Saturday, December 26, 2009

Virginia Latimer Savage


Dad and Mom ... always holding hands.


Mom loved Dieter dog! When I was young she would never have allowed a dog in the house, let alone on her bed!


This photo was taken two days before her passing ... my Mom and Dad.


My mother, Virginia Latimer Savage passed away on her favorite holiday, Christmas, beside her childhood sweetheart and husband, Gilbert Owen. What a little fighter! She courageously fought her illness for almost 4 years, never complaining, never asking for special favors or demands, always a gracious patient, worrying about others instead of herself. She always told me that I was her favorite nurse. I loved taking care of my mother. The Lord blessed me with wonderful health to be able to lift and care for her in her last days on earth. And he blessed me with a situation in life to be able to be a full-time care giver to her. I am so blessed and loved by a kind Heavenly Father.

It's been a hard few days watching her struggle with her frail, worn-out body, and trying to stay alive. She didn't want to pass to the other side. She didn't want to leave Dad. I finally told Dad that he needed to tell her that it was alright to go. So Christmas Eve afternoon he went into her bedroom and told her that she could go if she wanted to and that he would be well taken care of. I think she needed to hear her sweetheart tell her that it was fine to go.

That evening my beautiful family gathered around her bedside, sang Christmas carols to her in her sedated medicated state. She was unable to communicate with us but we could definitely tell that she could hear us and knew what was going on. Even the little grandchildren sang solos to her. It was a beautiful and reverent evening, one that I will always cherish and remember. My daughter and I sang a duet together, one that Mom had never heard us perform. We sang magnificent. And then I related Grandma's favorite Christmas experience when she was a young girl living in Metropolis, Nevada. She had just told that story about a week prior to a young Primary class who came to carol to her. It was amazing because that day she was unable to talk and when the children arrived and sang to her she became alert and communicated with them. She told how they were unable to find a Christmas tree that year and they were sad because it was Christmas Eve and they had no tree to decorate. Suddenly they heard a brushing sound against the door. Her Dad opened the door and there to their amazement was a huge sagebrush leaning against their door. Perfect ... it's a gift from heaven ... our Christmas tree. Her Dad built a stand for the sagebrush and they decorated it with gold and silver ornaments. It was beautiful. They went to bed and waited for Santa to arrive. The next morning the 'tree' was scraggly and bedraggled and made the house smell something terrible so they had to take off the ornaments and throw the tree away!

After each family member kissed and loved my mother, three of my daughters stayed behind to help care for her body. She was developing some bad bed sores and it was my evening tradition to rub lotion on her feet. So my girls tenderly helped rub olive oil on her heels, feet, legs, and arms. They even lovingly rubbed her head and spoke tender words to her. In the background there was the most beautiful music playing, Silent Night, sung by the Tabernacle Choir. It was such a reverent and sacred setting, one that I shall never forget. We prepared her for the evening, made sure that she was resting peacefully and then told her good night and that we would see her in the morning.

Christmas morning I awoke early and thought about her, wondering if I should run over and check on her, but I didn't want to wake Dad, so I waited until 7:00 a.m. As I walked out my back door, my father was coming out his back door. I asked him how Mom was and he said that she had gone. I went into her bedroom and it was such a blessed sight to see how peaceful and relaxed she was. I felt relief and happiness and joy as I kissed her little face and loved her. She was still warm to the touch so I knew that her spirit hadn't been apart from her body long. There was such a reverent feeling in the room and I knew that Mom was there watching and listening to me. I spoke to her and told her how happy I was for her. I took out the canula from her nose and had Dad turn off her oxygen machine. It was a joyous moment to take off the oxygen and throw the hose away. It had been a tether to her for almost 4 years. I said to her, "Oh Mom, look ... you don't have to wear this ole thing anymore. How wonderful!"

We called family members to let them know of her passing and made arrangements for the mortuary to come and pick up her little 70 plus pound body. Our Bishop arrived and we all surrounded Mom's little body and spoke of the reverent experience that we were having. After her body was taken to the mortuary the Bishop gave my father a beautiful blessing of peace and comfort.

What a joyous day to pass to the other side. The day that we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, we are now celebrating the birth of my mother's new life on the other side. What a joyous reunion with her parents and sister. I know that she is extremely happy and she's probably wondering why she didn't want to go sooner. I'm sure she's visiting many of her loved ones here on earth. I feel her presence as well as the surrounding comfort of the Holy Ghost. I know that he's real. I know that he's the comforter. I feel that peace. I feel that love. And I feel the love of my Saviour who answered my prayers to take my mother home.

God be with you til we meet again. Thank you for your love, concern, and prayers in my behalf.

--Linda

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little Update

I'd like to take a few minutes to just share my thoughts and feelings this beautiful Christmas season.

