Friday, December 31, 2010

To resolve or not to resolve...

It's the last day of this busy year 2010.
What was it I resolved to do last year?
I can't make the same resolutions twice.
I need something fresh for this new year.

No procrastination, no self depreciation,
I'll only send good vibes this year.
Is that possible? Yes, but not probable.
Maybe I should try something realistic.

I need something fresh for this new year.
I can't make the same resolutions twice.
What was it I resolved to do last year?
It's the last day of this busy year 2010.

I don't want to make the same mistakes,
I have to dig into the memory banks
What did I do wrong last year or right?
Maybe I'll stay with my old resolves.

What was it I resolved to do last year?
You can't break a resolution twice.
Now it's the NEW YEAR 2011.
I resolve to make NO resolutions.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Article #131 Childhood Memories

What are your earliest childhood memories? My husband remembers at age three living in married student housing with his family in Texas when his dad went to college on the GI bill after WWII. I can only remember from age four flying in my dad’s airplane with my parents. Take some time to reflect back, perhaps looking at some of your old family photos to help you recall your past.

Write about where you lived, what you remember about your first house or apartment, neighborhood, friends, pets, etc. There is a whole world of experiences that can fascinate your posterity. You didn’t have TV in those days or Internet? How did you survive? What were hobbies or games that kept you busy? My husband liked to bike with friends and dig forts in the dirt. Scouting activities were enjoyable, as he grew older. Learning how to do archery, camping, whittling and orienteering were all new skills that influenced his future choice of a career in the Forest Service.

Did you live near your grandparents? I lived in the same place for a while with my paternal grandparents. Close enough to walk across our small rural town; it was safe in those days. I loved dogs, and my grandmother always knew when I was coming because she would hear a bunch of dogs barking and following me. I loved to watch my grandparents do anything: cook, fed the chickens, garden, clean house or just sit on the back porch and talk. Grandma always had time to help me put together a puzzle. Grandpa taught me to fish and love the outdoors. If I’d been a boy, he would have taken me deer hunting. We did hunt for pine nuts and rattlesnakes in the sagebrush wilderness of Utah’s outdoors. Summer cookouts are fond family memories with grandma’s delicious homemade picnics.

Life was slower in those days. Can we learn from looking back at our childhood memories how to better relate to our own grandchildren? We need to take time away from the distractions of our modern world to commune with nature and actually talk face to face and tell our posterity of our childhood experiences. Start writing today about your life while you still can remember the “good old days.” What lessons did you learn from your parents and grandparents? Give them a voice and recognize all they did for you. It's time to resolve to write down some of your life's experiences in the new year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

LISTmaking TIME?

My husband looked at my weekly schedule and list on my desktop and said "You are too organized." Maybe, but if you want to accomplish a lot and not waste your time you need "ORDER." Lists that take into account my priorities are more important than just lists to do. Funny enough, on my TO DO list is to get a new 2011 wall CALENDAR. I try to always have my planner with a calendar in my purse when I go anywhere so I can write down any new appointment or special events. Even with retirement, I find it helpful to plan with a calendar nearby to prevent! I do say "no" to lots of things. There are more things to do than I have time and some activities are good or better while others are "best."

It's a matter of priorities again. High on my list are taking care of my own needs for physical and spiritual nourishment, exercising, writing, also working on relationships-connecting with family and my Heavenly Father. Other activities like housekeeping or organizations are important but not as high on my list of priorities. What is your number one priority in your life?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


First-HAPPY BIRTHDAY LORIEN-my youngest grandchild. I had the strange experience yesterday of looking online ( at myself as a junior in my high school yearbook. I don't have this book, only my senior year's. So looking back on me at that age was very enlightening. Some things I had forgotten. I always remember myself as being shy, tall and very skinny. But in the yearbook, I saw a smiling confident face and realized I was active in lots of clubs: the Formulators-chemistry club, Bowling Club, Girls Athletic Association-I played volley ball and field hockey, Educators club-didn't realize I wanted to be a teacher then, Scholarship Society, Radio Broadcasters-we played records during lunchtime, and Corp de ballet-a dance group that performed in school plays, etc. I was quite active and had lots of girl friends. Although at that point, I had no boy friends or dated at all during high school. I never went to a Junior Prom or Senior Hop or had my heart broken either.

Trying to recall my thoughts about those years was interesting. I concluded I was one busy young girl with my ballet dancing and performing as well as my good grades in school. I danced professionally in a ballet company, graduated from Jr. College and went on to BYU, married, had a family then got divorced. Of all my experiences, the divorce after 10 years of marriage, the betrayal and adjustment seems to have taken center stage in my life for too long of a time. Probably because my "Prince Charming" sidetracked my life plan to that point. I was on my way to "living happily everafter"!

