Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Taking Care of Mom

It's been almost a year since I've written anything on this blog. The last couple of days I've been looking at some of my favorite quilting blogs and saw my blog sitting there. I wondered if maybe I should start putting down some of my thoughts as I struggle day after day to make any sense out of this journey I'm on. In January my Mom hurt her back and so she came to stay with me for a while. She was in so much pain we had to get her a walker and try everything we could to get her out of pain. While she was here I realized that there was no way she should be left at home alone in her home in Scottsdale, so she has been here since then. In May she fell and broke her arm, she doesn't recall what happened but Rich found her on the floor early one morning and informed me she was hurt. That turned into a two month ordeal of doctors appointments, casts and then a splint. We finally got that well and she came down with fluid on her lung, which is very dangerous for an almost eighty-eight year old. After a few weeks of antibiotics and doctors appointments she is finally well. It is emotional taking care of an elderly parent. She is so easy and thankful for the care I render but it is hard having someone to take care of all the time. I think of all that my parents have done for me and my family and I will do the best I can to take care of her until I'm no longer able to. I know now why I didn't go into nursing, it takes lots and lots of patience that isn't one of my gifts for sure.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hoping For a Better 2017

Last night I was awake from 3-5 am. I hate those times when I'm tired but the mind won't let me sleep. Worrying is a trait passed down from generation to generation in our family, so on and on it goes. In the night I was wondering where the year went. Every year I start off thinking that maybe this year will be different and better. The older I get the harder it is to get things accomplished and the more discouraged I get with things going on in my life. It seems like the election brought out the worst in a lot of people. It is hard to see our country so divided on so many issues. Shoot, our families are even divided on what we think is right for the people of this great country, so no wonder all the contention. My Dad has been gone almost two years now and I'm so proud of my Mom and how she has handled being alone. Lately though it seems like she isn't doing as well as before and I can tell something is different about her. At some point us kids will have to make the hard decision to move her out of her home and in with us. Hopefully she will be willing to make the adjustments and be happy. Rich is still killing himself working to get jobs finished. I never thought things would be like this in our sixties, it's just a good thing he likes what he does. It is hard when you run in to dishonest people who don't want to pay for the work he does. He walks away from so much money that is owed to him because he doesn't want to waste time in the court system. He's getting too old to work for free and hopefully this year he will be better at picking honest clients who appreciate his talent will pay him for the hard work. I'm trying to not be Debbie Downer but sometimes that is just the way I feel. Hoping for a better 2017, can it really be worse than 2016?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Election and Veteran's Day Program

I haven't written for awhile and I was wondering if I would ever want to put my thoughts and feelings down again. I have been writing in my journal, but not on my blog. With all the election clatter in my head, it put me back to 1986 when I suffered a miscarriage and the ensuing depression and anxiety that followed. I have felt a feeling of doom these last few years as we have struggled to keep our business going and pay our bills. What happened to the days when we weren't wondering if we could keep our water and electricity on? Getting older has brought on more worry about healthcare, insurance and the possibility that we would suffer some major illness and lose our home and everything due to the cost of healthcare. I prayed and worried and prayed some more for relief from my own thoughts of doom. As election day arrived I was talking to my Mom about my concern.  All she kept saying was, "we only have one vote, that's all we have to give." After the election came and went and the rioting and protesters took to the streets chanting hate and filth, I had another stressful couple of days. But, this morning as I woke up I wasn't scared anymore. What's happened now is my fear has turned to anger. These spoiled ass brats who hate our country and the freedom we love, have made me even more sure of my vote. Our secretary quit and didn't even give us time to replace her because her feelings were hurt, we didn't agree with her. I know that my life is on the end of things but my worry is for my kids and twenty grandkids that have to live in this corrupt, vulgar society that we have come to think is normal. Hopefully my anger will subside and I can continue on until I'm called home to join those I love on the other side. I attended a program honoring our veterans at the school two of my grandchildren attend. As they sang God Bless America and American Hero the tears would not stop. I had three uncles who served in the military and I honor them and all those who have served this country. Someday I hope those who want to tear this country down will get what is coming to them, the chickens always come home to roost sooner or later.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cooler Temps and a Pregnant Pig?

After a couple of trips to the chiropractor I'm starting to feel a little better. My hand is still going numb in the night which might make me need to have surgery, but for now I'm doing what I can to keep the pain away. I also got the results of my blood work and I've brought my sugar down quite a bit, so I'm thankful for that. Mindi and Dave left this morning to go visit Tristyn at BYU and watch a game tonight. I wish I could have gone but one of us needs to be here to take care of the critters and the other kids they left behind. Tristyn has been a little bit homesick and missing her family so they took the two youngest, hopefully they will have a good trip. Last week we went down to the neighbors to check on Trulie. They had just gotten a turkey and a pot bellied pig. I used to have a couple of pigs and would never do that again but this one was really tame and gentle with the kids. It was so fat that I asked the little girl if her pig was pregnant. She turned around and was indignant when she said. "it's a boy." Oops, I blew that one. It's nice that the weather has finally gotten below a hundred degrees. This is the time of year I always think of my Dad. He would always grow a garden in the mountains and go harvest the corn and bring down the pumpkins for the kids for Halloween. He would also bring the corn shucks for me to decorate for the holidays. I know Mom misses him too but is hanging in there and being strong like I knew she would.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Company, Super Saturday and Chiropractor Care

