Saturday, January 31, 2009

Working on another article

Give me some feedback on how to simplify our lives.

These are some of my beginning thoughts:

top, take a deep breath––slow down or pause.
Investigate what is going on with your daily life.
Meditate––listen for the promptings of the Spirit.
Pray for discernment––study your patriarchal blessing.
Live the gospel––keep your eternal goals in mind.
Initiate changes as needed to prioritize your life.
Focus on filling your well and then serving others.
You are in charge of yourself and the life you can have.

Thanks, Lin

Friday, January 30, 2009

Article #40 Where is Home?

A popular question to ask a new acquaintance is…“So where’s your home?” With our increasingly mobile society, that’s not an easy question. Where is home? Is it where we were raised or where we raised our family? The answer is different for each person. I’ve lived in too many places to call any particular place home but my grandparent’s residences in Utah were always an anchor to me. Visiting them during my growing up years felt like coming home. (Photo above was taken in 1949 in Eureka, Utah at my grandma's house. That's me in the middle of the snow.) Unfortunately, both my grandparent's houses are no longer standing. Now I realize it wasn’t the actual physical structures, but the relationship I had with them that made it home.

While in Texas recently, we were able to see my husband’s physical home in the town where he was born and raised. During a cousin’s reunion there, we also traveled to his maternal grandparents farm nearby. It was fun to listen to my husband tell of his adventures as a young child with his grandparents. Their farm house is still preserved and owned by a cousin, so we were able to tour inside and walk the surrounding property. 

Memories flooded my husband’s mind as he walked through his grandparents’ home. The walls, windows, stairs and surroundings of the house reminded him of fond experiences with his family. Big Momma cooked the meals on this stove. She made me little pancakes that looked like a snowman. I slept on this enclosed porch in the hot humid summers with an old electric fan. Out by the pump house I built a fort and played. As we walked outside through the pasture and by a small creek flowing nearby, the stream had been damned up to make a fishing hole, my husband recalled…Here I went fishing with my grand dad. The remnants of hundreds of pecan trees that were planted to make an orchard still remain as a witness to his grand dad’s industry.

His grandparents owned a country store which is still standing. (Photo above is his mom and grand dad Laxson at the country store in Purmela, Texas-click to enlarge.) My husband helped out there during the summers: candling eggs, and developing good work habits by helping in this family enterprise. He had returned to his home but it wasn’t the same as his grandparents and parents were no longer there. All he had was the memories of his experiences with his kinfolk and a sense of belonging that only home can give you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some Food Thoughts

That's not food for thought
but thoughts about food.
Why do we eat-what a question
not just for hunger but also
for entertainment, for comfort,
to celebrate, and for a reward.

It's your birthday, have some cake.
After the meeting, refreshments
will be served-cookies and punch.
Trick or Treat-eat more candy,
holidays feasts and baking goodies
to share with new or sick neighbors.

Our life is full of food everywhere
but seldom wholesome, home grown
food from our own gardens or orchards.
We've lost contact with our food
it comes from far away places and
sometimes isn't safe for us to eat...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New book I'm reading

Julia Cameron's book "The Writing Diet: Writing Yourself Right-Size." Great ideas from the author of "Artist's Way" and many other creative books full of ideas and suggestions to try to improve yourself. She, the author, noticed as people wrote their way to more creative lives they also seemed to loose weight and value themselves more. 

In this book, she suggests:
1. MORNING PAGES-write daily three pages of free association to clear your mind
2. JOURNAL-what you eat, why and feelings about eating-is it for comfort or company or some other reason?
3. WALKING DAILY-helps metabolism and breathing plus gets you going
4. THE FOUR QUESTIONS to ask before eating-Am I hungry, Is this what I want to eat, Is this what I want to eat now and Is there something that I can eat instead?
5. CULINARY ARTIST DATES-outings to try new foods wisely 
6. HALT-am I just Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?
7. BODY BUDDY-a friend to encourage you with this program

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tagged again

by Susi Q who is my mentor that got me going with blogging. I'm addicted now. The tag is to list 8 things for each category. So here goes:

1. News but sometimes it's too violent
2. Mormon Tabernacle Choir
3. Joseph Smith papers
4. That's it except for DVDs from netflix-currently we are watching documentaries. Most TV shows are too violent for me or just a waste of time.

