Sunday, December 29, 2013



Scattered across the snow
Going where?
Looking for
In the winter landscape.
Thrown amongst the grasses,
Tossed along the roadside,
Piled on plates,
Mounded in a copper bowl.
What will entice them?
A guttural cry
It’s here, it’s here!
Breakfast boys and girls!
Satiated for another day.

Saturday, December 7, 2013



As I sat looking out into the orchard on this cold windy winter day, I was contemplating roots. What kind of root system do old apple trees have in the sandy soil of the southwest? I remember the winds up north in my childhood bending the Ponderosa pines side to side till I was afraid they would topple, the shallow root system unable to hold those tall trees in the rocky volcanic soil. A number of times I remember seeing half a tree hanging across the fence line. When living in the east, every storm brought down heavy branches from the sycamores, crashing through roofs and onto cars, blocking streets. There too trees were uprooted.

My roots go back to Scotland. Both of my Grandfather’s families came from there. It was interesting to visit; to see the towns and countryside they and their families came from, to hear the speech patterns they spoke and listened to, to eat the types of foods they did as children. I felt at home as soon as I set foot on Scottish soil.

I remember a friend of mine describing her feelings as she stood on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. In the quiet dawn she could imagine Christ and his disciples being there. Even though her ancestors do not come from the area she felt she had roots there because of her belief in Jesus Christ and the things he taught.

In the December 2014 Ensign magazine we read,
“In the New Testament we read of women, named and unnamed, who exercised faith in Jesus Christ, learned and lived His teachings, and testified of His ministry, miracles, and majesty. These women became exemplary disciples and important witnesses in the work of salvation.
For example, Martha bore strong testimony of the Savior’s divinity when she said to Him, “I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (John 11:27).”

This month we celebrate the birth of Christ. What does this mean to you?
I hope you will keep the service of Christ in mind this month.
Use His life and teachings as an example in your life.
Remember your roots.
Are they planted in good soil?

Saturday, November 30, 2013



A cold winter chill
A crackling fire
Snow flakes hitting the holly’s
Glossy leaves and
Shining berries,
Hot Mexican chocolate
With a touch of cinnamon,

Zimtsterne and Springerle
the old German aunts use to make.
December reminds me
Of home

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Viruses vamoose
for you I have no use
You make my headache grow
My ears are full of snow
My water faucet’s on
The drip drip drip goes on and on and on.
Viruses be gone
My eyes are itchy now
I’m bloated like a cow.
I’m tired and can’t think
My nose is turning pink
I’m tired but can’t sleep
I wander here and there or there and here


They lay there their plastic bag
Dry and shriveled
Found while
Should I plant them?
Would they grow
These harbingers of Spring?
Were they last years bulbs
Or the years before?
It’s cold outside.
The ground is hard
They didn’t grow last year.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Winter's comming


Bear claws
Digging into the earth
Scrunching autumn leaves;
Sinking into rain-softened ground;
Traveling flocks
Circling in the crisp morning air
Preparing for a long winter season.
And I
With my cocoa
Huddle under my next quilt

Thursday, November 7, 2013


                                                                                                                                There is a tradition someone started on 
Face Book a few years ago. I forgot about it this year and missed the first day of November. The point is to write down one thing each day of November, something for which you are thankful. Some people have decided not to do it this year, but I appreciate the opportunity to think each morning of my blessings. Today am I warm and dry? Is my water clean running and working well? Am I having a relatively pain free day? Am I hungry because I was just too busy to remember to eat rather than not having food?
My Mother did this years ago. She decided to write a gratitude journal. At the end of every day she was going to write one happy thing that happened that day. I on the other hand thought I’d have a specific journal for the things that made me mad. I would only write angry thoughts in it. My idea was to channel my angry thoughts into one place so I could reserve my journal for happy ideas. Guess who had the happier time!

President Monson said in a conference talk several years ago,
“My brothers and sisters, to express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven.
My brothers and sisters, do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.
My beloved friend President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “When you walk with gratitude, you do not walk with arrogance and conceit and egotism, you walk with a spirit of thanksgiving that is becoming to you and will bless your lives.”
We have all experienced times when our focus is on what we lack rather than on our blessings. Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”
 “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things.”
In the Book of Mormon we are told to “live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which God doth bestow upon you.”
Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.
We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”
How can we cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude? President Joseph F. Smith, sixth President of the Church, provided an answer. Said he: “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life.” He continued: “Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!”
lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, the love we receive from those around us. Unfortunately, these are some of the things we allow ourselves to take for granted.
The English author Aldous Huxley wrote, “Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
Someone has said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
I have a niece who one time wrote, “How would you feel if you woke up and only had the things you said you were grateful for.” Have a lovely grateful month and Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Who Says



