Sunday, June 30, 2013

Last Day of JUNE...

Looking back, it's been a busy summer so far.
June brought a trip to Santa Fe, NM to visit family.
Our 20th Anniversary trip combined with vacationing.

Metal roadrunner sculpture from Santa Fe

Finished my latest book just waiting on the printer.
Dg-in-law Rachel had a birthday, step daughter Sarah
had her long awaited baby-a girl named Karrah.

Photo of Karrah by proud mom Sarah

Another step daughter Deborah and family are
moving back to Ephraim, Utah. Our blended
family continues to grow and progress especially
the grand kiddos and two great grand kids.

That's strake #5 being measured and trimmed to fit!

Hubby continues to progress on his boat.
I'm busy with exercise and water classes.
It will be 115 degrees today, but we have AC.
So, I'm cool inside writing on my computer.
We do have mountains in higher elevations
nearby to escape to and we did go on a field trip
for the local camera club in June. What did you do?

Saturday, June 29, 2013


How does one become a judge?
Perhaps a law degree qualifies you.
We are all judges in many ways
as we make many decisions everyday.
Should we do this or that, accept life
for what is or try to improve our situation.

To expertly judge a contest is a challenge,
I know as I did that with youth poetry entries.
Sometimes it just a preference rather than 
based on technical merits or a standard. 
I've entered many writing contests and read
critiques by judges. Sometimes I win, mostly I lose.

Recently I won 1st Honorable Mention 
from the NFSPS-National Federation of
State Poetry Societies for a poem I wrote
with these positive comments from a judge:
a simple poem, concise and focused that 
imparts a soft non-preachy message. 

An example of how losing can be winning.
Recently our Supreme Court judges made 
a decision about marriage and families that's
supposedly based on the constitution but not 
always clearing the dissensions in our society,
only confusing an already emotional struggle.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Article # 250-Solutions?

         History holds many examples of how societies and families have found solutions to their problems. Think back to the Great Depression, and the world wars, etc. These times were full of tumult, anxiety and serious problems that were not solved by people ignoring what was going on. It took individuals with courage to stand up and be counted. To survive they worked their way through challenging times, finding solutions.
            We elect officials in our government to deal with solving wide spread problems like: unemployment, discrimination, etc., but within each family there are also personal trials to be dealt with; illness, unemployment, discouragement, divorce, and death are just some issues that a normal family has to face. It’s too easy to look at other supposedly successful families and compare your family, not knowing the heartaches they are facing. Judging and competing with others seem to be normal, but not helpful. Have a compassionate attitude. Be there to give emotional support to others in your own family, neighborhood, and community who need a hand.
            The recent tornados in Oklahoma are an example of extreme crises that can happen to normal people. Sometimes all we can offer is our prayers and donations to relief organizations.  To come together as a nation in aiding others within or outside of our country when relief is needed builds our own personal strength. In these days of instant communication there is little excuse for not connecting and reaching out to strengthen one another. Thinking outside the box of our own little world can be helpful.
            I remember being stressed while watching the news of the tornado victims because I was just recovering from a sudden flu attack and found myself without any milk in the frig as I was fixing dinner. Then reality hit me as I realized these people were victims who had their homes destroyed, lost all their belongings and even family members in this terrible destruction. They had no frigs or food or homes. Sometimes comparing ourselves with those who have less can help us feel more compassionate and grateful for what we do have.
            Each day of life is a gift not to be taken lightly whether it is full of trials or blessings. The same higher power weeps with those who mourn and cares for the smallest problems we each have just as any loving parent would do. NEXT TIME: Entitlement. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

How to SLOW DOWN time?

As each month seems to OUTRACE the last one,
it's somewhat scary as my next birthday approaches.
I'm soon 73 years old. That's difficult to fantom until
I LOOK in the mirror or at recent photographs of me.

Then...I see this ELDERLY woman staring back, and
I wonder how did she get to be SO old, and so plump?
Then I remember all the good meals eaten at restaurants
and my EASY lifestyle: no chasing kids, little housework.

I must be RETIRED, but not from life. Now is the time to
live it up, go for the gusto, carpe diem, etc. etc. etc. but
wait first time for a leisurely NAP to restore my energy.
I do have a younger husband to keep up with, but I seem

to RUN CIRCLES around him. That's because he only
manages to have one project at a time going, while I have
many, too many: a new book to publish and market,
another class starting, and a TO DO list that never stops.

