Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day Thoughts

How often do we get an extra day in our life? Only every four years, when it’s Leap Year! A wonderful extra day today to do all those things we haven’t had time before to do.

Here's question #1 for today: Anyone got any New Year’s resolutions they didn’t get around to? Today‘s the day to resolve again. Another question, #2 anyone got any thing on their list of things they want to do before their demise (which could come at any time.) The answers to these two questions I’ve asked are for me: (1) study scriptures and exercise daily and (2) visit Seattle and Alaska this next summer which may involve a cruise or ferry ride.

Note the photo is of my husband Allen who has been asked to help with the Huntsman Senior Games in Oct 2008 in St. George. They took his photo shooting his recurve bow. He has had archery as his favorite hobby now for 45 years thus far. Which brings me to question #3 what’s been your longest hobby so far? (3) Mine has been family history for 48 years. See my family history webpage.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Humanitarian Center

Last Tuesday I toured our local LDS Humanitarian Center where the goal is to help people world wide during disasters like earth quakes, hurricanes and floods, and with their every day needs. Our prophet Pres. Hinckley explains why...“All about us there are many who are in need of help and who are deserving of rescue. Our mission in life, as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, must be a mission of saving. There are the homeless, the hungry, the destitute.”

Included in these projects are clean water treatment in Africa and South America, vision treatment, wheelchairs, neonatal resuscitation training, medical training and equipment, measles vaccinations, emergency response to diasasters for food, clothing and shelter needs to name just a few. All of it free to the recipients. In the last 20 years, the LDS Church has donated 900 million dollars of aid to 163 different countries. (Photos are from my time in Brazil in 1970 where we saw lots of poverty and disease. I accompanied my husband to study the dance of Brazil. We lived in Bahia with our family for about nine months most of it in culture shock.)

Women of our church are busily engaged in making and donating items for newborn kits, hygiene kits and making toys and quilts to give away. Pres. Hinckley said..."I want every child in the world to have a toy." What a wonderful goal and how fun to help in accomplishing it by giving some of our time and resources either money donations or materials to a local Deseret Industries store for recycling. We were able during our short 2-3 hrs of work at the Humanitarian Center to make almost 1000 infant caps and it felt so good to be of use. What volunteer work have you done lately and how does it make you feel?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Class at Community Center

This is a photo of our retirement community, nice isn't it. I love it here.

I taught a class on "Creative Writing and Blogging" for our community computer club today. It was lots of fun although scary because I'm a newcomer at blogging but the class members were all beginners. Should have called the class "Blogging for Dummies" but I don't like the term "dummies" maybe learners or beginners is better. We all learned today, one teacher and my nine enthusiastic students. Check out one of my students and another dear friend Mary's blog Meemerisms-it's brand new and very creative as is my friend Mary who helps me teach our Wordshop class of writers.

What's the last class you taught or took?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Learning is Fun

Wow, how exciting I was able to add music to my blog today through the help of my blogging mentor Susi Q who is also family from way back and the closest thing I have to an official sister as we were once sister-in-laws. Friends are wonderful and help you in learning new things and support you when you most need it. I am blessed to have several really close friends that I can share my heart and soul with, plus learn new things from.

Adding music to our lives is so important even though I’m not a musician. Having been a dancer in my younger days, music moves me especially lyrical new age type music. We have our cable input for our tv hooked to a music system so I can turn on the tv to its music channels and have it on the house stereo most of the time. I hate the background noise of TV with it’s blaring commercials and dumb programs but love having music in the house as a background to reading, eating, working and just thinking when we aren’t watching tv. Enjoy the music on my blog or turn off your sound if it isn’t your kind of music.

A question: What kind of music do you like and how does it affect you in your daily life?

Monday, February 25, 2008


Like girls twirling their skirts
Dancing, swirling ever higher
The hot soapy water beats down
Removing the mud and spots
Followed by a clear soft water rinse
We almost look like new

This is quite the performance
Hopefully the car is clean now
As a moving fan blows it dry
And we carefully exit the washer
What fascinating entertainment
At a reasonable low ticket price

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Something to remember

Wrapped around a chocolate I ate last night..."Learn something from everyone you meet." That really is possible and I have a dear friend Caryn who does just that. She is so interested in everyone and starts conversations with complete strangers while waiting in a checkout line or elsewhere, and leaves friends with someone new. I'm not sure how she does it except she reaches out and starts a conversation with anyone nearby.

