Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve 2007

I am really lousy about making resolutions and keeping them. I think it is mainly because I am a little ADD and can't maintain my focus. . . I get bored! But, I just love feeling like it is a fresh start. So here's a little list of my hopes and dreams for the new year.
  • I am going to work on planning for the future, but living in the moment.

  • I want to eat less sugar. It gives me headaches.

  • I am going to help at least 30 people write/scrap their important stories.

  • I will not complain about sorting socks. I will rejoice that we have socks.

  • I will practice being thrifty in order to survive the pay cut that we will take for the next several months.

  • I am going to be happy at least 95% of the time! (This will be easy!)

Hope that you have a Happy New Year, too!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

I have always loved Christmas. I love the decorations and the special baking. I love attending church and reading the story of the first Christmas. I love the stories of Santa Claus and serving others. I even enjoy shopping and wrapping presents!

I thought that the best Christmases would be those when my children were small and the excitement levels were high. They were certainly fun, but small children also get tired and cranky! I think that this was our best Christmas ever. The boys, all three, came barrelling into our room at about 7:30. Between the boys and the dogs, our bed was full!!!! We spent the morning slowly opening our gifts and having cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy. It was amazing to look outside and see the snow falling and piling up. Everyone knows that Christmas snow is the very best snow of all!

After shoveling, plowing and sliding at Mitchell Hollow, we enjoyed naps (mine with Lewis and Clark laying on top of me!) and we watched Mamma Mia. It was just a pleasant day.

Our Christmas Eve was just as wonderful! We had a feast of ham and all the fixings. The boys all voted on ham. At 7:30 we had our family Christmas Program. I read a story about Huckleberry Hound that was mine as a little girl. My sister-in-law, Susie, found it when they were moving and sent it to me. It was fun to share it with the boys. Colby played guitar and Reed sang Silent Night. Jim did a little schtick of carols with altered lyrics. He was absolutely hysterically funny! Parker and Ed read "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus." Then we read the Christmas story out of the New Testament and sang several carols. It was a lovely evening and all the kids fell asleep early since they had been up very late the night before.

All in all. . . I couldn't have asked for a better celebration with my family. It was a Merry Christmas, indeed.

Review: Marley and Me

Moxie the Ice Princess (November 1996-June 2007)

We went to this movie this afternoon thinking that it was supposed to be really funny. For sure, it had its funny moments, but it was far more serious than we had expected. In my opinion, it was appropriate for children, but pretty heavy. The movie is the story of Marley. . . from puppyhood. . . through his death. It was a little too much for me after losing two wonderful dogs last year, and I cried through the last 15 minutes. So, although this is a decent movie, I won't be buying it on DVD!

Myth Buster (October 2006-November 2007)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Reed!

I cannot believe that my baby is eleven years old! And here I am. . . only 29! We celebrated this morning with breakfast at McDonald's. It is also the last day of school before Christmas Break, so all the boys were happy to have a mini-celebration.

One of our weird traditions is that we don't really celebrate Reed's birthday. We will go out to dinner and have a cake tonight. . . he wants a cheesecake. . . and he will get one present (which hasn't arrived yet). Then, on June 19, when the days are hot and sunny, we will have a party with friends and he'll get a few more gifts from us. Since we have been doing the half-birthday "thing" for so long, it is no issue. In fact, last summer we had "Reedfest" when both Colby and Parker were gone for his half-birthday week!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Lights

