Getting Ready

Okay, so we leave on a grand adventure in one month.

Going to Germany for one month.

Now we are gathering our items together:

Electronics, cords, pillows for the plane, extra medicines, list of things to do and to take....

it's pretty overwhelming....

But, mainly because RAH says...

"Here's the deal, we will each take ONE carry-on suitcase!"


Okay, insane.

But, now it's become a challenge....

Should I take two pair of shoes or just take one pair that are walking shoes?  How will those look in church?

Should I pack shampoos, etc, or just buy that stuff there?

How many pairs of pants can I stuff inside one little bag to get me through an entire month?

What if I buy just one little souvenir...will I have to leave something behind to stuff it in my one little suitcase?

Oh, the agonies and the ecstasies of packing.

Let's see how it all plays out.

I'll keep you posted.


National Doctor's Day

It sounds glamorous and exciting and potentially lucrative.

Young kids say it's what they want to be when they grow up.

Mothers want their daughters to marry one.

But, the reality of the career is not quite so glamorous.

The hours are killer.  The amount of information to recall is mind-boggling. The responsibility almost overwhelming.  The student debt is staggering.  

And, did I mention that LIVES are at stake here.  

If you bring the wrong order to a customer in a restaurant, it can be easily remedied.  If you give the bank customer a twenty instead of a ten, you can easily correct that error.

But give a wrong diagnosis, make an error in surgery, underdose an anesthetic, it is people's LIVES that are being dealt with.

Oh sure, some people go into the profession for selfish, egotistical reasons.  But for any one of those, there are dozens of hard-working, dedicated professionals whose goal is to truly help people and make their lives better.

In this sue-crazy culture, physicians get a very bad rap and rep.

But, I know - from personal experience - many doctors whose goal truly is TO SERVE and TO HELP.

To them, today, I give honour and a big shout - out.  Thanks for your time (which most of us cannot even comprehend when talking about residency and internships), your concern, your care, and your dedication.

Thanks especially to my nephews - Drs. Gee, and to our own family - Drs. Hackworth, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Fisher.

You are doing what so few of us are willing to and would do.


The Judge

"WHY doesn't she lose weight?" I wondered.

"She's so VERY big!"

Well, now I know why.

And, now at long last, I am so sympathetic to S, to D, to J, to C, to L, and to all the others that I have been so stupidly judgmental of.


And the reason I know how hard it is, is because I have been trying....sort of desperately.

Here's the deal.

Once you put that weight on, it is SOOOOOO hard to get it off.

Your eating habits have gotten you there.

So, NOW, changing habits is required.

And, that is NOT easy.

The fat cells STICK like GLUE - and not just Elmer's glue, but the hard-core glue where nothing comes off!  That's the fat cells once they have attached to hips and thighs and arms and chins and ear lobes; they will NOT go easily into that good night.

Now, I am humbled and repentant.

Now I understand why Linda told us that all the people at her workplace have just given up losing weight as a lost cause and they eat ANYTHING they want.  They are tired of the battle.

And, battle it is.

Never ending.

So, I'm eating humble pie instead of lemon meringue.  And, it doesn't taste nearly as delicious.

I'm sorry about being silently critical.

I'm sorry that I didn't understand the challenges.

But, now I do.

And, I'm no longer standing as judge.

Only a sympathetic person filled with understanding and empathy.


Early Riser

I get up VERY early.

I have done this for quite a number of years and it's a great time to get things done.

Like exercise.

It's so perfect to get to the gym early.

BUT, the downside is this.....

I drive into town to the gym, but when I am finished exercising needing errands to run....




trips to the library,

post office,


dry cleaners,

and on and on, ad infinitum.

Oh sure, the grocery store is open and believe me, I have gone there plenty of times after exercising.

But, all those other errands....forget about it.

So, that either means TWO trips to town, or going later to exercise, which I do NOT like.

In addition, no offices are open; can't call the internet company, the dentist's office, the repair shop, etc.

Perhaps the early bird doesn't ALWAYS get the worm - or in this case, the letter mailed, clothes to the cleaner, new shoes, or library book.


Being Young at Any Age...

really isn't possible.

However, it's a nice thought to spread around the internet.

I was talking about age with Valerie recently.

She made an interesting comment that most older folk can relate to.

She said that whenever she meets someone in her age category, they seem so OLD looking to her.

"But," she said, "I don't feel like I look as old as they do!"

Ha!  That's pretty funny...

To young kids, we look very old, or as Dawsen said to me in Primary recently, "You are SuPER old!"

It appears there's no tricking the young ones, I truly look SUPER OLD.

So be it.

