Everyone Has A Story.....

And Ken and Sherry have a great one as well.

He had 11 children, 10 lived to adulthood.  After 40 years of marriage, his wife found out she had cancer all over her body and in 39 days she was gone.

Enter his uncle from Texas who told him about his wife's cousin in China, so Ken - in Arizona - and Sherry - in China - talked on the internet.  Then got married.

She was Buddhist, but is now a Mormon.

They live in Page, Arizona, and are as happy as can be.


Question of the Week?

MOI standing on the threshold of pain.

Okay, so here's my question...

Does it really do any good?

I mean, today there were about five men who were the size of Texas, some very large women, and MOI.

Truthfully, we all look like it really doesn't matter if we do it or not.

I'm just not convinced....

but then on the other hand,

I'll be back again next week.


Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

I'll admit it.

I've never been good at making decisions.

I admire people who can make a decision and not look back, knowing they made the right choice.

But, I'm always second guessing myself and my decisions.

From simple - should I buy these shoes?

To complex - should we move?

I just don't seem to get it right sometimes.

And, now, I'm looking at a decision I recently made and thinking....big time mistake.

However, there IS one decision that I always think was solidly wise...

moving to St. George.

No looking back, because that was a very wise decision!


Scorcher for April!

97 is what he said on the weather report.


Now, that's warm....maybe even hot.


He Never Promised Me a Rose Garden, but RAH

gave me one anyway....

Breathtaking tonight....

Thanks, RAH, for the incredible beauty you have brought to our little corner of the world.  Takes my breath away to just walk by.  Thanks for all the hard work, year after year.

You bring a lot of joy and beauty to the neighborhood!


The Sunday Visits

Today I visited a family that I love to visit;

Brent, Jenni, Stockton, Landon, and Janessa.

I don't get to see the whole family a lot....even though they live just half an hour away.

So, it was fun to eat dinner and be in their home.

The boys showed me pictures of their prom....oh, they are handsome young seniors.

Jenni told us all about her recent trip to a medical/nursing convention where she was a presenter.

Dinner was served; and it was just a pleasant Sunday visit.

Great family....hard to believe the boys are seniors in high school....my how time flies when you have kids and grandkids!

Just Sayin....

.....I definitely prefer GOOD NEWS to BAD/SAD news.

So, I say, bring on the good news....I'll shout it out!


Why Journaling Is Important

To Do Today:

Clean the file cabinet:

So, while cleaning out the file cabinet, I came across several talks I had given over the years.

One talk was given to a group of Primary workers in Sugar City, Idaho, a small city about ten miles from where I lived.

The talk was a talk to encourage them in their challenging callings as Primary teachers.  I made three points about why they, as Primary workers, were so significant to the young children in their classes.  Reading it was fun because the talk had been given about 35 years ago.

But, most of the talk was written in just short little incomplete sentences.

At the conclusion of the talk explaining how important each teacher is; for the final wrap up, I used as a story an example of what had happened in our stake in Rexburg, Idaho after the incredible flood of 1976, when the Teton Dam had burst.

However, as I said, the talk was in short cryptic sentences, and so was the finale of the talk.  The concluding line said something like, "Let me conclude by telling you how important Primary is to young children.  Here's what happened in our Stake in the Primaries immediately after the flood...."

and the sentence ends.

I have no clue what happened in our Stake Primary in 1976, and I was the Stake Primary President.  I have absolutely NO MEMORY of that event, or what I was talking about.  But, it was significant enough that it is the FINALE of a talk on the importance of Primary.

I have no JOURNAL RECORD of that event.

And, I don't recall it.

Oh, yes, I do believe in keeping a journal.  (or in my case, a blog.)


Bird Brain

At first, IT was entertaining and a novelty.

Then, IT was slightly annoying.

At length, IT became irritating and even worse, a BIG MESS.

What was IT?

A bird.

Every morning around 7 a.m., the lovely robin would sit on the edge of a chair on our patio,  and fly into our big picture window.  One morning, IT flew at the window for one and a half hours!

You can catch a very short clip of the bird doing ITS thing right here:

If I chased IT away, he would go to the bedroom at the back of the house and fly at that window, but IT would eventually return to our patio and fly at the window.

Our patio is covered in - you don't want to know what.

So, I decided to take drastic measures.

I moved all the chairs away from the windows.

Sadly, that has not stopped IT entirely.....

Psycho bird, that's IT.



