Baby Culture: Is There a Double Standard

I’ve decided that babies have a culture all their own. Its like they live in a totally different world. In their world its perfectly acceptable to sleep till noon, poop your pants, throw up on people and never even say sorry. In fact sometimes they do it and LAUGH! Can you imagine the audacity? I mean there is a serious double standard for babies in the world. As my sister and I were discussing this the other day we decided to try an experiment. We decided to talk to people…grown up people I mean… in the same way that most grown ups talk to babies.

Mother enters the room from upstairs.

Me: watcha doing whitto muddo, huh…huh tell me all about it. yeah

Mother: What?

Me: Did you have a bath? Huh been splashing and splashing.

Mother: Whats wrong with you.

but I can’t talk because Hannah is laughing so hard and I am about to bust a gut myself.

So we got thinking what if there wasn’t a double standard

Would we meet a stranger for the first time and instead of shaking their hand you pick it up and start to suck on their fingers! How weird would that be?

Would you see someone you like and run to them and hang on their leg and stick your head in their crotch? Awkward right?

It’s funny that we don’t bat an eye when kids do things but if adults did them its weird.

What if adults let their noses run all down their face… (ok wait I have actually seen some adults who do this and it is so NOT cool)

what if adults laid in bed and cried when we got hungry until someone came to feed us. And lets not even talk about how babies get their food.

I was at a friends house last night and their two year old was entertaining himself by running around the couch. It’s not weird until you think about an adult doing it right?

Preston's first photo bomb

Preston’s first photo bomb

I can tell you its been awhile since someone told me the rolls on MY thighs were cute.

I was playing with Preston the other day and I told him I was going to eat his toes and then I actually did put them in my mouth and make noises like I was gobbling them up…could you imagine…ugh. But baby toes just aren’t gross. why is that? 10564793_10154365362515344_1384080184_n

Don’t get me wrong I’m not advocating for a change. Its quite obviously a double standard that SHOULD be there. But we did have a good laugh imagining a life where it wasn’t. The many faces of Preston

My Whirlwind romance part III “The Mazungu” (White person)

Every week I went to get a large jug of drinking water for our apartment at Gapco. The man that works there is an Indian man and he seems very friendly. On this particular day as I was waiting for the water he asked me how long I was going to be in Uganda. I told him and he told me he would like to take me on a date. I was caught completely off guard by that and wasn’t sure how I was going to answer, then he asked me if I would be willing to meet him at the Rainforest Lodge. We can have something to eat and go swimming if you like he told me.

The Rainforest Lodge is a beautiful lodge in the middle of the rainforest. I had never been there before but I had heard about how incredible it was. I also knew it was the most expensive place in town and that I probably wouldn’t afford a trip there on my own. I was also pleased that he wasn’t suggesting that he pick me up but that I meet him, in a public place, so I figured what would it hurt, I might as well go. DSC00510

Joseph and I had been talking on the phone for a few minutes every night so I told him that I would be coming to the Rainforest and since it was almost halfway to Jinja I might as well continue on and come see him. It had been several days since we had seen each other. So we agreed to meet at the chapel near Two Friends.

That morning I went to a school to volunteer for the day. It was good but also a little overwhelming. There were so many children and each one of them wanted to hold my hand. At one point there were about 60 children all clustered around me, each one trying to get closer than the other and all of them trying to hold my hand, or my dress, or touch my hair. For a person who doesn’t much like to be touched it was pushing my boundaries about as far as I could take them.

Finally when they got so many and the weight of them started to make it impossible to walk, I found myself losing my balance I started falling over so I stopped and made them let go. “Gende, Gende” (go away) I said, and then feeling a little bad I felt like I should explain “You are too many!” Then 60 little voices followed me all around the school chanting “you are too many, you are too many” I had to smile. DSC00497

It was touching and also a bit saddening to see the conditions of the school. The crowded classroom had no lights, just the light that came through the openings for windows that had no glass. Benches resembling those that children in Colonial America had used were crowded with far too many children.  There were no books, except one little notebook for each child. The children sang for me and I taught them some new songs.

Finally it came time for me to leave the school and head to the Rainforest lodge, Although I wasn’t really interested in the guy, I was still excited about the date. The long walk to the lodge was beautiful, I saw monkeys swinging from the trees and everywhere was beautiful butterflies in the most vibrant of colors. I arrived before my date and recognized a friend who had come to enjoy the quiet of the lodge to get some work done. We visited until my date arrived. The lodge was comfortable and clean in a way that I hadn’t often experienced in Uganda.

My date arrived and we decided to head to the swimming pool to do some swimming, we would have dinner later. As we were walking through the beautiful, secluded pathways he reached for my hand, I pulled it away, but he tried again. I pulled it away again and said “no.” I felt so uncomfortable; I had never had to do that before on a date. We continued to the pool and I enjoyed cooling off in the water as I hadn’t been swimming since I arrived. Again in the water he tried to touch me and to hold my hand and each time I pulled away shaking my head and saying “no” Finally I couldn’t take anymore so I told him “you know what I need to be heading back, I have another appointment.”

