Monday, November 30, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

Workers at a hospital in Oregon made this video to promote breast cancer awareness.  They are all wearing pink gloves that help pay for mammograms for women who can't afford it.  I thought it was a fun, uplifting and happy video.  Go down to my music list and turn it off so you can hear and enjoy as these men and women dance to help women.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey
1954 -

Thursday, November 26, 2009


May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Books Are Cool!

This fascinated me.  Go down and turn off the music so you can hear it.  Very clever!

Friday, November 20, 2009


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person.  Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
Albert Schweitzer

Thank you to all my friends who have lifted me up, inspired me and helped to relight my light when I've needed it.  I have a full and grateful heart!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thinking About Uncle Ira

My Dad has two older brothers.  Neal, who is twelve years older, and Ira who is eight years older.  As a child I was fascinated by how they all looked alike, had similar expressions, etc.  I remember my late Aunt Nona laughing about it too.  My Uncle Ira died earlier this week, and I'm saddened by his passing, but grateful that his hardships are over.  He'd been battling prostate cancer for a while now and had been in a lot of pain.

I was thinking of my favorite story about Ira.  My grandmother used to tell stories about him as a troublemaker when he was growing up.  I guess the sheriff used to visit their house with some regularity.  It seems mild by today's standards, but Ira used to do things like steal watermellons and apples and make his mother crazy.

But my favorite story is one of triumph.  As a young man he went off to school at Idaho State in Pocatello.  As I remember the story, after a couple of months the university called my grandparents and told them to come and get their son... that he was not college material.

Well this made Ira so mad that he determined he would make them eat their words.  He went on to get his degree, then he got his masters, and eventually got his doctorate.  And then?  Then he was hired by Idaho State to be the dean of the School of Pharmacology.

He's an example to me that if someone tells you no or that you can't do it to dig your heels in and show them otherwise. 

So, here's to Uncle Ira.  You'll be remembered well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Lady is a VAM! (with apologies to Rogers and Hart)

My 18-year-old son Kevin is a senior in high school this year, and every other day (today for example) he gets two hours off between 10:15 and 12:30.  We picked him up and went out grocery shopping.  He seems to like to tag along, especially when we're picking up things like cranberry sauce, pumpkin and 22 pound turkeys!

As we were driving him back to school I was joking about how I'm an LOL (Little Old Lady) and laughing about it. 

He piped up, "No you're not!  You are not little and you're not old.  You are a VAM."

Huh??  "A VERY AWESOME MOM!"  he informed me.

How can you help but love a kid like that?

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Eventful Day

Today is a special day.  I've already posted about Kevin turning 18, but it's also a big day for AJ.  This afternoon he turned in his mission papers.

Our bishop was called to be the new Stake President yesterday, so when he called AJ to his house he said he was tempted to just shoot them out to Salt Lake.  At ant rate, he hopes to get his call in a couple of weeks.

For those of you who don't know, AJ tried to put in his papers a year ago and was told he had to lose 60 pounds first.  It was heartbreaking for him; he wanted to go so badly.  But he never gave up.  This past year has been trying, but he's done it.  And he's proven that he won't let any obstacle get in his way.

I'm so proud of him and excited for him I could burst.

Yep, it's a big day around here!

My Baby is 18!!

Today my baby, my youngest son, Kevin is eighteen years old.  I cannot believe how fast these years have gone by, how quickly this day came.  It was a high-risk pregnancy and I was on bed rest the entire nine months.  Then, because he was so big (9lbs 13oz) they told me I could deliver him naturally and they would break his shoulders to get him out, or I could have a C-section.  Well, yeah, you can guess what I chose.  Break my baby?  No way! 

He was so beautiful.  Still is.  This is a bittersweet day for me.  Now that he's 18 I know that all sorts of things are possible for him.  He can be whatever he wants, do whatever he wants.  College, mission, career, family and home of his own.  All the dreams you have for your child.  But also facing registering with the selective service and voting.  Decisions he needs to make on his own.  Sometimes contrary to what I and his father would want for him. 

