Monday, December 28, 2009


I think I have postsantum depression (the letdown after Christmas). I really maybe even had presantum depression, too. I haven't blogged since forever and have absolutely no desire to.

I want to feel like this. (And, actually my shape is more like this anyway. If I looked like that silhouette above I would probably have less depression.)
So, there you go.

Anyone else have this malady? What are you doing for it? Just akin' case you have a cure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

Tonight Phil and I were driving home. It was already dark, darkness comes so soon now. I was thinking about the Winter Solstice.

"Phil, today is the Winter Solstice. Tomorrow the days will begin to get longer."

"Oh, no," he moaned. "I just got the stinkin' lawn swings put away." Then he paused and under his breath he said, "The rusty buckets."

So, there you have it. So many reasons to celebrate the sun, screeching to a stop on it's journey south and deciding to come back. It means spring is on it's way. It means more daylight. It means warmth. And, obviously it means the lawn swings have a new title: rusty buckets. Stinkin' rusty buckets.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


This is our boy, Taylor. He is in the hospital tonight.He went to the doctor today because he has been feeling rotten, even throwing up for two freaking weeks! (This family doesn't procrastinate, oh no.) He checked his symptoms out with everyone's best friend, Google, and finally agreed that he might have a problem, Houston. His appointment was for 2:00 o'clock and later today he was resting, un-comfortably, in the hospital, minus his appendix.

He now feels like this:
Sharee called me to see if I could pick Bailey up from school. I was talking to her on the phone when I could hear Taylor talking in the background, "Tell Ma (he always calls me "Ma") that I'm going to go get my 'Kitten pouch' out." When he says stuff like that his wife says, "Say what?"

And then she smiles because he says stuff like this all the time. It's a veritable joke fest around their house. So now the "Kitten Pouch" is removed and they didn't even get any kittens. No wonder Taylor looks like that, getting no kittens for all the pain. He once told me--when I told him, "No, we can't get another cat," that he was going to grow up and have 17 cats. They do have two dog and two cats and four kids. I think that's plenty, don't you?

Get well, Taylor, I had my appendix out--what was left of them after they had ruptured 30 hours earlier. You were just five weeks old. I know just how you feel.

I'll bring more Russian teacakes and fudge when you feel up to it. Just let me know. Yup. When you feel this good. I'll bring them. Fudge and teacakes. And maybe Muddy Buddies. Elizabeth reminded me that I should make some of those but they weren't on my list (and I just got an order for 17 pounds of caramels) so it's only a maybe.

But, you gotta get better first.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Tonight was our Christmas Relief Society dinner and program--it used to be called Enrichment, I'm not sure what it is called now. We held it in our old building--YAY!--which has been being remodeling for eleven months (and two weeks). It was good to be home. I couldn't believe how much I loved being back.

The Relief Society has been collecting jammies for the Division of Family services--photos of the jammies here (thank you, Annette)--to use when children have to be removed from homes because of violence, etc. Then, after dinner, we had a Christmas program and it really got to me, I bawled like a baby. (I've needed a good cry for a while.) I looked around at my friends, and was overcome with love for them. I am so lucky for so many reasons and friends are right at the top of the list.

Meg (who doesn't blog often enough) and I checked out the stage because on Friday we will be having another program for the whole ward. Meg and I were put in charge of the program NINE FREAKING DAYS AGO. Wish us luck. If I never blog again you will know I've been run out of town.

Actually, we hope to set a record for the only Mormon family dinner where the kids WILL NOT run wild. They will see Santa in the Primary room at 5:30 and then at 6:00 will be escorted into the cultural hall where they will join their parents and older siblings for dinner and the program. Like I said, wish us luck.

And then, just because, here is some winter lace that was on my driveway this morning.

Friday, December 11, 2009


(This is long. Go read a short blog. Something with pictures of food. And besides that, this was written several days ago when I knew where I was going with it.)

Almost a week ago these two messages came in my inbox:

1st: “The Seven Major Negative Emotions: Fear, Jealousy, Hatred, Revenge, Greed, Superstition, and Anger.” - Napoleon Hill

2nd: 3rd December, 2009 Marital Satisfaction is Largely a Choice One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Irving Becker: “If you don’t like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won’t mind” (Reader’s Digest, 1975, p. 19).

What Becker’s words suggest to me is that we all make choices to be furious or forgiving. If we choose to be furious, we find plenty of reasons to justify our judgments. After all, we all have human partners just crammed with frailties—including funny ways of holding their spoons.

In contrast, if we choose to be forgiving, we find a wealth of reasons to be pleased with our partners and happy in our relationships. A plate of food in the lab is transformed into a golden memory by loving partners. As two marriage scholars have observed: “The focus in marriage education programs on problem-solving skills is woefully inadequate because we now know that the emotional climate of marriage matters. . . . If spouses have a reservoir of good will and they show their affection regularly, they are far more likely to be able to work through their differences, to warm to each other’s point of view, and to cope effectively with stress” (p. 955, Huston & Melz, 2004).

