1.31.2013

Death, Be Not Proud

Today:

I heard about a death of a dear friend - I'm in shock.  She died a year ago, and I didn't know she had died.  She was too young to die.  She was very slender, so to hear that she had heart problems was indeed a shock.

Then, my cousin died today.  I'm in shock.  He was 75, had a very debilitating disease - a sort of Parkinson's - and fell and broke his hip...his lung collapsed and he just couldn't breath.

DEATH, you may cause temporary sorrow, you may leave a huge hole in the family's lives, you may think you are the conqueror, but

DEATH, you are NOT the victor!




1.29.2013

Tuesday Triumph

It happens so rarely.

One in a bazillion.

But, for one tiny second, it happened today.

Amidst:

 the lady truck driver who lives in her truck after her husband took the $90,000.00 they had in a joint account; the single homeless mom living at the care & share who was disowned by her family; the man imprisoned 4 times - who with his pregnant girlfriend - has been clean for two weeks;  the mentally handicapped man; the father of six who was evicted after Christmas and is living in a 3 bedroom home with his mother, grandmother, sister, making 11 people in the tiny town home....

all needing jobs.

So, it was a thrill when an employer called to tell about a temporary job.  I looked around the room and saw N.  Allen was helping him get registered at ldsjobs.org.  I knew NOTHING about him or his qualifications, but....

I just happened to ask him if he would be interested in an immediate temporary job.  He made the call right there and he will be working starting Friday.

It's only temporary, but it was a perfect fit.  It's a small start for N who needs a job badly - as they all do.

BUT, at long last,

someone on our watch got a J.O.B.

Monday Mission Files...the People We Serve With

Doug.

He's the manager of the LDS Employment Center.  He's worked for the church for about 32 years and will retire next Oct.  He can hardly wait to serve a mission with his wife.

He's probably one of the kindest, happiest, best men I have ever met.

I've never met anyone like Doug and I have met a LOT of good men in my life.  He is PURE GOLD.  I keep expecting to see him translated into heaven.

Today, a lady came to visit him.  He spontaneously went out to the lady's car and washed her car windows for her.  He is just always doing good things for others.

Sometimes the blessings we receive in life are the people we get to be around.

That would describe the blessing of knowing Doug.

1.27.2013

Jaw Dropping

Okay, here's the deal:

there are over ONE BILLION people in China.

That is a number we cannot even begin to comprehend.  It boggles the mind.

So, that makes this coincidence even more astounding and amazing.

In February of 2011, Allen and I went on a tour of an area in China called Kunming; it is very beautiful and has lots of ethnic Chinese living in the area.  It is a popular tourist destination.  BUT, it also has lots of people in the area.

So, can you even imagine my shock and awe when I was reading Allen's cousin's blog and saw this picture from a trip he took to Kunming in 2012?

Mike Anderton captured this image in the summer of 2012

I immediately recognized that face....because Allen had taken a picture of that exact lady one year earlier...here is Allen's picture from 2011:

Allen Hackworth captured this image in Feb 2011

It totally blows me away that we would have the EXACT SAME LADY in a picture.

If you think about the chances, you will realize just how astounding it really is....

Of all the people in a large village, how did both of those men just HAPPEN to take a picture of that one old lady with character written all over her face?

Well, I can only say this....

U.N.R.E.A.L!


1.25.2013

From the Past

Date: November 2008

Place: Alexandria, Virginia

Colors: Magnificent

1.22.2013

The Tuesday Visits

She knows we are coming.

She knows when it is Tuesday.

I think she would be very disappointed if we didn't show up on Tuesday.  She likes to be showered and clean for us.

Today, Allen showed her how to play Scrabble on the IPad; she played a few hands.  She seemed to like it.

After the visit, she always says,

"Please come back."

And, so we will.

on Tuesday.

The Missionaries

We work with some of the most marvelous people ever.

