Monday, May 30, 2011

As you awake.....

Today is Memorial Day.  Many co-workers and friends have plans today.  I'm sure you do as well.  It is my hope and prayer that you will remember the purpose of this day which is as a "day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service".

Image Courtesy of
 I have beloved family members who have served our country in various locations.  One on the shores of Iwo Jima.  When asked if he saw the flag flying on Mount Suribachi, he said "no".  He was busy saving lives and trying to protect his own.  His service was to keep the lines of communication open and repair cables that were broken....often out in the middle of open fire.

Image Courtesy of projectwhitehourse
 Another beloved family member served in in the skies over Vietnam.  He is quiet and soft spoken. He is a gentle soul, a father and now a grandfather.  He served during a time when military members often did not receive the respect they deserved.

Saying goodbye-leaving for Afghanistan
Most recently, we have said goodbye to a younger family member.  He has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and most recently to Japan. He was there during the recent Earthquake and Tsunami.  He has seen young men such as himself give the ultimate sacrifice, and has sustained injuries as well.  He is a soon-to-be-father.

Yes, as you awake this morning, consider that you can because of brave and devoted individuals such as these.  All the shopping, parades, grilling, vacationing, etc is because of our military personnel  who have chosen to serve you world-wide. 

Take a moment as a family and offer your thanks and gratitude both in word and in prayer.  Let the military folks and their families that you are acquainted with know that you are grateful for their service and sacrifice. Why..... because....

Freedom isn't really Free.....

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Aftermath of the Joplin MO Tornado...

Nature is so very powerful.  I am sure these folks did not expect to have this happen to them. In this video, you will see people trying to take in the aftermath of the Tornado that had just passed through thier town.  It is so important that you have your 72 hour kits or bug-out-bags as some call them ready.  From looking at this footage, I am hopeful that you can see why.

Wait a bit for the reporter to speak, it will be worth it in my view.

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's a Matter of Cloches.....

Many people are trying to put in their garden in between rain and snow storms around here.  It really has been very difficult weather this year.  As such, many folks are trying to protect their precious plants by covering them with Cloches.  What are they?  Well, they cover small plants and transplants from the harsh elements and thus allow you to plant earlier than you might think you need to do.  

This is an experiment that I tried last year. If you know anything about the LRH is that I don't mind saving money anywhere I can.  This was one of those little experiments.  Above, you see on the left a Cloche that we purchased from a Nursery for about $.99. On the right...well you will see.

I felt the purchased Cloche are recognized that texture.  I then tried to replicate the Cloche with things that I had on hand.  Here I have 2 pots (from the Dollar Store) that are exactly the same and my roll of Freezer Paper.

I rolled out a long piece of Freezer Paper and cut it off the roll.

Next, I placed one of the pots on my counter.

Then I placed 2 sheets of the Freezer paper on top of the pot. (Be sure to place the waxed side on top of the pot).   I then placed the second pot on top of the first and pressed down hard.

I trimmed the excess corners of paper with my kitchen shears.  Then I took the newly formed Cloche out from between the two pots.

Because I had used 2 pieces of Freezer Paper I stapled them together to keep them secure.

Here they are side by side.  Granted, the purchased one "looks" better than the one I fashioned, but the function is the true issue here.  So, I planted my tomato plants and placed them under a purchased Cloche, and then the ones that I made.

Again, not lovely, but we are going for function here.  My home-fashioned Cloche is on the left and the purchased one is on the right.  I left these on from mid-March until early June as we had snowfall until May 24th of last year. 

Here is how my tomato plant looked as it emerged from the Cloche. I thought about pulling the errant grass before filming this, but I decided that you really needed to see how it came out.

Here it is again. After I cleared away the weeds/grasses, these tomato plants grew strong and flourished.  I figured that I made the Cloches for less than $.50 versus the purchased ones for $.99. I realize it is only few cents difference, but I like the fact that I could use things I already had around my home and didn't have to run out to the store. Time is sometimes the most valuable commodity for me as I don't feel that I have a lot of it.  So for me, this is a good option to use.

Consider it!

