Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Fun?

I haven't always hated Halloween. In fact, when I was a young child, I loved to dress up and go out collecting candy with my friends. As a young mother, I encouraged my sons to make their own costumes which they creatively did but I wasn't happy with all the candy they brought home. (Photo on left: cousin Michelle as Raggedy Ann-now a mother to four, Brook-my superman son, and his cousin Jason-a father to two who is dressed as Raggedy Andy. Photo below, my first three sons-Daniel a robot inside the cardboard box, Frank a vampire and Brook as Scooby Doo.)

As a first grade teacher, I started to hate Halloween because my students were unruly for days before and hyper days after from the sugar overload. Then I became acquainted with the dark side of the holiday which was originally to celebrate All Saints Days Nov 1st with a hallowed eve the night before honoring and remembering the dead. I began to see this holiday in another light with extreme groups whose religion included Satanic rights, worshipping vampires, and witchcraft etc., Halloween is a special time of celebration for them. 

Digging a little deeper, I discovered many teens were involved in religious cults that were very strange. They dressed all in black with white faces and practiced secret rituals. Yes, there is good to Halloween as the little ones like my grandkids love to dress up but there is also another side to it. Just as in everything else in our world. Opposition in all things! (Photo on left of my twin grand daughters dressed as a lion and a tiger years ago.)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Article #28 Visiting Old Cemeteries

I love walking through old cemeteries but not at night or on Halloween eve. Being an avid genealogist, I have searched through many graveyards looking for a family name carefully chiseled on a headstone. This past summer found my husband and I returning from a vacation trip to Northern Idaho. We normally travel on the I-15 freeway but we detoured to an obscure country road because I had an ancestor who died in Idaho near the Utah border.

Driving through the town of Oxford didn’t take much time as it is small but still populated by farmers, former residents who have returned to spend their last years in peace and quiet, and a few hardy commuters who live there and travel to nearby towns to work. There are no sidewalks just irrigation ditches, old abandoned farmhouses and barns. One prominent building, the LDS church meeting house, still stands in the center of town. We were able to walk inside and imagine what it was like when the locals attended activities and worshipped here.

My 2nd great grandmother, Ada Winchell Clements, had come from Springville, Utah to visit her married daughter in Oxford, and died here. I had never seen her headstone. No burial grounds were in sight. They are usually hidden on hillsides outside of town surrounded by large trees or bushes. By asking a local resident, we were able to find one on the road south of town. With no sexton to direct us, we started searching in the oldest part of the cemetery. Walking up and down each row of headstones, looking for a familiar name took awhile. My husband searched a different section. He soon located an old headstone with my family’s surname.

Close by a four sided monument had names and dates carefully chiseled and a little verse of remembrance on each side. My 2nd great grandmother’s name was barely visible, erased by constant weathering year after year. Doing a pencil rubbing on a piece of paper placed on the face of her headstone allowed us to discern her name and dates. I already knew quite a bit about her life and sacrifices to come to Utah from New York, suffering through all the Mormon persecutions in Ohio, Missouri and Nauvoo. Somehow now, standing next to her found headstone in that lonely old cemetery so far from my home, I felt a renewed sense of family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Creativity and Compromise

Well this publishing project for my Writer's WORDshop is proving to be a great learning experience as we have eight different writers in our group with varying degrees of experience with computers, writing and editing skills trying to work together. It reminds me a group of dancers trying to perform together while trying not to step on each other's toes. I'm trying to guide them all while keeping an overall view of what needs to be accomplished for a pleasing final performance. I want everyone to feel valued and successful which is a tricky task for me as choreographer or editor. I feel the process is more important than the finished product but still want a wonderful collection of our writing work together. 

We will have about fifty half pages divided into five areas: Nature, Family, Gospel, Humor-Miscellaneous and Self Reflections. The overall title is Voices from the Desert. It's a monumental task to gather all the poems on my computer and format them to the area alloted and calls for some collaborative editing of lines that are too long, and some deleting of excess poems, etc. We hope to have the finished project sometime before Christmas. The booklet will need to be copied, cut, collated and bound. We're thinking of making about 300+ copies to give one to each woman in the three branches of our Relief Society organization. Now is that ambitious or not?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rock Art Study

Still taking a fascinating rock art class and learning how to interpret the symbols. Our class is taught by a retired Archaeologist Boma Johnson. Click on his name to find out more about rock art.

