Weighing Matters

my journey to b.e.t.t.e.r

Week’s End

This thought has filled me up!

I’ve been studying for Sunday School. We’re learning about the creation. These words enraptured my soul! [Is that a word?]

Jonathan Edwards, an early president of Yale, understood the symbolic purpose of creation. He showed how the daily rising of the sun, and its awakening us in the process, is a witness that when Christ, the True Sun, comes, He will awaken us all from death. “As the sun, by rising out of darkness and from under the earth, raises the whole world with him, raises mankind out of their beds, and by his light, as it were, renews all things and fetches them up out of darkness, so Christ, rising from the grave and from a state of death…raises all his church with him….And as all the world is enlightened and brought out of darkness by the rising of the sun so by Christ’s rising we are begotten again to a lively hope, and all our happiness and life and light and glory and the restitution of all things is from Christ rising from the dead, and is by his resurrection.” (Quoted in Perry Miller, Images and Shadows of Divine Things, p. 60).

I love the heavens. I love the moon, the stars and the Sun. I often imagine that heaven will be in the sun. It is light and energy and direction and warmth and fire [so it will be cleansed and pure.] It’s huge and all-consuming and the center of the universe.

January 17, 2010 Posted by | Life, Optimism | Leave a comment

200th post

Where does the time go? Time flies when you’re posting!

200 posts! What could I possibly say to make this post memorable. Special. Worthy. I thought about finishing my other post [post number 100] where I listed things about myself. Apparently it’s acceptable behavior in post-land to make 100 statements about yourself on the 100th post. I only made 50, so I’ve thought, occasionally, about finishing that.

But to tell the truth, I’m stinkin’ tired of talking ‘first person,’ talking about my hang-ups, my weight, my problems, my idiosyncrasies, my character flaws, my mistakes, my foibles. Tired of talking ups and downs, tired of junk food vs. healthy food. Tired of which exercises work for me, how much I like lifting, my measurements. Just tired of all that.

I want to do something to make me feel. good. right. now.

I want to feel wonderful.

And I know what’s going to take me there. A little gratitude.

1. I love my mom. I love her dearly. Her influence in my life blesses me every single day. Not many moments go by without me asking, “What would Mom do?” It might sound sacrilegious. I know a lot of people ask “What would Jesus do?” I’m pretty sure those two answers would compliment each other on nearly all occasions.

2. I adore my family. Each of my five children are so special to me. Each comes with different personalities, different priorities, different outlooks, but the world is a big place and my heart is a big heart. There’s room enough for all of them.

3. I’m so grateful for my employment which brings with it Wyoming retirement, insurance and benefits, paid vacations and holidays. It’s a good job despite some stressful occurences. I have great hours [early mornings] and nights and weekends off [usually.]

4. I love living where the seasons change. Even though my feet are freezing at this very moment, I so love a fresh snow fall, hearing geese overhead in Autumn, the heat of Summer and the fresh newness of each Spring day.

5. I love learning! I love hearing something amazing I’ve never heard before [or forgotten and get to hear it all over again.] Last Sunday I learned that God gave Moses power over the waters of the earth and he used his power majestically four times: parted the sea, turned water to blood, healed the poisonous water and struck the rock from which water then flowed in abundance. That is exciting!

6. Along with that, I learned the Council in Heaven was a series of councils rather than one long meeting. That makes so much sense to me, but I don’t think I had heard the concept before. Love it!

7. I am blessed with good health [at the moment] and I’m blessed to be able to use this body for everything I need. Just the other day I was somehow able to climb up into the Jeep without help [and without a ladder!] and later opened the door, aimed my feet toward the ground and slid out without incidence. Each day when I’m cleaning the halls I feel like a giraffe trying to bend myself in half to pick up a paper too big for the carpet sweeper, but I get there and back up again with relative speed.

8. I have several dear friends who would do anything for me. Friends I confide in, laugh with, cry with, call at any moment. And many, many close friends who enrich my life.

9. I was blessed to grow up in a huge family where I learned to survive hand-me down clothes, sharing one bathroom with eight other siblings and two parents, preparing meals, doing dishes and daily chores, learning to work together, play together, sing together and pray together.

10. Our home is almost mortgage free.

11. I’ve only been in one tornado and only felt a slight tremor during the Yellowstone earthquake a hundred years ago. I can’t imagine being in war-torn, storm-ravaged, or gang-infested areas of the world. I like my very quiet boring corner of the world.

