do it gracefully (why I thought that is a mystery to me because I have never done ANYTHING gracefully) But I really don't like the wrinkles and gray hair and weight gain and mentalpauses and sleepless nights-shall I go on? It sucks big time.

6. I get IRRITATED when people stop and talk in the middle of a walkway so you can't get by them. Sure, we'll all just stand here and wait for you to finish your visit. Don't mind the rest of us.

7. I DISLIKE it immensely when a very tall person comes into a half empty theater and sits smack dab infront of 5'2'' me and a child. Seriously? I am convinced they know it irritates me to no end and they do it just to spite me.

8. I DETEST those commercials on TV about animal shelters or mistreated animals. They upset me to the point of an anxiety attack. I am not kidding. I scream at someone to change the channel, and if I am by myself, I have been known to throw food in the air in a frantic dash to find the remote control. I CAN NOT take the sight of those poor animals or process the thought that people are that cruel to a helpless animal. Hate is not too strong a word for those kinds of people. Me and Michael Vick are going to have words someday. And don't even get me started on the people in Vancouver who killed all the sled dogs after the Olympics. Who does that?? Special place reserved in hell.....I'm just sayen.

9. I do not LOVE to do housework. It is UNLOVED! I know the walls need painting but I really, really HATE painting walls, or washing them. Oh I do so hate housework. uumm hummm!

10. I find it most DISAGREEABLE when people play the race/discrimination card when it's not applicable, as if EVERYTHING and every situation hinges on the fact that they are black or red or white or yellow or Irish or Mexican or Muslim or Mormon. Really people, sometimes it's just about something else- get past it!!!

You know, there are a multitude of things to hate, aren't there. Best not to dwell on that subject too long, I think. Next list...?

Side note: My publisher HATES when I blog instead of work. Refer to #4.
Have a nice day!!!