Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sad loss...

Service dogs are amazing in how they can be trained and what they do in the line of that training.  Don't you think all pet dogs are untrained, but intuitive in service?  Our oldest son, Kipper, had a dog, named Carman and she was spectacular in her care of him.  He'd had two failed back surgeries, one right after the other, and at that point was helpless on most levels.

Our 3rd son, David, felt the best thing for his oldest brother would be to have a dog!  He drove the year old dog AND his toddler son from SLC to San Diego to surprise him.  Thus began a most beautiful relationship with a dog and his master.

Carman, a Cairn Terrier, like Toto in the Wizard of Oz, became his watchdog, his guard dog, his nurse, his friend and companion.  Carman would nudge him if his breathing paused as he had a lot of Rx coursing through his veins.  She would wake him up, if he fell asleep in his chair, so he could get into his bed.

As time went on, she'd insist, by staring incessantly at him, until he got up and took her for a walk.  She'd watch him like a hawk on whatever project he was engaged in.  A sweet and gentle, kind and caring dog that we all loved.

A very unfortunate, tragic accident two days ago took her life.  Kipper gave her a great life of care and kindness and love...including medical and grooming and special diet and all of the other care, that pets continuously need for health, wellness and comfort.

She gave her all, in love and loyalty, and Kipper returned the same to her.

We loved that little pup so much.  We felt fortunate that she came over for a visit the night before her passing.

Are there pets in Heaven?

read the various Scriptures and Church quotes on this poignant subject... here

This is my favorite line.  It is the last line in the article...

But as far as animals being resurrected and going to heaven? Personally, my feelings on the matter can be summed up by this quote, attributed to an unknown author: “Heaven is the place where all the dogs you’ve ever loved come to greet you.”  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Ever Learning

For so long I have struggled with feeling bad over my conduct on things like...not acting on promptings/nudges to do a bit of good...not making phone calls or writing notes or taking food...not staying in touch with friends...not keeping my word to myself on goals...not being obedient enough and therefore not feeling good enough to be worthy enough to be blessed/accepted.  

Flashbacks of less than worthy scenes of my Mothering...that was eons ago!  Situations that I made bad judgement calls.  on and on!!!

Then I would add my prideful/envious/jealous/judging/bossy/prideful traits that would spring up like weeds with roots that seemed to never die and kept bringing forth rotten thoughts.

True...there was no wanted poster with my mug at the Post record of criminal activity of any darkness with immortality/unfaithfulness/drugs/thievery etc. etc.  and yet I acted like a low-life thug in my attitude of unworthiness to feel the spirit because I just wasn't good enough.

There was nothing in my behavior of living my life that warranted me making an appointment with the Bishop or surrendering my Temple Recommend.  No need of Church discipline on any counts.

My co-dependent self was wanting to help/manage/enable/rescue everyone and it wasn't even my business.  so while it sounds good...I wanted to help...actually it wasn't good because it wasn't my place or business to micro-manage someone else's life.  Besides I wasn't even managing my own that terrific!

Why can't I be perfect????  Why am I so bad???  Why have I made so many mistakes???  I am not worthy!!

One day I was talking to MyTerry about my sorry lot and how I'd totally wrecked my life and on and on in DramaQueen fashion.  

He talked to me about the Atonement and forgiveness and repentance.  I haughtily told him that wouldn't work for me because I knew better and should have chosen to do the right thing to begin with so hope.  

He mean you think the Atonement works for everyone but you!  that you are above the atonement?

Anyhow...I know this is going on and on but I wanted to tell you how I've learned to forgive myself for things that weigh me down.  I repent of those things, no matter how small they are.  If they bother me, then on Sunday at Sacrament time, they are given over to the Lord with sincerity.

The thing that helped me more than anything was years and years ago, Elder Neal A. Maxwell shared, at a General Conference, that we are spiritual beings having a mortal experience and not the other way around...mortals having a spiritual experience.  I've looked and looked and could not find it.  I did find this quote that says the same thing...

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. --by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

This thought helped me to understand that all of those "things" that drove me nuts because I wasn't obedient or good enough and I had a testimony! of course I should be able to do it all!  now and perfect!!

That teaching helped me and reminded me and I understood more fully...I've never been a mortal before!  I came from a spiritual place as a spiritual being to a mortal experience.  Being human is not an easy task.  (well, at least in my opinion!)  I can now forgive myself for my humanness and not stack the guilt cards that at times are bogus anyhow.

