Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cool Sayings

Cool sayings:

You can't be bored unless you're boring.  Don't use the B word.

This is a first world problem.

Getting old ain't for sissies.

Beauty is as beauty does.

Inch by Inch everything is a cinch.  Inch it.

Can't never did.

Friday, April 20, 2012

German Pancakes!

Wish I knew earlier about German Pancakes.  My good friend Kathy McKeon made them all of the time.  They are so easy, fast and fun.  I should have made them more for my kids when they were young. 

1 stick butter (I only use 1/2 stick)
1 c. milk
6 eggs
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Melt butter in a 9×13 pan while oven preheats. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a blender, mix eggs and milk; add flour and salt and blend again. Pour mixture into pan with melted butter. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees. (This will rise, but will not run over pan.) Cut in squares.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Let Me Sail, Let Me Sail, Let Me Crash Upon Your Shore!

Why is there a boat in Janet's backyard?  Many of you might remember it.  This is the story about the who, what, when, where, why and how of it.

1965 was the year we moved into our own house in La Verne, California and built a pool in our backyard. As was our way, we built boats out of my mother's patio furniture. She must have voiced her frustration loud and often enough to get my father working towards a solution.

He built us a motor boat by the diving board out of wood complete with a cabin below furnished with waterproof cushions. My mother had her patio furniture back and we had our permanently moored home (ship) away from home. We slept, ate, played and worked on our boat night and day all summer long.  The only reason to come into the house was to go to the bathroom or get dressed for church.

Fast forward to 1984. Bill and I bought a brand new home on Skyblue Mesa in Santa Clarita, California. One of Bill's clients was California Pools and I was just itching to have our own pool in the backyard.  So we did it.  My fond memories of my childhood were alive and well on Dorothy Street and I wanted the same memories for my children.  I am grateful that my father was an artist, a civil engineer and handy with tools because he must have passed it onto me.  So not long after the pool was completed, I dove into this project.

I planned to build a sailboat that was twice as big as my dad's boat -- I have twice as many kids!  Every morning about 7:00 I would pile all of the kids that were in residence (I usually had at the very least one or two extras and sometimes more -- time before seat belt laws) into my blue VW Vanagon and head off to Lumber City.  I would buy as much as I could afford and put into the van.  We measured and sawed and hammered and sanded and painted.   The kids and I learned how to use power tools.  I had originally planned to place it on the end of the pool by the shallow water, but when I realized that it would obstruct my full view of the pool from my kitchen window I knew we had to move it to the side of the pool.  So we all hopped in to the water and moved it -- there was no way this boat would not sink in water it was so heavy!

Twenty-four feet by five feet and three decks -- this boat was definitely bigger than the boat of my childhood.  We set the mainmast complete with a boom and pulleys for the sheets (that is sailor speak for ropes) and rigging.  I sewed and grommeted a mainsail and a jib from sheets (the  bed kind).  My dad (Grandpa Mattingly) added the finished touch a real wooden wheel and a ship's radio.  Below deck was a galley and sleeping quarters in the stern.  This sailboat was ready.  

And so were my kids and me!  We stowed our gear below -- an ice chest full of drinks, lunch and snacks, a cassette stereo, towels, sleeping bags and snorkeling equipment.  We weighed anchor, pushed off, and hoisted the sails.  The wind filled the sails and we were soon off and running upon the waters of our fantasies.

We set sail for places far away. "From Bissau to Palau in the shade of Avalong. From Fiji to Tiree, and isles of Ebony. From Peru to Cebu, feel the power of Babylon. From Bali to Cali, far beneath the Coral Sea." (Enya) Oh, what adventures we had those hot days. When it got too warm we would go overboard and swim and snorkel in the deep blue. We even slept on board on warm nights.   

We would only berth our ship to procure supplies or take on passengers (or use the restroom -- we were not allowed to pee in this ocean!) On one occasion (for the third birthday celebration for Jeff Soto, Jeff Thompson and Adam Risser) we were boarded by pirates!  We even decorated it with twinkle lights when we had a wedding reception in our backyard.
All boat owners know that regular maintenance is a must. So every year we would sand, paint, make repairs and sew new sails for a family work project. As the children got older we would vote as a family on whether we wanted to keep the boat -- and consequently commence the huge refurbishing project. The sailboat won out every year until Jeff, our youngest, was entering into Sierra Vista Junior High. That year, after a decade of yeahs, the vote was nay. Sadly we broke the boat up for firewood for Refugio.

What a great family tradition was started all because my mom wanted to sip iced tea by the pool in her chaise lounge and my dad actually paid attention!  Go figure?!  I am feeling wanderlust now that I have sailed on seas of memories.  I am thinking my grandkids would love to sail away with me -- what do you think?

Friday, March 16, 2012

We can sail... sail away...

