Friday, June 29, 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012

To submit or not to submit...

Some deadlines are approaching for a statewide poetry contest that I won a $750 prize two years ago. Still I find myself doubting my abilities and wondering IF I should submit. Then I remember all my encouragement for others in our poetry group to submit for the first time, and I think I CAN do this! So I did. It's only a contest and the process can be growth producing as you consider improving your entries to make them better.

IMPROVEMENT is the NAME of the GAME in this life! I have so many areas I want to do and be better at. Just to name three: 1-talent in writing, 2-relationships and communication, 3-physical health and fitness. Wow-those goals are more intimidating than just submitting to a little poetry contest.

How about you? WHAT are some CHALLENGES you are working on? Leave a comment and tell me...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Article #202 Good Old Fashioned Fun

            When was the last time, you had some good old fashioned fun? Or maybe that is something that doesn’t exist any more? Does life always seem difficult, full of challenges, trials, and lots of stress? Exactly why we need to make room for and create some old fashioned fun. Looking back on my childhood days, some of the best times I remember were really quite simple: talking to a grandparent, going fishing or on a picnic, playing a game or putting together a puzzle. No electronic gadgets were required, just time dedicated to simple family fun. It’s also called recreation because it helps us re-create ourselves by engaging in enjoyable activities.

            Nowadays any free time stolen from our busy lives is spent tied to the boob tube-television, videos or computer games where interaction is limited and conversations non-existent. Try going without electricity for at least one hour a week and get reacquainted with one another, no matter your age. Instead of texting, look others in the eye and become aware of their body language as you try to connect one on one. It might come in handy in case of an unexpected disaster that could happen if our electrical grid goes down or a hurricane or earthquake occurs.

            Many families have 72-hour disaster kits which should include games or equipment as simple as a ball to keep the family amused while they try to cope with a stressful situation. Maybe you are already in the midst of a personal disaster and need some family recreation and fun. Not on Facebook or in a text or tweet, but one on one interaction and activities. Are we too busy to talk to one another?

            Whatever happened to old fashioned fun like taffy pulls, playing marbles or tiddly winks, taking a picnic or a hike, fishing, baking together, cooking, cleaning up, sewing dresses or doll clothes, having a tea party, crafts, painting, sharing a hobby-coin or stamp collecting, playing jacks or board games, writing a story, reading a book, doing a service for someone-mowing their lawn or just doing the laundry together? Sit down with your family whether it’s just you or you and a spouse or a group of individuals or roommates living together. Make a list of fun things you could do, then go do one. Include some physical activities like walking and talking. It will do your soul and soles good. NEXT TIME: Conversation Skills

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Johnson Family Reunion 2012

Our annual extended Johnson family reunion is over for another year. We gathered cousins, spouses, grandparents and all the kiddies at the Icelandic Reunion in Spanish Fork city park for a fun afternoon of hot dogs, KFC, and authentic lamb cuisine. There were games and activities for the kids, visiting and reminiscing for the older ones and cousins Doug and Mimi Johnson visiting us from Northern California. Quite a posterity for Vilborg Thordardottir, a widow who brought her four children to Utah from Iceland in 1874-see chart in the middle. And we are only one small part of her numerous posterity. Click on photo to see more details. Thanks to everyone who joined us!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Icelandic Reunion starts

I gave my film presentation on Iceland at their meeting last night

Remembering full blooded Icelanders who died in Spanish Fork

My ancestor's headstone, remembering her...

Colorful cemetery flags

Friday, June 22, 2012

Skywatch Friday

Westman Islands, Iceland
by Lin Floyd

Clouds move quickly as moods change,
this sea can be treacherous for fisherman
with no choice but to load their boats and leave.
It's their livelihood, their support,
all that they know and have done for centuries.
Prayers of their loved ones go with them. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Doors open and some close

 CHANGE is inevitable whether we want it or not.
Each new day brings different CHALLENGES to us.
If we try to stay STUCK in one position, it won't work.
Flexibility and openness, creativity help us THRIVE.

I decided against NEVER entering a poetry contest
since last time when my 26 entries won NOTHING.
This time I SUBMITTED 4 poems for publishing
that won awards in 2011 and also 3 cover PHOTOS.

Always FUN to try something different, develop new 
interests to give VARIETY. Now I've made an i-movie
I think I'll take a webpage making class at DXATC.
I LOVE to learn and study new topics-it's a challenge!

