Friday, October 4, 2013

getting ready

    I believe that just in Old Testament times, we have a living prophet on the earth today who speaks to us in God's name.  Actually, I believe that 15 men are commissioned by God as prophets, seers, and revelators. Isn't that an incredible and exciting thought?!  Well, not incredible, because I do believe and have personal testimony that it is true. 
     We receive their counsel frequently through many media, but twice a year we can see and hear them speak to us in real time at General Conference.  Salt Lake City will be full to bursting with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who have traveled to be there in person. Millions of people around the world will gather in meeting houses or in front of their televisions or computers, probably radios, too.  In some places around the world, people will get together at awkward  times for them to hear it live.  Others will have to wait for the recordings. Quickly the talks will be available to everyone on-line to access any time from then on.  Last night I listened to Joseph Fielding Smith speaking in 1971.  In November our magazine The Ensign will arrive a few days later than usual containing all the talks.  But this weekend we will sit at their feet (electronically) and listen to them speak.
     I admit that not often do they tell us something new or different.  Over and over again they teach us the same basic truths and principles.  We have not mastered them yet.  But they counsel, warn, call to repentance, offer comfort, and inspire us. 
     I can remember a time when conference seemed oh so long to me.  But now even though I admit I sometimes get drowsy and even might drift off briefly, now it is a delight and as each of our leaders comes to the stand I find myself thinking "Oh I like him (or her)!  (S)He is one of my favorites!"
     Our family has food traditions to go with conference.  Breakfast croissants (started to help get people willing to be up and out on time,although late arrivals know they will get a croissant too), lunch with the full-time missionaries, and an ice cream party after the afternoon session.  Which means today instead of going to the office (or preparing for my trip) I will be busy buying and preparing food. (And trying to figure out how to fit it and us in our little car)
   But first I get to drive my son to work because it is excessively windy which is unpeasant and unsafe for bicyclists and I can.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What were they thinking? What would I do if I were there?

  As our family has been reading about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus in Matthew, we have been trying to understand the people who did these terrible things.  And not doing very well. 
   The Jewish leaders – how dumb were they!  It seems to be that either 1) Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God – in which case, pretty stupid to mess with Him. Or 2) He was a fake.  I would think that the less said the better.  Oh, sure He’s popular now, but if He’s a fake, the people will probably get tired of Him when He does not  do all the wonderful miracles and things they hope for.  Oh, wait.  He does.  Back to option 1).   But we know that Jesus is the Christ.  How well do we follow His counsel?  If we don’t, aren’t we denying Him?
   Pilot was Roman, so we don’t expect him to be a believer or to know the scriptures. Yet he seems to almost at least wonder a little, to sort of want to know, but to be a little afraid of what that would mean.  At the very least he knows that Jesus does not deserve what is happening to him.  And yet he goes along with it because he is afraid of the people.  Some conquering ruler he is.  How many times have I not stood up for the right because I was afraid? 
   The soldiers.  Ok, some of them are just following orders and I understand the Roman army could be pretty strict.  Still how can human beings torture anyone or anything? – even under orders I don’t think I could.  I would like to think that I would rather be tortured that inflict torture, although coward and wuss that I am, I don’t know what I would actually do.  But they not only obeyed orders, they went beyond the whipping to the taunting.  To enjoying the pain, humiliation and suffering of another being.  An innocent one at that.  To torture and torment even a guilty person is just not right.  How can people do that? 
    The people.  Really.  What is with people?  How could people so thirst for anyone’s torturous death?!  Let alone someone who had only done good?!  Were some of the people the same ones who had cheered His entry into Jerusalem with waving palms?  Some of them probably were.  People who were always looking to see what interesting/exciting entertainment is going on.  People who want to be in on the action whatever it is. People who are easily swayed by mob mentality. These people I don’t think were acting out of fear of the populace like Pilot.  They gave their brains and emotions to the rabble rousers – they thought, did, said, felt what the mob leaders wanted them to do.  They must be people who pretty much don’t THINK.  I just really hope I would never be that kind of person.  Have I ever gone along with the crowd when I should have stood up against them or at the very least walked away?  Have I bought into what someone else was saying without finding out if it was right, true, or good?
    My heart goes out to His disciples and especially His mother and other special women.  He tried to prepare them.  He told them what was going to happen (perhaps not in gory detail).  But how could anyone be ready for the horrible reality?  Did they doubt Him when they saw Him like that?  Did they understand at all that this was His choice, that He was allowing this to happen? How shaken was their faith?  Not completely, that’s for sure.  They met together in prayer while He was dead.  They didn’t chuck it all and go home saying, “Well, I was stupid.  That was a wasted 3 years.”    They still believed. They may not have fully understood HOW it was all going to work out, but they believed. They still loved Him. If they thought He had been lying to them, would the women still have gone to the tomb to anoint His body?  They still loved Him and wanted to serve Him.  Now THESE are role models.  We want to be found with the other faithful, praying and awaiting His word.
     How great is our Lord and His selfless, immeasurable redeeming love!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Obstacles and Doors

