• "Without philosophy we would be little above the animals."
  • "By nature men are alike. Through practice they have become far apart."
  • "What is important is not liberation from the body but liberation from the mind. We are not entangled in our own body, but entangled in our own mind."
  • "To know what you do not know is best. To pretend to know what you do not know is a disease."
  • "When the people don't respect those in power, then what they greatly fear is about to arrive."
  • "Great man demands it of himself; petty man, of others."
  • "Great man is always at ease; petty man is always on edge."
  • "When strict with oneself one rarely fails."
  • "Whether you like it or not, you'd better accept reality the way it occurs: as highly imperfect and filled with most fallible human beings. Your alternative, continual anxiety and desperate disappointment."
  • "When the government is muddled and confused, the people are genuine and sincere. When the government is discriminate and clear, the people are crafty and cunning."
  • "When you find something that is bad or that turns out bad, drop it and leave it alone."
  • "Only the most intelligent and the most stupid do not change."

Sunday, May 29, 2016


The sun, the sounds and sleep. I'm not quite sure how I managed to survive life before our little patio in the backyard here in Jerome, but then again life WAS different 6 years ago.

Summers in Jerome can be amazing, they can also be just plain hot. Spring, on the other hand, is miserable with a capital M, so when the sun comes out, and the wind isn't blowing I run out to the bench and claim it all for myself, as selfish as that is. You see I am cold-blooded, and basking in the sun is a must for me, so the bench is my spot of serenity. The bench is my place of peace. 

Almost like clockwork, my skin desires the burn of the sun. Almost like clockwork, my ears desire the sound of the birds singing, dogs barking and the hum of the freeway. Exactly like clockwork, my body desires the rest from the pain that my joints feel on an hourly basis.  The bench is my comfort, my joy and my resting place when it's warm.  The bench is my place of peace. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


I've learned to respect time. There was a period in my life when I didn't realize that time had a grasp on the earth, the plants, the animals, me. That was when life seemed real, it seemed like this earthly journey had a sense of eternity to it. 

Being young was possibly the best thing that has ever happened to me. Perhaps it's just the memory of being young that sparks that longing for innocence and simplicity. With time pressing forward ever so fast, my soul aches to return to my childhood days when time had less of an agenda. I ache to return to those days where the sun didn't set. Instead, it hung ever so high in the azure sky at my request. It stung my skin as I bicycled, skateboarded, played catch with pa or carved "I love dogs" in the sycamore tree that towered above all the other trees on Madrid Way. Those long childhood days I experienced where each season of the year came and stayed for good because time didn't exist.  

Spring meant rain, wind and slushy streets. Occasionally it meant the valley being covered with clouds for days with accompanied brown, crunchy lawn lining each neighborhood. Spring meant an occasional snowstorm and one last snowman out front. Spring meant digging my shorts out far too early only to find that the bitter air forced me to put them back. Spring meant the sun showing itself a little more each day and on occasion, it meant dad helping me dig the trampoline out of the garage because I begged him to, only to find that it was way too early. Spring meant hearing the birds beg for summer almost as much as me. Spring meant hauling the woodpile back to the sandbox from the patio and counting down the days until school let out.

Summer meant relentless heat and endless amounts of popsicles with friends. Summer meant hearing neighbors outside BBQ-ing and Lisa and I laying out on the trampoline to tan. Summer meant Utah thunderstorms rolling in from the west without warning and gutters so full of water that it would flood 13th E. Summer meant hot, quiet days that lasted forever and when time ordered the sun to set over the Oquirrhs, it meant a neighborhood bike ride, or game of kick the can. Sometimes summer meant camping, fishing and an occasional parade outing. Summer meant slumber parties with my sister Lisa and her friend Jen and it meant many days up in the Sycamore tree throwing things at cars. Summer meant forever.