Now,I 'll just have to make sure that Valerie doesn't meet up with Dawsen....no need for her day to be ruined by a truth-telling 7 year old!


The Word I Would Most Use to Describe Children....




From Friday late afternoon to Sunday late evening, our lives were filled with the sounds and sights of children.

Rambunctious, noisy, happy, ENERGETIC children.

First, Allen's niece and her three children came to spend the weekend.  There could not be three more well-behaved, beautiful, thoughtful children on the planet.  But, having said that, they were still CHILDREN...which means they were filled with an ENERGY that left me exhausted just listening to and watching them.

Kaycee, Cody, Chloe

Saturday afternoon, I went to a birthday for three-year old Skye ....that girl is athletic and fast and delightful.

Skye wanted BLUE frosting and she got it!  All over her face!

Jason with Eden; she's also energetic as she bounced back and forth on the couch.  Plus, look at those strong legs!

Sunday afternoon was filled with Primary; 8 noise, lively, delightful, ENERGETIC CTRs.

About the only time they are quiet; when they are coloring.  Ha Ha!

Elle and Bree are generally quiet in class.  It's good to have two quiet people amongst the six noisy boys!

Then immediately following church, we headed to Gardner's home where we were treated to a wonderful meal (I'm still stuffed!), and the delightful antics and showing-offs of his three wonderful children.
Aspen and Emma...they tumbled, the danced, they cartwheeled, they moved EVERY minute for three hours...

This is pretty funny because Grant didn't sit still for two minutes, except when he was kidding around to show us his meditation pose.  But even this was VERY short-lived!

They performed dances, stunts, music, gymnastics, and in general just kept running all around for three hours.  The sheer energy of those three children left me exhausted and I fell into bed into a deep sleep.


I want some.  I need some.  I jealously desire that kind of unending exuberance and energy.  I don't want to look at them and need to go lie down because they tire me out so much.

I honestly don't feel like I was ever like that!  I don't remember having that kind of energy - even on my best, most youthful days.

It's a joy to see; a joy to be around.

But, I'm glad I'm not the parent.  I'm too old and way too tired for that.

So, I'll enjoy it from a distance and whenever I have the chance, then go home and take a nap!


The Visits

Within a 24-hour period, we visited these wonderful folk:

93 year old John who fell and broke his hip; he is in a recovery center, but his daughter says he is getting more and more forgetful.

Hal & Pam, friends from many years ago in Idaho.  They have both had their share of health problems, but according to Pam her husband is getting dementia quite badly and quite quickly.

Bill & Cherie.  She was just diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and has maybe a year to live...hard to say.  Her husband is beyond distraught and is struggling mightily with the whole thing.

I left each one of these people wanting to get on my knees with gratitude for good health at this point in our lives.  Health issues just seem to come hurtling down in such a hurry that we hardly know it has happened.

All of these people are older; they have lived good, honorable, long lives, so it shouldn't be such a shock or so distasteful, but in reality it is - it is so hard to see and to know and to be aware of and to witness it happening to dear friends.

And it leaves me feeling rather shell-shocked and frightened and wretched and sad and all sorts of jumbled-up feelings of - "WE'RE NEXT!"

I recently read of a 63 year old who went to sleep and didn't wake up; natural causes, the paper called it.  Although 63 seems young, the manner in which he went seems so ideal.

I want that for everyone I know and love.

Oh, if only it could be so.

But, if onlys rarely come to be.

So, I'll just keep feeling grateful.  Enjoy each day.  Each friend.  Each moment.  Each experience.

And realize...

No one comes out of this alive.

And, then we'll go and visit them again.


Clear the Clutter

They live in a small home in a 55 and older community.

They have lived a lot of places and gathered STUFF from those places and just daily living.

And, that STUFF is all over their smallish home.

She's a good housekeeper, I mean, it wasn't junky or filthy.

Just overrun with THINGS.

Now, here's the deal...not one of her kids is going to want her artificial plastic flowers, her little gnomes and frogs, her knick knacks, etc.

I'm not meaning to sound critical here at all.

Because I know how infinitely difficult it is to get rid of THINGS and STUFF.

But, they did inspire us both:

because we just cleared out some books from one of our bookshelves.

So, it's just a little-by-little process we go through occasionally in an effort to


Speaking of clutter, here are two phones that have fond memories;
The Blackberry was the first phone I had to use with the Internet.  It seemed like a miracle phone at the time.
The Nokia was one of the three phones we used in China.  I loved that little handy phone.  No internet, no voice messaging, but great for making phone calls when needed.
However, it's time to say GOOD-BYE!


It's So Easy...

to solve OTHER people's problems.

For example, take the Cees down the street; he lost his job.