12. I’m so blessed to know WHO I am, WHERE I came from, WHAT the heck I’m supposed to be doing with my life and WHERE I’m heading if I do the best I can.

13. I love my bed! Every single night when I climb in, the same words tumble out of my mouth “Oh, that feels so good!” And I snuggle down into my memory foam and succumb to my subconscious on my favorite feather pillow.

14. I’m blessed to know how to sew. I can fix lot’s of things, sew many, create a few and enjoy them all. I remember taking 4-H and then Home Ec. My mother sewed everything and all of us girls followed in her footsteps. OK, Louise, Eileen and Carol are fantastic sewers. I get along with what I need to do. I just signed up for a year-long quilting class and can’t wait to get my monthly projects started!

15. My five grandchildren mean all the world to me!

16. I have good teeth! I should have listed that third!

17. Laughter has always been easy for me. I love to be funny. I love to make someone else fall over with laughter. I love a good practical joke. I love good humor. I love to shriek in a movie. And I love to be around someone who makes me laugh out loud!

18. I love my living room furniture.

19. I am grateful for talents that keep me entertained, busy, able to give wedding gifts at a reasonable cost and assure that I’ve always got a project going if I get bored with life.

10. I love my new computer.

21. Ok. My Dad. I love my Dad. I just didn’t have that great of a relationship with him while he was alive. I’ve had a better one since he passed away. That sounds harsh. But it’s really not. It’s not. [I talk to him all the time, now. And I have great memories of him.] He was a very busy father. I felt like he was too busy for me. I felt kind of lost in the crowd. But I know, I KNOW, he worked his heart out for all of us kids. He did everything. He mowed and washed dishes and shopped and shoveled and took care of his mother and her three sisters. He planted a yearly garden and preserved it along side Mom. He planned for the future. He helped all of us with college. He helped a dear cousin of mine, financially. He overlooked so many of my faults. He was a great example of his beliefs and his faith. He provided for Mom so she was well taken care of the last 15 years without him. I know I disappointed him, but I know he loved me.

22. My life has been blessed by being able to spend so many summers at Green River Lakes. We’ve had every kind of memory possible, from grizzly bears, to 100 people sleeping on the floor in the lodge, to picking up one thousand cigarette butts and Hershey-kiss foils during our years as caretakers, to hikes and river rides and hypothermia and giardia. From inside-out tents in the dark, to pot-luck dinners. We’ve played Rook in the tent by lantern, seen Telescope Man and the Cook family for years, built rafts and sand cities, and canoed to the upper lake. We’ve had baptisms and family councils and church meetings on Sundays. We’ve made strawberry pie, and jello chilled in our little campground stream. We’ve hiked to the cave and called out to the whole world while standing on the highest boulder. We’ve ‘echoed’ hello’s across the glacier-made valley. We’ve picked layers of ice off our hand-washing water and nearly froze on occasional nights. We’ve had hail-ball fights in mid-July. We’ve been so hot we could only get relief by swimming in the corner swim hole at the bridge or laying in the lake. I’ve loved every single moment of Green River Lakes!

23. I love my Vita-Mix. Enough said!

24. The perfect color of sage green. After buying approximately nineteen cans of paint to match what I had in mind for a craft, I came upon the color ‘Streambed.’ It is beautiful! It is wonderful! You must have it if you love sage green!

25. Sunkist oranges.

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Blessings!, Just Stuff, Life | Leave a comment

apparently

Apparently the pants I wear are unflattering. Apparently they don’t connect with fashion and womanhood. Apparently they don’t compliment my body shape. Apparently I shouldn’t be buying pants with the double seam up the outside of the leg.

That’s what I hear.

I love them! They are cheap inexpensive, dark blue, fit like a glove, come all the way up to my waist. What more could I want?

I’ve tried other pants. I have. I’ve tried on the ones that flare at the bottom and drag on the floor. I’ve tried the ones that only come a hair past my hair. [oops, sorry] I’ve tried the ones that are supposed to flatter my backside. I’ve tried the ones with decorative pockets and flaps in the back, but I really don’t need to draw attention to that side of me anyway. I’ve tried the ones that cost a fortune and really do look nice but I can’t afford anyway. So I buy these. And I love them.