I now realize that my spirit self, my real self, is strong and wants to do what is right.  I need to do a better job of heeding what I hear.  I don't need to throw myself in a dungeon and be haughty about being above the promises of the Saviors Atonement.  

I remind myself...I am a spiritual being having a human experience and this is unknown territory for me.  

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Frailties...beautiful descriptive word. Frailties!  My humanness challenges!!

I've been reading the manuals of Teachings of the Presidents and just finishing up President Hunters.  I found something else that really helps me in the quest to just move through life, doing the best I can, and not bogging myself down with frailties that need to be acknowledged/repented of/move on.  I love it when I read something that I've never heard before.  I hit pay-dirt!  

Chapter 5 is Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration.  here  

In section 3 President Hunter talks about Joseph Smith being a prophet, seer, and revelator.  It's just wonderful the way he describes it. A part of it reads...

Each of us has spiritual eyes which are the counterpart of our natural eyes. We were first created spiritually and then our bodies were created as the covering of our spirit.

This has captivated my attention.  I LOVE these 2 sentences.  It is such a beautiful thought to contemplate our bodies covering our spirits!  It helps me understand the challenge of mortality.  A spiritual creation now clothed in a body.  Endowed with the Light of Christ...peeking through that mortal body.  Me...blessed by the Gift of the Holy Ghost and having that greater light on my journey of endeavoring to manage this mortal self.  

I believe I was trained in all things spiritual in that previous life but explanations of managing a mortal body and what it would feel like and what it would try to do or what it would neglect to do?...I believe I was taught to CTR but how could a class be given, and fully understood, no matter how descriptive the teaching was, that would give me that understanding of what I'd deal with?  I would have to experience being an earthling!!

Our bodies created as a covering for our spirits!  I love the wording.  I love the visual.  I love the thought of that 9 months of womb growth, all to provide us with that "covering of our spirit".  

Now please...don't rain on my joyful parade and be negative or all knowing and wondering why I'm so slow to come to the feasting table!  Be nice.  

Don't tell me you had read this before etc. etc.  Just let me enjoy these amazing two sentences!  

We are truly spiritual beings, clothed in a body, having our turn on earth!!  Forgiveness and acceptance of myself with warts and all becomes okay!

(I'm hearing the lyrics from My Fair Lady.  I saw a production awhile ago.  you know the one...the rain in Spain and she's got it!  I think she's got it!)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Settling back in...

Yesterday I was at the Bank Tellers station and she looked a bit frazzled.  She asked the questions, that she'd been trained to do...about the weather...about the weekend...busy checking numbers and looking up accounts etc. etc.  

I asked her if her family was ready for school to start and she lifted both hands, in a gesture heavenward...One of thankfulness and relief.  She has 3 children that will be in school.  I commented that it must be difficult to work and have children at home.  

She shared that her Mother lives directly across the street from her and that was wonderful.  She is so great with the kids.  Not at all like how she was as my Mom.  She was so strict.  Now she is kind and gentle.

That brought a smile to my face.  I shared my philosophy with her...Being a Grandmother is almost like being granted a do-over on parenting.  All the things you wish you could have another chance at? have it!  

I was recently with some of my grandchildren and truly it is a wonderful thing to be a Granny!  I love them so much!  I enjoy them!  I'm not raising them or daily tending them.  I just get to visit and enjoy them.

Waxing sentimental today and feeling a bit emotional as this summer marked the end of the summer tradition of Cassie and Tori spending the time with us.  They will be 21 soon and are now college graduates.  Cassie is employed at NASA and it moving into intern training for her Masters.  Tori will be going to grad school in Connecticut at Quinipiac and will get a couple of short breaks.  They have come here every year of their lives since they were under a year old.  Tradition!

These girls love our old place.  I mean LOVE it!  They were sad and years ago didn't want us to even change some old wall covering that we did not like or want.  What did their Poppa do?  He left a wall in a cupboard above the washer untouched!  They can open it and see the beauty!  That is what grandparents do.
They loved this wall covering!!

This summer we reminisced about so many things that we have repeatedly done and enjoyed and it was such a great walk down that memory lane.

