Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween is over

I was looking back at my old blogs on Halloweens past. So if you'd like to, just click on the year and see what I had to say then about it:

2008-A visit to an ancestor's cemetery
2009-Halloweens of the past for my sons.

Get ready to start another new month tomorrow. Don't know where October went but it's gone after a flurry of activity.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Almost Halloween

In fact in Utah, it is TODAY as most parents don't want their kids celebrating HALLOWEEN on SUNDAY. So tonight is the night for most trick or treaters except they aren't allowed in our retirement community. Perhaps some Utahans go both nights?

Here's my front door decoration for FALL. I don't do Halloween decor but just Autumn since THANKSGIVING is my favorite holiday. How about you?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Article #122 Remarriage

After two divorces in my life, I began to wonder “Would I want to try again?” But then I had a kind religious leader tell me “The third time could be the charm.” His mom had been divorced twice and with the third attempt, it worked. Not that I wanted to risk my fragile ego again. But within a few months of my divorce, I found myself back at the Special Interest dances. “Oh no” you say, and I would have to agree. But my primal urge of seeking for the “happy ending” to my life got the best of me. (By now I only had my youngest son about age 9 at home-see photo.)

Wouldn’t you know that fate smiled on me and I meet a wonderful man newly divorced. He had been left with their four daughters when his estranged wife opted to explore a new life alone. One night I noticed a tall fellow on the sidelines standing among the other reluctant bachelors at a dance in Provo, Utah. I managed to move closer and started up a conversation as we watched a Country Western line dance participated in by the over 40 year old singles. I suggested I could teach him how to do it because he told me he couldn’t dance. After all, I have a Masters degree in dancing. We socialized the rest of the evening as I tried unsuccessfully to teach him.

Come to find out he shared the same first name as my former spouse, I asked him if he had a middle name, then promptly began calling him by that name. He was an engineer working for the Forest Service in NM and had come to my area for the weekend to visit a daughter who was attending BYU. It was just a few months after both of our divorces. (I know the self help books suggest healing first from a divorce before starting any new relationship, but here we were.)

Our long distance courtship took place on the weekends, with my new boy friend either driving up (12 hours) or flying from Phoenix (after a 3 hr drive one way from NM.) We found comfort and companionship is our new relationship. Dating for nine months, we were married in Salt Lake City. (Photo above of my sons on the day we were married.) Now we have 21 grandchildren all together and are enjoying our retirement together after 17 years of successful marriage. I finally found my Prince Charming who thought he was just a frog.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eating THAI Food

Nothing could be more funner
than a lunch date with my sweetie
at our favorite Thai restaurant.

No preparation, no cleanup.
Just time to sit and relax,
eat pai thai with lots of noodles.

Then home for pumpkin pie
with whipped cream fresh
from our local bakery. Wow!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Reaching out, the playful baby
discovers his little foot.
What a curiosity,
somehow it is connected
to ten wiggly little toes.
Squeals of laughter erupt,
he has found a new toy
as his small world expands.

As adults we have lost our wonder
and excitement about this life.
Trapped by deadly routines,
we plod through each day.
Always looking forward
to something better,
which will surely come.
Won't it?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm not ready for winter

I'm glad it's still FALL in my part of the world. The temperature is falling and it's cooling off but NO FROST yet. MY BOOK project is in its FINAL EDIT-all 65 pages. This week I will send the final manuscript in a digital format to the publisher, then hold my breath and hope he likes it. What a lot of work, but it does look good.

I'll take a photo of the worksheets to show how they look. (There are 52 total-one for each week of the year.) On the left are ideas for the meeting, an agenda, suggested songs from our hymnbook, more talks or scriptures to study plus suggestions for FUTURE LESSONS on the same topic. On the right column is a handout that can be duplicated and passed out to the members of the group to get their involvement with answering questions on the topic, then discuss them as a group. The handouts will be available on an accompanying CD. The book is called FAMILY HOME EVENINGS for EMPTY NESTERS and SINGLES. Below are some of the resources published by our Church for having family home evenings that I am using.

Our church reserves MONDAY EVENINGS for families to get together for an hour or two, sing songs, have a short lesson then refreshments and sometimes play a game together or have an activity. But when you retire or if you had no children or are a single adult, you're an EMPTY NESTER so you probably miss out on this fun night of spiritual, social and physical refreshment. Hence the need for my book. My lessons are grouped under these topics: Gospel Teachings, Family History, Self Improvement, Relationships and Provident Living.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mexican Food Recipes for Pressure Cooker

From a class I took at the Bosch store last week sometime. Teacher- LeAnn Bird. Below is her book for sale. Check out her website.