The last few weeks have been crazy around here. We had some family come in for the BYU vs. Arizona game so I spent most of that week trying to clean my house and get Tristyn's room ready for them to sleep in. We had a fun time for the day they were here and it was way to short to do anything fun. Last week was spent working around my house and getting ready for Super Saturday last Saturday. They wanted to get some quilts tied and ready to go to the Children's Hospital but we didn't have a very good turn out so that will have to be done another day. I know Saturdays are busy for everyone. It's the day to run errands, clean house and attend soccer and football games with the kids. As we were cleaning up at the church I felt so bad for all those who had spent hours and hours on this activity and practically no one showed up. It's hard to not get discouraged, but I know I thought it was lots of fun, great food and good company. For the last month I've been having really bad pains in my shoulders and arms. I even went to have an x-ray because it hurt so bad. Finally after another sleepless night I had Mindi make us an appointment to go to the chiropractor. He seems to think that all my symptoms are because of a problem in my neck, which causes nerve pain down my shoulders and arms. I've even had some numbness in my hand too. It's hard getting older and having to go from one ailment to another. Next week I'm going in for some routine blood tests and I'm afraid of what bad news I will get from those. It's finally starting to cool down a little bit. When we get under 100 degrees it seems to make everyone a little more cheerful. I did get all my Halloween decorations up in my house and that always seems to make it feel a little bit more like Fall is coming. I'm looking forward to being able to actually get outside to ride my bike, I feel it in the air, soon I won't melt.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer Storms and Cooler Weather

This summer has been a long and hot one but the last couple of days I can feel Fall in the air, a little bit. I am sad to say that this summer I didn't go anywhere. Nada, nope, I gutted it out through all the summer months. Last year I spent three weeks in Montana and one week in California, but not this year. I spent lots of time in the pool trying to keep cool and exercising my hip and knee which still aren't that good. Getting old is hard but my Mom thinks I'm young and keeps saying, "just wait until you are eighty-six, then you are really old." Somehow I don't think I will live that long, especially with my negative attitude that I'm reminded about all the time. It's been eight years since Kamber left and almost two since Dad went home. I think about them all the time and am glad that I know we will be together again on the other side. It's been bitter sweet to send our oldest granddaughter to college. She has an opportunity to get an education and have the experience of traveling with a team playing volleyball around the country. I'm sure hoping she will take advantage of all the experiences she can because this time will go by really fast. I've been busy working on some quilts and need to start finishing up some I started months ago. They also asked me and a friend to be in charge of  a quilting project for our upcoming Super Saturday activity. We are tying twenty quilts to give to the children's hospital. Hopefully we will have some support on this one because it's a lot more work than most people realize. The last couple weeks we have had some beautiful cloud formations as the summer monsoon storms hit. This morning I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to lightning, thunder and pouring rain. It's made me really tired this afternoon but we can always use the rain and I know that soon our days will be cool enough to get outside and ride my bike. Yea!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Is Almost Over?

This summer has gone by way to fast. All the grandkids are back in school and Tristyn has been in Provo for almost four days now. It seems like just a few short years ago that I was up there going to school too. I was twenty when I was there and she seems like a baby having just turned eighteen last week. I spent lots of hours making a memory quilt for her. I used a lot of her t-shirts and game jerseys to make it, and I'm pleased with how it went together. I didn't do very well being away from home when I was there. I'm trying to be positive with her because I don't want to project my feelings on to her, but it was really hard for me to be so far away from my family. I did have a favorite cousin and his wife who picked me up every Friday night and let me stay at their house, do laundry and go to church and have Sunday dinner before taking me back to school. No wonder my social life was so terrible there. I will always be thankful for his kindness towards me. Lately I've been in a funky mood. I'm worried about my Mom who is alone in her home. I feel like my Dad is disappointed in us kids for not taking better care of her. I have offered to put her in my home now that we have a spare room, but she doesn't want to leave her house. I'm wondering at what point she doesn't have a say in where she lives? Last Sunday night Mindi and I took her back to Scottsdale and got her settled in. On the way home we stopped and went Pok√©mon hunting so we were gone a little too long.  She was hunting me down wondering if something had happened to us. When I told her what we were doing she said, "What are Pokemons, and how do you catch them? What do they look like?" I tried to tell her a little bit but she didn't understand, heck I need help from the grandkids when I'm trying to play myself. Anyway, I've made it to August and in a couple more months it should start cooling off, but I love the monsoon clouds building up in the afternoon and even though it makes it humid as heck, I still love to hear the thunder and rain but I'll be glad when the hot weather is finally over.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Summer Hermit Self

