5.31.2013

Kind and Good

That's how I describe Stephanie; she's so appreciative of everything.

She's always so pleasant and she's so fantastic with her kids.  She doesn't get upset, angry or impatient. She maintains her calm disposition and it's just a marvel to watch her.

It was a great blessing to have GG with us for one month.

I will miss him.


5.30.2013

Helping or Hindering Hands

I see it on our mission a lot:

when you help people, sometimes they come to expect it and rely on it.

For example, one day an older homeless person came in and as he was leaving, Allen slipped him a twenty dollar bill.  The next day the gentleman came back, but he wouldn't talk to anyone except Allen.....and it was pretty obvious why.

Sister Johnson told me an interesting story about when she was RS president.  A new mother needed help, so Sister Johnson went to help her....she arrived about 9 and at 10 the woman's husband came home from class.  He sat on the couch eating potato chips and watching television while Sister Johnson tended 2 small children, did the dishes, fixed lunch, and did the laundry.  She was so disgusted that the man didn't raise a hand to help.

Shauna told me about a young mother who was desperate for food for her family.  Shauna told her she would get the family a food order.  The lady didn't want anything to do with a food order.  She wanted McDonald's or nothing....too much work, she told Shauna.

Some of the people who come to see the transient bishop feel almost ENTITLED for help and some leave angry when help is not provided in just the way they want.

So, there is a fine line between helping and actually hurting.  Between giving a boost and coming to rely on that help.

I have had maids clean my home three times in the past; now, I don't want to do it.  I LIKED having them do the work.  So, I understand that people come to rely on help.  We cannot afford to hire maids, so they have not done it for many months, (we did it to help a person out!), but I can see how easy it would be to turn over the work to someone else while I do my own thing.  So, I totally understand.

But, I think it's important to say: are we helping or hindering?

Are we making them more dependent or helping them in a temporary setting to become more self-reliant and independent.  Because that is really what our goal should always be.

5.29.2013

When the Cousins Gather at the Fishers

Everyone loves "Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein.  But, it's even better when read to you by your big cousin, Sean.

5.27.2013

Blonde Pony-Tail Girl

Normal gym routine;

10 minutes of bike or elliptic, then 20 min on weight machines, 10 minutes of treadmill (Or some variations of this)

Today:

I did a couple of exercises for the legs, then stepped on the treadmill to do a 10-15 stint before heading to the weight section.

BUT,

in front of me on the elliptic machine was an energetic blonde with a pony tail.  Oh my goodness, she was going fast and furious.  I was entranced watching that pony tail swing back and forth.

And, it was watching that pony tail that made me do something very stupid.  I said to myself, "I'll stay on this treadmill for as long as she is on the elliptical.  Because at her pace, surely she can't go for very long!"



But, when she had gone for 25 minutes, I made a discovery - she was reading her Kindle and hardly seemed to notice that she was working so hard.  I was sweating - something I try to avoid at all costs. At 30 minutes, my heart pumping, I turned the speed down a notch on the treadmill.

By 35 minutes, I didn't even like her; I was angry at her.  What in the heck did she think she was doing?  It did occur to me that the challenge to myself was just a foolish statement on my part, and there was nothing to keep ME from quitting....but I had made a private agreement....I could not back down.

So, I walked some more....the backs of my knees ached, I could feel a blister coming on my left foot, my hip or sciatica or something began to bother....I slowed the machine even more.

At 43 minutes, she FINALLY stepped off the machine.  Now, I could see the front of her face...oh, she looked innocent and nice enough.

To round out the number, I went to 45 minutes, then gingerly stepped off the machine.  I wobbled over to the drinking fountain.

I did a few weights for the arms, then left.

And, then I realized - hey, that was all good.

Glad you motivated me, girl with the blonde pony-tail.



5.26.2013

Just Wondering...

if by the year 2020, I will be the only person left in America without a tattoo?

5.25.2013

The Miracle and the Wedding

We went to a wedding reception this afternoon.  But this was no ordinary wedding event.

