Sunday, September 30, 2012

Article #214 Spiritual Nourishment

            There is a need within most individuals for balance in different areas of life including physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Physical needs usually dominate while spiritual activities are low on the list. Finding solitude and time to meditate daily can help nourish your inner self in these frantic modern times filled with daily appointments and pressures. Take time to push the pause button. A deep breath can help slow the dissonant voices in your mind. Getting outside in nature and contemplating life can do the same thing. Listening to New Age or light classical music always helps me to slow down and get in touch with the real priorities in my life that are not my TO DO list. My top priority is my own personal growth as an individual and that includes my interactions with family, friends and my Creator.

            Taking time for inner nourishment whether reading scriptures or good books, doing service for another person or meditating can be neglected as you focus only on survival rather than your values or guiding principles. Too many are on a daily diet that doesn’t include spiritual food. While rarely missing a physical meal, few take time to pause or even slow down the rat race to contemplate life’s purpose. Make time to ponder the growth you can make from the challenges that come your way. It can help move you from reacting (stressing out or surviving) to acting (living more fully.)

            Journaling or writing about your feelings/problems helps you slow down and get in contact with the real you, the person that you can be. Everyone needs inspiration and guidance in this journey called life. It’s possible to be active in a faith, whatever religion you believe in, but never take the time to feed your inner self. What fills your spiritual well? For some it is attending church services, listening to inspirational music. For others, a day in nature’s beauty fills their cup to overflowing. Too many ignore their spiritual needs and focus on numbing the body with substitutes that only mask the emptiness inside.
            It’s time to examine your life and see if you are participating in those kinds of activities that take your inner (spirit) self to a higher plane. Explore that topic in your journaling; you’ll be amazed at what you’ll discover when you slow down to smell the roses. NEXT TIME: The Final Graduation

Friday, September 28, 2012


Morning, time for meditation...

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Wrapped in expectations, life may hold pleasures and triumphs
or sadness and trials. Each demands self control not to become
greedy or depressed. The journey is different for each person.
Only our Creator knows why and can guide us safely home.

(Photo is classroom I taught in at Roundup photoshopped.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


How easy it is to get TRAPPED in emotions
no matter their source or reason.
Stumbling through LOSSES or misunderstandings
until you are stopped in your tracks.

Not going forward, but only BACKWARDS.
Wallowing in self pity and sorrow for
expectations NOT MET or disappointments
that continue. Time to stop, let go.

Pursue ACTING instead of REACTING.
It's time, for life will continue on for you
as an observer or actor whether you like
it or not. LIVE life, you only have one!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The wonder of babies...

What is Edmund thinking?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Article #213 Intellectual Growth

            It’s important throughout your life to keep your mind and intellect challenged or engaged. Hobbies or pastimes can help or taking a community education class to open up new horizons in your life even for retirees. Old dogs can learn new tricks! Interacting with grandchildren or improving your computer skills can help you keep the jump on aging. Retirement years are not the time to forget about self-improvement. As long as you are still breathing, there are always new things to master. If you want to learn. Reading and developing skills like hiking, rock polishing, jewelry making, woodworking, card games or sudoko-crossword puzzles can keep your mind active.
            Many resources are available today through the Internet, libraries, nearby college campuses and community education classes to enrich your daily life. You could volunteer for a worthwhile endeavor that requires you to think like tutoring school children or teaching English as a second language. In your journal make a list of some activities you’d like to try if you are retired or hope to be sometime in the future. Is there a talent or hobby that you could improve or share with others?
            I’ve found that teaching others some subject is a great way to stimulate my own learning as I focus on how to do something. Right now I’m interested in visual journaling or art journals as a way of making breakthroughs in understanding my own emotions. I want to develop artistic abilities I had in my younger years but neglected as I focused on surviving as a single parent. I remember my son asking me Why don’t you dance any more? Dancing was a great love of mine in my younger years. But in my middle age years, working to put bacon on the table took precedence. Now in my retirement years, I have the luxury and health to enjoy hobbies without limit. Though my spirit’s willing, my body has aged. 
            Here’s a hobby list to consider: photography, water aerobics, line dancing, poetry, visual journaling, hiking, travel, family relationships, mentoring youth, writing, church service or genealogy are just a few items on my plate at this time. I will never be bored as there is always something to learn. Now it’s time for you to make a list, then a commitment to make some time in your daily schedule to develop a new talent or interest. NEXT TIME: Spiritual Nourishment 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Skywatch

Sunset over the great Salt Lake

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Autumn in UTAH

Caryn joined me in Park City for a writer's conference.
We had a great slumber party and opportunities to talk.

