12.22.2014

I Want to be Jeanine!

She is the mother of five very small children.

Her kids are delightful and good, but they are children....

meaning they get into stuff, string their toys all around, make a mess when they eat.

But, here's the thing about Jeanine...

she NEVER gets upset.

Nothing bothers her.

She just takes it all in stride.

And, I LOVE her pleasant, happy disposition.

I'm NOT like that at all....



But, I want to be Jeanine.

It's Only a Dream

....but when I woke up, it FELT so real.

I can't describe the feelings of disappointment and let down I felt.

In my dream, I had been asked to tutor two girls....they both failed a portion of the test telling me that we had not reviewed 15 of the specific points on the exam.

I woke up with feelings of sorrow and angst....

Dreams mess with my feelings and disturb my thoughts.

Where is Joseph of the Old Testament when I need him?






12.20.2014

Bear One Another's Burdens

It was startling news....

the beautiful young couple with four young children were getting divorced.

The sorrow for the family is heart wrenching.

A Christmas season ruined.

A father in despair.

Children wondering, questioning, fearful, uncertain of their situation.

And I am left to wonder....

How can I help?

They are neighbors, they are friends, they are hurting; what can I DO?

The only real answer that comes to my mind...

Pray for them.

THAT - I can do.

12.13.2014

Grandchildren

The name GRANDchildren is appropriate.

They are grand.

And, it's so fun to watch them at their craft...

playing and performing and just being who they are.

I just wish we lived much much closer.

12.12.2014

Court Mandated Fair Play

I believe in prayer.

I know that prayers are answered.

Our family just participated in praying for a specific outcome to happen.

Those prayers were answered in a very dramatic fashion.  However, the fulfilling of that outcome is totally reliant upon another person.  Will SHE do as she was ordered by the court to do?  Will SHE comply with the law?

All that remains to be seen.

BUT, here's the thing; our prayers were answered.  My heart is feeling so very grateful.

However, I hate the reason we even had to pray for that specific purpose.

If people would just live Gospel principles; if people would just be FAIR, JUST, KIND.

I grew up in a home of kindness, goodness, and somehow, people in our lives didn't live up to those ideals.

And, so, we find ourselves praying that someone will be fair and just -

Not because they are naturally that way, but because prayers were answered and they were ordered by a court of law to be that way.

And, I hate that scenario.

12.08.2014

Finding Peace in the Challenging Times

“The Savior is the source of true peace,” said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.” 

I'm looking for that peace right now.

Life is a constant challenge.

Finding peace in the midst of all life's ups and downs, is the great challenge...that will be my goal to feel that 

PEACE of the ATONEMENT.

Downsizing

It's so fun to DOWN SIZE...

And by that I mean..

Buy a SIZE SMALLER IN CLOTHING.

And it finally happened in this house hold.

I'll keep downsizing THINGS,

but I gladly downsized - just every so slightly - my body.

Oh, yes, that's good....let's hear it for downsizing!


12.04.2014

I Believe in Evolution

In 2010, RAH and I bought our first IPad.  We used it a lot in China and it was quite a novelty.

When we returned from China, I used it in church as my set of scriptures.

Except for a few men on their phones, people in general weren't using technology to read their scriptures..

Last summer, we went to church in a little town in Utah - Manilla.  It's very small, quaint, farming, rural - and filled with marvelous, good people.  We enjoyed it.

BUT, and here's my point - MANY of the women were using electronic devices for their scriptures and manuals.  MANY of the women were older, like I am, and here they were navigating through this electronic phenomenon.

In three short years, much had changed, and, I loved seeing that evolution.

Long live the elderly and technology!


12.01.2014

The Talk in Church

WOW!

 James Ure's talk in church was probably the best talk I've heard in the last six months; it packed a punch and made me think.  

It was not filled with platitudes, but was full of helpful information that was applicable to most people.  


The subject was gratitude and he was philosophizing on why he - personally couldn't be happier.....


He had 3 reasons why he can't be happy all the time.


1. The brain's amygdala keeps us on alert for fear.

2. The media telling us that we need newer, better, brand names...
3. Foreboding joy; when we experience a joyful moment, we think something bad is about to happen.

I so appreciate his talk and his conclusion - gratitude of the here and now is important to overcome those three obstacles.


I liked it.


Now, to go and DO!