The pool at the Rainforest Lodge. It was so refreshing!

The pool at the Rainforest Lodge. It was so refreshing!

He offered to drive me but I told him that my work had already sent a boda boda to get me. He asked if we could take a picture together and I agreed. He stood behind me and put his arms around me hugging me to him and putting his cheek against mine, I tried to pull away but he held me there. After the picture he continued to hold me close to him and we started walking. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to get him to let go of me without bringing it to a full fight and I didn’t feel like I would win. I waited until we were in a more populated area and then I pulled away from him more forcefully. He finally let go of me and I headed to the front gate. I found a boda boda and started driving back to the main road. I felt like crying.

AS we rode the boda driver said, “Mazungu, are you married?” I told him I wasn’t and he asked how old I was. I told him and then he said, I think you are good for me. You should marry me and take me to America. People often made comments like that to me but after what I had just been through I didn’t feel capable of laughing it off. “Why?” I said, “You don’t even know me all you see is my white skin and you think I have money, that’s all you want. How do you know I wouldn’t be a horrible wife? How do you know I wouldn’t beat you and yell at you? You don’t want to marry me”

He laughed, “You would be a good wife, I know” he told me, “Why won’t you marry me?”

I couldn’t believe he was asking this as a legitimate question and I wanted to just get off the boda and walk the long way back to the road, but I couldn’t.

“Do you know how many times a day I get asked that question?” I asked him. “I wish people here would see more than my white skin.” He continued talking but I was finished with that conversation and I just listened refusing to argue any further with him. He dropped me off with a friendly smile and a wave and left me to board the taxi headed for Jinja. I would be so glad to arrive and see Joseph.

On the taxi, they had squeezed five of us on to a seat made for 3. The man seated next to me kept getting closer even than I felt he needed to. He kept trying to lay his head on my shoulder and touch my hair. Finally he said, “Mazungu, give me your contacts.” I stared straight ahead, afraid I would cry if I had to go through this all over again. Who knew that adoration could also be a form of racism? I was DONE being “Mazungu” being loved for the color of my skin, being shouted at everywhere I went from children, to adults, I was tired of being told to buy people drinks or to give people my watch, or being hassled by shop keepers and taxi and boda drivers, I was tired of my race defining who I was.

The man continued in spite of my refusal to talk to him. “Mazungu, I love you he said, give me your contacts.”


“Why,” he asked

“Because I don’t want to. I don’t know you and I don’t want to know you. ” I thought perhaps my curt reply would put him off but I was not so lucky.

“Just give me your contacts” he continued, just give me your number that is all.

Others on the taxi were starting to look at us. I continued to refuse to look at him and eventually stopped answering him altogether. Finally after what seemed an eternity I arrived at Two Friends and got off the taxi. As soon as the taxi left a man approached me. “Mazungu,” he said, “be my girlfriend.”

“I have a boyfriend already,” I exaggerated the truth a bit. I am here to meet him.

“No, you can be my girlfriend”, he persisted.

“No, you leave me alone. “ I said,

“One day you will dream of me, I know,” he said as he walked away.

I stood on the corner waiting for Joseph and fighting back tears. I wanted to go home. I didn’t want to stay here one more minute. I didn’t even want to see Joseph. I didn’t even know why I was going on a date with him anyway. He was no different than all those others; I had just somehow fallen for his advances when I hadn’t the others. I needed to put a stop to all of this and I needed to go home. I closed my eyes wishing that when I opened them I would be home and praying that no one else would speak to me. If one more person told me they loved me I would probably gauge their eyes out with my bare hands.

After a few minutes Joseph arrived, He looked so comforting and refreshingly put together, I wanted to throw my arms around his neck and have a good cry. I forgot about him being like all the others.

“I’m sorry I’m late” He said, I was on the taxi and it was taking so long I almost jumped out and took a boda boda to try to get here faster. But I brought this for you.” He pulled a Snickers bar from his pocket and handed it to me. I had told him on our first date that I loved Snickers, but I had not seen one in Uganda. I was impressed that he had remembered and tracked one down for me.

As we walked I poured out my woes about my day. Starting with the children, pulling on me and almost tackling me in the desire to be close to me.  As I told him he laughed. “Why are you laughing?” I asked genuinely perplexed as to why my sorry situation would have him in stitches.

“I’m sorry I don’t mean to laugh,” he said “keep going”

I continued with my story and by the time I finished telling him about that man’s parting comment of “You will dream about me, I know” he was laughing so hard he almost couldn’t stay standing.

“It wasn’t funny! It was horrible!” I said.