Every one is good, kind, committed, dedicated, hard-working, willing to go above and beyond.

I love the people we are blessed to serve with.

That is a wonderful bonus blessing.

1.20.2013

What I Believe

I was listening to the Doctrine and Covenants on Saturday morning.

I was totally overcome with a burning testimony of its truthfulness.

Who knew in 1833 that tobacco could be so harmful?  Until the 1960's or so, doctors were recommending to their patients to smoke certain brands!

JOSEPH SMITH could not possibly have foreseen the evil consequences of tobacco....particularly with regard to verse 4

Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence ofaevils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts ofbconspiring men in the last days, 

That statement has proved over and over to be so prophetic from the tobacco industry corporations who insist that tobacco is not addicting to the doctors who will sell their souls to testify that tobacco is non-addicting.

However, it is not just the Word of Wisdom that inspires me...so many other sections just speak to my soul:

Section 25: where the Lord counsels Emma Smith to make a collection of hymns:

For my soul adelighteth in the bsong of the cheart; yea, thedsong of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.

The Lord gives such marvelous counsel, advise, wisdom that applies to each of us.

I am so grateful for this book of modern-day scripture...what a great blessing to have it.

And, I know that it is true.  I feel it so strongly in my heart...I cannot deny it.


1.17.2013

Solving Other People's Problems

Sometimes when I'm with my friend, Maia, she shares her frustrations with me.

She's a mother of three young girls and according to her, she's very disorganized.  She once paid a lady some money to come to her home to help her get organized.  According to Maia, it's all gone by the wayside, and was basically for naught.

Maia gets her girls off to school, then visits with girlfriends for a couple of hours via phone, then does computer stuff.  When her husband arrives home early afternoon from a very long grueling day of work, he comes home to a disorganized mess, no dinner, and is always wondering what in the heck Maia did all day?!?!?!?!??!

So, this morning, I was telling Maia what she should do every morning...without fail.




As soon as her daughters leave for school, she should NOT go into her office/computer room...not yet.

First, she should clean the kitchen...this is essential.  This would include cleaning one shelf in the refrigerator, sweep the floors, do the dishes, wipe the counters.  Get the kitchen clean...that would help her FEEL better.

Then, put dinner in the crock pot.  There are so many great meals that can be fixed in the crock pot, and no matter what happens the rest of her day, she has dinner under control.

Put in a load of laundry and fold a load of laundry.

Make sure all the beds are made and the toys in the family room picked up.

THEN, she can head to the computer to work on whatever it is she seems to get distracted with very day.  Do her exercising, schedule meetings, phone chat and text, etc., whatever.

But she has to do those few essentials FIRST RIGHT OFF!

I thought it was great advise.

Too bad it was all in my head, and she'll never hear any of it.

Oh, it's so easy to solve other people's problems!


1.15.2013

The Class or Vanity is Vain!

"Hmmm," I pondered staring in my closet..."should I wear my awesome long skirt with the cool corduroy jacket?  No," I thought to myself, "It's such a great outfit...I'll wear it next Tuesday when I teach the career workshop class.  I'll just wear this red top I bought in China; it's not that cool, but it doesn't matter...no one really sees me or cares, and it'll keep me warm enough."

8:30 a.m.

"Okay, who's teaching today?" someone asked.

"It's Brother Anderson," I said.  "He's today and I'm next week."

"He's very ill...he called yesterday and he sounded terrible!  I don't think he will be coming in.  Looks like you're on!"

"But," to myself I stammered, "I'm NOT DRESSED FOR IT!"

Ah, vanity...where do you come from?

Where do you sneak into our lives??!?!?!?!?!?!?

And, truthfully, who cares anyway...really?!?!??!

Obviously, vainly, I did and do....so sad.


In An Instant....

a person's life is changed.

And, they have a felony on their record.  And, it haunts them and bites them for a very long time to come.

