Monday, December 26, 2011

The Little Shepherd Boy

We have some Christmas traditions at our house.  I am certain you do also.  One tradition we do is put together a 500 piece puzzle.  I purchased the puzzle and put the outside edges on.  Then it was time to invite Max over to help us.

The first day he came over to help he said to me:  "Grandma do you remember last year when you hid one piece so you could put the last piece in? "  Yes, I did remember that.  That is another  one of my traditions!  I thought no more about it.  Until the next day when Max and his dad came to the house and his dad said:  "Max took one piece to the puzzle home to hide and it went through the washer and dryer."  Now our 500 piece puzzle was 499 pieces.  No problem.  I told Max we would just write a letter to Santa and ask him to bring us the missing piece.  Santa purchased another puzzle just like the one with the missing piece.  Mr. and Mrs. Claus had great plans to find the one missing piece, place it in an envelope and leave it under the tree.  Until.....we finished the puzzle and now it was a 486 piece puzzle!!  Zekey!!!!  I looked under couch cushions, I pulled out every piece of furniture, we turned the main living area upside down and we did not find the missing puzzle pieces.

Now fast forward to tradition #2.  It was a brand new tradition.  I hid a pickle ornament on the tree and told Max and Ava the one to find the pickle would receive a prize.  My tree almost did not survive this new tradition.  I had to change the rules to whoever found the pickle when we took the tree down would win a prize.  Then I got smart and hid the pickle in my stacking ornament.



I hid the pickle in Joseph!!  Max and Ava would never think to look there!

We invited the kids over last night to help take down our ugly, dead tree.  They looked and looked for that pickle! It was nowhere to be found.  Quite like our puzzle pieces!  Finally I took the stacking ornaments off of the tree and asked Max and Ava if they would like to take the ornaments apart and stack them one inside the other.  Max said no, he was certain that pickle was still somewhere  on the tree!  Ava took me up on it .  She opened Joseph and much to her delight and Max's dismay she  found the pickle!  But it was Laura  who truly found the prize. 

The thirteen missing pieces to the puzzle!  Wonder how they got there?!?  That sneaky little Zekey hid them in the shepherd! 

Aunt Liz did a great job typecasting the grandchildren in our Christmas pageant.  Max was the wise man, Ava the angel, and Zekey...well he was the shepherd!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Politics and The Reason for The Season

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Isaiah 9:6


What more can I say than I look forward to the day when the government is upon His shoulders!  Do I think he will be a Democrat?  No.  Do I think he will be a Republican?  No. Do I think He will  be a politician?  No.  But this much I do know. He will rule with  kindness, honesty, compassion, mercy, justice, selflessness (having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.)  All  of these wonderful traits that you can not find in todays politicians!  A beautiful scripture that gives one hope and something to look forward to.  May we all keep this scripture in mind as we celebrate His birth this Sunday.


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Merry Christmas to all...Democrat, Republican, Gay, Straight, Male, Female, Black, White, Mormon, Catholic, etc.


P.S.  Even though my husband may disagree with me on some of my political viewpoints he will be the first to tell you I am always right!  Tee Hee, Tee Hee!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Subsidized Programs

It was my first sabbath  in Dunkerque, France.  My companion and I arrived at the building where church was held only to be greeted by an older woman.  (Yes, she was probably in her fifties, but considering I was 24 or so at the time I thought she was older, much older than myself!  Funny how my perspective has changed!)  She asked my companion where Elder so and so was.  My companion explained he had left the city.  No need to explain to her about missionary transfer day!  As we went into the building I asked my companion what that was all about. She explained that the missionary would give this woman a small amount of money each Sunday.  No more was said.  After our church meetings we 6 missionaries had lunch together in  this same building.  We had tons of food!!  We were just finishing up the meal when the parlez phone rang.  The district leader (the young missionary in charge of our group)  answered.  It was the 'older woman' wanting to know if we had any left over food we could possibly give her. Yes, we did have left over food.  No, he would not give her any. He told her no and hung up.   My face must have said it all.  He looked at me and explained:  "Elder so and so trained this woman to beg now she needs to be untrained."  No more was said, but I had a question that required an answer.  Was this District Leaders way of thinking right?  After all he was my priesthood leader.  But my gut told me what he did was wrong.  I posed this question all day long and that evening when I returned to my apartment still seeking answers I opened my Book of Mormon and voila it opened right to this scripture!  I had my answer.

"And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.


Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—


But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?"  Mosiah 4: 16-19

That answered my question!  Yes, the Lord loves an inquiring mind and He will always answer our questions.

In a nutshell on government subsidized programs.  I am fiercely independent when it comes to taking care of myself.  I also fiercely believe in helping out those less fortunate.  We are NOT all created equal. Yes, yes I know  lots of people say we are enabling them to be lazy or to remain addicted to drugs, but if I am going to errror let it be on the side of kindness and compassion.  I am more annoyed by those same people who complain  who have no problem using the system to benefit themselves.  My mother in law worked for years as secretary of Farmers Home Administration. She was a Democrat.  She always made the comment: "The republican farmers are first in line for  assistance."  I work in the school system and we have a lot who use the subsidized lunch program.  I live in a Republican  town and State.  If you are Republican and you are opposed to the government assisted programs fine.  But do NOT use them to your advantage while complaining about others who use it to theirs.

I will end on another true story. It was Halloween 2008.  I dressed up as a Democrat.  Red , white, and blue attire with an Obama button. To my knowledge I was the only democrat at our school.  Mormons generally tend to be Republicans.  I also had 'handouts'.  A 100 grand candy bar taped to a paper.  Yes, I was giving out 100 grand to my co-workers!  All but one partook of my democratic handout!  Bless her heart, she is a die hard Republican.  Pretty representative of the party if you ask me.

