Author Archives: Melodie

“I didn’t know you were smart…”


It was several weeks ago I sat in a conference with a group of co-workers doing a 3 minute free write on a children’s book the presenter had just read. Me being the eternal optimist I wrote a diatribe about being distracted by the readers too fast reading and constant interjections of stories instead of my emotional reaction to the story. The facilitator asked us to read our writing to our group, so I was kindly volunteered to go first. I am pretty confident in my writing ability so I wasn’t particularly scared, but this group of coworkers didn’t know me well. I read my piece and one of the ladies looks at me and says, “Wow, those are big words. I didn’t know you were smart!”

I know, right?! Okay, so I was more amused than offended because frankly I’m a good writer…and I do use big words. I use them in conversation too. I have a great vocabulary. It’s my parents fault. They bought me all those gosh darn books. Well there was that lady at the public library that gave me the magic card too but mostly is was my evil parents fault! Anyhoo…this women was well intentioned, but it was poorly executed. I appreciated all the other wonderfully impressed comments that reflected the nature of my writing and not my intelligence.

So the whole purpose of this rant is to tell you about a book I just purchased called 642 Things To Write About by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. A creative haven for an ADD freak with poor follow through. I will see how many topics I can get through before I lose interest, get too busy or some other fancy takes hold. Just keepin it real people…thanks for listening!

Happy Sunday!


Willie Nelson


My closest friend for years and I  have this unspoken Instagram challenge in our hearts against each other.

Okay, so I hate him just a little bit because he takes amazingly, inspired gorgeous pictures.

He could care less about my inner turmoil and continues to praise my attempts at creativity.

I love him for that.

So when I was browsing through my Instagram feed last night and came across a beautiful picture he had taken with the quote, “The more I see of the representatives of the people, the more I admire my dogs.”, I knew something bad happened.

I’m not sure there is anything more difficult than watching a man lose a dog, except possibly a momma losing her baby.

It leaves a woman speechless and helpless.

I know this because not very long ago I had to watch my husband make the decision to put his childhood dog to sleep.

I didn’t have words for my friend that would take the pain away, but I wanted Willie to be remembered on the pages of this blog.  Not with my words, but with photographs taken by the man he faithfully followed until his last breath.

Willie Nelson

We will miss you!

Random Acts of Annoyance


On Mother’s Day I had the pleasure of having a conversation about “religion” with my brother-in-law and husband.

A few days before I had another conversation about general acts of human kindness.

My religion conversation boiled down to four simple letters…L…O…V…E…!

Love like Jesus did and you will make the world a better place through no fault of your own.

You will be unable to help it.

It will be the toughest, most complicated and universally frustrating task on the planet, but you will be a better human being for it.

Which brings me to my second conversation of general acts of human kindness.

I’m not talking Random Acts of Kindness that make someones day a little brighter.

I’m talking about the things we humans do to make another humans life easier.

Instead of general acts of human kindness our culture has moved to this:

Random Acts of Annoyance


Someone actually took the time to walk the cart to the cart return, but then got too lazy to actually put it into the right side.

Seriously, if you are going to be lazy at least commit and leave the cart at your parking space.

Don’t we see these little acts that make people’s jobs harder everyday?

I’m not trying to stand on my high horse because guess where I left those carts after I took the picture?

I’m embarrassed to say this, but it didn’t occur to me until writing this post to actually fix it and make it better for several people.

I just walked to my car thinking that I was at least better than those people.

It’s that LOVE thing again…!

Had I been loving like Jesus loved I wouldn’t have had time to get so full of myself.

Go out and spread some general acts of kindness or fix some random acts of annoyance!

Make someone’s day easier….

Happy Tuesday!!

Blindsided By Blessing…


Have you ever felt bogged down with life?

Ever felt if one more trial, trauma, dilema, catastrophe or problem came up you were done?

That’s how I woke up this morning.

That’s how I came to work this morning.

Then two things happened that changed it all.

A friend let me talk…

If you have ever had a friend who isn’t capable of this you are nodding your head right now in understanding!

No advice…no problem solving…no deep spiritual bonding

It was if the proverbial world had been removed from me.

 In case I hadn’t been blessed enough by that, I was perusing the Pioneer Woman blog and discovered one of my photos had been featured on her blog.

She does Photography Assignments periodically and this assignment was to take a picture with your camera phone.  It could be enhanced and altered with any software on your phone.

Here is the photo featured!

There were over 300,000 photos entered so I felt incredibly blessed to be picked by her. 

There are some amazing pictures in these groups and you should check them all out.

