Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Worthless worry

How many things do we worry about needlessly?
Lots, I bet...more than we care to admit to others.
To name a few: death, illnesses-cancer is #1 plus
miscommunications, and accidents to self or loved ones.

The list is unending and takes too much of our time
from our limited hours here on earth. I have a relative
who says misfortunes always come in threes for her.
So once something bad happens, she waits and worries.

What a waste worthless worry is, trying to control
things that aren't in our power to fix like others
actions or reactions. All we can really control is
our own behavior, goals and attitude toward life.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bridging lulls

I've decided there's nothing wrong with taking a break from my normal hectic routine to rethink where I'm going in my sometimes frantic pace of shopping, cooking, making meals, housekeeping, going to meetings, making deadlines, teaching classes and trying to promote sales of my books unsuccessfully. This past month has been a SLOW DOWN for me. Time to reflect, doubt my successes and abilities at times plus ponder what to pursue next.

Definitely on my agenda is relationships, reaching out through space and time to connect with family and friends. I want to continue developing my talents in writing, and a new workbook idea is forming called Find Your Voice Through Writing: Personal Histories, Journaling and Free Verse Poetry. I need a shorter catchier title. I'm thinking an 8x10 size notebook with questions or prompts to help individuals focus on self exploration through writing. Any suggestions or ideas on a shorter title are most welcome-leave them in a comment. One title I love is Pencil Dancing-but it's already taken-see above and is a great book. Also need a catchy cover image to convey the theme. Help!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

What's up?


Well as July is drawing to a close, the heat is intensifying. My hubby decided it was too hot to put the car out of the garage, so he could work on his boat-that project has been sidelined for the summer. He continues to dream of that homestead somewhere in cooler areas like northern Idaho and works on his floor plan designs for a small cabin.


He's very good at designing with his auto-cad program and it's certainly cooler inside our air conditioned house working on the computer than any outside activities around here.


I'm doing some writing on my columns and an occasional poem or two. Working on publicity for upcoming writing workshops and possible classes to teach in fall. Just started doing Indexing of the 1940 Census for family historians to be able to use. I find this a fun worthwhile activity rather than playing solitaire on the computer. Anyone can participate, see link on 1940 Census.

What are you up to these days?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Skywatch Friday

Looking out the window at the Icelandic landscape

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Article #206 Self Worth or Self Image

The next time you are in a group, look around. Notice the body language of the individuals with you. Do some people seem confident and at ease with themselves? They are usually the friendly ones, who reach out and converse with others, develop friendships and are not just wrapped up in their own insecurities.

A person has self worth just because he/she is an individual in the community; but too many people lack a positive self-image. Negative thoughts and inner voices are working to undermine their confidence, make them feel less than adequate. Self doubts and inner talk play too large a role in some individual’s lives. You worry about your weight, your age, your clothing–––others perceptions of you. There is no end to the personal judgments you make about yourself. If you applied this same attitude to others, you’d want to become a hermit and not interact at all.

How do you build a positive self image? By not listening to the negative thoughts that fill your mind so often; instead focus on others. Get to know strangers better, send value to them, help them feel important. In turn, that technique will increase your self image and feelings of self-worth. You will find yourself, by forgetting yourself. As you enter a new situation, be open to opportunities to connect with others. Start a conversation, introduce yourself, ask others for their names. Then memorize their names by attaching some other idea to it. i.e. I met a new couple in our neighborhood and they told me their names are Paul and Carolyn. Immediately I said to myself PC like a computer. That was my memory tool, then I used their names quickly. It’s nice to meet you, Paul and Carolyn.

My focus wasn’t on what they were thinking of me. I can’t control that, but in making them feel valued and at ease. Becoming their friend put me at ease, built my self image and self worth. The ensuing conversation helped us get better acquainted with what interests we have in common. Later an invitation to join us for an activity could lead to more opportunities to connect and build a lasting friendship. Realizing that we all struggle with self worth and our self image can lead to a more relaxed style of living, less stress and more fun as you interact and connect with others. Look out, not inside. NEXT TIME: Connecting

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dance with FOOD


Well, day #3 with WeightWatchers Online.
I've lost one pound so far and am excited.
I can do this-it just takes self control...lol!
I'm learning lots about me in the process.

