Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Several years ago, back in west-central Illinois, we got into an argument. Eventually the argument ended. Apologies were voiced. Things were still a bit chilly between us, though.

Life went on.

We had to go to the next town to do some shopping. We packed the kids in the car. They could tell something was up, if not exactly what.

The trip down the river road was quiet. Driving along, I said a silent prayer asking that somehow the tension between us could disappear.

As we rounded a curve about 12 miles later we saw a handful of deer near the side of the road. It was a sudden, unexpected and rare experience.

I made a comment about the deer, completely innocuous. The statement was, however, neutral and had nothing to do with whatever it was we'd argued about previously. It broke the silence, it also broke the ice that had been growing between us. We began talking together.

Those deer were an answer to my prayers.

I'm looking for deer again.

2nd Corollary to The Rule

If the topic is sensitive, keep your mouth shut longer.

1st Corollary to The Rule

If you are not positive the spirit is prompting you to speak, keep your mouth shut.


I have always appreciated Joseph Smith's ability to say the right thing, give the correct answer. My wife has the same gifted ability. I am beginning to see this as a gift of the spirit.

Speaking and writing words that are inspired can elevate the mind and soul of the reader and listener.

Speaking and writing words that are uninspired can do irreparable harm.

My words, more often than not, are too often of the second type. Especially when I think that I am accurately portraying truth. I'm learning that what I consider truth can more accurately be described as perspective.

This ability I have to misstate has had long-lasting consequences over the years. It is one of the central reasons for my on-going surprise at her willingness to remain with me.

Her birthday had proceeded well. The dinner at Applebee's was a success: good food, pleasant conversation, fun time. My later discussion before bed-time was thoughtless and brought her to tears. I thought I was "telling the truth", but in reality was only expressing my warped view of reality.

It was a long night, full of fitful sleep and deep consideration.

We're here on this planet to learn how to return to our Heavenly Parents. A big part of that deals with learning how to live in a physical body. Another big part of that has to do with learning successful human interaction. Words have a lot to do with that interaction.

One thing the Lord has taught us by His example is that half of a miracle is its timing. There are good times and bad times to talk about everything. A good way to determine the correct timing is to listen for promptings. My listener seems to be broken.

My words have always betrayed me. I have thoughtlessly inflicted more pain than I care to remember. I know from experience that the wounds I create are slow healing. Regaining her trust is difficult. I have apologized. Apologies, alone, are not sufficient.

This whole word thing has caused me problems for a long time. It's time for me to focus on this word problem. I've got to learn to hear the promptings, then act, properly, on them.

I just hope she stays around long enough to see improvement.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


It's her birthday, today.

Still the same surprising girl I fell in love with 25 years ago, what a marvel that she's kept me around this whole time.

Of course, things haven't always been all sweetness and light. That's why I'm so stunned that she still seems to love me.

A dozen years ago we both were considering other possible marriage arrangements. We'd even mentioned the D word.

As we took a walk one night, the Spirit whispered to me:

You CAN get a divorce. You'll be fine, she'll be fine. You'll learn things. But if you stay with her, you'll learn more and you'll be happier.

I listened and chose to learn more and be happier. What a good choice!

The adventures we've had! The things we've learned! Sure, most times I've had to be dragged along, kicking and screaming, only to realize afterwards that those are the fun, good things that I should have been happy to do and learn.

Life is so marvelous. Always much different than I figured it should be, thank goodness. I've never had much in the way of imagination. Still, I don't need to rely on my imagination, when I have her as my partner. How well yoked we are! Pulling together, in our own distinct ways, getting the job done.

We still have loads to move into our new apartment, but it'll get done. And we WILL be able to fit it all in. We'll do it together.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Oh my.

We've taken three loads to the new apartment. She packed the first two on Monday. I packed the third one yesterday.

It is four flights up to our third floor apartment.

Carrying two 24-pound buckets of powdered milk Monday was do-able. Carrying two buckets of sugar yesterday did me in. We've got 600 pounds of wheat to move up as well as stacks of canned goods.

Not to mention books.

The furniture will come later. We won't be moving appliances. That still leaves one chest of drawers, the love seat, 9 bookcases, the kitchen table and a Queen-size mattress.

The books (and other stuff) in boxes in the garage will be re-sorted with a four-flight mind-set as a filter. I'm thinking it's give away time.

Stairs trump sentimentality.

Monday, November 21, 2005


A week later they're beginning to heal.

We found a home for Batman. In the effort to relocate, finding a home for our two-year-old cat was a big concern. We didn't want to take him to the pound, that's just a delayed death sentence.

The spirit whispered to try the Harding's. After calling a couple other folks first, I followed the prompting and called the Hardings. Did they want our cat? Neutered, no front claws, but still a good mouser. They'd consider and call us back.

The Hardings have horse property and are cousins (of course).

After due deliberation they phoned to tell us the verdict. Plans were quickly made to affect the move.

Last Monday evening I loaded the truck with the cat pan (he hasn't used it for a year and a half), unused cat litter, food bowl, cans and large bag of cat food.

Minutes previously we had relaxed together on the couch, but I figure he knew something was up.

I gathered him into my arms and gave him a blessing before we started. I blessed him that he would quickly become comfortable in his new home, that he would love the people there. I began to cry as I blessed him that he would forget us. Hopefully, on the other side of the veil his memory will be restored.

She drove us around the block to get him a bit disoriented. His last ride in a vehicle had resulted in some painful and humiliating operations. He didn't like this ride.

When we arrived at the Hardings, I renewed my hold on him and opened the door. He sprang from my grasp and ran into their open garage.

We went to the front door and rang the bell. After greetings, I unloaded Batman's stuff and we talked a bit. The Bat had left the garage in the meantime. I figured he was on his way home.

