Thursday, June 30, 2011

End of Another Month

I'm sure we just started JUNE a few days ago
Where has it flown too? I know it's SUMMER now
as our temperatures are in the 100s and HOT.
How fun to go DAILY to water aerobics class
and work on different projects-another NEW book!

Almost completed "FIND YOUR VOICE: Write
Your Life Story" will soon be ready for publishing.
My COLUMNS are written for the summer months.
Our GARAGE is insulated and has a new air conditioner,
soon my hubby will be starting to build his BOAT.

NO eye SURGERY needed this summer for cataracts.
Much to be THANKFUL for, good health, loving friends,
family to visit, REUNIONS to attend, a trip to Iceland
in August, OPPORTUNITIES abound to TEACH classes
plus spend time with my husband. Life is GOOD!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

My favorite non-sugar dessert is a cake recipe I modified.
Here it is for those who like less calories or are diabetic.

1/2 C brown sugar-I use sugar free maple syrup instead
3/4 C oil
2 eggs
1 Can or 15oz of pumpkin puree
1 C oatmeal
1 C white flour
2 t baking powder
1 t soda
1 T cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t salt
Mix in
1/2 C chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 pkg. sugar free chocolate chips

Bake 350 in a greased bundt pan for 30 minutes
Wonderful served warm with whipped cream topping.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


My husband took this photo from our car with a telephoto lens, and it came out perfectly. The ears remind me of LISTENING-what an important skill that is. What we hear, however, isn't always what registers in our mind. Many times if we DON'T hear something we have a tendency to make assumptions of WHY. Definitely FOOD for THOUGHT. All because of a jack rabbit photo.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sailing Boat Time

We have several reservoirs near us here in So. Utah,

but have never been over to Sand Hollow State Park

until recently when my hubby read of a sailboat regala there.

What beautiful views of Pine Valley mountains and the reservoir.

It was only 100 degrees with a slight wind this hot summer day.
My hubby's planning on building a rowing wooden sailboat!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Home Sweet Desert

My husband misses trees and green growing things,

but I love our desert home. This time of year

it is quite beautiful with all the new blooms.

Spring is green and colorful even here.

Remember our newly landscaped dry river bed?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Article #156 Ending Your History

How do you know when you are finished with your story or bio? Deadlines can demand that you end or if you have lots of time, it’s possible to never finish. Remember-after you do finally publish, you can always add other chapters in the future. The important thing is to get your story written and not drag it on forever and never accomplish your purpose.

If you have a theme for your manuscript, the ending can be where you tie it all together and/or give a challenge to your readers to write their own history. In my husband’s bio, I had his four daughters write a little tribute at the end of his history to their dad on the effect of his life and their experiences together as a family. (Photo of four generations of my husband's family, his first daughter Deborah, his mother Wanda and his maternal grandmother Frankie Juanita. Look at those happy smiles.)

The oldest daughter wrote…my dad inspired me in many ways. His passion for gardening has planted in me the love of gardening also. Traveling as much as we did gave me the ability to adapt to different circumstances and also to love to travel. Another daughter said Because we always lived in the trees and mountains, that is where I find myself wishing I could be, we saw a lot of amazing places growing up. Her sister shared…Some people live their whole life in one place, never getting the opportunity to enjoy all that God has given us in the beauties of the world. Because of my Dad I have seen lots. The youngest daughter sums up her father’s life beautifully…My Dad is a man of few words. As such, his actions spoke for him and the example he set with his work ethnic, independence and motivation taught me there was a right way for things to be done. Thank you Dad for all that have done and the person that you are.

I couldn’t have written a better ending. So perhaps ask your children to comment on your life. Why wait till your obituary or funeral eulogy, when you can gather that info now? In my own life story I ended with: As we look at the past, we can see the growth we made as well as the mistakes and can easily hope to be as forgiving of ourselves and others as we hope they will be of us. We only get one chance to live here on earth and it deserves our best efforts…In closing my life history, I want to express my love to my family and friends who have shared this journey with me call “life.”

Friday, June 24, 2011


Interesting how you take things for granted
like an air conditioner, until the temp hits 102
and IT decides to breakdown. Guess who is
the most popular person in town today?
You got it-the AC technician. So we are waiting
patiently for rescuing from our hot air inside.
I remember my grandmother who NEVER had
an air conditioner-not in her house or her car.
She just pulled the blinds down on the windows
inside her house in the AM, let the cooler air in at night
and suffered through cooking over a hot stove
all day for boarders. She'd laugh at our silliness.
We have to be a constant temperature all year
with our gas furnaces and electric coolers in
cars, houses, schools, offices and even stores.
A bunch of wimps we are becoming! Grandma
had only to chopped some wood for her stove
or haul in some coal to warm herself then.
She was always warm, year round!
And those were the GOOD OLD DAYS....

PS. It's fixed only cost $200 for a little tiny part!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Well, I taught a class on Families CAN be Forever
last Sunday at church with emphasis on the word "can."
Such complex relationships there are in FAMILIES
as the children grow leave the nest and become independent.

