Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Blessings.

Here's hoping everyone had a special holiday season. I have struggled with not having my kids here this year for Christmas eve, and Nalyn was not here at all. She had the opportunity to return to Germany to visit a friend, and I am excited for her! So many of our beloved Christmas traditions come from Germany- The tree, The lights, the Advent calendar, and my favorite hymn,"Silent Night". I told her to take lots of pictures, and make sure to capture some of the other traditions there! This year has been different in other ways also. I traditionally put up the tree and get out all the holiday decorations the day after Thanksgiving. This year, the Friday before Thanksgiving I had to have gall bladder surgery. I wasn't able to lift anything, and just didn't have the oomph it takes to get it all done. I was surprised at how little energy I had- I felt fine, but the energy levels were lacking. So I went with the frugal look. It was different not having all my favorite decorations out! But putting it all away should be a cinch!
The frost was very thick this morning. I took some pictures of the decorations on my porch all covered in frost. Unfortunately the pictures are a little dark, right now it looks like it is snowing, all the frost is falling off the trees. Even the kitty's whiskers had frost on them!
The picture is very dark, but you can kind of see the white spot of frost just below her nose!
I am very grateful for family and friends. I am grateful for the friends who brought dinners to myself and my family after my surgery, I am grateful for the neighbors and visiting teachers who brought Christmas treats, I am grateful for our Savior, who loved us enough to die for us and make it possible to return to live with Him again. My Christmas wish is for all to find the happiness you seek in the upcoming year. Have a Blessed New Year!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Fall Y'all

I was sitting at the computer, doing my usual "stalking" of blogs, and saw a cute idea. A blog I like was having a "vignette weekend" The idea being you take pics of your cute displays and link them to that blog. Well, I don't know how to link, but I thought I would take some pics of some of my favorite fall displays around the house! The top one is beside my front door, it still needs a little tweaking...Enjoy!I thought it would be cute to make a witchy display, her dish is full of frogs, the jar with the crow on it has eyeball gum and skeleton hands, and the other jars are full of "potions." My aunt made the cute witch for me when I was in High School- (it's almost an antique). Scary!

This is my "chicken" chandelier all decked out for fall. White pumpkins instead of chickens. I have been trying to come up with something to put there for Christmas, any ideas???

This is the windowsill behind my kitchen sink, it looks into the laundry room (whatta view!) so ignore the stuff in the background. I do like these baby white pumpkins, too cute!

This picture is kinda dark, sorry. (When I had the light on in the display shelf then the flash wouldn't work) I love cloches and cute jars. The balls under the cloche are freeze-dried fall leaves glued to a styrofoam ball, very easy project and very cute!

What vignettes do you have for fall?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This is a picture of our little farmhouse in 2003 when we bought it. It had a gorgeous leaded glass window in the front and cute little arched windows in the enclosed front porch. Notice the eye-grabbing color on the trim...yawn. I have posted pictures of the porch makeover, but now it is time for the reveal! drumroll please..

I know, the ladder shouldn't be in the picture, but it's a work in progress dahling, I looove the black trim, It really pops, (and it makes the cute fall decorations stand out) Someday, we will put in new stairs and get rid of the red (why, red??) and beef up the posts. Wanna see some more before and afters? Hang on....


This is the kitchen. The stove you can see the edge of is the "summer" stove. The original wood and coal stove sits just behind it on the other side of the 1/2 wall. The wall next to the window is hiding the stairway.This is the wood and coal stove. Can you imagine cooking all your meals on this??? Me neither! Notice the window in the background..It juts right up against the wall, and the stove pipe? Yep! it leads right up the chimney
This is the stairwell after: See the beautiful banister, the wood floors, and the lovely light streaming through the window???

This is the same view after as above:

Only no wood and coal stove! We put in a new window, centered it on the wall, moved some cabinets from an opposite wall, tore out the half wall and the chimney, and basically made it awesome! I Love, Love, Love, my new kitchen (and we did it on a very limited budget)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Man Caves and other dreams..

