Monday, December 15, 2008

Time

A funny thing time is. I thought that I knew how time felt, but as I get older it feels different. Faster and faster it goes. I don't feel older. I guess I should. Maybe 45 is the new 35?
Another big block of time just flew past. I have something to show for it. I finished my Associates of Science at Utah State University. It is exciting to me! I have a piece of paper that says I finished something.
I'm truly enjoying the journey. I enjoyed all of my classes. I even learned a lot. I still love school. I'm finishing my nursing prerequisites (again) this next year. I'm waiting to apply into the program until the "time is right." It will probably be for 2010, but the way time flies, it will be here before any of us can believe it. Ryan said that it was so far away. I always said that I was on the slow boat to nursing. So what if I'm nearly fifty when I finish. I'm re-careering. My first and very most important career has always been that of "Mom." I love it! The pay isn't great, but the rewards are priceless.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I want to be educated when I grow up...

I hadn't been to visit the Segullah blog for a long time. This is what I found. I love it!

"Who Do You Want to Be Today?

A few years back, when my three kids were nine, seven and four, I hit one of those turning points. A demarcation. I lived in Minnesota at the time, in a school district where summers were looooong, and I remember sitting at my computer one hot July day, looking out the window at my kids running around on the lawn, completely independent. They no longer needed me to tie their shoes or wipe their bottoms, rock them to sleep or buckle their seat belts. In many ways, it was a time to celebrate my own independence. Finally, I had some air to breathe, a little corner of quiet. Sleep. Oh, the sleep! It was everything I’d been yearning for.

Yet.

Yet I felt unsettled, unmoored by my impending freedom. For the better part of the previous decade, I’d been a mom of little kids. Sure, I’d done other things while they were small, but in many ways the tying and wiping and rocking and buckling were the actions that defined my days. Defined my life. The future was yawning (and I was well rested), which begged the question:

So what was I gonna do now??

What I did was get pregnant again. Halfway through my third child’s kindergarten year, we welcomed our caboose—our fourth and final child—whom my husband called our “hobby baby.” He’s been darling and fun (and crazy and exhausting). But this post isn’t about babies. It’s about choices. It’s about that time in your life when you stand on the dividing line from one phase to the next and find yourself wondering who (whom??) the heck you are supposed to be.

Perhaps it’s my age—I’m thirty six—but I feel like recently I’ve had an abundance of conversations with women my age about how to handle the next phase. The “kids are all in school . . . now what?” conversation. And inevitably, in almost every conversation, somebody says this:

“I want to (fill in the blank) but I’m afraid . . .”

I want to go back to work, but I’m afraid the other stay-at-home moms will judge me.

Read more...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vote for Life

I saw this video on Candace's Blog. One of Ryan's friends said that the election should be pretty clear for LDS voters. The church stands for life and marriage between a man and a woman. Shouldn't our votes be for those who stand and support those two things?


I thought this ad was right on target! I hope the Catholics and other Christians will get out and vote for life!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This Was a First for Me!

If you know me very well . . . which most of you who read this do, I am almost never late for one thing . . . school, and never when there is a test. But this morning I was running just a bit late. I couldn't get my hair to work right this morning, so I spent a few more minutes on it than usual. Then I had to take Dan to work because the truck is in the shop. So these two things had me running just about five minutes later than usual.

No big deal. I would be to school on time. So I grabbed my shoes out of my closet, threw them on, and rushed out the door. After driving Dan to work, I glanced at the clock and knew getting to class on time was going to mean speeding (just a little) and speed-walking across campus. I zoomed into the parking lot, into a stall, jumped out of the car, and realized two things. I didn't wear socks (which isn't unusual), and one of my feet was colder than the other. I looked down at my racing feet . . . and my shoes didn't match!!!! I had one black leather loafer on and a brown leather clog!!!! There was not one thing I could do about it. I had a test that I had to get to and had exactly 5 minutes to walk 3 blocks to my class.

My eyes were tearing a bit from the cold, but then I started laughing! I had tears streaming down my face as I hurried to class in my mismatched shoes. I looked around and there weren't many people walking to class. They were already in class. I thought, "no one will notice." I called Tessa knowing that she was between classes too, and told her of my silly situation. She thought it was very amusing. Unbeknown to me, we were walking on an intercepting path while talking. When we ran into each other, she looked at me and said, "Oh, mother!" We laughed for a few seconds together, and then had to run. As I waved good-bye to her, she laughed and said, "One shoe doesn't have a back and the other does! How did you not notice that?" There were several people around at that moment, and all I did was laugh harder.

I got into class about one minute late, and had to gather myself so that I could concentrate on my test. I was really thankful that I only had one class today in which I had to remain mismatched. My test took twenty minutes and I was out of there almost as fast as I had gotten there. I laughed on and off all morning. I hope that my testing went better than my dressing!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Our Country is in Crisis. Let us join in prayer.

I found this on Anne Bradshaw's blog and think it is a great idea! Please spread the word.

"ONE MINUTE EACH NIGHT"
“This is the scariest election we as Christians have ever faced and from the looks of the polls, the Christians aren't voting Christian values. We all need to be on our knees.

“Do you believe we can take God at His word? Call upon His name, then stand back and watch His wonders to behold? This scripture gives us, as Christians, ownership of this land and the ability to call upon God to heal it. I challenge you to do so. We have never been more desperate than now for God to heal our land. This election is the scariest.

“2 Chronicles 7:14--'If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.'

“During WWII, there was an adviser to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour. For one minute, they prayed collectively for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped. There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in the United States of America and our citizens need prayer more than ever.

“If you would like to participate: each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, for peace in the world, the upcoming election, that the Bible will remain the basis for the laws governing our land and that Christianity will grow in the US.

“If you know anyone who would like to participate, please pass this along. Someone said if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.

"Please pass this on to anyone who you think might want to join us.”


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Diet and Health

In the past I have read extensively about weight-loss and dieting. I have probably read well over thirty books since I was in high school. Almost everything that I have read addressed what to eat to be thin. I've learned basically that a person has to burn more calories than he eats to loss weight.
But being thin doesn't guarantee health. To have true health, a person must eat nutrient-dense foods, and enough of them to get an adequate supply of those nutrients. Sometimes this conflicts with eating to be thin. Recently I have lost 13 lbs doing what I know to lose weight, exercising almost daily and counting calories. But I know that I don't necessarily get the nutrients I need everyday from my food. So I take good whole food supplements and hope for the best. I think there has to be a better, more natural way.
My father has just read a new book called The China Study. He is has been eating a vegetarian diet for the last eight weeks. The book promotes eating whole grains, vegetables, and no more than 10% of one's diet in meat, and no dairy products. It includes comprehensive research and several double-blind studies. The evidence in the book is intriguing, to say the least. My dad has lost another 6 lbs eating as much as he wants of the "right" foods. He had already lost 30 lbs in the last year other ways. This diet is almost opposite of The Atkin's Diet in which he use to try to adhere a few years ago. He feels so much better! His blood pressure is down and instead of dragging around he has energy. The thing most interesting to me is that the principles in the book go hand in hand with The Word of Wisdom (Doctrine and Covenants 89).
I have yet to read it. He bought me a copy of the book, but I have been so busy that I haven't taken the time. It sounds like the diet, as written in the book, would supply the necessary nutrients to acquire true good health. I'm a bit intimidated by it. Totally changing the way I shop, cook, and eat would be difficult at best when my habits are so different. But what are the rewards? My family would eat better and be healthier just because I would constantly have fresh food around, even if they didn't eliminate all that I would.
I need to find the time to read the book and incorporate the ideas. Maybe I'd lose the last 5-10 lbs that I would like to, and be even healthier than I am now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What to Blog? Politics, Blackbeard, Mesa Visit

My friend bought Freddie Mac stock at twenty eight cents and it was up to $2 yesterday. She was really excited about it. She is banking on the bailout passing. I did some research and the Congressional leaders have reached an agreement, but it hasn't been voted upon yet in Congress. The word on the street is that it will pass, but narrowly. There has to be a better solution than this!

