Saturday, July 31, 2010

Groundbreaking Occasion

Rendering of the Brigham City Temple

Saturday, July 31, 2010 the groundbreaking for the Brigham City Temple was held. I just went to the Stake Center and watched the broadcast of it but it was still an inspiring event. When the Brigham City Temple is completed, that will mean we'll have three temples within a 45 minute trip. Obviously a blessing I, personally, take for granted.

Krisy was able to get tickets for the seated section so she took Tyler and Layne to the actual event and got good pictures. That will be an experience I hope will always stay with them. They actually got to use the shovels and turn some dirt on the temple grounds. Nate was helping with other Search and Rescue members with the emergency services.

President Boyd K. Packer (who grew up in Brigham City) was here and was the one who offered the Dedicatory Prayer. I was surprised at how old he looked. Some of these apostles have been in as long as I can remember and I think they should stay the same as I remember them, too. In his talk he commented on how amazing it was that a spot of land, in such an ideal location, has been preserved, just waiting for this day.

Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles was also in attendance. He was kind of a surprise. He urged us to remember the A, B, C's of the Temple. A = Ancestors; B = Bride & Bridegroom, Baptisms, Blessings and C = Children. He mentioned how important it is to teach our children to appreciate the temple. I know many people who take their children at least once a month to a temple and just walk around the grounds or have a Family Home Evening lesson there or just find a special place and go and touch the temple. I never would have thought of doing that when my kids were little. Granted we were a couple of hours away from the closest temple, but still. You just can't do enough to fortify the children in today's world.

Also, in one of the talks the comment was made how much easier it is to build a temple than to build up the people around it. We were all challenged to use this "Construction Phase" of the actual temple to build our family relationships so we are prepared to attend the temple when it reaches its "Ordinance Phase". A very applicable and worthy challenge. For me, at least.

So, I guess in a couple of years, we'll be having an open house for this beautiful new temple.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Subject

The latest movie to come from NetFlix {which I love, by the way} was The Kite Runner. I'm not quite sure what I really thought about it but I do know I haven't quit thinking about it. I may have to buy the book. But the majority of my thoughts have been centered around a quote right at the beginning:

"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors."

My first reaction was to jump off my exercise bike and write it down because I really, really liked it. The more I think about it, though, I confuse myself as to whether I like it or not or agree with it or not. In a way they sort of are like coloring books because they come so pure and innocent. We don't get to automatically fill them with our favorite colors but we can influence what colors they choose. However, I also think to some extent they came with their own box of crayons. Carter's red is not the same as Tyler's and Brian's green is not the same as Colton's and so on. I'm grateful they're such a colorful bunch and I'll take them over black and white any day!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Flashbacks on a FisherPrice Record Player


Haven't quite figured out how it all shook down. Tyler was in the family room watching television when I hear, "How long has that been on the shelf?"

"What?" I respond.

"The record player." Now he's come into the kitchen area where his mom and I are sitting. I'm stumped because I can't think of a record player on a shelf in the family room. There's a whole shelf full of records, but there's no record player.

"I don't think there's a record player in there."

"Yes there is. On the shelf in the playroom."

OK. Well, don't ask me how Tyler could be watching TV in the family room and notice something on the shelf in the playroom. It's not totally impossible, I guess - just a little anatomically uncomfortable. Anyhow, he wonders if they can play with it. Sure.

Well, there's no fun to be had with a record player if there are no records. So Tyler brought the stack of kids' records in with the player. Most of them are the Disney stories where you can follow along while the record reads the story, breaking randomly for intermittent songs. Then I see The Record. I mean, Theeeeeee Record.

I can't tell you how many times I listened to this record when I was little. Actually there was this one and a Peter, Paul and Mary record that were my favorites. I would play them over and over and make up silly little dances with all kinds of extemporaneous hand movements and belt out the words at the top of my lungs {I had aspirations of being the next Geritol Woman on Lawrence Welk}.  One of my most favorite songs on this particular record was, "Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sunshine In". Krisy and Nate were delighted that I was willing to share it with them Sunday night. Sorry I couldn't remember all of the words to lip sync more perfectly and I wasn't willing to get off my chair and do the dance but a good share of the visuals were there.

