Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween 2012!

Vintage sepia photo where someone added
 black glitter to the hats
And put it in a black frame.
One of my favorite Halloween Decorations
Especially for my Genealogy Friends!

In the olden days Halloween was different than it is today. Although I am not a big fan of the scary parts of Halloween, both the imagined and the real, there are things I do like about it. For one, it seems that most kids are pretty crazy about the costumes and the trick or treating. Because kids love it, they tend to remember it when they grow up. I think that any holiday that bookmarks childhood memories can be a good thing.

When I think back to my growing up years a lot of it is just a fog. The repetition of daily life seems to all blend into a happy feeling inside of me but not a lot of real specific things are there unless I search the archives of my memory with real intent. Things like Halloween seem to stand out pretty well.

It seems that the costumes were mostly homemade and I can remember a lot of ghosts and hobos. There were also a lot of gypsies and little girls in lots of mom's make-up and fancy fake jewelry and boys with blackened faces done by lighting a match to a cork and then rubbing it on your face. Lots of kids just wore their own clothes and a mask of some kind. I don't remember adults in costumes unless they were going to a grown-up party or wanted to really scare kids at their doors.

The tricks that I remember were soaping windows. It was something the bigger kids did that really made people mad as it was hard to get off the cars and houses. Heaven knows we never did it, mom and dad would never allow anything like that thankfully. In my Dad's day it was turning over outhouses and he was known to have participated in a few of those events! One time he and a bunch of kids put a guy's buckboard up on his barn roof. They got in some major trouble from their parents for that. We on the other hand, were perfect little angels. Sure we were!

We had some fun school activities with costumes and bobbing for apples and old-fashioned things like that. I remember "going fishing" for prizes, eating popcorn balls and frosted cookies. These events were the precursor to the school carnivals of today I think.

Halloween was always a bench mark for the beginning of the colder and rainier weather and staying warm outside under your costume was essential. It seems that it would be dark so early and was usually the first week of daylight savings time. And no one was interested in eating dinner, that's for sure! We just wanted to go, go go! The thing about candy in those days was it was a rare treat which made the pay dirt all the sweeter. (Is there a lesson for another day here?)

Jen's pumpkin art
Our Daughter is so artistic!

We would always pray for no rain in Sacramento where I grew up. Rain always put such a damper on the blocks and blocks of door to door trick or treating. We lived in a housing tract and going out was so much fun.

You didn't have to be afraid of weirdos that liked to poison kids and things like that. Kids were out in mass and parents just didn't have to worry about the safety of their kids like we did in our kids' day and especially now that we have grandkids. Fortunately, most people now just take their kids to homes of people they know and still every year you read of unfortunate events involving little kids. Not so in our care free days of growing up.

We all used large paper bags to collect our loot. One of our parents would always go with us until we were about 10. Then we could go alone if we took our little brother with us. One time I remember that I was 10, Steve was 8 and our baby brother, Gary, was 5. Out we went with Gary in tow and we hit every house for about five blocks. We had a ton of candy and were pretty excited. The few rich people even gave out 5 cent candy bars!! When we arrived home exhausted and happy we ran to our rooms to empty our bags on to the floor and count and sort the stuff. Steve and I ran into the bedroom and then we heard our little brother crying in the kitchen.

 I took the still life photos last night
 at the Oakland Family Search Library. 
 One of our staff members, John, 
does these lovely arrangements for the Library.

The next thing I knew my Dad was standing over Steve and me saying that we needed to share our candy with Gary!  " What? Are you kidding us?"  (How could we be so selfish and bratty I wonder now?)

I guess we weren't doing the best job of watching him as he ran to keep up with us that night. It seems little Gar, was not quite tall enough and he was dragging his paper bag in the wet grass. He arrived home with nothing but a big bag with a big hole in the bottom. Poor little guy! He was heart broken and we begrudgingly shared our candy. To this day I call him and remind him not to drag his bag in the wet grass every Halloween!

Faux Calories! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Carving Time

I think this is cute!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook~October 27, 2012

Just for today~Saturday, October 27, 2012
Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.


Outside my window...the sun has passed over us and the shadows of day's end are approaching the driveway and side of house.  Dinner is made and I got all the house work done early this morning.  It is one of those days when the house is cooler than outside.  A beautiful Autumn day that I have enjoyed mostly right here from my desk as I have been writing most of the day.  I have been writing some (but not all) of my very over due emails, organizing my work for the coming week, reading various blogs and news articles and writing blog posts.  This is my second for today.  I love days like this where I am free to do what I want and need to do.  Yay!  Jim has been off in ten directions helping here and there.

I am thankful for...the fact that after several months of battling with atopic dermatitis it is finally getting better.  Good health is something I use to take for more.  That little thing of constant itching and blistery rashes have nearly driven me crazy.  Especially at night when it is much worse and sleeping well is not possible.  When that occurs then the next day is not too productive. 