I don't have time to grow OLD!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New free website

Try out DROPBOX if you're needing a place to store projects or photos to share with others. It's free and convenient. It solved my problem while on vacation as I forgot my attachment to download my  digital photos to my laptop and couldn't get new software online to make it work. Besides I was on vacation, right? Well, my oldest son Frank solved the problem for me when he said You can just use my account at to store your photos then you can access them for your blog. It worked, except it copied ALL of my photos from my camera around 1500 of them and it took a LOONG time to do that. I've got my own account now, and it's becoming useful.

You can also store documents you are working on like my book rough draft, then invite others through an email to share and work on your projects. It's quite the deal, check it out. Any hints or suggestions from those who are using it is appreciated. I'm still learning. (Icons from the website of dropbox.)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Getting ready for birth

of my next book. I started it last Nov 2012 so that's about 8 months ago. I hope to print it off by July 1st-a nine month experience. Last minute details are many. Another FINAL EDIT to catch or change anything. Waiting for an ISBN number before printing it off. Redoing the cover yet again. Thanks to my son Daniel for technical support via emails. He's my guru and computer mentor! Here's the latest cover design and details of what's inside.

It will be 8.5 X 11 inch format with 107 pages of text with guided questions for discovering your voice after divorce. Have had three friends read through the manuscript and make helpful suggestions. After all this effort, the big task of marketing begins...look for further news in the weeks ahead.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Photo Field Trip

It's time for our annual summer camera club field trip
to Kolob Plateau, part of Zion National Park.

About 1.5 hours from St. George

There is a small waterfall and a

reservoir for irrigation purposes in the valley below.

Lots of summer wildflowers at

about 8000 feet, it's also cooler up here.

A quiet place to fish by boat or off the shore or

camp or hike or picnic or take photos.

Several fields of blue flax flowers and

some wildlife-a horny toad held by our nature guide

Bill Hunter, a retired high school biology teacher.

And of course, cactus flowers in abundance.

Love the colors but look out for thorns.

Dryness and high elevation makes for clean air to breathe.

We saw too many wildflowers to remember their names.

So delicate and colorful.

A cool picnic high in the mountains with friends.
There were about 17 club members who attended.

Photographers at work...

It's a high plateau...

Every color imaginable.

Even white violet Columbines?

Article #249 Ignoring Problems

              Too many of us try to ignore problems that scream out for our input and opinions in the world these days. It’s easier just to be complacent and safe at home while the world goes to hell in a hand basket. What good would my vote or my opinion do? we may ask ourselves while at the same time complaining about all the chaos, confusion and corruption in the world. For those of us that live in a free society where votes can change outcomes, it’s sad to see so many unwilling to join in the fight for a return to traditional values but NOT being active in a political party. We are represented by others who are voted into office and make laws that govern us. If we don’t like what we see, our voice needs to be heard.
            Change doesn’t come about by ignoring a problem, be it personal or political. It’s time to take a stand for those principles that you value living in a free society. Whether it’s gun control, gay marriage, equal rights, anti-discrimination, etc, your voice and vote is important. Being an observer may be easier, but it’s a dead end. Become active in your chosen political party, study platforms and records of those you elect. Let them know if you don’t approve of their voting record. Don’t rubber stamp candidates year after year whose performance in office is not proactive.
            The same principle applies to your own life. If you feel you are in a rut or destructive pattern that doesn’t reflect your values, TIME TO CHANGE. Get yourself out of hiding in the cave, hoping change will come. DO SOMETHING TODAY. Become all that you can be. Don’t be happy with mediocrity and poor performance. Careful evaluation and judgments are needed in life. Hermits do not good citizens make. Get involved with life-yours and the society you live it. Make it better by your efforts and vote for others in the political scene locally and nationwide that support your principles.
            Progress is made with the first step forward. Defining what you want to change then going for it with purpose and direction. It won’t be easy but certainly more interesting that hiding out in your comfortable cool cave alone. A productive society happens when we all care about progress, solving problems and are willing to not just complain but to be part of the solution. NEXT TIME: Solutions?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Last day of VACATION

We are back in Utah, heading to Capitol Reef.

I love those red rocks of my home state.

Fascinating formations and layers of rock 

Sand formed over generations of time turned to stone.

At Torry Utah's Skyridge Inn Bed & Breakfast

Lovely patio to enjoy the scenic view.

We've been here on prior vacations.

A beautiful sunrise greets us on our last day of vacation.

Time to head home refreshed.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen Colorado, a ski town high in the mountains

Quaint old houses dot the highway through town.

Could have been a saloon or hotel?

View out our hotel room-lots of aspens here.

Anniversary dinner at Snowmass Village Inn patio.

Lovely wildflowers everywhere.

Anyone for skiing?

That's manmade snow leftover from Spring.

 It's a bit chilly but nice outside.

What a place to hike or fish or just enjoy.

Dandelions everywhere!

Wonder why it's called ASPEN?