Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 2

Day two of our Road trip adventure May 31, 2012.
Well, because of the time difference we didn't go to bed till 1:00 and got up late, it is hard adjusting to 3 hour time difference. We woke up so late that we missed breakfast, so we had to eat what snacks we had with us. Then we headed to the college town called Buena Vista, Virginia. This is the town where my niece just graduated from college and we are here to pick up her car and drive it all the way back home. First we had to take the car in to be checked before the trip. We took it to LEROY'S AUTO SHOP, lucky for us there wasn't any one ahead of us. Of course, I am not sure that he has that much business in the past week. He was quite the character. When we asked him to look and see if this one tire that had a plug in it earlier, would be safe for the trip. His reply was " Well now, I always say if the good Lord doesn't want you to have a flat tire you won't, if he does then well you will, I can't make no guarantee". He was too funny!
Then we were hoping to go to an Antique store across the street while we were waiting but it was closed. We then walked in to the store across the street from the Antique shop, the lady there told us that Bob was gone but that his brother Bill owned the Barber Shop next door and he would probably let you in. Sure enough Bill was more than willing to let us into his brother's antique shop and look around,  then tell him if we needed anything. I have forgotten some of the simple and yet good things that come from living in a small town such as...
Everybody knows each other
No one locks their doors ( there was a man who got off his motorcycle and left the key in it, I said " you better not leave your key in it or someone might take off with it", he said " well, if you do just make sure you bring it back"
Good manners ( they call everyone Mame or Sir )
Shop owners work hard to give the best customer service ( " now if there is anything you girls needs, you just let me know and we will help ya" )
Everyone is friendly and says "Ya'll come back anytime" when you leave

It felt like I went back in time to a simpler and slower way of life. Where there are people waving at you while they sit on their porch swings, yes ... today I definitely went back to my roots. (Here is the sign that you see when you come into town.
After we got our car fixed, we spent the rest of the day shopping. We were laughing so hard in the dressing room, I was afraid we were going to get kicked out of the store. It is way more fun to shop with one of your best friends.  Then we were off to more antique shops, where once again I saw things that reminded me of my past.

Got home late and headed to the pool. I can't believe that I am swimming again...feels so good. Tried on a different bathing suit this time and it kept my prosthetic right in place... yeah!
Good night dear friends!

A small town is a place where there's no place to go where you shouldn't. Burt Bacharach

"Sometimes I pretend to be normal, but it gets boring. So I go back to being me"

 The nice part about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you're doing, someone else does

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day one!

Day one!
   Well, we actually started our road trip today. We flew from Utah clear across the United States to Atlanta, then on to Virginia.  We had trouble getting on our flight in Atlanta, first no pilot, second problems with the plane but after the 3rd gate change and plane change... and a couple hours of waiting, we made it. Funny how it didn't seem so bad when I was Shirley...we just laughed and laughed.
    Shirley loves Virginia and it is beautiful here but when I got off the plane and felt that warm thick air, I remembered one thing that I haven't missed all these years...humidity. But the area is green and beautiful.
   Tonight I finally after years of being gone out of the water, I actually swam tonight. How did my prosthetic do? Well, it didn't fall out of my suit but it was located down by my belly button by the time I did probably about 20 some laps ( it was a short pool ). Lucky for me, no one was there when I was trying to rearrange myself. Still it felt good to be back into the water. I hope I can actually so back to swimming again. I haven't exercised in years... I need to get back to it! Well, at least I have a pool here for 3 days, so hopefully I will take advantage of it.
The time change is 3 hours different from home so I need to head to bed.Good night dear friends!

There may be days when you get up in the morning and things aren’t the way you had hoped they would be.
That’s when you have to tell yourself that things will get better. There are times when people disappoint you and let you down.
But those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgments and opinions, to keep your life focused on believing in yourself.
There will be challenges to face and changes to make in your life, and it is up to you to accept them.
Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are.
So when the days come that are filled with frustration and unexpected responsibilities, remember to believe in yourself and all you want your life to be.
Because the challenges and changes will only help you to find the goals that you know are meant to come true for you.
Keep Believing in Yourself!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

story of hope and inspiration!