My father use to tell me:  "The Republicans are for the rich getting richer and the Democrats are for the working man."  To this day I sincerely believe what my father taught me.  Yes, I consider myself a conservative Democrat, but I would never no never consider myself a liberal Republican.  Never!  Stay tuned tomorrow for my finale on politics.  So glad it is coming to an end!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Immigration

She was in the third grade.  Beautiful brown skin, big dark eyes, tall for her age, very smart, bi-lingual, an American citizen, born and raised in the good ole U.S. of A.  I had her in my reading group and I just fell in love with her.  Such a delightful child.  Fast forward 2 or was it 3 years and she and her little sister, little brother, and mother were all transported back to Mexico.  Father stayed  here, he was legal mother was not.  Had I had access to a magic wand I would have waved it and legalized mom. I  have always wondered what happened to this family.  

One complaint I have heard from those around me is the fact that:  "They take jobs away from the legal citizens."  I do not believe that to be a true or factual statement.  We are surrounded with dairies and let me tell you I believe they would hire American workers if they were willing to work that hard for that low of wage. Americans can collect more on unemployment than work those long hours! Same scenario for the fruit pickers.  Sometimes I think: "Yes, send all the undocumented workers back to Mexico and let the people see how it affects them."

Another complaint I have listened to:
"I am tired of having my tax dollars take care of these children (via Medicaid, subsidized programs, etc.)  How interesting these same people ( who had nicer homes, clothes, cars, etc. than the documented/undocumented worker) took advantage of the system.  Yes, I have no problem paying taxes to feed children from low income families, whether they are here legally or illegally, but I do  have a problem paying  taxes to feed those who are dishonest on the paperwork- those who live in nice brick homes, dress to the 9's and drive nice cars.  I think I better end here.

I for one find the majority of our Hispanic families wonderful people.  Parents who love and care for their children.  Parents who are looking for a better way of life for  their children.  Can you blame them?  I wonder what my ancestors would have thought had their ship not been allowed to dock?  They came  here seeking a better life what if that had been refused to them? 

I found a site I loved and agreed with concerning this subject.  It is www.democrats.org/issues/immigration_reform


In closing I will quote one statement from this page:

"We must never lose compassion for those who wish to improve their lives through self-determination and the realization of America’s promise."

Yes, it is time to revise the immigration system and not by Arizona standards!

Monday, December 19, 2011

The intricacies of politics requires much too heavy thinking for my simple mind!  Suffice it to say:

Concerning:

1. Environment:  We all have an accountablity to take care of planet earth.  I am not a tree hugger, but I do not believe in raping the environment either. We have a stewardship with what we have been given and I think with that stewardship will come an accounting. We would be wise to remember, "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." ~Native American Proverb 


2.  War:  I am pro defensive ( which does require preparation, time, and money) warfare, anti offensive warfare.  The other morning as we played the Star Spangled Banner  my thought was : "Yes, our flag was still there, but what about all those men who were not."  An overwhelming sense of sadness came upon me.  War is  ugly, but it is necessary and vital at times. To all those brave men and women who fought/fight to protect my freedoms I say thank you. 


Of all the quotes on war this was one of my favorites.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."  John Stewart Mill

3.  Marriage:  "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."  Yes, as  a member of the Church of Jesus Christ I trust and support the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles.  Not blindly do I trust.  But because  of my own personal witness to the truthfullness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  But let it be known as strong as I feel about this I also feel that strong about how we treat our fellow man.  I strongly believe there should be NO, NONE, ZERO, ZIP  discrimination between male, female, black, white, gay, straight, Mormon, Baptist, etc.  I do not understand the acts of violence or persecution mankind  imposes on its fellowman due to our differences. 


4.  Immigration...I'll leave this for tomorrow.




Sunday, December 18, 2011

Death Penalty

This is an easy one for me.  So it will be a short one.  Just what I need today.  I am 100% pro death penalty.  Which is amazing seeing as I have a difficult time killing a house mouse.  I would rather do catch and release!  If it is a 100% certainty that the criminal committed  murder than I am 100% for the death penalty.  I  have no sympathy for Ted Bundy, just for his victims.  That is my political view point on that subject.  You may think I am 'dead' wrong, but I think I am spot on!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Taxation with Honest Representation

Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Well said, very well said.  As for the privileges I am grateful to pay for....

Education:  I for one am pro public education, which is funded by the taxpayer.  If one is wealthy enough to send their children to private schools go for it, but no I do NOT want to pay for it out of my tax dollar.   I prefer to use my portion of taxes to educate the common man's child.  

Police Force:   I enjoy the safety of my city, thanks to the police force which watches over us.  In a small town you pretty much know them.  My neighbor belongs to this profession.  I see him as honest, hard working, selfless in his service, and underpaid.

Delta has a wonderful city library which benefits many members of this community.  I admit I need to take greater advantage of this public asset.

Transportation:  I do not know about you, but I enjoy well kept highways.  As we travel back east to visit our children and grandchildren the interstate makes my life and the lives of all of us easier.  On the other hand when I travel up north UDOT always has major road construction going on.  Our legislatures are angry with the fact that the people of this state voted no against funding private schooling.  Therefore, they are using the taxpayers money to fund road construction at the cost of public education.  They are trying to 'starve the beast'.  The beast being public education.  Wish I would have saved that article to post. Think I should stop here.  The thoughts of it only agitates me.  Suffice it to say I am grateful for the interstate and local road upkeep and very ungrateful for Utah Legislatures whom I would like to see all booted out.