Some never look back or remember when they came from.
Others linger near and return to interact regularly.
Parents once all important are sometimes forgotten,
eventually they age and depart-part of a shared history.

How interesting to watch nature repeat the cycle:
as birds mate, build a nest then lay their eggs.
Carefully guarded and watched over, soon the
little ones hatch and need to be fed and protected.

Too soon they are ready to learn to fly and be off
on their own to face their own dangers, mate and
begin families. Some will choose to fly solo through
their lives and forget their origins and roots.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Last Saturday, I talked my husband into going to the local Farmer's Market with me. Usually I can't budge him out of the house, but I think he needed a rest from all his labors working on fixing all the holes in the walls of our garage where we had new insulation installed. It's quite a project and labor intensive as it requires working on a ladder and attaching lathes and screws together in each hole (50 altogether.) Then he'll need to plaster over them and paint. But it will look lovely when done and then we'll have a split ac-heat pump installed to cool and heat the garage so he have a workshop to build a rowing-sailing wooden boat!!!

Back to shopping, we headed off early about 9 am to Ancestor's Square's Market in downtown St. George. It was cooler today only 80 degrees so it was quite nice. I bought some fresh apricots and cherries. Later we went to lunch at Jimmy John's-my favorite subway sandwich.

Lots of crafty things to check out.

Lots of homemade jewelry to buy.

Free entertainment and lots of shade and green grass
to enjoy while listening to jazz music.

This little boy was watching his younger sister and holding on to her.
I watched him almost dump her in the wading pool.
Cute kids, mom was nearby-thankfully.

Then we headed over to beautiful Tuachan's Sat. Market
in the red rocks near Snow Canyon and mostly windowed shopped.
I did buy a fun wooden necklace made in Costa Rica.

Monday, June 20, 2011


The other morning my husband called me outside early to see the full moon just setting. It was spectacular and I had noticed its brightness shinning through our blinds during the night. What's amazing to me is the fact that the moon could always look like it does when it has the full reflection of the sun upon it, but because of our shadow getting in between we have the different phases of the moon. Maybe our life is like that too.

Getting closer to the moon with my camera's telescopic lens helps reveal unknown details of the moon's surface and reminds me that man has landed there which makes it seem so much closer. I wonder if there are not aspects of our own personality or talents that we don't appreciate because we aren't aware of them. What do you think?

Evening walk on the golf course in the cool twilight.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New Project...

It's time to do volume II of my column articles as I have written about 80 since I self published my first book "LOOKING the Good Old Days" in 2009. This second volume will be entitled "FIND YOUR VOICE...Write your Life Story." I'm not worrying if anyone will buy it or not, I just know that I want to collect my thoughts and publish them. The focus is on remembering and recalling my life, and how that helped me find my VOICE. The unique me that I am and that YOU ARE TOO. The first part starts with my courting days then marriage, motherhood, divorce and life adjustments, finishing with tips for YOU to write your life story-and leave a LEGACY.

It's so nice to have something to focus on. I love GOALS. My hubby also has become focused on turning our garage into a well insulated air conditioned workshop to finally build a SAILING BOAT to realize some of his dreams. So summer promises to be a busy and fulfilling time. I'll also be leading a class on "The Fifth Agreement" by Don Miguel Ruiz. I was taking a class on "The Four Agreements" and now will be TEACHING (my great love) the same group. On to SUMMER...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Article #155 Beginnings

Hopefully you have gathered a rough draft or some ideas to edit into an account of your life or whomever you are writing about. With a tentative outline in mind, write down the various topics or areas of your life you want to share. If you’re compiling chronologically, you can still begin with a later part of your life and then do a flashback to your birth or childhood. The most boring bios I’ve read start with “I was born in…” You don’t want to put your reader to sleep, but instead share some exciting experiences in your life perhaps with a touch of humor to intrigue your reader to read more.

Is there a theme to your life? In writing my husband’s life story, I realized he had spent his whole career searching/exploring for the perfect homestead spot. Working for the US Forest Service, he moved a total of 22 times during his career trying out different climate and locales. To explore this theme, I named the first chapter in his bio “Southern Roots” and discussed how his ancestors had set the example moving west from their early beginnings in Virginia to Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma and finally to Texas looking for better opportunities. The second chapter is entitled “Rooted in Texas” which is where he was born and raised. Then the third chapter is “Exploring the Wild West” with details of his life after marriage and college to find a place to settle and raise his family. The last chapter is entitled “Retirement and New Dreams.” The overall title for his history is “The Biography of Bert Allen Floyd Jr: From Texas to Exploring the Wild West.”

Looking at your manuscript and trying to break it up into sections can help you organize it better. There are more lengthy histories and photos of my husband’s ancestors that I wanted to add to his book, so I put them in an appendix at the end.

I begin his story with “Bert Allen’s ancestors were true Southerners from West Virginia, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Tennessee. Some fought in the Civil War for the confederacy. They eventually migrated west across the southern states through Oklahoma then called the Indian Territory, and ended up in Texas.” My purpose in writing his history was to give his descendents some background information on their ancestors as well as details of the life and accomplishments of their father and grandfather.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weeding my collection

As a school librarian every once in awhile, it was time to weed the collection. That needs to happen at my home also. This week it was the clothes closet's turn because we are getting more insulation in our garage's attic and walls. Of course, the only way to that area is through our bedroom walk-in closet.

