Saturday, January 30, 2016

Genealogy BUG has bitten me again....

Haven't done much research for many years as I've spent lots of time on writing books and poetry, but it's time to return to my enjoyable hobby started in 1960 at college when I took my first class and started gathering genealogy. Now it's called FAMILY HISTORY which is much easier to spell and understand. Now we have the INTERNET and so many resources at our fingertips-LITERALLY. Especially a free website for all to use. Here's a family tree with photos that I've input which can also be seen on smart phones. Your ancestors in your hand. It's an amazing world we live in. Click to enlarge. I'm trying to get all the photos and histories I have gathered on my ancestors preserved and available here. The LDS Church will preserve this information forever digitally in granite vaults.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Play day

Haven't seen my friend Caryn for a couple of weeks so we had lunch today and went shopping. It was fun to catch up and laugh together. She's like a sister to me that I never had...

Eating a healthy lunch of smoothies and pita sandwiches...yummy!
Love Caryn's home decor touches on her nightstands 
You can see the bird's selection in the mirror!
Her bedroom is yellow, grays and black plus silver accents. 
Click to enlarge to see all the fun stuff organized here.
Off to thrift stores to mostly shop, this place is full of stuff.
We also did Target, Dollar store and Tai Pan Trading

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Our church's women's organization called Relief Society gets together on the last Tuesday of each month to go to lunch at a local restaurant. We had 35 attend today at the Rib and Chop place. Thanks to Akemi for taking the photos. It was great fun talking and eating while getting better acquainted.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A New Week AHEAD...

Amazing how each day offers new opportunities to learn, to love, to serve and to grow in wisdom. None of us know how much time we have left on earth so it's important to ENJOY each day and not just get through it. I love journaling and then reading back over what I learned through the days, weeks, months and years of my long life. This year I will turn 76, and now that's beginning to sound old as my first son will turn 50 next month.

All any of us can do is our best with each day as it presents itself, looking for those opportunities to cheer others on whether it be a friend, family member or neighbor or even a facebook friend. What a time to live in, I'm AMAZED each day by the miracles of technology that we now take for granted: calculators, colored TVs, digital camera and of course the INTERNET the source of all! Also the source of misinformation, but a vehicle for communication with others. I've now been blogging for almost eight years. A great way of JOURNALING.

Can you list in a comment things we take for granted now that we didn't have when you were a child? How about online dating services?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

More about the JOHNSON family

It's amazing how much you can discover about a person just from gathering vital records at them, especially census records. Depending on the year of the US census records starting in 1850 when names of children and their parents, approximate ages and birth state are lislted. Some censuses will tell you what the dad's occupation was and where his parents were born.The parents age when married, how many children born and how many stilll living at time of the census,etc. From there you can look for vital records like birth, death and marriage records, probate, wills, newspaper obituaries and count histories. It's like a puzzle that each piece makes clearer a picture of their lives. Of course, the best thing is if you can find photos and journals of your ancestors. All of this is available for free on a website available for the use of all by the Mormons or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Check it out today. You'll be amazed.

Let me till you more about Wm. Marion Johnson Sr-my great grandfather's family in Williams County, Ohio. Click on links above to find more about him in past posts and on my research process of discovery. Here's info from an 1850 census as an example. Note the last name was at this time Johnston but it shows Wm.'s father names Orville and lists all his brothers to that point. A later census shows a sister born later. What a discovery.