So, how do we tell our children about that one critical moment when they make a very very poor, STUPID choice?!?!?!??!?!?!?

I wish I knew the answer.

Because if I did, I could save a great deal of heartache and grief all around.

1.14.2013

A Surprise Around Every Corner

HE had a great German accent that was fun to listen to.

He had previously worked for the US State Department, but now, he needed a job; in his 50s, sharp looking, pleasant, fantastic resume, BUT he is a convicted felon.  He said, "I made a very very STUPID decision when I was drinking that night."

So, his prospects are limited.  Oh, it's going to be a challenge for him.

SHE has been looking for a job for several years.  She has a very definite skill; she is an RN.

But, this town is full of them...she told me that the three near-by colleges each graduate 80 nurses a year, and most of them want to stick around after graduation, so she can't get a job.

The lady wanted to fill out a resume online.  She had some place to be.  But, she started.  About an hour and a half later, she was still sitting at the computer filling out the form.  The questions were ridiculous and proved nothing of value to a future employer.  The questions startled and amazed me...truly, they all seemed rather inane and truthfully, rather unfair.

So, I was surprised:
that HE was a felon,
that SHE couldn't get a job as an RN
that THE ONLINE APPLICATION was so ridiculous.

And, once again, I came home so very grateful for Allen's job, my job, my children's jobs.

Thank you Heavenly Father.



1.12.2013

The Problem is Purses

When Carisa posted on Facebook that her new year's goal was to downsize in purses, I have to tell you that I burst out laughing -  loud.

For you see, I understand the
P.U.R.S.E.   D.I.L.E.M.M.A.


It is actually well known to most women...

Should I carry a BIG purse that will hold: my make-up, my Kindle, my wallet, my yogurt, a banana, bus schedule, brush, mirror, nuts, gum, candy bar, breath mints, tissue, hand sanitizer, notebook, pens, pencils, scissors, flashlight, nail clippers, band-aids, phone, phone charger, IPad, family photos, camera, mini laptop, MACE, sunglasses, reading glasses, car and house keys, and a few other miscellaneous items?


Or should I opt for absolutely SMALL with room for only the bare minimum: credit card, driver's license, mini notebook, mini pen, and if squeezed tightly, one crumpled tissue, and a small flip phone?


But, there is a third option...the IN BETWEEN size...
it will hold slightly more than the mini, but not nearly as much as the large...


It is a very serious dilemma...

To the non-pursey person, they would say simply: why don't you just use the one you need for a certain occasion?

Oh, that is easy for the non-pursey person to say, but it's simply not as simple as that...oh no.

For you see, it takes a great deal of time and thought to decide exactly what should be discarded and included when downsizing from the large to anything smaller?  It can be gut-wrenching to have all the contents spilled out on the bed awaiting a firm decision...

I mean, how can I possibly get along without many of the necessities from the large bag, if I am going to downsize to the teeny bag on the right?  Sometimes, it is quite overwhelming.

This is a dilemma that has plagued women for many years...it will probably continue on into the next century.  Granted, it is not as important, say, as choosing what to have for dinner, but it can give a woman some serious reflection time.

And, that is why, even though I was laughing at Carisa's post, I understand it and sympathize completely!






1.10.2013

Some Friends Are Like That...

Just plain fun

and funny

and inspiring

and uplifting.

So, thanks Judi and Dave...it was so good to connect after several years of not seeing each other on a daily basis at the family history center.

And, BTW, you were one of two couples who inspired us to go to China.  I owe you big time for the encouragement, enthusiasm, and telling us we should do it.

Thanks for that and for your friendship.

1.08.2013

Lowest Day Yet

I'm in shock,
hurting,
sorrowful.

Some days it's all too overwhelming.  A very sad thing happened today.  I'm still reeling with the emotions of it all.

And, if I am in this much pain, what about the people who come in?

1.07.2013

Mission Mondays

Too busy to get lunch today.  Many days are like that.

