Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Count Your Blessings - Day 18

Today I'm grateful for books and libraries and Abebooks.

I love to read! I have LOTS of books. I love libraries so I don't have to buy every book I want to read. I love Abebooks for when I read a book from the library that I call a keeper and want to buy it.

I just got back from the library with two books:
 A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
 Fifty Acres and a Poodle: A Story of Love, Livestock, and Finding Myself on a Farm  by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Not that I have tons of time to read, but reading is how I relax before going to sleep. It's also how I escape from my boring and/or stressful life, forget the cold outside, and meet new friends.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, November 17, 2014

'Nuff Said

Count Your Blessings - Days 13 - 17

It's 2:15 PM Monday, the temperature outside is 16 degrees with a real feel of -2.

Here's what I'm thankful for:

This is one area I'm really grateful I don't have to live like a pioneer. (Although, I've camped and backpacked enough that the alternative doesn't completely gross me out.)

Let's see, what else am I grateful for?

Over thirty years of cooking experience! Sunday morning I got up and realized that we had potluck after the meetings. I thought for a moment and got out my crockpot and the ingredients (potatoes, onions, cheese) for scalloped potatoes, prepared it all, started them cooking, then took the whole thing with us and plugged it in at church and when it was time to eat the potatoes were ready and delicious.

Inspiration or personal revelation!  I've been thinking about, pondering, searching scriptures and such to come up with a theme for our Relief Society for 2015. This weekend the idea came to me and it's wonderful. I won't share it just yet, but will the first week of January when I have the bulletin board up and reveal it to the sisters.

Miracles of modern technology! Have I ever said how much I appreciate Skype? Yeah, only a bazillion times. I love being able to see and talk to my daughter in far off Korea. I don't know how it works, there are no wires to connect us, just 1's and 0's streaming off into the air. How do they not get lost? "Oh look, that house looks interesting, let's go there."  "Wow, would you look at that monster wave, do you think we could surf down it?" But no, they all find their way to the precise location they're supposed to. It's a miracle!

People who are smarter and more experienced than me! I'm so glad I don't have to think up everything. I'm so grateful there are others willing to work hard and produce things so I don't have to. Like shoes, pots and pans, cars, electricity, natural gas for furnaces, and such. Then there are those who share their art, music, dance, drama, etc. The world would be a poorer place without them and their hard work.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wool in the form of blankets and socks

Count Your Blessings - Days 11 and 12

The high, as in the hottest temperature, this week is forecast to be 32, lows are in the single digits. Winter has struck with a vengeance including a dusting of snow yesterday.

I had already put a thick wool blanket on my bed, now I've added wool socks to the mix as I can't fall asleep if my feet are cold.

So, I'm thankful for sheep, and their wool to keep me warm in the winter.

Also, as I said in a previous post, I'm thankful for all those who have served, do now serve, and will yet serve in the military. They are my heroes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Few of My Favorite Things

Count Your Blessings - Days 6 - 10

Pardon my busyness, please!

Rainbow after a shower; facing east

Facing west to the sunset opposite of the rainbow 

Hala from Iraq with Rozy after her (Hala's) lecture in Council Bluffs
I enjoy meeting people from other places and learning about their world.

My very own Marine - Happy Birthday!

My special Airman - Thank you for serving, 2011 - present

My other Marine - and another Happy Birthday

So grateful for all the veterans in my life - Here is my dad, my husband and my son.
Dad served in the US Army Air Corps 1944-1946
TopDad - USMC 1974-1999
Lt. Lehi - USMC Reserves  2014-present

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Music, Pianos and Gifts

Count Your Blessings - Day 5

Music has been part of my life since I was a little girl. I began taking piano lessons when I was eight, quit when I was about sixteen (my only regret is that I didn't have better teachers); took up the guitar for a while and then at age fifty took four months of violin lessons (before my world fell apart and I had to give that up). During fourth, fifth and sixth grades my parents bought me tickets to the San Diego Symphony Young People's Concerts, so four times each year I'd board the school bus and go downtown to the Civic Theater to hear wonderful music and learn about the symphony. I loved it! As a teen I even got to perform in a choir on that same stage. In Junior and Senior High School I was in Girl's Glee, Concert Choir and Girl's Ensemble (the top singers). I sang my first solo in church at age eight and during my teens and twenties I sang a lot at church and weddings. My father introduced us to many genres of music including gospel, cowboy, Brazilian, Jamaican, Scottish, Broadway, popular, Big Band, and Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Music speaks to my soul; I get teary when I hear beautiful music.