Communication and problem-solving are not enough. But how do we develop that “reservoir of good will” that carries us past the challenges? That’s the key question. Gottman (1994) gives the answer: “In a stable marriage…the partners tend to view each other through “rose-colored” glasses. They assume that each other’s positive, admirable characteristics are an intrinsic part of their personality rather than occasional flukes. The good things about their relationship are considered stable and far-reaching while the bad patches or areas of tension are considered to be fleeting and situational. Over time, [unhappy] couples pay ever more attention to their spouse’s actions that confirm their negative assumptions. Over time you [can] become conditioned to look for and react to negatives in your spouse and your marriage. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy: the more you expect and search for negatives, the more likely you are to find them, and to highlight their significance in your mind” (pp. 118-120).

In other words, we find what we look for. If we look for the limits, faults, and flaws, we get dissatisfaction. If we look for the qualities, strengths, and nobility, we get admiration. Psychologists uniformly recognize that this is a bias. We do not see our spouses objectively. We filter our perceptions through our chosen lenses—either loving or judging.
All this is boiled down by God to a simple recommendation: Have charity. See as He sees. Serve as He serves. Love as He loves.

Just a footnote: I have known a handful of married persons who were so extreme in their narcissism that a fully cooperative relationship with them was not possible. For the vast majority of us, however, this is not the problem. Our judging and scorekeeping prevent us from seeing what God sees: One of His cherished children. The mortal shell does not have to prevent us from seeing the divine when we wear the glasses of charity.

References:Gottman, J. (1994). Why marriages succeed or fail and how you can make yours last. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Huston, T. L., & Melz, H. (2004). The case for (promoting) marriage: The devil is in the details. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66, 943-958.

Reader’s Digest (1975). Pocket treasury of great quotations. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest. Posted at 5:54 pm

And then this came today:

Love Should Be at the Center of All We Do Posted: 10 Dec 2009 11:00 PM PST “Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Love of God,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 21


So, today we have a choice. We can choose one of the seven negative emotions to dwell on, to make our lives happier (I know, sounds stupid doesn't it, but we do it, admit it, you've done it, duelled on anger, maybe, because it felt so good and you were so justified), or we can choose to make our lives really happier by participating in the "laughing at the plate of food in the lap" and loving, unconditionally.

I'll give you an insignificant example. Yesterday, Phil and I left the house and, as usual, I overestimated the time I had before we left and so my teeth weren't flossed. I keep floss in the glove compartment for times like that. Phil doesn't like it when I floss my teeth in the car and I don't blame him. Flossing is a private thing but if I neglect it I get a tooth ache. So I pulled out the floss and pulled a piece off. Phil started to laugh, it really was a judging laugh and I felt judged. I fumbled the lotion that came out of the glove box and tossed it all over my lap, trying to catch it and it finally fell on the floor. I was angry. He judged, I reacted. How much better it would have been without the judgement and anger.

Year's ago we had some neighbors who treated each other with total acceptance. "You know how you are," on of them would say and the other would say, "Yah, that's how I am," and they both laughed. No judgement, just acceptance and love.

I want to be like that. I probably won't be, but I want to.

And that's my words for today. I want to but I probably won't. Maybe if I do it a little and then another day a little more, and on and on then maybe in a year or two I'll be like my friends, who each had odd behaviors--annoying things--but accepted each other totally. Maybe if I do, Phil will.

(And maybe if I clean up around my computer desk, a little at a time, in a year I'll be done. Okay, two years.)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Went to lunch today with wonderful friends. Twice. Some of the recipes are here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


"The key is to take things step by step. Otherwise, recovery will be a long, slow process." It was in reference to brain injury and was on Colette Amelia's blog tonight.

It set up a firestorm of thought. People I know are suffering, perhaps even me. They want things--recovery, situations changed, excess weight gone, relationships changed, a baby, to have grief over a loved gone, to feel successful. They might want their children to be happy when they are not, children to do better at life, at school, and to have better friends, to quit rebelling, etc.,

They/we want recovery from whatever it is they are dealing with, and they/we want it now. It's like that old saying, "God, please give me patience. Now!"

What's wrong with slow progress? Why do we have to have it now? Why can't we be happy that we might have the chance of having what we want? Or the thought that today is one day closer to maybe getting what we want? We might not get it, but we might. Maybe we shouldn't be distressed and anxious. And what happens if we don't get what we want? Maybe we will get something else, instead. Maybe something better.

Okay, you say, what about the people who are dying? And then they die? What then, Miss Smarty Pants? Did they get what they wanted?

I don't know. Maybe when they got "there" they found out that they really wanted to be "there." I've heard stories of people dying and having to come back to their bodies and they didn't want to, no matter who or what they had left on earth. They had to be persuaded and sometimes even forced. This happened to my niece. She died and met her Grandma--my mom. She didn't want to come back. Mom had to get a little bit testy with her and told her, in no uncertain terms, that she would go back, and go back she did!

Well, this blog post got away from me. I had no idea it was going in this direction. I just wanted to think that maybe we shouldn't be unhappy with the progress we or others are making--or not making--as maybe we/they are making progress even though it looks like we/they are not. So, there you have it.

Be happy tonight. Everything is under control, even if it doesn't seem like it.

Slow progress is still progress. Give yourself a break. You're doing all right.

And you know darn well that I'm giving this advice to myself first and foremost. And I'm trying to take it. And it's hard to swallow but I'm working at it. Slow and steady. Baby steps, maybe but steps, never the less. Listen to yourself, Lynne. Just listen.

Thanks, Colette for the good advice.