 My friend Marilyn Ball and I shared an author's table.

Caroll  Shreeve, a local author, dressed in western wear.

Coming back, we drove through rural Heber Valley, Utah

Autumn leaves in the mountains are in full swing.

 The yellow aspens are all that is missing.

Love the clear air up high as the urban areas are filled with 
wildfire smoke from Idaho, and Washington 

Ah, Rocky Mountain high, love the mountains and trees. 

Utah is more than red rocks and deserts.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Leaving a LEGACY...

Today I was invited to the meeting of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers camp that I started after I moved to New Harmony, Utah in 2001. There wasn't a group in our little town so I organized one with 10 members. It eventually expanded to over 20 members. We had a fun time preserving the history of our small pioneer community and studying the history of our own pioneer ancestors. It was a lot of work to organize but I had lots of support from my new neighbors and friends. We took many field trips, held monthly meetings Sept through May and participated in service projects plus a pioneer day parade. I truly felt returning here today that I had created a legacy that continues with the fine leadership of the new captain and previous captain. I served 5 years then Margaret took over for the next 5 and Connie is the new leader. Today was our 10th anniversary. Learn more about DUP's purpose and history here.

Connie-new DUP Captain, Lin-1st captain, Margaret-2nd captain

Founding members of the New Harmony DUP Camp in 2002: 
l-r: Connie, Lin, Joan, JoyLynn, Christie, Vonnie & Susan

I received a thank you note and a lovely pioneer handkerchief doll.

Just a fancy handkerchief tied with knots made a 
simple doll for a pioneer girl to play with. 

Back of handkerchief doll

Monday, September 17, 2012

Visiting the Grand KIDS

 l-r James and Nathan teach me a new boy's game

 Heather holds Edmund, the youngest grandchild, but he's growing fast

 Believe it or not, there they are-just missing Hakan from New Mexico
l-r: Nathan, James, Emilee, Lorien, Edmund and Heather

 I love my grandkids, and they are cousins!

 Son Jeff helping his brother Daniel and sister-in-law Tina with BBQ

 Edmund was the star and most popular to hold

Daniel holds Edmund while the mom Rachel tickles the baby

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beauty in the Desert

 So delicate but surrounded by sharp needles!

 Texas sage blooms twice a year.

 It will become a prickly pear fruit soon

This barrel cactus just keeps blooming. 

 Even the rocks are interesting.

Friday, September 14, 2012


 Sunrise and the birds are awake...

 Ready to sing a new song...

Sunrise in the still hot desert!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Article #212 Social Well Being

            Being a well rounded individual is more than adding pounds to your frame, it’s living with balance in all areas of your life: physical, intellectual, emotional. social, and spiritual. Most of you probably have a part of your life that needs attention. Living in communities, some individuals thrive by being social while others are quite shy-afraid of making new contacts or starting a conversation with someone they don’t know. Social skills can be developed with making an effort and courage. It’s more comfortable being a hermit, safe in your cave without any social contact, but you are missing out on so much.
            Making friends and connecting with others, especially in families and communities is so important. That’s how you learn from others’ examples as you interact. Youth especially need socializing. Showing that you value them as individuals by asking questions about concerns they are dealing with including events in the news and issues in your community and at their schools. Try to remember what it was like as a teenager and your worries about the future. Connect with a teen whether a grandchild, child or neighborhood kid. Be a mentor, share a hobby or interest whether it’s fishing, handiwork or cooking. Everyone needs someone to care and take an interest in their life. Besides, it will do your own self esteem good as you serve or relate to someone else.

            Sincere caring and sending value to those difficult to reach can pay rewards over time with consistency and love. We all need each other. Special friends who help us along our way can be close family members or strangers we meet at work or school. Think back, when was the last time you met a new person and made the effort to become their friend? You were introduced and noted their name. Perhaps you asked them for their phone number or invited them to an activity you enjoy. It’s not that difficult to make friends, but many people get in a rut and are comfortable in their own small world. New contacts can enlarge your outlook and introduce you to new hobbies or activities that can enrich your life. Try to make a new friend this week. In your journal, make a list of possible places you could contact someone: church, work, community, hobbies, etc. The list is endless. Then do something. You’ll be happy you did. NEXT TIME: Intellectual Growth

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Lately I've been volunteering to index digitized historical records
that the Mormons are collecting and making available for everyone
to search for their roots. I helped index the 1940 census and now
I'm working on Passenger Ship's List from 1880-1940s. Interesting.

