Monday, May 31, 2010


The words for this song (I Feel My Savior's Love) were running through my head this morning when I woke up. The words are so appropriate for what has been happening in my life. It was very comforting.

Hold on Tight--by Liz Lemon Swindle

(That's what I'm doing, holding on tight.)

I love morning songs. I hope you have some too. Go to the link and listen to the words. They very well might change your life.


I feel my Savior’s love,
In all the world around me
His Spirit warms my soul
Through everything I see
He knows I will follow Him,
Give all my life to Him
I feel my Savior's love
The love He freely gives me.

by Liz Lemon Swindle

I feel my Savior’s love
Its gentleness enfolds me
And when I kneel to pray
My heart is filled with peace
He knows I will follow Him
Give all my life to Him
I feel my Savior’s love
The love He freely gives me.

by Liz Lemon Swindle

I feel my Savior’s love
And know that He will bless me
I offer Him my heart;
My shepherd He will be
He knows I will follow Him,
Give all my life to Him
I feel my Savior’s love,
The love He freely gives me.
Mother by Liz Lemon Swindle

I’ll share my Savior’s love
By serving others freely,
In serving I am blessed,
In giving I receive
He knows I will follow Him,
Give all my life to Him
I feel my Savior’s love,
The love He freely gives me.
Maybe in the morning I'll have another morning song. Maybe you'll have one. Listen for it. Morning songs are gifts and sometimes I'm so preoccupied I forget to stop and see if there's one there. I'm glad I listened this morning.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Another funeral last week--the husband of my dear friend. He had polio as a youngster and it came back, as it sometimes does, and he had difficulty walking, more and more as time went on, until his muscle tone was simply gone and his body shut down. He was a gentle man and here are two thoughts that (hopefully) will change the way I treat others.
Fred always wore a straw hat while
walking around the neighborhood.

One man said something like this: Uncle Fred and I used to go golfing. I'm not a very good golfer but all I needed was one good shot. For the next few days Uncle Fred would say, over and over, "Remember that great stroke you hit? That was a good shot." Then he said, "Uncle Fred was that way for everyone, all through life--always remembering our good points."

Then a young woman said, "The only way to take the sorrow out of death is to take the love out of life." Then she went on to say, "Most of all, I remember how Uncle Fred made us feel."

This is how I want to live my life. I want to help people realize how truly wonderful they are--and everyone is wonderful, they just might not realize it.

Thanks, Fred, you will be missed. I hope to be a better person because of your example.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Last night Phil and I went to see the Scottish Dreamer. She is in Mt. Timpanogas Hospital because after her latest surgery she can't eat and has become very dehydrated. She now has a feeding tube in...well, she did have a feeding tube in.

The morning the nurse said to her, "Have you noticed you don't have your feeding tube?"

The Scottish Dreamer hadn't noticed. "Wow," she said. "Where did it go...and when?"

"You don't remember? You really don't remember?"

The Scottish Dreamer shook her head.

"Well," said the nurse, getting all chatty as if she had juice gossip to tell. "Last night they found you wandering the halls. You had taken the feeding tube out." (The feeding tube goes in her nose and ALL the way to her small intestines. She really had to pull some to get it out.)

The Scottish Dreamer's eyes got that wild eyed look people get when they just can't believe something. She looked down at her hospital gown.

"Yup," the nurse said. "That Ambien, it does strange things to people. You told everyone you were going home."

"I did?" said the Scottish Dreamer.

"Yup," said the nurse. She looked at the gown too. (You know the kind of gown I'm talking about. They tie at the the back!)
"Yup," she said again, "said you was goin' home," and then she smiled and left The Scottish Dreamer to wonder how much of her backside she had paraded up and down the halls.

"Oh, Lynne," she said, with a shy smile. "I'll have to go talk to the Bishop!"

We had a good laugh. I didn't think much more of it until today, when I was gowned, same type of gown, tying in the front! On the Scottish Dreamer, who weighs maybe 100 pounds, the gown was probably adequate but on me, it didn't close quite so easily. I had nothing on--from the waist up. (I was getting an echo cardiogram--to rule something or other out, I'm not sure what, since my incident last Thursday. My retina doctor ordered this test plus a ultrasound on my carotid arteries.)

The technician had said, "When you're ready just open the door a little." So, I'm gowned, with the gown clutched in my sweaty little hand--I didn't bother to tie it. I opened the door with my gown-closing hand and of course, it flops open, for anyone in the hall to see. (The word, "flops" is kind of appropriate here.)

