Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Behind the "8" Ball

Lin tagged me.... These things are so hard for me to do. But, here goes:


1 - Home movies. I never get tired of remembering my kids when they were lil tykes... and my hubby when he had Popeye muscles... or me when I was a size 5/6. Our old homes, the old cars, the dogs that have left us. Family campouts. sigh...

2 - uhhhh... Other than that, what do I watch regularly? hmmmm... Lou Dobbs, Bill O'Reilly from time to time.

3 - Nature shows. Planet Earth and Discovery channels.

4 - Gilmore Girls once in a while

5 - Law and Order (the original) on occasion.

6 - Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance as close to religiously as I can.

7 - Pride and Prejudice (the original, and the two newer ones) I'm a borlerline fanatic.

8 - Chick Flicks... I'm all about feel good escapism


Yesterday was a day packed with wonder... Can I just tell you what we did? Does that count towards "what happened"? I hate to think that life "just happened" to me...

1 - Breakfast in The Park. (both the name of the restuarant and the activity) We had GREAT omelets, strawberry pancakes, and cinnamon rolls the size of Kansas served and enjoyed next to a duck filled pond in the dappled sunlight. ahhhhh... perfect way to start any day. (Michelle can attest to this, living on a pond as she does)

2 - A walk along the beach and on the pier. We watched the surfers, volleyball players and dogs frolicking in the surf. Of course, we had to walk down to "doggy beach" to see the pups at play. They're only allowed on their own private beach.

3 - Cordell sold his car. Yippie!!! He's leaving Monday for Australia for a week to ten days and then off to Korea for a year. He HAD to get the Lexus sold before he leaves.

4 - Went to eat at "Le Creperie" to celebrate. We sipped French Pistol soup. "Peestoll" soup is veggies with white beans and cheese in a rich broth. We shared crepes stuffed with vegetables or chicken with spinach and feta cheese. We completed the meal with some unbelievable dessert crepes. Yummy stuff! or stuffed with yummies as the case may be.

5 - We then walked along the canals in Naples. It's a great deal like the canals in Venice... complete with the occasional singing gondalier (although they were not on the water and serenading while we were there) And the homes have lawns or patios in front rather than having the front steps to the house under water.

6 - We came home to catch our breath and after resting for a while, we walked downtown for the street festival and farmers market. The entertainers were sterling! A couple of guitarists playing and plucking their quitar strings that knocked my socks off! A blues and jazz group dressed in suits and sounding like they came straight from the streets of Louisianna, and a young man who sang in a throaty (very sexy) voice while playing several instruments including a digaroo, an Australian instrument that looks a lot like a wood version of the long horn used in Switzerland. We bought some fresh California Oranges, ate strawberries (a little early in the season for berries, but they were still sweet) and made our own gyro sandwiches out of tri-steaks cooked slowly over flaming red oak and slathered with a variety of sauces and pestos on freshly baked pita bread. My sweetheart picked out a flower to buy me from a street vendor.

7 - Yesterday, I ate WAY too much... I walked perhaps a little too many miles... I laughed and conversed merrily and deeply... and slept peacefully. It was a near perfect day full of moments to cherish forever.

8 - Oh... and I came a little closer to closing the sale of a million dollar property.


1 - Our picnic table. We eat EVERY meal outside when the weather permits. Breakfast, lunch and din din.

2 - At a friends house. The commradery makes every meal taste better.

3 - At my mother's table. If only.....

4 - In front of the fireplace. Hot slices of toast dipped in candy cane cocoa.

5 - A bowl of ice cold fruit and a tall glass of ice water in a hot tub.

6 - In any park.

7 - Along side any stream.

8 - Plopped on a blanket on any beach, or at any ball game.

That's about it... Favorite restuarants come and go... but these places have always been and will always be comfort spots which make all food comfort food.


the first three are in no particular order... I'll take them however they come.

1 - Seeing my first born son married

2 - Seeing my second born son married

3 - Seeing my third son married

4 - A night without waking up to pee

5 - The following words spilling from my dentist's mouth, "That should do it Mrs. Stott. I don't think I'll be seeing you again unless we bump into one another at the market."

6 - Grandbabie hugs

7 - "Hi Mom, We're here"

8 - Holding hands with my hubby in bed... just talking about everything and nothing.


This one is too hard. I have so much already. Let me think...

Starlight, starbright, may I have the wish I wish tonight...

1 - I wish for all of my children to be content.

2 - " " " " " to have someone to love.

3 - " " " " " to feel a measure of satisfaction in their work.

4 - " " " " " to remain close to one another.

5 - " " " " " to remember their dad and me with joy filled hearts

6 - That I will always have the presence of mind to be grateful

7 - That I will always have the respect of those I call "friend"

8 - That I will live the remainder of my days in a way to please my parents... mortal and eternal, and to keep the gleam in my husband's eye when he looks at me.

8 PEOPLE... Are you kidding me? Lin's covered just about everyone. I would ask anyone who thinks this would be fun for them to do... to please do so. I'd love to read everyone's responses.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Clear Windows...

