Sunday, September 28, 2008

February 2008

January was kind of boring month at our house. We did meet as a family in La Crosse, which was fun. We went eagle searching in the cold grey days of the Wisconsin winter. But that was just for a weekend. Since then I’ve been content to stay around the house and enjoy the quiet and warmth of being inside. And I took the time to read fourteen books.
In one of them, Proclaiming the Gospel quotes by Spencer W. Kimball, I found this quote.

In the March 1981 New Era, President Spencer W. Kimball said, “We must use our Talents. In the account of the barren fig tree (See Matthew 21;19) the unproductive tree was cursed for its barrenness. What a loss to the individual and to humanity if the vine does not grow. The tree does not bear fruit. The soul does not expand through service! One must live, not only exist; he must do, not merely be; he must grow, not just vegetate. We must use our talents in behalf of our fellowmen. Rather than burying them in the tomb of a self-centered life. Personal purity and veracity and stability in leadership are essential if we are to give sanctified service to others. We must expend our energies and use our skills for purposes larger than our own self-interest if we desire true happiness.”

So I’d best get on my feet and become more productive. What can I do for you? My newly married niece in Indiana, has provided me with one idea. She is expecting in June so I can get out my quilting frame.

Another fun January event was a visiting teaching conference. We met to make flags be a symbol of our visiting teaching districts. I chose the following scripture and a quilting star motif.

“Let the mountains shout for joy,
and all ye valleys cry aloud;…
and let the sun, moon and morning
stars sing together. And let all the sons
of God shout for joy!
And let the eternal creations declare
His name, forever and ever.”
D&C 128:23

So I will shout for joy and tell you that I believe in Jesus Christ. I know God loves me and listens to my prayers. I know that He wants me to be here and be your visiting teacher. Thank you for letting me write to you.

Hope you have a fun month. Because Valentines day is this month—Go tell someone you love them.
With love,
Wendy

Sisters

When I think of love,
I think of you.
I think of all
The things you do
I think of joy--
The smiles abound
I think of laughter
All around.
A chance to give
A life to live
When I think of love.
I think of you.
Wendy

January 2008

Happy 2008! It’s hard to believe I’ve lived in Virginia for two years now. It’s beginning to grow on me. I love the milder weather and the longer growing season. And we are beginning to explore the East further a field. In the last three months we’ve explored Wisconsin, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

I was talking to my 93 year old dad yesterday about his not having to shovel the snow anymore. A neighbor with a snow blower comes around occasionally and clears his walks for him. However this week my dad took his electric chair into the back yard to haul the recycling and trash bins back from the street. He got stuck in the snow and while trying to pull it out of the rut; slipped and fell. He couldn’t get up and no one drove by to see him. Luckily after thirty minutes he was able to stand up. Using a shovel and a fence post he got the chair unstuck and made it back into the house. When the mail-man came he pulled the trash cans back up to the house. I don’t know what I would have done. I think of my dad as MacGyver sometimes-- watching how he fixes things with rubber bands, shoelaces and a 9 volt battery. I guess it’s his living through the depression era, where people learned to make do. Or maybe it’s his creative, scientific mind.

While reading the Book of Mormon last week, I came across this scripture.
Mosiah 24:15
“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”
This is something my dad has learned in his life. He has struggled with many burdens, but did it cheerfully and with patience, while looking for solutions. He taught me to sit in the snow and contemplate my options. What do you do when you find a big spider sitting on your pillow the night before your wedding? Or a mouse running around your living room when all the guys are gone? What do you do when you are left a young widow with babies, a long way from home; or are facing brain surgery that may help you or kill you?
You submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. You contemplate quietly and prayerfully your options. Then you get back on your feet and as one of our Prophets loved to say, “Do it!”
Now I’m expected to be the wise old woman to my children. “What kind of glue works on rubber and metal?” “What can you put in a recipe if you don’t like orange juice?” “ How can you pay for your husbands surgery if you can’t get insurance?”
We think about it. We contemplate the options
We use our creative minds.
We check the internet.
We ask our experts.
We ask for help.

Peace
Peace flowing
Like a river through the canyons
Of my existence
Reaches up
Catches my attention—

Willing me to flee
Tension.
Fear.
Pain.
Bringing me
Home
To God
Again.


Wishing you a happy, creative ,productive,
Peaceful New Year!
Wendy

Friday, September 26, 2008

December

Ice,
So cold
That when it cracks
You can hear it sing
Whispering bells
In church towers
Answering--ring
Holly,
Green and sharp,
With berries,
People laughing,
Smiling.
Makes you glad for
Glittering
December
My husband took me to the library last week to return a couple of books. As usually he turned left onto Quincy, to go to Wilson. I always wish he would turn right to go to Washington, as I don’t like turning left at that Wilson intersection. He pointed out that I don’t like the Washington/Clarendon intersection either. We also call Seven corners the “Triangle of Death” Back in Los Alamos, I avoid turning left from Diamond onto Trinity because of the visual perception. I can’t tell if oncoming traffic is veering onto Trinity or coming at me on Diamond.We started thinking that there are many intersections in our lives which we try to avoid. How many opportunities have we given up because of fear? How many people have we not touched because they may reject us?

