Friday, December 31, 2010


"We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential." ~Ellen Goodman

"May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions." ~Joey Adams

I still can't believe that another year has passed and tomorrow I will have to fill in several checks with the year 2011, until I get used to the new year.  As usual my husband and I are going to try and lose weight, I already have been exercising, walking on the ole "dreadmill."  Now if I can get the diet thing going, I will be doing good.

This evening we invited my son and his family to go to Mesquite and eat dinner at Los Lupies.  Merritt and Mirissa met us there.  Sierra went to a New Years party and then was going to the dance at our church.  It is still hard to believe how fast she is growing.  She has grown into a beautiful young lady. 

We enjoyed dinner, and conversation with each other.  Then off to Walmart to do a little shopping.  We can't go to Mesquite without stopping at Walmart.  I was out of Mouse and my hair hasn't been looking too good. Guess, what we bought?  Rocky Road Ice cream.  Our last big bing of the year.  I was given some hot fudge topping for Christmas and I want to try it out.  Good excuse!
Well, that is how we usually spend New Years, going out to dinner, and then coming home before all the drunks hit the road.  I will be going to bed before the new year comes in.  So I will watch New York's celebration.  Whoops! it is going on right now.  So Happy New Year to my friends and family, and good night.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve Party 2010

I cooked a Christmas Eve dinner and while I was cooking we sang Christmas carols.  A couple of months ago, I bought two sets of Christmas sing along disks.  So I played one of them and handed out the song books that came with them.  Bret, Laura, Sierra, Sherry and I were singing our hearts out as I finished cooking dinner.
Frank came in later and joined in the fun.
I cooked a pork loin, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and Sherry helped me put together a salad bar.  We had just started to eat when Merritt showed up and headed to the kitchen to get his plate full of food.  Then Jason, Renee and Rozlynn came later from the Ramos Christmas party.  They were too full to eat anything, but Renee made her a big salad.      
Rozlynn became the center of attention.  She is walking and looks so tiny.  Renee changed her from her pretty red Christmas dress and put on this cute fleece outfit. 

Of course I had to pick her up and play with her.  I was trying to get her to do her oval mouth Ohhhh thing that she does.  Guess Grandma was the only one doing it.

Oh! Oh! I am doing the Luker nose pose

Mommy had put a pretty bow in her hair and she looked like a little Christmas doll.  After dinner we were all stuffed and sat around and visited.  Well, they visited and Frank & I cleaned up the dinner mess.  Then we gathered around in the family room and decided on how to play the White Elephant game, everyone had different ways of doing it.  We finally decided on how to play it and had a lot of fun opening presents that soon were taken by someone else.  Then I gave out the few gifts that I had for everyone and had them open them.  We were just supposed to have the White elephant gift exchange, but I had to buy a few small gifts for the family.  I had recorded one of those cute books that you get from Hallmark for Rozlynn and it wasn't working at first.  I was bummed, then Jason got it to work.  We had a lot of fun, eating, visiting and laughing.    
I didn't take many pictures as I was busy cooking, and then cleaning up afterwards, but Sierra took some really nice ones with her camera and I think I can use her memory card and download the pictures to my computer.  So I will try and do another posting with her pictures.

Friday, December 24, 2010


I would like to wish all my family and friends a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I have been preparing my Christmas Eve dinner for my family.  We are going to have an Elephant Gift party tonight, and it should be fun. 

I am cooking a pork loin, and will serve mashed potatoes, gravy, salad bar, and corn.  I made pumpkin pies yesterday and a cherry cheese pie for desert.  I haven't made pumpkin pie in a long time, so I hope they will be good.  I used to make everything from scratch, even pumpkin pie.  I don't have the energy to do that any more.  So I will be positng pictures of our party soon.

Boys will be Boys

 Last week my phone rang and it was my neighbor. She had been over and had rang my door bell and no answer.  I guess I was in the back room and didn't hear it ring.  She said she would be right over.  When I opened the door her young son was with her and I could tell that something was wrong.  She asked me if I had seen any little boys peering over my fence.  I looked back at her and was puzzled at the comment, and replied no.  Any way she told Cody to tell me what they had been doing and Cody busted out in tears and was sobbing.  I couldn't understand him because he was crying so hard.  So I had to ask his Mom to explain what Cody was saying.  I guess he and his friends noticed that there were a lot of birds flying into my yard, so they decided to get their BB guns and try and shoot birds.  Cody didn't have a BB gun, but was with them so he was a part of the gang.

I was crying with him.  I felt so bad for him.  I told him and his Mom that "Boys will be Boys."  I went on to tell them that my sons  had gotten into trouble a long time ago shooting their guns at a neighbor's old car.  I gave Cody a hug and told him I was sorry.  Maybe I should have said something different and after thinking about it, I should have told him that if the boys were shooting in to my back yard.  They were shooting towards our fifth wheel travel trailer, and our home, and they were lucky that they didn't shoot a window out or damage our trailer.  But tender hearted me, was sympathetic and hugged Cody and said "I am sorry."  Then I thanked him for telling me what he had done.  He was the only boy who came an apologized and he didn't even have a BB gun. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Feeding the Hawk

 Frank and I feed a variety of birds in our back yard.  The other morning as I opened the bedroom blinds I noticed a hawk eating one of those birds.  It made me feel sad.  It is hard to watch the cruelty of Mother Nature.  I know that it is a way of keeping the bird numbers in control, but it is still hard to watch.

