16 August 2014


Surprise #1: Happy balloons & a mysterious note.

Fess up, you mysterious note-writer.
We've been analyzing your handwriting and love your dry humor. 

Surprise #2: There's a porta-potty parked in front of my house. 

Surprise #3: Pretty flowers and a thoughtful note from friends.
Thank you, Bairds! 

Not pictured: The nicest surprise of all—going for a drive in the Uintas with Rob and enjoying three more hours with him than we'd planned together today. Gosh, I've been missing that guy lately. Work, work, work. 

A nice day. Thanks, everyone. Except for you, construction workers. I wish you'd move that porta-potty.

My angels

I quit my opiates cold turkey yesterday to get my head clear enough to prepare for the arrival of baby Moxie (her placeholder name till we find something permanent). Today I woke up hurting and sick and it was hard to come to life. As I lay in bed , trying to sort myself out, I got a call from my little nephew, F. He's getting into a real groove with FaceTime lately and it's fun. Last night he had his first awful migraine—they run in the family—and today he felt headachey but better. It was nice keeping each other company a while. I love my nephews and nieces.

Early this evening, two of my nieces, the littles, came over and climbed into bed with me. (I didn't spend the whole day there, just most of it.) We talked about Moxie. They had questions. They wanted to see a picture of Moxie's biological mama. D., the older of the two little girls, said to me, "For every loss there is a gain." Isn't that a great thing to remember? And very true in this case—here I am, recovering from a hysterectomy that I didn't want, and VOILA, here comes a baby that I do. I try always to pay attention to my nieces and nephews. They are all such good people, and often wise.

Moxie's bio mama wants her to grow up around blonde children so she'll blend in well. WE'VE GOT IT COVERED!

I invited the girls to toss out suggestions for a baby name. A. thought of several names, most of which already belong to other beloved cousins. But she also said Rose, which set us off brainstorming flowers. I pulled The Language of Flowers down from the bookshelf and D. and I perused the possibilities while A. played one of my ukes and wrote a song—

Living in the west.
Make a lamp.
Make a tent.
Sleep well.

She added two more verses later—
I like to hike.
I like living by myself.

A. serenaded us and then D. and I settled on naming the baby Bluebell Speedwell. So there you have it!

After dinner with family, D. wanted to braid my hair—always a great activity when you find yourself with a pokey convalescent who'll do nothing but sit still for you. D. made me a fishtail—

Am I not a mermaid? I'm a lucky auntie, at the very least.

I was also blessed today with a grownup visitor—my beautiful friend, Nancy. It's a rare treat to get to spend an hour with her. Her visit was a light to me and a lift, and I realized while she was talking that I've had a great ministering of angels—earthly angels—recently. Probably the other kind too. Other friends have come In person or have written loving words. A few family members have come too. These have checked in after my surgery. They showed up after I made the big announcement yesterday. They bring baby accoutrements, cheer, happy tears, sometimes laughably sober hospital faces, food, friendship and interest. I love their good energy. I love them. They don't think of themselves as angels, I imagine, but I do. And the same goes for Rob; he's an angel of mercy, the goodest of them all.

God bless my angels.

14 August 2014

Welcome to our world

Something wonderful has happened, is happening, will happen. Rob and I have made a new friend. She is bright and funny, good-hearted and brave, kind, communicative and beautiful. I loved her the first moment I saw her, and even a little before that. This young vibrant woman is pregnant, and has chosen Rob and me to be the adoptive parents of the baby girl she is carrying. And we have said yes. 

This child is due to arrive September 21st, but there's a good likelihood she won't wait past the end of August. We would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts you can send thisaway, to help our friend through the homestretch and beyond, and to help us prepare for and receive this unspeakably lovely gift. 

We just wanted you to know. 

And happy anniversary to us. August 14th—it's an auspicious day, as friends told us years ago. 

23 March 2014


Seen at church today: During the sacrament hymn, a young family, arriving late, entered the chapel and hunted for an open pew. The little son, trudging along in plaid flannel, wore gold star stickers that covered the entire left side of his face. 

I noticed another young family seated to my right. Their tiny girl charms and breaks my heart every Sunday with her moon face; she's like a mini version of a dear friend of mine. With all my heart I want this little woman to have a happier, safer childhood than my friend did. Today Moon Face was wearing glistening golden moccasins. They were magical. 

And it settled into my heart, this big thought, this marching order: Search for the gold. I had the impression that every person in the room, and not in the room, had gold inside. Many times it's a treasure that's buried deeply, seemingly beyond discovery, its value concealed, but it is there. My job is to find that gold, to see it and help others see it—this was the message that came to me.

Wouldn't you think that by now, in my middle years, I'd be done wondering what I'm to do with my life? But I do wonder. It changes, and I want to know and keep my knowing fresh and new. So maybe this is part of my answer: I'm a gold diviner, a dowser of worth. Plenty of satisfaction and job security in that kind of work.

12 January 2014

Make(r) me

I'm so glad to have had a day of rest. My first thoughts this morning were about being a maker. The word is taking me over—I love it! My mind hasn't fully wrapped itself around Divine Parentage, but I do believe that I am a child of God and somehow I was made to become a maker. 

My early prayers centered on this inborn power, this trust—making, creating. It's compelling stuff. I want to make—the bed (for a change)! Breakfast! Friends. Love—in all its meanings. Space and environments. Sanctuary. The list is long. What I don't want to make are purchases—I want no imaginary debts accrued and no strings attached when I make, when I give. Making has the potential to be its own reward. It's a power, but one which loses its strength if used to manipulate. Trying to buy favor or affection, and hoping to obligate someone, for instance, both fly in the face of honest making and cancel out the joy of it. 

