Is CHANGE really Possible?

I'm thinking today of change. My brother wrote a column about change, and we have a change of administration, there's just change in the air. Can people really CHANGE? I find it disgusting/amusing that every politician goes to Washington with the phrase, "I'm not going to be part of the establishment I'll change things in DC." But, they all are alike...lots and lots of pork barrel spending. It is abysmal.

But, politics is not what this post is about at all.

It's about a person wanting to CHANGE his own life....like going on a diet. I'm trying to lose some weight - I know, so is everyone in America.

And, that is what is so scary. Lots of people DO lose weight, but most of them gain it back. In my neighborhood, just in the past year, I can think of two women who lost quite a bit of weight, but on Sunday, as I looked at both of them...they were right back where they were a year ago. In fact, one looks even bigger than before. I know a man who had surgery; he looked great, but now he's big again. (I'm definitely not trying to be judgmental; it is an observation made because I really want to lose weight and want to win that battle!)

So, my question is, can we really CHANGE how we got big in the first place? It is obviously the result of some very bad eating habits. In the weight arena, we work on a specific diet, and when the goal is achieved, we resort to eating like we did before. At least, that is MY experience. I've lost weight a couple of times, get feeling comfortable and go right back to my snacking habits...okay, the truth is out - I'm a snacker...big time!

I'm going to be realistic here. I'm not trying for a huge loss, but just so my pants don't cut off the circulation to my upper body and lower limbs.

Oh, there's one other factor that I think makes it very challenging to lose weight also...and that is genetics. I've often asked myself why I couldn't have been born in a family of skinny people? But, that was not my destiny, even though all our five kids are just right skinny. On my mother's side - BIG people. On my father's side - BIG people...so, what chance have I got? I can just hear Kristi saying, "WORK OUT!" Okay, I'll do that too. Change my eating, work out smarter and harder. Here we go - change forever!

(Saying all this in an open forum certainly makes it a little more likely to happen even if no one ever reads this!)


Canyon Cove

Sure, they have a few wrinkles on their faces. Okay, so they drive big, long cars that look like old-people cars. And, about one in a hundred might be cantakerous. But, aside from that, the people who live in Canyon Cove represent people who have worked hard, made contributions to society, saved their money so they can enjoy life in their advancing years. And, most of all, they are the best, most marvelous good people I have met.

Living amongst them for a short while was one of the greatest blessings of my life. I loved living at Canyon Cove...what's not to love. With Pauleen across the street bringing home-made cookies - who wouldn't love that? Or, Hermoine - 2 houses away, dropping by often with home-made bread or an invitation to come meet her visiting family. Or, Al, next door. How many mornings did he come over - very early - to get Allen to help him or do something. Oh, that Al..he was such a fun, fun neighbor..still riding horses in his nineties! Or how about Evvie, in her 80s who you'd see every day out on her front porch riding her stationary bicycle. In her front room, you'd see a huge organ because she was taking organ lessons from the Jorgensen Music Center. She went to Branson with us and she kept the party going!

I could name more and more: LaVee, Ann, Judy and JayDell, Ione, the Ludlows, the Nickles, Mayor Porter from Rexburg, the dentist and his blind wife, who made bread and gifts for everyone, Betty and Jay Mitchell, the Bennetts, the Woodburys, the Sheltons. These are all names that have a very special meaning to me. I can truly say that living in Canyon Cove is a lot like what I picture heaven being, only I'm hoping we won't have as many wrinkles or bad knees.

So, why did we move? It was just not the right time for us to live in that small home. But, here's to the marvelous folk at Canyon Cove


Looking Back Through Long-Ago Slides

So, what do you do with all those boxes and boxes of slides?
Buy an expensive, hardly workable slide scanner and see if you can find anything that is:
a. recognizable
b. decipherable
c. not totally faded after years of sitting in the garage
d. something that you would want family members to see!

I did, however, find a couple of pictures that were presentable before the scanner totally went kaput - again!

Justin and Jenni, you are looking mighty cute as little ones.


Great Day in America!

From an email from my younger brother:

On this eve of history, and this day of remembrance, I am so very proud of our parents -- especially Dad -- who taught us by example and by exhortation to appreciate and respect people of all races, regions and religions. They were far ahead of their time, and I rather suspect there is a former George Washington Univ. law student who -- if they do such things in heaven -- will be watching tomorrow's proceedings intently, wearing his signature red, white, and blue tie, with a tie clasp in the shape of a donkey. What a great country this is, and what love for it they embodied.