From the learning room...I have learned that when you do not feel well things are all colored in a different way then normal.  I found that I could not fully concentrate on things and that I lost my enthusiasm for the things I love.  Poor Jim, I think he wanted me well more than I did.  The medications made me grumpy and edgy.  My passion for life waned and I just felt irritated a lot.  Now that I am feeling so much better I feel like life and lit my fire again.  Yahoo!

I am reading...mostly the Internet on the election and I have been on Pinterest a lot.  It was so relaxing when I was feeling badly and I could just get lost in the beautiful scenery, the photos of autumn and all the other things I love to view on there.  I guess it is a bit like reading picture books as a little kid.  That has been great for me.  It has been my Calgon bath, my yoga, my day in the park...just all things relaxing and rejuvenating for me.  When politics and the concerns of the day work me over pretty well...I go to Pinterest to recover.  There I can view the beautiful creations of God and find rest.

From the kitchen...Minestrone soup and hard crusty bread tonight.  Praise God for crockpots.

I am missing...Downton Abbey, working more on our family history, my far away beloved friends and family and my mom's peanut butter cookies.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...we truly are created and loved by our Father in Heaven.  We have no power at all on our own.  Not even to take breath.  Every good thing and every good day comes from Him.  Without Him we are nothing.  With Him we are everything.  All simple and yet profound thoughts that we often think upon recovering from something that kind of knocks the wind out of our sails.   I learned that not feeling well is a lonely place.  I think it has made me more compassionate for people with chronic illnesses and conditions.  The Savior kept me from despair and gave me hope.  I am so grateful for Jim, he helped me so much.  Good health alters everything for the better, the reverse is also true.  May we all be as healthy as possible for as long as possible.  Above all may we find comfort in our afflictions in Christ and strength in our faith.

I am hearing...Josh Groban..Awake.  Music is the balm of so many ailments.  Beautiful and peaceful melodies that comfort and quiet. 

One of my guilty pleasures...White Collar.  I am loving that TV series that I can watch on Netflix streaming.  We have not had network TV for decades so I really have no idea what most people are watching.  I feel with the streaming I can kind of catch up on some stuff.  And I could never watch regular TV with all the commercials.  Netflix has me spoiled, that...and our Apple TV box that streams it all onto the big screen.  Sweet. What I like about White Collar...decent capers and language, wholesome relationships and nice eye candy.  Neal and Peter...Ahem!

Pet Peeves...People that are not real or genuine or honest or good.

I am be so dang happy when we have a new president.

I am quoting...Pinterest

 If I could change one thing it would be...the distance between us and the friends and family we love.  I would love to be closer to all of you as we go through some very trying times in this world.  A big group hug on a regular basis would be awesome.  In need your hugs to keep me going. 

An enjoyable movie we have watched lately...Upstairs/Downstairs 2010 version.  Absolutely delightful.  PBS Masterpiece Theater.  I am a true PBS devotee.

I am curious about...the obvious difference between good and evil and why more cannot see it and do not want to see it.  Perplexing.

Plans for the rest of the week...keep resting today and tomorrow except for Church.  Monday family history all day.  I will praying all week for our kids in Rhode Island for their safety from the hurricane and storm and will be glad when it blows over and out.  Tuesday work, Wednesday grocery shopping and getting the pantry and freezer stocked up.  Thursday guests for dinner for Jim's mom's 86th birthday.  Need a haircut someplace along the way and nothing else is coming to mind right now.  Just trying to keep the stress down so the skin will not flare-up.  Hurricane Sandy and O b a m a go away...that will help.
One of my favorite things...being able to visualize a bright new future for us all.

Some photos I am sharing this week...yesterday Jim and I went to the City and had an enjoyable time.  Here are a few of the photos from our day trip.  It was the most beautiful much so that I just want to take the memories and wrap myself in them for awhile.   It was sunny and 70 degrees out.  It was one of those days you just wish would never end.  I tried to understand why I love going there so much with him.  I think I got a glimpse into my love for it yesterday.  It is our private time together when no one else is wanting anything.  We can just be together and relax without interruption.  Kind of sad we have to leave home to get that but that is about the size of it.  That is by our choice but once in awhile a break needs to be savored.

Coming across the Bridge

So much blue with the 
Golden Gate in the background.

The San Francisco Yacht Club

Reflections of the Yachts on the Harbor

After we drove around and took photos we made out way to Palace of the Legion of Honor.  The museum has several Rodin sculptures that reside here permanently.  The Thinker is in the outer court yard and it was surrounded by this huge see-through tent and they were setting up for a wedding reception tonight.  Holy Cow how much did that cost we both wondered?  $20,000 just for the venue? Will The Thinker upstage the bride and groom?   We are half-tempted to go back over there tonight to see it all lit up with the chandeliers they were hanging in the elegant tent.  It will be amazing and crazily extravagant.  