   The other day I had it in my head to do something that I thought might be helpful to both a friend and to me.  I planned to go directly to her house after work and arrange it.  On the way home, I got a flat tire.  That's always a bit inconvenient.  What made it more annoying is that I couldn't figure out what caused the flat which means that the replacement tube may also be in jeopardy. Slightly delayed by this little incident, I continued home instead of to my friend's house - after texting that I would be late.   As I was a bit disgruntled and lazy, I decided to drive the few blocks to her house rather than walk.  Except the car wouldn't start.  So I did walk.  It was a lovely evening and a pleasant walk.  But I wondered -  Was the Lord putting obstacles in my path to tell me that what I was doing was a bad idea?  I didn't have a bad feeling about my plan.  So I wondered, was the Other Guy putting obstacles in my path to keep be from doing something good?  Or was it just that's the way life is sometimes?   Still not too sure.

     But it got me thinking about obstacles and stumbling blocks and doors and things.  When is it a test?  When is it a warning?  When is it our bad brother trying to throw us off? And when is jt just dumb luck?

     Here's what I think.  The Lord is often subtle, but He is not usually really sneaky.  This didn't seem to be the kind of thing He uses (for me usually, anyway) by way of direction.  He sometimes closes doors.  And that is something I often pray for, "Please open and close the right doors for me."  When I was looking for my current job and going on interviews,  I really needed a job, but I also wanted a good fit - a place I would not hate going to work.  I prayed for the right doors.  Places where I interviewed and really did not want to work did not call me.  Even though I thought I muffed this interview, I knew that I would rather work for Parks than most places and they did call me.  I still remember when Liz offered me the job and asked when I could start.  It was Friday and I was at the church working on a ward activity I was in charge of.  I told her I could start Monday and she said, "I am so exited!"  What an uplift that was!   but I digress.  The Lord has given me dark cloud feelings or just kind of dullness or had someone turn me down.  I don't know.  The bike tire and the dead battery just didn't feel like heavenly messages.  But how can you tell?  Do you know?  Yes, of course, you can ASK.  Always should check with the Boss.

    What are some ways the Lord directs your path?  I remember once being called to serve in the Primary presidency, knowing the call was right, but having a dark cloud descend UNTIL I chose the names of my counselors.  Another one,  I don't usually instigate phone calls partly because I have a bad habit of staying on the phone too long once I get there.  But I remember calling a friend who then told me that she had been crying and praying, and then the phone rang and it was me and it was her answer. (!) I don't remember feeling INSPIRED to call her, but I was.  When I made a HUGE decision that runs somewhat counter to the Mormon ideal - so that was a hard thing to choose, everything felt lighter - the air around me, my spirit, even my body (which was not and is not light).  As we implemented the decision,  light came into my home and the lives of me and my children that I had not realized was so badly missing. I was almost afraid that the temple doors would refuse to open for me, but they didn't.  In fact, I remember feeling a "welcome."

   Well, I have rambled and not made much sense and my time is more than up. Can you share -  How does the Lord direct you?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How's your Saturday?

Andrew and I spent much of the morning helping with grounds keeping at the church (sorry bushes! I really don't know anything about pruning!)

and much of the afternoon planning the street course and making cardboard cars (be careful at blind corners and watch out for car doors) and traffic signs for next week's bicycle rodeo.  They don't look like much for the amount of work and time put in, but they will do.  They are kind of cute in a plain modern cardboard art kind of way. 

Joseph has spent the day trying to sleep off a headache, poor guy.

Thank you Debi, for the cardboard!  Ruth, I think the "cars" can easily be repurposed into dog houses and there are also a couple of big pieces (the size we used for cars) which we didn't use.

Next:  shower (before I collapse of terminal crud), shop for and make vegan pasta salad for a work potluck Monday, laundry, take care of Debi's dogs, get gas in the car, and prepare for the Sabbath tomorrow (not prepare as well as I should, I fear)

Tomorrow in Primary, I will be discussing Alma 33:3-9 and Alma 34: 17-27 (which is a personal favorite if mine).  Looking forward to it.  I hope I can convey the spirit I feel about it.