He has spent the last 30 years of his life following his boyhood dreams of studying Native Americans. Twenty-five of those years he worked as an Archaeologist for the Bureau of Land Management in Yuma, Arizona. His double Master’s Degree in Archaeology and Ethnology makes him an interesting guide in this archaeology rich environment. Currently, most of Boma’s spare time is spent researching rock art throughout the Southwest; specializing in petroglyphs, pictographs and geoglyphs of the ancient Native Americans and he enthusiastically shares his studies.

Find a deeper understanding of the meaning of ancient Native American rock art symbols, and the connections to the world of higher spiritual belief. Learn more about the meaning of rock art, as we have learned from the Native American people themselves, and from modern archaeological research. Have you ever seen any rock art? Where? What did you think of it?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nothing Yet

It's Monday and another new week
Many thoughts are racing through my mind
Today's a Writer's Wordshop meeting
We shall work on putting our book together
What a task, but very creative
Organizing words into a presentation
On paper of free verses and poems
Centered around the theme
Voices from the Desert...wish me luck
Photo below of our pot luck lunch. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Discovering the world

without sugar is very interesting. As I'm adjusting to my diagnosis as a diabetic type 2, I have all these conversations going on in my head about SUGAR. We celebrate with sugar, we reward with sugar, we rot our teeth with sugar, we entertain with sugar, we get fat eating sugar, we drink sugar in our pop...the world revolves around sugar. At least you are so much more aware of it when you are limited in eating sugar. 

Take IHOP-International House of Pancakes where we went for a family birthday breakfast. (See family photo above.) Try having a pancake without maple syrup. Well I was very good at IHOP, I had hash browns, fried eggs, bacon and toast with just butter. No hot chocolate for me, I drank cold milk.

I am exploring the world of fake sugar...splenda, here I come. There's always diet drinks and pepsi one so instead of sugar you can have chemicals...water here I come, but then they say our water is filled with drugs from people dumping their extra prescription pills down the toilet. It's quite the world we live in and food that we choose to buy, cook or eat out is a daily struggle or challenge. Oh yes, I'm joining weight watchers to encourage me to eat less. Wish me luck! Check out a new blog buddy Sylvia over the hill. Love that name!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Time Together

Had a leisurely lunch with my friend Caryn-
talking, laughing, enjoying the time,
building and exploring our deep friendship.
She says I build her up-help her self esteem
but I know that is her talent-natural skill.
So we explore our thoughts, analyze life,
time well spend, discussing the universe.
She doesn't order chocolate cake dessert 
to enjoy in front of her diabetic friend-me!

Now I'm with family, looking for time to
read books, interact, listen to grand kids;
but there is too much electronics going on,
videos, tv shows to watch. Time slips by that
could have been spent communicating...
Patience, take what time that can be found,
try to make time and opportunities to just be
and unplug from the constant entertaining.
We will go to a birthday breakfast at IHOP
this morning, time to be with and celebrate family!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Who can write?

I repeat, anyone can write...who believes they can. Interesting thought-having FAITH in yourself. If you believe you can, you can.

With my writer's wordshop that I teach, I have to remind everyone everytime as they begin to read their poems by starting with "I'm not a poet," to say instead "I'm here to learn." Isn't that what life is about? Trying new things, learning how by doing? I am not a poet in terms of rhymes and colorful descriptive language skills but I can express the deepest yearnings of my soul in words organized into what I loosely call "free verse." I'm learning and improving all the time-even getting paid money for my magazine articles.

Let me encourage you to try your hand at poetry or free verse or expressive writing. Start with a journal that no one else will see. Write what you feel, even if negative to give it expression and release it into the universe without acting on it. Writing will relieve stress and help you find YOU, the real you waiting to have a VOICE in the world. Which Dr. Covey defines as "Voice is unique personal significance-significance that is revealed as we face our greatest challenges and that makes us equal to them."