I had a friend come over the other day and she looked terrible. She looked washed out and tired. When I asked her what was wrong she simply said, "I hate the summer! I feel like a hermit and I hate to go anywhere." How many of us who live in the desert feel like this? I bet almost everyone. When I complain, my Mom keeps reminding me about how nice it is in the winter and thinks that will make me feel better. Last summer I spent almost three weeks in Montana, what a beautiful place to live. I did my best to fight off the homesickness but when I left I knew I wouldn't be going back there anytime soon. It's a long way from home. I am amazed at the people around us that just load up their families and leave for a few weeks. What would it be like to have a job where you actually could afford to leave for that long, and miss work. I have thought of going up to the cabin but when you have animals and a pool and ponds with fish, it's really hard to get away for even a couple of days, let alone a week or month. Every year I go through the same emotions, just wishing it would end and I found myself wondering if we were at least half way through the hot months yet. Oh well, I seem to survive it each summer and this one won't be any different except maybe we will break a record for the most days over 110 degrees. I know I've become a hermit too, just like my friend.

Monday, July 4, 2016

4th of July and Forgiveness

It's already the 4th of July, I can't believe how fast this summer is going by. All of my kids and grandkids are out of town except Spencer and his family who came from Montana for a family reunion. It's been a long time since Rich and I have been alone. He's busy working around the house and on some jobs, so I'm alone with the pets trying to keep everything alive until Mindi gets home later tonight. Yesterday in RS the lesson was on forgiving others. I have to admit that one of the hardest things for me to do is forgive those who have wronged me. Two Saturdays ago Rich came home from work and asked if I knew who stole some expensive tools out of the garage. I wondered why he would open the garage and then leave for the day. When it's hot I don't even venture out, so I never saw anyone. Since we have lived in this house we have had a motorcycle, truck, pots off the front porch, and now tools taken from us. Our neighbors across the street had their cars broken into and another neighbor said stuff was stolen out of her opened garage too. What kind of people think it is their right to steal from others? I wish I could just let things go but I do let things bother me a lot. I've got several quilts in the works, one for Tristyn to take to college but when it gets hot I really have a hard time going in my sewing room and working on a quilt. I need to get in the mood because she leaves for BYU in four weeks. The older I get the more I appreciate this country I live in. It seems like the world is on fire with evil people trying to kill us but I feel safe. We pray for our servicemen and all those who serve our country and keep us safe. Happy 4th to all my friends and family where ever you are.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Police At Girl's Camp

If I was a baseball hitter they would say I've been in a slump. It's been hard to get motivated to do anything with the temps over 110 degrees. But it is Arizona, so what do I expect? I made it through another Father's Day without my Dad. It was just Rich and I for dinner as all the kids had other plans, so it was a quiet dinner for two. I have been a little bit annoyed that Rich would go up to Boy Scout Camp two weeks ago and then to Girl's Camp this last week. He isn't a great communicator so I didn't really know why they had asked him to go. After not hearing from him from Wednesday to Saturday, I was anxious to hear how it went. He started telling me how they had asked him and another guy in our ward to help build an iron rod with all the other things associated with it. Rich being a builder by trade, stepped up to their expectations. They had the river, the spacious building, mists of darkness and the tree of life, all along the path holding on to the iron rod. They had worked on it for three days and about five hours before they were going to send the girls into the forest to experience it, the police showed up at the house. They told them to get all their stuff out of the forest. I guess the neighbor called 911 to complain about them constructing stuff in the forest. They explained that to do something like that they needed a permit, and they were very angry. At first they told them it could be a $5,000 fine and 6 months in jail, they let them off with a $280 fine for each of them and told them to get it out of the forest the next morning. Whew, that was an answer to many prayers said by the girls, their leaders and Rich and Doug. I'm glad it worked out for them because that would be a shame for them not to be able to do it after six months of planning. Sometimes things work out for the best and other times it doesn't. The older I get to more I realize just how little control we have of some things in our lives. All we can do is try our best and hope our prayers are answered when we need them to be.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Stomach Virus and Memorial Day

I realize that some weeks are just harder than others. Last week our family was dealing with a stomach virus that seemed to run through most of us. It started with some of the grand kids and when they came over, some of us ended up with it. It seems like we are always having one sort of trial in the family, but hopefully the worst is over. Our extended family has a tradition of going to the cemetery the Sunday evening of Memorial Day weekend. This year we had a smaller group decorating graves and then having treats. We start at my grandparents grave and end at sweet Kamber's. It's always interesting to me to see just how many people are there, some set up chairs and stay for a long time. This year we stopped and talked about each person we were honoring. My Uncle Kenneth was killed while serving in the military when his plane crashed into a mountain while on a training mission. It has been a long time, I was only five years old and I can still remember my parents crying. It was a devastating loss for our family. The older I get the more I realize that life isn't fun a lot of the time. We do have times that things to be moving smoothly along, but most of the time we are putting out fires, and trying to stay focused on the eternal plan of life. This week the weather is heating up to over 115 degrees, like I said, sometimes life just isn't that much fun.

