Thursday, September 28, 2006

My vote for best Character goes to...

this guy! Oh my heck! Thor and I were people watching in New Orleans Square at Disneyland when we noticed a line beginning to form. This is Jack Sparrow. He had all the nuances, gestures and even a pretty fair voice representation that mimicked Johnny Depp's Captain Jack to a tee. He had a terrific time playing the role.

One couple came up for their photo op dressed similarly in dark denim jeans and matching brown shirts, each wearing Mickey Mouse ears. "Jack" took one staggered look and said dryly, "Oh cute. You're both dressed alike." and just as the camera was about to click, he tilted his head to the man and added,"Really bloke, you gotta stop wearing women's clothing!" The man's reaction was great as the crowd burst out laughing.

He had a comment to just about everyone who came up and all sounded as if they were part of the Pirate's movies.
Speaking of Pirates... We went through the ride and well...I am underwhelmed. I think perhaps it is a case of too high of expectations. I didn't notice that much difference in the old and the new and then I am a picky poo about the way Disney has slacked on renovations. Example: Before the renovation, the opening to the Pirate's ride had a ceiling that was literally falling apart, paint chipping, pipes exposed from years of neglect. Now with the new 'improved' ride, you can still see the paint chipping underneath a bunch of tree branches and vines they stuck on the ceiling. How does that renovate?

As far as the ride portion, well they took out most of the "Yo Ho, Pirates'Life" singing. In its' place you get a monotone "Dead men tell no tales...dead men tell no tales..." that repeats itself on and on and on and on and freakin' on. I miss the jolly singing. I am old, I like the singing.

There are three places where "Jack Sparrow" are featured, one is particularly good, but all are nice. There is place in the ride that is very dark where they placed a cool special effect water fall with an image of a pirate talking etc. that you go through. The little kids on the ride with us thought they were going to get that is totally fun. And then in the big battle between the ship and the village they have Capt. Barbosa on the ship. But they have taken out some of the other places where there used to be action going on. (insert sad face here)

And I miss the singing. "We're blighters and beggars and ne'er do well cads! Drink up Me Hearties Yo Ho! But of how we're loved by our mummies and dads! Drink up me hearties Yo HO!"

So there's the Disney Report for this week (winking at Chronicler). Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A Pirate's Life for S'mee!

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Sunday, September 24, 2006


After the last post I got several comments (and a few e-mails!) in regard to the childhood that I experienced. I want to share a few more things in hopes to clarify what I feel. I do not presume to speak for my siblings; this is the way I feel, see things, or interpret our past.

Number one, yes I had a weird if not difficult childhood compared to Ozzie and Harriet or Leave It To Beaver. However, now that I am older I can see where many of my friends, who I thought had it perfect - mom and dad, no divorce, large house with a family vacation each year, school clothes etc.- had similar experiences in their homes as well. Their parents just were much more closeted than ours. There are still the postcard families like Thor's where everything really was pretty awesome. But that said, even their family has its' wild branches that never seem to get properly pruned.

Number two: As in most families, all the siblings will remember things according to their own experiences and ages when certain events took place. Some things will be the same intensity, while others may not seem quite that vivid to all the others. We all have different levels of understanding and healing. I am the youngest in the family and so the kids above me had to endure things that I did not, but there are events that I had my fair share in as well. We went through a lot for little kids. We grew up fast and hard and with circumstance and experiences that even to this day my grown children do not know of. We benefited from some of it and some of it will leave it's scar for life. In the end I hope to rid myself of any "victim" status and just "be". I live to be happy and satisfied.

I also want to clarify that I believe in my heart that my mom did what she could given her circumstance. I believe she could have loved more; maybe, perhaps, I don't know; and I waffle on my thinking here. One the one hand I want to give her a break, and on the other hand I judge her against what I have done in my own life. That can be unfair and I know my kids will write a novel or two on what I have done perhaps that is why I try to forgive and forget.

But I haven't fully yet. But I am getting there.

