2.28.2014

Learning....

is so fun.

Particularly if it is a subject that is appealing to MOI.

I'm learning some new thing about the IPad and it's just fun.

On my own time, my own terms, my own interests.

Now, that is the way to learn!

2.27.2014

The Winds of Change...

Dear MOI,

You don't like change.

You like everything to stay the same.

So, just know that life cannot always stay the same.

Be prepared....change will always be inevitable.




2.22.2014

A Visit to a Friend

I woke up in a foul mood;

 I knew that I needed an attitude adjustment......and that always involves seeing Sylvia.

I had decided earlier that when I visit her, I'll read to her from the Ensign magazine.  She can no longer hold a book or magazine.  Since it's painful for her to talk, I thought I'd read to her and INSPIRE HER!

So, I just randomly picked an article.....

And, as I read that article with dear Sylvia listening, I realized with deep fervor, that the article I picked was meant for

MOI....

...it was meant for MOI to read today.
Sylvia may not have needed that advice, but I did!

And, I'm grateful for what happened today.



2.21.2014

A Shift in Thinking

The very old man got up and slowly shuffled out of the classroom.

He did this every week about the same time during the late afternoon class.

He was slightly stooped and walked very slowly; each step was a slow dragging of the foot.

Linda leaned over and whispered, "I hope I never walk like that!"

Then, a split second later, she leaned over and said something that I think A LOT!

"I shouldn't say anything; it will likely happen to me!"  She proceeded..."when I was young, I used to laugh at people with the shakes, now I have them!"

I knew exactly wherein she spoke..it seems every time I think something, it happens....

I'll NEVER have a child who behaves like that in church; and then they behave worse!

My child would NEVEr wear his hair like that; and they wear it just like that or even more extreme!

What WERE they thinking?  I would NEVER own a car that color; and the next car we get is precisely that color...

on and on...

So, I got thinking about it...I'm going about this all wrong.  Since whenever I think something, it invariably happens, I've got to start thinking in a DIFFERENT DIRECTION, as thusly:

I hope I NEVER win the lottery; which is a sure-fire guarantee that I WILL win!

I hope I NEVER have to drive a brand new Lexus, which means that sometime this year, I don't know how, but I will be driving a new Lexus!

Or...

No grandchild of mine will EVER get a full tuition scholarship to BYU....I won't have it; but based on previous experience of thinking something and having it happen, he WILL get a scholarship.

Just you wait and see; these, and more, will all happen by the end of this year....oh, yes, guaranteed.

So, next year at this time, come visit me in my new home bought with lottery winnings; we'll take a drive to Provo to see my grandson who got a full tuition scholarship to BYU!

Oh, yes, indeed, it's bound to happen - for sure.

2.20.2014

Excuses, Excuses!

I hate to exercise...with a deep passion.

So, I'll use any and ALL excuses to NOT go to the gym;

"Oh, it looks windy today, I better stay home!"

"My toenail needs clipping; I better stay home!"

"I'm having company come in three weeks, I better stay home to get the house cleaned!"

"The car only has a half a tank of gas; I better preserve the gas and stay home!"

Oh, I've used them all.

But, TODAY, I finally have a legitimate excuse.

I'm sick.

And, I googled this:  Should you exercise if you have the flu."

WebMD said, "No, give your body a rest."

So, I will; for about five years.


2.19.2014

The Love Affair

When the ward was divided, we were put in the ward with my great aunt and her husband.  Allen was made their home teacher, though the bishopric didn't know at the time that we were related.

Wynona was the youngest of many siblings; my grandmother had been the oldest.

And, maybe that is why they were so very different; my grandmother was stern, somber; my great aunt was happy, lively, funny, cheerful.  Wynona's life had been much easier than my grandmother's, who was essentially a 2nd mother to all the siblings.  First children carry a heavy responsibility, and I assume by the time Wynona was born, life was simpler in the household and she was left to just be carefree.

My grandmother is in the front row, 2nd from the left; Aunt Nona is right next to her on the far left.  Even in this picture, you can see a difference in their dispositions, I think.

Wynona and her husband, Jess Stephenson, had the most delightful and marvelous relationship; oh, they were fun ones, those two.  They did everything together and went everywhere together.

They would bet on the baseball games; they loved baseball.  Whoever lost the bet took the other one out for ice cream at the the Frontier Restaurant.

And, speaking of ice cream, Wynona made the best ice cream in the world - bar none!  Raspberry ice cream from her own raspberry patch that Jess worked hard on each summer.

Sometimes, Jess and Nona would invite our family of five, six, and eventually seven, over for ice cream.  It was a treat; and not just because of the ice cream and brownies, but because they were so delightful; so in love.  They treated each other with such respect and kindness...it was an inspiration to watch them interact.

One night, Nona showed us the exercises she did each night before retiring.  She was a teeny little petite lady and I can still see her on the floor swinging her legs in exercises!

Their tiny home was always immaculate and so very cheery.

Jess and Nona had three children; their son was their only child who had any children.  He and his two sisters lived hundreds of miles away, so Jess and Nona didn't see their children much.  But, we tried to see them as often as we could with our busy, hectic lives.