When we bought this suburban farm, we had grand plans of making the outbuildings into "useful" buildings. Of course, I wanted the house done first, and those out buildings have been put on the back burner. Early this spring, my parents and nephews helped me get a ton of old hay out of the barn. Literally a ton! Or possibly two! We filled this huge dumpster to the top. using pitchforks. With loose. As in not baled. Dusty. 100 year old hay. Whew! The reason for the hay removal project was to surprise Farmboy, so that he could use that section of barn for a work shop (aka "man cave"). As you know, if you've read much of my blog, farmboy does lots of projects, but never seems to get to any of the he- man type projects (well maybe a little hunting), But. He finally got started on his man cave! This is the framing for the floor, those big beams underneath are the ceiling supports for an old root cellar (why was there a root cellar in the barn? We have no clue! Maybe it's one of those don't ask, don't tell kinda things, a hidden whiskey cellar, or maybe to hide an extra wife or two?) He has the floor in, some walls up, and a stairway to the loft, and has started on some workbenches. He has grand plans, and it will be a great work space when it is done. For all of our many projects, he has had to drag his tools out to the driveway,and build everything there, and then drag all the tools back to the shed. but now, when we need to build something, (and we always need to build something) he will have a great workspace! The honey-do list is growing..I have some grand plans myself! (just don't be puttin' in your orders yet, MY list is first!!!)

Friday, September 11, 2009

I think I am wearing out. It seems that every great project, just creates huge messes that someone has to clean up! (scrunching eyes, crossing fingers and toes, hoping, wishing, for a magic wand or a good fairy who loves to clean!) I know, anything worth having is worth working for, but I am tired of messes. And projects. Yet, I want the house finished, so I guess it's time to rest up and then buck up and get busy.
Lately, I have had the urge to re-arrange. Organize. Get rid of junk. However, my creative juices seem to have gone into hibernation. I need someone to give me some ideas, heck, I just need a friend! I would love to change the computer/ desk area in the living room, but the ideas just aren't there. I want it to be uncluttered, and cute, but I have a tendency to pile things. A tendency to just set it here for now, and when I come back the pile has doubled. I also have a tendency to think I need to save everything. I KNOW I don't need that bill stub, that flyer, and I will forget to use those coupons, but I save them anyway. I do the same thing with craft items, fabric. beads. scrapbook paper. stamps. And let's don't even get started on books!
I was cleaning the basement tonight, and it made me feel sorry for chimney sweeps! When farmboy was doing the roof, and took out the crumbling chimney that had the furnace stack running up it, he didn't realize that taking apart the top part, was causing soot to fill the basement. There was a layer of black soot on everything down there. I looked like a street urcin by the time I was through, and it doesn't wash off easily, my skin is scrubbed raw! I want to get to the point that anything stored down there in the dungeon, is in a cupboard or a drawer, or an airtight container. (of course getting anything down the stairs is a risk to life and limb, so honestly, I would prefer to have nothing stored down there!)
Sorry about the gripe session, but I feel like I'm talking to someone who can relate, even if they don't answer back. Best wishes to you and your projects! (come on creativity, I know you're there!!!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Garden Bounty

Wow, the garden is popping up all over! All that rain in May and June made things grow like gangbusters! Here is a picture of the garden with the boxes and the trellis. Look how tall the corn is already! and get a load of the squash plant! (if you find spaghetti squash on your doorstep- it wasn't from me!)
Farm boy has completed the porch and roof on the porch side of the house, He will finish the rest next spring (what a huge job.) I love the new porch. I think it makes the house look great, like it has always been there! I was amazed how people would stop to chat while we were in the construction stage- lots of great comments. Feel free to stop by and chat even if we're not out working. ( ;

I can't believe how tall the raspberries are this year! They are taller than me! (though that's not saying much) They are just beginning to ripen, and I can't wait to stuff my face! Raspberries on my cereal, on my ice cream, in cobbler, warm off the vine, any ol' way, just let me at 'em!! I just have to beat Farm boy to the patch...
Don't they just look so tasty? Farm boy started cleaning out the inside of the grainary, (mainly so he could store the shingles in it) so soon I will have a cute garden shed. The sunflowers and hollyhocks I planted are popping up well, too, I am excited to see them bloom.

Now, if there was just some grass, instead of weeds-soon! We have plans to rent a sod cutter and make a flower bed in front of the porch and on the south side of the yard, so the grass we remove will come over around the garden and shed. Good news for my poor bare feet! I am always pulling stickers out of them. A few last pictures of the house and my other flower bed! (oops the roof jacks are still up there!)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Extreme porch makover continues...

