Tuesday, June 7, 2016

That's What I'm Talking About

     The Hallmark Channel has aired a new movie this month. It is called "Ms. Matched"  and I was absolutely thrilled about a book put out by Shawn Roberts character, Ben Reynolds. 

I think every girl ought to run out and get this book and take it to heart before she stupidly spends a fortune on ONE NIGHT!  Holy Cow.

            The story starts out at a Bridal Expo in which Libby and her business partner, Michelle, are trying to promote their wedding planning skills, along with many others who are promoting cakes, gowns, invitations, what have you.  The wonderful expense of being a bride.

            I remember going to a Bridal Expo with my second daughter-in-law.  I was horrified and appalled at the costs and expenses and hoopla and waste.  Ben Reynolds explains that it is possible to create simple weddings and save on expenses for more important things - such as the next 2-4 mortgages (or rent) or perhaps the honeymoon itself.  Gads, if I had a choice between a designer wedding dress that I'd be wearing one night or a vacation that will last several days - no contest.  I'm not paying thousands of dollars for yards and yards of fabric that will spend most of its time in a box rather than on me.  No brainer - at least on my part.  The simpler the wedding, the better

            Yes, I understand, it is a special day, but when your "special day" becomes a financial burden, it really is not that special.  How worth it can it be in a couple of years from now?  You'll have memories of all that hoopla - for a while anyway.  Is it worth it really?  Wouldn't the honeymoon or vacation make for just as great of memories? Don't get so caught up in the hoopla that you lose track of those that are most important to you.  Weddings should NOT be a financial burden to  anyone.  What kind of way is that to start out a marriage?  I think the couple should both participate and both be practical.  Just saying.

Monday, June 6, 2016

'Tis the Season of Outrageous Power Bills, Loud Noises, More Showers and Washing, and Losing Sleep

        It's hard to believe that just over a week I had the heater on just before Memorial weekend - and now?  June 1st hits with high temperatures and warm winds and knocked me into a coma.  Would not have made a good chaperone had I gone with Jenna and her classmates on her first overnight field trip through the school.

        The house is in need of new paint - actually, new railing - but paint will be less costly for us at this time.  Roland picked out the forest green I have wanted for each house that we had lived in but never quite got the color right.  Just after we put the first coat on, I wished we would have gone with blue. Jenna picked out a really pretty color - unfortunately not early enough.

The green on the house shutters and trim match the railing .
It looks more blue in this photo.  It was a steel blue before -
a VERY faded steel blue.  Guess it's not a great picture

        Actually the house looks nice from the road.  Up close  it is quite obvious that it has been painted by armatures. 

     I have gone outside first thing in the morning and have returned to the inside just a few hours later.  Summer hasn't officially started yet.  I am not looking forward to another year of unbearable heat.  Oregon was supposed to be cooler than Utah! 

        For a state that seems heavy into recycling, one would think they would have found a way to recycle the water that falls from the sky and use it to our advantage and lower the cost of the flippin' high water bills. So many fires and smoke last year.  Can't we just keep the rain going and enjoy cool breezes without being scorched?  And how do fires spread when it is so dang humid outside. 

        We have also painted the shed with a half price paint that didn't mix to the desired color for someone else.  We thought that one gallon would do it - and it would have if the surface hadn't been like a sandpaper texture.  Roland tried mixing the primer and varnish to finish.  He called it "giraffe paint"

which actually matched when it went on wet - but dried much lighter.

adding the "giraffe paint"

which lightened up quite a bit

So we did a mix and match patch up job.  Doesn't look great, but it actually doesn't look any worse than it did before we painted it.