Last night we watched a movie called Letters to God. It was a good movie but not quite the quality in acting and in the movie itself was truly a story of hope and inspiration. On the back of the movie is says this... It was inspired by a true story. Letters to God delivers a message of hope, faith, and courage that others can apply to their own personal struggles regardless of what they may face in their lives. 
I think what I loved the most about this movie i,s that it was once again a child who showed everyone the way. It was his faith, hope and courage, that ended up changing so many other lives. Isn't that true? Have you ever listened to a child's prayer? It is simple, direct and heartfelt. I feel like sometimes I forget some of those basic steps, and I shouldn't. So it was a good movie!

 Well, I am here at my sister-in-law's home, which was just built and they have only been here less than a week. It is simply beautiful!
We are so excited, we leave tomorrow to head back East, and then after we get her daughter packed up from college and then put her on the plane, we are headed on a big road trip. It probably could be done in 3-4 days, but not with my back. So we decided to just take our time and enjoy being together, doing whatever we want. I just have to be home by the 10th of June for my flight home! I can't believe I get to go on a road trip with one of my best friends ( sister-in-law ), and no time schedule or appointments!!!!! This is going to be fun!
I will try to document the whole thing, just for fun!
Good night dear friends.

 Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. Jamie Paolinetti

 “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Monday, May 28, 2012

Being prepared. Well, today here I sit at the airport waiting for 2 more hours for the next flight. There were 16 of us that missed our flight today, because of something that was going on with security. Once our line got up to check through, they closed the gate and then started triple checking everyone. I was used to going through a couple of checks but this was also the scan, then a pat down and then a skin check for explosives. I have never seen anything like this before. I asked at security if they would notify the gate that we were all being held up, and they said there would be no problem but... such was not the case. I guess that is why they tell you to get there 2 hours early. Jeff and I figured that we wouldn't need to do 2 hours early because it was Monday and Memorial Day but.... so much for that theory.
I watched as all the other customers were reacting to missing the flight, and then having to pay $50.00 extra to catch the next one; I realized that I too was upset and it didn't seem fair but... getting made and angry wasn't going to change the situation and sooooooooo I should have been better prepared. I should have been here 2 hours early...just in case something like this happened. Lesson learned!
Yesterday was Jeff's birthday, we had Amy and John and girls over to celebrate with him. Amy's birthday is just a few days after Jeff's and so we seem to have lots of party's and photos of she and her Dad celebrating their B-days together. As I watched them smile for the camera...I had to smile too! How grateful I am that Amy as well as the other kids have such an amazing person for their Dad. Jeff has truly done something wonderful for his kids. He was the best Dad ever! He didn't have the same experience as a child, so for him to fulfill that role without a role model nothing short of a miracle. From day one, he has loved being a Father and each of his kids. I feel honored that I get to be his wife and companion all these years.
So I am getting ready to head to Salt Lake and then go on a road trip with one of my best friends and sister-in-law Shirley for 13 days, I can hardly wait. I hope my body holds up. Luckily we don't have to be in any hurry and we are just looking forward to being together. Road trip...doesn't that sound fun? I will try and share most of it with you, so stay turned.
Take care dear friends!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Late for Dinner

This story really makes you think!
 Late for Dinner
Author Unknown
Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often?
When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.
Bob? Bob from Church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow.
Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he'd never seen in uniform. "Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this."
"Hello, Jack." No smile.
"Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids."
"Yeah, I guess." Bob seemed uncertain. Good.
"I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the rules a bit -just this once." Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. "Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?"
"I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct." Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.
"What'd you clock me at?"
"Seventy. Would you sit back in your car please?"
"Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65." The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.
"Please, Jack, in the car."
Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn't he asked for a driver's license?
Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.
"Thanks." Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice.
Bob returned to his police car without a word. Jack watched his retreat in the mirror. Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:
"Dear Jack,
Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car.
You guessed it -- a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail,
and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters. All three of them.
I only had one, and I'm going to have to wait until Heaven before I
can ever hug her again. A thousand times I've tried to forgive that man.
A thousand times I thought I had. Maybe I did, but I need to do it again.
Even now. Pray for me. And be careful, Jack, my son is all I have left."
- Bob
Jack turned around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived.
"Life is precious. Handle with care. This is an important message; please pass it along. Drive safely and carefully."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tough day!

 Today was the funeral for my girlfriend's little baby.  I knew the funeral would be hard and yet very sweet and tender, and it was. I am still tear up when I think of it, so I won't talk a lot about it. Let's just say this little baby boy had some incredible parents with great faith, and that is what will see them through the days and years ahead.
Here is his sweet eulogy...