Monday, May 23, 2016

63rd Birthday Extravaganza

I've been on a Birthday Extravaganza since Friday afternoon. I've been to lunch twice, (yummy Mexican food). I've been shopping twice, to church and had my family over yesterday for dinner and ice cream cake. Yesterday I had lots of calls, cards, gifts and well wishes. I'm done celebrating, I've eaten too much and I'm tired. Sometimes I think I'm still a little kid when it comes to birthdays. I like to celebrate others special day but I don't really like mine. This year my birthday was on Sunday. Rich picked up my Mom for church and she came and listened to Tristyn's talk and a song she sang and then Rich took her to listen to my brother Len and his wife Julie speak in a Stake Conference. It was a good day with family and friends calling and coming over and all the kids and grand kids coming for dinner. This morning my house looked like a bomb had gone off and the floor was sticky due to the suckers Candi gave the twins to keep them in one place for a few minutes. I can't believe how boring my life would be without these people in my life. I feel old until my Mom tells me how young I am and compared to eighty-six I am young. I'm thankful I'm still here and well enough to do most of the things I want to do. I'm thankful for my friends and family who make me feel special and loved. I'm thankful for my testimony that God lives and answers prayers. I'm thankful for all my experiences that have made me who I am. Most of all I'm thankful for my knowledge that this life isn't the end and at some point I will see my Dad, Kamber and all those others I love who have passed on. Thanks Mom for bringing me into the world and being my closest advocate for the last sixty-three years. I love you all!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Let It Roll Like Water Off A Duck's Back

Last Saturday was busy for our family. With twenty grandkids there is bound to be something going on all the time. It was a special day for Brookie as she was baptized and confirmed a member of the church. We then went to Ethan and Jenn's for a luncheon before going to a championship basketball game at the YMCA that Trent was playing in. There was a lady there with laced up high heel shoes and a dress, definitely not basketball game wardrobe. She was an obnoxious mother of one of the kids on the other team. During timeouts and half time, one of her younger daughters went on the floor to give a cheer for the other team. It was a tight game but we ended up winning and it was so fun for the boys. After the game, the coach was talking to our boys and giving them the little medals they had just won as the parents and coaches of the other team walked by. When we got in the car one of my grandsons told me that this dressed up, not nice lady said, "you need to wash your face," to him. Our family wasn't born with peaches and cream complexions, skinny bodies, or knock out good looks, but we try to be nice people. When I was sitting in the car waiting to leave, I wanted to go in and hit this lady in the face. My poor elderly Mom was telling me to just relax and I know she was nervous I was going to do something to retaliate. We drove off with me still fuming mad. While I was sitting in church on Sunday during the Sacrament, I just couldn't stop thinking about how angry I was at this person. Why would someone think it was alright to say something mean to a child? All of a sudden I got an impression in my mind that said, "just let it go." We always joke that the Greers don't hold grudges that we just let stuff roll off us like water off a ducks back. Which is not true. Anyway, after looking at the pictures we took at the church, I can now add not photogenic to my list of bad qualities I have. At least we were there and tried to support, even if we do have some faults.

Friday, May 13, 2016

May Is My Favorite Month, NOT!

Today is Friday the 13th so I've been hoping and praying nothing bad happens to any of my friends and family today. May is almost half over and I can't believe how fast we are moving into the hot summer months, which I hate. Last weekend Rich went to Montana to spend a couple of days with Spencer. I spent most of the time being angry and hurt that he would miss Mother's Day. Even though I'm not his mother, I still thought is was wrong of him to leave. When I went to Landmark a couple of years ago they talked a lot about all the "rackets" we have with those around us. I definitely have some really strong rackets going on in my life that I have fought for a very long time. May is another racket I have. Both Mother's Day and my birthday happen in this month and I am so happy when the calendar changes to June, and I've survived another May. With Rich being gone and me not being able to sleep, I had lots of time to try and figure out why May is so hard for me. My parents were both school teachers and I know for sure just how stressful it is to try and finish up a school year. My birthday always hits about the time school is over for the summer. In fact next week Tristyn will graduate on Rich's birthday on Thursday. Of course I would marry a guy whose birthday is a few days before mine, that's just the way I roll. The reason Rich had to go to Montana last weekend was because Brookie is getting baptized tomorrow, our birthdays are next week and then on to Memorial Day. So I guess I will forgive Rich for not being here to shower me with gifts, love and breakfast in bed. (Now that is a total fantasy for sure.) The rest of May doesn't get any better with basketball games, graduation, birthdays and trying to get my pool ready for swimming. Maybe I can find someone to take me to the beach for Father's Day, that's only fair.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Where Does All The Time Go?