The very next morning when I opened our dining room blinds there he was again having breakfast.  It made me realize that I was giving him a gourmet variety of birds.  There are Quail, dove, blackbirds, small birds, and big birds.  I am making the hawk's hunting easy picking.   It made me feel a little sad and I thought maybe I should stop feeding the birds for a while so they won't come to my yard to eat.

I also noticed another smaller hawk coming to have breakfast.  I am thinking the smaller one is a female, and the bigger one is a male.  He must have given her the message "Come with me and I will show you a feast." Well it has been raining cats and dogs the past few days and we haven't been putting seed out for the birds, but we noticed today in the heavy rain the birds still came to feed.  I haven't seen the hawk, but I know he will be back for breakfast, and bringing his friend.  As I watched the smaller hawk, she flew into the air and just missed a dove.  A feather floated down from the sky so I know it was a very close encounter for the dove. 

It is so entertaining to watch the birds come in to feed, and especially the quail after they have hatched out their babies.  They bring them to eat and it is fascinating to see them come into the yard.  The males are very protective of their little ones.  The male is the first one to jump on the fence and gives the signal that it is safe to come into the yard. They run so fast and very seldom fly.   So now I have to make a decision, do I continue to feed the birds or do I stop so the hawk has to work for his food? 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Doctor's Visit - Good News

We went into Vegas last Tuesday the 14th which is my grand daughter Renee's birthday.  We took Frank's son and daughter out to dinner for our annual Christmas dinner.  We went to Mimi's and had a wonderful dinner there.  We had a nice visit with Chip and Robin and it was great to see them.  We left with a promise to try and see them more often. 
Jason & Roz

After dinner we went to Renee and Jason's so I could give Renee her birthday gift.  Sherry came after work, and we had a nice visit with them.  Roz was getting sleepy by the time we got there, so I didn't get to play with her.  She is really walking good now, and it still is a surprise to see her walking all over the place.  She is getting good enough at walking that she is doing more walking than crawling.  She is so dang cute, you just want to pick her up and love on her. 

We spent the night at Sherry's condo, and the next day was Frank's appointment with Dr. Duke his back surgeon.  We were expecting the worse and instead had a pleasant surprise as Dr. Duke went through the X-Ray disk with us.  He showed us that Frank's area of surgery was healing, and in fact gave Frank permission to go ahead and start to golf again.  That made Frank's day as he has been patiently waiting to golf again.  Guess where he went this morning?  You guessed it.  He went to the park and golfed with one of the old farts he used to golf with.  By the way, Dr. Duke wished us Happy Holidays and we came back with Merry Christmas, he then replied Merry Christmas back to us.

We did find out that the pain pills Frank is taking, are causing a lot of his pain problems.  Kind of like a rebound situation, but mostly it is blocking his body's mechanism that controls pain.  So he was told to get off from the medication in a months time.  Frank has already gone down to a lower dosage and has been cutting the pills in half, but now he will have to gradually keep taking less and less each day. 

The doctor also showed us all the arthritis and spurs in his spine, which is contributing to his back pain.  We both know that at our age we will never be free of arthritis pain.  Just part of the growing old thing. DARN!!!  I am just happy that Frank's surgery area is fusing and healing.  So maybe we will be able to take off with our fifth wheel next summer.  We are planning on a trial trip in the spring.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day - My Brother's Death - 1986

A Young Bobby and his wife Artelle

Twenty four years ago on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7th, my brother passed away from a self inflicted gun shot wound.  I will always remember that day and the phone call from my brother Allen.  It was such a shock.  I tried to fly to Salt Lake City to see him before they pulled the plug on him, but it didn't work out. As I was waiting in the ticket line a friend let me know that he had passed away so Frank and I drove up to Salt Lake for the funeral the next day.

Bobby was a real character, but they say that funny people sometimes have sadness in them.  The last time I saw him, I sensed that something was terribly wrong and said something like, "Don't you even think about doing something stupid like Chris did."  Chris was our cousin and he and Bobby grew up together.  After being in Vietnam, Chris was messed up, and he eventually committed suicide.  I really didn't think my brother would do the same thing.

Bobby also was drafted into the Vietnam war, and when he was in training they would hand him a gun, and he would hand it right back.  They finally gave up and made him a Medic, and that is how he became a nurse.  He was allowed to get out of the service on a hardship discharge when my Mom passed away, and he took on the responsibility of raising my two brothers.

Bobby was so talented in many ways, he was a male nurse, a cartoon artist, a husband and a father.  We had a messed up alcoholic mother and father and I am sure this contributed to his problems in life as it affected all of us kids in the family in one way or another.  One of the memories of him is the story he told me of taking meds to all of his patients on roller skates.  His patients loved this, but he got time off from work for this incident.  He was always doing crazy things and making people laugh.

He drew cartoon characters of us and I have a file folder full of them.  He made extra money at Christmas by doing Christmas cartoon type paintings on windows, homes and businesses. 

This painting was done by Bobby and was on the wall of his apartment in Salt Lake at the time of his death.  We feel he was telling us of his death as he is sitting in the clouds.  He loved clowns and I think this is a self painting of himself.  "All Good Clowns go to Heaven."
This is one of the many times he came to see me in Nevada.  He brought his kids and the little red head is Corby his daughter.  My grand daughter Renee is in the background.  He was doing his usual thing drawing cartoon characters of our family.  I loved him very much and I miss him.

