Sunday, February 28, 2010

What if...

(photo from Internet)

This day could be my happiest so far,
as I fill my heart with gratitude for life.
Take opportunities, reach out in love
to others in my family and dear friends.

Instead, there's the temptation to say
what if...I could loose a few more pounds,
be younger, write a successful book or
achieve all my dreams then I'd be happy.

Growing older should bring wisdom and
understanding of what it's all about,
not competition but cooperation with
our fellowman so we can all be successful.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Olympics almost over

I haven't watched this much television in years, but it's been enjoyable getting to know the stories behind the athletes. Watching them trying to do their PERSONAL BEST has been inspiring. It's something we should all do in all areas of our life but it takes real COMMITMENT and FOCUS to do. Looking back on this month that's passed so fast, I wonder what areas I've succeeded in?
  • WRITING is still my focus and I've been hard at work on my children's book NATURE NOTES-learning so much from my critique group about writing rhymes and keeping it short for kids. Been submitting poems for several contests and writing new articles for my column. Ideas are coming.

  • FAMILY-Had a wonderful family event with the baby blessing and visiting with my two sons and their families. We are making plans to see more of our families in April-stopping by to visit my oldest son Frank and his family in Santa Fe as we vacation to Texas-my hubby's home state to see the bluebells-photo above from the Internet. Will also stop on the way back and see my step daughter Katherine and her family plus her sister Sarah who will be visiting in SW New Mexico. FAMILY is definitely an important focus in my life.
  • HEALTH-enjoying the warmer weather and focusing on walking and health concerns-better menus and weight loss.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Article #91 An Old Maid

Twenty-two years old and not married! I was definitely an old maid by BYU standards in those days, as perceived by my classmates. It was every good Mormon girl’s dream to come to BYWoo, as it was affectionately called, and find a husband-hopefully a handsome newly returned Mormon missionary. The problem was there were more girls than RMs-returned missionaries available in our student wards or congregations, so the competition was tough.

If you didn’t find a husband by the time you graduated or were twenty-one years old, you were considered sister missionary material. You were encouraged to sign up with your bishop for an eighteen month mission which assured that when you returned nearing the age of twenty-three, you were hopelessly single forever. However, some sister missionaries did find husband material in the mission field among the much younger elders who were from nineteen to twenty-one years old. Of course, the reason for going on a mission was to teach the gospel, NOT to find a husband.

Did I find someone at BYU? Well I thought I had. Having received my bachelors degree but not my bachelor, I was pursuing my masters degree when I started steadily dating a younger man who hadn’t served a mission yet. Given my age and timetable that was a mistake, for he soon left on a foreign mission. Our relationship was put on hold for two and half years. I agreed to date others while he was gone, and if I was still around when he returned, we would pursue a more serious relationship. After he left on his mission, of course, I met my Prince Charming-a tall, dark handsome returned missionary.

This necessitated a big decision on my part as I had been toying with the idea of also going on a mission to keep busy while my missionary boy friend was serving. But after weighing my options: to get engaged and married or serve a mission for two years, I wrote my Dear John letter. The famous letter that every male missionary dreads receiving on his mission. In my case, my new boy friend was also writing a sister missionary from his mission, so he wrote his Dear Jane letter.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hamburger Comfort

Empty, emotionally drained,
I long to be comforted somehow.
Reaching out to me, if only
in my mind, you beckon.

I can choose you to fill
my empty inner self with
excess calories, fat and salt
or I could choose a nice salad.

Cold empty, no thrills but it is
more responsible and healthy.
The bacon cheese hamburger wins,
then the forgotten guilt returns.

It is ignored for I have supportive
friends-hot french fries dipped
in lovely ketchup downed with
my favorite companion-a diet coke.

Ah, heaven!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Being an Observer

Every once in awhile, I find myself
being an observer, watching my life
as if I were on STAGE and others were
actors in some SCRIPT that isn't familiar.

I don't feel the emotions but watch
almost detached and feel my mind
having a DIALOGUE all of its own.
I wonder why she did that or didn't.

Then I check myself to see how
a certain action AFFECTED me and
am surprised that it didn't because
I am just a DETACHED observer.

In a way, there is SAFETY in that
but there is also a certain amount
of DEADNESS, not being in the
moment but waiting for something

else to happen. For the positive
feelings to overwhelm me and
LIFT me to a higher plane of life.
I wonder, how long will I WAIT?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Safe Travels

Every time we head north to visit family,
it's a dangerous proposition,
traveling on a busy inter-state freeway
filled with trucks and cars hurrying.

During winter we also have blizzards,
icy roads, reduced visibility
car and truck drivers
who don't slow down for anything.