“I know, I’m sorry” he said, trying to keep a straight face, “but you have to admit it’s kind of funny. I keep picturing you trying to fend off all those kids, telling the boda driver you might beat him, ignoring the man in the taxi as he is putting his head on your shoulder, and it’s kind of funny!”

I started laughing; there was some humor in the situation. “I’m sorry you had a hard day though,” he said more seriously.

I squeezed his hand. “Thanks, it’s getting better now.”

He took me to Forever Resort and we sat on the banks of the river and watched the sun go down. He told me about his Grandma who had died recently of Alzheimer’s. He said that towards the end she didn’t remember anyone. The last time he had gone to see her she had been unable to feed herself and he got to sit and feed her. As she ate she opened her eyes and looked at him, then she smiled “Joseph, she said, you look so much like your father, he always loved you best.” She died the next day. Joseph told me he would always cherish the fact that he got that chance to care for her and that in that final moment she remembered who he was. It was a beautiful story and I made a mental note to watch The Notebook with him.

We ordered a pizza and some sodas and sat and ate and continued to talk. He told me about how shocked he was when he returned from his mission in South Africa and saw the living conditions in Uganda. Even though it was his home he was ashamed and embarrassed to see the contrast of how people here lived compared to how they did in other countries. His own family had suffered some serious financial losses and he returned to find his home and everything they had owned gone. He spent his first night home sleeping on the floor.

I took a late taxi and returned home later that night. Joseph promised he would see me on Sunday as he was coming to Lugazi to speak to our branch.

The Mehta Estate…and my boys

Lugazi, the village where I live is based around an estate owned by the Mehta family. The first Mr. Mehta came from India when he was fourteen years old. He planted the first sugar cane in Uganda and now he owns miles and miles of fields of sugar cane. If you climb the hill outside of Lugazi and overlook the vast area, pretty much everything you can see is part of the Mehta estate. DSC00355

Mr. Mehta employs over 1000 workers on the estate, this includes the men and women that work in the fields but it also includes, ladies maids, gardeners, cooks, housekeepers, an entire police force, a hospital, guest houses, schools, etc. Lugazi then is the village that survives on the economic foundation provided by Mehta. DSC00356

Mr Mehta wanted a golf course. Mrs. Mehta wanted a garden. They decided to see who could do better. 429803_10151637624287888_2079889728_n

I went there one morning and toured the gardens with Luta and the other interns here. Then I went back a couple of nights later just to enjoy it at a leisurely pace. Emined went with me and I can’t even begin to describe to you how beautiful that place is. It smells like Lilac and Honeysuckle. Emined had never seen it before and he kept saying in that way that only sounds right with an African accent, “yi yi yi this is what heaven is, yo?”DSC00326

My favorite part of the garden is when you come to a huge hill, DSC00335wooden steps are set in the side of the hill and a row of trees forms a border on the left. DSC00336If you cross through the trees you will come across a set of stone steps that takes you ,down, down, down into a low area. Along the side of the stone steps grows tall lily’s their white heads standing up like elegant ladies all waiting and watching in a neat line.

After the first set of stairs the view on the left opens to reveal a white gazebo and the row of lily’s expands and becomes a bed of lily’s laid out before your eyes. If you continue down the steps you will see a cluster of bamboo surrounding a table and some chairs and forming a nice little sitting area. DSC00343From there you can look out over a pond, also filled with lily’s and other plants, to the little footbridge that will take you to more rolling fields of cleanly cut grass. It was dark and had rained earlier in the day. The grass was wet and I took off my shoes and enjoyed the sweet coolness on my bare feet until something bit me and left enough of a sting that I decided maybe shoes are a good option after all. DSC00341


The court yard at Villa Anona

The corridor leading to the guest rooms. the panels open up to let in a cool breeze.

The corridor leading to the guest rooms. the panels open up to let in a cool breeze.

A lounge area

A lounge area

the dining room. The food they serve here is interesting an incredible!

the dining room. The food they serve here is interesting an incredible!

the bedrooms. They have air conditioning and nice bathrooms.

the bedrooms. They have air conditioning and nice bathrooms.

In Uganda, coming home is the best part of leaving. Everyone welcomes you back. It’s the sweetest thing. As I walk through the gate I am met by my two friends and brothers Joseph and Davis. I remember hearing from others that had been here about these two boys but I never dreamed that I would love them the way I do. Yesterday I sat in the courtyard doing my laundry when Davis came home from school. “Oh Virate,” he says, “why are you washing your clothes, you can’t do that when I am around to do it for you.”

“Why” I ask, knowing already what he is going to say.

“Because I am Ugandan and I can do it for you.” He sits down and takes a dress out of my hands, like this he says and then he expertly covers it with soap and scrubs it in a way that I am quite certain I will never get down. When Joseph got home the three of us worked on the laundry and they told me about school. Joseph sat looking glum when I asked him how his first day back had been. “Not good,” he shakes his head.

