Monday, September 29, 2008

The Call of the Hills

There is nothing in this world that is quite as magical as viewing the world between the ears of a horse. I was riding my horse out in the park yesteday morning before church. Ellie is a "silly" paint mare that we have. I enjoy riding her but she does require a little attention while out since she appears to have ADHD (sound familiar?)

Since I just got home from 3 very intense days of lecture and testing on Footzoning, I was defintely lost in thought. I was making sure that I could call up all the information that I had received over the last bit. My mind was working overtime.

Out of nowhere, I heard another human voice, a male, who said "Sorry, I didn't mean to intrude on your space." I was startled and jumped at the sound of his voice. He was a runner out for an early morning run. I smiled at him and he commented on how nice it is to be out here alone in the hills with a lots of solitude. I couldn't have agreed more. How nice of him to apologize for intruding on my space. How awesome that he would even recognize that I was there to be "alone" with my horse, dog and thoughts.

I ended up taking a trail that my daughter, Brandilyn, would be happy if she never saw again for the rest of her life. It is called the Manzanita Trail and it is my favorite of all the trails in the park. It goes straight down for quite a ways and runs along a creek for a bit before it takes off and heads straight back up again. My horse was full of spirit and seemed up for the challenge.

I often vascilate as to whether or not it is appropriate for me to be out riding my horse early on a Sunday morning. My argument for the affirmative would be that I am able to meditate and appreciate this beautiful world that Heavenly Father has created for us. I am also able to focus on the things that I am so grateful for. It is so easy when it is spread out in front of me in a way such as this.

I look forward to Brandilyn and Dave coming here for a visit. Dave is, hands down, my favorite trail riding partner. He loves the adventure and hears the call of the hills just as I do. I am hoping that Dave has been studying his map for a new adventure for us to go on. We got in a lot of trouble from Skip and Brandilyn last time we went but we promise to be a little more responsible this next time. Maybe they will go with us???

So, until next Sunday, I will have the memories of this ride and the anticipation of another trail riding adventure to keep me alive. After all, there are few things in this world that make me feel as "alive" as when I am bonding with these magestic creatures that we call horses.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Age is nothing but a state of mind. . . .

How Old Are You?

Personally, at this moment,
I have no idea how old I am.
I do remember a few milestone birthdays -
You know, 18, 21, 40 . . .
But in my head, nothing ever changed.
I keep wondering
When everyone is going to catch on
To the fact that for the last thirty years
I've been masquerading as an adult.

Perhaps we are, like the old saying goes,
"Only as old as we feel."
In that case,
I'll stay lost in my bewilderment . . .
'Cause really, life is what we make it, and
Age is nothing but a state of mind.
-Suzy Toronto

This is totally me! I must be about 17 or 18 years old, I guess. Yes, I have been masquerading as an adult and, actually, I think everybody that knows me well knows that I have been. I am trapped in a body that is much older than my mind. Heck, my 19 year old daughter is much older than I am.

I have heard that our souls are at different levels of progression. My soul is a very young soul and Brandilyn, Skip and Robbie all have much more mature and older souls. Brian and I are stuck in this teenager stage. I, personally, love it. It suits me. I NEVER want to grow up and I won't! So, Brian, let's rock on!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Let Go!

My yoga instructor walks around the room as we are all in meditation quietly giving us instructions. She tells us to raise the crown of our head toward the sky and sink our tailbones deep into the earth. Let your shoulders glide down your back as you let your spine grow tall. She then says, "Just let go. Let go. Let go." So, what does that mean to "let go"?

I decided to meditate on this idea for a bit and realized that it isn't just the physical, although that is a great start. Letting go of the tightened muscles immediately releases the areas we are trying to target at any given time. That in and of itself was an amazing discovery for me.

I, then, explored other areas of my "universe" and realized that, wow, this is HUGE! If there was someway that I could let go of the chatter (or chitra in my yoga world) in my mind, I was able to access the areas that held vast amounts of information that I have taken in over the years. I have been so numbed by the constant flow of "chitra" that I have always thought I had no "memory" capabilities!

So, here I am, off to Vegas to commence my testing for Footzoning. I want to be able to do this Footzoning so bad but was struggling with retaining the mountains of information that are required for certification. Now, with my new secret super power, I am able to tap into the information that I have been taking in these past few months. We will see how this new power works.

Goodbye chitra! Hello smart me! Wish me luck as I "let go"!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Grandma's Got it Goin' On!

