Wednesday, August 9, 2017

do what you can but...Give More





When I was a relief society president in Iowa, I visited a young mom like myself on assignment from my bishop (mormon church).  I was tasked with filling out a form with her to order food for her and her child for the next couple of weeks.  I didn't know her yet, even though she was in my congregation because she hadn't attended much.  I was very rules orientated and happy to obey my bishop in this assignment.  When I went into her home and sat with her at her kitchen table we calmly filled out the sheet and she quietly expressed just a couple of groceries she really needed.  As I looked at her, with form in hand, I felt the whisper, "Give more."

I looked at her planned meals and realized a few good additions, and suggested them to her.  She agreed and on the list they went.  I then remembered some household goods I thought might be helpful, and at my suggestion she agreed.  This went on through the visit with me receiving the prompting again twice, "GIVE MORE."

This was my one and only visit with her.  I worked with several other families in their needs and all went smoothly were mostly forgettable. I learned two things from that particular experience:  someone was very aware of that woman and wanted more for her than she wanted for herself.  And that had nothing to do with her religiosity and rule following like myself.  Secondly, I learned more of the language of the spirit, and how nurturing our God is.  Despite our wants or verbalized needs he GIVES MORE.

Jesus stood up in his home synagogue in Nazareth and said these words, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and set at liberty them that are bruised."  Jesus' first and one of the foremost duties would be to bless the poor.

From the start of his ministry Jesus loved the poor and disadvantaged in a an extraordinary way.  In our day, in the first year of our church, the Lord commanded the members to "look to the poor and needy, and administer to their relief that they shall not suffer."  Note the tone of that passage--SHALL NOT--clearly this alleviating suffering was important.

A journalist once asked Mother Teresa of Calcutta about her task of rescuing the desperately poor in that city.  This man said that, based on statistics she was accomplishing absolutely nothing.  She replied that her work was about love, not statistics.  Even though there was so much beyond her reach, she could serve who was within her reach with whatever she had.  She said, "What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean, but if we didn't do it, the ocean would be one drop less than it is."

Elder Holland in conference stated: I do not know all the reasons why the circumstances of birth, health, education, and economic opportunities vary so widely here in this life, but when I see the want among so many, I do know that there but for the grace of God go I.  I also know that although I may not be my brother's keeper, I am my brother's brother, and because I have been given much I too must give. I pay a personal tribute to President Monson.  I have been blesssed to work with this man for 47 years now and the image of him I will cherish until I die is of him flying home from then-economically devastated East germany in his house slippers because he had given away not only his second suit and his extra shirts but the very shoes from off his feet.  How beautiful upon the mountains and shuffling through an airline terminal are the feet of him that  bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace.  More than any man I know, he has done all he could for the widow and the fatherless, the poor and the oppressed.

Presiding bishop Burton said:  This is the sacred work the savior expects from his disciples.  It is the work he loved when he walked the earth.  It is the work I know we would find Him doing were he here among us today.

The Lord's way is not to sit at the side of a stream and wait for the water to pass before we cross.  It is to come together, roll up our sleeves, go to work, and build a bridge or a boat to cross the waters of our challenges.

From Bishop Burton's family history he tells:  Many have heard of the Willie and Martin handcart companies and how these faithful pioneers suffered and died as they endured winter cold and debilitating conditions during their trek west.  Robert Taylor Burton, one of my great great grandfathers was one of those whom Brigham Young asked to ride out and rescue those dear, desperate saints.  Of this time Grandfather wrote in his journal: Snow deep and very cold..so cold that we could not move...Thermometer 11 degrees below zero...so cold people could not travel.  Life saving supplies were distributed to the stranded saints, but in spite of all the rescuers could do-- many were laid to rest by the wayside.  As the rescued saints were traversing a portion of the trail through echo canyon, several wagons pulled off to assist in the arrival of a baby girl.  Robert noticed the young mother did not have enough clothing to keep her newborn infant warm.  In spite of the freezing temperatures, he took off his own homespun shirt and gave it to the mother to wrap the baby. The child was given the name Echo--Echo Squires--as a remembrance of the place and circumstances of her birth.  In later years Robert was called to the presiding bishopric of the church where he served for more than three decades.  At age 86 he fell ill.  He gathered his family to his bedside to give them his final blessing.  Among his last words was this simple but profound counsel:  Be kind to the poor.

