Year of Pleasures: Hot Glue Flower

Hot Glue Flower

Whenever I smell a hot glue gun, I think of Christmas. That seems to be when I have it out the most and that smell has imprinted on my brain next to poinsettias and tinsel.

Working on my Christmas projects I had the hot glue gun warming up on my desk when the glue leaked out the nozzle into this little flower shape. Just a funny little coincidence, sure, but also a funny little serendipity that made me happy.


Year of Pleasures: Bird Neighbors

Backyard Blue Bird
Up here in the mountains we live closer to nature than we ever have before. In Modesto the closest I got to wildlife was spiders and stray cats. Here I am regularly awoken by chirping birds as they play in our backyard, dive bombing and chattering as they play hide and seek amongst the oak trees. The other day I heard a knocking so I went to answer the door but no one was there. So I went back to what I was doing until I heard the knocking again and looked up from the computer just in time to see a woodpecker fly away. An honest to goodness woodpecker! Pecking at my house!

Fence Sitter
We have a whole squirrel family that lives with us too, but they are always too fast for pictures. I tried to sprout a bunch of seedlings late in the summer and those little jerks dug out and ate every one of my seeds. But they’re fuzzy and hilarious, so I can’t stay mad at them. Especially when I watch them tease Boo. She chased one up the drainpipe and I swear that squirrel turned around and blew her a raspberry before scampering off.


Year of Pleasures: Study Help

Bear’s been asked to be the seminary teacher, which means that he gets up every morning at 5 to teach the teenagers about the scriptures. It’s a massive job and he’s lucky to be able to team teach, which helps defray some of the size of it all, but it’s still been a major change for us and a whole lot of work. He loves it, and I love having a quiet evening as we’re all reading together. And Gizmo loves it because he gets to park his big fuzzy butt on a pile of papers.


Year of Pleasures: Grumpy Pants

Grumpy Pants

If clothes allow us to express ourselves to the world, then these are the pants I wear when I want to tell the world, “Scram!”


Year of Pleasures: Nostalgia

A scary computer glitch made it appear that all my photos had disappeared somewhere. Luckily I tracked them down before I had to do anything drastic, but once I found them I had myself a little slideshow in celebration. Gosh my kid is cute.

This photo is from a couple of years ago already, Atti was three and we were playing some music. Loud. I was inspired by his t-shirt and so I put on the playlist I made for him of Beatles music. And he rocked out. And I died of happiness. And today I’m dying all over again from the memory.


Year of Pleasures: Apple peeler

Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer

It peels, it slices, it cores, it basically does in 15 seconds what it used to take me 5 minutes to do. It suctions to my counter and all I have to do is turn the crank to go from fresh off the tree apple to perfect slices ready for baking. Living so close to Apple Hill, I’ve been making a whole lot with apples lately, and so has Bear. I don’t know which of us is more in love with this little baby, but since it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten Bear to help me with my canning, I think it’s probably me.


Year of Pleasures: Pear Upside Down Cake

Pear Upside Down Cake
Bear made this from the giant box of pears we bought our last time up to Apple Hill. I’ve had pineapple upside down cake a few times and haven’t really been a fan, but this? Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh! It was heaven. Pineapple is to acidic for a simple cake and brown sugar glaze. But with pears? It SINGS! (I ate the whole thing.)


Year of Pleasures: Picture Frame

Well Behaved Women Frame
This quote has been popping up all over the place over the last few years and I’ve seen it attributed to everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Tina Fey. But the real author of this quote is Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, Pulitzer Prize winning scholar and Mormon Feminist.

I found this frame years ago and fell in love. it now sits right next to my computer monitor where I stare at it as I work. It’s a great reminder to me that the costs I’m paying now for not falling in line will be worth it in the end.


Year of Pleasures: Sweeping Slippers

Sweeping slippers

I love having wood floors so much that whenever I’m the one making the choices it’s the only way I’ll go. Your home can be pretty close to allergy free, you can make all the spills you want without stained carpets, plus, they’re so gorgeous. And you do not want to see what a wheelchair does to carpet. Matted filthiness in a matter of weeks.But there are a couple of downsides. It can be hard on the feet, and dusty floors are always a problem.

But with these slippers I found at Home Goods, I get to solve those downsides in comfort and style. These slippers cushion my feet and pick up dust and kittie fur dust bunnies as I’m walking around doing my daily tasks. Plus, they are just the cutest.


Year of Pleasures: The kindness of strangers

St Jude

My friend Regina and I were enjoying a beautiful summer day by eating at a local sandwich shop and sitting outside at a little cafe table. Regina is a more protective mom than I have learned to be, so we tease each other all the time about that. She has a heart attack when Atti pushes up to balance on the two back wheels of his chair, I shrug my shoulders and say, “He’ll learn what happens when he doesn’t listen to his mama.” This day Atti was wheeling all around the patio, slaloming between the other tables, threatening to roll out into traffic, and giggling at Regina’s distress. I showed him exactly how far he was allowed to go and called him back when he crossed that line, and he listened. It was awesome. It was just how any little precocious 5 year old would act while he’s stuck at a grown up lunch.

Just before we were getting ready to leave, an old man came up to our table and handed me this little medal. He pointed to Atticus and said, “That’s for your little guy. God bless.” And walked away. I thanked him sweetly while the color rose in Regina’s face. When he was safely out of earshot she asked, “Does that bother you? A stranger coming up and saying he’s an impossible cause?” I got where she was coming from, it was defensiveness borne out of a ferocious love for this little guy. She calls Atti “our boy” and loves him like he really is one of hers. She knows exactly what he’s capable of and how indomitable his little spirit is, and isn’t going to let anyone say anything different.

But I was really moved. I’m always moved when someone wants to share a sincere expression of their faith and love with me, and that’s what I felt from that sweet man. Atti really is up against a pretty daunting challenge. I think he can take all the prayers and hope and kindness anyone is willing to extend to him. And then I think he’s going to show that the only impossible cause is betting against him.