Group rides out Joplin tornado inside LDS church building -

Photo courtesy of Carmen McIntyre Borup's Photos - Our Stake Center is Gone...

You may have heard of all the recent Tornado's, floods, and other natural disasters in the news. Here is a first hand account of 8 people who rode out the F5 Tornado in Joplin Mo.....while inside a Stake Center. The above photo shows tithing slips that are still in place....however the building was utterly destroyed around them.  If you don't think something big and 'scary' can't impact you......think again. 

Group rides out Joplin tornado inside LDS church building -

Also, see these first-hand photos from this Stake Center. (You will need to be logged into your facebook account to see these). If you were in this position, what would you have done? Preparedness is more than just having a few buckets of wheat in the is having a skill set that allows you to make good decisions 'when the time comes'.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go......"

Today was the fateful day. Previously, I mentioned that Rooster Junior had been called to serve his mission in the great state of Texas. Today, he was scheduled to enter the Missionary Training Center in Provo Utah.  He was so ready to go, but was a bit nervous as well.  We took a lot of pictures....much to his chagrin, but I will only share a few here. 

The above scene is as you drive into the Missionary Training Center. They greet you, put a colored post-it note on your windshield and then ask you to pull forward. As you drive along the road above, they direct you to a specific place to pull to the curb.  As you do so, you are met by several Elder's with a "Host" tag. 

The luggage is unloaded.

Hugs were given and sweet words of love and appreciation are shared.

Finally, the "Host" Elders lead your beloved missionary away from the curb and into the Missionary Training Center.  You then drive away, wiping your tears along the way. 

Oh, and I found the following to be a funny "Only in Utah" moment.

Here our son is loading his bags into the trunk. Take a look over his right shoulder between the trees......can you see the sign?

Here is a better view of the sign. Today, our neighbors are welcoming their missionary son home.  Isn't life funny?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Believe it or not......

Image Courtesy of Google Search
For most of us, life is an endurance event with episodes of calm, but primarily episodes of 'busy'. Lately, we have had lots of 'busy' to the extreme.  In the period of time of a few weeks, we have or will have the following opportunities (no kidding here...):
  • Celebrating a Landmark Birthday (which included flying adult children in from across the country, planning a weekend out of town and a very large surprise party for the Rooster of the an out of town location).
  • Going to Disneyland for a week with cute grandchildren and several of my adult children (By the way, the "World of Color" event is spectacular....catch it if you can).
  • Severe and multiple deadlines at work (job #1).
  • Preparing for Rooster Junior to leave on his mission which includes shopping, gathering, planning, figuring some things out....and trying to teach Rooster Junior why he really needs all the things on the list!
  • Working with a fabulous Relief Society Committee to put on a significant Weekday Activity on Emergency Preparedness.
  • Helping my Niece (and my sister) with tasks and planning for her upcoming wedding.  Some brides just can get stuck in the details...and don't know how to move forward. Enter my wonderful daughter who also helped in this process.  (It is really fun to spend other people's money....)
  • Working to keep a major contract happy in our family business.
  • Working to get a new contract with another entity with our family business,.
  • Finishing up a school year and all that is associated with that (my second 'job').
  • Welcoming home our Marine Son-in-Law from a deployment for less than 12 hours before he was sent out of state.
  • Consoling and helping my youngest (and very pregnant daughter) with an upcoming move out of state to join her husband. 
  • Finding time to get a Crown for a tooth I broke somehow.
  • Attending the County Organizing Committee Convention as a County Delegate.
  • Trying to not stray to far away from my diet....and not inviting the unwanted pounds back!
  • Covering at the hospital on the weekend (I was called in) and having to leave my soon-to-be-missionary son while shopping for his upcoming mission.
  • Attending a Wedding Sealing.
  • Helping with food and decorating tasks for a Wedding reception.
  • Attending the Wedding reception.
  • Attending 2 showers for my daughter who is expecting.
  • Being invited to High School Graduations for Nieces and Nephews.
  • Helping to shop for needed items for a Nephew who we will be picking up from the Airport and taking to the MTC.
  • A baby blessing of a sweet great nephew.
  • Being given the news of another sweet grandchild coming to join our family.
  • Helping with 2 major committees by reviewing research articles and making suggestions to shape service delivery patterns for the company (state-wide).
  • Hosting an on-line training meeting for all of the good folks who work with us in our family business.
  • Being invited to Wedding receptions for colleagues and young folks in our ward.
  • Getting and delivering birthday greetings and gifts for my Grandson and my Daughter-in-law
  • Finding a needed therapeutic item for a colleague.
  • Payroll
  • Attending a CPR class
  • Helping a colleague gather needed items to submit for her licensure.  Renewing both of my licenses. 
  • Writing a letter of recommendation for a former Graduate Student...twice as the company she was applying to lost it.  Note to self...keep a copy of....everything!
  • Helping son-to-be-missionary label and pack his needed items......buying another suitcase to hold it all.
  • Ordering a bike for soon-to-be-missionary on-line (Thanks for doing this Rooster!)
  • Trying to keep my plants alive until I have enough time to plant them in the between rain storms.
  • Having 5 puppies in the house one day and the next day....all are gone to new homes (I can't take any credit for was all my daughter's doing).
  • Being invited to write a post as a 'guest blogger' for a really fine blog that I respect.
  • My father having to have emergency surgery....out of town.
  • Preparing for a family gathering/meal after Rooster Junior gives his farewell talk on Sunday. (Note to self, put tissues in purse....)
  • Trying to keep my composure knowing that soon my babies will all be out of the nest.
With so many good and blessed people, events, and learning experiences as of late, I am reminded of the following:

"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great."

— Doctrine Covenants 64:33

 (I hope that I not only "make it" but do it well...and I am grateful for the journey)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's a matter of Earthquake Preparedness.....

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

If you haven't heard about the recent Earthquake in Japan....then you really must be living under a rock. In fact the USGS (US Geological Survey) has a website that posts earthquakes not only in the US, but world wide.  Did you know that in the past 7 days there have been many earthquakes? The following countries have had them at a magnitude of 6.0 or more: New Guinea, Japan, and Costa Rica. Closer to home, there was a magnitude 6.0 on the CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE on May 15th. 

Last week, we had a wonderful Weekday Relief Society Meeting.  One of our fabulous speakers was Marie P. who has worked with the Red Cross for years and served a great deal of her time in California.  She experienced the Northridge Earthquake first-hand.  She offers many suggestions for Earthquake Preparedness.  Here is the first "installment" for you to consider:


Know your responsibilities - are your Head of household? Single parent family? College situation? Accountable teenager or senior family member living in the home? Live alone?

Do you have a ‘meeting place or area’ outside of the home and/or community where everyone knows to assemble after a disaster? Do you have an out-of-area person in the family or close friend who can act as an ‘information giver’ to others seeking information about you? Have you let everyone know of that name and phone number, and given people your land-line and cell phone numbers? Do you keep your car at least ½ tank full of gas? Do you have walking shoes in the car? A first aid kit? Water and snacks to see you through a couple days in case you are stranded on the road? A working flashlight? Do you have essentials at your work place? Do you carry a list of needed medications in your wallet, with a brief history of medical problems [pacemaker, diabetic, seizures, serious health concerns]?

Personal safety is most important. Glass will become a problem in a bad quake. Lamps, picture frames, windows, pretty dishes, pottery, and other items are of major concern. If you jump out of bed on to a floor where a window has shattered moments before, you have become an instant victim and will be unable to provide help or rescue to anyone else. Don’t be a victim….first things first….put on a pair of sturdy shoes, which should be stored under your bed. Put a small dependable flashlight in one shoe, an extra pair of inexpensive glasses in the other. You’ve got to be able to see to handle any situation. Dress for the weather conditions, and then proceed to help others. It will be frightening, if it is a large quake. Children may be crying, the house may be standing…or not. Prepare for aftershocks, let children know you are under control [as much as possible] and this will help them calm down. Look after the elderly or those with mental or physical limitations. Take care of yourself first, and then help others as time and energy permit. If loved ones out of the disaster area know that you have taken steps to be prepared, this will help them cope with the disaster as well, as they will know you’ve done as much as you could to meet the problem. Coping with the aftermath of a disaster – emotions /depression can prove to be a problem and is individual in response. I can testify after helping others in hurricanes, floods and my personal earthquake mess the questions come forward….What do I do….Where do I start….Where is the energy to meet the needs….Who can help – they have problems too. Realize that these emotions are normal and should be temporary…you will be able to press forward and do what needs to be done.

