Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Hallows Eve

November 1st, a day to remember loved ones passed on.
Hallows eve, the night before becomes HALLOWEEN.
A time of dressing up and trick or interesting.
Vampires, skeletons, witches and zombies dominate the night.

A traditional holiday that has little to do with holiness, 
focused on fantasy, and greediness for trick or treaters.
How of most children's favorite holidays.
My least favorite as I disappear in my darkened home.

Oh yes, I know it's creative and cheap fun for kids.
But all that sugar isn't good for young growing bodies,
not to mention the tooth decay. I remember as a teacher
the sugar high of my students that lasted for days on end.

Now fall and AUTUMN, that's something to celebrate.
The end of the hot summer temperatures, the beginning
of preparing for the retirement of winter for all growing
things including man and God's creations––nature.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Boat report-It's coming along!

Daughter Deborah makes a visit to her dad and the boat!
Progress is being made, only a few more stakes and it's time
to turn over the boat and work on the inside parts!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Family Fun Times

Nathan loves to cook. We made egg Mcmuffins together.
Saturday morning breakfast with the grandkids!
Time for artwork-Zentangle books, designs and materials!
Off shopping then to the water park-it's 70+ degrees + sunny! 
Having end of the summer fun-hello Fall Festival! 
Heather made some little friends who loved the attention. 
The parents wanted her to babysit but Heather lives too away.
Time for ice cream before heading home.
Emilee got some new clothes today.
Heather in another world.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Grandkids are HERE!

It's Nathan's birthday with Grandma and Emilee!
Off to church together is easier than taking a photo together!
Dg-in-law Tina & the grandkids: l-r Heather, James, Nathan & Emilee
Son Daddy Daniel is off to Zion Park for a photo workshop on Sat.
Nathan the birthday boy is into calligraphy now.
Emilee loves graphic art and makes a complex zentangle design.
Heather enjoys creative artwork and writing stories.
James the youngest sibling loves any kind of artwork.
Nathan discovers GP's boots and cowboy hat!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Visiting Chicago

          Meet a new blogging friend Kendra Thornton who lives in CHICAGO...She says: Chicago is my kind of town.  There is so much to do here, so much to see, that it is a challenge to recommend just a few things to visitors.  As a lifelong Chicagoan, I hope these tips will guide you to some places you can discover on your own. 
            Shop ‘til you drop. Yes, shopping is (near) the top of my list.  A girl can’t have too many shoes.  The “Magnificent Mile” is a stretch of North Michigan Avenue between the Chicago River and Oak Street.  The mile-long stretch has chic high end shopping scattered between the tallest buildings in the Windy City.  Shop some more at the amazing Water Tower mall.
            Find some Pier leisure. The historic Navy Pier features a park, festival hall, ballroom, and pavilion.  Call me boring, but I love to go there to marvel at the colorful displays at the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows.  There are 150 multi-hued windows from Chicago area homes, commercial buildings and churches, including works by Louis Tiffany.  After getting a fill of culture, I climb aboard the giant Ferris wheel for a glorious view of the city.  
          Experience the Peninsula. One of my favorite places to spend an afternoon in Chicago is the Peninsula at the foot of the Magnificent Mile.  When I want to pamper myself, I go there to indulge at the Spa, and then to its delicious European cafĂ©, Pierrot Gourmet.  Surrounded by ornate furniture and heavy silver-plate service, you are served fluffy scones with jam and butter, a bounty of tiny sandwiches, pastries and petit fors, followed by some sumptuous sorbet. I found out about the Peninsula, and many other tremendous hotel/restaurant/spa options in Chicago, by using the site gogobot to read how others had enjoyed their experiences. It may sound stuffy, but this is an experience you should not miss.  
         Eat like a Chicagoan. There are fabulous gourmet restaurants galore in Chicago, but sometimes simple is better.  Chicago is the origin of deep-dish pizza and the capital of hot dogs.  The undisputed champion of cased meat purveyors is Hot Doug’s - the best place in the universe for an authentic Chicago-style dog.  If you don’t know what that means, please go there and eat like a local - with everything - (yellow mustard, neon green pickle relish, onions, tomatoes, peppers and a dill pickle inside a steamed poppy seed bun).  Don’t forget the celery salt.  The hotdogs are made with the finest meats, and, oh yes, the menu is named for legendary Chicago ballplayers.  There is nothing more I can say.
       You aren’t done yet. When you are in my town, you owe it to yourself to find one of the many music halls that dish out blues, jazz, rock, and even Gaelic tunes.  Also, when he is appearing here at home, I like to listen to the unique styling of Studebaker John.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Article # 266 Elderly

          Don’t you hate that word ELDERLY? Every time I see or hear it, I bristle with irritation. Yet, I’m the first to admit that I’m over 70 now. I know I’m not middle AGED any more. I like the term Senior Citizen better. Although, when I was 50 years old, and Sizzler restaurants started a new Senior menu for those over 50, I thought then that age was just too young. I remember my mom being upset because 65 was the official age for Senior Citizens. At age 55, she was NOT a senior citizen although her spouse was. She lived to be 89. Age is relative, just a number in your mind or an attitude .

            Looking back as an OLDSTER on your life as past decades can be enlightening. My first decade was childhood, second-school years, third-college, marriage and career, fourth-child rearing, fifth-raising teenagers, sixth-empty nest and retirement, seventh-grand parenting and…the future is unknown at this point. Each stage had its challenges and gifts. I would say I’ve been happier in my elderly years than I was in younger days not knowing what the future would hold. In some cultures, the elderly are revered, respected and listened to as wise sages. Experience does bring wisdom, but not always the opportunity to share it. 