Fall meant returning to school, seeing friends and seeing people that I didn't want to see. Fall meant leaves on the ground, jackets, earlier sunsets, pumpkins and hot chocolate. Fall meant piano lessons that I hated and split pea soup that my tongue didn't agree with. Fall meant frost on the grass in the mornings and longer shadows in the afternoons. Fall always meant changing leaves and hauling the wood back from the sandbox to the patio. Fall meant winter.

Winter meant dark, cold, snow, shoveling, white mountains, coats, fires and worst of all CHRISTMAS. Winter meant an occasional day off of school and cocoa and coffee bread for breakfast. Winter meant snowball fights and sledding at the school. Winter meant everything depressing, for me anyway. Winter meant days getting longer, EVENTUALLY.

As my childhood went on without any warning of what was to come, I soon found myself well, now. I found myself sitting here 162 seasons later wondering what time has done to me. I found myself wondering what time has done to my children. Children? When did I have children and has time unfairly done to them what it did to me? For this is what I saw...

I walked into the house today and glanced down at my children's shoes that were lying there in the mudroom and what I saw startled me. What I saw shook my core. I stopped at those shoes and looked at them as if I had never before seen them. I almost didn't recognize the very fabric that covers the feet of my loved ones. As tears welled up in my eyes, my thoughts quickly turned to THEIR childhood and the memories of when the sun would hang in the sky just a little bit longer for them. Or did it? Did time really pause for me, or was I fooled by the imaginary illusion of a timeless childhood because a loving Father in Heaven knew how much I would cherish it? Have my kids experienced the same? Where have all the moments of my "little kids" gone?

What I saw took my breath away. What I saw reminded me to fight back against time and its agenda of carrying on. What I saw brought tears to my eyes knowing that each of those shoes(minus Madison's) were once the size of my palm, but time has made them grow. Time has begun to take them on the path that I went down. It is a journey that everyone goes on, yet one that is unique to everyone. It is called LIFE. I believe a better term would be "TIME",  because after all, time is what has a hold on us. Time is what makes us age and what makes us be.  Time might be an illusion, but what I saw I know was caused by time.

So as I stared for a moment more at my kids' shoes, I plead with my Heavenly Father. I plead with Him that one day I could again have those precious, palm-sized feet back, or that I could at least have all the memories that had once accompanied them. I plead with him that he might protect the kids that belonged to those big size feet now. I plead with him to store their childhood memories in a heavenly vault somewhere where time can not destroy them and where they can one day live their childhood again just as lively as I live mine.

What I saw humbled me. What I saw awe-struck me. What I saw amazed me. They love, teach, edify and serve. They are my children, my love, my everything, my life.  Madison. Jacob. Ashley. Amber.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


She makes me smile in every way possible that red-headed girl of mine. I get a bit choked up as I think of all the butterfly kisses we'd exchange randomly, walks to the park hand-in-hand looking for lady bugs on the way, endless hours of bubble blowing whenever the weather was nice out, sitting on her bed for reading time(or wherever we could for that matter), and lots and lots of picnics. It all just went by FAR too fast for my liking. So, I can't help but reminisce about this very day, nine years ago.

I was in love the minute I saw my little Ashley bean. Everything about her was so very perfect. Her eyes, lips, fingers, toes and nose were all so sweet. Little did I know that they would all tie in with her sweet personality that would blossom a little later in life. I remember feeling extra protective for my daughter and for her well-being. I'd stay up in the hospital late at night to make sure that she was breathing or just to stare at her perfect face and wonder what kind of communication between her and her Heavenly Father might still be going on. I am positive that the veil was thin.

Thinking back now I long for that day and for those very emotions, and for all of those days that we would spend together doing mother/daughter things, but I am so thankful I have my daughter who is still that same small baby girl, but who has grown a bit, well grown a lot! Funny thing is, I still find myself checking on her at night just to make sure all is well and staring at her, wondering what is really inside of MY pretty little girl.
I love you so much Ashley(Smitty). Love, mom.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Madison is fourteen and I am in denial, but I have every reason to be.......right?

First, that means that I am, well, OLD.

