Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Tina

Another daughter-in-law has a September birthday today
Tina, my son Daniel's wife and is the mother of my four
grandchildren who keep her very busy all the time.

Starting with adopted twin daughters Emilee and Heather,
soon two more sons joined the family: Nathan and James
making four grandchildren for me, the twins were my first.
I got to practice on them, now they are growing up,
but Tina is still very busy being a stay at home mom.

Born and raised in New York, she has served a mission
in North Carolina and met my son at their work.
She attended BYU-Idaho when it was Ricks College
and has a brother and sister who live near her.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Aging Gracefully?

Is it possible to accept age gracefully without resisting it's downward pull both gravitational and emotional?
Maybe looking at the POSITIVES will help this unwelcome transition.

No more pregnancies or teenage rebels to deal with, just an EMPTY NEST at last. Remember all the longings while young for FREEDOM from child rearing and 24/7 care? "Oh I can't wait until they are grown up."

Now when you see them as ADULTS
struggling with their lives, it's payback time. Remember the parenting mistakes you made, you can now laugh as they repeat them. You are only the visiting GRANDparent.

Hurrah! No need to discipline the grandkids, that's their parents job. You can just have FUN. Read them books, share your childhood stories, go for walks, and enjoy the reward of past labors completed and a NEW SEASON of your life.

(Photos-Jeff as baby, his older brothers l-r Frank, Dan and Brook)

Monday, September 28, 2009

More Autumn Leaves

Early fall leaves still cling to branches
Quickly turning to bright yellows and
Warm reds signaling a changing season
Our lives shift subtly too like nature
A few gray hairs appear then a wrinkle
Here and there dots our rushes
Onward as quickly as the seasons move
Clinging to our youth too tightly, we can
Miss the wonders of each day on earth

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Baby is Grown

Amazing how soon your little ones grow up and have their own little ones. My youngest son Jeff who will be 27 in Dec is a very serious, dedicated and faithful young man who served a two year mission for our church in Japan. Married to Rachel also a returned missionary who served in Alaska they are expecting a baby girl in December. Jeff was ordained as a High Priest in our church today. What an unexpected blessing. He will be responsible for temple work and genealogy in his ward working with the older men. (Photo above of new Draper Utah temple.) In his patriarchal blessing he was told that he would help "set in order the affairs of the church" but this new calling was a surprise to us all but an inspired decision by his leaders who appreciate his enthusiastic service to the church.

It was delightful to have so many of my FAMILY together today to celebrate this milestone in Jeff's life. His in laws and brother in law were there as well as his brother Dan, sister in law Tina and their children. I am so pleased and proud to be his mother. He will carry on the family legacy of genealogy. (Here's some photos taken at church and the party afterwards at Dan's home-he's the one in the apron with the camera below.) We CONNECTED!

A day to remember always...(l-r: me, Jeff and Rachel)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Grandkids Stories

By Heather Hatch

Once upon a time there was a family of six and they had four kids. They were going to the doctors because the kids were getting their yearly shots for the flu. When we arrived at the doctors we had to decide who would go first. Nathan said he would go first. So we were waiting for a little bit, then Nathan came out. I said I would go next. My dad came up to me and told me that James should go next because he wasn’t getting it on his arm. He was getting a shot on his leg. So I finally said James could go next. (Photo below: l-r Emilee, Nathan, James and Heather.)

We waited but we heard crying. At that moment we knew James got his shot. Daddy came out and got us. He said that Emilee and I could go back to the nurse and get our shots. I just started walking and Emilee followed be hind me. When we got in there I jumped on the bed. She told me to be calm and just to keep on playing my game. When I got my shot I felt a tiny pinch and then it was over. It was time for my sister to get her shot. I left and I heard Emilee start to cry. But than mom came out and asked me if Emilee could use my I pod. I said it was ok. She went back in. Emilee came back out and I knew she got her shot. After that we went out to dinner. We went home and told grandma that we got our flu shots, and showed her our band aids. That’s all I have to say.

the swine flu horrors

So as the days go on I can’t help thinking about our next shot which is the new flu called swine flu when it comes around in October. We will have to get it. I wonder what kind of band aid I will get when we get our swine flu shot. When it comes around I think I’ll be scared or excited. I don’t know which but right now I’m excited for it, but not happy about the pain in the shot to go in my arm. Because after the shot you feel pain when you move your arm. But you get a sucker after the shot. That’s pretty cool.

