Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Summer Flowers!

Today was a fun afternoon! Stan took me out to lunch (Burger King--yumm!) and afterwards we went to Lowe's and he and I picked out some flowers for our deck.  A few years ago for Mother's Day, Stan and the boys added onto the deck so that I could hang potted flowers and windchimes out there during the summer.  I like to sit out there in the early evenings when it's cool and watch the dogs play and listen to the breeze, if there is one, make the chimes tinkle. So refreshing!

When we got home Kevin planted them for me and it looks so nice!

A couple of the purple flowers broke off and Kevin put them in a glass for me.  They're so happy looking!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Big Change

Many of you know my youngest son Kevin. He's a sweet, fun young man with a good sense of humor and a loving heart. He graduated from high school in May 2010. Since then he's been working hard losing weight. I'm so proud of him! His dedication, his perserverence and doggedness on this quest has been inspiring.

He finally has reached his goal! I'm so proud of him! He has lost, since last May, a total of 106 pounds. Here are before and after pictures:

Here are a couple of photos from his senior year:

And here he is now! Doesn't he look great?

 I think he looks fabulous, and he is an inspiration to me. Here's three cheers to Kevin!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The New Dog

Our dog Jasper turned two years old July 1st. He's a sweet, silly dog and was in serious need of a haircut. I've been cutting his bangs over the past two years so he could see better, but this time he needed a full body job. Being part husky he gets this thick winter undercoat that keeps him comfortable in snowy times, but has lately made him miserable.

When I found out that a grooming job just to take out the undercoat would cost more than $100 and then the haircut would be another $80 or so I freaked out. Instead I went out and bought a pair of heavy duty dog clippers -- $68 -- and AJ, Kevin and I did the job ourselves.

Now I know why the groomers charge so much. It took us 2-1/2 hours!! Here are the results:



He looks so different, and so much smaller! Now that he doesn't have the width added by all that hair and fur we can see that he really isn't that big of a dog after all.

It was a lot of work, but it was fun and I think he's going to be a much happier puppy dog this summer!


Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.

Hal Borland

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hurrah for the flag of the free! May it wave as our standard forever!

Today is Independence Day; the 4th of July! It's the day we, as citizens of the United States of America, take to remember all the blessings we have. And we have so much to be grateful for, don't we?

When I was at BYU studying journalism, one of the required courses was Media Law. It was an interesting class, and the professor, Dr. Ralph Barney, was a retired newspaper editor. One day we came into class and he asked us a question. "What is a one word definition of freedom?"

We all shouted out our answers; noble, lofty words like liberty, justice, mercy. Then Dr. Barney turned and wrote on the board the word: Alternatives.  This lesson has always stuck with me. Isn't this exactly what freedom means? That we have the choices to make, on our own, what we want in and with our lives.

We can go to a chapel, a mosque or a synagogue or even sit in a forest glen and worship as we choose, if we choose. We can decide for ourselves how we spend our lives, be it as a butcher, baker or candlestick maker. It's up to us. If the president goes on television to speak, I can listen to him or not. For that matter I can agree with him or not. It's your choice. You want to live in Florida or Kansas, go for it! It's all up to you.

But I have been thinking today of the freedom that I enjoy as a woman. So many women around the world are unable to have alternatives in their lives. The choice to get married and who to marry; to have children, how many children to have; and what to think. I don't always appreciate my life. If I want to wear shorts and a t-shirt I can, or makeup or short hair, or to read romance novels and listen to bluegrass music. Pierced ears or a tatoo or nothing at all. All those choices I have and they're mine to make.

I am so grateful to the men and women who forged the way for us. Who came to this land and survived, and died, to create a country where these freedoms, these choice, these alternatives are available for us today.  As we celebrate with our BBQs or fried chicken; taking a hike or going for a swim; hanging with your family and friends, or spending it in solitary reflection -- may we all appreciate that it's up to us. Not only how we celebrate this holiday, but how we live our lives.

Happy Indenpendence Day!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and relevetory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.

J.K. Rowling, Harvard Commencement Address, 2008