Isaac Bryant Anderson Casteel

Though he never was able to feel the sun on his skin or the kiss of his parent's lips upon his cheek, though he never heard the sound of his own voice or saw a bird alight on a tree branch beyond his window, Isaac Bryant Anderson Casteel has marked this world with his presence, he has claimed his place as part of an eternal family, and he has changed the lives of those who love him.

Isaac passed from his mother's womb to his Heavenly Parent's arms on Sunday, May 20th, 2012, after 35 weeks of growing with his earthly family. While he was never to look on his parents during this life, they were able to hold him in their arms and look upon his face after a labor of love on Tuesday, May 22nd.

Isaac's presence here on Earth, his existence, will never be forgotten. 

On the table right beside the casket was a photo of my friend, her husband and their sweet little Isaac, it was beautiful and touching. We found out that an organization called "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" is the charity that provides these professional remembrance photography for the families. What an amazing gift!
You can check out their website here:

 "How very softly you tiptoed into my world  Almost silently; Only a moment you stayed  But what an imprint your footprints have left on my heart"

" A life may last just for a moment, but memory can make that moment last forever."

Thursday, May 24, 2012


For Mother's Day I received a book from Jeff. It is about Hope! I just started reading it recently and I love it! I wanted to share part of a story that I just read in it.
 The author tells about when he was on a trip in Guatemala. He mentioned that at the top of the mountain everyone was stopping to take photos of the spectacular scenery. As they were there, they saw a father and young boy approaching. The father carried a huge load of firewood, using a leather headband instead of ropes. Called a mecapal in Spanish, this headband had two woven cords extending back past his ears that were fastened to ropes that held the sack in place. He was bent forward so that the weight of the wood  was distributed across his shoulders and back.
He goes on to say that since it was such a great example of the native culture there that they offered to pay him if he would allow them to take their photograph. The father was pleased and posed with his son. Because the light was not quite on his face, someone asked him in Spanish, for the Father to lift his head a little higher. As soon as the man complied, he gave a low cry and stumbled backward, nearly falling before he caught himself. Down came his head, and the load was stabilized. Then someone said " He can't lift his head, he has to keep his head down to keep the load balanced."
The author goes on to compare that to our lives and when burdens are weighing us down. How hard it is to lift up our heads, one because the burdens are so heavy or because we feel abandoned by God, that we have such great burdens and trials anyway. But he reminds us that we need to do exactly that... Lift up our head! For God has promised us that He will help make our burdens light or remove them. Through this we can be strengthened and have hope. ( Matthew 11:28-30 )
So HOPE is the antidote for despair. It may not solve the problem but it can buoy us up and give us the strength and courage we need to go on. We need to remember to lift our heads up, look to God and find great help and endurance.  ( Look up my Soul  by Gerald N. Lund )
I love that, and personally know that it is true. There have many times that I have had to go to God and ask for Him to help me carry my burdens. When I have truly trusted in Him and did all that I could do....somehow I was able to handle and endure what I had to. I can't deny His help, and how grateful I am to know that it will always be there, if I will only lift up my head! 
Good night dear friends!

"Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith." ~ Robert Brault

"Hope is some extraordinary spiritual grace that God gives us to control our fears, not to oust them."  ~Vincent McNabb

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dare to dream!

Jeff and I watched the other night a movie called The Mighty Macs
It was based on an incredible true story of 1971-22.  Cathy Rush is a women ahead of her time and she is about to embark on an adventure of a life time. It truly was a ...Cinderella of Women's basketball.
We enjoyed it a lot and it was rated G, yes G! When is the last time you have even heard of a G rated movie for the family? Not very often. Go ahead and check it out and read more about it here:

"She dared to dream. They dared to Believe! "

Anyway check it out... I love these types of movies! Good night dear friends!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Anchor Memories!

 I loved this article by Jason Wright about anchor memories. It is a bit long but worth the read, and the reminder for all of us to create anchor memories with those we love!
Good night dear friends!   ( Of course that handsome little guy is my new grandson isn't he the cutest? Can't wait to make some anchor memories with him! )                             

