Some Challenges in My Life

Saturday May 12, 2012. I was in the bathroom and for some reasons I fainted and fell between the commode and the bathtub. I twisted my head and neck. I woke up with no memory of how I got there. I was on my left side with my face up against the tub. “Where am I?” I started trying to get myself up. By this time Jim heard me fall and came in a hurry.  Between the two of us we managed to get me up. Then we headed for the emergency room. After a few hours it was determined that I had two cracks in one of the vertebra’s in my neck. So on with the stylish collar that has to be worn 24/7 for 6 to 8 weeks. Still in a bit of pain we were sent home.

Next day it was Sunday. We got hold of the Relief Society to tell them I would not be able to lead the music. As the day progressed I was not doing well. I couldn’t eat, I was nauseous and very sleepy. By evening Jim began to worry. He called my visiting teaching partner who is a nurse and she came down and took my temperature and it was almost 102. She said we should go back to the ER. So back we went. Again after a few hours it was determined that I had a big ol’ bladder infection that was beginning to travel up to the kidneys. So after a big shot we were sent home.

So here we are May 19th and life is getting back to normal except I have this stupid collar that I have to wear. Sleeping has been a challenge. For the first few days I just slept in my chair. But I realized I was not getting the sleep I needed because I was not using my C-Pap machine. So I tried getting the mask on with the collar. I was able to get this to work and finally I tried to lay in the bed with the C-Pap mask. A good nights sleep. So gradually every day I can see improvement. Because of the collar it is hard to read. I am looking through the wrong part of the glasses. It is challenging to try to cook in the kitchen. Jim and David have been wonderful. They have been doing the laundry and the dishes. Our Ward members have been wonderful to bring in food and check in on us.

So every day is better and I love life and my family. Thank you all for the good wishes.

A Few Thoughts on the Politics of the Day

In this country of America we pledge allegiance to our flag and the United States of America. We say “..One Nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for ALL..”

In our current political climate today it seems to me that our leaders are afraid to declare themselves as being guided by God, for fear of offending some of the voters. But just what does it mean to be “One Nation under God?”

I read a quote from one of our former Presidents, Calvin Coolidge…He stated that good government has spiritual principles at its core: “Our government rests upon religion. It is from that source that we derive our reverence for truth and justice, for equality and liberality, and for the rights of mankind. Unless the people believe in these principles they cannot believe in our government. There are only two main theories of government in the world. One rests on righteousness and the other on force. One appeals to reason, and the other appeals to the sword. One is exemplified in the republic, the other is represented by a despotism.

“The government of a country never gets ahead of the religion of the country. There is no way by which we can substitute the authority of law for the virtue of man. Of course we endeavor to restrain the vicious, and furnish a fair degree of security and protection by legislation and police control, but the real reform which society in these days is seeking will come as a result of our religious convictions, or they will not come at all. Peace, justice, humanity, charity —these cannot be legislated into being. They are the result of divine grace.”

To me that says that this country, this government should not be so afraid to declare itself a Christian Nation. I realize there are many residents of this country that have different views as to the nature of God. But in my opinion we can all live harmoniously. As far as I know all religions teach tolerance and kindness, loving our neighbors, taking care of each other and respecting another’s point of view. Let’s not forget how we got here and what our purpose is. I love this country and I love Jesus Christ. I am trying to live a Christian life.

The Last Shuttle Launch

As Jim and I watched the Last Shuttle Launch today from the comfort of our home. I reflected back when my Dad would wake us up in the wee hours of the morning to watch the rockets being sent into space.

At first they blew up on the launch pad. Then they would lift off and fall back to Earth. I don’t remember how many we watched before one actually made it into space. Then they were actually able to get the rocket to orbit. Then they started sending up small animals and chimpanzees. The Russians were sending up rockets also. It was like “I can do anything better than you”. We couldn’t let the Russians beat us to the Moon. On a clear night we could see the Russian Sputnik as it crossed the sky. It was a race and we all felt it. It felt like if we didn’t get to the Moon first somehow the Russians would be able to take over the Earth.

We got so we didn’t want to get up just to see another rocket blow up. My Dad kept encouraging us to get up. He wanted us to see history in the making.

As the launches became kind of routine we didn’t pay quite as much attention. When John Glenn made his historic flight to finally orbit the Earth we were all glued to our TVs. The whole country was space crazy. Movies about space were very popular. TV shows about a Martin living on earth as a human or space travelers being Lost In Space, and of course who can forget Star Trek, the Mother of all space shows. Food was named after things in space, home decor reflected our obsession with all things space. Even cars were named after things in space.