Two weeks have come and gone and I feel like I'm getting farther and farther behind. The last two Saturdays I've spent watching my granddaughters play in their last volleyball tournaments of the year. Tristyn is a senior and I will so miss watching her play, she has been so fun to see move on. She has been offered a spot on the BYU volleyball team and will be moving on to college in the fall. Tayler is just starting her high school career and hopefully she will stay healthy and continue to grow in the game and be able to get a scholarship somewhere after she graduates. I look back on some of the challenges we have to go through to be able learn and grow and it is so hard, but so worth it. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done around my house. I'm twenty days away from turning sixty-three and I'm getting slower at getting things accomplished. I have quilts to finish, ironing to do and tons of other projects I want to work on. These things will all be around tomorrow and the days after so I'm not going to stress about today. The older I get to more I wonder where all the time goes?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Where Has Forty Years Gone?

Saturday Rich and I celebrated forty years of marriage. I have to admit that being married to a guy and trying to get along, is the hardest challenge of my life. We come from different backgrounds and families. He isn't afraid of anything and I'm afraid of everything, hence the struggle to see eye to eye on many things. Rich wanted to go see the movie "Singing with Angels," which is about the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It was an okay movie, the acting wasn't great but listening to the choir was soothing. After the movie we went to wash the truck, because that's a ritual to have a clean truck for church. Then off to eat dinner at Texas Roadhouse. It was an hour wait, so we just sat and relaxed before we got seated for dinner. We ordered too much food and left full, but Rich needed a custard for desert, so our blood sugars were soaring by the time we got home. All day Saturday I thought how fun it would be to take off and go to some remote island and swim with the sharks and sip on non-alcoholic drinks. Wouldn't that be so romantic? Unfortunately time and money restraints make it impossible for us to even leave our neighborhood, let alone a destination anniversary. Rich is already looking to our fiftieth, which I wonder if we will still both be alive. We will be in our 70's by then. I told Mindi that she and her siblings need to start saving their money because hopefully they can pay for our party in ten years. That's if we are still married and alive.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The End Of Blogging?

For the last couple of months I've thought maybe my blogging days are over. I started writing when we lost Kamber and I wanted to write my feelings down so I would never forget the pain that her drowning caused me. It  has been almost eight years of putting my thoughts and struggles down for everyone who wanted to, could read them. These last two years have been extremely hard as I've watched my Dad suffer with cancer and pass away. It has also been a struggle as my husband continues to work twelve to fourteen hours a day trying to provide for our family. It doesn't help when there are dishonest people who take advantage of his kindness and don't pay him for his work. In the twenty plus years he has owned his company, we have only had one person not pay us. Luckily we were able to take him to court and get a judgment. This last year there have been four people who have decided to not pay him for the work he has done. This adds up to thousands of dollars in lost revenue that he needs to keep his business going. Yesterday as he came home I saw a look on his face I hadn't seen in a while. He said it was one of the worst days he has had and that everything went wrong. I never expected after forty years of marriage and being in our sixties that our lives would still be like this. Three weeks ago I had some blood work done and today found out I am diabetic. Wow! That is a hard thing to accept. I guess the "Trick or Treating with Mickey", and all the other holidays celebrating sugar, have finally caught up to this old granny. I've asked Rich several times, "at what point do you give up? I what point to do you quit?" Of course he always answers, "you never give up, you never quit." I don't want to look back at my writings and feel like I'm Debbie Downer who always has a dark cloud hanging over her. I have so many blessings I feel embarrassed to even feel sad. I do know that things will get better, they always do, and besides that my Mom thinks I'm darling, and I know she cares about me alot.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Heaven Is Cheering Us On

I spent eight hours this weekend watching General Conference. I have to admit that in the past there have been times that I go into a post-Conference depression. Where could I even start to do all those things talked about in those hours? Yesterday was different for me as I listened to Elder Holland. There must be lots of Mormons going through the same emotions I am. It's easy to look at all the things I do and don't do. Things I wish I could change about myself and family members, and even things I hoped would be different as I wade through this mortal life.  As I heard him say, "we can improve, the great thing about the gospel is that we get credit for trying, even if we don't always succeed." Yesterday was sweet Brookie's eighth birthday. Ethan and Jenn invited us out to celebrate. We had Mom with us so she wouldn't be alone on Sunday and she seemed to enjoy being with family. Brookie was three months old when Kamber passed away and sometimes I think she was what saved us from the depths of hell as we went through the grieving process. It's hard to believe that almost eight years have passed and she is so excited to get baptized. It's so fun to see the grandchildren grow up and want to do what is right, it makes our hearts happy. At the end of Elder Holland's talk he said, "Keep loving, keep trying, keep trusting, keep believing, keep going. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow and forever." I could just see Dad, Kamber, Tenna and Grandma Fern in heaven cheering us on. The gospel is true!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sick On Easter