"i hate to ruin the party." "but i final got it. i did i. got the swine flu shot i'm the girl of braveness
it did hurt a little at first but not that bad".
i could feel it going in to me. it felt so weird i love december it rocks.

Grandparents Day again!

I visited my three grand kids school yesterday and had a delightful time. The twins now in 6th grade had made me a nice card and a fun flower corsage. It was a big day for the kids to share their school activities with their grandparents. Below is Emilee. She wrote me a nice card with a poem that said: "My Grandma's eyes are like the blue sky, her smile warms my heart! Her hands are as soft as a bunny! Her hair is like the white snow! My Grandma moves like me walking beside her! My Grandma tast like her mint tea!, smells like her makeup, looks like a creamy sunday, is white as a flower, textur is soft as snow, sounds like a soft raindrop, cold like a tear going down my face. I love my grandma the most when she is with me. Love, Emilee"

Heather twin sister to Emilee also made me a nice card. It said: "When you come you bring lots of love like hugs and kisses. It feels like I'm with you all the time. When I see you each time you come to vit, it sounds wounderful-when I see your smile on your face, you look happy around us. My face lights up because I happy to see you. When we come down to your house. I can feel the sun beating down on my face. It's really nice. I'm really lucky to have you. Happy grandparents day. Love, Heather" Well I'm the lucky one to have just fun and loving grandkids.

Nathan is now in 1st grade so I have three kids in the same school. Nathan made a nice finger painting of a sunflower. See photos below.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Nedret

One of my lovely daughters-in-law is Nedret
born and raised in Turkey, moved to New York 
She is unique, beautiful, talented and loving.
Mother of my grandson Hakan makes her special.
Expert on imported rugs, she has her own shop
in Santa Fe, NM, where she lives with her family:
husband Frank, my son,  a physical therapist
and their son Hakan-a lively bright 6 yr. old boy
who loves life and learning. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Article #73 Great Grandpa and Saloons

If you dig for your roots, you’ll eventually find some colorful characters that are related to you. My great grandfather Wm. Marion Johnson Sr. was one of those: a mysterious stranger who deserted his wife and five sons in the late 1800s, and was never heard from again. He came from Knox County Ohio. William’s dad died in 1854 leaving a widow with eight children to support on the family farm. The youngest child was only three years old and the only girl among seven sons. William was the third oldest. Three of his brothers enlisted in the Civil War while he stayed home helping his mom on the farm. Two brothers were killed in the conflict and only one returned. After the war, Wm. left for Nevada probably by train to strike it rich in mining.

Land research showed him in 1870 in Elko, Nevada working several mining claims. Later through local newspapers, I found him in the saloon business in Gold Mountain, Nevada with a partner who had a distillery. Through census records, I traced his movements in gold rush towns starting in Nevada and ending in Frisco, Utah. His occupation is listed as a "saloonkeeper" in Spanish Fork and Silver City in the Utah city directories. He may have realized there was easier money to be earned working indoors in a saloon rather than in the dangerous mines far underground. (Photo below of Silver City in its boom years. In the center is the two story elementary school that my mom attended. Today its a ghost town with no buildings still standing.)

A saloon called for pool tables and other furnishings to enable his customers to relax and gamble some of their hard earned money while quenching their thirst. Despite all these activities, Wm. managed to marry a much younger local girl Olof who had emigrated with her parents from Iceland to Utah. He had six young sons with her before wanderlust struck again; and he was off to the Gold Rush in Alaska to get rich. After several years away thinking he was dead, his wife remarried. Unfortunately for everyone, the wanderer returned. Seeing the dilemma he was in, William disappeared for good and was never heard from again.