11.30.2014

The Saturday Afternoon Visit

I've mentioned before how much I enjoy going to visit people.

Because, for one thing, everyone has a story.

And, Barbara did have a couple of stories.

For one, her brother died of a heart attack leaving 11 children, including a young baby.  His wife was strong and capable and was able to raise the children.  Life is so precarious and precious.  It's never a certainty about what is around the corner.

Another little incident she told me was when the hospital workers were trying to shock her father's heart back to working, they shocked him so hard, he literally fell off the table!  But, he was already deceased, so it was okay, I guess.

Barbara is a widow, but she was so appreciative of her life, her home situation, her good, good children, her extended family.  It was inspiring to visit someone so filled with gratitude for the many good things in her life.

It's a joy to be around grateful people.


11.28.2014

Feeling Grateful

It's quiet;

just RAH and me.

The Christmas tree is up, but not decorated.  We will wait for our granddaughter to come on Sunday night...she wanted to help with the decorations.

RAH is trying to get the pilot light started in the fireplace.

We went to a movie today.  We ate leftovers from the dinner our neighbors invited us to yesterday.



Bill and his daughter, Kathy; they are two peas in a pod; both so thoughtful and generous!

We put away the Thanksgiving decorations.  I went to the dollar store to get some things.

We talked to a son today, a daughter yesterday; another son tried to call.  We texted a daughter.  We saw some pictures on Instagram from the other son.

And, I'm feeling grateful.

For many things.

I don't want anything to change.

I know it will, so for THIS moment, I will be grateful and happy.


11.27.2014

A Letter of Thanksgiving to My Family on Thanksgiving Day - 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to you ALL!

On this marvelous day, I am remembering fond memories of Thanksgivings Past; but mostly thinking of each of you and what I have to be THANKFUL for!

Many times in our growing-upe years in Pocatello, we would be seated at a long table in our front year, and there would be a knock on the door.  Standing in the cold would be a tramp – who had come from the railroad not too far from where we lived.  They left a sort of signal that pointed to mom’s house, and she always gave them a plate of food.  And, who wouldn’t want my mom’s delicious home-made turkey, gravy and stuffing?

A favorite recollection is when I was a freshman at Ricks College.  I went on an art trip to Chicago….we left Rexburg Wednesday at noon in a blinding snowstorm, and arrived in Chicago the next afternoon -  Thanksgiving.  When I called to wish my parents a happy turkey day, they wanted me to hurry and get home because everyone was waiting for me to come home so they could get dinner going.  They thought my phone call from Chicago was a joke and that I was merely at my roommate’s home playing a prank.  Fun memory.

The first time I ever cooked a turkey on my own was in 1969.  Allen and I were living in a small trailer home in Rexburg; I was 7 months pregnant with Jeremy, and I was on crutches because I had sprained my ankle very badly.  Of course, there was no Google and who could afford to make a long-distance phone call to my mother to find out HOW to make a turkey, so we muddled through it using the Betty Cocker cook book.  I don’t remember much about how things turned out, but obviously no one got poisoned and Jeremy – in utero – seemed to survive it along with Justin and Jenni; out -utero.

The first time we didn’t have ANY family at all was a winter right after Allen retired and we were spending a few months in Sun City, Arizona.  We ate at a restaurant.  The guy in the booth next to us told the waiter there was a bread tie in his meal, so she gave the meal to him free.  I never believed it, personally.  But, eating out was an experience I’d never had before on Thanksgiving.  WHAT????  No left-over turkey sandwiches?

In China, we didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, except in our hearts, as we were teaching that day.  Just another day in China.

But, mostly, I have such fond memories of OUR turkey days together; take last year as an example.  We went shooting out on the desert, met Lisa for the first time, and learned Bobby and Kristi were getting married in September!  And, who will ever forget, Jenni and Brent jumping out of the closet when Janna asked Kristi to get her something from the pantry?

Memories; the stuff of happiness.

And, so on this day of giving thanks, I give thanks for each one of you.  For your goodness, your thoughtfulness, your fun, your BEING.

Oh, yes, I am thankful indeed.




11.25.2014

Living Without Regrets

I never met Mr. Shephard; but I had met his wonderful daughter.

She, like everyone who knew Mr. Shephard, was stunned at his unusual untimely, unexpected death at age 58.  It was a shock indeed.