Wynona Kerr Stephenson on her 50th wedding anniversary...her children threw a grand party for them...

Eventually, they got old; and could no longer care for themselves.  They were put into a nursing home....together....

It changed them.  They were not in their beautiful, comfortable home that they had lived in for many, many years...they got weaker, more ill.

And, on 28 June 1988, my wonderful Aunt Wynona died.  And, here's the beautiful part;

TWO WEEKS later, my uncle died.

They, who were never separated in life, were now not separated by death.

A true love affair to the end.  Oh, how divine!


The Millionaire


Incredible home....

Marvelous view....

Amazing decor...

Olympic size pool with hot tub and fountains.....

All so stunning and remarkable.

AND, we got to speak to the owner during our walk through his magnificent home during the St. George home show.

He had made his money in computer software; he had worked hard and now he was reaping the rewards.

His lifestyle is fast-paced and global.

Good for him.

BUT, in spite of all that; there are health issues; old-age parent issues...

It's called LIFE.

Money doesn't prevent our parents from getting old and from them needing our attention and help.

Money doesn't guarantee good health.

Oh, yes, it's simply called LIFE.

2.15.2014

Weighty Matters

B lives next door....she is about 75, but looks 85.

She has led a life of hard drinking and smoking until she quit smoking a couple of years ago.

She loves to go to Mesquite to gamble several times a week; win or lose, but mostly lose.

She is about 5' 4".  Her arms are extremely skinny; her legs are very skinny.

Yesterday, her doctor told her to lose weight.  I nearly fainted.  It's true that her belly is just a little big, but whose isn't at 75?

She never eats sweets; her husband does 95% of their cooking; they eat out when they go to Mesquite, and that is about it.  In the summer, they order the fresh fruits basket, so they eat a lot of vegetables and fruits.

Anyway, I'm listening to her swear about how she has to lose weight, and I'm so stunned, it's unreal.

I don't get the whole weight thing.

During the last few years of my mother's life; she ate like a bird; a bite of sandwich, a bit of banana; hardly ANYTHING at all; rarely sweets.  But, she was overweight and stayed that way, even when she was just nibbling at her food.

I mean, something is going on here.

I think it's global warming; that is to blame for all our weight problems.

That's my answer and I'm sticking to it.  (And, it relieves me of personal responsibility in the weight department!)


2.14.2014

Remembering Elvis' Song on Valentine's Day

There are two occasions when the song

HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE YOU?

brings incredibly fond memories to me....

However, they were not sung by Elvis, but by RAH.

The first occasion was when I was the librarian at MMS in Rexburg, Idaho.  It was Valentine's Day.  There were a few students in the library that afternoon when RAH walked in the double doors, sat down at one of the tables while I sat at the check-out counter.  He pulled out his guitar and sang;

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

It was so romantic and sweet and tender and poignant and thoughtful.  I wish the entire school could have been there, but there were just a few and they listened, smiled, and enjoyed the overture of love by an old man to his old wife.

The next fond memory of that song with RAH singing it was in a much more crowded arena.

The setting was a large classroom in Guangdong University in China.  Two of our children were visiting us and we were having a special evening class to have Jeremy and Kristi meet our students.  They each talked about their careers, then sang to the 200 students.  At the end of the evening, RAH sang a few songs, ending with:

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?

When he finished singing, he walked to the row where I was seated, bent down and kissed me on the cheek.

What happened next was so totally fun and unexpected.  200 students clasped their hands over their mouths, loud cheers erupted, clapping, and picture snapping....it was just an amazing moment in time.

For you see, in China, where PDA is very rare among old people, it was a moment of sheer JOY to see their reactions.  I still smile/laugh when I think of those students reacting so wildly.

Oh, Elvis, you might have made thousands of women swoon, but RAH has the power to make this old lady still swoon - as well as the students in China...

Allen singing in our apartment in China; this was an FHE with a new convert family.....





2.12.2014

The Men in My Life

Deon and I sat across from each other at the table; she told me her story and it was like something out of a dime-store novel; it all related to the men in her life.

Her husband cheated on her...she got divorced; bitter and ugly.
Her father borrowed money, promising to pay it back; he never did.
Her brother cheated the other 7 siblings out of a portion of the inheritance.
Her boss at BYU took credit for a project in which she did all the work.
Her 2nd husband emptied out her bank account.

So, Deon doesn't trust men.  (I guess it's lucky she had 3 daughters!)

I couldn't help but compare my experiences with Deon's.

And, mine is the very exact opposite.

My father was the very best of men; honest, good, kind.
My husband is a good person; extremely honest and good.
My brothers are the very best of men, like my father.  They are beyond honorable.
My uncles and cousins are good....
My sons-in-law and sons are good men.

Just good men.  Good, good men.

And, that is what this post is about:

My extended family and their goodness; strength of character, integrity, hard work.

These are 3 brothers who are my first cousins on my father's side.  One died a year ago, one died this week.  I cannot even believe it.

But, they are heroes; not in the world's sense, but in the sense that they honor womanhood, are good to their children/grandchildren; worked hard all their lives, were service-oriented, love country and most of all, love GOD.