You haven't FAILED, if you keep TRYING!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Article #201 Finding Your Path

             Families can be the key to self-fulfillment when parents provide a home for young ones to be nurtured, protected and guided. Even if a family is dysfunctional because of divorce, death or other reasons, a home is a necessary starting place in finding your own path. Siblings will offer opportunities to learn cooperation and sharing, while extended family members including grandparents can be positive examples. Examples abound in families, functional or not, of how children have their free will to follow a parent or sibling’s example or take a new different path. Tremendous disadvantages (handicaps, abuse, poverty, etc.) can be overcome and provide opportunity for individual growth.

            I’ve heard that we as an adult learn more from raising our children than we did from our own parents. Having a family is part of the process of finding self and our path, both as a parent and a child. As I look back on my life, I’ve come to realize the growth that I made as a person struggling after a divorce as a single parent with a family of sons to raise alone. Happy ever after was my original goal, but surviving, growing and persisting in raising responsible healthy young men who would start their own families was my new goal. I now have grandchildren who are helping my sons and daughter-in-laws to continue their growth as adults. Everyone is part of a family whether they claim them or not.

            I tried to capture this cycle of learning in a poem called Labyrinth: Ahead lies the path not straight and narrow / curving and turning back on itself. / I begin my journey slowly wondering where it leads. / Not knowing but trusting, I continue. / Setbacks and obstacles come, / yet always a direction opens. / At last I find the center, but it continues.  / As I return the cycle repeats, others follow along. / Birth, a beginning / carefree childhood, adolescent questioning, / playful courtship, marriage then commitment, / soon children come to a new family. / Parenting challenges end with an empty nest / as young ones begin the cycle anew. / Their children will follow / the worn footsteps of the same path. / Soon I am bent and gray, my walk slows, / I know the way, where it leads. / Back to where I began. / I watch my children follow the same path / and long to guide them. NEXT TIME: Old Fashion Fun

Monday, June 18, 2012

Good's done!

Photo of my graduation from Snorri Plus program in Iceland

My first ICELAND 2011 i-movie is done, and I must say I'm impressed. It's not perfect and I made a few mistakes in reading my voice over narration BUT the thing is...I DID IT! Mostly by myself with a few tips from a tutor at Simply Mac store that tried to teach me the basics. The rest I learned from online instructional videos and using the help screens! Too bad life doesn't come with a manual or maybe it does-SCRIPTURES!

I had to shorten it a bit to fit YOUTUBE's requirements under 16'30" but here it is. Note the icy island at the first is Greenland not Iceland and later I talk about tectonic planes=that should be plates. Oh well, I'm just a novice.It was suppose to have Icelandic music background from CDs I bought over there, but that didn't happen. Freedom to start a new project now or maybe just bask in overcoming my fears and doubts-my persistent efforts paid off. Now to RELAX! Come visit me or go to the Icelandic reunion in Spanish Fork this coming Friday night and you'll see my movie!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

To all those men who have chosen to bring children into this world: supporting their family, being an example of honesty, and hard work. We need to show our appreciation to them this day...whether they are fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers or husbands. Without them we wouldn't be here. Be sure and tell the fathers in your family that you love and appreciate them. I sent cards to my sons who are fathers on this day. Below is my husband with his four daughters...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The heat is on...

Deadlines are coming for my original movie
I must admit it's fun and creative but also nerve
racking as fear tries to play its part-what if
it doesn't work, your computer won't work or
the sound isn't loud enough. It's all I can do to
shut off those voices so I can work on this
project. Then there are other projects waiting
in line...teaching a write your story!

It's getting hotter outside and the heat is definitely
on inside-I feel the pressure mounting. Interesting
how deadlines motivate us to do our work more
effectively or at least spend more time on it. Today
I got a rude phone call from a reader of my column.
I had written about single parenting from my point
of view and he criticized me for implying that men
couldn't be a good single parent. I didn't say that...

Talk about taking things personally. We all can
have chips on our shoulders-become defensive
by others words, when we misinterpret them.
I became defensive by his comments that most
women single parents are dirt balls living off
government welfare. I realize that this person
has a personal agenda he was putting forth by
phoning me to argue, just glad I'm married.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Skywatch Friday

I'm joining a meme to try it out. Hoping to get more viewers for my blog. I'm posting clouds from my trip to Iceland last August. Wonderful changing skies every other minute in that small island country.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Happy Flag Day...