When I first met the bride, Jen, she was in her 30's and she had anorexia....very very badly.

RAH and I used to exercise where she did and she was D.R.I.V.E.N.  She would be there before we arrived and still be doing the elliptical when we left.  She went hard, fast, and furious.  For two hours, according to her mother.

I was at a couple of functions where food was part of the event.  I never saw her eat.  She said she had just eaten or wasn't hungry or would eat later.

She was literally skin and bones.

On the final Sunday before she entered rehab, she stood to  make a comment in relief society.  Her words were slurred, she was a sort of greenish color and she could hardly stand.

Just before she went north, her home-teacher (RAH) gave her a blessing.  In the blessing, he asked for a miracle.

She hated it in the rehab center.  She called her mother, she wanted OUT.  She would get well, she said, but on her own.  Her mother never wavered.  So Jen stayed the required time.

And, then, we moved.

And, her mother invited us for lunch.  It was then we saw her....could it possibly even be the same Jen?  She was actually a tiny bit plumpish around the face and middle; it was an incredible, almost unbelievable sight.

She went back to teaching and got a Master's Degree.  Occasionally, I would see her in the temple.  Always smiling and happy, especially when she shared with  me the news...she was engaged.

And today, healing and happy, Jen - wearing her mother's wedding dress - was sealed in the temple.

I became emotional as the couple danced the first dance while the music played, May I Have This Dance for the Rest of My Life.

Because, you see, I knew that long-ago blessing was answered.

That, and the faithful prayers over many years of a marvelous mother, who never gave up hope for her daughter's recovery and happiness.

What a beautiful bride you make, Jen.

Here's to your happiness over many many years.


5.24.2013

The Illness - OCD and Anxiety

He has it B.A.D.

He's been to a couple of therapists.

One gave him some good suggestions and helps that lasted - but only for a couple of hours.

His OCD is ever present and it affects his life and his happiness.

For you see, HE is an extreme worrier...to the MAX!



I feel sad for him.  And, I hope that he can get help.

I think we all have issues, but for him, it's worse than most.......

Oh, good luck, dear GG.

5.21.2013

The Saddest Tales

Some of the saddest things we hear are the stories of the women who are beat up by men who ?LOVE? them....

Their stories always cause me to get literally SICK to my stomach.

And, I always wonder?????

is there a hole deep enough,

is there a torture long enough,

is there a punishment black enough,

to make up for the HORRORS these men caused in this life?

And, alongside those stories are the stories of the men who abandon their wives and children...

they walk out and leave their wives to fight the dark night of:

joblessness,

homelessness,

financial woes,

And, I ask the same Questions:


is there a hole deep enough,

is there a torture long enough,

is there a punishment black enough,

to make up for the SORROWS they caused in this life?

I am weighed down with heaviness/sadness for the women we see who face these trials:

For L, who was beat up so she would sign a car loan for her boyfriend,
For S, who was nearly choked to death on Sunday by her former boyfriend,
For A, who finally walked out after 23 years of an extremely abusive marriage and is scared to death -

Each one of these women has No Money, No Home, No Job, No Hope.

And, these are just women from TODAY.  Each one is living in her car.  Each one faces an uphill battle.

Each one tears at my heart.

Today, I saw each of these three women cry.  Each one carries pain and scars.

My hope is for peace and healing for each of these women; daughters of a Heavenly Father.

My hope is for them to find solace, comfort and a sense of normalcy soon.

And, my hope is that I will be a little kinder, more sensitive, more earnest in my efforts to help.




5.20.2013

There Are Still Good People in the World!

The young blonde was sitting on the couch, waiting to be seen by the transient bishop.  She had a very sad, hard-luck story to tell.

I was a few feet away taking a phone call from a lady wanting to post a job at her husband's auto mechanic shop.  The wife had an unusual name, and I called her by that name.

