Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Ta Dahs!

Incredible how fast time flies
whether or not you are having fun.
Guess busy-ness is what happens.
Looking back over another month
full of many new experiences
and lot of Ta Dah moments
before moving ahead to May

I've blogged daily-amazing hobby,
taught several family history classes,
interviewed to teach community ed.
next fall for Dixie State College, 
had several articles published and
submitted many more.

Family came to visit-four grandkids,
step daughters and a surprise party,
newlyweds on spring vacation, later
a secret to tell-a new baby coming.
A visit from Caryn my dear friend.

Then a quick vacation to Idaho
looking for land for a summer cabin,
a homestead for my hubby and me.
It's a full productive creative life
I enjoy and am grateful for each day.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I was thinking about how we look at others on a surface level and judge them and their life. Then when we get closer and come to know them better, sometimes they reveal more of themselves and what is really happening in their lives. That makes us readjust our former conclusions about them and develop empathy. Someone can look externally like they really have it together and we in our minds eye compare our life to theirs; but we know our trials and problems intimately and know nothing of the other person's inner thoughts. We don't really know others unless they let us get closer and reveal their true feelings. We only know the image they project. In public, it's easy to look around at a smiling individual and not know that beneath the facade is pain and fears just waiting to be shared.

I guess what I'm talking about is FRIENDSHIP. Getting close enough to know someone so they trust you enough to open up their deepest thoughts to you, to share their pain and troubles. BLOGGING gives us a little opportunity to do that with the added benefit of distance. Most of the people we interact with, we'll never meet so there is a certain level of safety and trust in that. 

I'll close with my Grandma Johnson's thoughts...if everyone were to put their problems in a big pile, we'd all take back our own. I've felt that way sometimes after listening to a friend share their personal challenges-feeling grateful that my problems seem smaller or more manageable after listening to theirs. Writing does the same thing, putting my thoughts and feelings about problems down on paper makes them less stressful. Tell me of your experiences. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Finding Your Voice

Had a very interesting class today at our Writer's WORDshop about finding your VOICE-your authentic self then expressing it in some creative mode like art or writing. We took an existing poem then rewrote it using dialogue. Here's my revision:

Look, she's standing there
afraid to move, frozen in time.

Doesn't she know
what could lie ahead...
glorious vistas to discover
as well as challenging
trials to overcome.

Yet she sits silently
without motivation
fearful of failing...
stopped by not trying.
She may never find her voice.

Hidden deep inside covered
by layers of self doubt, waiting.
Courage, life awaits dear child.
Do not avoid it out of fear,
find and speak your truth.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Nevada then Utah

We went from a very cold 32 degrees and the wind blowing in Twin Falls, Idaho to 73 degrees and our car air conditioner on as we arrived home in So. Utah. I'm always so thankful to arrive HOME safely and find everything okay. We saw some interesting treeless country and mountains in Nevada today then the familiar cedar trees and sagebrush of Utah-my home. I've lived here at total of 51 years now plus 12 years in California, 4 years in Wisconsin and 1 year in Brazil. Tell us where all you've lived and which one seemed like HOME.

For me it is Utah although I was born in Caliente, Nevada it's just over the Utah border-I only lived there a few months. All my grandparents were born in Utah and my ancestors immigrated here from England, Iceland and Ohio. All were converts to the Mormon church except for one grandpa that was a gold miner.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Published Again

in my favorite LDS magazine entitled Desert Saints published from Las Vegas, Nevada. There are quite a few Mormons living in the so called sin city. It has an absolutely gorgeous temple where my youngest son Jeff and Rachel were married one year ago today. My article for the month of May that is being published is called Don't Forget Grandma. You can read it by clicking on the link for the magazine then go to p. 18 of the May issue. That's 3 months in a row for having my articles in that particular magazine that also pays me $ for writing! Hurrah!