The Kiss~We love this one!

Rodin's signature

I have never been a fan of Picasso but 
me thinks I see the inspiration for Big Bird here.

I about cried when we saw this and could stand 
in front of it uninterrupted for as long as we wished.
Musee D'Orsay in Paris is on our Bucket List.
Imagine being able to see many of the 
Impressionist's Painting right here at home.

We enjoy this museum so very much and the annual pass we bought has been a really wonderful bargain.  The fact that they rotate the exhibits makes it always new and enchanting.  Since the Legion and De Young partner on this annual pass it broadens the experience considerably.  We love it.

After this we went to The Beach Chalet 
one of our favorite places for lunch
 and sat by the window with this view.

So peaceful and quiet and private. 
 I am going to get a lot of mileage out of yesterday
 in the next couple of weeks.  It was wonderful.
I wish you could come over for a visit~you'd love it!

❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon


He Will Preserve The Righteous With His Power

This is an excerpt from a talk given 34 years ago by Ezra Taft Benson, A General Authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He later became the President of the Church.  It could have been given today for its appropriate applications.  It resonates with our day and time perfectly.

It can be found in its entirety here.

This photo was taken of Governor Romney just
 moments before speaking to a large group
 on the campaign trail this week.

Mitt was not aware that this picture was being taken by a staff member and perhaps the scared moment should have been kept private.  However, it says a lot about the humility and the goodness of this man.  He no doubt prays often to bring this country back to the principles upon which it was founded. He wants us to once again be one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.  I am very weary of people that want you and me to believe that seeking after good and righteous leadership is somehow politically incorrect. 

Here's that excerpt from the President Benson.

 "...As righteousness will increase, so will evil. We see evidences of this all about us. It sometimes causes members of the Church to despair. We may be assured, however, that the Lord will take care of this in His own time and in His own way. Hear His decree:

“I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked. …
“I have sworn in my wrath, and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man;

“And the saints also shall hardly escape; nevertheless, I, the Lord, am with them, and will come down in heaven from the presence of my Father and consume the wicked with unquenchable fire.” (DC 63:32–34; italics added.)

“We may not be too far from the day prophesied by Heber C. Kimball, grandfather of President Spencer W. Kimball and member of the First Presidency. He said:

“The Saints will be put to tests that will try the integrity of the best of them. The pressure will become so great that the more righteous among them will cry unto the Lord day and night until deliverance comes.” (“Prophecy of Heber C. Kimball,” Deseret News, Church Section, May 23, 1931, p. 3.)
But remember the Lord has said in modern revelation, “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” (DC 38:30.) Are we prepared? God help us to be so for the tests of the days ahead.

With these prophetic warnings and assurances before us and evidences of evil increasing, Church members are asking: “Why is not the Church doing more to expose the evils of our society?” “Is there a great conspiracy?” “What can I do to fight false philosophies which have crept into our school systems and society in general?” “With the precarious political and economic conditions, should I prepare my sons and daughters for college and future careers?” “Is the Church (Of Jesus Christ) the only answer to the problems about us, or are there other things we should be doing?”

It is easy to despair when we see about us the moorings of society slipping. We must remember, however, that the Lord sent His Saints into the world “to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men.” (DC 103:9.) This is a time when “Zion must arise and put on her beautiful garments.” (DC 82:14) 

 The contrast between the Church and the world will be increasingly marked in the future, which contrast, we hope, will cause the Church to be more attractive to those in the world who desire to live according to God’s plan for us, His children.

The Church will always stand for that which is honest, virtuous, true and praiseworthy. Such a pronounced stand for righteousness constitutes a repudiation against every evil and all false philosophies. The First Presidency and the Twelve are not oblivious to false philosophies and evils and will continue to warn the world and the Saints as the Lord directs.

Yes, there is a conspiracy of evil. The source of it all is Satan and his hosts. He has a great power over men to “lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken” to the voice of the Lord. (Moses 4:4.) His evil influence may be manifest through governments; through false educational, political, economic, religious, and social philosophies; through secret societies and organizations; and through myriads of other forms. His power and influence are so great that, if possible, he would deceive the very elect. As the second coming of the Lord approaches, Satan’s work will intensify through numerous insidious deceptions.

Parents also need to take a stand for all that is honest, virtuous, and praiseworthy. It is the responsibility of heads of families to support wholesome influences for their children in government, schools, in the home, in the neighborhoods, in stores, in local theaters. Parents have responsibility to see that freedom is preserved for their children, and that the present generation does not burden future generations with debt and wasteful extravagance. The gospel, the kingdom of God, can prosper only in an atmosphere of freedom. 

Every adult has responsibility in selecting government leadership, for as the Lord has said, “I, the Lord God, make you free, therefore ye are free indeed; … Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn. Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for diligently.” (DC 98:8–10.)

