Monday, January 26, 2015

Another Visit From My Daddy

Over the weekend, I went to Kylie's house where she gave a 6 hour seminar on photography.  I helped her out by picking up the food for the luncheon and setting it all up and then cleaning it all up afterwards.  I didn't really get a lot of the seminar, but I'm going to hit her up later for some private one on one training.
But I mention it, because it was part of my dream last night.  I dreamed that I had a photography class I was taking in college, and I had to get to class really soon because I was going to be late.  But I was able to 'fly' there and got there just in time for it to start.  It was at my nephews apartment - Spencer Moon, and his wife, Brittany was the one giving the class. There were several people there - Janene, my mom, Elaine, Becca and my sister Rachel.  We were having lunch before the class would start, and I had just finished making soup (which I made for dinner last night), when in walked me dad from the kitchen.  We all couldn't believe it, because we knew he was dead.  But we touched him, to make sure he was real, we laughed with him and my mom was THRILLED that she finally got to see him again.  She had been feeling unloved as since his death, she had not had any dreams about him, or felt him or nothin'.  But there he was.  I tried to take a picture of him with my camera to document that he was there, but it was off centered and not a very good one.  I ran into the kitchen to get him a bowl of the soup too, but it kept over flowing and spilling as I tried to walk with it.  So I emptied part of it out and only took out a small amount for him.  He had moved off to a little picnic table outside, where he was sitting and visiting with mom.  The rest of us watched from inside.  When his phone rang on the table inside, Rachel looked at it, and sure enough, it was a phone call from the nurses station at the rest home place where he had been staying before he passed away.  We all agreed that it really was him and that he was back to visit with us girls before having to go back.  Mom began to complain that it wasn't enough time, and I told her to be grateful, and that this was what she had been wanting for a long time.
Then, I woke up by the sound of my alarm.
He looked good in my from 10 years ago.  And he was with us girls like it wasn't any big deal.  Just showed up for lunch with us.
Sweet dream.  I like dreaming about him.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Adding To My Drug Addiction

I went to the eye doctor today.
I missed last year - only because I was so busy and just didn't take the time to go in.  But I was noticing HUGE changes in my eye sight last year.  I felt so unstable in what I had come to know as 'normal' for me.  I am far sighted in my left REALLY far sighted.  My right eye does almost all my 'seeing' for me - carries most of the load.  I was wearing glasses 24/7 in order to see at all.  But over the past year, it like flip-flopped on me.  I was wearing my glasses only to read and do my computer work, but I was taking them off to drive and watch t.v..  Not the norm.  And over the past year, I was blinking a lot in order to 're-set' my eyes to focus each time - feeling like my eyes were always dry and I wasn't able to see anything unless I blinked several times to clear the blurriness.'s ANOTHER side affect of menopause.  OF COURSE it is.
Apparently, another side of menopause, is dehydration of the body and it's natural oils and moisture.  The natural oils in my eyes and eye lids are not secreting any oils - and the little oil I do have, is like sluggish and thick, not lubricating my eyes. All my 'numbers', for my prescription, are the same as two years ago.  So I don't need new glasses, I just need special lubricating treatment for the next two months, to see if I can stabilize my body oils and lubrication.  So, the eye drops on the left will be twice a day, and the fish oils on the right will be daily - and then twice a day, I have to give each eye, a massage - heat massage, to be more specific.  It will supposedly, loosen the eye oils in my lids and glands.
Ah....and I was going to be the one in our marriage to 'age gracefully'.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Tonight is a Thursday night and my second Millennial choir practice.  My first practice was last week.
I sing - I have since I was young.  And I'm a good singer.  I can read most music - I can pick out my part and any other part, usually.
But last week??  I was humbled and put in my place.  It was hard....really hard.  There were a few of the songs that were pretty easy to read and learn my part fairly quickly.  But then, there were two or three songs that I thought, 'You have got to be kidding me.'  I couldn't even FIND my part, let alone sing it.  The rhythms were horrendous, the tempo so fast - and the words?  The words were in HEBREW!!!  How am I supposed to learn Hebrew AND sing a song that makes absolutely no melodic sense what so ever???  The Hebrew one is long too - carries no consistency to it, isn't even pretty and doesn't make any sense.  How am I supposed to LEARN that???
It stretches me right out of my comfort zone.  Hard.  I wasn't looking for hard.  I was looking for pretty, easy and sharing my talent.  I wasn't looking for 'You've got to be freakin' kidding me!!!'
I think it may be time to drop to my knees and ask for divine help.  I've never been challenged musically before.  I've never felt 'out of my league' musically...but I'm feeling overwhelmed.
We were advised to keep faith and to not give up too early on this.  I'm going to have to trust Brett (the conductor), that he knows what he's doing.
Cuz, I don't.