Here's the problem (as I see it):

they eat out every day for lunch, they have a gardner once a week, she has her nails done on a regular basis, she just bought new furniture, they drive two very expensive and luxurious cars, they live in a half million dollar home.

The solution:  

Well, it's pretty obvious from what I just wrote; do your own yard work, give up the nails and lunches out every day, quit BUYING stuff, sell your home and cars and drive older model cars.

See how easy and simple that was.

But, here's the kicker;

I have so many problems of my own;

And, I can't solve ANY of them.

Because it's so much easier to solve the neighbor's...

Ha Ha.


BORING or Maybe Not

She moved from Southern Utah about a year ago.

She also moved away from going to church.

According to Sue, she had some legitimate reasons for not going:

1.  She puts in 12 or more hours a day at an incredibly demanding job, and is with people constantly....she just needed some down time.

2. Sunday was truly her only day to unwind and be at home alone.

3.  She was worn out with church after serving in leadership capacities for many years.

4.  (Most unique of all!)  According to Sue, the speakers are BORING!

I'm still smiling at number 4 (not that I concur with any of her reasons and I think she is making a HUGE mistake, but this made me smile out loud.)

So, ever since our visit with Sue a couple of months ago in her city far away, I've been focused on the BORING speakers.  Ha Ha.

Two Sundays ago, we heard from a couple who just moved back into our ward.  Their talks left me speechless with emotions of gratitude, feeling the spirit, and the blessings of the temple.  I was in awe at their honesty and their persuasive testimonies.

No boredom there.

A returned missionary was powerful in his testimony of working with the people in Mexico; a going-out missionary spoke of her decision to serve.

Oh, sure, they are not orators, but they are humble and trying hard.

Sue is right; some speakers are boring, but maybe, just maybe, it's OUR job to sift through the words and FEEL the intent, the spirit of the message.  Perhaps we bear the larger burden of bringing something to the table too.

And, maybe when we do that,

it's not so BORING after all!


Jobless and Forlorn

Today I visited a man who just lost his job - again.

He was very very despondent.

I've known this man for about 9 years....he is a positive, good man.

But, this has practically debilitated him.

He's lost several jobs in the last few years, so it is having a cumulative effect on him.

He's distraught and in great despair.

He has served in the temple for 9 years, is currently serving a service mission in the recovery and addiction program, plus teaching a youth Sunday School class.  He has never doubted the Gospel or his faith.

So, he is quite perplexed right now as to what/why this is happening, in spite of keeping the commandments over a lifetime.

Truthfully, I didn't know what to say.

While I've never been in his position, someone in our immediate family has been in that very same position....living the commandments, serving faithfully in the church, tithe payer; yet, losing several jobs - through really no fault of their own, just the economy, etc.

S told me that he doesn't even see the need to get up in the morning...

He feels like a failure not being able to support his family.

My heart aches for him and his pain.

And, once again, I wish - as I did so often on our employment mission - that everyone who wanted a job and was willing to work COULD work.

Sometimes life just doesn't seem fair.

And, it hurts.

I don't like that at all.


To-Do List

I love having a to-do list.

I am so much more efficient when I keep up my list of things needing to be done for the day....it's amazing, really.

I bought this little notebook for the year 2015; I haven't really used a specific date book for a very long time, but this is perfect.  There aren't a lot of lines on it for each day; but enough for me.

I'm glad I found this perfect size...I keep it in my desk and it truly


So, I like it.  

But, now it's time to sigh off, gotta get the stuff done.  

So, I can check it off the list...

I'm outta here.



I spent a week helping with three grandsons.

It was a great week filled with lots of:

school work,

reading time,

play time,


a couple of movies,

good food,


I was grateful to be there.

And, last night as I lay in my own bed (even though their bed was the most comfy EVER!), I realized that being HOME just feels comfortable.

It feels like I belong.

I'm not an intruder here just for a visit.

I feel so


with RAH.

And, that word just kept coming back to me.


Oh, yes,

I like being



LOST, but not FOUND!

It's expensive.

It's really helped.

And, I was careless yesterday.

I lost it.

My retainer.

I'm just sick to my stomach.

What an expensive blunder!



Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who

TOTALLY monopolizes the conversation?

Who hogs the spotlight over and over?

Who feels like all the attention should be on him/her?

And, then when someone else breaks in, the person just turns the topic back to them?

Oh, yes, we all know people like this.

But, would I ever dare say something....



No, I wouldn't say it,

But I can fantasize, right?!?!??!

Cousins Coincidence

Dixie texted; she wanted to meet us for lunch. Dixie is Allen's 2 or 3 COUSIN; who knows, but anyway, they are related.  She is won...