I am trying to let this all go and find reasons why so that I can give her an excuse. I feel guilt still, to this day, because I can't think of her in the typical "mom" way. I fell guilt to this day also because we were taught to feel guilty. It was our fault her life was miserable. It is our fault that she had to give so much, work so hard, and whatever. It was always and still is all about her needs and wants and what she gave up for us. The abuse, neglect, or just turned head to avoid seeing what others were doing is still a fog in my head. Was it me or is it memorex? Did I deserve it, cause it, or make it up? Somehow all of it is still my fault. She once told me that I "have seen one too many After School Specials." and that I have made most of these things up to elicit sympathy. Perhaps. Perhaps.

She will never be the mother I wanted in childhood and any apology she could give now still would not make up for what was, in my opinion, neglect and emotional abuse. It's all water under the bridge now I suppose.

I know I probably wasn't the mother my children wanted. I guess that is life. I tried to take the good things and make up for the things that I missed. I know there were and still are times when, frankly, I have absolutely no clue how to act or react in a situation because there is no model for me to refer to. I do my best and it has been far short too many times. I know my insecurities drive my kids nuts and that if it weren't for Thor I would have lost it long ago. I am lucky and blessed. There was a lot wrong; but a lot was right. The main thing I hope for my kids is that they know how much I love them. Sometimes I know I blow that image too. I grasp at the clues around me in hopes of being able to find the way to let them know that they are most important to me. But in reality I know, that like my own mother, I have faults; and those faults are many.

That said, my kids call me, they play with me, they laugh and dance with me, they ask me to go with them here and there, they surprise the freaking heck out of me constantly with service and love and tokens of love; and they tolerate a lot of weirdness with much kindness towards me. I am blessed. I am WAY WAY WAY blessed.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

from Chronicler, a penny for your thoughts...

18 September 2006

Complete the thought...

Never again in my life: will I forget who I really am; and that I control what happens to me.

When I was five: I was awakened from sleep, handed a butcher knife, hidden under a window, and eventually asked to run screaming from my home as I feared my mother's murder. Also the year I took my best school photo.

High School was: Less than fun. I just wanted it over. I learned quickly that High School was a defining moment in understanding true character in a person. High School was to be alone by choice. Jr. High, on the other hand, rocked!

I will never forget: when I was in 4th grade; I ran after my mom driving away from me, catching up to her as she stopped to tell me, "This isn't about you. Stop being such a baby. Go back to the house and live with Gramma. I don't want you in my life right now. I am leaving all of you leeches and I won't be back." and feeling she would never come back.

I once met: a few "famous" people. Not who/what I expected. On the other hand I have met some incredible non-famous folks who knocked my socks off with their amazing Spirit and go-to positive personalities.

There's this girl I know who: danced with this guy at a church dance and kept up very nicely thank you. (and was asked very politely to "not dance near him anymore as it made it look as if anyone can dance like this.")

By noon I'm usually: awake. I've been up for hours, but by noon I'm finally awake and personable. (I stole this line from Chronicler, but it fits perfectly. Perhaps we are sisters???)

Last night I: tried to get things done on the computer and otherwise in the house so that later on this week I won't need to -busy week ahead!

Next time I go to church: I will be acting in a way that will matter eternally.

What worries me most: That I am not worthy and may never be.

When I turn my head right, I see: Thor's desk, bookcases, and a piano covered with family photos.

When I turn my head to the left, I see: Book cases, a favorite photo by Jean Guichard, Little Man's calendar, and a wall that is indesperate need of painting!

You know I'm lying when: When I start to lie. I have been told by numerous people close to me that I CANNOT lie well, it's obvious from the first word out of my mouth that a "story" is coming. ugh, this does not bode well for surprises, or surprise parties.

If I was a character written by Shakespeare, I'd be: the jester who is secretly smart, and no one in the play ever gets it...only the audience figures it out.

By this time, next year: I hope to have caught up on a number of projects so that I can paint every day if I wish.

A better name for me would be: Contradiction

I have a hard time understanding: Math. And okra.

If I ever go back to school: I'll be amazed.

You know I like you if: If I go with you to lunch.

Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferarro are: Misused, Gifted, Ridiculous, & Not as important as some people think.

Take my advice, NEVER: think you aren't in control of your own destiny, life, situations. It's all about you. It's always ALL about you. And it's all beneficial to you, no matter what.