The sister missionaries have asked me to take an intersection that frightens me. They want me to ask someone if they want a Book Of Mormon. How hard is that?-- Especially when you sit at home and talk to no one for weeks at a time? ,So would you like a Book of Mormon?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
–I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference

Robert Frost -1920

In his book, Men and Women of Christ, Neal Maxwell writes, “…”Our planning usually assumes that our destiny is largely in our own hands. Then come intruding events, first elbowing aside, then evicting, what we had anticipated and even earned….Frustrating conditions keep more than a few of us from making our appointed rounds. Customized challenges are thus added to that affliction”….He encourages us to “Live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which God doth bestow upon you.”

For example, a co-worker of my husband’s in Los Alamos, N.M. took his wife for an adventure—a cruise---to Antarctica!
The ship sank!
They are thankful to be home.
It will be interesting to hear how it went…….
Hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Wendy
December challenge- Get a note book and just write down one thing daily that you consider a blessing.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rings

I wished for rings for Christmas
I now have rings galore.
I have so many, many rings
That I don’t want no more!
There’s rings around the kitchen sink.
And in the toilets too.
And then there’s those beneath my eyes.
I don’t know what to do!
There’s rings upon the furniture
And on the kitchen floor.
This year I’ll ask for chocolate.
Who’s going to the store?
Birds

Birds
On the wing
In November
Still sing
So do I

Birds
In the pines
Think the world is
So fine
So do I

Fly
In the breeze
Find your joy as
You please
So will I
Wendy

November 2007

Wisconsin was beautiful! I got to be in two states which I hadn’t been to before. When we drove over the river intro Minnesota. The song “America the Beautiful” kept running through my mind as we went through the fruited plains. I couldn’t leave Wisconsin till I had some cheese and apples. Have you ever heard of Honey crisp apples, or Apple Jack Cheese? I missed out on the cranberries.

The leaves hadn’t reached their peak yet, but I was able to see many more colors than I’ve seen before. Autumn on the East Coast and the North Central US are really worth seeing. It was nice to see where my son is going to be living. I enjoy being able to visualize where my children are when I don’t see or talk to them every day.
It made me think about my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I know He can visualize where I am and what I am doing, but it would be even better if I were to talk to Him more regularly and more specifically. I am determined this month to be more consistent in the quality of my prayers.

One of the things we did on this trip was to stop in Erie Pa. My husband was born there and his mother was born and grew up there. However, he knew very little about his extended family. He didn’t even know the year of his mother’s birth. With help from the Heritage Center in the Erie Library, we found her high school year book with photos and other information. We found both his parents and their siblings in different census records and cemetery records.. We stood at his grandparents gravesite. We bought chocolates at his mother’s favorite chocolate shop. It was an emotional experience my husband wasn’t expecting.

I have such a large and close family that it’s hard for me to understand why people don’t know much about theirs. I’m grateful that we were led to places to find the things we did. I know and truly believe that Heavenly Father will help us receive the righteous desires of our hearts, if we but ask.

And now as you make plans for Thanksgiving and the Holidays, you can visualize me back in New Mexico for my Father’s 93rd birthday, and hopefully checking out his 25th great grand-child.

Wendy

LOVE"Put love first. Entertain thoughts that give life and when a thought or resentment, or hurt, or fear comes your way, have another thought that is more powerful -- a thought that is love." -- Mary Manin Morrissey

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them." -- Mother Teresa

"Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age." -- Jeanne Moreau

October 2007

When I w as growing up my sister and I use to listen to the radio while we were cleaning the house. This gradually evolved for me into watching TV while I was working. Yesterday I had had enough of Brittany Spears and the choices she made in her life. I turned off the TV and put on a couple of my CD’s which I haven’t played for a long time. I danced and sang to Nat King Cole while I cleaned the kitchen. Then as I sang and cried and reminisced to the hymns, I straightened the living room
When my husband called from work he commented on how much happier I sounded than usual.

Music is an emotional experience for me.
Nat King Cole reminds me of growing up in the 50’s in a small town. During “Love at “Home I remembered that when my children were small and quarrelsome—I would hum it under my breath—just loud enough for them to hear it and get the point. “Because I Have Been Given Much” was sung at my nephew’s funeral, I Stand All Amazed at my son’s; “Amazing Grace” at my mother’s.(A funny side note—I wasn’t paying attention to what was playing just now till a phrase got through into my conscious mind. “Music is a Gift from Him” by Hilary Weeks.) It’s true. Good music is a gift from God that we can all enjoy.

