Friday, December 31, 2010


This is the last day of 2010. (You're welcome.) I don't think I've ever arrived at the end of a year and said, "Meh. No big deal". Don't we all get to the end of a year and think, "Whew! Watta year!!!" We SHOULD think that. It's been a year of growth. Time has passed, and that translates to LIFE EXPERIENCE. Am I right or am I right? Who is SHOCKED at the end of the year? Seriously? Stuff happens. People are born. People die. People get betrayed. People get married. Peoples' marriages end. I'm sounding like an Old Testament passage. It doesn't mean we don't grieve or get angry. It doesn't mean we skip merrily along and not process what has happened to us. We're allowed to be angry or cry. We're also allowed to rejoice friendships that are made stronger...we're allowed to rejoice US when we are made stronger. We allowed to recognize that reality is exactly THAT...reality. We breathe through the horrible stuff. We can't change jerks. We can only breathe through their jerkiness and commit to never being a jerk, ourselves. (This is difficult for me...often, even.) We can't bring back a dearly departed. I sat in a funeral yesterday. A friend from high school lost her sweet mother on Christmas day. This same friend lost her brother in October. Rough year. She's breathing. She's putting one foot in front of the other. And she's recognized the love in her life.

I had another friend whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I'll never forget her reaction to the news. Many people would say, "Why me? Why? Why?". Her response? "Why not me? The statistics are what they are. Someone's going to get it, why shouldn't I be the one?" The cancer was in her right breast. She went to bed in the hospital that night knowing that in the morning, the surgeon was going to remove her right breast. She composed a poem about it...something else I'll never forget. It was this:

My right is my right. It has always been my right.
My left is my left, and tomorrow? It will be left.

Tomorrow? 2010 will be left.

God love you all. Tomorrow we move on.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Elijah at the Missionary Training Center with his companions and instructors. Below is the Provo Temple. He's happy...and adorable...well, okay...the last picture is a little weird. :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Today I was on the phone with my daughter. She was out with her kids. This is what I overhead while we were talking on the phone.

Daughter to 3 year old son: "Stop 'ruining' your sister's 'whole life'. It makes her sad."

NOTE: His sister is 6 years old.

Such is the life of a busy mother.


The boy wrote us from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. He's preparing to serve a two-year compassionate service mission for our church. He'll be leaving for the midwest in early January. We won't see him, which is good. He'll focus on serving others. He's growing up fast and learning how to be a man. This is an excellent "right-of-passage" that is sorely lacking in today's society. He will not be allowed to self-indulge in his own wants. He won't feel entitled to anything. He'll have to devote his time and talents to the building up of others. Good for him. Bravo, in fact.

And bravo to those who enabled to get to that point. His father worked tirelessly to help him earn his Eagle Scout award in Boy Scouts and to get him ready-the whole time while working six days a week, several hours a day (sometimes up to 14 or more hours a day) to prepare financially. The church doesn't pay for these missions; the missionary and/or the missionary's family is first and foremost responsible. Also, the missionary has to have all of their dental work completed (wisdom teeth out, fillings/root canals done, etc.), all immunities and flu shots performed, etc. Clothing, luggage, all of that has to be done in advance....FOR TWO YEARS!

It's no easy task. I sent two children on a mission previously in my last marriage and it's a huge deal. Their late father and I were totally unprepared for what was involved. Even my daughter got involved, purchasing a camera and cold-weather gear for her step-brother. She was fabulous.
A family in the ward (congregation) gave my husband and the boy a beautiful hotel room to stay in by the missionary training center...there was so much love to his send off....

I guess we'll see him in the early winter of 2012, just in time for the destruction of the earth, according to the Mayan calendar. you think the Mayan's knew about this kid?.....mmmmmmm.......

Hugs to the boy....good luck and God's speed....

Monday, December 27, 2010


Something wonderful happened about midnight on Christmas Eve. To back up, I just did NOT have the Christmas spirit this season. I was happy for the little kids in the family, because let's face it, their joy is just so fun to watch. But, other than that, I was just really rolling along and trying to remember the actual reason for the season.

