Hug O' War

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war.
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.
Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving Thanks Giving Its Day

Although I love Christmas it has become more and more disturbing to me how quickly stores are bringing out Christmas items, people are buying Christmas gifts, radio stations are playing Christmas music, and Christmas decor is being decked about the halls. I remember when I was a child we would never go get our Christmas tree until the Saturday after Thanks Giving. We always fully celebrated Thanks Giving as I believe we all should. It is not just a holiday for Pilgrims it is a time to reflect on ones blessings, to give "thanks" to your Maker for the bountiful "harvest" of the year. I believe when we take the time to fully give our gratitude to God for our blessings he well bless us more so let us celebrate the Day of Thanks! My friend posted this challenge of gratitude on her facebook wall and I think it is a spectacular way to start of the week. I challenge everyone else to make this list of 100 things you are grateful for as well, you may be surprise what you come up with in your list.

The Gratitude Challenge
List 100 Thing You Are Grateful For

10 Living People You Are Grateful For:
  • my parents (they count as one since they act as one)
  • Kim/Steve (ditto)
  • Jimmy/Cyndy
  • Jana/Jerry
  • Leslie
  • all my nephews and nieces
  • my doctors!
  • my best fiend -- he knows who he is
  • everyone who has been genuinely kind to me in my past and present
  • Jesus Christ 

10 People Who Have Died That You Are Grateful For:
  • my paternal grandparents
  • my maternal grandparents
  • Joseph Smith
  • Nephi
  • George Washington
  • Gordon B. Hinkely
  • Moroni
  • Peter
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Walt Disney
10 Physical Abilities You Are Grateful For:
  • sight
  • hearing
  • touch
  • taste
  • speaking
  • walking
  • performing activities of daily living
  • laughing
  • smiling
  • singing
10 Material Possession You Are Grateful For:
  • my doggies!
  • my house
  • Bruce :)
  • my clothes, i love my style
  • my computer
  • my pictures, memories are very precious
  • my high end mattress
  • my entertainment
  • my books
  • anything that makes me happy
10 Things About Nature You Are Grateful For:
  • Trees
  • Mountains
  • Bears
  • Dogs
  • Beaches
  • Fresh Air
  • Baby animals
  • Seasons
  • Majesty/Magic/Freedom
  • Creation
10 Things About Today You Are Grateful For:
  • SLEEP!
  • FOOD!
  • got my laundry done
  • didn't have to go into work
  • got to play farmville
  • played with my doggies
  • made this list
  • read letters from Chris
  • ate M & M's
10 Places On Earth You Are Grateful For:
  • Disneyland
  • Orem, Utah
  • Wasatch Front
  • San Francisco
  • Paradise, Ut
  • Nauvoo, Ill
  • Burlington, Ia
  • Norway (I'd like to go there someday)
  • Great Britain (ditto)
  • China/Japan 
10 Modern Day Inventions You Are Grateful For:
  • the toilet (don't tell me that shouldn't be number one on every one's list!)
  • toothpaste/toothbrush
  • indoor/heated plumbing
  • electricity
  • air conditioning
  • shampoo/body wash/razors
  • cell phones/computers
  • contact lenses
  • microwaves/toaster ovens
  • refrigerator/freezer
10 Foods You Are Grateful For:
  • Chocolate!
  • Mangoes
  • Peaches
  • Bread
  • Funeral Potatoes
  • Salmon if cooked right
  • Brownies
  • Rice
  • Zupa Salads
  • Avocados
10 Spiritual Things You Are Grateful For:
  • The Book Of Mormon
  • The Bible
  • President Monson (Living Prophets)
  • The Restored Gospel Of Jesus Christ
  • The Atonement/Resurrection
  • Life After Death
  • Eternal Families
  • Eternal Promises
  • Prayer
  • Knowing I'm A Child Of God