“Why,” I ask

“The girls they tease so much, they are so mean.” He says.

I can’t imagine someone being mean to Joseph.

“Don’t you know why girls tease?” I ask him elbowing him a little and raising my eyebrows in a suggestive sort of way.

“I have no use…” he says. “All day they are writing me letters, Joseph, I want to be your girlfriend” he mimics in a high voice.

“But don’t you like them” I ask.

I can see he is really upset and it even looks like he is holding back tears. “For me it is hard,” he explains. “So hard to talk to girls.”

“You are talking to me and I’m a girl”

“Yes but you aren’t…he pauses and then mimics the girls flirting and walking to get his attention. Its one of the funniest things, I’ve seen.

One day you will like it. I told him.

Yes but now I have no use. He sighs and picks up the bar of soap and another piece of laundry.

He is only 17 now. I think give him a few years and he will find “a use.”


Is this a polyga-date?

tumblr_lfka2o9RrE1qdmtdzNot ALL of my dates have been bad ones. I’ve had some really good ones actually. This just wasn’t one of them.

I had met Mike somewhere, probably at church or something and I thought he was pretty cute. So when a friend of mine invited me to bring a date and double with him on a snow mobile ride I thought I would ask Mike. He graciously accepted and we headed up the canyon.

As we were getting the snowmobile’s off the truck and getting ready to take off. A ranger came through warning us about avalanche danger. He told us to make sure that we had flares and to be careful and stay on the paths. We didn’t have any flares but we weren’t about to let that ruin our trip. So off we went. Mike liked to drive fast which normally I would have loved but he was really jerky and I was finding it difficult to stay on the back. My legs were aching before very long from clinging to the machine.

MIke pulled ahead of the others and we were flying through the canyon. I had long since given up trying to see where we were going and was just hanging on for dear life. My mask had fogged up so completely that it was all just a blur. I hoped Mike could see better than I could.

Soon I felt snow up around my legs, much farther than it would have if we had been on the road. Then I landed in a pile of snow with Mike beside me. I laughed and pulled of my helmet. Then I stopped laughing. We were literally sitting on the edge of a cliff. And I’m not talking a little one, I’m talking an I can’t see the bottom, and there would be no chance of survival if we went over the edge kind of cliff. We had both fallen off the snowmobile just before it went over the edge.

Luckily neither of us were hurt. And in fact neither was the snowmobile. It was perched jauntily in the very tip-top branches of a large tree. We sat there a minute laughing about our near miss and wondering how we were going to get it out of the tree when I suddenly realized that our first course of action was to get back to the road and flag down the others before they passed us and went further on up the trail. I scrambled to my feet and raced up to the road only to see the snowmobile fly past. We were completely off the road, where no one passing would have noticed us. I wondered how long it would take before they realized we weren’t in front of them anymore and came back looking for us.

In the mean time Mike and I sat and waited. We were both trying to make the best of a bad situation. “Just think, he said, this will make a great story to tell our grandkids.” I choked for a second, did he mean OUR grandkids, or our respective, grandkids, that would be entirely two separate and distinct groups of children…

As I was pondering what he meant I heard a loud, voice of the universe kind of rumbling. Thunder…?

Mike and I looked at each other, our eyes wide, was it possible that we had been spared going off the edge of a cliff only to be buried alive in an avalanche?

I held my breath, waiting and watching to see what was going to happen. Nothing did. Turns out it was really thunder. After a bit of a wait and not a little frustration the rest of our group found us and we pulled the snowmobile back onto the road and headed home. Now I know what you are thinking, that’s not such a bad date, right. Well, see the bad date hadn’t started yet. A couple of days later, I was talking with Mike in the lobby, Maybe I’m a bad listener, maybe he is a long talker, we may never know but somewhere along the way I had spaced out a little during his monologue until suddenly Mike brought me back with, “well, what do you think, do you want to go?”

I scrambled, trying to guess what he might have been talking about, finally I decided to go out on a limb. “Yeah, that sounds fun,” I said,

“great I’ll pick you up at about 6 then.”

“So, um, which day is it again?” I asked sheepishly

“It’s Saturday, the concert starts at 7:30 but its going to be a bit of a drive. I thought we might get dinner afterward as well.”

Ohhh, sounds like he asked me out on a date and I totally missed it!

I went home and told my room-mate about it. She told me that there was a group of people going and that she was going with the boy she had been dating as well. She was able to fill me in on the fact that we were going to a symphony in Salt Lake.

Saturday night rolled around and I was ready when Mike showed up to get me. He came to the door and all was fine till we got back to the car and there was a girl sitting in the passenger seat of the car. I was confused to say the least.

