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

Monday, August 29, 2011


I spent most of 1989 in physical therapy learning to walk again.

Imagine 25 two pound blocks of cheese - 50 pounds,
 along with a few more I already carried 

I gained a pound a week that year - yes about 50 pounds in all - as 'jelly' from sitting around in casts slowly became muscle - the physical therapist promised the muscle is there!

She told me muscle weighs more.

She told me to think about my priorities - did I want to walk or not?

ONE pound

Visualize a pound -
a pound of sugar,
a pound of tomatoes,
a pound of butter...
what do you see as a pound?

3 medium tomatoes = 1 pound

Those pounds have stuck. She promised I could worry about subtracting them later.

I never stopped 'worrying' about subtracting them until I read Isaiah 55:2

"Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness."
two substantial fish fillets
are less than one pound

I wondered,
"what do I delight in?"

 A favorite food is fish,

and I adore blueberries - why buy candy when I can buy berries?

1/2 pound of fresh peas

Or peas?
I am sure I would die
without fresh peas.

1/2 pound of hot dogs

Some things are obviously better for me and others maybe not.

 I love creamsicles - each 4.5 ounces - 4 are only a bit more than a pound

Reading Isaiah was an answer to private prayer and I began to place my attention on eating and doing the things (in the ways) that bring health and accepting my body for all the ways it is wonderful and functional.

1/2 pound cherries - not counting pits!
If pounds can creep on - surely pounds could creep off!

My desire was/is to be more healthy and 'able'.

My mother, after living many years weighing more than she wished, shed most of her excess weight. I asked her what she did.  She said, "I eat less food".  I happen to know she also makes sure to walk as much as she can. She has always eaten healthy food and been as physically active as she could be (although some health problems have interfered at some times).

Several years have passed.
I may have subtracted 10 pounds - maybe ...

Two pounds of cheese - half a pound for each arm and leg ...

A pound or two added or subtracted is not easy to see on a body.

2 pounds of some cereal
goes a long way 

And not all pounds are equal.

This snack WEIGHS
significantly more than the
same snack that is not
saturated in oily garlic!

Some things may seem like treats
but satisfy hunger, or cravings,
with fewer ounces and calories.

An outing to some grocery stores convinced and surprised me.
Five pounds can even be hard to notice -

5.5 pounds of whip topping
unless you are carrying potatoes.

5 lbs of potatoes
My niece pointed out a fun blog about only
one quarter of a pound.

A quarter pound seems impossible to notice until you think of it as a stick of butter - melting off a 1/4 pound at a little bit at a time is not unrealistic.

How many small indulgences -
scorned -
can subtract those unnoticed pounds?

are these really only a couple ounces? 

And which occasional indulgences provide more satisfaction

I am amazed that it takes THREE bags of these to make 2 pounds - so 1 1/2 per pound

for the least or greatest caloric expense?

1 pound bag of potato chips

We all have favorites - what are yours?

I may notice ten pounds I carry. You likely won't.
You may notice ten pounds you carry. I likely won't.

Two, Ten, and Five pound bags of flour

Would we notice 20 pounds?

Friday, August 26, 2011


I think I was once a crybaby.

I picked some sweet peas today.
I got tears in my eyes.

Maybe I still am a crybaby -
inside -
I don't think I have changed too much ...

I remember being so small that when I clung howling to my father's leg that he could not peel me off because his knee was at shoulder height and the bump of it made it so he could not slide his leg out of my death-grip.

I remember Necia Bennett (a very kind older neighbor that helped mother) looking deeply into my teary, gray blue eyes as she asked me what color my eyes were. She told me that water makes blue eyes look more gray - gray like rain clouds and that EVERYONE likes sunshine more than rain. She said that she could see that inside I was not a 'gray' kind of girl. She asked me if I could make my eyes like a sunny blue sky.

I remember standing on a street corner with profuse tears streaming down my face and dripping onto the sidewalk the first time I missed the bus (to my country home) in first grade.