When I had finished my conversation, the blonde asked me about the lady on the phone...then she said:

"I thought I recognized that name because it's so unusual.  I just got into town two days ago.  I left an horrific situation in Seattle.  My car broke down on the road just off the freeway here in St George.  A young kid and I were pushing it along the road.  The lady you were just talking to saw us and said that if we could get the car to her husband's auto mechanic store, they would see if they could fix it.  They did fix that problem and they also did some other repairs that needed fixing.  I can't believe they did that for me."

On a day filled with stories of heart-wrenching sorrow, that story brightened my day.

I want to use that auto shop for all my car repair needs.

I love knowing there are good people in the world doing things for others, knowing there can be no return on that investment, but Oh, the reward they will get when it really matters!

Mission Monday - the Sorrow Continues

Rather than write each story, let me just say this:

Today was hard and sorrowful.

Where are the honorable men?  How and why do they harm women?

But, on a happier note, I met two women who care for their mothers....it was good to hear that they were concerned and caring for their mothers, who are in situations where they cannot care for themselves.

Still way too many people needing jobs.

Still too many people not finding good jobs.

Still such sorrow in the little community.

5.14.2013

The Ringing of the Bell

I'm  not really sure why it made me so emotional today.

But, when a man came in just as we were about to leave, and he started to ring the bill indicating he had a job, I was so emotional - not outwardly, thank heaven, but inside.

Maybe it was because I had spent most of the day contacting people about jobs, only to hear these words...

"No, I haven't found any work yet."

"I'm getting desperate."

The headline in the local paper told of how joblessness is declining...more people are finding work.

But, I can't quite believe it; not with what we see each day.

And, so when he rang the bell, I was so happy for him....someone HAD indeed, found a job!


Be Not Weary in Well Doing

Sometimes I don't really want to go.

Sometimes I am very tired and just want to head home after our mission.

But, each Tuesday, she has come to expect our visit.

And, it's so simple on my part.  Why would I even consider not going?

Because, sometimes I'm selfish and stupid and selfish.

I'm always glad when RAH says, "We'll go."

So, we go.

And, I am always GLAD.


5.13.2013

The World is So Full of A Number of Marvelous People

One thing I love about our mission is the marvelous men and women we meet.  So, let's talk just today...

I met the following fine folk:

A lady who has been a pig farmer and a rodeo person.
A lady who was Miss Army in the 1960's.
A man who lost his leg to cancer and he is still an avid fisherman, four-wheeler, outdoorsman.
A man who graduated from school not knowing how to read; his last salary before he retired was $95,000.00!  (when he married, his wife helped him learn to read.)
A woman whose diabetic daughter has adopted 5 special needs children, in addition to the 2 she had biologically.
A woman whose 41 year-old daughter died unexpectedly one night of an enlarged heart.

Now, here's the thing.  To learn the fascinating stories about people, one has to show an interest and listen.  That's something I admire about my husband; he is very good at listening.  I can learn from him.

I love to hear the stories of people's remarkable lives; they are unique, fascinating, and varied.

So, tis true...sometimes the mission is sorrowful, but often I am reminded about the amazing people who inhabit our little corner of the world.


5.12.2013

Mother's Day....

can be a challenge.

So, today, I'm not going to write about all the guilt I feel about what I should have done better as a mother.

I'm not going to beat myself black and blue, like I normally do.

But, rather, I am going to focus on my mother-in-law.

Dorothy was GOOD - to the core.

She was thoughtful, generous, kind and giving.  She had her mother-in-law live with her for many, many years.  She was always kind and gentle to her.

For many years, she went to the temple each Friday evening.  She loved the Gospel with all her heart.

I have only the kindest thoughts of my wonderful mother-in-law; Dorothy South Hackworth.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for allowing me to be a part of one of the grand ladies on this earth.

5.10.2013

Neighborhood Beauty


They bloom for just a minute; then the blooms are gone.  But, oh, for that one minute...such unique beauty.

5.09.2013

It's Complicated

I don't understand why life is so complicated - why relationships are so hard - why hard feelings have to creep into our lives.