For you see, Mr Shepard ate some raw oysters and within a couple of days, he was gone.  He got a man-eating bacteria that ate away at his insides.  An horrific death indeed.

Upon hearing of this bizarre turn of events, it made me wonder:

Had he made up with all his family members if there were hard feelings?

Had he told his loved ones he loved them?

Did he have some regrets about his life that he had hoped to change?

Living without regrets is a marvelous idea....but, so few of us can REALLY do it.

However, it is a noble and satisfying goal;

To live so that we don't offend anyone, don't harm others with our careless words, be unfair, get angry,  say stupid things, left unsaid what we should have said....

We can make things right - if we have TIME.  If we don't drop dead of an untimely death.

And, there's the rub.  Who would ever expect to die of eating a rather common food...

So, the point is obvious.

We must try to live every day - without regrets.

Without being negative or hurtful or angry.  Because, then we truly can, RestInPeace!



Oh, yes, that is a noble goal indeed.

I'll try harder to live life without regrets.








11.22.2014

Forgetting What Really Matters!

It's so true.

Sometimes I get caught up in my own life.

And, I forget what really matters.

And, then I get a wake-up call.

But, it comes with a lot of angst and some suffering.

Oh, I just want to be better.....

And, remember what really counts in life.

11.20.2014

Family Feud

Doralee was one of the finest women I have ever met.  Two of her sons got in a feud that lasted until she died.  It broke her heart.  What could be worth splitting up a family over?!??!

Diana and her husband represent all that is good and wonderful in the world.  And, yet, two of her eight children disowned their parents and will have nothing to do with D and R.  The parents carry that heavy burden with them of having children who do not interact with the family in any way. What could happen to alienate a child so badly?

V and B had a son who walked out of their lives for many many years.  Finally, he made an attempt to reconnect.  Wisely, V and B let the past go and embraced and loved the son who had broken their hearts years before.

I'm afraid.

Because sometimes this family feud comes out of nowhere.

Family means everything to me.

And I can't think of anything that should cause families to feud.


11.17.2014

Decision Making

One day a few years ago, one of our sons told me he makes bad decisions.

I've thought about that conversation a lot.

Because I make bad decisions too....

Could it actually be genetic?

Here's an example and it's still sort of sad.

I wanted to have something for the Primary kids to do in the lesson on MUSIC.

So, I bought 6 instruments at the dollar store.

2 each of 3 kinds.

SO, here's where I wasn't really thinking;

I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT ALL THE SAME KIND rather than a variety.

Because as it turns out, there were two very disappointed and weepy children at the end of Primary yesterday.

It was ugly and sad....

Will, whose facial expressions make me smile; Jonathon, who gave me a big kiss in singing time and is always so sweet;
Sam, who is the smartest kid EVER and willing to share his candy!

Olivia, whose language is so fun because it's hard to understand; Kelsie, miss personality and miss diva.
(Megan was gone because her mom just had a baby, but she always tells me how old I am!
Truthfully, I love them all!

If I had just taken the time to think through what I was doing, I would have realized that ALL the instruments should be the same.  IF there is no choice, they are all happier.  WHEN will I learn?

Man, I'm just not good at this decision stuff at times.


11.15.2014

The Babysitting Grandma

When T had her first child, her mother told her:

"Don't ask me to babysit.  I'm done with that.  I raised my 6 kids, and I don't want to start over."

T has three children now, and I don't know if T's mother ever changed her mind about babysitting for her daughter.

BUT, I do know this:

she was missing out on one of the greatest blessings of being a grandparent.

Oh sure, it's challenging being a babysitter after all the intervening years;

Kids stay up late, get up early, they want you by their side every waking moment; they need regular meals (who eats regularly when there are 2 Sr citizens kicking about a home?), they need lots of exercise, healthy snacks, attention, and the list goes on.

It's not an easy gig, for sure.

But, what better way to get acquainted with those little darlings.

Over the years, we have taken care of grandchildren quite frequently.

And, I am ALWAYS exhausted when they drive away, or we drive away.

BUT, what a great opportunity to hold, teach, laugh, play, read, share with our precious posterity.


11.01.2014

Spooky Granddaughter!


She lives with us....and decided to dress up for the BIG ORANGE HOLIDAY!

And, she did a good job of scaring some little kids.  

