How To Have a Great Sabbath

Take one grandson who is leaving to serve an LDS mission:

Add several family members from the Fisher family and Hackworth family: (wish the rest could have shared this day with us! There were lots more people than just shown here.)

Stir in heaps and heaps of food:

Sprinkle with a generous amount of warmth and fellowship that always exist at the Fisher home in Hurricane.

And you have yourself a mighty fine Sabbath.

Here's a further breakdown of the ingredients...

Inspiring talk by Sean on selfless service - filled with gentle humor, smiles, scriptures, examples, and testimony.

Musical number with Sean @ piano, Janessa and her friend, Celeste on violins playing, "Be Still My Soul."

Allen standing in the 100-plus heat cooking burgers for lots of people

And, of course, lots of picture taking, laughter, food, advice to the missionary, and fond farewells all around.

Thanks, Sean, for living such a great life and setting a marvelous example to all of us! See you in two years....

We'll be praying for you!


Encounter - Albeit Brief - with the Kennedys

It was the fall of 1960...

John F. Kennedy was running for president...incredibly, he made an historic stop in Pocatello, Idaho at the high school. After his speech, we all crowded around this handsome young man...I reached through the throng, and stuck out my hand. HE SHOOK MY HAND!

I couldn't believe it, and I said looking him straight in the eye, "I'll never wash this hand again." In his very strong Boston accent, he said directly to me,"You'd bettah!"

(Just so you know, I did.)

Lots of years later, Allen and I were on a trip to Washington, DC. We got to go into the Senate chambers where a filibuster was going on. The ONLY Senator that I remember being in that huge room was Ted Kennedy. He was standing at the podium talking, talking, talking. Hardly anyone was there to hear! We were from there to here away from him. He seemed larger than life....booming voice, large man. It was invigorating to hear him and see him in person.

Now, I don't agree with most of the politics of the Kennedys. And, I know their personal lives have never been the most admirable....

I applaud their commitment to service of our country. I believe they loved America; they loved freedom; they loved the principles upon which this nation was founded; and they had a strong commitment to make the nation a better place for all.
So, today, I'm remembering my VERY, VERY brief encounters with JFK and Edward Kennedy.


Drill, Baby, Drill!

It didn't take Allen long to try to fix up our back yard at the new home....as soon as every box was out of the truck, he was out working in the yard.

He'd come in and tell me how HARD the ground was...."it's just almost impossible to dig," he'd say, puffing away. Now, Allen is strong and a hard worker, so I knew it must really be challenging, and he wasn't just a wimp.

So, he did what any MAN would do at this point... He went to Rent-A-Toy...only they don't call it a toy. They call it a technical name so the wife won't think he's having any fun!

Even with that big fun toy, it was a challenge to dig that hard, rock-solid soil. Allen spent a lot of hours trying to make trenches, smooth the dirt out, etc.

But, finally, yard was in - complete with shrubs, trees, flowers, fruits. Ahhh, lovely!

Soooooooo, let's fast forward 2 years.

New neighbor moves in.

Hires landscaper.

For two days in a row, Allen and I hear the sound of - yes, you guessed it:

Jack Hammers!

To put in the lawn and sprinkler system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, you can see that it REALLY is a challenge to dig in the soil in St. George!


How to Look Beautiful at 65

Her license plate says: GODOT...and

that describes her perfectly; she is always on the GO....

Paris, Ireland, Salt Lake, Florida, Las Vegas, Golden Corral;
you name it - she's ready to go, but.....

she doesn't just go and have fun, she and her husband work HARD!

So, how does she stay looking so young?

I want her beauty secrets...because you, see, she's not really 65 at all.

I'm not telling her real age, but let's just say, she looks so much younger than she is.....but I think her birth certificate is wrong.

I think she is really 65!

And, I'm glad she's my friend!


My Laugh for the Day

Overstock.com - several months ago:

I thought it was very attractive. I like how it looks on our bed.