The roof is coming along,but the weather has not been very cooperative. Thanks for all your help Mother Nature! (not) These photos were taken June 27, As of today, there is only the section over the kitchen left to be shingled (at least for this year) I have not been very patient, I want to decorate the porch! It drives me crazy for it not to be finished, but Farmboy is slaving as quick as he can (go farmboy!)
I planted my baby buggy, and think it looks very cute this year! I am not sure how well it will do now that the porch gets even less sun, but we will see. I also found a fun metal art design to hang on the wall in the "sitting area". See, I can't wait!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mother Nature's yard makeover

All the rain and wind Tuesday conspired to create a new form of landscaping in the yard! I personally prefer my trees upright, not horizontal. Unfortunately our power line came down with the tree. I am extremely grateful it was just the power line and not the house. The only other damage was one small branch off of the pear tree. This tree gave us the best shade in the back yard, too bad, the rest can't be saved, and will have to come down. I am very paranoid, because the remaining sections of the tree lean toward the house. Pray for no wind!! Free Firewood, cut it yourself!! Thanks Matt, for saving us from being powerless!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

more porch makeover

Farmboy has been working hard and this section of the roof is getting new shingles. What a huge job! There are 4 layers of shingles on the roof, 2 layers of cedar shakes and 2 layers of asphalt shingles. Farmboy said that getting them off is difficult- the nails on the last layer are 3 inches long!
Along with doing the roof, Farmboy has gotten the garden going, kept the grass mowed, and watered (he won't let me cut the grass, I did offer) and helps me with my various "projects."

I have wanted to plant a flowering vine to grow up the old chicken coop, and thought this old support from the old back porch would work great. The clematis seems to love it, It has grown about a foot in the last few weeks. I think the post looks really cute!

I have been cleaning up around the old grainery. (sp?) I planted hollyhocks and sunflowers next to the wall, and am hanging up all the old tools I find on the walls also. I also used the other porch support on the grainery for a honeysuckle vine. (The grainery is the building in the background of the garden pictures in a previous post)Eventually I want to clean it all out and make it into a potting shed. I figure we have all these old buildings, we may as well use them! When it is all in bloom I will post another picture!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Extreme Porch Makeover

This is what the house looks like with the old front porch torn off. Pretty scary huh? You can see where they enclosed a window. I would like to add a window back in- I love the light. When I walk into the front room I keep thinking the front door is open, because it is so much brighter! We poured the foundation for the porch about 4 years ago, and have just been waiting until we could do the roof and the porch.. The wait is over! Jim started framing up the porch last week. Our neighbor Brad helped get it level, and work out the funny angles- Thanks, Brad!. Here is what it looks like now.
We found a picture of the house when it was built in 1904, and it had a small front porch. It isn't a great copy, but look close..I like the fancy trim work and the little pointy things on the peaks of the roof. I think it would be fun to reproduce the eave and roof things. (what are the roof things?) This picture came from the history of Smithfield book. We are going to wrap the porch clear around to the back door. See how the roof is flat by the chimney? anyone have any ideas how/ what, we could do there to make it not be flat?? That is the spot where the roof leaks. I wanted a cupola with a weather vane, but that may look funny... Any way, I am excited to see it done, I think it will make the house look really cute!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What the rain interrupted...

No, not footings for a new house, or a swimming pool, but one of my yard wishes ..flower boxes and a trellis! The boxes will "define" the area for the garden, keeping the zucchini contained (ha, ha, is zucchini a perennial?) and keeping the grass on the other side of the barrier, (dream) and still allowing "farmboy" to run the tiller through.The trellis will be between the two boxes creating an entry. I've decided that "farmboy" is an appropriate nickname for Jim, because when I say "honey, those boxes should be 5 feet apart not 4, " he says "as you wish" and digs a new trench..after it was already square and level and 4 feet apart! What a guy!
You can't really tell, but there is a small cement pad just in front of the shed, and when I suggested we should build another trellis over the pad,and put a bench beneath it, he said "as you wish." Well, not exactly those words, but something to that effect.
But, the rain started pouring down, and the project is on hold. Farmboy is asleep on the couch, and I am planning the next project....
(PS.Watch "the Princess Bride" if you don't get the farmboy reference)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Garden wants and wishes

