Friday, December 14, 2007

*I SHALL RETURN FOR YOU, MY LOVE, ON CHRISTMAS DAY*


These are song lyrics that only my sisters and I will know the true meaning. It's a secret. :) Also this photo has very special meaning to me. Here is a link if you want to hear the song, http://youtube.com/watch?v=CMFzQhR9dJw


A young gentleman came riding past
On a snow blue winters day
He asked to drink, by our fire,
And I was pleased to let him stay
He drank there quietly for a while,
Then he turned and said to me
Your eyes are green, like summer grass,
Your lips are red like a fresh cut rose,
Your hair is soft like an Irish stream
And your voice is filled with sweet beauty
And the last words I heard him say
Were I shall return, for you, my love, on Christmas day
The night will come but I wont sleep,
As I watch the stars that lead him,
I cannot place where he is,
But still my heart goes with him,
I’m savin all my Sunday clothes
For the day that I'll be leavin'
Father in heaven knows, my sister knows,
And my friends, they’re happy for me
And the priest he says, you should thank God,
For the blessing of such beauty,
And the last words I heard him say
Were I shall return for you, my love, on Christmas day
I shall return for you, my love, on Christmas day.
I SWEAR, I will return on Christmas day.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

*THE GOOSE IS GETTING FAT*

Cray-Pay and the other kitty'z are getting fat! I looked at them the other day and all of them are totally chunky. Their food has been rationed out now, and no more plumb pudding for them. I mean come on! Look at Cray'z double chin! haha I love these little rascal'z and all their fatness. :)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

*SUMIREGUSA* PART 2

I have always loved ENYA and it is rare to see a live performance from her other than her videos. I found this tonight and was happy to see her live AND also singing one of my favorite songs, "SUMIREGUSA."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWvQYPfZ7gA

Thursday, December 06, 2007

*SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE*






I haven't slept in several nights. It's been horrific and I've been in terrible pain. I leave my t.v. on with the music channels playing. I would try and rest and then get up for a few minutes. Everytime the lyrics from the song, "Silent night" would be playing...."Sleep in Heavenly Peace." It was painful to hear, because that's what I long for. It was almost as if the words were mocking me because I have tried every attempt to sleep.

I found this picture tonight called 'Gethsemane' by Carl Bloch. For some reason it reminded me of the situation I'm in and how I long for my rest.

Monday, November 26, 2007

*ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS*


I heard rustling in my Christmas tree yesterday and found Lily just kickin' it in there.

"If that Cat had nine lives...he just spent 'em all!!"
~Christmas Vacation

(Let's hope it doesn't come to that!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

*THE THREE WISE MEN...ER...WOMEN*









So my mom & my sisters decided to surprise me tonight by bringing me a Christmas tree and setting it up so it looked just my style. Glitter, Vintange, my photos, etc. They did it because they love me and they wanted to add some light to my house & heart. They did an amazing job and it's beautiful. Tonight they were the "Three Wise Women." Coming to a dark stable of sorts offering gifts to bless someone. That someone was me. How grateful am I? VERY.

(Even little Henley & Kaul came offering the gift of themselves. :)


"The highest form of wisdom is kindness"

Thursday, November 22, 2007

KNOWLEDGE IS NOT WISDOM


I wrote a blog about this once and I can't find it anywhere. But it was something I wanted written down because I think about it often.

I have met some of the greatest men that ever walked the earth, their speech was/is the craft & gift of a Heavenly God. Their very words powerful and poetic. They changed me by how they presented them. It was an art! They painted pictures with their words and I felt moved and touched at how they expressed themselves. They were men (and women) of sound understanding who probably didn't even recognize the beautiful manner in which they taught or spoke. They were FULL of wisdom.

On the other hand, I have known many who are puffed up in their knowledge and they THINK they are wise. They believe that the tossing of their flashy/flowery words will make them look impressive. They enjoy the puzzled look on the faces of those who are thinking or saying "What does that word mean?" They flaunt their vocabulary and are basically "full of themselves." The funny thing is, that they think in their own minds that everyone is looking up to them and thinking how impressive they are.

I don't know about anyone else, but I can't stand those kind of people. I mean, who wants to carry around a Dictionary when they are with someone? Or secretly be wishing they had the "Urim & Thummim" while in their presence because they don't understand what the crap the person is saying!?

I find it interesting that those who speak with wisdom, you want to hear every word that comes from their mouth. But the "I am so knowledgeable" types are, in my opinion, boring as hell. Their haughty ways & self righteous mumblings are enough to make me want to puke.

I love to write... and many people quickly find out that my grammar sucks rocks, I fumble over words, and my spelling is rubbish. BUT I speak from the heart... that is KEY. I don't give a rats ass if I sound "eloquent." You can still express yourself with the beauty of vocabulary without sounding like your a walking Thesaurus.

It annoys me! Can you tell? :)


P.S. Don't correct my mistakes on this blog or I will thrash you. Mkay? And also I realize that "Rats ass" isn't very eloquent...but sometimes I just have to say it like it is. ;)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

*MRS. BROWN*


"Grieving widow Queen Victoria (played imperiously by Judi Dench) withdraws into sadness for years, until plainspoken manservant John Brown (Billy Connolly) disrupts her mourning. Their friendship grows, resulting in personal and political ramifications for both. Funny, exquisitely shot and featuring sparkling performances, Mrs. Brown brilliantly portrays the woman behind an empire and the man who helped her live again."

This is my new favorite movie. There is an unspeakable message about how friendship, love, and unmovable devotion can help someone live again. Everyone needs a "Mr. John Brown" in their lives.

This movie might not be everyone's cup of tea...but the message I got from it will never leave me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

*RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME*


*I LOOK OUT FOR THE UNDERDOG AND TRY AND BE A FRIEND TO THE FRIENDLESS.

*I CONSIDER MYSELF A VERY NON-JUDGEMENTAL PERSON AND MY VIEWS HAVE CHANGED QUITE DRASTICALLY OVER THE YEARS. I USE TO BE A VERY “LETTER OF THE LAW” KIND OF GIRL. BUT NOW I’M VERY “SPIRIT OF THE LAW.” I HAVE A BROADER PERSPECTIVE OF LIFE. AT THE SAME TIME I WILL ALWAYS DEFEND THINGS I DEEPLY BELIEVE.

*I’M FEISTY AND AM NOT AFRAID TO SPEAK UP WHEN NEEDED. BUT I’M ALSO AWARE OF THE IMPORTANCE TO SOMETIMES BE SILENT.
*I MISS GENUINE LOVE LETTERS, HAND WRITTEN. IT'S A LOST ART.

*I LIKE TO TAKE PICTURES OF LIFE. EVEN IF THE PICTURES ARE JUST TAKEN IN MY HEAD.

*I NOTICE MANY THINGS THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T NOTICE.
*I FIND JOY IN THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE. THE SONG OF A BIRD, THE BEAUTY OF A FLOWER, THE GREATNESS OF A FRIENDSHIP, OR THE GRASP OF A CHILDS HAND.

*I LIKE CUPCAKES.

*I LIKE WHEN PEOPLE SAY PLEASE & THANK YOU.

*I AM THOUGHTFUL, IT IS MY GREATEST QUALITY.

*I THINK 95% OF ALL COPS/FUZZ ARE CORUPT. THEY ARE JERKS.

*THE EASIEST WAY FOR ME TO GET IN A BAD MOOD IS FOR ME TO STAND IN LINE AT THE POST OFFICE. I MEAN WHAT ARE THEY THINKING? IT TAKES AN HOUR TO MAIL SOMETHING!? HIRE MORE STAFF FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! GRRR.

*I LOVE BEING AN AUNT. I’M JUST GOOD AT IT. MY NIECES & NEPHEWS ARE A BRIGHT LIGHT TO ME. I HOPE THEY ALWAYS SEE ME AS SOMEONE WHO THEY CAN TURN TO AND TRUST. A “KOOL” AUNT AND NOT A NERDY ONE.

*I HAVE NO DESIRE TO HAVE KIDS. IT’S THE TRUTH. IT’S JUST NOT MY THING. I LOVE CHILDREN, BUT I’M A CAT WOMAN. PLUS, PREGNANY GROSSES ME OUT. THE THOUGHT OF SOMETHING GROWING INSIDE OF ME IS JUST SICK. IT’S LIKE AN ALIEN! I DON’T LOOK AT PREGNANCY AS A “BEAUTIFUL THING”. GOD SHOULD HAVE COME UP WITH A BETTER WAY. MAYBE HE HAS A BETTER PLAN ON THE OTHER SIDE. IF SO…I’LL THINK ABOUT IT THEN...OR HE + MY HUSBAND IS GONNA HAVE TO DO SOME SERIOUS CONVINCING!

