Weight, Weight Don't Tell Me

I hadn't seen her in probably three years.

So, when she showed up on my doorstep to visit, I hope she didn't see the shock on my face.

She was BIG; lots bigger than when I had seen her three years earlier.

And, I hope it doesn't sound like I am being critical; I'm not.  I've gotten much bigger over the years also. I remember the first time a lady told me I had gained a lot of weight; I was stunned that someone noticed because the pounds just sort of crept up on me.

And, that's what happened to Nikki; the weight just crept up on her as she juggled: home, small family, career, life.

It's a bugger - this weight business.  It's so frustrating to try to eat right...to not snack, to not gain weight.   Plus add that with GENES and it just seems so hopeless most of the time.

But, look at this article which caught my eye this morning.  Apparently, we can't get people to control their own appetites, so we will now regulate it:  you can see the link here.

Is that what it will come down to?  We will force people to get it right.

But on the other hand, I see where cities and states are coming from.  The cost of obesity is frightening.  Our son is a doctor.  One day he told me that he had 8 patients under his care in the hospital.  All 8 of them weighed over 300 pounds; now, that is scary.

We have created a monster for ourselves; super-sized, over-sized, fried, battered, breaded, slathered in sauces and butter; filled to the brim with high fructose corn syrup.

Somewhere we lost track of a taste for real food.

For me, it's a constant battle.


I'm losing - not weight;  but the battle - of the BULGE.


Two Types of Grandmothers

Last week T told me that when her oldest sibling got married, her mother said, "I've raised a big family.  I"m done raising kids, so I'm not babysitting for you.  If you need a babysitter, hire one, or trade with someone, but I'm not going to do it."

T understands how her mother feels, and she accepts it.

Yesterday Barbara told me about her granddaughter and her granddaughter's twins.  The father's parents tend the twins who were born 3 months ago.  They take them every day - all day - long days.  And, they are glad to do it.

Two grandmothers, two styles.

But, truthfully, I like to get to spend some quality time with my grandkids over the years.  I don't tend often, and i don't live close enough to do it on a regular basis, so I'm glad when I get the opportunity.


What's More American Than Apple Pie?


Allen, MOI, Justin, Eli, and Miles
We played a short version of this all-American game on Memorial Day.  
However, the short version took about 6 days - 
just kidding.
Eli loves this game.  
Miles whopped us all buying up property, houses, then hotels.
Is this a sign of things to come in his future?

The Non-believer

Everyone claims it's right.

Everyone seems to think it is effective and necessary.

People tout its benefits.

But, I am not convinced.

It doesn't seem to make any difference to me and my life.

I will continue down this path, but I'm definitely a non-believer.

Oh, yeah,  I'm talking about


Side note:  I feel the same about food; I just don't feel any difference when I eat healthy as opposed to eating unhealthy...I'm just not convinced it really does make a big difference....

Okay, call me SKEPTICAL!


Uptight Vs Relaxed

When T told me recently that her two sons were coming to visit, it was interesting to hear her reaction.

She said within one hour she got a call from her son to the south and an email from her son to the north that they were coming for the four-day weekend.

"My stomach went into knots immediately," she said.  "And they will be in knots until a day after everyone leaves!  It's just so stressful for me the entire time they are here.  I can't relax and enjoy them for one minute! Between them, they have six children and it is just chaos and mess from the minute they enter the front door till they drive away at the end of the day on Monday.  I don't understand why my OWN family puts me in such a panic!"

She made me think of Jeanine.  I've never met anyone like Jeanine.  Because Jeanine is the polar opposite of T.  

Jeanine is the most relaxed person I have ever met.  

Nothing upsets her, and I do mean, NOTHING.  It doesn't bother her when her kids run amok.  (But, here I have to say her kids do have the same pleasant and calm disposition she does, so they don't really run amok all that much.)  It's not that she is oblivious to her children or surroundings, it's just that she can relax and essentially pick her battles.  Which is to say, she has none.  

She does not explode, get angry, frown, get uptight, express dissastisfaction, displeasure, does not ever show impatience with her children or her husband.  

To me, she's a perfect example of what we all should be; patient.

Sometimes when I find myself getting uptight, I think of Jeanine.  I slow down, take a breath, and try to relax.

Honestly, though, I don't think of her often enough in frustrating situations.

But, I'll keep trying to NOT be like T and be much more like Jeanine...oh, she's got it right.



Stockton picks up his actual diploma from Hurricane High School - May 22, 2012 -

The graduates just moments before throwing up their hats in glee - it's over!