I actually own 62 pair of pants with the double seam up the side. Of course they are various sizes and colors and lengths. Some are at least 15 years old. Some are just a couple of months old. Some are 35 pounds ago. One pair is for the near future when I lose five more pounds. Some have the button fly and others zip. But they all are heading to blanket-ville.

My daughter’s right. I shouldn’t have bought pants with the double seam. But not for the reason she used to support her cause. It’s because I’m having a hard time sewing through the double seam to make my quilt.

January 11, 2010 Posted by | Dang it!, Life, Silly | 2 Comments

bliss

I borrowed this from Tracy’s site:

Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey … delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

~ Gordon B. Hinckley

January 8, 2010 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Week’s End

I’ve wanted the opportunity to write each week something I’ve discovered about myself, life, others — and do it consistently throughout the months and year. I notice I write the majority of my posts on the weekend when I have time to think, time to process; so I’m calling this post Week’s End, to signify a different kind of prose. This post will be personal, perhaps a little more serious, and something from my heart. That’s the goal. I’m not sure it will be of value to anyone else, but myself.

This week I learned I have a desire to stay connected to my roots, my family and my descendents. Several years ago my grandchildren gave me 100+ questions on small strips of brightly colored paper which were supposed to help me write my history. I half-heartedly gave it a try, but quit after writing perhaps a handful of responses. I felt like they were invasive and too personal to be writing down or saying out loud. I didn’t want anyone to know how many mistakes I made growing up and into adulthood. I was ashamed and embarrassed, but the more I thought of it, perhaps my children and grandchildren can learn from the mistakes of one old grandma.

So here we go [reaching into the giant 2 gallon glass jar with the apothecary lid].

Question 113. Tell about your teenage social life, your friends, dances, movies, dating, outings, church activities, etc.

[See, I’m just saying.]

I’m not proud of the way I behaved as a teenager. I dated way too early and too seriously. I didn’t have a good relationship with my Father so [looking back] I can see how I sought the approval of the male gender. I often dressed like a tramp and acted like one. I subsequently got pregnant at the age of sixteen and pretty much messed up my life and my baby’s.

I know this kind of behavior contributed to breaking my parent’s hearts and shaming my family. My only hope is that others who are at this stage of their life will actually learn from my experience and not date until they are older, double date with good friends, come home at a decent hour and be honest with themselves in all their activities. I pretended that I believed since I didn’t feel love from my dad that I needed to find ‘love’ somewhere else. But it’s been a whole lifetime of sorrow and regrets.

Ok. On a lighter note I learned something else this week. [See how uncomfortable that made me?]

Tracy and I were heading to town to have one last shopping binge and as I turned on the heat in the car I noticed a sickly sweet smell coming from the engine area. As I turned up the heater, I noticed it becoming stronger and stronger until I became quite worried that her cats had climbed up under the hood near the warm engine and had dragged some food out of the garbage to eat there. It smelled like cookies or cake or something that was getting increasingly more warm. After about five minutes of discussing this with Tracy I realized I had just put on some lip gloss called Cinnamon Sticky Buns and I was smelling my own lips as the car got warmer.

Demented. I know.

January 3, 2010 Posted by | And that's a wrap, Life, Out of the closet | Leave a comment

dRiVeS me cRaZy!

25 things that drive me crazy, make me mad or destroy my sanity: [Warning: you may not want to read this. Some content is unsettling or could be offensive to the pure in heart.]

1. Shrimp and other crawling sea creatures boiled alive and served as food for the human population.

2. Pornography. I hate going through a checkstand and seeing half-naked women right next to the candy bars, soft drinks and Chap Stick. When I was growing up, it was kept behind a counter or covered with brown paper.

3. People who leave their stuff on the toilet seat in a public restroom. This includes their poo, pee and paper.

4. People who use too much make-up. It seems they are hiding from the world and from themselves. I hate the orange line along the hair and jaw line of too dark [or the wrong color] make-up. Someone should be kind enough to tell the unwitting their makeup is all-wrong.

5. Forgetting important [and often trivial] things.

6. People who obviously haven’t studied the topic yet continually add their thoughts to the Gospel Doctrine class because they love the sound of their own stupidity. This kills the Spirit in a split second and undoes any good that was previously accomplished.

7. Really bad breath, and people who won’t bother to tell someone they could use a mint.

8. Gay and lesbian relationships. Holding hands and kissing in public. Movies and TV that insist on showing this depraved choice of lifestyle.