Sometimes she compliments them on: their smile, the color of their sweater or whatever or asks them a question. I love going somewhere with her and observing this happen but most of all I love having her as one of my closest friends. Her unconditional love and listening are far above normal. And the questions she asks you are sincere and deep. Thanks for your friendship and example Caryn. Check out her comments on my blog for some deep thoughts or check out her blog Hollow Thoughts. Her family and all her many friends are blessed to have her love and example.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Las Vegas, nicknamed by some as “Sin City”
Contains dark smoky bars where gamblers
Spend hours of their life and hard earned money
Seeking Lady Luck, hitting the jackpot their goal
While homeless people languish on street corners
Numbed by illegal drugs and alcohol addiction
Living desperate lives, powerless to change
Lost with no escape from their stark reality

Another aspect of the city sits on a hill nearby
A beautiful temple with sparkling white spires
A copper roof, beautiful stained glass windows
Inside workers and patrons in pure white clothing
Perform ordinances to save themselves and mankind
To link the generations of man past and future
Peace and serenity reign as eternal truths are taught
An oasis in the middle of the chaos called Las Vegas

Friday, February 22, 2008

Other Dances

If life is a dance, movement in time and space
That communicates and expresses to others
Then everything we do is dance, I believe that
And have taught that as a creative dance teacher
Many years ago in a university when I was younger
Thinner and more naive, then real life took over
As I joined forces with another professional dancer

Our dance was not one I would want to repeat
We could dance socially and on stage but our life
Together became a dance of deceit, intrigue, trickery
A sham of the life we set out to create together
After many years, I took control of this dance
Valued myself enough to set out as a soloist
Although a divorced mother of three growing sons

That was quite the dance, returning to Utah alone
As a single parent, struggling to make a living
Learning to forgive and forget and let go of the anger
Frustration and betrayal while performing my new role as
Mother, father, breadwinner, and an elementary teacher

So looking back I can feel only gratitude for today and
My husband of the past fifteen years who has integrity
Though we don’t dance socially we have managed
To choregraph a successful life together raising my last son
Now exploring our retirement, traveling, pursuing hobbies
And new interests has certainly been enjoyable
Creative and expressive, a dance of a new kind

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Our Dancing Days

We met at an LDS singles dance
Funny thing because you can’t dance
After a few community dance lessons
You gave up but came to the dance anyway

I was a professional college dance teacher
Divorced and lonely who frequented the dances
Always looking for a willing dance partner
Someone tall around six feet or so would do

There you were standing out in the crowd
Trying to look invisible, watching others dance
I asked if you wanted to dance
You told me truthfully you couldn’t dance

I tried the rest of the night unsuccessfully
To teach you a few ballroom dance basics
We talked and I found out your first name
Was the same as my ex-husband’s name

You graciously allowed me to temporarily change
Your first name to your middle name Allen
It stuck as we have now been married
Fifteen years but we stopped going to dances

Our first date was to a dance the next evening
The music was so loud that we couldn’t hear
Ourselves so we left early and sat in the car
Getting to know each other better by talking

You were divorced also and had four daughters
I had four sons and was four years older than you
The next day you called and I invited you
To dinner with two of my sons and a home teacher

Thus started a whirlwind courtship of
Weekend dates as you commuted from Arizona
Via Morris Airlines special flights to Salt Lake City
You came, we talked, tried to dance and fell in love

Engaged after a few months of long distance dating
We waited till June to marry in the temple
There to pledge fidelity to each other forever
And begin a new family with my young son

Moving to Roosevelt followed, as I left my career
As a school librarian to be a fulltime homemaker,
Mother and wife in the cold barren high desert
Called the Uintah Basin where we bought a home

We made a new life and waited for your retirement
The day after my youngest son had graduated
We left Roosevelt to create a homestead in Moab
Only to leave there within a year for Southern Utah

New Harmony was our first permanent retirement place
After five years, we again moved south to St. George
No snow or winter weather demands for us
No yard work, just leisure time to enjoy life

It all began at a singles LDS dance in Provo Utah
Where a dance teacher asked an unattached male
To dance and failed to teach him but they married
And lived happily ever after without dancing again

Sleep Escapes Me

Awake again and it’s only early morning
Cool in the house but it's quiet as a mouse
Only me and my macintosh laptop
All alone and feeling blue
No just typing out my thoughts
To share with someone,
Anyone out in cyperspace