Here are some of the other photos I submitted:

April Showers…




Crabby Apples

Itty Bitty

Home Invasion



Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Go check out the other camera phone photos at the Pioneer Woman blog!

Happy Tuesday!!




all I needed to know about FRIENDSHIP…I learned in a computer lab full of kindergarteners!



Today is the first day back from Spring Break for my students.

It’s always a hard transition back into school, so I didn’t make them do anything in the computer lab that required them to listen to Mrs. Good “wha wha wha wha”, or teach as I like to call it.

I gave them the opportunity to do an educational activity – which translates to “game” in their minds.

This has been an exercise in human behavior for me since I took this job at the beginning of this school year.

I finally put it all together today, while eavesdropping on their conversations.

They sit in pairs in the computer lab and I haven’t dictated where they sit for the last several months.

Inevitably they sit by their friend and I am treated to several examples of friendship in a short 25 minutes.

What I discovered this morning is friendships don’t change all that much from when we are 5 to when we are 35.

Here’s what I heard as the students opened their computer programs:

“Let’s go here!” – The leader in the friendship tells the follower what is going to happen, fully expecting the follower to do what they say.  The follower looks at the leaders computer screen and then at their own, thinking they really wanted to go somewhere else, but do they risk saying anything.  The leader repeats the directive and the follower gives in. 

Sad to say, but this pattern will repeat itself over and over in these two students lives until they are adults most likely!


“I’m going on something else.  Are you?” – The follower has grown little tiny wings.  It is a small step at being their own leader.  There is that tiny follower voice asking, “If I do something on my own, will you still be my friend?”  The results are about 50/50.  Some students continue on with their own activity if the leader tells them no and others cave to the pressure of being liked and stay on the same activity as the leader. 

This is not too far from some adult friendships I’ve witnessed and some I’ve had!


“We can still be friends if we don’t do the same thing!” – This was said with such compassion and kindness.  It gave me hope and made me want to be like a 5-yr old.  It was an affirmation that said I will sit beside you and enjoy what I want to, but will take time to be excited with you when you find something cool.  It expressed that sometimes what you are doing will be so interesting to us both that we will want to share it together. Occasionally we will be so interested in our own activity we will not need each to say anything. 

Isn’t that the kind of friendship we all want? And the kind of friend we should aspire to be?

Thank you…Mrs. Scott’s Class for teaching me all I needed to know about friendship this morning!!

Happy Monday!

“I tell you sumpin!”


They say you are supposed to be objective and treat all students equal as an educator.

Outwardly we do our best, but our heart gravitates toward certain students.

This year it was, “I tell you sumpin!”

She was a chubby cheeked, blond ball of fire who must have repeated that phrase every time she opened her mouth.

She lit up my world every single day with her boldness, politeness and even her slight bend toward mischief.

Notice I am speaking in the past tense…

That is because “I tell you sumpin!” is no longer going to my school.

See she comes from a sad but all to common situation in that she is being raised by her grandparents.

Grandparents that have the odds stacked against them…but are determined to raise a polite, independent, delightful young girl the very best they can.

 I can say these grandparents only made one mistake.

And it’s horribly selfish on my part…

I wanted to say goodbye to “I tell you sumpin” and they didn’t let us.

I wanted to tell her I love her and she made my day brighter and if her mom never tells her that she is beautiful and important and good and wonderful and spectacular and awesome and kind and smart…

I know she is all of those things and so much more…

So God I leave it in Your hands!

“I tell you sumpin!” – BC

You are…











loved more than all the fishies in the sea and all the stars in the sky

“just in case you ever wonder”!

Love,   Mrs. Good

P.S. I know there are boundaries that educators are required to have and before my email is bombarded with emails on how inappropriate my statements are please know this – I was simply expressing a desire and NOT describing an action.  


Thank you so much Mom and Dad for giving up two years of your life to raise my daughter. 

 I know the circumstances were not the same, but the sacrifice was.

I am so blessed to know that Taylor is the young woman she is today because in my absence you raised her as I would have and made sure she knew she was all of the above things!

I will always be indebted to you for the wonderful impact you had on my baby….and you too, Aunt Sarah!


Happy Wednesday All!!

P.S. Tell someone they are important to you today and tomorrow and everyday after….

52 Cupcakes-in-a-Jar Project Jar #2 – Coconut Vanilla Cupcake with Blackberry filling and Marshmallow Frosting


I know…I know, this CIAJ is a mouthful. 

I tried to come up with a shorter name, but nothing seemed to work.

There were several things I would do differently with this experiment, but overall the taste combination is delicious.