*U2 IS THE GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME. THEY ARE ALMOST A RELIGION TO ME. I HAVE NEVER FELT SOMETHING AS POWERFUL AND INSPIRING AS THEIR CONCERTS. ONE OF MY GREATEST SORROWS IS THAT I NEVER GOT TO SEE THE “JOSHUA TREE TOUR.”

*I WISH THERE WAS A REAL HOGWARTS AND THAT I LIVED THERE! HARRY POTTER BOOKS ARE ONE OF THE GREATEST THINGS THAT EVER HAPPENED TO ME. I LOVE BOOKS!

*I LIKE SHOPPING ONLINE AND HATE THE MALL.

*CLOTHES, BAGS, SHOEZ, I’M ALL GIRL!

*I LEARNED TO RID MYSELF OF TOXIC PEOPLE. I USE TO BE THE KIND OF PERSON WHO ALWAYS FELT IT WAS NECESSARY TO GIVE, GIVE, GIVE! AND JUST LOVE PEOPLE DESPITE HOW THEY MADE ME FEEL. I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT MANY PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF KINDNESS, HAVE ALTERIOR MOTIVES, AND EASILY MANIPULATE. (There is such a thing as "Righteous indignation" and I use it when it's needed.)

*SOUTHERN UTAH IS AMAZING….I MISS LAKE POWELL.

*I THINK MAKING MISTAKES IN THIS LIFE IS IMPORTANT. I THINK I’LL MAKE MORE. ;)

*I’M FAR TOO EMPATHETIC, IT’S BECOME OUT OF CONTROL.

*I WISH I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS FALL IN MY LAP RIGHT NOW. NO…WAIT. TEN MILLION OR BILLION.

*I HAVE GREAT FRIENDS.

*FOOD IS A PAIN IN THE ASS. I SADLY EAT TO LIVE AND NOT LIVE TO EAT.
*I WAS IN SPECIAL ED. "KIM, YOUR A VERY SPECIAL GIRL...SO SPECIAL THAT WE ARE PUTTING YOU IN SPECIAL ED."

*A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK I’M A LOST CAUSE. SOME PEOPLE THINK I’M WORTH MY WEIGHT IN GOLD. AS FOR ME? I’M VERY PROUD OF MY LIFE AND HOW I’VE LIVED & HANDLED THINGS…BUT MOSTLY I THINK I’M JUST PLAIN ‘OLE KIM…ONE IN A BILLION!

Friday, November 09, 2007

*BEN'S COOKIES"


Sometimes you see, smell, or taste something that reminds you of someone. Sometimes it's painful to remember, sometimes it makes you smile, sometimes it's both. Today my memory of someone special came from cookies. :) It was bittersweet.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

*WHAT WILL IT TAKE?*












This is one of my last ditch efforts at this point in my life to wake people up to the reality of the world of depression. I feel that in my meager attempts at sharing my thoughts, my knowledge, and my personal experiences...I have failed miserably to bring people out of their ignorant slumbers. I have never once desired any sympathy! Only a feeling that what I have tried to do has made a difference.


With the terrible illness of Cancer...there are pink ribbons and people marching around to help people become more aware and help fight that disease. But with depression? No one cares. There are no ribbons, marches, or benefits to find a cure for this disease. No one really believes it is one. And the people who suffer are left to rott in a pitt of darkness. My frustration knows no bounds. I am left to say WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO WAKE PEOPLE UP?.........My answer? I have no idea. In the last words of a poem that my great hero, David Hyrum Smith wrote;

"I would not sing, and yet I cannot cease. I cannot murmur...
I have no peace."

There is nothing left for me to say either, I'm out of words. May God grant someone in this world to get through to people and save many, many lives.

(The pictures I have attached are a clear view of my daily life. I am not "All smiles Kim" I am someone who suffers from Clinical and Chronic Depression. This is my illness.....right before your eyes.)
Here is the whole poem by David Hyrum Smith. I have posted it on my blog before, but I feel that it beautifully and painfully depicts Depression.
"'The Psalm of DISCONTENT'

Let me be happy....Let me be happy too.
Oh! Wrestless soul.
Fold thy quick limbs and rest from care awhile;
Watch the great clouds in fleecy volumes roll;
The lakelet and the Sunshine seems to Smile; _

Would to God my friends were here to share my thought,
Would I could find the rest I have long sought.

Would I could speak the language of the hills....
Would their plush velvet grace I could make known.

Could I translate the talking of the reels that come from
Their crowning dimples…wander down.

I would not sing, and yet I cannot cease. I cannot murmur..
I have no peace.


`DAVID HYRUM SMITH`
















Sunday, October 28, 2007

*GRATEFUL*




Okay...tonight I went to let my cat outside and there, to my surprise, was a dozen (HUGE) Red Roses! Along with a lovely book...but no card/signature. I am so blessed to have so many people who are mindful of me and so caring. I felt really touched and for a small moment it eased the burdens I'm carrying at this time.
But I would love to know who did this...so I can thank them. If not, please know that kindness & thoughfulness means everything to me. I am VERY grateful! What you did really meant something to me...and I love you for it!
Thank YOU!
xo

*OUT OF THE MOUTH OF BABES


















As always my nephews are the starz in my life always making me laugh and ponder their curious, clever, and intuitive minds. The last couple weeks it's been Kaul & Bleu who have taken center stage. Jen is always emailing me funny photos and things that they say...and I am always laughing my head off. Here are a few recent conversations they have had;

A couple weeks ago Bleu said to Jen, "Those are some big rocket ship tummys!" And she was like "What?" and he repeated it. And then she realized he was talking about her "Ta Ta's" LOL ha! She was fully dressed and everything. :) hahhahaha (she will probably kill me for writing this in a blog!)

Then Jen was babysitting some other kids from her ward and the little kids were calling her Sister Packer. And Bleu was getting in their faces like a little bully (he's TWO) and saying "She's NOT Sista Packa!" ha! (you have to know his little voice for this to be super funny. He's really small for his age and some people assume he doesn't talk very well...but then he spurts things out and is hysterical! Later on that day I asked him what HIS name was and he said "Sista Packa". hahahha We were dieing laughing.

And on a more serious note...here are two special things that the boys said about me, their Aunt,
One day I was very very sick. I know that Jen knew about it. I still don't know if they overheard her saying something about it to maybe Joe or something. But she later told me that Bleu kept walking around the rest of the day saying, "Kimmy will be safe" over and over. I know these little ones are still cloesly linked with heaven.

Also the other day Kaul said to Jen, "Mom, Aunt Kim is sad alot, huh?" and Jen said..."Yes honey, she is." And he said..."I think it's because she doesn't see me enough. I make everyone happy!" And he does! I love these little guys, I'll never be able to say it enough.

(Here are some recent photos from their wards "Trunker Treat"...obviously dressed from the movie "Nacho Libre" :D And one Jen sent me of Bleu giving Kaul a dirty look while Kaul was holding Henley. :)






Friday, October 05, 2007

*CHAZ'S MISSION CALL*


My nephew, Chaz, (Pam's oldest) got his mission call to Johannesberg, South Africa. We are so excited for him! (Jen & Joe also severed in South Africa...so it is extra special to them and our family.)

He had told me a couple days before that he would love to go to Africa...I say it's close enough ;) He leave's the day after Christmas and he is actually going to the M.T.C. in South Africa.

*BEING A MOTHER TO CATS*









You know, recently I've been reading my friends blogs...all about their children & being mothers & fathers and all the sweet and funny things that their lives entail with being a parent. It's so fun to read and kind of twilight zone for me. I mean...I'm still in the same spot most of them left...uh...ten years ago? Yeah. So on occasions I feel a bit left out. Not because I want to be a mother (sorry I have to be honest!) heaven knows that wasn't the plan for me. But God gave me a taste of motherhood...and I am going to talk about my cats in the same language my friends talk about their kids. I think this will be a laugh. :)

I am the mother of three cats. Two planned and the other....well, not planned. Their names are Lewis, Lily, and Cray. My roomates and I went to a corn maze about 7 years ago and found a little kid standing there with a box of baby kitties. It had been raining and it looked like they hadn't been fed or taken out of the box in days. I found the one I wanted...but Val, my friend, found a different one. So we took them both. And long story short that's where Lewis & Lily came from. As for Cray, he was my moms cat during the time that I had ECT. My mom was staying with me while her home was being built and she was taking care of me during these procedures. But once her house was finished she abandoned Cray. So....now I have three, and am the official CAT WOMAN. I am unashamed. The mockery has known no bounds...but I take it with a grain of salt...as I am raising such special spirits. (bah hahhaha) no, really they are. :)

Lewis is the king of the house. He truly is "King Lewie"...he rules the other cats and is joined at my hip. He will NOT leave me. If I walk into the bathroom...so does he. If I take a nap....so does he. (He has to be in the covers with me) If I say something to him he immediatley meows back and has serious attitute! But I have always seen him as my little protector. (He has a weight problem right now...but we have that under control.)

