Friday, December 30, 2011

No Fun Wearing Out

So, blue text is the color for today. I went to the doc about my right thumb hurting so much the past 6 weeks or so. I couldn't identify a singular moment of injury so I was suspecting this and it is true. The old gal has arthritis in her thumb and a bone spur to boot! Doc says I'm wearing out--bone on bone. Dang!

Is this the future???? AHHHHHHHH!!!!


I really have this but that's just life!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

David's Family at Christmas in Boise, Idaho

I know I stole these photos from Shannon's (Ashley's sister) blog but sometimes you do what you have to do to get a photo.

Ok, Ashley has gone blonde. TOO CUTE!

David -- well it looks like he's taking a break and what is that chain around his neck?

Lil' Luke is a darlin' boy!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is pretty laid back this year. Adam and Jessica and their family are in AZ. Cheri and Daniel in Portland. Whitney and Ben and Cameron and David and Ashley and Luke are in it's just going to be Andrew, Taylor and me. I have a HUGE choir program in sacrament meeting tomorrow and Grandma Nielsen will be attendance so that is nice but then it's pizza and relaxation.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lovin' Those Babies

If I can, I go over to see Adam and Jessica's children and help out where I can. It's really a selfish thing because I just adore them.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Last night when I was walking the girls out to the car to go home, Hailie and I were talking about how her daddy will buy her a house some day. I told her "yes, now you live in an apartment." "No," Hailie replied somberly," I have a building."

It's so hard not to laugh when she is so serious.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Coming to Work with Grandma

Today because of a work Christmas luncheon and doctor appointments for the boys, Natalile and Hailie visited Grandma at work. First we ate our lunches together and then we got out a movie, coloring books, puzzles and pencils with pads of blank paper. There was a lot of running around and taking the elevator. I think we were all worn out and ready to go home!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Adam and Jessica's Family

Latest pictures of the kiddos. Jessica took these and I just LOVE them!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Happy Open House to Me!

I've been working like CRAZY getting the food bought and prepared for our Christmas Open House at the Cottonwood Memorial Mortuary. One day before Thanksgiving I drove up and down Highland Drive between 4500 South and Murray Holladay Road, up Murray Holladay Road and up 4500 South a bit writing down the names of businesses and then going back to my Mortuary to look up the mailing addresses and mailing the fliers to invite business leaders to our open house. I had also previously collected the names and addresses of rest homes and assisted living businesses. So I'm hoping for a good turnout tomorrow. We also invited employees and leaders of our parent company and other employees of our parent company and our other mortuaries.

Friday I went to Costco with my general manager, Brandon Burningham, and we bought a lot of ingredients and other things. I had previously purchased ingredients for cookies, peanutbutter fingers and brownies, which I made today. See photos below.

I don't know why I just don't buy all of these things and not go to so much trouble but I like things I do to be done well and right. Well, that's what I've been doing.

This last photo is chicken salad. I couldn't find a large enough bowl so I bought this ice bucket and filled it with homemade chicken salad.

Sorry if you see this same post of Bigarade Beet Farm. My error.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another Day in the Heat

The flooding saga continues. These photos show the back of the chapel and then my little hideaway from the heat. I sit in the wing backed chair facing the flat screen. I watch movies, eat my lunch, crochet, and today I assembled the Universal Identification System Tags we put on our deceased people. Ya, they don't come assembled. That used up a lot of time and I finished all of them.  I also practiced the piano for some Christmas songs for our Sacrament meeting program on Christmas day.

The disaster clean up guys were in the building again today. They keep moving the fans and the dehumidifers around so I have an obstacle course to the bathroom. These photos show the downstairs hallway. A temporary wall has been put up to keep the heat working on the wet parts and so people won't see the mess if they come downstairs to view the caskets. However, our family meeting rooms are in a mess so I don't think we'll be meeting with families at my location until the whole thing is cleaned up.  The last photo is a view looking up the first set of stairs from downstairs. You can see that they've covered the dry carpet with plastic and tape to protect it while the workman are going up and down. There is a dumpster in our parking lot and everything is still very messy and VERY hot!!!

Don't worry...I'll be hanging out in the chapel.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oh the Rain Came Down and the Floods Came Up!

Well....I had a GREAT Thanksgiving weekend...and then I went to work on Monday. As I was passing the mortuary to pull into the parking, I wondered "Why is the glass on the doors fogged up?" And when I unlocked and opened the door...SURPRISE!!! FLOOD. Sometime over the weekend, the float on a toilet in the women's restroom decided to break. The water was shooting up like a gyser. The water blew off the lid on the back of the toilet and shattered it! There was water EVERYWHERE!!!! My shoes were soaked all day. Then I went downstairs to put my lunch in the refrigerator and the water had gone through the floor and soaked furniture and computer and telephone hardware. The modem is fried. Oh my gosh!!

