Saturday, December 26, 2009

christmas 2009

One decorated tree. Finally. Courtesy of Mother's Christmas bears and lantern lights. Also note a touch of Megs, too. She made all the heart and star ornaments a couple of years back.
Speaking of Megs, run over to her blog. She posted a couple of vids of Christmas Eve. Good times.

I bribed Cate with a sucker if she promised not to touch Grandy's tree. It didn't work. She enjoyed the sucker though.

Syd snapped this of the fam earlier in the month. Again, notice the sucker Kenz is holding as she briefly snatches it from Cate's mouth. We are big on bribery here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

driving home for Christmas with a thousand memories

Yesterday afternoon.

Kenz: So what are you bringing to the extended family Christmas Eve?

Me: Dunno. Penee said it’s just munchies so I’ll probably bring taquitos.

Kenz: What did you used to have growing up Christmas Eve?

Me: Cream cheese sandwiches.

Kenz: What? How do you fix those?

Me: My mom would tint cream cheese pink and green. Cut the crusts off the bread and then spread a layer of pink cream cheese and top it with bread and do the same with the green. Then she would cut them up in itty bitty rectangles.

Kenz: Oh. Did you like them?

Me: No. No one did. But they were really pretty. I think my Dad ate them. That and the red punch served in her punch bowl made Christmas really, um, uptown festive.

Me: Christmas Eve. That was the big party. Originated with my mother’s family. They opened up gifts then and then Santa came the next morning. Santa gifts were never wrapped.

Hard as I try I cannot stop thinking about the Christmases I knew as a child. What is up with that? Like all things lately, I’m sure it’s an over 50 thing.

But! I found a new song this morning to love. It’s peppy. It’s profound. You should sing along.

Get your feet back on holy ground.

Monday, December 21, 2009

still no decorated tree.

I have been working extra hard this year at this Christmas thing. I've dipped chocolates, baked gingerbread houses, and Elf'd myself. I've been playing Christmas tunes on Pandora and dutifully finished shopping.

I would flat out say 'I'm not feeling it', except clearly I am feeling something. Just can't quite put my finger on what it is. And why my non-decorated but lit up tree should come to symbolize my mood this year is beyond me. There's a metaphor in there somewhere. It's weird, I just want it to be bare this year. Still, every time I look at it I think of my mother. What must she think. This was a woman who took infinite pains with her Christmas trees, using a new theme to decorate every year. I have boxes of her ornaments sitting in the garage.

I did set up my jumbo Nativity, though. It sits atop my old piano. Yup. Not on my grand piano but on the piano I grew up practicing and playing on and the one we are storing for Meghan. It just seemed fitting to put it there.

Larry, mr. taskmaster since Thanksgiving, has been collecting old family photos and scanning them in. He’s admirably making a digital history for which we’ll all thank him one day. But looking at them, coupled with the time of year, makes me, well, a little reflective.

”Experience again the full range of emotion memories invoke. Let them play a nostalgic melody on the strings of your heart. Remember the warmth..., the comfort of kindness, the closeness of family. Think about the Christ Child in Bethlehem’s manger and the nearness of God. Blink back the tears, if need be, and swallow past the fist sized lump in your throat, but don’t quench the memories. They are a part of your history, part of the web of experience which God has woven into the tapestry of your personhood.”

Richard Exley

MoSop's music video. Here:

And then in Sunday School today we watched this:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

6 days left

As you can see, still no decorated tree.
What the heck is wrong with me?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

too long, too forced, too commercialized

My tree is up but not decorated. Somewhere I put the big box of ornaments.

Have you seen this? Some folks at BYU put it together. Love the images:

And this:
Can you tell I'm looking for Christmas spirit?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

another time sink

I’m kinda liking this site, sorta like Ted (the site I mentioned this summer).
Check out Sputnik Observatory, a site dedicated to the study of contemporary culture.

I should be making fudge for my visiting teaching beat but here I sit being fascinated. Nothing I love more than listening to ideas.

Go have a look. Tons of conversations, and they’re short, too.
Cliff will like the UFO stuff. HB may enjoy the topic Plants Talk.

And JLW may enjoy this on gaming:

and then this one:

Why you don’t want to use the words “I feel” in your blog posts. You’re being monitored, people.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

yet another reason why i love to read

"Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul."
— Joyce Carol Oates

Yup. Check out this vid. Visually explains imagination in the reading brain. Amazing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

treadmill motivation

1. We all have to go through the awkward stage of any newly acquired behavior…There will be more firsts that we will encounter in which we will feel awkward for a while, until we get the hang of it…So what. Do it anyway.
Any thing you want to learn, you are going to be awkward at first. Give yourself permission to be a beginner, a learner.

2. One of the greatest misconceptions about becoming successful is the idea that you should ‘feel good’ or ‘motivated’ before you act. Motivation almost always follows action, but seldom precedes it. Champions commit to disciplined actions and pay very little attention to how they feel.

3. Don't remember who said this: “Everyday! In these two words can be found the secrets of all attainment. It’s not what we do once, with all our hearts and with every splendid ounce of strength that counts, so much as the things we have been doing everyday, whether we felt like it or not".

4. You have to use energy to have energy. Get off your butt, you slug.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Just so much to the man

For the past 30 years he’s:

• gotten up at 5:30 every single morning.