Spanish Rice

1 cup rice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ cups chicken broth (fresh or canned)
3-4 stewed tomatoes (chopped) drained and rinsed
1 small sweet pepper-diced (green, red, yellow, or chocolate)
dash of paprika
dash of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground annato seed
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

In the bottom of the pressure cooker brown the garlic, onions in olive oil. Add the rice and chicken stock. Add vegetables, spices and simmer. Lock the lid and bring to high pressure 15psi and lower temperature and cook for 5 minutes. Allow the pressure to drop naturally. Add tomatoes, garnish with cilantro and grated cheese.

Refried Beans-delicious deep fried in homemade tortillas

1 cup of beans soaked overnight for 8 hours

1½ cups water or chicken stock
1 dried chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 large teaspoons lard, divided
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 cup cheese, grated or crumbled

Put the lid on and bring to high pressure 15 psi and lower the heat for 8-10 minutes. Put the pot under cold water to release pressure. Remove lid. Cool slightly and mash. In a large fry pan add large tablespoon lard and get hot. Add beans and cook until smooth. Remove from heat. In a large saucepan add a heaping tablespoon of lard and melt-cook until it gets very hot. It will be near smoking. Add fried beans and mix together until smooth. Add a little milk, garlic powder and cheese.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Slow Down Time

Going too fast again.
Take time to smell the roses
What? Where? I didn't see them.

Every feel like that?
Making dumb mistakes
when you know better because
you are hurrying along.
Trying to do too much, too fast.

Breathe in and out. Slow down.
Life isn't a race with the fastest
runner taking the prize!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn RAIN

Rain is falling now at 7 am in the morning
just when I was going to go out walking early.
That's fine, I would rather just blog than walk.
It's cooler today, quite chilly as summer ends.

Change is trying to come gradually, but it's
still a shock. The sudden coolness in the air,
leaves dancing off trees, and daylight disappearing.
When did it begin? Yesterday was steaming summer.

It's all right, part of the cycle called seasons.
Repeated year after year, even in the desert.
I have seen the autumn leaves all dressed
in their farewell colors waving "goodbye."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Notable QUOTES

FAILURE is only the OPPORTUNITY to BEGIN again,
this time more WISELY. -Anonymous

Thirty five years ago this time of year, I divorced my first husband after 11 years of marriage. Talk about feelings of FAILURE, but time has taught me all experiences negative or positive can be learned from. So, I BEGAN again and have continued to try to GROW in wisdom and knowledge. That is why we are here on earth, to grow in UNDERSTANDING ourselves and to be TESTED to see if we will stay TRUE to our BELIEFS. (Photo, by me while walking, of patterns in a rock made over time because of natural pressures.)

So what HAVE I learned?

1. You haven't failed, as long as you KEEP TRYING. No matter the situation.
2. There is always a SILVER LINING in every storm cloud, though you may have to be PATIENT before FINDING it. Keep looking.
3. There are ANSWERS to PRAYERS, and a loving FATHER who cares.
4. FRIENDS can be wonderful guides along the way. We NEED each other.
5. Life is WORTH living, even with it's CHALLENGES.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Article #121 Single Again

If getting a divorce is traumatic, trying getting divorced "twice." Maybe this is why so many in our modern day society aren’t even bothering to get married, but just cohabitating. It certainly simplifies the breaking up part, when and if that happens. Few people get married with the idea of we’ll try this for a while, and see if it works. After experiencing one divorce then remarrying, I never wanted to put myself or my children through the experience of divorcing again. So for 13 more years of my life, I tried to make a success of my second marriage and blended family. Then came the time when despite counseling, and separations, I decided it just wouldn't work. It wasn’t an easy decision, but necessary for my emotional survival.

This second divorce was simpler as my estranged spouse had already returned to live and work in his homeland Sweden, while I continued my employment as a school librarian (see photo above) while raising our young son alone in America. My older sons had married or left home by this time. Deciding to divorce seems like admitting failure, but if you’ve given your marriage relationship the best effort you were capable of, there may not be any other possibility. The odds for a second marriage lasting are less than for a first marriage, which is understandable with all the pressures of being a step parent, and blending families, etc.

Beginning over again, you would think I’d avoid the singles dating scene again, but I was lonely. After my divorce was final, I felt the need for social interaction and returned to my church’s singles dances. I found them no different than my initial experience, yet I continued to attend. In some corner of my heart, my broken dream of "finding my prince and living happily ever after" had not died. In time, I would meet a good man who didn’t recognize that he was a prince disguised as a frog (after his experience with an unexpected divorce in his life.) We courted long distance as he lived in New Mexico and I lived in Utah, then we married a year later and are still blending our families together after 17 years. (Our engagement photo is on the right.)

Life has been an interesting journey. I’m sure you could say the same about your life's experiences. There will soon be an opportunity for you to do that. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Eating and Cooking

Been too busy to think of really cooking,
but it still needs doing or else we snack.
Like last night for supper we had popcorn
with a fruit slush to drink-it was good!