Landon joins the Senior Class in singing, WE ARE YOUNG - May 22, 2012

That's one mighty fine looking family and two mighty fine looking graduates....

Never Thought of This Before

Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods...

when I see the devastation on the news, I immediately think of all that is lost:

pictures, keepsakes, clothing, furniture, even beloved pets.

But, today, while making a favorite banana bread recipe, I thought of something I had never thought of before;

the loss of treasured recipes.

You know, the ones not in a commercial cookbook.

The ones from grandmothers, mother, friends, sisters-in-law (that you are no longer speaking to, but whose recipe for chicken dumplings is the best in the world), newspapers, magazines clipped out from years ago.

These are the recipes that are stained with food splatters from years and years of being used again and again.  These are the ones that your family remembers fondly and asks for when they visit.

These are the recipes that are irreplaceable.

It's a minor thing in a catastrophe, but food is comfort and who needs it more than during a disaster?

The Question: When Did America Become a Nation of Obese People:

answers from the internet -

I know childhood obesity started with the invention of video games

the day McDonalds opened

I'd say in the last ten years. We have all been super sized.

when cordless phone became more available and the remote control was introduced.

when soda machines were placed in schools to earn money for education

part of the reason is the type of places many Americans live in. Sprawling suburbia often with no sidewalks, people drive everywhere, use drive thru's, etc unlike urban areas and many places in Europe where everything is closer and people walk places, and walk to take public transit.

When McDonald's became the substitute for home cooked meals.

Ten years ago, you couldn't read a magazine without walking to the newsstand or at least to the mailbox; today you're reading Slate from the same chair where you work, chat with friends, and do half your shopping. Did Bill Gates make us fat?

Did the Americans With Disabilities Act make obesity less of a handicap in the job market?

when candy became available on a daily basis and not just as a special treat on Christmas and Easter

researchers found that rats who are fed high fructose corn syrup gain more weight than rats fed an equal number of calories of table sugar,

In his book "Fast Food Nation," Eric Schlosser points out that in the 1970s, people in the United States spent $6 billion on fast food annually. In 2000, they spent $110 billion. As the amount of money Amercans spend on fast food goes up, so does the number of people who are obese

children are spending hours watching television, playing video games and surfing websites

Now, why am I even thinking of this right now?

SImple - my pants won't fit...it's on my mind.



Things I Wish I Had Taught My Children

We've had visitors lately.  It's always great.  I like it.

When one guest left recently, I thought about his politeness, his gratitude, and it made me realize that I wish I had been more careful about teaching my children a few things.  I knew some good teaching had gone on in his home.

These are in no certain order and no certain significance; they are just things I should have paid more attention to and focused more on:

FINANCIAL lessons.  My father was so very private about money.  I followed suit. But, I didn't really talk about money issues. I wish I had helped them see and understand  the amazing principal of interest.  It can work for you or against you.   I should have helped them see the absolute importance of paying your bills on time, which we have always done, but I didn't talk about that with our children.  No matter how little or how much money you make, SAVE SOME.  And, of course, pay a full tithe...great blessings will come from that in ways you can't imagine.

GRATITUDE - write thank you notes, call, express appreciation.   I would tell my children that expressing gratitude is one of the most important things you can do - whether you get something small or large.  Just acknowledge it!

WHEN you stay with someone, be sure to turn off the lights, make the bed, leave it as clean or cleaner than you left it.  Put dishes in the sink, leave no footprints that you were there.  Actually, our children  do this when they visit us, so I just hope they will do it when they visit others.

HELP OTHERS as much as you can.  It's so fun to help others, no matter in what capacity.  Sometimes it's just fun to do things anonymously; other times it's necessary to make it known.  But, what a great feeling to help people - no matter in what way it is done.

BE KIND to old people.  Young kids and young adults don't have a lot to say to older people, but I will tell you this, we love it when young uns speak to us.

LEARN TO WORK and play - hard.  Both are needed; both are required for a good balance.  Too much of one is not good.  You need both.

TAKE AN INTEREST in others.  We had some people over today to get acquainted with some new people in the neighborhood.  One lady monopolized the entire conversation; if someone brought up something, she told about it in HER life.  It was amazing how she couldn't just sit back and enjoy listening to the stories of the other people there.  It's so important to show you are interested in others.  I've learned a lot of that from RAH.

BE LOYAL and love your spouse.

Okay, I need a parent do-over.


The Breakfast Club



Feeling Gratitude

It was nighttime; the lights were low, I was headed to go read.  I felt overwhelming gratitude for health and home at this moment.

Good Night All.


Gotta Have These in the Kitchen!