Easter is one of those holidays that makes me reflect on what I believe and what is important in my life. I remember Easter as a child getting a new dress to wear to church. So last week I made Mindi take me shopping to see if I could find something nice to wear on Sunday. After a few stores, we decided that the stuff in our closets was better than what we saw on the racks, so we left having saved lots of money. Rich was wondering why I was even shopping with my three closets full of clothes. He doesn't understand that girls don't like to wear the same thing over and over like they do. After church I came home and took my rolls out to raise and cut up my strawberries for dessert. As the day went on and my family came, we ate dinner. I just remember sitting at the table feeling sicker and sicker. I got up and went in my bedroom and pulled a blanket on and started running a fever and chilling. As my extended family came over and I could hear them laughing and visiting I felt so sad. My grand kids were all playing outside and I was in bed feeling like crap. The talks in church were all about the resurrection and how our Savior can take away all our pain and suffering, I was sure praying for some help as I was lying in bed. I'm feeling much better now and am feeling stronger everyday. Rich is sick too, but with a nasty virus that some guy passed along to him while working. He was nice enough to cut me two bouquets of roses off our bushes to use for dinner. I need to find out how I'm picking up these bugs that seem to always show up on Sunday. Maybe that's a sign that I'm doing something wrong, or maybe I'm just lucky.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"One Step Closer To Death"

This morning the chapter I was reading talked about death. We are all born and then we will all die. The point he was making today is that we never know when we will take our last breath. After Dad passed away so suddenly last year, I have often felt like if I would have known he was going to leave us, I would have spent all day everyday in the hospital caring for him and asking all kinds of questions. What would I do if I knew I only had a day to live? How would I treat those who are close around me? What experiences would I want to have before I died? I remember for years after Kamber passed away, I would ask God to let me hold her one last time and tell her I loved her. I think sometimes I'm so caught up in the everyday mundane things I have to do that I really don't enjoy the journey I'm on. The last paragraph said, "So, instead of getting lost in the normal mental chatter, why not contemplate the temporal nature of life? Why not think about something meaningful? Don't be afraid of death. Let it free you. Let it encourage you to experience life fully. But remember, it's not your life. You should be experiencing the life that's happening to you, not the one you wish was happening. Don't waste a moment of life trying to make other things happen; appreciate the moments you are given. Don't you understand that every minute you're a step closer to death? This is how to live your life. You live it as though you were on the verge of death, because you are." Wow! I've never thought of it like that, but that still doesn't mean I'm going to get in an airplane anytime soon, especially with what's going on in the world today. I'm not afraid to die but I don't want to be blown up in an airport, or a plane.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

A Companion for Rusty

Last summer my Golden Retriever Mollie had a litter of seven puppies. The first six were born healthy but the last one wasn't moving or breathing and was basically dead. I started doing some chest compressions and blowing air into his mouth hoping he would come to life. When Mindi saw what was happening, she took him and turned him over and cleared his airway and got him breathing. It was a miracle and when we took him to the vet he said he looked like he would be okay. As the puppies got bigger, we could tell this dog was special. He was always by himself and we didn't think he could see very well to find his litter mates or food. So as we found homes for all the other puppies, we decided to keep him and have him as our pet. We offered him to some who acted interested but as soon as they heard he may have a little bit of vision loss, they didn't want him. So last month I took him to get neutered and we prayed that someday we would find someone special who would see his worth. Last Saturday a friend told us about a family who were looking for a kind gentle dog for their son who has a traumatic brain injury. That story isn't mine to tell but after years of bullying and unkindness this boy injured himself. So Mindi being the kind person that she is, offered this family Rusty, our special needs dog to go be a companion for him. They came and picked him up and wanted to see if he got along with the other fur baby family members and the kids. Their son is in a rehab center who will hopefully get to come home soon. As we cried as they took him away, we knew he would be a special dog for a special boy and hopefully Rusty is behaving and being the gentle giant we know he is.

Monday, March 14, 2016

An Answer To My Prayers

About three weeks ago I realized when I was taking off my jewelry that I had lost one of my diamond earrings. I have searched high and low in my house and around the yard where I thought it might be. I took a flashlight and went from room to room looking everywhere for it. I even vacuumed the whole house and then went through the bag, which was full of dirt and hair. Yuck! I have pondered and prayed and begged to find this earing that Rich gave to me years ago. I kept having a feeling that it was in my room but never did do the deep clean I needed to find it. Last week I finally gave up and called the jeweler to see how much it would cost to get another one. On Saturday I finally decided to dust the furniture in my bedroom. I started on Rich's side and put all his nails, screws and misc. construction items in a bowl, then moved to my dresser. When I lifted up a couple of boxes and started dusting there was my earing, at the very back of my dresser under my jewelry box. How it got back there I do not know, but I am so happy. What an answer to a three week prayer. We are taught all the time in church that our Heavenly Father is aware of us and our needs. That he loves us and wants us to be happy. That our prayers are answered, but not always how or when we want them to be. I know a diamond earring isn't that big of a deal in the scheme of important world events but it was important to me to find it. My parents always taught us to live a life worthy to ask for answers to our prayers, I don't know if that is true but I am so thankful for what I believe and have been taught, and especially that what I had lost was found. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Insects in the Lemon Tree