I love this picture. Why? I will tell you.

I grew up in a home where we had no extended family. My dad (who didn't live with us) was an only child and my mother, who was born and raised in England had no family around except her brother who we didn't really interact with until I was well into my high school years. There were no grandparents, uncles, aunts or cousins in my upbringing.

Last year, Skip's whole family, with the exception of Taylor in Curt's family and Keith's whole family, were able to go on a Mexico cruise together. On one particular day, we all went out on an excursion while Skip's dad stayed on the ship with Courtney and Jacob. We went on a tour of the city of Mazatlan (I think that was where it was) and spent the whole day out and about. We saw a whole different side of Grandma. She was funny and really seemed to be trying to "kick it" with all of us - kids and grandkids. She had us all laughing.

I have never known that kind of family bonding before in my life. I loved it. Anyway, we took this picture overlooking the city at the beginning of our day and it will always serve as a sweet reminder of the kind of grandma I want to be - fun, loving, and not afraid to show my true colors!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Time Marches On

The reason I said this is because I thought of that song today when I was talking to Brandilyn on the phone. We were talking for a few minutes while she was painting her new store. Someone walked into the store and she said "Gotta go, Mom." It was one of the first times that has ever happened to me. She has ALWAYS had time for me and now she's busy. Unfortuantely, I'm still in that whirlwind life with the kids here at home so I guess I'm gettin" what I'm givin".

I hope that she can look back on her childhood and have fond memories of SOME time we spent together. I miss her so much and wish time could stand still or even reverse a little so that I can grab some of those days when she was so young and I was her hero.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Yesterday my friend, Nancy, gave me a jar (unlabeled) of boysenberry jam. For my birthday, my daughter Brandilyn also gave me a jar of special jam - I think Huckleberry. Anyway, I have hoarded these two jars. I am hiding them and using them for my own selfish, personal pleasure. As my whole wheat English muffin is warming in the toaster, I am giddy with anticipation of how it is going to glide down my throat with that delicious jam spread liberally atop.

As I sit here at my computer enjoying my guilty indulgence, I have to ponder . . . am I wrong in keeping this decadence to myself? Can this relate to other aspects of my life? Do I keep what is good to myself and not share it? Does this make me a self centered and selfish individual? On some levels the answer would be yes. But then there is always the question of what my obnoxious teenage boys would do to my little stash of heaven. So when that little fact is thrown into my equation, I have to rethink my answer.

So . . . YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! I am selfish and self-centered and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I LOVE BEING SELFISH. I LOVE BEING SELF-CENTERED! I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER share my jam. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever!

Oh, sorry, I got carried away. Was this really about a English muffin and jam?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another "Aha" Moment

Yesterday I spent 2-1/2 hours at my Footzoning class craming information into my brain. Anatomy is not my strength but I am discovering that I can actually do this school thing and I'm not all bad at it. I have my mid-term testing in Las Vegas next week and I'm supposed to know so much information. I'm a little overwhelmed. I'm doing okay until Linda, the woman who is taking this class with me, comes. She is so stressed out over this that I find myself feeding off of her. I have to remind myself to calm down and just focus on my own learning. I am also learning that if I can let go of the "chatter" in my brain it can actually maintain some small amount of information. Amazing that I have waited 50 years to come to this realization.

To think that maybe a year from now I COULD actually be certified to do Footzoning is pretty exciting. I really am anxious to get all this "textbook" stuff behind me and actually start fondling feet (I know, who would have thought . . .). To be even close to the level that my coach, Lezlie, is a worthy goal I have.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No Worries!

I got up early this morning and went for a run - 4:30 a.m. to be exact. It was a full moon, calm morning (because that is rare here where I live) and a pleasant temperature (about 75 degrees). I went to the park and was able to run with only my dog and my thoughts.

It made me reflect on how grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father that has created this beautiful place for us to live and grow in. I am grateful for the power of prayer and for the gift of personal revelation. For example: Yesterday I was in Brian's face (a little) about going on a mission. I was giving him the usual talk about how we would finance his education after he serves a mission. He was going back and forth with me and jibbering about how it will ruin his life, etc. At any rate, I got this very strong impression that I needed to shut my mouth - it was all in the Lord's hands. I haven't mentioned the subject since to him. He has approached it a little but I just keep my mouth shut. I trust that my Heavenly Father is mindful of him and will send him promptings where they are needed and will be heeded.