Enough said about taxes.  I am grateful to be able to pay taxes.  I have no problem with it.  I do have a problem with those in office who misuse sacred funds (Taxes are paid in the sweat of every man who labors. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt) and believe there will come a day and time when they will be held accountable for it.  I am pro flat tax rate, but I would do it on an income based scale.  The lower the income the lower the flat tax rate. 

I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. 

I for one quite enjoy the civilized and privileged  world I live in.  I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to all of those past, present and future hard working, honest people who  made and make this possible.  Thank you.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Abortion

The young woman lay in fetal position in the hospital bed sobbing uncontrollably.  Her mother was by her bedside offering 'reassuring' words.  "It's over now, it is all over.  It will be okay."  Yes, it was over for the life that was growing inside the young woman's body.  Today this young woman (who chose abortion) would probably be in her early 50's. I wonder if it has ever been over for her.  That is a decision she made, with the support of her mother.  That is a decision she will have to live with. (Perhaps I should interject here that when this event took place I had great sympathy for the young girl and absolutely none for her mother.)  Personally, I am anti abortion.  I am opposed to legalizing abortion.  There are other options.  Choose to marry, choose to be a single parent, or choose to place the child for adoption.  If  one is responsible enough to choose to have sexual relations one should be responsible enough to choose life for the unborn.  As for the one who is pregnant due to rape or incest my heart aches for them.  Truly it does.  But can two wrongs make a right?  Once again I am pro life.  Adoption.  A beautiful word.  Even though I choose pro life and anti abortion I also choose not to condemn or judge those who make choices unlike my own.

With this post you may think I belong to the wrong party, but I assure you I do not!  Call me a conservative Democrat, but never call me a Republican!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Becoming Democrat

My father worked for Chevron Pipeline as long as I remember.  He was a middle class American.  He served in the  Armed Forces in World War II.  He was also a Democrat.  I knew he was a democrat as well as I knew my mother was a democrat.  Neither was terribly vocal about it.  Though I do remember my father saying:  "The Republican party is for the rich getting richer.  The Democrats are for the working class American."  Thus I became a democrat by name.  Recently I watched a documentary by Michael Moore titled:  "Capitalism: A Love Story"  It rang truth to my soul and that is when I realized I was a democrat by heart.  I am sorry, but I can not listen to Glen Beck.  He irks my inner being. As does Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party movement.   I am fully aware that Michael Moore has the same effect on others.  I have decided to dedicate the next few days of blogging to my own personal viewpoints on political topics.  You will discover why I am doing this on the last day of my political soap box.   Tomorrow I choose to discuss abortion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tricks of the Trade

Yesterday by 8:30 a.m.  three children were sent home due to the flu bug.  Today one of our kindergarten students informed his teacher he was sick.  It was during program practice.  The instructional assistant brought him in to the office where I had him lay down on the couch in the nurse's office.  A few minutes later  he was up and about playing on the scales.  I went in and told him it was time to go back to program practice.  He replied:  "Well, my mom hasn't come to get me yet."  To which I responded:  "You are not sick."   He giggled and said:  "I tricked you!"  To which I replied:  "Well, I tricked you.  I did not call your mom so she is not coming  to get you  so go back to the gym."  He giggled as he left the office still thinking he had pulled a fast one on me!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Missing Country Living



Driving back in to town, after visiting Jacquie and Doug in Sutherland,  was this beautiful sight bidding us farewell.  Now this makes me miss living out on the farm!   Unobstructed view of the most gorgeous sunsets!!  Those are sweet memories.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thoughts on Blessings and Gratitude

I have been pondering blessings and gratitude.
     How grateful I am for the good parents my grandchildren have.  Then my thoughts turn to of some of our little ones at school who are not so fortunate and my heart aches. 
     How grateful I am for a warm home and food to sustain life.  Then I think of those who are hungry and cold and I feel guilty.
     How grateful I am for the safe keeping of my children.  Then I remember my friends and neighbors who have lost a child in their youth and  my heart is filled with sorrow for them and anyone who has buried a child.
     How grateful I am for the health I enjoy.  Then my thoughts turn to my friend who is in the early stages of Alzheimers and it is so heartbreaking.
     Sometimes blessings and gratitude seem like a double edge sword to me.  If that makes any sense at all.  I am grateful to have never been a victim of physical, verbal, or sexual abuse, but what about those who have been. I am grateful for a job I love, but what about all those who are struggling with unemployment. The list could go on and on.  I guess what I am most grateful for is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Trusting that somehow, someway it will all work out.  If not in this life then in the next.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Magic of Christmas

When our children were younger we would take them up to Salt Lake City the Friday following Thanksgiving.  We would watch them turn on the Christmas lights at Temple Square, eat at The Spaghetti Factory at Trolley Square, and shop  the mall across from Temple Square.  It rang in the Christmas Holiday Season.  There were even a couple of years where we served dinner at a homeless shelter.  We have not done this in recent years.  This year we decided it was time to continue the tradition.  On Friday the Bassetts invaded the big city!  We began with shopping at Gardner Village, mostly display shopping.  The elves were out in full force!  Swimming at the hotel pool for Matthew, Phil, Max, Ava, and Isaac. Dinner at the Spaghetti Factory and a walk downtown to see the lights, along with thousands of others who came out for the spectacular event.  No one came with the intent of black Friday shopping so there was zero pushing, zero shoving, and zero pepper spraying.  I, of course, forgot my camera, but I did find a site to borrow from.
 The trees are loaded with lights! 
It is amazing how many lights are on one tree.
 The reflection pool is beautiful with
  floating lights and The Holy Family

 Breathtaking!
It is all so gorgeous.

But what I really wish I had my camera for was...

1.  A photo of Isaac eating his spaghetti.  He was famished!  Swimming  worked up quite the appetite for the little guy.  Watching him wrap the spaghetti around and around and around his fork and then getting it to his mouth was priceless.  So cute, so funny!