Emerson - 11 months

I just can't believe he's going to be one next month.  He's just starting to walk a few steps here and there and he is growing like a weed.  These picture capture him perfectly.  He's adorable.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Thursday Nights Are Booked

The Dallas Millennial Choir and Orchestra started here in Texas about two years ago.  I didn't know about it until it had been established for about 6 months and my sister Elaine, had joined as a soprano.  She had encouraged me to join, but I really wasn't interested and didn't really have the time.
About 7 months ago, the choir conductor and his family, moved into our ward.  They are building a large beautiful new home near us, moving here from California.  His name is Brett and we became immediate friends.  He has a beautiful voice and we have sung together a few times, the last time being at Christmastime, when he sang with me, Kylie and Del in a quartet.  He suggested I join his choir.  I went to their Christmas choir concert and LOVED it - even yearned to be part of it...but I just felt too busy and tired to even think about it.
Tonight, I auditioned for the choir with Brett.  I went down to Dallas, where the choir rehearses and sang for Brett, where he immediately accepted me into the choir and poured out compliments of how much he really loves my voice...calling it beautiful several times.  I was pleased.
You know what...I knew I would make the choir.  I knew I would be made an alto and I knew I would be glad...but I didn't know how nervous I would be actually auditioning.  I haven't auditioned for something since I was in high school and had to try out for the school choir and Chamber Singers.  I have a good voice - I've always known I have a good voice.  I'm not being vain or prideful.  But that is one talent I have always acknowledged from my Heavenly Father - he blessed me with a talent of music - specifically, a voice that can sing.  And yet, over the years, I've been the one to hold back my talent from situations like this.  Why?  I don't know why.  I love to sing - I love to perform...And tonight, I was nervous auditioning for Brett.  I already knew he had heard me sing before, and he had already asked me to come join his choir.  But to do it officially was really intimidating.  My voice is VERY much out of practice.  But I'm excited to now stretch my talent and use it again for good.  I'm back in the ward choir too.  My patriarchal blessing talks specifically about my singing voice and talent of music - just like my daddy's.  There was a time that I sang a lot...but over the past 15 years, I've kind of been on a musical break.  BUT...I guess I'm going to be back into the music world again.
My sister Elaine, is thrilled.  It will be fun to see her every Thursday at rehearsals.  The choir is like a mini Mormon Tab Choir - so it's as close as I'll ever get to living my dream.
Time to get these vocal chords 'back in the saddle'.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Had Another Birthday

So, I'm 55 now.  And I love life.
I'm in a good place - happy.  Love my grandkids and my children.  Didn't receive anything special for my birthday but did get to spend time with the people I love.  Even if it was for only an hour or two.
Kathryn had a birthday too.  She's 22 now...and will hopefully have a good year of maturing and growing up.  I hope she takes advantage of it - she is doing well right now in so many areas.  I had a great time with her over the two weeks of Christmas.  She was fun to have home.  And back to Utah she went.  And life goes back to normal..

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

This is 'The Why' to all Life's Questions

Nothing says it better than pictures.
This is what I live for.
This is what makes me happy.
This is why I am.
I love them more than life itself.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Doriss Martin