A quote from Stephen R. Covey about being a more effective person: "It is essential to know yourself before you decide what (work) you want to do." from his book The 8th Habit-From Effectiveness to Greatness, pg. 76. He was my Bishop back in 1961 at BYU before he had written all his best selling books. He changed my life forever as I had my first real spiritual experience under his leadership. But that's another story that I put in my life's story. Have you written your life story? Check out his free website for some great ideas or read his books available in most public libraries. Doesn't he look like Yoda the wise one from Star Wars?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Article #27 Living With Rattlesnakes

Growing up in Utah’s sagebrush mountains with its rocky cliffs, it’s inevitable I’d see a rattlesnake. My mother warned me to be careful where I walked or played as a child. My dad was more adventurous; he took me out hunting for rattlesnakes when we were on picnics in the mountains of central Utah. Carrying a big stick, he used it to deftly hit a rattler on its head killing it instantly. Seeing no need for snakes in the world, he hunted them and collected their rattles. 

Working on the railroad, my dad’s family had lived in many out of the way places at train stops that no longer exist. When the children were old enough for school, they moved back into town where they attended classes. Grandpa still worked daily out on the railroad, then returned home for the weekends. During the summers when the kids were out of school, the family lived together in one of the small company homes located along the tracks in rural Utah. Living in the boonies without electricity or a nearby grocery store was an adventure. Many mornings my grandmother chased the rattlesnakes out of her house with a broom. (Photo on left is my dad proudly showing his dead? rattlesnake.)

The boys in the family became very skilled at hunting rattlers. As far as I know none of our family was ever bitten, even grandpa who had been a sheepherder, outdoorsman and hunter all his life. He respected snakes and stayed out of their way unless he was specifically hunting for them. I know some of the workers on his railroad work gang actually ate snakes for their scanty mealtimes. I guess that’s putting the reptiles to a good use.

When some of my grandparents’ ancestors arrived in the Utah territory, they lived in dugouts (see photo on right) before being able to build themselves proper homes. Finding an available hillside, a small room was dug out. Walls of adobe or wood, and a roof of tree limbs covered with sod made for temporary living quarters. A stove or fireplace inside provided heat and light. Usually the opening for a door was covered with a blanket. I can just imagine the number and variety of living creatures including snakes that looked upon this newly constructed abode as inviting. When it rained, the roof invariably leaked and had to be patched. Living in dugouts with rattlesnakes doesn’t sound fun to me but it was all they had.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Anyone can write

Got some great ideas for Christmas gifts for my grandkids from Tery's blog The Write Way. I checked out Bare Books which offers blank gameboards, puzzles, journals, books, plastic crayons and a variety of imaginative tools to help a child become creative and write or design their own materials. Check them out, prices aren't bad and I recieved my order within a week. I love to give presents that encourage my grandkids to be creative artistically and with the written word.

It's interesting that anyone can write and there are times in our lives when words seem so close and the only means of expression. My husband who is very quiet, wrote some beautiful poems and letters while we were courting that I treasure. Here's one I'll share with you. His poems even rhyme-mine don't. His gift was an Indian wedding vase shown in the photo below.

A gift to remember
This cherished day.
A symbol of our union
In a potter's clay.

May it always remind you
Of our lives so new.
May it always bring thoughts
Of my love for you.

Your loving husband always,

When was the last time you wrote a poem or free verse expressing your thoughts or received one?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Angels and Families

Well, got the idea of writing about angels from Sandy's blog photo of angels in architecture. I have two little angel dolls or figurines that were given to me and have them on my top bookcase shelf with photos of my mom who is now an angel since her death in Jan 2007. I like this shelf. It's next to my computer and shows my mom with her twin great grand daughters who called her nana since I was their grandma. Other photos show my mom as a young girl with her siblings. My mom loves her family, and I'm sure she still watches over us whenever she can from heaven. Ever heard of guardian angels?

Then on another wall I have a photo collage of my mom and dad's photos that I gave to my mom one year at Christmas. Now I have it. Many memories of my family surround me as I sit in our computer room.

Over my desk is another shelf with the engagement photos of my husband and me fifteen years ago when we got married with a saying "Families are Forever." That gives you my theme and reason for doing family history-preserving family memories until we meet again.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Many Fathers

Today at church, these thoughts came and I wrote them down:

Who is God? Opinions vary, some say He is dead or never existed. We were just created by chance, crawled out of the oceans. My Mormon religion is clear on this subject: All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. (This comes from our Proclamation on the Family issued in 1995.)