If I were to evaluate MY personal needs and responses they would be as follows:

• If quake happens while in bed, stay there, put pillow over head, roll body into ball. If it happens and during waking hours inside home, stand in corner, against wall, or under sturdy table; stay away from bookcases, heavy furniture that can topple, glass windows that can pop inwards or out. If you stand in doorway, brace against one side; keep fingers and toes from door jamb area.

• Put on shoes stored under bed [with flashlight & glasses]

• Check verbally and physically for family member wellness

• Check all gas appliances, water heaters, etc. for smell of gas. If odor is present, evacuate home and turn off gas supply at meter. DO NOT turn on without instructions from gas company…air in lines. Our water heaters stood upright after quake but because connection was rigid copper piping and not flexible, it broke and gas spewed into the garage. Water heaters should be secured with metal tape and screws…remember nails will not hold in shaking.

• Move car out of garage to driveway…for future living space, radio connections, and protect from garage debris or collapse.

• Turn off main electricity, water and gas outlets if needed and have suitable tools attached to meters.

• Check water sources – water heater stability, water connection to frig, garden taps, etc.

• Check on immediate neighbors for injuries, etc.

• Evaluate home for additional damage and safety.

• Stay off phone – lines should be for emergency response people. Cont act family using the ‘information giver’ method when possible….just ONE call to ONE person.

• Remove litter as necessary to make home livable, if it is safe to stay, clearing hallways, etc. of glass and debris.

• Plan simple meals using refrigerator food and secure a sleeping area before dark.

• Gather camping supplies or other emergency items on hand.

• Save, re-use, re-evaluate as necessary. Gather litter and have one place in yard for waste. City may advise street-gutter area for pick-up; use this area only if directed to do so.

So, how prepared are you in the "Personal" arena? The Little Red Hen has some tweaking to let's all get busy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In the family........

Image courtesy of

Isn't this a beautiful image?  It is the cover of the May 2011 Ensign Magazine.  We have the good fortune to know the photographer pretty well. His name is Weston Colton, and he is a beloved family member.  He had the good fortune to marry my cousin.  We have been blessed by his tremendous talent as his photos of our family adorn our home.  

Although he hails from Sevier County, he now resides in Utah County.  If you would like to see his work or contact him to photo your loved ones, please go to


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's a Matter of Flood Preparedness

Photo Courtesy of National Geographic

It doesn't seem that long ago, but I remember when I was living in South Provo when significant flooding occurred. I recalled being excused from Sacrament Meeting to go and help sandbag around the Provo Temple to protect it.  As it turned out, the street that I lived on was sandbagged and became a river for several weeks.  I remember watching people fishing on my street while I was doing my dishes.  The freeway was flooded and it was difficulty to travel south on I-15.

Fast forward several years, and it appears that Utah is facing another season of flooding.  However, many safeguards have been put into place since the flooding I referred to above.  There are many holding ponds, pumps, etc that have been put into place to avoid another signficant season of flooding.  However, despite all the planning, there is still a significant risk of flooding this year.  So, what should you do to prepare.  Here is information that was compiled by Tim H.  He graciously presented this information and more last evening at our Relief Society Weekday Meeting. My thanks to him and the other presenters who provided us with such great information about preparedness.  It was a spectacular evening.

In particular, I was surprised to learn that the Tibble Fork was listed as one of the top 50 dams in Utah that was a high risk structure for failure. That means that the water could come down American Fork Canyon at a fast and furious rate.  In addition, it was eye opening to learn that Lake Bonneville peaked at 5,100 feet.  In our neighborhood here in Highland, the elevation is 5,000 feet above sea level.  That means that this area has been underwater at one time...and the potential to have a great deal of water here really does exist.  There are several neighborhoods in our Stake that could be at a high risk for flooding this year....and we haven't even had a great snow melt.  According to the information shared last evening, the peak waterflow/snowmelt was projected to be the 2nd week of May of this year...which is now.  However, we have had a relatively cool spring so far, so the potential still exists for a fast snow melt with a significant increasing in the possibility for flooding. 

