Sunday, March 31, 2013


Time to get out the hot soapy water,
shake off the cobwebs of a long cold winter
begin my annual spring cleaning again.

Removing layers of dust from windows
brings a refreshing outlook on my life.
Sparkling clean gives new meaning to seeing clearly.

Were it only so easy to change my paradigm
from dim and dusty to new beginnings,
I would wash windows and clean corners daily.
(Actually I hired a window cleaner this year!)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Article #238 What's Important

         Ask any teenager what is important to them. They will probably answer: popularity, friends, and Facebook in that order. In the paper recently I read where a father paid his teenage daughter $250 to stop using Facebook for the summer. Interesting that we’ve sunk to using bribery to motivate our children’s behavior. Although, it does work. It also takes away the pleasure of achieving personal worthwhile goals for the right reason.
            Youth are so InexperiencedIf you can remember when you were a teenager, it might be fun to list some of the things you thought you understood at that point. I remember being devastated because I was so skinny. As if that was really important to my well-being. Now I’d love to be skinny. I also had a wart on my elbow which necessitated that I wear a long sleeve blouse or sweater daily to school to cover it. The teen years are a time of trying to find your self by fitting in with the crowd. Hopefully, you pick the right group of friends.
            I went through a period in Junior College trying to fit in with the wrong crowd. Friends who didn’t have the same values as I did. Going to their activities was not a smart move for me as an inexperienced teen. It was an eye opener and eventually I got back on the right track, headed in a more positive direction. It’s important to carefully choose the friends you get involved with at any age.
            So what is important? Now after years of experience, I realize it’s finding your voice: the unique person you can be, developing your talents and following the guidance or loving parents and inspired leaders to keep you on track. In Junior College, I joined a religious sorority which surrounded me with individuals that had high moral standards and pointed me towards continuing my studies at BYU where I would find ME!
            As I see my grandchildren struggle with temptations and issues of low self worth. I want to make them realize how precious this time as a teenager is. How easy it is to fall off the path into depression or even suicide. I can’t force them to see my viewpoint, but can only listen and love them. I’ve written my life story and hopefully sharing with them my experiences as a teen will help them. NEXT TIME: Be an Example

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Really Listening

I was touched by this message on the Tabernacle Choir broadcast last Sunday. 

We live in a world that seems to have stopped listening. Sound bites have replaced conversation; texting has displaced telephone calls; rhetoric has supplanted dialogue; and multitasking has divided our attention. So often, listening isn’t on the list of things to do and so it gets overlooked.

Famed solo percussionist and composer Dame Evelyn Glennie, who performed with the Tabernacle Choir during the 2002 Winter Olympics, began losing her hearing at age 8, and by 12 she was deaf. But though she could no longer hear, she found that she could still listen. “Listening to music,” she contends, “involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums.” She describes listening in her legs and feet, her face, her neck and chest. She performs around the world and, in one sense, never actually hears either her music or the applause it inspires. But she feels it and sees it and understands it deeply. 

Her goal, she says, “is to teach the world to listen” in the way she does.

Evelyn Glennie’s insights apply not just when listening to music but also when listening to people. So many cry out, “Listen to me,” but only those who truly know how to listen can even hear them. Listening is much more than hearing with our ears. It requires shifting the focus from ourselves to someone else. It takes time and often is not convenient. With our ears, but also with our eyes, our minds, our hearts, and our actions, we say, “I’m listening. I’m hearing and thinking about what you are saying. You matter to me.”

In this loud and noisy world, think how much it means to someone when you really listen, when you take time to understand their woes and challenges, their joys and excitement, their dreams and aspirations. Consider the gift of love you give when you show that you care by truly listening.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Photography Techniques

Had a fun time at photography club last week as we
broke into groups and experimented with macros or closeups.

Carl Berger is our master teacher, a former University Dean.

Just normal flowers but then...

Experimenting with photoshop artistic filters

 Different effects can be achieved

This group experimented with light

We played with closeups and different angles.

It was a fun interesting time. I learned lots.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


My first year of being in charge of Poetry in the Park is HISTORY.

We had 34 attendees all from Utah interested in poetry who came 
to hear our new Poet Laureate LANCE LARSEN, BYU professor.

We learned how to "Coax the Muse" and then revise our poems.

in a beautiful setting with bright sunlight and blue skies.

It was a peaceful day of inspiration and time away

to develop our skills and talents with words.

A nature walk was taken along the Virgin River.

Next was a picnic lunch while visiting with new friends.

Lyman Hafen of Zion Natural History Association (who partners  
with Utah State Poetry Society and Mike Plyer of Zion Canyon
 Field Institute in this event) presents Lance with some Zion Park gifts.

The culmination of a year of work on my part and begun 
four years ago by LaVerna Johnson with partial funding by 
the Utah State Division of Arts and Museums
and the National Endowment for the Arts grants. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Article #237 Lost Skills

