Thursday, July 22, 2010

Westover's Leftovers- Really?

In the URL of my blog you will see "Westovers Leftovers" in the title and I've had a few questions about why I use the simplistic rhyme on my Blog, so I thought I'd answer. Here it goes...

I was in the 6th grade and the world was my oyster. I was a bit of a trouble maker in class but when the it came time to elect a student body President, I thought, "why not run myself?". If elected I would ensure that chocolate pudding was served at every lunch and recess would be extended an extra 5 minutes. It sounded great, but then it came time to campaign and I had no experience in this area so I turned to my parents for their expertise. Big mistake.

I was told that the first thing I needed was a catchy slogan and it was suggested that I use this gem, "Reach for the stars with Westovers Leftovers." Despite the disgusting image that was conjured in my mind of flesh on a stick, reaching towards the sky, I had no better idea so I used it.

The second thing I needed was advertisement. Afterall, how would people know about my wonderfully catchy slogan unless I told them about it? My parents had an idea. Why not advertise during recess by writing the slogan on a sandwich board (like the picture above). The concept was simple, but brilliant, so I did it.

A couple of days before the election I took the sandwich board to school, with my awesome slogan colored brightly on the front and back, and wore it around at recess. I've got to admit, people noticed, but in hindsight, I don't know that it was the kind of possitive attention I was looking for. In any case, I rode the "Westover's Leftovers" horse as far as I could, but in the end, I was not elected student body president. It was their extra pudding or recess time. What were they thinking?

"Westover's Leftovers" has become a kind of embarrassing badge of honor, so I give it a place of honor on my blog. The end.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Defensive Tactics Drawing

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Tomato Plant "Problem"

We plant and nourish tomato plants with the hope and expectation that one day, the plant will begin to bear fruit. We look forward to eating them fresh, or canning salsa, or making delicious spaghetti sauce, but sometimes we are not prepared to harvest the fruit of our labors.

Before we know it, 1 plant can be overloaded with fruit, and if we have multiple plants, we find ourselves swimming in tomatos with no idea what to do with all of them. In some cases we allow the bugs to creep in and gnaw at our fruit, or we allow them to drop to the ground and rot. When we planted, we liked the idea of having tomatos, and we value the fruit, but we find ourselves unprepared to harvest our crop.

Sometimes our lives are like tomato plants. We begin a project, or two, or three, not knowing when we will see the fruit, but then, all at once, the fruit appears and we don't know how to manage it. We know we don't want to see the fruit we labored for, rot on the ground, or be destroyed by insects, but we don't feel we have the strength, or time, or patience, or ability to harvest all the fruit.

This summer, I have experienced the tomato plant "probelm".

Here's the rundown... 1-Last Fall, I accepted the assignment of serving as President of our local Optimist Club, scheduling activities and fund raisers that benefit the youth of the community. It's a wonderful activity, but the busiest time for the club is late spring/early summer. 2-For a couple of years my wife and I have been attempting to sell our home and acreage to buy a larger home with a smaller acreage. Finally, in Mid-June it was time to paint the new house and move in. 3-Also, I have been writing a couple of novels and as it turns out, in late spring it was time to re-edit and get my first book ready for Summer release. 4-In late spring I agreed to coach my son's baseball team and then a few weeks later 5-I was called to be a Bishop of the brand new Far West Ward. And now that we've been in our home for 2 weeks, 6-it is time to have family start arriving for visits throughout the summer.

Each of these tomatos is a blessing in my life, and individually are not difficult to manage, but I wasn't prepared to receive all of them at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but I did feel overwhelmed and wondered how I would possibly find time to harvest all the fruit without it going bad.

What's the moral of this story? 1. Plan ahead and don't overcommit. 2. If you do find yourself with the tomato "problem", put your head down and get to work. The busy tomato season will end eventually, but in the mean time, its time to work hard, spend the time to make sure all commitments are met and the fruit is harvested. 3. Remember that each tomato is a blessing, not a "problem".