Monthly Archives: April 2011

Stimulating Conversation

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Have you ever been in a discussion with someone where you’ve tried to look at a certain issue from more than one view point?  Not in an argument…. just discussing different ideas of a topic or a question.  The kind of conversation where your mind gets to working and wondering about things differently than you had looked at them before.  Today was such a day with a discussion with my husband.

I love that man.  He is so level headed.  He always tries to look at things from another persons perspective.  He used to get teased in our old Ward by a friend who used to call the ‘ward heretic’!  When ever they would be in a discussion about something in a Priesthood meeting….. he would always make a comment that was different from what other people were saying.  Not that he necessarily agreed with it so much as to make a point that perhaps other people look at it differently than we do.  He actually still does that today.  I truly don’t believe he does it to be the devil’s advocate…. he just likes to look at all sides and make other people think about it in more than one way.

Today our conversation actually got started because of a ‘discussion’ my son had started on Facebook.  We read all the comments that people had posted in his discussion and had made some observations about it and then began our own discussion about the question our son had posted.  My husband, being the reader he is…. pulled up some stuff on the internet from a guy named Lawrence Kohlberg.  Kohlberg was a Jewish American Psychologist best known for his theory of Stages of Moral Development.  My husband had learned about him while he was getting his Masters degree.   He wanted to quote some of the things Kohlberg had said that he felt were relevant to the conversation we were having…… which of course stimulated more conversation.

My husband and I spend a lot of time together because he is retired and we now just run a small business out of our home….  but we don’t always have those kinds of conversations….. at least not on a daily basis.  Usually we are doing other things that don’t necessarily call for a discussion on a heavy topic.  But, when we do…..  I enjoy talking to him because he makes me think in ways I don’t usually think.  I’ve seen my kids come over and have intellectual conversations with him too.   Oh, yes….. he and the boys have their conversations about sports….. but they’ve had plenty of times when the topic was not sports.  I think all of my children would agree that they enjoy talking to their Dad.  He really is a master at stimulating conversation….. when he’s given the chance!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Makeup

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I don’t think this post will appeal much to men….. at least not most men….. <grin> … but if they are honest, they will admit that their woman looks MUCH better when she is wearing makeup!  Now….that is not meant to be offensive to those of you beautiful women who choose not to wear makeup!  I’ve seen plenty of beautiful women who really don’t need it!  Unfortunately…. I’m not one of them!!

I’ve always thought that my eyes were one of my best assets…. but only when they have makeup on!  They look pretty sad without it!  Now I don’t wear a lot of makeup anymore.  It’s a very rare, and I mean RARE occasion that I use eyeshadow.  My eye makeup these days pretty much consists of eyeliner and mascara….. several coats of mascara I might add…. cause I like my eyelashes to show up topped off with an eyelash curler.  But what a difference just those two things make!  Sometimes I wear eyeshadow…. for instance….. depending on the kind of show it is and what kind of character I am, I will wear eyeshadow for stage or as I mentioned…. rarely for special occasions.  Speaking of which…. can’t forget stage makeup and makeup for Halloween!  How much fun is that!!

Of course my favorite way to start off my makeup is with my Bare Minerals base and blush.  Love that stuff!  I love how it naturally covers my skin without looking heavy and helps to make my skin look even in color.  Good stuff.  Then of course, the eyes as mentioned about.   The last thing is lipstick.

My Grandma Tzeitel look for Fiddler on the Roof at Hale Theater. Thank Heavens I don't look that way everyday!

I’ve never forgotten what my Dad said to me years ago when I was younger.  I was getting ready to go somewhere, a date I think…. and I came out with out lipstick on and he told me I looked wonderful but that I needed to go put a little lipstick on.  Lipstick, he said, was like the crowning jewel on a woman’s face.  It just sets it off nicely.  Wow!  How many Father’s tell their daughters that!  I’ve never forgotten it and have always tried to make sure I ‘crown’ off my face with lipstick before I leave!

