Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another month gone

Can you believe it's almost April? Well, before you throw your hands up in the air and say where is the time going? try making a list of TA DAHS as suggested by Julia Cameron in her many books. List some important things you accomplished this past month. Here's my list:

1. FAMILY-visited with Jeff and Rachel plus communicated more via phone calls from son Frank and some fun emails from my grand daughter Heather and daughter-in-law Nedret. Looking forward to Daniel and family who are coming next month to visit.
2. HEALTH-Focused on my blood pressure meds and talked with doctor about new pills, walking almost daily, and have lost 7 pounds since January.
3. FRIENDS-Karen  visited from Roosevelt, we talked  and went to lunch together. Went to a poetry workshop with 3 friends from my Writer's WORDshop group. Meeting new people on my blog.
4. TEACHING-started a new Sunday School family history class with 10 students, finished teaching my Write your Life History with a total of 50 students who came and went-about 5 finished the whole class, organized two Writers WORDshop classes for others to teach, and have an interview today to teach some classes for our local college's community ed. program.
5. WRITING-blogged daily, even wrote some new poems and submitted articles for my column for next month, gave a power point presentation for Heritage Writer's Guild.
6. READING and applying concepts from several different books on time management, dieting, and the scriptures before I read the daily newspaper.
7. SPOUSE-supported hubby through his many dental appointments, trying to cook healthier meals, discuss  life more and have weekly dates. 
8. SERENDIPITY-trying to follow moments of inspiration when they come daily to do this or not do this, etc. Praying for direction in my life and guidance for me, my family and friends. I've even said "NO" to several projects that I could have been involved in but didn't choose to.
9. CULTURE-attended a poetry reading and a mystery play locally.
10. HUMANITARIAN PROJECT-helped with cutting out cloth animals to stuff for toys for needy children throughout the world.

Lots of accomplishments-I've enjoyed every minute and even had time to take little NAPS in the afternoons as needed to refresh my energies. 

What significant TA DAHS do you remember about your MARCH activities before you rush into April?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Marriage Class

We had a guest speaker at church yesterday talking to our combined Priesthood (men) and Relief Society (women) groups about MARRIAGE. He was an excellent presenter and experienced marriage therapist. I loved his ideas. The audience was filled with all older couples most married more than 50 years, some divorced more widowed. It was a lively discussion about the PURPOSE of marriage.

Here's some highlights that I wrote down:
1. Marriage can define and refine us as we learn how to live intimately with another human being. If we focus on learning about our weaknesses as we interact rather than pointing out our partner's weaknesses, we will improve ourselves and our relationship.
2. The task is to learn to love the other person unconditionally as we are admonished ... Love God, then your neighbor as yourself. Easier said than done.
3. Becoming one is not an easy goal...learning to listen and consider opinions different than your own then blend two egos into one harmonious unit is worth the effort for now and the eternities that can be spent with your partner.

Then tonight on TV there was an advertisement for a website www.strongermarriage.org which is a Utah not a LDS church website for making stronger marriages. Our marriage should be one of our most important priorities. Check it out-lots of good ideas: Over time, small issues can grow to threaten any marriage. For help in resolving potential problems before they cause irreparable damage, click on the link above then on: Children and Marriage, Communication, Conflict Management, Enhancing Your Marriage, Marriage Across the Life Cycle, Dealing With Difficult Situations, Divorce, Facts About Marriage, Marriage Research, Money Management, Professional Help, and Other Resources. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Native American collection

I mentioned in an earlier post about my collection of Native American art-baskets, rugs, pots, etc. (See above.) So thought I'd show you some of my decorative shelves around the house. I've been collecting for years-a piece here and there. I've even written a poem about kivas and mesas top ruins. I must be part Native American but can't find any evidence in my genealogy only in my husband's.

A Kachini doll bought from a young Hopi girl in Santa Fe, NM-used to represent deceased ancestors in cermonial dances. The Native American flute I made in a class. The rock art image is from the Lost City Museum in Overton, Nevada-from Anasazis probably. The pot was a retirement gift from Ute Indians when my husband retired after working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Ft. Duschesne, Utah.

