Sunday, August 31, 2008


Well, we're watching the Gustav coverage on various news channels....and we occasionally ask ourselves, "Why aren't those people leaving?" and then, "Why do people ever go back"? Could you, if faced with recurrent threats of death and destruction, continue to live somewhere? I know, I know, I live in SoCal, and the BIG ONE is due anytime...actually, the BIG ONE is late, overdue, it could happen as I type this, but it doesn't occur yearly, or every several years with massive destruction. It's different. And we're relatively prepared. Could you leave your city if you lived in a situation like New Orleans? And could you make the decision to never return? Could I have done that when I lived in C-bus? Where I raised my children? It's tough....but yikes?.....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let's not lose our humanity in this political year....

There is so much talk now about the RUNNING MATES...I'm going to suggest something...and pardon the analogy...but I think it's possible to like chocolate and not hate vanilla. There. I said it. Why it must come down to loving/hating is beyond me. Pick your guy and vote, but why the hate? I don't understand it. I think most people know that I lean towards Obama...that said, it doesn't mean I hate McCain. The news shows and talking heads would have you believe that I, as an Obama supporter, hate him, but I don't, and vice-versa (I'm guessing). And I don't hate his running mate. Why should I? I think McCain's choice is kinda sorta obvious and manipulative and perhaps even desperate...but do I hate her? No. Maybe if WE, the voting public don't go negative, the ads won't either. Do we really want to be exposed to that? Please, save us from the campaigns "going negative".

And just as an aside, if we had more Mormon Democrats, we could build up this "party of the people" with all of its compassion and social services and hopefully change the language from "gay" rights to "human" rights...

Save our humanity...let's just vote and move I alone on this?

Friday, August 29, 2008

How does one apologize backwards?

So I've been reading a book...a very special book...and now I have to put it to a test. I don't want to say exactly what the book is (no, it's not scripture or sacred text of any kind) because of two reasons: 1. I want to be sure it's the real deal and if it works for me (which I think it's going to) and 2. I'm getting it for each of my children and their spouses. If the effect of this book continues to do to me what it has, I have a lot of 'splainin' to do...or maybe even apologizing.

I'm slowly kinda sorta waking up I think. I hope. I don't think I've ever been a horrible person by any stretch, but I think I've been a fairly clueless one. A self-centered one many times. A selfish one even. I've made poor decisions...oh yea, I know...books and movies could be made on my poor decisions...if my poor decisions were a zoo, I'd be San Diego Sea World... But wow, as I think and REthink about my life and the things I do and say and the second-by-second thoughts that travel through my random neural firings (which, I think I'd like to start on the side of my blog, thanks Nancy for the inspiration), I'm just not very pleased with the content. I can do a whole lot better, and I NEED to do a whole lot better.

There are people I want to meet when I leave here (here being mortality) that I'm just not worthy to meet right now...and there are people I want to be a good example for while I'm here (those being my spouse, my sweet, ever-lovin' chillin, including the incredible sons and daughters they have brought into my life and my grandbabies...all SIX!!! *oh that Baby B* and more to come). I have been so blessed, so abundantly, richly blessed, that I am troubled beyond belief when I realize that I do not operate at my fullest potential spiritually. I owe so much to Christ. so much. I would "stand all amazed", but I need to kneel a bit more...I love all of you...

Thursday, August 28, 2008


And then THIS occurred to me...

I'm sitting here loving on Clarkie...just smothering him with kisses and hugs, and getting them in return...with all of the little toothy smiles and hugs back...and my mind rolls back in time...and I see my mother, Wendy, doing the same. exact. things.

