Category Archives: Childhood

Memory Lane: The Sally Jones Tribute…

I was 12 when I first heard her voice. It was at a stake talent show, one where I was dancing with my young women’s group to songs from South Pacific (and I use the term “dancing” very liberally). I remember my mouth gaping open for a good 10 minutes as she expertly sang her way through a song from “Phantom Of The Opera” and I remember exclaiming to my young women’s group… she sounds exactly like the lady on the Phantom CD I have! I remembered her voice for a long while after. I wanted to sing like she did. My problem was I had absolutely no range and at 12 years old my voice had changed from the little girl squeaky voice to one deeper and full of hormonal inconsistencies. I had sung ever since the age of 2, but I had stopped at age 11 or 12 because I couldn’t reach the notes and it depressed me. It was about a year later when my mom suggested I try taking voice lessons. I jumped at the idea and when she dropped me off at the house of the voice teacher she had chosen for me, I had that familiar déjà vous moment when I realized it was the same lady I had heard sing the Phantom song a year before! I was a bit starstruck… and already extremely shy and awkward. I didn’t say more than 2 words at our first lesson, but she was kind and warm and made me feel at home, so I went back the next week… and the next week after that for the next 6 years. She became more than my voice teacher. She became a friend and a cheerleader for Whitney of the extremely awkward teenage years. She accepted me as I was and she taught me that singing was more than just singing the notes, it was about feeling the emotions of the words and conveying that to the audience. She said if you can do that, they won’t remember any bad notes you hit, they’ll remember how you made them feel. I took that to heart and remember those words every time I step up to sing. Over the years, even after I had quit taking lessons from her, we still got together to sing duets, she the soprano and me the alto. I was definitely the lucky one in the situation as she was so much more vocally gifted than I.

At a time where I had no self confidence and zero self-esteem, she was that person who believed in my talents and abilities. She did that for many other girls and boys in her 20+ years of teaching. A few days ago, at the age of 65, she lost her battle with brain cancer, the 2nd cancer go around for her. I know everyone who knows Sally Jones is heartbroken… heartbroken for her sweet husband Bill and her son Eric and his family. I will always remember her for her vibrant spirit, her beautiful voice, and how she made me feel… because she not only taught that to her students, she practiced what she preached. Thank you Sally Jones. You will be deeply missed.

Love,

Awkward Teeny Bopper Whitney
&
Still Awkward Adult Whitney

Click for her obituary and/or to leave a message to the family: http://www.allenmortuaries.net/obituaries/Sally-Jones-2/#!/Obituary

I’m putting this up for posterity. Pretty sure I shared this video several years ago, but it is one of the only ones I have of us singing a duet… back in the late 90s… and oh the fashion!

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LINDSAY’S UPDATE (AKA THE BLOGGING RETIREMENT POST)

Hi Whit’s readers, sorry I totally spaced last week. I wanted to do one more entry before the end of the goal I set. So I am sure you will all be glad to read Whit’s posts without my boring commentary! She’s much more entertaining!

I set a goal to loose 18 pounds in 3 months and I am down 14 pounds. I am 4 pounds from that goal. I have to still say that is a HUGE success for me! To be honest I never even thought I would get close to that as my past weight loss has been much slower.

So to finish off I wanted to share the 3 things that pushed me to my goal.
Set a goal
Be accountable to someone or something
Have a motivator of some kind at the finish line

My motivator is on Friday April 14th, We leave for Cancun. I absolutely DID NOT want to sit on the side lines and feel like I couldn’t get in the water with my baby! I do want to be in the water and be able to wear a swimsuit and participate with the activities everyone is doing.

That being said, I am not to a weight I want to be at yet. But I feel so much better than I have! So I am going to be happy and enjoy my time! On vacation I will not be counting or tracking calories and when I get home I will get right back on it to get losing the rest.

This is a lifelong process and therefore, whatever you start, make it something you can see yourself doing and living with for the rest of your life.

I look forward to hearing your progress it motivates me!

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You know how I know that BoBo and I are related? Because we’re both friends of chocolate:

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Hey errybody… look at all of my manimals!

