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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Is It Really December?

So much to tell you...I have been so busy...Oh, you have too? That's right, it's December!
Go back to a few days before Thanksgiving...we had a great job for great people to cook turkey and ham for about 200 of the good men at Nellis Air Force Base. With the help of extra roasters, and our trusty ovens....we (mostly Raymond) cooked lots of turkeys and hams. He cooked them and carved them, put them in large pans and met sweet Becky at the door. Off she went to serve good food to our wonderful men in was an honor.

Even though we were up most of that night, I decided to forgo a nap and instead play with my children who were all home....after all, I could go to bed early, so no problem.

Never say...."no problem"

Sound asleep my phone rang at oldest son calling from his bedroom in horrible pain. The kind of pain that doesn't go away....that's right emergency room and kidney stones! He is young, in great shape so he mended quickly, but oh the pain, (and lack of sleep) and that was just the 6 hours at the emergency room. His next pain will be in the form of the bill for his uninsured self....

Thanksgiving was happily celebrated at our long time friends the Soderbergs....The highlight of the whole day was the moment Joe Soderberg took to express his gratitude. It was sweet, sincere and will stay with me for a long time. His wife Karen then took a moment to do the same, to welcome us all to her home, thanked us all for helping....I loved it! And the food was of course wonderful!!

We got home in time to watch the last (I will not ever believe it) game between Texas and Texas A&M....please know this game is as much a part of my childhood as anything. My grandmother would set a beautiful table for Thanksgiving....and then we would eat at half fact she would remind us...."eat a little faster darlin', our Longhorns need us" And the fact they won!! Amazing. However, everyone get it together in Texas and give us our memories back. Next Thanksgiving is going to be a little bit sad.

The next day we started the long road of decorating....I love Christmas...I love the red and green and silver and sparkling things. The lights and songs. I love it all. I have been pretty busy, so it isn't finished yet! Isn't that awful? I am going to finish today...whatever isn't done won't happen..I have put up my fairies, my radko tree, the garland is's enough.

Last Wednesday I was in charge, along with a lot of other women, our of church's Christmas dinner ..... just for the ladies. Women volunteered to set tables with their holiday finery...we even set up an extra table just in case....we had 9 tables of 8....beautiful settings, beautiful centerpieces...I made sure the lights were low...(that is my tip for decorating - low lights, we look better, the house looks better - your welcome) Every thing went so many people doing so much! My husband cooked all day and made a delicious Chicken with basil sauce...Kim made tons of wild rice...and then we all loved Raymond's salad of greens with strawberries and candied nuts...his new dressing is just right and makes it all pop! And all the women who made dinner rolls! Is anything better? We had a beautiful program on the life of the Savior and then....that's right! Pie!! Thank you Charlie for amazing desserts. And thank you all for many beautiful women...I love them all.

The weather turned horribly that night so we left everything in the car to take care of the next morning. I was so tired and Raymond was beat....we had 2 great lunches to make the next day so we got up and just started working. You know how food is, everything goes well and then at the last minute it gets nuts! So Raymond went outside with me to pack the food and he opened the back of the Yukon, not remembering how much stuff was back there.....hold on......wait for grandmother's china came shooting out the back onto the drive. I was in front and just screamed! It triggered so many emotions...why didn't I follow the prompting to turn the truck around? Our driveway is on an incline and I know how easy it is for things to roll out. Poor Raymond all those glasses broken (they were so cheap no problem) but my grandmother's china? She had had them for 70, 80 years...I couldn't get them one block? The news is not as bad as it could be, only 4 bread plates were broken. How protected was I? Raymond felt awful, and was even more relieved that only 4 bread plates were broken!

Reality's just plates....because the next day was sadly spent with friends at the viewing of a beautiful daughter who left us too soon......there are no words to express the emotions one feels in that setting.

I am hoping we can express our love to each other regularly, we never know what is around the corner. So hug your loved ones today.... please forgive people their shortcomings.....the forgiveness you receive back is well worth someone who needs forgiveness often I count on it.

Which brings us to list of things to be grateful for grows. Today I would like to thank Claudia, Byron, Cris and Susie.....they know what for....and I want them to know how grateful we are for them. There are no finer neighbors. None.

The day looms ahead..... lots of problems to solve...but I know I attitude is changing...I am trying not to be overwhelmed by problems..but instead overwhelmed by solutions. I know where my strength comes from...and I am so grateful for the Savior's guidance and influence in my life. I feel His love.

Thank you to all my friends....both around me and cyber.....

Go and have a great day!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jury Duty .......yikes!

So in keeping with a life lived on the proper side of the law I reported today for jury duty. I usually am a good sport about my number coming up for jury duty....but not today. I wore my very bad mood right on the outside of my face, and left it there.
I forgot to call the jury summons folks last night...I don't know how your system works but here in the hinterland we call the night before to find out if we need to report or not. I forgot to call and didn't realize it until almost noon. I panicked and saw a bench warrant in my near future. I was so relieved to find I wasn't supposed to report until I drove as fast as I could, I was only a little late and this is what I walked in on.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please line up numerically.....that is one number sequentially after another. What number are you sir? 108? What number are you? 115? We are missing a few people.....would number 109 please come to the front of the line? No Ma'am please stand behind 108 not in front of 108....would number 110 please come up?"
This went on forever......seriously forever.....
And then this exchange......."ladies and gentlemen would you please curve the line around the chairs in the back? No sir, behind them.....sir? could you please go behind the chairs in the back?
And this went on forever.......I felt like I was in the Star Wars Cafe.....

And I was just annoyed......and cranky.

And so I waited....and waited....I had some friends who worked in the building and they came down and visited with me.......and then some more friends came and went......they all seemed to find the humor in a situation that was certainly escaping me.

And then after another interminable amount of time the folks in charge of our little slice of heaven told us all to go home.

Another day in Paradise....and I made it through without a bench warrant for failing to show up for jury duty.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Flowers For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays....the colors are warm, the times are sweet, the food is good, and we stop just briefly.....just for a moment......for gratitude.

This is my husband's work, he used all my favorite colors....

If you would like to order any of these arrangements, let me know.

As my grandmother would say in the deepest of drawls, "She seems like a nice girl, but does she set a good table?"

