Sunday, April 26, 2009


Because I'm up late working at the temple on Saturday nights and we have early schedule at church--9:00am--on Sunday morning and I teach a primary class, Sundays and Church have become what sometimes seems a burden. But today a couple things happened that put everything back in perspective and make Sunday mornings rewarding at any rate.

I was at church in a rainstorm, after having to bang on my battery cables to get my car started, several minutes early (all right eight) and as I walked in the prelude music was playing. I noticed that Brother Browning was playing the prelude. The regular organist wasn't there but although he plays somewhat, he's the choir director, I would not have expected that he would be the substitute for Sacrament meeting. About a couple minutes before 9 Sister Browning hurries up to the stand and they quietly trade places--she at the organ and he with their family of small children. She's good and often substitutes on the organ. I couldn't help thinking what a great husband to quietly take over for his wife on an early busy morning and just fill in. It made my day.

Then our primary lesson was on the Word of Wisdom and of course included the story of Daniel and his friends refusing the kings food that would make them sick and insisting on vegetables, fruits, grains and pure water. The Old Testament video tells the story well and even puts it into historical setting very well. Even though these boys were living the teachings of God, their homes were also destroyed and they were taken away from their parents and families to become slaves in a Godless kingdom. But they stayed true to the teachings of their parents and families and even though it was hard, they were rewarded with the blessings of the Lord. Now for the best--Our primary class loved the video and about half just wanted to go on watching it rather than cut out good things to eat to paste on their Word of Wisdom papers. Imagine--6 year olds wanting to hear Bible stories rather than do their usual all time favorite projects. There is hope for this world if we will just listen to the children and teach them truths.

So I think I'll keep on with Sundays when we have families helping each other in hard times and children still wanting truth. (But I may have to get Johnny to clean up my battery cables.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Bob called and Sally survived the surgery. I'm not sure when she gets to go home but her heart was working better and her blood pressure was back up to almost normal. No Alaska trip right away I guess. Hope she gets better. Bob served 3 assignments in Viet Nam and was medically discharged the last time. He hasn't been too social but loves his greenhouse gardening in Alaska. They still have two feet of snow.

Bob also is into food storage--cans and freezes what he grows.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

odds and ends

This has been an interesting week. Last Sunday we had Easter dinner at David and Erin's house. It was good--ham, turkey and all the trimmings. We had an Easter Egg hunt, put together by Amy, with scriptures telling the Easter story from the scriptures and they had to find the next egg from clues hinted at in the scripture. It was fun.

It would be nice if Spring would come so that the boys could get to work landscaping. Even with the economy down there have been a few calls. Some are having "fun" living from their food storage. More on that later.

Was it Tuesday that we woke up to nearly a foot of snow? One of my purple leaf plums had heavy enough snow to break off a big branch which fell into the swimming pool. Saturday the boys came and pulled it out. There's nothing to be done except cut it up and put it in the wood pile. But they forgot the chain saw. (See Susan's blog.)

The missionaries at the MTC think it's funny that I drive a 4-wheel drive Jeep Cherokee and know how to use it in the snow. I didn't miss any of my appointments anyway.

Then Friday night at eleven o'clock my brother, Bob called from Alaska to say that his wife was in the hospital and her heart had stopped for 3 minutes. She's had a pacemaker for a while now, but it didn't seem to be working. The doctors want to try something new that will help her heart pump enough to give her a little more time. Bob wanted to know what you do when your best friend and spouse dies. He says he isn't religious but this may be the time for him to learn. He is in Alaska! how do I manage that?

Well, let's try a family history story about living on food storage. When I was little we were just coming out of World War II and there were not a lot of jobs to be had. I've told you about our huge gardens and canning and root cellar storage.
Mom always taught us that a meal should have a protein, a starch, and a couple of vegetables or fruits, and milk to be well balanced.
So she always was thinking of ways to use a little can or amount of meat to give everyone a little bit every day. Meat was the most expensive part of the meal planning. They tried raising rabbits, chickens etc. But no one wanted to kill them to get them ready to eat. My Dad went hunting a time or two but he never got a deer.

So one day Mom had some fish, probably a can of Salmon. We were still pretty little and she wanted to be sure that we were excited about what she was making for dinner. She told us she was making fish balls. I assume that she added egg, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs, maybe onions or finely chopped carrots or celery and then formed them into balls on a cookie sheet to bake in the oven. It would have been kind of like fish sticks or nuggets or something today. Anyway, she had us all hyped up and excited to try the fish balls, and when Daddy came home we all rushed to tell him that we were having fish balls for dinner.

