Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Last Day of April POEM

Can summer be far away
as temperatures climb high?
Soon it will be time to complain
of unbearable heat, while longing
for winter's coolness.

Never satisfied, always wanting
something else different than what is.
Too hot, we want cold. Too cold,
where's the heat? Too boring, where's
the excitement and changes?

Too many changes, where is stability
and quiet, peace when we need it?
Life is a flux, never boring unless
you are...always changing daily,
unless you refuse to comply.

Monday, April 28, 2014

End of Another Month report

Hubby finishing off the prime coat on the second side of his boat
Wow-what a month this has been with visits from all of my grandchildren and their parents, a new calling in my church as Relief Society 1st Counselor responsible for the welfare and needs of 150 plus women in our LDS Branch, plus writing 4+ columns and several poems and a final report on March's Poetry in the Park event in Zion Park. Not to mention my weekly exercise class, daily walks, cooking 3 meals a day, many loads of laundry and a little housecleaning here and there. I'm enjoyed most of it especially the afternoon naps when I could squeeze them in. My favorite experience playing with and watching my grandchildren, sharing a private moment or two with family members that I don't see often.

Hubby is careful, thorough and meticulous in any job he does....dishes included.
Realizing that there is an end to all this together time as one of my cousin's daughters not yet 50 passed away suddenly leaving behind a fiance and three shocked children. Trying to understand how to live more fully so when my departure comes one of these years, I will have experienced the joy and love that is possibly during this brief journey accompanied by family and friends.

My friend Caryn is taking an art class and developing her talents in pastels!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Southern Quill Magazine

No prizes but two free books, recognition + an opportunity to read 
our award winning poems at the reception held yearly.
 (The Purple) Dixie Poets: l-r Barbara, me, Marie and Marilyn
A reception in the new Jeffrey R. Holland building on DSU campus
The cover of The Southern Quill 2014 by Dixie State University
Love seeing my name as a contributor on the back cover 
I had a photograph I took included with its title-first time ever for photos!
My poet entry written last summer-click to enlarge!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Article #290 Cultures and Customs

             Every individual has a unique cultural background that is forgotten sometimes the longer your family has lived in this land of America. Most of us are descendents of immigrant ancestors who chose to come here for economic, political or religious reasons. My family’s progenitors came from the British Isles, Germany and Iceland. Most were Mormon converts coming to Utah to gather to their new found faith in the Rocky Mountains. Others gathered to Nauvoo, Illinois from back east from states like New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Some of my ancestors can be traced back to early colonial history. Others were gold seekers just passing through Utah later who stopped and stayed awhile. Each family has its own story. Through research over the years, I’ve been able to gather information about their backgrounds and many photos. Learn more of my ancestor’s stories at

            Alma Richie of St. George is a descendent of the Cornstalk Indian tribe of Tennessee. Native Americans were here first before the European immigrants came. He’s very proud of his heritage and tells us of his father’s mother: Miss Dora who lived to be eighty-nine years old and even attended school and college. She was very quiet but by her actions showed that she respected the land. When gardening she would enjoy touching the earth with her bare feet and believed that the soil was a living soul, that birds sang to the flowers and they sang back. Alma (Dixie Poets President) carries on his ancestor’s traditions in his original poetry that he writes to capture his special heritage.

Alma’s great uncle was a Lt. Colonel to George Washington and helped him during the Revolutionary War.  Unfortunately the Native Americans interaction with early American settlers from Europe was not always positive as they were driven off their ancestral lands. Although not related directly to the Paiute Indians in our area, Alma has been drawn to their cause of protecting their land and fighting against wrongs committed. He has made a collection of Native American poems written by himself and others that expresses their love of the land. The book is entitled Hear the Whisper of the Ancient Ones by Cornstalk (Alma) and is available for $10 (call 435 272-4105 or email All proceeds will go to the Piute tribe to help them in their fight to preserve their tribal land in Anasazi Valley in Ivins.  NEXT TIME: America, a Melting Pot. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Shawl Day

This year I've been teaching history lessons for my DUP
camp-it's fun to learn more about my pioneer ancestors!
I love to teach and especially when the students are involved in helping
(l) Muriel shows a lovely painted or stamped shawl she owns.
It was a fun days with lots of audience participation...
For my Daughters of Utah Pioneers lesson we had quite a few shawls displayed 
My friend Marilyn models a fancy shawl she bought years ago in Italy
The teacher (me) models a modern day decorative shawl...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Been busy with my two youngest grandkids visiting....