• only ever worn white shirts for ‘churching’. It’s like his uniform. Suit and tie.

• been short tempered, it’s true. But he never holds grudges.

• been the first to say “I’m sorry” even if it really wasn’t his fault.

• changed the oil in my car every 3,000 miles. Like clock work.

• been good with money. Shocker, I know. Less widely known: he’s very generous, too.

• remained fiercely loyal. Mac is the only true computer, and he’s the only man I know (or woman for that matter) who has patronized the same hairdresser for the last 20 years.

• a man who has never forgotten a Valentine’s day, Birthday or Anniversary.

• a good and supportive father and an amazing Grandpa.

• bailed me out and stood by me in good times and bad.

• been my rock.

Still my guy. After 30 years.

Love you, ld. Kissee, kissee.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

because my commitment could use a reminder

My kids will recognize this story. I used to quote it fairly often while they were growing up. It supposedly originated from Winston Churchill.

One recalls the words of the late Dean LeBaron Russell Briggs of Harvard when a student told him that he had not finished an assignment because he was not feeling very well. The Dean replied, “I think that in time you may perhaps find that most of the work of the world is done by people who aren’t feeling very well.”

and in the same vein, this:

When I hear someone say they can’t serve because they don’t feel well, I remember a stake I once visited in Mexico. The stake president spoke about a lesson he learned from his wife. He said that a week before the conference, he had scheduled some home teaching visits but came home from work and didn’t feel well. He told his wife that he guessed he wouldn’t go home teaching because he was sick. Her reply to him was, “Go sick!” And he went.
Burton Howard, “Commitment,” Ensign, May 1996, 27

Guess I'll be visiting teaching today after all.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

bogeyman birds

For weeks now I have been hearing this tap tap tapping coming from what sounds like my bedroom wall. I thought it might be the neighbors fixing the fence. Could not figure it out. Every morning , this hammering sound. Last week, Kenz happened to be by the side of the house and reported ,“There’s a bunch of birds, hanging around, looks like they’re pecking at the foundation of the house.”

Oh. No. More birds. She reminded me of the last time we had a run in with birds. Some years back, 3 birds came in the house through the dryer vent. Two flew out rather easily when we opened the front door, but the other hung out in the downstairs bookshelves. It was quite the ordeal trying to shoo him out, particularly since my girls are big wimps. They covered their heads with blankets and crept up fearfully toward the bird and then screamed wildly and flailed about every time the bird so much as twitched. Course, I wasn’t much braver. I just mainly barked instructions and came up with bird shooing strategies. We were mercifully helped out by two of my piano students who could barely contain their excitement. Took most of their piano lesson to get Bird #2 out. Eventually, pesky bird #3 found himself locked in the computer room where he strangled himself in the blinds. But not before he pooped all over ld’s computer. After that, ld put a screen over the dryer vent.

So now, I am trying not to overreact, even though birds are ancestors of dinosaurs, don’tcha know? And they are trying to get me, I am sure of it. This morning I snuck out early and saw for myself. They are pecking at the attic vent above my bedroom. Mr. Google says it’s fairly common for birds to build nests there.

I don’t want to kill the little birdies, as a prophet has spoken out against that, * but I am off to Walmart to buy a super soaker. I am on the case.

*(Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1978, pp. 47–48).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Look what I just found

A photo and caption of our very own Lacy featured on
(Nov. 5, 2009)

Love the picture. Love her.

Go see, go see.

Friday, October 23, 2009

the one sure thing

The Church encourages members to share these beautiful videos. They have made it so easy, too. Go to for info.
This is my new favorite:

Lifting Burdens

Thursday, October 22, 2009

time to celebrate the gift of 'you'

Talented. Loving. Smart. Good. So good. A woman of substance. Happy Birthday, Bird.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Because Penee requested the link

You should makes these. They make great gifts to give to grandkids and are inexpensive to put together. Moms will appreciate receiving these, as let’s face it they do not have the time to make anything beyond dinner.

Flannelboard stories. I love, love them. But they have always been way overpriced and kind of a pain to make. Not so now! I have been introduced to Sticky Felt and presto besto, flannelboard stories are now my latest obsession. You can find Sticky felt at Craft Stores or Wal-mart for about 97cents a sheet. Comes in colors, too. Very cool. You just cut out your paper figure (from anything, really. Magazine, die cut, or one you have drawn and colored yourself, whatev) and peel back the side of Sticky felt and attach. And then cut out. That’s it. No wrinkling of paper, no messy glue that never held anyway. Awesome.

Here are some delightful sites that have flannelboard stories you can just print out and color for the little kiddies in your life. Some you don’t even have to color, how cool is that?

Flannelboard story printables:
Most awesome site. With lots of flannelboard printables from favorite children’s books. I love this because you can print them out already colored or you can print them out in black and white. There are pages and pages so make sure you click on Next to see them all.
This is Pratt’s site, they have a flannelboard section as well with some good links, like Dltk’s. Click around.
Scroll all the way down for the printables.

This one is good, too:

Scripture flannelboard figures:
Okay, I’ve mentioned this site before in a previous post. Has the flannelboard figures from The Friend, and already colored, just print them out.

