Monday, December 31, 2007

I dissolved...

Meltdown before New Year’s Eve

Well despite my good intentions and numerous resolutions, I had a meltdown today while out on the town and it isn’t even New Years day yet. After a calm peaceful morning in the temple, I ventured to my nearby Wally-mart store to pick up some supplies for a New Year's Eve party this evening. Little did I know disaster awaited me as I entered the busy store in my Sunday clothes and heels for a quick shopping trip. Encountering a long line at the customer service dept I should have known better. I impatiently waited to return a foot spa soaking, massage apparatus thing made in China (of course) that didn’t deliver it’s proclaimed miraculous purpose of soothing your calm aching feet.

That went pretty smoothly so then after picking up some party items in the grocery dept., I found the shortest line and prepared to checkout quickly. BUT I happened to find a short line because the clerk was new and very young. She checked out my things very efficiently until she ran out of my things and started to check out the next customer’s things. She got as far as 3 sets of boy’s socks before I noticed what she was doing. Then she simply totaled the bill and charged my credit card for the socks which by now had been retrieved from my sack by the original customer who noticed what was happening. But I had been charged for them and my novice checkout clerk didn’t know how to give me credit for the items wrongly charged to me because she was new.

SO she said to me "WELL you’ll just need to go to the Customer Service window and get a refund". When, I mentioned to her politely that I’d already waited once in a very long slow Customer Service window, she (the clerk) got very upset and carefully explained to me that she was new and didn’t know how to fix my bill any other way. So I reluctantly returned to the Customer Service window where the line was longer that it had been earlier. After 10 minutes of so of my valuable time waiting (as I was wanting to go home and change into my more comfortable clothes and shoes), I got to the front of the line. The customer Service clerk told me I could have taken care of this with the checkout clerk. I explained I had tried this but the checkout clerk was new.

After getting my refund, I couldn’t help myself as I passed by the new clerk on my way out of store, to repeat this comment to her for the benefit of her future customers. The very young clerk looked at me like I was some crabby old lady that didn’t know anything and said…”I told you before I’m new and I don’t know how to do refunds”! Well, at that point, I didn’t want to argue and took my tired aching feet and hungry body home with my party goodies.
Luckily I was met at home by a great husband (see his photo above) who didn’t ask why I was late and why I hadn’t cooked his lunch. He actually volunteered to cook lunch-tacos for us and then washed the dishes while I took a looong winter’s nap and resolved-there’s that word again, never to shop at Wally-marts again. But that’s probably a resolution I will break.

To Resolve or Dissolve...

If we don’t make “resolves”
We could just “dissolve”
Fade away and disappear
Into nothingness, making a “resolve”
Is a firm decision to do something,
Anything in a positive direction

To be “absolved” is to be
Released from an obligation
To be free of all responsibility
Helpful if you are incarcerated
Which maybe we all are by
Our self-defeating behaviors

“Solving” is dealing successfully
With a problem or situation
Not avoiding it but facing it,
Working till it is “resolved”

So if the problem is us
And our growth and development
Then let’s make some “resolutions”
For the New Year 2008

Maybe just one or two
So you know you won’t
Stumble and give up easily
Something to make you stretch,
Contribute to your growth
But something also attainable

So you can feel better about
Being “you”, and start to become
The unique person with
Untapped potential and talents
That you would like to be

Happy New Year's resolving!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


The dictionary defines it as...."fate, destiny, providence, chance, luck, a natural gift for making useful discoveries by accident". How about whisperings of the Spirit, instinct, hunches, etc.?

Today at church I sat down next to a couple I didn’t know, the common practice for most people in this situation is unfortunately to ignore each other politely, but I decided to keep my resolution of "reaching out to others" and turned to my right and said "hello" and asked a few questions to get to know more about the couple sitting there. We introduced ourselves quickly. Turns out their last name is "Dance". They are from Arizona. We only had a few minutes to converse before our Sunday school class began but I was happy to have done something rather than nothing as is so easy to do in a new situation. Our branch just got divided and we are mostly all new to each other. Then when I went to my next meeting imagine my surprise and delight to discover that I had been given a new person to visit teach none other than Sister Dance!!! Life is truly interesting. Look for serendipity in your everyday life.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Resolve now to avoid nothingness
To take action and go forward
With your life, talents and time

Stop wasting precious minutes
With needless procrastination
Choose a direction and go for it

Identify what you want in life
Then what steps you need to take
To accomplish your goals.