Lily is the mute of the family. My siblings joke that she is a little bit "Off"...this is offensive to me and I know it is to Lily too. (Just because she is a cat doesn't mean she is DEAF) Although there was a time when she would go to lick her paw and instead be licking at the air. Those days have past and she has grown much. She is the best at opening drawers and my cuboards. (She will claw at my sock drawer and pull socks out until it's just the right size for her to climb in and sleep. She also hides in places I never would have thought of and I am always yelling "Lilllllllllllllllly" to try and find her. She's not very obedient and stays where she's at until I find her or she decides to come out. But she is loving and her meow is the cutest ever. It's barely audible but so stinking cute. Lewie and her are best palz and they cuddle all the time. Except for when he wants to go to sleep ALONE. Then his meow is so rude! and she leaves him alone.

Cray. Oh funny Cray. My mom always called him the Texas Ranger...and that he is. He is always running about the house like he's on a horse! He tackles Lily all the time and she hates it. She will hiss at him...but it doesn't stop him. He want's to play with her and she's does NOT want to play with him. He get's a bit rough with her and I often find black poofs of her hair randomly around. Bless her. ;) But I am working on this with him and trying to teach him to be kinder to his siblings. :) I'm pretty sure he's part dog. In the morning he flops on his back and wants his belly rubbed. He also has chinese eye's and so his nick name is "Cray Pey"...sounds kind of chinese...or japanese...right? :D

All in all they are wonderful children...I mean kitties. I adore them! So much...that I go through boxes of Kleenex every few days. (I am completely allergic to cats...no joke!) But they are a DELIGHT FROM THE HEAVENS ABOVE...and worth every tissue! How lucky I am to be their guardian.

haaaaaaaaaa!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

*THE RING*



*THE RING*

Heaven knows that my older sister has always been a tough mother scratcher. My days of youth were often filled with her punching me in the arm because I had caught her kissing her boyfriends and was …well…a tattletale. It was her way of threatening me NOT to tell…and it usually worked. Instead I would cry out to my Hello Kitty journal that she was going to get pregnant (even though I had no idea how that worked ha!) and that she was a jerk!

But I never knew how tough my sister really was until one fine day. My sister was being harassed in Jr. High by another girl. The girl was obviously jealous of my sister, as was I. I mean, my sister had bleached the hell out of her hair and it was fluffed out in every direction like the girls on Xanadu! Her hair and her silvery lipstick was a sight to behold. She was an 80's dream! I envied her argyle sweaters, Jordache jeans, legwarmers, and pretty in pink dresses. Her middle name was KOOL and everyone knew it.

This particular girl who decided to bully my sister wore a daggered ring the size of TEXAS! And was often pushing it in my sister's face…threatening to cut her. The mirrors in the bathrooms were covered with cruel words towards my sister and there was often name calling as she walked down the halls. To add to this, our telephone was often receiving prank calls, once again threatening her with THE RING and all sorts of profanities. It was cruel and I'm sure it hurt my sister…it hurt all of us. Nobody wants to watch someone you love be bullied.

And finally, one day, it had gone too far. My parents had had enough of it all. They had watched my sister suffer long enough. And being the small town folks that they were…they decided to help my sister take hold of the situation in a proper manner. My dad was gonna teach my sister how to beat the CRAP out of this girl! I was sitting on the kitchen counter, wide eyed, watching my dad show my sister how to throw a punch! I still remember his words; "Next time she starts harassing you, you say to her..."look, I don't want to fight!" Turn as if your gonna walk away and then turn back around and POW!!!" My heart was racing as I heard this, was my sister really gonna do it? What happened if THE RING came out? What if my sister didn't have a face after that? I was worried and excited all at the same time.

The next day, sure enough, the girl came a bullying! She had her friends gathered around her and as she shot off her mouth about wanting to fight my sister, a small group had gathered. I'm surprised there wasn't a chant ringing out "Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!"
My sister knew what she had to do. Then came the rehearsed words, "Look, I don't wanna' fight!"….and then it happened. My sister hit that girl so hard that she flew to the ground. She lay there in shock and then began to cry like a little baby. Oh what a sight it must have been!!! I wish I would have been there Cheering my sister on! Video taping it so that someday I could put it on Youtube! This girl proved to be nothing but someone who could talk the talk...but not walk the walk!! And my sister? She was a star! I bet her blond hair didn't move a inch with all the hairspray in it! It stood it's ground...just like my sister.

It wasn't long before both girls were hauled off to the principal's office and suspended for a couple days. I remember my parents being quite pleased with the outcome, as was I.

The moral of this story is, don't mess with my sister…EVER. She has no desire to fight anyone for any reason. She's a lover not a fighter. But if it comes down to it…she will kick your A$$!
(The picture at the top shows an example of Pam's hair. But it was mild that day! I call the picture "Trailer trash". God bless us.)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

*CLOUDZ*



I put together a new video today of most of the cloud photoz I've taken over the last few years. I was surprised at how many there were. They are not the most remarkable photos but they represent something to me that is deep and eternal.


When you struggle with an illness for so long, it is easy to become a person who walks with their head down. When I looked at all these photoz I had of cloudz, I realized how often I have looked up. Heavenly Father, in all his kindness, was pointing out the beauty of his creations to me that I might be sustained for even a small moment. I felt a great sense of gratitude for this today. I also know in my own heart, that I will never see myself as someone who walked through this life with my head down. I lifted up my eyes…and I beheld beautiful things.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=FzgTjeqh3UY

Monday, August 13, 2007

*BODY WORSHIP*

We are living in a society that is ravished by pornography and false misconceptions of a what a girl "should" look like. By living in such a visual world, it's hard to not feel the horrific pressure that is heaped upon all women. This idea that you have to look like the "Jessica Albas" of the world. That you have to be something that that you are not...and mostly likely will never be. These nagging words from the enemy of all truth, which whispers, You will never look good enough...your body will never be pretty enough...your hair will never be the right color...your skin will never be flawless...you will NEVER measure up.

The Savior teaches the truth. That we do NOT have to measure up to the worlds absurd standards. He has taught, that when you seek women (or men) of "The world" you will find nothing but heartache and sorrow.

1 Jn. 2: 16-17
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

I had a great friend who was talking to me one day out on my porch. We were talking about this very subject. He startled me when he said "Kim, I think it's a priesthood holders responsibility to protect women from anything carnel, vulgar, or degrading." And he is right. While in the dating world, a relationship, or a marriage. It is their responsibility to an extent. The rest is up to us. Women equally have to fight against the tauntings and temptations of the advesary. The biggest temptation is those insecurities that every girl faces daily because of both what she see's and hears. How much easier it would be for all of us girls, if we had a greater support system from the men around us. It requires courage and resistance to the worlds standards.
Any man who expects or is looking for a "picture perfect person" will never find it...and is a waste of time.

D&C 42: 23

"23 And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out".
It takes seeing through new eyes, courage and resistance. No man or woman was sent here to fail. The Lord knew what kind of world we would be coming down to and he knew we were all up for the task.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

*SCIENTISTS CELEBRATE THE BUTTERFLY RETURN*



By Associated Press Updated: 7/26/2007
REDONDO BEACH, Calif.

Though the surfers, skaters and beachgoers might not notice the butterflies fluttering by, conservationists are celebrating the return of the endangered El Segundo blue to its native habitat along Santa Monica Bay.

The insects, with a wingspan of about an inch, are thriving in plain sight at beaches in Redondo Beach and Torrance after scientists nurtured their dwindling population in three fenced-in nature reserves for years. It had been decades since the critters had been seen in their native habitat.

But thanks to an effort to restore native vegetation to the area, buckwheat, source of the butterflies' preferred nectar, now blankets bluffs that had been overgrown with invasive nonnative ice plant.

Still, scientists were surprised the El Segundo blues, thought to be too lazy to travel long distances, returned home without the help of human hands.
They have been on the nation's endangered species list since 1976. They're everywhere.''