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Decide to Decide

Aunt Stuff called the other day....not happy at all. This is the same always happy woman who has minimized her ailments over her later years. When I asked her how she was doing a few months ago she told me in that wonderful west Texas drawl "oh, Donna we're still kickin'! Just not very high!"
That same Aunt Stuff wasn't on my phone the other day. The woman on my phone was shaking with anger. She almost whispered, "Donna? Did you hear what has happened at Penn State?" When I assured her I had, she told me she was sick. Sick in her heart, sick at her stomach and sick with the thought of what had happened there.

Sick that young boys had been so used at the hands of a monster.

And no one did anything to help them. I cannot get the images out of my head. I have two sons....I remember when they were 10 what if this had happened to them and no one tried to save them? I can't wrap my head around what is going through their minds. The boys, the moms, the many innocent people involved......
The fact that no one helped these boys, and so very many people knew what Sandusky was doing...Aunt Stuff read the grand jury many people knew what had happened. And no one did anything. How can that be?

I hope I taught my children to be valiant. To be people of honor who stand up when the world would tell them to sit down. Should we have to reassess on something that should be a reflex? Shouldn't it be a reflex to protect a child? There should be no thought to our own safety or in this case to our own career when a child is being raped.

Joe Paterno was an icon. Now he is a pariah......his reputation ruined. He is scarred forever. It is horrific that he made such a disastrous decision. Couldn't he have made one more phone call? But just one report? And no follow up? There was an eye witness, not a rumor, an eye witness. But they all filed it away, oh that silly pedophile! Let's just take away his key and tell him not to bring young boys on campus any more. Again, I am sick.

This monster has brought down a whole town. Ruined lives and careers in every direction. Joe Paterno will never get over this, his wife and children are forever scarred, Penn State will always have this scandal to deal with. Proud students who have to come to grips with the man they considered their "dad" let a ten year old boy be destroyed and did nothing. And how many other victims? It is hard to believe such evil can exist, it is also hard to believe that this monster was welcome on the Penn State campus up to a week ago, working out in the weight room.

I have been heartened that most of the sports figures that have come forward have said the same thing....."I had nothing but respect for Joe Paterno, but I have sons....."

As typical with evil it was all well hidden. For years it was hidden. I saw Joe Paterno as a guy who never ventured out of his beloved State College Pennsylvania. His home was on campus, he was the undisputed king of Penn State Football. Hundreds of boys went through his program.....he prided himself on making them men, teaching them values, making them work hard and be disciplined. Again the reality is parents are the role models, parents teach morals, how to work, be disciplined. Parents teach values. Sometimes we trust the people around us with too much and we foolishly abdicate our responsibilities. This story should make us all stop and think. And then reconsider the people we continuously set on pedestals for no real good reason. And trust.....with our children.....why do we do that?

This is why we have to decide to matter what, no matter the cost....we will stand for what is right.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh The Places You'll Go!!

When I bought this book for my children I had no idea how profound that statement really was......

Have you ever analyzed all the places you go?

Come with me, you won't believe it......

Today started out OK in front of the computer, I have had to deal with car insurance I checked that status...and then noticed that the credit from the auto part we took back still hasn't shown up on the bank statement......I got Mikey out of jury duty. He isn't a resident of Nevada any more so you would think that would be a no brainer. Nope....he has to fax a litany of information to the jury people. Then all hell broke loose when someone called who said they have something to do with an upgrade, or a new model or something like that for my husband's diabetic meter. Now I listen because this sounds important. But something isn't right, you know that feeling? I soldier on because it's medical and that seems important. But then I realize they don't know what meter he uses, what medicine he takes or his doctor's name. After denying a million times that she is selling something I realize I have given her all my information and she is selling something...a new meter. What a dope I am. And to continue my dopiness instead of just hanging up I keep pushing this wagon right off a cliff. Remember that story about the group of kids who are hiking and one gets bit by a snake? And the rest of the kids take the time to find the snake and kill it instead of rushing the injured one for help? The poor sick kid had a way worse recovery than if they had forgotten about the snake and went for help right away. Well that was me, instead of just hanging up I had to argue with what happened? Because I wasn't paying attention the dog ran out. I had to finish my argument so a long time went by before we started looking for the dog. My daughter's number is on his collar so I had to wait for someone to find him and then call her and then she had to call me and guess what? She is in New York waiting for it to be Friday so she can go to my Nephew's wedding.....11-11-11. By the time all these events took place and I finally talked to the person who had him, they were 20 miles away!! So dumb? Ya think?

Now I am fit to be tied...madder than mad...I missed an appointment AND I had to drive 20 miles to get a stupid dog AND then go to a mammogram. Forgot to tell you about that didn't I?...that's right a mammogram, ah the sweet days of Donna.


I have on no makeup, a terrible attitude and a need for revenge. So I set out to find the dog.

Found the dog.....and the sweetest young girl comes out to meet me. She tells me how they had to pick him up because he was in danger. My heart melts. Thank you I tell her.....thank you. And put the dumb dog in the car......oh he stinks.

Then I look over and see this amazingly huge real estate building...I find the front door and go in. It is the coolest lobby I have ever seen. The directory speaks to kidding. The directory has this great touch screen touch the office you want and a woman's face appears and tells you where it is. I went to the wrong door just to be able to do it again. I loved it!! Once inside the right office I find someone and ask if they have anyone who specializes in raw land as I have an acre to sell. I give them my flier and they buzz around a bit. It may not work but I felt better. Have to sell that land.......

Then I decided to cheat on my diet and have a diet coke. That's right cheating on this diet is a diet coke. Don't ask. So for some reason I decide to go to the Middle Eastern mini mart to get my soda fix. As I pull up I notice another store next to it called, "Trading Labels - Contemporary Designer resale" My bad mood has abated a bit so I go in there before the soda and am wowwed!! St. John's knits, Burberry coats, Coach boots, scarves, shoes, jewelry. At a fraction of the cost!! It was heaven! And two of the nicest women, Natasha and Marlina, own and run it. Fabulous..... and then not to mention and added benefit, the pet groomer next door who brought a poodle in with a mohawk. A green Las Vegas.

Note.....mood improving.

After that I go into the Middle Eastern mini mart and discover middle Eastern people don't drink diet coke. But their food is fascinating. So I walked around....took in the smells and aromas...and I saw some produce I had never seen before! But alas, no diet coke, so back in the car.

Oh the dog smells.