Mindy and I after Blackbeard 
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But onto happier things. I saw Blackbeard yesterday. It was wonderful. The music was beautiful, the comedy hysterical, and the intrigue marvelous. I laughed, I cried! I embarrassed Mindy because I'm a groupie. But I still love Jordan Bluth and Rob Gardner! Tyler Maxson was incredible. He sings and sounds like Richard Harrison from Camelot. This is him singing in this youtube video. So fun. Listen to the words!


The first night I got to Mesa I went and saw my favorite biology teacher, Mrs. Mary Whysong. I love that lady. I hadn't seen her in two years, so it was good to touch bases. She inspires me. Then I headed to Holly's house, watched my first episode of "The Office". Up early, at 8 to swim with Mindy and Emma in Holly's beautiful Hawaiian themed pool, including Tiki torches, and palm-frond huts. I should take a picture to add here. I went and saw Bonnie for about an hour. They are adding a giant RV garage and office onto their house. I'm happy for them. Then off to Hong Kong's Best Dining for my favorite Mesa Chinese food at lunch time.
We went to Deseret Industries to look at shoes. Mindy didn't find any, but Emma tried on several pair. I will add those pictures when I get home on my own computer. She is so darling!

Then we went to Mindy's for Emma's nap. I studied for my Abnormal Psychology test, and watched Queen's Bohemian Rhaspody on Youtube.

Not so sure why, but I love it. It definitely went along with my study of depression and mood disorders for psychology.

Then we took Emma to the other grandma's house and we headed for Chipotle for dinner. It was yummy. Then we drove to Phoenix to see Blackbeard. There was a Diamondback's game so parking was a bit of a joke. The Hermberger Theatre was plush, the audience small, but the entertainment fabulous! I talked to Rob, Tyler, and Jordan. Such talented young men. When Jordan ends up famous I can say I was one of his first big fans! I hope Rob gets his dream of Blackbeard going to Broadway!
So up this morning for an 8 am swim again. More studying, more playing with Mindy. We went to the Women's General Conference. President Ukdorf's talk was perfect about being creative and compassionate like God. I saw some of my Elmwood ward friends, but not many.
But I'm off to study some more psych. and listen to a bit more Queen. Tata for now:)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Government Bailouts and the Economy.

Dr. Craig Peterson of Utah State University said that this last week was the scariest week he has lived through economically and he is an economist.
Our government is proposing to bailout a number of failing companies to save the country from a severe economic downturn to the tune of trillions of dollars that they don't have. I believe it is a temporary band-aid that will only lead to socialism. Do we only believe in a free market except for when it doesn't work?
The mortgage industry loosened qualifications for mortgages so much that it jeopardized all of us. Investors artificially drove the housing markets up in places like Las Vegas and Phoenix. And to top it off, home owners used the inflated equity in their homes as credit cards and spent tomorrow's paychecks.
But we all know that hind sight is 20/20. I don't know much about the economy, government, or business, but I do know that I shouldn't spend money that I don't have. If our government is spending money that it does not have, it will have to take it from the people in the way of higher taxes. This only can hurt us in the long run. These bailouts will put our government in such a pernicious situation that can only be rectified by huge tax increases, which Obama proposes and will be more justified in implementing if elected. Even the Republicans will have no choice but to raise taxes. The people of Alma were in bondage to the Lamanites when taxed at 50%. We are so close to that now...higher taxes, inflation, bigger government, and on and on. Bondage.
My son, Ryan said that he would rather be working hard, poorer, and free than live under socialism. We have come so far from what our Founding Fathers built under the Constitution. I see it deteriorating more and more.
Tonight I wrote my congressmen and the white house. Is it too little, too late?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mindy and Her Fun Friends

I was just reading around in Blogland and came upon Mindy's and her friend, Amanda's blogs. The pictures show how fun these girls really are. If you haven't visited these blogs, go give them a looksie!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Obtain the Prize"

I found this on quote on ANWA's Founder and Friends. President Thomas S. Monson said, "Finishers have the capacity to visualize their objective--vision without effort [though] is daydreaming; [and] effort without vision is drudgery; but vision, coupled with effort, will obtain the prize."

I personally have been accused of not finishing what I start. I have a tendency to let life get in the way of personal goals. Sometimes that is appropriate, when it means that I am putting my family before myself, but other times it isn't. I have lost my vision, or changed it when I've learned new things or adjusted my perspective about what is truly important. As I told my mother once, I've stuck with the most important things in my life. I'm still a good mother and I'm still married!

Reading President Monson's words, "effort without vision is drudgery" helped me realize that at many times in my life I have done the work because it was necessary, but my heart wasn't in it. I'm thankful for that the work was available when it was needed, but I always hoped for a time that the work would be toward my dreams. I've been fortunate to have a husband that supports me in putting effort toward my visions. Someday I may even get paid again to do the work that I love beyond my family. But right now I'm finishing the education to get me there. I may be a bit old for college, but going keeps me young. It is never too late to pursue dreams and to finish goals. I didn't quit, I just postponed it until later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Anne Bradshaw's Book Contest

Anne Bradshaw is giving away Enjoying the Journey by Jaime Theler with Deborah Talmadge. Go enter the contest to see if you can win. Or don't so that I have a better chance! http://annebradshaw.blogspot.com/2008/09/heres-contest.html

What Does Obama Want to Change?

I have a number of friends and neighbors that are voting for Obama, and I really don't understand why they truly think he'll do a good job in the White House. I've heard them say that they want change, but what kind of change? They want out of Iraq. I can understand that. I didn't agree with going into Iraq when we did. I don't think that we should be the world's policemen. But to vote for Obama and get bigger government, more taxes, more socialism, more abortion? I just don't understand.

I whole heartedly agree with this email/letter from Joe Porter of Champaign , Illinois. This is just a little of it.

"I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and
convincingly why this man [Obama] is qualified to be President and
Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on earth - other than
the fact that he claims he's going to implement a lot of change. We've
all seen the emails about Obama's genealogy, his upbringing, his Muslim
background, and his church affiliations. Let's ignore this for a
moment. Put it all aside. Then ask yourself, what qualifies this man to
be my president? That he's a brilliant orator and talks about change?
CHANGE WHAT?

