Friday, February 27, 2009

Clara Cooks

I thought this was so cute just had to share with you!

A little pricey on the carbs but for survival mode it would work! I like her hint about bringing to a boil and covering and then turning off the stove. I do this all the time with steel cut oatmeal and hard boiled eggs. Works perfectly and saves energy.

Words of Affirmation

This morning I was reading Jen's blog again over at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam where she was talking about words of affirmation and how it is the love language of one of her children.

"My 9 year old daughter responds to Words of Affirmation (as outlined in the book, The Five Love Languages for Children), especially from the #1 man in her life. My hubby coached her basketball team, and instead of just handing her the team picture along with the rest of the other team members, he taped it to her headboard with a precious note. It signified to me the power of encouraging words. Encouragement is a gift that requires no money, takes minimal time, and nothing fancy is required. Yet the rewards it reaps in relationships, alongside the realization of everlasting value is priceless."

In my opinion we have such a sacred duty to help make others know of their value and worth. I love this post she did because it is so true that it takes so little time really to lift another person so high. Whether child or adult, everyone thrives on appreciation, being acknowledged and especially being sincerely told they are loved. How much effort does it really take to notice someone's talents and accomplishments and give them a little high five, bravo or praise? Not much and yet it is so uplifting.

Our Words
I liked what President Obama said regarding education and how when someone drops out of school it becomes everyone's burden and problem. The same holds true when we withhold affirmation to someone for whatever reason. Just think what a different world it could be if everyone took the few seconds it takes to acknowledge the goodness of other people.

I have often thought that if we truly understood how much we can affect another's life and soul we would be more forthcoming with our genuine praises and a lot more careful about the words that flow from our mouths, both negative and positive. It really takes very little effort to brighten another person day. What is to be gained by abandoning any generous thought?

Created on Wordle


Thursday, February 26, 2009


Some of you know that Jim and I do not watch TV. We haven't had a regular TV in our home for 20 something years. So as archaic as it seems, most of you have grown up on TV shows that we have only heard about. Makes for awkward social moments at times when we are the only people in the room who are completely clueless.

So when we were introduced to some TV shows sans commercial interruption on DVD (the only way to enjoy TV in my opinion) we went a little crazy. The first show that we got into was The Gilmore Girls. That series has brought me untold hours of enjoyment and laughs. I love the witty dialog and the mommy/daughter times. Stars Hollow is a place I'd love to live. Too bad it is not a real place but put together on a Hollywood back lot. Bummer. Another media let down of real life.

The Loreleis

Well, the series we are into now is Grey's Anatomy. This is basically a night time soap opera but the zany, complicated, scripts are intriguing and the thing I like about it is that it portrays doctors as regular, although not normal people. Honestly, I have never seen so many messed up people in one place and they all drive you nuts, but that is part of the fascination with it. There is not a Marcus Welby in the bunch, to be sure.

Who's Your
Favorite Nut Case?
Derek, Yang, Bailey, Lady Shepherd?

Having worked in the medical field for years I am intrigued by the patients. Can I just tell you they do that pretty realistically? I have seen all those people over the years. I love watching their craziness on the big screen much more than I enjoyed knowing them face to face. TV adds just enough fantasy to make it interesting instead of completely annoying. I am enjoying watching Jeffrey Dean Morgan in his role as Denny. It seems weird to see that strapping hunk of a man as a sickly patient gasping for a breath most of the time. Its a bit of an oxymoron. We are in season 2 right now and it is a weird and wonderfully fun show.

P.S. I Love You...Denny Duquette

Anyway, today I am off in my real world working on the decorating of a fantastic little cottage in the woods! This is where it is at for me. Everyday let's me know I did the right thing getting out of the medical field but it does not prevent me from enjoying Grey's Anatomy one little bit!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

One of the Greatest Gifts

Last winter one of my favorite friends moved to Canada. I really miss, Michelle so much. A month or so after they moved I went outside to get our mail and I noticed some little green shoots popping their little heads up in one of our flower beds. It was Michelle saying hello! A few years back as a surprise to several of our friends, Michelle secretly planted several bulbs of daffodils and tulips in our yards.
Now each year when the dreariness of winter is getting old, up pop the flowers. I love these flowers and they make me think of my sweet friend all the time. Yesterday I saw them again...Michelle! I wish you could come for a visit. We miss you. And I haven't had a decent pedicure since you left! There is no one that can take your place!

I have received some great and meaningful and thoughtful gifts in my life time but none quite as unique or that keep on giving in the same beautiful way.

Blogs That Just Can't Be Missed!