Apparently those were not quiet tears.
I had difficulty choking out my name to a would be rescuer's,
  "What's your name little girl?"

I couldn't say.

"Did you miss your bus?"
I cried harder than ever.

When I finally stuttered out my first name he asked my parents names. I thought he was dense.  Their names were mommy and daddy - duh!

He tried a new tactic.
Did I have a grandma? (Yes.)
Did she live in town? (Yes.)
Did I know where? (No.)
What was her name?

Single syllable words can be exclaimed on wrenching sobs. 'Grandma Forsyth' could not. The man turned out to be a shirt-tail relative, teacher (Neldon Hatch). When he finally got me calm enough to recognize what I was saying, he asked if Grandpa and Grandma Forsyth were Neil and Chloe Forsyth. I did not know.  He took the chance that they might know me and walked me to their house.  I was so overjoyed to see Grandma's familiar face that I cried even harder.

L-R: Ken, Scott, Neil, Chloe, Mylo, Duane, Ruth, Bryce, Garth
 Neil Snow Forsyth Family picture about 1959

Grandma was the most beautiful person I had ever seen.  When I looked at her I thought she rivaled any prettiness I had ever even heard about.

left to right - back row: June (Bryce), Verna (Duane) , Jean (Garth)
front row: Robert (Ruth) Horne, Gladys (Scott),
Neil and Chloe nee Hatch Forsyth, June (Ken), Matilda  (Mylo)

I look at her pictures from that time and notice no apparent great physical beauty but I saw her with the child-eyes kindness and love bestow.

Neil Snow Forsyth family about 1940

Grandma always grew sweet peas trellised along a fence of their yard. In season small bouquets filled indoor air with their wonderful scent.  I loved to walk along the fence and bury my nose into the blooms and inhale until I couldn't draw in any additional air without fainting.  As I would reach that dizzy zenith I was finally forced to exhale.  I would walk a step, or two, to a fresh spot and breathe in again.

I loved to go to Grandma Forsyth's. I stayed overnight there that traumatic day I missed the bus.  I loved it so much I missed the bus repeatedly.  (I didn't need to cry though.)

My sweet peas are blooming now - it is a little late but I gather bouquets to put inside. The more you pick them the more they bloom.  I still make myself dizzy trying to get enough of that special smell. And I remember Grandma.  Tears come to my eyes.  She died just after my birthday.

I miss her still.  I have never met anyone that treated others - and in particular me - with kind respect of that magnitude.  She made me feel that I could be and do anything.  I always felt happy around her.  Even when my grandfather seemed quite stern.  She helped me understand the ways he showed love.

I want to be like her in that way.

Sweet peas look pretty and are quite fragile. The blooms do not last and last.  The scent lingers though ... it seems embedded into my being -

I can call that sweet smell to memory long after spring or summer pass by saying her name or thinking of her. Kind gentleness always makes me think of sweet peas.

I think of them and her ...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


                                       WARNING AND DISCLAIMER:

Grandparent Virus has been known to strike unexpectedly. It can be time consuming and is very disruptive to schedules. Anyone involved is advised to exercise particular caution prior to making any and all appointments.

Please note that this 'dis-order' does not seem to affect one gender more than the other [contrary to common myths]. It does affect the types of cars, clothes and furniture purchased and even the way households are arranged.  Although not contagious, except to spouses and other closely related family members*, it may produce similar symptoms for close associates, usually upon repeated exposure.

Onset may be sudden, or gradual, with differing degrees of acknowledgement or denial. Persons of sound mind may seem unaware of radical changes to their usual routines, activities, conversations and general lifestyle. 

If friends, coworkers or other acquaintances express any concern, those manifesting this syndrome show apparent enjoyment of symptoms, little embarrassment and virtually no concern over unpredictable and frivolous behaviors.  Many profess profound pleasure from their condition despite repeated and varying unforeseen consequences. Finances may be strained as purchases fluctuate wildly and all previous expectations of common sense evaporate.