A symbol of our heritage and history,
land of the free with liberty for all
who honor its laws and uphold our constitution,
I love my homeland and all it stands for
and appreciate those in my family who
have defended and fought for preserving it
through their upright lives and military service.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Making an I-Movie

What an experience, like learning to walk
never done it before, unsure and unsteady
but it has to be done and soon as it shows
Friday June 22nd at the Utah Icelandic 

Association annual reunion. I am featured
with a report of my Snorri Plus journey to
Iceland last August. With only 2000 photos
to choose from, it's not easy but interesting
to relive that experiences and put together
a 15-20 minute film of the highlights with

my own recorded narration. It will be
premiere here when it's done...coming. It's
called "ICELAND BECKONS" by Lin Floyd.
I've had two tutoring lessons at Simply Mac
and hours of experimentation at my computer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Happy Anniversary #19 to us!

Our wedding day in the Salt Lake City temple 1993

Still celebrating every year...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Article #200 Purpose of Life

              No, this isn’t a discussion of religion or politics. I’ll let the preachers and candidates do that! I’ll focus on discussing the why of life or a reason for living. In our modern society, many people are depressed and some are suicidal because of a lack of meaning in their daily life. There are many different philosophies, religions and ethnic groups in the world that are divided in their answers of why man is here on earth. Whether you believe we evolved from the sea creatures crawling onto land or were created by divine providence, your purpose in being here has to be a major consideration that motivates all that you do––that makes life worth living or just meaningless.

            I believe life revolves around the opportunity for each of us to become more perfect during this time we live together as a family here on earth. You are born to a mother and hopefully a father that teach you values and traditions to guide your life. Most parents welcome, nurture and teach their little ones to find their way in life, develop a unique personality and individual talents.
        As a young child, you are excited about the possibilities for your future. The world is a fascinating creative place to explore. Gradually as you grow and start attending school you’ll experience difficulties, meet up with your first failures and bullies. You will start to doubt your self worth, although your family is still there backing you and hopefully giving you unconditional love.

            After the struggles as a teenager to find yourself, comes the time of becoming an adult. You feel stirrings within to find a mate and create a family. Thus the age old cycle continues as you begin again to nurture your own little ones. Hoping their lives will be better than yours, you teach and prepare them to be happy and find fulfillment as an adult. There is a divine or instinctual sense that you are born with that continues this cycle of individual birth and families.

            If our society is able to destroy the inherent differences between male and female roles, then who knows what the future will look like or what purpose other than self-gratification will motivate us.  Freedom to choose is an important responsibility to teach your little ones, but it isn’t license to do whatever you want to do at someone else’s expense. NEXT TIME: Finding Your Path

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Fictionalizing Worries

I've discovered lately it's easy for your mind to get carried away; fictionalize REALITY as you worry needlessly over this or that. For instance...yesterday I had to renew my DRIVER'S LICENSE. No problem you say except that a year or so ago my opthomologist who couldn't be accused of optimism told me I had cataracts forming.

That was enough to put me in SEVERE STRESS, so at his suggestion I was to make an appointment. WITHIN the next year when I had problems seeing to have laser SURGERY. Try that worry on for size. He assured me that I would NEED this type of treatment WHEN I had vision problems. So I, waited then made an appointment with an eye specialist; and started worrying.

Finally the day for the exam with a locally noted eye doctor occurred. The NEW specialist told me I DIDN'T need immediate surgery-it was my decision when I was bothered by my eyes ENOUGH. Somehow I expected this new doctor to make that decision for me, but NO he didn't.

The only problem I have is with reading up close and he gave me new glasses with a STRONGER prescription. So it's been a year now. Enter the villain-the eye exam to have my driver's license renewed. Add the scenario if I don't get my renewal, I'll have to have hubby driveme everywhere and will become totally DEPENDENT on him.

I can almost think up a catchy title for this fictional story BUT it didn't happen-only in my MIND which was very creatively going BESERK! I went to the drivers license office, passed the exam with flying colors, got my renewal and still am in limbo about my EYE PROBLEMS???Worry is such a constant in all of our lives-it should be given a better name.

Friday, June 8, 2012

TO DO lists vs. TO BE lists

My husband asked a very interesting question today at breakfast
Do you ever have a day without a TO DO list where you can just BE?
I don't think I do, but when I sunbathe after my water aerobics class
I just veg. out and relax, also in the afternoons I sometimes nap.