Some more:

As an added bonus, here’s a couple of online game sites for babies and toddlers. Because it’s never too soon to get them addicted to the internet. ☺

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a little aesop for breakfast

Cate slept over last night. This morning Grandpa fixes blessed golden baby some breakfast. He sets her kiddie plate of scrambled eggs in front of her and joins her. She takes a bite or two and then loses interest. She is far more interested in jabbering and wiggling and dropping her toast.
This upsets Gramps. How dare she not want the eggs he so lovingly scrambled.
ld: Cate, eat your eggs. Now!

She swings her head side to side: No, no, no, no!

Ld, becomes more adamant: C'mon, quit playin’ with your food and eat!

Blessed golden baby sings out: Um, ah, mmm mmm No, no NO!

ld, getting louder: I mean it, Grandpa said to eat!

So it goes. There is no softening or compromise on either side. I intervene.

I pick up my spoon and scoop up some scrambled eggs. I say to the juice box sitting beside her plate,
“Hey juicy, want some eggs? Mmm, mmm, mmm.”
I smack my lips. Cate laughs. Then I pick up her yellow baby spoon and stand it up, all puppet like. “Do you want some eggs too, Mr. Spoon? “ I make gobbling noises. I pretend to feed her upright spoon. She laughs some more. Grandma is so funny.

Ld shakes his head and rolls his eyes. He quietly mutters and snorts. I am non pulsed.

I nonchalantly turn back to Cate with my spoonful of scrambled eggs. “Want some?", I casually ask. Wonder of wonders she opens her little bird like mouth and eats. Enthusiastically. She eats the rest of her eggs in this manner. Mr. Juice Box takes a bite and then Mr. Spoon and then Cate.

When she is finished completely I see that ld is impressed. I take advantage of the moment and tell him that it’s just like that old Fable, the one about the wind and the sun and man with the cloak.

Ld says nothing. He lets me gloat. He he he. It's just so...apt.

Oh, in case you're wondering. Here’s the Fable. It’s a good one.

A dispute arose between the North Wind and the Sun, each claiming that he was stronger than the other. At last they agreed to try their powers upon a traveller, to see which could soonest strip him of his cloak. The North Wind had the first try; and, gathering up all his force for the attack, he came whirling furiously down upon the man, and caught up his cloak as though he would wrest it from him by one single effort: but the harder he blew, the more closely the man wrapped it round himself.

Then came the turn of the Sun. At first he beamed gently upon the traveller, who soon unclasped his cloak and walked on with it hanging loosely about his shoulders: then he shone forth in his full strength, and the man, before he had gone many steps, was glad to throw his cloak right off and complete his journey more lightly clad.


Persuasion is better than force
or Warmth and kindness effects more than severity

More relevant and obvious moral and one I like best: A cheerful, sunny puppeteer influences more than a bully who breaks wind.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

gal pals

Dinner at Zupas followed by soft bench seats for the RS broadcast. Doesn't get much better. Thanks, lassies for the night out.

autumnal musings

Ld and I took a ride up Hobble Creek Canyon last weekend. The leaves are just starting to turn. Here’s proof:

Last year I clipped this from the Sun-Times “Ready or not, you’ve been heading toward a fall”:

Autumn is…when the trees cut off nutrients to the leaves, and the leaves are slowly strangled to death.
The green becomes red and orange and yellow as it happens.
If the leaves of the trees could scream, they would scream.
This is pretty much what you need to know about autumn.

Hmmm. All that beauty from so much pain. Deep, deep. I love it.
So much to love about the season: the colors, smell, crisp air and light. Especially the light. It’s so different in Autumn. All yellow and buttery warm. Cate and I spend as much time outside under the tree as we can. There is no other place she would rather be. Me, too.

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
--Nathaniel Hawthorne
Yup. Pretty much sums up my days. But, it's not just me. Most everyone I know is passionate about Autumn. Just so much substance and abundance to the season.

If you find Fall bringing out your inner philosopher too, then maybe you'll want to check out:

Vivaldi's Four Seasons (Autumn)

Oh, and a little Frost.
From his “Unharvested

May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left,
So smelling their sweetness would be no theft.

And from his “Nothing Gold Can Stay
(Love this one. Kenz did a modern dance set to it once in high school. Remember, Kenz?)
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold,
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

And then this:
The Last Leaf—O.Henry (1862-1910)
or here:

Rent the movie here:

(The Church made a short film of this some years ago. It stars, believe it or not, Jane Kaczmarek, the crazy mom from Malcom in the Middle and Art Carney of the Honeymooners) The film is actually quite good.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply...
~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

because a person who belly laughs doesn’t bellyache

Thought Chea, our resident fam photographer, could use this site. It’s, er, helpful, in a Cake Wrecks sort of way. A real time sink of hilarity. Pages and pages of unbelievable photos. I’ve got a few I’d like to submit.

There’s this site as well. This Bishop has some posts that are pretty funny, some a little less so. No, no I’m not referring to ld;)
Go see for yourself.

And then finally a creative problem solving site. Hilarious because it hits a little too close to home.

Some of my favs like this one:

and this one,

Friday, August 14, 2009

grandbaby love

Look at this mr. collins wave.

ld, you're a good grandpa

groovy neurals

All the psycho chatter I have been reading lately uses all the usual buzz words: comfort zones, ego patterns of response, etc. My new personal favorite (to say exactly the same thing) is neural grooving. Call it what you will, but our predictable and ho hum risk free life is exactly the reason ld and I went white water rafting with some friends the end of June. It was time to ward me off some Alzheimer’s and lay down some new neural grooves, for sure.