Oh, they are good; nay, they are GREAT.

Just writing this, I am getting very emotional.

And, I realize how blessed I am to KNOW of the Plan of Salvation...

Oh dear Glendon and Martel, I WILL see you and it will be a grand reunion.

Dr. Laurence Gee, a pediatrician; Martel Gee (deceased), computer specialist; Glendon Gee (deceased), water genius.
All three men have served extensively in the church; both foreign and domestic.  All three are highly educated.  All three have a delightful sense of humour.  Man, was I lucky in the good men department!



2.11.2014

I Love My Parents

I'm working on family stuff;

scanning in pictures, putting pictures into family search.

And, it makes me realize what a wonderful, happy home I came from.

I'm so grateful for my good parents; they were KIND and so very GOOD.

They treated us with love, respect, gentleness, goodness.

They welcomed our friends into their home; sharing generously of their food and time.

I am beyond grateful.

Thank you, dear heavenly Father, for the marvelous gift I had of such a great head start in having wonderful ancestors.

What a blessing!

2.09.2014

The Rumour Mill

When I walked into church today, W asked where RAH was.

I said, "He's got a very bad COLD and was in bed all day yesterday...he's just at home in bed."

ONE HOUR and A HALF LATER, when I went out in the hall to get water for the nursery kids, J said,

"Oh, I'm so sorry that RAH is ill.  I heard he has pneumonia!"

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.....

And, that's the way rumors work!

2.07.2014

Gadget Guru

When my father died, as I was going through his THINGS, I was amazed at how many

cords,
plugs,
electronic somethings,
devices,
mystery gadgets,

he had in his two offices.

RAH and I could not figure out many of them....they were mysterious in their functions.  Some were smallish, some were larger.  They all required plugs and cords and batteries and instructions; all of which were lying around somewhere in the morass of his office.

But, my dad LOVED gadgets; sadly, as he aged, he couldn't figure out or remember how to use them, but he continued to purchase them anyway.

I am SO MY FATHER'S DAUGHTER!

I love gadgets, office supplies, and more gadgets.  It's ridiculous.  But, when I hear of a new
SOMETHING
coming out, I want it!

Nay, I NEED it.

It's a sickness.

And, like an addict, I fight it.

It's not as serious to my health, but it is as serious to my pocketbook.

So, as of this moment, I'll curb those gadget wants and just try to be satisfied with:

 ITouch (3 years old now; practically a dinosaur, but I use it nearly every day when I exercise.)
the 2nd IPad ( over 2 years old, purchased with money from some US bonds my father gave us.  I felt that was very appropriate.)
IPhone 
the mini tablet - it's not an IPad Mini, mind you, which is what I'm hankering for now, but it's a no-nonsense cheap Wal*Mart brand.  Works fairly well, but is getting sluggish.  I use it every day to read books and catch a few BBC television productions from Netflix.)
New IMac computer....a dream to use.  Oh my, this is the penultimate....
Cannon camera (about 6 years old, but I still use it on occasion when I don't use the phone for photos)
Toshiba Laptop (which we took to China; an absolute MUST for that year...now, I only use it for my PAF file for family history.)

SO, as you can see, I'm pretty well set up......

Oh, dad, I would rather have inherited your musical talent instead of your guru gadgetedness!

But, then again, maybe not!

2.06.2014

The Pair of Us!

He comes to bed at 2 or 3 a.m.

Just as I'm waking up.

Oh, we are a pair!

2.02.2014

Old Age; Double Whammy

"It's sort of ironic," Dixie said recently, "about old age."

"First of all, you have lots of physical ailments; and to add insult to injury, young people treat you as if you had leprosy!"

She then went on...."I was asked to be on a committee at church with three young mothers.  Why I was asked is beyond me, but there it is.

"So, those three young mothers huddled in a corner and whispered about their husbands, lives, children, etc., while I sat across the room sort of like an outcast.  Eventually, one of them noticed me and the circle broke up.

"Ah," she added philosophically, "they'll grow old...they'll see."

Ah, yes, indeed.

2.01.2014

Stories from the Street

Gary and Linda were engaged in high school, but he joined the Marines, and she met someone else.  Both married others, had interesting lives for 47 years, and had spouses die.  They reconnected on Classmates.com and married three years ago.  And, they are living happily ever after!  At their 50th class reunion, their friends were so delighted to see that they had gotten together after all those years!

Bro K's wife was diagnosed with lupus when she was 27.  For about 40 years, she was very ill, including being bedridden for the last 5 years of her life.  Bro K was a caring, good care-giver and tried to make her life as pleasant as possible under the trying circumstances.  When he married again, after her death, he and his 2nd wife led a very adventurous life, traveling literally all over the world.  He made an interesting comment recently...he said, "If you have your health, you have FREEDOM!"

L married a soldier serving in the Vietnam War.  When he came home for a 2 week furlough, she became pregnant with her first child.  Two weeks before her son was born, her husband died.  She later married another man, had another son, and he also died - of something relating to mental illness.  She is beautiful and positive - in spite of her tragedies.

I love hearing the stories of real people;

they are inspiring, heartwarming, and as interesting as any movie.

It's good to get acquainted with people.