Thursday, September 8, 2011

LeAnn Garrison
Inspired by
John Hancock
“And inches to go before I sleep, and inches to go before I sleep. For miles I have gone that cause me to weep and sorrow I feel is all I have reaped.”
“Well, that is a very sad song you sing my friend for someone who has traveled far and wide. Accomplished much and saved many lives.”
“Saved many lives? I’ve saved no life, who speaks? I can not see your face, come closer.”
“What does it matter who I am Sammy, I am your friend and I know of your acts. You speak ill of yourself why do you do this?” The voice asked crisply.
Sammy the Snail scrunched his very snaily eyes, for snails have poor eye site you see.
“I know you are there because I can hear you but I can not see you. Are you a ghost, a specter, or a ghoul? Come to steal my pitiful snaily soul?” Sammy asked suspiciously.
The voice laughed with melody and Sammy became offended.
            “Why are you laughing at me?”
            “Oh, Sammy. I’m not laughing at you, I love you.”
            “You love me?” Now Sammy was really suspicious, no one loved him.
“Because I know you and I have seen what you have done and what you have done is wonderful.”
Sammy could almost hear the smile that came across the hidden lips as the voice said “wonderful”. He thought back on his journey long and hard. What was so wonderful about it? He was so tired all he wanted was to sleep.
“I don’t mean to be rude but I really want to reach my resting nest and just go to sleep. I don’t want to think about my journey any more.”
And with that Sammy inched forward and nestled himself down into his mossy nest. “Ahhh…” Sammy sighed to himself. He could feel the sadness sleep away as sleep took over is little body.
            “Sammy wake up!”
            “What?!” What is it?” Sammy bolted up almost jumping entirely out of his shell.
            “Sleep is not the answer!”
            “Well, it is for me!” Sammy was becoming a crabby snail now.
            “Do you know what a ripple effect is Sammy?”
“No! Go away!” Sammy hunkered down inside his shell in hopes that the mystery voice would go away.
            “What happens when you drop a rock in a pond?”
“I don’t care!” the grouchy snail sneered, plugged up his ears, and started humming to himself.
“Waves move out from the center and the waves get bigger as they move out from the center. Animals can cause ripple effects Sammy. Animals just like you.”
Sammy stopped humming and slowly popped his eyes out of his shell one at a time.
            “What are you saying exactly?”
“Sammy, on your journey you experienced things that were difficult and tiring but you haven’t stopped to look back and see the effects of your rippling!”
“My rippling?”
Sammy curiously pulled himself from his shell and sloshed his slimy body around. To his amazement he discovered a most grandiose site. Animals and creatures he had met along his journey, plus many more, all gathered behind him with glowing smiles spread across their faces. In unison they rushed forward and showered the surprised snail, who had helped “save their life”, even in the smallest of ways, with an over abundance of thanks and love. Sammy was overcome, he had no idea what a rippling effect was and how his small influences had actually made a difference. It instantly made up for how hard the journey had been for him. Sammy smiled a contented little smile and whispered,
“Voice you are my truest friend wont you now show yourself to me?”
A small breeze danced around Sammy’s face and the voice sang back in his ear, “I already have, I am the wind, the water, fire, and the rain. I am the earth beneath and the heaven above, I am creation. And you Sammy the Snail have created a most joyful ripple effect.”

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Black Widow

She looks just like Charolette
Latrodectus the Black Widow Spider. Is very misunderstood. I have one living in my garage that I have named Charolette. She's been there all summer, plumping up from eating all the bugs that get into the garage. Black Widows have a bad reputation for eating their male counterparts, being an aggressive hunter, and having a deadly neurotoxin. However, contrary to popular belief not all species of the Latrodectus genus devower their poor unsuspecting mates after fertilization. Nor are they aggressive, they are extremely shy and will run away at any sign of danger. Their neurotoxin, latrotoxin, can cause some discomfort if your dumb enough or just unlucky to get bitten. (They will only bite you if they are "cornered" hence, if you try to pick them up. If they sense an escape route they will shoot for that first.) The latrotoxin causes a disorder called Latrodectism, which symptoms are similar to tetany. Painful muscle cramping. Will it kill you, most likely not, unless you are an infant or a very small child. Interestingly enough hospitals in the US will not risk using antivenom on a black widow victim because the likely hood of you having a fatal reaction to the antivenom is much greater than having a fatal reaction to the actual latrotoxin itself! So they just watch you and give you morphine for the muscle cramps and let your own body take care of the rest. Most bites don't even end up as a severe systemic reaction. But when it comes to hunting, black widows are great, that is true! They are one of the best spiders you can have in your garden or wood pile. They really keep the pests down and don't bother you in the processes. Plus they are beautiful creatures and their webs are amazingly strong. They are a work of art from the Grand Creator. It has made me think a bit about how we rashly judges others at times and so easily believe gossip that is spread about individuals. May be before jumping on the bandwagon of hate, fear, envy, and distrust so quickly we should suspend judgment of others until we have taken time to learn the truth ourselves. I have been the victim of misunderstanding, gossip, and judgment many times in my life and find it very heart breaking and sad. So the next time you see or hear of someone victimized as such, think of the black widow spider and how good she really is to the health and beauty of your home's flora, and stand up for that person.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Who Am? Where Am I Going? Where Do I Come From?