So my manager called Utah Disaster Kleen up and they came over and worked until 7 p.m. I just locked the door and told them to shut it behind them. I had no phone or internet. Then they turned the heat up to 90 degrees besides using the heaters and fans they brought. I got phones back around 2 but I cannot do anything.

Today it was so hot and I had to find a place to be so I went into the chapel. It was cooler there. I forwarded my phone to my cell and read a book. Then I hooked up the DVD flat screen monitor so I could watch movies. Some of the wing backed chairs were moved into the chapel so I sat in one of those and watched "The Cowboys" while I ate lunch and crocheted a wash rag. Then I finished my book. I have to use the men's restroom right now but it locks so that's okay.

Anyway, not looking forward to going to work tomorrow.  Can you say BORING? But I'll be prepared with more books and movies.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Deceased and the Spiritual

I am on call Thursday and Sunday evenings from 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. the next day to pick up deceased individuals for our mortuary and take them into our care. I decided to to it because I thought it would be interesting and also to supplement my income. It's not a given but last paycheck I earned a lot of extra income. So it can be helpful. This information is just for background but the real reason for this post is to express some feelings I've had when I pick up these loved ones.

I prefer to pick up a person when their family is present because I LOVE seeing the expressions of love and care for their deceased family member and how they say good-bye. Recently I picked up a gentleman at a care center where he was only there for comfort care. When my partner and I arrived to pick him up, his wife and some of his children and grandchildren were present. He was also a veteran and I'll get to that later.  What was so wonderful was watching the wife touch her husband's cheek and talk to him. His daughter helped us get him on the cot. We encourage the family to help as much as they would like. Then, with his face still uncovered, the wife and children said goodbye. We put an American flag over the quilt covering his body. His wife was so touched by this respect for his military service. We told the family we would take good care of their loved one and asked for permission to cover his face after we passed all the family members and were near the door. All of these little considerations mean so much to family when they feel so powerless at the loss of their dear one.

I find that this experience can be very spiritual and I feel priviledged to be a part of this intimate scene. Call me weird but there is something in the fact that the spirit world and our earthy life are intertwined and very close to us.

Love you all!!!

Twin Love

Wondrous things can happen at the most unexpected times. I was holding the twins in the late afternoon on Thanksgiving day when I looked down and Wyatt had grabbed onto Ethan's thumb. Look at the size difference! They are sweet boys!

P.S. The pie was GREAT!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

New Twist on an Old Tradition

Here are the berry pies. I also baked a pumpkin. I tried out a new pie crust recipe that they use in the Lion House. I'll let you know if it is YUMMY!

The rolls ARE YUMMY! Natalie, Hailie and I tasted them! I have a NEW recipe for rolls!!! SO GOOD!

The cranberries are on the stovetip boiling down. I'll never go back to canned sauce. Fresh berries mixed with water and sugar and then boiled down are THE BEST!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

All Roads Lead....

When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up and be a mom. It's kind of sad that I didn't have bigger dreams because now I'm divorced and without an education. Life is a constant struggle to have the necessities of life. I sometimes think working more is the answer but my health isn't good enough to make that a reality. Recently I had 4 night calls to pick up the deceased and by the time I picked up the last one it was 6:15 a.m. and I had time to shower and get ready for another full day of work. I realized I'd only had 4 hours of sleep. It took me several days to feel human again.

I'll do the old "what if" for a while thinking that "if" I had gone to college right out of high school, but the truth is that the way I was raised didn't allow for that kind of thinking. It wasn't even on my mind. Work was on my mind and it was reinforced by my parents.

I still have time to do something different; to go to school. I'm still afraid of it and that's what keeps me from taking the leap.

I want to make this blog post worth something. The reason I am sharing this blast from the past is so you don't make the same mistake I made. I'm so proud of those of you who have and are going to college! Even if you don't end up working in the field for which you studied, the fact that you made the effort to get a higher education speaks volumes! It says to future decision makers that you have the stuff it takes to hang in there and do something with your life.

Life is hard and there are NO guarantees. It's nice to have a spouse to get through it with you but you cannot wholly depend on them to take you to the finish line. All kinds of challenges can turn your life upside down. You can't fret or worry about that but you CAN prepare yourself for any eventuality and one VERY important one is to educate yourself. Don't let my lack of preparation lead you in the same direction. Be better than me!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Last Time for Wisdom Teeth Removal

November 18, 2011 marks the LAST time I have to take my children to have their wisdom teeth removed! Here is Taylor just after having receiving his medicine that makes you "silly."