I was reading an article online about Wynnona Judd who just divorced her husband for similar reasons. "Forgiveness," she says, "is an ongoing process. [I] haven't forgotten, but I have forgiven. Enough that I humanly can," she says. "I don't wish him dead or anything like that. I just wish to be one of those people that doesn't spend my life being defined by that." That quote brought me up short because I'm finding 35 years after my divorce, I still feel defined by what happened. I somehow failed in life because I couldn't make a success of such an important relationship. OF course it takes two to tango, but I still am dealing with what happened to our children. When holidays come, I don't have my sons home together to celebrate because our family is split into my ex-husband's family and my family. Where is HOME to our sons, since we all live in different places?

It isn't how I had always expected it to be. BUT I don't want to be defined by that. I want to move on ACTING instead of REACTING. I won't forget the lessons I learned about TRUST and INTEGRITY and do appreciate my dear husband now who is loyal and trustworthy, because I know that not all men have those qualities. I am defined by more than my choice of companion and their weaknesses or strengths. I have unique talents and abilities that make me-ME. That is part of the lessons learned from my life so far. What lessons are you learning from your challenges?

Monday, December 27, 2010


CELEBRATING those moments that work for you
when the UNIVERSE lines up and you feel JOY
in the MOMENT...maybe because you are there
interacting, CONNECTING with a grandchild in play
or talking DEEPLY with a friend or loved one

we were able to have parts of our FAMILY
and some dear FRIENDS Caryn and Wayne
to SHARE meals and conversation times
how often do we just TALK and VISIT with others
CONNECTING and relationships are so important

CARPE A DEIM, seizing the moment and enjoying
the hugs, the loves and REACHING OUT of others
caring and sharing, making time to LISTEN and
RESPOND, showing value is so needed for each of us
everyday WHETHER in person or long distance

I've finally reached the point where giving presents
to others is more fun than getting them...
and I can enjoy skyping and brief interactions
virtually or in person with family who want to interact

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Trying to balance the expectations of any holiday
with the reality of what really happens, isn't easy.
Listening to inner voices and not reacting but acting,
is a challenge but can be done if you concentrate.

It's so easy to go through life always making
comparisons with the ideal vs. the reality we face.
I can choose to be happy and content with less
or miserable and depressed by my own greediness.

Maybe that's the difference between optimism
and pessimism. Is the glass half full or half empty?
When is enough enough? Patience is a needed virtue
and a little serendipity can change the whole scene.

(My photos-leftover from the contest.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Creches

a solitary birth
that touched the world
forever after

just one small babe
born in Bethlehem
centuries ago

remembered today
with elaborate celebrations
that overshadow the meaning
of His coming

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas EVE day is here...

Had family stop by earlier to visit on their way to California
and Disneyland. We had dinner together-pulled pork sandwiches
and visited. They went on to California and lots of rain...

Two of my grandkids-James and Heather played with the nativity
scene. It's made out of plastic, so they can use it to tell the Christmas
story. We'll see them today on their way back from soggy Disneyland.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Article #130 What's in a Name?

Have you ever told your family how you came to have the name you have? Surnames come from our parents, generally our father’s last name unless you are more modern with both of your parent’s last names together. If you came from a culture with a particular tradition for surnames, your moniker will reflect that. (Photo of my father Stanley as a child, with his father Joseph Harold Vernon, his grandmother Sarah Elizabeth Malin and his great grandmother Alice Melissa Smith.)

Whenever I meet someone and find out their last name, being a genealogist at heart, I always want to know what the country of origin is for their surname. Most people know enough of their family legacy to know where their ancestors immigrated from or what ethnic group is part of their makeup.

First names traditionally were given to honor older family members and keep them in remembrance, but today’s modern families seem more concerned with having an unusual name or spelling that no one else has. Write down what you know about your own given name. Did you have a nickname as a child or adult? How do you feel about your name? In naming your own children did you honor any older family members?

Our surname represents only a hundredth part of the many surnames that got to get us to the point where we were born to one particular couple. Demonstrating the various names in your family with a pedigree chart will show your posterity where their ancestors came from. If you have any old family photos, it’s fun to add these to your family tree. Names, dates and places become more interesting when there is a face to put with them. (Photo above, my dad Stanley with his mother Mildred Lucille Stevens, her father George Geroy Stevens, and his mother Eliza Alice Maria Horten.)