There is an urgent need for the development of a more firm and virtuous influence in the public affairs of each community, each state or province, and nations as a whole. A force for positive good is needed in every facet of public life.  Too many heads of families are not involving themselves in the affairs of their communities on the ground that they have not received specific instructions from Church leaders. 

The Lord, however, has declared:

“It is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant. …

“Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;

“For the power is in them. … And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.” (DC 58:26–28.)

Joseph Smith, the prophet of this dispensation, declared: “It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound and good and unpopular that which is unsound.” (History of the Church, 5:286.)

We must ask ourselves: Are we doing all we can to actively participate in the preservation of our freedom in building an influence for positive good and resisting the flood of evil which threatens to inundate the whole human family?

A major responsibility of family heads is to help prepare youth for the future. Gospel principles may be instilled through effective family home evenings where youth will be fortified so that they have no need to fear for their future. Such teaching must be done in faith, testimony, and optimism.
The Church’s mission is to declare the gospel of the kingdom to all the world, to redeem our kindred dead, and to perfect the Saints of the Church—a positive approach. Never in the history of the Church has there been such an expenditure of time, planning, and resources to accomplish this mission. In the final analysis, this effort (To Come Unto Christ) is the only solution to the problems of the world.
When Jesus stood before Pilate, the Roman governor asked him whether or not He was a king. It was a political question. The Savior replied: “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36.) 

His answer is apropos today: The work of His kingdom is preeminently spiritual. The economic, political, and social problems facing this nation, as well as other nations, will be solved only with the help of God.  The days ahead will be sobering and will test the faith of the Saints. But we may obtain strength from the Lord’s assurances found in modern revelation. I quote:

“He will preserve the righteous by his power. … Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; … they shall be saved, even if it so be … by fire.” (1 Ne. 22:17.)
“I will fight your battles.” (DC 105:14.) “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; 

… This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.” (3 Ne. 22:17.)
“Great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve.” (Moses 7:61; italics added.)

The kingdom of God will not fail; it shall not be destroyed; it will not be left to other people; it will stand forever until “the kingdoms of this world [will] become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.” (Rev. 11:15.)

Hear the prophecy of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (HC, 4:540.)

Christian denominations the world over have prayed for centuries for the kingdom of God to come. We earnestly and publicly declare: that day is now here!

To Latter-day Saints the world over, we say: Let not your hearts be troubled. Keep the commandments of God. Follow the counsel of his living prophet, taking care not to exceed the counsel with your own private views. Teach your children to walk uprightly before the Lord. Pray in your homes morning and evening. Pray for civil magistrates and leaders even when you do not agree with them. Pray for the leaders of the Church. Pray, as you have been counseled, that the doors of nations of the world will be opened to the preaching of the gospel. Obey the laws of your country; rebel not against civil authority. Do your duty as citizens. “Do not yield to the bad, but always oppose it with good.” (Virgil.)

To all who have allegiance to the kingdom of God, we say: “Seek ye … first the kingdom of God.” (Matt. 6:33.) “Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations; And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.” (DC 115:5–6.)

Yes, “Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.

“Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come.” (DC 65:5–6.)..."


I am pretty tired of all the lying, the cover-ups, the secrecy, the corruption and hidden self-serving agendas.  I want our country to be better.  I am voting for a righteous vision of where we should be headed. I am excited about the chance to help get a good man in office for some positive changes.

This is THAT man.
Mitt Romney will be stepping up...
November 6, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Let Us All Speak Kinds Words

Today in church one of our speakers gave a talk that really was profound to me.  It was about our words, the way they uplift or deflate, bring comfort or pain.  We have all heard these things before but I really liked the approach Brother Greg took when he said he wanted to consider it in four different ways.  I'd like to springboard off of the premise of that talk with some ideas of my own.

1.  The things we say that are positive and good.

This one is fairly obvious.  We should always try to make people feel good and lift them.  I am talking about praising and acknowledging and noticing and appreciating the things about people that are true,  and then genuinely expressing the way we feel about them in words.  To build and edify is always a good thing.  We never know how some kind words can improve on a person's day, their outlook on life and the very way they see themselves.  This is especially true of children but I don't think people really ever outgrow the need to hear what we value about them.  It is just a part of kindness and love and being filled with the love of Christ.

2.  The things we should say and don't.

There are many times when people are just stingy about saying kind things to people around them.  Part of this may be their own pride or fear of something being taken the wrong way or just being unaware.  I think a lot of it is attributed to people being so self-involved they just don't think about how they affect others.  We live in a 'me first' era.  Reaching out and blessing others does not come naturally to all people.  It requires awareness, an outward focus and a desire to edify another.  

