Writing My Life

Now and Then






Tonight Westminster College pinned our son Joe. After an 18-month “courtship,” it’s now official. The college bestowed him with an MBA, and he committed to become a lifetime donor. At least that’s how the dean explained the evening’s event!

CONGRATS to our Joseph and his beautiful, brilliant, and super supportive wife Kara!


… Memorial Day ~ may be one of my favorite holidays …

Those who know me will say, “Of course, Memorial Day is your favorite! It’s your birthday!”

This year that is true, but since President Nixon relegated the day of memories to the last Monday of May, sometimes the holiday is and sometimes it isn’t on May 30th – the ORIGINAL Memorial Day AND my birthday. While I am THRILLED to celebrate another year here on earth, birthdays don’t quite offer the same delight they did when I was 6 or 10 or 16.

Memorial Day does bring me a HUGE dose of nostalgia, and for a person who is ALWAYS nostalgic, that is saying something. Tonight is a case in point. I decided to rummage through some boxes of old photos looking for who-knows-what, and I found all but 2 of our sort of “official” family pictures. For a long time I have wanted to post them, and decided that I’ll start off the Memorial weekend with these “happy family” photos. (Of course, we all know what goes into organizing a trip to the photographers – hence the sarcasm.)  So here we go down Memorial Day Lane.

We looked SO happy because we were!

I look at this picture and fall in love all over again.

The Bouffant and the Soldier Boy!

The beginning of the BOYS!

The boys have ALL ARRIVED including Teddy, the Cocker Spaniel.

TOTAL 80s look going on here!

We were all together for the first time in 2 years because Andy had just returned from his LDS mission.

We had gained AND lost some daughters-in-law about this time, so I'm just posting the ROOT of our family.

My niece took MANY photos of the fam, but I LOVE this CRAZY-FACES pose! AND we were happy to welcome the NEW daughter-in-law who married into the family that year!

This is a terrible PICTURE of the PICTURE 'cause I don't have one that does NOT hang on a wall. It's WAY out of date because 3 more little peeps have joined the family. Maybe we can just "photo-shop" the new additions!!!

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… maybe these shots won’t make it into the Royal Wedding Album, but still …

Speaking of unsolicited email messages, I received one a couple of weeks ago that I did NOT research via Snopes. Although the originator of this message is A.Nonymous – which is usually the case – I trust the content as the images speak for themselves!

The Royal Disney Wedding

Well, the royal couple has been married for nearly a month, and while reviewing the billions of wedding photos, the two were startled to find some taken by a Disney Studio photographer. They didn’t realize Mickey was part of the crowd of paparazzi!

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… “lollypop, lolly pop, OH! LOLLY, LOLLY POP!” … may be the most disgusting treat IN THE WORLD!

It is DAY 23 of posting EVERY DAY IN MAY! Sheesh! I do have some important things to write about, just not tonight. Mondays are always SO tough, aren’t they? And this has been a pretty rotten day for some family members and friends.

To liven things up, I pulled out a photo taken by Grand-daughter Taylor. It features a VERY creepy, crawly, AND CRUNCHY treat I brought back from Albuquerque. Believe me it took courage to even buy these little suckers! And I just know there is a story to be told about how these “alacranes” found themselves in such a predicament!

Which do you prefer: Pineapple, blueberry, or apple SCORPION???

Maybe we could retell a favorite tale – something like “3 Little Scorpions.” They crawl off through the desert to seek their fortune but end up swimming in vats of artificially flavored corn syrup. Imprisoned in their glass-like houses, the 3 are packaged and trucked many more miles until they end up in the home of the bravest kid on earth – one who actually EATS the suckers … scorpions and ALL.



… weary of bad weather? maybe blossoms are the cure for the grumps …

Utahns have been griping for weeks, maybe even MONTHS,  because of WAY below-normal temperatures and WAY above-normal rainfall. At the slightest ray of sunshine, we run out to play or work in the yard – so thrilled to feel even the tiniest bit of warmth on our faces.

I love this representation of spring in Utah: snow in the mountains, trees in bloom, and trees struggling to bud.

Yesterday – while waiting for the Rapture – I, too, rushed lumbered to the front yard to pull up spent tulips and to plant pale pink petunias and lavender creeping flox. It was the perfect time to weed and plant because the soil had been softened by so much moisture.

Our flowering crab apple tree surrounded by pink petunias worshiping at its feet/roots??? Pansies peeking from the background may last the entire summer if temperatures stay this cool!

Because of the other “bucket-list” plans on the day to end all days, I didn’t have much time to bask in the handiwork of my gardening. But after lunch with Mom and Connie B, and after attending the wonderful heart-warming play at the Hale Theatre, I drove up to my yard with a greater appreciation for all that was blooming!

"In the leafy tree tops the blossoms are blooming!"

This is my favorite tree in bloom is this little Japanese flowering tree – whose full name I can’t remember. Grrrrr. It is also the tree-of-choice for our little yellow-feathered friend. He finds something yummy to eat among the branches and blossoms. I hope he returns to dine soon.

It amazes me that this delicate little tree survives and thrives - showing up bigger and heartier looking kin.

Not all that long ago snow covered our young snowball bushes. Soon the little green blossoms will burst into big puffs of white!

I wish I had the memory to remember the names of everything I plant, but I don’t. If any readers can tell me what this pretty pink flowering perennial is, I will be ever so grateful.