Expect opposition and be ready
To expend the personal effort
It will take to overcome it

Never be satisfied with mediocrity
But rise to the nobleness within
You can become/overcome anything

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fun with Family

Christmas day with the grandkids was full of excitement and love. Being together made leaving to come home so hard and a little sad until the next holiday or occasion brings us together. Family time is so rare a commodity these days.


1. To be more grateful and less greedy in the New Year
2. To not fear giving love or reaching out to others
3. To find more joy/happiness in daily living
4. To study the Savior's life and pray more daily
5. To take control of my physical healt-exercise more and eat wiser
6. To have more fun, spontaneous and planned
7. To write in my blog daily and improve my writing skills
8. To help others with their family history as a SS teacher
9. To continue to "act and not just react"
10. To make 2008 my best ever year in all ways!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Gifts, Giving and Greed

Christmas is a time of giving
Presents carefully chosen or created
With a special person in mind
Festively wrapped in paper and bows

Days of anticipation follow
Waiting impatiently for Christmas day
To finally open the unknown gifts
Then to be delighted or quietly disappointed
On to the next gift as greed can rule

How to teach children the purpose
In gift giving not just receiving
To think of others and take time
To express love and appreciation
By the gifts they can give others

Do we as children take time to thank God
For the gift of His son so many years ago
Sending His beloved Christ to earth
Watching His sufferings as He taught
And fulfilled His earthly mission

How do we show our appreciation
To God who gives us the gift of life
And watches over us as we struggle and learn
Heartfelt thanks can be given in prayers
Or we can be greedy and ask for more
And not appreciate what we have been given

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

He's HERE!

The days of patient anticipation are over
It is finally here….Christmas day
Long awaited, predicted for millennia,
Finally the Christ child is born in Bethlehem

Angels appeared to lowly shepherds
In their fields announcing His birth
A wondrous new star in the heavens
Shines on the humble stable
Where they come to adore Him

The new born babe in Bethlehem
In swaddling clothes lying in a manager
Hushed adoration as His mother Mary
And earthly father Joseph watch over Him
And Angels shout “Hallelejah” from above
“Christ is come to earth, the Messiah is here!”
Wise men come from afar bringing gifts
For the new born King Jesus Christ

So we too can bring our heartfelt gifts
Of reverence and obedience to His teachings
And follow the example of the Savior’s life
He lived, taught truth, atoned for our sins,
Then was cruelly crucified but is now resurrected
That we might live again with our Heavenly Family
Together forever in love and peace.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Choir of ANGELS

Ever heard angels sing, if you've been to a Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert you have. Yesterday we were able to attend the Sunday Broadcast from the Conference Center in SLC, Utah. The Orchestra at Temple Square also played favorite CHRISTmas carols from around the world and ended with "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" which brought tears to many eyes with the sustained volume of fine tuned voices and spirited rendition that could be the theme of everyone's holiday celebration as we review the story of the Savior's miraculous birth to earth and His life.

From the spoken word by Lloyd Newell..."No matter where we live, our hearts can draw near to Bethlehem and to the newborn babe who brought good tidings of great joy to the whole world. As we think of that silent, holy night, we yearn for the serenity of Bethlehem. So much of our life today is noisy, confusing and busy...Yet for one small moment, the world stopped, a star shone, a choir of angels sang, and heaven came to earth. Christmas invites us to hear again the sweet sounds of love and feel the quiet assurances of peace that once settled on the little town of Bethlehem... " May you feel that peace in your heart amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas celebrations with your family.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


It's truly an amazing sight to walk among the many lights on temple square and listen to beautiful Christmas music being sung by different choirs. Tonight I toured the restored tabernacle and it's beautiful, built by Mormon pioneers many years ago and still standing as a monument to their faith and hard work

What a fun African nativity set in front of the Church Office Building plaza in the snow. I love to see how different each country's version of the nativity is a reflection of their culture and art. Tomorrow we shall attend a live performance of the world famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Temple Square Orchestra. Merry CHRISTmas!


Tiny twinkling lights cover the tree branches
Creating a fairyland of colors as we walk by
This is Temple Square at Christmastime
Dazzling to the senses, touching the soul

Yet the centerpiece is the granite temple
Bathed in white light, a symbol of the season
Christmas celebrates Christ-his life and mission
Families mingle with others ah-ing and ooh-ing
At the grandeur, while a full moon overhead
Reflects light on the joyful scene

Huddled in warm coats, gloves and scarves
We all move quickly to see everything
Smiles on our faces show our enjoyment
This is truly what Christmas is about
Family, love and awe for the Christ child.