As you all know my mother is getting ready to 'graduate' shortly. Many people have expressed how hard it must be to have your mother pass away around Christmas time. But I don't feel that way. Her passing is a part of life and something that we all have to go through. It doesn't matter if it's on Christmas Day. In fact, I would love it if she passed on Christmas Day. Christmas was her favorite time of year. She loved giving and receiving presents. She was like a little child on Christmas day and could hardly wait to open her gifts. And always after opening her gifts she would proudly display them in piles next to the couch so she could show everyone what she received. But, she only left them out for a short while because she always wanted to tidy up the Christmas mess and get everything straigtened again. In fact, if she had it her way, the Christmas tree would be taken down on Christmas day. She usually waited until the day after!

This year I put up her tree early. Her and Dad didn't want to bother with a tree but I lovingly brought the artificial tree up from downstairs and painstakingly hung each beautiful hand-made ornament on the tree. It really is a beautiful creation. Hand-made crocheted doilies glittered with sequins and pearls, wreaths made from canning rings, silver pinecones dusted with silver glitter and ribbon and butterflys made from Albuterol plastic vials, sprayed silver and gold and decorated with gossamer ribbon and pearls. Lovely, simply lovely! Everyone that comes into the home comments on the beautiful tree. And the best part, Mom and Dad have loved having the tree up.

Did I tell you about the mouse house? I may have but forgive me for telling you again. About 30 years ago Dad made a wooden mouse house. Mom made all of the miniatures. The house is complete with electric lights. Santa and his reindeer are on the roof. There is a miniature Christmas tree with a braided rug inside complete with fireplace and grandfather clock. All of the miniatures have been made from recycled 'things'. It's absolutely adorable. There's even a skating pond out back complete with plenty of drifted snow. The grandkids have looked forward to seeing the Mouse House every Christmas.

My dear sweet brother came up and stayed for a couple of days. It was such a relief to have him here. I was able to get some Christmas things done while he sat with the folks. I even slept better at night knowing that he was with Mom and Dad. Even though I live next door it's been extremely hard running back and forth and trying to keep up two homes. It would have been easier having them come live with me but all of the extra rooms are downstairs with no shower. That wouldn't have worked for Mom.

So what am I thinking now? It's hard watching my mother's little body waste away to almost nothing. It's hard wanting her to eat something so she can live, but she has no appetite and can't swallow. It's hard watching her not being able to swallow her life-sustaining pills. And it's hard watching her sleep all day and all night. There are so many things I still want to ask her and now it's too late. She can still respond a little bit with a nod of her head and an occasional "I love you." And it's especially hard watching my sons and daughters seeing her, probably for the last time on earth, sobbing as they take their little granny's hands and tell her that they love her.

Am I sitting here boobing all day? No. I get a little teary eyed at times but there is such a sweet, comforting presence here in the home. I know this is the Holy Ghost offering us comfort at this time. I feel the presence of loved ones who have passed on to the other side who are concerned for my well-being. I feel peaceful and at rest. I'm not sure how much longer she can survive. But in God's own time he will take her home. The other day I asked her if she was ready to give up her worn-out body and go home to see her parents and her sister. I said, "Won't that be soooo exciting to see your Mom and Dad and Barbara?" She said, "Not really!" I'll tell you, she's a fighter. She's fought to live for almost 4 years. She's really fought a battle with her illness. She was first diagnosed with lung cancer and then the mass strangely disappeared. However, she does have chronic pulminary disease and it's been such a struggle for her.

My poor Dad. That's the hardest part. He wanders around the house, going from the TV room, to the jigsaw puzzle, to the crossword puzzle, back to check on Mom, then back to the cupboard for a snack. He just doesn't know what to do to help. He hates to see her suffer too. And I know that he's going to miss her so much. My sis in Montana wants to take him after Mom passes. He will love being with her. He's a Montana boy and she lives on a big ranch and he will love being there.

So, what next? Sorry I haven't gotten the cookbook done before Christmas. I'll work on it after the funeral. I've got a LOT of speaking engagements lined up for next year and I can't wait to see you. I've also gotten a wonderful job offer. In fact they want me so bad they have hired temps to fill in until the passing of Mom so I can begin work. I'll tell you more about the job as I know more as to what I will be doing. You're going to love the mission of the organization, I promise!

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Love to you all!

Linda

Monday, December 14, 2009

What's Wrong With Me????

I have sooo much to tell you and not a whole lot of time to share all of my experiences these past few days. But I'll get to one of the funniest stories. At least I can laugh at myself ... and you will too, I promise!

So ... my neighborhood grocery store put in the cutest kitchen area with all kinds of gadgets and gizmos, which I am a sucker for. I needed new salt and pepper shakers and I saw the cutest ones that I just had to buy. Hmmm ... should I get red ones or gold ones to match my kitchen? Then I thought to myself. "How am I going to tell the salt and pepper apart if I buy the same color lids? I know ... I'll buy one lid Red and put the pepper in it so everyone knows that Red means hot and that has the pepper in it. And the Gold will mean salt because the color is more soothing. So I purchased the salt and pepper shakers ... one Red lid and one Gold lid ... problem solved.