So, what do you think? Isn't it just the cutest little simplistic song ever??? Totally politically incorrect in today's world, I know. But it's all about doing what you need to do to keep the devil out of your life and as far as the song writer is concerned, that is to smile. Well . . . that leads me to these cute little ant traps. A vendor had these traps at the IFA Trade Show we went to in Jackson Hole a few weeks ago.


 If I start at the beginning, my distaste for these little ants began a day or two after we moved into our first "Home" in Deseret. Everything was moved in and I'd been unpacking boxes. For some reason I had packed an unfinished afghan around some food items - one of which happened to be a bottle of honey. Between the heat and getting jostled from place to place, the bottle of honey had leaked onto the afghan. I unpacked everything else and left the afghan on the kitchen counter, along with the bottle of honey. I didn't see anything wrong with dealing with it another day.

Next morning, I saw what was wrong with the previous day's thought process. There was a trail of itty bitty black ants around the base of the cupboard, up the front of the cupboard, around the edge of the counter and then into every bit of honey that was accessible - on the bottle and the afghan. I was disgusted. Then I got mad at Alan because he called them "Piss" ants. I thought that was a bad word and he shouldn't be saying such things - especially because I was six months pregnant and, my goodness, he couldn't be talking like that once the baby was born! Thirty-three years later, I've come to the realization that "Piss" is a mild name for these little varmints as we have had them off and on since that day. They randomly invade our basement now. Alan says they're migrating. I say they should be smart enough to realize this chunk of ground has already been staked out and there is no room for them but I guess you can't be industrious AND smart.

So, back to these traps. To set them, you pull that little white plug out of the middle section. The theory is the ants are attracted to the liquid inside so they'll climb down the hole, get some of whatever chemical concoction that is in there on them, get bored because there's nothing solid to eat and no dirt to move, eventually climb out and head back to the Family Ant Hill, sharing this liquid with any other ant they come in contact with. Little do the ants know, the liquid is poisonous.  They may have had a fun little jaunt through a new, unchartered piece of territory. It may have been exhilarating to successfully find their way back out of the little hole. But they don't realize their little escapade may cause the destruction of their entire Ant Hill World as they know it. I'm not sold on these traps {Skeptic is my middle name} but . . . I firmly believe they were developed by some mad scientist who understands Satan's plan better than any of us.

All we have to do is go out into the world, collect a little bit of  'poison' [I'll leave it to you to name your own 'poison' here],  come back home with some of it still stuck on us and then we share it, either consciously or subconsciously, with everyone we come in contact with, not to mention other family members. We take it in the door and shake it off. I quickly developed a theory once Nathan started school, too. We were a fairly healthy family until that fateful day. And then it was like he went out amongst the germs, brought them home and shared them with all of us. We got colds and flues and what-nots from then on.

The scriptures are filled will just such examples and warnings for us. Just the other day, Joe reminded me of Amalickiah and how he deceitfully won power over the Lamanite armies and then took them to battle against the Nephites. He was so sure he would walk all over the Nephites but as his armies marched from city to city, they found each of them to be well fortified against any attacks from outside. The Nephites had listened to their prophet. They were living so as to be guided by personal revelation. They were doing what they could to keep Satan out. I'm sure they smiled just a little bit as they realized how awful, awful they made the Lamanite armies feel just by being where they were supposed to be and doing what they were supposed to be doing. And I'm assuming they checked all the incoming ants for any signs of worldly poison that could be used to weaken them once inside their city walls.

I need to be as conscientious in my own life. In my own house. Maybe I need to shower more often.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ima Tree Update

Well, I've been doing some thinking. It's been some thinking between a couple of different posts, too, and they're beginning to be related.

First off, I've decided it's time Ima Tree moves on.

I think it might be time to forgive the Culligan Man and his salt water. Maybe it's time to give Alan the go-ahead and let him do some pruning. Maybe Ima Tree needs the chance to put all her energy into new growth and not have to get so worn out trying to maintain the branches that serve only to remind her that someone made a careless mistake.

