12:30 "Here's some really good hamburger meat that we can't eat because our freezer is full...why don't you take these 3 packages?" they asked as I drove by and waved.
4:30 "Here's a little Halloween token because you've been so good to us," said the new neighbor handing me a box of Mrs. See's chocolates.
Not every Saturday is like this, in fact, NO Saturday is like this, but my heart was full of gratitude for good, good neighbors.
Goodness and thoughtfulness and generosity transcend religion, race, and creed.
I've made these Bloody Finger cookies for a lot of years now.
(Thanks, Jenni for the simple peanut butter candy recipe...no cooking involved.)
It's so fun to see the kids' reactions.
Because I always tell them to watch out for the BONE (pretzel) inside the finger!
By day, he is my friend; kind, pleasant, helpful, fun.
By night, he is my enemy, and he becomes armed (a play on words here), and dangerous!
For you see, in the night, he moves into position. Lying on his back, with his arms folded under his head with elbows protruding onto my territory.
I often get whacked in the eye, chin, face, other eye.
Sticking out his hand to shake with the bishop, RAH said, "Oh, I guess we're not supposed to be shaking hands?"
"Because of the H1N1 flu..."
"Oh," Bishop Thompson said looking straight at us, "Old people don't get the flu!"
Then he tried to recover his statement.
But, it was too late; his honesty caught him. And, we all three laughed.
That description doesn't just fit Rice Krispies....how about God's own food?
The lovely red pomegranate....
Try it in Yogurt (not that good, really)
Put it in a fruit salad (really very good)
It's mighty delectable in cole slaw (thanks, Ellen, for that tip!)
Make juice (thanks, RAH, when you do that!)
Make jellly like my friend Dot does....too much work for me, however.
Or, just plop a handful in your mouth for a really fine SNAP, CRACKLE, POP!
NOTE: All this works best if you can get the spouse to do all the work of getting those tricky little seeds out of the hard shell.
However you get the seeds out and whatever you do with them, they are a mighty fine, tasty fall treat!
I love CONVENIENCE...
like microwave popcorn,or
instant Internet, or
drive-by flu clinics where I don't even get out of the car to get my flu shot.
I'm all about CONVENIENCE.
So, to stay in a condo with the car parking garage a long way away....
Well, that's INconvenient.
I left something in the car yesterday, but I wasn't willing to walk down the steep stairs
So, there's one more thing to add to my gratitude list:
How could any one person get all F's?
Had she not been listening at all?
Where was her head when those around were paying attention and getting it?
This was not in her plan.
Could she turn things around? Was it too late to redeem herself? Could she get back on track?
Who wouldn't just love this striking room as your living room?
It's so tastefully decorated. Don't you just love how it's simple, yet elegant?!?!?!?
It is always clean and neat (as is the rest of the home).
Yet, three rambunctious, happy, playful BOYS and a very lively puppy/dog live in this beautiful home.
How does she do it?
Her boys play with toys, her boys run and wrestle, her boys have friends over, her boys are typical fun-loving boys. She doesn't forbid them from playing in this lovely home, but she has trained them to put things away.
There are places for everything, and it's all tidy and organized and neat.
Yep, it's for real!
His brothers won't let him to it to them.
Because, you see, IT HURTS!
But, his mother will let him do it.
And, I will let him do it.
Here's what he does:
He puts his little three-year-old left thumb in his mouth, then takes his right arm, and slides it up under a short-sleeved shirt of the willing person (MOI!). Then right under the armpit with his thumb and finger, he pinches little pieces of skin together.
When he takes the thumb out of his mouth to talk, the pinching stops. But if he is sucking for an extended amount of time, he moves the hand around, always searching for new little pieces of skin to pinch. He sort of pinches the skin and rolls it around in his thumb and finger.
As we got in the car to leave, he ran out and said, "Grandma, you can't go!"
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because I need to pinch you some more!"
Today, both armpits are sore.
But, it's worth it. He won't always be three and want to sit on my lap and pinch me.
"I'm Doctor.......I'm grateful for my highly educated hippie, pot-smoking father who joined the church. Because of his intellect, it was very humbling for him to accept this religion, but he did. I'm grateful because then in my twenties I also joined ."
"Hi, my name is.......My mother and I landed in Mexico City, but we were told all the planes were delayed twelve hours because of the rain storm. We both groaned thinking of twleve hours in an airport! But as we were walking, we saw some missionaries going home from their missions. The twelve hours went by very quickly as we talked about their experiences. I can't wait to serve a mission!"
