Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Breathtaking LDS Oakland Temple

Taken by BJM 5/31/14

This is one of the Temples of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
 in Oakland, California

Not only is there is a beautiful Temple here, but a large Visitors' Center and a wonderful Family History And Family Search Library. There is also a large Interstake Center for various meetings and productions.  Everyone is welcome to visit these beautiful grounds and participate in many of the programs.  There is no charge for admittance or programs on Temple Hill.  There is a sweet and peaceful spirit here and the views of San Francisco and the Bay are breathtaking.  Everyone is friendly and helpful too.

A Simple Woman's Daybook~May 30, 2014

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 entry at a time.

Just for today~Saturday, May 31, 2014 
Outside my window...It is pitch black out right now.  It is 2:30 am and I just woke up.  I had slept just enough for it to feel like a good nap. So now I am awake.   If there is a moon tonight it alludes me.  It is just dark, very dark.  And now already it is Saturday morning at sunrise.  The last day of May in 2014. May has been a blur, as was April.  There has not been a normal day really since Jim's surgery.  He is having a rough go of it.  It went well at first but then an injury occurred and back to square two or three.  I find it difficult to blog when things are not going well.  For me writing requires a positive flow of energy that dissipates under too much stress.  Caregiving is exhausting and necessary and a blessing not always recognized in the moment when you are worried and tired and fearful.

I am thankful for....the fact that we know that trials are a part of our lives for a reason.  I am grateful that with faith and prayer the Lord will broaden our shoulders to bear the burdens of earth life.  We have not been brought here for a carefree, always lovely experience, even though man is that he might have joy.  That joy could never be recognized without the opposition of sorrow.  Nor could we fully appreciate pleasure without the knowledge and experience of pain.  We are not necessarily given the trials we can handle but we are always given the trials we need, to be sanctified and purified in Christ.  It is not our job to handle it but to recognize we cannot handle it without Him.  Then we humble ourselves and come unto Christ and are healed.

From the learning room...that difficulties are often sacred experiences.  That there are some roads that must be traveled alone and how important it is to have support in those times.  That sounds contradictory but it's not.  That is where compassion is learned.  When we have known our own suffering we can then reach out to others in ways that lift them and cheer them and allow them to feel love when they are down.  Some people get this, many do not. 

I think the thought is not that they don't feel love for someone who suffers but they assume that others are doing the work of compassion.  I have learned this should never be assumed.  In fact, I have the dearest of friends that has taught me that one should never assume.  Those friends that have drawn close to us during this time have been so instrumental in our getting through it.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  So yes, I have learned a lot during this time about how I want to move forward in my life with my eye open wide to what is needed by people around me.  I have learned that being too busy for that is really missing the point all together.  It is ministering to the one that matters the most.

I am many things everyday.  Things that uplift and educate and things that are spiritual, sometimes entertaining and sometimes sobering.  I cannot imagine a day without a lot of reading.  I am studying for a new class I am developing for the fall on family history research methodology.

From the kitchen...I need to go shopping, per usual.  I think I'll get into my Pinterest account and find some new salad recipes and some crockpot ideas.  Needing some variety again.  And I am thrilled that the Farmer's Market is in full swing now.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...I have had some thoughts about unconditional love lately.  I have thought about how when we learn to love the Savior completely and unconditionally it helps us see what real love actually is.  He demonstrates it to us all the time.  It is not about forcing people to change for us. It is about being unconditional in our respect and caring for them.  It is about showing that we love them no matter what.  When we love like the world loves we spend a lot of time trying to get people to channel us and be like us.  When we love as He loves we want to be more like those we respect and admire.  Not the other way around.  We want to improve ourselves and love them as they are. 

I am hearing...The Keeper of The Stars, a sweet country song sung at Laura and Robert's wedding reception.  I can still see the two of them dancing to it and thinking how appropriate the lyrics are for them.

One of my chocolate in the mornings when I get up early and it is nippy even in the summer.

Pet Peeves...insects that seem to want to come to all our outdoor picnics, what a nuisance!  I don't much like them in the house either but they are a part of country like living.

I am quoting...pinterest

If I could change one thing it would be...Jim would turn the corner to healing a little faster for his sake.  It is hard to watch the pain.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...Mrs. Brown.  A beautiful movie. Judi Dench, ah, love that woman.  She has had some great roles, this on is one of the very best.

I am curious much better can possibly get?