I am also grateful for this little period of time where I am given a "break". It was funny but while I was running (as I always do) I try to ponder the things that are weighing on me and often am inspired of what direction I should go to resolve the problem. Today, the only thing that I could think of was Brian and his life direction and I, again, got the gentle hand on my shoulder telling me, "Daughter, don't worry, it's in my hands."

Hence, I couldn't come up with something else to worry about. Tsk, tsk, what a day - nothing to worry about. I guess I will go out and enjoy this beautiful earth and life that is a gift from above! After all, it's all in the Lord's hands, right?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Eating Crow

That would be me today. Yes, I struggled with a few things yesterday and the night before. I acted like a child throwing a temper tantrum. It's amazing what prayer and reading your Patriarchal Blessing will do for you. Not to mention "standing in holy places". I should be ashamed of myself for thinking the Lord had abandoned me. I am right where I should be and doing what I should be doing.

I am looking forward to my new calling and commit do magnify it to the best of my ability. I realize I have limitations - we all do - but I will work on my strengths and overcome those challenges. I am looking forward to having a positive influence in my son's life and, hopefully, be one of the ones that help him decide to serve a two year mission for our church.

I know that Brian will be an awesome missionary. He has the most charismatic personality and will wow people like no other. I know that people will be drawn to him and desire to have what he has. Yes, I know the Lord will prevail in the end and I'm looking forward to not only watching, but participating in the show!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Are you kidding me???

So last night on our way to Back to School Night Skip informed me that I was being released from YW. It stung but I kinda knew it was coming. I hurt because I love the girls but, hey, out with the old and in with the new. I am washed up and they need to keep the "good people" in there.

Anway, I was then extended a new calling that really took the wind out of my sails. It was teaching Sunday School to the 16-17 year olds. Yes, I have been hitting my knees hard lately praying for my son (17 years old) and then the answer I get is to be his Sunday School teacher? Are you frickin' kidding me?? I don't think so. I burst into tears and haven't spoken much to my husband since.

You see, Skip is always put into a position of power over me. At work and at church. I feel that he has the "Oh, Jode can just do that" attitude regarding me. I resent it. For now, I am declining the call. I want to talk to the bishop and go to the temple. I honestly feel that someone else would be better suited for that calling. Someone who could make a difference in my son's life and maybe influence him for good.

Brandilyn says that I am pouting. Yes, that is true. The thought of being the teacher of the most unruly group in our ward is daunting but I can handle that. Don't want to but could do it. I promise, Brandilyn, that if I get a positive answer after sitting in the Celestial Room I will accept the call and magnify it to the best of my ability. It just doesn't feel right. Even after a night's sleep.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mission? Who needs a mission?

Therein is the dilema that I seem to be faced with right now. My son is being influenced by outside forces and has decided that going on a mission will ruin his dreams of becoming an underwater welder. So, now as I pray about what to do I am prompted to be obedient and read MY scriptures, say MY prayers, attend the temple regularly, follow the commandments and hold FHE. Easier said than done. However, that is the challenge and I am ready to rise to it. Anything for my children.

Funny thing is that in stake conference this weekend, that is exactly what President Alexander counseled all of us to do. He said that if there was anything that was preventing our family from doing scripture study, family prayer and FHE then we needed to reevaluate those activities - there are plenty of good things but then there are better things we could and should be doing. In addition, we were also informed that we should be doing our personal prayer and scripture study. I felt that this was an answer to my prayer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday September 7, 2008

Brandilyn & Davd got married on August 2nd. We are so happy to have David as part of our family. It is taking some getting used to having a son-in-law in our family but we love David. He is so great for Brandilyn. I have had a lot of emotion connected with my baby girl getting married. She is my bestest girlfriend and it is a difficult adjustment having her live far away - and permanently.
David slid right into the family groove, however. He goes golfing with Skip and rides horses and bikes with me. I have a lot of trouble finding a horseback riding buddy and David was up for the job. We have been on some awesome rides together and had some fun adventures.
As for bike riding, David kicks my tail. My favorite part of riding with this dynamo is drafting him (that's if I can catch up). We went on a great ride last week on Thursday. We logged 40 miles (well, 40.02) on our bikes and rode out to the sand dunes by Rexburg. It was a great ride - wind and all.
I just got home yesterday from my visit with the newlyweds who were very gracious about letting me stay in their apartment. I was diligent in following the 3-day rule for fish and guests - after 3 days they must go! I am happy to be home to my family and the challenges that go along with it.