President Kennedy challenged the space program to send a man to the Moon before the end of the decade. I was working in Yellowstone Park and Frank and I watched the Launch and landing at his parents house in Gardner, Montana. The history of the space program is very well documented and I do not need to rehearse it here.

I just wanted to try to convey some of my feelings. I was very moved to be witnessing this final launch. It is very interesting to me that I have been able to be a witness to this marvelous time in our history.

Visit to Texas July 2010

I should have written about this trip last year. A lot happened and I hope I can get the high lights.

The main reason for going was to visit Kim and give her baby a name and a Priesthood Blessing. She had asked her Father to do that for her. I flew to Dallas June 29, 2010, so that I could be there for Rebecca’s thirtieth birthday, July 1st. I had not helped her celebrate her birthday for many years. We took care of that and I hung around for The 4th. On the 3rd we went to see a parade. Reminded me a lot of the parades we had in Cedar. Two farm wagons and a fire-engine.

Becca and I, with Izaiah, found a place to watch some really cool fireworks on the 3rd and then on the 4th we went to another park and watched more fireworks. We went to their favorite Barbecue place for ribs and other good stuff. They also took me to a chocolate shop that has the most amazing chocolate. Each piece looks like a work of art and they taste as good as they look. I talked Becca into taking me back there before I went to Austin to meet Jim. I wanted to take some to him.

Another day we went to a shopping mall that had an outdoor water play area and Jaxon and Izaiah ran through the water. They really had a good time.

About July 8th, Becca drove me to Austin. It is about a four hour drive. We had a nice drive just Becca and Me. We found the Hotel Jim and I were staying in and then we found a Yarn shop. Becca loves to take me to yarn shops because then I buy yarn to make her stuff. I love to make things for my kids. We headed back to the Hotel and then we went to Joe’s Crab Shack for some dinner. She headed back home and I waited for Jim. Kim was going to pick him up at the Airport. He finally came and he was hungry so we went back over to the Crab Shack. It was within walking distance and we did not have a car.

The next few days were spent with Jim’s family. Everyone was there. We had a wonderful dinner at an Indonesian restaurant. There were several family members from Martins family and all three of Jim’s girls and David and Karen. It was a fun evening. Food was brought out on big trays and everyone took from the the trays with their hands and ate with their hands. It was really good food and a fun different experience.

On Saturday one of Kim’s Bishops Counselors and Jim blessed little Tyler. Then on Sunday we went with Kim to Church and after Church Jim borrowed Kim’s car and drove me half way to Dallas and Becca and her boys met us and I went back to Dallas and Jim went back to Austin and he flew back home the next day.

We met at a rest stop with yummy pastries, little meat pies and sandwiches. It was really busy. A very popular stop. We purchased a few things and said goodbye to Jim and I went back to Dallas so I could be there for Izaiah’s 5th Birthday party.

One day we went to a state park with a small creek that was set up so that you could go swimming. By the time we got there it was almost dark. But we pressed on and we were determined to swim, so down to the creek we trekked. I thought the water looked kind of dirty but it was a creek after all. We made our way into the water and it was surprisingly warm. We had a good time but it was getting dark so we made our way back up the hill and changed out of our wet suites. Then we headed back home. By the time we got home the kids were asleep and worn out.

Oh I remember something that happened. We had all the kids and Becca’s niece with us and we took the car through the car wash. Then we pulled into the vacuum bay. We all piled out to vacuum the car. Izaiah was helping and then he cried Mom I vacuumed up my Dollar. Rebecca had given him a $20 bill to hold. He had vacuumed up the $20 dollar. Easy come, easy go. He was so sad and he felt so bad.

For Izaiah’s birthday party Beccca and Glynn invited several kids to a bowling ally. They had special equipment for children’s bowling and it was really interesting to watch those little kids roll those big balls down the ally and hit the pins. I was surprised how many kids made strikes. I think they really had a good time.

Then it was time to go home. I hated to leave my kids but I was ready to go home to my own bed and my own pillow and my own chair and my own TV and my own sweet Husband who I was really missing. The plane ride home was without incident. Jim was there to meet me and I was really happy to see him. There is no place like home. There is no place like home. I miss the mountains and the red rocks. And I missed my cat. When ever we are away for a few days he follows me around and jumps on my lap every time I sit down.

I love my kitty.