I got in the back seat and we started to drive. Somehow I had missed something huge. This was not what I had in mind. Either Mike was a wannabe polygamist who had decided to save a little time by courting both of us at once, or this was no date at all.

We met up with the rest of the group and we were the only threesome, the rest were couples, obviously on a date. I felt so awkward. during the concert the other girl and I sat on opposite sides of Mike. I wished I could have sat in a different section. She had this annoying laugh, which I heard often. And when she did laugh she would open her large mouth really wide and her tongue and hangy man would do this weird little dance where one looked like it was trying to catch the other. I was both horrified, and mesmerized by the strangeness of it all. And I could not believe that this was the girl I was in competition with. I decided then and there that if this was my competition, I was out of the game. I was not going to play this game with her.

The concert finally ended and we proceeded to the second part of our awkward threesome. Dinner was fun, because I just ignored them completely and visited with the others. But on the way home, she offered to let me sit in front as though he were the prize and she wanted to give me my fair share of time sitting in the honored position next to him. I very graciously declined that honor and claimed the back seat.

I guess I will never know who was at fault for this strange mess. Maybe he had some explanation. Probably not. Whatever the case was, any charm that I had ever seen in him was lost and that was the last ahh hmmm, “date” I ever went on with him.

In search of the worst date ever…

I thought this kid was so cute. And his face looks like how I felt hearing this story.

I thought this kid was so cute. And his face looks like how I felt hearing this story.

As many of you know, after my last bad date, I decided that I think I am done going on bad dates. At this point I think I am going to be more choosy about who I am going to allow to set me up and who I agree to go out with. My old philosophy was, what do I have to lose, the worst that could happen is that I could have a really great bad date story. I might as well go. My new philosophy is Don’t go unless you want to. I no longer feel like I need to put myself through that for the sake of feeling like I am doing my part.

The only down side to this change of heart is that (hopefully) I will have no more bad date stories to share. So since it seems that so many of you actually really like reading about bad dates I decided that I will just change my focus. My new mission is to find the WORST date story. And wow have I heard some doozies. My favorite to date is one that my friend told me, I believe it actually happened to her uncle, (We’ll call him Joe)

This date took place on the Heber Creeper, a local historic railroad. The 95-year-old train takes passengers on a scenic little ride around the beautiful Heber Valley. Not a bad date idea actually; and the date wasn’t going too bad. Until the train made a quick stop. Suddenly Joe was “struck.” Anyone who has ever been struck needs no explanation of what I mean here; but for those of you who don’t know, let me just say that being “struck” is what happens when the contents of your colon all decide at exactly the same second that they are going to make a mass exodus from your body. At that point regardless of your potentially amazing powers of sphincter control, nothing is going to stop the avalanche of outhouse input from exciting…quickly.

So, our friend Joe got struck. He got struck bad. And as he was waiting not so patiently in line to get off the train and only hopping that he would make it safely to the mens room he lost the  battle to keep his insides…well inside.

As it ran down his leg, Joe ran down the steps and left his date behind. Frantically he ran to a gift shop looking for something, anything to change into. He found a package of sweats and bought them. Just at that moment he heard the train whistle blow, signaling its imminent departure. Rushing as fast as the rather awkward situation in his pants would let him, he reboarded the train and went straight to the bathroom to clean up and change into the sweats. Maybe his date wouldn’t notice or at least wouldn’t ask.

poop_pants22He took off his pants and underwear. Standing in nothing but his shirt he looked around the small room, wondering what in the world to do with the mess. Finally, he had an idea. It seemed the only option so he opened the window and threw his pants, underwear, and all of their contents out the window. He opened the package and found to his dismay that the sweat pants he had purchased were not sweat pants at all. It was a sweat shirt.

Joe hid out in the bathroom until the train came to a stop and everyone left. Then he quickly put his legs into the arms of the sweatshirt, covered himself as best he could and made a mad dash for his car. No one ever knew what happened to the poor girl who was the unfortunate other half of this date, but I bet she has a story of her own she has been telling over the years.

All I can say is better her than me 🙂

Feel free to share your bad date stories here. I love to hear them.

Signs of a Crazy Psycho Date


I went on a couple of dates this weekend. I always thought I had nothing to lose by going on a date because even if its a bad date, at least it will make for a good story…

After this weekend, I think I will be a bit more particular. So after doing an analysis of all that made this date, less than fun this is what I learned.

My first mistake: Agreeing to go on a date when my gut feeling was that I would rather stay home with my senior citizen parents and watch old reruns of bonanza than go on a date with him.

His first mistake: Asking me on a date and then informing me that he doesn’t have a car and asking me to come pick him up.

My mistake: IN an effort to keep conversation going, talking about places in the world that I would like to travel.

His mistake: Telling me where he would take me if we went on a honeymoon.

My mistake: Agreeing to go on a date just because I didn’t want to say no to a Jazz game.