1. I received a really cool photo of my husband's Native American 2nd ggrandma Catherine Bryant Weaver-(see photo to right)
2. Taught my family history class and my students were enthusiastic
3. Listened to a lesson on the Sacrament-great review and motivator to improve self
4. Input some more new names in Allen's family tree that I received in an email
5. It rained and rained and rained in our desert town.
6. I'm finally loosing weight and getting motivated to eat smarter.
7. Watched a funny video with my husband called "Outsourcing" filmed in India 
8. Got several emails from my youngest son Jeff who is enthused about genealogy-HURRAH!

1. Parrothead Grill-great pulled pork spinach salad
2. Los Hermanos-love their fajitas
3. Benji Thai-great chicken curry
4. Golden Corral-can choose what you want
5. Red Lobster-like their fresh shrimp cocktail
6. Ruby River Steakhouse-tender steaks
7. Applebees-fun selection of different dishes
8. Olive Garden-soup, salad and bread sticks

1. teaching my family history blog class at FH Expo
2. party with my writing group and our husbands-(see photo above of our first lunch party and poetry readings with our husbands)
3. finishing Allen's life story with photos
4. getting thinner and cutting back on medications
5. exercising more and enjoying warmer weather
6. spring coming and all the new growth
7. trip to Oregon coast in July
8. being with family-Jeff and Rachel are coming to visit

1. to travel more-Iceland and Scandinavia
2. learn how to make a powerpoint show
3. go to more cultural events-concerts, etc.
4. plan more parties, socialize
5. see more of America's scenic beauties
6. to publish more articles in magazines
7. to see more of my family, interact, build bonds
8. overcome health challenges

1. Brenda in Canada, a new friend
2. Carla in Tennessee, another friend
3. Caryn-is in California and I hope to see on her way home
4. J0 lives near me but we've never met 
5. Jocelyn-a sweet mother of three little ones
6. Leona-lives in Texas and has two blogs
7. Linda-lives in Seattle and has a lovely yard
8. Mare a sweet lady who cares lovingly for her mom

Monday, January 26, 2009

I did it!

Made some major accomplishments in researching my husband's genealogy-thanks to and in writing his life story...slow and steady gets it done. Also have kept my new year's resolutions about prayer and scriptures daily-now it's part of my daily routinue, tied to time helps. Still working on ACT instead of REACT-think that's a major life time challenge. But making some progress on weight issues and diet for diabetes. Got a new book which is marvelous...full of new ideas by Julia Cameron author of Artist's Way. This book is called...The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size. Will tell you more in another post. Here's a photo of me above reading with a little napping thrown in about midafternoon.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Criticism of any kind...

Each morning as I read the newspaper, I wait for criticisms of our new president to appear. Why is it so much easier to criticize than compliment and support others? I'm not talking about just politics but everyday life. We focus on faults in others rather than look for something positive. Let me give you a CHALLENGE to find someone and something to COMPLIMENT today. It could be as close as your family or a complete stranger. Comment on the color of clothing they are wearing and how nice it looks on them or THANK a clerk for their efficient service or just SMILE at others. We need more of this in the world. Be KIND to yourself also-look in the mirror and tell yourself something you've done lately that was an accomplishment for you-even if it's only getting out of the bed and moving on with the day. YOU DID IT!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Friend

written by Dinah M. Craik (1866)
sent to me by my friend Mary Quite

...Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible
comfort of feeling safe with a person,
having neither to weigh thoughts
nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are
chaff and grain together;
certain that a faithful hand will
take and sift them,
keeping what is worth keeping
and then
with a breath of kindness,
blow the rest away . . .

AND another award from Tery who has a wonderful blog on writing ideas- check it out. I think the award combines Best Friends, Lemonade and Sisterhood award. I'm suppose to award to it to ten other bloggers but I'd like to give all you blogging friends out there this award. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog, even if you don't comment. You are my Internet friend.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Article #39 Family Historians Needed

Hopefully every family has at least one special person, either male or female, who cares about preserving their unique legacy and history as a group. Someone who carefully gathers names, dates and photos then organizes this information into some format to share with their kinfolk. If you don’t have a family historian, perhaps you could volunteer. It’s an important job that will require time and diligence, plus a real love of history to compile your heritage. If you are the family’s historian, congratulations. Look for volunteers to help you, and a younger successor to carry on this important work after you’re gone. (Photos of various family histories I've written over the years.)