Oregon Visit

I left for Oregon on Monday Aug. 31, 2009. Sandra and Max were in Portland right on time to pick me up. We drove to Corvallis and settled in for the night. We traded gifts and Sandra gave me a photo album of pictures that my Dad took of the wonders of Utah. It was so wonderful I was very moved. What a great gift. I have shared these pictures with anyone who will look. She included the poem that Dad wrote called “Color Country.”

On Tuesday we met Sandra’s daughter Tammi at a little pastry shop and had lunch and visited. Then we went to our favorite yarn shop Fiber Nooks and Cranies. I had a project that was giving me some problems so I took it in and they helped me to know how to proceed. We bought a couple of skeins of yarn and headed to the grocery store. We stocked up for out trip to Crater Lake the next day.

On Wednesday we headed to Crater Lake. It didn’t take long before we were heading into the mountains. I love the mountains of Utah and Colorado. The weather was perfect. Not hot and not cold. Light traffic and good company. The vistas were beautiful. I can not describe adequately. I fell in love with the beauty of the Oregon mountains. The more altitude we gained the wider and grander the views. As we approached Crater Lake you could see the evidence of the volcano. There were stark landscapes and few trees. Then we started to climb again and looking out the back of the car it seemed that we were headed to the top of the world. We pulled up to a view area. We had to climb up a little hill but the reward was wonderful. Crater Lake is so blue and a lot larger than I had imagined. The edges of the lake are sheer ragged cliffs. No sandy beaches. Just sheer rocky cliffs. There is a tour boat you  can take that sails around the lake. But in order to get to the ship you have to climb down the cliff and then back out. We would not be doing that this trip. We drove on around to the visitors center and bought a couple of souvenirs and took another look at the lake. Then we headed toward Medford. We stopped to have some lunch at a little clearing with some picnic tables. We got out the food and started eating and before long we had some visitors. Small birds appeared and landed on the table and suddenly one of them landed on my hand and took a potato chip right out of my hand. We threw them some bread and chips and they just got more aggressive. We packed up and left.

We headed for Medford to visit with Steve and his wife and little boy. We found our hotel and then went to Steve’s and headed to the Olive Garden for dinner. I was really tiered so I went back to the hotel while Sandra and Max visited with Steve. The next day we went to the “Harry and David” production plant and took a tour and shopped in their gift shop. It was very interesting and they did a really good job of selling their products. We all loaded up with yummy stuff. Then we headed back to Corvallis.

Friday we just stayed home and recuperated from our big trip. Max picked some green beans from their garden and I helped cut them up so they could be bottled. We went to bed early so that we could get up and go the the Temple in the morning.

We headed to Portland for the Temple about 4am. Just as we were entering the temple grounds all the lights went out. By the time we got in the building everything was back to normal. The lights did go off a couple of more times but it really did not cause any real problems. Sandra and I went on a session and after that we did some Initiatory endowments. Then we went to the cafeteria and had some breakfast. Then we did another session. It was wonderful. We had a very pleasant day. It is so peaceful in the temple. It was a very good day.

As we headed back to Corvallis we listened to the Oregon State football game for a little while. When we got back it was almost time for the BYU game to start. Although Sandra and her family are not fans they let me watch the game. Sunday we went to church. We talked to a lady who was visiting and found out that she grew up in Cedar City. We had a good time talking about people we both knew. Just another demonstration that you never know who you might meet at church.

Several of Sandra’s kids and grand-kids came over for Sunday dinner. We had a good visit. It was fun to see how big all the grand-kids are getting. One of Sandra’s granddaughters told me she still had the little hat I had knit for her doll last time I was there. She asked me if I would knit her some socks. I measured her foot and she told me she liked pink and purple. When I got home I looked and found some pink and purple sock yarn in my stash. Perfect.

Monday morning we left for Portland. We took a scenic drive along the Columbia River Gorge. We stopped to see a couple of water falls. Then we had to get me back to the airport in time for my flight. The weather was beautiful the company was interesting and I was satisfied that I was able to make a connection with my sister and her family. They were so very kind to me and did everything they could to make me comfortable. I can not express how grateful I am for my sister and her family.

I arrived back in Utah on time and Jim was there to meet me. It was wonderful to be home.

Trace Atkins and Toby Keith Concert

Went to a concert at the USANA Amphitheater last night August 22nd. The evening was warm and we arrived at the parking lot about 5:30pm. Just as we arrived several motorcycles started coming in. Then more and more came. They were lined up for at least a quarter of a mile. By the time the gates were opened for us to go inside there were probably over a hundred cycles with at least two riders for each one. I think the motorcycle  clubs were sponsoring a fund raiser along with the concert. It was really quite a sight to see all those cycles and riders. Kind of intimidating. They later announced from the stage that there were over 1200 bikers attending the concert. Really cool to see all those bikes.