She was, and is, a wonderful grandmother. Like me, probably a better grandmother than mother. She adored her grand babies. She behaved totally out of character for them. I had the privilege of getting to know "Wendy", a woman I had never met, when my children were born. She schlepped them to Chuckie Cheese, they climbed all over her lap, she laughed at them and looked them in the eyes...she was AMAZING! So, I did the math...when I'm Wendy's age, 88, Clarkie will be 36, Emma will be 45, Alex will be 47, and the ladies will be, what?, 34?. If none of them ever called me, or came over, or wrote me, I would just want to die. To never be remembered, after showering all of this affection, would be worse than death. To never be remembered....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Well, this is another fine mess I've gotten myself into. Clark and I are totally in a world of our own making. Em and her family left for vacation, leaving Clarkie and me on our own in her house...just phone school (yet) appointments...just me and the boy...and we are non-linear creatures...we eat when we want, sleep when we want, we play whenever we want, we invent new games such as-bring the umbrella stroller INTO THE HOUSE and run all over with it, up and down the wood floors of the living room into the great room, zoom in a circle, and repeat the pattern...we sleep on floors...we eat on furniture...we sleep in our clothes...and then it occurred to me; THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I RAISED MY CHILDREN. Okay, not EXACTLY, but relatively closely....Em had better get home soon or else Clarkie will be a really funny, smooth talking, singing, dancing, charming schmoozer who stays up ALL night and still manages to get to early morning seminary while just barely keeping the rules and somehow serving a mission....oh please let there be a "dear, sweet one" in his future.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I am "mommy" for a week!

Today is the first day that I get to watch Mr. Clark Slusser...Superman. I'm staying at his house with him while Mom, Dad and Mae go to Yosemite on vacation. Clarkie and I are hanging out, hopefully to give mom a bit of a break. Clark has those nasty-type allergies that requires constant access to an Epipen gun...that's the nasty needle with the nasty stuff that keeps their little lungs breathing and their little heart pumping should a verboten food enter through their lips or somehow cross their's a no pressure zone in these parts. *insert sarcasm here*

Today, we were up early to see everyone off around 6:45. We've had breakfast, gotten dressed and are catching up on our blogging. It's now time for a diaper change and then we're taking a one-hour walk in the running stroller because Moo (me) is on an exercise kick and that means that Clarkie is on one by proxy...poor kid...

After that, it's nap time, or maybe lunch first, I'll have to let him tell me, then play at the park, then dinner, then bath, then play, then bed at 8:00 then up again at around 11:00 for a snack (remember, this child only eats for fuel-no fun food ever) and then goes back down until 7:00 am.

The interesting thing about the food predicament is that Clarkie takes no comfort from food-whatsoever. If he needs comforted for any reason, he climbs up on a lap and snuggles for a few minutes. It's the most endearing part of a visit here. He's a great hugger and really feel that you have been loved when he finally climbs back down...and he leaves you with a little Clarkie-smile. It's the most enchanting moment...I'm totally charmed by this child.

Well, obviously, I'll be travailing through the week...*insert sarcasm here*

Monday, August 25, 2008


"Eat gold, drink champagne". These were the words drifting through my mind as I awoke into consciousness this morning...I don't drink alcohol...I have no explanation for this....these were words were simply there when I, there it gold, drink champagne.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just thought I'd share....

"If you have a dream and you put action behind that dream, and you have tenacity, then you will be happy."

Comment made by Emmett, finalist on Project Runway, season two.

Just thought it was a cool quote...and since I'm trying to do that, just thought I would'm sharing....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stoopid Granny Questions

