Sunday, December 27, 2009

What ARE my priorities? Really!

It has been told to me that I have my priorities wrong. (Among some other very vile things.) Although it bothers me to hear it from someone that I want to cherish everything about me, I KNOW it is not true. I know what is in my heart.

Look at my blog, for instance. Included in this blog are the things that mean the very most to me, the things that ARE my life, that occupy my thoughts and the things in my daily prayers. When I look at my previous posts, I see family. I see my children, my husband, my parents, and even my ancestors. I speak of love, Christmas, God and family. The music that plays is about faith in God and His mercy. Sprinkled into the mix is a bit of nature and, yes, one post that vents some frustration. What are the blogs I follow? That of friends.

So, what do I truly care about? What are my priorities? Family, God, Friends. Anyone see anything wrong with that? Anyone see anything different in me?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Spirit???

Well, I suppose that since my last post involved pictures of Summer and soaking my feet in a lake, it's probably time to update my blog!

Christmas Spirit has been an elusive thing for me this year. I know it's not about the gifts, but when you don't have enough to buy the things you know would make your loved ones happy, it can be depressing. Who wants deodorant in their stocking? Then, I was asked to speak at church in December... topic... Christmas. Yippee. Well, the date wasn't decided, but they would let me know. So, I put it out of my mind. The last Sunday of November came and I had plans to tell them I just could not muster up the energy to think on Christmas. Too late! Imagine my surprise when it was announced that I would be the next speaker! So much for preparation... and waiting until December to speak!

So, I helped to serve the missionaries a luncheon at zone conference last week, I've baked Christmas cookies and bought a few gifts. I've even tried listening to Christmas music... just not getting into it. Then, I got THE tree! Katie and I went to buy a live one this year. We found one we liked, but Katie said it was too big. I have 8 foot ceilings and the guy said it was a 7 foot tree. What's the problem? HA! It's so FAT, we barely got it through the door! It takes up an unbelievably huge chunk of my living room.... it's quite ridiculous, actually. BUT, it boosted my spirits considerably. Katie and I had a good laugh over it and I love big, fat trees! It's gonna be a bear to decorate, but I look forward to it.

Then, Larry came over last night and we took some super adorable pics of the dogs. I laughed so hard watching Larry try to get ADHD Butter to cooperate!

I also got a beautiful gift for my birthday from my husband, Larry. It was quite unexpected and thoughtful. As you can see from the picture, it will bring the true meaning of Christmas into my home and
my heart.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adirondack Hike

Larry and I went hiking in the Adirondacks with the dogs. I was too lazy to bring the digital camera, so the cell phone pics aren't the best. Oh well!

It was hot, but we hiked in the shade of the woods and cooled off in streams and lakes...oh, and by squirting water from the camelback over our heads!

Even Jessie, the dog who is deathly afraid of water, got her feet wet! We were glad we didn't end up carrying her out on a makeshift gurney. She's 13 years old and this was a pretty good hike for the ol' gal! Then, she didn't seem to manage the bridges well and her legs would get caught in between the slats of wood. We worried she'd break a leg or something! She slept well that night! LOL!

Butter, on the other hand, is young and loves the water. We couldn't have kept her out of it if we tried! She dug in the mud, ate bugs, galloped through puddles, sniffed out....who knows the forest, and swam in the lakes. She had the time of her life!

For Larry and I... it was a time for pondering, friendship and some healing....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Unwritten Stories
Recently, I've been going through my childhood photos that my Mother had kept through the years.  I want to make sure they are safe in case anything should happen to the original album.  Now, they are on my computer and will be uploaded to the internet so I can retrieve them if I need to.

Of course, doing this has given me cause to ponder my childhood, my family.... my life.  I think it is easy for me to get so caught up in my adult trials that I forget I even had a childhood.  I've so enjoyed looking through these pictures, remembering good times, thinking of cherished loved ones who are now gone from this Earth.  I'm feeling very blessed.  I've been going through some very sore trials of late, so it is like a soothing balm to think upon better times.  I realize that I had a wonderful childhood with loving parents.  NOBODY could ever have better parents than I had.  I was so protected and sheltered by them.  I grew up feeling safe and secure and completely loved.

I've posted a video on this blog with some of these pictures from my youth, along with a song by Hilary Weeks that expresses my feelings so well.  There are many stories that could have been written in my youth, but were not.  For that I am thankful.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mum's Missionary Musings

The day finally arrived! We picked Nathan up from the airport Friday evening. He looks wonderful and seems very happy. Mum can finally relax... just a bit... now the next step... college! Does it ever end? My own "Mum" always said motherhood never stops. So true!

OK, so the sign at the airport is a bit over the edge.

Jon, Ben and Katie had to pretend they didn't know me! Ha Ha! Nate may have been a bit embarrassed too.