On the way to a diet coke mini mart my friend Lianne called to talk about tomorrow. We are going to the hospital to sit with another friend while her baby, that's right a baby, is having open heart surgery. Couldn't be more serious. Our first instinct in situations like that is to stay away, not wrong my friends. Unless they tell you so, intrude! Bring your love! You don't have to stay long, but you never forget who visits in the hospital....

Mood waaaay improving.....

Now on to the mammogram. Picture me driving down the road with the stupid dog standing up on the console and I cannot get him to move. What I must have looked like to other drivers.

I get to the radiology department and stand there waiting to be helped. I am just about to say something when an elderly woman walks in, holds up a bag with an urine specimen in it and asks "Where do I take this? I couldn't give a sample this morning so they told me to go home and bring one in later." It was the most incongruous thing I had ever seen. We are all about radiology....x rays, mammograms, cat urine specimens. They tried to tell her this was not the place, but she was determined someone in radiology was going to take that sample. They finally convinced her to go down the hall to the lab. She slowly walked outside and came right back. "The line is too long. I am not waiting in that line." Again, Sheila, woman behind the desk at radiology, tells her they don't take urine specimens, and please go to the lab. I pipe up and tell her to go to the lab and find the table near the bathroom and put your specimen with all the rest of them. No line, no waiting. You know if they take urine specimens there is a table near the bathroom covered in specimens. Right? She disappears again......only to come back after awhile to tell me she did just what I told her. Found the table and left her specimen right there.
I turned and looked at all the women working behind the desk. They had the most incredulous look on their face. You know how you look when you see something that you cannot believe you saw, but you saw it anyway? Oh my, this day is so odd.

Now on to the mammogram and the fabulous Nancy Taylor, my preparation we talked about my weird day, and how it was getting better. All it took was kindness. A little here and a little there.....the woman who found my dog, the two lovely women at the resale shop, my friend Lianne, Sheila at the front desk of radiology....and now the fabulous Nancy. Nancy reminded me there was a full moon, a meteor had just gone by and not to forget Friday, 11-11-11, a numbered palindrome which brings some kind of mystic quality to us all. Then not to forget next year, specifically December 12, 2012 starts the Age of Aquarius. I thought the Age of Aquarius was a song....nope, the Age of Aquarius is connected with all kinds of activity. From mayhem to harmony you be the judge.

Nancy was a kind voice, a calm in my abetting storm, and I was a different person. Thank you, Nancy. You never know where you will find a little helpful philosophy.

Oh the places you will go.....all in one day. From the ridiculous to the sublime. I so grateful I could see it.....grateful I didn't stay stuck in my bog.

We really are in control of our lives....I keep thinking I am being acted upon. Things are breaking right and left, bills are piling up with no end in sight, and my stupid land is not selling. And all I am is noisy.....noisy in my head, noisy in my prayers......because of all the noise, I am not listening and not paying any attention to the amazing life that is around me. I am glad I had this day....It was a gift.

What places will you go?

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Augie.....

In the circle of life we have good times and we have not so good times. The not so good times are so we can appreciate the good times. The calm after the storm, the moment after the baby is born.....the minute a party is over and it was a good time. All good times....

But the not so good times pretty much stink. And when we are in that particular curve in the circle of life we depend on a few tender mercies to give us a will to live. To think the sun will come up tomorrow. And if you look real hard you will see all kinds of kindnesses. I know we have...

But to Augie.....not so much. In fact, he is a big donkey. And I don't even know him except for a brief, unpleasant time on the phone this afternoon. There was a bill due...on the 5th, but the 5th is on a Saturday, so they took out the automatic payment on the 4th. The 5th was fine, I had the money there on the 5th, not the I received an overdraft fee. Yikes!! So embarrassing, so annoying....and of course, that would just start an avalanche of problems. So I called the bank...and got to talk to Augie. He was the most difficult, unhappy man I have ever spoken to. He told me he would send me the paperwork that showed on page 5 of 7 pages in one paragraph that if the due date is on a weekend then you have to pay on Friday. And NO we will not help you. And then he did the most amazing thing, he hung up on me!!

I calmly called again, actually because I was stunned, and spoke to an angel at Wells Fargo. I didn't even know that angels were bankers, but yet I found one. She saw the problem, refunded the money and wished me a great night!

How about that?

Did you hear that Augie?

And to everyone else, never take no or NO for an answer. Talk to everyone, after someone tells you no, call again. Never give up.....when you are right, or at least can prove an honest mistake, often people will work with you....unless of course your name is Augie and you work at Wells Fargo.

And to everyone who works with the public, or anyone who even just ventures out in the world, treat everyone as though they are having the worst day of their life and you will be right 50 per cent of the time. There are lots of folks out there who will be affected by a kindness, any kindness.....because the world is beating us up pretty good right now. Isn't it amazing how one smile, one honest kind word changes everything? I want to be that element of change.....

So to the woman at the store who raced around me to get to the checker when she had a cart full of fattening and disgusting food and I had one thing...and then pretended not to see me....let me introduce you to Augie........Enjoy......

Life is good and life is hard....I just want to make sure I behave myself at both ends.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

To Talulah

Dear Talulah,
I know I haven't written for awhile, I get busy, and when I have a second I find the only thing that interests me is pointing the remote at the TV. And then when I realize how much time I have wasted I feel so guilty! But not enough to stop....typical.
Things here are the same, we are still trying to find an industrial kitchen to cater from, or a full on store front....we keep trying to find the answer, but it's not coming. In the mean time Raymond continues to improve his recipes for pizza and pasta, and a million other things. He does know how to make food sing.
I had a really disturbing thing happen the other day....Remember when I wrote that blog, you know the one about me pouting that a minister called my religion a cult? I was trying to be funny, but one person didn't find it too funny. She wrote to me and said it was good that Mormons were being scrutinized because she had had such a terrible experience with some of her family that had joined the Mormon Church. I was horrified when I read what had happened. It seems that her brother had joined the church and he and his wife decided that the rest of family was an evil influence on their children. What do you say after that? Except that her brother and his wife are NUTS. Who does that? How does anyone call their own family an evil influence? How can you profess to love God and then hate His children? I wrote back to her and told her that was not what Mormons are supposed to do.....we are supposed to be at least nice, and definately less like a donkey than that. How was she to know that all Mormons aren't taught to avoid family members who don't "see the light"? We had known each other through our children and I always wondered why she never seemed comfortable around me. I figured she was just shy....I had no idea I represented the devil himself to her. A reminder of a faith that had taken her family from her. Me, cute little Donna.....