Why keep family’s records? They can come in handy in cases of disputed inheritances or to gather relatives together for occasions like funerals or reunions. It helps in writing up obituaries, and medical needs can also be traced through a family. Incidences of diseases like cancer and heart problems can promote prevention and influence living family member’s life styles. Written histories of parents and grandparents lives can help preserve their contributions and leave a heritage for families to follow. 

To be effective, a family historian needs a persistent and loving nature. They will meet resistance from some of their relatives who don’t want to be bothered with details of their past family’s events or don’t want to answer personal questions like the names, dates and places of their lives. Usually youth fall in this category. They don’t interact with others not their own age, especially older aunts, uncles or cousins who they may not know very well. 

What’s a person to do? Don’t give up. Try to interest the younger generation in knowing more about their roots. Use special occasions like reunions, holidays or vacations to introduce their unique family to them. What traditions or achievements have their ancestors accomplished or left as a pathway to guide them? Explore new ways to share your family’s story-newsletters, children’s storybooks (see samples above and below of half size books I make for my grandkids-printed on card stock and laminated before being bound), interactive reunion activities are all fun possibilities. In our day and age anything electronic can entice the younger generation like a family history webpage or blog. 

Visit and photograph your grandparents’ birthplaces or where they were raised. Pursuing hobbies that fascinated an ancestor can be interesting and educational. Perpetuate their memories so they can be an influence for good on their descendents of which you are one.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sportsmanship, Compliments and Awards

I'm always upset when my husband is watching sports and the opposing team comes out to be greeted by booing of the home team's fans. I think that is very unsportsmanlike. I feel the same way about politics and how many feel they have to attack each other in order to make themselves look good. Caryn mentioned that Bush was booed at the Inaugeration when he came out and I think that is deplorable behavior. It's so much easier to criticize that it is to recognize someone achievements or at least their efforts to achieve something.

I was impressed with how our new President Obama is starting his first day in office with a time of personal prayer and meditation, then he read a note left by Pres. Bush before beginning his work as the new leader of our nation. On CNN it stated...His faith "is a central part of his life and he will begin the first full day of his administration with a service of interfaith prayer and reflection," said Presidential Inaugural Committee Communications Director Josh Earnest. "The National Prayer Service, which will embody the themes of tolerance, unity and understanding, is a worship service for all Americans." I (Lin) think we should follow his example and not continue the "Bush bashing" but rather expend our faith and energies in supporting our new leader and going forward.

On a brighter note, I was pleased to receive an award yesterday from Brenda, an award called the Premio Dardos Award. This award 'acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write.' Thanks Brenda-I do try to say something timely and interesting each time I blog that could possibly inspire or make others think. Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It's a way to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.

I understand this award comes with a couple of rules, and they are: 1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who granted it to you, along with his/her blog link. 2. Pass the award to (15) other blogs that you feel are worthy of this recognition. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen as recipients. I will choose just one blog that I think is outstanding. Hans Strandberg of Sweden who is so diligent and untiring in promoting the educational needs of African students in Kenya. I've known Hans for many years and watched him grow from a young son of my best friend to a responsible teacher, father of five lovely children and husband of Elsa from Iceland. Check out his website sometime. He can always use encouragement and support-financially or emotionally in this important project.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Politics and Politeness

I've been impressed by Obama's respect and courtesy shown to our former President George W. Bush as the baton was passed from old leader to new leader. Obama spoke publicly recently saying Pres. Bush was a "good guy":

“If you look at my statements throughout the campaign, I always thought he was a good guy,” the Democratic president-elect said on CNN about the Republican president whom he replaces Tuesday. “I mean, I think personally he is a good man who loves his family and loves his country. And I think he made the best decisions that he could at times under some very difficult circumstances.” Asked if there was anything Obama wanted to take back, now that he has spent more time with the president, Obama praised Bush's team for helping with a smooth transition and said part of what America is about is being able to have "disagreements politically and yet treat each other civilly."

