Hello, Hilary

(When I posted this picture on Facebook, my friends submitted 23 guesses as to who I had on the hot seat and on the hot July cover of Utah Valley Magazine. Julie Beck? Nope, but good idea. Robert Redford? No, but someday, someday. Mitt or Ann Romney? Done and done.Not one person guessed Hilary Weeks. Surprise!This month’s cover story features one of Utah County’s best singer-songerwriters who also happens to blog and click (read the story or go to her website billionclicks.org to learn the clickables).One of the tragedies of my life is that I can’t print all of the quotables after my multi-hour interviews. My art director tells me we can’t put stories in 4 point type, so I end up painfully trimming my articles. Cut, cut, cut. I didn’t have enough column inches to tell you why Hilary had a jar of rice to the side of her piano in the living room, but cyberspace has enough real estate for me to share the story. As we were setting up for the photo, Hilary hopped off the piano bench and moved a jar of rice out of the background (you can still see it in the pic below). There were mold spots on the side and bottom of the jar, which seemed odd because the home was spit-spot clean — it looked like the family was expecting Parade of Home attendees to don blue booties and walk through their pristine living quarters at any moment. Luckily this storyteller spilled the beans — er, rice — about her unique decor.“As a family, we’ve been experimenting with two jars of rice,” Hilary told me. “We call this our ‘hate jar,’ and every day we come in here and tell the jar that it is stupid.”Within a few days, mold starting appearing inside the Kerr jar of cooked rice. The “love jar” sits in the other room, and with kind voices the family tells the jar that it is “just the whitest rice ever! You are a good jar of rice!” No mold. Hilary is a big believer in being positive with ourselves and with others. She believes we “grow mold” inside when we point out our flaws and speak unkindly to our souls. But the flip side is also true — if we love ourselves, we are cleaner, happier and healthier inside. I meant to come home and start a rice experiment with my own family. But finishing a magazine got in the way of science, so I haven’t done it yet — but I don’t dare get upset with myself about it. So here’s a challenge for all of us — let’s try talking to jars of cooked rice and see what happens. It just might lead to my next cover story.