The Princess Tea Party

Girl time with three of the granddaughters....Lucy, Anna, and Janessa

Ahh, Lucy, hold that little pinky just so...you've got it, girl!

Any party is better with GREEN BEAR there.

Janessa showing Lucy how to make a bracelet....much more complicated than we thought!

Well, I'm sure there was more in there a minute ago!

Dance time for the princesses!

And then, it's nail time with our fabulous nail technician, Janessa.

Movie time _Princess Diaries, of course, what else?

What a great Princess Tea Party...next time, we need Imogen, Alyson, and Kaelyn to join the fun.



are hard sometimes.

But, the decision to put one's own mother in a nursing home must surely be an agonizing one.

(My mother was in one, but for a limited amount of time....she hated it.)

And, now my neighbor has been put in a home.

And, yes, she hated the decision.

She told me that she was angry with her children.  She played the guilt card.  She had them all crying.  She, who is always kind and gentle, did not go easy into that dark night.

And, so there she is and at age 69, there she will remain.

Her family has been so good to her; she has lived with her son for several years since her husband was killed in a tragic accident.  They have taken her many places, have cared lovingly for her over an extended period of time.

But, then, it became impossible to do so any longer.

For you see, my friend has MS.

She has been in a wheelchair for 18 years.  But she has gotten progressively weaker and more fragile.  She is no longer able to feed herself.  Her son and daughter-in-law work full time.  One day while they were at work, she wanted to go outside to warm up.  But, she couldn't get back in and was nearly unconscious when discovered three hours later.  She is getting forgetful, repeats...you know the frightening drill.

Oh, dear S, my heart does ache for you.

But, I must be honest; this is the best for all involved.

And, I promise you this....I will come to visit, just as I have for four years....

We'll laugh, talk, share, cry, and be grateful for our friendship.

And you dear friend, will continue to inspire me with your goodness, gentleness, kindness, and FAITH.


Time Out for the Zoo - San Diego, That Is

I didn't take a lot of pictures, but saw some interesting sights....here's just three things of the many:

Looks just like some kind of rock; but it's actually a very old, very big tortoise!

He's ginormous!  And, he was absolutely right next to the window; I've never been that close to a polar bear; it was quite a thrill, actually!

"What was your favorite part of the zoo?" we asked some of the adults and children...."The Chinese Acrobats," they unanimously seemed to agree.  

And while this picture doesn't show them doing anything particularly spectacular, believe me when I say - THEY DID!

Ah, there is nothing quite like a day at a zoo!


More Grandma Time

Anna having fun at the Fisher's pool in Hurricane....

Lucy loved making cards....


The Day the Rain Came Down...

1.  Allen washed the car

2.  Allen washed the windows

3.  Allen sprayed Round Up on the weeds.

Yep, that's why it rained...thank you very much.

(That, and the prayers of many people in Southern Utah!)


Grandma Time

There is nothing like the thrill of learning to ride a BIKE!  And Miles found that out recently!

Anna enjoys the little river at the St. George water feature!

The Virginia beauty cools off in St. George, Utah!

Disgusted and Angry!

I am literally SICK TO DEATH of the attacks on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

Distortion of the Facts
Bitterness from former members
Acrimony from Atheists

Truly, this makes me fighting MAD!


Job Perks

Working for the airline perks:

Free flights for you and your family almost anywhere and anytime.

Working as a doctor in a hospital perks:

Free bed pan when you mention to the nurse on duty that your spouse is at home and not feeling well.

Which job will you recommend to your children?


The Railroad Station

It was late at night in a busy, crowded railroad station in China.  (Now, crowded in China means much more than crowded anywhere else in the world.)

It was the day before a national holiday.  Nearly everyone leaves town, so the station was packed; people and bags took up every space - it was literally standing room only and we were wedged in tight.

Moving was difficult; people were tired, tired of waiting, tired of standing, tired of being squished tight.

And, then Rachelle had an idea.  We were a group of about 45 Caucasian, English-speaking tourists...we looked totally out of place in a room filled with small Chinese.  We were big, tall, and blonde.

"Let's sing," Rachelle said.  We all loved Rachelle.  She was in her 30s - not part of the senior teaching group from BYU, but she loved to go on the trips with the "old" BYU teachers.

So, there in the train station that dark late night, we sang.

The Chinese stared, then they smiled, then some joined in humming.  The tension in the room eased.

And, then the train came.  We all grabbed our bags and headed to the train.

Only now,  there was a smile on our faces.


Money Matters

Bob was a farmer in a small Utah town.  Farming didn't always pay the bills, so he also worked two other jobs over the years.  Whenever there was a little extra money, he began to buy some tracts of land way out of town; the land wasn't fantastic farming land as it was hard packed clay, but it was land, and that was Bob's goal.  Additionally, it was far from town, so few people had any interest in the land.  But, Bob kept some horses and cows and put in crops every year.

Bob and his wife had two children: a son, Fred, who loved farming and the land; and a daughter, Stella,  who loved shopping and spending.