Heading home

the long way but seeing lots of new sights in Idaho...arrived in Twin Falls late try 9 pm and couldn't find a hotel cause there is a soccer tournament in town...funny. After 4 hotels who had no vacancy we found one on the way out of town. So now we can sleep and head home tomorrow. Home sweet own personal space, my own bed and pillow, etc. well you get the idea. But the trip has been fun, a good break in our routine. Getting away, seeing new sights, talking, dreaming and evaluating where we're at and where we could go with our retirement life together. It's been good.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Different Day

We had a better day today with no snow and spring-like weather (see first photo above for snowy day), enjoyed tromping around the mountains looking at land around Sandpoint, Idaho. Didn't find anything that impressed us so decided to head home tomorrow after several days of intensive looking. Decided we like being out of debt better than trying to find a summer cabin. We're also ready to head for the comforts of our desert home where it's warmer-the familiar after enjoying a break away. Seems we all need some variety in our daily lives in order to appreciate what we have. Here's some more photos of our tripping and exploring.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Article #52-Corsets and Such

As a young girl, I remember watching my short plump grandmother go through the daily ritual of squeezing her ample body into a tight corset then carefully lacing it up to hold herself together. A corset was a sturdy garment and served many purposes with its built in bra and garter straps that kept grandmother’s heavy support hose in place. Next came a full slip before donning her plain housedress and sturdy comfortable tie shoes with a slight heel. After fixing her face, combing her hair, and adding a clean apron, grandma was ready for the day cooking meals over a hot stove for her boarders. She didn’t own any jeans or t-shirts which seem to be the official and more comfortable uniform of today’s grandmothers.

The days of corsets are gone now but a few women still wear girdles to give them a slimmer silhouette. I had a roommate in college who was slightly overweight and she always wore a girdle. We used to look at each other and giggle at BYU whenever we sang the song How Firm a Foundation in church. In fact, I still remember her every time I sing that old familiar song. Girdles or foundation garments were a movement away from restrictive corsets. They still gave you support in needed areas with the invention of laytex. No need for corset ties just wiggle into a girdle. Women today have successfully freed themselves from all constraints including corsets, girdles, garter belts and sometimes even bras.

The development of panty hose did away with the need for garter belts. The early nylon hose developed during WWII times had a seam in them and came in pairs. When putting them on you had to be careful to keep the seam straight in the center back of your leg. That wasn’t easy. If you had a run in your stocking, a little nail polish would stop it. Having a spare pair of hose was helpful because if one of your nylons had too many runs you could just exchange it for a new one from another pair. You wouldn’t think of wearing your high heels anywhere without nylons. When women started wearing trousers and jeans for casual wear, it greatly simplified the undergarments required. Contrast that with today’s more comfortable modern lifestyle. There are always sweat pants and shirts that hide lots of secrets. Sloppy is in. 

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Exploring Sandpoint, Idaho

Here's some land my hubby hiked over today. The land is too steep to be usuable or accessible for a possible summer cabin (his lifetime dream) but it is beautiful. The weather here is quite changeable 80 degrees when we arrived and 50 degrees today and going to rain/snow today.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


There is a vastness about Idaho and Montana
open spaces that stretch on forever it seems
few trees but green pastures and lofty peaks
in the distance are overwhelming-God's land

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Off to Idaho

We're taking a SPRING BREAK vacation of our own to Sandpoint, Idaho. Will be sending photos along the way. Going to look at some land for a possible summer place. Here's a photo of our car's shadow that was following us this afternoon. Having fun spending quality and quantity time with my hubby.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Twins' Writings

I asked my twin grand daughters (above L-Emilee and R-Heather) to write about their visit. 

Here is Emilee's: Guess what I went to St. George with my family to are grandparents home and I bought a flute and a baseball with the money I got for easter! I went with my family to go swimming and we had so much fun. We made bookmarks with are grandma she is much fun to play with. We went to a kite flying thing. We got to go on a trian ride. We played some games and at the end we got two prizes and that's what I did in St. George.

Here is Heather's: We wanted to visit are grandparents it was so much fun. We made bookmarks and we got dolls. I named mine white wind because of her dress. We helped cook and clean. We went shoping thats the fun part about my tirp. I got a webkinz and some new flip flops. I love my weblinz its name is chirps and she' so !!!! cute. I love her so much. She's yellow. You now those cute flipflops. Mine have flowers on them and guess what we went swiming!!!!!! I do wish grand ma will love me forever but know what-she dose. I love her too!