Just another inspiring fast meeting in the LDS church.
That line could be referring to the Mayor at the end of the movie, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs."
And, unfortunately, at this point in time, to MOI!
Here's the skinny (a little play on words there), several months ago, I decided to cut WAYYYYYYYY back on sugar and snacks.
I did. I also exercised regularly. My pants got a little loose; it felt good. I didn't look any different, but the pants were definitely hanging looser.
Then I did what I always do; get lax, feel like I can go back to the old habits. Which I did.
Ahhh, chocolate, I can't seem to give you up!
Hence, I'm too big for my britches once again!
It certainly wasn't when I was living at home because my mother was always after me to "Loni, make your bed!"
It wasn't in college because my roommates; Sharon, Nancy, and Lauralee, claimed the only time I made it was for white glove cleaning check.
It wasn't when we were first married because I had an early morning class; Allen was still in bed, so I couldn't make it (at least, that was my excuse.)
It wasn't when we first had small children because I would drag myself out of bed to feed a crying baby or small toddler. And, I was so busy, that I just never got back to the bedroom during the day to make the bed.
It wasn't when we had a water bed because that thing was impossible to make.
So, it must have been when we remodeled the bedroom, got new carpet, new bed, new bedding.
I've made our bed a lot of mornings since then.
It's just a habit that I have done over many years.
But, the other morning it was going to be one of THOSE DAYS....filled with so many things to get done. So, as I was headed to brush my teeth, early that morning, I said to myself, "I'm not going to make my bed today. No one even comes back here. It doesn't really matter."
I stood at the mirror brushing my teeth and could see the unmade bed through the mirror. And, it just felt odd to leave it unmade. So, I walked back in the bedroom, spent one or two minutes and made the bed.
It's just a habit and it didn't feel right not to do it.
I started faithfully reading my scriptures on a daily basis several years ago.
It's just a habit and it doesn't feel right not to do it.
Incredible messages...inspiring music.
And, did you hear Jeffrey R. Holland's phenomenal talk? Truly amazing.
Here's the irony of conference weekend for me:
I'm reading a book about Bernie Madoff (on the Kindle, of course); he was a liar; a cheat; totally amoral. He stole from his family, best friends, Jewish charities, European heads of states, other charities, famous people - including the Holocaust survivor, Elie Weasel.
Bernie Madoff was - in a word - absolutely unbelievable. One of the men quoted in the book says that Madoff posed a greater threat than drug cartels and mobsters.
So, I had been reading this book about Madoff and then it was conference.
What an amazing contrast; from the absolute worst of men to the absolute best of men. From the lowest degradation to the most inspiring heights possible.
I eagerly anticipate the November Ensign where I can read the messages and be reminded that there are truly great, inspired, honest men leading us!
I'm glad to be a part of that kingdom, and I look forward to being inspired all over again.
There were no giggles and, "ssshhh, she's still asleep," coming from the other end of the house.
There was no one in her Tinkerbell pajamas peeking around the corner of the dresser with pleading eyes and voice, "Grama, I'm hungry....can we please have breakfast now."
There was no sound of "He/she stole, hit, took, kicked, knocked, looked or touched me."
The only signs they had even been here for two weeks were a Lightning McQueen car hidden way under the bed, a lone pink sock, a crayon on the kitchen table, a perfect handprint on the window, magnets found deep in the carpet.
But they HAD been here; 8 children over a two-week period.
And, I realized again that Nathaniel, Jeanine, Justin, Amy, Jordan, Janna, Andrea, and all other parents out there...you may never win the Medal of Freedom, but you deserve it. Your face may never grace the cover of TIME magazine as person of the year, but you will have earned that honor. You may never win the Nobel Peace Prize officially, but in my heart, you have earned it many times over.
For you have given your lives to the highest, noblest, most time-consuming, never have a vacation, and most challenging of all positions;
You are a parent.
It went everywhere with her; from Salt Lake to Long Island to Virginia.
It went with her through the rain, through some snow, through the hottest of days and the coldest of days. It was reliable. But she kept it locked up to make sure it was safe.
It was always there when she needed it;
until the night she went out to the hospital parking lot, and it was GONE!
"Scooters are the new trendy thing to steal," the policewoman said.
She is angry, I am angry! She is upset, I am upset! She realizes that is part of life, but I wish it weren't.
But, the most important thing of all; she is okay!
Happy Birthday, dear son, Jordan...we are very proud of your achievements!