So, The Scottish Dreamer and I...well, we've either lost all our inhibitions or, we're voyeurs and really better have that talk with the Bishop.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I woke up this morning and couldn't see anything with my left eye, not even light. Phil booked an appointment with the retina doctor and the diagnosis is "Central Retinal Artery Occlusion." I feel each word should be capitalized as--to me--this is a big deal. The vision loss is total and permanent.

I texted the kids, their spouses and a few friends on the way to my appointment, asking for their prayers. Each and every one responded, most within minutes. Some followed up the texting with phone calls. Many phone calls. I feel very loved. One of my boys cried on the phone--now I know he really loves me and hasn't just been pretending all these years. One made me promise to eat a better diet and to exercise every single day. One drove 45 minutes to be at my side--the big baby. She said she came as much to reassure Elizabeth as me but I needed her and she came. The fact that she came in to also reassure her sister, is to me, a big deal. I love sibling loyalty. One friend came and sat on the lawn swings with me--she knew she couldn't help but she came to be with me and I love her for it. All of them told me they loved me. Many made jokes, which I loved.

Some of those jokes:
  • "Wow, Mom. You won't have to spend extra money going to 3-D movies."
  • "Humm, this opens up new gift ideas for your birthday." (I'm thinking eye patches and a parrot to sit on my shoulder...Aarg, Matey.)
  • "Can I call you One Eyed Wily?" (You can if you buy me that nifty shirt, below.)
  • "Can I buy you a Cyclops costume." (No one actually said that, that's the part of this post that is "invented" but it's funny, right? Kind of funny? Okay, so nobody has as warped a sense of humor as I have.)
  • "Mom, your turkey gobbler" know what a "turkey gobbler" is, right? It's that annoying piece of skin hanging from your chin. Well, not your chin. Your chin is tight and firm but I have an annoying turkey gobbler. Anyway, "Mom, your turkey gobbler will get smaller because you'll have to look way back to your left now--oh, wait, maybe your turkey gobbler will get bigger!"

After everyone went home and I had a minute to think about it, I went upstairs and had a good cry. On the phone tonight to a friend, I cried again. And now I'm finished and this is why.

  • The occlusion could have happened in my brain--then I would have had a stroke. That might lead to drooling and I'm against drooling--unless it's by babies and then it's okay.
  • The occlusion could have happened in my "good" eye, instead of my "bad" eye. (The bad eye had a retinal detachment years ago and had vision loss and also had a cataract. [I'm not old enough for this stuff, really, I'm not.] So, the vision in my good eye could have been lost.)
  • They could have given me that clot busting drug and I could have had a "brain bleed" and that would have caused major problems to my charming personality.
  • I could be dead. Then my kids could call me on the phone and say, "Are ye dead, mon?" I, of course, wouldn't answer because, after all, I'd be dead.

There were many tender mercies today. Trials are all how you look at them and I'm looking at this one as a major blessing. Now tomorrow, I might have a bit of a pity-party, but tonight, I'm focusing on the positive.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I went Visiting Teaching today but only to one of our three sisters. I gave the lesson. I used Julie B. Beck's conference talk. “And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit” (She is the Relief Society General President for our church.)

It's a wonderful talk, full of hope and the promise of peace and joy and encouragement about how to receive revelation. After I gave my lesson the other two women immediately started to talk about the calamities in the world. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Exploding volcanoes. End of the world type stuff. My visiting teaching companion searches the Internet for information about the latest horrible thing happening in the world. The lady we were visiting had a real enthusiasm for the subject too, and they got more excited by the minute, giving details of the latest mind boggling happening in the world, and why some tragedies could have been prevented and on and on and on.

This diagram shows the potential range of the total destruction of the Yellowstone volcano. Note, Utah is gone. Totally gone. I don't think I'll bother to vacuum tomorrow.
About six years ago I got sick in the summer. After I got well I noticed I was having anxiety and panic attacks. Not major ones but enough that on a regular basis I'm pretty miserable. If I hear about a tragedy or know someone in trouble or in pain I take on their problems. I cannot watch the news without experiencing depression. I don't even want to read books with unhappy endings or even unhappy middles--and how on earth do you write books without conflict and strife--those books would be insipid but that's the kind of books I want to read--I don't--I read the ones with conflict and strife but I want to read happy ones.

So, the longer Miss Enthusiasm-for-calamities and Miss I-can-top-that-horrible-story talked, the worse I felt.

Then I remembered some words from Sister Beck's talk: "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life."

Okay, I said to myself, if I can get revelation I need some now because I'm rapidly slipping towards destruction, right along with the Yellowstone soon-to-be-volcano-which-will-surely-wipe-out-Utah-along-with-several-other-states-and-a-good-portiom-of-Canada-and-will-probably-put-the-world-into-nuclear-winter. I know these things because Thing One and Thing Two discussed it. In detail!