I'm always so thankful to return
safely to our retirement home again.
My hubby who is a most careful driver
thought of this for a car bumper sticker:

"Don't drive slowly, God needs more angels."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Baby Blessing

Yesterday we gathered as a family to officially name and give a blessing to the latest edition in our family. (Photo on left of Daniel and Tina's family with kids Emilee, Heather, Nathan and James. Daniel was the cook and fixed a lovely breakfast and a super spaghetti and meatball dinner for after the church gathering.)

Lorien Amaya, the first child and daughter of Jeff and Rachel is in the photo on the right in her lovely white blessing dress. She was born Dec 28, 2009 in American Fork, Utah. A sweet quiet and calm spirit Lorien is growing quickly and it's so fun to watch her eyes and wonder how she views the world as others smile and coo over her.

At church on Sunday, she was surrounded by the men in our family who hold the priesthood, then her father Jeff officially named her and blest her. Now her name is on the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when she is 8 years old she can be baptized.

I recall when I was a little babe, I was blest and named in church, then at age 8. I was baptized but my conversion didn't happen until a later time when I reached college age. Lorien will raised in the church from her birth which is a great blessing. Both of her parents are returned missionaries. (Photo above of me and my 11 yr. old grand daughters: l-r Emilee and Heather.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Editing or refining

Thought it might be interesting to see how poems or free verses change and mutuate or develop. Click on link to see my original poem called then Summer Weather written last summer along with photos of the actual event. Here it is revised and submitted to the Mesquite Art Gallery:

Summer Storm by Lin Floyd

Rain falls in the desolate Mohave
A welcome relief to summer’s heat
Cloudbursts release heavy hailstones
Lightning strikes warn of danger ahead

A summer storm comes suddenly
Surprising all caught in its fury

Flash floods unleash nature’s torrents
Sweeping away lonely dirt roads
Temperatures quickly drop and cool
Rain falls in the desolate desert.

Cactus and wildflowers bloom
Unexpected beauty in such a forgotten place

And then a later version after I got a critique and ideas for revision at Utah State Poetry Society's monthly meeting. It became two poems together with a new title.


Rain falls in the desolate Mohave desert
A welcome relief to summer’s extreme heat
You left so suddenly I didn’t expect that
Cloudbursts release heavy hailstones
Lightning strikes warn of danger ahead
Shattering my peaceful secure world
A summer storm arrives suddenly
Surprising all caught in its frantic fury
Leaving me with only emptiness and fears
Flash floods unleash nature’s torrents
Sweeping away lonely dirt roads
Crushed dreams and broken promises remain
Temperatures quickly drop
coolness comes unexpectantly
I turn to prayer and find solace in surrendering
Cactus and wildflowers bloom
Unexpected beauty in such a forgotten place

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Doors opening...

Write it and it will be published;
build it and they will come.
Don't give up on dreams,
for they may come true.

Some opportunities are opening for me which is so fun. I'm busy working on my Nature Notes for Kids book while also thinking about some other projects for the future. Volume Two of Looking Life's Lessons Learned will be a compilation of my columns for this year which focus on my growing up years-dating, marriage, parenting etc. Another new project is a biographical article on 98 year old modern dance teacher from BYU's early days and an invite to help write a history of the Dance Dept at BYU!

Other ideas float by...a poetry and photography book featuring my nature photos and free verse. Just found out 4 of my 9 submitted poems to the Mesquite Art Gallery were selected by artists to base their art work on. Can hardly wait to see what they come up with next month. I love creativity and I can create with words.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Article #90 Dating at BYU

Dating at BYU in the 1960s was fun, and it was wonderful to have such a large selection of young LDS fellows to meet at dances and other church activities. We were all organized into student wards. I remember one Sunday having three different dates: one date to go to church with in the morning, a different fellow I invited for dinner with my roommates, and then another fellow for a fireside date that evening. This was tricky, arranging events so they didn’t meet each other.

BYU was like a daters dream come true, once you got into the swing of it. I was a junior in class standing, but nevertheless started dating steadily a young man that was a freshman majoring in music. We had lots of fun together, but after his first year of college, he was ready for his church mission. So, the time came to say farewell for two years or forever. We broke up because he didn’t want me to wait for him. It seemed that each young man I dated helped me understand more about life, and what I was not looking for in a companion.

As a senior at BYU, I met an older graduate student and we started dating. He was 29, a returned missionary and a perpetual student––it should have been a perfect match. Studying to teach Seminary, he couldn’t teach until he was married. He had logically gone about making his list of qualities he wanted in a potential mate. Dating about sixteen young BYU coeds, he checked them out against his list. Then eliminated them one by one, he narrowed his list down to one––me! But in all his mental calculations, he had forgotten the romantic side of a relationship.