                        Summertime is the perfect time to create anchor memories

I was sitting in a sticky fourth-grade classroom on a May morning in 1981. The subject was Boring 101 and I was acing it.
Then a voice from above shattered the monotony of math by inviting me via scratchy intercom to pack my things and meet my parents in the front office. I smashed my things into my “Alf” backpack and sprinted down the hallway like a prisoner escaping the "Green Mile."
My parents had already signed me out and were waiting at the front door of Rose Hill Elementary School in Charlottesville, Va. As an older child I might have been worried that something drastic had happened. Had my parents made good on their threat to send my brothers to reform school? Had the spaceship finally returned for my sister? But when you're 9, all you care about is getting off school property before someone changes their mind.
We stepped into the parking lot and I saw a glimpse of heaven. A red Pontiac Firebird sat in the circular driveway in front of the school. “Want to go for a ride?" Dad said.
“Are you kidding? Are ROLOs a food group?”
So began one of the most memorable days of my childhood. My father had been called up to a meeting at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and at the last minute decided to upgrade his Uncle Sam rental car from his own pocket to something a little sportier. He'd convinced my mother to join him for the day and to bust me out of school. I don’t want to exaggerate, but it might have been the single greatest decision of their parenting careers.
I was thrilled that my mother let me ride up front while she sat in the back and knitted all the way to Washington. While my father was in his meeting, my wide-eyed mother and I got a tour of the Pentagon from a man with enough metal on his chest to build a Zeppelin.
Later, on the drive home, my father felt morally obligated to test the upper limits of the speedometer. Because my father is no longer alive to defend himself and because my mother occasionally reads my columns, I will not report the actual speed. Let’s just say that the only time I’ve been faster in a vehicle, the bumper didn’t say "Pontiac." It said "Delta."
Yes, it was a memorable day. It was an adventure I remember with laser clarity.
It was an anchor memory.
Do you have anchor memories with your parents? Children? Siblings? They are the handful of key experiences from life that stand above all of the other Christmases, birthdays, school concerts and vacations. Those are all important and memorable, but most blur together through time and duplication.
What are my other anchor memories? Making a funny holiday video for our extended family 2,000 miles way. The night my father bought the first CD player when they hit the shelves at the local Sears. It was so big, I’m surprised it fit in the trunk. The only CDs they had for sale were by the Boston Pops and Lionel Richie.
My mother has made anchor memories with me, too. I recall the day President Ronald Reagan was shot and how my mother tearfully explained it all to me after school. She sat at a wooden frame in the living room tying an orange-and-green quilt and I sat underneath it eating peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches. Many years later we drove cross country together and remembered that anchor memory while making another.
Anchor memories: These are the ones our children hang on to when life becomes a storm they do not think they can survive. They are the anchors to family when we are tossed violently across the ocean by choices, temptations and the countless winds beyond our control.
Anchor memories: I wonder if my own four children think they have any yet? Would they name a vacation? A blanket fort in the basement? A trip to the zoo? Ice cream in their PJs?
Or would they struggle to think of a time I didn’t have my phone to my ear or a manuscript on my lap?
Anchor memories: Will you make one this summer? Maybe two? Will you turn off your phone, your job and the white noise of adulthood to share an experience your children will remember in 10, 20 or exactly 31 years? Will you create a memory too big for a scrapbook?
Will I?
Read more of Jason Wright's words here:

"Memory is a child walking along a seashore.  You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things."  ~Pierce Harris

"We do not remember days; we remember moments."  ~Cesare Pavese

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mandie the III arrived today.

Today was pretty wet. We have been spoiled lately because the weather has been beautiful. Still even in the rain, I truly think this is the most beautiful place to live. I was excited to get up today ( despite the weather ) because I was going to go pick up Mandie III. For those of you who don't know about Mandie, that is the name for my prosthetic. I am not sure why I named it? Maybe because I got tired of spelling and saying the word prosthetic and decided to get a bit more personal with it, since we are going to be together EVERY DAY!
The company that I used to go to for my prostheses and fittings was in Marysville. I know that is quite a ways away, but I had heard good things about them. Since my first experience with Nordstrom wasn't good, I decided to try the new place out and I really love it ( other than how far away it was ). Still it was worth it to have someone knowledgeable and very compassionate. The only problem about the place in Marysville, is that they closed and so I started worrying where I was going to have to go next, not really knowing about other places, especially on the Eastside.
But when I went to my new PT Oncologist, she recommended Martin Medical Inc. in Bellevue. And am I ever glad she did. The lady who owns it is name Donna, and she was simply amazing to say the least. She was knowledgeable and very compassionate. I really enjoyed my experience there and encourage any of you... is in need of a place like this, to go and check out her website! I was impressed with my whole experience there! Their information is found here:

I also got a swimming prosthetic today. Now you are probably wondering why that is a big deal ? Well, for the last 3 years since my mastectomy, I haven't wanted to put on a bathing suit. How could I do that? I was so self conscience about my body. I just really felt like it was time, but I knew my regular Mandie wasn't  t made for swimming and the chlorine. So they make a special one just for that! It wasn't cheap but I thought if it helps me get some exercise in of some kind, that would be worth it. My biggest problem is what to name her? :)
Of course next I will have to look into a bathing suit that will have a pocket for my prosthetic and that won't be  cheap either, that bugs me how much all these things cost. And we have good insurance, my heart goes out to those who don't even have insurance.
I just feel grateful that I am getting more comfortable with my body. I realize that what you see...isn't who I am! Sometimes I have a problem with that, but today I took the first step in overcoming that and got the swim prosthetic. I wished it wouldn't have taken me 3 years to get to this point but... that is life. We all handle things and problems in different ways. I am grateful that at least I did arrive at this point and pray that I will have the courage to actually get in the pool soon.
Donna told me that I could use the prosthetic in with my regular bathing suit, but that it might fall out or move around if there isn't a pocket to hold it in. So I think I had better look for that next. Don't want to have to be asking the life guards to help me rescue Aqua Mandie ( don't really like that name but will have to use it for the time being )! I can see that being a headlines in the news! :)
Oh well, at least I am smiling and laughing about that now, there was a time when I didn't do that and never really thought I would. So I am making progress I guess, just Baby Steps!
Good night dear friends!

Cancer is a word, not a sentence.  ~John Diamond

My cancer scare changed my life.  I'm grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.  ~Olivia Newton-John

 The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.  ~C.C. Scott

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Made with Love!

I love the fact that when you put a quilt around you, that it can bring you not only warmth and comfort... but remind you how loved you are. This is what we tried to put into this quilt that we made for a dear friend of mine. She has had to go through some really big challenges in her life. I know from my own big battles in my life with Cancer, that it was important to let my kids feel like they were helping and doing something for me. I know that it helped them feel empowered to some degree.
That is exactly what we all felt for this dear friend of ours. We wanted to do something, and yet give her the space and privacy that she needed. Still we needed to do something and that is when the idea of this quilt was thought of.
It is our way of saying... "we love  you", "we are so sorry you are hurting", "we are here for you in any way", and last but not least "here's a hug from all of us, so that you can feel surrounded with love and know that you are not alone". Yes, a quilt can say and do all that, and more... and that is why I am a quilter!

"Our lives are like quilts - bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love"

" Sometimes love is for a moment.
Sometimes love is for a lifetime.
Sometimes a moment is a lifetime.

"What we have once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller

 "Blankets wrap you in warmth, quilts wrap you in love."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Great Moments!

What an incredible story! I hope I am this nice and positive, when I am old!
Good night dear friends!

The last cab ride

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. One time I arrived in the middle of the night for a pick up at a building that was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window.
Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked.
“Just a minute,” answered a frail, elderly voice.
I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80′s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
“Would you carry my bag out to the car?” she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.
“It’s nothing,” I told her. “I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy,” she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, “Could you drive through downtown?”
“It’s not the shortest way,” I answered quickly.
“Oh, I don’t mind,” she said. “I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice.”
I looked in the rear view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.
“I don’t have any family left,” she continued. “The doctor says I don’t have very long.”
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. “What route would you like me to take?” I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, “I’m tired. Let’s go now.”
We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
“How much do I owe you?” she asked, reaching into her purse.
“Nothing,” I said.
“You have to make a living,” she answered.
“There are other passengers.”
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly.
“You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,” she said. “Thank you.”
I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.
I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away? On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware—beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

Found the story here:
" If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble."  ~Bob Hope
" It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."  ~Author Unknown

" If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.  If you want to be happy, practice compassion."  ~Dalai Lama

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Father Factor

I recently read an article called The Father Factor: How Dads Influence Their Daughters, it was such a great article. I will share part of it with you.

"Fathers bring something very different to the table-many things that Mothers can't" says Dr. Meg Meeker, author of the bestselling book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. " The biggest mistake dads make is not understanding their significance."
Without question, fathers are a powerful influence on both sons and daughters-an influence that reaches well beyond the roles of provider and protector. And as a new studies emerge, it's becoming clearer just how deeper the father-daughter relationship can affect a woman throughout her life in a variety of ways.