When they were young, maybe about 4 years old?, I wanted to get bedding for the bunks that we had purchased for them.  I found something that delighted them!  Matching sheets and pillowcases and comforter and 3 throw pillows.  It has worked all these years.  
the bright red heart of roses was hung on wall of bottom bunk.  
Today I laundered them and packed them up.  I will save them, as they want them for someday.  Who knows...they may, at some point end up at a Goodwill store, but for now they are special and precious on many levels.  As I folded them and put them up my mind reeled back and again I was reminded that memories can be made, as a family, by doing the same thing once each year.  Not something big and grand but just something simple, simply repeated.

Like, our annual family reunion this year... Cassie making sourdough pancakes and Kim making cinnamon rolls and the family eating Sunday Pot Roast with sauer kraut and visiting and finding that old family stories return again and again.  The torch of cooking has passed to the next generation.

As grandchildren grow... and eventually marry and education and jobs enter the picture... our family dynamic will change and already is starting to shift.  One of my friends annually went to Lincoln City (I think that was it) with her married children and grandchildren.  This summer we visited and that ended a couple of years ago, as the grandchildren married and employment and etc.  Her children now have their own reunions.  It's the cycle of life.  I'm so thankful that we are still trying to hang on to it.  For as long as possible.

Going to change the bunks to white sheets with pink flowers.  I've had the sheets for ages and not used them.  they are so soft!  Have matching sheets for the bunks and the Murphy bed.  I found a down-like comforter that is navy and looks like snowflakes in white for the bunks.  I have a navy comforter quilt, navy with pink cabbage roses, that I love and will use it on the Murphy bed.  also have several navy check pillow cases plus a vase of pink gerberer Daisy's that are awesome. The pale pink wallpaper that Terry hung years ago, is still hanging!, and will look great with Navy and pink plus we have a blue chair in there! 

Not true color on quilt.  it's darker navy.

(I can't access the pictures I wanted to share because "my drive is full".  I'll ask my go-to-tech-son to help me out of this fix!)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Party is over...memory lingering on!

As usual, it seems my normal of late... I apologize for at least not checking in or saying when I'd be back.  Sorry.  Onward!

I weathered the storm of unpreparedness for visitors, of any sort, much less a houseful of family for a reunion.  Our Grandson has recently moved into a large home in Kennewick and he and his sweet wife wanted to host our reunion at their place!!  It worked out fantastic!

Family was here, in and out for a few days or a couple of weeks, coming and going over a lengthy time and then we all spent 2 days at Kip and Kim's.  We went up during the afternoon and into the evening.  Perfect distance and Hubby was up for the ride so all fears were alleviated.

Quite a lot of health struggling issues here, as you know, and there were things that had been neglected.  Fantastic children....cleaned gutters, replaced some gutters, trimmed tree in front that was hanging on roof, trimmed lilac tree in back, cleaned outside area by garage, cleaned out back around small outbuilding, pulled front weeds (lots of them!), all sorts of inside things like batteries in smoke alarms, fixing my pendulum chiming Grandmother clock!!, sanding/repairing/ painting porch floor, spraying wicker furniture, painting front door, hauled 2 pick-up loads of junk to dump!!!  I know I'm missing some things but that gives you a little bit of their busy-ness!  It was fantastic and gave us such a boost!!  My hard working kiddos are the best!

I realized...we were in need of rescue and they saw it and acted on it.  I so love and appreciate them.  I felt like I could breathe again!

Plus our Granddaughter, Britta, scrubbed and sanitized a bathroom!  She is as hard a worker as her Mother.  She stepped up to plate and did it.  Loving these granddaughters...Tori using power tools on the porch...Britta scrubbing grime in bathroom! you know we wanted to celebrate our wedding anniversary this year at our reunion. Technically it's not until next month but we'd had this desire for a long time.  At that time Terry could travel to McCall but that fell through to go there BUT we still wanted to celebrate here.

Now maybe that sounds strange to not throw a big marvelous anniversary shindig to celebrate but we had family for our 50th at McCall and we wanted to celebrate our 60th the same way...with family.  Except for children by marriage...all attendees had known us since their birth and that made it so fun!

Jeanee and Tori brought Alaskan salmon for our dinner.  Fish they had caught!  it was delish!  Kim made a triple batch of cinnamon rolls, from Terry's recipe, for dessert instead of cake.  Cassie at one point made a triple batch of sourdough pancakes from Poppa's recipe.  We had a Sunday pot roast early on at Jeanee's insistence.  I was still in not fully excited about this whole reunion idea mode but she sure knew what she was doing!!  we'd had that dinner for umpteen years while kiddos were growing up!  As we sat around the dinner table, enjoying that familiar meal with such great memories for us, and started visiting...something inside of me just sort of melted into trickle tears and I at that moment, embraced how unready I was on all levels, and just relaxed and went for it.  Fantastic memory and we did not get a picture!!