Got home ... filled my cute salt and pepper shakers and set them on the table. Later that night we were eating dinner and I looked at the shakers and then it hit me .... DUH ... the shakers have a clear bottle and you can see which one is salt and which one is pepper! I even admitted my dumbness to my husband who just sat there and laughed! Now every time I use those salt shakers I think of my creative reasoning and laugh!
On to more news. Reese graduated from the Army's Advanced Training as a Crew Chief for the Apache Helicopter. We're so proud of him. It wasn't an easy feat, but he made it. He was even given a special certificate for leadership. And he earned his wings. They call them the 'bloody wings' because when the officers pin them on their chest they don't put the little stopper on the back of the pin. Later they slap the soldiers on the chest where the wings are and the pins push into their chest. Hence .... bloody wings! Someone did it to him, but it didn't puncture his chest. Strong muscles, I guess! He looks great and it's great having him home.

This is where he worked in the hangar on his 'bird'.


He loved his trainer!


Now for some sad news. A very good friend and cousin of mine was just diagnosed with stomach cancer which has spread to his liver. We had an apostle who came to our Stake Conference yesterday to speak. He had met with our friend prior to the meeting at which time he gave him a priesthood blessing. How very special to have an apostle of the Lord lay his hands on his head and give him the strength to endure what he has to go through in this life! As Elder Hales, the apostle, got up to speak, he asked our friend to come up to the pulpit and share his experience. He gave the most beautiful testimony and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. I felt the spirt so strong and knew that he will have the strength to endure the trials which has been placed upon him and his family. Our prayers are with you, Jim and Sandra! We love you!!!

Mom has slipped rapidly in her health. I'm hoping that those on the other side of the veil are getting her mansion prepared fast so she can slip peacefully away. It's so difficult watching her struggling for air. She can't talk much anymore and doesn't eat. I've kept her in a pretty medicated state to ease her suffering. It's just hard to watch your loved ones struggle. I wanted her to wait until after Christmas to die, but now I'm praying that she can go quickly. Thank you for all of your prayers in our behalf. I know that's what's kept me going and being able to endure this. My health has been wonderful and I've had strength beyond measure. The Lord has really blessed me abundantly and I'm so grateful to Him.

Let me share some words that gave me much comfort the other day. I was cleaning out 'stuff' and ran across something that Laurel had given me.

"What a wonderful thing is death, really, when all is said and done. It is the great reliever. It is a majestic, quiet passing on from this life to another life, a better life. We go to a place where we will not suffer as we have suffered here, but where we will continue to grow, accumulating knowledge and developing and being useful under the plan of the Almightly made possible through the atonement of the Son of God."

And one last thing ... TAH DAH ... I weighed in at 166 this morning. I'm down 91 pounds in 5 1/2 months! It's amazing!!! Only about 21 more pounds to go before I hit goal. My original goal was 160, but the Dr. said I'll probably get to 140 or 145. That will be a great weight for me. Don't think I've weighed that little since I was 15 years old.

Be good and don't drink out of any strange toilet bowles! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Giant Paper Snowflakes


O.K. ... so now I understand how crafting can help relieve stress and strain on the body. Since Mom has been doing so poorly these past few days, I've spent my alone time doing crafting. It helps get my mind off her pain and suffering. She's enjoyed watching me make these darling giant paper snowflakes which are hanging in her home and mine. And Addy and I even made some in different sizes for her bedroom. I'll post the tutorial, if I can figure out how, as well as some beautiful pictures of the creations. They're so easy to make and you'll enjoy making them not only for yourself but for your kids and grandkids.

My darling girl friend, who is the owner of eWillow is offering an incredible special. Here is the information.

  • Sign up for a month-to-month subsription for $9.95 per month (first month is free!)
  • Sign up for a six month storefront subscription for only $39.95
  • Sign up for a twelve month storefront subscription for only $49.95--Our amazing best deal
  • This Holiday Pricing Special is available only until December 31, 2009
When you think of how much you can spend on individual craft show fees and the like, it's easy to realize how beneficial these one low special monthly fees are! Plus, you have your own unique URL and a worldwide audience 24/7.

So ... I can't figure out how to post a word doc. to blogger. Anyone know how to do it? If you want the instructions, e-mail me at sumatragal@gmail.com and I'll send.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Awesome Day!

It was an awesome day today. I should have been decorating and cleaning the house for Christmas but I was having too much fun designing another project for UStamp with Dawn and Friends. It really turned out cute. Only one problem ... I set the project on the couch and ran to the store for a few minutes and when I came home, Dieter had destroyed the nylon flower that I had made and attached to the project, as well as eaten three of the pearls that were in the center of the flower. Holy Cow ... he's never done that before. I was certainly surprised. Oh well ... when he goes poop in the morning, hopefully he'll have a few pearls with it. Eewww ... that was gross! Sorry!

Cleaning the temple last night was one of the neatest experiences I've had. We dusted and vacuumed everything. There was a cleaning crew of about 20 in our group. We finished at midnight and got home around 12:45 a.m. and got to bed at 2:00 a.m. I was too wound up to sleep so worked on a cross word puzzle, read, and watched The Celtic Women sing on TV. Man, are they ever good! They're coming to Utah in May, I think, and I want to go hear them perform. I'd never heard of them until last night while watching a PBS show. Beautiful girls with beautiful voices and harmony.

