17 August 2016


Thinking of returning to this blog space.
For a couple of little reasons.
Beautiful Thing One
And Beautiful Thing Two

And other good things.

09 February 2015

Thoughts Inspired By A Fuchsia

The flower that blooms in adversity
is the rarest and most
beautiful of all.
~Walt Disney, Mulan~

I bought this fuchsia last summer on sale.  It
clearly had been purchased and returned to the
nursery by somebody else.  I couldn't blame
the previous owner.  Fuchsia's don't really
belong in the San Joaquin Valley.  I have always
admired their blooms, however, and couldn't 
resist giving it a go.  All summer long I babied it.
I misted it daily, watered it appropriately, and somehow
it actually survived the awful heat. 
 It has been so
lovely watching the buds develop and burst
open to show their delicate unusual insides.

I've been aware of someone navigating
a personal and devastating loss with
faith, grace, hope, and strength. 
It's made me reflect upon all kinds of 
 losses...my own, and others.
Unlike the previous owner of my fuchsia,
we don't get to return our heartaches and disappointments.

Will you, for a moment, see yourself standing
before Christ's outstretched arms as He waits
for you to "come unto Him" and be encircled in
the arms of His love?  It is here you will be healed,
nourished, loved, enabled, strengthened, and
made whole.  We need to learn to let the
Savior carry our burdens and to go to Him
regularly to seek His enabling power.
~Carolyn J. Rasmus~ 

06 August 2014


Someone close to me said today:
"I can't believe how full your
plate is right now."

I framed this little work of 'art' about
thirteen years ago, when Ty was 
six years old.  He made it at 
some activity. I love it.
Smudges and all. 

I thought it profound...and good
to remember when feeling
overwhelmed and stretched.

29 June 2014

Don't Let Your Dreams Die With You

Punakaiki: Pancake Rocks 
New Zealand

I who am blind can give one hint to those who see--
one admonition to those who would make full
 use of the gift of sight:  Use your eyes as if 
tomorrow you would be stricken blind.
Glory in all the facets of pleasure and
beauty Nature in its wisdom has so
magnificently provided.  
Make the most of life while you can!

~Helen Keller

Video of the Blowhole at Pancake Rocks

Creed, Ellen, Kris and myself

A good snapshot keeps a moment 
from running away.
~Eudora Welty

Simon and Garfunkel may have written a song
about 'the sound of silence...' but the cloistered serenity
felt within the fiord of Doubtful Sound is the 
absolute encapsulation of the phrase.  

At the end of one of the inlets, the Captain of our ship
 turned off all the engines and asked everyone
on board to stop.  Just stop.  No opening doors.
No taking pictures.  No walking around.
 His sensitivity to the power of solitude was profound.
Suddenly we heard birds, waterfalls...serenity.
We felt uplifted and humbled by the 
immense grandeur about us.  

In no way does this little video do justice to
Doubtful Sound.  But, it's a sweet 
reminder, just the same.

My cute brother, Creed, perched himself on the 
front of the boat and remained here 
from sun up to sun down.
No kidding.
Got to know him in a way I hadn't before.
Found out that I love him.  :)

Kayaking on the Doubtful

Fly fishing the Routeburn River
(No, this photo is not enhanced.
That IS the color of the river.)

New Zealand Brown

Life is a brief opportunity to make sure that
your dreams don't die with you.

It had been a dream of Kris' to visit New Zealand
for about 30 years.  Really. Happy he was
able to live his dream.

11 June 2014


A few weeks ago I shared some feelings
about Carl Bloch's painting entitled
  Christus Consolatur in my post
For my birthday in May, Kris gifted 
me a copy of the painting, 
reproduced on  canvas.
(Roses from my neighbors yard.)

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us,
so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
And whether we be afflicted, it is for your 
consolation and salvation, which is effectual in
the enduring of the same sufferings which we
also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it
is for your consolation and salvation.
2 Corinthians 1:5-6

Together we picked out a combination
of frames we felt hearkened back to
the paintings location in The Athenaeum
located in Horups Kyrka, Sweden.
I love passing by this painting now hanging
in our home and feeling the Rest it offers.

Each morning I take a walk around our yard
to see what new blooms have appeared.
It's restful to me.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's
lives may be...
I go...and for a time 
I rest in the grace of the world,
and am free.