It really was a memorable and great trip (see ld’s blog for a more detailed summary) and it did all the things I hoped it would when I somewhat trepidly signed us up: inspired confidence in me, helped repair my numbness to everyday life, sharpened my awareness and aesthetic senses, and provided yet another bonding experience with ld and some people I love.

As luck would have it all this stuff about forging new neural grooves continues to pop up everywhere: I am supposed to stretch, to grow. It’s all: Try this, go here, change sides, move outside your comfort zone, make some new contacts, let go of your usual role, walk instead of drive, make a friend from another side of town, go to the border, etc. We’re supposed to live ourselves into new ways of thinking.

Which is why I am shaking things up around here by:

1) brushing my teeth with my opposite hand
2) sleeping with my head where my feet should be (really, ask ld) and…
3) in general trying to have one new experience a week (so ld, will ‘ya take me to the County Fair this afternoon, hmm?)

Neural grooving could really work in my favor and make me a more vibrant human being.

my early morning find

During today’s early morning rounds I perused this:

which was okay but what got me really excited was the link on the second page:

Laurie Colwin. I am happy to discover her (and secretly hoping I love her as much as Marilynne Robinson). So it's off to the library this morning to locate:
Passion and Affect
Shine on, Bright and Dangerous Object
Happy All the Time
The Lone Pilgrim
Family Happiness
Another Marvelous Thing
Goodbye without Leaving
A Big Storm Knocked It Over

The PBS series American Playhouse adapted Colwin's short story An Old-Fashioned Story as a 90-minute film retitled Ask Me Again, which aired February 8, 1989. Maybe the library will have that too.

I’ll keep you posted as I’m never short on my opinions and I’m happy to share. ha!

Oh. And she also wrote a cookbook:
Home Cooking (1988) and More Home Cooking (1993)

(ld, I would like. Pretty please, buy it for me?)

Friday, August 7, 2009

exits and entrances, we walk by faith

The cloud that has hung over ld and I this past week has not lifted. On Sunday we learned a member of our Stake passed away suddenly from a brief illness. Ld had worked with him closely in the Stake Presidency for nearly 8 years. He was a phenomenal and inspiring man in so many ways. The mood around here has been sober as the reality of life’s tenuousness hits home. If death can take one so respected, loved, and so full of life and personality then the bell really does toll for thee and most assuredly, me, too.

As always such events prompt a lot of introspection and as ld put it, ‘it really brings your faith into play’. It does indeed and even though I am settled in my views and testimony, the last couple of days have found me reviewing the ‘terrible questions*’ Nibley so often wrote and spoke about.

My thoughts go round and round. I don’t think this shows a weak faith. My own mother, a woman of great spiritual strength but one who certainly had lots of reasons to work her thoughts, once asked me, “Tell me again, the other side of the veil is just as real, right?” It was heartbreaking and frightening for me to see her fear of the unknown and I think no less of her for feeling and expressing what we all face. It’s remarkable to me that in the depths of her vulnerability her faith and courage saw her through.

Today my mood has caused me to remember this little gem, and for many reasons it has found resonance. (I apologize to ld in advance, for when I read it aloud to him was convinced it came from the sappy Especially for Mormons series. It didn’t but I acknowledge it's sappiness). Still. The analogy is apt. The faith required coming into and leaving this life is a given.

Parable of the Twin Fetuses

Once upon a time, twins were conceived in the same womb. Seconds and minutes and hours passed by as the two dormant lives developed. The spark of life glowed until it fanned fire with the formation of their embryonic brains. And with their simple brains came feeling. And with feeling came perception. A perception of surroundings, of each other, and of self. When they perceived the life of the other and their own life, they knew that life was good. And the fetuses laughed and rejoiced, the one saying: “Lucky are we to have been conceived and to have this world.” And the other fetus chimed in, “Blessed be the mother who gave us life and each other.” Each budded and grew arms and fingers, lean legs and stubby toes. They stretched their lungs and churned and turned in their new found world. They explored their new world, and in it found the life cord. They found the life cord that gave them life from the precious mother. And so they sang, “How great is the love of the mother that she shares all she has with us.” And they were pleased and they were satisfied with their lot. But weeks passed into months, and with the advent of each new month, they noticed that they were changing. They noticed that they were growing older. And each began to see a change in themselves and one said: “We are changing. We are growing. What can this mean?” “It means,” replied the other, “that we are drawing near to our birth.” And then a chill suddenly crept over the two, and they were both afraid. For they knew that birth meant the leaving their secure world behind. Said the one, “Were it up to me, I would live here forever. I would stay in this womb forever because I know its safe here.” “We must be born,” said the other. “It has happened to others who were here before us.” For indeed, there was evidence of life there before, that the mother had born others. “But might not there be life after birth?” said the one. “Well, how can there be life after birth?” cried the other. “Do we not shed our life cord and also the blood tissues? And have you ever talked to anyone who has been born? Has anyone ever reentered the womb after birth? No!” He fell into despair and in despair, he moaned, “If the purpose of conception and all growth is that it is to be ended in birth, then truly, life must be absurd!” Resigned to despair, the one stabbed the darkness with his unseeing eyes and he clutched his precious life cord to his chest and said: “If this is so, if I must be born, life is absurd and there must be no mother after all.” “But there is a mother,” protested the other. “Who else gave us nourishment in our world?” “Oh, we get our own nourishment and our world has always been here. And if there is a mother, where is she? Have you ever seen her? Does she ever talk to you? No. We invented the mother because it satisfied a need in us. It made us feel secure and happy.” Thus, while one raved and despaired, the other resigned himself to birth. He placed his hands in the trust of the mother. Well, hours passed into days and days fell into weeks, and it came time for them to be born. And both knew that their birth was at hand. And both feared what they did not know. And as the one was the first to be conceived, so he was the first to be born. The other followed after. And they cried as they were born out into the light. They coughed up fluid, and they gasped the dry air; and when they were sure that they had been born, they opened up their eyes and they found themselves cradled in the warm love of the mother. They lay open mouthed, awestruck at the beauty of the mother that they had never seen before.” (AGAPE magazine)