Have you ever noticed how much difference makeup will make when you see a makeover done on TV?  Of course…. the only thing that really bothers me with those is that the ‘before’ pictures are always of them without ANY makeup at all on!  Of course that creates more of a dramatic transformation…. but I would really like to see an honest ‘before’ picture taken showing what her makeup was like with her doing it herself compared to what they do.  I’m pretty sure you’d still see a difference!   Anyway…. my point with that is that makeup does make a difference for most women….. and even men!  You know….. when it’s used to make them look better on camera!!  I’m grateful that makeup is there to make me feel better about myself and that I’ve reached the point that I don’t fuss so much about it that I can be done putting it on in about 10 minutes.  It make passing by a mirror much more pleasant!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

A Full Cupboard

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Have you ever stood in front of a well stocked pantry or fridge and said:  “There’s nothing to eat!”  It’s kind of like standing in front of an over stuffed closet and saying:  “I have nothing to wear!”

Aren’t we funny creatures?  Do you think the fact that we are blessed with so much we just take it for granted and forget how truly blessed we are?  I think we have a tendency to get into “The World Owes Me a Living” syndrome….  much like the old cartoon with the Ant and the Grasshopper!  Do you remember that?  Here’s the link if you want to jog your memory:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAd0jOuQg8o    We kind of take it all for granted and just expect it to be there!

Today was one of those days…… not so much ‘There’s nothing to eat’, but more of ‘What should I fix for dinner?’  Isn’t it nice that I had a choice?  I mean really….. I can think of things right this very minute that I could have fixed for dinner that didn’t even cross my mind at the the time!  Of course…. tonight I chose a quick and easy way out…..!  I happened to find a frozen pizza in the freezer out in the garage and lost all motivation (not that I had any…) to fix a meal that took any effort.  Sheez!  Sometimes our world is too convenient!  And that’s not good…..because I really do try and make better food choices for the most part.  OK… OK…. so why did I buy the frozen pizza in the first place, right?  Good question.  The answer is simple.  A Costco coupon and a weak moment!  The funny thing is….. if I am going to choose not to eat very healthy and have a pizza….. I really ought to go somewhere and at least have really a good one…. not a frozen one!!!   Papa Murphy’s comes to mind…. or Pizza Hut…..  but I digress!!

I am very blessed in my house to have a well stocked pantry as well as food storage in the basement.  Though my food storage supply is not as good as it should be…. at least there is a little there!  Which makes me so much better off than many people!  Particularly in light of all the things that have been happening around the world!  Though I don’t think a food storage supply will do much good if it’s washed out to sea by a tsunami….  or blown away or ruined by a tornado….  I do believe that our Creator will take care of us for being faithful and being prepared!  I am very lucky to be where I am.

I hope that your cupboards are full and that you are blessed daily with the things you need!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Mr. Rogers

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It was brought to my attention today that a phrase I quoted on FB last night was actually originally made the incomparable, Mr. Fred Rogers.  Though Mr. Rogers used the word ‘Like’ instead of “Love’ as Billy Joel did…. the message is the same….  “I like (love) you just the way you are!

In pointing that out to me….  It made me start thinking about Mr. Rogers and the huge impact he had on children so I started doing a little research on him.  Though I don’t think that Mister Rogers Neighborhood was a favorite program of my kids to watch…. you’ll all agree that we learned things from him…. whether we wanted to or not!  I was amazed as I searched at some of the profound things he said!  There’s so much I could expound on him and his contribution to society…. But, perhaps it would just be best to let the words already written by others and his own words speak for and about him.  So… here goes:

The Following is from Wikipedia:

He wanted to teach children to love themselves and others, and he addressed common childhood fears with comforting songs and skits. For example, one of his famous songs explains how a child cannot be pulled down the bathtub drain because he or she will not fit. He even once took a trip to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to show children that a hospital is not a place to fear. During the Gulf War (1990–91), he assured his audience that all children in the neighborhood would be well cared for and asked parents to promise to take care of their own children.