we still haven't done the back - this shows how
horrible the entire shed looked before we painted

nobody sees this side of the shed

        Meanwhile we have our air conditioners running, and washing machine (I must change clothes already at LEAST three times a day) which means we're going to need to put the clothes line up - on level ground (I'm not hiking uphill to hang clothes) and the amount of sleep (or lack of sleep rather) I get is HORRIBLE - four hours a night (if that) and then the heat wakes me up - or else the loudness of the air conditioner.  I can't get in comfortable position to fall back asleep.  I AM ALWAYS TIRED.  I might as well be taking Benadryl or Nyquil.  I really would like a divorce from high/hot temperatures.  Temperature is bound to rise as the months continue.  I think it's going to be a LOOOONNNNNNGGG Summer.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Readers Needed: No Acting Required

         Jenna has seen some English-speaking programs dubbed in Spanish, but not many foreign language translated into English.  She said she tried to watch “The Snow Queen” and wasn’t impressed.

        Last night we watched “Help, I Shrunk the Family”.  I don’t know if I had heard of it before.  Jenna has watched all the “Honey, I Shrunk the kids”, “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” and “Honey, I Shrunk ourselves” I assumed that this was related.  It’s not.  Not Disney.  Not American.  Not English speaking – which is okay.  Everybody should have an opportunity to be entertained in his or her own tongue. 

         Apparently I’m a theatre snob.  I think I might have picked some of it up from my brother Corey.  I get bugged when the mouth and speech are not in sync.  More than that I really hate bad acting.  Though the two children who played Nelladella and Johanes seemed to have acting skills (by their facial expressions, it appeared that each was portraying a believable character) the overall reading of the script translated into English was not that great.  All read well, but only two of the English dubbed voices were convincing enough to match the expressions.  The girl who read for Nelladella was not at all believable and neither was the voice that played her dad – but I actually don’t think the guy playing the physical character of the father was all that great of an actor either – or perhaps it was poor direction.

         The over exaggeration of the hurt arm could have been enforced by the director.  I don’t know who was at fault in the scene where they are acting cold.  The kids on screen were believable as they wrapped themselves in their arms while shivering.  The actor that played the father didn’t appear to be cold but looked as though he were fighting a bad case of diarrhea.

         It was Totally kid vid. Both Jenna and I thought of “The Indian in the Cupboard” as we watched each seen when he would talk with the pocket-sized man in the beginning and at the end of the movie.

         The cover makes it appear as if the boy has shrunk the other three.  That’s not what happens.

         It was an okay movie.  I know I would have enjoyed it more if the readers had gotten in character instead of just reading the words.  Perhaps those who watch it (and understand) the language in which it’s filmed may not be as critical.  Jenna and Roland and I thought parts of it were funny.  I think my niece and nephews would enjoy it. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Don't Give Me That Human Attitude - You're Just a Machine

My mom brought her Saturn SL1 brand new.  Corey, Kayla and my mom all had Saturns.  I took a picture of them - each standing by his or her car.  They took it to Saturn.  I don't know what Saturn did with it.

      Roland and I had borrowed my mom's car on more than one occasion to go to Arizona.  It was just more reliable than anything we ever owned - except for the Saturn Ion we had for less than two years.  I think we have taken that to Arizona as well.

      Saturn used to send reminders to their cliental to let them know that it was time for their car to be serviced.  My mom took hers in (or had Corey take it in) to be serviced each year, until they went out of business.

      After we put my mom into assisted living, Roland and I asked if we could buy mom's car.  We didn't know it came with a personality - that it was somehow possessed.

      Sometimes the car will make noises as though the fan is running.  As we don't want the battery to die, we are forced to get the keys to turn on the engine to stop whatever part of the car seems to be running.  I haven't heard the fan noise since we moved - that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.  But the car has taken on another personality that is probably more annoying.

      It's tired.  It wants to rest.  We already drove it today and now it doesn't want to move.  Sometimes the motor will purr right away.  Often the car acts as if we left the headlights on and killed the battery.  Roland thinks it's a loose connection in the wiring, but we really don't know.

      I've asked our mechanic about it a couple of times now.  I had made an appointment for him to check it this morning.  I had taken Jenna to the bus stop on the off chance that the buses were running this morning.  They weren't. 