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Filed under Calorizing, Childhood, Uncategorized

It’s Too Late To Apologize…

Yesterday during snowcopalypse 2016, when the radio announcers were telling everyone to stay the heck home unless they had 4-wheel drive, we went to the grocery store in a car that barely had half-a-wheel drive.  We like keeping the roads safe… half a wheel at a time.  I’m pretty sure it was karma that whilst we were in the grocery store, we ran into someone I’d hoped I’d never see again for the rest of my entire lifetime.  The last time I’d seen her I was probably 10 years old, and goodness knows I’ve changed since I was 10… because I’m an adult now… and am no longer frizzing my bangs and wearing saucer-sized horn-rimmed spectacles the size of my noggin.  The point of me discussing my appearance from nearly 30 years ago is to say that it was highly likely that this person would never have recognized me if we had passed in the store, but I just so happened to be grocery shopping with Madre, and Madre hasn’t changed a wit in 50 years, so the lady immediately gleed right on over to Madre and gave her a hug… I kept walking, hoping to avoid any awkwardness, but Madre wouldn’t have that, and immediately yelled… and you remember Whitney!?  To which I had to turn back around and feign excitement.   OH HELLLOOOOO… IT’S BEEN AGES!!  

What on Earth do I have against a perfectly nice lady from my childhood?  Not a thing… except that I almost got her children killed approximately 850 times in the space of a neverending summer.  You see, they were our neighbors back in the day, and one year when I happened to be the tender age of 8, I was hired to work full time one summer from 7:30 a.m until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, babysitting her 3 children.  I was 8… the oldest boy was 7, there was a 5-year-old girl, and a 1-year-old baby boy… let me repeat, I was 8!  Mind you, I looked very mature for my age… like a 55-year-old woman with a 5-year-old brain… but looks do not determine maturity, and so the havoc those children wreaked on the house and the neighborhood that summer is stuff that legends are made of.

As an 8-year-old girl, I’d find myself getting so caught up with playing with video games with the 7-year-old or Barbies with the 5-year-old that I’d totally forget about the 1-year-old who by that time was walking all over the place and into everything!  One day, the mom came home to the baby having drawn with permanent black sharpie marker all over a brand new recliner and the walls.  I didn’t even know he was doing it on account of the fact that the Kapers had to be Keystoned and we were on level 10 of the Atari game, Keystone Kapers!

Several times, perfect strangers would knock on the door with the baby in hand saying he had been wandering the streets and they’d almost run him over.  The kids ate what they wanted because Whitney didn’t know how to make toast… let alone anything with health benefits in it.  One day they ate a whole pan of brownies (with my help of course)… brownies that the mother had made to take to a potluck that night.  I was easily distracted and horribly irresponsible… but I was also 8.

Standing in that grocery store yesterday, trying my best to keep my red ears from popping off my noggin, I wanted to apologize for my 8-year-old self, but I didn’t.  I wonder when she saw me if a flood of horrid memories came back to her from the summer all 3 of her children nearly burnt the house down with their 8-year-old babysitter holding the lighter fluid.  I think it’s only fair she make another pan of brownies to celebrate the fact that they all 3 made it to adulthood.  No thanks to Whitney, Babysitting Services Extraordinaire!

***

Lindsay says Baby BoBear wants to move to Russia… it’s too cold in Russia Baby BoBo…

They’re also teaching him to straight up lick the nasty shopping cart handles… YOU WILL BE A GERM-A-PHOBE, BoBo!

T

 

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Filed under Childhood, Uncategorized

All Gave Some and Some Gave All…

Billy Cyrus from the 90s anyone?  The above song was actually one of his more tolerable (nee any song that isn’t Achy Breaky Heart… sorry I had to mention the title outloud… for research purposes you see).  And that was the detour way for me to get to the point… having just had Memorial Day, I wanted to add my thank you to all of those who have served our country in the past, present, and future… and especially for those families who lost a loved one in the service.  I don’t have the bravery (or frankly the skillz, temperament, cajones, clothing, mental fortitude, etc., etc., etc.)  to do what y’all did/do/will do, so thank you, thank you, thank you!!  And many more… if y’all ever need a piece of toast, I make a mean one.  (I’d offer other of my baked goods, but I don’t have the insurance policy to cover chipped teeth accidents).  Afghanistan ain’t got nothing on my chocolate chip lead cookies.

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I keep having this recurring nightmare.  I’m not sure why I’m having it of late as the incident happened way back when I was in the 8th grade attending North Trash Junior High (that wasn’t a typo… it was over 100 years old and crumbling to pieces when we attended).  We ate lunch out on a stairway that was basically a rubble field of cement pieces.  The incident in question?  The school being as old as it was had very narrow hallways in the basement.  Let’s face it… it was in Utah, children per capita is approximately 8800000 children to 1 adult (give or take 7999700).  Squish all them kids into one narrow hallway and let’s have a lawsuit on our hands!