Here’s my feelings about old age written while at the doctor’s office. I’m sure you can relate: 


I’m sitting in the doctor’s office
among all the other blank stares.
What am I doing here? I ask myself. 
Falling apart like all the other folks?

It’s not called old age for fun and kicks,
a time of slowly down and forgetting 
where I need to rush to next or what
it was that even brought me here.

Finally the doctor will see me.
He looks like a twenty something
with no life’s experience, yet I’m trusting
him with my precious few years left. 

He can’t figure out what to prescribe 
to bring back my youthful energy. 
Even I who watch faithfully those TV ads 
can’t remember which pill to request.

He says...Exercise and diet, come back
in two months, and we’ll talk again.
Charges me eighty bucks which my Medicare 
may pay. I go home poorer, and closer to death.

NEXT TIME: Surviving Death 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Southern Utah Book Festival

It was an exhausting week full of activities for our area with lectures, visits to schools and libraries, Youth Poetry Contest. There was an author's charity banquet with speakers and a full day author expo with books for sale as well as the Youth Poetry Contest award program and other performances by a local school choir and instrumental group. Quite a project but well received. We will do it annually.

(l-r) Beth Moore+Betty Vickers and HWG Co-Pres. Amy Jarecki 
Children's poet and author Shane Williams with his family
Author Traci McDonald and her book KILLING CASANOVA
Author Anne Jaspers and her first book NURSE JANE
There were 40 local and out of state authors attending.
Lin and poet Gary Christian who was a judge for Youth Poetry
Co Chairs Virginia Grenier & David Smith organized the festival.
Dixie Poets supported the contest with prize money
Drawing for prizes for the audience-books!
Utah Poet of the Year Jon Sebba reads from his poetry book
Carolyn H. Johnson spoke on FRUGAL BOOK PROMOTING

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Judging Time

Well, I've been busy struggling to organize 222+ entries for the Youth Poetry Contest now in its 4th year started by me with the support of Rose Mary Brossard of the Tuacahn Saturday Market. This year I'm changing venues and times-it's in October with the St. George Book Festival instead of April for National Poetry month. It's a lot of work but gratifying in terms of encouraging local students to be creative and explore poetry. The Washington County School District has been very supportive in getting the word out and our entries keep growing and coming from 22 different schools in our area.

I love that there are just as many boys as girls entering. Of course, that may be because their language or English teacher requires it. This year I'll judge in these age categories 1-2 grades, 3-6 grades, 7 grade, 8 grade and 9-12 grades. Most of the poems are free verse but many use rhymes and I even had some Haikus this year.

Being a judge is difficult but interesting experience. Most poems are so so but some really hit the spot with their unique ideas or rhythmic patterns. Then comparing them with other good poems in the same age group is difficult. It's like is an orange better than an apple or banana? Probably different judges would judge differently. Had a great award program today with lots of excited students. One middle grade girl came to me afterwards and said she didn't use to like writing but now she loves it. That one comment was worth all the hours of volunteer labor that was put into making this program a success.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Article #265 Useful Pride

   For some individuals the word PRIDE has a negative connotation of being puffed up and putting self before others. The definition of pride by the Free Online Dictionary is different. It says a sense of one’s own proper dignity or value: self respect. Sounds like two different meanings for the same word.
            How can you know which meaning of pride applies to you? Just listen inside to your inner voices. Do you judge OTHERS or feel COMPETITIVE? That’s putting your self before others. If you feel threatened or belittled in your interactions with another person, it’s probably the negative meaning of pride. JEALOUSY is a clear example of this. Rather than appreciating the qualities of another person, you may end up comparing yourself and judging others. The results can be ANGER and FRUSTRATION.
            On the other hand, if you have SELF-RESPECT and a good self image, viewing others’ strengths can INSPIRE you to become a better person. You are NOT in this world to compete with others, but to become the best person YOU can be. Use others’ good or bad examples to motivate you to do better. Complimenting yourself honestly rather than constantly putting yourself down or comparing can build APPROPRIATE PRIDE.
            A climate for SELF GROWTH doesn’t happen in a negative self-depreciating environment. You need to be your own best CHEERLEADER. It’s not prideful to COMPLIMENT your own efforts or abilities. In fact, it’s even healthy, if kept in balance. Let’s try looking back at your day so far. Evaluate how you’ve done with various projects. You’ll discover the first things that pop into your mind are FAILURES. Interesting. Try to curb the need for SELF CRITICISM and analyze where you made the greatest EFFORT in your day.
            I was able to take time from my writing to look at my favorite family history site There have been so many changes there that I’ve avoided checking out the new program FAMILY TREE. Today I looked, then learned how to input photos and stories. Now I’m excited about it. My PRIDE was keeping me away since I’ve been doing genealogy for 50+ years now and didn’t want to learn a new program. Once I realized that ATTITUDE, I put it behind me and examined the new changes. They are most helpful for leaving a LEGACY of my family on the Internet that will last long after I’m gone. NEXT TIME: Labels-Elderly. 

Don’t miss out on the Southern Utah Book Festival activities in St. George. AUTHOR EXPO with free lectures and book sales by local authors is Sat. Oct 19th 9am-6 pm at the Lexington Hotel in St. George 250 S Bluff St.  All Lin’s books will be for sale there. Details at

Monday, October 14, 2013

Autumn is HERE!

Time to get in the mood for my favorite season-FALL!
It's a scarecrow from China
It says Autumn in English!
No autumn leaves around here yet, so these are fake!

Just a little fall decor sneaking into the house!
Gone is the SUMMER door decoration, on to FALL

A real live small PUMPKIN awaits a larger one yet to be bought!
Replacing a Memosa tree that had bores and was dying.

Time to spruce up the back yard for winter.
An empty space where a really scraggly plant struggled each year