During the 1997 Daytime Emmys, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rogers. The following is an excerpt from Esquire‘s coverage of the gala, written by Tom Junod:

Mister Rogers went onstage to accept the award — and there, in front of all the soap opera stars and talk show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, “All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence.” And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, “I’ll watch the time.” There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn’t kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. And so they did. One second, two seconds, seven seconds — and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier. And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly “May God be with you,” to all his vanquished children.

These are Mr. Rogers own words:

“I’m proud of you for the times you came in second, or third, or fourth, but what you did was the best you have ever done”

“When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.”

“In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of — moments when we human beings can say “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “I forgive you,” “I’m grateful for you.” That’s what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.”

“Sometimes people are good, and they do just what they should. But the very same people who are good sometimes are the very same people who are bad sometimes. It’s funny but it’s true. Its the same isn’t it, for me and you . . .”

So many more profound things that I could quote…. things that should still be taught to our children today!  I don’t even know if the program airs anymore since he passed away…. but it probably should!  Even though the format is a little ‘old fashioned’…. the lessons taught are important!

Of course, I think it only appropriate to end this post with the closing statement from his shows:

“‘You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you. And I like you just the way you are.   I’ll be back tomorrow. Bye.”

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Loving What Is

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Isn’t this about the hardest concept we deal with?  I know it is for me.  While I look around me and find so much to be abundantly grateful for…… I can still seem to find things I dislike.  You know what I mean.  It can play into so many aspects of our lives.  For me personally, it seems to  always be putting myself down, in myriads of ways.

What is it with this self esteem thing?  Why do we all struggle with it so much?  It seems that when we are dissatisfied with ourselves, we are very good at finding the fault in others.  Whether is consciously or subconsciously….. we seem to find fault in others to perhaps make ourselves feel better.  Or look better in our own eyes.  Let’s just say that it’s easy to be judgmental, of ourselves as well as others.

I’m trying very hard to become a better person.  Heaven knows I’m far from perfect….. but I feel I’m trying to make a conscious effort to improve.  In so doing…. I’m studying a lot about the ‘law of attraction’.  Go ahead….. scoff at me if you must….. but I’m finding there really is a lot of truth to it.  I recently subscribed to Teresa Romain’s 12 Essentials for Greater Abundance in Everyday Life.  It’s a free email she sends out for 12 days discussing the essential things we need to be doing to create more abundance in our life.  I would highly recommend you go to her website and sign up for these free emails.  http://www.accessabundance.com     She brings up some really great points.  I hope she won’t mind if I use a couple of them here.

One of the most profound points is to look at the following and try to figure out what it says:

IAMNOWHERE

What do you see?  There are two ways to look at that…. one creates positive energy while the other one doesn’t.  First of all….. we are all SOMEWHERE!!  So we can’t really be no where….. it’s just our perception.  Her point is to accept that we are NOW HERE at this point in our life.  Maybe it’s not where we really want to be, financially, with our weight, in our relationships, etc…. but the fact remains…. you are NOW HERE!  Teresa puts it this way:  “To do so doesn’t mean you have to LIKE being “here” – but it does mean that you realize and accept that it’s where you’re at – for the moment.   And it’s this practice that frees you and your energy to take actions and make empowered choices that will help you get where you want to be.”

Another source that talks about his same idea is in a book called “Loving What Is” by Byron Katie.  Her approach is a little different in that she has you look at the other person or thing that is bothering you and then ask yourself 4 questions.  In dealing with the answers to those questions…. you come to accept things as they are and love people in-spite of it.… including yourself.  Now while it’s an interesting read, I honestly didn’t quite finish it because I felt like I needed to do ‘The Work” as I was reading.  My husband, on the other hand,  just read it through.  Although I think to get the most use out of the book you should do ‘The Work’…. I don’t see any harm in reading it completely and then going back through it.  I’ll have to do that…. when it gets returned to me by the person who borrowed it.  ANYWAY…. I just found a link to a pdf copy of her ‘little book’ online.  It’s a smaller version and  will give you the basic concept if you want to  check it out.   http://www.thework.com/downloads/Little%20Book.pdf