That made it fun.

Oh, way to go Ms Janessa.

10.28.2014

The Worry Wart

My mother was a worrier....

So, it is natural that the trait would be passed on to some of her posterity.

Some have it worse than others.

Some don't have that trait at all.

But, it's an interesting thing to witness

WORRY

in a person who is obsessive.

It's hard to imagine living in one's body when the person is worried about

EVERY LITTLE THING.

This person in my family needs help,  badly.

(Hey, I am a worrier, but I'm not nearly as bad as this person in my family.)

It's an illness and it affects every thing in this person's life in a negative way.

She/he is practically paralyzed by worry on so many levels:

Health,

Home,

Children,

Driving,

Etc.

Sometimes it's hard to be in a situation with the person because of the worry tendency....I want to be sympathetic, but the worry factor is beyond comprehension unless you are with the person.

In fact, it would be great fodder for a skit on SNL, but it is NOT funny; it's serious, it's real, it's crippling.

However, I do feel sorry for the person,  as I see how the worry factor shapes his/her life.

The irony of his/her situation is that the siblings are the polar opposite; the siblings live adventurous and engaging lives.  They seem to have no worries or cares.

Who knew that WORRY could be so debilitating?

10.25.2014

"It Is Better..."

"for us to pass through the sorrow..." Eve said in the Garden of Eden.

And, oh what sorrows there are to pass through:

my neighbor is still in shock after learning she has breast cancer and her lymph nodes were cancer riddled.  She was diagnosed with a serious form of cancer, and she will be undergoing both chemo and radiation; then she will be on pills for five years as she battles this.

My college roommate had terrible back surgery and then was dropped by hospital personnel, requiring more surgery.  She is beyond in pain.

Our neighbors from Idaho had a 34 year old son and father of two commit suicide after suffering from debilitating depression.

Someone we care for and love deeply just had her husband say to her, "I don't love you anymore, and I'm not sure I ever did.  I'm outta here!"



To each of these - and all others facing such sorrow - I can only say what we have been taught -

Now is the time to reach out - even more than ever before - for the Power of the Atonement.

Only when we turn to God can we find solace, comfort and a measure of peace.


I've never understood why some families have such sorrows and then have it again and again.

On the other hand, some families seem to bypass horrific sorrows and seem to sort of float through life not touched by the blows of deep suffering.

But, I do know this, no matter what our sufferings or challenges, 

GOD CAN HELP HEAL US....

IF

we turn to him.

Of that, I am very sure.





10.24.2014

THANK YOU!

Just two little words.



Words that can mean a lot.

Words that show a person has appreciation.

Words that, Unfortunately, so many people forget to say.

And, here's the sad part....which doesn't speak very highly of me.

But, when I give, share, make, sacrifice, and I don't hear those

two little words.....

I'm not very eager to share again.

And, maybe that makes me not very good-hearted either.

I hope I always remember to say

THANK YOU.

Because I have lots to be thankful for.

And, I hope that I don't let the lack of someone saying those two little words to me, influence my treatment of them.

I don't want to be as closed as they seem to be.

So, I guess I need to learn a few things too...as always.


10.20.2014

If You Climb In, You Gotta Climb Out!

Several years ago, our daughter went on an outdoor adventure class...



Part of the adventure included hiking in and out of the Grand Canyon.

When the group arrived at the bottom, one of the park rangers told the students that

SLYVESTER STALLONE had once hiked down into that incredible canyon, but he didn't want to hike back up.  He told the park service he  - the great ROCKY - would hire a helicopter to lift him out...

The ranger said, "Not possible.  If you climb in, you climb out!"

I thought of that today on a wonderful hike we went on in Snow Canyon.



When we got to the half-way mark and I was sitting under some hard-to-find shade, I wanted RAH to get the car and come get me and drive me out (which was impossible, of course!).

NOT because it was hard going; it was a fairly easy hike; nothing rugged or overwhelming.

NOT because it was too long; only a mile or so...

NOT because I was too tired to make it back.

So, here's why I didn't want to hike back.

On Sunday evening, RAH and I decided we would go on some hikes in Bryce Canyon - 2 hours to the north - and several feet higher than our elevation.

I got up early and dressed in appropriate hiking gear to wear in a higher elevation, cool climate.  Long pants suitable for cold weather; long sleeved shirt that is designed to keep one warm in cool weather.