The weather has been absolutely beautiful the last few weeks. I can't remember when we were in the 90's in February but these last few days have been cool and breezy. I have so many things to do inside and I'm working on a few quilts, but yesterday I decided to go outside and pick some lemons to juice. Rich uses them for lemonade in the summer and I need them for my jelly. As I was picking, I could hear some buzzing and knew there were some insects in the tree. I had two buckets full and was reaching for one big one when something flew at my face and stung me on the bottom of my nose. Of course I panicked and started running as fast as this large old lady can towards Mindi's house. I pounded on her window as this critter was attacking my head. When I got inside I grabbed some ice and was relieved that I hadn't gotten caught in a swarm of bees. It was really scary. Anyway, Mindi came in from her bedroom and asked what had happened and suggested I put some Frankincense oil on my nose. It's a little bit tender and I have a small scab but I'm glad it wasn't worse. I've been stung before by a bee and a wasp so I knew I wasn't allergic but I took some Benadryl anyway.  All of our citrus is starting to blossom which reminds me of traveling to my Grandma's house in Mesa when I was a child. Hopefully this nice weather will stay awhile because I'm really not ready for the 110's yet.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

All Is Well

My goal for the weekend was to have all the animals and kids alive when Mindi got home from Colorado on Monday night. It was a success and all is well. I was lucky because the kids are getting older and more responsible and they help a lot too. Dave was also here to help with laundry, dishes and running the kids around. He even got the kids up and ready to attend three hours of church on Sunday. I was really impressed with that because I know most Dads would just stay home. It's always amazing to me when the Mother is out of the home how empty it feels. I think the women are so important to the spirit of the home. I had a lot of calls on the puppies. I always meet some really nice people when I am selling a litter. Some are trying to replace a pet that has just passed away and others want something for their kids to play with and learn responsibility. I also have some who call and say they are on their way and they will be over at a certain time and then never show up. That fires me up a little and I may say some not so nice things about them. I have noticed that since I'm getting older things are changing inside of me. It's taken me a long time to realize that I'm in charge of my happiness. No one really cares about how I feel, I have to give myself what those close to me can't or refuse to. I realize they are dealing with there own stuff. I want to find things to do that make me happy and not depend on anyone or anything to be responsible for my happiness. Now thinking that and putting it in to practice is a different story. I just don't want to spend the rest of my life being disappointed in who and what I gave my power to. Plus I'm just too tired to worry about it anymore.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Puppies and Cleaning

I'm happy to have lived through another busy week. After being super sick on Sunday and hearing about others who felt worse than me for way longer, I feel blessed. This week has been busy with getting our fourteen puppies ready to go to good homes. Mindi and I have wondered many times if it is worth it. We love golden retrievers and know there are others who share our love of this breed, so hopefully we can find nice people who will love them. We spent all day yesterday decorating and running errands for the blue and gold banquet last night at the church. Mindi works with the little cub scouts so she offered to do the decorations. This morning she and Tristyn got on a plane and flew to Colorado for a volleyball tournament all weekend. So I'm here in the trenches, cracking the whip with the kids, mopping her floors and doing a little laundry. After today Dave will be in charge of taking care of them and helping with the animals. I hope Mindi will be able to rest and enjoy her time with Tristyn because next year she will be going to college and playing volleyball there. Sometimes it's hard to believe I have a 39 year-old daughter and an almost 18 year-old granddaughter. It's been a lot of fun watching them play and now it's on to bigger and better opportunities for them both.

Monday, February 22, 2016

My Brain Hurts

Last week Trulie was sick most of the time. She was running a high fever and said her brain hurt. So on Sunday morning when I woke up at 2:30 a.m. chilling, shivering and my brain hurt, I realized I was sick. I could barely walk to the bathroom and after grabbing a quilt and trying to get warm and stop the shakes, I realized I had a Tylenol in my purse sitting by my bed. I was scared to venture in the kitchen to find some pain relief in fear I would pass out and die. That's just how sick I felt. My head was pounding and everything in my body ached. After staying in bed all day, keeping my fever down and resting, I'm much better today. I sure hope I never get sick where I am in bed all the time because that would really be terrible. So now I'm doing everything I didn't get done yesterday. Making Sunday dinner and hopefully getting to the grocery store for the basics. I take for granted the days I feel good enough to do laundry, dishes and housecleaning, I'm thankful that whatever I had only lasted a day because having your brain hurt is really hard.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Mindi Turns 39

Today is my firstborn daughter Mindi's 39th birthday. How is it possible that I have a child that old? She is a wonderful person who puts the needs of everyone before herself. Being the oldest she worked really hard to keep the other kids out of trouble and now she's doing the same thing for her own children. When I got sick and couldn't cope with life, it put lots of responsibility on her and I don't know many daughters that would do what she has done for me. I will forever be grateful for her and know she will be blessed for her efforts. Last week someone close to me said, "No one is going to come rescue you." That has played over and over in my mind as I have tried to figure out what exactly was meant by that. I have to agree that as a young girl I had visions of someone on a white horse coming to save me, but I gave up on that idea a long time ago. Life is hard and as I get older and the body starts breaking down a little bit everyday, I realize that the only thing I really have is my testimony of the Savior and my belief that when I die it's not the end. After talking to a friend about some of my concerns he asked if I believed in Agency. Of course I believe, we fought the war in heaven for the right to choose between good and evil. What about the Atonement, do you believe in that? I wish when I was young and when I raised my kids that I really understood what that means. I guess it's time to let a lot of those old demons go, and I realize that everyone has their agency to do what they want and hopefully rely on the Savior to take care of the things we do wrong. Hopefully this doesn't sound to preachy, it's just been on my mind all week so I thought I would write it down.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Murphy"s Law

