Saturday, April 30, 2011


If you haven't checked out, it's worth a try. Their latest addition is school yearbooks. Now I've always thought of myself as a shy wallflower during those years-tall and skinny, wearing glasses, intelligent but not in the social whirl resulting in no dates and low self esteem. I was surprised to see from my sophomore yearbook that I was a member of Scholarship Society, GAA-Girl's Athletic Association playing volleyball, basketball and field hockey, Radio Broadcasting-played music records during lunch time, Roller Skating and Bowling Club. Interesting how we view ourselves. Then try going to a 50th reunion and meeting all the hot shots from your HS-the student leaders and cheerleaders, etc. It's a shock to your self worth.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Church Luau

A delightful evening of dancing and great food was held
at our church last night. Lots of laughs and fun as the dancers
(over 65) performed in beautiful handmade costumes.
That's our Bishop or Branch president as King.

I even got to wear my necklaces from Hawaii.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dental Detour

Smashaburger and a broken tooth,
what do they have in common?
Well, my tooth cracked after eating
that tasty burger as I chewed gum!

With lots of old fillings, it just gave way.
So it's time for a crown for my mouth
not my head. I paid an expensive visit
to my local dentist for a repair job.
Only $776, some drilling which wasn't fun,
several impressions that didn't work, then
it was time for a temporary crown so I can smile.
In two weeks, the porcelain crown will be ready.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Garage or Yard Sales

Well, my friend Caryn and I had our last Artist's Date
since she is leaving soon for her permanent home.
Snow birds eventually do fly north when it gets warmer.
We are now at 75-80+ degrees, perfect outside weather.

So we went to some local garage or yard sales to shop
for stuff you really don't need, but want-cause it's so cheap.
I bought a big antique jug to decorate my yard with,
a gravy pitcher for Sunday dinners, and other have to haves.

Caryn is the expert shopper as she goes regularly year
round looking for bargains or fun stuff for home decor.
We mostly enjoyed the searching for signs and talking
along the way as we hunted for second hand treasures.

Then of course, it was time for lunch so we headed to a new place
where their sandwiches are big enough for two to share.
Loaded with tasty pulled pork, onions, tomatoes and avocados,
we enjoyed a picnic sitting outside in our springtime weather.

Thanks for a wonderful winter full of friendship and love,
have a great summer at home tending to your flowers, dear Caryn.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Winners and Losers

It's the day that the winners are announced for the Youth Poetry Contest I created this year. There were 106 submissions from youngsters kindergarden through high school age. Several teachers in our local area got involved with their students as well as home schoolers to boost our entries.

This will be an annual contest and I already have a theme in mind for next year: WHAT IF... This year's theme was I CAN BE... The winners will read their entries at a short program next Saturday at Tuacahn's Saturday Market. Unfortunately I won't be there as I'll be up north receiving an award for some of my original poetry and writing that are included in this year's UTAH VOICES-a new literary magazine that I gave the suggestion for its name. Gary, a local poet and secretary of the Utah State Poetry Society will give out the awards. I'm a UTSPS-Utah State Poetry Society member and they cosponsored the event. Fun times. Then off to some writing workshops and visiting with family and friends.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter's Date

Ever wonder why Easter is a different date each year? This is what I discovered...Easter shall fall on the first Sunday following the first full moon following the spring equinox decreed in 325 AD by the Council of Nicea. (The spring equinox is one of the two times in the year when the sun crosses the celestial equator and the length of day and night are approximately equal.) Source

According to Bruce R. McConkie in his book Mormon Doctrine... Easter is the church festival celebrated by Christians in commemoration of the resurrection of our Lord. The name Easter comes from the Norse goddess Eastre whose festival was observed at the vernal equinox. Obviously, Easter as now celebrated has come into being as a compromise between pagan and Christian views, and does not pretend to be the anniversary of the actual resurrection of Christ.

As so many of our holy days Christmas and Easter are just times to remember the Savior-His life and sacrifice for us who believe in His holy name, how the Easter bunny and Santa Claus got involved is another story for another!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Article #147 No Excuses

I’ve heard all the excuses. But I’m retired, I don’t have time to write my life story. I don’t know how to write or even spell “it.” How can I write my life story, I don’t know how to type, etc. Well it’s important for you to MAKE some time for this important project and gather some helpers. See if anyone in your family, including a grandkid, is available during the summer months off from school to assist you with this project. Most youngsters even the little ones are very good at using computers and even know how to type on a keyboard. What better time to get serious about this project and do some bonding with your family than during this summer.