My faith teaches me that death is "a birth into a world that we on Earth can only try to imagine."

*the terrible questions consisting of where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. See his Temple and Cosmos book, for a great read.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

today's fun thing

One of these days I’m going to own a Kindle. Until then, there’s this:

Awesome, eh?

I like reading on my laptop as it:
1) eliminates the need for my ‘under the covers’ flashlight ;
2) you can make the print jumbo B-I-G. (which is way less strain for these middle age eyes);
3) chocolate wipes off much easier from a screen than it does the printed page.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The remarkable thing about Shakespeare is that he is really very good - in spite of all the people who say he is very good. (Robert Graves)

Other evidence that suggests my upbringing from my brothers was very different is the fact that my mother bought me the complete set of condensed Shakespeare Stories for Children, on 8 albums, no less. She also bought me The Littlest Camel Knelt, a Christmas story (on album, again) that I adored. I listened to these albums along with my brothers 45’s of Be My Baby, My Boyfriends Back and I Think We’re Alone Now ad nauseam. But the Shakespeare recordings (and I still have them) I loved beyond anything. It isn’t every little girl that has her Ken doll say to Barbie “Customs curtsy before great kings”.

Ld gave me a most perfect birthday Friday night as he (cheerfully, almost!) sat through Henry V at the Shakespeare Festival with me. It was a wonderful performance. I was delighted to discover that the actor who played King Henry (Brian Vaughn) was the same one who played Hamlet a couple of years back. Kenzie and I first saw him then and he was/is incredible.

Ld kept his comments to a fair minimum while I reveled. Still, I know it was painful for him and I really appreciated his efforts. He does not love Shakespeare at all, but he does love me.

And in answer to his query What makes Shaky-spear so hot, huh?, there’s this for starters:

Depth of wit.
Creative with language.
Depth of psychological insight.
Relevance of subject, you know, like, uh, all things human and divine.
Breadth of subject: tragic to comic/good to evil.
Stands the test of time, etc…

Perhaps ld, if you had been given a little Shakespeare on LP when you were but a boy, then maybe Friday night would not have been so torturous for you. And then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have to anticipate watching all 6 hours of Lonesome Dove with you on your birthday;).

Seriously, ld, it was a great birthday. Thanky.

Oh. Some linky love, as Shaky-spear is meant to be performed. Don’t read it people, rather see it/hear it:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

*"He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal" (Ch. 56)

It’s true he held no social rank, no wealth or fame. He was not landed gentry. Held no power either, except that which influences the heart. But he fit the rest of the definition: considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender. Of good family; wellborn. A child of gentle birth.

A truly strong and gentle man. The kind of man and father whom having known and loved made it easy to view Heavenly Father as being the same way. Some are not as lucky, I know. I can’t imagine a punitive, harsh and cruel God because the father I knew and lived with was anything but.

I had a great Dad.

*Pride and Prejudice, natch.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another Saturday Sharesie

Yes, I have meals to fix, lists to make, a lesson to prepare and some cardboard to paint and yet here I sit, delighted by my good fortune. I just discovered TED, people. And I just watched an awesome organ performance and a talk by Mike Rowe where he talks about the importance and value of dirty, hard work. Specifically, castrating lambs.

I am loving this site. But you have to click around, it’s a huge archive. At the top click on themes, speakers, talks, translations. Over to the left click some more.

Here’s the link:

Dad would have loved this one:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

my wednesday share

She's amazing. Articulate, concise, clear. You probably are already familiar, I'm late discovering it. An intelligent lds young woman who talks about matters of faith in a very credible way. I made my girls watch/listen to the whole segment followed by a discussion contrasting this wonderful young woman with the airhead-beauty queen-seriously-so-blessed gals. Living proof that a woman of substance is infinitely more influential. Go see, if you haven't already.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Every little girl deserves a daddy like this.

I love this picture. It is authentically Dad. Stretched out on the floor. Hot, sweaty, and tired from work.

Note the bedroom walls and closet door: Not many men would be secure enough to let their ambitiously creative wife paint their bedroom girly pink.

What this picture doesn’t show but reminds me of is the many times I have seen my dad exactly in this same pose but opening his arms for me to come and snuggle. I remember his smell, his warmth, how he would pat my head.

I was always glad when he came home. He loved me. There was never a time when I didn't know that.

Happy Birthday, Dad. Many thanks.