What a lot of information is packed there. I can understand it easily, and it makes sense. I am a spirit child of heavenly parents and also have earthly parents who created my physical body. I was sent here to earth to learn and progress but was not left alone without guidance. That's where my earthly parents come in as teachers. Our Heavenly Father has not left us alone but pleads with us, in the scriptures, to call home through the instrument of earnest faithful prayer. Yet there are many of us who don't take that opportunity or even believe in Him. I met an athetist once that told me very adamantly that he didn't believe in God. I responded that I'm sure God believes in you.

Which brings me to the subject of how we visualize God. Some see Him as an unknown power that fills the Universe and yet is so small, He can dwell in our hearts. I have a hard time with that definition and instead see God as a loving father with an immortal body who is there to support, guide and bless each of us in our lives just as a real father or grandfather would do.

I was looking into the eyes of my grandfather Vernon's photo two posts back, as a little child of two or three I am pulling on his hand to take him to see something. As I look into my grandfather's face, I see fatherly love. I see the face of God as I picture Him. My Grandpa became a substitute father to me when my earthly father died when I was five. (The above photo is l-r my great uncle Malin, my grandpa Harold and his father Joseph with my dad Stanley in the back. Notice the similarities between fathers and sons.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Do not call registry

An email I recieved recently and finally acted upon tonight. It only takes a few minutes. Then if a telemarketer calls you, tell them you are registered with do not call registry and will report them. REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public today-Oct 15, 2008

REMINDER.... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies tomorrow and you will start to receive sale calls. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS

To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222. It is the National DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.


How well do you know your ROOTS?

Just a few questions to stimulate your interest in genealogy which is now called family history because no one could spell it correctly. Tell me about your:

1. Parents: Dad died in 1945, was a dispatcher on the railroad, loved photography, ham radio operating, fishing, hunting, flying and new adventures. My mom was a widow at age 28, worked as a telephone operator, loved traveling, dancing, playing the organ and her family. 

2. Father's parents or your paternal grandparents: Grandpa Vernon was a railroad worker all his life, loved to hunt, fish, garden, read and have family visit. Auntie was my Grandma Vernon who felt too young to be called grandma when I came along-she was probably 40 or so, was a very hard worker, meticulous house keeper, excellent cook, loved to watch TV and do handwork. She became my babysitter after my Dad was killed in an airplane crash when I was five. We had many happy hours putting together puzzles. (My Vernon grandparents are standing by me in the photo below.)

3. Mother's parents or your maternal grandparents: My Grandpa Johnson died when my mom was 4 years old, he was a miner and died of stomach cancer-don't know much about him. My Grandmother Johnson babysat me after we moved in with her a year or so after my dad died. GMJ was fun to be with, happy, great cook, always had time to listen and play with me. (She's sitting in the photo on the right.) 

4. Do you remember any of your great grandparents? Tell us about them. I knew two of my paternal great grandpas. One was a farmer Joseph Vernon and lived in rural Utah, he was a widower. The other was also a widower George Stevens and lived in Los Angeles. He had remarried and was very wealthy working in real estate. I only saw them a couple of times but have written about them in my family history webpage.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Family History Month

Photo below is me about age two and my dear Grandpa Vernon and sweet Aunt Bonnie on a picnic in the mountains near Beaver, Utah.

Well, we are half way through the month and I just realized from reading a Genealogy Corner column that October is Family History Month. And wouldn't you know Utah's senator Orrin Hatch was responsible for its creation back in 2001 in the US Senate. His resolution pointed out that... millions of Americans are researching the history of their families. Genealogy is the second most popular hobby next to gardening. With the advent of the Internet, there has been an explosion of interest in family history. Essentially we are all immigrants to this country. Our ancestors came from different parts of the globe. By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family. I encourage all people across this nation to find out more about where they came from.