It seems that Spring may be near. It hasn't snowed for a day or two, and the trees are budding. My daffodils are blooming, and we planted two cherry trees and an apple tree yesterday. My favorite season is summer, but I do enjoy spring-I just prefer warm springs.. I have grand plans for our yard, but dear hubby isn't gung ho on my plans. He says that he has to mow, water, weed, dig, barrow, trim, weed, whack, fertilize, thin, weed, etc and all I do is come up with more work for him. I can't imagine why that's a problem?? I spend time in the yard too! (just cuz I am in the hammock....)I do have a yard wish, I want this sculpture in my garden
This is called "Hush". I love the work of this artist, His name is Ed Hlavka. He lives in southern Utah. I met him when I worked at Baer Bronze. He is a great guy, and a fantastic sculptor! His sculptures of children are so life like. This little girl fell asleep reading her fairy book, there is a little fairy in the leaves with her fingers up to her lips, saying shhh. so cute! Ah well someday, when my lottery ticket wins! That's why we have wishes! But my yard plans, lets see, an arbor for the grapes to grow over, a fence, a "secret" garden, a pond, more trees, some roses, more flower beds, a swimming pool (just a lap pool!)...........
I guess I can see why hubby isn't so gung ho!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

nothing to say..

Sorry I haven't posted lately, I just haven't had anything important to say. I am sure no one wants to hear about my daily to do list! Besides, then someone might hold me accountable to actually accomplish the tasks I've laid out in my blog!
I did have some random thoughts about the wax melter scent thingies. I love for my home to smell good, especially since it is 100 years old, but invariably, the wax gets dripped, spilled, poked in, spattered, or just generally messed with somehow! Curses! My daughter got one that is also a light, my dollar conscious husband noticed it was on, picked it up to find the way to turn it off, and spilled the wax all over the room! Guess who had to clean it up- not him! give me a plug-in any day! I also hate that the scent only lasts a few days, versus 30 or so on the plug-ins anyway, that's my peeve.
I am also fed up with snow! all who are ready for spring raise your hand! The nasty weather has got me in an organizing mood, Ive been trying to de-clutter, get rid of things I no longer use, and just generally clean it up. The going is slow, but someday I may actually finish. Well, I'm off to clean and organize, oops!, I mean, stalk more blogs!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On my soapbox about the Birds and the Bees

It seems that lately, at book club, bunko, in the media, in RS meetings, etc. there has been a lot of discussion regarding how and when to have "The Talk" with your children.
I have been known to get on my soap box regarding "the Birds and the Bees" and when and why we should discuss it with our children. I am a firm believer that knowledge is power, and if your children know, they can make better choices. Oh, and also filter out mis-information, because we all know there is a lot of that out there! Because of my job, (I work for mental health providers, who specialize in sexual addictions,) I am more aware of the problems that mis- information, or lack of knowledge, can cause for our children, and our families. I see the heartache every day of children who have gone beyond the bounds of "curiosity" to "exploration", and the problems and expense for families trying to get help. I see inappropriate behavior in pre-teen and teens, that cause legal charges being brought against them. In my opinion,frequently it seems that a little knowledge, could have saved them a ton of grief. Each family needs to decide what and when is appropriate for their situation, but we all need to be vigilant about protecting our children. And start young! At the office, we see a good portion of ten to fourteen year-olds. I don't have hard cold statistics, but it seems that exposure to pornography ( and not necessarily your child's exposure, but their friends and peers, exposure) is the root of many of the problems. Know what your kids are looking at on the internet, not just at home, but at friends homes too. Discuss what their friends look at on the internet. Discuss the things you see on TV with your kids, and talk about why a behavior shown is not appropriate. Discuss ads in the paper and magazines, talk about what is on the news. Tell your kids your point of view, discuss your values, and why they are important. Be honest. It may be awkward at first, but the more you discuss, the easier it gets.
I saw an article where the Father held PPI interviews monthly with each child, practically from their birth. He said that the children knew he was going to ask them questions every month about their morals and values, and discuss whether their actions reflected the things they had been taught. Both parent and child came to value that one on one time. He also said that when difficult issues arose, the ground work for trust and honest discussion were already laid. What a wonderful idea! It seems that our kids see and learn about things we didn't even dream existed! If we can be the person they turn to as a trustworthy source, when they have questions, we can also act as a filter, and a voice of reason; And then trust that they have the knowledge to help them make appropriate choices. With the headlines screaming that Utah is #1 in online pornography hits, I think it is time we do everything in our power to teach our children the values we believe, and not let embarrassment or awkwardness stop us.

There is a great article, with comments here;

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Loved This

I was "blog stalking" and came across this: No, I don't know this person, but loved this post!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Oh, The Places You'll Go...