Any way we went our seats and this time we were in the middle of the amphitheater and in the second row. Most of the night the two seats directly in front of us were empty. Which made me very glad I did not have to bonk anyone to make them sit down.

Trace Atkins came out and started off with “I Got My Game On” then continued with mostly up beat songs. He sang and talked to the audience for about one hour. He was so great. Then Toby Keith took the stage. He came out with mostly up beat songs again. At one point in the concert he talked about singing about Mexico and out walks Eddie Raven. Now I did not know who Eddie Raven is but Jim’s eyes light up and he said “is that really Eddie Raven?” He had not been introduced yet but Jim knew who he was. He is so smart. OK, for those of you who do not know who Eddie Raven is, this is what I found out. He had several hits in the early 80′s on the country charts. This is one of the reasons we love going to concerts you never know who is going to show up. They sang three songs together then Eddie left the stage.

Toby finished up his set and left the stage. He had not sang any of his patriotic songs. I turned to Jim and said how neat it would be if Trace came out and sang with him. Toby came back and sang “An American Soldier” and started to sing “Angry American” when the line comes “My Dad fought in the Army and lost his right eye” out walks Trace Atkins singing that line. “And the Crowd Goes Wild” It was great and that my dear young friends is why you NEVER LEAVE a CONCERT BEFORE they turn HOUSE LIGHTS on!

Thus ended our evening on a very high note.

Class of 1964 High School Reunion

I Just got home from Cedar City, Utah after attending my 45th High School Class Reunion. Quite a trip, I vacillated between really wanting to go and knowing absolutely that no one would talk to me and I would spend the evening in the corner. But as soon and Jim and I walked in the room hugs were being handed out like candy. Some I recognized right away and some not so fast. Almost everyone seemed very pleased to see me. One surprise for me were how many of the boys I went to school with me who did not give me the time of day treated me like an old friend. One boy said he always liked to dance with me because I was tall. Well that was news to me. After I got home I pulled out my year book and realized that I should have taken my book in with me. I think I would have been able to interact with more classmates if I was able to put them in a better context. Then I met up with Mary Ann Grimshaw. We had been in school all the way through Grade School and High School. We shared many of the same interests. Her Father worked at the same company as my Father. The last time I saw her was at our 10th year reunion. We spent most of the evening visiting just like we were back in High School. We have both had bad marriages and unrealized dreams. I am looking forward to reconnecting with her. She is living in La Verkin in Southern Utah.

I hope that when we travel to St. George that we can make some time to visit with her.

George Strait Concert

Jim and I went to the George Strait Concert Friday July 17th at the USANA Amphitheater. It is a very well planned venue. The seats are comfortable and there is good leg room. We had good seats not too far back from the stage we could see the performers without having to use binoculars or relying on the large screen at the back of the stage. The first performer came and did her set for about 30 minutes then they changed the set for Blake Shelton, we love Blake Shelton by the way. Then the set was set up for George Strait. Up until that time the other audience members around us we pretty well behaved. When George came out everyone stood up to welcome him to the stage. Then a large majority sat down because they had a seat to sit in. But unfortunately for Jim and I the people directly in front of us and two rows in front of us did not sit down. OK that’s alright for one or two songs then the kids right in front of us sat down. But the couple two rows in front of us stood up the whole night.They completely blocked my view of the stage. I could see the large screen but I wanted to see George himself not the TV. Besides you feel like your sitting in a cave. Why am I so afraid to ask people to sit down. What makes people think they can enjoy a concert better if they stand all night? Why did they buy a ticket that includes a seat if they wanted to stand all night? Would these same people stand up in the middle of a movie theater? I think not. I am putting all these inconsiderate people on notice I will not be silent. I will not put up with it again. We paid good money to see our favorite performers and I am tired of looking at someone else’s back.

Trip to Denver June 2009

June 19th we had concert in Wendover, Nevada. We saw Tracy Lawrence. He is a country singer who had many hits in the early 90′s. He has had somewhat of a comeback in the last few years. We love Country Music and it was a wonderful concert. After the concert instead of driving back to Provo we just drove to Evanston, WY and slept for a few hours. Then it was up and on our way to Denver. The day was clear and beautiful. We saw many Antelope alone the way. The country side was so beautiful and green. What a wonderful world we live in. When we got to Laramie we headed south going the back way into Fort Collins. It was a two way road but there was very little traffic and we saw more Antelope and some very beautiful country.

