Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hope Your Christmas Was Merry!

I hope you had a great celebration. We enjoyed a very quiet holiday. Christmas Eve I opened up the woman's gym for those of us who wanted to be prepared for our Christmas feasting then I slipped into K-Mart to finish up my shopping and wouldn't you know it, my credit card wouldn't work. Then my check wouldn't take. That was the most embarrassing experience of 2008.

The sales clerk had to void all my purchases as we waited for Tim to come with money from our pay checks yet to be deposited. In the meantime, I called Sears to find out why I wasn't able to use my card and they explained that my previously canceled order had yet to be removed from my balance. So luckily I had some cash and with a combination of cash and Sears I was able to finish the sale. What a mess! Thank goodness I had the Christmas spirit or I would have found the experience very annoying and I could have turned Grinch-like in my embarrassment.

Tim and I spent Christmas Eve alone. We thought about going to friends homes, but we decided against it and thoroughly enjoyed being together. I watched old Christmas movies and Tim worked on the computer. Good times!

Christmas morning we woke up to find our son Mike downstairs in front of a computer I thought for a moment was his. Why did he bring his computer to our home on Christmas morning? But on closer inspection, I realized it wasn't his. He told me he'd built it for me. I could have melted into the floor I was so overcome with joy.My son never does anything unselfish or so utterly surprising. Not ever. I was dumbfounded. After reeling from the shock, I hugged him and expressed my thanks by bawling like a fool. A new computer, monitor, wireless keyboard and mouse and all that wonderful memory. Wow! Absolutely fantastic! I never thought he had it in him.

All the time before Christmas he was complaining about not having enough money for Christmas presents and all the while he was out finding parts for a computer for his mom. I was humbled. God bless him. He even built the thing himself. What a talented boy! Here he in on the floor under the tree searching for gifts.We spent the day after Christmas at Fry's with Mike as he helped his dad pick out his own computer parts then we came home and he built a computer for his dad. (Tax break!) So we have a very technologically gifted Christmas. I gave Mike food and home supplies and a gift certificate for Vons. Things a man on his own could use. He was delighted. I got tons of books besides my delightful computer. (I figured I've probably read about one hundred and five books this past year.)Here I am with my new books and my new computer. Great huh?We received a gift certificate for Red Lobster from my boss so after Fry's we enjoyed crab, shrimp and scallops on the house. Then came home to overdose on eggnog, homemade fudge and Rice Krispie candy, my absolute favorite holiday treats. Not too many people brought me treats and only one box of See's candy. I guess they figure I'm through with all that stuff. Thank the Lord.

I've had big noisy family Christmases where we rush around to each Grandparent's home and consume tons and tons of food and try to out shout one another. And those were fantastic, but it was a very pleasant event just to sit around with the two men who mean the most to me in the world and enjoy the quiet of easy companionship and the love expressed with simple, meaningful gifts.

I hope your Christmas was just as memorable. God bless us everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Malone's

Tim and I took pictures of each other for our annual Christmas letter. My dear friend Monica gave me the beautiful velvet dress. I purchased four inch heals so I could wear it. I think I look pretty swingin'. We sang at our Stake Christmas concert on Sunday the fourteenth. We just adore Christmas music and don't get to sing a lot of it. Merry Christmas from CarolMerry Christmas from Tim

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Carol says "Merry Christmas"

And I'm not ashamed to say so!

The Grinch said it best when he described Christmas. "Perhaps Christmas doesn't come from a store. Perhaps Christmas means a little bit more." I know I'm as guilty as the next person when it comes to running around at Christmas time like a woman possessed and end up missing the real significance of the season--the celebration of the birth of the Savior. We of all people should remember what makes Christians, Christians and pause to recall not only His humble beginnings but his life, ministry and divine atonement for and in behalf of all of us.

I'm thankful at this time of year to stop, pause and remember. Then make a commitment to do better. We could all use a little improvement. I've made some major changes in my life this year, physically. Now if I could say the same about my spirituality I'd really be flying. Everyday is a new day to rededicate ourselves to the things of eternity and see beyond the moment to the far reaching effects our choices will have.God bless us every one!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Men's vs Women's Brains!