''No one figured that they would just do it on their own,'' said Ann Dalkey, co-chairwoman of the Beach Bluffs Restoration Project. ''You can see them like crazy. "
(This photo I took at Red Fish Lake/Sun Valley, Idaho on July 5 2007. I had not seen a real blue butterfly up to this point. I have seen them everywhere else. T-shirts, movies, billboards...etc. But not a real one. )

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

*SUMIREGUSA*


http://youtube.com/watch?v=20_no8L0c9E

The lyrics for Sumiregusa were inspired by a Hokku, or Haiku, written by the Japanese poet, Bashō, while he was traveling to Ōtsu. He says that on his way through the mountain road the sight of a wild violet touched his heart. We have all been moved by the beauty of nature, so I am sure we can all relate to those seventeen syllables that Bashō wrote. We have all had a moment that pulls at our heartstrings. One such moment for me was when I was walking in the woodlands andÝI came across an old, broken, dying thistle. He was such a sad sight. There was a small history in him that would soon be lost. And yet he struggled on. I called him Don Quixote. I went every day to see him until he wasn't there any more. The following year his children bloomed, he did not return. Even today, although that place has been taken over by the ever vigorous bramble, and there are no signs of any thistles, I still pass by and remember him. Perhaps these moments are an epiphany. Perhaps it is our own acceptance of the world and the way it is. Perhaps it is a celebration of life, or just a moment that is ours alone. In Sumiregusa all of nature is equal in its power to inspire, to move, to touch - from a small pebble to a great mountain, from one green leaf to the many colours of autumn, from the song of birds to a purple flower.
~Roma Ryan (the lyricist for almost all of Enya's music)
*THE POEM ITSELF AND THE TRANSLATION *

~Sumiregusa-Wild Violet~

Mono no awarē
Murasaki iro no hana
To fuyu mo koyuki
Harahara

Shizēn no bi kanaAh!
Midori no ha to
Aki no iro

Kaze no koe
Tori no saezuri
Kanashii umi
Yorokobino umi
Yama
Koishi
Ayamegusa

*TRANSLATION*

"The poignancy of things
A purple flower
The blossom of springs
and the light snow of winter
How they fall

The beauty of nature
A green leaf andAutumn colours
The voice of the wind
The song of birds
A sad sea
A joyful sea
Mountains
Pebbles
A wild iris"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

*MY FIRST LOVE*

Some people don't believe in love at first sight...but I do. Some people don't believe you can be in love at age 16...but I was. Some people don't belive that there are good men on the earth...but I do. :) I believe all these things because of my first love.

My best friend at age 15 moved to California. I was heartbroken that she moved with her family and I missed her terribly. But little did I know at that time what blessings would come to me because of that move. My mom was kind enough to send me on a trip to visit her the following summer after she left. I loved it. She had the most amazing group of new friends I had ever met. They loved the gospel and they loved life.

One of the first nights of my trip...we decided to go hang out at Roller skating rink. Sounds nerdy...but nobody really went in to skate...they just hung outside and chatted. I was PAINFULLY shy and was doing my very best to not be totally awkward. It wasn't long after being there, that I saw two boys riding their skate boards towards us. When they came a little closer, one of them flipped his skateboard up into his hand and walked towards us. He started to talk to my best friend (Jenny) and immediatley his eyes turned to me. His smile made my heart skip and I became suddenly VERY nervous. Jenny introduced me as her friend from Utah and the twinkle in his eyes got brighter as we had a little talk. I think he became quickly aware how shy I was...but that did not stop the flirtation that soon began. He was bold and self confident in the most charming way. In a weeks time of hanging out with him, I was hooked. Never had I met a more kind, friendly, funny, pure hearted boy. I adored him and it was obvious to EVERYONE that he adored me...

The time came for me to go home, and you can imagine that I was heartbroken. He was three years older than me and preparing for his mission. He lived in California and I lived in Utah. How on earth would it work? The next few months were filled with many tears and MANY phone calls. We would spend hours on the phone. I never feared sharing who I was because I knew he loved me. He thought everything about me was beautiful. He loved my whole heart. He helped me through insecurities, taught me how to laugh at myself and not take things so seriously, and most importanly...he taught me to love myself. (Something I wasn't able to do on my own at that time) V

Very long story short...we went back and forth to see eachother until the time came for him to leave on his mission. I felt at that time...that I had met my soul mate and we would be together when he came home...The two years passed, and the love & letters never stopped. But sadly, when he had returned and we prayed about getting married, we both got a big fat NO. It was devistating. We could not understand it. But we could not doubt or go against the answer.


That was almost 18 years ago. We now undestand why we wern't suppose to be together, but it never stopped us from being dear friends. He is literally like a brother to me. (Crazy, I know) But the Lord blessed us in this way. It is a rare thing, and I am so grateful that he was never taken completely away from me. I thank Heavenly Father all the time for this.

This next month, he is getting married. He is marrying the most darling girl. I love her. We all love her. And we are soo happy for him. I feel not a drop of sadness, only gratitude for my special memories that I had with him. I was SO LUCKY.

I made a promise to myself that I would NEVER settle for less then a man like him. A man who made me feel loved. Who made me feel beautiful. And saw me as a daughter of God. He is the only person I have used the word "Sweetheart" with. That's a special word to me. And I have never been able to use it, think it, or say it to anyone else. He set the standard...he set the tone.

Most first loves are wonderful to remember...but mine was wonderful beyond power to truly express. :) "

Monday, June 18, 2007

*I NEEDED THIS TODAY*




Iwoke up this morning from a nightmare in tears. I am use to nightmares because over the last four years I have them often. In this paticular dream, I was in so much emotional pain that I could hardly walk and was holding on to my stomache. I was moaning and crying. And I woke myself up doing just that, moaning and crying. The deep wounds of my mind and heart that have come over the years in my life...have not yet healed. I felt so alone.
As I usually do when I wake up, I check my mail. Through my typical morning routine I was praying in my heart. And I just prayed that the Lord would send me some words from Him....that would help me in any way. I had a feeling to go to lds.org, which I use to find scriptures or talks. But on the front page was a message from the Prophet, President Hinckley. The title caught my attention. It read,


"AN UNENDING CONFLICT, A VICTORY ASSURED"

I was so in need of these words. I needed to feel that my personal conflicts would have an end. It was reassurance for me. Here is the talk itself;



"Nearly 10 decades have passed now since my birth, and for the better part of that time, there has been war among mankind in one part of the earth or another. No one can ever estimate the terrible suffering incident to these wars across the globe. Lives numbered in the millions have been lost. The terrible wounds of war have left bodies maimed and minds destroyed. Families have been left without fathers and mothers. Young people who have been recruited to fight have, in many instances, died while those yet alive have had woven into the very fabric of their natures elements of hatred which will never leave them. The treasure of nations has been wasted and will never be recovered.

The devastation of war seems so unnecessary and such a terrible waste of human life and national resources. We ask, will this terrible, destructive way of handling disagreements among the sons and daughters of God ever end?
But there is another war that has gone on since before the world was created and that is likely to continue for a long time. It is a war that reaches beyond questions of territory or national sovereignty. John the Revelator speaks of that struggle:
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
"And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
"And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:7–9).

The Continuing Struggle

That war, so bitter, so intense, has never ceased. It is the war between truth and error, between agency and compulsion, between the followers of Christ and those who have denied Him. His enemies have used every stratagem in that conflict. They've indulged in lying and deceit. They've employed money and wealth. They've tricked the minds of men. They've murdered and destroyed and engaged in every kind of evil practice to thwart the work of Christ.
Murder began on the earth when Cain slew Abel. The Old Testament is replete with accounts of the same eternal struggle.
It found expression in the vile accusations against the Man of Galilee, the Christ, who healed the sick and lifted men's hearts and hopes, He who taught the gospel of peace. His enemies, motivated by that evil power, seized Him, tortured Him, nailed Him to the cross, and spoke in mockery against Him. But by the power of His godhood, He overcame the death His enemies had inflicted and through His sacrifice brought salvation from death to all men.
That eternal war went on in the decay of the work He established, in the corruption which later infected it, when darkness covered the earth and gross darkness the people (see Isaiah 60:2).
But the forces of God could not be vanquished. The Light of Christ touched the heart of a man here and a man there, and vast good came to pass notwithstanding much of oppression and suffering.


There came a time of renaissance, with struggles for liberty—struggles for which much of blood and sacrifice was paid. The Spirit of God moved upon men to found a nation wherein freedom of worship and freedom of expression and freedom of agency were protected. There followed then the opening of the dispensation of the fulness of times with a visit to earth of God the Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. This glorious event was followed by visits of angels restoring the ancient keys and priesthood.


