Monday, April 30, 2012


No small accomplishment after nine years of college, my youngest son Jeffrey graduated with a Masters of Business Administration from Thunderbird College in Phoenix, Arizona. They have an online program so he was able to finish his masters in 18 months while working full time with four weeks of classes in Arizona, Geneva-Switzerland and Hong Kong. A dedicated young man with a promising future before him and his supportive wife Rachel, daughter Rory and soon to be born son Edmund. Congratulations!

Sunday, April 29, 2012


 Time to travel to Jeff's graduation in Phoenix, Arizona

 Across the great Navaho reservation in NW Arizona

 It's an 8 hour drive filled with desert, space and clouds today.

 Lots of wide open areas but not much water.

This is close to Grand Canyon area.

Phoenix Arizona plants-click to enlarge

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Article #194 Building Traditions

             Traditions are activities or practices that are enjoyed and repeated over time with some regularity. Simple family practices as eating special foods at holiday times, enjoying a yearly vacation or attending special celebrations together such as reunions, birthdays, weddings, graduations or decorating graves on Memorial day, etc. can build family unity and identity.

            When I was a young girl I remember visiting my grandparents often. My grandmother liked to put together puzzles with me. We would sit together for hours in her quiet home working together, talking a little and just building our relationship. Now I can do that with my grandchildren (IF I can get them unplugged.) I remember making tarts with another grandma. Cooking or baking together is almost a lost art during these days of fast foods. Making homemade bread was a necessity in those good old days, nowadays it’s a rare occurrence. It was fun to make cookies together or other treats to enjoy during our visits. Eating meals together was a celebration.

            Being an empty nest parent of four sons, I was delighted to have my grown son and his family visit recently during their spring break. My computer savvy son offered to cook a special meal for my husband’s birthday (his stepfather.) What fun to work by my son’s side as grownups as he taught me how to fix real Italian spaghetti. Though we aren’t Italian, his wife has that ancestry. When in-laws join a family, they can bring in new traditions that can be incorporated. Ethnic dishes can be discovered and new traditions enjoyed together.

            Families constantly expand and change as new members are added through birth, marriage and/or adoption. Differences can be celebrated and added to the mix of a constantly expanding group of individuals called family. Each person has some unique quality or personality to add to a group bonded by love and shared experiences. Forming new traditions or practices to celebrate together will build unity and understanding. Just the simplicity of sharing holidays by taking turns which family hosts a special meal or time together can be enjoyable.

            A family is a working lab of relationships as each person interacts, whether it’s a childless couple or a larger group of related individuals. Conflict is inevitable, but solvable if the commitment to communication exists. Learning to not take disagreements personally is a great help in building unity and continuing traditions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Poetry Conference

I flew to SLC rather than drive 5 hours one way then back. 
We have an airport in our city with connections to our capitol. 
With the price of gas, it's almost cheaper to fly and easier. 
 My conference was at the airport Hilton, so why not?

It's early spring in SLC, snow dusts the tops of the mountains.
My friend Marilyn Ball is with me in SLC at our lovely hotel.

We sat and listen to lots of poems and enjoyed several banquets
and socializing with other wannabe and experienced poets.

Our main speaker (R) is U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser from Nebraska

And the winner for Poet of the Year from 19 entries didn't include me.
These three poets from our chapter were runner-ups in the contest!
I submitted 28 poems but didn't receive any awards, it's back to work.
Although I just got another order for my book FIND YOUR VOICE:
Write Your Life Story from a distributor for Family History Expo 
who bought 12 copies, sold them all and wants 12 more...HURRAH!

Wonderful review of my book-I needed that today...

  Find Your Voice: Write Your Life Story, by Lin Vernon Floyd, 2011.
Floyd takes an unusual approach in this guide. She provides all the standard questions and topics one expects to cover in writing their own story. She also covers practical ideas and help for scanning photos, publishing options, and editing tips. But what make this book unique is that about half its pages are dedicated to Floyd's own story. By reading through a short version of her story, the reader gets a great example of how a short version of one's own story can be put together in just a few pages. Her writing style is enlivening and provides an excellent example of not just what to write but how to write. Blending story and facts with imagery and detail. Added to the story and ideas of the book is the theme that writing is therapeutic. Floyd states that the process of "recalling my own life, I discovered my VOICE who I am in my family, different from any one else in the world because of my unique experiences and personality." This book is Floyd's offering to help others discover their own voice, with the necessary details needed to start writing your own life story.
"I highly recommend the process of writing your biography to bring understanding to what life is teaching you, no matter how old you are. It can be a healing and enlightening process, if undertaken with the right attitude, and will help you leave a legacy for your family."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Changes coming

As the school year ends new projects beckon
family history missionary work awaits my dedicated efforts,
poetry can take a back seat and perhaps water aerobics
will fill more hours as I return to regular exercise.