Why I eat what I do. What types of food
are best and portion control-all tools, then
add in the need for daily exercise and how 
could I not be successful, if I try my best?

The most important tool is keeping track
of my intake and choices at mealtimes
plus snacks. Stopping when I've reached
my limit for the day-it is scientific!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pioneer Day in Utah


July 24th of each year Utahans celebrate PIONEER DAY started in 1847
when the Mormons finally arrived in the Salt Lake valley after being
driven out of Nauvoo, Illinois-their prophet Joseph Smith martyred. 
Utah wasn't a territory or even in the USA and offered refuge from 
persecution for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Indecision


Will we, won't we....guess not, nothing happens...
life continues empty, unfulfilled or is it that the glass
is half full, but I see it as half empty? I should be
thankful I have a glass-many don't, but the sin
of ingratitude is insidious and always demanding
more and then more. There is no end-it's a spoiled child.
Time to become the adult here-I'm joining weight watchers!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Synergy is


...the working together of two or more things, people, or organizations, especially when the result is greater than the sum of their individual effects or capabilities (Encarta® World English Dictionary) 

How to bring SYNERGY about is not easy-it takes an openness and creative attitude that not everyone has in our competitive get ahead of each other world. A FAMILY should/could be a great example of this, but that doesn't always happen. Again an ideal to strive towards in marriage or any relationship. My friend Caryn and I have this at times because we support one another in our ideas and value the talents we each have. When we are communicating on the same wave link-it's awesome the ideas and insights we come up with-guess that's why we are such good friends.

Then there's SERENDIPITY-those experiences that come seemingly randomly, but are they? When you accidentally meet someone or have an opportunity open up that is perfect for your situation. Please share in a comment about your last experience with either of these two principles.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Skywatch Friday

 Monsoon skies in Southern Utah

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Article #205 Body Language

As our youth focuses so much on communicating digitally through texts, e-mails and online communication, the ability or desire to read another’s body language is a skill that is being lost. Any verbal message is composed of at least two parts: the actual words and the emotional message expressed with those words. I can say the same words I love you with different emotions and get a completely different effect. That’s where sarcasm comes in; expressing a positive message, but with a negative tone or body language, communicates exactly the opposite.

            Little children have a difficult time understanding this type of humor. When young, we believe in the goodness of everyone and what they are saying until we discover through experience that not everyone tells the truth. In fact, we may find ourselves not being totally honest when a friend asks How do you like my new outfit? We answer Oh, it’s fine, as we lie through gritted teeth. The verbal message is positive while the real emotional or body language is the opposite or hidden. Isn’t communication devious?

            Taking a workshop recently on body language was revealing in ways that I communicate and how my message is being received. Even little things like how I stand, where my eyes are focused, how I use my hands while talking influence what my message communicates. Try becoming an observer in conversations you are involved in and notice the effect of your body language on the receiver of your message. That’s why e-mails have added these cute little emoticon symbols (i.e. smiley faces) to help fill in this lack of body language that takes place online, but it’s not the same.


            Say you are trying to talk to a family member, but they avoid looking at you or even disappear from your presence rather than talk one on one. Their body language is closed, withdrawn. Perhaps they are depressed or shy? You can’t judge, but it is a challenge to try to send value to that person and gain his/her confidence. Time and proximity are two factors that will help in this kind of situation. It also helps to not take things personally. It’s natural to feel rejected, but if you come to this rash conclusion you’ll never be able to communicate positively and connect. Asking gentle questions can be a good beginning. Again watch for body language as you start talking to see how to react.  NEXT TIME: Self Worth or Self Image 

Monday, July 16, 2012

In LIMBO!


