Saturday, March 28, 2009

Alyssa's Onesies Appear Here

I went to Chrissy McKinney Craven's baby shower for the soon to be arriving Kate. Of course I had to have some handmadejig onesies by Alyssa and she came thru with flying colors and made and shipped in 2 days all the way from Chicago with love. There were 4 - 2 long sleeve and 2 short since this is an April Utah baby. It was great to see Orem neighbors Kitty and Lisa with their daughters and daughter-in-laws too. We reminisced about that great neighborhood and sitting on the front steps watching our children play. Chrissy's mother-in-law made a beautiful blessing dress for baby Kate. One funny highlight from the shower was a friend showing up in the same shirt as Chrissy!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Look Review "A Girl Named Zippy"

“A Girl Named Zippy”

There is something oddly comforting reading about peculiar, dysfunctional families. I find it makes me feel a whole lot better about my own attempts at parenting. Well, at least I didn’t do that! Haven Kimmel, nicknamed Zippy, introduces us to her family and neighbors described with the affectionate bewilderment of young girl. Her childhood memoir is set in the small town of Moorland Indiana during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Nicknamed Zippy by her father for her resemblance to a frantic circus monkey, this little girl was anything but typical. She did not speak until age three, and then her first words were: “I’ll make a deal with you.” (Her father was trying to convince her that it was time to give up carrying around the pink plastic bottle.) There may be a little exaggeration in this autobiography but it makes the story much more entertaining.

Her family consisted of a gambling, drinking, loveable father, a sit-on-the-couch mother, a seldom appearing big brother and an exasperated teen-age sister. Eccentric neighbors and peculiar young friends complete the cast of comical characters appearing in Zippy’s childhood play. In one scene, the next door neighbor complains about the Haven’s dogs barking. One night Zippy’s father rounds up a yard full of hunting dogs from his gambling buddies and proceeds to parade a caged raccoon through the canine crowd for several hours. This caused such a terrible howling and baying that the neighbor complaints ended. In another scene she describes one of her religious experiences when she absolutely saw a vision of Jesus outside in the treetops during an Ouija board activity.

Kimmel’s childhood was filled with loving neglect. She made frequent visits to the emergency room for the stitches and sprains that resulted from her imaginative escapades. She was rarely supervised and seldom instructed or cautioned. Her sunny description of a bedroom floor littered with dirty clothes and even a long-dead mummified pet rat in a cage should be horrifying to the reader. Somehow, since Zippy doesn’t care we just read on impressed with her optimism and resilience.

If you need a little parenting self-esteem boost choose a book like “A Girl Named Zippy”. At least you didn’t gamble away your child’s one and only savings bond. You for sure didn’t allow your daughter to go without washing her hair for weeks at a time. But hopefully you loved your children completely and they knew it as certainly as Zippy did.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Aristocats starring Dawson and Haydon

Tyfani directed and produced "Aristocats" for the Lehi Children's Theater. With a group of bouncy little 4-7 year olds she pulled off a great performance. Dawson was very cool as Thomas O'Malley and Haydon entertained us as a dog named Private Cool. The dog name had to be added to keep Haydon on board. Sunday, 3 days before performances, I asked him if he was excited about being in the play. "I'm not going to," he sighed. Tyfani gave me an exasperated look over the top of his head. He ended up doing just fine except for the nightly run over to his mom directing from the audience to ask her take his ears off because they were itchy. Dawson sang and danced like a pro and they are both eager to do another community theater play as soon as mommy is all rested up!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Book Look Review "The Book of a Thousand Days"

“The Book of a Thousand Days”

Shannon Hale has written another wonderful fable for young adults and all of us who still enjoy reading fairy tales. I discovered a great place to read young adult reviews. It is aptly named which makes it easy to remember and find. Alison Craig, a Springville resident with lots of reading and teaching experience recently developed this site to help us with our book choices. I recommend you visit and sign up if you are a teenager or the parent of one. Alison reviews the current popular books and some classics. I will let you read her review of “The Book of a Thousand Days” to give you a taste of what you’ll find on her site.
“Sixteen-year-old Lady Saren is so terrified of the man her father wants her to marry that she’d rather be walled up in a tower for seven years than marry him. When Khan Tegus, the man she loves, comes to the tower, she makes her maid, Dashti, speak to him for her.
But pretending to be gentry, a hanging offense, is only one of Dashti’s worries: there’s something wrong with Lady Saren that even Dashti’s songs can’t heal, and with the rats and Lady Saren’s insatiable appetite, their food won’t last for seven years.
When Dashti hears men outside plotting to break into the tower, she knows she must find a way to save her lady from them.
With her energy, loyalty and courage, Dashti is a heroine every girl should be proud to emulate.
The story has lively, exciting moments, with quieter parts in between, beginning as the two girls are walled up in the tower, slowing down as the back story's filled in. It speeds up as visitors come to the tower, quiets down after they leave. Things really heat up near the end when Dashti comes up with a plan to vanquish Lord Khasar and she’s finally revealed as Lady Saren's maid.”
Alison then describes in detail on her book rating chart offensive language, sexual references, drugs and alcohol, violence and other cautions for young readers. Readers can access each month’s reviews for free, or subscriptions start at just $12 a year for other services and to access reviews from past months. It’s like having your own local movie reviewer but of course a book reviewer is even better!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Don't Usually Post Decorations - That's Alyssa