The plant reminds me of bleeding hearts, but those don't thrive out here on the western desert like this nameless beauty does.

While this montage may bore many, I am thankful I took these pictures and posted them because a rather nasty thunder storm – complete with HAIL – descended upon my lovelies and stripped some of their beautiful blossoms. The remnants lie scattered upon the green lawn much like strands of hair piles up on the floor at the barber shop.


… that cute little bird may be the toughest little chirper in our yard, too …

Remember that cute bird I “think” is the Orange-crowned warbler? I said I hoped to catch a picture of him. Well, I’ve had my Nikon CoolPix at the ready all week, but he flitted in and out of our yard so fast that I couldn’t catch him – until today.

Bless his heart, he flew CRASH, BOOM, BANG right into our picture window, leaving behind a small smudge of goop and a feather. G.E. witnessed the near-tragic event and hollered that our bird was sitting in the flower bed in a stupor. I just happened to have camera in hand and so I rushed out to capture these pictures.

Think he has a concussion?

LOOK! You can see his ORANGE CROWN. Or is that blood?

Thankfully, he was still alive, and he didn’t seem at all concerned about the giant ShutterBug snapping his picture. In fact, he seemed happy to see me. More importantly, he flew off after about 15 minutes.  He wasn’t about to be “Left Behind.” Snicker. Snicker.

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… uh maybe this is NOT Thor’s hammer …

Tonight G.E., his brother, and I started our weekend early by going to the cinema to see that critically acclaimed movie THE GOD OF THUNDER: THOR! Like most blockbusters these days, it is based upon a comic book/graphic novel. (HoHum) I have to admit it WAS entertaining, but one Marvel Studio movie a year fulfills my need for super heroes.

While watching cities crumble, muscles ripple, and women crumple, I thought about that hammer of his and wondered how it ended up in Bryce Canyon. While visiting the hoo doos over spring break, I watched for the signature rock formation and was thrilled when I spotted it – or so I thought.

After arriving home from our night out, I searched for the photo and then compared it to pictures I found online. Check them out and tell me what you think.

Thor's Hammer was NOT cast down to NEW MEXICO but rather Odin zapped it off to Bryce Canyon as evidenced by this Flickr photo!

I shot this picture, but I think it's Thor's CLUB. Sigh.

Will the REAL hammer please stand up. Oh, all ARE standing up. Pardon me.

I may NOT have found the actual hammer, but I did snag a SuperHero! Awwwwwww!

G.E. snapped this photo of us. What a backdrop!!!

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… maybe the cutest bird I’ve ever seen in my yard …

I announced before that I live in the western desert – of course with all the rain we’ve received this year that may change to the western JUNGLE!!!! My gosh, will this drizzle EVER dry up? Rainbows are God’s promise that He will NOT flood the earth again, but it hasn’t cleared enough to even SEE a rainbow. Does that mean the promise is null and void?

ANYWAY, in spite of rain, cold, wind, AND  a little snow, some brave birdies have migrated north – obviously they don’t check the weather channel. This evening we saw the MOST adorable tiny bird I have ever seen. It was eating something off our flowering Japanese flower tree – redundancy in wording, I know, but I can’t recall the tree’s name. Pretty little thing though. Perfect for a pretty little bird.

This sweet visitor was a yellow-greenish color and kind of fluffy – I thought he might be part chick, but G.E. assured me that was NOT the case. A chick-a-dee? A canary? (I’ve lost confidence in identifying ANYTHING since the Pongo-ballo bush faux-pas!)

While I can recognize a robin, starling, seagull, etc., I had NO clue, and so I Googled a description of the small fry and found out he is an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. I saw NO crown, but read that one rarely does see any orange on top of their bitsy heads or anywhere else on their little bodies for that matter.

I scanned through several online images to find one that looked like CutiePie until I found this one. It must be his twin for he looked just like this guy. Adorable, right?

"He's so fluffy! I could die!" (I LOVE that line from DESPICABLE ME.)

I’ll keep watching for him and will have my camera handy next time. I also hope to catch sight of Robinilla – the biggest, fattest robin I have ever seen. I wonder if there is a worm left in the neighborhood with that chunk around! And have you ever noticed how yellow their bills are?

Yes, I’m getting old if I care this much about our feathered friends.

No, I’m not desperate for blog topics, but I don’t have time to write about how I’m going over the edge. That has to wait until the weekend when I have time to list all my signs of madness.


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… the joke may be on me, but I’ll show off my goofy little plant anyway …

Yesterday I wrote about an exotic plant from India AND I even posted a picture of it. When I first saw the photo of that Pingo-ballo agave bush, I thought, “NO WAY!” I tried to enlarge the picture so I could see if it were for real but could only increase the dimensions a bit. And then Alice’s friend, with tongue-in-cheek, commented and shared the funny name of the plant – her own creation. I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker! I recognized the ping-pong reference but thought it was a name that reflected the shape of the perfectly round blossoms! DuH!

Last night I also promised to show off my own unusual plant – a REAL one – to compete with the faux bush. So here it is.

The Goofus Helio Coptus

Our neighbor gave it to us about 3 Christmases ago. It looked like a baby Christmas tree then, complete with sparkles on the tiny branches. Well, its transformed into a whirly-bird and appears ready for take-off. I still think it’s a creation out of a Dr. Seuss book,  and if you do not, take another peek! Isn’t that HORTON tucked in there?

Horton, where is the egg? or the Who?