It was such a beautiful sunny day today, but oh so very cold. I'm talking bone chillin' cold. I've got to decorate my porch tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to being out in the cold. I've got the heating pad on and tucked in my bed to warm up the covers while Lynn's away. Well, time for bed. Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Best Ever Pizza Pie!

O.K. ... so here's the recipe that my sister, Sylvia, shared with me. I think it's the best homemade pizza I've ever had. Try it and then share your comments on what you think. If it's not ... then you need to share YOUR recipe for your best homemade pizza! Deal? Deal!!

Sauce:

Saute one clove garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Add:

1 can tomato sauce, and one small can tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
Simmer for 20 minutes.

Crust:
1 1/3 cups warm water
1/4 cup non fat dry milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package yeast or 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the crust

You will need additional oil for the top of the crusts ...1/3 cup of oil, per pizza. This recipe makes 3 pizzas. The oil is what gives it the crisp texture.

Put yeast, sugar, salt, and dry milk in a large bowl. Add water. Stir to mix well. Allow to sit for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Stir again. Add flour and stir until dough forms and flour is absorbed. (I did this in my bread mixer and it worked great!) Turn out on to a flat surgace and kenwad for about 10 minutes. Divide dough into 3 balls. In three 9" cake pans, put 1/3 cup oil in each ... making sure to spread it evenly. Pat dough into the oil and the pan, spreading it to the ends of the pan. There is a ton of oil, but it's supposed to be that way. Place in a warm place. Cover and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Spoon the sauce over pizzas. Put 1 1/2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese on sauce, and top with favorite toppings.

Bake until chees is melted and the crust is golden brown. (this doesn't take long at all so watch your pizzas like a hawk!)

For chicken garlic pizza, instead of the red sauce, use 1/3 cup Ranch dressing with 1 clove garlice. Top with chopped, cooked chicken.

Enjoy -- and remember ... if you don't think this is the best pizza, then submit your recipe ... we'll give it a try and then we'll vote on yours!

I'm getting ready to go do my visiting teaching. I've got a loaf of warm, fresh, homemade wheat bread just out of the oven to give to my little gal. Then I'm going to the Salt Lake temple at 9:00 p.m. this evening to help clean. We'll be there until midnight. I'm really excited for this opportunity. I'll get to see places I've never been in, in the Salt Lake temple. How exciting. I'll let you know what I had to clean on tomorrow's post.

Have a wonderful evening!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Winners of the Free Pass to UStamp With Dawn and Friends!

Happy Monday Morning, Friends!

I have two winners for a free pass to UStamp with Dawn and Friends; Tammy, from Albuquerque, New Mexico and The Ahlquist Family, from Arizona. Please e-mail me at sumatragal@gmail.com for information regarding your passes. Congratulations, girls! You're going to love this round of projects. Magnificent, if I do say so!

Thanksgiving was a marvelous day. Everything turned out wonderful. The food was delish, the company couldn't have been better, and the weather was perfect! The one down side was that my mother and dad couldn't come over to the house for dinner. Mom is very much house-bound and pretty much bed-ridden these last few days. We volunteered to carry her over but she asked if we'd just bring her over her food, which we did. I doubt if we'll have her here, on this earth, for too much longer. She's lived a great life and I'm enjoying my time with her while I still have her. So my challenge to you today is, to either go visit or call one of your loved ones, and tell them how much you love them. You never know when you may not have them in your life.

Here's a few pics from the event. Not as many family this year ... only 15, with my Mom and Dad and then I took in some dinner to one of the shut-ins in our neighborhood.

Have a grave side funeral to sing at this morning so I'd best be getting ready for the day. I've been up since 4:00 a.m. Had to run Lynn to the airport. He's in Pittsburgh for work.

Ohhh ... I made the BEST homemade pizza for dinner last night. My sis's recipe. It was marvelous. I couldn't eat the crust, because of my diet, but the topping and sauce was divine. I'll post the recipe tomorrow for you to try. I'll definitely include this recipe in the cook book!

Have a happy Monday!

Loves and Hugs -- Linda Lou











Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2 Free Passes to UStamp with Dawn and Friends!

The movie Blind Side is wonderful! Go see it!! It's a true story and Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw are wonderful in it. I didn't want the movie to end. It's one of the best I've seen in a long time.