When did religion become a club we can hit other people over the head with? Oh, yeah.....from the very beginning. From Cain to Caligula, people who can be jerks sometimes hide behind God and then use Him to justify ghastly behavior. I am pretty sure God would not like that.... wonder folks get a little crazy about religion. We have really messed it up.

Remember when Uncle Bill wouldn't go to church and Aunt Stuff said how great church was and if he didn't go then he was going to hell, and Uncle Bill said he would go to church when Aunt Stuff's dad gave the money back to the Baptists and apologized for running off with the church secretary?
Remember when Aunt Stuff ran over Uncle Bill's football that was autographed by Earl Campbell himself? And then Uncle Bill said religion was baloney because if it was so great they wouldn't fight about it every Sunday.....Remember when Aunt Stuff said Uncle Bill's parents were never married? To everyone at Aunt Barbara's birthday party?

Oh, my don't we love religion.

Loving God is supposed to change you....make you want to be better, different than you used to be. God would never tell us to abandon our families because we didn't see Him the same way.
I am not even very smart and I can see that.

I am so glad my friend took the time to write that letter to me. I learned a lot from her, one thing in particular......she said we never know the burden another person is carrying. How true is that? I read that we should treat everyone as though they are having the worst day of their life and we will be right fifty per cent of the time. I wish I would remember that, and stop thinking of myself so much....and how I am hurt, how things affect me, blah, blah, blah. Maybe I could take a look at folks around me.

I wish I was more like you Talulah.....even though you are a heathen Episcopalian. I tell you what, if you get to heaven before me talk me up OK? And if I get there first I will polish the seat next to me.....unless I end up with Uncle Bill.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How Great Can You Be?

I love a great motivational speech...I love hearing I am taller than I am, smarter than I am and stronger than I am. Because I know when I think it, I can do it.

I can do it!

So this morning when my son called and was a little down, I asked him if he had listened to the Braveheart speech lately....he hadn't. So I told him to google the Braveheart speech before he did anything else.


Because we need someone to remind us what we are made of. Often.

There is a line I picked up from a short fim......after a montage of football hits, and the speaker says in the background, "nothing hits harder than life." I know it is why we enjoy sports so much, why we root for the underdog....we are all the underdog in our hearts and we want someone to believe in us and tell us we can do it. Because life does hit harder than anything else. And we want to know we can get up......

We don't want to die of thirst not knowing we were inches from water. Bad times do one forces otherwise docile people to action. People who would be fine going back to Virginia to farm like George Washington saw a need and understood what had to happen.

Thank goodness great people have felt that need to do something. Do you see what has been invented or created in the last 100 years? We literally have gone from horse and buggy to having a computer in your phone.....what once took up an entire room is now available on your phone! I now believe I can launch the shuttle (if it was still running) from my house! A hundred years ago people were dying from the flu, simple infections and polio. Think things are better now? It is because people saw a need, knew they could fill it, and did it.

Innovation is what has made us strong....critical thinking makes us smarter......and good questions are what makes us think.

When was the last time you heard a really good question? When was the last time you heard the answer to a really good question? When was the last time you took the time to be the one with the answer?

My question for you is, How great can you be?

Friday, October 14, 2011

From My Son....

My talented film major son, Trey, also has a blog. He wrote about his beliefs and how he got there.
In the Third Epistle of John verse 4 it says, "I have no greater joy than to hear than my children walk in truth."
He is a blessing....enjoy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Is This Worth a Pout?

Dr. Robert Jeffress has hurt my feelings. He stood in front of a camera and called me the member of a cult. I know there are 14 million Mormons in the world, but lets be clear, it is all about me and my feelings are hurt. And because I am a mouthy salty woman I can't just leave it there.

It is not my intention to counter any of his points, I am not about to try and "set anyone straight". No argument here. Dr. Jeffress has access to the truth about my religion but he chose, as my sweet uncle would say, "to not let the facts get in the way of a good story."

And what good would it do anyway? What would I gain by trying to persuade him that Jesus Christ is the center of my life? He won't believe me.

But He is. The the center of my life. But Dr. Jeffress says I don't believe in Jesus Christ. And no matter what anyone says, it doesn't stop, he doesn't stop saying it. And it hurts my feelings.

Dr. Jeffress couldn't know that I searched for a religion that felt right. I wasn't born a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints....I went looking for a place to worship. My mother's family is Baptist, but my mother never went to church. My father's family is Methodist, but he never went to church. When I started my search for a religion I went to the Methodist Church first. The Pastor asked that if anyone wanted to turn their hearts over to Jesus to just come up front. So I did. I went right up front.....and I waited, and nothing occurred. That was it.....wait, this is it? No further instruction?....nothing. I didn't know much but I knew that just saying I believed was not going to help me be a believer. I didn't even know what I believed in. I had questions, I wanted to learn, I wanted to know why, I wanted to know everything.....So I kept looking....and then 2 missionaries came to my house. Mormon missionaries. I knew lots of kids from high school who were Mormon. They went to 3 hours of church on Sunday, and before school every day, very intense. And a little daunting. But I listened to them anyway although I was eager to rush them out of my house.......but they kept coming back. And then that Sunday I went to church and suddenly I knew I was home. It just felt right....I had to join, I wanted that feeling all the time. There have been only 2 decisions in my life that have been easy, decisions I haven't regretted one minute.....they are joining the Mormon church and marrying my husband. It wasn't easy for my parents when I joined there was an implied rejection and a lot of mother's cousin didn't help by sending some information to my mother about Mormons that scared her to death. That was the first time I came across anti-Mormon literature.

I have been aware of it ever since.

Anti Mormon demonstrators are outside every temple opening, they come to every conference in Salt Lake City, they come to the pageants our church puts on in the summer at Manti Utah and Palmyra New York, all on our property. Everywhere we go, there they are. Signs, whistles,and yelling at sweet older women as they cross the street to go to conference. And as we leave conference, all 21,000 at a time, our leaders remind us not to engage the demonstrators.