"Friends, I'll be forthright with you - I believe the American voters
who are supporting Barack Obama don't have a clue what they're doing,
as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've
spoken to can spell out his qualifications. Not even the most liberal
media can explain why he should be elected. Political experience?
Negligible. Foreign relations? Non-existent. Achievements? Name one.
Someone who wants to unite the country? If you haven't read his wife's
thesis from Princeton , look it up on the web. This is who's lining up
to be our next First Lady? The only thing I can glean from Obama's
constant harping about change is that we're in for a lot of new taxes."

It scares me to death! Obama has no true track record in the Senate. What does the man really stand for? Look at his jet!

He took the American flag off of the tail of his jet!
Snopes says this is TRUE -- http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/airplane.asp

Go read the book Obama Nation to see what this man truly stands for. He doesn't believe in the America that the founding fathers set up, of checks and balances, and limited federal government. He believes that the government knows better than the people, that the government should cure all the social ills.


Let's give the government all our money and see how they manage it...oh, wait, the government has a track record of this. It pays for other people's abortions when I don't believe in abortion. It pays for illegal aliens' health care, food, and education without being able to tax them. Look at the mess in New Orleans. The government isn't set up to take care of all the people. People should be mostly accountable for themselves. True charity, where people care for their neighbors, is better than socialism any day. But if I'm forced to give the lion's share of my income to the government in way of taxes, I won't be in the position to help my neighbor. Let's look at socialized medicine in other Canada. People in Canada come here for treatment because they can't get life saving procedures in time in their country. It isn't working there, why will it work here?


Voting for Obama to me equals less freedom, higher taxes, more world-wide government, less national security, and less national sovereignty. I thought that when the nation voted in Bill Clinton and didn't hold him accountable for his perjury or adultery, we would then be punished for our iniquities. Could that have been 9/11? Knowingly voting to reduce our individual agency, and accountability is just as bad. But do the good people of my neighborhood really know what they are voting for? I think not. Obama is indeed a good persuasive speaker. Is that enough?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Couldn't Have Said it Better!

Candace Salima hit the nail on the head with the following post on her blog.

"Liberal Media Attack Sarah Palin and the Western Way of Life

Posted by Candace E. Salima
September 09,
2008
Warning: Serious rant ahead. Really, really serious rant ahead.

Maurine Proctor of Family Leader reported: "They hate Palin because she is a feisty, vibrant, can-do reformer who represents everything they hope to marginalize. She believes in life, marriage, family and religion. She believes in good and evil, right and wrong and is willing to say it. When faced with giving birth to a Down's Syndrome child that studies show some 90% of parents would have aborted, she not only gave birth to Trig, but says of him , "Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. And children with special needs inspire a special love."

"Governor Palin has the Left shivering because she can be such a powerful force to rally the enthusiasm and hope of ordinary Americans who still hold traditional values. She has reignited the troops in the culture war.

"Examples abound of Palin's shoddy treatment. New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd compares her nomination to watching a chick flick. She writes: "This chick flick, naturally, features a wild stroke of fate, when the two-year governor of an oversized igloo becomes commander in chief after the president-elect chokes on a pretzel on day one.

"The P.T.A. is great preparation for dealing with the K.G.B.," President Palin murmurs to Todd, as they kiss in the final scene while she changes Trig's diaper. "Now that Georgia's safe, how 'bout I cook you up some caribou hot dogs and moose stew for dinner, babe?"

Gloria Steinem offered this in an opinion column, "This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need."

I don't even know where to start! I get so sick of people, like these two morons above, and yes I know exactly who I am calling a moron and I'm standing by it! I have to assume that people who have never had to work the earth for their food, care for the cattle or bison, hunt wild game in order to feed their families, don't really know where food comes from. In all their ignorance and stupidity they trot on down to the grocery store, or pay someone to do said trotting, wander up and down the aisles picking up packages of food without ever stopping to think where it came from or the people who made it possible to be there." Read more...

Also, here is the You Tube video of Sarah Palin's acceptance speech for you who missed it. Candace is right, Steinem and Dowd can't discredit Palin's strength or tenacity in standing for family, life, or the true American way so they have to resort to ridicule of those very things.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Mom Song

Thanks to Candace Salima I now know how to post videos off of You Tube. I'm so excited! This is the first one that I saw ages ago that I just had to have on here. I could sing it to my children every morning and never have to talk to them the rest of the day!

The Freedoms We Enjoy From the Sacrifice of Others

This last week in my American Institutions class at USU, we watched a video about the Revolutionary War. In it was a man quoting Thomas Paine in Common Sense.

As I sat in class, the truth of these words brought tears to my eyes.

"The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a City, a County, a Province, or a Kingdom; but of a Continent — of at least one-eighth part of the habitable Globe. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed-time of Continental union, faith and honour. The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; the wound would enlarge with the tree, and posterity read in it full grown characters."

To be a beneficiary of the sacrifice of those patriots who cared more for the freedom of our country and their fellowmen than themselves, leaves me humbled, and grateful, without words to adequately praise them.

I've considered myself a quiet patriot. But as I sit in class and learn more about the knowledge and understanding the founding fathers had and the sacrifices they made, I realize that I am only a lazy recipient of others' diligence. I need to repent, to get involved in the current fight for freedom. As I look around at the state of my county,
it has come so far from the full freedom our founding fathers secured for us. And I know that I haven't done much to preserve that freedom.

I've enjoyed it. I've taken advantage of the rights that I have to pursue happiness, to worship as I see fit, to educate my children in my home, to speak out, to hold differing views and not have to hide in fear of my government. But how long will it be before my own slothfulness, combined with those around me, will take those precious freedoms away? I truly fear the answer. I hope it is not "everlastingly too late."

After the video, Dr. Craig Peterson said that he never hears the words in Common Sense without choking up. I was glad that I wasn't the only one. If only I can remember the heritage that I have been given, and do my personal best to preserve it.

Advice from Elder Bushe



I found this this morning and it is beautiful. Just what I needed to set my Sabbath day off right.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sarah Palin

On Candace Salima's blog I found the full content of Sarah Palin's speech. If you missed it, go give it a read. You can also go watch highlights of it here.

I thought she was great!

(side note: she is only 2 months older than me! Wow, we are young!)

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Margarete and the dreaded disease of CCQ

This evening I went to my American Institutions Student Instruction (SI) supplemental class. I met a lady who is a bit advanced in years to be attending college (yes, even older than me, by about 20 years). Her name is Margarete.
I visited with her and asked her about her current enrollment at Utah State. She said that she often gets questions about "what she wants to be when she grows up?" I laughed because I get that a lot, too. I even ask it to myself. Her answer is, "educated." I like that answer. I think I'll borrow it from now on.
Margarete said that school is her "expensive hobby". I can relate! She also said that she needed to stay away from her past disease of CC&Q. When I questioned her about what that meant, she said, "Crocheting, Cross-stitching, and Quilting!"
I think I'll hang out with Margarete more at school. She makes me laugh.

