Search This Blog

Friday, December 7, 2012

What's in a license plate?

I must tell you about the personalized license plate I saw today.  It was on a car about 2 car lengths in front of me.  It read, "Biotch".  Seriously?

At first I thought I was seeing things...I mean who  does that?  Who puts such a thing on their license plate?  Of course my next move was to speed up and see who was driving.  I had to see the owner of the license plate.....

Wow, talk about truth in advertising

No kidding,.....this woman's license plate could not have been more truthful.  She could have frightened Hannibal Lecter.  One look at this woman and I locked the car doors....and I was driving down the freeway!

Another entry in my big book of things to never do.

Don't put Biotch on your license plate.

Let people find out on their own.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

That special time of the year!!!!

It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year!  That time we so look forward to.....and celebrate every year.

That's right ....mammogram time!

The mammogram mambo!  The TaTa Tango!  The Boobie Bogie!  Oh how I love it!

I was especially fortunate to have as my special technician, Caligula.  Actually that might be insulting to the real Caligula, who was decidedly less brutal.

Oh she had a lovely disposition, cracked a lot of mammogram jokes.  I was especially entertained by how she was able to "squeeze" me in. That sort of humor never fails to put me at ease and distract me from having my delicate girls literally pulled off the front of my back.  She brought me to absolute confusion as we played mammogram twister.  She told to face the machine, put your arm here, and if the machine is "digging" into your arm pit, well we are doing it right!  Hooray!  Love the pain!   And then if standing in this unbelievably uncomfortable position wasn't enough, the computer didn't load up and I had to maintain my stance until it did, or I died.  I am made of great stuff, but i swear i almost fainted.  And Caligula kept smiling,laughing and cracking wise.

And I get to follow this up with a colonoscopy next month.  Our equivalent of flagellation.

The moral of the story is pain seems to be the common denominator to good health.

Who knew?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So this is why

 I wrote this to someone who disagrees with me on everything.  This was mostly about the tea parties and right wing corporate backers.  Good luck to everyone surviving the next couple of weeks.  This isn't my best writing, but this hasn't been my best season either.

 So this is why I believe some of the things I do.....

I didn't think we saw things so differently, but I guess we do.  When I speak to people on the right, and I am sure you know most of my acquaintances and friends are conservative, they feel marginalized by the media and by democratic politicians.  I don't feel there is a difference of opinion as much as there is Global warming which is correct and no discussion.  Abortion with no perimeters and no discussion.  Same sex marriage and no discussion.  The tea party was born because so many people felt powerless.  They banded together to form a party so that they could have a voice.  And what came of it?  Immediately they were branded racist.  Not looked at as though they were trying to shed light on a real concern, which was taxes....they were marginalized.  Because obviously if you disagree with Obama then you were a racist.  In my opinion that is why Obama did so poorly in the first debate, no one has disagreed with him....he isn't used to it, so when pressure is applied he gets petulant and difficult.  And flustered.  The people who love him were so confused after the first debate, how can that be?  He is the most brilliant orator in the world.  He is the smartest man alive.  I will never underestimate him, but I do not think he is the smartest man alive.  I think he genuinely believes government is the answer.  I am all for paying taxes, most people I know have no problem paying taxes...but they are frustrated at what they are paying for.  When you are paying a large amount of money to the government you want your elected officials to be good stewards of that money.  But they aren't.  GM killed me, it was in horrible trouble.  The cars are good ones, I drive GM and I have for 30 years.  But they were no longer able to compete because they pay so much to the unions.  Unreasonable amounts of money.  The company eventually goes into bankruptcy which very few people realize. Most people think Obama saved it...but what he did was take it over and he didn't save the stockholders, they lost everything, but he propped up the unions.   They lost nothing.  I am the middle class, and I pay and pay and pay.  My health insurance has gone up 300 dollars a month, but last week I received 2 preventative care appointments for free, my mammogram is free also and blood work.  I saved 80 dollars for the year, but I spend 3600 dollars more. Thank you Obama care.  It costs almost 100 dollars to fill my car, and I know gas will never go down with Obama at the helm because he hates fossil fuels.  Other countries can drill off of our coasts but we can't.  An endangered fish was the cause of farmers in the central valley of California not being able to have access to water.  That thinking astounds me.  The farmers are the bad guys.  When I was younger we saved the whales, the oceans, the rain forest, really? ...Al Gore makes a movie an inconvenient truth,  my children were forced to watch it and they were graded on it.  If they asked questions (which I have raised them to do) they were made fun of. Their grade depended on it.  That movie has been proven to be filled with half truths....no science can be settled. So who could blame me for being distrustful of green jobs or green anything.  Battery cars don't work - Chevy Volt, enough said.   And every other green industry has been a sham.  I have been involved with water reclamation in Las Vegas, all government did was fight me on it, and not one "green" person ever got involved.....I am conservative and I am accused of being a part of the flat earth society because of it.  Conservatives are accused of not caring about poor people, yet red states routinely give more in charities than blue states.  Biden doesn't even believe in charities, and Obama only gave a significant percentage lately.  Romney has always given 10 per cent or more of his money.  Always.  I understand that we are very far from each other in our beliefs, I just wanted you to know why.  I am weary of being labeled  narrow minded and racist.  I am a good neighbor, I volunteer hundreds of hours of my time every year, I give over 10 per cent of my increase, I have raised great kids who are not a drain on the economy. The left has plenty of contributors, George Soros for one, highly partisan left wing backers are behind Moveon.org and Center for American progress.  Those are huge opinion shifters.  I know they are "non profit" but come one.  And Hollywood?  If an actor doesn't tow the line for Obama they are vilified.  And how many millions come from Hollywood for Obama?  Any Hollywood money going to Romney? They have glamorous, cool fund raisers. Want to know what NBC talked about this morning?  at the beginning of the show?  That Paul Ryan washed dishes at a soup kitchen that were already clean, and the scandal that has now incurred.   Nothing about Libya.....and now Hillary is taking the blame for Benghazi.  I enjoy politics, I majored in it....but this has been a tiresome tit for tat.  A stream of "gotcha's".  I still think the country is getting a divorce and Obama and Romney are fighting over the children.  Thank you for reading.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My High School Reunion...


My high school reunion was held over the weekend.  I couldn't believe it was 40 years....rhetorically, am I that old? 
Oddly enough we are still at that age where if we die people would say, "such a shame she was so young."   but also where we qualify for the seniors meal at ihop.

Suddenly I was  all over the place.  I was eighteen again until I ran into someone from homeroom and had a reality check.  I went from wishing I had dieted to happy I found something with an elastic waist band.  It was surreal. 

 I was thrilled the ice breaker Friday night was very casual, outside-inside, and low light.  We could just ease into the whole thing, and when hot flashes occur I could walk outside. Score!!  I was also happy there were year books everywhere I could use as some kind of game of clue. But so sad there needed to be a book for those that died. 
I went with my wing man, Patti Gunn Thompson.  She wasn't nervous at all....she hasn't had a nervous day in her life.  Patti and I have been friends since we were Juniors.  Someone once mistook her for me so she wanted to see what I looked like.  That was a good day because we have been friends ever since.




Looking back at high school from this distance has been interesting for me.  I wondered what everyone would look like, what their lives had been like and if I would recognize anyone.  This was a better scenario than the twenty year reunion.....at twenty you want to look hot and rich - at forty you just hope the women haven't had too much "work" done..
I found myself looking around at everyone and thinking how glad I was to be there.  And how glad I was that I didn't have to buy an $11 glass of wine.  Peer pressure doesn't exist when you are almost however old we are.

At a forty year reunion you know people have had real challenges, struggles and joy in their lives.  There is a real leveling.  So for a while it was wonderful to take a break and  remember easier times...when responsibility wasn't so heavy, and when our problems boiled down to how our hair looked and if we had a date for Friday.