And my letting go a little bit more ....  We are always letting go from our children from the moment they're born, allowing them to make their own way in this world.  Emotionally stepping back has been the hardest thing for me.  What I want to do is say, "No!  Let me take care of you forever and ever!  I'll keep you safe and with me and I'll always, always ALWAYS love you the best!" 

Can't do that.  And isn't that a little bit like what our Father in Heaven does?  He lets us go, lets us make our own way, and hopes we return to him.  And He always, always, ALWAYS loves us best.  I will follow His example.

I hope I've given Kevin the love and the strength and the wings to soar through life.  He will always have my heart and support.

Happy Birthday Baby Boy!  I love you.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Everyone knows British scones, the baked confection is wonderful!  But the treat that warms my heart is Fried Scones.  This is something I've only ever had in Utah.  My grandmother made them for me once, which she served with honey butter.  They are TO DIE FOR!  When I was in school at BYU in the late 1970s there was a restaurant near campus called The Rolling Scone, which made huge scones and then opened them and stuffed them with seasoned meat, cheese, etc. and served them as sandwiches.  Also really good.

I got my grandmother's recipe one time.  I wrote it down as she told it to me, so it's not typed up in a traditional manner, but I like it that way.  It reminds me of her.  They are really good.  And if you can't find honey butter, butter them up then slather them with honey.  Really good on a cold night.  I hope you try them and enjoy them.  (Thank you Grandma!!)

Fried Scones

Lucile Hillyard

Dissolve 4 tablespoons dry yeast in 1 cup lukewarm water
Scald 4 cups of milk and let it cool
Add six (6) eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup oil or shortening
2 cups sugar
Mix all together. Add flour to make a soft dough. Raise once. Then roll out, cut and fry. This makes a lot, but you can keep in fridge and use it as you like it, or it makes delicious sweet rolls or hot rolls you can freeze.
As scones, serve warm with honey butter.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Movie Review

The new Disney production of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL is perhaps one of the most perfect versions of the film I have ever seen.  Yes, that's my opinion,and it's for an animated version at that!

I have seen every version of A Christmas Carol out there, even the ones where Scrooge is a woman.  I like the black and white versions from the 1930s and 1940s, the televisions versions starring George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart, the American version starring Henry Winkler, even the cartoon version with Mr. Magoo.  And actually I like them all.

But this film starring Jim Carrey, Colin Firth (Mr. Darcy to you P&P fans), Bob Hoskins, and Robin Wright Penn, is spectacular.  So true to the book that some of the spoken lines are taken directly from the novel's pages, this is most definately NOT a children's movie.  If you have young kids, do not take them to see this.  There are some frightening scenes that are very intense.

Jim Carrey did an amazing job.  His interpretation of Ebenezer Scrooge was spot on.  The rest of the cast supported him in giving the viewer a trip down a wonderful road that will help you get in the holiday spirit.

I admit that I was a bit trepidacious about a Disney version of this story.  Directed by Robert Zemekus and done in the same style as his film "A Polar Express" I think if you are a fan of this story you are in for a treat.  The song as the closing credits roll sung by Andrea Boccelli, "God Bless Us Everyone" is a reason to stay after the ending.  I strongly recommend this film.  Have fun!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Halloween Pix

I know, I'm a week late.  These are some pictures from Halloween.  It wasn't as fun for me this year since Stan had to work, but we tried to make it a good time.  Had our traditional Taco soup (see posting from October 28th for recipe) and carved pumpkins before he had to take off.

AJ got creative and mimics his Jack O'Lantirn

Kevin gave his Jack O'Lantirn goggles and a headset.  I'm not exactly sure what he's supposed to be ....

AJ was a lizard headed gentleman.  He also had a top hat that he wore, but I wanted to show off his green and blue hair.  Pretty funny!