You are now compiling your genealogy or family history. Roots that can show where your family came from, and the names that are part of your ancestry. Do you practice any of the traditions or customs from the nation/s of your ancestors? Have you ever visited any of the places they lived? If so, how did that feel?

What do you hope your family will remember about you after you are gone? Try writing a brief obituary to see what events are important enough in your life to represent your life. It may seem morbid, but can be an outline for writing your own life story. Or read obituaries for your parents or grand parents to get ideas on events in their life that were important. It’s time to get busy with writing their histories or your own, if it’s not done. You can do it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Enough is Enough

pitter patter, drip drip
splash, splash, splash
it’s a deluge of water
falling from the skies

when will it stop?
after days and days
only more rain comes
we love it, but not this much

falling from the skies
it’s a deluge of water
splash, splash, splash
pitter patter, drip drip

maybe we should find a boat
just in case it’s needed
California is full of mudslides
Utah is having flash floods

pitter patter, drip drip
splash, splash, splash
enough is enough
we’re ready for it to stop, NOW!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


My friend Caryn is so CREATIVE and we had a FUN time the other day making FLOWER PINS. It's really quite EASY and QUICK to make them once you have ALL the various materials assembled. You need some polyester and heavier fabric, decorative buttons, scissors, needle and thread, and that most important tool: a glue gun plus an electric fire starter to burn the edges of the polyester material so the flower petals will curl up.

Assembling the fabric and tools

Choosing the fabric and layers

Creating the base of the flower by gathering one edge

Adding layers of circles and curling the edges
Note Caryn's inventive flower necklace!

Gluing the layers together, adding a decorative button
then a pin clasp in back for the finished product.
It took less that 20 minutes to make a complete pin.
Of course, Caryn is an expert at making them...

Monday, December 20, 2010

"If only you believe in yourself"

"Nobody can give you a feeling of SELF WORTH. Nobody can preach it to you or teach it to you or sing it to you. . . It’s a victory and A GIFT YOU GIVE YOURSELF. And it happens when you judge yourself based on the evidence of your own accomplishment. It’s that moment when you realize you can do something, overcome something, be something." Great talk by singer Michael McLean.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

And the winner is...

Well I entered my first photography contest with our local Image Catchers club and won:

Third place for PHOTO EDITING

Before photoshopping

Artistic effect-stylize

Third place for SHOES category

Gotta love those boots from Texas

Third place for FRUIT category

Taken with my cell phone camera

Second place for SHAPES category

Just laying there in someone's yard

I was delighted to win four certificates, and it encourages me to continue on with this hobby. My competition included some very experienced photographers. Members of the club voted for the winners. Looking at the world through your camera lens does open up new possibilities and awareness.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Computer Savy

How funny to look back to BC or life Before Computers and how we were introduced to the digital world. I learned from my son Daniel how to use a computer to do a singles newsletter -it was certainly easier. Then as a school librarian we got computerized. I spent one summer inputting all the books in our elementary library into the system-so much easier for circulation, lesson planning, etc. Then all the advances in genealogy and writing family histories through computers and the INTERNET. Yes there was a time once not so long ago when there were NO computers and NO internet. How did you get introduced to computers?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Article #129 Family Values

Each family is different because of the individuals in that group, their living conditions and personalities. Unique, there is no standard model or perfect ideal although we all seem to have one in our mind. A mom and dad married with 2.5 children used to be the norm. Now almost 50% of families are single parent households. Despite the variations, are there some universal values that each family tries to instill in their children and a family legacy that is passed down consciously or not. (Photo of my grandmother, her husband and two of their five children. He died of cancer four months after their last child was born.)

Looking back on my mother’s family both she and my grandmother were widows, I saw their example of “independence” and “courage” in going forward with what life had dealt them. Not wallowing in self pity, but doing what needed to be done. My grandmother with her five kids, no education, washed dishes, cooked in boarding houses, took in laundry and ironing; anything to survive and feed her children. There was no welfare in those days. My mom, the first high school graduate in her family, worked as a secretary after the death of my dad, attended business school to pick up more skills, then settled into a secure job as a telephone operator to support us.

It was a legacy that said to me, when I unexpectedly became a single parent because of divorce, you can do it. They did it. It was a family tradition for me to build upon. Then there was my father’s parents. That grandmother was hardworking, an immaculate housekeeper and great cook, made her own clothes, and stored great quantities of food for winter needs. My grandfather was completely honest, hardworking and thrifty. Paying cash for all big purchases and saving money religiously. Both were wonderful examples to me as I grew up.