Schedule a set time each day to write and even carry a little notepad around with you to jot down ideas as they come. Once you start, the ideas will come easily. Remember-don’t try to eat the whole elephant at one sitting, break this huge project down into little bite sized pieces. What part of your life story is most important to you to share with your descendents? If you served in the military that might be a good place to start or memories of experiences with your grandparents or even your courtship or a special hobby. Your life story doesn’t have to start with your birth and be chronological, but can just be unrelated episodes or stories from different parts of your life.

Remember-you are writing a rough draft FIRST, don’t worry about spelling, grammar or editing-just WRITE freely. Later you can refine your writings, but not if you don’t start. Online sources and many helpful books have been written on this subject. There is even hardware for computers with writing prompts. Personal Historian is an excellent program to get you started or take a class in your community. Any of my columns which are stored online at can be used for ideas or my book Looking Back… which is still available for purchase for $10 can get you going with topics. I’ve had many people say, your experiences sound just like mine. They may be similar, but we are each unique and no one in your family will know YOU unless you write your story.

So choose a time to start working daily on your project and DO IT! No excuses accepted. You’ll be so happy when it’s completed. (Photo above of four generations-my grandmother, mother, me and my son Frank-I've compiled all their histories and many more.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Celebration

I finally found time to take a field trip with our local camera club. It was only about 3 blocks from where I live into some desolate desert foothills near our home. What a fun surprise as we discovered hidden treasures there in the form of colorful wildflowers just blooming..

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Last FHE group

Well summer is coming and the snowbirds are heading home
while the year round residents of our area prepare for vacations.
I'll be headed off soon north to Utah Valley for workshops
and to visit with my family, especially the grandkids.

Our host Paul above starts the meeting by asking questions.

We had our last Family Home Evening group with a lesson on
the Amendments to the Constitution and studied 11-19 of them.
The first ten are called the Bill of Rights and I've realized how
little I retained of US History from high school and college.

Mary and Steve above are serious students of the political system.

That's my hubby reading the constitution, sitting by Paul's wife Sue.

Wanda and hubby Rick above participate in our discussions.

Now I'm interested in learning how our government works
when a student I could have cared less about history. Now
I am almost history...getting up there in years with 70 behind
me and who knows how many in front of me. Time to wise up!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter is Coming!

I'm not talking about the bunny, but the real reason
we celebrate this holiday-it's because of the Savior
Jesus Christ and the perfect life He lived, His example
of service, love and making the ultimate sacrifice.

There are many musical programs available now.
I ventured out to our historic Tabernacle in town
to hear the local Methodist church present their
program praising the Messiah and His love for us.

What a treat to sit in this beautiful building and
contemplate the sacred events that evolved anciently.
A lovely choir and a talented bell chorus serenaded us
and helped bring the reason we celebrate to mind.

Meet Caroll, our Heritage Writers' president-she's busier than me!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pot Luck PARTY

(l-r: Caryn, Marilyn and Barbara)

Well, it's time to say goodbye to two of our snowbird poets
Caryn and Shirley who will be leaving to return to their homes
now that it's warming up in the Northern climes of Utah.
Most snow is melted, and soon it's time to plant gardens.

(l-r: Leah, Lin, Caryn, Shirley, Marilyn, Wilma and Joan)

What a fun winter this has been cavorting about with friends
having artist's dates, attending workshops together, writing
and studying how to make our poetry better and even a
first performance of our new group POETRY in ACTION.

We had a fun pot luck luncheon and shared what we'll do
this coming summer-trips to Hawaii, Iceland, California
and other spots plus visiting with family especially our
grandkids will fill up our summer leisure hours until fall.

We also took some time to share some poetry-a great group of talented women.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Relaxing after months of stressing

Ever grateful certain projects are over

Learning is the goal of life

I declare, I'm ready to retire

Eternally not yet, so...

Forward on to the FUTURE!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Technology Workshop

Well, it's over after many long months of work,
"Writing in the Age of Technology" is finished.
Another intensive project completed successfully.
I was a co-chair in planning this HWG workshop.

Over fifty writers from throughout Utah came to
St. George to enjoy our 80 degree weather, and
learn more about publishing, editing and e-books.
The world of writing is changing as is our society.

What a task to help coordinate all the aspects of this
workshop-publicity, food, teachers, logistics,
facility, timing, equipment setup and finances.
What a RELIEF that it is OVER on to the FUTURE.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Article #146 A Deadline

An interesting word “deadline-“ the time by which something MUST be done or completed. Death can be an unexpected event that stops you from accomplishing many things on your TO DO list. A college friend of mine, a few years old than me, suddenly died recently after minor surgery. I had talked with her just a week previous and she was lamenting about all the stacks of papers to sort that were on her desk. Now she doesn’t have to worry about them. Unless you are currently battling a terminal disease, you have no idea how long you’ll live. Therefore, nothing in your life gets a dead-line.