So, in my shaky little inner voice I sang a Primary song to myself, "Heavenly Father, are you really there? Do you hear and answer every child's prayer?" Entire song here. Almost immediately the fear left . In fact the two women started to sound like the teacher on any of the Charlie Brown movies. "Waah-waah-waah-waah-waah-waaa."

I know this might sound stupid, but to me this was another witness of God's goodness, removing the fear and panic from one woman who should know better but who just can't help herself.

Disclaimer: No disrespect toward Thing One or Thing Two (who I actually adore) was intended, and no harm came to either of them, even though someone thought they should surely be beaned over the head. Any resemblance to people living or dead may or may not be coincidental.

Note: Mrs. Bird is one of the women we visit teach but she was on the lawn swings with us the other night and so I gave her a inadequate but heartfelt lesson. She did not talk of floods, lava tubes full of magma swallowing whole towns and roads and slow moving turtles, or tornadoes, carrying cows through the sides of barns and depositing them, with a flock of chickens, in hay lofts. No, indeed. She told us jokes and funny things about raccoons in their attic and had us laughing for a good half hour and I was enriched and happy and did not have to sing a Primary song to ward off the twitches. Long live Mrs. Bird! And I'm afraid their raccoons are going to have long lives too. Not one raccoon but many. In the attic. Pooping, probably. And chewing things up. And smashing the insulation and they will probably sue Mrs. Bird and her husband because they will have asbestos problems with their lungs. And Mrs. Bird will put a funny spin on it and tell us on the lawn swings and I'll tell you and then we'll all have a good laugh and be happy. And if the Yellowstone volcano blows, I hope we go quick. But on the bright side, the raccoon problem will be solved. I must remember to tell Mrs. Bird. She'll be thrilled.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Tonight was "game night" at Relief Society. There were about sixteen women there. I haven't laughed that much in...well, years. I should have taken photos but how do you photograph laughter? This is as good a representation as I could find.

One friend I see every other month, waiting in line to give blood for the Red Cross. (This was much more pleasant and the treats were better, too.) Two friends I see every month at book club. Two different friends I see each week at Personal History. And the rest...well, it was good to be with them, laughing and loving each other.

Thanks Pammie, for organizing this. You're the best and it was the funnest. When is the next game night?

PS How did my "Die Hard" get to be "Bedtime for Bonzo" I wonder, and from "Bedtime for Bonzo" to "The Big Bad Wolf?" And you should have seen the illustrations!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Elizabeth told me not to make any more fudge.

"Why not? I asked.

"Because I eat it."

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Tonight I got a call from my across-the-street neighbor. She was incredibly busy all day, her back is giving her fits--pain constantly--she still has kids to bathe before getting them to bed--this was at 10:00 o'clock--but she made time out of her hectic evening to call me and tell me to go look at the moon and Venus. I did and it was spectacular. The moon is a crescent and the light from Venus was so bright you could see the outline of the darkened part of the moon. Who else would do this? Who else would take the time to call me and say, "Go outside and look." Especially when her day is a couple of hours from being done and she's already exhausted.

My life is filled with special people. Some are long distance. Some right next door. Some live in my house. Some are animals. Not as in "uncouth human beings," but real meowing and barking animals.

I'm tired tonight--the last time I looked at the clock last night it was 3:30 am. I don't know why I couldn't sleep but in 4 1/2 hours I was up. It's been a long day. But tonight, as I sit here in a stupor, I'm grateful for my friends, some of which are my own children or their spouses. One of our children and his wife took us to dinner on Saturday last week for Mother's Day and they brought me wonderful handmade watches--yes, plural--and the very next day another of our children had us to dinner--both meals were fabulous.

Then on Friday, she-who-shall-not-be-named called and said "Let's shop," I was delighted. (The reason she can't be named is because I don't want to embarrasses her--see my last post. What? It's already too late? The embarrassment is probably complete but then again, maybe she is laughing her head off.)

So, tonight, with my coughing rampant, my sinuses sending snot-knives into what's left of my brain (yes, shot-knives), my knees and elbows are saying, "if you eat one more piece of fudge we will refuse to work at all," and I have a sink full of dishes that I must deal with before bed, I just want to say that I hope you have friends and family as good as mine. And if you have animals like mine, well...bless your little heart.

PS In case you--at this moment in time--are feeling lonely and unloved I want you to know that I've had many of those days, even with a house full of family. There are days when the only friend I felt like I had could only be reached by prayer and I wasn't sure he was even listening. So, if this is how you feel please just hang on. The wheel turns, soon you will be on top, looking at the night sky with a heart full of gladness and a fistful of friends who you wouldn't trade for anything. Life will be full again. And I'll be on the bottom, spittin' dust. Probably with an animal or two, which may or may not be a blessing. And they might even be the uncouth kind.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Today I was shopping with someone, I won't mention who. The sales girl came down our isle and removed a bunch of product from the shelf and took the items to a waiting customer.