A Kumeyaay (from Baja California) basket made of willow branches with their leaves still on. They held acorns and were stored high in trees or behind rocks for safe keeping. Later the acorns were ground for flour. The willows contained aspirin in the leaves which was quite pungent and keep boring insects out. A large stone was placed on the lid to secure their food storage.

This small Navaho wall hanging is based on sand paintings used by medicine men for ceremonies to restore health, purchased at Cameron Trading Post in Arizona many years ago-one of my first authentic pieces.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ever feel like this?

Remember my bouquet of yellow roses? Here's what they look like a week later. It reminds of the importance of filling our inner well and enjoying the different stages of our life which was soon gone and over but for the memories.

I'm reading this interesting self improvement book First Things First by Steven R. Covey who was my LDS bishop or religious leader in college. It's helping me FOCUS on my priorities NOW in my life and not just my TO DO LISTS on my schedule or planner. He recommends that we have a weekly planning session with ourselves where we analyze if our priorities are first in our life and not just left to fit in our days somewhere around the more "urgent" to do matters. Priorities like filling our INNER WELL with meditation, prayer, scriptures and other SELF CARE so we have something to give to others. Setting a time early in our day ensures they don't get left to later when we think we have time but which may not come.

So what are your PRIORITIES-self care, family/spouse relationships, service to others, development of talents, etc? There are many CHOICES vying for our attention. Getting up a little earlier in the morning especially as spring and summer comes with more SUNSHINE is as option. LISTENING for inspiration and then following those quiet promptings can help us down our path to greater fulfillment and usefulness while in this LIFE. Writing or journaling your feelings is so important to FREE yourself of all the stressful thoughts that can dominate your day. Tell us how you cope with everyday life? Blogging?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Article #48 Old Folk Sayings

Let’s face it, our parents and grand parents had their own language rich with folksy expressions that everyone understood. Nowadays, few people comprehend or use common expressions from our youth. Because the majority of early Americans were growing their own food and living on or near farms, many old folk sayings had reference to farm life or nature. Everyday conversations were colored with expressions like: strong as an ox, weak as a kitten, or light as a feather. Everyone knew immediately what you were talking about. Ask a modern teenager what an ox is, and I bet few would know. I can just picture a grandfather of today advising his modern plugged in, tech savvy teenage grandson to be as strong as an ox.

Other sayings could confuse him also like…Do you have a burr under your saddle? or That’s some pickle you got into last week. It’s water under the bridge, and we don’t want to air our dirty linen in public would likewise bring a blank stare. The teen might understand the terms: an old stick in the mud, party pooper or being a wet blanket but try these phrases panty waist, cheap skate or sore loser to see what reaction you get.

Speaking that way was how our parents passed down lessons and morals they wanted us to learn. Many farm or animal terms were amusing but descriptive and useful to teach the young’uns. Try: crooked as a dog’s hind leg or lower than a snake’s belly or flatter than a pancake or the Southern version flat as a fritter. We as kids were admonished to be: sly as a fox, sharp as a tack, straight as an arrow, sweeter than honey, or quiet as a mouse. In those days, kids were to be seen but not heard. Try that one today.

It’s fun to use these colloquialisms and show our posterity that we too had our own youth culture and slang that was part of our daily lives. I hope you won’t get too frustrated when your grandkids send you emails or text you on your cell phone with unintelligible abbreviations like ?4U (question for you) or RUOK (are you okay?). It’s part of the evolution of the human race.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Patches and Pins

One of my blogging friends Deborah has a fun post about Girl Scout patches which reminded me of Boy Scout patches-being the mother of four sons who were all active in scouting, I sewed on lots of patches. (Photo above of my three older scouting sons l-r Brook, Daniel and Frank holding my youngest son Jeff is his homemade scout uniform made by me. Three of my four sons became Eagle Scouts.) My husband has all his boy scout patches and I have my Dad's that he earned while being a leader in an Air Scout troop for the year before his death.