Winter’s coming?
Who says
It’s time for leaves to fall?
Who says
The wind
And rain and
Cold are here to stay?
Who says
Glorious autumn
Will all be blown  away
Leaving bare white branches
In the Bosque’.
Ice will grow
On the windshields,
Leave a glistening in the grass.
Who says
It’s time for boots, and coats
And mufflers?
Who says?
I do

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On the Bosque


Long black branches reaching skyward like skeleton arms
Witches arms scratching the sun out of the blue sky.
Golden leaves, coin shaped, dance in the breeze
Bird families catching air waves together in flight
October song

Friday, October 11, 2013



 Some times I think I am redundant. The courses I took in school to prepare for a career are no longer taught in school. My profession has changed enough that I could no longer teach it. I was a Girl Scout leader and a teacher for nine to eleven year old girls, but the programs have changed and gone in another direction. Even my children have grown and I don’t need to be a “hands on” parent much any more.
In the October, Ensign Magazine we can read,” We have been created in God’s image (see Moses 2:26,27), and we have divine potential. The Prophet Joseph Smith admonished the sisters in Relief Society to “live up to [their] privilege.” With that encouragement as a foundation, sisters in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been taught to live up to their divine potential by fulfilling God’s purposes for them. “As they come to understand who they really are—God’s daughters, with an innate capacity to love and nurture—they reach their potential as holy women.”
“You are now placed in a situation where you can act according to those sympathies which God has planted in your bosoms,” said the Prophet Joseph Smith. “If you live up to these principles how great and glorious! If you live up to your privilege, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates.”

As the General Conference session was approaching I noticed a lot of Internet chatter. A group of women planned to demonstrate outside the conference center to be given the opportunity to hold the priesthood, and become more equal in their eyes to the men in the church! They tried to get tickets to go to the priesthood session but were denied.
One of my young friends was disappointed. She is an editor for a magazine and has a blog that I enjoy reading. A reader commented that it made her feel invisible. I don’t want or need to hold the priesthood, but I do understand the feeling of being invisible.

Rita, another friend, more my age was discussing this on face book. She wrote,
“My thoughts on the subject. Men have to be ordained to be able to do many things that a woman can just do. A woman does not need the Priesthood to get her endowments or be sealed for eternity; nor to be a temple worker. She does not need to be ordained to preach a sermon at church on Sunday, or even at General Conference. She does not even need to be ordained to receive revelations for whatever her stewardship is. On occasion as needed, she can, by the prayer of faith, ask the Lord for help to heal. What am I missing as a woman? Nothing that I need for my particular life. It is not an equality issue. It is a "not identical" issue. I am grateful for a wise God.”
Two of my Virginia friends just returned from Africa. They climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro
They  helped out in an orphanage.  They know who and what they are and interacted with the world on their own level.  I admire them.
Being a new member of my community, I haven’t established many ties. I could go a week without talking to anyone but my husband. Even on Sunday, when I go to church, I can sit and enjoy the music and the spirit of the meeting—then go home invisibly.
As a daughter of God, wishing to reach my potential, what can I do?
1.     Be more open to new experiences
2.     Work towards a long tern goal I haven’t accomplish yet
3.     Become more visible in my world

Well, that’s a start for this month. Tomorrow, I’m off to a small but new challenge

Monday, October 7, 2013

October Skies



I use to see
Golden leaves
Shining on the mountain side
Amidst the trees so green.
Some years
Reds and yellows,
Brilliant orange
That Ran through the canyons
As the train lumbered up the mountain
This year, in the valley
After hotter heat,
Wetter summer weather,
Clear blue skies
Are filled with multicolored
Flowers, zebras  and a cow

Friday, September 27, 2013

Mountain Home

I always felt at home in the mountains
I loved to go meandering through trees;
Skipping, sloshing through the falling leaves;
Tripping through the slow mountain streams.
We went fishing once.
David and Lois Ann almost caught a little one.
Michael tired of carrying his pole so his dad carried it.
It’s so hard to stream fish my brother said
To the Easterner who
Was use to fishing from a boat
 On the Potomac.
“Show me how”, he asked eagerly.
Pat and I just enjoyed the walk with a book in hand
For the long fishing stops.
We lingered for a picnic half way.
After lunch the Easterner sauntered over
With a good sized trout.
What’s so hard about that?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Autumn Day


Funny day
Stormy day
Soon the winter snows will crest the mountaintops
Blue skies
Green leaves
Is on the wane again.
I dread the winter cold
Beautiful as it is.
Ice growing on trees and roofs
Sparkling on the branches
I love spring, flowers budding, growing, pledging a sunny summer.
I adore summer, clouds building promising the soaking monsoon rains
Promising a glorious, colorful fall.
And fall, is falling, falling, the old year passing into a gloom
Dying chilling, freezing death. The year is ending
I am autumn. My life is reaching closing in, aging towards
my winter.
But then,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Self Reliance

September is National Preparedness Month
Would you be ready if there were an emergency? Be prepared: throughout September there will be activities across the country to promote emergency preparedness.
My brother’s well pump stopped working this week.
He and his family are spending several days drinking and cooking with water he had stored, and taking sponge baths. This week he will be digging a new line.
The yard workers we hired this weekend cut the line for the air conditioner. Its hot and muggy and a long weekend

This new adventure of living in the country is taking some adjustments.
I know I’m not prepared after living in a metropolitan city for seven years. Even though I felt I was self-reliant ten years ago, I have gotten lazy. I need to relearn and recommit to being prepared. I have several water containers for storing water because we have a well system and a drought. They are ready, and safe and EMPTY in the garage.