Self Confidence and Body Image...For example , involved fathers are particularly successful at building self-confidence in their daughters and teaching them to stand up for themselves. Research has proven that fathers who are involved in their daughter's lives can play a pivotal role in preventing eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Daughters who feel a strong emotional connection to their fathers are less likely to be depresses or have eating disorders.

Education and Career... Education is another area where a father can greatly impact a woman's life. A study by the U. S. Dept. of Education found that highly involved fathers had children who were 43 percent more likely than other children to earn mostly A's and 33 percent less likely than other children to repeat a grade. Fathers have also been proven to help daughters become more competent, more achievement-oriented, and more successful.

Matters of the Heart... Little girls and adult daughters are often easiest for fathers to interact with. But a father's involvement during a daughter's teenage years, as she begins to date and cultivate romantic interests, is critical.
It's uncomfortable for most dads when their daughters start to become women." acknowledges Dr. Jonathan Swinton, a marriage and family therapist. "Dad's become more hands off, with the exception of the protector role, and it changes the nature of the relationship with their daughters- they're not as close emotionally."
But distancing themselves emotionally is huge mistake, warns Meeker. " That's the time when daughters need their dads more than ever. Fathers need to talk to their girls about uncomfortable subjects like sex and dating because they can have a huge influence on their daughter's behavior."Girls who get that affirmation at home feel less of a need to seek it elsewhere."

Time and Attention... When it comes down to it, what daughters want and need from their fathers is often fairly simple. Two of the biggest things, according to Meeker, are a listening ear and quality time. As far as spending time together, Meeker emphasizes the need for every-day activities over special outings. "Many fathers think they need to entertain their daughters to make them feel important. This is particularly true of divorced fathers," she says. "But your daughter just needs to be with you- washing the car, shopping in the grocery store. living life. So just live it with her. ( Article from May/June LDS Living Magazine )

What a great article and I believe those things are so true. Things that I would have loved to heard from, or done with my Dad. We just didn't have much of a relationship and for years I struggled with that. Actually, just typing this made me a bit sad. I wonder how different my life would have turned out...had I had this type of relationship with my Dad?
But for the next generations our girls...they did get that! Jeff is that type of a  Dad, and has done a remarkable job with both our daughters, and our sons. They are very blessed and lucky to have such an amazing Father, and I think that is why they are have grown up and done so well...largely because of their DAD!

 Good night dear friends!
"If a  daughter can trust her dad to listen without criticizing or judging her, she will come to him again and again to talk"

"To a father growing old, nothing is dearer than a daughter." ~ Euripides

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Serving Others

 I loved this story. It is what we all should do...serve when we are hurting, why?
 Because it always makes you feel better!
Good night dear friends
Leland Camara
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A five-year-old boy bravely battling cancer wanted to give back as part of his Make a Wish gift.
Leland Camara, who has been battling Leukemia since September, wanted to volunteer and serve others at his Disneyland going-away party the foundation helped put together. He has been waiting nearly a month to serve at the Kid's Kitchen, a program that provides free meals to children.
When asked why he wanted to serve others, he simply responded, "because I wanted to help out."
"It was heartbreaking when he asked you know, ‘I want to volunteer somewhere,' " said his mother, Jennifer Camara. "Knowing that your five-year-old wants to volunteer and help his community it's an amazing feeling."
"It was awesome as parents," said Anthony Camara.

When I asked him he was sure he wants to serve other kids, he says, 'so many people helped me so I want to help others.'
–- Laura Bruce, Make a Wish Foundation

His smile and excitement radiates and he shares that with his six-year-old sister and his spunky twin brother, Skyler.
"Leland is my brother, I love him," Skyler said of his Leland.
The reason why Leland wants to serve others is simple.
"When I asked him he was sure he wants to serve other kids, he says, ‘so many people helped me so I want to help others,' " said Laura Bruce, of the Make a Wish Foundation.
This past winter, dispatchers from the Anchorage Fire Department brought Santa to the Camara family's doorstep, surprising the family who otherwise wouldn't have had a Christmas.
At the Kid's Kitchen, Leland is last to receive a plate of his own.
"I wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to eat ate," Leland said.
It seems like he knows his family's received a lot of support. But at the end of the day, the Make a Wish Foundation made sure that good deeds don't go unnoticed. Leland got royal treatment when the foundation brought in an inflatable throne for the boy.
Leland's health is much better following a hard few months, but his parents say he'll need to get chemotherapy once a month for the next three years. Leland and his family spent the weekend in Disneyland.