Just after writing the previous post about accepting my own problems, I received


What they are doesn't really matter.

What matters is if I can keep things in perspective and not let these two things totally overwhelm me.

It's not health related, but it is a HUGE temporary setback.

I mean, it is all so unsettling.

FAITH, I need it right now.

Problems? I'll Keep My Own!


Brent M was recently put in a mental hospital.

Sylvia has spent 18 years in a wheelchair.

Martha's business is failing and she may lose her home; at age 70, she is worried about an income.

Ethan is on dialysis 3 times a week, and suffers from debilitating diabetes.

Roger's daughter has disavowed her parents and has no contact.  They are heartbroken.

Laura has become bitter towards the church after an incident involving her family.

Pam suffers from back pain and is hooked on pain pills from a lifetime of unrelenting pain from a twisted spine.

Melvin has total hearing loss; he cannot hear anything at all.

Okay, enough already!

But, it makes me realize, that I will just stick to my own set of problems.

I'll be grateful for my own life right now.

I don't think the grass is always greener!



What motivates us to do things?

What really changes behavior?

Recently, I visited Donna in her lovely home.  It's just incredible...there is not a paper out of place, not anything amiss on the counter tops.  It's just an amazing show piece of a home; beautiful furniture, elegant design.

I told someone that Donna could have people stop by for a home tour in ten minutes and she wouldn't have to do anything to get ready!

Even her basement is incredibly decorated like something you would see in a magazine.

While her decorating style is not my style, it's so perfect for HER.

But, decorations and furniture aside, being in her home twice in the past week, motivated me to want to get better organized and stay tidier.

So, I worked yesterday to have things more streamlined looking.

Cleaning out some items felt darn good!


The Mother Dialogues

We visit on a regular basis, so I've gotten to know her quite well.

Sometimes we just talk fluff, but sometimes if we are together for an extended period of time, we get quite personal.  Recently, S said to me:

"I  wasn't a very good mother."

"We all feel that way," I countered.

"No,"  she continued.  "I really wasn't.  I did a lot of screaming at them and didn't spend quality time with them.  You don't know."

"Listen, S," I said, "We ALL did the best we could with what we had and what we knew."

"Well," she continued.  "I will NOT make the same mistakes with my grandchildren.  When they visit, I do things with them.  I spoil them by spending time with them - we read, we play games, we do art work, or cook.  I put other things aside.  They are my first priority.  I will not let it be said of me that I wasn't a good grandmother."

And, then we moved on to other topics.

But, I realized we must all get past those long-ago should have dones!

We must do as Elder Uchtdorf said,


(but, just let me add here that I don't think he was talking about giving up chocolate!)


The Disease

First of all, it appears to be genetic.

It can be dangerous, but I wouldn't exactly say fatal.

I inherited it from my father.

It has no scientific name, but I call it GADGITITIS.

Gadgets and new-fangled gizmos are absolute must-haves.

Budgets go by the wayside when the disease strikes.  A tic begins to form in the face and becomes a full-blown body shaking ere long, or at least until the gizmo is in hand.

Cords, plugs, electrical outlets strew the office of the person afflicted.  An entire suitcase is needed when going on even the smallest of trips.  

It is a serious serious disease and, as of yet, there is no known cure; except to purchase the latest and greatest.

Spouses must be a special breed to allow the disease to run its course.

Sometimes it can be unnerving, as the learning curve for new apps, programs, gadgets, gizmos is always steep.

Oh, I have it bad.


The Yellow Dress - A Tribute to My Father on His Birthday

The year was 1961 - spring time - I was a junior in high school.

We were driving home from church, and I leaned over the back seat (no seat belts in those days), and said to my mom and dad, "I forgot to tell you, but tonight is Seminary graduation."

(Side bar: back in those olden days, you graduated from Seminary after three years, post grad in four years.  So as a junior, I was graduating.)

My mother was upset, "Why didn't you tell me?  Merrill, did you hear that?  What will she wear?  Loni, if you had told me, I could have made you a new dress.  I just don't know what you will wear...."

The theme continued on our long drive home.

We piled out of the car.  My father went in and made a phone call....none of us knew the nature of the call, as he always made calls on Sunday.

Just as I finished setting the table, and mom was telling us to come eat, dad said, "Loni, get in the car!"

"But, it's time for dinner," my mom said.