As the two children married, they lived next door to one another.  Fred's wife, Marva, became fast friends with her sister-in-law, Stella.  They confided in each other and were each other's best confidantes.  The grandchildren grew up being close and also very good friends.

At some point, Bob and his wife gave Fred and Stella an early inheritance; something fitting for each child.  To the daughter, Stella, they gave a large piece of valuable property in the center of town.  After all, she had no interest in the land so far away from town - she scorned the land.  And, she did just what her father thought she would do - she sold the land and family homestead immediately.  (Several years later, the man who purchased her property sold it to a large bank and made much more money than she had...this made her furious!)

And, to the dutiful son who loved farming like his father, he gave the land far from town.

As happens in lots of towns, the community spread; it grew at an amazing pace.  People flocked to the little desert town; the town spread in all directions, including to the south where Fred owned a large section of ground.  There was a selling frenzy.  Farmers who had struggled to make a go for years began selling their land.  Subdivisions grew up around Fred's property  But he kept his precious land and continued to use a large portion of it as home to his livestock.

As the property rose in value, Fred's sister, Stella, came to him and demanded some of the land. Fred reminded Stella that their father had not been willing to give her any of the land because he knew she would sell.  He also told her that for him, the land was a working farm.  Every night after his salaried job, he and his sons went out to feed the horses and cattle, and work the land which was growing hay for his livestock.  Would she be interested in doing that?  And, of course, she would not.  The land itself meant nothing to her; the money did.

And, then TRAGEDY.  Fred was killed in an horrific car crash.  Fred's wife, Marva, survived, but would be in a wheelchair and require care the remainder of her life.  She was so frail that she was actually unable to attend the funeral of her husband.

Stella came to Marva and told Marva that the land now belonged to her, Stella.  Marva was in shock over the death of her husband....she was suffering and her life was a blur.  But Stella was insisting that Marva hand over the land.  A will was found.  It gave all the land to Fred's wife, Marva.

Stella was hurt, angry, offended, bitter.  She poisoned her children against Marva and Marva's children.  Stella's children made mean remarks to people in the town about their own cousins, whom previously they had been such good friends with.  Stella refused to have anything to do with her sister-in-law.  She became a bitter, angry, unhappy person.

Because of financial concerns facing Marva and her health, Marva was forced to sell a portion of the land for development, however, she kept over 60 acres, hopefully to never be sold.  It continues to house horses and cows and Marva's son goes to the small farm every night to care for the animals.

Several times, Stella has demanded the land and money belong to her...

Stella has made Marva feel like all the animosity is Marva's fault.  Finally, in an effort to salvage the family relationships, Marva generously gave Stella a large piece of land, which Stella did just as her father and brother predicted she would do - she sold it just days after the land was deeded to her.

The feuding continues to this day; there is heartache all around.  There is anger, bitterness, blame, hurtful words, and family relationships destroyed.

Marva made an overture of peace, she tried to appease her embittered sister-in-law.  Marva cries over the situation as it pains her to see what has happened to the once wonderful sister/friendship.

MONEY and FAMILY; a sometimes poisonous mixture.


How To Have a Great 4th!

It all starts with the decorations....

And, no one does it like my brother and his wife.

I LOVED seeing their festive home in Boise.  Oh, they do it up right!

Even the flowers are red, white, and blue.....Libby & Gavin, you ROCK!

Here's the creative couple in his office - (he collects things; in this room are his lighthouses, another room houses his incredible collection of santa clauses, the garage houses his collection of Wheaties boxes....he is definitely our mother's son!)

Happy 4th of July, everyone!  I love and am grateful for this great land!



I don't watch a lot of television.

And, most of what I watch is TiVoed (recorded ahead of time to fast forward through the commercials).

But, today, I was trying to watch something live and it totally reminded me why I LOVE TiVo.

There were a full 8 minutes - that's right....


of commercials at the hour break.

Totally ridiculous.  Horrific!  Time wasting!

But, mostly AnNoYiNg!

TiVo, you are worth the small amount I pay for you each month!


About Gratitude

I was in a F.U.N.K.

Sometimes when I get that way, I go to visit S.  (Actually, I visit her every week, but I chose that particular day because I was feeling sad about a situation in my life.)

She is cheerful, optimistic, and fun.

But not this time.

She was hurting - again.

She told me how sometimes she lays in her bed at night and screams and cries with pain.  She has - along with her MS - trigeminal neuralgia in her jaw.  It has caused her overwhelming pain in the last year.  She has tried many, many solutions; none work.

Lately, the only relief she gets is from heavy, heavy doses of pain pills.  It makes her loopy.

It's painful for her to brush her teeth, talk, eat.  She is in constant pain.  And, now, she finally had become vocal, and expressed her feelings of despair.

I hurt for her.  I ache for her.  I want to help her.

As I left her home, I thought about my FUNK; and I was ashamed.

I can walk, talk, eat, brush my teeth, visit, enjoy life.

There is no reason to feel anything but deep gratitude.

Which I now do.



Hey, it's July....

Time to celebrate

The Home of the Free and the Land of the Brave!

May God Continue to Bless America!

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...