A perfect pageant caps the evening
“Savior of the World” recalls the birth
Life, death, and resurrection of the Lord
In music, drama, dance and song
Thank you Father for your wonderful gift

Thursday, December 20, 2007


The winter storm beats furiously outside
Making us cringe at its angry outbursts
Fear mounts as the danger seems to increase
We huddle together in warmth and light
Knowing that all can suddenly be taken away

Comfort is knowing that all will be well
After the storm is over, some repairs may be needed
But life will go on, we are more resilient than we think
Although prior preparation for times like this
Would have calmed our troubled heart and mind

Danger doesn't always announce itself
With strong winds and torrents of rain
It could be black ice unnoticed until
It is too late to act but only react
And loose all equilibrium and control

CHRIST is what it's all about

I took a photo of my nativity set. I've had it for years and it's made out of plastic-probably bought from K-Mart in the years before there was a Walmart. I like that it's unbreakable so that my kids and grandkids could pick it up and play with the set talking about what it was all about. The birth of a special Son, angels, shepherds, Mary and Joseph (who is an important part of the story), and the three wise men who came bringing gifts to honor the baby. May we all take a moment in our busy holiday celebrations to retell or act out or read this story from the bible that has changed the world. Why would the birth of just one infant be recorded in the histories of the world and have made such an impact on so many lives? Because He is the Son of God and loves us more than we can love. Because of His sacrifice on the cross, we will live again and see our departed loved ones. Merry CHRISTmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Remembering the FORGOTTEN

A wonderful Christmas tradition is taking place now as hundreds of volunteers gathered at Arlington National Cemetery to place more than 5,000 donated Christmas wreaths. The 14th annual wreath laying event is the result of Worcester Wreath Company's owner Morrill Worcester's, childhood dream of doing something to honor those veterans laid to rest in the national cemetery. It only takes one person to start a heartfelt tradition in a family or community or in the world. As I look around my neighborhood there are no nativity scenes outside just Santa Clauses and snowmen. Christmas is about Christ and His glorious birth on earth.

Monday, December 17, 2007


We watched the DVD Pearl Harbor the other night and it was amazing to see history recreated. Since we are going to Hawaii for a short vacation in Jan 2008, it was time to learn more history. It's amazing what war does to men and women also, the horrors they have to live through, the heroes they become, the great toll that death takes.

I have an aunt and uncle who were in Pearl Harbor the day it was bombed and they have told us of their experiences-not knowing what was going to happen next, if the Japanese were going to return and bomb more or sneak ashore from tiny submarines found in the area. They had to carry gas masks at all times, have a complete blackout in the evenings and make bomb shelters in their back yards by digging trenches. It was truly a terrible time of fear, much suffering, needless death and misery as men battled for power and against agression. I'm truly grateful for those young men who fought in WWII and perserved our freedoms. Great was their sacrifice for us. Most of them have passed on now although we still have a few veterans in each of our families to thank for their brave service.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


I’m stopped…motionless…waiting…
For the unknown to take me away
With its power....isolated....alone
What will happen next?

Embrace the unknown…warily
Take control of your universe
You are its very center
Learn from all experiences

Trust that a higher power is in charge
Then peace and inner guidance will come
Fear is now conquered
Wait to be found again

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Like snowflakes falling quietly
From the wintery skies above
Each different, no two alike
In size or geometric patterns
Designed like not other

So my newborn babes
From the very beginning
Were distinctive: one calm,
Another fussy and demanding
Finding their own way

A delicate mixture of genes
As they grew and matured
Their innate personalities developed
Despite the same parents,
Upbringing and common environment

Some followed easily the path
Others rebelled and left
Each finding their own voice
And place in the universe
As I watched in silent amazement

Friday, December 14, 2007

Writing the NATURAL WAY

Check out for some great ideas on writing. I heard about her book from a good friend Mary whose daughter told her about it. Mary is part of a Writer's WORDshop group I started in my neighborhood to encourage others (and myself) in writing poetry, prose, free verse or whatever. There are lots of good ideas in this book that can help you become a better writer. Check it's available at used or new or at Gabriele Rico's website. I love her idea of clustering, it helps you as a writer get unstuck and going. Why write? To leave evidence of your life, values and thoughts for others (especially our families). Creative writing is very therapeutic and helps you discover yourself more fully.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another son is born

Twenty-five years ago today, I became the mother
Of my fourth and last son Jeffrey
How fun to have a new baby boy
To love and cherish, a special Christmas gift
To our blended family of three teenage sons
From my first marriage which ended in divorce,
And a new husband from Sweden
We all learned to care for Jeffrey and
Tried to be good examples for him to follow
As we struggled to bond as a stepfamily

Now Jeff is grown and all my sons are on their own
Some are married, some are fathers
Several have unfortunately also been divorced
Not as I had planned for my life or their lives
Hopefully, we have learned from our experiences
That life has brought to us rather unexpectedly
About the importance and challenges of families
And the love that we can and will share forever

Monday, December 10, 2007


Just watched the tv movie last night produced by Oprah and written by Mitch Albom's For One More Day. He also wrote Tuesdays with Morrie and The Five People You'll Meet in Heaven. What would you do if you had one more day? This was very well done and thought provoking.