I’m loving having a blog, a reason to communicate
My thoughts, poems or should I rather say free verses
As they don’t ever rythme but do give me a venue
To express feelings deep inside

I wish I could access my humor or rather find it
But all that seems to come out when writing
This way is loneliness and emptiness, fears
But it's good inexpensive therapy

Maybe this too will pass as I basically feel happy
At this stage in my life, past my unrealistic expectations
Living with more gratitude for each day's events
Finding fulfillment in helping and encouraging others
To be all they can be, to overcome their self doubts

I love to teach anything-genealogy, writing, the gospel
Describing relationships is fascinating to me
Trying to improve my relationships a never ending task
I have read so many self help relationship books
It’s sickening and tried to use their ideas in my life
You’d think I would have discovered the secrets
Of the universe by now, but I haven’t

I find life fascinating, why we are here,
How we respond to life’s challenges
Why we have trials and experiences
How to make each one a learning time
And not a lost opportunity
Keeps you on your toes,
Good thing I used to be a toe dancer,
And awake, which is what I am now!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Standing alone on the bridge
Tentatively reaching out
Feeling your timid response
I freeze, but I am already
Out there on the edge
Ready to dive…then connect
With something...someone...somewhere

The drive to be known
Valued, loved overcomes the fear
Of the unknown and conquers
Safety and stagnation

Monday, February 18, 2008


Monday a new beginning to a new week
Each hour could have that same special feeling
Part of a whole day, but when taken apart into minutes
There are more opportunites that can be imagined

Serendipity, where will life take us if we let it
Planning it doesn’t always seem to take us
Where we want to go and eliminates the surprise
Of discovery, creative powers can become deadened

Till we just sit around and wonder what have
We done with the minutes of our life up to now
Floated through each day and its situations
As gracefully as possible or with as little injury

Or discomfort that our actions could demand
Life is not a formula or is it, some think
It’s a mistake or an accident, a few fish
Crawled onto land and then evolved into man

Others feel there is a divine plan of progression
Organized with daily experiences or lessons
To teach and test us as we interact with others
What do you believe, life goes on with or without purpose

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rock Art Trip

We went on a fascinating rock art field trip today with the Dixie Archeology Club which we recently joined. The day was perfect, sunny and cool when we started and 55 degrees F when we finished. Our trip took us to the canyon near Gunlock Reservoir where the Santa Clara River flows and floods at times. Today the river was just a small stream that we were able to cross easily with our jeep.

With a little bit of strenuous uphill climbing we were able to discover lots of rock art carefully inscribed by ancient Indians of this area.

What exactly the rock art says is not clear but they were clues of their life style. What was important to them and how they saw the universe. There is so much to learn about their cultures and life styles. They lived out doors and so the night skies and the forces of nature were a fascination to them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Guardian Angels

My mom Evelyn+her great grand daughters (l-r) Heather+Emilee
In a recent Deseret News article, it reports Pres. Thomas S. Monson-new prophet of LDS Church, spoke at the funeral of Sis. Faust (wife of Pres. James Faust of First Presidency) and said to the Faust family: ”President and Sister Faust won’t be very far away. You can feel their presence, and they will come when you need it the most…Your grandparents will be looking after you.” Comforting words to the grieving family as both Pres and Sis. Faust died in the last year.

It brings to my mind the question, where do our loved ones’ spirits go after they die? A friend of mine whose daughter died recently, said her daughter confirmed to her that the veil separating us is very thin. I think many of us have had experiences that confirm this. Who better to be a guardian angel than a beloved grandparent or parent. It’s comforting to know that family ties continue on both sides of the veil called "death". We remember and honor their lives, they watch over and protect us. Families are truly forever.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love at any age

Love’s roots are established as a baby,
Comforted and cherished by your parents
Love is something magical as a young girl
Reading and believing in exciting fairy tales

Love as a teen is confusing and out of reach
How do I know if I’ll find my one and only
Love during the dating years can be a big game
But love turns serious when it’s time to marry

After the honeymoon is over, love is hard work
Ignoring faults, mending misunderstandings
Love is caring more for the other person
Than your self, learning to truly love

During the child bearing and rearing years
Couple quality time is impossible to find
But all too soon, the children are grown
And finding their own loves to marry

In retirement, love takes patience as you share
Every minute of every day, hour after hour,
Life’s ups and downs, knowing that he is there
Till death to support, sustain, and always protect you

Then there is a physical separation called “death”
A difficult time apart, whether short or long
To let love grow stronger and more precious
Then finally a joyous reunion, together forever