High school for me was a place I found a voice.  That voice has gotten stronger and I hope wiser...but Clark High is definitely where that voice started.

It's where I learned to dance, and do algebra.....it's where I had my first kiss, and learned unequivocally that I hate chemistry.  
It is where Joan Snyder told me after a speech contest when I came in third,  that if I were a boy I would have won....
It is where I helped trash an entire suite at the Mapes Hotel in Reno after state with my mother sleeping in the next room.
It's where we routinely had riots in the lunch room and our home field was Western High School. And how much we hated that, and how much we hated Western, and how much they hated us!!

It's where I wore a borrowed yellow dress to homecoming and then stepped in mud on the football field with my newly dyed yellow shoes.  That was the same day a DJ on the radio dedicated the song "Sweet City Woman" by the Stampeders to me. I never knew why that happened....but I smile every time I hear that song. 



It's where Patti and I would "drag" Fremont Street on Friday night with a tab and wheat thins.  And drive a hundred miles an hour to get home before curfew.




 It was going to Shakey's after the game....and Macayo's for lunch.



It was hoping 72% was really a B. 

It was a Rare Earth concert.....and hoping your parents didn't see the dent in the car from driving over the medium on Charleston.

 Funniest moment for me?  This one......Marie: You were in my eight grade art class.  Dale:  I took art?


Fight on, Fight on, Keep fighting till we have won.....remember that?



It was memories, good or bad, that are ours forever......

 
 We were just a group of kids who happened to live in the same area and who would make an unforgettable impression on each other forever. We were our first true loves and our first heart breaks.  We were each other alibi's and a shoulder to cry on.  We had each others back before "having your back" was a phrase. 


 We laughed  a lot, and cried a lot.....we sure did worry a lot.  But we still showed up on Monday and tried so hard not to be sent to Mr. Paulsen's office. 

 We had no idea what was really in store for us....and that is why it is all such a sweet memory...





I have felt sad over friends I saw everyday and then never again, but overwhelming gratitude that I had all those experiences and all those friends. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

New friends, new attitudes

I have a new friend, and I love her.  Nita Lee is her name and she is adorable.  We met on a flight from Oakland to Las Vegas at 6 am.  By the way, the comedian who said any flight that requires you to be at the airport before 10 am should be free,  is so right.  I decided before I ever boarded the plane that I was NOT going to speak to anyone.  I was cranky to be up so early, I was suspicious of my breath, no makeup and my hair was in a bun because I used that stuff in my hair that makes it stringy cement.  I looked awful.  I held on to this decision until Nita Lee sat down and pulled out her bible to start studying. Before long I knew that she is from a little town in Texas about 5 miles from where I grew up, loves to study the bible, loves Mary Kay and she loves the Lord.

Before I said a word to her the impression came to, "just let her teach you." 

What?

That's weird, I know everything, but I was too tired to argue, or even think about anything profound.  I was thrilled someone else was going to be teaching.  So I just sat back....

And guess what?  She did.  Teach me....We talked about fear, we talked about faith, we talked about tithing.....but mostly we talked about the Savior.  When we started talking about tithing, I said, "I am intrigued, most churches don't pay tithing.....where did that come from in your life?"  She just kind of stared at me, "It's in Malachi, the old testament"  I knew where the scripture was, what I didn't understand was how she knew.  And then I realized what I was really thinking, and what I was thinking made me a little queasy.    It was pretty prideful.  This is what Nita Lee was sent to teach me........That not only do I not know it all, I don't know very much.  Whereas I had learned about tithing from missionaries, Sunday School teachers, Bishops, conference, and the scriptures......Nita Lee learned about tithing from God.  She read it in Malachi and simply embraced it.  No one had to tell her to do it, it was just there in the bible, plain as day...she read it and did it. 

I felt like a tree stump.

This has been happening to me a lot.  Learning from people I never thought could teach me a thing.  But yet there it is.  Joanna Brooks, Nita Lee, Amber Price........

Joanna taught me that there are all kinds of Mormons.  And it isn't really my business what kind of Mormon they are.  I am here to be obedient, and the Savior asked me to love one another....He just wants me to love, and He doesn't want me to qualify those relationships, to just love easy people who constantly agree with me, nope love all people....Love people and serve them.  Judge them?  I don't think so.

Nita taught me that people love the Savior unequivocally, without bounds....

Amber taught me to accept where people are in the journey,  and just love them. 

People have always been my favorite thing, I love watching them, I love talking to them,  I just love people...I am not as interested in what people believe in as much as I want to know how they got there.  I really love to hear people's stories.  But I have read a lot of angry blogs lately.  There are some angry Mormons out there, and some angry ex Mormons, and then just some angry  people....a lot of anger...

We are totally missing the point of life.....the real point of life is to love each other.  And we are doing a terrible job of it right now.  I am doing a terrible job of it right now.  We have lost any peace we might have.

That is why the Lord sent Joanna Brooks to me, to see another side.  Life is far more 3 dimensional than I ever realized. 

Nita Lee is my friend so I can see the walk that other people have with Christ.....

And then Amber.......her voice is just not heard, and it is frustrating to her.  Frustration is an emotion that needs an outlet or it will explode.  We need to give people the space to vent without judging, or offering a cure to their confusion.  We don't have to give solutions or even advice. But we do need to give each other some time, and some space....just to think things through.  And then let the Holy Ghost do the teaching and advising

I visited a woman a while back that felt disenfranchised.  The church that she loved at one time was not in her life, and she was alternately angry and sad.  I understood both.  She would like to come back, but at this point has no idea why she would, or how.  So I said what I always do, you have to love something big enough to overcome the small things that keep us away.  We are a community of Christ...He is the biggest thing....when we keep our eyes on Him all the other things fall into place.  Whatever that looks like for us.  Let Him lead you.....honestly go to Him with your tantrums, with your heart breaks and pain.  Study His life...try to imagine all the time what He would do in any given situation. 

And so this is why Joanna is my dear friend, I love her gentle emails....the way she hurts when she feels someone is being left out.  And Nita telling me today that she found the perfect wedding dress because Jesus loves her!  And she is so right!!

The Savior is no respecter of people, and when we start looking at each other the way He looks at us, we will be happier.  Because we will really see the kind of world we live in...a peaceful world filled with the most amazing creatures.

I so hope I wrote clearly enough what was in my heart.  Love to all

Matthew 6: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.






Friday, September 28, 2012

Only Stevie Nicks could sort this out.....

OK, so help me understand this....we are not allowed, on pain of death,  to say anything negative about Muslims.   Some bad film maker makes a movie about Muslims that is awful on every level.   So our president takes out ads in Egypt apologizing for it?  Hmmmm.   Every person from the White House from the president to the dog walker has apologized for it.

I get it, it's horrible.  The guy who made it?  In jail....in America.  Free speech?  Nope,  not if you insult the Muslim religion. 

But  right there on Broadway in New York City is a play called, "The Book Of Mormon".  It is horrible...it is insulting and degrading....it is everything every proper Muslim hates...only our country cares so little about the dignity of religion in America that they give it every award possible. 

Let me get this straight....make a stupid movie insulting the Muslim religion, 14 minutes long, on You Tube and the entire Middle East comes down on you.  The most powerful man in the world apologizes to every Muslim he can find so much for this stupid movie that it gets embarrassing.  But make a Broadway show insulting the Mormon religion, shown every day, twice on Wednesday, give it every possible award known too Broadway. and that is not only fine, but amazing!!   The Secretary of State (someone who tries to mend the fences of holy wars every day) went to the show and afterward raved about it.  Raved....But she stood up in front of the world and denounced a 14 minute poorly made trailer on You Tube making fun of Muslims.....

14 minute You Tube trailer making fun of Muslims bad......huge Broadway show, hit, Tony awards, sold out every night making fun of Mormons....good.