There were rows of lockers lining both sides of said hallway stacked 2 deep, which made the hall even narrower when everyone was trying to get into their lockers whilst everyone else was trying to walk down the hall.  Needless to say it was a claustrophobic person’s hell on earth!  One particular morning before the first bell starting school had rung, the power went out in said hallway and being the hyped up, nerve-ridden, hormonal 14 year olds we were, everyone started freaking out.  We were packed in there like sardines anyway and now with no way to see 2 inches in front of us.  This led to some jerk football boys deciding it would be a good idea just to barrell through everyone like bulldozers.  I was kneeling on the ground getting into my lower locker when it happened, I was knocked over onto the ground and then was unable to get back up as a herd of buffalo trampled over the top of me.  I just covered my head with my arms and thought I was going to suffocate amidst it all.

After what seemed like 8 hours… (I’m sure it was nothing more than a few minutes), I was finally able to drag myself up off the floor into a sitting position, I was bleeding and I no longer had my gargantuan glasses on my face.  Since I was blind without my glasses and the hallway was still dark and extremely tight, there was no way I would be able to find my glasses.  I sat there bawling like a 2-year-old (oh the embarrassment) until the lights finally came back on and one of my friends realized I was hurt.  She searched for my gargantuan glasses only to discover they had been mutilated in the buffalo stampede, broke clear in half and the lenses popped out.  We took the broken pair into the orchestra room and tried to cobble them together with some masking tape… because I didn’t already look like Urkel on Steroids with just the neck crimping-sized glasses alone… no… let’s add tape to the look and then shatter the lenses.  I spent the rest of the day walking around with injuries and taped broken glasses.  Like my mom would have picked me up… the school was in Richmond, which is a good half hour drive from where she worked.   I just had to wait for the bus ride later that afternoon.

I woke up the other night flailing in my sleep as if I was trying to thwart the football buffalo stampede.  It’s funny the things that stick with you for forever and 12 days… I was 14 ages and ages ago said Grandma Olive… but in my vivid dreams it felt like it was happening now.  I’m pretty sure these days I could take on the whole herd with 2 arms tied behind my back.  Come at me, bros!   Mama needs a new pair of spectacles!

***

In other news… for those who don’t have Facebook and have been asking how to get tickets to Mary Poppins, they just went on sale this weekend.  Go to http://www.fourseasonstheatre.org/ and click on the “Get Your Tickets Now” tab on the right hand side.  If you have a family you are bringing and want the family discount, call (435) 535-1432.  I believe the discount is buy 2 tickets at the regular price of $10 and then after that each ticket is just $5.  (NOTE:  To family who are insisting they are coming from far distances, you really don’t need to.  I’m in the thing for approximately 10 minutes total and it would be a long drive just to support that… There are no expectations and if I were you, I’d say to myself WWWD (what would whitney do)… uh… she’d totally skip the long drive too!)

So, I’m puzzled by this weird weather we’ve been having.  We live in a desert for a reason and it has rained every single day for the last month and a half… but the weird part of it is that there is usually some lovely blue sky in the area where I am not woggercizing.  I try to walk toward it, but this is all I see in my vicinity:

I’m like Eeyore, except less grey around the gills!  I really need to invest in an umbrella that actually covers my gargantuan head if this keeps up!  Stop the madness, Grucilla!

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Filed under Childhood, School

Please Won’t You Be… My Neighbor…

I grew up on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  I was friends with Daniel the Tiger and Henrietta Pussycat.  I feared the rigidness of King Friday (feared is not the appropriate word… he was a puppet wearing a crown for gravy’s sake).  I wanted my mailman to be Mr. McFeely and was genuinely upset when he never came.  I rode that trolly into the Land of Make Believe every day as a child… and as 5 year olds are wont to do, I developed a crush on the sweater-wearing teddy bear of a man named Mr. Rogers.  He had a way of making everyone feel important and loved and capable.  He didn’t know me from Adam, but I felt like he knew me because he was talking just to me through the TV screen of my 1970s fuzzy picture box with bunny ears that needed to be adjusted every time the wind blew the wrong way.