Far World Author Interview

Farworld, Water Keep by J. Scott Savage
Back cover;
" Other people may see thirteen-year-old Marcus Kanenas as an outcast and a nobody, but he sees himself as a survivor and a dreamer. In fact, his favorite dream is of a world far away, a world where magic is as common as air, where animals tell jokes and trees beg people to pick their fruit. He even has a name for this place--Farworld.
"When Marcus magically travels to Farworld, he meets Kyja, a girl without magic in a world where spells, charms, and potions are everywhere, and Master Therapass, a master wizard who has kept a secret hidden for thirteen years, a secret that could change the fate of two worlds.
"But the Dark Circle has learned of Master Therapass's secret and their evil influence and power are growing. Farworld's only hope is for Marcus and Kyja to find the mythical Elementals--water, land, air, and fire--and convince them to open a drift between the worlds.
"As Kyja and Marcus travel to Water Keep, they must face the worst the evil Dark Circle can throw at them--Summoners, who can command the living and the dead; Unmakers, invisible creatures that can destroy both body and soul; and dark mages know as Thrathkin S'Bae.
"Along the way, Marcus and Kyja will discover the truth about their own heritage, the strength of the friendship, and the depths of their unique powers."


Welcome, Mr. Savage to Old Main Hill at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. Thanks for visiting my hometown.
Mr. Savage, do you go by Scott or Jeff?


At home I go by Jeff. But while promoting my Farworld series, it's easier to go by Scott. Honestly though, you can call me anything but late for dinner.

I'll try to remember that! Is it okay to address you by your first name?

I don't know. I kind of like people saying, "Hey Savage!" Actually though, that makes me think I am back playing football or in the army. I definitely like being called by my first name.

Scott, I am a big fan of your previous books and was wondering why you chose to write fantasy?

Thanks. I'm glad you like my other books. I really didn't "choose" to write fantasy, even though I love reading the genre. I'd have to say it chose me. I didn't think I could write it, because it was so different from what I have read in the past. But I had this idea stuck in my head that wouldn't let me sleep. I started writing this book at 2:00 AM to prove to myself I couldn't do it and get this crazy storyline out of my head. But five hours and five thousand words later, I realized I was writing a fantasy and I was having a ball doing it. The rest of the book seemed to flow almost as easily. Now that I've done it though, I'm really glad I did.

That is so unfair that writing comes so easily to you! How long did it take to write your initial draft of Farworld?

Three months from first sentence to last sentence. But much editing thereafter.


Have you always wanted to write fantasy?

I've always loved reading fantasy. But it is such a different genre style, that I felt I couldn't pull it off.

Who is your favorite fantasy writer?

I love so many of them. Books, Donaldson, Gaiman, King, Straub (I believe horror is a subgenre of fantasy.) They all bring different strengths to the table.

How many genres have you written in?

Well, I've published High-Tech thriller, drama, mystery, and fantasy, but I have a supernatural thriller/horror that I hope will be published in the not too distant future.

Wow, you really are a well-rounded writer! I've read almost every book you've written, but I don't know about reading horror. I'll probably try it because you are the author. What is your favorite genre?


They are all fun but different. Fantasy probably has the most freedom.

When is your next book coming out?

Well, Farworld book 1 comes out in September, then my next Shandra book in the Spring, then the next Farworld in the fall of 08. Other than that, we'll have to see.

I will have a lot of reading to do to keep up with your writing! What is your favorite part of Farworld?

Depends on whether you mean the book or the world. I’ll combine the two a little bit and say that my favorite part is trying to understand how things work. What is the basis for magic and why does it operate the way that it does? We’ve peeled back the onion enough to see that there are elementals under the skin, but what are elementals really? Why do they exist? Where did they come from? And what does the Dark Circle hope to accomplish. It’s like scientists here learning about the atom.

Is there anything special that you would like to share with us about the book?


I just want to tell readers not to think they’ve seen everything yet. If Water Keeps level is all there was to the series, it would be a fun read. But I don’t know that it would be memorable. I hope that as things begin to expand, people will really be surprised that there is more to this than just a fun little romp through a magical world.


How many reviews have been written so far on your blog tour?


Over a hundred for sure. I haven’t done a full count lately.


Do you feel that it has been successful thus far?


Definitely. I really wanted to get two things out of the tour. One was obviously to get the word out about the book. And I think that tour had done a good job of that. But the second was to get quality feedback from a large group of really intelligent readers. That is so helpful in seeing your strengths and weaknesses as a writer. This has been incredibly successful in that regard.

I'm sorry that I don't have more readership on my blog to help publicize your book.


It’s not all about eyes. It’s about planting seeds and getting valuable feedback. You have definitely done both!


I wish you luck in all your future endeavors.


Thank you! Great questions.


Farworld Book Contest Winner

The winner is...(the competition was high as you can see:)

Amanda Kristeen!

Thanks to all those who participated!

I'm waiting on the author to send answers to my questions before I post the review. I'm sure you are all on pins and needles!
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Friday, August 29, 2008

How fast can you answer these questions?

Mindy had this on her blog and I had to try it.

I know: the older I get the less I know (from Yentel).

I have: so very much to be thankful for.

I wish: I lived by a warm ocean.

I smell: fall in the air and love it!

I miss: my Mesa friends and life.

I hate: …evil, but not much else that I can think of.

I fear: life rushing by too quickly and unnoticed.

I crave: more good girlfriends.
I search: for happiness…but know I’ve found it already!

I regret: ever criticizing my kids because they always remember!

I love: so many things! My wonderful, supportive husband, my amazing children and Emma, my children-in-laws, the smell of coffee, fresh fruit, having friends to play with, and a good laugh.

I always: worry about the past too much.
I believe: that everyone is trying his/her best.
I dance: with Emma, or to embarrass my teenagers.
I sing: because it fills my soul.
I don't always: floss my teeth like I should.
I am not: as much of a perfectionist as I use to be.

I write: a few blog posts, but wish I wrote more.
I lose: the months and years way too fast. Where do they go?
I win: Uno

I never: never say never…it catches up to you and bites you in the butt.

I listen: not as well as I should. Sorry, guys.

I am scared: no, I’m not…
I am happy about: being healthy, strong, fairly young, and almost being in my skinny jeans

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I GOT IN! I GOT IN!

I got the following email in my box this morning!

"Congratulations! Based on your recent audition, you have been selected as a member of the new American Festival Chorus (AFC). Our first rehearsal will be at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, August 27, in room 214 of the USU Fine Arts Center.
We look forward to singing with you this semester.
Gayla M. Johnson, for the American Festival Chorus Board"

I honestly was so surprised because I really did blow the first part of my song for my audition. Wendy even said I should have started over and let them know I could sing. When I got the email I started crying those happy tears for which I am so well known. Wendy is in, also. We start practicing tonight. We are going to have so much fun.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Rob Gardner has done it again!

Composer Rob Gardner has composed a new musical, Blackbeard. You can go to his website and watch video clips and listen to music clips here. I wish that I were in Phoenix to go see it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Carpe Diem



















Today was the first day back to school for Utah State, and me. Tessa thought I was a little crazy because I kept saying. "Isn't this fun being here?", "What a wonderful environment!" and "I love school and everything about it!" So maybe I' m a little over the top, but that is exactly how I feel about it.

The sky was clear of clouds and the sun just warm enough this morning for me to wish that I had worn my capris and flip-flops. I would have worn them if it hadn't been for the half mile walk that I had to make from where I parked to where my class was.