Not happening here:  house and yard work.  :(  HOW do people manage??!!!

Not sure when I am cooking up my work breakfasts. (And my coworkers wonder why I don't make THEM breakfast potatoes)

Mostly a happy and productive day, although I could wish for more productive and also R&R would be nice.  

I must find time for a trip to the beach!   MAYBE in 3 weeks?  Can you imagine living in California, 2 hours from the ocean and not getting to the coast all year?  almost criminal.

Time for water therapy.  I love modern plumbing!

Sunday, July 28, 2013


[prahy-mer-ee, -muh-ree]  adjective, noun, plural pri·ma·ries.
1 .First or highest in rank or importance; chief; principle
2. first in order in any series, sequence, etc.
3. first in time; earliest; primitive.
4. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of primary school: the primary grades.
5. constituting or belonging to the first stage in any process.

In the Primary organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we support and back-up the parents in teaching young children the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We help the children develop a firm foundation of faith and correct principles upon which to build their lives.  If we do our jobs well , the children will find church a safe, warm, happy, welcoming place.  They will learn to pray and seek answers from the Source of all wisdom.  They will learn to recognize the Holy Spirit.  We will help them prepare to make and keep sacred covenants, firmly placing their feet on the path to eternal life and happiness. If we do our jobs well, we will see terrific, not troubled, teens and confident, faithful, happy adults.

It is a blessing and a privilege to be trusted with the sacred responsibility of teaching the little children whom Jesus so dearly loves.

Friday, July 26, 2013

"The Impossible"

At the BloodSource donating platelets Wednesday, I watched “The Impossible”.   Have you seen it?

I would not recommend if  for children or for anyone about to vacation in the tropics. 

 Not a movie to help keep your blood pressure down.  The true story of a family vacationing in Thailand for Christmas, caught in the biggest tsunami to hit Asia, and their struggle to survive and find each other. .  INTENSE and not pretty. Miraculously, all 5 members of this family did survive and find each other.  Well done, moving, scary. Real.  A somber reminder of the importance of family and love.  And the blessing of the Plan of Salvation and eternal families. So many people did not find their families.  They were not emphasized in the  movie, but they are just as real. 

What a difference it makes to have the promise that someday you WILL find them.  And that everything will be ok.  More than ok. Through the atonement of Christ all that is unfair in this life can be made right.  Hallelujah!  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Let the Biker Beware

     I feel blessed to have made it in to work today.
     At the 65th Street crossing from Target to the Kroy Pedestrian/Bike Pathway a car ran the the red light, speeding through the crosswalk where I was about to cross.   It screeched to a halt just past the crosswalk.  It was not blocking any traffic where it stopped, but suddenly it started backing up to where it should have stopped in the first place.  It clipped my back wheel as I tried to evade it.  I confess I called it a name under my breath. 
     Matthew 5:  22 "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." 
      Ok, I had cause, but the 2nd part of that scripture appears  independent of the 1st.  And what I said was "Idiot" but I think it's close enough.  Do you really think I am danger of 'hell fire'?  for that I mean.  I am afraid I have done worse things than that in my life.
       I also applied the term to myself for not being more watchful.   The car was in the wrong, but as Pancho says in The Man of La Mancha, " whether the pitcher hits the stone or the stone hits the pitcher, it's going to be bad for the pitcher."  The bicyclist should always be vigilant.
        There were also an unusual number of cars pulling out of parking places which I needed to beware. 
        On the flip side, more than one car waited to make their legal turn and let me cross the street ahead of them when I was prepared to wait for them.  It always warms my heart a little to see the small courtesies many drivers extend to bicycles.
       If I were Andrew I would now make a spiritual application about always being on guard against the wiles and sneak attacks of the devil. But I will leave that to you.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