Second, my daughter is older than I'd like her to be and she already has a following and they all happen to have the Y chromosome attached to them!! She is so darn pretty and fun to be around that I can't imagine it being any other way. And it just makes me smile when I hear her tell them that she doesn't belong to anyone...at least for now.

Third, she will be driving in 6 months!! Yes, in 6 MONTHS Madison will be behind the wheel of an automobile!? I am pretty sure that it won't be any of the automobiles that are sitting on my driveway (sorry Maddy). It's got to be a car older that you cuz that's the fun kind of car anyway (and don't let your friends tell you any different).

Look, fourteen years ago my life was changed for the better on that rainy February evening in 1996. I couldn't wait to see my daughter for the first time. I was so nervous to become a mom (I am not going to lie), but I knew that this special little girl that was coming to our family was meant to be with me and I was so excited to finally meet her. From the minute she arrived I stared at her taking in every detail she had to offer. I still catch myself staring at her in awe more often than not at who she has become. She has so many wonderful qualities that I lack and I am envious of them. 

I just wanted to let you know Maddy,that I love you to the moon and back. You are everything I could ask for in a daughter. XOXO I LOVE YOU, mom.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I couldn't let this day go by and I not acknowledge that 10 years ago a young man changed my life. He not only changed my life, he changed me.

That fiery red-headed little bean that I gave birth to quickly changed to a blonde toddler and before I knew it he morphed into a sandy brown school kid who finally ended up being a handsome, dark brown haired young man. It's been neat watching him grow for a whole decade now, but I sometimes find myself silently crying when I think back to those toddler years that I got to share with him. I miss it in an indescribable way.

It's written all over his face, his character is, and there is nothing about it that I dislike, in fact there is so much about it that I am jealous of. If I start to name specifics the list would go on and on and on. For those of you who know Jacob, you know what I am talking about when I say character. And for those of you who don't--you are missing out!! But, Jacob, I just wanted to tell you that I am one proud mom who loves you more than I can say. You are a great son and I wouldn't trade you for anything! I LOVE YOU JACOB. mom

Monday, September 14, 2009


 It just felt like the right time,  yet again.  I never get the paper..ever, but today was different.  Perhaps I was searching for something, or I was simply curious, but whichever it was I snatched the Register Guard from the rack in hopes to find what I was looking for.
With the weather changing, the shadows getting longer, and the sun becoming farther away from the PNW, the drizzly and dreary days are not far off.  So, in my attempt to 'delay' the depression that inevitably lies ahead, my body desires something to soothe my soul.  And, as they all do, fuzzy, black puppies always seem to help me survive another winter here in Oregon.  It opens an avenue in me that would otherwise be non-existent.

The classified section contained only one listing for black Labrador puppies for sale and that's all it took.  That's actually all it ever takes, for me anyway.  An hour later we found ourselves in the car on our way to Oakridge, Oregon to pick a new pup. 
Upon arrival, we spotted in the distance a chocolate mommy tending to her babies with daddy dog not far off in the distance.  A few of the puppies were a bit rambunctious and others very calm and laid back.  I knew what I wanted and picked her up the minute I saw her disposition. 

Night one:  A few whimpers from our little gal who was wondering where here mommy was,  one trip outside and one meal was all that she asked for.  Just as I did with my other pups, she had the pleasure or should I say "I" had the pleasure to have her on my pillow so that we could share each others warmth and hopefully she would feel safe and I could get some sleep.

Night two:  Better.  Less whimpering.  No potty breaks and no feeding.  Bella feeling a lot more comfortable being in her new home.

Night three:  Bella on the bed, Bill and I on the floor!!?? (JUST KIDDING)

It has been 5 days now and I feel that I have chosen the best puppy ever.  So calm.  Very intelligent.  Down right cute.  In no way can I ever replace Tara, nor is that my intention, but I do believe in healing the heart through love whether it be new or old....it can happen.
My heart still aches from when Tara's time on Earth expired, but I'll have you know that I have not been hesitant to give it out again.  I will do it over and over as long as I have a four-legged friend to give it to.  Bella, as well as Daisy calm my storm when it gets a little too thunderous and helps me heal when healing is needed.  I have said it once and I will say it again, "If you can't find room in your heart to love an animal, any animal, you are not human."