I think it touched me because it was about a mother who had died suddenly, and the feelings of her grown son who had alienated himself from his mom because she had divorced his father. He blamed her and himself for the divorce, and they had never really talked about it. Well, the son is alcoholic and ready to commit suicide when his mom appears and they spend a day together in their old home just talking and clarifying what really happened, and how he has the choice to end his life now or make changes in his life as he is also divorced and alienated from his daughter. He realizes how much his mom loves him.

Also just watched the dvd Engine 49 about a fire fighter who dies. Death is such an unknown for all of us, when it will come and how we will respond to it. I know my mom was frightened by her approaching death, would love another day to talk with her now. The moral of the movies was now is the day to communicate and show our love to each other.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I have TALL sons

but then I'm tall also 5'10" they are when I married Allen in 1993. (l-r) Frank the oldest is 6"5", Brook is 6'9", Daniel is 6"1", and shorty Jeff is in the middle (the youngest son at age 10 then but he is now 6' tall and soon 25 years old.)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

My SONS now

Wanted you to meet my grown up sons, we were all together for my mom's funeral this past January. (L-R) Frank, Daniel, Brook and my youngest son Jeffrey born 13 years after Brook was born in 1970. Jeff's almost an only child like me but he does enjoy his older brothers. He lives in the same area as Daniel in Utah while the other two brothers live in Santa Fe and Seattle. I'm proud of all four of my sons-they have all graduated from college and hold responsible jobs. I love to visit them or have them visit me.

Friday, December 7, 2007


The perfect Christmas activity came today as my husband and I were able to view a display at a local church of nativity sets from all over the world. Carefully crafted and intricately carved, all highlighting the simple birth of the Christ child in a manger. Some were carved from wood, others stained glass, corn husks, crystal, ivory, hand puppets, quilted, some large and some miniatures, all amazingly creative. 
Reminds me of the Christmas puppet show I used to put on each Christmas with my sons trying to help them to understand the true meaning of the Christmas holidays as we acted out the Christmas story. In this 1975 photo they are (l-r) Frank, Brook and Daniel now grown men, two  are married with children of their own-my grandchildren.


Gently falls the morning rain
Soaking into the dry parched soil
So I too reach out with urgent pleas
For needed blessings for my soul

They come quietly almost unnoticed
Sometimes not as promptly
As I want or think is necessary
But a loving master gardener
Is in charge of nurturing and life

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


My parents met unexpectantly,
she was only 17, he was 18
he knew he had met his future wife
love developed quickly between them
they quietly eloped and were married
then returned to their homes
not telling anyone, their love would last
through a short nine years of marriage
then death separated them for many long years
now they are together again...finally

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Surprises come suddenly, unexpectantly
They can be fun and bubbly or harsh and trying
Or anywhere in between, sometimes not planned,
Accidental or carefully orchestrated by others
Without our knowledge or permission
They change our outlook and day in unknown ways

Someone once wisely said that life is….
What happens while you are making other plans
Maybe the trick is not to plan so you’ll avoid
Being disappointed and just be grateful
For whatever comes your way?

But human nature being what it is
We all want to be happy and are full of expectations
Some say that we attract what we fear or what we deserve
That puts the universe into a tightly regulated sphere
Stimulus equals response
Where is free agency and self determination,
Goals and the gospel plan of working towards perfection

There has to be order and purpose for being here
Someone in charge that can change any surprises
To our good, even death, illnesses or tragedies
Can be valuable teachers or guides
If there is a loving Father and Mother
Watching over us from afar

Maybe the biggest surprise of all is when
We leave this earthly life and return back
To our heavenly home and report
On the surprise that life was and is
And what we learned along the way

What is a BLOG?