I use my Blendtec EVERY day.  It is awesome and makes great fruit smoothies, as well as fabulous green smoothies.  It is about 6 months old, and looks like it is about ten years old.  I hope it never dies.

I  have a very simple bread toaster.  But, it gets used every 
morning for breakfast to toast English muffins 
or whole-wheat toast.  I NEED a toaster.  
When we were in China, it was so hard to find a toaster.  
I asked all around and finally was told about 
a big store way downtown where I could likely get one.  
A toaster is a necessity.  

Okay, so this next one is not used every day, but it certainly gets used - a lot:

I love this wheat grinder....it's fast, noisy, and great!
I use it about every two weeks to grind wheat for bread...I love this little handy, dandy machine.
Okay, so the blender is long gone, but the bread mixer lives on.....

I love this little work house.  Between the two of us, we can turn out a mean batch of whole-wheat bread; light, tasty, and healthy.

Sometimes I think of Grandmothers  slaving in the kitchen.

I gotta say, "I'm glad I'm living today."

Because I do love my kitchen gadgets.


The Weekly Visit

It was our normal weekly visit.

S has lots of fun stories about people, her family, life.

It's easy to be around her and hear her stories.  And, believe me, she has many of them.

That week the story was about Joan.

S and Joan had worked together for a few years.  Joan was much older than S and was about to retire after working for many years.

One Monday morning, Joan came to work feeling downhearted and just in a sad mood.

S wondered what was wrong.

Joan explained, "When you are old, in the church, no one notices you or cares.  It's all about the youth.  And young mothers are absorbed in their busy lives, which I was also with my seven children.  I feel like a non-entity when I go to church.  It's so discouraging.  After many years of contributing, I have no place.  I'm not needed!"

S told me how she reassured Joan, how she told Joan it wasn't true, that she had lots to give, that Joan was very significant to her ward.

And, now, years later, S was echoing to me the sentiments of her long-ago friend, Joan.

"I have no place; I'm not needed." she said sadly.  "And now, I totally understand what Joan was saying those twenty years ago. "

Life - it's a cycle.

And, it's a good reminder to just enjoy every day no matter what age or circumstances.

Just be grateful for whatever is out there for us.


On the Mother's Day Menu....

...compliments of Brent:

Grilled asparagus



Riced Potatoes

Wonderful meal cooked by a wonderful son-in-law.

Then, later on, topped off with strawberry shortcake.

Oh, yeah, Jenni, Barbara and I were loving it.

Thanks, Brent.  Don't you think every day should be Mother's Day at your home?


A Lasting Legacy

It was early Saturday morning.  I was in the LDS temple.

One of the officiators used my name...HACKWORTH.

A man standing in the room said, "Would you be any relation to Dorothy South Hackworth?'

I smiled and proudly said, "She is my mother-in-law."

"Didn't she write a book about Touch of the Master's Hand or something?"

"The Master's Touch," I said.

"Yes, I remember it.  The cover was so memorable.  My mother had the book in our home while I was growing up.  My mother loved the book and it meant a great deal to her.  But, when she died, my sister got all my mother's books...I was disappointed.  But, I recently found a copy at the DI."

Later in the hour when we had another chance to speak, he asked... "Tell me a little about Dorothy Hackworth, so when I read the book, I will think of something personal about her."

"Well," I said, "she was a saint.  She was a marvelous person.  Just so good and kind.  She was wonderful.  Also, I believe that her book was one of the first books Bookcraft published that was not by an established author or by a general authority."

Then I told how she came to write the book.  She was just making a collection of faith-promoting stories for her husband for his birthday. Others wanted copies, so it just mushroomed from there.

He told me a little about himself - a pediatrician - father of many.  And, he was gone.

But, he had stirred in me the remembrance of my dear mother-in-law.

So, on this MOTHER'S DAY, I pay tribute to my 2nd wonderful mother - also a Dorothy - who died in 2000.

Dorothy, fifty years after its first publication date, you have left a lasting legacy; not just for your family, but strangers far away.

And, that is very remarkable.


Coming Soon!

Yes, indeed...the pomegranates are well on their way!  Yum...Yum!


On the Surface

In the past four months, I have heard these true stories from the people involved - none are 2nd hand tellings, each has personally told me their story:

B & T's teen-age son tried to commit suicide.  He told his mother, "Mom, you have no idea how rough it is in school these days."

R & S's 20-something daughter is an alcoholic.  She was nearly killed in an horrific accident recently.  She has lost two jobs.  She gets sober for awhile, but can't maintain it for long.

