Monday, July 18, 2011


Not long ago, my two daughters, Mary Jo and Gracie, and I discovered a couple new words. The first was neoologist (not sure if it's hyphanated or not - would be easier to read if it were). A Neoologist is a person who creates new words or phrases. Shakespeare was a neoologist creating something like 1800 words in the English language. My husband is a neoologist creating the word splunkular for a poem that he was writing (which, by the way, will be published in his new book which is coming out before the end of the year).

We also came upon the word - Lethologica. The meaning? A time when you can't remember a word or phrase that is needed at a particular time. I always thought that was just an age thing - apparently not. It's a malady suffered by many no matter their age.

We jokingly came up with the sentence - I am a neoologist who suffers from lethologica. I know. It doesn't take much to entertaing us.

Now you ask - why am I writing about this? Especially when I just posted a blog yesterday. Here's why. After posting yesterday, my daughter, Bethany, mentioned on facebook that I knew a lot of big words. That in the course of reading my blog she had to consult her dictionary. I went over the post and couldn't figure out what she was talking about - 0bviously because I knew all the words. It happened to be the word vacilate. Which by definition means to keep changing ones mind. It amused me to think that Bethany didn't know the definition of vacilate, since a few years ago changing her mind was her major occupation. She would call me at least twice a week with a new plan. "Okay," she would say, "I figured out a new plan. Instead of doing XYZ, I am now going to do ZYX." I would smile and know that in a day or two she would call and tell me she had changed her mind and now the plan was YZX. Since then she has noticably stabilized. That might be due to her admittance into the acting program at BYU and getting married. I'm not sure which had the greater effect.

Last night I became a neoologist. Because of the facebook exchange I had a dream where I made up a word. Are you ready for this? The word is 'cartecardiopendulum.'
What is a cartecardiopendulum, you ask? It is a devise to cut sheet metal. That's right. In my dream I needed to cut some small pieces of sheet metal for the young women at girls camp to use for shooting practice.(Cuz don't the girls usually practice shooting guns at girl's camp?) I went to the hardware store to get the tool and it was called a cartecardiopendulum. So now when you need a tool to cut sheet metal you know what to ask for.

And the very best thing about the word cartecardiopendulum? It's worth about a zillion points in Scrabble!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Latest Happenings and Musings

Before I get another not-so-subtle reminder from my children that I have not posted in a while,I thought I should update my blog. I have nothing specific to post this time, but a few small things that are on my mind at the moment.

I spent the last half hour catching up on my children's blogs. They are as varied as the personalities of my children. Sarah's was full of Harry Potter wisdom (I will have something to say about that in a minute.) Bethany's was all about Grad School and her anxiety as that era of her life draws closer (very understandable.) McKenna's was an update on all that she has been doing lately, like celebrating her first anniversary and the Harry Potter movie. I must say that I usually get a chuckle from McKenna's blog. If I'm ever down in the dumps I can look at her blog for some humor. Shannon, bless her heart, has been too busy to update hers (Something else I will talk about in a minute.) Same with Anna's, although there were pictures of the kids on her blog that I had not seen. And then there was Gracie's which bubbled with the effervesence that naturally spews forth from my youngest daughter. I hope it is always that way.

Currently, Shannon and her family are visiting with us. The visit has been wonderful and she and Brandt are enjoying the more temperate Ohio summer. Carston is a wonderful mixture of sweetness and little boy. He can rough and tumble with the best of them, but also loves to give hugs and kisses. He does give some 'interesting' kisses on occasion - smack on the lips and a little longer than comfortable - but still very innocent and sweet. He is as smart as can be. I've listened to him repeatedly try to get his own way by using his parents discipline techniques on them. He will try and try to argue another minute on the computer or the Wii by telling them that he won't do something that they want him to do if they don't allow him another turn. He hasn't quite figured out that when you are 4 parents have ultimate power and so eventually he caves to their will.

Much to our surprise (and Shannon's as well!) just before they came to visit they recieved a blessing straight from heaven. A baby girl, born on Father's day of this year, was left for adoption in Alabama. Shannon recieved the call that they could come and get her the very next day. So when Shannon arrived here, she had little Faith - all of a week old - in tow. She is a sweet baby and a blessing beyond measure to our family. So since Shannon is now parenting a newborn we will excuse her lack of posting on her blog. :)

With company here, my writing life has been put on hiatus. About the only thing I am able to do is work on some revisions of David's Song. I decided I would send the manuscript to Shadow Mountain Publishing to see if they might be interested in the work, but realised that it was loaded with grammatical errors. There were also some minor changes I wanted to make in dialog and narration. As I have worked on the other books and on my current project (which has no name) I know that I have learned some things about writing (Some thanks to my creative-writing-major-daughter, and my husband, who also has some writing experience) that I hope to incorporate into the work. What has surprised me about this revision process is how much my emotions vacilate as I work. Sometimes I'm excited at the improvements I think I'm making. At other times I am convinced I am wasting my time - that no one is really intersted in Jeremy and Annie and David - I should put writing aside and be productive somewhere else. But I keep going back to it, so obviously, I don't hang around in that thought pattern for very long.

And then there is Harry Potter. This weekend the last of the HP movies opened. If Bethany and Sarah were here, I would have attended the midnight showing with them. However, sanity and sleep won out and Doug and I went the next morning to one of the first showings. I enjoyed the movie. I think it was the best of the Potter movies. It was action packed, emotional, and true to the book - all good things. What I hadn't anticipated was my gutteral reaction. I remember vividly seeing a Rosey O'Donnal Show back in the late 90's where she talked about Harry Potter. Knowing that Sarah liked to read, I bought her one of the books (Vol. 3). I didn't realize that it was a series and would make more sense if you started reading it with the first book. Sarah immediately started to read - and after a few days, she came to me and told me that she was really starting in the middle of the story and could I get her the first 2 books. I did. I had no idea what I was starting. Doug and I have read all the books. Shannon, Matthew, Sarah (of course), Bethany, and Mary Jo have read all the books. There were many discussions in our home about the characters of these books - Ron was ridiculous, Was Sirius Black really dead?, Was Snape secretly in love with Lilly? Hours and hours were spent in discussion about these books. Harry Potter was the kid next door. I knew all about his friends, his family, his struggles in school. As the the movie came to a close Friday morning, I found myself fighting a major emotional meltdown. (I'm not proud of this.) The meltdown wasn't so much an ending of Harry Potter - but a feeling that I was really saying goodbye to Bethany's and particularly Sarah's childhoods. They are adults now. My goodness - Bethany is married now - of course she is an adult. I truly felt like an era of life was ending. And it was sad - still is sad. There will be no more conversations about Harry Potter. My daughters - and son - will no longer gather in my kitchen to discuss fictional characters as if they were pals at school.
I will miss those conversations. I will miss sharing something whimsical, but still enlightening with my children. They are moving on and I am so proud of who they are becoming.

I guess it felt like I was closing the cover on the book of my earlier family life. That story has ended and now new ones are beginning. Those stories are exciting as well, but they will never be taking place in my kitchen, with all my children stitting at the island, or on the counters talking about something we've shared. The ending of Harry Potter is one of those departures that life takes. It's sad to see it end - but exciting to see what will come.