Thursday, January 31, 2008

Paradise Found

A portion of our Grove. I love this part of our property!
The foot bridge from the driveway to the Grove
A place for planting some wild flowers and bulbs
hopefully this spring.... if not, we'll do it next year
It's good to rest after planting wildflowers and bulbs..
what better place than our hammock with views of
the pastures, the mountains and the valley... sigh....
could this be why the larkspur and daffodils aren't growing
in rich abundance in the grove?? Could it be I'm resting before I plant?

Everyone should have a picture of their garage door.
But this includes a small shot of the park that is our side yard...
Our bridge is the permanent picture on the blog and is located at
the end of the gravel drive on the right. The home is humble that's for sure.

But, we do have a guest room and clean towels. Wayne will try his hand at barbecuing some chicken or burgers... maybe even a dutch oven dinner. I make a mean omelet for overnight guests. So this is an invitation for one and all to come and visit us at the Hollow. We LOVE company!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Coco Wickie No

Too perfect a day to be contained in one small space. This is a continuation ... and I somehow got two pics of the same thing on here and I'm too green at this stuff to be able to figure out how to get it off, so I guess you'll have to enjoy it twice.... Eden Valley truly is Eden revisited on earth.

Memories are Made of This

Have you ever closed your eyes and tried to search through the channels of your mind the way you might browse through the pages of a well worn book... looking for a cherished memory or a favorite passage. I was watching the weather move in across the valley last night feeling the serenity that living in our little Kingdom affords me, and my mind drifted to last summer and a strawberry shortcake delicious day spent with my daughter and her boys in Eden Valley. Dessert for the soul!!! I've added a few photos to share some of the magic with you. I can only hope that everyone will taste such moments many times in their lives.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Where, oh where???

Well, the boys packed up the car and left about an hour ago. I stood in the driveway as they drove away and felt a little emptiness creep over me. The house always seems like it's missing something for a day or two after the children visit. It isn't the house that's missing something, I know. It's me. I miss their laughter and teasing and digging through the kitchen cupboards for something more to eat.

It was a good time. We had meatloaf sandwiches today. I don't know why I don't make meatloaf more often... I love it. Well, I do too know why. I've been leaning away from meats and towards a more natural, vegetarian diet for a while now. But, they were might tasty! The guys went for walks and to the B.Y.U. game. We all discussed the results of the South Carolina primary, and the close Florida race between McCain and Romney. Whoa! Dustin is a little crazy when it comes to politics! He's sort of an uneven and ever shifting blend of Bill O'Reilly, Glen Beck and Michael Savage. It was interesting and I think we all stretched our minds and opened them to each others opinions. I like discussions where a free exchange of differing thoughts are explored. I get so bored when conversations consist of one person talking while the other sits and listens, bobble heading to everything said. It shows, to quote my dad, "A lack of spirit only to be admired in sheep". I like that all of my children are confident enough to express themselves and speak up when they're in disagreement with what's being said, and/or done.

Dallin mostly listened to us talk... at least when we weren't listening to him snore. He always sort of melts onto the couch and slips into some twilight space between consciousness and unconsciousness when he's here. (That's with a heavy leaning toward the unconscious side)

I love this!!... the feather touch of the evening sunbeams have just crept into the room. The scene through the upstairs window is breathtaking. It snowed earlier in the day (actually, just as my sons were driving across the bridge). It was one of those soft as soap bubble snows. Now, as the sun hits the trees in the grove, each delicate branch has the appearance of being adorned with diamond earrings. I need to stop and take a few minutes to let it soak into my memory.


That was nice! It's been overcast most of the day with dismal, drifting clouds, persistanty sheltering the sun from view. I remember when I moved to Sanpete County, I was told that, on average, the sun shone 360 days of the year. I sputtered, snorted and scoffed. Who was going to believe that Chamber of Commerce hype? But, you know what? I paid attention over the last two years and it's been true! Granted, it doesn't shine ALL day. But, it shines for a portion of almost EVERY day.

