Monday, March 25, 2013


I have been floating around this past week. I went to my endocrinologist and had my six-month check-up. I no longer need any meds except for my thyroid medication. She cut that in half, almost. I do not need to worry about my cholesterol because the good is great and the bad is also at a great level and the total is 130 (it can go down a bit more), my A1C was low normal (a good thing) at 5.0, my blood pressure was 113/70. My glucose average is 85. I am no longer diabetic. I told the Dr. however, that that only meant I would keep doing what I was doing because, if I did anything else, it might get bad again. She agreed. I now know, however, that some people (me) can reverse diabetes with exercise and diet. On her scale I weighed 120. We think that 115 might be where I should stay. I am beginning to worry about how to stop losing weight. Every week I drop a pound or two. I love walking. I am just so much happier, most of the time. It will be nice to get my thyroid level adjusted down. When it is too high, it makes me anxious and nervous. (She said crabby, but I don't believe that.) :)

I think that I am going to have to take tissues, my own box, to sacrament meeting with me from now on out. I am talking the ENTIRE box. I have turned into a real crier. I have no idea what has happened to me. I didn't cry in my middle-age. I did when I was young, so I suppose, I am just back to "phase childhood." Maybe the sages are right to call old age, the second-childhood.

We have had a somewhat busy week. Thursday, we went to Hurricane and watched Donovin earn his arrow of light award. I love scouting. It is such a great thing for young men. David and Bree fixed quite a wonderful meal for us. David smoked a pork loin over applewood and Bree, in consideration for me and my sugarless meals, made a great sugar-free cake that she served with strawberries. There was also a really great fresh-fruit salad and other good things.

We are making some schedule changes at the temple. The afternoon shift (that starts at 10 a.m.) will start one hour later in the day, at 11 a.m. but we will pick up one more endowment session. That will mean that we have more opportunity to serve, rather than less. It is so wonderful to work with my childhood/teenaged friend Gerri Page. (She was Geraldine Shield back then.) She was one of my bridesmaids and is now one of the assistant matrons. We get to work closely together and it is like old-times.

Today, Sunday, we got to go to AnnMarie and Brandon's ward. Kyle ordained Matthew to the Aaronic Priesthood to the office of Deacon. Matthew got to pass the sacrament for the first time and got to serve our row. Kyle blessed the sacrament. That was quite special. Then Brandon was released as a counselor in the bishopric and was sustained as the new stake executive secretary. We got to be there for his being set-apart for that calling. Randy and Tammi were also there though none of us knew what was happening to Brandon until we got there. I don't know why, in particular, but my heart was so touched. One of the sisters from the ward sang, in an outstanding fashion, one of my favorite hymns. Sitting on the row with the Howards was like sitting with the Mormon Tab, they are all such gifted singers, and Matthew was so very somber and serious about his new calling. Then the speaker talked about the Savior and I may as well have just kept my hanky in my hand. We also got to sing happy birthday to Matthew and to Braden. By the way, Braden also sings very, very well. Shawn, Kimberly and Sorina came over after church and we got to spend some time with them also.

Speaking of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Jim's sister is going to be singing at April Conference. I am certain that you will recognize her.  She looks like our little Christene.

Mary's birthday is tomorrow and she wants to come here for her birthday dinner and have Grandpa fix his fried chicken. That is her favorite meal. So we will be celebrating her birthday with cake and ice cream at our house. I was feeling sad that I am getting so old and Mary is so happy that she is getting older.

When I went to the temple on Friday, one of my good friends came up to me. She said she had prayed and asked who needed her help. Heavenly Father told her that I did. So she put my name on the prayer roll, gave me a big hug, and asked if I wanted to talk. I did, though we only had a few minutes. I told her what I was feeling sad. I have been so happy in being alive, in feeling good, and in being part of a big and loving family.  Then the idea hit me that I am getting old enough that LHT or I may not live forever after all (who knows how long) as I had supposed when I was a kid. Life for us is likely winding down. I had that brought home to me when I heard that still another classmate had passed on. We have lost so many and all my age, for goodness sake. My friend told me that Heavenly Father wants me to be happy. She is right. It is only Satan who wants us to be worried and unhappy. He likes us to be miserable. I resolved, with her help, to count my blessings and to leave the tomorrows to Heavenly Father. I want you to know that the thing that helped most of all, however, was that Heavenly Father wanted to answer my prayer. He wanted me to be content. He sent my friend to tell me that. How grateful I am for the knowledge that He cares about silly little old me. He cares about you, also.

I love you. Gramps loves you. Your parents and siblings love you. Other family members love you. Your good friends love you. Heavenly Father loves you. 

1. For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

2. For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light,

3. For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,

Text: Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1835-1917

Monday, March 4, 2013

Group Letter

How am I doing? I prayed last night that I would have the needed energy to keep on keeping on. ;) For a 72-year old woman, I am doing well. Grandma Smith, Aunt Renee, and Grandma Edna all died at about age 72. I guess I am just walking on the edge. Let's hope that I keep walking the narrow line and don't fall off. I have never been graceful when walking. Hehehe. I like being alive. I go to see the endocrinologist this week for thyroid and diabetes. Hopefully, the fact that I now weigh 122 pounds and am physically active will make a difference. 

