Saturday, March 25, 2017


     My back has been bothering me in the morning and making it difficult to study my AM scriptures.  I try to do it later in the day, but I forget about my blog (the blog actually helps me keep reading).  I think I'm slowly on the mend, and maybe next week I'll be back.  Or maybe two weeks as I won't be available much next week.  So there is my situation...! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Song gems

     This morning I'm sharing one of my favorite songs, Homeward Bound, by Marta Keen Thompson   See the link below

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Elderberries, late summer, Indiana

     I've been thinking about traveling to Racine Symphony and want to ramble about it.  Here goes, and it will probably be a hodge podge of thoughts.
    I don't like taking the freeway to Racine, and I don't need to.  Because I live so far west of Racine and southwest of Milwaukee, and there is only a north-south freeway to aid me,  it doesn't save me much time, or any time, to take the freeway.  I have many county road alternatives.
     I enjoy driving different routes to Racine.  The pace is slower, the scenery is better, it's less boring, and there is less traffic to mess with.  I can just be by myself and think or listen to the radio or CDs.  I love it as the days lengthen/shorten and I can watch the changing light and moods of the sky.  I love watching the changes in farmers' fields, from plowing to growing to harvesting.  It's also fun checking out the houses and occasional roadstand along the way. I've driven some roads so much that I have a few favorite trees that I watch as the seasons change.  I especially loved these drives when my children were home; it was a wonderful break.
     I remember that my mother sometimes took rides in the country with us when I was young.  She never got lost; she had a good sense of direction.  She would check out the local farms, homes, and roadside plants of east central Indiana. She would tell us about the ones she knew. Sometimes she picked elderberries and made jelly out of them (yummy).  We checked the corn fields to see how fast the plants were growing; they were supposed to be knee-high by the Fourth of July.  She also checked out roadside stands; she liked to buy eggs from farmers.  And a good rummage sale might have caught her eye.
     When I was older (college?) she discovered an Amish family near Rushville that sold some things (I don't remember what...eggs? bread?).  She would buy something and bring it home.  She commented on the beautiful Amish quilts they had made.  I think I went with her one time.
     For a few years she went to Spiceland to get raspberries from a local grower.  She had to time it just right!  If successful, she sometimes made a raspberry pie.  She made wonderful pies.
     There was also the strawberry farm in Mechanicsburg, which I think we went to once.  You picked your own berries.
     In late summer and early fall she visited nearby orchards (I only remember ones on Road 40 on the way to Richmond).  She would purchase a large supply of fesh peaches and/or apples.  She  usually got Jonathan and Delicious varieties of the latter.  I liked going with her to the apple orchard and eating one of them on the way home, after cleaning and polishing it on my pants.
     Sometimes my mother would just go exploring along country roads.  I suppose that is where I discovered my enjoyment of this.  When I had a car, I liked doing it, too (although my budget was too tight to do much of it).  When I was finished with BYU, single, and living in Fort Wayne, I liked going to Schmuckers (I think that was the name), a large Amish fresh vegee business northeast of the city.  Man, it was a smelly place.  And they sold much yumminess!
     I loved taking rides on Spiceland Pike, southwest of New Castle, where I grew up.  Such a beautiful drive--I have fond memories.
      I like to go exploring.  If I have my cell phone and don't go too far, I love to do it alone.  There is something intriguing, exciting and freeing about it.  It's hard to explain.  I also love to go exploring with my husband, who is more adventurous than I.  When we moved here, my husband and I, with young kids in tow (they were good travelers), would explore the Milwaukee area.  I loved it!  This place was like a huge treasure chest compared to where I grew up.  Sometimes we discovered local custard stands, bakeries or parks (Milwaukee has great ones); other times we drove farther and found lake parks/beaches, cheese factories, and orchards.  Maybe we'd find an intriguing rummage sale (my husband has a good nose for these).  It was fun checking out the dairy farms as they were not common in Indiana.  Sometimes we got off the freeway and explored backroads. Wisconsin is a beautiful state and has much to experience and see!
     Sometimes I think it might be fun to be a nomad.  But when I really think about it, my realistic self, you would at least need a homebase to operate from.  You need some roots to return to.  Maybe in the next life, when my body is in prime form.  We could just fly (or however you travel) all over the place.  Maybe we could pick elderberries and make celestial jam (oh please...there must be some kind of food in heaven).  I could ride wait...I could FLY horses!  And more beasts, probably......this is sounding good.
     Well, one more rambling.  My mother was an interior decorator.  She didn't have much formal training; I think she took a correspondence course.  She just read a lot and had a natural talent for it.  She was good, too!  She wrote a weekly decorating column for the New Castle paper for awhile called Pat's Hints.  Connected to that was her talk to us about what local homes she liked and how she would change them, in or out.  She would often point homes out during our car rides, telling us what she would change if she owned the house (she moved many times, by the way...12 different places in New Castle).  I find myself doing that in my solo rides.  It's great fun to imagine living in a particular house, what we would do there, and how it would be changed.
     Guess that's the end of these ramblings.......maybe more later.