Well, I need to go find a book that a good friend gave to me when we left New Harmony. Shortly after reading it, I put it someplace for safekeeping. Unfortunately, for the life of me, I can't seem to remember where I was keeping it safely. Where, oh where could it be? I'm sure my children will stumble across it while packing my belongings for my move into assisted living. I can't understand how I can lose things in this tiny cabin. There just aren't that many places to hide. I'll sleep on it tonight and look again in the morning. There's an Arabic expression, "Bukra, inshallah". It means, Tomorrow, God willing". Seems appropriate, here.

I don't know how long it will be before I write again. I'm leaving for Chandi and John's Wednesday to watch their crew of munchkins while they sit poolside, and partake of the goodie laden tables, on a cruise. I'll take my laptop and hope I can keep it functioning. I have a few things stiring in my real estate pot that I need to keep an eye on. And, if I break this habit... I may not pick up the pieces and put it back together again.

All is well, here....

Friday, January 25, 2008


I have only a minute... lots to do yet today. But I wanted to share this great little thought that I came across this morning:


But, don't you think that's worth thinking about?

Hats off to today and all the joy it brings!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Working flushers and Eloquent thoughts

Once again sleep eluded me last night. I was up late, late, late. I finally gulped down a 12 oz glass of hot milk to help drop my eyelids. While wishing I was dreaming instead of wishing I was dreaming, I thought of so many things I wanted to talk about this morning. But for someone who has a longer tongue than a Canadian Mountie's boot, I suddenly have nothing to say. How does that happen, I wonder. I so wanted to woo you with a few lovely turns of phrase and dazzle you with witty banter. Ahhh well... perhaps in a more creative moment.

My two oldest sons, Dustin and Dallin, and Dusty's boy Davin, are coming to spend the week-end with us. YeeHaw!!! I am so stoked.

I may end up liking this Blog thing, after all. Well, maybe not writing it so much, was such a delicious surprise to get a comment from Maria, a beautiful you lady who shared our home and stole our hearts many long years ago. And my angel of a niece, Jade, typed in a few sweet words to brighten my spirits. I'm liking that! I also, somehow, accidently stumbled on a blog from an incredibly interesting young lady that fascinates me... so I may peek in on her musings from time to time. Kinda fun. I had to share her blog with Cordell, who I think might enjoy it as well. Not her, her blog... well, maybe her too, if she wasn't on the morning side of the mountain and he wasn't on the twilight side of the hill. I know she'd like him. I mean who can resist a gorgeous, successful, sensitive poet?

Gosh. I have a busy day coming up. I suppose I ought to do the "housewife" schtick and make the bed and throw in a load of laundry before heading into the office to scheme our getaway from Coldwell Banker's hefty fee's, and our principal broker's lack of concern about our crummy working conditions. He has an office seperate from ours. He told me he couldn't imagine why we didn't buy a couple gallon jugs of water to use in our "flusher" and wash our hands afterwards. I said, "Are you KIDDING me?? I can't believe you haven't furnished us an office with RUNNING water!!" So, that night, he forked out enough of his cash stash to purchase a couple gallon jugs to keep in the bathroom. Couldn't call a plumber. That's his m.o. A "prince of a guy" the twinkie! It's only been since December 6th that we've been without heat and water. Oh well... the temperature was only -13 Tuesday morning. Yup! You read that right. MINUS 13 degrees.

Before I leave, I want to tell Chandi how touching and eloquently expressed her last blog was. I made a copy of the first paragraph to carry with me. I also made a hard copy of her story about Brannock. Both are precious.

ta ta for now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Three Broads and a Dog?

It's been a delicious day! I slept in soooo late. Well, maybe slept in isn't technically correct. I stayed in bed much later than usual. I just luxuriated on our wonderful mattress surrounded by ultra soft cotton bedding, freshly fluffed, delicately scented down pillows, and a new, baby tummy/bum cuddly, down comforter. It felt absolutely decadent and I loved every minute of it. My mind was completely still and calm. Now that's a rarity! It was nice to just glance out the window at last nights snow fluttering to the ground as a gentle breeze tossed it from the branches in the grove. I was able to lie there with no distractions and just be reflective. A perfect way to start a day.