      The sun was too bright for me to drive her to school, and so Roland took her.  She is having her first overnight field trip through the school.  I had signed up to chaperone, but missed out on the opportunity somehow.  No matter.  Right now I feel like a zombie.  I don't know what's making me so sleepy.

      About an hour after Roland returned, I went to start the car.  It wouldn't start.  I called the mechanic who said he would make a house call - but then he got busy.  I tried starting the car at noon as I had another appointment.  Started just fine!  The nerve.

      I rescheduled with the mechanic tomorrow morning.  Hopefully he'll be able to find what the problem is.  We're going to need a more reliable car.  I don't know how we're going to work it into our budget.  

Monday, May 30, 2016

The Vacation by Polly Horvath

       I really enjoyed "Everything on a Waffle" by Polly Horvath.  I had read it and posted about it a few years back (here).  Last week I started reading "The Vacation" by same author.  It is hilarious.

       Henry lives with his free-spirited mom and his dad who works for Fuller's Brushes and is away from home a lot as he is making sales.

       His mother gets the notion that she wants to go to Africa and serve as a missionary - which her dad finds odd as they are not even religious.  She looks into Mormonism to see if she can be sent to Africa that way, but when it doesn't work out, she ends up going to Africa anyway to help build a school house and just tells everybody that she is a Mormon missionary. 

       Henry's dad reluctantly heads to Africa with her, but they leave Henry at home with his two middle-aged aunts who don't seem to have a clue about raising children and seem to ignore Henry overall.

       His aunts names are Magnolia and Pigg.  After redecorating the house (where Henry lives - not because they were asked to redecorate, but because they are bored) one of them gets the wild notion that they should go on a road trip and go to the beach. (I think it was Mag who instigated the trip, as she had been sick for so long)

       Henry tells the story about the adventures, places they pass, motels where they stay and mostly what happens in the car or each restaurant where they order food.  No agenda to follow.  I wonder where all these characters came up with so much money to go to Africa and drive aimlessly so far to seven different states - starting in Virginia and going to Kentucky, Arkansas, back track to Florida.  Texas, Oklahoma.  They actually just left Oklahoma and are making their way to the Verde Mountains in Colorado. 

       Mag and Pigg sound like an old married couple disagreeing about practically everything.  And poor Henry just wants to get away and not be a part of them.

       So funny.  Haven't finished.  I think I have two more chapters left. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Falling Without Landing

Gideons’ International is an evangelical Christian association founded 1899 in Janesville, Wisconsin. The Gideons' primary activity is distributing copies of the Bible free of charge.  I remember when Gideons had come to my school to pass out palm-sized copies of the New Testament plus Psalms and Proverbs when I was in junior high. Mine was red. 

I thought it was great to take with me when I went to camp or in the car.  My small book had taking a beating through the years, but I actually still had it in my possession until just before the move to Oregon.  I don’t know why I didn’t bring it.  My eyes can no longer view the small print, but I would have thought I could have let Jenna use it.

I know some states or schools have had a problem with mixing of school and religion – though I don’t think passing out free scriptures is a crime, some lawsuits were brought against schools for allowing Bibles to be passed out during time that could have been spent in class.  I don’t remember my younger sibs or boys ever coming home with scriptures brought around by the Gideons.  But on Wednesday Jenna brought home a small New Testament/Psalm/Proverb combo that was the same size as the red one I had.

         In Douglas County, it appears that most people worship God in one way or another.  All throughout the county one can see crosses and signs – even billboards that promote Jesus

         Myrtle Creek has 17 churches – each a different domination.

         Probably 10% of all of my posts (thus far) focus on whatever bizarre weather is taking place that certain day, week or month.  Since living in Oregon, there have only been less than 10 posts that even mention the weather.  Most of my weather-related posts are about the bizarre weather in Utah.

         Overall Oregon hasn’t had the extreme peculiarness that Utah’s weather seems to bring – though there have been questionable moments – and never having lived in Oregon before, I haven’t always known what is normal and what isn’t.