   Saturday morning Andrew and I pulled weeds for a couple hours.  Got a lot done.  LOTS more needs doing. Then we went to the PO and mailed Benjamin Korean copies of the Book of Mormon AND the music the brothers have been working on getting him :)      
    After that Andrew and I went to Davis Ranch Corn Festival out by Sloughhouse on Jackson Road.  Like going to an Apple Hill Farm in October only way closer, better parking, and WARM.  Lots of cool crafts.  Some vendor food.  Supposedly free BBQ corn, but we didn’t see it.  Great produce for sale but the lines were too long for us.  We were tired.  There were rows and rows of strawberry pots 4 feet high - you pay a fee for a little basket like you get berries in the store, wash your hands, and go pick berries.  Live entertainment  (ok), jump house, pony rides - the nasty kind where the ponies are tied to spokes and walk around in tight circles  in the sun whether or not anyone is riding them.  It was fun and tempting to see all the craft items. Lots of charms, including dragon charms that Andrew liked.  Personal brands (for branding your steaks.  yeah, right) One of the coolest things we saw were Belt Buckle/Knives.  The Knife looks like part of the belt buckle, is held on with a good magnet, and comes off with the flick of a thumb.  Also has a fire starter and sharpener.  Pretty cool.  But the plain one (no) cost $70.  With a decoration on either the knife or the buckle - tree scene, fire design, all kinds of stuff, I think it was $75.  and more expensive ones.  I kept thinking that my guys would love it.  And I love my guys.  But I cannot spend that kind of money. Another thing I really liked were Scarf Necklaces. They really were pretty and different. It was fun looking at all the creative things.
       I have been called to a new church position,  Next Sunday I will be sustained and will be released from Building Scheduler and Sunday School Teacher.  I taught my last SS class.  That was short - just half a year.  I told them there was a change coming, but I was not sure how soon, because at that point I was not sure. Later I found out that today was my last day. There was no weeping and gnashing of teeth. I hope their new teacher is interesting and inspiring.  I am sure they would appreciate the change.
      Bishop and Brother Brown came over Thursday and extended the call. They said that when they were considering names for this calling the answer came clearly.  I accepted based on faith in their testimony and on my covenants to serve.  For the next couple of days I thought about it and prayed for a personal confirmation.  As I considered that the primary requirements for the position are love for the Lord and love for His children, I was suddenly filled with warmth and I knew it was right to accept.  I am concerned about the demands of time, energy and creativity, but as the Lord wants me to do it, He will help me and so will others.
       It is 10:30 Sunday night and I need to sleep.  How does the weekend go so quickly?!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Now I Lay Me

I am foolishly reluctant to settle down and go to sleep because I just don't feel ready to get up and go to work.  Silly me.  I cannot imagine what it would be like if I actually disliked my job.  I love State Parks and I mostly like my work and my co-workers.  I just don't like all the time it takes away from my life.  What I need, though, is to develop better time, energy and other resource management.

It has been a good, but as usual, not sufficiently productive weekend.

Although there are plenty of chores not done, I am glad that Andrew and I took off Saturday and went up to Castle Crags State Park.  We didn't leave until after noon.  Not that I accomplished much in the morning unfortunately. 

At the Park entrance, I told the ranger that we just wanted to take a look.  He said if we wanted to look at the crags, we could drive down the road and look at them for free from our car instead of entering the Park, paying a fee, and taking a little hike.  Which we did. 

Advantage to entering the Park - at the end of the easy hike, there is a telescope and some information.  Also you can see some other dark crags or something to the west and also Mt Shasta to the north east.  And the information  thing tells a bit about how they are different and were created.  It's pretty nice up there.  We have done very brief sneak in stops on the way home from visiting Rosers   But we didn't go there this time.  We might not have to pay the day use fee anyway, since I work for Parks, but I didn't ask.  We decided to try the other views he mentioned.  Glad we did.

As we drove down the road, we realized that it was all Park property.  Until we got to Shasta-Trinity National Forest property.  We did get some great views of the Castle Crags.  We might have been on the side low on the formations to the west and the Castle Crags themselves blocked any view of Shasta. (I think) So we just saw the crags and beautiful forest, but not the other formations.

Coming back down, we stopped at a trail head on Park property that said PCT. Which I failed to comprehend.  We visited a couple of primitive (no running water or 'facilities') walk in camp-sites.  Right beyond them were hiking trails, one of which lead to the Pacific Coast Trail.  Oh, PCT, I should have remembered.

It was beautiful and peaceful there.  So quiet that we heard the rustling of a snake in the grass as it went down to the rocks of a dry stream bed and the skittering of a lizard on the rails of the little bridge over it. 

Andrew is a great companion.  He ENJOYS everything. 

Today was a good day.  My Sunday School class went OK.  Certainly not what they show in the training videos, but ok.  I have more to learn in this new teaching program "Come Follow Me".  The program takes a LOT more study and preparation on my part than the old study the lesson and spit it out routine.  If it helps the kids learn to develop stronger testimonies (and me, too) it's great.  One of the kids was really great at participating. Shared thoughts, insights and experiences.  A couple were quietly with me.  One looked totally bored. 