But the war was not over. It was renewed and redirected. There was contempt. There was persecution. There were drivings from one place to another. There was the murder of the young prophet of God and of his beloved brother, 163 years ago this month.
The Latter-day Saints fled their comfortable homes, their farms, their fields, their shops, their beautiful temple built at such tremendous sacrifice. They came to mountain valleys, thousands of them dying along the way. They came to the kind of place that President Joseph Smith had instructed the Twelve to find, "where the devil cannot dig us out."1
But the adversary has never stopped trying. In the October conference of 1896, President Wilford Woodruff (1807–98), then an aged man, stood in the Tabernacle on Temple Square and said:

"There are two powers on the earth and in the midst of the inhabitants of the earth—the power of God and the power of the devil. In our history we have had some very peculiar experiences. When God has had a people on the earth, it matters not in what age, Lucifer, the son of the morning, and the millions of fallen spirits that were cast out of heaven, have warred against God, against Christ, against the work of God, and against the people of God. And they are not backward in doing it in our day and generation. Whenever the Lord set His hand to perform any work, those powers labored to overthrow it."2
President Woodruff knew whereof he spoke. He had then only recently passed through those difficult and perilous days when the government of the nation had come against our people, determined to destroy this Church as an organization. Despite the difficulties of those days, the Saints did not give up. In faith they moved forward. They put their trust in the Almighty, and He revealed unto them the path they should follow. In faith they accepted that revelation and walked in obedience.

The Pattern of Conflict

But the war did not end. It abated somewhat, and we're grateful for that. Nonetheless, the adversary of truth has continued his struggle.
Notwithstanding the present strength of the Church, it seems that we are constantly under attack from one quarter or another. But we go on. We must go on. We have gone forward, and we will continue to go forward. In some seasons the issues are major. At other times they are only local skirmishes. But they are all part of a pattern.

Opposition has been felt in the undying efforts of many, both within and without the Church, to destroy faith, to belittle, to demean, to bear false witness, to tempt and allure and induce our people to practices inconsistent with the teachings and standards of this work of God.
The war goes on. It is as it was in the beginning. There may not be the intensity, and I am grateful for that. But the principles at issue are the same.
The victims who fall are as precious as those who have fallen in the past. It is an ongoing battle. The men of the priesthood, with the daughters of God who are our companions and allies, are all part of the army of the Lord. We must be united. An army that is disorganized will not be victorious. It is imperative that we close ranks, that we march together as one. We cannot have division among us and expect victory. We cannot have disloyalty and expect unity. We cannot be unclean and expect the help of the Almighty.

The young men of the priesthood, the deacons, teachers, and priests, have had laid upon them in their priesthood offices the duty to preach the gospel, to teach the truth, to encourage the weak to be strong, to "invite all to come unto Christ" (D&C 20:59). The young women of the Church have no less a responsibility to be obedient to the commandments of God and to serve as examples of faith and virtue.

No son or daughter of our Heavenly Father can afford to partake of things that will weaken the mind, the body, or the eternal spirit. These include drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and pornography. You cannot be involved in immoral activity. You cannot do these things and be valiant as warriors in the cause of the Lord in the great, everlasting contest that goes on for the souls of our Father's children.

The men of this Church cannot be unfaithful or untrue to their wives, to their families, to their priesthood responsibilities if they are to be valiant in moving the work of the Lord forward in this great battle for truth and salvation. They cannot be dishonest and unscrupulous in temporal affairs without tarnishing their armor. The women of this Church, be they wives, mothers, or sisters who have not found companions, cannot be unfaithful or untrue to their covenants and blessings and serve as the bulwark in the kingdom that they are meant to be.
In our meetings, we occasionally sing an old hymn:

Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
Now is the time to show.
We ask it fearlessly: Who's on the Lord's side? Who?
We wage no common war, Cope with no common foe.
The enemy's awake; Who's on the Lord's side? Who?

A Call to Commitment
Some years ago a friend told me of a conversation he had had with another member of the Church. My friend had asked whether his associate felt close to his Heavenly Father. The man replied that he did not feel close. Why not? He said, "Candidly, because I don't want to." Then he went on to say, "If I were close to Heavenly Father, He would probably want some commitment from me, and I am not ready for that."

Think of it—a man who has taken upon himself the name of the Lord in baptism, a man who has renewed his covenants with the Lord in his sacrament meetings, a man who has accepted the priesthood of God and yet has said that if he were close to his Heavenly Father, some commitment might be expected of him, and he was not ready for that.

In this work there must be commitment. There must be devotion. We are engaged in a great eternal struggle that concerns the very souls of the sons and daughters of God. We are not losing. We are winning. We will continue to win if we will be faithful and true. We can do it. We must do it. We will do it. There is nothing the Lord has asked of us that in faith we cannot accomplish.


I think of the children of Israel when they fled Egypt. They camped beside the Red Sea. Looking back, they saw Pharaoh and his armies coming to destroy them. Fear gripped their hearts. With the armies behind them and the sea before them, they cried out in terror.

"And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.
"The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, … speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward" (Exodus 14:13–15; emphasis added).

The sea parted, and the children of Israel moved to their salvation. The Egyptians followed to their own destruction.

Shall we not also in faith move forward? He who is our eternal leader, the Lord Jesus Christ, has challenged us in words of revelation. Said He:

"Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day. …
"Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you;
"Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked;
"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, … and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also" (D&C 27:15–18).

A Bright Future
The war goes on. It is waged across the world over the issues of agency and compulsion. It is waged by an army of missionaries over the issues of truth and error. It is waged in our own lives, day in and day out, in our homes, in our work, in our school associations; it is waged over questions of love and respect, of loyalty and fidelity, of obedience and integrity. We are all involved in it—child, youth, or adult, each of us. WE ARE WINNING, AND THE FUTURE NEVER LOOKED BRIGHTER.


May our God bless us in the work that is so clearly laid out before us. May we be faithful. May we be valiant. May we have the courage to be true to the trust God has placed in each of us. May we be unafraid. "For [to quote the words of Paul to Timothy] God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord" (2 Timothy 1:7–8).

-President Gordon B. Hinckley
(
http://lds.org/portal/site/LDSOrg )

Saturday, May 26, 2007

*GOING BACK TO YOUR ROOTS*




I always say how important is to go back to your roots. My perspective on what that means is this, To go back and think about where you came from, the neighborhood you grew up in, how you viewed things when you were little...how you saw the world. Forgetting, even for a small moment, the struggles you faced in your future and how your views changed from the innocent sweetness of a pure mind.

I grew up in Pleasant Grove, Utah. It was lovely. In my mind, I lived in the prettiest neighborhood. We had an orchard in our back yard and I loved it! There was a ditch by the side of my house where water ran often...my sisters and I had good times playing in that. I loved to ride my bike with my neighbors, during which time we often played "Cops and Robbers" (I have no idea why) I was always the cop and found myself throwing all of my friends in "jail" by chaining them to the boat we had...which had a large chain on it. It got wrapped around them once and hooked to the other side. At that point, I would continue to take off riding my bike while they...um....sat there. (SO DUMB) It was usually my little sister who got "locked up" the longest....I bet she sat there and wondered why her sentence was longer than others. heh heh :)

Across the street there were Rasberry fields. I remember Mrs. Logan asking us if we wanted to help pick them and put them in baskets. I LOVED doing that. I actually remember being chastened for eating more than I was "gathering". That makes me laugh. Rasberries are my favorite fruit up to date.

I remember how much I loved walking to my best friend Tammy's house. She lived about 6 blocks away, but I never remember my mom being worried. Things were different back then...I always felt safe in that little town for some reason. On the way to Tammy's there were always flowers in front of peoples houses. Mostly the "older" people. I took time to stop and smell them...(something we forget to do these days) and I remember just being happy. Sometimes I would even skip some of the way.

I loved the way the air smelled during spring (I guess we notice more when we are little), going for rides in my brothers MAROON Trans Am. (He was so kool...playing the Bee Gees with his butt cut hairdo.) Laying on my back, on my neighbors trampoline...looking and listening to the Willow Trees that surrounded it. Making mud pies with Jen (why do little kids do that? I had no desire to grow and be a Potter for crying out loud!), my dad making breakfast on sunday mornings while listening to country music, .... and the list goes on and on.

So on really hard days...I try to go back to my "roots" in my mind. Or do something that might bring back those feelings. Once in awhile I will even go back to PG...spend some time walking around or just drive through all the places that were special to me listening to old music.
I just think it's important. Even if you didn't love the place you grew up...I promise there are things that will make you smile when you remember them.

Friday, May 18, 2007

*LES MISERABLES*


I saw this in London a couple of times and I fell in love with musicals. Although I have only seen a small handful, this one touched me the most and has stayed with me. I think the music is powerful and beautiful. Here is one of my favorite songs/lyrics from this paticular musical.
*I dreamed a dream*

There was a time when men were kind. When their voices were soft and their words inviting. There was a time when love was blind...and the world was a song...and the song was exciting.
There was a time, Then it all went wrong.

I dreamed a dream in time gone by. When hope was high and life worth living. I dreamed that love would never die. I dreamed that God would be forgiving. Then I was young and unafraid, and dreams were made and used and wasted. There was no ransom to be paid. No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night. With their voices soft as thunder. As they tear your hope apart and they turn your dream to shame.