~~Wendell Berry

22 May 2014

Emmaus Walks

I have periods of time when I feel as if I am on my own
personal "road to Emmaus."
Surely I'm missing the answer, inspiration, 
direction, even miracle that is 
right in front of me.

While taking a walk recently in New Zealand with
my sister-in-law Ellen, this fantasy-like mushroom suddenly
appeared right in front of me.  I literally gasped, pointed,
and said "Is that real?" 
Because I have a ceramic mushroom in my yard
that looks just like this, I almost walked passed
it without really seeing it. My brain
at first simply registered "garden decor."

"And their eyes were opened, 
and they knew him...
And they said one to another,
Did not our heart burn within us,
while he talked with us by the way...?"
Even during my own Emmaus-like walks when
I feel like the obvious is anything but...
I know He is there.
"A bend in the road is not the end of the road."
And I know if I'll stay on the path,
my eyes, too, will be opened.
Yours will as well.

01 May 2014

"Trust In The Lord With All Thine Heart"

"Trust In The Lord With All Thine Heart"

I know that Heavenly Father has numberless creations.
I am one of them.
I also know that he has an individual plan for me
and for all those that I love.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said:
When we say God has a plan, He truly 
has a plan...for each of us as
individuals.  That doesn't mean everything will
be easy on our road...

...The plan always points the way, but
does not always smooth the way.

How do we compare to God, and all of His creations?
I know that we are the reason He created the universe.

And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens
thereof even so shall another come; and there 
is no end to my words.
For behold, this is my work and my glory---to bring
to pass the immortality and eternal life
of man. 
**Moses 1:38-39

19 April 2014

One Single Lily...

I haven't blogged in one year.  
I don't know if anyone blogs anymore. However,
a few recent experiences have stimulated 
my desire to start again.  Easter, and the coming
of Spring seem a fitting time for new beginnings.
We'll see if it sticks!

The very first Easter Kris and I shared as a married 
couple, and living as students at BYU, he
brought me one single Lily.  I've always
said it was one of the most romantic things he's
ever done. Because to me, it signified his tender
love for the Savior, the miraculous significance
of the Easter Season, and the love he felt for Him.
This is the 31st Easter he has 
given me Lillies.

Christus Consolatur
Carl Bloch

About a week ago, we were in Utah. While
there we went (for the second time) to the BYU
Museum of Art to spend time with the historic
exhibition Sacred Gifts

For the second time, I was particularly drawn in
and moved by Carl Bloch's Christus Consolator.
Many of the paintings are accompanied by 
scholarly, spiritual, and personal descriptions
which one can listen to using the individual
ipads and headphones available.  In addition, many 
of the works are accompanied by sacred music.

I listened to Come Unto Him at least five times
as I sat in the provided chairs staring at this
moving painting.  I could "see" people in my
own life depicted in each of the faces above
as the Savior reaches out to each and every one.

I could see the skeptic, just behind the Savior 
with his hand drawn to his face.

I could see the repentant, with his arms in chains,
wondering if he too might be looked upon with mercy.

I could see the faithful, in the woman with the white 
veil seeking the face she already knows so well.

I could see the anguished and tired, in the man wearing
the red robe grasping onto the Master's robe...
pleading for peace and relief.

And to all of us...His outstretched arms.

(Click HERE to listen to this
restful and hopeful song. The version
I especially love and the one accompanying
the artwork is done by the BYU Singers. However,
it was unavailable to link to.)

"Come unto Him all ye who labor and are weary.
Forsake thy sins...Come unto Him.
Take His yoke upon you and learn of Him.
Come and find rest in Him, all ye who are heavy laden.
Come all ye laboring souls,
 and ye shall rest in His eternal love.
Come unto Him..."

23 May 2013

Boston, And Beyond!

Anne Marie graduated from 
Massachusetts General Hospital
 Institute of Health Professions with
a Master's of Science in 
Speech-Language Pathology.  Additionally,
she will receive her
Reading-Literacy Specialist certificate.

...funny sign from her faculty.  Her class
'walked' during graduation...but actually
they have class through August.

Her school building is located in the historic
and beautiful Charlestown Navy Yard.
Very scenic.

Anne Marie and her good friend Anna
following the hooding ceremony.

An emotional dad congratulates his daughter.


Anne Marie receives her hood.

Then...into the larger ceremony.

Receiving her diploma with the other health
professionals.  I "lose" her for a second during the
video but then find her again. We were
way up in the balcony.

Friends who worked in the Aphasia Center together.