When RAH got up this morning, he didn't want to go all the way to Bryce; too long a drive and he had some other things he was planning on doing during they afternoon....maybe we should do ZION, he said...it's closer.

Then, about 11, as I was packing some snacks, he

CHANGED his mind again and thought we should just go to Snow Canyon...a 15 minute drive.

So, he CHANGED his mind, but I did NOT CHANGE my shirt and pants.

NOON in SNOW CANYON today was mighty HOT, HOT, HOT.

And, that is why I wanted some one to come and rescue me!  My clothing was just way too hot!

So, I was suffering mightily from the heat; my hair was sticking to my face, sweat was dripping from the tip of my nose, my pants were hot, hot, hot, my shirt was stuck to my back.



I had made a big mistake by not dressing for hot temperatures.

But, just like SYLVESTER STALLONE,

if I walked in, I had to walk out.

Which I did.  Thank you very much.




10.19.2014

Why It's DANGEROUS to Give to Deseret Industries or Goodwill

Hey, I said to RAH recently, let's get a bag of things to take to DI...we really need to downsize and get rid of some "STUFF."

1.  Back of closet I find a navy blue blouse with white trim.  "Good grief, I haven't worn this for 13 years!  We wore these to sing in stake conference....I haven't even had it out of the closet since then."  

IN IT GOES!

2.  RAH is going through kitchen drawers to find a lid..."What in the heck is THIS?" he asks.  "Oh, it's a special rutabaga peeler that I bought when your Uncle Horace came to visit us and he wanted rutabaga soup."  "Well, my Uncle Horace has been dead for 15 years and you've never made rutabaga soup since....I think we can get rid of this!"

IN IT GOES!

3.  "Look at this," I say to RAH going through his closet...."You have this incredibly ugly set of orange socks and orange tie that you were going to wear to the Jones' Halloween party five years ago.  You wouldn't even take them out of the package they were so horrid....and it seems like they cost us $10.00! "  "Yeah, I'll never wear them...even on Halloween because they are so UGLY...they are good to go!"

IN IT GOES!

And, we're off to the DI on a Saturday afternoon!  Oh, it just feels so GOOD to downsize!

Now, here's the part where it gets dangerous......

A.  Sunday during Relief Society announcements:  "We have been asked to sing in Stake Conference in 6 weeks.  And, guess what?!?!??!  They've decided to wear those navy blouses with white trim again.  So, get them out of the back of your closet and come join us for practices starting tonight!"

B.  Wednesday email:  Hey, Loni, I guess you heard that we are in charge of the soup kitchen next week.  And because Brother Smith donated 50 pounds of rutabaga, we are serving rutabaga soup.....AND, since you have nothing to do  - being retired and all - AND, since you mentioned at a trivia party in the neighborhood that you had a rutabaga peeler, I've put you in charge of preparing the 50 pounds of rutabaga for the soup.....Thanks for your help.

C.  Phone call early Friday morning from Grandson:  Hey, Gpa and Gma, guess what?!??!  Yep, you guessed it, we are finally getting married, but here's the kicker....it's in 6 weeks.  I know it's kinda fast, but we had to squeeze it in between finals and our new jobs.  Since it's fall, our colors are bright orange.  GPA, please be a good sport and wear an orange tie with matching orange socks.  They are actually on sale, RIGHT NOW at Nordstroms for $45.00 - quite a bargain, eh?  But you have to act right now or the sale will be over and then they'll be $75.00...well, gotta go!"

And, that friends, is exactly WHY it's so dangerous to give away your STUFF!

10.18.2014

Even the Best Intentions....

"gang aft agley..."

This was a week of good intentions gone wrong.

We wanted to spend pleasant lunch with a younger couple and have them enjoy a meal sans children.

Well, as it turned out, school was out for fall break, so she had to get a babysitter, feed everyone, etc.  So, the pleasant lunch - which did eventually happen - turned into being rather stressful for her.

Then, today, I decided to bake bread for our neighbors who have some serious health issues due to a biking accident.  The bread came out of the oven; gorgeous, lovely, but the neighbors were not home, nor are they now.  Bread is long since cold and it's just not the bang I had hoped it to be....

Then, since we gave away a lot of the loaves of bread, we decided to make another batch this evening.  LOTS of time, energy, ingredients to make freshly ground whole wheat bread.....