Well ... I'm down to an all-time low with my weight. I tipped the scales at 173 this morning. I'm down 84 pounds in five months, today! My good friend Mel brought me some clothes a few weeks ago, size 16. At the time, the pants wouldn't zip up. This morning I got out the pants and they slipped right on and zipped right up. It was a dream. There is even room to spare. She brought me some pretty suits too, that fit. It just feels so good. But it's still mentally hard to conceive. I look at the size tags on the clothes and hold the item up, and think to myself, "There's no way this is going to fit. It's too small." And when I put it on, it fits and I'm just baffled. For years, I've tucked, tugged, pulled, and yes even laid on the bed with a pair of pliers in my hand, zipping up my jeans. No lie! Those were such miserable days though. A few hours after having zipped myself into those too-tight jeans I would soon get a horrible stomach ache and had to loosen them. But watch out! You wouldn't want to be around when I loosened my jeans. It was like the Teton Dam exploding! My stomach exploded out of the jeans and knocked Lynn's front tooth out, and blackened Natalie's eye, who were both sitting next to me. (JK)

Is the diet still boring? Yes! Am I still staying away from rice, potatoes, sugar, bread, and pasta? Yes. Do I still miss them? Yes, every day! Do I cook a lot for my family? Yes, and I'm really enjoying cooking. I think I've transferred MY food addiction to cooking and watching others enjoy it. I've even been making bread twice a week, and I would almost kill to have a slice, hot out of the oven, smothered with real butter!

Last night I had a terrible episode with a piece of steak. I was eating and talking, at the same time, and not paying attention to chewing my food. When will I EVER learn? While watching Dancing With the Stars I started having another heaving episode. It lasted until 11:30 at night. It was horrible. I finally threw up a very, small piece of steak that had a tiny, little tail of fat on it. That was what was lodged and was making me ill.

O.K. now for the fun news. Let's have another 2 free passes to UStamp with Dawn and Friends, which will open on December 1st. For those of you who enter a comment on today's blog about who you think will win Dancing With the Stars, will be entered into the contest. If you don't watch Dancing With the Stars, enter any kind of comment and you will still be eligible. I'm anxious to hear who you ALL think is going to win the competition.

Got to get back to the cook book. I'm up to 70 pages of recipes. It's going to be a great book.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary To Me!

37 years today, Lynn and I were married in the Logan Temple in Logan, Utah. I was living in California and he in Logan. He made all of the wedding/reception arrangements and did an awesome job!

My parents had never met him or his family until two days before we were married. Mom, Dad, and my little sister and I left California Saturday night, planning on driving straight through to Logan. Dad and I decided that we would each drive 100 miles and switch each other off. My beautiful hand-made wedding dress and veil was laying in the back window of the car to keep from getting crushed. During the night, while Dad was driving, we were all sleeping, including Dad! The car went off the freeway and down into the ravine. I remember waking up to the sound of crunching gravel and being jostled about. Dad woke up about the same time we all did and said, "We're all right, we're all right!" Gently he steered the car back onto the freeway and stopped. We were pretty frightened but amazed that the car didn't roll and there was no damage. The first thing Mom said was, "How's the wedding dress?" She was sure something had happened to it. But it was fine. I think Dad only had a few miles left to drive, from his 100 mile stint. I took over from there and drove the rest of the way to Logan.

We pulled up to our apartment, early Sunday morning to meet Lynn. We weren't too impressed with the digs when we first saw it. It was an old three story home and looked like it was in need of repair. We followed the stairs up to the second floor where Lynn met us and took us in to show us the cute apartment. We even had some furniture in it that had actually belonged to Brigham Young. There were some quirks about the apartment that we can laugh about today. It wasn't too funny at the time, when we lived there. The heating system was controlled by the Capitol Theatre, which was next door. So, when there was a show playing, the apartment was hot, very hot. In fact, we had to throw open the windows to cool off. And when there wasn't a showing at the theatre, we froze to death. The kitchen was so tiny and narrow that if Lynn came into the kitchen while I was in there, we both had to back out, because we couldn't turn around. I'm not joking! And let's talk about the bedroom. It was so small that the bed had to be pushed up against the wall and Lynn who slept against the wall had to climb in bed first, or climb over me to get into bed. (Let's not go there ...)

It was the coldest winter in Logan, the year we were married. We had to keep a heater under the car all night to keep it from freezing. Lynn worked at Thykol and I worked at a Credit Service as a Secretary. We loved being married and were so happy. A few weeks after being married we found out that we were going to have our first addition to our family. We were elated! 9 months and 9 days later, Angela Lynn joined our family.

I can honestly say that my love for Lynn has grown even more, since the day we were married. My heart still skips a beat when I hear the garage door open because he's coming home from work. He's the kindest man I've ever known. There's not a mean bone in his body. I always said that I wanted to marry a man that loved children. And Lynn loves babies and children of all ages! That's a sign of a gentle and kind man. Oh ... and the best part of all, he loves the Lord and me. He honors his priesthood and excels in his church callings. Gosh, I love my man!



So about yesterday .... the Fab 4 got together for lunch, stamping, and visiting at my home. We had a wonderful time. It was just what I needed. I've been so excited these past couple of weeks, knowing that they were coming to visit. It's hard working with people that you love for 9 years and then suddenly not having them in your life anymore. We hadn't seen each other since April! We were like school kids, hugging and laughing. Anyway, I sure do love these gals. And we'll definitely get together again, soon. Seated to my left, Connie J., Terri D., Donna M, and on my lap, the famous Dieter. They are all amazing crafters. Connie is into sewing right now and brought some beautiful table runners. She's inspired me to make some. She's one talented lady! Terri has a son on a mission in Iowa and is the proud mother of two little female Yorkies that she calls her 'girls'. It's so fun to hear her talk about them. I can't wait to see them. Donna is an incredible computer whiz and can do anything on the computer. She's also an amazing designer. Check out her web page, Donna's Stamp Room on my side bar! She brought a box full of her creations to share and they are spectacular. Many of them are displayed on her web.