Play along. Copy and paste this list, and then highlight the things you've done! Then when you're finished add something you've done that wasn't on the list!
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band- Just sang in the choir!
4. Visited Hawaii _ Lived there.
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain.
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child If you are counting my kid's friends!
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie--only silly ones we made when we were kids.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China--someday!
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies Just Camp Fire Candy!
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial-
and climbed to the top!
71. Eaten Caviar- tastes like stinky fish
72. Pieced a quilt-a baby quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating--I would assume fish counts. . .
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Seen Mount Rushmore in person.
101. Learned to play an instrument
102. Ran out of gas

103. Eaten fried okra
104. Swam in the Caribbean Sea
105. Peed in a swimming pool
106. Stayed in a beach house
107. Hosted an exchange student
108.Been a Secret Santa to a family
109. Worked on a political campaign
110. Coached a sports team 111. Baked bread from scratch 112. Driven from coast to coast 113. Paid off all of your debt 114. Roast marshmallows over a campfire.115 Cut up a credit card 116. Drove a car through a flood 117. Been on t.v 118. Had braces 119. Been to the twin towers in NY. 120. Have played in both the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans 121. Been to ground zero 122. Bite my fingernails 123. Likes to scrapbook -back when it was simple!!124. Hates pie 125.Visited Mexico 126. Seen a Tornado in person 127. Have ever been lost at sea! 128. kissed a frog. 129. Gave birth to twins. 130. Received 2 moving violation tickets in 1 day. 131.Been Life Flighted. 132. swore 133. stranded in a motel for Christmas. 134. Been in 2 countries at once! -4 corners 135. Adopted a pet from Humane Society 136. Did a triathlon 137. Never received a speeding ticket I've only had 1 ! 138. Lived with one kidney 139. Slept on the floor of a train station in Poland 140. eaten rocky mountain oysters 141. Volunteered at an orphanage in Chile 142. Ridden an elephant143. Flew in a small Cessna plane with just you and the pilot
143. Worked on an oyster farm.
144. Been rescued when stuck in the mountains.
145. Been to Key West.
146 Been to the Corn Palace.
147. Been to Martin's cove.
148. Swam through a lava tube.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Where were you 19 years ago today? Do you remember? I do. Oh boy, do I. I was in the newly remodeled women's center at Logan Hospital, admiring a tiny pink bundle. That darling bundle of joy, with all the dark hair, was finally here! Of course, She had us wrapped around her tiny little fingers, from the moment she was born! Nineteen. My, how the time flies. I haven't gotten any older, when did she??
Happy Birthday, Nalyn.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sleepless in Smithfield...

Early last night I asked my daughter, "So what time do you think you'll be home?" she replied, "not too late, I have to work at 5am." Fast forward to 1:30 am. I am lying awake, and wondering what exactly "not too late" meant. Daughter still not home. I crawl out of my warm snuggly bed and send her a text: "hello, worried mother here..." she sends back "just dropping off my friend, be home soon" another hour later I'm still awake, thinking maybe I'll get up and work on my blog, but since the house is a balmy 65 degrees below comfort level, and my flannel sheets are warm and cozy, the blog gets worked on in my head. She finally waltzes in, "sorry!" Ugh, no wonder moms have bags under their eyes! Wrinkles and bags really have nothing to do with aging, they are just one of the many perils of motherhood. I guess teen years are my punishment for them being such good little sleepers when they were babies...remember how I miss my babies? (see post: Too big to hold)

So as I'm lying sleepless, I am wondering just what exactly our country will become. I am wondering what happened to accountability, and self respect. I can't figure out why we as a people haven't spoken up against anyone being dishonest, cheating, lying or stealing, If we had the guts to blow the whistle, would we be struggling now with bank failures, dirty food processing plants, mismanaged funds, bailout plans that are only going to hurt us in the long run? I'm just a tiny minnow in the worlds ocean, but it is my opinion that greed and selfishness are the downfall of America. I think our ancestors are protesting loudly, that we've warped the American dream, but unfortunately we can't or won't hear them.
I'm thinking that the people that are immigrating to this country, need to be as the early immigrants were, embrace being an American, learn the language and customs, adopt the country as your own, keep those traditions that make you a good person and discard those traditions that work against you. We are too accommodating, we need to help our brothers and sisters who are trying to come here for a better life, but they also need to adopt the country to their heart, and quit trying to turn it into the country they came from. We shouldn't be required to publish everything in another language, and have separate classes, meetings, tv programs, etc. to enable them to not have learn the language, and customs. It just makes no sense to me. If I decided to immigrate to Switzerland, I wouldn't expect the country to accommodate me by making everything I need translated to English. I wouldn't expect the government to give me funds to support me because I am at a disadvantage. Why do we do that? And why do we allow it?