Then a long, hot shower where I could pray out loud and feel my muscles release the concerns of the outside world. Nice!

I volunteered at the Museum part of the day and spent some quality time with LaVay and Linda, two of the gals who work there. I taught them to make beaded bookmarks and we shared a spirited and motivating conversation while stringing glass balls on thread. It was delightful!

I also got a call from the broker in my office. She wants to open her... well... our own office. Just her, me and Maureen. I drove into the office so we could share ideas and come up with a game plan. She ordered some mighty fine veggie pizza and three drinks of rootbeer. Each of the drinks was about the size of your average kiddie pool. Not too smart when you work in an office without a working "flusher". Anyway, I digress. She wants to call it, "Three Broads and a Dog". Wha??? Really, what kind of name is that? Catchy? Maybe so. But, I have just a teense of concern over exactly what we'd catch with it. I suggested that we check into the possibility of renting a little red caboose in Mt Pleasant and call it the "On Track Realty". I could really get excited about the prospect. I hope we move on it. I have a zillion plus ideas on marketing and building the business.

Well.. that's my day. Wayne is finishing up a John Grishom novel. The house is quiet. I'm sure that before long it will be filled with the sounds of basketball games and political pundits. It is the evening habit of the sweet man who shares my life.

Annnnnnnnnnddd... heeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrs the t.v. That happened a might sooner than I thought it would. Guess I'll give a hefty OOF! and lift this body off the chair and cart it downstairs to spend some time with my hubby pretending like I care who wins the game.

Yikes. We just had a power outage. You'd think that would revert the house to silence. But, Wayne scrounged around and found our battered radio that plays more static than any other sound... so, we can still hear the politico's blather on and on and on. I'm sooo thrilled. My trusty old laptop is still chuggin right along for me... it switched to battery, I'm sure. So I could continue writing.... except that there's no light and I can't see the keyboard worth a tinkers da#@n. I have no idea why that expletive just turned blue. Is there a message here?
Anyway, so long for now..............

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

7 wierd things about me??? let me think.....

1. I love peanut butter and dill pickle sandwiches, cold peas with mayonaise, and a cake my mother made from mashed pinto beans.

2. I love toe socks... if I had my way, I'd wear them to church all winter... Okay, truth of it is, I have worn them to church several times.

3. I prefer to sleep sideways on the bed. Not just my bed... any bed, anywhere.

4. I like asking semi personal questions of total strangers. I'm always amazed at how anxious people seem to be to have a willing listener.

mmmmmmmmm..... I'm running out of wierdness, here.

5. I like my apple pie warm, and served with a slice of cheese and a dollop of peanut butter.

6. It bugs me when Wayne drinks something cold from a mug. I mean it really bugs me. Mugs are for HOT drinks... GLASSES are for cold drinks. Why would any reasonable person care about this? And yet, I do.

7. I've watched "Dirty Dancing" over 40 times and would watch it again this afternoon if I could get our V.C.R. to work. I know it's a poorly written, poorly acted movie with a terrible moral message. But, I can't seem to help myself.

Tha-tha-tha-that's all Folks...
I don't know enough addresses to do whatever else it was you told me to do, Chandi.

He's still awake

Poor Wayne, he struggles with getting to sleep. Me, too. But, I'll get on the computer and read some e-mails or write a letter to someone... or look on the multiple listing service for properties a client might be interested in....or experiment with "Uncle Petie's" blog to fritter away some time. He just ... waits ... and waits ...