Best get busy. Want to go see Blindside this afternoon and visit my two grandkids who just had surgery.

Love to all!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Down 80 Pounds!

OK ... lesson learned. Don't film videos with your Canon Power Shot in vertical mode! I downloaded some software to flip the video and it skews the proportions on the video so I looked about 3' tall and 3' wide. I even flipped the video in Movie Maker and it distorted the image as well. So, lesson learned ... only film in horizontal mode.

So when you watch this video clip, just tilt your head to the side to view or turn your monitor on its side. I think you're going to be pleasantly surprised when you see what my pre-surgery clothes look like on my body now. Too funny! And yes, I DO look like an umpaloompa in my brown trousers.

Had a very busy Thursday and Friday of last week. Had another funeral. One of my funeral committee members and I spent 9 hours prepping for the funeral. This means cleaning, vacuuming, and dusting the chapel, as well as cleaning the kitchen, Relief Society room, bathrooms, and gymnasium in the church. It's a LOT of work. Next time we'll ask for more sisters to come over and help. The actual setting of the tables, center pieces, and etc. is a piece of cake compared to the cleaning. Our committee does a marvelous job with asking for volunteers to bring salads and desserts. We provide the meat. In all honesty, we really put on a nice luncheon for the family. Every thing looked so pretty. We have a wonderful sister who takes care of our centerpieces and always does such a beautiful job! After the funeral is over, then it's back to cleaning up all of the rooms that we prepped the night before. But the service is worth the blessings that we receive. Even though it was hard work, I felt wonderful and had plenty of energy. The Lord has REALLY blessed me in my calling and I'm thankful for the wonderful sisters that I work with.

Oooh ... just wanted to share that I'm a Creative Crew girl, again, on UStamp with Dawn and Friends . I've got a fun idea to try. If it works out, you'll find photos and step by step instructions by joining UStamp with Dawn and Friends. I'll also be giving away two free passes to the UStamp Year End Blowout. I'll let you know what you need to do to get entered into the free drawing.

Also, if you've ever gone to the Craft and Hobby Association in Annaheim, California, you'll want to click on the eWillow logo at the top of my blog to get a discount code for your entrance ticket. Good savings there. And by the way, check out all of the wonderful projects on eWillow. It's a great place to sell your paper creations!

Well, my lovelies ... I'm having the time of my life. I'm getting some great bookings for speaking engagements for next year. I'm sure I'll be seeing many of you in my travels and can't wait to give you loves and hugs!

video

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Down in the 70's ...!

Ooh I've waited for this day for soooo long. I finally tipped the scales at 179 this morning! I haven't weighed in the 70's since my daughter Natalie was born in 1975. Hmmm ... look at all those 7's. Must be my lucky number today! It's going to be a great day today. I just have that feeling.

If any of you are considering having this surgery done or have questions that you would like me to answer, I would be happy to talk to you on the phone or e-mail. Like I've mentioned in the past, it's not an easy diet, and yes it gets boring, and yes it's still hard to cook my favorite treats and not partake or even lick the spoon. And yes, sometimes I still get hungry, but nothing compared to what it was like prior to the surgery. My e-mail is sumatragal@gmail.com. And yes, the surgery was uncomfortable for a few days and recovery took a few weeks until I started gaining energy. I was very dizzy and faint for quite a few weeks after surgery. It would have been hard to go back to work after two weeks. My biggest fear is keeping the weight off. I've know many who have gained back some of their weight. Of course they haven't been sticking to their maintanance diet and have added sugar and soda pop. I'm not a pop drinker so I don't have a problem with that.

Janice, you mentioned that you are having a spring event and wanted to know if I would like to come to the Chicago area for your stamp meeting. In a heart beat! Please e-mail me and we'll chat. I'm excited to join Caroline LeBel and her peeps in Toronto in February and Tara Bazata and her peeps in Denver in the Spring. I've also got some great friends in Billings, Montana who I'm trying to convince to have an event so I can get up to my home town! I promise I'll deliver a great motivational talk and a terrific stamping presentation!

The cookbook is coming along nicely! I'm up to 50 pages and I still have quite a few recipes to include. I wish I could taste test all of them, but it would be another year before I could have the book published. But I have great faith in the recipe submitters because everything our demos do, we do it great! Carol Marbach submitted several recipes that her husband uses in his catering business. He's a chef. When I was typing them in yesterday, my mouth was watering, because I could just imagine how wonderful the marinades, sauces, sugar cookies and nut sticks tasted.

Baby Liam is off his Bellirubin bed and is eating much better and sleeping much better. Mom is very happy!