His mistake: Asking me every five minutes throughout the entire game if I was ok, if I was cold, if I was hungry, or if I was tired, and then commenting on how he wanted to take care of me. It was awkward, and a little overwhelming.

My mistake: Thinking that maybe if I suggested we get some ice cream he might stop asking me if I was ok. I thought he might just really want to do something for me.

HIs mistake: Letting his ice cream melt all over his hands and drip all over his pants and the floor.

My mistake: Slipping on the ice while we were walking back to the car.

His Mistake: Asking me if he could hold my hand. In my opinion you don’t ask. If you KNOW that she wants you to, just do it. If you don’t just leave it alone. But don’t ask.

My mistake: Getting on facebook after I got home.

His Mistake: Posting what an epic time he had with me and including my name in his status. And then messaging me trying to tie me down for a second date.

My mistake: Trying to let him down easy by telling him that I had a good time but I just didn’t see it going anywhere so I didn’t think we should go out again.

His mistake: Going postal on me and telling me that it was not very christ-like of me to judge him without giving him a chance, that his first mistake was taking me out in the first place, and that he regretted spending a single dollar on me.

At this point I ignored him and he continued to message me telling me that he wondered what his neighbors would think of the way I treated him, and saying that for a Mormon girl I sure play a good game.

At that point I unfriended him and blocked him on facebook. At which point he proceeded to send me text messages with scripture references telling me that you can’t judge the righteous and that you have to hold out and let the lord show you, and telling me that he knows what he did that freaked me out.

I woke up feeling as though I needed therapy. But I did learn that somethings are not even worth dealing with for the sake of a good story.

Fortunately for me, my date the following night was filled with genuine laughter, a good time, and watching a performance by one of my favorite musicians. I left feeling as though my faith in the dating world was somewhat renewed.

My Sister Steve

I have a lot of sisters. More than most anyway. I love all of them, but…

Today I want to introduce you to Stephanie.

When Stephanie (not her real name) showed up I couldn’t have been more excited. It changed my world. She was the cutest thing to ever grace the planet. She came out a whopping 10 lbs 12 oz. She came smiling and cooing and flirting with the doctors. And boy was she a lady! As she grew into a toddler she was gracious, proper, sweet and good. Her golden curls framed her cherub face and accented her bright blue eyes.

She loved her pretty dresses, she loved being doted on and fawned over. She posed for pictures (and yes we encouraged her plenty) and she was everybody’s sweetheart.

When she was a little older, she turned into quite the tomboy. She climbed on the roof, set a fire in the shed, gathered the snails that were oh so plentiful in our large garden and threw them at passing cars. She played in the dirt, teased the neighbors, pulled pranks and played tackle football with the boys. And we started calling her Steve,

She started running the tractor around the yard, digging trenches and shoveling truck loads of dirt and she got strong! She earned the nickname Lumber Jill. She got her way and nobody wanted to cross her. She was my big little sister.

A little over a year ago, she was in a horrible accident and almost died. She broke her femur, her back, her neck, all her ribs, and did incredible damage to other parts of her body. Those injuries will probably always be with her. One of the changes,(whether it was from the accident itself or whether it was from the experience I guess we’ll never know) changed her in a way that has been fun to see. She became more open. Since then more people are seeing one of the things that I have always loved about her. Her sense of humor. She is hysterical. She has friends on Facebook who are really mostly her friends so that they can see the funny random things that she posts.

So I thought I would give you a little taste of the Steve that I know. Here is a text message conversation from my cell phone. It’s funny, but the funniest part was that…

she had it with herself.

She saw my phone laying on the table and she started answering her own texts.

So here it is…

Hey pal its been awhile…

I know I missed your quick wit

Aw you’re sweet! 🙂

I know if I was a popsicle I would lick myself…

lol that sounds kind of bad

I know, I was trying to give you a visual but ended up giving myself a visual too and that was weird.

Yeah I bet lol. Speaking of popsicles I saw your boyfriend yesterday

Oh yeah what was he doing? And more importantly what was he wearing…

It was a nurses uniform and he was cleaning gutters at the old folks home. I saw his thighs.

…um I hope you told the bishop.

He sees them all the time, why do I have to tell him. Theres gutters at the bishops too ya know.

Oh right. Well at least they’re hot.

Yeah like bacon.

I had bacon once. It was a bad experience. lol

It wasnt fully cooked was it

no, it was still on the pig. I’m scared of pigs

You know people back in the olden days used to brush their teeth with the hair from a pigs butt!

While it was still on the pig?

Of course not silly! They pluck pigs once a week and save the hair.

Oh…that makes sense. Hey where’s that book you were telling me about yesterday?

The one about the orgasmic brownies?

No sicko! The one about how to clean ear wax out of your ear with a bobby pin.

O yeah, I dropped it in the toilet

How the heck did you do that?