What the video of Leland's story here: 

 "He who gives when he is asked has waited too long."  ~Sunshine Magazine

" The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."  ~Nelson Henderson

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting to know my son Bradley!

 Our oldest son Bradley was only two years old when we moved to Seattle from West Virginia. At that time he just loved to play ball, play outside and collect bugs. As he grew older, I had a craft business that I did in the evenings and on the weekends. Many nights before the kids went to bed, they would help me paint or finish my items for the next craft fair. Many times my inventory was large and there was a lot of work to do. I hoped that the kids somehow would benefit from doing all that painting and creating with me. They all had to help a lot, by the time Lauren and Lee got a bit bigger....I was slowing down on some of the shows and began to sell my patterns to catalogs and teach classes out of my home. I teased that I had to stop making the kids work so hard with me ...because of Child Labor Laws! :)
Still it seemed like all the kids have loved ART, probably because that is what they were first made to do...oops I mean first thing that they were exposed to! :) I have to admit, now that I see my son Bradley as a Graphic Design Artist,  I am feeling a little less guilty about all the work I had them do. He just recently was interviewed and I was amazed at how much art has effected his life for good. He is an amazing artist and so...maybe all that hard work that they did in their youth, really did pay off! ( Actually all the kids are quiet good artists ) If you want to read more about Brad's work you can, check it out just under this photo that he did of Seattle.
So long story short...sometimes we Moms luck out, and actually do the right thing!
Good night dear friends!

Read the interview with Bradley here:

" A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it."- George Moore

" Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one."  - Jane Howard

"Getting things done is not always what is most important. There is value in allowing others to learn, even if the task is not accomplished as quickly, efficiently or effectively." - R.D. Clyde

"Give me a fish and I eat for a day.  Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime." - Chinese Proverb

Monday, May 14, 2012

Building bridges

Great story...something to think about!
Good night dear friends!

The Farming Brothers

In days gone by, two brothers, Raul and Johan, who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 35 years of farming side-by-side in central Germany, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a single problem occurring.
However, one autumn, the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence between the two brothers.
One morning there was a knock on Raul's door. He opened it to find a man holding a carpenter's toolbox. 'I'm looking for a few days work,' Angelis said. 'Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?'
'Yes,' answered Raul, extremely pleased to see Angelis the carpenter, 'I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor, in fact, it's my younger brother, Johan's farm. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence; an 8-foot fence, so I won't need to see Johan's place nor his face anymore.'
Angelis the carpenter said thoughtfully, 'I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you.'
Raul then left for the nearby town, Erfurt, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing, and hammering.
About sunset when Raul returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.
It was a bridge: a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other. A fine piece of work handrails and all, and the neighbor, his younger brother Johan, was coming across, his hand outstretched. 'You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done, 'Johan smiled.
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each others hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. 'No, wait. Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you,' called Raul.
'I'd love to stay on,' Angelis murmured quietly, 'but, I have many more bridges to build.
Found story here:

 Got photo of bridge here:
"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."
Paul Boose
"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."
Catherine Ponder
"The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves."
Eric Hoffer

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you! I wish I had the money or time to personally say that to each of you!
Today in church there were of course talks about Mothers. I would like to read some of the quotes that I took today.

All I Am I Owe to You

"My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her."
~ George Washington
"My mother was the making of me. She was so true and so sure of me, I felt that I had someone to live for - someone I must not disappoint. The memory of my mother will always be a blessing to me."
~ Thomas Edison

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother."
~ Abraham Lincoln


" But one thing, she said, keeps her going: “Through the thick and the thin of this, and through the occasional tears of it all, I know deep down inside I am doing God’s work. I know that in my motherhood I am in an eternal partnership with Him. I am deeply moved that God finds His ultimate purpose and meaning in being a parent, even if some of His children make Him weep"  ~  Jeffrey R. Holland

"During my professional career as a doctor of medicine, I was occasionally asked why I chose to do that difficult work. I responded with my opinion that the highest and noblest work in this life is that of a mother. Since that option was not available to me, I thought that caring for the sick might come close. I tried to care for my patients as compassionately and competently as Mother cared for me."  ~ Russell M. Nelson

This was a great video with one girl giving her Mom a tribute ( after her Mom passed away with Cancer ) 

Yes, Motherhood, is hard but how grateful I am for my family and to be the Mother of 4 incredible kids ( who some are already starting their own families). I hope all of you women out there know that your job is important and sooooooooooooooo worth it!
Good night dear friends and Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Birthday dear Angie!