Pins-I have quite a collection of DUP-Daughters of Utah Pioneers pins-some for awards, others just for fun. I've been a member of this organization that honors Utah Pioneers who came here between the years 1847-1869 before the transcontinental railroad was finished. I've also served as a Captain or leader for 5 years and started a new camp in New Harmony. It's a fun group of  women that met monthly for history lessons and to share their heritage. I also have a collection of Native American baskets, rugs, pottery, etc. 

Tell us about your collections.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another poem...

From our Writer's WORDshop. Called a Minute Poem although it took much longer than that to compose cause it has to rhyme and have a certain pattern: aa bb, cc, dd, etc. couplets with 3 stanzas with four lines of 8,4,4,4 syllables. Try it, it's fun though not easy especially finding words that rhyme. (I'm just kidding about having too many family visitors-only had two so far and we had a fun time showing them around. My mid April we will have had 6 out of 8 of our children visit, but only 4 of our total 21 grandchildren! Guess we'll have to go visit them...) 


Family––no one comes at all.
Then a phone call,
everyone wants
to swarm like ants.

They all descend, week after week.
Until I am weak
from cooking meals
and making deals.

I smile and nod in agreement.
Raising a tent
is an option
or leaving town.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


We had a fun lesson on Haikus today at our Writer's WORDshop. Marilyn shared information with us about this unique Japanese form of free verse. It's a miniature poem with generally three lines which contain five, seven, and five syllables respectively in an attempt to recreate an aesthetic experience or moment of insight. Generally it has some reference to nature or a particular event. We experimented with writing some. You might like to try it also. Here's my attempts:


Bags of seeds untouched
Wait for the gardener's hand
Sowing them gently

Shiny river stones
Rolling downsteam become smooth
Polished by nature

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Bouquet of Roses

Two dozen lovely yellow roses
Are displayed on my dining room table
Opening their buds to reveal their
Great beauty created by God

Given by a grateful neighbor friend
In appreciation for my friendly help
Received with surprise and delight
They brighten my quiet uneventful days

Reminding me of other special occasions
Celebrated with fresh bouquets
My wedding corsage, our anniversaries,
The birth of my last son and Valentines Days

How sweet to be so remembered
By others-be they family or friends
A brief thank you note would suffice
But flowers express more thoughtfulness

Taking the time to express appreciation
Through purchasing the bouquet then
Delivering them with sincere wishes
Really made my Saturday much brighter

 The roses will be preserved as a reminder
Of a new relationship strengthened 
Memories of life’s experiences shared
In the beginning of a new friendship

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Family Visit

It's interesting how you come to appreciate your hometown more when you show family visitors around. Taking the time to really look and see what you daily take for granted can be enlightening. We've had fun showing my son Jeff and wife Rachel around our area's historic buildings which includes Brigham Young's winter home.

He was the second prophet of our church after Joseph Smith. Brigham was a modern Moses who led the Saints to safety out of the United States from Nauvoo, Illinois into what became the territory of Desert and later the state of Utah. When Brigham was in his 70s he discovered how delightful the winters were in Southern Utah and decided to spend his winters in this area after the advent of the telegram that made it possible for him to communicate with other church leaders  up north in Salt Lake City. Here's a photo of Jeff and Rachel in front of Brigham Young's winter home––he was our first snowbird. It was 80 degrees today and delightful.

Jacob Hamblin's home in Santa Clara. He was a Mormon missionary to the Indians of this area in 1860s. We toured his home and enjoyed hearing the story of his life. The pioneer grave is of his wife Rachel Judd Hamblin who is related to my new daughter-in-law whose maiden name is also Rachel Judd.

Then we traveled to a nearby area of Kayenta where there is a fun art village. See photos below.