#1 – The inspiration recipe I used said to use a boxed mix.  I would use a scratch recipe next time.  It needed a more dense cake. 

#2 – I would have used bigger jars or just put one layer of cake and frosting in the smaller jar.  After reviews from my taste testers, they loved the smaller jars.  Looks like it will be one layer of cake in the future.

#3 – Next time I may scrap the filling and rough chop the blackberries and add them to the batter.  I may also leave the coconut out of the filling and just sprinkle the toasted coconut on the top.  Maybe I will add a little coconut extract to the batter with the berries to meld all the flavors.

#4 – I would beat the living tar out of the Marshmallow Frosting.  I thought I beat it enough, but in hindsight I would probably beat it another 5-10 minutes depending on what it looks like.  Have no fear though…this is a frosting I will make again and again and again.  🙂

Here’s the What’s Up with the Recipe

Bake your favorite from scratch white cake and add the following:

2  tsp vanilla bean paste

3/4 c. shredded coconut

Bake in a 11×17 jelly roll pan so it can be cut into circles for the jars.  Let cool before cutting.

Blackberry Filling

1 pint fresh blackberries, cut in half

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. water

1/2 c. coconut

Add blackberries, sugar and water to a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Cook together until sugar is dissolves and mixtures is slightly thickened.  Take off the heat and stir in coconut.  Set aside until ready to assemble cupcakes.

Marhsmallow Frosting

Beat together until very very frothy:

2 egg whites 

 1/4 tsp salt

Slowly add and beat until very smooth, thick and glossy:

1/4 c. white sugar

Slowly add and beat until stiff, stiff peaks form:

3/4 c. karo syrup

Gently fold in:

1 tsp vanilla extract

I have to give credit where credit is due and I completely stole inspiration from the blog Get Off Your Butt and Bake.  Now Jonna changed the address of her blog and I can’t find the original inspiration recipe, but I did find you step by step directions on the Marshmallow Frosting.  Plus she has some awesome stuff going on over there so go check her out. 

Did I mention that I’m a little happy the original recipe disappeared because her cupcakes were far prettier than mine.  Maybe that’s why I’m a little disappointed in the final product.  Better luck next time.

Happy Tuesday!


Things I Adore…according to my IPhone!



Stella Lu Who Who!!

Pancakes with Peanut Butter and syrup…DELICIOUS!!

These two adorable munchkins…mostly because M. can get ice cream in Taylor’s hair and she doesn’t even care all that much.  She was a little surprised by his exuberance though.

Did I mention M.? He makes my day every day and he isn’t even mine.  I borrow him to bring a daily dose of infectious delight and smiles to my day.  His mom lets me which I think is super nice of her….like nicest thing in the whole world nice.  He loves to play “puffer fish” with Mantha.  Oh and he let’s me go eat ice cream with him.  I love that he thinks I’m cool to hang out with.


Oh yeah…Stella Lu!  Weird, I have alot of pictures of her on my IPhone.

This gorgeous man I could not live without.  Even though I just called him and he answered the phone with, “What…what do you want?!”  It was in a playful tone, but I will make him pay for it later.

And last but not least this beautiful place I live in…Wyoming!!

Happy Friday!!

Tangerines, Limes and Stuff….


You may have noticed a tangerine trend lately. 

That is because I bought a bag of tangerines and they don’t seem to be disappearing from my refrigerator. 

So I have been forced to bake with them. 

 It has been a real trial.  Frankly I’m dog gone tired of it. 🙂


Here is my latest Love Child between me and my tangerines:

I completely ripped of the Lemon Bar recipe.  Sorry…little lemons!

And if having an affair with the tangerines wasn’t enough, I had to make out with a lime right after.

I understand Lemon if we can no longer be married.

I’ve been cheating on you with limes for years now anyway….sucka!!

I digress…time for the recipe:

Tangerine Lime Bars

1 c. (2 sticks) butter

1/2 c. powdered sugar

2 c. flour

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


4 eggs

1 1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. flour

2 tangerines, juiced

1 lime, juiced

zest of 1 tangerine

zest of half a lime

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together butter, flour, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Press into a 9×13 pan.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden brown.  In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, and flour.  Whisk in the eggs and the tangerine and lime juice.  Add zest.  Pour over the baked crust.

4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.  The bars will firm up as they cool. 



I put mine in the refrigerator to speed up the process, because I’m impatient like that.

I also save all the corner pieces for myself because I love them the best and am selfish like that.

I never said I was free of character flaws…

Happy Thursday, My Peeps!!!