Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
So what is it?? I have come to the conclusion, (and I FIRMLY believe this) that if you don't floss everyday, you have bad breath! Prove it to yourself...I dare you! Floss your teeth and then smell the floss...it makes me ill just thinking about it! Can you imagine all of the bacteria that hides in those small gaps in our teeth?? A dentist once told me, "You don't have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep!"
So I am sharing with you one of the greatest finds on earth! I have used every kind of dental floss imaginable and this is my very favorite..."Plakers"...They are minty and they are SO strong...they even come with a small pouch so you can carry them in your purse or pocket or wherever...
They even make them for kids and my 2 & 3 year old granddaughters use them everyday (I'm SO proud!)
Disclaimer: I am NOT affiliated with "Plakers" in any way...just LOVE the product!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I have been watching the world through the eyes of the television lately. This is something that I usually try to avoid doing but with all the turmoil in Haiti and with the state of our own Nation, it's pretty hard to miss.
Haiti is in shambles! The images I see break my heart and I struggle to feel any thing remotely associated with joy. When I see the sad eyes of precious children who are orphaned, virtually naked and scared, my heart just breaks. I see a small nation polluted with rubble where buildings once stood. I see heartache, sadness, pain and fear in every image. Where is the joy?
So after last nights State of the Union address, which left me terribly discouraged, and the constant barage of photos of Haitian turmoil, I turned the TV off! I opened my scriptures and just randomly let it fall open, which it did, to Matthew 9. This is where Jesus heals a man striken with palsy (verse 2). He saw his son who was "faint" and He told him to "Be of Good Cheer..."
I thought of this verse that I have probably read over a hundred times, but this time, it hit me differently. I felt as if the Savior was talking directly to me! I have been so wrapped up in the agony of frustration that I have forgotten to look for the Joy and Be of Good Cheer.
So I started to reflect on the events in my own life these past few days. While it's true that I have experienced my own sort of turmoil, I have simply forgotten to find JOY. I have been so worried about sweet little grandson who is struggling to learn how to keep breathing no matter what. I have had deep concern for my infirm dad who keeps falling and injuring his already broken back. My son-in-law lost a dear friend yesterday to a suspicious death...It was all too much, so I went to my Yoga class. Interestingly enough, her class was focused on breathing...For one hour, I remembered to BREATHE and really focused on doing so.
Then it hit me! THIS IS LIFE! Nobody said it was supposed to be all chocolates and roses. Earthquakes happen. Politicians are not always honest. Elderly parents get sick. I get sick. My sweet grandchildren get sick. On and on and on...that's the plan, that's the way it is! I have NO control over what happens in the world and even sometimes in my own life, but I DO have control over how I handle it and the key is, FIND THE JOY!...be of good cheer.
So this morning I awoke and decided to find the joy in everything today. I let my dogs out and actually stood on the front porch for a moment to enjoy the beauty of the morning. The new snow that glistened in the early morning dawn actually warmed my heart! I poured a glass of juice and thought how blessed I am that I can enjoy it in a warm, beautiful, cozy home knowing that my sleeping husband is healthy and well in the next room. I realized that even though my dad is in constant pain, he is joyful and he makes me laugh. He is a strength to us all and continues to fulfil his role as "father" even though his body had failed him.
I realized that my precious grandson who struggles for life-sustaining breath, gives me more love than he will ever realize. I have already learned from his example of endurance. I marvel at how strong he was in the hospital these past few days as he was poked and prodded. I watched as he was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and awakened by numerous health care professionals who needed to check his vitals. Through it all, he managed to eek out the sweetest smiles. He cuddled closely with me and would look into my eyes as if to say, "it's OK, Nana, be of good cheer".