Why is it that my children, except for Adam, insist on talking all the way home from this procedure? Besides the incessant talking, the only funny thing he did was yell at a car whose driver was coming into our lane.

So happy that Andrew came along for the fun. It was very helpful when we were walking back into my little abode. I don't think I could  have picked him up if he had fallen without a lot of difficulty!

A few days of soft foods and pain meds and it will be in the history books.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to me! November 15, 2011 marks 1 year I've been working as the office manager at the Holladay-Cottonwood Memorial Mortuary.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Oh The Weather Outside is Frightful!!


A view outside my condo to the back yard on Saturday!!!!

This week has been VERY cold but we're warm inside! Here we go again!

Bring on the Cat!

I went to work on Monday, unlocked the overhead bin by my desk, and lo and behold---I have a MOUSE!!!

It had opened a cough drop and licked it because it was sticky. See the mouse poopies???  YUCK!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This is Halloween!! BOO!

Here are the boys Friday, October 28, 2011. Dressed in their Halloween finery. The feet have little pumpkins on them. Cuties.

Here are the girls dressed for Trunk or Treat at their ward house. Hailie is "The Fairy Princess" and Natalie is "Minnie Mouse!" They are SO adorable and funny!! I think they had a good time and got LOTS of candy!!! Happy Halloween!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dandelion Dust

I just finished listening to a Book on CD Called "Like Dandelion Dust" by Karen Kingsbury. VERY GOOD! I recommend it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wyatt and Ethan Growing

I've spent a fair amount of time last week at Adam and Jessica's enjoying their children. I am loving seeing the boys grow. Saturday, while I was holding Ethan, he purposely moved his neck from side to side. Wyatt pushed himself over the top of the donut contraption he was laying on. They are both more alert and learning about life. Last night, I think Ethan spit up his whole bottle on me but I just wiped it up and carried on. I love being a grandma.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Special Grandma Time for Natalie in Honor of Her 2nd Birthday

Today, October 22nd, I took Natalie shopping for a new toy and to lunch at Burger King. She chose a dolly and then she saw Winnie the Pooh. The dolly was soon forgotten. In fact, she pushed it and it fell down. (Sorry Dolly.) Then she started singing "Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh..." So Winnie the Pooh it is. She also chose some princess stickers for her and a package for Hailie. She is always concerned about sister. Burger King Lunch was fun. She had apple sticks but decided my fries were the BEST! I enjoyed watching  her enjoy them. She would take a bite, throw back her head and then make an exaggerated swallowing sound. This happened over and over! VERY FUNNY! Then she started getting a little grumpy so it was time to take her home for a nap! Love you, Natalie Grace!

Blessing the Twins October 9, 2011

I didn't know we had this photo so I'm excited to show you all who stood in the circle while Adam blessed Ethan and Wyatt!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kicking my Butt

Curves today and my butt has been kicked. I'm sore all over. It may have something to do with the fact that I didn't sleep hardly at all last night. Going to bed...tomorrow will be a better day!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hailie Growing Up TOO fast!

I know I've told this story to most of my followers but I need to record it for posterity.

Last Thursday I had to take Taylor for his consultation to have his wisdom teeth removed and we took Hailie along because the other 3 children had a doctor appointment.  The receptionist explained that we would need to view a 10 minute DVD on the procedure. Just as we were going to enter the viewing room, Hailie looked up at the woman and asked, "Umm, can we watch a movie about princesses?" The woman, who is a grandmother, busted out laughing. Hailie was very serious. She continues to assert her unique personality!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Clean Up and Grandma Evening

Saturday~~I had an idea that blew up into a full day of MAJOR clean up in my bedroom. I found some missing items under furniture "APRISE!" (That's a Hailieism.)

Later in the afternoon I had the AWESOME                     
responsbility of the twins for a few hours.
I went and picked them up and brought them
back to my house. They were both hungry
and crying and luckily Andrew was over
and he volunteered to feed Wyatt while
I fed Ethan. Diaper changes and another
feeding later, I took them home. They

The little girls went out with their
parents and purchased Halloween
costumes! Can't wait for those pics!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Quoting Again

I LOVE this book Cheri lent to me called "These Is my Words," by Nancy E. Turner.

Here's another quote I found that I like.

"Our children weigh hard on my heart, and thinking about them growing up honest and healthly, or just living to grow up at all, makes a load in my chest that is bigger than the safe at the bank, and more valuable to me than all the gold inside it."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cheri loaned me a book titled "These Is My Words," by Nancy E. Turner. I thought it was an autobiography at first but it is a novel. Still, it has some thoughts in it that I can relate to.  Here is a sampling.

