• “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. Dr. Suess

Friday, October 29, 2010


I love waffles. I made some for breakfast today!
I love blueberries, too!

When I bake them I use the timer on my microwave to let me know the perfect time for a perfect waffle. EASY - except -

I have this strange companion, named Habit, that keeps getting in my way.  When the microwave beeps, and I have wandered away and gone on auto-pilot, I tend to open the empty beeping microwave - and look inside BEFORE remembering my waffle.

 (I know myself well enough to plan for the contingency of an irritating continuing beep to ensure my kitchen has no smoke damage and that I eventually get breakfast).

How many things do you do on auto-pilot? I have tried to open my front door by clicking the remote for my car - weird, I know!
Make your own list.  You know you have one - or more.

A few years ago our kitchen floor was replaced.  As is often the case, there was a 'hitch-in-the-get-along' and instead of taking a couple days my frig stayed in the garage for 2 weeks or more.  When it returned to its rightful domain my sons would come home and go straight to the frig - still in the garage, right? NOT!

One day one of them stuck their head into the kitchen and asked me, "Mom, do you have any idea what I came out to the garage for?" I laughed and pointed to it.

He had built a strong continuing habit in a only a few days!

Since that time I notice habits more - my own and yours.  Some are funny (taking a bite of something because it is in your hand - or trying to write with it - icky either way).  Some are down right scary - have you ever driven somewhere and realized after you got there that you set out to go somewhere else and that where you arrived is where you usually go on a regular basis? One day I needed to pick up my child and drove halfway to town (in the opposite direction) before I realized I was on auto-pilot.  Scary to think other drivers are paying that same amount of attention or less ...

Prophets tell us regular scripture study and prayer are beneficial habits. My 2 year old grandchild gets 'her' scriptures and demands our nightly routine if we miss it. She opens an inexpensive copy on her lap, points at pictures, and recites a verse as it is read slowly for her to parrot. She wants to take a turn like everyone else in her world is doing.  This habit will print the rythmns and nuances from God's words onto her very soul.

Now she is learning reverence in prayer as her family bows in a circle together. She is just beginning - she will learn that jumping on or yelling in the face of someone kneeling with closed eyes or hitting them will not help her (or those around her) find real happiness. Kind example with gentle teaching and guidance will change her more quickly than any scolding or punishment ever can. For now I imagine Heavenly Father smiles at her naivety.

I hope he smiles at mine. I pray he will patiently and gently help me learn the things that will help me and others find genuine joy - here and now as well as more enduring and lasting happiness - help me build beneficial habits of obedience and diligence.

All his commandments are intended to lovingly guide me and assist me to that end. Prophets tell us that his work and his glory are to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man - our joy and our happiness.

I learned, as a child, many things that I habitually take for granted.  I know the reality of a supreme being - a loving, kind, generous, devoted Father in Heaven. I know I can talk to him and with him. The habits of my parents and grandparents, influenced by the habits of generation upon generation of their parents and grandparents, are now passed to a new generation.

Yet each generation must chose for itself its own habits - its own companions.

What companions of habit walk by your side? compassion or addiction? generosity or gluttony/greed? thankfulness or ingratitude?

Each of us have a few strange companions.  I seek good companions - habits that are better practices. We can know and define them easily. Service and kindness were the practice and repeated examples that Jesus Christ lived.  His actions brought light and life to himself and all people at all times.  He lived the perfect example.  As I read about it, learn from it and study that example I find habits that are not such strange companions at all.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


SURPRIZE!!! how fun!!

I finally have a purple bow ... Nena - I'm lookin' at you!
 (and feeling it too!!) and a brand new kitchen range. 

Thanks so much to every one of you.  I am speechless - 

As I sit looking at my bow the picture says it all,
look closely ...
especially under the arrow.

HUGS to everyone.  I am proud to be your mom - you did this together.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


My driver's license is expiring on my birthday this year.
Happy Birthday to me.
I realize today is a few days off but today was 'D' day.

I have known for a couple of months that I was about to expire.
I noticed, even before I got the letter from the DOL.
I felt rather relieved actually.
5 years ago I considered losing that licence
so I could get a new picture - the same day I got it.  

Would that be dishonest?

This morning I looked in the mirror and thought,
"Hey - I think I 'cleaned up' OK today."