I love this BH&G spring centerpiece.I am doing it a bit smaller in a pasta bowl that has a nice wide rim.The flowers have to be cut to 3in. and set in water, then eggs in another bowl above water. Cheap Flowers from the grocery store. Pictures later. I am also trying to force some spring branches but since right now they are just 2ft. tall sticks in a glass vase I don't think you need a picture. I know this is Alyssa's forte - but hey, where do you think she started? I will admit she is a shooting star now and I am more of a stagnant pond. But every once in a while I take a break from vacuuming my closet and do something creative!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Our Newspaper Gets Better and Better

So what's the big news in Springville? Besides obits, weddings, Eagle scouts and Young Women Award pics and announcements, our news is big stories here. For example, our varsity cheerleaders (Alyssa's alumni) took 4th at Nationals. That's pretty big right? Our girl's basketball team, led by a neighborhood girl Ashley,took 2nd at state. Our boys basketball is in the quarter finals for the 1st time in a decade,and what's even bigger than that? I quote: "Students at Cherry Creek Elementary in Springville have been celebrating the works of Dr. Seuss by inviting special guests to come read in their classrooms. Mr. Balzotti, the principal, taught the students about Dr. Seuss and shared one of his favorite books with them on Monday, Mar. 2, which was also "hat day." The students were lucky to be able to learn from their principal!" This was topped by a picture which I can't access and paste here.

I could never post all the bloopers from our newspaper but here is the latest. A couple of weeks ago there was an announcement that U-Pass Tickets were available. These are bus passes, Marie uses one, discounted for students and popular with commuters. You guessed it. There was a hyphen hiccup and there it was in big bold letters UP-ass Tickets Now Available! I think we may have a winner.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book Look Review "The Story of Lucy Gault"

“The Story of Lucy Gault”

March is a time to read Irish and suffer. Read Irish? I’ve read Hemmingway; I’ve read Chekhov, what do you mean Irish? No one knows poverty and pain like an Irishman, not even those freezing cold Russians (sorry Dostoyevsky). It seems like centuries of oppression, famine and poverty produce an artist capable of taking us beyond the realm of ordinary hunger, ordinary love, and ordinary life. If you want to read about love, put down the romance novel and learn from a man who can reach down inside you and tug at the tender places. No one writes love and pain like an Irishman!

William Trevor has produced a novel with grace and style employing a scarcity of words to engage our mind and heart. Unlike many authors from the Isles, he resists the urge to write with flourishing adjectives but rather captures us with his sparse prose. “The Story of Lucy Gault” is a lovely, tragic tale written by an extraordinary Irish author.

Trevor begins the story of Lucy when she is a small eight year old child. The year is 1921 and the Irish countryside is in a state of political unrest. Lucy’s family home is a large estate by the sea near a small village called Enniseala. Her father’s family had owned Lahardane in County Cork for several generations but her mother was a Protestant Englishwoman and her father had served in the British army.

When three local young men crept up in the night with petrol cans to set his home on fire, Lucy’s father fired a warning shot which accidentally injured one of the intruders. Despite her father’s attempts, there can be no peace made between the religious and political enemies. As landowners and Protestants they had become a target for violence in their own country.

During the fearful preparations to leave their beloved home, Lucy runs away. Her na├»ve attempt to force her parents to stay brings tragic consequences for everyone involved. Lucy is lost. Everything is lost – her family, her childhood, her future. The guilt and punishments seem out of proportion to the crimes and mistakes. As the years pass love and forgiveness emerge, but it has been at such a terrible cost.

The long civil war in Ireland has ended in our time. With the exception of a few details, the peace agreements seem to have stopped the violence that caused so many to live in fear or leave their homes. William Trevor has written the heartbreaking fictional story of Lucy Gault. In many ways her story is Ireland’s story. We mourn the tale of Lucy and what she and her country have lost over many years, but we have hope for their redemption.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm so Proud I Had to Share

I just had to share this headline from our local paper with you - THIS is why I ask them not to change anything on my copy when I send in my book review column. I am pretty sure the power plant is PAID for not PLAID for. We also had the dubious honor of being on the Monday Headline segment of the Tonight Show a couple of years ago with this headline: "Springville Playhouse to present "The Impotence of being Ernest". Yes, these are examples of our weekly literary fair/fare here in Springville.
Here it is - right off the newspaper website - my bold added of course.

Thursday, 26 February 2009
Springville Power Plant, Engines, Plaid For
Martin Conover - Springville Herald

City power plant, engines, paid in full

As of the first of next week the final bond payment on the Whitehead Utility Center and the engines house there will become the property of Springville City, free and clear!

Valentines is in Full Bloom

This is the beautiful Amaryllis from Mike and Tyfani for Valentines day. There are 8 huge blooms!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Draper Temple Open House Visit

Tyfani, Mica and I took the 4 grandsons to the Draper Temple Open House today. It was the first time for the boys to be able to walk through a temple and it was a nice experience for all of us. The outside is gray stone from China, the inside floor stone is from France,and the interior doors and woodwork are from Africa. The murals reflecting our Utah scenery covered the walls of 2 rooms. The window glass was beautiful, similar in some ways to the Mount Timpanogos Temple. The bride's room was very beautiful with unusual cut glass work on the lights. In the sealing room there was a couple that taught us about families being forever. We couldn't take pictures inside the temple of course, since we were all being very reverent. Our pictures are taken next door at the church where cookies were served and there were displays around the room. It was a great afternoon!