Allen, however, has made several comments on the number of pillows;
(there are nine)
why so many?
what's the purpose of all the pillows?
are they all necessary?

So, usually when he makes the bed, he only puts one or two pillows back on the bed and leaves the rest on the floor or dresser.

Today, however, he was feeling particularly helpful and sweet,

so when I stepped out of the shower

here's how I found the bed made:

Please notice: every pillow was used and put back on the bed!

Ahhh, LOVE!


Health Care Reform - Ya Think?

Favorite Expense Account Entry of the Decade!

My older brother was born in December 1942;
here is my mother's expense account of that event:

No wonder people long for the good old days!

FLASH!! News Bulletin

This authentic, unadulterated transcript from the boardroom of one of America's leading businesses just surfaced and will appear shortly in U S News & World Report.

It is shocking!!!!

And it shows to what lengths businesses will go to defy the American consumer.

CEO: Men and women...we have been given the challenging task of coming up with a packaging product that will not allow anyone - no matter how clever or strong - to get inside a package they have just legally purchased.

Employee #1: But, what is the purpose of such packaging? After a customer has bought a product, shouldn't they be able to open it rather easily?

CEO: Heavens no! We want to show the customer just how good we really are at what we do!

Employee #2: Yeah, but sometimes it gets a little frustrating when you try to get the heavy plastic off things.

CEO: Then that's just perfect, but now our job is to make opening packages even MORE frustrating.

Employee #3: What sort of products do you want this hard-to-open packaging to include?

CEO: Virtually everything; the liner inside cereal boxes...we don't WANT people to be able to rip those open for breakfast! Other food products like cheese, packaged meats, salad lettuce when they are in a hurry to fix dinner. But it's not just food...how about children's toys (this could be one of our most successful because little kids are in such a hurry to get the toy open), electronic gadgets, batteries, virtually everything. Our goal is to encompass them all so sercurely in their little plastic packages that it will take a blow torch to open anything!

Employee #2: It seems rather counter productive to make things so difficult to open.

CEO: Wrong; picture this...it's Christmas morning. Your 7 year old son easily rips open the Christmas paper from the toy truck he has hoped for for weeks. But, then he struggles to get open the packaging we have invented, and he cannot do it. He tries, his mother tries, his older brother thinks he can get it open. It can't be done! Now, just picture how smug you will feel when you realize that you came up with that packaging, and NOT ONE PERSON IN THE ROOM can get the truck out of its plastic enclosure! Why, this will be as challenging and successful as sending man to the moon!

Employee #1: I think I'm missing something here: why is all that horrifc packaging necessary? It's just frustrating when you are trying to get - for example- your little flash drive you just purchased out of the package, and you just can't open it....why does it have to be so hard?

CEO: People, people, people....do I have to be the only one in the room that can figure this out???????? It's progress, it's the American way, it's getting the goat of customer. We want to prove that we are KING, and we will win this war against easy opening of any product. Now, get to it!


The White Handerkerchief

It was trimmed with home-made tatting.

It originally came from the dresser drawer in my mother's bedroom where she kept all her hankies. Now, I keep it in my dresser with all her hankies, except for the ones I gave to each of her eight granddaughters.

Taking it out this morning, I thought of her...her love of beautiful things. How she liked things to be clean and ironed and in order. So, it was fitting that I should take it to the Oquirrh Moutain Temple Dedication ceremony for the Hosanna Shout.

During the closing hymn, after a beautiful ceremony in which we were reminded of the significance and beauty of temples, we sang, "The Spirit of God," which was sung at the very first temple dedication in Kirtland, Ohio.

While singing the hymn, I thought of my dad. I could almost hear his booming bass voice singing that hymn with great gusto and meaning and spirit.

So, on this special day, I thank you both, dear mother and father, for your influence in my life; for your love of the Gospel, your quiet, yet faithful devotion to what you knew was true.

You were there with me in spirit today as we rejoiced at the 13th temple in Utah.