It occured to me that even though I have some reservations about certain aspects of my life, there are some things that I absolutely know for sure. One of those things is that of all the things you can throw away money on... there are a few things that will always pay high dividends. Self esteem for your children and memories are two that come to mind. Self esteem is not readily won. Children need consant reinforcement of their intrinsic worth. The object lesson with the $50.00 bill is a fair example of a good way to express that. So, I don't want to suggest that self esteem can be bought. But, it helps to free up some cash for guitar lessons and basketball camps and the E.F.Y week-end experience. The abilities and insights they will glean from such activities add immeasurably to a child's belief that they have something to offer, that they have a talent, and to help them "fit in". Fitting in gets a bad rap now and then. But, it's important to all of us. We never outgrow the desire to be a part of a group and to contribute to a community of friends. I have come to know this the hard way.

Memories are the only thing that matter when you enter the twilight years. On snowy days at home, they add more warmth than a blazing fire to a parent who's children have moved into their own lives. Save and set aside for birthday bashes and vacations and science experiments at home. Make goofy costumes to wear in a parade around the neighborhood and buy lots of helium filled balloons to set free on a warm May morning. You don't have to spend a lot... but, you will not regret one penny used to purchase kites, or individual cereal boxes to hang on the trees for a breakfast treasure hunt. Run through the sprinklers together on a hot night... in your pajamas. Pour green food coloring into orange juice on St. Patti's Day. Have banana splits for breakfast on April Fool's Day. Have a water fight in public fountains, and eat ice cream cones at every possible opportunity.

At about the age of 55 or 60... you'll look around your home and wonder why you want to continue to dust all of those precious "things" you wanted so badly when you were 30. You'll love picture albums and a few favorite books... There will always be sweet memories attached to a few "things". But, the more age settles on your shoulders and begins to bend the body... the more your spirit will reach for the memories of laughter and tears and celebrations and struggles overcome together. You will close your eyes and see the faces of your babies sleeping on your husbands chest... you'll remember the first day you sent your oldest child to school and the first scout uniform you bought. You'll remember the times you read snuggled under the blanket on the heater, and the nights that you talked with your sons and daughters when they came home from a dance... You will not envision the mahogany dining table or the new lamps on the bedroom nightstands. You won't conjure up the sight of dishes and decorations or a great new pair of shoes. It will be the people who you have loved and who have loved you that will sustain and comfort you.
That is one of the things that I know with out doubt. Another is this:

It does not matter how often you let yourself down, how often you commit the "sins" that weigh heavy on your soul, how often you don't pray, how often you doubt a gospel principle.... it doesn't even matter if you begin to doubt the Savior and falter in your belief in Him. He will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER stop believing in you. He will always take your hand when you put it forth. His love is even stronger than a mother's love... And I don't need to tell you what it would take for your love for your child to be strangled beyond breath, or for your faith in him to be destroyed.
It is an integral part of your very being. And your childs worth to you... and your worth to the Lord never changes. Like the fifty dollar bill. You can step on it, toss it in the mud, mangle it, tear a portion of it away... it is still a fifty dollar bill... it is still worth fifty dollars. It doesn't matter if we've been stepped on or muddied up, if our spirits have been mangled and a part of our soul torn away. We are still sons and daughters of God and have the same eternal worth in His eyes.
And... you will always feel that same unending, unbreakable love for the children you raise. Be sure that they are always confident in that knowledge.

I think Wayne's sleeping soundly. I'm going to try and do the same. Right this very minute, I miss my children... I want to close my eyes and savor some tender memories of them sitting by the campfire listening intently to their father weave his tall tales of "Uncle Zedekiah".

Monday, January 21, 2008


All I want to do is go to bed and get some sleep. Well, that's a total lie. I want lots and lots of other things. I want to be smarter, skinier, richer. I want a new set of chairs and a rug for my living room. I want a television that works and a deck off the french doors and a loft for the grandkids to sleep in and a second bathroom. I want my boys to find sweethearts and wives and to start to build their families. I want Ryson to be able to come and visit with me without also visiting the emergency room. I want tons of things. Right now, I want some popcorn. BUT...
I also want to go to bed. Here's the problem. I love sleeping in a cool, completely silent room. Wayne, likes the room warmer. Odd, I know. He's the one who keeps the house hovering just above freezing during the day, and I'm the one who constantly tries to sneak the thermostat up to 60. Anyway, he also likes to play the radio to lull himslef to sleep. It drives me totally NUTS!
I'm waiting most impatiently for him to fall deep enough into slumber for me to be able to click the off button on that static heavy sound box so I can go to bed before I have to wake up and shower for another boring day at the office.