Snowy Adventures



     What's up with the weather?  Last month  Marched into May and now it really is February.  Snowstorm and all.  It began Sunday night, softly and quietly.  By Monday morning we had a few inches, and by yesterday morning we had ten with maybe more to come.  But no blizzard, I thought...I'm not hearing about wind problems.
     I monitored the snowfall and weather reports throughout the day because I had an orchestral rehearsal in  Racine Monday night, about a 30-35 minute drive for me normally.  Racine is on the Lake Michigan coast, and I live father inland, southwest of Milwaukee.  Reports forecast a lot of snow by late afternoon, and lake effect snow would kick in during the evening.  It would be in progress when I returned home.  In fact, the lake effect would continue Tuesday morning, the final accumulation anywhere from 8 to 12 inches (or something like that, depending on which report). And that morning I also had two concerts for 5th graders in Racine.       Wow, I thought--this is crazy.  Snows like this are expected where I live, but this winter has been odd in that the only big snow we had was in November.  And that was only eight inches; we usually have at least one blizzard with ten or more.   We've had  mild weather for a few years, and many people are out of practice when it comes to dealing with it.
     My worry self began to kick in.  We have armies of snowplows, but they are limited with what they can do in the middle of the storm. And there would be crazy drivers on the road.  No freeways for me, I thought; I'll be nervous enough without having to deal with them. There had already been a couple accidents which shut down parts of the freeways.
     And what's with all the lake effect snow?  And those weathermen "fib" alot.  Are they exaggerating again to keep us safe (or for fear of being sued or something else?).  What's up?  Ah, it was explained; the lake effect was going to be enhanced because there is no ice on Lake Michigan due to the very mild February.
     Enhanced.  What a polite, educated sounding word to describe an increase in lake effect snow.  It almost sounds nice.  Will the flakes sparkle more?  Will they be bigger?  Will they multiply on the way down?  Will they speak?  Will they have intelligence?!  Why can't they say " Whatch out if you live near the lake; you might get dumped on by lots more snow with wind attached."  I think that's what they mean!  And "mean" is appropriate.  As someone commented on Facebook, Mother Nature is in menopause and had a hot flash last month.  Now she's feeling like her old self and SO happy to cool off...and how about some breezes?!  That sounds good, too.  Enhanced???!!!  I think not.  You know, it's kind of hard to sugar coat snow.
     My trip began.  I allowed myself an extra hour. There had been lots of snow where I live, maybe eight inches already.  Fortunately there was hardly any wind, so the plows were doing a good job.  I think they all had a bad case of cabin fever from lack of getting out, and they were really busy.  But what would I meet in Racine?  Oh, those lake effect reports!
     Traveling was slow in Milwaukee. After I turned south  the snow continued until a few miles northwest of Racine.  Then the miracle.  The faucet suddenly turned off.  Ahead of me was a clear black road.  What?!  It continued for awhile and then was just wet with a quarter to half inch of snow.  All the way to rehearsal.  Ha!  This is a brilliant idea, Mother Nature!   Such a pleasant surprise. I was so early I cruised the area for fun.  Is this really happening, I thought?  Oh, those weathermen!!  Now this was truly an enhanced experience.
     I didn't worry much the following morning.  Milwaukee never got much more snow, and it was quiet except for some breezes that had kicked in.  We had a total of ten inches at home, with little drifting.  Traffic was moving along nicely when I left.  It was slower going when I headed south through the county as snow began falling.  The closer I got to Racine, the heavier the snow came down. What's with this?  Those weathermen!!!   By the time I got to the concert I was crawling because of reduced visibility; I had trouble finding the place.  Aaaaaaaaaahhh!!  The weather reports showed that the wind had shifted overnight and the lake effect snow was going south over the lake.  But apparently Mother Nature changed her mind and began fanning the Racine area sometime after 6 AM.   Oh was kind of crazy.  Buses were late, some schools cancelled, and so it went for the first concert.
     By mid morning the wind and snow had ceased.  When I left the sun was shining in a beautiful blue sky.  I waded through deep snow to get to my car, and then had to clean off a ton of it.  I think there were 8-10 inches of wet stuff on my hood.  All that in just a few hours; gives fresh meaning to the word "dump".  When I finally reached the road (after chaos getting there) it was clear.  Really?! What insanity.  Maybe Mother Nature is also bipolar.   Oh, I suppose it's all because the plows were ready for work after our snow drought.  And man, did they make up for lost time.  I had so much fun driving fast again!  Stella, my car, was so happy (she handled this entire experience very well....).
     Well, what can I add... how about the weathermen being honest and saying "We really don't know what's going to happen!  But just in are the possibilites."  And that word enhancement..............enough already.
     I just found this story on the snowfall in Racine...whoa!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Scripture Monday March 13