9. Bible bashing. Especially the morons who stand on the street corners during General Conference and yell at the top of their lungs that their views are more Christian than my beliefs.

10. Sewing machines that make knots under the fabric with the bobbin thread.

11. Manufacturers who try to trick me into eating more calories by putting 2 servings in a single package of say, a small bag of Sun chips, and list it on the nutritional label in very small print. This goes for a small bottle of juice as well. I mean, really, who is going to share the other half of a 14-ounce V-8 Splash after they have already put their germs on the rim?

12. People who can’t seem to rid their homes and yards of junk. This includes myself. My basement is a landfill in the making.

13. Public display of breasts. Big breasts falling out of a tiny tank top with a bra unequal to the exhibit. On more than one occasion I’ve walked over to a total stranger and said “Hitch it up, lady!”

14. Movies that would have been perfectly good but had to add vulgar language to up the rating.

15. Pop-up adds on my computer, especially the “one rule.” I’d like to “one-rule” them right in the nose.

16. Oprah weighing so dang much when she has access to the best dieticians, the best trainers and her own gym and swimming pool in all of her eight houses. I think it takes a lot of nerve to expect all of America to better themselves when she doesn’t take care of her own health and weight issues.

17. Tattoos, body piercing and the new trend of ear gauging with the big African-style loops that distort the lobe into a hideous display of anger and disrespect for the human body.

18. Affairs, unmarried sex, lies, flirting, cheating. Anything that undermines a sacred marital relationship. And as a result displaces children, warps their present and future relationships, resulting in the upheaval of society, creating single-parent families trying to raise innocent children on the backs of the welfare system.

19. Not knowing exactly what vitamins I should be taking for my particular circumstances.

20. Plaque. Getting my teeth cleaned and having to admit I’m particularly lazy in the area of oral hygiene.

21. The whole Hollywood thing. I can’t believe intelligent, hard-working, honest, decent people have any desire to observe famous people posing and stroking themselves on the red carpet. It infuriates me when the ‘rest of us’ fall prey to their lack of morals, lack of clothing and lack of reality.

22. Perfectly good cell phones and computers that no longer function because they have become outdated and have to be upgraded to keep up with technology.

23. Otherwise wonderful, loving and adorable people who can’t for the life of themselves realize they are offspring of a benevolent God who wants them to turn to Him in all things. They insist of ruining their lives with the trappings and glitter of the dark one’s lure.

24. People who continue to tell the same version of a story they’ve realized was not true but who enjoy the thrill of upsetting others with their gossip and ‘inside’ information.

25. Debt. The enticement of ‘having it all’ without having the means to pay for it. The concept of instant gratification and being lured by easy credit. The effect it has on the entire country and the economic situation when people selfishly want, want, want without actually having worked for it.

January 3, 2010 Posted by | Cleansing the palette, Frustrations, Life | Leave a comment

Thelma Rose

Mikelle’s dear friend and resident where she has been working the past year and a half passed away. It was never Thelma, always Thelma Rose.

This amazing, wonderfully warm friend made a huge impact on my daughter’s life and on her heart. And I will always be grateful for that. Thelma Rose had very few moments of clarity, reality or moments in the present.  She rambled on about past memories, past experiences and brought them right into today as though she were currently participating in some adventure or mystery. But she loved Mikelle. And Mikelle adored her!

I’d call her or text and ask what she was doing and inevitably Mikelle was doing Thelma Rose’s hair, her nails, rubbing her feet, laughing with her, making home movies or just sitting side-by-side on the couch chatting or watching So You Think You Can Dance. This is a nursing/retirement home! [They’d all say “You call that dancing?!?]

One day Mikelle called me and said that Thelma Rose had had a few minutes of total clarity and she told Mikelle in the sweetest, most personal and earnest way. “I want you to get your life together, Mikelle, so we can spend all of Eternity together in heaven!”

Oh my goodness. It broke my heart and made my day all in one moment of clearness.

Thelma Rose told Mikelle what I’ve been telling her for years, only it sunk in when Thelma Rose said it. Thank you Thelma Rose. Thank you for loving Mikelle. Thank you for including her in your life. Thank you for sharing your smile and laughter with her. Thank you for warming and expanding her heart. Thank you for including her in your expectations. Thank you for encouraging her to get it together!

Love you Thelma Rose! Rest well. See you in heaven!

December 31, 2009 Posted by | Friends, Life | Leave a comment