When TopDad and I got married we used the cash money gifts to purchase a used piano and had that from 1988 until 2003 when we purchased this piano:

We bought it as an incentive for our children to practice their music. It worked for about three months. But I had no regrets because 1) it was a beautiful piece of furniture and 2) it made my playing sound better! While we lived in Provo a friend completed her Master's Degree in piano and asked if she could give a practice recital in our home. Oh yeah! I put on a dinner party and had the recital for dessert, followed by cookies. It was magnificent!

Alas, when moving to Iowa I had to sell my beloved piano. I cried for days, but was comforted that it went to a good home and was the answer to someone's prayers.

Last month a good friend here called to ask if I would like her piano. She has come to a point where she needs a different piano with consistent touch so she can progress to the next level in her quest to achieve mastery. She knew the story of my piano and felt impressed to give hers to me. No cost, just a gift. WOW! She'd had it for fifty years. It was not new when her parents bought it for her, but her father refinished it and some years ago she replaced all the key tops as the ivory was broken and missing on many keys. She told me that it played fine and would be good for personal enjoyment and family home evenings, which she knew is about all my playing is good for. We picked it up on Halloween, and a better treat I couldn't have asked for.

1890 something Piano with stool

A place to decorate - It will be great for my Nativity Set

Detail of foot of the stool
I'm so thankful for music, and pianos, and gifts from loving and generous friends.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Artwork in Fabric and Thread

Count Your Blessings - Day 4

An annual quilt show is held at the Mormon Trail Visitors Center in Florence Nebraska, also known as Winter Quarters, where the earliest Mormon Pioneers stayed the first winter after being driven out of Nauvoo. I spent a hour viewing the quilts last Thursday and feel grateful for my own heritage of quilt making. My mother quilted and so did my Grandma (Dad's mother). I've made a few so far and look forward to making lots more. I'm grateful for all the women who make quilts, whatever style, they are all labors of love.

Memory quilt made from the fabric of dresses and other pieces of clothing the mother made for the daughter over the years.

Quilt commemorating the pioneer trek.

T-Shirt quilt from years of participating in a summer pageant - I love the "Glance backward . . ." quote.

Gorgeous "postage stamp" scrappy quilt.

Detail of "postage stamp" quilt block

Crazy Quilt

Center block of crazy quilt - This could be mine - Rozy!

Darling Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam quilt. I have a goal to make one of these, in a wall hanging size.

Another Sunbonnet Maiden quilt - I thought it was so pretty!

Another T-Shirt quilt from a drama student - I love the quote!

Delightful quilt with fairies - It made me think of Noble.

Detail of fairy - I named her Noble!
There were many, many other quilts of all styles and colors. These were some of my favorites.

Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 - Thirty Days of Thankful

Time for my (almost) annual Count Your Blessings Countdown: Thirty Days of Thankful.

I'm a little late beginning this year because I was busy over the weekend with a special Relief Society (Church's women's group) program. But I'm on track now and will proceed with the first three things:

1. I'm grateful for inspiration. Several weeks before the RS meeting I had been praying diligently for that one special idea to use as the springboard. At 4:00 AM I was awakened by I don't know what, and was wide awake in the dark. Into my mind came the idea V I P - Visit In Person. And that was it!! But I did wonder why I had to be awakened at four, I exclaimed "I would have listened at ten!"

2. I'm grateful the program is over! It was tons of work, but it turned out great and the sisters seemed to enjoy it, and I felt the Spirit.

3. I'm grateful for this blog. I went back and read my first year of Count Your Blessings and was reminded of some wonderful things. Some even had pictures!

What are you grateful for today?