Monday, October 29, 2012

My Gratitude Project #1--Thankful Turkey

I had a nightmare that my house was really a shack with a dirt floor. It was so small there was only room for one bed. A government inspector came by to look at my kids' underwear and declared it to be too dirty. As if that wasn't bad enough, I learned that my mortgage was very large. Then I woke up, saw that I lived in my little house with a real floor, and felt incredibly grateful for my middle-class life.

Lately, I've wished I could hook myself up to an IV filled with positive thoughts. Our world is so full of negativity. Could it be that we need a little more Thanksgiving in our lives? Like a lot of people, I usually spend a lot of time in October and November getting ready for Christmas. This year, I'm changing things up and celebrating Thanksgiving with wild abandon.

The Thankful Turkey

I found a cute idea in this month's Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The author copied an idea from Elf on the Shelf, and invented a new tradition: the Talk Turkey. I happened to have a little wooden turkey and hot-glued a clothespin to the back. I call mine the Thankful Turkey. Every night, we take turns hiding the turkey in a different place. Whoever hides it will also attach a note to help us think of things we're grateful for. I can see people using the Thankful Turkey at work, at home or at school. It doesn't have to be just for families.

I was a little worried my kids wouldn't participate, but in their signature style, they're running with it. Here's a sampling of gratitude notes they've attached. They made me laugh:

"What do other people have that you don't?"

"Why are you thankful for teenagers?"

"Why are you thankful for violence?"

And, last but not least, this one placed on the pillow of my son who hates turkey: "Why are you thankful for turkey?"

What do you think I should write on my Thankful Turkey next?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Congratulations, Karen!

Soooo, the winner for the Jane Austen Giveaway Hop is Karen Bowen. Congratulations, Karen. I'll be e-mailing you.

I also feel like I've won today because I got my first report of e-book sales, and they are much better than I thought. Thank you, readers.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jane Austen Giveaway Hop

Welcome Jane Austen fans! I couldn't resist taking part in the Jane Austen Giveaway Hop. This giveaway is open to residents of the US.

I will be giving away a copy of my book, Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale. It is a modern version of Jane Austen's Persuasion. As the title suggests, it's LDS fiction and thus reflects the values of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Fill out this form to enter. If you want to leave a comment, let me know which Jane Austen character you'd choose to dress as for Halloween:

Thanks for participating. Here are the other blogs participating in the Giveaway Hop:

Comments: This Halloween, I'm dressing as Mrs. Weston from Jane Austen's Emma. If you had to dress as a Jane Austen character, which one would you choose?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saving a Hummingbird

I don't know what it is about our yard that makes birds want to come die here. Over the summer, my kids found several different birds in the final stages of life--two baby doves who'd been attacked by a larger bird and a young robin. Each time, my boys went to the rescue and each time the birds died.

When my boys found a dying hummingbird lying beside our flowerbed, I was very skeptical that we'd be able to help it. It looked like its wing was broken, so I told the boys to let it die in peace. Fortunately, they didn't listen to me.

They mixed up some sugar water and outfitted a box for the bird. Two of my boys were going camping with the scouts that night. Before they left, they each said a prayer that the hummingbird would be okay. That was the clincher for me. Now I couldn't let the bird die.

Through some internet searching, we figured out that it was illegal to keep a hummingbird and that we needed to hand it over to wildlife rescuers. The problem was that it was Friday night and none of the rescuers answered our calls. Meanwhile, we fed the bird several times an hour through a syringe. My husband and son even woke up in the middle of the night to feed it a few times.

By Saturday, we'd learned that there was one rescuer in our state who accepted hummingbirds. About this time, my kids got hit with the stomach flu and interest in feeding the hummingbird waned significantly. I was kind of hoping the wildlife rescuers would come pick up the bird, or at least answer their phone.

 It's a good thing that little bird is cute or I might have given up on her. It was fun to watch her little tongue go up into the syringe to suck out the sugar water. She started singing a little bit--just a few tweets. I'd never heard a hummingbird sing before.

By Tuesday, the bird was still alive, and I was the only one feeding it most of the time. The wildlife rescuers still hadn't answered their phone, so I drove the bird up to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah and dropped it off. They assured me they'd do their best to help our little hummer heal. I also learned that feeding the bird sugar water mixed with soy milk hadn't been the best idea. At least it kept her alive for four days. 

Since the rescuers at WRCNU never answer their phone, I'll never know what happened to our hummingbird. It was a sweet experience for me to be so close to a hummingbird for so long. I gained a new respect for God's creatures. We, as humans, are so much more powerful than we realize.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Punishments from a Parent's World

The other day, as I helped my son with his word search homework, it occurred to me that if prisoners were forced to do word searches, lawyers might consider it cruel and unusual punishment, especially if said prisoners were suspected terrorists held off the coast of Cuba. Then I thought of all the ex-cons who keep going back to prison. Apparently, the thought of living with a bunch of murderers and rapists isn't enough to keep them from coming back. Maybe we need to change the sentences. Just imagine a judge saying one of these:
  • I sentence you to read every edition of Thomas the Tank Engine every day for the next ten years.
  • I sentence you to five years as a passenger in a driver's education vehicle.
  • I sentence you to live in a cell carpeted with Legos.
  • I sentence you to wait in an emergency room for twenty years.
  • I sentence you to ten years of potty training.
  • I sentence you to three hours a day of word searches.
  • I sentence you to paint a room with the help of six kindergarteners.
What do you think? Are these punishments too much? Or would they be considered unconstitutional?