2.  A photo of Zoey at Temple Square.  She was bundled up from head to toe.  Her dad placed her inside his coat.  All you could see were  two little eyes and a nose.  She LOVED the lights and just stared and stared at them.  I think she enjoyed the lights at Temple Square more than any of us!

Families, traditions, Christmas time.  Such a magical time of year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Power of Prayer

The gratitude expressed via cyberspace to those who bother reading this blog is not near as rewarding as the gratitude expressed in the quiet chambers of my heart to Him who always reads my heart.  He fills my well.  To one I may not matter, but to The One I matter most and so do you!  I am grateful for early morning quiet hours and the power prayer possesses.

"To express Gratitude is...
          Gracious and Honorable
To enact Gratitude is...
          Generous and Noble
To live with Gratitude ever in our hearts is...
           To Touch Heaven."
                                              President Thomas S. Monson

Wishing you all a Thanksgiving filled with food, family, faith and gratitude to He who provides it all!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Choices...The good, the bad, and the UGLY!

The other day I was grateful for the freedom to make choices.  I do not always make  correct choices.  I do not always make the best choice.  One look at my Christmas tree would verify that.  I actually chose a very ugly tree.  It did not look that ugly in the parking lot.  Honestly it did not.  But put up in my house it looks ugly, downright ugly.  No matter which way I turn it the results are the same.  One heck of an ugly tree from all viewpoints.  Perhaps after  it is decorated it will look better, but I can not imagine that.  I have thought of clipping some limbs, but worry I could actually make matters worse.  I will just have to admit I made a poor choice and for the next 30 days I will have to live with it.  A constant reminder that I need Scott with me when I go tree shopping.  A constant reminder that I need to look at more than 2 trees next time (I hate shopping, even tree shopping.)  A constant reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I just need to adjust my vision.  Yes, I am grateful for the freedom to choose.  I am also grateful for the lessons learned from choosing unwisely.  Sometimes I have to learn those lessons over and over and over again.  Yes, I am a slow learner.  By Christmas 2012 I will probably forget how ugly my 2011 tree is and spend 5 minutes picking out the new one!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Seasons of Life

Someone once posed the question to me:  "What part of your life have you enjoyed the most?"  Which, of course, caused me to reflect on the past.  Was it my first 8 years of life in Kearns, Utah?  Yes, that was fun.  Extended family, subdivision lifestyle...yes, all that was good.  Move on to Rangely, Colorado. Oil field country, desolate and barren.  Most wonderful neighbors, fantastic girlfriends, life on 'the hill'. And, let's not forget Red dog! Oh yes, those  were definitely good, good times.  I loved life in Rangely.  Then came 4 years at BYU with wonderful roomates and more happy memories.  Followed by 18 months in Belgium and France.  Growing to love the French and Belge people, their customs, their food, definitely their food!  The next 33 years consisted of married life.  Newly weds, first time parents, first time homebuyers, life on the farm.  Raising children and pets.  Spending time making memories with 5 of my very best friends. Fun times, difficult times, laughing, yelling, all 6 different personalities living and growing together in 2000 square feet with only one bathroom.  And now, almost 60 years old.  A grandma with 9 perfect grandchildren, a perfect job, settled in so to speak.  Which part of life was my favorite?  I would have to say the one I was living in during that  moment of time.  Yes,  it truly is a wonderful life!  I am grateful for all of life seasons and I hope you are too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Memories of Good People and Good Times

I am most grateful for memories and the power they possess.  We went to church today out in Sutherland, our home for 30 years.  Even though our membership was in Sutherland 2nd Ward and we attended Sutherland 1st Ward today it still felt like home.  When you attend church for 30 years in the same Ward Building it does feel like home when you return.  Sutherland people, whether they belong to 1st or 2nd Ward , are the  salt of the earth.  There is something  about country/farm life that defines the people.  They are good people. They helped teach me and my family, supported us and were good friends to us.  Yes, I am grateful for the 30 years spent out on the farm and all those people we came to know and love.  God bless them all.  They have enriched our lives.  Now I treasure the memories.  Aren't you just so grateful for the people who come into your life?  I certainly am and I thank you all for the influence you have had on my life.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

To Choose or Not to Choose

To get out of bed at 6:00 am or to sleep in until 7:00?  To have crepes, hard boiled egg, wheat toast, or oatmeal for breakfast?  To eat the last five chocolate covered nuts or to save them for Scott.  Sorry hon, they just spoke my name!  To mop my floor or to do needlework. Needlework won out, floor is still dirty.  So many choices, large or small.  How grateful I am for the agency of mankind.  Even though choices made by one can affect so many for the good or bad I am still very grateful for the freedom to choose.  A freedom we all enjoy no matter what life bestows upon us. 

“It is the big choices we make that set our direction. It is the smallest choices we make that get us to the destination.”
Dr. Shad Helmstetter

Friday, November 18, 2011

Night Lights

Yes, I am grateful for night lights.  The ones that God created.  Yes, it has been, once again, a beautitul clear day.  Which turns into a beautiful clear night.  Which translates to a most fantastic light show.  First one, then another and finally an entire sky full.  I offer my deepest sympathy to those who live in the big cities.  Sorry but neon lights have zero to offer compared to stars!
 Thanks to the Gospel Art Book for the photo!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Home Tweet Home


Be it ever so humble
There is no place like home!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Seasonal Gratitude

I just love the changing seasons.  And right now I am loving fall.   So thankful for all the vivid colors, cool crisp fresh air, shorter days and longer nights, leaves covering the ground.  Yes, I do believe Autumn is my favorite season of all!

Delta no, beautiful yes.


"A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air."