"We'll eat when we get home," and saying that, we got in the car and drove all the way back into town.  I don't remember what my dad talked about, or if he did talk on our way into town, but I know I was very curious about the reason for this sudden trip.

In 1961 in Pocatello, Idaho, there were hardly any stores open on Sundays...certainly not any where my family shopped.  And, we NEVER shopped on Sundays.  It was the Sabbath, so we shopped on Saturday or other days of the week.  So, this was all very puzzling to me.

We drove into the center of town....practically deserted.  We pulled up in front of the fanciest dress store in town: THE PARIS - a store I had never even been inside of.   We certainly couldn't afford to shop there. As we got out of the car, Sister Olson from our ward, was also pulling up.  She was O.L.D. (she was probably about 50). But, she was by far, the classiest dresser in our humble ward because she was the manager of the fancy dress shop.  She stood by the front door of THE PARIS with a large bunch of keys in her hand.

"Good morning, Merrill.  Good morning, Loni," she said in her strong, take-charge voice.

Then she unlocked the front door of THE PARIS, we walked in the empty store and my dad said, "Loni, now go get yourself a dress for Seminary graduation."

Since that time, I have had many new dresses.  One of my all-time favorites was one my mother made me for Seminary Post Grad the next year when I was a Senior.  I had a fantastic blue dress for my wedding get-away dress.  I have bought some dresses that cost more than they were worth, but they were nice dresses.  I've made some dresses for myself that were fun and just what I wanted.

But, I don't think any dress meant as much to me as the yellow dress I wore that spring evening in 1961.

Thanks, dad.  You always and ever were there for us.

Happy Birthday.


The Two FFs

Everyone needs them.

They are such a great blessing in our lives.

And, you realize that more and more as you:

have a celebration for something in your life,
have a tragedy in your life,
have something you want to share with someone special,
need a listening ear,
get older.

So, today, I just want to tell my

You rock my world.

Thank you.



I have always loved Easter.

So, today, on this Easter Sabbath morn, I declare that I know:

Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer, our Saviour.

Jesus has risen.

He will come again.


Clipart found here:

How long does it take before the newness wears off?

A new dress...is it no longer new after one, two, three wearings?

A new marriage....when do you wake up and realize it's not like it was in the beginning?

A new baby....ah, the wonder never wears off, but do the sleepless nights and days take the edge off newness?

A new home...how long before you realize the N.E.W. smell is gone, and it's got to be cleaned?

A new car.....

this one's easy...the newness wears off the day the first payment arrives in the mail.

Then, it's REALITY...

WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!?!?!?!??!


The Hike

It's an EASY hike, they said.

That should have been my first clue.

EASY has different meanings to different folk.

To those three handsome grandsons, it was very easy; to the runner woman, it was a piece of cake; to the young in-shape mom, it was nothing!

To MOI, it was SoMeThInG!

I mean, it wasn't like it was torture or anything, but it means that it was slightly below torture...it was hot, steep steps in places, and did I mention HOT?!?!??!?!

And, my arthritis in the right foot kicked in on the way up the hill?

But, on the flip side, it was a spectacular hike from the top to the ocean.....mighty ocean. 

And, on the flip side, Bridger and I had a great talk about his favorite subject: Basketball.

So, weighing in all the factors; it was not so bad after all!

This flower was not seen on the hike, but is right outside Jeremy's apartment building. 
We noticed it after the hike, however, and thought it was so unique and gorgeous with the little yellow dots on the end of the red stems.  Oh, what a magnificent world Heavenly Father created for us!

He Won't Always Let Me Hold His Hand....

so, while he will, I'll take every opportunity to hold it tight..

...and let him know how much I love him.


Happy Birthday, dear dear MOTHER!

Dorothy Merrill Gee-
she loved flowers and beautiful things.
This picture was taken in Washington, DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival
How do you adequately describe a wonderful mother?

I can't do it. 

So, I'll say this; my mother was: beautiful, happy all the time, hard-working, kind, gentle, good to the core, generous, a fantastic cook, seamstress, yoga instructor long before it was the "in thing to do," lover of all things beautiful, supportive wife and mother.

She lives so strong in my memory.  Sometimes it's a tangible ache.

I wish so many things about what I should have done and talked to her about while she was alive.  (Maybe that is why I tell my grandchildren my stories, my memories.)

Mother, you are the queen of all good things in my eyes. 

And, I'm so glad that our parting on that Friday night so many years ago will not be our final good-bye.

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...