So....the morning of the 24th, I prayed that I could somehow just feel the spirit of the season, which is love and compassion and charity. I went through the day not particularly "spiritual". That night, I made sure Mom had dinner and then went over to my youngest son's house to be with him, his sweet wife and the twins. That was fun and all kinds of cute. My oldest son came over so I got some time with him as well. While I was at their house however, Eli and his wife needed batteries and asked me to go through their stockings hanging over the fireplace to see if Abby's mom had put any batteries in their (just by chance). Abby's mom was so cute, she had stuffed stockings for Eli and Abby (the BIG kids) so they would have something to open in the morning. As I looked through their stockings, I was just charmed by what I found in there and I thought, "I want my Mom to experience this". It was a very strong impression so, on my way home that night, I found a CVS drugstore opened at midnight on Christmas Eve and into the parking lot I drove.

I walked through their front doors expecting an empty wasteland and imagine my surprise when the front of the store was PACKED with people. I walked into the front doors, stopped dead in my tracks, I pointed at them and just laughed and then THEY returned the laughter towards me! It was hysterical. It's like we shared some kind of common shame or something. Anyway, it was a pretty festive group that was in there. There was lots of laughter and kindness and camaraderie. We helped each other in the aisle, we moved out of each other's way with smiles on our faces, it was so nice in there!

Anyway, I found a great big stocking for Mom and packed it full of cookies and treats that she loves to eat. I also found some other cool gifts that she would like. There was a tray of rice krispie treats (which she has been asking for). I put the turkey in the night before so she could wake up to that wonderful roasty smell. I got some presents that I had to wrap and I placed everything on the table so she would see it when she got up.

SHE LOVED IT!!!! She had the best time opening her gifts and pulling her things out of the stocking. It was absolutely charming. After brunch at my nieces house (which was stupendous), we came home to a cooked turkey and side dishes that she and I wanted to eat....broccoli casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, cheeses, it was heaven and heavenly.

It's been 2 days later and she's still talking about it.

Next post, I'll tell you the other-side-of-the-coin on what happened on Christmas day.Yikes!!!


Friday, December 24, 2010


Merry Christmas to my family and friends. I wish for you the joy that this season intended. I pray that we all have peace in our hearts, which then radiates to the world.

My God bless each of us with increased love for those around us, increased tolerance, increased desire for knowledge, and the ability to know how to use it....

And oh yea, I pray that we always know how to laugh...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Last night, my 90 y.o. mother was sitting across from me at the kitchen table. There was a bowl of apples in the middle of the table. The apples are as large as Buicks. I was on the phone with my youngest son, Eli. I was laying my head down on the table as I was speaking to Eli when I felt a BAM! against the top of my head.

Now...I don't know quite how to explain this but since childhood, if I get beaned on the nugget, I typically come up swinging...or cussing. I can't explain this, nor do I encourage it. It just happens.

So...I'm laying my head on the table, speaking to my very righteous son, and I get beaned. I sat up straight while grabbing my head, look at my Mother who eyes are lit up! I yell, "What the f*, Mom?" Now remember, I have my son on the phone and I'm typically not one who swears. So now, I've dropped the "f" bomb AT my mother and in the ear of my SON! Nice....

My mother was laughing and I don't think I've seen that much gleam in her eyes for quite some time. She said, "I bowled that apple like my bowling bowl and struck you right in the middle of that little, round, blond head of yours. I saw it there and it just begged me to hit it with an apple".

Seriously, Mom? My nugget begged you to bean it?

It's the only time after a beaning that my cuss words were followed by laughter.

Way to go Mom...way to go....

Monday, December 20, 2010


This morning on the Today show, there was a spot on a beauty pageant held in Atlantic City. It wasn't your typical beauty pageant. It's for women over 60. Ladies of elegance. The story was on the Senior Miss America Beauty Pageant. You had to be at least 60 years of age to enter. Some of the ladies were in their 80s. They were all beautiful and wise and had lots to offer anyone who would listen. Some of them were on stage for the first time in their lives. Each state was represented. And no...there was no swimsuit competition. There was, however, a talent competition, singing, dancing, and other things that go with that type of thing. There wasn't a scholarship given or a huge cash prize, but the winner will spend the next year traveling and representing the competition and all women by confidently modeling what can be expected by women of any age.

I loved it.

Men and women don't retire from life. We don't retire from wisdom. We don't retire from interacting with one another. Well.....we do....but at that point, someone typically picks out your headstone...