Every Monday night our family has Family Home Evening. This is an opportunity for us to teach the Gospel to each other and to just enjoy being a family. Tonight we were able to watch a beautiful video put together by Travis Greenwood that featured the song "Mary, Did You Know?" with lots of images of Christ's birth and life. It was really well done and we enjoyed it. Afterwards we had the opportunity to go to Thanksgiving Point where we saw the reindeer, found some Christmas ornaments in the Emporium, and warmed up by the fire. Notice that Colby is not wearing a coat. It was 27 degrees fahrenheit! He thinks that he is half Eskimo.
(I know it is shocking to see three teenage/tween boys smiling in a photo. Do not be alarmed. All is well. I took several photos and photoshopped the smiling faces together!)
After getting some refreshments, we drove through the lighted area. It is amazing to see so many animated, lighted displays. What a perfect evening! The snow was falling gently and it was beautiful!
We then drove around for a while looking at all the lights. We were at the "dancing lights" house in Highland when they turned off for the night and we headed home. At that point we had lost Reed and Parker to dreamland! I ended the night playing with the exposure lengths on my camera- this was my favorite "light candy" photo.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Family of the Year

We have been named the Family of the Year! We are very honored, but a little embarrassed because there are SO many families that are more worthy! We received a beautiful clock, passes to Thanksgiving Point, passes to Liberty Land, and some other treats and treasures! This is the picture that was on the front page of the Lehi Free Press and following is the article.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Cathy Allred - North County Staff
Two beautiful water spaniels, three good looking boys, a mom and a dad, one home, a cabin and a Thanksgiving Tree -- a simple portrait of a loving and important family, the Collins family of Lehi. Lehi Community Council Family Week Committee members chose the Ed and Kaye Collins family to honor during Lehi Family Week as a family that has contributed a great deal to their city.
Kaye was responsible for reviving the Lehi Silver Band, a city band more than 100 years old not counting its several year hiatus of inactivity. She was also Lehi High School band teacher part time and now owns Scrapfast working out of her home.
"I can think of them individually like Kaye," said former Lehi mayor, Ken Greenwood, a friend of the family. "She almost rescued single-handedly the (high school) band from oblivion. I think she started out with six students and kicked two of them out on the first day because she had expectations."
"Actually, it was 15 and I invited seven to broaden their horizons elsewhere," said Kaye and laughed.
Laughter is a sound often heard in the Collins home.
"The hardest part about being a member of this family is Mom's bad side," said 12-year-old Parker. "Don't get D's or you are dead."
He said his favorite things to do with the family are their slow-motion karate fights, mosh pits and jumping 4 wheelers at their cabin getaway.
"The other night we were having (a karate fight) and Parker and I were just rounding the Thanksgiving Tree when someone answered the front door, and it was a kid in the ward," said Kaye. "His eyes went 'Whoa.'"
Their Thanksgiving Tree is a tradition begun as a compromise. In its second year, the tree has ornaments of family photos and other memorabilia hanging from its branches.
Fifteen-year-old Colby likes the travels the family takes frequently. They have a goal to visit all 50 states and have managed 38 so far.
"I don't think we are going to make it to all 50, but it's been fun," Kaye said.
Colby said he thought the most memorable trip was when the car "broke down" in Illinois.
Reed loves the fact (so he says) that his brother Parker is his friend.
"He has taught me how to do a back flip in less than 5 minutes, but most of the time he teaches me stuff I can't do and I hurt myself," the 10-year-old said smiling.
Fun is part of the package with the Collins family, as is service. Both parents were taught about service at a young age.
"We have a tradition of service and that didn't start with us that started with our parents," Ed said. "Kaye's parents were service everything, many community organizations, charitable groups, chambers of commerce, hospital and church groups, youth groups. You name it."
The rest of her siblings were much older than her so she was pretty much the only child at home.
"I was dragged everywhere," she said. "I went everywhere, banquets, meetings."
The Collins family serve at the LHS Booster Shack during football season, everyone is in the Scouting program either as a Scout or a leader, and they are very involved in their church organization. As a family, they additionally contribute to Toys for Tots each year.
And then there is the father of the family, Ed Collins, who is the bishop of their LDS ward. Previously, his responsibilities extended to caring for the city.
"The citizens of Lehi will never know," Greenwood said. "He saved the citizens of Lehi literally millions of dollars as a city administrator with his unparalleled expertise and knowledge of all aspects of city government."
It was his administration that brought in Cabela's, Micron, the first round-about, Smith's, Costco according to Greenwood. Ed has been on the Intermountain Power Agency board of directors and has been on the UAMPS board of directors many years.
"He has made a stamp on the city," Greenwood said. "I've watched him work. They are transplants of the city, but they have just kind of taken our Lehi as their town. Their passion is unbridled for their city and its well being."
He said the largest place where Ed Collins saved most of that money was in power and in bonding for different projects.
"Every child who goes and slides down a slippery slide, every (slide), Ed Collins picked them out," he said. "Those parks, it started with him."
The Collins family -- Ed, Kaye, Colby, Parker and Reed -- were to have been honored at the Lehi concert Tuesday evening at Willowcreek Middle School. They said they plan on being there.
"Probably on top of that they are wonderful parents," Greenwood added. "They have three very wonderful young men and they haven't killed them yet. They are going to wait until after Lehi Family Week."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The American Dream