Then I ponder dust. Why is there so much dust in my house? I can clean and seriously, 10 minutes later, I could dust again. I think, maybe I could just become a collector of dust, display it proudly, invite my friends over to see my dust collection! It would ease my guilt over having a dusty home. I wouldn't stress that everyone would notice the dust, because that would be the point!! Joy! no more dusting for me! Come on by and see my fabulous dust collection! See my picture in the World Book for the largest dust collection! Maybe I could win an award for most unique dust display. It's a worthy goal.

Ahh, the joys of lack of sleep. My nighttime brilliance amazes me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Families are wonderful!

Aren't families wonderful? My daughter Nalyn recently bought a new (used) car. The car came out of Vegas and had very dark window tint on all the windows, which of course is illegal in Utah.(???) So I called my baby brother to ask him about getting the tint removed, and also about getting it inspected, and he said "bring it down, I will take off the tint, and do the inspection, and She will be good to go." So we drove down to Salt Lake. LaMar, (baby bro) took a time out of his day to work on her car. It took a couple of hours with all three of us working on it to get the windows cleaned off. Oh, and it wasn't just the side windows, the windshield had the tint too and was too dark, so it had to come off also. Peeling the film off was fairly easy, but scraping off the glue snot was difficult. And gross. Just like snot.
Nalyn really didn't want the film off, she thought it really looked cool, but her friend said "how are the guys going to see us hot girls driving around if the windows are so dark?" So I guess it was ok. When she pulled into the stall, at LaMar's work, within moments there were about 5 guys surrounding her car, asking her all kinds of questions about it. It was really hilarious. LaMar wanted to know if they came for the car or the girl, One of the guys said “I came to see the car, But I'll hang around for the girl.” LaMar told him to go find something to do. Now I'm worried that she bought a jerk magnet. (not that boys who work washing cars at a dealership are jerks, but when they are still doing that 4 years after high school well... you gotta wonder) While we were scraping glue snot off, I mentioned to LaMar that she needed her oil changed, and he said "Oh, I think I have a filter for her car in my box, I'll do it. What a guy !! I love him! (really Nalyn is just his favorite teen niece, she has him wrapped around her finger) LaMar is our go-to guy for anything auto related- even my father-in-law relies on him! Oh, and if your Hummer needs any TLC, he's your guy!
While they were finishing up the oil and inspection, My mom came and got me and took me to Tai-Pan. I LOVE Tai-Pan. I wanted to go to Rod Works, Gardner Village, The Handmaiden, and all of my other favorites, but by this time it was 8:00pm and everything was closed. Sadness!! Not even enough shopping therapy! I have a good excuse to go back, anyone up for shopping?
Last week we took a little trip to visit Jim’s aunts. His mom and dad came with us. We drove first to Mesquite and visited Aunt Lucy. It was so nice to sit outside in the sun, and not freeze. The next morning we drove to Phoenix to visit Aunt Colleen. Oh, can I just say I would love to be a snowbird? I could totally live in Arizona from Dec 27th to May 1st. She had grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and tangelos just dripping off the trees, and a pool! in her yard! no snow!!! 70 degree sunshine just pouring down ahh.... I so wanted to just stay. I despise being cold. On the way down we stopped at Hoover Dam. It is so scary looking over the edge. They are building a freeway that will have a span that crosses above the gorge, see the road going to nowhere? Watch out, It is a looong way down!!

On the way home we stopped at the Glen Canyon dam. All in all, it was a dam good trip! ( Sorry, I couldn’t resist)

In honor of Valentines day, 14 things I love about my Family (all of them)

1. They love you. Even though they know you.
2. If you need anything- they’re there!
3. You can blubber all over their shoulder.
4. They will pretty much drop anything they are doing, and jump when you ask!
5. They support you, even when they think you are making a mistake.
6. They give great hugs!
7. They will ride in the backseat for hours!
8. They will invite you to share their sunshine and grapefruit!
9. They will take you out to dinner.
10. They will change your oil, fix, your brakes, and kiss your boo-boos.
11. They will get you airfare discounts to see fun places!
12. They will go camping with you (well, most of them)
13. They will take care of your sick kids.
14. They remember Birthdays and holidays.