Does this make any sense to you?

Benjamin Netanyahu Prime Minister of Israel, hoping to get the world on his side so that Iran (run by the nastiest, weirdest leader in the world ) won't get the rest of what they need to build an atomic bomb and blow Israel up,  is not worthy of a meeting with our president....Pimp with a limp, Joy and Whoopi?  You bet!!  He is there!!

Sense?

The day our Ambassador is murdered, Obama travels to Las Vegas to campaign.....a place not very long ago he told America not to visit.  A place with 12% unemployment.....and the media sings along with  him.

Sense?

I don't even recognize this America any more.  I am mad a lot.....incredulous all the time. 

I need an exorcism.



 


Monday, September 3, 2012

This wasn't the blog I was planning to write...it just happened

Ok, this isn't the blog I was planning to write, this is one that I had to write....the one I was planning to write I still will, but for now this is it.  I hope you come back in a few days for the one I was planning to write. But for now, what are your thoughts about this?

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed a quick rejoinder and it didn't come until you were standing in the shower a day later?   Why does that happen?  Why can't we be quick and ready for the comeback just like any character in an Aaron Sorkin script?  I love his comebacks...they are as smooth as Cary Grant, witty as Hugh Grant and intelligent as....wow, who is intelligent any more without a writer? I am certain that in today's political scene so many get caught in a lie because they think if they say anything it is better than saying nothing...uh wrong.  If you have nothing to say then use my dad's best weapon, the stare.  It would have leveled Chris Matthews.  Say nothing and stare...I love it.  Stares don't lie..you can't spin a stare.  Just lower your eyes a bit and fasten in on the opponent...and don't stop.  You will never lose.

Living through the politics of last week and now this week make us eligible for some kind of merit badge.   But I would make one of the qualifications for this badge having to attend the morning spin meeting of ALL the politicians...(that's right kids this is a non partisan blog - all of the politicians are guilty of everything I am about to list)

The spin meetings go a bit like this...a gavel strikes the desk (there must always be a gavel, every politician loves a gavel) and the meeting is called to order.
Chairman or chief talking point guy....."Ok here are your talking points...do not try to get cute and go off script.  We are not hiring you for your opinion, only for your hair...so just say what we tell you to say.  Now Buffy and Todd went off script yesterday so they have to go back on the morning shows today, and with a straight face tell America they didn't say what we heard them say yesterday.  As soon as you tell America you didn't say what they heard you say but this is what I really did say, they will believe you......because they are STUPID."

Stupid?   I think when someone says something one day and then tells me the next day they didn't say what they said I might notice.

After all we do have fact checkers, right?

 But then I heard George Will say the fact checkers are not factual.

America!  What are we to do?

It doesn't matter who you listen to, it is no longer news,  it is someone's opinion.  And opinions are like...well I can't really say and maintain my lady like demeanor.

Bill Clinton, Clint Eastwood, Sandra Fluke, and Chris Christie.....who are they to my life?  I mean really...
I feel badly that the Democrats think they need Bill Clinton to close a deal.  I feel terrible that Clint Eastwood made fun of a process that should have some dignity, I do not want to pay for Sandra's birth control...and I am more than a little bugged that she is insisting that a Catholic University should be made to alter their beliefs.  All  for a prescription she could easily get at Wal-Mart for the price of a couple of six packs.  Chris Christie to me was auditioning for 2016, I don't think he even likes Romney.  And how could Obama and Clinton like each other?  Yet there they are...all of them standing together after beating each others brains in not that long ago.  Smiling and pretending...Pretending and smiling. And here we are, treading water until all this is finally over.  Red states, light blue states, pink states, yellow states....

So where do we go now?  How do we make an informed decision when everyone is telling us something different on any given day?

Just put a wet finger in the air.....that is about as knowledgeable as you need to be.

I was in a "how to make and take a poll" class in college.  My professor was a brilliant political scientist who told us unequivocally that a poll can say anything you want it to say.  And it always leans toward the group who pays for it.  No big surprise there.  So I never believe polls, sort of like a butcher never eats his own sausage.  I listened to Tom Friedman yesterday talk about abortion...he said that the Republican platform was extreme in that there are no exceptions for abortions.  I think that particular plank is odd too. How can there never be an exception?  But yet for the last 30 years that plank has been there.  It is supposed to show that Republicans are pro life.  That's how you do it?  But here is the kicker...wait for it.  Tom goes on and on about how this proves Republicans are extremists in that they won't support an exception rule.  Yet when he is confronted with an equally extreme Democratic plank that calls for abortions at any time, including partial birth, third trimester and babies born alive, he doesn't even blink...he says, "I am a planned parenthood democrat and I support the democratic platform.".  If you are to ask me which social issue is my hot button it is abortion, so I have given this a lot of thought.  I know there are situations, such as rape, incest and health of the mother where women should be able to prayerfully make a choice against continuing a pregnancy.  However out of the thousands of abortions that occur, statistically, very few fall under those 3 exceptions.  As for partial birth abortions, and babies born alive, Caligula would be shocked.  I remember a nurse contacting a friend of mine who is a deputy district attorney to report  having to watch a baby die that was born alive from an abortion.  She was ordered by the doctor to put the baby in the next room, unattended,  to simply die.  My DA friend tried to do something about it, but was stopped with this logic, it was legal. According to the law the baby was not a baby, it was an abortion.  Legal? Yep.  Sorry Tom Friedman, you are wrong on this one.  And planned parenthood?....the first 4 topics on their web page are abortion, birth control, morning after pill and sexually transmitted diseases. My mother was an advocate of abortion because she watched a friend in the early 60's die from a botched abortion.  She never wanted that to happen to anyone again.  She thought I was awful.....an extremist. But  I think this is how decisions come together.  We get together in a room and present our ideas.   All or nothing is hardly how any platform should be on any plank  We come together, we reason together and then we have a consensus.  I still live by the credo that if everyone goes away a little unhappy then the fairest thing probably occurred. 

When the jobs numbers come out next Friday think any Republican working for the cause of electing Romney will be happy if they show more Americans have gone back to work?  Sadly I don't.  There is not one sticking point in this election because no matter what is said someone comes out to spin it in their favor.  The campaigns don't seem to care about Americans, just winning...beating the other guy.

Just winning.  And are we all going to lose?  There are 23 million Americans out of work, probably many more than that.  Half of America is on some kind of government aid, and if you think it isn't the easiest thing in the world to get unemployment insurance think again.  My son's company downsized, he lost his job and applied for unemployment.  It was all done online with no accountability at all.  There was no line to stand in, no person to face.....nothing.  It was a very happy day when it was over and he was working. Even though as a college graduate he is working 2 part time jobs, neither in his field.

However even with all this being said, I am not pessimistic.  I believe in America.  I believe that no matter who is elected we will rise up and fix the problems ourselves.  We will start businesses and invent things, we will figure it out.  I believe this country is the greatest country, with the greatest form of government on earth.  A good friend of mine listened to my rant one day and then said to me, "Donna when this is over (meaning the election) we will all be fine."  I think so too...We need to have differences and then agree to disagree.  I hope we can appreciate our differences and understand that nothing works when we all look at the picture the same way.  That is why there are 9 justices, 3 branches of government....yin and yang.....back and forth...no tyranny, no Castro or Chavez.

There has to be someone to tell us when we aren't wearing any clothes.

And I am always happy to do it.....


Thursday, August 23, 2012

And Then It Dawned On Me...

I had lunch today with a friend who has been battling cancer for the last 21 months.  I say battling because she has had 4 surgeries, 6 rounds of chemotherapy, a hernia, a colostomy bag, and she has lost her hair twice.

Sounds like a battle doesn't it?

But then something she said to me struck my heart in a way nothing has in a long, long time.  She looked at me and said, "I don't think I realized how sick I have been."

