The Charming Tyrants

The Charming Tyrants

Good Words

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way. - Anon

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ice Hockey

We have been spending way too much time indoors lately, but the weather outside has been cold and dreary besides having several "red" air quality days. And truth be told both boys have had an ear infection and EM also had a sinus infection and they are on their last day of antibiotics.

So this morning HT came to me with a piece of ice in his hands. Me, being the nosy mother that I am, asked "Why are you carrying around a piece of ice, aren't your hands getting cold".

"Mama, I'm playing ice hockey."

"Not in the house you're not, now go put that in the sink before it melts all over the floor."

After he put the ice in the sink, he brought me his plastic toy golf clubs one for me, one for him and one for Papa, so we could get more ice and play. I had to tell him again that we weren't going to play ice hockey in the house.

I'm such a cruel mother, there were tears and "Why?" and "But I want to." but I held firm. No ice hockey in the house.

So after lunch and nap time we went out. I think everybody had a good time.

Actually, I was quite proud of my boy for thinking up a new game to play all on his own.

So, how was your day?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I'm remembering my mother today.

I miss her.

As of today she has been gone 14 years.  It seems she died only yesterday, but it has been an eternity of yesterdays.

We first noticed something was wrong around Thanksgiving, when she said that she couldn't remember how to make gravy.  She had spent the day preparing our feast and at the very last she was suddenly confused.

I remember the day we got the diagnosis.  A brain tumor, the size of mans fist with tentacles that had spread themselves into the surrounding tissue.  I remember seeing the images on the MRI.  I remember them telling us there was little if anything they could do.  Perhaps surgery, but the survival rate was slim and there were no guarantees that they could remove the tumor in whole or in part.   I remember the fear and uncertainty in her eyes at first but I also remember how, with dignity and grace she accepted her fate and lived without complaint.

I remember the last five weeks spent helping my father care for her.

I remember how she started to lose control of the left side of her body.  I remember following her down the hallway and watching her list to one side, it struck her as funny and how we laughed in the moment.

I remember the visits from family.  They came to say good-bye.

I remember that last Christmas and having to return most of the gifts, having to explain to the sales clerk that the recipient wouldn't be needing these things in heaven.

I remember washing her hair and putting it up in rollers when she no longer could do it herself.

As children we would vie for a seat next to her.  I remember sitting in church and holding her hand, playing with her skin, tracing veins with my fingers and remembering how smooth her hands were.  I have been told that my hands are like hers.

Remembering the warmth of her skin against mine as she touched my cheek and how she used to tuck my hair behind my ears as she smiled and told me I was "such a pretty girl".

I remember her sitting at the kitchen table doing the mornings crossword puzzle and sipping a hot cup of tea.

I remember what it felt like to be hugged, really hugged by my mother, the warmth of her embrace, her hair brushing against my cheek.

I remember her quiet pride at her children's accomplishments.

I remember her tucking me in at night under one of the quilts she had made.  I remember going with her and my grandmother to their monthly quilting bee and watching them work and listening to them chatter about life, love and relationships.

I remember her love for my Dad and how she died at home in his arms.

I remember burying my mother in a peaceful, quiet place.  A place where the sun shines warm on bare earth and yet where you can see every star in the heavens on a clear moonless night.

I remember her love for the Lord and her devotion to serving Him by serving others.  It seems like we were always making room for one more at the supper table.  A relative, a neighbor, a friend and the occasional stranger.  She accepted without condemnation those who came into her life.

She used to tell all us kids that "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".  A lesson I am still learning.

It is the memories of life's little events that I will cherish.  The gift of the ordinary day.

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her.
Proverbs 31:28

Monday, January 24, 2011

Almost Finished

Amy's Creative Side

Last week I decided to participate in Amy's One Thing, One Week Challenge.  I am taking an applique class at one of my favorite quilt shops and we are doing Aunt Millie's Garden a pattern from Piece O' Cake Designs.  I have not done any needle turn hand applique before, but have done several machine applique projects.  I have taken several classes over the years on the technique, but have not taken those lessons home with any specific project in mind, so I don't have any real experience or practice at doing it.