I've had a BIG helping of humble pie since then.

I have been dreading and privately plotting to beat my birthday renewal deadline. I went to the hair stylist about 10 days ago and asked her to cut my hair so it didn't look fresh from the salon. Yes, I admit I have to ask for such things. Perhaps because I am fundamentally a cheapskate, I usually ask to get it 'short to last as long as possible'. I told her I was shooting for a better license picture - she laughed. These pictures really are notorious.

I could have renewed on line but if you do they keep the same picture.
If I had been gorgeous back then that would have been OK but my long-pulled-back hair that day merely identified the way I looked on 'those' kind of days and emphasized the roundness of my overweight face.

Where was this policy when I was 30 something?

I figured that since I knew in advance,
 I could pick a day I looked decent,
 and I've been waiting - and waiting ...

For about a year now when a clerk asked for ID it was apparent that the picture no longer identified me.  After a quizzical look or two between my face and the license invariably I was asked,
"Is this you?"

DUH! - No - I carry a funky picture of someone else around with me pretending it is me! REALLY - time for a new one.
The clerk at DOL agreed.
She thought I looked very different too -
you've really changed she says ... !?!?!?!

After a quick eye exam -

(oh, whoops I didn't mean that,
 let me try again using letters not numbers -
 where did that come from??
 and what red dot? where? I don't seeeee one ...
you forgot to turn it on? now we're even)

- she tells me they don't take debit or credit - I am dumbfounded!
I have to run to the bank.
I never carry more than a couple bucks on my person.
Why would I when a card or two will fit in a pocket?
I have never carried a purse and I am not about to start now.
I tried it once but I kept leaving it.

When I got back and paid I was directed to stand in front of the blue banner with my toes behind the line for my 'glamour shot'.
I was kind of looking forward to that part - the getting a new picture part.  It fit my plot. I even checked in the restroom mirror to be sure my hair wasn't too windblown - I thought.

"Smile," the guy said while I was looking to see if my toes were behind the line. I looked up to see where the camera was as the flash went off.

I asked him to take a new one.  He said they never do.
What a way to generate cash flow!

My 'honest as the day is long' husband suggested I lose this licence.
It's only 5 bucks to get a replacement.

At first I thought I looked like a 'caught in the act' candid
after a college night with a white porcelain bowl!
Since I haven't ever really attended college I couldn't quite see myself mocking it that way.

I am wondering if perhaps the Department of Licencing wants the police officer to be able to compare the license picture with my face as the officer says, "do you know how fast you were going?" or "do you know your tabs are expired?"

I may keep it.  It looks like I am about to spit -

Every single day that I carry it in my pocket I will remember to put on my royalty face - my smiling RS face!Wave to our public dear - one never knows when someone will snap a picture.
Paste the smile on!

I think of Elder Richard G. Scott's general conference talk this October. He taught that we
"... become what we want to be, by being what we want to become..."
What a noble sentiment.

Don't sigh yet! The jury is still out!
I will decide when the color version arrives next week.

Meanwhile you decide?
What labels would you attach to such a picture?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Defective Laptop Notebooks

Recently I got a card in the mail saying if my laptop was not working to go here because mine was one of the ones that was sold with a defective GPU and NVIDIA chip.  We bought it in 2007.  It worked a while - and then spent more time in the shop than on any lap (we had extended warranties - I think extended warranties usually are dumb but in this instance we happened to get one).

How's your lap top working? 

It affected HP, Dell and Apple notebooks.  

Oh yeah ... HURRY - the deadline is 5 November 2010 if yours is one of the 'teethgirinding' laptops.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


What can you do confidently?


I can walk. I have two feet. 

My feet are attached to my two legs and by various joints, muscles and other structures common to the human body they move me about without any real need to consciously consider them.  At least that was the case when I was younger. I loved to run and hike, actively participate in work and play,  and dance - and dance and dance.  I expected to always do so.

A morning of September 1988 changed my confidence levels forever. That morning, in the early cold of predawn,  my youngest son stood crying on the stair landing as everyone hurried down to warmer kitchen and living areas.  No one, even me really, wanted to deal with the sodden, droopy 'morning' diaper or the endlessly running nose. I scooped him up and turned to descend the dozen or so steps and join our brief morning gathering to read scriptures and join together to pray as a family before everyone began their other usual schedules and activities.