Kevin is a dead soldier.  I thought he looked awesome!  And scarey too!

This is the boys' friend Adam.  He is a Sleestak from the old TV show/movie "Land of the Lost."  It was pretty impressive!


The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.
Charles Kuralt

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I've been stewing about something for awhile now and have decided that I just need to get it off my chest.  There's this new study out that has me so angry.  It purports that having overweight friends can make you fat.  (   Not only is that the dumbest thing I've ever heard, but that people are accepting it as fact is preposterous! 

There are two things that strike me here.  First: when are we as a nation/people going to take responsibility for our own actions?  We can't keep blaming whatever our deficits are on others.  If I am a jerk, is it because my neighbor across the street is one?  If I'm a bigoted idiot do I blame it on my boss at work?  NO--it's because I have made decisions/choices in my life that have led me to this place.  Same thing with weight or whatever. 

I have several friends who are slim while I am overweight.  I would hate to think that they would read this study and decide that they won't remain friends with me in case I make them fat.  We're all responsible for what we eat, think, do and say.  It is no one elses chore.  And if I eat with my friends, and I choose to overeat, then that is their choice to either follow my lead or not.

The second thing is that I am so sick and tired of is fat-bashing being the last acceptable prejudice.  If this study had said that hanging with a gay person would make you gay the ACLU would be up in arms.  Or if you were friends with a different race that you would emulate that race.... whatever.  But this is not only allowed, it is taken as something to keep in mind in choosing your friends.  Shamless.

I have had people refuse to sit next to me, or to be in the same area as I am already.  People who think nothing of commenting to me in the grocery store about my purchases or my weight.  I try hard to remember that it is not the size of my body that will get me to Heaven, but the size of my heart.  The Lord is not going to say "Yikes, you're a size 20 go away."  But perhaps if our heart is a measly size 2 we might have a problem. 

So, let's all strive to have bigger hearts and not worry so much about the bodies.  They don't matter except to the person who is living in it.  We all want to be loved and accepted for who we are and to live our lives to the best of our abilities. 

And I for one plan on living my life the best I can and to love my family and friends until my heart is at least an XXXL!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Another Family Favorite

Glazed Chicken Wings

¼ cup oil
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 lbs. chicken wings
Salt and Pepper

In saucepan, combine oil, ketchup, juice and sauce. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Sprinkle chicken in baking pan with salt and pepper, and pour on sauce. Bake at 350ยบ for 30-40 minutes. Turn chicken frequently. Serves 6.

(Note: I wound up baking it for an hour, and thought they were a little bit better with the extra cooking time.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Reaching Out

I heard something tonight that I found rather heartbreaking.  That is that first time users at the food bank have spiked 41%.  That's a lot.  Here we are living in such a blessed and wonderful country, and so many are having trouble feeding their families.  I know that for many of us we are just a paycheck away from being on the street, but there must be something we can do.

One of the things my family has tried to do is to come up with $10 a month and use it to purchase food to donate to the food bank.  I know, there are times when coming up with that measly little $10 is pretty hard, but if you can I know it makes a huge difference.  There is a store in our neighborhood that has cereal for 99 cents a box.  We purchased ten boxes one month and took them over.  Less than $10 can buy a case of canned vegetables at Costco or Sam's Club.  When soup goes on sale for $1 a can, we buy ten and donate that.  It's really pretty easy.

I know first hand how it feels to receive that kind of help to care for your family.  A few years ago I went through heart surgery, followed by two kidney surgeries.  Seven months later my husband had emergency eye surgery.  Even with insurance the medical bills piled up.  And when my husband was out on disability our bills weren't met by the disability checks.  We received food assistance through our church which literally saved us.  We wouldn't have made it without that help.

This is the season to count our blessings and reach out to those in need.  Pick up a box of Stove Top at the store, or a couple of cans of beans or cranberry sauce.  Stop by the food bank and drop it off.  It will make you feel good, and you'll help to lighten one family's burden.  Believe me, I know.