Maybe that's what "It is what it is" means. Maybe it should be more "It is because it was" and then you let it go. Because the only growth Ima Tree can do now is in the present moment. So I guess I'll be talking to Alan about doing some gentle 'shaping'.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On Beetle Bands and Sacred Groves

How does one vent vaguely? I mean, either you're venting or you're not, right? Hypothetically speaking, I may have witnessed a violent venting. The victim was one of those huge, 4-point antlered beetles that have like three sets of wings and huge bodies and fly around clicking their wings like they're all in some hoity-toity, $700-a-ticket rock & roll band or something. Okay, well, maybe that's an exaggeration when one of them actually lands and you can get an unbiased look at it. But where there kamikazzying {yes, that's now a word} at you, they appear exactly as I described. Anyhow, this particular hypothetical victim of the hypothetical venting outburst appeared to be innocently crawling in the dust outside a hypothetical trailer door.

Back up. You need to understand this is not just any dust. And this definitely isn't any hypothetical dust. It's real and it's at least 2" thick and blows around your feet and ankles like one of those snakes in a basket . . . only there's no basket that can contain this snake-dust. It permeates your very being. Anyone who is brave enough to venture out into it is an instant magnet for it.

Like those magnetic games that have a face drawn on a piece of cardboard and then a plastic shell over the top of it. Encased in the shell are a gazillion metal shavings. The game comes with a wand with a magnet attached to one end and it is used to move the shavings around and pretend to put hair on various parts of the printed-on face. Only this dust game has no magnetic wand and no one in control of which dust shavings go where and why or when.

Anyway, I've wandered off on a tangent {that means something to me because of my geometry days} so back to this hypothetical trophy beetle. He was really just minding his own business. I don't know bugs or beetles well enough to know if he was looking for shade or wanting to bury himself in the sand to cool off. Since he does have all those clickety-clackety wings, maybe he was just crawling around looking for a high point for his take off. Maybe he was part of some synchronized air show the Beetle Band puts on. Well, if he was, the synchronized air show will be lopsided. So...there he was just minding his own business but minding his own business in the path of this hypothetical mass of flesh and bones who was in need of a ventilation duct. Yup, you guessed it. He got it. Sand was kicked on him by the crazed woman {who may or may not have really been there}. Beetle would no sooner crawl out from under the most recent covering than another coat was layered on. He was rolled over on his back and vented on with some more dust. Too bad the wimpy little rainstorm of tears couldn't reach the ground to either revive him from this woman-made dust storm he was in the middle of or release him from his misery.

This hypothetical rampage went on for a few minutes until it appeared the person who may or may not have been there may have sensed the presence of witnesses. Either that or she got an image of what it must have looked like beating up on a poor innocent Beetle Band member. Then this hypothetical person slumped over, walked away and vented some more with a shovel on a smoldering fire. Well, I decided I'd seen enough. I sought refuge from the tragedy in my trailer and what do you know, there was a Beetle Band member on my screen door. He did look a little dusty but I don't know if he was the victim of what I may or may not have hypothetically witnessed or not. However, I'm sort of making a wide girth around the crime scene. I don't know if I'm doing that out of respect for the possible death of one of God's creatures {even if he did choose to be a member of a Beetle Band} or just out of pure, unadulterated embarrassment for the possible "ventor". Either way, the unmerciful suffering of something so small and defenseless had kind of effected me. (Which is it: do you effect the affect of affect the effect?)

Anyway, on that note, though, I do need to say I do love this beautiful world Heavenly Father created for me. This campsite is dusty, yes, but it is also surrounded by grassy, tree-filled ground. I took my repentant body for a walk in "the woods".  "The woods" aren't so thick with trees that you can't see your way in or out. And it isn't so dense that I feel like I'll get lost or turned around but they're thick enough and of variety enough to be peaceful. There are aspens and fir trees and dead, fallen-down trees and tall, thin burned ones. We saw a deer last night out in these woods. Around the campfire last night everyone was talking about the black bears that have been killed or spotted up here, too. I thought that was very thoughtful since they all knew I was staying on by myself! Walking out in the woods now, though, I realize something else - there are many different sacred groves.