Plans for the rest of the when Jim wakes up if he is feeling better we are going to drive over to Oakland to the Temple.  They are making some major changes over there to the entrance and he wants to see what's up.  He has really missed his two days per week on Temple hill.  The rest of the day cleaning up and getting ready for Sunday.  Monday pay bills, prepare for work on Tuesday. After that I am not too sure what will be happening.  All depends on James.

One of my favorite things...texting back and forth with my friend, Carol, each evening.  We really have a good thing going.  Friends are just so important to me in this time of my life.  I am so blessed to have such good ones.

One thing that made me so happy this past week..the x-rays for Jim indicated that he does not have a fracture or an infection.  Yay!  Time is his best friend right now (except for Dave of course) and being careful not to overdo anything. Also I got an unexpected letter from a friend that was cheering this week.

The most surprising thing this past week...All the great new photos I found in a forsaken box amongst our things.  The most beautiful picture of my made me weep.  It is already framed so I can see it everyday.  I had never seen it before and I found one of my aunt too.  And even one of me I had never seen before either.

A photo I am sharing this week...The photo I found.

My Mom in 1940
She was 21 years old.
I love these old photos with the coloration. 
 So ethereal and lovely.
This is truly one of my treasures.


❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Simple Woman's Daybook~May 18, 2014

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 entry at a time.

Just for today~Sunday, May 18, 2014 
Outside my window...Everything looks exceptionally pretty, crisp and bright. The reason...a beautiful day looks more spectacular through clean windows!  I have wanted to do them for awhile now but until the intermittent rain was over I didn't want to bother.  We had a big church party here last night so that meant doing some things that really needed doing with a deadline.  I actually quite love that in a normal year.  A reason to get going on projects is a good thing. Especially the day after when you have rested up and now you are all ready for summer. 

Each summer a wedding or something here can be a good thing.  But this year was especially tough with a hip surgery patient who is also an energizer bunny, then add in a deadline to meet.  That is not always a good combination and is more like the perfect storm.

I am thankful for....Jim did not hurt himself worse than he did doing all the yard work.  He is hobbling around here with a cane again but I am hoping the set back is temporary.  Very temporary.  It has been a very long 9 weeks.  Trying to keep a workaholic under wraps is no easy chore.  He would simply rather die than be idle.

From the learning room...People have agency to do as they please.  That is part of the test of this life.  Your choices are critical.  The consequences of bad choices are not optional.  The consequences of good choices are blessings.  The only way we can learn in some arenas is trial and error.  As an example, if a surgeon says you are now free to do pretty much what you use to with prudence and caution and stop if it hurts...all those are variables according to one's perspective and life style and experience. 

So Jim is learning slowly but surely what is feasible and what isn't.  Our ideas about that are very different and so...we are learning together.  He is learning to pace himself and I am learning not to get so exasperated when he is not doing it my way.  I see it as I want him to get better by being way more careful.  He is seeing it like he needs to stretch and grow and push himself to the limit without going over it. 

We are both frustrated but for different reasons.  Sometimes he does what he wants and is fine.  Sometimes not.  I guess that is how we are supposed to learn about this.  Because post-op instructions are way too vague once you get a few weeks out from the surgery.  We have to meet some place between an over-protective, nagging wife and Superman.

I am reading...No time for that lately except online things regarding Family History and Genealogy.

From the kitchen...Going to dinner at some friends' house tonight so yay!  I may only have one more meal to cook between now and Wednesday.  Woohoo!

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having... Repentance and forgiving yourself and others is so crucial to happiness and peace in this life. We are all just spiritual beings having an earthly experience.  That situation is meant to tempt and try us and strengthen us as well as bring us happiness and joy.  Things and people are not perfect and we shouldn't expect them to be  Unrealistic expectations of other people and ourselves is just begging for misery.

I am hearing...rustling leaves and absolutely nothing else.  So relaxing.


One of my pleasures...perennials.  I am so tried of planting annuals.  I think perennials are my new favorite flowers.  Yep, I am sure of it.

Pet Peeves...getting panhandled all the time.  I don't like it when people sit outside of stores just stocking their prey.  My favorite response these days.  "Sorry I do not carry you take credit cards?"  And phone solicitors...ugh!

I am quoting...Buddha. "It is your resistance to what is, that causes your suffering."  I don't usually quote Buddha from my Christian corner on the Internet, but truth is truth no matter where it comes from.  This is something that if you truly ponder it could alleviate a  lot of suffering.