1963 in Danville, California -- that is the year and site of the first of many embarkations to circumnavigate the worlds of our imaginations.  Russ, my brother, Ann, my sister and I made up the crew of our haphazardly rigged sailing vessels.  Who was our skipper?  Who can remember that far back?  But, being the oldest I must have thought I was!

1963 was the year we first moved into a home that had a built-in pool.  We lived in the pool from the moment the thermometer read into the 70's and on into the fall.  It must have been a frustration to my mother that her patio furniture was continually being seized by pirates for the construction of intricate sailing vessels.  She was especially exascerbated because most of the time it was my father who masterminded these ship plans!  He had the most creative imagination!

So that summer we casted off on one of the many adventurous voyages to "lands I've never been".  We lived in swimsuits, ate on the boat and sometimes slept on board all night.  We dived for treasure wrecks, swam with the dolphins and even had a few close encounters with pirates and sharks.  There was never any doubt our minds that my brother and sister and I led the most exciting lives when all the other kids must have been bored out of their minds!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Thoughts are created in the act of writing.  It is a myth that you must have something to say in order to write.  Reality:  You often need to write in order to have anything to say.  Thought comes with writing, and writing may never come if it is postponed until we are satisfied that we have something to say… The assertion of write first, see what you have to say later applies to all manifestations of written language, to letters…as well as diaries and journals.  ~Frank Smith~

My problem this week is that I have a lifetime of things to write about and I cannot decide what to write about.  I guess that I regret not being a better journal keeper.  It always seemed that if I had time and inclination I wasn't having a full, fun and busy life.   Most of the time that I was involved in creating memories worthy of writing them I was too exhausted or did not have enough time or energy to get them down on paper.  

I love watching my children, especially my daughters and daughters-in-law, be better than I was at their age.  Jenny writes in her journal all of the time.  She has made it a part of her life.  I have to find out how she does it.   

Technology has been a boon to my journal writing.  Writing on the computer is way easier and faster.  The best I did at keeping a journal was when every Sunday I would write to my missionary sons about my week.  The most comprehensive records I kept were my calendars -- at least my posterity will know how I spent all of my time!  Now I keep my calendar online and write little journal snippets in the notes sections of the day.  After each month I print out the whole monthly calendar and put it in my notebook.   Sometimes I write about my ideas and feelings as I read my scriptures. 

I am still struggling with consistency in journal writing.  But I am still struggling and wrestling with it.  My advice to any of you young mothers is "get back on the horse", try it another way, don't give up, never surrender.  Find your way.  It is of utmost importance.

"I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences.  I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me."  ~Helen Keller~

"Write…your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies."  ~President Spencer W. Kimball~

Monday, February 27, 2012


I really believe in the commandment:   "... and men are, that they might have joy."  2 Nephi 2:25.  The ultimate freedom is to be able to choose how we feel.  So I choose JOY!  I tried to teach my kids to love BEING HAPPY and the skill to be able to make yourself happy.  One of my greatest memories was driving my blue Volkswagon Vanagon, fully loaded with my six kids and whatever stowaways, windows wide open to the world, radio blaring Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy!" and everybody singing along as loud as they could. 

I am sure I embarrassed the heck out of some of my kids.  But under those conditions how could anyone resist being happy!   I suppose it could work with just one person, but the more the merrier -- happiness is contagious.  I think I'll buy the song from iTunes and go driving around.  Wanna come with?                       

Here is a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy......
Ain't got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don't worry, be happy
The land lord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don't worry, be happy
Look at me I am happy
Don't worry, be happy
Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me
I make you happy
Don't worry, be happy
Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got not girl to make you smile
But don't worry be happy
Cause when you worry
Your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don't worry, be happy (now).....
There is this little song I wrote
I hope you learn it note for note
Like good little children
Don't worry, be happy
Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
But when you worry
You make it double
Don't worry, be happy......
Don't worry don't do it, be happy
Put a smile on your face
Don't bring everybody down like this
Don't worry, it will soon past
Whatever it is
Don't worry, be happy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Families Really Can Be Together Forever (Part II REFUGIO)

In a talk I heard someone important say that no child who has grown up into an adult looks back to his or her childhood and fondly remembers the remodeled bathroom.  Good childhood memories almost always have to do with family tradition, vacations and activities.  While we did not have all the money in the world to spend when our kids were young, we still had enough to have choices on how we spent our time and money. 

We sort of just fell into this tradition by accident:  CAMPING AT THE BEACH!  When my oldest was eleven and my youngest was one we came to visit our good friends when they were camping at Carpenteria.  Although we had planned on a one night stay, we ended up staying longer -- everyone was having so much fun!  The next year we made reservations for a whole week and have been camping at the beach every year since -- my youngest is twenty eight now.  This tradition grew to include many families and friends over the years. This year Bill and I witnessed our grandchildren playing on the beach with our friends' grandchildren.  Dejavu!