We've all heard of the man who was asked why he never told his wife he loved her.  His response was, "I told her when I married her and that should be enough."  There are parents that never tell their children they love them or treat them with affection or give them praise.  This is criminal in my opinion.  Things like that leave deep empty spaces in kids and adults too.  Everyone needs to have reassurances from the people they love and admire and respect in words.  We cannot assume they just know.  To be loved and appreciated is a basic human need.  I think sometimes we think contributing to that for someone else surely isn't our job.  Someone else will take care of that person's needs. 

Today a beautiful young woman came up to me after church and with tears in her eyes told me something she loved about me.  She didn't have to do that but I will not forget that tender moment we shared.  I have known her all her life but today we share something that made me love her more than ever.  She blessed my life more than she knows today.  Being noticed for something is affirming, not because you want to be recognized in a worldly way, but because sometimes you just need to know you matter to someone.  The key is it must be genuine kindness, not just empty flattery.  And you can tell the difference in a heartbeat.  Your words should be given freely with no ulterior motives.  It is not a chore or a job, it is a blessing and a gift to be given. 


3.  The things we shouldn't say and do.

This is a big one.  We have all said things to someone we regret.  We have all said words we would love to take back.  The tongue is a very hefty weapon and we need to guard it well.  Do you remember the little verse from our childhood, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names can never hurt me."  Is there anything that could be further from the truth?  I can imagine we all remember things that have been said to us that cut to our core.  Often they stay with us our whole lives.  We can forgive but it is hard to forget.  

Jim and I tried extremely hard to always remember this when our children were growing up and we still do now.  I do regret one incident where I messed up and what happened several years later.  Christopher thought that when he grew up he might want to be a doctor.  We would talk about it as moms and kids do from time to time. 

One time I was asking him to do something.  I am not even sure what it was but he pushed me to exasperation, I do remember that.  He was probably about 8 or so.  In my anger I said, "Chris, you will never be a doctor if you cannot do this one simple thing! (Clean up your room or whatever it was.)  When he received his PhD in mechanical engineering 20 something years later he reminded me of that comment.  I had hurt my little boy and I felt terrible.  I begged for his still brings tears to my eyes.  Words can hurt.  We have to think before we say things.  He said something sweet like,  "Don't worry, Mom, it motivated me to keep going!"  He is such a great and loving son.  We should all want to be remembered for all our kind words, never for the ones that cut into another's heart.  

4.  The things we should never say.

This one made me think of what lying about someone or something can do.  Or about gossiping and backbiting and how it can sting and hurt and destroy people.  I once heard it described this way.  Spreading a story that discredits or defames another person is like stabbing into a feather pillow with a big knife in a windstorm.  No matter how hard you try you can never retrieve all those feathers again.  The fall out just keeps on hurting.  You just cannot take your words back.  What we say about a person to someone else changes how your friend views them.  It can be had for the good but often it is not a good thing.  We may do it in the heat of the moment but when we cool off and have regrets, the words still hang in the air like raunchy cigarette smoke that doesn't dissipate. 

I thought about the bullying that goes on in schools today.  We worry about our grandkids.  Most kids will be victimized by it in their life time to some degree.  We have to make sure our kids are not the ones doing it and that they are also protected from the ones that do. 

The other thing this made me think about was how we should not judge unrighteously or jump to conclusions about other people.  Especially our family and good friends.  I think truth be known, most times we are wrong about what is going on with them.  We need to cut people some slack, trust in them and believe in them even if they are not doing exactly what we think they should be doing 24/7.  God is not finished with any of us yet.  We need to be patient, long-suffering and forgiving and above all loving.  If we need to say something to that person, may we do it with kindness and consideration and in a non-accusing or threatening way.  

Our words matter, they really really do.  Hopefully we can chose them wisely and never with the intention of hurting.  I know I want to be remembered for my kind words...always.  I want my words to be thoughtful and filled with propriety and circumspection.  Our heart needs to be in the right place.  No one is perfect in these areas but we must just keep working on it all of our lives. I'm thankful for Christ's perfect example and His tender forgiving heart when we fall short.  How would we ever survive without Him to lead us, guide us and walk beside us? Or without His loving care for each of by one.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A E Smith Dinner Speeches By Presidential Hopefuls

Nothing like a little laughter to cut the tension.
We'll see if it sticks for Monday Night!

If you are up for a little light-hearted hilarity between 
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama click below.   Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Points to Ponder in Our Day and Time!

 Each morning I see newspaper clippings on my desk from Jim.  He likes to put funny cartoons that he knows will resonate with me as they have with him.  Of late he has been clipping more than usual and MORE than usual; like lots of political things, local news along with the funnies!  This morning this article appeared in our local paper and I thought it was so good I wanted to share it in its entirety.  This article was written by Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at Hoover Institute, at Stanford University.   I will quote it with my own emphasis in red.  The article is entitled Offering Random Thoughts on the Passing Scene, published in the San Jose Mercury and Contra Costa Times on October 19, 2012.