My father allowed his children to work along side him on the farm and construction sites IF we obeyed and IF we worked. Many of the tasks we learned required agility and endurance.  'High wire' walks along beams and rafters was routine.  We walked up and down ladders, extending more than one story, with habitual confidence the way most people walk up and down stairs  - yes we did go down walking forwards, facing out from the building! I think Dad told us not to but he did it to transport larger loads so why wouldn't we? I once saw him sit on the edge of a high ladder and slide - zip - just like that, to the bottom.  He was in a hurry. I was never that brave. To my brothers it was like a game.

Our confidence was gained over time and based on acquired experience, tested and repeated again and again.    Like a toddler learning to walk, we began climbing ladders one rung at a time clinging to each step and having difficulty negotiating the transitions from ladder to roof and roof to ladder.  Soon we could scramble up a ladder in no time at all and then we learned various ways to carry things needed for ourselves and others.  Incentives of all kinds encouraged us: the simple challenge of doing it - of being 'up' there, being with dad, wages given for nailing sheeting and shingles or other simple but tedious jobs, and what child can resist being a hero - taking daddy a drink of water, more nails or his dropped hammer?

That morning of 1988 as I turned and confidently stepped down the first step, with a young child in my arms, my left heel caught on the rubber stair nosing. I tried desperately to regain my balance and stay upright or even to only sit down. Many scenarios and options flashed, like a movie reel on fast forward, through my mind. I was instantly certain of impeding injury.  I could imagine my child's head hitting the distant vinyl covered, concrete floor like a pumpkin thrown onto a sidewalk. I could imagine my body twisted or my face skinned, scabbed or bruised purple yellow. An instantaneous impulse of self preservation provided the option to drop him and grab the handrail. The same split second evaluated holding him with one arm and grabbing with the other.

My mother instinct, combined with that image of a smashed pumpkin, provided to mind the only option being to lean backwards and hold him tightly to my chest so that my body would be his cushion.  My left leg remained caught. As I began to slide my full weight fell onto the leg as it folded behind and underneath me.  I felt the skin tear from the shin and foot and knew this was going to be a big nuisance - and I had so much to do.

I was extremely exasperated to consider how my busy schedule would be so messed up. Part way down the stairway I heard and felt the snap.  I knew the bone was broken. I tried to conjure solutions to what I considered a ridiculous situation. I was too busy to have this happening!

My husband roused a neighbor, backed our car over the apartment complex lawn to the door and they carried me to it. I kept the leg bent at a 90 degree angle - that seemed to lessen the immense pain. At the hospital David drove up to the ambulance entrance and ran into the hospital. Soon he returned with a nurse.  She wanted to know if I wanted a wheel chair or if I thought I could walk!?!?!

My confidence in anyone's sanity, including my own ebbed when I had to insist I could not get into a wheel chair. In her defense I later learned she had asked him if I was pregnant. When all she could understand of what David told her was that 'it was broken' she assumed my 'water broke'.

The oblique fractures of the tibia and fibula required a 10 day hospital stay, shortened my leg by 3/4" and required extensive Physical Therapy. A cast from toe to hip provided very limited mobility for approximately 8 months.

My visiting teacher came to the hospital to see me.  She reminded me that if I had enough faith in Jesus Christ that I could 'rise and walk'.  I knew I could IF that was God's will, but I did not feel like it was. I tend to trust God.  I trust that He knows what is best and will bless me to have what I need when I need it.  I have complete confidence that He knows me and loves me and will bless me with what is best for me and right for me - especially when I ask for the blessings I need. (My family prayed and asked for me and I asked for Priesthood blessings also.)

Later I wondered what took more faith - to 'rise and walk' or not to. I thought of the man in Acts that was lame all his life that was lain near the door of the temple to beg.  He was not healed by Christ but by Peter and John after the crucifixion. How much faith does it take to submit my desires and will to God and trust Him to grant or withhold omnisciently?

At first I held a rather big pity party. When I could at last turn over from side to side doctors discovered injuries to my back. After being informed that I was really lucky that my leg took the brunt of the fall and saved my back I was suddenly quite happy to have only a broken leg.  In my heart I knew what doctors were saying was sort of correct - I had been 'lucky' - blessed and protected and so had my son.  He had no injury at all.