He was just teasing, but he said,"Fish Balls! OOh!" and wrinkled up his nose. We kids said, "Then we don't want them either." Mom burst into tears, and that may have been the first time I remember them really having a fight in front of us kids. Everyone was very upset, Daddy said he was just kidding that they really were good, but I remember Naty, who was an especially a picky eater, refused to try them. As I recall when we did take a taste after much munching and antics by Daddy to show how good they were, I thought they tasted fine. Course I was the one who like Salmon loaf or patties, too.

So all you young husbands, when your wife tries something new to meet the nutritional needs of your children, please help her be excited about it, too. And make sure you have plenty of ketchup in your food storage in case you need a cover up taste.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Laura Beth

Happy Birthday, Laura Beth. You are such a help with the little ones at all the family reunions. And thank you for letting me sleep in your bed when we come to visit. I hope you have a wonderful day--your card is in the mail.

Love ya', Grandma

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Railey

Happy Birthday, Railey!!! One year old! How fun. You are certainly a good traveler and a real cutey. Love, from Grandma.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bulletin Board

Happy Birthday Tracey!! Thanks for setting me up on a blog--I'm quite enjoying it. I know you celebrated Sunday so you could go to band concerts tonight. I hope you had a wonderful day anyway.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

General Conference Memories

Because I grew up in a small town in Oregon my memories of general conference are possibly a little different than for those of you who grew up in Utah. I remember how much Mom and Dad wanted to hear or see it as it happened. Seeing it was a total impossibility since TV had not come to Prineville in the 40's. But Radio was a possibility if you could get reception. I remember Bill as a teenager stringing up antennas through the attic and across the back yard. He did manage to get a little very fuzzy reception for a Sunday morning session.

When I was nine we traveled to Utah to bring Bill to BYU for a term before he left on his mission. For October Conference we had a hotel room and could watch conference on TV. We listened to part of it but we children played in the yard outside for part of it.

Later that year or early the next Bill left on his mission and Dad was called as District President. For the next few years he always tried to go to Salt Lake for Conference. The year I was twelve he was fussing and worrying about how to go to Conference with no money available, so I said, "I haven't spent my 4-H prize money from last year--I have $20 if you'll let me go too."

The reason I hadn't spent my 4-H money was because I had put it away in a safe place and couldn't find it. You see, our bedrooms weren't heated, in fact they weren't even finished on the inside-just the studs with the boards and siding on the outside of the house as the walls for our rooms. So beginning in the fall when the weather turned cooler, putting something away meant going to our rooms and throwing things into it, beginning with the closets usually and by spring we were lucky if there were foot wide paths to our beds. Then in May or June when the weather warmed up we would clean and organize our rooms again. Hence, I had no idea where my money was in that mess and it was late March, still much too cold to clean our rooms.

I was half way joking anyway but my Dad said, "would you really like to go to conference?" Of course I would. Who wouldn't want a week off from 6th grade which I hated anyway. So I got to go to Conference with him--He made arrangements to go with the Williams's and the four of us went even though I hadn't found my $20. You have to remember that $250 to $300 a month was the average income so $20 was a relatively good sized chunk of money at the time.

We had a great time traveling with Max and Rachel Williams. We sang Mocking Bird Hill, I remember, because I had figured out a high part when Dan, Naty and I sang it, And I sang that and Max had figured out a whistling part on the chorus that sounded like birds and Rachel carried the melody with a little help from Daddy. We thought we sounded pretty good. We also listened to a BYU basketball game which I couldn't really follow but Max and Rachel rooted for BYU excitedly. I have no idea who won. And I remember hearing on the radio that George Albert Smith had passed away. He was the prophet that I had known during Primary and we were shocked and saddened to hear that he had passed away right before conference time even though he had been sick for some time.

We attended several sessions in the tabernacle, one time it was so full that Daddy went to sit in the area reserved for Stake and District presidents and an usher took me to the balcony where some people moved over a little and made room for me on the end of a bench. Sessions then were held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Saturday night we stayed at Elder Web's house (Elder Web had been on a mission in Oregon) and watched the Sunday morning session on TV at their house. It was Easter Sunday and they hid an Easter basket for me as well as their children. That was probably the only commercial Easter basket I ever received since we usually just colored eggs and made our own baskets.

I think it was the Sunday afternoon session that we sat in the right side balcony and were right above the speakers that I heard the talks that made the most impression on me. One was President David O McKay. He said that "We should avoid even the very appearance of evil." I've never forgotten that message--even if there is nothing wrong with what we do, if it could be a stumbling block to others just don't do it. It's part of the law of Sacrifice.

