menopausal roadkill

yup. sometimes I am roadkill.
often i allow it.

when did i start letting my emotions get the better of me?  although I have always been a heart-on-her-sleeve kind of girl, it seems like I have this need to bubble right up to the surface lately.

such and such is starting to really get under my skin
time to be honest (cry cry cry).  i am unhappy with this situation...

not a bad thing, honesty.  but i am ragged out after all of those feelings leave my body, sometimes like a slow leak, but lately more like an all out explosion.

this premenopausal state is a tough place to live in.  

on the way home from dinner with my husband tonight, i had a total flashback to our first few dates.  we were byu students.  it was Fall.  25 years ago.  it was like i could smell football and leaves and apples and all of the other symbols of the season.

and even though i was jamming to some loud moroccan music as i reminisced, the little spicy tears welled up.

courage, kazzy.  courage.  it will all be over in a few years.


Six eyes to look outside and check the weather. Come back and report to the class.

Then those same eyes stare up at me asking,

"How will you teach me today?"
"Will we sing?"
"Can I paint my picture of the fish?"

You pull off your shoes and put your socks on your hands and wave to me from your seat, and I just smile, because really, who wouldn't?

You are my morning reward.

review of Melanie Jacobsen's Not My Type

WhAt TyPe ArE yOu?

I just finished reading Melanie Jacobsen's Not My Type, and I gotta tell ya, it feels pretty appropriate to sit here at my computer and write a review about it, considering that the main character, Pepper, does the same thing at her job as a grunt journalist.

I haven't read a book like Melanie's for so long, that I felt like a sponge, soaking up the language of teen-twenties' sarcasm. And the identity crisis that comes with a broken engagement?  Been there.  Done that.

As Pepper is trying to re-enter life as a single adult, I found myself pulling for her to hold on to her quirkiness (which she does), and reshape her attitude (which she also does).  This character is real and independent, and she grows with each chapter, as she follows her therapist/father's advice to show more gratitude in her life. I could have used that advice 25 years ago.  sigh...

The supporting characters in this book are fun and affirming, and the best part is that they each, directly and indirectly, play a part in Pepper's life getting back on track.  I am a supporting-cast kind of reader.  If a main character is developed fully that is well and good, but texture comes from everyone around her/him.  Texture galore here.

I found Melanie's voice on every page, having spent time with her before.  It was an honest book and one that will have mass appeal. Such a fun read!

hail to the queen

I couldn't help myself. There we were at the wedding dinner last Friday night and I was seated right behind Aunt Larene. The 88-year old woman who never changes. Who always has a sweet smile. Who has taken great care of herself. Who has the most brilliant white hair I have ever seen. I had to snap a photo so that I could remember that it's ok to get old. And maybe one day I can be a silvery queen too.

memories of the desert

1400 miles in 48 hours. Throw in a wedding dinner, wedding, and a couple of great hotels. This was my weekend.

Geo and I had not driven to SoCal since we left there over 17 years ago. We had had a great experience in LA when he attended USC for his PhD, but time marches on, the family grows, and priorities shift. So an invite to a wedding was a great excuse for a getaway, just the 2 of us.

I was really struck by the Mojave on this trip. Interesting in its own way, but dry and scratchy and lonely. We made that trip twice a year between 1989 and 1994 when we would drive from LA to Salt Lake to visit family. Before cell phones. With 2 babies. Yikes.

So now, as we are 120 miles from home, I glance up from my iPad and over at my husband's face. A little drier and scratchier than it may have been 17 years ago when we left California for our new home in Utah. But not lonely like the desert. Not lonely at all.

We are two cedar trees sitting side by side, ready to withstand this life. Together.


One thing we hear over and over again in special education is that for kids with special needs direct instruction works best. Direct instruction is where the teacher explicitly teaches and students watch as she takes them through a lesson. As opposed to exploratory learning, where a concept is introduced and the students do a lot of self-teaching, through group activities, trial and error, etc. I even had a special ed professor who said this latter type of teaching was the "hippie way." you may as well sit around smoking something and talking about your feelings with the students Ah, I loved that professor...

In my class you hear a lot of this:
"This is a seven, class. What is this?"

And the students give the choral response:
"A seven!"

My response:
"Yes, it is a seven. This is an eight. What is this?"

Their choral response:
"An eight!"

Etcetera, etcetera.

I was a skeptic at first, I will admit, but I have become a believer. I even have a sign up on my board that says RESPOND, and by the second day of school my special little kiddos can tell you what the word is and what it means. It is that important in my class. The only time my kids raise their hands is when they need to share a personal comment or ask a question. When it comes to giving answers we do it all together. And believe me, Miss Karen is a stickler, asking the question over and over until every student is answering with every other one.

How much stronger do you feel when you get to answer together with other people? When you say "amen" together? When you sing together? There is power in unifying our voices.

"This is called MORE POWER TO THE PEOPLE, class."

his eye is on the sparrow

it toils not.
neither does it spin.
yet it is watched.  protected.  cared for.

how much more care for us?  how much more flight can we take?  with His breath under our wings we fly and sing our sparrow song.

(click on song title below to hear me sing)

His Eye Is On The Sparrow


My oldest son, Perry August Burton

If you are lucky your 23-year old son comes to your house with his sweet wife to visit and eat your cooking. He hugs you and talks to you about important things, like school and money and church. He sits on the floor and plays with your dog and goes downstairs to bang on his old drum set, which now belongs to his 15-year old brother who is too cool to admit he idolizes him.

If you are lucky you exchange texts and follow each other on instagram. You are real-life and virtual friends.

And the best thing is that he is your boy. Forever.

with one hand

My net is shrinking.

Maybe it is the stage I am at in my life.  Maybe it is the limited amount of time I have for extra things.  And I am not ruling out impatience.

I have fewer things as Geo and I are in a complete thinning-out frenzy around here.  Every closet has been sliced and diced.  We do not have a garage.  Not a scrap of stuff in the attic.

This has translated into my personal life.  Family, church, work, friends, exercise, and writing here on my blog.  Not much more than that is needed, I find.  A good small collection of what matters.  And even within each category I feel like there has been some dieting.

I like a  more  minimal  life.   It feels fuller, ironically.

Less me.

Less stuff.

Less navigating through stacks of things wondering if they are worth keeping.  What is worth keeping finds its way into my life without so much work, because it isn't hidden behind things.

I can pull my own net with one hand, even when it is full of everything I value.