Who knew that just looking at a list of names, dates and places
could tell you so much about different people who immigrated
to America in hope of achieving their dreams and future goals.
As I type in the names and birthplaces, they become real to me.

Here's a Jew from Russia with his wife and children sailing across
the sea from Liverpool, England to reach family already here and
waiting to aid the rest of the family in making a new life, finding
work, building homes, helping establish this land called America.

One Polish man was 78 and immigrating to New York to join family.
Others were just infants or children. Some had occupations like
laborer or miner or shoemaker, grocer or butcher or housewife.
Each important in their own way, a part of history in the making.
(Photos from

Sunday, September 9, 2012


What joy comes from freely giving,
not for compensation or reward, but
just because it's possible and needed.

I volunteered yesterday at the local
DUP-Daughters of Utah Pioneer's 
museum as a docent-loved helping others 
understand the important contributions
of early pioneers to our area. 

Feeling useful and connecting to strangers
only barely met, answering their
questions and giving directions to
other nearby historical attractions. 

Volunteering is fun. It's part of my spiritual
DNA as a Mormon to serve freely
when asked, not expecting anything
in return except BLESSINGS...
which do come unexpectedly. 

Where did you last volunteer? 

Friday, September 7, 2012

My first e-book!

With the help of a writer friend I met at a poetry conference 1.5 years ago, I've made the leap into e-books! A new way of marketing without the self publishing route of making paper copies and then barely making your expenses while you beat the bushes to find customers to purchase your book. Now I am listed on Amazon and they will sell my e-book to the world and helped me put make an author profile.

Of course I still need to get the word out, but at least my book is available somewhere and ONLINE to buy then use on a kindle or computer with free kindle software! The book is Family Home Evenings for Empty Nesters and Singles which I self-published last year. I ordered 100 printed copies and probably have 30  left to sell at $10/each plus $5 shipping. Now you can buy this same book in digital format for $4.99 online and have it downloaded instantly to your Kindle or computer with free software from Amazon. What a world! Click on Amazon link above for details.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Article # 211 Emotional Health

            Human beings are complex multi-faceted individuals. If you’ve ever parented a teenager, you know what I’m talking about. Mood swings, up and downs plus issues with self-image and worth. Many of us still have these same concerns instead of being happy well adjusted adults. A personal journal can be helpful for working through emotional problems that you may still be carrying around from earlier times. Some self-help books call it healing the wounded inner child. Whether you are hiding from a troubled past or wallowing in it and not moving forward, self evaluation can help bring changes to your emotional health.
            As I’ve watched two grandchildren interact recently, it was obvious how the younger brother was teasing his teenage sister. She took the bait every time instead of ignoring his taunts. He continued, until a parent intervened. I wanted to teach this granddaughter how to step aside and observe what is going on rather than taking his emotional hooks every time. Getting upset and mad is what was wanted by the younger sibling. Maybe it’s just instinct to want to defend ourselves when under attack. A wiser tactic is to withdraw from the bully or teaser, leaving them without a victim. Even adults can have bullies in their lives.
            You can be our own worst adversary as you heap negative comments on yourself silently within your mind. Well, you’re certainly a failure at that. You’re just old and no one needs you, etc. Journaling these negative thoughts can help you realize what is going on inside your own head. Then countering these criticisms with positive comments like: Well I’m not a failure if I’m still trying or I am making progress, etc. There is too much depression and suicide in our modern society that could be stopped if we paid more attention to our emotional well being. Not just suppressing negative thoughts, but expressing them safely in a personal journal and/or in counseling, then working through them.
            Focusing on filling your mind and journal with gratitude can go a long way toward changing your attitude toward life and yourself. Discover what fills your well or makes you happy, then do it! Whether it’s enjoying nature, listening to peaceful music, whistling, singing out loud, working in the garden or giving service, do what brings you happiness. I like to write poetry. I always seems to lift any negative thoughts by writing. NEXT TIME: Co-Dependency