What to do before a flood:

• Know how to monitor the hazard. Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial radio or television for updates and evacuation information.

• Know what flood risks exist related to your location by visiting or contacting your local authorities.

• Consider purchasing flood insurance: Homeowners policies don't cover floods. You need a separate policy just for floods.

• Prepare a plan for your household:

• Be prepared to evacuate. Plan a safe retreat and for a place to meet in case you are separated.

• Choose an out-of-town contact to for everyone to call to let them know where you are.

• Get to know your neighbors and discuss how you can help each other.

• Plan how to take care of pets. Emergency shelters may not allow pets.

• Prepare 72-hour emergency kits for each family member. Kits should include water, food, flashlight, Battery powered or hand crank radio, first aid kit, medications and medical items, multi-purpose tool, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, cell phone with chargers, extra cash, emergency blanket, extra clothing and sturdy shoes.

What to do during a flood:

• Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known to flood suddenly. Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warning signs as rain clouds or heavy rain.

• If local authorities issue a flood warning, prepare to evacuate:

• Secure your home. If you have time, tie down or bring outdoor equipment and lawn furniture inside. Move essential items to upper floors.

• If instructed, turn off utilities at the main switches or valves. Disconnect electrical appliances (Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water).

• Fill the bathtub with water in case water becomes contaminated or unavailable.

• Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can knock you off of your feet. If you must walk in a flooded area, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

• Do not drive into flooded areas. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling. Two feet of water will wash away almost all vehicles. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, if you can do so safely.

What to do after a flood:

• Avoid floodwaters and moving water. The water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. The water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.

• Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power company.

• Stay away from designated disaster areas unless authorities ask for volunteers.

• Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe. Stay out of buildings if surrounded by floodwaters.

• Consider your families health and safety needs:

• Wash hands frequently with soap and water if you come in contact with floodwaters.

• Throw away food that has come in contact with floodwaters.

• Listen for news reports to learn if the water supply is safe to drink.

• Listen to news reports for information about assistance for housing, food and clothes.

• Seek necessary medical care at the nearest medical facility.

• Contact your insurance agent.

• Take photos or videos of the damage.

• Separate damaged and undamaged items.

• Locate your financial records.

• Keep detailed records of cleanup costs.

It appears that the Little Red Hen has some issues to that true for you? 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Well, how was your Mother's Day?  Did anyone cook for you, give you presents or gifts?  Did you receive hugs and kisses?  Well.....if you are a should have received all this and more!

Mother's Day has unique beginnings from early Egyptian and Roman Goddesses.  England celebrated a "Mothering Day" that the English Settlers chose not to celebrate, most likely because everyday was just a struggle in survival.

More recently, Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamaition of 1870 began the holiday we know as Mother's Day in American.  There were efforts to make July the 4th Mother's Day, but that was soundly defeated.  Another American woman, Anna M. Jarvis proposed a  Mother's Day in 1908 to remember the service of her own mother.   It was associated with her church congregation, and white carnations were given out as they were the favorite flower of her mother.   Through her efforts, President Woodrow Wilson signed Mother's Day into an national observance by 1914.

Despite how you feel about your feel about the commercialization of Mother's Day, consider the demands that you have made on your mother when you were influenced the commercialization of your childhood.  She deserves all the wonderful things you care to share.

Happy Mother's Day to every kind and worthy mother.  I will end with the wonderful words from Elder Faust:

“There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation”

James E. Faust, Ensign, Aug. 2004, 3

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Guess what I saw at Disneyland......

We just returned from a fun week at Disneyland with our family.  As I was walking around the 2 parks, I was admiring the beautiful landscaping.  Then, to my surprise, I saw several beds of.....herbs!  Lot's of them.  They all looked wonderful and smelled great!.  I guess if they can plant herbs in "Tomorrowland", we can try to plant them in the present day.  Just something to consider!
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