Now that I officially have an “empty nest” I have wanted to enlarge on the spiritual side of my life. Someone asked me how we could find time to study the scriptures in our busy lives. I answered that I do it first. I start my day with a chapter from the Book of Mormon, An article from the Ensign and a chapter from a book written by one of our Apostles. Of course I don’t have a four year old either!
In this month’s Ensign, Kathleen H. Hughes, former first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency is quoted as saying ,”Ye are laying the foundation of a great work. ‘And out of small things proceedeth that which is great’ (D&C 64:[33};…The great work we wish to do will proceed from ‘small things.’ One of those small things, I have learned , is that I must find the time to fill my own spiritual reservoir each day” (“Out of Small Things,” Ensign, Nov. 2004.
It takes but a small moment to turn off the TV and to turn on some quiet peaceful music.
It takes but a little effort to smile and say ,”Hello” to a neighbor.—To give a smile or a kind word to those we meet at work.
Have a great month!
Wendy

THE VALUE OF EVERYDAY LIFE
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit, and simply never leave. Our lives are measured by these.
Susan B. Anthony. Reformer (1820-1906)

Autumn Sun

A quiet day
October day
Indian summer

I lie in the sun watching
Clouds floating in the blue.
A peaceful moment

Too short—
Too rare—
In our lives

Time marches
Quickly—marches
Leaving fleeting moments
To enjoy
In the autumn sun.

Wendy

September 2007

The August ‘Enrichment Night’ was really nice. We each brought a ‘family-recipe dessert’; it was fun, and reminded me of my old traditions. I brought Mississippi Mud Cake. Years ago, I would buy all of the ingredients and make it for my sister’s birthday. When her daughters got old enough they started making it for her. She’s too far away now and her last child moved on to college this fall. I added the recipe below, in case you want to experiment.

Another ‘Tradition Cake’ - I had a neighbor / close friend who knew my favorite birthday cake was German Chocolate cake so she would bring one over to me every year! Since I moved here I’ve been without. But last Christmas we went back to Los Alamos and surprise! She brought over German Chocolate cupcakes!

Recipe: Mississippi Mud Cake
Ready In: 30-60 minutes

Ingredients:
1 cup margarine softened
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup coconut
1/3 cup cocoa
1,1/2 cup flour
dash salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts

Icing
1/4 cup margarine softened
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream

Cake Directions:
Melt margarine, in a large sauce pan Add sugar, and cocoa . Beat in eggs one at a time.
Add vanilla,, salt, flour, and, baking powder. Blend well.
Mix in coconut and nuts and bake in a greased and floured 9 X 13 pan at 350 for 30 minutes. Immediately after removing for oven, spread marshmallow cream over cake.

Icing:
Mix well and spread over marshmallows. Swirl the icing and marshmallow cream to muddy it up! Cut into 1-inch squares. It’s VERY rich!

After Sept. 9th. I’m off to New Mexico to stay with my Dad while my sister goes to her youngest daughter’s wedding and takes her youngest son to BYU. Fall brings lots of changes!

‘Old Traditions’ can be a wonderful thing to start, and keep, and share. Does your family have one?
My sister gives each person in her family underwear for Christmas, but I send sweaters. Many years ago, I was EXTREMELY embarrassed when my first bra came in a Christmas present and I opened it in front of my brothers!!!

I love the fall traditions. I loved school starting each year. Now I’d rather do stay at home and self study. I spend each mornings reading and studying. Last fall I was reading art histories, techniques and biographies. I haven’t decided yet what I want to focus on this fall. One of the ‘fringe benefits’ of getting old is being able to set your own priorities and agenda. So ‘school’ is one of my personal ‘old traditions.’ Here are some ‘personal education’ quotes I found:
"Dedicate yourself to continuous personal improvement -- you are your most precious resource." -- Brian Tracy

"Make education a continuing, never-ending process." -- Nido Qubein

Have a good month,
Wendy

September Song

Have you noticed--
In the autumn--
Life takes on a golden hue?

Birds are singing.
Bees are buzzing.
Whispery clouds are gathering too.

Squirrels are hiding
Nuts for winter
Flowers drop their seed pods so

In the springtime
We’ll remember
Vivid leaves before the snow.
Wendy

August 2007

One of my childhood fears is being lost. I can remember being four and being lost.
I Still find going to new places difficult because I don’t have my bearings. I am always lost.
I missed our ward’s 50th anniversary in July. My sister went and found she was forgotten. No one there remembered her until she mentioned her name. Then they remembered our parents. Even in her home ward she feels invisible. My sister went to girls camp in July to help with the program. The other day one of the leaders was telling her some of the things they had done. She said, “I know, I was there.” After a pause the YW leader said, ” Oh, I guess you were.” She has been stake and ward Relief Society President, stake and ward Primary President. Ward missionary, Seminary teacher. cub scout den mother, wife of a member of the bishopric, mother of seven, public school teacher and is involved in bettering her community. And yet she feels invisible.
This is how I feel going to church. I go alone and most times feel invisible. So I was interested to read-- Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy By Elder David S. Baxter of the Seventy in the August Ensign. He writes,
“Thirty-one years ago, in what I consider to be a landmark address titled “Notwithstanding My Weakness,” Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to those who feel a sense of personal inadequacy. He directed his remarks “not to the slackers in the Kingdom, but to those who carry their own load and more; not to those lulled into false security, but to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short.”
Now, more than three decades later, I believe many Church members still feel deeply inadequate at times. Such feelings can come as a result of unfair comparisons with those around us. We “look at others with their lands and gold” and forget that “Christ has promised [us] His wealth untold.” Sometimes the unfortunate actions and unkind comments of others can diminish our feelings of self-worth. Young people are often on the receiving end of harsh criticism from peers, teachers, and even parents. Many adults experience the emotional turmoil that follows personal rejection or fractured relationships. Some worry that they are simply “not good enough,” a feeling that may be reinforced by carping comments from unkind and unthinking spouses.”
So settling into my big sister mode, how do I tell my sister she’s doing fine and don’t worry about what other people do or don’t do, when I feel my own inadequacy ? I guess I’ll say-- I am a child of God. And God doesn’t make junk

Wendy

"You can't think about things you want to change. Just be yourself." -- Ethan Embry.

"Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual; you have an obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

"You are nature's greatest miracle. There never has been and never will be anyone just like you." -- Brian Tracy

"You were born rich with 18 billion bountiful, beautiful, totally available and in all probability under-used brain cells awaiting your desire, decision and directional compass to take you onward, upward, goodward and Godward." -- Mark Victor Hansen
Butterflies

Where are the butterflies
in August?
In purple asters
Are they drinking
The dew?
Where do the butterflies
Dance in August?
Flitting in flowers of
Varying
hue?
Singing and soaring
Will never be boring.
That’s what the
butterflies
Do!

Wendy

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

July 2007

Well! June turned out to be an interesting month. I finished a queen sized appliqu├ęd quilt for my daughter’s wedding; helped her plan a beautiful garden wedding and had surgery. The latter was the least fun. And now I am in the midst of eight weeks of recovery.
I was sitting around reading, playing solitaire and watching TV and one day decided I was waiting around to die. I had no plans, no projects, and no enthusiasm. I remember a few years ago making a list of all the things I wanted to do. I wrote them on a roll of adding machine tape and while giving a talk in church threw it out down the aisle saying, “ these are a few of the things I ‘d like to do with my life”. There were 650+ items and it rolled all the way to the back of the chapel!
Now, in the “Dull’ drums I needed to plan something lazy and exciting to do. So I am making a black and blue dragon quilt for my new son-in law-s birthday this month. He looks like Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, is into Marshall Arts, loves black!, and adores my daughter.
While in New Mexico I worked with 8-11 year old girls, planning activities and teaching them things we don’t have time to learn anymore. One day I asked them to make a list of five goals they would like to have in their lifetime; if there was no lack of time, money and no parental objections. Some of the older ones chose things they would like to do; and the majority things they would like to have. We need to think about goals to help us become.
I’m reading The Caged Virgin, a book by . Ayaan Hirsi Ali. “ An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam.” In today’s chapter she describes her conversion from Islam to Atheism, using the 10 Commandments. As she describes how and why she breaks each commandment to make her life happier, she also describes how this has changed her relationship with her family. I’m not sure that what she had gained is worth what she has lost. I enjoy the love and closeness—the acceptance I have from my family, which being a member of the church has helped to solidify. I think the moral values taught in the 10 commandments can add much more to our lives than takes away from it.
It helps us to practice Holiness.
This month’s visiting teaching message is “Become an Instrument in the Hands of God by Practicing Holiness” Bonnie D. Parkin, former Relief Society general president: “Covenants—or binding promises between us and Heavenly Father—are essential for our eternal progression. Step-by-step, He tutors us to become like Him by enlisting us in His work. At baptism we covenant to love Him with all our hearts and love our sisters and brothers as ourselves. In the temple we further covenant to be obedient, selfless, faithful, honorable, charitable. We covenant to make sacrifices and consecrate all that we have. … “The Lord has called us to do all that we do with ‘holiness of heart’ [D&C 46:7]. And holiness is a product of covenant living. … Holiness prompts the words ‘Here am I; send me’ ” (“With Holiness of Heart,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 103, 105).
So my challenge this month is make a list of five things you would like to do, have, and become. And how can one of these make someone else’s life happier!
Then call someone in your family and tell them you love them!

Wendy
CELEBRATION
The stars go dancing
In July
They turn Red, White and
Blue.
We celebrate our nation’s
Birth.
We celebrate yours too..
So as you watch the fireworks
Go shooting through
The sky
It’s hip hurray! For
USA
Hip, hip hurray!
For you