- Eric Sloane

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trials Plus Tribulations Equal Gratitude

I learned many years ago that blessings always accompany trials and tribulations.  Too name a few:

1.  Humility.  A feeling and emotion I wish I had on a daily basis.  Unfortunately the natural woman is  alive and well in me.  I need to shoo her out and let the other one in.  I enjoy her presence so much more.

2.  A softening of the heart and an enlightenment of the mind.  A closeness to the spirit.

3.  Growth.  Roots have to go deeper in times of drought.

4.  A strengthening of my testimony.

Yes, I am grateful for  the difficult times in my life.  I am grateful for all that they teach me.  There are things I would not have learned in any other way.  As difficult as it may be while living it I always know in the long run it will be well worth it.  There is always a silver lining in that dark cloud!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beautiful Day for a Beautiful Girl

Today is Monday, November 14th.  The day beautiful Dani Fowles was laid to rest.  She passed away Tuesday, November 8th.  The same day her maternal grandmother was born.  Dani  would have been 26 on Thursday, November 24th, Thanksgiving Day.  Her funeral was sad, nice, funny,tender.  One very humorous event her big sis Dena shared with us was this.  A few weeks ago Dani decided to make some pumpkin cookies.  Dani did NOT like to cook, but she was going to try her hand at baking.  She phoned Dena for the recipe.  Dena told her if she could not find what she needed to give her a call and she would tell Dani what aisle to look on.  One hour later Dani phones Dena.  She is standing in front of the nuts.  She informs her sister she sees walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans, but where in the world is the 'nut' meg.  Too funny.  Oh, Dani you beautiful little girl.  You will be missed.  I am grateful you were a part of our lives and I am very grateful that today is an absolutely gorgeous day!!  Blue, blue sky, lots of sunshine and it is 59 degrees warm.  You deserved a beautiful day to be laid to rest on.  So did your mom and dad.  Goodbye for now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Boys and Basketballs

I am grateful this day for many things, but one in particular is the sound of a basketball bouncing outside my home.  You see Michael was always bouncing the basketball and shooting it in the net.  With his passing that sound came to an end for quite some time.  Michael has been gone for over  a year now.  The sound has finally returned.  His younger brothers have taken up the sport.  Though Michael's passing leaves a void life does go on for the living, as it should.  Yes, I am grateful to hear that sound again coming from my neighbors yard.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad

I am thankful Noel Eldon Hardy was born on November 12, 1918.  Where would I be without him and Genevieve Elva Wells Hardy?  Or should I say, who would I  be?  He was a hardworker, mechanically inclined, generous and giving, and an excellent gardener.  He was not without his faults.  Just like the rest of us.  Little did he know that his most difficult years were those years that caused me to question the meaning to life.  In response to that questioning I found the answer.  Would I have posed the question if my life would have been easy?  I don't know, but I am grateful it wasn't.  I am grateful I asked.  Which causes me to look at his years, struggling with addiction, as a sacrifice on my behalf so my roots would have to dig deep.  So grateful he conquered the enemy from within.  So grateful he is my dad and I am his daughter.
This is my favorite photo of my parents.  Looks so much like them!

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Flanders Fields

"In Flanders fields the poppies blow
          Between the crosses, row on row,
     That mark our place; and in the sky
     The larks, still bravely singing, fly.
Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
     Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
                            In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
     The torch; be yours to hold it high.
     If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
                         In Flanders fields."




Thank you for your sacrifice and service on my behalf.



Thursday, November 10, 2011

Power To Remember

I remember...     

     Your first few months of life were spent in a swing in the dining room area of my home.  You loved motion.
     Your desire to play beauty shop at an early age.  Yes, I thought I had hid all the scissors in my house only to find you locked in the bathroom.  You were re-designing your bangs with toe nail scissors!
     Your love affair with hairspray.
     Your obsession with a perfect hairdo and you were NOT going to get on the school bus because I was out of hairspray.
     Your 'wrestle on the floor fights' with your little brother.
     Your comment:  "Coco, you have such big boobs!"  Proving to me that life is  a matter of perspective.
     Your coming up the stairs with a limp kitten held out in your hand reporting on the naughty deeds of Phillip and Doug.
     Your attempt at tee ball.  Refusing to wear your helmet as it would mess up your hair.  Finding shade out in the outfield because you did not want to be hot and sweaty.
     Your cheering at high school sporting events.
     Your wedding reception.  Such a  beautiful bride.
     Your little boy whom you loved.
But what I remember the most is your smile and the twinkle in your eyes.  Always smiling, always happy, always upbeat. 

You would have been 26 years old this month.  Your passing saddens my heart while your memories  gladden it.  I am grateful for the power of remembering.  Dani I love you.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Special Delivery

Twenty nine years ago Scott and I were recipients of a very special gift.  This package did not arrive via UPS , USPS, Fed Ex, etc.  This gift came to us via Heaven.  She had 10 little fingers and 10 little toes, everything was so perfectly placed.  A most beautiful present.  After 2 young sons we were oh so ready to have  our little girl.  Alizabeth Anne Bassett was the name we chose to give her.  She was by far the easiest of all my deliveries.  I tell her she was like a little greased pig and so eager to come. She introduced us to bows, frilly dresses, baby dolls, clogging, chattering, etc.  She is our one and only daughter.  She is the only grandaughter on the Hardy side.  Now she is living in Wisconsin being a mom herself to the cutest little guy ever.  Today my heart is filled with gratitude for the birth of this beautiful baby girl and for the beautiful young woman (yes sis 29 is still young!) she has allowed herself to become.  Happy Birthday Alizabeth Anne!  We love you to Heaven and back!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Color My World

My heart is filled with gratitude as I enjoy the clear blue, very blue sky.  The moon is just beginning its climb.  It is white and almost full.  My grass is still green and my oak leaves  are different shades of brown. 