Getting back to my point….!!!!  The whole idea of telling ourselves we aren’t thin enough or rich enough or good enough, etc… is creating a feeling of scarcity…. which does not allow the good things to appear in our lives.  Oh yes…. we are getting results from the universal ‘law of attraction’….. just not the ones we want!  And it’s because we are focused on what we don’t have instead of what we do have.  (Hence one of my reasons for creating this blog….)  So to paraphrase what Teresa Romain says…. Celebrate what you have, what you did get done, what actions you did take no matter how small….. don’t focus on what you didn’t do or don’t have!  Be graceful for NOW… no matter what now looks like!  Love yourself for who you are and be grateful for what you have now!  Life will only get better when you do!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Wireless Technology

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Man are we a spoiled society!  I mean really.  It doesn’t seem like that long ago to me that the first in home computers were introduced and my husband brought home a Commodore 64!!  Oh how times have changed!  Now look where we are!

I was sitting here tonight working (ok…. playing too….)  on my wireless laptop computer listening to a live webinar when the power tried to go out a couple of times because of the storm.  While there were only a couple of quick serge’s……my internet didn’t glitch at all.  I was also in the middle of a few other things on my laptop that weren’t affected in the least.  Granted….. had the power gone off completely, I most likely would have lost my connection to the internet….. but I still would have had power to my laptop because of the battery.   I was lucky….  So…. on I went!

The convenience of having wireless internet really is nice.  If I’m working on something or in the middle of listening to a recorded book or motivational call…. I can just pick up my laptop and carry it into another room without missing a thing.  With Wi-Fi in so many public places now….. it makes working on your computer so easy.  I love that part when I travel….. sure makes blogging a little easier!  I can’t even imagine what it would have been like going to college with this technology!  You youngsters are so lucky!

And then there’s the i-pad and the i-phone (or any other smart phone or device that has internet capabilities).   I don’t even have to go there for a discussion….. it’s pretty obvious what the advantages are!  But, as with most things that are good….. there always seems to be some bad with it.  In the case of all of the above mentioned technology…. we can spend WAY too much time on it while we should be getting other things done.  Which is a problem with a lot of things in life.

I just down loaded a program called ‘Focus Booster’ to my computer today.  It’s basically a ‘timer’ set at 25 min. intervals and will go off when you’ve used up the time and then give you an extra 5 min. to finish up what you’re working on.   I think keeping tabs on myself every 30 min on the computer will help me to be more productive in other areas!

My world is a breeze with wireless technology, as I’m sure yours is! What other things do you have that are wireless that make your life easier?

I’m Grateful!  How are you?

Good Teachers

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Teachers can be such an influence on people.  We are all teachers in some aspect…. but today I want to thank the ones who lifted and inspired my spirit today.

One of the things I love about church is the fact that they give the teaching responsibility to so many different people.  It makes the learning experience more interesting.  While it’s true that some people are more gifted than others at teaching, we can always learn from everyone.  Even speaking in Sacrament meeting is an opportunity to teach.

Because today was Easter….. there  were some special messages given.  My favorite of the the day was the lesson we had in Relief Society.  I love this particular teacher.  She is always so well prepared but also has a real gift to teach.  My intention today was to leave about 20 minutes early so I could come home and get some things in the oven for a family dinner.  However…… because Kelly is such a good teacher I couldn’t make myself leave!  Even though her topic wasn’t exactly an Easter subject….  she tied it in wonderfully by bringing in a message of hope.  Among the many definitions of hope in the dictionary is: to feel that something desired may happen;  to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.  The message of hope is an important one….. particularly if you are facing difficult times or know someone who is.  We always hope for the best…. hope that things can change no matter how difficult it may seem.  Her other message was to never give up.  Never give up that hope for yourself or a loved one.  She tied it the Easter message by adding that our Savior knows and recognizes each of us and our situations.  That he took upon himself all our burdens and knows, more than we understand, how we feel.  He will never give up on us and we should never give up on ourselves.