Orville Johnston-United States Census, 1850
Name Orville Johnston
Event Type Census
Event Year 1850
Event Place Canaan, Morrow, Ohio, United States
Gender Male
Age 41
Race White
Birth Year (Estimated) 1809
Birthplace Vermont
House Number 317 
Orville Johnston
M 41 Vermont
Hannah Johnston
F 39 Massachusetts
James M Johnston
M 16 Ohio
George W Johnston
M 15 Ohio
William M Johnston
M 13 Ohio
Madison W Johnston
M 10 Ohio
John N Johnston
M 8 Ohio
Orvill L Johnston
M 3 Ohio
Winfield S Johnston
M 0 Ohio
Christopher C Johnston
M 0 Ohio

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Genealogy Fun at

It's amazing how much genealogy has changed since I started it in my college days at BYU as a hobby back in 1960. In those days, you had to travel to a library sort through shelves and drawers of files to find anything and maybe you found nothing or had to look at it on a microfilm or microfiche reader. Now in just a few minutes in your own home you can have vital record certificates of deaths, marriage and births on your computer screen. Even stories and photos of your ancestors or their headstones.

If you haven't tried it you should. One site I really enjoy is in just a few minutes after typing in a name of a deceased ancestor and the state that person died in, you can be looking at their headstone. Saving yourself a trip to a distant cemetery and possibly adding other info like their spouse's name and any children or siblings in that same area. Try it, you'll be amazed.

I'm researching a family on my mother paternal side from Ohio that I never knew much about as only one of their sons my great grandfather moved to the west. I'm talking of Wm. Marion Johnson Sr. Click on his name to read more about his gold seeking adventures and saloonkeeper days. I discovered his parents' names from a will his aunt Julia Johnson Ewers made in Ohio leaving her money to her neices and nephews as she was a childless widow.

Now I'm discovering more about Wm. Sr. family. Born in 1837, Wm. lived during the Civil War times and two of his brothers were killed fighting for the Union army. His older brother was James Madison or Monroe that I'm searching for info on. More details next time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Forgiveness is never a done deal...

Interesting the lessons you keep relearning no matter your age. In my enthusiasm for getting things done now, I have stepped on some toes, then asked for forgiveness only to repeat my same dumb behavior later. But I'm realizing it's not possible to be PERFECT in this life, even if we wanted to. Accepting imperfection in self requires forgiveness of self too. It's a lesson I'm trying to learn...

One practice that helps is to remember to give COMPLIMENTS to others and to yourself. What's a compliment you could give yourself today? I think I'd say I'm always trying to improve and learn!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Comforting QUOTES for the DAY

Elder Russell M. Nelson-LDS Apostle, during October 2005 General Conference shared this loving counsel, I recognize that, on occasion, some of our most fervent prayers may seem to go unanswered. We wonder, ‘Why?’ I know that feeling! I know the fears and tears of such moments. But I also know that our prayers are never ignored. Our faith is never unappreciated. I know that an all-wise Heavenly Father’s perspective is much broader than is ours. While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time.

Prayer has been a constant in my life and hopefully a teacher from my simple requests as a child to let me keep this lost kitten to my adult years strengthen me to get through this challenge or today help me to know how to best serve others. There is hidden strength and comfort available. From the bible we read...Peace I give unto you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, be unafraid. My peace I give unto you. A powerful promise. John 14:27. I memorized that years ago in college.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Relief Society Activity Day

Our RS presidency (l-r) 2nd Counselor Diane, Pres. Cathy and myself-1st counselor
Winter snowmen was the decor theme for our activity
Amazing all the fun figurines that our sisters brought to display
Each table had its own unique decoration on cotton snow as we have no snow here.
Can't remember when was the last time I made a snowman-its been years and years
Our president used to be a cleaning lady and gave a demo.            
Our music peole with Diane who was in charge of our activity
We had a speaker talk about the Dove Center for abused women and how we could help
We spend a lot of time visiting and eating-had a hot chilcken salad, grapes and croissant
We have more than a 100 women in our service group but only 35 came this day.
Held in our cultural hall which is overflow for our chapel behind the gray screen doors
We made some homemade valentines to put with our gifts for the Dove Center .

Thursday, January 14, 2016


Caryn's new clock decor is classy and simple
Something I need to remind myself daily to do
I am the only one who can control my attitude
Meaningful goals come as I focus on them
Prayer is my most helpful tool for guidance
Love is what it's all about in life
I am the only one who can control my attitude
Family & friends give meaning to our efforts
Your attitude is most important in life

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Another day, another challenge

Today was my one month appointment followup with my retina eye specialist. Though the shots or injections I got last time really helped restore my eyesight, yet I felt apprehensive to return for more shots. My eye is healing well but still need monthly shots.