I know that many days of joy will come from my new lady. I pray that I can be the person that she sees me as.   I thank my husband for knowing and understanding my desire to love the lil' critters.  

Sunday, September 6, 2009


It hasn't hit me yet and probably won't for a while........ maybe I just won't let it.

I never did like taking and dropping off my children at preschool. It made me feel like I was neglecting them for that two hour time frame that they had to go and venture out for a bit for the first time ever without me. And it always seemed that I was far more nervous than they were. Amber's little pads seemed too small to be going to school that first day that I slowly walked her into Mrs. L's classroom. It didn't help any that she is my youngest and that this was the last time that I was going to be doing this----- I didn't like the finalization of it. I had been waiting so long for it and now that it was here I didn't want any part of it.

Amber was excited though, it was me that was the wreck. Amber loved her backpack and her shoes and her new pants and shirt. She was so anxious to get to her classroom and start learning. "I have done this three times before this can't be all that bad." I thought to myself as I felt a lump swelling up in my throat. I watched my brave little girl walk right into that classroom without reservation, find her chair, say, "Hi" to Mrs. L, and sit down. She turned around and looked at me and smiled without looking the least bit nervous. So, as a mom would do, I walked in for one last kiss and hug and that is when I lost it! I kissed her, hugged her and told her I'd be back for her and turned away and broke down. My strong, independent 3 yr. old held up better than me!

She had a great day and I learned to control myself later on in the year. I love Amber and it's great to see her learn and love school. She is a smartie for sure!!! 123 ABC

Keep learning you smart little girl. I love you Amber Brooklyn. mom

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


It was a beautiful, sunny day when we dropped the kids off at grandma's house early in the morning.  Then, we headed down to Alta View Hospital to deliver the sweet baby that I had been waiting for.

I had just endured what had seemed to be the LONGEST nine months of my life, this time around.

The air was already warm at 7:30 a.m. as it usually is at that time of year in Utah.  I couldn't have been happier to deliver my last child and finally see and hold her on that Monday in May of 2006.

We were checked in, situated, water broken and the pitocin injected......the wait began. With Bill by my side we chatted about life, family, birth, miracles, and about our other three kids and wondered how they would accept the new addition!  It was pleasant to have time alone while waiting to bring this baby into the world.

The clock seemed to stand still as I lay gazing out the window into the Salt Lake valley  at the hectic lives going on out there.  It was quiet for me though at least for a minute.  Before we knew it lunchtime had arrived.  As usual I didn't feel contractions for about 7-8 hours, so I sent Bill to go get himself some lunch for I knew I'd be there a while.

The nurse came in around 5 P.M. and said,  "You'll know when it's time.  You  will feel a major pressure on your bottom."  I figured that she was right and that I'd know.  She was right.  Shortly after she left the room I had the urge to push.  I told Bill that I was pretty sure that this was what the nurse was talking about.  He called her back into the room and checked me and sure enough there was Amber, trying to enter into this world.

The nurse reassured me that Dr. Smith was on his way, but I thought to myself, "Why hasn't he been on his way this whole time?" Dr. Smith walked into the room, rushed to wash his hands, put on scrubs and gloves, assumed position. I pushed ONCE and there I saw for the first time, that precious face I had been waiting 9 1/2 months to see.  At 6:09 p.m. Amber Brooklyn's tiny 6lb. 9oz. body was gently placed on my chest and at that moment I wanted her forever. I gave her my heart just as I had given it to my three other children.

Maddy, Jacob, Ashley and grandma Bird  came to see our new addition and she was a hit!  They all loved her and were so gentle with her.  She was definitely a keeper.  I made the stay at the hospital as short as possible and before I knew it I was home with my baby.