MANDI WRIGHT/Detroit Free Press
My mother would have loved to have been part of this election season. She loved everything about the presidency and looked forward to the day when a woman would be elected president. She was an avid supporter of Geraldine Ferraro and I am positive that she would have loved Hillary. She probably would have switched parties to support Sarah Palin. Let's face it. . . she was a feminist! Despite the fact that Barrack Obama is a man, she would be thrilled that an African-American man had managed to become President-Elect of the United States. She always rooted for the underdog.

We live in difficult times and although everyone seems to want "change", there are many different definitions of that term. It is my hope that Mr. Obama will be blessed to be able to do the right things for our country. It is even more imperative to me that the country will unite and support him. I have friends on both sides of the fence who all have strong opinions, but the one thing they share is that they want this country to be the best it can be.

History was made tonight. Our country has come a long way since the embattled 1960's. Heck, we just elected a black American to be president. Did you think that was possible even last year? It makes me believe that anything can happen if you work hard enough. And isn't that the American Dream?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Just a quick picture of my youngest boys! How sad that Colby and Parker are not allowed to dress up for school anymore. Lewis and Clark were very happy to let Reed and I get them all dressed up this morning and they are strutting around the house like real toughies!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whoopie Pies

Hearth Kit by Shalae Tippets, Decorative Swirls-Grunged by Lori Cook (Scrap Girls)
I have a deep and enduring love for Whoopie Pies. If you have never had a Whoopie Pie in New England (especially in Maine. . .) then, you have never really had a Whoopie Pie. Yes, there are many recipes floating around and many "similar" items, but there is something magical about these individually wrapped culinary marvels that are available at any gas station/convienience store worth it's salt throughout my home state. The first whiff of chocolate when you tear through the cellophane barrier heightens the senses, but that first bite. . . ooh. . . the fluffy but moist chocolate cake with the creamy, sweet filling. . . let's just say that it is nearly a religious experience.

My sweet husband was in Maine two weeks ago for his Mother's funeral and I almost asked him to bring me back a Whoopie Pie, but these are not items tht travel well in a carry-on bag. As soon as it came, the thought was forgotten. Until Monday. On Monday Ed walked through the door with two boxes bearing "" and a simple drawing of a Whoopie Pie. Immediately my heart began to race. I grabbed one out of the nearly empty top box (he had shared with his friends at work!) and tore open the cellophane. As I took my first bite of that confection, I was overwhelmed by my husband's thoughtfulness and homesickness for that state that still remains "home" in my heart. The tears started to roll down my cheeks- much to Ed's surprise! I had to take the boys to Karate, so I gave Ed a big kiss and dashed out the door. I think Reed and Parker wondered what I was crying about all the way to American Fork, but they are pretty used to how weird their mom is, and just let it go.

So, I don't really know what my emotional attachment to Whoopie Pies is. . . I probably need some serious phychoanalysis because every time I even think about this event I cry all over again! What I know without a doubt is that has just scored a regular customer!