My ideal breakfast is: Burnt toast with real butter and real creamy hot chocolate; always with a side of warm memories.

A song I love, but do not have is: a recording of my brother singing Rainbow Connection. Which always makes me cry when I hear it, heck who am I kidding? I am tearing up right now just reading the words.

If you visit my hometown, I suggest: (my childhood home) you purchase real estate, any real estate. My current hometown, bring SPF45 and wait for the sunsets, and night views of the stars.

Why won't anyone: put the dishes away in the right place? I mean really people! They have gone in the same place for thirty years. This is your entire lifetime. Don't get me wrong, I am PLEASED that you emptied the dishwasher, but next time at least leave me a note telling me where you hide the colander!

If you spend the night at my house, DO: what makes you happy. Enjoy! Use what you like, eat what you want, stay for as long as you feel, dance in my living room, sing loudly.

I'd stop my wedding for: looking back on it, not much! Including the parental announcement stating their refusal to attend, mom's destroying of my dress, their acknowledgement of purposely losing all the required legal papers and/or documents, blood work etc.; and the fact that dad tried to pick a fight with Thor (and lost both in argument and the physical portion of the event, Sabotaging the reception and guest list only added to my determination and solidified that I was doing the right thing in marrying Thor. (did I mention we will be married 30 years this November?)

The world could do without: bugs -in my opinion. Exception being butterflies, dragon flies, and lady bugs.

I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: Are you kidding me? Death would come easily if given the choice of bug licking or taking a dirt nap.

My favorite blonde is: are, my two daughters, both of whom say they are not blondes anymore.

Paperclips are more useful than: say, rutabagas at any holiday festivity.

San Diego means: home. My childhood. The Zoo. When I was a girl you got in free if you were under the age of 16. I went every weekend with my brother. (again, stealing this line from Chronicler, but she said it best.) And I will place where the feelings from childhood are pleasant, good, and otherwise sweet to recall.

I stole this from my friend and sis Chronicler. You can steal it from me! I'd love to read your finishes.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006


The home of Syndney Rigdon, impressive now, amazing for the day. Unavailable to the public, volunteers from the Community of Christ live here while they serve giving tours and working at the Kirtland Temple.
The Temple- still lovely and beautiful, still able to induce Spirit filled tears as one walks through it.
(no photographs were allowed within the walls of this temple; although we were particularly blessed to be on a tour that went through all three floors!)

The candle in the window of the room (at the N.K. Whitney Store) where much revelation was given; and where the Bible was translated by the Prophet, Joseph Smith Jr.

The doorway of the room (also in the N.K.Whitney Store)above reveals benches where the School of the Prophets met for instruction. Although we were allowed to take photographs anywhere on the (LDS owned) property, I just couldn't take a picture in this sacred room.

(It seems that between writing and posting the photos have jumbled. Sorry folks.)

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A few photos from Cleveland until I can post more. These from a program held on the steps of the City Hall to remember the events of 9-11, and also to honour a fallen police officer that was shot in the line of duty just last week (delivering a subpeona to appear in a divorce case.). See you soon with more!

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

o.k. folks, I am off again with Thor, this time to Cleveland Ohio! So for the next ten or so days, I will try to check in when possible, blog if we get a good line and until then, ya'all play nice and have a good time!

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It must be in the water...

Another new blogger to welcome: Pea from My Own Little Pod ! Welcome Pea!

Pea is a member of the family as well; My brother's youngest daughter. She is a sweety, a young wife and mom, so full of Spirit -with a strong will to learn, and a good sense of humour. She loves life and having fun and she is a very unique individual.

Pop on over and check her out!

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Monday, September 04, 2006

the 3rd Sister!

Introducing.... the 3rd Sister! Yes folks there she is, my big sis! Well, another of my big sissies, she the one in the middle. The one with the cool hair, the blue eyes, the best shape, and frankly a lot of talent!

She can paint anything! She is very creative and smart to boot. (When we were little kids, mom put us all in piano lessons. Let's just say that after six months, Sis over here was playing a 36 page concerto, while the rest of us were still on "Indian War Dance" -you know, two fingers on the left hand being the 'drum beat', dum dum dum, while the right hand had the difficult task of tinkling out a one fingered Indian tap dance. Needless to say the girl got a Gift!)