We want so bad a peaceful world and prosperous lives.  We pray for good societies where wickedness is gone and goodness and right are what win.  No matter how many temples we build, no matter how large the membership in our church grows, no matter how positively we are viewed by other people--should we fail in this great commandment to succor the weak and the poor, the answer to that pleading will ever be distant.

I'd like to close my talk with the words the spirit shared with me, "give more."



Monday, August 7, 2017

Deep Dark Fudgy Brownies

stock photo


I developed this recipe this morning, and it looks like a keeper so I've got to get it posted here for finding later :)!

1 cube butter, melted
1/2 C sugar, mixed in
1 T olive oil
1 T vanilla
2 eggs beat into the  mixture with a whisk

Mix dry ingredients in own bowl:

1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C cocoa
1/2 t salt
1/2 C chocolate chips
1/2 C broken pecans



Add dry ingredients by lightly folding into butter/egg mixture.  Pour into greased 8 inch square pan and bake at 350 for 18 minutes.


NOTES:  This is adapted from another recipe that called for double the sugar.  If you are not a total chocoholic, you may want to change this.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Letters to my Children


I went onto blogger to start a new blog a few days ago.  I've had a few months with this one deleted and I realized I had a new focus with which to write.  As I logged in to claim the new domain, there was the option to Un-delete this blog.  I had no idea!  I was happy to do so, because what has bothered me the most is not being able to search my own recipes on the internet.  So here are the recipes, again, yay :).

I was going to name the blog Letters to my Children, because that is what I feel led to write.  I'm at a stage where that is what matters.  Like journals from pioneer grandmothers I want a telling of what I've survived, what has had meaning to  me, and what my years of life have realized.

When I sat down today those prolific lessons weren't running through my brain, so I'll save them for a another time.  I just wanted to say hello, and what I'm doing back.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

It all started with Pink










When I went on my hairdyeing spree a couple of years ago, it started simply because I had always wondered...what would it look like if my hair was PINK?

Monday, March 27, 2017

10 Bob hairstyles


It's gonna be the summer of BOB!!!














Just kidding, maybe more like the fall, considering how long my hair takes to grow...

Emotions in the physical body

The first time I went for a massage, I hid my silent sobs as emotion started to drain out of my back muscles.  I wasn't particularly emotional going into the appointment, just tired as usual since I'd had my third baby a few months back.  My body hurt like crazy and I found a massage therapist to take me in.  The emotions that were dredged as she sunk her elbow deep into a muscle were hurtful words in a friendship and also forgiveness and a relief of letting go of the tightness of that hurt.

I walked out of that office that day simply amazed at the emotional work that had taken place.  What was hidden in my muscles?  It was fascinating, and that forgiveness was peaceful and free.  I was so amazed by this that I scheduled several more massages with the same therapist.  Not all had an emotional release element, but one other did.  Once I moved away from that town, I had to give up those amazing massages, and a number of other therapists I tried just didn't have that affect.

I was thinking of this mind body connection recently as I've been fascia-blasting.  I learned about it through a facebook ad, and then discussing it with other women in the products' facebook group.  It's interesting stuff.  I get a little weirded out when people start claiming it is curing random things, but as far as just releasing fascia I've found it beneficial, so I try to ignore the placebo effect type rantings.  For me what I've noticed is pulling apart or breaking (?) the fascia releases some of my arthritis pain.



Oh, but what I came here to write about--emotions!  The weirdest think about breaking up the fascia is the emotions that get released, most negative.  Why or how am I storing emotions in my body?  And is that why I am fat?  Am I holding hurt like a squishy pillow against my organs?  So freaking weird.  Anyway, I'm curious how that is related to the same instance I had 7ish years ago in a massage.  My theory is either she was breaking up fascia with the deep massage and the fascia held the emotions, or the reverse.  Perhaps its muscle holding it and I've gotten into the muscles with my fascia blaster the way she did the massage.  If you have studied anything like this and have insights, drop me a line, I'm curious!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My Brain, My Way...no mag



I know I had the idea for this post this morning, and the details of what I was going to write about have become fuzzy.  It was about church (the mormon church, of which I am a member) and faith transitions and theology and other's thoughts and my own, etc.....