If I could change one thing it would be...that everyone would be interested in preserving the memories of their own life and that of their parents and beyond if they know it.  If you don't who will?  In less than two generations a family memory can be completely lost.  That is just sad.  We sat around a table tonight with friends sharing stories, they were wonderful stories of real life that will be gone without some effort on the part of the storytellers.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...Still thinking about The Book Thief, and The Scarlet and The Black ( an old Gregory Peck Movie.)  Excellent.

I am curious about...Nothing right now.  Brain is on overload as it is.

Plans for the rest of the week...tomorrow, get ready for work on Tuesday.  From Wednesday on is uncertain at this point depending on how Jim is doing by then.  it may be something very fun or just hanging out here at home.

One of my favorite things...having some free time.  Seems like it has been in short supply of late.

One thing that made me so happy this past week..Getting together with my friend Carol for nearly a half a day without any interruptions.  Also chatting with friends last night at our church party.  The yard was so comfortable.  A little chilly but that beats mosquitoes.

The most surprising thing this past week...was how much Jim did to prepare the house and yard for summer.  That was in spite of overdoing it and paying the price.  But he is just unstoppable.  It just is what it is, and I am going to try to stop worrying about it and enjoy the fruits of his labors.

A photo I am sharing this week...Last week Jim and I had a few hours where we could actually go into San Francisco.  We were not there long but it was so refreshing to visit the sea and have a pizza for lunch in our favorite SF pizzeria.  This is one of the photos I took that I truly love.  It captures what we saw and felt as we meandered around in the cypress grove above the water just north of the Cliff House restaurant.  It was a magnificent day in our favorite city.  Camera in hand~oh how we do love doing this.  For a few hours~no hip worries.  Heaven in a snapshot.

A little piece of this peace
can take me quite far from 
the concerns of the day!


❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day as we know it is 100 years old this year. But the celebration of the goodness mothers is eternal. Whether you are a mother or love someone that is, this is a special day to contemplate the blessings of the human family and all of our mothers since Eve that brought us to this place.

The painting by Pino is one I love. It is called Sacred Steps. It evokes such ethereal, elevated, and eternal feeling and thoughts of the sacred calling of motherhood. The painting depicts the memories of raising children to me, perhaps more than the actual day to day sacred steps to the empty nest. 

As I watch our daughters, which of course includes Chris' wife, Missy, go through this process now through the eyes of my own experiences, I am enthralled all the more by the sacred steps taken to redesign and refine who a woman becomes day by day on the journey. Being a mother is a sanctifying endeavor.  The joys lift you so high while the total sacrifice of your complete self in the process, seals you to it. To love a child in that way is to fill the measure of our creation as women like nothing else I know.  Of course these relationships are eternal.

There are no perfect mothers but there are legions of mothers with hearts full of perfect intentions. Those mothers who want the very best for their children and who sacrifice and give and serve constantly, day after day and year after year in an eternal way. There are no releases in this calling of motherhood.  They are just as important to our lives, out of the nest, as in it. We still worry and fret and yearn for their burdens to be lightened or their shoulders strengthened to carry their load. And also for a way to help them, as their mothers, in those daily struggles.

We still drop everything to run to them in times of need, all of us in our own unique ways. Although our bodies may get weary, we still desire to lift and pull and pray and give to edify and love and support them.  Because that is what Mothers do, without even thinking about it.  The polishing comes from the day in and day out, thick and thin of it, until it becomes who we truly are.   I will always remember my sweet mother sitting in her wheelchair in her 80s, offering to help lift my burdens as I scurried around doing things.  Her body was weakened but her heart and love untamed and as strong as ever.  Motherhood is a miracle.

No joy is as profound to a mother as the happiness and successes of her child.  No mother wants anything negative to befall her children.  No matter what they do or who they become we love them completely.  We love them all equally which is to say unconditionally.

This holiday means more to me each year as I learn of the sacrifices of my own individual foremothers.  They had been women that have been valiant in their stewardship of motherhood through the centuries.   Motherhood was not easy then, as it is not easy today.  We've had different trials but equally challenging in many ways. This world will never be trouble free but their sacrifices have benefited us through the ages.  A child is the only one who hears its mothers heartbeat from the inside and that heartbeat echoes within us all of our lives...passing on something of substance from each generation to the next.  No matter where our mother is, she is never far from us.