We finally got to Denver and made our way toward Golden and got mixed up and missed the right exit and suddenly we were going in the opposite direction. We managed to get turned around and finally got to the Wonderful Table Mountain Inn in Golden. Jim’s kids came over and we all had Pizza at Woodies across the street from Table Mountain Inn. The next day was Fathers Day and Jim and I just relaxed and went to Macaroni Grill for Lunch and later Lydia and her friend Dion came over to the Hotel and we went to a Mexican restaurant and got serenaded by a Mariachi Band. We had a very nice dinner and visit with Lydia and Dion. Jim’s kids were all going to a wedding that day so we did not see them at all. Monday we met up with Katy and Kristy again and we were off to a park to play in the water and then to Dairy Queen for Blizzards. Yumm. Then back to Kristy’s for more visits and later a little dinner. Finally it was time to say good-by to Katy and her family as they were ready to leave the next day.

Tuesday I spent the afternoon with Patricia. We went to her water therapy and did a little shopping. When we were ready to leave after water therapy it was raining so hard we could hardly see across the street. Kristy had come over to get Jim and they got caught in the rain and just turned around and went back to the Hotel. It was scary. After going to the Yarn store we headed back to the Hotel and had dinner with Pattie at the hotel.

Wednesday I met up with Pattie and Lydia and we went shopping again. We had a pleasant afternoon and Pattie was able to find some really nice outfits. Then we headed back to the Hotel and Kristy and Abby and Dion came and we all had dinner together again. We had a very pleasant time. Hugs and kisses all around. Jim and I went back to our room and got ready to leave the next morning.

Thursday we headed back home. Weather was again warm and sunny. Thank You Heavenly Father for allowing us to enjoy and live in this beautiful world. When we got to Green River we left the main road and drove down the Flaming Gorge Gap. It added some time to our drive but we loved the scenery and the mountains. But by the time we got to Heber we were more than ready to get home. We got home in time to see the news. Rocky was there to greet us and life was back to normal.

Dallas

On Friday we drove to Dallas with Kim, Kristy, and Abby. I was impressed by how green everything was. There were wide open spaces and small towns. I can understand why people like living there. The weather was warm but not hot. Kim drove us to the airport where we picked up a rental car. We said our goodbyes and we headed to our Hotel closer to Rebecca’s. Kim and Kristy headed to their hotel for the night. We were nervous driving the Dallas freeways but with the help of the mapquest driving directions we drove right to our hotel. We checked in and I called Rebecca. She said she would bring us something to eat and I suggested she bring Izaiah and we could go swimming. We waited and waited. Finally she called and said that as she was getting ready to come Izaiah kept pushing the button to open the garage door and suddenly it broke. Glynn had to hold the door up just so that she could get out. So just a little bit of drama to start our visit. She brought us a pasta dish that Glynn had made and a GPS. We visited for a little bit then Becca went home.

Saturday morning we went to Becca’s home for Jaxon’s birthday party. Several families from the Ward came and there was a houseful of kids. Jaxon was pretty oblivious that the party was for him. But it was kept under control and Glynn made some yummy sandwich wraps and Jaxon opened his presents and blew out the candle on his cake.

Sunday we went to Sacrament meeting with Becca and Glynn. Later that day we went to the Dallas Arboretum. The afternoon was warm but not hot and we had a very pleasant afternoon strolling around enjoying the gardens. Jim was not enthusiastic about going but once we got there he really enjoyed the afternoon. Later that evening Becca and Glynn came over to the hotel and we all went swimming in the hotel pool.

Monday Becca came and picked me up and we went into Dallas and she treated me to a pedicure, manicure and massage. Pure delight.  Thanks daughter.

Tuesday Becca and Izaiah came and picked me up and we went looking for a yarn shop. We found a really nice shop in a little shopping center and I bought some yarn and we had lunch at little soup and salad shop and then we visited a little pastry shop. I could be happy in this community. The neighborhoods were well organized and maintained. Later that afternoon we went to a photo studio and had our pictures taken. Jaxon had his one year birthday pictures. We were all hungry and we had a little while before the pictures were ready to see so we went to a near by Italian restaurant that was very good. I ordered a cheese cake to take home and when Jim and I ate it later that night it was the best cheese cake I have ever had. We said our goodbyes to Glynn and Becca and the kids. We went back to the hotel and got ready to leave the next morning.

We got up and had breakfast and left for the airport. We got our car turned in and went on to the airport to wait for our ride home.

All in all it was a very pleasant trip with some pleasant surprises and new discoveries. I think that Texas would be a pleasant place to live.