At the hospital one specialist voiced that I might never really walk again.  That made me quite cranky. I had a life to live, a family to raise and besides I wanted to dance.  One of my pleasures in life has always been to dance. I consider my sweetest moments to have been encircled in my husband's arms as we waltzed or jived.

The next couple of years I did not dance.  Wheel chairs are MUCH more mobile than crutches and besides I could look my 5 year old and toddler in the eye AND they loved to push mommy and go for rides.  We were even able to go to the park on nice days. Crutches allowed me to negotiate restricted spaces and after a few weeks I was able to resume many activities and take care of most basic needs for myself and my pre-schoolers. Who needs dancing when you can manage basic hygiene with minimal help?

2 years later I walked without crutches or canes. Climbing ladders, even carefully, was out of the question but I continued to work on mobility and could walk up and down stairs.  I never know when the joint, leg or weight of the built-up shoe will do something strange or unpredictable.That leg has not inspired confident activity since. Experience induces caution.

 There are many things I can do. There are many things I can't.
 I am now confident that caution is needed when I walk or run, climb or dance.

What inspires confidence?

In 3rd grade I took piano lessons for 6 months. The teacher indicated mom should find another teacher.  I frustrated her - but that is a different story.  I have plunked away on the piano every since then.  I am not a confident piano player.

When one of my brothers was married I had sheet music for a popular song. At home I could play it well enough that it was recognizable.  I was asked to play that song as part of his wedding program.  I hesitated but was 'talked' into it.  You might think I would have begun to seriously practice playing it - you might be wrong.  When his new sister-in-law (an accomplished pianist my age) played her song, I knew my stumbling plunking should never have a public hearing.  When I was pushed to play and refused everyone thought I had stage fright. I knew better.

I walked out and did not return until the last item on the program was being performed.  The master of ceremonies then announced that I would play.  I could have died.  Of course everyone thought I was just nervous and told me not to worry about it.  My fear had nothing to do with the stage.  I had not prepared properly.  I could have.  I didn't.

Confidence does not come from laziness or neglect. Confidence and faith are the opposite of fear.

The Book of Hebrews in the Bible teaches about Faith.
(see chapter 11)

Faith is an action word. Faith requires me to do and think.

How many hours each day do professional musicians practice?

I seldom practice consistently every day. If I did I likely could play the piano more confidently. It isn't a priority for me. I don't have sufficient desire. It seems to be merely an idle curiosity. 

What can I do confidently? Why can I do it with confidence?

I can do almost anything I truly desire to do - God willing.

What do I really desire? What am I willing to practice? repetitively make a priority?

Do I want to dance? Will I make the effort?



I am a seamstress. I make, alter and mend clothing and furnishings of all kinds. I have learned, practiced and applied rules and techniques many times. Consistently!Persistently! I know I can do most things and figure out things I may still need to learn.

Modern scripture teaches that confidence begins with obedience to true principles and faith.

"All true faith must be based upon correct knowledge or it cannot produce the desired results. Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel [of Jesus Christ] and is more than belief, since true faith always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action; it carries an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for. A lack of faith leads one to despair, which comes because of iniquity." Bible Dictionary: Faith

What can you do confidently? Why can you do it with confidence?

You know you can do it because you have paid a price. Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God the Father paid a price for our confidence in him - he gave his life and all his love. What will I do/give for confidence in him?

I can do almost anything I truly desire to do - God willing
- so can you..

What do I really desire? How about you?

What are we willing to practice? repetitively make a priority?

I need to just try!


Thursday, October 14, 2010


14 October 2010, my parents will have been married
for 62 years.

They expect to remain together forever,
through life and after death - through all eternity.

I have one outstanding, wonderful memory of my parents from 1980. It is from the day their house burned to the ground. I remember my father putting his arms gently around my sobbing mother and beginning to sing softly in her ear:

"Hey, hey, good lookin'
Wa-what-cha got cookin' ..."

And then they laughed, so did all the firefighters, neighbors and family helplessly standing by.

I don't even know if that memory is real.  Was I there? or did I only hear someone describe it? I was somewhere: I just honestly don't know where at that exact moment - doesn't matter, really.  It is as alive and real in my memory as if I were there. I can still smell the smoke and see the glowing red of our burning house as piece by piece it fell into the basement pit that would glow for days.