Monday, December 6, 2010


It's CHRISTmas...not X-mas!!! Don't remove Christ from HIS birthday!!! Post this if you agree...Please don't X out the Lord!!!!! (I'd love to see this on every one's wall!!!) Christ is the reason for the season

This was on facebook and it made me think of Aunt Bevy.  She hated it when anyone used Xmas and promptly corrected me a long time ago when I used it in a letter to her.  So from then on, I made sure I used Christmas in letter writing, etc.  Also I have decided if any clerk in a store says Happy Holidays to me, I will return with a Merry Christmas back to them. 
That is the big problem in the world today, people are taking our Savior and God out of our prayers in schools, trying to take him out of the government, etc. ....and look where we are in the world today.  Hopefully it will humble us all and make us turn our hearts and prayers back to God.  Just a thought for this Christmas season.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winter is here

When Frank heard on the news that it was going to freeze he went out and picked some of our roses and put them in a vase.  A couple of them were the ones that have a wonderful rose scent to them.  The aroma of roses filled our kitchen area for a while.  It was really cold for a few days, freezing cold.  That is all it took was one night of freezing and all the leaves have turned brown and will be falling off from the trees soon.  I don't mind the cold at all after the hot summer we had.  I can throw on a sweat shirt, or cover up in a blanket, where as in the summer it is hard to cool down. 

We have been on the go again.  Friday we went to Mesquite and Frank had a CT Scan of his back.  On the 15th he will be seeing Dr. Duke who will look at the X-Rays and determine how his back is doing.  Frank feels that it isn't healing the way it should.  Guess we will find out next Wednesday. 

We went to St. George last Monday so Frank could get his Sleep Apnea Appliance.  The bottom piece isn't fitting right and is slipping off from his teeth, so I am sure when we go over for his follow up appointment Tuesday, they will have to have a new one made again.  This is his second one.  It definitely helps, and he has been sleeping better and the best part is no snoring.  That helps me to sleep better too. Yea!!!!

We had a hair day with Renee last Wednesday and spent the night with Sherry.  I was disappointed as I didn't get to see Rozlynn at the beauty shop as Renee takes her to a day care.  Renee and Jason surprised us later that evening and brought Rozlynn to Sherry's condo.  She is so dang cute and we had some fun with her. Rozlynn started walking on her birthday so that was a surprise for us.  She looks so tiny to be walking.  She can crawl faster than she can walk, so she drops down to crawl when she wants to go really fast.  I also had fun playing with Ozzie, Sherry's cat. 

Thursday morning on her way to work, Sherry dropped me off at the nail salon and I treated myself to a pedicure. Frank picked me up and we ate at Red Lobster, and then went to the Galleria Mall to do some Christmas shopping.  I was looking for a sweater, but couldn't find one, so we headed for home as I ended up being exhausted.  The story of my life.  Exhaustion is my friend.  One that I really don't want. I have been feeling rotten and need to go back to my doctor and have an A1C test done.  I know I need to stick to a low carb diet. How hard is that during the holidays?!! I am walking on my "dreadmill" every day that I can.  So at least I am doing that.  I have been feeling dizzy, in fact at church today I almost fell.  I feel like I am drunk, and anyone watching me may think I am.  LOL

Thanksgiving - Christmas Decorations

We had Thanksgiving dinner at Bret and Laura's home.  It was just the four of us as Sierra was sick and stayed in her bedroom until we were through eating and then she came out to eat.  It was kind of nice being small, no stress, and kind of quiet, until Bret told a joke and we all laughed our heads off.  As soon as we started to eat Bret was doing his usual ummmmmm as he was eating. Something he does when he is enjoying what ever he is eating.  Laura sets a beautiful table, and everything was yummy!!!!!

Bret carved the turkey breast.  We cook turkey breast in the crock pot and it is always moist and the gravy from it is the best.  Bret and I are gravy lovers and I put it over my turkey, dressing, and of course potatoes.  We had the works, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, yams, rolls, and of course cranberry sauce.  Yum!!  Then home made pumpkin pie for desert.  I made some cherry cheese pies, Frank's favorite. Oh and I made a big salad bar. Laura cooked the whole dinner.  Thanks Laura!!!!

Frank waiting for dinner

Laura all finished eating

We were all stuffed but still had some pumpkin pie.  We sat around for a while and visited.  It was a great day at the Staleys.  Merritt and Marissa came after we were finished eating and filled their plates and heated them in the microwave.  They visited a while and then headed over to Mesquite to visit Marissa's family and have dinner with them.  Hopefully it was later as they had to be stuffed.  Thanks Bret and Laura for a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Everything was great!!!!!


Santa's Land

Santa waves as people drive by.  The kids in the neighborhood have their parents drive by our house so they can see Santa.  Our whole corner is all lite up as our neighbors across the street have their place all decorated too.  In fact they have a lot more lights than we do.  Every one teases us asking us if we are trying to keep up with them, and we just say "There is no way we can keep up with them."
Newly Painted Nativity
Frank repaired some of the broken pieces in our nativity and he decided to paint them in colors as they were all grey.  It really brightened it up.  I helped paint a couple of pieces.