The mark of a gentleman and wise leader. On to the future.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goodbye to Pres. Bush

You have to admire Pres. Bush's upbeatness in tv interviews as his popularity declines. Hardly anyone has anything good to say about him but I believe he did his best in trying to lead our country in the fight against terrorism. I certainly do admire his moral character after the fiasco that was part of the previous administration under Pres. Bill Clinton. I was absolutely ashamed by Clinton's antics in his personal life while serving as President of our country but I have always looked up to Pres. Bush's personal integrity even when I lost confidence in his policies of continuing the war in Iraq. 

I believe he pursued the war there with the best of intentions, maybe time will tell on that front. We do have to admit that during his two terms, America was not attacked internally by terrorists. The focus of the battle was overseas. So as he leaves office, let's not be too critical of him but realize he gave it his best efforts. Read this article for more info. I admire his wife Laura and her work for women's betterment throughout the world. It's not easy to be President of the United States, as our new President Obama will soon find out. May God bless America and our new leaders.

Monday, January 19, 2009

History's being made!

Amazing that the inaugural ceremonies are so close to Martin Luther King day and a new beginning for America with our first African-American president. It's an historic occasion that even those who see differently than the democrats on their platform need to acknowledge the historic moment it is. 

I read the letter that Obama wrote to his daughters and it was very touching:

When I was a young man, I thought life was all about me--about how I'd make my way in the world, become successful, and get the things I want. But then the two of you came into my world with all your curiosity and mischief and those smiles that never fail to fill my heart and light up my day. And suddenly, all my big plans for myself didn't seem so important anymore. I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy I saw in yours. And I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Native American Research

Been trying to track down some ancestors in my husband's lines that were Native Americans-don't know which tribe yet but it's been fascinating studying their history. Learned so much about our early American history too. It gives you a sense of where you fit in and how much things are changing and developing in our day and age. Ran into a new term for me "freedmen" seems these were slaves that were freed or became free men after the Civil War. Also found out that the Indian tribes had black slaves and intermarried with blacks as well as whites. 

It was accepted because of the lack of white or caucasian women in the wild west that white men would intermarry with Native American women. Many early trappers did this. Intermarriage served two purposes for men-getting a wife and also being accepted into her tribe and being able to get land that way. It was rare that a white woman would marry a Native American man. No blacks and whites intermarried.

Nowadays we have blurred those lines and are overcoming hopefully our past racial prejudices. I know when I was in high school one of my best girl friends married a black man. It was a shocking thing in those days and their biracial children were discriminated against. They have now been happily married almost fifty years. So glad we are moving forward and welcoming a new President who has pushed back the racial barrier that Lincoln fought so hard to destroy-slavery of one  man by another. On to the celebration of new more promising days for America.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Act or React...

Well, still working on my New Year's resolutions...some are going better than others. Making major progress on scriptures and prayers but caught myself on the act or react challenge. The other night I sitting at the computer and suddenly felt light headed, so immediately I react-panic! All kinds of things/possibilities run through my head....diabetes complications, a stroke, heart attack, brain tumor, etc. So then I tell my husband of my symptoms and he calmly suggests I lay down. I do and that helps but still there are moments of dizziness. After a night of sleeping, I'm better, but still have occasional moments of feeling light headed. Can't figure out what is happening so I pray about it. 

Then later in the day, I'm at Walmart to get a refill of my new blood pressure medication which I've been taking for about a month and it has a warning label which I had read before but it hadn't registered till now..."may cause dizziness." BINGO! Hmm. Interesting when the medicines you take cause side effects that scare you more than what you are taking them for. So now I will stop taking that medicine-ran out of it anyway and get into my doctor for a new medicine and see what side effects it is a challenge and so are resolutions. "Act not react"'s faster and easier to react!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Article #38 Cousin's Reunion

While in Texas recently, my husband’s family had a cousin’s reunion. He was able to reconnect with many of his kinfolk––some he had not seen since his childhood. Cousins are children of your aunts and uncles. They may be older or younger but they do share the same grandparents, and memories of attending common family celebrations. If you were an only child like me, cousins filled in for the sibling companionship that was missing in my life. Our extended family lived in the same area and gathered together for most holidays. The cousins saw each other quite a bit. (Photo above of my cousin Jody who just turned 75, and her parents my uncle Les and aunt Esther.)

My husband’s cousins range in age from those in his generation to others who are younger and older. Some are even cousins of his parents. A unique situation has brought my husband’s family together. One of their older cousins married, had no children then divorced, and moved away. When this man died in Oregon recently, the state found he’d left no will or heirs so they determined that his estate should go to his cousins. They became his next of kin since both his parents were deceased. 