I am continually amazed by the wonderful blogs out there. Honestly, you can learn so much and I have one favorite that I must tell you about. This blog is written by a mother of young children. Her name is Jen, she's all about the balancing act and she can be found here.

I love the post she did today about cooking with her kids. It has such great insights and these are some very lucky kids! She talks about setting high expectations and the things she wants her children to learn before they leave the nest. When our kids were little there was a book entitled 401 Things To Teach Your Kids. That book was amazing and had annual goals to reach the ultimate target of raising a responsible, knowledgeable, self-sufficient, contributing adult. Jen's post reminded me of that book and how much wisdom it contained.

She talks about good economy, balancing every day life and many of her experiences. Always a place I love to stop by even though I am past the child rearing stage in my life. She is a great thrift shopper also~something I'll never get past!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook~February 23, 2009

I am participating Peggy's Blog party for today. I love this one and just discovered it this morning at Kelli's House. You should stop over and see what people have contributed.
It is lovely!

For Today...February 23, 2009

Outside my window... It is overcast with a promise of rain and a gentle breeze.

I am thinking... I should get to the grocery store but this is more fun!

From the learning rooms... I am working on the budget and learning new tricks to stretch it.

I am thankful for... the beauty of life, family, the earth.

From the kitchen... I am planning to do some cooking today after shopping. Organizing our meals and being prepared to do an excellent Weight Watcher week is the agenda.

I am wearing... Brown shirt and demin jeans, Cabella brown mules, and jewelry,always jewelry!

I am reading... a few books and some magazines seeking inspiration for my new kitchen remodel coming up.

I am hoping... someone reads the posts I have done this morning and makes a comment!

I am creating... ways to live a more abundant life with simplicity.

I am hearing... some Italian guitar music.

Around the house... work is in process to complete our remodeled laundry room.

One of my favorite things... sharing my heart and soul through blogging and meeting new friends the same way.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Finishing the laundry room, doing an interior design consult, and decorating a cottage with a very sweet friend and client.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This is our precious littlest granddaughter, Hazel! My thought is that God is gracious and loving and we feel so blessed to have her in our lives. She was born with spina bifada and has taught us the most beautiful things in her sweet young life. Her life will not be easy but it will be brimming over with love.

Grampa Camp

Jen's Brownie & Our Littlest Angel!

Had to show you the close-up!

Jim has just returned from a fun-filled long weekend in Utah where he was able to take care of Jen and Lowell's girls while they had a little R and R. He always comes home from Utah just shaking his head and saying, "I don't know how mothers do it."

I wish he'd have had that same perspective when I was a mother of young kids but then, you can't really. When you are living it, it is just what you do. After the fact, you see what an amazing feat parents can and do accomplish one day at a time. We have so much respect for all of our kids and the great parenting they are doing.

We are grateful that we could help Jen and Lowell out and that they got a much needed rest and some quiet time together. It really was a family affair with Chris and Missy hosting all of them for dinner on Saturday night and the big girls playing over there most of the afternoon as well.

Aunt Missy makes Soup for Grampa...his favorite!

Uncle Chris is the official taster!

Starting with Jim holding Hazel, every other kid is Jen and Lowell's
and Chris and Missy's. I wonder if they planned it or it just happened?
What a blessing to have them so close!
Missing Spencer and Rossie!

Grampa had lots of fun with the girls at the park also. They also had a Mc Donald's ice cream cone. The three big girls were all so great and helpful and Hazie was so good for Grampa.

Hazel and Julia having fun in the sun!
Hazie loves to be outside!

There is always that one picture when you realize
they are not babies anymore. This is it for Chloe!
She is a big girl now for sure. A bitter sweet moment!

Piper flying high!

Julia helping Grampa with Chloe!
Such great sisterhood!

Jim said that Hazie was just the best but he never saw such a huge bunch of smiles on her face as when Mommy and Daddy came walking through the door on Sunday morning! Glad you had a fun time Jen and Lowell!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Daughters Reprise

Someone requested I rerun this one so here it is. It is meant to be viewed while listening to John Mayer's song"Daughters." Since I have always had trouble making this work correctly by adding it to the video I have added it as a sidebar gadget and you can just scroll down slightly to see it on the right and turn it on if you'd like while viewing the slide show. It will take two plays to see all the photos of the cherished daughters in our family.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

50 Questions About Me..(Now There's Exciting!)

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My middle name Jo is after my Sweet Mom. Her name was Josephine and she went by Jo. Thus the Bonnie Jo...Now our little granddaughter is Hazel Jo as well. It has become a bit of a family thing.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? A couple of weeks ago.

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not anymore I am a typist now! (Although not a good one!)