"I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world."

Yes, folks that about sums it up.  What a truly wonderful world!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude for "The Good Husband"


If you read the title of this post you may be wondering why in the world I would post a photo of Gus lounging around the house (doesn't he look comfy?)  Well, let me explain.  When I married Scott I gave him a puppy for a wedding gift.  Yes, a puppy.  You see I LOVE animals.  What I did NOT realize was he has no use for them unless they are in the freezer.  In our 33 years of married life 'we' have had 3 Bassett Hounds, 1 English Sheep Dog, numerous 'mutts', numerous cats in and out of the house, a bird, a couple of turtles, fish, gerbils, and a rabbit or two.  For someone who does not really care for pets I would say he is a very good husband to allow his wife her creatures.  He would have to admit he has been rather attached to some of them.  Pets are also quite costly and he has never complained about the money I spend on them.  What a nice husband.  No, my dogs and cats have never been my best friend.  That honor would go to Scott.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

He Lights Up My Life.

As the early morning light makes its way into my home I am reminded of the light that made its way into my life.  Thus illuminating my soul.  It began on:

Saturday, November 5, 1960 

My baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The event took place in Vernal, Utah.  My father was the witness and Elder Oluas Johnson performed the ordinance.

Sunday, November 6, 1960.  

My confirmation as member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Exactly 51 years ago.  This event took place in the Rangely, Colorado LDS meeting house.  Elder Merrill Anderson performed this ordinance.

Continued on November 12, 1972. 

I received my Patriarchal Blessing from Patriarch Heber G.Jacobs while attending Brigham Young University. 

November 1, 1975. 

I entered the Missionary Training Center to begin a remarkable 18 month mission serving in the Belgium Brussels mission.  Which meant I took out my endowments 2 days before.

I am ever so grateful for my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It has enriched my life.  It has given purpose and meaning to my life.  It has blessed my life.  Heavenly Father is already aware that I want my return ticket 'home' to be in the month of November.  Hopefully, many Novembers away!  But.... I get what I get and I won't throw a fit!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Listening to the Sounds of...

Silence?  Heavens no.  Retired to my bed listening to the train rumbling through town and a cat purring in my ear. It was heaven. Woke up  1 1/2 hours before the crack of dawn to the sounds of Isaac.  "Move over Max, move over."  Max was on the very edge of the queen size bed and Isaac was smack next to him.  Zekey loves a warm body right beside him while he sleeps.  Listened for 15 minutes to the chatter of two little buddies!  Heavenly!  Can not decide if I am more grateful for the sounds of life or the ears to hear and experience it with.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Gratitude for Beginnings and Endings

It is 7:20 a.m.  The air is cool and fresh.  The sky is clear, very clear.  The first rays of dawn are on the horizon.  It is peaceful, still and very calm.  What a beautiful beginning to a brand new day. 


It is 9:00 p.m.  The air is cooler than it was this morning.  The sky is overcast.  The night is dark.  It is peaceful and quiet on the home front.  The grand children are all nestled in beds with visions of "Puss In Boots" dancing in their heads. What a beautiful ending to a great day.




Thursday, November 3, 2011

Light and Power

After flipping on the light switch and turning up the heat (with the push of a button!)  I crawled back in to my warm, comfy, cozy bed along with my 'good book.'  No I did not fall back to sleep.  On the contrary I had an ah ha moment.  You see I have had a question on my mind of late.  I  have long since learned the Lord loves an inquiring mind and He will always answer my questions, sooner or later.  Today I received an answer to that question.  I found it right in my 'good book!'  I am grateful for physical light and power.  They give ease and comfort to my physical body.  I am ever so grateful for spiritual light and power.  They, on the other hand, speak peace to my soul and teach me truths.   My 'good book' of the day....The Book Of Mormon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finger 'Power'

At the flip of the switch my bedroom went from dark to light this morning at 5:00.  At the push of a button my house went from 65 degrees to 70.  Can't decide if I am more grateful for  electricity or fingers to flip switches and push buttons! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gratitude Renewed

"As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world." ~Terri Guillemets

Even though it is a sunset view my feeling of gratitude is the same.  A grateful heart setting upon my blessed world.  For the next 24 days I am going to do a daily post on one thing I am grateful for.  Today, November 1, 2011 I am grateful for a beautiful sunset.  I love Gods artwork, don't you?




Friday, October 28, 2011

Zombies and Wands and Grandchildren...OH MY!

We enjoyed some great quality with our Nebraska Corn Huskers last weekend.  They make me smile.  They make me laugh.

We discussed Christmas.  Jaedon would like Santa to bring him a Magic Wand.  I thought that was a grand idea.  I told him he could wave his magic wand over his grandmother and make her skinny.  Without a moments hesitation his reply was:  "No, I like you fat Grandma!" A smile and a hug from Grandma followed this remark.  Jaedon I like you just the way your are also!!  Thanks little buddy of mine.

Next we discussed Halloween.  Jaedon is going to be a Vampire.  A Vampire without the blood on his face. Olivia is going to be a Vampire Princess.  I was reminding him that vampires, ghosts, witches, etc. are all pretend.  He informed me that Zombies are real.  They are not pretend.  When I insisted they were just pretend his response was:  "Zombies are real.  It says so in the scriptures.  When Jesus died and was resurrected Grandma  the graves opened up and Zombies came out!"  Deep belly chuckle laugh from Grandma this time!  Love those grandchildren of ours!  As I said previously.  They make me smile.  They make me laugh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Falling In Love All Over Again

It is quite a tender moment when a Grandmother meets a new Grandchild and falls in love all over again.  For me it happened Sunday while holding Jack in Sacrament  and Sunday School Meetings.  He was peacefully sleeping in my arms.  Mouth so cute I just wanted to kiss it and kiss it, again and again.  Eyebrows furrowed, was he having a bad dream?  I knew he was mine.  He was a link in our family.  And in that instant I fell madly in love with the little guy.  He belongs to us and we belong to him.  It is wonderful, is it not?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

'Curious' George

Having a daughter and son-in-law live back east (D.C. area) provided us with the wonderful opportunity to visit many historic sites.  One of those sites happened to be Mount Vernon.  Which was absolutely beautiful.  Such a gorgeous view of the Potomac River.  Undescribable.  Below is a photo of the home, but not a photo of the gorgeous view.