Think about what she said to me....she didn't realize how sick she had been.  How could she not know how sick she has been?  I know how sick she has been...how did she miss it?  And then I really heard what she was saying to me....She knows she has been sick, of course she does, but cancer is not what she is focusing on.  She is focusing on being well.

And suddenly I was even happier to be having lunch with her than I had been one second before!  Right there over a fairly dry chicken breast was a life lesson I so needed to hear.  Her philosophy was suddenly so clear to me and felt so right, I was amazed.  I don't know if she was even ready for my reaction.  I almost yelled, "that is wonderful!  you shouldn't think about how sick you have been!!  You should be thinking about how well you are going to be!!"  There was this clarity of thought I hadn't had before.  I already knew it, concentrate on the positive, but I haven't been listening to my better angels... There are enough Dale Carnegie books and witty books of inspirational sayings in my house to start a library. I was looking at a woman who could be giving up.....but she was doing no such thing.  Suddenly my own challenge looked very different to me. 

My husband and I (and about everyone else in America) have been struggling with starting over, losing all of our retirement and not having any idea which way to go..  My emotions have ranged from angry, frustrated, unhappy, and whining, to just plain ole annoyed....with a huge portion of fear.   I have acted as though hard times should somehow skip over me, leaving the challenges for others.  Definitely focusing on the sickness and not focusing on getting well.   Instead of putting all that energy into building our financial lives back up I chose to spend my time being afraid.  Afraid of losing everything, afraid of big debt, afraid of what will I do when this all crashes?  If stress will kill you, fear slowly suffocates you.

But thank goodness for some reason I was listening today.  And when my dear friend innocently said she didn't realize how sick she had been, she had no idea what a gift she gave to me.  Concentrate on getting well, not on being sick.  I know we have different problems but they all seem to follow the same pattern.  So whatever you are struggling with, concentrate on solving the problem, on being well.  Don't dwell on the situation...put all that energy where it will do the most good.

 The reason we all have different talents is so we can serve each other, the reason we have different challenges is so we can teach each other.  What a great system!!

Lesson learned, now I have to live it.







Friday, August 3, 2012

Ray Rays is born!

great luncheon today....thank you channel 8 for letting Ray Ray's cater the retirement party for Gary Waddell!
First one down...now we are in "the middle"!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In the Middle of it all......

I discovered something that I feel strongly I should share.  An article written by Dieter F. Uchtdorf (who happens to be a particularly fine man, a former fighter pilot, a great speaker, oh, and an Apostle) is titled "Always in the Middle".  That phrase has been kind of a negative for me in the past , but his take on it was far from negative and fascinating to me.

He started out with beginnings.....that is the time to make resolutions, create plans, have a burst of energy! Then he referred to endings.....winding down, and maybe feeling a bit of loss.  Then he suggested that being in the "middle of it" was a way to help us understand life better and live a little more meaningfully.

Interesting isn't it? 

This struck a chord with me because I am starting something new and I am terrified.  My husband and I are starting a business....We are basically Abraham and Sarah....because we are inexplicably giving birth to a business much younger people should be doing.  I did not want to do this, mostly because I have no idea what I am doing.  Which by the way is a very good reason to not start something.  It is roughly like getting up in the morning to perform brain surgery only to remember on the way to the hospital...THAT I AM NOT A DOCTOR!!! 

So I am going to fool myself into thinking I am "in the middle' of it.  I am not just starting out, I am in the middle of it.  Here is my new thinking.....I have already learned a lot (I really have) I have a lot of support ( I really do) ....and our product is amazing.  I know, I know new businesses fail all the time.....well guess what?  McDonalds was once just one Golden Arch, Microsoft was in a garage, the Beatles sang in a saloon to four drunks and Paula Deen made sandwiches in her kitchen and sold them out of a wagon.  It can be done.....so that means I can do it too.

When I went to taxation to get our business processed it was packed...you see there are NO jobs in Nevada, so the people who are left are starting their own businesses.  Just like my husband and me.  As I said our employable expiration date has come and gone....so if I were telling you this story a few weeks ago I would say we are starting over.  But now with my new mind set I am "IN THE MIDDLE OF A GREAT ADVENTURE!"

To be sure it is worth a pout that life didn't turn out the way I thought it would.  But I hear that from a lot of women.  "I never thought my life would turn out this way."  Both for the good and bad.  I never thought I would be married for 33 years and have 4 great kids....that is not what I knew as a child.  But it happened for me.   I also never thought I would be starting at business when I should be investing in Dr. Scholls and Ben Gay.  But I am.  And we are going to be great!!

We are in the middle of a great adventure....my husband is a wonderful cook, and we are caterers.  He makes amazing pizza and pasta, fun salads and pulled pork.  We couldn't start a restaurant because that takes a bit more money than we have.  So we are catering.  And yes we are older, and it is very hard work....(thank you to the people who we practiced on)  but what are our options?  Give up?  Never!!

Yes, some of my friends are retiring, and some are at the top of their careers.  We are on a different path.  And it is going to be OK.

President Uchtdorf ends his article with this, "Being always in the middle means that the game is never over, hope is never lost, defeat is never final.  For no matter where we are or what our circumstances, an eternity of beginnings and endings stretch out before us.  We are always in the middle.

So change your thinking.  Be in the middle, not at the beginning scared to jump in, or at the end, to tired to care. 

If you get discouraged for me, just remember my motto.....One plus God is enough.




From Always in the middle  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf  Ensign Magazine July 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Fourth Of July

I received an email from my friend Janice this morning titled "facts about Mitt Romney".  I didn't know what that might be.  Whose facts?  But when I read it I realized they were all true...nothing overblown or mean, just the truth.  We have lots of information out there....on both sides that may or may not be true.  Records can be spun one way or another.  But a person's past is really not up for discussion.  It is what it is.  And these are the things he did. (I attached the email at the end, it was tempting but I took out the negatives - hey I'm human!)
I am not going to inundate you with emails asking you to vote for Mitt Romney....but I am going to ask you to vote, and vote intelligently.  Weigh things out carefully....That is what I am doing.
There are no jobs in Las Vegas.  I sit on the planning commission and I can tell you no jobs are coming either.  But when I went to taxation yesterday it was packed. Packed with people who are starting their own businesses...people who will not give up.  People who are starting over....I need a leader who has done that too.  Started a business, hated the million ridiculous regulations government requires, met a payroll, hired people, and even fired people.  Who lost sleep at night over the failure of a business...wondered if they would make it through the end of the month....but in the end was a success!
I admit I am not happy with the leadership in our country right now, not with my governor, my senators, or my representatives.  They are not inspired...they are not making anything better.  We are all stuck in the mud.
We need someone to inspire us, someone to paint their face blue and go into battle with us.  (Braveheart reference inserted here) My hope is a new president will do that.
I am weary already of this election....perhaps you are too.  That is our very flawed system....it is hard to watch millions of dollars spent on TV and print ads that may or may not be true.  It is hard to believe that people are being paid to jump on the words of any candidate, hoping to catch them in a slip of the tongue.  That is what we are reduced to....I hope this election doesn't hinge on the slip of the tongue.
I respect everyone's opinion...as you can see I have not attacked President Obama.  I think he is a very likeable man,  a great dad and husband.  But for me, (and isn't that how we vote?) the last four years have been hell.  If you want to make the case that he only inherited this mess, that's fine.........but he hasn't told me one thing that will make any of this better, there isn't an energy plan, there isn't a job plan, there has not been one single budget and congress is a mess.  Congress needs someone to stand in front of them and call them out for who they have become.  Partisan hacks only caring about supporting their own party.  Shameful.  They have lost sight of the fact we are all Americans...they simply see themselves as Republicans or Democrats.  No one willing to negotiate, no one willing to admit the other side has a good idea.  No one willing to work together.  We need someone to give us back our honesty and dignity.......and bring us together.
We need jobs but who creates them?  Not government.  Would someone please invent something?  build something?  No one has been inspired to do that... We need work, none is coming, we need fair health costs.  Let me tell you about ours.  Our health insurance has gone up 300 dollars a month since Obama has been in office.  Since I pay that personally let me do the math for you, $300 x 12 x 4.......That comes to $14,400 extra dollars.  There are 4 of us on the policy and we pay $1380 a month.  The report is it will go up another 20 per cent in the next few years.  How long can we keep that up? 