A bunch of twirling windmills.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Fashions

I've rediscovered the Readers Digest while waiting for my husband's many root canals visits at the local dentist recently. An interesting article by Joe Kita in the April 2009 issue p. 123-131 caught my eye...How to Hide Anything...from your personal info on the Internet to a few extra pounds on your hips. . Now that just about sums up all of our concerns doesn't it? Just kidding.

As I'm loosing a few pounds, I'm starting to take more interest in my clothes and appearance so I decided to peruse the articles for some tidbits for my blog and my own use. It's easy to look 10-15 pounds lighter by following these ideas: lay off the looser clothes look (as in BAGGY)-wear tailored but not tight outfits, bisect with a belt-it creates a shorter torso and a longer leg line which makes you look taller and leaner.

The same logic applies to shirts, instead of letting them hang around your thighs, keep them at the top of your hips or higher to preserve a slimming leg line.

If you're not happy with your bottom half, don't wear bold bracelets that call attention to it when your arms are down. Instead, wear a bold necklace or earrings that draw the focus upward, and lastly consider a car coat that hits above the knee and is tailored at the shoulder. Then wear it open in order to recreate a strong vertical line to give you a nice slimming silhouette. Just a few ideas to try out as we all celebrate SPRING'S arrival.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Article #47 Luck and Superstitions

Do you remember as a child carrying around a rabbit’s foot on a key chain to bring you good luck? Or worrying about stepping on a crack (in the sidewalk) and breaking your mother’s back? There were many unique superstitions that were passed down during our childhood that we faithfully observed without knowing why.

Some superstitions were really strange like breaking a mirror means seven years of bad luck. Or if a black cat crosses your path, it brings you misfortune. I never could figure out why if you spilled some salt, you had to throw more salt over your left shoulder. All you got was a bigger mess.

The dictionary defines SUPERSTITION as an irrational but usually deep-seated belief in the magical effects of a particular action or ritual, especially in the likelihood that good or bad luck will result from performing it. Also called old wives tales, folklore, taboos, and omens, they included such ideas as Friday the 13th was an unlucky day. Numerologists believed that 12 was a complete number but 13 was associated with bad luck. I’m not sure when we let go of these strange childhood beliefs. I know my husband and I met at a dance on Friday the 13th and have considered it lucky ever since.

There was another funny belief about not killing a ladybug and a chant that goes with it. I remember singing it as a young child while holding a ladybug on my finger before blowing it off so it could fly home. Lady bug, lady bug, fly away home, your house is on fire, your children will burn. Or how about Cross my heart and hope to die if I ever tell a lie. Ever knelt on the grass hunting for a four leaf clover because it would bring you good luck? Who taught you that?

Some practices continue even in our enlightened day such as: If you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake with the first puff, you will get your wish. Maybe that’s just positive thinking but in case it’s true…the next shooting star I see I’m going to say this phrase from my youth: Star bright, star light, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, Have the wish I wish tonight. It couldn’t hurt anything and just might bring me good luck.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fun Day

Well, after cleaning up the house for company, it was so great to have my son and daughter-in-law arrive safely. We enjoyed a fun patio dinner of tacos together with delightful weather near 80 degrees with no bugs, mosquitoes or bees buzzing around. 

Then it was time to head for a Fine Arts Reception in nearby Mesquite, Nevada. Several writers from our local group submitted poems which were then selected by artists to make a piece of art-sculpture, watercolor, pencil drawings and oil paintings based on our poetry. It was fun to see their interpretations. Mine was entitled Arches.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Family's coming

It's Spring break for college and elementary school students and we'll be having family come to visit us the next few weekends. Today my youngest son Jeff and his wife Rachel are arriving and will stay until Sunday. They live about 4 hours away but with all the snow in No. Utah I haven't been up that way since Christmastime to see anyone. We've hibernated for the winter months. I was going to visit a few weeks ago but all my grandkiddies were sick so I stayed home.