Many smitten with this malady report that they are most affected during (and immediately prior to or following) family visits, phone calls, e-mails or texts. Imaging past and future visits, calls, and letters or viewing family pictures can produce characteristic symptoms. Victims seem unable to predict when uncontrolled spending, bragging or exhaustion will take place or the severity with which symptoms may occur. Multiple repetitive copies of pictures may be shown randomly or mailed to everyone that is interested or available AND to some that are not.

To maintain a budget and friendships those that have contracted this virus may need to exert caution regarding not only where they shop but even where and when they stop.  Particular alertness in the vicinity of camera shops and retail areas for photo printing and supplies is recommended. Symptoms may become more pronounced in children’s boutiques and toy stores. Department stores, grocery stores (the treat aisles seem to cause the greatest commotions), book stores and craft stores may also precipitate attacks. Symptoms may appear in almost any location, including auto part and farm implement suppliers [those toy tractors are wonderful] and at concerts and sporting events. Those in acute stages may be overcome anywhere. 

Individuals who have already contracted this virus seem to be the most resistant and tolerant to side effects from others but anyone within immediate proximity should be aware that all infected individuals may precipitate extreme fatigue in self and associates. Disinterested bystanders may exhibit classic eye rolling, head shaking, or boredom. 
There are at present no known cures for viral infections and this virus must also generally run its course.  Family peace is most readily preserved when everyone in the family allows other family members equal privileges for bragging rights and picture sharing without impatient interruptions or excessive and competitive behaviors. Understanding support from friends is generally well accepted and often enthusiastically welcomed. 

Plenty of fluids and extra rest seem to shorten many viral illnesses but Grandparent Virus seems to be prolonged by these time tested remedies.  Although regular lengthy exposure to grandchildren seems to effect the most general cure, symptoms seldom disappear entirely and anyone that contracts Grandparent Virus is unlikely to ever be entirely symptom free.  Time and experience seem to lessen side effects and Grandparents do learn to manage the ever present crisis of scheduling and fiscal opportunities.


*(This virus does seem to mutate to various interesting expressions in other individuals, depending on degree of familial relationship to those affected. Two other well know related afflictions are Sibling Rivalry and Baby Blues).  

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Kurri did you just turn 29 again?

I am guessing you don't fit that category.  Besides that would mean you still haven't had all your kids yet! So I am guessing you love being the age you are. I love being the age I am.

I hope you do too.

Canadian women live longer than most other women in most other nations including the USA. Granny Bohne lived to be 105.  You have only lived a third that long.

Imagine all the wonderful things you have to look forward to.  You may be able to imagine things what might happen in the next 1/3 of your life.  I predict that you can't even guess at the things that will happen in your world in the last third.

When I had lived about a quarter of my life I heard many jokes and much trash talk about becoming old at age 30.  I saw lots of 'black mourning' for those 'over the hill' as they were teased about being 'old'.

I realized I have a different perspective.  I do not look back with longing - I looked forward with longing.  I do not envy teenagers. I envy grannies.  I am amazed at all they have done in their lives and all the things they know. I can hardly wait to be like them.  I still can hardly wait for tomorrow ... what will I learn and get to do next?

When David's father was in his 70's he used to say that 'old' was 10 years older than he was.  Looking ahead, 100 still seems a long way off to me.

Happy Birthday,
enjoy this day that celebrates all you have been,
all that you are now,
all you may become -

It is such an open book,
a sentence without a period,
an exciting future ...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


7:45 a.m. David is hurrying to work.

I leave the computer - 15 zillion things open and working - walk 12' and open the frig to hand him food for breakfast on the run. The light is off. WHAT?? I close the frig.

I check the  microwave clock. It is off.
I go back to my computer. It is black!

The power is off.

David is gone.
I listen.

The wind stirs trees outside an open screen. I hear birds chirping. The steady click of a battery operated clock is the only  house sound - the clock and me; my pencil on paper; the rustle of pages from the Bible I am reading; my chair as I wriggle.

I still myself.
I listen.

Outside I hear traffic.
Outside I hear children playing.
Outside a dog barks.

Inside unusual silence reigns.