         Having spring start in February was surprising to me.  Needing shorts in February seemed unreal.  I was upset that I had packed the majority of them.  This month it’s been regrets on packing coats and hats in the shed. I’ve had need for them this month.  Yesterday I actually shut all the windows and turned on the heat.

Yesterday the wind was blowing, and for the first time since arriving in Oregon, I felt like I was in a trance due to the wind.  I don’t even think the move left me feeling as drained as I felt the entire day.

         The Myrtle Creek library had advertised for a volunteer board member, and I applied.  I dragged Roland to a meeting last night.  Apparently they’ve been open to the public all along, but last night’s meeting was the first I had heard of being invited to.  The staff was really excited to have someone from the public to represent the civilians.  I think I would have attended before if I had known

         Turns out that I was the only individual to put in an application, but I did not get picked to be a member of the board.  At least not yet. 

The library system is in jeopardy.  I’m having a hard enough time dealing with the oddness of hours as it is.  I can’t imagine not having the option of being able to go to the library at all.  The idea of pulling the plug on the library makes me sad.  I’m not alone.  Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be that great of an interest for the amount of citizens involved.  One librarian put it this way: “The library system is on life support.  As of now, we honestly don’t know the outcome of the patient.”

         I want so badly for the library to live and grow more healthy and strong.

         Jenna is always asking us to take her to the church so that she can use the basketball stand that is in the parking lot.  There are courts across the street from the library that she could use.  There is also a park next to the library.  And so we dragged her along so that she could shoot baskets or hang in the park.  We didn’t think the meeting would last more than an hour. 

         I don’t know if the weather was having the same effect on Jenna as it was on me, or if something else was going down, but she appeared outside the library window worried about the time for some reason. 

         When we finally got out of the meeting, she asked if we would take her to the school.  We told her it was too late and that we had to go home.
         “But I’ve already missed the buses,” she said.

         “What are you talking about?”

         Somehow (even though we had left the house two hours after she got home from school on Thursday afternoon) she thought it was Friday morning.  Our meeting at the library didn’t drag for THAT LONG.

         What a weird turn of events.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Out of Publication

          I don't know if I had purchased this book before or after Jenna was born.  I'm thinking before.  I'm thinking 50 cents.  And what a treasure.  It is called "A Child's Story of the Pearl of Great Price" by Deta Petersen Neeley.  This is a book I would love for my granddaughters to have, but sadly it is no longer in publication.  I think it would be a wise thing for the Church publish it again.

          The particular copy that I have was published in 1954 by Deseret News Print.  I think when I initially purchased the book, it was in pretty good condition.  Much better than its present state.  It looks like it has received some water damage, and the pages have started to yellow.  I need a backup in case it falls apart and I plan to scan it in a pdf or tiff in order to read it better and perhaps I can create a new format to give to my granddaughters - still giving credit to Deta Petersen Neeley of course.

          The book includes 143 pages of 17 chapters divided into four sections

and ending with the Articles of Faith (see here

Big project.  I have four years before the eldest will be baptized.  I hope to have completed by then.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tears and Eyeglasses is NOT a Good Combination

My apologies about this disjointed post.  I should have written this all down while it was happening.  Too late now. 

The elders had showed us this video before.  They showed it again at the baptism.  I cried the first time that I saw it.  I cried even harder at the baptism.  Both times I had thought of Annaleigh, my brother-in-law's first wife, who was in need of assistance getting her to various doctor appointments and such, and how it felt like there were only a few of the sisters serving her needs and how much time and planning was involved.

My brother-in-law, Bill, is great. Some of us just didn't know how depressing the situation was.  Bill lives up to his last name, Jolly.  He was devoted to Annaleigh and if someone just knew him but not her, there was really no clue about Annaleigh's condition or her attitude or needs.  Overall, I felt depressed just being around her.  Nevertheless, she still needed to be served.

