Snippets from the Week

A caregiver came in to wake my 97 year-old Dad up and tend to him this morning. “Don’t wake me up. I’m having a dream that I’m driving,” he said.


Uprising at The Home: Apparently Moz is rabble-rousing at the retirement home. “Yam chips are not supposed to be served cold,” Moz told me indignantly, and then told me that she let the cook know her feelings about this matter. She said the other ladies at her table in the dining hall agreed with her. “We need to make our voices heard!” Moz told them.

Right on, Moz! Power to the people!


I have discovered a new espresso place near Moz and Dad’s – a cheery little walk-in. After I’d ordered my lavender-flavored green iced tea I turned around to find a place to sit while I waited for it, and settled myself into a comfy chair. It was then I noticed I was the only woman in the shop – every other seat and sofa was occupied by a man. “I’m the only woman!” I pointed out. The men said they’d scared all the other women away. “I ain’t ascared,” I said, bravely.

“Not, yet,” came the quiet reply. Laughter all around. 🙂


I was in the detergent aisle of the local supermarket. I do not like the detergent aisle. It makes my eyes water. I hid my nose behind the front of my coat, and went on a search for laundry soap. My favorite detergent is All Free and Clear – no scents, no dyes – and I was comparing the price of the smaller one to the larger one when a woman leaned down, picked up the large All Free and Clear from the bottom shelf and moved on. I looked at the man following behind her and said, “There’s a woman who knows what she wants!” He started laughing, and the woman turned around and grinned. She told me that she doesn’t like any detergents that have perfumes in them – and I told her I held the same opinion – and we had a lovely conversation about chemicals and so forth – and realized we were kindred spirits.


Snippets and connections all around. Highlights from my week. Who knows what the next week will bring? 🙂

And here’s a photo from the week because people always like photos in the posts.


Full Moon in Branches (Karen Molenaar Terrell)


The Time-Meister

This is the time of the year when I re-discover my power over time… I mean…not my power over the whole world’s time or anything, but my power over the time inside my car. I will re-discover my power not because I’m, like, a brilliant quantum physicist, but because I do not know which buttons to push and what order to push them in to move my clock backwards. So for six months I will be driving in a parallel universe to the cars around me – a universe in which my car will be moving in a realm an hour ahead of every other car. Of course, when spring comes all the other cars will catch up with me again. But still… six months as a time-meister ain’t bad, right?


(originally published on

Dear Humoristian Hooligans

My dear Humoristian hooligans – as the sun dawns over another day, may you rise with hearts full of benificent (I’m pretty sure that’s a word, right?) good will to all – armed with jocularity – ready to bring humor to the humorless, to transform the stodgy and stingy wherever you may find them, and to lighten the burdens of the scared and lonely. May your good-natured love of life bring a smile to all who you pass on your journey today. May the barbs and slings of envy, impatience, anger, and fear clink harmlessly off your armor of joy and kindness. And may you see all the beauty and feel all the love surrounding you. Go out there and make them smile! Amen.

Bow Sunrise, Washington State (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

Bow Sunrise, Washington State (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

The Great Tzatziki Sauce Adventure

I’m just now beginning to clear out the mountains of flotsam and jetsam that have washed ashore in my home the last couple months (it has been an epic couple months – enough said). In the tidying (“tidying” is surely the wrong word to use – but I don’t know if there’s a strong enough word for what we’ve got going on here), I came upon the brochure for the Pompeii Exhibit my sons and I attended at the Seattle Science Center during Memorial weekend. The Pompeii Exhibit had been a last-minute thing – I’d managed to buy three of the last tickets for the night before the exhibit closed down and went back to Naples. Ever since I’d read a story about Pompeii in a National Geographic years ago, I’d been fascinated by what archaeologists found there, and was pretty excited to have the opportunity to see it all for myself.

But when I came upon the brochure, the first memory that came to me of our time in Seattle wasn’t of the exhibit – but of an observation my eldest son had made about two hours into our adventure – and I started laughing out loud.

Background: The day hadn’t gone as I’d expected. The roads to the Science Center were unusually crowded, there was road work going on which led me to turn where I don’t usually turn, and finding a parking spot seemed surprisingly difficult. I remember thinking that the Pompeii Exhibit must be really popular.

We’d finally managed to find a parking space in a parking garage and walked over a pedestrian bridge into the Seattle Center. As we entered the Center I noticed official-looking people handing out fliers – this was my first clue that we’d walked innocently into a major event – and then, as we stepped past the gates into a colossal mass of humanity I remembered – duh! – Memorial weekend is the annual weekend for the Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center. Folklife is HUGE!!! – a zany, eclectic extravaganza of dancing, art, and music – bagpipes, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, and folk music blending together and filling the air with a lively (and kind of weird) cacophony of chords and non-chords. And people EVERYWHERE!