I so want to engage them, I told you I am a salty mouthy woman.....I did do that one time, engage was really dumb. But I did pull one great prank. When our temple was having it's open house, I was in charge of driving people up to the temple. Right there at the gate entrance were the anti's. I stopped and they walked over to the car to give me their literature. I was mad, I mean c'mon this is our temple.....but I was polite. All I could think was, leave us alone, this is a big deal to us...... but I smiled and took their stuff and went on my way....and then I had an idea........the next time I went through I was really nice...I told them how much we enjoyed their literature and could we have extras? They complied and we pretty much emptied them out. Every time I went through I got a stack of their papers and put them right in the trash. All Day Long. It was fabulous!!

I am not going to tell you that being Mormon is some big put upon deal, I mean after all we get every designated driver job. And if you needed a kidney wouldn't you hope a Mormon was available? We are actually very healthy people. I have never been denied a mortgage because I am Mormon.....but it does hurt when I have had great conversations with other mothers at school, we chat and find out how much we have in common, delighted to find a "kindred spirit" and then they find out I'm Mormon.....suddenly there is no friendship and no play dates. That stings.

But to be sure I have had great experiences with religion and friends who aren't Mormon. Case in point my friend Ellen Ayoub. She called one day and said, "Donna I heard something about your religion today that just doesn't sound right, I know you and I know you wouldn't have anything to do with a religion that believed what I heard today." She was right, it wasn't true and I was able to explain what we really did believe. I will never forget that, so kind, so tolerant.

Someone needs to contact Dr. Jeffress and tell him that the people he vilifies and judges so harshly have feelings. But it isn't new....People have been making people feel badly forever. From the Merchant of Venice, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays.......Shylock talks about being Jewish and doesn't he bleed like everyone else? I tried to put the quote in, but it didn't work...but you know how it goes, we are just like everyone else, we laugh, we bleed.
And as a people we are adorable. Gladys knight? Donny and Marie? Philo Farnsworth? (invented TV) your neighbor, your child's teacher, and of course, me.

So Bob, cut us some slack....and give me a call. I would like to know what you think....

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Urine Sample and the Search for Something Better

So for anyone who has been following the odd doings of my life....please let me continue.

I had a flu shot which produced a huge bruise. And then, lucky me, I promptly felt like I had the flu for the next 24 hours....I didn't care for that, and neither did anyone around me......oh by the way.

Then I went to offer up my blood to the technical lab ghouls, other wise known as phlebotomists, who work for my doctors. Since this last test they have the evidence as to whether my cholesterol is where it should be (it isn't) and levels from my B12 to thyroid to sugar to anemia to almost anything else including whether or not I can swim. I am amazed that blood reveals all our secrets......I just want whatever big bang that created me to know how grateful I am for such a handy way to monitor my health.....I love all the miracles that big bang was able to lucky for us all.

At the end of my bloodletting they handed me the dreaded small cup....the urine sample....40 to 50 milliliters she says. I have been fasting I tell her, no eating no drinking...I think I am only a 20 milliliter girl. She doesn't smile......I go off on a journey that I am convinced will not have a happy ending. However, I noticed all I had to do was leave a sample in the cup on the table by the bathroom....and they were so busy no one could yell at my lack of "effort".

Another test down. I seriously am finished with this health stuff. I remember one time my husband went to Santa Barbara for a physical. He met with a doctor who interviewed him, and decided which tests he needed. He started his tests that afternoon, the last test was a colonoscopy....which is not nearly as painful when you have an ocean view. And then at the end of the 3 days the same doctor reviewed every test and told him the results. He praised him, yelled at him, counseled him and sent us home.

Now that my friend is efficiency. Very different indeed from my appointment on appointment wait and wait.......

The worst part is I haven't even ventured over to the Caligula Center of squeeze....otherwise known as the mammogram terrorists. I heard they get their training in Afghani caves from Al Queda operatives, that seems like a good fit.

I also went to the dentist this week with the worst pain....cracked tooth! Where has my luck gone?

Forget luck!! I am banking on the law of compensation.....which means I should be a size 6 next week along with sole ownership of a pair of killer shoes. Seems fair for a couple of really annoying weeks.

Life is like that isn't it? And the reason we stick around and stick it out is that we all believe in the law of compensation.....we inherently know things will get better.

That no matter what bad news we get we'll shake it off and start over. Put some dirt on it.......We believe there might some great thing right around the's how we got TV from Philo Farnsworth, or a bigger map from Lewis and Clark.....without Neil Armstrong we would never be able to say, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." It's what kept Mother Theresa going back to save one more child and got Rudy through Notre Dame. Without it Susan Lucci wouldn't have kept going to the Soap Emmy's, and my people wouldn't have gotten back on the boat in freezing Canada after a long trip from France to say, "we are off to somewhere warm". They then discovered Louisiana and invented gumbo. I am grateful for their search for something better....I don't like the cold.

From Philo to the Cajuns they all felt there was something better.

So the next time you pray.....ask for what you need.....or something better. Don't limit yourself.

And by the way stop complaining about all the medical tests you have been having......I am tired of being a good example for all of you. The strain and stress of it all.

Hook 'em! #RedRiverRivalry2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall at my house.....

I live in the desert, it is a hard place to make things beautiful....being from Texas I don't like not having years ago we made a deal with our yard.....actually we made a deal with the University that they could use our front yard and we would basically do what they told us to do. We had put in a Wetlands.......the first residential constructed wetlands in Nevada....and so our yard was a great fit for wild experiments. They simply wanted us to not use pesticides, and not to augment the soil. We had to see what would really grow here. So they brought in experimental plants and we dug the holes, Sometimes having to jackhammer to make the holes big enough. This ground is hard and rocky.....a true challenge. My front porch.....looks like a home in Texas doesn't it? A gift from my husband....I am so happy he likes it as much as I do....
And so now the flower show starts.....all of these pictures are of the front yard. I just wanted you to see the colors, and the possibilities of drought tolerant plants.

I tried to delete this picture because the palm in the pot is so ugly and I haven't replaced it yet. But it was too not everything looks great!

This is the most beautiful plant, the flowers look like wisteria, but of course, it isn' does freeze, but all four of mine came back, after a lot of time.....most everything starts greening up in April, this one and the bougainvilleas didn't really start going until June. It does pay to be patient.
Verbena is always a must
You can't see this very well, but this is an African Sumac that volunteered in this place, so my husband bent it way over and tied it down to train it to watch over the wetlands....
the Cannas are what we have in the wetlands right now, we took out all the cattails and the curly willow. Too invasive. I which we had hundreds of different kinds and colors of cannas, but maybe some time.
Another African Sumac, they volunteer everywhere because we mulch the entire front of our yard. In fact so much volunteers that I plant and replant all the time.