The campus was full of young, vibrant adults, smiling and rushing to classes. Going to school almost makes me believe that I'm one of them.
I forget until I look in the mirror that I'm twice their age and not so young anymore.

But I don't look in the mirror very closely or very often, so I'll live my dream and live as if I'm one of them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Choir Audition

Well, tonight I auditioned for the American Festival Chorus. I didn't feel terribly nervous until Jay Richards hit my first note and it sounded too high. I started singing and totally choked on the first phrase of my song. After I got started, I think I pulled it together alright by the end of the song.

I may have redeemed myself with the sight reading though. I only missed one note that I came in a third too high on. They played it for me and I sang the rest with no trouble. Brother Jessop said that I "nailed it." That made me feel good because Jay Richards, who has been in on all the auditions, said that last week they had 55 people audition and only five were able to sight read well. Hopefully it will make up for the botched beginning.

I wanted to cry on the way home, but if I don't get in it will be okay because I will be plenty busy with 9 credits at USU, part-time work, and my family.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mormon Soprano Blog

I just visited Mormon Soprano's Blog.
I love it. I can open up to her "listen" page and have great music playing while I am online. What a treat! I've just started exploring it. Go take a listen and read. It is great.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Singing Fills My Soul

Craig Jessop, formerly the Mormon Tabernacle Choir director, is leading a new Cache Valley community choir called the American Festival Chorus. My sister Wendy said that we have to audition for it. I'm feeling a bit chicken, but we are going to go for it. I'm singing "Danny Boy" and she is singing "Amazing Grace". I have wanted to sing in a good choir for a long time. The only problem is that I've never practiced sight reading. I have a day to learn how to. Hmmm.

Well, it will be a good experience no matter what happens.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Farworld Update

For all y'all who entered the Farworld book contest, I am going to be drawing for the free book on August 30th. Anyone who wants to enter still can. I am also going to have the book review done by then, also. Mindy and I have started it, we just need to write it up and send the questions to the author.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Great Articles on Postpartum Depression, and Anxiety

This is so refreshing. I knew that I had found a great resource at WomentoWomen.com, but after I have been searching the internet all week for natural remedies for PPD and not finding much at all. I received an email with this article on PPD that completely backs me up and gives more tips for helping hormone imbalances. Read here, it is great!
Another article on the same website is on anxiety and the natural remedies for it. Here is the link for that. It is very enlightening also!

A side note, on the email I got from Woman to Woman they had this information about Omega-3's:

"Some research on omega-3's shows promise for preventing, and possibly treating, depression. Researchers recently found that people with high levels of omega-3's in their blood had more gray matter in the sectors of the brain associated with positive emotions and moods, while the subjects with mild to moderate depression symptoms showed decreased gray matter in those same areas. More research is needed to determine whether omega-3's actually cause this phenomenon, but it's safe to say that healthy omega-3 levels can mean a more positive outlook on life and lower rates of memory loss.

How many omega-3's should you get in your daily diet? The average American only gets about 200 mg of two of the most important omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day from their diet, and the American Heart Association recommends a much higher intake of between 1000-3000 mg. Here is our quick rule of thumb:

If you have a healthy diet and no symptoms 600 mg/day Our Essential Nutrients has you covered
If you have joint pain, depression, mood swings, feeling overscheduled/rushed, anxiety attacks, etc. 1,000 - 2,000 mg/day Our Essential Nutrients plus an additional omega-3 supplement, or consider adding more deep water fish to your diet.
If you need to lower your triglycerides 2,000 - 3,000 mg/day Our Essential Nutrients, plus an additional Omega-3 supplement, plus more fish in your diet."


Thanks, Women to Women and Dr. Northrup! It is so nice to have such credible back up to the things that I have found work myself!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression can start anytime in the first year after delivery of a baby. In the first 1-2 weeks after birth 80% of women experience some "baby blues" which are wide mood swings brought on by the hormonal changes taking place in a woman's body during those weeks (see about.com:pregnancy and childbirth).

If the feelings of depression continue beyond that, it is then considered Postpartum Depression (PPD). Sometimes the fatigue and depression can be from anemia or low thyroid. It is best to have those things checked out in a blood test by a physician. If those items check out fine, often the depression is linked to continuing hormone imbalances (Dalton, Katharina:
Depression after Childbirth. (Oxford University Press, 1985) . Dr. Dalton explains in her book that the pituitary gland doesn't send the message to the endocrine system to produce the necessary hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid. According to Dr. Dalton, natural progesterone is safe for use during breast feeding and can help with most symptoms of PPD. With my fifth child, my doctor had me have (I believe the dosage was 100 mg) progesterone shots for 10 days, and then wrote me a prescription for 2 100 mg progesterone suppositories a day, one in the morning and one in the evening.

I felt better than I ever had after any of my other childbirths. I
took 50-100 mg. of B6 and a good multi-vitamin, and made sure that I got plenty of rest. (One way to help insure that you get plenty of rest is to read On Becoming Babywise by Robert Bucknam and use his methods. I wish I'd known them with my first four!) At about 4 months postpartum, I walked a minimum of 30 minutes 4-5 days a week. I should have started at six weeks postpartum, but I still felt great even though I wasn't exercising.

I would say that my PPD was moderate with 3 of my first four children and moderate to severe after having Tessa and a traumatic delivery including severely hemorrhaging and being anemic. After having Tessa (who is #3 for me) I was almost completely cured when I started walking 4 days a week on a treadmill when she was 3 months old. I didn't even know what PPD was at the time. I just knew that I felt incredibly better after exercising for only a week.

The link above from About.com is a very helpful website. I have been searching for websites that offer natural remedies for PPD, but haven't seen any that recommend progesterone therapy so far. I know that it made my postpartum experience 95% better than the others had been previously.

If a woman has a history of bipolar disorder or prior depression before childbirth, she is much more likely to have PPD and should talk to her doctor/midwife about prevention of PPD before she delivers her baby.

The nice thing about this treatment for PPD is that it treated the root of my PPD and didn't have the side effects that other treatments can have. The progesterone did increase my appetite, but that is the only side effect that I noticed. (Another reason that I should have started exercising sooner!)

A good book to read about PPD is
Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression by Marie Osmond. I like it because it has a quiz in the back the take to see if a person is experiencing PPD and helpful natural remedies that Marie used which were given to her by her doctor. I have a signed copy and got to visit with Marie at her book signing in the Phoenix area. I was thrilled that she wrote the book because I'm sure it has been read more because of her celebrity status.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Frustrated Blogger

Today I had such high aspirations of posting on both of my blogs. But my children kept interrupting me when I was trying to write and I just don't multi-task well. Now I'm going to go watch Dan in Real Life again. I love it! So much for blogging tonight! So look forward to a blog post on postpartum depression. Hold me to it. It is important.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Am an Addict

My name is Terry and I am an addict. My family has known for years that I have many addictive behaviors. I'm not going to list them because most of them are obvious to those around me. But finally recognizing this addition completely took me by surprise.

Brace yourselves.

I am a scale addict. That is right! For years I have been weighing myself almost daily. I did miss a few weeks here and there two years ago when we were moving. I actually lost weight because I was so busy that I forgot to eat(and had some anxiety). But when we got moved and somewhat settled, the weight started creeping back on. I went from being 5-10 lbs "too thin" according to my family to again being 15 lbs over weight in about 5 months. I was only weighing about once a week at first, but as the numbers on the scales climbed (in spite of any exercising or healthy eating on my part), my need to weigh everyday took over.