I really enjoyed sacrament meeting yesterday.  The youth speaker shared her experience from being at the temple last week. It was refreshing to hear her take on the things she learned and how she felt.

The bishop’s son spoke next.  He is moving to California for his job.  I enjoyed hearing his own personal history and his spin on the scriptures as he entertained us and used examples from the Old Testament of prophets and compared their situations to the prophet Joseph Smith.  Several people have had trouble with the fact that Joseph Smith was only fourteen when he was visited by God, the Father, and his son, Jesus Christ.  Samuel (from the old Testament) had also been just a boy when he was called.

I think the talk that touched me the most was Jerry’s, whose emotions and descriptions tugged at my heartstrings. I had to remove my eyeglasses so that they wouldn’t fog up.

He talked about the ailing health of each of his parents – one who had dementia when he passed and how when he had received the phone call about his dad’s passing, he was not upset or sad but felt a sense of relief and appreciation.

Jerry talked about his conversion and his family’s reaction – which wasn’t positive and actually put a strain on their relationship.  I think for many, there is a misunderstanding about the church and unfortunately choose to distant themselves from their children who have made poor choices at “joining a cult” instead of loving them unconditionally. Disowning association as many have had negative reaction to a family member coming out with same sex preference. Children need to be loved, not banished.  Jerry was crying.  I was crying.  I don’t know who else had tears, but I would think the talk may have touched stirred up emotions for others as well.

I wish I could have written this down while it was all still fresh in my head.  I would have remembered more detail instead of just highlights.  I really die enjoy yesterday’s meeting.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Getting the Most Miles from that Long Drive

          There was a Relief Society luncheon yesterday afternoon.  The tables were decorated so nicely.  There was LOTS of food.  I'm quite certain that there were leftovers, but I had gone back home to give Roland a message as he wasn't answering his phone.

          I had returned to assist with the clean-up but was told I wasn't needed.  There were several who had helped clean-up the food table to redecorate for Vanessa's shower.  It's fortunate that both were scheduled so closely together as I don't believe the luncheon would have received the turn-out that they did.  At least half who had attended were there for Vanessa's baby shower - which received a good turn-out as well.

          I almost didn't go to the shower as we are down to only one car and Roland had a need greater than my own.  But Sister Neilson said she would follow me home and bring me back again and return me home after the shower. 

          The shower turned out to be really fun.  There were several games - one involving math and baby product knowledge.  I was off ten dollars on the diapers and five dollars on the wipes.  But good grief - most of my guesses after that were either way over or way under.  The list included several items which featured a grand total.  I was 4.50 under the grand total price.  I won the biggest prize that was given.  Wow.  I don't think that has ever happened with me before.  Especially about baby products and math.  But I did it.  Jenna was quite crushed that she hadn't received a prize.  But I shared.  She took a selfie with the prizes that she had claimed from my basket.

Silly Girl!

           I have so much admiration for many of the members who live in this ward and the great distances that several of them make to the Church each week. 

          I thought Aurelia traveled the furthest distance to get to church, but I was wrong.  Cindy, our librarian, actually spends a longer amount of time of the road.  Yesterday she came for the luncheon, stayed for the shower, stayed in town to do laundry as there was a baptism scheduled at 7:00 and remained in Myrtle Creek for the better part of eight hours - the same amount of time as one would spend at a full work day on the job.  Aurelia and Cindy are always the first to arrive and the last ones to leave - by choice.  Both have the attitude that since they're in town, they might as well make the most of it - always making the hours they spend in Myrtle Creek last longer than the time spend on the road.

          I know several members who aren't willing to travel 10 - 30 minutes because of inconveniences.  They come up with all kinds of excuses, and yet I look at the dedication of these two sisters and feel so blessed to share in their wonderful strong testimonies.

          Melanie was baptized last night.  The service was so wonderful, and her attitude was beyond description as she glowed and demonstrated such upbeat behavior.  There was a lot about her baptism that reminded me of Jenna's.