He slept a summer by my side. He filled my days with endless wonder. He took my childhood in his stride, but he was gone when autumn came.

And still I dream he'll come to me. That we will live the years together. But there are dreams that cannot be. And there are storms we cannot weather.

I had a dream my life would be... so different from this hell I'm living...so different now from what it seemed.

Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

*HOSEA*

An Institute teacher of mine, told me of the story of "Hosea" during a difficult experience I was facing at that time in my life. In short, I had a boy I was dating who walked away from our relationship for a "Woman of the world". This has happen to me again since that time, and I have been able to recall the story and words spoken to me about Hosea's experience.

Hosea loved the Lord and he loved his wife. But she could not give up her lusts and passions...so she left him to follow after the paths of those temptations and enticeings. But on those paths, they led to nothing but heartache and sorrow for her.

I see this happen so often. Men (and women) giving up precious relationships because of their selfish feelings or reasoning. They get lost in pornography, vain and miscontstrued perceptions of what relationships should be, or they just don't want to devote themselves to one soul. It brings tears to my eyes, not only for what I have had to endure in this area...but what so many others have endured. You feel worthless, unloved, unattractive, and brokenhearted.

I found a talk on Hosea that I really like. It points out some important points and gives understanding on how the Lord feels when his children leave him for the "world".

"I WILL BETROTH THEE UNTO ME IN RIGHTEOUSNESS”

by Ted L. Gibbons
Elder Ronald E. Poelman of the Seventy spoke of the message of Hosea.

“My message today might best be illustrated through the experiences of a young couple whom I will call John and Gayle.“John was a thoughtful, kind young man, affectionate, with a frank and open manner. He sincerely tried to obey the Lord’s commandments and found honest contentment in the joys of family life. Gayle, his wife, was young, attractive, high‑spirited, but inclined toward more worldly interests and activities. The society in which they lived was, in general, one of affluence and materialism. People seemed preoccupied with temporal gain, social status, entertainment, and self‑gratification. Religious leaders were concerned about the apparent breakdown in family life and moral standards.

“In the early years of their marriage, John and Gayle were blessed with children, first a boy and then a girl; but Gayle seemed uninterested in her domestic responsibilities. She longed for excitement in her life and was frequently away from home at parties and entertainments, not always with her husband. In her vanity, Gayle encouraged and responded to the attentions of other men until eventually she was unfaithful to her marriage vows.

“Throughout, John encouraged Gayle to appreciate the joys of family life and experience the rewards of observing the laws of God. He was patient and kind, but to no avail. Shortly after the birth of a third child, a son, Gayle deserted her husband and children and joined her worldly friends in a life of self‑indulgence and immorality. John, thus rejected, was humiliated and brokenhearted.

“Soon, however, the excitement that had attracted Gayle turned to ashes. Her so‑called friends tired of her and abandoned her. Then each successive step was downward, her life becoming more and more degraded. Eventually she recognized her mistakes and realized what she had lost, but could see no way back. Certainly John could not possibly love her still. She felt completely unworthy of his love and undeserving of her home and family.

“Then one day, passing through the streets, John recognized Gayle. Surely he would have been justified in turning away, but he didn’t. As he observed the effect of her recent life, all too evident, a feeling of compassion came over him—a desire to reach out to her. Learning that Gayle had incurred substantial debts, John repaid them and then took her home.

“Soon John realized, at first with amazement, that he still loved Gayle. Out of his love for her and her willingness to change and begin anew, there grew in John’s heart a feeling of merciful forgiveness, a desire to help Gayle overcome her past and to accept her again fully as his wife.

“Through his personal experience there arose in John another profound awareness, a realization of the nature of God’s love for us, his children. Though we disregard his counsel, break his commandments, and reject him, when we recognize our mistakes and desire to repent, he wants us to seek him out and he will accept us” (Ronald E. Poelman, “God’s Love for Us Transcends Our Transgressions,” Ensign, May 1982, 27, 28).


(For the full talk, go to... http://www.ldsliving.com/ot34.asp )

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

*NIECES & NEPHEWS*


Heaven knows how much I love my nieces & nephews. I love their guts out! And there isn't one of them that doesn't know it. I'm sure I'm Bias, but I'm 100% sure that they are the koolest ones on the earth. Everything that comes out of their mouths is both funny and clever. They are ALL total pills, pozers, smart alecs, and they are all smart as a whip! To add to that, they are deeply spiritual souls.

Sometimes I wonder where they come up with the things they say. I am often caught off guard at their words or actions. I have spent a lot of time in my life writing about some of their more "choice" words and experiences. I am the family historian. I didn't choose to be...it just kind of fell upon me. I was given the encouragement at age 15 to keep a book of rememberance. I did...and now I have at least 20 under my belt. My nieces and nephews are also aware of this. And sometimes they will throw something out there in hopes that I will add it in there. Here is an example from this weekend...

We were walking down the lobby in the hotel hallway so we could head for the lake. (We stayed at a resort on Lake Mead). My two nephews walking in front of my sister and I. They were mostly causing commotion which they always do...smacking eachother and such. Jaxton turned around and started walking backwards...he was talking to his mom and said, looking at me, "Mom, Aunt Kim is my DREAM GIRL!" *raised eyebrow" !!!??? He is SEVEN years old for crying out loud! My sister and I could not help but laugh...especially since he is the biggest pill out of all boyz. And THEN... without skipping a beat, he said "Are you gonna write that in your journal?" LOL ha!!!! My sis and I were cracking up. Bless his heart.

The thing is...of course he was being silly with me. But like all my nephews, they are acutely aware of their Aunt Kim. They seem, in their own ways, to be protective of me. They have this way of knowing when I'm struggling or hurting. Even when my face would not give off that impression. And somehow they always seem to know when I need a little something from heaven. And obviously, one of them, a little seven year old...knew when I needed to feel like I could be seen as someones "dream girl". :)

I'll never forget that, never. :) And yes...it's going in the journal. :)
My nieces and nephews are the greatest blessings to me. I love them more than words can say. And I especially love when they go home with their parents at the end of the day. :D
(The photo is of Jaxton...the one I speak of :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

WHEN A MAN LIES...

"When a man lies, he murders a part of this world. These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives. All this I cannot bare to witness any longer...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home?"

-From the movie "Excalibur"


"To build may have been the slow & laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day."

-Winston Churchhill

Sunday, April 15, 2007

*COMPARING HANDCARTS*


When the Mormon pioneers came across the plains, they were called upon to endure unspeakable suffering. At one point there was a company of people who pushed their belongings in a handcart only taking one personal item of their own…something special to them. The rest would be their provisions for protection and survival. I can't imagine the inner strength they must have had and their mighty courage.

Through this journey through dry deserts, hills, and plains, they lost loved ones to starvation and many of them froze to death. They lost their children, and many lost parents and dear friends. I cannot begin to know the depths of the path they trod. I think it is best said by Heber McBride;

"No tongue nor pen could NEVER describe the sorrow"

My older sister and I visited "Martins Cove" a couple of years ago. It was a very special experience for both of us. That ground is so sacred that I felt I should not speak above a whisper at times. They had indomitable courage and unconquerable faith. I love them beyond words.

There is so much more to this story…but over the last year I have learned a valuable lesson. While we reflect upon the life stories of our ancestors and the many people who have gone before us and helped to pave our paths, and we also reflect on the suffering of those around us today…I believe we should never compare handcarts. By this I mean, that each man and woman sent to this earth has their own Gethsemane that they will walk through and endure. It is their own. It is easy to look to both the left and the right of those who are around us and say, "I could never endure their trials", "I don't have that kind of strength," "Their lot is harder than mine". "Their handcart is far heavier than mine" Perhaps in many respects that is true. Maybe you couldn't…but most likely they could not endure yours. It's my personal opinion that there is no need or room for these thoughts. I am not encouraging that we say of our struggles "Whoa is me", and dwell heavily upon our own pain. But we should not dismiss it either. The Lord knows what you can and cannot handle. He has promised that "He will never give us more than we can handle. (I have to admit, to put it mildly, that I often raise my eyebrows at thisJ)

One thing we can do…is to draw courage from each other. To remember the lives of others and to show reverence and respect for the things they go through. We can love each other and help to ease pain, burdens, and sorrow. We can show those who came before us and those around us that we honor them. We can help push their handcarts when we can spare one of our own hands.

There is another thought I wish to point out. It was Elder Neal A. Maxwell who was quoted in saying "Some handcarts are invisible to eye". It is so easy to think that someone around you has no trials and tribulations, no pain nor suffering. We sadly find a bit of resentment in this. Not that we want them to suffer but we feel it is "unfair". "Why is everything so easy for them?" I have found myself saying this a lot. But when I take time to think it through I am reminded of what Brother Maxwell said. I have also thought of this line from a song I love; "And the world thought she had it all". This has been something that I have personally gone through. If I were at a masquerade ball, it would be very hard for others to know who was behind the mask. My mask has a smile on it and its bright colors are deceptive. I think I have been known and are still known as one with an invisible handcart. We all must be careful to not judge so quickly the life of another.