One "chore" I did not get done was work on a birthday present which I had planned to do today.  Need to get cracking!  I have an idea, a pretty simple one, too, but getting it from hazy idea, to plan, to actuality is not going quickly.  Maybe I can work on it tomorrow after work.

Work. Tomorrow.  I need to go to bed.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Star Struck

I don't follow celebrities and couldn't tell one from another most of the time, but today I put in my 2 cents worth about what I am hearing about a couple of them. 

    Angelina Jolie recently made a personal decision to have a double mastectomy  based on her own and her family history, her genetics, and her concern for her children.  She shared the decision publicly so that other women would be more aware, learn more and consider their own options.  She did not tell anyone else how to run their lives.  Now some people are criticizing her and calling her decision not brave but fear-based.  I think they should butt out.   I respect her right to choose for herself and I respect her decision.  Even more I appreciate her willingness to talk about a private matter openly so she can help other women make their own choices.

    Paula Deen admitted that she used a racially insulting term DECADES ago.  I have heard a lot about her admitting it and apologizing.  I have not heard what the circumstances were, whether it was habitual or a one time thing - although I get the impression it was not the way she usually talked.   More recently she said something about it being hard to see a dark skinned person against a dark background very well.  Oh, the outrage!  I do not think that we are really supposed to be color BLIND and pretend that we do not see a person's skin color at all.  We are what we are. and that's fine.  We are not supposed to judge people by their color or treat them with any less (or more)  respect.   I am pretty sure if everyone was fired who had EVER said a thoughtless,  insensitive thing about another person, not very many people would have jobs.  Admittedly my sensibilities are probably different because I am not, nor ever have been black, but it seems to me that there is a lot of over-reacting going on.  How does she treat and talk about people NOW? 

   I am astounded at the evil and cruelty that seems to be accepted by society and then the things that people pounce on to attack. 


Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Things She Never Told Me!

   In the what? 7 ? years I have had her, I oft lamented that Goldie, unlike her predecessor Jade, never mentioned that you (that is to say I) had left the key in the ignition or the lights on when exiting the driver's side.  This resulted in more than a few AAA roadside calls -  especially in the early years and the first bit of shorter daylight hours more than one year.  
    Last week after a spell of unexplained battery failures, Jimmy at Cozz's discovered a faulty switch in the door. 
    Now, amazing thing, when the driver's door opens, Goldie signals if there is a key in the ignition or if the lights are on and the radio turns off.  I never knew that Goldie was not entirely herself all this time. 
    I wonder what else I am clueless about.  (Don't be mean)

Friday, June 21, 2013

I am going to pump you up.

    For the longest time I have lamented my difficulties pumping up my bike tires.  Especially with the floor pump.  I don't expect as much for the on-the-road hand pump. (although it does pretty well)  A little bit of trouble attaching pump to valve stem.  More trouble getting it off.  The feeling that pumping up the bike tires is more exercise than riding the bike to work.  And the frequency of getting a flat the day I do a maintenance pump up.  
     Then it got worse.  There was a terrible sound of escaping air every time I tried to pump up - and it wasn't the valve connection.  And pump as I might, hardly any increase of tire pressure.  Something was wrong, you think?  I never even thought about the PUMP having a leak.  Until it was quite obvious.  I have no idea how old the bike pump was.  My ex bought it back in the days of his bicycle commuting which he gave up (after a couple of bike vs vehicle encounters) years before we split.  The pump was old.  Way too old.
     So, I finally bought a new bike pump.  WOW.   The old pump had a gauge with a moveable marker so you could set your goal pressure and see when you achieved it.  The new pump does not, but the gauge is at the top of  the pump instead of the bottom so it is easier to see.  I don't know why the difference, but the new pump is easier to connect/disconnect.  I have done several pump ups and so far (knock on wood) not destroyed my valve stem.  Of course, also now I try to PUSH the pump off the valve instead of pulling it.  And it is amazing how much easier it is to pump up the tire when all the air actually goes into the tire.
     Sometimes in life we overlook the simplest and best answers.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What? It's Wednesday?

Usually I go to the temple on Wednesdays.  I feel it gives balance to my week in many ways.  I don't ride my bike to work on temple days. 

Today I did not go to the temple because Andrew and I were sitting on an Eagle Board of Review this evening.  So I rode my bike to work.

This messed me up.  It also reminded me of one of the reasons I go to the temple and do not ride my bike on Wednesdays.  Wednesday is garbage day on much of T street.  Dodging garbage cans is not the best part of bike riding. 