What a wonderful mysterious thing to have been made in the image of the Divine. What an enlivening challenge to wake up and realize I have right now to carry on that lasting and heavenly purpose, to choose to remake myself moment by moment in that same eternal image. It was done for me in the beginning so I could become a maker myself, a chooser, a builder, under the kind guidance of a loving Creator. 

26 November 2013

"I perceive that ye are weak"

This morning when I woke up, I made an agreement with myself to stay in bed till I'd spent some time with the scriptures. This is an area of my attention that's gone lacking recently, and I feel a difference—layers of a certain kind of loneliness and vulnerability creeping in. So, I plugged in my SAD light for the first time this season, aimed it at my face and opened the Book of Mormon—a double-whammy of light intended to brighten my spirit. 

I read a passage from 3 Nephi 17, which is part of the story of Jesus' visit to the ancient people of the American continent. I picked up the story at the point where Jesus is wrapping up a full day of teaching and is saying goodbye—he's scheduled to check in with the Father and then continue teaching elsewhere.

He tells the people, "I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time. Therefore, go ye unto your homes and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again." A few concepts leap out at me in the 2nd and 3rd verses. 

WEAK. These people aren't strong in understanding and can't take in all at once the abundance that's available to them. The Lord gets that and has a plan to kindly help with that weakness. I share their weakness, and feel grateful to be similarly treated with patience, understanding and encouragement. 

HOME. The first thing to do is go home. Where is home? What is home? Is it a place? Is it a condition, or a mindset? I feel at home when I'm in quiet places that are nurturing and restful to my mind—out in nature, the temple, the library—but usually the strongest feelings of home come to me in my own house, my shared space with Rob, my personal creative sanctuary. It makes sense that retreating to home would be the first step in remedying weakness. 

PONDER. The next step is to meditate, examine, use my own powers of perception and reasoning and give them a workout. Sit with a teaching I've received—live with it, try it on. Imagine, reflect. Practice and watch. 

ASK. Two heads are better than one, especially when one of those heads is all-knowing and all-loving. There are times when I resist this dynamic, but when I am thinking clearly I appreciate that learning and growing stronger calls for steady conferences with the Divine. Asking questions is vital, as are praying for understanding and listening for guidance with an open mind and heart. It takes work to do this thoughtfully and sincerely, but it becomes a simpler process when I'm willing to set aside my fears, doubts, agendas and control and open myself to new ideas and change. 

PREPARE. Processing and applying what I've learned prepare me for receiving more and makes me stronger. Committing to show up and to study prepares me. Taking care of my physical, mental, social and spiritual health prepares me. Optimism and gratitude prepare me. It's my responsibility to make my own preparations and greet the Savior each day that he comes to teach and strengthen me. And He shows up for me in one fashion or another every day that I live. 

Enlightenment comes slowly, but to follow this pattern is to displace ignorance and error over time, and it's a beautiful process. Knowledge just can't unfold in a single day. Strength comes and is maintained only through consistent effort. 

I'm glad I started studying again this morning. I'm expecting good things. 

24 September 2013

Thirteen good reports

  1. smiling black chihuahua, river-wet, disheveled, delighted
  2. two olive-skinned boys in flannel, cautiously looking for a hidden fishing spot
  3. sweet grassy horse breath
  4. swerving to miss pedaling over wooly bears and grasshoppers
  5. beautiful toothless woman working at the gas station who gave me a free coffee cup and cold water
  6. September light filtering through trees 
  7. skin as solar panel
  8. evidence of primal sidewalk chalk screams
  9. going back for the $10 I forgot in the self-checkout machine's change slot, and some honest soul had turned it in to a cashier
  10. writing our gratitudes at lunchtime
  11. Casey Bowen's handmade soap
  12. watching friends succeed at acting, directing and doing
  13. THIS:

I'm back and I'm supersized!

This neglected blog of mine has been trying to coax me back into the writer's seat. I've gotten pretty bummed out by Facebook and internet haps in general, and think I need to revisit my own little corner of the web, dust off the ol' keyboard and make this place habitable again. 

I've got a backlog of subjects to explore, but the sunshine's so beautiful and I've been indoors too much lately, so a bike ride seems like the thing. What I will do is share a quick recipe before I pedal off into the morning light. 

I made this up last week as a survival technique, following an enlightening allergy test which left me—a long-time smoothie lover—dairy-less, banana-less and sugarless (among other things). This smoothie is not as sweet as you might be accustomed to, so you may wish to add some kind of sugar. I've noticed that when I'm off sugars for a while I rediscover the more subtle flavors of foods, so I actually like not sweeting everything up, but hey, no judgement. Do what ya gotta do to make your breakfast work.

Talk to you again when the sun's finished with me. 


1 cup frozen peaches, berries or other fruit
2 small handfuls almonds
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp chia seeds
rice milk, or any milk you prefer
optional ingredients: vanilla, pinch of spice (cardamon is the bomb), a splash of rosewater, sweetener

Put frozen fruit, almonds, coconut flour and chia seeds into your blender. Add enough milk to bring the level of the mixture to 3 cups. Add optional items to taste. Pour smoothie into a ridiculously large glass mug from the dollar store and enjoy. Serves 1 to overflowing.

14 May 2013

Thank you notes: blow dryer heating element fail

Thank you, blow dryer heating element, for dying as I was getting ready to go to the DMV:

You reminded me to slow down and enjoy a cool breeze (on every setting).

You offered the illusion that I had lots of hair to dry.

You laughed at my vanity.

You protected the delicate balance of the universe by ensuring that the ancient tradition of unfortunate driver's license photos continues.