I recently discovered that the entirety of Mr. Rogers 30-some-odd years of television programs are available on Amazon for Prime memberships to watch for free.  One late night a few weeks back during one of my many insomnia-induced nights where I search for anything to do that procrastinates homework, I set out to watch a few episodes.  Children’s programming is cheesy… and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood is like a brick of gouda in a vat of velveeta visiting a hunk of swiss with a mistress of cheddar on the side, but the sentiment is still there.  The kind, caring, genuinely gentle man made me feel as if I was an important and worthwhile specimen… and who doesn’t need that reminder every few decades?

I’m not versed on the children’s programming of today (you mommies out there may be able to tell me), but I doubt that there is a Mr. Rogers equivalent on TV today… and that’s such a shame.  I hope that you who have young kids will take the opportunity to introduce your young’uns to the Land of Make Believe (free for Amazon Prime members… get ye’ there)… tell them Whitney sent you.  In my imagination, they’ll know who you are talking about.  Thank you Mr. Rogers for teaching me a childhood full of lessons about being kind and accepting of all.

“Mutual caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain.”
–Fred Rogers
 
“Whether we’re a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we’re acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”
–Fred Rogers
Check out this clip of Mr. Rogers accepting the Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 1997.  He brought the whole room to tears by making it about everyone but himself.

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In other news… nephews Christian and Ethan found out baby “it” will be a boy!  Boys, boys, boys everywhere you look!  Guarantee you Auntie Whitney will be making him watch some Mr. Rogers!  Lindsay… it’s totally modern so stop it.

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Filed under Childhood, Life

Great Jehosephat!

I’m feeling uninspired.  It was a busy week and so there is a bunch to blog about but I’m too lazy to find my camera and upload any pictures (PS… has anyone seen my camera… it’s like it walked off and joined a cult?)   In the meantime, I’ve decided I’d rather just make fun of this here picture I came across when looking through pictures.  Some of you have already been privy to it… I immediately made it my Facebook profile picture.  Can’t pass up that opportunity.  I’m thinking I’ve lost about 5 friends since I uploaded it last night.

Oh lawsy… WHERE TO BEGIN!?!?  It’s like a goldmine up in this here joint!  I would just like to point out, though people have guessed that I’m gearing up to blow out the candles, I’m actually just oober shocked that I’m sitting in the presence of a chocolate cake and haven’t been grounded yet for going off my “die”t.  Did y’all also notice the fact that the cake decorator plopped a cardboard ghost on the top of the thing and called it a day?  I got my crafting skillz from my mother!  In this day and age, children get to pick their birthday party theme and then they get a cake built in the shape of a princess castle or carved into a gargantuan Barbie convertible, Whitney’s birthday is a week before Halloween… her theme was always, always, always Halloween.  The colors were always orange and black… and that cardboard cake ghost got some mileage!

Y’all kids these days have it good.  Why, back in my day we had birthday parties on the west side of town with the front door wide open to up the chances of being kidnappesd on the spot.  Could finally get rid of that cardboard ghost if that were to happen!   My bangs are paying homage to the future bath poof body scrubber… and my shirt is a straight up puff paint original.  Do you remember puff paint?  Do they still make puff paint?  I need me some puff paint stockings.  The reason I remember the shirt had puff paint on it was because I would spend hours picking off said puff paint until it was basically a white shirt with no puff paint scribbles.

It’s a miracle I didn’t decapitate myself wearing those glasses for so long… walking upright must have been quite the ordeal… especially since it was uphill both ways without any pants and it was always winter!

 

Yesterday someone introduced me to this impressionist, Christina Bianco, and since then I’ve watched 800 YouTube videos of her.  She does impressions of the voices of female singers aka divas… and is spot on with most of them.  Hilarious!

 

 

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Whitney Of Brown Mortar…

I remember reading (or rather having read to me) Anne of Green Gables at the age of 5.  My uncle (what up, Uncle Phil?), he of 6 sons and no daughters, told my mom I needed to read it and thus a monster was created.  By the time I was 14, I’d read the whole series several times, plus everything else Lucy Maud Montgomery ever wrote, right down to her poetry and all 5 of her exhaustive life journals (though those came when I was in my 20s…).  I’ve seen the 3 “Anne” movies more times than I care to reveal and have always dreamed of taking a vacation to Prince Edward Island, Canada, the setting for many of LMM’s creations.  Obsessed?  No… I’d like to call it a healthy imagination run wild.  Pretty much the only thing, Anne-related I hadn’t seen?  Anne of Green Gables, The Musicalwhich just so happened to be playing locally this past week.