If you've got 10.5 minutes to spare, watch this video. It will give you a clear representation of the differences between men's and women's brains. It was very enlightening and all together true. Plus being funnier than heck!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas--Gotta Love it!

As far back as I can remember, Christmas has always a very critically important event in my family. It was a special time of family, great food and presents from Santa. Growing up in a small rural community in Northern Utah, I'd have to say my life was sheltered. (That would be an understatement.) Though we weren't what you would call rich, we had enough and to spare. We had the basic needs that every human craves. Love, fidelity, friendship and loyalty. Christmas was just a time to express those emotional traits.

One of the very first Christmas's that I remember was when I was almost five. I got a huge doll with thick curly hair and a rockin' horse. I treasured them both.You could find me practically every weekday riding my horse to the sounds of "Hi Ho, Silver, Away" or "Keep Those Doggies Movin', Rawhide". Man! That brings back blissful memories. The faster the action on the screen moved, the harder I rode the springed beauty. I put a lot of pressure on those coiled springs.

I remember one fateful Christmas when I had the measles. We couldn't have the blinds open in the front room for fear my eye sight would be damaged. That was a miserable year. I had to stay laying on the couch while the boys had their Christmas cheer without me.

Some of family traditions included mom's homemade oat and chocolate chip cookies and homemade fudge. Grandma Oldham's Alper's cookies and homemade pickles. Grandma Olsen's pies and mom's Christmas dinner. We had a living room that could be shut off from the rest of the house and we weren't allowed to enter the room Christmas morning unless all of us were awake. Trust David, my youngest brother, to be the hold up. He could sleep through an atomic blast and not move a muscle. We'd have to wait hours for him to drag his butt out of bed. Then it was bedlam.

We usually spent the day with Grandma Oldham and then ended up at Grandma Olsen's. The family would gather and good times were had by all. I can still here Grandpa Olsen yelling for me to get out of the way of the T.V.The last Christmas we spent in North Logan, Utah, my oldest brother Scott's family joined us. Judy, his wife, and their two oldest children, Fred and Jon helped us welcome in the holiday. I think that was my favorite Christmas. My second oldest brother, Reed, was designated as the gift hander-outer.Mom and Grandma Oldham were always wearing their aprons and usually in the midst of cooking up a Christmas storm.Mom and dad got new clothes and went out on the town. Don't they look great?Christmas time is a fantastic time for family photos. This was no exception. So many changes happened in that following year. My father lost his business, we lost our home and were forced to relocate to California. I'll always remember that very last Christmas in my home town. Pictured in back: Scott, his wife Judy, Dale's first wife Tanya, Dale, mom, David. Front: me, Grandma Oldham and Reed. Those were sweet, peaceful, innocent times. The world was blocked out of our thoughts as we shared happy times, calorie laden food and the spiritual blessings of being wrapped in the love of family. Thank the Lord these memories will always be in our minds and hearts as we look forward then take a step back. My family will always be the most important thing in my life.

Now I have my own family. A husband and a son. Watching Christmas unfold through his eyes will always be a great pleasure to me. His excitement and enthusiastic response to Christmas morning made my heart sigh. One of the best things about Christmas for Mike, was that most every year we spent it was Grandma and Grandpa Olsen. Even up to the a couple of years before mom passed away, they traveled to California to be with us.Their visit turned our tiny family into a big celebration. We miss them so much. Dad has a new wife now and mom is gone. On the 20th it will been three years since she passed away. Now all I have are memories of Christmas's passed and mom always there.

Well enough of the sentimental journey and just for the heck of it, I'm going to go against the P.C. crowd and wish you all a Merry Christmas! Wow! That felt good. I'll say it again. Merry Christmas! Remember those you care about the most this Christmas, even if you're not related to them. Make memories that you can look back on and feel glad.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Jealousy--it's a relationship killer.