So there is the joy...I found it! It is all around us and we need to sometimes just stop and take a breath. Stop and look. Stop and be still...Stop and thank the Lord for the precious moments and very trials that help us to become stronger. As long as we have breath, we must find the joy in each breath and each moment. That is the challenge! So today, I am going to look for joy. I am going to be thankful for all that I have and most importantly, I'm going to remember to BREATHE!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Anyway, if I can find a reason NOT to go grocery shopping, I will find it. It makes me crazy to get 3 shopping bags of food and spend at least $50...and that's if I'm lucky! I'm cheap, I admit, and I look for the best deals; I don't usually care about name brands, with few exceptions, and have even found better quality in some generic brand items. I had to go today and I almost PUKED!
After the drudgery of grocery shopping, I went to SLC and bought a "Cricut" machine that I have been eyeing for several months now. After doing my homework I decided on the "Cricut Expressions". It's more expensive than others, but it does everything It retails for $349.00 but I found it for $249.00 at Roberts Craft (in Utah...probably on-line as well). I was STOKED!
Now I have to figure out how to use this precious new find and also find excuses and reasons to use it! But then it happened...I got home and almost puked! This is a "fun" purchase, not a "poop" purchase...what's going on?? I started thinking about what I could have spent that money on and started second-guessing my purchase! Brad and I had even talked about it before I went this morning and decided to go ahead and make the investment...YES, he laughs and thinks I'm nuts!!
Why do I get like this?? Am I really that cheap? I AM going to keep it and I AM going to learn to love this crazy little invention...I just HATE spending money!
So now I have calmed down, I went to the grocery store ...probably the reason I wanted to throw-up...I poured myself an icy cold Ginger Ale and now I feel better.
What's wrong with me??
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
The Boosters are responsible for most of the town's events and also responsible for making sure that the town funds are distributed fairly to each said event.
First, let me just tell all who may not know, that Midway was settled by the Swiss settlers because it looked so much like Switzerland to them and they felt they had arrived home. The locals will tell you that the name "Midway" was chosen because the early settlers saw the beauty and called it "Midway to Heaven". It was settled in 1891, and has grown into a beautiful resort town boasting several of the world's best golf courses and several 5 star resorts. People from arund the world come here to relax and enjoy the wonders of nature that abound at every corner! It is also the town where my husband grew up.
We started the meeting with prayer and then we were warmly welcomed by the already established members, given our assignments and proceeded with the agenda.
I have always lived in BIG cities...Los Angeles, Seattle, Ft. Lauderdale, NYC...well, you get the point...so it was very foreign to me to be sitting in a room with a City Councilman and our Mayor (who happens to be a neighbor!) Don't get me wrong, I wasn't "star struck", I just found it so odd considering my past experiences in life.
My point to this whole thing is this, I found that these 20+ people sincerely love this beautiful town that we live in. I found that they are able to deal with whatever circumstances are before them and that together they...WE...will work together to have a great year and provide amazing experiences for the citizens of our town. I found that these people would rather work together than fight for their own agendas. I found that patriotism is alive and well and that citizens who love their community can project that same spirit of patriotism into their community to promote a cohesive camaraderie for the general good of the public.
It is great to see so many "volunteers" give of their time and talents just because they love their community and what's even better is to see them give it willingly and freely. They do it because they WANT to do it!
I am humbled and honored to be a part of this great . I'm not quite sure where I will be an asset just yet, but I know that with the help and support of others, it will be clear and together, we can do anything!
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I too have had moments where I have looked back and as I reflect on that now, I see where looking back just makes me feel less positive than I want to feel. Maybe not always sad, sometimes angry or hurt...whatever the emotion, it generally is not a good one! After all, I'm NOT getting any younger and sometimes I see life slipping by at a speed that seems to be out of my control!
I made a career decision several years ago that was quite literally heart-wrenching. I'm not gonna lie, it was a tough decision whether to stay or go. I was prayerful and thoughtful as I took several months to reach the ultimate decision. I made it, I was happy and I moved on...BUT, as the years have passed, I admit, I have looked back...sometimes with regret, sometimes with sadness, sometimes with relief...