Well, that makes for an interesting genealogical problem of finding these cousins. Tracing his family roots back to Texas, a lawyer was able to locate a relative still living in the same area. Fortunately, she happened to be an avid family historian and was able to contact all the living cousins and descendents of those who had died. A reunion was called to gather more information on this long lost relative who broke all contact with the family after he moved away. I think he would be surprised to know all his earthly possessions will now go to these cousins that he left behind in Texas.

I had this same situation in my family with a widowed great aunt in Ohio who had no children and left a will leaving her estate to her nieces and nephews. All counted, she ended up with 43 living nieces and nephews plus 134 descendents or grand nieces and nephews plus a few step nieces and nephews. It got to be quite a process to contact them all. Each person received a very small inheritance after it was divided. I guess the moral of this story is to have a clearly defined will defining who your heirs are and/or stay in contact with your cousins! (Photo above of my cousin Ruth and her parents my uncle Norman and aunt Gladys.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Internet Etiquette

Are there any rules for emailing and commenting on blogs? Not that I know of, maybe common courtesy applies. If you receive an email, it's nice-polite if you respond with something-a thanks, yes or no. Doesn't need to be a long response but it shows that you received the email. I try to do that. This week I got a phone call wondering if I was coming to a meeting last Monday. A friend had sent me an email about it, she thought but in reality hadn't. So it's good she called so we both knew what was going on rather than just sending me emails that I never got or answered, then wondering how come I didn't come. I tend to get a little bit bugged when I email people and I hear no response. Then I wonder if they got it. Of course, I realize that not everyone visits their email box daily or almost hourly like I do but...some read their emails and delete them without any answer.

Next topic, those who visit blogs and don't comment. Okay so maybe they have nothing to say or disagree with you and don't want to be rude-that's fine but more likely they don't know HOW to leave a comment. I did a blog about that. I sincerely miss your comments and our interacting-that's WHY I blog, to connect with friends and new acquaintances. So PLEASE COMMENT, do it anonymously if you have to. I see from my Live Traffic Feed that many are visiting my blog and I always wonder what they are thinking so PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT. Thanks. I certainly have lots of opinions today but decided to act on them rather than just react....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thanks to Ford

In 1926, Henry Ford created the eight-hour workday and five-day workweek for his employees and it soon became the norm. His motives weren’t altogether altruistic though. He wrote in the company newsletter, "Just as the 8-hour day opened our way to prosperity in America, so the 5-day workweek will open our way to still greater prosperity . . . It is high time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either lost time or a class privilege . . . People who have more leisure must have more clothes. They eat a greater variety of food. They require more transportation in vehicles." (From Ancestry Jan 09 Newsletter)

Imagine having to work 10 hr days 6 days a week and it makes you thankful for Henry Ford and labor unions who pushed for shorter work hours. But then I'm also thinking of those individuals in all our families who worked 24/7 with no breaks and no pay-they were our parents, and us when we were parents. 

I sometimes take my retirement for granted and not having to work. Being able to choose how and what to do to best use my time is a blessing. I've worked most of my life as a teacher-in Universities, then as an elementary school teacher, librarian and finally as a part time community education leader. The jobs I most enjoyed were part time so I had some time and energy left to be a parent. But retirement is a wonderful luxury I enjoy daily and spend most of it writing histories, doing genealogy research and blogging with a little teaching thrown in here and there. I love to teach adults!

What do you plan to do with your retirement or what are you doing if you're retired?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Note of Appreciation

Aren't you always amazed when someone takes time out of their busy lives these days to write a note of thanks or appreciation? Our Writer's WORDshop group meet again yesterday and one of the participants shared this lovely note she received after we gave 250 of our poetry booklets to family and friends. It makes you feel good to have your efforts noticed and appreciated. This is the letter written by an elderly lady who lives in our area:

I received your book "Voices from the Desert." Your poems and stories plus the poems by the other Sunriver women are beautiful. Each page is filled with wonderous thoughts and experiences of these talented women. What excitement there must have been when the booklet was published. Each one of you must feel so happy to see your work in print. I'm sure the Good Lord is looking down and saying "Good work dear sister." Thank you. God bless!

