Breakfast with the Hackworths!

For about a year, we've been having green smoothies on a pretty regular basis; (Carisa was the inspiration and got me started again after visiting in SO CAL a year ago.)

Then, recently, our daughter Dr. Fish recommended we watch Hungry for Change. Which we did.

So, that inspired RAH to step up the smoothies a notch.  Which he did.

He combined blending and juicing.....wow, healthy food headed its way to our innards!

Included in this morning's drinks were: celery, lemons, strawberries, kale, parsley, broccoli, green pepper, carrots, apples.

It doesn't win the "best taste of the year award," but he says he'll keep working and refining it.
And, as I say, lots of healthy stuff headed to our liver and colon, arteries, tissues, stomachs, and brains.

Picture From the Past

Looking at pictures from events in the past is such fun.  Allen recently showed me this picture and it brought back a flood of memories.

We are eating at an Indian buffet in Disneyworld - such fond memories of sharing this fun time with Jordan and family:


Good-bye to the Sisters! We'll Miss You!

Meet Sister Hill and Sister Bassett

Both of these beautiful full-time missionaries are from Boise, Idaho.

Both are widows - Sister Basset - twice.

Both are hard-working, strong, and oh, so FUN!

Sister Hill - far left and Sister Bassett - far right show off the new aprons made for them by Sister Crown.

They have made a difference in the lives of the people they have helped through the Accelerated Job Search Program.  They have made a difference in the lives of the many, many people they have helped do resumes, find jobs, fill out applications, give comfort.

They have made a difference in MY life and the lives of the other missionaries serving at the Employment Center.

Both are always positive, optimistic, helpful.  Their smiles have made the coldest days seem warm.  They are true disciples and examples of the Saviour.

Oh, dear Sister Bassett and Sister Hill...



The Sound of the Bell

It's such a pleasant sound.

Because it means that someone got a job!

I wish it would ring more often.

Hurting for Someone

Her name is B.  She has depression.

There is a family history of it in her family.

She worries about where her thoughts take her on many occasions.

She worries about:

her children,
her health,
her government,
her situation.

She can't get the thoughts out of her head.

I don't know what to say or to tell her....but I know it's real.  I know it's serious.  I know she hurts and cannot find peace right now.

And, now, I worry.


Mission Monday

The computers were working again today!

That makes it so much better.  I could actually post jobs and we could help people in their job searches.

We have two new missionaries; one a full-time sister whose companion will join her in about a week.  Next, a man who will work about 3 days a week.  He used to work for a funeral home, and he encouraged me to pay for my funeral early.

Good advice.

The Lady on the Corner or Finding Joy

I was telling Allen recently about a friend down the street.

I see her life as being a fairy-tale princess life.  Her three adult children are good and active in the church.  Her husband has a steady job with a very good income.  She lives in a beautiful home.  She is very healthy.  As far as I can tell, she has not suffered any of these events in her life, thus far:

untimely death of a child or loved one
catastrophic illness
job loss
family betrayal
children letting go of the rod

It made me wonder about the belief that sorrow will come into anyone's life.  While I certainly don't wish bad things to happen on anyone, I was thinking about the seeming lack challenges or hardship in her life and expressed that to Allen.

He said something so wise that it caught me up short:

"You don't really know what she has suffered because she has found great JOY in living the Gospel."

What a great response.  I DON'T know about her challenges; if any of those have happened to her, those are not things she focuses on.  And, when I see her, she has the JOY of the Gospel in her eyes, life, demeanor.

It was a moment that I want to remember and apply in my own life.

To find the JOY of living the Gospel.


Book Lovers Are Few....

Apparently that is so, according to a paragraph I just read in a new book called:

Sixpence House

which tells about a family who moved from San Francisco to a small village of 1500 inhabitants in England that had forty used book stores...

Here's what the author, Paul Collins, wrote in one of the first few pages:

"A recent survey found that half of American households did not buy a single book in the previous year.  I knew this statistically, even as I toured my neighbors' houses.  And I knew it viscerally when our real estate agent looked around our own flat and said,

'You have too many books in here.  Home buyers don't like books.'"

He saw my expression, and shrugged helplessly.  'Really.  You should hide them.'"

HIDE YOUR OWN BOOKS TO SELL A HOME?!?!??!?!?!??!?  Totally ridiculous.

I have on my desk a mug given to my by my dear daughter, Kristi.  It says:

I cannot live without books 

by Thomas Jefferson.

Those would be my sentiments exactly.

Ha!  What a creative way to shelve books - by color - in a rainbow, no less!