It's my belief that each of our lives are recorded in heaven. That in that moment of being reunited with our Heavenly Father and Savior that our hand carts will NOT be compared to anyone else's in any way shape or form. We might be surprised to find that each moment and sacrifice was observed "with unwavering attention" each tear counted, each head crowned with the rewards of their PERSONAL journey.



*K.C. April 2007*

(As with all things I write...I respect different perceptions and opinions. That is the beauty of "Freedom of speech", but please be mindful that my blogs are not up for debate. Please respect my feelings on that.)

Monday, March 12, 2007

*QUOTES & KEYZ*

*Experience has taught me that a man who has no vices has damned few virtues"
-Abraham Lincoln


"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
-Maya Angelou

"You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
-Naguib Mahfouz

"I will speak ill of no man, and all the good I know of everybody"
-Benjamin Franklin


"If equal affection cannot be, let the more loving one be me."
-Unknown

"To build may have been the slow and laborious task of years. To destroy can be the thoughtless act of a single day."
-Winston ChurchHill

*THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC*



Music is probably one of the greatest gifts of my life. I can't imagine a world without it. I think my DEEP love for it developed as early as Jr. High (perhaps earlier). I can still remember laying by my tape recorder...rewinding my favorite song at the moment over and over and over. I admit that alot of the time I was probably crying as I listened to it, over some boy who didn't like me or even worse...a boy who didn't know that I existed. (Bless my braceface heart haha) But even then...I found that music was a healing balm. Even some of the sad songs brought a sense of comfort and understanding to what I was going through at that moment in time. They seem to say the things we don't know how to say and express those things in a VERY powerful way.

I always joke around about how great it would be, if every special moment in our life had background music! Wouldn't that be great? Both good and bad times. Perhaps it would be a little something like, John Cusak, in the movie "Say Anthing". There he is holding a boom box over his head...and blaring "In your eyes". That's so classic! So many people love that moment in film history because it really IS powerful. There ae also those moments when you come across a song you haven't heard for ages and suddenly your transported back in time and this flood of emotion comes over you. You suddenly remember a person or a place...a good experience or a bad one. It has been and will be a part of everything we do in this life. It just somehow works that way. Like I said before, it is powerful. I love this quote by David O. McKay;

"We do not have any thoughts that cannot be expressed, either in words or gestures, but there are feelings in the human heart which cannot be expressed in any language or words; so we must provide ourselves with other mediums of expression; for instance, music, art, architecture-the wonderful arts which do not belong to any nation, but which speak the language of the soul. Music is international. Although the words may be Polynesian or Italian or German or English, music is always understood by the soul."

I'm in love with all kinds of music. (excluding metal:) For those who think my music taste is "Stuck in the past"...your mostly right. :) But now and then I do come across new music that I like. I usually find it in interesting ways. A recommendation of a friend, a movie soundtrack, walking through a book store...etc. There is nothing better then finding a new song that FITS exactly where your at and what your going through. I sincerely believe that is one of the ways that God speaks to me. There have been so many times that a song will come at just the right moment when I needed a little something from heaven. I have also found that "I" can use music to help others. Sometimes I will be praying for a certain friend...and a song will come to my mind. I will then go and usually look up the lyrics and find out later on that they fit what that person needed to hear and their situation. I also love that I can use it to make them laugh or just lighten their burdens. It's such a great gift we are given.

On the other hand...music and lyrics can work against us and bring us down or into darkness. There are times when I have heard a band or a song...and have just felt the life sucked right out of me. Music that encourages anger, hatred, despair, inappropriate and disrespectful thoughts towards both women and men, and no value for the human life. You have to always be aware of the impact it can or is having on you. A great book that discusses this in further detail is, "Making the music decision" by Jack R. Christianson. There is no sugarcoating in this book. Very straight forward and BOLD about how music affects us. (I think you can still buy it...if you can't find it, check Ebay:)

I guess the moral of this blog, is that music is wonderful. And I truly love it. I'm grateful for all the things it brings me as I saunter through this life.
P.S. A recommendation for some new music for you, is a group called "A fine frenzy". Their page is in my friends list. It's really beautiful and even better in person. (I saw them last week in Park City)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

*I DID MY BEST*

There is a story of a man who was playing basketball with his friends. He loved basketball and just finished a good hard game. As he and his friends began to leave the game, they heard him say out loud, "I did my best". Not knowing exactly what he was talking about...they assumed he meant the game. Within moments he fell to the floor and stopped breathing. His friends tried to revive him, but to no use. At that moment..he passed away.

I believe that the man was not talking about the game. You know when many people have near death experiences and they say their lives past before their eyes? Perhaps this was the case...and in that moment, he saw his life and was able to say, "I did my best".

The pressure to be perfect in this world is horrific. I wasted so many years feeling guilty for my weaknesses...that were common weaknesses of all people. There was no need to be so hard on myself. That is not the Saviors way. He doesn't count mistakes...he counts efforts. I believe that when we pass over into the eternitys, one of the things that will shock us most, is his mercy. This is not justification for sin, but instead encouragement...that we do NOT have to be perfect.

At the end of my life....I don't want to look my Heavenly Father in the eyes and say, "I tried to be perfect". I simply want to proclaim, I DID MY BEST!



Kim CuRtis. *2007*

Saturday, February 03, 2007

*I UNDERSTAND*



"And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." (1 Nephi 11:17)


The beautiful words of Nephi of old....they seem to bring a comfort to my soul in so many respects. I have found myself relying on those words in my young life...over and over. "I do not know the meaning of all things". I have longed to understand the sorrows and stumbling blocks that have been placed along my journeys path. I have spent countless hours pondering their meanings and how I might overcome. Wondering if perhaps they were my own fault. Did I not have enough faith? Was I not trying hard enough? Had I failed him in some way? I would do anything for my Heavenly Father. And anything to be released of the burden of an illness that is so misunderstood ...and judged so harshly in this life. It is lonely...so very very lonely.


"I know that he loveth his children" One of the greatest blessings I have ever been given, was to learn at a young age...that heavenly father knew me, and that he loved me. I have often had to remind myself of that....but deep in my heart I knew he did. That when everyone else failed me....he would not. That when I walked alone....he walked beside me. His arm around my shoulders to bare me up. But we don't see this with our natural eyes. The trials of this life often rob us of this knowledge...and cause us to feel we walk alone. We truly have to call upon a strength that is deep inside us to remind us that he has never left us, and he never will.



When I was 21 I went through a very painful experience. I went to a great teacher of mine, a man I truly trusted for advice and comfort. I found myself in his office weeping before him. I asked him "Why??? Why did this happen to me?" He listened patiently, his eyes never wavering from me. He was silent for a short time. I thought perhaps he didn't know how to answer me. But then some of the most profound words were spoken to me. He said, "Kim, there is a price to pay to be able to say, "I understand"...and YOU have paid the price. I had no idea how much those words would affect my future and how often I would need to remember them. There are no greater comforting words...then the words "I understand". Each time I have said them to a weary traveler...there is an instant sigh of relief. Each time someone has said them to ME, there is an instant sigh of relief. Our gratitude for that person is beyond words. We feel, that even for a moment, we may rest.


I get so tired of the fight. Trying to explain my circumstances. Trying to prove to others that I am not lazy, that I am not making up these things...these anxieties, and the depression that wrenches both my body and mind. That everyday I fight like a lion to just LIVE.


Wouldn't it be remarkable if we saw each persons life on the big screen? I think we would never see them the same again. No judgment would ever come from our lips and I think our hearts would love them in a way that each person so deserves to be loved.


The Savior has been my greatest example of one who must have felt the weariness of his own journey. knowing that so many would misunderstand him, and that he would have to feel all the feelings of sorrow, loneliness, misunderstanding, being misjudged and the great betrayl of those he loved and trusted most. Along with all the other mighty blessings of the atonement, He suffered it all...to be able to say, "I understand" .