Many retirees pick out cemetery plots and signup for funeral services, but never think twice about writing down their feelings about their life as a farewell to their family. Retirement years can give you the opportunity to finally write down some thoughts for your descendents that you’d like to leave. Whether it’s a special letter to each family member or writing your biography, these items seldom make it to your “bucket list.” (Photo on the left of my aunt Bonnie and uncle Weston both now deceased, I tried for years to get them to write their life stories but it didn't happen-now they are gone. They are standing by the Vernon family cemetery plot by the Rockport Utah reservoir.)

So, for all you procrastinators out there, I’m going set a deadline for you to complete your life story. November 7, 2011 will begin a special Senior Week sponsored by the Senior Sampler. I would like to have a table to showcase the life histories that my readers (YOU) have created this past year utilizing the writing prompts that have been in my column for many months. Call into the office 435-673-7604 and leave your name if you’re willing to take this challenge. It’s time to commit to this important project. (I also challenge my blogging friends regardless of your age to write your life story.)

Hopefully you have started gathering some memories from your life that you’d like to share with your family, if only to preserve the memories of your parents and grandparents. Remember the first stage is to collect a ROUGH DRAFT of all the experiences you want to write about. The next step is to EDIT, then SCAN in photos that you want to use in your life story. Soon, it’s time to PUBLISH and SHARE with others.

It’s now almost May with the summer ahead of you, a perfect time to organize all you’ve written and start editing in preparation for publishing your history by Nov 7th. With a specific deadline in mind, you have no excuses. If you haven’t even started to collect stories or photos, it’s not too late. Start today.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Recommendation

I'm reading this book on creativity which I love. Entitled Pencil Dancing: New Ways to Free your Creative Spirit by Mari Messer. I enjoy the unique titles she has for her individual groups of chapters: Creativity 101: Practicing the Basic Steps, Polishing your powers of observation, Creating with your whole self, Losing your Logical Mind, Freeing your Creative Elves, Befriending your beasts, Creating from the Inside out, and Dancing with your Creative Spirit. Check it out, I bought a hard back copy for less than $3 at plus postage.

I guess being a former dancer in another lifetime I can identify with her word images. It's interesting I have discovered at least four different individuals in my area who are now poets and writers after having had a career as a dancer/teacher when they were younger at my college-BYU. After your body can no longer dance, it's helpful to express yourself in words. One of my classmates died recently, suddenly after surgery, because of unknown heart problems. I wrote a poem for her.

Helen Keith Beaman 1935-2011

Helen, my dear sweet friend, now gone
Memories remain of your goodness
Years ago we danced together at BYU
Modern dance pioneers indeed and loving it

You were short and I was very tall
But we managed to do a duet on an
Exciting revolving stage in the new
Harris Fine Arts Building on campus.

Now you’ve gone on to where angels dwell
Still dancing I’m sure, as your spirit allows
And watching over kin and family daily
during this brief separation called death

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Hubby

Well, it's birthday time again for my dear hubby
and I realize I need to create a collage for him.
I've made one for most everyone in our family,
but overlooked the most important person to me.
Happy Birthday, Sweetheart!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Creativity Poem


A dance with words happens each time
I try to capture my feelings hidden within.
Evasively seeking to escape unnoticed,
my thoughts peek out behind the curtains.

Wanting to be on stage, waiting yet fearful,
needing encouragement, at last permission is given.
Shyly they enter unsure of acceptance,
then the music surrounds them with purpose.

The dance begins, my soul fills
as poetry is created. My voice is heard.
(Photo of me in my dancing days!)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Homesteading Dreams

We all have dreams we've carried with us since our youth.
Mine was to live happily ever after and have five daughters.
My hubby's was to find his ideal homestead to retire to.
Fast forward, after 4 sons, I have 4 stepdaughters, and I'm happy.

Photos of young Katherine and Sarah in their dad's Texas garden

But, my hubby is still looking for that rural place among
the tall pines, with clear running water and/or a good well
where he can plant a large garden and fruit trees to become
self sufficient in this hustle bustle urban world of today.

So the years pass, we aren't getting any younger and he is
still looking for that retirement place with the ideal climate.
Notice his huge garden in Texas, but it was humid there.
It's too hot to garden where we live now, though the pioneers did!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who was Joseph Smith?