"Some people sense is wasted on and that's purely a fact."

"...children mourn in little bits here and there like patchwork in their lives."
Natalie Grace Lambson turned 2 yesterday, October 12, 2011. I visited her family to give her a gift and share in birthday cake! She was grinning from ear to ear. What a cutie!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hailie says the cutest things...I love to engage her in conversation.  Last evening when I was at her house, Adam asked her to get him a band-aid for a cut on his finger.

"Who cut you Daddy?"

"No one. I cut myself."

"Daddy, you shouldn't cut yourself."

Later we were reading a book about some animals who come out at night and what they eat.

"What is that Grandma?"

"It's a skunk."

"What do they eat?"

"They like to eat bees."

"Ew, Yuck! That's icky!"

Love that girl!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Body Language

I participated in an AMAZING training this morning on body language and thought I'd share some of it with you today. I couldn't add a stick figure in this post but think about these things.

"Reading body language is a skill to find answers and solutions. To begin reading body language I must remove judgement and see movements as indicators. When I see indicators, the next step is to ask better/more questions."

"While you are speaking, the brain prepares and organizes 450 words per minute to say. At the last moment, our consciousness filters this down to 150 words. As a person speaks, there are an average of 300 words that are held back. These hidden words show up in body language.

57% of our commuication is gestures-36% is tone-7% is what we say.

Our left brain is analytical, uses numbers, logical, contains our past history.

Our right brain is artistic, thinks about the future and our vision of us.

Shifting eyes side to side indicates that I'm listening to my inner voices and not to the person I'm speaking with. It can also mean that I don't believe what you're saying or I am thinking about ending my life.

Looking up means we are seeking inspiration from our higher power.

Looking down means we are looking into our soul and emotions or deciding how much we want to share. No pun intended but my eyes were opened on this one.

When children are asked to make a choice, they look down because they are using their emotions to make a choice. Do I want a popcicle or do I want an ice cream sandwich, for example. Oftentimes as parents, we interpret them looking down as shame, or deceit or not listening so we tell them to look at us when we're talking to them. We have interrupted their choice making and should not be surprised that they make a snap decision under such pressure and half way through their choice they insist that they wanted the other thing. Give the child the opportunity to look down as long as needed. When they bring their head up you should be looking at them in an open and pleasant manner.  They will instantly feel your acceptance of them and readily tell you their choice because they've had sufficient time to think about it. (OH HOW I WISH I'D KNOWN THIS! WHAT A KEY TOOL!!)

Your hands indicated capacity. Open or closed. Don't hide your hands.

Closed lips means you may want to say something.

Buckled knees may mean I can't handle this.

Feet or other parts of body pointing toward the door mean I'm done or I need to leave.

This was VERY interesting!

I also won a CD about body language and when the woman called my name I realized I need to practice my penmanship because she called me Barbara Rambson!!  It was very humorous!

Real or Imaginary - Disney or Reality

Since I am unable to comment directly on Cheri's blog--Cheri I wanted to expand on what you posted about Pocahontas and delve into what you eluded to "...just around the riverbend."

I agree with you that the real story of Pocahontas is so much deeper than the songs and dances with a cute dog and racoon who fight over a bowl of cherries. Some of my favorite stories are honest dramatizations of real events. I think that's why I liked the movies "Martin Luther", "Amazing Grace," "The First Vision," etc. When the actual truth is told and not glamorized or changed in any way, it gives the viewer or reader the best picture of what that person's life was actually like! I WANT THE TRUTH! This is what I scream when I find out that what I thought was true was really just "dolled" up for the audience and what the writer believes will sell. When this happens, we miss out on the connection with reality and though I enjoy light fiction, when I believe I'm reading about a real person, I want to know that's what they went through and I want it presented in truth, not in an effort for me to like or dislike them. I should be given the opportunity to make that decision for myself.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Loving the Granddaughters

I guess some people of the world would say that I need to get a life but the most joyful times I have are associated with family members. I love my family! Last night was no exception. In the evening while Taylor and Adam attended the General Conference Priesthood meeting, Jessica and her children visited me. The girls decided watching Cinderella on Grandma's bed would be fun! Hailie watched the whole show. I think she is enamored by the hope of the handsome prince.

I know I need to wash my sliding glass door and I plan to do that this week. I don't know if you can see the sticky fingerprint but it reminds me that little ones still visit me.

I love to take walks in Murray Park. Now that I have a regular exercise program, I haven't taken as much advantage of this lovely walk but this morning, before General Conference, I took a walk and brought my camera along. I've loved this park for many years and have seen my children and  now grandchildren enjoy it as well. Take a walk with me.