Santa Clause

I haven't been feeling too well, so I didn't put many decorations up in the house.  This is one of my favorites.  Bert and Ernie were part of a McDonald meal that I bought for Garen's kids a long time ago when I was baby sitting them in Kingman, AZ  It makes me think of them as they gave them to me.  Maybe they thought they were too old for them.  I put up my slim tree, and bought some new decorations for it.  I bought some unbreakable balls as last year the ones I dropped broke in a million pieces on my tile floor.  I was cleaning up glass way after the holidays.

This is a little tree that Merritt and Sierra gave me a couple of years ago.  They wrote cute things to me on those little tags you see hanging from the tree.  It is really special to me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sad Day Today

We are getting ready to go in to Vegas for my grand daughter's father in law's funeral.  I really don't like to go to funerals, but then who does.   Funerals always remind me of my first husbands death and how hard that was to go through. We felt we needed to support Jason and Renee at this sad time in their lives.  So sad, he was only 52 years old.

On another note I forgot to post some pictures of a project that Frank and I did a few weeks ago. 
I had been wanting to paint some accent walls for quite some time now and we finally did it.  Frank did most of the painting.  I painted below our bar around the edges and Frank painted the rest.  This is an arch in our kitchen and bar wall.
Frank also painted the arch that leads to our entry way out of our living area.  It really did make a huge difference and warmed the room up.  It was quite a chore as the first paint was entirely the wrong color and had way too much purple in it.  Paint sure is tricky and we have had our share of problems with the wrong colors.  I think I am color blind.  So this turned out to be a bigger project than planned.  An unplanned trip to Vegas to Home Depot to pick out another color.  Finally we ended up with what we wanted in the first place, but Frank had to paint everything twice.  He was suffering for several days afterwards. Actually, after I painted the trim, etc. I was hurting too.  Old age really does suck!!  He really can't do much without it hurting his back.  Now we have to get ready to decorate our home for the holidays. The outside is the big job that only Frank can do.  I'm not much help in that department. I can't believe that it is that time of year again.  Sometimes I just want to bag the holidays and escape someplace. LOL

Sunday, November 21, 2010

More Catching up

When I saw this cute little boy and girl garden decorations at the Pomegranate Festival, I just had to have them.  Frank is going to move them to a different spot as the little dog and cat that goes with them doesn't show up very well.  I added this picture to this blog as I didn't get it on the last one.  How many of us have seen little boys doing this very thing.  Peeing outside.  I saw a neighbor's boy doing just that a few months ago, and I had a good laugh. 

When we were living in a small house with only one bathroom and I had three girls, and two boys all getting ready for school at the same time.  The boys would get impatient waiting for the girls to get out of the bathroom, and would go out on the back porch and you guessed it.  Pee off the edge of the porch.  Of course I didn't know about it, but I can't blame them as there is nothing worse than having to hold it in.

BAD NEWS:  Well on November 11, my granddaughter's father in law passed away.  He had stomach cancer, and I am not sure exactly when he was diagnosed with it, but it has only been a few months.  He quit his Chemo and they had hospice come in to the home to take care of him.  He was only 52 years old, and in my opinion was way too young to die, but God doesn't take just old people.  I know Jason and Renee will miss him as they spent a lot of time with him.  Jason and his Dad played guitars together, watched football games, and family dinners were shared too.  When we had Thanksgiving last year with Jason & Renee, Rick was there along with his family, and never would I have imagined that I would be going to his funeral almost a year later.  My heart and prayers are with the family.

MORE NEWS:  I called and talked to my cousin Penny a few days ago, as I hadn't heard anything about BJ who I thought had been diagnosed with cancer also.  He is the 22 year old cousin I blogged about a while back.  Penny told me the doctors diagnosed him with Mono, however Penny still isn't quite comfortable with that diagnoses.  I think he should still be checked out by an oncologist as he was referred to one.  I guess time will tell, and I hope and pray that Mono is what he does have. 

Today was our Primary Children's program at church.  It was so cute watching the kids sing, and say their parts.  It brought back a lot of memories of when I was in the Primary and was President for quite a few years, so I was in charge of these programs, and today it made me appreciate those primary workers who had to work with the kids to put on this program, as I know how much work goes into them.

As I was sitting there I was watching a mother sitting in front of me scratching her son's back.  It brought back memories of my son Garen, the estranged one, when he was small.  He would lay over in my lap and ask me to tickle his back, and arms.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Never then would I have guessed that he would not be in my life in the future.  Sad times.  I saw a picture of Garen's son Zach in our little paper and it was like looking at Garen.  I couldn't believe how much he has changed in his looks.  I never used to think he looked like his Dad.  I saw a picture of Mackenzey that Sierra took at a Homecoming parade and I didn't even recognize her.  I could pass my grand kids on the street and not even know them.  How sad is that!!!!

Catching up Again

It's been quite some time since I have blogged so I am way behind.  So here I go trying to catch up.  First of all I want to post some pictures of Rozlynn.  We went for our monthly hair cuts last month and I took these pictures.

I captured Rozlynn doing the Patty Cake thing.  I almost forgot how it went, it has been so long since we have had a baby in the family. 
As we were waiting at the beauty shop for Renee I was looking over the wall on the second floor where Renee's shop is and I saw her taking Rozlynn out of the car and putting her into her stroller.  I could see this cute bow in her dark hair.  She looked like a baby doll.  In this picture she is chewing on her new teeth.  She is getting some more new ones.