Finally Jeannette over at Piper's Quilts and Comforts has de-mystified needle turn hand applique for me and I am doing it and enjoying the process rather than being intimidated by it.

So for the one thing, one week challenge I said that I wanted to finish the first block, well even though I didn't quite get it done I did finished enough of it to share and am confident that I can and will finish it before our next class.

You can see what everyone else has been up to by clicking on the link here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


This is a picture of my Grandmother, my dads mom.  I love this picture, it has to be one of my favorites.  I have no idea when it was taken but if I had to guess I would say the 1940's or 1950's.  She is working on a quilt, no idea if she was making it or repairing it.  I love the light.  I love the focus.  I love her apron.  I love the sink full of dishes and the counter cluttered with the the unending work of this life.  So many things to do, yet she takes a moment to sit and sew, something I know she enjoyed doing.  She's the reason I quilt.

Today was her birthday and if she were still alive today she would be 103.

A few things I remember and loved about my grandmother:

She was full of sayings and had wisdom to give under almost any circumstance.

She was tenacious and strong all 5' 2" (if that) of her.  She used to complain that when it came to her height she "got gypped".  Her own mother was 5'8" and one of her sisters was 6' tall and her Uncle Jim was 6' 7".  My Granddad used to tell her that the good Lord made her just the right height for him.  He was only 5'6".

She taught me how to crochet at the age of six because I begged her so relentlessly, she told me I was too young and that it wouldn't keep my interest long enough to complete even a hot pad.  At six I had to prove her wrong and made not only one hot pad but two.  I still crochet.

She gave birth to 10 children.  One of whom she bore the burden of his preceding her in death at the tender age of 4 from cancer, something she never recovered from, but had learned to live with.  As a teenager I asked her about my Uncle and she told me with tears in her eyes how she had held her baby in her arms, in helpless despair as he slipped away.

She taught me the meaning of unconditional love, something I still strive to practice.

She used to say that the bible was her "yardstick".  She measured all by Gods word.

She loved to read and always regretted not having had the opportunity to go to college in her youth.

And she taught my mama how to bake bread.  Well . . . actually she taught my mama how to cook.

Wish I had paid attention.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hanging Earrings

Since Christmas is finally over and all the gifts have been given and received I can share what I made for my sister and sister-in-law for Christmas. Actually I should say we, because hubby helped. We painted and decoupaged a simple wooden frame, added some screen material, paper flowers, some ribbon (so it could be hung on the wall) and voila . . . a place to hang your earrings.

This is the one we made for my sister. I forgot to take a picture of the other one before we sent it off to my sister-in-law.

And in other news I am going to participate next monday in Amy's One Thing, One Week Challenge. I figure this will motivate me to finish my project if I am held accountable to do so. If you are crafty and would like to join in, go over to her blog and leave a comment saying what you are hoping to finish and then do and post about it next week, showing your completed project.

Come on you can do it, you know you want too.

Amy's Creative Side

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hazy Days

We live in a valley, surrounded by the Wasatch mountains to the east and Oquirrh mountains to the west. Every winter we get what forecasters call an inversion, the cold yucky smog filled, pollution filled air that lies stagnant on the valley floor and stays and gets worse the longer it remains trapped, until finally a storm comes along and scours out the valley. It makes for headaches and scratchy throats.

So we decided to escape it all and drove up Big Cottonwood canyon to Solitude Ski Resort, just to breath a little fresh air last Sunday afternoon. It was good to get out of the house. We noticed that there were several units available at the lodge, but didn't have $800,000. to $1,500,000. dollars in pocket change to secure one.

It put the smiles back on our faces.

The lifts had closed for the day and so we watched as the snowcats groomed the runs. Not that we could have afforded a lift ticket. I can't handle the altitude for very long anyway. The boys had fun just being out and running around.

EM thought he ought to have a ride on this snowmobile.

I'm sure if the ski patrol had seen us letting him sit on it, they would not have approved.