The sales girl was darling. She was super thin, had on skinny jeans, and was beautiful. I looked at my shopping partner and said, "Wow!" (Women do this--check out other women. We probably do this more than men do. It's a compliment thing, it really is.)

My shopping partner nodded, and then she said, "I made a little tooter just before she came down this aisle. She thought it was you."

And that was when I knew I would like to smack my shopping partner. I didn't want the salesgirl to think I was both stinky and mean so I let it go. But one of these days...I tell you...I will get even, oh yes I will. I'm going to wait until she is totally unsuspecting and then...well, I can't tell you what I'll do. That would ruin the fun. And it's going to be fun.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I subscribe to and get a daily email telling me about recipes with good reviews. Tonight I was reading the reviews from the email and one reviewer had something interesting so I clicked on her profile to see what else she had reviewed.

Her latest reviews are first and she called her husband "DH." Earlier she had called him "husband." Earlier still she called him "my husband." That kind of has a possessive flavor doesn't it? Still further back he was "fiance" and then "my fiance." Further back he was her "b/f." Earlier posts called him "boyfriend" and then further back was the possessive "my boyfriend." Before that she said things like "my neighbors really liked this one."

I want to know the whole story of the romance and the wedding. Did the neighbors introduce them? Did she know him from work? How pathetic is this? I don't know this woman at all, in fact I don't even remember her name.

My conclusion is that I have no life and have to borrow the not-even-told story of someone else's.

Or maybe this rotten cold has my brain so addled that all reason has flown out the window.

Tell me you do this too, that I'm not the only unreasonably snoopy woman on the planet. I don't want to be odd, I really don't unless I can be odd in a good way. So lie and say, "I do this too," or else say something like, "Lynne, you are not odd, you're coughunreasonablysnoopycough charming."

On second thought, maybe you better not say anything at all. Just go away and pretend you don't know me. It's better that way.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I have heard this story twice, from two different sources--one of my sources was Mrs. Bird, who heard it from her chiropractor. Each version was a little different so I know that true version is not exactly either one of them but I'll put it down as I heard it. Please don't judge me for repeating this story. I'm not making fun, just reporting a story that will be buzzing around here for a long time to come.

A high functioning Down Syndrome boy called his mom at work. Now, this boy--actually he is a man--is a very responsible person and the family trusts him to handle life as it comes. Therefore the mom holds a job and checks in with him during the day but this day, he called her.

"Mom! You've got to come home. I've caught a troll!" He was very excited and kept repeating, "I've caught a troll!"

The mom has heard all kinds of things from her boy so she wasn't too worried. She said things like, "Really?" and "Well, you take care of him, okay?"

She didn't think too much about it until she got the second call, two hours later.

"Mom! Come home and see my troll!"

The mom asked her boss if she could have an hour off. Her boss is very understanding and when he heard about the troll he told her, sure, go see what the ruckus is all about.

When she got home her son grabbed her by the hand and practically pulled her to his bedroom. There she saw all his bedroom furniture piled against the closet door. "Help," came a voice from behind the door.

"Ohmygosh," she said. (This is a Utah saying, and sadly, I know it only too well. It escapes my lips on many an occasion.)

"Help me get this furniture out of the way," she said.

Her son was so excited he was dancing all over the room. "A troll, I told you so. I caught a troll."

One version of the story said he had been sliding Skittles under the door--that I think is one of the exaggerations, but it is a nice detail.

So, when all the furniture was moved and they opened the door, there, sitting on the floor was a dwarf. He was a Jehovah's Witness. He said he wouldn't prosecute. He understood how the boy could mistake him for a troll. He was very understanding.

And that is why missionaries, of any faith--or size--, should always go two by two.

PS I've been notified--by Mr./Mrs. Anonymous--that this is not true. What a disappointment. Here's the Snoops article. I usually check with Snoops as I get emails about the most outlandish things. This story did gave Mrs. Bird and me--and her chiropractor and my dentist--a good laugh. Hope you got one too.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


On Thursday and Friday I went to Women's Conference on the BYU campus. One day I was standing in line for the diet and exercise class at the Conference Center.

The women in front of me were eating their lunches. One was eating carrot sticks and the other was eating cucumber slices. I was eating Chili Cheese Frito's.

I try to be an example for others at all times and in all places. A bad example but the key word is "example" and I'm it.