Though we enjoyed dating, going to dances, parties and concerts, there were no sparks between us. He wanted to get engaged, but I felt no romantic love for him. We had never even kissed! He had prayed and was sure I was “the one,” but my prayers didn’t come up with the same answer. Still not sure how that happens. He also wanted a large family of ten children or more. He told me he knew this would be a “big challenge as you would need to be pregnant for the next twenty years.” He still isn’t married to this day. I guess he ended up being “the old maid.”

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I don’t know who is to blame.
But there’s a lot of lobsters
at the restaurant in a tank,
and I’d like some answers.

Claws bound, they can’t wiggle.
But they are alive, until it’s time
for their boiling water bath.
Then hungry customers will dine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Too busy to blog?

The Olympic late night broadcasts are taking their tolls but I'm enjoying watching the supreme efforts of the athletes. Feeling sorry for those who fall or miss their opportunity at doing their best. Sure glad life gives us all more chances to pick ourselves up and try again. I had a strange dream last night, all four of my sons were young and at home. I was struggliing to make dinner in the midst of dirty dishes and disarray then I realized I didn't have to do it all alone-they could help too.

Not sure where this dream came from-the PAST but it was a relief to wakeup and know that my house is in order, my hubby does the dishes and my family responsibilities are over for the day to day care of growing boys though I do miss having them around. Life is interesting...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Funny Ostrich

Ever wonder why an ostrich
hides its head in the sand?
This bird's so big, it's like
trying to hide a marching band.

But it’s not true, ostrichs
don't try to hide like that,
instead it lays right down-
looks like a dirt pile-very flat.

A strange looking bird with
fancy long feathers used
to decorate hats and costumes.
Do you think it feels abused?

Can't fly but runs very fast
with long powerful legs
used to kick or to fight others.
Females lay the world’s largest eggs.

People like to eat ostrich meat
for it’s full of protein for man;
but not for ostriches who’d
rather not be in a frying pan.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Be an Olympian!

Watching the Winter Olympics on tv the other night, the realization came to me that my high school student body in California was known as the "Olympians." I don't think I ever connected in those days with what that symbolized or put it into my life in any practical way. From the Internet goggling I came up this information, which is far more than I ever knew when I was high school age back in the 1950s. The Olympians are a group of 12 gods who ruled after the overthow of the Titans. All the Olympians are related in some way. They are named after their dwelling place Mount Olympus: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Hera, Ares, Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hermes, Artemis, and Hephaestus. For all the college courses I've taken, I never did study Greek mythology that I remember. Although I now enjoy learning about history, when a young teen it was BORING.

Fast forwarding to modern day times, what does it mean to be an OLYMPIAN? Perhaps to be focused on improving one's self and EXCELLING in a chosen area-be it homemaking, teaching, genealogy, blogging, cooking, parenting or a specific subject, art or sports area. The part about the Olympics of today that I dislike the most is the COMPETITION with others rather than with just yourself. Why can't everyone who participates and does their best be called a WINNER instead of being judged by mili-seconds to beat some one else's record or be a LOSER. We all need to give our best EFFORTS.

Interesting info on the Olympic flag from Wikepedia...The Olympic symbol, better known as the Olympic rings, consists of five intertwined rings and represents the unity of the five inhabited continents (considering North and South America as a single continent). The colored version of the rings—blue, yellow, black, green, and red—over a white field forms the Olympic flag. These colors were chosen because every nation had at least one of them on its national flag. The flag was adopted in 1914 but flown for the first time only at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It has since been hoisted during each celebration of the Games.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Short and Sweet

To the point, not beating around the bush,
direct, no hidden agendas or half truths
integrity the goal-known and be known,
trust comes slowly through experiences.

I love that my husband is honest,
no deception or pretense just quietly
there, day after day, caring for me,
showing love and commitment.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines almost

I decided to send my grandkids valentine cards this year. I enclosed a photo of them and a little poem written for each one using the letters in their name. I tried to rhyme every other verse. For myself I made a collage of their photos and had Walmart print me out a mousepad-now I can look at all their smiling faces while I'm on the computer working on my writing. It wasn't that hard to do. They walk you through the process on in the photo dept. Cost was $10 and it was ready in less than a week. Here's the poems:

Intelligent and
Loving that’s our gal
Emilee. She and Heather are twins
Eternally, and to each other a pal

ver learning
Always asking
The hard questions
Heather is shyer and
Emilee’s twin sister
Reading-she loves thrillers