When is the last time you received a lovely note like this or sent one?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Changes are Coming

I for one welcome our President Elect and his lovely family. It's wonderful that we have progressed in my lifetime from limited civil rights for black people with integration the norm to having an African American as our president. I thought we had made lots of progress in our nation until I read in Wikipedia about the racial makeup of the Senate- the man who is replacing Obama in the Senate will be the only black person in that legislative body which means Obama was the only black senator. That's not much progress. 

I hope all of us can put our differences behind us and rally behind our president elect and honor the high office he is seeking to fill. As for our current President Bush, even though we may not have liked his war policies he still deserves our respect for his efforts in leading our country. I think Barrack is in for a rude awakening as he tries to bring all the strident voices in our country together in building a future for America. My prayers are certainly with him for his protection and success in his aims. I'm happy to have voted for him even though I don't approve of some of the Democratic party's platform. I just felt Obama was needed to lead our country at this time. Changes are coming...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

How Answers Come

I woke up this morning thinking of the answers come. I'm talking about prayers and the inspiration that can follow. Sudden thoughts that come into your mind and heart...that can guide you to new horizons in your life. A big part of it is clearing the stress from your mind and worries from your heart so you are open to new thoughts then taking time to pray and meditate.

Here's an interesting book my friend Mary suggested reading:

Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest by Wayne Muller.

"All of life requires a rhythm of rest. There is a rhythm in the way day dissolves into night, and night into morning. There is a rhythm as the active growth of spring and summer is quieted by the necessary dormancy of fall and winter. There is a tidal rhythm, a deep, eternal conversation between the land and the great sea. . . In our bodies, the heart perceptibly rests after each life-giving beat; the lungs rest between the exhale and the inhale. . . The Sabbath is more than the absence of work. It is a sanctuary." Have a peaceful inspiring Sabbath.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Article #37 A Memorable Museum

As a means of discovering the history of a community, a local museum can’t be beat. We recently visited my husband hometown in central Texas. After graduation from college, he moved away to pursue a career with the Forest Service. Returning periodically to visit his parents (see photo at left of them as newly-weds) who resided in Gatesville, com-ing home now everything seemed different. New structures had replaced many familiar landmarks including his junior high school, and his dad’s drugstore is now a realtor’s office. Forty-five years after graduating from high school, few of my husband’s schoolmates still live there. Most have moved away. 

It was in the local museum that we were able to discover the essence of the small town he remembers. Surrounding the colorful stately Coryell County courthouse are many old abandoned stores. In one of them, several prominent residents have established a historical museum to display local artifacts including a photo exhibit of the town when the business district was in its prime. A partial soda fountain bar with stools from my father-in-law’s drugstore where my husband worked during his youth brought back fond memories. A photo of his uncle who was one of the founders of the local medical center, and early equipment from a local doctor’s office documented the progress of the Gatesville community. A military section with uniforms from foreign wars sadly included a photo of a schoolmate who was killed in the Vietnam War. 

Because Texas is cowboy country, there was an extensive spur collection donated by a former teacher. An antique wagon that delivered ice blocks to families before they had frigs was a contrast to newer inventions that were displayed: an electric refrigerator, a telephone keyboard, a small rural post office with individualized mailboxes, early black and white televisions, and a mangler ironing machine used to press sheets, pillowcases and table cloths. A Singer treadle sewing machine, a spinning wheel, loom, and a large butter churn helped recall earlier times. An old country store just like the one his grandparents had in a nearby rural community was complete with a gasoline dispensing pump, farm implements, an old cash register, glass milk bottles, and a Coke machine to chill bottled pop. 

How interesting to look in the old yearbooks for photos of his family members as both his grandmother and parents had attended local schools. (Photo at right of my husband's great grandparents Winfield's home in Gatesville.) A fun trip down memory lane preserved by some thoughtful citizens of his hometown.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Another Birthday Boy

Check my post last year at this time for a birth photo of my second son Daniel who celebrates his birthday today. He is that makes me feel older already. What a joy he has been and a blessing to my life as we've talked though the years, shared similar experiences and insights in our journey called Life. Sure love him and each of my four distinctly unique sons. Photos below-Dan with his older brother Frank and Dan again with his younger brother Brook who was 15 months older but almost the same size-they were almost like twins. There's another brother that came along 14 years later Jeff. Lots of boys and scouting over the years.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Got an Award

This award from Brenda is for blogs with great attitude and/or gratitude. Blogs that encourage you to take the lemons that life passes out and make lemonade. I'm giving this award to these bloggers for their posts that fill your well and remind you that life is full of fun and challenges.