1980 - sigh - too many memories there, but this one memory of my parents I sift from the others and cherish.

May 19, 1980 dawned beautifully sunny in Southern Alberta.  As we ate breakfast, sent the children out to play, and began a typical 'small-farm-Monday-in-the-spring' busy day we did not know of an event that had occurred in Washington State that would impact our own lives. At 8:32 a.m. PDT on Sunday, 18 May 2010 Mount St. Helens catastrophically erupted.

Television signals did not really reach under the hill to the small rural property, in the quiet valley we called home, and news on the radio usually consisted of hearing the latest prices for wheat, rye or alfalfa hay, and cattle or hogs. That day, and the next, were not different - the radio had no unusual news.

New home on same site

About 10 a.m. MDT that Monday morning a strange murky white haze appeared in the SW over the mountains. As I stood looking out the west kitchen window, watching some of my children and several of their cousins playing outside, the haze quickly became a cloud and suddenly the day became oddly overcast - not dark, not cloudy. It did not feel or smell like rain.

Soon an extremely fine, powdery, grayish white dust began to be visible on dark woodwork. We puzzled and thought and discussed what it might be. We gathered into the house and closed off doors and windows but in that old farmhouse it made little difference.  The dust continued to filter in.

Was there a disaster?
A bomb?
Was the world as we knew it ending? changing?
WHAT? Especially the dust!
Was it dangerous?

My mother continued to work outside planting and then watering some poplars near my brother's across the valley. She said it wasn't making her cough or affecting her in any noticeable way so until she was told otherwise she had work to do.  She did agree the children should be sheltered and suggested calling the local radio or TV station.

Noon became as dark as most evenings at dusk.

Local media knew nothing. Signals originated from approximately one hour north in a larger city and the day there was still clear and sunny. Even later in the afternoon they still had no news except what people in our area were calling to tell them.  Although we stayed indoors for the remainder of that day no answers could be found. There was no Internet, no Google, no Ask.

Eventually we learned about the volcano.
Was the dust safe to touch? inhale? No one knew.
The skies cleared, the sun returned.
We dusted and life went on as always.

Until June.

Several rural families in the immediate area (at least 4) lost their homes to fire without apparent cause that spring.  One insurance agent speculated that volcanic dust had settled into everything and may have shorted out ancient electrical wiring.  My parents home of 30+ years was one.

THAT was a strange day.  The baby was already down for a nap when my mother called up the stairs and asked me to accompany her to town.  I was reading my 4 year old our usual pre-nap story. I told mom, "no, too much trouble etc. etc." She went to the truck, and then returned to the house and called to me again.  She just 'felt' like she needed me to come. I finally loaded up the baby, and a very 'happy-to-skip-a-nap' preschooler, to go to town - a 15 minute drive.

Later on, while we did business and errands, a man walking down the street said to my mother in passing, "Jean, was that your house that burned in Kimball today?"

In my heart I knew it was.  I think she did too. We went immediately home. We could see the column of smoke away and over the foothills as soon as we left town. My mother drove. My father was many hours away at work. He often worked out of town and returned on weekends or even only once a month.

There was little water from their shallow wells. Everyone did all possible - it was as nothing in quelling the roaring orange and yellow swirling flames.

Late afternoon had not quite given way to early evening when my father arrived.  Most of my 10 siblings had come quickly. The one that lived across the valley was there from the onset. His wife helped care for the children. I remember I stayed there with her mostly, but otherwise we stood around at a distance not really knowing what to do or say.  The neighbors stayed too, and came and went - so many people! So much coming and going - and already they were bringing whatever they thought we might need.  (Meals were provided around the clock for several days, at first to all the family  and firemen, and then to all helping hands.)

We knew dad was on his way.  Kind friends had tracked him down and called.  His boss owned a small plane and flew to the nearest airport.  I suppose we just waited.

My father and mother often sang; as they worked, as they drove to and from here or there, and especially as they relaxed.  An evening bonfire gathering was always an occasion for song, we knew many, our family often sang. My father used quotes and songs on all occasions. He loved to tease and sang many teasing love songs to mother.

His heavy cowboy boots drug into the gravel before the truck halted completely.  He went directly to mother and wrapped his arms around her from behind before she even knew he was there.  He was just shy of 6 feet, she was barely 5'2" - the top of her head did not even clear his shoulder.