So in about a half hour, I tried on blouses, jackets and skirts I haven't worn for a year or more and collected two bags full to go to our local thrift store. It was this past year that I went shopping with my friend Caryn in one and brought home a couple of items that I am now recycling as I weed my closet.

What a great feeling to lighten the load of choices in my closet to just a few that fit and that I like to wear. It's been over a year since I've worn something, it's probably not worth keeping. Someone else perhaps in a third world country would find it worthwhile and needed in their lives. RECYCLING feels so good!

Me getting measured for new glasses. I can recycle my old eyewear!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Okay this summer is getting off to a slow start
but then I am almost seventy-one years old...
I definitely want to use this laid back time
for self improvement HEALTH-wise and otherwise.

Starting with VISION problems I visited a new doctor
to have my eyes checked. A year ago, I discovered that
I have CATARACTS forming in both eyes and would need
SURGERY sometime soon. Well, I waited and a year later
I'm ready to do something. The new doctor suggested
that I wait for another year or so before surgery and
just get NEW GLASSES-so that sounds good to me.

It's past time to EXERCISE more to lose ten extra
pounds gained during this past busy year which means
focusing on what I'm eating and being responsible for
planning better meals and eating healthier foods.

So I've signed up for some COOKING classes and will
become more committed to DAILY exercise now that's
it's hot-almost 100 dgrees today I can rejoin my WATER
aerobics classes and WALK in the early morning hours.

Then I need to focus on MIND, SPIRIT and SOCIAL issues.
It's like being a JUGGLER-guess I need to just tackle one
area at a time. So I'll choose PHYSICAL HEALTH then
when that is under control, I'll work on other areas.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Haircut Trimming Time

A couple of times a year the grounds crew do maintenance
on our yards. And every week during the summer they mow.
What a luxury to have our yardwork done, but it does cost.
Paid by our HOA fees willingly, as it's very hot work in summer.

It's also time for my perm and haircut, so I can look neat too
and not scraggly like my yard was looking. Plants and hair both
grow and can become unmanageable without trimming and care.
Time for some TLC inside and outside preparing for summertime.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Outdoor FUN

It's that time of year to enjoy the outdoors and our patio
before it gets too hot. Hubby helped me put up some
bird houses on our block wall outside, now just need
a sign that says VACANCY for love birds to come nest.

We invited a couple over for dinner on our patio
then played a fun card game after eating.
Time to socialize and enjoy our free time and health.
Rick and Wanda are neighbors who live close by joined us.

We had pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, coleslaw
and yummy cake plus delightful summer temperatures.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Red Rock Country

I love the colors of the rocks in Southern Utah
with several parks near us we can easily drive to them.
Nearby Bryce Canyon is Red Canyon (below), only an hour
away from us is Zion's Canyon with more beauty.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


The years have passed too quickly, but I still remember
our meeting 19 years ago after our divorces.
Falling in love and committing to marriage again
and eternal covenants to be there for each other.

Here's photos from our weekend trip to Boulder, Utah
and drive through the lovely red rock parks of our state.
May we have many more years and an eternity together
I love you and appreciate all you do for me as my husband.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Article #154 What is Your Title?

There are many details to consider before you are ready to publish your history. A title is important and can add interest, a hook to entice family members to read your bio. Is there a theme to your life? My biography’s title was “The Journey called ‘Life.’” A title or theme can help you tie in together the various chapters of your life and aid you to come to a conclusion at the end. Be creative in how you title your history, so it will motivate others to want to read it. Any nicknames or other unique qualities that make you “you” can be used. Also giving an indication of location and dates helps, if your history ever ends up in a library. In the case of my ancestor’s family histories I use their name, dates and places. i.e. “Our Icelandic Ancestors: Vilborg Thordardottir (1831-1924) Immigrant to Spanish Fork, Utah in 1874.” Just the title tells you lots about the subject of this history.

My husband’s title was “Bert Allen Floyd Jr: From Texas to Exploring the Wild West.” Of course a photo on the cover page can help create interest. I found clipart of the Alamo to illustrate hubby’s cover. On my cover I had a photo of me as a baby then one of me as a grandmother with my twin grand daughters as babies, showing my journey through life. Like any book, a cover can give a hint of what lies inside and entice the reader to look inside.

Photos are so important especially in a family history not just for covers, but throughout your story. Putting a caption under your pictures helps others not familiar with your family to know who the individuals are and their location. If you have few photos, take some or search online for historical photos. Most states have historical societies and you can contact them online or in person to purchase copies of interesting old pictures to add to your history. Be sure to always get permission to publish them and give credit in your history to all sources of unique photos. Taking your own photos can be done by visiting birthplaces and old homesteads, if they are still exist.

You are now editing as you add photos, certificates and other interesting visual images to your history. This is a good time to re-look at the beginning and ending of your story and make any changes.