I received a cell phone call today from my daughter's cell phone. It was my four-year-old-grand-daughter, Mae, calling....just to talk and visit. I thought maybe she was calling with her mom right there and was going to hand the phone over to her mother, but as she continued to chatter on about what she had made for her pre-school teacher and such, I realized that she had dialed the phone to just talk to me. I was charmed. Her little scratchy four-year-old-Emmy-voice rattled on and on about how she can wear dresses to school...or skirts...or shorts...or even bathing suits if it's "splash day"...I asked her if she can wear a nightgown to school and in all seriousness she answered, "no, nightgowns don't get worn to school"...I wonder if she thinks I'm kind of stupid know, for asking that question....I shouldn't treat her like a typical little kid, because she isn't....that's not just granny-speak, she's different....her mind is wired a bit different, in an entirely good way...but I have to stop asking childish questions because it's just sorta lost on Mae and I just don't want her to think less of me, which she'll have plenty of time to do when she's older. Already, she is concerned with my aging process. I have to constantly reassure her that I'm at the "beginning of old"...not at the "end of old"...because when one gets to the "end of old" know....that can be a scary thing for a deep thinking little kid who doesn't have an exact firm grasp on the, I'll just stay at the beginning of old for awhile and try to come up with more intelligent questions...if she even decides to call me again...yeesh,...I hope I didn't disappoint I have something to worry about....

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Ladies Are Coming! The Ladies Are Coming!

This is how I'm referring to Eli and Abby's daughters (for the most part, all of the medical personnel believe the babies to be girls) that are due to arrive early in 2009. And wow. The Ladies. They are thought to be fraternal, meaning that they are of two separate eggs/chromosome/genes, etc. They are distinct and separate individuals. They don't even have to look anything alike. One can be short, brunette and dark-eyed and one can be tall, blond and of like their Aunts Jette and Emmy...or their Dad and his brudder Uncle Bubby...tho the two of them have grown to look more and more alike over the years, I must confess. What I find the most fun is that I have four children who, for most of their lives, have looked NOTHING alike and yet, have all looked like me....HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAH.....oh....I kill me.........

So, the other grammy, Nancy, is wearing a pair of pink earrings each day in honor of, and in anticipation of,.....The Ladies.....

Time will tell who they are and what they're about...if they laugh easily or are prone to pondering...if they tend to run ahead, pulling Mom and Dad's hand when they walk, or lag behind to look at rocks and things...if they will love to play in the dirt, or cover their hands with $9.00 hand soap when she just KNOWS she saw a germ jump off of her sister onto her finger...if they will choose hot pink with flames and glitter as a favorite bedroom color, or go for the more sedate palette favored by Pottery Barn...or if one will look for fairies under bushes, shrubs and flowers while the other is writing stories about them...The Ladies....

I'm waiting....

Monday, August 18, 2008

For Emma....

Emma Jane left yesterday morning very early. She was here for six weeks. That's a good long time to fall in love with someone and make them a permanent part of your everyday life. She stayed mostly with my daughter Emmy and her family, Emma's cousins Mae and Clarkie (the Jesus baby). She arrived with a toothbrush and the clothes on her back (per our request) and left with two bags of new clothes, a new haircut, a ton of memories from places she visited (the Grand Canyon, Utah, Route 66, Oceanside, Balboa Island, SeaWorld, etc). She was loved and valued, kept safe and cherished, which is every child's birth right. She is going home to a new house and a new school and a new neighborhood. She'll be around the corner from her brother, her grandpa, her Aunt Linda, and she'll have a safe playground AND a swimming pool. Life just got 100% better for her this summer. On the way back from the Grand Canyon, we pulled off the road in the middle of the night. We saw the Milky Way. I had never ever seen the stars like that. It was magnificent. We saw shooting stars. Emma asked me what I wished for. I told her that I was giving her my wish. She asked, "Can you do that?" I said, "Sure! In fact, I'm giving you all of my wishes on all of the shooting stars I see for the rest of my life". So...there you go Emma. I also made a little video of snapshots from Emma's visit. I set it to Jason Mraz's song, "I'm Yours" because it was her favorite song to listen to on my IPod.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Bye Bye Emma Jane....and thank you....