She's pretty, funny, knows a lot about a lot, and well she lives in TEXAS, so her life is pretty big. Go check her out and welcome her to the blogging world!

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Another Meme!

Lisa from "Lisa's Ramblings" has tagged me for this fun meme! So before I make a run to follow #5 back up to the BY-U, I'll give you even more navel gazing!!! Everything you wanted to know, and then some.
ME-ME-ME.. *grin*All you ever wanted to know about little ole me!

1. How often do you blog? I try to blog at least everyday, but lately have had (remarkably, not much to say) But I check in on the blog very often, like all the time. And much like everyone else I am totally validated by your comments, so please, validate me and make a comment!

2. Online Alias: S'mee, Betty Cooks (not my name), The Pillow Queen (pilokween), Mom of 5 kids, and Lisa Smith (also not my name, but coincidentally is the name of my most recent new friend...who knew?).

3. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? I have a tendency to do this a lot. Add nosy Rosie to the list above. If kids are involved I come unglued. About a month before school let out, I was at a light waiting my turn when three big kids began to pummel a smaller kid. I pulled over and began to interfere. I called 911, flagged down a guy in a truck to help until the cops showed up, yeah, it was a mess, but I couldn't sit there and watch a littler kid get beat up and just drive home to make dinner.

4. What do you do most often when you are bored? Bored? Who has time to be bored? If I have NOTHING else to keep my busy I draw, doodle, sing, dance, and drive around; sometimes those last three happen at the same time.

5. When bathing, which do you wash first? Before any bath I stand up and take a shower so I can relax and not think about how if I hadn't taken a shower I would be sitting in a hot bath of my own filth. Once I am in the bath I use a hand towel instead of a wash cloth, I drench it with as hot of water as I can stand and place it over, my face....very relaxing. Most o' the time I just shower, and then it is top to toes, efficiency.

6. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight? Yes and it is not a good thing. S'mee needs her beauty sleep or everything gets ugly.

7. What color looks best on you? Red, and shades of red; which I hated as a kid because that is all the parental units put me in if I got new clothes. Now, ' don't mind so much, but my favorite look currently is bright pastel turquoise.

8. What's your favorite drink? Milk, ice cold and whole.

9. Do you believe in heaven and hell as a real place that each of us will go to after death? After death? Sometimes I believe we are already in both of those destinations(try the 90 at 2:30 without 'Speedpass')! Heaven=warm beach with Thor and family. Ahhhh! I prefer to think of it as Life before death, why wait? And when I die, yup, I am sure there will be versions of both then as well.

10. Do you find that you have more online friends than offline friends? nope -no way. In real life I have 32 friends named (various spellings of) Kathy. 32 Kathys. EEEE freaking GADS..there are other friends, whose parents weren't quite so trendy.

11. What was your favorite subject in school? Grade School: recess, Jr High: French, but I got kicked out with my best friend because we went three chapters ahead of the prescribed pace. This was the beginning of my love affair wth pencils, as the only available class was drawing. High School: Art, photography, crafts, and yup I really took a class on basketweaving. I graduated HS with a 3.8 GPA and NEVER took a science class of ANY kind. Go was the 70s.

12. Are you a perfectionist? I am an exact 50/50 split personality, so yes and no.

13. Do you spend more than you can afford? Everyone does at some time or the other. However, as a kid I learned that over spending is not a pretty thing. I LOVE LOVE LOVE finding a bargain. I try to keep within the prescribed family budget and have found that if we do go into debt, it is usually for a good reason and the debt is eliminated as quickly as possible.

14. Is it better to have loved and lost than never to have love before? I think that if I truly love someone I am the only one who can take that feeling from myself. If I love you, and you decide to walk away that doesn't mean that I have to stop loving you. I just need to know that you may not love me; and/or that you may not be around anymore. I can still keep you in my heart and treasure that. Love doesn't stop, go away, or get lost for me.