Since I rode my bike to work, it didn't feel like Wednesday.  Also, because I need to bring some taco-ground beef to work for a potluck on Thursday, I kept thinking about Thursday.  So, pretty soon, it started to feel like Thursday. 

Which is disappointing because tomorrow is not Friday.

But, Andrew and I had the privilege of participating in an Eagle board and seeing how a fine boy is becoming a fine man.  And tomorrow we are having a taco bar at work.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Party Girl?

There is a fairy tale about a king who had several daughters who were always tired and whose new shoes were always worn out in the morning.  He eventually learned that they were sneaking out and dancing all night.

My Goldie, my car, has been showing up with a dead battery even though the AAA road guy said the battery and the alternator are good.  Two Saturdays in a row we have gotten in the car to do errands only to be non-starters.  Then we plugged in our little charger and were good to go in time for church.

This morning Sylvia, my bike, hopped on the back of Goldie and we dropped Goldie off at the shop.  The battery IS good.  The alternator IS good.  What is funky is a switch in the door that is supposed to turn the radio off when the door opens.  huh?  that has never happened as long as I have had this little car.  Eventually, after about 15 minutes the car computer turns the radio off.

Well, Jimmy at the car shop says that it is quite possible that the whack-a-ding door switch has been turning the radio off and on when the car was parked.  While I have been sleeping, or off at work slaving away to pay for gas and oil, Goldie may have been having private parties. 

Jimmy is going to replace the door switch and (nearly blinded drivers of Goldie will be glad to know) the inefficient wiper blades.   Should be less than $150.

The party is over, little girl!

Monday, June 17, 2013

How long will ye halt between two opinions?

     I believe in God, our Creator and Father of our spirits. I believe that He knows us, loves us, and that it is His work and His glory to bring to pass to the immortality and eternal life of man.  That He wants our eternal happiness.  I believe that Father knows best.
     I believe that we have a living prophet on the earth today who communicates with our Heavenly Father and who receives and passes on direction from God for us.  Under the direction of Jesus Christ, the prophet leads The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and speaks to both members of the church and the world.
      D&C 1:38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
     I believe in personal revelation.  That each of us has the right and the responsibility to seek confirmation of teachings and counsel. 
     Moroni 10: And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
     James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth; and it shall be given him.
     6 But let him ask in faith, nothing  wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
  I have received a personal witness of these truths.

  Sometimes we are given counsel and commandments that I do not  like or understand.  Things that left alone to my own reason, I would have thought, felt, and/or acted differently.  Often things that are not popular in the world and sometimes within the circle of people who mean the most to me.  Now what?  
   Do I follow the voice of the world and of reason or do I follow an all-wise, all-loving God and His chosen servants?  A God that I believe knows more than I do and more than anyone on earth.
    Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

      Regrettably, there have been times when I have wavered and halted between two opinions.   This is not the path to heaven and happiness.    
      I must be true to my beliefs and covenants.  I must stand for truth and righteousness. I pray for strength, guidance, and greater wisdom than is naturally mine.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

After referencing a commercial for a popular sit-com in which they say that in the Thai culture the last morsel of food is given to the most honored and respected guest, Joseph offered me the last Thin Mint in his package. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

made for walkin'

I have been advised by my aunt and my daughter - each of whom are gifting me with amazing I-never-would-have-dared-dreamed-of trips this year both of which involve a LOT of time on your feet - of the importance of good comfortable footwear. 
   I generally get my clothes from thrift stores, but this can take time, talent, and luck and either an excellent fashion flare or a certain disregard for fashion.  (no need to guess which one I have)  I have not found footwear worthy of the challenge. Frankly, I don't have a lot of hunting time.  I wandered into actual shoe stores and looked around. More $$$ than useful inspiration.  I did a little on-line reading.  I took the plunge and ordered Keens from Amazon - the Newport Sandal.  A good bit pricey to someone like me who thinks twice about anything that approaches $20 let alone over 3 times that. 
    I think they will do nicely. 
    Until now, I have been wearing my hiking boots for biking.  Although old, they are comfortable and give good support, but my feet do get warm.  Once at work I would switch out to Mary Jane type Crocs which are  "pretty comfortable" and kind of cute.  I notice that towards the end of the day as my feet swell a little they are less comfortable and they really are not walk all day shoes. Lately I started wearing my Keens to work and, fashionista that I am, I stay in them all day.  Used to be that when I got home from work, I could hardly wait to take off the boots I had been wearing about an hour.  Not so with the Keens which by then I have been wearing 12 hours.
   They should do very nicely indeed.  Along with my Croc clogs (a thrift store find that inspired the purchase of the other Crocs - ok I actually found green Croc clogs at Deseret Industries which were so comfortable that I bought black ones new on-line and later the Mary Janes - fortunately Crocs can be relatively inexpensive) to switch off for a rest if I want.  The Crocs are very comfy, but not as sturdy and long wearing, I think (although not bad,) and they often squeak - not on the floor but they themselves squeak.  In some venues, this is not a problem, but in others...Well, I tried wearing them at work, but when you hear someone a couple cubes away say "here comes Barbara"  not so good. So you can imagine a museum, library or church.  The Mary Janes don't squeak, but like I said, they are not on-your-feet-all-day shoes.  Easy to kick off in the privacy of your cube, though, which the Keens are not.
   My advice is to invest as best you can in comfortable shoes especially if you are getting older like me or spend a lot of time on your feet.  As far as fashion, I think a happy smiling expression is worth more than "cute" shoes.  If you can manage really cute, really comfortable shoes, huzzah! and do tell.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Does your spirit sometimes flag?