Oh well, it was a lovely afternoon and after we all were good and cold from playing in the snow for a while we got ourselves a pizza and headed back down the mountain. It's amazing what a little fresh air can do.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


At what point in your adult life do you move on from the insecurities and uncertainties of your youth?  Really, by what age should your life path be certain?  Your 30's or 40's?  Your 50's maybe or by then is it too late and you are stuck with what if's and regrets?

It seems like we spend most of our time trying to chase an ideal that society tells us that we should own.  That we should be enjoying the fruits of an expensive college education, have a burgeoning successful career, happy home life and a retirement account that will sustain us in the lifestyle we've become accustomed too.

Let me tell you, trying to get there, is like trying to rope the wind.

Me, I'm a late bloomer, always have been and I don't think I'm going to make it and I'm okay with that.

Sort of.

Spent most of my twenties trying to finish college and never did.  Spent my thirties working as an office manager and full charge bookkeeper of a small but successful commercial construction company, made decent money and for the most part enjoyed my time there.  Got married at 40, had my first baby at 42, at 43 quit my job to be his mother.  Had my second at 45 and am now wondering what in the heck am I doing?!  It's got me thinking I should have, or shouldn't have done this or that or the other.  But there's no going back.

The coming of the new year is supposed to be filled with promise and the opportunity for a better future, a clean slate as some have said.  But I find myself faced with yet another year of seasonal work for my husband and our family.  He is tired and frustrated and we all are facing an uncertain future.  I am full of anxiety and worrying about things that I have no control over and wondering why I can't control the things I do or should have control of.  Thinking we should have done something different, wishing away what is instead of trying to make do with what we have.  On one hand I am so grateful for God's provision and on the other I am worrying that it's not enough.


When has God's provision ever not been enough?!

My Grandma used to call worrying "borrowing trouble".  And you know what.  She was right.  So today I am going to try to enjoy the gift of another ordinary day and let God take care of tomorrow.

I'm also going to quit "shoulding" all over myself.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."
Matthew 6:34

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Moving On

TR and the boyz in the 'hood!

The neighbors are moving, this is a tragedy or it soon will be once it becomes real for HT.  They are the only people in the neighborhood who have kids close in age to our boys and HT and Ethan have played together since they were babes.  And they are not just moving across town but to another state, so weekly summer play dates aren't going to be possible anymore.

I know that 4 year olds are very resilient, but every time it is talked about or mentioned HT starts to cry.

Yesterday while Ethan and Sam's mama went to mail off the papers on the house they have bought the boys played outside with TR.

There is a church parking lot just east of our house and the snow plow has piled up all the snow from the last several storms and the boys have had so much fun playing on it, pushing each other off of it and claiming their territory.  Yesterday HT was calling it his snow office.

EM wanted so much to play outside with the boys, but he wasn't happy being out in the cold and the snow so I took him back in the house and he cuddled on the couch with his Auntie.

I'm going to miss them too.  They have been good neighbors and friends and HT and Ethan are at an age now that they can play fairly well together without constant supervision and it has been nice to let them do so.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

The new year here was ushered in with a light dusting of snow on top of the 10 or so inches we got on Thursday.  HT has been itching to go out and play but it is just too cold to stay out for very long.  Besides he's wearing his "new bran' coat"!

It has also ushered in the doldrums.  I have been feeling kinda in a funk lately and am not looking forward to a long cold winter.  Today the sun is shining but those who forecast the weather are telling us that an inversion is coming.

Oh, yeah.  Just what we need smog to cover our foggy days.  Poor air quality and low visibility.

But hey, these guys don't know the difference, they just know they like to play in the snow.  And a chance to get outside and burn off some energy does everyone good.

Been missing my mom a lot lately too, its been 14 years now.  My heart aches sometimes when I look at my boys and know that they will never know my parents.

Anyway, I hope the new year brings you tidings of good news and great joy and that God richly blesses you and yours.

I have resolved not to make any new year's resolutions, because really that's the only resolution I have ever been able to keep!

However, my prayer for the new year can be summed up in the following verses from 
Psalm 51: 10-13.

"Create in me a clean heart, O God.  
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.  
Do not cast me away from Your presence. 
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation.  
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.  
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways.  
And sinners shall be converted to You.