The message is that we're never too old to take on a new perspective. We're never too old to "know everything we need to know". We're never too old to change gears and take a different path.

I want to be those ladies when I grow up.

I'm shining up the tiara....

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Today, 15 family members met at a local Asian buffet to celebrate birthdays that occur during the holidays. There are a LOT of holiday birthdays in this Jewish/Mormon/Irish family. Eight, to be exact...eight birthdays between December 12th and January 4th. Granted, twins celebrate on the 12th, but that doesn't matter. Also, my brother and I, who are less than a year apart, celebrate the brief time of the year that we are the same age, which was way more fun when we were kids...

I felt kind of bad for the restaurant. We were rather obnoxious. Four generations of us were there, including in-laws and out-laws. There was laughter, guilt, tears, food, photos, video, more laughter, seconds, thirds, nausea-the whole shebang.

Trouble was, it was Asian, so about an hour after it was over, I missed everybody again...



Friday, December 17, 2010


Okay, okay. I failed. I couldn't keep up with the national blogging month zeitgeist thingy.


Apparently I couldn't commit. This isn't surprising. I can't commit to choosing out paint colors for walls, so...

I'm stunned I've committed to owning my dogs...and that they're still alive.

I'm preparing for my drive across the country. I thought I was leaving on Monday, but I've hit a hitch in my giddy up. It may be postponed now. Did I mention I'm not overly good at rolling with the punches, but I guess God thinks I need to learn that lesson so....*me rolling*

Speaking of rolling with the punches, I read today about a woman who lost her job. She decided, then and there, to simply do what she loved...and she loved to dance. Now, this wasn't a trained, athletic dancer. She wasn't a trained lithe dancer. She was an overweight, middle-aged woman who lived in the inner city. But she did her passion. Every day, she went to a particular corner in St. Louis, put on her ear phones, and danced her heart out, gleefully. At first, people were wary of her, but soon, they came to expect her. They recognized the joy on her face and how it radiated in her countenance. It was contagious. Not long thereafter, one of the local businesses hired her to dress up in a statue of liberty costume to dance and now....SHE'S GETTING PAID TO DO WHAT SHE LOVES AND WHAT SHE WAS PREVIOUSLY DOING FOR FREE.

Man...I love stories like that.

We have to find our passion....

Much love to all who read this.

Heck, much love to all who don't.


Monday, December 6, 2010

NABLOPOMO: 12/06/10

My world is small...welcome to the minutiae....

Today my new quarter started. I'm studying behavioral nutrition. This should be interesting...and by "interesting" I mean a little painful. But should be interesting....I signed up for Dr. Andrew Weil's website, which is very very interesting. Stay tuned...

Tonight, at 8:00, there is, yet ANOTHER, country music award show. What the heck? I'm sick of ALL of the award shows. Over it. Cranky McCrank Crank has spoken. So let it be complained of, so let it be done.

"Skating With the Stars"....there is so much wrong with this....soon, we'll have "Snowboarding With the Stars"; "Shark Hunting With the Stars"; or *shudder* "Child-Rearing With the Stars". Spare us....

Dandy Don Meredith died today. He was a nice man. I met him in Rancho Mirage. I thought he was from Ohio. He was so familiar to me from all of the years of being the "color man" for Monday Night Football, that I thought I knew him! I said, "Hey! We know each other!" He just smiled really wide and said, "Why I HOPE so!" and we carried on and boy, did I feel stupid when I figured out who he was. He was very gracious and we talked for awhile. A wonderful, classy man....a gracious Southern gentleman. Heaven is a little smoother....

Elizabeth Edwards is gravely ill. What a sad story. I'm sorry for her children. I'm sorry for her ending, though she faced it with grace and class. I wish the ending could have been different for her, with more support and love; however, she appeared to live her life with authenticity. I wish her and her family great peace and comfort at this time.

AAARRRGGGHHHHH....thanks...I needed that.


Saturday, December 4, 2010


Okay...fine. It's December, it's Christmas, New Years, and Hanuka and you would think I'd have lots to write about, right? Nope. I'm lame. LAME! My life is pretty small right now, so there's not much to write about...