Friday, October 24, 2008

True, New Friends

It was just about a year ago that I began to make a few random posts on the Scrap Girls Message Board, but it wasn’t until January that I became truly “active.” It was winter and I was bored, so I enjoyed playing the games and commenting on people’s layouts. Then, one fateful morning in February, I posted an invite to any Wasatch Front Scrap Girls to join me for lunch at a restaurant in the center of the Wasatch Front area. At that first luncheon there were only three of us in attendance, Anna, Joann, and I, but we had a wonderful time.

The WFSG Luncheons started being a “thing” and even the owner of ScrapGirls, Ro Paxman, began to join us! The “luncheon” pictured here was 4 ½ hours long!

Over the months our group has grown. We meet at least once a month and we love to meet traveling Scrap Girls who find themselves in Utah. What a lot of fun we have together. Once in a while we talk about scrapbooking, but our range of conversation is wide and diverse! Earlier in October many of us were gathered together at the Scrap Girls Convention in Salt Lake City. Wendee designed a logo and we had shirts printed.

Andrea, Peggy, Shalae, Alisa, Wendee, Sallie, DeDe, Kaye, Joann, Anna, Ro

Last night five of us had dinner at Red Robin and then went to see “Nights in Rodanthe.” We had fun with our waiter- a somewhat overwhelmed young man named Danny- and laughed ourselves silly. Then we went to the movie. I had no idea what I was getting into, but Richard Gere is eye candy in any movie! At the end of the move, all five of us were sitting there bawling! Joann started passing out the tissues! We hung around long enough for the theatre cleaning guy to show up and we had him take our picture.

DeDe, Kaye, Wendee, Joann, Alisa

Of course it was necessary for us to have a “pit stop” before heading home, so we had to take some more pictures in the bathroom mirror!

Alisa, Joann, Kaye, DeDe, Wendee

Little did I know 9 months ago how dear these “internet friends” would become to me! I count myself fortunate to have found these ladies that share my interests and ideals. I look forward to these outings and do everything within my power to attend. I wish everyone were so lucky to have friends like these!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Floral Hug

Is there anything better than going to the door and being met with a big bouquet of flowers? I had that wonderful experience yesterday thanks to my good friend DeDe! I just love these spunky, fall-colored flowers! I smile everytime I look at them!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

On to Better Things

Into each life a little rain must fall. My sweet mother-in-law , Barbara Collins, died during the night. Although she had diabetes and some other health problems, her death was sudden and quite unexpected. Just this week Ed had made arrangements to go visit his mom, but that was not to be. He is on his way to Maine right now to be with his sisters during this difficult time.
Barbara was a great lady. She had a beautiful soprano voice and loved to have all her children (including me!) sing with her. No matter what the conversation was about, Mom would start singing the lyrics of some song that pertained to the theme at hand! I really don’t know how she knew so many songs, but it was an endearing quality!
My mother-in-law was an adventurer. She trained as a nurse in the 1950’s and after graduation she and one of her friends traveled across the country from Maine to California by bus. By the time they got to California they were broke. . . and so dirty that they had to go to a YWCA to clean up before they went to the hospital there to see about getting jobs! They were hired immediately. After a summer of working, they returned to Maine to settle down and be responsible young women. Oh, but what fun they must have had!
Barbara loved to play cards. This was the social activity that she had with her friends. I don’t know what games they played, although I think they probably had quite a repertoire! I always loved hearing about the outings with the “Jolly Cards.” What a riot! Apparently Barbara had just played cards with her friends the day before her death. As Ed loves to say (which he learned from his mother), “She died with money in her pocket and plans for the weekend.”
Whenever we were home, we enjoyed going out to eat with mom and Judy. It didn’t really matter where we went after the Pilot’s Grill closed, but we always had fun. We would enjoy the meal and sometimes a little dessert. As we were all sitting there stuffed to the gills, Mom would invariably say, “Well, that was good. What’s next?” I think she would have the same attitude about her life.