Only after talking to a couple truly healthy friends of mine, did one of them tell me that I was too focused on what I weighed and not focused enough on my overall health. She told me to not weigh myself for two months and focus on being healthy by good eating and exercising. I reacted to the advice quite strongly. My face told her that I couldn't even fathom it. She then said that I was addicted to weighing myself. She is right.

But I really don't want to go cold turkey because I'm counting calories and exercising everyday to lose 10 pounds by October 1st. So I committed to not weighing for a week. I started today. I didn't weigh. It was hard not too, but I didn't. I can see it getting harder each day. I'm going to have to use some EFT for this one!

So the focus is now on health. Mind, body, and spirit.

A side note, I bought a mountain bike today to save gas and get some exercise. I'm going to work up to riding it up to school. I rode a mile uphill without stopping today and 3 miles down. School is 2 miles uphill. It might kill me, but if it doesn't I'll be stronger!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Julie Allen is giving away an activity book on her blog!

My friend Julie Allen has made very fun activity books for her children and is giving one away on her blog. Go enter her contest. I did!

Renewal!!

I got an email today that said I was approved for academic renewal through Utah State University. For those of you who don't know, I made a mistake when I went to my first quarter of college at USU. I got sick for a couple of weeks right before finals, was totally overwhelmed, and didn't take my finals. That equaled 2 F's and a D on my college transcripts. Five years later, I returned to school, retook the two failed classes and got A's, but have always had that D from Geology on my transcript calculated into my otherwise perfect GPA.
Yesterday, I went and registered and applied for academic renewal. They approved it and award it today! Those bad grades are still on my transcripts, but they don't calculate in my GPA any longer! I have a 4.0 on as my overall GPA! It feels wonderful!!! Now I just have to keep my grades up for the next . . . ummm, 4 years until I graduate with my bachelor's. Piece of cake!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Two More Beautiful Girls

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Beautiful Girl

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Balance

Striving for balance in life is such a challenge. I have a tendency to get so involved in things that I don't leave room for quiet time or enough sleep. More things than that suffer. I could list them, but it would be a long list.

I'm going back to Utah State this fall and taking 9 credits to finish my associates of science. I haven't taken 9 credits since before Tessa was born. I'm sure I'll be fine, but I want so badly to do it without negatively impacting my family. My children are much older, but their needs are different, too. Maybe we can have family homework time in the evenings.

I want to stay in shape and feed my family healthy meals. I know how important family prayer and scripture time is. But we have done that for years at 6:30 am, so it should still work.

It will be an experimental semester because then I'm thinking about going on to get a bachelor's in health education with at least an LPN in there. Only 4 more years of school full time! I'm not getting any younger!

My motto-enjoy the journey! I'm actually excited about it!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I'm Tagging Myself

3 Joys
My family (that is way more than one and hopefully growing more soon!)
Close Friends
Learning

3 Fears
Going crazy (again)
Never graduating from college
Losing more of my hair

3 goals
Completing college
enjoying the journey
being more self-reliant

3 current obsessions/collections-
school
being healthy
reading


3 surprises about me-
My favorite bumper sticker says, "Question Authority"
I was born at home in England
I was ticketed for riding a mini bike when I was 12 and had to do community service

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Summer Vacation

We have had a full house this last week. Mindy and her family are here. Grandma Jo came for the week. We have done some great things. We went to Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, UT and walked the gardens. We went to the play "Chuck Wagon" at Pickleville Playhouse over by Bear Lake. We've gone hiking, fishing, and camping. I think we are going to go to Bear Lake and swim tomorrow. We have barbecued, and eaten well, way too well. Dan actually took the week off from work. It has been so nice. I love building memories with my family.
Tomorrow , April goes to Especially for Youth. This week I should finish up at work for the summer and get registered for college. Then summer will be half over . . .sad! This is my 3rd vacation so far. I'm hoping to still go to Jackson Hole or western Washington before it is all over. We are so blessed to live in such a wonderful, and beautiful country.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Far World Book Contest

FREE ARC of Far World by J. Scott Savage.
All that is required to enter the contest is to:

#1 post a comment here with your blog address included and
#2 create a link from your blog to this post telling others about my contest.

There will be a random drawing of the comments for the book in the first week of August.
The publisher will directly send the winner an Advanced Reader's Copy of the book. The winner must supply their regular mailing address to me to receive the book. (Must live in the USA or Canada to win.)

I just finished reading Far World by J. Scott Savage. It pulled me in and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm slated to write a review of it around the end of August.



Earthquake Quiz

Take this earthquake quiz. I saw it on Anne Bradshaw's "What to do in an earthquake" blog post. I got 90% on it, but only because I just attended an earthquake preparedness class put on by our stake. There was so much good information there. I'm still working on getting some of the things that were suggested. There were probably 15 handouts and so much to take in! Good luck, and let me know how you do.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Food Storage, 72 hr kits, and 5 Gallon Porta-pottys.

Today Ryan sent me Glenn Beck's Get Prepared Part 3. It is as follows:

Get Prepared: Food Storage

Family Emergency Survival - Air, Water, and Food
by: Arthur B. Robinson, PhD

During emergencies - natural and man-made - one's family and friends may find themselves without ordinary essentials that make life possible. A human can survive only a few minutes without air, a few days without water, and a few weeks without food. Each of us has a fundamental moral responsibility to make certain that those people for whom we are responsible can get to the other side of an emergency alive, regardless of inconvenience or unhappiness that may occur during the event.

A safe air supply can be lost due to chemical, biological, or nuclear fallout contamination, or, of course, through simpler means such as flood waters over one's head. These threats are best met by public civil defense preparations - preparations that U.S federal and state politicians and bureaucrats have been unwilling to make. So, concerned private citizens must either buy costly air protection systems or arrange to live in locations that are less threatened. These preparations are beyond the scope of this article. Definitive and comprehensive civil defense information is available here.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, performs exactly the function that its name indicates. FEMA "manages" emergencies. It does not prepare for emergencies. The last remaining civil defense functions - physical preparations for emergencies - of FEMA were defunded by the Clinton Administration. People deprived of safe air die within minutes. All that remains to be "managed" is their burial.

A safe supply of emergency water is relatively easy to provide. One method is to simply close the inlet and outlet valves of the home water heater in case of impending emergency. This will preserve many gallons of life-saving drinking water. Storage of additional water is also prudent. This can be done in one gallon milk containers, 50 gallon plastic drums, or most other containers of convenience. It is best to use multiple containers rather one container, the possible loss of which endangers the entire supply. As time passes, regardless of the water treatment method, stored water usually accumulates contaminants that one would ordinarily prefer to avoid, but which are acceptable during an emergency. Excellent purification systems are available from many sources, although emergency preparation funds are probably better spent in other ways.

Stored water must, however, be protected from poisonous biological contamination that can accumulate with time. The simplest way to provide this protection is by addition of chlorine compounds available as ordinary bleach. This must be done safely and correctly. These procedures are given in the book, Nuclear War Survival Skills, available on-line without cost here. This book also provides instructions for expedient water purification procedures.