 Caught between expectations and disappointments
a familiar place for most of us it seems yet we revisit
often maybe to air our discontent or pursue our dreams
who knows but it is a fellow traveler on life's journey


What has been your biggest disappointment so far?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Persuing the impossible dream...

Let go of impossible dreams, allow life to be 
what it is without unrealistic expectations.
Appreciate what is...rather than grieve
for what could have been, but isn't.


In the process, gratitude unfolds,
reveals a deeper purpose and meaning.
Life evolves––it is a journey you take,
not a destination that you can control.


A looking inward for changes
is more productive than judgments
of fellow travelers you will meet.
Be gentle, polite and loving to all.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Skywatch Friday

Oakland California Mormon Temple

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Birthday time again

The days pass so quickly and soon another year is gone.
Getting older has it's health challenges as your body changes
and your spirit resists slowing down knowing it will lose out.


Attitude, gratitude and continuing goals can enrich these years.
Constantly looking for new challenges and opportunities
to develop talents, be an influence for good and an example to all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Article # 204 Hand written Notes

             When was the last time you received an actual physical note or card from someone with actual handwriting? It’s almost a lost art in our digital age! Oh how sweet are the memories I have as a young girl, when I lived in California, to receive a welcome birthday card with a dollar bill in our mailbox sent from my Grandma Johnson in Utah. She always added a little note just for me and signed it Love, GJ. That human touch is being lost as the convenience of e-mails and e-cards dominate our busy daily lives.

            I still enjoy shopping for paper greeting cards that have just the right sentiment for a special occasion or a blank card that allows space to write my thoughts. Humorous cards many times fit the need to make contact and lift the spirits of the recipient.

            It’s fun to compose poems or write letters to someone you care about. I still have the love letters from my sweet husband plus the handwritten poem he composed to present me on our wedding day. That was a surprise to me, since he is an engineer. There was no title, but it rhymed and was accompanied by a gift of a small Native American wedding vase. It said, A gift to remember / This cherished day, / A symbol of our union / In a potter’s clay. / May it always remind you / Of our lives so new. / May it always bring thoughts / Of my love for you. It does, and I’ve kept that note for 19 years now.

            Having raised four tech savvy sons, it’s rare that I get a handwritten note. Usually it’s a brief e-mail or phone call (which I love.) I remember one Mother’s Day receiving this terse email greeting: You’re the mother! That brought a smile to my face, even if the communication was short. He remembered me. The other day, I found a greeting card from the past that I have saved for years because of the hand written message from this same son. Its message, which I’ll always cherish, is…Thank you so much…It was very thoughtful of you. Your unstinting generosity over the years shows a deep commitment to my welfare. Thank you.

            How about mailing a thank you note or a picture postcard while vacationing to someone dear to you (or a heart felt e-mail.) Do something today. NEXT TIME: Body Language 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Facing Death

A friend's husband has metastatic melanoma and is now on hospice. It made  me think more about WHY and I wrote this poem...


Why pain and suffering, I wonder...
         
Isn’t there another way to learn
the lessons of living and dying?
Nature shows the way of survival
of the fittest among God’s creatures.

Even God suffered pain and death
at Gethsemane and Calvary
to show the way back to heaven
for man-His supreme creation..

What curriculum would I devise
to teach of patience and faith?
Not an easy life with no problems,
that wouldn’t do at all.

Forced compliance with principles
would not be a test, only agency
with opportunity to follow freely
or ignore would do, with consequences.

So, I go forward hesitantly, stumbling,
asking for strength-not knowing
what will come. Trusting in His plan
and one day understanding why.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The nature of WORRY

It seems so useless-worrying, yet we all do it.
Little voices inside our heads never stop, it seems.
Whispering DOUBTS to our unsteady hearts,
threatening to erode any confidence we seek.
The what ifs and no that won't happen, just give up.
The negative comments continue day and night.
In our dreams we can dismiss them, but when
they follow into our daily actions...it's TIME to stop.