According to a google search..."a BLOG is a publication of personal thoughts, experiences, and web links. It is updated frequently and is usually a mixture of what is happening in a person's life and what is happening on the web or in the media." ...Now where did the word BLOG come from...Well........weB LOG or diary! Now aren't you glad you read this blog today?
Why do people enjoy blogging? Perhaps because in our busy modern day rushed lives we have lost the art of conversing or just visiting with one another in person or over the phone. We don't have TIME but somehow doing it on the web seems faster and more efficient-I know i enjoy journaling BY TYPING on my laptop rather than the old fashioned pen and ink HANDWRITING way. But the difference with a BLOG vs a JOURNAL is that you can get immediate feedback if your readers/friends who are also computer literate can figure out how to get registered and actually make a comment on your blog. A BLOG is like a friend always ready to hear your thoughts, concerns no matter how small or LARGE they seem. So blog on....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Remembering MY MOM

        Well Sunday December 2nd, 2007 would have been my mom's 90th birthday but unfortunately she died last Jan 15th from a brain tumor that was discovered just before Christmas. I don't want her special day to pass without acknowledging all her love and support during her earthly life. She was widowed at age 27 when my father was killed in a private airplane accident. 

Left alone to carry on with a young daughter (me) age 5 to raise, she went to work immediately as a secretary for the Union Pacific Railroad depot in Milford and later went to secretarial school in SLC then became a telephone operator in Eureka Utah and in California after our move there in 1950. She was a single parent for many years and didn't remarry until I was 17 years of age. Because of her, I was able to graduate from college, marry and raise a family. She was always there to support and help me and my family through all of her 62 years of mothering, grandmothering and great grandmothering. Her memory lives on in our hearts and I know we will meet again one day. Happy 90th Birthday Mom! You are missed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


My computer and I are in conflict
It says…”You are not connected”
But…I am connected, it’s the router's fault
It isn’t connecting to my wireless laptop
Which is my tool to connect to the Internet
I can’t read the news or create my blog or shop or...

He quietly whispers...“you aren’t connected”
But somehow His voice is conveniently ignored
As I rush madly ahead without the wise advice
And heavenly protection that I need in my daily life
Someday...I will find time to increase my prayer’s intensity
And my faith in His answers by listening more carefully
Then I will truly be connected...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

On to Christmas....

I just got this email forward entitled Letter from Jesus about Christmas (don't know the author) from a cousin and thought it was worth passing on at this time of year as we prepare for the holidays and sometimes forget what it is all about. There are some very good ideas of gift giving that are unique. Choose one.

Dear Children, It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town. Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember : I LOVE YOU, JESUS

Monday, November 19, 2007


Expections get in our way of acknowledging
What we have…now, and being grateful
They make us greedy, never satisfied
We always want more and more and yet more
We want everything and then some…I doubt
We’d really be satisfied if we had it all, wondering if
There wasn’t something else missing.

Friends who could have given more to us
Spouses who though loving weren’t our soul mates
Children who didn’t take our counsel and rebelled
Career opportunities awaiting us around the next corner
To be more, do more, be appreciated for our “uniqueness”
Things missing, emptiness in the now moment but
Possible in the future….sometime…somewhere.

Always living on the brink of seemingly lost opportunities
That could have been, never seeing what is
Idealized family relationships that never could be are
Mourned over while small moments of joy pass by unnoticed
The simple request of a young child or grand child
To read just one more book are met with irritation

Illnesses and death will slow us down or stop the process
As we focus on recovery or long for
The normal everydays that we took so for granted
The secret of happiness is just this:
To fill our heart with gratitude
And empty our mind of expectations.

Is the glass half full or half empty, depends on your ATTITUDE

Pick a NICKNAME...

Haven't written for a while as it seems only a few people were reading and or commenting on my blogs but maybe I just need to write for me...I wrote some comments on a new niece's blog today about names and then got to thinking about names. I wonder what name we were known as before we came to earth and if our earthly parents were inspired to name us the same name or something different. That could mean we are known by several different names: our heavenly parents' name for us, then our earthly names and those who know about a new name that too. BUT most of all we are known for our qualities and personality and sometimes we can discover those through special patriarchal blessings that are available or through interacting with close friends who build us up by complimenting us on our good qualities.

if you had to choose one quality to describe yourself in a positive light what NICKNAME would it be and why? I think I'd like to be known as a DEAR FRIEND, one who keeps confidences and tries to build up all my friends, tries to make new friends by showing an interest in others, and wants to treat my family especially my grand children as dear friend also. Tell me what your word would be. Email me if you can't figure out how to make a comment and publish it on my blog. It will make my day. Thanks.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Coming...

Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday
Opportunities to be with family
Preparing for days, feasting for an hour,
Cleaning up forever then eating leftovers

Taking the time to be together
Talking, listening, caring and sharing
Loving, supporting, and understanding,
It's what families are all about

Not worried about exchanging fancy presents
No expectations or disappointments
Just being together,and giving a grateful heart
To Him who is the source of all our blessings


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


My dear friend Gittan who lives in Sweden told me about a wonderful book she is reading and trying to apply to her life. It's "A Heart Like His: Making Space for God's Love in Your Life" by Virginia H. Pearce. So of course I had to check it out from our local library. There is a CHALLENGE that goes with this book:

1. "To be more aware of the conditon of our HEARTS and with that awareness to keep them more OPEN toward others."

2. "To do this in the NORMAL COURSE OF OUR LIVES, in other words, not put any extra activities into our day--no extra visits, no preparing of casseroles, cookies, etc. Above all, PEOPLE WERE NOT TO BECOME 'PROJECTS', and our lives were not to be filled with more things to do!"

3. NOTICE THE SPIRIT, and be willing to come together and HONESTLY REPORT (or blog) what happened or hadn't happened."

Can I give this challenge to any willing readers/bloggers out there. Don't change your behavior directly but just your attitude or heart and try to be more open to others then report back in a day or so what experiences you have. Just click on comments below to see what develops with this little experiment. Try it. I will. Some of you already do this on a daily basis...


Yes do comment my friends who have taken the time to read my blog. Part of the fun of blogging is to interact. Just click on the comments button at the bottom of this blog and either register or just sign in as anonymous-that's now I got started started writing comments on a friend's blog. Interaction is what makes blogging fun.

Here's some brief thoughts to comment on from Pres. Thomas S. Monson's talk at Brigham Young University yesterday. Being a BYU graduate I miss the weekly devotionals but I could watch them on tv if I remembered or read them in my Deseret Newspaper. I still remember at age 20 one of my first devotionals at BYU when the Prophet David O. McKay came and spoke and the whole student body rose as one and sang together "We thank thee O God for a prophet". That was one of the thrills of attending BYU in the 1960s and was the first time I saw a living prophet, general authorities spoke often and in person in the old fieldhouse building before the days of the huge Marriott Center where basket ball is now held. At any rate, Pres. Monson talked there yesterday about guideposts for your life:

1. GLANCE BACKWARD-don't dwell on it, but learn from its lessons, be thankful for others who helped you along your way. (I'd like to add, write a letter/e-mail someone who had a great effect on your life in the past. I wrote a letter to my MIA teacher in 1950s in California who encouraged me as a young woman to get involved in the church's dance program.)

2. LOOK HEAVENWARD-turn away from doubts and seek divine direction in your life. (Turn depression into action as you turn away from the grappling hooks and enticing of the adversary to see no hope or promise in your life, to ask for peace, comfort and faith in going forward. (We live in a "me" world, but when we reach out to serve others in love whether our family, neighbors or those in need, we forget ourselves and find happiness.)

3. REACH OUTWARD-"No one has learned the meaning of living until he has surrendered his ego to the service of his fellow man." (It's easy to become self-centered and "me" orientated to the point of becoming depressed but reaching out or serving others is a sure cure for what ails us.)

4. PRESS FORWARD-don't let the dismal conditions in the world, stop your progress and doing the good that only you can do whether at work, home, community, church or on the Internet. (Find your VOICE, what you have that is unique to give to this world.)

Now tell me how you've used or will use these guideposts in your daily life or ask further questions. Let's get a discussion going. Thanks for participating ahead of time. JUST DO IT!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Who is LINDA Darnell?

I got so curious, I had to google her and here's what I found out. see I remember the days of Hollywood from the 1950s as I lived in nearby Los Angeles then. I always read the Photoplay magazines to find out the latest news about my favorite movie stars. When I grew up I either wanted to be a "movie star" or a "telephone operator" like my widowed mom who worked to support us both.

I remember going to see the very long "Gone with the Wind" movie in Eureka, Utah in the 1940s before moving to California with Clark Gable. I could go to the movies then with a quarter and be admitted for 14 cents, buy some popcorn for 10 cents and have a penny left over. In those days all movies seemed to be G rated or not rated but okay for everyone. I also remember going to see "Bambi" by Disney when about five years old. Before the featured movie there was always a short newsreel of world happenings, a short cartoon and sometimes a short feature like "Zorro" that was an adventure series and continued next time. Boy-the good old days weren't that long ago, if I'm still alive to remember them. What do you remember from the time you were 5 years old or there abouts that seems like ancient history now? Please share something or ask your mother or grandmother for something they remember to share here. We are all a part of history.