"Here are some random thoughts on the passing scene: 

 Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.

Economist Edward Lazear has cut through all of Barack Obama's claims about "creating jobs" with one plain and inescapable fact -- "there hasn't been one day during the entire Obama presidency when as many Americans were working as on the day President George W. Bush left office." Whatever number of jobs were created during the Obama administration, more have been lost.

How are children supposed to learn to act like adults, when so much of what they see on television shows adults acting like children?

The know-it-all smirks and condescending laughs of Vice President Joe Biden, when Congressman Paul Ryan was speaking during their debate, were a little much from an administration presiding over economic woes at home and disasters overseas -- and being caught in lies about both.

Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden has all the clever tricks of a politician and none of the wisdom of a statesman.

If you truly believe in the brotherhood of man, then you must believe that blacks are just as capable of being racists as whites are.

One of the most foolish, and most dangerous, things one can do is to take love for granted, instead of nurturing it and safeguarding it as the prize jewel of one's life.

Whenever you hear people talking about ''a living Constitution," almost invariably they are people who are in the process of slowly killing it by ''interpreting" its restrictions on government out of existence.

Do either Barack Obama or his followers have any idea how many countries during the 20th century set out to ''spread the wealth" -- and ended up spreading poverty instead? At some point, you have to turn from rhetoric, theories and ideologies to facts. 

I am so old that I can remember when liberals were liberal -- instead of being intolerant of anything and anybody that is not politically correct. 

Whatever happened to Julie Banderas of the Fox News Channel? She had brains, looks, wit and personality. Has she met with foul play? Or has some zillionaire married her and taken her off to his own private island?

The question to be asked of people in the media, and that they should ask themselves, should be: "Is your first loyalty to your audience or to your ideology?" The same question should be asked of educators, especially those who see themselves as "agents of social change," even though that is not the job description under which they have been hired and paid.

People who complain about "negative" campaign ads miss the point. It is perfectly legitimate to criticize your opponent. The question is whether the ads are about serious things that matter to the future of this country, and whether they are telling the truth or lying.

If you believe Barack Obama and others who oppose what they call "tax cuts for the rich," you might want to consider what the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said: "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts." If you want to see some documented facts about tax rates and tax revenues, there is a box titled "Tax Cuts" on my website ( Click on it. 

In baseball, switch hitters are said to have an advantage. But the highest lifetime batting average by a switch hitter (.319 by Frankie Frisch) is more than 30 points lower than the highest batting average for either left-handed hitters or right-handed hitters. The highest batting average in a season by a switch hitter (.365 by Mickey Mantle) is more than 50 points lower.

I have never known a word to become absolute dogma, without a speck of evidence, the way "diversity" has."

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University

They pretty much were random thoughts but all of them pretty thought provoking!


Yesterday I pretty much hit my wall with all the lies, the nonsense and the rhetoric.  The only thing that saved the day was the respectful way Ann Romney was treated on The View.  She prepared so well on all the controversial issues which were brought up for sure.  But she was witty and eloquent and comfortable in her own skin and that was beautiful to see.  Surprisingly she was not confronted in the usual way and there was no arguing with her...none!  Thankfully it was not your typical View fare!  She looked and acted every bit The First Lady of the United States of America....and they knew it.

In the end it comes down to the records, the principles, and the character of your candidate.  And I am feeling a little like the Ellie below...let's just get it done and and get it over with soon.  One more debate and then on to the polls for some housecleaning.

 This is a bit like riding a terrifying ride at the midway.  It is fast and exciting and anxiety-producing, frightening, exhilarating and exhausting.  And maybe it's a little like watching a horror movie.  You throw your hands over your eyes because you don't want to watch. But you cannot help peeking out between your fingers just a you hold your breath... hoping for what is right to happen by a landslide! 

I get a lot of gray hair during the years we elect a new President.  Love/Hate it!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sports, Politics, Honesty, Loyality and the Like


OK, I have to admit neither Jim nor I are into sports that much.  For me this is a complete backlash from my childhood.  I think every conversation I ever had with my Dad or brothers (in those days) had some game playing on the radio or TV in the background.  The fact that they were looking at the screen 80% of the time didn't enhance the communication levels much either.  They were fanatics.  It didn't matter what kind of ball it was, it was the focal point of everyday.  Baseball, football, basketball, golf, bowling, whatever.  Ugh.

The only sport I enjoyed watching as a student was basketball.  I enjoyed playing that and can still beat a lot of people in that sport with my free throws.  I might add it has knocked the socks of some unsuspecting people like our grandson, Ross, much to his chagrin and Grampa's delight.  I also played a lot of volleyball in school.  And as young marrieds we went to several Giants games in San Francisco and that was fun.  But as I kid, during the World Series or the Rose Bowl, I could have run away from home and gotten to Nevada before I was missed.  My Mom and I were utterly defenseless when it came to a ball.  So that definitely put a damper on my sports enthusiasm.