I spent some of the morning putting jobs into the computer at ldsjobs.org.

Then, I helped people.  There is always more to do than I can get done in the time we are there.  So, I guess it would be correct to say that I'm rarely bored....

I didn't have time to write to our new job candidates, which is something we try to do each day.

However, here's a tidbit of information that was fun.  I learned today while serving a mission at the LDS Employment Center that Jenni has been called to be the Young Women's President!!!!!!

Ha!  I wonder if she would have ever told me.  Here's how that played out.

A bishop came in and someone mentioned that he was from Hurricane.  Since that is the stake that I am over, I asked what ward, and when he said, 3rd, I said, "My daughter lives in that ward."  And, he told me then that he had just called her to be the YW president.  I told him she will be fantastic!  Well, the truth is that whatever job she has, she is fantastic!  And, that's not just because I'm her mom....she's just good at everything.

Then, it was back to the task at hand...helping people.

I helped 2 interesting and unique people today.

One, a truck driving lady whose wife was home with their 2 kids.  First time for me to help a lady who has a wife.  But, we just help...no questions asked, no politics, no religion...we are there to help.  However, her prospects look bleak.  She just moved here from North Dakota where she had a great job driving truck, but her family wanted to move here, so she left a good job to move here - for the right reasons - to be with her kids, but, oh, the pickings are slim!  Good luck, T.

Next, an absolutely delightful man came in.  His appearance startled me at first.  He's in his 50s with long, heavy beard.  He was absolutely fun, but in need of a job.  He is a skilled carpenter, but can't get work, and his age works against him.  He has taught primary for over 30 years (not in a row, but accumulative) and he loves it.  He whipped out his temple recommend when I needed his membership number.  He was great.  Oh, I want him to get a job.

Where is that magic wand when I need it?!?!?!?!??!?

Thought for the Day


Why, Yes, We Do Occasionally Get Ice On Our Roads


Thanks for asking.

1.03.2013

Pictures of the Day

This road of 99 hairpin curves is taken to get to the stairway below.  It is a true white-knuckle ride.  The bus drivers are fearless, but some of the passengers (MOI) are not!  I was holding on the entire time.  And, the problem is that once you get to the top, you realize there is only ONE way down!  Ah, adventure!


This is sometimes called the Highway to Heaven...there are 1000 steps to climb up to the top.  It's exhausting, but exhilirating.  One year, some planes flew through opening, which is much larger than it appears.
This is in an area where AVATAR, the movie was filmed.

These, along with other spectacular photos of highways/roads/lanes, came in an email today.

When I saw them, I realized I had been to these two spectacular places.

Travel...nothing like it.



1.02.2013

Nailed It...NOT!

Magazine Depiction



Actual Turn Out....
ha! ha!  And, that is why I do not write a food blog!

1.01.2013

The Learning Curve

It. is. hard. to. learn. new. stuff.

For. me. at. least.

Because I just don't

like I used to.

I'm involved in several things that remind me I just can't remember like I did in the olden days.

At the LDS Employment Center, I input jobs each morning; it's fairly easy, straightforward and not complex.  But, I forget over the days I don't go!  It's so very frustrating.  I have written down instructions, but they have gaping holes in them, so I get mixed up.

I'm in a class learning about Apple computer, but by the time I get home from class I've totally forgotten the steps to do what was talked about.  Yes, I take notes, but NO, they also have gaping holes and the instructions don't make any sense to me when I go to do them later on.

In Primary, I can't keep track of all that is happening, the names of the kids, where the classes are, etc.

I'm trying to learn the new Family Tree program in genealogy...it's a big mystery to me.

It's all rather scary that I have such a hard time remembering...however,

it's very good to try to learn new things and I'm grateful for my mind at all right now.

So, on this New Year.....

I'll start off by showing gratitude to my Father in Heaven for a mind that still functions.  I just need to be sure to keep feeding it new StUfF.