How did it change my life learning more about this unique relative? I came to realize that he was very human with weaknesses and problems who probably struggled to make a living. Being a saloonkeeper, he may have also had problems with drinking and gambling that complicated his life. I could sympathize with his wife and her struggles. They became real people to me and not just names.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Marketing Self

I went to an interesting lecture at the Writer's Conference last weekend about "marketing yourself" or building "a platform" as a writer, and I would add teacher, parent, spouse, etc. Maybe another word would be promoting some interest you have. Much like a politician does but hopefully with INTEGRITY and HONESTY for who you are and the services you are providing. I try to do that on my BLOG.

So, in order to PROMOTE myself as a writer and teacher, I am using my full name on my blog-it slips out every once in awhile anyway. I am also taking every opportunity to talk to others about my book that is for sale or classes that I'll be teaching. Yesterday I went to a local ACTIVITY FAIR to promote the community education Creative Blogging CLASS I'm teaching. I also displayed my book that is made up of articles I've published from my BLOG and COLUMN. So I got to accomplish two things at once.

Last night I had a fun class with 7 adult students who were enthused about creating a BLOG. As they get further along, I'll post their blog addresses so you can encourage them in this new endeavor. I love to TEACH, but it's always a challenge and especially when you have students with different levels of experience with computers. I'm going to find a way to post my handouts for those of you who might be interested or contact me at lin at sunrivertoday dot com and I'll email a copy to you of my first handout.

Creative BLOGGING class

starts today. I'll be teaching a community education class for Dixie State College in our local computer lab-Wish me luck! How fun to share with others, the joy of blogging. I began almost two years ago with the encouragement and support of my friend Susi Q. It certainly helps to have a support buddy who knows more than you do and can answer your questions on how to. But without that, it's also possible to just follow the simple directions and even consult HELP screens along the way. It's like the adage "When all else fails, read the directions."

Here's some FALL photos I took from the Writer's conference that I attended last weekend at the Homestead Resort in Heber, Utah, that I like to share. It's a beautiful location and my favorite season of the year Fall in Provo River Canyon.

This is Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon.
Provo Canyon with just the beginnings of fall colors.

The colors are brighter as you drive higher in the canyon.

The view from our room at the Homestead Resort.
Showing two different size photo uploads-this is medium, above is large, below is small. All can be clicked for larger view.
Breakfast view of the golf course with steam arising from a pond.

So green with lots of patios and walks everywhere, it's just gorgeous.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm BACK again

Don't you just love that moment when
you pull your car up after a long trip,
push the garage door opener and slip
eagerly into your own personal garage?

No more strange beds or unknown
corners. You can locate all your
belongings, cause you live here.
HOME SWEET HOME, where you have
chosen to create a life for yourself.

Back from a writing conference full of
ideas, but tired from the six hour drive,
I appreciate being home where I can
nurture myself and connect with hubby,
return to my computer and blogging pals.

Time to rest up and then begin anew
on waiting projects: classes to teach,
syllabi to write, blogs to catch up on,
photos to download, and laundry to do.
This is the life I choose, and I love it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Closing DOORS

The door closes with final solemnity
like the passing of the old year comes.
What lies ahead is new and unknown,
yet to be determined by fate or choice.

I choose to grow, to look for the openings
that will appear suddenly, not carefully
planned but there never the less, perhaps
organized by someone wiser who knows me.

I can not second guess my daily life only
accept what comes and try "to act not react"
in a way that will be positive for me and
others involved. Trusting Him, life is good!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Off to a Conference

I'm off to a Writer's Conference in Northern Utah for the next few days so will catch up with everyone when I get back. Hope to get some autumn leaves photos to share. Time to rejuvenate and get more ideas for writing and publishing. Take care, friends.

Wanted to share a tidbit or two before departing. On vacation I was talking to Caryn about makeup and how I've been looking forever for some lipstick that you don't have to reapply every few hours and she told me about Cover Girl Outlast Smoothwear-it's amazing. Stays on forever. Now I need a recommendation on mascara.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shadow Shots

Sylvia From over the hill on her blog does shadow shots, so I'm going to explore that on this post. Scenes of my husband and Caryn's from our Oregon vacation together plus some noisy sea lions in Newport.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Article #72 Who Me?