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Terrible Class

I went to a writers workshop entitled "Writing as Art" at our local library last night. The workshop name sounded promising and something I'm interested in. The teacher was a local editor of a popular magazine, but it was terrible, boring, and unproductive. All about grammar in writing, nothing about art or how to improve your writing other than mechanically. What a waste of $15 and my time-an hour. Not all writers even English graduates can teach about writing or inspire and motivate others to write. I kept trying all through the class to learn something so it wasn't a complete waste, but it was a challenge. How often do we find ourselves in situations like that and don't know what to do other than not repeat that situation again. Getting up and leaving early seemed too rude, so I didn't use that option but it did give me something to blog about.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Think spring, that’s what I’m picking up from friends stretching from Sweden to rural Utah. We all long for the warmth and comfort that the change of seasons brings to us. So when the weather changes just slightly in a positive way from winter doldrums, we all get excited just like the ground hog could if he/she understood what it meant to many to not see a shadow.

It was 61 degrees here yesterday. Is it possible to feel happy in winter inside our warm houses filled with electronic devices to entertain and educate us? We don’t have to get up before dawn and go outside in the bitter cold to milk the cows and gather eggs so we can eat breakfast. What an easy life we have in comparison to many of our ancestors whose main focus was survival. We want more: fulfillment, excitement, self realization, etc. Maybe the good old days were better teachers of necessary virtues-hard work, self sacrifice, endurance, etc. What do you think especially those of you raising today’s children.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Photo-4 generations-son Hakan, Dad Frank, Great Gm Evelyn, Gm Lin

Generations stretch in both directions
Grandparents, aunts and uncles,
Children, grandchildren, and cousins
Linked through blood ties and dna chromosomes
We are family despite our uniqueness
We share a commonality-ties that bind
Together over time and space

Although I do not personally know
My second great grandmother
I’m sure she loves and cares for me
One day we’ll meet and I’ll ask her
About her life and challenges
I know she’ll want to hear
About my life, and my children’s lives
As they are also part of her posterity

Just as I, one day, will be a second
Great grandmother to children
Yet to be born on earth, I will love them
And be interested in their lives

And what of you my friend
You are family also, for we are all cousins
Of one kind of another
Related through common ancestors
When we go back far enough,
The family of Adam and Eve
Our great great great…grandparents

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Amazing what the LDS church is doing in terms of money, time and expertise in pulling together the genealogy of the whole world and in digitizing ALL of the world’s records which will then be stored in the Rocky Mountain granite vaults near Salt Lake City where they can be preserved forever. What a monumental task but important in order to do the temple work linking all the generations together back to Adam. The work of the Millennium. New sites and software are being developed everyday. See where a collection of links and resources for doing your genealogy research are being gathered and where the results of their digitizing projects are available to use now and be amazed.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Molecular genealogy

Just spent the day at a genealogy conference learning all the latest technologies and strategies for tracing your roots. I was fascinated by the DNA genealogy presentation. By swabbing your mouth and having your DNA analyzed and then compared with a database of other’s DNA and their accompanying genealogy pedigrees on-line, it’s possible to get past brick walls or dead ends in your genealogy searching by finding possible ancestors.

This has been especially helpful for African Americans who because of slavery are unable to trace their ancestors back to their African homelands. As the database is growing, more people are able to match with descendents that share matching DNA patterns to find a common ancestor. For women it is monochronial DNA and only their maternal lines can be traced, but for men it is possible with Y chromosomes DNA to trace both the maternal and paternal ancestry. Amazing that not only do we share blood lines with our ancestors but also our DNA. For more info see

Friday, February 8, 2008

My first son

Frank was born today many years ago in Provo Utah while his Dad and I were teaching dance at BYU. I taught until the day before he was born and then returned to teaching two weeks later. Would love to be in that good shape today. We were thrilled to welcome our first child into our family, not knowing that he would be the first of many sons to come. Named after his father and with his mother’s maiden name as his middle name. In the photo below, l-r grandfather Frank C, great grandfather Frank S, father Frank W and son Frank V taken in Scipio, Utah. He became the fourth Frank starting with his great grandfather.

Frank now has a son also named Frank Hakan, so there are now five generations. I’m proud of Frank. He is a physical therapist and lives with his wife Nedret and son in the Southwest. Happy Birthday!