     If it weren't for Teresa and Andrew I would seldom go to Relief Society activity night - whatever they call it now.  It used to be called Home Making Meeting, I believe, but I don't think it is any more.  Teresa not only reminded me at least once that it was tonight, she also paid for my craft.   Andrew, as usual, like David, volunteered to help.  This time, they didn't do child care - first time in a long time - but only did take down.
     I came home from work not feeling very ambitious - per usual.  Was trying to 1) figure out dinner and 2) talk myself into pulling weeds.   Andrew mentioned that he would be going to help at Relief Society.  Oh, yeah.  Relief Society.  sigh.  I guess should go.
     Not that I don't like Relief Society or any of the sisters or the activities.  Just tiredness - or laziness. 
     Andrew opted to ride his bike over later rather than drive in with me and wait around for his chance to serve. For one thing, he was doing a little research into Farrell's which will be opening up a new ice cream parlour not far from here soon and are beginning to hire.  Working there would be a great job for him.  He would be great for them.  I wonder if he would get an employee discount?  Zoo, anyone?
      oh, yeah, Relief Society. There was a class on Slow Yeast which I did not attend so I still don't know what slow yeast is.  A quilt set up to work on.  And the craft.  There was a useful lesson, too, but I arrived late and have no idea what I should have learned.  Our craft was a cute flag block.  Well, most of them were cute.  Mine is among the least of those.  Most of the sisters made multiple thin stripes.  I made 3 fat ones.  I don't know if there is any great meaning to it except that I just didn't feel like doing lots of lines.
        Sister Adair is amazing at coming up with cute or useful or fun - or multiples of the preceding - crafts that cost practically nothing.  The flag blocks were $1. 
      I had a pleasant time visiting with the other sisters at my work table.  Nothing earth shaking, just a nice chance to chat.
      When he arrived, Andrew asked me if I was glad I came.  My answer was not highly enthusiastic, but yes, I am.  It is good to connect a little with the other women.  Commiserate, laugh, relax together.   Sometimes that is enough.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


 It sounds so simple.

 Ask - Is it Useful? Is it Beautiful? Does it make me Happy? Is it Family History? 

If the answer to None of these questions is Yes - recycle or trash.
If it is useful, but we won't / don't use it -  donate it. 
If it is beautiful, but we won't/ don't see it -  donate it. 
If it is useful and/or beautiful, but it makes me unhappy -  donate it. 
See? Simple. 
Surprisingly not.  And rather time consuming. 

I have been working away in my room for hours. 

My son came in, "Let's see.  There's stuff all over the bed.  There's stuff all over the floor. Yep, you're cleaning."

Monday, April 15, 2013

We Never Know

Again we are reminded that we never know.  

We should not live in paranoia, but take reasonable care for safety no matter what we are doing.  We should live prepared to be able to live without guilt or regret.  To know where to turn when what we have to face is too much for mortal strength. 

Sometimes things will happen in life for which there can be no warning and no preparation.  We do not know when our life will end and we will be called before our Maker.  We do not know when loved ones will be torn from our lives.  We do not know when our lives might be seriously disrupted, things we take for granted shattered -  health, wholeness, jobs, peace, - any aspect of our lives - gone.  

We should live in love, kindness, prayer and repentance daily.  We should try to prepare ourselves for emergencies.  We should strengthen our faith to help us bear the unthinkable.  We should prepare our souls.  We should tell people we love them.