A Truly Wonderful Day

It is truly my philosophy that life should be enjoyable. Granted,fun doesn't happen every single day, but we need to make fun when we can and build happy memories. Today was one of those happy days when fun flows!

I am in Salt lake City with my good friend Leisa Tucker at the Scrap Girls Digital Scrapbooking Convention. Leisa and I have been good friends (more like sisters!) for almost 20 years, so any chance to be together for a few days is a celebration. When that is combined with my favorite hobby, my newer Wasatch Front Scrap Girls friends, and a great conference atmoshphere, what results is truly uncommon!

Today was Leisa's birthday. I won't tell you which one, but hey, we are definitely middle aged! The day began with an air guitar solo (by yours truly) to wake her up, posters in the conference hall and hotel to announce the event, and the wearing of the amazing purple caftans to put us in a celebratory mood. Although that would have made for a great day alone, we had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Gardner Village during the Witchapalooza celebration. Shopping, girlfriends, and costumes? Can it get any better?????

Sunday, September 28, 2008

March On, Lehi!

Yesterday, Reed, Parker, and I drove to Logan to watch Colby and the Lehi High School Band compete at the Bridgerland Marching Band Competition. For those of you not familiar with Utah, it's almost a two-and-a-half hour drive. Although Colby said that he didn't mind if we didn't come, I remember how many concerts my parents drove to for me, and we loaded into the Suburban! (Ed was stuck at a Stockholder's Meeting at work. Boo hiss!)

We enjoyed the competition and cooling off with shaved ice. We watched about nine bands and we cheered for everyone, but we went crazy for the Lehi High School Band! Last year there were only 17 students in the marching band, and this year they are up to 101! When they announced that information the whole crowd gasped and then cheered even louder! It was SO exciting to see how far these band students have come since the first day they learned to march! There were a couple of bands in our division who were clearly better, but I was hoping that the kids would at least get third place. . .

We left early because Parker wasn't feeling well, but Colby sent me a text to let me know that they had won 3rd place! What an accomplishment for this band of newbies! Congratulations to Brek Mangelson and all his support staff! Thank you to all the band parents who donate their time to help! What a wonderful Saturday.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Johnny Appleseed Day

Many people believe that the legend of Johnny Appleseed is an American myth, but he truly did exist. The man who was called Johnny Appleseed was actually named John Chapman and was born in Massachusetts on September 26, 1774. He served as an apprentice to an orchardist in his youth, learning a skill that would become his life.

When he was 18, Johnny headed west to the fertile ground of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He was a kind and generous man, although a bit eccentric. He never had a home, preferring instead to sleep on the floor of a generous settler. He told stories to the children and preached to the adults. He was a fervent follower of the Swedenborg Church- a religious that espoused self-deprivation as a way to ensure a happy hereafter. When people gave him clothing or shoes, he always chose to wear the most ragged garments and would use the better garments and shoes to use for bartering or to give to people that he considered more needy then himself. He wore a metal pot on his head that served dual purpose as a hat and a mush pot and he went barefoot throughout all seasons.

Johnny collected appleseeds from the cider mills which he then used to plant tracts of land as a nursery. He built fences around the nurseries to keep the livestock out, and then he would leave the nursery in the hands of a nearby farmer as a manager. The trees were sold on credit, although barters were accepted. Every year or two Johnny would visit these orchards and collect his earnings, but if someone couldn’t or didn’t pay, he never attempted to collect the debt.

Today we celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day. Enjoy a fresh, American-grown apple or bake up a yummy apple crisp! Even better? Share one with a neighbor!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The boys and I entered the secretive world of Geocaching this past weekend. I had borrowed a GPS (Global Positioning System) from a friend and was setting up an event for the Boy Scouts when I decided that I needed some practice. I registered on , printed off the information to find a few caches, and off we went. We didn’t have much luck that first night- we only found one cache out of the five we searched for- but our imaginations were sparked. Parker and I found three more caches on Sunday afternoon when we were out picking up the containers from the Scouting event. He is all fired up to buy a GPS unit and get going- we have discovered that there are about 100 caches in Lehi alone! So, if you haven’t tried geocaching, here are a few tips.