So, I had scary visions of The RM running through my head. At least I didn't have 50 people shouting "welcome home!" while releasing helium balloons and throwing confetti.

Friday night, Nathan was so wide awake, that we all had to go to bed and leave him up wandering aimlessly around the house. After all, it was morning down under. Saturday, I took him with me to run a few errands. He made it until about 3 pm and fell asleep in the car. After all, it was the middle of the night down under!

Today, he was officially released as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He met with the High Council and gave an accounting of his mission and bore his testimony. What a proud day for a Mum!

In thinking back, however, Nathan's success thus far in life can't begin to be attributed solely to me or the way I've raised him.

First, he was born with a spiritual gift. I do not know what it would be called, but I've always known he had something special about him in a spiritual sense.

Secondly, I was pondering upon the last ten years or so since we moved to the Herkimer Branch. I recall countless scouting trips, camp outs, basketball games, cookouts, service projects, etc where huge chunks of time and energy were sacrificed by others to provide these experiences for our youth. Not once was there a Father-Son outing where my boys were not asked to allow another father the privilege of "adopting" another son for the event. I recall youth and adults alike walking for hours in the rain to collect items for a food drive for this future missionary's Eagle Project.

How many times have I looked down the hall at church to see a father figure with his arm around my son's shoulders, giving counsel, or patting his back? How many miles have been driven to go out the way to pick up my children for an activity because I was at work and could not bring them? How many hours of preparation have been spent in preparing the spiritual lessons my children were taught each and every Sunday? How many times have their names been mentioned in prayer? How many mothers baked a special cake or made a special meal just because one of my boys was spending the night and she knew he loved it?

No, this young man has grown into a man who has "returned with honor" from his mission due to the blessings of Heavenly Father and many, many saints who understand the true meaning of charity and love.... and who aren't afraid to sacrifice a little time, energy and sleep for their God.
How do I say thank you to countless numbers of people, some whom I may not even know what they have done? I will try my best to do the same for other young men and women who may benefit from some love and charity too.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Garden of My Soul

It would seem that I've taken up weeding as my new hobby! In the past, I've never enjoyed it much, but now.... well, it's been a bit therapeutic. It began with a desire to get outside in the sun and get the yard looking nicer for the party I'm planning in July.

When I found myself weeding a friend's flower garden two days in a row, I decided that maybe it has more meaning in my life than getting some fresh air. Hmmm... maybe it's symbolic. Weeds are invasive, kill beautiful plants, keep flowering plants from blooming.... Cutting them, breaking them off, mowing them down doesn't help. They just keep growing back. They have to be pulled up by the very roots. One also has to learn to recognize them. In my friend's garden, I wasn't always sure which were the weeds and which were plants that she so lovingly put there. Oh my! I just hope I didn't pull up Great-Grandma's prize plant!

Maybe I'm enjoying this work so much because I'm trying to recognize and pull up some "weeds" in my own life right now. It's strange how things can creep into your life. Like weeds, these unhealthy things can crowd out the good within, block the "Son" and keep beautiful things from "blooming." Sometimes these weeds of the soul have lived there so long and have grown so big, they seem normal. It may be hard to recognize them as invasive and damaging.

At first, I felt like I could take care of my weeds by cutting them back. Simply draw the line, set my foot down, or maybe use some reasoning. Ever reason with a weed? No, none of that works. A weed is a weed and MUST be pulled up by the roots.

The other thing about weeds is that when they are overgrown, it takes a lot more time and work to get them all out. The damage to the good plants is worse too. In my friend's garden, I found some sad, little tiny flowers that were invisible under the overgrowth and will now be able to grow full and blossom many more flowers.

In my life, some of the things I loved so dearly became so overgrown that the flowers wilted, the plants stopped blossoming and the roots were starved for nourishment. At times, I just wanted to take a lawn mower to the whole dang garden!

Well, it is taking a lot of determination and hard work, but the weeds of my life are slowly getting pulled. I began with the most invasive and deadliest. The main plant is gone, but I think some roots were left behind... I try to pull them up as they resurface. Now, it's time to recognize smaller weeds and pull them too. Time to given nourishment to some weak and failing plants of my spirit. There are many "plants" within me that I'm not sure are salvageable... maybe they are dead, I don't know. I may need to search for new plants.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Bird in Hand...

In the past couple of years, I've begun to do some bird watching. I never realized how many absolutely beautiful birds there are in upstate New York. Looking at them through binoculars allows one to see the wonderful colors and fantastic detail the Lord created in them.

Some of them, like Mourning Doves, are easy to observe as they like to sit still for long periods of time on telephone wires. Others, like Cardinals, tend to hang out in bushes and thick tree tops. They are skittish and flit about frequently. For me, that means the second I locate him with my binoculars is the second he flies!