Marion G. Romney also talked. I had read a talk from a previous conference session by him that I had really liked, the winter before when I was still 11 and babysitting my younger brothers while Mom and Dad went to Mutual. He said that he was Not going to give the talk that he had prepared because he felt inspired to say something else. He talked about Adam and Eve and probably the Fall of man--I don't really remember--but I can still feel the spirit that I felt during his talk.

Later that summer I found my Yellow wallet on the floor of my closet with the 20 dollar bill in it and gave mom the $20 for my Conference trip. They needed it then just as much as they had earlier in the spring.

Later I remember getting the Sunday morning session at the church houses and when we moved to Oregon when Cathy was the baby, we could get the replays of the sessions between midnight and 4 am. We missed some of those, but we always read them in the Ensign when it came.

I have always considered conference a great blessing. I hate to miss any of it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I'm up in the night because the heavy rain is filling the buckets in Jenny's stairwell and it has to be emptied every half hour. I went to bed at nine and at 10:30 when she went to work she woke me up to tell me that she'd had to empty the buckets 3 times in the last hour. I checked 20 minutes later and one bucket was within 2 inches of the top. I emptied it again a half hour later but the rain seems to have calmed down some. She also put a bucket in the closet which is leaking again--anyone have tar to patch around the chimney again? I guess I should check that one, too, before I go back to bed.

Did I ever tell you about the "dip" that ran past our house in Prineville? Every so often we would get heavy rains in the early spring and we'd get a pretty good stream of water running down the dip. Our driveway had a bridge over the dip and even though there had been no flood for several years we didn't remove the bridge. Then one day it happened. The water came rushing through and the bridge began acting as a dam so the water was getting close to the house. It washed around the bridge so that we couldn't drive over it and Daddy jacked it up on one end so the water could run on down the ditch. We couldn't even go to play at Jimmy's because he lived on the other side of the dip.

When the water receded somewhat, we found a fish in the water--we never did find out where it came from or how it got in flood waters but it had a wire worm all the way through it. We took it to the County Agent (we thought he knew everything) and he said he'd never seen anything like it. But he pulled out the books and classified everything for us.

Daddy rebuilt the bridge and there was no more water for 4 or 5 years. Meantime people bought property down stream from us and filled in the dip and built houses close to where it had been. Their driveways had no bridges. One morning Dan got up to do his paper route and found water coming down the dip. It was flooding everywhere. He began knocking on doors and warning people all up and down the dip. The flooding was so bad because the dip had been filled in that a tractor had to come and dig a trench so the water could run on past to the open fields below. The newspaper was delighted that one of their carriers was such a hero and took pictures and put him on the front page--and that was a Portland paper.

Every time the dip flooded We kids would build rafts and play Tom Sawyer. We managed to get wet a few times and didn't play there until the worst of the flooding was over (the run off only lasted a week or so at most) but that dip was our favorite playground. In the summer we built huge "cities" with airports and parks and schools. We'd run a hose and make rivers and boat docks all for real in our huge sandbox. We built everything from left over lumber scraps from our Dad's building business. Who needed toys from the store? And we'd roll down the grassy banks into the sand at the bottom. Sometimes in our 50 gallon barrel that had both ends cut out. That was our favorite toy for years.

So every time it rains and we get a little minor flooding here it reminds me of all the fun we had in the dip.

Would someone like to come and mend my roof??

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Oregon Trip

Hopefully you've seen Steven's e-mail with pictures from our trip to Oregon. We saw Aunt Naty for a couple hours. She's doing as well as can be expected. Still has no use of her left arm. Gene is also having health problems--an ankle was in a boot cast when we were there.

Our visit with Dave and Judy went well. Nathan and Jenny and their boys were fun. It would have been nice for them if Damon and Seth were there since they are the same ages but possibly not as nice for the restaurant. Dave and Judy have done a good job of raising their boys. Scott's schedule at work wouldn't allow him to come up from Springfield but he was sorry to miss it.

Aunt Virginia's birthday party was very nice. We went over early and helped put things together. Erika's skills came in handy. When Aunt Virginia came she was obviously overwhelmed. She had been out of the hospital only a few days where she was treated for high blood pressure. She seemed to be doing well for a 90 year old but was having trouble remembering who everyone was. Just too many people all at once. Anne e-mailed me after we got home and said that Aunt Virginia figured out for sure who we were on Sunday. The trip was well worth the time and effort to renew acquaintances and visit with everyone. I don't know that we will see Aunt Virginia again. If you forgot to send a birthday card try for an Easter card with a belated birthday.

It was also nice to see Jane and Mike again and Kate. Jane and I connected well-we should get better acquainted with them. She remembered their trip out here and so did Kate.

We really did have fun and accomplished what I hoped for. All but missing Aunt Lorena--I'll Have to get a phone number for her.