1. Look for larger sized caches- the micros are REALLY tricky.
2. Give your GPS unit plenty of time to lock in on the coordinates. Accuracy is important.
3. Have a stick, some gloves, and needle nose pliers with you to get to those tricky caches.
4. Make sure you have a pen or pencil to sign the log and then log your find on the website.

Some caches have small trinkets in them. You can take something and leave something of equal value. My kids love this type! There are some where you can trade paperback books or tools! These are called theme caches. The micros and really small caches usually just have a log that you sign before tucking the cache back into its hiding place. There are also items called tracking bugs or coins that you move to a new cache and then log its travels on the website.

So, you don’t have a handheld GPS unit? Give letterboxing a try! In letterboxing you have to solve clues to find the cache and then you will use the stamp that you find to stamp your collector’s notebook. Check it out at ! What’s better than a good treasure hunt?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Purple Tights

In a household of all boys, I was totally
confident that the only tights in the house would belong to me.

But that was before school spirit infected Colby. Last Friday night, Colby hung out with bean and mason until gametime. They are good boys, so I wan’t worried about my sophomore hanging out with a couple of seniors. So, there I was, working in the booster shack when my darling son came looking for his instrument. I was shocked and amazed to see these purple tights peeking out from under his shorts! Apparently, PartyLand is now stocking all sorts of purple paraphanalia. From the number of purple tights I saw on boys and girls, I’m guessing they sold out!

I thought the craziness would be confined to gametime, but yesterday morning Colby popped out of his room at 6:15am ready to go to marching band practice- wearing the tights! I let him. I figured that by the time he got home from school at 3:00, he would have a new found appreciation for the suffering that we women go through on a regular basis in the name of fashion and modesty. I am happy to report that at 3:01 the tights were off!

Everytime I look at this picture of Colby’s abnormally hairy legs, complete with ankle socks, stuffed into these purple tights I get the gigs. May you enjoy the same reaction!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Old Eyes

It's official. I have old eyes. I can't stand looking at the computer for too long because my eyes get all burny and watery. I can't see my scriptures anymore without these fancy little reading glasses. My eyes water more than they use to.

So, I went to the eye doctor because I'm way too addicted to Photoshop to not be able to be on the computer. He agreed that I'm getting older and cheerfully told me that my eyes would get progressively worse for the next 15-20 years. The reading glasses are here to stay apparently! But, the computer problems are probably due to dry eyes, so I have some groovy new eye drops next to my computer. Oh, and I have to remember to blink. I forget sometimes when I'm working really hard. (Perhaps I am a vampire, as described in the "Twilight" series!) The drops seem to be helping. Yeah!

So. . . I may have old eyes, but:
I can pretend I am having eye problems when I am reading something on the computer that makes me cry. I can pretend that my eyes are burning when I get all teary about some stupid commercial on TV. (I cry easily. . .) And, I can look really hot in my new glasses. As I understand it, it will only be a few years before I have moments of being REALLY hot! So, all in all, life's good!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Function Over Form

Once upon a time I had a beautiful dining room! I loved to set the table with tablecloths, and fancy dishes and centerpieces. The hutch held a lovely display of seasonal items (or Mary Kay products!). I was never afraid to open my front door because I knew that my living room and dining room were always clean and put together.