To celebrate her 3rd birthday....dinner at El Tapatio, cupcakes instead of a cake...(she knows what she wants)...and then opened presents, naturally.  I shed a few tears knowing that she is my baby and she is already three!  I love you Amber, to the moon and back! mom.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I am not sure.....I haven't any information on how dogs are affected when one of their pack loses it's life. I am assured with that gut feeling though that they, too, grieve in their own doggie way.

Daisy has become very "clingy", much more scared, extra cuddly, but her hunting instincts have taken over.

While MY grieving may have lasted a bit longer than hers....and maybe still exists in me, Daisy has blossomed into a mouse/gopher eating maniac. I think that she is trying to prove herself, maybe get that extra praise that she had to share with Tara when she was round.

Daisy LOVED Tara, always wanted to be near her, touching her, nipping at her legs and just outright annoying her. Well, as Daisy has moved on in her wondering where Tara really has gone, she has found a new love. Stalking, catching, torturing and eating gophers! Just a little protein right? I usually see her out in the field tossing a lifeless body into the air and I have to tell myself that it must be a ball or one of the kids' socks filled with sand or something like that. NOT TODAY!

This is what my sweet dog brought right up to the front steps to devour. It is very disturbing, but those gophers have ruined our backyard, so Daisy is just earning her keep. Go Daisy! Just don't let me see.

Monday, April 20, 2009

ASHLEY'S BAPTISM-April 19, 2009

On Sunday, April 19th, 2009 my darling Ashley was baptized. Ashley has been so very excited to finally get baptized and confirmed a member of the church.

It couldn't have been a prettier day. The sun was out. The breeze warm. Family and friends gathered at the church to see and witness Ashley's decision. I have many mixed feelings about this. I feel that it came too quickly or that I just don't want her to be old enough. The time has rushed before my eyes-- without notice and now my THIRD child is baptized!

I want to tell you, Ashley, how happy I am for you. I am proud that you have chosen to follow Jesus' example and get baptized just like He did. I know your intentions are good. they always have been and I know that they always will be. I know that you love your family and that you have a deep desire to do what is right all the time. I know you think of others and treat them well. I love your sense of humor, but at the same time I can tell when you feel the spirit talking to you. Always follow those little promptings that you get and remember what it is like to have the Holy Ghost speak to you. I love you Ashley Nicolle to the moon and back. I will always remember this great day and I hope that you will do the same.

Love, mom

Here are a few pictures of you on your special day.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Like always, time has vanished before my eyes and another one of my precious kiddos has become a year older.

From the minute she entered into this world, Ashley has brightened my life.  I can still envision her tiny body cuddled into the bend of my arm. Ashley was born with very white skin, bright red strands of hair, calm as ever as she tried to adjust to the cruel air of this Earth.  I fell in love at that moment faster than I ever have have fallen in love before!  When Dr. Beyerlein handed me that little squirt tears rolled down my cheeks,  I instantly put her inside that bubble that all moms put their newborns in to keep them well and safe.  She had my heart before she even arrived! Our eyes met for a brief moment as she struggled to open her eyelids wondering what this new place was.  Although I could see her, and almost right into her soul,  I'm not quite sure if she was still enjoying some last moments with her Father above, or just looking at me wondering how life will be here.  I honestly believe that she was still conversing with loved ones on the other side for just a few more moments.

I was so excited to have a child with red hair!  I love, love, love red hair!  I love, love, love her.  She is my everything!

Ashley is my cute red head with a very deceiving personality.  I say that meaning this:

Ashley has a very shy personality when she is around others. She doesn't like the limelight. She doesn't care to be noticed much and when people compliment her on her beautiful hair...or her precious freckles.....she blushes and looks away(which is EXACTLY what I did at that age). 

At home, quite the contrary!  Ashley is very funny....ALL THE TIME, she loves to be the focus of attention, is very outgoing and holds NOTHING back!  She always has the whole family laughing and I love it when her and I get giddy together and forget life for a moment as we roll around laughing so hard that we get sore belly muscles. 