     Moroni 10: Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.      And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.      And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.   (Book of Mormon)

Sunday, March 12, 2017


     Philippians 4:Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.  (KJV New Testament)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sunday Musing on Wednesday--Hymns

     Many years ago one of my sons was seriously ill.  He recovered but within a couple of months the illness returned.  I was angry.  At one point I went down to my basement, threw some things, and told off God. I had a tantrum.  Eventually my faith began to return; I had nowhere else to turn but  God.
     The morning of my son's first treatment came and I was worried.  It was a difficult time for all.  While preparing to drive my son to the hospital for a treatment a hymn popped into my head.  At first I was taken aback because I didn't like the hymn.  It was one of a few on my list of musically deplorables. I thought to myself, where did this come from?  Not from me!  I listened to the lyrics of the hymn and I knew it was a message from the Lord for me and my son, in spite of the tune and dated words.  I sensed there was help supporting us from the other side of the veil; in fact, a whole choir of people.  Here are the lyrics (you can click on link below it to hear it).

  1. 1. We are all enlisted till the conflict is o'er;
    Happy are we! Happy are we!
    Soldiers in the army, there's a bright crown in store;
    We shall win and wear it by and by.
    Haste to the battle, quick to the field;
    Truth is our helmet, buckler, and shield.
    Stand by our colors; proudly they wave!
    We're joyfully, joyfully marching to our home.
  2. (Chorus)
    We are all enlisted till the conflict is o'er;
    Happy are we! Happy are we!
    Soldiers in the army, there's a bright crown in store;
    We shall win and wear it by and by.

      I now have a special appreciation for this hymn.  Maybe I even love it.  I heard it again today after I decided to finally get out of bed and fight "He who shall not be named" as I battled depression and anxiety.
     I have a blossoming testimony of the power of hymns.  As a highly educated musician it's often hard to turn off my distatse for some of the LDS music, but I'm making peace with this by learning that hymns, for the most part, are not meant to be musical gems.  They are messages of spirtual truths from God.  They can convey messages from the Spirit.   When we have spiritual experiences with the hymns, we begin to realize their power to teach and inspire, and we begin to love them.

Scripture March 8

This isn't a scripture, but it is truth.  It's the Young Women's Theme from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, of which I am a member.  It has much to say about the identity and value of women on this "A Day Without Women".

"We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. WE WILL “STAND as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
WE BELIEVE as we come to accept and act upon these values, WE WILL BE PREPARED to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Scripture March 6


      Proverbs 31:10 ¶Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.     11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.      12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.      13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.      14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.      15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.     16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.      17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.      18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.      19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.      20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.      21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.     22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothingis silk and purple.     23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.     24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.     25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.     26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.     27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.     28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.     29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.     30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.     31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Scripture March 5

“… Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer. When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, He begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to Him, He is ready to come to us.”  (Joseph Smith, from History of the Church, 6:303–5, 308)

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Scripture March 4


     Jacob 3:O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever. (Book of Mormon)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Scripture March 3


     Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Scripture March 2

John 14: 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  (New Testament, KJV)

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Scripture March 1

     Ether 12: 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.   (Book of Mormon)

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.