Grandma's comments: That's about says it all till our next family visit.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Exciting NEWS

How fun was the phone call just last evening when I discovered that my youngest son Jeff and his wife Rachel are going to have a December. (See them in the photo above on the left, other couple is my son Dan and wife Tina who are visiting right now, with me in the middle back.)  Rachel's a neonatal nurse and will be having her own baby to take care of. This will be grandchild #6 for me plus my 16 step grandchildren when I married their grandfather or papa makes 22 grandchildren. Wow all this when I didn't get to be a grandmother until the twins were adopted 11 years ago which made me a grandmother for the first time at age 58. Everything comes to those who wait...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More Company

Four of my grandkids are here visiting with my son Daniel and his wife Tina. They only live four hours away but during winter it's not a trip I want to make. We saw them last at Christmas which was almost four months ago. Time is flying. I imagine they will have grown some. They are James just turned 3, Nathan 6 and the twins Heather and Emilee soon to be 11. Can the teen years be far away? They got snow yesterday in Northern Utah so are looking forward to warmer weather in our area-the Mohave Desert where spring has sprung. We had fun making jeweled bookmarks, eating stew together and a little fruit snack before bed.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Article #51-Old Route 66

Driving along our modern freeways, I enjoy looking for the old deserted highway roadbeds off to the sides. Remnants of old bridges and cuts in the hills are still to be seen, a record of past days when life was simpler. I know that probably seems amazing to travel without an Interstate highway, but it did happen not so long ago.

It was a slower time, although America was gearing up to meet the challenge of an increasingly mobile society. When Route 66 was built, it represented new freedom to travel across the American West. Starting in Chicago, Illinois, going west across Kansas to St. Louis, Missouri then through Tulsa, Oklahoma and down to Amarillo, Texas, across New Mexico (paralleling today’s I-40), it passed through Flagstaff Arizona. Entering California, it crossed Needles, Barstow, San Bernardino, Pasadena, Los Angeles and ended at the Santa Monica pier. There were already other east-west highways existing but most avoided going through rural America. Route 66 would change all that.
 When the federal government was convinced to build this road in 1926, the Great Depression was starting. Further work was postponed until 1933 when thousands of unemployed men were hired to finish paving this scenic byway. By 1938, the 2,300 mile road was completed and ready for motorists. John Steinbeck in his popular novel Grapes of Wrath, published in 1939, refers to Route 66 as the Mother Road. Also called the road to opportunity, it was used by many living in the Dust Bowl areas to migrate to California and start over. During WWII, it was handy for transporting troops and materials to the west coast. 

More tourists on this now famous road led to the development of new motels and service stations in rural towns along the route. My husband and his adventurous grandmother Big Momma used Route 66 in their annual summer vacations from Texas to explore the west and midwest. Unfortunately, increased truck travel also led to the deterioration of the road then the new Interstate highways were the final blow to Route 66’s demise. You can still follow sections of this forgotten road by following signs that tout Historic Route 66, but its days of glory are gone. A popular song and a short lived television series were created and named after it. The route gets lost nowadays in many metropolitian areas but still makes an adventurous vacation to try to follow it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Me only me

In our writer's WORDshop that met last monday we clustered the word unfinished and then wrote a free verse poem out of what developed. Here's mine:

Is anything every finished, completed or perfected?
No, not ever, potential expands to fill the universe
possibilities unending present themselves each moment

I could do that, be that...they could do that, be that
but who am I responsible for?
Me only me that narrows my focus.

I need help from a loving Father,
guidance to know of possibilities
His example says it all––love, peace
charity are worthy objectives
to spend my lifetime acquiring

Unfinished, not all I can be...yet
focused on growing, changing and
repenting of my many weaknesses
until they become my strengths
to rely on, to celebrate

The finger of disapproval points out
but hidden in my palm are three fingers
pointing at the real culprit needing
to only me!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day

Oh no, it's that dreaded day,
when tax returns are due.
Will we get a refund or have to pay?
Only time will tell as hubby
sweats through the various lines,
adding deductions and exemptions,
No children at home, that's bad.
Over 65, that's good-more for us.

Every year it's the same process,
although now we can do it online.
Let the computer add it up,
no copies to make or envelopes
to mail in-just hit the send key,
and we are free for another year.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Happiness is a state of mind
An attitude of gratitude
Free of unrealistic expectations
Life can be full of delights
Even opposition leads to new growth
Contemplation calms any problem
Optimism grows in grateful soil
The resulting blooms can last forever
I'm grateful for love in my life
and the promise of a forever family

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter is Here!

It's the day the Easter bunny was born? No, the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ-the great teacher and son of God. Interesting how the two holiest occasions concerning His life-Christmas and Easter get lost in the commericalizing of those holidays. What does Santa Claus or some bunny have to do with our elder brother?