In this picture you can see her new teeth two on the top and two on the bottom.  Grandpa got her to laugh.  I was having a lot of fun with her on the floor.  She is such a cutie.  Rozlynn turned 1 year on the 18th of Nov.

Later in the day we met at the Clark County Fairgrounds to check out the Pomegranate Festival.  Grandma Sherry had a lot of fun buying more hair bows for Rozlynn, a wooden puzzle in Rozlynn's name, and some other stuff.  We had some corn dogs that were too salty, should have gone for the Burritos.  So Rozlynn was thirsty and Grandma Sherry gave her some lemonade through a straw.   

Frank & I bought the cutest garden decorations, and I bought what I thought was Pomegranate Jelly, but ended up with syrup.  Oh well, it is good on pancakes.  I will have to see if my friend Kathy has any Jelly left over from the sale.  It was fun to stroll through and see all the exhibits and art work.  I have to limit myself as to what I buy as there are so many wonderful things for sale.  They had entertainment too, but we didn't stay to watch any of it as Frank was hurting from walking.  So we headed home.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bad News

We have been anxiously waitng for the CT-Scan results that was done on BJ, grandson of my Cousin Penny, and he is Lisa's son.  He had swollen lymphmodes in his stomach.  Here is what his Mom posted on facebook today.

"Bj is being referred to an oncologist for more testing, nothing to stress out about quite yet but still are concerned, he has enlarged lymph nodes, enlarged spleen, and other symptoms to not completely rule out lymphoma, but in early enough stage that we wait have more scans and if gets worse then he will go through a bone marrow test, so still no real answers yet, we pray, don't stress and be patient!"

BJ is only 22, and just recently got engaged.  He served a two year mission and his life is just beginning.  It literally makes me sick to my stomach that this has happened to him.  His Mom is going to have a baby girl soon, and has had her trials with the pregnancy.  Now this has hit the family like a bomb shell.  There have been so many prayers in BJ's behalf and still many more going on.  So we all have to keep the faith going, and hope and pray that the cancer has been caught in it's early stages, and can be cured.  I know he will have to go through some tough times with treatments.  I still can't believe all the cancer in our family and friends.  Something is going on with the environment, eating habits, etc.  Way too many people being diagnosed with cancer these days.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Catching Up

Not too much has been going on since we went to Utah for my family reunion.  We went to St. George last Friday and Saturday.  I went to a healer to see if he could help me.  When he put his hands over my stomach area I definitely felt something going on.  It felt like a rumbling was starting, and then it felt like something was running through that area, like water running in a creek.  It didn't start out very well, as there had been a lack of communication's between his wife and him as there had been a cancellation and she called me to see if I wanted to take it.  So as we were waiting for what we thought was too long of a time, the healer came out and it appeared that he was going home.  He spotted us and asked if we were there to see him.  So any way, to cut a long story short, he took us back to his room and he didn't explain anything, and just asked me what my health problems were and then proceeded to put his hands in the area of problems.  I doubt I will be going back. 

I did this out of desperation as I don't seem to get any answerer's from my doctors.  Except diet, and exercise. Diabetes takes all the life out of me, and fatigue is my constant companion, and just not feeling well in general.  Frank wasn't impressed at all, I could read his mind.  He was thinking "Quack".  I don't think so, but felt he should have taken some time to explain things to me.  So yes, I was disappointed in the whole thing.  Several people from our valley have gone to him and he has really helped them.

I have been faithfully walking on my "dreadmill" and have a stack of old VHS movie tapes that I have watched while walking.  I am wearing pants that I couldn't wear a while back, but I don't think I have lost any weight, I guess inches are a good thing.  I really need to watch my diet better and eat more healthy by adding more vegetables. I think my carbs are getting out of hand. It is soooo hard is all I can say.  If I had one wish, I would wish for a special dietitian to cook all my meals for me, snacks included.

Last Saturday we drove back over to St. George and went to our hotel and kicked back a while until it was time for me to go to my cousins baby shower.  Lisa is 43 years old and is having a third baby.  Her other children are all raised and in their 20's.  She has had a tough time with this pregnancy as she has had several health problems, one of the latest is gestational diabetes.  She will be having the baby early, and more than likely within the next few weeks.  I will be glad when it is over for her and her beautiful baby girl Cienna arrives. 

The baby shower was really nice and a lite dinner of soup and salad, and rolls were served.  It was a lot of work for Grandma Penny mother of Lisa, and she said that would be the last party she does.  She was worn out.  Her sister, Lorri helped and never stopped the whole time we were there.  I helped clean up a little as I was feeling sorry for them. Lisa got a lot of nice things for the baby. I was so exhausted that I didn't even feel like taking pictures and there was a beautiful cake I would have liked to have a picture of.  I am just learning how to use my new camera, and that didn't help matters.