Want an easy start? Do a google search for one of your grandparents or ancestors...i.e. "John Lemmon" 1780 NC. Put their first and last name in quotes. If you don't know your grandparents first and last or maiden name, birthdate and place-you should. Look for an old obituary or ask your parents if they are still living. Then see what results you get. You may find a history or information about this person and perhaps a photo. More importantly you might make contact with what I call an "Internet cousin" who shares the same ancestry. Give it a try and report what happens in a comment. If Google search doesn't work, try the LDS Church's genealogy website. It's amazing. I found tons there on Caryn's ancestors. See comments below for info.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Picture Tag

Well I got this idea from Susi Q's blog. Go to your pictures or photos on your computer, select the fourth photo folder then the fourth photo in that location-post it and blog about it. Here's a photo of me at Grandparents day last month with my twin grand daughters (l-r) Heather and Emilee-both 10 years old. They are now in 5th grade and love school. Their teacher is a new male teacher Mr. Milward. I also visited Nathan their almost 6 year old brother who is in afternoon Kindergarten. So I'll add a photo below of him also. Maybe my other grandson Hakan will have his mom send a photo of him in pre-school so I can blog about him. I love all my grandchildren. It was fun to visit their classrooms and meet their teachers.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Article #26 Hunting Pinenuts

I loved to hunt pine nuts with my grand parents. After the first frost opened the cones, we headed for the hills. Ever hunt for pine nuts? I’m not talking about walking through your favorite grocery store looking for a large bag of expensive (about $14/pound) shelled pine nuts to use on your salad, but actually searching through the sagebrush to find those elusive pinyon trees with cones that contain the edible seeds.  

Unfortunately, a good crop is produced only every 3-7 years depending on weather conditions. Traditions say that if there was a plentiful crop, the coming winter would be hard. Native Americans gathered and stored pine nuts to supplement their food supply. Ground up to make a mush or roasted to eat, these small kernels were a good source of protein. 

Harvesting the nuts was tedious work as the trees have a sticky pitch or sap on them. This pitchlike gum can be picked off the pine trees to chew. It tasted like gum but took a lot of chewing to get a gumlike texture. Then you had very sticky fingers and hands to clean off. Wearing a hat or scarf kept sap off your head and hair––always a good idea. 

It was physically demanding work to climb the pinyon trees and collect their cones. My grandpa liked to place a tarp under a pine tree then shake the limbs to get the unopened cones or ripened nuts to drop. Unopened cones had to be gathered then left in a burlap bag in the sun or roasted in an oven. After the nuts were out of the cones, the work was not over. Pine nuts are covered by a hard brown shell that needs to be cracked before reaching the soft center inside. I loved the taste of freshly roasted nuts even though it was a lot of work.

Pine nuts ripen around deer hunting time so when we went out to collect them, we always wore bright colored clothing for safety. It’s now possible to buy pine nuts from local vendors selling them on the side of the road in the fall. Though their price is lower than grocery store prices, there’s nothing like the joy of actually getting out in the hills and hunting your own pine nuts with beloved family members by your side. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What's in your handbag/mind?

Got this idea from Michelle's blog-it's on the monitor above:

1. Dump the contents of your handbag in a pile. 
2. Take a photo of your handbag and the contents. 
3. Be brave and 'splain to your fellow bloggers what lurks inside the handbag. 
4. Tag others who might want to embarrass themselves. 
5. Answer these questions: 

Describe the contents of your handbag: Day planner, pencil, checkbook, wallet, keys, makeup, cell phone, mirror, clip-on dark glasses, nail clippers, bobby pins, safety pin, floss, mints, trident gum, life savers, thumb drive (left over from a computer class I taught Sunday)...pills, hand lotion, water, and digital camera.

What's the most important thing in your handbag? probably my camera, followed by my wallet with credit cards and ID. That's the valuable things but the really most important is my planner with its calendar to keep me organized and blank pages plus a pen or pencil to write down my thoughts and poems that come to me. I'd be lost without it.

What's the most embarrassing thing in your handbag? That it's so full. Need a bigger purse. Also I carry floss but forget to floss often enough...

What's the smallest thing in your handbag? a safety pin

Is there anything illegal in your handbag? nope

I have a small purse and fill it with so much stuff that it split on the side so I had to superglue the seam together and it is holding...I take my purse everywhere with me except to water aerobics-it doesn't float. This is a great excuse to clean out your purse. Tell us about your purse or wallet in a comment. (Consider that maybe the state of our purses reflects the state of our minds or lives?)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Well, the long awaited Senior Games are in full swing. Took some photos of the Archery meet. This is their first year to have archery in the Utah games and my hubby (in photo above) was in charge of the Recurve Bow Division as compared to the Compound Bow Division. They are different kinds of bows. He did a great job and everything ran very smoothly. Last night we had a banquet to celebrate and today is the last day of his event. Then it's time for him to relax! The weather has been lovely in the 60s and sunny. Photos below of men and women archers all over 50. Some in their late 70s. Way to go Senior Citizens....