The original African the trunks on these treesSee the purple? It is called purple heart and I got it out of a woman's yard I had admired. She just handed it to me and now I have it all over. In the bottom of my pots, in the yard, in water, in the wetlands, everywhere.
This is my favorite bougainvillea, it grows up around the mailbox, the mail man hates it, but I don't have the heart to cut it. It comes back every year.
And here it is again....
I love it....
purple heart and creeping myrtle.....I got the creeping myrtle from a friend, and now it is also everywhere.
Russian sage (smells heavenly) and purple ruella growing inside of it. They were both volunteers.....
Next to the purple buddies is California fuchsia, which absolutely takes over......and the start of the pumpkin story...

Last year we went to Sacramento with the Holley's and we went o every farmers market there was. my husband got several gourds and pumpkins and harvested the is what he did with them.......
They are everywhere
all across the front of the yard.....

Is this wild? It goes right across the steps in front of our house.....and there are so many pumpkins and gourds.....just crazy....I wanted to share the fall in the desert....our imagination and a shovel....

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Sayin'

Is anyone as concerned as I am about the fact that Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have a clothing collection at Kohl's? Isn't that awkward? What do divorce lawyers do about that?

Just wondering.

So I went to the Doctor this appointment was at 7am. No problem I get up early, and besides I weigh less at 7am than any other time of the day. Don't laugh, you know you hate to get weighed too. Anyway, I check in at 7am.....the woman at the computer wasn't all the way checked in, but there I was, ready to get checked in and weighed...... right on time by the way.....please know there is not ANOTHER person in the waiting room. Obviously it hasn't gotten out that 7am is the finest time of the day to be weighed. Anyway, twenty minutes later the nurse came to get me from the waiting room where I was waiting....all alone.

I got was awful.

Then off to the examining room, where I waited for another 40 minutes. I was deep into meditation at this point because I didn't want my blood pressure to go up.....deep meditation for 40 minutes. Total time waiting....60 minutes. Not to worry, I am kind of a zen patient. No problem....didn't even notice that I waited for 60 MINUTES when no one else was there. I left the doctors office with a fist full of orders for tests. A colonoscopy, a mamogram, a visit to a nutritionist, eat less salt, a flu shot and of course, take a multivitamin.

Couldn't love life more.

But here's the deal.....if I was way younger, which is what I used to be, I would leave it there. Kind of cranky about waiting so long. But you know what? I may have waited 60 MINUTES for the doctor when not another person in the world was there, but all I left with from the doctors office was normal stuff. And I am older now so I know that there is always a chance you can leave a doctor's office with really bad news.

And I didn't.

So even though I had to get weighed, and explain one more time that I DON'T have a family history. Not a family history of heart disease or diabetes or colon cancer ......I don't have a history.....period. So give me the freakin' test....give me every test you have. I will happily take the tests because right now I think all of those tests are going to come back just fine.....and I am grateful for that.

Speaking of being little boy plays football for Southern Utah University (go T-Birds!) His team traveled to Las Vegas last Saturday to play UNLV.....and they kicked their butts! No one, and I mean no one, thought they would win. It was a beautiful thing.....the best part was after the game all the fans went over to where the buses were and just hung out for over an hour. UNLV's fans left during the middle of the third quarter so we had plenty of room. We just smiled at each other, a little goofy. The coaches were so happy. Not "I just won the lottery" happy, but "I studied so hard and made a 32 on my ACT" happy. It was the best win of their program, ever. The thing is these guys know they weren't the first choice of division 1 schools. There are lots of players from Las Vegas on SUU's team that UNLV didn't recruit. Not good enough. Looked right past them. That rejection stings.....which made victory all that much sweeter.

Sometimes being told you aren't good enough is just what you need.

So get out the butt-kickin' machine Taluleh, and get it done!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I am not a political operative, although I would love to be. I would be fabulous at that.....but alas, I am I am giving my opinion and advice to President Obama completely free! This is an even better deal than the entire country of the United States which right now, is 50% off. (Except for Las Vegas which is an even better deal)

The Obama campaign has put forth a website called in an effort to combat inaccurate information about the president.

As a dopey middle aged woman I can help you save some time and money....this will not work.

President Obama this is not how you convince people what your message is. You just lead and let people figure out who you are. If your message is clear people will catch on.

As a Mormon I have the same problem President Obama has. People believe all kinds of things about me that aren't true. And the only way I can convince people they are believing falsehoods is to be me.

I have been asked why I can't eat Chocolate on Sunday. My husband has been asked how many wives he has (the idea of more wives like me gives him great pause). Generally folks have asked me whole host of things that I have just stared at them over.

But honestly the only one that bothers me is when folks think I don't believe in Christ And if someone really wants to believe that, there is nothing I can do to change their mind. Except be who I am.

So President Obama defending yourself will never work. Save your time, breath and money....just be who you are and let people figure you out on their own.

We are all our best definition of who we are. I hope there is enough evidence to convict me of being who I claim to be.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Lydia's Day...

Please read the blog post from a very talented writer and was quite remarkable.
Much love, happy Monday....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Our Lives Today.....

My parents were very young when Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese, but my grandparents were very much aware of the enormity of what had occurred. Not one time when we discussed it (I loved to talk about these things....odd child that I was) not one time did they refer to it as a "tragedy". It was an act of war. Their lives were never be the same after that. My grandmother spoke of the shock of that attack, and how long it took her to simply understand something that evil could have happened. She spoke of "all those men who died". She was always sad when she talked about it. Of course she knew someone who knew someone whose brother had been killed, which made the whole event more real to her, more personal. And my grandmother never minced words about what had happened, it was senseless, it was evil, it was war. I thought about her this week as I watched another commemoration of 9/11. I thought about how she would have reacted to all of this. But then I knew what she would have said, it was senseless, it was evil, it was war.

Not a tragedy....war.

After the shock of 9/11 passed, I was heartened at the byproduct of this act of war. Our country came together, flags were everywhere....people went back to droves. From an act of war had come what occurred after Pearl Harbor...unity. We were all Americans....all of us had been attacked....and we were all one. One nation under God, indivisible, standing for liberty and justice for all.

And that is what we acted like.