As he began to softly sing, at first we could hardly hear. Then, as she turned to him, we heard his voice as she laughed - "Hey, hey good lookin', wha-whatcha gotta-cookin" - we all laughed. We still laugh.  That song has become an 'inside' joke ... a 'time-of-trouble' comfort to fall back on - it is an easy and answerable question - "Hey good lookin' - whatya got cookin'?

I have been born of choice 'goodly' parents.

Their powerful examples of faith and fortitude have continued.  With good cheer and determination they have overcome many, many difficulties. October 14, 2010 they will have been married 62 years. In trouble they seemed to turn to each other and to Heavenly Father instead of away.

What a bonfire that was.

 Hey Good Lookin’  Hank Williams 1951

Say hey, good lookin’. Wha-wacha got cookin? 
Hows about cooking somethin’ up with me?
Hey hey, sweet baby, do-o-on’t you think maybe, 
We can find us a brand new recipe?

I got a hot rod Ford, and a two dollar bill; 
And I know a spot right over the hill.
There’s soda pop and the dancing’s free, 
So if you wanna have fun, come along with me.

Hey hey, good lookin’, wha-wacha ya got cookin? 
Hows about cooking somethin’ up with me?

I’m free and I’m ready, so we can go steady,
   Hows about saving all your time for me?
No more lookin’, I know I been cookin”,
 Hows about keepin’ steady company?

I’m gonna throw my date book over the fence, 
And buy me one for five or ten cents
I’ll keep it till it’s covered with age, 
cause I’m writin’ your name down on every page.

So hey, good lookin’, wha-aat ya got cookin’? 
Hows about cooking somethin’ up with me?

Monday, October 11, 2010


In Canada,
where I was born and much of my family continue to live,
today is Thanksgiving.

Yes - REALLY! Canadians have their own Thanksgiving. 
Harvest should be done there.
If not it may have snowed on your crop already.

So what am I thankful for . . .

I can list generalities - the usual categories  
Family, friends, health, shelter, food, transportation, technology, talents, opportunities, knowledge about God, the earth and universe, books or music and other media -

I can cover everything in a few words. 
Sometimes my prayers are like that.
Thanks for all the wonderful blessings I have.
Please bless my loved ones and the poor, the sick, the needy and help those with cause to mourn.
Please protect us all today and help us be happy -

you get the idea ...

Many years ago, while on an overnight visit, I knelt with my Uncle Ken and Aunt June in their home for evening prayer. I was grateful to feel loved and  included in their day's routine.  They prayed very specifically and personally for each one of their many loved ones, children and their spouses, grandchildren and me. Yes that took time.  They took time. They made time every day, every morning and every evening to specifically talk to Heavenly Father individually and personally about each and everyone, and everything on their mind.


Not only that, Aunt June (in her 80's and frail health) with difficulty, did kneel. I kidded her a tiny bit about making such an effort at her age. She said that although she understood that some people are unable to kneel, that she considered it a privilege to bow in gratitude before her maker, a privilege to thank Him for His mercy and blessings and talk with him.

I knelt with them there. I have seldom felt nearer to heaven.

A serious injury immobilized me, at one time, for almost a year .  Physical Therapy and persistent effort and exercise helped me regain the ability to walk - and kneel - sort of.  I became careless about kneeling for prayer (or anything else).  I knew God would understand.  He hears my prayers in all the postures and places they are offered. I know that - really! He does - so what did it matter.  I learned that what mattered more than posture was attitude. Kneeling is one demonstration of mine.

That day I vowed to follow Aunt June's example - and Uncle Ken's.  Despite additional injuries, immobilizations, and illnesses since then, each time I work persistently to kneel again.  I don't always tell my doctors or Physical Therapists why but mobility is a desirable commodity they seem willing to help me achieve.

Today I can walk.

 It is a wonderful thing to be able to rise from sleep in the night and  get to the bathroom, or to the kitchen for a drink, without waking anyone else or needing their assistance.  It is wonderful to feel the muscles of my body as they help lift and move me or objects I want.  

When I start to name the abilities and things and people I am thankful for, one by one, distinctly and uniquely, I find greater gratitude for much that I take for granted. I feel more love for my family and my friends and even my neighbors - I see them each more as a person - another human being. Aldous Huxley as quoted by President Thomas S. Monson in October General Conference said, "Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted." President Monson was teaching about gratitude.