Noisy, curious,
Always learning
That’s my oldest grandson
Hatching ideas for playing
All the time looking for
New adventures in living

Happy and busy, Hakan’s
An athlete with winning wishes
Knowing how to ski
And play soccer, he even fishes
Not living close, he’s missed lots

Just a little cutie with
A great big smile
Mischievous boy
Ever busy all the while
Smiling as he goes

Little and lovely
Only just arrived
Right from our Father
In Heaven, she’s loved
Eternally and forever
Nice and quiet, she'll thrive

Friday, February 12, 2010

Article #89 Intro to Dating

Coming out of high school where I never had a date, I entered junior college in California with fear and trepidation. Would I ever have a date? What was wrong with me? How do you go about attracting the interest of an eligible young man? Then I was introduced to blind dating by a friend of mine named Buddy. He set me up with a guy that he thought I would really like. Turned out my blind date was the student body president of my junior college, and his last name was Love. Talk about an eventful first date and one nervous young eighteen year old! Although we seemed to click on our first date and had lots in common, we were from different religious backgrounds. I was Mormon, and he was Episcopalian. (Photo of me on left at sweet sixteen.)

We dated for several months, had many long religious discussions, and then my new boy friend decided to try BYU in Utah to check out Mormonism. This was a shock, but he did transfer the next semester. A bigger shock to me was after he left; I found out from others that my first real date was engaged. His fiancĂ©e was going to college back east. They had decided to go out with others to see how they really felt about each other. This was my first dating experience! Needless to say, we broke up, and I don’t know if he ever married the young lady he was engaged to-probably not.

Welcome to the world of dating games! More challenging social experiences followed with fellows who didn’t share my standards or beliefs until I joined a religious fraternity-sorority at my junior college called Lambda Delta Sigma. Members were LDS students who enjoyed wholesome fun activities. Finally, I decided it was time for me to transfer to BYU in Utah if I was serious about finding someone to date and marry in my own faith. (Photo of my roommates at BYU, I'm the 4th from the left.)

I also decided to change my college major from Engineering to Dance. Now that is quite a switch! Even though it would mean leaving the wonderful weather of California and returning to the four seasons in Utah, I was excited about the possibilities of pursuing a new major that I loved. Saying goodbye to the professional ballet world forever, hoping to meet my Prince Charming and live happily ever after, I returned to Utah.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Experience

Yesterday I was asked to be one of about 15 judges for a local high school English Quest contest. What an opportunity to mentor new writers which is what I love to do. Also I was able to help a friend with some suggestions for her mother's biography. Another chance to be an influence helping others find their VOICE.

Seems to me that is what LIFE is all about, coming to earth, growing up in a family then taking off on our own to become who we can be, develop our talents and abilities, start families and assist them in the same journey of SELF DISCOVERY. I love this photo my daughter-in-law Nedret took with her son Hakan. She shows the compassion, interest and nurturing that make motherhood so necessary and fulfilling. We all need our parent's tutoring IF we are lucky enough to have them both in our life as well as grandparents, aunts and uncles influence-extended family members even cousins.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Neighborhood FHE

Family home evenings (FHE) are get-togethers scheduled by Mormons each Monday evening where each family in the church comes together for an informal meeting at home. Sometimes a lesson is given, counsel and organization of the family needs taken care of, games played, music sung and refreshments served. Everyone has a role to play and the duties rotate between family members: refresh-ments, games, songs, lesson, conducting, etc. The purpose is to spend at least an hour weekly as a family, but after you retire most empty nest parents forego having FHEs. Our local church group decided to get together as couples once a month and have a FHE. Our first one was a pot luck get together. (Photo above the host and hostess of our empty nest second meeting-hubby and me.)

This week was a lesson at our home on "HEALTHY SNACKS." Each couple brought a nutritious snack to share and we had a short lesson on: why we eat food, snacks, what's healthy or unhealthy, and how to improve our snacking. The discussion on choc-olate was interest-ing, then we enjoyed visiting and refreshments. Here's some photos of our group. We had 11 attend. (Right guests: l-r Wanda, Bonnie and Rick enjoying the snack table and below: Marilyn, Bob, Sondra-who helped with the lesson, Norm, and Bill enjoying snacks and conversing. Not shown Merle.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Celebrating Scouting

Yesterday was the 100 year anniversary of Boy Scouting. I've been very involved in this program being the mother of 4 sons. Starting in 1976 when I moved to Utah I became a volunteer Den Mother for my son Daniel who had just turned 8 years old and was eligible for Cub Scouts. My oldest son Frank was our Boy Scout helper and my son Brook a year too young for cub scouting attended just for fun for a year. All this I did while working full time as a first grade teacher. This was my after school activity. (I had more energy in those days!) We had lots of fun activities geared to learning more about nature, practical skills and community functions. During the summers we had a day camp where the boys competed and learned new skills like archery. We worked on requirements during our weekly meetings and took field trips.

