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

Monday, March 28, 2011


A short silly verse (heard often) 
runs through my mind at this time of year. 

the flowers are in every stage of bud and bloom this spring

Der spring is sprung
Der grass is riz
I wonder where dem boidies is?

Der little boids is on der wing,
Ain't dat absoid?
Der little wings is on de boid!

 In Arnold Silcock's Verse and Worse,
 the poem is titled 'The Budding Bronx' 
attributed to ANON [New York]

It seems as universal as spring.

Robins in flocks tweet and chitter the last couple of weeks, and finally some spring rain has caused the daffodils in the warmest beds to raise their heads and spread to full flower in this morning's glorious sunshine. 

These daffodil bulbs came out of the same bag as the others
but are not against the sunny side of the house.
Those in more shaded areas are only poking out a few tips still but weather HAS warmed enough to shed heavier coats in favor of jackets and nights no longer freeze layers of swirling frost to the car windows every day. 

Tulip cups caught this morning's rain into shining jewels nestled safely deep inside. [The drops are clear and look like bubbles but are so deep in the leaves that they appear dark.]

Notice the 'special' spring flower that has
usurped a position next to this hyacinth.

And now, even the hyacinths are trying to stretch open the bud balls - but only in that warmest sunny bed. 

 Lots of the flowers are slow and seem to hesitate to believe the sign of the robins or lead of the daffodils or violets.

tiny thumbnail size violets on the edge between grass and flower bed

When I went out to shoot the flowers I found this darling bouquet of violets just off the patio - I think a bird must have left a present for me there to make this delightful spring surprise - I didn't plant violets there.  Once you have them you never know where they will jump up next.

I like the surprising orange inside the stripe on this little guy.
Crocuses also are popping open.  

The hen &chick at the top is about
the size of a half dollar 

My favorite tiny, tiny blues are just peeking out and starting to fight their way through the bed that awaits spring cleaning - there is always another project in the wings - perhaps tomorrow ... 

And indeed ...

Spring seems to have sprung at last!

the daffodils against the SW side of the house always open first

Or at least it is on the edge of doing so ... 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Z to A and BACK

I have a little story to tell.

Just the first chapter or so...

"The child clung to life precariously as the Medevac helicopter whirred north to a hospital many hours away from home that housed equipment and teams of doctors that specialized in neonatal care.

This child, this tiny baby cradled by tubes and swaddled as much by technician's hands as by his father's, was only hours old. Space constraints scarcely permitted even one parent in the sky borne bubble.

Papa-pa and grandma had arrived just in time, that first day, to see the apparent robust health of a daughter's first infant, share in the first bath and joke that his name started at the end of the alphabet with Z, went all the way to the beginning at A and settled nicely, somewhere in the middle, at last.

Zaymes was picture perfect - at first.
Even his special little quirks just made him more darling.

Wearing a nurse imposed gown and mask, per standard hospital rules, Papa-pa lathered and then rinsed the abundant curls while grandma watched.  She didn't think the color of her grandson's skin looked quite right. She called for the nearby nurse.  Grandma had seen and bathed many healthy pink newborns. Zaymes, she felt, was too blue.  Although the words of the nurse seemed reassuring, her actions almost shouted otherwise as she deftly finished washing the alert blue-eyed baby and quickly bundled him into a warm, oxygenated incubator.

Now, a few ticking hours later, his life depended on quickly getting to the larger hospital with skilled specialists that could intervene using advanced machines and medicines.  If the faith and prayers of loving family and friends can effect miracles it is no wonder Zaymes lived and thrives - he has lots of family and friends and love. Of course he also received a priesthood blessing. Papa-pa drove daddy's car the many hours to meet him at the hospital, after tucking mommy safely into Grandma's car. Grandma made sure mommy arrived safely and fussed and worried and prayed enough for everybody.
Zaymes is now 10 years old."

That is the happy ending of part 1.

