The Fatal Tendency

I have a Fatal Tendency. I think I was cursed by an evil fairy when I was a child.

It’s embarrassing, but I’m going to confess it to the world-wide interwebs anyhow.

Every food I make turns out really weird. I guess you could say I’m sort of like King Midas, but without the gold.

You remember the muffins, yes? Like that.

Also the brownies, about which I never told you. I didn’t even know you could do that to brownies. It’s a long story, which I’ll save for some other time. Multiple awkwards were involved. Then there was the time at school when I made cappuccino muffins for my church van. The muffins were actually good, but nobody in my van likes coffee. In fact, they have serious aversions to coffee so strong that they can’t even stand of teaspoon of it in a muffin. Accident? No. Fatal Tendency.

Yesterday I forgot to put sugar in the lemonade. Have you ever had unsweetened lemonade? If it were anyone else, we could just blame it on being careless, but with me…it’s simply a symptom of the Fatal Tendency. Like the time in highschool when I made burritos (or maybe they were enchiladas, I don’t know) for my family. The sauce I used was hot sauce, and my family only eats mild. My little brother started crying. My little sister drank twelve glasses of water. Since I didn’t purchase the hot sauce, you could say it wasn’t my fault…but since it ended up on a food I prepared, we know that the Fatal Tendency has struck once again. Last week, I was making bread, and accidentally confused the wheat flour with the malt-o-meal. Honest mistake? Nope, Fatal Tendency.

This morning, my younger siblings requested pancakes for breakfast. I happily obliged. After rummaging around to find the recipe–we have a lot of recipe books in this home–I finally discovered it in Ruth’s book. That means she copied it out of somewhere when she was probably eleven, because she’s always been ahead of me in these matters. The whole hand-written-by-Ruth-bit is important, so don’t forget it.

I set to mixing up the batter; her directions were simply “stir everything together,” so I sorted out the list of ingredients to add them in the most logical order. Batter is ready, syrup is being syruped, griddle is warming–how hot is this supposed to be? I tried my dad’s water-flicking trick and it sizzled, so I poured out six nice round pancakes to fry. They looked rather anemic, somehow. I worked on dishes as I waited for them to fry.

Apparently, my griddle wasn’t actually warm enough, because those things took forever, and looked anemic the whole time. I finally pried six pale, rubbery disks off the griddle, and poured on six more circles of batter. The griddle should be warmer now; hopefully these would be better.

Meh. These six also turned out sickly-looking, and they were similarly scooted off the griddle suspiciously. What is wrong with you, pancakes? Are you rising at all??

Wait. Were they supposed to rise?

I re-read the recipe. There, smushed on the very bottom of the list. 1 T. baking powder.

I know for a fact that those pancakes had exactly no baking powder.

Oops. Well, that would be the problem. The Fatal Tendency strikes again.

I didn’t say anything–just kept on making pancakes. Soon Jacob and Lilly showed up. They pronounced them delicious.

I love little kids.

Ben knew something was wrong with them as soon as he saw them, but like a man, he ate them anyhow.

I drowned mine in syrup.

This morning, I start a job at Dairy Queen. Should I tell them what happens to the food I touch? Or should I simply hope that I’ll be assigned the drive-thru?

But Seriously, College is Strange

The end of the beginning

Finals are over.

People are packing.

Goodbyes are being started.

Jubilate tour is rapidly approaching.

It’s hard for me to believe that my third year of college is nearly over. In high school, I really couldn’t imagine suffering through four years of college…and three have flown by already. This year has been so wonderful, so I decided to write a poem about it. I present to you

“Betsy Ruminates on her Second Sophomore Year”

Continue reading “The end of the beginning”

College is Strange, In the Library

They do call it “Bridal College”…

I have three drafts waiting to be finished–including the Princess Party story (starring our very own Princess “Uh, Ma-ho-lia?”!), the hymnal drama, and what happened to the pinata–but instead of finishing them I’m going to tell you this story instead.

Yesterday, I got up sort of late. That was bad because we always have room checks on Monday mornings, and my room was in some serious disarray. So I cleaned my room and made myself look presentable as quickly as I could on a Monday morning, grabbed my violin and my box of cinnamon rolls, and headed to work, stopping to get the newspapers–both Sunday’s and Monday’s editions–on the way. Isaiah and I open the library at 8:00 AM every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and normally I’m a minute or two early. This time, however, I was a few minutes late, and a group of people was already congregated in the lobby of Pipkin as I approached with backpack, violin, sweet rolls, and newspapers. Mr. Cale opened the door for me as I got close, and I saw a family of previewers–all boys.
“Thanks!” I said to Mr. Cale, attempting (successfully!!) to neither hit anyone with my violin nor drop the newspapers. I laid the stack of papers on the desk in the lobby and began rummaging around for my time card.
“Are you single?” the father of the previewer family asked.
“Uh, yes, actually. Very much so,” I replied.
“Oh, good,” the father responded. “I already tried to set my sons up with another girl, but she was married. I didn’t want to make that mistake again.”
“Oh. Uh…I also know how to bake.” Why did I say this? I have honestly no clue. It was Monday, it was early, and a stranger had just asked me my relationship status. The words just sort of came out. “I, uh, need to get to work…nice to meet you.” I gathered my things again and fled to the safety of the library.
“Sorry I’m late,” I apologized to Isaiah. “But I brought food.”
I unloaded my armloads of stuff and settled down behind the circulation desk. Mr. Cale brought the previewers into the library for a tour and introduced them to Isaiah. He’s the guy’s head RA, so he did his friendly “Welcome” thing while I pretended to be super busy with something else.
“Are you engaged?” the father queried.
“Uh, no,” Isaiah answered.
The previewers’ father gestured to me. “She’s available!”
I made eye contact with no one.
Mr. Cale took the family through the library, and I went back to sorting out the old newspapers. Once sorted, I took the ones we no longer needed back to the recycling bin. The library tour had just finished and the family was making their way past the circulation desk as I came back. I passed the father. “Sorry if that was awkward,” he said. I began to reply graciously, but he was continuing. “You’ll thank me in five years when you’re married.”
I just smiled.
They left.
“Um, Isaiah?” I said.
“Just for the record, I don’t actually want to marry you.”
“That’s good.”
“Glad we got that sorted out.”
“Soooo … you think we’ll get our American Church History exams back this morning?”