To my surprise we found him in the horse yard. Meowing.

I hadn't fed him before we packed up, knowing that food might help get him calmed down. I took a can of cat food into the horse yard and lured him in. I grabbed him when he came to sniff. Picked him up and started for the house.

Stupidly, I kept the cat food in one hand, Batman in my right arm. As we got closer to the house, he began to struggle. I kept my grip tight, but lost it to his desperate wriggling after we went in the back door. He got my hand, wrist and side before he was off looking for a hidey hole.

Any move is a shock to a cat and it takes time for them to acclimate. Usually they head for a tight, dark spot to curl up in to get their bearings.

Batman headed for the computer room. He hid behind the printer. I prepared his dish with his dinner and took it in to him. We talked a bit and he had a little to eat. I put the dish on the floor, leaving him alone in the room.

We talked some more, had some pie and, eventually, we left.

The blessing was fulfilled. He hasn't been back.

We have kitten scratches on our couch, a few pictures, some itchy scars on my right hand and memories.

Our grandson had her take him around the neighborhood on a walk looking for the kitty last night. We're not the only ones who miss him.

Silly pets.

Friday, November 11, 2005

New York Doll

Yesterday I had a wonderful experience. I watched a documentary.

A documentary?


New York Doll.

The story of a guy's life. Arthur 'Killer' Kane.

Member of a Rock Band in the early 70's called the New York Dolls, he hit rock bottom after the band broke up in 1975. The movie documents the influence the band had and how the band got together for a reunion concert at London's Royal Albert Hall last year.

The power of the story isn't about his comeback. Instead, the story demonstrates the power of the gospel in changing a man's life.

That's right. Arthur Kane joined the church in 1989. However, he testified that the biggest change came when he was called to work in the Los Angeles Family History Center in 1998. It also illustrates the power of worthy bishops and a good hometeacher.

This is a movie that you can't miss. You have to see it. It is only in limited release. It won't be around for long. I will buy it if it ever comes out on DVD.

It is playing at the Salt Lake Film Society, 111 East 300 South, at least through Thursday, 17 November. Times: 1:30, 3:30, 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30.

Go see it.

PS. Stay seated for the credits - as Arthur's bandmates perform A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


The site got going again.

'Nuff said.

The Numbers

I am motivated by numbers.


Years ago I began posting obituary notices on the GenWeb site for a county where I have roots.

As time rolled by, economics of the internet interfered with my obituary posting routine. Rich websites consumed profitable websites and all sites morphed. The spot for my obituaries turned into a message board for folks to post queries about their ancestors.

Well, my obituary-posting obsession continued even with the change of venue.

As I posted, I began to check out the area to which I was posting. I noticed that the new site included the other counties in the state, displaying how many messages had been posted in each county.

Since I was posting messages that included genealogical information and not questions, the post totals for our sparsley populated county began to overtake those of more heavily populated areas of the state.

A while ago our little county moved into second place, behind the county of the State's Capitol. Goodness.

I began posting transcriptions of death records and marriage records, supplementing the limited number of obituaries I can dig up. This, in an attempt to catch and surpass that number one county.

Well, today I was on my way. Only 25 posts from tying for the top spot. I began posting more marriage record transcriptions, holding last month's obituary records to eventually surpass and keep ahead of the State Capital county. The total for which I was shooting: 1391.

Happily was I posting along, previewing each post for typos, before clicking the "Post Message" button. 1375, 1380... I clicked the "Post Message" button for what I think was to be number 1382 and the site went down.

Oh, my.

My greedy desires to climb to the message posting mountain's summit have given the site constipation. The pages are still unavailable. I come now to my blogspot to express my sadness. I have to postpone my silly desires to help my ancestral county be the one with the most genealogical messages in the state.

The summit remains, waiting.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Our new grandson, Gideon, was born on 7 Sep 2005 (I had to remember that before the nurse would leave me alone in the room with him last week, but that's a topic for another post...).

His birth has changed our family. Of course, the ripples shouldn't affect his grandparents quite as much as his immediate family.

Because Gid was born with a cleft lip and palate, he needs special attention. I've learned to carefully burp him after each feeding. I've learned to use the special nipple on his bottle (it has a harder upper half to provide a temporary palate and support and a softer lower half to provide easy suckability).

Gid also has a full schedule of surgeries planned to correct his cleft. It became quickly apparent that we might be of better service to the Gid's family by being closer to their house during the coming months.

We took advantage of the situation. We put our house up for sale. We're leaving. The house sold.

We've rented a one-bedroom apartment in the City, two blocks up from the Temple; 10 minutes from work, walking; 15 minutes from Gid, driving; 7 minutes from the hospital, driving.

We'll begin the move on the 21st.

Our grandson has infused our lives with a marvelously invigorating breath of fresh air.

New Jobs

The Library reorganization is taking place. One side benefit of this reoganization is that I finally became a permanent employee again.

Two years ago I came over here for a four-month, temporary assignment. As time passed and the assignment grew, my permanent job slot in the Engineering Division was sucked into the "Strategic Reserve".

I became temporary.

No change in pay scale. No change in benefits.

Only a couple problems:
  • If my job was cut from the services offered by the Library, I would no longer be employed
  • Since I didn't have a job slot, I couldn't be hired by any other Departments in the Division, because I would have to bring my slot with me as a transfer

I was, essentially, unemployable in most of the Department.


Well, as of last month, I received a job slot.

Wahoo! I am an official employee of the Library, after a two-year temporary stint.

What a relief.

Now, as the reorganization rolls on, I've put my hat into the ring for consideration in a few different jobs. Who knows how things will shake out.

Change can be fun!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Rule

All I know is: if I get into an argument with her, I've lost.