What’s in a NAME?

My name given me at birth was “Linda.” It was a popular name in the 1940s when I was born because of a famous movie star “Linda Darnell”. Who was she you ask? “Linda” in Spanish means “pretty” but I never felt particularly “pretty” growing up as a tomboy-angly, tall, super skinny (5 feet 9 inches and 110 pounds), shy, quiet, an only child, a teenager who wore glasses. Ballet lessons were my salvation, when at age fifteen I learned to move more gracefully and built my self confidence through performing on stage (although because of my tallness I always danced in the back row. No pas de deux or dance with a partner for me when I was dancing on my toes.)

As an adult, I took control of my name following the example of my parents by shortening my first given name from “Linda” to “Lin”. My dad named “Stanley” had been called “Stan” and my mom “Evelyn” had become “Eve”, so I “Linda” became legally “Lin” when I got divorced in 1992 and wanted to make a NEW START in my life with a NEW NAME. “Lin” which means “lake” or “waterfall” or “pool.” A nature name, I like that. Swan Lake was always my favorite ballet so perhaps I could think of myself as an elegant "swan." Tell me about your first name, what it means, how you got it and how you feel about it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Some LIFE QUESTIONS to answer

Just finished the book "Wins, Losses, and Lessons" by Lou Holtz.
In the last chapter he says we NEED four things in life:

1. Something to do

2. Someone to love

3. Something/a god of some kind to believe in

4. Something to look forward to

So tell me what your answers are to these questions if you are brave enough in the comments section.

Finding our ROOTS

This is a photo of my third great grand mother Sarah McGuckin Malin. Her history is fascinating. To learn more about her, see my webpage with my family histories and photos of my ancestors that I have collected for almost 50 years.

Why do we search out our ancestors? Alex Haley’s famous quote might explain this most popular hobby that is pursued as a passion by many throughout the world:

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage-to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness."

Find out more about your roots…discover where your ancestors came from, what they did for a living, what was important to them, what trials and struggles they overcame, what they were like as individuals, how you are different or similar to them, what skills, attitudes and values they have passed on perhaps unknowingly to you. Then comes the next part to consider writing your own history. It can be an simple as a blog or as complicated as a published autobiography, but someone one day will read it and learn from your life's struggles and insights.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Sat, Nov 10, 2007 4:30 am and I can’t sleep but I did nap today…going to a writer’s workshop today, should be fun. Will take my laptop to write on. Leg is doing okay, healing little by little, have about 11 stitches or more and my legs are a purple blue color when the veins were taken out-not too pretty but will be more healthy when healed. Felt every needle go in for the surgery and it was painful but no way out but through.

No way out but through the process
Vein surgery is not fun or for the weak
Breathe deeply…I can do this
Having a baby or rather four babies
Wasn’t this hard, but it did bring about
These ugly varicose veins that I’ve lived with
For too many years and hated

Remove them, I know it will hurt
And take time but I don’t want them
Could we also say that about our sins
They do us no good except as a teacher
Of how we could have lived better

It escapes me this early morning
As I sit at my laptop contemplating the universe
But mostly me --what am I feeling
At this unearthly hour?
Why would I even want to feel?
Why aren’t I sleeping like my companion?
Although he also wakes and sleeps lightly
As he works through the details of designing
His houseboat that he wants to build

It will be interesting in the next life
To not need sleep, before we are resurrected
My, what we could accomplish
With the extra time that we waste sleeping
On this earth, every night or not sleeping
But wishing we could….

Sleeping pills to aid our sleep
Only drugs us and tricks us into a stupor
That really isn’t deep restorative sleep
Maybe the answer is “stop the naps”
But what does one do during the day
When the eyelids won’t stay open,
But plunk themselves tightly closed?
Why won’t they do that in the early hours
Of my long restless nights?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Why WRITE our own autobiography?

I've been asked to share in a church group the topic "writing your own autobiography". Since I have kept journals since I started college at BYU at age 20, I had lots of material over the years for my own biography which I wrote in 2000 as a printed book and a CD that is like a private webpage just for my family members . Thought I'd share some ideas I came up with for my presentation. So blogging is good but how about taking the next step and writing an autobiography of your own life?

Why Write your Autobiography?

1. To leave your testimony/faith and beliefs for your posterity to guide and strengthen them
2. To leave a record of your life, your challenges and trials and triumphs and how you dealt with them
3. Share the wisdom you gained the hard way, advice for your posterity from your experiences
4. Express your love and concern for each of your descendents
5. For catharsis for yourself-understanding what you've learned and gained at whatever period of life you are in.