And then all of that went away....blame started. Recriminations, rancor, contention....whether you believe satan exists or not you have to agree all of his attributes have been on parade. We brought all the worst behavior people can have right out on the porch for all the world to see. People who claim to love America clearly were hating Americans (I stole that from a movie - thank you Aaron Sorkin). And today regular Americans are giving up. A school in Brookline Massachusetts wants to ban the pledge of allegiance.


The ten commandments have been banned from the outside of federal buildings...that is funny to me. Ignore the ten commandments? Can you imagine what our lives would be like if people simply obeyed the ten commandments? Let your mind wander there for a minute. We could all go back to being farmers, musicians and artists because 99 per cent of the occupations in the world would be rendered obsolete.

The executive branch of the government is only slightly more popular than the legislative branch of the government. And we aren't very happy with the judicial branch either. What does that tell you? If you want something different then you are going to have to make that happen.

Last night the President said that government should partner with business to make things better. With all due respect Mr. sir that is not how to make America prosperous again, the last thing I want to do is partner up with some of the ne'er-do-wells in Washington. All they know how to do is regulate and tax, point fingers and blame. No thank you.

I can't really decide what I am politically, so I am not throwing stones at any one individual, or group. (Except for anyone who talks over people, personal peeve...I hate it and I will give money to your opponent every time.) Both parties are guilty of hating Americans, and America is my homeboy. From the Urban dictionary a homeboy is a close friend. Originally used among transplanted African-Americans with Southern roots to refer to and aid in the assimilation of someone who might have directly migrated from a common Southern home town or is otherwise well known to the person using the term. you hadn't heard that definition.

I keep wondering when America is going to come back....When we will finally have enough of this. Because right now we are just standing on the sidelines wringing our hands....we aren't acting, we are being acted upon, and sorry but that's crap.

I am looking for a leader....

I think we are all looking for William Wallace...and I am not going to stop until I find him, or her. When you vote next time ask yourself if the candidate loves America as much as William Wallace loved much as George Washington, Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson loved America. Ask yourself about eighteen year old boys who fight and die for the love of their country....who measures up?

And then go vote....

Find someone who loves America. And if you decide not to vote, don't ever sit next to me. I am not as nice as I used to be....another movie line theft.

As Todd Beamer from flight 93 said.......Let's Roll.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Coyote Beautiful

My two trusty dogs and I were out walking really early this morning. It has been so hot lately that I wanted to go while it was cooler. There aren't a lot of folks out that early so imagine our surprise when we see a coyote running down Egan Crest....

He stopped at the stop sign, looked both ways, and then turned right on Tropical. He was really moving fast, but well under the speed limit.

We are happy to report that the coyotes in our area are law abiding, upstanding citizens.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Let's Get Out The Butt-Kicking Machine

So wherever it is you live I hope things are better financially...because in Las Vegas the economy is really, really bad. Losing a house is no longer news.....staying in your house is what is noteworthy.

And since no ideas, or counsel, is coming from our leaders, I conclude none of them have an idea of what to do. One of our Senators is the majority leader, he never comes to Las would be nice to know what he is thinking. And I couldn't pick our other Senator out of a line-up if the rest were bass. He was appointed because John Ensign resigned in disgrace. We have three congressmen....none have addressed our situation in any significant way.

I just want one leader, one breathing, thinking leader to stand up and do something!! One person that is all I am asking for who can stand up and give us hope...but all I hear are crickets. We, who pay for our community to exist, are running out of money. And then what happens?

It is reported that unemployment here is 14%, I am sure that number should be doubled. There is no work and none coming. No construction, no jobs, no hope.

If Nevadans have work they are worried they will keep it, if they don't have work they have little hope of finding any. If you are near retirement, you were hit the hardest....IRA's are decimated, homes are worth pennies of what they were...and finding work is, well, not fruitful, and my health insurance costs have gone up $200 a month this last a staggering $1250 a month for a family of four with good health. It is unsustainable.

Our homes are so underwater there is no recovery. Homes that were overpriced at $350,000 are now under priced at $95,000. Are people walking away from these homes? No, but they are running away from them. The whole country is 50% off, but Las Vegas is 80% off. It is hard to ask someone to stay in a home they paid $200,000 for when their neighbor is paying on a mortgage of $80,000. And the banks are happy to move a family out of home they can no longer afford, but then sell it to another for pennies....I don't get it.

I don't know why anyone stays. I have lived here for over 40 years, and things have been bad, then better, but we always had hope...and things got better.

So here is the obvious message from Nevada...we have given up. I don't see another communication. Our decline started in a real significant way when the president announced to the country not to go to Las Vegas. He was referring to corporations that he felt were over spending by scheduling conventions in Las Vegas...for him it was a throw away line......he was looking for a bit more austerity....Las Vegas felt the impact the next day. Room reservations were cancelled, conventions were cancelled and jobs started to vanish.....

And then it really got bad.

Don't get me wrong, in hindsight most of us would have made a lot of decisions differently. That is the way of the world, we try something it doesn't work, so we stop and try something different......but rarely is it such devastation. Starting over at thirty is much different than starting over at 60. In fact lesser people would not do it.

However, my family refuses to give up. We are going to start a business in the worst possible time. I am grateful we have an idea, I am grateful for talent we have. And maybe even a little grateful for not having a choice....desperation drives you to do things inertia might keep you from doing otherwise. And when I run into road blocks as I try and start this business, and I will, I will squeal louder than anyone should.

We have to realize we are dependent on each other. The trickle down theory is not for the wealthy only....when one person gets financially afraid, they stop going to the dry cleaners, and the dog groomer....they don't order a pizza, or send flowers...and the economy stops. So if you can afford it, and you need it, get a new oven, go out to eat, get your nasty feet done! In other words, spend your money if you can.

I am not apologetic for writing this today. I am the voice of so many who have no idea where to turn. And really tired of being ignored. If you disagree with anything I have said, tell me. I hope I am stirring up hornets...because until the right people get stung nothing is going to change.

I am looking for a butt-kicking machine.

And to think the French Revolution started because of dessert......

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We are all made of "Better Stuff"

I am getting close to a real life changer, and I am happily, strangely calm. It's not like I am about to walk on the moon, or have a kidney transplant, I am just getting ready to close a chapter of my life and step into another.