I sobbed my whole trek. I know my shoulders were shaking from the toe-curling sobs but everyone was gone now and so I didn't have to hold anything back. I was looking for phone service. Don't ask me why. Who would I call that I could spill my heart out to? Who would want to hear or, better yet, listen? That's when it became real to me that my Heavenly Father is there for me regardless of and totally independent of access to phone service. And in my sacred grove I was reminded of a lot of privileges and blessings that I am not using to capacity. That will change. One of my email affirmations said, "I love my eyes. I see clearly in every direction - past, present and future. I see good in everyone. I lovingly create the life I love to look at." I am full of gratitude for not only all that I see but all that I feel, too.

Well, so there's a little more peace in my heart. Sorry about the Beetle Band member, though.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Flitting Little Nothings of Thought

  1. Fifteen stairs per flight. Four flights. Three trips down {carrying luggage}. Two trips up. And that was just me trying to get checked out of our hotel room this morning. That doesn't include the other two days we were in the hotel. That's some serious stair-stepping if I do say so myself! I did get me a couple of new birdhouses to hang around outside. They'll all be gone in a heartbeat the first morning I find out I'm feeding skunk birds! Knock on wood, there haven't been any yet this year but Alan's trapping season hasn't started yet, either. I think the skunk birds showed up around the first of August last year, though, so there's still time.

  2. Dorothy said it so well, "There's no place like home!" And Alan didn't even let out any audible moans over a dried out lawn. Thank goodness for good neighbors!

  3. And...remind me not to eat at the Black Pearl again. That's all I have to say about that.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I got myself so confused on the previous post regarding butterflies and 'its' and 'iss'. By the time I'd finished proofreading it for about the third time, I was wondering not only about what I had already written about but I was wondering if I needed to know more about the 'it' or if I needed to concern myself with the 'is'. I mean, seriously, if I don't understand what the 'it' is, then how can it even be an 'is'? So, not to be struggling with just one confusing thing, Betty has to go and add a whole new depth and dimension to the problem. Not only am I unsure of what 'it' is and also what it 'is' and if it 'is', now I must be concerned about what I think it is and if what I think it is (and, therefore, what I see it as 'is'ing) but I now have to be confused about the fact that when I say, "It is what it is," you may not be seeing the same 'it' or the same 'is' as I am. That's where I lost it in geometry, too. I don't remember the chapter or the page but I remember lines being drawn on the chalkboard and the teacher teaching us that those two lines would never intersect no matter how long they went on for because they were in different planes. Holy Cow! I could not wrap my head around that concept. So, as I have done some more thinking on my quandary, I have come up with some more quandaries.


Snow in July? I specifically remember a 4th of July when Nellie was the baby when it snowed. Nothing major but still . . . snow in July is just wrong.

Well, this supports the part of the equation, "It isn't what it isn't". I couldn't believe my eyes, though. Kind of like popcorn popping on the apricot tree only this was cotton seed blowing all around the town. The white stuff collected in piles wherever it found a windbreak. It 'frosted' the grass just enough that it looked like when you first look out in the morning on those first winter days.

If it is what it is, cemented in, unchangeable, how come in the last two days the fifth floor has gotten farther away from the first floor? My distrust of alligators {elevators} is still deemed greater than the pain of the stairs. However, there have been moments when I've doubted the decision {tomorrow when I'm doing all the checking out by myself down those five flights of stairs will be a big one}. . . these stairwells are similar to parking garages and those of you who know me know parking garages are right up there with full swimming pools as far as places I like to be. The walls are all gray-painted cement with metal handrails and the entire chamber echoes something fierce. I tried to take a picture from the fifth floor looking down through the middle and again from the first floor looking up to the fifth floor but you can't really tell what it is a picture of, so, I suppose it is just how I think (and my body feels) it is, huh?

'It' is a bowl of lemon and mango sorbet . . . and . . . a bowl of strawberry ice cream.

How come therefore it is the same masculine hand holding the same spoon delving into both of them? Maybe someone else needed to see if 'it' is what it 'is', hmmmm?

As far as our concerns/doubts/questions about Alan's second family in Idaho . . . our family discussions have always ended with us coming to the same conclusion: Alan couldn't handle more than one wife at a time, let alone a whole other family. And it would be too complicated to keep them both straight and we aren't totally convinced Alan could handle that level of intricacy. However, I now have proof that is making me rethink the possibility that it is NOT necessarily what we are being told it is. Or perhaps it is and he's also got a family in Wyoming, too. At least we can no longer give him the benefit of the doubt based on his inability {or what we perceive to be his inability} to handle more than one woman at a time!