Emma Jane left today. Uncle Eli came from Ohio a couple of days ago to take his sweet niece home to her family. We had her for six weeks. She left looking beautifully healthy and nourished and happy and safe and full of fun experiences and memories. Her aunt, Emily (Aunt Sis) was on the errand of angels the entire time. Emma left with two bags of new clothes, but she also took home something more important. She learned how to pray, ask blessings over her food, and over the heads of her loved ones in the evening. She learned that it's possible to not ever have to worry about "bad people" and that strangers can be friendly for no reason whatsoever. These are things she learned from her Aunt Sis and her cousins, Mae and Clarkie. She felt appreciated for her patience...a trait she inherited from her mother who was also the child without guile...who never saw the "cover of the book" but only the truth of the pages and treated everyone with value. Bravo Mom. And a big thank you to Stephanie Jette for all that she did and sacrificed to make this trip possible for Emma Jane. Well done again honey.

I didn't think it would be this empty when she left. I have my life to fill up again with grown up things; meetings, dates and appointments. They all came rushing back when Emma left town. But I already miss that little high voice and that pretty porcelain skin and her pretty green eyes and her good attitude and willingness to help. I miss you Emma Jane and look forward to seeing you next summer with your Mom....and remember, you get all of my shooting star wishes forever more....I'll let you know when I see one so you can make your wish....I know a nice wish....moving to California.....ooooooo.....low blow....

Monday, August 11, 2008


A poor wayfaring Man of grief hath often crossed me on my way.
Who sued so humbly for relief that I could never answer nay.
I had not power to ask his name, where to he went, or whence he came.
Yet there was something in his eye that won my love I knew not why.

Once, when my scanty meal was spread, He entered, not a word he spake.
Just perishing for want of bread, I gave him all, he blessed it, brake.
And ate, but gave me part again, mine was an angel's portion then.
For while I fed with eager haste, the crust was manna to my taste.

I spied him where a fountain burst clear from the rock, his strength was gone.
The heedless water mocked his thirst, He heard it, saw it hurrying on.
I ran and raised the sufferer up, thrice from the stream he drained my cup.
Dipped and returned it running o'er, I drank and never thirsted more.

In prison I saw him next, condemned to meet a traitor's doom at noon.
The tide of lying tongues I stemmed, and honored him 'mid shame and scorn.
My friendship's utmost zeal to try, He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak, my blood ran chill, but my free spirit cried, "I will".

Then in a moment to my view the stranger started from disguise.
The tokens in his hands I knew, the Savior stood before mine eyes,
He spake and my poor name he named.
"Of me thou hast not been ashamed. These deeds shall thy memorial be, Fear not, thou didst them unto me."

Favorite LDS hymn
Text: James Montgomer

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I joined an on-line community entitled "Neurotheology". I was curious. It is basically a community that discusses/debates the God "experience". I put the word "experience" in quotation marks because there is one side, the "neuro" side that claims that those who experience God have brains that are more hard-wired for it, particulary in the temporal lobes, particularly the LEFT temporal lobe, and those MOST prone to God experiences are those with temporal lobe epilepsy of the left side (TLE), of which I was recently diagnosed. So, this is the dilemma, once again, that I get to face. I keep discovering these sacred little episodes that I have had since childhood were, in fact, "numinous" episodes-if I listen to the scientists....episodes such as breaking into tears when I looked up into the night sky and stared at the stars. I was only a very young child and this would happen to me. And good luck explaining this to anyone in virtually any house in suburban 1960s America. There was no dialogue for such things. So! Here's the rub. Granted, some of my experiences could be chemically related....sitting in a mall where every single person looks excrutiatingly beautiful, granted, that may be a chemical cocktail blasting through the left-side of my brain...but my faith, in general?...the thing that carries me through my day?...that helped me raise my children?...that continues to renew me?...and more importantly, appears to be the same experience for countless others that I share my faith with each week and who REPORT on their faith experiences without the benefit (?) of a diagnosis of TLE...I refuse to believe that THOSE experiences can be coldly dismissed as random neural firings or chemically induced mental experiences. I do not know what the future holds for me and my brain. It has become a separate entity at this point. We are roommates, sharing a body. I need it, for multiple reasons, but frankly, it annoys the snot out of me. I am a walking versus faith...should make that Master of Science degree a walk in the park....not...I'm relative certain there will be further postings on this delicate subject, and possibly they will not be pretty. I've only recently discovered that my brain and I don't actually get on well. It's just after 52 years, I'm relatively tired of messing with it, or it messing with me. I can't figure it out. I can be hot AND cold. Hungry AND full. Angry AND mellow. And, this is an entirely different out.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