We have another funeral in the ward this Friday. Brother Lynn Evans passed away. He's since moved from our ward but still has family living here. We're so happy that we can help with the luncheon and funeral arrangements. There will be around 80 people for the luncheon. Wish Carol's husband was here to help with the cooking!

Best get out of my nighty and get ready for the day. Did I tell you how much I love you all? Well, I do ... and then some!

Make it a GREAT day! Remember ... YOU have the power!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Down 75 Pounds!




This past week the weight has been coming off a little slower. Perhaps it was the evil cashews that I bought and inhaled. I'm only supposed to have seven cashews for a snack. Ooops ... did I hear seventy? Perhaps that's why I visited the restroom a little more than usual. I'm going to have to stay away from them. Bad girl! But I'm down 75 pounds. I have about 42 more pounds to lose.

Did I tell you that I had my first fruit in four months? Yum ... raspberries. The doc said that a lot of gastric patients can't have fruit for a year. But he gave me permission to have it a couple times a week. He told me to stick with the berries since they are lower in sugar. I put some skim milk on them and a little sweetener. Talk about died and gone to heaven! You don't realize how much you miss the little things in life until you no longer can have them.

Yes, my hair is getting thinner. I cut it this morning and there's not as much to cut. Doc said it should grow back. I'm taking a supplement called Biotin which is supposed to be good for the hair and nails. My energy level is high and I feel so wonderful.

I spent today organizing my stamps. It was sooo much fun. I finally separated the retired from the current and found that I have more retired sets than current. BOOOOO! Got to have a sale so I can use the proceeds to buy more new ones. YEAH!!!

Our little grandson has jaundice really bad and has to sleep on a light bed and go to the hospital every day to have his blood drawn. Poor little guy. He's sure a beautiful baby. I haven't been able to help my daughter because her little girl is coming down with a cold. I can't chance getting a cold because I can't expose Mom and Dad to a cold. A cold would probably kill my mother. She hasn't had one in almost 4 years. Of course she's been home bound for most of the 4 years.

Got some dirt coming tomorrow so we can do a little landscaping in the back yard before the snow falls. Wish I could afford to get some sod in. Sigh .... oh well ... maybe come Spring.

Have a fab Friday! Can't wait til next Friday. I'm having lunch here at my home with some ole Stampin' Up! buds. Haven't seen them for six months.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Family Halloween Party

Aaaah.... my favorite holiday, Halloween! Our family had a get-together the night before Halloween at Angie's home. We had scones with chili and cheese on top, salads, and a donut eating contest. The little kids were so dang cute watching them trying to eat the donuts without using their hands.

Ellie and Logan.

Look at little Ellie trying to use her neck to steady the donut!

After a while we let them use their hands and told them that the first person eating their donut would win the grand prize. Needless to say ... Ethan won! Look at those cheeks stuffed with donut!

Spencer won out of the big kids.

Ellie would have won in her category, but she was put with the big kids. No fair!!!

Hannah doesn't look too serious. She was enjoying watching everyone else. Look at Ben attacking his donut!

There Hannah goes!

Addison was serious about the donut eating contest and did a very good job. She's the one that has the new brother!

Baby Reesie dressed as a lady bug.

Beautiful 'witch' Taylor.

Ginny ... the bumble bee.


Logan ... the scarey skeletor and the evil mother in the background!


Spencer had removed his football uniform...


Ethan as Luke Skywalker ... did I say that right??? You can tell I don't know too much about Star Wars.

Ben --- the army guy!

And the grand prize winner for the best costume goes to Bryant ... the Oompaloompa. He's really kneeling on his shoes. That's why he looks so short. He's actually taller than me now!

Granny dressed up as the Divine Miss M. Who is the Divine Miss M? Years ago, Nat and Angie filmed a home video. Angie dressed up in the dress I'm wearing, a red wig, long earrings, red vest, and sang "Going to the Chapel" while Nat accompanied her on the drums, as Prince Eddie. Nat was dressed in Lynn's suit, cowboy boots, blonde wig and drawn-on moustache and side burns. It actually was hilarious and if I could figure out how to put the clip on my blog I would do it. Maybe the family just has a warped sense of humor and that's why we think it's so funny. When I went to the family Halloween party I came into the home with my microphone singing, Going to the Chapel". All of my kids knew exactly who I was, but the in-laws and grand-kids looked at their granny and said, "Who are you supposed to be?"

Look at my beautiful princesses. Ellie as Alice in Wonderland. (I made her costume, by the way...), Addison as Rapunzel (Ginger made her costume ... isn't it beautiful?) and Hannah as Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. (Disney made her costume!)

Mother and baby came home today. They had to spend an extra day in the hospital because of baby's jaundice. Can't wait to see how I can help out tomorrow!

Love to All!

Monday, November 2, 2009

I'm a New Granny!!!






If this is what Heaven is like ... I want to go there!