We made a 'week of it' while we were there. 
Had a blast seeing historically significant places
as well as just having fun playing around.  

The day we went to Lexington there was a Fife 
and Drum Muster taking place.  There were 
approximately 24 groups participating.

 Old North Bridge in Lexington marks the place where the
first enemy fell in the Revolutionary War.
The old North Church is the location from which the
famous "One if by land, and two if by sea' signal is
said to have been sent.  This phrase is related to Paul
Revere's midnight ride, of April 18, 1775, which preceded
the Battles of Lexington and Concord during the
American Revolution.

Faneuil Hall has been a meeting hall since 1742.
Several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and
others took place here encouraging independence
from Great Britain.

 Walden Pond
               WALDEN is blue at one time and green
                at another, even from the same point of 
                view.  Lying between the earth and the
                heavens, it partakes of the color of both.
                                           ~Henry David Thoreau~

I heard the Lark and Pewee and other birds already come
to commence another year with us.  They were pleasant 
spring days, in which the winter of man's discontent was
thawing as well as the earth, and the life that had lain 
torpid began to stretch itself.

Boston Marathon Bombing Memorial

Fenway Park
*Note:  Kris sends a not-so-subliminal message
and keeps his Giants hat on.  :)

I just didn't know if I'd ever see a ballpark
menu with "Lobster" on it again!

If you listen carefully you can hear Ty say
"root root root for the GIANTS."
Fortunately, those nearby were slightly amused.

"Sweet Caroline."
A Red Sox 8th inning tradition.
I've been a Neil Diamond fan all my life...been
to several of his concerts.  His music
always makes things better.  :)

Taking the ferry to the Navy Yard.

We drove to Cape Cod and simply
enjoyed eating, walking, and seeking 
out any and all lighthouses!

Cape Cod Highland Lighthouse
Cape Cod's oldest lighthouse

We spent a couple of nights in Hyannis and took
Ferry's to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard.

On Nantucket we rented Mopeds and drove
around the island, stopping at 
a few lighthouses.

Sankaty Lighthouse, Nantucket

I loved seeking out and seeing the lighthouses.
We saw two out of three on Nantucket, three out of
five on Martha's Vineyard, one on Cape Cod,
and one in York, Maine.

This is a wonderful day.
I've never seen this one before.
~Maya Angelou~

(The videos are for you, Anne Marie!
Dad hasn't cropped them yet...but
you'll enjoy them.)

So many beautiful harbors...

Brant Lighthouse, Nantucket

East Chop Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard
Stands on the site of one of the first
telegraph signals.

Edgartown Lighthouse: Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard

Gayhead Cliffs (and lighthouse) in Aquinna,
Martha's Vineyard.

Fresh Lobster at Menemsha Fish Market
Martha's Vineyard

Pretty sure we never passed up an opportunity
for ice cream...even if that meant having
it multiple times a day!

There are over 300 "Gingerbread Houses"
on Martha's Vineyard.

Fascinating little neighborhood.  For the
history on the houses go: here

Michael and Marilyn Stokes
One of the sweetest part of our trip was staying with 
Michael and Marilyn.  

Marilyn, Marilyn, Marilyn.  Up to her usual
wonderful self!  My birthday was a few days before
our arrival.  She gave me a choice of cake or 
Boston Cream Pie.  That was a no brainer...being in
Boston!  Yum.

I could not get over all of the fabulous Dogwood trees in bloom,
including this gorgeous mature one in their yard.  This
is the first Spring since they moved into their new home,
so they were having fun watching everything bloom!

Michael and Marilyn took us on a beautiful drive our last
day there.  We had already eaten with them in Goucester
one evening...so on this day we stopped in Salem to see
the Witch Museum and The House of Seven Gables, 
and then continued up Cape Ann to York, Maine.  
GORGEOUS country.

Neddick (Nubble) Lighthouse. York, Maine.

Fresh Fish and Chips

I miss my friend.We started
too many conversations
we couldn't finish. But,
I will truly cherish
the sweet new memories

...such generous, fun, and gracious hosts.
We loved our conversations, laughs, and
the opportunity to just be together.

Hammond Castle...located on the coast of Gloucester, Maine.  
John Hays Hammond, Jr. built the castle as a wedding gift
 for his wife.  He was an inventor of numerous things
 and a pioneer of the remote control.

We had a wonderful 10 days with family and friends 
celebrating incredible accomplishments and
making many new memories.