As we learn and apply the principles of self-reliance in our homes and communities, we have opportunities to care for the poor and needy and to help others become self-reliant spiritually and temporally.

Elder Robert B. Hales counseled us to become self-reliant temporally, “which includes getting a postsecondary education or vocational training, learning to work, and living within our means. By avoiding debt and saving money now, we are prepared for full-time Church service in the years to come. The purpose of both temporal and spiritual self-reliance is to get ourselves on higher ground so that we can lift others in need.”
From Our History
After the Latter-day Saints had gathered in the Salt Lake Valley, which was an isolated desert, President Brigham Young wanted them to flourish and establish permanent homes. This meant the Saints needed to learn skills that would allow them to become self-sufficient. In this effort, President Young had great trust in the capacities, talents, faithfulness, and willingness of the women, and he encouraged them in specific temporal duties. While the specific duties of Relief Society sisters are often different today, the principles remain constant:

1. Learn to love work and avoid idleness.
2. Acquire a spirit of self-sacrifice.
3. Accept personal responsibility for spiritual strength, health, education, employment, finances, food, and other life-sustaining necessities.
4. Pray for faith and courage to meet challenges.
5. Strengthen others who need assistance.
Choose something this month that will help you feel more self-reliant. I'm making pickles

Then help your neighbors.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Al's words

The sum of my existence is a cat that loves to hide
Spare keys and nails and old golf tees
In shoes I’ve put aside
For hiking in the mountains
Behind my Grandpa’s home.

Beside the garage the old grey truck
Hood up and tire flat
Provides a sunny sleeping space
For his old ornery cat.

I sat there too, to contemplate
The memories of that man
Who sat me down upon his knee
And taught me of the land,
Of God and love and growing corn
Of being kind and good.
Of helping those he sees in need
And why we always should.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Faith Hope and Charity

Many years ago my mother asked me to make an Amish doll for my aunt, her sister.
Roberta, an elderly single woman, said she felt hopeless. I made three Amish dolls, Faith, Hope and Charity.
 I sent Hope to my aunt so she wouldn’t be hopeless.
A few weeks later my mom, depressed over her health said she was lacking in faith.
I took Faith to her, a symbol of love.
I never finished Charity. She sits naked in my closet. She reminds me that we should never be finished with Charity.
Moroni 7:46,47
46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth.  Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail--
47 But charity is the pure love of Christ and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

What have you done lately to increase you hope, your faith, and your charity? I just got a new book called “All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir” by  Emma L. Thane  and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Reading about the lives of these two Mormon friends has made me think about what I am doing with my life. I want to be more, do more, experience more. I have been a drone for a few months now as I get used to a new community, and sort through the memories of the last forty years.

Another example of charity was posted on the Yahoo news page today
‘Lance Cpl. Myles Kerr may have lost the Jeff Drenth Memorial 5K footrace in Charlevoix, Michigan, last weekend, but he won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of admirers.
On Saturday, the 19-year-old Marine noticed 9-year-old Boden Fuchs struggling to complete the race. The boy had become separated from his group. According to the Facebook page, Seal of Honor, which posted a photograph of the pair running together, Boden asked Kerr, "Sir, will you please run with me?" Kerr, wearing boots and fatigues, and carrying a full backpack, stuck with the boy, encouraged him to complete the race, and helped him reunite with his party at the end of the course—even though Kerr was dead last in his age group, clocking in at 35:43 minutes (five seconds behind Boden). He came in so much later than his Marine buddies, in fact, that they were concerned he had been injured.
 The Seal of Honor page—which was established in the memory of Lt. Michael Murphy, who served as a Navy SEAL in Afghanistan—went on to praise the young man: "By his unwavering commitment to help those in need through his ability to inspire others by his unequivocal level of motivation, Lcpl Kerr reflected great credit upon himself and was keeping in the highest traditions of the United States Marine Corps."
Look for small acts of charity this month.
Add opportunities to increase your faith
Live your life with a hopeful outlook.


I saw the stars in your eyes
this morning
Remembering yesterday.
I saw the way that you felt
As your dreams
Became your reality.
That’s all I ever wanted
For you.
So uncertain,
So curious
So unforgiving
Held your joy
For one long moment.
And tomorrow
And tomorrow
Time undulating
Into the vast wonder
Of what we might
Should we try