Those days are gone. The dining room has turned into the school room. We needed more room to spread out and we needed to be free of distraction, so I bought a piece of vinyl to protect the table and *poof!* we are in business. In fact, it is working so well that I can't believe we didn't think of this several years ago! And perhaps the best advantage of the situation is that we don't have to deal with this mess in the part of the house where we actually LIVE. I guess this is a function over form decision!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Day at the State Fair

TCS_PenAndInk_Brush2 (Scrap Girls) All papers and embellishments from Shabby Princess' Festival and Olivia Collections

Well, we've lived in Utah for 14 years and have never gone to the Utah State Fair- until today! We went early and avoided most of the crowds. We were able to see parts of the hog show and the cow (cattle, beef?) show. We looked at all the pigeons and rabbits, too! Reed would have bought one of either on the spot if we had let him! The boys went on a ride called Moby Dick three times and laughed the whole time. We ate corn dogs and funnel cakes and drank freshly made lemonade- all the things you HAVE to have at the fair!

I think I had more fun than the rest of my family because going to the fair was very nostalgic for me. I grew up going to the Skowhegan State Fair (Maine) every summer. My mom and dad always volunteered at the Centenary United Methodist Church's Diner, which supplied a chunk of the church's budget for the year. The Diner is famous for yummy homecooked meals at a reasonable price. I remember how excited I was when I was finally old enough to be a dishwasher! I was a "busboy" for a couple of years, and then I was finally old enough to be a waitress. We got to keep our tips, so it was a very big deal to be a waitress. I loved working in the diner because everyone seemed to have so much fun.

When my shift was over, I was able to wander around the fairgrounds. I liked looking at the floral displays which were in a dark, cool area under the grandstand and the baby animals at the Children's Barnyard. I remember walking through the exhibition buildings and thinking how amazing all the products were that were being sold. I probably spent some of my hard earned cash on all sorts of crazy items, but they are long forgotten.

My children (and my husband) don't share my interest in wandering slowly through all the exhibition halls, but I did get to see most of them at a brisk walk! There were some interesting floral arrangements, but it was a paltry display compared to those I spent hours enjoying in my youth. I didn't see any tractor pulls going on and I don't think they do horse races here in Utah, but I had a good time anyway. I may have just realized today that I grew up in a very rural area where the fair was a major part of life. I'm glad I could share a little piece of my childhood with my boys today.

Friday, September 5, 2008


ABL_FeatheredFriends_12x12_DandyLion, DMI_Serene_strip, LCO_DecorativeSwirls_Grunged ( all from Scrap Girls)

Although I grew up in Maine. . . perhaps BECAUSE I grew up in Maine, I have always loved summer. I love soft, comfy, loose clothing. Cold Diet Cokes on the backyard swing. Balmy breezes. Easy schedules. Children laughing while they play. The crack of the bat at the stadium. And hummingbirds.

This summer I have become twitterpated with hummingbirds. I put out feeders at my home and at our cabin in the nearby mountains in the spring so that the hummingbirds would know that they had a haven. It wasn’t long before they were zipping around and draining the feeder at the cabin before I could get down there to refill it! To solve this problem, I simply bought more feeders and kept them filled by making nectar by the gallon nearly every week.

As the summer deepened, my hummingbirds would wake me at first light with the buzz of their wings and their angry chatter as they defended their favorite feeders. They would feed and then zip over to the limbs of a snag to rest before coming back to the feeder. They seemed mostly unconcerned about our presence. At one of the feeders we could have reached out of the window and touched them as they came to feed, but our intention was to watch and enjoy- not to torment.

But things are changing. The air during the Labor Day weekend had a definite edge to it. Gone were the balmy breezes of summer; replaced by the crisp, clear mornings that are the harbingers of autumn. The hummingbirds seemed to have a new-found intensity in their feeding. The feeders were the center action as the hummers swarmed them. They must feel the change, too.

Soon the nights will become too cool and my tiny friends will have to migrate to warmer climes. I will miss the loud hum of the broad-tailed hummers, the chatter of the black-chinned hummers, and the aggressive behavior of the flashy rufous hummers. I will miss sitting outside on a warm morning trying to get that perfect photo. I will miss watching my son’s face as he stands at the window watching the hummers hover with rapt fascination. But, I will be ready for them again next spring as soon as the breezes shift to the south and nights become more mild. Until then, I’ll have to be content with the antics of my chickadees.