It’s an inappropriate story…

hhhmmm I can just imagine.

Hey, I have my reasons and most of the time they are valid

Yeah? Like the time my cat got butt rash…Nothing was valid about that.

Well there are exceptions to everything. I didn’t know paprika was bad for cats.

There is such a thing as Wikipedia…

Do I look like a person who googles stuff like that?

Well you never know, you are kind of weird.

Yeah I do eat weird things but at least I wash my hands after.

Not with soap.

Soap stinks.

So does deodorant but you use that. Or wait…no you don’t. lol

Hey! I have a problem! I do everything I can.

Um growing your arm hair out and braiding it is not doing everything. In fact, its making things worse.

Well excuse me for trying to make myself dignified.

Dignified! The best you can do is barely civil!

You’re rude

Yeah. But I have a cute face 🙂

Cute in whose opinion?

That’s my sister. She keeps us laughing.


The Tale of the Infamous Crik

This blog post is kind of random, mostly a bunch of random memories. But stories of the crik always come up when my siblings and I get together. And it always leaves us laughing till our sides hurt as we remember.

When I was growing up we lived right next to a crik. And yes that is right, it was a crik. A creek was a cute little stream whose crystal clear water flows laughingly over smooth round stones as it gurgles through the canyon. What we lived next to was a crik. It was about 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide it’s banks made of stones covered in chain link. It ran directly behind the fence in our backyard and we thought it was OUR crik.

I have so many memories of that crik, from as early as I can remember everything went in that crik. And I mean everything.

Leftover food that had gone bad

A favorite toy of a brother who had teased you one too many times

A racy romance novel that I was reading to my sister, until she became too afraid that one of the mothers was going to find it.

My brothers peed in it from a hole in the fence

I even remember one time in particular a cousin of mine was particularly getting on my nerves. I had been sick with chicken pox and he had come with his mother who taught my siblings to play the piano. I was sleeping curled up in a chair when he snuck up behind the chair and scared me.

In my 6 year old mind all I could think was that I was so angry I thought I might turn inside out I already had a particular dislike of that cousin because I had to sit on his lap one day when we were piling too many people in the car. I had been mortified and he had teased me. So I had decided that I would hate him to my dying day.

So when he scared me I reacted in a very typical way for me. I threatened to kill him and boy did I mean it in the very fiber of my being.

“How are you going to kill me…” he taunted,

“I’ll…I’ll throw you in the crik!” I threw out the first thing that came to mind.

“I’m too heavy and you are too little…you won’t be able to get me over the fence.”

“Then I’ll bury your head in the sand in the sand box and you’ll die!” I said.

I’m stronger than you what if I won’t let you bury my head, he said, pushing the limits of my fury.

But I digress, the point of this blog post was to just share a memory that I had about the crik. I only just recently realized how strange and inappropriate it was that we threw so much stuff in the crik. I kind of thought thats what it was for and I wondered how other households got by without one.

My brothers even threw a tv in the crik at one point. Unlike most of the other things we threw in there that one didn’t sink into oblivion or float out of sight. It sunk but remained visible from the bottom when the water level was low.

THe boys had found a TV repair shop  and found out they could easily break in. THey did and successfully stole a small TV. Then they got greedy and went back for something bigger. Also the little TV was only black and white and they wanted something with color.

So they went back and found a nice big TV. It was around midnight when they were crossing state street carrying their loot when they were stopped by a police officer.

“You boys taking your TV for a walk?” he asked them.

“Um…” no excuse came to mind fast enough, but the officer didn’t need one. He knew why they ewre running across the street carrying a TV.

He asked their ages, names and birth date. then he asked, where do you live?

The boys really didn’t want to answer that question. They didn’t want to be iin trouble with the parents.

Um we are here visiting from Oregon, they said.


um…they looked at each other, we are staying with our grandparents and we don’t know the address.

You are brothers? He asked, understandably with a good deal of scepticism since the coloring between the two boys was pretty different.


But you are both 13.

We are twins!

Twins… whose birthdays are 4 months apart?

The boys were caught and they knew it but they didn’t want to give up their address.

Come on I know where you live, the officer said, and he took them home.

Later after getting in trouble with the parents and lying about that being the only time they had stolen TV’s they threw the other one in the crik to avoid being caught.

Moral of the Story: If you can’t find it…its probably in the crik.

The Tale of the Midnight Bacon Station

I was home for thanksgiving today and while I was there I was going through a bunch of my moms pictures. I have been scanning all her pictures so that we would have an electronic version. I came across these pictures and I had a funny memory come to mind.

When I was about 4 or 5 years old there was a song that my mom thought it was really funny to get me and my brother to sing. It was two characters, Mr. Did and Mr. Didn’t. My brother Al was always Mr. Did and I was always Mr. Didn’t. It always made me so mad and I didn’t want to sing. These pictures that I found pretty perfectly showed our personalities and looking back with a slightly different perspective I imagine that it was pretty funny that we both fit our parts so perfectly. I had no idea we were acting…I was just being myself. I guess that’s what made it so funny.