Grandma is amazed - already 10 years! It seems like only yesterday that those tiny fingers would barely go all the way around her thumb as she kept watch, in shifts with others, through the critical hours.  But now those same fingers can knit, and write and do many other skillful things.
And those alert baby-blues and soft blond curls can charm your socks off.

How will this story end?
How many years will it last?

Will Zaymes:
z. ____________
y. become famous?
x. ______________
w. marry a big eyed girl?
d. _________________
c. serve a mission?
b. _________________
a. have a lot of money?

Go ahead and put in a whole alphabet of questions.
Ask anything you want from z. to a. and back again.
I don't have any answers ... yet -

Zaymes will have to write the rest of this story - each year will add another exciting chapter!

Happy Birthday
And lots of love and hugs on your special day.

Friday, March 25, 2011


I took a little trip across town today.

Many days I manage to hibernate in my little cocoon of complacency where my world is ordered more or less as I make it.  I can think the sky is teal or turquoise and imagine it is falling if I choose and no one else to seriously affected.

Perhaps I need to get out more.

Has the world significantly changed this past year?

Have you all gone crazy?

What is the rush?

Why are you in such a hurry to get to anywhere?

In such a hurry that courtesy and common consideration indicates other people are less important than you are and that only your needs should be met.

What has happened to human decency?

I didn't see any of your cars turn off at the hospital entrance or even to the main clinics as we went by so I know it was not medical emergencies but perhaps some of you are having mental or emotional urgencies that could become emergencies.

I seriously try not to judge you but can I at least get in line?
Would it be OK for me to get where I am going?
After I let you go first, of course!

I admit to not being a tremendously competitive person.
Long lines and heavy traffic may elicit a sigh now and again but, all in all, if I see you with only a few items in your cart (especially if mine is much fuller or you look somewhat stressed - and yeah anyone can tell that by looking at you) I don't mind if you go first and will indicate for you to do so with a nod or gesture.

[And btw - could you please pass it on - someone else may need the same kindness on a day when you CAN slack off a bit.]

You will get a similar nod or gesture as a pedestrian or if we reach for a supermarket  item at the same time or arrive simultaneously at the same corner of  an intersection.

None the less I wonder at how frazzled so many seem.
Are your priorities in order?

What really matters?
How long since you took the time for that?

How long since you took the time to be nice?
or courteous?
or considerate?

Not for me to know but just ask yourself - are you happy?

And are you hurrying towards happiness and what matters most?
I don't want to get in your way whether you are or are not.
Today I noticed that if I do one of us is likely to die!
Or be maimed for life!

As your cars and carts zoomed and swerved and as your faces scowled and scrinched I wished I could give you enough time - time for the things that WILL ease your burdens and bring you joy.

Genuine joy.

And peace - may each of you find your way to peace and prosperity - soon ...

before you hurt someone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This morning I decided a toasted blueberry bagel with cream cheese would make a great breakfast.  While waiting for the toaster I spied the bowl of oranges I have been enjoying this week and added one of those to the menu also, starting to peel it (since the toaster wasn't quite finished).

I interrupted the peeling to spread the cream cheese  - at the squealing beep signaling the bagel had popped up. I was savoring the smell and quite anticipating the juicy sweetness of that orange.

When I again picked up the orange to finish peeling it, the peel seemed glued on. Trying to pry it off began to tear the sections - and I like how 'not messy' sections of oranges are - so I turned it over thinking I could pull the skin off without more damage by coming at it from another direction.

I readily slid my thumb under the peel into ... WHAT??? I did a double take - I have never seen such a thing before.  The orange looked normal from the outside but when I examined it the 'navel' had traces of black that may have alerted me to the problem.

What's inside really is what counts!

There are many old sayings, that are part of the upbringing I had, that all mean this very thing.  I can look or act pretty or nice but what is in my heart is what matters.

I was also taught to fill my time and my life with good uplifting things that give light to the mind and body and hearten myself and others - taught so well and thoroughly that if I spend time on anything that does not fit those clear descriptions the echoes in my consciousness will not subside until I change my actions or attitudes.