Families are great! Have a great Valentines Day!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Grammar Lesson

I have a huge pet peeve about the term “constructive criticism”. It is a total oxymoron. I find nothing constructive about criticism. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the intent, and its usage in the business environment, but still! OXYMORON! The definition of criticism is the passing of unfavorable judgment, censure, or disapproval. The synonyms of criticism are; blame, censure, condemn, denounce, reprehend. Does this sound like a way to improve a person? Personally, I would prefer to be chastised. If you look in the scriptures, the words criticize, or criticism, never appear. If you look up criticize in the bible dictionary, it refers you to the word chasten, or chastisement. The Lord does not criticize, he chastens. In the dictionary today it lists what is considered an archaic definition for chasten, and it meant to refine, or purify. Maybe it is just semantics, but I personally would rather be refined; taught and molded to become better, than degraded, and humiliated into change. I vote that we change “constructive criticism” to "constructive chastisement". I love words and language. Discovering where a word “came from", its origin, gives insight into the meaning and it is interesting to see how the meaning of a word has changed through the passing of time.
I am fascinated by the meanings and also the usage of words. I find it interesting to hear how words are pronounced in different areas. A friend, who is from the East, was laughing at the way I pronounced “deal”. She said, I said, “dill” (like the pickle) I was sure I hadn’t, but in review, I had. Ugh, Utah dialect has caught me! When I was learning to spell, I got in the habit of saying words phonetically in my head, and when I am typing, I think of the sounds and “spell” the words. Confused? I think of the word deal pronounced like eel- with a long e sound, I KNOW how it is pronounced, but when I am speaking I’ve slurred it into “dill“. I see this slurring all the time here in Cache Valley. I see a sign on a car stating: “FOR SELL” or , “MUST SALE !”, and I think, what???? You can sell your car, or you can put it up for sale, but you can’t sale your car, it’s just not proper grammar or spelling! Another pet peeve is the word “ your”. Your is possessive. Remember the rule, if you can say “you are” in place of the word your, it is an abbreviation and should be spelled you’re. When I see a sign saying “your going to love Hawaii!” my brain says, my what is going to love Hawaii? I think, we Utahan’s sometimes get a little lazy when we are speaking. When I first moved to Utah, I noticed that if a word ended in -ing, the g sound was missing. In Utah, we go huntin’, fishin’ and swimmin'. We look for "dills" at the store, and when we find one, we got a "still". I’ve lived in Utah now, for 23 years, and slowly I’m sounding like a native, I wonder how long it will take my friend to find her language has been corrupted? Is it really corruption? I don’t think so, after all I have embraced “oh my heck!, but please, if I ever say “I seen four big bucks on the hill” please send me to grammar boot camp, ASAP! Thanks for listening, now go forth and use proper grammar!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Simple Pleasures

1. Chocolate

2. Flannel Sheets

3. Great Books

4. Letter from a friend

5. A Hubby who scrapes the windshield for me

6. Comfy jeans and a sweatshirt

7. A new project

8. Swingin' in the hammock (summer, wherefore art thou summer?)

9. Stuff I love displayed in my home

10. Great music

and a moment of silence... one of my favorite magazines is no longer. Farewell Mary Engelbreit.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


per-cep-tion : 1. The process, act, or or faculty of perceiving. 2. The effect or product of perceiving. 3. The awareness of the external world, or some aspect of it, through physical sensations and the interpretation of these by the mind.
Perception, to me, is a filter, a filter that colors every event, and makes it impossible to clearly view each moment. Every experience we have ever had is mixed into this filter, and those experiences color our view. This is why two people can experience the same event and each relate that experience to another in entirely different points of view. We see this all the time in parent child relationships. A child 's perception is so different from a parents. A parent rarely does anything to intentionally hurt or wound a child, and yet the child is wounded by the parents action and perceives it as hurt. How many times did you tell your parents you hated them, or that they were the meanest in the whole world? And yet, when you become the parent, and hear those words, they wound only slightly, because you know what your intent was, and it wasn't to hurt, but possibly to teach.
I wonder what our lives would be like if we could turn that filter off? If we could see another's actions, not through our perceptions but with our hearts, would we spend as much time being hurt, feeling left out, or different? Would we compare ourselves to others, and find our selves lacking? Would we fight and bicker over meaningless things with those we love and care for? Or would we see the intent behind the action? If we stopped and tried to adjust our point of view before we reacted, or judged, or assumed intent, would we be happier, more secure in ourselves? Would we discover more friends? There is an Indian saying about walking a mile in another's moccasins. If we truly bore one another's burdens, would the colors in our filter fade? My hope is that it is so. That if we do as President Benson said, and "try a little harder, to do a little better" that the colors of our internal filter will fade and we will learn to see clearly with the heart.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Before they were too big to hold...