Memories.  What do people do when they don't go to effort to mend family fences...end estrangements...learn to love each other warts and all?  How do they make memories?  Making unpleasant ones are the consequence?  I know that I'm so thankful for my group of extremely strong personalities and that includes those that came to our gang through marriage and survived the shock and can laugh with us and at us and have learned to love us as we are.

Our family always ends up loud talking and lots of laughing.  I can't even tell you what was so funny in the pictures but you can see what is indelicately called gut laughing.  We have bouts of that.

Oh, I do remember two little snippets that made us howl...  1- a son was deep sea diving  and they were told to not try to quickly rise and if they got afraid to calm themselves and breathe.  suddenly his wife took off upward and he went up and grabbed her and tried to stroke her and soothe her and calm her.  she would have no part of it and was fighting him.  it ended up being an Asian woman and not his wife!  the telling of that we found hilarious.  2- a son was in Italy on a business trip and out to dinner with an important man and his wife.  The lady had excused herself from the table and then he excused himself.  He's in the bathroom, in process, and the wife, in the next stall!!, asked him some flight related question about his return to the USA!  He was uncertain of appropriate dinner conversation when he returned to the table!.... we found these stories hilarious (I hope I got the facts straight!) and things that make us laugh always spark someone else with a similar story.  All of those....oh, that reminds me of the time.  

We also relive volumes of Alaskan stories and our pioneering way of life and fishing stories on fishing vessels and of regular feasts of fresh King Crab and Halibut and Salmon.  Stories of our creek and the hauling water and walking the so called road and antics and Dad's fixing things and leaks and tree forts and the saw mill and adventures galore.  It's wildly hilarious to us, voices get loud and it's all tremendously enjoyed by all of us. Sharing a past with ups and downs and yet we have all survived.

They are happy that we have stayed married and still love each other.  And so are we!

4 of our 5 children attended.  our youngest was involved in his son's theater performance and the show must go on!  Our one and only son-in-law was here.  We missed daughters-in-law and some grandchildren.  Our oldest grandson and his wife and 2 great grandchildren were there- as we were at their home.  For some of our older grandchildren there is education and jobs that make travel not possible.  They were so missed!

The home was decorated with beautiful anniversary things and a new Alaskan flag! and wonderful food and when we sat down to eat, I lost it.  Our son David had playing in the background Love at Home.  I had tears and when more familiar songs came on, I was just overcome.  You know that we are not all on the same page about religion and it was such a respectful, loving gesture.  Greg finally said to change it as I was really turning on the waterworks.

The grandchildren did a pageant presentation and Ava, 8 years old, wrote a song and the music and had all of the others sing.  It was about love.  I'll copy it and share it later.  This is already way to lengthy!

The children were spontaneously sharing appreciative loving feeling about memories that they had with us and Ava's 5 year old brother stood up and said...I don't have any memories but I love you so much.  He also dictated a love letter to his Mother for us to have.  All of grandchildren wrote wonderful letters to us

Our oldest son wrote a beautiful tribute to us but was so emotional that he had his son read it.

We laugh a lot and are moved to tears by tender things.  Heartfelt things.  I'm comfy with that.

I'm really wound up.  To long for pictures this time.  To long for other special times with Granddaughters.

My heart is full of thankfulness and gratitude.  Family is at the top of my LoveList.  My Friends are wedged right up next to that.  Love my friends!  That includes you readers!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

had to make mention... time is over and I want to share.  Not today though.  Just been catching my breath the last 2 days as Jeanee and Tori are gone and life settles back in with the best memories ever!


Just had to mention the excommunication of a Member of the 70's.  James J. Hamula.

From Church Headquarters--(selected parts)

The removal and excommunication of a general authority of the church is extremely rare, then, but when necessary, a disciplinary council for a senior LDS leader is comprised of members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. Church leaders have said they hold the faith's most senior leaders to the same standards of conduct as all other members, if not more so.

The church confirmed that this action was not taken because of disillusionment or apostasy.