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chocolate Ice Cream

Hey there is justice in the world, those with diabetes can eat ice cream. Just discovered Breyers Triple Chocolate ice cream with NO sugar added. Try giving up chocolate for the rest of your life and see how that makes you feel. Well, I had to learn more about who makes this ice cream.

(From their website) Breyers Ice Cream informally began as a company in 1866 when William A. Breyer of Philadelphia made his first gallon of hand-cranked ice cream consisting of cream, pure cane sugar, fresh fruits, nuts and other natural flavors. Breyer opened his first retail ice cream shop in 1882. In 1896, 30 years after Breyer made his first gallon of ice cream, his family set up its first wholesale manufacturing plant. William Breyer’s son Henry W. Breyer, Sr. incorporated the business in 1908. He added the "Pledge of Purity" to every package of Breyers Ice Cream as his personal guarantee that Breyers was to use the highest quality, all natural ingredients available. 

How many of you remember making ice cream in the good old days at home with a hand cranked ice cream churn, rock salt and blocks of ice using cream and fresh fruits such as peaches or strawberries? Some of my ancestors had the added duty of cutting blocks of ice from a frozen lake in the wintertime in order to make ice cream. Nothing was easy in those days. Tell us about your ice cream memories.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Well, it happened to me, finally...
I can think of nothing to blog about
Oh no, and here my blogging friend
Leona just publicized my great blog
That's life for you isn't it, everytime?

Nothing, let's meditate on nothing
Actually that opens up a whole world
Of how did I get there?
Thinking of nothing, then everything
Suddenly appeared or came to my mind

My world is so full and busy that's
It's hard sometimes to just pause
And take it all in, and analyze what
Is going on-diabetes diagnosis, diet,
Exercising more, writing always

Guess that sums up where I am today!
What's happening with you? Nothing?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Tortoise and the Hare

Slow and steady she plods along,
The tortoise, making little progress
Passed in the dust by the speedy hare
Rushing, full speed into the unknown

Then a race is declared between them
"I will win," the hare proudly proclaims
The slow and steady tortoise quietly accepts 
And is left behind at the word "Go"

Later the restless hare tires, stops to nap
Along the way. He sleeps soundly
While the ever moving tortoise plods by
And wins the race by enduring to the end
The journey is conquered not by speed
But by steadiness and focus on the goal 

Friday, October 10, 2008

Article #25 Deer Hunting

After our move to California, our family looked forward to the annual deer hunt as an excuse to return home to Utah and visit Grandma. Her grown children had moved to the west coast where there were more job opportunities during World War II. It was a long drive home across the Mohave desert. In those days, cars had no air conditioning. We left in the late afternoon and traveled during the night. To make time go faster and keep the driver awake, we sang the popular songs of the day––making sure to include When it’s Springtime in the Rockies…I’ll be coming home to you as we crossed Nevada. When the desert cactus changed to sagebrush, I knew we were back in Utah. (Photo on the left is me sitting on the antlers with my dad who loved to hunt.)

Arriving at Grandma’s house, she welcomed us home and served a delicious roast beef dinner with fresh baked bread and delicious pies. Visiting followed while everyone relaxed and got caught up on the latest news. Because Grandma had missed her grandchildren, she volunteered to babysit us while our parents went hunting and camping. We loved playing together with our Utah cousins, and to be with Grandma again. We had missed her too.

Deer hunting usually lasted a week. Hop Creek was a favorite place for our parents to camp near Eureka. The success of the hunt depended on the weather. Warm weather meant the animals were higher in the mountains. More hiking and scouting was necessary. Snow on the other hand, brought the wary creatures down closer to camp. Getting out before sunrise was necessary for our parents to stake out a place on a ridge to be able to see any deer approaching, and get a shot before they were detected. In good years, everyone was successful, then the work began as it was time to prepare the carcass.