In our family they have been women who packed up and shipped out of England and Sweden and Wales and Italy to keep their children from starving to death, in some cases, and from little possibility of improving their lots in life while remaining in their homelands.  They are women who crossed the plains in fear and deprivation but with great faith in a brighter future because of it. Every generation tells of their abundant faith in God to see them through.  This is a sacred heritage that I have seen back to the 1500s.  Not a non-believer in the bunch so far.  The study of these, our people, through the centuries has strengthened and fortified my faith in countless ways.

They have experienced hardships and poverty and dangers and dying children in almost every generation, sometimes more than one or two at a time.  They have been uprooted and they have survived childbirth on the prairies and in sailing ships crossing the ocean with no privacy and no cleanliness and and often under insufferable, horrific conditions.  There was starvation and illnesses and sorrows of every kind while they pressed forward with a perfect brightness of hope in the future, for their children and ultimately for us their posterity.

To learn of them is humbling and enlightening to say the very least.  Being a mom has never been easy, not ever.  But what a tremendous blessing to have a mother and to be one or to love one or many.  There is no more sacred or important thing we can do in this life than to help our Heavenly Father's children through the joys and sorrow of this life.  What a trust He must have in us, His daughters.

And in our husbands and the fathers of our children, who have an equal but different responsibility in this great work.  What a perfect plan of happiness and joy we are given.  All of us are blessed with having or being a mother.  Some of us are both.  But not all.  To all women everywhere that help by being teachers and nurturers and who love children~God bless you. And to all men everywhere the same blessings to you for doing likewise.  And that includes all Grandparents and even some Great-Grandparents who have had the glorious privilege of seeing His Plan of Happiness play out into the third and fourth generations as well.  Our loving Heavenly Father has thought of everything!  Find and cling to the Joy in it!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Moms Getting It Done In Our Family

Bonnie, Jennifer
Gloria, Melissa, Laura

Gloria and Jim
Generation #1 

Chris and His Mom

Generation 2

Our Girls!
Laura and Jen

The Grandkids

Spencer, Connor, Piper, Julia, Ross,
Zachary, Aynslee, Hazel, Chloe, Owen

Jennifer- Mom to:  Piper Julia Chloe Hazel
 Melissa- Mom to:  Connor Aynslee, Zach, and Owen
Laura-Mom to: Spencer and Ross
We love these dedicated moms
 so much for all they do! 

Happy Mother's Day to all!


Happy Birthday to Chloe (9)
And Spencer (15) this weekend also!
So much to celebrate!

And we got a new grand puppy today.  
Chloe has a new little Dog named Lucy!

She is smiling!

Like Mother Like Daughter

I have been thinking a lot about mothers this week.  Both being one and having one and watching my daughters at it.  I have written a few blog posts about various aspects of these thoughts.  I started with the one the other day about my mom and her beloved apple pies.  In that post I showed you a picture of my mom in her early life before she married my Dad and she had been attending Beauty School to become a beautician.

Fast forward a few decades to when I was a younger mother of our two daughters.  Every once in a while there would be a conversation that would start with something like this.   "Mooooom!"  This would be accompanied by the eye roll implying how could you have done this to me or I cannot believe you were this uncool when we were little.  Then would follow, "I think I look so ridiculous in that silly outfit or those lame shoes, or some such thing.  Or "Mother my hair looks laughable.  I knew when they called me "Mother" they meant business.  It went like this.  "Mommy"...they wanted something.  "Mom," pretty much everything was normal..."Mamma, "...they were being affectionate without an ulterior motive...And "Mother" ...a comment of about the generational gap was next off their lips!

I did the same things regarding some of the get-ups my mom put me in or when she constantly dressed me in blue.  So the other day when I ran across the picture I am about to show you I laughed out loud.  Here is the picture of my mom again and the one of me that made me remember all of the above in an instant.

and her daughter!

Once a mother learns all the fancy stuff about hair, a daughter's head of hair falls subject to that without any permission required.  My first response when I saw this was..."Mooooom!

Bonnie Jo
My own little mini version of the
 'Finger Wave' so popular in the late 40s.

When Jenny was born she inherited 
curly curls from my Mom and her Italian genetics.
I would slick down her bangs 
but the minute her hair dried
boing~finger waves!