I CHALLENGE YOU to begin writing down your family’s legacy. What is your earliest memory of your parents or grandparents? How did they affect your life as you began the journey called “life?” My earliest memories of my mom and dad are taking airplane rides together when I was only 4 years old. Dad was the pilot and loved to fly over the Utah landscape in his small piper cub airplane. What fun that was. We’d go visit my maternal grandmother and buzz her house so she’d know we needed to be picked up in the nearby pasture. Those were idyllic days of my early childhood. Feeling secure and loved. (My grandmother who gave me a secure feeling of being loved and important.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010


For some weird reason, NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS are whirling around in my head trying to become clearer. I still like my standard resolve "to act NOT react." That works for every situation and time it seems, although I don't always do it. But a new thought is revolving around- CONNECTING. I feel a real pull to help others and myself "to find their voice." To connect with themselves, thereby allowing them to connect with others. (Photos of me taken in 1970 when I was younger and slimmer!)

The first step I feel is To SHUT DOWN or IGNORE the negative self talk that we all allow either consciously or without awareness that STOPS us from becoming ALL we can become. Discovering our authentic self, and the better person we can become, then making that JOURNEY of SELF DISCOVERY. So we can connect, not in guiltiness but with adventure and enthusiasm. I want to teach this to others.

I've had several experiences lately where someone else has REAFFIRMED my value as a person. Growing up as a tall, shy, awkward, insecure young girl, it's taken years for me to develop SELF CONFIDENCE. From my experience in performing as a DANCER, I've learned that I have a talent, then as a modern dance teacher I discovered I could help others become more CREATIVE. Now as a WRITER, I seem to be almost obsessed in helping others through classes and my writings to DISCOVER their own self worth and their VOICE. I'm still amazed when I interact with someone and they COMPLIMENT me on my writings or classes. I'm trying to ACCEPT their APPROVAL of me and IGNORE the negative SELF TALK that says...oh they don't really mean that, don't get a big head, you know your weaknesses, etc.

I was visiting a dance professor at BYU that I've worked with several times in developing a history of the Dance Dept, and he APPRECIATES my help with this project. Everytime I see him, he stops all his work and TAKES TIME to sit down and talk with me. I feel this enormous VALUE being sent to me. So much so that last time I visited, tears came easily to my eyes as we visited. He saw my tears as I tried to APOLOGIZE for them, and said that's okay, people do cry in my office. He's young enough to be my son, a modern dance professor, and a former Dance Dept. Chair. Just an overall nice guy. HE SENDS EVERYONE VALUE!

My RELIGIOUS LEADER does that also. As I was talking with him the other day, he commented on my SERVICE in the branch or congregation, my ORGANIZATION and POSITIVE ATTITUDE. He, too, is another sweet man who HUMBLY serves others. Then there are my FRIENDS Caryn, Mary and Gittan who are so POSITIVE about my abilities and influence in their lives. It's a GIFT to myself to be around them all. Others in my life, including blogging friends and family members also send me VALUE. I realize how IMPORTANT that is to each of us. I WANT to help others learn how to give and accept that kind of CONNECTION. My new resolution for 2011 is to HELP OTHERS FIND THEIR VOICE!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I just opened up my Utah State Poetry Society's Panorama book and found I have a poem in there published under Lin Vernon Lloyd. Not sure who she is, but it's my poem "Sudden Storm." No one told me it was accepted for the book, but there it is under my! It's an old poem that I've worked and reworked many times trying to improve it.


Rain falls in the Mohave desert
relief to summer’s extreme heat
You left so suddenly I didn’t expect that
Cloudbursts shoot piercing hailstones
Lightning strikes charge the air
Shattering my peaceful secure world
A summer storm sweeps in suddenly
Scattering wildlife with its frantic fury
Uncovering all camouflage
Flash floods unleash nature’s power
Sweeping away lonely dirt roads
Crushed dreams and broken promises remain
Temperatures drop
Coolness comes quickly
I pray, finding solace in surrender
Cactii and wildflowers explode in color
Unexpected beauty in a forgotten place

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Welcome to Caryn's home!

It's our latest snowbird in town, my dear friend Caryn!

She brought her Christmas decorations with her, see her fun mantel.

A simple tree with elaborately wrapped presents by Caryn.

Every table and corner has some interesting touch of Yule spirit.

Caryn made that Santa Claus and it is classy.

Night lights in front of the Dixie Electric Company!
Christmas is coming...