New yeast;

Didn't rise.

Pan full of lumpy unrisen dough on the kitchen counter.

So, as I said,

Good intentions went awry.

But, Monday will be another day to try.

10.13.2014

10.08.2014

Equality - Not Possible - YET!

There is much talk about equality among men and women these days....

It is serious and invades religion, business, private sectors, family life....

There is much that could be said about inequality, but

I just want to add my impassioned reality to this debate...

MEN AND WOMEN will NEVER be TOTALLY EQUAL

until

All WOMEN'S CLOTHING has pockets in it like MENSWEAR does!

Imagine making a suit for a man without pockets in his pants, or pockets in his jacket; why men even have a hidden pocket in the inside of the jacket!  A perfect place to put important items.

Women have no such luxuries; why there are hardly ANY pockets in women's clothing....where are we supposed to put our keys, phone, grocery lists, children's toys, kleenex, hand cream, lip moisturizer, receipts, money, breath mints, gum, and now our guns?

Ah, purse, you say.....well, we don't WANT to lug around a purse.  We want to stuff this stuff inside our pockets like men can and do!

We want pockets; we demand pockets.

Anyone who would like to join me in fighting this inequality - which has gone on for years - please meet me at Christopher & Banks, Dillards, Chico's, J C Penney, Old Navy,  Sears, Deseret Industries (wherever women's clothing is sold!) some time this week.  We will voice our demands for them to sell only clothing with POCKETS!

We must stand united in this fight for equality.

WOMEN WANT POCKETS...or WWP for short.

Women, arise and join with me in this important crusade.  You will thank me when you no longer have to lug around a heavy purse, but can put your stuff in little pockets in the seams of ALL your clothing, just like men do....

WWP...our time has come!

10.06.2014

In the Genes???????

Cancer they say can be in the genes.

Heart problems they say are in the genes.

Diabetes - genetics.

Depression - runs in families.

But, what about D.I.V.O.R.C.E.?

It seems to be in our genes.

And, I HATE it!

10.02.2014

Doing What You Say You Will Do

Twice this week, RAH has called some service people to drop by and give a bid.

Twice the men said they would be here.

Twice the men have not shown up, even though they arranged a second time to come.

So, really, two men didn't show up four times.

It's disgusting; really.

If a person doesn't want to do something, they should just say;

I can't or don't want to do it.

But, they should NEVER say;

I'll drop by after work, or I'll come by at 11:00.

JUST DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO!

And, that is my rant for the day.

9.29.2014

Weekly Adventures with the Sunbeams

Lesson: LOVE - we should love everyone, even people who treat us badly.

Children listen, participate in game, enjoy book on Ipad of Heber J Grant and the red coat which he gave away.

Closing prayer over, waiting for parents to come…

M says as she waves her LOVE handout: “I love everybody, but my cousin C…I HATE my cousin….I put a hex on her!  She spits water at me.”

(A 4 year old knows about putting a hex on someone?!?!??!?  I’m still laughing at that!)

I respond: “You should love her, even if she spits at you….just ask her nicely to quit.”

“I HATE her.”

So much for the lesson on LOVE to the 4 year olds.



9.24.2014

Dinner Plans

Menu for Saturday night with 4 couples:

Fresh baked Sour Dough Bread
Baked chicken with apricot sauce
Fresh Green Salad w glazed pecans and fresh strawberries
Home-Made Double Chocolate Brownies with Ice Cream 


"Hello, Marge, this is Gwendolyn.  I'd like to invite you and your husband to dinner Saturday night."

"Oh, that sounds wonderful.  Can I bring anything?"

"No, I was actually planning to try out some new recipes, so I'll do it all."

"That's so thoughtful.  Oh, by the way, Herb can't have anything with gluten, but I'm sure you can find plenty of things to make without using any flour.  He shouldn't even be in a room where there has been any flour baking at all."

Fresh baked Sour Dough Bread

"Hello, Dixie, Gwendolyn here....I wanted to invite you and Doody for dinner on Saturday; I'm trying out some new recipes."

"Oh my goodness; aren't y'all sweet?  We'd love to come and I can bring something, but Doody just found out he has a nut allergy.  That's why he has been having such terrible headaches the last 50 years!  But he can't eat in a HOUSE that has had nuts in it in the last 48 hours either; so maybe you could clear your home of all nuts by then!"