            I was chatting on Facebook with a grand daughter recently. She didn’t know how to sew and wanted to make a Halloween costume. That amazed me, as I remember my early sewing experiences in junior high making a simple sack dress with a rolled collar. It was fun once I learned how to sew a straight stitch on the automatic sewing machines at school. My mom and grandma sewed on a treadle sewing machine that was powered by foot. As a young bride, I remember sewing curtains for our first apartment, sleeping bags for our boys, and dance costumes galore.
            What is our world coming with so many BASIC SURVIVAL SKILLS being lost? I bet there are few teenagers who know how to make bread from scratch or even realize that store bought sliced bread wasn’t always available. Heck, I even remember when Nucoa made it first appearance as a substitute spread rather than butter for your toast. It came in a plastic bag with a color gel inside that you broke then spread throughout the mixture to make it yellow. Many of us probably remember toasting bread on an oven rack before there were toasters.
            Computer skills are being learned as youth text each other on their electronic gadgets. They are not learning how to talk to one another, let alone notice body language in communication. What is to be done? Grandparents of the world arise! Take time from your retirement hobbies to teach the younger generation some of these LOST SKILLS like knitting a scarf or darning holes in socks or using yeast to make bread. If we don’t do it, who will? How many young men know how to change the oil or a tire on the family car, go fishing or saw a board? We are becoming a society not able to take care of our own basic needs. How many have ever planted a garden or fixed a leaky faucet or unplugged a stopped up toilet? Their busy parents don’t have time to teach these skills.
            The schools should be addressing some of these skills, but they are doing well to turn out students who can pass the basic reading, math and science exams and graduate. Though the next generation does excel at video games. Getting to the next level of the newest game seems to have trumped the need to realize and learn what is really important. NEXT TIME: What’s Important?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring and Creativity

There is something so joyous about SPRING
Fruit trees blossoming, daffodils and tulips popping up.
  There's GROWTH in the air and excitement.
Makes me want to do something CREATIVE
to capture the HAPPINESS that could be coming.

We have a PAIR of doves who are building a NEST
just outside our kitchen window, I love watching
them come and go daily. Working TOGETHER

Mr & Mrs Dove in their nest, wonder if there are any eggs?

Monday, March 18, 2013

SoulCollage again

I have now made 50 cards and have learned much
about myself through this art therapy experience.

I am one who appreciates fathers––their importance
in my life and the lives of my children.

I am one who needs freedom to be creative
and become who I can be...

I am one who knows where my home is. I return 
daily to fill my well with writing, poetry and prayer.

I am one who longs to be with my father again.

I am one who tries to see this world
as God sees it.

I am one who seeks to communicate with men:
my husband and my sons who are now men.

I am one who raised four boys alone...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Article #236 Simplify

             Does life seem too complex at times for you: daily pressures and TO DO lists out of control? Maybe you need to consider SIMPLIFYING your life. Looking at your priorities in terms of how you are spending your time can be enlightening. It’s important to do this DAILY, not just for New Year’s resolutions. If my number one priority is my PHYSICAL HEALTH then I need to plan for that in my daily schedule and not work it in around other items that don’t have as high a priority. Having fewer items on my TO DO list could also help. Learning to say NO and not caving in to please someone else at my own expense is necessary.
            The key to enjoying life is doing less and enjoying it more. I find if I have too many major activities in one day, I will run out of energy before I complete them all. The necessities take lots of time: personal hygiene, housekeeping, cooking, cleaning, etc. All this needs to be organized efficiently with others in your household (spouse, kids or roomies) helping out as possible. (Synergy!) A routine or schedule is helpful. Then carving out some ME TIME early in the day for journaling, exercise, meditation or prayer is necessary, NOT a luxury. Just like your car can’t run on empty, neither can you. Yet it’s easy to spend too much time doing just that. Pushing on through impossible TO DO lists, taking on too many projects when saying NO would have been more appropriate. Rescuing others at your own expense or downfall is just plain DUMB.
            For many individuals the only relief is to have the flu or some serious illness that FORCES you to SLOW DOWN. Being an intelligent person, you should be able to figure out how to organize your life and SIMPLIFY what there is to do. Put most important things first like SELF-CARE, then work other necessities in around that. Schedule time for recreation or fun with loved ones, connecting time and filling your well time is important. Having ORDER helps you to simplify. Keeping a calendar nearby to check before you add another responsibility to your life is MANDATORY.
            The OPPOSITE of simplicity is complexity or difficulty. Simplicity can bring ease, straightforwardness and effortlessness. Don’t you want to live your life that way, even if the rest of the world doesn’t? NEXT TIME: Lost Skills. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Win or Lose-It's up to the JUDGES

 Just returned from the Mesquite Nevada Fine Arts Salon reception
where I won an award there for the very first time!

My poem and the accompanying art piece entitled
Sonoran Soldier won an HONORABLE MENTION!

Here's the artist who selected my poem because it inspired
her to paint a desert scene full of saquaros. Click to enlarge.

This poem by Marie and accompanying art
should have won a prize, but didn't! Judges...

Two of my four poems were selected by artists.
This one is called Progress about Native Americans.
Can't publish them yet as they are in other contests.

Gary was the BIG winner BEST OF SHOW
and $100 with his poem Atkins Diet.

Marilyn always wins something. It was second prize 
for her Desert Celebration and accompanying art.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lots going on STILL...

I guess that's good, means I'm still alive and kicking. Spring is here with 80 degree weather and blossoms popping out as well as leaves. Several major projects are on the burners-reworking my rough draft of my book DISCOVER YOUR VOICE AFTER DIVORCE, some prizes and some rejections on poetry submissions- nothing new there. More tomorrow on that. Looking forward to a visit from Jeff and Rachel's family at Eastertime. Grandkids to play with and they are young almost one year Edmund the shy grandson who doesn't know me very well and three and a half year old Rory the grand daughter all healed from her broken leg last Thanksgiving. Life is good. I LOVE SPRINGTIME-a new birth of growth, energy and opportunities. How about you?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

RELIEF Society Birthday Party

 Forty women came together to make 16 fleece blankets
to donate to our local homeless shelter.
We do all kind of projects for our community,
then we held a luncheon to celebrate.

The motto of our organization is...
We're one of the oldest women's organizations.

The women's auxiliary of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints was founded in 1842 in Nauvoo, Ill.
There are over 7 million women worldwide in 70 countries.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy Birthday SARAH!

What a year you've had from getting married to expecting a
new baby girl...congratulations, and enjoy each day!