Six years ago yesterday, I became a Nana for the very first time. I was so excited and anxious about what that would really feel like. I had heard many others talk about how great it was to be a Grandmother, but I could only imagine it up until this point.
It was amazing, it had been a long hard night for Amy in the hospital and we had all been up for the whole night, still when the Doctor delivered little Angie, I couldn't believe my eyes. I had a Granddaughter, she was beautiful and amazing all wrapped up in one. When I held her, it felt a lot like when I held her Mother for the first time, it's an incredible feeling
To me Angie looks a lot like her Mom, only with red hair.
Like her Mom and Nana, she is comfortable with a paintbrush in her hands, actually a crayon, marker or pencil too. She loves to draw and create, interesting how that happens? :)
She is fun, wild, sweet, strong willed, and has a big heart. It has been a treat to watch her grow up. What an amazing person she is already. I feel grateful to have more time to spend with her, and our other two Grandchildren, and make memories with them! Yes life is good, real good!
Happy Birthday to our Angie girl!
"Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must be those of being a grandchild or a grandparent." ~Donald A. Norberg

The day that you arrived
I knew right from the start
You’d be the little girl
That would win my heart
You’re my little treasure
You mean so much to me
Happy Birthday Granddaughter
With much love to you from me!
Found the poem here:

Friday, May 11, 2012

Arise and Shine

   I just recently got a calling or teaching position at church to work with the Young Women. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work with so many amazing girls! Each year they have a Theme that they work on, and the one for this year is Arise and Shine! As I was reading an article here: about the theme, I was impressed with what that really means to Arise and Shine forth. It is sorta like a standard for them to uphold. One definition for Standard is a rule of measurement by which one determines exactness or perfection.
   We all know those people who seem to understand and live this theme don't we? They have a light in their eyes and their whole countenance just shines, it makes you want to be around them. Then after you have been with them, you some how always feel better.  That is the type of person I would like to be!
   The girls are encouraged to take an inventory of their habits and  hearts to see if they are clean and worthy of that light, that countenance that comes from making good choices. But that is not easy to do to in today's world. There are many challenges that the kids today face, that seem much harder than when I was a teenager, some are the same... but some are much more dangerous. Sometimes it is hard to see the way, as leaders we are trying to help them recognize their self worth and potential.
   I love the theme, because it is a good reminder to us all to arise up among all the bad things in the world and try and shine our light to others and help them.
   Yes, I think this will be a good help to me each week as I work with the girls and remember things that I too can learn from.
   Good night dear friends
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Every where you go and all around you are sales that are going for Mother's Day. Everyone wants to get the perfect gift for their Mom. I now think differently of what I would like for Mother's Day, than I did when I was a young Mom.

 This is the list I used to want...
- everyone to do their chores with out complaint
-everyone share with each other
-not to fight or back talk for the whole day
-homemade breakfast in bed
-no tattling all day
-make your bed

Now my list would be...
- stay close to the Lord
-make a difference for good in the world
-keep in touch with Dad and I
-strive to stay close and available for each of your family members
-do what it takes to be happy
-remember who you are and live it!

That's a little different now! Now I just am grateful for my family and pray that they are happy and healthy, that is a huge blessing that many Mothers don't even have. So I don't need presents this year for Mother's Day, I am just grateful to be Mom. Good night dear friends!

It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding. Erma Bombeck 

A labor of love

I think one of the main reasons I love quilting is because it is such a Labor of Love! It does take a lot of hours and work, but the whole time you think about the person that you are giving the project to. That is what drives you to sew and sew, and sew some more.
I just finished the main part of the quilt I am working on. I am exhausted, I should have taken a bigger break between all those hours, but I just want to make sure that I get it done before Mother's Day. That is when we will be giving it to our friend. How grateful I am for a complete stranger  ( and owner of  a quilt shop, and now my boss ) offered to give Lauren some free Quilting classes. After two classes, she asked me why I didn't quilt, I told her that it was too hard, I would just probably just keep tying my quilts, like I always did. Of course that wasn't good enough for Lauren, and so she helped me do my first pieced quilt. It wasn't long after that, my neighbors began helping me and well...look at me now, I am hooked on it! I hope all my friends and loved ones that receive anything I make for them, will know it was Handmade with lots of LOVE!
Good night dear friends!


"Friendships are stitch at a time."

"Good friends are like quilts. They age with you, yet never lose their warmth."