Thursday, March 26, 2015

TBT: Once Upon A Time...

Daddy, Mamma and Me
A little nostalgia for Throwback Thursday:  Here is my family circa 1958 in Upstate New York.

I remember my mom had just taken me to the beauty parlor to cut my hair.  I hated it short!

Sadly, this old photo was faded, had a texture that shows up in the scan - let's face it, it just didn't scan very well.  The original shows my mom's dress is a pale yellow, Dad's suit is grey, and the top of my little sundress was a pale turquoise blue.

My little brother was yet to be even a gleam in my dad's eye.

It doesn't seem that long ago, but it's been over half a century already.  It was a very different world back then.

Have a great day!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Meet Lady!

Lady smiling for the camera
A sweet German Shepherd was adopted this past weekend!  Hooray!  Lady got her forever home with two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.


Lady in a more serious moment
Lady has inherited 13 kitty siblings and 2 doggy siblings.  She is going to have a lot of fun!


My Norwegian Aunt had a German Shepherd named Lady, back in the 1940s, I believe.  My mother really loved that dog and said she was a wonderful companion.


I'm guessing this little Lady will be much the same.  She looks happy!


German Shepherds have sometimes gotten a bad rap through the years.  I think this little girl looks friendly, and very happy.

She's a lucky girl!

Lady and Holly snoozing in the living room.

So, how does Lady fit in with the other fur children in this household?

Very well, I'd say, judging from the above photo!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Sisters In Zion

A crowd of women gathering for the brunch
I belong to The Relief Society, a women's organization. I'm proud of my membership.  The Relief Society does some incredible things all over the globe.

The Relief Society celebrated its 173rd birthday on March 17th, making it the oldest women's organization in the world.  It is also the largest women's organization, with over six million sisters in 170 countries.

Before the program, tables were beautifully decorated, and a "Photo Booth" was set up (left)
In Whittier, we celebrated with a birthday brunch on the Saturday before.  This was a very well attended affair - and a very delightful one.

Every table was beautifully decorated
I always have a good time with my Relief Society sisters.  They have blessed my life in countless ways.

I just realized with all the picture taking that I didn't snap a photo of our Stake Relief Society President, Ellen Balke.  I can't believe I did that.  Our wonderful Ellen was in charge of all of this, and you could see the thoughtful preparation that had gone into everything that was done, from printed programs, to table decorations, to menu, to the very sweet program that was presented.

It's not easy to put on a brunch for a couple hundred women in both English and Spanish!

There was luscious fruit and all different flavors of terrific homemade muffins

"Charity Never Faileth" is the motto of the Relief Society.

I gathered at one of the tables filled with other women from my congregation.  We always have a good time together.

My dear friend Nancy
The program was filled with music, which was so nice.  A Women's Ensemble, made up of women from our Stake performed a number composed by my friend Barbara Randall Klein.  Barbara was a good friend who passed away a few years ago, and I still miss her very much.  The song, entitled "Strengthen Thy Sister" was really lovely.  Barbara was a woman of many talents and her life blessed mine in so many ways. She was a former Ward and Stake Relief Society President and a woman of faith and commitment.

The Ensemble did a wonderful job on this number.  Their accompanist was Trina Dunford.

Diana, Caitlyn, Rosalie, Kathy, Julie, Claire and Meredith (not standing in that order)
This lovely small chorus sang a beautiful number for us
Brunch was yummy.  We all dug into the casserole with gusto!

The egg, cheese and ham casserole disappeared before I could get a photo of it!
Every table had fruit and muffins, too.

The muffins were delicious and disappeared quickly too!
The theme of this brunch was "Sisters in Zion Anxiously Engaged in the Best Causes".

The main speaker was Sister Powell, the wife of our Stake President.  She showed some lovely videos to get across the point of her keynote speech, which was titled, "Oh, God, what wouldest thou desire of me?"
Sister Powell and her Spanish language translator
The proceedings were all translated into Spanish by a very capable young woman, whose name I didn't catch.  Perdóname.

Kimmy and one of her friends
It's always fun to see my friends from across Whittier that I don't normally get to see on a regular basis, like Kim (above) and others.  We really are a loving sisterhood.


Jackie Kaline, violinist, performed for us
Another one of the highlights of the program was violinist Jackie Kaline, who performed "Meditation" by Jules Massenet.  I really enjoyed her artistry.

The "Photo Booth" was available to all
A "Photo Booth" was set up on one side of the hall, complete with a professional photographer, who is also a member of our group.

President Powell was the only man there.  He came to run tech for his wife.
Our good Stake President was on hand to handle the audio-visual portion of his wife's presentation. He is such a good man.  