Lorien age 4, loves to water my plants-they need it!
Eating at Golden Corral-they like veggies
Rachel the mom and Lorien!
Decorating Easter eggs is fun
Looking for them is even more fun...
Yes, the grass is green and wet!
Our hummingbird nest has two tiny eggs carefully watched over my mommy
Easter baskets galore... 
Edmond almost 2 is a live wire 
At the Children's Museum playing postman 
Shopping at the grocery store 
King Jeffrey
Princess Lorien 
Exploring lots of stuff
Playing in the splash park
Coloring with happy Grandma

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Article #289 Unique Traditions

Not everyone in America was born here. Each immigrant brings unique traditions with them. Meet Jan Drummond of St. George who was born in New Zealand. Here’s part of her story: Almost all of us pakehas (Europeans) born in New Zealand in the 1940s had either British or Scottish great grandparents who had  immigrated.  This meant that our grandparents had funny accents because they were raised in New Zealand by either British or Scottish parents. All were dirt poor, drank hot tea at least 7 times a day, and raised vegetable gardens.  We sang "God save the Queen"  a lot and loved any news of the British Royal family.  Whenever "Scotland the Brave" would play on the radio, our father would make us get up and stand at attention.
            Growing up on a dairy farm, we had an out house which we called our dunny.  New Zealand is very volcanic with hot water bubbling from the earth and running in the streams so in the old days, we took our weekly shower in the local creek which flowed over a cliff like a small waterfall. We never wore shoes to school or ever owned a coat.   Christmas came in the middle of Summer so we often went to the beach for the day and ate bacon and egg pie for lunch.   At the beach, we would gather pipis and mussels and cook them for tea (dinner) over a small fire.
                It’s fun finding out where your ancestors are from and honoring their traditions. Joan Falzone Davis of St. George tells us about her roots in Italy: Born in NYC, my parents, sister and I moved back to Italy. Stayed a couple of years there, then moved back to NY where we lived in Brooklyn in a small neighborhood where everyone spoke Italian, even the shopkeepers. My world came crashing down when I went to first grade. A rude awakening where only English was spoken…a strange language?  I 'd assumed I was still in Italy-thinking that we had just been on a boat ride and got off to live somewhere else in Italy.  By the time I graduated from 8th grade, I was a proficient English speaker. In my leisure time, I studied the dictionary. Imagine that! As my world expanded, I found there were others like me––some from other countries, who spoke other languages…a melting pot of cultures and customs. NEXT TIME: Cultures and Customs.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hummingbird Nest

In our backyard, there's a roadrunner wind chime
Just today a female hummingbird decided to build a nest to lay eggs in
The nest is tiny, made of leaves, twigs, feathers and spider silk (webbing)
How fun to watch a family being created from eggs to fledgings in a few weeks

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy Birthday to the BOATER

Today is my husband's 70th birthday. We were featured in a local magazine Sunriver Living for our retirement community in an article called RESIDENT LIVING "The Boater and The Blogger." If you click the photos, they will enlarge. I'll also type in the text of the article under each photo.

           Meet the Floyds. Lin and Allen have lived in SunRiver for nearly seven years. They retired to New Harmony, Utah for a few years but moved to SunRiver because Lin couldn't deal with the harsh winds in that area. She also loves that St. George's lower elevation provides much warmer temperatures in the winter.

            Lin and Allen's home was one of the first built in SunRiver. They love having a casita and use it often when accommodating their large family. From their previous marriages, combined they have 8 children and 24 grandchildren! The casita works great for their family to stay in when visiting.

           Allen had been designing boats for a couple of years before he decided to tackle the task of building one. He purchased the design from a naval architect in France and was actually the first American to begin construction on this particular boat. He purchased the plans in 2011 and has had this side project going on since then. His next step in the process is to paint the whole boat in an epoxy clear coat.