Thank you, Kelly for the wonderful lesson today…… and thanks to the rest of today’s ‘teachers’ in the other meetings for being good teachers and adding to the spirit of the day!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Pedicures and Manicures

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I’m ready for sandal weather!!!  Yeah for Pedicures and Manicures!  Now we just need the weather to cooperate!  Either way….. I’m wearing sandals for Easter!  Besides….. they go with my outfit better!

Today was only the second time I’ve ever had a pedicure.  I really wonder what took me so long.  Particularly when you go to a salon that uses the massage chairs for you to sit in while they give you your pedicure.  I was a ‘walk in’ today, so I had to wait my turn…..but luckily that wait was in the massage chair!  They were pretty busy today when I stopped by, but luckily one chair was open so they sat me down got my feet to soaking and almost an hour later came back to do my pedi.  I know that’s quite a long wait….but remember….. I was getting a massage the entire time so I didn’t mind AT ALL!

The very best part about a ‘deluxe’ pedi is the leg massage.  Man….. I didn’t know my legs were so stressed….but they sure felt good afterward.  I think this may have to be a ‘must have’ every 6 weeks or so.  I’m feeling pretty relaxed….. and my toes look great!  Though I was in the salon for almost 2 hours…. it was worth it!  Next time I may choose a day other than a Saturday….. but it’s still something I need to just plan time for so I can relax and enjoy it and not be in a hurry.

The manicure and gel nails actually came first today.  My daughter’s friend does them for a great price, so we had an appointment with her to get them done.  Since we hadn’t scheduled a pedi with her, I decided at the last minute to go to this other salon to get my pedi…… and so glad I did!  With nails and toes done, I’m ready to sport a Spring outfit tomorrow, even if the weather doesn’t want to cooperate!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

My Handy Man

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I consider myself to be one of the luckiest girls around.  I really do.  I know I’ve blogged about being grateful for my husband before….. but today I’m blogging AND bragging about how grateful I am that he is a handy man!  Not all women have that blessing….. and even those that do can’t necessarily brag that their man can pretty much do anything handy.

I think the fact that he is an auto mechanic by trade makes his brain naturally able to ‘figure things out’.  He can usually look at anything and figure out how it works and what the problem is.  The only time there is a difficulty is if he doesn’t have the equipment and/or parts to fix it.  That is a problem we are facing right now.  When we moved to Riverton a few years ago, I was blessed enough to be in a position to be able to buy new furniture for my house.  One of the things we purchased was a couple of easy chairs for the living/family room.  It’s so nice to have a spot to be able to comfortably sit with your feet up.  I spend WAY too much time in my easy chair…… partially because that’s where I sit to work on my laptop.  It’s much less stress on my back working on the computer that way.

The last little while, the chair that my hubby sits in hasn’t been working properly.  The mechanism in the frame was falling apart and it wouldn’t ‘close’ right.  So….. today, my husband turns the chair upside down and takes it apart so he can fix it.  The only problem in completing this job is that he no longer has access to a welder and now we either need to buy or borrow one or pay to have someone weld it for us.  I think he would prefer the first option…. but it’s a matter of where do we store the darn thing if we get it?  One of the unfortunate things about living in a condo is the garage is WAY too small….. especially for a handy man!!  So, if any of you out there have a welder that you wouldn’t mind us using…… give me a holler!!

My husband really is very handy though and it has saved us thousands of dollars over the years.  Of course, there’s the obvious talent of repairing cars…… but because of his handy skills, we are pretty much ‘do it yourselfers’ at our house.  When we bought this condo, we knew we had a lot of remodeling to do before I could stand to live in it.  (N0tice how I said I could stand it…..)  One of the first things we did was put in wood floors and remodel the kitchen which we installed.  Instead of ordering all new cabinets, we reconfigured the layout, ordered a few new pieces, installed them ourselves and painted them all to match.  I should say my husband installed them…… I just stood around giving directions and holding a few things in place when needed!