I'm so blessed to associate with all of these good people!

Nancy and Sister Allen, a senior missionary serving in our Ward
What a lovely morning we spent together.  Not a bad way to celebrate a world-wide sisterhood!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jack the Brat Cat


Find the cat in the foliage
I spent a quiet afternoon at home yesterday after Church, reading and watching movies on the Hallmark Channel.  I let Jack out to play in the courtyard and kinda kept one eye out for him.  As it began to be dusk, I went out to call him in.  No Jack.  

On a sunnier day, Jack lounging in the flowerbeds


I walked up and down the courtyard several times calling him.  No Jack.  My neighbor David came home around this time and joined the search.  No Jack.  

Usually Jack pops out pretty quickly once I call him, so I start to get worried. It’s now also beginning to get dark and I begin to walk up and down the sidewalk along our street, calling his name.  (Another cat actually answered with a big meow, which cracked me up.  Jack doesn’t talk, so I knew it wasn’t him!) 

By this time, I’m praying that he’s okay.  I’m beating the bushes, because sometimes that gets him out.  I had a feeling he was close, but he is a camouflage cat, being gray, he just blends in.  

Finally, our neighbor Haydee comes out with a flashlight to help us.  She walks right over to the bushes across the way, shines the light, and says, “Oh, here he is!”


Here he is!
Yup.  Jack was just sitting there under the bush.  He had been calmly watching all this frantic activity to find him without a peep or the slightest movement.

He gave me such a scare.

I told him he wasn't going to be allowed to play outside again until he's 21!  

Friday, March 20, 2015

See ya Monday!


My mom is in a seminar all day today, so she said I could post this very quickly to tell you
SEE YA MONDAY!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Future Food Network Star


My friend Bianca decided to help her mom make some brownies for her brothers the other day.
Bianca's third birthday is coming up, and as she's growing, she's becoming more and more helpful around the house. Baking is a skill she is trying to develop.


I got batter on my finger!
Bianca is also a budding hair stylist.  Yes, she is trying all kinds of things lately. She recently took some scissors in hand and trimmed her bangs, much to her mother's ... um... surprise.

Now her brothers call her Lloyd.  This will only be funny to some of you.  Possibly those of you with children.  (It's a film comedy reference.)

Oh, never mind.

Yum!
Bianca has a bright and sparkly personality.  She loves learning new things.  She was very helpful in getting the brownie batter in the baking pan.

She even used her toy ladle.  (Mom insisted they wash it thoroughly first.  Bianca is only starting to learn about hygienc in the kitchen.  Well, give her a break, she's not even three yet.)

Got to spray the baking spray on the pan very carefully
Spraying the non-stick spray was a lot of fun!  Bianca got to make a mini-brownie in her toy pan too!
See?  This is how we do it!
I think Bianca is almost ready for the Food Network.  What do you think?


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Family Home Evening!

Brother Allen and (former) Bishop Rodriguez with his wife, Mary Beth.
For a few years now, we've been trying to get a singles' group going in our congregation, called a Ward. There's a program already in place for the 18-30 year-olds, however, we have lots of 30+ singles in our area, and many have asked for this.

Recently, we got a really great missionary couple assigned to our Ward.  They are David and Judy Allen and they hail from northern Utah.  You couldn't ask for a nicer couple to work with.  They are just wonderful people.

Happily, one of their first assignments is to help "shepherd" this older singles' program, and we've begun to meet on a regular basis, every other Monday.

Guys.. and roses
I have to admit I'm really enjoying this.  We haven't done much, so far, but have an opportunity to visit. However, we're all in agreement that this is just great.

Deonne and Laurel
Recently we met at Evangeline's lovely home.  We had a great presentation from Brother and Sister Rodriguez, where they talked about their experiences over the last five years as Dan served as Bishop of our Ward.

They had prepared a slide show for us of some of the activities our Ward has had over the last five years - parties, talent shows and service projects, with young and old.  (I even made it into one of these slides!  That was a surprise!) It was a fun evening.  We were able to reminisce and chat about the good times we've had together.

Lynn and Evangeline
Our little group is slowly taking hold - this was our 3rd meeting - and our numbers are continually increasing (the photos show only a portion of the attendees!).  I can see where this meets a need with all us older singles.  We all enjoy a chance to gather and chat, which we don't really get to do on Sundays.

I like it!

We're hoping our little group continues to grow and get better established.  Already we're deciding on activities and lessons for the future.  It's a nice way to get better acquainted with our single brothers and sisters, and to be better able to provide love and support for those of us who have no family close by.

It's fun, too.

Next time, Glenn has promised to play his harmonica.  Hey, where can you find that kind of entertainment anywhere these days?