How Things Change

Saw this picture on the net today:
It's a cell phone circa the 1970's....

try carrying that around on your hip all day!

Here's what it has evolved to today:

It makes me wonder what is on the horizon for tomorrow.....

Should be an interesting adventure to see.


The Goodness of People

Sometimes I am blown away by how truly good, kind, and generous people are.

Thank you, B & D, your generosity will be so appreciated by my loved ones, and I will be forever grateful beyond measure.


Stories that Make You Shake Your Head

Her name was Cherie...and she is desperate for a job in St. George.

She had just returned from serving a mission in the Phillipines.

She was serving as a single older sister, although, she is probably only in her early 50's.

But, both of her companions were disobedient.  One was sent home, one was relocated to get away from a romance.  And, both of her companions were in their 60's.

Made me shake my head; why would 60 year olds go on a mission if they weren't going to keep the rules?  I can so see that happening with an 18 year old missionary, but a 60 year old who is making out in the corner of the room?

I always think I've heard it all.

It's obvious - I haven't.


Time to count blessings

Wonderful parents and brothers
Loyal husband
Extended family
President Monson
China experiences

So many things.  


St George

It's so fun to learn things....

This is the man St George is named after...

George Smith.

And, yes, that is a wig he is wearing on his head; he also had false teeth.

But, he was a good good man, so the town was named after him although he didn't actually participate in the settling of this lovely place.  He helped in calling the 300 families who were sent to settle the harsh, dry valley.

Thanks, George; I love this place named after YOU!


The Day We Heard the Wretched NEWS.....

I was shopping at Wal*Mart for groceries because we were expecting company.

I was in a foul mood because of the previous night, which was all of my own doing.

I walked by the newspapers and saw the headline:

it stunned me...I'm still in shock....

I cannot go to pieces like I normally do.

and I am going to try very hard to maintain my faith and hope.

I have to.

sometimes i am so stupid...

and dumb and awful and just don't think and that about describes last night.


Where There's Smoke, There's Usually Trouble...

I don't mean to be judgmental or to be prejudiced, but I will just say this....

Nearly ALL of the people who come to see the transient bishop are smokers.  It just amazes me that so many/most come in trailing clouds of smoky smells.

What's my point...there isn't one, just simply stating the facts.

And, adding this thought:

I hate the tobacco companies.

Monday Mission Files - a Lesson in Finances

He stood by the bulletin board looking over the job possibilities.  He had on a plaid polo shirt and didn't look like the kind of person we normally get searching for a job.  Since the computers were - and will be - all down, I asked if I could help him and what sort of job he was looking for.

We chatted for awhile and he told me his story; at least his side of the story.

Over his career, he had had an unusual job of buying mines that were in financial trouble...he would then sell off all the equipment and sell the mining property to the government who would pay top dollar.  (I don't really understand all the details and I'm not sure about it all.)

He made millions of dollars, but his wife spent even more.  (How does a woman living in St George, Utah spend millions of dollars?!?!?!??!)  At any rate, the money came to a screeching halt - as did his marriage.  It was only while in the process of going through the divorce, that he discovered just how much his ex-wife was spending....he was appalled and shocked.  He had never paid any attention to the bills or the accounting of his finances.

This was actually the 2nd time in three days that a man has told me this:

the man made truck loads of money, but the wife spent trainloads of money.  And both marriages ended in divorce, although everyone involved were Mormons.

I am often amazed and intrigued by the stories of money.  Money can be such a divider of families, lives, friends.

I often think of Allen's father who lived on practically nothing....he totally lived off his social security which amounted to about $400.00 a month.  He believed in paying cash, paying his bills, and living within his means.  But, he also had something that few people do; he was CONTENT with his life just the way it was.  What an inspiration!

Ah, Mondays....always interesting.


Valentine's Dinner at the Fisher Home!

The table was set....

And, yes, those are REAL roses....given to Jenni by her thoughtful husband, Brent!

everything looked so incredibly lovely.

We teased Jenni about putting the arrow tip on backwards, ha! ha! nevertheless, it all looked so Valentiney.

 The menu was better than anything in any restaurant:
steak; tender, tasty
potato salad; a winner every time
french bread; crispy with a great flavor
baked cauliflower; oh, my goodness, what can I say about that cauliflower?  oh - yes - DIVINE!

Then, as if that weren't all deeelicious enough, here came the chocolate mousse...(others put raspberries on top which added to the colorfulness.)

What a meal!

Jenni, your restaurant is my absolute favorite - every time!

Thank you, my dear daughter.


what we do really matter?