A safe and sufficient supply of food is also easy to arrange, but provision of emergency food is often misunderstood.

First, most adults and children - with the exception of infants - can survive for several weeks without food. Survival food storage is required primarily for emergencies lasting for weeks, months, or even years.

Second, stored food should provide essential nutrition - not gourmet satisfaction. Storage of freeze-dried ordinary food, for example, caters to the illusion that a food-requiring emergency will be such a benign event that the participants will be very concerned about the tastiness of their food. Nothing could be further from the truth. Emergency food preparedness involves staying alive and in functional good health - not catering to one's pallet. Every food storage dollar should purchase the greatest quantity of nutritious food possible - not unneeded luxuries.

Third, a family food storage program should include as great an amount of nutritious, long-lasting food as the family can afford - not an amount estimated for the family's personal needs. The family friends and neighbors who have not stored food will need to be fed, too. Very, very few Americans would, in an emergency, eat stored food while allowing their neighbors and friends to die from starvation. Consequently, a family must realize that their food will likely last only so long as they can feed themselves and their friends and neighbors.

Fourth, stored food should last for 50 years or more in good condition.

During the 1980s at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, we developed food storage recommendations that consider these requirements. These recommendations were subsequently adopted and publicized by FEMA. Our food storage suggestions are as follows:

1. Store whole grain - not ground or otherwise processed - corn, wheat, and soybeans in a ratio by weight of 2:2:1. In other words, if one is storing 40 pound plastic, nitrogen-packed pails of grain, store 2 pails each of wheat and corn for each single pail of soybeans. Combined in these proportions, ground to flour, cooked (as in corn bread), and eaten, 2 to 3 pounds per day of this mixture will provide the nutrition required for a marine in combat - except for vitamin C and salt. An ordinary person surviving during an emergency would require perhaps half as much. Note: soybeans must be cooked before eating to avoid danger to health.

Nitrogen packing helps to assure that insects cannot infest the food. Containers should be long-lived and rodent resistant. There are several good commercial sources of food already appropriately packaged for storage - for example, Walton Feed in Idaho.

2. Store 1 kilogram of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) for each person-year of food. This is 3 grams per day. People under stress require extra vitamin C for optimum health. For prevention of death from scurvy, however, about 1% of this amount will suffice, so storage of vitamin C in these amounts might save the lives of an entire community.

Store crystalline vitamin C - not pills. During storage, the pills may deteriorate. In a cool, dry bottle, crystalline vitamin C will last indefinitely. Vitamin C can also be obtained by simply sprouting some of the food grain before eating. In a serious emergency, however, sprouting may prove difficult. Store also, in a cool place, a supply of ordinary multivitamin pills.

3. Store lots of salt. This could be crucial to saving many lives. An inexpensive and convenient form is in bags or salt blocks obtained from a local farm feed store.

4. For infants, store dried milk available from food storage suppliers in #10 cans. Infants can live on the grain ration, but they may refuse to eat less familiar food and will do better with milk.

5. Store several 4 gallon plastic buckets each containing 25 pounds of ordinary table sugar - sucrose; 1 pound baking soda; 5 x 11 ounce containers of Lite salt - KCl &NaCl; and a teaspoon for measuring. Dehydration from burns and diseases such as cholera can be treated with proper oral administration of these items. Instructions can be found in the March 1988, Volume 1, # 12, Fighting Chance newsletter. These buckets could save many lives during a serious prolonged emergency, where ordinary medical care is not available.

In ordinary times, soy bean, corn, and wheat flour can serve as a base for delicious and nutritious corn bread - when cooked with lots of baking soda, vegetable oil, and fruit for flavor.

Prior to the current U.S. government program to burn America's food for fuel, the rations above could be purchased and stored for about $100 per person per year of food. Prices now are between $200 and $300 per person year. If Americans continue to allow repressive government regulation and taxation of their nuclear and hydrocarbon energy industries and tax-subsidized use of food for fuel, these prices will rise much higher.

It is best to store food now, while it is still available at a reasonable price.

Art Robinson is a scientist and currently a professor at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has commended and utilized Robinson work on emergency preparedness.

So we went to Walton's Feed and bought a three month supply of dried corn, soybeans, and salt for our two families, to go with the wheat my dad has canned. It isn't a lot, but it is a start. I use to have a good supply of food storage, but we left a lot in Mesa with Mindy and company. It is heartening to know that if stored properly some things can last over 30 years according to Walton's website. Yet after reading on their website, I'm betting that the wheat and things I left Mindy aren't good anymore because we kept them in our garage and the storage got too hot.

Ryan and Becky are going to use the food canned in #10 cans as a foundation for their bed so that they can store it. Yes, it is a bit like the family in the movie The RM, but it will be worth it.

I've been reading a novel called "Patriots, Surviving the Coming Collapse". It is more than a novel. The author tries to make it a guide in how to prepare for the next depression, collapse of government, anarchy, and chaos. It is a bit thick to wade through, but it is making me think. I know that I'm not as prepared as I should be as far as food storage and things go. I've spent several hundred dollars lately getting 72 hour kits ready and some earthquake preparedness items since the Utah "earthquake lady" came and spoke at our stake. I feel a little more ready, but I hope we are never going to need it.

One of the things we did was to move our water storage and 72 hour kits out of our basement and into our garage so that they are easily accessible. We purchased 2- 5 gallon bucket toilets with garbages bags and kitty litter. It is exciting, I know, but I still feel better. My sister said that she needs to store hundreds of pounds of kitty litter for her big family. I thought about giving one of these toilets as a bridal shower gift . . . it would have been memorable.

Like I said before, it is a start. Ryan called it our life insurance. Now we just have to get it canned after we go on our trip.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

High School Graduation

Tessa graduated from Mt. View High School in Mesa, AZ on May 22nd. It was memorable. It had been raining off and on all day and the higher powers were talking of separating the class into two groups to hold it indoors. The 803 graduates didn't want to be separated, so many sent texts to the head of the school board and said, "We are the class of 2008. We started together and we will end together. . ." It was held outside in the rain. We had a wool blanket and an umbrella, and it was still pretty miserable. I was happy that they let them graduate together. It would have been sad for them to not see 1/2 of their classmates and friends walk. Tessa thought it was neat. It was 52* when we drove away.
Tess was so sad to graduate. It meant that she had to come back to Utah and not be where her heart is, but many of her friends are already leaving, going in all the directions that kids go when they graduate.
I remember being so sad when I graduated 26 years ago. I loved high school, and all my friends. There were many that I have never seen again. There are a couple that I saw once and then learned of their deaths years later when I was hoping to see them at the next reunion. Life really does change so much after high school.
I really enjoy my high school reunions, or seeing old friends from that time of my life. Something about being with them makes me feel young and invincible again. I usually end up laughing and feeling carefree, and forgetting I'm an adult. I don't know if others have that same experience, but I look forward to it every 5 years. I hope it is the same until I'm 70+.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Singing in the Tabernacle

As some of you may have read already, April and I sang in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle with composer and conductor, Rob Gardner in his work of Joseph Smith the Prophet this weekend. It was a wonderful experience. We sang for the prophet on Friday night and got a standing ovation.
Another fun part of the experience was singing all the professional singers (which we are not, but April has high aspirations to be). Jordan Bluth was one of the soloists. I love his cd! April laughed at me because I couldn't wait to meet him. She rolled her eyes and told me that I was silly. I made her come with me as moral support and introduced her and myself. He shook both of our hands, as I told him that I had to meet him because he was my new favorite tenor, even over Josh Groban. He said, "wow," and then put his hand on my shoulder, smiling as he left, having to run because Rob called for all the soloists to meet with him right then. April clearly was reveling in what she thought should be my great embarrassment. I wasn't embarrassed. I joked that I would never wash my right hand or shoulder again. He is rather dashing, and what a voice!

