Children, Family, Sharing

Where Did September Go?

  Thanksgiving turkey and pilgrim girl

Dear Aunt Alice,

You said you would be back in September, but we haven’t heard from you. Did you mean September 2012?

Puzzled and Pouting

Dear Puzzled and Pouting,

I can understand your confusion, as I am usually very good at keeping my word, and it is now November, not September. I hope you will forgive me for not returning as quickly as I’d hoped.

The last week of August, I had a severe reaction to a tetanus shot, which caused me a great deal of pain and misery. It was very scary, as well, as I didn’t realize at first that I was having a reaction to the immunization and thought I might be having a stroke.  I still haven’t fully recovered, though I’m about 90% improved.

Worse, after nearly 25 years of marriage, I now find myself in the middle of a divorce. None of the horror stories I have heard from my divorced friends over the years have prepared me for the intense stress and daily struggles that I have been facing, and I simply haven’t had either the time or the energy to write on top of everything else.

I expect that in many ways things will get worse before they get better, and I have sincerely debated this past week whether or not I should close down this blog entirely. After all, there’s only so much a person can do in a day. Taking care of my children comes first, and I am also working toward earning a degree from BYU. Those two things alone take up most of my time. Add in the professional freelance writing and editing that I do, and I’m lucky to find time each day to sneak a bite of chocolate. And we all know how important that is!

But I really do enjoy this blog (maybe not as much as I enjoy chocolate, but still).  So I not only decided to keep it going, but sat down today and planned out an editorial calendar for most of the coming year. You will be seeing more recipes, more money-saving tips, and a monthly post containing tips and suggestions for emergency preparedness.

I hope this will put a smile on your pouty face. After all, this is the month for giving thanks. And no matter the challenges we face, there is always something to be grateful for.

Aunt Alice

Thank you for asking!

Family, Fourth of July, Holidays, Independence Day, Sharing

July Fourth Quiz: How much do you REALLY know about our Founding Fathers?

Happy Independence Day!

Do you and your family have fun plans for this fourth of July?

Photo by linder6580 at

I have two family members who avoid going outside during the fireworks due to asthma, but tonight we’re going to have homemade pizzas, red-white-and-blue Jell-o (whipped topping for the white) and an as yet to be determined desert (though it will likely involve something either frozen or chocolate, or both!). Then we’ll probably spend the evening playing games, and maybe watching  “I Dream of Jeannie” or a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

(Yes, I do realize what century we’re in. Thank you for asking.)

Fun aside, I also plan to take a few minutes tomorrow to remind my children of how the United States became a country, and of some of the sacrifices that many men and women made so that we could be free.

Have a safe, and happy, fourth of July!

(Note: the original link to the Founding Fathers quiz has been deleted,
due to complaints about the host site. Instead, you can find the original
questions and their answers below. I apologize for any inconvenience.)

For fun, see how many of these trivia questions you can answer correctly:

  1. Who convinced General Washington to attend the Constitutional Convention, even announcing his expected attendance before the general agreed to come?

    • Benjamin Franklin
    • John Adams
    • Thomas Jefferson
    • James Madison
  2. True or False: Even though Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, he was anti-slavery and proposed a bill in 1784 to avoid its spread

    • False
    • True
  3. Who was called “America’s noble patriot” by his contemporaries?

    • George Washington
    • Patrick Henry
    • Thomas Jefferson
  4. During the French & Indian War, George Washington

    • stayed out of the fray, and so escaped unharmed.
    • was injured severly, but miraculously recovered.
    • was unhurt, even though he had four bullets through his coat & 2 horses shot out from under him.
  5. At age 15, John Adams

    • met his future wife, Abigail.
    • entered Harvard University
    • became a schoolmaster.
  6. True or False: George Washington freed all of his slaves in his will

    • True
    • False
  7. In addition to authoring the Declaration of Independence, for which of his many accomplishments did Thomas Jefferson most want to be remembered:

    • Author of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom
    • President of the United States
    • Secretary of State
    • Minister to France
  8. Benjamin Franklin:

    • was an agnostic.
    • had a firm belief in God.
    • was an atheist.


  1. James Madison convinced Washington to attend the Constitutional Convention.
  2. True. Though  Jefferson did own slaves, he did make an effort to end the practice of slavery.
  3. Patrick Henry was called “The Noble Patriot.”
  4. Amazingly, Washington was completely unhurt during the French and Indian War, although in one of the worst battles every other mounted officer was killed. Washington himself wrote of this: “By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human robablility or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!” (as quoted in “Founding Fathers, Uncommon Heroes,” by Steven W. Allen, p.51)
  5. John Adams entered Harvard University at age 15.
  6. More than anything, James Madison wished to be remembered for his contribution as Author of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom .
  7. Benjamin Franklin was not an atheist, as some have claimed but had a firm belief in God. (See his autobiography, as well as some of his other writings.)