Okay. Soooo…..

We were all hungry and decided that, instead of going to the Cheesecake Factory – which had been our original plan – we’d just buy something to eat at one of the Folklife kiosks. We decided to get gyros. Once we got our gyros we started to look around for a table we could sit around while we ate – but there was no table space anywhere – so we began looking for somewhere to, at least, sit. After we’d been walking for maybe five minutes, one of the sons pointed to my shirt and grinned – my gyro had leaked out its white sauce all over my front. I am not exaggerating. I was covered in Tzatziki sauce.

Desperate now to eat my gyro I plunked down, cross-legged, onto the lawn near the Seattle Center fountain and began to eat my oozing, dripping dinner.  I was so obviously in need of help at this point that a kind young father noticed my struggles and, laughing with me at my predicament, handed me a wad of baby wipes from his family’s stash. I tried to wipe off the gyro juice, but I just seemed to be embedding it deeper into my shirt. Finally I threw what was left of my gyro away, and went in search of some place I could hose myself down. I held out my shirt in front of a faucet in a restroom and washed out the Tzatziki, then looked around for a dryer – but this appeared to be one of the few restrooms left on earth that had paper towels instead of dryers.  So I tried to brush myself off with a paper towel – but the little tan fibers from the towel stuck to my shirt, looking something like… well… puke.

I came out of the restroom. I looked at my sons. They looked at me. When we’d found we were in the middle of Folklife Festival we’d decided not to go to the Cheesecake Factory, but now I really wanted a piece of cheesecake. That half of a juicy gyro just hadn’t done it for me.

I thought I knew where the Cheesecake Factory was from the Seattle Center. We boarded the monorail and alighted near Fifth and Pine. I knew the Cheesecake Factory was on Seventh. I began marching up Pine, the sons following behind me. And this is when my eldest son said the line that had me laughing out loud in remembrance a month later: “So we get to the place where the Cheesecake Factory is supposed to be, and it’s been blown up and demolished, and Mom looks at the vacant lot for a minute, and then moves on to the next thing.” And just as he finished saying that line, we got to the corner of Seventh and Pine and I looked across the street – to the place where I thought the Cheesecake Factory should be – and found myself looking at a vacant lot. I looked at it for a minute – in a sort of stoical acceptance – and then wondered if maybe the Cheesecake Factory was at Seventh and Pike instead of Seventh and Pine. Our little troop turned right, walked a block, and found the Cheesecake Factory.

The rest of our evening went without a hitch – we had our just desserts at the restaurant – and it was great! – and then went back to the Seattle Center for the Pompeii Exhibit – which was also great!

But a month later, when I found the Pompeii brochure, what I remembered first was my son making me laugh on the corner of Seventh and Pine.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Bagpiper in Hawaiian shirt at the Seattle Folklife Festival (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell).

Protecting our right to be bigots – does it get any better than this?!

Just when you think the world can’t possibly get any crazier, some new insanity pushes itself through the crowd to claim the Grand Prize. So… did you hear the one about Gov Pence of Indiana signing into law a bill that protects the right of bigots to practice their bigotry? Yeah. It is now legal in the state of Indiana for businesses to reject gay customers. If a bigoted restaurant owner, hotel owner, or grocer, or barber, baker, or candle-stick maker doesn’t want to serve homosexuals, he can now refuse to provide them with goods and services. I mean… heaven forbid that we should discriminate against people who want to discriminate against people for… well… having been born different. Because that would just be wrong… right?

And I’m thinking – let’s not stop there. Let’s put a bill in front of Pence that will protect the right of people to discriminate against other people who were born “different” – red heads are in the minority – let’s put them on the list; and left-handers – they are way scary; and really tall people because they consume too much of our earth’s resources; and people with freckles – those freckled folks should all be discriminated against, for sure.

Of course, I’m not exactly sure how any of this is going to help anyone. The businesses can’t make money off of customers they refuse to serve, right? And the customers can’t help keep the economy going, if people refuse to serve them. AND I’m not sure how, exactly, hating on any of God’s children is showing reverence to God…am I missing something…?

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

come from love

It is difficult to make a man out of drizzle…

We have rain here – loads of drizzly, sloshy, mellow wet. I rather like it.  The beaches and trails are quiet and peaceful – only the hardy (and those of us who are a little crazy) are out there slogging and dancing around in it. But it does make it hard to build a snowman. It is difficult to make a man out of drizzle. Which is why my little snowman from Rite Aid which I have owned, lo, these many years, is so precious to me. Every year I dig him out of wherever I have stashed him – this year it was in a cranny in the garage – and brush him off, fluff out his snowman belly, twist his head around so it’s facing forward, and stick him on the doorstep. I love his cheerful smile – no matter where he’s been stowed, packed, and crammed, he always comes out wearing that irrepressible grin…

– Karen Molenaar Terrell