My church has just released a movie explaining who Joseph Smith is,
the founder or rather the restorer of the Church of Jesus Christ.
There are many rumors and untruths circulating about him.
Take the time to view this movie so you can understand the Mormons.
I'll be happy to answer any further questions you may have about
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy Birthdays Brook and James

It's James, my youngest grandson in the family!

My son Brook is celebrating his 41st birthday today
and my grandson James celebrated his 5th on Wed.
Happy birthday to two sons in different generations
as they continue with their journey called "life."

Friday, April 8, 2011

Article #145 Historical Events

It’s possible to be so wrapped up in the events of our time that we forget that history repeats itself. When we were young, society was concerned about the same issues that are in the news today: wars in faraway countries, dishonesty in politics, financial challenges, unemployment, natural disasters, etc. I’m sure parents of those days lamented the wildness of the younger generation and worried over their future in the decaying society with all the challenging world events that were taking place then. (Photo of my uncle Weston who recently died, and his father-my grandpa Harold Vernon.)

Explaining to our descendents that we survived WWII plus other wars, the Great Depression, stock market crash, assassination of President Kennedy, resignation of President Nixon, and that life did go on. There were skills to be learned, college to attend, meals to prepare, laundry to be done, car repairs, bills to be paid, etc. There’s a basic pattern to our existence that is repeated generation after generation despite tragic world events: birth, childhood, school, courting, marriage, career, children, empty nest then grand parenting for most individuals. Except for a few unmarried individuals or childless couples among us, life continues on in a dependable pattern. Each person trying to find his or her way in the world through the various stages of their life until they leave this earth.

There will be in each decade and century unique historical events that touch our lives in different and sometimes dramatic ways. Catastrophic events such as tornados, floods, earthquakes and illnesses come, but a feeling of purpose and direction in our life can help us go forward with living each day. We are not victims of circumstances through they influence us.

When challenges come, families can give each other added strength and pull together their resources physically and emotionally to succor one another. That’s what makes this world go round in my opinion-families. Not that every family is perfect, far from it, but basically they care about one another and keep in touch. They are a backup system more powerful in their love and commitment than any social security or welfare program. What are your feelings about your family? Share any special historical events that you’ve experienced in your lifetime. Are there any words of wisdom or advice you can give your posterity on how to weather the difficult times? I had a grandmother who always said “This too shall past.” And it did.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Buds

I love seeing the trees dressed in green again
buds bursting at the seams wanting to pop open
revealing blossoms and wardrobes of new leaves.
A wonderful time to be alive, enjoying Springtime.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Last month with friends

Well winter is almost over as snowbirds prepare to head north.
My friend Caryn and hubby Wayne are anxious to return home
to central Utah and their home in the hollow. It's soon time to
plant gardens and tend flowers, outside weather time is coming.

We've had a fun time meeting monthly for a friend's potluck
then sitting around and talking for hours about memories and
future plans as we are all retired except Mary's hubby Steve.
What a challenge to make good use of these precious years.

Retirement is a process of choosing carefully how to use time.
What projects should take priority and how do you fit in all
you'd like to accomplish or experience. Guess it starts with a
BUCKET LIST and analyzing your resources and future goals.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A new!

I can't believe how fast time is passing.
Counting up my many unfinished projects,
the number was twenty with more being added
as I write. I can't say NO to my creative self.

So what's in store this month?
Thanks for asking, I tell my husband smilingly:
a writers workshop I'm co-chairing, and
a Youth Poetry Contest and Celebration,

then a new opportunity to teach a creative poetry
workshop in Mesquite, Nv, and a title for a new book
Find the POET Within, a need to edit and self publish
at last my rejected book without a publisher
Family Home Evenings...I CAN DO IT!
At least I don't get bored being retired...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Stepping Stones

Who knew that there was so much planning
needed to take place before laying stepping stones?
Not me, but then I'm married to an engineer
who is a perfectionist and does such careful work.

I walked out my pace for the path and he did too.
We discovered that my eight steps equal his seven.
So he measured the gait between them accordingly,
then had to dig under them to make the stones level.

Me, I probably would have just placed them-then
filled around them with pebbles, but that wouldn't do
for someone who is more particular and precise.
There are many ways of approaching tasks I've found.

Some like me are fast and furious, get it done and
move on. Others like my husband are careful and
complete. I'd much rather have him build a house
than me. I'd throw together a shack, and it'd be done.

How like the different ways we live our lives is this?
The creative spontaneous get it done quickly type
vs. the more methodical thorough scientific style
It takes both kinds to make things work and progress.

The finished project from planning to selecting the stones
is almost completed and it saved us many hundreds of dollars
by doing it yourself compared to an expensive landscaper
who wouldn't have done it as nicely. The path is now done.