"Mount Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington, is the most popular historic estate in America. Situated along the Potomac River in Northern Virginia, Mount Vernon is just 16 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more than 40 years, George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of American forces in the Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States, called Mount Vernon home.

Today, guests to Mount Vernon can visit the Mansion, more than a dozen original structures, Washington’s Tomb, and nearly 50 acres of his extensive plantation. The estate also includes a working blacksmith shop and the George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site, a 4-acre demonstration farm with a reconstructed slave cabin and 16-sided treading barn."

As beautiful as this site was I had difficulty visiting it.  Why? Because it was built by slave labor.  My son-in-law tried to  enlighten my mind with the fact that slave labor was part of that time in history.  But to  my mind that still did not make it right.  During our tour we were informed how often President Washington and  his wife entertained visitors.  It was frequent.  We were asked how we women would like to entertain that often and my thought was:  "Well, if someone else was doing all of the cooking, cleaning, and laundry  than yes I could entertain quite frequently."  Slavery disturbs my inner being.  The irony of it all...They fought for freedom, their freedom, my freedom, your freedom, and yet they were slave owners.

I am grateful to President Washington and all of the early patriots who fought for my freedom, but I do have a question to ask when I get on the other side.  Did your conscience ever speak to your heart and soul that slave labor was wrong?  Just call me 'Curious' George.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A 'Rose' By Any Other Name Is Still A 'Rose'

It was 1978 when I married and moved to Delta, Utah.  I promptly found employment at the Extended Care Center where I would meet some of my most favorite people of all time.  One of the  first to endear herself to me was Rose.  Rose was about 4' 9" tall and about 3' wide.  She was a delight!  Not your typical LDS woman,  but then neither am I.  Her vocabulary was most colorful and very upfront.  Which was one reason I found her so endearing.  I brought her home one evening to enjoy a meal with my husband and myself.  My mother in law was aghast to think that I would do such a thing.  You see Beulah and Rose both grew up in this area and both grew up on totally different sides of the tracks.   None the less Rose came  and we had a marvelous time together.  But my favorite memory of Rose took place in Fast and Testimony meeting.  For my readers who are not of the LDS faith the first Sunday of every month is Fast and Testimony meeting.  We fast for 24 hours, donate the cost of our meals to the needy and then whomever feels inclined bears their testimony during Sacrament meeting.  A typical testimony might go like such:  "I know the church is true.  I know President Monson is a prophet of God, etc., etc."  Remember Rose was NOT your typical LDS woman thus her testimony was NOT your typical testimony.  Hers went something like this:  "The  blankety blank Bishop would not give my blankety blank husband a Temple recommend because he had a blankety blank affair with another blankety blank woman."  It was quite a lengthy testimony but that is my memory of the event.  Most of the members in attendance were either sleeping soundly or to deaf to hear.  I, thank goodness, fell in to  neither one of those categories!  It is a testimony I will always remember and cherish.  Why? Because of the dear little woman who gave it. I look forward to seeing Rose again when I part this life.  For now I enjoy my memories of her and a relationship with her most wonderful granddaughter Myrt.   Lesson learned...make friends with people from all walks of life, from all sides of the tracks.  If you don't you may miss out on some of the most cherished friendships and memories.  "Memory is the power to have 'roses' in December."  Thanks for the memories Rose!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

FIRST KISS!

She had never been kissed.  He was a pro.  He strode towards her knowing full well what was about to take place.  She was clueless.  He grabbed her adorable face, looked her straight in the eye and planted one on her.  She squealed with delight!  Then just like the man he was he walked away.  My only regret.... I did not have my camera in tow.  Yes, Matthew Bud kissed a pig at the Homecoming Half Time last night here in Delta.  Is this one of the  perks that comes with his new job?  Oh, to be the new kid on the block at D.H.S.!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"The Office": Season One , A Sordid Affair

He was strong, a man of steel.  Was that what attracted me to him?  Or was it his gray coloring?  Strong, distinguished, a man of few (if any) words.  A man of mighty action.  A man I used and took advantage of.  I needed him for a certain time period in my life.  Then as quickly as it began it ended.  Yes, "The Office", season one introduced me to him.  Below is his photo.










Handsome, is he not.  How did we meet? How did it all get started? Let me share that with you.  I went to work in 'the office'  in 2007.  The school came in to being in 1983.  All records during those years were still stored in a supply room.  One only needs records for the past 7 years.  Thus I went to work.  Box after box after box.  Shredding 17 years of records.  It took one full week.  One week to reminisce about Beth Brown.  The first secretary.  Her signature was everywhere.  Beth was a wonderful woman.  She loved her grandchildren!  She loved to spoil them.  She also enjoyed spoiling the employees at Delta South.  She would quite often bring corn pops in to the faculty room.  A treat we all enjoyed.      Beth was with me as I shredded those records.  It was a melancholy moment in time.  A time when I could see, feel, and hear Mrs. Beth Brown.   As for our supply room.  Well, it only has 7 years worth of records.  At the end of each school year I re-acquaint myself with my old flame. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"The Help" Immigration Then and Now

"The Help" finally made its way to Delta.  After reading the book I was more than ready to see the movie.  Which I loved and which I would highly recommend.  But it did have some statements in it that caused me to think.  Some days I am amazed that I am able to do so! 
Quote #1:
Aibileen Clark: I was born nineteen eleven, Chickasaw county, Piedmont Plantation.

Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: And did you know as a girl growing up, that one day you'd be a maid?

Aibileen Clark: Yes, ma'am. I did.

Eugenia 'Skeeter' Phelan: And you knew that, because?

Aibileen Clark: My mama was a maid. My grandmama was a house slave.

Enter thought number one.  Was that considered legal or illegal immigration when the white man brought the blacks to America?   Which then led to the thought of the white man who came to the Americas and took the land from the native Americans?  Who was the legal verus illegal immigrant?  My ancestors came from France, Sweden and who knows where (perhaps I would if I would do my geneology) were they legal immigrants?  And, my mormon ancestors who came out west and settled in Utah, which was  not a state at that time, were they legal in taking the land from Mexico?  For the answers to these questions I need to do a lot of studying or perhaps I shall just ask my intelligent legal advisor (a.k.a Ben) to answer them for me.  All I know for sure is that:

1. In my small world in Delta the hispanic families work terribly hard for low wages.
2.  In my small world in Delta the hispanic families have well cared children.
3.  In my small world in Delta the hispanic parents love their children and want a better world for them.

In my heart I know  that:
1.   "... the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare;"
2.  Because I have been given much  I too must give.
3.  "For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?"

Politics and religion perhaps not a good mix, but my religion defines me and my thought process so I will not apologize for it.

I do believe in honoring and sustaining the laws of the land, but some laws need to be closely looked at and revised.  While I wait for that to  happen I just have to worry about myself and  how I treat my fellow man, whether he is here legally or illegally.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I Have An Opinion and I'm Not Afraid to Voice It

First came depression, then came anxiety and panic attacks, followed by Celexa.  20 milligrams daily.  This introduced me to the easy going, whatever, happy to be here person I became.  Actually, that sounds like the me in High School!  Lately, I have decreased the dose to 10 milligrams daily (following the Dr.'s advice).  Now I introduce you to the new me.  I have an opinion and I am not afraid to voice it.  Just check out some of my comments on Face book.  I get a little touchy concerning illegal immigrants and politics. Please do not take any of these comments personal.  Depression, anxiety, illegal immigrants, politics all posts for a future day and time.  For now I think my husband prefers the 20 milligram wife to the 10 milligram wife.  (Is that anything like Johnny Lingo and the 10 cow wife?  Won't give you my feminist opinion of that movie!) Oh well, in my opinion...Scott gets what he gets and he doesn't throw a fit.  Well,  he can  but I am not sure it will  do him any good! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Season of the Witch"

Scott and I went to Gifts Unlimited to rent the new Jane Eyre movie.  As we drove up I noticed this poster on the front of the store window. 
I turned to my husband and said:  "Season of the Witch, a movie about a woman going through menopause!"  Scott chuckled and thought that was funny.  But it gets better...he thought I was being serious!!!  Yes, I think  he was ready to rent that movie and go home for a comedy!  Then again he has lived through it and I do not know how funny he found it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rekindling an old flame

Many years ago I fell in love.  It was an autumn relationship.  A relationship that took my time and money. There were times when it was a sticky situation, very sticky.  Other times it was  hot, sweaty-boiling over you could say.  Then they were the times I got myself in to a pickle or jam with this relationship.  One fall it abruptly came to an end.  I could provide you with many excuses as to why it ended.  Going back to work outside the home.  Depression.  Osteoarthritis. Laziness.  The list could go on and on.  I 'cleaned out' so to speak and moved on, but I never let go of this love.  This fall I became involved once again with the relationship.  And I remembered how much I enjoyed it, loved it, and how fulfilling it was.  Yes siree it can't be 'beet'!  I have scaled it down, but even on a smaller scale it was a most wonderful time.  Below is a photo of the end results of this relationship.  Though it is not over yet.  The fruits are yet to come.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Thou Shalt Not Steal

For your information I am going to break the eighth commandment.  Right here, right now.



I 'stole' the above three photos from Melanie's blog.

Photo #1:  A picture of our newest grandchild,
Jack Jonathan Bassett.

Photo #2:  The Dr. who delivered Jack (proud dad)
The woman who did all the labor (proud mom)

Photo #3:  The family who welcomes Jack into their home and hearts.
Left to Right:  Jonathan, Sofia, Livy, Jaedon, Mel

For your information Jack broke commandment #8 right along with his grandmother.  Must be a genetic trait.    He stole our hearts! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I've Become a Peddler (of sorts)

Yes, I have become a peddler.  And, quite frankly I enjoy it.  Except when the wind is coming out of the south and I am heading south! Or vice versa with north.  Below is a photo of my trusty partner in crime.

 Isn't she just cute?!?
The previous owner was June Reid, Aunt June.  I think she would be pleased to know I ride June around town.  The basket was a Mothers Day gift.   It holds my valuables.  Bank bag, purse, Pepsi, or mail.  Of course, it only holds one of those items at a time!!!  I have quite fallen in love with the childhood pastime of bike riding all over again.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

This is the peach shower curtain
that hung in the turqoise blue bathroom
that was in the house
that Beulah lived in.

This is the olive green carpet
that lay on the floor
in the turqoise blue bathroom
in the house
that Beulah lived in.

 This is the bathroom scale
that use to be pink
that sat in the bathroom
in the house that Beulah lived in.

This is the bathroom
that use to be turqoise blue, peach,
and olive green
in the house that Beulah lived in.