Courage is part of aging, I've decided. The oft repeated slogan "Old age isn't for sissies" takes on new meaning at this stage of my life. So I'm thinking more about COURAGE these days. How it's based on HOPE and FAITH. Each day requires a certain amount of courage to go forth and face new challenges whatever your age is.

What challenges are YOU facing now in your life?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Leaving a LEGACY

I'll be teaching a writing class this month for the women in our church's Relief Society. The class is called Leaving a Legacy, encouraging others to write down their spiritual experiences to share with their family and friends. We each leave a legacy by the example of our lives, our attitudes and testimonies of our Creator. Not everyone will follow our example, but they have their free agency and will find their own path just as we did. I will be sharing experiences from my journal...

Do you write a journal? How do you find it helps you in living your life?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Happy Birthday DANIEL

Amazing how fast the years past, now one of my sons has children old enough to graduate from high school. It's been fulfilling to watch my family grow and develop as Daniel with his wife Tina are parenting and preparing the next generation to take their place in the world. Good job, Daniel!

Dan, Tina and family in Puerto Penasco, Mexico on service mission.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Taking a break from genealoging!

I've been thrilled to have my eyes returning somewhat to normal so that I can do genealogy research online again. It's quite addicting. But today I've scheduled a day away from the computer with my friend Caryn. We're going to a movie "JOY" and to lunch. Perfect indoor activities for a rainy day in St. George.
just keep the snow in the surrounding mountains and I'm happy...

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Searching for ANCESTORS again

James M. Johnson's baby dg's grave
Genealogy has probably been my longest hobby outlasting even my love of dancing since my body aged faster than my interest in movement. But family history can be done at any age and especially at the computer. I have to stand in awe at being able to sit at my computer and access books, research materials without leaving my house. In the old days, I had to get a baby sitter, travel to a location then look in a card catalog, find a microfilm or book then sit down and search through it. Now my computer can do that while I sit and watch. A fun site is with photos of headstones and other info.

I love and two of the best sites for finding your ROOTS. I have uploaded most of my research of the past 55 years on those locations along with photos and stories that I've gathered. So that is part of the LEGACY I'm leaving my family to know more about their ancestors' lives. It's fascinating to find new relatives and your genealogy is NEVER DONE. Right now I'm researching a great grand uncle-my mom's grandfather's brother James Madison Johnson and found out he fought and died in the CIVIL WAR in 1865 with the Ohio military forces as did his brother who also was killed. Their brother Wm. Marion Johnson stay ed a home to care for their widowed mother in Millcreek Williams County, Ohio What sadness that must have been for that family. There are many stories that died with the people involved.

Where are your ancestors from and what do you know about them? Would you like to know more?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Look Forward not BACK...

I happened upon this wonderful talk that has such good advice given by one of my favorite church leaders Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland. He was my boss as President of BYU when I worked in the Lee Library back in 1982 and I named my last son Jeffrey after this dynamite leader.  What he says relates to my resolution for this year...To let go of REGRETS. He says:


As a new year begins and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year again

Got my lone rabbit statue a companion for the new year....
LOOKING BACK...what were ten of your most amazing accomplishments or challenges this PAST YEAR. Here's mine:

1. Health issues-knee and eye problems certainly remind me that I hit my 75th birthday this year.

2. Winning recognition in poetry at Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery show, and Southern Quill competition.

3. Work with the Utah State Poetry Society-organizing the 6th annual Poetry in the Park, 5th annual Youth Poetry Contest, becoming UTSPS Chapter Coordinator and starting a newBLOG for them

4. CRUISE to ALASKA with Dan and family––a once in a lifetime experience.

5. Opportunities to serve in a church calling as 1st Counselor to a new RS president.