I am ultimately glad that I made the choice to leave my job and just because I made that decision 5 years ago doesn't mean I can never go back to some sort of work opportunity. I have had amazing things happen to me that I would have totally missed out on. Amazing opportunitites like being there when ALL 5 grandchildren were brought into this beautiful world. I have been able to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming more involved in my community by serving on several committees, I have taken cruises and great trips with my husband and his fellow company employees, I have been able to be with my dad when his health has taken a turn for the worst...and the list goes on and on. To me, these opportunities are priceless! These are the moments in life that would have passed with me or without me. You can NEVER get those moments back!
One of my philosophies to life is: It doesn't really matter how you DIE, it only matters how you LIVE.
So as change continues to be a real factor in life, I am trying to learn how to effectively deal with it and let it be a positive, never looking back.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I had a great lesson taught to me the other day by 2 of my sweet little granddaughters. I was over at their new house helping their mommy get boxes unpacked, things put away and helped put together a new crib for the baby...of course, these precious little girls wanted to "help" and were driving their mother crazy. Poor Aja was pulling her hair out as she was trying to work but also having to tend to the constant needs of her girls.
As I was putting the crib together, I stopped for a moment to reflect on my experiences as a frazzled young mother and an idea popped into my head...
I took one half of the crib box and made a bed for the girls to lay in as they watched a movie! How simple is that? I enlisted their help in gathering their pillows and favorite blankets and together we spent about 2 minutes to create a "new" space for just them...they loved it.
They taught me that all of their fancy toys and games meant NOTHING! A simple BOX was the solution to our problem and this appeased the girls for hours! They had fun putting this simple bed together and it was new to them. I saw that as long as they participated in creating and felt a sense of pride in ownership, they were happy as can be. Who'd a thunk?!?
Monday, January 18, 2010
It's hard to say if I really have a favorite day or not, I guess it really depends on that particular day. But, I LOVE Mondays because that is usually the day that my sweetheart and I spend together just hanging out, usually going to lunch, shopping and/or to a movie. Sometimes we just hang out at home and that's OK too!
My husband works so hard and is SO disciplined! He works from home and his productivity level is off the charts...I would be a complete failure if I had a job where I made my own hours and had no one to answer to but myself...I just couldn't do it, I guess I'm too A.D.D.
What I love about this day is that it is our day to just relax and stop from the world! I usually hit the gym early in the morning, come home and get ready at my leisure and let the day happen. That's something I wish I could do more of...not micro manage myself to death like I usually do...
So YAY! Today we get to just hang together and do whatever we want to do! I love Mondays!
Friday, January 15, 2010
It made me laugh...
Thursday, January 14, 2010
The most heart-wrenching photo I have seen was the image of a distraught father holding his deceased young child (I'm guessing 1-2 years old) with tears streaming down his face. My heart broke for this stranger who I felt some sort of connection to. Then it hit me! We are all bonded through the ties of humanity. We are all brothers and sisters...
I have been in 2 large earthquakes. One was way back in the 60's in Bellevue, WA. I was getting on the school bus and the driver started yelling at us to "SIT DOWN"...I did, right on the steps of the school bus. I saw my neighbors driveway split open and I was confused. It lasted just a few seconds. I'm not sure how many, but it was frightening. Only one person died, an elderly man from a heart attack
The second was just a few years ago. Brad and I were in Hawaii with his daughter, Natalie. It was a Sunday morning around 7:30 and I was awaken by a tremendous shaking . We were on the 14th floor and it was wild. We suffered no damage or harm, but we were frightened for a few seconds and concerned about aftershocks, but that was it! Honolulu turned into a ghost town for only 1 day but our hotel stepped it up for us. We lost power for the entire day and got our workout going up and down those endless stairs! But, we had food and water and we had comfort and shelter. We made friends and even met one of the stars of the hit show "LOST" who was at our hotel.
The people of Haiti aren't as fortunate. Their homes are destroyed, their lives are shattered and their hearts are broken. Their outlook is grim and I cannot begin to image what they are feeling.