For Jim, I think his lack of interest stems from all the other things that fill up his time.  More often than not, we are on our way to the Super Bowl Party hosted by one of my brothers and have absolutely no clue who is even playing.  Yeah, it's pretty bad.  Thank heavens for mobile devices and Google on the fly, to help us appear a little more enthused.   There is one exception to our disinterest in sports.  We do love the Olympics.  But once every four years hardly denotes a sports enthusiast.  When Jim was young he wrestled and did track but didn't play a lot of other sports.  He was the exemplary Dad though and muscled through coaching little league and attended all the kids games through out their growing up years.  Me too.  But at the end of the day...we are just not that connected to any kind of a ball.

In fact, many times during my adult life I have been curious about the sporting arena.  I have seen  grown men cry when their teams lose, demonstrating extreme loyalty.  I have seen people I worked with bet lots of money and mostly lose it on pro games.  I have seen fights break out over games in places where fighting is not appropriate in the least, like cultural halls in meeting houses.  I have seen reasonable parents make complete idiots of themselves at ball fields where their child in a player.  I guess we all have.  I guess that all falls into the realm of the natural man and /or woman.  In that respect I get it.

There is one aspect of some fans that I do not really understand though.  When their favorite team is a winner their loyalty is intact.  However when they lose...hmm, not so much.  Some sports fans can be so fickle.  Not everyone can be a winner, right?  Just sayin'.

You are probably thinking at this point what has this to do with politics?  Well, just last week I was saying to my friend that when I get involved in politics it gives me a big insight into sports and how fanatical fans feel.  If I let myself, I can get totally swept away in the Presidential Election years.  I wrote a post about this that is found here.  I said how tired I was about the media slant and how it is just so annoying.

Well, some interesting things have happened to restore some of my non-existent faith in the media since the first Presidential Debate on October 3rd.  I have actually noticed that some diehards have had to admit their man failed miserably in that debate.  Some hemmed and hawed and said it was a draw, but for the most part I saw honesty in their reactions.  Now that was refreshing.  I don't think I have ever written something with 'media' and 'refreshing' in the same sentence before.

Of course there are the people that are loyal to their man no matter what, like a sports fan and that is to be expected.   And there are others who are fickle and just want to be on the winning team.
And there are some that are open and even change their minds, even doing an about face.  I like to think that they have learned or discovered something new.   I fear the media does such a number on so many of us that it is good to see people look at another point of view that is based on their own viewing of a debate.  We need more live viewings of political things like we have Monday Night Football where there is no time or space for editing or the media bias to creep in.

This reaction is brought about by our past experience with slanted reporting and unethical journalism.  But I have liked the more honest responses to the debates in the press.  Although the skeptic in me is hesitant, I am trying to be optimistic about a hopeful change in a medium that has been going south for a long, long time.  It is nice to just have the story reported without so much subjectivity.  After all isn't that their job?  Of course when they are discussing it in their our parlors they are as entitled to their opinions as  the rest of us.  However, when reporting the news as professionals I like them to stick to the facts.  That would be totally refreshing.  That is loyalty to ethical journalism.  Perhaps it is a little too Polyanna-ish but I sure would love to see it.

The correlation between sports and politics are good but they also differ in many ways. Sports are entertainment and have little long term effects on our daily lives.  Although politics can be entertaining, the long term effects are pretty real.

I thought this one was pretty funny 
and entertaining from the VP Debate

The way the sports announcer does a call by call during a sporting event, is how I would like to see things in the political arena relayed in the media.  Our only opportunity to see the real candidates is live.  That leaves the debates for most of us who cannot follow politicians around in person making personal observations.  Seeing them live guarantees they are not being edited to fit someone else's political hopes, special interests or agenda.  In the best of all worlds, we should to be able to rely on the truth as we receive it on media reported events.  Short of that, it seems to require an endless amount of research into every nook and cranny of the public records in hopes of finding something to base intelligent decisions upon.  The rhetoric and campaign propaganda spots on TV just don't cut it.  It all comes down to loyalty and ethics and honesty and trust and being responsible.  Sadly, we find our world spiraling downward and away from these things.

But just this week I felt a little glimmer of hope when I saw people telling it like it really was during that first debate.  But then again, it was just like a sporting event in that is was a live broadcast.  It is hard to call a touchdown when it clearly wasn't. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

General Conference Oct. 2012

This is a beautiful talk about  of Love and Commitment to the Savior, by Jeffrey R. Holland from Sunday Morning at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A Word For Our Grandchildren~Girls & Boys

The Beauty of A Woman
“The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears,  

the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

 The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes,

 because that is the doorway to her heart - 

the place where love resides.” 

Author: Unknown

Follow The Prophet!  
He is a wise man!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Conference On The Go!