I met Doriss when we moved into the Aubrey Ward over two years ago.  Sweetest little old lady ever with the best sense of humor.  Witty??  She sure could hold her own when it came to a sharp mind and a quick wit.  She many times had us sisters in the Relief Society in stitches.
But I never really knew her story very well - mainly because I just haven't taken the time to get to know too many of the ladies more than our Sunday interactions and comings and goings.  But that will all change now, because I've had the pleasure of getting to know more about Doriss this past month than I ever thought I would.  Sadly, it has been due to the fact she suffered some serious health issues, emergency surgeries, and then her untimely and heart breaking death on the 30th of December.  Most of her life, I have learned about AFTER her passing.  Too late.  Too late to hear and enjoy it from HER mouth - HER memories - HER sharing her story.  I've had to hear about it from her children, read it from her obituary and learn about it from - others.  Not her.
On the first Sunday of December, I taught the Relief Society lesson.  During that lesson, I kindly, but directly, chastized the sisters for not stepping up and doing some things that I felt we all needed to be doing better.  One of those things, was helping to clean the church each Saturday on our assigned weeks for the Aubrey Ward.  A sign up sheet had been sent around the room for volunteers to clean the church for the following Saturday.  I was both pleased and thrilled to see so many names of young and vibrant sisters who would be there the coming Saturday.  But no name touched me more, than to see the feeble and scratchy handwriting of our dear Sister Doriss Martin.
I cried.  She had not the means to get to the church, nor the strength or energy to do anything that would be required to fulfill the assignment.  But she had still written her name down, with all intents and purposes of helping to clean the Lord's House.
I took the sign - up sheet to the Bishop's office and before Del started his next meeting, caught his attention and showed him the sign up sheet, giving him a brief history of what had happened in Relief Society meeting.  His eyes watered up as he saw the tears in my eyes as I told him how sweet, loving Doriss was willing to serve. It was that week, she had her first surgery and went into a coma.
When Del and I went to see her in the hospital, she was in and out of consciousness, but I took the opportunity to whisper in her ear that we wouldn't be expecting her on Saturday morning and that 'she could come another time'.  She passed away the following Tuesday.
Today, I had the opportunity of assisting our Relief Society President in dressing Doriss in her temple clothes for the funeral.  It was my first time doing this.  I was petrified - afraid - scared - of what?  I don't know.  Emotions, I guess.  Death - dead bodies.  I wouldn't even dress my own son when he died.  In fact, unlike everyone else, once Michael died, I never did touch him again. I never touched my daddy - But now, I was being asked to not only touch a dead body, but to actually handle it - move it- struggle with it.  And I didn't want it to be a 'gross' thing for me.  I wanted it to be in honor and respect for Doriss.
So, I called my mother.  I asked her advice - some 'do's and don'ts' and then some protocol issues - and then I prayed about it.  I prayed for two days that the Lord would help me make this all about Doriss and nothing about me.  That I would be able to set aside all my 'weirdness' about it and give me peace and comfort in doing what not only needed to be done, but something I could do for Doriss.
Then I went to the funeral home this morning where I was joined by my RS president.  We were led into the room where Doriss' body was waiting for us.  We sat on a couch first where we reviewed some instructions given by the church on procedures and protocols, and then I asked Maritza if we could have a prayer before we started.  She offered it and it was sweet and inspiring.  She had only ever done this once before herself, so we were both a little unnerved before the prayer.  But calm and peace entered the room and when she asked me if I was ready, I said 'yes', but still with tears in my eyes.
The procedure only took a little over 30 minutes to complete.  A multitude of thoughts and questions came to my mind as we dressed Doriss.  Was she there watching us?  Was she appreciative of our act of service for her and was she glad it was us?  How had my brothers handled dressing my father?  Was our act acceptable to Heavenly Father?  I was surprised at some of the physical aspect of things - how heavy 'dead weight' really is - how understanding that it wasn't really Doriss anymore - just her body - cold, heavy and hard.  Not very easy to dress - and amazing the adjustments we had to make to get the temple clothing and robes on and still have be appropriate.
We just wanted it to be right - all of it to be right.  For her - and Heavenly Father.
I was emotionally drained when I left.  Along with my physical exhaustion from the past week of being sick, I was now emotionally and spiritually exhausted too.  I imagine now, I didn't need to worry so much - maybe could have done the whole thing a little more 'mechanically' - but I truly wanted to 'feel' the experience.  I wanted the spirit to be there, out of respect for Doriss, but also to have Doriss dressed as she needed to be to approach her Heavenly Father.
Tomorrow is the funeral.  Del will be involved as Bishop and speaking - I lead the music and then will also help with the luncheon afterwards.  That will bring a very special experience to an end for me.  I am grateful for the day and the memory.

Bringing the Holidays to a Close

It's been a week today since I got sick - and I'm still only about 50% better right now.
I say that only because I can't remember a single thing about most of these pictures, but I'm glad I took them and hope that once my head is clear and my mind can think again, I'll remember what was happening when I captured each photo.  The kids tell me they had a lot of fun and I made some really good food - I saw a glance of a football game on here and there...otherwise?  It's all a fog.
And there wasn't even any alcohol involved!!
At least, I don't THINK there was.
Happy New Year!!