After Cub Scouts was Webelos-we'll be loyal scouts then came the time at age 11-12 that the boys could become real BOY SCOUTS. Now they could work on merit badges and towards the goal of becoming an EAGLE SCOUT one day. At this point, they were handed over to male leaders as they became serious in learning camping and survival skills. I continued to be supportive of their progress in earning merit badges and dutifully sewed on all their patches. Scouting was an activity where they learned valuable skills as well as leadership. Three of my four sons earned their Eagle Scout award and the other son completed his eagle project and had but one merit badge left to do. All together I spent about 16 years in scouting and ended up as Scout Committee Chairman for my last son. Guess I deserved a merit badge or two. It was a busy time raising four sons mostly as a single parent.

The scout tradition runs in our family. My dad was an assistant scoutmaster in 1944 (that's his card in lower left corner above) and worked with air scouts preparing them to learn to fly. My husband was active in Scouts until his graduation from high school in Texas. (Those are his merit badges on the top and bottom of the poster above, and his photo in top left with his troop directly below-he went to the 50 anniversary scout Jamboree in Colorado Spring.) My son Daniel has just been called to work with his church's Cub Scout Committee and my grandson Nathan will be a cub scout in October. It's a great organization and provides experiences that young boys need to become responsible young men. I salute Sir Robert Baden-Powell who said..."The sport in scouting to to find the good in every boy and develop it."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Another Birthday Son #1

My oldest and first of four sons is today turning 44 years old. He's a successful physical therapist who lives in Santa Fe, NM with his wife Nedret and son Hakan. Amazing how fast the years have passed. I've enjoyed putting together this collage that highlights some but not all of his growing up years. Now he's the Dad and I'm the Grandma. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Proud of all your efforts and work to be a success, I honor you for your responsibility to support your family that makes you who you are, someone I'm very proud of. Have a great birthday. Card on its way. Love, Mom

Family comes first-your wife and son
Responsibility to care for them
Always loving and supportive
Not focused just on your career,
Knowledge and expertise in physical therapy

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Learning to Rhyme

Having written free verse all my life, I love it but I have just discovered rhythm and rhyme. Here's my revised children's nature poem reworded. Structure is ABCB and iambic tetrameter, I think....or DA dum DA dum DA dum DA dum with the accents-this isn't easy. Actually I did it backwards. It should be da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM which makes it trochaic octometer. Well, it's a work in progress.

PICNIC PESTS-(click here to compare with the original version)

Taking your picnic to the park
on a sunny summer hot day.
You're not there for long before
pesky insects come your way.

Buzzing over the fried chicken
slurping the drinks full of fizz.
You can almost hear the bees say,
Oh, that looks good or maybe this.

You could try to share your food
or perhaps just ignore the pests.
But you'll be happier I'm sure
if you invite them to be YOUR guests.

Swinging at them with a swatter
is hard to do, though kind of fun.
Watch out for you could get stung;
by all means, be ready to run.

Bees make such sweet honey to eat,
help flowers to bud and to bloom,
fruit to grow so tasty. But please
bee care-ful, give them lots of room.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Love of Learning

Read a great article lately about love of learning reminds me of my patriarchal blessing given long ago in 1960 that encouraged me to learn all things so I can develop to my potential...that's quite a challenge considering I was graduating then from college. Life has many things to teach us and they aren't all learned in the classroom. How to learn from each experience whether negative or positive is important.

I like to ask questions that helps me learn new things. I love teachers who are enthusiastic about their topics be it computers, photography, rock art or theology. You're never too old to learn new things or to teach others. My son Daniel who started me with computers chuckles when I tell him I've teaching others all I know.

There is no limit to what we can still learn at any age or with any limitations be they: physical, spiritual, social, intellectual or emotional. All that stops us is our lack of curiousity, wanting to learn more about this world. You can teach old dogs new tricks IF they want to learn and make the effort.

Some things I am studying now are: POETRY how to rhyme and use rhythm to make words more interesting for children and others; DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY-taking photos and editing them, then using them to write about; DIETING-becoming a healthier me through exercise and food choices; RELATIONSHIPS- how to connect with family members better; and WRITING-capturing the past in words, celebrating life through blogging and making new friends.

I still want to TRAVEL more, see new sights and meet new people. HOW ABOUT YOU?