June 2007

My monthly letter is late because I am here in New Mexico. I spent the last two weeks of May in my home town getting ready for my daughters wedding. What an experience! She was a beautiful bride and the rain we had all week took the day off.
Sunday in church the speakers were talking about service. One return missionary told about being in a town in Colorado where the townspeople would just say "Go away! and stop bothering me!. As missionaries do they prayed about what to do. The answer was be of service. So they put on their P-Day clothes and went to ask the farmers what they could do to be of service. After they spent several weeks putting up fences, stacking hay bales, and even roofing one house the town decided these missionaries must have something worth talking about.
Our Sunday school lesson was about living a life like Christ taught in the
parables-- a life of service.
Again in Relief Society, we learned to forgive and to serve others.
After church my daughter came up from Albuquerque to talk to the Bishop about the wedding. I was pleased an surprised to see her running from one of my friends to another sharing hugs and best wishes. Though they hadn't seen much of her for several years they all wanted to help with her wedding. I am grateful that their spontaneous offers of service and love were given this week
to me and my daughter.
I also took note that those who offered help were the Relief Society Presidents I worked with, my visiting teachers, visiting teaching companions, or those I taught. Relief Society and the visiting teaching program was truly inspired. What better way to make lasting friendships, than from gifts of service.
I got a note from my niece this week that I’d like to share part of because it echoes my feelings “I am volunteering to help out as needed with Primary teaching, or in the case of this past Sunday, I had the opportunity to teach the Relief Society lesson.
That was a real blessing, as the topic was “faith to move mountains.” I related the incident from when our family first moved to Cape Girardeau. We didn’t know anyone, had no family around, were adjusting (badly) to the humidity, the bugs, the very strangeness of our new surroundings and I wanted “home”. Which all of my life up to this point has been in and around the mountains. . And I thought to myself – I have faith – I have been a member of this church all my life. I went to Primary, I went to Seminary, I graduated from a Church college – I can move the mountains here and have a part of home with me. Needless to say (in case you haven’t noticed) there are no mountains in Cape Girardeau! So was I weak in the faith – did I not have even a grain of mustard seed’s worth? And, truthfully, I wasn’t praying to have the mountains move, but I did need something to make this place welcoming. And it took faith – to move my mountain of shyness and passivity and waiting for others to make me feel welcome – to reaching out and meeting new people and exploring Cape and learning to make this home. I still miss the mountains (and still dislike the humidity and the bugs) but to move away to someplace else – would mean leaving home. I have remembered that faith is what gets us through – and I am truly grateful that my faith is sufficient to the task and what I lack in ability or determination is made up through the grace of a Father in Heaven who loves me and knows me as his daughter. With God, all things are possible.”
So to all – enjoy your challenges, smile at the rain clouds, and know that you are loved.

Wendy

This week in my daily Bible study I ran across this scripture.
2 Corinthians 9: 7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not
grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver

My Lois Ann

I am an invisible woman
I fight prejudice against my children
I give succor to the old and infirm
I bring smiles to the young and
Joy to every one
I sing songs of mirth under my breath
My garden grows in spite of drought and hail.
I can whisper sweet nothings in the ears of
Small children to make them behave.
I am an invincible woman

Summer

Summer
I think of roses
When I think of June
I think of starlit walks
Beneath a summer moon
I think of baseball games
And mountain hikes
Of playing tennis
Underneath the lights.
I think of fireflies
And “Hide and Find”.
The summers of my childhood
Come to mind
Wendy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

May Poems

May
The sun shine
On you path;
May
The evening
Stars give light;
May
Your heart
Be filled with joy
Today
And through
the night

Wendy

May 2007

I’ve been reading the conference talks (one a day) and have noticed how many of the speakers quote a hymn. This has reminded me of several things.
One person I know said that when she woke up every day she would read a chapter in her scriptures and then read a hymn from the hymn book. This was a great way for her to start her day because then she had a hymn in her mind all day.
I remember when Afghanistan was liberated from the Taliban and it was reported that people were able to listen to music for the first time for years. This made an impression on my daughter, because music has been such a big part of her life. She was truly grateful that she had music in her life.

I tried an experiment when I was expecting her. When I rested I’d play music so that she could hear it. I especially liked band music and several times noticed she was moving to the music. In 5th grade she took all the money she had saved and bought a clarinet at a garage sale. She has since excelled in the marching band and is studying clarinet at college. I wish I could find someone to continue my research in this area of “preinfluencing” children. Think what we could do with the math and science capabilities of our girls if we introduced the subjects to them before they were born! Ok so I’m secretly a ” mad scientist” from Los Alamos!

Elder Jay Jensen in his April conference talk had the following to say. “Hymns are "an essential part of our church meetings. [They] invite the Spirit of the Lord." They often do this quicker than anything else we may do. President J. Reuben Clark Jr. said, "We get nearer to the Lord through music than perhaps through any other thing except prayer."
Two missionaries teaching an older couple in their home in Peru were interrupted by the arrival of the couple's son, his wife, and three children. The elders explained who they were and what they were doing. The son was suspicious of the missionaries, resulting in an awkward moment. The junior companion prayed silently, "Heavenly Father, what do we do?" The impression came to sing. They sang "I Am a Child of God."6 The Spirit touched the hearts of this family of five. Instead of two converts, all seven became members, influenced initially by a hymn.”
Hope you enjoy some lovely music today

Wendy

ps My favorite hymn is "Be Still My Soul" (Music is Finlandia). Sometimes when I’m really blue I call my daughter and ask her to sing it to me. It’s her favorite hymn too. And we both finish the phone call happier.

April 2007

Spring
Bouncing through
The air
Dancing in
The breeze
Dripping on
The blossoms
April’s here!



In April,
The shining sun touches blooms--
Colors’ the air.
Liquid sunshine
Fills it with fragrance
It’s Spring again!

I think spring is here!
Every morning I awaken to the sound of birds—and an occasional cat bouncing against the screens on the windows. Mariah, the kitten, went after a big bird the other day. We live near the airport and she saw a jet flying over. I think she almost had a heart attack!

The sounds of the birds remind me of my sister. Every morning she would wake me to listen to the sounds of the birds. I just wanted to sleep. She is still more attuned to nature than I am—but I’m still more rested! I remember as children that our favorite Primary song was “Little Purple Pansies”
.
Little Purple pansies touched with yellow gold,
Growing in one corner of the garden old;
We are very tiny but must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.