Yesterday as I was cleaning and dusting, my attention was drawn to a picture of Merritt my grandson, and I thought to myself, "I haven't seen him nor heard from him in quite a long time, maybe I won't hear from him anymore."  So what happens last night as we were just finishing up dinner, I received a phone call from him, and it made my day.  We chit chatted about how things were going in his life as far as work, school, etc.  He finally got a car, and I was so glad as he was riding the bus back and forth to work, and now college is added to his agenda.  A while back the bus he was riding was shot at, and that made me know how unsafe Vegas is and unsafe the bus ride and waiting for the bus could be.  So a car for him is a good thing and makes me feel a whole lot better.  I am really proud of him for working hard, and getting into college, where his goal is to become a doctor.  So keep up the good work Merritt.  I love you bunches!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Family Reunion - Tife Ranch

Tife Ranch Lodge

Allen- Slide Show
 We left for Utah last Friday October 8th for a family reunion in Morgan, Utah at the Tife Ranch.  My brother Allen had been telling me about the Ranch for quite some time.  Robert and his wife Ange are the owners of the ranch.  Robert and Allen served in the Great Lakes Mission back in the 70's.    Robert was the owner of  the Robert's Craft stores in Utah, until  he sold out the franchise a while back. The top picture is Robert and Ange's home, and they call it the lodge. If I am remembering right it is 15,000 sq. feet.  We stayed on the bottom floor of the home, and it was a full sized apartment and used by the owners as a family room.  We couldn't believe how beautiful it was.  It had a small kitchen, two big bedrooms, a full sized bathroom with granite counter tops and a family room with a huge TV in it.  Allen and his wife stayed in a bedroom upstairs next to Robert and Ange's bedroom.  It was hard for me to believe that they would share there home with complete strangers.  All we had to do was donate money to stay there.  The donations go to the different charities that Robert and Ange support. They do a lot of good things with their charities.

The ranch has a large pavilion and that is where we had the reunion.  Again we were amazed at how it was furnished.  Granite counter tops, an over sized stove, warming oven, huge gas grill, two stainless steel dishwashers, and two kitchen sinks, and a huge stainless steel refrigerator.  On the outside of the pavilion was two full sized bathrooms all tiled, granite tops, and a nice shower.  The bathrooms were off from a utility room with a big front load washer and dryer.  You would have to see it to believe all the deluxe furnishing. 

There were three cabins, if that is what you want to call them.  They were fully furnished to the max.  Just no running water.  There was another small pavilion that had bathrooms for the people staying in the cabins, and of course fully furnished. 

Allen gave a really neat slide show of the family genealogy and I learned things that I didn't know about our family.  It seemed like all we did was eat as Joyce and Allen did a pulled pork dinner Friday night for those of us that were there to spend the night.  Then Saturday morning they did breakfast of pancakes, eggs, omelets, bacon, sausage, and orange juice.  It was delicious.  Then for lunch Allen grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, and there was a potato salad that I had brought.  There was all the trimmings for the hamburgers along with a big green salad, and a fruit bowl.  No one left hungry.

Bret & Sierra
  I was disappointed that Laura and Sherry couldn't make it.  As usual things came up for several people and they couldn't make it.  Allen planned the reunion around a cousins schedule, and he ended up not being able to come with his family.  Then Joyce's brother and his family left early Saturday as they were given football tickets for the BYU game that day.  So the reunion ended up being small.  Bret and Sierra left right after we had lunch, as they had a long trip to make back to Overton.

It seemed like every time I looked in the kitchen, Joyce was working her hinny off.  I did help her clean up after breakfast.  I told her that I didn't ever want to see her work that hard at a reunion again, and that if we ever had another one, we should change it so no one had to work so hard.  She said that she had told Allen no more reunions, and  Allen agreed.  I don't blame them at all.  She is on Chemo treatments for lung cancer, and even though she was in between treatments, I feel that it was way too much work for her, and Allen too.  So I doubt there will be any more reunions, maybe just a family get together.

Uncle Don and his son Roger
Old Picture of Grandpa and Grandma Luker

Uncle Don & Frank

Sherry, her husband & Frank

 I was taking pictues and my sunglasses were in the way and as I was trying to put them on my head, I dropped my camera and it hit the hard cemet floor.  So I didn't get to take as many pictues as I wanted.  My camera was broken and had to be thrown away, but the memory card was okay.  I now have a new camera as I ordered one from Costco and it is similar to the one I had so I won't have to take a lot of time learning how to use it.  It does have some new features that I will have to learn how to use, like tagging pictues, and downloading right to my blog or to my facebook. 

It was nice to see my cousin Sherry and her husband. She had brought a family picture that was of her family with our grandpa and grandma Luker.  It was a much younger grandpa and grandma. Frank took a pictue of it with my camera. 
My Uncle Don came with his son Roger. Uncle Don is 88 years old and is senile.  I loved seeing him, and one time he broke out in a song we sing in our church.  "Give me some stout hearted men"  His last name is Stout.  He said his father used to sing that all the time. We got a kick out of it, and had a good laugh.
Joyce Luker in the kitchen

After we helped clean up the pavilion, we headed back to Salt Lake.  We drove over a beautiful mountain called East Canyon and enjoyed the scenery and fall leaves.  After we checked into our hotel room, we crashed for a while and then headed over to Allen and Joyce's home to take some things back to them that they didn't have room for in their car.  We visited for a while, and then headed back to our hotel for the night.  We left the next morning after having breakfast at The Cracker Barrel and had a nice trip home.
Ryan and Mellisa Luker

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good News Update

I have been sitting on pins and needles waiting for my follow up doctor's appointment after my CT-scan.  My appointment with Dr. Zinni was for 9 AM this morning in Mesquite so no sleeping in this morning.  I have been praying that I wouldn't have to have surgery so as I waited in the exam room for Dr. Zinni I prayed  again.  When doctor Zinni came in the first thing he said was that I didn't have a hernia much to his surprise and to mine as I had two doctors tell me I did have one.  He told me that it didn't show up on the scan, and that my pancreas, intestines, etc. looked good.  He told me he didn't know what the bulge was, and he would not do anything about it.  I was told to get back with him if it got bigger, or started to bother me.  I gave him a thumbs up and thanked him for the good news.  I got the results of my mammogram today in the mail and it was good too.  So I am a happy camper with all the good news, and now I think I am through with doctors until my next Diabetic check. All I can say is Yea!!!!!