M & M's son returned early from his mission to Germany.  He admitted to his mother what she had long suspected...he was gay, which in itself was not the bitter cup, but that he was abandoning his faith to embrace the gay lifestyle.

C's husband lost his job.  He was the top salesman in the company and earned a great salary.  The firing came totally out of the blue.

J's husband has been addicted to pornography since he was 13 years old.  His father mortgaged his home to send the adult son/father of 4 to a very expensive recovery program costing over $40,000 for one week of treatment.

Each of these couples has/is facing major issues that have caused pain, heartache, sorrow.  And yet, each of these five couples can be seen on a weekly basis in their LDS congregations.  Each of these couples demonstrates - to me - the power of forgiveness, hope, and most of all FAITH.

I admire them for their courage, their honesty, their openness, their goodness, and their commitment to family and the future.

I am also, once again, reminded how each of us walks a path that is often marked with difficulties, but there is forever hope in the power of the Atonement of Christ.

The sun continues to rise each day and bring that hope to us all.


Costco, Thy Name Is Frustration!

Oh, they are smart.  They have it down.

And, they are so good at it.

Here's what they consciously do:

Except for the bathrooms and the freezer section, things move.  Today, I frantically went in search of my favorite SOBE drinks.  It has almost always been right THERE where I knew exactly which aisle to go down.  NOT THERE.  So, I had to go down almost ALL the food aisles.  It was back in the very back corner where the paper products have been for months.  Oh, now that is sneaky making me go down all those aisles.  Could it be they want me to see something and on the spur of the moment, put it into my cart?

Every grocery store has signs overhead proclaiming: Ketchup, dog food, bread, etc.  Not Costco...they number the aisles, and those numbers have absolutely NO meaning to the average customer.  So, a shopper is forced to go down each aisle in search of a giant bottle of pickles that no family on earth would ever possibly consume.  And, while looking for the pickles, of course the shopper is going to pick up huge amounts of other vast quantities of food that will spoil on the shelf at home.

Oh, sure, there are people at the end of every food aisle, but when you politely ask, "Could you tell me where the pickled pickles are?  They used to be right down here, but they seem to have been moved?"  The helpful lady/man always will say, "I am not an employee of Costco.  I just demonstrate food, so I have no idea where it is/was/or will be in the future!"  Once again, the shopper finds herself going down every food aisle in search of the item....hmmmm, I think I'm seeing a pattern here!

So, normally RAH and I don't need 278 cookies to have around to snack on, but if we shop Costco, that's what we get.  Or, 56 individual pizzas that will turn to caked ice before we can possibly consume them.  Or 37 tomatoes for a salad we will eat once this week?

What genius marketers they are.

SO, then, why do I always go back for more?

Because I'm no genius shopper....


Random Sunday Thoughts

I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

I know that prayer changes things.

I so enjoy mingling with the women in Relief Society.

I am impressed with the many beautiful families in our neighborhood who take their children to church so faithfully.

I feel deep gratitude.

I Thought You Were Genuine.....


that is.

And, then, the real YOU (plastic) came forth.

Oh, I loved you.

But, sadly, I cannot love a fake.

Good bye, red purse.

And It's Not Even From the Wal*Mart Files

Ha! Ha!

This picture caught my eye from a news article on the Kentucky Derby.

It totally looks like something from the pictures of what people wear to Wal*Mart.  Not the lady's outfit, but definitely the man's suit....

Now, that is a killer suit!

But, hey, who am I to make fun; he's going in the millionaires row, so he probably doesn't ever have to shop at Wal*Mart.

And, the confidence required to wear a suit like that.....

Good for him.


Balancing Act

It's not easy.

Being a mom.

When one child may be riding high, another may be prostrate with grief.

So, what is the mother to do?

She has to balance the showing of joy for the one child, with the feelings of compassion and sorrow for the other.

Many, many years ago, Judy said to me,

"You can never be happier than your least happy child."

I have thought of that statement so often over the years.

It describes so perfectly the balance of emotions a mom has as she shares the: joys, sorrows, disappointments, heartaches, triumphs, losses, failures, achievements, struggles of each child, collectively and individually.

For me, it's always there, the weighing of happiness and sorrows.

And, I'm always thankful when the joys can take center stage and there are brief respites when everyone is on the happy spectrum.

And, when the challenges come, I am grateful to know that the sun eventually does come out.


Like Mother; Like Daughter....

but this is ridiculous.....


Fortunately, we were both just warned.

She was speeding to a game, I was slowing down for the town ahead, but didn't slow down fast enough.

Ah, we stick together, even in driving fast.

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...