In whatever corner we may chance to grow,
Whether cold or warm the wind may ever blow,
Dark the day or sunny, we must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.

I think pansies are my favorite flower. They grow early in the spring time Sometimes even through the winter, on a sunny day I saw a pansy or two blooming in a corner. As long as you keep the flowers picked they will keep blooming, until it gets too hot for them. But if you don’t they will go to seed and stop. They remind me of faith. If we keep sharing it we give it a chance to grow. But if not, it goes to seed . However, like the pansy, faith will always give you another chance for a growing season.

Arlington is full of pansies this week. I hope you will get out and enjoy their smiling faces and remember to gladden your own corner of the world.

Did you know that pansies are edible? A tossed green salad looks really festive when you toss a handful in. I was surprised one year to see a package of blossoms in the grocery store along with the fresh herbs, although I had gotten some at farmer’s markets. You have to be careful though! I took a salad to a church picnic one year. A dear old sister yelled “Oh who put these weeds in this nice salad!” and threw them out. You can also dip them in sugar water, dust them with granulated sugar, let dry and decorate a cake with them.
Wendy

There are some things you don't have to know how it works – only that it works. While some people are studying the roots, others are picking the fruit. It just depends on which end of this you want to get in on." -- Jim Rohn


It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.
--Longfellow--

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cathy's Words

BRUTAL EDITING

There is too much stuff
Cluttering my life—
Angry Thoughts,
Words I’ve yelled and wish I could
Take back
Deeds I’ve left undone.
I need to do some brutal editing
And leave some room for sunshine.


Autumn

When I look into
the cloudy sky--
White caps in the blue,
I think of sailboats
In the sea.
The waves churning with the wind.

I imagine gulls sailing
Above the water,
The music of their calling,
A harsh note in the
Beauty of the day.
It makes me wish
That I could fly.



Faith

Somewhere the music
Is playing
But I can’t hear it.
My windows
Are closed.
The radio is off.
I am alone in the room.
But somewhere
I know
The music is playing.
It makes me
Want to sing.

Stephany's poems

Comfort
I shouldn’t take comfort in chocolate
I know it’s not good for my health.
But think of those children I’m aiding
By helping Hershey’s amass wealth.


Lost
I’m here.
It’s been nearly a year
And I’m still out of my comfort zone.
This country mouse has moved to the big city.
My friends all think this is exciting.
They wish they we here;
Me too
Strength, Love, Endurance, Hope,
Are all words I use to know.
I left them,
Back home.


Lucid
Lucid is my favorite word,
Most times because I’m not
‘Specially at 12 a.m.
When numbing sleep I’ve sought

Forever
Forever is a long, long time.
For the hopeless and the weak
What can I do
How can I help
To succor those
Who seek

March 2007

”Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.”
Dale Turner--Cleric

February has always been a hard month for me. I’m ready for spring. Especially when the sun is shining and the sky is blue. I just want so badly to get out and run my fingers through the soil in preparation for planting. It doesn’t help when the seed companies start sending out their catalogs filled with new and interesting plants.
“Aha!” I thought, I foiled them by moving. They won’t have my address!” And living in an apartment has its limits”
So-- for Valentine’s Day, instead of a nice box of chocolate, I got a book about creating small gardens in containers. And—it snowed!
I was frustrated once again.
"Evaluation of the past is the first step toward vision for the future."- Chris Widener

Now it’s March and I can go out to my terrace and evaluate last year’s garden. What grew well in Northern Virginia’s climate? What gives the most “Bang for a buck?” Is anything that I planted going to come back? What do I really want to see growing?
And I remembered the front garden I spent the last twenty some years with.

When I bought the house it was floating on a sea of juniper.
We pulled them all out and planted a variety of cute little plants, miniature and tea roses and one Day Lily. Over the years that one little day lily took over the whole garden. Day lilies are so named because the flower lasts for one day. It doesn’t matter if you leave it on the plant, pick a stock and put it in water, or pick a blossom and stick it in your hair. Each individual blossom will last for one day. But each stock can be showy and makes a statement as it stands out in the crowd of long green leaves.

One day, while pulling out the dead plant material at the base I found several surprises; little tiny white flowers hiding in the shadow; cute little pink blossoms trying to get some sunshine; a red and white striped miniature rose that got lost and almost gave up until I came and rescued it. Also I found a miniature red rose that decided to go against the odds and reach for the sky. That little rose bush with flowers the size of a nickel was three feet high and four feet wide. I thought about the women I was working with. Some were proud and wanted to be noticed. Some were shy and hid in the shadows. Some would give up unless they were helped along by friends, and others didn’t care what the world said, they were going to do their thing despite the odds! One additional surprise was a literal snake in the grass which ended my gardening enthusiasm for the day! How many of those do we know!
And finally-- "At the end of each day, you should play back the tapes of your performance. The results should either applaud you or prod you." Jim Rohn

Have a great month,
Wendy
Drip
Drip
Drizzle
Splash
March
Has
Come
At last.
Get
Your
kite
And go.
Before
The
Winds
Shall blow

Go fly a kite
Break into song
Run with the wind
Spring won’t be long

February 2007

One of my daughters favorite sayings is
"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." John Lennon
Well my life has been quite full so far this year and I don't have a whole lot to show for it. To begin with, we returned from our Christmas in New Meaxico by the skin ofour teeth. The airport in Albuquerque closed a few hours after we left, as well as the states two interstates. Can you imagine only having two major highways! When we sprang the kitties from the "kennel" one was seriously ill. We had to say goodbye in January to our dear "Seminary" Cat. Don't think I'm one of those blue haired "old ladies "who idolizes her pets, but out of a litter of sixteen there is now only one. Do cats go to heaven?