I feel absolutly no better whatsoever after getting that off my chest.


The Junkyard I call my mind

Sometimes I wish it were possible to rip the thoughts out of my brain, throw them into a colandar, strain out all the useless ideas sloshing around in there, and let them slip into oblivian as they slip down the drain. Then perhaps I might write a profound, life altering letter to share with my posterity out of the lump of wisdom that remains.

Well, we know that's not going to happen, right? Should some unsuspecting reader stumble upon my late night musings, he/she will just have to sift the wheat from the chaff for his/her self.

As for me, I can't tell anymore what's of value and what isn't. Let me see if I can expand a little on what I mean.

I volunteer at the local museum. While working there I've had the great pleasure of becoming acquainted with a delightful, extremely well educated and diverse, woman who has offered to mentor me as I struggle to grow in spirituality. I am completely and utterly fascinated with her life and everything she has to say. She makes total sense to me. She encourages me to read the scriptures and pray constantly and to "just talk" with my Father in Heaven and the Savior. She encourages me to make them my resource for having a solid understanding of what I need to know to live in their presence again. That sounds uncomplicated enough. Now for the big BUT... (that's BUT... not BUTT. Let's not get too personal, here) She also encourages me to go "beyond" the lessons in Relief Society and Sunday School. To "expand" and enlarge my spirituality by connecting to who she refers to as my "heavenly people". I want to do that. I all too often feel like I'm still a little hungry for a deeper understanding of gospel principles after hearing the lessons at church. And yet, the manuals tell us not to bring in outside material, to teach ONLY from the instruction manuals. I'm sorry... that doesn't quench my thirst. Is that really all that our Father wants us to hear and to know? I don't always feel the connection between what is said, and how to incorporate it into my daily living. Oh, to be sure, some Sundays I feel like I can't contain all of the insight and wisdom that was given to me. But, generally, I want to know so much more about who I was before I came to earth and what promises I made when I crossed the veil. What am I supposed to be doing here? Have I grown in stature in mortality? I don't feel like I have. I feel somehow that I've been diminished, like I know less and understand less, and will have less to offer in way of service to Him when I die. LaVay, my museum friend, says that I have the right and the responsibility to ask for guidance directly from Heaven and to follow the personal promptings of the spirit that I receive. I'm a little afraid of that. There are a few things that we're taught that I have a hard time accepting. For example, I love my children and I would NOT, under any circumstances, tell one of them that they could not enter my home unless they told me they loved me in a very specific and exact manner. In the same respect, I can not imagie that our Heavenly Father is going to close the door on a child who can't repeat the phrases learned in the temple in the precise manner that he heard them. I believe in the ordinances of the temple... but, I have doubts about the necessity of rote memory as a pre-requisite for entrance into my Father's home or my Father's arms. There's a lot to be said about this... I'm sure that if we attend regularly our minds will be relaxed and open and we'll remember. I have a good memory anyway, and I'm not worried about that. I just don't believe that a loving Father would be adament about it. I mean, He KNOWS whether or not we've been there. We certainly don't need to prove it to Him. He's perfectly aware of how dedicated we have or haven't been to our responsibilities as members of this church on earth. So, what DO I need to know? What DO I need to accomplish to feel worthy when I stand before Him? I have always wanted to know dig deeper. My dad used to talk to me about my inquisitive nature endlessly when I was a child. It's so easy to find myself walking a tightrope... I want to stay safe within the confines of the organized church... and yet, I want to explore and research and fill every crevice of my mind with knowledge from several springs. I think the standard works are the foundation. A foundation gives every building it's strength... but, not it's warmth.