Hamula had been a general authority and member of the Seventy for nine years, since his call in April 2008. He previously had served as a mission president in Washington, D.C., as the church’s Pacific Area president and as the assistant executive director of the Church History Department.

Hamula was a member of the church’s Pacific Area Presidency from 2009 to 2014, headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. During three of those five years, he served as Area President. Upon his return to church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Hamula served as assistant executive director of the Church History Department from 2014 to 2016.

He became the executive director of the Correlation Department in 2016, providing priesthood oversight of the department. The correlation department operates under direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Its role is to ensure unity in church structure, practice and doctrine in a global faith with 15.8 million members.

Hamula has served in a number of church callings, including full-time missionary in the Germany Munich Mission, bishop, Young Men president, stake president, president of the Washington D.C. South Mission (1994–1997) and Area Seventy (2000–08).


As I read of his many years of Church service...starting off  with his Mission as a young man to really made me sad.  Looking over the summary of his Church leadership just made me teary.  Obviously he has been with thousands of members.  Throughout the world there are people that have associated with him and followed his counsel and respected him and trusted him and prayed for him and were happy for him.  

My heart goes out to all those who have been wounded, by whatever choices he made, that brought him to this point of losing the greatest treasure on earth...his membership.

I think of his wife and his children and his grandchildren and the suffering, sorrow and heartache and pain they suffer.  How do you explain this to them?

Hopefully he was able to courageously confess and bring this just discipline on himself and not be "found out".

What a loss on so many levels.

Does this impact or mar or tarnish or lessen or weaken my testimony?  No.  It does not.  It brings me sorrow for what this man has brought on himself.  It makes me thankful that the Church is diligent and vigilant, in holding members in position of trusted leadership, accountable for actions deemed sinful.  

My personal testimony is as it was before I read this news.  My faith is centered in Jesus Christ.  He has not moved from His place and His Gospel and Church are still in place.  The Doctrine is still exactly as it was and I still totally love it.

This Brother Hamala is mortal and his humanness, in who knows what category, evidently was unchecked and won over his judgment.  Hopefully he desires and will someday be allowed back in full fellowship. I pray his family survives such devastation.  My heart goes out to them and my prayers ascend for all of them.

I'm so thankful for my Church membership.

Personally I was deeply impacted and touch by a talk he gave at BYU and then a more condensed version in the Ensign.  I blogged about those feelings here  The talks were so strong and so impressive.  My Spirit resonated as I read those.  I will miss his insights and inspiration.  What a loss to all of us.  What a waste of such great gifts.  I believed what he taught.  Not because he was any sort of an Authority but just the feelings I had.  

My heart is full of gratitude for my testimony.

Friday, August 4, 2017

reunion winding down!

I've not forgotten to post...we are still enjoying family here!  be back with details end of this week.  oh, my....we have had a grand time!

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

here we go!

Jeanee and Tori arrived last night!  Fantastic to see them...visit with them.  I can't post pictures right now on my blog but hope that will be remedied soon when whatever is ailing it will be fixed.

Terry and I are gimpy and Jeanee is a whirlwind --so she decided that the porch needs a face lift and she's going to sand the deck and paint and who knows what else?  She reminds me of Edward Scissorhands when she dives into projects!  I'm going to control my Co-D behavior....offer no suggestions or advice on mode of operation or order of things being done, question nothing and just wallow in deep appreciation for whatever she decides to do!  She has free rein!

Most likely I will be sporadic blogging so don't think I forgot or doing anything except for feeling great and enjoying family.

Guess my Documentary frenzy will take a vacation and I'll converse with family.  Will anyone care about Organic or GMO's or the greening of the planet or agriculture politics or non-labeling and non-transparency or monopolies or corruption or farmers or fast foods or on and on and on, my list goes.  Will any of my kiddos care?  Most likely to happen?...them caring or wanting to talk about health and their Mother's take on her gimpiness? -- Ummm...I would say, with confidence, not really.  And you?...want to chat about health?  coming from a fattsy gal?  I totally understand BUT I will say...most likely at some point I will chat on my blog and you might say...good grief!! be quiet!  AND I will do that very thing.  right now!  I'll be quiet.

Back here off and on. Depending on the happenings with my band of adult children and grandchildren and my HubbyMan!

PS- I wish I could post the picture of the box of red salmon fillets that Jeanee brought!  a freezer drawer full!  Yumminess for dinner tonight!