We have completely finished off our basement since we’ve lived here and are planning on remodeling our master bath this summer.  I’m always amazed at how he can take my tile designs that I come up with and figure them out and make them look good too!  Some of those cuts aren’t easy and he still mathematically figures it out!  He’s installed electricity, built computers, put in sprinkler systems, re-roofed two houses we’ve lived in, repaired bicycles, built funiture and the list goes on!  He truly is an amazing handy man!  As I said in the beginning…. I consider myself to be one of the luckiest girls around!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

Assisting the Elderly and Special Needs

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We all go through different stages in our lives.  It’s part of growing up.  I’m approaching what is considered the ‘sandwich generation’  Which pretty much describes us as the ‘middle’ of the bread, whatever kind of filling you want to put in there…. we are being ‘squished’ by the generations on both sides of us.  Caring for parents and children or grandchildren.  I don’t have any grand kids to worry about right now ( a few grand ‘puppies’ that we tend on occasion…) and for the most part I don’t have to worry too much about my adult children…. (though you never stop worrying!).  I guess my ‘slice’ of bread with the most pressure would be the parent part.

I can’t take much credit at all for taking care of my Mom.  I would have to give all that to my sister Sherrie.  The rest of us are there to help and all…..but she really is the main caretaker.  Even though my Mom is in Assisted Living….. she really runs the show as far as taking care of the bills and making sure her needs are met …..and she is there more than any of the rest of us.  Once again…. another topic for another day!

I do, however, get the designated duty of doing my Mom’s laundry for her.  I think she came up with this idea so that I was ‘obligated’ to come see her.  I think she was worried that I wouldn’t do it otherwise.  Which isn’t true…..but it does make my visits consistent.  I live about 40 min south of her…so it does take more effort to get there.  Depending on how she is feeling when I’m there will determine how much assistance I need to give her.  There have been times when she has needed a lot of help.  Just getting in and out of her chair, going to the bathroom, etc. etc.  I’m sure you ‘sandwich generation’ people know what I mean.  Depending on her mood (and mine) sometimes this can be a frustrating duty.  I’m trying to be better about remaining positive no matter what for two reasons.  1) Because I know it will help her attitude be better and 2) Because I realize that it really is an honor and a blessing to serve her.  After all…… she changed my diaper and cleaned up my messes when I was little…. so it’s only natural that I should lovingly do the same for her!   John’s parents are in need of help often too.  My husband spends a lot of time over at their house fixing things, mowing and weeding and planting a garden.  We worry that they try and do too much most of the time…. but you can’t take away a person’s independence either!  That’s when they start to loose their will to live!

When we got married, my husband and I lived in an area of Salt Lake where we were surrounded by a lot of older people.  We used to joke and say that our ward was made up of the ‘Newly Weds or Nearly Deads’  When you’re in your 20’s, your perception of ‘old people’ is VERY different then when you are quickly becoming one of them!  I remember how much I actually adored those folks!  They added so much pleasure to my life!  It was a joy to serve and work with them in various church callings.  I truly did love them!  I have always had a love and respect for ‘older’ people.

Now, I also have the opportunity of serving in the Temple and have the opportunity to Assist the Elderly quite often there.  There are so many of them that come in to the temple to do work and service and yet need assistance to get it done.  And it’s a pleasure to serve them….. as well as the younger ones that are there too.  I feel much more needed during a session if someone needs my help.  And we have some very faithful patrons that come often that require a lot of assistance.  What a blessing it is to be the Lord’s hands!

So, while I may be getting a little ‘squished’ on one side of the sandwich for now… I am grateful for that opportunity to show my love.  It won’t be long before I become a slice of bread to MY children!

I am Grateful!  How are you?

working in the temple and Mom