I'm not comfortable about sending this into cyberspace. I don't want my daughter to think that I'm teetering on the brink of apostasy. I'm not. I like e-mailing so much better than this "blog" thing. I like the privacy of "morning pages" and the freedom to ramble without fear of trampling on someone else's belief system or feeling the need to explain myself. I don't think I have the hang of the type of things you're supposed to talk about on these sights. Is it just to keep people posted on what you're DOING... not what you're FEELING? I hope it would entail the free and open exchange of ideas. I'm more than willing to be taught. I will learn from Chandi... she is forever and always teaching me something. I learn from my four sons. They have strength and courage, gentleness and generosity that inspire me beyond my ability to express. I would listen to and learn from the purity of Jade and Cali and Tara... but, they don't read what I write or respond to my words. It is important for me to say that I don't want doubts about my love of the Savior to ever creep into the hearts or minds of any of the precious young people who occupy my life.

What the heck??? I'm rambling and I have to stop.

I have read the sights of all of Chandi's blog pals. It's been great. I love the depth of their commitment to their families and to doing what they feel is right and true to their best selves. I love the sense of humor that keeps motherhood fun and full of giggles. I'm going to continue to sneak peeks at their experiences and refresh my memory and my soul. I may even comment now and then.

Friday, January 18, 2008

ugh, urp, gag

It's 2:00 a.m and all reasonable people are tucked in their comfy beds and have drifted into dream land. The rest of us poor clouts are wondering what to do with ourselves until the sandman finally tosses some of his magic dust into our eyes.
I am particularly anxious to escape into sleep tonight since a skunk spewed his gaggy stuff all over our dog somewhere around eleven this evening. They were evidently just outside our garage, because when I opened the "man door" to get something out of our car, I was about forced to my knees with the nastiness of the stink. Our house think of a room full of men who recently had their fill of refried bean dip. Now, think 82 times worse than that.
So, what can I ramble on about to fill up time?
I did have an extremely tender evening assisting my friend, Lin, with her mom's temple work Tuesday night. There were some very sweet moments. I loved seeing Lin holding her son's hand over the alter.
I spent the night with Norma Jean and Vance after the endowment and sealings were completed. It's always a good time when we get to see them. Wayne was going to go with me and spend the evening with his sister and her hubby, but he bugged out on me last minute. He was worried about leaving his @#**^%Z## dog home alone... (yes, that would be the very same dog who is currently sleeping in the garage wearing skunk squirt) so, he sent me off in the trusty old Outback "silver streak" to fend for myself. The turkey! There were crosswinds of about 80 m.p.h on Highway 89 and up through most of Spanish Fork Canyon. The roads were icy and the blowing snow made for white out conditions in a dozen different spots. I was holding the steering wheel in a death grip while clenching my teeth and cursing my husband in a most unladylike fashion. I always count on him to protect me from all the scary stuff. I tell you here and now, he came dangerously close to losing his "super hero" status.

I am excited about Lee and Trina coming to stay with us for a couple of days this week-end. We may duct tape them to the couch, so they'll have to stay through Monday. So, if no one hears from them for a few days... don't get to worried. They'll be safe. We'll sit them near the fire and feed them hot soup through a straw. Of course, if the master of the household doesn't grab his pet and give him a solid scrub down in V8 juice, they may just yelp and make a quick escape. I'm making Chandi's yummy for the tummy burrito recipe and I've stocked up on ice cream and lots of frozen fruit for smoothies. Come to think of it... maybe we'll just stick to hot chocolate and cookies. The temperature this morning was -12 degrees. brrrrr.... It hit 23 this afternoon and it felt like a tropical heatwave.

Time to say good night. Gonna make some hot milk and heat the handy body heater things that Dallin gave me for Christmas and snuggle under my down comforter. With a little luck, the fates will smile down on this weary body and bless me with a few hours of slumber.