Because of the crazy scary trolls I seemed to incite last year, facebook has become not so safe a space, so my posts are scanty and quickly removed.  I had a time where someone else was logging into my own account daily! and I was changing the password just as fast.  So far, I seem to have locked that down, but I removed everything and just don't have trust to put my life on there much more.  There is something shady shady going on with either the government or people trying to support them, or leftover issues from the election.  I DON'T KNOW.  All I know is somehow facebook is infiltrated and I pissed them off with a picture I posted.  Imma kinda lay low from that space until whatever crimes and collusion are sorted.

But...and the point I'm getting to, is I still read/see/learn things from people there that affect my thinking.


One example is an Ensign (mormon magazine) article that upset a lot of my friends and they've been discussing it.  That started my train of thought, because truth be told I let that subscription expire probably 3 years ago and never looked back.  I get anxiety FROM my church and that is one of the ways.  I like the church sooo much better when I don't read the to-do lists and shame fests that whatever writers ooze into print.  Those writers are just folks like me, and honestly their style of spirituality seems to awaken the opposite in me.  And that's ok.

I write here about my spirituality and more than one person has contacted me by email to disagree.  Ha!  And this is just a one woman blog.  There's a major authoritarianism faction in active mormonism that I think keeps official publications from too much critique like that, so I guess my blog would be much easier to check.  But my point is, those writers have no more access to God than I, and in my new witchy ol' hag stage of life, I question EVERYTHING.  So, I feel just dandy disagreeing with most of that magazine.  Done with it.  Done.  Ahhhhh, refreshing breath.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Walking Sun

I have been walking most days.  Oh, it is glorious to actually be outside in the sun.  It's taking a bit for all of the snow pile up to melt away.

But I have something I dreamed of for years...sidewalks, long long stretches of sidewalk to enjoy my daily jaunts out in the sun.  A big accomplishment was the day I switched to sneakers from hiking boots.  I needed those waterproof boots all this winter if I ever ventured out because of the thickness and layers of ice and snow even over roads and sidewalks.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A little bit 'o Silver


When I compiled the hair color trends in my recent post, the ones I LOVED had gray or silver streaks.  When I thought about how much I liked it, I realized how cheap and simple it would be for me to get that look!  :)

I simply have been refraining from dyeing my roots for the last few months.  It's gonna take many months longer because I don't have fast growing hair, but I'll have my own glittery silver mane eventually.

At the age of 26 I started seeing more and more gray hairs come in when I went to hair appointments and I started letting my stylist dye it regularly.  When I moved away from the stylists I liked I began doing my own coloring, and as you've seen that has been an exciting journey.

But the step I'm at right now, and honestly really delighted to be at, is this one at almost 40.  I'm gonna embrace the gray.  My fears at 26 were things like my husband looking way younger and me being the unattractive spouse, but time has given way to the realization that he will never age and I've got weight and 4 pregnancies amongst the myriad reasons we are already unbalanced.  And you know what?  That's ok.  I am me, and he is he.

And the new me has lots of silver glitter.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Grown up Settling

Almost every book I read has some kind of suggestion about writing every day.  Writing sometimes, or simply sitting down to do the work you are supposed to, whether or not it be writing, is the nudge I feel.  So I am here today on a black metal folding chair, in the nook below a bunkbed, just click clicking away to let you know my brain is still alive.

We are looking at houses and we are looking at land.  The sun has come out again and it seems like spring is at hand.  A little pink or a little brown on my nose is something I crave.  I need the sun warmth that goes deep under my skin, and winter without it is a drain.  I wish I had it more of the year, but since I think we've settled here as our home I need to find ways to just soak it up when I can.