Here's four generations on my side, l-r the new mom-me, grandmother Evelyn, great grandmother Alda holding son FV.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chinese New Year

It’s celebrated on the second full moon after the winter solstice for some reason, probably tradition and lasts for fifteen days. This year is the year of the rat and 4706. Their New Year is all about wrapping up the old year and welcoming a bright future, filled with good things, good times and good food, it is celebrated with dragon or lion dances, fireworks, family gatherings, a special meal, and giving red envelopes with money inside symbolizing good luck and prosperity. (Photo from Wikipedia.) It concludes with a lantern festival. Sounds fun, my oldest son Frank went on a mission to Taiwan so he experienced two Chinese New Years.

So for those Americans who have broken their New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to make new Chinese New Year’s ones. I actually agree with a children’s author Byrd Bailey (book “I’m in Charge of Celebrations) that New Year’s should start with the first day of Spring. A time for newness and starting over again. There is an air of spring possibilities in the air in So. Utah even though the ground hog saw his shadow and predicted 6 more weeks of winter, spring comes early in our southwestern desert community and the temperatures will be warming to 70 degrees in about 10 more days. Why would any one want to live anywhere else?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super Tuesday

Who is really winning?
Who cares, except the candidates
And their supporters
The rest of us independents
Just watch and go “ho hum”
And wonder about all the time,
Money and energy being expended
And how it could be used
For something better, like
Reducing our national debt or
Helping the many homeless

But politicians will continue
To beret each other and make promises
That none of them can keep
To make American more prosperous,
To get us out of Iraq with dignity,
Healthcare for everyone, and
Controlled legal immigration

If only problems were as easily fixed
As they claim, they wouldn’t be with us
Now and forever, all we can do
Is press forward to the future
With hope and enthusiasm for
Possibilities or at least CHANGE
In our current presidential leadership
That’s the American way!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It snowed!!

It snowed in St. George. What an amazing sight to see a palm tree with snow on it and tile roof tops dusted with snow. We need the moisture so we were happy with the rain that turned to snow while we were sleeping.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Winning or losing?

After watching the super bowl (and its dumb commercials) last night, I’m thinking about how maddening sports are when it can come down to the last minute with a touchdown or kick that can determine who wins even after both teams have given it their all for the entire game. If they are tied then it goes into overtime because we MUST have a winner and a loser.

I like LIFE better where everyone can be a winner and mistakes can be repented of and the only penalty is our lost time in the detours/time outs our mistakes take us on. We don’t compete with others (although we all seem to naturally compare ourselves with others and their progress, achievements, etc.). We only compete with who we can become- our best self.

As Pres. Hinckley so wisely said…”give it your best” and “things will work out”. That’s the kind of superbowl philosophy I can handle. Each individual has their own talents, abilities, trials and obstacles in life to overcome and we are here to help each other become better- not to stop or tackle each other and try to prevent someone from achieving what they can. I love the idea, we can all be champions as we help each other become a winner. We only lose if we give up trying. On to the victory for everyone!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Farewell to a Prophet

Our dear Prophet Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley was buried last Saturday and at his funeral services the Tabernacle Choir sang a song he had written. Here are the lyrics which contain comforting words about death:

What is this thing that men call death
This quiet passing in the night?
Tis not the end, but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.

O God, touch thou my aching heart
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

There is no death, but only change
With recompense for vict'ry won
The gift of Him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Where is the time going?

Another new month, doesn’t it just amaze it how fast life is passing by whether or not you are accomplishing all you would like to. The important thing is to “enjoy the journey” as it is soon over and all you can take with you are the memories and what you learned from this experience called “life”. Rock art is a way for the Native Americans to leave wisdom and notes for future generations. Maybe we are trying to do that with electronic notes in the form of blogging on the Internet and writing in our journals?

We are back to our Rock Art class and the teachers passed out a handout on Native American beliefs. The Hopis believe in nine sacred hoops: four levels of existence before we are born, then life on earth followed by death and a spiritual world near or on earth or a beyond earth then a rebirth or resurrection and three levels of spiritual worlds, the highest the realm of the Gods or perfection. This is so similar in many ways to my Mormon religious beliefs of a pre-existent spirit world then birth, earth life then death, followed by a spirit world of two parts then judgment and three degrees of glory-telestial (glory of the stars), terrestial (glory of the moon) and celestial (glory of the sun). There are so many variations of that plan to be found in the religious and philosophies of the world. It's amazing how similar they are to each other yet different. Each culture has their own traditions and explanations.