Next weekend my oldest son Frank, his wife Nedret and their son Hakan will be visiting from New Mexico. It will be their first visit to Utah since my mom's death over two years ago. Can't wait to see them. Then the following weekend is a SURPRISE family visit for a special occasion that will remain a secret until then. Too bad families live so far apart these days. We have kids and grandkids in Utah, New Mexico, California and Washington state but through the Internet we can keep in touch. Where do your kids live or your parents if they are still around?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Ancestors?

The closest I can get is Elizabeth Durrah Wilkins who was born in Scotland...but her parents lived in Ireland at times depending on economic conditions. I always have felt a leaning toward celtic music and Irish dancing so Ireland must be in my blood or DNA somewhere. Happy St. Patrick's Day! Don't forget to wear green today. Tell us about your Irish ancestors...if you have some.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Spring lightens our spirits
gives promises of warmth
after the long cold months
celebrates life's renewing
cycles and growing times

Time to clean out old gardens
gather dried leaves left behind
clear out the cobwebs of
body and soil to make room
for the new green reachings

How comforting is the pattern
of renewal, rebirth and new life
anticipation mounts as events
build, He will be remembered
again as Easter approaches...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mormon Temples

Well, guess I'll have to add another point of access to this short yet instructive video about LDS Temples that is available on YouTube. To find more of my posts on this subject, type in the word temple in the search box on the upper left corner. Here's a poem about temples I wrote.

Temples are SACRED and not secret. Anyone can tour our new temples before they are dedicated and see all the rooms inside these magnificent structures. After a temple's dedication, only worthy members of our faith may enter to do their temple work and ordinances for themselves and their ancestors...such as: baptisms for the dead, and sealings of family units together for eternity. A very special place dear to my heart, I love the temples that we are building all over the world=total 128 built so far, and 18 in process. There's probably one near you. Would be happy to answer any questions you might have about LDS temples in the comments section.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Quietly, creeping into our lives,
everyone faces those awful moments
when a normally cheerful day changes
mutates into a cold foggy afternoon.
Personal thoughts are shrouded in
darkness, disguised and unclear.
The sun is gone––What can be done?

Surrender to the moment and weep
or take pen in hand and write freely.
Discover the path of thinking that
lead to the depths of despair, then 
ask...Why is this happening to me?

Becoming an unbiased observer searching 
for reasons that support the negative
is easy, but reversing and analyzing 
the other viewpoint is important also. 
What says that...Maybe my conclusions
are wrong? With time and faith, the sun will
shine again as I fill my heart with gratitude.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Article #46 Billboards and Burma Shave

According to www.wikipedia.com: Burma-Shave was an American brand of brushless shaving cream, famous for posting humorous rhyming poems on small, consecutive highway billboard signs. Usually there were six little signs painted with red and white colors. The last sign always said Burma-Shave. Here’s some examples….No matter / How you slice it / It's still your face / Be humane / Use / Burma-Shave OR Your shaving brush / Has had its day / So why not / Shave the modern way / With / Burma-Shave OR Shaving brushes / You'll soon see 'em / On the shelf / In some / Museum / Burma-Shave

As a child I never knew what Burma Shave was all about, but in writing this article I’ve come to understand more about the process of shaving. In my grandpa’s youth there was no shaving cream available. He had a cup with shaving soap and a brush he used to add water to the cup. Stirring the soap with his brush, he made lather to apply to his face. Evidently, this made the whiskers on his face softer and easier to cut. A new product was developed that eliminated the need for a brush and cup to make and apply lather. All you needed was a tube of Burma Shave. Squeeze some on your fingers, put it on your face then shave.

Then there were old fashioned razors-grandpa used a straight razor and sharpened it on a leather strap. Imagine what a handy invention it was when the first razor blades came along in the early 1900s. Making a safe, inexpensive and disposable blade was an idea developed by King Gillette. It took awhile for his idea to evolve and to be able to produce steel that was thin yet hard and inexpensive enough to be used for shaving. Soldiers during World War I were supplied Gillette safety razors and became converted to this new way of shaving. Progress was coming to the aid of American men.