Fresh Green Salad w glazed pecans and fresh strawberries

"Hi, Wanita, I'd like to invite you and William Jr for a dinner on Saturday evening.  I'll do everything, so just come and enjoy!"

"Oh, Gwendolyn...that sounds lovely and I know what a great cook you are.  Did I tell you that Will Jr.'s doctor just told him he can't have ANY kind of meat?  Or fish, but we'll have whatever else you are planning.  Hopefully, you won't be having meat that might possibly end up touching his skin or be on the plate of the person next to him.

Baked chicken with apricot sauce

"Audrey, want to come for dessert on Saturday night?"

"Oh, gee, Gwendolyn, Josiah and I just gave up eating all sweets; we don't eat anything with sugar or flour or nuts or fruit or pretty much anything else in it, but kale.  Were you planning to serve kale or kale chips?  Hopefully that could be part of the dinner menu!"

Home-Made Double Chocolate Brownies with Ice Cream

"Hey sweetie, looks like we'll be having lemon water for dinner on Saturday...oh wait - no fruit....I mean WATER!"

9.23.2014

My LOVE/HATE Relationship With Facebook

Okay, here's the deal:

Facebook is a time guzzler.

It's a sucker-up of TIME.

I do not like that.

BUT,

on the other hand:

I'm in touch with former students,

a Chinese student,

a former exchange student from Malaysia from 30 years ago,

relatives,

friends from different communities,

friends in my neighborhood where I find out the news, which I wouldn't otherwise even know about: like the Franks are in England!  (Who knew, but NOW, I KNOW, and I'm glad to know!)

I wish they had a Reader's Digest Condensed Version

of Facebook.


9.20.2014

I Should Have Asked More Questions.....

Like these:

to my mother:

Where did you get this lovely goblet set?

How did you happen to come by this marvelous German tea set?

What is the story behind all your lovely figurines that you got while living in Europe?

What frightened you the most about your stay in Germany right after the war?

(There are many more, but that's just a sampling!)

to my grandmother on my father's side:

How did your two siblings die so young?

How was it to marry your teacher?

What was it like to grow up in your home being the eldest with so many siblings?

to my grandmother on my mother's side:

What do you remember MOST about my dear mother?

to my father:

What was it like living in Post-WWII Germany?

What was your most frightening flying experience?

You were a successful attorney; would you do it all over again?

Oh, I wish I knew these answers.

9.17.2014

The Problem With Fancy Fingernails....

oh, sure, they look great!

They look feminine and lovely and so nice for a wedding, or two.

BUT, and it's a huge BUT,

they make typing extremely difficult.

Mine don't look quite this glitzy, but you get the idea.  Way too long to type!


So, that's just one reason that

I HOPE these dang fake nails grow out and go away....

very quickly!

The Art or Talent of Saying No

I can't say NO.

I need to learn how to say that word.



At 70, you'd think I would be able to say it.

But, I can't.



Consequently, I get myself into some difficult straits.

Perhaps I just need to practice:

No, I'm sorry, but I won't be able to do that.

It won't be possible for me at this time.

Sorry, but I am not able to right now.

Perhaps you could ask me again in ten years or so.

Who am I kidding?

It just ain't gonna happen!



But, on the other hand; I suppose it's good to be of service.

9.13.2014

FOCUSED!

It took me a lot of years to figure RAH out.

And, by that I mean the nature of his personality.

But, when I finally figured it out;

I nailed it.

He's a FOCUSED person.

A few years ago, he decided to write a couple of books on some early pioneers and early history.

He lasered in and that was his FOCUS for that year.

Everything he talked about, every trip he took, almost every conversation was FOCUSED on his project.

After that, it was music.  

Last summer, it was working on the yard.

This summer, it was on catching the Kokanee salmon.

Again, with laser-like focus, he works on one over-riding theme.

He has focused on jewelry making, yard work, building a home, music, designing software for his classes, fishing, writing a guitar lesson book, family history, photography....

He's a man of MANY, MANY TALENTS.

Just - 

NOT ALL AT ONCE!

9.11.2014

Time: A Very Precious Commodity!

The appointment was for 5:15.

I arrived at 5:10.

K arrived at 5:25.

