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.