Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Now We Are Six

Connor and Will

Now We Are Six
by a.a. miln

When I was One
I had just begun.
When I was Two
I was nearly new.
When I was Three,
I was hardly me.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
But now I am Six,
I'm as clever as clever,
So I think I'll be Six now
for ever and ever.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


There sat two glasses filled to the brim,
On a rich man's table, rim to rim;
One was ruddy and red as blood,
And one as clear as the crystal flood.

Said the glass of wine to the paler brother:
"Let us tell the tales of the past to each other;
I can tell of banquet and revel and mirth,
And the proudest and grandest souls on earth
Fell under my touch as though struck by blight,
Where I was king, for I ruled in might;
From the heads of kings I have torn the crown,
From the heights of fame I have hurled men down:
I have blasted many an honored name;
I have taken virtue and given shame;
I have tempted the youth with a sip, a taste,
That has made his future a barren waste.
Greater, far greater than king am I,
Or than any army beneath the sky.
I have made the arm of the driver fail,
And sent the train from the iron rail;
I have made good ships go down at sea,
And the shrieks of the lost were sweet to me,
For they said, 'Behold how great you be!
Fame, strength, wealth, genius before you fall,
For your might and power are over all.'
Ho! ho! pale brother," laughed the wine,
"Can you boast of deeds as great as mine?"

Said the water glass: "I cannot boast
Of a king dethroned or a murdered host;
But I can tell of a heart once sad,
By my crystal drops made light and glad;
Of thirsts I've quenched, of brows I've laved,
Of hands I have cooled, and souls I have saved;
I have leaped through the valley, dashed down the mountain,
Flowed in the river and played in the fountain,
Slept in the sunshine and dropped from the sky,
And everywhere gladdened the landscape and eye.
I have eased the hot forehead of fever and pain;
I have made the parched meadows grow fertile with grain;
I can tell of the powerful wheel of the mill,
That ground out the flour and turned at my will,
I can tell of manhood debased by you,
That I have lifted and crowned anew.
I cheer, I help, I strengthen and aid;
I gladden the heart of man and maid;
I set the chained wine-captive free;
And all are better for knowing me."

These are the tales they told each other,
The glass of wine and the paler brother,
As they sat together filled to the brim,
On the rich man's table, rim to rim.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunday, May 24, 2009


On this Memorial Day 2009, I would like to pay tribute to all those who have so bravely fought and died for the freedoms we enjoy in these beautiful and wonderful United States of America.

Thoughts of those who have lost their lives to preserve the freedoms we enjoy each day causes me to feel deep gratitude not only for them, but for my own loved ones who all returned home safely after military service.

Five of my uncles served during World War II. Their experiences were difficult and harrowing to say the very least. All five returned home safely after the war. Each of these uncles has been a great influence for good in my life and the lives of many others.

My husband and two sons honorably served and defended our country in military service during three different wars: my wonderful husband, Lloyd Alan Kilpack during the Viet Nam War, our son Travis Hurst Kilpack served before, during and after Desert Storm, and our son Christopher Alan Kilpack served during the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thankfully, they each safely completed their military service and, like my uncles, each live lives that influence others for good. I am so very proud of each of them.

Thanks to all those who have and who currently serve in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. God bless you all and GOD BLESS THE USA.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Home Remedies

I have a confession. I recently fell prey to cheap magazine subscription prices for Redbook, Woman's Day and Ladies Home Journal. Though I admit to being a devotee of some magazines (Country Home, Country Living, Home Companion, and Cowboys and Indians, to name a few), RB, WD, and LHJ have never even been on my "Top 20" list. As I began receiving and scanning my new magazines, I found them to be wanting in useable info (for me that is). While I'm sure some folks find them enthralling, after a quick perusal I give them straight away to the care center. In the new edition of LHJ, however, I did find a bit of "worthy-for-sharing" home remedy stuff. Let me know if you think it was worth the $6 subscription.

Relieves a bee sting in minutes and reduces pain for more than five hours.