Here's another chapter from my fourth novel. The hero has decided to break it off with his fiance and pursue this other woman. (The women he played tennis with in a previous post.) However, he comes back to his resort and finds the woman in the arms of another man, two men actually:

Anger and betrayal replaced the searing burn of jealousy. What kind of a woman—a newly widowed woman,goes around throwing herself at all kinds of men—any age apparently. He was so angry by the time he reached them he could barely control the urge to pop his brother in the nose.

He stepped closer as they swirled around the floor. Tony stopped dancing for a moment and bowed Claire backwards in a sensuous dip that had her giggling like a school girl. Disgusting, revolting!

Claire saw him for the first time upside down, her hair hanging all the way to the floor. She smiled warmly. "Alex!"

"Is this the best two out of three?" Alex snarled.

"What?" Tony asked, but brought Claire back upright with a snap. "When did you get back?"

Alex ignored his brother.

"Alex.” Her face was flushed with excitement and the heat of the dance. "We didn't know you were back."

"Obviously," he snapped and grabbed her hand off Tony's shoulder. "I'm cutting in."

"Okay." Tony's expression was mutinous but he relinquished Claire and stepped back to his table where Sara was sitting.

Alex wrapped his arm possessively and none to gently around Claire's waist and dragged her hard against him. She let out a little whimper as she contacted with his chest and stared up at him with frightened eyes. He cursed himself but seized her hand in a vice-like grip.

"Didn't you have a good trip?"

"Yes, I had a great trip," he snapped then grimaced when she looked at him like she had to ward off a blow.

"Is something wrong?"

They danced in sharp staccato steps with their bodies fused tightly together. He fought his anger and frustration. "No."

"Then will you tell me why my fingers and the small of my back are going to be black and blue tomorrow morning?"

Her words didn't sink in for a few moments until her smile faded into a scowl.

"Sorry," he sighed but didn't ease his hold. "You've been very busy while I've been away."

She looked up at him, puzzled. "I don't know what you mean."

"I mean you've obviously made up with your boyfriend."

"Excuse me?"

"Boyfriend. And Tony. You seem to be getting along very well with both of them. Can't say as I blame you. They're both very attractive. I guess a merry widow like yourself can't really help it. You’ve obviously been playing the field while I’ve been away. Trying to scope out your next victim…er…husband?"

She looked up at him now those eyes turning to flat smoky blue like the sea before a squall and Alex could feel the controlled rage screaming for release. "How dare you!" she growled in barely tempered fury. "For your information, that attractive young man is my son." Her voice began to inch up in volume. "And you're the one who threw Tony and me together. But he was gentlemen enough to know I wasn't interested in him that way. He’s just a friend. And yes, I am having fun with them. They don't seem to want to accuse me falsely with suppositions that I was sniffing out a new mate like an animal in heat." She stopped dancing forcing him to stop as well. "You can release me now. I don't care to dance with you anymore."

Could there be a big enough rock for him to crawl under or a hole sufficiently large enough to plummet into? If he was going to eat crow he was going to have to do it, and quickly. "Claire...I...I'm so sorry. I'm such an idiot."

"You've got that right. Now let go of me." She twisted in his arms.

"No," he grumbled. "I need to talk to you."

"I said let go of me!" Her eyes were large and no longer blue. Gray, steel gray, hard and enraged.

"Please…please let me explain," he stuttered.

"There's nothing to explain. Your opinion of my character is crystal clear, Alex Cole. I really don't understand how you have the nerve to criticize me for my choice in men in the first place. Who the heck are you to tell me who I can see and who I can’t? You're not my father or my boyfriend or my fi├ín..." she trailed off, grinding her teeth. "And I don't care to stand here anymore and be humiliated further. So take your hands off of me and let me go."

He released her reluctantly, sheepishly and watched her race back to where her son was sitting with his daughter. How could he have made such a stupid mistake? Just to look at the boy now he could see Claire. The golden hair, the ocean blue eyes. Could he be anymore more of a fool? Perhaps if he was lucky a comet would race out of the sky and obliterate him where he stood.

This is turning into a rather long novel. But there's so many twists and turns in the plot of getting these two people who are meant to be together--together. So we'll see. This is the point where I'm at right now.