I have wished for it, unable to silence the the clicking ticking beeping roar of gadgets and appliances,  and even heating and vents - but not enough to give up electric power or the conveniences and comforts it provides. Now there are no flickering screens or staring digital numbers. No humming lights or cranking appliances intrude on the silence - in all the house. I am so accustomed to tuning out the noise. The silence is stark!

The house itself sounds small creaks and occasional 'pops' even though I sit completely still, unmoving. It seems to have its own whispers as it continues to carry the weight of our lives.

I will wait for power to finish the laundry; power to repair the skirt by my darkened sewing machine; power to vacuum the rugs that soften each footfall; power to press a shirt; and power for this blog and my e-mail, budget, banking, facebook and indexing; power to connect with project managers, creators and contributors.

I rely on power.
I NEED power.

I often tell others to not let what they can't do interfere with what they can.

I can wash dishes by hand and dry them too.
I can dust or polish furniture but usually I don't.
I can knit the scarf I have been working on for months.
I can file and label pictures and bills - sigh ...
I can read scriptures.

I choose to read scriptures ...
and find quiet, real power!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I know a man that can easily bypass or open most locks.
He says, "Locks are to keep honest people honest."

An interesting side note is that this man IS an honest person.
He uses his skill with understanding to help and bless others.

We went to the Fair today.
We decided to avoid the parking hassle and took a bus.

The bus dropped Fair passengers off at the 'Purple Gate' and the driver emphasized to each one to notice the purple flag and sign - that is the place the bus will come to again to pick up passengers. The 'purple gates' - (actually there were 2 - a smaller pedestrian gate and a larger gate across the street entry for autos) were open and we entered to enjoy our day at the fair.

When we decided to return home the gates were both chained and locked.  We discovered it was necessary to walk to another exit and then back to that bus stop - irritating but very easy to do.  Another couple were also trying to catch the bus - she was in a motorized wheel chair.

The bus did not come as scheduled and the bus stop was in the sunny open, surrounded by pavement and gravel.  We were very glad for the tiny bits of shade provided by our hats, long pants and sleeves and even each other. We were also very glad we had water with us.

While we waited for the bus we noticed some one with keys (or combinations) open the gates several times to permit people or trucks to pass. As I watched the process several times I thought about fences and doors, locks and keys.

Those with keys and knowledge, to lock and unlock, have comforts, greater convenience and more access than those that do not. Their choices and the time to act on the choices increase. We waited a long time for a bus.

As I listened to the woman in the wheelchair I remembered again what a privilege it is to have a healthy functional body. As we drove away from the fairgrounds the bus seat provided an elevated view of the parking lot.  There were acres of cars.  Each driver has a set of keys that gives them privilege, convenience, choice and comfort unavailable to someone without a car.

We chose to take a bus but later wished for our car. Many choices are like that. For whatever reason, whether faulty information or faulty reasoning, we do something we later regret. It's nice to know that next time we can choose to take our car.

Bus rides can be long and a bit tedious.  People-watching can provide mind fodder.  There are many kinds of keys and locks.  Some are mostly in the mind such as societal mores and taboos. Some, like the locks and fences of prisons, are imposed physically. Each has purpose and intrinsic meanings and uses.

A statement by Boyd K Packer in 1992 startled me and remains to this day in my mind.

He said, "In the battle of life, the adversary takes enormous numbers of prisoners, and many who know of no way to escape and are pressed into his service. Every soul confined to a concentration camp of sin and guilt has a key to the gate.  The adversary cannot hold them if they know how to use it.  The key is labeled Repentance. The twin principles of repentance and forgiveness exceed in strength the awesome power of the adversary ... I know of no sins connected with the moral standard for which we cannot be forgiven.  I do not exempt abortion.

The formula is stated in forty words, "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins - behold, he will confess them and forsake them." D&C 58:42-43

Isn't that nice to know?
We can choose change.
We can choose more happiness,
more comfort,
more health,
more freedom.

Hmmm ...
Where do I need to grasp and use such a key?