I went to see Dr. Bret for a treatment this afternoon, as I have been hurting a lot the past two days.  I told him the results of the CT-scan, and he told me that maybe this all had something to do with my tummy tuck that I had several years ago and that maybe the muscle that was repaired had fallen apart with my weight gain.  So I am thinking that if I do have problems with it, I will go back to a plastic surgeon and get his opinion.  Also about six years ago I had a cyst on my stomach and the dermatologist I was going to removed it and some of the fluid blew out into the area of the cyst and Dr. Zinni has a theory that this infection caused a weakness in that area and helped cause the problem.  Oh well, I am just happy that I don't have to have surgery.

Tonight we took the missionaries out to dinner at the Scoop.  I told them that they could order anything they wanted and their faces lite up.  They ordered steak dinners. I had the grilled pork chop and it was really good.  It is so refreshing to visit with the missionaries as they have such a special spirit about them.  One of them quoted a scripture and now I wish I would have written it down as it really applied to what the world is going through now.  One missionary was from Chicago, and the other from Wisconsin.  We talked and ate dinner for over an hour and then they left to go visit a family.  All in all it was an enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Heat is ON & More Bad News

Frank took me to Mesquite today so I could have my mammogram.  I couldn't believe how hot it was for being the end of September.  On the way home our car thermometer read 109 and that is just unbelievable to me.  I don't ever remember the temperature being this hot this time of year.  So I believe in the Global Warming and wonder where it stops.  Is the earth going to burn up?  I am still waiting for the coolness of fall weather.  If I had my way, we would skip summer and just have fall and winter.

Yesterday, I had a fun afternoon with my daughter, as we went up to Moapa and visited with Jamie and her friend Kessa.  Kessa was making cupcakes and made a cream cheese frosting to go on them.  She passed around the beaters and we all had a lick.  Yummy, it was so good we didn't want to stop.  Kessa's baby even got in on the treat, but much to our surprise, she didn't seem to like it.  When we left Kessa loaded us up with some fresh peaches from Utah, and some garden tomatoes, and gave me some okra that I am going to cook tonight for dinner.  Frank will love that as he loves fried Okra.

When I got home, Frank was on the phone and then handed it to me and said it was for me.  It was my cousin Penny, and she had some bad news about her grandson BJ.  He has been having some stomach problems for quite a while now.  Penny made him an appointment with the doctor and the news didn't sound good after an X-Ray.  There are some growths like lymph nodes that are unusual in his stomach.  Monday, he will find out if it is cancer or something else.  So Penny was asking for our prayers.  So every time I think about it I shoot a prayer up to Heaven for our BJ.  He is just a kid in my eyes of maybe 22 or 23, and just met the love of his life. 

We have a friend in our church ward that was diagnosed with colon cancer and it has spread all through his body and he is terminal.  Frank took him into Vegas last Friday for a radiation treatment as they are trying to give him some more time on this earth with his family.  Then I have a younger friend that had to have both of her breast removed and is going through Chemo treatments, and then just today she blogged about a daughter in law that had a tumor removed from her neck and it has been deemed cancer.  I blogged about my Grand daughter Renee's Father in law having Stomach cancer and is living on borrowed time.  Wow! is this and epidemic or what?  Then I have another younger friend who has a very rare cancer tumor in his heart.  It is so rare that they don't even know what course of treatment to use.  He is terminal too. They are doing some radical radiation and Chemo on him and he has to be hospitalized during the treatment.  This is to try and give him some more time with his family.

Today as I was getting my mammogram, I was thinking what if they find a cancer tumor in me?  I know it is because of all of these people in my life who have cancer.  Tomorrow I go in for a CT-scan to have a hernia checked out, and I am thinking to myself this is how my son found out he had kidney cancer.  Wow! I have to stop thinking this way!  I will be glad to get the results of both x-rays.  Then I can breathe easier.  I have always said "Lord just give me a quick heart attack."  Well, I will blog the results of my x-rays when I get them.  I know I am just being paranoid.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Mom, Lenna Aileen Scoggins

My favorite picture of Mom
Mom & Dad
Mom holding me

Since Allen e-mailed me a few days ago reminding me of our Mother's death, she has been on my mind and I decided to dedicate a blog to her and my memories of her.

Mom was born in  Siler City, North Carolina.  She was the second child born to John Prichard Scoggins, and Cora Mae Smith.  Unfortunately her Mother passed away shortly after my Aunt Kay was born, leaving five children behind.  They were all shuffled around to different families and Mom being around nine years old went to live with her Grand Father Greenberry and his second wife Spicey Ann Stokes.  Spicey Ann was a very ambitious woman and expected my Mother to keep up with her, and according to Aunt Mary, was working my mother to death.  So Aunt Mary came to the rescue and took my Mother back to Salt Lake City to live with her. I think Mom had to be around eighteen or nineteen when this event happened.