Rob Gardner is such a gifted man, too. He is truly a genius. This is the third time in five years that I have performed with him in the Spire Chorus. It is wonderful that it is a volunteer choir, because I may have been too chicken to audition if it had been otherwise. But most of the volunteers are incredibly talented singers.

April and Terry with Rob

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Lost 4 Pounds in Two Weeks

I am so excited. I got on the scales and was down another 2 pounds. I have struggled at this weight for the last year. At one point, I lost six pounds (last October) after counting calories for three weeks and kept if off until January when I put 8 back on even though I was exercising very regularly. So I had almost resigned myself that I was going to stay at this weight. I joked that if I had lived during the Renaissance my beautiful body would be preserved in the art of the time. I would be included in Michael Angelo's murals.
But after everything I've been doing since my 44th birthday, I've lost 4 pounds! I don't have the cravings for the carbs! It is terrific! I just had to share. I only want to lose 11 more to be at my pre-Katrina weight. Sweet!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Emotional Freedom Technique

EFT is a relatively new therapy that involves tapping on acupuncture sights for emotional issues of all kinds. When I was searching for something to help my hormone problems I linked to it through the Women to Women website. Since finding out about it, I had two sessions with Dr. Arden Compton at Abundant Health in Brigham City. I was quite skeptical at first, but I've found many testimonials from people that have had great success with it. I even found that the Discovery Channel did a show on using EFT for weight-loss. Well known Dr. Andrew Weil of University of Arizona uses a similar method for food cravings.

Because I spilled my guts in my last post about my depression this spring, I want everyone to know I feel incredibly better than I did one month ago. I don't know if it is the EFT, the better diet, the more consistent exercise, the new vitamins that I'm on, the fact that it is spring and there is more sunlight, or all of the above. Monday morning I found myself looking forward to work, to singing in Joseph Smith the Prophet,
and to starting school in the fall. I was thinking about all the possibilities for my future and felt so excited about life! I stopped, amazed. I realized that I hadn't felt that positive about things in a balanced and whole way for two and a half years, since my personal Katrina (which happened the very same week).

I have tapped through a few of my issues since Saturday. It has been surprising where the sessions have led. I didn't realize that I have felt so inferior to a particular person in my life. I know that this person doesn't feel that I am inferior to them, but that it is my own issue. It is very interesting, to say the least. I am still skeptical, but not as much as I was because of the way I feel. I feel lighter, more capable than I have in so long. I don't know quite what to think. Even if it is placebo, I don't care because I feel better this week. And it is the week, if you know what I mean.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Depression and Swine Hormones

The last few months I've been experiencing some hormonal and seasonal related depression. I usually have kept this at bay with consistent exercise, good vitamins and amino acids, and learning something that I'm excited about.

I was doing well until the first of February when I cut the fleshy tip of my thumb off and started working again. That was the week. I dragged myself to our sales training for three days. I didn't want to be there! I wanted to be at the gym, dancing. I wanted to be at school finishing my open-enrollment computer class, and enrolled in school for fall. I wanted to be anywhere, but there. My thumb was hurting so I couldn't exercise even if I wanted to. I had to be at the sales training. I had committed to working another season. It is a great job, and I know it, so I felt guilty. My boss, (my sister) knew that I was thinking about more schooling and told me that I wasn't obligated to work for her. But I had committed, not only to her and my sales manager, but to my husband and myself. And it kept snowing and snowing and snowing. It all seemed to go downhill from there.

I took my computer test on Microsoft Word as soon as sales training was over, and set school aside until June when our sales campaign is over. But it seemed I had a mental block. The phone at work weighed a hundred pounds. I was having anxiety and guilt. But I started. Slowly. I called my best clients, and had some success. I remembered that I really like the people with whom I work. I was feeling somewhat better, but still dragging. My negative thoughts were getting the best of me. My heart wasn't in it. It felt as if I were carrying 100 lbs to work each day. I spent hours reorganizing my contracts, and checking my email (OK, it wasn't really hours). It kept ringing in my head, "don't want to be here, not a career, can't do it, heart's not in it, have to do it, have to do it, I'm committed, I'm not a flake," and so it went for a couple of weeks.

My emotions were right on the surface. I cried at work, about work. (I can honestly say that that is a first!) I had a confrontation with my sales manager (who is not my sister) about the fact that he didn't give me any of the good sales leads.

Description of said confrontation:
Me, smiling, and arrogant, as I handed him a renewed contract, "My last client just increased his ad by $2000!"
"That is great, kid!" looking at my contract.
"Do you know how I got that client last year?" I said, proudly. "I got it from the white lead sheets, which I didn't get any of this year."
"How would you know that?" he said, surprised, and puzzled.
"I saw that the others had them and I didn't. When did you hand them out? Were you thinking that I didn't deserve any because I am only part-time and in school, too?"
He paused, thinking, "I honestly don't remember, but it could have been something like that. I did it at the beginning of the campaign. Did you lose sleep over it?"
"No, I just was wondering how you expect me to increase my sales without any good leads." It was matter of fact. I didn't feel emotional. I felt better. It was out in the open. I was part-time. It isn't my career of choice. I really didn't want more work, more hours. The weight had lifted. (I know what you are thinking, big, scary confrontation, NOT!)
I remembered, I like my job. I'm good at it! I am an asset to my sister's company, if only for one more season, or if I decide to stay for many. I can pick away at my other dream education in the summer and fall, and enjoy the journey. The guilt is gone! I am committed for this season, and it is good.

Work has been so much better. Life has been better . . . except when those swine horrormones change. I have violent, scary nightmares for a couple nights around day 14, and feel withdrawn, sluggish, and worthless days 20-25, and then achy for days 1-3. In March on day 14 I was crying, feeling hopeless, and in the depths of despair and everything was GOOD! Logically, I knew it was good. I could spend days, even weeks counting my blessings. I was exercising some, but not enough and it was still cold, overcast and snowing. I knew I had to do something! In a 24 day cycle I had 11 days that I felt off! That is almost half of month feeling yucky!

I googled PMS and found Dr. Northrup's women to women website. I ordered her wellness program for my birthday. I started exercising 4 days a week. I have started a better diet, lower in refined carbs. I started taking the prescription of Prometrium (bio-identical progesterone) that my doctor prescribed in November that I had only tried for 2 months. I linked over to a website on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) that Dr. Northrup's site said can help with health issues. I called Arden Compton, ND and set up an appointment. (more on this later)

My last cycle was much better. I'm excited about life again.