5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Given birth to 3, they married 3 more, they created 10 more. So yes!

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Hopefully, yes. I try to be a good friend.

7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? Who me? Are you kidding...all the time!


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No, not for any reason!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? My latest is steel cut oatmeal with frozen blueberries and brown sugar. Mix it together and heat in the microwave for 2 die for!


12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Peppermint at Christmas Time, Jamocha Almond Fudge the other 11 months.


14. WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY? I could probably do 10 but not just one!

15. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Read the answer to the previous question.

16. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My parents, our children and grandchildren.


Dark wash jeans and brown Cabella slides, mules or whatever they call them??

19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Lionel Richie singing an oldie I don't even know the name of it.

20. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SOUND? The versateller spittin' out 20's? No really I don't know..probably our kids laughing together and having fun.

21. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? I'm still on my pumpkin kick.

22. FAVORITE SMELLS? Rain, fireplace, cut grass, linen spray, perfume.


Yes very much, my daughter Jen!

25. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Olympics...all but the boxing and weight lifting and wrestling. Ugh! I don't mind a good game of basketball but I have to be in the stands...not on TV.

26. HAIR COLOR? Hope to never know for sure.

27. EYE COLOR? Blue/green

28. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No, I like looking studious! Actually, I cannot stand the thought of something in my eyes.

29. FAVORITE FOOD? My mom's potato salad.

30. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy...never scary!

31. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Benjamin Button and loved it!

33. SUMMER OR WINTER? Can I say AUTUMN? I like mild weather so you don't have to think about being really hot or really cold.

Ahhhh, no!



36. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Well, I just don't know!

37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama (got it at a gift exchange) and Remember Me the newish Sophie Kinsella book. How is that for diversity?

38. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSEPAD? No mouse pad

39. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT? Last night I was at the movies but Thursday I watched Grey's Anatomy ..Netflixing and blazing a hot trail between them and us. We are on season 2 and hooked. Big time. Scary. Where has Patrick Dempsey been all of my life?

40. LIST SOME ITEM'S FROM YOUR BUCKET LIST: Serve a full time mission, get a new house, publish a book I have yet to write, paint a picture or two, enjoy the fruit of our labors with my hubby, see all our grandchildren grow up and get married and have children of their own.

41. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Neither, sorry.


43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I am working on it.

44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Sacramento, CA



47. RED OR PINK? Red

At a dance.

49. WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO BE? Home, Europe, Utah or anywhere the kids are, Muir Woods, San Francisco.

50. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FLOWER? There are so few flowers that I do not love. Can't pick just one. Well, maybe pansies!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


As Jim has been working on renovating our laundry room, I have been his gopher so have been standing by to help and we have been listening to the radio for hours on end. Of course one of the major topics is the economy. The questions have arisen, what has happened, how did it happen, why did it happen, who is to blame, etc.

I am sure there are many good answers to these questions and they range from we all contributed to it, to naming names of people that actually made crucial and critical bad decisions. Bankers, Wall Street, investors, corporate executives and politicians can all have a piece of it. We can also hand a piece of the blame to the hundred of thousands of people that took out immense loans that they knew, in their heart of hearts they could not afford. The mindless and irresponsible spending, spending, spending with credit cards took its toll as well.

To me one of the most culpable of all is the media. The big pot stirrer that never shuts up. It never stops with the doomsday speculation and never stops being an "expert" in every arena. I don't know about you but I am sick to death of it and we don't even watch TV. The problem caused by this media pot stirring is that money isn't circulating, production is down, unemployment is up and on and on. The media can take a big bow for the blame in so many ways.

The place where they lie in wait to make your day!

I would love to see the media try to shift from a position of making it worse to reporting the facts without all the negative editorializing. Getting back to true journalism sounds like a good idea. Or maybe they could take the bully pulpit they have and use it to educate and uplift and unite the country and the world...but that would be asking a bit much, I'm guessing.

Where can we turn for good news reporting? It is getting to the point that unless you see it happen with your own two eyes, you can barely believe anything from the media anymore. How do we filter it and make it something useful or worthwhile? Any ideas?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wanna See My New Bracelet?

This is what James gave me for Valentine's Day. I love this bracelet from Brighton because $10.00 from the purchase goes to your favorite charity and because it so reminds me of our early years together when peace signs and symbol emerged over the Viet Nam war. Then we were young and idealistic and we were so passionate about wanting peace for our world. That sentiment still exists and we want it as much as ever, albeit that we do understand the complexities of it all a little better now. So I was delighted to received this great bracelet with its timeless message. It is really cool! It is so nice to share a life with someone for many years~they know you so well. Thanks, JB!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hope It was a Great Valentine's Day for You!