Jennifer Jo
and then came her fourth little daughter

Hazel Jo
She got her curls from both her parents!
Even the bows could not keep
 it in place once dry.

So I learned that it wasn't so much what mom did but what she was working with at the time.  It was genetics.  My Moms's hair was always curly, mine curly only when I was little, Jen, super curly still and Hazie double curly!  Well and as for the clothes, umm, that is another story....

Bonnie Jo and Laura Jo
As random as the genetic shuffle may be,
this photo may indicate that sometimes 
the matches come out quite similar.

I simply could not write anything about 
mothers and daughters without writing
 something about our Laura.
Laura has two little boys
partially all grown up now.

Spencer and Ross
One curly, one straight!
It's a mysterious thing and 
so fun to be a part of the continuing
family we enjoy!

"A Bond That Is Truly Everlasting!"

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Mom and Apple Pie

With Mother's Day coming up I have been thinking a lot about my precious Mom.  My Mom was the Queen of Apple Pie baking.  She was well-known for her scrumptious apple pies.  Seriously, nearly famous.  I have never tasted an apple pie that even came close.  I don't know what was so magical about her pies but they just seemed to say "I love you!"  They were simply unforgettable.

She was a beauty inside and out!
Don't you think?
These were her beautician days when
Finger waves were all the rage...

I looked at a lot of images to find a pie that 
looked like Mom's but none were exactly like hers.

Mom and Dad always made the pies together with the help of us kids.  They bought a huge sub-zero freezer for the garage and many years we would get lugs of apples and over the weekend we'd make 52 pies.  One for each week of the year.  There were apple peelings all over the place and everything was sticky as we all peeled and generally made a giant mess in the process. I can still remember the apple juice running down my arms and trying to pare the peeling off in one long strip.  I didn't mind the slicing but I didn't love the coring.  But a good bath at the end of the long hot sticky days and the satisfaction of seeing those pies frozen one layer at a time, and stacked in the freezer was amazing.

Mama would always wear a pretty apron even when she was doing this kind of work, she was lovely and such a classy lady to the end. And the fact that Daddy helped her was a heart print for me and a really cool memory now.  I can still see him in his white grampa t-shirt and his suspenders on those hot days in Sacramento working in the kitchen.  It made me want to marry a man just like him.  And I did.

 Working together as a family was very strengthening to us.  Mom gave away a lot of those pies so there really wasn't one for every week and that was fine.  It was a great learning experience in so many ways.  I am definitely going to try this again and get good at it.  It is about so much more than the pie.

This week I have been scanning old papers, documents, photos and even a few recipes.  I was pretty good at saving things like this when I was a young woman, never fully realizing what they would mean to me now.

Mom's recipe in her own handwriting~
priceless to me now!

I found another card written in my handwriting and
 thought maybe someday our posterity might
 like to see it in my writing.
Mom was not kidding on hers
when she said,
"All generous measurements!"

The Apples are Pippins

Or Gravensteins
Tart crispy green apples are the best for pies.
After assembling all the ingredients...

On top of the bottom crust, add a large, heaping,
 round mound of apples and 
sugar mixture and butter.

Add the top crust and pinch closed around the edges.
Poke the top with a fork for air vents.
Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on the top crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn 
down the oven to 350 for 55 minutes.
Cool and enjoy!

Thin slices promote even baking
For the Crust:

Flour, Crisco, Salt and Water
Although some people do,
Mom did not use any butter in her crust~
Just Crisco for a light and flaky texture.
The butter went into the pie filling.

For the Pie Filling:

Here's Everything you need!
Apples, Flour, Sugar, Cinnamon,
Salt, Nutmeg, Butter and of course 
a little Water.

So as you can see there was nothing extraordinary about the ingredients or the way the pies were made.  This is just a little slice of life with my Mom.  I think the magic in the pies was simply my Mom's touch.  Or maybe it was that old beat up 1/4 cup tin measurer that did it.  I have it around here someplace I'll have to dig it up and see it if helps!  But neither my Mom nor I were ever very good at exact measurements.  You can tell that by the slight variation in her measurements between her original recipe and the one she dictated to me as she was making a pie years later.  She varied the recipe until it was pure perfection. She just have a sense for how much to use, I guess.  The most important ingredient is the love. And a lot of it.  That I know for sure.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How to Make This A Really Good Day!

This is so beautiful.  Wanted to share it with you today!  We don't just have good days, we choose to make them good days!