This morning, I went out on my back porch to find a sweet little Chickadee trying desperately to get back outside. I thought if I opened the window he had landed near, perhaps he would fly out of it. Well, wouldn't it be my luck, there was a wasp sitting on the window latch. Yes, he got me right in the finger!

When I jumped, so did the bird. He ended up stuck between the window and the screen... poor little thing. I reached down and was actually able to pick him up! Well, I was afraid to hold him too tightly and he got away from me, but still couldn't find his way out of the porch. He landed elsewhere, but what were the odds I could pick him up again? I was shocked when he actually let me! To me, it was amazing to hold a wild bird in my hand... to see the detail of his markings without the binoculars! I brought him to the open window and opened my hand. Happily, he flew out, across the yard and landed high up in a leafy tree.

So, IS a bird in hand worth two in the bush? Most definitely!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Mum's Rewards

One thing in life that feels so good is being able to look at your children and feel a small measure of success. Not that I think I'm a great Mom, that's not quite what I mean. It's just that I see who my kids are becoming and it gives such satisfaction to know that I didn't screw up so badly that they are ruined... just damaged a bit, like anybody else in this world!

I was able to have dinner with 3 of 4 of my children today... Mother's Day. It was fun and made me feel happy. On our way home, Jon played an Oldie's station on the radio. The music brought me back to younger years. The combination of the music and the company of my wonderful children brought me great joy! What more could a mom want for Mother's Day?

Then, I got to talk with Nathan on the phone. He's been in Australia on his mission for almost two years now. He sounds happy and wonderfully Australian with that accent! He'll be coming home in July and talks excitedly about his plans for the future. He's humble when I ask him if he feels he's matured on his mission. He says, "I don't know, I guess that's for you to decide." I think I already know my answer!

So, although I feel ever so old when I see my grown up children, the satisfaction I feel is worth the aching bones and the grey hairs. I'm so blessed to have children with good, kind hearts. And, in spite of all their faults, they love their mother and that... is the greatest reward!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mental Madness

Hot N Cold by Kate Perry

WARNING: there is one bad word in the lyrics to this song which I didn't put in the written lyrics, but if you watch the video.....

I just have to post the link here as it is about my life for the past two years.

You change your mind,
Like a girl changes clothes,
Yeah you, PMS,
Like a #@#&^ I would know.
And you over think,
Always speak,
I should know,
That you're no good for me.

Cause you're hot then you're cold,
You're yes then you're no,
You're in then you're out,
You're up then you're down,
You're wrong when it's right,
It's black and it's white,
We fight, we break up,
We kiss, we make up,
(you)You don't really want to stay, no.
(but you)But you don't really want to go-o.

You're hot then you're cold,
You're yes then you're no,
You're in and you're out,
You're up and you're down,

We used to be,Just like twins,
So in sync,
The same energy,
Now's a dead battery.
Used to laugh bout nothing,
Now your plain boring.
I should know that,
You're not gonna change.


Someone call the doctor,
Got a case of a love bi-polar,
Stuck on a roller coaster,
Can't get off this ride,
You change your mind,
Like a girl changes clothes.

Life has been pretty unfair lately and I've been going through more trials than I'd even hoped for! I'm trying to be tough, strong and all the other stuff you're supposed to be during times like this.... boy, it can be discouraging!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I've been spending quite a bit of time searching for my ancestors. It's a great way to get your mind off of stress, yet it feels good, unlike wasting time in front of the TV or something. (I do that too!) It's also a bit addicting! It reminds me of sewing... "I'll just sew the arm on, then I'll go to bed... well, maybe the collar too..." "Let me just see if a quick search comes up with who his mother was." Next thing I know, hours have gone by.

The really neat thing is that I have been able to find ancestors that my dear Mother searched for for years and never found. That is the miracle of the Internet and of indexing. I've been doing that too... indexing. It is the work of taking a scanned document and typing the information into a form online to make it searchable on the web. It's another good way to serve while keeping your mind busy. Check it out at:

Today, I mailed Nathan two ordinance cards. These are cards with an ancestors name and date of birth on them. He can take them to the temple in Australia and do "work" for them there. He gets to go to the temple there about every 6 weeks. Confused? Get answers at:,11267,1906-1,00.html

There are also frustrations. I get lost in my tree and don't know which branch I'm on! I thought I found a great-great-great grandfather. Now, I don't know. What are the odds of two Charles Buxton's being born in Providence, RI in the exact same year? I'm so confused as to which is which! Oy Vey!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My First Blog

OK, does this mean I'm now tech savvy? I'm proud to have figured out how to start a blog... now if I can come to a better understanding of what a blog is! LOL