I went to church this morning and was so touched by a song that a lovely young lady sang. It expressed exactly how I feel about mothering and teaching... well, pretty much about the way I feel we should live our lives.

I want to leave my children with a legacy of strength and faith. I want to leave them with a sure knowledge that they are loved without moderation or condition. I want them to know that they are never alone, that there will always be someone for them to turn to for comfort and guidance. But...it's a fact of life that some day I will not be here to talk to, to give them hugs and hold them close. Someday they will need to know how to hear words of encouragement whispered by a voice that is not mine. I need to stand aside so that they can know the Savior is the one that can and will always be there for them.

a few of the lyrics to the song:

I want to be a windodow to His love,
so when you look at me you will see Him.
I want to be so pure and clear
that you won't even know I'm here...

I want to be a doorway to the truth,
so when you walk beyond you will find Him.
I want to stand so stright and tall
that you won't notice me at all.

A window to His love,
A doorway to the truth.
A bearer of the message
He'd have me bring to you.

And with each passing day,
I want to fade away.
I want to be a window to His love.

With every passing year,
I want to disappear.
I want to be a window to His love.

It's not that I don't want to be remembered... of course I do. I never want my memory to be lost to those I cherish, who are so percious to me. But, I want them to know that when I'm not available by phone...when they can't sit on the couch and let me tickle their arm, when we can't share a bag of Mrs Cavanaugh's caramels... that the Savior will be right by their side. That He loves them as I do, that He believes in them even more than I do, that he sees the best in them and will forgive them and always, always extend His hand to them. I want them to understand that often when I held them... He was using my arms to comfort them. When I said something that touched or encouraged them, He was speaking through me so that His words would be easier to hear. I want them to feel more than what I have to offer them.

And I want to teach the same way. It always disturbs me a little when I teach a Sunday School class and members come up and tell me what a wonderful lesson I gave. I'm very uncomfortable with gush and praise. I don't want to convert them to me, to have them love me. I want to get out of the way so that they are converted to the Lord... so that they love the Savior. I want to be a
"window so pure and clear,
that they won't even know I'm here"
that they will feel the Savior near.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I'm thinking.

Sooner or later a cognitive thought is bound to form. When it does, I'll post again. On the other hand, maybe it isn't a good idea to make promises I can't keep. I absolutely can not offer a written guarantee that any thought that spills from my brain cells will have a recognizable amout of cognition.

Still thinking.

Although I will tell you something my sister-in-law said last night. It struck me somewhere between funny and to true to be funny. I had prepared tall glasses of rootbeer and a plate of chips and dip for our menfolk to enjoy while watching a game last night. As I was arranging everything on the platter, she came in and said, "Whatcha doin?" I replied, "Making some dip for the guys," "Oh how nice." she retorted, "You made something for the dips watching football." Perfect! I mean why is it that when these two men hadn't seen each other for months, they didn't want to sit and visit? They wanted to shout and rail at the players and referee's and armchair coach some replay of a BYU game. I don't know... are they called referee's in football? Officials. I think maybe they're called officials. I'm guessing.

Still thinking.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Auntie ME



I think one of the coolest things about getting older is that your inhibitions seem to fade. I mean, do I really need to worry about what a total stranger will think if I sing along with the music in a theater? Or if I giggle uncontrollably while tasting bread samples at a street festival with my best friend? (I'm talking being in danger of needing to be slapped out of mild hysteria, here) Or sitting in puddles in the park with my grandson? Or wearing a very large hat and a clown nose to a high priced restuarant with my sisters?

I intend to splash a lot of paint this year. And I have absolutely NO intention of being hungry when life has set such a feast before me. My brother used to think I was Auntie Mame. I am Auntie Me and I'm having fun in 2009. Lot's and lots of it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Gooseberry Evenings

Wayne loves pie. As a matter of fact, when we were dating, one of the lil white promises I made was that I would bake him a pie twice a week. I haven't done that. Now let me explain... I did try to in the early stages of our marriage. I remember baking rhubard pies and cherry pies and gooseberry pies and lemon cream cheese pies.
My fillings were always quite good. My crust however, well... that's a sad, sad tale. One gooseberry pie evening, I served him a slice of steaming dessert with all of the love a young wife has in her heart...and a dollop of whipped cream. It looked delectable! He took a bite, chewed slowly, swallowed as if he had a lump of coal stuck in his throat and tenderly said, "That's okay. My mom couldn't make pies either". He meant well but it sort of took the magic out of my cullinary offering. My crust was a gelatinous muck. Saints be praised for Marie Callender and Sara Lee.

I've always been a donut, sticky bun girl myself. I haven't jumped on the "Krispy Cream" bandwagon, however. Hot, I think they're doughy, and at any temperature, I find them too sweet. I would probably rather eat a bag full of those than experience the thick shaving cream consistency of my pie crust though.

I have absolutely no reason for telling you any of this. Perhaps I thought it would serve as an introduction to the topic for today. Truth be told... it makes a terrible introduction... a poor use of a cyber page.