           When it comes time to apply paint, allen is thinking he will paint it white. When finished the boat can function as a row boat or as a sail boat. Even though it's a smaller boat it's designed for larger waters. He anticipates that he will spend most of the time on Lake Powell or Lake Mead. On his computer his screen saver is an image of what the boat will look like when it's finished, a little visual reminder that the hard work will pay off in the end. Allen is a member of the woodworking club and has used some of their tools building his boat.

          "I love living in St. George. There is so much culture!" Lin remarked. She also enjoys shopping and uses the community center quite a bit. She likes the water aerobics and different low impact exercise classes offered. She is a very active member of the photography and computer clubs. 

           Lin has a few blogs that she updates regularly. She is also very involved in family history work. When she was 20 years old and attending BYU she took a class on family history and has been working on it since. She began writing stories about her ancestors and then decided it was time to write her own life story. Lin now teaches classes on writing your own life history and has published books on the subject as well.

          These are not the only books she has published though. She has written a children's book, self-help books, and many family history books. "Retirement is a time to develop all the talents that you've never had time for," Lin remarked. And SunRiver certainly has the resources to help you develop those talents. Check out Allen and Lin's blogs to see more into the Floyd's daily life. and

Friday, April 11, 2014

Article #288 More Family Memories

             Each family has its own unique beginnings, events and history. Time to share your story with us. Doyle Wilcox Perkins of St. George recalls something different about his extended family: Early in 1900, the Perkins family and the Wilcox Family had farms in Preston, Idaho. The farms were on different roads, but backed up to each other. Three Perkins brothers ended up married to three Wilcox sisters. They all named their children with the middle name of Wilcox. It ended up with 37 children or cousins with the same middle name of Wilcox. At this writing the total count is only five cousins living, but the legacy has carried on the genealogical line for many years.
I’m still looking for stories of how your parents met. Wanda Bublik of St. George tells us of her parents courtship: Moraine Hicks worked at DeWinnes Café in San Antonio, Texas.  Herb McDougall came in for lunch every day.  On the 30th day of April, 1936 he asked, “What would it take to get you to go out with me?” Somewhat surprised, she just laughed and said pointing to the floor, “Stand on your head.”  Looking crushed he began to unwind his legs from under the counter and stood, walking toward the door. As Moraine turned around she was astounded to see two long lanky legs straight up in the air.  Herb stood on his head right in the middle of DeWinnes Café.  He ungracefully crumbled into a heap, and she laughed.
             Herb sat right there on the floor and asked “Well, now will you go out with me?” Motioning him to get up, she said, “I don’t even know you.  Let me buy you a piece of pie.”  As they talked he told her that his name was Herb and that it was his 21st birthday. He proposed to her on 28th November, her birthday. They were wed on Christmas Eve 1936, had 6 children and were married for 64 happy years.
             Please send me your family stories. Make it a priority to write down and preserve your family’s unique traditions and background. Where did you ancestors come from? Did they prepare any special dishes that are still enjoyed in your family today? Make time NOW, sit down and write something about your heritage. I’ll help you edit and publish it for others to appreciate and enjoy. You can do it in a comment on this blog. NEXT TIME: Unique Traditions. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

POETRY to ART reception

For several years I've wanted to have a local venue in St. George
like the Mesquite Art-Poetry event held last month. Caroll Shreeve
has an art studio so we decided to do it for Heritage Writers Guild.

Caroll Shreeve on the right with two of her Blue Raven artists in Kayenta
Painting Native American designs on goblets and mugs! 
Rose Mary Brossard and Amy Jarecki visit and discuss the poetry to art show
Sue Leth-Stevenson and her husband visit with Marie Tollstrup  (on the left)
Poet writer Marilyn Richardson (in the center) waits for the program to start
About 26 individuals attended our Poetry to Art Reception in Kayenta
Wroter Russell Estlack reads his first poem ever written to start our program
Marie Tollstrup reads her poem while the artist show her artwork created
Many different types of media were used by the artists for their pieces
This artist created on silk for Marilyn Ball's poem about a pony
Caroll is both artist and poet plus co-owner of Blue Raven Art Studio
which offers classes for adults and children as well as open art session
Liesa Hafen poses in front of the display of Blue Raven's student's artwork