The Oquirrh Mountain Temple, Angel Moroni statue was struck by lightening, so it was replaced before the temple dedication. Photo: Steve Allison


Cupboard Taste

It looked enticing...

It tasted AWFUL!

It had been sitting in the drawer too long without being totally closed.

What was IT?

A 100 thousand dollar bar.

What a waste - I hate when I do that...leave food for too long in the drawer or cupboard and then it has - THAT TASTE!

Which can never be disguised no matter what you do.



A Friend Named Lou!

She moved across the country to New York, knowing no one.

It came down to two places to live. She picked the smaller one, but the one with the incredible view.

The job was horrendous; killer hours: six days a week, almost every weekend, never two days off in a row, sometimes a very long drive early in the morning, arriving home very late at night. No time off for anything. Demanding bosses. Not a lot of support, little feeling of camaraderie; just slave labor.

It was horrific; not that she complained, that's just the way it was.

But, there was LOU. Lou lived in the apartment next door in the home with the view. He was single, a school teacher, a coach, an author of a semi-autobiograpical book about a young boy.

But, Lou was so much more than that.

Lou was thoughtful, generous, kind, always ready to help, supportive, fun, energetic, funny, interested in others, happy, good; a natural caregiver.

But, she was all those things to Lou also.

Both were busy, but both helped each other out when they could. When Lou was sick, she took him soup; when she needed a reliable car, Lou insisted she use his.

It was a symbiotic relationship; both were strengthened by the friendship.

Her killer job - which was for one year - was over, so she moved...

But, again, Lou was there to help. He drove with her from Long Island to her new home in Virginia. While she went to her first day at her new job, Lou hauled in EVERY box. He was there to encourage, support, help.

Good ole, wonderful, caring Lou. But, he had a life and a job, and returned to Long Island.

She went about her new life; he went on with his.

But, he wanted to see how she was doing.

So, Lou surprised her and flew to visit her. How could Lou know that - of all the weeks he could have picked to see her - she needed him the VERY MOST those few days. It would not be a fun trip for Lou; it would be long days and nights; it would be running errands, nursing her, getting her water, medicine, taking her to the doctor, and just being there, because she was very, very sick.

For, you see, she had just come down with H1N1 flu.

And, Lou - incredibly - was there for her. She says, "I think he truly saved my life!'

How does one ever find a friend like Lou?

Thank you, dear, dear Lou. We all appreciate and love you.

I'm Thankful I Can......

Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and eat it.

Put on shoes.

Vacuum living room.

Scoop up a grandchild and hold him/her close.

Drive to town.

Get up and/or go to bed whenever I please.

Get down on knees to pull weeds.

Fold laundry.

Hold and read a book.

Stand up to salute when flag goes by.

Take a long, luxurious bubble bath.

These are just a few of the things I can do - and think nothing about them - and Sylvia is unable to do any of them.

Yet, she doesn't complain. Just smiles, and says "Thank you...."


Boy, Is My Face Red!

Woman with four children sick and down for the count.

Casserole to the rescue.

Tried and proven recipe calls for a small can of mild green chilis.

Dish returned..

Teen-age son returning dish: "Well, it was quite a bit hotter and spicier than we normally eat?! But, thanks."


Quick trip to the pantry...where one more can of supposedly same purchased item of green chilis resided:

Oh, my goodness....DICED JALAPENOS; not only jalapenos, but also HOT!!!!

(You gotta admit, the cans DO look a lot alike.)

Sorry, guys...now the mother of four is REALLY down sick for the count!


Close to Home

The year: 1965

The trip:The New York World's Fair and points in between:

The conversation: on the subway headed out to Queens to the fair:

The conversants: Loni Gee Hackworth and a native New Yorker:

Loni:"Hi, I'm from the West and we're just going to the World's Fair...I'm so excited...what exhibits should be visit?"

Native New Yorker (in awesome Bronx accent:) "I haven't been to the fair...I'm not going to the fair...I've never been further than a couple of miles from my home and that's the way it's gonna stay!"