My husband first came out to Arlington, with this one cat. It gave them a chance to bond. (He previously was a "dog"person.") During the weeks they were here alone, they put together a tall corner cupboard for the computer. One night at he lifted it to its full eight, Meg's eyes followed the cabinet up. In admiration she said, "WEOW"

Wouldn't it be nice if when we accomplish a task in our lives there was someone o say "Wow!"to us. We remember that when we wee children how excited our parents were when we took our first steps. or learned a new word. I had the joy of living around the corner from my parents for most of my adult life. Whenever I finished a poem, or a new quilt, I could walk down to their house and get my :"Wow!" Now I have to ask friends, "How do you like my poem?" So here is Charlotte's poem.

MAGGI
I think my cat's been mesmerized
A glassy look is in her eyes
The nieghbor's mouse has fanticized the act
The fireplace is crackling heat
the mouse, and friends with happy feet
Are dancxing to the drumming beat
Aned that--
Has frightened my poor Maggie dear
Who use to hunt with passion clear,
And strike in mousedom awsom fear of cat!

When our parents are no longer around to validate our deeds and good works it is indeed nice to be able to turn to someone who cares about us. I find that in Relief Society. I am grateful to have this set of potential friends ready and waiting for me whenever the need to move happens. And of course we have a loving Father whom we can choose to ask.

For a little help for the week, Heloise says, "If you are having trouble threading needles, you can help the thread move more easily through the needle eye if you dab the end with a tiny bit of colorless nail polish. Let it dry and then poke through the needle."

Wendy

"Eaxperiment upon my words. And exerrcise a particle of faith, yea, even if you can no more than desire to believe, let this desir work in you Alma 32;27
Morning

The morning light
Was quiet today.
An eerie glow,
Soft falling snow,
Surprised me.

Wendy





AZUL
A bluebird came this spring
To sing
The sun back to my soul.
God’s gift—
A song,
A friend,
A smile,
Has left my spirit whold
Wendy

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2007 remembered

2007, Wow!
Seems like just yesterday I was not so eagerly waiting for the FEDS to get their act together and finalize arrangements to move my family across the country to Virginia!
As a life long Westerner, my life was full of fear and trepidation; excitement and curiosity.
I have learned that
Though the sky is not as bright a blue—it is still blue.
The grass is greener.
You can still plant a garden even if you have to haul soil up three floors. And the growing season is longer. I can put out plants on April 15th instead of May 31st..Fresh tomatoes in November!
People are friendly where ever you live.
Cats can adapt to apartment living.
It’s cozy sitting in front of the fire with a cat on your lap and a cup of cocoa, even in the city.
Every year I think about my new years resolutions. I use to write down 25, then slowed down to 10 or so. In 1978, I remember my lifetime goals were to finish my college education, have a daughter, go to Europe, write a book and have a piece of my artwork hanging in a public building.. I don’t remember my other five goals, but at least I‘ve finished 50% Last year my goals were to finish something, and adjust.
As children we are taught that when we make a promise—we should keep it. I think as adults we let this get a little fuzzy as life gets more complicated. This year I’m going to choose my resolutions as a promise I’m making to myself.

HOPE

January
Bursts forth--.
A new year bringing
Hope,
Fresh chances,
For promises
To keep

Hope 2007 will be good to you!

Wendy



The strongest and sweetest song remains to be sung.Walt Whitman (1819-1892)Poet
January
In the days of black and white
The land is cold and icy.
Sun shimmers down on icy ground
Laughter lingers—I love the sound
The crisp cold air smells spicy.

In the days of black and white
We hear no blue birds sing
Through frost and snow our spirits flow
and keep the joy of hope aglow
To wait the warmth of spring

wendy

Friday, September 19, 2008

OCTOBER

The pumpkins are groaning
Out on their vines;
The leaves turning orange, red, and yellow.
There’s a chill in the air
And the scarecrow won’t care
For he’s just a jolly old fellow.
But the cats and the crows
Turn their cold golden eyes
Toward the flicker of light
In the hollow
As the moon’s on the rise
In October night skies.
We know that the stars
Soon will follow.

Wendy
December,
December!
A joy I remember
From childhood-
All icy and cold.

With skating
And skiing
And hot chile eating
With flavors
All spicy and bold.