We complacently live our lives thinking that we have forever or least a bit more time to work things out, to get ready for emergencies, to put our lives in order.   The Scouts are right, we need to strive to BE PREPARED.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Goldie is gettting a charge out of this - I hope!

Instead of going to help on a friend's Eagle project, we discovered a nearly dead car battery.  I DID not want to call AAA for the 2nd time in a week. Odd!, after giving me a jump Wednesday night, the AAA Knight of the Road, tested my battery and said that it was a good battery and that the alternator was charging it well.  I don't know why the battery ran down now. That's frustrating.

I knew that once when I called AAA over a dead battery a few years ago (I am a semi-regular since getting Goldie who does not warn you if you leave the lights on), I purchased possibly a new battery and definitely a battery charger.  Which was SOMEWHERE in the garage. (the battery charger, not the battery itself which is in the car, strangely enough)  I could not even remember what the thing looked like. So I looked up battery charger images on-line. My! they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Well, mostly rectangle and mostly red or black. 

We dove into the no-man's-land that is our garage. Which is not easy because of all the stuff and clutter.  Did not find the charger.  Did realize (again) that our garage is in desperate need of major attention.

Andrew and I briefly considered biking to the Eagle project and arriving late, but that would not fix the car problem or the garage problem which was really beginning to vex me.  The need here seemed greater than the need there.  Sorry, JC!

We started working in the garage. What to do with all this crud?! 
  Some we might actually use if we learned how and knew where it was.Keep
  Some we probably won't use but might be valuable and or useful.  We need to set that aside and see if some of our handy friends could use it. Or maybe sell it on-line. That sounds like a job for Joseph. Keep.
  Some stuff is definitely garbage. That would be easy if we had a bigger can.  Some goes in the can, some goes in garbage bags.  If we get to the bigger stuff, it will go in the trailer to await a dump run.
  Electrical garbage - old fans, an old computer monitor.  I don't know WHAT to do with that stuff!  I hate figuring out e-waste.  I never know where it is when charities do their e-waste drives and what I have is usually not what they take.
   Then there's stuff that seems too good for garbage, but....  We are such suckers for that.  "Free" sign by the gate.  Whatever is there when we finally schedule a dump run, it will go, too. Unless we lose our nerve.

Amazingly we did not get very far before we actually found the battery charger!!! Which was way smaller than I expected or remembered.  AAA Battery Tender Jr.   As long as it does the job. : )

We figured out how to hook it up and then realized that it was going to take all day to charge the battery.  Not wanting to trip innocent passers by, we decided to move the car UP into the driveway.  It took considerable effort with all 3 of us pushing (including Joseph who is too sick to have the IP party he planned) BUT WE DID IT.  Goldie is in the driveway hooked up to the charger. 

Now back to the garage.  We will not "clean it out"  - not even close, but we should manage to make some improvement.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Dark Sabbath

     I cannot remember anything in the scriptures between the crucifixion and burial Friday and the glorious first day of the week.  
     What was it like for them? - the disciples, friends, followers of Jesus, His mother.  He had died a horrible death before their eyes.  He who had been so full of life, who had spoken of eternal life.  He who had commanded the elements, healed the sick, even raised the dead.  Now he was dead.  Hastily buried before the Sabbath came with the setting sun.
     They blindly in their grief no doubt observed their sacred rites and Sabbath obligations, weeping as they did.  Despite the terrible events, they still believed in God and His commandments. They obeyed the law of the Sabbath with aching but faithful hearts.
     Through out the Sabbath they remembered Him, the things He said, the scriptures He quoted.  They reached out to each other to mourn together, to find some comfort in each other.  They talked and wondered.  Remembering His words, His promises.  Repeating. Discussing.  What did He mean?
    He had spoken of rising again.  They believed, but they were practical people and nothing like that had ever happened in all of history, so they must have  wondered and not exactly doubted, but didn't quite understand.  
   I think it was a long, dark even as the sun shone, lonely even in their gathering, sorrowful, do we dare to hope and for what day.  Heavy with sorrow and weeping until their eyes burned and they could weep no more.  for a short time.  and the wrenching tears and choking sobs would begin again.
   In some ways this Sabbath day may have been even harder than the day of the crucifixion. When everything was happening, part of themselves must have been almost numb with the horror of it even as they cried at His feet.   The Sabbath day is a day for quiet reflection.  No work, Few distractions.  Just that awful aching loss and sorrow. 
    It was a long dark day of uncertainty and grief.