 Time to focus on family with Jeff's graduation in Phoenix,
Mother's  and Memorial day ahead and the twin's 14th birthday.
New beginnings await and fresh journal pages are unfilled.
Caryn returns home after a fun filled wintertime together.

 We had a last lunch together at this fun Chinese restaurant.

Love their creative decor, even the ceiling is decorated.

As the weather turns to the high 90s, I can tell it's time for changes
from heating our house to air conditioning it.

A purchase of Asian Egerts for my bedroom wall.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Desert Spring

Spring is almost over and the snowbirds will return home,
Caryn will be leaving until next winter, I'll miss her
Hopefully we'll get together during the summertime.

Caryn discovered these gorgeous cactus blooms.

The blooms only last for a day or two.

We thought we had missed photographing them this year.

But then they bloomed again in glorious splendor.

So fragile yet gorgeous.

 Especially closeup.

Showing you have to search for beauty

before its gone...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Article #193 Love or Lust

If you believe what you see at the movies or on television, love is an instant attraction you feel for another person. Perhaps, this could be referred to as love at first sight or a more accurate definition might be LUST, which is defined as desire, yearning or hunger for. I guess we could say many of us crave hamburgers and could say we LOVE hamburgers? Too many of our youth are growing up with the unrealistic notion of what love is. This complex emotion should include trust, friendship, fidelity and other qualities that are ignored in our modern society that focuses too much on physical appearances.

Most young people are looking for a soul mate or spouse with the proper outer appearance and personality while ignoring the more important inner qualities like patience, sense of humor, work ethic, etc. That’s where family members can help by modeling devotion to one another throughout the challenges of marriage.

Examining the topic of love or lust could help youth avoid problems. That important topic of sex education is best handled at home but is avoided in too many families as my poem about IT attests: The night before my wedding day / my mother wondered if I, soon to be married, knew about IT? / I guessed she meant the birds and the bees / or that “S” word not spoken aloud in her day. / Quickly assuring her that I knew, she left. Her parental duty done. / But I didn’t know about IT, only brief facts explained in / maturation lectures with embarrassing diagrams. / As an only child of a widowed mother, / I wasn’t acquainted with the male anatomy. / I wondered a lot about the subject / frequently discussed and giggled about / at late night slumber parties, / all of us were curious and mystified. / Did our parents really do IT? / We guessed so, because we were all born. / But did they only do IT once or twice / in their lifetime, to have another baby? / The topic dominated our lives, / someone always had some new tidbit / for our growing collection of erroneous facts / fueled by our wild imaginations. / Boys in high school bragged about doing IT, / while girls wondered why their parents / carefully avoided the topic and / didn’t explain the facts of life. / Nowadays we are more open––too open / as Viagra ads fill the newscasts and / bedroom scenes leave little to the imagination. / We’re overloaded, and overwhelmed hearing all about IT!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring Break 2012

Fun times as FAMILY

Lizards everywhere...

Walking the labyrinth in Sunriver, making memories...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Street Painting-Kayenta

On Saturday a street painting festival was scheduled in Kayenta-
local art community. Despite the rain, the artist's were 
out trying to do their creative work.

It's no easy matter to copy their art idea onto asphalt with chalks.

This lady has a great idea of using a piece of chalk on a stick to color with.

Extremely colorful, didn't see the finished product.

Notice the rain gear-it was very cool and wet outside.

We returned to the Blue Raven Art Studio that my friend Carroll owns.

My grand daughter Heather's art work-love her colors.

Once you start doing zentangle designs, you notice them everywhere.

This is the same artist that does the Barbie dolls.

What expressions.

These were very intricate wire sculptures.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Family Time

 Dan playing with his sons

What a fun dad to play with his kids

Emilee helping with breakfast strawberries

Enjoying our visit with Caryn...

Caryn showing the twins her art journals

Eating at Coyote Gulch

Visiting an art studio

Recyled Barbies-Caryn's making some

 Too cute...and creative

The twin's whole family is together now-mom Tina, dad Dan
and little brothers: Nathan and James plus Grandpa at end of table.

The boys love to draw also.

Lots of shoes to keep track of.

Everyone loves to Zentangle!