Helps prevent and shorten intestinal infections and decreases the risk of diarrhea while taking antibiotics. The yogurt must contain probiotics in order to be effective. Yogurts containing “live cultures” may help, but not quite as much.

Chewing Gum
Chewing sugarless gum for half an hour after eating helps prevent or reduce heartburn.

Dish Detergent
When used within two hours of exposure, dish detergent helps prevent a reaction to poison ivy. Rub full strength dish soap on affected area for 25 seconds before rinsing.
Any brand of dish soap should do the trick.

Newly discovered to be a powerful, safe and effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. More effective than medications. The recommended dosage is three 0.02ml capsules each day. (Not to be used if you have esophageal reflux or hiatal hernia.)

Helps calm pregnancy-related morning sickness and vomiting. Also reduces motion sickness. Steep a slice of fresh ginger about the size of a pat of butter in a cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes and drink an hour before travel. Dried ginger tea is also effective.

Camphor-Eucalyptus-Menthol Ointment
Good ol’ Vicks VapoRub (or similar formulas) has been found to be more effective than prescription medication against toenail fungus that makes toenails thick, yellow and unsightly. Used twice daily, the ointment should be effective after 5 to 16 months of use (takes that long for bad toenail to be replaced with new growth).

Baby Shampoo
Helps heal itchy, red, sore eyelids (sometimes caused by makeup of contact lenses). Dilute three drops shampoo with six tablespoons water, apply to eyelids with cotton ball, then rinse with warm water twice daily.

Duct Tape
Duct tape removes warts better than freezing therapy. Cover wart with duct tape for at least six days, remove overnight, replace tape the next day. Repeat until wart is gone (process may take up to two months).

A spoonful of honey calms a cough better than over-the-counter cough syrup. One to two teaspoons is sufficient for an adult. Never give honey to a baby under one year of age.

Witch Hazel
Helps fight Herpes simplex ( cold sores). Dab cold sore with witch hazel-soaked cotton swab several times each day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I recently finished reading Krakatoa by Simon Winchester. This is by far one of the best books I have ever read: enlightening, entertaining, fascinating, instructive, amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to learn.

A few of the things I learned from this wonderful book are:

1. Krakatoa is/was a small island in the Sunda Strait with three volcanoes on it, Curly, Mo, and Larry. ( I named them that)
2. The Sunda Strait is a narrow passage between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia and has been a busy ship channel for hundreds of years. Lots of spices come from there including pepper and nutmeg.
3. Krakatoa erupted in August 1883 and killed more people than any other volcano in recorded history. The explosions were so loud, they were heard 2000 miles away.
4. When Krakatoa erupted (Curly, Mo, and Larry all at once) in 1883 the entire island disappeared into the sea except a small piece that still today sticks up out of the ocean like a large, lonely dog ear (probably Larry’s ear actually)
5. Almost immediately after Krakatoa erupted in 1883, a new volcano began to form, little by little deep down on the ocean floor. It is an island again and sticks well up into the sky.
It is now called Anak Krakatao or Son of Krakatoa. It grows taller every single day and could erupt at any moment.
6. There are hundreds of volcanoes all around the world.
7. The earth has huge plates deep under the surface that move a lot. When the plates overlap it causes earthquakes. These overlaps cause gas to build up inside the earth. Just like humans and animals, the earth has to pass gas. It passes gas through volcanoes.
8. The earth also has waste products to pass as well. The waste products spewed out of the volcanoes create amazingly fertile soil where vegetation grows in great abundance.

Side note:
This particular part made me think…..a lot. I thought about how animal waste has been used forever for fertilizer. It was a constant during my childhood to have the manure spreader parked by the barn. When the corral got deep in cow poo (manure), the farmer (my uncles and cousins) would use a tractor with a scoop on the front to load the manure from the corral into the manure spreader. Then the manure spreader would be pulled to the field and the manure would be spread all over the field to fertilize the farmland. This process was and is very effective.

The volcanoes basically are a giant manure spreader, spreading fertilizer in a huge way across large pieces of earth which makes it very fertile. A more effective than the manure spreader, less manual labor.

Scientists have recently decided that cow gas (flatulation) is causing global warming.

