Thursday, December 31, 2009

Checking back one year

These were my resolutions last year and here they are according to my blog of Jan 1, 2009

1. I resolve to ACT instead of REACT when faced with major problems in my life or little interactions/challenges. STILL WORKING ON THIS ONE!

2. I resolve to stop worrying about things out of my control and RELY on God and His plan for my earthly daily life. DITTO

3. I resolve to study the scriptures or read something inspirational daily BEFORE reading the newspapers. DOING GOOD MOST DAYS

4. I resolve to express more gratitude daily to my God in KNEELING prayers and ask for His help in my life. COULD IMPROVE HERE

5. I resolve to find more happiness daily, to REACH OUT to others, and be the friend and confidant they need. WELL, TIME TO GET TO WORK ON THIS TOO

6. Continue to work on diet, exercise and general health issues! I've lost 25 pounds in the last year and need to keep it off.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Teaching Moments

I love those times when you CONNECT with another individual, be it in a formal classroom situation or just normal conversation. Times that you feel impressed with the right words to say to lift another's spirit or reaffirm their self worth. It's happens occasionally for me with my grandkids when they are unplugged. I enjoyed discussing the nativity with them over Christmas. Asking them questions to see if they understood and they all did. Visiting them in person gives me the extra feedback to discern what they are feeling, and know what questions or comments to direct their way. I felt we connected and they understood the REASON behind our celebration this year.

It's wonderful that we each have a heavenly parent who knows us better than we know ourselves. A loving Father who is there at anytime to listen to us as we tell Him our concerns, worries and gives us inspiration or comfort to continue. Yet how many of us take the time to PRAY frevently with faith, and LISTEN for answers which come in many different ways. It could be an insight that clicks in our minds and hearts as we are listening to someone or reading. Life is full of MIRACLES as well as challenges and trials. It's a great learning experience.

I've decided the next volume of my book will be entitled "Looking Life's Lessons." Thinking back at this past year, I've re-learned again that I need to ACT and not just REACT. I'm in charge of me and others have their free agency. My happiness is not dependent on them but only on my ATTITUDE which can include a grateful heart and unconditional love for all. HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Time of Giving Birth

The first birth yesterday is the biography I wrote of my husband's life. I picked it up, and finally mailed it. A little late for Christmas, but the printer UPS was too busy delivering packages to print it in time. So, it's an early New Year's gift. My husband's biography tells of his journey here for 65 years raising his family, and details his Southern roots. We haven't traced all his lines across the ocean but several of his ancestors were Native American Indians.

The second birth is of Lorien my grandchild born yes-terday at 3:40 pm, a day early as she was due today. New beginnings: completing 9 months of waiting for Lorien, and 17 years in the making of my spouse's biography. It's feels good to give birth to my project and to have baby Lorien here safely.

She comes to earth with a fresh slate in front of her and a loving mom Rachel and dad Jeff waiting to guide her. Family extends in both directions forward and backwards. We are linked together by our relationships and love. Just one look in Lorien's eyes tells us that.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Great thoughts

from church yesterday...

FAITH builds on the past,
but looks to the FUTURE

Sometimes in the letdown after the holidays, it's easy to get in a slump. Another helpful thought:

Leave dark days behind, forget and forgive

I find it's easier to forgive than forget and have noticed that lately some past hurts have been slipping into my life as I've interacted with certain individuals. I pride myself on being FORGIVING but the FORGETTING part is missing. So I'm thinking it's maybe because I haven't totally forgiven a person who hurt me deeply many years ago. A NEW YEAR is a good time to clean house with our emotions also.

PS The BABY is here today-Monday at 3:42 pm, see my son Jeff's blog for photos.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

So it's over

The presents have been ripped open,
the feast devoured and settling on hips,
even the garbage has been taken out.
All that is left is the Christmas tree still
full of babbles and decorations bright.

Memories remain of the good times
and the less happy ones filled with
thoughts of "what ifs" or "if onlys."
Life moves on and another New Year
awaits full of new unseen possibilities.

All that is needed is an attitude change
realizing this life will never be perfect.
It's just a rehearsal or intense classroom
full of lessons to be learned and skills to
develop by trying to improve each day.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day

I used my new camera to take photos of the grandkids on Christmas morning.

All that wrapping is soon to go into the trash as (l-r) James and Nathan open presents.

L-James loves his new rubber boots. R-The twins (l-r) Heather and Emilee are enjoying opening all their presents.

And we even talked about whose birthday we are celebrating with our nativity play on Christmas eve. We acted out the event with figurines as I read the story from a children's book.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dolls galore

I went to visit a neighbor of mine Virgean who has quite a doll collection-over 300 of them. Interestingly enough she was the mother of all boys. She loved her dolls as a little girl and decided in her retirement years to collect crocheted dress dolls. Buying them at thrift shops and having some given to her over the years, she has filled several rooms of her home with them. Each has a name and a photo plus a description carefully preserved in her doll scrapbook-how she got the doll and why she or he was named. You can bet her grandkids love to visit her-the boys as well as the girls. Take a look.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Article #84 Smells of the Past

Can you think of one smell that signifies your memories of the past? To me it is sagebrush-a pungent sweet distinct smell that always recalls UTAH and my childhood. Moving to California as I did when 10 years old, I always looked forward to our trips home across the Nevada desert. With my first smell of sage, I knew home was near and my loving grandparents. We came to visit almost every deer season and I loved being in the outdoors as my family prepared to go hunting in the lovely fall weather or collecting pine cones from pinyon trees among the sagebrush. Even today when I return from vacations, I get a thrill when I smell sagebrush when it starts to appear along the sides of the road, for my destination––my home is close.