The Beautiful, 21,000 Seat, 
 Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah

Twice a year on the first weekend of April and October The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds a worldwide General Conference in Salt Lake City.  During these weekends there are four two hour sessions that are broadcast via satellite and then carried throughout the world for the 14 million members to enjoy.  Many received it live.  During these meetings we have our General Authorities or top Church leaders speak to us on various principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This Conference is also viewed by many people that are not members of the Church via various cable companies. You may have even run across it yourself while remote surfing. 

Technology has allowed this to be viewed by the members in their homes via TV or computer streaming, in our meeting houses or in person.  We love to go in person but it is hard to get tickets and always so crowded with every seat filled in most cases.  The Conference is also available via the radio airwaves.  This year Jim decided to download the App for KSL radio on to his iPhone, then send the Conference via a cassette tape to our car radio.  Voila, Conference on the go!   Also in less than a week all the talks will be available via text or video on  It is just amazing how far technology has brought us.  The days of sideband radios and cramming into the chapels, to view it via the dish or having to wait for the Ensign to be published to read it, are either completely gone or fading.

Everyone enjoys Conference in their own special way.  Lots of family traditions are set on how one might do it.  There are two hours between the Conference sessions which allow families to have lunch in between, nap or rest, or have guests over for a special meal or whatever.  We have tried all kinds of things.  What we have fallen into the last few years is watching at home via streaming on Saturday and getting dressed up and going to the chapel on Sundays.  It would usually be us, the guy running the broadcast via satellite, a few other people that don't have cable TV like us and every missionary in the area.

The point is everyone has a way that they like to spend these two weekends per year and which ever way you do it, it is a wonderful unifying experience for members of the Church.  We look forward to hearing the uplifting, inspiring and edifying messages our leaders have prepared for us about the Savior and his teachings.  One of our personal favorite things to do is just stop and think about all the wonderful LDS people we know and love and visualize us all sitting and listening to the same wonderful messages at the same time.  It is almost like being at a reunion, even though we may be separated by hundreds, even thousands of miles.  For those few hours we feel closer to you all.

Our first thought this morning was to go to San Francisco and find a nice, quiet, out of the way place to listen to the Conference.   Then Jim remembered it was Fleet Week soooo, that meant staying far away from the crowds and traffic jams in the City.  So we decided to go towards Napa and Mendocino and look at the beautiful vineyards and quaint little shops and gorgeous homes in that area.  Since we are going out to dinner tonight we decided to bring our usual picnic for dashboard dining.  Here are a few of our pictures of what we saw and did during the break between sessions.

Yountville's 1870.  It is a brick warehouse with lots of
 fun shops and art galleries and is
nestled in the heart of the wine country.


Jim and his new girl!

Cool Window

Beautiful shops and wares

I like this saying, we might have to put in up
 on the soffit above the stove, cabinets and sink.
I need a saying about garlic too!


Jim said I needed a photo with this pumpkin??

The Colors!  The Copper!

Lime Tree just achin' for a photo! 
Gorgeous and so healthy looking!

Have I told you lately that I adore Autumn?

Simply Stunning!

Gelato~yep, we ate dessert before lunch!  
Grown-ups can do that right?
As connoisseurs we decided it's pretty close
To the real deal! 

We drove around a bit and enjoyed the vineyards 
and the vineyard mansions.  The next thing we knew 
it was almost time for the second session of Conference.

We found a lovely grove of shade trees
 right across from this vineyard,
opened the windows and the hatch and 
soaked it all in.  The inspiration of our leaders,
the beautiful and peaceful surroundings,
 the fresh air, the quiet, 
a shared uninterrupted moment we thoroughly enjoyed
and won't forget any time soon. 

As we were heading back home Jim said, "So where shall we go tomorrow?"  We may be packing another lunch and heading to Colma to the Italian Cemetery for some solitude, a quiet place to listen to the Conference sessions again and to visit a little baby that died in 1908 that we have grown to love.  Pietro was Jim's grandmother's little brother.  He lived only 8 days.  He is not buried by any of the family so we like to visit him once in awhile.  The only difference is we won't be shopping around since it's Sunday but we count that as a good thing.  Yep, we might just do that.

 If you are LDS, what did you do for your special Conference Saturday?  I know that the Saturday night session is a special time for fathers and sons.  Our son, Chris, and his oldest son, Connor, got to go to the Conference Center in Salt Lake.  Their ward only got two tickets and they got them.  They were really excited about it.  We just love Conference and look forward to seeing all the talks again via in a few days.  Oh, and the music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is amazing too and brings such a sweet spirit to the whole weekend.  We can hardly wait for tomorrow!

Below you will find one of the quote from the Conference today.  Mormon is a nickname for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  You can just substitute Christian for Mormon, as Christ is the center of our religion and beliefs.

Sister Ann Dibbs
Young Women's General Presidency
2nd Counselor