          Primary baptisms are usually so much different from convert baptisms.  When I was a youth, our confirmations took place on Sunday during Sacrament meeting.  Today the youth are confirmed as soon as they have changed from their wet clothes.  I miss seeing those confirmations done at the Sunday meetings. 

          Converts are confirmed on Sunday.  Those that did not have an opportunity to see Melanie get baptized last night will get to see her confirmed this morning as she is receives the gift of the Holy Ghost (who has obviously been with her for a very long time)

          I'm grateful for the opportunity I have of attending baptisms - both primary and convert - as I don't remember my own.  I do remember Jenna's.  And I do remember the one in which a friend was baptized - each on a stake level and conducted by the Spanish ward.

          It was quite the awesome day.  I am grateful for how it has made such a positive influence in my life.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

That Awkward Age

          Jenna and I have read together since she was a baby.  After we had moved to West Valley, she researched a program for a Mother/Daughter book club (which I've mentioned in a few past posts) but I think Wonderstruck is the last thing that we read together.    

          I have tried to get her to read with me - but she's either too busy, not interested, or just seems to have outgrown us reading anymore.  Too bad.  I've recently read a couple that I think she would like.

           The characters in both books are the same age as Jenna.

          Rebel McKenzie (Candace F. Ransom) wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up (one who works with ice age mammals and not the dinosaurs).  There is an Ice Age Kids' Dig and Safari camp offered twice in the summer. She doesn't have the money, but decides to make her way to the camp - mostly without a plan of fitting in once she arrives - but gosh, darn-it, she scrapes her feet and gets reported as a run-away.

          In order to keep her in line, her mom and sister decide that she will spend the summer watching her seven-year-old nephew.  As if that wasn't bad enough, Rebel also has the responsibility of looking after the huge cat  that's part of the rental agreement for her sister's trailer.  Rebel is not happy.

          Bambi is the girl who lives across the way.  A winner and contestant of several beauty pageants.  Rebel is not at all interested until she learns there is money involved.  If she were to win a pageant, she would still have an opportunity to go to the second dig. Instead of keeping a close eye on her nephew, she drags him and his bully along to learn skills to help her succeed at winning a pageant.  On the road to success, she makes discoveries that aren't ice age related.  She forms friendships and matures faster than I believe is possible. 

          I enjoyed the narration and the humorous  descriptions. I really liked how the story end - though it did take me by surprise.  I found the growth of the character turned out quite fantastic.

          The other book, After All, You're Callie Boone by Winnie Mack, had quite a bit of humor to it also.  I laughed aloud and would read Jenna certain pages that I'd come across.  In this book, Callie is also the same age as Jenna.  Her best friend since the first grade has started hanging around with her nemesis, and she doesn't understand why.  Amy won't even take the time to explain to Callie why they're not friends anymore, and learns the truth through vicious gossip.

          Hoot moves into the house across the street.  He befriends Callie, even though she is less than pleasant to him - and not just once.  How can she possibly be seen around town with a boy?  How would she explain him? 

          Callie is interested in swimming.  After a fiasco at one pool, she is told to never return. she continues training at another with her dad's assistance.

          Normally, I like books with polished endings and not ones that will leave the reader hanging to draw his or her own conclusions.  I did not care for the last two chapters of this book because the ending is not polished.  But then again, neither is life.  Things happen that cannot be helped.  We may not control the outcome or the situations or outcome of other people.  That is life.  And life goes on. 

          I enjoyed  both .books. They both faced devastation and realistic choices of youth.  I laughed more with Callie  than I did with Rebel - though many of her descriptions did put a smile on my face.  The grammar's not perfect - but then again, that really is how a lot of youth talk - especially in that particular area.  I did like the ending of Rebel much better than the ending for Callie. 