Other distinct smells of the past were grandmother’s fresh homemade bread, rolls or pies hot out of the oven. Just walking inside her house, I could smell her love in the aroma that greeted us. It didn’t take long for grandma to serve her finest roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy––a traditional meal for family reunions or for any special occasion. When I make dressing for turkey that same distinct sage smell fills me with longing for the good old holidays.

Lilacs are another smell that reminds me of the past. It is a popular flowering bush that both of my grandparents had growing in their yards. They are so pretty and so fragrant. Then there was the cheap perfume from the dime store that my grandma always wore, and grandpa’s Old Spice aftershave. Either of these smells nowadays takes me instantly back to earlier times.

Smells of Christmas are comforting. Our family tradition was always to have our own fresh cut Christmas tree to decorate. Hunting in the mountains of Utah for the perfect tree then cutting it down to bring home brought a wonderful holiday smell into our home that can’t be matched with today’s artificial trees and pine candles lit to give ambiance. There were the holiday traditional dishes-homemade fudge, gingerbread houses, different types of cookies that made this time of year memorable with its wonderful smells, that say stay home and enjoy some lovely homemade goodies. Unless of course you’re diabetic then the challenge now is to cook with sugar free ingredients but it can be done and still smells great. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lots of birthdays today

Today is the birthday of my cousin Jody and her mother-my aunt Esther now deceased. (Photo l-r Jody, Esther and Les her husband with their other daughter Marion in front.) Esther was my mom's oldest sister who always watched out for her siblings throughout her life. After my dad died in 1945, Esther encouraged my mom to move from Utah to Los Angeles for new opportunities.

We did move from the tiny mining town of Eureka to the metropolis of Los Angeles. Living in a small travel trailer in my aunt's backyard, my mom transferred her job as a telephone operator in a two position office in Eureka to being an information operator in a big city. I discovered ballet, and had many cultural opportunities opened to me as well as a free junior college education. My cousin Jody re-introduced me to the church that I had been baptized in at age 8 in Utah, and it became a guiding influence in my life. My mom found a new companion in California and was married again in 1958.

How does Joseph Smith fit into the equation? His birthday is also today and he was the prophet who restored the gospel, and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called by many-the Mormons. I knew little about him until I had attended church for many years as a teen, and then transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah to continue my education.

Joseph Smith, born Dec 23, 1805 in Vermont and living in Palmyra, NY, at age 14 wanted to join a church. His parents belonged to two different churches, so he pondered which to join. Taking the matter to God in prayer after reading the scripture in James 1:6 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. He received a vision from God and his son Jesus Christ telling him to join none of them, but that he would be the means of re-establishing the ancient church that existed in biblical times and during Christ's ministry on the earth.

So I honor these three people today who share the same birthday-my aunt Esther, my cousin Jody and the prophet of the restoration Joseph Smith-each has influenced my life in some way. Who are some people who have greatly influenced your life along the way? Have you thanked them for their contribution to your life?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Well those of you who read my blog know I've been working very "persistently" as my husband describes it on his biography. Hoping to have it printed out and ready to send to family before Christmas, today I got an email from UPS saying they have been so busy with packages that they won't get around to printing my books until Dec 29th. Grr! That's was a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT for me but I've decided to let it go and focus on other things. It will be a NEW YEAR'S GIFT instead. We've already sent money to family for them to pick out their own Christmas gifts-that saves them being disappointed by whatever we had selected.

It seems to me that part of the HOLIDAY BLUES that many experience this time of year is because of disappointments. That's an interesting word dis-appointments or expectations not met. Seems life is full of them but something else always comes along to amuse, frustrate or challenge us instead of what we are expecting. True to my MOTTO-act don't react I'm trying to focus on other things that are in my control and projects not yet completed like organizing all the Floyd photos to upload online and label so others in the family can see and enjoy them. I'm in the process of trying to SIMPLIFY my life with less things to do. Easier said than done.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter is officially HERE!

Funny how the weather has a mind
of its own-doesn't wait for a certain day
that weathermen predict for the next
season-be it spring, summer, fall or winter.
Like a rebellious teenager, it comes or goes
when it wants to, and not as expected.

So today we officially start winter though
it's here already in some areas and early
this year. Why does it always seem to come
too soon and then be the last to leave us?
It's a test of patience and a preparation for
what lays ahead of us, life is unscheduled.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Another Blog is Born

Waiting for the new grandbaby to be born
I was pleasantly surprised that my son Jeff
has started a blog for his new family to be.
Rachel the expectant mom will also contribute.
Lin the anxious grandmother to be (again)
is excited to meet the new little one-Lorien
when she decides to make her appearance.