If the animal had been shot a long distance from camp, it was carried back, hung in a tree, gutted and quartered. Triumphant hunters loved to drape the deer carcass with its antlers on their car or truck returning from camp. Next stop was the butcher shop where the deer was cut up and frozen. Venison has a wild flavor that not everyone liked, but it certainly helped with the food budget. Then it was time to say goodbye to Grandma and make the long trip without freeways back to California loaded with frozen meat packages. (Photo of my uncle Les, his daughter Jody with after a successful hunt displaying their deer. My apologies to all animal lovers and vegetarians but I bet you also have ancestors who had to hunt for food for the family table. I do not hunt nor my sons-we lost that tradition in our growing up without my dad around.)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Huntsman Senior Games

Well, I marched in the parade of athletes at the HSG-Huntsman Senior Games last night here in our town. My husband (photo on the right) is a co-chairman of the archery section. It's the first time to have archery in Utah's Senior Games for athletes 50+. There are almost 10,000 participants from all over the world and in about 25 different sports. Way to go Sr. Citizens! Next Monday is the archery competition. Allen won't be competing but is organizing the event for about 30 archers in recurve/target archery. It's been his hobby since his college days and he has make it a life long past time. 

Anyway, no one was here to represent Archery in the parade so I volunteered. It was fun to march with my hubby at the beginning of the parade of athletes (see photo below) since Archery is first alphabetically. We waved flags and our hands at the assembled audience, and felt like real Olympics.

Here's some photos of the opening event, complete with High School band (see below), fireworks, speakers, etc. at Dixie State College. It was a fun evening.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another Surprise

But this one was not welcome,
a diagnosis of diabetes type two.
Oh no, I say as visions of sugarplums
dance and disappear in my dreams.

How can I survive not eating
my favorite chocolates, pies, cakes,
cookies, and most of all ice cream?
It's possible to still eat them but only
in wisdom and moderation.

Maybe this is a blessing in disguise?
Being forced to consume calories
with my improved health in mind.
I could learn to love raw vegetables.
Fat chance-maybe loose some weight?

I wouldn't mind, my new regime
is to eat smarter, exercise more and
be healthier. All do-able with a lot of
will power and dedication each day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Creation Stories

Well, I'm taking another Rock Art class and finding it fascinating. Tonight we talked about creation stories shown in rock art panels in our area probably made by the Anasazi Indians. It's amazing how close they follow the standard Christian stories. Mother Earth was visited by Sun Father and gave birth to twin sons-Monster slayer and Born for Water. (The symbols on the left are from a Fremont rock art panel in Utah. The spiral symbol can represent migration from the spirit world to earth or to the next life.)

From Wikipedia...A creation myth is a supernatural mytho-religious story or explanation that describes the beginnings of humanity, earth, life, and the universe (cosmogony), usually as a deliberate act of "creation" by one or more deities. Many creation myths share broadly similar themes. Common motifs include the fractionation of the things of the world from a primordial chaos; the separation of the mother and father gods; land emerging from an infinite and timeless ocean; or creation out of nothing. I find it strangely comforting that other cultures feel the need to explain their beginnings for that gives our lives now meaning.

There is more to read and study about this topic whatever your religion or beliefs.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Records Transcribed

Well it took several hours but was fun transcribing the old family vinyl records from 1943 that I just got digitized. (See photo of my aunt Esther and her husband Les who made the records.) My aunts, uncles and parents all talked of many World War II issues: blackouts in California on the coast, Pearl Harbor's aftermath, gas rationing, etc. My uncle was working in an aircraft factory making planes "to shoot down Hitler." My dad was a dispatcher on the Union Pacific railroad in Utah helping move the trains to the coasts loaded with troops and supplies. 

It was quite a world then. Don't think I would have liked to live then, well actually I was there but only three years old. My uncle tried to get me to sing a song on the record: called "Johnny shot a zero." Don't think I've ever heard it, but it was about shooting down Japanese planes as they had joined the conflict and bombed Hawaii. California was worried they were next to be bombed. Can't help but think that times were tougher then with such a huge war in many different locations. But people didn't loose their hope for a better future and we can learn from that. 

That was the message of many of the conference talks I heard today...having hope in the future and faith in God. A message that applies to all times. Life was difficult then economically as the government was trying to get everyone to buy war bonds to support the war, and food and gas were rationed. There were shortages everywhere but people adjusted and survived. They just made the best of it.