It's easy to disconnect from these "strangers" and move about our daily lives with little or no concern for what is going on just off our shores. I, for one, don't ever want to forget! This disaster reminds me of just how tremendously blessed I am!
So, my plea is that we will all offer our sincere prayers heavenward on behalf of these brothers and sisters of ours who are suffering. I know that God hears prayers and will answer them in His time and in His way. Together we can petition our Father and ask for His mercy and love to be shed upon this tiny island nation...
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
It all started on 23 Feb 2003. It was a Monday and I had just returned home to Salt Lake the day before after having been in Hawaii for a few days and then stopping in Las Vegas to see my best friend. Monday was supposed to be my "recouperate from vacation"day. I did laundry, dusted my lonely apartment and power cleaned the entire abode. Around noon I showered and around 12:30, the phone rang. It was scheduling from Delta telling me that they understood that it was my off day, but would I help them out and pick up the remainder of a trip because one of the FA's was injured.
I did...begrudgingly. The story goes on, I won't bore you all, but it was sweet. I met Brad and little did I know that my life was about to change forever!
We often recall the events of that special day and in fact, he celebrates it each month with a token (gift, card, flowers etc.) to commemorate out meeting. He has never missed a month!
I joked with him (although it's not so much a joke and more a "wish") that he should have found me 30 years earlier! I go on to say that he could have saved us both so much heartache and pain...I blame him (tongue-in-cheek)! Then we got serious and I realized that the very heartache and pain is what formed me into the woman that he fell in love with. Had either one of us NOT endured the experiences of our past lives, who would we really be? I learned the following lessons and they were valuable and priceless.
- I endured betrayal and heartache and learned to totally forgive and forget. If you think you've forgiven, but you continue to dwell on what happened, you haven't forgotten therefore you haven't forgiven.
- I am responsible for my own happiness and no one else. Others in my life ADD to my joy and happiness, but they were not responsible for it.
- Patience is a great blessing. I still haven't mastered it, but I am more patient and understanding of others. My dearest family and friends showed tremendous patience for me and set the example I needed to follow.
- Unconditional love is the key to success in this life! Again, I haven't mastered this, but I am constantly working on it and I am getting better at it.
- Temperance is also a great blessing. I have learned to temper myself and "pick my battles". Being a hothead ended up causing a lot of heartache for me.
- I learned the difference between "Idealism" and "Reality"...
- A positive attitude will pull you through trials much easier than a negative one.
- Reliance on the Lord is the ONLY way to survival. I learned that He is the only real constant in my life. He is always there for me and He has experienced all that I have experienced and felt all that I have felt. He is can succor me and give me the strength I need to endure anything.
- I am a strong woman who doesn't "need" a man in order to feel complete or whole...he enhances who I already am and inspires me to be a better woman.
- I learned to love myself.
Sometimes I felt like I was walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death...maybe I was, but I have learned that I never have to walk it alone!
So, who's to say that we would have even survived each other had we met 30 years ago! Maybe we both needed to learn the lessons provided by our past lives in order to become the people we are today . I know this, Today we are compatible! Today we are happy. Today we are more self-assured. Today we are strong!
Who's to say??
Saturday, January 9, 2010
This used to be a frustrating game for me because I was always at the mercy of the "mother" in front of me. Whatever she said, I had to do. Some kids moved forward quicker than others, we were all just at her mercy.
I guess this game is indicitive of how life works. We all have steps that we have to take in order to move forward and reach our ultimate goal(s)...Sometimes we are able to take giant steps, other times we can only take baby steps, and if we really have a bad day, we take a few steps backwards. It's not that one step is more important than the other really, it's that we continue to take the collective steps forward and avoid the backwards steps. In life, we are at the mercy of circumstances...sometimes they hinder us, but if we stay focused, we can always proceed.