And, yes, folks, it is what it is . . . sort of Tom Selleck gone bad but, hey, you gotta love that fringe! I always thought it would be fun to write a romance novel and describe the uncontrollable attraction to my Man who comes home at the end of a hard day of working, smelling alluringly of sweat-soaked, newly tanned cowhide combined with the sun-baked residue from his day {birthing a calf or two; slaughtering a couple of chickens for the little woman to cook for his supper; and perhaps even a bit of worm guts left on his fingers from his fishing attempt earlier}. The sun would just be setting behind him as he opens the door, silhouetting every little strand of fringe on the jacket I made him from the hide of our favorite pet pig and in the warmth of the last rays of the sun, sparkling in his beard, a drop of chew that hadn't quite made it to the ground. I would stop what I was doing and run {slow motion, of course} to him, wiping the silver polish off my hands onto my apron {he's a rich calf and chicken farmer so I have lots of silver to be polishing and besides, he still has the two headless chickens in his hands so it's not like I've been able to get his supper ready or anything}. He's in the house, now, coming towards me as I'm running {slow motion, of course} towards him. Still - it's really S...L...O...W motion. And just as our bodies are about to embrace, he plops down in his chair, making it easier for me to pull off his poop-covered boots and all the while we've never broken eye contact. Cool, huh?

I'm definitely convincing myself it is what it is and, as definitive as it may sound, it is still all relative.

P.S. I almost forgot the most important thing I learned while here in Jackson Hole! And the best part about it is I learned it from the Bar J Wranglers! For those of you who have not been privileged to hear them perform, oh, let's say, six times over the last 14 years, they are sort of a western version of the Smothers Brothers. For those of you who don't know who the Smothers Brothers are . . . well, they are who they are. Anyway, what I learned was BINGO WINGS! Yup. Now they are not just bat wings or the Relief Society wave or sleeping muscles, they're my BINGO WINGS!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


What does "It is what it is" really mean? People are saying it all the time to me lately. In fact, I can't count the number of times I've heard it in the last year. Each time I hear it I think, "There's a reason I'm hearing this. I need to remember this." Yet even though I remember it, I don't really understand what it means so it's not really helping me to remember it. But I can't seem to forget it.

And, because I do believe people come into my life for a reason and those same people say things to me for a reason, I have been led to repeat that phrase to others in a various array of circumstances. And I can spout it out with all the dignity and grace of any great motivational leader. Heck, I can even say it so convincingly that you'd think I'd actually coined the phrase myself.

Answers? What does "It is what it is" mean? Is it like one of those theorems I had to memorize in geometry where if A=B and B=C, then A=C? So if it is = it is, then it isn't = it isn't but it is ╪ it isn't and it isn't ╪ it is? Must I learn what 'is' so I will know what 'isn't' and therefore 'know' that neither side of the equation can be changed?

Wait a minute. My sister has a quote on her blog that says something to the effect that if there was no change, there would be no need for butterflies and I strongly believe in butterflies.

The Butterfly Effect basically says that all it takes it the wispy flap of a butterfly's wings to produce enormous consequences far, far away. Well, then that would lead one to believe that it is = it is . . . at least until a butterfly moves.

It is stated that I have butterflies in my stomach when I am nervous. And usually I am nervous not only because I don't like what 'is' but because I don't like my level of involvement with what 'is' and so I am going to be altering 'it'. Once again . . . change.

So . . . is 'it' what 'it' is or not?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Favorite Things

A previous post outlined many of my 'addictions'. Can't believe I left out Eeyore! Anyway, the kids and grandkids got me a basketful of my favorite things for my birthday. It was great and I don't think they left out anything!



Thanks for the fun evening. I LOVE you all more than Pretzel M&M's, Eeyores, Goldfish crackers, Max {yes, even Maxine}, veggie wraps, JoAnn's coupons, Ghirardelli chocolate w/carmel centers, old movies, popcorn, and even more than sugar cookies with homemade frosting and lots of the little round sprinkles!