I think I finally understand the real reasons WHY I need to suffer and feel alone. Truly, I do not know the meaning of all things, nevertheless...I know that God loves his children. He loves even ME.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

*THE RAINBOW CORRECTION*


"Earlier this month, we had a spell of very odd weather in Salt Lake City. It would be sunny, and then it would rain, and then it would be sunny again, all in the course of a few hours. Traditionally in this part of the country, if it rains, it's gloomy all day. It's consistent and reliable, like a Swiss watch. (Not so much like a Swiss person, of course, as the Swiss are notoriously deceitful and untrustworthy.)
But one plus side of this unusual weather pattern is that when the clouds dissipate and the sun emerges following a spring rain, you can sometimes see rainbows. I've seen three rainbows in the past couple weeks; I don't think I'd seen one in a decade before that.
The downside, however, is that whenever I see a rainbow, I'm afraid my mom is dead.
Believe me, this makes perfect sense. In the late 1970s, the Mormon Church (of which I'm a member) produced film strips for young people telling stories of an inspirational and/or doctrinal nature. This was before VCRs, and film strips were cheaper to produce than actual movies. So you'd have this series of still photos run through a projector, with an accompanying cassette tape providing the soundtrack. Every time you'd hear a "BEEP" on the tape, you'd advance the film one frame further.
Everyone wanted to be in charge of the film projector, because it carried with it a sense of power. It was almost like directing the movie yourself, except the actors weren't moving, and there was a "BEEP" telling you when to do things. But still. The problem with letting ordinary kids run the projector was that ordinary kids can be as undependable and shifty as a Swiss person, and it was often unclear which frame the strip should be on when the tape was started anyway, and so the pictures being projected were often out of sync with the soundtrack. Perceptive children such as myself would know almost immediately that we were off-track, but we were powerless to act, as the projector had been entrusted to someone else. Eventually there would be an obvious misalignment -- the narrator would say, "Billy had fun sinning and carrying on in a shameful manner," but the picture projected would match what he was ABOUT to say, which was, "but soon he felt sorry and remorseful" -- and the projectionist would advance a frame or two and catch up. But in the meantime, the soundtrack not matching the images made it impossible to pay attention to the principles being taught, the same way you cannot listen to a sermon delivered by someone whose tie is crooked or whose hair looks funny. (I'm not the only one, right?)
When I was in charge of the projector, I ran a tight ship, let me tell you. I also was not afraid to put my own cinematographic touches on the experience. For example, there was a film called "Leon's Truck," in which a teenage boy saves money to buy a truck only to subsequently wreck it by drinking and driving. When the storyteller said that Leon was drunk, and the accompanying picture showed Leon in an inebriated state, I turned the focus knob on the projector so that Leon and his surroundings looked appropriately fuzzy. This earned a laugh, yes, but I think it also taught a valuable lesson about drinking and driving.
Anyway, probably the most famous film strip of that era was called "Families are Forever," more popularly known as "I'll Build You a Rainbow." The doctrine being taught was that families can continue to be together as a family unit in the afterlife, too, and that we therefore need not be so frightened of death. (Assuming we were righteous, of course. Naughty people should still be afraid.)
"Families are Forever" was a story told in music. The verses were spoken while an acoustic guitar and strings underscored them; then the storyteller would break into the chorus, which was sung. The story was about an 11-year-old boy named Jamey whose best friend in the whole world was his mom. She played football and went on bike rides with him and stuff, and all the other kids on the block said they wished their moms were like Jamey's mom. I'm only guessing here, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of them thought she was hot. I'm just sayin'.
Well, then, wouldn't you know it, she died. Jamey got called home from school early one day and when he arrived, there was an ambulance in the driveway. He went in to see his mom, and she was in bed, and she told him she was dying. The song doesn't tell us what she had, but apparently it came on suddenly. Food poisoning, maybe, or bubonic plague. Anyway, Jamey's all, "You just can't die, Mom! You just can't!" And she tells him not to worry, because families are forever, and she'll be in heaven waiting for him and watching over him, and he's like, "But how will I know that you're really in heaven?" And she thinks a minute, and then the singer bursts into the chorus:
"I'll build you a rainbow way up high above,Send down a sunbeam plumb full of love,Sprinkle down raindrops, teardrops of joy,I'll be happy as springtime watching over my boy."
And then she dies and they haul her away in the ambulance. Jamey and his dad are standing in the driveway and Dad starts crying and Jamey looks up and sure enough, right up there in the sky is one hell of a big rainbow, and Jamey goes, "Dad, Dad, it's all right: Families are forever!" And then the chorus returns, this time with backup singers:
"I'll build you a rainbow (I'll build you a rainbow) way up high above,Send down a sunbeam plumb full of love,Sprinkle down raindrops (sprinkle down raindrops), teardrops of joy,I'll be happy in heaven watching over my boy."
And that's when YOU CRY. No matter who you are, no matter how funny you think the phrase "plumb full of love" is, no matter what kind of a heartless jerk you are, when Jamey looks up and sees that rainbow and tells his dad families are forever, YOU WILL CRY.
Doctrinally, I'm not sure how sound the story is. Not the part about families being together in the afterlife, because I believe that, but the part where newly deceased mothers can barge into heaven and start flinging rainbows around willy-nilly. Don't you have to get approval for that sort of thing? Do people who have just arrived in heaven even know HOW to build rainbows? Besides, there must hundreds of mothers dying every day. They couldn't let them ALL build rainbows, or the skies would be a never-ending kaleidoscope -- but if the moms DON'T build rainbows, will their distraught families assume that means they didn't make it to heaven?
For that matter, what if Mom does go to hell? Could she send word of that development to her family, too, perhaps to warn them not to follow in her footsteps? "I'll build you a forest fire"? "I'll build you a devastating hurricane"? "I'll build you some puppies with deformities"?
I imagine Jamey's mom approaching the first person she sees in heaven and saying this:
"Hi, hey, listen, um, I just got here, and -- what? Oh, food poisoning ... yeah, out of nowhere, really, surprised us all -- anyway, so I just got here, and -- it's kind of embarrassing, really -- but I sorta promised my kid that I'd, um, build him a rainbow? You know, a rainbow? So he could, like, know that I'm here and everything? So ... who do I talk to about that? Is there, like, a department or whatever? Do I need a permit? Are there forms to fill out...?"
While we're on the subject of songs that are supposed to make you cry whose doctrine I find questionable, there's the recent sappy, crappy country hit "Christmas Shoes" (not to be confused with "Live Like You Were Dyin'," "Already There," or any of the other sappy, crappy country hits that are produced at the rate of one song per week). It's about a guy standing in line in a store at Christmastime, and this filthy urchin in front of him is buying a pair of women's shoes, which he declares to be for his mother:
"Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, pleaseIt's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her sizeCould you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much timeYou see she's been sick for quite a whileAnd I know these shoes would make her smileAnd I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight"
Because, what, Jesus can't abide a barefoot woman? Or a woman who has shoes on that aren't beautiful? And who says Mama will be wearing shoes when she gets to heaven anyway? I believe the old saying is, "You can't take it with you." Does that not apply to shoes? Is there supposed to be an asterisk next to it?
You can't take it with you.**(except shoes)
Anyway, the kid in the song winds up getting the singer to buy him the shoes, because of course he's too poor to pay for them himself. I picture him thanking the man profusely, then hurrying out the door with the shoes to his mother, who's waiting in the car, smoking a cigarette:
"What took you so long? Here, let's see 'em ... What, these are the best you could find?! Pumps! I told you pumps! These are heels! I can't wear these, they make my feet hurt, you stupid brat! You better get it right at the next store. And would it kill you to cry a little? See if you can get someone to give you some cash, too. Mama can't buy lottery tickets with shoes."
And my question is, does this make me a bad person?
Comments & Reaction:
This column follows a circuitous route to its eventual point, and then turns out not to have one anyway. Long-time "Snide Remarks" fans will recognize this sloppy pattern as being the norm for those beloved old Daily Universe-era columns (1997-1999), and I confess a certain fondness for it, too, even though disorganization and random tangents technically make me a bad writer, not a good one.
I had a cassette tape of the "I'll Build You a Rainbow" song for years, but I can't seem to locate it now. Is it on CD anywhere? If someone has it, send it to me, and I'll put it on the site so that people unfamiliar with it can hear it. It really must be heard.
I do have the sheet music for it, though. So if I ever need to perform it in a show, I'm ready.
At a Christmas party last year, the host and hostess performed "Christmas Shoes" with the express purpose of mocking it. They even made a cue card with the lyrics so that we could join in on the chorus. It was the high point of my holiday season.
I was putting the finishing touches on this column in the presence of my Fat Brother Jeff, who read some of it over my shoulder and insisted I include a reference to rainbow-building "permits." We also had a discussion of an asterisk next to "You can't take it with you," so that's where that came from.
An unfortunate coincidence to my baseless attack on Swiss people is that I happen to know a Swiss person, and she's married to my grandfather, and she's perfectly upstanding. But the expression is "as reliable as a Swiss watch," so I had to go with it. No harm intended (not that Grandma II has Internet access anyway).
(Also, do you like how I said "of course" about Swiss people being dishonest, like everyone knows that? That's awesome.) "
Eric D. Snider. (Written in 2005 by Eric D snider)