Write my life story? You’ve got to be kidding. No one would read it. It’s enough to live through what I’ve experienced without taking another look at it. But starting on the road to recording your own history can be cathartic. Several years ago after retiring from teaching, I decided after compiling my grandparents and my parents’ histories to write about my own life’s experiences. I entitled it “The Journey Called Life.” (Photo of me taken by my father.)

What an adventure to gather old photos and relive some of my many experiences raising a family, getting divorced, being a single parent, remarrying and just living through the day to day trials that we each have. Examining some negative times and disappointments in my life was rewarding as the distance of years brought new insights to those experiences. Writing a history to share with my family gave me the opportunity to make sense of what happened to me. It wasn’t easy but an important event in my life.

I always wondered when people would say “Ask Grandma or Grandpa, they’ll know.” How they learned so much––it was from the lessons that life holds for each of us and that’s how they attained their wisdom. Now being of senior citizen age, I began to write my history to hopefully leave some advice for my descendents. (Photo on right, me at high school graduation.)

Don’t tell me you don’t have time to write or record your life story cause you are too busy living it. You aren’t getting any younger and if you continue to wait, your grandkids will be middle aged and working their way to elderly. Start today, pick up a pencil or typewriter (I know you have one in storage) or use one of those complicated new devices called computers. You’ll love the memories of yesterday that will flow and your family can help you with this project.

Start at the beginning with capturing a few unique memories of your childhood that might intrigue your grand children like…We didn’t own a TV or I made a go-cart or my mom baked all our bread, and sewed all our school clothes. I had chores every summer-weeding the sugar beet rows, irrigating the crops or mowing the lawn. The older you are the more interesting the story will be to your descendents who can’t believe their parents or grandparents really lived like that. Use some of the topics from this column for ideas. (Photo above: me, my three older sons and my paternal grandma Vernon.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I took a fun quiz on FACEBOOK yesterday
and discovered that I have an instant fan club.
Connections I have made with family and friends
just by joining and commenting on their posts.

It's a new era in relating to others we care about,
taking the time to CONNECT through the Internet.
Being part of their lives and letting them know
of our activities keeps us in touch with each other.

Just like weekly letters from "the good old days"
used to do as we shared the daily happenings
of our lives, but now we can do it instantaneously-
all day no matter where we are at, if we are online.

We can TWITTER from our cell phones or other devices
so easily, and enjoy being a more intimate part of other's
lives-letting them know we care about them and sending
them value and love on a daily basis is what it's about.

Strengthening bonds of love and friendship through
a strange new means. Not unlike how HE communicates
with us with sudden inspiration and answers to our
prayers. Our FATHER is there too, just a prayer away.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Happy Lizard?

There you are scurrying out of my way
just like a wizard, but you are a lizard.
Covered with rough scales, you are not
cute, and you like to eat flies and bugs.

Living in the hot desert, how do you
spend your days? Resting in the shade
or digging in the cool dirt then looking for
an easy meal? It's looks like an fun life,

but you have problems too. There's that
dangerous road runner always about.
Waiting for his own quick meal to wander
into his path. Life isn't easy for any of us.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Blogging and Writing

Well I love to blog, and do it daily. It's like an Artist's Date with writing and photography. Sometimes it's serious, other times funny-(I hope) but always an expression of what's happening in my life. I will be teaching a CREATIVE BLOGGING class soon for our local Community Education program, so I'm trying some different techniques with It's quite easy if you just follow the simple instructions. (See previous posts for slide examples. Below are some more photos from the Oregon coast.)

I like to use Photoshop software to play with on some photos from Oregon of their lovely flowers. Even showed Caryn how to use PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS (it came with a scanner I bought) while we were on our vacation together. It's amazing what you can do with it to correct red eyes, fix cracks in old photos, change exposures, etc. Below is a sample of different artistic filters on the same photo. Working with just one flower garden photo from Oregon, I got several cool effects. (See below-click to enlarge.) It feels like you actually painting with a computer. Try it sometime. It's soooo FUN!