My Son, just a few hours old!

My Daughter, the little sister!

Too big to hold

“Too big to hold”. The title of an article I was reading, but the implications caught my mind and it wandered…
Eighteen and twenty-one. Years. Old. My sweet babies are too big to nestle in my arms, to hold, just below my heart, but the memory is etched forever on my being. I cuddled each in my arms when they were mere moments from Heaven and my soul leapt in recognition. Our eyes met and a glimpse of Home swirled away in the depths of each blue/black galaxy gaze, as they peered back at me with a slightly unfocused, stunned expression. My heart captured that fleeting moment, of sharing the miracle of creation, experiencing a tiny window of becoming a celestial being. Too big to hold are my feelings of inadequacy in the care and nurture of these celestial gift‘s, and I wonder, does my expression reflect theirs? Are we both stunned by the fear we feel? How long before they realize I’m faking my mother role?

Too big to hold. Now, twenty-one years later, the stunned expression is a part of my countenance. The joy tempers the sorrow, and in spite of my mistakes, my inexperience at parenting, they progressed. I am daily impressed and scared to tears and prayer by their individual ness. I take no credit, they were gifted with incredible spirits from birth.
I know now, they knew I was faking it all along, as they were sent to teach me. From them I am learning to continue to try even when I keep landing on my bottom. To reach, even if what I’m focusing on is just beyond my grasp. To know I can do something, just because I think I can. I am trying to learn to love unconditionally, to be a better daughter, mother, wife, sister, and friend.

Too big to hold. My gratitude to Heavenly Father for the opportunity to grow and be taught. My joy in my children, and my prayers for their future. My sorrows in my impatience at their demands, and the opportunities to grow that were and are missed, due to my selfish desires. The knowledge (and terror) that my lessons aren’t in any way learned, and I must continue to be taught and tested. And the desire to learn the lessons, and return with honor to my Heavenly home.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Yesterday was my sweet husband Jim's birthday. He was reminiscing (lamenting?) the fact that I had celebrated as many birthdays with him as his parents had! We've now been married as long as we were single.. it doesn't seem possible. I've been thinking about the phases we experience in life, and how each phase can be painful while we are experiencing it, but so bittersweet to look back on. A friend was expressing the difficulty of working, having a baby to care for, trying to finish school, and trying to spend time with her husband, take care of the home, her church assignments, and what-have you..She struggled to relate to another friend who is a stay at home mom and enjoys sewing, crafting, re-purposing, and decorating her home. I can so remember those feelings. I think sometimes there are so many choices, so many things we want to do, and sometimes all we can do is all we can do. We may want to achieve other equally worthy goals, but the ones we are pursuing are all we can handle. And we need to be OK with that. I am at a new stage in life, where I have the time I fervently wished for when my children were small, and now it weighs heavy on my shoulders. Oh sure, there are a million things I could, organize, clean, but nothing I sincerely desire the time to do. (except travel the world, but the monetary wishes I've wished for have never appeared so whatdya do?) now I jokingly wish for an "oh and mom I forgot to tell you, I need to make a diorama that's due tomorrow, and we're having a class party and I'm supposed to bring a treat, and mom could you help me???" Oh, and pretty please just one more tiny arm creeping around my neck and warm breath tickling my ear with a soft, mommy, I love you. Cherish the moments, they flee so quickly by.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Things I'm grateful for..

Beautiful open spaces. A beautiful daughter, who is fun as can be.. My wonderful husband, who tries his best to make us all happy, A fantastic son who is always willing to jump in with whatever.. Friends and family who are always there when we need them. My list could go on and on.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

just getting started..

I so enjoy the blogs of friends I thought it was time to try my own! It will be obvious I will need lots of assistance!!!