I have to vote for a change....I have long lost the notion that any leader is perfect....it is what civilized people do.
These are my reasons, you are free to disagree.  I hope your life has been better the last four years than ours has been.   I will not be negative about what we have in place...I don't want anyone to think I am racist because I disagree with President Obama's vision.  I am not.  He has his reasons for what he is doing, but they don't work for me. 
I need a leader... I am desperate for a leader.

When the Supreme court ruled the message I received is this...."Your present government has put this health policy in place to force you to buy something...that trend will not end.  So if you want something different find other people to lead you."  I agree with the pundit who said, Justice Roberts is playing chess when everyone else is playing checkers.  It is a complicated verdict....Perhaps you got something else from the ruling...again I am emphatic that we all work from our own perspective.  Mine has turned into survival. And be sure, I will survive no matter who wins in November.....I would just like some help surviving.
A roommate of mine from college married a fine guy who was hired right out of Harvard Business School by Mitt Romney.  He worked with him for a long, long time.  She told me Romney is just what you see.  An honest guy trying to make things better.  His skill set is fixing financial things.  It is also a life of service.  He really has given back.  I am also a Mormon and so I know the time it requires to be a Bishop and a Stake President, volunteer positions.....I have watched 3 of my children serve missions....I know that sacrifice too.
Another friend worked with him on the Olympics in Salt Lake City........she an avowed Democrat told me he is just what you see...honest, organized and relentlessly attentive to details.   Clayton Christensen, a tremendously inspiring guy in his own right, was speaking one day about service, and he mentioned his stake president showing up to help someone move just like everyone else in the ward....Mitt Romney.  There is a list of people a mile long who will testify Governor Romney walks the walk.
A cousin told me she couldn't vote for him because he flip flopped.  I would like to take a page from my democratic friend's book and call it what it is......he evolved.  There was a time in my life I didn't think abortion was wrong, now it is my hot button issue.  Did I flip flop?  Or did I do as Oprah says?  When I knew better I did better.  I want my leaders to grow, I want them to admit mistakes and do better.  And sometimes that means changing...
So this is me, and I am writing this on the fourth of July.......a day we celebrate freedom, my freedom to think the way I want to, and I celebrate that freedom for you too.
I would love to hear your thoughts too...




Just Some Real Facts About Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney:

After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar, but never worked as an attorney.

As a venture-capitalist, Romney's first major business deal involved investing in a start-up office supply company with one store in Massachusetts that sold office supplies. That company, called Staples, now has over 2,000 stores and employs over 90,000 people.

Romney or his company Bain Capital (using what became known as the "Bain Way") would go on to perform the same kinds of business miracles again and again, with companies like Domino's, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply, and many others.

Got your calculators handy? Let's recap.

Volunteer campaign worker for his dad's gubernatorial campaign 1 year.

Unpaid intern in Governor's office 8 years.

Mormon missionary in Paris 2 years.

Unpaid bishop and stake president for his church 10 years.

No salary as president of the Olympics 3 years.

No salary as MA governor 4 years.

That's a grand total of 28 years of unpaid service to his country, his community and his church.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

An intriguing question...

I read a post yesterday on facebook from a woman who said she was not going to voice her political opinions any more.  She was tired of the contention they caused.....so she was done.
Some people commented that they understood and were supporting her decision, others said her opinion counted to them and they would miss her contribution.  I wrote to her and essentially told her, "Hale No!!"
(That is southern for hell no....just saying)  I went on to say in my very subtle manner that we cannot be quiet.  The first thing attorneys do is write an opposition letter (a fact I first learned in college and have used in my private life far too often according to my husband). 
Don't we have to know other folks opinions? Do you want to live in a world where everyone agrees with you?  Of course not....learning depends on various points of view, in fact many points of view.  I read articles and columns from people who have the exact opposite opinion of mine.  I want to know what other people are thinking and why. 
My mother and I disagreed vehemently about abortion. I couldn't understand how anyone could think it was OK except in extreme cases, and she thought it was perfectly justified.  She had been with a friend who died from a botched abortion....that experience never left her.  I have friends who had selfish abortions who could not forgive themselves...that experience has never left me.   

Who is right?  Who is wrong?  Can it be that we have opinions, good ones, and leave it at that? 

Do we have to be right?  Have you ever had a friend who wouldn't leave it alone until they convinced you they were right?  Don't  you want to spray them with a hose?  And every time they start talking again, just spray them again?

That is probably one of the hardest thing to overcome, our need to be right.  It isn't pretty and you limit your crowd considerably.  Take your Shih Tzu to the poodle club and see how comfortable you are when they start talking about how poodles are the only dog to have.

So in this charged political season don't hide your opinions.   If someone comes up with a compelling argument that changes your mind, be open to it.  You aren't flip flopping if you study something out and make an intelligent change. 

I have dear, dear friends who are the exact opposite of me on many issues, but we are still friends.  Do I have to convert them to my way of thinking to continue our friendship?  Absolutely not. 

Don't  be on the sidelines this year,,,,,regardless of who you vote for, vote.  And be passionate....I hope you trust your candidate and that he or she deserves your vote.  Explore all angles of your issues...and ask a million questions.  I live in Nevada...our state is the hardest hit by everything.  Highest unemployment and highest foreclosures in the country.  And there is no work coming.  Our schools are a disaster, and we have very little to offer anyone moving here.  340 days of sunshine and my smiling face is not enough,  Our leadership has not taken an active role in getting us back on course....but guess what has occurred?  The people who have stayed have reinvented themselves.  They are starting businesses and in the long run, we will be stronger because of the hardships we have encountered.  But government has not been the answer in our case.  In fact,  increasing unemployment benefits only exacerbated our local recession.  People started their businesses later rather than sooner.  I saw that as a waste of time and money.  Personal opinion.  Maybe people needed more time to realize they could climb out of their own morass.  Could be.

But whatever your opinions are, don't be ashamed of them...don't hide your light just because you think it might cause a problem.  You might be wrong....but you might be right too.  And also don't think just because your friend is a fool for disagreeing with you about one thing that they will disagree with you on all things. 
I rarely agree with Maureen Dowd...I think her brand of writing is caustic and often belittling.  Mostly because we are on opposite sides of almost anything.  However the columns she wrote about Jerry Sandusky are completely compelling.  You can feel in her words the pain of his horrible crime, and she was brilliant in her assessment of  what had occurred at Penn State.  I was brought to tears as she wrote about the pain the vulnerable endure when they have no one to speak up for them.

We must speak up......do I have to bring Braveheart up again?  When I start thinking I can't do it I bust out the Braveheart speech, pick up my flaming sword and go out and conquer the world!

I hope I have given you permission to take your thoughts out for a test drive...a little spin around the neighborhood.  Our personal history writes our opinions today, don't apologize for how you feel, I am sure you have a good reason for it.

Be bold in your thinking...listen to all thoughts.  The nonsense will wash away, good thought out opinions will resonant in your heart and mind.  I don't want to think I can't throw my opinion in my blog just because I might offend someone.  I love diversity, in fact....I say this all the time.  "If everyone could make Pizza, who would fix the cars?"

Seriously...isn't that true?

You don't have to always "be right".  Just be.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Aunt Stuff and the things we are made of...