          Jenna was the outgoing sponge before we moved to West Valley.  She did try, but felt unsuccessful and I noticed that she had withdrawn.  Slowly she's coming around to being outgoing again.  Last night she had two of her friends over.  We took them to what was supposed to be a pot-luck dinner.  Turned out to be a coleslaw salad, Jell-O salad, coffee cake, cookies and brownies.  Jenna thought it was awesome, though her friends and Roland and I would have preferred some more substantial food. Roland says we're always doing hot dogs from now on.

          We ended up taking the girls to McDonalds before returning them to their homes.  As it turns out, one of Jenna's friends is just as freaked out about bridges as I am.  (see this post)   

Monday, May 16, 2016

Treasured Memories on Imagination

My last post was about the treasures I discovered on 8mm tapes.  Yesterday I found a notebook with a couple of stories that I would like to share.  The first came from Jenna's head when she was three going on four.  I wish I had filmed her telling it, for it doesn't read quite the same (even with visual aids) as it is to watch her tell the story as she uses "Cootie" parts to emphasize particular parts in the story.

For my readers who may not be familiar with the Milton Bradley game, Cooties, here is a brief description and history.

The younger generation may view "Cooties" as "cute" game pieces.  The heads on the game I grew up with looked like ants.

Keep in mind that Jenna was using a cootie body to demonstrate as she told her story (again and again) 

And So the story unfolds:
            Once upon a time there was a 
caterpillar named Date  who wanted 
to grow up to be a butterfly.  
But his mom said that he would 
not be one right now and would 
have to wait until tomorrow.  
So he went to bed and the next 
morning he woke up and made a 

 so he popped off his head  (she told me later that she had said out, but I had heard off) 

 and slept in his cocoon and when he came out he was a beautiful butterfly 

who flew around .  And he flew and he flew until he was dead.  And then they sweeped him up.

            I don't remember laughing at her.  I thought her ending was kind of morbid - I mean - where did she come up with that? but I do remember her dad and brothers laughing.  She was amused that they found it amusing, and thus repeated the story.  It's funny that I had forgotten that she had once told it quite often (which is how I remembered what words to write down)

            I also had struggles with getting her to eat a balanced meal (still do) and used this story on her.

          Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl named Jill.  She had brown hair and brown eyes and a wonderful imagination.  Jill could ride unicorns to school and fly home on the wings of a giant bird.  She could grant wishes with her magic wand.  She could swim in the oceans with mermaids.  She could be a doctor, a teacher, a mother, model, dancer, magician, even and animal.  Jill could do and be whatever she wanted except for one thing.  Jill could not eat whatever or whenever she wanted to. 

          Her imagination didn't work in her mouth or her stomach.  It wouldn't have been so bad if Jill would eat fruit and vegetables as a snack and not just candy or if she would eat the same dinner as the rest of her family and use her imagination to make believe it tasted like cake or ice cream.  Jill didn't always appreciate the snacks that her mom would give her.  Often Jill wished she could really perform real magic, then she could eat whatever and whenever she wanted.  But then so could her mother who was fat and whose teeth were falling out because she had eaten whatever and whenever she wanted her entire life. 

           Jill's' mother loved her and didn't want Jill to become fat and toothless and sickly because of her poor eating choices.  She also wanted Jill to be grateful. 

          One day Jill ate a casserole that her mom had made - even though it had red sauce and meat.  Jill imagined she was Goldilocks and that mom's casserole was baby bear's porridge.  Jill ate it all up.  And it was good.  She didn't throw up.  And she didn't die.  Jill and her mom made a deal with one another.  Jill could have a candy bar once a week.  And she would always eat nutritious food such as apples, pears and even broccoli.  And Jill and her mom lived happily ever after in good health.

It didn't work then.  There's no way it's going to work on her now.  She does like fruit and will eat two or three apples in a given day.  However Vegetables are still a sore subject.

I also have (in her handwriting - er, print) "The Happy Feather" by Jenna, illustrated by Jenna . . . that is all.  No story.  No illustration.  It's nice to have an example of her writing however.