Check them out:

1. Sandra-her excellent photos and insightful quotes and poetry always give me a lift and something to consider.
2. Sandy-who shares her heart and life's concerns and is open to two way communication.
3. Michele always some quote or thought provoking idea and interesting photos.

Now you three winners can select some of your favorite bloggers for this award.

Change and Progress?

How does it happen?
making a few resolutions
that are soon broken
doesn't seem to work.
Feeling deep within
a dissatisfaction and desire
to change and improve
helps and sets the stage.

But progress only comes
when ACTION is taken
in small steps suitable
to be sustained and kept.
A long journey starts out
with just a single small step
with a destination in mind
and commitment to continue.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Family photos

I don't get to see enough of my grandson Hakan who is 5 years old now and lives the furtherest away of any of my grandchildren. He's in Santa Fe and we only get together once a year on his birthday when we make the long car drive to his city, so it's a real treat when his mom, my daughter-in-law who is a great photographer, sends photos of their family which includes my oldest son Frank the dad. They took a trip to White Sands, NM recently and this photo was taken there. Thanks Nedret for letting me use it on my post.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Climate Control

Something is missing as winter continues
Dreams of summer sun, fresh cut flowers
Weeding in the vegetable garden
Sunbathing by the outdoor pool nearby
Complaining of the extreme desert heat
Hiding indoors with air conditioning on high
Longing for fall and cooler temperatures
Then winter comes with its cold and snow

It doesn't take long before we
Yearn for summer, feelings change quickly
Never satisfied seems to be our nature
Expectations always unmet, wanting more
Whatever we don't have at the moment
Keeps God busy trying to answer our prayers
Does He ever long for spring and warmth?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Patience builds hope

I heard this phrase in church yesterday and it clicked for me...the patience of HOPE. The opposite of that is having expectations then getting upset or angry when they aren't met. Here's some bible scriptures that explain better what I'm trying to say: Rom. 8: 25 "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Another one: Hebrews 12:1 "...let us run with patience the race that is set before us." Some good thoughts for the New Year.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What is hope?

Hope-trust, anticipate, wish, look forward to, expectation, desire, chance. To have a wish to get or do something or for something to happen or be true, especially something that seems possible or likely.

What hopes do we have for our lives? To be happy, to be loved, to make a difference in somebody’s life, to accomplish something of significance, to have an effect on the world. All that sounds good but without a plan for our life or a focus we can just wander through life. We need to know why we are here, what we can accomplish while here and where we are going next. That’s where religion comes in at least for me and gives me the reason and structure for going forth with my life. Yesterday I was able to go to the temple and feel the peace that resides there and meditate on my life and the example of the Savior. It is an anchor to my life.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Writing Ideas

Heading for a goal of $1000 earned from writing articles which means I have to submit more articles and run the risk of rejection but as they say no pain, no gain in anything you try. Safety or comfort zone living leads to no progress.

I love these photos of my grandmother Johnson and her sisters-Ada and Carrie. What fun hats! GMJ is in the middle in the top photo. She looks young and carefree but she would marry become a mother of five then be widowed when her husband died of stomach cancer. I've written lots about her life because she was part of my life until her death in 1967.

When my mom was widowed, we moved in with GMJ. I remember her as always positive, fun and outgoing. Loved to drive and would head out for California or Wyoming to visit family at the drop of a hat. She had health and family concerns but overall she remained positive. Always there to listen to and encourage you, she's still there as our family's guardian angel. I've written much about her. See my article on A Skinny Grandma. I love her.

Friday, January 2, 2009


1. I resolve to ACT instead of react when faced with
major problems in my life or little interactions/challenges.

2. I resolve to stop worrying about things out of my control
and RELY on God and His plan for my earthly daily life.

3. I resolve to study the scriptures or read something
inspirational daily BEFORE reading the newspapers.

4. I resolve to express more gratitude daily to my God
in KNEELING prayers and ask for His help in my life.

5. I resolve to find more happiness daily, to REACH OUT
to others, and be the friend and confidant they need.