That's what I find myself asking over and over in our mission at the LDS Employment Center....

Because most of the time, I don't think so.

I'll be leaving in a couple of hours to head over there, and I just feel so



Gong Xi Fa Cai

Happy Chinese New Year to you all!

The food was delicious, and the evening even ended with fireworks out in the street.

Oh, I'm grateful for opportunities to meet new people, reconnect with the old, and just have a good time. Thanks, Henry and Kay for a marvelous evening.

Here's a link to hear us all singing in Chinese...well, some of us are mostly listening to Henry singing:


So, today, I'm remembering where we were two years ago, thinking with fondness on the incredible day where we were amidst THRONGS of people, and I do mean THRONGS.  I'm remembering that I was asked for the first time if I had eaten cat or dog yet?

And, I'm remembering the many good good people we met.

Gong Hey Fat Choy


Say - What's That Again?

I saw this story on the local news.

I was, to say the least, flabbergasted....

Oh my goodness, what a deliciously delightful book.  What a charmingly strong-willed RED HEADED girl!  Those of us who knew and love Anne Shirley will think of her like she is pictured on the cover above.

So, what in the heck were these publishers even thinking when they wanted to update the cover and they chose this cover photo:
Where are Anne's hated freckles, her hated red hair that Gilbert called "carrot top?"  What is with the plaid shirt and sexy look?

It defies logic, reason, authenticity, accuracy.

Have they even read the book?  I hope no one buys it.

I guess it boils down to this...I don't like change.

The Evolution of Photography

How people and photography have changed over the years....

This is my great, great, great grandmother on my father's side.  She was born in 1814 and she's looking pretty STERN in this photo.  (If you think about it, it is remarkable that we even have a picture of this -no doubt- wonderful lady.)
Philinda Upson

This is my great grandmother on my mother's side...she was born in 1853  She has just a hint of turned up corners on her mouth.  (I wish I had her lovely name of Mariah)
Susan Mariah Simkins

Now for my marvelous mother...full smile.  She is smiling in every photo I can think of her - (I miss my dear wonderful mother...she was a good, good person.)
Dorothy Merrill Gee
And, finally, my granddaughter with her broad wide beautiful full on smile.  (She's married now, so the smile is even bigger!)
Janessa Fisher (Behunin)

Are the smiles representative of the fact that life is better, more pleasant, less demanding, or just the way photography has emerged?

Guess we'll never know.

I like it better now.


One of My Favorite Things....

is a library.

I love libraries.

So yesterday when I went to pick up a book I had on hold, I was thrilled to peek in the children's section and see the marvelous story teller.  The children were enraptured, noisy, and talkative.  One looked at the painting on the ceiling and said, "Look, it's the magic carpet!"

Oh, my heart soared.

I loved that those children were gathered around in a warm, cozy environment.  I loved that in just a few minutes they would check out a stack of books that they would never have access to if they had to go buy each of those books.

Their moms are teaching them early on that a library is such a marvelous place.

I do a lot of complaining about taxes, but I think a library is a great use of tax dollars.

Long Live Libraries!


The Bell Ringers

When someone gets a job, we encourage them to come back to the Employment Center and ring the bell.

Today the bell rang twice; it's like a magic sound.

I only wish we would hear it much more often.


Mission Monday

Elder Crown told us in prayer meeting today that in the next few months their ward will have 17 missionaries going out!

WOW,  just so incredibly exciting.

I love that kind of news.

In fact, it was a lot better than what I heard the rest of the day.  So, I'll just leave it at that.

Valeria's Story

Valeria lost a child.

There is a hole in her heart every day.....

But, she says Sundays are the very worst.

Sitting in the pews, she is keenly aware of the happy families all around her.  She sees them smiling, touching, and it only serves as a reminder of what she has lost.

Sometimes, she says her mind goes back and she says, "What IF .....?"

It eats away at her.

Her husband struggles with it also, so it's difficult for them to talk about it with each other.

For Valeria, she tries to be positive, upbeat, and not dwell on it, but the hole is always there.  However, there is never a sense of total JOY or happiness.

Valeria concluded that the future scares her.  "If THAT could happen, what else might?"

I wish you peace, dear Valeria.


The Happiness Poster

I saw this today on Facebook and loved it.  It's a good reminder of HAPPINESS.

I think - being very personal here - that number 6 is the hardest for me...I do not like unhappy or bad news.  It throws me out of whack.

Having said that, however, I think this is a great look at why some people are optimistic and happy...they follow these principles.

So, I'll try also.

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...