So put hats
And gloves on
Before all the snow’s gone
-And go out
for fun that is gold

it's snowing
and blowing
And good cheer is flowing
The season
Begins to unfold

Wendy

remembering 2007


As you read this I will be enjoying my first visit to Philadelphia.
I just got back from New Mexico to see my Dad for his ninety second birthday. It amazes me that he is still able to live alone at home at that age. Of course this was a man who was up on a ladder in his eighties washing windows. He did fall and break his hip. We couldn’t keep him off that ladder. I kept taking it up to my house, but he would walk up and take it back. Finally he promised me he wouldn’t climb up on the ladder.
One day, needing to do some work up in the cherry tree, but remembering his promise, he pulled the picnic table over under the tree and stood on it to work in the cherry tree.

I was reading the talks from General Conference today (lds.org) by President Hinkley. And was reminded of his biography by Sherri Dew. I really enjoyed that book. One reason was because my dad grew up in East Mill Creek Utah at the same time. Two of his brothers knew and went to school with Gordon B. Hinckley. It was interesting to me to think of my dad going through those same life experiences as a young man at the same time, in the same place. I can see in them the same ideals, the same values, sense of humor and work ethic. I cherish the rich heritage my dad has given me. The words of the prophet are reflected in the words my Dad has for me, which makes them even more special to me.

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Even if you have the ultimate chocolate mousse recipe, try this. It’s made in food processor or blender, It can be doubled or tripled and is the perfect dessert for so many meals.

¼ cup very cold milk 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¾ cup boiling milk 1 egg
¼ cup sugar 1 tsp. Vanilla
Pinch salt 1 cup heavy cream
1 6 oz. Pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 ice cubes

Place cold milk in food processor or blender. Add gelatin, process or blend to soften about 30 seconds. Add boiling milk. Blend another 30 seconds to a minute to dissolve gelatin. Add remaining ingredients, except cream and ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Add cream and ice cubes. Blend until cubes melt. Pour into bowl or parfait classes. Chill Serve with whipped cream, if desired. If you are doubling or tripling, do it in batches. Most processors don’t take large quantities of liquid. )Fast and Delicious Cookbook Nitty Gritty Productions)



It is a wonderful seasoning of all enjoyments to think of those we love.Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere The Misanthrope

Thursday, September 18, 2008


My name is Wendy. I came from Los Alamos, New Mexico, a mountain community in the high desert. My community had about 16-20 thousand people , one grocery store, one department store and ten stoplights. So you can imagine the adjustments I’ve had to make in the last nine months moving to the Washington DC area. I have a son in his thirty’s and a daughter in college. My husband works for DOE and we have two cats.

I don’t like being told what to do. I think this is a universal thing. We don’t mind being asked “nicely” but not told! Last night I had the windows open and heard “Taps” being played over at Ft. Myers. This is always a pleasant sound- one of the things I’ve enjoyed about living here in Arlington. But this morning at 6:30 a.m. I heard Revelry and I definitely wasn’t ready to wake up!

I have a cat. We call her the Seminary cat. She belonged to my daughter; and got into the habit of going to bed at 9:00, and getting up at 5:30
Unfortunately after my daughter left for college, the cat still wanted someone to herd to bed at 9:00 and wake up at 5:30. One day when I resisted her mews and gentle prodding she climbed up on the chest of drawers and jumped down onto my chest. When I ignored her—she did it again. I got up, but like I said I don’t like being told what to do.

I have a tomato plant that I think has the same feelings. As the air gets colder and the garden is beginning to wind down, my tomato plant is beginning to dry out and turn brown. But it has two stubborn branches. One has three green tomatoes on it, and the other five new blossoms. It just doesn’t want to be told it’s time to stop.

I’m taking advantage of a new start to write poetry. So if you’d like to help send 10 random words to me. (I don’t use all ten in one poem)
One of Cathy's words was cat!

Cats in the bathroom!
Cats in the hall!
Cats on the curtains--
I Hope they don’t fall!
Cats on the couches
Traveling at high speed
Cat’s are the one thing
That every home needs

Wendy

God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.P. D. JamesDevices And Desires Vinta

SEPTEMBER

I remember September—
The hills turning from green
To Gold--
The skies clear, blue--
The air crisp
In the morning.
I remember the geese flying—
Apples hanging full and juicy
From the trees--
The sound of the drum line.
I remember purple asters and
Golden Chamisa
Along the roadside.
I remember
September

Wendy

NOVEMBER

I’ve never spent November
In Virginia
Grey clouds thicken the
Sky like a soft blanket.
Quiet enfolds the landscape
Moisture hangs in the air--
Waiting,
Sliding slowly
To the ground
In expectation
Of things to come
Wendy

Monday, September 15, 2008

Maggi


MAGGI
I think my cat’s been mesmerized
A glassy look is in her eyes
The neighbors mouse has fanticized
The act
The fireplace is crackling heat
The mouse and friends with happy feet
Are dancing to the drumming beat
And that
Has frightened my poor Maggie dear
Who use to hunt with passion clear
And strike in mouse Dom awesome fear
Of cat!
Wendy Hauer

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Tapestry

My life is but a weaving,
between my God and me.

I do not choose the colors,
He worketh steadily.

Oft' times He weaveth sorrow
and I in foolish pride,

Forget He sees the upper,
and I the underside.

Not till the loom is silent and
the shuttles cease to fly,

Will God unroll the canvas
and explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
in the skillful weaver's hand,

As the threads of gold and silver
in the pattern He has planned.

-anon.-