Ideas:

2 sunny destination trips per winter
1 hour in the sun each day it is shining (daily walks make this convenient)


My soul was deeply in pain the last couple of weeks.  Today seems like a lift, but raising teenagers and being occupation-confused and just plain normally sick and tired all seemed to push down their weight.  My mental answer to myself in the past was, we just need to get to the next step, the next stage, the move...and here we are finally settled, so I'm in a place where I must actually focus on the life I have, not the life to come.  I am grateful for this because it seems to be a more grown up stance to inhabit.  It's just a little scary and slow.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Stretching Laundry (ode to early mom bloggers)


This morning as I was cleaning the kitchen and wiping some chocolate residue, I grabbed the dewy droplets gathered around the sink with the clean end of my cloth before running it back to the laundry area.  It took me back to my beginning blogging days, which weren't writing at all.  I read, enjoyed, literally devoured my favorites.  Blogging was a medium that spoke to me.  It hasn't held the timeless appeal that books have, but it felt social in a way reading just never had before that.

It was in one of those early blogs, Amy's Humble Musings, where she gave tips for other new moms on how to "survive."  Seriously.  At that stage of my momming game, that was what I was looking for advice on.  I happened to be pregnant with my third child and sick through much of the day.  Stealing a glance at a post written by someone in similar shoes, on the old laptop on our kitchen counter, was the highlight of my very long days.

Two of her tips I remember to this day.  One, was to buy all white socks and anyone close to the same size feet could wear them.  Also if they are all the same color and style, NO MATCHING!  Any two are a pair!  My over use of exclamation points here is to emphasize how life changing this idea was for me.  I handled socks that way for years and its only been the last couple that we've branched out to different varieties of colors and styles and certain pairs for certain individuals :).  My oldest three and I have similarly sized feet so we could totally do this again if needed.

The second tip of hers was to maximize the use of laundry.  Big families have soooo much laundry in case you haven't heard.  Especially when a new baby is in the house.  Her tip was that if the baby spit up or there was a big spill on the kitchen floor to wipe up, grab something from the dirty laundry! For example spilled milk on the kitchen floor could be sopped up with a tshirt or towel that already was headed for the wash.  It makes sense, if something is headed there already to make more use of it than dirtying a second cloth.

So as I used the last clean end of my dirty rag on some water droplets today it took me back to those days.  The memories of sharing tips with "friends" by reading early blogs were warm ones.  The desperation and loneliness of early motherhood that led me to them?  Not so much.  It wasn't a bad stage of life, it was just that, a stage.  I was young, thankfully, my body I guess had the stamina to get through what it needed to bring to life all those babies.  And the best part?  I survived.  :)

Rocks in My Dryer, Musings of a Housewife, Amy's Humble Musings....they all got me through.  I don't think any of those ladies are doing quite the same work in quite the same platform as they did then, but I sure am grateful for this medium and what those early adapters did to enhance the life of this mom.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Heidi's Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies 🙂


Ingredients
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 large 29 oz can (or two 15 oz cans) pure pumpkin
3 cups sugar
5 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 10 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and pumpkin.
3. In another bowl, stir together remaining dry ingredients.
4. Slowly stir the sifted dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients. Mix well.
5. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-13 minutes.
7. Makes about 5-6 dozen cookies.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Real books not Facebook


I'm back again where I found myself a few years ago, running from what felt like a personal friend avalanche of yuckiness.  Now, mind you, I don't think any of my associates are purposefully sending out yucky vibes.  However, some of their opinions, like implying ethnic laziness or anti-patriotism just roil me like 1000 stabbings of ignorance.  I can't face it, especially from the likes of family members I know to be kind to people's faces.

So when I'm recoiling from that type of avalanche I turn to my comfort and intellectual solace -- real books.  Are you on Goodreads?  Wanna connect with me there?  I've been keeping track of the books I want to read as well as what I'm currently on.


This last one was motivating, as well as a little funny.  Goodness, I've been making a little money here and there for 7 years for my writing, but never would dare call myself a writer or author.  Isn't that funny?  My imposter complex serves no one, especially aspiring bloggers, so it should be gone like yesterday I think.  That may be the first hurdle this book was meant to overcome.  Reading the title right there makes one ask a lot of self talk questions, it seems.

Have you read a good book lately?