Except for this one nugget of a conversation I had with mother this afternoon. I was heading out to pick up some lunch before grocery shopping. She was giving me her order from Wendy's.

"I want it right off the grill, steamy hot. Tell them it's for your elderly mother so they do it right! [For real? Does that have 'pull' with teenagers in fast food restaurants these days? Do they hear "elderly" and snap to?...straighten their shoulders? up on time? their homework?...feed the dog?...make their beds?...and tell their moms they love them?....] I want a double, no ketchup, with cheese and mayo. And fries, I want fries."

While she's telling me this, I say, "Hang on, I'm getting a pen to write this down so I get it right".

In pure, sincere amazement, my 90 yr old mother looks at me and says in genuine surprise, "Debbie Ruth, are you telling me with your education, you can't remember that simple order?"

To which I replied, in all seriousness, staring her straight in her eyes, nose to nose, "I'm telling you I don't waste brain cells on stupid stuff. I save my cerebral matter for research statistics". And I waltzed out the door.

I couldn't remember that order past the front door. And now I have to repent. I can think quick on my feet, but I didn't say I could think virtuously.

I'm bad...but quick...but bad....

Friday, December 3, 2010


There is a general authority of our Church that is known for his profound wisdom and insight. His name is Neal A. Maxwell. Here is one of the quotes that I received today via my twitter account:

"Extending our mercy to someone need not wait upon our full understanding of their challenges"

I think it may accurately reflect the zeitgeist of this month. It's a month of compassion and thinking of others...we're supposed to do that all of the time, but this month we're more mindful and focused on it....well, I can't speak for everyone, just for me...

So, I'm going to meditate on that little nugget for awhile.

And this: "nugget" is a funny word and I love it when it's used to describe babies' heads.

"What a cute nugget on that kid!"

Thursday, December 2, 2010


NASA discovered a new life form on this planet that does NOT share its building blocks with ANYTHING on this planet. I'll wait while you reread that sentence. *files nails*

It's a bacteria. Here's a quote from the article, "All life on Earth is made of six components: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same." The article can be found at:

Only this little bacteria has replaced phosphorus with arsenic. Yea.... wicked bugger....

What this implies is that life can exist on another planet that DOESN'T HAVE TO BE LIKE EARTH. Oh really? We're allowing for the possibility that we haven't figured everything out and there may be laws that are higher or different than ours? How big of us! How enlightened....

I don't want to take away from the hugeness of this discovery, I just get tickled that we continue to reinvent the wheel on possibilities.

This doesn't really have much to do with Christmas, except for the fact that Ellen Degeneres' Twelve Days of Christmas is coming on so I have to tune off and covet her audience.

Joy to the world....


except for that little piece of arsenic-driven bacteria....

The little bacteria that could....

Could what?...still waiting to find out....


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Well. December 1st, 2010. The Mayans are giving us 2 more years and about 3 weeks. Thanks Mayans. On December 22, 2012, I'm going to party like it's 1999.

This month is National Blog Posting Month (NaBlPoMo). I don't know who "claimed" it thus, but I like it. Everyday this month, bloggers are encouraged to post something relative to the zeitgeist of the times, and post photos as well. Zeitgeist is defined as "the spirit of the times" or "the spirit of the age".

So...let's see....December 1st: I think it's edgy. The weather is pretty. It's snowy...a pretty, misty, kind of enchanting precipitation. The Christmas decorations are up. I don't really have the spirit yet, but I'm not really expecting it, so the pressure's off. If I don't expect to get it, then I won't be disappointed and I can concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas-the birth of Christ, and not the commercialization. I like the family part, the gathering, the sharing, the laughter, all the stuff you can't really purchase. That's the stuff I celebrate. So...that's building in a fun, expectant manner and I'll cling to that in the face of family members who are ill or otherwise compromised in their "pursuits of happiness"... We grab for the intangibles and the constants: love, God, and the fact that rent is always due on the first and the sun rises in the East...and ladies, no matter how consistent we are, our legs always have the tiniest bit of stubble somewhere....count on those constants to get you thru the season....the things that never change...

And now today? We are hunkered down with warm blankets, good food, good books, good music, and each other, my mom and I. Kinda sorta waiting for the holidays to come at us....or whatever is coming....we're here....waiting...