My daughter Laurel went to the hospital last night in preparation for being induced this morning around 8:00 a.m. Lo and behold I got a phone call at 6:00 a.m. this morning saying that she was at a '5' and I could come to the hospital. I fussed around and got ready, thinking I would have hours before Liam Scott King entered this world. An hour later I got another call saying that she was ready to push and the Dr. was on her way. I flew to the hospital, watching for cops in my rear view mirror, found a convenient parking spot and rushed into the lobby, breathlessly asking for Labor and Delivery. The elevator whisked me up to the 4th floor and I entered Labor and Delivery. They told me which room the Kings were in and I entered to find my beautiful, darling girl sitting up in bed smiling at me. I said, "I'm too late, aren't I?" She grinned and said, "Nope ... the Dr. hasn't arrived yet!" I broke down and cried! I felt like such a loser mother driving to the hospital thinking that I missed the birth of another grandson. I've witnessed the births of all of my grandbabies, except one, Angie's youngest. He came into the world too fast and I couldn't drive fast enough to make it in time. But today was wonderful. Everything worked out in my favor. After the Dr. arrived Laurel gave a few pushes and Liam entered the world quietly. The nurse had to gently rub his back to get his little lungs working. Soon we heard that familiar little squawk above the sobs of his mother. What a wonderful experience. I should have been a Labor and Delivery nurse. I would have loved that job!!!

Liam weighed in at 7# 12 oz., 21 1/2" long. He has black curly hair and is as cute as a bug. Mom is doing wonderful and baby was taking to nursing when I left.

I'll post some pics of our family Halloween party later!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lifting Burdens

Lifting Burdens

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Is It!

Can you believe that this ole Granny went to see the new Michael Jackson movie This is It at the 10:00 p.m. showing last night? My hubby and some of the girls went. I loved it! Doesn't matter what or what MJ did or didn't do, he was an amazing musician. I can't believe that I don't even have any of his music. So, my daughter lent me one of his top hits CD this afternoon and I listened to it and reminisced about the movie while decorating Halloween cookies. There were some tender moments in the film and you could hear an audible sigh from the audience. I sat next to my daughter Angie during the show and she was on the edge of her seat for most of the movie. She would clap with gusto after each song. Of course I joined in too! MJ was and has been her favorite musician all her life. I think she secretly had a crush on him and wanted to marry him! Anyhow ... I'm sadder now about his death since seeing the film. And to think about all of the hours and hard work that went into rehearsals and all of the dancers, musicians, and singers who never got to perform the concert 'live'. And how I would have LOVED to attend a 'live' MJ concert. He really knew how to put on a show!

Thanks for the advice on getting an External Hard Drive. I'll go check them out at Costco.

Hey ... I loaded MDS on my computer and anytime I import a photo, my computer crashes. Any help there? Do you think it's a memory thing?

I'll take some pics of my cute Halloween cookies. Dang, they took a LONG time to decorate. Guess I'll have to figure out how to stamp on them. Would be a lot quicker. Couldn't find the frosting tint and almost resorted to using Re-inkers. Think it's toxic? Didn't do it ... found the tint hidden way back in the cupboard.

Got to get to work on a lesson for Relief Socity on Sunday. Ironically it's a talk given by Elder David Bednar about Cyberspace and using our time better by using the phone, sending cards, and in-person visits. He does say that Cyberspace has excellent good uses, but we need to use our time wisely and be careful of how much time we spend on the internet and video games. Good advice!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BOOOO ... I Need More Memory on my Computer!


I've shot the same video three times now and can't download it to my computer because I don't have enough memory! Since downloading MDS I don't have much memory left. Guess I'm going to have to purchase some more memory. Wouldn't that be nice if you could purchase more memory for your brain???

So ... here's some pictures of the Make & Takes that we did at Saturday's workshop. I'll also walk you through a neat technique that Cindy Custers shared with me.

I don't know what the heck is wrong here ... but my photos are all turned the right way in my file and when I upload them to blogger, they're turned sideways. I guess it's just not my day today! Oh well ... crook your neck and look at them sideways. They're cute, huh?












Here is a neat glitzy technique shared with us at Caroline LeBel's Stampin' Palooza event in Toronto by Cindy Custer. In an empty fine mist spray bottle place some rubbing alcohol and about 1/2 teaspoon of Shimmery Paint. This is the same method we used with Pearl Ex to give your card stock a shimmery effect. The Champagne Mist is beautiful. I have the Frosted White and it gives the darker cardstock a silvery glimmer. Very pretty! Shake well and apply a fine spritz to your cardstock. The cardstock will curl immediately, so place a book or something heavy on it while drying. You can use your heat tool to speed up the drying process. The glitter doesn't rub off after drying, like the Pearl Ex does.

This is the card that Cindy shared with us. Isn't it elegant? Wish you could see the sparkle on it. It's spectacular!


Here's some cute birthday cards using the Sweet Treat Cups. There's a secret hidden compartment where the recipient can get into the treats without ruining the card.

Can you see the clouds at the top of this balloon card? When you open the card, pull the clouds and the trap door is revealed to get the treats.






Just make sure that you only secure the three sides to the piece of cardstock inside the card. Leave the top open so you can insert your pull tab which will cover the hole to the treat cup.

Well ... off to see where I can buy more memory!! Have a great day!!