Last week I spent countless hours in the sun soaking up its rays on the beaches of Bear Lake. When I wasn't there I was spending time enjoying my family or just pondering off by myself in the beautiful cabin we rent every year in Garden City, UT for our family reunion. Working nights at the hospital made it difficult for me to go to sleep when everyone else did, so often I would stay up late reading or watching TV. One night I was watching a program on the science channel titled Children of the Stars. Interestingly it talked about how everything in the universe (all matter) is created from the birth and death of stars. We truly are heavenly creatures not just spiritually, but mortally as well. I have been pondering lately, "What is my purpose in this life?" We are taught that we must become as our Heavenly Father, but what is each of our individual purposes. What is the measure of my creation? What plan does God have for me to fulfill? I believe He does have one, I just need to seek and ask Him what it is. To guide me so I can fulfill His will for me. Russell M. Nelson said, "For the Monument of your life to rise from its pedestal of preparation to your appointed site of destiny, you must go where the Lord wants you to go. Wherever it is, each of us must go with the same faith that allowed us to leave our heavenly home in the first place."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Life Lessons from the Garden

This year I did not plant a garden, no flowers, no fruits, no vegetables. With how cold and long Spring was I never got around to starting it. Plus I started a new job around the time to begin it which added stress to my life and the garden just never was made a priority this year. So in its place a  menagerie of large and noxious weeds grew instead. Each week I would look out my window and say, "I really need to go out and get rid of those weeds." But alas, I always found something else I preferred to do instead. So the weeds grew and grew and grew. As of 2 days ago some of them were as tall as I am. It was early in the morning, after I got back from work, I was examining them and saw how they had leeched the soil and brought in unwanted bugs into the yard. Their roots were woody and had barbs around them making it nearly impossible to pull them out. But then I saw a plump red strawberry growing among the weeds. One of my strawberry plants managed to grow back among the weeds, in terrible soil, among the pests, and produce a few little tasty fruits. Of course the Spirit took this rare moment to teach several small but important lessons. You are the strawberry bush. Beautiful fruit is produced during some of the hardest seasons; the smallest efforts matter; the strawberry is beautiful but image how greater your joy would be with a garden full of strawberries .... do not wait to pull the weeds from your life until it is too difficult that it chokes your potential. It's funny how little everyday things can spark such important lessons. I'm glad they do because it keeps me open to the Spirit and humble. Well, the weeds are gone and I sprayed the yard down with bug killer, I had to have a moment of silence for all the good insects that croaked in the process. I plan to replenish the soil and plant a beautiful garden next year and hopefully I'll be able to post some great pictures for everyone.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Deep Message From A Little Fish

Okay it has been years since coming to my blog but I am starting it up again. I'm opening it up now to whomever may want to read it because I hope to use it as a tool of inspiration and hope for me and in turn for others as well. And just a place to put goofy stuff and find happiness among the sadness. We all struggle and we're in this together. I was in a patient's room last night and she was watching Finding Nemo (such a great movie BTW) and it was at the part where all the fish get stuck in the fishing net. One fish alone can't hope to swim free but when we all swim against the net together we can break the cords that bind us. And of course who can forget the wise words from Dori? Well she can say it better than I can!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Memories of Iowa

Do you have a memory that sticks out in your mind? Summertime in Iowa is the grandest of mine. From my head to my toes the memories are stuck in my bones. I close my eyes and start to see fireflies, rivers, corn, and trees. The damp hot hair steams open my mind as memories begin to swell. Peppery-pan-fried catfish sizzling on the stove. My Grandma cuts the groesome head off and throws them in the garbage. I look into the can and see their black eyes staring, their soggy whiskers twisted, and their large mouths gaping open. The gooey smell is most revolting. I think I will not eat this stinky fish. But if I do not I will have no oatmeal cookies whose cinnamon smell has watered my mouth since morning. I can wash the fillet down with crisp watery melon that fills my mouth up with juicy sweet heaven. Then follow by buttery corn cobs bursting between my teeth. The golden, warm kernels pop inside my cheeks. I’m sure the fish is not that bad, it’s well worth the price I must pay, for scrumptious oatmeal cookies.
I go into the basement to watch my Grandpa saw. The screechy sound hurts my ears. I must cover them up if I want to stay. But the basement smells old, musty, and it’s cold. The corners are dark and the ceiling is low. I find it hard to breathe the dank, dirty air. I’m sure there is a ghost or two who have made their home down here. Bottles line the shelves with dust and decay, spider webs hang from almost every display. The stairway is steep and most creepy to climb but I think I’ll go back above ground where I can’t hear the ghouls whine. When the sun goes to sleep chirps, squeaks, and peeps sound of life. I hear the corn growing, it crackles and rustles. Twelve inches is not uncommon for corn to grow on a hot humid night. Fireflies glow leaving trails of white light and cicadas sing with trumpeting delight. A glass jar in my hand I race around in the grass yet the bugs are much too fast. I stumble and cry. "Daddy, will you catch me a firefly?" He is careful and steady as he snatches me a bug, screws on the lid tight, then hands me my little glowing light. I watch it with care as the fly crawls up a twig. It flashes and flutters while bumping his buggy head against the clear glass jar. I open the lid to give him his freedom but confused and afraid it just sits on the bottom. So I tip the jar over and lightly tap on the walls till my glittering insect flies out to his friends. My mother calls me in to snuggle down in my bed. I was tired that summer night, but still stored away this happy memory.