Aunt Stuff called this morning, she is one of those folks who seem to know the right time to call.  There was Aunt Stuff on the phone right before I was about to use Aunt Connie's recipe for cobbler instead of MeMaw's recipe.  You would have thought Aunt Connie's recipe would have poisoned us all....(wait, now that I think of it, she did mention her cobbler tasted like turpentine).  Tragedy averted, MeMaw's cobbler prevailed and Aunt Stuff proclaimed herself a hero.  Or the time she called right after I found out that the Houston Chronicle offered an opportunity to write a column for them.  I was so excited!!  I went home and told my parents and all they said was, "how much does it pay?"  I was so excited to see my name in print that it didn't matter they were paying me nothing.  They were taking a huge chance on a virtual kid writing for them and it seemed like a fair trade off to me.  But the reaction of my parents hurt so much that  I went into my room and threw my purse through the window.  May I just say it felt great....Later that day Aunt Stuff just happen to call.  I told her the whole pitiful story...she stopped me and said I could write, she knew it...my initials were still on her Duncan Phyfe dining room table.  She also told me to quit crying and write about it.  I did not take her advice that one time and I didn't write again for years......that was a mistake.  She has been there when I make those mistakes, she doesn't work me over for them, instead she lets me make them, learn from them and then she helps me start over again....a wiser person.  Eager to learn...because the wrong decisions hurt.

Aunt Stuff, great hurricane fighter and philosopher.  She will be that woman who dies fighting an oil rig fire...in her nineties.  She knows the right things to say and she keeps her sense of balance strong by never forgetting who she is and what her passions are.  Unless you want a fiery speech that Winston Churchill would be envious of, don't mention politics, even if you agree with her..  Unless you are completely dumb never mention OU in the same breath as her beloved Texas Longhorns, even though it is her rule to never leave the dinner table without talking about football....and never forget Texans invented Barbeque.  Every other attempt to make it is just a copy.

Some people are like a perpetual great commencement speech.  Reminding you of your potential, warning you about the potholes, and celebrating your excellence.  My Aunt Stuff reminds me that no matter the rough day I have had, something amazing occurred that day too.   She would always say, "think about it, find it....and then write it down."
The book of our lives can be chapters of chronicled reasons to be happy.  Even when I fall down, even when I am sad, even when I think I can't do it...Aunt Stuff's philosophy reminds me that life goes on...the sun keeps shining...and we get one more day to get it right.




Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer is here!!

Summer arrived and it happened the way it always does.....like that crazy uncle who sits on the porch and drinks home brew, we love him but are always surprised he showed up, and always wonder when he will leave.
Summer in Las Vegas is an event.  We talk about the heat like war veterans......When we meet someone new the question is always the same, "is this your first summer?"  That question is always followed by a chuckle, a knowing chuckle....which always makes me laugh SINCE WE LIVE HERE TOO!!
We wear our survival of the desert like a badge of honor..... as though there should be an accolade for living on the sun.  That might just be stupid. 

And every time we go to California we say the same thing....."why do we live in the desert?"

Summer started last Friday (I don't care what the calendar says it started last Friday) and it will go past Halloween.  Halloween my friends....hot until October 31.....that is followed by 2 full days of fall....then we immediately go into full on winter for about 2 weeks, just enough to freeze your favorite plants.... Then the  wind blows, a lot, it gets nice outside and then cold.  Cool and then cold.....wind blows and all the fruit disappears from your fruit trees....and then of course it rains.  About 4 inches a year....that's a good year.  4 inches which usually comes in a couple of rain showers.  Torrential rain taking cars, asphalt and large boulders along with it, not to mention every vegetable you have planted.

And then nothing......for months.....just blue cloudless skies for months.  We are the unweather land.

You can depend on the weather, unless you plan something outside for which the wind will blow or the rain will fall....just for your afternoon.

Las Vegas is a great place for your crazy uncle to sit on the porch and drink home brew.....just bring him in before he spontaneously combusts.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Continuing the soul search....

I wrote last week that I was going to start a quest....to search my soul.  Do a little digging so to say....and see what comes up.

I started by cleaning my closet.  Christine Northrup said she has carved out a bit of heaven by decluttering her home.  So I started in my closet.  I use about 3 things that are in my closet because I have successfully eaten my way out of almost everything I own.  I keep thinking I will lose the 20 pounds that keeps me from wearing what at least used to be nice clothes.  I simply cannot buy clothes that fit me right now.  I am afraid if I do,  this will become my new normal.  According to my mirror this present size makes me look at least 5 years older, and, well, squishy.....

So I took everything out of the closet....everything.  And then I went through it all, made myself a promise to lose weight and put back what I would wear if it would fit.  I know, I know I am not being realistic,  but even if I did get rid of everything that didn't fit I wouldn't be able to replace anything.  And that wouldn't be, "a bit of heaven."

Although it doesn't sound like a huge improvement, it is to me.  I was able to touch everything and decide if I needed it, or liked it.  I got rid of shoes, bags and clothes.  I haven't gone to the drawers yet.  But this was a great step.

I am happy with my effort on this.

The next thing I did was think about what inspires me.  And on every level it was simple.  I love a story about someone who refuses to give up.  The task may seem insurmountable, but the individual listens to no one except "that still, small voice"  The voice that cannot be counterfeited and can only be heard when we are truly attempting to listen.  Still and small can sometimes be drowned out by our own desires and the noise of the world.

This is why Seabiscuit, Field of Dreams and Remember the Titans are such great movies to watch when you are down.  Think you can't do it?  There are lots of stories to prove you wrong.  All you have to do is want something, something good.   And then make a plan to get it.....and then believe with all your heart that  you can do it.

How did Columbus get across the ocean?  He wanted to do it, he made a plan and then he did it.
How did we get to the moon?  Someone told us we could do it, we made a plan and then did it.
OK, how did we get underarmour?  Someone saw a need, made a plan and then did it.

Dreams are not made of cheese (unless you want to make cheese, cheesemaker is a worthy profession)......dreams are made of a pent up desire to achieve something that will make us happy.

Recently a friend of mine quit his banker job to go back to what he loves....photography.  In this economy he gave himself permission to be happy.  He made a plan and then he did it, and he is happy.

Another friend loves to travel, she formed a travel business and is making that work.  Even if you think you can make travel arrangements online....she can do it better.  She gave herself permission to do what she really wanted to do....and it is working.


Dream, plan, believe, do it......

Another friend moved to the woods....

My husband wants to cater.....he is learning how to do it, and he will succeed.

I know a woman who makes ties for little boys and sells them on the internet.

Another woman who sells hair ribbons, little girls clothes and other darling little girl things...

I have another friend who makes the best cakes in the world, 2 others who take pictures....beautiful pictures.

Dream, plan, believe, do it......

Our nation is in a pickle right now.  We are ham-stringed by leaders who tell us we are small and they must do our thinking.  Unfortunately, that comes at a huge price....lots of taxes and regulations....all to keep us small.  But that's  not who we are, we don't need anyone to tell us what we cannot do...only that we can do.

But also, that message has to start with us...WE  have to start talking to ourselves about how no matter what the opposition looks like, we can achieve our dreams.   No negative voices.  No one to tell you to watch out, or hold back.

Dream, plan, believe, do it......