Jesus is part of another family, an ETERNAL FAMILY composed of our Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother and all our brothers and sisters that will be born. That makes us all siblings of the same parents eternally though our earthly parents vary. We are ONE BIG FAMILY. I love that idea that we are all interrelated. That Christ loved us enough to come down to earth to be born of an earthly mother Mary, a Heavenly Father and then He was raised by his stepfather Joseph-a great and loving parent and spouse he was. What a unique and powerful family we have.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Summer's coming

Summer's just raring to come to our area as our evenings are warmer and our heater barely comes on at all during the nights but then we live in the desert. Interesting how fast the seasons come and go every year. It's the weekend again and soon before we know it, it's Friday again. The only way I've found to SLOW IT ALL DOWN is to try to enjoy each experience with a GRATEFUL heart. 

Happy to have another day to be here on earth. Blessed to have a family I love and care about. Fulfilled from teaching and writing activities in my retirement years. Realizing there is still a lot to learn, do and be in my remaining time-how ever long it is. I'm still working on writing my MISSION's in bits and it comes to me. ACT NOT REACT-that applies to everything, BUILD RELATIONSHIPS-with God, family and friends, DEVELOP MY TALENTS-teaching, and writing. FIND MY VOICE-and help others find their voices. TAKE CARE OF MYSELF-physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. Now there's a few daily goals or MANTRAS to focus on.

Lately I've been thinking about POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS-a topic mentioned in many books I'm currently reading. I don't believe in them. That's where you take a situation and try to change your feelings. If you are bothered by fears or worries, you repeat a postive affirmation to yourself like...I can feel God helping me over my fears. I think the thing I'm off with is telling myself what God is suppose to do or not. I've found from my experiences with Him in church and with praying my whole lifetime that many times He has something entirely different in mind for your life that you do. 

We've all heard the story of God remodeling our life as we ask Him to just put on a small addition and He instead knocks down a wall and builds a new extension to our dwelling/life that we never asked for or even envisioned. So I guess what I'm saying is...It's important to just put our trust in Him and in His answers to our prayers without preconditions or limits. Instead of a particular positive affirmation I would say something positive but GENERAL to myself like I know God loves me or I am a daughter of God and He will guide me. Someday I think it will be very interesting to report back to our Heavenly Father and discuss how He revealed our greater purpose-mission and talents in our life gradually through our varied experiences both negative and positive.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Article #50 Service Stations

I remember when service stations were just that, where you could get your car serviced-repaired, oil changed and flat tires fixed. Nowadays forget that, with automatic pumps there is little if any service available. You pump your own gas, check your water, oil and tire pressure, and never see anyone that looks the least bit helpful. In my youth, when you drove up to the pump some clean cut young guy would come running out and greet you pleasantly inquiring...What can I could do for you? To which you usually responded...Fill it up or three dollars worth. He never asked Do you needed anything checked? but just went about doing that, then finished up with washing all your car windows. (Photo above l-r my uncle Weston, aunt Bonnie and my dad Stanley sitting on the running boards of their dad's Model T Ford.)

Every small town had at least one service station with a good mechanic that you could trust with your family car. (Photo on right my dad in high school standing by the family car.) While it was being fixed, you didn’t have a spare auto to drive around but had to stay home till the family jalopy was repaired. I remember hearing how my Dad couldn’t wait for weekend when his father’s new car was available for him to court my mom. He’s travel the 100 miles round trip to pick her up for a dance or other activity in his dad’s special automobile. Speed limits then were 35 mph, but some fellows were known to push the limits and go 50 mph. All of this without seat belts. Every young man learned early from his dad how to change the oil, spark plugs and fix flat tires if needed. A tune up was something that could be done manually and not on fancy computerized machines like today’s cars need. 

In my grandmother’s day, few moms knew how to drive until they started to work outside the home––then they needed transportation also. Many husbands were reticent to teach their wife how to drive. I think they knew what was coming…the start of a major revolution called the two car family. Then the one car unattached garage located in the back yard wasn’t enough to house two vehicles. Today we would feel extremely deprived if we could only afford to have just one automobile per family. What would the wife or the teenagers drive? I’m sure we all know families with multiple cars lining their driveways in front of their three car garages because they are all full. (Photo above l-r my dad and a friend with the family car-notice the muddy roads.)