Aren't these flower pods great? So apropos~
flickr by aussiegall

We hope you are having a super Valentine's Day
and feeling the LOVE!

We love you, that's for sure!
Jim & Bonnie

We stayed home tonight and had a quiet, romantic dinner. This was the first time we had eaten in our dining room alone on our new round table. It was fun and restful after a very busy day! What did you do? Check out those Valentine cookies!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Heart Warmer #14 My Valentine

Love of my Life!

What can I say that hasn't been said about my husband of 40 1/2 years and best friend for 45 years? I guess maybe "Thank You!" would be good. Thank you, James, for putting up with me and growing up with me!

It has been a great life and I wouldn't trade most of it for anything. A few things, yes...but that's because I want earth life to be heaven. We are not ready for that yet, right?

Almost Heaven~ 24/7
Is Good, in fact, Excellent
Love you Forever, Babe,
With all my Heart and Soul.

Happy Valentine's Day!

The song below kind of sums it up. I thought the video was so cute. Being 16 with you was forever ago and really just yesterday too! Looking forward to our 45th Romantic Valentine's Day date tomorrow night!

A Valentine Thought~The Plural of I

Some time ago Jim and were discussing our 40 plus years of marriage and thought about something that has given us a huge sense of unity. We often hear married couples talking about my son, my daughter, my house, my car, etc. I did this, I have that, etc.

We have tried to always say we, our and us and it makes a big difference about how we feel about each other, our marriage, our lives and our unity. Speaking singularly is divisive when you think about it. It is small thing that makes a big difference over time.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Heart Warmer #13~Our Kids!

At the Temple~A Forever Family

Disneyland Family Reunion 1997

The continual heart warmers...our kids! I thought it might be fun to show you some old photos. The first one is the only picture we have of our sealing day. How sad, but none the less at least you can see how big the kids (and Jim's hair & our glasses) were when we went. I cannot believe how much the quality of pictures has improved in those 30 years.

The second photo is one I truly love. It just captured the fun we had when all the kids met us at Disneyland for a couple of days. Jen and Lowell and Chris and Missy were brand new newly weds and Laura and Robert were a few months from their wedding day in December. We had so much fun and it seems like they were such care free days way back then.

Jen, Chris and Laura are wonderful kids and always have been. And their spouses are amazingly well suited to them and we love them like our own. They all have been great blessings in our lives. And we couldn't pick six better parents for our little sweet grandchildren.

Hoping you have a romantic dinner out planned for Valentine's Day!

Thanks kids, Happy Valentine's Day and know that we love and miss you all.

My New Blog

I have started a blog for and about the Special Kids we call our grandkids! It is kind of an experiment and another attempt at trying to keep the family close from a distance. It is an open blog and you are welcome to read it if you like and comments are welcome too. Maybe this will give some other grandparents some ideas too. Also any ideas you have of things to include would be appreciated. It is always a challenge when states and continents divide you but I am trying to find the way.

The Blog is called Gramma and You and can be found here. Feedback welcome and appreciated.

Heart Warmer #12~The Grandkids!

Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that getting older does not have its own set of heart warming reward! For us one of the hugest is being grandparents to 10 adorable grandkids. Each one comes with their own unique and special gifts and each one could not be loved more by their Gramma and Grampa.

One of the things about being grandparents is that is is fun and easy. You only have two jobs, to love and support them and their parents. It is not complicated with the things that parents have to accomplish. The rest of it is just plain good and lots of fun. Of course you do worry about them and we have had our share of that, but it is all good. Our Father in Heaven has been very generous with His abundant blessings.

It is great to be able to just be another pair of arms for hugging, another person to listen, play with and to help them figure out the world they live in. Hopefully, we as their grandparents can bring whatever we have into their lives as enrichment and unconditional love.

When your grandchildren first call you "Gramma" or "Grampa" you think your heart will melt and when they throw their little arms around your neck and tell you they love you, you just know it will. And then the pictures they draw and color and paint start coming and you think you will need to move to a bigger house to keep them all. This is one of the first way they show you how much they love you and every gift is special. They themselves are God's greatest gifts to us at this time in our lives. Our joy is full.

We love it when we can talk with them on the phone and hear their enthusiasm for their little lives and the fun they are having in school and church and sports, and music, and with friends. We are so proud of each one of them and the special people they are becoming. I will say it is alarming how quickly they are growing up. The 3 oldest will be 10 this year and the 2 babies will be 2. And then there are five more in between! They truly are the Sunshine of our Lives!