Last week was one of those Murphy's Law kind of weeks. If it could go wrong it did. It started off with two dogs who decided that they would fight. The older one ended up on the losing end and I had to take him to the vet. His ear was injured, so we spent the next few days keeping them apart and finding a new home for the younger, dominate male. Spencer was in town for a few days and invited me to run some errands with him and Annie. After we got home and I rested for a few minutes, I realized that I was missing one of my 1/2 carat diamond earrings Rich had given me. I have spent lots of time looking, cleaning and praying to find it but haven't yet. I did find my lost Fitbit while searching for my earring. Saturday I spent the day in Phoenix watching Mindi's volleyball team play in a tournament. Tristyn was in Las Vegas playing there, so Dave stayed home and took care of all the pets so I could go watch Tayler and Tenna play. My cousins Barb Abney and Miriam and Norm King were there too, so we had lots of time visiting and laughing. Today I have so much to get done because I was gone all day Saturday, but there will always be work for me to do. It seemed like the theme of church yesterday was adversity and how to deal with it. That's something that we don't have a shortage of over here, but we still have a pretty good life. It's sure hard to keep my eye on the eternal perspective when these challenges come my way. I sometimes wish I had been given a more kinder, gentler, non contentious personality because my life would be a lot more peaceful, but I am who I am and hopefully as I get older I won't let things get to me as much as I do now.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Untethered Soul

A few months ago a friend recommended a book for me to read. I was busy with the holidays and didn't feel like reading. These last three weeks have been really hard and I've found myself in a deep dark hole. This morning in my reading, I decided to open up this book, "The Untethered Soul," by Michael A. Singer.  It says, "Every day we bear a burden that we should not be bearing. We fear that we are not good enough or that we will fail. We experience insecurity, anxiety, and self-consciousness. We fear that people will turn on us, take advantage of us. or stop loving us. All of these things burden us tremendously. As we try to have open and loving relationships, and we try to succeed and express ourselves, there is an inner weight that we carry. This weight is the fear of experiencing pain, anguish, or sorrow. Every day we are either feeling it, or we are protecting ourselves from feeling it. It is such a core influence that we don't even realize how prevalent it is." The chapter then goes on to explain how we can try and untether our soul away from all the negative and damaging feelings and thoughts that we have daily. Basically having to let go of it, all which is so hard to do. I can read the scriptures, go to church and serve, but it's still really hard to forgive and get past all the crap that floats around in my mind. Yesterday we went and picked up Mom to come over for dinner and to watch the Super Bowl. I figured she needed to not be alone and I think she had fun. When we took her home I could tell she didn't want us to leave. It was late and we needed to get home. I know someday she will get tired and want to leave, but now she is holding on to her memories and doing the best she can.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Dad's Birthday

Yesterday was Dad's 67th birthday. Last year we celebrated it by having his funeral. I can't believe it's already been a year since he's been gone. As I've reflected on the last year I'm proud of some of the things I've accomplished. After spending many years suffering from anxiety and staying home, I traveled to Montana in a U Haul truck with my son-in-law. It took us 29 hours to get to Billings, going through Nevada, Utah, Idaho and then finally making it to Montana. While there, I got to go see Mt. Rushmore and go through South Dakota and a little piece of Wyoming, I think. Then on the way home we went through West Yellowstone which was absolutely breathtaking. We came down through Richfield, Kanab and Page until we got back into Arizona in Flagstaff. What a great trip. I probably won't ever go again but I'm so glad I got to experience that. In October I got to go to California with Candi's family. I went to a Renaissance theater where we had dinner and watched a duel between different Knights on horses. After a couple of days at the beach, we went to Disneyland to "trick or treat" with Mickey. There again I was out of my comfort zone with thousands of people, but I even made it on a few rides that scared me almost to death. Definitely won't do that again. This past week I went to the fair grounds with a friend to attend the quilting extravaganza. There were hundreds of people there and so much to look at. That definitely stretched my abilities as I had to constantly try and control my anxiety and claustrophobia. I was proud as we left that I had endured the experience. I wonder what it would be like to be normal, to be able to go and do everything I wanted without worrying about how I feel. Someday I hope it will be taken from me and I will be the person I was before the trauma of life. Tomorrow we are getting together to celebrate Dad's birthday. My siblings, Mother and cousin Barb are going to cook out steaks and enjoy dinner together to honor our Dad. This year hasn't been easy, there are still a lot of things I wish were different in my life and I hope to someday be able to change them. But I'm thankful for another year with my Mom and we hope to have her with us for a very long time.