Of course, her mom is tired of waiting
although baby Lorien isn't due until Dec 29th.
I remember when I was waiting for Jeff to come,
due on Christmas day he came on Dec 13th.
Early was fine with me, and now he'll become
a new dad near his own birthday making this
a special month for all of us as we celebrate
the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ next week.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dolls and their purpose

Since I've been making and sewing on yarn hair on Raggedy Ann dolls this week, it got me to thinking about their necessity in the lives of children. Every little girl wants a doll for Christmas. Even my aunt Ethel who is now almost 90 tells us that her poor widowed mom tried to get some kind of doll for each of her 3 girls for the holiday. I remember getting dolls and also carriages to wheel them around in when I was just 3 years old (see my photo on left). Then there were the special dolls that would take a bottle of water and wet their diaper-why that was so special, I'll never know after struggling with potty training for my three sons years later. There were also dolls that cried when you turned them over and said MAMA.

Do you suppose the purpose of these dolls was to prepare us for motherhood? I also remember playing house complete with a cupboard and table and chairs to set my dishes and tea set on. I even recall having an ironing board and a play iron plus a high chair for my dolly. In acting out the lives of mothers and wives in our playing we are in a way preparing for future roles we hoped to have. Just like fairy tales and buying into the myth of happily ever after, our play set the stage for our later lives.

Girls of today have Barbie dolls with glamorous clothes and even a boy friend doll named Ken with a convertible. Times have changed. Also Barbie looks nothing like my baby dolls. She has a waist and boobs and is skinnier than humanly possible. What has happened to our society? I never owned a Barbie doll but I do remember one Christmas when I was about 10 getting a new doll for Christmas and my cousin recieved a cute teddy bear. (See us in photo on right.) We decided to have a wedding with our new playthings. Those were the good old days when life was simpler.

We both grew up, got married and lived happily ever after until our divorce about the same time. Then we got to play single parent...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Article #83 Sounds of the PAST

Thinking back of your early childhood days, what special sounds bring back pleasant memories? For me, it’s the train’s whistle as it approaches an intersection. Both my grandpa and dad worked on the railroad, so we lived in company housing near the tracks. Trains rushed by all hours during the day and night with their loud rumbles. You got used to the sound and missed it; if a particular train was late, you noticed. (Photo of Silver City depot.)

The sound of neighbor-hood kids playing and dogs barking always lured me outside to play with my friends––two and four legged. Happy memories of taking some of my dad’s tools and deliberately knocking down an old fence that separated my yard from my best boy friend’s house next door are still with me. Quietly sneaking into my house and tiptoeing outside carrying a jar of peanut butter from the pantry to share with my hungry little preschool friends are fond childhood recollections. (Photo of my mom's Silver City school.)

Sitting in the quiet summer evenings on my grandparents back porch waiting for the next train to pass and talking about anything and nothing was our normal routine, as no one owned a TV to watch then. Listening to the old radio play music of the time or talent shows or any of the popular drama shows was our main source of entertainment. Sometimes my grandma would get out her fancy electric phonograph and play a record. One of my favorites was “Red River Valley.” Corny old Western tunes that recall a slower time when families had time to just sit and be together.

My grandma liked to tell me stories of her youth. I can still remember the sound of Grandma’s laughter and Aunt Dora reading us stories. Then there was the ring of the telephone as society progressed. One long ring for our neighbor or two shorts for us. Everyone shared a party line. Talking on the phone was exciting, but long distance was expensive. Other sounds from my youth were high school bands playing in parades, and circus shows when they came to town. As a teenager, roller rinks with their canned music that you could dance to with your skates were popular. Life would never be the same. Popular performers were taking over the new movies that filled the movie theatres. Now we had to be entertained.

What sounds do you recall from your childhood that bring you fond memories?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I have been to so many parties lately
tonight was our local writer's group,
next monday is Daughters of Utah Pioneers.
Last week we had our women's group
get together then our church's party
plus a lunch bunch gathering and
a group of neighbors came together
to play games and eat. It's a socializing
time of the year which is good otherwise
we'd all become hermits this time of year
hiding inside from the cold darkness.

Instead we are meeting together and
celebrating the holidays still to come.
Soon Christmas will be here, the presents
all opened and enjoyed, more feasting
then it will be time for resolving for
the New Year to eat smarter and start
exercising better to get fit and healthy.

We are strange habitual creatures
who need each other and connections.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Humanitarian projects

I'm having fun working on some Raggedy Ann dolls for needy children for Christmas-a church project. Using old yarn I have stored from past years, I'm making loops and then sewing them onto the doll's head for colorful hair. Reminds me of pioneer dolls.

Feels good to be doing something to make someone else's holiday happy. I don't think I ever had a Raggedy Ann doll but they are cute and simple. Another project that some of the young men in our church locally are doing is asking for used donated bikes then fixing them up to give to needy families. We need to involve our kids and grandkids in more projects like this.