Part of my problem is I stopped dreaming....literally stopped dreaming.  No day dreams or night time dreams.  However, I am happy to tell you I am dreaming again.  They are a little dumb right now....I am out of the habit, but I am dreaming, I started with night time dreams.  Let me tell you what happened...I have a friend, I consider her a very close friend, but we have never met.  My children think it is a little weirdthat I have a cyber friend who I talk about as if she lives next door.  My husband thinks nothing of it because he knows I am a little weird.  No doubt Ann is my dear, dear friend.  We even have lots of friends in common, and we have talked about meeting, but so far it hasn't occurred.  We met online about 10 years ago when I commented on a column she wrote.  I thought she was funny and brilliant....and I told her so.  She wrote back, I wrote back, she wrote back and then I officialized our friendship.  Two write-backs and it's official....friends!  Anyway I had a dream about sponsoring a 5K run.  As I was walking over the starting line to see everyone,  Ann's father walked up to me and said Ann was running in the race and to go see her when the race was over.  In real life I  have not met Ann's father.  I have seen pictures of him and that is how I recognized him.  After we finished talking I went to find a place to watch the race when I ran into her mother!  I haven't met her mother, and I don't even have a picture of her, but she said she was Ann's mother and she said I had to make sure I was at the finish line to meet her.  I look up from our conversation and see all the runners come to the finish line.  The loud speaker announces Ann is in the lead....I start running to meet her....and then I woke up....without meeting her.  But I will...

There a real life odd dream!!

I am going to figure out what my real dream is.  I will follow the pattern, dream, plan, do it.

I will stop listening to the voices who say we are too young, or too old.  Not enough schooling, too much schooling.....maybe we want to change a bad habit, or grow our hair really long....maybe we want to go to Hawaii....or run a race (Like Ann!!) ....maybe we just want to grow grapes.

Whatever it is get quiet, get a pen, get a plan and get going!  It is going to be fabulous......

Monday, May 14, 2012

Soul Searching Day 1

I have decided to do some real soul searching.  There are some corners to sweep, some crops to change.....some parts my life are just fine , but there are some parts that could be so much better.
I live beneath my privileges.
So I am on a journey....a quest....to find who I can be next.
Sounds fabulous doesn't it?



   Sometimes Green Smoothies are a real mess....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to All!!

I am so grateful to be a mom.....Thank you Ashleigh, Trey, Mikey and Emma...I love you all so much, such wonderful children...

Thank you Raymond for your love and support all these years...

I never thought I would ever see a Mormon give a speech at Liberty University.  But it happened.  And it was the commencement speech no less!  Because I enjoyed it so much I am putting the link of Mitt Romney's speech on my blog today.   I found it to be filled with wisdom, hope and tolerance for everyone.  I hope you enjoy it because it seemed to me like the perfect Mother's Day kind of message.

http://www.mittromney.com/blogs/mitts-view/2012/05/mitt-romney-delivers-commencement-address-liberty-university

Happy Mother's Day to Opal Leigh who gave birth to me, Madeline who adopted me and Jerry for raising me.  Thank you ALL for your sacrifice and love.  I am who I am because of the mothering you did.....

Donna

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Annus Horribiles

An-nus hor-ri-bi-les, noun (a-nas-hor-i-ba-las) a disastrous or unfortunate year.

Isn't that a great couple of words? Annus horribiles....horrible year. Ever had one? Ever had a year where it seemed like the dark cloud followed you all around? Pipes breaking, bills late, cars needing work, teeth needing work, and maybe even throw in some hemorrhoids for good measure. Sounds like a bad year....well I have had 10 of them.

Ten

Ten Annus Horribilias in a row.

In the last ten years 3 of my children graduated from high school, 2 graduated from college, 2 others entered college, we were sued 3 times, I taught seminary for 8 years, became a relief society president, both of my parents passed away, my mother after a protracted illness, my father after a short one, my husband left his career and started a new one....the new one didn't work...so we started another one and it hasn't gone anywhere yet, 3 of my children went on missions for my church, one amazing pet died, but we found 2 others, the economy of the entire country collapsed and along with it the value of our home and all of our retirement savings.....all of it, and if that isn't enough, I started a rather intense menopause chapter. Ten years all over the place.

So right now some of you are thinking I am way ungrateful. If you have your health and family nothing else is important. You would be right. Count your blessings....I get that. Until now all I have been able to see is what I lost. Every security blanket systematically vanished, and I was put in a place of extreme personal discomfort. We hate losing our security blankets don't we? It is way easier to trust money in the bank and a good job than trusting the Lord. One is tangible, the other isn't...

I didn't waste the last 10 years wallowing in self pity, actually the last 10 years have been the most productive of my life, even if they have been the most painful because I lived through my worst nightmare and survived. I did the best I could....but now my best is going to improve. When you know better, you do better. I am going to celebrate the victories, learn from the mistakes and move on. And I am going to do whatever I can to help other people celebrate their personal victories, identify mistakes....and move on.

It's time to forgive myself and stop wondering what life would have been like if we had made different choices. We did the best we could...

I feel the best place to to find answers to serious life questions is with people who are at the end of their lives. I want to live my life without regrets and most of all I want to stop living beneath my privileges. I went online and found the 5 biggest regrets dying people have... the commentary in bold type are my thoughts....

1.I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way.

Me: I am going to figure out what my dreams are. It is a shame I just plain ole got out of the habit of dreaming. How can that be good? Dreams are the stuff life is made of.

.2. I wish I didn't work so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

Me: Don't need to worry about this one....I am glad I followed my heart and stayed around my kids as much as I could, because they are "all growed up" now. And I don't think I have ever worked too hard. I give it my all....I just get to "all" a lot faster than everyone else.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

Me: Simple boldness without being rude, honesty.....authentic feelings. I don't have to apologize for what my heart tells me I am or what I believe. And when people withhold approval of my choices I will remind myself that I am being honest with myself and embrace my convictions. In short I want to become what I am capable of becoming, and be who I really am.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

Me: I am making a list of all of those people I have let slip through the cracks. Because I am not going to care how much money I have at the end.....but I am going to care who is there at the end. And the end of other folks too. I need to call my aunt and uncle, Patti and Roxane...and I want to treat everyone as though it is my last day on earth...

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying. Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness

Me: This is my biggest dilemma. I used to be happy all the time. I got up in the morning excited for the new day.....every day was "anything can happen day". The last 10 years I got up in the morning with the full weight of personal debt on my shoulders with no remedy, and no end in sight. But there is Gideon's army....God told him his army of 32,000 was too big to fight the Midianites...so he ends up with 300. The Lord's purpose for allowing such a small army to battle the Midianites was for Israel to not be able to boast that her own strength saved her. That honor would go to God but He would work through Israel. This has been my problem, I am trying to solve the money stuff....alone.....I know that "one plus God is enough". I am definitely Gideon's Army but I know He can solve my problems. Unfortunately giving up worrying about money is like tight rope walking without a net. Can I let go? I spent so much time being afraid!! So many vacations not taken....so much we didn't do. Even though I see how destructive it has been it is still hard to let go. I am working on this one the most. I should be able to find happiness in the most dire of circumstances. Why can't I "Be still and know that He is God"? Just trust....and be joyful and happy. I keep hearing in my mind, "everything will be all right". But believing it is so hard....I vow to
make that choice, the choice to be happy.

10 years of Annus Horribiles behind me, but I am not sorry I went through it....I am way better for the struggle.


Bad days come to an end,
Faith always triumphs,
Heavenly promises are always kept.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ho Hum....

So today is one of those days...you know those days when you just don't want to do anything.  The problem is I have to do everything.....the house has reached critical mass, and it is vital for sanity that I finish what I started yesterday.  I have a monkey mind....so I clean here, and I clean there..... now I have a bigger mess.

I need to talk myself into this....

My grandmother, Minnie, who totally rocked, would always tell me..."Donna Lynn (all girls from Texas have 2 names - I knew when I was little that only the unloved girls had just one name) I am not afraid of work...I can lay down right beside it and go to sleep."


Don't you love that?

Minnie told me that having silver was a wonderful thing, but then she would wink and add that it was even more wonderful to have someone clean it for you.  I do have her silver, sadly I have never had anyone clean it for me.