Friday, June 5, 2009

hope you both know how much you're loved

Due to computer technical difficulties I was not able to post a birthday shout out to lovely Megs and awesome Kody yesterday.

Happy Birthday, kiddos. You two are pretty great together yet still endearingly individualistic. Kody, we miss your foreign accents, wit and cool man calmness. Megs, we love your work ethic, your need to create and your tender little heart. So much to love and admire about you both. Thanks for being born, you two.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Yesterday afternoon Megs and I are sitting in the front room reading from our laptops.

I hear ld from the bedroom yell, Candy, get on your gmail.

I ignore as I am busy reading about the World’s Most Dangerous Countries.

A while later I mosey on over to my gmail. Big mistake. Little box in the lower right hand corner pops up. It’s ringing. I click on the icon Answer. I am now on live video chat. I see myself. Ugh. I try to scrunch down in my seat so only the top of my head is showing. My husband, the one down the hall and in the bedroom, proceeds to blow kisses and wink at me on screen. I tell him, STOP IT. You are creeping me out.

Megs adds her opinion as well, Seriously, Dad, that’s just pervy.

ld is highly amused.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Reunion Update

Hey, fam. I've posted the official Reunion flyer/invitation over at the Family Treehouse. I will be sending them out by mail as well. All Reunion updates will be posted there from now on.

Friday, May 22, 2009

HMA & Ethel Rose Reunion

When: July 2-4, 2009
Where: Orem, Utah
Would love to see as many as possible come, if you can make it work. Complete itinerary soon to be posted. I am hard at work on the scheduling. Behold this early morning (very early, as in I-woke-HB-up early) convo as evidence.

Hb: Hullo?

Me: What time is the golf tournament thingy?

Hb: (Groggily) What?

Me: (Impatiently) What time is the golf thingy?

Hb: (equally impatient) What golf thingy?

Me: You know, the golfing. What time will it be?

Hb: (alittle confused) What are you talking about? (Suddenly he gets it) Oh, you mean for the family reunion?

Me: Yeah. What time? 6 am, 7 am?

Hb: Are you kidding? Nobody is even up then. And it depends on how many let me know. I need to know how many are going to participate.

Me: Okay. (still pressing) Well, what time.

Hb: Well , it won’t be 6 am. Nobody is even up then.

Me: Well, 7 then?

Hb: Uh, possibly 8 am. I won’t know for sure until people sign up.

Me: Oh. Well, I need to know ‘cuz I’m typing up the itinerary right now. (Me sighing impatiently) I’ll just leave it blank for now then. Bye.

Hb: Hey! (dramatic pause) What time is it now?

Me: (I look at clock. I am now feeling sheepish.) I dunno.

Hb: Well…., the golfing won’t be this early.

Me: Okay. Bye.

So all menfolk who are planning on participating in 9 holes of male Arnett bonding need to email or phone him and let him know, so he can secure the tee time. And so I can type it up on the schedule:)

You're all coming, right?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

may babes

Happy Birthday to all the lovely May gals. You are in a special club all by yourself:)

4th Wendy May
7th Chandell Fay
9th Penee Louise
13th Devry Gale
16th Grandma Ethel

I decided to do Birthday shout outs over on The Family Treehouse
This is a complete list of the HMA/Ethel Rose family birthdays. Look it over and let me know any corrections or updates.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

as lovely as they come

The caption under the picture reads: Freshman in High School
And this from her Life History:
I, Ethel Rose Clifford Arnett, was born in the springtime of the year. I've often wondered if the Lord let us choose our season of the year to come to this planet, which was to be our home during this phase of mortal existence. I've always liked the spring season. Anyway, it was a Spring Morning about 7:00 a.m.,May 16, 1924 that I first made my appearance here on earth in a small tent by the San Pedro River in St.David, Arizona.

Happy Birthday, Mother.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I kid you not

The thing about joining Curves (Kody teases me and calls it Shapes) is that it’s not like any other Gym. And that’s good, if you’re my age. No spandex, lycra, no bare midriffs and buff bodies. No cute little gym bummies. Curves, well, it’s a different feel.

I walked in the first time and saw lumpy and frumpy gals (just like me) working out in baggy old t-shirts and double knit pants to the sound track of Mama Mia. The place was filled with smiling, cheerful women, mostly middle aged but quite a few in their 80’s, too.

I felt right at home.

So Monday morning my friend D and I are working hard when a cute little white haired lady starts her routine. D and I exchange looks. We suppress our laughter. Barely. Cute little old lady is doing her workout in a dress. With hose on, no less. Oh. My. I know, I know. Peels of laughter.

Give her credit though, she did have on sensible flat heeled shoes. And turns out it all makes perfect sense. I overheard said cute little old lady say when headed out the door that she was ‘off to do her visiting teaching.’

Hee hee hee hee. This just slays me. I came home and told Megs. We laughed it up good. Then Megs suddenly turns all serious.

“That’s totally something you would do, Mom”.

Yup. I would. Maybe. Remember that time I cut up an old sheet and made myself a robe/toga? I wore it all that summer until you secretly took it and threw it away. See, you are nice like that. I am banking on the fact that you and your sister will STOP ME should I ever get a notion to be in such serious Gym dress code violation. Tee hee hee. Chortle, chortle.

Sign.Up. Now.

Don't miss this opportunity to participate in Megs' Free Craft Giveaway. Come on and show some fam loyalty with some Linky Love. See for more deets.