On that day, with Uncle Ken and Aunt June, I began to pray for my children and grandchildren and other loved ones by name, every day. Amidst all the busy comings and goings in their lives and mine, my mind dwells more on their needs and my heart yearns for them to feel happy and have their physical, emotional and spiritual desires met. I learned to pray for myself with faith too.

So today, what can I enumerate with gratitude?

Instead of just being grateful that I can see/hear/talk what can I see/ hear/say?

I was looking at a preying mantis the other day - I think it was looking back! What a marvel! I heard a bird warbling outside the screen and whispered to my granddaughter to listen - then we laughed and tried to imitate that incredible sound.  Over and over it sang and we tried.  It was delightful.  My husband walking past might have asked what we were doing. I would have needed to speak loudly and repeat my answer if he was not wearing his hearing aide - and maybe even if he was.  Hearing is so incredible.

Today most of my family (and many of my friends) will feast on turkey, pie, and family love.  I miss you all.

So to everyone in Canada (and elsewhere celebrating today)
-  to Mom and Dad, Rex and Bet, Gene and Deb, Randy and Kathy, Tim and Karyn, Shane and Sharon, Rick and Necia, Scott and Teri, Becky and Kevin, Bonnie and Darcy, Wilfred and Charlotte, Jason and Ginger, Tad and Kurri, Marty and Kimber, Ryan and Nena, Benjamin and Casey, Clarence, Erin, Raanin, Avalin, Calvin, Campbell, Cody, Benson, Meg, Joseph, Jaeger, Jaidon, Quinton, Winslow, Zaymes, Mikkel, Beckham, Hendrix, Cynthia and my dozens and dozens of nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles, with all your spouses and more dozens of children, Happy Thanksgiving.


I will spend the rest of the day thinking of each one of you individually by name, looking at pictures, remembering things we have done together and the many, many things that have made all of it possible.

Things like: Rook, Rummicub, mountains, trees, piƱatas,a '54 Chevy or the 'purple people eater' truck - that used to be blue, tents and tarps, cameras, marshmallows, rocks, water balloons, Bocce, t-shirts, Kimball, Orion, Mt.View, western movies, windows, doors, floors, beds, pancakes, cackle berries, moo juice, poetry, hamburgers, cake, birthdays, hammers, shingles, paint, doctors, weddings, Bishops, church, the temple, schools and buses, pencils, books, stories, pictures, Necia Bennett, Cheez Whiz and raspberry jam, pepper sandwiches, baloney and mustard,  macaroni and tomatoes, fried potatoes (and therefore lard!) and ketchup, fresh bread, chokecherry jelly, rhubarb, bleeding hearts, hollyhocks, peonies, ants,  shooting stars, buttercups, buffolo beans, baked beans in the can, beans - in the garden, pebbles, jam cans, Roger's Golden Syrup, Brownie, Beethoven, Shep, Chic, Gravy, salt blocks, post holes, wire-cutters, Ross Lake, Rothe's, HorseShoe Bend, St. Mary's, Waterton, hiking, weeding, ragweed, cinders, coal, apples, Creston, Westcastle, the sun and sky and stars and northern lights, fishing, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle, Aunt, cousin, ...

What are you grateful for?

Friday, October 8, 2010


Something needs doing,
Something needs done,
Who's going to do it?
I'm not the one!
I don't have time
I just simply can't,
I have too much to do;
My knowledge is scant.

Somebody ought to -
Someone really should,
If somebody doesn't
I sure wish they would.

Others might suffer
But I can't be the one
Who steps out boldly
For others to shun,
I can't be involved
How would it seem?
My family and friends
May think I'm extreme!

No not I . . .
But somebody should
And 'something needs doing'
Does no one much good.

Excuses and wishes
In thought and in deed
Often leave others
With no one to lead.
Somebody, somewhere
Might need to be me
A choice can be made -
What will yours be?

Occasionally my thoughts run about in my head in the fashion just written here. It puzzles me - are those my own words? or did I learn them somewhere?

I have memorized a few bits of poetry and other things.
But I think those words are my own. (At one time my memory was of great use to me. Just laugh - that was supposed to be funny!)