As I get older, I often think about that silly childhood game. I relate prayer to asking "Mother May I"...of course, in prayer, we ask "Father May I?", If he says "yes", we proceed and move forward...if he says "no" do we listen and be still, or do we try to move forward? If we ignore the Father and take the ungranted "steps" we end up having to go back to the starting line...So interesting!
Friday, January 8, 2010
"One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip the father asked his son, “How was the trip?” “It was great, Dad.” "Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked. “Oh yeah” said the son. “So tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father. His son answered, “I saw that we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our yard and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have millions of stars at night. Our patio reaches to our front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.” The boy’s father was speechless. “Then the son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Ready or not, 2010 is here and moving forward!
Brad and I had planned a relaxing day for the first day of the new decade. It would entail driving to Salt Lake, taking in the 2:20 showing of the new "Sherlock Holmes" movie and having a nice quiet lunch before driving back home. I realized that I left my cell phone in my mother's car the day before so we decided to stop by their place with the intent to pick up the phone, have a quick visit and then off to our prefectly relaxing day.
We didn't make the 2:20 show, we didn't make any show. My dad had taken a turn for the worse and both Brad and I knew that we needed to take him to the ER. We did, and after a battery of EKG's, X-Rays, CAT scans and numerous blood tests, it was determined that he had several compression fractures in his spine (his spine is compressed 50%) and we knew that he wasn't going home that night!
During our time at the hospital, several times we heard people say, "What a way to start the New Year!"
My dad was a trooper! The meds didn't even begin to touch his pain and as the nurses worked to make him comfortable, all I could think to do was bring him warm blankets every 20 minutes or so...he loved that! I watched as he winced in pain. But he kept his cute sense of humor and made the doctors, nurses, techs, and other aids chuckle as he flirted with the nurses with clever comments and joked with the guys who wheeled him to his latest battery of tests.
Then it hit me! One of those "AHA" moments...he was serving the very people who were serving him! Between the stabbing pains of agony and torture, he remained calm and still...he never complained! He turned his focus to those who were so highly skilled and trained to provide the best care possible.
I sat there in awe of this frail old manwho was helplesslyat the mercy of these strangers. He took them in and endeared himself to each one. They giggled at his musings and smiled each time they entered or exited his room. I was touched.
I felt humble. I felt proud and honored...my once "oh so strong" dad, who is now so dependent on others for his care, taught me the greatest lesson I could have asked for. He taught me to Love everyone. He taught me to be Thankful for everything. He taught me to Endure whatver comes my way. He taught me to Live!
So even though my definition of perfect was not in play on Jan 1st, I will always treasure the sweet and tender, most valuable moments that I shared with a man who has given me so much throughout my life. I will always be thankful for the perfect lessons he taught me that day. "What a way to start the New Year!"
These trees have stood tall for more years than anyone can recall and have been around my husband's entire life and have seen and heard all of the goings on in our community. If these trees could talk I'm sure they would have a lot to say!
They have withstood the elements and seasons of change, but not without damage and scars. They have been struck by lightening with such a deafening crack that it resonated throughout this little valley. Even the old timers remember these majestic old relics as the stalwart giants they are today.
They have provided switches for swattings, limbs for swinging and boughs for shading...they completely cover the lawn with the shedding of their fall leaves creating hours of laborious rakings. More importantly, they have served as a reminder of younger years when a precocious little boy, along with his friends and cousins climbed the branches like monkeys in the jungle risking life and limb for their boyish rites of passage.
I love these trees. I look at them as examples of how to endure the everyday trials of life. They continue to bend with the wind and sway with the breeze. They have withstood earthquakes and blizzards and their boughs have become so heavy-laden with snow that they stretch to the ground.
Whatever mother nature send their way, they adapt. Every fall they shed all of their thousands of leaves and every spring they grow new ones. They lose tired old switches everyday but grow new ones that are stronger and more lovely.
We can learn a lot from these trees. We too can shed the old and renew ourselves in a more beautiful and healthy way. Their endurance is sure and serves as an example to us all.