It has long been known that volcano eruptions cause global cooling by covering the earth with a fine film of volcanic matter that keeps the sun from getting through. So we should keep plenty of cows around to create a balance in the weather when volcanoes erupt. (Just a thought.)

Scientists now generally concur that the earth’s land masses were once all in one piece. If you look at a world map, you can easily see how all the pieces of land could fit together like puzzle pieces.

Another little side note:
In our church, we believe that the earth is a living thing. We believe that when Adam and Eve lived on the earth, pre-yummy apple, the earth was a paradise full of health, peace and joy.

After the fall (the apple incident), the earth fell also into a less paradisiacal state where mortals could live and make themselves happy or miserable.

We believe in the second coming of Christ. We believe that when Christ comes again, the earth will be renewed and return to its paradisiacal glory. In order for the earth to return to this glorious state some serious changes will need to be made; some housecleaning, if you will.

If you read Isaiah 65:17-25 and Doctrine and Covenants 101:23-31, you see how the earth will be cleansed to prepare it for the Second Coming. It will be a paradise again.
So, back to the volcanoes.

9. There are volcanoes in big lines around the earth. They are mostly on the outside edges of various countries. If you look closely at their locations, you can see how, if they all exploded due to the plates moving underground, it could easily push the pieces of the earth back together. The massive volcanic eruptions would cover the earth with great fertilizer and BOOM! Paradise.

This blog is dedicated to my son Chris, because he will love this book as much as I did.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Spenserian Stanza

While "instant messaging" with Abby recently, she was working on a homework assignment. The assignment was to write a Spenserian stanza. Abby challenged me to write my own Spenserian stanza while she wrote hers.

I first required some “instant” instruction from Abby on what exactly a Spenserian stanza was. I was “instantly” taught the following:

The Spenserian stanza is a fixed verse form invented by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599) for his epic poem The Faerie Queene.

Each stanza of the poem is structured in this manner:

ABABBCBCC is the rhyme scheme, meaning that A lines end with rhyming words like go and Joe
The B lines end with different rhyming words like bat, cat, sat, and rat
The C lines end with yet a different set of rhyming words like car, bar, star.
Each stanza needs 9 lines.
The first eight lines in iambic pentameter (10 syllables per line).
The ninth line is set in iambic hexameter (12 syllables in the ninth line).

This is the first stanza of The Faerie Queene by Mr. Spencer

So dreadfully he towards him did pas,
Forelifting vp aloft his speckled brest,
And often bounding on the brused gras,
As for great ioyance of his newcome guest.
Eftsoones he gan aduance his haughtie crest,
As chauffed Bore his bristles doth vpreare,
And shoke his scales to battell readie drest;
That made the Redcrosse knight nigh quake for feare,
As bidding bold defiance to his foeman neare.

This is my Spenserian stanza.

Jakie Jakerson

Jakie Jakerson went happy walking
Down the lane where lilies dance mid dark loam
Mosey mostly with no need of talking
West east north, avoiding way toward home
No thought for planning, plenty time to roam.
Onward, wandering, sniffing. Now a quest!
South, now west and bolting, slobbering foam,
Panting, hurry, sniff, wagging, heaving chest;
Now done, tuckered, landing plop mid damp grass and rest.
By Mellanee Kilpack

Abby’s Spenserian stanza

Google Maps: Street View
(A Spenserian Stanza Experiment)

A long and lonesome road that winds through hills;
O’er forests, dales, the country sweet it roams.
It sees the land, the farmer as he tills,
The portly kids at rest, the lovely homes.
At sea it stops- Held by the ocean foams,
The friendless little road begins to weep
Above and way beyond the blue sky domes
Nowhere but back, through mountains tall and steep,
Retracing steps, he turns away from oceans deep.
By Abby Roberts

If you would like to learn more about Spenserian stanzas, you may wish to visit the following website: http://www.english.cam.ac.uk/spenser/stanza/about.html

Thanks Abby for just one more of the many things you have taught me and for always making learning with you so much fun, from finding bugs in dirt to Spenserian stanzas.
Love you forever,