LHT had a rotator cuff repair (minor) and a ruptured biceps repair (major). The surgery went well and Dr. Robert Jackson was proud of the work he did. However, LHT ended up being allergic to tape and codeine (like Kirsten) so he ended up with hives all over the shoulder/chest/back/arm area. I thought that he had had percocet before but he may have built up an allergy. That can happen with anything. When the tape came off, so did the skin it was sticking to. Thank goodness for benedryl. Life is interesting, is it not?
Whenever I scold LHT about not taking care of himself, he tells me that it would be a shame to put a healthy body in the grave. I wonder about LHT's doctor. His A1C is as high as mine and his doctor did not declare him a diabetic. His bad cholesterol reading is a lot worse than mine and he did not get bent out of shape. He just tells him that his problems are age-related. I don't think that is comforting to me. I have a husband who has Factor V and had a heart attack. I worry about him. I think he should change doctors but Dr. James Besendorfer is the doctor who saved his life when he had the heart attack.

We had our young about-to-leave missionary/home teacher, Ben Horrocks (he is going to Italy), and his grandpa, come to our house and give LHT a blessing before he went in for his surgery. He was promised that he would heal quickly and would not have much pain. That certainly was the case. So we are thankful for that. He and Clifton Taylor, who is submitting his papers and who has been in our temple prep class, decided to bring the sacrament to LHT because they love him and they were doing the service for the shut-ins.  

Kirsten is healing but it will take quite a few more weeks. The doctor tells her that she should be a new and improved model of her former self by June. Meanwhile, her kids are falling apart. Emma takes gymnastics, fell and got a minor concussion. In a second fall, she broke her toe. She thinks she might give up the sport. (I wonder why?) The rest have had ear infections and etc.

Julie and family and AnnMarie and family all went to Disneyland this past month. Jim took a load of bees to California, came back and they left. Kyle and Megan were with the orchestra/choir from TimpView who performed there. So the whole family, including Alyssa, were able to go. They all had fun but Rachel got sick and Julie and kids all got ill. (Jim escaped.) 

Uncle David has damaged ribs. He said that he did not break the ribs but did injure the ligaments that cross over the ribs. He said he ended up paying for the doctor visit himself because his work has a policy that you have to report the work-related injury when it happens. He waited two days because it just kept getting worse so that he finally had to go to the doctor. They really don't do much for you when you do that kind of damage. They tell you to take ibuprofen and to be careful. 

We have our sixth, seventh and eighth missionaries from the ward leaving in the next month. We have two more who are submitting their papers. We have been teaching them in temple prep and it has been really great. We love these young and devoted men. It makes us think of our family missionaries whom we love and are so proud of. 

We had an especially spiritual testimony meeting. It was a touching meeting. One of the brothers, Bert Paxman, has been being treated for cancer and was thankful for his healing. Others were thankful for the temple, for family, for ward members who sustained them, for trials they had overcome, for the Spirit of the Holy Ghost which testified to them of various truths. All were thankful for the Savior and for our Father in Heaven. I suppose, on the face of it, it sounds just like most testimony meetings. However, my heart was touched over and over again. One 30-year old man, who is just going to be living in our ward with his family for a few months while their house is built, was just released as a bishop of his former ward one week ago. He and his wife put their house up for sale following that event and it sold for the asking price in five days. They put everything in storage and moved in with her parents, Norm and Carla Wood, until the house is completed. He was so grateful for the love he had felt through all of the upheaval that he could not stop crying. One of those who took the stand, on a lighter note, said he had just decided to take the stand to bear his testimony so that he could bet a tissue because he needed one. At any rate, I was happy that I was there and sad that LHT was not.

When I was a girl, after I was baptized at age 12,  I decided to attend church. I went alone, at first, and was a bit confused by how things proceeded but I stuck with it. (In those days, we met for Sunday School in the morning. We then went home and came back later for Sacrament meeting and, at the morning meeting, we left the chapel in class groups. I wasn't certain where I belonged but I was taken in hand and got where I was supposed to be.) It was not too long before Grandma Smith started going with me and then there were the two of us together and that was good. She had had her feelings hurt by a bishop and had stopped going but when I started going again she decided to bury her hurt and return to the fold where she had always belonged. I so wanted to be one of those families where the father, mother and children all gathered together at meetings each week and where the church was the center of activity. I chose that for myself. I assumed that my children would all want to attend meeting with me so that we could be a happy group together enjoying time spent worshiping as a unit. Now I know that the most important person a missionary can convert is himself. The most important person anyone can convert is himself.  And though I became converted myself, I cannot convert anyone else. Each person must do that job, with the help of the Spirit, by himself. Having said that, I am grateful for the missionaries in my life who introduced me to truth--line upon line--so that I could be converted. There is no greater job on earth. There is no greater calling than serving as missionaries for the living and as surrogates for the dead. I am grateful for the missionaries in our family. They make my heart happy.

How I love my family! I pray for each person. I think of each person each day. I care about what is happening in each life. I like to hear the goings-on. I like to see the photos and receive the contacts on Facebook, in email, on the telephone, by snail-mail. You are so important to me. I get teary-eyed thinking of how wonderful my life is because of each of you. I know that sometimes I am a bit grumpy and out-of-sorts but I do not mean to be that way. I have no idea why I am. LHT tells me that I get tired and should just go to bed. That is, of course, easier said than done. And, even though I am 72 and slower than I used to be, I still think I can get everything done instantly. Bear with me, I have never been old before. Nevertheless, I still like to go to programs (we missed Matthew's because LHT was in pain after surgery), I sill like to have you all around me, I sill like to go places with you and do things with and for you.

Thanks for your love. Thanks for letting me be part of your life. I love you to infinity and beyond.