It's worth the effort people. She makes cool stuff.

Monday, May 11, 2009

lucky Mudder

Requirements for a wonderful Mothers Day: Having the hymn "Each Life that Touches Ours for Good" sung in Sacrament meeting; Chocolate in RS; having my girls plan, shop, cook and serve a fabulous dinner. Pink slushy lemonade, strawberries, Cafe Rio salad.

The table beautifully set, Meghan style, with poofy pink tissue balls and fresh roses. It was a floral, pastel, sentimental and sweet Mother's day, thanks to my gals. Love you so much.

And the cupcakes. Did I mention the cupcakes? Very yum.

Humble Pie has some more of the day's details. Take a peek:)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mitochondrial DNA

Here's to Good Women...
May we know them
May we be them
May we raise them

Top left to right: Ann Wickes Taylor; Margaret Ann Taylor Goodman; Clara Grove Goodman Busby; Rose Mary Busby Clifford.
Bottom left to right: Ethel Rose Clifford Arnett; Candace Sue Arnett Walker; Meghan Candace Walker Staples & Mackenzie Sue Walker Arnold.

I put myself in their company only to illustrate our undeniably shared DNA. Remarkable women. To learn more about these ladies, visit my new genealogy blog The Family Treehouse.

Happy Mother's Day to all the good and heroic women in our fam.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

my saturday share

I read this Deseret News article a week or so ago and according to it, University classrooms will be obsolete by 2020. BYU professor David Wiley envisions a world where students listen to lectures on iPods, and those lectures are also available online to everyone anywhere for free. Course materials are shared between universities, science labs are virtual, and digital textbooks are free. He says, 'Higher education doesn't reflect the life that students are living ... today's colleges are typically tethered, isolated, generic, and closed.' In the world according to Wiley, universities would still make money, because they have a marketable commodity: to get college credits and a diploma, you'd have to be a paying customer.

An interesting article. Speaking of which, I have been enjoying this exceedingly (as my Dad would say) Yup, open and free college courses (though no college credit of course), from Yale, Notre Dame, and MIT no less. Yet another reason why I love the internet.

I particularly enjoyed Yale's Professor Hungerford’s lecture on the novel Everything is Illuminated (lectures #24 and #25) in light of Lacy’s recent recommendation. I had been getting her lectures off of Youtube so imagine my delight when I discovered the actual site that made them all readily available. Have a look around, scroll through the course lists, there is something for everyone.
Open Yale Courses
Notre Dame Open Course Ware
Online Education Database. Lists 200 free online classes to learn practically anything.
Utah State Open Course Ware
MIT Open Course Ware
Free Online Language courses. I’ve been wanting to learn me some Cherokee.
University of Mass Boston Open Course Ware
BYU offers several free online courses

There are many others as well. Here’s a site that ranks Universities by their open course ware

Looks like the wave of the future.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Aunt Anna

Tonight I stumbled upon a collective/group blog that features Aunt Laurene as a contributing member. Only she goes by Anna, not Laurene. Go have a look:

Scroll around in the archives to read of her stroke in the post Ramblings of Joy and Frustration, relive her trip to Florida in Where Anna Has Been, and check out her original poetry on why she's a woman/rose bush and not a tree. Oh, and the post Ben Franklin, and a B-24 recounts her recent airplane ride.

I found it all excessively diverting:) and lovely. She writes as she speaks.

Top Ten

Quick name your top ten fav books. What, can’t limit yourself to just 10? I so understand.

But what about a list of 10 books that reveal something about you. That’s right, ten books above all others that have shaped or even defined you. Ah, now we’re getting a little too up close and personal, eh? But since we’re fam I’ll divulge that Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women is on my list along with a collection of Essays by Eugene England (most notably Why the Church is as True as the Gospel) and the children’s classic The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Heyward (can you say Girl Power?) There are others, but really that’s exposing myself too much☺

Each book came at a crucial time for me and I can remember where I was on the first reading and what I was feeling. After reading, I moved forward. I suddenly became unstuck, in the sense that some new concept, character, example or idea altered my thinking in a way that uniquely applied to me.

Last week I finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery and know I’m laying myself wide open when I divulge that I love, love this book. It has now squeezed and edged out number 10 on my list of revelatory books. And before you balk, yes, I am aware of it’s criticisms: it’s not really an adult novel, it’s pretentious, too philosophic, slow going, it’s kind of a fable (you know, like The Little Prince), blah blah. I know, I know.

But… there are at least 10-12 wonderful passages in the book that resonate. Just a couple:
From page 53. Renee Michel, on reading without guidance:
"I have read so many books...And yet, like most autodidacts, I am never quite sure of what I have gained from them. There are days when I feel I have been able to grasp all there is to know in one single gaze, as if invisible branches suddenly spring out of nowhere, weaving together all the disparate strands of my reading--and then suddenly the meaning escapes, the essence evaporates, and no matter how often I reread the same lines, they seem to flee ever further with each subsequent reading, and I see myself as some mad old fool who thinks her stomach is full because she's been attentively reading the menu. Apparently this combination of ability and blindness is a symptom exclusive to the autodidact. Deprived of the steady guiding hand that any good education provides, the autodidact possesses nonetheless the gift of freedom and conciseness of thought, where official discourse would put up barriers and prohibit adventure."