Few dishes, little preparation and less
nutrition, isn't popcorn a vegetable?
I lack the self discipline to eat better,
and add more veggies to my lifestyle.

Breakfast is easy-I've got that down.
Eggs one day, then yogurt and fruit.
Lunches are suppose to be our big meal,
but I get too busy with other things.

So lunch becomes leftovers or sandwiches
though I have discovered casadias.
Easy to make with whole wheat tortillas,
cheese, tomatoes, onions & avocados!

Yesterday I went to a Mexican cooking
class to learn how to make chimis in
my new pressure cooker with beans,
chicken, and lots of spices and veggies.
(Photo of cooking instructor above.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Needed comments...

I did a post on writing a book
and no one commented on Friday,
So I moved it to Sunday and still
no one commented...Where are you?

Funny how you get used to blogging
friends commenting, and when they
don't you wonder...What is wrong?
Maybe nothing, maybe they are busy?

Me too, writing like crazy trying to get
my rough draft done so I can send it
off to the publisher by email, then hold
my breath to see if they like it....hmm?

Life is challenging at times, I do think.
We each have our separate paths
and some have rocky roads to travel.
Let's reach out and encourage others.

The Process of Making a Book

1. First comes the idea, then the ROUGH DRAFT-getting the idea down on paper.
2. Somewhere during the process, it's important to see what else is out there. Does this book need to be written or has it already been covered by someone else? Especially for non-fiction subjects, you DON'T want to DUPLICATE what's there, unless you have a different angle.
3. It helps IF you have a publisher interested and waiting for your manuscript BUT usually that's not the case. I did present my idea in September to Covenant Publishing who are located in Utah. They were interested in seeing my finished manuscript! Well, I don't have a one yet but they are waiting and "looking forward to seeing my book." Usually you write, then send off queries to agents and publishers to try to interest them in your "baby."
4. WRITE-WRITE-WRITE, try not to edit too much-just get something down to work with first. The idea will evolve as you write and you can edit later what you've written.
5. PRAY for inspiration and direction. TALK with others about the subject for support and additional information. Line up some readers to give you feedback when the rough draft is finished.
6. Don't worry about illustrations till the manuscript is done.
7. The title too will evolve. I'm down to "Family Home Evenings for Empty Nesters and Singles" at the moment.
8. Discipline yourself to stay FOCUSED, yet take time for other PRIORITIES like FAMILY, rest, exercise, proper diet, etc.
10. EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. It can only get better. "LESS IS MORE." Now you can submit it to a publisher if they want it in this format or just the first three chapters usually.
11. Add ILLUSTRATIONS, cleanup final formating details.
12. SUBMIT to publishers or SELF PUBLISH.
13. Next comes the hardest part-MARKETING...

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It's almost impossible to keep all your balls in the air
at one time and not drop one of them now and then.
Priorities rise and fall at times but number one needs
to be your SELF CARE-proper diet, exercise, sleep and
spiritual nourishment as well as social relationships.

Sometimes you need to forego certain activities to
FOCUS on others that are more important like your
spouse or family. Needed breaks away from a task
can bring renewed energy-time to clean the sinks,
cook a meal, go grocery shopping each has its purpose.

Life definitely has a rhythm, rhyme and purpose.
To all things there is a season-a time to write, a
time to love, a time to refrain from worrying and
a time to commune with your creator and leave
things out of your control in His capable hands.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Timeout for the Temple

Been too busy writing lately,
forgetting one of my priorities,
attending our lovely temple.

So yesterday I was ready to go.
Spend the morning clothed in white,
contemplating my blessings.

Hearing again of eternal promises
and my purpose in being here,
building bridges to eternity.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Field Trip-Part III

Pipe Springs Monument

Inside the gate is a courtyard between two sections of the house.

Looking out the windows at the courtyard from the kitchen-dining room.

Chairs turned backwards to remind guests to say grace before eating.

Kitchen area where meals were cooked for the large families and workers.

Upstairs bedroom area with cradle for the baby.

Loom on the balcony for making carpets for floor coverings.

Balcony stairs connect to another house section with a basement workroom.

Located on a hillside, they could see for miles around for protection.

In later years, a telegraph office was located in this room.

Many cows were milked at Pipe Springs.
Cheese was made is this basement area.
(The End.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Field Trip-Part II

Historical information-occupied in 1863.

My friend Marilyn standing at the entrance to Pipe Springs Monument.

Outdoor work or cooking area in the hot summers.

Outbuildings for workers and corrals.

Main house with indoor courtyard with a spring running through.

Early drawing of the Pipe Springs dwelling/fort.
(To be continued tomorrow-inside the fort.)