I'm loosing track of real priorities as I rush about putting out fires.
I've been volunteering with a new church calling in family history
to  help others with their genealogy. Trying to build their confidence
in using their computer and the Internet to discover their ancestors.

I'm finding that using the time to help others helps me to be more
charitable, focused less on self-my TO DO lists while serving others.
Trying to turn their hearts to their fathers as they search for them.
It's a good feeling and more valuable than checking off: vacuuming.

What are some TO BE things you'd like to accomplish with your time? 
I'd want to be a better LISTENER-validating other's self esteem, to
reach out and connect, build friendships and enjoy my life now today.
Not worrying about future challenges, because that is in God's hands.

How about you?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to Katherine

Special wishes to a lovely loving mother of three and wife
to Arnold on her birthday. Even though she has to work today,
I hope her family and friends will let her know of their love
and appreciation for all she does for others. Happy b-day!

My hubby and my four step daughters: l-r Sarah,
birthday girl Katherine, Alicia and Deborah

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Birthday to my dg-in-law Rachel

A past collage of Rachel shows Lorien their first child.
A second time mom recently, see their newest addition 
Edmund born recently almost on Rachel's father's birthday!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL-wife of my son Jeff!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Article #199 Male-Female Differences

            I like the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by author John Gray. It’s a guide to understanding the differences between the sexes. Being raised by a widowed mom, I never realized that men look at the world differently than women. Getting married certainly opened my eyes. I love to talk intimately with girl friends about my feelings, but most husbands have difficulty talking about emotions. My spouse is an engineer who loves to fix things and read instructional manuals. Unfortunately women don’t come with a manual, and neither do children.

            Somehow you always want to change your spouse to think like you do, but hey that’s why you married him or her because of the differences. My hubby is the one I ask to fix the thermostat or remote or take the lid off a bottle. He doesn’t have to be my therapist too. I have a close friend whose husband is a professional counselor. I’ve always thought that would be ideal, but I’ve learned that it doesn’t necessarily work that way. After solving the world’s emotional problems at his job, this hard working man wants to come home to his cave and hide out––not solve all the family problems his wife has saved until his return.

           So, how does one resolve these differences? Try lowering your expectations and become more realistic. Your spouse has personality traits that you admired or else you wouldn’t have married. Will you ever find the perfect partner––no! Just find someone you can respect and love enough to make the commitment of marriage. Loyalty and trust are more important traits than having a therapeutic partner on call 24/7.

            Looking for your partner’s positive traits can make for a healthier longer lasting relationship that will grow and change over the years vs. searching for the perfect soul mate that completes you. It won’t happen for most people in this life because no one is perfect. So, two imperfect people fall in love, marry and create a family. Learn to overlook one another’s faults, communicate and live reasonably happily ever after while solving the problems that will come. Then one day with graying and thinning hair, they can look back and be thankful for the bonding journey with a loving companion. We all need interactions with others of the opposite sex to enrich our life, whether we have never married or are widowed or divorced. NEXT TIME: Purpose of Life   

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Partial Move

Getting a room re-carpeted is like moving to somewhere else.
Everything on the floor of that room must go to another place;
that is except photos hanging on the wall and the blinds. 
When it's your office with multiple computers, that's a lot!

So our house has been a mess for quite a while as we had to empty 
and move one desk for the new Internet access that got upgraded.
While in this mess, I suggested we bite the bullet and move the rest.
So magically (lol) three desks, one bookcase and a long table went

to the dining room with boxes and boxes of book, papers, misc.
It's amazing how much STUFF you gather just over a week or more.
We've lived here for five years, so there is lots to organize again
as it is now returned to empty desks and shelves with new carpeting!

Maybe we need to do this same process to our lives and our minds.
Slow down, clean out-reorganize. I'm trying to do that this summer
but haven't had time contemplate more about priorities
and what I want to leave as a legacy, when that time comes.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Visiting Caryn again...

 I love her remodeled kitchen

 It is so carefully decorated everywhere...

Notice the colors of the dishes and their placement.

 A new creation in her hallway.

 A mirror and harp table with half books and half vase-very clever.

That's me taking a photo of us in the mirror!

Caryn lives in the country-what a fun shed!

 These sheep are really lawn mowers!

 More barn art by Caryn.

 She has quite a green thumb and flowers are everywhere.

Her front door clementis.

 Real flowers in her window box

Hubby Wayne made a horse swing for the grandkids.

Real nests and fake birds decorate her house inside.