I am not sure if it was when Mom lived with Aunt Mary or shortly after she married my Father, she had to have some kind of stomach surgery.  As told to me by Aunt Mary, the doctor had to take all of her insides out, and lay them on a table, so I am wondering if she had peritonitis from appendix that got infected. I know this sounds crazy having your insides taken out and laid on a table, but that is exactly what I remember Aunt Mary telling me. I don't remember Aunt Mary telling me what was wrong, or why they had to take her insides out. I am thinking it was her intestines.  She almost died, and the doctor told her to drink beer to regain her strength.  When I heard this I was so upset that a doctor would give this recommendation.

Mom met and married my Father and this is where my memories begin.  We lived in a home across from the Salt Lake City fairgrounds and I can remember Mom washing clothes in an old wringer type washer. I thought I was going to help her and got my arm caught in the wringer.  Things were good at this time, and I didn't find out what a horrible temper my Father had until I was around four.  He had always been good to me.  We used to go to the Great Salt Lake and one night on the way home after Dad had been drinking, he got into a confrontation with another driver.  He took us home and went back to fight the other man.  He came home with blood all over, and of course I was frightened and asked him if he was OK.  He smacked me and told me to get out of the bathroom where he was cleaning up. So thus began the life of being afraid of my Father.

I was an animal lover and would chase a dog or cat, and got lost a few times.  So Mom decided to tie me up to a clothes line with a rope tying it to my overall straps and  leaving a loop so that I could run up and down the length of the line.  I saw a dog, and ended up taking off my coveralls with the rope intact and took off following the dog.  Poor Mom was besides herself as they couldn't find me.  I can remember coming home in a police car.

My love for animals got me into trouble more than once.  I would practically drag a dog home and then beg to keep it.  Unfortunately for me the dog had an owner and had to be returned.  Another time when we were living in Rose Park, I was trying to save a bird that had fallen into the oil ditch across from our subdivision.  Instead of me saving the bird, I fell in to the ditch with the bird in my hand and we were both in trouble.  The bird of course died, and when I got home and Mom saw what I had done, she put me in the tub and I have never been scolded so harshly by her and scrubbed so hard in my life.  I know it must have scared her to death to think I could have drowned, or injured by the oil.

Mom was a beautiful Southern woman and had black hair and olive skin.  Later in years after being teased immensely from the kids at school about my freckles, I would look in the mirror and wonder why I couldn't have had my Mom's looks.  Family and friends loved Mom and when my cousins, would come over to our home they would head to the kitchen to see what good food Mom was cooking as she was always cooking something good. I can remember Larry, my first husband telling me I had to learn how to make gravy like my Mom's.  After many trials and failures I finally could make gravy like Mom's.

I can remember when we were living in the duplex, Mom played hop scotch, jump rope. and jacks with me, and on the nights that my Dad was at work on his two day trips with the U.P. Railroad, I would crawl in bed with her and we would listed to the radio programs like The Shadow Knows, Inter sanctum, and others.  I can remember playing outside and hearing Mom's voice calling me to come home to dinner.  I would come into a kitchen filled with wonderful aromas of her good Southern cooking. While living in the duplex, I got a new pair of roller skates, and Mom helped me learn how to skate.  When I got discouraged after falling so many times, she encouraged me to get up and try again  Soon I was skating around the Salt Lake City block we lived on.

Later when we moved to Rose Park, Mom planted a vegetable garden among her flower beds and this is when she did her best during the summer months working in her garden.  I remember taking the salt shaker out to the garden and finding the perfect tomato and eating it right there with the juice running down my chin.

I remember having talks with my Mom about this and that. When out of town family members came to visit I would sit on the stair case listening to them talk, and later as I grew into my teens, I would join in the conversation.  Unfortunately Mom had been drinking during all these years.  It started out as just social drinking with family and friends, then it escalated to full alcoholism.  When I was in Jr. high school and would walk home from the bus stop, I would never know what kind of condition I would find Mom in.  Like I said the summers were the best. A lot of times I would fine her in her rocking chair, drunk, and I always felt she was missing her North Carolina family.

Mom loved children, and especially babies.  She baby sat for a cousin, and also for my Aunt Marie.  Many times when I would get home from school, I would find her in her rocking chair rocking a baby to sleep. One of the babies she baby sat was my cousin Jimmy's daughter, and Mom would be so upset at the condition the baby would be in when she was brought back to her on Monday mornings.  The baby had diaper rash so bad it was bleeding, and Mom would get it all cleared up during the week, and have to start all over on Mondays.

Aunt Mary told me Mom had a boyfriend in North Carolina, and they were engaged. Mom lost her engagement ring in the sand at a beach.  I have often wondered if she had married that man, maybe her life would have been different?  I don't think she was happily married to my Dad, but she couldn't drive, no job, and had five children.  One time she left him because of a horrible beating. We moved in with my Aunt Mary, and I was never so happy only to come home from school one day to find Mom gone with my siblings.  Aunt Mary told me that I had to go back home.  I cried and cried and Aunt Mary had to console me.  I feel Mom was trapped and had no where to turn, so her bottle of booze became her escape from a painful life.  I loved her very much, but she became a child trapped in an adult body as the booze destroyed her brain cells.  So I lost her long before she passed away.  Mom I love you and forgive you and we will be together again some day not to far in the future.

Mom passed away from Cirrhosis of the liver when she was only 50 years old.