This year for her birthday she chose Olive Garden for dinner, got a shiny new bike that "peddles backwards" as Ash would say, a day at the salon ending with a darling new hairdo, 3 Labrador Webkinz, moon sand,  art stuff, and a few other goodies.  Her favorite.....the bike.  I have to peel her off of it to eat dinner, do homework, and go to bed.  

Ashley is my love, my princess, my friend, my life, my daughter, my everything!!  I love you Ashley Nicolle!  Happy Birthday to you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I have decided that if you can't find a place in your heart to love an animal, any animal, you are not human!

Six years ago I dragged my husband and kids up to a place in Northern Oregon to be the first to pick up a little black lab, something I can't resist.  As we drove, the thought of getting a puppy just made me ecstatic.  I couldn't wait to see those little critters as I envisioned them in their excitement to have a visitor, but I was a little apprehensive knowing that I could only take one.  We looked at the litter of pups and all their little, black tails wagging rambunctiously as we neared them.  As we looked, I spotted one particular dog quite a bit calmer than the rest just sitting over by herself, not in any hurry to get up and greet us.  Because she was so calm I picked her up and that was it.  She was mine to take home.

As with all puppies I dreaded the house training, the chewing, the messes etc., but from the beginning Tara was different.  She learned quickly.  She was calm.  She didn't chew.  She wasn't hyper. 

As the years went on Tara stayed loyal as dogs do and learned the tricks that I taught her: whisper(soft bark), close the door, shake, lay, sit etc.  I had the dog of my dreams and she was so good with my little kids.

 She grew like a weed and soon was a full-grown puppy in a big doggies body.  Nothing much changed, but we noticed that unlike ALL labs Tara didn't like the water.  We didn't question it---just accepted it.  Her favorite things however were: playing tug, playing fetch and begging for food as dinner simmered on the stove.

To make a long story short, but full of the love that I have for her, we discovered that she was born with very bad hips(hip dysplasia).  She never had the correct amount of cartilage  that is needed to prevent bone rubbing on bone.  The thing that still bothers me today is that we never really realized how bad it was for her (pain wise).  Dogs don't complain.....they just cope. That is what Tara did, she coped.

Wednesday, March 25th, Tara broke her hip while we were out of town.  We arrived home on Thursday @ approximately 3:00 pm only to find her down at the local vet whimpering in the back room.  As if that wasn't enough to send me over the edge the vet showed us the x-rays of Tara's hind end and the proof was right there.  Broken hip on her left side, no cartilage left on the right side, and bone spurs from her mid spine into her tail that she never complained once. Not a whimper.  We took her home for the night with major pain meds hoping that she would miraculously recover only to find that it was the last night that she would be with us--physically.

We prepared ourselves to say goodbye, took many last pictures, many kisses were exchanged, many words said to her in the hopes that they would later be translated the minute she arrived at her new home above.  Many, many tears and headaches.
At 9:30 am, Thursday March 26th Tara left her body lying on the table at the vets office while her spirit ascended straight up to heaven.  I say heaven because heaven is where perfect souls go and I know Tara was perfect.

We carefully tucked her body with blankets, balls, chewies and letters from each of us into a box and wrapped it with love and gently placed her out back in the hole that we dug where, if I need to go talk to her....I still can.  I am left with an emptiness that is indescribable, but a knowledge that I will see her again someday.

My hope from all of this is to tell you, the reader....love your pets.....unconditionally!  Kiss more,  play more, treasure your four-legged friends, look deeper, hang out more, never forget that they love you more than you can imagine. I believe that they see you in a way that others never will.

For my best friend, Tara--- February 2003-March 2009.  I gave her my whole heart and soul---and I have hers tenderly wrapped, tucked and placed next to what is left of my own heart.  I love you Tara Lee Crofts to the moon and back!

I want to thank my husband and strong kids for their support in this hard endeavor.  They are my strong foundation and I love them all.