First I would like to say that I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father that I was able to follow my heart for the last thirty years and stay at home with my children. It wasn't always easy and I know there was a lot of sacrifice from my husband to provide that blessing and to honor my choice. I am so grateful to have been able to follow my heart and I acknowledge the help I have been given.

I know where that blessing came from.

And now I open the door to new possibilities and new adventures. As I look back on the last thirty years I am grateful not only for being able to be with my children but so grateful for the people who have accompanied me on that journey. Women who stood shoulder to shoulder with me through breastfeeding and diapers, kindergarten and PTA.....helping me with my marriage, sharing their own trials and making me a better woman, mother and wife.
Those amazing people who cheered with me and cried with me......some that I have only met through letters and emails.....but who are just as important to me as those I see all the time. I am grateful to my Uncle who stoically, and unemotionally reminded me that I was made of better stuff the night before I was to give the eulogy for my mother. I walked to the podium the next morning knowing I could do hard things.....because I was made of better stuff. Words that course through my soul often. I will never forget those who came to the hospital when I had babies, when my children were in danger and when my parents were going through the end of their lives....I will never forget their faces as they came to my home for dinners, firesides, lunches and even a few funerals! Oh the incredible people who have left their imprint on my life forever. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have changed so much over the last thirty years. Thank goodness right? But the biggest change in my life is realizing what I can do, what I can accomplish...the lives I can touch....what kindness can reap...and what unkindness can return. Oh how important that is....and that can only come with experience, and lessons learned and relearned.

I am grateful to all of those people along this journey who have taken the time to love me, teach me, laugh with me and cry with me. And mostly who have forgiven me for my shortcomings. Forgiveness is the greatest gift we can give each other.

And so while it is sad to move on and say goodbye to every day mothering, I do it with great hope that the next part of my life will be as fulfilling as the last has been. My pattern has been to never give up and to pray as hard as I can to know what the Lord wants me to do. And then when I discern what He wants then to do all I can to follow that direction. What I am leaving behind is carefully locked in my heart as the best memories a person can have.

I have made a great many mistakes, I have not been the perfect mother or wife...I never thought I could be and sometimes I didn't want to be!! But my heart has always been with my family, I will always consider myself a wife and mother first because that is the desire of my heart. Now that role changes and I know I will handle that just like I have handled all the other changes in my life. I am confident in the abilities God has given me. And one ability He gives us is to survive and never give up......I will always try to encourage everyone around me to never give up.....that is the greatest lesson my earthly parents taught is what I see in my husband. I hope I have instilled it in my children.

Just as I have been helped.......I will return those blessings. I hope to mirror the kindness and love shown to me all these years.

So to all the people who have supported me along this journey.....I am a better person because of you. For all of you have been there when I needed it most and I am better for it. I learned from you what to do when tragedy to love, how to react to pain, how to celebrate and simply how to walk this life with honesty.

I consider myself blessed beyond all measure because of you. As they beautifully say in Texas, "I love all y'all!"

And to my husband a special thank you and my eternal love....he knows me best and still loves me. To my children, you will never know how grateful I am to you for letting me be your mom. You have given me such joy. I love you.

And never stop believing.....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

When Stevie Nicks calls.....

Will you be ready with fresh and friendly banter when Stevie Nicks calls? If you are afraid of not having anything interesting to talk about I have a few suggestions...we can fill the gaps in your life with some from ours.

The other day my son and I were delivering food and I felt the need to PANIC, loudly, because we were late. Trey is great at football analogies and he calmly stated that by panicking I was not showing my best game face. He reminded me about Joe Montana and the 1989 Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals. The San Francisco 49ers were down by three points with 3:20 left when Montana spotted -- no, not an open receiver -- but a personality. "Isn't that John Candy?" And then he led the 49ers 92 yards, throwing for the winning touchdown with 34 seconds left.

Calm under pressure....if I was the quarterback with 34 seconds left..I might be throwing up in the huddle....just saying. But isn't that kind of confidence inspiring?

I want that kind of confidence.....but I digress......
This next part is hard....Two weeks from today my youngest child goes off to college. On every level that is hard. And since life is just a little bit harder for me than everyone else then here goes.... I may not survive. We went "dorm shopping" the other day....I was the picture of decorum, I only cried one time...

They are oh so excited to be on their own and that triggered such interesting conversations...How does the wash work? How many blankets do I need? Can I leave my shampoo in the bathroom? She has been in charge since she was one has more confidence. I know she will be fine...I however have to face the fact that this one part of my life has changed....forever.

The good news? I can use my "7 ways to use a chicken breast" on someone who may listen.
After she leaves there will be time to adjust....but for now, she still needs me a little....

So cute!

I will be fine, but isn't it interesting that it is a lot easier to adjust to starting a family than it is to adjust to having them leave....just saying.

Now on to more fun times to tell Stevie when she calls...
Ashleigh was celebrating a birthday and wanted to go to the Wynn for their brunch buffet. Sounds civilized doesn't it? Brunch? In Las Vegas a buffet means only one thing, strap on your big eating pants and go for a ride. Because, my friend, you will have to wait for a fork lift to take you back to the car.

In the mean time we all looked fabulous....especially the birthday girl.

But first we had to find it......

Convenient that the Ferrari dealership is right outside.

Unfortunately, this is all we could afford, peaking in the window. It costs ten dollars to go in..... Just to look!

These shops are amazing.....

The shoes are a work of art.

You have to at least look, right?

A dear friend of ours is in charge of all the plants and flowers at the Wynn.
He and his staff do an incredible job.

I thought this sign was hysterical. My dad was in the gaming business his whole life, and slot machines used to be something for the wives to do while they waited for their husbands. Nickel slots and then, gasp, a quarter. Now you can sit down and play a hundred dollars at a time. Can you imagine? No skill, just sit down and put a hundred dollars in a machine, hit a button and wait for chance to occur.
At least blackjack and Craps have some skill.....even with that, it's still a strange thing to do.
It's odd that money has so little value when folks are convinced they can get something for nothing.
By the way, you can't get something for nothing.

Don't you love eating in a place that is so festive? Even though we waited in line the same amount of time we would have if we were at Disneyland. But instead of Indiana Jones at the end, we enjoyed all you could eat shrimp....amazing!

Great time, great belts.....Vegas buffets, eating for sport.

And then after brunch, all a girl needs on her birthday is a small bag from Tiffany's.

Ashleigh is absolutely amazing, I count myself blessed every day to be her mom.
Happy Birthday!!