And, truthfully, sometimes it totally overwhelms me.

And, it makes me so sad.


The Farmer

Today, the radio announcer said that only

1% of people in America list themselves as farmers...

our food supply now comes from all the world and by the time it actually reaches our homes, it has already lost some of its nutritive value...

hence, I'm so glad that Allen is really working hard in our yard this summer and has planted LOTS of veggies, plus our fruit trees...should be tasty when they appear!

Tomato or tomAHto...should taste good no matter what you call it!

5.08.2013

A Cure for Sorrow

"I listen to my family members tell me about their:

MONEY problems
RELATIONSHIP troubles
JOB situations
HEALTH issues

and it leaves me exhausted, filled with grief knowing there is absolutely NOTHING I can do to help them.

So, my only solution is to pray and then go visit someone whose sorrows are greater than my own."

Great wisdom coming from the lady around the corner.


5.06.2013

Marvelous Monday at the Mission

His name is Adam; he's polite, pleasant, friendly, teachable, and looking for a job.

He came in to the LDS Employment Center with another young person.

I spent some time with him telling him how to tweak his resume, suggesting some jobs, looking for some jobs.  His resume was impressive.  He told me a little about himself.  He's looking for a summer job between semesters at college, where he maintains a perfect 4.0.  He's married.

The person he was with was his cousin.

And, then I discovered they graduated from Hurricane High School a year after our oldest grandson.  And, THEN I discovered he was in the Fisher's ward.

It was at this point in the conversation that he asked me this question, which made me burst out laughing...

"Are you the one who taught Mrs. Fisher how to cook?"

Oh, my dear Adam, I so wish that were true, but I am afraid not!  She learned it on her own in that - and every other department - requiring skill.

Then, the cousin and Adam both chimed in about what a fabulous cook Mrs. Fisher is!  "Her cupcakes at the ward auction were AMAZING! "

I then proceeded to show them my blog of the dinner we had on Sunday night.  They were not surprised by it's amazingness.

What a fun, fun, fun afternoon at the Employment Center.

(BTW, there are 6 missionaries on Monday afternoon....how did I get to be so blessed to help Adam?)

Now, I just hope that wonderful, delightful Adam gets the job!

An Early Mother's Day Delight

Can you come to dinner, she asked.

Oh, yes...we'll be there.

So glad we could make it.

Slaving away and putting the finishing touches on for a delicious meal.

Home-made noodles - made with three DUCK eggs

Chicken fettucine; Stockton flavored the chicken and it was absolutely perfectly flavored - Jenni had soaked it in brine first, however.  Grilled vegetables; so flavorful and tasty.  Garlic breadsticks that were to DIE for...
so soft and light.

Well, of course, there should be Hubert's Lemonade at a Fisher/Hackworth gathering, right?!?!?

Too pretty to cut into and eat!  But, I'm glad she did...oh, so delicioso!

Jared - he's going to be doing some heavy-duty window washing, soon, very soon.

New glasses and PINK lipstick; a stunning combo on a stunning girl!

Ah, everything was just PERFECTION!

5.05.2013

Playing Around Again with Hipstomatic






What are these pictures of, you may ask,  they are taken south of St George at the gypsum mine.....which look do you like best?

It makes me wonder about the photos we see...are any of them ever real?
Are all photos doctored these days?

5.02.2013

5.01.2013

Asking Siri for Some Serious HELP


Change - the Challenge

Recently L told me something in confidence.

She said that she is very nice to neighbors, friends, strangers.

But, she is often not nice to those closest to her.

"I don't understand why I behave the way I do," she said.  "But, sometimes I get so angry at my husband and my sons.  I don't want to be angry at them.  They deserve my BEST, but that is not what they get.  It makes me sad, but I seem powerless to change when I get in the heat of the moment."

She continued.

"My journal entries are filled with me being angry at my family.  Oh, I want to change!"

Oh, dear L, I do understand that desire...to change...to do better....to BE better.

Easy to say.

Hard to do.