Some people really take this “Bridal College” thing seriously.

College is Strange, In the Library

A Very Condensed List of Things I Don’t Understand

I have a lot of questions. Bonus points if you can answer them for me.

  1. Why am I addicted to saving dryer sheets? Seriously. I can’t seem to keep myself from re-using them. Mom got me an entire box before I came to college, and I’ve barely dented it. Someone help me. I’m a dryer sheet hoarder.
  2. Why is the white crayon the most used crayon I possess? That makes absolutely zero sense. You could say it’s because I colored a wedding picture for Jenna, but it was while getting my crayons out to color that picture that I noticed this strange fact. Twinsie #2–bless her heart–sent me the crayons in the mail, which means they were new last semester, which means that at some point in the past few months I rabidly used a white crayon. What am I, crazy?
  3. Who designs air freshener to look like yogurt? On a related note, who designs air freshener to smell like cough syrup? On another related note, who put a sign on the bathroom door warning library patrons not to eat the yogurt?
  4. What happened to the legs of Jenna’s pinata?
  5. What’s written on the inside of the box in which we keep the International Bulletin of Missionary Research archives, and who wrote it?
  6. What happened to that stick of butter I had in the freezer?
  7. I want to make brownies. Real ones, not brown letter “E”s this time. Though that was pretty fun. Ok, so this isn’t a question. It’s just how I’m feeling.
  8. Why do those guys sit at that table in the corner all the time? I feel judged whenever I get ketchup refills. Which happens whenever I get ketchup fills. Because I always underestimate my love of ketchup, and that is a fact.
  9. Why am I so mean to Katie? I actually like her a lot.
  10. Why do I do whatever anyone tells me to do?
    Example A, an evening in the library
    Kristen: Betsy, take Matthew’s wallet and put it in that drawer! Quick, while he’s not looking!
    Me: Uh, yes Kristen!
    (Twenty seconds later)
    Me: Wait. Why on earth did I just do that? That’s stupid!
    Kristen: Too late.

    Example B, an evening in the dining hall
    Me: Oooh. Ice cream. I want ice cream. But I’m not eating any.
    Tim: You should eat some.
    Me: No I shouldn’t. That is bad for me.
    Tim: Get some ice cream. (stares judgementaly until I feel terrible for not listening to him command)
    Me: No! Who even asked you to sit at this table?
    Tim: (walks away dejectedly)
    Twenty seconds later
    Tim: Betsy, since you made me feel bad, you have to go get ice cream now.
    Me: Fine!!!! Okay! Whatever!
    Twenty seconds later
    Me: Wait, why am I eating this?
    Tim: Because I told you to.

Please, folks, I need a lot of help.


Thankful for Thanksgiving Break … or the End of It


  • Being with my favorite people in the world, namely my parents and 2/3 of my siblings.
  • Spending Sunday with my church family at EBC. (On this note, potluck!)
  • Playing games with my family: I wasn’t the Clue Serial Killer this time. Thank goodness.
  • Baking pie and cookies with my baby sister!! Finally, I made something I would be proud to have other people eat. The shameful muffins are but a distant memory.
  • On that note, also eating pie and cookies. Especially cookies. I like cookies.
  • Butchering three deer because I’m a warrior. Ok, ok. I didn’t exactly butcher all three single-handedly. In fact, it took me like half an hour to stop making little whimpery noises every time I touched the…the…gross dead meat carcass thing, which coincidentally was constantly. But still. I helped. Right?
  • Singing with Mom and Ruth. Sometimes off key on purpose, sometimes off key by accident. It really doesn’t matter.
  • Introducing the little siblings to this song.
  • Having internet after midnight.
  • Sleeping for as long as I wanted every morning.
  • Acquiring a hula hoop. Thanks Grandma!
  • Eating my mom’s food. It’s the best.
  • Getting all caught up on Once. Ohmyword. If someone tried to make an accurate family tree, it would be the most crooked tree in the world.
  • Introducing my family to Elf Yourself. My little brothers make good elves.
  • Watching all the Coffee House videos with the little siblings.
  • Talking for hours with Mom and Ruth. About everything.

I definitely just want to stay here and never go back to school like ever.




Off to have nightmares.

I can’t wait to go back to school.

College is Strange, In the Library

Crying in McCarrell, and What the Muffins Had to Do with It

This fascinating tale, an entire week old now, is comprised of several seemingly unrelated events. The first is that Jenna went home last weekend. The second is that I have bad eyesight. The third is that making things from box mixes doesn’t always turn out so well. Got it? Ok.
The end. Continue reading “Crying in McCarrell, and What the Muffins Had to Do with It”