B forgot we were coming, so she wasn't there.

Now, here's the thing:  K has five little children, expecting her 6th....it was a struggle for her to get away; her baby didn't want her to leave.

B has four teenagers....she is an involved and good mom ushering them to practices, lessons, appointments, etc.

Both are so incredibly busy.

So, to have just one more thing to squeeze in, is a challenge.  And, I'm sorry about that.

But, we have been asked to do it, so I do.

Ah, Visiting Teaching; never really easy.


Celebrating 50 Years


My parents lived in Pocatello, Idaho for many many years.

During that time, my father devoted his life, time, career to serving the community and the church.

My mother was also involved in community and church work.

They were both quite well known around the town.

But after many years, a career change took them to Virginia for a couple of years, then to California, and finally to Salt Lake City, where they lived out their wonderful lives.

As their 50th wedding anniversary approached, the siblings all encouraged them to have a celebration in their beloved Pocatello, Idaho.

My parents were vehement.

"ABSOLUTELY NOT!"

No one would remember them, they said; no one would come, they said.

But gradually, we began to break them down and get them to agree to a celebration at their former church.  

Mother was worried about what to wear and how to fix her hair (she looked gorgeous!).  Dad was worried that we would have all that food and no one would come (we portably ran out of food so many people came!).  



Their worries were for naught.

People came in throngs to see their dear friends, Merrill and Dorothy Gee, formerly of Pocatello.

They laughed, they talked about old times, they brought cards of remembrances and love.

It was just an incredible evening.

My parents glowed with the love they felt from their dear friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members, school board members, community leaders.

It was - in short - a perfect evening.

And, I've ALWAYS been grateful we carried through with that event.




9.10.2014

The Ugly Duckling

When I first saw the baby, I was quite frankly; stunned.

She was .....

Well, in a word

UGLY.

Or, maybe just funny looking.

I couldn't honestly say to her mother...(which I say to a lot of new mothers...)

"She's so beautiful."

Instead I said something like,

"Look at that dark hair; there's so much of it."

How could I say to the new mother; she is just...

Well, ODD LOOKING.....

And, then, she began to grow.....

Like babies do.

But, she also began to grow

BEAUTIFUL.  

As a toddler, her face was enchanting, beguiling, with a sort of wistful look all the time.

She has the most unusual and intriguing color of eyes.

She has a sprinkling of tiny freckles across the bridge of her nose.

Her hair is almost jet black.

She's about 9 or perhaps 10 now, and when I saw her recently, I was struck by her beauty.

She has a decidedly spunky, fun, independent personality.

And she is

BEAUTIFUL!





8.21.2014

Literature That Sorrows

I'm not sure why it is the case, but the latest three nonfiction books I'm reading are all about:

Despair
Oppression
Hatred
Sorrow

I read a book about Kosovo following a civil uprising there; so tragic.



I'm listening to a book about American slavery; it is beyond horrific.



And, then I am reading a book about poverty (grinding poverty), alcoholism, and family struggles.



These books have left me breathless;

I cannot believe man's inhumanity to man.

I cannot believe I live in a country that did what they did to Native Americans and African/Americans as slaves...it is beyond comprehension.

It's hard to read about the kind of poverty where children go to bed hungry and are always gnawed by hunger, being teased and laughed at, and are left to struggle on their own.

But, reading books like this encourages me to give thanks every day for

MY LIFE!

8.06.2014

Just Wondering....

if I am the only person in North America

who

DOESN'T

have a

TATTOO?

8.05.2014

Making a Believer Out of a Non-Believer

For quite a number of years now, I've encouraged RAH to join the throngs of people who use and are attached to a

SMART PHONE.

But, he was perfectly content to use his well-worn

FLIP PHONE.

What do I need with a phone....I just need to make a few calls...or text someone once in a very rare while.

And, so it was....

UNTIL, we started looking at saving money.

His little phone was costing us a bundle, even though he rarely used it.

We heard about a different kind of plan....

Inexpensive, CHEAP even.

And, I jumped on board.

BUT, you had to buy a new phone for $179.00

SO, reluctantly he gave in.

RAH is now the proud owner of an American-made SMART PHONE.

And, guess what?!??!

He's HOOKED.

He LOVES it.

And, that makes me smile.

(But, I"ll never say, I TOLD YOU SO!)