Primary Purpose

"Teacher, I HAVE to go to the bathroom right now...I can't wait!" "Teacher, I went to Pirate's Pizza and got this tattoo." "Teacher, she got more candy than I did!" "Teacher, he's in my place." "Teacher, can I sit on your lap?" "Teacher, where's the necklace you were wearing last week?" "Teacher," (crying) "he hurt my finger!" "Teacher, I NEED a drink!" "Teacher, can we hear that story again?" "Teacher, I can't see! He crowded in front of me!" "Teacher, what does commandment MEAN?" "Teacher, you're pretty." And, with that, I know the purpose of Primary. It's to remind me just how precious these little kids are...honest, wiggly, squiggly, adorable, happy, hungry, eager, enthusiastic, and did I say honest? Not one child has ever told me - wrinkly, old - as I am that I'm pretty, so when Madison said that to me today, it was a thrill to my soul - I'm far from pretty, but looking so closely at her young, bright face, I felt a surge of joy and love!



Being a mother never stops. No matter how old a mother's child, is, she suffers when the child suffers. Kristi has a very, very, very challenging internship. When she called last night and told us about an incident that occurred during her shift at the VA hospital, I was very upset. Today, as I was driving to a session at the temple - at the temple! I was so angry at the nurse. (It's ironic because I'm always telling my kids who are docs to treat the nurses really well, as nurses often do the grunt work that docs pass on to them!) So, driving to the temple, I was very angry! I wanted to retaliate - "how dare that nurse do that to my daughter!!!" I would write a letter, I would...blah, blah, blah. But, even more than that, was the tender feeling I had towards dear Kristi. My heart ached for her, my soul yearned to be there to say "It's okay...the nurse is a jerk...you are the noble one here!" I am so very proud of Kristi, so proud of her charitable desires, so proud of her giving up a really good job to do something so incredibly demanding, difficult & degrading sometimes because of the unbelievable treatment of interns, and yet, she is doing it. Oh, how I love that girl for what she is going through, and that is why I was so upset when a nurse just sat playing on the computer when she was needed. Kristi stays late, she cares about her patients, she is a good doc...she has had patients ask her if she will be their personal physician, she works harder, she gives, gives, gives. So, to hear that a nurse - sitting at the computer - totally ignored Kristi's (who had been at work since six in the morning!) supplication for help with one of the nurse's very own patients, made my blood boil. "As soon as Kristi is done, oh, what a letter I will write to that horrid place!" The anger I felt was in my heart as I sat in the chapel and started reading in the Doctrine and Covenants where I had left off last night. Suddenly, this scripture literally flew off the page at me: Keep my commandments; hold your peace; appeal unto my Spirit.....

Wow, how did that book know what was in my heart????? Okay, that humbled me and put me back on the right track. But, it doesn't stop me from bearing the burden carried by each of our children. I love them all with a love that is amazing and understood totally by mothers the world over!

Here's a picture of Kristi (with dear Janna) at graduation looking very happy because she doesn't realize what is lurking ahead.

St. George - gotta love it!

Driving home recently, I realized how much I love living in St. George. Yesterday afternoon, I washed windows! Besides having window washing weather in winter, I appreciate the many good friends we've made through our: 2 missions, 2 wards, 2 neighborhoods. I consider those friends, as well as dear ones in wintery Idaho, as one of life's greatest blessings!


Wordles ROCK!

My daughter introduced me to this fun little site...wordle.net. I've made a few of these to send to people - both email and snail mail...they are mighty fun and have lots of possibilites. Here's one for the Hackworth family.


Happy Birthday, Justin Scott

Here's the email I sent to our family about Justin's birthday: Also, here's a couple of pictures that we just scanned in from slides using our new slide scanner which is totally awesome, and I couldn't have figured it out without Allen's help...whoa, it's good to be married to a computer persona!

Dear Oldest Son, Justin,

a few years ago, when we took you home from the hospital in Pocatello, Idaho, it was a bright, sunny day. It was cold, but the sun was bright. That was portentous because you have always been a bright sunny child. Right early on, you have had the ability to make us laugh.

Randi Sue was so excited to meet you...I don't think she was ever jealous like some older siblings are. Although I do remember her pushing you a couple of times, so maybe she was jealous after all.

Driving home in the red Toyota, I just kept staring at you and thinking how fun it was to have a girl and a boy.

We were going to name you Michael Scott, but our friend, Brent McDonald said, "Do you like the name, Mike?" "No," I answered, "just Michael." "He'll always be called Mike," Brent responded. So, we named you JUSTIN SCOTT, which I have always loved and think it's such a great name for a photographer, don't you?