She loved to meet my friends, always measuring folks with her special yardstick..."Donna Lynn, she seems like a sweet girl, but does she set a nice table?"  To her setting a table was a barometer on how much we care about our family and guests.  As harsh as that sounds, I understand it.  Going to a little extra trouble makes folks feel more important.  And that is what she liked to do.  Just make people feel better....and she knew food, a great story and a comfortable chair could do that......but she never took it all too seriously, we ate Thanksgiving dinner at half time of the Texas - Texas A&M game!
Every time I set my table I think about her.  She didn't save her things, Minnie assumed that every day was a special occasion.  "Y'all will never know what tomorrow brings...enjoy today."

My grandmother loved to fish, she loved jewelry, plants of all kinds, me....and her "things".  I have most of her things, my silly cousins didn't marry very well, so when she passed away, they didn't want the silver.  My husband wondered why I wanted it too.  He thought it was just a lot of work.  And it is.....but it soothes the soul.

OK, I feel better, got to get back to work, silver to polish, plants to water....Y'all have a great day!!



Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's not about what you think it's about....

This whole thing about whether women are really working is not about what the media is making it about. 

This is just about contention.....the adversary knows exactly how to push our buttons...and we fall for it every time.  All day we have been mad, defensive and argumentative.  And I feel awful.

Do you need to defend any righteous choice you have ever made? 

No.....
 

So whether your journey is working at home or working outside your home....we are all still working.  And supporting hopefully each other. 

Don't let the adversary win....he is not only the father of lies, he is the father of contention.  The Savior was very clear, "let there be no contention among you".   He said that for a reason...He knew we would subjected to trials of every kind on earth and He wanted to warn us...


Regardless of what religion you belong to, or what higher power you listen to.....that advice would be the same.  Let there be no contention among you


As women we know a whole lot.  We have a PhD in life....we don't need to be a CEO to get it, we don't need to punch a clock or invent a new widget....we don't have to discover a cure, a new land or facilitate a Middle Eastern peace treaty, we don't have to change diapers or scrub toilets to know.....we don't have to be anything but a woman to know.  And we know most things just because.....because we are women.  CEO's scrub toilets and change diapers....SAHM (I learned that today thank you twitter) invent products and write books....we are powerful!


So if anyone tries to minimize you....give them the Braveheart speech and remember who you really are.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Do people really run out of Gas?

Do people run out of gas any more?

I am on the side of the road waiting for my daughter to bring gas because the car ran out of gas.
Understand I didn't run out of gas..

The car did.

With 2 smelly dogs.....

And a 5 O'Clock deadline.

Oh my.....

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wouldn't Stevie Love This?

A friend asked me if it was normal to be depressed.....so I thought about it for a minute and came up with something I am going to do today....

I am actually going to follow my own advice.

Everyone gets depressed ....embrace it, you can even give it a whole day if you want...but then move on.  If it lingers too long you may need to find out if it is organic, and then get some real help.   We are all made of fallen stuff, and that means it is normal to go through ebbs and flows. 

So try some of these simple fixes.....Be your own best friend....take yourself to a nursery if you like plants,





a bookstore if you like books....












to Williams and Sonoma if you love to cook, or maybe find a new herb. 






Listen to some music from a time in your life that was totally without responsibilities.

.

Have a great prayer and tell the Lord how grateful you are for all the amazing blessings you have...here are four of mine....






But the sure fire cure?  Make a list of 3 women  you know that have recently gone through a trial.  Be their Fairy Godmother...stop by just for a "hug and a kiss"  drop them a plant or a book or some music or a new herb (see how you can multitask?)
Depression is a part of life,  unless it is organic, it will pass.

And even if you aren't depressed this is a good idea.....right?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Ball!

It is said with great reverence from the land of my birth.....there are only 2 real sports.  Football and Spring football.

It is wonderful to sit in the stands on a beautiful April day and watch football.

#Ilovemylife


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Is Elvis a Mormon?

Today I read a wild email from a friend who is now prepared to watch the coming presidential race from under her bed....frozen with fear that someone is going to ask her about temple rites, baptisms for the dead or polygamy and she won't know the right thing to say.

Today no less a famous person than Maureen Dowd, New York Times columnist, is wondering if Elvis is Mormon.

What does that mean?

Is this a brace yourself moment? Are we as a religion about to be broadsided by a secular landslide that will rock our world? I don't think so...But if you are a Mormon I think it is time to put on your big girl (or boy) pants and start talking right out loud about your beliefs.

Most Mormons have been asked about their religion from an incredulous co-worker or neighbor with the opening salvo...."I heard something about your religion that didn't sound right and since I know you I thought it can't be true."

And then they proceed to ask questions from why can't you eat chocolate on Sunday (we can) to why do we hoard food? (we don't) There are others far more distasteful, and some just flat out profane. I enjoy answering questions....I don't think my parents asked me one question about Mormons. I joined the church at 18. Unfortunately my aunt was all too eager to answer their questions using information she had gotten from sources eager to distort. I should have cowboyed up, simply had the courage to talk to them. But I was young and I didn't know enough. I don't think as a group we have done a very good job explaining our religion. And if we don't start explaining it we have no one to blame but ourselves when Maureen Dowd steps up to do it for us. Ms. Dowd is a gifted writer, but she has a cynical streak when it comes to religion, especially, it seems when it comes to Mormons...should she be the one to explain what goes on in the temple?

I understand that Governor Romney is reticent to speak about our religion because we are so often misunderstood, and this election is not about religion...but I hope that he doesn't distance himself so much that we are deprived of the "when I was on my mission" stories that all returned missionaries enjoy telling. However he had an experience on his mission that few missionaries have. in June 1968, the car Romney was driving was hit by a vehicle head-on along a winding road in rural Bordeaux; the accident killed the wife of the mission president and severely injured the president, while Romney was knocked unconscious - and at first mistakenly declared dead by the French police. When the president returned to the US to bury his wife, Romney was left in charge of the mission. The missions work was in disarray. In a letter from his father George Romney quoted a line from Treasure Island, saying. "work on in your despair". Romney turned the mission's dire situation around. In a brazen move, Romney convinced the missionaries to shoot beyond their set goal for baptisms and when the year ended they had just that. (from Time magazine) And remember he was 21.

Wow I got way off the subject...I was going to write about baptisms for the dead...I will get back there.

Mormons are all about agency...the freedom to choose. I was sad to hear that Holocaust victims were baptized posthumously without family permission. I understand now that Jewish people have been forced throughout the ages to renounce their religion, and the thought of someone taking it upon themselves to baptize their dead sounded like tyranny to them. I would like to correct that misunderstanding right now. No one can force you to accept anything you don't want. Whether you are in this world or the next or Kemah Texas no one can force you to accept anything. I am glad that someone with authority from the church dropped a house on those folks who were going through the Enquirer choosing famous people to baptize. Which is, I guess, how Elvis is now a Mormon....remember only if he accepts it.

Mormons have great respect for family histories....we feel our ancestors are our ministering angels. Who else would know us more? Love us more? Or be able to protect us better? A dear friend of mine often tells the story of her grandfather Oscar McConkie who gathered his family together and told them, "I am your father, grandfather, husband, and uncle. I have prayed for you every day and just because I am going to die does not mean that will change. I will continue to pray for you every day no matter where I am."

The thought of my mother, grandmother.....Raymond's aunts....being my ministering angels gives me such peace, and a sense of unity of purpose. We were family on earth and we will still be family in heaven...family units going on into eternity.

So my message is simple.....you might hear some odd things about Mormons this year. Politics are ugly and the opposition may want to make Romney as weird as they can. Like his politics, don't like his politics but when you hear outrageous things about Mormons ask me first before you believe it.

Here is Ms. Dowd's column about whether or not Elvis is Mormon. She is a kick....

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/dowd-is-elvis-a-mormon.html?_r=1&ref=maureendowd#