How to do it

1. Collect your journals and diaries, photos and momentoes to include in your history
2. Write an outline/time line of your life-then fill in the details
3. Use a software program like "personal historian" to jog your memories or any number of books available on that topic
4. Write a little each day, keep paper with you at all times
5. Have a purpose for your writing, who is your audience? Why are you writing?
6. Make time, do it now, we aren’t getting any younger, my dad died at age 29 without a journal
7. Don’t sugar coat your life story but don’t dwell on the ugly parts-show how you gained or learned from those experiences, forgive and let go of anger.
8. Don’t edit till you have a rough draft-write freely, then edit, add photos and get feedback from others.
9. Doesn’t have to be chronological, just different life experience or themes, be creataive
10. Do it, start today/ask others for support and help

Publish as a printed pamphlet or CD, or just blog on the internet-that's a good start?

STILL READING and thinking

There are lessons to be learned in every area of life as you anayze the deeper meanings. Still reading the football book by Lou Holtz. I'm very impressed with him because of his deep spirituality, he's a practicing Catholic and a man of integrity in all areas of his life. I was going to stop taking notes on his book but things just keep popping out at me as I read, and so I write them down here's some more to ponder and apply in your life and mine.

1. Nothing is as good as it seems, nothing is as bad as it seems but somewhere inbetween reality falls.
2. Mistakes are an inevitable part of life but accepting responsibility and taking corrective action are not.
3. Do what's right and avoid what's wrong (simply said)
4. Discipline is a teaching tool. (Good for parents to remember.)
5. Sometimes bad things happen for a good reason, to lead you in a new direction.
6. If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans for the future. (I like this one and another similar-life is what happens while you are making other plans. My life's dream was to marry a prince charming and live happily ever after....well that didn't happen but I'm still trying to learn from each day's mistakes and challenges.)

That's enough for today to contemplate and work on. I appreciate your comments those who read my blog. Tell me of your life's experiences and how they relate to what Lou Holtz is saying. Lin

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Well, my friend Susy Hatch challenged others on her blog to read a book, an autobiography of a football coach. Well, not being a sports fan, I resisted; but then she offered a prize and I thought that's an easy prize to win. Since I have only won two other prizes in my whole life: one a portable tv set as a high school talent show winner for doing a ballet solo, and the other as a retired adult at a genealogy workshop for a $50 gift certificate at my favorite local furniture I got the book and am reading it. Here's some notes from it so far.

Wins, Losses and Lessons by Lou Holtz

1. It’s not what you have it’s who you have (family, friends, etc.)

a. Can’t perform under pressure without preparation
b. Momentum is nothing more than attitude
c. Ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity
d. Success ends but being significant continues
e. I knew God, my family loved me
f. WIN What’s important now-then do it
g. Don’t let others down by quitting, do the right thing, respect authority
h. A kind word turneth away wrath
i. Learning can take place, only when you want to learn

2. Success is a choice you make

a. Everyone has someone to thank for what he/she has for their personal sacrifices so you could be successful
b. Take criticism as a challenge to prove others wrong
c. People take an interest in those who are interested in them
d. If you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability, if you’re not going to be the best you can be, why even try.
e. Be wary of the intoxicating power of success to forget your values
f. Life is a series of choices that determine how successful we become

3. First impressions have lasting results

a. You can’t let someone else determine your happiness, only you are responsible for your feelings
b. Appearances matter, so make yours a good one
c. Terrible setbacks can be the greatest things that ever happen to you

4. A day without learning is a day without living

a. Most important decisions: relationship with God, who to marry, where to liv, career, kind of example you set
b. Important to be truthful with yourself and others no matter whose feelings you might offend
c. Successful people adapt to change, even thrive on it, while those who dread it and resist change, have trouble
d. Work isn’t work when you love what you are doing
e. List things you want to do as a parent, person, religiously, professionally, financially, personally for excitement

5. Setback don’t define your goals, you do

a. Nothing focuses the mind like crises
b. Players/people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
c. Trials build character and help you define your priorities
d. Internal rewards, one you gain from pain, sweat, tears will stick with you
e. People perform to the level expected

6. Greatness starts with belief that you can do it and total commitment, achievements require great sacrifices

7. Leading is easy when people want to be led

a. Authority comes with the job, you earn respect by proving yourself a leader
b. A team filled with players who believe in one another and who believe they can win who are willing to work hard and do the things necessary to become successful, that is a winning team regardless of their record

This is not even half of the book but hopefully will wet your appetite to read it all...thanks again Susy