As a young teen I was wisely counseled to "keep my mind clean and my lips sweet - to never allow vulgar, obscene, or profane language to enter my mind nor pass from my lips ... [because these things] are tools [of those seeking misery] being used ... to demoralize and tear down the character of those striving for [happiness]."

I never particularly thought of things that are vulgar, obscene or profane or defined them to myself until I was much older.  Today I ponder what can be inside containers that appear attractive.

I intend to avoid anything and everything that will bring the inside of this orange, or anything like it to mind.  As much as possible I will just avoid such things.  When I encounter them I resolve to treat them the way I treated this orange - throw it out, dispose of it, get rid of it AND be very careful to put safeguards in place that will help me to not touch them, hear them, or look at them again.

I do not want to put my thumb into such nastiness much less eat it or take any part of it into my body.  Surely I do not want similar nastiness in my mind and I don't think you do either.

What is inside, inside our hearts and minds - the very desires and thoughts and feelings we have - really is what counts.

Saturday, March 19, 2011



This month is such a special one;
It’s birthday-time for you.
We’d really like to celebrate
Your happy day with you.
Zip-a-dee-ay and heigh-dee-ho,
Here’s something we can do.
We’ll sing a song that we all know,
Happy Birthday to you!

Words and music: Charlene Anderson Newell, 
b. 1938. © 1969 IRI

Winslow - you will be eight this weekend.
That is a very special day - on its own!

You will also be baptized this weekend. 
That is another very special day - on its own!

And when you get baptized you are also given a gift - 
the gift of the Holy Ghost.

God talks to us through the Holy Ghost.

You get to do two special things on one very special day! We will come. We are very excited for you. When I was baptized everyone said I would feel very special things in very special ways.  I didn't think I felt anything different or special. I did not really feel like anything happened to me except I got wet (and we all got to go to town and we had a treat - our large family did not all, together, go the 15 miles to town unless there was a good reason to do so).

Many, many years later I heard a talk about the many ways we feel or hear the Holy Ghost. We were told that if we would think about the day we were baptized and confirmed and try to remember how we felt that day that we might know one way that the Holy Ghost speaks individually and specifically to us.

I thought and thought about my baptism day.  I thought and thought about the Sunday I was confirmed.  What  I could remember most for both days was that I thought I felt nothing - I wondered at how I could have felt so absolutely empty and void of thoughts or feelings - I did not feel bad or afraid and I did not feel the burning we hear so often about or even a nice warmth.  I did not understand what I felt until I tried to describe the way I felt to Papapa - then I knew that what I had felt was a deep quiet stillness - a stillness and quiet so profound that I thought I felt nothing at all.  

I have learned that when I feel that certain quiet, empty stillness that I am feeling the Holy Ghost and that God is talking to me.  There are many ways to feel the Holy Ghost.  Each person will have their own unique way and understanding - and it may be different from anyone else.  

As you enjoy your special day think about and observe how you feel (and what happens to you) and if possible, write those things down.  It will help you when you are older. I am older ... I have lived 8 years seven times.  I can hardly wait until I can say I have lived 8 years 8 times - that is only 7 and 1/2 years from now. You will be almost 16. 

My father and mother have lived 8 years 10 times! 
When I am that old how old will you be?

We hope you have a terrific day Winslow -
Love Papa and Grandma

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I have 3 sons.

I also have 3 daughters.
They have each married a young man that is 'like a son' to me.

Each of 'these' sons has a birthday in the early spring.
In spring the days warm, begin to lengthen,
and the light steadily increases.

All my sons bring light to our family, and humour, and increase the vitality and lengthen joy in warm interpersonal interactions.

Happy Birthday seems like such a trite saying and yet I pray for their happiness, not only on the day the calendar marks, for them, the passing of another year - their birth day, but all other days too (in spite of 'face washes' J).

When it is your "Birthday - shout hooray! ... One year older and wiser too - Happy Birthday to you."