From page 145. Paloma, after meeting Kakuro Ozu for the first time:
"So here is my profound thought for the day: this is the first time I have met someone who seeks out people and who sees beyond. That may seem trivial but I think it is profound all the same. We never look beyond our assumptions and, what's worse, we have given up trying to meet others; we just meet ourselves. We don't recognize each other because other people have become our permanent mirrors. If we actually realized this, if we were to become aware of the fact that we are only ever looking at ourselves in the other person, that we are alone in the wilderness, we would go crazy."


So, what about you? What fav 10 books reveal you? No, again, not your favorite books to recommend but the 10 books that say something about you. Sharesies, please.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

pretty good week

Ever have a week crammed full of good and happy and hopeful things? A whirlwind week that makes you reel? T'was that kind of week for me, and because I know that some days, weeks and even years are not always so over-the-rainbow happy (not to mention Seriously, So Blessed! lol) I feel to document it. Just to remember.☺

Last Sunday, April 19th to be exact, ld was sustained and set apart as the Bishop of the BYU 65th Ward in the BYU 12th Stake. Having been one before in our home ward, he should soooo have this down. I was called as his ward Relief Society advisor, which means I advise the Student RS President. Here's the happy part: I get to hang out with ld on Sundays.

True to form last week I blew up my 3rd computer in 6 years. True to form ld rescued me in my stupidness and bought me this: (of course it’s a Mac, the one and only true computer☺)

Snapped this a couple of days ago. It....encourages me. 'Nuff said.

Kodison applied for and was accepted for a paid Geico internship down in Tucson. The fact that it is in Tucson absolutely makes my day.

Because of said internship lovely Megs will be moving in with the parentals for the summer. Lovin’ this, too. She will help me organize, share recipes and swap reading lists.

And last, but certainly not least, awesome 'Kenzie graduated from BYU yesterday afternoon. Words that best describe? PROUD. WEEPY. JOYFUL.

Yup. Quite a week. In case you read this post as being boastful, annoying and similar to a ‘Christmas newsletter’, (the kind that irritate because they gloat), well then, indulge me fam and friends. Believe me, I know a bit about life’s realities, disappointments and unfulfilled expectations. Life lived, on most days, is not newsletter worthy.

But… there can be joyful times, too. This week just happened to be one of them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I know I’m a sap. It took me a year to get over Mr. Roger’s death. But this Susan Boyle really pulls at my heartstrings. I tear up at her audition video every time I view it, I’ve peeked at her Fan Club website (didn’t take long for that to crop up, did it?) and read/viewed all the internet chatter about her. But this article says it best, it’s why her story touches me so. Go have a read:

Can you say Paul Potts?

It's not really about bunnies and hats, now is it?

Early, early Easter morning I got on the church’s website and found Elder Holland’s remarkable video segment, excerpted from his recent GC talk and set to music and images of the Savior. I wept. It’s all over Youtube now and shared on many, many individual members blogs. I would share it too, if I knew how to embed it. (Ld, help!) Go see, if you haven’t already.

It was a different Sunday for us. Ld had some meetings he couldn’t get out of, Meg sang in a trio in Sacrament meeting, I spoke in church, and then Kenz sang a solo in her ward RS. Oh, and then I substituted in Primary. Afterward we all met up for a late dinner here at home. I love the idea that we were each in our own way speaking, leading or singing out our testimony of the Savior.

I have spoken on Easter 4 times previous to this Sunday. Each time I think, Oh good, I’ll file this talk away and then won’t have to prepare another, just re-give the same talk. But that has never happened. As the years pass my understanding of the Atonement and Easter changes, evolves. I still can’t wrap my mind around it all.

A couple of quotes that match my Easter mood this year:

From Henry B. Eyring, (referencing 3 Nephi 11:1)
“He speaks: I am the light and the life of the world;…I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world;…I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.’

That is it. Eight lines. Fifty-two words. “And…when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth.’

“I have thought often about this moment in Nephite history, and I cannot think it either accident or mere whimsy that the Good Shepherd in his newly exalted state, appearing to a most significant segment of his flock, chooses to speak first of his obedience, his deference, his loyalty, and loving submission to his Father. In an initial and profound moment of spellbinding wonder, when surely he has the attention of every man, woman, and child as far as the eye can see, his submission to his Father is the first and most important thing he wishes us to know about himself.

“Frankly, I am a bit haunted by the thought that this is the first and most important thing he may want to know about us when we meet him one day in similar fashion. Did we obey, even if it was painful? Did we submit, even if the cup was bitter indeed? Did we yield to a vision higher and holier than our own, even when we may have seen no vision in it all?

And from Elder Holland:

“… no amount of education, or any other kind of desirable and civilizing experience in this world, will help us at the moment of our confrontation with Christ if we have not been able—to yield all that we are, all that we have, and all that we ever hope to have to the Father and the Son.” (On Earth As it is In Heaven, p. 126-7)

The above quotes meaningful because submission is hard, especially for this proud heart.

The doctrine of the Atonement comforts and sustains me. It is the answer to our daily challenges, whether they be sin, mistakes, ignorance, or undeserved adversity. The Savior saves us from our sins, makes right and heals imperfect relationships, comforts us in our pain and sicknesses and through His grace, His enabling power gives us strength beyond our own in overcoming our weaknesses.

It's everything.