Monday, March 31, 2014

What's The Problem?



I’ve been told that I go through life in oblivion sometimes. I think I have made someone mad or hurt feelings and not known that I have. People don’t say anything to me; they just stop talking to me. OK what did I do? If I don’t understand the problem, how can I fix it?  One of the times it happened was years ago. I apologized many times and ever sent flowers but no good came of it. I finally decided that I had done all I could and would just have to let it go. I miss the friendship, we talk but it’s just not the same as it was. One thought did come to me though which I have never forgotten. It was as if I heard God say to me, “Why are you working so hard to ask this person for forgiveness, when you haven’t asked me who gives willingly?”

The other day it happened again. A new friendship was just beginning. I made a thoughtless comment and hurt feelings. I was just being me with my weird sense of humor, but she doesn’t know me well enough for that. I hope we can get back to the blossoming stage. It is spring after all. I wasn’t sure that was the problem but I apologized anyway.

“Professor Bill Keaty, University of Pennsylvania would put a math problem on the board of his classroom at the beginning of each semester, and ask the students to solve it. They didn’t know whether it was an addition, multiplication, or subtraction problem and couldn’t solve it.
‘Not only in life, not only in law, but in every endeavor before we can solve the problem, it is essential to know what the problem is. If you don’t know what the problem is, how can you solve it. You might end up polishing the brass on a sinking ship.’” (Sunny Side Up Lucille Johnson 1993 Covenant Communications)

We all have problems as we go through this life. Some are easy to solve and others can be daunting. We can solve them, be depressed about them, hide from them or get help for them. We can learn from them and go out to help others. I read today about a young Utah man who lost his job. While looking for another he decided to spend a month helping others. Each week he had a new project, blankets for the homeless, food for the hungry, a gift card for those in need. He gained an appreciation for what he had.

Richard Bach, author of Illusions said, “Every Problem comes with a gift in hand. If you solve the problem, you receive the gift.” Just knowing the problem is taken care of gives you a gift of peace of mind.
What’s your problem?
How are you going to solve it?
Do you need help?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Piano

The Gibbons are swinging
Tonight through the trees
Feeling like flying through
Green canopies
While monkey sits home
Eating pickles and cheese
And dreams of
Playing piano
Chimpanzees are dancing
With grunts of delight
The moon shining down
On the few in a fight.
And monkey  just sits
And wishes he might
Be able to
Play the piano.

Gorillas are taking a 
Snooze in the shade
Just dreaming about
All the plans
That they made.
But monkey had thought that
He might make a trade
Of bananas and jelly and
Sweet lemonade
Just to eat while he
Played the piano.

And then the cat
Took over

Monday, March 17, 2014

Blue Orchid

Boom boom
Rattle sneeetz
 Nut nut
Howl squeak
The sounds of the jungle night
A cacophony of raucous delight
Surrounded her
Hidden deep in the shadows.
A thing of beauty,
The blue orchid
Stood alone among the leaves
Alone in the darkness
Alone in the peace of

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Life Lessons & Light


In 1977 I went to a singles conference. One of the motivational speakers, Lucile Johnson was an exciting, upbeat, vibrant speaker. As I read her books and listen to her tapes, they take me back to that turbulent time in my life. In her book, Sunny Side Up, she tells of an event in Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, “Records of a Family of Engineers.”

In the story a ship is caught in a raging storm. “The passengers were terrified. They went below for safety as the boat pitched and tossed. But they were convinced they would all drown. A seaman had lashed himself to the wheel to keep from being washed overboard. One desperate passenger crawled on his hands and knees to the Pilot’s Station to talk to the captain. When he finally arrived, and looked up at the seaman. The seaman seamed to smile at him. The passenger, no longer terrified, crawled back to the rest of the passengers shouting with joy. “We will not drown, we are going to be safe. The captain is smiling.”

Lucille Johnson goes on to say, “So it is with our lives. Storms have their place, but they always pass. The buffeting of storms in our lives can bring about personal integrity if we weather the storm with courage and optimism. We could not easily develop courage and integrity if there were only blue skies and sunshine in our lives. But the secret of happy living in the midst of the storm is to hold fast to our belief that the sunshine will return. That makes the dark skies bearable.”