You may wonder what the topic on my mind is this morning. Well, okay... it is pie.
P.I.E. The use of the PIE principle in making decisions. I thought the first of the year would be a good time to bring this up. We're all going to have to face lots of choices in 2009, and I've found the PIE principle to be helpful when I have a choice before me.

P - pursuade
I - Invite
E - entice

On a religious note... anything that Pursuades, Invites or Entices us to grow closer to God is a wise decision that comes from a place of righteousness. Anything that doesn't, should probably be reconsidered.

On a social note... anything that Pursuades, Invites or Entices us to be kind, to take another's feelings into the equasion, to do somethihg for the good of others is a good choice that will result in deepening relationships. Anything that doesn't is most likely going to lead to some heartache or hard feelings.

On a business level... anything that Pursuades, Invites or Entices us to spend our hours doing something that developes our talents, encourages those we work with to develop theirs, showcases the good in colleagues and clients, or is for the betterment of society is worthy of our efforts and will lead to fulfillment. If, on the other hand, our time is spent in self agrandizement, making $$$ at the expense of others without giving them an equal, fair exchange of goods for goods or goods for service, we're headed down the wrong fork in the road.

On a personal, marital level... this one is easy. If a person pursuades, invites and entices you to be all that you can be, they're good material for a mate. If not, your life will be spent shedding and drying way too many tears.

Anyway... for what it's worth. It has helped make a few of my gooseberry evenings delicious from center to circumference, top to bottom, clear to the core.

I am so stoked about another new beginning. I love second chances. January always seems so full of promise and another chance to do those things that I left undone.
As I've done in a few of your comment pages, let me make a toast...

clink! To the telling of our tales, to the making of marvelous memories, to the realization of dreams, and to kindness. Always and forever, first and foremost, to kindness.

Love to you all.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Did she know?

I had just finished reading a small book that my daughter and I came across. I was wrapped in a sumptuous down comforter watching the snow light on the landscape before me. The moon was casting mellow shadows in various shades of silver, white and blue in the grove. It was lovely! Serenity fltered through the windows into my soul and my mind began to drift.....

I thought about the days of shopping and wrapping and decorating packages that were behind me and those that were waiting ahead. I thought of the cookies and sticky buns that needed to be baked, the Honey Baked Ham that needed to be bought. I gazed out at the soft glow of the lights outlining the barn, the potting shed, and the bridge at the Hollow... all of the delightfully generous and important expressions of love and celebration that accompany Christmas. I love it all! I love every minute that's packed with too much to do.

But, I was reminded that as happens so often, if we are not careful, the symbols can overwhelm the symbolized. Perhaps the pretty presents, the twinkling trees, the glittering decorations need to be separated from the more quiet, more personal moments when I let my thoughts become centered on Bethlehem and the myriad reasons to be grateful for the events, and the people of that night.

As a mother who eagerly prepares for visiting children, covering the beds with billowy comforters and pillows and spreading the table with an abundance of delicacies to be eaten and enjoyed, I found my thoughts drifting to the aching heart of a husband who didn't have even the means of furnishing a clean place for his beautiful bride to give birth. I know what lengths my husband would have gone to to assure that I had sterile sheets, an attentive nurse and a skilled physician at my moment of delivery. How heavy Joseph's great heart must have felt when without the helping hand of a friend, or a kinsman in sight, he made his way through the streets of a city not his own. He had no one to help him make the way easier for Mary. I wonder what thoughts he had as they were turned away from the door at the inn. What was he feeling as he tried to find the cleanest straw, and gather it into a resting place to lay his wife? What emotions were throbbing in his throat as he held the animals at bay? After she had walked, or ridin in great discomfort for approximately a hundred miles, was it wrong for him to wish some comfort for her? And Mary, as she held her newborn son, how much did she know of what lay ahead for him..how inextricably the birth and death of this small child were intertwined? Bethlehem cannot be separated from Gethsemane, or the hasty flight into Egypt from the slow journey to the summit of Calvary. It's of one piece...one story. Did she know? When she softly placed her lips on his hair and whispered her first words to him, did she know? Were her tears of overwhelming joy at his arrival tinged with sadness at what waited in his future for him? There were so many sacrifices made that night as Joseph and Mary's feet carried them into unwelcome and unwelcoming territory.

For this reason, I need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel, gay wrappings, or goods of this world. When I reflect on the tender care given to a young girl by her frightened husband, burdened with the responsibility of bringing her child into the world safely, when I let my mind soak in the web of emotions felt by the mother of the babe in the manger, I am dumbstruck by the gifts that were laid at my feet that night. Only when I envision that unadorned birthplace and ponder on the mission of the Child born in a stable in Bethlehem will I truly understand why "Tis the Season to be Jolly" and know why the giving of gifts is so appropriate... our little gifts serve as loving, selfless reminders of his loving, selfless, majestic, redeeming gift.

My wish for the New Year is that my reflections on a starry night long ago will not be forgotten and tossed aside with the ribbons and tree and Christmas cards from distant friends. I hope to always stand in awe and carry a grateful heart for the strength and beauty of the people of the Nativity.

Happy Ever After to all who drop by... and those who don't.