15. Do you consider yourself creative? yes.

16. Do you give yourself the credit you deserve? Not always, but most of the time. I am certainly better at this now than I was 5 years ago.

17. Do you donate time or money to charities? Yes, and I try to find new ways to do this all the time. No matter how bad things can get there are always folks who have it worse. Service and sacrifice were always a part of our lives and still are. Besides, there are so many ways to be charitable that finding one that is fun and enjoyable is rather easy to do.

18. Have you recently done something that you've criticized others for doing? I am a horrid person because criticize many things. Hello Kettle!

19. What's on your mind? Lately, getting a list of chores accomplished so I can start back on my art. The offspring are always there someplace, hey, I'm a mom. My calling at church; things are getting exciting in our area and, well, I anticipatinging changes, and curious where things will end up when the final decisions are all made.

20. Say one nice thing about the people you are going to tag!

Well, hmm, this is where it gets nutso. I went to publish this before I left for the BY-U and thought I had. When I came home and found it still in the editing compartment, well, now it seems a tad late to be tagging anyone.

Lisa was the gal who got this started for me, so Here's to Lisa! One busy mom with a heart as big as Texas. I am in awe of her writing. So much that she writes tugs at me because she is honest and humble and so into being a mom. She's a great mom at that. I think about her and her struggles and how well she handles them. She is inspiring and hilarious and she tells a pretty good story now and then. She is someone I would love to have lunch with. In my world that is one of the best compliments I have.

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Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy Birthday Sis!

There she is. The big sister. Chronicler The one we all looked up to, even big brother who was actually older, but I digress.

Look at that smile! She has a great smile, complete with killer dimples. (I have dimples too, I just sit on mine!) Those dimples got us both into, and out of, a lot of trouble when we were growing up; and as an adult she can still find ways to make those dimples work for her! Any body having a bad day? Flash 'em a dimpled smile and they feel immediate urges to laugh and have a good time.

She also has a good heart and a wise mind. She knows enough about a million things to hold an intelligent conversation with just about anyone they're interested in. She has so many talents she can keep you entertained as well with stories of the things she finds clever and the ways in which she spends her time. She has so many charitable ventures, she can find someplace to send every extra dime and much service.

Who would have thought that sweet little girl would grow up to be so complex? A Mom, Wife, Gramma to Little Miss!, Foodist, Mini-Cooper Fanatic, Apple User, Entrepreneur, Crafter, Seamstress, Farmer, Artist, Glass Craftsman, Book Enthusiast, Photographer, Scrapbooker, Wannabe helicopter Pilot (just give her time), Teacher, Friend, Cat Lover, Archivist, Counselor, Music Expert, and so much more make up my big Sis! There isn't much she can't do. She thrives on new experiences and learning.

She once described herself as a shark. Not that she'd eat a baby seal or a license plate, no, she's actually very picky -only good (as in amazing) tasting calories for sis. She is a shark because she can't stop moving or in her words, "[she'll] die!" Yup, she has an abnormal drive and desire to keep going and going and going. Maybe she isn't a shark, but an Ever-ready Bunny? Who knows, but she always has something brewing, that new idea in the back of her head that may take a few minutes or a few years to come to fruition, but it does and it's always a success.

So there you have our birthday girl for today. I love you sis, you are such a good friend to me! I hope you get to that Ocean soon enough and have a terrific day!!!

Now, y'all scoot over to Food Chronicles and or Cooper Chronicles and fill up her comments box with all kinds of birthday goodies!

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French Lessons

#5 has been home and visiting with the Little Man. During the afternoon she decided that he would be the perfect student to teach French to. So for a few minutes she captures the Little Man and sat in a corner while she went over the way French people say "yes": OUI!

Over and over they practiced until Little Man tired of the game and went on to find something else to do.

Later that evening #5 decided to test Little Man and see if he remembers.

#5: Hey, Little Man, How do you say 'yes' in French?

(thinking, thinking...)
Little Man: uuuh, OUI!

everyone claps and whoops.

Today the same scene is rehearsed once again.

#5: Hey Little Man, can you say 'yes' in French?

(thinking, thinking,...)
Little Man: uuummm, uh, YES!; in French!

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