The song went like this

I’m Did!

I’m Didn’t

I did obey!

I didn’t

I’m hap hap happy all the while!

I’m not

I washed my hands and combed my hair when mother told me to!

I ran and hid and said that’s something I won’t do!

I’m did

I’m didn’t

I did obey

I didn’t

and everybody loves me cause I DID OBEY!


And finally my story for the day.                                                

           The Tale of the Midnight Bacon Station

Back in the day my family had a strict policy about food. You were only allowed to eat what was put on the table. You weren’t to get into the food otherwise. They were pretty strict about that.

One night my brother was in bed when he decided that in spite of  the fact that it was midnight, he wanted something to eat. But not just anything, he wanted bacon. So in the middle of the night Marc got up to cook up some bacon.

Now one thing that you need to know about my mom is that I am quite certain she could smell the sun rise. Somehow Marc didn’t take that into consideration and so he was surprised by the sound of her footsteps coming down the stairs just as his bacon was almost finished.

He left it lying in the pan and ran back to bed. Mother came into the kitchen to find a pan of bacon cooking on the stove and no one to be seen. She turned the flame off and went looking for the culprit. Meanwhile, my brother Hyrum also smelled the bacon and had come to investigate. He too so the pan sitting on the stove with perfectly crisp bacon and no one around. So he gathered up the bacon in a paper towel and went back to bed to enjoy his midnight treat.

After that, we always joked that Marc ran the midnight bacon station, and that Hyrum was his favorite customer.

Moral of the story: Take your bacon with you when you run.

The Tale of Dudley Hogarth

Dudley Hogarth was always called just that, Dudley Hogarth. No one ever just called him Dudley, or Mr. Hogarth or maybe Dud for short. (Although it might have been fitting). He was always Dudley Hogarth plain and simple.

In our culture often men will go to the leader of the group and suggest that perhaps a certain girl should be his wife. When this happens we always say that he “asked for her”.  There was usually a fair amount of speculation as to who was asking for who. One thing there was not any speculation about however was whether or not Dudley Hogarth had asked for you. He had. He asked for everyone. I swear he keeps a calendar where he meticulously keeps track of all female births and as soon as a girl turns 15 he makes an appointment to go explain how he has received a revelation that she belongs to him.

Dudley Hogarth asked for me. He asked for each one of my 24 sisters. He asked for all of my friends. He even asked for my mom back in the day. And I’m quite sure he is well aware of my 14-year-old niece’s upcoming birthday.

Most children play “the last one in is a rotten egg” My sisters and I played “the last one in has to marry Dudley Hogarth.” I remember one of my sisters decided to switch it up one day and she said “the first one in has to marry Dudley Hogarth. It threatened to be a long afternoon as all of us refused to move. We finally realized that game was going to be pointless.

Dudley Hogarth was short and fat. He was mostly bald but he liked to let the few strands of hair that he did have on the top of his head grow out kind of long. I guess he thought that would make up for all that was missing. It would kind of swirl around on his sweaty head in a greasy mess and sometimes would flop over when he would turn around in his chair to stare at you. Which he did. Often. For as long as I can remember Dudley Hogarth sat on the front row at church and used his vantage point to turn and stare at the girls.

He had a fat shiny face and eyes that kind of bugged out a bit. Dudley Hogarth had a mental disorder and probably should have garnered a bit of sympathy. But we women left it up to the men to provide it. He didn’t need any encouragement from us. In fact we avoided him at all costs. If he did ever catch you unawares he would sidle up to you stick out his sweaty hand and grin at you with his yellow gap toothed smile, while he waited for you to shake his hand.

One day when my dad was building our new house I was in one of the room working when I heard Dudley Hogarth’s unmistakable whiny voice coming down the hallway. Desperate to not find myself in a position where I would have to see him and shake his hand I looked around frantic for an escape route. There wasn’t one. His voice was getting closer and finally I lunged for the closet and pulled the door closed behind me. Surely I would be safe there until he left.

I stood quietly peeking through the tiny slit between the two doors. I could see him showing someone around the room. Just when it looked like they were about to leave Dudley Hogarth said, “now look at this closet,” I could see him getting closer and closer through the slit and all I could think was that I was going to find myself backed into a closet with nowhere to run and face to face with Dudley Hogarth! Besides how would I ever explain what I was doing in there.

It seems to providential to be real even now. These kinds of things only happen on TV. But just as Dudley Hogarth was reaching out to open the door, my dad called from the other room and I was spared the confrontation. But I learned a lesson that day. One I won’t forget anytime soon.

Moral of the Story: When you are hiding from a creepy guy…don’t hide in a closet.