This is Clark...I posted this somewhere else and a friend of mine said, "One day I want a flying Jesus baby of my own" so it kind of's a great pic....he's a great expressive and kind, even at his young age. He connects with me at a very deep level and he's barely a year. He shares little secret smiles...I've never seen a child do that....he's just a fun, engaging, expressive baby....and he's becoming even more so....hmmmmm.....maybe he is our little....oh...stop it granny.....

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Worshipping at the altar of my father...(his bedroom dresser)

Ever since I was a young girl, I was fascinated with each of my parent's bedroom dressers. It seemed to define each of them so distinctly. On long afternoons when I was escaping the sun, or taking shelter from rain, I would often find myself in their bedroom, standing in front of each of the dressers....worshipping at the altar of daddy or mommy...

I lost Dad in 1973, but my father's dresser was an altar, temple, church. His dresser, chest of drawers really, was very high and I had to stand on my tip toes for many years to get into the top drawer, adding to its mystery...initiates often had to "work" for their enlightenment and blessings and I was willing to do this. In the top drawer were various coins, old, and smoothed by years of being held. These were fascinating to me and always triggered thoughts of who had held them over the years and how they came to end up in my dad's possession and here, in our house, in his me. There were also the candy mints, Certs. Lots of Certs. In the later years, I would leave Dad a package of sugar wafer cookies and take a package of Certs. The next day, the sugar wafers were gone, he had taken them to work with him, my gift accepted at the altar at Dad, and I would replace it with another, extracting another package of Certs. Also in the drawer were coupons from the backs of the cigarette packages he smoked. The joke was that if you saved enough coupons, you could afford the iron lung you would one day require from all of the smoking. He also had some pipe tobacco in there. The pipe I'm "smoking" in the pic is my dad's actual pipe, saved by my Mom all these years later and given to me on my last visit there. The combined smell of cigarettes, pipe tobacco, Certs and his lime deodorant was nothing short of the incense that must of filled the ancient temples mentioned in the old testament, which I read about quite a bit in the big family bible.. In the bottom drawer, the very very bottom drawer, was his yarmulke and silk, tassled prayer shawl. I asked him about these things once. Just. Once. He said it was for his death. He explained that he was a Levite. He was a direct descendant of the High Priests that worked in the temples of ancient Israel. I cannot even describe the effect this had on a little girl with dad-adoration and an overactive imagination, just beginning her own spiritual journey. I only opened that drawer a few times, but when I did, I was very respectful of the silk shawl....letting the tassels fall over and between my fingers...knowing that it would be with my father after me...This week my Dad would have been 96 years old. Solomon Katz, 96 years later and your influence and memory is alive and well sir...and that is SOMETHING. I called his brother this week, who is 90 years old, and asked him to sing "My Yiddishe Mama" to me, which he did beautifully, even hitting the high note. That song made him and Dad a little weepy, because it so accurately described their mother. I wish I had a song for my Dad. I don't. But I have this entry, and my memories, and his pipe.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Palm Springs (fun) and cool (temperatures)

Here is a series of photos Peter and I took while on the tram in Palm Springs. It is a rotating, glass enclosed tram that rotates 360 degrees while it travels up a cable going up the side of the San Jacinto mountains. It let us off at 8,000 feet and we walked up a bit more. It was beautiful and cool and we enjoyed the beauty and wild life. At the bottom is a picture of a tree with creepy branches. Is it just me or does this tree look like it's sneaking up on the tree next to it?