There are times when we fail to do things we know should be done.
We blame it on our memory or make some other reasonable excuse.

Just today I dialed a long distance call on my phone,
or at least I tried to.

I got a recording, "We're sorry, you must first dial a 1 when calling this number. Will you please hang up and try your call again." What? I swear I did dial a 1 -  why wouldn't I? I know the routine. I have done it a kazillion times at least.

I checked redial - there was not a 1.

This was a fairly inconsequential thing - I dialed again, with the 1.

There are little things that seem unimportant.
I may negligently overlook them
or even deliberately refuse to take time for them.

Things like smiling at my spouse
or children
or even a stranger,
or letting the kid with only one item
(or the parent with a cranky child) go ahead of me in line
or opening a door for someone,
or speaking a kind word,
or saying nothing at all.

You could add to the list - didn't you wonder about  _______?

Sometimes * siiggghhh*
sometimes my choice is right and sometimes it isn't
and sometimes it doesn't even seem like a choice.
Sometimes it is like that pesky 1.
Sometimes someone else has to give me a reminder
about what is needful and important.

I hope you will remind me as politely as the recording.
Read it again or try it yourself
- go ahead
- you will get the same recording.

And IF I need to remind you, please don't be as cranky towards me as I felt towards that impersonal phone recording.

Yelling and crying or even silently pouting doesn't accomplish what you want or need.  I just needed to dial the 1.  I understand if you are incredulous about a reminder at times. I really did check redial.  I was sure the phone was broken and still wonder if the buttons were sticky or something. Excuses didn't connect my call though. I had to choose to dial the 1.

And the call was important.  If I don't get the required information it will affect many people that are counting on me. They might be very disappointed.

Sometimes I count on you.  Sometimes I am disappointed.  I hope we can talk about disappointments without grudges and recriminations, with kind and cheerful forgiving words.


They CAN be such  little things.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I LIKED ....

["God loves you - don't turn and look at your neighbor -
I'm talking to you, this is about you"]!

 Elder Jeffery R. Holland was the first conference speaker after President Monson and witnessed powerfully to each of us of the love our Heavenly Father has for each one of us - and then thanked each 'helper' - everyone that in anyway makes the gospel a manifestation of that love and the life and example of Jesus Christ.

I think that is one of the most important things I need to know - God loves me.

Henry B. Eyring instructed us about TRUSTING GOD  and quoted one of my favorite scriptures, 'be still and know that I am God' from Pslams - then he mentioned hearing President Ezra Taft Benson asking us to stay debt free and pay off mortgages if possible- wow - sure President Eyring, with God's help I will be able to do that ... I will work to get that done as soon as possible - WOW!! If not today - for sure tomorrow ...

And of course Elder Richard G. Scott as he explained what character is, and how to get it or lose it. "... we become what we want to be by being what we want to become ..."

I feel a little stuffed - like I've been at Thanksgiving dinner or something. Hopefully no one has eaten red blackberries that are green - giggle!

Oh yeah, and 'thanks giving' was addressed by President Monson too - I think I may have enjoyed so much 'light' for so long I may fail to remember to give and have sufficient thanks AND praise for relief from the dark because I take the light for granted.

I think I will go for a walk - just because I can.

And what does this all have to do with flying airplanes anyway?


I will long remember poor President Uchtdorf's struggle to speak as his voice gave way while telling us to 'slow down' - he stopped - took a drink of water, tried to power on through his talk, could not, slowed down and thereby became an object lesson of the very thing he was telling us to do.

Saturday, October 2, 2010



YOU are invited. 

Make time - You'll love it.

10am MDT [9am PDT] 
2pm MDT [1pm PDT] 

Saturday AND Sunday

Pick YOUR language - YES even American Sign Language

Kick back and FEAST

Listen/watch part of the time, or all of it. 

Log in . . .
any time of any day from anywhere - SWEET!!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Tomorrow is the day!

This weekend is the time! 

YOU are invited. 
Make time - You'll love it.

10am MDT [9am PDT] 
2pm MDT [1pm PDT] 

Saturday AND Sunday

 or your nearest LDS building 
[check to see if they are broadcasting of course]

Pick YOUR language

Kick back and FEAST

Listen or watch part of the time, or all of it. 

The nice part is you can log in and listen/watch, any time of any day from anywhere - SWEET!!