The Message (to me):"WOW, I'm never going to be like that! When I live close to something, I'll be sure to visit it and make it a part of my life!"

Fast forward lots and lots and lots of years:

The year: 2009

The trip: Zion National Park

The conversations: Loni Gee Hackworth and people from: Texas, Poland, Germany, Spain, Thailand.

Overheard: languages from all across the world!

The message: "I forgot the resolve above. Here were people from literally all over the globe enjoying the incredible beauty of what lies in my back yard."

And, I almost - almost - forgot how glorious Zion National Park is.

I hereby resolve to explore more of the Park's amazing beauty!


Library Lover

"One hundred and fifty dollars? That seems a bit steep for these two old books!?"

"Yes," the owner of the used-bookstore replied, "but they are out of print, making them very valuable."

Fast forward one-half hour....

"Could I see your card please?

"These will be due in two weeks, and if you need to, you may renew them for additional time."

And, I may add; it's absolutely FREE!

So, that's one just reason why I love libraries!

Favorite Picture Day

Posted by PicasaFun Shirt,
Fun Pose,
Fun Picture,
Fun Person,
Really Phun and Phine Photographer! Thanks, Justin!


Friends: Life's Great Blessings

A lot of years ago, Allen said that he loved to see people having a good time; it is really fun to see people we love enjoying life.

Here are just a very few of the many friends who have helped me love and enjoy life; thank you dear, dear friends, for your great influence in my life!
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Favorite Picture Day

Just came across this great picture of Brian Stanton, Jr. As I recall, Brian came over one day to sing farewell to one of our sons leaving on a mission. What a send-off!

The Stanton family is one of those just great, great families that we love from our days in Rexburg, Idaho.

We love Cathy, Brian Jr., Christine, Bill, Andy, and all the spouses. And, we miss your dear, dear dad & mom!
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We've Come a Long Way, Baby!

One day, back in the 80's, Dave & Martha came to visit us from California...fun, fun, fun.

Dave showed us his new toy....wow, wow, wow. I'd never seen anything like it. It was


Because you see, it recorded his family, or the scenery, or our family...and not only that, but we could sit and watch it RIGHT THEN!

Also, it was H*U*G*E!
We're talking HUMUNGOUS!

Dave lugged it around on his shoulder, but that didn't matter because it was remarkable.

And groovy, and awe-inspiring. No more little jerky movements and short little clips on
little blue reels that you couldn't ever watch because no one could afford the equipment.

Now, you could just pop in a VHS and watch RIGHT NOW!

It was heady to think of!

Oh, Dave & Martha, you introduced me to a great invention...

And, like so much of technology, look at the size now:


Feeling Grateful for America

Some books are no fun to read; but they are significant, nonetheless. They teach us the evils of war and dictatorship. Such is the case with the two books pictured here.
Each of these true stories is told by a person who lived through unimaginable horrors and systematic slaughtering of a peoples in their native countries. In each book, I was left aghast at the evil that one man and his followers can inflict.
LEFT TO TELL : is the story of the short-lived (thankfully) Rwandan genocide
Beginning on April 6, 1994, and for the next hundred days, up to 800,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutu militia using clubs and machetes, with as many as 10,000 killed each day.
FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER: is the story of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge advocates in Cambodia:
About 1.5 million Cambodians are estimated to have died in waves of murder, torture, and starvation, aimed particularly at the educated and intellectual elite.
After reading these two books, I was overwhlemingly grateful for America; in spite of its problems and its politics. I know we face very very tough times ahead, and that we have corrupt officials, but I cannot foresee a tragedy of the magnitude in each of these books.
I was also overwhelmingly grateful for FOOD! Both of these women describe hunger that constantly gnaws at them.
I'm glad I read these, but now, it's time for some light summer reading...how does Amelia Bedelia sound?


Favorite Picture Day

D I special purchase (the jacket - not the husband!) from long ago...
no wonder everyone loves DI!

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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...