Take a stand for truth, free of fears and insecurities.
You can do it with HELP from above, support of
loved ones and an understanding of WHY there is
opposition-to strengthen and test us each day.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nature Notes Trailer

I took the CHALLENGE to make a book trailer for the League of Utah Writers contest to advertise my Nature Notes for Kids book published back in 2010. Despite this book winning second place in the state of Utah Art Council contest and $750 in prize money for best juvenile book, I have sold few copies. Still available for only $15, click on link above to see what's inside my book on YOUTUBE.

Why make a book or movie trailer? To advertise and try to create interest. It's a lot like making an i-movie. In fact I used the same program and found it easier as the book trailer is only 3 minutes compared to my 15 minute Icelandic movie. Also it's my second time around doing this sort of thing. I added some background music from my private CD collection. Check out my efforts. I'll let you know if I win anything in the contest for the LUW happening in late September at our annual conference. Still submitting to contests and hoping to win something...lol! At least I'm learning lots!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Skywatch Friday

Arizona sunrise

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!
 
Be careful with fireworks!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Article #203 Conversation Skills

             Is the art of conversation becoming a lost art in our day and age? Are we teaching our youth the importance of speaking face to face with their friends and family, not just substituting texting or emailing? Let’s look at this somewhat antiquated skill of conversation that can be so useful in falling in love, building others self esteem and making friends. So, you are at gathering and know no one. How do you proceed? Most of us immediately want to become wallflowers or return to our home in silence overlooking the opportunity and challenge of interacting with others.

            It helps to have a few stock questions in mind and with a little courage, extend yourself with a smile to the nearest person. Openers I like to use are: So, Where are from originally? or Where did you work before retiring? That always opens up further questions leading to an interactive conversation. Being genuinely interested in knowing the other person and asking general not personal questions can get your relationship off to a good start.

            Don’t ask yes or no questions, because that might be the only response you get but use open-ended questions like…How did you feel about moving here? or How was it to be born and raised in a small community? Be sensitive to the other person’s body language and emotional message as you are trying to converse. Consider including others in the conversation who might be nearby. Ask about their interests or hobbies.

            Notice people’s body language as you approach them, it will tell you lots. For husbands the same techniques can be useful. Notice your spouse’s body language that can say volumes more than her words if she's being quiet. A good opening question could be…How are you feeling about ________? (fill in the blank) life today, the family, your job, whatever concerns you feel she is dealing with. Or just a general question asked sincerely, I sense you’re feeling down today. Would you like to talk about it? Remember to just listen and don’t give advice or solutions unless asked for them.

            There are two parts to any message given in person: the words and the emotion behind the words. The same words I love you can carry a different message if sent with true regard vs. anger or indifference. Conversation skills are so important as a communication tool in all your relationships. NEXT TIME: Hand Written Notes 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Family Wedding-New Mexico

A special day when daughter Sarah marries 
her high school sweetheart Chuck
Best man-Chuck's brother Ray and Matron of Honor-Celeste
 Son Alexander escorts his mom Sarah down the aisle.
 Daughter Adrian is a flower girl
With this ring, I thee wed...
Mrs. Pearcy!
 
You may kiss the bride!
 Just married!
Wedding party: Matron of Honor-Celeste, Bride, Groom,
Best man-Ray, Flower girl-Adrian and Bride's escort-Alexander
The groom's parents with the married couple
Sisters- Deborah, Katherine, Sarah, (Chuck, me, Allen) + Alicia
Allen & the grandkids: left-dg Alicia, her kids-Alexis, Anya, Kalib & Abigail;
on right-dg. Katherine-her kids: Breanna, Gabriel and Ashley
Bride's deceased mom's memorial Leslie Fay Parker
The sisters: l-r Deborah, Katherine, Sarah and Alicia
Time for toasting and eating a delicious BBQ buffet! 
Cutting the luscious carrot cake 
Trying not to make a mess
 Special dances

Bride and groom-may you live happily ever after!