Would Whitney of Barf Brown Mortar attend?  Goodness Gravy yes!  If for nothing else, out of curiosity to see how they’d manage to put my childhood heroine to music.  It was a local production, mind you, no flashy actresses and actors… some bum singers, but the girl who played Anne ACED her part.  She had the fiery temper, motormouth, overly romantic aspect of the character down to a science… and her voice was pretty nice as well.  I’d give it a thumb up.

In other news, I had to take quite the detour on an evening walk I took last week… on account of the fact that I’d been hiking up the hills toward USU (trying to get my hill stamina back) when I ran into seriously, no joking around, hundreds and hundreds of teenagers who were on campus attending EFY (Especially For Youth for those not accustomed to local vernacular).  They were coming at me from all angles at every corner I turned and I felt like I was lost in a sea of hormones!  It really is a miracle I made it out alive (coughcoughSTOPITcoughcough) and probably a good thing I turned my headphones up full blast to avoid any snarky comments from the peanut gallery.   Instead of my normal 45-minute walk, it ended up being a good 80 minutes… which never killed anyone, but it’s a miracle what Whitney will do to avoid uncomfortable situations!

And one more random thing… there was this:

ACCURATE!!

Question of the Day:  Who was your childhood hero/heroine?  Have you read Anne of Green Gables?  

I did NOT… let me repeat… did NOT get a good picture of the supermoon, unfortunately… but wasn’t that thing awesome!?  Yes… yes, it was!

 

*** I would be remiss not to mention the passing of my sweet Aunt Sharon this past week.  I only have fond memories of her warm and loving presence.  She was always so good at making me feel important and like she was actually interested in the happenings in my piddly boring life.  Just one of her many talents, which also included a beautiful ability to play the piano and organ flawlessly!  This world was blessed to have her a part of it and now heaven is graced with her humble spirit and her beautiful music.  My thoughts and prayers go out to my Uncle Gene and all of my cousins (Kim, Sandy, Jeannie, Jacque, and Bill) and their families during this difficult time.  We love you guys!

 

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RIP Twinkie…

Lettuce (bwahahahahaha… I always want to do that) take a moment of silence for my childhood pal, Hostess Cupcakes.

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Okay, that’s enough.

It’s been years since I’ve had any sort of Hostess sweet treat, but I remember eating them regularly as a kid.  They were definitely a factorer into my gaining of 530 pounds of blobules.  I remember when I was 14 and 15 years old riding my bike to the Aggie Station just to buy a stash of them without my mom knowing.  She followed me in her car one time without me knowing because she knew I never voluntarily went for the exercise thing at that age, and I was grounded for days after that one.  I can still see her standing there as I walked out of the gas station, stash in hand, her teeth about to draw blood on her bottom lip.  That was her mad face… and boy was it scurry to me.

So, I guess it’s a good thing for me to put that part of my past away.  Goodbye ole Hostess Bakeries.  I’m sorry for the loss of jobs to those who had them and I hope they can all find work elsewhere.

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I may or may not have had a blueberry theme for breakfast last week.  Frozen blueberries are always in season and for some strange reason they are also like double the cost of the frozen other fruit.  They must be an endangered species.  Or like the GOLD of the fruit world.

The muffins are a healthy version of a blueberry muffin… healthy because they are made with wheat flour and applesauce.  They were good.  I froze the suckers and took one out at a time each morning… and now I have enough left to eat for breakfast this week.   The link takes you to the recipe, which is only a single serving version.  I timesed everything by 12 and made 12 because that’s how many muffin tin holes I had available.  Also, Cuties… welcome back to my life.  This was a particularly delicious batch of the suckers… you can’t beat a good Cutie tangeriney thinger.

I’m sure I’ve blogged about Hawaiian Haystacks before?  Beuhler?  It’s amazing what things you can plop together into a bowl and it taste so dang good!  Fruit/vegetables… throw ’em in!  This particular haystack included tomatoes (duh), carrots, celery cheese, almond slivers, raisins, chow mein noodles, pineapple, rice, and cream of celery soup… Um… DELICIOUS!

Question of the Day:  What was your favorite Hostess/Wonder product?  Are you going to miss them? 

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Filed under Calorizing, Childhood, Recipes