You didn't have a lot of hair and you lost it as most babies do. When we moved to Pocatello in our trailer home, we lived next door to the Edwards. Every day, after breakfast, you and Jenni wanted to play with Brad & Terri. You got along really well and didn't fight a lot with them. It was perfect because they were about the same ages as you and there weren't any other little kids around to play with.

One of my most vivid memories, is of being in the front of our home, and realizing that you and Brad were very, very quiet. That's always a sign of something not good. So, I hurried back to find you both. There you both were - standing by the toilet. You were on the side with the handle. I looked into the toilet just in time to see two little green things swirling around and around. You and Brad had just flushed my contact lenses down the toilet. (I'm sure that I got upset, but if it happened now, it would just be a fun thing to write about on a blog! So, sorry for getting angry....those things don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.)

Skip ahead a few years to your high school graduation night. It was just before we had to leave, and I walked by your bathroom, and was startled to see you because you had just dyed your hair black or really dark brown. It was so funny that you did that right before graduation. Did anyone notice with your cap on?

You always had great friends...which I appreciate.

You are a wonderful son, father, husband, friend. Happy, happy day! You have made our days happy indeed. Love, Mom


Here's to Health

As a 12 yr old, I don't think I ever thought about health. As a 21 yr. old, I never thought about health. As a 40 year old, I may have given it a passing thought. But, as a......year old, I do give health a thought. And, this is my thought. Thank you, Heavenly Father, that at this point in my life, I'm healthy. I can see, hear, walk, talk, eat, move, stand, sit, use my hands...

I really appreciate visiting Sylvia, who has been in a wheelchair for over 17 years. She never complains; she's very inspiring. But, when I see her and visit with her each week, I am always reminded what blessings mobility and good health are.

Boy, this is getting way too serious, but I am very, very grateful to be feeling okay at this point in my life!


New Years Resolutions or Bah! Humbug!

So, how did I fare from last year's resolutions? Fair to middling...(What in the heck does that even mean?)

I set a goal to take 20 family names to the temple....I achieved that goal. The bishop challenged us to read the Book of Mormon every single day. I read scriptures 360 or 361 days...I missed about 4 or five days...I think it's four, but to be safe, I'll say five. Oh, I was sad indeed when I missed reading the scriptures for the first time in March! I fell asleep on the couch, and that was pretty early on in the year to miss. I don't recall why I missed the other days. But, to achieve this goal, I read the scriptures LOTS of days on my trusty little Blackberry cell phone. That made it very convenient as we were doing lots of traveling, and a Book of Mormon was not always handy. I love the Book of Mormon. It's amazing to me how I'm always reading scriptures and saying, "was that there before?" But, of course it was because usually I already have it underlined!

So, what's for this year?

Read the Doctrine and Covenants.

And, here's the tough one: you think I'm going to say lose weight. Well, that's just a given for all of us - right?!?!?

No, this one is a very challenging one for me...it is to NOT WASTE FOOD. Now, let me just say that I believe in food storage. But, I often am not good at using what I buy. I just threw some stuff away today....long past expiration date. So, here's what I will try to do: eat my food storage and eat what I buy! (Waste not, want not as the good folk say!)

Very noble goal. Now, just go and do it!


Worthless Dough

I think I know how the financial world feels when they see the value of their dough plunge. That's just what happened to me today.

This hasn't happened EVER - or at least not for a very, very long time. My dough didn't RISE!
It makes me not want to invest again....so much time wasted, so much money on ingredients. Will I recover? Will I try again? Oh, it's so hard to know what to do in these trying circumstances.


Here's to the KINDLE!

Hey, thanks kids, for the best gift ever. Who wouldn't love a Kindle? Only a Grinch...that's who. Bleak House by Charles Dickens...it does indeed, sound bleak, but so far it's only profound. I found a quote that sort of electrified me because you see, it was saying what our church leaders say: Dickens said - in essence - and in talking about a female character who attended to nonsense matters while her children ran around hungry and in disarray - that no success can compensate for failure in the home. This book was written in 1852, so I thought Dickens was pretty astute. I bookmarked the quote in my Kindle.

I was reading 2 books simultaneously and it was easy to keep track of where I was in each book. Everyone should own one!

What great kids Allen and I have...very, very thoughtful. Thanks again, dear ones.

Happy New Year

Time to write...time to try some newbies: Here goes...

Here's a wordle just for Allen:

Cousins Coincidence

Dixie texted; she wanted to meet us for lunch. Dixie is Allen's 2 or 3 COUSIN; who knows, but anyway, they are related.  She is won...