“As we come to understand that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, we will increase our faith in Him and become a light to others. Christ testified of His role as “the true light that lighteth every man [and woman] that cometh into the world” and asked that we “hold up His light that it may shine unto the world” (March 2014 Ensign Magazine)

I know without a doubt that faith in my Heavenly Father has helped me through the deaths of a spouse, parents, and a child. It has helped me cope with a painful lingering chronic illness. Opportunities to serve others have taught me many different talents to enrich my life and the lives of others.

Mrs. Johnson continues, “ I believe that life is a demanding school. We spend a brief time in this school. There are necessary lessons that only this earth school can teach. It is foolish to attend such a specialized university, to pay the high tuition that is required, and then skip out on the classes, burn the textbooks, or flunk the tests on purpose because we don’t like the weather.”

Spring is coming. Go celebrate!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


The last stitch was in.
Untidy threads were trimmed.
I sat by the fireside looking at the latest offering to the gods of quilting,
The urgency to finish sated… for the moment.
Closing my eyes momentarily in weariness, I leaned back in the overstuffed chair stretched my aching arthritic fingers and looked around my domain.
Hope sat quietly in her little chair by my side, while I told her about the quilt, strips of the golds and greens; blues and reds; the black of night; the warming sun; the memories of that golden week in West Virginia.

Evergreen branches -Green fingers reaching out to grab the unwary walker
Sycamores dropping leaves of tan and red, white strips of bark dangling, slipping silently to the ground
Bears hiding in darkened corners filling up for the long hibernation...
Raccoons racing through the golden leaves hunting, hunting….
Small red deer peering through baring branches, looking warily
Hunters hiding, sneaking, trailing…
Gold, tan, black, red; colors of the autumn life in the Shenandoah mountains
And Figaro, fat, and lazy sauntering towards the cabin porch for a nap
In the sun.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Ugly Quilt

In the back of the room, in a dusty corner sat the box, forlorn and nearly full.
This was the ugly quilt block box. When a guild member made a test block or two and didn’t like the results she could donate it to the box. I’ve seen some strange blocks in that box; satins mixed with burlap, sequins and sparkly flecks, ribbons and lace. What were they thinking? The pretty ones had seams coming loose. Stretched triangles, and odd sizes also helped a block make it into the box. One poor thing was made of left over pajamas. One child that year must have had flying pigs while her brother the blue and orange plaid. But the red satin tricot?; My oh my, mama!
I often pawed my way through the box looking for adventure.

I enjoy quilting, but I’ve never gotten good enough to win a prize at the quilt show, well maybe an honorable mention for effort. The year I finally got a second place ribbon was because I told them I was blind. My brain only registers the view of one eye at a time, flipping back and forth without any consideration of what I was trying to look at. You can imagine what my seams looked like!

I decided to try an experiment.. I would blindly make a quilt. I piled thirty-two blocks on my cutting table according to size but not looking at color or pattern. I began sewing strips, willy-nilly not caring about color or pattern, just size. When my strips were done, I combined them wherever they would fit.
I grabbed a length of cotton from the third drawer down in the blond dresser. These were the one-yard pieces. This was for the borders—hummm gold and black mini checks, she must be blind I heard a voice whisper.
I have to stop playing blind now to quilt my quilt. I had an older friend years ago that was blind and still quilted but did it by hand. Her work was beautiful. She could feel the seams with her fingers to follow with her stitches. Using my sewing machine I would have to let it just do the work as I closed one eye and pulled the fabric through. The binding will be dark, black or blue, maybe brown to calm down my crazy pattern.
Now I just need a happy child, ones who loves color, and crazy ladies to tuck my quilt around. For after all—
Love is blind.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

army of cranes


Two three,
One two three
On the march

They go
Through the snow
 By the trees.

In high pitch
Gaggling too
I live in the
Kind of zoo

Two three
One two three
Cranes are in flight

A roost for a
Winter night